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King Richard III

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

After Edward IV’s death, Richard was named Lord Protector of England, as Edwards’s son Edward V was only twelve years of age.

Richard deposed his nephew, the young Edward V, on receiving evidenced that Edward IV had a marriage contract with Lady Eleanor Butler before his marriage to Elizabeth Woodville, thus making all of Edward & Elizabeth’s children illegitimate. Edward V & his younger brother Richard were housed in the tower: their date of death is not known, but Tudor historians claimed Richard III was responsible.

On becoming king, Richard attempted genuine reconciliation with the Yorkist’s by showing consideration to Lancastrians purged from office by Edward IV, &moved Henry VI's body to St George's Chapel at Windsor. The first laws written entirely in English were passed during his reign. In 1484, Richard's only legitimate son Edward predeceased him.

source - By Rasiel Suarez, CC BY 3.0,
Richard III penny

Before becoming king, Richard had had a strong power base in the north, and his reliance on northerners during his reign was to increase resentment in the south. Richard concluded a truce with Scotland to reduce his commitments in the north. Nevertheless, resentment against Richard grew.

On 7 August 1485, Henry Tudor (a direct descendant through his mother Margaret Beaufort, of John of Gaunt, one of Edward III's younger sons) landed at Milford Haven in Wales to claim the throne.

On 22 August, in a two-hour battle at Bosworth, Henry's forces (assisted by Lord Stanley's private army of around 7,000 which was deliberately posted so that he could join the winning side) defeated Richard's larger army and Richard was killed.


King Richard III

King of England; reign. 26 June 1483 – 22 August 1485.

Coronation: 6 July 1483.

Born: 2 October 1452, Fotheringhay Castle, Northamptonshire, England.

Parents: Richard, Duke of York & Cecily Neville.

House of: York (Plantagenet). Richard was the last king of the House of York & the last of the Plantagenet dynasty.

Married: Anne Neville in 1472. Anne Neville (11 June 1456 – 16 March 1485) was the younger of the two daughters & co-heiresses of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick (the "Kingmaker"). She became Princess of Wales as the wife of Edward of Westminster (only son and heir apparent of King Henry VI) & then Queen of England as the wife of King Richard III.

Children; Edward of Middleham, Prince of Wales (December 1473 or 1476 – 9 April 1484). The reasons for his sudden death are unknown.

Died: 22 August 1485 (aged 32), during The Battle of Bosworth Field, Leicestershire, England. His defeat & death at the Battle of Bosworth Field, the last decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses, marked the end of the Middle Ages in England.

Burial: 25 August 1485, Greyfriars, Leicester, then 26 March 2015, Leicester Cathedral

Successor: Henry Tudor (Henry VII).


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