1411 - 1460
1422 - 1461
Tax records show that Richard, Duke of York is the richest man in England.
There is a rebellion in England led by Jack Cade.
Feb 1452 - Mar 1452
Richard, Duke of York launches a failed by marching his army to Dartford.
13 Oct 1453
Birth of Edward, the only son of Henry VI of England.
Richard, Duke of York is made Protector of the Realm.
1455 - 1487
Wars of the Roses in England.
Richard, Duke of York imprisons his rival the Earl of Somerset in the Tower of London.
22 May 1455
Richard, Duke of York wins the Battle of St. Albans and the Earl of Somerset is killed.
Richard, Duke of York is made the Protector of the Realm for a second time.
25 Mar 1458
‘Loveday’, Henry VI of England's attempt to reconcile the Yorkists and Lancastrians.
The 'Parliament of Devils' identifies Richard, Duke of York as a traitor. The duke flees to Ireland.
12 Oct 1459
An army led by Queen Margaret defeats Richard, Duke of York at the Battle of Ludford Bridge.
10 Jul 1460
A Yorkist army led by Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick and Edward, Earl of March defeats Queen Margaret’s army at Northampton. Henry VI of England is captured.
24 Oct 1460
The Act of Accord identifies Richard, Duke of York as the official heir of Henry VI of England.
30 Dec 1460
Richard, Duke of York is killed at the Battle of Wakefield.
1461 - 1468
Harlech Castle in Wales is besieged by a Yorkist army during the Wars of the Roses.
1461 - 1470
17 Feb 1461
A Yorkist army, led by the Earl of Warwick, is defeated at St. Albans. Henry VI of England is released from captivity.
29 Mar 1461
Edward of York wins the bloody Battle of Towton. Henry VI of England is deposed.
A Lancastrian army is defeated at Hexam by Edward IV of England.
The fugitive ex-king Henry VI of England is captured in Lancashire and imprisoned in the Tower of London.
14 Aug 1468
Harlech Castle in Wales finally surrenders to the Yorkists during the Wars of the Roses. The resistance of the Lancastrian garrison is commemorated in the popular song 'Men of Harlech'.
26 Jul 1469
The Earl of Warwick and Queen Margaret defeat King Edward IV’s army at Northampton in the Battle of Edgecote Moor.
1470 - 1471
Birth of Prince Edward (eldest son of Edward IV of England), the future Edward V of England.
11 Apr 1470
Henry VI of England is reinstated as king (the ‘Readeption’).
Second (English) coronation of Henry VI of England, this time in Saint Paul's Cathedral.
1471 - 1483
14 Apr 1471
Edward IV of England wins the Battle of Barnet where the Earl of Warwick is killed.
4 May 1471
Henry VI of England’s only son Edward is killed at the Battle of Tewkesbury. Henry VI is imprisoned in the Tower of London by Edward IV of England.
21 May 1471
Henry VI of England is murdered in the Tower of London.
Edward IV of England makes his younger brother Richard the Duke of Gloucester.
Birth of Edward of Middleham, son of Richard, Duke of Gloucester, future Richard III of England.
Queen Margaret, wife of the late Henry VI of England, is released from confinement and returns to France.
18 Feb 1478
George, Duke of Clarence, the brother of Edward IV of England, is murdered in the Tower of London.n
Richard III of England imprisons and then likely murders the two young sons of the late Edward IV, the 'Princes in the Tower'.
Apr 1483 - Jun 1483
Reign of Edward V of England.
9 Apr 1483
Edward IV of England dies of a stroke at Westminster.
6 Jul 1483
Coronation of Richard III of England in Westminster Abbey.
A plot to overthrow Richard III of England is foiled. The Duke of Buckingham is executed.
9 Apr 1484
Death of Prince Edward, Richard III of England's son and heir.
Death of Queen Anne Neville, wife of Richard III of England.
8 Aug 1485
Henry Tudor, future Henry VII of England, lands with an army of French mercenaries at Milford Haven in South Wales.
22 Aug 1485
30 Oct 1485
Coronation of Henry VII of England in Westminster Abbey.
