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The House of Yorks

Izmail State Liberal Arts University
                   Ukrainian ministry of  Higher education
                       The chair of English Philology



                                   Report
                              The House of York



                                              Written by
                                              2nd year student
                                              English-German department
                                              Of Faculty of Foreighn
                                              Languahes
                                              Elena Blindirova



                                Izmail, 2004
House of York royal house of England, deriving its name  from  the  creation
of Edmund of Langley, fifth son of Edward III, as duke of York in 1385.  The
claims to the throne  of  Edmund's  grandson,  Richard,  duke  of  York,  in
opposition to Henry VI of the house of Lancaster (see Lancaster, house  of),
resulted in the Wars of the Roses  (see  Roses,  Wars  of  the),  so  called
because the badge of the house of York was a white rose, and a red rose  was
later attributed to the house of Lancaster. Richard's claim  to  the  throne
came not only from direct male descent from Edmund,  but  also  through  his
mother Anne Mortimer, great-granddaughter of Lionel, duke of  Clarence,  who
was the third son of Edward III. The royal members  of  the  house  of  York
were Edward IV, Edward V, and Richard III. The marriage of  the  Lancastrian
Henry VII to Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Edward IV, united the  houses  of
York and Lancaster. Henry was the first of the Tudor kings.
                  The representatives of the House of York

                              The House of York
    
   Edmund, 1st Duke of York, 1341–1402
   Named Edmund of Langley after the manor where he was  born,  he  was  the
fifth son of Edward III and Queen Philippa. Created  Earl  of  Cambridge  in
1362, he joined his brother John, Duke of Lancaster (John of Gaunt)  in  his
wars against Castile. In 1372, he married his first  wife,  Isobel,  younger
daughter of Peter, King of Castile and Léon, while her elder sister  married
John. They had  three  children:  Edward  Plantagenet,  2nd  Duke  of  York;
Constance of York, Countess of Gloucester, and Richard, Earl  of  Cambridge.
Created Duke of York by Richard II in 1385,  he  retired  from  public  life
after Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster, seized the  crown  from  Richard
II. After the death of Isobel in 1394, he married Joan, daughter  of  Thomas
Holland, Earl of Kent.
   His arms were: Quarterly, France ancient and England, over all a label of
three points argent each point charged with three torteaux;  and  his  crest
on a cap of maintenance gules turned up  ermine,  a  lion  statant  guardant
crowned or, gorged with a label as in the arms; on his seal,  the  arms  are
supported by two falcons, each holding with beak and  claw  a  long  scroll,
which extends backward over body, inscribed with the motto "None other".
    
   Edward Plantagenet, 2nd Duke of York, 1373–1415
   The elder son of Edmund of Langley, he was created  Earl  of  Rutland  in
1391. Richard II made him Lord High Admiral and Warden of the  Cinque  Ports
and in 1397, Duke of Albemarle. In the first year of the reign of  Henry  IV
he became involved in a plot to assassinate the  king  at  a  tournament  at
Oxford. His father went to warn the king,  but  Edward  forestalled  him  by
confessing to the king himself.  He  lost  the  dukedom  but  was  pardoned,
becoming Duke of York on his father’s death. He was killed at the battle  of
Agincourt, where he  led  the  vanguard.  He  died  without  issue  and  was
succeeded by his nephew Richard.
   His arms were: as Lord High Admiral, Per  pale,  dexter,  the  attributed
arms of Edward the Confessor, charged overall with a label of three  points;
sinister, Quarterly, France ancient and England, over all a  label  of  five
points argent, each charged with three torteaux. After  he  became  Duke  of
Albemarle, his arms were: Quarterly, France ancient and England, over all  a
label of three points gules each charged with three castles  gold.  As  Duke
of York, they were: Quarterly France modern and England, over  all  a  label
of York.
    
   Constance of York, Countess of Gloucester, 1374–1416
   The only daughter of Edmund of Langley, Constance  was  the  mistress  of
Edmund Holland, Earl of Kent, by whom she had a daughter named Eleanor.  She
later married  Thomas  le  Despencer,  Earl  of  Gloucester.  Two  children,
Richard, Lord le Despencer, and Elizabeth le Despencer, died without  issue,
but their daughter Isabel le Despencer married  twice,  her  second  husband
being Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick. Their  daughter,  Anne  Beauchamp,
married Richard Neville (The Kingmaker), who thus became Earl of Warwick.
   Constance bore the arms of her father,  Edmund  of  Langley,  impaled  by
those of her husband, which were: Quarterly, first  and  fourth,  or,  three
chevronels gules; second and third, Quarterly, argent and gules, a fret  or,
overall a bendlet sable.
    
   Richard, Earl of Cambridge, 1376–1415
   Named Richard of Coningsburgh, after the place in Yorkshire where he  was
born, the younger son of Edmund of Langley was created Earl of Cambridge  in
1414. In the following year, however, he conspired with Henry, Lord  Scrope,
and Sir Thomas Gray to assassinate the king,  Henry  V.  He  may  have  been
bribed by the French king, Charles VI, or it may have been because,  in  the
event of his brother-in-law Edmund, Earl of March, dying without issue,  his
own son would have been next in line for  the  throne.  The  Earl  of  March
revealed the plot to the king, and Richard was executed.
   Richard’s first wife, Anne Mortimer, was sister and afterwards heiress to
the Earl of March and to the claims of her great-grandfather,  Lionel,  Duke
of Clarence, second son of Edward I, thus giving her  Yorkist  successors  a
superior claim to the  throne  over  the  House  of  Lancaster.  Richard  of
Coningsburgh’s second wife was Matilda, daughter of Thomas, Lord Clifford.
   His arms  were:  Quarterly,  France  first  ancient,  later  modern,  and
England, over all a label of three points argent each charged with  as  many
torteaux, within a bordure argent charged with lions rampant.
   Anne’s arms were: Quarterly, first and  fourth,  barry  of  six,  or  and
azure, on a chief of the first two pallets between two base esquires of  the
second, over all an escutcheon argent; second and third, or a  cross  gules,
impaled with those of her husband.
    
   Isabel, Countess of Essex, 1409–1484
   Isabel was the oldest child of Richard of Coningsburgh and Anne Mortimer.
Her husband Henry Bourchier, second Earl  of  Eu  in  Normandy  was  created
Viscount Bourchier by Henry VI and Lord Treasurer of England.  William,  the
eldest of their ten children, married Anne, sister of Elizabeth Woodville.
   The  Bourchier  arms:  Quarterly,  first  and  fourth,  argent,  a  cross
engrailed gules, between four water bougets sable; second and third,  gules,
billety and a fess or, and their crest A man’s head in  profile  with  sable
hair and beard, ducally crowned or, with a pointed cap gules.
    
