The 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.
The events of 1483, April to June
Richard III is one of English History's great controversies. Despite his image as the king's 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
|False reports of Edward IV's death reach York
|Edward gathers the Queen and Royal Councillors at his death bed, urges Hastings and Dorset to make peace which they do.
|Edward IV dies
|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
|News of Edward's death reaches Rivers and Edward V in Ludlow
|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
|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
|Funeral of Edward IV; buried at Windsor
|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
|Gloucester leaves York, having heard from Rivers that they should meet at Northampton on 29th.
|Rivers and Edward V leave Ludlow
|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
|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
|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.
|Gloucester at Northampton. Sends Rivers to Sheriff Hutton, Grey to Middleham, Vaughan to Pontefract. All in captivity.
|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
|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.
|Writs for a parliament on 25th June issued in Edward V's name.
|Buckingham handsomely rewarded by Gloucester, with appointments that made him the most powerful man in Wales
|Anne, Duchess of Gloucester arrives in London
|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.
|Gloucester writes to York and asks for troops to save him from the Woodvilles' plots
|Hastings, Morton, Stanley seized from the royal council, and accused of treason. Hastings executed immediately without trial.
|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
|Writs issued delaying Edward Vths coronation to 9th November. However, many missed their target, since the lords and commons assembled on 25th
|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
|Buckingham advances the same claims to the Mayor & Aldermen of London at the Guildhall
|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
|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
|Official letter to the Captain of Calais announces that his oath of loyalty to Edward V is no longer valid due to his illegitimacy
|By now, troops from the north have arrived at London. Mancini claims there to be 6,000.
|Coronation of Gloucester as Richard III