187 Edward V

Pauls CrossThe reign of Edward V is one of the great controversies of English history. This episode is as uncontroversial – just what happened. Then in 2 weeks time – we have the big debate and prizes, at THoE Facebook Page. It all starts with the death of Edward IV on 9th April 1483. 



187 Edward V


The events of 1483, April to June 

Richard III is one of English History's great controversies. Despite his image as the king's RII Strained right hand man, a fine upstanding example of loyalty and competence – was he really an ambitious schemer who saw a chance to be king? Or was he a man driven by fear and events? Or yet, was he a man who, faced with a disastrous revelation about the heir to the throne, stepped forward to take up the burden himself? 

The picture on the left is of St Paul's Cross. This was a place by the old St Paul's cathedral where speakers and preachers were often heard. It's hear, on 22nd June 1483 that a man called Ralph Shaw preached on the text of 'The bastard slips shall not take root' – and revealed to Londoners that Richard was the real heir, and should take the throne instead of his 12 year old nephew, Edward V.  



Hopefully this timeline below will help you follow events through and get them all in order; and form your own view! You can also see the Timeline in the 1483 Timeline page in the Richard III section. 

Timeline of Events: April to July 1483
APRIL 6th  False reports of Edward IV's death reach York
7th Edward gathers the Queen and Royal Councillors at his death bed, urges Hastings and Dorset to make peace which they do. 
9th  Edward IV dies
11th Royal Council meet in London. Woodvilles win the argument to crown Edward immediately on 4th May, with Gloucester as merely leader of the council not Protector. Agree to limit the size of Edward V's retinue to 2,000
14th News of Edward's death reaches Rivers and Edward V in Ludlow
?15th Confirmation of news of Edward's death reaches Gloucester at Middleham from Hastings. Hastings urges Gloucester to take control of Edward V before he reaches London
?16th+ Gloucester writes to Rivers, suggesting they meet on the road to London
Gloucester writes to the Royal Council; pledging allegiance to Edward, consoling the Queen, but also  stating his right to the Protectorship
Buckingham's letter reaches Richard, suggesting they travel together
19th Funeral of Edward IV; buried at Windsor
21st  Gloucester carries out a funeral service at York for Edward and pledging allegiance to Edward V
Buckingham receives Gloucester's letter & replies that he will meet at Northampton
23rd Gloucester leaves York, having heard from Rivers that they should meet at Northampton on 29th.
24th Rivers and Edward V leave Ludlow
29th Rivers reaches Stony Stratford; heads north to Northampton to see Gloucester, while Edward V, Grey & Vaughan stay at Stony Stratford. Buckingham arrives at Northampton in the evening, joining Gloucester and Rivers.
Edward Woodville sails with the Fleet and £10,000 of royal treasure
30th  Gloucester and Buckingham seize the King and send Rivers, Grey and Vaughan to captivity at Sheriff's Hutton. Gloucester writes a calming letter to the Royal Council
MAY 1st  Hastings assembles lords and magnates in London, reads Gloucester's letter and assures then that Rivers, Grey and Vaughan's cases would be heard by the Royal Council, and wins them to acquiescence. 
The Woodvilles attempt to raise an army against Gloucester in London – but fail. The Queen flees with her family to the Sanctuary at Westminster Abbey
Chancellor and Archbishop of York panics, and takes the Great Seal to the Queen in Sanctuary.
2nd  Gloucester at Northampton. Sends Rivers to Sheriff Hutton, Grey to Middleham, Vaughan to Pontefract. All in captivity.
4th Gloucester, Buckingham with Edward V between them enter London with 500 men. Greeted by the Mayor and Alderman and happy smiling people. Gloucester brings carts of arms which he claims to have been gathered by the Woodvilles. 
Gloucester summons lords and magnates to swear loyalty to Edward V
10th  Meeting of the Royal Council. Gloucester rewards followers, calms nerve with the appointment of neutral men to key positions, turns Great Seal over to the Archbishop of Canterbury. Installed as Protector by the Royal Council. Coronation of Edward V delayed to June 24th.
However, Council refuses Gloucester's request to accused Rivers, Grey and Vaughan in treason, and criticise him not failing to treat Elizabeth with the dignity of a queen.
13th Writs for a parliament on 25th June issued in Edward V's name.
15th Buckingham handsomely rewarded by Gloucester, with appointments that made him the most powerful man in Wales
JUNE 5th Anne, Duchess of Gloucester arrives in London
?8th Phillippe de Commines claims that Robert Stillington, Bishop of Bath and Wells presented a case to Gloucester, or Gloucester's associates, about Edward IV's pre-contract to Eleanor Butler. A letter from Simon Stallworth makes mention of it in the royal council.  
10th Gloucester writes to York and asks for troops to save him from the Woodvilles' plots
13th  Hastings, Morton, Stanley seized from the royal council, and accused of treason. Hastings executed immediately without trial.
16th  Richard surrounds Westminster Abbey & sanctuary, threatens to seize Edward Vs younger brother, the Duke of York, from Elizabeth Woodville. The Queens hands over her son to Gloucester, and he is taken to the Tower
17th  Writs issued delaying Edward Vths coronation to 9th November. However, many missed their target, since the lords and commons assembled on 25th
22nd Ralph Shaw, Canon of St Pauls, preaches a sermon advancing Richard's claim as the only legitimate heir of York, based on the old story of Edward IV's bastardy, and a new claim that Edward's sons were bastards due to a prior marriage 
24th  Buckingham advances the same claims to the Mayor & Aldermen of London at the Guildhall
25th  Lords & Commons called to 'Parliament' assemble – though legal status as a parliament not clear. Buckingham presents the petition developed by Stillington for Richard to be king, based on bastardy of Edward IV's children. 
Rivers, Grey and Vaughan executed on Gloucester's orders
26th  Delegates of lords and knights duly visit Richard at Baynard Castle, and urge him to take the throne
Gloucester sits in the King's chair at the Court of the King's Bench in Westminster hall
28th Official letter to the Captain of Calais announces that his oath of loyalty to Edward V is no longer valid due to his illegitimacy
JULY 3rd  By now, troops from the north have arrived at London. Mancini claims there to be 6,000. 
6th  Coronation of Gloucester as Richard III


