¶1 D. WILSON - ¶2 A. WEIR - ¶3 A.J. POLLARD








(A translation of history into drama for the stage)



¶1 D. WILSON #19 "It is not at all clear if the rebus in the portrait of Anne of Cleves, that she was clumsy and not very clever (très gauche; pas très adroit), and published in Hans Holbein. Portrait of an Unknown Man, ORION, 1996, was discovered by you or by the author, Derek Wilson."


It is unfortunately true that Derek Wilson does not credit me, publicly and in an open way, with the discovery of the Anne of Cleves rebus. I have once more to draw attention, as already explained and made clear, that in 1976 I found and cracked the so-called Holbein Codes. Since that time, scholars and other interested parties have asked and were allowed to examine part one of my unpublished report of the detective work in book form, entitled REBUS. How Holbein Hid a Royal Secret (1976-1985). This book includes copies of paintings containing personal and political information, in Holbein's secret method of communication, one of which is the Anne of Cleves rebus. In 1992, Derek Wilson was allowed to examine this book and, in 1996, Derek Wilson published my analysis and interpretation of the Anne of Cleves rebus in Hans Holbein. Portrait of an Unknown Man -- without my knowledge and consent, and in breach of confidentiality. OK?



#20 "If what you say about Derek Wilson is true, why don't you sue?"


Since what I say IS true and Derek Wilson knows it and, thanks to WorldWideWeb, now you know it -- for what amount of damages shall I sue when there is financial risk to a successful litigant in the High Court of England that an award may not cover legal costs and other expenses -- and Justice can be done today, and be seen to be done, on the Internet?


Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. I do not work for a firm of lawyers. What I have to say is neither intended or implied legal advice. Before taking or omitting to take any legal action, you must take advice from a suitably qualified lawyer. Nothing in this answer constitutes legal advice.



¶3 A. J. POLLARD #21 "There is a report in The Times by Alan Hamilton (Tuesday, Aug 13, 1991, p. 14) that the historian, A. J. Pollard, dismisses your theories as "breathtakingly ingenious" but no more than "a brilliant flight of fancy".


"Breathtakingly ingenious"? "A brilliant flight of fancy"? A. J. Pollard clearly has imagination, perhaps even enough imagination to know he has made a mistake. I am not breathtakingly ingenious and do not have brilliant flights of fancy. I am a 'pointer-out-of-things', who writes about history, and the investigation moves on.



¶2 A. WEIR #22 "Alison Weir writes in her book The Princes in the Tower that there is no contemporary evidence to support your theory of the continued existence of the princes, and much against it. How do you respond to this?"


By now, you may conceivably agree that Alison Weir is mistaken. To conclude that there is no contemporary evidence to support the theory of the continued existence of the princes is to deny the evidence of one’s own eyes. Further, if one is sensitive to this sort of thing, there is documentary evidence of professionals ‘playing the game’ in Letters & Papers, Foreign & Domestic, Henry VIII, published by HMSO (Her Majesty’s Stationery Office). Similarly, there are official sources, published by me for the first time on the Internet, which have been either overlooked or omitted by Alison Weir. For instance, before writing her book Alison Weir had not studied Sir John Masterman’s practical work during the war of 1939-1945, presumably, nor his theoretical work on the ways in which national security agencies have deliberately and successfully misled historians, over a substantial period of time, described and made clear in the business as 'conscious agents muddying the waters for unconscious agents’ and leaving them muddy!


Each authoritative source for the unconscious agents’ claim that there is much against the theory of the continued existence of the princes is systematically examined in the categories and sub-categories of Frequently Asked Questions.


Finally, I have to correct Alison Weir on a simple matter of fact. The infrared picture of John Clement shows the top of his hat depicted higher than anyone else in the family; and, like the tallest hat among the chefs in the kitchens of the Ritz or the Savoy, it signals ‘seniority’. There is more.


The artist demonstrates his mastery of the recently discovered laws of perspective to make Clement appear 'head and shoulders' taller than the Henry VIII 'look-alike' standing beside him. OK?



¶4 B. FIELDS #61 “Bertram Fields finds some difficulty with your theory that it necessarily requires More to have told Hans Holbein the potentially deadly secret that he was harbouring the Yorkist heir in his household. It seems unlikely that More would have taken the portraitist into his confidence about a matter that could have led to the imprisonment of his son-in-law, if not himself.” (See: Bertram Fields: ROYAL BLOOD, Richard III and the Mystery of the Princes, publ. HarperCollins, 1998, page 227)



If I may add to and expand Note 26 regarding the true year of birth of John Clement, published in my article “The Princes in the Tower” (Moreana XXV, Vol. 98-99, December 1988, pp. 17-36):


The 1518 edition of Utopia, published in Paris, contains a frontispiece showing John Clement (‘Io. Clemens.’), Raphael Hythlodaeus (‘Hythlodǽus.’), Thomas More (‘Tho. Morus.’) and Pieter Gilles (‘Pet. Aegid.’), factual and contrafactual characters in a book of fantasy, sitting on a grass bench in the garden of a house. More says in the book that Clement accompanied him on an embassy to Antwerp in 1515 and they met in the garden at the home of his friend, Peter (or, Pieter) Gillis (or, Gilles), Chief Secretary of Antwerp.


It is uncertain who drew the original sketch, either Hans Holbein or Ambrosius, his brother. However, the impression is that it was possible for either Hans or Ambrosius to deduce Clement’s age (as we have done!) from the text wherein More’s ‘puer meus’ in 1515, that is to say his ‘young boy’ in Latin, was born in or about 1500.


This date is corroborated in the frontispiece, since a boy’s hair was cut short at the age of sixteen years in the sixteenth century – and, Clement is depicted with long hair in 1515 – ergo, Clement was allegedly no more than fifteen years of age in 1515, born in or about 1500.


The brothers may have checked Clement’s deduced age with More’s friend, Erasmus, who was living at the time in the home of the Basel printer, Johannes Froben, in or about 1518, and who had seen More’s first edition through the press in 1516. This edition, published by Thierry Mertens in Louvain, does not have a frontispiece. The Basel edition does.


We may imagine Hans Holbein’s surprise when he met John Clement for the first time in More’s house, ten years later, in 1526-1527. He was expecting to meet a man of about twenty-seven. Instead, he was introduced to a man of fifty-four.


The risk of insulting Holbein’s intelligence, had Thomas More been so foolish to deny what he had written, was too high. The risk was Holbein might repeat his thoughts elsewhere. The man of whom it is said, ‘he was born for friendship’, Thomas More, then entrusted his house guest, a painter from provincial Basel, with royal England’s greatest secret and since Holbein’s paintings still exist – they would surely have been destroyed along with their creator had Holbein “peached” -- we can say, with great confidence, that Holbein did not betray that trust. Copies of the research details in articles published in leading academic journals is available on CD-ROM. (See: “Bookstall”)


Clement’s real identity, age and true year of birth is corroborated in a series of “part-messages”, in a secret method of communication, in Sir Thomas More and his Family.


#62 (The writer continues:)…“Bertram Fields finds another problem with your theory; namely, the difficulty in accepting that two young men resembling the royal princes could suddenly re-appear in Court as members of prominent families without being recognized.”


On the one hand, conjecturally, I agree that it is inconceivable the princes would not have been immediately recognized by the courtiers who had known them since childhood.


However, since new evidence shows that only ONE prince re-appeared at court -- the Fields difficulty in accepting that two young men resembling the royal princes could suddenly appear in court as members of prominent families without being recognized -- is perhaps partially resolved.


In this connexion there is additional and new circumstantial evidence in the case of Edward Guildford, allegedly the eldest son of Sir Richard Guildford, Comptroller to the Royal Household in Edward IV, that his true identity was known at court over a substantial period of time. The contemporary informant is Holbein. The truly remarkable problems caused to Sir Henry Guildford when Edward Guildford was “hidden” in the Guildford family is described and explained in the companion portraits of Sir Henry Guildford and his wife, Mary Wotton, Lady Guildford. I will show these at a later date. (Click: Sir Henry Guildford and Lady Guildford, see above)


For the present, if we join these Holbein strands together, the artist further claims that Edward V, also known as Sir Edward Guildford, died and was secretly buried by Sir Thomas More in Old Chelsea Church in mid-July 1528.


I have to draw attention that if the body of Sir Edward Guildford is found in Chelsea Church and not in Leeds Castle, the official place of burial alleged in the notes of his probable case officer – Master Secretary Thomas Cromwell -- the complicity of the Tudor DDT can perhaps be proved conclusively.


Investigation shows Richard, Duke of York, also known as John Clement, leaving England in or about 1483 and living and remaining abroad in Flanders after short visits to the German Provinces, Denmark and Italy in 1493, aged 20 years, until: (1) He returned to England incognito, aged 29 years, and was smuggled into the Tower to see his sister, Queen Elizabeth of York, a few days before she died in 1502. (2) He returned once more to the court, 18 January 1510, and remained in England for at least six months, since he attended a tournament at Greenwich on Wednesday, 1 June 1510, at 2.30pm, aged 37 years, with other members of the royal family, including his nephew the newly crowned Henry VIII with whom he jousted in public. (3) In 1519, aged 46 years, since he had mastered the Greek language at the old University of Louvain – where he had first been registered on 13 February 1489, aged 16 years -- the usual age for registration at KUL in the fifteenth century -- he is reported to have given a lecture at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, described by Erasmus as the best attended lecture by students of that recondite language, when there was a shortage of lecturers in Greek at Oxford. (Click: Frequently Asked QuestionsàInvestigations in England and Flanders, et al)


By now and once more, as we might expect, since there is no trace to-day of Clement having attended Corpus Christi College as Wolsey’s appointed Reader in Greek – despite careful research – we shall say the evidence has been removed on the order of the case officer and perhaps shredded. If DNA profiling of Sir Edward Guildford and Dr. John Clement is positive – whether or not the documentary evidence may subsequently come to light -- the missing persons have been found, the case is proved conclusively and can finally be closed, however improbable it may at first seem.


In conclusion, the named courtiers knew their lives were at risk if they discussed their thoughts openly. If we want one safe and simple reason why there were so many trials for ‘unspecified treason’ in the reign of the Tudors – that will do. (See: Frequently Asked Questions è Richard III, Sir James Tyrrell, Perkin Warbeck” for detailed and in depth ongoing investigation by NIET.)



¶5 G.TOURNOY #64 “The historian Gilbert Tournoy says John Clement had a grandson, Caesar Clement.  Was Caesar Clement the son of Thomas More’s Godson, Thomas Clement, or another son?” (Antwerp, Dissident Typographical Centre, THE ROLE OF ANTWERP PRINTERS IN THE RELIGIOUS CONFLICT IN ENGLAND (16th Century), Published by The City of Antwerp. Plantin-Moretus Museum, Antwerp 1994. p. 163. “100. John CLEMENT, Original letter to Frans Cranevelt, by Gilbert Tournoy.”)


The imperial name of Caesar was indeed the forename of Caesar Clement D.D., the son of Thomas More’s Godson, Thomas Clement, and it was this pretentious name that made me suspect that the truth about this ‘grandson’ of John Clement might be slightly more complex, with all due respect, than the version of Gilbert Tournoy. I have been unable to trace to-date another son of the marriage of John and Margaret Clement. There is no hint from any source. For better or worse, I publish for the first time the unexpurgated life and death of Dr. Caesar Clement. (See above: The Will of Caesar Clement D.D.)



¶6 D. BALDWIN. [BOOK REVIEW]: I am disappointed in the work, nothing much in the way of new material, too pro-Woodville, giving her the benefit of the doubt in most everything; and, anti-Richard, not according to him similar considerations.’ (See: Elizabeth Woodville: Mother of The Princes in the Tower, David Baldwin, Sutton Publishing 2002)


ITS A NEW BRAND WORLD, says Business Guru Tom Peters. My work is brand-worthy and I’m branded, branded, branded! You are returning again and again to the web site. You trust the site to inform you accurately, that your visit is worth your valuable time, again and again. The promise of value is implicit, a feeling of being accorded individual attention along with all the choice of some of the world’s great reference books and libraries. Finally, Peters says I am responsible as chief marketer for the brand called “Me!”


