Meet the prisoners
Prisoners at the Tower
The first prisoner at the Tower was Ranulf Flambard. In 1100, as Bishop of Durham, he was found guilty of extortion. He escaped from the White Tower by shinning down a rope that was smuggled into his cell in a wine casket.
A Scottish King, he was captured by Edward I and imprisoned at the Tower in 1296 for three years. Treated well and even allowed to go hunting, John was released as part of a truce and spent the rest of his life in France.
George, Duke of Clarence
Arrested for plotting against his brother Edward IV, George was found guilty of treason and imprisoned at the Tower in 1477. He was executed in secret, with rumours that he had been drowned in a butt of malmsey.
The Princes in the Tower
12-year-old Edward V and his younger brother Richard were sent to the Tower by their uncle, the Duke of Gloucester. By July 1483 they were declared illegitimate and the Duke was crowned King Richard III. The princes were never seen again.
The second wife of King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn was arrested on 2 May 1536 and accused of adultery and incest by a king anxious to remarry. On 19 May she was beheaded within the walls of the Tower.
Anne Askew was a Protestant reformer charged with heresy on 28 June 1546. She was tortured at the Tower in an attempt to force her to name other Protestants, before being burned at the stake in Smithfield on 16 July.
Lady Jane Grey
Queen for just nine days, Lady Jane Grey was found guilty of high treason and sent to the Tower. On 12 February 1554 she watched her husband go to his death before she too was beheaded on Tower Green, aged just 16.
Guide to the Tower's prisoners