22 thoughts on “187 Edward V

  1. Richard was obviously watching Game of Thrones. He realized that if the Woodvilles/Lannisters take over, then Scottish zombies are going to invade.

  2. Renly? Maybe? He tried to usurp Stannis,who was the true heir to Robert, as the kids were all illegitimate.

  3. Thanks for the timeline- very easy to understand. It has really brought home to me what a busy bee Tricky Dicky was- he had to work for it…..

  4. Thanks for the timeline, No one will ever know what caused Richard to change. But putting both Princes in the tower. The execution of both Rivers and Hastings, his brothers best friend. Says he had already turned against the Woodvilles faction. He may not have killed the young Princes’s but leaving them there set it up for Henry the 7th. Since his mothers husband was the keeper of the keys to the Tower. It makes one wonder what history would have been had Richard allowed young Edward to be crowned. And then fought along side him, against Henry Tudor . Would Margarrt Buefords husband and his brother them betrayed Richard and the young King to their deaths. ?????

  5. As a resident of the Riverina district of NSW, I feel that the issue of the legitimacy or not of Edward IV has been touched upon in the podcast as a cat might touch upon a hot tin roof. Surely the fact that such an ah hem esteemed historian as Tony Robinson believes that the true royal family are a bunch of bogans living in Jerilderie deserves at least one episode?

  6. We also call bogans westies or boons. The Americans call them rednecks. I can’t think of an equivalent in the UK but maybe think Geordie s or the folk of Glasgow who might be inclined to give you a kiss. Jerilderie is a small town whose greatest claim to fame was having hosted Ned Kelly for an event known locally as a B&S, and thus starting a traditional cultural right of passage involving Utes, teenagers and alcohol. Jerilderie was also home to a bloke called Michael Hastings, 14th Earl of Loudoun, who was the rightful king of Australia (and also England) if Edward was illegitimate.

  7. Tony Robinson (Baldric) made a doco some time ago outlining the evidence, contested in many circles, for Edward’s illegitimacy, and a delightful meeting with the true royal family in Jerilderie.

      1. Baldrick concluded that Edward IV was illegitimate and then I believe they traced the line of George Duke of Clarence down to a man who lives in Australia named Michael

  8. Tony is very popular in Australia, and makes a living out of entertainment so does not really need to worry about things like peer review. He plays to his paying subscribers. I would like to know the real story, but I don’t as my area of knowledge is Rome, not medieval Europe. That is why i thought this would be an interesting conundrum you might be able to unpack one day if you have time.

  9. I am not very good with computers and haven’t been able to focus enough to listen to this podcast novelty thing other than on YouTube, which as a musician, is a natural environment for me. By accident among the pink Floyd and Fleetwood Mac videos, mike Duncan popped up and this was a bit of an eye opener. After turning off every Rome doco in disgust, listening to his entire Roman History without once experiencing a blood boiling sensation was very good . His recommendation landed me here, and here is a very good place, but the Anglo Saxon thing you have been talking about sounds much better. How do I get there other than on YouTube, which I assume is not the preferred platform?

    1. Sp much to ask about this;are you saying that Mike Duncan recommended my podcast? Neat, if so! Um, where are you listening now? The Anglo Saxon podcast has now been folded back tinot the first 20 or 30 episodes of the hsitory of England, so you can listen to it all here!

  10. Ah OK. I’ve already heard it then. I am up to episode 211 and getting into territory a little too modern for my liking. You mentioned a history of Scotland and the Picts that I can listen to for a small fee. I have always had problems finding out about the Picts. I am descended I’m told from them. I can’t work out how to get there from the website and have no contact with iTunes. I listen to podcasts through my TV. Can you send a link I can follow to pay the fee and immerse myself in the history of North Britain?

    1. Ah, now there’s a comment I like to read! You can be an annual member or monthly – follow this link https://thehistoryofengland.co.uk/become-a-member/. Among other wonders, there are currently 10 episodes on the History of Scotland; we have just got to the mysterious disappearance of the Picts, and the arrival of Cinead MacAilpin, traditionally first king of Scotland and destroyer of the Picts.

  11. Yes did that, and I am astonished at the amount of information you found about the joining of Picts and Scots. I knew about the two brothers who went to Ulster but not much more. The best I have been able to do was from the scientific literature and related to animal husbandry and lactose intolerance. This argument sounded dubious at best to me.

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