10 facts you might not know about King Richard III

King Richard III may have only ruled between June 1483 and August 1485, but he lived a fascinating life, shaped by the Wars of the Roses and his loyalty to his brother, King Edward IV

Ludlow, Shropshire
  1. At the age of 7 in 1459, Richard, his mother and younger siblings were left in Ludlow to face an enemy army when his father and elder brothers were forced into exile at the Battle of Ludford Bridge
Bruge, now in Belgium where Richard sort support during exile

2. Richard faced exile twice, once at the age of 8 to the low countries, and then again in 1460 at the age of 18 to Burgundy along with his brother Edward IV who was ousted by the Lancastrians

Middleham Castle, where Richard learned under the tutelage of the Earl of Warwick

3. Richard was the ward of the Earl of Warwick, spending his youth being training to become an accomplished Knight, skilled in battle

Beautiful Tewkesbury Abbey from the North East

3. Richard became a seasoned battle commander as the Duke of Gloucester, commanding  men in his brother’s army at the Battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury in 1471

Sheriff Hutton Castle

4. As the Duke of Gloucester, he spent over 10 years in the north of England, mediating disputes and providing judgments. He was well thought of in York and was the Lord President of the Council of the North, held at Sheriff Hutton

Amiens Cathedral

5. He accompanied his brother Edward IV in his invasion of France in 1475. The invasion ended with the Treaty of Picquany, signed near Amiens.


6.  In 1482, Richard commanded a force into Edinburgh as Lieutenant-General. He had 20,000 men in his command and also captured the city of Berwick which has remained part of England ever since.

The Royal Coat of Arms of Richard III

7. After the death of Edward IV in 1483, Richard was petitioned to take the throne by the three estates of the realm after the sons of Edward IV were declared illegitimate

Westminster Abbey

8. When Richard was crowned in Westminster Abbey in July, 1483, his wife Anne Neville was crowned alongside him, making it only the third joint coronation since the Norman conquest

York Minster

9. In August 1483, Richard invested his son Edward as Prince of Wales at York, and also knighted his young nephew, Edward of Warwick

The Boar, symbol of Richard III on the gates of Parliament

10. Richard’s first and only Parliament was held in Westminster in February 1484. Laws were passed that benefited the common man including the doing away of benevolences (forced giving to the Crown) and an early form of bail

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