Battle of Tewkesbury
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 defeated by those of the rival House of York under their monarch, King Edward IV; the Lancastrian heir to the throne, Prince of Wales, many prominent Lancastrian nobles were killed during the battle or were dragged from sanctuary two days and executed. The Lancastrian king, Henry VI, 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; the term Wars of the Roses refers to the informal heraldic badges of the two rival houses of Lancaster and York, contending for power—and for the throne—since the late 1450s. In 1461 the Yorkist claimant, Earl of March, was proclaimed King Edward IV and defeated the supporters of the weak, intermittently insane Lancastrian King Henry VI at the Battle of Towton. Lancastrian revolts in the far north of England were defeated in 1464, the fugitive King Henry was captured and imprisoned the next year.
His wife, Margaret of Anjou, their 13-year-old son Edward of Westminster were exiled and impoverished in France. Edward IV's hold on the throne appeared temporarily to be secure. Edward owed his victory in large measure to the support of his cousin, the powerful 16th Earl of Warwick, they became estranged when Edward spurned the French diplomatic marriage that Warwick was seeking for him and instead married Elizabeth Woodville, widow of an obscure Lancastrian gentleman, in secret in 1464. When the marriage became public knowledge, Edward placed many of his new queen's family in powerful positions that Warwick had hoped to control. Edward meanwhile reversed Warwick's policy of friendship with France by marrying his sister Margaret to Charles the Bold, the Duke of Burgundy; the embittered Warwick secured the support of Edward IV's brother George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence, for a coup in exchange for Warwick's promise to crown Clarence king. Although Edward was imprisoned Clarence was unacceptable as monarch to most of the country.
Edward was allowed to resume his rule, outwardly reconciled with Clarence. Within a year, though, he forced them to flee to France. With no hope of a reconciliation with King Edward, Warwick's best hope of regaining power in England lay in restoring Henry VI to the throne. Louis XI of France feared a hostile alliance of Burgundy under Charles the Bold and England under Edward, he was prepared to support Warwick with men and money, but to give legitimacy to any uprising by Warwick, the acquiescence of Margaret of Anjou was required. Warwick and Margaret were sworn enemies, but her attendants and Louis persuaded her to ally the House of Lancaster with Warwick. At Angers Warwick begged her pardon on his knees for all past wrongs done to her, was forgiven. Prince Edward was betrothed to Warwick's younger daughter Anne, they swore loyalty to Henry VI on a fragment of the True Cross in Angers Cathedral. However, Margaret declined to let Prince Edward land in England or to land there herself until Warwick had established a firm government and made the country safe for them.
Warwick landed in the West Country on 13 September 1470, accompanied by Clarence and some unswerving Lancastrian nobles, including the Earl of Oxford and Jasper Tudor, the Earl of Pembroke. As King Edward made his way south to face Warwick, he realised that Warwick's brother John, Marquess of Montagu, who had up until remained loyal to Edward, had defected at the head of a large army in the north of England. Edward fled to King's Lynn, where he took ship for Flanders, part of Burgundy, accompanied only by his youngest brother Richard of Gloucester and a few faithful adherents. In London Warwick released King Henry, led him in procession to Saint Paul's cathedral and installed him in Westminster palace. Warwick's position remained precarious, his alliance with Louis of France and his intention to declare war on Burgundy was contrary to the interests of the merchants, as it threatened English trade with Flanders and the Netherlands. Clarence had long been excluded from Warwick's calculations. In November 1470 Parliament declared that Prince Edward and his descendants were Henry's heirs to the throne.
