Richard III of England
Overview
Richard III was King of England
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

 for two years, from 1483 until his death in 1485 during the Battle of Bosworth Field
Battle of Bosworth Field
The Battle of Bosworth Field was the penultimate battle of the Wars of the Roses, the civil war between the House of Lancaster and the House of York that raged across England in the latter half of the 15th century. Fought on 22 August 1485, the battle was won by the Lancastrians...

. He was the last king of the House of York
House of York
The House of York was a branch of the English royal House of Plantagenet, three members of which became English kings in the late 15th century. The House of York was descended in the paternal line from Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York, the fourth surviving son of Edward III, but also represented...

 and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty. His defeat at the Battle of Bosworth Field was the decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses
Wars of the Roses
The Wars of the Roses were a series of dynastic civil wars for the throne of England fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the houses of Lancaster and York...

 and is sometimes regarded as the end of the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 in England.
Encyclopedia
Richard III was King of England
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

 for two years, from 1483 until his death in 1485 during the Battle of Bosworth Field
Battle of Bosworth Field
The Battle of Bosworth Field was the penultimate battle of the Wars of the Roses, the civil war between the House of Lancaster and the House of York that raged across England in the latter half of the 15th century. Fought on 22 August 1485, the battle was won by the Lancastrians...

. He was the last king of the House of York
House of York
The House of York was a branch of the English royal House of Plantagenet, three members of which became English kings in the late 15th century. The House of York was descended in the paternal line from Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York, the fourth surviving son of Edward III, but also represented...

 and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty. His defeat at the Battle of Bosworth Field was the decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses
Wars of the Roses
The Wars of the Roses were a series of dynastic civil wars for the throne of England fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the houses of Lancaster and York...

 and is sometimes regarded as the end of the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 in England. He is the subject of an eponymous play
Richard III (play)
Richard III is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1591. It depicts the Machiavellian rise to power and subsequent short reign of Richard III of England. The play is grouped among the histories in the First Folio and is most often classified...

 by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

.

When his brother Edward IV
Edward IV of England
Edward IV was King of England from 4 March 1461 until 3 October 1470, and again from 11 April 1471 until his death. He was the first Yorkist King of England...

 died in April 1483, Richard was named Lord Protector
Lord Protector
Lord Protector is a title used in British constitutional law for certain heads of state at different periods of history. It is also a particular title for the British Heads of State in respect to the established church...

 of the realm for Edward's son and successor, the 12-year-old King Edward V
Edward V of England
Edward V was King of England from 9 April 1483 until his deposition two months later. His reign was dominated by the influence of his uncle Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who succeeded him as Richard III...

. As the new king travelled to London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 from Ludlow
Ludlow
Ludlow is a market town in Shropshire, England close to the Welsh border and in the Welsh Marches. It lies within a bend of the River Teme, on its eastern bank, forming an area of and centred on a small hill. Atop this hill is the site of Ludlow Castle and the market place...

, Richard met him and escorted him to London where he was lodged in the Tower
Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...

. Edward V's brother Richard
Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of York
Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of York, 1st Duke of Norfolk, 1st Earl of Norfolk, Earl Marshal was the sixth child and second son of King Edward IV of England and Elizabeth Woodville. He was born in Shrewsbury....

 later joined him there. Arrangements began to be made for Edward's coronation on 22 June.

However, before the young king could be crowned, Edward IV's marriage to the boys' mother Elizabeth Woodville
Elizabeth Woodville
Elizabeth Woodville was Queen consort of England as the spouse of King Edward IV from 1464 until his death in 1483. Elizabeth was a key figure in the series of dynastic civil wars known as the Wars of the Roses. Her first husband, Sir John Grey of Groby was killed at the Second Battle of St Albans...

 was publicly declared to be invalid, making their children illegitimate and ineligible for the throne. On 25 June an assembly of lords and commoners endorsed these claims. The following day Richard III officially began his reign. He was crowned on 6 July. The two young princes were not seen in public after August and there arose subsequently a number of accusations that the boys had been murdered by Richard, giving rise to the legend of the Princes in the Tower
Princes in the Tower
The Princes in the Tower is a term which refers to Edward V of England and Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of York. The two brothers were the only sons of Edward IV of England and Elizabeth Woodville alive at the time of their father's death...

.

There were two major rebellions against Richard. The first, in October 1483, was led by staunch opponents of Edward IV and most notably by Richard's former ally, Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham
Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham
Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, KG played a major role in Richard III of England's rise and fall. He is also one of the primary suspects in the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower...

. The revolt collapsed and Buckingham was executed at Salisbury
Salisbury
Salisbury is a cathedral city in Wiltshire, England and the only city in the county. It is the second largest settlement in the county...

 near the Bull's Head Inn. In August 1485 there was another rebellion against Richard, headed by Henry Tudor, 2nd Earl of Richmond
Henry VII of England
Henry VII was King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizing the crown on 22 August 1485 until his death on 21 April 1509, as the first monarch of the House of Tudor....

 (later King Henry VII) and his uncle Jasper. Henry Tudor landed in Pembrokeshire, his birthplace, with a small contingent of French troops, and marched through Wales recruiting foot soldiers and skilled archers. Richard fell in the Battle of Bosworth Field
Battle of Bosworth Field
The Battle of Bosworth Field was the penultimate battle of the Wars of the Roses, the civil war between the House of Lancaster and the House of York that raged across England in the latter half of the 15th century. Fought on 22 August 1485, the battle was won by the Lancastrians...

, the last English king to die in battle (and the only king to die in battle on English soil since Harold II
Harold Godwinson
Harold Godwinson was the last Anglo-Saxon King of England.It could be argued that Edgar the Atheling, who was proclaimed as king by the witan but never crowned, was really the last Anglo-Saxon king...

 at the Battle of Hastings
Battle of Hastings
The Battle of Hastings occurred on 14 October 1066 during the Norman conquest of England, between the Norman-French army of Duke William II of Normandy and the English army under King Harold II...

 in 1066).

Childhood

Richard was born at Fotheringhay Castle
Fotheringhay Castle
Fotheringhay Castle was in the village of Fotheringhay 3½ miles to the north of the market town of Oundle, Northamptonshire .King Richard III was born here in 1452 and it was also where Mary, Queen of Scots, was tried and executed in 1587....

