Fact of the day: 4th May

On this day in 1471 Wars of the Roses: The Battle of Tewkesbury: Edward IV defeats a Lancastrian Army and kills Edward, Prince of Wales.

The Battle of Tewkesbury, which took place on 4 May 1471, was one of the decisive battles of the Wars of the Roses.

The forces loyal to the House of Lancaster were completely defeated by those of the rival House of York under their monarch, King Edward IV.

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The Lancastrian heir to the throne, Edward, Prince of Wales, and many prominent Lancastrian nobles were killed during the battle or were dragged from sanctuary two days later and immediately executed.

The Lancastrian king, Henry VI, who was a prisoner in the Tower of London, died or was murdered shortly after the battle. Tewkesbury restored political stability to England until the death of Edward IV in 1483.


Fact of the day: April 28th

On this day in 1442 Edward IV of England (d. 1483) was born.

Edward IV was King of England from 4 March 1461 until 3 October 1470, and again from 11 April 1471 until his death in 1483. He was the first Yorkist King of England.

The first half of his rule was marred by the violence associated with the Wars of the Roses, but he overcame the Lancastrian challenge to the throne at Tewkesbury in 1471 to reign in peace until his sudden death.

Before becoming king he was 4th Duke of York, 7th Earl of March, 5th Earl of Cambridge and 9th Earl of Ulster. He was also the 65th Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece.

Henry VIII

An extremely capable and daring military commander, Edward destroyed the House of Lancaster in a series of spectacular military victories; he was never defeated on the field of battle.

Despite his occasional (if serious) political setbacks — usually at the hands of his great Machiavellian rival, Louis XI of France — Edward was a popular and very able king.

While he lacked foresight and was at times cursed by bad judgement, he possessed an uncanny understanding of his most useful subjects, and the vast majority of those who served him remained unwaveringly loyal until his death.