Britain up to 1483

In depth study into Britain 1483-1529.

This section is on

  • Background knowledge
  • Monarchs in the War of the Roses
  • The death and impact of Edward IV
  • The Princes in the Tower (Edward V & Richard of York)
  • Elizabeth Woodville
  • Richard III
  • Henry Tudor

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The Wars Of The Roses

Monarchs during the Wars of the Roses...

  • Henry V
    1413 - 1422
  • Henry VI
    1422 - 1461
  • Edward IV
    1461 - 1470
  • Henry VI
    1470 - 1471
  • Edward IV
    1471 - 1483
  • Edward V
    1483 - 1483
  • Richard III
    1483 - 1485
  • Henry VII
    1485 - 1509

(NOTE: you don't have to remember all these dates. Only the last two!)

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Richard III

Richard III, of Gloucester

  • Brother of Edward IV
  • Married Anne Neville and became the most powerful land owner in the North
  • Rivalry with Edward IV's wife Elizabeth Woodville
  • Suspected of killing the Prince's in the Tower
  • Prospered under Edward IV's reign
  • Respected leader in the North
  • A strong military leader
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Richard III

Makings of a villain?

  • Born in the middle of the Wars of the Roses during usurps and violence
  • Witnessed his brother benefit from violence
  • Saw murder achieved results (murder of Henry VI and brother George by Edward IV)
  • Learnt to trust no one, especially in politics
  • Believed absolute power for a monarch is necessary to minimise treachery
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Richard III

The Usurpation...

  • Powerful nobles supporting the Woodville family were imprisoned (Sir Richard Grey)
  • Edward V travelled to London
  • Richard III was named Protector under Edward V's minority reign
  • Edward V's coronation was set to 22 June and parliament was called on 25 June
  • Hasting and other counsel members grew wary of Richard III's trust in Buckingham
  • Richard III and Buckingham called armed men to assist against the Woodvilles
  • Members of the counsel, including Hastings, met privately concerned with Richard III
  • Richard III became aware of this and called a set-up counsel meeting to arrest the men
  • Hastings was taken from the meeting and executed right then for treason
  • Richard of York was ordered to join his brother in the tower
  • Propaganda was set declaring the two Prince's illegitimacy
  • Richard III was now successor to the throne
  • The declaration of Richard as King of England was titled Titulus Regius
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The Princes in the Tower

Edward V and Richard of York

  • Sons of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville
  • Taken to the Tower of London by their uncle, Richard III
  • They were never seen after 1483
  • Presumed to have been murdered in the Tower by Richard III
  • James Tyrell admitted to their murders on behalf of Richard III
  • Elizabeth Woodville then backed Henry Tudor's claim to the throne, believing her sons were dead
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The Princes in the Tower

The Mystery of their disappearance

  • The traditional story is that they were murdered by Richard III
  • This may have been to prevent the crown from Woodville influence
  • He also failed to show the Prince's alive when damaging accusations were made
  • Rumours were also of Henry Tudor being the murderer also spread
  • His clear motive would have been to strengthen his claim to the throne
  • No charges were made towards Tudor though
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