The Official History Website of International Bestselling Author John Paul Davis

The Wars of the Roses

Wars of the Roses (1461–83)

Battle of Barnet
Battle of Barnet

Various attempts to regain the throne for Henry VI took place 1461–64. The government of England turned on its head, however, when Edward IV went against Warwick’s attempts to secure a French bride, and married the commoner, Elizabeth Woodville. As the Woodvilles gained favour at court, Warwick’s allegiance came into question. After entering an alliance with Edward’s brother, George, Duke of Clarence, Clarence married Warwick’s daughter, Isabel, and defeated Edward at Edgecote Moor. After a brief imprisonment at Warwick’s hands, Edward returned to London. Rebellions in Lincolnshire were quashed, and Warwick and Clarence banished, leading to an alliance between Warwick and Margaret of Anjou.

Warwick invaded England in 1470 and restored Henry VI to the throne, forcing Edward and his brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, to flee to the Low Countries. Edward returned at Ravenspurn in 1471 and reconciled with Clarence. The forces of Edward and Warwick met at Barnet in thick fog, at which point Edward defeated the Kingmaker. The forces led by Margaret of Anjou were then defeated at Tewkesbury, thus leading to twelve years of peace under Edward IV.