, the eighth and youngest child of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York
Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York
Richard Plantagenêt, 3rd Duke of York, 6th Earl of March, 4th Earl of Cambridge, and 7th Earl of Ulster, conventionally called Richard of York was a leading English magnate, great-grandson of King Edward III...

 (who was a strong claimant to the throne of King Henry VI
Henry VI of England
Henry VI was King of England from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471, and disputed King of France from 1422 to 1453. Until 1437, his realm was governed by regents. Contemporaneous accounts described him as peaceful and pious, not suited for the violent dynastic civil wars, known as the Wars...

), and Cecily Neville
Cecily Neville
Cecily Neville, Duchess of York was the wife of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, and the mother of two Kings of England: Edward IV and Richard III....

. Richard spent several impressionable years of his childhood at Middleham Castle
Middleham Castle
Middleham Castle in Wensleydale, in the county of North Yorkshire, was built by Robert Fitzrandolph, 3rd Lord of Middleham and Spennithorne, commencing in 1190. It was built near the site of an earlier motte and bailey castle...

 in Wensleydale
Wensleydale
Wensleydale is the valley of the River Ure on the east side of the Pennines in North Yorkshire, England.Wensleydale lies in the Yorkshire Dales National Park – one of only a few valleys in the Dales not currently named after its principal river , but the older name, "Yoredale", can still be seen...

 under the tutelage of his cousin Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick
Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick
Richard Neville KG, jure uxoris 16th Earl of Warwick and suo jure 6th Earl of Salisbury and 8th and 5th Baron Montacute , known as Warwick the Kingmaker, was an English nobleman, administrator, and military commander...

 (later known as the "Kingmaker" because of his role in the Wars of the Roses
Wars of the Roses
The Wars of the Roses were a series of dynastic civil wars for the throne of England fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the houses of Lancaster and York...

). While Richard was at Warwick's estate, he developed a close friendship with Francis Lovell, a friendship that would remain strong for the rest of his life. Another child in the household was Warwick's daughter Anne Neville
Anne Neville
Lady Anne Neville was Princess of Wales as the wife of Edward of Westminster and Queen of England as the consort of King Richard III. She held the latter title for less than two years, from 26 June 1483 until her death in March 1485...

, whom Richard would later marry.

At the time of the death of his father and older brother Edmund, Earl of Rutland
Edmund, Earl of Rutland
Edmund, Earl of Rutland was the fifth child and second surviving son of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York and Cecily Neville...

, at the Battle of Wakefield
Battle of Wakefield
The Battle of Wakefield took place at Sandal Magna near Wakefield, in West Yorkshire in Northern England, on 30 December 1460. It was a major battle of the Wars of the Roses...

, Richard, who was eight years old, was sent by his mother, the Duchess of York, to the Low Countries, beyond the reach of Henry VI's vengeful Queen, Margaret of Anjou
Margaret of Anjou
Margaret of Anjou was the wife of King Henry VI of England. As such, she was Queen consort of England from 1445 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471; and Queen consort of France from 1445 to 1453...

. He was accompanied by his elder brother George (later Duke of Clarence)
George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence
George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence, 1st Earl of Salisbury, 1st Earl of Warwick, KG was the third son of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, and Cecily Neville, and the brother of kings Edward IV and Richard III. He played an important role in the dynastic struggle known as the Wars of the...

. They returned to England following the defeat of the Lancastrians at the Battle of Towton
Battle of Towton
In 1461, England was in the sixth year of the Wars of the Roses, a series of civil wars between the Houses of York and Lancaster over the English throne. The Lancastrians backed the reigning King of England, Henry VI, an indecisive man who suffered bouts of madness...

 and participated in the coronation of Richard's eldest brother as King Edward IV
Edward IV of England
Edward IV was King of England from 4 March 1461 until 3 October 1470, and again from 11 April 1471 until his death. He was the first Yorkist King of England...

. At this time, Richard was named Duke of Gloucester
Duke of Gloucester
Duke of Gloucester is a British royal title , often conferred on one of the sons of the reigning monarch. The first four creations were in the Peerage of England, the next in the Peerage of Great Britain, and the last in the Peerage of the United Kingdom; this current creation carries with it the...

 as well as being made a Knight of the Garter
Order of the Garter
The Most Noble Order of the Garter, founded in 1348, is the highest order of chivalry, or knighthood, existing in England. The order is dedicated to the image and arms of St...

 and a Knight of the Bath
Order of the Bath
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate mediæval ceremony for creating a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as Knights of the Bath...

. Richard was then sent to Warwick's estate at Middleham
Middleham
Middleham is a small market town and civil parish in the Richmondshire district of North Yorkshire, England. It lies in Wensleydale, in the Yorkshire Dales, on the north-facing side of the valley just above the junction of the River Ure and River Cover. There has been a settlement there since Roman...

 for his knightly training. With some interruptions, Richard stayed at Middleham until early 1465, when he was 12.

Richard became involved in the rough politics of the Wars of the Roses at an early age. Edward appointed him the sole Commissioner of Array for the Western Counties in 1464, when he was 11. By the age of 17, he had an independent command.

For a second time in his youth, Richard was forced to seek refuge in the Low Countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

, which were then part of the realm of the Duchy of Burgundy
Duchy of Burgundy
The Duchy of Burgundy , was heir to an ancient and prestigious reputation and a large division of the lands of the Second Kingdom of Burgundy and in its own right was one of the geographically larger ducal territories in the emergence of Early Modern Europe from Medieval Europe.Even in that...

. His sister Margaret
Margaret of York
Margaret of York – also by marriage known as Margaret of Burgundy – was Duchess of Burgundy as the third wife of Charles the Bold and acted as a protector of the Duchy after his death. She was a daughter of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, and Cecily Neville, and the sister of...

 had become the wife of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, in 1468. Richard, along with his brother the King, fled to Burgundy in October 1470 after Warwick defected to the side of Margaret of Anjou
Margaret of Anjou
Margaret of Anjou was the wife of King Henry VI of England. As such, she was Queen consort of England from 1445 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471; and Queen consort of France from 1445 to 1453...

