More is known, mainly from Polydore Vergil’s account, of the complex plotting leading up to the rising in October 1483 against the new king, Richard III, than about the seemingly desultory fighting. 1 The second continuator of the Crowland Chronicle says that there was discontent in southern shires over the imprisonment of Edward IV’s sons – and, presumably, over the dramatic deposition of Edward V and Richard’s seizing of the crown. Nobles angered by these events fomented and attempted to exploit dissident feeling. According to Vergil, there was devised in London a ‘ladies’ plot’ between Edward IV’s widow, Elizabeth Wydeville, whose family had, as in 1469, been violently ejected from influence at court, and Margaret Beaufort, Lord Stanley’s wife. Margaret was the daughter of John Beaufort, duke of Somerset (d. 1444), and the widow of Henry VI’s half-brother Edmund Tudor, earl of Richmond (d. 1456). The ladies’ objective was to displace Richard on the throne by Margaret’s son Henry Tudor, who was to swear to marry one of Edward IV’s daughters. He had fled abroad as a boy after the Lancastrian débâcle in 1471 and had lived ever since in the duke of Brittany’s protective custody. 2