WHY WAS RICHARD III OVERTHROWN? Essay, Research Paper Richard III reigned for two years, two months and one day. His reign was over run my rumour and even to


Richard III reigned for two years, two

months and one day. His reign was over run my rumour and even to

this day people see Richard as a tyrant. One of the rumours that

plagued Richard throughout his reign, was that he had murdered his two

young nephews. (one of which was Edward V, who succeeded to the throne

immediately after the death of Edward IV). Even in the days of Richard?s

reign, murdering children was seen as an appalling thing to do and whether

Richard did kill his nephews or not, it did not matter the general public

did not trust Richard. Richard?s position was made worse, because

the previous king (Edward IV) had left conflicting instructions as to who

should rule the country after he had died. Richard was killed

in combat, at the Battle of Bosworth. It could be argued that Richard

was responsible for his own demise and indeed his own death.

The obvious key factor in Richard being

overthrown is the fact that he was killed in battle, some historians say

that it was Richard?s own bold and soldier-like personality that got him

killed. Richard lost the Battle of Bosworth because of a number of

different factors. One very important element was that Richard managed

to alienate a great majority of nobles from the south of England.

Whilst Edward IV had been king Richard had been left to run the north of

England, in this time he was able to establish a power base for himself,

and acquired the himself the ?title? Lord of the North. This process

began in 1471 where Richard obtained Neville Lordships in Yorkshire and

Cumberland, and when he married Anne Neville, which gave him the loyalty

of Warwick?s men. The relationship between the northern gentry and

Richard was strengthened further when Edward IV entrusted Richard and his

northern counterparts to the war against Scotland. When Richard became

king he invited northern nobles and gentry to the south of England to rule

over the southern counties. This quite clearly upset and angered

a lot of the nobles from the south. However Richard did not reward

all the northern nobility accordingly the Earl of Northumberland expected

a lot of power in the north, after he had helped so much in Richard?s accession

to the throne. However, Northumberland was left of the council of

North., this in turn led Northumberland withdrawing his aid for Richard

at the Battle of Bosworth. Richard also killed a number of noble men from

the north and south without trial. With so many nobles feeling angry

towards Richard, it would be incredibly difficult to gain support and men

for his army at the Battle of Bosworth. Richard?s actions would also

tempt many nobles to side with Henry Tudor, which would result in Richard?s


Richard?s had many problems to resolve

with France. Problems dating back to 1340 (to recover or extend territories

in France). When Richard came to the throne he launched attacks on

Breton shipping for piracy, although it would seem Richard was allowing

these attacks, because the Bretons were keeping Edward Woodville as a refugee.

Another more important refugee was in France though, Henry Tudor.

Tudor was taking shelter in Brittany. The King of France used Tudor

to try and blackmail Richard into sending him archers, Richard did not

comply with his requests. The conflict between Richard and the King

of France was very unfavourable to Richard, as France would not release

Tudor. Richard needed to get hold of Tudor, to crush his attempt

to overthrow him, (Tudor had put in an official claim for the throne on

December 25th 1483 in Brittany) it could be argued that if Richard

had been able to get hold of Tudor and imprisoned or even killed Tudor,

he may not have been overthrown. However Richard did not concentrate

on this issue enough. Richard?s encounter with France was heading

towards a war, which inevitably meant that Scotland would begin to start

trying to attack England.

It would seem that Richard III was a very

unpopular man with the general public, English nobility and foreign nobility.

He lacked trust between himself and the people he needed to be able trust

the most. It would seem that Richard relied heavily upon the loyalty

of other nobles instead of using his own men, nobility that quite possibly

did not trust him, and therefore were likely to change sides, to a leader

who could offer them more favourable opportunities. However with

any subject concerning Richard III it is difficult to assess the situation

as his entire reign is shrouded in mystery, rumours. Even so evidence

that is available does tend to show that Richard did not do enough to gain

support from other nobles, until it was too late (as when he tried to reconcile

his problems with southern nobility before the Battle of Bosworth) and

he did not realise the severe threat henry Tudor was to the crown.