2 October 1452 – Birth of Richard III

Posted By on October 2, 2014

Richard IIIOn 2 October 1452, Richard III, the last Plantagenet king, was born at Fotheringhay Castle, Northamptonshire.
Richard was the youngest surviving child of Richard, 3rd Duke of York, and Cecily Neville.

Richard claimed the English throne in June 1483, claiming that his brother Edward IV’s sons were illegitimate because Edward had been pre-contracted to another woman when he married Elizabeth Woodville. Richard III was killed at the Battle of Bosworth on 22nd August 1485, and Henry Tudor claimed the throne as Henry VII.

Richard III’s remains were found in an archaeological dig in 2012. He had been buried in the church of the Priory of the Greyfriars in Leicester and the dig in a car park in Leicester found his remains in what had been the choir of the church. His remains will be laid to rest on 26th March 2015 in Leicester Cathedral.

You can read more about Richard III in the following articles:

Also on this day in history…

  • 1501 – Catherine of Aragon arrived in England, landing at Plymouth in Devon. She had come to England to marry Prince Arthur, the heir to the throne of England.
  • 1514 – Mary Tudor, sister of Henry VIII, set off from Dover to sail to France to marry King Louis XII. She was eighteen and he was fifty-two, and not in the best of health. They married on 9th October 1514, but the marriage was short-lived as Louis died in January 1515. Mary went on to marry Charles Brandon, the Duke of Suffolk, on the 3rd March 1515.
  • 1521 – Pope Leo X was given Henry VIII’s Assertio septem sacramentorum or “Defence of the Seven Sacraments” in Rome. This work led to Henry VIII being proclaimed Fidei Defensor or “Defender of the Faith”.
  • 1528 – Publication of William Tyndale’s “The Obedience of the Christian Man and How Christian Rulers Ought to Govern”. This book said that rulers were accountable to God, not the Pope. Anne Boleyn owned a copy of this book, as well as Tyndale’s “New Testament”, and it is this book which she intended to show Henry VIII, marking key passages for his attention. The book got into his hands when it was confiscated from George Zouche, suitor of Anne Gainsford who had borrowed it from her mistress, Anne Boleyn. Henry VIII read it and declared “This book is for me and all kings to read.” See Anne Boleyn, William Tyndale and Henry VIII.
  • 1536 – Start of the Lincolnshire Rising, the beginning of the Pilgrimage of Grace. It was sparked off by a sermon at evensong on the 1st October at St James’s Church, Louth, and by a visitation from a registrar on 2nd October.

7 thoughts on “2 October 1452 – Birth of Richard III”

  1. BanditQueen says:

    And so two worlds began to collide. Born is the man who would seize the throne entrusted to him to guard on behalf of his brothers eldest son; Edward V, and within five years his rival and destined enemy would be born. The heir that should have prevented both of them from taking the throne was born just one year later; Edward of Lancaster; destined to be killed by Richard or on his orders at Tewksbury, Worlds clashed on the battlefield and lives collided on the political map of England. And what of Richard’s claim to the throne? As the youngest son of Richard Duke of York of course he had a strong claim, ironically stronger than that of Henry Tudor. But as the brother of the late King Edward IV, York’s eldest surviving son; who died prematurely; aged 40 in April 1483, Richard was not the next in line. His brother’s two living sons were: Edward aged 12, and 9 year old Richard. But as the post says, Edward was a womanizer and had many mistresses and possibly even a number of illegitimate children; although we do not know this for certain. One thing we do know is that Elizabeth Woodville was not the first woman that he tried to bed and then wed; nor was she the first or only one he made bland promises to.

    The most famous lady in Edward’s life before he married Elizabeth was the daughter of the Earl of Shrewsbuy; Eleanor Talbot Butler, a widow when she met and fell in love with the new King. It is contended by Dr John Ashdown Hill and other leading Ricardians that Richard had every right to claim the throne as by canon law; Edward was married to Eleanor and so he could not legally be married to Elizabeth. There is some speculation as to when Edward had sexual relations with Eleanor and about the length, date and exact nature of their relationship. All that is known for certain is that Edward had a short relationship with Eleanor; may-be even only one or two nights, merely long enough to consumate it and the question of promises has been challenged. Did Eleanor and Edward make each other the promise to live as husband and wife; did Edward make her a promise in order to bed her and did they make any sort of commitment? If they did then according to canon law, they were entitled to be seen as married and any children from the relationship as lawful. But it is hard to prove if Eleanor had a child and she did not pursue the matter afterwards. Whether or not they had relations; some people believe that they did not make any commitment and so the King was not bound by his promise to marry her; but Richard was presented with evidence that contradicted this view and convinced to have his nephews declared bastards.

