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Warwick the Kingmaker: A Level History Resources

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Description

This A-Level History activity assesses the motives behind the actions of Richard Neville, “Warwick the Kingmaker”, over the period 1450 to his death in battle in 1471. The lesson helps to place Warwick’s motives within the context of the day and the political situation at the time. Was he simply politicking? Was he an opportunist? Was he forced into actions he may, perhaps, have felt uncomfortable with? 

Assessing the decision making of Warwick the Kingmaker: An A-Level activity
Warwick the Kingmaker, from the Rous Roll

Richard Neville. 16th Earl of Warwick. “The Kingmaker”

There are several points of view held by historians over the years about Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick. Students may stumble across these as they try to comprehend the changing political landscape of England in the 1450s through to the death of Warwick the Kingmaker at the Battle of Barnet in 1471. For example:

  • Warwick was an opportunist, out only to better the standing of himself and his family
  • Warwick was a proud noble, loyal to the concept of good governance which he always sought to uphold
  • Warwick was a ‘loose cannon’ whose behaviour was erratic, illogical, and out of control
  • Warwick is a classic example of the proverb “Power corrupts absolute power corrupts absolutely”
  • Warwick was a traitor

The reality is that Warwick was a complex individual. In some respects, he was all those things at various times and to a greater or lesser degree. Within the context of the time and place, many of his actions are far more understandable and forgivable than they would be if assessed against modern standards.

Teaching issues:

When we teach the role of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, in the causes or course of the War of the Roses we must address:

  • Chronology
  • Causation and links of causes
  • Significance
  • Consequences
  • Interpretations

This activity is designed to provide an overview that addresses all but the Interpretations. It can be used to give the big picture prior to depth learning, or as a tool to revise key issues in relation to the Earl of Warwick’s role in the Wars of the Roses.

Note: Additional activities will be added to this resource over time. These will be accessible to you via your user area on the website.

 

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A Paper Crown

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The secret marriage of King Edward IV to Elizabeth Woodville was both unexpected and unwanted by many in the Council. Yet, it had to be accepted. The implications were large at court and ultimately throughout the country. In this A-Level lesson, we examine the consequences of various aspects of changes that the marriage resulted in.

Historiography of the Wars of the Roses. An introduction for A-Level students

This lesson provides students with an overview of the way in which historians views about the wars of the roses have changed over the years. This will help them to understand the various sources that are presented over their studies within context. This can lead to further exploration and analysis of historians changing views and the debates that have surrounded them.

Consummate Politician? Assessing Warwick the Kingmaker

Was Warwick the Kingmaker a consummate politician? This A-Level History exercise assesses his methods and motives c1450 to 1471.

Richard III: An extensive overview

A series of activities covering Richard’s adult life. A presentation provides an overarching chronology of his involvement in politics under the reign of Edward IV, explores the manner in which he became King in 1483, looks into his brief reign and finally addresses the invasion of Henry Tudor and Richard’s defeat and death at Bosworth.

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