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  1. Edward IV (28 April 1442 – 9 April 1483) was King of England from 4 March 1461 to 3 October 1470, then again from 11 April 1471 until his death in 1483. He was a central figure in the Wars of the Roses, a series of civil wars in England fought between the Yorkist and Lancastrian factions between 1455 and 1487.

  2. Edward IV, king of England from 1461 until October 1470 and again from April 1471 until his death in 1483. He was a leading participant in the Yorkist-Lancastrian conflict known as the Wars of the Roses. Learn more about Edward IV’s life and reign in this article.

  3. May 01, 2015 · "Edward IV (28 April 1442 – 9 April 1483) was King of England from 4 March 1461 until 3 October 1470, and again from 11 April 1471 until his death in 1483. He was the first Yorkist King of England. The first half of his rule was marred by the violence associated with the Wars of the Roses, but he overcame the Lancastrian challenge to the ...

    • April 28, 1442
    • Hundred Years' War: The Seeds of Discontent
    • Wars of The Roses
    • Edward Becomes King
    • Edward Deposed
    • Second Reign
    • Death & Successor

    The failures of the Hundred Years' War between England and France provided ambitious barons in England with an excuse to rid themselves of their talentless king. Henry VI provided no military leadership at all, and his marriage in 1445 CE to Margaret of Anjou (d. 1482 CE), niece of Charles VII of France (r. 1422-1461 CE), which involved the handing over of Maine, caused further division in England. Some barons resented the king's capitulation while others were angry that the hugely expensive war with France was still not at an end. The obvious influence of the queen on her weak-willed husband was yet another bone of contention amongst the court officials who were themselves seen as corrupt by outsiders. By 1453 CE the war was over, though, and the French had regained all English-controlled lands except Calais. It was then that Henry suffered his first episode of insanity which made him so incapable of ruling that Richard, Duke of York was nominated as Protector of the Realm, in effe...

    Richard was ambitious for the throne in the longer term. He did have a legitimate, if distant, claim to it as the great-grandson of Edward III of England (r. 1327-1377 CE) and the nephew of the Earl of March who himself had claimed he was the legitimate heir to Richard II of England (r. 1377-1399 CE). There was a serious rival, though, and this was the Earl of Somerset, also a descendant of Edward III but through that king's son John of Gaunt, father of Henry IV of England(r. 1399-1413 CE), first ruler of the House of Lancaster. Thus, two family groups were at odds: the house of York and the house of Lancaster, and each had allies amongst the nobility, which Henry VI had polarised through his interference in various disputes over the years. On top of that, the king's lack of an heir meant the field was open for anyone capable of pushing their claim via military victories. Consequently, the conflict we know today as the Wars of the Roses began. The name comes from the novelist Sir Wa...

    It was into this complex chess game of thrones that Edward was thrust when he reached maturity. Born on 28 April 1442 CE in Rouen in France, the son of Richard, Duke of York and Cecily Neville, Edward was now 17 and already a capable military leader. Edward of York, Earl of March as he was known prior to becoming king, took an active part in his father's cause and, with Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick (1428-71 CE), the pair defeated Queen Margaret's army at Northampton on 10 July 1460 CE and then captured King Henry. Richard, the Duke of York returned from Ireland and persuaded Henry, who was now in the Tower of London, to name him as the official heir to the throne, a decision ratified by the Act of Accord of 24 October. However, at the Battle of Wakefield on 30 December 1460 CE the Duke of York was killed and his army defeated by Henry VI loyalists led, once again, by the queen. Margaret ensured that Richard's head was displayed on a pike at Micklegate in York, adding a paper...