18 Jan 1486
Henry VII of England marries Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV of England.n
The Wars of the Roses: A Timeline of Main Events
My English history obsession continues! I made this to help me teach a Richard III cast about the background and all the history references in the play! I probably went overboard, per usual, but oh well.
I designed this timeline in Powerpoint and got it printed out at Staples as a “blueprint/architectural and engineering print.” This is SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than printing it as a poster, and you can just buy a foam board yourself and use rubber cement to paste it on if you need it to have more stability.
I had fun trying to come with titles for this timeline:
Puns 'n' Roses: The Greatest Hits
Bunches about The War of the Roses
War of the Rose 1 2 and 3: Too Many Henrys
Budding Conflicts in Medieval England
Lancaster and York's Wild Ride
Bouquet of Death
A Rose is a Rose is a Rose and All these People are Cousins
Reasons Why Henry VIII Wanted a Son
Roses in Bloom
The War of "There Are Only Four Names in this Family"
"You'll Need Rosé to Get Through this Timeline"
Red, the Rose of Angry Lancasters, White, the Rose of Angry Yorks
Red and White and Warwick All Over
Henry Tudor Rose to the Occasion
Roses are Red Roses are White. Richard III will kill you on sight.
A War by any other name would be just as bloody.
You can download the full file here!
I’m pretty happy with how this came out but it’s still a work in progress. Any input is appreciated! And please feel free to use this in your own theater groups or classes as needed. Please let me know if you do though, I’d love to hear about it!
War of the Roses Lesson Plan
Lesson Focus: War of the Roses battles
Grade Level: 7-12 (easily adapted to most grade levels)
Prior Knowledge: none
Materials: Rose Outline Print Outs
Assign half the class as the House of York (White Rose) and half as the House of Lancaster (Red Rose). Note-printables are black and white. Coloring in the petals is optional - but fun at any age!
Using the War of the Roses Battles below, have each student label their petals with battles that were a victory for their side. (Students need more than one rose each so have extras available).
The Battle name, date, and outcome should be required. Details, such as why it was significant or who the major figures involved were, can be added depending on grade level. In this case, a rose print out may be required for each battle.
The Wars of the Roses
The Plantaganet King Henry VI was a weak king, married to an ambitious French princess, Margaret of Anjou. At this time, there was a complex series of rivalries and jealousies at court between powerful noble families. The Queen and her circle of nobles were known as Lancastrians after Henry’s surname of Lancaster. The party of nobles who opposed the Queen and the Lancastrians was led by Richard, Duke of York, Henry’s cousin, who was also descended from King Edward III and therefore also had a claim to the throne of England. They were known as Yorkists.
Henry VI suffered from periods of insanity. During one of these periods in 1454, Richard of York was appointed ‘Protector of the Realm’. His first act was to dismiss some of the Queen’s Lancastrian advisors which caused great bad feeling. The King recovered some months later and York was summarily dismissed.
The weak, sick king was unable to control his ambitious queen on one side, and the Yorkist Earl of Warwick, the ‘kingmaker’, on the other side.
Both sides started to recruit soldiers and prepare for war. Many soldiers had just returned from the Hundred Years War in France, so recruiting trained men to fight was easy. Each side chose a badge: the Red Rose for Lancaster and the White Rose for York.
In 1455, just two years after the end of the Hundred Years War, this dynastic civil war broke out. There was tremendous bloodshed as defeated forces on both sides were brutally murdered by the victors.
A Chronology of the Wars of the Roses
22 May 1455: First Battle of St Albans. A Yorkist victory during which the Duke of Somerset (one of the Lancastrian leaders) was killed. The Duke of York was re-appointed Protector, then dismissed again in 1456. Queen Margaret fuelled anti-Yorkist sentiment at court. Richard, Duke of York’s influence was undermined and he was excluded from the royal council.
23 September 1459: Battle of Blore Heath. A Yorkist victory.
12 October 1459: Battle of Ludford Bridge. This time, a Lancastrian victory. The Queen declared Yorkist property and lives forfeit. Richard of York fled to Ireland.