In this connection, Douglas Weekes recently and most kindly sent me a photocopy of two pages from Mr Baldwin’s new book.


Mr Baldwin has decided my work is brand-worthy and branded and I am very glad about that! I am therefore obliged to make sure it is correctly marketed. A reasonable point of departure is a slightly worrying feature soon remedied:


‘Jack Leslau, a retired London jeweller, has suggested that they [the princes] can be identified by rebuses (hidden clues with double meanings) in two portraits attributed to Holbein.’ (ibid. Appendix 6, “The Fate of the Princes in the Tower”)


The statement that I am retired and was once a London jeweller is correct. “The Little Jeweller on the corner of Willesden Lane” closed his shop in 1981. However, the statement that the princes ‘can be identified by rebuses (hidden clues with double meanings) in two portraits attributed to Holbein’ is incorrect, in substance and in fact, requiring correction. Branding is then 100% correct!


First, I have to draw attention that seventeen drawings and paintings variously attributed to the German-born Master Painter (‘Zum Himmel’) at the court of Henry VIII, Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/8-1543), have been found to contain personal and political information of the continued existence of the princes in the 16th century. 1


It might seem undeniable that Hans Holbein invented an elegant puzzle in some sort of rebus format, which I term and name a ‘covert rebus’. For those interested in puzzles, a linguistic or pictorial rebus openly invites the puzzler with a friendly challenge, ‘Solve the puzzle!’ On the other hand, Holbein hides the elements of the puzzle in the overt phenomena. Holbein also hides some of the paintings. The puzzle is for posterity to solve. The Top Secret personal and political information is astounding. The cryptography and steganography arguments and techniques, may also prove of interest.


The contributor of the entry ‘rebus’ to the Encyclopaedia Brittanica (1946) notes the rebus first recorded in France in the first quarter of the 16th century, the so-called Rébus de Picardie. The inventor is unknown. Although we cannot be certain, I have to draw attention that the history of the rebus is closely connected with what is known about Holbein. For instance, the old French Province of Picardy given to the Duke of Burgundy (who then ruled Flanders) by the King of England after the 100 Years War did not return to the King of France until after the death of the Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy (1433-1477). I have further to draw attention that official records in Henry VIII show payments to the artist for travelling and other expenses incurred abroad on the King’s business between 1536 and 1540. The places visited in France included Picardy. Not conclusive, but significant!


For the sake of accuracy and completeness, I have to-date identified one portrait of the younger prince, Richard, Duke of York, also known as Dr John Clement. I have not been able to find a portrait of his elder brother, Edward V, also known as Sir Edward Guildford.


Furthermore, as already explained and made clear, seventy-three drawings and paintings variously attributed to the artist contain personal and political information for posterity in a series of part-“messages” in Holbein’s method. This method is personal to Holbein as a signature. The decrypts confirm and corroborate certain documentary evidence in official records, but not always. Some decrypts contradict and dispute official history.


Investigation is ongoing into those unidentified sitters, unidentified for certain by Holbein and later art historians, who appear to have been closely involved in the deception. A repeated theme describes and makes clear that each one of the identified sitters depicted was a secret supporter of the princes. There is new evidence of hitherto unknown personal information about the artist, his friends and family. (See: Frequently Asked Questions -- and keep watching the Web site!)


For instance, I want to tell you a story about Hans Holbein and his painting of a man in a floppy red hat. It is a short story you will not find in the literature.


Once upon a time, a long time ago, Holbein painted a portrait of his friend, the Flemish painter and innovator, Quinten Matsijs of Antwerp, on the occasion of Matsijs’s 50th birthday. The proof is hidden in the painting known as ‘Portrait of a Young Man in a Red Beret’ in the Hessisches Landesmuseum at Darmstadt in Germany. There is a rebus in the date line of the picture telling us these are the features of Quentin Matsijs of Antwerp. See if you can find it!


See if you can find something else, first pointed out to you in another Holbein painting, which you are seeing once more. Put the puzzle together and when it makes sense relevant to known history -- it must make sense! – Email your interpretation, at first without attachment, to holbeinartworks@hotmail.com marked Subject Matter: Quentin Matsijs and I will post it in Notes & References at the end of this section. My interpretation is on CD ROM and registered at the Royal Library Brussels. Happy puzzling!


And in conclusion I must return again to the simple fact that my work is now branded. It describes and explains a large quantity of startling new evidence of the continued existence of the two princes, left for posterity by a known and contemporary witness: the artist innovator, Hans Holbein, born in Augsburg, Germany; later a citizen of the city of Basel, Switzerland, and a court painter to King Henry VIII of England. Holbein’s workshop above the North Gate of Whitehall Palace, London, was still known 100 years later as Holbein’s Gate.


The major discovery is the Top Secret cover name and false identity of each prince, which is “testable” by DNA profiling. It is my aim and objective to fund the excavations and scientific investigation as soon as possible. Fees and all other costs and disbursements will be paid from my own resources.


Finally, my attention was drawn to Mr Baldwin’s characterization of Elizabeth Woodville as the mother of two missing children. I want to apply the common sense reasoning of the so-called ‘ordinary man on the Clapham omnibus’…


‘Mr Leslau stresses that Elizabeth never (as far as is known) claimed that her sons were missing, but he does not allow the probability that this was because she knew they had already been killed.’


In the true spirit of scientific inquiry, I merrily allow the probability that anything is possible. Yes, Anything! Whatever! Whatever! Mr Baldwin may be correct that Elizabeth Woodville knew the princes had been killed and if DNA findings do not prove conclusively the continued existence of the princes in the 16th century -- my theory is without support and must fall crashing to the ground. On the other hand, certain things in human behaviour, which may be possible, are highly improbable.


I want to tell you about a summer seminar at Leicester University where the longest running case of missing persons in the royal history of England was reviewed by men and women from all walks of life “role-playing” characters, real and imaginary, in the case history (with a little help from Dr. E. Levy, the highly inventive organizer of the session).


Since my play on the subject matter The Debt had received a positive review in a leading academic journal, I was invited to take part as the dreaded Interrogator, which I immediately accepted.


We met on the first day. No one was late. Most were early, keen and looking good. Each player chose a role, either as a principal or a counsellor to advise the principal. There was no sex discrimination. The best qualified got the job. A man played Elizabeth Woodville. The history was open to the sunlight and the players’ determination to unpick each one of the tangles was serious. They would not leave until the threads had been teased out ‘however long it might take.’ It was a modern Phaedra, tightly constructed in one Act located in one place on one day of no more than twenty-four hours. All outside activity was reported. A double row of chairs ringed centre stage.


I felt greatly honoured and deeply privileged to have been invited to attend the seminar. I was now invited to direct highly unlikely role players, who had not acted before on a stage, and magically transform a 500-year-old tale from the realms of myth (almost!) into real-life drama for the thinking man and woman. All that was missing were the “blacks” of an actors’ workshop and a spotlight.2 Many years later, I begin to tell the story under a working title The Female of the Species, translating the case history once more into drama for the stage.






(The scene is the large hall of a university)



JL: First, I want to set Time, Place and Action. We are in the royal apartments of the Tower of London in October of the year 1483. The Nanny in charge of the two boy princes enters. She has been looking for the princes and cannot find them. It is teatime. What might she do?


NANNY: I would ask a Footman if he had seen the boys.


JL: What might the Footman do?


FOOTMAN: I would look for them.


JL: Might you do more than look for them?


FOOTMAN: I would ask other Footmen to look for them.


JL: What might the other Footmen do?


ALL OTHER FOOTMEN: If we had not seen them, we would search for them.


JL: All right. Would you have made a thorough search?


AOF: Certainly we would have made a thorough search.


JL: Suppose you did not find the princes after a thorough search, what might you do then?


AOF: We would tell the Nanny.


JL: What might the Nanny do?


NANNY: I would tell the Constable of the Tower -- the boys are missing.


JL: What might the Constable of the Tower do?


CONTOW: I would try to reassure the Nanny that the boys were playing a prank on the Nanny and as soon as they were hungry they would be back.


JL: It is now midnight. The princes are not back. More than six hours have passed. The two boys cannot be found. What might Nanny, the Footmen and the Constable of the Tower do if the boy princes had still not been found?


CONTOW: I would extend the search.


JL: Where might you have searched?


CONTOW: First, I would order the Tower moat to be searched.


JL: And if the search was negative?


CONTOW: I would order the Royal Watermen to search the river.


JL: Do you mean London River? The river Thames? Would you search upstream and downstream?


CONTOW: Yes, as far as the reaches of the tide, which might have carried them off.


JL: Might you need permission to search the river?


CONTOW: I would probably need permission to search the river.


JL: From whom might you obtain permission?


CONTOW: I would ask someone superior in rank to myself.


JL: Perhaps from the person who appointed you? What is his name?


CONTOW: Since the Constable of The Tower was perhaps appointed by the king himself I would most probably have first told a senior ranking officer and asked for advice on how to proceed. I would not have taken the matter further without the written approval of senior management.


JL: Whom might you have asked?


CONTOW: The most senior, perhaps the Comptroller of the Royal Household, Sir Richard Guildford.


JL: Let us suppose you are correct. What might Guildford have done?


RG: I would have called out the palace guard and searched the riverbanks on the north and south sides and every street and alley in the City of London.


JL: When might you have done this?


RG: At first light.


JL: Let us suppose at first light you conducted an unsuccessful search through the City of London from the East end of the river to London Wall, around to Temple Bar and back to the river on the West end, what might you then have done?


RG: I suppose I would have had to tell the Queen.


JL: When might you have told her?


RG: The next morning.


JL: Are you saying you would not have told the Queen that her children were missing on the day they were first reported missing, nor on the second day, but on the third day, after a thorough search of each one of several hundred rooms above and below stairs in the Tower of London, including the docks by the Tower, the bank sides of the river Thames and the streets and alleyways within the City Walls of London?


RG: Yes. There was no need to alarm the Queen unnecessarily, not before we had made a thorough search.


JL: I would like to pause at this juncture, if I may, to summarize what has been discussed so far and what remains to be discussed. For the present, may we please omit the ‘woulda, coulda, shoulda’ arguments. We may return to them later. Instead, can we perhaps agree that within say, twenty-four hours of first publication of the alleged “disappearance” of the two princes, and I choose my words deliberately, and no more than seventy-two hours later, a most careful and extensive search was made by a large number of servants inside the royal palace, without success. Or, was it all a pack of lies?


In this connection, you may not be at all surprised there is no record of a search reported inside the walls of The Tower of London. We will have to consider carefully if there was in fact a search and if so -- Why was it not officially reported?


Similarly, we will have to consider the rumour heard outside the Tower walls that the princes had been suffocated to death in The White Tower by order of the king. This rumour, interesting but worthless hearsay evidence, was written down some thirty years later, as already explained and made clear, by a man who could have known absolutely nothing about it, because he was only six years old at the time, the most famous intellectual in the reign of Henry VIII, Thomas More, in his History of King Richard III.


Furthermore, and as already explained in Dr. Levy’s introduction, we now have new and compelling evidence that Lawyer More risked his hard won reputation as a serious person to lay a smokescreen over his “son-in-law”, Richard, Duke of York, also known as John Clement, who married More’s ‘adoptive’ (not legally adopted) daughter, Margaret Clement (née Giggs). If we want just one reason for the book -- that will do!


If we want another, I have to draw attention that the only son of the marriage of John and Margaret Clement, Thomas Clement, was Thomas More’s Godson. In this connection, the Catholic Queen Mary later made Thomas Clement M.A. an allowance of £20, approximately £10,000 to £20,000 today, each year of her reign. You may agree that a royal gift of a large sum of money is a reward, presumably, for a service rendered to the monarch. However, the new evidence implies Thomas Clement was “Family”. Clement’s paternal grandfather, Edward IV, and Mary’s paternal grandmother, Elizabeth of York, were brother and sister. Thomas Clement and his Queen were ‘cousins’. We will return to this again.