    According to the act of Parliament that followed in 1484 and Richards declaration himself to have himself verified as King; there was a witness to this marriage, Bishop Shillington as he was at the time of the usurpian and this was confirmed by a Dr Shea to whom the profession was made. The Protector as he was at the time had the case investigated as he was given the information from William Catesby with Shillington confirming it as true. Catesby also seems to have indicated that the truth was also well known by his ex patron William Lord Hastings, and as Hastings had concealled evidence that had kept Richard from the crown; this was seen as treason. It has been speculated by his biograher that this is behind Richard having Hastings summarily executed without trial on 13th June 1483. Richard was certainly convinced enough that the relationship with Eleanor and Edward to have been real and that this meant his marriage to Elizabeth Woodville was not lawful. This would also mean his children by her were not legitimate and could not inherit the throne. But the fact that Eleanor died before the birth of both of his sons could also mean that a church court would have decalred them legitimate had the King and Queen gone to them with their case. Whatever the truth, Richard used the case to take the crown, and put aside his nephews. He may even have used it as an excuse to murder them; but that is another piece of detective work that goes unproven. By setting them aside; he put himself on a collison course with Henry Tudor and set himself up for a fall; a tarnished reputation and the heroic loss of his life; again due to treason; on the battlefield of Redemore; near Sutten Cheney and Stoke Goulding; four miles from Market Bosworth on 22nd August 1485.

  2. MrsFiennes says:

    I’m just wondering why his burial is taking so long?Is it because the are still examining his remains or is it more about having a proper ceremonial burial for him?

    1. BanditQueen says:

      Hello, the reburial of King Richard has been held up by a number of factors, one being that the Cathedral and the Richard III Society are both sponsoring and planning a proper ceremonial burial and a beautiful tomb for him. In addition to this, yes over the last twelve months more tests and DNA profiling have gone on, much can be gained to tell us about his diet and health for example; did you see the latest programme on the results on Channel 4 where they had a young man about the same age and build with the same S shaped back deformity show how Richard could ride a horse in full armour and last in battle?

      The burial I believe was originally meant to be in May this year, but this was delayed due to legal challenges from a group called the Plantagenet Alliance, 14 people claiming to be his relatives; a claim never proved of course as none of them had to provide DNA. They could merely be collateral relatives as Richard left no living children, and his two known illegitimate children did not have any children either, but they wanted to challenge the legality of the license to exhume his remains in the first place and if more consultation could have taken place. Richard was found during a regular archeological dig and the license confirmed that if Richard was found that his burial would be in Leicester. In all such cases the bones are replaced in the nearest consecrated ground; this being Saint Martins Cathedral. This group wanted two things: consultation and a say on his remains. The case was called and delayed twice; taking several months to resolve, only being resolved in favour of the custodians Leicester University in March this year. That does not give the Cathedral time to arrange the funeral by May.

      In addition to the above the work itself has been delayed as the cost of the tomb caused problems, the design of the tomb also caused dispute, while the trial was going on the work needed to be put on hold and in September last year the Church of England’s fabric committee asked to approve the plans; as they were concerned that the work did not alter the Cathedral structure too much and was good value; that the materials were environmental friendly and so on; this of course went onwhile the hearing did, but caused more delays. In addition, concerns over the handling of the bones have been raised, but now have been settled and the tomb design has changed. Since March of course; the work has begun again and the alternations being made to move the alter in order to place the tomb in a central place. The designs are now approved and the arrangements for the reburial service have begun.

      Some research has also gone into what sort of service Rchard would be familair with; the Sarem rite being the most likely service used. But for the burial of Kings obviously many ceremonies took place and research has gone into what can be done to make it more authentic. For example Richard as Duke of Gloucester received the bodies of his father and brother Edmund when they were reburied in 1471 in their home chapel at Fotheringhay the reburial service was preserved and this is in the library in Oxford, so scholars have been studying this for clues on the service to be used at Richard’s burial. Another thing being done is the making of a special crown that will be placed on top of his coffin, a ceremonial crown, similar in shape to that of his sister Margaret of York. The finishing touches to the new tomb have to be made of course and its design has needed approval. But that too is all in order. The date has now been set for 23rd March 2015 with the body of Richard being received into the Cathedral and lying in state for three days in repose. A service will take place on 25th March and a burial service will take place on 26th and final internment on 27th March 2015.

      Yes, there have been more tests on the body, probably due to the other delays, this is fortunate for the work of the University, but delays have not been good for the Cathedral who have had delays in the work of course. But now that all the legal and other delays have been overcome, at last the final services can be worked out and planned and those who are to take part will be invited. I believe that the services will have some eccumenical elements to them, but will mostly be as familiar to the 15th century Catholic Richard as is possible. Many delays, for many reasons, but let us hope that Richard will finally rest in peace.


    I have been a Ricardian since 1975 and I love Richard III.

  4. sherry west says:

    I think they should do DNA on Richard Wii’s bones to see if he has mitochondrial DNA

  5. Banditqueen says:

    Happy 564th Birthday King Richard lll. Loyalty Binds Me. YNWA. In honour and dignity we finally buried you, in fondest love we remember you this celebration of your birth. Amen

  6. Banditqueen says:

    Happy 565th Birthday to King Richard iii. Loyaltie Me Lie

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