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Edward IV of England

Edward IV was the King of England from 1471 to 1483 and the first person from the York family to hold the title.

Biography[]

He was one of the sons of Richard of York, along with George, Duke of Clarence and the future King Richard III. Edward was central to the Wars of the Roses, succeeding Henry VI after defeating his Lancastrian forces in battle.

Edward knew it was important to keep his line going for the stability of crown and country. When his first-born with his consort Elizabeth Woodville was a daughter, also named Elizabeth, he did not worry too much. However, according to one account, his second child was also a girl, causing him to panic. As put by his brother Richard, the ascenion of a queen to the throne was not feasible as England was a "country stuffed with power-hungry knobs with their own private armies just waiting for their chance to make it their own do-it-yourself monarchy". Not wanting a repeat of the decades of fighting that made up the Wars of the Roses, Edward lied and announced to the world that his second-born daughter was a son in order to "stop the jitters going through the kingdom". When his third-born was another girl, Edward carried on the pretense to have two, "one for the succession and one for a spare". He also had birth certificates for his two "sons" forged. (AUDIO: The Kingmaker) According to another account, there had been no such deception; Edward's final two children were not daughters named Susan and Judith but really were sons called Edward and Richard, (PROSE: Sometime Never...) as history recorded. (PROSE: Sometime Never..., AUDIO: The Kingmaker, The Battle of the Tower)

During Edward's reign, his brother George led an uprising against him, eventually being caught and sentenced to death. Their brother Richard later claimed George had not been malicious in his actions, simply an idiot, with it being the family of his wife who had forced Edward into delivering the sentence. Richard helped George escape and allowed him to live out his days in relative anonymity as the landlord of the Kingmaker tavern.

Edward died suddenly on 9 April 1483 after catching a chill, paving the way for his second-born child to succeed him as Edward V and, later, his brother Richard as Richard III. (AUDIO: The Kingmaker)

Behind the scenes[]

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