Unknown to Warwick, Clarence secretly became reconciled with King Edward. With Warwick in power in England, it was Charles of Burgundy's turn to fear a hostile alliance of England and France; as an obvious counter to Warwick, he supplied King Edward with money and several hundred men. Edward set sail from Flushing on 11 March 1471 with 1200 men, he touched on the English coast at Cromer but found that the Duke of Norfolk, who might have supported him, was away from the area and that Warwick controlled that part of the country. Instead, his ships made for Ravenspurn, near the mouth of the River Humber, where Henry Bolingbroke had landed in 1399 on his way to reclaim the Duchy of Lancaster and depose Richard II. Edward's landing was inauspicious at first; the port of Kingston-upon-Hull refused to allow Edward to enter, so he made for York, claiming rather like Bolingbroke that h
Battle of Edgecote Moor
The Battle of Edgecote Moor took place 6 miles north east of Banbury, Oxfordshire, in what is now the civil parish of Chipping Warden and Edgcote, England on 26 July 1469 during the Wars of the Roses. The site of the battle was Danes Moor in Northamptonshire, at a crossing of a tributary of the River Cherwell; the battle saw supporters of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, defeat the forces of King Edward IV, leading to the king's capitulation soon afterwards. The Earl of Warwick came to be in open rebellion against Edward by 1469. Eight years after the great Yorkists' victory in battle of Towton in which The Kingmaker took crucial part, he and Edward IV fell out. In 1464 Warwick was in the middle of negotiations with pro-Lancastrian France, he knew that a royal marriage with a French princess could solve their problems. Warwick told Louis XI that Edward would be delighted to marry the French princess, but soon afterwards was informed of the humiliating truth: Edward had secretly been married to Elizabeth Woodville, a commoner, for the past six months.
On, Elizabeth's brothers and sisters were married off to ladies and nobles of importance, throughout the land. Most of these marriages offended Warwick in some way, at least one was a direct insult to his family. Warwick was angered by Edward's constant refusal to let George, Duke of Clarence, marry Warwick's eldest daughter. Edward claimed hypocritically that Clarence would serve for none other. Warwick no longer exercised any control or influence over his cousin, the King, in political matters. Thoughts turned to rebellion in Warwick's mind, a rebellion in which he had an ally: the Duke of Clarence, heir to the English throne while the king had no male offspring. Small rebellions in the North sent the King on a slow march in that direction. With the King's back turned, Warwick's agents spread rumours stating that the King was bastard-born and that Clarence was York's true heir. In the North, one of Warwick's captains, calling himself Robin of Redesdale, started a new rebellion; when Edward heard of this, he believed the rebellion would be put down and mustered only a few of his men.
He soon learned that the rebels in fact outnumbered his own small force, he started a retreat towards Nottingham to gather more recruits. The King lacked the popularity he once had, reinforcements were few. Edward decided to wait in Nottingham for the Earls of Pembroke and Devon to arrive with an army from the south. On 12 July and Clarence declared their support for the rebels. On the 18th, Warwick left London at the head of a large army to reinforce the rebels; the rebels hurried south to meet with Warwick, bypassing the King but nearly colliding with Pembroke and Devon at Edgecote Moor. The two armies became aware of each other on 25 July and joined in battle early in the morning of the 26th, on the same site as the Battle of Danes Moor; the beginning was a rather one-sided affair as the Earl of Devon and his Welsh archers were some miles away, having stayed the night in a neighbouring village. The rebels attacked across the river forcing Pembroke to retreat and pull his men back some distance.
Pembroke was attacked again in his new position. At 1 o'clock the Earl received the news he had been waiting for: Devon was advancing with all his men. However, at the same time the advance guard of Warwick's army arrived upon the field. Rebel morale was boosted. Seeing Warwick's livery amongst the enemy, Pembroke's men presumed his whole force of expert soldiers was upon them; the royal army broke and fled the field before Devon could reinforce them. The Earl of Pembroke and his brother Sir Richard Herbert were captured and executed the following day; the Earl of Devon suffered a similar fate a few days later. The rebel dead included Henry Neville, the eldest son and heir of George Neville, 1st Baron Latimer, Sir John Conyers, the son of their general and Sir Oliver Dudley, the youngest son of John Sutton, 1st Baron Dudley. Following the battle, Richard Woodville, Earl Rivers, father of the Yorkist Queen Elizabeth Woodville, his second son John were taken prisoners at Chepstow. Following a hasty show trial, they were beheaded at Kenilworth on 12 August 1469 On 12 and 13 September 2009 there was a re-creation of the battle on the actual battlefield, staged by the Medieval Siege Society and the English Tournament Society to commemorate the 540th anniversary.
