Edward of Middleham, Prince of Wales

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Edward of Middleham
Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester,
Duke of Cornwall, Earl of Salisbury
Rous Roll - Edward, Prince of Wales.jpg
Illustration from the contemporary Rous Roll in the Heralds' College
BornDecember 1473
Middleham, Wensleydale
Died9 April 1484 (aged 10)
Middleham, Wensleydale
Burialafter 9 April 1484
Full name
English: Edward of Middleham
Welsh: Edward o Middleham
House York
Father Richard III of England
Mother Anne Neville
Religion Roman Catholic
English Royalty
House of York
Coat of Arms of Richard III of England (1483-1485).svg
Richard III

Edward of Middleham, Prince of Wales, Earl of Chester, Duke of Cornwall, 1st Earl of Salisbury (December 1473 9 April 1484), was the heir apparent of King Richard III of England and his wife, Anne Neville. He was Richard's only legitimate child and died aged ten. [1]

Richard III of England 15th-century King of England

Richard III was King of England and Lord of Ireland from 1483 until his death. He was the last king of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty. His defeat and death at the Battle of Bosworth Field, the last decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses, marked the end of the Middle Ages in England. He is the protagonist of Richard III, one of William Shakespeare's history plays.

Anne Neville 15th-century English queen

Anne Neville was an English queen, the daughter of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick. She became Princess of Wales as the wife of Edward of Westminster and then Queen of England as the wife of King Richard III.


Birth and titles

Edward was allegedly born in December 1473 [2] at Middleham Castle, a stronghold close to York that became Richard and Anne's principal base in northern England. [3] The date of 1473 is, however, not universally accepted; Professor Charles Ross wrote that the date 1473 "lacks authority. In fact, he was probably not born until 1476." [4] The act of Parliament that settled the dispute between George of Clarence and Richard over Anne Beauchamp's inheritance just as if the Countess of Warwick "was naturally dead" was dated May 1474. [5] The doubts cast by Clarence on the validity of Richard and Anne's marriage were addressed by a clause protecting their rights in the event they were divorced (i.e. of their marriage being declared null and void by the Church) and then legally remarried to each other, and also protected Richard's rights while waiting for such a valid second marriage with Anne. [6] There were no provisions, however, for their heirs in case of this said divorce, which seems to confirm Richard and Anne had no children as of 1474. But such provision was the provence of the ruling king for those of royal blood so would have been moot.

Middleham Castle 12th-century castle in Middleham, England

Middleham Castle a ruined castle in Middleham in Wensleydale, in the county of North Yorkshire, England, was built by Robert Fitzrandolph, 3rd Lord of Middleham and Spennithorne, commencing in 1190. The castle is most famous for being the childhood home of King Richard III, although he spent very little of his reign there. The castle was built to defend the road from Richmond to Skipton, though some have suggested the original site of the castle was far better to achieve this than the later location. After the death of King Richard III the castle remained in royal hands until it was allowed to go to ruin in the 17th century. Many of the stones from the castle were used in other buildings in the village of Middleham.

York Historic city in the north of England

York is a city and unitary authority area in North Yorkshire, England, with a population of 208,200 as of 2017. Located at the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss, it is the county town of the historic county of Yorkshire and was the home of the House of York throughout its existence. The city is known for its famous historical landmarks such as York Minster and the city walls, as well as a variety of cultural and sporting activities, which makes it a popular tourist destination in England. The local authority is the City of York Council, a single tier governing body responsible for providing all local services and facilities throughout the city. The City of York local government district includes rural areas beyond the old city boundaries.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Edward was mostly kept at Middleham, and was known to be a sickly child. [7]

In 1478, Edward was granted the title of Earl of Salisbury, previously held by the attainted George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence. The title became extinct on his death. [8] On 26 June 1483, his father became King of England, deposing his nephew Edward V. Edward did not attend his parents' coronation, likely due to illness. [3] He was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester in a splendid ceremony in York Minster on 8 September 1483, following his parents' royal progress across England. [9]

Earl of Salisbury

Earl of Salisbury is a title that has been created several times in English and British history. It has a complex history, being first created for Patrick de Salisbury in the middle twelfth century. It was eventually inherited by Alice, wife of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster. When the Earl of Lancaster lost his titles and was executed for treason in 1322, the Countess surrendered all of her titles to the King, and the titles lapsed.

