Bosworth Field and the Wars of the Roses by A. L. Rowse

By A. L. Rowse

The conflict of Bosworth, fought on twenty second August 1485 delivered to an finish the Wars of the Roses, that had raged among the noble homes of York and Lancaster for almost a hundred years. A.L. Rowse recreates the dynastic clash, the battles and unexpected demise and the transition from Medieval to Tudor England.

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Once more there was to be no defence. At the end of the month he was taken from the Tower in disguise and transferred to the security of Pontefract, where he wa~ in custody of those trusty Lancastrian officials Sir Thomas Swinford and Robert Waterton, whose fine family tombs, weepers and all, we still see in the church at Methley in Yorkshire. The house of Lancaster completed its triumph with the annexation of Richard's favoured palatinate of Chester to itself. The young Henry was now created Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall and Earl of Chester; shortly after he was made Duke of Lancaster and succeeded to all the lands and franchises of that palatinate, which the Lancastrian kings always regarded as their personal inheritance, and administered separately-as it is to this dayfrom the other lands of the Crown.

His cousin Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March, had achieved a great deal in his brief fighting career there, and then died there young. This Earl of March, we remember, had married the heiress of the dead Clarence, Richard's oldest uncle; her claim to the throne descended to the child of the marriage , a boy Roger, the young Earl of March, next after Richard in the senior THE CHARACTER AND REIGN OF RICHARD II 23 line of succession . was to do over again, as usual; and Richard's expedition was, also as usual, expensive.

To Gloucester's plea for mercy Richard is said to have replied that he should have as much mercy as he had shown to Simon Burley. The Duke was led away to Calais to imprisonment and death. Parliament met at Westminster in September and, since the magnificent hall that Richard was building was not finished, temporary buildings were put up in Palace Yard. The Appellants' actions of ten years before were condemned as usurpations of royal power and therefore treason. Arraigned before Parliament, Arundel showed that he was made of sterner stuff and defended himself with spirit.

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