For the present, for just one minute, let us assume DNA findings are positive. In the event, we have conclusive proof that a royal decision was made in 1483 to hide the princes. Why would they need to hide? You may recall that exiled Welshman, Henry Tudor, had announced his intention to invade England from France. To be successful, it meant Henry Tudor must raise an army and kill Richard III, his first aim and objective. The princes were also in the way and the Neville and Woodville families knew it. The risk was of agents in the pay of the French King locating the hiding place of the princes in England, the major item on their shopping list, and reporting back to HQ in France.3


We know that the victorious Henry Tudor later revoked the Act of Parliament, which bastardised the Woodville children, and married the elder sister of the princes, Elizabeth of York. There was now no impediment. We also know if findings are positive that Henry Tudor, now Henry VII, made a proposition to Elizabeth Woodville and her daughter that the lives of the princes would be spared if they agreed to remain silent on this collusive arrangement whereby the two boys would assume false names and identities. However improbable it may at first seem, the boys were condemned to life in the shadow lands of history by their brother-in-law who instructed his skilled and highly effective department of dirty tricks to notionally murder them in a black op. There is more. The king characterized by his monstrous behaviour in Shakespeare’s Richard III was not Richard III but Henry VII and many in the audience knew it. Shakespeare’s debt to Thomas More for the characterization is total. The Debt examines the case in detail. Read it!


The new evidence suggests that the decision to remove the princes from London to a safe house in the country, which we will return to again, was handed down to trusted and long serving courtiers with children for company about the same ages as the princes: Sir James Tyrrell and Sir Richard Guildford.


The boys were spirited from the Tower to Gipping, deep in the heart of the Suffolk countryside, the family home of Sir James Tyrrell. This tallies with traditional Tyrrell family history. (ClickàFrequently Asked QuestionsàSir James Tyrrell).


The boys were later separated in a year to be determined. Edward V was taken into the Guildford family living, possibly, at the Guildford family home at Rolvenden in Kent. Tight security was maintained over a considerable period of time. The prince is first recorded at court twenty–six years later, in 1509, under the name and title Sir Edward Guildford, notionally the eldest son of Sir Richard Guildford. The younger prince, Richard, Duke of York, was taken abroad and six years later registered under his cover name, at the age of 16, in the Faculty of Arts at the Catholic University of Louvain.4


The evidence suggests the risk of denunciation by courtiers who might have recognized Edward V between 1483 and 1509 diminished with time until at the age of 39 years, one year after he had taken part in a tournament in 1508, it was deemed quite safe for the prince to attend Court. The adult Edward V was now unrecognisable by older courtiers as the boy prince who had disappeared more than a quarter of a century earlier. Most but not all the new generation of courtiers either did not know, or chose not to inquire too deeply into the true origins of Sir Edward Guildford. Some may have tried and were executed for treason. Many were executed for complicity in an undisclosed treason in Henry VII.


The risk for Edward V was less in 1509 after the death of his brother-in-law, Henry VII, and some six months later, both princes appeared together at a Masked Ball at Greenwich with their 18-year-old nephew, the successor king, Henry VIII. Now grown men in the company of the king the risk of denouncing John Clement and Sir Edward Guildford as impostors was for men of sterner stuff!


Someone asks if and when Elizabeth Woodville was told her sons were apparently missing from the royal apartments in the Tower of London.


I believe it entirely possible that a so-called unconscious agent, a person who unknowingly repeats an official lie, may have told Elizabeth Woodville her sons were missing and had found it strange indeed that the Queen did not step across the road to Westminster Hall and bludgeon the MPs to find them. After all, she was a mother with all the natural feelings of a mother. This is my own idealistic male reasoning. Female reasoning might be very different.


For instance, at least one mother at Court had another insight and opinion. Once more my male reasoning, “realistic” reasoning and open to challenge.


This usually well-informed and highly privileged lady had heard the rumour that the princes were staying with their mother at the Tyrrell family home in Suffolk with permission of the king. The gossip from Spain was interesting. Ferdinand was convinced a conspiracy was afoot. It is a matter for you to decide if the lady may have told at least one friend. 5


Finally, I have to draw attention that DNA findings may conclusively verify or falsify the likelihood that the traditional Tyrrell family history is true history.


Having examined a book of Tyrrell family genealogies compiled by a member of the family from original documents, which cover a period of approximately two thousand four hundred years, from the fifth century BC to the beginning of the twentieth century AD, the family history merits close investigation by the College of Arms. This seems to me entirely appropriate since it was Richard III who founded the College in 1483.


By now, you may not be in the least bit surprised why there is no record of a claim by the mother of the two princes, not at any time, neither by a member of her large Woodville family, the new aristocracy, nor from a member of the old aristocracy, the Neville family, not in family papers or court records or in the parchment rolls of parliament or in the detailed records of the Aldermen of the City of London, that her children were missing.


Someone suggests Woodville was insane. I have to inform you there is not a shred or hint of evidence that Woodville was insane. Someone suggests that mothers apparently behaved differently in those days. I must really and truly congratulate the speaker for his courage and undoubted ability managing in very few words to offend at least half the world population!


I believe most mothers might behave differently if their children were really and truly missing. Most mothers might ask each member of her family and friends if they had seen the boys. The royal mother of the rightful heirs to the throne may have done no less if the boys were really and truly missing. On the other hand, there is no evidence of a claim by the mother, not from 1483 until her death nine years later in 1492 that the princes were missing or dead -- the solid core of NIET evidence for ongoing historical conjecture.


Let us now return to our very pleasant task and begin by questioning the mother of the missing children, the allegedly one un-doubtable source, Elizabeth Woodville. Where were you, Ma’am, when told your sons had apparently disappeared from the royal apartments in the Tower of London?


ELIZABETH WOODVILLE: I was in my bedchamber.


JL: Where precisely were you?


EW: I was asleep in my bed. I was awoken by one of the Ladies-in-Waiting. It was early morning.


JL: Were you in your bedchamber in the Tower of London?


EW: No. I was staying at Westminster Abbey.


JL: Why were you not staying in the Tower of London? Why did you take up residence in the Abbey? Was not Westminster Abbey closely associated with the notion of sanctuary? The move was politically significant, was it not?


EW: I sought sanctuary from my Neville enemies. I had good reason to fear that my Neville brother-in-law, now King Richard III, might decide to do away with my two sons, Edward and Richard. I needed a safe haven in the storm after the death of my husband in April, the Act in Parliament charging bigamy by my late husband and bastardisation of my sons in June and July, followed by the ascension to the throne of Richard of Gloucester as King Richard III.


JL: Time has passed and upon mature reflection, was your decision to seek sanctuary based on fact, or on supposed fact, concerning your brother-in-law Richard?


EW: I was upset. I wanted to protect my children -- the rightful heirs to the throne of England!


JL: No doubt you were upset, Ma’am, and wanted to protect your children but not I submit for the reason stated and not according to the Rolls of Parliament. The matter of your claim was contradicted and in dispute. Your late husband was charged with having married you while pre-contracted to Eleanor Butler. Your marriage was officially declared bigamous and your children bastards...


EW: The case was not proved in court. My family and supporters rejected the charge.


JL: It is true your Woodville family and friends rejected the charge. It is also true that due to the sudden death of your Neville husband, the case was not brought in the ecclesiastical court, the proper court to hear such odd matrimonial matters.


EW: The case could not be brought because there was no Petitioner and no Defendant!


JL: The case was nonetheless made before Parliament sitting in full session in Westminster Hall without, as you rightly point out, a Petitioner or Defendant to the bigamy charge. Experts still argue whether Parliament had the right to make findings on matters outside their jurisdiction. The fact is that parliament enacted against your interests and, as we should expect, the contra argument of your supporters was that parliament had been ‘intimidated’. I will return to this is later. For the present, I put it to you that your brother-in-law, Richard of Gloucester, Protector of England, so decreed in the Will of his late brother in the event of his death, ascended the throne, legally married and the only undisputed rightful heir in direct line from Edward III, now that the lines of descent from Edward I and Edward II were broken. Do you dispute this?


EW: Richard usurped the throne from my son, the uncrowned king Edward V in the year of the three kings, Edward IV, Edward V and Richard III. My eldest son was a major threat to the usurper Richard, my younger son the minor!


JL: Very well, Ma’am. You wish to dispute this. In that case will you first please explain how two young boys aged 13 and 10 years were a threat to a warrior king, unless you and your family might decide to overturn an Act of Parliament in their names and usurp the throne? I put it to you that the major aim and objective of the move into sanctuary was not personal but political: to gain sympathy from the public for the new Woodville aristocracy and damage the reputation of the old Neville aristocracy to further advantage your support. Is this not so, Ma’am?


EW: It is not so. My sons represented an ongoing threat to their uncle, who might decide to get rid of them.


JL: Did he get rid of them?


EW: He took them away from me in Westminster Abbey and locked them up in the Tower. They disappeared during his reign!


JL: But did he in fact get rid of them, proven beyond reasonable doubt, or was it made to look like he had got rid of them? Ma’am I put it to you that you were sure your sons were being well cared for and were safely guarded and out of harm’s way in the Tower. I further put it to you that had it been otherwise and there was the slightest doubt in your mind or a true reason to complain that your sons were not being well cared for or were not totally safe in the care of their uncle, that the sound of your voice would have bounced around the walls and out of the front and back door of Parliament. You would have been heard and everyone would have listened to what you had to say. You were, Ma’am, not averse to drawing attention to yourself -- and a letter writer of note.


In this connection, I have here a copy of your letter addressed to Sir William Stonor overturning a decision of your husband. Stonor was not going to hunt the deer in “your” forests, you wrote, even with a commission from the king your husband. You humiliated your husband. You rode roughshod over your husband in an insulting letter to a loyal supporter of his crown. You were not a blushing violet, were you Ma’am? But to return to our central point: Did you at any time have cause to claim and did you in fact claim that your sons or any other of your children were not well cared for?


EW: I did not claim my children were not well cared for when under my personal supervision.


JL: Were they perhaps treated badly at some time other than when under your personal supervision?


EW: Perhaps they were. I think they certainly must have been.


JL: Were they badly treated to your certain knowledge?


EW: Not to my certain knowledge.


JL: May we therefore assume, since you did not have certain knowledge or did not in fact complain of any ill treatment of your two sons, that your sons were well treated? That is to say well treated at all relevant times? In this connection, your eldest son was the first to be taken to the Tower. Why did you later allow the younger boy to join his brother, unless you were sure both boys were well cared for and would not be badly treated?


EW: The boys were taken from me, by force, by order of my brother-in-law.


JL: There is not a shred of evidence to corroborate what you allege; namely, that the boys were taken from you by force. I will return again to the allegation that the eldest boy was taken forcibly from you. For the present, I submit that you handed over the younger boy yourself to the officer in charge of the troop of soldiers sent by your brother-in-law to escort the boy to The Tower. I put it to you that your brother-in-law was, in fact, following protocol by sending an escort to guard your son. This is still custom and practice today. I further put it to you that if there was truly a risk, whether real or imaginary, or the slightest true doubt in your mind concerning the well being and safety of your sons in the care of their uncle, you had only to step across the road for your objection to be heard in Westminster Hall. Why did you not cross the road?


EW: It was little consolation to me that having been forcibly taken from me, my sons would be together in a prison.


JL: The boys were not in a prison. The Tower of London was not a prison. It was a royal palace. They had their own bedroom and free run of the place. Both were seen in the palace grounds target shooting with bows and arrows. To suggest they were imprisoned and in a prison is false. There is more.


I put it to you that your sons were safer in a royal palace behind the defended walls of The Tower than behind the undefended walls of Westminster Abbey. Where would the man on the Clapham omnibus rather be, Ma’am, if his life were truly at risk? 6


I put it to you that you had heard the news from the North that your brother had been executed, allegedly without trial. The reason for the charge made against your brother by your brother-in-law was the highly contentious and provocative claim of your family, which a Northern judge found treasonable, that England was a Woodville and not a Neville protectorate. Richard acted like the Centurion at the death of Christ, a soldier obliged by swearing an oath to protect the interests of Rome. This made you extremely cautious.


