The Battle Of Roses: The War Of The Roses

Satisfactory Essays
Two royal families ruled England during most of the fifteenth century. The House of

York, whose badge was a white rose, and the House of Lancaster who would later be

linked to a red rose. The families were closely related and both had a claim to the

throne though Henry IV. This war would last for 30 years and later be named the War of

the Roses due to the families association with the roses. There was three phases of the

war that almost led to the extinction of English nobility.

The first battle of the War of the Roses took place at St. Alban’s on May 22nd 1455

when the Yorkists tired to confront King Henry VI. “The King had by his side the Dukes

of Somerset and Buckingham, Lords Pembroke, Northumberland and Devon and around

2,000 Lancastrian men.” (“Wars of the Roses”) The Yorkists led by the Earls of Salisbury

and Warwick attacked the town. Warwick was able to get into the town by an unguarded

area and attacked the Lancastrian barricades. While the battle was small it left Henry

wounded and captured. Lord Northumberland, Clifford and the Duke of

Somerset where dead.

“Led by Richard Earl of Salisbury the Yorkist in the north mobilized an army and headed

south to meet the Duke of York at Ludlow.” (“Wars of the Roses”) On September 23rd

1459 at Blore Heath in Shropshire Salisbury was cut off by a Lancastrian army led by

Lord Audley. Audley was killed and the Yorkists had won the battle.

But this didn’t last long. On October 1459 the Earl of Warwick and a combined army

of Yorkist attacked the Kings army at Ludford Bridge. Some of the men refused to fight

their king and the Yorkist army was defeated. Timesref states “Richard Duke of York and

his younger son escaped and fled to Ireland...

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... Richard III was killed and the

rest of his army lost the will to fight. It is said that “Henry was crowned on the battlefield

after Richard’s crown was found in a bush”. (“War of the Roses, 1455-1485”)

Henry Tudor became King Henry VII. He married Elizabeth of York, the daughter of

Edward IV’s. This united the Yorkist and the Lancastrians claim to the throne. states “This event is seen as marking the end of the War of Roses; although

some Yorkist supported in 1487 an unsuccessful rebellion against Henry.” (“The War of

the Roses”) Henry brought the war to an end when he defeated this rebellion at Stoke.

In conclusion, the 30 year old war was over. The actual toll of the War of the Roses will

no doubt never be known. Few noble families actually died out, but several generations

suffered many losses in the fighting or soon thereafter.
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