-The Fifteenth Century


The earls of Huntingdon, Kent, Rutland and Salisbury plot to return Richard II to the throne and are executed. Richard II dies at Pontefract Castle.


An act of Parliament entails the kingdom like any other personal possession. If a monarch has only one child – that child, irrelevant of its gender, will inherit everything in preference to a monarch’s grown-up brothers.  Henry IV is attempting to control the number of descendants of Edward III who can make a claim on the crown.


13 March: King Henry IV dies after fainting in Westminster Abbey.  His health had deteriorated steadily  since 1411.  Henry V ascends the throne – uncontested.


25 October: Battle of Agincourt – Henry V’s major victory over the French. Between 1417 and 1420 Henry V conquers Normandy.


Owen Tudor joins Sir Walter Hungerford’s retinue.

22 May: Treaty of Troyes between England and France.  Henry V becomes the heir of Charles VI of France. Henry V marries Charles’ daughter.

02 June: Henry V marries Katherine of Valois.



henry vi birth6 December: Prince Henry, son of Henry V and Katherine of Valos, is born at Windsor.



June: When Prince Henry is six months old Katherine of Valois leaves her son with his nurse and returns to France to re-join Henry V.

 26 August:  King Henry V makes his will. He names Duke Humphrey of Gloucester as his son’s protector and gives him responsibility for England. Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester is named executor – his influence will ensure that England is ruled by a council rather than by Humphrey. John, Duke of Bedford is named as being responsible for ruling France on Henry V’s deathbed. This is attested by the people who were there at the time.


31 August: Henry V dies of dysentery at Bois de Vincennes. The infant son of Henry V is acclaimed King Henry VI and ascends the throne without contest.  He is the third of the Lancastrian kings.


21 October: Charles VI of France dies. King Henry VI of England  is proclaimed king of France. In areas outside English control Charles VI’s son becomes Charles VII.

November Katherine of Valois arrives back in England with the body of Henry V.



November 13 King Henry VI leaves Windsor with his mother to sit on the throne for the opening of parliament.

November 18 Henry VI comes to Parliament to hear the Speaker’s loyal address.



26 February: Sir John Mortimer hanged, drawn and quartered for treason having attempted to escape the Tower whilst under suspicion of treason. Parliament passed a law in 1423 making escape whilst under suspicion of treason an admission of guilt.

23 April: Lady Alice Butler is appointed Henry VI’s governess. She is given £40 pa to teach him courtesy and discipline.



The heirs of the Crown’s tenants-in-chief (barons and above) who are in royal wardship during the minority are required to come to court for their education. One master per child is to be paid for out of royal expenses.



The seventeen-year-old Duke of York is required to attend court rather than live wiRichard-Beauchamp-Holds-Smath his aunt. This is the year that Henry VI turns seven. He is removed from his mother’s care.


08 May: Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick is recorded as the king’s ‘master’.

28 November: Richard Neville, son of the earl of Salisbury is born.  He will be known in history as The Kingmaker.


08 May: The siege of Orleans is abandoned by the English.

17 July: Charles VII is crowned king of France in Rheims. 

06 November: Henry VI crowned king of England. He is eight-years-old.

henry vi crowned


23 May: Joan of Arc is captured.


30 May: Joan of Arc burned at stake in Rouen for heresy.

16 December: Henry  VI is crowned king of France in Paris by Cardinal Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester and Henry’s great-uncle.


December- Easter 1434 Henry and his court are located at St Edmundsbury Abbey.



14 September: John, Duke of Bedford dies.

21 September: Burgundy abandons its alliance with the English and signs a treaty with the French.



17 April: Paris falls to the french.

01 May: Richard, Duke of York is appointed Lieutenant-General in France to popular acclaim.



James I of Scotland is assassinated and succeeded by his son James II.

03 January: Katherine of Valois dies. It emerges that Katherine has remarried to Owen Tudor and had several children. Edmund, Jasper and Owen as well as a daughter who died young.

27 July: Edmund and Jasper Tudor are placed in the care of the Abbess of Barking.  Her name is Catherine de la Pole.  She is the sister of the Earl of Suffolk.

12 November: Henry VI attains his majority. He is 16.


02 July: Richard of York is appointed lord lieutenant of France for the second time.

12 September: Eton College founded by Henry VI


12 February: King’s College, Cambridge founded.

Council in Normandy writing asking for effective decisions.


Henry VI spends time this year trying to have King Alfred canonised.

28 April: Birth of Richard of York’s eldest son Edward, earl of March in Rouen. He is born whilst his father is on campaign in France. A rumour spread that his mother Cecily Neville had an affair with an archer called Blaybourne because Richard was at Pontoise during the month when Edward was conceived. The rumours were most likely spread by the Earl of Warwick in 1469 when he was trying to remove his cousin from the throne.


