1470 (2nd November)
King Edward V, was born to Edward IV
and Elizabeth Woodville
at Westminster Abbey. Edward’s father had taken the throne as Edward IV in 1461 after Henry VI
was deemed mentally unfit to rule. In 1470 Henry recovered his mental faculty and was restored to the throne. Edward IV fled to Burgundy while Elizabeth Woodville sought sanctuary in Westminster Abbey.
Edward’s father’s titles and lands were confiscated by Parliament.
1471 (14th March)
Edward’s father returned to England, landing at Ravenspur in Yorkshire at the head of a Burgundian Yorkist army. He was joined by his brother George Duke of Clarence
who had defected from the Earl of Warwick.
and the Earl of Northumberland.
1471 (14th April)
Battle of Barnet
The Lancastrians, led by Warwick, met Edward IV’s Yorkist force at Barnet. After a three hour fight in thick fog, two Lancastrian divisions mistakenly attacked each other and the army broke and fled. Warwick fled but was knocked off his horse and killed.
1471 (4th May)
Battle of Tewekesbury
Edward IV, supported by his brother, Richard of Gloucester
, attacked Margaret of Anjou’s
forces as they were leaving for Wales. The Lancastrians were defeated and Edward, Prince of Wales, was killed. Margaret of Anjou, Henry VI’s wife, was captured.
1471 (mid May)
King Edward IV returned triumphant to London. It is believed that Henry VI
was murdered in the Tower of London on the same day. Margaret of Anjou was placed under house arrest.
1471 (25th June)
Edward was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester.
Edward was sent to live at Ludlow Castle. This was usual practice for the heir to the throne.
1472 (10th April)
Edward’s sister, Margaret, was born to Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville at Windsor Castle.
1472 (12th July)
Edward’s uncle, Richard Duke of Gloucester, married Anne Neville
, daughter of the Earl of Warwick.
1472 (11th December)
Edward’s sister, Margaret, died.
1473 (17th August)
Edward’s brother, Richard
, was born to Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville at the Dominican Friary, Shrewsbury.
1474 (28th May)
Edward’s brother, Richard, was created Duke of York.
King Edward IV negotiated a peace with Scotland.
The king invaded France with a large army to support his Burgundian allies against France.
Treaty of Picquigny
Having received no help from Burgundy, King Edward decided to negotiate a peace with France. This was a seven year peace treaty between Louis XI and Edward IV that agreed that Louis would pay a yearly sum of money to keep the English away from France. Louis also agreed to pay a ransom to free Margaret of Anjou.
1475 (2nd November)
Edward’s sister, Anne, was born to Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville at the Palace of Westminster.
Edward’s brother, George, was born to Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville at the Palace of Westminster.
1478 (18th February)
Edward’s uncle, George Duke of Clarence, was tried for treason and executed.
Edward’s brother, George, died at Windsor Castle.
1479 (8th July)
Edward was created Earl of March.
1479 (14th August)
Edward’s sister, Katherine, was born to Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville at Eltham Palace, Kent.
Edward’s father made an alliance with Francis II Duke of Brittany that was to be sealed with the marriage of Edward to the Duke’s daughter, Anne.
1480 (20th November)
Edward’s sister, Bridget, was born to Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville at Eltham Palace, Kent.
1482 (23rd May)
Edward’s sister, Mary, died at Greenwich Palace, Westminster.
King Edward IV became ill. He nominated his brother, Richard Duke of Gloucester to be regent, and protect his sons in the event of his death.
1483 (9th April)
Edward IV died at the Palace of Westminster. Prince Edward succeeded as King Edward V.
1483 (14th April)
Edward V was given the news that his father had died at Ludlow Castle where he was staying with his Woodville relatives.
1483 (21st April)
Richard of Gloucester held a funeral ceremony for his brother. He also made the nobility swear an oath of fealty to the young King Edward V.
1483 (24th April)
Edward V began the journey south to London escorted by his Woodville relatives. The Woodvilles were keen to get Edward to London and have him crowned quickly so as not to lose power.
1483 (30th April)
Richard Duke of Gloucester met Edward V and his party as they were travelling south. He arrested Edward’s relatives – Earl Rivers, Richard Grey and Thomas Vaughan and sent them north where they were placed in captivity. He then captured Edward and continued on to the Tower of London.
1483 (1st May)
Edward’s mother, Elizabeth Woodville, her son Richard, her five daughters and her brother Lionel sought sanctuary at Westminster Abbey.
1483 (4th May)
Richard of Gloucester, with Edward V, reached London. This day had originally been intended for the young king’s coronation ceremony.
1483 (8th May)
Richard of Gloucester was officially appointed Lord Protector.
1483 (10th May)
Richard announced that the King’s coronation wold take place on 22nd June.
1483 (19th May)
Edward was placed in the Tower of London to await his coronation.
1483 (early June)
The Duke of Buckingham told Richard of Gloucester that he suspected William Hastings of being disloyal and plotting with the Woodville family.
1483 (13th June)
William Hastings was summoned to a Council meeting in the Tower of London. He was charged with treason and executed without trial on the same day.
1483 (16th June)
Edward V’s brother, Richard Duke of York, joined him in the Tower of London. One theory is that Elizabeth Woodville had been persuaded to give him up in the hopes of maintaining the safety of her other children. Other theories suggest that an imposter was sent in place of Richard or that Richard of Gloucester guaranteed the safety of the young princes.
1483 (17th June)
Richard of Gloucester announced that the King’s coronation would now take place in October.
1483 (22nd June)
Ralph Shaw preached a sermon stating that Edward IV had been contracted to marry Eleanor Butler at the time he married Elizabeth Woodville and that their marriage was therefore invalid and his children all illegitimate.
1483 (25th June)
Parliament declared that as Edward IV’s marriage to Elizabeth Woodville was invalid, and the children of Richard of Gloucester’s older brother, George Duke of Clarence had been denied succession rights, then Richard was the rightful King.
1483 (25th June)
Anthony Woodville, Earl Rivers, was found guilty of treason and executed the same day.
1483 (26th June)
Edward V and his brother Richard Duke of York, were last seen playing in the gardens of the Tower.
1483 (6th July)
Richard was crowned King Richard III. The princes Edward and Richard did not attend the coronation.
1483 (9th July)
The princes’ servants were dismissed.
1483 (mid July)
King Richard III left London to make a progress of the country.
The princes, Edward and Richard were last seen at the windows of the Tower.
The bones of two children were found buried beneath a stairway in the Tower. At the time it was believed that these were the bones of the two Princes in the Tower and Charles II ordered them to be re-interred in Westminster Abbey. More recent examination of the bones has failed to determine that the bones belonged to the two princes.
First published 2017; updated and republished Oct 26 2021 @ 9:57 am – Updated – [last-modified]
Harvard Reference for this page:
Heather Y Wheeler. (2017 – 2021). King Edward V (1470-1483) Timeline.