Heraldry is a broad term, encompassing the design and study of armorial bearings, as well as related disciplines, such as vexillology, together with the study of ceremony and pedigree. Armory, the best-known branch of heraldry, concerns the design and transmission of the heraldic achievement; the achievement, or armorial bearings includes a coat of arms on an shield and crest, together with any accompanying devices, such as supporters, heraldic banners, mottoes. Although the use of various devices to signify individuals and groups goes back to antiquity, both the form and use of such devices varied and the concept of regular, hereditary designs, constituting the distinguishing feature of heraldry, did not develop until the High Middle Ages, it is often that the use of helmets with face guards during this period made it difficult to recognize one's commanders in the field when large armies gathered together for extended periods, necessitating the development of heraldry as a symbolic language but there is little actual support for this view.
The beauty and pageantry of heraldic designs allowed them to survive the gradual abandonment of armour on the battlefield during the seventeenth century. Heraldry has been described poetically as "the handmaid of history", "the shorthand of history", "the floral border in the garden of history". In modern times, individuals and private organizations, cities and regions use heraldry and its conventions to symbolize their heritage and aspirations. Various symbols have been used to represent groups for thousands of years; the earliest representations of distinct persons and regions in Egyptian art show the use of standards topped with the images or symbols of various gods, the names of kings appear upon emblems known as serekhs, representing the king's palace, topped with a falcon representing the god Horus, of whom the king was regarded as the earthly incarnation. Similar emblems and devices are found in ancient Mesopotamian art of the same period, the precursors of heraldic beasts such as the griffin can be found.
In the Bible, the Book of Numbers refers to the standards and ensigns of the children of Israel, who were commanded to gather beneath these emblems and declare their pedigrees. The Greek and Latin writers describe the shields and symbols of various heroes, units of the Roman army were sometimes identified by distinctive markings on their shields; until the nineteenth century, it was common for heraldic writers to cite examples such as these, metaphorical symbols such as the "Lion of Judah" or "Eagle of the Caesars" as evidence of the antiquity of heraldry itself. The Book of Saint Albans, compiled in 1486, declares that Christ himself was a gentleman of coat armour, but these fabulous claims have long since been dismissed as the fantasy of medieval heralds, for there is no evidence of a distinctive symbolic language akin to that of heraldry during this early period. The medieval heralds devised arms for various knights and lords from history and literature. Notable examples include the toads attributed to Pharamond, the cross and martlets of Edward the Confessor, the various arms attributed to the Nine Worthies and the Knights of the Round Table.
These too are now regarded as a fanciful invention, rather than evidence of the antiquity of heraldry. The development of the modern heraldic language cannot be attributed to a single individual, time, or place. Although certain designs that are now considered heraldic were evidently in use during the eleventh century, most accounts and depictions of shields up to the beginning of the twelfth century contain little or no evidence of their heraldic character. For example, the Bayeux Tapestry, illustrating the Norman invasion of England in 1066, commissioned about 1077, when the cathedral of Bayeux was rebuilt, depicts a number of shields of various shapes and designs, many of which are plain, while others are decorated with dragons, crosses, or other heraldic figures, yet no individual is depicted twice bearing the same arms, nor are any of the descendants of the various persons depicted known to have borne devices resembling those in the tapestry. An account of the French knights at the court of the Byzantine emperor Alexius I at the beginning of the twelfth century describes their shields of polished metal, utterly devoid of heraldic design.
A Spanish manuscript from 1109 describes both plain and decorated shields, none of which appears to have been heraldic. The Abbey of St. Denis contained a window commemorating the knights who embarked on the Second Crusade in 1147, was made soon after the event. In England, from the time of the Norman conquest, official documents had to be sealed. Beginning in the twelfth century, seals assumed a distinctly heraldic character. A notable example of an early armorial seal is attached to a charter granted by Philip I, Count of Flanders, in 1164. Seals from the latter part of the eleventh and early twelfth centuries show no evidence of heraldic symbolism, but by t
Oxfordshire is a county in South East England. The ceremonial county borders Warwickshire to the north-west, Northamptonshire to the north-east, Buckinghamshire to the east, Berkshire to the south, Wiltshire to the south-west and Gloucestershire to the west; the county has major education and tourist industries and is noted for the concentration of performance motorsport companies and facilities. Oxford University Press is the largest firm among a concentration of publishing firms; as well as the city of Oxford, other centres of population are Banbury, Bicester and Chipping Norton to the north of Oxford. The areas south of the Thames, the Vale of White Horse and parts of South Oxfordshire, are in the historic county of Berkshire, as is the highest point, the 261 metres White Horse Hill. Oxfordshire's county flower is the snake's-head fritillary. Oxfordshire was recorded as a county in the early years of the 10th century and lies between the River Thames to the south, the Cotswolds to the west, the Chilterns to the east and the Midlands to the north, with spurs running south to Henley-on-Thames and north to Banbury.
