Edward IV

(redirected from Edward IV of England)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

Edward IV,

1442–83, king of England (1461–70, 1471–83), son of Richard, duke of YorkYork, Richard, duke of,
1411–60, English nobleman, claimant to the throne. He was descended from Edward III through his father, Richard, earl of Cambridge, grandson of that king, and also through his mother, Anne Mortimer, great-granddaughter of Lionel, duke of Clarence,
..... Click the link for more information.
. He succeeded to the leadership of the Yorkist party (see Roses, Wars of theRoses, Wars of the,
traditional name given to the intermittent struggle (1455–85) for the throne of England between the noble houses of York (whose badge was a white rose) and Lancaster (later associated with the red rose).

About the middle of the 15th cent.
..... Click the link for more information.
) after the death of his father in Wakefield in 1460. Edward defeated the Lancastrians at Mortimer's Cross in 1461, entered London shortly thereafter, and was proclaimed king. Later in the year he won another victory over the Lancastrians at Towton Field, after which the deposed Henry VIHenry VI,
1421–71, king of England (1422–61, 1470–71). Reign
Early Years

The only son of Henry V and Catherine of Valois, he became king of England when he was not yet nine months old.
..... Click the link for more information.
 fled the country. Edward's secret marriage (1464) to Elizabeth WoodvilleWoodville, Elizabeth,
1437–92, queen consort of Edward IV of England. She was the daughter of Richard Woodville (later the 1st Earl Rivers). Her first husband, Sir John Grey, was killed fighting on the Lancastrian side at the battle of St.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and subsequent favoritism to his wife's family angered his cousin, the able and ambitious Richard Neville, earl of WarwickWarwick, Richard Neville, earl of
, 1428–71, English nobleman, called the Kingmaker. Through his grandfather, Ralph Neville, 1st earl of Westmorland, he had connections with the house of Lancaster; he was also the nephew of Cecily Neville, wife of Richard, duke of York.
..... Click the link for more information.
. At the same time severe reprisals taken by Edward's constable, John Tiptoft, earl of Worcester, against the Lancastrian party alienated many nobles. Warwick made a marriage alliance between his daughter and Edward's rebellious brother, George, duke of Clarence, and openly revolted in 1469. Although Warwick defeated Edward's forces at Edgecote, the king soon regained his strength, and Warwick fled (1470) to France. There he formed an alliance with Margaret of Anjou, wife of Henry VI. He returned to England with an army, and Edward, who lacked the forces to fight, fled to Holland. Warwick then restored Henry VI to the throne. Edward, however, gathered an army and returned in 1471 to defeat and kill Warwick at Barnet and rout the Lancastrians at Tewkesbury. In the latter battle Margaret was captured and her son, Edward, prince of Wales, killed. After the death of Henry VI in the Tower of London later in the year, Edward's position was secure. The remainder of his reign was a peaceful one. Edward invaded France in 1475 but allowed himself to be bought off without actual fighting. He reorganized the revenues of the crown lands (now greatly expanded by the addition of the Yorkist estates) and promoted trade, benefiting from the increased customs revenues. His resulting wealth allowed him to be largely independent of Parliament, and he developed many of the absolutist precedents inherited and utilized by the Tudor monarchs.


See C. L. Scofield, The Life and Reign of Edward IV (2 vol., 1923; repr. 1967); E. F. Jacob, The Fifteenth Century (1961); C. Ross, Edward IV (1974).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/

Edward IV

1442--83, king of England (1461--70; 1471--83); son of Richard, duke of York. He defeated Henry VI in the Wars of the Roses and became king (1461). In 1470 Henry was restored to the throne, but Edward recovered the crown by his victory at Tewkesbury
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005