Map your history, make new connections and gain insights for family, local or special interest projects

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.


House of York

King Richard III standard Bosworth

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.

Richard III service led by Archibishop of Canterbury not York but richard was returned by peers from he Yorks and the Tudor supporters to leicester

Richard III's remains sealed in tomb in Leicester Cathedral 500 years after the battle that killed him.

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.

1442-1483Edward IV 1442-1483Edward, first born son in name at least, of Richard 3rd Duke of York and Cecily Neville cousin of Richard Neville Earl of Warwick was born.Monarchs
House of York
Edward IV
Richard Duke of York
1455King Henry VI was an inept Lancastrian king.
He lost his father when he was just 9 months old and they never met. He was the son of Henry V and Catherine of Valois.He alienated his nobles especially Richard 3rd Duke of of York, one of the greatest landowners. The coming conflict was feared in the preceding years by the population of England. The War of the Roses, pitching Lancaster against House of York and subsequenly against the Tudors was bitterly fought.
Henry VI
House of Lancaster
1460Richard 3rd Duke of York 1411 1460Richard of York is killed at the Battle of Wakefield on 30 December 1460.
Eight-year-old Richard becomes a ward of his eldest brother Edward, who had just turned 18.
1461Battle of Mortimer's Cross. Edward, Earl of March won a striking victory over the Lancastrians. Owen Tudor father of Henry was killed. Edward joined Warwick and marched on London.
04/03/1461Edward IV 1442-1483 was proclaimed King by the Earl of Warwick ousting and usurping King Henry VI.
29/03/1461Battle of Towton. Edward strengthens his claim to the throne by defeating Henry’s army at the Battle of Towton on 29 March.
01/11/1461Richard is made Duke of Gloucester
1464Battle of Hexham. Lancastrian Margaret, wife of Henry VI, invades Northumberland but is defeated by Warwick.
1464A rift grows between Edward IV and the Earl of Warwick after the King marries Elizabeth Woodville, a Lancastrian widow.
1469Edward IV and the Earl of Warwick's disagreements finally break out into open conflict. Warwick supporting the claim of Edward's brother George, Duke of Clarence.
26/07/1469Edward’s army is defeated at the Battle of Edgecote Moor on 26 July 1469 and the King is captured shortly after. However Warwick releases Edward when it becomes clear that he cannot rule alone.
1470King Edward declares Warwick and Clarence to be traitors. They both fled to France. Warwick sought the aid of King Louis XI. Warwick and Margaret are reconciled and a marraige is arranged between Anne Neville and the Prince of Wales.
1470Warwick leads a second revolt against Edward which forces the King and his brother Richard to flee to Burgundy in France.
30/10/1470King Henry VI is restored to the throne on 30 October 1470 although real power rests with Warwick and Clarence.
11/04/1471Edward and Richard return to England to reclaim the throne, with a proclamation of Edward’s sovereignty on 11 April 1471.
14/04/1471Battle of Barnet. Richard, loyally takes command of the vanguard of Edward's army, defeating the Lancastrians. Earl of Warwick is killed.
04/05/1471Battle of Tewkesbury where King Henry’s son is killed. King Henry VI is captured and taken to the Tower of London where he dies.
1472Richard effectively becomes 'lord of the north'. He marries Anne Neville, daughter of ‘The King Maker’, and takes up residence in the north of England, effectively ruling that region on behalf of his brother.
1473Edward of Middleham, Prince of Wales, is born, probably in December 1473.
1478The Duke of Clarence, King Edward's brother plots against the king and is executed at the Towr of London.
1478 - 1483King Edward IV eliminates the deficit, paid off the country's debts and for 5 years called no parliament.
1475Edward invaded France and persuaded the French king to buy him off without having to fight.
1480Edward IV declares war on Scotland, with Richard appointed Lieutenant-General of the North. Battles are fought for two years until Richard recaptures Berwick-upon-Tweed from the Scots.
09/04/1483Edward IV dies unexpectedly on 9 April 1483 and Richard is named Lord Protector of twelve-year-old Edward V and then of his brother Richard.
1483Richard escorts the king to London. He arrested Lord Rivers and Sir Richard Grey.
1483On reaching London Richard had himself proclaimed Protector but not everyone is happy and Lord Hastings said so. Richard accuse him of sorcery and Hastings is promptly executed.
22/06/1483However, Richard is informed that his brother’s marriage was invalid and the children illegitimate. On 22 June a sermon preached outside St Paul’s Cathedral names Richard as the King, ratified four days later by a commission of nobles and commoners.
06/07/1483Richard III is crowned on 6 July. The two Princes are never seen again.
18/10/1483Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, who had been loyal to Richard, leads an attempt to depose Richard in favour of Henry Tudor who is in exile in Brittany
1484Richard and Anne's only child, Edward of Middleham dies, probably of tuberculosis. The royal parents are completely distraught and shut themselves away to mourn their loss in Nottingham Castle.
1485The rebellion of Buckingham brought many supporters to Henry Tudor's side. He sets sail from France and lands at Milford Haven and marched across England to meet Richard in battle. Richard is at Leicester but moves to Market Bosworth.
22/08/1485Battle of Bosworth. King Richard III loses his life in this battle and his crown is given to Henry Tudor. The House of York is finished