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
- 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
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
3. Richard was the ward of the Earl of Warwick, spending his youth being training to become an accomplished Knight, skilled in battle
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
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
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.
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
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
9. In August 1483, Richard invested his son Edward as Prince of Wales at York, and also knighted his young nephew, Edward of Warwick
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