Henry VI of England
Henry VI was King of England from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471, disputed King of France from 1422 to 1453. The only child of Henry V, he succeeded to the English throne at the age of nine months upon his father's death, succeeded to the French throne on the death of his maternal grandfather Charles VI shortly afterwards. Henry inherited the long-running Hundred Years' War, in which his uncle Charles VII contested his claim to the French throne, he is the only English monarch to have been crowned King of France, in 1431. His early reign, when several people were ruling for him, saw the pinnacle of English power in France, but subsequent military and economic problems had endangered the English cause by the time Henry was declared fit to rule in 1437, he found his realm in a difficult position, faced with setbacks in France and divisions among the nobility at home. Unlike his father, Henry is described as timid, passive, well-intentioned, averse to warfare and violence, his ineffective reign saw the gradual loss of the English lands in France.
In the hope of achieving peace, in 1445 Henry married Charles VII's niece, the ambitious and strong-willed Margaret of Anjou. The peace policy failed, leading to the murder of one of Henry's key advisers, the war recommenced, with France taking the upper hand; as the situation in France worsened, there was a related increase in political instability in England. With Henry unfit to rule, power was exercised by quarrelsome nobles, while factions and favourites encouraged the rise of disorder in the country. Regional magnates and soldiers returning from France formed and maintained increasing numbers of private armed retainers, with which they fought one another, terrorised their neighbors, paralysed the courts, dominated the government. Queen Margaret did not remain unpartisan, took advantage of the situation to make herself an effective power behind the throne. Amidst military disasters in France and a collapse of law and order in England, the queen and her clique came under criticism, coming from Henry VI's popular cousin Richard of the House of York, of misconduct of the war in France and misrule of the country.
Starting in 1453, Henry began suffering a series of mental breakdowns, tensions mounted between Margaret and Richard of York over control of the incapacitated king's government, over the question of succession to the throne. Civil war broke out in 1455, leading to a long period of dynastic conflict known as the Wars of the Roses. Henry was deposed on 29 March 1461 after a crushing defeat at the Battle of Towton by Richard's son, who took the throne as Edward IV. Despite Margaret continuing to lead a resistance to Edward, he was captured by Edward's forces in 1465 and imprisoned in the Tower of London. Henry was restored to the throne in 1470, but Edward retook power in 1471, killing Henry's only son and heir in battle and imprisoning Henry once again. Having "lost his wits, his two kingdoms, his only son", Henry died in the Tower during the night of 21 May killed on the orders of Edward. Miracles were attributed to Henry after his death, he was informally regarded as a saint and martyr until the 16th century.
He left a legacy of educational institutions, having founded Eton College, King's College and All Souls College, Oxford. Shakespeare wrote a trilogy of plays about his life, depicting him as weak-willed and influenced by his wife, Margaret. Henry was the only child and heir of King Henry V, he was born on 6 December 1421 at Windsor Castle. He succeeded to the throne as King of England at the age of nine months on 1 September 1422, the day after his father's death. A few weeks on 21 October 1422 in accordance with the Treaty of Troyes of 1420, he became titular King of France upon his grandfather Charles VI's death, his mother, Catherine of Valois, was 20 years old. As Charles VI's daughter, she was viewed with considerable suspicion by English nobles and was prevented from playing a full role in her son's upbringing. On 28 September 1423, the nobles swore loyalty to Henry VI, not yet two years old, they summoned Parliament in the King's name and established a regency council to govern until the King should come of age.
One of Henry V's surviving brothers, Duke of Bedford, was appointed senior regent of the realm and was in charge of the ongoing war in France. During Bedford's absence, the government of England was headed by Henry V's other surviving brother, Duke of Gloucester, appointed Lord Protector and Defender of the Realm, his duties were limited to summoning Parliament. Henry V's half-uncle Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester, had an important place on the Council. After the Duke of Bedford died in 1435, the Duke of Gloucester claimed the Regency himself, but was contested in this by the other members of the Council. From 1428, Henry's tutor was Richard de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, whose father had been instrumental in the opposition to Richard II's reign. Henry's half-brothers and Jasper, the sons of his widowed mother and Owen Tudor, were given earldoms. Edmund Tudor was the father of Henry Tudor, who became Henry VII. In reaction to Charles VII's coronation as French King in Reims Cathedral on 17 July 1429, Henry was soon crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey on 6 November 1429, followed by his own coronation as King of France at Notre Dame de Paris on 16 December 1431, at age 10.
