Richard III of England
Richard III was King of England and Lord of Ireland from 1483 until his death. He was the last king of the last of the Plantagenet dynasty, his defeat and death at the Battle of Bosworth Field, the last decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses, marked the end of the Middle Ages in England. He is the protagonist of Richard III, one of William Shakespeare's history plays; when his brother Edward IV died in April 1483, Richard was named Lord Protector of the realm for Edward's eldest son and successor, the 12-year-old Edward V. Arrangements were made for Edward's coronation on 22 June 1483. Before the king could be crowned, the marriage of his parents was declared bigamous and therefore invalid. Now illegitimate, their children were barred from inheriting the throne. On 25 June, an assembly of Lords and commoners endorsed a declaration to this effect and proclaimed Richard as the rightful king, he was crowned on 6 July 1483. The young princes and his younger brother Richard, Duke of York, were not seen in public after August and accusations circulated that they had been murdered on Richard's orders.
There were two major rebellions against Richard during his reign. In October 1483, an unsuccessful revolt was led by staunch allies of Edward IV and Richard's former ally, Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham. In August 1485, Henry Tudor and his uncle, Jasper Tudor landed in southern Wales with a contingent of French troops and marched through Pembrokeshire, recruiting soldiers. Henry's forces defeated Richard's army near the Leicestershire town of Market Bosworth. Richard was slain. Henry Tudor ascended the throne as Henry VII. Richard's corpse was buried without pomp, his original tomb monument is believed to have been removed during the English Reformation, his remains were lost, as they were believed to have been thrown into the River Soar. In 2012, an archaeological excavation was commissioned by the Richard III Society on the site occupied by Greyfriars Priory Church; the University of Leicester identified the skeleton found in the excavation as that of Richard III as a result of radiocarbon dating, comparison with contemporary reports of his appearance, comparison of his mitochondrial DNA with that of two matrilineal descendants of Richard III's eldest sister, Anne of York.
He was reburied in Leicester Cathedral on 26 March 2015. Richard was born on 2 October 1452 at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire, the twelfth of 13 children of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York and Cecily Neville, his childhood coincided with the beginning of what has traditionally been labelled the'Wars of the Roses', a period of political instability and periodic open civil war in England during the second half of the fifteenth century, between the Yorkists, who supported Richard's father, opposed the regime of Henry VI and his wife, Margaret of Anjou, the Lancastrians, who were loyal to the crown. When his father and the Nevilles were forced to flee to Ludlow in 1459, Richard and his older brother, George were placed in the custody of the Duchess of Buckingham, the Archbishop of Canterbury; when his father and elder brother Edmund, Earl of Rutland, were killed at the Battle of Wakefield on 30 December 1460, Richard and George were sent by their mother to the Low Countries. They returned to England following the defeat of the Lancastrians at the Battle of Towton.
They participated in the coronation of Richard's eldest brother as King Edward IV on 28 June 1461, when Richard was named Duke of Gloucester and made both a Knight of the Garter and a Knight of the Bath. Edward appointed him the sole Commissioner of Array for the Western Counties in 1464, when he was 11. By the age of 17, he had an independent command. Richard spent several years during his childhood at Middleham Castle in Wensleydale, under the tutelage of his cousin the Earl of Warwick known as the Kingmaker because of his role in the Wars of the Roses. Warwick supervised Richard's training as a knight: in the autumn of 1465 Edward IV granted Warwick £1000 for the expenses of his younger brother's tutelage. With some interruptions, Richard stayed at Middleham either from late 1461 until early 1465, when he was 12 or from 1465 until his coming of age in 1468, when he turned 16. While at Warwick's estate, it is that he met both Francis Lovell, who would be his firm supporter in his life, Warwick's younger daughter, his future wife Anne Neville.
