My Life Upon A Cast

“My life upon a cast” (V.4)

Chronology of the life and reign of Richard III (four panels), illustrated with places, personalities, battlefields, etc. Text by Peter Hammond.

Text and illustrations of Richard’s life arranged in four vertical ‘panels’ across two wall displays.


The first panel of this series is illustrated in the photograph that accompanies the preceding section on the Wars of the Roses. The remaining three panels, together with additional material illustrating four supposed ‘crimes’ of Richard III, are shown above.



1452 2nd October:

panel11. Drawing of Richard III, with Warwick Castle and its Charter from the English version of the Rous Roll. The text records that he was ‘born in the castle of Fotheringhay, a mighty prince in his days, special good lord to the town and lordship of Warwick, where in the castle he did a great cost of building’ (British Library)ctober: Birth of Richard at Fotheringhay Castle

2. Fotheringhay Castle and Collegiate Church as it may have appeared in the fifteenth century (by Julian Rowe). The tower and chancel still survive as the parish church but nothing remains of the castle except for the mound and a block of masonry near the river Nene.

3. Details of the carved pulpit of Fotheringhay church. A gift of Edward IV, it bears the royal arms, with the bull badge of George of Clarence and Richard’s white boar.

1459 13th October:

Battle of Ludford Bridge at Ludlow, between the Duke of York and the forces of Henry VI under his wife Queen Margaret of Anjou. Richard, with his mother the Duchess of York, his sister Margaret and his elder brother George, were taken prisoner by the Lancastrians.

4. Victorian stained glass in Ludlow church, showing figures of Richard Duke of York, lord of Ludlow from 1425 and Edward IV who incorporated the town as a borough in 1461.

1460 Summer:

Richard living with his mother in the custody of the Duchess of Buckingham, her sister, and later in the care of his cousin, the Archbishop of Canterbury

1460 10th July

After the Yorkist forces win a battle at Northampton Richard with his brother and sister sent to live in the London house of Sir John Fastolf, a Yorkist supporter.

1460 30th December

Battle of Wakefield: Richard’s father, the Duke of York, killed.

5. Elizabethan survey drawing of Sandal Castle of 1565, (accuracy confirmed in recent excavations), stronghold of Richard, Duke of York.

6. This monument, erected at Sandal in 1897, is said to mark the spot where the Duke of York was killed

1461 2nd February

Edward, eldest son of the Duke of York, won the battle of Mortimer’s Cross. Richard and George, his brothers, sent abroad to Burgundy for safety.

7. The monument at Kingsland, erected in 1795, commemorating the battle of Mortimer’s Cross.

8. Edward IV at Mortimer’s Cross, from a fifteenth century roll of his early life, showing triple suns shining through three golden crowns (British Library).

1461 29th March

Edward won the Battle of Towton, Henry VI fled to exile in Scotland with his wife Margaret and his son Edward.

9. Lord Dacre’s Cross at Towton.

1461 28th June

Edward IV crowned, Richard made knight of the Bath.

10. ‘The Coronation of Edward IV’ by S. Begg

11. Fifteenth century illustrations of the preparations for the ceremony of knighthood and the Order of the Bath (British Library).

1461 November

Richard made Duke of Gloucester.


Richard placed in household of Earl of Warwick at Middleham Castle.

12. A model of Middleham Castle as it may have appeared in the fifteenth century, by Ian Weekley.

13. The Great Hall of Middleham Castle.

14. ‘How a man shall be armed’, fifteenth century treatise such as would have been read by the young Richard at Middleham (Pierpont Morgan Library, New York).


Edward created Richard a knight of the Garter.

15. Garter Stall plate of Richard Duke of Gloucester.

16. Garter Stall plate of George duke of Clarence.


panel21464 Spring

Edward married Elizabeth Woodville, widow of a Lancastrian Sir John Grey

1. ‘Henry VI during his wanderings in the north’ by William Dyce, places a credible likeness of the king in a landscape of Pre-Raphaelite realism actually associated with his travels. (Guildhall Art Gallery, London)

2. ‘The enthronement in Reading Abbey of Elizabeth Woodville as Edward IV’s Queen’ by Ernest Board. The Queen’s train is held by her sons Richard and Thomas Grey, on the right figures of Warwick, Clarence and her brother Lord Rivers.

1468 June

Richard accompanied his sister Margaret on first part of her journey to Burgundy for marriage to the Duke of Burgundy.

3. This portrait of Margaret of York shows her wearing jewellery associated with her marriage: the initial brooch in her headdress and the necklace with red and white roses and intertwined ‘C’ and ‘M’ initials. (Louvre)

4. Portrait of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy (Gemaldegallerie, Berlin)

1469 Summer

Richard accompanied Edward on journey to Norfolk at signs of unrest in the north. Wrote first known letter at Castle Rising. Battle of Edgecote in July. Yorkist commander Lord Herbert executed after the battle.