10 July 1460: Battle of Northampton. A Yorkist victory King Henry VI captured. Massacre of prisoners ordered by the Earl of Warwick. The Queen fled to Wales.
10 October 1460. The return of Richard of York who was declared heir to the throne. In response, the Queen raised a new army.
30 December 1460. Battle of Wakefield. The Yorkists were defeated and Richard, Duke of York, was killed. He was succeeded by his son Edward.
2 February 1461: Battle of Mortimer Cross. Richard of York’s son Edward, Earl of March was victorious.
17 February 1461: Second Battle of St Albans. A victory for the House of Lancaster. Henry VI rescued.
from left to right:
Henry VI, Edward IV, Edward V, Richard III
4 March 1461. Edward of York, Edward IV, proclaimed king in London.
9 March 1461. Battle of Towton. Another Yorkist victory for The Earl of Warwick. Flight of King Henry, Queen Margaret and the Prince of Wales to Scotland.
24 June 1465: Henry VI captured and imprisoned in the Tower of London.
1 May 1470. After quarrelling with Edward IV, Warwick the Kingmaker fled to France There he joined forces with Queen Margaret before returning to England and restoring the Lancastrian Henry VI to the throne on 13th October.
14 March 1471. The Yorkist King Edward fled to France, returning with a small army.
14 April 1471. Battle of Barnet. A victory for Edward’s Yorkist army. Warwick the Kingmaker killed.
4 May 1471. Battle of Tewkesbury. A defeat for the Lancastrian army, led by Queen Margaret and the Prince of Wales. The Prince of Wales was killed and the queen was captured.
21- 22 May 1471. Henry VI was killed in the Tower of London. Henry Tudor, the Earl of Richmond and Lancastrian claimant to the throne, fled to France.
The Yorkist Edward IV was now the undisputed king.
9 April 1483. Death of Edward IV, succeeded by his young son Edward V.
June 1483. Edward V and his brother declared illegitimate by Parliament. Richard Duke of Gloucester, brother of Edward IV, asked to take the throne as Richard III
Probably summer of 1483. Murder of Edward V and his brother in the Tower of London.
7 August 1485. Henry Tudor, last of the Lancastrians, landed at Milford Haven in Wales.
22 August 1485. Battle of Bosworth. King Richard III killed and the Lancastrian Henry Tudor became King Henry VII.
Henry married Elizabeth of York thus uniting the two houses, and founded the Tudor dynasty. The Tudor Rose includes both red and white roses to symbolise the uniting of the Houses of York and Lancaster.
Wars of the Roses – Timeline
The Wars of the Roses was the name given to a series of civil wars that were fought between the House of Lancaster and the House of York between 1455 and 1485. The name ‘Wars of the Roses’ was given because of the badges used by the two opposing groups. The Lancastrians brandished a red rose while the Yorkists were represented by a white rose.
The civil conflict came just two years after the Hundred Years War however the civil wars were the product of a number of negative scenarios which led to a boiling pot situation in England, where numerous parties fought for the contention of the throne.
This timeline will take a look at some of the event s and battles that occurred during the Wars of the Roses.
During the reign of Lancastrian King Henry VI (1422 – 1461) the first War of the Roses battle took place, known as The First Battle of St.Albans on May 22, 1455. This marks the start of what will be a bloody civil war for England. The battle was a victory for the Yorkist army.
A number of events occurred during 1460. The Lancastrian King Henry VI had a number of battles against the Yorkist forces, which were being led by the Duke of York and the Earl of Warwick.
On July 10th 1460 the Battle of Northampton saw the Yorkist forces capture Henry VI. During this time Henry VI suffered from a mental health illness and Richard Duke of York was appointed Regent of England. In October 1460 the Act of Accord named Richard Duke of York as King of England. Henry’s VI six year old son lost the throne to Richard.
However, Richard’s reign as King was incredibly short lived. Later in the year Richard adopted a strong position at Sandal castle. His army far outnumbered the Lancastrian army that was gathering. The Battle of Wakefield began, and somehow Richard lost. King Richard was killed during this campaign, and his son, Edward of York, claimed that he was entitled to take the throne.