It is possible that at this early stage Warwick was considering the king's brothers as strategic matches for his daughters and Anne: young aristocrats were sent to be raised in the households of their intended future partners, as had been the case for the young dukes' father, Richard of York. As the relationship between the king and Warwick became strained, Edward IV opposed the match. During Warwick's lifetime, George was the only royal brother to marry one of his daughters, the eldest, Isabel, on 12 July 1469, without the king's permission. George joined his father-in-law's revolt against the king, while Richard remained loyal to Edward though rumour coupled Richard's name with Anne Neville until August 1469. Richard and Edward were forced to flee to Burgundy in October 1470 after Warwick defected to the side of the former Lancastrian queen Margaret of Anjou. In 1468, Richard's sister Margaret had married Charles the Bold, the Duke of Burgundy, the brothers could expect a welcome there. Edward was restored to the throne in the spring 1471, following the battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury, both of which the eighteen-year-old Richard played a crucial role.
During his adolescence
The English people are a nation and an ethnic group native to England who speak the English language. The English identity is of early medieval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Angelcynn, their ethnonym is derived from the Angles, one of the Germanic peoples who migrated to Great Britain around the 5th century AD. England is one of the countries of the United Kingdom, the majority of people living there are British citizens; the English descend from two main historical population groups – the earlier Celtic Britons and the Germanic tribes who settled in Britain following the withdrawal of the Romans: the Angles, Saxons and Frisians. Collectively known as the Anglo-Saxons, they founded what was to become the Kingdom of England by the early 10th century, in response to the invasion and minor settlement of Danes beginning in the late 9th century; this was followed by the Norman Conquest and limited settlement of Anglo-Normans in England in the latter 11th century. In the Acts of Union 1707, the Kingdom of England was succeeded by the Kingdom of Great Britain.
Over the years, English customs and identity have become closely aligned with British customs and identity in general. Today many English people have recent forebears from other parts of the United Kingdom, while some are descended from more recent immigrants from other European countries and from the Commonwealth; the English people are the source of the English language, the Westminster system, the common law system and numerous major sports such as cricket, rugby union, rugby league and tennis. These and other English cultural characteristics have spread worldwide, in part as a result of the former British Empire; the concept of an'English nation' has become popular after the devolution process in Scotland and Northern Ireland resulted in the four nations having semi-independent political and legal systems. Although England itself has no devolved government, the 1990s witnessed a rise in English self-consciousness; this is linked to the expressions of national self-awareness of the other British nations of Wales and Scotland – which take their most solid form in the new devolved political arrangements within the United Kingdom – and the waning of a shared British national identity with the growing distance between the end of the British Empire and the present.
Many recent immigrants to England have assumed a British identity, while others have developed dual or mixed identities. Use of the word "English" to describe Britons from ethnic minorities in England is complicated by most non-white people in England identifying as British rather than English. In their 2004 Annual Population Survey, the Office for National Statistics compared the ethnic identities of British people with their perceived national identity, they found that while 58% of white people in England described their nationality as "English", the vast majority of non-white people called themselves "British". It is unclear. In the 2001 UK census, respondents were invited to state their ethnicity, but while there were tick boxes for'Irish' and for'Scottish', there were none for'English', or'Welsh', who were subsumed into the general heading'White British'. Following complaints about this, the 2011 census was changed to "allow respondents to record their English, Scottish, Northern Irish, Irish or other identity."
Another complication in defining the English is a common tendency for the words "English" and "British" to be used interchangeably outside the UK. In his study of English identity, Krishan Kumar describes a common slip of the tongue in which people say "English, I mean British", he notes that this slip is made only by the English themselves and by foreigners: "Non-English members of the United Kingdom say'British' when they mean'English'". Kumar suggests that although this blurring is a sign of England's dominant position with the UK, it is "problematic for the English when it comes to conceiving of their national identity, it tells of the difficulty that most English people have of distinguishing themselves, in a collective way, from the other inhabitants of the British Isles". In 1965, the historian A. J. P. Taylor wrote, "When the Oxford History of England was launched a generation ago, "England" was still an all-embracing word, it meant indiscriminately Wales. Foreigners indeed continue to do so.