30 March: John Beaufort, duke of Somerset is appointed captain-general of France and Gascony.

31 May: Margaret Beaufort the only child of John Beaufort, 1st duke of Somerset and Margaret Beauchamp of Bletsoe is born.

August: John Beaufort lands in Cherbourg with 8,000 men.



Negotiations with Charles VII.

24 May: Henry is betrothed to Margaret of Anjou by agreement of the Treaty of Troyes which also negotiates a five year truce in hostilities.



April 23:  Henry VI marries Margaret of Anjou



Pope Eugenius IV gives Henry the gift of a solid Gold Rose because of his devotion to Church and education.


William de la Pole  becomes Lord Chamberlain

23 February: Death of Humphrey duke of Gloucester in Bury St Edmunds where he has arrived to see the king.  Parliament is sitting in Bury. He is refused access to Henry and it is rumoured that he has been murdered.

09 December: Richard of York appointed lord lieutenant of Ireland.


21 October: birth of George, duke of Clarence.

29 October: The English surrender Rouen to the French.

15 December: Henry VI knights his half brothers Edmund and Jasper Tudor.



Act of Resumption but Henry VI insists on so many exceptions that it is an ineffective tool for restoring the royal treasury. A quarrel ensues between Richard of York and Edmund  Beaufort, Duke of Somerset (the Elder).

15 April: Battle of Formigny.  The French overrun Normandy.

January Adam Moleyns, Bishop of Chichester and William Ayscough, Bishop of Salisbury are murdered in Portsmouth by sailors who were fed up of waiting for their wages. The Duke of Suffolk is sent to the Tower

02 May: the Duke of Suffolk is banished but is beheaded on his way into exile by sailors on board the vessel Nicholas of the Tower – Cade’s rebellion in Kent is a response to local fear of being blamed for de la Pole’s execution. With the Duke of Suffolk dead Henry VI’s ineptitude is exposed. The Dukes of Somerset and York jostle for power.

June- July: Cade’s rebels occupy London.

12 August: French take Cherburg. English rule in Normandy is ended.


12 June: French capture Bordeaux.


02 October: Birth of Richard, duke of Gloucester.

23 October: English recapture Bordeaux.

23 November: Henry VI creates Edmund Tudor the earl of Richmond and makes Jasper Tudor the earl of Pembroke.


17 July:  Battle of Castillion results in the loss of Gascony  and the death of John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury.  The battle is the last of the Hundred Years War. Some historians think it was the shock of this news that triggered Henry VI’s complete mental collapse.  It started with a rash and sudden terror. Afterwards, Henry relapsed into a state of passive withdrawal, unable to speak, lift up his head, or even to move a muscle of his body. Henry had “no natural sense or reasoning power”, and was wholly indifferent to what went around him. At this time Calais and the pale of Calais are the only English possessions in France.

01 August: Henry VI collapses into a catatonic trance.

24 August: The Percy and Neville families fight at Heworth when 700 Percies attack a Neville wedding party.

13 October: birth of Prince Edward son of Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou.  Henry VI is unable to recognise his son because of his mental health.


27 March: Richard of York is named Lord Protector during the king’s illness.


January Richard of York is dismissed as protector and dismissed from the Privy Council. Edmund Beaufort is restored to power.

22 May:  The First Battle of St Albans  This is the first battle of the Wars of the Roses.  York takes up arms with the support of his cousin and uncle (earl of Warwick and earl of Salisbury)  His forces and those of the king come to blows at St Albans. The earl of Somerset dies in battle as do Northumberland and Clifford. Henry VI, totally deserted by his men, and wounded in the neck, was found by the Yorkists.

19 November: Richard of York is appointed protector for the second time.


25 February: Richard of York  resigns as lord protector.


28 January: Henry Tudor is born in Pembroke Castle.


25 March: love-day.  Henry VI mediates a settlement between the Nevilles and the victims of the Battle of St Albans,


Margaret of Anjou is in Coventry during the early part of the year. She raises troops in Cheshire.

April: writs issued to loyal followers of Henry VI to meet him on 10 May in Leicester. Conscription of young men within the realm.

Sunday 23 September: The Battle of Blore Heath. The earl of Salisbury is victorious over a Lancastrian force led by Audley who died during the battle.

12-13 October: Warwick, Salisbury and York flee before their forces can do battle with Henry VI’s and Margaret of York’s armies at Ludford Bridge. York goes to Ireland whilst Warwick, Salisbury and Edward, earl of March flee to Calais.  Ludlow is sacked – Duchess Cicely and her sons George and Richard as well as her thirteen-year-old  daughter Margaret watch from the market cross where they have gone for safety.

20 November: Parliament in Coventry. It is filled with Lancastrian supporters.  It is sometimes known as the Parliament of Devils.