   Richard, 3rd Duke of York, 1411–1460
   Richard was the only son of Richard of Coningsburgh, and the  only  male,
apart from Henry IV, with an unbroken male descent from Henry III.  Although
his father had been executed for treason,  Henry  VI  restored  to  him  the
titles Duke of York, Earl of Cambridge and Rutland. An  honorable  man,  his
superior claim to the throne and obvious capability compared with  the  weak
and mentally afflicted  Henry  VI  earned  him  the  hatred  of  the  Queen,
Margaret of Anjou. His wise and just rule in Ireland during  1449–1450  laid
the foundation for an Irish–Yorkist alliance which survived until after  the
defeat of Richard III at Bosworth.
   Made Protector of England in 1454 during Henry’s temporary  insanity,  he
defeated an attempt by the Queen and the Earl of Somerset to regain  control
when, in 1455, along with the earls of Warwick and  Salisbury,  he  defeated
the king’s forces at St Albans. He was made Constable of  England,  but  the
Queen’s party regained power the following year.  In  1459  the  Queen  felt
strong enough to to crush the Yorkist  party  and  in  October  the  Yorkist
forces, surrounded at Ludlow, were forced to flee. The Duke and  his  second
son Edmund, Earl of Rutland, fled to Ireland while  Warwick  and  his  party
went to Calais. Within a year, Warwick was back in England  and  in  control
of London. The Duke of York returned and on October 10 laid his hand on  the
empty throne in the chamber of the Lords in parliament, claiming the  crown.
His  bid  for  the  throne  was  premature,  but  the  Duke  was  eventually
recognized as heir to the throne, Prince of Wales and Protector of England.
   The Queen’s party rallied once again, however, and on  30  December  1460
the Duke’s forces, issuing from Sandal Castle clashed with the  Lancastrians
at Wakefield. The Duke was killed, along with  his  son  Edmund,  and  their
heads were exposed  on  the  walls  of  York.  They  were  later  buried  at
Pontefract and then at Fotheringhay.
   His arms were: Quarterly, France modern and England, over all a label  of
three points each charged with three  torteaux,  and  upon  his  helmet  his
crest was On a  chapeau  gules  doubled  ermine,  a  lion  statant  guardant
crowned or, gorged with a label as in the arms.; the badge with which he  is
particularly associated is  the  silver  falcon  and  gold  fetterlock,  the
fetterlock open to symbolise the release of  the  falcon  and  the  aspiring
hopes of gaining the crown.
    
   Cicely Neville, Duchess of York, 1415–1495
   The wife of Richard, 3rd Duke of York, Cicely Neville was the daughter of
Joan Beaufort, the youngest child of John of Gaunt and  Catherine  Swynford.
Her father was Ralph Neville, Earl of Westmorland. Known  in  her  youth  as
the Rose of Raby, after her birthplace,  Raby  Castle,  she  was  a  staunch
supporter of her husband, spending as much time with him as was possible  in
that troubled age. They had eight sons and  four  daughters,  of  whom  four
sons and one daughter died young.
   After the tragic death of her husband and second son,  Edmund,  in  1460,
Cicely shortly witnessed the triumph  of  her  eldest  son  Edward.  She  is
reported to have been outraged  by  his  marriage  to  Elizabeth  Woodville.
Further tragedy followed when, in 1478,  Edward  tired  of  the  treacherous
behaviour of his brother Clarence and the latter died,  or  was  killed,  in
the Tower. In 1483, Edward died, and then, in 1485 her  last  surviving  son
Richard III was killed at Bosworth. Outliving all her sons, the  unfortunate
duchess lived to see many of their progeny murdered by  Henry  VII  and  the
House  of  York  destroyed.  In  1480,  she  became  a  Benedictine  nun  at
Berkhamsted, where she lived until her death.
   Her arms were: a falcon rising, ducally gorged, bearing on its  breast  a
shield of arms, Per pale, dexter,  Quarterly,  France  modern  and  England;
sinister, gules, a saltire argent, supported by Dexter, an  antelope  gorged
with a coronet; sinister a lion.
    
            Children of Richard, Duke of York and Cicely Neville
    
   Anne of York, Duchess of Exeter, 1439–1476
   Eldest daughter of Richard, Duke of York, she was first  married  to  the
Lancastrian Henry Holland,  Duke  of  Exeter  and  Lord  High  Admiral.  She
divorced her Lancastrian husband in 1472 and married Sir  Thomas  St  Leger,
K.G., by whom she had a daughter, Anne, whose descendants became  the  earls
and later dukes of Rutland.
   Her arms were: Per pale, dexter, Quarterly, France  modern  and  England;
sinister, per fess, de Burgh and Mortimer.
    
   Edmund of York, Earl of Rutland, 1443–1460
   Edmund was born in  Rouen,  France,  while  his  father  was  serving  as
Lieutenant of France. At the age of seven, Edmund received his education  at
Ludlow Castle, along with his brother  Edward.  When  his  father’s  Yorkist
party fell out of favor in 1459, Edmund accompanied his father  to  Ireland,
where he was created Earl of Cork.
   After the Yorkist victory at Northampton September 1460, he  returned  to
England and headed north to Sandal Castle with  his  father  to  help  quell
disturbances there. Edmund was killed at  the  battle  of  Wakefield  on  30
December 1460, by Lord Clifford, whose father had been killed at the  battle
of St Albans. As he struck the fatal  blow,  Clifford  allegedly  cried  ‘By
God’s blood, thy father slew mine and so will I do thee  and  all  thy  kin.
His arms were: Quarterly, first, Quarterly  France  modern  and  England,  a
label of five points  argent  the  two  dexter  points  charged  with  lions
rampant purpure and the three sinister  points  each  with  three  torteaux;
second and third, Burgh; fourth, Mortimer.
    
   Elizabeth, Duchess of Suffolk, 1444–1503
   The second daughter of Richard, Duke of York, and Cicely Neville  married
John de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk, whose father, William,  had  arranged  the
marriage between Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou.  John  de  la  Pole,  whose
mother, Alice, was the grand-daughter of the  poet  Geoffrey  Chaucer,  took
little part in politics. The couple had seven sons, of whom the  eldest  was
also named John (see below). Edmund de la Pole was beheaded  by  Henry  VIII
and the last de la Pole heir, Richard, was killed at the battle of Pavia  in
1524, fighting for the French.
   The arms of John de la Pole were: Quarterly, first and  fourth,  azure  a
fess between three leopards’ faces or; second and  third,  argent,  a  chief
gules, over all a lion rampant double queued or; and his crest  was  An  old
man’s head gules, beard and hair gold, with  a  jewelled  fillet  about  the
brows.
    