5. Miniature from John Lydgate’s ‘Troy Book’ showing William Lord Herbert and his wife kneeling before Edward IV.


Richard Neville, earl of Warwick, with Richard’s brother George, now Duke of Clarence, began open rebellion against Edward. Forced to flee to France, they allied themselves with Margaret of Anjou and Louis XI of France. They returned to England with an army.

1470 October

Edward and Richard fled to Burgundy.


Richard and Edward in exile in Burgundy.

6. The house in Bruges, now a museum, occupied by the royal brothers in exile.

7. Portrait of their host, Louis de Gruthuyse, whom Edward later created Earl ofWinchester

1471 March

Edward IV returned to England with his brother Richard and a small army, landing at Ravenspur, near Hull.

8. ‘Edward IV arrives at Ravenspur’ by Pat Nicholle.

1471 March/April

Edward marched south, and is joined by his brother George of Clarence.

9. Anne Beauchamp, Countess of Warwick, and Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, ‘the Kingmaker’ from the English version of the Rous Roll (British Library).

1471 14th April

Battle of Barnet, fought in a dense mist between Edward IV and the Earl of Warwick. Richard commands the right wing of the Yorkist Army, and plays important part in the Yorkist victory. Warwick and his brother killed in the battle.

10. Isabel and George, Duke and Duchess of Clarence, from the Latin version of the Rous Roll, (College of Arms)

11. The battle of Barnet, from the Ghent manuscript, Edward IV’s official account of his 1471 campaign. In this miniature Edward is shown piercing Warwick with his lance.

12. Model of the battle, part of the Barnet Quincentenary Exhibition of 1971.

13. Seal ring with Warwick’s bear and ragged staff badges, said to have been taken from his body after the battle, (Liverpool City Museums).

14. ‘Death of the Earl of Warwick’ by J. E. Doyle

15. Hadley Highstone, erected in 1740, marks approximate centre of Warwick’s position.

16. Heraldic frieze designed for the 1971 Exhibition, showing figures of the principal commanders: Warwick, Oxford, Montague, Exeter, Gloucester, Clarence, Edward IV, and Hastings.


panel31471 – 1 4th May

Battle of Tewkesbury, between Edward IV and Margaret of Anjou and her son Edward of Lancaster. Richard commanded the left wing of the Yorkist army and again played a major part in the battle. Lancastrians were utterly defeated. Edward of Lancaster killed in the battle (see Crimes of Richard III).

1. Battle of Tewkesbury from the Ghent manuscript. The miniature probably shows the death of Prince Edward killed ‘in the field’.

2. Execution of the Duke of Somerset after the Battle of Tewkesbury, (Ghent MSS).

3. The sacristy door of Tewkesbury Abbey said to be plated with armour gleaned from the battlefield.

4. The circle of gilded suns above the choir of the abbey commemorates Edward’s victory.

5. Quincentenary battle model, Tewkesbury Museum.

6. Gupshill Manor, near the centre of the battlefield, exhibits a sign showing the Duke of Somerset and a banner of Queen Margaret’s arms.

1471 May

Death of Henry VI in the Tower of London.

7. Drawing said to be Henry VI’s tomb, St. George’s Chapel, Windsor. Of the achievements hanging above, which may date from Richard’s reign, only the helm survives.


Quarrels between Clarence and Gloucester over the Warwick estates. Richard goes to live in the north as ‘Lord of the North.’


Richard’s marriage to Anne Neville.


Birth of Richard’s only legitimate son, Edward of Middleham.

1475 Summer

Richard joined Edward’s expedition to France against Louis XI of France. Little fighting took place; Richard opposed ignominious peace at Picquiny.

8. Portrait of Louis XI by Fouquet.

9. ‘Edward IV sails for France, 1475’ Heraldic design by Dan Escott.

Details from the misericord carving on the Sovereign’s stall, St. George’s, Windsor:

10. Louis XI leaving his castle.

11. Louis XI (figure now headless) greets Edward on the bridge at Picquigny.

12. Edward IV outside his tent, flanked by his two brothers.

That this scene was chosen by Edward to be a central figure of the carving in St. George’s suggests that he regarded it as an outstanding triumph of his policy.

1476 July

Richard accompanied the bodies of his father and brother Edmund (killed at Wakefield) for reburial at Fotheringhay Church.

13. Elizabethan tomb of Richard Duke of York, Cecily Neville and the Earl of Rutland, replacing the destroyed original in Fotheringhay Church.

1478 February

Death (execution?) of George Duke of Clarence in the Tower.

14. Modern plaque to George and Isobel, Duke and Duchess of Clarence. Clarence vault,Tewkesbury Abbey.

Richard’s creation of a College at Middleham Church for the repose of his soul and those of his family.

1482 Summer

Richard lead an army into war against Scotland. Captured Berwick and Edinburgh.

1483 9th April

Death of Edward IV at Westminster. Richard left Yorkshire after a Requiem Mass and oath of allegiance at York Minster.