Although it had some significance as an area of valuable agricultural land in the centre of the country, it was ignored by the Romans, did not grow in importance until the formation of a settlement at Oxford in the 8th century. Alfred the Great was born across the Thames in Vale of White Horse; the University of Oxford was founded in 1096, though its collegiate structure did not develop until on. The university in the county town of Oxford grew in importance during the Middle Ages and early modern period; the area was part of the Cotswolds wool trade from the 13th century, generating much wealth in the western portions of the county in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds. Morris Motors was founded in Oxford in 1912, bringing heavy industry to an otherwise agricultural county; the importance of agriculture as an employer has declined in the 20th century though. Nonetheless, Oxfordshire remains a agricultural county by land use, with a lower population than neighbouring Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, which are both smaller.
Throughout most of its history the county was divided into fourteen hundreds, namely Bampton, Binfield, Bullingdon, Dorchester, Langtree, Pyrton, Ploughley and Wootton. The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, the main army unit in the area, was based at Cowley Barracks on Bullingdon Green, Cowley; the Vale of White Horse district and parts of the South Oxfordshire administrative district south of the River Thames were part of Berkshire, but in 1974 Abingdon, Faringdon and Wantage were added to the administrative county of Oxfordshire under the Local Government Act 1972. Conversely, the Caversham area of Reading, now administratively in Berkshire, was part of Oxfordshire as was the parish of Stokenchurch, now administratively in Buckinghamshire. Oxfordshire includes parts of three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In the north-west lie the Cotswolds, to the south and south-east are the open chalk hills of the North Wessex Downs and wooded hills of the Chilterns; the north of the county contains the ironstone of the Cherwell uplands.
Long-distance walks within the county include the Ridgeway National Trail, Macmillan Way, Oxfordshire Way and the D’Arcy Dalton Way. Northernmost point: 52°10′6.58″N 1°19′54.92″W, near Claydon Hay Farm, Claydon Southernmost point: 51°27′34.74″N 0°56′48.3″W, near Thames and Kennet Marina, Playhatch Westernmost point: 51°46′59.73″N 1°43′9.68″W, near Downs Farm, Westwell Easternmost point: 51°30′14.22″N 0°52′13.99″W, River Thames, near Lower Shiplake The central part of Oxfordshire contains the River Thames with its flat floodplains. The Thames Path National Trail parallels the river as it crosses Oxfordshire, continuing towards London. There are many smaller rivers that feed into the Thames such as the Thame, Windrush and Cherwell; some of these rivers have trails running along their valleys. The Oxford Canal follows the Cherwell from Banbury to Kidlington. Oxfordshire contains a green belt area that envelops the city of Oxford, extends for some miles to afford a protection to surrounding towns and villages from inappropriate development and urban growth.
Its border in the east extends to the Buckinghamshire county boundary, while part of its southern border is shared with the North Wessex Downs AONB. It was first drawn up in the 1950s, all the county's districts contain some portion of the belt; this is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Oxfordshire at current basic prices published by the Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British pounds sterling. The Oxfordshire County Council, since 2013 under no overall control, is responsible for the most strategic local government functions, including schools, county roads, social services; the county is divided into five local government districts: Oxford, Vale of White Horse, West Oxfordshire and South Oxfordshire, which deal with such matters as town and country planning, waste collection, housing. In the 2016 European Union referendum, Oxfordshire was the only English cou
Flanders is the Dutch-speaking northern portion of Belgium and one of the communities and language areas of Belgium. However, there are several overlapping definitions, including ones related to culture, language and history, sometimes involving neighbouring countries; the demonym associated with Flanders is Fleming. The official capital of Flanders is Brussels, although the Brussels Capital Region has an independent regional government, the government of Flanders only oversees the community aspects of Flanders life in Brussels such as culture and education. Flanders, despite not being the biggest part of Belgium by area, is the area with the largest population. 7,876,873 out of 11,491,346 Belgian inhabitants live in the bilingual city of Brussels. Not including Brussels, there are five modern Flemish provinces. In medieval contexts, the original "County of Flanders" stretched around AD 900 from the Strait of Dover to the Scheldt estuary and expanded from there; this county still corresponds with the modern-day Belgian provinces of West Flanders and East Flanders, along with neighbouring parts of France and the Netherlands.