   John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln 1464?-1487
   The eldest son of Elizabeth and John, Duke and Duchess  of  Suffolk,  was
created Earl of Lincoln in 1468. He was also made a Knight of  the  Bath  in
1475 and attended his uncle Edward IV’s funeral in April 1483. He  bore  the
orb at the coronation of another  uncle,  Richard  III,  in  July  1483  and
became the president of the Council of the North. He was  declared  heir  to
the throne by Richard III in the event of the death of his own  son,  Prince
Edward. At this time, he was also created Lord  Lieutenant  of  Ireland  and
was given the reversion to the estates of Lady  Margaret  Beaufort,  subject
to the life interest of her third husband, Lord Stanley.
   A staunch supporter of Richard III, he fought at Bosworth  and  survived.
The new king, Henry VII, had no wish to alienate the de la Pole  family  and
appointed John a justice of oyer and terminer the following year.  In  1487,
he fled to Brabant and then to Ireland, where he  joined  the  army  of  the
pretender Lambert Simnel. He was killed at  the  Battle  of  Stoke  in  June
1487. Shortly afterward, he was attainted.
   He was married twice: (1) Margaret Fitzalan, daughter of Thomas,  twelfth
Earl of Arundel; and (2) the daugher and heiress of  Sir  John  Golafre.  He
left no children from either marriage.
   Arms of John de la Pole: Same as  above  during  his  father’s  lifetime,
differenced with a label argent – or his father’s and mother’s impaled.
    
   Edmund de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk, 1472?-1513
   Edmund de la Pole was born about 1472, the second son of John de la Pole,
2nd Duke of Suffolk, and Elizabeth, sister of Edward IV. In 1481  Edward  IV
sent Edmund to Oxford. He was created a  Knight  Baronet  at  Richard  III's
coronation. He was also present, with  his  father,  at  the  coronation  of
Elizabeth of York on 25 November 1487  and  was  frequently  seen  at  Henry
VII's court.
   His father died in  1491,  and  as  eldest  surviving  son,  should  have
inherited the dukedom but did not, due to an Act of  Attainder  against  his
brother John, Earl of Lincoln.  By  an  indenture  date  26  February  1493,
Edmund agreed to forego the title of duke and was created an earl.  He  also
had to pay £5,000 for the restoration of some of his lands.
   In October 1492 Edmund was at the siege of Boulogne. On 9  November  1494
he was leading challenger at  Westminster  in  a  tournament  which  created
Henry (later Henry VIII) Duke of York.
   In 1495 Edmund was appointed trier of petitions from  Gascony  and  other
parts. He was created a Knight of the Garter in 1496. In  February  1496  he
was one of the English noblemen who stood surety to Archduke Philip for  the
observance of new treaties with Burgundy.
   On 22 June 1496 he led a company against Cornish  rebels  at  Blackheath.
Two years later, he  was  indicted  at  the  King's  Bench  for  murder  and
received a pardon. Although he resented being arraigned  (as  one  of  royal
blood) he attended a Chapter of the Garter at Windsor in April 1499.
   In July or August 1499 Edmund fled to Guisnes and then to St. Omer. Henry
VII instructed Sir Richard Guldford and Richard Hatton to return him by  any
means. However, he returned to  England  voluntarily  and  was  restored  to
favor.
   Edmund was a witness at the marriage of Arthur to Catherine of Aragon  in
May 1500 and then went with Henry VII to Calis where he stayed until  August
1501. He fled to Emperor Maximilian in the Tryol.  Maximilian  had  promised
support to anyone of Edward IV's blood.
   On 7 November 1501 Edmund and his supporters were proclamimed traiors  at
St. Pauls Cross and  was  outlawed  at  Ipswich  on  26  December  1502.  He
reclaimed his dukedom. Maximilian then promised not to aid any  traitors  to
England (he was paid 10,000) and Edmund remained at Aix le  Chappelle  until
Easter 1504. In January 1504 Edmund and his brother,  William  and  Richard,
were  attainted  by  Parliament.  He  left  Aix  fro  Gilderland   and   was
immediately thrown in jail.
   On 24 January 1506 Edmund commissioned two servants to treat  with  Henry
VII and in March 1506 was conveyed to the Tower. Henry  had  given  Archduke
Philip his written promise not to execute Edmund.
   Upon the accession of Henry VIII in  1509  Edmund  was  not  among  those
included in the general pardon. He went to the block in 1513.
   Edmund married Margaret, daughter of Richard, Lord  Scrope  and  had  one
daughter Anne, who became a nun at Minories within Aldgate. He had  no  male
heir.
    

   Richard de la Pole, 14?-1525
   Richard was the fifth son of John de la Pole, 2nd Duke  of  Suffolk,  and
Elizabeth, sister of Edward  IV.  His  brothers  Humphrey  and  Edward  took
orders in the Church, Edward becoming the Archdeacon of  Richmond.  In  1501
Richard fled abroad with his  brother  Edmund.  Three  years  later  he  was
attainted along with his brother.  Eventually  he  fled  to  Hungary,  where
Henry VII requested that King Ladislaus VI surrender  Richard  to  him.  The
Hungarian king refused and gave Richard a pension.
   Richard’s name is not mentioned in the general  pardon  issued  by  Henry
VIII upon his accession in 1509. Louis XII of France recognized  Richard  as
king of England, giving him a pension of  six  thousand  crowns.  After  the
execution of his brother Edmund in 1513, Richard assumed the title  of  Duke
of Suffolk and became a claimant to the English throne.
   When Louis XII died in 1515, his successor Francis I continued  Richard’s
allowance. As a further sign of favor, he was sent him on several  missions,
including Lombardy and  Bohemia.  In  1522,  Francis  seriously  thought  of
sending Richard to invade England, but the invasion did not take place.
   On 25 February 1525, Richard was killed, fighting in the French  army  at
the Battle of Pavia. The Duke of Bourbon was one of the  chief  mourners  at
his funeral.
    
   Margaret of York, Duchess of Burgundy, 1446–1503
   Born at Fotheringhay, Margaret, the third daughter of  Richard,  Duke  of
York, and Cicely Neville, was an  intelligent,  charming,  and  accomplished
woman.  Prior  to  the  announcement  of  Edward’s  marriage  to   Elizabeth
Woodville, she had acted as the first lady of the court.
   A prestigious marriage was arranged for her to Charles the Bold, Duke  of
Burgundy, who was many years her senior. She had  no  children  by  him  and
survived him by many years. After  Charles’  death,  Margaret  maintained  a
close friendship with her Charles’ only daughter Mary. The respect in  which
she was  held  in  her  adopted  country  enabled  her  to  play  an  active
supporting role for the Yorkist cause on many occasions. After the death  of
her brother Richard III, she continued her  efforts,  backing  both  Lambert
Simnel and later Perkin Warbeck. She died at Malines and is  buried  in  the
church of Cordéliers.
   The arms of Burgundy, shown impaling France modern and England  quarterly
on her arms were: Quarterly, first and fourth, azure, three  fleurs  de  lys
or within a bordure gobony argent and gules; second, per pale, Bendy of  six
or and azure within a bordure gules and sable, a  lion  rampant  or;  third,
per pale, Bendy of six or and azure, within a bordure gules  and  argent,  a
lion rampant gules crowned or; over all an inescutcheon, or, a lion  rampant
sable.
    