06 December: Several of the earl of Warwick’s vessels as seized mid-Channel and impounded at Sandwich.




26 June: Warwick, Salisbury and William Neville (Lord Fauconberg) Edward earl of March land in Sandwich with 2000 men and march on London.

27 June: Yorkists arrive in Canterbury where the men sent to stop them change sides.

28 June: Yorkists send out a letter requesting men to aid their cause and then begin their march on London via Rochester.

01 July: Yorkists set up camp on Blackheath having been told that they will be refused entry to London.

02 July: Yorkists enter London after eleven aldermen defect to their side.

04 July: The Tower of London in Lancastrian hands opens fire on London. Lord Fauconberg heads north.

05 July: Earl of Warwick heads north along Watling Street.

07 July: Lancastrians having left their stronghold at Coventry make camp at Northampton.

09 July: Yorkists arrive at Northampton.

10 July:  Battle of Northampton.  Prior to the battle Henry VI knights a number of men including Thomas, Lord Stanley (Margaret Beaufort’s fourth husband and the bloke who twiddled his fingers at Bosworth). The earl of Warwick and Edward earl of March win the battle and take Henry VI prisoner. Lancastrians try to flee but have to cross a river so are trapped. Sir John Stafford murders Sir William Lucy on the battlefield in order to be able to marry Lucy’s widow Margaret.

19 July: Tower of London surrenders to Yorkists.

03 August: King James II of Scotland blows himself up with his own cannon at the siege of Roxburgh.

September 10 Richard of York returns from Ireland and progresses south via the Welsh marches. His sword is held upright in front of him as though he is the king.

October  10 Act of Settlement Henry makes Richard of York his heir, effectively disinheriting his own son. The pope has instigated this.

sandal1-300x199December 30 The Battle of Wakefield. Richard of York gave battle in vain.  He is killed as is his son Edmund, earl of Rutland.  The earl of Salisbury is also killed.



02 February :  The Battle of Mortimer’s Cross  Edward, earl of March wins a victory against the Lancastrians.

17 February:  The Second Battle of St Albans Margaret of Anjou defeats the Yorkists and is reunited with her husband but she is denied entry to London.

 04 March: Edward, Earl of March oldest son of Richard of York is proclaimed king in London.

11 March: Edward’s army leaves London.

13 March: Edward leaves London.

16 March: Edward arrives in Barkway.

17 March: Edward arrives in Cambridge.

22 March: Edward is in Nottingham.

27 March: Edward arrives at Pontefract.

28 March: Battle of Ferrybridge Lord FitzWalter sent on by Edward to secure the bridge over the Aire at Ferrybridge.  Lord Clifford ambushes the Yorkists killing FitzWalter and wounding the earl of Warwick. Warwick kills his horse declaring he won’t yield another inch and John de la Pole is sent to secure the bridge which is subsequently destroyed by the Lancastrians.  The Yorkists cross the river at Castleford and thus have the victory.  Lord Clifford is killed as he flees the scene between  Dintingdale and Saxton.

Palm Sunday 29 March: Battle of Towton fought during a snow storm. Sir John Stafford the second husband of Margaret Lucy nee FitzLewis is killed.

30 March: Edward arrives in York.

Good Friday 03 April: News of Edward’s victory arrives in London.

05 April: Edward celebrates Easter in York before heading further north to Durham and Newcastle.

25 April: Margaret of Anjou gives Berwick-Upon-Tweed to the Scots.

02 May: Edward leaves Newcastle to return to London.

Friday 26 June: Lancastrian standards raised in the North as Edward is conveyed to the Tower of London prior to his coronation.  He knights his brothers George and Richard along with 26 other men.

28 June: Edward IV is crowned but by this time Margaret of Anjou is leading an army south.

31 July: The earl of Warwick appointed Lord warden  for the east and west marches.

30 September: Pembroke Castle and Henry Tudor are surrendered into the hands of the Yorkist, Lord Herbert.

04 November: Parliament sits and acts of attainder passed against Lancastrians including Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou.


 John de la Pole (Earl of Lincoln) born around this year.

February  Edward IV gives Henry Tudor into the guardianship of Lord Herbert who takes him to Raglan Castle.  Herbert plans to marry Henry to his daughter Maud.

23 February: Earl of Oxford tried for treason along with his son.  Oxford was disembowelled, castrated and then burned alive. Oxford’s second son John was married off to Margaret Neville (Warwick’s sister).

May: the Earl of Warwick invades Scotland briefly. Mary of Guelders met with Warwick in Carlisle and agreed terms.

28 June: Margaret of Anjou signed a peace treaty with France whereby she undertook to surrender Calais to the french within a year.



25 April: Battle of Hedgeley Moor.  A Yorkist victory.

elizabeth woodville01 May: Edward IV marries Elizabeth Woodville in secret.

