TOPIC: INSTIBILITY IN THE REIGN OF RICHARD III
26th June - 11th October 1483
As soon a Richard has assumed the crown, Richard III immediately went about establishing his own government. He arranged his coronation for 6th July, and appointed his chief officers of state, choosing the Bishop of Lincoln, John Russel as Chancellor, John Gunthorpe as keeper of the Privy Seal, and William Catesby as Chancellor of exchequer. This ensured the most powerful men were those who were his full supporters. He also rewarded the servants who had been loyal to him. John Howard became the Duke of Norfolk, and Thomas Howard the Earl of Surrey. His three greatest magnates, Buckingham, Norfolk and Northumberland virtually to rule Wales, East Anglia and the North respectively. Buckingham was the richest (and consequently most powerful) noble in England. He deployed his army from the North as an additional force to keep law over the coronation period, although after the coronation, they were allowed to return home.
The coronation, which took place a Westminster Abbey, was glorious. Buckingham and Norfolk stood on either side of the King. Almost the entire peerage of England were present, along with 70 knights, though only those within London and the nobility knew the circumstances of what had occurred, only that Richard had promised to govern justly and nourish peace. He needed to show (and prove) himself to the rest of the kingdom.
Richard set out on progress in mid July. He visited the midlands, Gloucester and Worcester and stayed in Nottingham and Warwick. He was reunited with his son, Edward, at Pontefract castle where he formally made him Prince of Wales, perhaps trying to suggest that he was a…