Commentaries on the Laws of England
The Commentaries on the Laws of England are an influential 18th-century treatise on the common law of England by Sir William Blackstone published by the Clarendon Press at Oxford, 1765–1769. The work is divided into four volumes, on the rights of persons, the rights of things, of private wrongs and of public wrongs; the Commentaries were long regarded as the leading work on the development of English law and played a role in the development of the American legal system. They were in fact the first methodical treatise on the common law suitable for a lay readership since at least the Middle Ages; the common law of England has relied on precedent more than statute and codifications and has been far less amenable than the civil law, developed from the Roman law, to the needs of a treatise. The Commentaries were influential because they were in fact readable, because they met a need; the Commentaries are quoted as the definitive pre-Revolutionary source of common law by United States courts. Opinions of the Supreme Court of the United States quote from Blackstone's work whenever they wish to engage in historical discussion that goes back that far, or farther.
The book was famously used as the key in Benedict Arnold's book cipher, which he used to communicate secretly with his conspirator John André during their plot to betray the Continental Army during the American Revolution. The Rights of Persons is the first chapter in the four part series, the Commentaries. Divided into 18 chapters, it is concerned with the rights of individuals; the Rights of Things, Blackstone's longest volume, deals with property. The vast majority of the text is devoted to real property, this being the most valuable sort in the feudal law upon which the English law of land was founded. Property in chattels was beginning to overshadow property in land, but its law lacked the complex feudal background of the common law of land, was not dealt with nearly as extensively by Blackstone. Of Private Wrongs dealt with torts; the various methods of trial that existed at civil law were dealt with in this volume, as were the jurisdictions of the several courts, from the lowest to the highest.
As an afterthought, Blackstone adds a brief chapter on equity, the parallel legal system that existed in English law at the time, seeking to address wrongs that the common law did not handle. Of Public Wrongs is Blackstone's treatise on criminal law. Here, Blackstone the apologist takes centre stage, he does however accept that "It is a melancholy truth, that among the variety of actions which men are daily liable to commit, no less than an hundred and sixty have been declared by Act of Parliament to be felonious without benefit of clergy. Blackstone resorted to assuring his reader that the laws as written were not always enforced, that the King's power of pardon could be exercised to correct any hardships or injustices. Blackstone for the first time made the common law understandable by non-lawyers. At first, his Commentaries were hotly contested, some seeing in them an evil or covert attempt to reduce or codify the common law, anathema to common law purists. For decades, a study of the Commentaries was required reading for all first year law students.
Lord Avonmore said of Blackstone: "He it was. He found it a skeleton and clothed it with life and complexion, he embraced the cold statue and by his touch, it grew into youth and beauty." Jeremy Bentham, a critic of the Commentaries when they were first published, credits Blackstone with having: "... taught jurisprudence to speak the language of the scholar and the gentleman. There is a lot of what would be called "Whig history" in the Commentaries, but Blackstone's chief contribution was to create a succinct and above all handy epitome of the common law tradition. While useful in England, Blackstone's text answered an urgent need in the developing United States and Canada. In the United States, the common law tradition was being spread into frontier areas, but it was not feasible for lawyers and judges to carry around th
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was established by the Acts of Union 1800, which merged the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom, having financed the European coalition that defeated France during the Napoleonic Wars, developed a large Royal Navy that enabled the British Empire to become the foremost world power for the next century; the Crimean War with Russia and the Boer wars were small operations in a peaceful century. Rapid industrialisation that began in the decades prior to the state's formation continued up until the mid-19th century; the Great Irish Famine, exacerbated by government inaction in the mid-19th century, led to demographic collapse in much of Ireland and increased calls for Irish land reform. The 19th century was an era of rapid economic modernisation and growth of industry and finance, in which Britain dominated the world economy. Outward migration was heavy to the United States; the empire was expanded into much of South Asia. The Colonial Office and India Office ruled through a small number of administrators who managed the units of the empire locally, while democratic institutions began to develop.