15 May: Battle of Hexham   Henry VI becomes a fugitive. Henry Beaufort is executed,  He finds shelter with Sir John Pennington of Muncaster Castle; the Pudsey Family of Bolton Hall, Bolton By Bowland and Waddington Hall, Waddington.

25 December: Elizabeth Woodville is officially identified as Edward’s queen.



13 July:  Henry VI is caught and taken to London.  He is bound to his saddle, and imprisoned in the Tower.


King Christian I of Norway pawns the Orkneys to Scotland for 50,000 Rhenish gilders and Shetland for 8,000.


The earl of Warwick and George duke of Clarence rebel against Edward IV.  The Battle of Edgecote. Edward is kept a prisoner for several months by Warwick.




 October 3 Henry VI becomes king once more. This is known as the readeption.



 May 4 The Battle of Tewkesbury  1471 This is a Yorkist victory. Prince Edward, aged seventeen, dies on the battle field.  Margaret of Anjou is captured.

May 22-23  Henry VI was put to death in the Tower of London to prevent further rebellion in his name. His burial place at Chertsey Abbey soon became a shrine, attracting large numbers of pilgrims.


October 4 Henry Stafford, second son of the Duke of Buckingham and second husband of Margaret Beaufort dies.

1475  John de la Pole, Prince Edward and Richard of York  created Knights of the Bath.


George duke of Clarence executed.


outbreak of plague



1483  Three kings in one year

April 4 –The Earl of Essex, treasurer of England, dies.

April 6 –A false report of Edward IV’s death reaches York, and a dirge is sung in the Minster.

April 7-Edward summons Queen Elizabeth Woodville, his children, and his magnates to his bedside. He asks the Queen, her oldest son Thomas Grey of Dorset, and his best friend William Hastings to make peace with one another. They agree.

April 9-Edward IV dies.

April 11 –  Edward V proclaimed in London but he is 200 miles away in Ludlow.  The Council sets his coronation date for May 4th. William Hastings writes to Richard, Duke of Gloucester, to tell him of his brother’s death and suggesting that intercepts the young King. The Croyland Chronicler says that Hastings also wrote to Buckingham.

April 14 – News of Edward IV’s death reaches Ludlow where Edward V’s household is.

April 15 – Richard, Duke of Gloucester is notified of Edward’s death by Hastings’ letter.

April 20– Richard leaves Middleham Castle to intercept his nephew.

April 24 – Edward V leaves Ludlow for London with his Woodville uncle, Earl Rivers.

April 29 – Richard leaves Middleham on 20th, then York, meets Edward V convoy.  Earl Rivers, Grey, Vaughan siezed.  Fleet under Edward Woodville leaves London.

 April 30 –  Earl Rivers is arrested and the king intercepted at Stony Stratford.

May 1 – In the early hours of the morning Elizabeth Woodville, her daughters and young son Richard move into the sanctuary of Westminster Abbey

May 4 – Edward V arrives in London but his coronation date postponed.

May 14 – The Council proclaims Richard Protector.

May 15- Richard makes the Duke of Buckingham Constable of England, Chief Justice and Lord Chamberlain of the whole of Wales for life, and the stewardship of 50 castles and lordships in the principality. He is given the power to array the King’s subjects in those counties and control of all royal castles and manors therein. Buckingham  has replaced Rivers on the Council of the Marches.

May 19 – Edward V moves to Tower.

May 20- William Hastings (Edward IV’s Lord Chamberlain of England and Governor of Calais continues in post). Richard appoints him as Master of the Mint. He is given no other rewards for notifying Richard of Edward IV’s death.

End of May/Beginning of June-  The Council finds its power  is diminished in favor of Buckingham and Howard. They began to question Richard’s motives and worry about the safety of the young king. Many were intimidated by Richard’s treatment of the Woodvilles, and were afraid to speak out.  Suspicions of Richard grew. The Croyland Chronicler said that, in spite of Richard’s public gestures of loyalty and the setting of a date for the coronation, there were those who wondered why the King’s relatives and servants were still being held in prison. The antiquarian John Rous, writing several years after these events, says that Richard “showed extraordinary cunning by dividing the Council.”

Many of Edward V’s supporters begin to feel that Richard was conspiring against the King  Dominic Mancini and Thomas More (aged only 4 in 1485) both report that Edward’s supporters met in private in each other’s homes to discuss the situation.

June 5 – Anne of Warwick, Richard’s wife, arrives in London.   Richard appears to learn of a pre-contract, Edward IV and Eleanor Butler.

June 8- Commynes later claims that Robert Stillington, the Bishop of Bath and Wells, presented himself to Council providing evidence that Edward IV had been precontracted to another woman before marrying Elizabeth Woodville. But Simon Stallworthe, reporting the events of the Council meeting, said that nothing unusual had happened.


June 11 – Richard requests York to send troops.

