Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, KG, 1455-1483
Knights of the Middle Ages I 1146-1492
Upon the death of Edward IV in 1483, Buckingham became the great protagonist of the king’s younger brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Buckingham played a large part in the moves that preceded the proclamation of Richard as King. He helped Gloucester intercept Lord Rivers who had custody of the young King Edward V and his brother the Duke of York aged 12 and 9 respectively. He brought them to London, where they disappeared. It is not known to this day whether responsibility for their murder at the Tower of London (2 small coffins were found interred there in 1674 and reinterred at Westminster Abbey) lay with King Richard III or the Duke of Buckingham. Buckingham suggested (on dubious grounds) that Edward IV’s marriage to Elizabeth of Wydeville was null and their children (the Princes) therefore bastards. Parliament accepted the theory and offered Richard the Crown in 1472. In one of the great mysteries of English history, despite his high position and obvious trust and support from the King, Buckingham became disaffected with Richard. This was possibly thanks to Bishop Morton who, a virulent anti-Yorkist, was his prisoner at Brecknock Castle. Buckingham then joined with Henry Tudor and Tudor’s mother, Margaret Beaufort, leading an unsuccessful rebellion in his name. Buckingham was executed for treason by Richard in the courtyard by Salisbury market-place in 1483. 2 years later the King was killed at Bosworth Field – an event ending the Plantagenet dynasty and the mediaeval era. [King Richard’s body was found in a car park in 2012 and reinterred in Leicester Cathedral in 2015].
|Dimensions||37 × 54 cm|