Edward V of England: Wikis

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Edward V
King of England (more...)
Reign 9 April 1483 – 26 June 1483 (&-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.0000000 years, &0000000000000078.00000078 days)
Predecessor Edward IV
Successor Richard III
Protector Richard, Duke of Gloucester
House House of York
Father Edward IV
Mother Elizabeth Woodville
Born 2 November 1470 (1470-11-02)
Westminster
Died The Tower of London (assumed)
Burial Westminster Abbey (assumed)
English Royalty
House of York
England Arms 1405.svg
Edward IV
   Elizabeth of York, Queen of England
   Mary of York
   Cecily of York, Viscountess Welles
   Edward V
   Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke
   Anne of York, Countess of Surrey
   Catherine of York, Countess of Devon
   Bridget of York
Edward V


Edward V (4 November 1470 – probably on 6 July 1483) 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. Along with his younger brother Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York, Edward was one of the Princes in the Tower, who disappeared after being sent (ostensibly for their own safety) to the Tower of London. Richard III has been widely blamed for their deaths, but what actually happened remains controversial.

Along with Edward VIII, Empress Matilda and Lady Jane Grey, Edward V is one of only four English monarchs since the Norman Conquest never to have been crowned. If, as seems likely, he died before his fifteenth birthday, he is the shortest lived monarch in English history (his great-nephew Edward VI died in his sixteenth year).

Contents

Early life

Edward was born in November 1470 within Westminster Abbey, where his mother, Elizabeth Woodville, had sought sanctuary from Lancastrians who had temporarily removed his father, the Yorkist King Edward IV, from power as part of the Wars of the Roses. Edward was created Prince of Wales in June 1471, following Edward IV's restoration to the throne, and in 1473 was established at Ludlow Castle on the Welsh Marches as nominal president of a newly-created Council of Wales and the Marches.

Prince Edward was placed under the supervision of the queen's brother Anthony, Earl Rivers, a noted scholar, and in a letter to Rivers, Edward IV set down precise conditions for the upbringing of his son and the management of his household.[1] The prince was to "arise every morning at a convenient hour, according to his age". His day would begin with matins and then mass, which he was to receive uninterrupted. After breakfast, the business of educating the prince began with "virtuous learning". Dinner was served from ten in the morning, and then the prince was to be read "noble stories ... of virtue, honour, cunning, wisdom, and of deeds of worship" but "of nothing that should move or stir him to vice". Perhaps aware of his own vices, the king was keen to safeguard his son's morals, and instructed Rivers to ensure that no one in the prince's household was a habitual "swearer, brawler, backbiter, common hazarder, adulterer, [or user of] words of ribaldry". After further study, in the afternoon the prince was to engage in sporting activities suitable for his class, before evensong. Supper was served from four, and curtains were to be drawn at eight. Following this, the prince's attendants were to "enforce themselves to make him merry and joyous towards his bed". They would then watch over him as he slept.

King Edward's diligence appeared to bear fruit, as Dominic Mancini reported of the young Edward V:

In word and deed he gave so many proofs of his liberal education, of polite nay rather scholarly, attainments far beyond his age; ... his special knowledge of literature ... enabled him to discourse elegantly, to understand fully, and to declaim most excellently from any work whether in verse or prose that came into his hands, unless it were from the more abstruse authors. He had such dignity in his whole person, and in his face such charm, that however much they might gaze, he never wearied the eyes of beholders.[2]

As with several of his other children, Edward IV planned a prestigious European marriage for his eldest son, and in 1480 concluded an alliance with the Duke of Brittany, Francis II, whereby Prince Edward was betrothed to the duke's four-year-old heir, Anne. The two were to be married upon their majority, and the devolution of Brittany would have been given to the second child to be born, the first becoming Prince of Wales. Those plans disappeared together with Edward V.

