Royal Armouries

People of the Tower

Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. Murdered in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170. Constable of the Tower 1162–70
Sir Henry Bedingfield appointed by Queen Mary, accused of harsh treatment by Princess (later Queen) Elizabeth while she was a prisoner. Constable of the Tower 1554–55
Anne Boleyn, 2nd wife of Henry VIII Imprisoned in great hall where she had also lodged before her coronation in 1533. Prison 1536
Sir Robert Brackenbury Killed fighting for Richard III against Henry Tudor at battle of Bosworth. Constable of the Tower 1483–85
Fernando Buschman Arrested as a German spy. Executed by eight-man firing squad from 3rd Battalion Scots Guards. Prison 1915
Sir Roger Casement Committed to Tower accused of high treason after trying to form an Irish Brigade for the German Army. Prison 1916
William Chaloner Hanged for counterfeiting after apprehension by Isaac Newton Warden of the Mint 1699
Thomas Colby Appointed to work with William Mudge at Ordnance Survey. Ordnance Survey 1802
General Charles Cornwallis, Earl and Marquess Cornwallis Leading British general who had surrendered at Yorktown to General George Washington in 1781. Constable of the Tower 1740–62 & 1784–1806
General The Lord Dannat, Francis Richard Dannett Former Chief of the General Staff. Constable of the Tower 2009–present
Richard Dean Ratcatcher Board of Ordnance about 1850
Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex Executed on Tower Green. Prison 1601
Prince Edward, later Edward I Appointed by his father, Henry III. Constable of the Tower 1269–70
Prince Edward and Richard, Duke of York Imprisoned in Wakefield Tower by their uncle, Richard III. Prison 1483
John Ellys, painter Appointed Keeper in recognition of his services to the Prime Minister, Robert Walpole. Menagerie 1739
Sir Thomas Fairfax Appointed by Parliament. Constable of the Tower 1647–60
James Fiennes, Lord Saye and Sele Executed by Jack Cade’s rebels from Kent in July 1450. Constable of the Tower 1447–50
Ranulf Flambard, Bishop of Durham Appointed by William II. Constable of the Tower 1096–1100
Ranulf Flambard, Bishop of Durham and former Constable of Tower Imprisoned in Tower in 1100 by Henry I but able to escape using rope smuggled into him in a large flagon of wine. Prison 1100
John Flete ‘Keeper of part of the King’s Wardrobe in the Tower of London’ (Privy Wardrobe). Office of the Ordnance 1323
William Foxley, potmaker for the Royal Mint Falls asleep for fourteen days and fifteen nights during which time he ‘could not be wakened with pricking, cramping, or otherwise, burning whatsoever’. Royal Mint 1546
John Gerard and John Arden Escape from Cradle Tower by a rope stretched across the moat. Prison 1599
Field Marshal Sir William Maynard Gomm Veteran of Peninsular Wars and Waterloo campaign. Constable of the Tower 1872–75
Lord George Gordon Committed to house of Yeoman Warder Burford’s house accused of high treason for inciting the ‘No Popery’ riots. Prison 1780
Lady Jane Grey Imprisoned in Beauchamp Tower under Queen Mary. Prison 1553
Giles of Hartesbury, Master of the Mint Imprisoned for six weeks in Marshalsea prison for producing substandard coinage. Royal Mint 1318
Lord Hastings, Master of the Mint Executed at the Tower for opposing Richard III. Royal Mint 1483
Henry VI, last King of House of Lancaster Probably murdered in the Wakefield Tower. Prison 1471
Katherine Howard, 5th wife of Henry VIII Has block brought to her room to rehearse her execution. Prison 1542
Field Marshal Sir Claud William Jacob. Commanded Meerut Division of Indian Corps in France during First World War. Constable of the Tower 1937–43
Josef Jakobs Captured parachuting into England and tried as a spy. Committed to Tower overnight in east turret room on top floor of Waterloo Block before his execution the following day. Prison 1941
King John II of France Imprisoned in White Tower. Prison 1359
Henry Laurens, Vice-President of South Carolina Captured at sea and committed to house of Yeomen Warder James Futterell on Tower Green. Prison 1780
George Legge, Baron Dartmouth Master General of the Ordnance from 1682-9 and Constable of the Tower from 1685-88. Constable of the Tower & Board of Ordnance 1682–89
Simon, Lord Lovat, Jacobite peer Executed on Tower Hill. Prison 1746
John Malpas Keeper of Armour at Tower of London given custody of ‘artillery house’. Office of the Ordnance 1427
Geoffrey de Mandeville, a leading baron of William the Conqueror first recorded Constable of Tower. Constable of the Tower 1078-96
John Martin Appointed Keeper of Menagerie with his income paid from visitor fees only. Menagerie 1717
Nicholas Merbury Appointed ‘Master of the Works of the King’s engines and guns and other ordnance for war’. Office of the Ordnance 1414
Sir Jonas Moore Appointed Surveyor-General of the Ordnance Board of Ordnance 1669
William Mudge Appointed Superintendant of Ordnance Survey under authority of Master General of Ordnance. Ordnance Survey 1798
Field Marshal Sir George Pollock Veteran of Afghan Wars. Constable of the Tower 1871–72
Sir Walter Raleigh Imprisoned in Wakefield Tower. Prison 1603-16
William Roy Appointed surveyor-general of the coasts and engineer for making and directing military surveys in Great Britain. Advocates national mapping survey. Ordnance Survey 1765
James Turnbull An operator of a screw press, steals 2,000 newly struck guineas on 20 December. Royal Mint 1798
William de Turnemire Appointed Master Moneyer throughout England. Royal Mint 1279
Thomas Vaughan First recorded appointment as Master of Ordnance by Royal Letters Patent. Office of the Ordnance 1450
Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) Victor at battle of Waterloo in 1815. Constable of the Tower 1826–52
John Wilkes Committed to Tower for committing libel against George III. Prison 1762
Field Marshal Henry Maitland Wilson, First Baron Wilson. Served in Second Boer War, in France during First World War, and in North Africa, Middle East and Mediterranean during Second World War. Constable of the Tower 1955–60
Field Marshal Sir Henry Evelyn Wood Veteran of Crimean Wars, Zulu Wars, and the Sudan campaign. Constable of the Tower 1911–19
Sir Christopher Wren Instructed to prepare an estimate for converting Beauchamp and Bloody Towers into prison lodgings and to design a prison behind the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula. Prison 1695
Sir Christopher Wren Surveyor of the King’s Works, oversees refurbishment of Menagerie buildings. Menagerie 1669-1718

Did you know?

So good they named it twice

Chain mail should be correctly called MAIL. The word MAIL is derived from the Old French word MAILLE, meaning CHAIN. So chain mail translates as CHAIN CHAIN!