Edward IV (b.1442 r.1461-1470, 1471-1483)
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Edward IV (b.1442 r.1461-1470, 1471-1483)

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This Monarch was famous only for his Beauty and his Courage, of which the Picture we have here given of him, and his undaunted behaviour in marrying one Woman while he was engaged to another, are sufficient proofs.
Jane Austen, The History of England by a Partial, Prejudiced and Ignorant Historian.

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Edward IV (b.1442 r.1461-1470, 1471-1483)

Edward, son of Richard Duke of York, was another tall, handsome warrior king - nicknamed 'The Sunne in Splendour'. Edward had ascended the throne as the result of the defeat and deposing of Henry VI in 1461 during the Wars of the Roses. Edward came to the throne with two aims - to restore the system of justice and to improve the Royal finances. He was a very hard worker and immediately got to work on military matters, government, diplomacy, commerce and law. As a result, he allowed his cousin Richard the Earl of Warwick to govern the kingdom whilst he saw to financial matters and the crown debts.

Unfortunately, problems arose in 1464 when Edward married Elizabeth Woodville, the widow of a commoner. This greatly upset Warwick who felt his dominancy threatened and disliked the power Edward gave to her family, and so he betrayed Edward and helped queen Margaret to restore her husband Henry VI to the throne in 1470. The Battle of Barnet followed and Edward defeated them, killing Warwick, deposing Henry, and once again assuming the throne himself. The latter years of Edward's reign were relatively peaceful, resulting in a secure end to his reign.


That which contributed to his entering London as soon as he appeared at its gates was the greatest debts this prince had contracted, which made his creditors gladly assist him.
- Philip de Comines, Memoirs, 1524.

He had been during the last twelve years more accustomed to his ease and pleasure than any other princes who lived in his time. He had nothing in his thoughts but les dames and of them more than was reasonable, and hunting matches, good eating, and great care of his person.
- Philip de Comines, Memoirs, 1524.

He was a visage louelye, of bodye wyghtye, stronge, and cleene made: howe bee it in his later dayes, with oure liberal dyet, somewhat corpulente and boorelye, and nathelesse not uncomelye; he was of youthe greatlye geune to flashlye wantonnesse, from whiche heathe of bodye, in greate prosperitye and fortune, wythoute a specyal grace hardlye refraineth.
- Sir Thomas More, The Historie of Kyng Rycharde The Thirde.

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