Bonar Law, by origin a Scotch Canadian, was not ashamed to describe himself as "Prime Minister of England" Now terms have become more rigorous. The use of "England" except for a geographic area brings protests from the Scotch."However, although Taylor believed this blurring effect was dying out, in his book The Isles, Norman Davies lists numerous examples in history books of "British" still being used to mean "English" and vice versa. In December 2010, Matthew Parris in The Spectator, analysing the use of "English" over "British", argued that English identity, rather than growing, had existed all along but has been unmasked from behind a veneer of Britishness. David Reich's laboratory found that 90% of Britain's Neolithic gene pool was overturned by a population from North Continental Europe characterized by the Bell Beaker culture around 1200BC who carried a large amount of Yamnaya ancestry from the Pontic-Caspian Steppe, including the R1b Haplogroup; this population lacked genetic affinity to other Bell Beaker populations, such as the Iberian Bell Beakers, but appeared to be an offshoot of the Corded Ware single grave people
Llywelyn ap Gruffudd
Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, sometimes written as Llywelyn ap Gruffydd known as Llywelyn the Last or Llywelyn Yr Ail, was Prince of Wales from 1258 until his death at Cilmeri in 1282. The son of Gruffudd ap Llywelyn Fawr and grandson of Llywelyn the Great, he was the last sovereign prince of Wales before its conquest by Edward I of England. Llywelyn was the second of the four sons of Gruffudd, the eldest son of Llywelyn the Great, Senana ferch Caradog, the daughter of Caradoc ap Thomas ap Rhodri, Lord of Anglesey; the eldest was Owain Goch ap Gruffudd and Llywelyn had two younger brothers, Dafydd ap Gruffudd and Rhodri ap Gruffudd. Llywelyn is thought to have been born around 1222 or 1223, he is first heard of holding lands in the Vale of Clwyd around 1244. Following his grandfather's death in 1240, Llywelyn's uncle, Dafydd ap Llywelyn, succeeded him as ruler of Gwynedd. Llywelyn's father and his brother, were kept prisoner by Dafydd transferred into the custody of King Henry III of England. Gruffudd died in 1244, from a fall while trying to escape from his cell at the top of the Tower of London.
The window from which he attempted to escape the Tower was bricked up and can still be seen to this day. This freed Dafydd ap Llywelyn's hand as King Henry could no longer use Gruffudd against him, war broke out between him and King Henry in 1245. Llywelyn supported his uncle in the savage fighting. Owain, was freed by Henry after his father's death in the hope that he would start a civil war in Gwynedd, but stayed in Chester, so when Dafydd died in February 1246 without leaving an heir, Llywelyn had the advantage of being on the spot. Llywelyn and Owain came to terms with King Henry and in 1247, signed the Treaty of Woodstock at Woodstock Palace; the terms they were forced to accept restricted them to Gwynedd Uwch Conwy, the part of Gwynedd west of the River Conwy, divided between them. Gwynedd Is Conwy, east of the river, was taken over by King Henry; when Dafydd ap Gruffudd came of age, King Henry accepted his homage and announced his intention to give him part of the reduced Gwynedd. Llywelyn refused to accept this, Owain and Dafydd formed an alliance against him.
This led to the Battle of Bryn Derwin in June 1255. Llywelyn defeated Owain and Dafydd and captured them, thereby becoming sole ruler of Gwynedd Uwch Conwy. Llywelyn now looked to expand his area of control; the population of Gwynedd Is Conwy resented English rule. This area known as "Perfeddwlad" had been given by King Henry to his son Edward and during the summer of 1256, he visited the area, but failed to deal with grievances against the rule of his officers. An appeal was made to Llywelyn, that November, crossed the River Conwy with an army, accompanied by his brother, whom he had released from prison. By early December, Llywelyn controlled all of Gwynedd Is Conwy apart from the royal castles at Dyserth and Dnoredudd as a reward for his support and dispossessing his brother-in-law, Rhys Fychan, who supported the king. An English army led by Stephen Bauzan invaded to try to restore Rhys Fychan but was decisively defeated by Welsh forces at the Battle of Cadfan in June 1257, with Rhys having slipped away to make his peace with Llywelyn.