- Mortimer’s Cross (February – Yorkist victory)
- St Alban’s (February – Lancastrian victory)
- Ferrybridge (March – Yorkist victory)
- Towton (March – Yorkist victory)
The last five years f King Edward IV’s reign over England were not peaceful, however, they were not as brutal or as bloody as previous years.
- Hedgley Moor (1464 – Yorkist victory)
- Hexham (1464 – Yorkist victory)
- Edgecote Moor (1469 – Lancastrian victory)
1470 saw a turn of ‘behind the scenes’ events that changed the face and pace of the battle, if not necessarily on the battlefield. A failed rebellion forced Warwick and Clarence to flee to France, where they agreed an allegiance with Margaret of Anjou.
The trio then launched their own invasion, with the support of the French. Warwick’s brother, John Neville, changed his allegiance to the Lancastrian army, forcing King Edward IV to temporarily flee.
This created a window for Henry VI to reinstate the Lancastrian reign, and in October 1470 he took back the throne, albeit for a brief period. In December 1470 Prince Edward married Anne Neville, Warwick’s daughter.
Only one battle was fought during this year, and that was in March at Losecote Field. This was yet another victory for the Yorkist army.
1471 was another decisive year for the Wars of the Roses.
In March King Edward IV landed in England with his invading army. A month later the battle of Barnet was fought, which saw another victory for the Yorkist army. Warwick was killed during this fight.
King Henry VI’s short reign comes to an end as he is imprisoned in the Tower of London. King Edward then goes on to win a decisive battle at Tewkesbury which sees the majority of the male Lancastrian bloodline eliminated.
A month later, King Henry VI’s dead body is found at the Tower of London. It has never been proven, but many feel the King was murdered. King Edward continues his Yorkist rule over the nation, and would continue to do so until 1483.
Things remained relatively peaceful until 1483, which saw the death of King Edward IV. Edward had, before his death, appointed his brother, Richard (Duke of Gloucester) as his Protector. He put his two young sons, Edward and Richard, into his care.
On the 9th April, King Edward IV died, and his two young sons travelled to the Tower of London to await the ascension of the young Edward to the throne. However, in June that year Edward’s coronation was cancelled, and a few days later Parliament announced that the two boys were illegitimate heirs to the throne. Instead, the awarded the kingdom to King Edward IV’s brother, Richard, who Edward had entrusted with the safety and wellbeing of his sons.
The two princes were never seen or heard of again.
For two years Richard III ruled as king of England, until the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.
The final big battle of the Wars of the Roses came with the Battle of Bosworth, in which King Richard was defeated and killed by Henry Tudor. Richard’s only son, Edward Plantagenet, had mysteriously and suddenly died the year before, making Richard III the last in the Plantagenet family. Henry’s victory heralded the start of the Tudor dynasty.
War of the Roses
Humphrey was overcome by rival in court Beaufort, this lead to Henry mistaking Beauforts bribes as offers of friendship to control him. He also misunderstood Beaufort's rivalry with Richard of York
Mishandling of the Hundred Year War
Suffolk was blamed for the loss of Gascony and Normandy, even though he had received insufficient funds in order to maintain them, and was charged with treason. imprisoned in the tower Henry saved him who banished him for 5 years his ship was intercepted and Suffolk was executed against Henry's will. The commons demanded Henry pass as act of resumption to recover Suffolk's lands
Rebels from Kent claimed loyalty to the king but said that they wanted
- the removal and punishment of royal officials found guilty of corruption and misgovernment in Kent
- fair and impartial justice, and the restoration in law and order
- the removal of the king's 'evil councillors''
- the appointment of the Dues of York, Buckingham and Exeter to the royal council
Loss of Normandy and Gascony
Loss of these places in the hundred year war, lowered public morale and increased Henry's problems with debt
Having served twice (1436-1437 and 1440-1445) as the Kings commander in France, York was mortified when he was removed and replaced by Somerset. Angry at being owed over £38,000 by the crown from France he was given the role Lieutenant of Ireland
Result of Cade's Rebellion
Yorks returned from Ireland without permission and presented the King with the list of complaints which concluded in two bills.
