Thomas Rotherham, Archbishop of York

Thomas Rotherham was a very important figure during the reign of Edward IV. He had been Edward’s chaplain before progressing through ecclesiastical ranks to hold first the bishipric of Rochester and, from 1480 was the Archbishop of York. As well has his significant church role, Rotherham held important administrative positions. In May 1474 he was appointed as Chancellor of England. When King Edward died, Rotherham took a leading part in the funeral. However, when the young King Edward V was taken to the Tower, it appears that Rotherham was suspicious of Richard’s intentions. Thomas More wrote that he handed the Great Seal to Elizabeth Woodville for safekeeping, though no other source corroborates this claim. True or not, it was clear that Richard III viewed Rotherham with suspicion. He was removed from his office as Chancellor on 13th May 1483. On June 10th he was arrested and sent to the Tower, leading to protests from some quarters. He was released and played a role in some aspects of Richard IIIs administration, though Russell retained the Chancellorship.

Wars of the Roses

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