However, if it can be proved that the princes lived on, it also means you had received assurances from your brother-in-law you were not to be harmed and your children would be cared for and well looked after in the Tower of London. Richard did not kill women and children. Your brother-in-law was a good man. There was one more factor in your considerations. The contributory factor and one more additional reason for compliance was the imminent risk of invasion led by the exiled Welshman, Henry Tudor, sailing up the Thames with a horde of French terrorists. You knew your brother-in-law was the first person who stood in Henry’s way and would have to be disposed of. You also knew your family were at risk unless, and this is proven beyond any possible shadow of doubt, you agreed to the marriage of your daughter, Elizabeth of York, to the worthy Tudor, which you attended on the 18th January, 1486.


EW: My sons were taken to the Tower on Richard’s orders because they were a threat to his throne in the event of an uprising against the usurper king!


JL: Your supporters made this false charge against your brother-in-law and made other outlandish and unlikely allegations because they were desperate to try and find something to discredit him with. I have to draw attention to an odd and unsubstantiated claim concerning your daughter, Elizabeth of York.


EW: The hand of my daughter, Elizabeth of York, was sought in marriage by the king my brother-in-law. Elizabeth had become infatuated with her uncle and wrote him a love letter.


JL: Yes, we also have a copy of this letter. It is a disgraceful letter. However, if your daughter indeed became infatuated with her uncle and wrote him an indiscreet love letter as alleged, which may or may not have been a forged letter and part of a black-op by the Woodville faction, there is no evidence that the uncle behaved badly towards your daughter or the other children of his late brother. Not at any time. The infamous story of your daughter Elizabeth being courted by her uncle Richard was denied at Clerkenwell and Richard threatened severe punishment for anyone who repeated the calumny!


On the contrary, the evidence suggests Richard of Gloucester, later Richard III, was considerate and generous to all in his realm who did not challenge his right to rule. Despite uprisings by dissidents in England, few heads were lost. This suggests a gracious winner not only of the hand but also of the heart. It does NOT suggest a ruthless and vindictive warrior king.


The evidence further suggests the uncle was kindly disposed towards all his other nephews and nieces. I will return to this again. For the present, I have one or two questions more to put to you. I wish to return to the moment you were told your two children were missing. Who told you?


EW: I was told almost immediately, by a group of Tower people.


JL: Where were you, when you were told, and what did you do?


EW: I was in Westminster Abbey and immediately ordered the search to be repeated until the boys were found.


JL: Did you order a renewed search and, if so, when did you order the search to be abandoned?


EW: I did not order the search to be abandoned.


JL: What did you do when told the boys had not been found?


EW: I sent an urgent message that I wished to see the boys’ uncle, my brother-in-law, King Richard III.


JL: Did you see your brother-in-law?


EW: Yes.


JL: Did you see him the same day?


EW: I cannot remember. The same day or perhaps the following day.


JL: While waiting to see the king, or after having seen the king, did you at any time, then or at any time thereafter, go to Westminster Hall and tell any one of the officials or a member of parliament that the two rightful heirs to the throne of England had disappeared and you were asking for help to find them?


EW: No, I did not.


JL: Why not?


EW: I left the announcement to my family and friends on the Privy Council.


JL: In this connection, are you surprised there is no mention in the records of the Privy Council of a claim either by you or someone close to you or indeed by anyone else that your sons were missing from the royal apartments in the Tower of London? Are you surprised that nothing is recorded on the Rolls of Parliament about the undoubted disappearance of two rightful heirs to the throne of England who were never seen again? Are you surprised that royal watchers today would never believe it possible that Prince Charles and Prince Andrew might disappear forever and nothing was said at any time thereafter by close or extended family -- Not their mother? Nor grandmother? Not their elder sister? Not one of their younger sisters? Not just one of many aunts and uncles?


Why did you not ensure the announcement was made in person in Westminster Hall? There was always the risk that someone else might say this and it might not be believed – that it was rather a bad joke…


EW: Yes. I was upset. It was a mistake.


JL: Were you so upset that you no longer felt compelled to want to find out what had happened to your sons?


EW: No. I am saying it was a mistake.


JL I am sorry to have to press you but are you saying it was a mistake not to visit Westminster Hall and tell just one person in authority that your children were missing? Or, are you saying it is a mistake to leave oneself open to a charge of unreasonable and uncaring behaviour towards one’s children due perhaps to insanity? Or was there perhaps some other reason we have not yet touched upon?


EW: It was a terrible mistake, which I now regret.


JL: Do you now regret that your alleged mistake, and I am now obliged to choose my words even more deliberately, forestalled any remedial action? For instance, parliament would have reacted immediately. Descriptions of the children would have been sent to every city and town in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland and if they had not been found within three days, the news would have reached Europe soon after. However, just one report is found, in just one place, in the French Parliament, as we might by now expect if the story had been planted misinformation in a deception targeting Richard III. The French parliamentary record states, without hesitation or equivocation, the king of England had murdered your sons. N’enculons pas des mouches, Madame. Do you not see how your reputation is at risk? Are you not on a dangerously slippery downward slope?


EW: Yes, I put my reputation at risk.


JL: I must press you further. From the time of the death of your husband in 1483 until your own death in 1492, a period of nine years, there is no record, official or otherwise, of a claim by you, the one un-doubtable source, that your sons were either dead or missing. It might seem undeniable that when a mother does not claim her sons are dead or missing, as already explained and made clear, we may reasonably conclude her sons are neither dead nor missing. Neither did you attribute responsibility for their disappearance to your deceased brother-in-law after 1485, Richard III, nor to your living son-in-law, Henry VII. We may further reasonably assume a high risk of disclosure by a mother should either her brother-in-law or son-in-law attempt to abduct her children against her will. This NIET evidence directly contradicts the official view that the princes were murdered and that the person responsible was either your brother-in-law or your son-in-law. My reservations concern the likelihood that the princes were neither dead nor missing but had disappeared from public view with your full knowledge and consent and the full knowledge and consent of your brother-in-law and, later, your son-in-law. This is a best-fit hypothesis based soundly on a balance of probability. It is the way this odd evidence may eventually make sense to the man on the Clapham Omnibus.


Lastly, I have to inform you that I must also look for a motive and explanation for your reported activities. First, an independent inquiry may be surprised that the possibility of a collusive arrangement between the principals, that is to say between you, your daughter, your brother-in-law and later your son-law, which resulted in the mysterious disappearance of your two young sons was never tested. It was overlooked that the disappearance might be directly related to the silence of their mother and the subsequent marriage of their elder sister (Elizabeth of York) to the victorious leader of the succeeding dynasty, Henry Tudor, later King Henry VII. To save your life and the lives of your children and ensure the continued safety of your large family, you agreed to remain silent upon the continued existence of your two sons, the rightful heirs to the English throne. You then consented for your daughter to marry the newly crowned legal heir, Henry VII – a collusive arrangement with your son-in-law. The motive for your silence, from start to finish, was Fear – Fear of inherent disclosure, denouncement and discontinuity in the event of non-compliance.


In conclusion, you have charged your brother-in-law the king with bad and unreasonable behaviour towards you and your children. I would like to test this obliquely. It will not take long.


For the record, you have claimed that you were fearful for the lives of yourself and your children after the death of your husband. Were you fearful during his lifetime?


EW: No. Never. Not in the slightest.


JL: For the record again, I have to draw attention there is no evidence of bad behaviour by your brother-in-law towards you or your children either before or after the death of your late husband.


EW: That is a matter of opinion.


JL: It is hardly a matter of opinion that there is no evidence of bad behaviour towards you and your children either before the death of your late husband or after the death of your late husband, given under oath in a court of law, that your life and the lives of your children were in danger from your brother-in-law. This uncorroborated allegation may be significant in a serious investigation, meriting further examination.


For instance, it might seem undeniable after the death of your husband that you were far more comfortable if you had chosen to stay in a warm and dry royal palace rather than a cold and draughty Abbey…


EW: The royal apartments in the Tower of London were a short distance from the Abbey. I wanted to be near my sons.


JL: The Abbey is more than one mile from the Tower. Barnard’s Castle was closer. Let us say about half the distance, less than half a mile. Why did you not choose to stay at the home of the grandmother of your children?


EW: The Neville Duchess Cecily of York believed I had entrapped her son. Our relationship was not good.


JL: I put it to you that your late husband had a reputation for undifferentiated womanising. That you did indeed entrap him by agreeing to a secret marriage without insisting the Banns be called. The wedding ceremony took place in your country home. The announcement that the king had married was made more than six months later. Finally, there is no evidence that the ceremony took place in the presence of the mother of the king, Duchess Cecily Neville. But this is peripheral to our case. Please explain once more your decision to seek sanctuary after the death of your husband and why precisely you remained in sanctuary after your sons had been taken to the Tower?


EW: I have told you already. My sons were a focus of attention and a major threat to my brother-in-law’s throne, which I say he usurped from the rightful heirs, my sons!


JL: We have dealt with the claim of your opponents in Parliament, that your children were no longer rightful heirs to the throne and the undoubted fact that you did not appear before the parliament to claim your two sons were missing. Further, it might seem undeniable a mother with all the natural feelings of a mother might tell SOMEONE her sons are missing and, in this connection, there is indeed the evidence of an alleged medical doctor, Dr. Argentine, who when asked about the Queen, merely replied that she was ‘upset’. If it is true you were upset by your dashed hopes for your children’s future marriages, because they were illegitimate, we can accept this as likely behaviour of a mother in a bigamous marriage. However, if you persist that you were upset because you were only worried about the well being of your two sons, as already explained and made clear, it is of course possible but of very low probability. I put it to you that you were upset because of another option. To appear before Parliament would have meant leaving the sanctuary of Westminster Abbey to step across the road to where the MPs sat in Westminster Hall. There is something you have not told us and I submit that you have not told the truth, the so-called whole truth and nothing but the truth, not at all and not any moment during our discussions so far.


Factually, you were no stranger to Westminster Hall. You had been there on more than one occasion in some twenty years of marriage to Edward IV. We have not heard today a compelling reason from you, Ma’am, why the official history has no record either of you or of any member of your large family and extended family reporting the disappearance of your two sons to Parliament sitting in Westminster Hall.


I have further to draw attention that there is not the slightest hint of insanity in the historical record of your family and, since the likelihood of a sane mother, any mother, not reporting the disappearance of her two young sons is so odd and remote an option as to be dismissed out of hand, unless you produce a cogent reason for your silence, you risk standing at the bar of history charged with their murder.


I have no further questions but request the right to recall this witness at a later stage.



Morning Session

Summing up


Perhaps this is the moment to stop, for just one minute, and summarize once more the evidence. Firstly, do we agree that within twenty-four hours and no more than seventy-two hours, that if the princes were really and truly missing there would have taken place a careful and extensive search inside palace walls and outside in the streets and alleyways of the City of London? We may further conceivably decide that instructions for the search included the nearby home of the grandmother of the two princes, the Duchess Cecily Neville, and London home of the boys’ uncle and the Duchess’s only remaining son, now King Richard III. Oddly, there is no record of a claim by the Duchess that her two grandsons were missing. You may think this odd indeed unless the plan of deception required the grandmother to remain silent and that she did in fact agree to remain silent on the true whereabouts of her two grandsons. Furthermore, you may conceivably decide the Neville Duchess placed the safety and well being of her grandchildren above her natural resentment at the lack of consideration for her feelings shown by the Woodville Queen for having entrapped her Neville son.


Similarly, I have to draw attention that there is no contemporary record of the disappearance of the princes in any of the ancient archives of the great cities of England, neither in the archives of the Merchant and Tradesmen Guilds of London, nor in any other archive. More’s hearsay evidence is worthless in a serious investigation. He knew it and now we know it.


Finally, from watching Captain Bob steer the glorious old river boat Clifton Castle up and down the narrow and shallow reaches of the Thames and from personal experience of navigating flood and ebb tides on London River over a substantial period of time, the river is tidal upstream as far as Richmond Lock or perhaps a little beyond Teddington on the highest, high tides. I assume ebb and flow may have been much the same in the 15th and early 16th centuries. The strongest ebb swollen with upland water might reach as far downstream or perhaps even further beyond Gravesend.


