The Wars of the Roses
The Wars of the Roses
The rivalry between the factions who fought during the the Wars of the Roses started in 1399 when King Richard II (1377-1399) was overthrown by his cousin, Henry Bolingbroke, the Duke of Lancaster. The Wars of the Roses were signalized by twelve pitched battles. They cost the lives of many English princes of the blood and during their ravages the ancient nobility of England was almost annihilated. Yet in these fierce wars comparatively little damage was done to the general population or to industry and trade. The wars derived their name from the fact that the partisans of the house of Lancaster took the red rose as their badge, and those of York chose the white rose. Both houses were branches of the Plantagenet royal house, tracing their descent from King Edward III (1312 – 1377).
Major Battles fought during the Wars of the Roses
The major battles fought between the Yorkists and Lancastrians during the Wars of the Roses were as follows:
1455: The First Battle of St Albans
1460: Battle of Northampton
1460: The Battle of Wakefield
1471: Battle of Barnet
1471: Battle of Tewkesbury
1485: Battle of Bosworth Field
The Battle of Bosworth Field was the final and decisive battle fought during the Wars of the Roses. The defeat of Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth saw the emergence of a new era in English History - the Tudors which started with the man who claimed victory over Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field - Henry Tudor. His victory over King Richard III saw him crowned as King Henry VII on August 22, 1485.
Facts about the Wars of the Roses
The following facts about the Wars of the Roses details the major people, dates and key events during this turbulent period of English history:
Fact 1 - In 1399 John of Gaunt died and King Richard seized his lands.
Fact 2 - John of Gaunt's son, Henry Bolingbroke, invaded England, whilst Richard was on campaign in Ireland, usurping the throne from the king
Fact 3 - King Richard II was condemned as a tyrant. He renounced the crown in his chamber in the White Tower and Henry IV was proclaimed King the next day.
Fact 4 - In 1413 Henry IV died suffering from leprosy and epilepsy.
Fact 5 - Henry V (son of Henry IV) reigned from 1413 - 1422 and the wars waged during his reign leaving England deeply in debt.
Fact 6 - The last Lancastrian king was murdered in the Tower of London, whilst he was at prayer. He was probably murdered on the orders of Edward IV.
Fact 7 - Edward IV ( youngest son of Edward III ) reigned between 1461 - 1483.
Fact 8 - Edward IV was a notorious womaniser - his affairs led to claims of illegitimacy and ultimately led to the murder of his two sons, referred to as the Princes in the Tower
Fact 9: In 1483 Edward V and his brother Prince Richard were apprehended by their unclle Richard of Gloucester and mysteriously disappeared in the Tower after being declared illegitimate. They were believed to have been murdered
Fact 10 - As next in line to the throne, their uncle and Protector, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, was declared the true King
Fact 11 - August 22nd 1485 A Lancastrian rebellion rose against the Yorkist Richard and on he fell in the Battle of Bosworth Field to Henry Tudor
Fact 12 - Henry Tudor was crowned King Henry VII starting the Tudor dynasty
Wars of the Roses
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