British India, by far the most important overseas possession, saw a short-lived revolt in 1857. In overseas policy, the central policy was free trade, which enabled British and Irish financiers and merchants to operate in many otherwise independent countries, as in South America. London formed no permanent military alliances until the early 20th century, when it began to cooperate with Japan and Russia, moved closer to the United States. Growing desire for Irish self-governance led to the Irish War of Independence, which resulted in most of Ireland seceding from the Union and forming the Irish Free State in 1922. Northern Ireland remained part of the Union, the state was renamed to the current "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" in 1927; the modern-day United Kingdom is the same country as the one from this period—a direct continuation of what remained after the secession—not an new successor state. A brief period of limited independence for Ireland came to an end following the Irish Rebellion of 1798, which occurred during the British war with revolutionary France.
The British government's fear of an independent Ireland siding against them with the French resulted in the decision to unite the two countries. This was brought about by legislation in the parliaments of both kingdoms and came into effect on 1 January 1801; the Irish had been led to believe by the British that their loss of legislative independence would be compensated with Catholic emancipation, that is, by the removal of civil disabilities placed upon Roman Catholics in both Great Britain and Ireland. However, King George III was bitterly opposed to any such Emancipation and succeeded in defeating his government's attempts to introduce it. During the War of the Second Coalition, Britain occupied most of the French and Dutch overseas possessions, the Netherlands having become a satellite state of France in 1796, but tropical diseases claimed the lives of over 40,000 troops; when the Treaty of Amiens ended the war, Britain agreed to return most of the territories it had seized. The peace settlement was in effect only a ceasefire, Napoleon continued to provoke the British by attempting a trade embargo on the country and by occupying the city of Hanover, capital of the Electorate, a German-speaking duchy, in a personal union with the United Kingdom.
In May 1803, war was declared again. Napoleon's plans to invade Great Britain failed, chiefly due to the inferiority of his navy, in 1805 a Royal Navy fleet led by Nelson decisively defeated the French and Spanish at Trafalgar, the last significant naval action of the Napoleonic Wars. In 1806, Napoleon issued the series of Berlin Decrees, which brought into effect the Continental System; this policy aimed to eliminate the threat from the British by closing French-controlled territory to foreign trade. The British Army remained a minimal threat to France. Although the Royal Navy disrupted France's extra-continental trade—both by seizing and threatening French shipping and by seizing French colonial possessions—it could do nothing about France's trade with the major continental economies and posed little threat to French territory in Europe. France's population and agricultural capacity far outstripped that of the British Isles, but it was smaller in terms of industry, mercantile marine and naval strength.
Napoleon expected that cutting Britain off from the European mainland would end its economic hegemony. On the contrary Britain possessed the greatest industrial capacity in the world, its mastery of the seas allowed it to build up considerable economic strength through trade to its possessions and the United States; the Spanish uprising in 1808 at last permitted Britain to gain a foothold on the Continent. The Duke of Wellington pushed the French out of Spain, in early 1814, as Napoleon was being driven back in the east by the Prussians and Russians, Wellington invaded southern France. After Napoleon's surrender and exile to the island of Elba, peace appeared to have returned. Napoleon reappeared in 1815; the Allies united and the armies of Wellington and Blücher defeated Napoleon once and for all at Waterloo. To defeat France, Britain put heavy pressure on the Americans
Edward IV of England
Edward IV was the King of England from 4 March 1461 to 3 October 1470, again from 11 April 1471 until his death. He was the first Yorkist King of England; the first half of his rule was marred by the violence associated with the Wars of the Roses, but he overcame the Lancastrian challenge to the throne at Tewkesbury in 1471 to reign in peace until his sudden death. Before becoming king, he was Duke of Earl of March, Earl of Cambridge and Earl of Ulster. Edward of York was born at Rouen in Normandy, the second son of Richard, 3rd Duke of York, Cecily Neville, he was the eldest of the four sons. He bore the title Earl of March before his accession to the throne. Edward's father Richard, Duke of York, had been heir to King Henry VI until the birth of Henry's son Edward in 1453. Richard carried on a factional struggle with the king's Beaufort relatives, he established a dominant position after his victory at the First Battle of St Albans in 1455, in which his chief rival Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, was killed.