He was the only English king to be crow
Princes in the Tower
"The Princes in the Tower" is an expression used to refer to Edward V, King of England and Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York. The two brothers were the only sons of Edward IV, King of England and Elizabeth Woodville surviving at the time of their father's death in 1483; when they were 12 and 9 years old they were lodged in the Tower of London by the man appointed to look after them, their uncle, the Lord Protector: Richard, Duke of Gloucester. This was in preparation for Edward's forthcoming coronation as king. However, Richard took the throne for himself and the boys disappeared, it is unclear. It is assumed that they were murdered, their deaths may have occurred some time in 1483, but apart from their disappearance, the only evidence is circumstantial. As a result, several other hypotheses about their fates have been proposed, including the suggestion that they were murdered by Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham or Henry VII, among others, it has been suggested that one or both princes may have escaped assassination.
In 1487, Lambert Simnel claimed to be Richard, Duke of York, but claimed to be Edward Plantagenet, 17th Earl of Warwick. From 1491 until his capture in 1497, Perkin Warbeck claimed to be Richard, Duke of York, having escaped to Flanders. Warbeck's claim was supported by some contemporaries. In 1674, workmen at the Tower dug up a wooden box containing two small human skeletons; the bones were found in a box under the staircase in the Tower of London. The bones were accepted at the time as those of the princes, but this has not been proven and is far from certain. King Charles II had the bones buried in Westminster Abbey. On 9 April 1483, Edward IV of England died unexpectedly after an illness lasting around three weeks. At the time, Edward's son, the new King Edward V, was at Ludlow Castle, the dead king's brother, Duke of Gloucester, was at Middleham Castle in Yorkshire; the news reached Gloucester around 15 April, although he may have been forewarned of Edward's illness. It is reported that he went to York Minster to publicly "pledge his loyalty to his new king".
The Croyland Chronicle states that, before his death, Edward IV designated his brother Gloucester as Lord Protector. Edward's request may not have mattered, since "as the precedent of Henry V showed, the council was not bound to follow the wishes of a dead king". Edward V and Gloucester set out for London from the west and north meeting at Stony Stratford on 29 April; the following morning, Gloucester arrested Edward's retinue including the boys' uncle, Anthony Woodville, 2nd Earl Rivers, their half-brother Sir Richard Grey. They were sent to Pontefract Castle in Yorkshire. Gloucester took possession of the prince himself, prompting Elizabeth Woodville to take her other son, Duke of York, her daughters into sanctuary at Westminster Abbey. Edward V and Gloucester arrived in London together. Plans continued for Edward's coronation. On 19 May 1483 Edward was lodged in the Tower of London the traditional residence of monarchs prior to coronation. On 16 June, he was joined by his younger brother Richard, Duke of York, in sanctuary.
At this point the date of Edward's coronation was indefinitely postponed by Gloucester. On Sunday 22 June, a sermon was preached at Saint Paul's Cross claiming Gloucester to be the only legitimate heir of the House of York. On 25 June, "a group of lords and gentlemen" petitioned Richard to take the throne. Both princes were subsequently declared illegitimate by Parliament; the act stated that Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville's marriage was invalid because of Edward's pre-contract of marriage with Lady Eleanor Butler. Gloucester was crowned King Richard III of England on 3 July; the declaration of the boys' illegitimacy has been described by Rosemary Horrox as an ex post facto justification for Richard's accession. Dominic Mancini, an Italian friar who visited England in the 1480s and, in London in the spring and summer of 1483, recorded that after Richard III seized the throne and his younger brother Richard were taken into the "inner apartments of the Tower" and were seen less and less until they disappeared altogether.
