popular annual lecture by Dr. Marvin Thomas, professor of history, will this year offer his perspective on the
events surrounding the sudden death of Edward IV and the disappearance of his
two sons, one of which was to be crowned king.
Thomas’s research on
“The Murder of Fledglings” will be presented at 8 p.m. April 9 in Rice
Auditorium in Fisher Hall. The event is free and open to the public.
During the time of the medieval
era in England, civil wars broke out between two royal braches of the
Plantagenet house: the House of Lancaster and the House of York. The battles
were deemed the Wars of Roses, and lasted from 1455 to 1485.
Many Kings rose to
power throughout the duration of the wars, and the story surrounding King
Edward the IV and his children has a mysterious quality.
King Edward IV came to
power on March 4, 1461. He was the first Yorkist King of England.
Thomas said, “As the
Wars of Rose were drawing to a close, the sudden and unexpected death of Edward
IV left a dangerous political vacuum because his sons, Edward and Richard were
too young to assume power.”
The late king wrote in
his will that his brother, Richard III, was to be in charge of the safety of
his children upon his death. Richard seemed to do as he was asked of by his
“Richard rushed to
escort Prince Edward to Westminster Abbey to be crowned,” Thomas explained. The
uncle placed the two boys in the Tower of London to ensure their safety. When
Richard III emerged from the Tower alone and had himself crowned king,
suspicions began to form.
Thomas said the
question remains, “what happened to the royal children?”
Modern scholarship contests
the widely recognized theory that the two children had been killed by the
“wicked uncle,” Thomas said.
has confirmed that information on the newly discovered body of Richard III will
be presented at the lecture.
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