. Only 18 years old, Richard played crucial roles in two battles which resulted in Edward's restoration to the throne in spring 1471 – Barnet
Battle of Barnet
The Battle of Barnet was a decisive engagement in the Wars of the Roses, a dynastic conflict of 15th-century England. The military action, along with the subsequent Battle of Tewkesbury, secured the throne for Edward IV...

 and Tewkesbury
Battle of Tewkesbury
The Battle of Tewkesbury, which took place on 4 May 1471, was one of the decisive battles of the Wars of the Roses. The forces loyal to the House of Lancaster were completely defeated by those of the rival House of York under their monarch, King Edward IV...

.

Reign of Edward IV

During the reign of Edward IV, Richard demonstrated his loyalty and skill as a military commander. He was rewarded with large estates in northern England
Northern England
Northern England, also known as the North of England, the North or the North Country, is a cultural region of England. It is not an official government region, but rather an informal amalgamation of counties. The southern extent of the region is roughly the River Trent, while the North is bordered...

, and appointed as Governor of the North, becoming the richest and most powerful noble in England. On 17 October 1469, he was made Constable of England. In November he replaced William Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings
William Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings
William Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings KG was an English nobleman. A follower of the House of York, he became a close friend and the most important courtier of King Edward IV, whom he served as Lord Chamberlain...

 as Chief Justice of North Wales. The following year, he was appointed Chief Steward and Chamberlain of Wales. On 18 May 1471, Richard was named Great Chamberlain and Lord High Admiral of England. Other positions followed: High Sheriff of Cumberland
High Sheriff of Cumberland
The High Sheriff is the oldest secular office under the Crown. Formerly the High Sheriff was the principal law enforcement officer in the county but over the centuries most of the responsibilities associated with the post have been transferred elsewhere or are now defunct, so that its functions...

 for life, Lieutenant of the North and Commander-in Chief against the Scots and hereditary Warden of the West Marches. In contrast, their other surviving brother, George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence
George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence
George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence, 1st Earl of Salisbury, 1st Earl of Warwick, KG was the third son of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, and Cecily Neville, and the brother of kings Edward IV and Richard III. He played an important role in the dynastic struggle known as the Wars of the...

, fell out with Edward and was executed for treason
Treason
In law, treason is the crime that covers some of the more extreme acts against one's sovereign or nation. Historically, treason also covered the murder of specific social superiors, such as the murder of a husband by his wife. Treason against the king was known as high treason and treason against a...

.

Richard controlled the north of England until Edward IV's death. There, and especially in the city of York
York
York is a walled city, situated at the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss in North Yorkshire, England. The city has a rich heritage and has provided the backdrop to major political events throughout much of its two millennia of existence...

, he was regarded with much love and affection. He raised the churches at Middleham and Barnard Castle to collegiate
Collegiate church
In Christianity, a collegiate church is a church where the daily office of worship is maintained by a college of canons; a non-monastic, or "secular" community of clergy, organised as a self-governing corporate body, which may be presided over by a dean or provost...

 status. In 1482 Richard recaptured Berwick-upon-Tweed
Berwick-upon-Tweed
Berwick-upon-Tweed or simply Berwick is a town in the county of Northumberland and is the northernmost town in England, on the east coast at the mouth of the River Tweed. It is situated 2.5 miles south of the Scottish border....

 from the Kingdom of Scotland
Kingdom of Scotland
The Kingdom of Scotland was a Sovereign state in North-West Europe that existed from 843 until 1707. It occupied the northern third of the island of Great Britain and shared a land border to the south with the Kingdom of England...

, the last time that the Royal Burgh
Royal burgh
A royal burgh was a type of Scottish burgh which had been founded by, or subsequently granted, a royal charter. Although abolished in 1975, the term is still used in many of the former burghs....

 would change hands between the two realms.

Accession to the Throne

On the death of Edward IV, on 9 April 1483, the late king's twelve-year-old son, Edward V
Edward V of England
Edward V was King of England from 9 April 1483 until his deposition two months later. His reign was dominated by the influence of his uncle Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who succeeded him as Richard III...

, succeeded him.
Richard was named Lord Protector of the young king and quickly moved to keep the family of the Queen mother from exercising power. Elizabeth's brother Anthony Woodville, 2nd Earl Rivers
Anthony Woodville, 2nd Earl Rivers
Anthony Woodville, 2nd Earl Rivers was an English nobleman, courtier, and writer.He was the eldest son of Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers and Jacquetta of Luxembourg. Like his father, he was originally a Lancastrian, fighting on that side at the Battle of Towton, but later became a Yorkist...

, and others were arrested and taken to Pontefract Castle
Pontefract Castle
Pontefract Castle is a castle in the town of Pontefract, in the City of Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England. It was the site of the demise of Richard II of England, and later the place of a series of famous sieges during the English Civil War-History:...

, where they were later executed under the accusation of having planned to assassinate Richard. He then took Edward and his younger brother, nine-year-old Richard, Duke of York
Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of York
Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of York, 1st Duke of Norfolk, 1st Earl of Norfolk, Earl Marshal was the sixth child and second son of King Edward IV of England and Elizabeth Woodville. He was born in Shrewsbury....

, to the Tower of London
Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...

, in accordance with advice given by Baron Hastings.

Shortly afterwards, during a council meeting held on 13 June at the Tower of London, Richard accused Hastings and others of having conspired against him with the Woodvilles, with Jane Shore
Jane Shore
Elizabeth "Jane" Shore was one of the many mistresses of King Edward IV of England, the first of the three whom he described respectively as "the merriest, the wiliest, and the holiest harlots" in his realm...

, lover to both Hastings and Thomas Grey, 1st Marquess of Dorset
Thomas Grey, 1st Marquess of Dorset
Thomas Grey, 7th Baron Ferrers of Groby, 1st Earl of Huntingdon and 1st Marquess of Dorset, KG , was an English nobleman, courtier and a man of mediocre abilities pushed into prominence by his mother Elizabeth Woodville's second marriage to the king, Edward IV.-Family:Thomas was born about 1455,...

, acting as a go-between. Hastings was summarily executed, while others were arrested. Hastings was not attainted, however, and Richard sealed an indenture which placed his widow Katherine
Katherine Neville, Baroness Hastings
Katherine Neville, Baroness Hastings , was a noblewoman and a member of the powerful Neville family of northern England...

 directly under his protection.

