Wars of the Roses
|Wars of the Roses|
19th century engraving of the apocryphal scene in the Temple Garden, from Shakespeare's play "Henry VI Part 1", where supporters of the rival factions pick either red or white roses
|House of York||House of Lancaster|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Richard, Duke of York †
Edward IV of England
Richard III of England †
|Henry VI of England
Edward of Westminster †
Henry VII of England
The Wars of the Roses (1455 - 1487) was a series of civil wars, fought over the throne of England, between supporters of the House of Lancaster and supporters of the House of York. Both houses were branches of the Plantagenet royal house, tracing their descent from King Edward III.
The main reason for the war was that King Edward III had many sons, as shown in the family tree below. His oldest son, who was known by the nickname, "The Black Prince", died first, and the throne passed to the Black Prince's son, Richard, who became King Richard II of England in 1377 at the age of only ten. He grew up to be a weak and unpopular king, and one of his actions was to send his cousin Henry into exile. Henry later returned, while Richard was away in Ireland, and took over the country. When Richard returned, Henry tricked him into giving himself up. Richard was put in prison, where he died, and Henry became King Henry IV of England.
Although Henry IV reigned until his death, and was followed by his son, King Henry V, the next king in line, King Henry VI was only a baby. While he was still growing up, the most powerful men in the kingdom started quarrelling over how to run the country, and some of them raised an army to try to take the throne. Henry VI and his family fought back, and the war between his supporters and their enemies lasted for many years, finally coming to an end when King Henry VII of England came to the throne in 1487.
Other websites [change]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Category:Wars of the Roses|
- The Wars of the Roses Chronology World History Database
- The Wars of the Roses Has a large article on 'Soldiers and Warfare during the Wars of the Roses' with interesting information on the fighting and tactics of the day, plus battles and people
- warsoftheroses.com includes a map, timeline, info on major players and summaries of each battle
- A complicated but comprehensive diagram of the Wars of the Roses is at threetwoone.org
- An extensive chronological account is at Wars Of The Roses. The historical interpretation which accompanies it is the personal view of the author