Rhys Fychan now accepted Llywelyn as overlord, but this caused problems for Llywelyn, as Rhys's lands had been given to Maredudd. Llywelyn restored his lands to Rhys, but the king's envoys approached Maredudd and offered him Rhys's lands if he would change sides. Maredudd paid homage to Henry in late 1257. By early 1258, Llywelyn was using the title Prince of Wales, first used in an agreement between Llywelyn and his supporters and the Scottish nobility associated with the Comyn family; the English Crown refused to recognise this title however, in 1263, Llywelyn's brother, went over to King Henry. On 12 December 1263 in the commote of Ystumanner, Gruffydd ap Gwenwynwyn did homage and swore fealty to Llywelyn. In return he was made a vassal lord and the lands taken from him by Llywelyn about six years earlier were restored to him. In England, Simon de Montfort defeated the king's supporters at the Battle of Lewes in 1264, capturing the king and Prince Edward. Llywelyn began negotiations with de Montfort, in 1265, offered him 30,000 marks in exchange for a permanent peace, in which Llywelyn's right to rule Wales would be acknowledged.
The Treaty of Pipton, 22 June 1265, established an alliance between Llywelyn and de Montfort, but the favourable terms given to Llywelyn in this treaty were an indication of de Montfort's weakening position. De Montfort was to die at the Battle of Evesham in a battle in which Llywelyn took no part. After Simon de Montfort's death, Llywelyn launched a campaign in order to gain a bargaining position before King Henry had recovered. In 1265, Llywelyn captured Hawarden Castle and routed the combined armies of Hamo Lestrange and Maurice fitz Gerald in north Wales. Llywelyn moved on to Brycheiniog, in 1266, he routed Roger Mortimer's army. With these victories and the backing of the papal legate, Llywelyn opened negotiations with the king, was recognised as Prince of Wales by King Henry in the Treaty of Montgomery in 1267. In return for the title, the retention of the lands he had conquered and the homage of all the native rulers of Wales, he was to pay a tribute of 25,000 marks in yearly instalments of 3,000 marks, could if he wished, purchase the homage of the one outstandin
Connacht spelled Connaught, is one of the provinces of Ireland, in the west of the country. Up to the 9th century it consisted of several independent major kingdoms. Between the reigns of Conchobar mac Taidg Mór and his descendant, Aedh mac Ruaidri Ó Conchobair, it became a kingdom under the rule of the Uí Briúin Aí dynasty, whose ruling sept adopted the surname Ua Conchobair. At its greatest extent, it incorporated the independent Kingdom of Breifne, as well as vassalage from the lordships of western Mide and west Leinster. Two of its greatest kings, Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair and his son Ruaidri Ua Conchobair expanded the kingdom's dominance, so much so that both became Kings of Ireland; the Kingdom of Connacht collapsed in the 1230s because of civil war within the royal dynasty, which enabled widespread Anglo-Irish settlement under Richard Mór de Burgh, 1st Baron of Connaught, his successors. The English colony in Connacht shrank from c. 1300-c. 1360, with events such as the 1307 battle of Ahascragh, the 1316 Second Battle of Athenry and the murder in June 1333 of William Donn de Burgh, 3rd Earl of Ulster, all leading to Gaelic resurgence and colonial withdrawal to towns such as Ballinrobe, Loughrea and Galway.
Well into the 16th-century kingdoms such as Uí Maine and Tír Fhíacrach Múaidhe remained beyond English rule, while many Anglo-Irish families such as de Burgh, de Bermingham, de Exeter, de Staunton, became Gaelicised. Only in the late 1500s, during the Tudor conquest of Ireland, was Connacht shired into its present counties; the province of Connacht has the highest number of Irish language speakers among the four Irish provinces. The total percentage of people who consider themselves as Irish speakers in Connacht is 39.8%. There are Gaeltacht areas in Counties Mayo; the province of Connacht has no official function for local government purposes, but it is an recognised subdivision of the Irish state. It is listed on ISO-3166-2 as one of the four provinces of Ireland and "IE-C" is attributed to Connacht as its country sub-division code. Along with counties from other provinces, Connacht lies in the Midlands–North-West constituency for elections to the European Parliament; the name comes from the medieval ruling dynasty, the Connacht Connachta, whose name means "descendants of Conn", from the mythical king Conn of the Hundred Battles.
