Edward IV - Successful & Unsuccessful Parts of his reign

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WAS EDWARD IV'S REIGN SUCCESSFUL?
GOOD POINTS:
`He was a goodly personage and very princely to behold; of heart courageous, politic in
counsel, in adversity nothing abashed, in prosperity rather joyful than proud, in peace just and
merciful, in war sharp and fierce, in the field bold and hardy, and nevertheless no further than
wisdom would, adventurous.' ­ THOMAS MORE
Edward was popular with the people.
Restoration of Law and Order during his reign
Although he was lazy and easy going, he was highly efficient.
He also was more than military capable and possessed a ruthless streak in battle.
Edward IV made an admirable start on reforming royal administration.
He patronised his rival King Henry VI's foundation of Eton College and William Caxton set up
England's first printing press during his reign.
Edward revived the ancient claim of English Kings to the throne of France and set sail for
France in the summer of 1475 with an army of around 10, 000.
He possessed a powerful ally in Charles, Duke of Burgundy, and the husband of his sister
Margaret.
The Treaty of Picquiny in 1475 brought the King a pension from Louis XI along with
diplomatic benefits which heavily impacted the finances of the monarchy.
`Edward IV was not perhaps quite so bad a man or king as his enemies have represented' ­
Bishop William Stubbs (1825-1901)
BAD POINTS:
Inexperienced in Kingship.
He miscalculated recourses and rewarded hugely to only close family and favourites ­
sparked hatred as well as court jealousy and rivalry
He made empty promises (despite his intentions) to the Lancastrians whom many he had
tried for treason and confiscated estates from 12 peers and 100 gentry.
He, against Warwick's wishes, married Elizabeth Woodville who was low in social status
and this then increased the Woodville's influence in court but alienated Clarence and
Warwick and made them deadly enemies.
He ignored and refused the advice of Warwick, `the mightiest of all the over-mighty
subjects' ­ A.J Pollard
Failed an Anglo-French alliance due to his marriage which inevitably turned Louis XI
against him and then he began to plot with Warwick which eventually lost Edward's
throne.
The Woodville's were generally unpopular whereas Warwick was.
`Edward far outdid all that his forefathers and his enemies together had done...the death of
Clarence...was the crowning act of all cruelties' ­ Bishop William Stubbs. (1825-1901)
After Clarence unjustly had a man executed for the poisoning of his wife (when she actually died
of childbirth) King Edward, although reluctantly, had his brother arrested for treason.
Clarence was executed at the Tower of London in February 1478(drowned in a butt of malmsey
wine.)

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