Richard III 1452 – 1485

King Richard III of England and Wales

This timeline details the life of King Richard III, son of King Edward IV and brother of King Edward IV from his birth in 1452 to his death on the battlefield of Bosworth in 1485. It includes the discovery of his remains under a car park in 2012 and their subsequent re-internment.

 

1452 (2nd October)
A son, 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 Richard’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)
Richard’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)
Richard’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, Richard’s father, Richard Duke of York, became Protector of the realm again.
1456 (February)
Richard’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
Richard’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, Richard’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. Richard’s brother, Edward was taken to Calais with his grandfather, Salisbury and the Earl of Warwick.
1459 (November)
Richard and his family had all their titles and lands forfeited by Act of Attainder.
Richard’s brother 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 (10th July)
Battle of Northampton
Richard’s brother 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 (September)
Richard’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
Richard’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. Richard’s father, Richard of York was forced to march north where he was defeated and killed by the Lancastrian force. Richard’s brother Edmund, was also killed.
1460 (30th December)
Richard’s brother, 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)
Richard, was taken to the Netherlands by his mother for safety. His elder brother, Edward was put forward as a claimant to the throne by Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick.
1461 (2nd February)
Battle of Mortimer’s Cross
Richard’s brother, 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)
Richard’s brother, Edward joined forces with Warwick and marched towards London.
1461 (4th March)
Richard’s brother took the throne as Edward IV with Warwick as his chief advisor.
1461 (29th March)
Battle of Towton
Richard’s brother, 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 (12th June)
Richard and his family returned to England.
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)
Richard was created 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 (2nd October)
Richard was appointed Constable of Corfe Castle in Dorset and Governor of the North.
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)
Richard’s brother Edward secretly married Elizabeth Woodville, daughter of Richard Woodville, Baron Rivers.
1464 (September)
Richard’s brother 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 (during)
Richard began his education in the household of Warwick.
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 Richard’s brother 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 (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 Richard’s brother, George, Duke of Clarence who he possibly intended to make King in Edward’s stead.
1469 (Spring)
Richard was removed from Warwick’s household as relations between Warwick and the King broke down.
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 IV.
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.
1469 (17th October)
Richard was created Constable of England.
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, Richard and Edward IV fled to Burgundy.
1470 (30th October)
Henry VI was restored to the English throne with Warwick as chief minister.
1470 (2nd November)
A son, Edward, was born to Edward and Elizabeth Woodville at the Palace of Westminster.
1470 (13th December)
Warwick’s daughter, Anne, married Henry VI’s son and heir, Edward at Angers Cathedral.
1470 (November)
Richard and Edward’s titles and lands were confiscated by Parliament.
1471 (14th March)
Richard returned to England with his brother Edward, landing at Ravenspur in Yorkshire at the head of a Burgundian Yorkist army. They were joined by the Earl of Northumberland and their brother George Duke of Clarence who had defected from Warwick.
1471 (14th April)
Battle of Barnet
The Lancastrians led by Warwick met Edward’s Yorkist force at Barnet. Richard led the vanguard. 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 (4th May)
Battle of Tewekesbury
Richard and Edward 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 (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.
1471 (18th May)
Richard was created Lieutenant of the North, High Sherrif of Cumberland and Commander-in-Chief against the Scots.
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 (25th June)
Edward IV’s son, Edward was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester.
1472 (February)
Richard proposed to Anne Neville, daughter of the deceased Earl of Warwick and former wife of Edward Prince of Wales, son of Henry VI. Anne had been held under house arrest by Richard’s brother George Duke of Clarence.
1472 (12th July)
Richard married Anne Neville at Westminster Abbey. The marriage gave Richard the support of many of Anne’s father’s former supporters in the North.
1473 (June)
Richard’s mother-in-law, Anne de Beauchamp, joined Richard and his wife at Middleham Castle.
1473 (December)
Richard’s son Edward was born at Middleham Castle, Yorkshire.
1475 (during)
Richard’s brother Edward negotiated a peace with Scotland.
1475 (during)
Richard’s brother 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. Richard did not agree with his brother’s action in agreeing this truce.
1477 (during)
Richard and his wife, Anne, joined the Corpus Christi Guild of York.
1478 (18th February)
Richard’s brother, George Duke of Clarence, was tried for treason and executed.
1482 (July)
On Edward’s orders, Richard invaded Scotland.
1482 (24th August)
Richard re-took Berwick from the Scots.
