Richard III blue plaque in Barnard Castle

Richard III, as Duke of Gloucester and later King of England, was Lord of Barnard Castle from c.1474 until his death in 1485.

He made improvements to the castle, took a close interest in the town and was a great benefactor of its church.

Richard III (2 October 1452 – 22 August 1485) was King of England for two years, from 1483 until his death in 1485 in the Battle of Bosworth Field. He was the last king of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty. His defeat at Bosworth Field, the last decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses, symbolises the end of the Middle Ages in England. He is the subject of the play Richard III by William Shakespeare.When his brother Edward IV died in April 1483, Richard was named Lord Protector of the realm for Edward's son and successor, the 12-year-old King Edward V. As the young king travelled to London from Ludlow, Richard met and escorted him to lodgings in the Tower of London where Edward V's brother Richard joined him shortly afterwards. Arrangements were made for Edward's coronation on 22 June 1483, but before the young king could be crowned, his father's marriage to his mother Elizabeth Woodville was declared invalid, making their children illegitimate and ineligible for the throne. On 25 June, an assembly of lords and commoners endorsed the claims. The following day, Richard III began his reign, and he was crowned on 6 July 1483. The young princes were not seen in public after August, and a number of accusations circulated that the boys had been murdered on Richard's orders, giving rise to the legend of the Princes in the Tower.There were two major rebellions against Richard. The first, in October 1483, was led by staunch allies of Edward IV and also by Richard's former ally, Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, his first cousin once removed. The revolt collapsed and Stafford was executed at Salisbury near the Bull's Head Inn. In August 1485, another rebellion against Richard was led by Henry Tudor and his uncle, Jasper Tudor. Henry Tudor landed in southern Wales with a small contingent of French troops, and then marched through his birthplace, Pembrokeshire, recruiting more soldiers. Henry's force engaged Richard's army and defeated it at the Battle of Bosworth Field in Leicestershire. Richard was struck down in this conflict, making him the last English king to die in battle as well as the only one to have been killed on home soil since Harold II was killed at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.Richard III's remains received burial without pomp, but the original tomb is believed to have been destroyed during the Reformation, and the remains were lost for more than five centuries. In 2012, an archaeological excavation was conducted on a city council car park using ground-penetrating radar on the site once occupied by Greyfriars, Leicester. The University of Leicester confirmed on 4 February 2013 that the evidence pointed to a skeleton found in the excavation being that of Richard III. This conclusion was based on a combination of the results of radiocarbon dating, a comparison with contemporary reports of his appearance, and a comparison of his mitochondrial DNA with that of two matrilineal descendants of Richard III's eldest sister, Anne of York.

Source: dbpedia

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