Wars of the Roses


The Wars of the Roses were fought as a civil war in England from 1455 to 1485. Although it was a 30 year battle, the battles were sometimes yeas apart and also small.

The wars were civil wars between the family of York and the family of Lancaster, who both claimed they had rights to the throne.

The wars were called the Wars of the Roses because the badges of the two houses at war were roses, red for Lancaster and white for York.

The wars started because both houses claimed they were descendants of King Edward III, and King Henry VI was mentally ill and being advised by corrupt nobles.


People of Lancaster


Important people on the Lancaster side were Henry VI, the King at the time on the York side, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, who started the war on the York side, and Margaret of Anjou, Henry VI's wife who took control after Henry died.


People of York


Important people on the York side were Richard, Duke of York, who began the war by defeating the Lancaster people and putting Henry VI in jail and served as a king without a title, or Lord Protector. Another person was Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick. Above it says he was part of Lancaster because he actually switched sides because he didn't like the leadership of York. Edward IV was important because he was king on the York side for most of the war. Edward V became king at age twelve when his father died but was betrayed by his uncle and imprisoned and killed in the Tower of London. Richard III was Edward V's uncle and became king for a year after his nephew but was killed in battle


Person of Tudor


Henry VII was the founder of the house of Tudor and was the person who defeated Richard III.




1455- The wars started with the First St. Albans Battle on May 22, when Richard of York defeated Henry VI.

1460- Battle of Wakefield, a great victory for the Lancastrians on December 30 because Richard of York was killed.

1461- Richard f York's son Edward IV beats the Lancastrians in the Battle of Towton and Queen Margaret flees to France when Edward IV is declared king of England.

1470- Earl of Warwick and Queen Margaret come to an alliance and return Henry VI to the throne.

1471- Edward IV gathers a new army and once again defeats Henry VI in the battle of Tewksbury and Barnet. Henry VI is then  sent to the Tower of London and killed.

1483- Richard III becomes king of England after Edward IV dies and he has Edward V killed in the Tower of London.

1485- Henry Tudor (founder of the Tudor house) killed Richard III in the Battle of Bosworth on August 22. Henry is then declared king of England. This marks the end of the War of Roses and the start of the house of Tudor.


Interesting Facts


The largest battle was the Battle of Towton where 50,000 men fought and nearly 25,000 died.

Edward IV was very tall for his time at a height of 6'4"!

Both houses in the war were branches of the royal house of Plantagenet.

Many different nobles switched sides in the war and hoped that when the war was over they would be on the winning side.

Queen of Lancaster, Margaret of Anjou, was often a leader on the Lancaster army.

The Battle of Losecote got its name when several losing soldiers took off their coats so they could run from the other army faster.

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