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 buried in St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. In accordance with Edward’s wishes, Richard became Lord High Protector.
1483 (14th April)
Edward was given the news that his father had died at Ludlow Castle where he was staying with his Woodville relatives.
1483 (16th April)
Richard, who was in the North, was informed of his brother’s death. He wrote to Lord Rivers, at Ludlow Castle pledging loyalty to the young king.
1483 (21st April)
Richard held a funeral ceremony for his brother. He also made the nobility swear an oath of fealty to the young Edward V.
1483 (23rd April)
Richard left York to travel to London.
1483 (24th April)
Edward began the journey south to London escorted by his Woodville family. The Woodvilles were keen to get Edward to London and have him crowned so as not to lose power.
1483 (30th April)
Richard Duke of Gloucester met Edward and his party as they were travelling south. He arrested Earl Rivers, Richard Grey and Thomas Vaughan and sent them north where they were placed in captivity. He took then captured Edward and continued on to the Tower of London.
1483 (1st May)
On hearing of her father’s arrest, Elizabeth Woodville, her son Richard, her five daughters and her brother Lionel sought sanctuary at Westminster Abbey.
1483 (4th May)
Richard and Edward reached London. This day had originally been intended for the coronation ceremony.
1483 (8th May)
Richard was officially appointed Lord Protector.
1483 (10th May)
Richard announced that the King’s coronation wold take place on 22nd June.
1483 (19th May)
Edward reached the Tower of London.
1483 (early June)
Buckingham told Richard that he suspected William Hastings of being disloyal and plotting with the Woodvilles.
1483 (13th June)
William Hastings was summoned to a Council meeting in the Tower of London. He was charged with treason and executed without trial on the same day.
1483 (16th June)
Edward’s brother Richard joined him in the Tower of London. Elizabeth Woodvill had been persuaded to give him up in the hopes of maintaining the safety of her other children.
1483 (17th June)
Richard announced that the King’s coronation would now take place in October.
1483 (22nd June)
Ralph Shaw preached a sermon stating that Edward IV had been contracted to marry Eleanor Butler when he married Elizabeth Woodville and that the marriage was therefore invalid and his children all illegitimate.
1483 (25th June)
Parliament declared that as Edward IV’s marriage to Elizabeth Woodville was invalid and the children of Richard of Gloucester’s older brother, George Duke of Clarence had been denied succession rights, then Richard was the rightful King.
1483 (25th June)
Earl River was found guilty of treason and executed the same day.
1483 (26th June)
Richard, Duke of Gloucester, took the throne as Richard III.
1483 (July)
Edward and his brother were last seen playing in the gardens of the Tower.
1483 (6th July)
Richard was crowned King Richard III, his wife, Anne was crowned Queen consort. The princes Edward and Richard did not attend the coronation.
1483 (9th July)
The princes’ servants were dismissed.
1483 (mid July)
Richard, accompanied by his wife and son left London to make a progress of the country.
1483 (August)
The princes, Edward and Richard were last seen at the windows of the Tower.
1483 (24th August)
Richard’s son, Edward, was created Prince of Wales.
1483 (29th August)
Richard reached York on his progress. He was well received by the city.
1483 (10th October)
The Duke of Buckingham rebelled against Richard’s rule. Buckingham was supported by Henry Tudor, son of Edmund Tudor (who was the son of Owen Tudor and Henry V’s widow, Catherine of Valois) and Margaret Beaufort.
1483 (2nd November)
Buckingham was executed.
1483 (25th December)
Henry Tudor announced that he was the rightful King of England and that when he took the throne he would marry Edward IV’s eldest daughter, Elizabeth of York.
1484 (January)
Richard, his wife and son, made a progress of Kent.
1484 (23rd January)
Titulus Regius
This act, passed by Parliament, formally declared Richard to be lawful King and settled the succession on his son Edward. The children of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville were declared illegitimate.
1484 (1st March)
Elizabeth Woodville paid homage to Richard and left sanctuary with her daughters.
1484 (9th April)
Richard’s son, Edward died.
1484 (mid July)
Richard moved the Council of the North to Sandal in Yorkshire.
1484 (21st September)
Richard agreed a three year truce with Scotland.
1485 (16th March)
Richard’s wife, Anne Neville died probably of tuberculosis.
1485 (7th August)
Henry Tudor landed at Milford Haven in Wales at the head of an army.
1485 (18th August)
Richard called his army to muster at Leicester.
1485 (21st August)
Richard, at the head of his army, left Leicester and marched to meet the forces of Henry Tudor.
1485 (22nd August)
Battle of Bosworth Field
This decisive battle between the forces of Henry Tudor and Richard III, saw Richard killed and Henry proclaimed King Henry VII on the battlefield.
1485 (25th August)
Richard III was buried quickly and quietly in the church of Greyfriars, Leicester.
2012 (11th September)
Workmen working in a car park in Leicester discovered the site to be that of Greyfriars Church. A skeleton of an adult male with wounds to the skull and curvature of the spine was found. DNA testing began to discover if the remains were those of Richard III.
2013 (4th February)
It was announced that DNA testing had confirmed that the skeleton found in the car park was that of King Richard III.
2015 (26th March)
The remains of King Richard III were re-interred in a tomb in Leicester Cathedral.

 

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2017). Richard III 1452 – 1485. Available: http://www.totallytimelines.com/richard-iii-1452-1485 Last accessed December 12th, 2017

 

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