What happened in the War of the Roses?

Who was involved in the War of the Roses?
Where did the Battles take place?
What were the main battles of the War of the Roses?
When did the invasions and battle take place?
Why did the wars break out and why did the the house of Tudor emerge victorious?

Our infographic below helps to answer some of the core questions that a pupil may have about the War of the Roses. For an abridged timeline of the War of the Roses see here. It groups together events to provide a sound basis for understanding the chronology of the conflict.

What happened in the War of the Roses?

You can now find detailed information about the people, battles and politics of the War of the Roses on our main section about the conflict. It discusses the make up of England in the build up to the war; the political rivalries between factions and the way that these had developed through the generations of plantagenet rule; provides a narrative of the battles and biographies of the people who made the decisions that swayed the war in one way and then another.

These links are of relevance:

The Plantagenets. Overview of the whole of dynasty. Links to each monarch.

Henry V. Famous for Agincourt, not so famous for dying with no adult heir. The consequences of his early death were huge. His heir, just 9 months old, was a very different leader to his father. As an adult, Henry VI was a weak leader. Indecisive and perhaps too easily manipulated by courtiers. Rallied by his wife, Margaret of Anjou, his court survived until his incapacity. From this period onwards, his rule was cast into doubt. First, Richard Duke of York challenged his crown. Following Richard’s death his son, Edward, challenged. The Yorkists overthrew Henry VI and following Towton, Edward IV reigned for 9 years. The political intrigues continued though. With much support from France, the Lancastrians invaded and Henry VI reigned again, albeit for under a year. Foreign aid assisted the Yorkists who returned and recaptured the crown following their victories at Barnet, London and Tewkesbury. Edward IV reigned until his death. There followed the incidents that led to the infamous story of the Princes in the Tower. Edward V was disinherited before being crowned. He vanished from sight, along with brother. Richard of Gloucester became king Richard III. Despite his proven experience as a commander and as a leader in the North of England, his reign was cut short. Henry Tudor pressed home his loose claim to the throne. With French backing, again, he landed in Wales. After a short campaign through Wales the Houses of York and Tudor met on the battlefield at Bosworth. Richard III was slain, the Tudors had gained the crown.


Causes of the Wars of the Roses – Battles of the Wars of the Roses – Personalities of the Wars of the Roses – Women in the Wars of the Roses – Timeline of the Wars of the Roses – Infographic: Key Facts on the Wars of the Roses – Primary and Secondary Sources on the Wars of the Roses – Nathen Amin – the Rise of the Beaufort’s and Tudor England



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