Richard III, King of England

Richard III, King of England

Male 1452 - 1485  (32 years)

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  • Name Richard III  
    Suffix King of England 
    Born 2 Oct 1452  Fotheringay Castle, Northamptonshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3
    Gender Male 
    Also Known As Duke of Gloucester 
    Also Known As Richard Plantagenet  [4
    Died 22 Aug 1485  Bosworth Field, Leicestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    • on the Battlefield, Bosworth Field, Market Bosworth, Leicester, England
    Buried 26 Mar 2015  Leicester Cathedral, St Martins House, 7 Peacock Ln, Leicester LE1 5DE, United Kingdom Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Person ID I37414  The Hennessee Family
    Last Modified 9 Dec 2016 

    Father Richard of York, 3rd Duke of York,   b. 21 Sep 1411, Conisborough Castle, Conisborough, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 31 Dec 1460, Wakefield, West Riding, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 49 years) 
    Mother Cecily Neville, Duchess of York,   b. 3 May 1415, Raby Castle, Staindrop, Durham, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 31 May 1495, Berkhamsted Castle, Berkhamsted, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years) 
    Married 1424  [3, 5, 6, 7
    Family ID F13840  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Anne Neville, Queen of England,   b. 11 Jun 1456, Warwick Castle, Warwick, Warwickshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Mar 1485, Westminster Palace, Westminster, London, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 28 years) 
    Married SPRING OF 1472  Westminster Palace, Westminster, London, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    • in the chapel of Saint Stephen...
    Last Modified 30 Jun 2020 
    Family ID F13844  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 2 Oct 1452 - Fotheringay Castle, Northamptonshire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - SPRING OF 1472 - Westminster Palace, Westminster, London, Middlesex, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 22 Aug 1485 - Bosworth Field, Leicestershire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - 26 Mar 2015 - Leicester Cathedral, St Martins House, 7 Peacock Ln, Leicester LE1 5DE, United Kingdom Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Richard III of England
    Richard III of England

    Richard III (2 October 1452 - 22 August 1485) was King of England for two years, from 1483 until his death in 1485 in the Battle of Bosworth Field.

    He was the last king of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty. His defeat at Bosworth Field, the decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses, is sometimes regarded as the end of the Middle Ages in England.

    He is the subject of the play Richard III by William Shakespeare.

    Richard III (1452-1485)
    Richard III (1452-1485)
    Leicester (United Kingdom) (AFP) - The stone tomb covering the grave of Richard III was unveiled Friday, the last act in the reburial of the 15th-century king found beneath a car park.

    The 2.3-tonne slab of Swaledale fossil stone went on public display the day after he was reinterred in Leicester Cathedral, central England, in the presence of royalty.

    The light-coloured stone was quarried from land that Richard once owned in Yorkshire, his northern English stronghold.

    The oblong tombstone, facing east, is slightly tilted upwards and has a Christian cross deeply carved into its surface.

    Article contributed by kinsman, Stefani Hennessee

  • Notes 
    • March 22, 2015

      Richard III Laid to Rest in Leicester Cathedral

      View this site for more images & history of King Richard ...

      My kingdom for a hearse! 530 years on the little details of Richard III's noble burial will make you proud to be a monarchist
      Five day celebration for the last English king to fall in battle begins today
      Final journey begins at Bosworth Field and ends at Leicester Cathedral
      Richard will be buried on Thursday after he's attended by living relatives
      DNA analysis confirmed remains found in car park in 2012 were Richard’s

      He was the despised ‘crookback’ king of Tudor legend, a murderous stage villain whose brief reign went down in infamy.
      Yet with the 2012 discovery of his mutilated remains in a Leicester car park, Richard III’s reputation has been transformed. And starting today comes a remarkable national celebration for the last English king to fall in battle.
      From the embroidered linen bags containing his tiny hands and feet, to the simple tomb carved in Swaledale rock, the five days of ceremony are packed with thought-provoking detail.

      Scroll down for video

      His final journey will start at 1.05pm today close to Bosworth Field where he was killed in 1485 before ending at Leicester Cathedral, where our last Plantagenet king will lie in repose until his burial on Thursday.
      Richard will be attended by his closest living relatives and peers descended from the noblemen who fought at Bosworth. The Queen will be represented by the Countess of Wessex and the Duke of Gloucester.

      Read more:

      Read more:
      Read more:

      end of the report [9]
    • It took more than 500 years to find the remains of King Richard III, and for those who discovered him, the months spent proving his identity felt just as long. This is the inside story of the 2012 unearthing of Britain's much-maligned monarch. Follow the remarkable story from the history-making excavation of a city parking lot, to the battery of tests that followed. From skeletal analysis, to CT scans, to DNA profiling, join scientists as they unlock the skeleton's secrets and confirm the true identity. The clues they discover may reveal what really happened in the King's final, grisly moments...

      Click here for images & video of this amazing discovery ...

