The Princes in the Tower – Whodunnit ?

When Capricorn Research was at school there was a book that was widely read with the intriguing title ” 1066 and all that “. This was a parody of history or at least the way the subject was usually taught. It also worked as a kind of early version of the bluffer’s guide which conveniently enabled people to skate over all the unimportant stuff.

From memory it was fairly clear that English history began in 1066 but then nothing much happened for 5 centuries until Henry V111 started killing his wives. Most of the things that occurred  were summed up and dismissed in a couple of sentences.

The English Civil War was characterised as a struggle between the Cavaliers who were ” Wrong but Wromantic ” and the Roundheads who were ” Right but Repulsive “.

Kings were simply categorised as good or bad and that was all we needed to know. It was quite a short book but its a fair bet that most people’s knowledge of English history is fairly reflected in its pages.

If we were to consult ” 1066 ” about Richard 111, its pretty certain he would be one of the bad ones. What we do know about him is mostly based on Shakespeare’s play in that he was a hunchback who had a fairly short reign during the back end of the dark ages and who ended up stumbling around Bosworth field offering his ” kingdom for a horse “. He also killed the Princes in the Tower.

Now we all know that history is written by the victors and William Shakespeare wrote his play whilst Elizabeth Tudor was still on the throne, so even the greatest playwright the world has ever known would naturally have a certain investment in portraying the monarch whose defeat began her dynasty in a less than flattering light.

Only a couple of years ago it was discovered that Richard’s body rather than having its sanctified place in Westminster Abbey had lain underneath a car park in Leicester. This discovery was exciting for the members of the Richard 111 society who firmly believed that their hero was in fact a ” good ” king who had been slanderously accused of murdering princes and being a hunchback.

A TV episode of Time Team was there to record the event of Richard’s exhumation and the president of the society was both excited to find that it really was the king and upset to discover that he had a scoliosis of Notre Dame proportions.

No doubt actors who had played the lead role in Shakespeare’s play were relieved to find their contortions were made in the pursuit of truth as well as art, even if it had cost them an arm and a leg in subsequent osteopathic treatment.

But was history right about Richard 111’s malevolent treatment of the young princes ? Bodies of two children had been found in the Tower of London a couple of centuries later but it turned out that these weren’t the young king Edward V, whose reign under the regency of Richard lasted a mere couple of months and his younger brother Richard of Shrewsbury. After being placed in the Tower ” for their own protection ” they had just simply disappeared. We will probably never know for sure but that has never deterred Capricorn Research from using astrology to try and find out.

But before we look at any relevant charts, it might be useful to bear in mind the role of Mars / Saturn aspects throughout history in the charts of prominent people who had suffered a short and rather severe fate. In fact the whole saga of Henry V111 and his wives is littered with these aspects as shown in this article – The Six Wives of Henry V111

Richard 111

 

The one thing that Richard’s chart does straight away is refute the oft stated horoscope column myth that all Librans are both beautiful and nice.

The big problem with doing charts of historical figures is the lack of a birthtime. Since the Ascendant and planets rising are said to be the main significators of appearance, body type and method of moving around, it’s difficult to know what contributed astrologically to Richard’s strange gait.

We could think of Libra as our capacity to be attractive and particularly to have an even, balanced look to our movements. In that case having the Sun in conjunction with Saturn in this sign could be symbolic of something that impedes and frustrates our body’s symmetry.

Venus rules our capacity to attract so maybe it’s opposition to the Moon makes it harder for others to receive ( Moon ) our attempts to appear attractive.

How should we look for nasty in Richard’s chart ? Well somewhere to start would be the opposition between the Sun / Saturn and a very strong Mars in the ultra assertive sign, Aries.

For astronomical reasons the Sun / Mars opposition is not nearly as common as you’d think, occurring only 20 % as frequently as the conjunction.

Some astrologers would say that it’s very difficult to identify who would be a killer and who a victim because both of the charts would contain symbols of violence.

Edwrad V

This is certainly the case here as Edward V’s chart had the same 3 planets closely linked. In his case the Sun was conjunct Mars in Scorpio opposite Saturn.

The Sun conjunct Mars in Scorpio doesn’t automatically scream victimhood at you. But in fact Capricorn Research’s collection of 533 Murder Victims shows that the most common Mars sign is Scorpio with a score of 132 % of the expected number. This research shows that there are more than twice as many murder victims with their Mars in Scorpio than in Pisces. Incidentally the p figure for this distribution is a healthy 0.0145, just at the point statisticians start to think there may be something in it.

Another factor that Edward shares with the Murder Victims is the Moon sign. Pisces is the most common place for the Moon with a score of 126 % of the expected level.

The Moon in Pisces is a symbol that resonates gentleness, sensitivity and naive innocence. Edward’s Pisces Moon is opposite Pluto which suggests that such innocence is likely to be suddenly and violently ripped apart.

So given these placings it seems likely that Edward would be on the receiving end of violence rather than the perpetrating end.

That and the fact that he was 12 years old at the time and completely disappeared while Richard was crowned in his place.

Edward’s younger brother and next in line to the throne was Richard of Shrewsbury.

 

Richard of Shrewsbury

The younger Richard’s chart also contained an aspect between The Sun, Mars and Saturn. Mars and Saturn were conjunct here and in sextile to the Sun.

Interestingly Mars and Saturn were in the family sign Cancer and also formed a conjunction with the Moon ( the ruler of youths ) in Gemini ( the sign associated with brothers ). So a Moon, Mars, Saturn conjunction in Gemini / Cancer does suggest that his fate is inexorably tied up with that of his older brother.

Another thing that the young Richard shares with brother Edward is a difficult Moon / Pluto aspect, in his case the square.