Reign

It was at Ludlow that the 12-year-old prince received news of his father's sudden death, on 9 April 1483. Edward IV's will, which has not survived, nominated his trusted brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester, as Protector during the minority of his son. Both the new king and his party from the west, and Richard from the north, set out for London, converging in Northamptonshire. On the night of 29 April Richard met and dined with Earl Rivers and Edward's half-brother, Richard Grey, but the following morning Rivers and Grey, along with the king's chamberlain, Thomas Vaughan, were arrested and sent north.[3] They were all subsequently executed. Mancini reports that Edward protested, but the remainder of his entourage were dismissed and Richard escorted him to London, where the new king took up residence in the Tower of London. On 16 June he was joined by his younger brother, Richard, Duke of York.

Edward's coronation was repeatedly postponed and then, on 22 June, Ralph Shaa presented evidence in a sermon that Edward IV had already been contracted to marry Lady Eleanor Butler when he married Elizabeth Woodville, thereby rendering his marriage to Elizabeth invalid and their children together illegitimate. The children of Richard's older brother George, Duke of Clarence, were barred from the throne by their father's attainder, and therefore, on 25 June, an assembly of Lords and Commons declared Richard to be the legitimate king (this was later confirmed by the act of parliament Titulus Regius). The following day he acceded to the throne as King Richard III.

Disappearance

King Edward V and the Duke of York in the Tower of London by Paul Delaroche. The theme of innocent children awaiting an uncertain fate was a popular one amongst 19th-century painters.

After Richard III's accession, the princes were gradually seen less and less within the Tower, and by the end of the summer of 1483 they had disappeared from public view altogether. Their fate remains unknown, but it is generally believed that they were killed. The three principal suspects are King Richard; his one-time ally Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham; and Henry Tudor, who defeated Richard at Bosworth Field and took the throne as Henry VII. Bones were discovered in 1674 by workmen rebuilding a stairway in the Tower, and these were subsequently placed in Westminster Abbey, in an urn bearing the names of Edward and Richard. However it has never been proven that the bones belonged to the princes, so there remains a possibility that Edward survived the Tower.

In 1486 Edward's sister, Elizabeth, married Henry VII, thereby uniting the Houses of York and Lancaster.

Portrayals in fiction

Edward is a character in the play Richard III by William Shakespeare. In film and television adaptations of this play he has been portrayed by Kathleen Yorke in the 1911 silent short dramatising a part of the play, Howard Stuart in the 1912 silent adaptation, Paul Huson in the 1955 film version, alongside Laurence Olivier as Richard, Hugh Janes in the 1960 BBC series An Age of Kings, which contained all the history plays from Richard II to Richard III, Nicolaus Haenel in the 1964 West German TV version König Richard III, Dorian Ford in the 1983 BBC Shakespeare version, Marco Williamson in the 1995 film version, alongside Ian McKellen as Richard, Jon Plummer in the 2005 modernised TV version set on a Brighton housing estate, and Germaine De Leon in the 2007 modern day adaptation. Spike Hood provided his voice in the 1994 BBC series Shakespeare: The Animated Tales.

Edward has also been portrayed by Ronald Sinclair in Tower of London, a 1939 horror film loosely dramatising the rise to power of Richard III, and by Eugene Martin in the 1962 remake. Jonathan Soper portrayed him in the "Who Killed the Princes in the Tower?" episode of the BBC drama documentary series Second Verdict in 1976, and Timotei Cresta played him in the 2005 British television drama Princes in the Tower. Edward is also in Margret Peterson Haddix's Sent (novel)

