The death of Edward IV

Feb 2011
9,998
Cumbernauld Scotland
#1
Edward IV had died at the age of 41 just a few weeks of his 42nd birthday and during his life he had led an active life both on and off the field. During his last years he had put on a bit of weight as Mancini had written; "He[was] a tall man and very fat though not the point of deformity" and he also mentioned "in food and drink he was most immoderate: it was his habit, so I have learned, to take an emetic for the delight of gorging his stomach once more. For this reason..he had grown fat in the loins"

He had also had been noted to being sick as it had been mentioned that Edward had used a feather down his throat to make him vomit.

Edward was rather fond of the good things in life and it appears to have died suddenly and without any obvious cause. Writers that had written about his death had written some different accounts about his death. Mancini's account of "allowed the damp cold to strike his vitals, when one day he was taken in a small boat, with those whom he had bidden go fishing, and watched their sport too eagerly" sounds a bit weird.

The Earl Rivers, Anthony Woodville was one of the most powerful men in England at the time of Edward IV last illness as Edward had fell ill soon after March 30th and made a short recovery and died on April 8/9th. What had followed after that was that the Woodvilles strange behavior as it was Hastings that had notified the Duke of Gloucester of the kings death and the Anthony had gone to get his nephew from Ludlow to be crowned king.

By the time that the Woodvilles had heard of the interception at Stony Stratford, the Woodvilles had decided to loot the crown jewels, with Edward Woodville taking his share across the channel to join Henry Tudor in exile.

There is a contemporary account that was made by Richard's own hand in writing to the City of York on June 10th of the accusation of murder.
"...we heartily pray you to come unto us in London in all the diligence ye can possible, after the sight hereof, with as many as ye can make defensibly arrayed, there to aid and assist us against the Queen, her blood, adherents and affinity, which have intended and do intend, to murder and utterly destroy us and our cousin, the Duke of Buckingham, and the old royal blood of this realm, and as it is now openly known, by their suble and damnable ways forecasted [plotted] the same.." from York Civic Records.

Later Vergil had mentioned that he "died of a disease utterly unknown to all the physicians which showeth some that there was some foul play, and that may be understood to be either poison or sorcery"

What's your slant on it was he murdered?
 
Jun 2012
188
England
#2
Well, knowing his hedonistic lifestyle, it could be syphilis?

That disease was only first writtena bout in 1494-5 after a French invasion of Italy?
 

kbear

Ad Honorem
Sep 2010
6,431
#3
Edward IV had died at the age of 41 just a few weeks of his 42nd birthday and during his life he had led an active life both on and off the field. During his last years he had put on a bit of weight as Mancini had written; "He[was] a tall man and very fat though not the point of deformity" and he also mentioned "in food and drink he was most immoderate: it was his habit, so I have learned, to take an emetic for the delight of gorging his stomach once more. For this reason..he had grown fat in the loins"

He had also had been noted to being sick as it had been mentioned that Edward had used a feather down his throat to make him vomit.

Edward was rather fond of the good things in life and it appears to have died suddenly and without any obvious cause. Writers that had written about his death had written some different accounts about his death. Mancini's account of "allowed the damp cold to strike his vitals, when one day he was taken in a small boat, with those whom he had bidden go fishing, and watched their sport too eagerly" sounds a bit weird.

The Earl Rivers, Anthony Woodville was one of the most powerful men in England at the time of Edward IV last illness as Edward had fell ill soon after March 30th and made a short recovery and died on April 8/9th. What had followed after that was that the Woodvilles strange behavior as it was Hastings that had notified the Duke of Gloucester of the kings death and the Anthony had gone to get his nephew from Ludlow to be crowned king.

By the time that the Woodvilles had heard of the interception at Stony Stratford, the Woodvilles had decided to loot the crown jewels, with Edward Woodville taking his share across the channel to join Henry Tudor in exile.

There is a contemporary account that was made by Richard's own hand in writing to the City of York on June 10th of the accusation of murder.
"...we heartily pray you to come unto us in London in all the diligence ye can possible, after the sight hereof, with as many as ye can make defensibly arrayed, there to aid and assist us against the Queen, her blood, adherents and affinity, which have intended and do intend, to murder and utterly destroy us and our cousin, the Duke of Buckingham, and the old royal blood of this realm, and as it is now openly known, by their suble and damnable ways forecasted [plotted] the same.." from York Civic Records.

Later Vergil had mentioned that he "died of a disease utterly unknown to all the physicians which showeth some that there was some foul play, and that may be understood to be either poison or sorcery"

What's your slant on it was he murdered?
taking an emetic to cause vomiting just so you can indulge again definitely has risks. that can cause esophageal varices which can lead to bleeding to death. sticking a feather down the throat to induce vomiting could be a bit risky and foolish also. he could have just had a massive heart attack from all the greasy meat he ate. we could speculate all day. very possible he was poisoned also but i don't see how that would benefit elizabeth woodville or any of her family.
 