Although this original meaning is still relevant, during the 19th and 20th centuries it became commonplace to use the term "Flanders" to refer to the entire Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, stretching all the way to the River Meuse, as well as cultural movements such as Flemish art. In accordance with late 20th century Belgian state reforms the Belgian part of this area was made into two political entities: the "Flemish Community" and the "Flemish Region"; these entities were merged, although geographically the Flemish Community, which has a broader cultural mandate, covers Brussels, whereas the Flemish Region does not. Flanders, by every definition, has figured prominently in European history since the Middle Ages. In this period, cities such as Ghent and Antwerp made it one of the richest and most urbanized parts of Europe and weaving the wool of neighbouring lands into cloth for both domestic use and export; as a consequence, a sophisticated culture developed, with impressive achievements in the arts and architecture, rivaling those of northern Italy.
Belgium was one of the centres of the 19th century industrial revolution but Flanders was at first overtaken by French-speaking Wallonia. In the second half of the 20th century, due to massive national investments in port infrastructures, Flanders' economy modernised and today Flanders and Brussels are more wealthy than Wallonia and in general one of the wealthiest regions in Europe and the world. Geographically, Flanders is flat, has a small section of coast on the North Sea. Much of Flanders is agriculturally fertile and densely populated, with a population density of 500 people per square kilometer, it touches France to the west near the coast, borders the Netherlands to the north and east, Wallonia to the south. The Brussels Capital Region is an bilingual enclave within the Flemish Region. Flanders has exclaves of its own: Voeren in the east is between Wallonia and the Netherlands and Baarle-Hertog in the north consists of 22 exclaves surrounded by the Netherlands; the term "Flanders" has several main modern meanings: The "Flemish community" or "Flemish nation", i.e. the social and linguistic, scientific and educational and political community of the Flemings.
It comprises 6.5 million Belgians. The political subdivisions of Belgium: the Flemish Region and the Flemish Community; the first does not comprise Brussels, whereas the latter does comprise the Dutch-speaking inhabitants of Brussels. The political institutions that govern both subdivisions: the operative body "Flemish Government" and the legislative organ "Flemish Parliament"; the two westernmost provinces of the Flemish Region, West Flanders and East Flanders, forming the central portion of the historic County of Flanders. An ancien régime territory that existed from the 8th century until its absorption by the French First Republic; until the 1600s, this county extended over parts of what are now France and the Netherlands. One of the Flemish regions which are now part of France, in the Nord department; this is referred to as French Flanders, can be divided into two smaller regions: Walloon Flanders and Maritime Flanders. The first region was predominantly French-speaking in the 1600s, the latter became so in the 20th century.
The city of Lille identifies itself as "Flemish", this is reflected, for instance, in the name of its local railway station TGV Lille Flandres. The Flemish region which became part of the Dutch Republic, now part of the Dutch province of Zeeland; the significance of the County of Flanders and its counts eroded through time, but the designation remained in a broad sense. In the Early modern period, the term Flanders was associated with the southern part of the Low Countries: the Southern Netherlands. During the 19th and 20th centuries, it became commonplace to refer to the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium as "Flanders"; the linguistic limit between French and Dutch was recorded in the early'60's, from Kortrijk to Maastricht. Now, Flanders extends over the northern part of Belgium, including Belgian Limburg (corresponding to t
Milford Haven is a town and community in Pembrokeshire, Wales. It is situated on the north side of the Milford Haven Waterway, an estuary forming a natural harbour, used as a port since the Middle Ages. Founded in 1790 by Sir William Hamilton, designed to a grid pattern, it was intended to be a whaling centre, though by 1800 it was developing as a Royal Navy dockyard which it remained until the dockyard was transferred to Pembroke in 1814, it became a commercial dock, with the focus moving in the 1960s, after the construction of an oil refinery built by Esso, to logistics for fuel oil and liquid gas. By 2010, the town's port had become the fourth largest in the United Kingdom in terms of tonnage, continues its important role in the United Kingdom's energy sector with several oil refineries and one of the biggest LNG terminals in the world. Being the second largest settlement in Pembrokeshire, with a population of 12,830, 13,086 people within its six community boundaries, Milford Haven is the most populous in the county.
