WHAT THE BILL OF ATTAINDER DIDN’T SAY. Reading THE DAUGHTER OF TIME years ago convinced me that Richard III was probably innocent of the murder of the princes in the tower based on one piece of evidence—which makes me a Ricardian. That evidence is the bill of attainder passed by Parliament after Richard’s death. The princes were last seen in the Tower of London in late June, 1483, at about the time that Richard III became king. After Richard had been king for slightly over two years, he was killed at the battle of Bosworth Fields and Henry VII became king. Shortly after Richard’s death, Henry caused Parliament to approve a bill of attainder against Richard, stating the reasons why Richard was attainted. Tey argues that a bill of attainder lists as many crimes as possible to justify punishment. Yet the bill of attainder against Richard makes no mention of the princes in the tower. Tey concludes from this that the princes must have been still alive when the bill of attainder was approved.
Reading in wikipedia quickly shows how complicated are the events during Richard III’s reign and how little evidence there is over 500 years later, but for me this one argument is a showstopper and makes it unnecessary to analyze all the complexities.
I can’t think of any other reason why what would have been a notorious crime such as a murder of the princes was not attributed by Henry VII to Richard if there was any conceivable possibility of doing so.