Edward IV belonged to the House of York. Born in 1442, he ascended to the throne in 1461 and died in 1483. He was preceded as monarch by Henry VI, whom he overthrew in 1461 and by whom he was briefly replaced (1470-1471), and was succeeded by Edward V.
Edward was the son of Richard, duke of York, and Cicely Nevill, daughter of the first Earl of Westmoreland. He was born in Rouen, France. After his father's death at Wakefield in 1460, he became head of the Yorkist party, of which the great Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick was the leader. In 1461, he defeated the Lancastrians at Mortimer's Cross and finally overthrew the House of Lancaster at the Battle of Towton. The last Lancastrian king, Henry VI, died just when Edward entered London. During his reign, Edward lessened the power of Parliament, collected benevolences, employed tortured, and deprived men of the right to trial by jury.