References

  • Ashley, Mike (2002). British Kings & Queens. Carroll & Graf. ISBN 0-7867-1104-3.  pp. 217-9.
  • Hicks, Michael (2003). Edward V: The Prince in the Tower. The History Press. ISBN 0-7524-1996-X. 
  • Kendall, Paul Murray (1955). Richard III. W. W. Norton & Co.. ISBN 0-3930-0785-5. 
  • Weir, Alison (1995). The Princes in the Tower. Ballantine Books. ISBN 0-3453-9178-0. 
  1. ^ Letter from Edward IV to Earl Rivers and the Bishop of Rochester (1473), in Readings in English Social History (Cambridge University Press, 1921), pp. 205-8.
  2. ^ Dominic Mancini, The Usurpation of Richard III (1483), in A. R. Myers (ed.), English Historical Documents 1327-1485 (Routledge, 1996), pp. 330-3.
  3. ^ History of Croyland Abbey, Third Continuation

External links

Edward V of England
Cadet branch of the House of Plantagenet
Born: 2 November 1470 Died: 1483?
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Edward IV
King of England
Lord of Ireland

1483
Succeeded by
Richard III
English royalty
Preceded by
Edward of Westminster
Heir to the English Throne
as heir apparent
11 April 1471 – 9 April 1483
Succeeded by
Richard of Shrewsbury,
1st Duke of York
Prince of Wales
1471 – 1483
Succeeded by
Edward of Middleham
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Edward of Westminster
Duke of Cornwall
1470 – 1483
Succeeded by
Edward of Middleham
New creation Earl of March
2nd creation
1479 – 1483
Merged in Crown
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Simple English

Edward V
King of England; Lord of Ireland (more...)
Reign 9 April 1483 – 22 June 1483
Predecessor Edward IV
Protector Richard, Duke of Gloucester
Successor Richard III
Royal house House of York
Father Edward IV
Mother Elizabeth Woodville
Born 2 November 1470(1470-11-02)
Westminster
Died The Tower of London (assumed)
Burial Westminster Abbey (assumed)

Edward V (4 November 14701483?) was the King of England from 9 April 1483 until he was removed two months later, on 25 June 1483. He was never officially made the king.

Contents

Early life

Edward was born at Westminster while his father, King Edward IV of England, was in exile in Burgundy. The King, Henry VI, said his mother and his sisters would be safe if they stayed at the abbey.[1] When Edward IV came back and took over the throne again, Edward became his heir and was given the title "Prince of Wales". Edward IV thought it would be right for the Prince of Wales to rule Wales, so he sent little Prince Edward to live in Ludlow Castle, where the Council of Wales met.[2] The prince was helped by his uncle, Anthony Woodville, Earl Rivers, and began to learn how to be a ruler. His mother, Queen Elizabeth, was often with him, and his father, the king, also visited.

The prince spent most of his time at Ludlow until he was twelve, when his father the king suddenly died. The prince had to go straight to London to take the throne, and his uncle, Earl Rivers, went with him. On the way, they were met by another of his uncles, Richard, Duke of Gloucester. The Duke was a younger brother of King Edward IV, and the king had given him the title of "Lord Protector" in the hope that he would look after Prince Edward until he was old enough to be the real king.[3]

Prisoner

Instead of arranging a coronation for the new king, Duke Richard decided to take the throne for himself, and became King Richard III. He sent Prince Edward to live in the Tower of London and wait for his coronation.[1] He also got Edward's younger brother, Prince Richard, Duke of York, to come and live at the Tower. Earl Rivers was executed by Richard.[1] Gloucester was able to convince people that the two young princes were not the legal heirs to the throne. On 25 June 1483, the Parliament said that Richard, Duke of Gloucester, was the legal king.[4]

Missing

After a few months, the two boys disappeared, and what happened to them is still a mystery today. Most people think that the two boys were murdered. They became known as the Princes in the Tower. It is most likely they were killed by their uncle, Richard III. It is also possible that they were killed by Henry VII, who became king two years later.[5]

In 1674, during building work at the Tower, a wooden chest was found under a staircase in the White Tower.[4] It contained the bones of two young boys. It has never been proved that these are the missing princes, but King Charles II had the bones buried in Westminster Abbey.[4] In 1933 the bones were looked at again by scientists who believed that they were the two princes.[5]

References


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