George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence 15th-century English noble

George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence, KG, was the third surviving son of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, and Cecily Neville, and the brother of English Kings Edward IV and Richard III. He played an important role in the dynastic struggle between rival factions of the Plantagenets known as the Wars of the Roses.

Prince of Wales British Royal Family Title

Prince of Wales was a title granted to princes born in Wales from the 12th century onwards; the term replaced the use of the word king. One of the last Welsh princes, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, was killed in battle in 1282 by Edward I, King of England, whose son Edward was invested as the first English Prince of Wales in 1301.


The reasons of his sudden death are unknown. The Croyland Chronicle reads:

<i>Croyland Chronicle</i>

The Croyland or Crowland Chronicle is an important primary source for English medieval history, particularly the late 15th century. It is named for its place of origin, the Benedictine Abbey of Croyland or Crowland, in Lincolnshire, England. It was formerly also known as the Chronicle of Ingulf or Ingulphus after its supposed original compiler, the 11th-century abbot Ingulf. As that section of the text is now known to have been a later forgery, its author is instead known as Pseudo-Ingulf. The validity of the source itself has been questioned, partially due to the unknown identity of the original author, and gaps in all continuations of the text. There has also been substantially little effort made to find and translate the original manuscript.

Edward's sudden death left Richard without a legitimate child and heir. [11] Contemporary historian John Rous recorded that Richard declared his nephew Edward, Earl of Warwick, his heir in his place, but there is no other evidence of this. [12] Similarly, John de la Pole, 1st Earl of Lincoln also seemed to have been designated as Richard's new heir, but was never publicly proclaimed as such. [13]

John Rous (historian) English historian and antiquarian

John Rous (c.1411/20-1492) was a medieval English historian and antiquary, most notable for his book Historia Regum Angliae, which describes British and English rulers from Brutus of Britain to Henry VII.

Edward Plantagenet, 17th Earl of Warwick English Earl

Edward Plantagenet, 17th Earl of Warwick was the son of George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence, and a potential claimant to the English throne during the reigns of both Richard III (1483–1485) and his successor, Henry VII (1485–1509). He was also a younger brother of Margaret Pole, 8th Countess of Salisbury.

John de la Pole, 1st Earl of Lincoln English noble

John de la Pole, 1st Earl of Lincoln was a leading figure in the Yorkist aristocracy during the Wars of the Roses.

Richard's enemies were inclined to believe that Edward's sudden death was divine retribution for Richard's alleged involvement in the usurpation and subsequent disappearance of the sons of Edward IV, Edward V of England and Richard, Duke of York.


Cenotaph at Sheriff Hutton Church long believed to represent Edward of Middleham, but now thought to be an earlier work. Edward of Middleham (geograph).jpg
Cenotaph at Sheriff Hutton Church long believed to represent Edward of Middleham, but now thought to be an earlier work.

The location of Edward's burial is unknown. A mutilated white alabaster cenotaph ("empty tomb") [14] in the church at Sheriff Hutton with an effigy of a child was long believed to represent Edward of Middleham, but is now thought to be an earlier work depicting one of the Neville family. [15]

It is perhaps most probable that Edward, having died in Middleham Castle, was buried in the nearby parish church of Saints Mary and Alkelda in Middleham, where his father had intended to found a college. However evidence for this suggestion is lacking.

In fiction

Edward of Middleham appeared in Sharon Penman's The Sunne in Splendour and in Sandra Worth's The Rose of York series. In the latter series, it is implied that Edward was poisoned at the behest of Margaret Beaufort, as part of her efforts to secure the throne for her son, the eventual Henry VII.

Edward of Middleham is a character in Joan Szechtman's Loyalty Binds Me, her 2nd book about Richard III in the 21st century.

Edward of Middleham also appears in Phillipa Gregory's Cousins' War series, and in the TV adaptation of the novels, The White Queen .

Titles, styles, honours and arms



Edward's coat of arms as Prince of Wales Arms of the Prince of Wales (Modern).svg
Edward's coat of arms as Prince of Wales

From 1483 to 1484, Edward used the arms of his father, debruised with a label of three points Argent.