Bill 1: a list of personal grievance concerned with York's position as heir, his debts and the fact that his advise had been ignored
Bill 2: a list of general grievances that echoes what Cade's rebels had drawn up namely, the increase in lawlessness and disorder, the corruption of royal officials and the king's evil councillors and the demise of 'good governance'
Captain of Calais
Already irritated York is further irritated as Somerset is made captain of Calais in command of the largest army at the kings disposal
York's army met the King's forces at Dartford, but the duke had miscalculated. Apart from the Earl of Devon and Lord Cobham, the most powerful nobles in the kingdom, including the Duke of Buckingham and the Nevilles Earls of Salisbury and Warwick, remained loyal to the King. York was outnumbered and forced to submit
Turn for the worse for York
After miscalculating at Dartford, York was forced to take a solemn oath to remain faithful to the King in St Paul's Cathedral. Soon after this it was announced the Queen was pregnant, York will no longer be heir presumptive
Henry VI's Insanity
August 1453 - December 1454
On hearing about the defeats in France that ended any hope for England in the Hundred year war. Henry VI suffered a mental breakdown. His pregnant wife, Margaret, assumed a more active role in politics, working closely with Somerset in the hope of excluding York from power she set herself up as regent until her King recovered
Rejection of Margaret by the nobility
The nobility were appalled at the idea of Margaret assuming the role of regent. The noble elite turned on Somerset and supported York. In an effort to conciliate her enemies. Margaret ruthlessly abandoned Somerset and imprisoned him in the Tower
Margaret gives birth to a healthy son named Edward
Unimpressed by Margaret's actions the Nevilles decided to support York. This may have also been because of their feud with Percy earl of Northumberland, who the King favoured and Margaret had continued to support. Margaret could not stop York with the new found power of the Nevilles from assuming the power and authority of protector and defender of the realm, in effect York had become King in all but name
Margaret's retention of Power
Even though Henry had regained a stable mental state, Margaret remained in charge. She was determined to destroy York as she was convinced he posed a threat to her son's inheritance. Although she managed to strip him of his role of protectorate she didn't succeed in removing him from court. In fact Henry pronounced that York was to be his principal royal advisor. Margaret presuaded Henry to exclude York from the decision-making process on important matters of state, In addition, Somerset was released from the Tower and reappointed to the king's council and to the post of Captain of Calais
1st battle of St Albans
York led his supporters, Nevilles, Earl of Salisbury and Warwick into rebellion against Henry VI. Their aim the elimination of Margarets control, the removal of Somerset and control of the King. York wanted to carve out a new career as king's cheif councillor. Somerset and Margaret convinced Henry York was committing treason.
Henry VI summoned York to Leicester to explain himself. York surprised the king by attending the meeting backed by a force of over 3000 men. The king had fewer than 2000 men so he was forced to negotiate the failure of there talks led to the so called battle. Although the battle was little more than a skirmish as only 60/70 men died. Henry VI was wounded by an arrow and among the dead lay Somerset and Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland
MajEvent: War of the Roses
|1435||Death of John Beaufort Duke of Bedford. 14 Sep||After the death of King Henry V, his brothers John of Lancaster (Beaufort) Duke of Bedford and Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester vied for control of England. John became Regent but mainly took care of affairs in France and Humphrey became Lord Protector of the young Henry VI. The country felt the loss of such a strong Regent.||St Katherine's by the Tower London|
|1441||Richard 3rd Duke of York appointed Lieutenant General of Normandy. 1 June||In 1439 Richard 3rd Duke of York was appointed Lieutenant General of Normandy, a measure taken to try to retain some of the French territories.He worked hard with some success to hold Normandy and to restore order there. He had been put in a very difficult situation there with insufficient funds to pay his troops and he had to use his own money to take care of many outstanding debts and his term of office there was greatly extended. In 1441, after failed negotiationswith the French, Henry sent him back to Normandy. This time his position was put under pressure by the king diverting resources to Somerset in Gascony.||Normandy|
