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The Wars of the Roses were battles between the House of Lancaster and the House of York. They lasted for 32 years, from 1455–1487. The Wars of the Roses was not a constant fight but a series of battles that spread out over the years. Initially, the war started at the Battle of St Albans. It ended with the uprising of Henry VII to the throne and marked the beginning of the Tudor dynasty.
See the fact file below for more information on the Wars of the Roses or alternatively, you can download our 24-page Wars of the Roses worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
ORIGIN OF THE WARS
- The Wars of the Roses started for several reasons. The House of Lancaster and House of York had the right to the English throne.
- Richard, Duke of York, and the King at the start of the war, King Henry VI, were both descendants of King Edward III.
- Also, King Henry VI was mentally ill and had corrupt and unpopular nobles.
IMPORTANT PEOPLE IN THE WARS OF THE ROSES
- HOUSE OF LANCASTER: THE RED ROSE
- King Henry VI was the King at the start of the Wars of the Roses.
- Henry VI was a weak ruler because he had a little interest in politics only.
- Margaret of Anjou was the wife of King Henry VI. She contributed strategies and led battles against the King’s rivals.
- At the beginning of the war, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, was on the side of the House of York. He later changed sides because he didn’t like how King Edward IV managed the country.
- HOUSE OF YORK: THE WHITE ROSE
- Richard, Duke of York, served as the Lord protector during Henry VI’s time. He was the father of Edward IV and Richard III. Richard defeated the Lancastrians and put Henry VI in jail.
- At the beginning of the war, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, was on the side of the House of York.
- Edward IV was the first Yorkist to become a king. He was the King who experienced most of the battles in the Wars of the Roses. He led from 1461 to 1483.
- Edward V was the son of Edward IV. He reigned for a short period before he was sent to the Tower of London and disappeared.
- Richard III was the brother of Edward IV. He took the throne from Edward V. He died during a battle, and he only reigned for over two years.
- HOUSE OF TUDOR
- Henry VII defeated Richard III, resulting in the end of the Wars of the Roses and marking the beginning of the Tudor dynasty.
IMPORTANT BATTLES IN THE WARS OF THE ROSES
- The Wars of the Roses was a series of civil wars in claiming the English throne. Many battles occurred over the 32 years of war. There were five key battles in the Wars of the Roses.
- THE BATTLE OF ST ALBANS (MAY 22, 1455)
- The Battle of St Albans considered as the opening battle of the Wars of the Roses.
- The King’s wife, Queen Margaret, suspected a threat from Richard III, causing his dismissal.
- He led an army of 3,000 men against London. A defensive position was set up in the town of St Albans by the King’s army.
- However, Earl of Warwick invaded their defenses by a surprise attack. That was when King Henry VI was captured and taken to London.
- THE BATTLE OF WAKEFIELD (DECEMBER 30, 1460)
- At the battle of Ludford Bridge in 1459, Richard lost and escaped to Ireland. Richard said that he would serve as a Lord Protector and refuse to reign the throne.
- In return, his sons would inherit the throne instead of Henry’s son. The Lancastrians gathered their strength. Richard and his allies marched North. He died because he was overwhelmed and attacked by a much larger army.
- THE BATTLE OF TOWTON (MARCH 29, 1461)
- Edward, Richard’s son, managed to claim the throne. He attacked the Lancastrians in the town of Towton. His archers took advantage of the snow and wind. It helped them to shoot at further distances.
- The Lancastrians charged at Edward’s army, but with reinforcements Edward won. Edward was finally crowned as King.
- THE BATTLE OF TEWKESBURY (MAY 4, 1471)
- Edward married Elizabeth Woodville, which caused many of his allies to separate. One of them was the Earl of Warwick, the so-called King Maker.
- The Lancastrian army fled towards the Welsh border. They were pursued by Edward and killed Margaret’s son. Again, Edward was now in complete control.
- BOSWORTH FIELD BATTLE (AUGUST 22, 1485)
- The Battle of Bosworth ended the Wars of Roses. Edward IV and his son died in the Tower of London.
- Edward’s brother, Richard, claimed the crown.
- A new Lancastrian, Henry Tudor, challenged Richard for the crown. Richard was defeated, and Henry Tudor was crowned as the new king. The Tudor dynasty began.
INTERESTING FACTS: WARS OF THE ROSES
- The Wars of the Roses were between the houses of Lancaster and York for the English Throne. The battles got their name years after the actual fight, from the intended badges of the two houses: The Red Rose of Lancaster and the White Rose of York.
- The Wars of the Roses were first known as “The Cousins’ War”. This is because the war started due to the conflict between Henry VI and his cousin Richard, Duke of York.
- After Richard, Duke of York died during the Battle of Wakefield, a fake crown was given.
- The Wars of the Rose ended partly due to the marriage of Henry Tudor to King Edward IV’s daughter. After Henry Tudor’s coronation, he married Elizabeth of York.
- The popular series Game of Thrones was inspired by the Wars of the Roses.
Wars of the Roses Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Wars of the Roses across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Wars of the Roses worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Wars of the Roses which were battles between the House of Lancaster and the House of York. They lasted for 32 years, from 1455–1487. The Wars of the Roses was not a constant fight but a series of battles that spread out over the years. Initially, the war started at the Battle of St Albans. It ended with the uprising of Henry VII to the throne and marked the beginning of the Tudor dynasty.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Wars of the Roses Facts
- The Two Houses
- The Jumbled Roses
- Complete Me!
- The Red/White Interview
- War on Film
- Kings of the Wars of the Roses
- The Crossword Battles
- The Strategic Queen
- Roses Daily News
- Changing Roses
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Link will appear as Wars of the Roses Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, July 28, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
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