The Wars of the Roses in England. The Wars of the Roses' is a glamorous name might up in the 18th century for an unglamor sale of intrigue and betrayal; of small battles by small forces. Indeed, the very mention roses's is false. It was not until late in the wars Yorkshire adopted the white rose as its. Lanchashire did not assume the red rose some time after it was all over.
At might never have happened if, in August, King Henry VI (Henry V's son and heir) a not gone mad. The mad monarch belonged the house of Lancaster. Since Henry had no stand was obviously sincapable of governing, Richard, Duke of York, the legitimate heir to the done, proposed himself as regent.
At the last moment, and much to everyone's surprise, the Queen (Margaret of Anjou) gave to a son. This put an end to Richard's chances of becoming king, just as King Henry's equally unexpected return to sanity made a nonsense of his role as regent.
Reluctantly, Richard stood down. But he did not give up. Henry VI was imprisoned in the tower, but his wife raised an army. She defeated Richard of York's men at the battle of Wakefield in 1460, and had the satisfaction of seeing Richard killed. His head was chopped off, adorned with a paper crown, and put on a spike over one of the entrances to York.
The King was released from the Tower. But the supporters of York were not yet done. Their next candidate for monarch was Richard's son, Edward, Earl of March.
The two forces clashed again in a snowstorm at Towton, Yorkshire, one winter's day in 1461. The Yorkists won ; Edward IV; Henry and his queen fled. Henry was eventually captured, but Margareth escaped to France.
Now another figure, the Earl of Warwick (known as the 'King-maker'), came on to the scene. Suspecting Margaret to trying to get help from the French, he suggested that Edward should marry a French should marry a French princess. To his surprise, Edward said that it was impossible. Secretly, he had already wedded a young lady named Ellizabeth Woodville.
The 'King-maker' promptly changed sides. Margaret was now back in England, and he made a pact with her. Henry VI was released from the Tower, and Edward IV was driven out of London.
In May, 1471, everything ereupted at the Battle of Barnet. Warwick was killed. Margaret was taken prisoner. Her son was put to death. Edward returned to the throne, and Henry returned to the Tower - where he was probably murdered.
As for the people of England, they calmly went about their businesses, paying as little attention as possible to the fighting. Fortunately the rival armics managed to by-pass the towns, and life was not seriously interrupted. Read previous article: Shining Armour Throughout the Muddle Ages, or next article: Richard III after Edward IV died in 1483