Mancini records that during this period Edward was visited by a doctor, who reported that Edward, "like a victim prepared for sacrifice, sought remission of his sins by daily confession and penance, because he believed that death was facing him." The Latin reference to "Argentinus medicus", was translated as "a Strasbourg doctor". E. Rhodes suggests it may refer to "Doctor Argentine", whom Rhodes identifies as John Argentine, an English physician who would serve as provost of King's College, as doctor to Arthur, Prince of Wales, eldest son of King Henry VII of England. There are reports of the two princes being seen playing in the Tower grounds shortly after Richard joined his brother, but there are no recorded sightings of either of them after the summer of 1483. An attempt to rescue them in late July failed, their fate remains an enduring mystery. Many historians believe the princes were murdered, some suggesting that the act may have happened towards the end of summer 1483. Maurice Keen argues that the rebellion against Richard in 1483 "aimed to
Tower of London
The Tower of London Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the square mile of the City of London by the open space known as Tower Hill, it was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England. The White Tower, which gives the entire castle its name, was built by William the Conqueror in 1078 and was a resented symbol of oppression, inflicted upon London by the new ruling elite; the castle was used as a prison from 1100 until 1952, although, not its primary purpose. A grand palace early in its history, it served as a royal residence; as a whole, the Tower is a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat. There were several phases of expansion under Kings Richard I, Henry III, Edward I in the 12th and 13th centuries; the general layout established by the late 13th century remains despite activity on the site.
The Tower of London has played a prominent role in English history. It was besieged several times, controlling it has been important to controlling the country; the Tower has served variously as an armoury, a treasury, a menagerie, the home of the Royal Mint, a public record office, the home of the Crown Jewels of England. From the early 14th century until the reign of Charles II, a procession would be led from the Tower to Westminster Abbey on the coronation of a monarch. In the absence of the monarch, the Constable of the Tower is in charge of the castle; this was a trusted position in the medieval period. In the late 15th century, the castle was the prison of the Princes in the Tower. Under the Tudors, the Tower became used less as a royal residence, despite attempts to refortify and repair the castle, its defences lagged behind developments to deal with artillery; the peak period of the castle's use as a prison was the 16th and 17th centuries, when many figures who had fallen into disgrace, such as Elizabeth I before she became queen, Sir Walter Raleigh, Elizabeth Throckmorton, were held within its walls.
This use has led to the phrase "sent to the Tower". Despite its enduring reputation as a place of torture and death, popularised by 16th-century religious propagandists and 19th-century writers, only seven people were executed within the Tower before the World Wars of the 20th century. Executions were more held on the notorious Tower Hill to the north of the castle, with 112 occurring there over a 400-year period. In the latter half of the 19th century, institutions such as the Royal Mint moved out of the castle to other locations, leaving many buildings empty. Anthony Salvin and John Taylor took the opportunity to restore the Tower to what was felt to be its medieval appearance, clearing out many of the vacant post-medieval structures. In the First and Second World Wars, the Tower was again used as a prison and witnessed the executions of 12 men for espionage. After the Second World War, damage caused during the Blitz was repaired, the castle reopened to the public. Today, the Tower of London is one of the country's most popular tourist attractions.
Under the ceremonial charge of the Constable of the Tower, operated by the Resident Governor of the Tower of London and Keeper of the Jewel House, the property is cared for by the charity Historic Royal Palaces and is protected as a World Heritage Site. The Tower was orientated with its strongest and most impressive defences overlooking Saxon London, which archaeologist Alan Vince suggests was deliberate, it stood out to traffic on the River Thames. The castle enclosures; the innermost ward is the earliest phase of the castle. Encircling it to the north and west is the inner ward, built during the reign of Richard I. There is the outer ward which encompasses the castle and was built under Edward I. Although there were several phases of expansion after William the Conqueror founded the Tower of London, the general layout has remained the same since Edward I completed his rebuild in 1285; the castle encloses an area of 12 acres with a further 6 acres around the Tower of London constituting the Tower Liberties – land under the direct influence of the castle and cleared for military reasons.