15. The finely wrought gates by John Tressillan (1483) protecting the tomb of Edward IV, St. George’s Chapel, Windsor.

1483 29-30 April

Richard reached Northampton and took control of Edward V at Stony Stratford. Queen Elizabeth Woodville fled to sanctuary.

16. Procession of Edward V and Richard, Duke of Gloucester, on road from Stony Stratford, Pat Nicholle.

1483 4th May

Richard entered London with Edward V and Buckingham. Lived at Baynard’s Castle and Crosby Place.

1483 4th June

Richard sent for troops from north to protect himself against the Queen and her allies.

1483 13th June

Council meeting at the Tower. Hastings executed; Bishop of Ely arrested.

1483 16th June

Richard, Duke of York, came out of Sanctuary and joined Edward V in the Tower.

17. Cardinal Bourchier persuading Queen Elizabeth to give up her son. By J. Z. Bell.

18. ‘Vigils of the dead’ page from the Hastings Hours. (British Library)

Edward V and his brother, Richard, Duke of York, declared bastards in a sermon at St. Paul’s

19. Preaching at St. Paul’s Cross. (Society of Antiquaries)

1483 25th June

Execution of Earl Rivers (brother of Queen Elizabeth) and Sir Thomas Vaughan atPontefract.

1483 26th June

Richard proclaimed King at Baynard’s Castle.

20. Richard offered the crown at Baynard’s Castle. Mural in The Royal Exchange, London, by Sigismund Goetze.


panel41. Pontefract Castle as it was in the seventeenth century by Alexander Kierinck.

2. Memorial Brass to Sir Thomas Vaughan, Chancellor to Edward V, Westminster Abbey.

1483 6th July

Coronation of Richard III and Queen Anne.

3. Memorial brass to John Estney, Abbot of Westminster, who played a major part in Richard III’s Coronation.

Artists’ impressions of the Coronation of Richard III:

4. By W. Rotherell.

5. By Alan Stewar.

1483 July

Richard set out on progress through Windsor, Reading, Oxford, Woodstock, Minster Lovell, Gloucester, Tewkesbury, Worcester, Warwick, Coventry, Leicester, Nottingham, Pontefract and York.

1483 8th September

Investiture of Richard’s son Edward of Middleham as Prince of Wales at York.

6. Investiture of Edward, Prince of Wales at York (after the painting by Lord Leighton).

1483 October

Rebellion led by the Duke of Buckingham, in favour of the deposed Edward V, and after rumours of his death, in favour of Henry Tudor.

7. Richard’s letter from Lincoln, with an emotive postscript denouncing Buckingham as ‘the most untrue creature living’.Richard III Letter

8. Buckingham finds the river Severn impassible. By J. E. Doyle.

1483 November

Buckingham arrested an executed at Salisbury.

1484 January

Opening of only parliament of reign, many good laws passed, including prohibition of forced loans and reformation of the provisions for bail.

1484 March

Elizabeth Woodville and daughters came out of sanctuary. Richard promised to marry them to gentlemen of suitable rank.

9, 10. The daughters of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville: Elizabeth, Cecily, Anne, Katherine and Mary. Fifteenth-century stained glass figures from the Royal Window, Canterbury Cathedral.

1484 April

Richard and Queen Anne at Nottingham (their ‘Castle of Care’), hear of the death of their only son, Edward of Middleham. Edward buried at Sheriff Hutton.

11. Nottingham Castle as it may have appeared in the fifteenth century. The apartments of Edward IV and Richard’s Tower are centre background.

12. Effigy attributed to Edward, Prince of Wales, Sheriff Hutton Church, Yorkshire.

13. St. Nicholas chapel, Sheriff Hutton Church. Tomb and effigy attributed to Prince Edward.

1484 December

Christmas at Westminster, with Elizabeth of York dressed in same manner as the Queen.

1485 March

Queen Anne Neville died at Westminster. Richard denied plans to marry his niece Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV.

14. Modern memorial to Anne Neville, Westminster Abbey.

1485 June

Richard to Nottingham–headquarters against an invasion by Henry Tudor.

1485 7 August

Henry Tudor landed at Milford Haven.

1485 22nd August

Battle of Bosworth, fought between Sutton Cheney and Dadlington, near Leicester. Owing to the treachery of Lord Stanley and his brother Sir William Stanley and the inactivity of the Earl of Northumberland, Richard was defeated and killed. Henry Tudor crowned on the battlefield.

15. Inn sign of the ‘Three Tuns’, Atherstone, where traditionally Henry Tudor met Lord Stanley. A mural above the bar in the Three Tuns illustrates some events of 1485:

16. Henry and his standard bearer arrive at Atherstone.

17. Henry encamped before the battle.

18. Henry with the body of Richard III.

19. Lord Stanley hands the crown to Henry.

20. Stained glass once in the Henry VII Chapel, Westminster Abbey, includes the Crown and Thornbush badge adopted by the victorious Henry after Bosworth.