SIR JAMES TYRRELL (d. 1502), the supposed murderer of the English king Edward V., and of his brother Richard, duke of York, was a son of William Tyrrell and a grandson of Sir John Tyrrell (d. c. 1437), who was treasurer of the royal household and was on three occasions Speaker of the House of Commons. The family is said to descend from Walter Tirel, the murderer of William Rufus. During the Wars of the Roses James Tyrrell fought for the Yorkists; in 1471 he was knighted; and in 1477 he was member of parliament for Cornwall. With regard to his share in the murder of the prince in 1483 he appears to have been selected by Richard III. and sent to the Tower of London, where he supervised the crime which was carried out by his subordinates. Afterwards he received several appointments from Richard and was sent to Flanders. He was also employed by Henry VII. and was made governor of Guisnes, but he seems to have incurred the king's displeasure through his friendship with Edmund de la Pole, earl of Suffolk. Having been treacherously seized he was conveyed to England and was executed on the 6th of May 1502. Just before his death he made a confession about the murder of the princes.
Members of the same family were Sir Thomas Tyrrell (1594-1672), justice of the common pleas under Charles II., and Anthony Tyrrell (1552 - c. 1610), a Roman Catholic priest and spy, who afterwards became a clergyman of the Church of England.
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