Name: Edward IV Plantagenet
Suffix: of England
Birth: 28 APR 1442 in Rouen, France
Death: 9 APR 1483 in Westminster, London
Burial: Windsor Castle, Berks
Occupation: King of England 1461-70 & 71-83 1
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Change Date: 1 MAR 2013
From ?Britain's Real Monarch? (Channel 4):
Edward came to the throne through the efforts of his father Richard, 3rd duke of York. As Henry VI became increasingly less effective, Richard pressed the claim of the York family to the monarchy, but was killed before he could ascend the throne. Edward deposed his cousin Henry after defeating the Lancastrians at Mortimer's Cross in 1461. Richard Neville 'the Kingmaker', Earl of Warwick ? who cast aspersions on Edward's paternity, but gave no proof for his accusations ? proclaimed Henry king once again in 1470, but less than a year later, Edward reclaimed the crown. Within a short time, Henry's death, supposedly from 'pure displeasure and melancholy', was announced ? he had actually been stabbed to death.
Edward had married Elizabeth Woodville in 1464, The widow of the Lancastrian Sir John Grey, she bore him 10 children. His marriage upset his councillors (and his mother Cecily), and in return for their support, he allowed many of the great nobles (such as his brother Richard) to build large power bases in the provinces.
After he came to the throne for the second time, the rest of his reign was fairly uneventful. He revived the English claim to the French throne and invaded a weakened France. In 1475, he extorted a non-aggression treaty from Louis XI, which amounted to a lump payment of 75,000 crowns and an annuity of 20,000. Three years later, he had his brother George, Duke of Clarence judicially murdered on a charge of treason.
Edward died suddenly in 1483, leaving behind two sons aged 12 and 9 ? the tragic Princes in the Tower ? and five daughters. From his many mistresses, he had at least one illegitimate son.
But should Edward have been king at all? He was born on 28 April 1442 at Rouen in Normandy, where his parents were based at the time. However, counting back 40 weeks to what would have been his conception brings us to the middle of what appears to be (from archbishopric records at Rouen) a five-week absence of Richard, duke of York.
So could Edward have been premature? At a time when infant mortality was very high, sick or premature babies with a claim to the throne were always recorded by the chroniclers. There is no mention of prematurity with reference to Edward's birth.
In addition, the Rouen Cathedral records tell us that Edward?s christening was a hushed-up affair in a side chapel. In contrast, when his younger brother Edmund (killed at the Battle of Wakefield in 1460) was christened, the whole of Rouen Cathedral was opened up in celebration.
Finally, Edward's mother herself declared him a bastard.
His own circle, once whispers of illegitimacy began to be heard, went to extremes to overcome them. To deflect attention away from Rouen, they named an alternative time and place for Edward's conception: the respectable family residence at Hatfield Chase in Yorkshire, before Cecily Neville had even left for France.
However, an examination of the itinerary of Cecily and Richard reveals that, by the beginning of June 1441, they had already travelled south, so the conception in Yorkshire would have had to have taken place in May 1441. Edward's birthday is 28 April 1442. So if the conception took place at the time and place that Edward's supporters claimed, his mother would have been pregnant for 11 months before his birth.
Father: Richard Plantagenet b: 21 SEP 1411 in Conisborough Castle, Yorkshire
Mother: Cecily Neville b: 31 MAY 1415 in Raby Castle, co Durham
Elizabeth Wydville b: 1437 in Grafton Regis, Northants
1 MAY 1464
in Grafton Regis, Northants 2
- Elizabeth Plantagenet b: 11 FEB 1466
- Edward V Plantagenet b: 4 NOV 1470 in Westminster
- Anne Plantagenet
- Arthur Plantagenet b: 1461
- Elizabeth Plantaganet b: BEF 1464
- Type: Web Site
- Text: English Genealogy by Sir Anthony Wagner published by Phillimore 1983