It means that following the disappearance of the Princes from the Tower in or about mid to late October, common sense tells us to expect to see an official order for a thorough search for the princes covering each side of the Thames, some thirty five miles of docks and busy waterway. There is no such order on record.


Common sense further tells us that river people keep a weather eye open day and night. Do you think a search party of royal servants might have escaped the attention of the river people? Dead bodies sometimes float in the river. Was a reward offered for information leading to recovery of the bodies of two young boys from the river? Do you think the scavengers might have been out in force to find the bodies? If DNA findings are positive there was nothing to find.


Finally, there is just one more question I want to ask. I intend to recall the Dowager Queen of England, Elizabeth Woodville, and ask her once more, pressure her if necessary, to tell us why she chose to stay in sanctuary instead of joining her children in the Tower.



Afternoon Session


JL: Ma’am, Why did you not immediately leave the Abbey to join your children and ensure that they were safe and well cared for in The Tower? Why did you prefer to stay in a cold and draughty Abbey rather than the well-furnished and heated royal apartments in The Tower?


EW: I preferred to stay where I knew I was safe.


JL: Thank you, Ma’am. Are you saying that you were unsafe for some other reason not yet discussed?


EW: No. I was safe from my brother-in-law.


JL: Ma’ am, are you saying you were safe from the possible attentions of your brother-in-law ONLY when you were in sanctuary? If that were true, why did you leave sanctuary and resume life outside sanctuary? Why did you turn? Please tell us precisely what happened to make you turn? Were you turned? Who turned you? Or, did you turn yourself?


EW: There was no single reason. As you say, it was freezing cold in the Abbey. The wind blew straight in at the front door and out the back door!


JL:I have to draw attention that no less a person than a saint, the patron saint of common lawyers, Thomas More, claims in his RICHARD that you ordered a wall to be knocked down in Westminster Abbey in order to bring in all your furniture. You may conceivably agree that the impression is of a first intention to reside in comfortable surroundings for more than a short period. Is this not so, Ma’am? My question is what happened to make you fear for your life and enter sanctuary soon after the death of your husband. Secondly, why did you change your mind and not remain in sanctuary as you had first intended?


EW: I changed my mind. Obviously, I became tired of the Abbey.


JL: I would like to return some two months in time before you had become tired of living in the Abbey -- from April to June, there or thereabouts, in 1483. Your husband had died on the 9th April. The death was sudden and the cause of death unknown. There is merely a short mention of ‘a pensifous sickness’ that led to the death of the king, which suggests some sort of illness brought on perhaps by excessive worry for a short period of time or perhaps a more serious depressive illness over a considerable period of time. Ma’am, did the king take his own life?


EW: Yes. He died from overeating and drinking. He was a glutton.


JL: Let me rephrase the question more precisely, Ma’am, did the king commit suicide?


EW: No, he died because he was a glutton all his life.


JL: Do you mean he constantly ate and drank without careful consideration of what he was eating and drinking?


EW: Yes.


JL: I have now to draw attention that you allowed burial of your husband at Windsor without waiting for the arrival of two of the principal mourners: the uncrowned king, your eldest son Edward V, and the Protector of England, your brother-in-law, Richard of Gloucester, later King Richard III.


For the record, the two parties met outside Northampton, Edward V coming from the West, from Ludlow in Wales, and Richard of Gloucester, travelling from the North where Richard had been supervising family interests on the borders of Scotland and England. Northampton is some sixty miles from London, two or three days ride on a good horse. Uncle and nephew were suitably dressed and en route for the funeral. They arrived in London to be told at Hornsey that the royal funeral had already taken place at Windsor.


In this connection, I submit there was no formal closure, no time for grieving by the family and extended family, no public expressions of grief, and this was more than just the odd and arbitrary decision of a distressed widow. It was deliberate. I submit your brother-in-law had every right to be angry with you for allowing the protocols of a royal funeral to be disregarded. I put it to you once more. Why did you allow this burial to take place without awaiting the arrival of your son and brother-in-law? I further put it to you that your intention was to hide something you did not want your son or brother-in-law to see, the give away traces of poison around and inside your husband’s mouth that killed your husband. The true reason you sought sanctuary was to avoid a charge of murder.


Notwithstanding the non-medical opinion that your husband died of some sort of depressive illness, you did not leave sanctuary from fear – the risk of being charged with a treasonable offence -- having drugged and poisoned the king!


(To be continued.)




The role players discussed suicide and the possibility that Edward IV had deliberately killed himself. The facts are undeniable. Burial of a monarch preceded by ceremonial lying in state is royal protocol over a substantial period of time and this NIET positive evidence is contradicted and in dispute in the matter of the burial of Edward IV in St George’s Chapel at Windsor. 7


The date of death is recorded on 9th April 1483 without an official cause of death. For instance, there is no official record nor is it stated in letters from friends or family that the king died peacefully in his sleep. This is slightly troubling. There is more. The royal coffin was opened three hundred and six years later, in 1789, without prior reason for the exhumation or subsequent official explanation. The skeleton measured six feet three inches. However, this unsolicited information volunteered by the persons present at the opening of the coffin, which we may assume included medical doctors, does not tell us what we want to know, which may be established conclusively with modern methods and technology -- the probable cause of death.


I have to draw attention that traces of many diseases may remain in the bony remains long after death. Similarly, the traces of poisons may remain in hair, bones and body tissues. Traces of poison may be immediately recognizable. Cyanide may leave slight blue traces in bony remains, which may be verified or falsified in the forensic laboratory. The non-medical opinion of the probable cause of death -- ‘a pensivous sicknesse’ -- is not soundly based. It simply will not do.


In the absence of a medical opinion of the most likely cause of death given by the royal doctors in the 15th and 18th centuries, the circumstances surrounding the death and burial of Edward IV merit further investigation on legal grounds -- death may have been from poisoning self administered by the deceased or, alternatively, there may have been foul play by a person or persons unknown.


Burial of a suicide in consecrated ground, then as now, is forbidden by Church custom and rule. Burial of a monarch may take place in consecrated ground. In this connection, there is a case to answer if the body of the king in 1483 or the skeleton in 1789 were unnaturally discoloured. It is for you to decide if the royal doctors said nothing before the burial if there were indeed recognizable symptoms of poisoning. What of royal doctors in the 18th century? Did they see cyanotic stains and were silenced? What of the royal doctors today? A judge has extraordinary powers and may order anyone to appear before him where there is good reason to believe a crime may have been committed. Was a crime in fact committed?


Careless and self-indulgent, the king was unaware that his favourites were betraying him. Dictionary of National Biography lists the known betrayers. (See: ‘Edward IV’, DNB) However, if evidence of poison is found in the bony remains of the king and this evidence is scientifically verified, there is another charge to be laid, the most serious charge in the criminal calendar: a murder charge against Elizabeth Woodville. The Queen is the number one suspect with motive and opportunity to have killed her husband.


In this connection, a specific charge made against Elizabeth Woodville in the Rolls of Parliament focussed on the serious allegation of witchcraft. This was not a charge lightly made against a Queen and fifty-three years later a charge of witchcraft was made against Anne Boleyn who was found guilty of having ‘bewitched’ Henry VIII. Boleyn was beheaded.


Most people do not understand what is meant by witchcraft. Let us take a short pause, for just one minute, to look at what is known about witchcraft in general and, in particular, the use of herbal drugs in witchcraft.8


For instance, however improbable it might seem, the use of drugs by women to entrap men has been known down the centuries. Witches in the Middle Ages made and distributed such drugs to their clients.


The charge is unequivocal in the Act -- Woodville used witchcraft to entrap Edward IV. I may now return to the evidence hidden in the portrait of King Richard III in the National Portrait Gallery suggesting on going resentment of the members of parliament at the behaviour of successive monarchs in their cavalier treatment of Parliament. For instance, the members had not forgotten Edward IV did not inform Parliament of his intention to marry Elizabeth Woodville. The king had married the queen in secret. Parliament was not told until many months later and Parliament was incensed. The implication was clear. Woodville had used drugs to make the king careless and self-indulgent. The “entrapment” was beyond any possible shadow of doubt.


A similar charge was made against Elizabeth Woodville’s mother, Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford, that she had instructed her daughter in the ways of the world: a parliamentary euphemism, presumably, for how to entrap men and other very important persons. We will have to consider carefully whether there is a price to pay by each party, sooner or later, for entrapment. We may then test Elizabeth Woodville directly. We want to know the price paid by the Queen. Did the Queen pay the price? Precisely, we need to know The What, The Where, The When and The Why. We will also try to find out who may have helped and in what and every which way.


Lastly, the lack of Edward IV’s consideration for the feelings of his wife, over a substantial period of time, merits close examination. For instance, Woodville may have been prepared to overlook the marital indiscretions of her husband when he came to the Court with his illegitimate child by Lady Elizabeth Blount, Arthur Plantagenet, named and openly acknowledged as his son.


This was the acceptable price a Queen may have to pay. The price was acceptable because an illegitimate child outside a royal marriage did not affect the Queen’s status or the status of her children as the legal heirs.


However, when a pre-contract of marriage between Edward IV and the Lady Eleanor Butler was written into a Bill in Parliament and the members decreed the marriage of the late king to Elizabeth Woodville bigamous and her children bastards, we have the profile of a wife shamed and humiliated by her husband and if the husband did not take his own life, the prime suspect with motive to kill him was his wife, the plot of a Kurosawa epic.9




Since I started this piece, I have received comments from more than one reader disappointed by David Baldwin’s book.


I am sorry that Douglas Weekes is disappointed with the work of a writer who no doubt slaved over a keyboard for many months to get his book published. Cheer up Douglas! Mr Baldwin is correct in one very important particular worth repeating. There is no record discovered to-date, neither in the British Isles nor on the Continent of Europe, of a claim by the mother of the princes, Elizabeth Woodville, that her sons had been murdered or they had died from natural causes, nor indeed that they were even missing.


Mr Baldwin acknowledges this without equivocation:


‘There is, of course, no definitive proof that the boys had been murdered…


Mr Baldwin makes a further point, reasonable and compelling:


…but Elizabeth would have been more concerned that anyone to discover what had become of them…


Mr Baldwin then strays into the path of the Clapham omnibus:


…and it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that she had learned the worst.’


…and predictably is knocked down:


Predictably, as already explained and made clear, when confronted by the central fact that we are dealing with a case of missing persons and there is no physical proof of death from natural or unnatural cause acceptable in a court of law, Mr Baldwin hits the rigid and unbending wall of real life.


Remembering this is a legal case to be decided by lawyers, does the writer mean Woodville had received physical proof of the death of her two sons beyond any possible shadow of doubt? That she had identified the dead bodies? That the bodies of her husband and her two sons were buried in a royal tomb? That appropriate protocol had been accorded at royal death?


On the other hand, common sense tells the ordinary man, loudly and clearly, either the princes were dead or they were alive and there is no other option. Common sense also tells us this is testable and if DNA findings are positive, the worst Woodville learned was not the death but the notional death of her sons, condemning them to life in the shadow of the Tudors.


What is common sense and difficult to avoid is the conclusion that Mr Baldwin is no doubt very good at his best but straining after effect is liable to collapse into twaddle.





1. The list of paintings published to-date at the Web site or on CD ROM: Sir Thomas More and his Family, “The Ambassadors”, The portraits of Henry VIII, Richard III, Anne of Cleves, Sir Thomas More, “the so-called Goldsmith, Hans of Antwerp”, Sir Richard Southwell, Georg Gisze, The companion portraits of Sir Henry and Lady Guildford.

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2. Traditionally, actors may sometimes wear plain black outfits, a sort of black ‘cat suit’, during a workshop on stage or in a rehearsal room.

