Suddenly the words and the visions overwhelmed me and became far too much for my untrained mind to keep up with. I was unable to filter them out seperately and they swirled together in a mass of scattered images and voices within my brain. I felt an unbearable pain that started in one spot of my head and quickly spread throughout my entire body. It was staggering breathtaking pain, the likes of which I had never experienced before. I collapsed to the floor in agony while Guinivere and Judith knelt next to me. Guinivere made attempt to ease the pain by soothing me into a semi-conscious state. I vaguely heard her tell Judith that it would be far better for me to absorb all of this in a sleeping state.
I woke some time later to the two of them still leaning over me in great concern. They looked so worn and troubled that I knew I must have been unconscious for some time. I blinked to clear my vision and my thoughts before trying to speak to them. I was quite distressed by what was now a part of my memory and unsure of how to even explain or share it. I looked at Guinivere and Judith in some puzzlement and told them, “I believe I know now much of the story of the boys and of everyone else involved in it. It is as though I have absorbed the thoughts and events of so many who were involved in it… save probably the two who still wander here.”
Guinivere looked at me in her own puzzlement, “But, I do not understand… I thought this should have given us reason or answer to the boys, and to Anne’s connection to them.” She paused in some bewilderment, “Well, go ahead then, tell us of what did happen and mayhaps it will give us some sort of clue.”
I sighed in frustration, “Well, first I must mention someone did curse this place, everyone in it, all who were involved and their families… and she vowed to carry it with her for all eternity. And, as to the boys who wander still here… I believe they are truly just lost souls, unknown little boys unsure and unaware of their part or path.” My heart was much broken for these two small boys who now wandered the castle, not knowing where to go. I am quite sure that is was our duty to help these two boys find their way as well as to give them rightful and honourable credit and memoriom in this event which they had unwittingly become such a part of and ever remained unknown to any as anything but “lost boys”.
I vowed to see this through in order to give them their peace and their names back. For now though, I must share the story of all those others involved in the mystery. The disappearance of the princes turned out to be such a combination of events that the entire blame could never be placed upon just one person. In addition, no one could ever be convicted or judged of murder since no murder actually did occur. Richard III, having gotten a taste of power in his brief role as sole protector and regent of the young Edward, quickly realized that he did not want to envision giving up that power or control once Edward should reach an age of majority within a few short years. He also knew that Elizabeth would not give up her fight for control over her son. She had no real quarrel with Richard other than for the fact that he had been placed as regent rather than herself. She was not willing to give up her rule and reign easily… unless some possible better option was presented to her, or some worse fate threatened upon her. She had to realize that the people would never stand for her ruling alone or at this point being of any involvement in the new rule… the people did hate her that much by this time.
The rumors of her being a witch were abounding throughout the kingdom and in reality, she was lucky to have survived as queen as long as she had. It was not even so much that she might be a witch or a believer of old ways… it was her attitude and her ego that brought her downfall. The people had truly thought well of King Edward but felt he was too muched ruled by his wife. Elizabeth had forgotten from where she started, as commoner. Instead of being a much grateful and dutiful wife to the King, she became outspoken, and overtaken with her sense of power. She thought that because she was Queen, she could do no wrong and none should question her. She also forgot a very serious vow she had taken early on to those in a higher power of authority… when it was apparent that she might sit upon the throne, she had been called to a secret meeting of the Higher Council and been called upon to swear an oath that she would not use what ever powers she had for any influence or undue harm in any way. Over the years, her Mother had constantly reminded her of this oath and admonished her to take it seriously but her head reeling with the heady power she felt as Queen, she conveniently forgot about this oath. She would eventually live to regret that oversight.
As her husband, Edward lay dying, he knew well the feelings of his subjects for his wife. He realized that there was no way that the people of England would receive her as Edward’s regent. Though it pained him to do so, he made his wishes clear that his brother would take charge and rule until a time as his son could rightly do so. Richard understood as well, the reasons for this decision. When it was first put on him, he did not want the responsibilities and made it well known. It was not an act on his part. He knew that it would all most likely come to a very bad end… he felt it in his soul, which was already much troubled after the events with his brother George’s death.
He tried to set those doubts and misgivings aside as he took on this grave challenge of attempting to hold on to the throne for his family. His first fight, of course was to ensure the new young King Edward’s safety. He had to make sure that it was clear to all that the boy was in his safe keeping and custody, not his Mother’s. This was the first battle of many. Unfortunately for the confused young boy, he was viewed at this point in time more as propery than a frightened young boy who had just learned of his Father’s untimely death and his ascent to the throne. After all, possession as always was seen as 9/10 of the law. Who ever was in possession of the boy king held the control.
