This Day in History: 1484-04-09

On 9th April 1484, Richard III’s son, Edward, died. He was about ten years old and his death threw Richard and his Queen, Anne Neville,  into a state of near madness. As a usurper of the throne, Richard needed an heir to guarantee the security of the succession. Richard had fathered many illegitimate sons including one John of Pontefract, but Edward was the only one who could be accepted as the heir to the crown. His death was therefore catastrophic for Richard. Following his death and realising the danger to his  future succession, Richard had Edward 17th Earl of Warwick and the son of his elder brother George Duke of Clarence ( who had been executed in 1478) and Isabel Neville, sent to his residence at Sheriff Hutton. John de la Pole,  Earl of Lincoln, Richard’s nephew and son of his elder sister, Elizabeth, would be preferred to Edward and would be chosen to supersede Edward’s position in the north and he would rule on the king’s behalf from Sandal Castle, which had been chosen as the headquarters of the  Council of the North.