The precursor of the Liberties was laid out in the 13th century when Henry III ordered that a strip of land adjacent to the castle be kept clear. Despite popular fiction, the Tower of London never had a permanent torture chamber, although the basement of the White Tower housed a rack in periods. Tower Wharf was built on the bank of the Thames under Edward I and was expanded to its current size during the reign of Richard II; the White Tower is a keep, the strongest structure in a medieval castle, contained lodgings suitable for the lord – in this case, the king or his representative. According to military historian Allen Brown, "The great tower was by virtue of its strength and lordly accommodation, the donjon par excellence"; as one of the largest keeps in the Christian world, the White Tower has been described as "the most complete eleventh-century palace in Europe". The White Tower, not including its projecting corner towers, measures 36 by 32 metres at the base, is 27 m high at the southern battlements.
The structure was three storeys high, comprising a basement floor, an entrance level, an upper floor. The entrance, as is usual in Norman keeps, was above ground
Henry VII of England
Henry VII was the King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizure of the crown on 22 August 1485 to his death on 21 April 1509. He was the first monarch of the House of Tudor. Henry attained the throne when his forces defeated King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field, the culmination of the Wars of the Roses, he was the last king of England to win his throne on the field of battle. He cemented his claim by marrying Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV and niece of Richard III. Henry was successful in restoring the power and stability of the English monarchy after the civil war, his supportive stance of the British Isles' wool industry and his standoff with the Low Countries had long-lasting benefits to all of the British economy. However, the capriciousness and lack of due process that indebted many would tarnish his legacy and were soon ended upon Henry VII's death, after a commission revealed widespread abuses. According to the contemporary historian Polydore Vergil, simple "greed" underscored the means by which royal control was over-asserted in Henry's final years.
Henry can be credited with a number of administrative and diplomatic initiatives. He paid close attention to detail, instead of spending lavishly he concentrated on raising new revenues and after a reign of nearly 24 years, he was peacefully succeeded by his son, Henry VIII; the new taxes were unpopular and two days after his coronation, Henry VIII arrested his father's two most unpopular ministers, Sir Richard Empson and Edmund Dudley. They were charged with high treason and were executed in 1510. Henry VII was born at Pembroke Castle on 28 January 1457 to Countess of Richmond, his father, Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond, died three months before his birth. Henry's paternal grandfather, Owen Tudor from the Tudors of Penmynydd, Isle of Anglesey in Wales, had been a page in the court of Henry V, he rose to become one of the "Squires to the Body to the King" after military service at the Battle of Agincourt. Owen is said to have secretly married the widow of Catherine of Valois. One of their sons was Edmund Tudor, father of Henry VII.
Edmund was created Earl of Richmond in 1452, "formally declared legitimate by Parliament". Henry's main claim to the English throne derived from his mother through the House of Beaufort. Henry's mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, was a great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, fourth son of Edward III, his third wife Katherine Swynford. Katherine was Gaunt's mistress for about 25 years, thus Henry's claim was somewhat tenuous: it was from a woman, by illegitimate descent. In theory, the Portuguese and Castilian royal families had a better claim as descendants of Catherine of Lancaster, the daughter of John of Gaunt and his second wife Constance of Castile. Gaunt's nephew Richard II legitimised Gaunt's children by Katherine Swynford by Letters Patent in 1397. In 1407, Henry IV, Gaunt's son by his first wife, issued new Letters Patent confirming the legitimacy of his half-siblings, but declaring them ineligible for the throne. Henry IV's action was of doubtful legality, as the Beauforts were legitimised by an Act of Parliament, but it further weakened Henry's claim.
Nonetheless, by 1483 Henry was the senior male Lancastrian claimant remaining, after the deaths in battle or by murder or execution of Henry VI, his son Edward of Westminster, Prince of Wales, the other Beaufort line of descent through Lady Margaret's uncle, the 2nd Duke of Somerset. Henry made some political capital out of his Welsh ancestry, for example in attracting military support and safeguarding his army's passage through Wales on its way to the Battle of Bosworth, he came from an old, established Anglesey family that claimed descent from Cadwaladr, on occasion Henry displayed the red dragon of Cadwaladr. He took it, as well as the standard of St George, on his procession through London after the victory at Bosworth. A contemporary writer and Henry's biographer, Bernard André made much of Henry's Welsh descent. In reality, his hereditary connections to Welsh aristocracy were not strong, he was descended by the paternal line, through several generations, from Ednyfed Fychan, the seneschal of Gwynedd and through this seneschal's wife from Rhys ap Tewdwr, the King of Deheubarth in South Wales.
