Richard III The Last Plantagenet King

King Richard III was crowned, together with his wife Anne, on 6 July at Westminster Abbey. Shortly afterwards the couple began a progress around the country which ended in York with the investiture of their son Edward as prince of Wales. In the autumn of 1483, however, King Richard suffered a serious set-back. His former supporter, the duke of Buckingham, became involved in a rebellion, based primarily in the west country and Kent. Although swiftly repressed, the effects were far-reaching and King Richard now began to rely more on his northern supporters, placing them in the offices left vacant by the rebels.

Meanwhile he called his first, and only, parliament in January 1484. The legislation covered three main areas, the ratification of Richard as king, the passing of acts of attainder against the October rebels and the passing of a number of acts designed to reform part of the legal system.

King Richard’s reign was overshadowed by the threat of Tudor’s invasion and by personal loss. Near the anniversary of the death of his brother, King Edward, Richard’s son died and the king and queen shut themselves in their apartments at Nottingham Castle to mourn their loss. Richard’s queen died less than a year later on 16 March 1485.

The long-awaited invasion came on 7 August 1485 when Tudor landed at Milford Haven in Wales. King Richard mobilised his forces and on 22 August king and invader joined battle at Bosworth Field in Leicestershire. Despite Richard’s superior army, the battle was lost when the king was slain after Sir William Stanley turned traitor in favour of his step-nephew, Henry Tudor, and led his forces into the battle on Tudor’s side. Richard Plantagenet was the last king of England to die on the battlefield.

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