It was widely believed that "The Princes of the Tower", Edward and Richard sons of King Edward IV, had not been literally put to death by Richard III. According to various accounts the younger of the princes, Richard, was adopted by a boatman or customs agent in Tournai of France known as John Osbeck (or by the more Continental sounding name of Bernal/Berlo Uberque). The boy, now called Piers or Piris, became proficient in Flemish and was taught music by a Catholic organist of Tournai. When hostilities broke out between the region and the Archduke of Austria, the exiled prince returned briefly to the safe-keeping of his aunt in England, but soon was sent to a skinner in Antwerp who lived across from the local "House of the English Merchant Adventurers".
He was taken under the wing of one such English merchant (of purses and needles), John Strewe, and then by a much more distinguished merchant Sir Edward Brampton (a converted Jew, knight of both England and Portugal under the name Duarte Brandao, godson of Edward IV and also patronized by his brother Richard III, owner of prestigious English estates such as Great Houghton, one time governor of an island, European dealer in wool, wine, and spice), who brought the boy of about fifteen with him and his wife to Portugal. In Portugal, the prince in exile again experienced the wonders of a royal court and its collection of outlandish and jaded courtiers, each outdoing the other in dissimulation and trapped in the global web of deceit.
This apocryphal saga of Prince Richard is explored in "The Perfect Prince: Truth and Deception in Renaissance Europe" by Ann Wroe. Wroe points to evidence that Richard III placed the two orphaned princes in the care of Sir Brampton and paid him handsomely for this "service". However, when Richard III was in turn killed by Henry Tudor, the vagabond Prince Richard was encouraged to challenge him by returning to Ireland and building popular support. Although Brampton later denied having anything to do with it, it would have also have been in his own interest for Richard to gain the throne and preserve Brampton's vast English estates.
This story at least gives us some idea of how a prince (in trouble or not) could be moved about and gain intimate knowledge of all kinds of things, great and small, within the matrix of royal operations. While commoners lived vicariously through royalty, royalty did not necessarily have to live vicariously through commoners. They could assume the guise of commoners, and in order to more effectively dominate the world it was necessary for royal control freaks to thoroughly infiltrate the working world.
The self-imposed mandate of royalty was to be all things to all people. To be royal was to be master of all human endeavors and a paragon of every race and creed, whether it be Jew, Muslim or Christian; black, white or brown. They also presumed to transcend gender, being like hermaphroditic Adam, containing the totality of human genetics, male and female.
They played diverse roles, but in their minds it was more than perverse acting. King James wrote to his homosexual lover Robert Carr, "Remember that (since I am king) all your being, except your breathing and soul, is from me."
It was once fashionable to despise Old World royalty. Now it is again more fashionable to idolize it. At some point we need to actually understand it. How did it happen? How did it last so long? It was like a virus that adapted ever more ingenious strategies for exploiting its host without completely destroying it. Those strategies included inventing religions and setting forth various of its own members as the Patriarchs and Saints of those religions. It also involved keeping the world divided in a grid lock of feudal estates in which various petty lords were forced to battle one another (while the Great King remained strongest)!
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