Edward V was king of England for a few short months in 1483. He succeeded to the throne at the age of 12 following the sudden death of his father Edward IV, on 9th April 1483. Before his death, Edward IV had nominated his brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester, as Protector during the minority of his son; a decision that would prove a costly mistake.
On the 19th May 1483, the new king took up residence in the Tower of London, where, on 16th June, he was joined by his younger brother Richard, Duke of York. It was originally planned that in order to avoid the need for a protectorate, that the young king would be crowned quickly. Richard, however, repeatedly postponed the coronation.
On 22nd June, Ralph Shaa preached a sermon declaring that Edward IV had already been contracted to marry Lady Eleanor Butler when he married Edward V's mother Elizabeth Woodville, thereby rendering his marriage to Elizabeth invalid and their children together illegitimate. children of Richard's older brother George, Duke of Clarence, were barred from the throne by their father's attainder, and therefore, on 25th June, an assembly of Lords and Commons declared Richard to be the legitimate king. The following day he acceded to the throne as King Richard III.
Following Richard III’s ascendancy, it is reported that Edward and his younger brother Richard were taken into the "inner apartments of the Tower" and then were seen less and less until the end of the summer of 1483, when they disappeared from public view altogether. During this period Dominic Mancini, an Italian who visited England in the 1480s, records that Edward was regularly visited by a doctor, reported that Edward, "...like a victim prepared for sacrifice, sought remission of his sins by daily confession and penance, because he believed that death was facing him."
Edward and Richard's fate after their disappearance remains unknown, but the most widely accepted theory is that they were murdered on the orders of their uncle, Richard III.
This scene was built by James Pegrum as part of a series of models on British history. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see them first.
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