Enquiring History: The Wars of the Roses by Ian Dawson

By Ian Dawson

The Wars of the Roses covers the political historical past of britain from 1450-1485. The content material is amassed into ten discrete enquiries for example:

- Why used to be London filled with rebels in 1450?
- was once Edward IV a hit moment time round?
- How definite will we be approximately why Richard III took the crown?)

Which jointly support research the basic paradox of this era: humans on the time didn't want civil battle, and for the nobles loyalty to the monarch was once all important...yet wars occurred and kings have been deposed. So the valuable query is that if loyalty was once so very important and folks in England didn't wish civil warfare, why did the Wars of the Roses ensue?

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A good example is the continuation of the chronicle at Crowland Abbey, written by an unknown government official who wor ked in London. This history of the Yorkist king s is one of the most valuable sources for events under Edward IV and Richard III. Edward IV also commissioned detailed histories of the events of 1470–71 (when he lost and regained the crown) to prove the treason of his ene mies and to praise his own success. Local government reco rds include records of cou ncil meetings in a handful of tow ns.

When Parliament met early in 1453 it granted taxes to pay for another military expedition to France, a sign of goodwill and confidence in how Somerset’s government was shaping. In addition, Parliament heard the news that the Queen was pregnant. The birth of a son created a sense of continuity for the future. The only cloud was the development of violent private feuds amongst nobles. Even so, there seemed no way back for York until chance changed his fortunes. In summer 1453 came two pieces of shocking news: Titles and places A title such as Duke of York did not mean that the duke was based or even owned land in York.

Castles, churches, manor houses, statues, floor-tiles, effigies, jewellery, weapons, armou r, furniture, pottery, paintings, toys and games, Bibles and the first printed books in England – the list goes on and on! What’s missing? There’s almost no direct evidence of individuals’ thoughts and opinions, especially those of ordinary people, to help us understand motives or the principles that shaped their actions. There are very few portraits or good likenesses and often no physical descriptions of even the most significant noblemen.

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