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3. Sir John Masterman, former vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford and self-confessed a wartime director of the “Double-Cross Committee” (known in MI5 records as the ‘XX Committee’) who supervised my early work concluded there is nothing we can teach our clever ancestors about deception. Throughout history, the keepers of secrets expected foreign agents to be active in their capital city, Intelligence gathering, and took appropriate measures to identify and keep the agents under surveillance. The skills continue to be honed and improved by National Security Agencies today. The major aim and objective of the intelligence gatherer is to report back to HQ the results of his investigation on the contents of his “shopping list”. The major aim and objective of the agent provocateur is to plant misinformation and disinformation in secret operations or “black-ops” and report back to HQ. Counter-intelligence intercepts these reports to and from HQ with modern methods and technology and acts accordingly, which we may never know.

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4. (See: Frequently Asked QuestionsàInvestigation in Flanders) I have to draw attention that the boys’ aunt, the Dowager Duchess Margaret of Burgundy (née Margaret of York) (1446-1503), married the late Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy. Her court was at Malines the former capital of Flanders also known today as Mechelen, one hour’s ride down the old arrow straight Roman road from the old Catholic University of Louvain where the young John Clement was studying in the Faculty of Arts. But this is peripheral to the case. What is central to the known history is that Aunt Margaret was the “banker” funding opposition to the Tudors for as long as she lived and the most likely provider for her nephew, the young John Clement exiled in Flanders.

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5. The conjectured one well-informed lady at court, a usually reliable source close to the crown, heard whispers that the Spanish King had received news of the princes’ disappearance from his Ambassador in London. The extant enciphered reply from King Ferdinand of Spain, addressed to his ambassador at the Court of St James, is the documentary source confirming my view based on research into the Holbein evidence, that a conspiracy was indeed afoot. The secret correspondence between the king and his ambassador now in the royal archives at Simancas was found and deciphered many years later by Gustave Adolphe Bergenroth (1813-1869). Bergenroth, it is reported, had ‘a most remarkable talent as a decipherer, interpreting more than twelve ciphers of exceeding difficulty, with which the Spanish archivists were themselves unacquainted, or the keys to which they withheld from him’. (See: ‘Bergenroth’, Dictionary of National Biography).

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6. What is the risk of being murdered in a Cathedral? Thomas à Becket was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral and Elizabeth Woodville knew it. The risk of excommunication did not stop killers violating the sanctity of Church. Nonetheless, the risk of a person being murdered in a Church is low. The risk of a woman being murdered in a church is very low. The risk of murder for a woman in Westminster Abbey is very, very low.

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7. History records at least one burial of a monarch without official protocol. For instance, Richard III’s body was buried without ceremony after the Battle of Bosworth, allegedly in a nearby abbey. No hard documentary evidence of the burial, or the body, has been found to-date. I suggest there can be no closure until the body of Richard III is found and identified by DNA profiling, and its final place of burial recorded in the Rolls of Parliament.

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8. I am grateful to Dr Ann Harding for her expert opinion on witches and witchcraft in mediaeval Europe. The medical books of the day indeed refer to herbal drugs that may induce careless and irrational behaviour if taken to excess. One option: the king may have been prescribed drugs by royal doctors and took these drugs to excess in 1483, which slowly killed him, perhaps leaving no trace. A second option: the king may have been unaware he had ingested drugs in his food or drink, which slowly killed him, perhaps leaving no trace. A third option: one massive drug over dose, taken knowingly, may kill quickly leaving a recognizable trace. There is no other option. However, it has been known for many centuries that poisons may be taken in small quantities over a period of time and the body may become de sensitised. An ancient king of Asia Minor, Mithridates, took a small dose of poison each day to guard against the attentions of his family. This traditional story from Classical times became popular when Shakespeare referred in a play to a cure-all remedy of the day ‘Mithridatum’. There was a moral to the story. The king later decided to take his own life and poison would not kill him. Solon of Athens, one of the Wise Men of Greece who may have known the story of Mithridates, is reported to have said: ”Remember the end!”

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9. ‘a KUROSAWA epic’: The remarkable revenge-theme in the epic Japanese feature film "RAN" (Akira KUROSAWA, 1985) is characterized by the Lady KAEDE who brings down the House of ICHIMONJI, represented by the warlord HIDETORA (her father-in-law) and his three sons; 1. TARO (Lady KAEDE's husband); 2. JIRO; and, 3. SUBARU (Lady KAEDE's two brothers-in-law). HIDETORA's resultant madness has been compared to the madness of the king in William SHAKESPEARE's "KING LEAR". Kurosawa’s Lady KAEDE is fiction born of Kurosawa’s imagination. Finally, I have to draw attention that History’s Elizabeth Woodville is fiction born of historians’ imagination. The real person is hinted at by the remarkable and deliberate spelling of her surname on her tombstone at Windsor, which is unique. The inscription reads ‘Elizabeth WYDVILE’: ‘Widow Vile’ or, ‘Vile Widow’?

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Journal of the Holbein Foundation

Vol. 4, No. 2.

February, 2003.


Last revision 0030501




The Will



This biography is respectfully dedicated to the memory of the late

Sister Mary Salomé


I have to draw attention that Dr. Caesar Clement was the illegitimate son of Thomas Clement M.A.1 This is verified in the Will of Caesar Clement, published for the first time hereinafter. (See, below.) Born and died in Louvain, his death is recorded in 1626, age at death unknown.2 Dr. Clement was Dean of St. Gudula's, Brussels, and benefactor of St. Monica's, Louvain, where Thomas Clement's youngest sister, Mother Margaret Clement, one of the first co-foundresses, was Prioress.3


Note 1. See: LOUANT A. Correspondence d'Ottavio Frangipani, premier nonce de Flandre (1596-1606), Tome III, Bruxelles/Rome, 1942, pp.209-210:

Frangipani to Aldobrandino (Secretary of State in Rome), from Brussels, 10th Feb. 1601.


Recommendation en faveur de César Clement, prêtre, né a Louvain de parents anglais non mariés; le père [Grandfather], gentilhomme très instruit élève de Thomas Morus [John Clement], vit exilé en Flandre depuis 42 ans.[d.1572] Le jeune homme dont il s'agit est ancien élève du collège anglais de Rome [1579], il est revenu en Flandre pour assister son vieux père [Thomas Clement was born in 1532 and died, conjecturally, some time after 1601, see above; and some time before 1606, see below] et, depuis cinq ans [since 1596], il a été admis comme chapelain domestique par les archiducs. Les conditions de sa naissance ne sont pas connue [sic] publiquement. Demande de dispense d'irregularité afin de lui permettre de jouir d'une dignité ou d'un bénéfice ecclésiastique.


Another letter from Frangipani to Cardinal Farnesa, from Brussels, dated 28th January 1600 (p. 87, ibid.) states that Caesar Clement had been a priest for fourteen years and was at the English College, Rome, for eight years. (See bottom of document)


Note 2. Probably born about 1560. See, also:



Item: The Very Reverend Cesar Clement, Doctor of Divinity, Proto Notary of the Church of Rome, Dean of St. Gudula's at Bruxels and great benefactor of our monastery, his parents [the name of his mother is not given] and friends.


Official status and year of death. See: SANDERI A, Presbyteri Chorographia Sacra Brabantiae, Tomus Primus, Hagae Comitum, apud Christianum Van Lom, Bibliopolam, 1726, p.245, Vol. III:


Basilicae Bruxellensis. Caput VII. XXIX. D. Caesar Clemens S. Th. Doctor Delegatus Apostolicus in exercitibus Catholicae suae Majestatis tam in Germaniae partibus, quam Belgio, obiit 1626.


Note 3. See: the entry in THE BENEFACTOR'S BOOK of the Order beginning:

'The Easter part of all our Sisters, Parents and Friends who have maintained us, either with portions, money or alms, or been our particular Benefactors any way.

 Item, Revd Mother Margaret Clement who had been Prioress at St Ursula's 38 years [from 1570], and received all our Elders there, and came afterwards hither [to St Monica's] with them to begin the Monastery. Her nephew Doctor Clement was also a principal help in the Erection of this house, he gave us 2000 guilders towards the building of our Church, and at his death left us 80 [180?] guilders of perpetual rent for a weekly Mass, also a Silver Crucifix, a pair of silver Candlesticks, a pair of silver Cruets, with two flower pots of silver, a silver box for breads, a silver cupp for ablution wine, a fair Chalice with a veil to it, divers pictures, stools, chairs, and cusions, with a Turkey worked foot cloth for the high Altar, and most of our relics, also the case with Sir Thomas Moor's shirt of hair, and some silver pictures set with Ebony.

cf. the extract above with the Will of Dr. Caesar Clement, below:


The Obituary Book, the Dirge Book and the Benefactors Book, formerly in the loving care of Sister Mary Salomé (d. 1995), remain to-day the property of the Canonesses of Windesheim, at the Priory of Our Lady, Sayers Common, Hassocks, West Sussex (formerly at St. Augustine's Priory, Newton Abbot, Devon: community disbanded since 1983). See also: Addenda & Corrigenda, item 228, "The King's Good Servant" (Moreana XVI, Vol. 61, p. 49, item 228).



The following extract is from Joseph GILLOW’s Biographical Dictionary of the English Catholics from the Breach with Rome in 1534 to the present time, publ. Burns & Oates, 1885, Vol. I., pp. 496-498, re. Caesar Clement.


Clement, Caesar, D.D., great-nephew [grandson] of John Clement, Esq., M.D., and nephew to the venerable Mother Margaret, Prioress of St. Ursula's, Louvain, was sent to Douay when very young, and accompanied the College in its removal to Rheims in 1578. In the following year he proceeded to Rome, and was admitted as a convictor in the English College, for his humanity studies, by command of the Cardinal Protector Moroni. Shortly afterwards Dr. Allen obtained leave of the Pope that he might be changed to an alumnus of the Holy Father, who would in future pay his charges.

Having been ordained priest, he left Rome, in Oct. 1587, to meet his father in Flanders, [John Clement died 1572] but was received in the College at Rheims on the following Dec. 1.

Continuing his studies, he received his degree of D.D. in one of the Italian universities [?], and subsequently was made Dean of St. Gudule's in Brussels, and Vicar-General of the King of Spain's army in Flanders, a very influential and considerable position, carrying with it the nomination and jurisdiction of the rest of the chaplains.

In this position he was enabled to be of great service to his countrymen in exile, who always found him ready to assist them.

It was to his influence and generosity that the English nuns at Louvain owed their establishment and convent of St. Monica. The prudence and disinterestedness which he usually displayed gained him universal esteem, insomuch that both public and private differences were often referred to his arbitration.

The most notable instance of this respect, however, was an unfortunate exception to the success which generally attended his efforts. This was the visitation of Douay College, in which he was commissioned by the Cardinal Protector Farnese, and Guido, the Archbishop of Rhodes.

The commission for the visitation, in which Mr. Robert Chambers, confessor to the Benedictine nuns at Brussels, was joined with Dr. Clement, was dated Oct. 17, 1612.

The clergy in England were still suffering from the effects of the peculiar institution and jurisdiction of the Archpriest, and now they were threatened with the loss of the government of their College at Douay. After the decease of Cardinal Allen, in 1594, the influence of Fr. Persons at Rome had become paramount as regards English affairs.

Installed in the government of the seminaries abroad, the Fathers of the Society had also acquired the principal, if not the exclusive, patronage of the houses over which they presided. Even at Douay the right of presentation, though nominally confined to the Archpriest and the Superior of the Jesuits in England, was gradually extended to other members of the Order; and thus, while the clergy at home were debarred from nominating to a vacancy, except through the Archpriest, the Jesuit rectors abroad were permitted to exercise the privilege, as freely and as authoritatively, as if the College had been the property of the Society.

On the death of Dr. Barret, in 1599, the members of the College had petitioned for a president of their own nomination. By the influence of Fr. Persons that suit was rejected, and Dr. Thomas Worthington was appointed to the vacant office. Innovations of various descriptions were gradually introduced: the first step was to discard the confessor of the house and to substitute a member of the Society in his place: the old professors were removed, discipline was relaxed, and all the most promising students were systematically transferred to other seminaries, either in Rome or Spain, the result being the general decadence of the College; the students were ordered to frequent the Jesuit schools in Douay; and, at the instance of Fr. Persons, the General of the Society appointed an English Jesuit to reside in Douay as confessor to the students. Fr. Persons had also the management of the pensions annually paid to the College by the Courts of Rome and Spain, and the College was fast becoming a dependency of the Society.

