Реферат: The House of Yorks
Izmail State Liberal Arts University
Ukrainian ministry of Higher education
The chair of English Philology
The House of York
2nd year student
Of Faculty of Foreighn Languahes
House of York royal house of England, deriving its name from the creation
of Edmund of Langley, fifth son of Edward III, as duke of York in 1385. The
claims to the throne of Edmund's grandson, Richard, duke of York, in opposition
to Henry VI of the house of Lancaster (see Lancaster, house of),
resulted in the Wars of the Roses (see Roses, Wars of the), so called
because the badge of the house of York was a white rose, and a red rose was
later attributed to the house of Lancaster. Richard's claim to the throne came
not only from direct male descent from Edmund, but also through his mother Anne
Mortimer, great-granddaughter of Lionel, duke of Clarence, who was the third
son of Edward III. The royal members of the house of York were Edward IV
, Edward V, and Richard III. The marriage of the Lancastrian
Henry VII to Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Edward IV, united the houses of York
and Lancaster. Henry was the first of the Tudor kings.
The representatives of the House of York
The House of York
Edmund, 1st Duke of York, 1341–1402
Named Edmund of Langley after the manor where he was born, he was the fifth son
of Edward III and Queen Philippa. Created Earl of Cambridge in 1362, he joined
his brother John, Duke of Lancaster (John of Gaunt) in his wars against
Castile. In 1372, he married his first wife, Isobel, younger daughter of Peter,
King of Castile and Léon, while her elder sister married John. They had
three children: Edward Plantagenet, 2nd Duke of York; Constance of York,
Countess of Gloucester, and Richard, Earl of Cambridge. Created Duke of York by
Richard II in 1385, he retired from public life after Henry Bolingbroke, Duke
of Lancaster, seized the crown from Richard II. After the death of Isobel in
1394, he married Joan, daughter of Thomas Holland, Earl of Kent.
His arms were: Quarterly, France ancient and England, over all a label of
three points argent each point charged with three torteaux; and his crest on
a cap of maintenance gules turned up ermine, a lion statant guardant crowned
or, gorged with a label as in the arms; on his seal, the arms are supported
by two falcons, each holding with beak and claw a long scroll, which extends
backward over body, inscribed with the motto "None other".
Edward Plantagenet, 2nd Duke of York, 1373–1415
The elder son of Edmund of Langley, he was created Earl of Rutland in 1391.
Richard II made him Lord High Admiral and Warden of the Cinque Ports and in
1397, Duke of Albemarle. In the first year of the reign of Henry IV he became
involved in a plot to assassinate the king at a tournament at Oxford. His
father went to warn the king, but Edward forestalled him by confessing to the
king himself. He lost the dukedom but was pardoned, becoming Duke of York on
his father’s death. He was killed at the battle of Agincourt, where he led
the vanguard. He died without issue and was succeeded by his nephew Richard.
His arms were: as Lord High Admiral, Per pale, dexter, the attributed arms of
Edward the Confessor, charged overall with a label of three points; sinister,
Quarterly, France ancient and England, over all a label of five points
argent, each charged with three torteaux. After he became Duke of Albemarle,
his arms were: Quarterly, France ancient and England, over all a label of
three points gules each charged with three castles gold. As Duke of York,
they were: Quarterly France modern and England, over all a label of York.
Constance of York, Countess of Gloucester, 1374–1416
The only daughter of Edmund of Langley, Constance was the mistress of Edmund
Holland, Earl of Kent, by whom she had a daughter named Eleanor. She later
married Thomas le Despencer, Earl of Gloucester. Two children, Richard, Lord
le Despencer, and Elizabeth le Despencer, died without issue, but their
daughter Isabel le Despencer married twice, her second husband being Richard
Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick. Their daughter, Anne Beauchamp, married Richard
Neville (The Kingmaker), who thus became Earl of Warwick.
Constance bore the arms of her father, Edmund of Langley, impaled by those of
her husband, which were: Quarterly, first and fourth, or, three chevronels
gules; second and third, Quarterly, argent and gules, a fret or, overall a
Richard, Earl of Cambridge, 1376–1415
Named Richard of Coningsburgh, after the place in Yorkshire where he was
born, the younger son of Edmund of Langley was created Earl of Cambridge in
1414. In the following year, however, he conspired with Henry, Lord Scrope,
and Sir Thomas Gray to assassinate the king, Henry V. He may have been bribed
by the French king, Charles VI, or it may have been because, in the event of
his brother-in-law Edmund, Earl of March, dying without issue, his own son
would have been next in line for the throne. The Earl of March revealed the
plot to the king, and Richard was executed.
Richard’s first wife, Anne Mortimer, was sister and afterwards heiress to the
Earl of March and to the claims of her great-grandfather, Lionel, Duke of
Clarence, second son of Edward I, thus giving her Yorkist successors a
superior claim to the throne over the House of Lancaster. Richard of
Coningsburgh’s second wife was Matilda, daughter of Thomas, Lord Clifford.
His arms were: Quarterly, France first ancient, later modern, and England,
over all a label of three points argent each charged with as many torteaux,
within a bordure argent charged with lions rampant.
Anne’s arms were: Quarterly, first and fourth, barry of six, or and azure, on
a chief of the first two pallets between two base esquires of the second,
over all an escutcheon argent; second and third, or a cross gules, impaled
with those of her husband.
Isabel, Countess of Essex, 1409–1484
Isabel was the oldest child of Richard of Coningsburgh and Anne Mortimer. Her
husband Henry Bourchier, second Earl of Eu in Normandy was created Viscount
Bourchier by Henry VI and Lord Treasurer of England. William, the eldest of
their ten children, married Anne, sister of Elizabeth Woodville.
The Bourchier arms: Quarterly, first and fourth, argent, a cross engrailed
gules, between four water bougets sable; second and third, gules, billety and
a fess or, and their crest A man’s head in profile with sable hair and beard,
ducally crowned or, with a pointed cap gules.
