Letter: Good kings and bad kings

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The Independent Online
THERE is no acceptable evidence that proves that Edward V was "put to death aged 12 in 1483", with the implication that his uncle Richard III was involved ("Long-lived Queen likely to have another 20 years on the throne", 26 November). The invalidity of Edward IV's marriage to Elizabeth Woodville was broadly accepted in England, thereby allowing the crown to pass to his brother Richard following the former's death. It was sufficient for Richard to keep his nephews out of sight to ensure that there was no nucleus for his enemies to attach themselves to.

The usurper Henry Tudor defeated Richard III at the battle of Bosworth and claimed the throne for himself. To further that claim he married Edward V's sister, Elizabeth of York. However, this marriage re-legitimised Edward V, now aged 14, and his brother, who would therefore have to be found and disposed of quickly and quietly. Historians have completed the cover-up by portraying Henry VII as "good" and Richard III as "bad".

Mark R Dobson

Braintree, Essex