Connacht was a singular collective noun, but it came to be used only in the plural Connachta by analogy with plural names of other dynastic territories like Ulaid and Laigin, because the Connachta split into different branches. Before the Connachta dynasty, the province was known as Cóiced Ol nEchmacht. In Modern Irish, the province is called Cúige Chonnacht, "the Province of Connacht", where Chonnacht is plural genitive case with lenition of the C to Ch; the usual English spelling in Ireland since the Gaelic revival is Connacht, the spelling of the disused Irish singular. The official English spelling during English and British rule was the anglicisation Connaught, pronounced or; this was used for the Connaught Rangers in the British Army. Usage of the Connaught spelling is now in decline. State bodies use Connacht, for example in Central Statistics Office census reports since 1926, the name of the Connacht–Ulster European Parliament constituency of 1979–2004, although Connaught occurs in some statutes.
Among newspapers, the Connaught Telegraph retains the anglicised spelling in its name, whereas the Connacht Tribune uses the Gaelic. Connacht Rugby who represent the region and are based in Galway, use the Gaelic spelling also; the Irish language is spoken in the Gaeltacht areas of Counties Mayo and Galway, the largest being in the west of County Galway. The Galway Gaeltacht is the largest Irish-speaking region in Ireland covering Cois Fharraige, parts of Connemara, Conamara Theas, Aran Islands, Dúithche Sheoigeach and Galway City Gaeltacht. Irish-speaking areas in County Mayo can be found in Iorras and Tourmakeady. According to the 2016 census Irish is spoken outside of the education system on a daily basis by 9,455 people in the Galway County Gaeltacht areas. There are 202,667 Irish speakers in the province, over 84,000 in Galway and more than 55,000 in Mayo. There is the 4,265 attending the 18 Gaelscoileanna and three Gaelcholáiste outside the Gaeltacht across the province. Between 7% and 10% of the province are either native Irish speakers from the Gaeltacht, in Irish medium education or native Irish speakers who no longer live in Gaeltacht areas but still live in the province.
The province is divided into five counties: Galway, Mayo and Sligo. Connacht is the smallest of the four Irish provinces, with a population of 550,742. Galway is the only official city in the province; the highest point of Connacht is Mweelrea, in County Mayo. The largest island in Connacht is Achill; the biggest lake is Lough Corrib. Much of the west coast is not conducive for agriculture, it contains the main mountainous areas in Connacht, including the Twelve Bens, Mweelrea, Croagh Patrick, Nephin Beg, Ox Mountains, Dartry Mountains. Killary Harbour, Ireland's only true fjord, is located at the foot of Mweelrea. Connemara National Park is in County Galway; the Aran Islands, featuring pre
Ludlow is a market town in Shropshire, England, 28 miles south of Shrewsbury and 23 miles north of Hereford via the main A49 road, which bypasses the town. With a population of 11,000, Ludlow is the largest town in South Shropshire; the town is significant in the history of the Welsh Marches and neighbouring Wales. The town is near the confluence of the rivers Teme; the oldest part is the medieval walled town, founded in the late 11th century after the Norman conquest of England. It is centred on a small hill. Situated on this hill are Ludlow Castle and the parish church, St Laurence's, the largest in the county. From there the streets slope downward to the River Teme, northward toward the River Corve; the town is in a sheltered spot beneath Mortimer Forest and the Clee Hills, which are visible from the town. Ludlow has nearly 500 listed buildings, including examples of medieval and Tudor-style half-timbered buildings; the town was described by Sir John Betjeman as "probably the loveliest town in England".
