Before taking this class, all I have really heard from a historical and factual standpoint about Edward IV was that his brother was Richard III, and Richard III was accused of murdering or doing something to make Edward IV’s two young sons disappear from the Tower of London after Edward IV died so Richard III could become king. The Death of Kings video we watched for class was more specifically the first non-literary place I learned anything about Edward IV. Admittedly, I do not remember much from the video other than the fact he went behind the backs of his uncle, the rest of his family, the nobility, the other aristocrats, and, for lack of better words or label, the best interests of his country arranged to be married to the daughter of a low-born aristocrat in secrecy. The website mentioned below talked about Edward IV’s marriage to Elizabeth Woodville, Sir John Grey of Groby’s widow and Lord (Richard) Rivers’ daughter, which had gone against the French union the Earl of Warwick wanted.
I found this website (http://www.luminarium.org/encyclopedia/edward4.htm) that was able to give me a lot more insight into and knowledge about Edward IV’s life, major accomplishments, and trials to keep the English crown.
According to the website, Edward IV, who was first known as the Earl of March, was born in late April, 1442 to Richard Duke of York and Cicely Neville in Rouen. His first trip to France, after Ludlow being his main permanency throughout his childhood, was with his cousin (Earl of Warwick) and uncle (Earl of Salisbury) to Calais in October of 1459. Edward eventually went back to Wales after agreeing to be next in line for the English throne until his father died.
On March 4th, 1461, Edward IV became ruler of England after fighting at Mortimer’s Cross against the Earl of Wiltshire and the Earl of Pembroke in February. A battle at Towton in the northern part of England was won on March 28th with the help of the Earl of Warwick, thus solidifying Edward IV’s crown and claim to the throne.
After getting married, Edward IV further tipped off his cousin by not allying with France and deliberately choosing Burgundy instead. I’m assuming this built tension wihtin the family, along with how Edward IV lavished things such as really good marriages and promotions on his wife’s kin, because Edward’s own brother George, the Duke of Clarence, stood up against Edward with the Earl of Warwick in 1469.
After being imprisoned at Middleham for half a year, Edward was able to break free of Warwick and beat him in battle after hiding out in Holland in 1470 and getting the help of his brother, Richard of Gloucester, and his wife’s brother, Charles of Burgundy. In 1475, a war with the French rose up and the treaty of Pecquigny with Louis XI was able to settle matters on that front.
Other than that, Edward IV was pretty secure in his rule of England and promiscuous in his personal life until he died in April of 1483.
All the information, except for that from the video from teh first paragraph, was found at: http://www.luminarium.org/encyclopedia/edward4.htm.