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King Richard IV of England
Blackadder s1 king richard
Nationality English
Occupation King of England, formerly Prince of England and Duke of York
First appearance "The Foretelling"
Last appearance "The Black Seal"
Episode count 6 Episodes
Played by Brian Blessed
Tan Bura (as child)

King Richard IV was the King of England from 1485 to 1498, following the reign of his uncle, King Richard III, who was killed in The Battle of Bosworth Field. His time as King was wiped from historical records after Henry Tudor ascended the throne on Richard IV's death and changed history. He was known for his feisty attitude, and his particular displeasure of Turkish people.


Marriage and Family[]

Richard IV was married to Gertrude of Flanders. It is likely that Richard enjoys the title and power of Duke of Flanders, as was customary in the 15th century when a regnant married. Their marriage is not particularly happy; Gertrude describes her husband as a "steaming great ox", complains of his sexual demands and stating that she wishes she'd married a eunuch. She is sometimes affectionate to her husband, however, as shown after his recovery from the plague. Richard believes his wife to be "insatiable".

They have two sons, Prince Harry and Prince Edmund (possibly step-son). Of the two sons, Richard enjoys the closest relationship with his eldest, Harry, whom he is extremely proud of and takes time to tutor in the ways of fighting, statecraft and diplomacy. Harry is shown fighting and sat at his father's side and has numerous titles and honours bestowed upon him by Richard. When Richard is unable to govern his country due to absence or ill-health, he leaves Harry acting as his regent, something which breeds immense resentment in Edmund.

Military Activity[]

He readily participated in The Battle of Bosworth Field.

He also underwent a crusade to free the Holy Land from the Turks in Born to Be King, apparently emerging victorious. He managed to defeat a whole horde of the Turkish with just a small knife used for peeling fruits.

He was keen to make European alliances, arranging for Prince Edmund to marry the Spanish Infanta so he would not have to wage war with them.


King Richard IV's reign ended in 1498, when he was poisoned along with the rest of his family and kingdom, after Percy accidentally poisoned a whole vat of wine intended to kill only the members of the group intending to kill the royal family and proclaim themselves in charge.


  • In his autobiography, No Cunning Plan, Tony Robinson describes Blessed's performance as Richard IV as the one saving grace of the first series.
  • While Richard IV is a fictional king, the way that he is written, and particularly the way he acts, is very similar to Henry VIII. His ravenous appetite, his born warrior personality, his love of war and violence, his blind love of his heir and total disregard of his other child, his disagreement with the Catholic Church, his thick red hair and beard.

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