In 1483, on this day evidence is produced in Parliament that young Edward V, son of the late King Edward IV of England, is the product of a bigamous marriage, and therefore illegitimate and ineligible for the crown, as is his brother Richard.
Edward V of EnglandTheir uncle, Richard of Gloucester (pictured), is urged by many nobles present to seize the crown for himself. Torn between love for his family and righteous indignation at the thought of a bastard on the throne of England, Richard proposes a compromise.
He would adopt the boys as his own, rule as regent till Edward came of age, and then abdicate to the boy. After much wrangling, Parliament agreed to this, and Richard was crowned Richard III ten days later. He named Edward his son and heir, and upon his majority, willingly surrendered the crown to him. Richard's reign is remembered for his fairness in civil matters and mercy to his enemies.