Events following the death of Edward IV 9th of April to 26th June 1483

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  • Created by: Ruth
  • Created on: 16-04-13 15:39
  • Edward IV dies prematurely on the 9th of April
  • His son eldest son, Edward, resident at Ludlow castle, is left heir, a minor he cannot rule alone
  • Two conflicting wills left by Edward IV. 
  • The first: 
    • 1475, Queen Elizabeth to be one of eight counsellors chosen from bishops and nobles, to rule on a regency Counsel
  • The second: 
    • Amended in final days, detail lost because will has not survived. The only thing known is the executors changed. Unclear if Edward left role of protector to brother Richard Duke of York and removed Elizabeth's name from the will. 
  • This leaves competing factions, Woodville and Gloucester
  • On Edward IV's death strategic advantages lie with Woodvilles as Edward is with Earl Rivers, the queen's brother
  • River recently granted right to move the Prince guarded by armed retinue and raise troops in Welsh Marches
  • The Queen is placed in London
  • Her son by her previous marriage Marquis of Dorset was Constable in tower of London with control of treasury 
  • Richard, Duke of Gloucester, is less well placed in Middleham castle in Yorkshire
  • He has active support from two of the greatest magnates, Duke of Buckingham and Lord Hastings
  • Hastings, the Lord Chamberlain is an established enemy of the Woodvilles having competed against Rivers in 1471 for lieutenancy of Calais
  • The counsel meet after the King's death. Records survive confirming the Queen attended
  • Dominic Mancini, an Italian cleric, reports one side of the counsel wanted Gloucester to be Protector but the other want a regency Counsel to include him. 
  • A strong atmosphere of fear and suspicion has already developed
  • The Crowland Chronicler reports a both members of the Counsel want peaceful succession suggesting both already fear otherwise
  • The size of the King's escort to London is highly disputed
  • Gloucester's allies fear a large escort will strengthen any Woodville plans for a regency Counsel
  • This appears confirmed when the Counsel heard Woodvilles hoped for early coronation on the of 4th of May undermining Gloucester's position of Protector
  • Mancini reports Hastings writes a urgent message urging Gloucester to come to London quickly to force the issue
  • New of Edward's death does not reach Ludlow castle until the 14th of April 
  • The royal party does not leave until the 24th of April
  • Earl Rivers arranges to meet Gloucester at Northampton so they could enter the city together with the new King
  • At Stony Stratford on the 30th of April Gloucester and

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