Richard, 3rd Duke of York, 1411–1460
Richard was the only son of Richard of Coningsburgh, and the only male, apart
from Henry IV, with an unbroken male descent from Henry III. Although his
father had been executed for treason, Henry VI restored to him the titles
Duke of York, Earl of Cambridge and Rutland. An honorable man, his superior
claim to the throne and obvious capability compared with the weak and
mentally afflicted Henry VI earned him the hatred of the Queen, Margaret of
Anjou. His wise and just rule in Ireland during 1449–1450 laid the foundation
for an Irish–Yorkist alliance which survived until after the defeat of
Richard III at Bosworth.
Made Protector of England in 1454 during Henry’s temporary insanity, he
defeated an attempt by the Queen and the Earl of Somerset to regain control
when, in 1455, along with the earls of Warwick and Salisbury, he defeated the
king’s forces at St Albans. He was made Constable of England, but the Queen’s
party regained power the following year. In 1459 the Queen felt strong enough
to to crush the Yorkist party and in October the Yorkist forces, surrounded
at Ludlow, were forced to flee. The Duke and his second son Edmund, Earl of
Rutland, fled to Ireland while Warwick and his party went to Calais. Within a
year, Warwick was back in England and in control of London. The Duke of York
returned and on October 10 laid his hand on the empty throne in the chamber
of the Lords in parliament, claiming the crown. His bid for the throne was
premature, but the Duke was eventually recognized as heir to the throne,
Prince of Wales and Protector of England.
The Queen’s party rallied once again, however, and on 30 December 1460 the
Duke’s forces, issuing from Sandal Castle clashed with the Lancastrians at
Wakefield. The Duke was killed, along with his son Edmund, and their heads
were exposed on the walls of York. They were later buried at Pontefract and
then at Fotheringhay.
His arms were: Quarterly, France modern and England, over all a label of
three points each charged with three torteaux, and upon his helmet his crest
was On a chapeau gules doubled ermine, a lion statant guardant crowned or,
gorged with a label as in the arms.; the badge with which he is particularly
associated is the silver falcon and gold fetterlock, the fetterlock open to
symbolise the release of the falcon and the aspiring hopes of gaining the
Cicely Neville, Duchess of York, 1415–1495
The wife of Richard, 3rd Duke of York, Cicely Neville was the daughter of
Joan Beaufort, the youngest child of John of Gaunt and Catherine Swynford.
Her father was Ralph Neville, Earl of Westmorland. Known in her youth as the
Rose of Raby, after her birthplace, Raby Castle, she was a staunch supporter
of her husband, spending as much time with him as was possible in that
troubled age. They had eight sons and four daughters, of whom four sons and
one daughter died young.
After the tragic death of her husband and second son, Edmund, in 1460, Cicely
shortly witnessed the triumph of her eldest son Edward. She is reported to
have been outraged by his marriage to Elizabeth Woodville. Further tragedy
followed when, in 1478, Edward tired of the treacherous behaviour of his
brother Clarence and the latter died, or was killed, in the Tower. In 1483,
Edward died, and then, in 1485 her last surviving son Richard III was killed
at Bosworth. Outliving all her sons, the unfortunate duchess lived to see
many of their progeny murdered by Henry VII and the House of York destroyed.
In 1480, she became a Benedictine nun at Berkhamsted, where she lived until
Her arms were: a falcon rising, ducally gorged, bearing on its breast a
shield of arms, Per pale, dexter, Quarterly, France modern and England;
sinister, gules, a saltire argent, supported by Dexter, an antelope gorged
with a coronet; sinister a lion.
Children of Richard, Duke of York and Cicely Neville
Anne of York, Duchess of Exeter, 1439–1476
Eldest daughter of Richard, Duke of York, she was first married to the
Lancastrian Henry Holland, Duke of Exeter and Lord High Admiral. She divorced
her Lancastrian husband in 1472 and married Sir Thomas St Leger, K.G., by
whom she had a daughter, Anne, whose descendants became the earls and later
dukes of Rutland.
Her arms were: Per pale, dexter, Quarterly, France modern and England;
sinister, per fess, de Burgh and Mortimer.
Edmund of York, Earl of Rutland, 1443–1460
Edmund was born in Rouen, France, while his father was serving as Lieutenant
of France. At the age of seven, Edmund received his education at Ludlow
Castle, along with his brother Edward. When his father’s Yorkist party fell
out of favor in 1459, Edmund accompanied his father to Ireland, where he was
created Earl of Cork.
After the Yorkist victory at Northampton September 1460, he returned to
England and headed north to Sandal Castle with his father to help quell
disturbances there. Edmund was killed at the battle of Wakefield on 30
December 1460, by Lord Clifford, whose father had been killed at the battle
of St Albans. As he struck the fatal blow, Clifford allegedly cried ‘By God’s
blood, thy father slew mine and so will I do thee and all thy kin. His arms
were: Quarterly, first, Quarterly France modern and England, a label of five
points argent the two dexter points charged with lions rampant purpure and
the three sinister points each with three torteaux; second and third, Burgh;
Elizabeth, Duchess of Suffolk, 1444–1503
The second daughter of Richard, Duke of York, and Cicely Neville married John
de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk, whose father, William, had arranged the marriage
between Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou. John de la Pole, whose mother, Alice,
was the grand-daughter of the poet Geoffrey Chaucer, took little part in
politics. The couple had seven sons, of whom the eldest was also named John
(see below). Edmund de la Pole was beheaded by Henry VIII and the last de la
Pole heir, Richard, was killed at the battle of Pavia in 1524, fighting for
The arms of John de la Pole were: Quarterly, first and fourth, azure a fess
between three leopards’ faces or; second and third, argent, a chief gules,
over all a lion rampant double queued or; and his crest was An old man’s head
gules, beard and hair gold, with a jewelled fillet about the brows.