However, Henry's Queen, Margaret of Anjou, rebuilt a powerful faction to oppose the Yorkists over the following years. In 1459 Margaret moved against the Duke of York and his principal supporters—his brother-in-law Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury, Salisbury's son Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, who rose in revolt; the Yorkist leaders fled from England after the collapse of their army in the confrontation at Ludford Bridge. The Duke of York took refuge in Ireland, while Edward went with the Nevilles to Calais where Warwick was governor. In 1460 Edward landed in Kent with Salisbury and Salisbury's brother William Neville, Lord Fauconberg, raised an army, occupied London. Edward and Fauconberg left Salisbury besieging the Tower of London and advanced against the king, with an army in the Midlands, defeated and captured him in the Battle of Northampton. York returned to England and was declared the king's heir by parliament, but Queen Margaret raised a fresh army against him, he was killed at the Battle of Wakefield on 30 December 1460, along with his second surviving son Edmund, Earl of Rutland, the Earl of Salisbury.
This left Edward, now Duke of York, at the head of the Yorkist faction. He defeated a Lancastrian army at Mortimer's Cross in Herefordshire on 2–3 February 1461, he united his forces with those of Warwick, whom Margaret's army had defeated at the Second Battle of St Albans, during which Henry VI had been rescued by his supporters. Edward's father had restricted his ambitions to becoming Henry's heir, but Edward now took the more radical step of proclaiming himself king in March 1461, he advanced against the Lancastrians, having his life saved on the battlefield by the Welsh Knight Sir David Ap Mathew. He defeated the Lancastrian army in the exceptionally bloody Battle of Towton in Yorkshire on 29 March 1461. Edward had broken the military strength of the Lancastrians, he returned to London for his coronation. King Edward IV named Sir David Ap Mathew Standard Bearer of England and allowed him to use "Towton" on the Mathew family crest. Lancastrian resistance continued in the north, but posed no serious threat to the new regime and was extinguished by Warwick's brother John Neville in the Battle of Hexham in 1464.
Henry VI had escaped into the Pennines, where he spent a year in hiding, but was caught and imprisoned in the Tower of London. Queen Margaret fled abroad with many of their leading supporters. Edward IV had deposed Henry VI, but there was little point in killing the ex-king as long as Henry's son remained alive, since this would have transferred the Lancastrian claim from a captive king to one, at liberty. At the age of nineteen, Edward exhibited remarkable military acumen, he had a notable physique and was described as handsome and affable. His height is estimated at 6 feet 4.5 inches, making him the tallest among all English and British monarchs to date. Most of England's leading families had remained loyal to Henry VI or remained uncommitted in the recent conflict; the new regime, relied on the support of the Nevilles, who held vast estates and had been so instrumental in bringing Edward to the throne. However, the king became estranged from their leader the Earl of Warwick, due to his marriage.
Warwick, acting on Edward's behalf, made preliminary arrangements with King Louis XI of France for Edward to marry either Louis' daughter Anne or his sister-in-law Bona of Savoy. He was humiliated and enraged to discover that, while he was negotiating, Edward had secretly married Elizabeth Woodville, the widow of John Grey of Groby, on 1 May 1464. Edward's marriage to Elizabeth Woodville has been criticised as an impulsive action that did not add anything to the security of England or the York dynasty. A horrified Privy Council told him with unusual frankness, when he announced the marriage to them, "that he must know that she was no wife for a prince such as himself, for she was not the daughter of a duke or earl... but a simple knight." Christine Carpenter argues against the idea that it had any political motivation, that Edward's creation of a strong Yorkist nobility meant that he did not need the "lightweight connections" of the Woodvilles, whereas Wilkinson described the marriage as both a "love match, a cold and calculated political move".
J. R. Lander suggested in 1980 that the King was "infatuated," echoing P. M. Kendall's view that he was acting out of lust. Elizabeth's mother was Jacquetta of Luxembourg, wi
Bill of Rights 1689
The Bill of Rights known as the English Bill of Rights, is an Act of the Parliament of England that sets out certain basic civil rights and clarifies who would be next to inherit the Crown. It received the Royal Assent on 16 December 1689 and is a restatement in statutory form of the Declaration of Right presented by the Convention Parliament to William III and Mary II in February 1689, inviting them to become joint sovereigns of England; the Bill of Rights lays down limits on the powers of the monarch and sets out the rights of Parliament, including the requirement for regular parliaments, free elections, freedom of speech in Parliament. It sets out certain rights of individuals including the prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment and reestablished the right of Protestants to have arms for their defence within the rule of law. Furthermore, the Bill of Rights condemned several misdeeds of James II of England; these ideas reflected those of the political thinker John Locke and they became popular in England.
