October 1, 2023

Wars of the Roses (may 22, 1455 – aug 22, 1485)


By 1455 the King of England, Henry VI, had already garnered the reputation for being a poor and weak ruler due to his lack of interest in politics, but now with his loss of France in the Hundred Years' War and frequent mental breakdowns, the nobles of England wanted a change of power.

Since the death of Edward III in 1377 there had already been controversy on how the crown had been passed down through each generation, and eventually this lead to two major factions appearing in England; the first of which was the House of Lancaster whom Henry VI belonged, and secondly was the House of York whom had descended from one of Edward III's other sons. Both houses were represented by roses which served as a symbol or embalm, with Lancaster adopting the red rose, and York adopting the white.

It was in 1455 when Richard, the 3rd Duke of York finally led a small military force towards London and on the 22nd of May he met Henry's forces at the Battle of St. Albans. This battle would mark the beginning of the Wars of the Roses - a long series of civil conflicts between the royal houses of England that would last for over thirty years.

The Wars finally came to an end when a Lancastrian by the name of Henry Tudor won the Battle of Bosworth. He was appointed king in the August of 1485 as Henry VII and then married Elizabeth of York, finally uniting the two Houses. With the civil conflicts over, England entered the Tudor period - a time that some historians see as a golden age of peace, order, and prosperity for the kingdom.

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2 months ago
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may 22, 1455
aug 22, 1485
~ 30 years


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