   George of York, Duke of Clarence, 1449–1478
   Born in Dublin, George was the sixth son of Richard, Duke  of  York,  and
Cicely Neville. He was created Duke of Clarence in the first year of  Edward
IV’sreign. Until Elizabeth Woodville finally bore  Edward  a  son  in  1470,
Clarence was the heir presumptive ,and it was soon  clear  to  the  Earl  of
Warwick that he was discontented and ambitious.  On  11  July  1469,  George
married Isobel Neville, Warwick’s elder daughter, against the wishes of  his
brother, cementing an alliance against the  king.  When  Warwick  reconciled
with Margaret of  Anjou,  however,  and  his  younger  daughter,  Anne,  was
betrothed to the Lancastrian heir, George realized that he  was  not  to  be
made king in Edward’s place. At the last minute, he returned to the  Yorkist
fold and was reconciled with Edward and his younger brother  Richard.  After
Warwick’s death at the Battle of Barnet in 1471, George laid  claim  to  his
vast estates, and although eventually forced to share them when  Richard  of
Gloucester married the now-widowed Anne Neville,  he  remained  a  rich  and
powerful prince. He continued to flout Edward’s authority, however, and  was
put in the Tower. In 1478 a Bill of Attainder passed the death  sentence  on
Clarence and he died in the Tower, the  exact  manner  of  his  death  being
unknown. Clarence and Isobel had four children, of whom  two,  Margaret  and
Edward, survived.
   Clarence’s arms were: Quarterly, France modern and England,  over  all  a
label of three points argent each charged with a  canton  gules;  his  crest
was On a chapeau gules turned up ermine, a  lion  statant  guardant  crowned
or, charged on the breast with a label as in the arms;  his  badges  were  A
bull passant sable armed unguled and membered or, gorged  with  a  label  of
three points argent each charged with a canton gules, and  A  silver  gorget
of chain, edged and clasped with gold and lined with red.
    
   Margaret Plantagenet, Countess of Salisbury, 1473–1541
   Margaret was the eldest child of George,  Duke  of  Clarence  and  Isobel
Neville, she married Sir Richard Pole, K.G. in 1491. They had four sons  and
a daughter. During the fifth year of the reign of Henry VIII,  Margaret,  as
heiress to the titles of Warwick and Salisbury, petitioned the king and  was
restored to the title of Countess of Salisbury. She was appointed  governess
to the Princess Mary and remained in favor  until  Anne  Boleyn  became  the
Queen. Her loyalty to Princess Mary caused her to be dismissed from court.
   After the downfall of Anne Boleyn, Margaret returned to  court.  She  did
not remain in favor for long.  Because  of  the  letter  her  son,  Cardinal
Reginal Pole, wrote to the King, and of the betrayal of  her  son  Geoffrey,
the Countess was arrested and put into the Tower  in  March  1539.  She  was
kept in the Tower under close confinement for two  years  and  was  executed
without trial. She was beatified by the Roman Catholic Church in 1886.
   Her arms were: Quarterly, first, Quarterly, France modern and England,  a
label of three points argent each  charged  with  a  canton  gules;  second,
gules, a saltire argent, a label of three points  gobony  argent  and  azure
impaling Gules, a fess between six crosses crosslet  or;  third,  Chequy  or
and azure, a chevron ermine impaling Argent,  three  lozenges  conjoined  in
fess gules; fourth, Or, an eagle displayed vert impaling  Quarterly,  I  and
IV, Or, three chevrons gules; II and III, Quarterly, Argent,  and  gules,  a
fret or, overall a bendlet sable.

   Henry Pole, Lord Montagu, 1492–1539
   The eldest son of Margaret Plantagenet, he was knighted by Henry VIII  in
1513 during Henry’s French campaign. He was a ember of the  royal  household
and was allowed his own livery. In 1520,  he  attended  Henry  VIII  at  the
Field of the Cloth of Gold. He was one  of  the  peers  who  convicted  Anne
Boleyn.
   As a Roman Catholic, Pole did not approve of  Henry’s  destroying  Church
property and the anti-Catholic  feeling  in  England.  Henry  was  fully  of
Montagu’s feelings, and through his betrayal of his brother  Geoffrey  Pole,
the king now had the evidence he needed to  have  Montagu  arrested  in  put
into the Tower. Pole was tried and found guilty by a jury of his  peers.  He
went to the block on December 9 1539.
   He married Jane, daughter of George Neville, Lord  Bergavenny,  in  1513.
They had three children. His only son  may  have  been  attainted  with  his
father and died in the Tower.
    
   Geoffrey Pole, 1502?-1558
   The second son of Margaret Plantagenet, little  is  known  of  his  early
life. In 1529, he was knighted by Henry VIII at York Place. A  devout  Roman
Catholic, he greatly disapproved of Henry VIII’s  divorce  proceedings  from
Katherine of Aragon. Although he was appointeed  one  of  the  servitors  at
Anne Boleyn’s coronation, his loyalties were  with  Princess  Mary  and  the
former Queen Katherine. He then visited the imprial ambassador  Chapuys  and
assured him that if the  Holy  Roman  Emperor  were  to  invade  England  to
redress the wrong that had been done to Queen Katherine,  that  the  English
people would favor him.
   Unfortunately, his words reached the ears of the king and he was arrested
and sent to the Tower on August 1538.  He  was  persuaded  to  talk  and  he
revelaed the names of secret Papists at court, including  his  own  brother,
Henry Lord Montagu. Geoffrey was pardoned as a result of  his  betrayal  and
the others he mention, including his brother, were executed.
   Having felt guilty at betraying his brother and friends,  Geoffrey  tried
to commit suicide while he was in the Tower. In 1540,  he  left  his  family
behind and fled to Europe, where he remained until the reign of Queen  Mary.
He returned to England and died in 1558.
   He married Constance, the elder of two daughter and  heirs  of  Sir  John
Pakenham. They had five sons and six daughters.
    
   Arthur Pole, 1502-1535
   Third son of Margaret Plantagenet, he was sentenced to death in the reign
of Elizabeth I, being implicated in a plot to release Mary, Queen of  Scots.
Because of his royal blood, the Queen spared  him  from  execution  but  not
imprisonment.
   In 1526, he married Jane Lewknor. It is  not  known  if  there  were  any
children from this marriage.
    