The placename "Lodelowe" was in use for this site before 1138 and comes from the Old English "hlud-hlǣw". At the time this section of the River Teme contained rapids, so the hlud of Ludlow came from "the loud waters", while hlǣw meant "hill" or tumulus, thus the name Ludlow describes a place on a hill by the loud waters. Some time around the 12th century weirs were added along the river; the hill is that which the town stands on, a pre-historic burial mound which existed at the summit of the hill could explain the tumulus variation of the hlǣw element. Ludford, a neighbouring and older settlement, situated on the southern bank of the Teme, shares the hlud element. Ludlow has a name in Llwydlo. Though the town became known as Ludlow, Fouke le Fitz Waryn states that it was called Dinham "for a long time"; the western part of the town south of the castle retains this name, many historians assume this settlement is Anglian or Saxon in origin, with its etymology meaning a settlement by the fort. The castle was called Dinham Castle, before it took on the name of Ludlow.
A possible alternative is that Dinham takes its name from Josce de Dinan, a major landowner in the area in the 12th century, though this is regarded as erroneous on the balance of evidence with the similarity being a coincidence. The town is situated close to Wales, lies near the midpoint of the 257 km long England-Wales border; this strategic location invested it with national importance in medieval times, thereafter with the town being the seat of the Council of Wales and the Marches during its existence. At the time of the Domesday Book survey, the area was part of the large Stanton parish and manor, a possession of Walter de Lacy. Neither Ludlow nor Dinham are mentioned in the Book, compiled in 1086, although the Book recorded manors and not settlements per se; the Book does record a great number of households and taxable value for Stanton suggesting that any early settlement by the nascent castle was being counted. Neighbouring places Ludford, the Sheet and Steventon do feature in the Book, as they were manors, proving that they were well-established places by the Norman conquest.
The manor of Stanton came within the hundred of Culvestan, but during the reign of Henry I this Saxon hundred was merged into the new Munslow hundred. Walter's son Roger de Lacy began the construction of Ludlow Castle on the crest of the hill about 1075, forming what is now the inner bailey. Between about 1090 and 1120, the Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene was built inside the walls, by 1130 the Great Tower was added to form the gatehouse. About 1170 the larger outer bailey was added to the castle; the settlement of Dinham grew up alongside the development of the early castle in the late 11th century, with the northern part of this early settlement disturbed by the building of the outer bailey. Dinham had its own place of worship, the Chapel of St Thomas the Martyr, dedicated to Thomas Becket sometime in 1177-1189 when the present chapel replaced an older church building. During the 12th century the planned town of Ludlow was formed, in stages, the town providing a useful source of income for successive Marcher Lords, based on rents and tolls.
They developed the town on a regular grid pattern, although this was adapted somewhat to match the local topography, from the late 11th century through the 12th century. The first laid street was along the ridge of the hilltop, what is now Castle Square, High Street and King Street; this formed a wide market place running from the castle gates east across to St Laurence's and the Bull Ring, itself located on the ancient north-south road, now called Corve Street to the north and Old Street to the south. The wide Mill and Broad Streets were added as part of a southern grid plan of streets and burgage plots filling the area bounded by Dinham, the new High Street market, Old Street and the Teme to the south. Old Street ran down to a ford which took the ancient route south across to Ludford. A bridge was constructed at the foot of Broad Street, upstream of the ford, which replaced the ford. St Laurence's church, whose origins are late 1
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.
Llywelyn the Great
Llywelyn the Great, full name Llywelyn ap Iorwerth, was a King of Gwynedd in north Wales and ruler of all Wales. By a combination of war and diplomacy he dominated Wales for 45 years. During Llywelyn's childhood, Gwynedd was ruled by two of his uncles, who split the kingdom between them, following the death of Llywelyn's grandfather, Owain Gwynedd, in 1170. Llywelyn had a strong claim to be the legitimate ruler and began a campaign to win power at an early age, he made a treaty with King John of England that year. Llywelyn's relations with John remained good for the next ten years, he married John's natural daughter Joan in 1205, when John arrested Gwenwynwyn ap Owain of Powys in 1208, Llywelyn took the opportunity to annex southern Powys. In 1210, relations deteriorated, John invaded Gwynedd in 1211. Llywelyn was forced to seek terms and to give up all lands east of the River Conwy, but was able to recover them the following year in alliance with the other Welsh princes, he allied himself with the barons who forced John to sign Magna Carta in 1215.
