King Of England Richard III PLANTAGENET
- Born: 2 Oct 1452, Fotheringhaly Castle, Northamptonshire, England
- Marriage (1): Unknown
- Marriage (2): Anne DE NEVILLE
- Died: 22 Aug 1485, Battle Of Bosworth Field at age 32
The Battle of Bosworth: August 22 1485
Principal Commanders: Richard III of Gloucester (York), Norfolk (York), Northumberland (York), Stanley (York, then Tudor), Henry Tudor (Tudor), Oxford
Edward IV died in 1485. His son, Edward V, was only twelve years old, so Edward IV had designated his brother Richard as Protector. Richard had Edward's two sons taken to the Tower of London, where they vanished, so Richard was proclaimed king as Richard III. It is not known what actually happened to the boys, but most likely they were killed. The mystery remains as to who killed them, and if it was done on Richard's orders.
Richard had many enemies, and on 7 August, Henry Tudor landed near Milford Haven with about 2,000 French mercenaries and a handful of Lancastrian lords and knights. He gathered reinforcements as he marched through Wales, then through Shrewsbury, Stafford and Atherstone. Richard was at Nottingham, and moved from there to Leicester on 19 August, and by 21 August the two armies were facing each other about two and a half miles south of Market Bosworth.
Richard's army was just under 12,000 strong, but 4,000 of his troops were commanded by the Stanley brothers, whose loyalty was suspect. Henry had only 5,000 troops. During the battle Both the Stanleys changed allegiance to Henry, swinging the numerical advantage to his favor.
The battle was fought on and around Ambion Hill, close to Sutton Cheney, and lasted only two hours. Richard had the better position, but did not take advantage by attacking Oxford while he was still deploying his troops. This allowed Oxford to launch the first attack and the Duke of Norfolk, who was commanding Richard's forward battle division, was soon killed. For the first hour, the fighting was evenly matched, but Richard lost the battle through the treachery of the Stanleys, who deserted his cause. Even more damaging was of the Earl of Northumberland's failure to bring Richard's reserves into action when he saw the Stanleys go over to the enemy.
Richard made a last attempt to win victory by directly attacking Henry with is personal guard, and almost succeeded, having cut down Henry's standard bearer. Richard's gamble failed, and he was struck down. The battle ended because his followers had no other definite leader. Richard was the last king of England to die on the battlefield. His death effectively ended the Wars of the Roses, and Henry VII started a new dynasty, the Tudors.
The Battle of Bosworth Field was fought on the August 22nd 1485 when Richard III, the last of the Plantagenet dynasty, fought a pitched battle with the Lancastrian contender for his crown, Henry Tudor. Henry had landed in Pembrokeshire, the county of his birth, on August 7, with a small force-consisting mainly of French mercenaries-in an attempt to claim the throne of England.
Richard III had fought similar battles with Lancastrian usurpers in the past, but this one would be his last. Although Henry did not have his opponent's military experience, he was accompanied by his uncle, Jasper Tudor, a brilliant and seasoned soldier. Henry gathered supporters in the course of his journey through his father's native Wales, and by the time he arrived in the Midlands, he had amassed an army estimated at 5,000 men. The king, by contrast, could command nearly 8,000. The decisive factor in the battle was to be the conduct of the Stanley brothers - Sir William Stanley and Lord Thomas Stanley, the latter being Henry's stepfather. Richard had good cause to distrust them but was dependent on their continued loyalty.
The battlefield site, now open to the public, is close to the villages of Sutton Cheney and Market Bosworth in Leicestershire. The Stanleys seem to have taken up a position some distance away from the two main armies. Richard had taken hostages to ensure that, even if they did not join him, they would at least remain neutral during the battle. The battle lasted about two hours, and began well for the king. Unfortunately for him, the Stanleys chose their moment to enter the fray on Henry's side. Despite a suicidal charge led by Richard in an attempt to remove Henry - who had stayed well clear of most of the fighting - from the equation, the king was overwhelmed by the opposition. Richard was killed on the field (the last English king to die in battle), and his body was ignominiously treated by the victors. The popular legend states that the crown of England was found in a hawthorn bush after Richard's death. However, the battle proved to be decisive in ending the long-running mediaeval series of English wars known as the Wars of the Roses. Henry Tudor's victory in this battle led to his being crowned as Henry VII, and the long reign of the Tudor dynasty in England.
Richard next married Anne DE NEVILLE, daughter of Sixth Earl Of Warwick Richard DE NEVILLE and Anne DE BEAUCHAMP. (Anne DE NEVILLE was born on 11 Jun 1456 in Warwick Castle, Warwickshire, England and died on 16 Mar 1484-1485 in Westminster Palace, Westminster, Middlesex, England.)