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THE TOWER OF LONDON


AND ITS MYSTERIES




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CONTENTS
Argument...........................................................................i
Introduction......................................................................ii
Chapter 1 - The 'Princes in the Tower'..........................1
1.1 Family history.................................................................6
1.2 The murder and the found............................................7
1.3 The ghosts........................................................................8
Chapter 2 Ghosts around the castle.............................
2.1 The bear............................................................................9
2.2 Non-human spec...............................................................9

Chapter 3 Other ghosts or rumours of ghosts............
3.1 The ghost of Anne Boleyn......................................10
3.2 The ghost of Lady Jane Grey.................................11


Conclusions.........................................................................iii

Glossary...............................................................................iv

Bibliography........................................................................v

Appendix.............................................................................vi


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ARGUMENT


Mysteries have always got a way of captivating me, ever since I was a child. I find
intriguing what the human mind does not understand or acknowledge yet and the paranormal
and these phenomena make me question if there is more to this world than us.

What is a Ghost?
To determine why so many ghosts are reputed to haunt the Tower of London perhaps
we should first determine what exactly the definition of a ghost and why a haunting might
occur. A ghost is often defined as the spirit or soul of a person who has remained on Earth
after death. When Ghosts appear, they are said to appear in bodily likeness to living persons
and often haunt their former habitats. Ghosts are believed to have a surviving emotional
memory typical of someone who has died violently, traumatically and tragically. The soul of a
ghost is not able to rest in peace and they remain in old and familiar places, repeating the
same acts indefinitely until they are released from their endless haunting.







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i
I NTRODUCTI ON

The tower was officially known as Her majestys royal palace and fortress and it was
used as a fortress, a palace, a prison and a home to the crown jewels of the United Kingdom.
It was built in 1078 by William the Conqueror. During the reigns of Richard I (1189-1199)
and Henry III (1216-1272) the Tower defences were strengthened by the addition of a curtain
wall surrounding the keep. Henry IIIs son, Edward I (1272-1307), built a second curtain wall,
surrounded by a moat. By the end of the fourteenth century Richard II (1377-1399) had
completed the wharf, separating the outer wall from the river. Apart from later minor changes,
Richards fortress is the one we know today.


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CHAPTER 1 - THE 'PRI NCES I N THE TOWER'

1.1 Family history
The 'Princes in the Tower' were Edward (1470-1483) and Richard (1473-1483), the
sons of Edward IV. Shortly after Edward was crowned Edward V, he and his brother
disappeared and were never seen alive again.
Edward was born in London in 1470. His brother Richard, Duke of York, was born in
1473 in Shrewsbury. Their parents were Edward IV and his wife, Elizabeth Woodville.
Edward IV had come to the throne as a result of the Wars of the Roses and managed to restore
a certain amount of stability to the country.
Edward IV died suddenly on 9 April 1483 and his eldest son was proclaimed Edward
V at Ludlow. Edward's uncle, his father's brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, was named as
protector. Elizabeth Woodville and her supporters attempted to replace Gloucester with a
regency Council, aware of the dislike Gloucester had for them. As the new king, Edward V,
travelled towards London, he was met by Gloucester and escorted to the capital, where he was
lodged in the Tower of London. In June, Edward was joined by his brother, the Duke of York.
The boys were declared illegitimate because it was alleged that their father was
contracted to marry someone else before his marriage to Elizabeth Woodville.
In July 1483, Richard, Duke of Gloucester was crowned Richard III. The two boys
were never seen again. It was widely believed that their uncle had them murdered.

