Richard III

*Death of Edward IV*


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

Edward had always lived his life to the fullest. Tall, handsome and as England's supreme Royal, he had both Lords and Ladies bowing to his every whim. He took great pride in his appearance and wore the latest fashions and most expensive jewels. He earned a reputation as a great builder, the majority of his projects designed, however, to embellish or enlarge his own estates.

Edward IV surrounded by family.

His finest achievement was St. Georges Chapel at Windsor Castle. During his reign, William Caxton established his printing press in the precinct of Westminster abbey. The Queen's brother, Lord Rivers became his patron. Edward, however, seemed to prefer manuscripts from Bruges.

Edward's heir was born whilst Elizabeth was in Sanctuary in 1470. In June 1471, baby Edward was made Prince of Wales and in the beginning of July, many of the nobility were made to swear a formal oath of allegiance to him as the undoubted heir to the crown, the realms of France and the Lordship of Ireland. In 1473, the prince was given his own household and sent to Ludlow Castle to represent royal authority in the remote countryside. His Govenor was Anthony, Lord Rivers. The younger son, Richard, in 1478 was married to Anne Mowbray, heiress to the Duke of Norfolk. She was the richest heiress in the country.

George, however, could not remain in the background for too long. After the death of Isobel, he aspired to marry Mary of Burgundy. Edward was concerned of the power that Clarence may gain from this marriage. He inflamed George's rage by proposing Lord Rivers as a candidate. Clarences' anger was immense, and shortly after members of his household were arrested and hanged after being found guilty of treasonable writing and necromancy. George burst into a Council meeting to protest his innocence, and later began spreading the old story that Edward was illegitimate.

Edward IV Canterbury CathedralFinally, Edward was at an end, and brought Clarence to trial after George had inflamed riots in Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire. He was charged with high treason. Since only a King could prosecute his own brother, no one dared to say he was guilty or otherwise. Therefore the Duke of Buckingham pronounced him guilty with the sentence of death. Edward hesitated upon hearing this, but the Council presented a petition that it be dealt with swiftly.

A few days later, Clarence died in a butt of Malmsey wine. Controversy has always surrounded his death; did he choose to be executed in this way, or was it a symbolic significance of his lifestyle? However, sawn-down wine butts were commonly used as baths at that time. Perhaps Clarence was drowned, but in his bath tub.

Through a somewhat strange alliance with France, Burgundy and Scotland, Edward proved to be be England's strength in gaining a lost presence within those countries.

However, the good times in England did not last.Although overweight and ill with his debauchery, it was a fishing trip that finally killed Edward IV. He caught a chill and died on April 9th, 1483. His Kingdom and Crown were left to his son, Edward aged twelve.