John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln 1464?-1487
The eldest son of Elizabeth and John, Duke and Duchess of Suffolk, was
created Earl of Lincoln in 1468. He was also made a Knight of the Bath in
1475 and attended his uncle Edward IV’s funeral in April 1483. He bore the
orb at the coronation of another uncle, Richard III, in July 1483 and became
the president of the Council of the North. He was declared heir to the throne
by Richard III in the event of the death of his own son, Prince Edward. At
this time, he was also created Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and was given the
reversion to the estates of Lady Margaret Beaufort, subject to the life
interest of her third husband, Lord Stanley.
A staunch supporter of Richard III, he fought at Bosworth and survived. The
new king, Henry VII, had no wish to alienate the de la Pole family and
appointed John a justice of oyer and terminer the following year. In 1487, he
fled to Brabant and then to Ireland, where he joined the army of the
pretender Lambert Simnel. He was killed at the Battle of Stoke in June 1487.
Shortly afterward, he was attainted.
He was married twice: (1) Margaret Fitzalan, daughter of Thomas, twelfth Earl
of Arundel; and (2) the daugher and heiress of Sir John Golafre. He left no
children from either marriage.
Arms of John de la Pole: Same as above during his father’s lifetime,
differenced with a label argent – or his father’s and mother’s impaled.
Edmund de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk, 1472?-1513
Edmund de la Pole was born about 1472, the second son of John de la Pole, 2nd
Duke of Suffolk, and Elizabeth, sister of Edward IV. In 1481 Edward IV sent
Edmund to Oxford. He was created a Knight Baronet at Richard III's
coronation. He was also present, with his father, at the coronation of
Elizabeth of York on 25 November 1487 and was frequently seen at Henry VII's
His father died in 1491, and as eldest surviving son, should have inherited the
dukedom but did not, due to an Act of Attainder against his brother John, Earl
of Lincoln. By an indenture date 26 February 1493, Edmund agreed to forego the
title of duke and was created an earl. He also had to pay £5,000 for the
restoration of some of his lands.
In October 1492 Edmund was at the siege of Boulogne. On 9 November 1494 he
was leading challenger at Westminster in a tournament which created Henry
(later Henry VIII) Duke of York.
In 1495 Edmund was appointed trier of petitions from Gascony and other parts.
He was created a Knight of the Garter in 1496. In February 1496 he was one of
the English noblemen who stood surety to Archduke Philip for the observance
of new treaties with Burgundy.
On 22 June 1496 he led a company against Cornish rebels at Blackheath. Two
years later, he was indicted at the King's Bench for murder and received a
pardon. Although he resented being arraigned (as one of royal blood) he
attended a Chapter of the Garter at Windsor in April 1499.
In July or August 1499 Edmund fled to Guisnes and then to St. Omer. Henry VII
instructed Sir Richard Guldford and Richard Hatton to return him by any
means. However, he returned to England voluntarily and was restored to favor.
Edmund was a witness at the marriage of Arthur to Catherine of Aragon in May
1500 and then went with Henry VII to Calis where he stayed until August 1501.
He fled to Emperor Maximilian in the Tryol. Maximilian had promised support
to anyone of Edward IV's blood.
On 7 November 1501 Edmund and his supporters were proclamimed traiors at St.
Pauls Cross and was outlawed at Ipswich on 26 December 1502. He reclaimed his
dukedom. Maximilian then promised not to aid any traitors to England (he was
paid 10,000) and Edmund remained at Aix le Chappelle until Easter 1504. In
January 1504 Edmund and his brother, William and Richard, were attainted by
Parliament. He left Aix fro Gilderland and was immediately thrown in jail.
On 24 January 1506 Edmund commissioned two servants to treat with Henry VII
and in March 1506 was conveyed to the Tower. Henry had given Archduke Philip
his written promise not to execute Edmund.
Upon the accession of Henry VIII in 1509 Edmund was not among those included
in the general pardon. He went to the block in 1513.
Edmund married Margaret, daughter of Richard, Lord Scrope and had one
daughter Anne, who became a nun at Minories within Aldgate. He had no male
Richard de la Pole, 14?-1525
Richard was the fifth son of John de la Pole, 2nd Duke of Suffolk, and
Elizabeth, sister of Edward IV. His brothers Humphrey and Edward took orders
in the Church, Edward becoming the Archdeacon of Richmond. In 1501 Richard
fled abroad with his brother Edmund. Three years later he was attainted along
with his brother. Eventually he fled to Hungary, where Henry VII requested
that King Ladislaus VI surrender Richard to him. The Hungarian king refused
and gave Richard a pension.
Richard’s name is not mentioned in the general pardon issued by Henry VIII
upon his accession in 1509. Louis XII of France recognized Richard as king of
England, giving him a pension of six thousand crowns. After the execution of
his brother Edmund in 1513, Richard assumed the title of Duke of Suffolk and
became a claimant to the English throne.
When Louis XII died in 1515, his successor Francis I continued Richard’s
allowance. As a further sign of favor, he was sent him on several missions,
including Lombardy and Bohemia. In 1522, Francis seriously thought of sending
Richard to invade England, but the invasion did not take place.
On 25 February 1525, Richard was killed, fighting in the French army at the
Battle of Pavia. The Duke of Bourbon was one of the chief mourners at his
Margaret of York, Duchess of Burgundy, 1446–1503
Born at Fotheringhay, Margaret, the third daughter of Richard, Duke of York,
and Cicely Neville, was an intelligent, charming, and accomplished woman.
Prior to the announcement of Edward’s marriage to Elizabeth Woodville, she
had acted as the first lady of the court.
A prestigious marriage was arranged for her to Charles the Bold, Duke of
Burgundy, who was many years her senior. She had no children by him and
survived him by many years. After Charles’ death, Margaret maintained a close
friendship with her Charles’ only daughter Mary. The respect in which she was
held in her adopted country enabled her to play an active supporting role for
the Yorkist cause on many occasions. After the death of her brother Richard
III, she continued her efforts, backing both Lambert Simnel and later Perkin
Warbeck. She died at Malines and is buried in the church of Cordéliers.
