The Royal House of York, consisted of three monarchs; Edward IV – Edward V – Richard III, becoming the ruling house of England and Wales from 1471 until 1485.
King Edward IV: For the first nine years of Edward’s reign, he acted as Regent King for the mentally ill Lancastrian King; Henry VI. Those early years consisted of constant battles, maintaining order between warring factions of the House of York and aggressors of the House of Lancaster.
With Henry VI dead, Edward was crowned King of England in 1461. His arch enemy Margaret of Anjou, wife of the late King Henry VI was immediately arrested, and later returned to France.
The Wars of the Roses, which had taken place between the Lancastrians and Yorkists, meant Edward ruled a peaceful land.
On the 9th April 1483, King Edward IV died, and was buried at St.George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.
King Edward V: Edward was born in 1470, in the sanctuary of Westminster Abbey, for his parents Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, feared attacks by Lancastrian supporters.
In 1483, Prince Edward was informed his father’s death was close at hand, and on the 30th April was escorted to the Tower of London, as the future King of England. On the 16th June, Edward’s brother, Richard Duke of York, was also moved to the Tower of London.
Deceit was at hand, as Richard the Duke of Gloucester made his play for the English throne.
Evidence was produced before Parliament, by Philippe de Commines, the Bishop of Bath and Wells, that Edward V had married another, before his marriage to Elizabeth Woodville.
Parliament agreed with Richard, that the young princes be illegitimate, and Richard the Duke of York would be England’s next King.
The young Edward V and his brother Richard the Duke of York were declared illegitimate, and these young princes slowly disappeared from sight, becoming prisoner’s at the Tower of London. It wasn’t long before they disappeared all together, believed to have been murdered upon the orders of Richard.
King Richard III: Richard Plantagenet, son of Richard the Duke of York, was born in 1452 and by 1483 had seized the English throne through deceit, from the rightful heir; Prince Edward.
Richard III, instigated the first ever execution to be held at the Tower of London, and in 1483 held the post of Lord Protector of the Prince of Wales upon the death of his father.
Richard suffered personal losses in 1484, with the death of his son Edward of Middleham, and in 1485, his wife Anne Neville died.
Richard’s reign was overshadowed by the constant threat of a Tudor invasion. A few months after the death of his wife, Richard clashed with Tudor forces on Bosworth Field, where he was defeated and killed.
His naked body was first buried at Greyfriars Church, and later tossed in the river after the Dissolution of the Monasteries, by an angry mob. He would have to wait some 500 years before his remains would be buried in Leicester Cathedral in 2015.