Many historian look upon Richard as a villain. Others attribute this view as tainted due to the perverse nature of England following his reign, and the need for support of Henry Tudor's ascension to the throne. One aspect that almost all of the historian agree with is that Richard did have some moments where his actions were for the better of England. Looking at such actions can shed light on the true characteristics of his rule, and that he quite may have been a beneficial part of English history.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester, was the brother of King Edward IV of the House of York. The House of York had been in control of the throne of England for some time now, but with the entry of the Woodvilles, was in somewhat of a decline. Elizabeth Woodville, now queen to Edward, was thought of surrounded by sorcery, influencing Edward to the bidding of the Woodvilles and their rise to power. Edward's eldest son was in the primary care of the Woodvilles at the time of Edward's death, and had become very attached to influential lords in the family. These included his uncles, Rivers and Grey. They were rising lords who sought to control the young heir and supplant the House of York of their control of the throne. Thus enters Richard.
Richard was named protector of the prince and the country in Edwards will because Edward was in his minority. The new king would then take control of the country when he came of majority. This was commonplace in English history, even to the extreme of having infants play the part. Why was the Duke of Gloucester, Richard, so disturbed by this occurrence? Richard and many others in the family were afraid of the Woodville's influence over Edward once he came to majority. With this in mind, Richard began to plan for his rise to power in order to stop such atrocities. In order to continue the House of York's dynast at the throne, Buckingham and Gloucester seize Rivers, Grey and other advisors as they are marching to England to coronate Edward as the new king. They had news that the Woodvilles were conspiring against Gloucester in order to take control of England immediately. While parliament anxiously awaited Gloucester's explanation for his actions, Richard did not meet with much adversity from the people upon his arrival to London. They felt he was doing his duty, as no one suspected him of aspiring to anything but regent. Richard was then formally installed as Protectorate of England, but Richard realized that his power would not last forever, possibly four to five years.
In prior years, Richard had gained much public support and accolades for his part in fighting Scotland. He uses this support in his next step of a move for the throne. In the past there had been rumors of Edward the IV being illegitimate, now there was evidence that Edward's son was illegitimate as well, as Edward IV had not been legally wed to Elizabeth when they had Edward V. Upon hearing this news, Richard chose to proceed with caution, only telling chief political players and asking their advice. Richard was wise for these actions. He had been known for his prudence in the past in the war with Scotland. When Edward IV wanted a crushing blow to the Scots, Richard realized that it would be too costly and at the same time England had already accomplished a...