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Andrea: Tower of London

February 26, 2011
The Tower has held many famous prisoners in its thousand-year history; some in astonishing comfort, and others less so. Inside the Beauchamp Tower I saw lots of prisoner graffiti…

This was carved into the wall by Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel, in 1587. It says, “The more suffering for Christ in this world, the more glory with Christ in the next.”

In the infamous Bloody Tower, I learned about the murder of the Little Princes, Edward V and his younger brother Richard, Duke of York. I might have the story wrong, but from what I remember, Edward V was the eldest son of King Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville. He was born in 1470 and ascended the throne when his father died in April of 1483. Because he was only thirteen years old, a minor, his uncle Richard, Duke of Gloucester, was entrusted as Protector of his young nephews. Richard had always been a loyal and trusted supporter of his brother King Edward IV, who was the boys’ father. The coronation of Edward was set for June 22nd, 1483. It was tradition for the coronation procession to take place from the Tower of London, through the City of London to Westminster Abbey. Gloucester intercepted Edward’s entourage as it traveled to London. Many of the young king’s supporters were killed and William Hastings was arrested on a charge of treason and imprisoned in the Tower. Edward was escorted to London and then to the Tower. On June 16th, he was joined by his brother Prince Richard. The coronation was cancelled. In 1674 two skeletons were discovered in the White Tower under the stairs leading to the chapel. The skeletons were subsequently reburied in Westminster Abbey as ordered by King Charles II. The skeletons were believed to be the remains of the bodies of the two tragic Little Princes, who were reputedly killed on the orders of their uncle the Duke of Gloucester, afterwards King Richard III. Jerk.
Anyway, I also saw some instruments of torture in the Lower Wakefield Tower…
The Rack
The Scavenger’s Daughter
Five hundred years of spectacular royal armor are also on display, offering a fascinating insight into the personalities, power, and physical size of England’s kings. The skill of the royal armorers was to combine practical protection for tournaments and battle with amazing designs and decoration.

The Crown Jewels are one of the unmissable highlights of a visit to the Tower of London. This astonishing collection of priceless Coronation Regalia has been on public display at the Tower since the 17th century, with only one attempt to steal them! Photography was not allowed, but thanks to Google…

The ravens are one of the most famous sights at the Tower of London. Legend has it that Charles II was told that if the ravens left the Tower, the kingdom and the fortress would fall. Just in case, the Ravenmaster keeps a close eye on them. See him in the background?
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