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1.2 The murder and the found
If the boys were indeed murdered, there are several major suspects for the crime. The
evidence is ambiguous, and has led people to various conflicting conclusions. Many modern
historians, including David Starkey and Michael Hicks, support the theory that the princes
were murdered and regard Richard III as the most likely culprit.
The most common theory is that they were murdered on the orders of their uncle,
Richard, who had usurped the throne from Edward. Although the princes had been eliminated
from the succession, Richard III's hold on the monarchy was not secure and the existence of
the princes would remain a threat as long as they were alive. The boys could have been used
by Richard's enemies as figureheads for rebellion. Rumours of their death were in circulation
by late 1483, but Richard never attempted to prove that they were alive by having them seen
in public, which strongly suggests that they were dead by then. However he did not remain
silent on the matter. Raphael Holinshed, in his Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland,
written in 1577, reports that Richard, "what with purging and declaring his innocence
concerning the murder of his nephews towards the world, and what with cost to obtain the
love and favour of the communal tie (which outwardlie glosed, and openly dissembled with
him) ... gave prodigally so many and so great rewards, that now both he lacked, and scarce
with honesty how to borrow." Richard also failed to open any investigation into the matter,
which would have been in his interest if he was not responsible for the deaths of his nephews.
Many modern historians, including David Starkey, Michael Hicks, Helen Castor and Alison
Weir, do regard Richard himself as the most likely culprit. There was no formal accusation
against Richard III on the matter; the Bill of Attainder brought by Henry VII made no
definitive mention of the Princes in the Tower, but it did accuse Richard of "the unnatural,
mischievous and great perjuries, treasons, homicides and murders, in shedding of infant's
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blood, with many other wrongs, odious offences and abominations against God and man".
The "shedding of infant's blood" may be an accusation of the Princes' murder.
In 1674, some workmen remodelling the Tower of London dug up a wooden box
containing two small human skeletons. The bones were found buried 10 ft under the staircase
leading to the chapel of the White Tower. They were not the first children's skeletons found
within the tower; the bones of two children had previously found "in an old chamber that had
been walled up", which Pollard suggests could have equally been those of the princes. The
reason the bones were attributed to the princes was because the location partially matched that
given by More. However More also stated that they were later moved to a "better
place", which does not match with the bones discovered. One anonymous report was that they
were found with "pieces of rag and velvet about them"; the velvet could indicate that the
bodies were those of aristocrats. Four years after their discovery, the bones were placed in an
urn and, on the orders of King Charles II, interred in Westminster Abbey, in the wall of
the Henry VII Lady Chapel. A monument designed by Christopher Wren marks the putative
resting-place of the princes.

1.3 The ghosts of the 'Princes in the Tower'
Perhaps the most pathetic of the Tower of London ghosts are the Princes in the Tower.
Edward V, aged 12 and Richard Duke of York, aged 10 were imprisoned and probably
smothered on the orders of Richard III. Their ghosts, sometimes holding hands, have been
seen in various rooms in the Bloody Tower where they were incarcerated.


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CHAPTER 2 GHOSTS AROUND THE CASTLE

2.1 The bear
One of the many repeated animal ghost stories refers to the large bear that was seen in
January 1816 by a sentry on guard duty in the Tower of London at what was then the Jewel
Tower and is now the Martin Tower. The bear appeared to be real so the sentry lunged at it
with his bayonet. The bayonet went straight through the bear and struck the wall behind. The
sentry collapsed with fear and died a few days later from shock after telling what had
happened.
This apparent over-reaction becomes a little more understandable when it is realised
that, at the time of the appearance, the Tower had a menagerie containing a variety of animals,
including bears. The poor sentry probably thought it was one that had escaped. The Tower
menagerie closed in 1835 and the animals were moved to the then newly built London Zoo.



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2.2 Non-human specters
There is one non-human entity that was reported, not by an unnamed observer but by a
very reliable witness. Edmund Swifte was Keeper of the Crown Jewels in 1817 when he said
that saw what appeared to be a glass tube full of blue liquid that bubbled as he was having
dinner with his family in their lodgings in the Jewel Tower. He hit it with a chair after his
wife exclaimed that it had grabbed her but the chair went straight through whatever it was and
the object disappeared through a wall.

Chapter 3 Other ghosts or rumours of ghosts

3.1 The ghost of Anne Boleyn
Most famously, Anne is one of the many Tower of London ghosts. Her wraith has been
seen near the King's House and on Tower Green. In 1933 a guard challenged the spectre of a
female, presumably the Anne Boleyn ghost. When he received no response, he lunged at her
with his bayonet. The bayonet went straight through the wraith, striking the wall behind her.
The guard deserted his post and ran. A very similar thing happened in 1864 but then the
soldier fainted and he was court marshalled for being asleep on duty. Fortunately, there were
witnesses to corroborate his story and he was acquitted.
Another of Anne's 'haunts' within the Tower is near the White Tower where the
scaffold was erected upon which she was executed. She did not beheaded in in normal
manner, kneeling with her head upon the block and by the headsman's axe. She died kneeling
erect and her head was severed in one swift blow by a swordsman brought over from France.
Anne's body was left, unattended, on the scaffold for some time. Until someone
working at the Tower placed her in an empty arrow box. She was then buried, in an unmarked
grave, inside the church of St. Peter ad Vincula which stands within the grounds of the
Tower.But she doesn't rest easy.
One night, a Tower of London warden was patrolling outside when he noticed that the
windows of the Chapel were illuminated. He climbed a ladder and looked inside. To his
amazement he saw a procession led by a woman who reminded him of paintings that he had
seen of Anne Boleyn Ghosts resplendent in clothes that would have been worn in the Tudor
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court were slowly following her up the aisle. After a few minutes, the figures slowly faded
from sight and darkness once again descended on the church.


