Richard III Plantagenet, King of England, formerly Duke of Gloucester
Born: 2 Oct 1452, Fotheringhay Castle, Northamptonshire
Died: 22 Aug 1485, Bosworth Field, Leicestershire
Buried: Greyfriars (Franciscan Friary), Leicester, Tomb was beneath Leicester centre council car park, but has been indentified.
Reigned England: 31 Aug 1483 - 4 Mar 1485
Reigned Duke of Gloucester: 1461 - 1483
Married Anne Neville: 12 July 1472
Son of Richard of York, 3rd Duke of York, 6th Earl of March, 4th Earl of Cambridge, and 7th Earl of Ulster and Cecily Neville. He was the double great great grandson of Edward III via his son's Edmund of Langley Duke of York and John of Gaunt.
Married Anne Neville: 12 July 1472
1. Edward of Middleham, Prince of Wales (Dec 1473 – 31 March 1484) died from Tuberculosis
Children by Mistresses: 2
1. John of Gloucester (c. 1470–1491) executed by Henry VII
2. Katherine Plantagenet (possibly 1467) married in 1484 to William Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke
Was Born at Fotheringhay Castle as the 8th and the youngest of Richard of Yorks kids. He spent some years during his childhood at Middleham Castle in Wensleydale under the tutelage of his cousin Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick. He was eight when his older brother and father died at the battle of wakefield and was sent by his mother to the low countries along with his slightly older brother George, which were the domain of Charles 'the bold' Valois Duke of Burgundy. He only returned when his older brother Edward was crowned King of England and he was entitled as the Duke of Gloucester.
At 12 he was appointed as the sole Commissioner of Array for the Western Counties by his brother Edward and by 17 he had an independent command. In 1470 he and Edward had to take refuge in Burgundy when Edward was briefly dethroned thanks to their cousin Warwick switching sides. He played crucial roles in the battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury that resulted in Edward's restoration to the throne in spring 1471.
After the Battle of Tewkesbury he married Anne Neville.
In 1462 he was awarded large estates in northern England including the Lordship of Richmond, Yorkshire, and that of Pembroke, Wales. He also gained the forfeited lands of the Lancastrian de Vere, earl of Oxford, in East Anglia. For His 10th birthday he was made Constable of Gloucester and Corfe castles. When he was 17 he was made Constable of England and made Chief Justice of North Wales. On May 18 1471 he was named Great Chamberlain and Lord High Admiral of England. He was also made High Sheriff of Cumberland for life, Lieutenant of the North and Commander-in Chief against the Scots and hereditary Warden of the West Marches and gained the Lordships of the strongholds Sheriff Hutton and Middleham in Yorkshire and Penrith in Cumberland.
He was Lord President of the Council of the North in 1472, The Council was set up to benefit Northern of England to improve government control and economic prosperity. On May 12 1480 he was made Lieutenant-General of the North under fears of a Scottish invasion.
Upon the death of his brother Edward in 1483 he was made Lord Protector of his nephew Edward V and he made moves to prevent the Woodville family from exercising power. He was joined by the Duke of Buckingham (Henry Stafford, who was his 2nd cousin and was married to the sister of Elizabeth Woodville) with an armed escort and he had Anthony Woodville and several others arrested and taken to Pontefract Castle and executed under the accusation of planning to assassinate Richard. He placed Edward V and his brother Richard in the Tower of London. He also accused William Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings of conspiring with the Woodvilles against him and had him executed, Hastings was Edward IV's most important courtier and his close friend. He claimed to have been informed by Robert Stillington, the bishop of Bath and Wells (he had arrested in 1478 and spent a few weeks in jail because of his association with the Duke of Clarence who had conspired against his brother Edward IV) that his brother had been contracted to marry Eleanor Talbot (she died in 1468) when he married Elizabeth Woodville. He had the Coucil declare his brothers children illegitimate and he was made King. After becoming King his nephews were never seen again and were possibly ordered to be killed by him.
He and his wife Anne endowed King's College and Queens' College, Cambridge, and made grants to the church. In December 1483 he created what was later called the Court of Requests, a court to which poor people who could not afford legal representation could apply for their grievances to be heard. In January 1484 he introduced bail to protect suspected felons from imprisonment before trial and to protect their property from being seized during that time. In March 1484 he founded the College of Arms, and in 1484 he banned restrictions on the printing and sale of books and ordered the translation of the written Laws and Statutes from the traditional French into English.
During his reign John Rous a historian called him a good lord who punished oppressors of the commons and that he had a good heart.
On March 31 1484 his only Son died from tuberculosis, this was seen by many as a retribution for the dethrowning and deaths of Edward V and his brother. He made his deceased brother George's son Edward 17th Earl of Warwick his heir but when his wife died he instead named John de la Pole Earl of Lincoln who was another nephew as his heir.
In 1483 he had to deal with a rebelion by disaffected gentry who were supporters of Edward IV and were led by Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham (he had orginially helped Richard dipose their nephew, as he was married to the former queens sister, but he apparently changed his mind). They orignally planed to depose Richard and restore Edward V to the throne but when rumour reached them that Edward and his brother were dead Hastings suggested Henry Tudor Earl of Richmond (who was in exile in Brittany) take the throne and marry Elizabeth of York. Buckingham raised a force from his estates in Wales and the Marches. But a severe storm prevented Henry Tudor ship from landing and was forced to return to Brittany. Because of the Storm his (Richard) troops caused Buckingham's to scatter and Buckingham attempted to flee under disguise but was captured and executed for treason.
On March 16 1485 his wife Anne died from Tuberculosis, and on that day there was also a Solar Eclipse which many saw as an omen that Richard's reign would soon end. He was devestated by his wife's death and he openly cried at her funeral.
He was during this time planning the establishment of a large chantry chapel in York Minster, with over one hundred priests.
On August 22 1485 at Bosworth field in Leicester he and his army met the outnumbered forces of Henry Tudor. During the battle his close friend John Howard Duke of Norfork (Great Grandfather of Anne Boleyn) was killed. Richard led an impromptu cavalry charge deep into the enemy ranks in an attempt to end the battle quickly by striking at Henry Tudor himself. During his charge he unhorsed Sir John Cheney, and killed Henry Tudor's standard bearer Sir William Brandon and coming within a sword's length of Henry himself before being finally surrounded by Sir William Stanley's men and killed. He was buried at Greyfriars (Franciscan Friary), Leicester.
His burial site was later built over and were his grave was was paved over and made a parking lot. In August of 2012 the University of Leicester and Leicester City Council, in association with the Richard III Society, announced that they had joined forces to begin a search for his remains. While digging under the Leicester centre council car park the foundation of the church and the garden was found. On September 5 a male skeleton was found with severe scoliosis and an arrow head imbeded in the spine and was later identified by using DNA from a known decendant of his mother.
As of February 4 2013 his skeleton was identified, it was discovered that he had severe scoliosis of the spine which may have made one shoulder higher than the other. The Mayor of Leicester announced that the king's skeleton would be re-interred at Leicester Cathedral in early 2014, although there is a controversy on were he should actually be buried many say he should be buried in york were he was building a chapel or buried at Westminster Abbey or Windsor Castle.[link]
Link to Anne Neville: [link]
Link to great great grandfather Edward III: [link]
All credit goes to Doll-Divine and Azalea's Dress Up Doll Tudor Maker.[link]