Following the success of the 2009 commemoration and re-enactment, a second recreation was staged on 11 and 12 September 2010 for the 541st anniversary. Since 2009, an annual walk of the battlefield and the key sites has taken place on the Sunday closest to the anniversary; the walk pauses at the Trafford Bridge site to lay a wreath remembering all those that lost their lives from both sides. This is organised by the Medieval Siege Society. Haigh, Philip; the Military Campaigns of the Wars of the Roses. Brambley Books, 1995. Chapter 13. Weir, Alison; the Wars of the Roses. New York, Ballantine Books, 1995. Pp. 351–353. 2009 Re-enactment of the Battle of Edgecote The Medieval Siege Society The English Tournament Society
Wars of the Roses
The Wars of the Roses were a series of English civil wars for control of the throne of England fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the House of Lancaster, associated with a red rose, the House of York, whose symbol was a white rose. The wars eliminated the male lines of both families; the conflict lasted through many sporadic episodes between 1455 and 1487, but there was related fighting before and after this period between the parties. The power struggle ignited around social and financial troubles following the Hundred Years' War, unfolding the structural problems of feudalism, combined with the mental infirmity and weak rule of King Henry VI which revived interest in Richard of York's claim to the throne. Historians disagree on. With the Duke of York's death in 1460, the claim transferred to Edward. After a series of Yorkist victories from January–February 1461, Edward claimed the throne on March 4, 1461, the last serious Lancastrian resistance ended at decisive Battle of Towton.
Edward was thus unopposed as the first Yorkist king of England, as Edward IV. Resistance smoldered in the North until 1464, but the early part of his reign remained peaceful. A new phase of the wars broke out in 1469 after The Earl of Warwick, the most powerful noble in the country, withdrew his support for Edward and threw it behind the Lancastrian cause. Fortunes changed many times as the Yorkist and Lancastrian forces exchanged victories throughout 1469–1470; when Edward fled to Flanders in 1470, Henry VI was re-installed as king on 3 October 1470, but his resumption of rule was short lived, he was deposed again following the defeat of his forces at the Battle of Tewkesbury, on 21 May 1471, Edward entered London unopposed, resumed the throne, had Henry killed that same day. With all significant Lancastrian leaders now banished or killed, Edward ruled unopposed until his sudden death in 1483, his son reigned for 78 days as Edward V, but was deposed by his uncle, who became Richard III. The ascension of Richard III occurred under a cloud of controversy, shortly after assuming the throne, the wars sparked anew with Buckingham's rebellion, as many die-hard Yorkists abandoned Richard to join Lancastrians.
While the rebellions lacked much central coordination, in the chaos the exiled Henry Tudor, son of Henry VI's half-brother Edmund Earl of Richmond, the leader of the Lancastrian cause, returned to the country from exile in Brittany at the head of an army of combined Breton and English forces. Richard avoided direct conflict with Henry until the Battle of Bosworth Field on 22 August 1485. After Richard III was killed and his forces defeated at Bosworth Field, Henry assumed the throne as Henry VII and married Elizabeth of York, the eldest daughter and heir of Edward IV, thereby uniting the two claims; the House of Tudor ruled the Kingdom of England until 1603, with the death of Elizabeth I, granddaughter of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. Shortly after Henry took the throne, the Earl of Lincoln, a Yorkist sympathizer, put forward Lambert Simnel as an imposter Richard of York, younger brother of Edward V. Lincoln's forces were defeated, he was killed at the Battle of Stoke Field on 16 June 1487, bringing a close to the Wars of the Roses.
The name "Wars of the Roses" refers to the heraldic badges associated with two rival branches of the same royal house, the White Rose of York and the Red Rose of Lancaster. Wars of the Roses came into common use in the 19th century after the publication in 1829 of Anne of Geierstein by Sir Walter Scott. Scott based the name on a scene in William Shakespeare's play Henry VI, Part 1, set in the gardens of the Temple Church, where a number of noblemen and a lawyer pick red or white roses to show their loyalty to the Lancastrian or Yorkist faction respectively, it is suggested by literary critics that Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has strong allegorical references to the conflict with York represented by the White Queen and Lancaster represented by the Red Queen. The Yorkist faction used the symbol of the white rose from early in the conflict, but the Lancastrian red rose was introduced only after the victory of Henry Tudor at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, when it was combined with the Yorkist white rose to form the Tudor rose, which symbolised the union of the two houses.
