How far did Edward IV restore authority of the monarchy in the year 1461-83?

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How far did Edward IV restore the authority of the monarchy in the years 1461-83?
Edward IV defeated the Yorkists at the Battle of Towton in 1461. Following this, he managed to restore the
authority to a disarrayed monarchy very effectively. He captured Henry VI, won numerous battles, restored
royal finances, made peace with neighbouring countries, lucratively controlled over mighty subjects and used
his own family to rule regions. However, he still faced a rebellion from Warwick, the 'king-maker', and was
forced to flee abroad. Edward restored the authority of the monarchy exceptionally well during both his reigns,
although it could be said full authority was only restored in the final years of his reign.
Edward IV had two reigns, split in September 1470 when he had to flee to Burgundy in order to avoid
Warwick's forces. Warwick then released Henry VI from the Tower and made him king once again. Warwick did
this because he was angry at Edward: he was referred to as the "mightiest of over mighty subjects" and
contributed to Edward's triumph greatly but was somewhat discarded and overlooked in Edward's kingship and
successes, despite the king relying heavily on his wealth. Also, Warwick was never told about Edward's
marriage to Elizabeth Woodville: Warwick would've much rather Edward married a foreign princess to increase
international relations. Unstable and overambitious, Warwick recruited Clarence and the pair plotted the king's
downfall. The fact that this got as far as a rebellion in 1469 shows that Edward didn't fully restore the authority
to the throne; powerful nobles could still gain enough support to stage a rebellion. However, the rebellion had
little affect on Edward in retrospect and was simply an opportunity for the nobility to settle family feuds. The
two vital aspects of Warwick's rebellion concerning Edward's restoration of authority are the fact that Warwick
physically managed to rebel: Edward clearly didn't give him enough credit for the way he helped him gain the
throne and underestimated the volatility of his own nobility. But the rebellion didn't knock Edward off the
throne: Edward's forces were defeated by Warwick's at the Battle of Edgecote Moor in 1469 and the king was
captured. Warwick then attempted to rule England in Edward's name, but a counter rebellion forced the king's
release. Furthermore, when Edward fled to Burgundy he received £20,000, ships and facilities to prepare for an
invasion. This proves that internationally Edward was seen as the rightful king of England, and other countries
were willing to support his quest to regain his rightful throne.
The previous monarch, Henry VI, had caused the need for a restoration in authority to the monarchy. His
delusion, lack of military prowess and distinct disinterest in international politics had left the door wide open
for the 18 year old Earl of March to attain victory at Towton. Following his coronation in June 1461, Edward
managed to rule in relative peace for ten years. He received much support, although this cannot be taken too
seriously as supporters would have probably valued any king over Henry. He may have had support and peace
but the authority of the monarchy was still questionable, all because of Henry: after Towton, Henry and wife
Margaret fled to Scotland, exiled under the safety of James III. Because the Lancastrian king wasn't corporeally
dead, Lancastrian supporters still thrived in small numbers, causing revolts. The Duke of Somerset readily led a
rebellion but was put down by Warwick's brother, John Neville. Then, on the 25th of April, an insignificant
Lancastrian army was defeated at the Battle of Hedgeley Moor. Following this, on the 15th of May, Somerset
was captured and executed at the Battle of Hexham. Clearly, in the north at least, Edward had not restored the
authority of the monarchy very far at all, seeing as there were still uprisings and revolts despite the dire
situation of the Lancastrian leader. However, minor revolts are expected when a new monarch moves into the
throne: supporters of the old monarch will do their up most to stop the new king, so judging Edward's
restoration of authority on this alone wouldn't give an accurate picture, but it does prove he managed to quell
any rebellions that could've potentially threatened him. Additionally, by 1464 he'd gained control of the
counties in the north and suppressed the vast majority of Lancastrian supporters by capturing Henry in 1465.
Edward used specific methods to restore authority. Contrasted to Henry VII, Edward was seen as the
innovator and Henry the systematiser. Much of Henry's governmental and financial successes use methods
borrowed from Edward. His ordinary revenue came from crown lands, custom duties and feudal dues. Crown
lands and the Acts of Attainder and Resumption led to Edward gaining the Duke of Clarence and Warwick's

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Edward IV was entrepreneurial and was interested in the key commodities: wool,
tin and cloth. Between 1471 and 1483 there was a 40% improvement in trade, most probably down to
Edward's economic prowess. Extraordinary revenue included taxation and benevolence.…read more


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