Edward of Middleham, Prince of Wales

On 9th April 1484 Edward of Middleham, Prince of Wales, passed away. The only child of King Richard III and Anne Neville, Edward was known to have been a sickly child. His date, even year, or birth is not known. Nor is the prince’s burial place. 

Edward of Middleham

The son of Richard and Anne spent most of his life living in Yorkshire. His health is most likely the reason that he did not travel very often. As son of the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, as his parents were at the time of his birth, he was able to be granted titles from an early age. He 15th February 1478 he was created Earl of Salisbury, a title that had been held by Anne’s father and grandfather.

Prince of Wales

The accession of his father to the throne changed the boys status. No longer was he behind his cousins and father in line to the throne, he was now the heir. From the date of his father becoming King, 26th June 1483, Edward of Middleham was known as Duke of Cornwall. A rank held by tradition by the heir to the throne.

Edward was also granted the honorary position of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Granted this role in July 1483 it would potentially see the Prince gaining experience of governance should he have lived into adulthood.

On 8th September 1483 Edward was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester, in addition to his Dukedom of Cornwall. This saw Edward of Middleham at York Minster for a grand ceremony attended by his parents as part of their Royal Progress.

Edward’s poor health must have remained a concern. He returned to the castle at Middleham after being created Prince of Wales. It was there where he died in April 1484.

Death of Edward of Middleham, Prince of Wales

However, in a short time after, it was fully seen how vain are the thoughts of a man who desires to establish his interests without the aid of God. For, in the following month of April, on a day not very far distant from the anniversary of king Edward, this only son of his, in whom all the hopes of the royal succession, fortified with so many oaths, were centred, was seized with an illness of but short duration, and died at Middleham Castle, in the year of our Lord, 1484, being the first of the reign of the said king Richard. On hearing the news of this, at Nottingham, where they were then residing, one might have seen his father and mother in a state almost bordering on madness, by reason of their sudden grief.

Croyland Chronicle

Middleham Castle birthplace of Edward of Middleham, home of the Neville family
Middleham Castle

Image Credit

Featured Image: Edward of Middleham on a White Boar. Original from the Rous Roll, by John Rous, 15th century. Image is printed in: Jesse, John Heneage (1862) Memoirs of King Richard the Third and Some of His Comtemporaries: With an Historical Drama on the Battle of Bosworth (PDF), London: Richard Bentley, pp. p. X Via Wikipedia

Later Medieval Gatehouse at Middleham Castle. By leestuartsherriff – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia.

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