The arms of Burgundy, shown impaling France modern and England quarterly on
her arms were: Quarterly, first and fourth, azure, three fleurs de lys or
within a bordure gobony argent and gules; second, per pale, Bendy of six or
and azure within a bordure gules and sable, a lion rampant or; third, per
pale, Bendy of six or and azure, within a bordure gules and argent, a lion
rampant gules crowned or; over all an inescutcheon, or, a lion rampant sable.
George of York, Duke of Clarence, 1449–1478
Born in Dublin, George was the sixth son of Richard, Duke of York, and Cicely
Neville. He was created Duke of Clarence in the first year of Edward
IV’sreign. Until Elizabeth Woodville finally bore Edward a son in 1470,
Clarence was the heir presumptive ,and it was soon clear to the Earl of
Warwick that he was discontented and ambitious. On 11 July 1469, George
married Isobel Neville, Warwick’s elder daughter, against the wishes of his
brother, cementing an alliance against the king. When Warwick reconciled with
Margaret of Anjou, however, and his younger daughter, Anne, was betrothed to
the Lancastrian heir, George realized that he was not to be made king in
Edward’s place. At the last minute, he returned to the Yorkist fold and was
reconciled with Edward and his younger brother Richard. After Warwick’s death
at the Battle of Barnet in 1471, George laid claim to his vast estates, and
although eventually forced to share them when Richard of Gloucester married
the now-widowed Anne Neville, he remained a rich and powerful prince. He
continued to flout Edward’s authority, however, and was put in the Tower. In
1478 a Bill of Attainder passed the death sentence on Clarence and he died in
the Tower, the exact manner of his death being unknown. Clarence and Isobel
had four children, of whom two, Margaret and Edward, survived.
Clarence’s arms were: Quarterly, France modern and England, over all a label
of three points argent each charged with a canton gules; his crest was On a
chapeau gules turned up ermine, a lion statant guardant crowned or, charged
on the breast with a label as in the arms; his badges were A bull passant
sable armed unguled and membered or, gorged with a label of three points
argent each charged with a canton gules, and A silver gorget of chain, edged
and clasped with gold and lined with red.
Margaret Plantagenet, Countess of Salisbury, 1473–1541
Margaret was the eldest child of George, Duke of Clarence and Isobel Neville,
she married Sir Richard Pole, K.G. in 1491. They had four sons and a
daughter. During the fifth year of the reign of Henry VIII, Margaret, as
heiress to the titles of Warwick and Salisbury, petitioned the king and was
restored to the title of Countess of Salisbury. She was appointed governess
to the Princess Mary and remained in favor until Anne Boleyn became the
Queen. Her loyalty to Princess Mary caused her to be dismissed from court.
After the downfall of Anne Boleyn, Margaret returned to court. She did not
remain in favor for long. Because of the letter her son, Cardinal Reginal
Pole, wrote to the King, and of the betrayal of her son Geoffrey, the
Countess was arrested and put into the Tower in March 1539. She was kept in
the Tower under close confinement for two years and was executed without
trial. She was beatified by the Roman Catholic Church in 1886.
Her arms were: Quarterly, first, Quarterly, France modern and England, a
label of three points argent each charged with a canton gules; second, gules,
a saltire argent, a label of three points gobony argent and azure impaling
Gules, a fess between six crosses crosslet or; third, Chequy or and azure, a
chevron ermine impaling Argent, three lozenges conjoined in fess gules;
fourth, Or, an eagle displayed vert impaling Quarterly, I and IV, Or, three
chevrons gules; II and III, Quarterly, Argent, and gules, a fret or, overall
a bendlet sable.
Henry Pole, Lord Montagu, 1492–1539
The eldest son of Margaret Plantagenet, he was knighted by Henry VIII in 1513
during Henry’s French campaign. He was a ember of the royal household and was
allowed his own livery. In 1520, he attended Henry VIII at the Field of the
Cloth of Gold. He was one of the peers who convicted Anne Boleyn.
As a Roman Catholic, Pole did not approve of Henry’s destroying Church
property and the anti-Catholic feeling in England. Henry was fully of
Montagu’s feelings, and through his betrayal of his brother Geoffrey Pole,
the king now had the evidence he needed to have Montagu arrested in put into
the Tower. Pole was tried and found guilty by a jury of his peers. He went to
the block on December 9 1539.
He married Jane, daughter of George Neville, Lord Bergavenny, in 1513. They
had three children. His only son may have been attainted with his father and
died in the Tower.
Geoffrey Pole, 1502?-1558
The second son of Margaret Plantagenet, little is known of his early life. In
1529, he was knighted by Henry VIII at York Place. A devout Roman Catholic,
he greatly disapproved of Henry VIII’s divorce proceedings from Katherine of
Aragon. Although he was appointeed one of the servitors at Anne Boleyn’s
coronation, his loyalties were with Princess Mary and the former Queen
Katherine. He then visited the imprial ambassador Chapuys and assured him
that if the Holy Roman Emperor were to invade England to redress the wrong
that had been done to Queen Katherine, that the English people would favor
Unfortunately, his words reached the ears of the king and he was arrested and
sent to the Tower on August 1538. He was persuaded to talk and he revelaed
the names of secret Papists at court, including his own brother, Henry Lord
Montagu. Geoffrey was pardoned as a result of his betrayal and the others he
mention, including his brother, were executed.
Having felt guilty at betraying his brother and friends, Geoffrey tried to
commit suicide while he was in the Tower. In 1540, he left his family behind
and fled to Europe, where he remained until the reign of Queen Mary. He
returned to England and died in 1558.
He married Constance, the elder of two daughter and heirs of Sir John
Pakenham. They had five sons and six daughters.
Arthur Pole, 1502-1535
Third son of Margaret Plantagenet, he was sentenced to death in the reign of
Elizabeth I, being implicated in a plot to release Mary, Queen of Scots.
Because of his royal blood, the Queen spared him from execution but not
In 1526, he married Jane Lewknor. It is not known if there were any children
from this marriage.
