Battle of St Albans starts Wars of the Roses

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Historical Context Note

When Henry Bolingbroke, of Lancaster, seized the throne from Richard II in 1399 to become Henry IV, he claimed it as the direct male heir, and the most plausible leader. However, he was not actually next in line to the throne: this was the grandson, through the female line, of Edward III's second son, Lionel of Antwerp. The descendants of this overlooked heir, Edward Mortimer, Earl of March, sought to claim the throne back for their branch of the family. After Henry's prolonged period of insanity in 1453-4, this escalated into a military campaign. At the Battle of St Albans, royalist forces met Richard, Duke of York, along with his ally Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick. After lengthy negotiations, the Yorkists made a sudden and …

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Related Groups

  1. Wars of the Roses