It sets out – or, in the view of its drafters, restates – certain constitutional requirements of the Crown to seek the consent of the people, as represented in Parliament. In the United Kingdom, the Bill of Rights is further accompanied by Magna Carta, the Petition of Right, the Habeas Corpus Act 1679 and the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 as some of the basic documents of the uncodified British constitution. A separate but similar document, the Claim of Right Act 1689, applies in Scotland; the Bill of Rights 1689 was one of the inspirations for the United States Bill of Rights. Along with the Act of Settlement 1701, the Bill of Rights is still in effect in all Commonwealth realms. Following the Perth Agreement in 2011, legislation amending both of them came into effect across the Commonwealth realms on 26 March 2015. During the 17th century, there was renewed interest in Magna Carta; the Parliament of England passed the Petition of Right in 1628 which established certain liberties for subjects.
The English Civil War was fought between the King and an oligarchic but elected Parliament, during which the idea of a political party took form with groups debating rights to political representation during the Putney Debates of 1647. Subsequently, the Protectorate and the English Restoration restored more autocratic rule although Parliament passed the Habeas Corpus Act in 1679, which strengthened the convention that forbade detention lacking sufficient cause or evidence. Objecting to the policies of King James II of England, a group of English Parliamentarians invited the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau to overthrow the King. William's successful invasion with a Dutch fleet and army led to James fleeing to France. In December 1688, William took over the provisional government by appointment of the peers of the realm, as was the legal right of the latter in circumstances when the King was incapacitated, summoned an assembly of certain members of parliament; this assembly called for an English Convention Parliament to be elected, which convened on 22 January 1689.
The proposal to draw up a statement of rights and liberties and James's violation of them was first made on 29 January 1689 in the House of Commons, with members arguing that the House "cannot answer it to the nation or Prince of Orange till we declare what are the rights invaded" and that William "cannot take it ill if we make conditions to secure ourselves for the future" in order to "do justice to those who sent us hither". On 2 February a committee specially convened reported to the Commons 23 Heads of Grievances, which the Commons approved and added some of their own. However, on 4 February the Commons decided to instruct the committee to differentiate between "such of the general heads, as are introductory of new laws, from those that are declaratory of ancient rights". On 7 February the Commons approved this revised Declaration of Right, on 8 February instructed the committee to put into a single text the Declaration, the resolution of 28 January and the Lords' proposal for a revised oath of allegiance.
It passed the Commons without division. On 13 February the clerk of the House of Lords read the Declaration of Right, the Marquess of Halifax, in the name of all the estates of the realm, asked William and Mary to accept the throne. William replied for his wife and himself: "We thankfully accept what you have offered us", they went in procession to the great gate at Whitehall. The Garter King at Arms proclaimed them King and Queen of England and Ireland, whereupon they adjourned to the Chapel Royal, with the Bishop of London preaching the sermon, they were crowned on 11 April. The Coronation Oath Act 1688 had provided a new coronation oath, whereby the monarchs were to "solemnly promise and swear to govern the people of this kingdom of England, the dominions thereunto belonging, according to the statutes in parliament agreed on, the laws and customs of the same", they were to maintain the laws of God, the true profession of the Gospel, the Protestant Reformed faith established by law. This replaced an oath.
The previous oath required the monarch to rule based on "the laws and customs... granted by the Kings of England". The Declaration of Right was enacted in an Act of Parliament, the Bill of Rights 1689, which received the Royal Assent in December 1689; the Act asserted "certain ancient rights and liberties" by declaring that: the pretended power of suspending the laws and dispensing with laws by regal authority without consent of Parliament is illegal.
