King Edward IV of England 1442 – 1483

King Edward IV


This timeline details the life of King Edward IV, son of Richard Duke of York, who replaced King Henry VI, from his birth in 1442 to his death in 1483.



1442 (28th April)
A son, Edward was born to Richard of York and Cecily Neville at Rouen, France. Richard of York was heir apparent to the throne being the grandson of Edmund of Langley, fourth son of Edward III.
1452 (2nd October)
Edward’s brother, Richard, was born to Richard of York and Cecily Neville at Fotheringay Castle.
1453 (August)
King Henry VI suffered a mental breakdown and was unfit to rule. The Duke of Somerset, a favourite of King Henry and Margaret of Anjou took control of government.
1453 (September)
Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, advisor to the King, was annoyed that his enemy, Somerset, had control and turned his favour to Edward’s father, Richard Duke of York.
1453 (13th October)
A son, Edward, was born to King Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou at the Palace of Westminster. He was created Duke of Cornwall.
1454 (15th March)
Henry’s son, Edward, was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester.
1454 (27th March)
Edward’s father, Richard of York became protector in place of Somerset because many royal councillors were unhappy with the way Somerset was handling government.
1454 (December)
Henry VI regained his mental capacity. He put Somerset back in control of government.
1455 (Spring)
Edward’s father, Richard of York, his grandfather and the Earl of Warwick began raising troops against Henry and Somerset.
1455 (22nd May)
Wars of the Roses began
First Battle of St Albans
This battle saw the forces of Warwick, Salisbury and Richard Duke of York defeat the Lancastrians led by Somerset and Northumberland. Somerset was killed in the battle and Henry was captured.
1455 (3rd May)
With the King under his control, Edward’s father, Richard Duke of York, became Protector of the realm again.
1456 (February)
Edward’s father, Richard Duke of York, was dismissed as regent when Henry resumed personal rule supported by Queen Margaret.
1459 (23rd September)
Battle of Blore Heath
Edward’s father, Richard Duke of York, supported by Salisbury fought off a Lancastrian attack that was supported by the Percy family.
1459 (12th – 13th October)
Rout of Ludlow
Threatened by Margaret of Anjou and her supporters, Edward’s father, Richard of York, Warwick and the Nevilles mustered their supporters at Ludlow but when the main Lancastrian army appeared their men deserted. Richard of York fled to Ireland. Edward was taken to Calais with his grandfather, Salisbury and the Earl of Warwick.
1459 (November)
Edward and his family had all their titles and lands forfeited by Act of Attainder.
1460 (26th June)
Edward, accompanied by Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick and the Earl of Salisbury landed at Sandwich at the head of an army and marched towards London.
1460 (2nd July)
Edward rode north with the Earl of Warwick.
1460 (10th July)
Battle of Northampton
Edward, Earl of March and Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, defeated a Lancastrian force led by Humphrey, Stafford and Buckingham and captured Henry VI. Margaret of Anjou and Prince Edward fled to Harlech Castle.
1460 (14th July)
Edward and Warwick returned to London with Henry VI in captivity.
1460 (19th July)
Edward and Warwick used their forces to defeat the Lancastrian forces in the Tower of London.
1460 (September)
Edward’s father, Richard of York, claimed the throne but the landowners, refused to accept him as anything other than heir to the throne.
1460 (25th October)
Act of Accord
Edward’s father, Richard Duke of York, was named successor to the throne over Henry VI’s son, Edward.
1460 (30th December)
Battle of Wakefield
Queen Margaret, unwilling to accept the disinheritence of her son Edward, raised an army in the north. Edward’s father, Richard of York was forced to march north where he was defeated and killed by the Lancastrian force. Edward’s brother, Edmund, was also killed.
1460 (30th December)
Edward inherited his father’s titles of Duke of York, Earl of Ulster and Earl of Cambridge.
1460 (31st December)
Henry VI was released from captivity but was still mentally unstable and as a consequence was unfit to rule.
1461 (January)
Edward was put forward as a claimant to the throne by Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick.
1461 (2nd February)
Battle of Mortimer’s Cross
Edward led a Yorkist army that defeated a Lancastrian force led by the Earls of Pembroke and Wiltshire on route to join Margaret of Anjou’s advance on London.
1461 (17th February)
