“Conscience is but a word that cowards use” (1478)

the-tower-of-london-as-viewed-from-the-shard

During “The Wars of the Roses”, between 1455-85, London was an important centre of political machination, and the Tower, at least according to legend, the scene of a series of chilling politically motivated murders, in forgotten dreadful cubicles behind great locked doors (*).

reconstruction-of-richard-iii

At least according to legend, on this day in 1478, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who later went on to become Richard III, ordered the death in the Tower of London of his brother George, Duke of Clarence – by drowning in  a butt of Malmsey wine.

(*) There was some actual action in the City as well. And there were pitched battles on the outskirts, at St Alban’s in 1455 and 1461, as well as at Barnet in 1471.

 

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