His more immediate ancestor, Tudur ap Goronwy, had aristocratic land rights, but his sons, who were first cousins to Owain Glyndŵr, sided with Owain in his revolt. One son was executed and the family land was forfeited. Another son, Henry's great-grandfather, became a butler to the Bishop of Bangor. Owen Tudor, the son of the butler, like the children of other rebels, was provided for by Henry V, a circumstance that precipitated his access to Queen Catherine of Valois. Notwithstanding this lineage, to the bards of Wales, Henry was a candidate for Y Mab Darogan – "The Son of Prophecy" who would free the Welsh from oppression. In 1456, Henry's father Edmund Tudor was captured while fighting for Henry VI in South Wales against the Yorkists, he died in three months before Henry was born. Henry's uncle Jasper Tudor, the Earl of Pembroke and Edmund's younger brother, undertook to protect the young widow, 13 years old when she gave birth to Henry; when Edward IV became King in 1461, Jasper Tudor went into exile abroad.
Pembroke Castle, the Earldom of Pembroke, were granted to the Yorkist William Herbert, who assumed the guardianship of Margaret Beaufort and the young Henry. Henry lived in the Herbert household
Wars of the Roses
The Wars of the Roses were a series of English civil wars for control of the throne of England fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the House of Lancaster, associated with a red rose, the House of York, whose symbol was a white rose. The wars eliminated the male lines of both families; the conflict lasted through many sporadic episodes between 1455 and 1487, but there was related fighting before and after this period between the parties. The power struggle ignited around social and financial troubles following the Hundred Years' War, unfolding the structural problems of feudalism, combined with the mental infirmity and weak rule of King Henry VI which revived interest in Richard of York's claim to the throne. Historians disagree on. With the Duke of York's death in 1460, the claim transferred to Edward. After a series of Yorkist victories from January–February 1461, Edward claimed the throne on March 4, 1461, the last serious Lancastrian resistance ended at decisive Battle of Towton.
Edward was thus unopposed as the first Yorkist king of England, as Edward IV. Resistance smoldered in the North until 1464, but the early part of his reign remained peaceful. A new phase of the wars broke out in 1469 after The Earl of Warwick, the most powerful noble in the country, withdrew his support for Edward and threw it behind the Lancastrian cause. Fortunes changed many times as the Yorkist and Lancastrian forces exchanged victories throughout 1469–1470; when Edward fled to Flanders in 1470, Henry VI was re-installed as king on 3 October 1470, but his resumption of rule was short lived, he was deposed again following the defeat of his forces at the Battle of Tewkesbury, on 21 May 1471, Edward entered London unopposed, resumed the throne, had Henry killed that same day. With all significant Lancastrian leaders now banished or killed, Edward ruled unopposed until his sudden death in 1483, his son reigned for 78 days as Edward V, but was deposed by his uncle, who became Richard III. The ascension of Richard III occurred under a cloud of controversy, shortly after assuming the throne, the wars sparked anew with Buckingham's rebellion, as many die-hard Yorkists abandoned Richard to join Lancastrians.
While the rebellions lacked much central coordination, in the chaos the exiled Henry Tudor, son of Henry VI's half-brother Edmund Earl of Richmond, the leader of the Lancastrian cause, returned to the country from exile in Brittany at the head of an army of combined Breton and English forces. Richard avoided direct conflict with Henry until the Battle of Bosworth Field on 22 August 1485. After Richard III was killed and his forces defeated at Bosworth Field, Henry assumed the throne as Henry VII and married Elizabeth of York, the eldest daughter and heir of Edward IV, thereby uniting the two claims; the House of Tudor ruled the Kingdom of England until 1603, with the death of Elizabeth I, granddaughter of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. Shortly after Henry took the throne, the Earl of Lincoln, a Yorkist sympathizer, put forward Lambert Simnel as an imposter Richard of York, younger brother of Edward V. Lincoln's forces were defeated, he was killed at the Battle of Stoke Field on 16 June 1487, bringing a close to the Wars of the Roses.
