House of York Period 1461 – 1485
The House of York, marks the end of the Plantagenet dynasty in 1485.
The two opposing branches of the Plantagenet family, the Houses of Lancaster and York, fought for power but was this a family feud that gets out of control and causes the War of the Roses? The House of York cast off the usurping Lancastrians and made the most of the frailty of Henry VI but in due course they would also turn on one another. Use this House of York Timeline to find out what happened where when and who did what to whom in this sorry tale of three brothers and sons of York causing their own destruction, Edward IV, George and Richard III.
Richard PLANTAGENET, 3rd Duke of York and grandson of Edward III
Richard Plantagenet was born the son of Ann MORTIMER and Richard, Earl of CAMBRIDGE who was executed for his role in the Southampton Plot. Richard was given the title Duke of York from his Uncle who died at Agincourt. His great grandfather was Edmund of Langley, son of Edward III, purportedly direct descendants of the Plantagenets.
He was married to Cecily NEVILLE cousin to Richard Neville the ‘Kingmaker’, she was Mother of Edward, Richard and George but was their father who we originally believed them to be? In this question lies the essence of the cause of the strife between brothers and the ultimate downfall of the House of York, find out more here with this timeline and an evolving collection of accessible articles and resources to enjoy and explore.
King Edward IV, son of Richard born 1442 and died 1483, he was King 1461 – 1483 with a break in between when he flees to Holland. He became King unexpectedly when just 18 in the midst of the War of the Roses. He married out of the nobility and caused much controversy by this marriage Elizabeth WOODVILLE Queen, although his promiscuous and wanton tastes hastened his early death and downfall. His once loyal brothers would both dishonour him, one whilst he was still King and the other hastily upon his death, even seeking to humiliate his brother’s mistress and his queen, in the process as we can learn from the sorry tale of Edward’s Jane SHORE Mistress.
- King Edward V, born 1470 and died approximately 1483 son of Edward IV and his Queen Elizabeth WOODVILLE, his Uncle Richard III would initially act in name as his Protector and govern as his deputy but in reality it was an ill-disguised route to claiming the throne for himself. Edward and his younger brother the new Duke of York were infamously imprisoned in the Tower and were believed to have been subsequently murdered although the circumstances are muddied to say the least.
George Duke of Clarence, son of Richard 3rd Duke of York
George was the middle brother brother of Edward IV and Richard III, he was married to one of two daughters of the kingmaker Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, she was Isabel Neville. Warwick in turning on Edward IV also persuaded George to join his cause and turn on his own brother. His disloyalty would ultimately cost George his own life. Three children were born to George and isabel and when she died just a few months after giving birth to her last, George lost his mind in accusing others of having poisoned his wife and in turn causing their lives to be forfeited in similar manner. But whilst Edward’s male heirs appear to perished in the tower and the Woodvilles fate was settled by the events that Richard led after Edward’s untimely death George’s children survived. The youngest Richard died in infancy but that left two surviving children, Edward Plantagenet and Margaret of York . To find out what would be come of them use the timeline and take a look at George Duke of Clarence in more detail.
King Richard III Duke of Gloucester born 1452 and died in Battle 1485
Richard of Gloucester was King for just two years (1483-1485) usurped the Crown from his brother’s son Edward V, who was never crowned. Richard claimed the Crown for himself claiming that Edward IV his own brother was illegitimate and keeping him and his younger brother imprisoned in the Tower of London.
Richard III continues in 2015 to feature in the news and media. His battered and abused remains were recently discovered in 2013 in a Car Park dig in Leicester, his re-internment has been subject to a High Court dispute now his remains have been honoured and found their final resting place in Leicester Cathedral some 500 years later.
There are so many players, oo many to summarise in this introduction and if you want to understand the period when the House of York rules, take a look at the broader period and the sequence of events latterly known as the War of the Roses. With DNA and scientific evidence it would seem the history of this period is far from closed. Follow the timelines the Plantagenets, the Lancastrians and then the Tudors. These great houses were much more closely connected than we initially believe them to be and some who we thought were central characters in a family feud might not have been as closely related as we once thought. But who would have credited that a humble Canadian living in England would carry the vital genetic connection that would prove within 99% certainty that the remains of broken bones in a Leicester Car Park were indeed those of a son of York? History continues to develop as new evidence is analysed and appraised, archives and manuscripts are further mined, analysed and a little better understood. Incredible that modern science is enabling us to keep re-writing the history books. The good news is that digitally connecting these intriguing periods enables us all to keep sharing a few of the gems and new insights gained. What a period tos tudy and what a time to reconsider it, what really happened in the House of York.