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England's last Yorkist monarch
Richard III, born on October 2 1452 at Fotheringay Castle in Northamptonshire, was the last Yorkist king of England.
His father was Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, and his mother Cecily Neville.
One of the major causes of the Wars of the Roses was his father's conflict with Henry VI, something which dominated his early life.
In 1460 his father and older brother died at the Battle of Wakefield.
The next year, 1461, his brother Edward, became Edward IV and created him Duke of Gloucester.
The brothers were exiled in 1470 when Henry VI was briefly restored to the throne.
Upon their return to England the following year, Richard contributed to the Yorkist victories at Barnet and Tewkesbury that restored Edward to the throne.
Edward died in April 1483 and Richard was named as protector of the realm for Edward's son and successor, the 12-year-old Edward V.
Richard became involved in a power struggle with Edward's queen, Elizabeth Woodville, about the young king who was the rightful heir but too young to rule.
Richard managed to imprison Edward V and his younger brother, Richard, in the Tower of London, and the two boys were never seen again.
An act of Parliament declared the nephews illegitimate, supposedly due to an earlier, secret marriage of Edward IV that invalidated his marriage to Elizabeth, and Richard III was crowned on July 6, 1483.
A rebellion raised by the Duke of Buckingham in October quickly collapsed, but Buckingham's defection, along with his supporters, eroded Richard's power and support among the aristocracy and gentry.
In August 1485, Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, who was a Lancastrian claimant to the throne landed in South Wales.
He engaged Richard in battle on Bosworth Field on August 22. Although Richard possessed superior numbers, a number of his key lieutenants defected.
Refusing to flee the battlefield, Richard was killed in battle and Henry Tudor took the throne as Henry VII.