June 12-  Buckingham, Hastings, John Morton (ultimately Cardinal Morton), Thomas Rotherham (Bishop of York), Stanley (Margaret Beaufort’s husband), John Howard and his son Thomas are summoned to a council meeting at the Tower the next day.

June 13- Hastings is arrested at about 10.30 am.  He is not given a trial.  he is executed within minutes of his arrest. Rotherham is placed in the custody of James Tyrell and John Morton is put into the custody of the Duke of Buckingham following a stint in the Tower. At the same time Edward IV’s merry mistress Jane Shore is thrown into prison, has to do public penance and all her possessions are confiscated.

June 16 – Richard, Duke of York, leaves sanctuary to be with Edward V in Tower. Edward of Warwick, Duke of Clarence’s son is also secured by Richard.

June 22 – Ralph Shaa preaches that Edward IV’s children are bastards because of the supposed pre-contract.

June 24 – Set as Coronation day, postponed.

June 25 – Earl Rivers, Grey, Vaughan executed at Pontefract.

June 26 – Richard petitioned by Parliament to become king.

June 28 – John Howard becomes Duke of Norfolk.

July- Richard sends an agent to Brittany in order to settle a maritime dispute between the two countries but also to negotiate for the delivery of Henry Tudor into Richard’s hands.

July 6 – Coronation of Richard III and Queen Anne Neville.  Margaret Beaufort carries Anne’s train whilst her husband holds Richard’s regalia. John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln carries Richard’s orbRichard_III_of_England

July 15- Buckingham is made Lord High Constable of England

July 17 – Brackenbury made Constable of Tower.


July 18- A royal warrant is issued, authorizing payment of wages to 13 men for their services to “Edward, bastard, late called King Edward V.”

July 19- Richard makes his son Lieutenant of Ireland. This title is held by Yorkist heirs to the throne.

July 23- Richard is on progress from Windsor. The Duke of Buckingham is with him.  Richard is in Reading when he issues a grant pardoning Hastings of his offences and promising to be kind to Katherine  Neville (the Kingmaker’s sister) his widow. He promises kindness also to Lord Rivers’ widow.

July 26-29 – Richard learns that there are conspiracies afoot to remove him front he throne. The conspirators are Yorkists, Lancastrians and the Woodville faction. The Queen’s three remaining brothers are all involved.  John Stow wrote in 1580 of a plot in July 1483 to secure the release of Edward V and little Richard of York from the Tower.  He also says that the plan was to move Edward IV’s daughters abroad.

August 2- Richard and Buckingham have travelled together but now they leave Gloucester. Richard continues on progress while Buckingham returns home to Brecon.

August 15- Sir Thomas More suggests plans were now well underway for the murder of Edward V and his brother Richard, Duke of York. By the time Buckingham reaches Brecon he is being troubled by the thought of the two princes’ deaths – according to Tudor writers. Morton, a Lancastrian, is a prisoner in his home.



Buckingham allegedly meets Margaret Beaufort, the Countess of Richmond and Henry Tudor’s mother, on the road between Bridgenorth and Worchester, where he is persuaded to renounce his own claim to the throne in favour of her son.

August/September ? – Doctor Lewis the doctor of both Elizabeth Woodville and Margaret Beaufort begins to carry messages between the two women.  Initially he pretends the plot is his own idea.  Ultimately Elizabeth will agree to the marriage between margaret’s son henry Tudor and her daughter Elizabeth of York.  She also tells her friends and supporters to take part on Henry Tudor’s side.

Margaret raises loans in the City of London she sends her servant Hugh Conway to Henry with a large sum in cash.

September 3- Alison Weir suggests that the murders of the Princes in the Tower occur.  She places the blame on James Tyrell. It may be that Elizabeth Woodville believes her sons are dead when she finally agrees to Margaret Beaufort’s plan.

Princes in tower

September 24- The Parliament Rolls indicate that the leaders of the October 1483 rebellion “launched their enterprise.” Buckingham writes to Henry  and Jasper Tudor telling him to invade England on October 18th. The plan is that the Men of Kent were to make an attack upon London to draw the Richard in that direction. There were to be simultaneous uprisings in Wiltshire,  Berkshire and the West country. Buckingham was to cross the River Severn with his force of Welshmen, meet up with Henry Tudor who would land with a force of Bretons in Devon, and march upon London as the main military thrust. Gathering recruits on the way, they would soon be strong enough to fight Richard’s army once he had recovered from his surprise…it didn’t happen that way.

September 25– Writ for Parliament issued.

October- Rumours in London that the princes in the Tower are dead.

October 10- Buckingham’s rebellion begins early.

October 12- Richard is in Lincoln but he writes a letter denouncing Buckingham.  He must have known of the plot before because he’d already reclaimed the Great Seal.  There is no mention of Henry in Richard’s letter.