Around that time, Robert Stillington
Robert Stillington
Robert Stillington was Bishop of Bath and Wells and a courtier under Edward IV of England. He twice served as Edward#s Lord Chancellor and in 1483, he was instrumental in the accession of Richard III, leading to reprisals under Henry VII.-Life:Stillington was Archdeacon of Wells when he was made...

, the bishop of Bath and Wells, informed Richard that Edward IV's marriage to Elizabeth Woodville had been invalid due to an earlier union by the King with Eleanor Butler
Lady Eleanor Talbot
Lady Eleanor Talbot was a daughter of John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury. Her alleged pre-contract of marriage with King Edward IV of England was of great significance to the final fate of the Plantagenet dynasty and outcome of the Wars of the Roses.-Marriage:In 1449, 13-year-old Eleanor married...

, making Edward V and his siblings illegitimate. On 22 June 1483, a sermon was preached outside St. Paul's Cathedral which declared Edward's children bastards and Richard the rightful king. After the citizens of London, nobles and commons convened, a petition was drawn up, asking Richard to assume the throne. He accepted on 26 June and was crowned at Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

 on 6 July 1483. His title to the throne was later confirmed by Parliament in January 1484 by the document Titulus Regius
Titulus Regius
Titulus Regius is a statute of the Parliament of England, issued in 1484, by which the title of King of England was given to Richard III of England....

.

The princes, still lodged at the Tower of London (the Royal Residence), gradually disappeared from sight. Although Richard III is generally accused of having Edward V and his brother killed, there is considerable debate about the actual fate of the princes in the Tower
Princes in the Tower
The Princes in the Tower is a term which refers to Edward V of England and Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of York. The two brothers were the only sons of Edward IV of England and Elizabeth Woodville alive at the time of their father's death...

. The Richard III Society works to prove his innocence.

Richard and his wife Anne endowed King's College
King's College, Cambridge
King's College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, England. The college's full name is "The King's College of our Lady and Saint Nicholas in Cambridge", but it is usually referred to simply as "King's" within the University....

 and Queens' College, Cambridge
Queens' College, Cambridge
Queens' College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, England.The college was founded in 1448 by Margaret of Anjou , and refounded in 1465 by Elizabeth Woodville...

, and made grants to the church. He planned the establishment of a large chantry chapel in York Minster, with over one hundred priests. Richard also founded the College of Arms
College of Arms
The College of Arms, or Heralds’ College, is an office regulating heraldry and granting new armorial bearings for England, Wales and Northern Ireland...

.

Rebellion of 1483

In 1483, a conspiracy
Conspiracy (political)
In a political sense, conspiracy refers to a group of persons united in the goal of usurping or overthrowing an established political power. Typically, the final goal is to gain power through a revolutionary coup d'état or through assassination....

 arose among a number of disaffected gentry, many of whom were supporters of Edward IV. The conspiracy was led by Richard's former ally Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham
Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham
Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, KG played a major role in Richard III of England's rise and fall. He is also one of the primary suspects in the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower...

. They originally planned to depose Richard III and place Edward V back on the throne. When rumours arose that Edward and his brother (the Princes in the Tower
Princes in the Tower
The Princes in the Tower is a term which refers to Edward V of England and Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of York. The two brothers were the only sons of Edward IV of England and Elizabeth Woodville alive at the time of their father's death...

) were dead, Buckingham intervened, proposing instead that Henry Tudor
Henry VII of England
Henry VII was King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizing the crown on 22 August 1485 until his death on 21 April 1509, as the first monarch of the House of Tudor....

 return from exile, take the throne and marry Elizabeth of York
Elizabeth of York
Elizabeth of York was Queen consort of England as spouse of King Henry VII from 1486 until 1503, and mother of King Henry VIII of England....

. For his part, Buckingham would raise a substantial force from his estates in Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

 and the Marches. Henry, in exile in Brittany, enjoyed the support of the Breton prime-minister Pierre Landais
Pierre Landais
Pierre Landais was a Breton politician who became the principal adviser and chief minister to Francis II, Duke of Brittany. Francis left Landais in control of the affairs of the duchy, producing resentment among local barons, who finally secured the overthrow of Landais' régime...

, who hoped that Buckingham's victory would cement an alliance between Brittany and England.

In the event, Henry Tudor's ships ran into a storm and had to go back to Brittany. Buckingham's army was greatly troubled by the same storm and deserted when Richard's forces came against them. Buckingham tried to escape in disguise, but was turned in for the bounty
Bounty (reward)
A bounty is a payment or reward often offered by a group as an incentive for the accomplishment of a task by someone usually not associated with the group. Bounties are most commonly issued for the capture or retrieval of a person or object. They are typically in the form of money...

 Richard had put on his head. He was convicted of treason
Treason
In law, treason is the crime that covers some of the more extreme acts against one's sovereign or nation. Historically, treason also covered the murder of specific social superiors, such as the murder of a husband by his wife. Treason against the king was known as high treason and treason against a...

 and beheaded
Decapitation
Decapitation is the separation of the head from the body. Beheading typically refers to the act of intentional decapitation, e.g., as a means of murder or execution; it may be accomplished, for example, with an axe, sword, knife, wire, or by other more sophisticated means such as a guillotine...

 in Salisbury
Salisbury
Salisbury is a cathedral city in Wiltshire, England and the only city in the county. It is the second largest settlement in the county...

 on 2 November. His widow Catherine later married Jasper Tudor
Jasper Tudor, 1st Duke of Bedford
Jasper Tudor, 1st Duke of Bedford, 1st Earl of Pembroke, KG was the uncle of King Henry VII of England and the architect of his successful conquest of England and Wales in 1485...

, who liaised with Henry Tudor to organise another rebellion.

Richard made overtures to Landais, offering military support for Landais's weak regime under duke Francis II of Brittany in exchange for Henry. Henry fled to Paris, where he secured support from the French regent Anne of Beaujeu, who supplied troops for a new invasion in 1485.

Death at the Battle of Bosworth Field

On 22 August 1485, Richard met the outnumbered forces of Henry Tudor
Henry VII of England
Henry VII was King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizing the crown on 22 August 1485 until his death on 21 April 1509, as the first monarch of the House of Tudor....

 at the Battle of Bosworth Field
Battle of Bosworth Field
The Battle of Bosworth Field was the penultimate battle of the Wars of the Roses, the civil war between the House of Lancaster and the House of York that raged across England in the latter half of the 15th century. Fought on 22 August 1485, the battle was won by the Lancastrians...

