18. The Former Rose & Crown
The former Rose & Crown inn Stony Stratford
At the southern end of the High Street stands the site of a key moment in English history. Passers-by seem to take little notice of the plaque on the red-walled building.
Wall plaque - Rose & Crown Inn
"Last night I hear, they lay at Northampton;

At Stony Stratford will they be tonight."

Shakespeare, King Richard III Act 2, Scene IV

These words refer to the Prince Edward V aged 12 who, accompanied by Sir Richard Grey, stopped here en route from Ludlow to Edward's proposed Coronation in London in June 1483.

Edward V
Prince Edward
They stayed overnight at what was then the Rose & Crown Inn and whilst there were captured by Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Lord Grey was arrested and subsequently executed; Edward was taken to the Tower of London and later reputedly murdered along with his brother Richard.

The actual murders are still a matter of discussion and conjecture, particularly as to the accusation of Richard. However - guilty or not, Richard, being next in line, seized the opportunity to become King Richard III on 25 June 1483.

In 1674 the skeletons of two bodies were found buried at the foot of a staircase at the Tower of London. Post mortems revealed their ages would have been approximately 13 and 10 years old.....

Richard III
Richard III

Richard did not reign long on the throne. In 1485 he was defeated and killed at the battle of Bosworth Field - the last King of England to die on a battlefield. His conqueror, Henry Earl of Richmond, became Henry VII and founded the Tudor dynasty which in turn was followed by the Elizabethan Age, and the roots of all those subsequent events lay in a room of a former inn on this site.

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