Richard Plantagenet was born 2 October 1452 at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire, to parents Richard, 3rd Duke of York and Cecily Neville, at a time of political instability in England, during the Wars of the Roses.
He had an unsettled childhood, and following the deaths of his elder brother Edmund and his father, when he was only eight years old, and the subsequent crowning of his brother Edward as King Edward IV of England, Richard was sent to live with his cousin Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick at Middleham Castle in Wensleydale, Yorkshire. It was here he met his future wife, Anne Neville.
Richard was exiled along with his brother, the king in 1470 when Henry VI was briefly restored to the throne, however they returned from exile and following victories at the Battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury, Edward IV was returned to the throne.
Edward IV died in April 1483, and his young son Edward became heir to the throne. Richard became Lord Protector of twelve-year old Edward, and his half-brother Richard, Duke of York.
Instead of protecting the rights of his brother’s young son, Richard took the throne for himself and sent the two boys to the Tower of London. They later disappeared, believed murdered.
Richard was crowned King Richard III of England on 16 July 1483 at Westminster Abbey, but his reign was only to last for two years.
Reign 1483 – 1485
Although popular in parts of the North, Richard still had many enemies to rebel against him. The 1st rebellion in 1483 failed, but a 2nd one in 1485 by the Lancastrian Henry Tudor led to the Battle of Bosworth Field, and the death of Richard III.
Richard was the last king of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet Dynasty.
He was buried in Greyfriars Church in Leicester.
His remains were discovered in 2012. Following debate as to what should be his final resting place, his remains were carried in procession to Leicester Cathedral on 22 March 2015 and reburied on 26 March 2015.