   Reginald Pole, 1500-1558
   The youngest son of Margaret  Plantagenet,  he  graduated  from  Magdelan
College, Oxford. He was sent to Italy to complete his  education  and  lived
there for five years. Reginald was another Pole family member  who  did  not
approve of Henry’s divorce from Queen katherine. The King was well aware  of
this and several times tried to get Pole on his side. At the urging  of  the
Holy Roman Emperor Charles V,  Pole  wrote  Henry  a  letter,  in  which  he
attacked Henry’s policy  of  royal  supremacy  and  defended  the  spiritual
authority of the Pope. It was at this time that he was  created  a  cardinal
by Pope Paul III. Henry then put a price on  the  new  cardinal’s  head  and
arrested and executed many members of the pole family, including his  mother
and his oldest brother Henry Lord Montagu.
   When Henry’s daughter Mary became Queen, he was  commission  as  a  papal
Legate. He landed in England in 1554 and began  to  reorganize  the  country
back into the Church of Rome. Two years later he was ordained  as  a  priest
and the following year became the Archbishop of Canterbury.
   For  the  next  two  years,  Cardinal  Pole  help  Queen  Mary  with  her
persecution of English Protestants. Disapproving  of  Pole’s  methods,  Pope
Paul IV cancelled his legatine authority and denounced  him  as  a  heretic.
Shortly afterwards, he fell ill and died twelve hours after  Queen  Mary  on
November 17 1558.

   Ursula Pole, ? -1570
   Ursula was the only  daughter  of  Margaret  Plantagenet.  In  1518,  she
married Henry Stafford, first Baron Stafford. Very little is known  of  her.
It is believed that she had at least thrteen children before  her  death  in
1570.

   Edward Plantagenet, Earl of Warwick, 1474–1499
   The son of George, Duke of Clarence, and  Isobel  Neville,  he  may  have
suffered from some  form  of  mental  impairment.  He  lived  in  the  royal
apartments in the Tower under the reign of his uncle Richard III. Henry  VII
kept him  in  the  Tower,  but  as  a  prisoner.  When  Perkin  Warbeck  was
imprisoned in the Tower, the  two  attempted  to  escape  (possibly  at  the
instigation of Henry’s agents) and both were executed in 1499.
    
   Edward IV, King of England, 1442–1483
   By the Grace of God, King of England and France and Lord of Ireland
   The eldest son of Richard, Duke of York and Cecily  Neville,  Edward  was
born in Rouen, France, on April 28, 1442. He was educated at Ludlow  Castle,
along with his younger brother Edmund, Earl of  Rutland.  He  inherited  the
title of Earl of March. Edward. was raising forces in the Welsh borders  for
the Yorkist cause when his father and younger brother Edmund were killed  at
the Battle of Wakefield in 1460.  Acting  speedily  and  decisively,  Edward
routed the Lancastrians at the battles of Mortimer’s Cross and  Towton,  and
claimed the throne. Henry VI was then acclaimed a  usurper  and  a  traitor.
Edward was crowned  in  June  1461.  He  was  an  extremely  popular  ruler,
although  well-known  for  his  licentious  behaviour.  During  his   reign,
printing and silk manufacturing were introduced into England.
   Edward’s secret marriage to Elizabeth Woodville, a widow of a Lancastrian
knight, angeed the old nobility and alienated his  cousin  Richard  Neville,
Earl of Warwick (also known as "The Kingmaker"), who had previously  been  a
major power during the early days of Edward’s reign.  In  1469,  Edward  was
deposed by Warwick, and was drien out of England and  to  Burgundy.  Warwick
reinstated Henry VI. Two years later, backed by his brother-in-law,  Charles
("The Bold"), Duke of Burgundy, returned to England with a  large  army  and
defeated the Lancastrians at the battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury.
   The remaining years of his reign were, for the most part, peaceful. There
was, however, a short war with France in 1475, after which Louis  XI  agreed
to pay Edward a yearly subsidy. Edward died on April 8 1483 and  was  buried
at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor.
   As King, Edward’s arms were: Quarterly, France modern  and  England,  and
his crest On a chapeau gules turned  up  ermine,  a  lion  statant  guardant
crowned or. As  badges,  he  used  the  white  rose  of  York,  the  sun  in
splendour, and the white rose en soliel, as well as the lion, the  bull  and
the hart, the falcon and fetterlock of the dukes of York, and a  white  rose
incorporating red petals, a forerunner of the Tudor rose.

   Elizabeth Woodville, 1437–1492, Queen of England
   Elizabeth was the eldest child of Sir Richard Woodville and Jacquetta  of
Luxembourg. She was maid of honor to Margaret of Anjou. She was  married  to
Sir John Grey of Groby, who was killed in battle in 1461, leaving  her  with
two small sons. Elizabeth married Edward IV secretly in April 1464  and  was
crowned Queen in May 1465. She was also  a  patroness  of  Queens’  College,
Cambridge and gave the College its first Statues in 1475. Her  ten  brothers
and sisters, who were as avaricious and unpopular as  herself,  were  raised
to high rank by the king. Elizabeth and Edward  had  three  sons  and  seven
daughters.
   Following her husband’s  death  in  1483,  their  marriage  was  declared
invalid by Parliament and their children  illegitimate.  In  1485,  however,
Elizabeth’s eldest daughter,  Elizabeth  of  York,  married  Henry  VII  and
became Queen of England. Elizabeth Woodville was  subsequently  banished  to
Bermondsey Abbey, where she died in 1492.
   Elizabeth Woodville’s seal displayed  a  shield  of  her  husband’s  arms
impaling her own, which  were  Quartlerly,  first  argent,  a  lion  rampant
double queued gules, crowned or (Luxemburg,  her  mother’s  family),  second
quarterly, I and IV, gules a star  if  eight  points  argent;  II  and  III,
azure, semée of fleurs de lys or; third, barry argent and azure,  overall  a
lion rampant gules; fourth, gules, three bendlets argent, on a chief of  the
first, charged with a fillet in base or, a rose of the second; fifth,  three
pallets vairy, on a chief or a label of five  points  azure,  and  sixth,  a
fess and a canton conjoined gules (Woodville).
    
