Edward V

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Edward V (1470–c.1483), uncrowned king of England (1483). Eldest son of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, Edward was brought up at Ludlow under his maternal uncle Earl Rivers. On the death of his father in April 1483, the 12-year-old prince of Wales left Ludlow to be proclaimed king in London, but at Stony Stratford his attendants were arrested by his paternal uncle Richard of Gloucester, claiming a conspiracy to deprive him of the protectorship. Initially lodged at the palace of the bishop of London, hence separated from his mother and siblings, Edward transferred in mid-May to the royal apartments at the Tower as part of the coronation preparations. He was joined by his younger brother Richard in mid-June, when they were seen playing in the garden, but after the execution of Hastings they were seen more rarely, until, at length, they ceased to appear altogether. The rumours and contested succession that ensued have been followed by continued controversy over the reliability of contemporary accounts, the manner of the presumed death of the princes in the Tower, and the degree of involvement of Richard of Gloucester, who had by then declared himself king as Richard III. The incomplete skeletons of two juveniles unearthed in 1674 in the Tower grounds have been presumed to be those of the princes, but the 1933 exhumation in Westminster abbey merely confirmed the bones to be of human origin, of approximately the correct ages.

A. S. Hargreaves

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Edward V (1470–83) King of England for 77 days in 1483. He succeeded his father, Edward IV. His uncle, Duke of Gloucester, imprisoned Edward and his younger brother, Richard, in the Tower of London, and assumed the throne as Richard III. The disappearance of ‘the Princes in the Tower’ was attributed to Richard, although some suspect Henry VII.