Strangely, as soon as the boy was in Richard’s custody, Elizabeth did not attempt a fight. She did much as she had done in the past, and removed herself and her other children to the sanctuary of Holy ground. She did so however, with a great amount of the Royal treasury… one third of it to be exact. The other portions were in her possession as well. Her brother, Edward Woodville who was Admiral of the Fleet at the time had a third of it in his possession when he sailed for France, then escaped to Brittany to side with Henry Tudor in his attempt to take the throne. His portion was never recovered and it was assumed it went to Henry Tudor’s aid. Her older son by a previous marriage, Thomas Grey, the Marquis of Dorset had the other third in his possession with him when he went into sanctuary with his Mother and his half siblings.
One would think that she would have remained at the royal residence to uphold her son’s claims to the throne, to continue at least to be a visible presence and reminder… and to be of solace and comfort to her son in such a grevious time for him. No one would have denied her that much and she would have been looked upon more favourably for that caring than for leaving him to his own fate and seeking her own protection. Many thought it unforgivable for her to take the actions she did, in taking the rest to sanctuary and leaving the boy to the wolves at their door.
Perhaps she had an inkling of what was to come… she must have trusted that Richard, as cunning and manipulative as she thought him to be, would never go so far as to actually put her son’s life in jeopordy. For all of her other faults, she was one who seemed to care deeply for her family. It was that concern and care for all of her family members that caused such uproar in the first place. She had a large family of many siblings as well as her many children. During her reign, she managed to ensure that all them were well rewarded with prosperous marriages, lands and titles. It was this that caused so many to look at her as abusing her title and her place with greed for more. She seemed never to be satisfied with what she had already achieved, but was continuously searching for more.
Richard was well within his rights to be concerned with what she might attempt. He did not trust her and held her partially responsible for the death of his brother George, although he knew too that his brother would never give up on his irritational thoughts and his own personal claims that he should have been rightful King.
Richard had easily won the first battle of gaining custody of the child and placing him in his protection. He did take that duty much seriously and endeavored to keep the boy safe, comfortable and healthy in his tower quarters. The boy was not mistreated, and he was much looked after in those early days of his confinement. There was some specualtion of the young Edward not being well as there were documented visits from the Royal physicians. Some of those reports stated that the child was suffering from some malaise and was much troubled. Of course he was troubled. Any person, much less a child would have suffered some troubles, worries and grief after such traumatic events as had just went on.
There were certain other documents that suggested the boy might be seriously ill… not capable or suitable to take over the reign. What ever the case, Richard was taking effort initially to prepare for the boy to take the throne. At some point during that time, he was of a changed mind.
It was most likely during this time that many high ranking noble council members who did not want a Woodville offspring on the throne no matter what, reminded Richard of a previous dispute. It wasn’t either a case so much wanting Richard ruling, but given the choices of two evils as they saw it, they opted for Richard. The earlier matter of a dispute over Edward’s marriage to Elizabeth being legitimate was once again brought to light, as were previous accusations of Elizabeth’s witchcraft.
A bishop came forward to attest that he had witnessed a pre-contract of marriage for Edward and Lady Eleanor Butler. That contract would have been viewed as legally binding thereby causing Edward’s marriage to Elizabeth null, and all of their offspring illigitimate. The only other person who could have disputed this was Eleanor Butler, and she had long previously died.
While all of this was taking place, Richard had also taken steps to remand Elizabeth’s younger son, Richard into his custody. His reasons were for the health and well being of the boy as well as the emotional well being of young Edward. If Elizabeth would not remove herself and her family from sanctuary then he would begin steps to remove the children from her. It would ease young Edward’s mind and heart to at least have his brother near him. He sent summons for the boy and made it clear that if Elizabeth would not release him willingly, he should be removed by force.
It may have been at this time that Elizabeth began to see she had much less power and control than she thought. She also most likely began to have troublesome fears for her sons’ safety. During this time, she came up with her own plans, which included included her daughter… She had heard rumors of Richard’s wife being quite sickly and had a thought within her to put forth another devious option should she have to. Her first concern though was of finding a way to keep her younger son safe and out of Richard’s hands. This plan would never have been successful had not someone else had their own concerns of safety for a child.