Warwick the Kingmaker: A Level History Resources

£5.00 £3.00


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.


Wars of the Roses lessons for A-Level History

A harvest of heads

Explore the personality of Henry 6th through a lesson that is designed to develop your classes understanding of the period. This Context-driven approach enables a breadth of understanding about the intricacies of the court.

Factions and Feuds

This lesson looks at the structure of Government in Henry’s Minority and Majority. From here it explores the way in which decision making was conducted. Sources are introduced to show students some of the reasons why factions began to develop and it encourages them to think about how this may affect the structures of government.

A Paper Crown

What went wrong for Richard, 3rd Duke of York? This lesson explores the tumultuous events of 1459/60. Students will gain an awareness of the various pressures upon both factions at the time.

The Personality of King Henry VI

What did Henry’s contemporaries think of him? This lesson examines a series of sources to develop an awareness of different views and the reasons why subjects and other commentators interpreted him so differently. Exam-style questioning is included with tips for students.

How did Edward IV gain the crown in 1461? 

In this A-Level lesson, students explore the events from the death of Richard of York through to the immediate aftermath of the Battle of Towton. How was Edward able to turn a dire situation around so quickly?

Consolidating Power: The Edward IV Roll

This lesson takes a close look at the imagery in the Edward IV roll. It is designed to help students better understand the importance of legitimacy in the context of the day.

The ‘She-Wolf of France’: is this a fair assessment of Margaret of Anjou?

Margaret of Anjou’s role in the build-up to the outbreak of the Wars of the Roses and its early stages is subject to much debate. Shakespeare’s caricature of her being a ‘She-Wolf’ remains a popular view. But how accurate is this assessment of Henry VI’s wife and Queen? This lesson explores the evidence.

Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville: Impact of their marriage on the State

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.


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Warwick the Kingmaker: A Level History Resources”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You may also like…