    A final defeat of Queen Margaret at Hexam in 1464 CE was followed by the capture of Henry VI in Lancashire in July 1465 CE who was imprisoned in the Tower of London. The new regime now looked well set but there was to be another twist in the Roses War yet. The Earl of Warwick and King Edward quarrelled over the latter's marriage to Elizabeth Woodville (l. c. 1437-1492 CE). Edward, tall and dashing (he was a highly unusual 1.93 metres/6 ft. 4 inches tall), had always been something of a ladies' man, and he was not content to settle for a marriage of convenience with a useful diplomatic ally. The girl who caught his roving eye was Elizabeth, in many ways a candidate with all the wrong credentials: a commoner, a widow, and a mother. The Earl of Warwick had been working behind the scenes to arrange a marriage for the king to the French Princess Bona of Savoy, and he was furious to discover that, four months earlier, Edward had married Elizabeth in secret on 1 May 1464 CE. The earl was e...

    Edward's second reign was largely stable and peaceful. Edward supported trade and commerce, even involving himself personally in some business investments. The king led a large army of around 12,000 men to France, but failing to acquire local support, he instead signed a lucrative peace treaty with Louis XI of France (1461-1483 CE) in March 1475 CE. The French monarch eagerly paid for Edward to remove his army, although Louis' eagerness may have been in full awareness he would later renege on his promises. Edward particularly encouraged trade between England and Burgundy - wool cloth being an especially lucrative trade good - and this helped the English economy recover as the treasury became solvent for the first time in centuries. Peace was cheaper than war but creating a significant surplus of state funds proved elusive. Unfortunately, an attempt to acquire trade concessions from the Hanseatic Leagueof German merchants came to nothing. There was one military campaign of significan...

    Edward IV was rather too fond of his favourite foods and wines as he reached middle age, and he became seriously overweight. The king died, perhaps of a stroke at Westminster on 9 April 1483 CE, aged just 40. He was buried at Windsor Castle and succeeded by his eldest son, Edward, then only 12 years old (b. 1470 CE). The young Edward V of England would only reign from April to June, and he never even had time to have a coronation. Edward and his younger brother Richard (b. 1473 CE) were imprisoned in the Tower of London where they became known as the 'Princes in the Tower'. The boys were never seen outside the castle again, murdered most likely by their uncle and regent, the Protector of the Realm, Richard, the Duke of Gloucester, or so the later Tudor historians and William Shakespeare (1564-1616 CE) would have us believe. Curiously, the Duke of Gloucester had been on duty in the Tower of London the night of Henry VI's murder, but the princes' deaths remain one of the great mysteri...

    • Mark Cartwright
  4. 1461 - 1470. First reign of Edward IV of England . 17 Feb 1461. A Yorkist army, led by the Earl of Warwick, is defeated at St. Albans. Henry VI of England is released from captivity. 29 Mar 1461. Edward of York wins the bloody Battle of Towton. Henry VI of England is deposed. 28 Jun 1461.

  5. Edward IV of England was a king of England. He was born on April 28, 1442. He was King of England from March 4, 1461 until his death on April 9, 1483. Edward was the eldest of the four sons of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York. The Duke of York was a very powerful man, and had a claim to the throne of England.

    • 28 June 1461
    • Henry VI
    • 4 March 1461 – 31 October 1470, 9 years, 241 days
    • Edward V
    • Edward's Appearance
    • Reign
    • Warwick 'The Kingmaker'
    • Edward's Achievements as King
    • George, Duke of Clarence
    • The Death of Edward IV
    • Questions About Edward's Legitimacy
    • The Fate of Elizabeth Woodville
    • The Ancestry of Edward IV
    • The Children and Grandchildren of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville

    King Edward IV was a very tall man, his skeleton, exhumed in 1789, measured 6 feet 3-3/4 inches in height. Edward was well renowned for his fair complexion and good looks. The Croyland Chronicler described Edward as "a person of most elegant appearance and remarkable beyond all others for the attractions of his person." Thomas More records of Edward ' He was a goodly personage and very princely to behold; of heart courageous, politic in counsel, in adversity nothing abashed, in prosperity rather joyful than proud, in peace just and merciful, in war sharp and fierce, in the field bold and hardy, and nevertheless no further than wisdom would, adventurous. More goes on to add ' He was of visage lovely; of body mighty, strong and clean made; howbeit in his latter days, with over liberal diet, somewhat corpulent and burly but nevertheless noy uncomely. He was in youth greatly given to fleshy wantoness, from which health of body in great prosperity and fortune, without a special grace, ha...

