Nobility and Atrocity; Prisoners of the Tower by Tom Clancy
(Author & Honorary Yeoman Warder)
So much of the Tower's history is distasteful to say the least. Certainly hundreds of people died here, most of them by judicial murder rather than the due process of law - but human evolutionary process, much of which has happened here also. If the stones of the many walls of the Tower have witnessed atrocity, so also have they seen nobility, for as much as human society was once so horrid as to repel the toughest of contemporary observers, so must we remember that we stand where we stand only as a result of what our antecedents did right, allowing us the liberty to deride all they did wrongÉ as they must have done, or else they would not have changed, would they?
It is all there, at Her Majesty's Tower of London. You can feel its overpowering presence as you walk the cobbles, even more so at night.
The Yeoman Warders are the true uniformed custodians of the Tower. In the way of professional soldiers, they are also the custodians of the oral history that reaches back into the mists of time. Living within the confines of the Tower walls, as they do, who else could feel it more than they? Within their ranks we find Yeoman Warder Brian Harrison, for whom the oral tradition was not enough. Like so many professional soldiers, Brian is a self taught historian for whom the office of Yeoman Warder was an ideal opportunity to seek and find things out. And so, as his colleagues have advised me, Brian has spent years examining records and minutac to bring together a magisterial account of the prisoners of the Tower of London. You will find it an heroic work, for his task has been to assemble and arrange 900 years of events into their proper order. It will almost certainly become the standard source for historians centuries in our future, for the events that have occurred at the Tower will remain landmarks of human folly and progress for as long as we exist as a race. I hope the reader will find it as impressive and enthralling as I have. So read it, and then go to the Tower, for then you will truly know a little better what you feel when you touch the stones.
The following pages in our Prisoners of the Tower section contain samples taken from never before published listings of some of the unfortunates held within its walls. Camelot International would like it known that much of this information is as a direct result of the faultless endeavours and dedication of Tower of London Yeoman Warder and historian Brian Harrison.
A Bloody History
Many people were executed at the Tower of London, and you can find out more information about the "Bloody History" of the Tower and some of the more famous executions.
Escapes from the Tower
View the only full list of escaped prisoners available to the public and read some amazing accounts of prisoners' escapes. The list was taken directly from the book of prisoners at the Tower which is not on display and is kept locked in the Beauchamp Tower.
The Book of Prisoners
Since the Tower of London's early construction by William the Conqueror in 1078 a record of every prisoner held within its grounds has been kept in what is known as The Book of Prisoners. Although referred to as The Book of Prisoners it is actually made up of several books containing prisoners names, date of imprisonment, place of imprisonment and their eventual fate.
The Tower was used as a prison as recently as World War Two and there were even some executions. You can find out more about this part of the Tower's history here.