                Children of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville

   Elizabeth of York, 1466–1503, Queen of England
   Born 11 February, 1466 at Westminster Palace,  Elizabeth  was  the  first
born child of Edward IV  and  Elizabeth  Woodville.  She  was  betrothed  to
George Neville, Duke of Bedford,  and  then  engaged  to  the  Charles,  the
Dauphin of France (later Charles VIII). Elizabeth  married  Henry  Tudor  in
1486 and became Queen of England,  thus  uniting  the  Houses  of  York  and
Lancaster. As. Queen, she was completely dominated  by  Henry  VII  and  his
mother Margaret Beaufort.
   She bore Henry eight children: (1) Arthur, Prince of Wales, b. 1486;  (2)
Margaret (later Queen of Scotland) b. 1489; (3) Henry (later Henry  VII)  b.
1491; (4) Elizabeth b.1492; (5) Mary (later Queen of France and  Duchess  of
Suffolk) b. 1496; (6) Edmund (died young) 1499;  (7)  Edward  (died  young);
and (8) Katherine (died young) b. 1503. Elizabeth died in childbirth  in  on
her birthday in 1503, at the age of 37  years.  She  is  buried  beside  her
husband in the Henry VII Chapel in Westminster Abbey.
    
   Mary of York, 1467-1482
   Mary was the second daughter, born 11 August, 1467 at Windsor Castle. She
was promised in marriage to the King of Denmark, but  died  in  1482  before
the marriage could take  place.  She  is  buried  in  St.  George’s  Chapel,
Windsor.
    
   Cicely of York, 1469–1507, Viscountess Welles
   Cicely was  born  on  20  March  1469  at  Westminster  Palace.  She  was
originally promised in a marriage  treaty  to  the  heir  of  James  III  of
Scotland but instead  married  John,  Lord  Welles,  by  whom  she  had  two
daughters Elizabeth and Anne, both  of  whom  died  without  issue.  By  her
second marriage, to Thomas Kyme of  Isle  of  Wight,  she  had  Richard  and
Margaret. She died at Quarr Abbey, Isle of Wight on 24 August 1507.
    
   Edward V, 1470–?
   The eldest son of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, Edward was  born  in
sanctuary at Westminster on 4  November  1470.  He  was  created  Prince  of
Wales, Duke of Cornwall, Earl of Chester, March and Pembroke. As  Prince  of
wales, Edward was educated at Ludlow  Castle  by  his  uncle  Anthony,  Earl
Rivers.
   Following his father’s death, he was brought to  London  to  be  crowned.
Parliament,  however,  declared  him  to  be  illegitimate  and  Richard  of
Gloucester became king. Edward and his brother Richard lived  in  the  Tower
of London during the summer of 1483. Their fate is unknown.
   Edward’s arms as king were: Quarterly, France modern and England, and his
crest on his Great Seal; on a chapeau gules turned up ermine encircled by  a
royal coronet, a lion statant guardant crowned or.
    
   Margaret of York, b. and d. 1472
   This child of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville (not to be confused  with
her aunt of the same name) was born 10 April  1472  at  Windsor  Castle  and
died on 11 December of the same year. She is buried in Westminster Abbey.

   Richard, Duke of York, 1473–?
   Born at Shrewsbury, the second son of Edward IV and Elizabeth  Woodville,
Richard was created Duke of York in 1474.  In  1478,  at  the  age  of  four
years, Richard was married to six-year-old Anne Mowbray, who  had  inherited
the estates of her father John Lord Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk in  1475.  They
married at St Stephen’s Chapel, Westminster, but  Anne  Mowbray  died  while
still a child. When his brother, Edward V, was deposed, young  Richard,  who
had been in sanctuary with his  mother,  was  taken  by  the  Archbishop  of
Canterbury to live with his brother in the Royal Apartments in the Tower  of
London. Their fate remains a mystery, but many contemporary heads  of  state
including (in secret correspondance, but not publicly) the Spanish King  and
Queen, believed the claimant Perkin Warbeck, executed by Henry  VII,  to  be
Richard.
   His arms were: Quarterly, France modern and England,  a  label  of  three
points, argent on the first point  a  canton  gules;  his  crest  was  On  a
chapeau gules turned up ermine, a lion statant guardant crowned  or,  gorged
with a label as in the arms, and his badge a falcon volant argent,  membered
or, within a fetterlock unlocked gold.
    
   George of York, Duke of Bedford, 1477-1479
   The seventh child and third  youngest  son  of  Edward  IV  and  Eizabeth
Woodville, he was created Duke of  Bedford,  but  died  very  young.  He  is
buried at Windsor.
    
   Anne of York, 1475-1510
   Anne was married to Thomas Howard, third Duke of  Norfolk.  She  died  in
1510 without surviving issue.
    
   Catherine of York, 1479–1527
   The sixth daughter  of  Edward  IV  and  Elizabeth  Woodville,  Catherine
married William Courtenay, Earl of Devon, and  had  one  child,  Henry,  who
succeeded his father as Earl. Despite being made Marquis of Exeter,  Henry’s
Yorkist blood doomed him, and he was beheaded in 1538 for  being  implicated
in a plot with Cardinal Pole.  Henry’s  only  son,  Edward  Courtenay,  died
without issue, and the descendants of  this  family  are  from  the  younger
brother of an earlier generation.
   The  arms  of  Catherine  were  her  husband’s  arms  impaling  her  own:
Quarterly, first and fourth, or, three torteaux;  second  and  third,  or  a
lion rampant azure; impaling quarterly, first, quarterly, France modern  and
England, second and third, de Burgh, and fourth Mortimer.
   The arms of Henry Courtenay were: Quarterly, first,  France  and  England
quarterly, within a bordure quarterly of  England  and  France,  second  and
third, or, three torteaux; fourth, or a lion rampant azure,; and his  crest,
out of a ducal coronet or, a  plume  of  ostrich  feathers  four  and  three
argent.

   Bridget of York, 1480-1513
   The tenth and last child of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, she became
a nun at Dartford and died in 1513.

   Richard III 1452–1485
   By the Grace of God, King of England and France and Lord of Ireland
   Richard III was born on the 2 October, 1452 in Fotheringhay Castle during
the tumultuous period known as the Wars of the Roses. His personal motto  of
Loyaulte Me Lie was a testament of his unswerving loyalty for  his  brother,
Edward IV.
   In 1461, he was sent to Middleham Castle to begin his  knightly  training
under his cousin, Richard Neville, known as "The  Kingmaker".  In  1472,  he
married the Lady Anne Neville and they retired to Middleham. As Lord of  the
North, Richard spent the next twelve years bringing peace and  order  to  an
otherwise troublesome area of England. Through his hard work and  diligence,
he  attracted  the  loyalty  and  trust  of   the   northern   gentry.   His
fairmindedness and  justice  became  his  byword.  He  had  a  good  working
reputation of  the  law,  was  an  able  administrator  and  was  militarily
formidable. Under his leadership, he won a brilliant  campaign  against  the
Scots that is diminished by our lack of understanding of the region  in  his
times.
   He enjoyed a special relationship with the city of York and intervened on
its behalf on many  occasions.  Richard,  known  to  be  a  pious  man,  was
instrumental in setting up no less  than  ten  chantries  and  procured  two
licenses to establish two colleges; one at Barnard Castle in  County  Durham
and the other at Middleham in Yorkshire.  It  is  known  that  his  favorite
castle was Middleham and he was especially generous to  the  church  raising
it to the status of collegiate college. The  statutes,  written  in  English
rather than Latin, were drawn up under his supervision.
    
