Discoveries inside a church in the middle of nowhere are extraordinary say researchers, and suggest Edward V was sent to live out his days under a false name and not murdered by Richard III
King Richard III may be innocent of the murders of his two Royal nephews, researchers have claimed.
For five centuries it was believed he had Edward V, 12, and Richard of Shrewsbury, nine, killed in the Tower Of London.
But historians have now found evidence Edward survived and was allowed to live under a false name in a rural Devon village.
Yorkist carvings have been found in a remote church alongside an effigy of a mysterious man named “John Evans”.
John is gazing at a stained glass window depicting Edward V and experts say the two men are one and the same.
The four-year Missing Princes Project is being led by Philippa Langley, who helped find the bones of Richard III under a Leicester car park in 2012.
Lead researcher John Dike said: “With all the secret symbols and clues, it sounds somewhat like The Da Vinci Code.
“But the discoveries inside this church in the middle of nowhere are extraordinary.
“The evidence suggests that Edward was sent to live out his days on his half-brother’s land as long as he kept quiet, as part of a deal reached between his mother and Richard III, and later with Henry Tudor.
Alamy Stock Photo)
“Once you take all the clues together, it does appear that the story of the princes in the Tower may need to be rewritten.”
Richard III’s brother Edward IV died unexpectedly in 1483, leaving Edward V and his younger brother next in line for the throne.
But the boys disappeared after being sent to the Tower by their uncle and declared illegitimate.
It is now believed Edward’s mum Elizabeth Woodville made a secret pact with Richard III to save their lives.
After meeting the king at Westminster she wrote to her eldest son Thomas Grey – who was Edward’s half-brother.
She told him to return from exile abroad as he had been pardoned.
Two days later Richard III sent a trusted man on an unknown mission to the village of Coldridge, Devon, which lay within Grey’s lands.
De Agostini via Getty Images)
‘John Evans’ then arrived in the same village and was made Lord of the Manor and “parker” of the local deer park.
In 1511 Evans built a chantry at the village St Matthew’s Church and it is here that historians have found several clues.
One stained glass window depicts Edward V with a crown and a robe bearing pictures of 41 tiny deer.
At the date it was installed Edward V would have been 41 years old.
Mr Dike added: “Why is a royal portrait of Edward V in this rural church in the middle of nowhere?
“It simply doesn’t belong here. Evans appears to be sending a message.”
On Evans’ tomb, which intriguingly lies empty, his name is incorrectly spelt EVAS.
Researchers believe EV stands for “Edward V” while AS refers to “asa” – the Latin word for “in sanctuary”.
Ms Langley said: “A number of the specialist police investigators working within the Missing Princes Project have told us to always investigate when a coincidence occurs – and here, intriguingly, there are quite a number of them.”
The Missing Princes Project also hopes to uncover what happened to Edward’s younger brother Richard of Shrewsbury.