By 1216, he was the dominant power in Wales, holding a council at Aberdyfi that year to apportion lands to the other princes. Following King John's death, Llywelyn concluded the Treaty of Worcester with his successor, Henry III, in 1218. During the next fifteen years, Llywelyn was involved in fights with Marcher lords and sometimes with the king, but made alliances with several major powers in the Marches; the Peace of Middle in 1234 marked the end of Llywelyn's military career, as the agreed truce of two years was extended year by year for the remainder of his reign. He maintained his position in Wales until his death in 1240 and was succeeded by his son Dafydd ap Llywelyn. Llywelyn was born about 1173, the son of Iorwerth ab Owain and the grandson of Owain Gwynedd, ruler of Gwynedd until his death in 1170. Llywelyn was a descendant of the senior line of Rhodri Mawr and therefore a member of the princely house of Gwynedd, he was born at Dolwyddelan, though not in the present Dolwyddelan castle, built by Llywelyn himself.
He may have been born in the old castle. Little is known about Iorwerth Drwyndwn, who died when Llywelyn was an infant. There is no record of Iorwerth having taken part in the power struggle between some of Owain Gwynedd's other sons following Owain's death, although he was the eldest surviving son. There is a tradition that he was disfigured in some way that excluded him from power. By 1175, Gwynedd had been divided between two of Llywelyn's uncles. Dafydd ab Owain held the area east of the River Rhodri ab Owain held the west. Dafydd and Rhodri were the sons of Owain by his second marriage to Cristin verch Goronwy; this marriage was not considered valid by the church as Cristin was Owain's first cousin, a degree of relationship which according to Canon law prohibited marriage. Giraldus Cambrensis refers to Iorwerth Drwyndwn as the only legitimate son of Owain Gwynedd. Following Iorwerth's death, Llywelyn was, at least in the eyes of the church, the legitimate claimant to the throne of Gwynedd.
Llywelyn's mother was Marared anglicised to Margaret, daughter of Madog ap Maredudd, prince of Powys. There is evidence that, after her first husband's death, Marared married in the summer of 1197, the nephew of Roger Powys of Whittington Castle with whom she had a son, David ap Gwion. Therefore, some maintain that Marared never married into the Corbet family of Caus Castle and Moreton Corbet Castle. However, there is in existence a grant of land from Llywelyn ab Iorworth to the monastery of Wigmore, in which Llywelyn indicates his mother was a member of the house of Corbet, leaving the issue unresolved. In his account of his journey around Wales in 1188, Giraldus Cambrensis mentions that the young Llywelyn was in arms against his uncles Dafydd and Rhodri; this young man, being only twelve years of age, during the period of our journey, to molest his uncles David and Roderic, the sons of Owen by Christiana, his cousin-german. In 1194, with the aid of his cousins Gruffudd ap Cynan and Maredudd ap Cynan, he defeated Dafydd at the Battle of Aberconwy at the mouth of the River Conwy.
Rhodri died in 1195, his lands west of the Conwy were taken over by Gruffudd and Maredudd while Llywelyn ruled the territories taken from Dafydd east of the Conwy. In 1197, Llywelyn imprisoned him. A year Hubert Walter, Archbishop of Canterbury, persuaded Llywelyn to release him, Dafydd retired to England where he died in May 1203. Wales was divided into Pura Wallia, the areas ruled by the Welsh princes, Marchia Wallia, ruled by the Anglo-Norman barons. Since the death of Owain Gwynedd in 1170, Rhys ap Gruffydd had made the southern kingdom of Deheubarth the strongest of the Welsh kingdoms, had establ