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Explain why Richard III was able to usurp the throne of England in June 1483

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Introduction

Explain why Richard III was able to usurp the throne of England in June 1483? Richard III grew up in the background of the war of the roses this was a turbulent time in which many members of the monarchy had been usurped and for whoever had the crown there was always the threat of usurpation. Monarchy at this time also caused p0roblems when they died and left young heirs of who could not rule so they had to have a regent which proves to be a problem. The attitude of people and especially the monarchy was to trust no one as anyone would try and usurp you for their shot at power, Even the great King Edward IV killed his own brother George Duke of Clarence because he threatened his sons claim to the throne by saying that they were illegitimate. When Edward died he left a young heir and with the history of the wars of the roses Edward V was not guaranteed a place on the throne. Richard III was a loyal brother to Edward IV he fought and won battles for him and in doing so he managed to achieve or be rewarded with a huge power base in the north and was trusted to rule over the north of the country and also to keep the Scottish under control. ...read more.

Middle

Rivers left after the meal and went back to the prince and it is said that at this point this is when Richard and Buckingham made their plans to arrest Earl Rivers and to hole him in Pontefract Castle which was up in the north in Richards's strong hold. The next day in the early hours Richard started the events in which he and Buckingham had planned that night. They arrested Earl Rivers and three of his closet men Sir Richard Hawte, Sir Thomas Vaugn and Sir Richard Grey all of the men were taken up to Richards strong hold in the north and set to be executed on 25th July. From this point Richard was unable to go back on what he had started and had no other option but to usurp the throne because if he allowed Edward V to become king he would take revenge on him for killing his uncle who he had lived with for a long time and as the job of protector only lasted a few years Richard would loose all his power when Edward V finally ruled on his throne. To keep his power base Richard would have to usurp the throne. However, for now it appeared that Richard was just going to be announced as protector as he entered the city of London on 4th May with Buckingham and the young king and he was announced protector of Edward V. ...read more.

Conclusion

He found a priest who declared the boys illegitimate because Edward IV was already under contract to another woman when he married Elizabeth Woodville secretly however this was not an official declaration of the boys supposed illegitimacy. On the 22nd June Friar Ralph Shaw praised Richard in London and told of a pre-contract which stated that Richard had the right to rule however this did not legitimise his right to rule. A few days later there was an assembly of lords and most of commons at west minister abbey where Buckingham presents a parchment declaring the evils of the Woodville's and how Edward was snared by their sorcery; Richard was begged to take the crown. Richard was announced king on the 26th June 1483 he said that this is the date in which his accession to the throne should be dated. Richard made a peaceful usurpation of the throne of England and there was very little rebellion against him at first apart from a few small fires set in London from those loyal to the princes and Edward IV. After the princes were announced as illegitimate they were seen less and less until they disappeared which meant he had no threat against his throne from rightful heirs. With the backing form the public and those in the houses of Lords and commons it appeared that Richard would be a successful king. ?? ?? ?? ?? History Essay India Scully ...read more.

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4 star(s)

HINTS:
- There was uncertainty about the succession following the death of Edward IV and Richard was able to exploit this in order to secure the throne.
- There was concern about a minority government with Edward V and the Duke of York very young.
- There was concern about a weak monarchy at a time of powerful nobles and many were willing to give their support to Richard. It might be noted that Richard had been loyal to Edward and been very successful and this may have convinced many that he would be a better solution.
- Richard was able to raise doubts about the legitimacy of the royal children.
There was also concern about the influence of the Woodville family and Elizabeth herself was unpopular and there may have been a desire to remove them.
- There might also be some discussion of the events and how Richard was able to secure possession of the royal children.

Marked by teacher Natalie Stanley 01/12/2012

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