White Rose of York
White Rose of York Emblem
The White Rose of York emblem was used a badge, a distinctive device which was displayed as a mark of recognition by an individual or family and worn as a symbol of loyalty and allegiance. The emblem became part of the British heraldic tradition of the Middle Ages and was worn by the servants and retainers who were loyal to the powerful and noble faction called the House of York. The nobles who part of and owed allegiance to the House of York fought in the devastating English civil war against the House of Lancaster. The civil war was called the Wars of the Roses.
The Red Rose of Lancaster
Wars of the Roses
White Rose of York Supporters
The White Rose was the symbol of Yorkist supporters who opposed the rival House of Lancaster, whose symbol was the Red Rose of Lancaster. Both houses were branches of the Plantagenet royal house who could trace their descent from King Edward III (1312 – 1377). The House was named York, because its main members were all descended from Edmund of Langley the 1st Duke of York and the fourth son of Edward III. The Yorkist supporters adopted the White Rose as their emblem and badge.
Henry Bolingbroke and the Red Rose of Lancaster
The rivalry between the factions identified by the White Rose of York and the Red Rose of Lancaster started in 1399 when King Richard II (1377-1399) was overthrown by his cousin, Henry Bolingbroke, the Duke of Lancaster. The Royal Houses of Lancaster and York fought each other from 1377 - 1485 to become Kings of England.
The White Rose of York - The Yorkist Kings
The following Kings belonged to the House of York, identified by their emblem the White Rose of York:
- King Edward IV 1461-1483 ( youngest son of Edward III )
- Edward V - One of the little Princes in the Tower and the son of Edward IV
- King Richard III 1483-1485 ("Crookback," brother of Edward IV and uncle of the murdered Edward V)
The end of the faction identified by the White Rose of York?
Henry Tudor defeated the Yorkist leader King Richard III in the Battle of Bosworth Field and claimed the throne of England to become King Henry VII and the Dynasty of the Tudors was born. The Lancastrian King Henry VII cemented his claim by marrying Elizabeth of York who was the Yorkist daughter of King Edward IV. The Houses of York and Lancaster therefore merged leading to the creation of the emblem called the Tudor Rose. But to this day in England there is still rivalry between the two counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire, so the White Rose of York did not completely die.
White Rose of York
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