6 Famous Prisoners of The Tower of London
Many well-known people spent time in the Tower
1. Anne Boleyn
2 May 1536 – 19 May 1536
When Henry VIII’s second queen did not give birth to a son she was arrested – and later executed – on trumped-up charges of treason, adultery and incest.
2. Lady Jane Grey
19 July 1553 – 12 February 1554
The ‘Nine Day Queen’ was already at the Tower preparing for her coronation when her claim to power was overruled. She was imprisoned then executed.
3. Guy Fawkes
5 November 1605 – 31 January 1606
The head of the Gunpowder Plot was tortured in the Tower. Sentenced to be hung, drawn and quartered, he was spared this fate by breaking his neck.
4. Sir Walter Raleigh
Once the favourite of Elizabeth I, Raleigh was unpopular with her successor, James I. Accused of plotting against the king, he was imprisoned for 13 years before being executed.
5. The Princes in
Edward and Richard York were held in what became known as the Bloody Tower before they mysteriously disappeared after their uncle usurped the throne.
6. Rudolf Hess
17–20 May 1941
Winston Churchill briefly imprisoned the Deputy Führer of Nazi Germany after Hess’ plane crashed in Scotland. He claimed to have been travelling on a mission to broker peace.
This article was originally published in How It Works issue 117, written by Jodie Tyley
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