That such a state of things was most distressing and irritating to the clergy is not surprising, and to this was added the general discontent of the students, who petitioned that the College might be relieved from the interference of the Jesuits and its independency restored.

The tendency of the visitors was unfavorable to the students and the clergy, and also to the administration of the President, but the rules which were drawn up for the future management of the establishment, as the result of the visitation, raised such an outcry, both from the students and clergy , that ultimately, before the close of 1613, Fr. Worthington was removed from the government of the College, and Dr. Kellison, in whom the Clergy had great confidence, was installed in his place; the Jesuit confessor was discharged, and the students who had been dismissed were recalled.

Thus one of the great grievances of the clergy was removed; for, superior in numbers, and equal in every quality that could adorn the priesthood, they were naturally indignant to find themselves placed, as it were, under the tutelage of another order of men.

Dodd speaks favourably of Dr. Clement, but the account he gives of his policy does not accord with that of Canon Tierney.

Returning to his deanery at Brussels, he died August 28, 1626.



Dodd, Ch. Hist., vol. ii, Tierney's Dodd, v. p.3 et seq.; Foley, Records S .J., Roman Diary; Douay Diaries


1. Report of the Visitation of Douay College by Dr. Caesar Clement and Mr. Robert Chambers, Nov. 1612, MS., of which Canon Tierney remarks that it was evidently written under the influence of strong feeling, and abounds with contradictions and misrepresentations.

2. Though no published work of Dr. Clement has been recorded, it is evident from his letters that he was a man of great ability and learning.





We know the date of Caesar Clement's final acceptance to the English College in Rome, 5 September 1579, and that he must have been at least 18 years at initial entry; born, therefore, in or about the year 1560. An abstract from the Liber Ruber (the traditional title of the MS) Venerabilis Collegii Anglorum de Vrbe, reads:


Constitvtiones Collegii Anglicani

Quicunque ergo in hoc Collegium admittendi erunt, Angli sint necessum est tantum ex Angliae Regno eiusque prouinciis delecti, quorum aetas 18, aut circiter anno not sit inferior, ut citius ad iuuandam patriam mitti possint, et facilius ea percipiant que de Ecclesiastici hominis officiis et ratione iuuandarum [correction of "uiuandarum"] animarum illis proponuntur.

Cesar Clemens Anglus diocesis lundinensis Annorum [......] humanioribus litteris studens receptus fuit in Collegium fuit in Collegium hoc Anglicanum a Reuerendo Patre Alphonso dicti Collegii Rectore tamquam Conuictor ut soluat ex suis de expresso mandato Illustrissimi Cardinalis Moroni Protectoris sub die 5, Septembris [Ips] [Letters in [...] erased] 1579. Ipse autem receptus fuit die [....] Mensis [....] [Figures erased, not a new entry.]

Caesar praedictus iurauit se fore semper paratum iubente summo Pontifice vel alio quouis huius Collegii legitimo superiore vitam eccesliasticam agere, sacros etiam ordines suscipere, ac praeterea in Angliam ad iuuandas animas proficisci, et hoc tactis scripturis iuramento firmauit, in aedibus Collegii Anglorum de Vrbe. Mense Ianrii die 6, 1584 [correction of '1583'?]. Ita est Caesar Clemens [sic]




This document, a ms. copy of an extract from Caesar Clement's Will (1625), formerly in the archives of St. Monica's, Louvain, was brought to England in the late 18th century. It was found by the Librarian, Sister Mary Salomé, in the archive of the community at The Priory of Our Lady, at Sayers Common in West Sussex, and is now the property of the Womens' Canonial Congregation of Windesheim. It is paginated, described and translated, hereinafter:


Page 1 (Title page): The dated seal of the towns of Ghent and Antwerp (4-S, 1724) and an undeciphered signature, followed by:




Excerpt   /    from the Will of the Right Reverend Lord Cae=




=sar Clement              / Doctor of Sacred Theology /




and while in life  /  Dean of  /  St Gudula,  Bruxelles  / now deceased at Bruxelles






On page 2:  Top left, confirmation of an existing seal





Excerpt from  /  the Will of the right Reverend Lord,




Lord Caesar Clement Doctor in Sacred Theology




and while in life Dean of St Gudula Bruxell, now deceased at


Footnote: 'DECANI'

The 'Decani' (or Dean) of a cathedral controls the services and, together with the Chapter, of which the Dean is head, supervises the fabric and property of the buildings.





Bruxell under the testator's signature




as in the original before the venerable Lord Fr: van den Zande.




Lesser Prebendary of the aforesaid church, on the 24th




November 1625 : Item: I give and bequeath to the Monastery of Saint




Monica Louvain, of the Holy English Moniales


CENSUM SIVE  /  (Page ends).


my assessed (estimated?)


On page 3:

(CCW 2)




revenue of 180 florins annually,




which reduced sum, formerly an amount of 300 florins, I have therefore, willy nilly,




placed in the care of the




The Monastery of St. Monica, founded in 1609 by Sisters formerly at the Monastery of St. Ursula and the 11,000 Virgins, were both located in Louvain.



'Holy Moniales': from the time of Pope Gregory (AD 590-604), for religious women in solemn vow.



Canon: cleric on the general staff of the cathedral.

Prebendary: clerical holder of a cathedral benefice derived from endowments divided into separate portions or 'prebends', each for the support of a single member of the Chapter.





Civic House of Antwerp, all rightly belonging to me by law, with the additional




obligation to take annually from the aforesaid revenue,




bequeathed to me by my father Thomas Clement, of blessed memory,




for the Louvain monasteries of St Clare and the Eleven Thousand Virgins




unless redeemed by them, then under obligation,




one Mass, every seven days, in the church of the aforesaid monastery,




to be celebrated in perpetuity, for my soul, and those of my parents.


MEORUM / (Page ends).



On Page 4;

(CCW 3)




Without imposing any intention other than their own, which obligation if the said




Religious decline to accept, they shall be held -- from




the said revenue to sufficiently found one mass for the




dead, each week, to be celebrated in perpetuity, as




above, the remainder of the said revenue shall belong to the monastery,




that they may pray for us.




Item, I give and bequeath to the said Monastery of St. Monica for its




church, my silver-gilt chalice, with its




patten,           (------------see below-------------) of silver,  Item,


CRUCEM ME=  /  AM ARGENTEAM MAGNAM  /  (page ends)


my large crucifix of silver...



On page 5:

(CCW 4)




with two silver candlesticks for the High Altar and




two silver flower vases, Item,




white chasubles, and the remaining ornaments for




celebrating the ceremonies, with the veils and burses :  /  :




those nevertheless excepted in which it shall be fitting




THE BENEFACTORS' BOOK describes 'peleri et pepide' as 'a pair of silver cruets'.





to clothe me for burial, and excepting the chasuble with gold panels which




I bequeath and leave now for the celebration of Masses at the Miraculous Altar




of the Blessed Sacrament in Bruxels that




it may be used there on third class feasts only.  //




Item, I give bequeath to the said Monastery of St. Monica




one silver-gilt vessel (cup?)  (See: 'Cupp' in THE BENEFACTORS' BOOK).



On Page 6 :

(CCW 5)




shaped in the form of rather long campanulas for




the communicants for their ablutions* (?)  / :  I leave to them also




an auleiaa* or tapestry number six of the large images




the exploits of ('vis illa virtus')(?)('strong and great') Alexander the Great




for ornamenting his temple, unless the cost of my tomb




'Ablutionis' may be 'ablution wine'; 'auleiia' is perhaps a 'veil' (See: THE BENEFACTORS' BOOK, below.)




 :/: may God forbid (?)  :/ oblige me  :/




to sell it  :/  Item whatever holy relics




shall be found in my house without cases or coverings,




I bequeath all to the said Moniales for and into




their most reverent care  -- to be placed as ornaments in their church  (Page ends)


On page 7:

(CCW 6)




also I give bequeath to my relatives Mary and Helen Copley




of the said monastery, professed Religious, to each,




one of my two small square cases of relics,




made of ebony and silver, Also to each




one of two other large images in silver





Mary (1593-1669) and Helen (1592-1666), the daughters of Magdalen Prideaux (d.1619) and William Copley of Gatton in Sussex (d.1643), were professed at St. Monica's, Louvain. Magdalen Prideaux was the daughter of Helen Clement and Thomas Prideaux of Devon, dates and place of burial unknown to-date. Helen Clement was the sister of Thomas Clement M.A., Mother Margaret Clement, Sister Dorothy Clement (of the Order of St. Clare), Winifred Rastell (née Clement) and Bridget Redmond (née Clement): children of Dr. John Clement (d.1572) and Margaret Clement (née Giggs)(d.1570).




of the Deposition (with veil?) of the Lord Saviour




from the Cross, and of the Blessed Virgin Mary, worked in ebony




                         Also I give six small turret-shaped cases of ebony




                           full of relics, and two large Agnus Dei




including cases, also two painted images




of the Blessed Virgin and the Blessed Mary Magdalene each of almost

(Page ends)


On page 8:

(CCW 7)




the same size made in ebony, I also bequeath to them




the book of Gospel events, as interpreted by the




author Jerome Nadal of the Society of Jesus (ProBonoR???O???) that




they may pray for me.  Also I give bequeath to the aforesaid monastery




of Saint Monica four panels painted on both



Footnote: 'AGNOS DEI'

Round seals made of wax from the Paschal Candle with the imprinted figure of the Lamb thereon, blessed and much revered.




sides, which, for a price, in Wesalia (Westphalia in Germany) I obtained from the




hands of the heretics, destined to ornament their temple.




Also I finally give and bequeath to them two large paintings




of the Blessed Virgin and Child Jesus, with Joseph and the Angels.

(Page ends)


On Page 9:

(CCW 8)




and another of Saint Cecilia and the Holy Face of large size.




Also I give bequeath to the right Reverend Lady Prioress of the said




monastery Mary Wiseman -- a small ebony panel




of the Blessed Virgin breast-feeding the Child Jesus, and, a book in




folio of the Bibles of Sixtus V together with the works of the Lord Gregory, Pope, and an


Footnote: 'SIXTI V''

Sextus V (1521-1590), Pope from 1585, promoted a new edition of the Vulgate Bible.




account of the military laurels of Goratius Curselinus, and, my small ebony water-clock,  Also




I give them paintings to be preserved in their monastery of my ancestress




Margaret Clement of my father Thomas and my aunt Margaret,




mindful of the law,


On page 10:

(CCW 9)




wherefor in other matters thereinafter it shall be written -- thus.




Two large chairs in gold-tooled black leather and




six small matching chairs similarly in gold-tooled black leather




together with six large cushions in coarse-




weave English cloth I give, and bequeath to the Monastery of Saint



I have to draw attention that 'mindful of the law' means here, presumably, the law concerning claims made by illegitimate offspring (See: the letter from Frangipani to Aldobrandino alleging the illegitimacy of Caesar Clement, 10th February 1601, above).

We see, therefore, Mary and Helen Copley referred to as "relatives", not "cousins." Margaret Clement (d.1570), his grandmother, is referred to as "Ancestress" ("Avia" is capitalized in the text). Mother Margaret Clement (d.1612), his father's sister, is referred to as "aunt" not "Aunt" ('amitiae margaretae' is written lower case). The evidence shows that Caesar Clement mentions his father, Thomas, but not his mother in his Will. However, the Chronicles of the Order (Arch-J7) speak of Mother Margaret Clement and her 'nephew', Caesar Clement:  'At the death of Mother Margaret Clement her nephew Doctor Clement was sent for from Bruxelles to perform her funeral service with all solemnity.'




Monica Louvain, as may be had below -- to be collected




according to the Will witnessed by the aforesaid




Van Zande and in accordance with that (Will) signed by Joes Germans




in 1626:   as may be had below -- all the aforesaid things bequeathed to




our Monastery by the Lord.


