Any details on exactly why Buckingham rebelled against Richard iii

Nov 2019
Most sources state that he rebelled during the late summer of 1483.But nobody addresses the reasons for this in great depth.The speculative reasons I have heard are as follows:
  1. Richard III refused grant of Bohun inheritance but Alison Weir posits that Richard had given approval for this in July and they were awaiting Parliament’s approval.
  2. He discovered that Richard had ordered the princes in the tower killed and this was a step too far for Buckingham.Supporting Richard III now meant being morally complicit in this horrible crime.
  3. The bishop of Ely ,Morton ,was in Buckingham’s custody after the
    ‘plot’ of June 13th that resulted in Hastings’ execution and had tried to convince Buckingham that he was an even better candidate for kingship than Richard III
Any other speculations that I might have missed out on?

To me this is one of the bigger sub-mysteries of the whole Princes in the Tower saga and I am always surprised as to why the reasons for this rebellion are not more talked about.

On the face of it,Buckingham seems to have been number 2 in the kingdom after the king and would not have been able to do better under Tudor.


Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
If the rebellion had been successful, is it clear that Henry Tudor would have been king rather than Buckingham? Did Henry have a better claim?

Lord Fairfax

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
Space Bat Lair
Yes I've wondered about that too, it seems like he was coordinating with Henry, who's ships made for England but sailed off after learning of Buckingham's demise
Dec 2012
divining motivations in people who have been dead for 500 years is not simple, not least because what some says about their motivations isn't neccesarily the truth, or the whole truth...

personally i see Buckingham as having a 'wronged ego' type personality: his family have been very much on the losing side in the WotR, he's been forced to marry a social inferior - and one from the enemy side at that - and despite his vast wealth and aristocratic standing that puts him right at the top (ish) of society, he's been completely cut out of the English government, and he's got a massive sense of grievence and entitlement about the whole thing.

the jump from (political) obscurity to Richard, then 3 months later from Richard to anti-Richard, suggests (to me) that he's willing to listen to anyone who sympathises with him about how badly he's been treated, and to believe anything that is promised to him as being rightfully his. i think his jump to Richard was caused by loathing and fear of a Woodville monarchy and fuelled by warm words from Richard about his rightful place, and his jump from Richard caused by his realisation that Richard - an experienced and capable administrator and soldier - wasn't going to give him diddly-squat in terms of serious government power, and then fuelled by warm words about his rightful place from Margaret Beaufort (his Aunt by marriage, as well as a relation in her own right). they just happened to meet up in Bridgnorth, Shropshire shortly before his rebellion...

its certainly clear he was co-ordinating with Beauforts/Lancastrians, but i rather doubt that he was hoping to put Henry VII on the throne in place of Richard - and i rather doubt that the Beauforts, Tudors, Mortons and Brays were planning to put Henry Stafford on the throne in place of Richard....