wars of the roses: edward consolidating authority 2nd reign

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  • how did Edward IV consolidate his authority after regaining the throne?
    • dealing with opposition
      • Gloucester controlled much of the north- he was loyal to Edward and was eventually granted a platinate making him essentially the 'king of the north'.
      • confiscated various estates from Clarence. (his land in the midlands went to Lord Hastings, a loyal supporter).
      • the Woodvilles- Earl Rivers was put in charge of Edward's son and heir the Prince of Wales, and the Grey brothers were given the south west.
      • he issued royal proclamations- ensuring his power was known.
      • changed attitude towards law and order- harsher punishments.
      • by October 1471 the final Lancastrian strongholds in Pembroke and Tenby had been surrendered.
      • and Act passed in 1468 prohibited retaining except for domestic servants, it aimed to eradicate overmighty subjects with large armies. however, it was largely ineffective.
    • establishing systems of rule
      • he uses his badge the 'sun in splendour' to put himself at the centre of England and centralise power.
      • Edward uses the church as a unifying factor.
      • curbs lawlessness by creating the system of JPs and sheriffs. he also had the King's court.
      • Edward is the first king to rule using a meritocracy rather than birth, it ensures loyalty and prevents people having their own agendas and power.
      • he also revolutionised royal finance as he began the practice of kings using chambers to give him more control and prevent corruption.
      • John Fortescue suggests re-endowment (increasing income by getting money off the crown lands, customs duties, feudal dues and parliament grants.) and retrenchment (limiting expenses. this was more unpopular).
      • however there are some negatives to Edward's rule: the benevolences (forced loans) and income tax failed as they couldn't get accurate information.
    • foreign policy
      • Preparation for French Invasion: benevolences and parliament levying tax.
      • results of the French invasion: treaty of Picquigny 1475, Louis XI paid Edward £15,000. and the French pension: Louis XI pays £10,000.
      • negative results: no land gained, they cant fight France again, the nobility are annoyed, no military glory and their benevolences were not rewarded.


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