. He was astride his white courser. The size of Richard's army has been estimated at 8,000, Henry's at 5,000, but exact numbers cannot be known. During the battle Richard was abandoned by Baron Stanley
Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby
Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby, KG was titular King of Mann, an English nobleman and stepfather to King Henry VII of England...

 (made Earl of Derby in October), Sir William Stanley
William Stanley (Battle of Bosworth)
Sir William Stanley was an English soldier and the younger brother of Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby. Stanley fought with his troops in several battles of the Wars of the Roses.-Private life:...

, and Henry Percy, 4th Earl of Northumberland
Henry Percy, 4th Earl of Northumberland
Henry Percy, 4th Earl of Northumberland, KG son of Henry Percy, 3rd Earl of Northumberland and his wife Eleanor Poynings, daughter of Richard Poynings, Lord Poynings....

. The switching of sides by the Stanleys severely depleted the strength of Richard's army and had a material effect on the outcome of the battle. Also the death of John Howard, Duke of Norfolk, his close companion, appears to have had a demoralising effect on Richard and his men. Perhaps in realisation of the implications of this, Richard then appears to have led an impromptu cavalry charge deep into the enemy ranks in an attempt to end the battle quickly by striking at Henry Tudor himself. Accounts note that Richard fought bravely and ably during this manoeuvre, unhorsing Sir John Cheney, a well-known jousting champion, killing Henry's standard bearer Sir William Brandon and coming within a sword's length of Henry himself before being finally surrounded by Sir William Stanley's men and killed. Tradition holds that his final words were "treason
Treason
In law, treason is the crime that covers some of the more extreme acts against one's sovereign or nation. Historically, treason also covered the murder of specific social superiors, such as the murder of a husband by his wife. Treason against the king was known as high treason and treason against a...

, treason, treason!", when he found Lord Stanley had turned against him. The Welsh accounts state that Sir Wyllyam Gardynyr
William Gardner (knight)
Sir William Gardner was a mercenary, warrior and knight during the Medieval Era who was noted for killing King Richard III of England on 22 August 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth Field.-Early life:...

 killed King Richard III with a poleaxe. The account reads, "Richard’s horse was trapped in the marsh where he was slain by one of Rhys Thomas’ men, a commoner named Wyllyam Gardynyr." Another account has Rhys ap Thomas
Rhys ap Thomas
Rhys ap Thomas was a Welsh soldier and landholder who rose to prominence during the Wars of the Roses, and was instrumental in the victory of Henry Tudor at the Battle of Bosworth Field. He remained a faithful supporter of Henry and was rewarded with lands and offices in South Wales...

 himself slaying the king.

Polydore Vergil
Polydore Vergil
Polydore Vergil was an Italian historian, otherwise known as PV Castellensis. He is better known as the contemporary historian during the early Tudor dynasty. He was hired by King Henry VIII of England, who wanted to distance himself from his father Henry VII as much as possible, to document...

, Henry Tudor's official historian, would later record that "King Richard, alone, was killed fighting manfully in the thickest press of his enemies". Richard's naked body was then exposed, possibly in the collegiate foundation of the Annunciation of Our Lady, and hanged by Henry Tudor, now King Henry VII, before being buried at Greyfriars Church, Leicester
Leicester
Leicester is a city and unitary authority in the East Midlands of England, and the county town of Leicestershire. The city lies on the River Soar and at the edge of the National Forest...

. In 1495 Henry VII paid £50 for a marble and alabaster monument. According to one tradition, during the Dissolution of the Monasteries
Dissolution of the Monasteries
The Dissolution of the Monasteries, sometimes referred to as the Suppression of the Monasteries, was the set of administrative and legal processes between 1536 and 1541 by which Henry VIII disbanded monasteries, priories, convents and friaries in England, Wales and Ireland; appropriated their...

 his body was thrown into the nearby River Soar
River Soar
The River Soar is a tributary of the River Trent in the English East Midlands.-Description:It rises near Hinckley in Leicestershire and is joined by the River Sence near Enderby before flowing through Leicester , Barrow-on-Soar, beside Loughborough and Kegworth, before joining the Trent near...

, although other evidence suggests that a memorial stone was visible in 1612, in a garden built on the site of Greyfriars. The exact location is now lost due to over 500 years of subsequent development. There is currently a memorial plaque on the site of the Cathedral where he may have once been buried, as well as a stone plaque on the bridge where his remains were allegedly thrown into the Soar.

According to another tradition, Richard consulted a seer in the town of Leicester
Leicester
Leicester is a city and unitary authority in the East Midlands of England, and the county town of Leicestershire. The city lies on the River Soar and at the edge of the National Forest...

 before the battle who foretold that "where your spur should strike on the ride into battle, your head shall be broken on the return." On the ride into battle his spur struck the bridge stone of the Bow Bridge; legend has it that, as his corpse was being carried from the battle over the back of a horse, his head struck the same stone and was broken open.

Richard III was the last English king to be killed in battle. He was also the second and final monarch to die in battle in England proper; the only other to be so killed was Harold Godwinson
Harold Godwinson
Harold Godwinson was the last Anglo-Saxon King of England.It could be argued that Edgar the Atheling, who was proclaimed as king by the witan but never crowned, was really the last Anglo-Saxon king...

.

Henry Tudor succeeded Richard to become Henry VII and sought to cement the succession by marrying the Yorkist heiress, Elizabeth of York
Elizabeth of York
Elizabeth of York was Queen consort of England as spouse of King Henry VII from 1486 until 1503, and mother of King Henry VIII of England....

, Edward IV
Edward IV of England
Edward IV was King of England from 4 March 1461 until 3 October 1470, and again from 11 April 1471 until his death. He was the first Yorkist King of England...

's daughter and Richard III's niece.

Succession

Following the decisive Yorkist victory over the Lancastrians at the Battle of Tewkesbury
Battle of Tewkesbury
The Battle of Tewkesbury, which took place on 4 May 1471, was one of the decisive battles of the Wars of the Roses. The forces loyal to the House of Lancaster were completely defeated by those of the rival House of York under their monarch, King Edward IV...

