York in the Time of Richard III

Richard III retained close connections with York throughout his short reign and visited the city several times. Just after his coronation in 1483, he stayed for three weeks during which time he received generous gifts, was hosted by the mayor and aldermen and was sprinkled with holy water at the entrance to York Minster. The highlight of the visit was the investiture of his son, Edward, as Prince of Wales.Middleham Castle

When Richard spent time in the household of Richard Neville Earl of Warwick as a teenage boy, it is likely that he spent some of it at Middleham Castle in North Yorkshire. He would have moved around frequently, spending time at Warwick’s other residencies such as Sheriff Hutton Castle just outside York.

During his reign Richard returned with his wife, Anne, to both Sandal and Middleham Castles and his only legitimate son, Edward, was born and died at Middleham.

From his time in the north during his youth Richard forged some close connections with members of the northern elite. In June 1484 he based his Council of the North at Sandal Castle near Wakefield; the site of Richard’s father’s death in 1460.

In 1485, eighty soldiers from York were sent to defend the King against Henry Tudor. They left the city on the 19th August 1485 but probably arrived too late to fight in the Battle of Bosworth which took place three days later. York House books recorded:

‘….King Richard, late mercifully reigning upon us…was piteously slain and murdered to the great heaviness of this city….’

Discover the impact the last Plantagenet monarch had on York at the Richard III Experience at Monk Bar.