Henry VI Last Coin ------------------ Next Coin Richard III

Dynasty: Yorkists
Ruler: Edward IV, 1st Reign 1461-1470
Reigned: 1st Reign 1461-1470, 2nd Reign 1471-1483.
Denomination: Fragment of a contemporary forgery of a Half Ryal (gold plated base metal)
Date of Issue:
Obverse: (King standing facing) in ship with sword and shield. "'EDWARD DIE GRA REX ANGL S FRANC DNS IB" partial.
Reverse: Royal cross in tressure. Crowns and fleur visible. "AVT' TRANSIENS PER MEDIVM ILLORVM IBAT" partial.
Weight: 1.1 gms
Size: 13.1x18.5 mm


EDWARD IV (1442-1483), King of England (4th March 1461 to 6th October 1470; and 11th April 1471 to 9th April 1483), established the House of York on the English throne and was born on April 28th, 1442, in Rouen, France, the eldest son of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York. He inherited the title Earl of March. During the Wars of the Roses, and following defeat in the Battle of Ludlow in 1459, Edward was driven from England by the Lancastrian King Henry VI. After his return to England and the death of his father in the Battle of Wakefield in 1460, Edward became head of the house of York. He defeated the Lancastrians in the Battle of Mortimer's Cross in 1461 and was acclaimed king by Parliament, which also declared Henry VI a usurper and traitor. Edward was crowned in June 1461. In giving thanks in person to the House of Commons, he set a historic precedent. Despite the civil war that continued intermittently until 1471, when all Lancastrian resistance was crushed and Henry VI was taken prisoner, Edward fostered the commerce of his realm. During his reign, printing and silk manufacturing were introduced in England.

Edward's marriage to Elizabeth Woodville, a commoner, and his efforts to create a new nobility more amenable to his interests, angered the older nobles and alienated Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, who had been a power behind his throne. Warwick made an alliance with the Lancastrians and, in 1470, drove Edward from the throne and into exile in Holland. Henry VI again became king of England. Supplied with funds by his brother-in-law, Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, Edward returned to England in 1471, raised a large army, and won decisive victories over his enemies at Barnet and Tewkesbury. Thereafter the crown was securely in his possession. The later years of his reign were, for the most part, uneventful. The most notable incident of this period was a short war with France in 1475, which was terminated by an arrangement whereby King Louis XI agreed to pay Edward an annual subsidy. Edward died on April 8, 1483, at Westminster and was succeeded by his son Edward V.

Back to main page