The Wars of the Roses (1455-1487 CE) was a four-decade struggle between two branches of the descendants of Edward III of England (r. 1327-1377 CE). These two family groups: the Lancasters and Yorks, would swap places on the throne of England several times until Henry Tudor won the wars and made himself King Henry VII of England (r. 1485-1509 CE). In this collection, we examine the causes of the war and the circumstances which perpetuated it, the key figures involved and the lasting consequences of a conflict whose bloody deeds and fiendish murder plots has inspired historical fiction writers ever since.
After the Battle of Wakefield on 30 December 1460 CE, royalists put Richard, Duke of York’s head on a pike at Micklegate in York for public display and they decked it with a paper crown to remind everyone he had been a mere usurper. However, this was not the end of the Yorkists but only the beginning of their even greater rise.