Stafford, Henry, 2d duke of Buckingham

Stafford, Henry, 2d duke of Buckingham, 1454?–1483, English nobleman. He was the grandson of Humphrey Stafford, the 1st duke, whom he succeeded in 1460. He passed the death sentence on George, duke of Clarence, in 1478, but it was not until the death (1483) of Edward IV that Buckingham achieved political prominence. Though married to a sister of Edward's widow, Elizabeth Woodville, he joined Richard of Gloucester (later Richard III) in taking custody of the young Edward V from the queen mother and figured largely in the political plot by which Richard seized the throne. He was given enormous power, especially in W England and Wales, but soon, for reasons not clear, he rebelled against Richard, intending to place Henry Tudor (later Henry VII) on the throne. His army, gathered in the west, was prevented from advancing by floods of the Wye and Severn rivers and soon dispersed. He went into hiding, was betrayed by one of his retainers, tried as a traitor, and beheaded. It has been suggested that, as constable of the Tower of London, Buckingham, rather than Richard III, was the probable murderer of the two princes held in the Tower.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: British and Irish History: Biographies