|1442||Edward IV born. 28 Apr||Edward IV was born in Rouen in France||Rouen France|
|1444||Treaty of Tours between Henry VI and Charles VII. 1 May||During the negotiations leading to the truce of Tours in 1444, the English made important concessions in saying that the claim to the French crown might be traded in return for sovereignty in Normandy In December 1445, In March 1448 the capital, Le Mans, finally surrendered. This meant that Henry VI had initiated the dispossession of English soldiers whose homes and livelihoods were in Maine||Tours France|
|1445||Henry VI marries Margaret of Anjou at Titchfield Abbey. 23 Apr||Henry's marriage to the beautiful young Margaret, she was only 15 at the time of her marriage is interesting. She was not of particularly high rank and brought little of value to the English monarchy. Henry at the time also claimed the Kingdom of France and controlled various parts of northern France. Henry's uncle King Charles VII of France, also claimed the crown of France He agreed to the marriage of Margaret to Henry on the condition that he would not have to provide a dowry and would receive the lands of Maine and Anjou from the English. Henry at this time is thought to have been in an unstable mental condition and agreed tothis. But why was it allowed to proceed? The English government, fearing a highly negative reaction, kept the fact of the relinquishing of the French lands secret from the English public.||Titchfield Hampshire|
|1445||Margaret is crowned Queen. 30 May||Margaret of Anjou is crowned Queen at Westminster Abbey||Westminster Abbey|
|1445||Henry VI secret deal to surrender Maine to the French. 1 Dec||In December 1445, Henry VI secretly undertook the surrender of Maine, in so doing he appeared to renounce sovereignty over it. The implication of this was that the English might yield to further military or diplomatic pressure. Charles VII threatens to attack English Garrisons, Henry has to make secret deal to surrender Maine. He is perpetually on his back foot and concedes far too much ground to France.|
|1447||Humphrey Duke Of Gloucester dies having been imprisoned. 1 Feb||Humphrey had run England as co-regent with his brother John of Bedford. Their partnership had been successful and Humphrey was a popular leader. He made an unfortunate second marriage with Eleanor of Cobham who was arrested for sorcery in 1441 and he himself became tainted by her alledged wrong doings. The problems mount as Henry VI takes over in his majority and in 1447 was tried with treason and then died just three days after his arrest in Bury St Edmunds.||Bury St Edmunds|
|1447||Death of Cardinal Beaufort. 11 Apr||Cardinal Beaufort was a steadying hand throughout the period of King Henry IV and V's reign. His death removes a very important player in the politics of the day.||Winchester|
|1447||York exiled as Lieutenant of Ireland. 1 Dec||York is posted as Lieutenant of Ireland. An insult to York, a demotion but actually a political convenience as it removes York from the disastrous capitulations and appeasements by Henry and Somerset in France||Ireland|
|1448||England surrenders Le Mans to the French. 15 Mar||Maine had been English since 1425 when John Duke of Bedford seized it's capital Le Mans. By Feb 1448 the French laid seige to it and on 15 March the English surrendered it. Henry VI had made secret commitments to surrender Maine as part of the Treaty of Tours. Many English nobles resented such weakness and whilst in modern opinion peace would be preferable, in this period War creates commercial opportunity and revenue raising capabilities. War was about land in effect property rights. Henry VI had also sold short and dispossesed his Soldiers who lived and earnt their living from their lives in Maine.||Le Mans France|
|1448||Henry VI promotes some main players. 1 Mar||King Henry decides to promote some of the main protagonists in the period and they start jostling for power. He promotes William de la Pole as Duke of Suffolk and Edmund Beaufort as Duke of Somerset. Richard of Yorks styles himself as a Plantagenet promoting his close Royal Family connections.|
|1449||Richard Neville succeeds as Earl of Warwick. 1 July||Richard Neville married Anne Beauchamp, who, when her brother's daughter dies, brings her husband Richard Neville the title and chief share of the Warwick estates, making him a very wealthy man.|
|1449||English surrender Rouen and have lost Normandy. 1 Oct||In English hearts the loss of Normandy is devastating. This was a view shared amongst the public not just the nobles. A weak king with a pious approach always seeking peace and appeasement was contrary to what the English valued amongst its majority.||Rouen France|
