RICHARD III 1483 - 1485  (R3)  Lived 1452 - 1485

xxxxxAs we have seen, Richard came to the throne under strange and suspicious circumstances. He had been appointed Regent for Edward V in 1483, as his brother had willed, but in the same year he accepted Parliament’s offer of the crown following a suggestion by the Bishop of Bath and Wells that Edward’s parents had not been properly married and therefore an illegitimate child could not inherit the crown. The argument ran that before Edward IV had married Elizabeth Woodville (illustrated), he had made a contract to marry another woman and thus his marriage was illegal. To many this conclusion appeared both handy and contrived.


xxxxxFollowing Richard’s coronation, Edward, aged 12, and his younger brother, Richard, Duke of York, were never seen again. Given the sequence of events, it is hardly surprising that Richard III has generally been regarded as their murderer. It is likely that they were killed on his orders after they had been taken to the Tower of London, but there is no firm evidence to that effect.

xxxxxRichard proved a capable ruler, reforming the administration of justice, improving tax collection, and taking measures to control the balance of payments. He was not lacking in wisdom or courage, but the doubt and suspicion surrounding the disappearance of the two young princes served to undermine his authority and popularity. Just two years after his succession, Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, led a rebellion against him and Richard was defeated and killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485.


Richard III is crowned king on the grounds that Edward V is illegitimate. The young king and his brother, Richard, Duke of York, captives in the Tower of London, are never seen again.

The painter Giovanni Bellini is appointed painter of the Venetian Republic. During his long and successful career he makes Venice an art centre to rival that of Florence and Rome.


The Florentine artist Botticelli paints his Birth of Venus. This, together with his Primavera (Allegory of Spring), 1478 (E4), captures the very essence and spirit of the Renaissance.


Ivan III rebuilds the Kremlin in Moscow, modernising many of its buildings, adding new ones, and surrounding the fortress with a crenellated brick wall more than a mile long.

Richard III is defeated and killed at the Battle of Bosworth. Henry Tudor is crowned king as Henry VII, first of the royal Tudor line.








Richard III: late 15th century, artist unknown – National Portrait Gallery, London. Woodville: artist unknown – Ashmolean Museum, Oxford University, England. Coat of Arms: licensed under Creative Commons. Author: Sodacan –


Synopsis of Richard 3 Reign

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