Richard III

*Buckingham's Revolt*

The Richard III Society Coat of Arms.


Richard III
Lancaster's Reign
War of The Roses
The King Maker
Death of Edward IV
Richard, Duke of Gloucester
Richard: Protector
Buckingham's Revolt
Battle of Bosworth

The Duke of Buckingham was descended from Edward III, through the fourth surviving son, John of Gaunt, and the seventh son, Thomas, Duke of Gloucester. However his principal lineage from Edward III, came through the illegitimate daughter of John of Gaunt, Joan Beaufort. Although the Beaufort family were later legitimised by Richard II, this bill was amended by Henry IV, barring them from succession to the throne. Buckingham was a direct descendant from Gloucester and although his bloodline was strong, Richard and his White Rose of York Badge heirs through the fifth son, the Duke of York, had a superior claim.

Buckingham was executed after a futile attempt to take the throne from Richard. He had been liasing with Henry Tudor, the remaining Lancastrian hope to the Crown. The Duke's desire for ultimate power was to be his undoing, yet his motives and plans remain unclear.

Did he enlist the aid of Tudor to invade England and undermine Richard, and then plan to elevate himself to the throne? If so, then what of the two Princes in the Tower? To gain the people's support, Buckingham must prove that Richard was a usurper and that Edward V was the rightful King. It has been shown that, in order to authenticate his Royal title, Richard had no need to take the lives of the Princes. However, their very existence threatened Buckingham's tenuous claim. Perhaps the Duke ordered the murders, convinced that the blame would be placed on Richard, causing public unrest.

Henry Tudor

Henry Tudor, later to become Henry VII of England, had more to profit than any by the death of the Princes. Henry's plan, when invading England, was to declare himself the rightful King of England as the remaining Lancastrian claimant. His mother, Margaret Beaufort, had been scheming with Elizabeth Woodville, arranging a marriage between Tudor and Elizabeth of York, eldest daughter of Edward IV.

However, if the Princes were illegitimate, then obviously their sister Elizabeth must share this assertion. Tudor could not marry a bastard daughter of a King to strengthen his claim to the Throne. His defence must be that she was legitimate and therefore, so must be her brothers. Yet if her brothers were legitimate and alive, Edward V was the true King of England. Henry could not claim on the strength of his descent alone. As mentioned earlier, that although the Beaufort bastards were legitimised, Henry IV had barred them from the succession. An important factor, that appears to have been overlooked by those supporting the Lancastrian cause. The suggestion that Tudor was the obvious suspect and that at his request, Sir James Tyrell, despite his connections to York, murdered the Princes does make some sense, given that after his succession, Henry issued two royal pardons in the name of this knight. Richard would be maligned, lose the support of the Country who would then look to the next claimant. Tudor, despite his dubious lineage, was of Lancastrian descent and could wed the heiress to the House of York. England could be unified once more, and after much disharmony and turmoil, peace and order would be restored.

The bleak picture of England during the Wars of the Roses was intentional propaganda passed down by Tudor historians. Although many of the nobility were killed during the battles, the family lines survives. There was no evidence that the violence and bloodshed was worse than that suffered in the French wars of the previous century. In fact the general disorder was minimal, the battles being short and the outcome quickly achieved.