Reginald Pole, 1500-1558
The youngest son of Margaret Plantagenet, he graduated from Magdelan College,
Oxford. He was sent to Italy to complete his education and lived there for
five years. Reginald was another Pole family member who did not approve of
Henry’s divorce from Queen katherine. The King was well aware of this and
several times tried to get Pole on his side. At the urging of the Holy Roman
Emperor Charles V, Pole wrote Henry a letter, in which he attacked Henry’s
policy of royal supremacy and defended the spiritual authority of the Pope.
It was at this time that he was created a cardinal by Pope Paul III. Henry
then put a price on the new cardinal’s head and arrested and executed many
members of the pole family, including his mother and his oldest brother Henry
When Henry’s daughter Mary became Queen, he was commission as a papal Legate.
He landed in England in 1554 and began to reorganize the country back into
the Church of Rome. Two years later he was ordained as a priest and the
following year became the Archbishop of Canterbury.
For the next two years, Cardinal Pole help Queen Mary with her persecution of
English Protestants. Disapproving of Pole’s methods, Pope Paul IV cancelled
his legatine authority and denounced him as a heretic. Shortly afterwards, he
fell ill and died twelve hours after Queen Mary on November 17 1558.
Ursula Pole, ? -1570
Ursula was the only daughter of Margaret Plantagenet. In 1518, she married
Henry Stafford, first Baron Stafford. Very little is known of her. It is
believed that she had at least thrteen children before her death in 1570.
Edward Plantagenet, Earl of Warwick, 1474–1499
The son of George, Duke of Clarence, and Isobel Neville, he may have suffered
from some form of mental impairment. He lived in the royal apartments in the
Tower under the reign of his uncle Richard III. Henry VII kept him in the
Tower, but as a prisoner. When Perkin Warbeck was imprisoned in the Tower,
the two attempted to escape (possibly at the instigation of Henry’s agents)
and both were executed in 1499.
Edward IV, King of England, 1442–1483
By the Grace of God, King of England and France and Lord of Ireland
The eldest son of Richard, Duke of York and Cecily Neville, Edward was born
in Rouen, France, on April 28, 1442. He was educated at Ludlow Castle, along
with his younger brother Edmund, Earl of Rutland. He inherited the title of
Earl of March. Edward. was raising forces in the Welsh borders for the
Yorkist cause when his father and younger brother Edmund were killed at the
Battle of Wakefield in 1460. Acting speedily and decisively, Edward routed
the Lancastrians at the battles of Mortimer’s Cross and Towton, and claimed
the throne. Henry VI was then acclaimed a usurper and a traitor. Edward was
crowned in June 1461. He was an extremely popular ruler, although well-known
for his licentious behaviour. During his reign, printing and silk
manufacturing were introduced into England.
Edward’s secret marriage to Elizabeth Woodville, a widow of a Lancastrian
knight, angeed the old nobility and alienated his cousin Richard Neville,
Earl of Warwick (also known as "The Kingmaker"), who had previously been a
major power during the early days of Edward’s reign. In 1469, Edward was
deposed by Warwick, and was drien out of England and to Burgundy. Warwick
reinstated Henry VI. Two years later, backed by his brother-in-law, Charles
("The Bold"), Duke of Burgundy, returned to England with a large army and
defeated the Lancastrians at the battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury.
The remaining years of his reign were, for the most part, peaceful. There
was, however, a short war with France in 1475, after which Louis XI agreed to
pay Edward a yearly subsidy. Edward died on April 8 1483 and was buried at
St. George’s Chapel, Windsor.
As King, Edward’s arms were: Quarterly, France modern and England, and his
crest On a chapeau gules turned up ermine, a lion statant guardant crowned
or. As badges, he used the white rose of York, the sun in splendour, and the
white rose en soliel, as well as the lion, the bull and the hart, the falcon
and fetterlock of the dukes of York, and a white rose incorporating red
petals, a forerunner of the Tudor rose.
Elizabeth Woodville, 1437–1492, Queen of England
Elizabeth was the eldest child of Sir Richard Woodville and Jacquetta of
Luxembourg. She was maid of honor to Margaret of Anjou. She was married to
Sir John Grey of Groby, who was killed in battle in 1461, leaving her with
two small sons. Elizabeth married Edward IV secretly in April 1464 and was
crowned Queen in May 1465. She was also a patroness of Queens’ College,
Cambridge and gave the College its first Statues in 1475. Her ten brothers
and sisters, who were as avaricious and unpopular as herself, were raised to
high rank by the king. Elizabeth and Edward had three sons and seven
Following her husband’s death in 1483, their marriage was declared invalid by
Parliament and their children illegitimate. In 1485, however, Elizabeth’s
eldest daughter, Elizabeth of York, married Henry VII and became Queen of
England. Elizabeth Woodville was subsequently banished to Bermondsey Abbey,
where she died in 1492.
Elizabeth Woodville’s seal displayed a shield of her husband’s arms impaling her
own, which were Quartlerly, first argent, a lion rampant double queued gules,
crowned or (Luxemburg, her mother’s family), second quarterly, I and IV, gules
a star if eight points argent; II and III, azure, semée of fleurs de lys
or; third, barry argent and azure, overall a lion rampant gules; fourth, gules,
three bendlets argent, on a chief of the first, charged with a fillet in base
or, a rose of the second; fifth, three pallets vairy, on a chief or a label of
five points azure, and sixth, a fess and a canton conjoined gules (Woodville).
Children of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville
Elizabeth of York, 1466–1503, Queen of England
Born 11 February, 1466 at Westminster Palace, Elizabeth was the first born
child of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville. She was betrothed to George
Neville, Duke of Bedford, and then engaged to the Charles, the Dauphin of
France (later Charles VIII). Elizabeth married Henry Tudor in 1486 and became
Queen of England, thus uniting the Houses of York and Lancaster. As. Queen,
she was completely dominated by Henry VII and his mother Margaret Beaufort.
She bore Henry eight children: (1) Arthur, Prince of Wales, b. 1486; (2)
Margaret (later Queen of Scotland) b. 1489; (3) Henry (later Henry VII) b.