The name "Wars of the Roses" refers to the heraldic badges associated with two rival branches of the same royal house, the White Rose of York and the Red Rose of Lancaster. Wars of the Roses came into common use in the 19th century after the publication in 1829 of Anne of Geierstein by Sir Walter Scott. Scott based the name on a scene in William Shakespeare's play Henry VI, Part 1, set in the gardens of the Temple Church, where a number of noblemen and a lawyer pick red or white roses to show their loyalty to the Lancastrian or Yorkist faction respectively, it is suggested by literary critics that Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has strong allegorical references to the conflict with York represented by the White Queen and Lancaster represented by the Red Queen. The Yorkist faction used the symbol of the white rose from early in the conflict, but the Lancastrian red rose was introduced only after the victory of Henry Tudor at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, when it was combined with the Yorkist white rose to form the Tudor rose, which symbolised the union of the two houses.
Owing to nobles holding multiple titles, more than one badge was used: Edward IV, for example, used both his sun in splendour as Earl of March, but his father's falcon and fetterlock as Duke of York. Badges were not always distinct. Most, but not all, of the participants in the wars wore livery badges associated with their immediate lords or patrons under the prevailing system of bastard feudalism. Another example: Henry Tudor's forces at Bosworth fought under the banner of a red dragon while the Yorkist army used Richard III's personal device of a white boar. Although the names of the rival houses derive from the cities of York and Lancaster, the corresponding duchy and dukedom had little to do with these cities; the lands and offices attached to the Duchy of Lancaster were in Gloucestershire, North Wales, in Yorkshire, while the estates and castles of the Duke of York were spread throughout England and Wales, many in the We
House of York
The House of York was a cadet branch of the English royal House of Plantagenet. Three of its members became kings of England in the late 15th century; the House of York was descended in the male line from Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York, the fourth surviving son of Edward III, but represented Edward's senior line, being cognatic descendants of Lionel, Duke of Clarence, Edward III's second surviving son. It is based on these descents. Compared with the House of Lancaster, it had a senior claim to the throne of England according to cognatic primogeniture but junior claim according to the agnatic primogeniture; the reign of this dynasty ended with the death of Richard III of England at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. It became extinct in the male line with the death of Edward Plantagenet, 17th Earl of Warwick, in 1499. Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York, 1st Earl of Cambridge, KG was a younger son of King Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault, the fourth of their five sons who lived to adulthood.
He was the founder of the House of York, but it was through the marriage of his younger son, Richard to Anne Mortimer that the Yorkist faction in the Wars of the Roses made its claim on the throne. The other party in the Wars of the Roses, the Lancasters, were descendants of Edmund's elder brother, John of Gaunt whose son Henry usurped the throne of Richard II in 1399. Edmund had two sons and Richard of Conisburgh. Edward succeeded to the dukedom in 1402, but was killed at the battle of Agincourt in 1415, with no issue. Richard married Anne Mortimer, a great-granddaughter of Lionel of Antwerp, the second surviving son of Edward III. Furthermore, Anne's son Richard became heir general to the earldom of March, after her only brother, Edmund, 5th Earl, died without issue in 1425, their father Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March had been named heir presumptive of Richard II before Henry IV's accession. Richard of Conisburgh was executed following his involvement in the Southampton Plot to depose Henry V of England in favour of the Earl of March.
The dukedom of York therefore passed to Richard Plantagenet. Through his mother, Richard Plantagenet inherited the lands of the earldom of March, as well as the Mortimer claim to the throne. Despite his elevated status, Richard Plantagenet was denied a position in government by the advisers of the weak Henry VI John Beaufort, 1st Duke of Somerset, the queen consort, Margaret of Anjou. Although he served as Protector of the Realm during Henry VI's period of incapacity in 1453–54, his reforms were reversed by Somerset's party once the king had recovered; the Wars of the Roses began the following year, with the First Battle of St Albans. Richard aimed only to purge his Lancastrian political opponents from positions of influence over the king, it was not until October 1460. In that year the Yorkists had captured the king at the battle of Northampton, but victory was short-lived. Richard and his second son Edmund were killed at the battle of Wakefield on 30 December. Richard's claim to the throne was inherited by his son Edward.
