Henry 2d duke of Buckingham Stafford

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Buckingham, Henry Stafford, 2nd duke of (1455–83). Buckingham came from a staunchly Lancastrian family. His father was killed at the first battle of St Albans, just before he was born: his grandfather (from whom he inherited the title), was killed at Northampton when he was 6. He could expect little favour from the Yorkist establishment. Edward IV's death opened the door. Allying himself with Richard of Gloucester, the two dukes swept to power in the summer of 1483. With Gloucester crowned as Richard III, Buckingham, lavishly rewarded, looked well set. Yet within four months he joined dissident southern gentry in rebellion. Betrayed to the king, he was summarily executed at Salisbury on 2 November. Buckingham's volte-face remains an enigma. He may have been converted to Henry Tudor's cause; he might have judged that he was again joining the winning side; or he might even have had his own fantasies about the crown. His behaviour suggests that Edward IV had correctly judged him to be dangerously untrustworthy.

Anthony James Pollard