Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Death of Richard III (August 22nd)

In 1455, the War of the Roses broke out between two families in England: the Lancasters and the Yorks. The two families fought for the throne of England, and during the fight, most nobles in England took a side.

In 1483, Richard, Duke of York, was crowned as Richard the III of England after he usurped the throne from his twelve-year-old nephew, Edward V. The War of the Roses, however, was not over with the crowning of a York.

Richard was contested for the throne by Henry Tudor, the last remaining male member of the House of Lancaster. Because of this, Henry Tudor had the Lancaster family's strongest claim on the throne of England. Henry Tudor had gathered his forces in Frances, and then sailed his army to Milford Haven, Wales.

On August 21, 1485, twelve miles west of Leicester, on Bosworth Field, Henry Tudor's forces met Richard's in battle. Richard could have, for his army was of greater numbers, but at the last minute, several of his most important and powerful barons defected, giving Henry a decisive victory. Though he knew of his impending defeat, Richard is reported to have said, "I will not budge a foot. I will die king of England." Soon afterwards, Richard was unhorsed and killed, leaving Henry Tudor as Henry VII of England. Richard was only thirty-two years old and had been king for only two years when he died.

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