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader. He served as Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England and Ireland from 1653 until his death, acting as head of state and head of government of the new republic. Cromwell was born into the middle gentry to a family descended from the sister of King Henry VIII's minister Thomas Cromwell. Little is known of the first 40 years of his life, as only four of his personal letters survive along with a summary of a speech that he delivered in 1628, he became an Independent Puritan after undergoing a religious conversion in the 1630s, taking a tolerant view towards the many Protestant sects of his period. He was an intensely religious man, a self-styled Puritan Moses, he fervently believed that God was guiding his victories, he was elected Member of Parliament for Huntingdon in 1628 and for Cambridge in the Short and Long Parliaments. He entered the English Civil Wars on the side of the "Roundheads" or Parliamentarians, nicknamed "Old Ironsides".
He demonstrated his ability as a commander and was promoted from leading a single cavalry troop to being one of the principal commanders of the New Model Army, playing an important role under General Sir Thomas Fairfax in the defeat of the Royalist 11th forces. Cromwell was one of the signatories of King Charles I's death warrant in 1649, he dominated the short-lived Commonwealth of England as a member of the Rump Parliament, he was selected to take command of the English campaign in Ireland in 1649–1650. Cromwell's forces defeated the Confederate and Royalist coalition in Ireland and occupied the country, bringing to an end the Irish Confederate Wars. During this period, a series of Penal Laws were passed against Roman Catholics, a substantial amount of their land was confiscated. Cromwell led a campaign against the Scottish army between 1650 and 1651. On 20 April 1653, he dismissed the Rump Parliament by force, setting up a short-lived nominated assembly known as Barebone's Parliament before being invited by his fellow leaders to rule as Lord Protector of England and Ireland from 16 December 1653.
As a ruler, he executed an effective foreign policy. He was buried in Westminster Abbey; the Royalists returned to power along with King Charles II in 1660, they had his corpse dug up, hung in chains, beheaded. Cromwell is one of the most controversial figures in the history of the British Isles, considered a regicidal dictator by historians such as David Sharp, a military dictator by Winston Churchill, a hero of liberty by John Milton, Thomas Carlyle, Samuel Rawson Gardiner, a revolutionary bourgeois by Leon Trotsky, his tolerance of Protestant sects did not extend to Catholics. He was selected as one of the ten greatest Britons of all time in a 2002 BBC poll. Cromwell was born in Huntingdon on 25 April 1599 to Elizabeth Steward; the family's estate derived from Oliver's great-grandfather Morgan ap William, a brewer from Glamorgan who settled at Putney in London, married Katherine Cromwell, the sister of Thomas Cromwell, the famous chief minister to Henry VIII. The Cromwell family acquired great wealth as occasional beneficiaries of Thomas's administration of the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
Morgan ap William was a son of William ap Yevan of Wales. The family line continued through Richard Williams, Henry Williams to Oliver's father Robert Williams, alias Cromwell, who married Elizabeth Steward in 1591, they had ten children. Cromwell's paternal grandfather Sir Henry Williams was one of the two wealthiest landowners in Huntingdonshire. Cromwell's father Robert was of modest means but still a member of the landed gentry; as a younger son with many siblings, Robert inherited only a house at Huntingdon and a small amount of land. This land would have generated an income of up to £300 a year, near the bottom of the range of gentry incomes. Cromwell himself in 1654 said, "I was by birth a gentleman, living neither in considerable height, nor yet in obscurity". Cromwell was baptised on 29 April 1599 at St John's Church, attended Huntingdon Grammar School, he went on to study at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge a founded college with a strong Puritan ethos. He left in June 1617 without taking a degree after his father's death.
Early biographers claim that he attended Lincoln's Inn, but the Inn's archives retain no record of him. Antonia Fraser concludes that it was that he did train at one of the London Inns of Court during this time, his grandfather, his father, two of his uncles had attended Lincoln's Inn, Cromwell sent his son Richard there in 1647. Cromwell returned home to Huntingdon after his father's death; as his mother was widowed, his seven sisters unmarried, he would have been needed at home to help his family. On 22 August 1620 at St Giles-without-Cripplegate, Fore Street, Cromwell married Elizabeth Bourchier. Elizabeth's father, Sir James Bourchier, was a London leather merchant who owned extensive lands in Essex and had strong connections with Puritan gentry families there; the marriage brought Cromwell into contact with Oliver St John and with leading members of the London merchant community, behin
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
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