Second Battle of St Albans
The Yorkists were defeated in this battle that saw Henry VI returned to Lancastrian hands.
1461 (late February)
Edward joined forces with Warwick and marched towards London.
1461 (4th March)
Edward Duke of York took the throne as Edward IV with Warwick as his chief advisor.
1461 (29th March)
Battle of Towton
Edward pursued the Lancastrians north and attacked them near Tadcaster. After a long fight in heavy snowfall, the Lanastrians were defeated having suffered heavy casualties.
1461 (April)
Following the Lancastrian defeat at the Battle of Towton, Margaret and Prince Edward fled to Scotland where they were given refuge. Henry was imprisoned in the Tower of London.
1461 (28th June)
Edward IV was crowned King at Westminster Abbey.
1461 (after June)
Warwick was the real power behind the crown and made decisions and shaped policy.
1461 (1st November)
Edward created his brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester.
1462 (during)
Warwick was created High Admiral of England and Steward of the Duchy of Lancaster.
1462 (Summer)
Warwick successfully negotiated a truce with Scotland.
1462 (October)
Margaret of Anjou invaded with French troops and with the support of northern nobles including Ralph Percy took the castles of Alnwick and Bamburgh.
1463 (January)
Warwick had recaptured Alnwick and Bamburgh castles. The leaders of the rebellion were pardoned and Warwick returned to London.
1463 (late March)
Ralph Percy and northern nobles rose in support of Henry VI and took Northumberland and Norham. Warwick returned to the north and took Norham but was unable to take Northumberland. Unable to put the rebellions down, Warwick negotiated a truce with France which would be sealed with the marriage of Edward IV to the French King’s sister. Without French support the Lancastrians were unable to maintain there hold on the north. The leaders of the rebellion were executed.
1464 (1st May)
Edward secretly married Elizabeth Woodville, daughter of Richard Woodville, Baron Rivers.
1464 (September)
Edward announced his marriage. Warwick was angry with Edward because he had promised the French that Edward would seal their alliance with a royal marriage between the two countries.
1465 (24th July)
Henry VI was captured by Yorkist forces and taken to the Tower of London.
1466 (11th February)
A daughter, Elizabeth, was born to Edward and Elizabeth Woodville at the Palace of Westminster.
1466 (Spring)
Warwick was sent to negotiate with both the French and the Burgundians. Any truce would be sealed with the marriage of Edward’s sister Margaret. Warwick believed that a truce with France would be best for the country.
1466 (during)
King Edward made the Queen’s father, Baron Rivers, treasurer. Rivers pressed for an alliance with the Burgundians bringing him into conflict with Warwick who favoured a French alliance.
1467 (11th August)
A daughter, Mary, was born to Edward and Elizabeth Woodville at Windsor Castle.
1467 (October)
Warwick learned that Edward had gone behind his back and signed a treaty with the Burgundians. Warwick was frustrated and annoyed that Edward favoured his wife’s relatives rather than his trusted advisors.
1467 (late October)
Warwick was accused of plotting to return Henry VI to the throne. Warwick refused to attend court to answer the charge but instead sent a letter of denial which the King accepted.
1469 (during)
Warwick, frustrated by his lack of power over Edward, turned his attention to Edward’s younger brother, George, Duke of Clarence who he possibly intended to make King in Edward’s stead.
1469 (20th March)
A daughter, Cecily, was born to Edward and Elizabeth Woodville at the Palace of Westminster.
1469 (April)
Warwick secretly organised a rebellion against Edward in the North. The rebellion, known as Robin of Redesdale’s Rebellion, was quickly put down by the Yorkists.
1469 (26th July)
Battle of Edgecote Moor
Warwick raised an army of northern rebels led by Sir John Conyers, Edward’s cousin. They defeated a force of Welsh loyalists led by William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke.
1469 (late July)
Warwick captured Edward IV, and executed Baron Rivers and his son. With Edward in captivity he married his daughter to George Duke of Clarence. Warwick then attempted to rule in Edward’s name but he was not supported by the nobility.
1469 (August)
Warwick moved Edward IV to Middleham Castle where he remained under house arrest.
1469 (10th September)
Failing to gain the support of the nobility and with the country descending into disorder Warwick was forced to release Edward.
1469 (October)
Edward and Warwick tried to work together but when Edward went against Warwick’s advice and restored Henry Percy to Northumberland their relationship broke down.
