This day in history is marked in 1483 as the ascension of Richard III on the throne of England. He was the last king of England in the House of York, had a terrible death in the Battle of Bosworth, a battle that marked the end of the Two Roses War. The war waged for the throne of England between the House of Work and the House of Lancaster.
The new-new King
Until April 9, 1483, the king of England was Edward IV, the brother of Richard III. However, Edward IV died and his twelve years old son, Edward V was the new king from that moment. Richard III was named the Lord Protector of the Realm. Lord Protector Richard III assumed his role and went to London.
However, Edward V and his younger brother, Richard de Shrewsbury, were held under the custody of Richard Duke of Gloucester (Richard III) in the Tower of London when he had Earl Rivers and Richard Grey arrested on the charge of treason against him, the Lord Protector. After the arrests, Richard informed Edward V about the attempt and the denial of his role. Therefore, Lord Richard continued to escort the young king with a 2,000 man army.
The things are getting interesting when on June 22, 1483, Richard officially declared that the marriage between Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville was illegal and that their two sons were illegitimate. This position was supported by a law, quickly passed by the Parliament, on the evidence of a bishop who confessed that he married Edward IV with Lady Eleanor Butler and that she was still alive when Edward married Elizabeth Woodville.
Therefore, the new successor of the crown was the same person who declared the illegitimate marriage: Richard III. The two children, probably still in the Tower of London, disappeared from the view. Although Richard III was accused of killing the two kids, there is still a debate about their real fate.
During his reign, Richard and his wife, Anne, endowed the King’s College and Queen’s College at Cambridge University. They were also planning to create a chapel in York Minster with over 100 priests. Richard III also founded the College of Arms.
In 1485, Richard met the forces of Henry Tudor in the Battle of Bosworth. Despite that the king’s army were around 8,000 men and Henry Tudor’s around 5,000 the king’s army faced a lot of problems during that battle. Most of the times, Richard III shouted out loud “Treason!” before every major dispute against him.
However, Richard III found his death during this battle and some sources note that he fought with courage and dignity. Some historians sustain that a Welsh gave him the final hit, while Richard’s horse was pushed onto the muddy land. It is say that the hit was so violent, that the king’s helmet was pushed deep into the skull.
On the other hand, the analysis of Richard III’s skeleton in 2012 revealed that until the final hit, the king suffered 11 wounds on the battlefield by various weapons such as daggers, swords, halberds. In fact, nine of Richard’s injuries are located to the head, which shows that the king lost his helmet during the Bosworth Battle.