A glimpse of... the Wars of the Roses by Matthew Lewis

By Matthew Lewis

The Wars of the Roses ruled the second one 1/2 the 15th century in England, however the roots of the clash lay farther again in time. households will be torn aside as kings have been deposed and native squabbles settled on a countrywide scale. This publication bargains a short evaluation of the foremost personalities and occasions that drove and formed England in this civil struggle. starting with Edward III the wars are traced as pink Rose and White Rose fought for dominance within the backyard of britain. strains have been drawn and aspects selected. This was once no flower backyard. This was once warfare.

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The eldest son and heir to Edward III was Edward, the Black Prince. He was a famed military leader, defeating the French at Crecy and Poitiers and appeared set to reign in his father's mould. He had also developed a reputation for harsh cruelty, often ignoring accepted notions of chivalry both on the battlefield and off it. For example, he employed flank attacks to defeat enemies and often sacked and burned towns to disrupt France. Edward III's other sons were Lionel of Antwerp, Duke of Clarence who died in 1368 aged 29, John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, Edmund of Langley, Duke of York and Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester.

They had proud traditions and a great deal to lose, beyond even their lives, by making a decision that would prove less than fortuitous. The choice between honour and right, loyalty and survival was stark and constantly being forced upon them. For ordinary men and women, it is hard to measure the impact of conflicts such as the Wars of the Roses upon them. Those who served a lord heavily involved may have lived for years in constant fear of being called to battle. Families deprived of a husband and father would no doubt have struggled to make ends meet.

Thus at the Battle of Hexham armed resistance to Edward was eradicated and, although still at large, Henry and Margaret were isolated and without support. The kingdom settled into relative peace. Edward was young, athletic and tall. At 6'4" he is the tallest King of England known to date, an inch taller than his grandson, Henry VIII. With harmony came prosperity. Trade improved and Edward worked hard to reconcile former Lancastrians to his rule. The next phase of trouble was to tear the kingdom apart afresh, exposing enemies Edward could not have expected.

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