October 12 – Henry Tudor sails from Brittany. Storms in the Channel.  Henry becomes separated from his fleet. He either ends up in Plymouth or in Poole – Henry does not land and he does not attempt to take part in the rebellion without his men.  By the time he gets home to Brittany, Buckingham is dead.

November 1-Buckingham is captured and delivered to Richard at Salisbury.  Other conspirators flee to Brittany including the marquis of Dorset.

November 2- Buckingham is executed at Salisbury. Parliament is supposed to meet on the 6th but it is cancelled.

November 3- An army arrives in Poole to tackle Henry Tudor but he has gone.

December 9- Writ for Parliament issued.

December 25 – Henry Tudor takes an oath at Rennes Cathedral to marry Elizabeth of York.


January 23- Parliament meets

January 25- Henry Tudor attainted. His mother is also attainted, stripped of her lands and is confined in solitude in the care of her husband Lord Stanley.

February 22- Parliament is dissolved.  By this time Richard has ensured oaths of loyalty to himself and to his son, the sickly Prince Edward.

April 9-  Edward of Middleham, Prince of Wales (son of King Richard III and Queen Anne Neville) dies at Middleham Castle.  Logically Edward, Earl of Warwick should now be Richard’s heir but he names John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln.  His mother is Elizabeth of York, sister of Edward IV and Richard III.

March 1- Elizabeth Woodville and her daughters come out of sanctuary after Richard promises not to harm them.

June 26- Richard agrees to supply Brittany with 1000 archers in defence of its borders.  A peace deal between the two countries places Henry Tudor in danger.  Louis XI of France died in August the previous year.  Charles VIII is now on the throne but with a regency government in place.  France is seeking the duchy of Brittany because Francis II is going to die without a male heir.

September –  Henry Tudor, receiving warning of the Duke of Brittany’s intent to hand him over to Richard from John Morton whilst he is in Flanders flees Brittany for France.  Henry manages to meet Charles VIII – he is increasingly being seen in Europe as a claimant to the throne.

December 7- Richard issues a proclamation against Henry Tudor


March 16 –  Queen Anne Neville dies.

June 23- Proclamation issued against Henry Tudor.  Commissions of array issued for the mustering of troops.  Thomas Lord Stanley asked to go home but Richard demanded that George Stanley, Lord Strange remain.

July 24- Richard sends to London for the Great Seal.

August 1- Richard receives the Great Seal in Nottingham where he is currently based.

August 7-  Henry Tudor lands at Milford Haven.

August 11- Richard receives word of Henry’s landing.

August 15- Henry reaches Shrewsbury.  The Welsh Gate is initially shut against him.  Fortunately a Stanley messenger arrives and persuades them to open up.

August 17- Henry reaches Stafford.  Sir William Stanley and a small retinue make contact and talk.  Henry’s army- not numbering more than 5000- moves in the direction of Lichfield – which Lord Stanley had evacuated.

August 19- Richard moves in the direction of Leicester

August 21- Both armies are encamped somewhere around Ambien Hill. Henry will date his reign to August 21 meaning that anyone who fights on the side of King Richard can be found guilty of treason.

August 22 –  Battle of Bosworth is fought.  King Richard III is killed in battle. The Duke of Norfolk together with his son Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey fight on Richard’s side.  The Duke of Norfolk is killed.  The Earl of Surrey is taken prisoner.


August 23- John Sponer, sergeant to the mace of York arrives back in York with the news that King Richard  was “piously slain and murdered, to the great heaviness of the city.” As he is arriving in York another man, loyal to Henry Tudor, is arriving in Sheriff Hutton to take custody of Edward, Earl of Warwick the son of George, Duke of Clarence.  Initially the boy is handed into the care of Margaret Beaufort but he will soon end up in the Tower of London.

August 26- The mayor of London proclaims Henry VII as king. henryvii

September 3- Henry arrives in London and goes to St Paul’s where he presents three banners; St George, the red dragon and the dun cow.

September 15- Henry sends a writ out for parliament to meet on the 7th of November.

September 18- Henry makes grants to 40 people who have served him during his time as an exile.  They include positions and pensions.

September 21- Sweating Sickness which arrived with Henry VII’s troops breaks out in London.

September 25- Henry issues commissions of array in the border counties between England and Scotland.

October- The Yeomen of the Guard are created.  Initially there are 50 archers and their purpose is to guard him at his coronation.

October 27- Henry VII creates his uncle Jasper Tudor the Duke of Bedford and his step-father, Thomas Lord Stanley is created Earl of Derby.

October 28- Procession led by Henry Tudor goes to the Tower in preparation for the coronation.

October 30- Henry VII is crowned.