On page 11:

(CCW 10)




Caesar Clement Dean of Saint Gudula I below named have received




on this third day of September 1626 from the heir and executors




of his Will, signed Stephen Barnes Confessor of the




said Monastery of Saint Monica Louvain.




Witness to the agreement


(signed) J. A. DURY





The first entry in this book is dated 1609. Three entries concern gifts of money from Caesar Clement:

         1) 1612 Almes of Doctor Clement £50. 0. 0.

         2) 1613 Almes of Doctor Clement £50. 0. 0.

         3) 1625 Hon: given us by Dr Clement for the building of our Church 2000 gulders.


    The method of notation by the Sisters in the Benefactors Book means that Caesar Clement made a gift of £50 to Saint Monica's some time after 1 January 1612 and before 1 January 1613. Similarly, a second gift was made between 1 January 1613 and 1 January 1614. There is nothing odd or strange about this gift of money from a person who, on his admission in his Last Will and Testament, was perhaps earning 300 florins annually at the time. However, the third gift, an 'honararium', after 1 January 1625, was for the remarkably large sum of 2000 gulders. My reservations concern this large sum of money, equivalent to perhaps some £2.2 million to £2.5 million to-day.

Investigation at the Rijksarchief in Antwerp shows that the Flemish gulder and English pound were at parity in 1625-1626, on a one-for-one basis. The payment to St. Monica's for the building of their new church was therefore made either in gold coin, or in the form of a letter of credit, or a bankers draft, less commission: the giver of the funds, nominally, Dr. Caesar Clement, but the original source of the funds might have been any person or persons living on the mainland of Europe or elsewhere. The reduced income of the dean of St. Gudula's in the year of his death (1625) is declared as 180 florins (see page 6) and there is no mention of the gift to St.Monica's of 2000 gulders in the same year.


The impression is that the 2000 gulders were not personal 'savings': certainly not from the declared income of the Dean of St. Gudula's, Brussels. The Sisters of St. Monica's do not record that the 2000 gulders was a gift to Clement from a rich and openly stated source, such as his father, Thomas Clement, who was closely associated with St. Monica's and in fact died and was buried there. This is odd.


    The Lyfe of Mother Margaret Clement, the original mss is dated '1616' (repeated in the ms copy of the English Convent at Bruges, p. 65), suggests that Thomas Clement was well-known to the Sisters as the elder brother of Prioress Mother Margaret Clement:

This brother being the eldest had been a follower of the world and a great lover of his delights and pleasures being very learned and having the languages, his conversation was very pleasing to the better sort and so he passed his time. But sometimes coming to visit his sister what with her sweet conversation and holy prayers she won him that he was contented to abandon the world and all the vanities thereof and came to live a solitary life in our monastery as a sogener which he accounted solitary to the way he had done before and he there made a happy end. And as I have heard our gracious Mother tell she did not account it of the least favour that God Almighty had done her in altering her brother.


This brother 'being the eldest' is probably, almost certainly, Thomas Clement. There is no other candidate. In this connexion, we see the name of Thomas Clement and the names of other family members in a legal document, dated 28th August 1573, when they appeared before a notary in Flanders, on family matters (See: ms. Deed written in Dutch, on parchment, dated 28th August 1573, in the archive "The Dutch Deed"). Translation, reads:


Thomas Prideaux and Helen Clement his legitimate wife, who have given special powers and procuration to Master Thomas Clement their brother to act on their behalf, as also of that of the son of Master Thomas [Caesar Clement?] and of Demoiselle Brigit, widow of Robert Redmond, all together children and heirs of the deceased John Clement, to hand over 20 florins (of the Emperor Charles V), etc., etc.


The document suggests:

1) In the year following the death of John Clement (1572), an annuity on behalf of and payable to Mother Margaret Clement, from her father, became defunct with his death and was replaced, therefore, with an 'erfrente' of 20 florins, agreed by the above-named to be paid annually during her lifetime. This annual payment by the siblings for a sister in Holy Orders was not unusual -- in fact, it was common. The assignee, of course, was Thomas Clement.

2) There is mention in the document 'of the son of Master Thomas'. This un-named son, presumably, was illegitimate. If true, then according to the law of Flanders at this time, an illegitimate son could not inherit a patrimony without some juridic formality. In this connexion, if this illegitimate son was in fact "our" Caesar Clement, then, in theory, having assigned special powers and procuration to his father in 1573, no further juridic formality was necessary after the death of his father, Thomas Clement, a clever ploy where movables and small sums of money (not property) were involved. However, the sum of 2000 gulders, a millionaire's cache, cannot be explained away so easily.

3) Regarding the year of death of Thomas Clement. It is not at all clear but there is no mention in "The Lyfe" of Thomas Clement at the Jubilee celebrations of Mother Margaret Clement, his sister, in 1606. Mother Margaret Clement was professed on 11th October 1557 and died on 23rd of May 1612. Dr. (Caesar) Clement and Dr. Redmond, her two nephews, so-described in "The Lyfe", were present. The first assumption, therefore, is that Thomas Clement died before 1606. If true, it means that the source of the 2000 gulders given to St Monica's in 1625 was NOT Thomas Clement. The best-fit hypothesis is that Caesar Clement was given an article of great value by his father, Thomas Clement, (in or before 1606), sold it to an extremely rich person (or, institution), after 1606, and in memory of his father and his aunt, Mother Margaret Clement (d.1612), gave the money to St. Monica’s Louvain in 1625, to build a new monastery, one year before his death in 1626. The most likely item is the collection of Greek love poems known at one time to have been in the possession of John Clement, father of Thomas Clement and grandfather of Caesar Clement, now in the University Library, Plöck 107-109, Postfach 10 57 49, D 6900 Heidelberg 1, Germany, and known to-day as the Anthologia Palatina, Cod. Pal. Graeca, 23.

I have to draw attention that this pre-Christian manuscript book is listed among the rare book collections today. It is probably unique and priceless. I will return to it again.

For the present, as already explained and made clear, there is no mention in the Will of the gift of 2000 gulders made the year before the death of Caesar Clement in 1626. Furthermore, the law of the day required some sort of juridic formality to enable an inheritance to pass to an illegitimate child -- and we know Caesar Clement was illegitimate. Lastly, from direct inspection, there is no juridic formality in the Will showing a patrimony of 2000 gulders. Similarly, the name of the seller of the Greek love poems who was in some way associated with the German Palatinate, presumably, is not recorded in the University archives, nor the purchase price, which is what we should expect from careful University authorities if the seller is Delegatus Apostolicus in exercitibus Catholicae suae Majestis tam in Germaniae partibus, quam Belgio 1618 (See: Note 2, page 1) – and illegitimate. The research into the provenance of the Anthologia Palatina,  termed and named retrospectively by the University establishment, is on-going. 

4) Finally, a curious document in the archive, a post mortem Will of John Clement (died 1st July 1572), signed by an unknown lawyer, Dignam Loutien, (unknown at the Rijksarchief in Antwerp), and dated 3rd July 1572, requires assessment. The document is of special interest since the absence of a Will in Mechelen, where John Clement died and was buried, was no barrier to inheritance by the legal heirs. The absence of a Will, in the case of John Clement, can be cogently explained on the grounds that following Malinois custom only (the customary laws of Mechelen, or Mechlin, or Malines), in the absence of a Will (compulsory by law in Flanders in the 16th century), the legitimate children (not the illegitimate children) inherited all the movables and immovables of their dead parents without further juridic formality, by simple succession. (See: Titles 16 & 17, Costumen ende styl van procederen der Stadt, Vryheyt ende Jurisdictie van Mechelen, Cheapprobeert en ghedecreteert bij Keyselycke Majesteyt als heere van Mechelen in den jare ons heren MDXXXV, publ, H. Jaye, 1633).


Many grateful thanks to H. Installé, M. Beterams, W. Rombout, Sister Mary Aline, Sister Mary Margaret and Sister Mary Salomé -- for memorable guidance and assistance.



Author's note: DNA profiling of Thomas and Caesar Clement may prove the father/son relationship conclusively.

___First published 010301___

Last revision 010801


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“Notwithstanding the finding of the President of Christ Church College, Dr. Kenneth Dover, that no trace remains today of John Clement at CCC, there is evidence of John Clement at Oxford in Letters & Papers, Foreign & Domestic, Henry VIII, Appendix 56, 9 Nov 1518, Fiddes, C.1. 36: THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD TO WOLSEY, p.1546


 ‘The students have returned, and all the more eagerly, because John Clement has given notice of his lectures.’ Oxon. 5 id. Nov.


…At the time, John Clement was one of the officially appointed royal “Spears”.”



     I received a letter from Thomas Merriam, dated 9 March 1991, with new evidence of the status of John Clement since 1510, one of the royal “Spears”, an appointment described and made clear in Appendix IV, "The Henrician Court during Cardinal Wolsey's Ascendancy: c.1514 to 1529" by Neil Samman (an unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Wales, 1989.) For instance, Samman describes the participants at the royal tournaments:


1. Three people appear once, and only once, in the listings for tournaments in the reign of Henry VIII, on 1 June 1510. Arthur Plantagenet, ‘Spear of honour’ (if not at the time, sometime after); John Clement, ‘Spear of Calais’ (L&P, I, i, 857 (10); and, John Audeley, ‘Spear of honour’, (Esquire of the body by 1509.)


2. Edward Guildford participated at five tournaments: (a) May, 1507 (reference: S. T. Bindoff, (ed.), The House of Commons, 1509-1558 (3 vols; London, 1982), II, pp.262-263; (b) June, 1509 (Coronation of Henry VIII); (c) Jan 18, 1510 (masque at Greenwich); (d) June 1520 (Field of the Cloth of Gold); (e) 15 July 1520.


3. Samman, p. 132 -- concerning participants in Henry VIII's tournaments: 'nearly all participants were sworn servants of the king or queen.'


4. Samman, p. 134: 'All ‘spears’ (speaking probably of the Spears of honour) were of high birth.'


5. Samman, p. 137: 'Nearly all ‘spears’ came from families with long association with the court.'


6. Samman, p. 152: ‘Spear of Calais’. Calais almost 'an actual office of the chamber'. Samman asserts Henry VIII's ‘Spears’ existed only 1510-1515. Some ‘Spears’ were carried over from Henry VII's reign.


7. Thomas Tyrrell was a 'spear of honour'.


 Merriam adds that if Edward Guildford is the cover identity of Edward V, then he would have been 50 years of age at the last two events. He has written Dr. Samman to ask if he knows in what capacity Guildford participated at the Field of the Cloth of Gold. Usual age limits for participation at tournaments were 18-45. Incidentally, Henry Guildford's first participation was 1510, 3 years after Edward's first occasion. A poetic account of the 1507 tournament with added information on the participants, is given by Richard Grey in the multi volume Remains of the Early Popular Poetry of England by W. C. Hazlitt, London 1864-66, II, pp.109-130. A list of all noblemen in the reign of Henry VIII is given in the appendix to H. Miller’s Henry VIII and the English Nobility, London, 1986.


I have to draw attention that John Clement’s status as a royal ‘Spear’ was known in 1519 when he was Wolsey’s alleged Reader in Greek at Corpus Christi College. Since the allegation is unsupported from any official source, it follows that the foreign KUL qualifications and unknown family and background origins of this mysterious English ‘warrior/scholar’ might have aroused much interest in the student body in 1518 as today.


In this connexion, the letter from the University of Oxford addressed to Cardinal Wolsey does not in fact state that Clement was Wolsey’s appointed Reader in Greek. The letter merely ‘suggests’ it. The letter emphasizes the interest of the students that Clement has given notice of his impending lectures (‘and all the more eagerly,’) and if not the Wolsey appointed Reader, why does the writer volunteer this gratuitous information to Wolsey?


I suggest that John Clement’s case officer in 1518 was Cardinal Wolsey. I further suggest the above letter demonstrates that an essential part of the duties of a case officer is being attended to; namely, that Richard, Duke of York, also known as John Clement, was self supporting -- paid for his services by the University of Oxford. 


The research is on-going into the provenance of this letter.


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