CAPTION: There is a portrait of Edward V in St Matthew's church

Devon Church Holds Clues to Princes in the Tower Mystery

Posted: 4th January, 2022

A Devon church could hold the key to the mystery of the ‘Princes in the Tower’.

King Richard III was widely believed to have had his two nephews, Edward V (12) and Richard (9), murdered, so he could claim the English throne in 1483.

He imprisoned the young heirs to the House of York in the Tower of London, but their bodies were never found.

Historians have spent centuries trying to prove whether they did indeed die or somehow survived.

There are questions over the true identity of landowner John Evans

Now St Matthew’s Church, Coldridge, is being studied as part of the Missing Princes Project.

Historians working on the project want to establish the true identity of John Evans, medieval Lord of the Manor and Deer Parker at Coldridge.

There is a theory that he was the missing Prince, Edward V, who may have been moved to Coldridge following a possible deal with Richard III.

The church contains a rare stained-glass portrait of Edward, which was installed by John Evans and has a crown above it.

The church is being studied by historians

There are a number of other clues in the church, including on John Evans’ tomb, on the floor tiles and on the roof bosses.

There is also a family connection to the church, the princes’ half-brother Thomas Grey owned land in Devon, including Coldridge.

Their mother, Elizabeth Woodville, made a deal with Richard III and left the sanctuary of Westminster Abbey in 1484 with her daughters.

Two days later Robert Markenfield, an ally of King Richard III, was sent down to Coldridge from Yorkshire.  Could he have been given the task of overseeing the young Edward V at Coldridge?

Coldridge PCC member, John Dike, has been helping with the research and said “To have all these symbolic details in such a remote and inaccessible church, which in 1500 would have only been accessed by cart track, and is right in the centre of rural Devon, suggests the presence of a person of importance.

“An ideal location for Thomas Grey, with the probable agreement of Richard III or later Henry VII, to place his half brother out of the political arena.”

The PCC is now working with the Diocese of Exeter to ensure the church is able to welcome visitors, while at the same time preserving and protecting its historic legacy.

To say if you would like to support Coldridge Church, you can donate online at