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(born Oct. 2, 1452, Fotheringhay Castle, Northamptonshire, Eng.died Aug. 22, 1485, Bosworth, Leicestershire) Last Yorkist king of England. He was made duke of Gloucester in 1461 after his brother Edward of York had deposed the weak Lancastrian king Henry VI and assumed power as Edward IV. Richard and Edward were driven into exile in 1470 but returned and defeated the Lancastrians in 1471. On Edward's death (1483), Richard became protector for Edward's son, the 12-year-old King Edward V, but he usurped the throne and confined Edward and his little brother to the Tower of London, where they were murdered. Henry Tudor (later Henry VII) raised an army against Richard, who was defeated and killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field. Later Tudor histories and William Shakespeare's play Richard III painted Richard as a monster and were gross caricatures motivated by the new dynasty's need to denigrate its predecessor.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Richard III, visit Britannica.com.
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