, Richard had married the younger daughter of the Earl of Warwick, Anne Neville
Anne Neville
Lady Anne Neville was Princess of Wales as the wife of Edward of Westminster and Queen of England as the consort of King Richard III. She held the latter title for less than two years, from 26 June 1483 until her death in March 1485...

 on 12 July 1472. Anne's first husband had been Edward of Westminster
Edward of Westminster
Edward of Westminster , also known as Edward of Lancaster, was the only son of King Henry VI of England and Margaret of Anjou...

, son of Henry VI.

Richard and Anne had one son, Edward of Middleham, who died not long after being created Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales is a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 15 other independent Commonwealth realms...

. Richard also had two acknowledged illegitimate children: John of Gloucester
John of Gloucester
John of Gloucester was an illegitimate son of Richard III of England. John is so called because his father was Duke of Gloucester at the time of his birth....

, also known as "John of Pontefract
Pontefract Castle
Pontefract Castle is a castle in the town of Pontefract, in the City of Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England. It was the site of the demise of Richard II of England, and later the place of a series of famous sieges during the English Civil War-History:...

", and a daughter Katherine who married William Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke
William Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke
William Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke was the son of William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke and Anne Devereux. His maternal grandparents were Walter Devereux, Lord Chancellor of Ireland and Elizabeth Merbury....

 in 1484. Michael Hicks and Josephine Wilkinson have suggested that Katharine's mother may have been Katherine Haute, on the basis of the grant of an annual payment of 100 shillings made to her in 1477. The Haute family was related to the Woodvilles through the marriage of Elizabeth Woodville's aunt, Joan Woodville to Sir William Haute. One of their children was Richard Haute, Controller of the Prince's
Edward V of England
Edward V was King of England from 9 April 1483 until his deposition two months later. His reign was dominated by the influence of his uncle Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who succeeded him as Richard III...

 Household. Their daughter, Alice, married Sir John Fogge; they were ancestors to queen consort Catherine Parr
Catherine Parr
Catherine Parr ; 1512 – 5 September 1548) was Queen consort of England and Ireland and the last of the six wives of King Henry VIII of England. She married Henry VIII on 12 July 1543. She was the fourth commoner Henry had taken as his consort, and outlived him...

, sixth wife of King Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

. They also suggest that John's mother may have been Alice Burgh. Richard visited Pontefract from 1471, in April and October 1473, and in early March 1474 for a week. On 1 March 1474 he granted Alice Burgh £20 a year for life "for certain special causes and considerations". She later received another allowance, apparently for being engaged as nurse for Clarence's son, Edward of Warwick. Richard continued her annuity when he became king.

Both of Richard's illegitimate children survived him, but they seem to have died without issue. Katharine was almost certainly arrested at Raglan Castle
Raglan Castle
Raglan Castle is a late medieval castle located just north of the village of Raglan in the county of Monmouthshire in south east Wales. The modern castle dates from between the 15th and early 17th-centuries, when the successive ruling families of the Herberts and the Somersets created a luxurious,...

 immediately after the Battle of Stoke Field
Battle of Stoke Field
The Battle of Stoke Field may be considered the last battle of the Wars of the Roses, since it was to be the last engagement in which a Lancastrian king faced an army of Yorkist supporters, under the pretender Lambert Simnel...

 in June 1487 and John was executed in 1491, both on the orders of Henry VII. Katharine apparently died prior to her cousin Elizabeth of York
Elizabeth of York
Elizabeth of York was Queen consort of England as spouse of King Henry VII from 1486 until 1503, and mother of King Henry VIII of England....

's coronation on 25 November 1487. The mysterious Richard Plantagenet
Richard Plantagenet (Richard of Eastwell)
Richard Plantagenet or Richard of Eastwell was a reclusive bricklayer who claimed to be a son of Richard III, the last Plantagenet King of England.-Life:...

 is also a possible illegitimate child of Richard III and is sometimes referred to as "Richard the Master-Builder". He died in 1550.

At the time of his last stand against the Lancastrians, Richard was a widower without a legitimate son. After his son's death, he had initially named his nephew, Edward, Earl of Warwick, Clarence's young son and the nephew of Queen Anne Neville, as his heir. After Anne's death, however, Richard named another nephew, John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, the son of his older sister Elizabeth
Elizabeth of York, Duchess of Suffolk
Elizabeth of York, Duchess of Suffolk was the sixth child and third daughter of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York and Cecily Neville....

. However, he was also negotiating with John II of Portugal
John II of Portugal
John II , the Perfect Prince , was the thirteenth king of Portugal and the Algarves...

 to marry his sister, Joanna, a pious young woman who had already turned down several suitors because of her preference for the religious life.

Legacy

Richard's death at Bosworth resulted in the end of the Plantagenet dynasty, which had ruled England since the succession of Henry II
Henry II of England
Henry II ruled as King of England , Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Count of Nantes, Lord of Ireland and, at various times, controlled parts of Wales, Scotland and western France. Henry, the great-grandson of William the Conqueror, was the...

 in 1154. The last male Plantagenet, Edward, Earl of Warwick
Edward Plantagenet, 17th Earl of Warwick
Edward Plantagenet, 17th Earl of Warwick was the son of George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence and a potential claimant to the English throne during the reigns of both Richard III and his successor, Henry VII...

 (son of Richard III's brother Clarence), was executed by Henry VII in 1499.

Richard's Council of the North
Council of the North
The Council of the North was an administrative body originally set up in 1484 by king Richard III of England, the third and last Yorkist monarch to hold the Crown of England; its intention was to improve government control and economic prosperity, to benefit the entire area of Northern England...

 greatly improved conditions for Northern England
Northern England
Northern England, also known as the North of England, the North or the North Country, is a cultural region of England. It is not an official government region, but rather an informal amalgamation of counties. The southern extent of the region is roughly the River Trent, while the North is bordered...

