The princes in the tower, Great Chess and the 41 giraffes


“Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard change its spots?” (The Bible, Old Testament, Book of Jeremiah)

King Edward V (aged twelve but not yet officially crowned) and his brother Richard, nine years old, were imprisoned in the Tower of London, declared illegitimate and allegedly by their evil uncle Richard III. killed so that he could usurp the English throne in 1483, however, several clues found in the Devonian Church of St. Matthew’s, Coldridge, on the estate of Thomas Gray, Marquess of Dorset, the half-brother of the princes, indicate this suggests that at least Edward survived and was left alive quietly around, under the pseudonym John Evans.

This startling theory was discussed in an extensive article in The daily telegraph dated December 29, 2021 by Bill Gardner. It is based on research by John Dike and Philippa Langley, team leader of The Missing Princes Project. As imaginative as this search may seem, Philippa Langley in particular must be taken seriously, as she was the commissioner of the successful excavations that unearthed the remains of Richard III in 2012. identified that were found under a parking lot in Leicester.

Clues in this new case include: the face of alleged John Evans in a window dedicated to Edward V wearing but not wearing a crown; various designs of the Rose of the House of York and the Sunne in Splendor, the personal device of King Edward IV, father of the princes, and a broken shield on John Evans’ tomb bearing the misprinted name of John Eve which could be interpreted as “Edward V”
(EV) plus
“AS”, short for ASA, means “sanctuary”
in Latin.

Most intriguing is a glass portrait in this secluded church depicting Edward V with a floating crown adorned with 41 deer. John Evans was the Lord of the Manor of the estate.
Deer Parker
“And the illustrated window is from 1511, when Edward V would have been 41 if he had been alive. Nothing else is known about John Evans, who appears to have appeared out of the blue in Coldridge.

I examined the 41 “
“And in my opinion the animals depicted are not deer at all, but 41 giraffes. Giraffes may be rare in Europe, but they were not unknown. Julius Caesar brought in 46 BC One to Rome, where he promptly named “
“, A cross between a camel and a leopard because of its spots. In fact, the species name is “



Here is the account of the Roman author Cassius Dio: “I will report on the so-called camelopard because it was first introduced to Rome by Caesar and exhibited to everyone. This animal is like a camel in every way, except that its legs are not all the same length, the hind legs are shorter. Starting from the rump, it gradually grows taller, which makes it appear as if it is a little taller; and towering, it supports the rest of its body on its forelegs, and again raises its neck to an unusual height. Its skin is spotted like a leopard and therefore bears the common name of both animals. “-
Roman history (XLIII.23.1-2)

A giraffe (origin “Zerafa”, Arabic for charming or lovely) was included as a figure in the great chess of Alfonso el Sabio (the wise) from 1283

where it served the function of a charged knight. The Chinese emperor Yongle was also given a giraffe by his well-traveled discoverer Admiral Zheng He in the early 15th century. The emperor regarded this rare animal as “


or quasi mythological creature.

Why should Coldridge Church be adorned with giraffes? The Book of Jeremiah

The Old Testament states that the leopard (and pari passu the camelopard) could not change its spots, which means that Edward V, despite his obscure exile, could in no way change or diminish his status as the legitimate king by deposition while still in exile . Maybe not even through an assassination attempt. Of course, in the late 15th and early 16th centuries the English translation (as stated at the beginning of this column) would not have been up to date, but the Latin Vulgate original would have been well known:

si mutare potest Aethiops pellem suam aut pardus varietates suas …

Then why choose a giraffe and not a real leopard? I suspect there could be several reasons: the camelopard is much larger and more majestic; it is or was much rarer; it cannot be mistaken for a cat, not even a royal cat like a lion; and finally, the giraffe’s horns give the impression of a crown.

Of course, an alternative and plausible explanation for the spread of tributes to the uncrowned Edward V in St. Matthew’s Church is that Edward’s half-brother Thomas Gray, Marquess of Dorset, under whose aegis the Church fell, wanted to honor the memory of his murdered half-sibling, who was killed so prematurely before his coronation day.

To catch up on other things in this first column of 2022, after destroying Ian Nepomniachtchi (Nepo for short) in his World Cup match in Dubai, the winner Magnus Carlsen traveled to Poland to take part in the less weighty Speed ​​and Lightning World Championships. In my opinion, this was an unwise move. World championships in classical chess draw a bonus for energy expenditure and mental effort even for the winner. To jump back into the saddle almost immediately after defending the title in the classic was an invitation to Nemesis.

This overtook him in the form of the 17-year-old Nodirbek Abdusattorov from Uzbekistan, who captured the Rapid title, defeating Carlsen, Caruana and Nepo, and the experienced French grandmaster Maxime Vachier Lagrave, who won the Blitz title. Carlsen should have learned from history. Immediately after a brilliant title defense against Boris Spassky, world champion Tigran Petrosian suffered a humiliating setback in the Piatigorsky Cup in 1966, while Garry Kasparov, who had torn Anand off in 1995, reached his career low point at the tournament in Horgen. Worst of all, after beating Spassky in the most famous game of all time in Reykjavik in 1972, Bobby Fischer felt so mentally drained that he couldn’t play a serious game for twenty years!

This week’s game links refer to Nodirbeks’ crucial three victories at the World Rapids against

Fabiano Caruana

, Magnus Carlsen

and Nepomniachtchi

. It is noteworthy that in two of the games the new superstar revived the English opening system from 1926 by Aron Nimzowitsch on the basis of e4 and c4, which is called “The iron English “ in a recently published book

by Grand Master Simon Williams and International Master Richard Palliser.

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