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The War of the Roses began in 1455, when many barons resented the way that the Lancaster family had seized the throne in 1399 and felt that Henry V, IV or VI were not the rightful kings. (Henry IV, the first Lancastrian King, came to the English throne by force. He made his cousin Richard ll, abdicate, and then seized the crown himself.) According to the barons, the York family, cousins of the Lancasters, were truly entitled to reign.
The first campaign began with an armed demand of the Yorkist lords for the dismissal of the Lancastrian element in the King's Council, Henry VI himself being incapable of governing. The Lancastrians and the king marched out of London to meet them, and the two small armies (3000 Yorkists, 2000 Lancastrians) met at St Albans.
The fight ended with the dispersion of the weaker force, and the king fell into the hands of the Yorkists. Four years passed before the next important battle, Blore Heath, was fought in Sept 23, 1459. The Lancastrian army was destroyed; but new political combinations rendered the Yorkist victory useless and sent the leaders of the party into exile.
May 22, 1455 First Battle of St Albans Sep 23, 1459 Battle of Blore Heath Oct 12, 1459 Rout at Ludford Bridge Jul 10, 1460 Battle of Northampton Dec 30, 1460 Battle of Wakefield Feb 2, 1461 Battle of Mortimer's Cross Feb 22, 1461 Second Battle of St Albans Mar 28, 1461 Skirmish at Ferrybridge Mar 29, 1461 Battle of Towton The Buttles and the winners:
The Buttles and the winners: Apr 25, 1464 Battle of Hedgeley Moor May 15, 1464 Battle of Hexham Jul 26, 1469 Battle of Edgecote Mar 12, 1470 Battle of Loosecoat Field Apr 14, 1471 Battle of Barnet May 4, 1471 Battle of Tewkesbury Aug 22, 1485 Battle of Bosworth Jun 16, 1487 Battle of Stoke Field
Henry Vll (representing the Lancaster family) married Elizabeth of York (representing the York family). This marriage united the two families. Henry created the Tudor rose, containing both the White Rose of York and the Red Rose of Lancaster. It symbolized the end of a struggle between York and Lancaster
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