   With the untimely death of  his  brother,  Edward  IV  in  1483,  he  was
petitioned by the Lords and Commons of Parliament to accept the kingship  of
England. During his brief reign, he passed  the  most  enlightened  laws  on
record for the Fifteenth Century. He set  up  a  council  of  advisors  that
diplomatically included Lancastrian  supporters,  administered  justice  for
the poor as well as the rich, established a series of posting  stations  for
royal messengers between the North and London. He fostered  the  importation
of books, commanded laws be written in  English  instead  of  Latin  so  the
common people could understand their own  laws.  He  outlawed  benevolences,
started the system of bail and stopped the intimidation of  juries.  He  re-
established the Council of the North in July of 1484 and it lasted for  more
than a century and a half. He established the College  of  Arms  that  still
exists today. He donated money for the completion of St. George's Chapel  at
Windsor and King's College  in  Cambridge.  He  modernized  Barnard  Castle,
built the great hall at Middleham and the great hall at Sudeley  Castle.  He
undertook extensive work at Windsor Castle and  ordered  the  renovation  of
apartments at one of the towers at Nottingham Castle.
   In 1484, while Richard and Anne were at Nottingham,  they  received  word
that their beloved son, Edward, who was at Middleham, died suddenly after  a
brief illness. His wife, Anne, never recovered from the loss of her son  and
died almost a year later. Her body was borne to Westminster Abbey  and  laid
to rest on the south side of St. Edward's Chapel.  Richard  wept  openly  at
her funeral and later shut himself off for three days.
   In eighteen months, he lost brother, son  and  spouse.  Throughout  these
tragedies, he remained steadfast to his obligations. His reign showed  great
promise, but amidst the intrigues and power struggles of his time, he  found
himself on Bosworth Field. Richard III was 32 years old when he died at  the
Battle of Bosworth and was the last English king to die in battle.
   Arms as Duke of Gloucester: France and England  modern,  over  all  a  3-
pointed label ermine, on each point a conton gules.
   Arms: Quarterly, France modern and England, and his crest  on  his  Great
Seal; on a chapeau gules turned up ermine encircled by a  royal  coronet,  a
lion statant guardant crowned or; special cognisant, a boar rampant  argent,
armed and bristled or.
    
   Anne Neville, Queen of England, 1456-1485
   Anne Neville was born on 11 June 1456  at  Warwick  Castle,  the  younger
daughter of Richard Warwick ("The King Maker") and Anne  Beauchamp,  heiress
to the large Beauchamp estate. She spent her  childhhod  at  warwick  Castle
along with her older sister Isabel. In 1469, her father, no longer in  favor
with Edward IV, fled to  Calais,  bringing  his  family  with  him.  Shortly
afterwards, Warwick went over to the Lancastrians, and  Anne  was  betrothed
to the Lancastrian Prince Edward, Prince of Wales.  Her  father  and  uuncle
John were killed at Barnet in  April  1471.  Edward  of  Lancaster  died  at
Tewkesbury a month later. She married Richard, Duke of Gloucester  and  they
spent most of their married life at Middleham  Castle.  They  had  only  one
living child, Edward, Prince of Wales. In 1484,  Prince  Edward  died.  Anne
never recovered and died, probably of  tuberculosis,  in  March  1485,  just
five months before her husband Richard.
   Her arms were: Quarterly, France modern and England,  impaling  gules,  a
saltire argent.

   Edward, Prince of Wales, Earl of Chester and Salisbury, 1473–1484
   Edward was the only surviving child of Richard III and Queen Anne. He was
born at Middleham Castle, Yorkshire and was created Prince of  Wales  during
the first year of his  father’s  reign.  Edward  suddenly  became  ill  with
abdominal pain in 1484 and  quickly  died,  possibly  of  appendicitis.  His
parents were distraught with grief and his death may  have  hastened  Anne’s
decline.
   Arms: Quarterly, France modern and  England,  a  label  of  three  points
argent.

   John of Gloucester
   John was Richard III’s illegitimate son. His mother is  unknown.  He  was
also called John of Pomfret, his father appointed him Captain of  Calais  in
1485, calling him ‘our dear son’.  After  his  father’s  death,  during  the
reign of Henry  VII,  John  was  beheaded  on  the  pretext  of  treasonable
activities in Ireland.
    
   Lady Catherine Plantagenet
   Katherine was the illegitimate daughter of Richard  III.  Her  mother  is
unknown. In  1484,  Katherine  was  married  to  William  Herbert,  Earl  of
Huntingdon. Richard settled  property  worth  1,000  marks  a  year  on  the
couple. Katherine died young without producing any living children.

    Some concrete facts about kings which had come frjm The House of York

                       Edward IV (1461-70, 1471-83 AD)

   [pic]Edward IV, son of Richard, Duke of York and Cicely Neville, was born
in 1442. He married Elizabeth Woodville in 1464, the widow of the
Lancastrian Sir John Grey, who bore him ten children. He also entertained
many mistresses and had at least one illegitimate son.
   Edward came to the throne through the efforts of his father; as Henry VI
became increasingly less effective, Richard pressed the claim of the York
family but was killed before he could ascend the throne: Edward deposed his
cousin Henry after defeating the Lancastrians at Mortimer's Cross in 1461.
Richard Neville, the Kingmaker, Earl of Warwick proclaimed Henry king once
again in 1470, but less than a year elapsed when Edward reclaimed the crown
and had Henry executed in 1471.
   The rest of his reign was fairly uneventful. He revived the English claim
to the French throne and invaded the weakened France, extorting a non-
aggression treaty from Louis XI in 1475 which amounted to a lump payment of
75,000 crowns, and an annuity of 20,000. Edward had his brother, George,
Duke of Clarendon, judicially murdered in 1478 on a charge of treason. His
marriage to Elizabeth Woodville vexed his councilors, and he allowed many
of the great nobles (such as his brother Richard) to build
uncharacteristically large power bases in the provinces in return for their
support.
   Edward died suddenly in 1483, leaving behind two sons aged twelve and
nine, five daughters, and a troubled legacy.
   Edward began his reign in 1461 and ruled for eight years before Henry's
brief return. His reign is marked by two distinct periods, the first in
which he was chiefly engaged in suppressing the opposition to his throne,
and the second in which he enjoyed a period of relative peace and security.
Both periods were marked also by his extreme licentiousness; it is said
that his sexual excesses were the cause of his death (it may have been
typhoid), but he was praised highly for his military skills and his
charming personality. When Edward married Elizabeth Woodville, a commoner
of great beauty, but regarded as an unfit bride for a king, even Warwick
turned against him. We can understand Warwick's switch to Margaret and to
Edward's young brother, the Duke of Clarence, when we learn that he had
hoped the king would marry one of his own daughters.
   Clarence continued his activities against his brother during the second
phase of Edward's reign; his involvement in a plot to depose the king got
him banished to the Tower where he mysteriously died (drowned in his bath).
Edward had meanwhile set up a council with extensive judicial and military
powers to deal with Wales and to govern the Marches. His brother, the Duke
of Gloucester headed a council in the north. He levied few subsidies,
invested his own considerable fortune in improving trade; freed himself
from involvement in France by accepting a pension from the French King; and
all in all, remained a popular monarch. He left two sons, Edward and
Richard, in the protection of Richard of Gloucester, with the results that
have forever blackened their guardian's name in English history.