The community of Milford Haven covers an area of 1,573 hectares and includes the Milford Central, Hakin, Hubberston and West wards. The natural harbour of the Haven was known as a safe port and was exploited for several historical military operations throughout the second millennium. Campaigns conducted from the Haven included part of Henry II's Invasion of Ireland in 1171 and Cromwell's own attack on Ireland in 1649, while forces which have disembarked at the point include Jean II de Rieux's 1405 reinforcement of the Glyndŵr Rising. In 1485, the future Henry VII landed close to his birthplace in Mill Bay before marching on to England; the town of Milford was founded in 1793, after Sir William Hamilton obtained an Act of Parliament in 1790 to establish the port at Milford, takes its name from the natural harbour of Milford Haven, used for several hundred years as a staging point on sea journeys to Ireland and as a shelter by Vikings. It was known as a safe port and is mentioned in Shakespeare's Cymbeline as "blessed Milford".
It was used as the base for several military operations, such as Richard de Clare's invasion of Leinster in 1167, Henry II's Invasion of Ireland in 1171, John's continued subjugation of the Irish in 1185 and 1210 and Oliver Cromwell's 1649 invasion of Ireland. By the late 18th century the two local creeks were being used to load and unload goods, surrounding settlements were established, including the medieval chapel, Summer Hill Farm, the only man-made structures on the future site of Milford. Sir William Hamilton, the town's founder, had acquired the land from his wife, Catherine Barlow of Slebech, his nephew, the Hon. Charles Francis Greville, invited seven Quaker families from Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard to settle in the new town and develop a whaling fleet, they began by building a shipyard, leased it to a Messrs. Harry and Joseph Jacob. In December 1796, in an unusual arrangement, the Admiralty directed the Navy Board to contract Jacobs shipyard to build a frigate and a 74-gun ship-of-the-line.
However, due to a combined lack of local standing oak, access to supplies of timber from the Baltic, local skills in volume, the Jacob operation soon went bankrupt. In 1800, following the bankruptcy of the Jacobs & Sons, the Navy Board's overseer, Jean-Louis Barralier, was persuaded to lease the site for the Navy Board and develop a dockyard for building warships. Seven royal vessels were launched from the dockyard, including HMS Surprise and HMS Milford; the town was built on a grid pattern, thought to have been to the design of Jean-Louis Barrallier, who remained in charge of shipbuilding there for the Navy Board. Between 1801 and 1803, the town and waterway were protected by temporary batteries at Hakin Point and south of St Katherine's Church, in response to the perceived threat following the Fishguard Invasion. A church was consecrated in October 1808 and dedicated to St Catherine of Alexandria in the underdeveloped eastern side of the town, it remained a chapel of ease until 1891 when Milford became a parish, until that time competing with St Peter and St Cewydd in Steynton.
By the start of the 19th century, a mail coach was operating between London and Hubberston, in 1800 the short lived Milford and Pembrokeshire Bank was established by Thomas Phillips, operating from a branch in the town. It collapsed in 1810. On 11 October 1809, a naval commission recommended purchase of the Milford Haven facility and formal established of a Royal Navy dockyard; this was, according to the report, due to the fact that Millford built-ships had proved to be cheaper due to the cheap cost of supplies and abundant labour supply. It proposed purchase of the yard at £4,455. However, as this was after the Battle of Trafalgar, when the need for naval ships was decreasing in the Napoleonic Wars, in such a remote location, the proposal seemed perplexing. However, in light of the end of the Franco-Spanish naval engagement, the merging of the two sides of the Royal Navy under the Admiralty Board, the fact that Frenchman Barallier would remain in charge suggests to historians that the Royal Navy accepted that its ships manoeuvrability was inferior to those of the Franco-Spanish alliance.