Interestingly enough as we are apportioning the young princes’ lunar symbolism to that of innocent brothers, Richard 111 has the Moon in Gemini opposite Venus in Scorpio.

The most common Venus sign in Capricorn Research’s collection of 193 Serial Murderers is Scorpio.

So the Moon at the end of Gemini opposite Venus in Scorpio to suggest that Richard 111 was the cause of the end of the princes ? It does seem as if the symbols are suggesting it.

Another interesting factor is that Richard has this opposition as part of a T Square. This is a difficult and challenging aspect pattern where the tension implicit in the opposition is forced into expression through a 3rd planet that is square to both of them. This 3rd apex planet often points to the results of actions that occur caused by the tension in the opposition.

Richard’s apex planet is Jupiter indicating promotion and success so the whole T Square is indicating that he arranged the princes disappearance in order to take the throne.

What’s more, September and October 1483 saw Jupiter conjunct Richard 111’s Sun, which given his T Square would be a perfectly appropriate time for him to consolidate his grip on the throne by murdering the competition.

So it all points to Ricard 111 then, but what’s the point in hiring astrology’s version of Hercule Poirot if they’re just going to come up with an answer that everyone expects right from the beginning ?

There is something about this that doesn’t quite add up. Richard’s T Square is difficult but it doesn’t necessarily have the shear viciousness that we would expect for someone who actually murdered two young boys for his own ambitions. And we do keep coming back to that Libra thing, even if the Sun was conjunct Saturn and opposite Mars.

Don’t get me wrong, Richard was still enough of a ” bad ” king to put Edward and young Richard in the tower but is Moon / Venus / Jupiter T square enough to actually murder them ? Would it really have been in his interests ? After all he had already claimed the throne.

The other nagging issue from an astrological perspective is the absence of any really sinister synastry ( try saying that quickly ) between Richard and the princes. Along with this goes the fact the transits of the time did not really link everyone together.

So is there anyone else around at the time who might have had a motive, particularly if it involved placing the blame for it on Richard 111.

Step forward Henry Tudor, Lancastrian leader and Richard’s arch enemy and soon to be king Henry V11.

Henry V11

 

Henry V11 was one who ” 1066 ” would definitely have classified as a ” good ” king. He was an Aquarian, and as far as England was concerned he definitely started a new age.

It might be appropriate for Capricorn Research to declare a slight bias here. The writer has to admit to a semi conscious resentment that both surrounding signs Sagittarius and Aquarius invariably receive an overwhelmingly positive press, whilst his own sign is considered the lowest of the low. It may be that this experience is shared by other astrology writers whose Sun happens to be in Virgo or Scorpio, but this writer is seldom happier when the opportunity comes around to take an Aquarian down a peg or two.

Henry was an astute politician, his skills were evident throughout his reign in terms of diplomatic initiatives that helped restore a political stability to England that had been absent throughout the Wars of the Roses.

Henry’s Sun however was closely opposite a Uranus / Pluto conjunction, which would suggest someone that was quite prepared to stoop to all kinds of behaviour in order to achieve his goals.

More significantly for this article Henry’s opposition formed a very close Grand Cross with Edward V’s Sun / Mars / Saturn. This is the kind of aspect that could indicate a spot of political assassination, particularly if aided by a seriously difficult transit at the time.

There were no recorded sightings of either of the princes after the summer of 1483. One date proposed by historians for their death is 3rd September 1483 but another writer suggests that they were still alive as late as July 1484.

Looking at Edward’s transits the most likely assumption was that he was killed sometime during 1484 as Saturn was then conjunct his Sun, carrying out the threat that was implicit in his natal opposition between the two. And what else was Saturn doing ? It was creating a T square to Henry’s  Sun / Uranus / Pluto.

Enough for a spot of murder ? It would certainly be in his interest to do away with the princes whilst making everyone else suspect that it was Richard’s doing. And then if Henry did become king, the two young princes would not be around to provide a rallying point for any opposition to his new reign.

Regardless of any built in anti Aquarian sentiment, Capricorn Research would take Saturn’s transits to Henry and Edward’s Grand Cross synastry as a likely pointer to murder. It might not be upheld in a court of law, but there will come a time when astrological evidence will be seen as a fair cop.

There are only two possible transits to Henry’s chart that could be more difficult than this one, and its fascinating to see how tied they are to the same theme. They also happened at exactly the same time.

Uranus was conjunct Henry’s Sun in 1497 at the same time that Pluto was square to it. This was the year that Henry V11 faced the biggest challenge to his throne through the intriguingly named Perkin Warbeck’s invasion of England. Warbeck claimed that he was in fact Richard of Shrewsbury / York the younger of the two princes.

Henry put down this invasion with ease, captured Warbeck and had him executed – almost as easy as surreptitiously bumping off a couple of already disappeared young princes.

Talking of Pluto transits, Richard 111’s end came in 1485 when he was defeated at the Battle of Bosworth by Henry. This was a turning point as it ended the Wars of the Roses and as far as ” 1066  ” was concerned started English history properly, a period when their kings regularly reshuffled their marital arrangements and their queens stayed virgins. Bosworth was certainly a turning point for Richard evidenced by the fact that Pluto was conjunct his Sun at the time. Obviously Pluto doesn’t bother with mere horse trading.

Whoever actually killed the princes, Richard 111, was still the one that removed Edward from the throne and put him in the Tower anyway and readers might wonder if he was suitably punished. Saturn of course is the Grim Reaper, the planet of karmic deserts. Shuffling around with one shoulder higher than the other must have been fairly painful but perhaps not as much as when Saturn had returned to its birth placing in the last decanate of Libra over 500 years later and Richard was dug up after spending all that time under a council car park in Leicester. A fate worse than death ?

And maybe we have to question history’s notions of ” good ” and ” bad ” kings, particularly if they have the Sun in Aquarius.

 

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