                             Edward V (1483 AD)

   Edward V, eldest son of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, was born in
1470. He ascended the throne upon his father's death in April 1483, but
reigned only two months before being deposed by his uncle, Richard, Duke of
Gloucester. The entire episode is still shrouded in mystery. The Duke had
Edward and his younger brother, Richard, imprisoned in the Tower and
declared illegitimate and named himself rightful heir to the crown. The two
young boys never emerged from the Tower, apparently murdered by, or at
least on the orders of, their Uncle Richard. During renovations to the
Tower in 1674, the skeletons of two children were found, possibly the
murdered boys.

                            Richard III (1483-85)

   [pic]Richard III, the eleventh child of Richard, Duke of York, and Cecily
Neville, was born in 1452. He was created third Duke of Gloucester at the
coronation of his brother, Edward IV. Richard had three children: one each
of an illegitimate son and daughter, and one son by his first wife, Anne
Neville, widow of Henry IV's son Edward.
   Richard's reign gained an importance out of proportion to its length. He
was the last of the Plantagenet dynasty, which had ruled England since
1154; he was the last English king to die on the battlefield; his death in
1485 is generally accepted between the medieval and modern ages in England;
and he is credited with the responsibility for several murders: Henry VI ,
Henry's son Edward, his brother Clarence, and his nephews Edward and
Richard.
   Richard's power was immense, and upon the death of Edward IV , he
positioned himself to seize the throne from the young Edward V . He feared
a continuance of internal feuding should Edward V, under the influence of
his mother's Woodville relatives, remain on the throne (most of this feared
conflict would have undoubtedly come from Richard). The old nobility, also
fearful of a strengthened Woodville clan, assembled and declared the
succession of Edward V as illegal, due to weak evidence suggesting that
Edward IV's marriage to Elizabeth Woodville was bigamous, thereby rendering
his sons illegitimate and ineligible as heirs to the crown. Edward V and
his younger brother, Richard of York, were imprisoned in the Tower of
London, never to again emerge alive. Richard of Gloucester was crowned
Richard III on July 6, 1483.
   Four months into his reign he crushed a rebellion led by his former
assistant Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, who sought the installation
of Henry Tudor , a diluted Lancaster, to the throne. The rebellion was
crushed, but Tudor gathered troops and attacked Richard's forces on August
22, 1485, at the battle of Bosworth Field. The last major battle of the
Wars of the Roses, Bosworth Field became the death place of Richard III.
Historians have been noticeably unkind to Richard, based on purely
circumstantial evidence; Shakespeare portrays him as a complete monster in
his play, Richard III. One thing is for certain, however: Richard's defeat
and the cessation of the Wars of the Roses allowed the stability England
required to heal, consolidate, and push into the modern era.
   Richard of Gloucester had grown rich and powerful during the reign of his
brother Edward IV, who had rewarded his loyalty with many northern estates
bordering the city of York. Edward had allowed Richard to govern that part
of the country, where he was known as "Lord of the North." The new king was
a minor and England was divided over whether Richard should govern as
Protector or merely as chief member of a Council. There were also fears
that he may use his influence to avenge the death of his brother Clarence
at the hands of the Queen's supporters. And Richard was supported by the
powerful Duke of Buckingham, who had married into the Woodville family
against his will.
   Richard's competence and military ability was a threat to the throne and
the legitimate heir Edward V. After a series of skirmishes with the forces
of the widowed queen, anxious to restore her influence in the north,
Richard had the young prince of Wales placed in the Tower. He was never
seen again though his uncle kept up the pretence that Edward would be
safely guarded until his upcoming coronation. The queen herself took
sanctuary in Westminster Abbey, but Richard had her brother and father
killed.
   Edward's coronation was set for June, 1483. Richard planned his coup.
First he divided the ruling Council, convincing his own followers of the
need to have Lord Hastings executed for treason. (It had been Hastings who
had informed him of the late King's death and the ambitions of the Queen's
party). He then had his other young nephew Richard join Edward in the
Tower. One day after that set for Edward's coronation, Richard was able to
pressure the assembled Lords and Commons in Parliament to petition him to
assume the kingship. After his immediate acceptance, he then rode to
Westminster and was duly crowned as Richard III. His rivals had been
defeated and the prospects for a long, stable reign looked promising. Then
it all unraveled for the treacherous King.
   It is one thing to kill a rival in battle but it is another matter to
have your brother's children put to death. By being suspected of this evil
deed, Richard condemned himself. Though the new king busied himself
granting amnesty and largesse to all and sundry, he could never cleanse
himself of the suspicion surrounding the murder of the young princes. He
had his own son Edward invested as Prince of Wales, and thus heir to his
throne, but revulsion soon set in to destroy what, for all intents and
purposes, could have been a well-managed, competent royal administration.
   It didn't help Richard much that even before he took the throne he had
denounced the Queen "and her blood adherents," impugned the legitimacy of
his own brother and his young nephews and stigmatized Henry Tudor's royal
blood as bastard. The rebellion against him started with the defection of
the Duke of Buckingham whose open support of the Lancastrian claimant
overseas, Henry Tudor, transformed a situation which had previously favored
Richard.
   The king was defeated and killed at Bosworth Field in 1485, a battle that
was as momentous for the future of England as had been Hastings in 1066.
The battle ended the Wars of the Roses, and for all intents and purposes,
the victory of Henry Tudor and his accession to the throne conveniently
marks the end of the medieval and the beginning of England's modern period.
                                  Sources:
     1. www.britannia.com\history
     2. www.numizmat.net
     3. http://reference.allrefer.com/encyclopedia/Y/York-hou.html
     4. http://www.britannia.com/history/monarchs
     5. www.hotbot.com
     6. www.yahoo.com


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