      The king's facial structure was produced using a scientific approach, based on anatomical assessment and interpretation, and a 3D replication process known as 'stereolithography'.

      Click here to view his images ...

      end of this commentary [10, 11]

      6 myths about Richard III

      Richard III (1452-85) was the last Yorkist king of England, whose death at the battle of Bosworth in 1485 signified the end of the Wars of the Roses and marked the start of the Tudor age. Many myths persist about the last Plantagenet king, whose remains were discovered beneath a Leicester car park in 2012. Did Richard III murder the Princes in the Tower? Did he want to marry his niece, Elizabeth of York? And was he a usurper? Here, we separate Richard III facts from fiction…

      A portrait of Richard III. Was the last Yorkist king a usurper? Historian John Ashdown-Hill explains why this is a myth. (Photo by Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)
      October 2, 2018 at 8:00 am


      Richard was a murderer

      Shakespeare’s famous play, Richard III, summarises Richard’s alleged murder victims in the list of ghosts who prevent his sleep on the last night of his life. These comprise Edward of Westminster (putative son of King Henry VI); Henry VI himself; George, Duke of Clarence; Earl Rivers; Richard Grey and Thomas Vaughan; Lord Hastings; the ‘princes in the Tower’; the Duke of Buckingham and Queen Anne Neville.

      But Clarence, Rivers, Grey, Vaughan and Buckingham were all executed (a legal process), not murdered: Clarence was executed by Edward IV (probably on the incentive of Elizabeth Woodville). Rivers, Grey and Vaughan were executed by the Earl of Northumberland, and Hastings and Buckingham were executed by Richard III because they had conspired against him. Intriguingly, similar subsequent actions by Henry VII are viewed as a sign of ‘strong kingship’!

      Read more:

      Richard III: a ‘car park king’ timeline
      Did fear drive Richard III to the throne? (subscription)
      Did Richard III murder the princes in the Tower? You debate
      The ‘Princes in the Tower’: Edward V and his younger brother Richard, Duke of York, disappeared in mysterious circumstances following the death of their father, King Edward IV. (The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)
      There is no evidence that Edward of Westminster, Henry VI, the ‘princes in the Tower’ or Anne Neville were murdered by anyone. Edward of Westminster was killed at the battle of Tewkesbury, and Anne Neville almost certainly died naturally. Also, if Richard III really had been a serious killer in the interests of his own ambitions, why didn’t he kill Lord and Lady Stanley – and John Morton?

      Morton had plotted with Lord Hastings in 1483, but while Hastings was executed, Morton was only imprisoned. As for the Stanleys, Lady Stanley was involved in Buckingham’s rebellion. And in June 1485, when the invasion of his stepson, Henry Tudor was imminent, Lord Stanley requested leave to retire from court. His loyalty had always been somewhat doubtful. Nevertheless, Richard III simply granted Stanley’s request – leading ultimately to the king’s own defeat at Bosworth.


      Richard was a usurper

      The dictionary definition of ‘usurp’ is “to seize and hold (the power and rights of another, for example) by force or without legal authority”. The official website of the British Monarchy states unequivocally (but completely erroneously) that “Richard III usurped the throne from the young Edward V”.

      Curiously, the monarchy website does not describe either Henry VII or Edward IV as usurpers, yet both of those kings seized power by force, in battle! On the other hand, Richard III did not seize power. He was offered the crown by the three estates of the realm (the Lords and Commons who had come to London for the opening of a prospective Parliament in 1483) on the basis of evidence presented to them by one of the bishops, to the effect that Edward IV had committed bigamy and that Edward V and his siblings were therefore bastards.

      Even if that judgement was incorrect, the fact remains that it was a legal authority that invited a possibly reluctant Richard to assume the role of king. His characterisation as a ‘usurper’ is therefore simply an example of how history is rewritten by the victors (in this case, Henry VII).

      Read more:

      Treachery at Bosworth: what really brought down Richard III (exclusive to The Library),250
      10 things you need to know about the battle of Bosworth
      Richard III's Yorkist troops fight Lancastrians in the battle of Bosworth, during the Wars of the Roses, 22 August 1485. King Richard was killed by Henry of Richmond, who became Henry VII. Engraving after Philip James de Loutherbourg. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)


      Richard aimed to marry his niece

      It has frequently been claimed (on the basis of reports of a letter, the original of which does not survive), that in 1485 Richard III planned to marry his niece, Elizabeth of York, eldest daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville. There is no doubt that rumours to this effect were current in 1485, and we know for certain that Richard was concerned about them. That is not surprising, since his invitation to mount the throne had been based upon the conclusion that all of Edward IV’s children were bastards.

      Obviously no logical monarch would have sought to marry a bastard niece. In fact, very clear evidence survives that proves beyond question that Richard did intend to remarry in 1485. However, his chosen bride was the Portuguese princess Joana. What’s more, his diplomats in Portugal were also seeking to arrange a second marriage there – between Richard’s illegitimate niece, Elizabeth, and a minor member of the Portuguese royal family!