    On becoming king at nineteen years old, Edward met and secretly married Elizabeth Woodville, the widow of Sir John Grey of Groby, a Lancastrian knight had been killed in the Second Battle of St Albans in 1461. Elizabeth was the daughter of Sir Richard Woodville (later Earl Rivers) and Jacquetta of Luxembourg, whose first husband was John of Lancaster, Duke of Bedford, the brother of Henry V. Elizabeth first met Edward when she came to petition him for the restoration of her son's estates, the King had wanted her to become his mistress, but she refused. Bewitched by her beauty, he finally proposed, they were married at the Manor of Grafton in Northamptonshire on 1 May 1464. Elizabeth had two sons from her first marriage, Thomas, later created Marquess of Dorset, and Richard Grey. Elizabeth, who proved to be avaricious and grasping, quickly persuaded her besotted spouse to arrange advantageous marriages amongst the nobility for her large and needy family. This succeeded in alienating...

    Further ill-feeling and suspicion being engendered on both sides culminated in Warwick and Clarence's open revolt, Edward's forces were defeated by them at the Battle of Edgecote Moorin 1469, and the king himself captured, Warwick attempted to rule England in Edward's name, but a counter rebellion forced the king's release. Despite attempts at reconciliation on Edward's part and although pardoned, Warwick and Clarence incited a further rebellion in Lincolnshire under the leadership of Robert Welles, Viscount Welles, which was crushed by Edward at the Battle of Losecote Field. Warwick and Clarence promptly took ship for Calais with the countess of Warwick, and her daughters Anne Neville and the heavily pregnant Isabel, Duchess of Clarence, fleeing the country. Isabel's child was stillborn and buried at sea. In exile in France, Warwick entered into an alliance with Margaret of Anjou agreeing to restore the deposed Henry VI in exchange for French support. This alliance was sealed by th...

    An able ruler, Edward IV made an admirable start on reforming royal administration and on improving the machinery of royal finance. Edward embarked on an extensive building scheme, St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, intended to be the mausoleum of the House of York. He patronised his rival King Henry VI's foundation of Eton College. William Caxton set up England's first printing press during the reign, and also received Edward's patronage. Edward revived the ancient claim of English Kings to the throne of France and set sail for France in the summer of 1475 with an army of around 10, 000. He possessed a powerful ally in Charles, Duke of Burgundy, the husband of his sister Margaret. The Treaty of Picquigny in 1475 brought the King a pension from Louis XI along with diplomatic benefits. Several of the king's followers, which included his brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, considered the deal inglorious but Edward emerged with credit and had acquired a lucrative pension.

    The King's untrustworthy brother George, Duke of Clarence (pictured left) remained sullenly dissatisfied, his wife Isabel Neville died shortly after giving birth to a second son, Richard, in December 1476, she was followed to the grave by her baby the following January. The death of women in or after childbirth was a common occurrence of the age, but Clarence, always inclined to be of a suspicious frame of mind and driven by a burning resentment of the Queen and her family, accused Ankarette Twynho, a woman who had waited on his wife, of poisoning her. A jury was bullied into deciding Ankarette guilty and the unfortunate woman was hung. In retribution and as a warning, two of Clarence's men were executed on a charge of using magical arts against the King and his family. Frustrated but unable to strike directly at the Queen, he burst into the council chamber at Westminster and read aloud a declaration of their innocence. The Duke of Clarence had gone too far. A rising in Cambridgeshi...

    In his later years, due to overindulgence, Edward IV had put on much weight his once athletic physique had gone downhill and turned to fat, as did that of his formidable grandson, Henry VIII. The French writer Philippe de Commynes recorded that Edward was 'beginning to get fat and I had seen him on previous occasions looking more handsome.' After his return from France, Edward took Jane Shoreas his mistress, he called her the merriest of his concubines and described her as 'Merry in company, ready and quick of answer'. She possessed a large amount of influence over the king, which she did not use for her own personal gain, but often used it to bring those out of favour before the king to help them gain pardon. Thomas More later recorded many years later, that she "never abused (her influence) to any man's hurt, but to many a man's comfort and relief." and "where the king took displeasure, she would mitigate and appease his mind; where men were out of favor, she would bring them in h...

