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British Monarchs: Edward IV (House of York) 1461-1483


Edward IV


House: House of York
Reign: 1461-1483

Edward of York was born on April 28, 1442, at Rouen in France, the second son of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York (a leading claimant to the throne of England) and Cecily Neville. He was the eldest of the four sons who survived to adulthood. York's challenge to the ruling family marked the beginning of the conflict known as the Wars of the Roses. When his father was killed in 1460, at the Battle of Wakefield, pressing his claim against the Lancastrian king, Henry VI of England, Edward inherited his claim.
With the support of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick ("The Kingmaker"), Edward, already showing great promise as a leader of men, defeated the Lancastrians in a succession of battles. While Henry and his militant queen, Margaret of Anjou, were campaigning in the north, Warwick gained control of the capital and had Edward declared king in London in 1461. Edward strengthened his claim with a decisive victory at the Battle of Towton in the same year, in the course of which the Lancastrian army was virtually wiped out.


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