King Richard III Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1452 – 1485 *** Full Name: King Richard III was also known as Richard Plantagenet *** Date of Birth (Birthday): He was born on October 2, 1452 *** Place of Birth: King Richard III was born in Northamptonshire, England. *** Family background: His father was Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York *** Early life and childhood: King Richard III grew up and spent the majority of his life in England *** King Richard III died on August 22, 1485 ***
King Richard III Fact 1: King Richard III was born October 2, 1452 at Fotheringhay Castle, Oundle, Northamptonshire, England.
King Richard III Fact 2: He was King of England for only two years until his death during the Battle of Bosworth Field during the War of the Roses in 1485.
King Richard III Fact 3: His father was Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, and his mother was Cecily Neville, the Duchess of York. He had twelve brothers and sisters of which he was the second youngest.
King Richard III Fact 4: Following the death of his father during the Battle of Wakefield in 1460, he was sent with his brother George to live in the Low Countries. The Low Countries can be described as low-lying countries of Europe, particularly the Netherlands and Belgium which have land below sea level. The brothers returned to their homeland the following year when their elder sibling was crowned King Edward IV of England.
King Richard III Fact 5: In 1461, he was given the title of the Duke of Gloucester and he was made a Knight of the Garter (the most noble Order of the Garter) and Knight of the Bath (the most honourable Order of the Bath).
King Richard III Fact 6: The War of the Roses were fought on and off from 1455 and 1487. The purpose of the dynastic wars was to gain power of the throne of England. King Richard III became involved in the War of the Roses from a young age, he had an independent command by the time he reached 17 years of age.
King Richard III Fact 7: During his childhood and early teenage years, he spent a great deal of time with his cousin, Richard Neville, at Middleham Castle in Wensleydale, Yorkshire, England. After King Edward IV granted Richard Neville £1000 for the guardianship and tuition of his younger brother, he stayed at the castle permanently until he reached 16 years of age.
King Richard III Fact 8: He likely met his future wife, Anne Neville, during his stay at Middleham Castle in Wensleydale. She was the daughter of Richard Neville. Despite King Edward IV's objection to the relationship caused by his own relationship with Richard Neville, Richard III married Anne Neville on July 12, 1472.
King Richard III Fact 9: He had one son with his wife Anne Neville, he was named Edward of Middleham. Sadly, he died young, at the age of ten. Edward was King Richard III's only legitimate child, the king had two illegitimate children whose mother's name is not recorded. The two children were called John of Gloucester and Katherine Plantagenet.
King Richard III Fact 10: During the early 1480s, he helped his older brother, King Edward IV, to gain power and recognition when he disguised himself in battle and carried out an invasion of Scotland. As a reward for his actions, he was given an area of Cumberland, England plus the rights to the areas of lands.
King Richard III Fact 11: He became the guardian of his nephews, Edward and Richard, upon the death of their father and Richard III's older brother, the King of England, Edward IV. Richard III had one thing in mind, and that to fulfil his ambition of becoming the King of England! The elder of his two nephews, twelve year old Edward V, inherited the throne following the death of his father.
King Richard III Fact 12: He wanted to become King of England and nobody was going to stop him, especially his twelve year old nephew Edward V and his younger brother Richard. He imprisoned both children in the Tower of London until their death. The story of the two young princes is famously known as the Princes in the Tower.
King Richard III Fact 13: King Edward IV's trusted advisor, Lord Hastings, was put to his death on charges of treason. Richard III became the King on England and was crowned at Westminster Abbey on July 6, 1483. The two princes disappeared, never to be seen again.
King Richard III Fact 14: During his short reign over England, he agreed a ceasefire with Scotland in order to repair relationships between England and Scotland following damage caused during previous battles.
King Richard III Fact 15: He tried to repair other relationships too, he gave permission to the Lancastrians to move the remains of Henry VI to the Chapel of St. George, England.
King Richard III Fact 16: He had idiopathic scoliosis which he developed during adolescence. His spinal abnormalities may gone unnoticed, and could likely be disguised by clothing.
King Richard III Fact 17: William Shakespeare wrote an historical play called Richard III which portrays his cunning rise to power and his short two year reign over England. Despite immense effort to become the King of England, he only managed to hold onto the crown for two years!.
King Richard III Fact 18: He died at the age of 32 on August 22, 1485, during the Battle of Bosworth Field, during the War of the Roses, after being defeated by Henry Tudor, the future King of England.
King Richard III Fact 19: A team of archaeologists from Leicester University uncovered a body in September 2012. The body was found underneath a car park, the former site of the Grey Friars Church which was destroyed during the 1530s where King Richard III was believed to have been buried.
King Richard III Fact 20: The uncovered remains, found by archaeologists, are those of King Richard III's as confirmed by DNA samples compared to descendants of Richard III's sister. The remains also proved that the body had spinal abnormalities which Richard III reportedly had.
Influence & Legacy: Although King Richard III only reigned over England for 2 years, he made a dramatic impact and thus became very famous for his terrible reputation as a scheming man who would go to unimaginable lengths to gain power of the throne.