Edward's second reign

Henry VI's weakness


  • Lancastrians had promised Louis XI support in war against Burgundy, parliment were angry as they hadnt been consulted
  • Merchants were also angry about this as Burgundy is their most powerful trading port, and so they refused to lend money to the crown

Divisions in Governement:

  • Somerset and Exceter thought it better to ally themselfves with Burgundy, in order to starve Edward of support
  • Somerset, Exceter, Clifford and Devon all expected their estates to be restore, however Warwick and Clarence had fought for their cause, so they refused to return them
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Edward IV's strength - ACTIONS

  • the Lancastrian divisions
  • England declaring war on Burgundy, meant Charles the Bold was completely bakcing the yorkist cause (Antony Rivers also supplied him)--> he gave Edward 5000 crowns, 36 ships and 1200 men to regain the throne
  • leniency during first reign: neither Montagu nor Northumberland prevented his progress when he arrived, and whilst York nor Hull admitted him entry he was still not actively opposed
  • Merchants encouraged London to open their gates to him

Claimed he only wanted to reclaim dukedom of York, York then admitted him, travelling to Coventry he was met by supporters. Arm,y of 12,000 men (Clarence switched sides) 

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Battle of Barnet and Tewkesbury

14th April 1471

  • met Warwick at Barnet
  • at night he moved his troops closer to Warwick's so they had been unknowingly overshooting, Edward's side didnt shoot back and lose their advantage
  • Edward, Lord Stanely and Richard duke of Gloucester led the royal army
  • oxford, montague, exceter and warwick
  • Gloucesters men outnumbered Exceter, but Hastings men were outnumbered by Oxford, they fled to london claiming the king and brothers had been killed
  • Major fog meant the lancastrians attacked their own Earl fo Oxfrd after they returned from chasing Hasting's men
  • Warwick fled, captured and killed, Marquess montague killed in battle.
  • oxford fled to scotland, Exceter thought to be dead, taken to Westminster sanctuary, taken to the tower and imprisoned for 4 years
  • Lord Cromewll, Lord saye, Sir William Blount dead, gloucester and Lord Scales seriously injured
  • Margaret landed in England on the 16th april, met by Somerset and Devon--> wales ---> met at Tewkesbury

4th May 1471

  • on the way to Wales
  • Margaret placed in the tower
  • Edward prince of Wales killed
  • Earl of Devon dead
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Edward reinforce his authority in troubled areas


  • Herbert's son , who was in control of south Wales was less competant than his fahter, so he was removed from Earldom of Pembroke, and replaced by Huntington
  • Set up the Council fo the Marches in Ludlow, Prince of wales lived here with Earl Rivers
  • [Big decisions were still under his control, there was a decline in Lawlessness, Richard III copied him with the Council fo the North]
  • [however, Buckingham felt he should be the most prominant nobleman in Wales]

The North :had fought Edward's attmpts to reinsert authority

  • had supported the lancastrian uprisings which had led to him losing the throne
  • Edward gave the control of the north to Gloucester and Northumberland, winning his favour
  • Peace, laws and the will of Edwards was kept
  • however Gloucester abused his power base to steal crown from Edward V


  • Anglo-irish lords had supported his father
  • he appointed lieutenant and tried to appoint deputy
  • Ireoland was no problem as long as Kildare was in control
  • Lord Grey was forced to leave after a year
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Domestic Policy, Government and Kingship


  • improve goverment efficiency
  • Needed loyalty of local and central government
  • called upon new men and high up nobels to give advice
  • New Men: Bishop Morton - had worked under Henry VI, master of the rolls; William Parr - controller of the royal household; Lord HAstings- Lord chamberlain


  • Lower status men generally more loyal
  • stability in Governemnt
  • no major uprisings, post 1471 Fauconberg uprising
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Domestic Policy; Law and Order


  • ensure law is obeyed
  • rebellious areas under control
  • Relied on nobels to keep the peace as was traditional, replaced those who were incompetant ie. William Herbert
  • Refused to ignore treason - Duke of Clarence, 1478 excecuted
  • Tolerated undamaging crime - corrupt justice system, especially inheritances ie. Dukedom of Exceter went to Edward's sister, MOntbray estates to Gloucester
  • tackled piracy in a manner which could be considered hypocritical - it interfered with foreign policy


  • no major uprisings, 1471 - easily crushed
  • Henry Tudor's negotiations to return to England and claim Earldom of richmond seemed hopeless
  • Passed law in 1468 against retaining, there was a decline in the late 1470s


  • rebellion in Kent 1471, Thomas ******* of Faucenberg- Warwick's cousin
  • Lancastrian attack in 1473, Earl of Oxford captured St Michael's MOunt at Cornwall
  • corrupt in some instances ie the inheritances
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Domestic policy; Royal Finance

inherited debt +£350,000


  • Introduced Chamber System of Finance, bypassing the Exchequer
  • increased customs duties to £35,000
  • Treaty of Picquigny, annual pension of 50,000 crowns - market open to merchants and traders--> no taxation
  • Continued the land revenue experiment 


  • income from Clarence's lands
  • lack of war as Edward limited piracy
  • able to 'live off his own'
  • no taxation makingi him popular
  • Payment of £10,000 to send MOA back to france in Jan 1476, renounced lands and english titles
  • Died solvent
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Edward's foreign policy-FRANCE

Preparation for war:

  • september 1472 - Treaty of Chateaugiron with Brittany, England to invade Gascony and Normandy
  • England spent two years encouraging Burgundy and Brittany to join him
  • got £100,000 from parliment
  • £50,000 from the church
  • Mass army in Calais 1475, allies abandoned him, Charles agreed to help but no specific date

Treaty of Picquigny, 29th August 1475:

  • ten year truce
  • pension of 50,000 crowns per year
  • Edward to leave France for 75,000 crowns
  • no secret alliances
  • dauphin CHarles to marry Elizabeht of York
  • tolls and charges on English merchants to be abolished
  • king would help if there was rebellion

Reaction of England:

  • furious, he'd raised taxes for war but only took 25%
  • wanted a victory over France
  • many believed he'd face a rebellion upon his return
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Foreign policy - BURGUNDY

Inital success

  • Charles the bold died 1477, Mary married to HRE as heir
  • 1480- treaty agreed to support as long as they'd pay 50,000 crown pension if France stopped
  • 1482, Mary dead


  • Treaty of Arras - Margaret to marry dauphin 
  • Edward lost marriage of Elizabeth to him
  • lost french pension- Louis wasnt worried about an English and Burgundian alliance
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Foreign POlicy - SCOTLAND

up to 1480, good relations, Cecily to be married to James IV

1480, border raids, encouraged by France

Edward began to prepare militarily

1482- Gloucester set an attakc, wanted to put Albany on the throne

captured Edinburgh - James III but Albany deflected

Gloucester engotiated but withdrew, recapturing Berwick on tweed

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