Edward IV (1442-1483), became king of England in 1461. He was the son of Richard, Duke of York, and was the first king of England from the House of York.
Before Edward's reign, the Houses of York and Lancaster--two branches of the royal Plantagenet family--had begun fighting each other in the Wars of the Roses. As leader of the Yorkists, Edward was proclaimed king in 1461 by supporters in London and then won a major victory at Towton against the forces of Henry VI of the House of Lancaster. But in 1470, the powerful Earl of Warwick shifted his support to the House of Lancaster. Edward then fled to Holland. The next year, Edward returned with an army and regained the throne. He then ruled England until his death in 1483. As king, Edward strengthened the royal power and paved the way for the absolute monarchy of the Tudors. Edward IV was born in France.