1491; (4) Elizabeth b.1492; (5) Mary (later Queen of France and Duchess of
Suffolk) b. 1496; (6) Edmund (died young) 1499; (7) Edward (died young); and
(8) Katherine (died young) b. 1503. Elizabeth died in childbirth in on her
birthday in 1503, at the age of 37 years. She is buried beside her husband in
the Henry VII Chapel in Westminster Abbey.
Mary of York, 1467-1482
Mary was the second daughter, born 11 August, 1467 at Windsor Castle. She was
promised in marriage to the King of Denmark, but died in 1482 before the
marriage could take place. She is buried in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor.
Cicely of York, 1469–1507, Viscountess Welles
Cicely was born on 20 March 1469 at Westminster Palace. She was originally
promised in a marriage treaty to the heir of James III of Scotland but
instead married John, Lord Welles, by whom she had two daughters Elizabeth
and Anne, both of whom died without issue. By her second marriage, to Thomas
Kyme of Isle of Wight, she had Richard and Margaret. She died at Quarr Abbey,
Isle of Wight on 24 August 1507.
Edward V, 1470–?
The eldest son of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, Edward was born in
sanctuary at Westminster on 4 November 1470. He was created Prince of Wales,
Duke of Cornwall, Earl of Chester, March and Pembroke. As Prince of wales,
Edward was educated at Ludlow Castle by his uncle Anthony, Earl Rivers.
Following his father’s death, he was brought to London to be crowned.
Parliament, however, declared him to be illegitimate and Richard of
Gloucester became king. Edward and his brother Richard lived in the Tower of
London during the summer of 1483. Their fate is unknown.
Edward’s arms as king were: Quarterly, France modern and England, and his
crest on his Great Seal; on a chapeau gules turned up ermine encircled by a
royal coronet, a lion statant guardant crowned or.
Margaret of York, b. and d. 1472
This child of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville (not to be confused with her
aunt of the same name) was born 10 April 1472 at Windsor Castle and died on
11 December of the same year. She is buried in Westminster Abbey.
Richard, Duke of York, 1473–?
Born at Shrewsbury, the second son of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville,
Richard was created Duke of York in 1474. In 1478, at the age of four years,
Richard was married to six-year-old Anne Mowbray, who had inherited the
estates of her father John Lord Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk in 1475. They
married at St Stephen’s Chapel, Westminster, but Anne Mowbray died while
still a child. When his brother, Edward V, was deposed, young Richard, who
had been in sanctuary with his mother, was taken by the Archbishop of
Canterbury to live with his brother in the Royal Apartments in the Tower of
London. Their fate remains a mystery, but many contemporary heads of state
including (in secret correspondance, but not publicly) the Spanish King and
Queen, believed the claimant Perkin Warbeck, executed by Henry VII, to be
His arms were: Quarterly, France modern and England, a label of three points,
argent on the first point a canton gules; his crest was On a chapeau gules
turned up ermine, a lion statant guardant crowned or, gorged with a label as
in the arms, and his badge a falcon volant argent, membered or, within a
fetterlock unlocked gold.
George of York, Duke of Bedford, 1477-1479
The seventh child and third youngest son of Edward IV and Eizabeth Woodville,
he was created Duke of Bedford, but died very young. He is buried at Windsor.
Anne of York, 1475-1510
Anne was married to Thomas Howard, third Duke of Norfolk. She died in 1510
without surviving issue.
Catherine of York, 1479–1527
The sixth daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, Catherine married
William Courtenay, Earl of Devon, and had one child, Henry, who succeeded his
father as Earl. Despite being made Marquis of Exeter, Henry’s Yorkist blood
doomed him, and he was beheaded in 1538 for being implicated in a plot with
Cardinal Pole. Henry’s only son, Edward Courtenay, died without issue, and
the descendants of this family are from the younger brother of an earlier
The arms of Catherine were her husband’s arms impaling her own: Quarterly,
first and fourth, or, three torteaux; second and third, or a lion rampant
azure; impaling quarterly, first, quarterly, France modern and England,
second and third, de Burgh, and fourth Mortimer.
The arms of Henry Courtenay were: Quarterly, first, France and England
quarterly, within a bordure quarterly of England and France, second and
third, or, three torteaux; fourth, or a lion rampant azure,; and his crest,
out of a ducal coronet or, a plume of ostrich feathers four and three argent.
Bridget of York, 1480-1513
The tenth and last child of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, she became a
nun at Dartford and died in 1513.
Richard III 1452–1485
By the Grace of God, King of England and France and Lord of Ireland
Richard III was born on the 2 October, 1452 in Fotheringhay Castle during the
tumultuous period known as the Wars of the Roses. His personal motto of
Loyaulte Me Lie was a testament of his unswerving loyalty for his brother,
In 1461, he was sent to Middleham Castle to begin his knightly training under
his cousin, Richard Neville, known as "The Kingmaker". In 1472, he married
the Lady Anne Neville and they retired to Middleham. As Lord of the North,
Richard spent the next twelve years bringing peace and order to an otherwise
troublesome area of England. Through his hard work and diligence, he
attracted the loyalty and trust of the northern gentry. His fairmindedness
and justice became his byword. He had a good working reputation of the law,
was an able administrator and was militarily formidable. Under his
leadership, he won a brilliant campaign against the Scots that is diminished
by our lack of understanding of the region in his times.
He enjoyed a special relationship with the city of York and intervened on its
behalf on many occasions. Richard, known to be a pious man, was instrumental
in setting up no less than ten chantries and procured two licenses to
establish two colleges; one at Barnard Castle in County Durham and the other
at Middleham in Yorkshire. It is known that his favorite castle was Middleham
and he was especially generous to the church raising it to the status of
collegiate college. The statutes, written in English rather than Latin, were
drawn up under his supervision.
With the untimely death of his brother, Edward IV in 1483, he was petitioned
by the Lords and Commons of Parliament to accept the kingship of England.