Owing to nobles holding multiple titles, more than one badge was used: Edward IV, for example, used both his sun in splendour as Earl of March, but his father's falcon and fetterlock as Duke of York. Badges were not always distinct. Most, but not all, of the participants in the wars wore livery badges associated with their immediate lords or patrons under the prevailing system of bastard feudalism. Another example: Henry Tudor's forces at Bosworth fought under the banner of a red dragon while the Yorkist army used Richard III's personal device of a white boar. Although the names of the rival houses derive from the cities of York and Lancaster, the corresponding duchy and dukedom had little to do with these cities; the lands and offices attached to the Duchy of Lancaster were in Gloucestershire, North Wales, in Yorkshire, while the estates and castles of the Duke of York were spread throughout England and Wales, many in the We
Battle of Hexham
The Battle of Hexham marked the end of significant Lancastrian resistance in the north of England during the early part of the reign of Edward IV. The battle was fought near the town of Hexham in Northumberland. John Neville to be 1st Marquess of Montagu, led a modest force of 3,000-4,000 men, routed the rebel Lancastrians. Most of the rebel leaders were captured and executed, including Henry Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, Lord Hungerford. Henry VI, was kept safely away, escaped to the north. With their leadership gone, only a few castles remained in rebel hands. After these fell in the year, Edward IV was not challenged until the Earl of Warwick changed his allegiance from the Yorkist to the Lancastrian cause in 1469. After the Battle of Hedgeley Moor, the Lancastrians failed to prevent the Yorkists from concluding peace negotiations with Scotland in 1463, soon found that their northern base of operations was now threatened, it was decided to mount a campaign in the north of England to gather Lancastrian support before a huge force under Edward IV could muster in Leicester and move north to crush the rebellion.
The Lancastrian army moved through Northumberland in late April 1464 under the Duke of Somerset, gathered support from Lancastrian garrisons until it camped near to Hexham in early May. A Yorkist force under John Neville raced north as vanguard of Edward's larger force, the two sides met outside Hexham on 14 May 1464. Details of the site of the battle, the composition and number of combatants and the events are sketchy but it is thought that the battle was bloodless; the Lancastrian camp was near Linnels Bridge over the Devil's Water found to the south of Hexham. The Yorkists crossed onto the south bank of the Tyne on the night of 12–13 May and were, by the morning of the 14th, in a position to attack Hexham; the Yorkist advance was at speed, as despite warnings by their own scouts the Lancastrians had little time to prepare for battle. It is thought that Somerset rushed his forces to a site near Linnels Bridge and deployed his troops in three detachments in a meadow near the Devil's Water, there he hoped he could engage the Yorkist army before it moved past him into Hexham.
No sooner had the Lancastrians taken their positions than the Yorkists charged down from their positions on higher ground. Upon seeing the Yorkist advance the right detachment of the Lancastrian army, commanded by Lord Roos and fled across the Devil's Water and into Hexham, before a single blow had been struck; the remnants of Somerset's force were in a hopeless situation, unable to manoeuvre. Lancastrian morale collapsed, after some token resistance the remains of Somerset's army was pushed into the Devil's Water by the Yorkist infantry. A chaotic rout followed, men either drowned in the river or were crushed as they tried to climb the steep banks of the Devil's Water in the retreat towards Hexham. Most, were trapped in West Dipton Wood on the north bank of the river and were forced to surrender when the Yorkists approached. Neville showed little of Edward's conciliatory spirit, had thirty leading Lancastrians executed in Hexham on the evening following the battle, including Henry Beaufort, 3rd Duke of Somerset, Lord Roos.
