James Tyrrell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other people named James Tyrrell, see James Tyrrell (disambiguation).
Sir James Tyrrell
Spouse(s) Anne Arundel

Issue

Sir Thomas Tyrrell
James Tyrrell
William Tyrrell
Anne Tyrrell
Father William Tyrrell
Mother Margaret Darcy
Born c.1455
Died 6 May 1502
Buried Austin Friars, London

Sir James Tyrrell (c.1455 – 6 May 1502)[1] was an English knight, a trusted servant of King Richard III of England. He is known for confessing to the murders of the Princes in the Tower under Richard's orders. However, his statement may have been taken under torture, so the confession might not be genuine. William Shakespeare portrays Tyrrell as the man who organises the princes' murder in Richard III.[2]

Family[edit]

James Tyrrell was the eldest son of William Tyrrell of Gipping, Suffolk, and Margaret Darcy, the daughter of Robert Darcy of Maldon, Essex, and the grandson of Sir John Tyrrell.[1][3]

Career[edit]

Tyrrell's father was beheaded on Tower Hill on 23 February 1462, together with Sir Thomas Tuddenham and John Montgomery. John de Vere, 12th Earl of Oxford, and his eldest son and heir, Aubrey, were beheaded on 26 February and 20 February, respectively, after the discovery of an alleged plot to murder Edward IV. No records of the trials of the alleged conspirators have survived to shed light on what part, if any, Tyrrell's father played in the alleged conspiracy.[4] He was not attainted, and his eldest son and heir's wardship and the custody of his lands were granted to Cecily Neville, Duchess of York, who sold them to William Tyrrell's widow in March 1463 for £50.[1]

James Tyrrell fought on the Yorkist side at the Battle of Tewkesbury on 4 May 1471, and was knighted there by Edward IV. A few months later he entered the service of the future Richard III, then Duke of Gloucester.[1] After Richard III assumed power, he was appointed High Sheriff of Cornwall in 1484. He was in France in 1485, and played no part in the Battle of Bosworth Field which signalled the end of the Yorkists and the start of the Tudor dynasty.

Depiction of Austin Friars, London, circa 1550, burial place of Sir James Tyrrell

In the following year, he returned to England and was pardoned by King Henry VII, who reappointed him governor of Guînes (in the English possession of Calais). However, in 1501, Tyrrell lent his support to Edmund de la Pole, 3rd Duke of Suffolk, now the leading Yorkist claimant to the English throne, who was in voluntary exile. In the spring of 1501 Henry VII sent Thomas Lovell to Guines arrest Tyrrell and others, including Tyrrell's son, Thomas.[1]

Tyrrell was charged with treason and tortured. Sir Thomas More wrote that during his examination Tyrrell confessed to the murders of King Edward V of England and his brother Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of York. He also implicated two other men. Despite further questioning, however, he was unable to say where the bodies were, claiming that they had been moved.

Tyrrell was tried and convicted of treason at the Guildhall in London on 2 May 1502 and executed four days later, on 6 May,[1] together with one of his accomplices in aiding Suffolk, Sir John Wyndham. He was buried at the church of the Austin Friars, London. He was attainted on 25 January 1504; however the attainder was reversed three years later, on 19 April 1507.[1]

Marriage and issue[edit]

In 1469 Tyrrell married Anne Arundel, the daughter of John Arundel of Lanherne, Cornwall, by his first wife, Elizabeth Morley, daughter of Thomas, Lord Morley,[1] by whom he had three sons and a daughter:[5][6]

  • William Tyrrell.[10]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]