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The Wars of the Roses.

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  • The Wars of the Roses.

    In 1455 this war was a dreary civil war between the house of Lancaster, wearing a red rose, and the house of York, wearing a white rose. The nation as such took little part of it. There was the battle of Northampton where the Yorkists defeated the royal army and took king Henry as prisoner. York asserted his hereditary claim to the throne and the Lords decided that he should succeed Henry on his death [ excluding Henry's son Edward]. In 1460 Queen Catherine raised an army in the north, defeated Richard of York, who fell on the battlefield at Wakefiield. Southern England rallied to Richard's son Edward, aged 19, , who defeated the Lancastrian at Mortimer's Cross in 1461, but was defeated at the second battle of St. Albans and lost possesion of King Henry. London admitted Edward and after his victory at Towton acclaimed him to king. Edward IV, now king, declared the members of the house of Lancaster to traitors before the parliament. Edward closed the session with a speech of thanks to the Commons, the first time an English king had addressed that body. The mass of Englishmen now wanted a monarch to keep order in the state. Edwards marriage to the commoner, Elizabeth Woodville and the beginning of a creation of a new nobility, angered the older nobles, especialy the Earl of Warwick. Edward's sister Margaret was married to Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy and master of the Netherlands in 1468. Warwick abandoned the king for his brother, the Duke of Clarence, and began to forment trouble for Edward. Edward's victory at Stanford in 1470 was followed by the flight of Warwick and Clarence. 1471 Warwick turned to the Lancastrians [under the astute guidance of King Louis of France], returned to England with Lancastrian support. The was Edwaed's victory at Barnet, where Warwick was killed. Edward' vigorous plans for against Louis XI. Were supported Charles the Bold of Burgundy. Edward landed in France 1475 and was bought off by Louis XI. Charles the Bold was killed in 1477 so Edward was left hopeless without an ally. In the meantime Richard, Duke of Glouster, Edwards uncle ruled England. A man, cynical, cruel, good soldier, skillet at winning popular support. After Edwars came back to England, he was send to the tower and killed. The Parliament declared Gloucester to the heir and he was crowned to King Richard III. In 1485 Henry Earl of Richmond, a son of the last Lancastrian king Henry VI, landed at Milford Haven. There were open defections from Richard III. By the nobles, and Richmond defeated Richard on Bothworthfield, where Richard also fell. The crown of England was found on a bush and passed to the first ruler of the great House of Tudor, by virtue of his victory in arms and a later act of the Parliament.

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