Sir William Tailboys was captured and executed shortly after he tried to flee north with £2,000 of Henry's war chest. Upon the loss of its leadership and bankroll, the Lancastrian resistance in the North of England collapsed; the capture of Henry at Waddington, near Clitheroe, meant that the rebellion was over. There followed a relative period of peace until the Earl of Warwick's defection to the Lancastrian cause in 1469 and the wars started anew
Richard of York, 3rd Duke of York
Richard of York, 3rd Duke of York named Richard Plantagenet, was a leading English magnate, a great-grandson of King Edward III through his father, a great-great-great-grandson of the same king through his mother. He inherited vast estates and served in various offices of state in Ireland and England, a country he governed as Lord Protector during the madness of King Henry VI, his conflicts with Henry's wife, Margaret of Anjou, other members of Henry's court, as well as his competing claim on the throne, were a leading factor in the political upheaval of mid-fifteenth-century England, a major cause of the Wars of the Roses. Richard attempted to take the throne, but was dissuaded, although it was agreed that he would become king on Henry's death, but within a few weeks of securing this agreement, he died in battle. Two of his sons, Edward IV and Richard III ascended the throne. Richard of York was born on 21 September 1411, the son of Richard, 3rd Earl of Cambridge, by his wife Anne de Mortimer, the daughter of Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March.
Anne Mortimer was the great-granddaughter of Lionel, Duke of Clarence, the second surviving son of King Edward III. After the death in 1425 of Anne's childless brother Edmund, the 5th Earl of March, this ancestry supplied her son Richard, of the House of York, with a claim to the English throne that was, under English law, arguably superior to that of the reigning House of Lancaster, descended from John of Gaunt, the third son of King Edward III. On his father's side, Richard had a claim to the throne in a direct male line of descent from his grandfather Edmund, 1st Duke of York, fourth surviving son of King Edward III and founder of the House of York; this made Richard a prince of blood and member of the ruling dynasty of England, which might have improved his position as contender or possible successor to the throne though his mother's descent gave him a better claim anyway. His adoption of the surname "Plantagenet" in 1448 would serve to emphasize this point, namely his status as an agnate of the English royal family.
Richard's mother, Anne Mortimer, is said to have died giving birth to him, his father, the Earl of Cambridge, was beheaded in 1415 for his part in the Southampton Plot against the Lancastrian King Henry V. Although the Earl's title was forfeited, he was not attainted, the four-year-old orphan Richard became his father's heir. Richard had an only sister, Isabel of Cambridge, who became Countess of Essex upon her second marriage in 1426. Within a few months of his father's death, Richard's childless uncle, Edward of Norwich, 2nd Duke of York, was slain at the Battle of Agincourt on 25 October 1415. After some hesitation, King Henry V allowed Richard to inherit his uncle's title and the lands of the Duchy of York; the lesser title but greater estates of the Earldom of March descended to him on the death of his maternal uncle Edmund Mortimer, 5th Earl of March, on 18 January 1425. The reason for Henry V's hesitation was that Edmund Mortimer had been proclaimed several times, by factions rebelling against him, to have a stronger claim to the throne than Henry's father, King Henry IV.
Edmund had been a disputed heir of Richard II until his deposition by Henry IV in 1399. However, during his lifetime, Mortimer remained a faithful supporter of the House of Lancaster. Richard would claim to the throne upon his death. Richard of York held the Mortimer and Cambridge claims to the English throne; the Valor Ecclesiasticus shows that York's net income from Mortimer lands alone was £3,430 in the year 1443–44. As he was an orphan, Richard's income became the property of, was managed by, the crown. Though many of the lands of his uncle of York had been granted for life only, or to him and his male heirs, the remaining lands, concentrated in Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire, Yorkshire and Gloucestershire were considerable; the wardship of such an orphan was therefore a valuable gift of the crown, in October 1417 this was granted to Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland, with the young Richard under the guardianship of Robert Waterton. Ralph Neville had many daughters needing husbands.