, as commoner
Commoner
In British law, a commoner is someone who is neither the Sovereign nor a peer. Therefore, any member of the Royal Family who is not a peer, such as Prince Harry of Wales or Anne, Princess Royal, is a commoner, as is any member of a peer's family, including someone who holds only a courtesy title,...

s of that region were formerly without any substantial economic activity independent of London. Its descendant position was Secretary of State for the Northern Department
Secretary of State for the Northern Department
The Secretary of State for the Northern Department was a position in the Cabinet of the government of Great Britain up to 1782. Before the Act of Union, 1707, the Secretary of State's responsibilities were in relation to the English government, not the British. Even after the Union, there was...

.

In December 1483 Richard instituted what later became known as the Court of Requests, a court which poor people who could not afford legal representation could apply to, for their grievances to be heard. He also introduced bail in January 1484 to protect suspected felons from imprisonment before trial and protect their property from seizure during that time. He founded the College of Arms
College of Arms
The College of Arms, or Heralds’ College, is an office regulating heraldry and granting new armorial bearings for England, Wales and Northern Ireland...

 in 1484, he banned restrictions on the printing and sale of books, and he ordered the translation of the written Laws and Statutes from the traditional French into English.

Popular culture

Novelists Horace Walpole
Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford
Horatio Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford was an English art historian, man of letters, antiquarian and Whig politician. He is now largely remembered for Strawberry Hill, the home he built in Twickenham, south-west London where he revived the Gothic style some decades before his Victorian successors,...

 and Josephine Tey
The Daughter of Time
The Daughter of Time is a 1951 novel by Josephine Tey concerning King Richard III of England. It was the last book Tey published, shortly before her death.-Plot summary:...

 have argued that Richard III was innocent in the death of the Princes, and other novelists such as Valerie Anand
Valerie Anand
-Fiction:Under the pen name Fiona Buckley she writes the series of historical mysteries, set in the reign of Elizabeth I of England, featuring "Ursula Blanchard"...

 have offered alternative versions to the theory that he murdered them. Sharon Kay Penman
Sharon Kay Penman
Sharon Kay Penman is an American historical novelist, published in the UK as Sharon Penman. She is best known for the Welsh Princes trilogy and the Plantagenet series. In addition, she has written four medieval mysteries, the first of which, The Queen's Man, was a finalist in 1996 for the Best...

, in her historical novel
Historical fiction
Historical fiction tells a story that is set in the past. That setting is usually real and drawn from history, and often contains actual historical persons, but the principal characters tend to be fictional...

 The Sunne in Splendour
The Sunne in Splendour
The Sunne in Splendour is historical novel written by Sharon Kay Penman. Penman became interested in the subject while a student and wrote a manuscript that was stolen from her car. She rewrote the manuscript which was published in 1982.- Background :...

, attributes the death of the Princes to the Duke of Buckingham. In the mystery novel The Murders of Richard III by Elizabeth Peters (1974) the central plot revolves around the debate as to whether Richard III was guilty of these and other crimes. A sympathetic portrayal of Richard III is given in The Founding, the first volume in The Morland Dynasty
The Morland Dynasty
The Morland Dynasty is a series of historical novels by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, based around the Morland family of York, England and their national and international relatives and associates.There are currently thirty-two books in the series...

 series by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
Cynthia Harrod-Eagles is a prolific and successful British novelist, best known for her Morland Dynasty series.Cynthia Harrod-Eagles was born in Shepherd's Bush, London and educated at Burlington School. Her first successful novel was The Waiting Game , and she became a full-time writer in...

. A Rose for the Crown, by Anne Easter Smith, is about Kate Haute who is portrayed as the mother of Richard's illegitimate children.

Perhaps the best-known film adaptation of Shakespeare's play Richard III
Richard III (play)
Richard III is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1591. It depicts the Machiavellian rise to power and subsequent short reign of Richard III of England. The play is grouped among the histories in the First Folio and is most often classified...

is the 1955 version
Richard III (1955 film)
Richard III is a 1955 British film adaptation of William Shakespeare's historical play of the same name, also incorporating elements from his Henry VI, Part 3. It was directed and produced by Sir Laurence Olivier, who also played the lead role. The cast includes many noted Shakespearean actors,...

 directed and produced by Sir Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM was an English actor, director, and producer. He was one of the most famous and revered actors of the 20th century. He married three times, to fellow actors Jill Esmond, Vivien Leigh, and Joan Plowright...

, who also played the lead role. Also notable are the 1995 film version
Richard III (1995 film)
Richard III is a 1995 drama film adapted from William Shakespeare's play of the same name, starring Ian McKellen, Annette Bening, Jim Broadbent, Robert Downey Jr., Nigel Hawthorne, Kristin Scott Thomas, Maggie Smith, John Wood and Dominic West....

 starring Sir Ian McKellen
Ian McKellen
Sir Ian Murray McKellen, CH, CBE is an English actor. He has received a Tony Award, two Academy Award nominations, and five Emmy Award nominations. His work has spanned genres from Shakespearean and modern theatre to popular fantasy and science fiction...

, set in a fictional 1930s fascist England, and Looking for Richard
Looking for Richard
Looking for Richard is a 1996 documentary film and the first film directed by Al Pacino. It is both a performance of selected scenes of William Shakespeare's Richard III and a broader examination of Shakespeare's continuing role and relevance in popular culture...

, a 1996 documentary film directed by Al Pacino
Al Pacino
Alfredo James "Al" Pacino is an American film and stage actor and director. He is famous for playing mobsters, including Michael Corleone in The Godfather trilogy, Tony Montana in Scarface, Alphonse "Big Boy" Caprice in Dick Tracy and Carlito Brigante in Carlito's Way, though he has also appeared...

, who plays the title character as well as himself. In the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 series based on Shakespeare's history plays, An Age of Kings, Paul Daneman
Paul Daneman
Paul Daneman was an English film, television, theatre and voice actor.Paul Frederick Daneman was born in Islington, London. He attended the Haberdashers' Aske's School and Sir William Borlase's Grammar School in Marlow and studied stage design at Reading University where he joined the dramatic...

 played Richard.

In spite of having died at the age of 32, Richard is often depicted as being considerably older: Basil Rathbone
Basil Rathbone
Sir Basil Rathbone, KBE, MC, Kt was an English actor. He rose to prominence in England as a Shakespearean stage actor and went on to appear in over 70 films, primarily costume dramas, swashbucklers, and, occasionally, horror films...