November 7- Jasper Tudor marries Katherine Woodville.  She is the widow of Henry Stafford, the Duke of Buckingham.  Parliament sits. As well as providing Henry with finances it also passes acts of attainder – including one against Sir Humphrey Stafford of Grafton.  Other men attainted include the Earl of Surrey and Lord Zouche.  Also on the list is Francis, Lord Lovell and the Earl of Surrey who will spend the next three and a half years in the Tower.



January 16- Papal dispensation for Henry VII to marry Elizabeth of York.

January 18- Henry VII marries Elizabeth of York.elizabeth of york

March 2- Papal dispensation is confirmed by Rome.

March 6- John Morton, Bishop of Ely becomes Henry VII’s Lord Chancellor.

March 9- Henry VII leaves London accompanied by John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln.

March 10- Henry VII begins a royal progress to the north of England. He journeys to Waltham, Cambridge, Huntingdon and Lincoln where he spends Easter.  Sir Reginald `Bray warns him that Lovell is going to leave sanctuary.  Bray’s informant, Hugh Conway is summoned but Henry doesn’t believe him.

April- Sanctuary Plot  Francis,Viscount Lovell together with Humphrey and Thomas Stafford rebel against Henry’s rule.  Their plan begins in Colchester where they have claimed sanctuary following the Battle of Bosworth.

April 20- Henry VII enters the city of York.  Whilst he is in York rumours of Robin of Redesdale raising support for the Yorkists in Ripon and Middleham arrive.  The next rumour is that Lord Lovell and an army are marching on York.

April 23- There is an assassination attempt on Henry VII’s life whilst he is in York.  Henry  deals with the threat with seeming unconcern and promises of pardon.  Lovell ends up fleeing from Yorkshire to Broughton Tower in Furness. There is also a Worcestershire rising led by Humphrey Stafford – there is very little support.

May 5- Riots in London in support of Edward, Earl of Warwick.

May 11- The Stafford brothers arrive at Culham in Berkshire.  They claim sanctuary.

May 13- The Staffords are dragged from Culham Church on the orders of Henry VII

May 19- Lovell journeys to Ely and from there he looks for sanctuary or a boat to take him to Flanders.

June- Thomas Howard, the Earl of Surrey is offered the opportunity to escape from the Tower. He declines.

June 20- Sir Humphrey Stafford appears before the King’s Bench and demands to be returned to sanctuary.  The Abbot of Abingdon is also unamused that the ancient rights of sanctuary have been violated.

July 5- Humphrey Stafford’s judges decide that from now on – including Humphrey- no one can claim sanctuary for treason.  He’s condemned to a traitor’s death.

July 8- Sir Humphrey Stafford is hanged, drawn and quartered but Thomas Stafford is pardoned on the grounds that Humphrey being older must have misled him.

September 19-Prince Arthur is born at Winchester.

September 20- Prince Arthur baptised.

garter arms lord lovell.jpg


At the end of 1486 or beginning of 1487 Richard Simonds a priest arrives in Ireland.  He is accompanied by a boy.

January- Francis Lovell manages to find a boat that will take him to Flanders.

February 1- News arrives in London that the Earl of Warwick has escaped the Tower.

February 2- Henry VII summons a Privy Council Meeting.  The first sign of a rebellion figure-headed by the ten-year-old Lambert Simnel is when writs are issued against Henry Bodrugan and John Beaumont for spreading sedition in Devon and Cornwall.

February 2- Edward, the young Earl of Warwick is taken out of the Tower and paraded through the streets of London by the Earl of Derby (a.k.a. Thomas, Lord Stanley – Henry VII’s step-father) before going to St Paul’s where he mingles and talks with a large number of people.  He travels from there to Lambeth where he spends the night with Morton.

February 3- Edward, Earl of Warwick is taken to Sheen where he spends several days.  He talks to the Earl of Lincoln who verifies that it is indeed the Earl of Warwick.

elizabeth woodvilleFebruary 12- Elizabeth Woodville retires to the convent at Bermondsey where she remains for the rest of her life.  Her dower lands are given to Elizabeth of York. Her son Thomas Grey, 1st Marquess of Dorset is sent to the Tower.  As a result of this Robert Stillington, the Bishop of Bath and Wells  who apparently told Richard III of Edward IV’s pre-contract with Lady Eleanor Butler flees to Oxford.

March 7- Henry VII writes to oxford University to demand that Stillington be handed over.  He eventually ends up imprisoned in Windsor.

March 9- John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln leaves Sheen for Suffolk.  In reality he boards a ship for Flanders.

Margaret_of_YorkMarch 19- Lincoln meets with Francis Lovell and Margaret of Burgundy.

March 25- Lincoln’s men are seen in Doncaster by one of Henry VII’s agents.  They discover a large sum of money.

May 5- The Earl of Lincoln (John de la Pole) and Francis Lovell land in Ireland with 2,000 German mercenaries led by Martin Schwartz.  These are funded by Margaret of Burgundy.

