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King Edward IV

Middle Ages - Lords and Ladies

Short Biography profile and facts about the life of King Edward IV of England
The following biography information provides basic facts and information about the life of King Edward IV King of England:

  • Nationality: English
  • Lifespan: 1442 1483

  • Reigned as King of England: March 4, 1461 - Oct 31,1470 and April 11, 1471 - April 9, 1483
  • Date of Birth: King Edward IV was born on April 28, 1442 at Rouen
  • Family connections / Genealogy: He was the son of Richard, Duke of York (1411-1460) and Cecily Neville (1415-1495)
  • Married: Elizabeth Woodville (c. 1437-1492)
  • Children: Elizabeth of York (1466-1503) and the two little princes - Edward V (1470- c. 1483) and Richard, 1st Duke of York (1473 - c. 1483)  
  • Date when King Edward IV died: April 9, 1483 at Westminster. He was buried at Windsor Castle
  • Cause of the Death of King Edward IV: Actual cause is unknown but Edward fell ill during Easter 1483. He named his brother Gloucester as Protector after his death and entrusted his young sons to his care
  • Character of King Edward IV: Edward was merry, good-natured when not angered, intelligent, lazy, selfish, self-indulgent and full of vices.
  • Accomplishments or why King Edward IV was famous: The Wars of the Roses (1455 - 1485). King Edward IV was a notorious womaniser, his most famous mistress was the beautiful Jane Shore. He was the father of the tragic 'Princes in the Tower'.

King Edward IV
The story and biography of King Edward IV which contains interesting information, facts & the history about the life of King Edward IV

Timeline of King Edward IV

The story of King Edward IV
King Edward IV reigned as King of England during the following periods: March 4, 1461 - Oct 31,1470 and April 11, 1471 - April 9, 1483. King Edward IV had been proclaimed King of England, usurping the throne of the mad King Henry VI. The mentally unstable and pious Lancastrian King Henry VI and his headstrong and ambitious wife Margaret of Anjou were imprisoned in the Tower of London from 1465 until 1470. Henry was briefly restored to power in 1470. King Henry VI was again imprisoned in the Tower of London where he died. The cause of his death is unknown. His son, Edward,  was taken prisoner by Richard, Duke of Gloucester and brought before King Edward IV. When the young Edward insulted the Yorkist king, Edward IV ordered his immediate murder.

Edward IV had been secretly married to the beautiful Elizabeth Woodville, Lady Grey. Her first husband had been killed fighting for Henry, and she had stood under an oak tree, when King Edward was passing, to entreat that his lands might not be taken from her little boys. The king fell in love with her and married her, but for a long time he was reluctant to tell the powerful Earl of Warwick. When he did, Warwick was greatly offended, and all the more because Elizabeth's relations were proud and ambitious, and tried to set themselves above all the old nobles. King Edward IV was a notorious womaniser who took many mistresses including Jane Shore. After his death the children of his marriage to Elizabeth Woodville were declared illegitimate on the grounds that Edward had been pre-contracted to marry another woman, Lady Eleanor Talbot,  prior to his marriage to Elizabeth Woodville.

Edward's two younger brothers, George, Duke of Clarence, and Richard, Duke of Gloucester (later King Richard III of England) were married to Isabella Neville and Anne Neville, who were both daughters of the Earl of Warwick.The Earl of Warwick was given the name 'Warwick the Kingmaker'. There were constant arguments between Edward and his ambitious and disloyal brother the Duke of Clarence. The king ordered the Duke of Clarence to be imprisoned in the Tower; and there, before long, he was killed. The saying was that he was drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine. Edward defeated the Lancastrian army at the Battle of Barnet on April 14, 1471. Warwick the Kingmaker was killed. King Edward IV declared war on France in 1475 and set out to conquer France. He then allowed the King of France to pay him off, and went home again, a laughing-stock.

Changes during the Reign of King Edward IV
Great changes were made during the reign of King Edward IV. King Edward's sister, the Duchess of Burgundy, encouraged a printer named Caxton, whose books she sent her brother, and other presses were set up in London. Another great change had come in. In the time of Henry III., Roger Bacon had made gunpowder; but nobody used it much until, in the reign of Edward III., it was found out how cannon might be fired with it; and some say it was first used in the battle of Crecy. But it was not till the reign of Edward IV. that smaller guns, such as each soldier could carry one of for himself, were invented called  harquebuses, and after this the whole way of fighting was gradually altered.

Printing and gunpowder both made great changes in everything, though not all at once. King Edward did not live to see the changes. He had hurt his health with his revelling and amusements, and died in middle age, in the year 1483. He left two young sons - Edward and Richard. Edward V was the eldest son of King Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville. He was born in 1470 and ascended the throne when his father died in 9th April 1483. Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of York was the second son of King Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville. They were fated to become known as the tragic 'Princes in the Tower'.

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