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Edward of Middleham, Prince of Wales

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Title: Edward of Middleham, Prince of Wales  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Anne Neville, House of York, Arthur, Prince of Wales, Richard II of England, Edward of Westminster, Prince of Wales
Collection: 1473 Births, 1484 Deaths, English Royalty, Heirs Apparent Who Never Acceded, House of York, Princes of Wales
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Edward of Middleham, Prince of Wales

Edward of Middleham
Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester,
Duke of Cornwall, Earl of Salisbury
Edward, Prince of Wales, son of King Richard III and his Queen consort, Anne Neville. From the contemporary Rous Roll in the Heralds' College.
Born December 1473
Middleham, Wensleydale
Died 9 April 1484 (aged 10)
Middleham, Wensleydale
Burial after 9 April 1484
Full name
English: Edward of Middleham
Welsh: Iorwerth chan Middleham
House House of York
Father Richard III of England
Mother Anne Neville
Religion Roman Catholic

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

In 1485 Richard III was killed at the Battle of Bosworth and the throne of England passed to the Lancastrian claimant, Henry Tudor, a descendant of Edward III of England through his mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort.


  • Birth and titles 1
  • Death 2
  • Burial 3
  • In fiction 4
  • Titles, styles, honours and arms 5
    • Titles 5.1
    • Arms 5.2
  • Ancestry 6
  • References 7
  • Bibliography 8
  • External links 9

Birth and titles

Edward was allegedly born in December 1473[2] at [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.

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

On 26 June 1483, his father became King of England, following a sermon preached outside St. Paul's Cathedral which declared the late King Edward IV's children illegitimate and his brother, Richard, the rightful king. After the citizens of London, nobles, and commons convened, a petition was drawn up that asked Richard to assume the throne. He accepted and was crowned at Westminster Abbey on 6 July 1483, along with his wife. His title to the throne was later confirmed by Parliament in January 1484 by the document Titulus Regius.

Edward did not attend his parents' coronation, likely due to illness.[3] He was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester in a splended ceremony in York Minster on 8 September 1483, following his parents' Royal Progress across England.[8]


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

Edward's sudden death left Richard without a legitimate child and heir.[10] 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.[11] 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.[12]

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


Cenotaph at the Sheriff Hutton Church long believed to represent Edward of Middleham, but is now thought to be an earlier work.

The location of Edward's burial is unknown. A mutilated white alabaster cenotaph ("empty tomb")[13] 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.[14]

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.

Titles, styles, honours and arms


  • 15 February 1478 onwards:[2] The Earl of Salisbury
  • 26 June 1483 onwards:[2] The Duke of Cornwall
  • 19 July 1483 onwards:[15] Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
  • 24 August 1483 onwards:[2] The Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester


Since 1483, Edward used the arms of his father; debruised with a label of three points Argent.



  1. ^ "Official Website of the British Monarchy". 
  2. ^ a b c d "- Person Page 10163". 
  3. ^ a b 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". 
  8. ^ Kendall P.M., Richard III, 1955.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Edward of Middleham at Find a Grave
  11. ^ Pierce, Hazel, Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury 1473-1541 (University of Wales Press, 2009), p. 9.
  12. ^ Wagner, John, Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses, ABC-CLIO, 2001, p. 211-212.
  13. ^ "Richard III". 
  14. ^ Routh P. and Knowles R (1982). The Sheriff Hutton Alabaster Reconsidered. Wakefield Historical Publications. 
  15. ^


  • Panton, Kenneth J. (2011). Historical Dictionary of the British Monarchy. Scarecrow Press.  

External links

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
Title last held by
George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Bedford
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
19 July 1483 – 9 April 1484
Title next held by
Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis
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