May 8- Henry VII makes his headquarters at Kenilworth and from there moves towards Newark.

May 24 (Whit Sunday)- Lambert Simnel is crowned Edward V in Dublin with the support of the Earl of Kildare.  Coins are struck and parliament is summoned in the name of Edward V.

June 3- Henry sends a proclamation to all of his larger cities ordering them to hunt down anyone spreading rumours.

June 4- Lambert Simnel lands, along with some 6000 men, at Piel off Furness (now Cumbria, then Lancashire). More troops are landed at the Furness Fells where Sir Thomas Broughton is holding out for the Yorkist cause. They cross the Pennines and into Wensleydale before heading south.  By the time of the Battle of Stoke, Simnel’s army numbers about 8000 men.  Lord Scrope of Masham and Lord Scrope of Bolton are the only key northern nobles to join with the rebellion.

June 8- John de la Pole who landed with Simnel arrives at Masham.  He sends a letter to York in the name of Edward VI.  Lord Scrope of Bolton and Lord Scrope of Masham join him but York refuses to open its gates.

June 10- There’s a skirmish at Bramham Moor near Tadcaster.  Lord Clifford and 400 Tudor supporters are overwhelmed.

June 12- Lord Scrope and Lord Scrope attack York but the gates remain shut.  The Earl of Northumberland stays in the north instead of going south to reinforce Henry.

June 14 Henry VII and his army arrives in Nottingham.  He is joined by the Earl of Derby (a.k.a. Thomas, Lord Stanley) and his son Lord Strange (the one that Thomas was required to leave as a hostage in Richard III’s keeping before the Battle of Bosworth).  They bring 6,000 men.

June 15 The army makes a move along the Trent.  Hall’s Chronicle claims that Henry VII had a spy close to John de la Pole.

June 16 The Battle of Stoke .  Henry has 12,000-15,000 men and is better armed.  It’s often described as the last battle of the Wars of the Roses. The Earl of Lincoln and Martin Schwartz are killed.  Francis Lovell is last seen swimming his horse across the River Trent.  Lambert Simnel is taken prisoner.  The two Lords Scope are imprisoned for a while, fined, their estates confiscated and then not allowed to travel further than the River Trent when released.

July 5 Henry VII writes to the Pope asking him to excommunicate the Irish bishops who crowned Lambert Simnel.

November 9 Parliament sits. Act of Attainder passed against 28 rebels – including Lovell who is already under an act of attainder dating from the previous year.

November 18 Parliament dissolved.

November 25 Elizabeth of York is crowned.


January Papal bull excommunicating Irish bishops who crowned Lambert Simnel arrives.


January- Thomas Howard is released, and  restored to his earldom (the Earl of Surrey), though Henry VII keeps the greater part of his forfeited lands, and gives back only those which he held in right of his wife.

January- Thomas Savage and Richard Nanfan set out for Spain.  They are Henry VII’s ambassadors.

March 27- Treaty of Medina de Campo is signed between England and Spain.  In addition to trading agreements it offers mutual protection against France; Spain agrees not to support Yorkists and offers 200,000 crowns as a dowry for Catherine of Aragon’s marriage to Prince Arthur of England.


November 28 Henry VII and Elizabeth of York’s second child born – she is called Margaret.



June 28- Prince Henry (who will become Henry VIII) is born at Greenwich Palace.

Autumn- Pregent Meno, a Portuguese merchant arrives in Cork from Lisbon with his apprentice.  Yorkists insist that the boy must be Richard of York the younger of the two princes in the Tower.  History knows him as Perkin Warbeck the son of a Tournai customs official.


Elizabeth Woodville dies.

November- The Treaty of Etaples.  Henry VIII agrees to stop interfering between the French and Brittany.  The French agree to stop supporting Yorkists.



November- Prince Henry is created Duke of York.


January 30 and 31- Sir William Stanley, Henry VII’s step-uncle, is tried and condemned for treason.

February 16– Sir William Stanley is executed.

July 3 – Perkin Warbeck lands with a force of men in Deal, Kent but not locals rally to his side. He withdraws.


September- Scots invade the North of England on behalf of Perkin Warbeck.  They withdraw after three days.


January- Parliament raises a tax for the defence of the realm and invasion of Scotland.

June- Yorkshire Rebellion.  A popular rising in Yorkshire against Henry VII’s taxes. The Earl of Northumberland is killed.

July- Warbeck, his wife and child sail in a boat called ‘The Cuckoo’ for Cork.

October 5- Warbeck brought before Henry VII at Taunton where he confesses to being a pretender.




July 1- Edmund de la Pole, the third Duke  of Suffolk, leaves England without Henry VII’s permission.

October – Edmund de la Pole returns home but is fined £1000 and his wife, Margaret Scrope, is placed under surveillance.