In an effort to rectify this state of affairs the Royal Navy's first School of Naval Architecture was opened in Portsmouth in 1810. Millford was to be set up as a model dockyard under French management, from which lessons co
Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban, was an English philosopher and statesman who served as Attorney General and as Lord Chancellor of England. His works are credited with developing the scientific method and remained influential through the scientific revolution. Bacon has been called the father of empiricism, his works argued for the possibility of scientific knowledge based only upon inductive reasoning and careful observation of events in nature. Most he argued science could be achieved by use of a sceptical and methodical approach whereby scientists aim to avoid misleading themselves. Although his practical ideas about such a method, the Baconian method, did not have a long-lasting influence, the general idea of the importance and possibility of a sceptical methodology makes Bacon the father of the scientific method; this method was a new rhetorical and theoretical framework for science, the practical details of which are still central in debates about science and methodology. Bacon was a patron of libraries and developed a functional system for the cataloging of books by dividing them into three categories—history and philosophy—which could further be divided into more specific subjects and subheadings.
Bacon was educated at Trinity College, where he rigorously followed the medieval curriculum in Latin. Bacon was the first recipient of the Queen's counsel designation, conferred in 1597 when Queen Elizabeth reserved Bacon as her legal advisor. After the accession of King James I in 1603, Bacon was knighted, he was created Baron Verulam in 1618 and Viscount St. Alban in 1621; because he had no heirs, both titles became extinct upon his death at 65 years. Bacon died of pneumonia, with one account by John Aubrey stating that he had contracted the condition while studying the effects of freezing on the preservation of meat, he is buried at St Michael's Church, St Albans, Hertfordshire. Francis Bacon was born on 22 January 1561 at York House near the Strand in London, the son of Sir Nicholas Bacon by his second wife, Anne Bacon, the daughter of the noted humanist Anthony Cooke, his mother's sister was married to 1st Baron Burghley, making Burghley Bacon's uncle. Biographers believe that Bacon was educated at home in his early years owing to poor health, which would plague him throughout his life.
He received tuition from a graduate of Oxford with a strong leaning toward Puritanism. He went up to Trinity College at the University of Cambridge on 5 April 1573 at the age of 12, living for three years there, together with his older brother Anthony Bacon under the personal tutelage of Dr John Whitgift, future Archbishop of Canterbury. Bacon's education was conducted in Latin and followed the medieval curriculum, he was educated at the University of Poitiers. It was at Cambridge that Bacon first met Queen Elizabeth, impressed by his precocious intellect, was accustomed to calling him "The young lord keeper", his studies brought him to the belief that the methods and results of science as practised were erroneous. His reverence for Aristotle conflicted with his rejection of Aristotelian philosophy, which seemed to him barren and wrong in its objectives. On 27 June 1576, he and Anthony entered de societate magistrorum at Gray's Inn. A few months Francis went abroad with Sir Amias Paulet, the English ambassador at Paris, while Anthony continued his studies at home.
The state of government and society in France under Henry III afforded him valuable political instruction. For the next three years he visited Blois, Tours and Spain. During his travels, Bacon studied language and civil law while performing routine diplomatic tasks. On at least one occasion he delivered diplomatic letters to England for Walsingham and Leicester, as well as for the queen; the sudden death of his father in February 1579 prompted Bacon to return to England. Sir Nicholas had laid up a considerable sum of money to purchase an estate for his youngest son, but he died before doing so, Francis was left with only a fifth of that money. Having borrowed money, Bacon got into debt. To support himself, he took up his residence in law at Gray's Inn in 1579, his income being supplemented by a grant from his mother Lady Anne of the manor of Marks near Romford in Essex, which generated a rent of £46. Bacon stated that he had three goals: to uncover truth, to serve his country, to serve his church.
He sought to further these ends by seeking a prestigious post. In 1580, through his uncle, Lord Burghley, he applied for a post at court that might enable him to pursue a life of learning, but his application failed. For two years he worked at Gray's Inn, until he was admitted as an outer barrister in 1582, his parliamentary career began when he was elected MP for Bossiney, Cornwall, in a by-election in 1581. In 1584 he took his seat in parliament for Melcombe in Dorset, in 1586 for Taunton. At this time, he began to write on the condition of parties in the church, as well as on the topic of philosophical reform in the lost tract Temporis Partus Maximus, yet he failed to gain a position. He showed signs of sympathy to Puritanism, attending the sermons of the Puritan chaplain of Gray's Inn and accompanying his mother to the Temple Church to hear Walter Travers; this led to the publication of his earliest surviving tract, which criticised the English church's suppression of the Puritan clergy. In the Parliament of 1586, he urged execution for the Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots.
