Overthrow of Prince Edward V (1)
- Argument (however there is insufficient evidence) that Richard was involved in the disappearance of his young nephews - 'Princes in the Tower'.
- Political influences - only 17 when his older brother Edward IV usurped the throne from Henry VI. Was open to a world of fighting and saw the rebellion of Warwick. This could explain why Richard was supposedly involved in the murders of Clarence (his own brother) and King Henry VI.
- Richard was very loyal to his brother Edward when he reigned, so his aggressive behaviour towards Edward V is always debated and is a puzzling subject. He was rewarded greatly for his loyalty - made Prince of the North and allowed his own army.
- Edward V only 12 at time of his anticipated coronation - Richard wrote to the Queen saying that his sole intention was to 'see his nephew safetly on the throne'. He promised to have Edward crowned on 22 June. Had earned respect from nobility.
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Overthrow of Prince Edward V (2)
- Richard later had members of the young king's household arrested: Rivers, Sir Richard Grey, etc. The Woodville's fled to sanctuary at Westminster Abbey.
- Richard (Edward's 'protector'), Buckingham and Edward entered London 4 May 1483. Buckingham, Howard and Lovel rose to power in government. On 13 June Hasting's was arrested, accused of treason and executed. Others were removed from council and arrested. Archbishop of Cantebury pressured into forcing the queen to realease Richard, her younger son, to join Edward in the tower.
- On Edward's coronation day, it was declared that Edward IV was illegitimate and Richard's legitimacy was highlighted. Four days later, a petition was submitted to give Richard the crown. 6 July he was crowned king of England.
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Challenges to Richard's Rule
- Richard lost a lot of support after his usurpation of the throne. Earl Rivers was accused of plotting against Richard and Hastings supported his decision to have him executed. However, Hastings didn't agree with the actual usurpation so he was seen as a threat to Richard's reign and was eliminated.
- Buckingham urged Richard to have Hastings and Earl Rivers disposed of and told Richard to seize the throne for himself. Buckingham hated the Woodvilles and Hastings power. Edward IV kept Buckingham out of power because he saw him as untrustworthy. However, Richard seemed to like him because he rewarded him until he became the most powerful noble in the kingdom.
- Buckingham eventually rebelled against Richard, his motives can only be guessed at: 1) Dissatisfaction with rewards given. 2) Conversion to Henry Tudor's case. 3) Ambition to take the crown for himself.
- Buckingham had contact with Henry Tudor who was in exile. He was invited to take the crown but this did not happen because of Buckingham's failure to realise that the rising in Kent would be crushed by Lord Howard.
- Richard's support came mainly from northeners and this made him unpopular in the south.
- Nobility consisted of: Buckingham(executed for treason), Henry Percy(eventually grew resentful towards Richard) and Lord Stanley(his loyalty secured by taking his son George hostage).
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Politics and Government
- Richard promised to: outlaw corruption, restore peace and reform the legal system. He was actively involved in government affairs and moved around the kingdom to show himself to his subjects.
- Was prepared to keep on councillors from his brother's reign. 24/54 councillors from Edward IV's government were kept in Richard's.
- Richard wanted to stabilise his government by recruiting the nobility. He did this by offering financial rewards, grants of land and important offices.
- Only had one meeting for parliament during his reign but this one meeting shows that Richard wanted to reform the legal system.
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Bosworth/Overthrow of Richard III
- When Henry Tudor had to leave Brittany he found refuge with French king - Charles VIII. He supported Henry because he was angry that Richard had made a deal with Brittany to defend against possible French attacks. Henry was offered financial and military assiatance and Charles was willing to support Henry in an invasion of England.
- Henry set sail with 400/500 English and Welsh loyalists who had accompanied him in exile. More troops were provided by Charles VIII and when Henry arrived at Wales he gathered more support - even from the two most influential landowners: Rhys ap Thomas and William ap Gruffudd who also provided more troops. His army contained around 5000/6000 unprofessional men who were very tired and hungry after 3 weeks of walking.
- Richard had 10,000 well rested and better equipped men when he learnt of the invasion. Both Henry and Richard were unsure of who the Stanley brothers would support - infamous for switching sides.
- The Battle of Bosworth lasted around 3 hours. Richard could have given up but was determined to fight Henry when he saw him. At this point, Sir WIlliam Stanley decided to fight for Henry and his troops overwhelmed Richard and he was killed. Lord Stanley picked up the crown and placed it on Henry's head.
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