During his brief reign, he passed the most enlightened laws on record for the
Fifteenth Century. He set up a council of advisors that diplomatically
included Lancastrian supporters, administered justice for the poor as well as
the rich, established a series of posting stations for royal messengers
between the North and London. He fostered the importation of books, commanded
laws be written in English instead of Latin so the common people could
understand their own laws. He outlawed benevolences, started the system of
bail and stopped the intimidation of juries. He re-established the Council of
the North in July of 1484 and it lasted for more than a century and a half.
He established the College of Arms that still exists today. He donated money
for the completion of St. George's Chapel at Windsor and King's College in
Cambridge. He modernized Barnard Castle, built the great hall at Middleham
and the great hall at Sudeley Castle. He undertook extensive work at Windsor
Castle and ordered the renovation of apartments at one of the towers at
In 1484, while Richard and Anne were at Nottingham, they received word that
their beloved son, Edward, who was at Middleham, died suddenly after a brief
illness. His wife, Anne, never recovered from the loss of her son and died
almost a year later. Her body was borne to Westminster Abbey and laid to rest
on the south side of St. Edward's Chapel. Richard wept openly at her funeral
and later shut himself off for three days.
In eighteen months, he lost brother, son and spouse. Throughout these
tragedies, he remained steadfast to his obligations. His reign showed great
promise, but amidst the intrigues and power struggles of his time, he found
himself on Bosworth Field. Richard III was 32 years old when he died at the
Battle of Bosworth and was the last English king to die in battle.
Arms as Duke of Gloucester: France and England modern, over all a 3-pointed
label ermine, on each point a conton gules.
Arms: Quarterly, France modern and England, and his crest on his Great Seal;
on a chapeau gules turned up ermine encircled by a royal coronet, a lion
statant guardant crowned or; special cognisant, a boar rampant argent, armed
and bristled or.
Anne Neville, Queen of England, 1456-1485
Anne Neville was born on 11 June 1456 at Warwick Castle, the younger daughter
of Richard Warwick ("The King Maker") and Anne Beauchamp, heiress to the
large Beauchamp estate. She spent her childhhod at warwick Castle along with
her older sister Isabel. In 1469, her father, no longer in favor with Edward
IV, fled to Calais, bringing his family with him. Shortly afterwards, Warwick
went over to the Lancastrians, and Anne was betrothed to the Lancastrian
Prince Edward, Prince of Wales. Her father and uuncle John were killed at
Barnet in April 1471. Edward of Lancaster died at Tewkesbury a month later.
She married Richard, Duke of Gloucester and they spent most of their married
life at Middleham Castle. They had only one living child, Edward, Prince of
Wales. In 1484, Prince Edward died. Anne never recovered and died, probably
of tuberculosis, in March 1485, just five months before her husband Richard.
Her arms were: Quarterly, France modern and England, impaling gules, a
Edward, Prince of Wales, Earl of Chester and Salisbury, 1473–1484
Edward was the only surviving child of Richard III and Queen Anne. He was
born at Middleham Castle, Yorkshire and was created Prince of Wales during
the first year of his father’s reign. Edward suddenly became ill with
abdominal pain in 1484 and quickly died, possibly of appendicitis. His
parents were distraught with grief and his death may have hastened Anne’s
Arms: Quarterly, France modern and England, a label of three points argent.
John of Gloucester
John was Richard III’s illegitimate son. His mother is unknown. He was also
called John of Pomfret, his father appointed him Captain of Calais in 1485,
calling him ‘our dear son’. After his father’s death, during the reign of
Henry VII, John was beheaded on the pretext of treasonable activities in
Lady Catherine Plantagenet
Katherine was the illegitimate daughter of Richard III. Her mother is
unknown. In 1484, Katherine was married to William Herbert, Earl of
Huntingdon. Richard settled property worth 1,000 marks a year on the couple.
Katherine died young without producing any living children.
Some concrete facts about kings which had come frjm The House of York
Edward IV (1461-70, 1471-83 AD)
Edward IV, son of Richard, Duke of York and Cicely Neville, was born in 1442.
He married Elizabeth Woodville in 1464, the widow of the Lancastrian Sir John
Grey, who bore him ten children. He also entertained many mistresses and had
at least one illegitimate son.
Edward came to the throne through the efforts of his father; as Henry VI became
increasingly less effective, Richard pressed the claim of the York family but
was killed before he could ascend the throne: Edward deposed his cousin Henry
after defeating the Lancastrians at Mortimer's Cross in 1461. Richard Neville,
the Kingmaker, Earl of Warwick proclaimed Henry king once again in 1470, but
less than a year elapsed when Edward reclaimed the crown and had Henry executed
The rest of his reign was fairly uneventful. He revived the English claim to
the French throne and invaded the weakened France, extorting a non-aggression
treaty from Louis XI in 1475 which amounted to a lump payment of 75,000
crowns, and an annuity of 20,000. Edward had his brother, George, Duke of
Clarendon, judicially murdered in 1478 on a charge of treason. His marriage
to Elizabeth Woodville vexed his councilors, and he allowed many of the great
nobles (such as his brother Richard) to build uncharacteristically large
power bases in the provinces in return for their support.
Edward died suddenly in 1483, leaving behind two sons aged twelve and nine,
five daughters, and a troubled legacy.
Edward began his reign in 1461 and ruled for eight years before Henry's brief
return. His reign is marked by two distinct periods, the first in which he
was chiefly engaged in suppressing the opposition to his throne, and the
second in which he enjoyed a period of relative peace and security. Both
periods were marked also by his extreme licentiousness; it is said that his
sexual excesses were the cause of his death (it may have been typhoid), but
he was praised highly for his military skills and his charming personality.
When Edward married Elizabeth Woodville, a commoner of great beauty, but
regarded as an unfit bride for a king, even Warwick turned against him. We
can understand Warwick's switch to Margaret and to Edward's young brother,
the Duke of Clarence, when we learn that he had hoped the king would marry
one of his own daughters.