About this time, he again approached his powerful uncle for help. He became a bencher in 1586 and was elected a
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
Battle of Bosworth Field
The Battle of Bosworth Field was the last significant battle of the Wars of the Roses, the civil war between the Houses of Lancaster and York that extended across England in the latter half of the 15th century. Fought on 22 August 1485, the battle was won by the Lancastrians, their leader Henry Tudor, by his victory became the first English monarch of the Tudor dynasty. His opponent, Richard III, the last king of the House of York, was killed in the battle. Historians consider Bosworth Field to mark the end of the Plantagenet dynasty, making it a defining moment of English and Welsh history. Richard's reign began in 1483. At the request of his brother Edward IV, Richard was acting as Lord Protector for his twelve-year-old son Edward V. Richard had Parliament declare Edward V illegitimate and ineligible for the throne, took it for himself. Richard lost popularity when the boy and his younger brother disappeared after he incarcerated them in the Tower of London, his support was further eroded by the popular belief that he was implicated in the death of his wife.
Across the English Channel in Brittany, Henry Tudor, a descendant of the diminished House of Lancaster, seized on Richard's difficulties so that he could challenge his claim to the throne. Henry's first attempt to invade England was frustrated by a storm in 1483, but on his second attempt he arrived unopposed on 7 August 1485 on the southwest coast of Wales. Marching inland, Henry gathered support. Richard intercepted Henry's army south of Market Bosworth in Leicestershire. Thomas, Lord Stanley, Sir William Stanley brought a force to the battlefield, but held back while they decided which side it would be more advantageous to support. Richard divided his army. One was assigned to the Duke of another to the Earl of Northumberland. Henry kept most of his force together and placed it under the command of the experienced Earl of Oxford. Richard's vanguard, commanded by Norfolk, attacked but struggled against Oxford's men, some of Norfolk's troops fled the field. Northumberland took no action when signalled to assist his king, so Richard gambled everything on a charge across the battlefield to kill Henry and end the fight.
Seeing the King's knights separated from his army, the Stanleys intervened. After the battle Henry was crowned king below an oak tree in nearby Stoke Golding, now a residential garden. Henry hired chroniclers to portray his reign favourably. From the 15th to the 18th centuries the battle was glamorised as a victory of good over evil; the climax of William Shakespeare's play Richard III provides a focal point for critics in film adaptations. The exact site of the battle is disputed because of the lack of conclusive data, memorials have been erected at different locations. In 1974 the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre was built on a site that has since been challenged by several scholars and historians. In October 2009 a team of researchers, who had performed geological surveys and archaeological digs in the area from 2003, suggested a location two miles southwest of Ambion Hill. During the 15th century civil war raged across England as the Houses of York and Lancaster fought each other for the English throne.
In 1471 the Yorkists defeated their rivals in the battles of Tewkesbury. The Lancastrian King Henry VI and his only son, Edward of Lancaster, died in the aftermath of the Battle of Tewkesbury, their deaths left the House of Lancaster with no direct claimants to the throne. The Yorkist king, Edward IV, was in complete control of England, he attainted those who refused to submit to his rule, such as Jasper Tudor and his nephew Henry, naming them traitors and confiscating their lands. The Tudors tried to flee to France but strong winds forced them to land in Brittany, a semi-independent duchy, where they were taken into the custody of Duke Francis II. Henry's mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, was a great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt, uncle of King Richard II and father of King Henry IV; the Beauforts were bastards, but Henry IV legitimised them on the condition that their descendants were not eligible to inherit the throne. Henry Tudor, the only remaining Lancastrian noble with a trace of the royal bloodline, had a weak claim to the throne, Edward regarded him as "a nobody".
The Duke of Brittany, viewed Henry as a valuable tool to bargain for England's aid in conflicts with France and kept the Tudors under his protection. Edward IV died 12 years after Tewkesbury on 9 April 1483, his 12-year-old elder son succeeded him as King Edward V. Edward V was too young to rule and a Royal Council was established to rule the country until the king's coming of age; some among the council were worried when it became apparent that the Woodvilles, relatives of Edward IV's widow Elizabeth, were plotting to use their control of the young king to dominate the council. Having offended many in their quest for wealth and power, the Woodville family was not popular. To frustrate the Woodvilles' ambitions, Lord Hastings and other members of the council turned to the new king's uncle—Richard, Duke of Gloucester, brother of Edward IV; the courtiers urged Gloucester to assume the role of Protector as had been requested by his now dead brother. On 29 April Gloucester, accompanied by a contingent of guards and Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, took Edward V into custody and arrested several prominent members of the Woodville family.