3.2 The ghost of Lady Jane Grey
Ambition, greed and treachery feature in the story of the first of the hauntings to be
encountered at Astley. The tale involves two ghosts that flit about the castle ruins. In reality
the building was always more of a fortified manor house than a true castle, its comfortable
rooms providing luxurious living to generations of the Grey family.
It was in 1553 that fate caught up with the Greys. They had been living prosperous,
but relatively quiet, lives for generations. Then Henry Grey married Frances, daughter of the
Duke of Suffolk and granddaughter of Mary, sister of King Henry VIII. The marriage brought
some wealth, though not much, and family links to court and crown. It seemed a good idea at
the time. Then came a succession of early deaths, executions and banishments among the
royal family and higher nobility. By the fateful year, Henrys daughter Jane Grey was fourth
in line to the throne.
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It was becoming quickly clear that the teenage King Edward VI was dying of
consumption. Officially his heir was his sister, the Catholic Mary, but the Protestants believed
she was illegitimate. After Mary came another sister, the Protestant Elizabeth, but the
Catholics declared that she was illegitimate. The only heir both Catholics and Protestants
could accept as legitimate was young Jane Grey, then just 15 years old.
John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, was by this time the head of government. He
was ambitious for his family and arranged a marriage between his son, Guildford Dudley, and
Jane Grey. He thus brought his family directly into royal circles, and promised Henry Grey a
great deal of patronage as a reward for bullying his daughter into the marriage. But he had
higher ambitions. He wanted to keep the crown in Protestant hands, preferably his own. He
planned to get rid of both Mary and Elizabeth and instead put Jane on the throne. He hoped to
rule through his daughter in law.
Then King Edward died. Northumberland moved fast. He announced that the dying
king had left the crown to Jane Grey, as the only undisputedly legitimate heir, and produced a
piece of paper signed by the king to that effect. The law officers of the court declared it was
illegal as it had not been witnessed by the correct persons, but Northumberlands sword
persuaded them to endorse it. Northumberland then sent for Mary, Elizabeth and Jane. Mary
refused, Elizabeth sent a note saying she was ill and only Jane turned up. When told that she
was now queen, Jane fainted. When she came to, she said that Mary was the true queen, but
later she was forced to agree to become queen herself.
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Princess Mary, meanwhile, had been gathering supporters and an army. When she set
out for London the citizens turned against the corrupt Northumberland and poor Jane Grey,
whom they saw as his stooge. Just nine days after being declared queen, Jane Grey
surrendered to Mary and begged for mercy. Poor Lady Jane was promptly tried for treason,
found guilty and sentenced to death. But Mary gave her the promised mercy and sent her to
prison instead of the scaffold.
And then Janes father, Henry Grey, came back into the story. Among Marys first
acts as queen were bringing in Catholic priests, celebrating Catholic mass and arranging to
marry the King of Spain. Protestant opinion was outraged and a rebellion gathered in the
midlands. Henry Grey joined the rebels and marched towards London. Marys professional
soldiers put the uprising down amid much bloodshed.
Henry Grey fled, but his actions had been enough to convince Mary that Jane had to
die. On 12 February 1554 the young girl was taken from her rooms at the Tower and
beheaded. Her father, meanwhile, had fled to Astley where he hid in a tree. Food and drink
was brought to the fugitive by a servant named Underwood. One day, however, Underwood
brought the queens soldiers rather than food. Grey was arrested, taken to London and
executed. The oak in which he had hidden stood just outside the churchyard until 1891, when
it came down in a storm.
It is the ghosts of this unhappy father and daughter who are seen in and around the
castle. As befits her studious, religious character, Jane is seen sitting reading quietly. Before
the castle was gutted by fire, visitors used to mistake the ghost for some local girl in odd
costume. Now she seems quite out of place among the gaunt stones and, when she appears, is
seen for what she is.
There is no mistaking her fathers phantom for anything other than a ghost. In time
honoured fashion he is said to appear headless as he walks around the castle ruins. Unlike the
ghost of Jane Grey, however, there are no recent sightings of the ghostly Henry. Perhaps he
has ceased his spectral wanderings.



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CONCLUSI ONS










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GLOSSARY
Moat = a deep wide hole, usually filled with water, that surrounds a castle as
protection against attack;
Usurp = to take a job or position that nelongs to someone else without having the right
to do this;
Scaffold = a structure on which criminals were killed in the past by being hanged or
beheaded;






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BI BLI OGRAPHY
Macmillan Dictionary
Alison Weir, The Princes of the Tower (p. 157)
Raphael Holinshed Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland
R. F. Walker, "Princes in the Tower", in S. H. Steinberg et al, A New Dictionary of British
History, St. Martin's Press, New York, 1963
http://www.paranormaldatabase.com
http://www.real-british-ghosts.com
http://www.wikipedia.org



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APPENDI X










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