|1450||Bishop Moelyns Murdered in Portsmouth explaining Misdemeanours of Suffolk. 9 Jan||Bishop Moleyns had both a political and religious career but was keen to exticate himself from the former as he became involved in a dispute with Richard, duke of York who claimed that Moleyns had accused him of financial irregularities, defamed his reputation, and blamed him for endangering the security of Normandy. Moleyns denied this. Soon after, York was removed from the post of lieutenant-general in France and as the situation there deteriorated Moleyns found himself exposed to criticism, particularly because of his close association with the Duke of Suffolk, but also because he advocated giving up French territory. He attempted to concentrate on his religious career and came to Portsmouth possibly to go oon pilgrimage. Some stories say he came with money to pay the troops in Portsmouth. He was set upon by a mob and murdered but quite who these mobsters were or their motives is still not certain. As a result the city of Portsmouth was excommunicated.||Church Old Portsmouth Hampshire|
|1450||The Hundred Years War- Battle of Formingy. 15 Apr||The Hundred Years War with France was becoming an expensive and wearying burden on the English population and levels of intolerance are running high. A further defeat of the English at the Battle of Formingy, leaves the English people looking for a scapegoat.ent and the Bishop is murdered. Given the intensity of events was this mob action or a convenient assassination?||Formingy France|
|1450||Insurrection in many parts of England||Insurrection broke out in this year in various parts of England. It was directed against the Duke of Suffolk and his supporters who were governing the country under King Henry VI.||Dover Kent|
|1450||Duke of Suffolk Impeached and Murdered/Executed. 28 Jan||William de la Pole the Duke of Suffolk was identified as that scapegoat. He was impeached because he was suspected of being an accomplice in the murder of Humphrey Duke of Gloucester.It was a popular decision because the public felt he should shoulder the blame for a number of things including the many lands lost to the French. He had received many appointments including, the earldom of Pembroke,Lord Chamberlain, and Lord High Admiral of England, and in 1448 was created Duke of Suffolk. Suffolk was committed to the Tower and sentenced, without trial, to five years' banishment. He declared his innocence and then got on a boat at Ipswich. The Duke of Exeter, Constable of the Tower took another vessel and boarded Suffolk's ship. He ordered him to be beheaded and his body was returned to Dover and laid out on the sands.|
Decimation of a generation, the relative casualties would have a profound impact on a generation. Britain would not face such a scale of loss again until WW1.
Blood ties were close, the War of the Roses was not so much an outright continuous war but a series of phases and events that would ebb and wane as one or more families and political figures fought for their own self-interests. The days of actual fighting were not as protracted as we might have thought. But the impact on the life of a nation was great. It would be a very long time until there would be any such event that would so disrupt British society and proportionally decimate the younger generations and that would be the horrors of a the WW1 (World War 1).
Out of this confusion and bitter disputes, motivated largely by self-interests, would emerge the House of Tudor but the right to be Kings of England was at least tenuous, as much as it had been with those that went before them. A convenient marriage between Henry Tudor and Elizabeth of York seems to bring hostilities to an end, but for how long would that last? Was this a unique event or really just a repeat of violent wealthy families pursuing their own agendas, which had gone on from the earliest of our fledgling British Monarchs and would this be an end to the traumas such disputes created.
Look to the Tudor Dynasty and you just might think that this was the continuance of feuding that is almost inevitable when a country is ruled by a single individual and the success or failure of that king or queen as much depends on the strength of a single character? But with the arrival of the Tudors a whole new series of events transpires equally as divisive and driven by the desire for power wealth and supremacy at almost any price.
War of the Roses Timeline and Chronology with interactive map and narrative
This is a series of events that transpire with the build-up stretching as far back as 1399 and continuing to its conclusion around 1485. Many will shorten that start date back to 1450 but the importance of events before 1450 should not be underestimated. Hence we are bulding an interactive timeline and map plus family trees to help us all explore and unravel some of the intriguing connections in this complex vilent and ruthless series of events.