Related Research Articles

Edward V of England 15th-century King of England and one of the Princes in the Tower

Edward V succeeded his father, Edward IV, as King of England and Lord of Ireland upon the latter's death on 9 April 1483. He was never crowned, and his brief reign was dominated by the influence of his uncle and Lord Protector, the Duke of Gloucester, who deposed him to reign as Richard III on 26 June 1483; this was confirmed by the Act entitled Titulus Regius, which denounced any further claims through his father's heirs.

Edward IV of England 15th-century King of England

Edward IV was the King of England from 4 March 1461 to 3 October 1470, and again from 11 April 1471 until his death. He was the first Yorkist King of England. The first half of his rule was marred by the violence associated with the Wars of the Roses, but he overcame the Lancastrian challenge to the throne at Tewkesbury in 1471 to reign in peace until his sudden death. Before becoming king, he was Duke of York, Earl of March, Earl of Cambridge and Earl of Ulster.

Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury 16th-century English noblewoman

Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, was an English peeress. She was the daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, the brother of kings Edward IV and Richard III. Margaret was one of two women in 16th century England to be a peeress in her own right with no titled husband. One of the few surviving members of the Plantagenet dynasty after the Wars of the Roses, she was executed in 1541 at the command of Henry VIII, who was the son of her first cousin Elizabeth of York. Pope Leo XIII beatified her as a martyr for the Catholic Church on 29 December 1886.

Duke of Cornwall title in the Peerage of England

Duke of Cornwall is a title in the Peerage of England, traditionally held by the eldest son of the reigning British monarch, previously the English monarch. The Duchy of Cornwall was the first duchy created in England and was established by royal charter in 1337. The present duke is the Prince of Wales, the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II. His wife, Camilla, is the current Duchess.

House of York Cadet branch of the English royal House of Plantagenet

The House of York was a cadet branch of the English royal House of Plantagenet. Three of its members became kings of England in the late 15th century. The House of York was descended in the male line from Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York, the fourth surviving son of Edward III, but also represented Edward's senior line, being cognatic descendants of Lionel, Duke of Clarence, Edward III's second surviving son. It is based on these descents that they claimed the English crown. Compared with the House of Lancaster, it had a senior claim to the throne of England according to cognatic primogeniture but junior claim according to the agnatic primogeniture. The reign of this dynasty ended with the death of Richard III of England at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. It became extinct in the male line with the death of Edward Plantagenet, 17th Earl of Warwick, in 1499.

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  1. "Official Website of the British Monarchy". royal.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 8 October 2009.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "- Person Page 10163". thepeerage.com.
  3. 1 2 Panton, p. 162-163
  4. Ross, Charles. Richard III (Univ. of California Press, 1981) ISBN   0-520-04589-0, p. 29, n22, citing P. W. Hammond Edward of Middleham, Prince of Wales (1973) pgs. 12, 35-6, and also T. B. Pugh, Glamorgan County History III (1971) p 687.
  5. Ross, C.D., Richard III, St. Ives 1981, p.30
  6. C. Given-Wilson [ed.], Parliament Rolls of Medieval England, Edward IV - October 1472 - 2nd roll
  7. "Princes of Wales". englishmonarchs.co.uk.
  8. Wikisource-logo.svg One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Salisbury, Earls of"  . Encyclopædia Britannica . 24 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 72.
  9. Kendall P.M., Richard III, 1955.
  10. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 October 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. Edward of Middleham at Find a Grave
  12. Pierce, Hazel, Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury 1473-1541 (University of Wales Press, 2009), p. 9.
  13. Wagner, John, Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses, ABC-CLIO, 2001, p. 211-212.
  14. "Richard III". englishmonarchs.co.uk.
  15. Routh P. and Knowles R (1982). The Sheriff Hutton Alabaster Reconsidered. Wakefield Historical Publications.
  16. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 January 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)


Edward of Middleham, Prince of Wales
Cadet branch of the House of Plantagenet
Born: December 1473 Died: 9 April 1484
English royalty
Title last held by
Edward of the Sanctuary
Prince of Wales
24 August 1483 9 April 1484
Title next held by
Arthur Tudor
Peerage of England
Title last held by
Edward of the Sanctuary
Duke of Cornwall
26 June 1483 9 April 1484
Title next held by
Arthur Tudor
Earl of Chester
24 August 1483 9 April 1484
Political offices
Title last held by
The Duke of Bedford
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
19 July 1483 9 April 1484
Title next held by
The Marquess Cornwallis