Mar 2013
10
Pennsylvania, USA
#4
E
There is a contemporary account that was made by Richard's own hand in writing to the City of York on June 10th of the accusation of murder.
"...we heartily pray you to come unto us in London in all the diligence ye can possible, after the sight hereof, with as many as ye can make defensibly arrayed, there to aid and assist us against the Queen, her blood, adherents and affinity, which have intended and do intend, to murder and utterly destroy us and our cousin, the Duke of Buckingham, and the old royal blood of this realm, and as it is now openly known, by their suble and damnable ways forecasted [plotted] the same.." from York Civic Records.
I've never seen this correspondence before, but perhaps it is possible that an ambitious member of the Woodville family, or possibly an angry noble, had ordered the murder. The traditional aristocracy were quite upset at Edward IV's unprecedented decision to marry a commoner, and this lost him many supporters to the Yorkist cause.

I still think the most likely possibility is that he died of a heart attack, given his obesity and gluttonous eating habits. Obviously he was also a bullemic, and this can cause cardiac arrest as well as dehydration, constipation, esophageal tears, all complications that could have accelerated his death.

Syphilis? Maybe, he did have quite a few mistresses.
 
Feb 2011
9,998
Cumbernauld Scotland
#5
taking an emetic to cause vomiting just so you can indulge again definitely has risks. that can cause esophageal varices which can lead to bleeding to death. sticking a feather down the throat to induce vomiting could be a bit risky and foolish also. he could have just had a massive heart attack from all the greasy meat he ate. we could speculate all day. very possible he was poisoned also but i don't see how that would benefit elizabeth woodville or any of her family.
The Woodville's had a lot to gain putting Edward V on the throne as they had plans to bring the young prince to London and rule though as regents. The love between Elizabeth and Edward had long gone by this time. When Edward had died the Woodvilles were in no hurry to tell Richard about his brothers death. It was Hastings the Woodvilles arch enemy that had told Richard that his brother Edward had died.

Admittedly had did do things to excess, and could of had a heart attack which would have been rather convenient for the Woodvilles. It was known that Richard had preferred his life in Yorkshire and kept out of the way with what was going on in Edward's court, since the death of Clarence.
 
Feb 2011
9,998
Cumbernauld Scotland
#6
I've never seen this correspondence before, but perhaps it is possible that an ambitious member of the Woodville family, or possibly an angry noble, had ordered the murder. The traditional aristocracy were quite upset at Edward IV's unprecedented decision to marry a commoner, and this lost him many supporters to the Yorkist cause.

I still think the most likely possibility is that he died of a heart attack, given his obesity and gluttonous eating habits. Obviously he was also a bullemic, and this can cause cardiac arrest as well as dehydration, constipation, esophageal tears, all complications that could have accelerated his death.

Syphilis? Maybe, he did have quite a few mistresses.
Edward's marriage had never gone down very well with the Duchess of York and other members of his family. The Woodvilles had become very powerful family and had notched up a lot of resentment with the other nobles.

I have going though some, sources that do not get quoted a lot, from sources form Richard's reign seem very interesting as it seems that Richard knew how Edward had died.

The account of the Croyland Chronicler revels that the court was baffled by Edwards illness; when the king took to his bed, he was 'neither worn out with old age nor seized with any known kind of malady, the cure of which would not have appeared easy in the case of a person of more humble rank'
 

Louise C

Ad Honorem
Jan 2011
7,239
Southeast England
#7
The Woodville's had a lot to gain putting Edward V on the throne as they had plans to bring the young prince to London and rule though as regents. The love between Elizabeth and Edward had long gone by this time. When Edward had died the Woodvilles were in no hurry to tell Richard about his brothers death. It was Hastings the Woodvilles arch enemy that had told Richard that his brother Edward had died.

Admittedly had did do things to excess, and could of had a heart attack which would have been rather convenient for the Woodvilles. It was known that Richard had preferred his life in Yorkshire and kept out of the way with what was going on in Edward's court, since the death of Clarence.
I don't believe Elizabeth killed her husband. He probably had a stroke or something. Even if she did not love him (and there's no roof of that), she probably enjoyed being Queen. She was probably already wary of Richard, knew he was a slippery customer, and would not have wanted her husband to die while his sons were still minors.
 
Feb 2011
9,998
Cumbernauld Scotland
#8
I don't believe Elizabeth killed her husband. He probably had a stroke or something. Even if she did not love him (and there's no roof of that), she probably enjoyed being Queen. She was probably already wary of Richard, knew he was a slippery customer, and would not have wanted her husband to die while his sons were still minors.
He never wanted anything to do with the Woodvilles since the death of Clarence and kept out of their way, He had seem them as slippery plotters that were responsible for Clarence's death. When he reached London with the young prince he had found out that slippery Elizabeth and her slippery family had emptied the treasury and the crown jewels, in which Edward Woodville had taken his share to Brittany.

Its hardly surprising that family was so unpopular, Elizabeth Woodville was hardly the mother that children would of wanted as she plotted away with Margaret Beaufort.
 

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