Edward IV Death
- Edward IV died short notice leaving his 12 year old son Edward as the next heir.
- As Edward is only 12 he is 4 years too young to rule independently and 5 years too old for everyone to accept the need for a protector - Richard of Gloucester.
- Edward IV died in Westminister but his heir was in Ludlow while his protector (Richard) was in Yorkshire.
- both made their way to London: Edward accompanied by his maternal uncle, Anthony Woodville, Earl Rivers and armed escort.
- Richard accompanied by an armed escort - on his way he met up with Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham.
- Richard and Buckingham intercepted Edward V at Strony Stratford in Buckinghamshire before they could reach London - Richards plan was to secure custody of the King to ensure he controlled the events.
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Edward IV Death 2
- Richard arrested 3 of the King's entourage - Rivers (Queen's brother), Richard Grey (Queen's son) and Sir Thomas Vaughan (welshman, private treasurer).
- Secure from the 'Woodville threat', Edward was brought to London.
- There was a debate whether Edward could rule without a protector - he could rule through a council of nobles, this idea was put forward by the Woodvilles.
- OR, Richard could be incharge of the King.
- If richard wasn't the protector of Edward then he would be introuble because of his recent actions but if he was protector then he would be incharge for only a few years.
- So, Richard decided to Usurp the throne.
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How did Richard Usurp the Throne?
- For Richard to claim the throne, he needed to bar Edward and his brother from the throne.
- The Bishop of Bath and Wells claimed that both Edward and Richard were bastards therefore neither of them could become King.
- Because of this, Richard cancelled Edwards coronation and later forced Elizabeth Woodville to hand over her other son to live in the Tower of London with his brother.
- There was meeting in the tower with leading councillors - Lord Hastings was arrested and decapitated.
- The other councillors thought that Richard was the rightful king.
- After showing his power and cunning Richard was crowned on 6th July 1483 but wasnt confirmed by parliament until the next year.
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How did Richard Usurp the Throne 2 ?
- 1940- Edward IV had been overthrown by brother (Clarence) and cousin (Warwick) - Richard went into exile with Edward.
- Richard and Edward returned and fought alongside him at Barnet and Tewkesbury.
- Richard led troops into Scotland.
- After his father died he was on his way to exile in the low countries - a few weeks later his brother, Edward, was proclaimed kings.
- Clarence and Warwick overthrew Edward leaving Richard in exile.
- Although Edward's second reign had been peaceful enough, Richard's political mentality was shaped by these earlier events - So in 1483, he panicked.
- Despite his enormous power, he believed the rumours of Woodville plots against his person and foresaw his own downfall unless he acted decisively.
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