Edward IV – a brief history

Edward, the son of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, was born on 28 April 1442 at Rouen in France.

 Edward inherited his claim to the throne in 1460. 

With support from the powerful Earl of Warwick(‘the Kingmaker’), Edward defeated the Lancastrians. Consequently with Henry VI overthrown, Edward was crowned Edward IV. 

Warwick believed he could control the new King. He attempted to negotiate a foreign marriage.However in 1464 Edward secretly married Elizabeth Woodville, a commoner.

Warwick was furious and allied himself to Edward’s brother George, Duke of Clarence. George was attempting to lead a revolt against the king at that time.

Warwick and Clarence fled to France and joined Margaret of Anjou, wife of Henry VI. Margaret’s Lancastrian army invaded England in September 1470. Edward fled to the Netherlands until March 1471, then with his brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester, he returned to England.

Edward defeated and killed Warwick at Barnet before defeating the Lancastrians at Tewkesbury in May.

Henry VI was put to death in the Tower of London.

The second part of Edward’s reign.

From 1471 to 1483, there was a period of relative peace and security. Income from the Crown Estates paid governmental costs.  He only called called parliament six times. Commercial treaties, external peace and internal order revived trade. Councils were set up to govern in the Marches of Wales and in the north.

Edward died on 9 April 1483.

His young sons, Edward and Richard, were left in the protection of their uncle Richard the Duke of Gloucester. Richard housed them in the Tower of London where they were probably murdered on his orders. Parliament requested that Richard take the throne and he accepted, being crowned Richard III.

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