War of the Roses Collection
You will also find links and connections to the events explored in more detail linked to this page below. These articles aim to help extend the connections and reveal some more intriguing people, their families, roles and significance in this massive series of events. We try to identify existing physical places and map those to the events and people who participated together with the relevance across the broader sweep of our history in the 15th century and for the specific royal houses that are connected to this series of events. For more on the Plantagenets, the House of Lancaster, House of York and the emergence of the Tudors (click on the related links.
In the extraordinary evidence that has been scientifically researched by the University of Tudor we now learn that whilst the research team are more than 99.99% certain that the remains recovered in Leicester are Richard III, they have also discovered a complex issue that there is a non-paternity event (an illegitimacy) compared to the established genealogies which traverses over some 13 links. This brings into question the possibility that one or more of these factions connected to Richard’s genealogy was in fact invalid, incorrect and may have mean’t that the often cited smear of illegitimacy on a child of the royal family may well have had some substance and changed the course of history. Find out more here about Richard III’s DNA and new eveidence here and make your mind-up. Was the War of the Roses , more of what had gone before and would follow again with the Tudors whilst England suffered the rule and absolute power of an anointed monarch or was it the lesser of two evils when Civil War challenged the Monarchy and put a Commoner at the head of a nation. When would Parliament get some real diplomatic teeth and govern by consent and democracy? Who would rid us of these despotic dynastic kings?
5 Myths about the Wars of the Roses
In a sense, the Wars of the Roses began with the usurpation of the throne by Henry Bolingbroke in 1399. Lancastrian legitimacy was always actively contested, except perhaps for a brief period during the reign of Henry V (1413-1422).
2. England was at war for 30 years
The Wars were not a unified conflict lasting three decades, but rather a series of short campaigns or miniwars separated by years of peace. There were three major eruptions of sustained violence: 1455-1464, 1469-1471, and 1483-1487.
3. Richard III was a baddie
Richard III was cast as the villain in Tudor propaganda, most obviously in Shakespeare’s portrayal, but his monarchy was in the forwardlooking Yorkist mould, and his more ruthless actions were dictated by the political exigencies of the time.
4. The Wars were fought between Yorkshire and Lancashire
The division of the country did not correspond to the names of the opposing factions. The Lancastrians were powerful in the north and west, the Yorkists in London, the Midlands, and the south. To some degree, the division more closely mirrored that of the Civil War of 1642-1646.
5. ‘The Wars of the Roses’
Calling the succession of 15th-century dynastic conflicts ‘the Wars of the Roses’ was an invention of Sir Walter Scott in the 19th century, and Shakespeare is responsible for the roses: in Henry VI, rival nobles pick red and white roses. The Yorkists did use the white rose, but as one of many badges, and the Lancastrians did not use a red rose at all until very late on.
The Wars of the Roses Timeline Review
Students review, or learn about, the struggle for power between the Yorks and Lancasters during the War of the Roses by completing a 22 event timeline activity and answering 4 questions. Events and people covered include but are not limited to the Battle of Albans, the Battle of Bosworth Field, the death of Henry VI, Edward being proclaimed king, the Battle of Towton, the marriage of Henry Tudor and Elizabeth of York and more! Students classify the items according to a system detailed in the instructions. They then complete one task for 6 items of their choice and a different task for 3 other items. There are arrows in the first two lines of the timeline showing students the direction to fill out the pieces in. The answers are included where appropriate and this could work for a sub!
Sample timeline items and questions include:
--Richard of York appointed protector of the realm
--Richard declares Edward illegitimate and takes throne
--Edward V and brother murdered in Tower of London
--Henry Tudor becomes King Henry VII
--Summarize the cause(s) of the Wars of the Roses. Could this war have been avoided? Why or why not?
--If you could give either the Yorks or the Lancasters one piece of advice at the start of the war, what would it be and why? Would they have heeded your advice? Why or why not?