WHEN King Edward IV died in April 1483, his brother Richard of Gloucester was named Lord Protector of Edward’s son, the 12-year-old Edward V.

But before Edward could be crowned, Richard arranged for his parents’ marriage to be declared invalid, making the Princes illegitimate and ineligible for the throne, which Richard claimed for himself.

On July 6, 1483, Richard was crowned Richard III. The young Princes, placed in the Tower of London, were not seen in public after August, and accusations soon circulated that they had been murdered on his orders. The fate of “The Princes in the Tower” has fascinated people ever since.

Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, was Richard's first cousin and one of his closest friends. Richard made him the Constable of England, and Chief Justice and Lord Chamberlain of Wales.

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In late September 1483, Buckingham joined an uprising against Richard; the reasons for his change of heart are not known.

Before he joined the rebellion, its object had been to restore Edward V to the throne. After he became involved, he proposed instead that Henry Tudor should return from exile, take the throne, and marry Elizabeth of York, the elder sister of the Tower Princes - so he must have believed that they were dead.

Seven ships from Brittany carried over Henry, his supporters and 500 Breton soldiers, but a gale prevented their landing.

Buckingham had raised a substantial force from his estates in Wales, but the same storm swelled the River Severn, so they could not cross. Most of the army deserted; Buckingham, turned in by a retainer, was convicted of treason, and beheaded on November 2 in Salisbury market-place

In 1484, after the revolt had been squashed, Richard passed four “Bills of Attainder”, listing one hundred and four traitors who had supported Buckingham. Such Bills nullified the named individuals’ civil rights, the right to own property (and pass it on to heirs), the right to a title of nobility, and sometimes, though not always, the right to life itself.

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Included in these lists were four “Rebels of Suthampton.”

William Overey, Mayor in 1474, is famous for translating into English the old rules and ordnances of the town - the Merchant Guild Laws.

He was knighted before 1483, survived Richard III, was re-instated in 1485, when Henry Tudor defeated Richard at the Battle of Bosworth Field.

In December 1486 he was to be found collecting customs and taxes in Southampton.

Roger Kelsale was a Yeoman of the Crown - an official of the King - in Southampton till 1483.

He served on commissions enquiring into shipments of wools, hides, woolfells (sheepskins with wool still attached), and collected the necessary taxes for the King. He was also appointed to supervise the strengthening and upkeep of the walls, stathes (banks), quays, wharves and foundations of Southampton – always a major pre-occupation in the Town.

In September 1483, he was commissioned to keep the cocket seal, indicating that customs duty has been paid. He survived Richard's reign, as his will is dated October 10, 1485.

There is no information about John Fesaunt before the Rebellion, but After Henry VII’s accession, he was employed mainly in the Port of Poole as “Searcher of ships, Collector of the petty customs, Collector of subsidies of tunnage and poundage, and the subsidies on wools, woolfells, and hides.”

Fesaunt appears to have died before October 1506.

Walter Watkyn William was a successful merchant who owned Tudor House, and was Mayor in 1483.

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In the same year, Walter fled to Beaulieu Abbey, where he claimed sanctuary.

He died shortly afterwards, leaving his widow Jane William. When Henry Tudor was crowned, Jane became a wealthy widow and the owner of Tudor House, rather than the destitute relic of a traitor.

Sometime between 1485 and 1488, she married Sir John Dawtrey, whose name became associated with the building.

Jack Wilson is a tour guide with SeeSouthampton.co.uk .