      A portrait of Elizabeth of York, wife of Henry VII and queen consort of England. (De Agostini Picture Library/Getty Images),479&background=white


      Richard slept at the Boar Inn in Leicester

      In August 1485, prior to the battle of Bosworth, Richard III spent one night in Leicester. About a century later, a myth began to emerge that claimed that on this visit he had slept at a Leicester inn that featured the sign of a boar. This story is still very widely believed today.

      However, there is no evidence to even show that such an inn existed in 1485. We know that previously Richard had stayed at the castle on his rare visits to Leicester. The earliest written source for the story of the Boar Inn visit is John Speede [English cartographer and historian, d1629].

      Curiously, Speede also produced another myth about Richard III – that his body had been dug up at the time of the Dissolution. Many people in Leicester used to believe Speede’s story about the fate of Richard’s body. However, when the BBC commissioned me to research it in 2004, I concluded that it was false, and I was proved right by the finding of the king’s remains on the Greyfriars site in 2012. The story of staying at the Boar Inn is probably also nothing more than a later invention.

      Read more:

      Podcast: Richard III reconsidered
      Bosworth: the dawn of the Tudors (exclusive to The Library)
      Was the skeleton in the Leicester car park really Richard III?
      The blue-robed Henry VII pictured performing a variety of tasks at the Tower of London following his accession to the throne, in a contemporary illustration. (Universal History Archive/Getty Images)


      Richard rode a white horse at Bosworth

      In his famous play about the king, Shakespeare has Richard III order his attendants to ‘Saddle white Surrey [Syrie] for the field tomorrow’. On this basis it is sometimes stated as fact that Richard rode a white horse at his final battle. But prior to Shakespeare, no one had recorded this, although an earlier 16th-century chronicler, Edward Hall, had said that Richard rode a white horse when he entered Leicester a couple of days earlier.

      There is no evidence to prove either point. Nor is there any proof that Richard owned a horse called ‘White Syrie’ or ‘White Surrey’. However, we do know that his stables contained grey horses (horses with a coat of white hair).


      Richard attended his last mass at Sutton Cheney Church

      It was claimed in the 1920s that early on the morning of 22 August 1485, Richard III made his way from his camp to Sutton Cheney Church in order to attend mass there. No earlier source exists for this unlikely tale, which appears to have been invented in order to provide an ecclesiastical focus for modern commemorations of Richard.

      A slightly different version of this story was recently circulated to justify the fact that, prior to reburial, the king’s remains will be taken to Sutton Cheney. It was said it is believed King Richard took his final mass at St James’ church on the eve of the battle.

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      For a priest to celebrate mass in the evening (at a time when he would have been required to fast from the previous midnight, before taking communion) would have been very unusual! Moreover, documentary evidence shows clearly that Richard’s army at Bosworth was accompanied by his own chaplains, who would normally have celebrated mass for the king in his tent.

      The late John Ashdown-Hill is the author of The Mythology of Richard III (Amberley Publishing, April 2015). To find out more, click here.

      This article was written by the late John Ashdown-Hill and was first published by History Extra in March 2015.

      end of this report [12]
    • He was the last king of the House of York < > and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty < >...

      end of comment [2]
    • Henry III, King of England, Fox in the Henhouse

      Posted on December 9, 2014

      I had been so looking forward to the results of the DNA processing of King Richard the III. Richard was killed in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 and was reportedly buried in the “choir of the church” at the Greyfriars friary in Leicester. The friary was dissolved in 1538, following the orders of King Henry VIII who ordered all monasteries destroyed. The building was later destroyed, and over the years, the exact location of the cemetery was lost. In 2012, the friary location was found again, quite by accident and remains believed to be King Richard III were discovered buried under the car park, or what is known as a parking lot in the US.

      Richard had a very distinctive trait – scoliosis to the point where his right shoulder was higher than his left. He was also described, at age 32, as a fine-boned hunchback with a withered arm and a limp. This, in addition to his slim build and his battle injuries led investigators to believe, and later confirm through mitochondrial DNA matching, that it was indeed Richard. At least they are 99% sure that it is Richard using archaeological, osteological and radiocarbon dating, in addition to DNA and good old genealogy.

      end of this report [13]

  • Sources 
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    2. [S51715]

    3. [S7086] "Joan Beaufort, Countess of Westmorland (c. 1379 - 1440)",.

    4. [S10124] "Richard III, King of England" biography,, updated July 13, 2014 by.

    5. [S51651]

    6. [S6258],_Duchess_of_York.

    7. [S7023] Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 40.

    8. [S7847] "Lady Anne Neville (11 June 1456 - 16 March 1485)" biography,

    9. [S5718]

    10. [S51717]

    11. [S51718]

    12. [S13223] "6 myths about Richard III",

    13. [S4113]