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Richard III Background

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Megan Altman

on 26 March 2013

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Transcript of Richard III Background

Richard III Background Lancaster York Although Henry remained king for almost 40 years, he was incompetent in politics and suffered from mental illness. In 1460, one of the royal cousins, Richard Duke of York, asserted his claim to the throne. Several battles were fought, with no clear results. Each side would win one battle and lose the next. He claimed that Henry and the Lancastrians didn't have a true claim to the crown, and therefore he was simply restoring the throne to its rightful heirs. Henry IV spent most of his reign dealing with rebellions by the Mortimers, finally defeating them in the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403. He was descended on both sides from sons of Edward III. Edward still needed to defeat Henry and Margaret, and he met their forces in the Battle of Towton, the largest battle of the war. vs. (white rose) (red rose) The Wars of the Roses Edward III had 5 sons. Edward, the Black Prince died before his father. The Black Prince's son, Richard II, was ten years old when he became king. After making many enemies, he was defeated and later killed by his cousin, Henry Bolingbroke (Henry IV). His cousins descended from Edward's second son, Lionel, Duke of Clarence, had a better claim to the throne. However, Henry's father was Edward's third son, John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. His son, Henry V, ruled successfully for 9 years, and conquered France in the Battle of Agincourt. The Treaty of Troyes agreed that Henry V would marry Princess Katherine, uniting France and England. Unfortunately, both Henry and Charles died within months of each other, leaving behind the nine-month-old Henry VI to rule both kingdoms. Henry and his heirs would rule France and England after Charles VI died, which disinherited the heir to the French throne, the Dauphin. The royal uncles and cousins asserted themselves, constantly bickering with each other. The war with France continued, as the Dauphin tried to win control of the country back from the English. He was assisted by Joan of Arc, who helped ensure his coronation as King of France in 1429. The war continued, and the English were eventually driven out of France. The English nobles began fighting each other, with occasional armed conflicts. Since his mother was descended from Edward's second son, Richard's claim was stronger than Henry's. The civil war that erupted was a dynastic struggle known as the Wars of the Roses. The Yorkists, led by Richard, Duke of York, were represented by the white rose. The Lancastrians, nominally led by Henry VI, but actually by his wife, Margaret of Anjou, were represented by the red rose. The Yorks eventually captured King Henry after one battle, and Richard, Duke of York, marched to London and claimed the throne. However, Parliament sided with King Henry, and a treaty was signed, naming Richard as Henry's heir, and disinheriting Edward, the Prince of Wales. Queen Margaret didn't accept the treaty, and raised an army, attacking York at the Battle of Wakefield. It was a complete Lancastrian victory. Both York and his second son, Edmond, Earl of Rutland, were killed. Richard's oldest son, Edward, became the Duke of York and renewed his father's claim to the throne. His forces marched on London, forcing Henry and Margaret to flee. He entered in triumph, and was crowned King Edward IV. Both sides determined to settle the issue that day, with no quarter asked or given. Henry's forces suffered a devestating defeat. Henry, Margaret, and their son Edward fled to Scotland. Although there were occasional Lancastrian rebellions, Edward IV was able to rule in relative peace for 10 years. During one of the rebellions, Henry VI was captured and imprisoned in the Tower of London. Although Edward's advisers tried to arrange a marriage for him with a foreign princess, he wed an English widow instead, named Elizabeth Woodville. Elizabeth had many relatives, who quickly took advantage of their new royal connection by securing for themselves new titles, positions, and wealthy spouses. There were many quarrels between the older nobility and the "upstart" Woodvilles. Edward's brother George, Duke of Clarence and a few other nobles rebelled against him. Henry VI was restored to the throne for 2 years before Edward recaptured London. Margaret and her son Edward, Prince of Wales, met King Edward IV at the Battle of Tewkesbury. Henry's son Edward, the Lancastrian heir to the throne, was killed. With no heirs to succeed him, Henry was murdered shortly afterward to strengthen the Yorkist claim to the throne.
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