William Catesby

Born: c. 1446

Died: August 25, 1485

Leicester, Leicestershire, England (Age c. 39)

Catesby in History

Throughout the 1470s William Catesby seems to have made somewhat of a name for himself as a legal adviser and estates administrator and had ties to William, Lord Hastings, a close personal friend and adviser to Edward IV. Catesby was not fully recognized until he became an advocate for the accession of Edward IV's brother the Duke of Gloucester in 1483. When Gloucester did ascend the throne as Richard III, Catesby became one of the new king's top advisers and was greatly rewarded after he helped to subdue the rebellion of the Duke of Buckingham (another man who had helped Richard onto the throne) early on in the reign. Most notably, Catesby served as the speaker in the one and only Parliament of Richard III's reign. When the Earl of Richmond invaded England in 1485 with a plan to depose Richard III, Catesby remained loyal to the king and supported him at Bosworth. After Richmond won the battle and the king was killed, Catesby was captured and promptly executed as a punishment for his undying loyalty to tyrant.

Catesby in Shakespeare

Appears in: Richard III

Along with Ratcliffe and Lovell, Catesby serves as one of Gloucester's (and then Richard III's) primary supporters in Richard III. One of the more important tasks he is given is to persuade Lord Hastings to support Gloucester's accession to the throne. Hastings refuses and is subsequently executed.


Horrox, Rosemary. ‘Catesby, William (b. in or before 1446, d. 1485)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/4884, accessed 5 Jan 2010]


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