Tower of London Prisoners

 

Tower of London Prisoners

  • Important events detailed about the incarceration of Tower of London Prisoners
  • Information & Facts about Tower of London Prisoners from 1483 to 1952
  • Key Dates of the executions of Tower of London Prisoners

Tower of London Prisoners

The Tower of London Prisoners
The History of the Tower of London is both bloody and cruel. The original purpose of the Tower of London was t
o act as a royal power base in the City of London, overawing and frightening the indigenous population of London and providing a safe retreat for the Royal family in times of civil disorder. The function of the Tower changed over the years and it became a prison housing some very important state prisoners and as a place of trials, execution and torture. The very mention of the Tower of London could strike terror into the hearts and the very bones of powerful people in England. Both men and women are included in the list of hapless victims and prisoners of the torturers and executioners of the Tower of London.

Execution of the Tower of London Prisoners - Tower Hill or Tower Green
The type of execution of the Tower of London prisoners depended on the severity of the crime and whether the prisoners were members of the higher or lower classes - most executions were conducted in public. The vast majority of Tower of London prisoners who were sentenced to death met their end in public on Tower Hill.  But private executions of Tower of London prisoners were conducted behind the walls of the Tower if the execution was considered too politically sensitive to carry out in open view - this especially applied to the execution of a woman. Even these 'private' executions on Tower Green were conducted in the full view of many important spectators. The victims of such executions were usually hurriedly buried
in the Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula situated next to Tower Green. The following link provides additional facts and information about the Executions & Beheading at the Tower of London

Tower of London Prisoners privately executed on Tower Green
The private executions conducted in 'private' on Tower Green include the following Tower of London prisoners, whose history can be accessed by following the appropriate link:

Date Name of Tower of London Prisoner 'privately' executed on Tower Green

13th June 1483

William Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings (1431 - 1483)
Executed by beheading William Hastings fought to secure the throne for Edward IV and supported his sons the two little Princes in the Tower

19th May 1536

Anne Boleyn, Queen of England (1507- 1536)
Executed by beheading Anne Boleyn was the second wife of King Henry VIII falsely convicted of adultery, incest and treason

27th May 1541

Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury (1473-1541)
Executed by beheading the Countess of Salisbury was a frail 68 year old accused of treason by King Henry VIII for supporting his first Catholic wife Katherine of Aragon 

13th February 1542

Catherine Howard, Queen of England (1524 - 1542)
Executed by beheading Catherine Howard was a foolish and wanton girl was killed for adultery when she was just 18 years old

13th February 1542

Jane Boleyn, Viscountess Rochford (1505 - 1542)
Executed by beheading Jane Rochford was instrumental in bringing about the killing of the two Queens, and cousins, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard

12th February 1553

Lady Jane Grey, Queen of England (15371554)
Executed by beheading Lady Jane Grey was the puppet Queen who was manipulated by her ambitious family

25th February 1601

Robert Devereux 2nd Earl of Essex (1566 - 1601)
Executed by beheading Essex was a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I who led a rebellion against her

Tower of London Prisoners
There were countless numbers of Tower of London prisoners, some were tortured during interrogation and some of whom suffered the most atrocious and painful deaths by being burned at the stake and being Hung, Drawn and Quartered. Some Tower of London prisoners disappeared and were murdered in secret. A few of the lucky Tower of London prisoners were released. The following list of Tower of London prisoners are by no means exhaustive but provide an indication of the most famous and important men and women in history who were incarcerated:

  • Bishop Ranulf Flambard - the first prisoner
  • Hubert de Burgh, Chief Justiciar of England (1232)
  • 1238 - William le Marish
  • Prince Gruffydd of Wales ( fell 90 feet whilst trying to escape - 1244 )
  • King Baliol of Scotland (1296)
  • William Wallace (1305)
  • Lady Badlesmere, Margaret de Clare, first woman recorded as a prisoner of the Tower (1322)
  • Charles, Duke of Orleans (1391-1465)
  • Eleanor, Duchess of Gloucester 1441
  • King Henry VI 1465
  • Duke of Clarence 1478
  • 1483 - William Hastings
  • 1483 - Jane Shore
  • 1483 The Two Princes - Edward V and his brother Richard, Duke of York
  • John Fisher Bishop of Rochester (1534)
  • Sir Thomas More (1535)
  • Implicated with Anne Boleyn - Mark Smeaton, Henry Norris, Frances Weston, William Brereton and George Boleyn (1536) NB Sir Thomas Wyatt was also arrested and imprisoned but was released
  • Sir William de la Pole was incarcerated at the Tower for 37 years
  • Thomas Cromwell (1540)
  • Implicated with Catherine Howard - Anne Howard, Thomas Culpepper, Henry Mannox & Francis Dereham(1542)
  • Protestant Anne Askew tortured at the Tower (1545)
  • Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1546)
  • Thomas, Duke of Norfolk (1546)
  • Princess Elizabeth and her servants Kat Ashley and Henry Parry (1554)
  • Thomas Seymour, High Admiral of England (1549)
  • The Duchess of Somerset (1551)
  • Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset and Lord Protector (1552)
  • Guildford Dudley - husband of Lady Jane Grey (1554)
  • Hugh Draper of Bristol - sorcerer (1561)
  • John Store (1571)
  • Guy Fawkes  (1606)
  • Nicholas Owen Jesuit builder of priests' holes (1606)
  • Thomas Overbury (1613)
  • Sir Walter Raleigh - first imprisoned for 13 years then released but eventually executed (1618)
  • Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford (1641)
  • William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury (1645)
  • James Scott, Duke of Monmouth (1685)
  • 1780, the only American prisoner, Henry Laurens
  • Sir Francis Burdett
  • The Cato-street Conspirators
  • Roger Casement
  • Norman Baillie-Stewart in 1933-1937
  • Corporal Josef Jakobs
  • Rudolf Hess
  • The Kray Twins 1952

The Tower of London Prisoners
The incarceration of Tower of London prisoners spanned over a period of nearly one thousand years. There history explains why the Tower of London could strike terror into the hearts and the very bones of powerful people in England.

Tower of London Prisoners


The Tower of London

  • The History of The Tower of London
  • Information & Facts about The Tower of London
  • The Design, Layout and Architecture of The Tower of London - the different Towers
  • The Tower of London Timeline
  • The Tower of London Prisoners
  • The Executions and Beheading of men and women

The Tower of London


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