Wars of the Roses

The Wars of the Roses were a series of battles fought in medieval England from 1455 to 1487 between the House of Lancaster and the House of York. The name Wars of the Roses (sometimes mistakenly referred to as War of the Roses) is based on the badges used by the two sides, the red rose for the Lancastrians and the white rose for the Yorkists. Major causes of the conflict include: 1) both houses were direct descendents of king Edward III; 2) the ruling Lancastrian king, Henry VI, surrounded himself with unpopular nobles; 3) the civil unrest of much of the population; 4) the availability of many powerful lords with their own private armies; and 5) the untimely episodes of mental illness by king Henry VI.

Royal Timeline

The Origins of the Wars

It was in this year [1411], that Richard Plantagenet was born to Richard, fifth Earl of Cambridge and Anne Mortimer. His father was the son of Edmund, the first Duke of York, who was in turn the fourth son of Edward III. If Henry VI had died before 1453, the year of the birth of Edward, Prince of Wales, then Richard would have undoubtedly been crowned King of England ... read more