Clarence continued his activities against his brother during the second phase of
Edward's reign; his involvement in a plot to depose the king got him banished
to the Tower where he mysteriously died (drowned in his bath). Edward had
meanwhile set up a council with extensive judicial and military powers to deal
with Wales and to govern the Marches. His brother, the Duke of Gloucester
headed a council in the north. He levied few subsidies, invested his own
considerable fortune in improving trade; freed himself from involvement in
France by accepting a pension from the French King; and all in all, remained a
popular monarch. He left two sons, Edward
and Richard, in the protection of Richard of Gloucester, with the results that
have forever blackened their guardian's name in English history.
Edward V (1483 AD)
Edward V, eldest son of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, was born in 1470.
He ascended the throne upon his father's death in April 1483, but reigned
only two months before being deposed by his uncle, Richard, Duke of
Gloucester. The entire episode is still shrouded in mystery. The Duke had
Edward and his younger brother, Richard, imprisoned in the Tower and declared
illegitimate and named himself rightful heir to the crown. The two young boys
never emerged from the Tower, apparently murdered by, or at least on the
orders of, their Uncle Richard. During renovations to the Tower in 1674, the
skeletons of two children were found, possibly the murdered boys.
Richard III (1483-85)
Richard III, the eleventh
child of Richard, Duke of York, and Cecily Neville, was born in 1452. He was
created third Duke of Gloucester at the coronation of his brother, Edward IV.
Richard had three children: one each of an illegitimate son and daughter, and
one son by his first wife, Anne Neville, widow of Henry IV's son Edward.
Richard's reign gained an importance out of proportion to its length. He was
the last of the Plantagenet dynasty, which had ruled England since 1154; he
was the last English king to die on the battlefield; his death in 1485 is
generally accepted between the medieval and modern ages in England; and he is
credited with the responsibility for several murders: Henry VI , Henry's son
Edward, his brother Clarence, and his nephews Edward and Richard.
Richard's power was immense, and upon the death of Edward IV , he positioned
himself to seize the throne from the young Edward V . He feared a continuance
of internal feuding should Edward V, under the influence of his mother's
Woodville relatives, remain on the throne (most of this feared conflict would
have undoubtedly come from Richard). The old nobility, also fearful of a
strengthened Woodville clan, assembled and declared the succession of Edward
V as illegal, due to weak evidence suggesting that Edward IV's marriage to
Elizabeth Woodville was bigamous, thereby rendering his sons illegitimate and
ineligible as heirs to the crown. Edward V and his younger brother, Richard
of York, were imprisoned in the Tower of London, never to again emerge alive.
Richard of Gloucester was crowned Richard III on July 6, 1483.
Four months into his reign he crushed a rebellion led by his former assistant
Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, who sought the installation of Henry
Tudor , a diluted Lancaster, to the throne. The rebellion was crushed, but
Tudor gathered troops and attacked Richard's forces on August 22, 1485, at
the battle of Bosworth Field. The last major battle of the Wars of the Roses,
Bosworth Field became the death place of Richard III. Historians have been
noticeably unkind to Richard, based on purely circumstantial evidence;
Shakespeare portrays him as a complete monster in his play, Richard III. One
thing is for certain, however: Richard's defeat and the cessation of the Wars
of the Roses allowed the stability England required to heal, consolidate, and
push into the modern era.
Richard of Gloucester had grown rich and powerful during the reign of his
brother Edward IV, who had rewarded his loyalty with many northern estates
bordering the city of York. Edward had allowed Richard to govern that part of
the country, where he was known as "Lord of the North." The new king was a
minor and England was divided over whether Richard should govern as Protector
or merely as chief member of a Council. There were also fears that he may use
his influence to avenge the death of his brother Clarence at the hands of the
Queen's supporters. And Richard was supported by the powerful Duke of
Buckingham, who had married into the Woodville family against his will.
Richard's competence and military ability was a threat to the throne and the
legitimate heir Edward V. After a series of skirmishes with the forces of the
widowed queen, anxious to restore her influence in the north, Richard had the
young prince of Wales placed in the Tower. He was never seen again though his
uncle kept up the pretence that Edward would be safely guarded until his
upcoming coronation. The queen herself took sanctuary in Westminster Abbey,
but Richard had her brother and father killed.
Edward's coronation was set for June, 1483. Richard planned his coup. First
he divided the ruling Council, convincing his own followers of the need to
have Lord Hastings executed for treason. (It had been Hastings who had
informed him of the late King's death and the ambitions of the Queen's
party). He then had his other young nephew Richard join Edward in the Tower.
One day after that set for Edward's coronation, Richard was able to pressure
the assembled Lords and Commons in Parliament to petition him to assume the
kingship. After his immediate acceptance, he then rode to Westminster and was
duly crowned as Richard III. His rivals had been defeated and the prospects
for a long, stable reign looked promising. Then it all unraveled for the
It is one thing to kill a rival in battle but it is another matter to have
your brother's children put to death. By being suspected of this evil deed,
Richard condemned himself. Though the new king busied himself granting
amnesty and largesse to all and sundry, he could never cleanse himself of the
suspicion surrounding the murder of the young princes. He had his own son
Edward invested as Prince of Wales, and thus heir to his throne, but
revulsion soon set in to destroy what, for all intents and purposes, could
have been a well-managed, competent royal administration.
It didn't help Richard much that even before he took the throne he had
denounced the Queen "and her blood adherents," impugned the legitimacy of his
own brother and his young nephews and stigmatized Henry Tudor's royal blood
as bastard. The rebellion against him started with the defection of the Duke
of Buckingham whose open support of the Lancastrian claimant overseas, Henry
Tudor, transformed a situation which had previously favored Richard.
The king was defeated and killed at Bosworth Field in 1485, a battle that was
as momentous for the future of England as had been Hastings in 1066. The
battle ended the Wars of the Roses, and for all intents and purposes, the
victory of Henry Tudor and his accession to the throne conveniently marks the
end of the medieval and the beginning of England's modern period.