    Questions were raised in his reign concerning Edward's legitimacy, it was noted that he looked nothing like his father, the short and dark Richard Plantagenet. Rumours were promoted by the Earl of Warwick in 1469 and repeated by George, Duke of Clarence shortly before his death in 1478, but with no evidence. It was suggested that the real father may have been an archer called Blaybourne. until recently, the generally accepted view was that issue was a fallacy raised to support both the claims of his brothers George and later Richard III. Prior to his succession to the throne, on June 22, 1483, Richard III is said to have declared that his older brother was illegitimate. The Act of Titulus Regius describes Richard III as "the undoubted son and heir" of Richard, Duke of York, Mancini states that Edward's mother, Cecily Neville, known as 'Proud Cis' herself began this story, when she was informed of Edward's secret marriage to Elizabeth Woodville, the outraged Cecily is reported to hav...

    Elizabeth Woodville lived on to see further reversals of fortune. The throne of her son Edward Vwas usurped by her brother-in-law, the Duke of Gloucester, who became Richard III and her marriage to Edward IV declared invalid and her children bastards. Her two young sons, Edward V and Richard, Duke of York, disappeared inside the grim walls of the Tower of London and were never again seen alive. In an attempt to regain her lost influence, she supported the Lancastrian Henry Tudor, promising him the hand of her eldest daughter, Elizabeth of York. After Henry's defeat of Richard III at the Battle of Bosworthin 1485, he married Elizabeth of York, Elizabeth was restored to her position as Dowager Queen and stood as godparent to the new Tudor heir to the throne, her grandson, Prince Arthur. For reasons which remain unclear, Elizabeth quarrelled with her new son-in-law and was confined to a nunnery at Bermondsey in 1487. She died there, penniless on 8th June 1492 and was buried beside her...

    Edward IV Father: Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York Paternal Grandfather: Richard Plantagenet, Earl of Cambridge Paternal Great-grandfather: Edmund Plantagenet Duke of York Paternal Great-grandmother: Isabella of Castile Paternal Grandmother: Anne Mortimer Paternal Great-grandfather: Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March Paternal Great-grandmother: Eleanor Holland Mother: Cecily Neville Maternal Grandfather: Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland Maternal Great-grandfather: John Neville, 3rd Baron Neville de Raby Maternal Great-grandmother: Maud Percy Maternal Grandmother: Joan Beaufort Maternal Great-grandfather: John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster Maternal Great-grandmother: Katherine Swynford

    (1) Elizabeth of York (1466 - 1503) m. HENRY VII (i) Arthur, Prince of Wales (b. 1486) (ii) Margaret, Queen of Scotland (b.1489) m. (i)James IV King of Scots (ii)Archibald Douglas, Earl of Angus (iii) HENRY VIII (b. 1491) m. (i) Catherine of Aragon (ii) Anne Boleyn (iii) Jane Seymour (iv) Anne of Cleves (v) Catherine Howard (vi) Catherine Parr (iv) Elizabeth Tudor (died in infancy) (v) Mary Tudor (b. 1496) m. (i) Louis XII, King of France (ii) Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk (vi) Edmund Tudor (died in infancy) (vii) Catherine Tudor (died in infancy) (2) Mary (1467- 1482) (3) Cecily (1469 - 1507) m. (i) John, Viscount Welles (ii) William Kyme (4) EDWARD V (1470 - ?1483) (5) Margaret (b. & d. 1472) (6) Richard, Duke of York and Norfolk, Earl of Nottingham (1473 - ?1483) m. Anne Mowbray (7) Anne (1476 - 1511) m. Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk (8) George, Duke of Bedford (1477 - 1479) (9) Catherine (1479 - 1527) m.William Courtenay (i) Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devon (b. circa 1497...

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