Edward IV

Edward, the son of Richard, duke of York and Cicely Neville, was born in Rouen, France, in 1442. Richard, Duke of York was killed during the Wars of the Roses, so when Henry VI and his forces were defeated in 1461, Edward was crowned king. With the support of his cousin, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, Edward defeated the Lancastrians at Towton.

Edward had difficulty keeping the support of his nobles. They were particularly upset by his decision to marry Elizabeth Woodville without first seeking their advice. The nobles objected to Elizabeth because she did not have royal blood and was the widow of a Lancastrian knight.

In 1470 the Earl of Warwick forced Edward into exile and put Henry VI back on the throne. The following year Edward returned and in April, Edward defeated and killed the Earl of Warwick at Barnet. He destroyed the remaining Lancastrian forces at Tewkesbury in May, 1471.

Once back in power, Edward IV had Henry executed at the Tower of London. Now firmly in control, Edward began to introduce a series of reforms. Law and order were restored and corrupt local officials were punished. Edward was determined to cut government expenditure and he gained the support of Parliament when he did not ask for any new taxes for several years.

Edward, 1042-1066 William I, 1066-1087 William II, 1087-1100 Henry I, 1100-1135 Stephen, 1135-1154 Henry II, 1154-1189 Richard I, 1189-1199 John, 1199-1216 Henry III, 1216-1272 Edward I, 1272-1307 Edward II, 1307-1327 Edward III, 1327-1377 Richard II, 1377-1399 Henry IV, 1399-1413 Henry V, 1413-1422 Henry VI, 1422-1461 Edward IV, 1461-1483 Edward V, 1483-1483 Richard III, 1483-1485 Henry VII, 1485-1509 Henry VIII, 1509-1547 Edward VI, 1547-1553 Mary, 1553-1558 Elizabeth I, 1558-1603 James I, 1603-1625 Charles I, 1625-1649 Charles II, 1660-1685 James II, 1685-1688 Mary II, 1688-1694 William III, 1688-1702 Anne, 1702-1714 George I, 1714-1727 George II, 1727-1760 George III, 1760-1820 George IV, 1820-1830 William IV, 1830-1837 Victoria, 1837-1901 Edward VII, 1901-1910 George V, 1910-1936 Edward VIII, 1936 George VI, 1936-1952