Richard III

Richard, Duke of Gloucester, is determined to gain the crown of England from his brother, the Yorkist King Edward IV. He woos the widow, Lady Ann at the funeral of her father-in-law, King Henry VI. She yields to his advances and marries him. In the meantime, Richard organises the murder of his brother George, Duke of Clarence, whom he has had imprisoned in the Tower of London.

The king, Edward IV is ill and Richard, assisted by Lord Hastings, is appointed as regent. He places the young sons of Edward in the Tower and consolidates his power with the help of Buckingham, who gains the support of the Lord Mayor of London and his followers on Richard’s behalf. The king dies and Richard is proclaimed king. He has Hastings executed for attempting to frustrate his plans. The young princes are murdered in the Tower. Edward’s widow, Elizabeth, with the sons of her first marriage, fearing for their lives, flee. Buckingham is suspicious of Richard’s role in the murder of the young princes. He tries to blackmail Richard, demanding an earldom, and when his demand is denied he tries to raise an army against Richard. He is captured and executed. Richard plans to marry Edward IV’s daughter, Elizabeth.

Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, the heir to the Lancastrian claim to the throne, makes war on Richard. They meet at Bosworth. On the eve of the battle Richard is haunted by the ghosts of his victims. He is killed in the battle and Henry Tudor succeeds him, becoming Henry VII of England. The play ends with him planning to marry Elizabeth of York and end the Wars of the Roses.


King Edward, the Fourth
Edward, Prince of Wales, afterwards King Edward V.,
Richard, Duke of York, sons to the king
George, Duke of Clarence,
Richard, Duke of Gloucester, afterwards King Richard III., brothers to the king
A young son of Clarence
Henry, Earl of Richmond, afterwards King Henry VII.
Cardinal Bourchier, archbishop of Canterbury
Thomas Rotherham, archbishop of York
John Morton, bishop of Ely
Duke of Buckingham
Duke of Norfolk
Earl of Surrey, his son
Earl Rivers, brother to Elizabeth
Marquis of Dorset
Lord Grey, sons to Elizabeth
Earl of Oxford
Lord Hastings
Lord Stanley, clled also Earl of Derby
Lord Lovel
Sir Thomas Vaughan
Sir Richard Ratcliff
Sir William Catesby
Sir James Tyrrel
Sir James Blount
Sir Walter Herbert
Sir Robert Brakenbury, lieutenant of the Tower
Christopher Urswick
A priest
Another priest
Berkeley, gentlemen attending on the Lady Anne
Lord Mayor of London
Sheriff of Wiltshire
Elizabeth, queen to King Edward IV.
Margaret, widow of King Henry VI.
Duchess of York, mother to King Edward IV.
Lady Anne, widow of Edward Prince of Wales, son to King Henry VI.; afterwards married to Richard
A young daughter of Clarence (Margaret Plantagenet)
Ghosts of those murdered by Richard III.

Lords and other attendants; a pursuivant scrivener, citizens, murderers, messengers, soldiers, &c.