The Wars of the Roses - Key Dates
- 1445 - A Yorkist army led by Richard, Duke of York, meets Henry VI's army at the Battle of St Albans
- 1449 - After 4 years of relative peace, the wars resume
- 1460 - The Yorkist army, with Warwick's support, win a victory at the Battle of Northampton
- 1461 - The Lancastrians win at the Battle of Wakefield where Richard of York and his son, Edmund, are killed. The bloodiest battle follows at Towton, where Edward IV wins and seizes the throne.
- 1469 - Warwick rebels against Edward and defeats him at the Battle of Edgecote.
- 1470 - Edward IV flees to Burgundy. Henry VI is restored.
- 1471 - Warwick is defeated and killed at the Battle of Barnet. Lancastrians are crushed at Tewkesbury. Edward IV is restored.
- 1483 - Edward IV dies. He is succeeded by Edward V who is usurped by Richard III.
- 1485 - Henry Tudor seizes the throne at the Battle of Bosworth.
- 1487 - The Battle of Stoke marks the final struggle of the conflict.
lEdward V was a minor and could not rule without a Regency Counsel.
- In 1475, Edward IV left for France and made his first will. He arranged for his wife, Elizabeth Woodville, to be one of eight counsellors to rule for the King in a regency Counsel.
- In his final days, Edward IV ammended the will, but this will has not survived. As Michael Hicks points out, all we know is that the executors of the will had changed. We don't know whether or not Edward changed the regent from Elizabeth to Richard.
- After his coronation, Edward V was confined in the Tower of London and usurped by Richard (III). It is assumed that him and his brother Richard, Duke of York, were murdered, but historians are uncertain of whom the murderer was.
The Duke of Buckingham (Henry Stafford)
- Richard of Gloucester's (Richard III) most powerful ally.
- Buckingham had a remote claim to the throne, being descended from Edward III's youngest son.
- Buckingham had a power base of lands in south-east Wales and south-west Midlands.
- During the summer of 1483, he achieved a spectacular position in Richard III's government.
- Buckingham could be suspected of murdering the two Princes having remained in London for a while during Richard's progress of 1483. However, after his failed rebellion of October 1483, Richard did not blame Buckingham as an excuse to execute him.
William, Lord Hastings
- Hastings managed the east Midlands for Edward IV by developing an extensive network of retainers among JPs and sherrifs, and by extending castle at Kirby Muxloe and Ashby de la Zouch.
- Hastings was loyal to Edward V, as he was a good friend of Edward IV's, but he opposed the Woodvilles.
- He played a key role in the usurpation crisis.
- He was unlikely to have murdered the Princes because he was loyal to both of them.
Factional Rivalry: Richard, Duke of Gloucester (14
- In 1461, Edward IV seized the throne and Richard Plantagenet become the Duke of Gloucester.
- Edward IV was indebted to Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, for his success. He was appointed Gloucester's tutor.
- Gloucester accompanied Warwich to Middleham, Sheriff Hutton, Penrith and Barnard Castle. He learned estate management and the politics of northern society as well as gaining experience of war.
- It was with Warwick that Richard met his future wife, Anne Neville, and his friend Francis, Lord Lovell.
- In 1469, Edward IV bought Richard back to London. Warwich led the north in open rebellion against the King. In 1470 he formed an alliance with Lancaster.
- Edward IV regained his crown in 1471 assisted by Richard. Richard was given his first military command in Barnet and Tewkesbury. Richard was a loyal and vital Yorkist.
- Gloucester replaced Warwick as royal lieutenant in the north of England.
Factional Rivalry: Elizabeth Woodville and the Woo
Edward IV married Woodville without consulting Warwick or Hastings. The marriage created problems because:
- It was one factor that caused Warwick to rebel against the King in 1469. The marriage publicly curtailed diplomatic negotiations for a royal marriage to Bona of Savoy.
- The Woodville family were seen as social climbers. They were resented by members of the established nobility.
- The family appears to have been arrogant, scheming, grasping and vengeful. One notable exception was Sir Anthony Woodville.
- Prince Edward was brought up by Woodvilles. Gloucester feared the prince was more Woodville than York.
In 1483, the Woodville faction knew they were unpopular with powerful enemies, including Gloucester and Hastings. They resented Gloucester's power base in the north and his relationship with the King. Their strength lay in their relationship with Prince Edward and, in 1483, they used this to prevent Gloucester from becoming Protector.
The Princes in the Tower
- The princes were last seen alive while practising archery and playing in the garden of the Tower of London.
- According to Thomas More, the princes were confined to their room while Richard III set off on progress.
- Richard III remains a prime suspect for the murder as he failed to produce the two princes alive when the rumours started. There is no evidence that Richard would sanction the killing of his nephews, as he was loyal to Edward.
- Henry Tudor had a clear motive to ensure the princes were permanently removed. No contemporary charges were ever made against Tudor.
- Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, remained in London for several days during Richard's progress. Richard did not take advantage of Buckingham's failed rebellion to blame him for the murders.
- Whose approval did a King need to raise taxes?
- Who took part in the first battle of the Wars of the Roses?
- Who defeated Edward IV at Edgecote?
- For how many years did Richard III rule England?
- Who won at the Battle of Bosworth?
- Who are the three main suspects for the murder of the princes in the Tower?
- What was Richard III's title before he became King?
- In which two battles did Richard have military command?
- Gloucester replaced Warwick as........?
- Who was Warwick planning for Edward IV to marry?
- In what year was Warwick's rebellion?
- Richard, Duke of York, and Henry VI
- Henry Tudor
- Richard III, Henry Tudor and the Duke of Buckingham
- The Duke of Gloucester
- Barnet and Tewkesbury
- Royal Lieutenant
- Bona of Savoy