When Edward IV became king for the second time on 11 April 1471, it appeared that he brought to an end one of the most tumultuous and brutal times of the Middle ages, the Wars of the Roses. It was not to be. In 1483, after Edward IV’s sudden death in Westminster, his and Elizabeth Woodville’s two young sons were imprisoned in the Tower of London. The princes were never seen again, and their disappearance led, albeit indirectly, to the death of Richard III, the last male heir to the House of York.
The disappearance of the young king and his brother is one of the greatest mysteries of English history. Did Richard III, the last of the Plantagenets, really murder the sons of Edward IV, or was there someone else who would benefit from the princes’ deaths? Reopen the case with a series of investigative activities for Key Stage 3 and beyond, and discover a tangled web of greed, murder and intrigue amid a brutal battle for the throne of England.
‘The Mystery of the Princes in the Tower’ text
A detailed outline of the events leading up to the crowning of King Richard III and the disappearance of his young nephews, the Princes in the Tower. Available as a pdf (found in ‘Project Plan: The Princes in the Tower – A historical investigation’) and separate word document (formatted to make mass printing easier and more cost effective).
A collection of images linked to the Wars of the Roses and the Princes in the Tower.
Activity 1: Activating prior knowledge
Activity 2: Reading the text
Activity 3: Summarising information
Activity 4: Timeline of disappearance
Activity 5: Who murdered the princes in the tower?
Activity 6: Edward III’s family tree
Activity 7: The causes of the Wars of the Roses
Activity 8: Wars of the Roses timeline
Activity 9: Decision line/Hot seating
The resource packs that accompany each activity include detailed instructions, worksheets, information factsheets, research resources, images and more.