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Richard III of England
| Richard III King of England and France, |
Lord of Ireland
|Reign||26 June 1483 – 22 August 1485 (2 years, 57 days)|
|Coronation||6 July 1483|
|Edward of Middleham, Prince of Wales|
|House||House of York|
|Father||Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York|
|Mother||Cecily Neville, Duchess of York|
|Born|| 2 October 1452 |
Fotheringhay Castle, Northamptonshire
|Died|| 22 August 1485 (aged 32) |
Bosworth Field, Leicestershire
|Burial||Greyfriars (Franciscan Friary), Leicester|
Richard was the youngest son of Richard, Duke of York. He had three elder brothers, Edward, Edmund and George. Richard, Duke of York, and his second son, Edmund, were both killed in battle during the Wars of the Roses. The eldest son, Edward, was a very good soldier, and won the throne of England in battle against the reigning king, King Henry VI. Edward then became King Edward IV of England and his two brothers, George and Richard, became very powerful men.
Richard married Anne Neville, whose father had once been a friend of the family. Richard and Anne had known each other since they were children, but Anne had been taken to France, where she had married the Prince of Wales, the son of Henry VI. When the Prince of Wales was killed in battle, Anne became a widow, and soon she was married to Richard, even though he had been her husband's enemy. Richard and Anne lived at Middleham Castle in the north of England. They had one son, who was named Edward after Richard's brother, King Edward. Richard quarrelled frequently with his brother George, who was married to Anne's sister, Isabel. George was a trouble-maker, and he made his brother, King Edward, so angry that he was put in prison, where he died.
King Edward married a woman called Elizabeth Woodville, who had been married before and had many relations. Soon her relations became very rich and powerful, causing bad feeling among those who had been in the king's favour before the marriage. Edward and Elizabeth had several children, including two sons, who were named Edward and Richard.
When King Edward died, his elder son Edward should have been the next king, but he was still a boy. Richard had been asked by his brother the king to look after the two boys. He was worried that the new young king would not be able to rule the country properly. He was also worried that the Woodville family would soon be telling the king what to do and ruling the country for themselves.
Richard took the throne from his nephew, Edward V, and sent Edward and his brother to the Tower of London. They were both probably murdered. At the time, many people believed that King Richard had ordered them to be killed, but no one is really sure what happened to them.
There has been a lot of discussion, over many years, about whether Richard III was a good king or a bad king. During his reign, which lasted only two years, he was very popular in parts of the country, especially the north of England. However, there were enough people who hated him to make sure that his enemies were able to raise a big army against him and defeat him in battle.
Richard was killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. He was the last English king to die in battle. He suffered two head wounds that would have killed him almost immediately. After the battle, his body was stripped of clothing and carried naked on the back of a horse to Leicester. His skeleton shows that the body was further damaged after his death. He was buried in Greyfriars church, but this was demolished later. His body was rediscovered in 2012 by archaeologists digging in what is now a carpark.
Henry Tudor, who led the army that defeated him, became the next King of England.
- Richard was originally buried in the Church of the Greyfriars, but the church was demolished during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The church and Richard's body were relocated in 2012.
- Kennedy, Maeve (6 February 2013). "A long winter of discontent". The Age (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia): pp. 16.