, in the Tower of London (1939 film)
Tower of London (1939 film)
Tower of London is a 1939 black-and-white historical film and quasi-horror film released by Universal Pictures and directed by Rowland V. Lee. It stars Basil Rathbone as the future Richard III of England, and Boris Karloff as his fictitious club-footed executioner Mord. Vincent Price appears as...

, and Peter Cook
Peter Cook
Peter Edward Cook was an English satirist, writer and comedian. An extremely influential figure in modern British comedy, he is regarded as the leading light of the British satire boom of the 1960s. He has been described by Stephen Fry as "the funniest man who ever drew breath," although Cook's...

 were both 46 when they played him, Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM was an English actor, director, and producer. He was one of the most famous and revered actors of the 20th century. He married three times, to fellow actors Jill Esmond, Vivien Leigh, and Joan Plowright...

 was 47 (in his 1955 film), Vincent Price
Vincent Price
Vincent Leonard Price, Jr. was an American actor, well known for his distinctive voice and serio-comic attitude in a series of horror films made in the latter part of his career.-Early life and career:Price was born in St...

 was 51, Ian McKellen was 56 as was Pacino in his 1996 film (although Pacino was 39 when he played him on Broadway in 1979, and Olivier was 37 when he played him on stage in 1944). Ron Cook
Ron Cook
Ron Cook is an English actor who has been active in the theatre, film and television since the 1970s. He is from South Shields, Co Durham, England and is a graduate of Rose Bruford College.- Stage appearances :...

, then 35, in the 1983 BBC Shakespeare production of the play, was closest in age, and bore some facial resemblance to the Society of Antiquaries portrait. However, Shakespeare had portrayed Richard as being much older than he actually was, in order to show him participating in events that happened before he was born.

In a play within a play in Neil Simon
Neil Simon
Neil Simon is an American playwright and screenwriter. He has written numerous Broadway plays, including Brighton Beach Memoirs, Biloxi Blues, and The Odd Couple. He won the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play Lost In Yonkers. He has written the screenplays for several of his plays that...

's 1977 film The Goodbye Girl
The Goodbye Girl
The Goodbye Girl is a 1977 American romantic comedy-drama film. Directed by Herbert Ross, the film stars Richard Dreyfuss, Marsha Mason, Quinn Cummings, and Paul Benedict...

, Richard Dreyfuss
Richard Dreyfuss
Richard Stephen Dreyfuss is an American actor best known for starring in a number of film, television, and theater roles since the late 1960s, including the films American Graffiti, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Goodbye Girl, Whose Life Is It Anyway?, Stakeout, Always, What About...

 reluctantly portrays Richard as overtly homosexual at the insistence of an avant-garde
Avant-garde
Avant-garde means "advance guard" or "vanguard". The adjective form is used in English to refer to people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics....

 director. Dreyfuss' performance won him the 1978 Academy Award for Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

.

In the television comedy series The Black Adder
The Black Adder
The Black Adder is the first series of the BBC situation comedy Blackadder, written by Richard Curtis and Rowan Atkinson, directed by Martin Shardlow and produced by John Lloyd...

, Richard III is portrayed by Peter Cook
Peter Cook
Peter Edward Cook was an English satirist, writer and comedian. An extremely influential figure in modern British comedy, he is regarded as the leading light of the British satire boom of the 1960s. He has been described by Stephen Fry as "the funniest man who ever drew breath," although Cook's...

 in an alternative version of history as a doting, kindly man who treats his nephews with affection. He parodies Olivier's Richard III, giving a speech starting "Now is the Summer of our sweet content". He is unintentionally killed by Edmund, the titular "Black Adder"
Prince Edmund (Blackadder)
Prince Edmund Plantagenet, Duke of Edinburgh is a fictional character in the first series of the BBC sitcom Blackadder.-Character overview:...

 (Rowan Atkinson
Rowan Atkinson
Rowan Sebastian Atkinson is a British actor, comedian, and screenwriter. He is most famous for his work on the satirical sketch comedy show Not The Nine O'Clock News, and the sitcoms Blackadder, Mr. Bean and The Thin Blue Line...

), when Edmund thinks he is trying to steal his horse. His death leads not to the crowning of Henry Tudor, but to the rule of the fictional Richard IV
King Richard IV of England
King Richard IV of England / XII of Scotland / I of Flanders is a fictional character in the BBC comedy series Blackadder , played by Brian Blessed...

, who in the television series has grown up to be Edmund's father.

In the CBBC children's television show Horrible Histories
Horrible Histories (2009 TV series)
Horrible Histories is an award-winning British children's television series based on the Terry Deary book series of the same name. The first series was thirteen episodes long, and was broadcast from 16 April to 9 July 2009 on CBBC on BBC One. A second series, of twelve episodes , aired from 31 May...

, Richard III (played by Jim Howick) sings a power ballad in which he attempts to restore his reputation: "...Never had a hunch and my arm was alright, never took the crown with illegal power. Never killed my nephews, the princes in the tower...time to tell the truth about King Richard the third".

Titles, styles and honours

On 1 November 1461, Richard gained the title of Duke of Gloucester; sometime before 4 February 1466, he was invested as a Knight of the Garter. Following the death of King Edward IV, he was made Lord Protector
Lord Protector
Lord Protector is a title used in British constitutional law for certain heads of state at different periods of history. It is also a particular title for the British Heads of State in respect to the established church...

 of England. Richard held this office from 30 April 1483 to 26 June 1483 when he made himself king of the realm. As King of England, Richard was styled Dei Gratia Rex Angliae et Franciae et Dominus Hiberniae (by the Grace of God, King of England and France and Lord of Ireland).

Informally, he may have been known as "Dickon", according to a sixteenth-century legend of a note, warning of treachery, that was sent to the Duke of Norfolk on the eve of Bosworth: "Jack of Norffolke be not to bolde,/For Dyckon thy maister is bought and solde".

Arms

As Duke of Gloucester, Richard had use of the coat of arms of the kingdom, differenced by a label argent of three points ermine, on each point canton gules. As sovereign, he had use of the arms of the kingdom undifferenced. His motto was "Loyaulte me lie," "Loyalty binds me"; and his personal device was a white boar
White boar
The White Boar was the personal device or badge of the English King Richard III of England , and is an early instance of the use of boars in heraldry....

.




Ancestry



External links

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