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Duke of Buckingham

Richard's naming as Protector in place of Edward caused immediate conflict as the Woodville family sought to make Edward V king. Lord Hastings was no supporter of the Queen's wishes and with the help of the Duke of Buckingham they intercepted Edward V on the road to London. The situation itself was a legacy of Edward IV's marriage, which created the rift between the Woodvilles and the older aristocracy. Buckingham was"a headstrong man with a special grudge against the Woodvilles"Richard was confirmed as king in July and was attended by virtually the entire peerage.

The Duke of Buckingham was living at Brecknock, (Brecon) in Wales at the time. Buckingham sent a message to Henry, Earl of Richmond, who was exiled in Brittany. The Bishop of Ely, who was a prisoner of Buckingham and requested him to come to England in haste with the purpose of marrying Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of the late King and take possession of the throne, wrote it. In this, he had the support of many noblemen throughout the south of England including Dorset and the neighbouring counties.

Picture of Henry Stafford and link to Buckinham's Retinue website
However on a royal visit to Lincoln in October Richard III learned from his spies that his chief accomplice, Buckingham, was now in arms against him, having come to terms with the Woodvilles. According to Polydore Vergil, (Henry VII's historian) Buckingham had encouraged Richard's take over simply as a stepping-stone for his own elevation. Richard III made his own anguished comment on the rebellion.
"Here, praised be God, all is well and truly determined and ready to resist the malice of him that had the best cause to be true, the Duke of Buckingham, and most untrue creature living; and with God's grace we shall not be long until we shall be in that region and subdue his malice".

In that same month, Henry Tudor sailed from Brittany to join the Duke of Buckingham. Henry's fleet was scattered by a storm although he made landfall at Poole. He never made it ashore as Buckingham's enemies were waiting for him

King Richard ordered that armed men should be set in readiness throughout Wales to capture Buckingham. He attempted to escape but was discovered in a crofter's cottage and taken to Salisbury where the King had a very large army. There was little resistance and he was executed for all to see in the market place on All Souls Day (2nd November). There is no agreement about the date of his death as some recount he was beheaded on the 16th December. The deed took place outside the Blue Boar and the Saracen's Head taverns. Today the event is marked by a plaque on the side of Debenhams department store.

Whatever the motives, the whole rebellion ended in fiasco. On the following day the king proceeded with all his army towards Exeter. The remaining nobles who had taken part in the rebellion took to the sea for Brittany. These included the Marquis of Dorset and various other nobles of the adjoining counties. As an aside to this story, Buckingham's daughter Elizabeth, who married the Earl of Sussex, was to become the first recorded mistress of King Henry VIII.

Picture of the plaque in Salisbury marketplace and link to Wiltshire County Council website