1470 (12th March)
Battle of Losecoat Field
Warwick and George Duke of Clarence, with Lancastrian support, rebelled against Edward but were defeated. They fled to France.
1470 (1st May)
Warwick made an alliance with Margaret of Anjou.
1470 (13th September)
Warwick and the Duke of Clarence at the head of an army returned to England and landed at Plymouth.
1470 (2nd October)
In the face of mounting opposition from Warwick, Edward fled to Burgundy. His wife, Elizabeth Woodville, who was heavily pregnant, sought sanctuary in Westminster Abbey
1470 (3rd October)
Henry was restored to the English throne with Warwick as chief minister.
1470 (2nd November)
A son, Edward, was born to Edward and Elizabeth Woodville in Westminster Abbey.
1470 (13th December)
Warwick’s daughter, Anne, married Henry VI’s son and heir, Edward at Angers Cathedral.
1470 (November)
Edward’s titles and lands were confiscated by Parliament.
1471 (14th March)
Edward returned to England, landing at Ravenspur in Yorkshire at the head of a Burgundian Yorkist army. He was joined by the Earl of Northumberland and his brother George Duke of Clarence who defected from Warwick.
1471 (14th April)
Battle of Barnet
The Lancastrians led by Warwick met Edward’s Yorkist force at Barnet. After a three hour fight in thick fog, two Lancastrian divisions mistakenly attacked each other and the army broke and fled. Warwick fled but was knocked off his horse and killed.
1471 (25th June)
Edward’s son, Edward was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester.
1471 (4th May)
Battle of Tewekesbury
Edward, supported by his brother, Richard of Gloucester, attacked Margaret of Anjou’s forces as they were leaving for Wales. The Lancastrians were defeated and Edward, Prince of Wales, was killed. Margaret of Anjou was captured.
1471 (June)
Henry Tudor, son of Edmund Tudor and Margaret Beaufort, grandson of Catherine of Valois, wife of Henry V, by her second marriage to Owen Tudor, the last remaining Lancastrian hope for the crown, fled to Brittany with his uncle, Jaspar Tudor.
1471 (mid May)
Edward returned triumphant to London. It is believed that Henry was murdered in the Tower of London on the same day. Margaret was placed under house arrest.
1472 (10th April)
A daughter, Margaret, was born to Edward and Elizabeth Woodville at Windsor Castle.
1472 (12th July)
Edward’s brother, Richard Duke of Gloucester, married Anne Neville, daughter of the Earl of Warwick.
1472 (11th December)
Edward’s daughter, Margaret, died.
1473 (17th August)
A son, Richard, was born to Edward and Elizabeth Woodville at the Dominican Friary, Shrewsbury.
1474 (28th May)
Edward’s son, Richard, was created Duke of York.
1475 (during)
Edward negotiated a peace with Scotland.
1475 (4th July)
Edward invaded France with a large army to support his Burgundian allies against France.
1475 (August)
Treaty of Picquigny
Having received no help from Burgundy Edward decided to negotiate a peace with France. This was a seven year peace treaty between Louis XI and Edward IV that agreed that Louis would pay a yearly sum of money to keep the English away from France. Louis also agreed to pay a ransom to free Margaret of Anjou.
1475 (2nd November)
A daughter, Anne, was born to Edward and Elizabeth Woodville at the Palace of Westminster.
1476 (during)
Edward began an affair with Jane Shore.
1477 (March)
A son, George, was born to Edward and Elizabeth Woodville at the Palace of Westminster.
1478 (15th January)
Edward’s son Richard, Duke of York aged four was married to Anne de Mowbray, Countess of Norfolk, aged five.
1478 (18th February)
Edward had his brother, George Duke of Clarence, tried for treason and executed.
1479 (March)
Edward’s son, George, died at Windsor Castle.
1479 (8th July)
Edward’s son, Edward, was created Earl of March.
1479 (14th August)
A daughter, Katherine, was born to Edward and Elizabeth Woodville at Eltham Palace, Kent.
1480 (1st August)
A treaty of perpetual peace was concluded between England and Burgundy.
1480 (20th November)
A daughter, Bridget, was born to Edward and Elizabeth Woodville at Eltham Palace, Kent.
1482 (23rd May)
Edward’s daughter, Mary, died at Greenwich Palace, Westminster.
1483 (Easter)
Edward became ill. He nominated his brother, Richard Duke of Gloucester to be regent for his young son Edward in the event of his death.
1483 (9th April)
Edward died at the Palace of Westminster. He was succeeded by his son, Edward V.


Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2017). Edward IV 1442 – 1483 Timeline. Available: Last accessed February 21st, 2018


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