With the support of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, Edward showing great promise as a leader of men, defeated the Lancastrians in a succession of battles. While Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou were campaigning in the north, Warwick gained control of the capital and had Edward declared king in London in 1461. Edward strengthened his claim with a decisive victory at the Battle of Towton in the same year, in the course of which the Lancastrian army was wiped out; the early reign of Edward IV was marred by Lancastrian plotting and uprisings in favour of Henry VI. Warwick himself changed sides, supported Margaret of Anjou and the king's jealous brother George, Duke of Clarence, in restoring Henry in 1470–71. However, Edward regained his throne, the House of Lancaster was wiped out with the death of Henry VI himself, in the Tower of London in 1471. In 1478, the continued trouble caused by Clarence led to his execution in the Tower of London. On Edward's death in 1483, the crown passed to his twelve-year-old son Edward.
Edward IV's younger brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester, was appointed Protector, escorted the young king, his brother Richard, to the Tower of London. The famous Princes in the Tower were never seen again; however it is unknown who might have killed them. Parliament declared, in the document Titulus Regius, that the two boys were illegitimate, on the grounds that Edward IV's marriage was invalid, as such Richard was heir to the throne, he was crowned Richard III in July 1483. Richard III had many enemies. Though the House of Lancaster had been extinguished, the Lancastrian sympathisers survived, who now rallied behind Henry Tudor, a descendant of the Beauforts, a legitimized branch of the House of Lancaster. Moreover, the family of Edward IV, the Edwardian loyalists, were opposed to him dividing his Yorkist power base. A coup attempt failed in late 1483, but in 1485 Richard met Henry Tudor at the battle of Bosworth Field. During the battle, some of Richard's important supporters switched sides or withheld their retainers from the field.
Richard himself was killed. He was the last of the Plantagenet kings, as well as the last English king. Henry Tudor declared himself king, took Elizabeth of York, eldest child of Edward IV, as his wife, symbolically uniting the surviving houses of York and Lancaster, acceded t
Lord Protector is a title, used in British constitutional law for the head of state. It is a particular title for the British heads of state in respect to the established church, it is sometimes used to refer to holders of other temporary posts, for example, a regent acting for the absent monarch. The title of "The Lord Protector" was used by royal princes or other nobles exercising an individual regency while the English monarch was still a minor or otherwise unable to rule. Notable cases in England are: John, Duke of Bedford, Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, were jointly Lords Protectors for Henry VI; the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England and Ireland was the title of the head of state during the Commonwealth, following the first period when a Council of State held executive power. The title was held by Oliver Cromwell and subsequently his son and designated successor Richard Cromwell during what is now known as The Protectorate; the 1653 Instrument of Government stated that— Oliver Cromwell, Captain-General of the forces of England and Ireland, shall be, is hereby declared to be, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England and Ireland, the dominions thereto belonging, for his life.
The replacement constitution of 1657, the Humble Petition and Advice, gave "His Highness the Lord Protector" the power to nominate his successor. Cromwell chose the politically inexperienced Richard; this was a non-representative and de facto dynastic mode of succession, with royal connotations in both styles awarded, many other monarchic prerogatives, such as that of awarding knighthoods. The younger Cromwell, who succeeded on his father's death in September 1658, held the position for only eight months before resigning in May 1659, being followed by the second period of Commonwealth rule until the Restoration of the exiled heir to the Stuart throne Charles II in May 1660. Since the Restoration the title has not been used in either of the above manners. George, Prince of Wales, appointed to the regency in 1811, was referred to as "His Royal Highness the Prince Regent". George exercised the powers of the monarchy, just as Lords Protectors had, but the title's republican associations had rendered it distasteful.
Lord Protector has been used as a rendering of the Latin Advocatus in the sense of a temporal Lord who acted as the protector of the secular interests of a part of the church. United Kingdom at WorldStatesmen.org