As was his right, in 1424 he betrothed the 13-year-old Richard to his daughter Cecily Neville aged 9. In October 1425, when Ralph Neville died, he bequeathed the wardship of York to his widow, Joan Beaufort. By now the wardship was more valuable, as Richard had inherited the Mortimer estates on the death of the Earl of March; these manors were concentrated in Wales, in the Welsh Borders around Ludlow. They included the Earldom of Ulster, located in Ireland. In a document dated 8 August 1435, he is described as duke of York, earl of March and Ulster, lord of Wigmore, Clare and Connaught. Little is recorded of Richard's early life. On 19 May 1426 he was knighted at Leicester by John, Duke of Bedford, the younger brother of King Henry V. In October 1429 his marriage to Cecily Neville took place. On 20 January 1430, he acted as Constable of England for a duel. On 6 November he was present at th
Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick
Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, 6th Earl of Salisbury, 8th & 5th Baron Montagu, 7th Baron Monthermer, known as Warwick the Kingmaker, was an English nobleman and military commander. The eldest son of Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury, Warwick was the wealthiest and most powerful English peer of his age, with political connections that went beyond the country's borders. One of the leaders in the Wars of the Roses on the Yorkist side but switching to the Lancastrian side, he was instrumental in the deposition of two kings, which led to his epithet of "Kingmaker". Through fortunes of marriage and inheritance, Warwick emerged in the 1450s at the centre of English politics, he was a supporter of King Henry VI. From this conflict, he gained the strategically valuable post of Captain of Calais, a position that benefited him in the years to come; the political conflict turned into full-scale rebellion, where in battle York was slain, as was Warwick's father Salisbury. York's son, however triumphed with Warwick's assistance, was crowned King Edward IV.
Edward ruled with Warwick's support, but the two fell out over foreign policy and the king's choice of Elizabeth Woodville as his wife. After a failed plot to crown Edward's brother, Duke of Clarence, Warwick instead restored Henry VI to the throne; the triumph was short-lived, however: on 14 April 1471, Warwick was defeated by Edward at the Battle of Barnet, killed. Warwick had no sons; the elder of his two daughters, married George, Duke of Clarence. His younger daughter Anne had a short-lived marriage to King Henry's son Edward of Westminster, who died in battle at the age of 17, she married King Edward's younger brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who became King Richard III. Warwick's historical legacy has been a matter of much dispute. Historical opinion has alternated between seeing him as self-centred and rash, regarding him as a victim of the whims of an ungrateful king, it is agreed, that in his own time he enjoyed great popularity in all layers of society, that he was skilled at appealing to popular sentiments for political support.
The Neville family, an ancient Durham family, came to prominence in England's fourteenth-century wars against the Scots. In 1397, King Richard II granted Ralph Neville the title of Earl of Westmorland. Ralph's son Richard, the Earl of Warwick's father, was a younger son by a second marriage, not heir to the earldom, he received a favourable settlement and became jure uxoris Earl of Salisbury through his marriage to Alice and heiress of Thomas Montacute, 4th Earl of Salisbury. Salisbury's son Richard, the Earl of Warwick, was born on 22 November 1428. At the age of six, Richard was betrothed to Lady Anne Beauchamp, daughter of Richard de Beauchamp, 13th Earl of Warwick, of his wife Isabel Despenser; this made him heir not only to the earldom of Salisbury, but to a substantial part of the Montague and Despenser inheritance. Circumstances would, increase his fortune further. Beauchamp's son Henry, who had married the younger Richard's sister Cecily, died in 1446; when Henry's daughter Anne died in 1449, Richard found himself jure uxoris Earl of Warwick.
Richard's succession to the estates did not go undisputed, however. A protracted battle over parts of the inheritance ensued with Edmund Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset, who had married a daughter from Richard Beauchamp's first marriage; the dispute centred on land, not on the Warwick title, as Henry's half-sisters were excluded from the succession. By 1445 Richard had become a knight at Margaret of Anjou's coronation on 22 April that year, he is visible in the historical record of service of King Henry VI in 1449, which makes mention of his services in a grant. He performed military service in the north with his father, might have taken part in the war against Scotland in 1448–1449; when Richard, Duke of York, unsuccessfully rose up against the king in 1452, both Warwick and his father rallied to the side of King Henry VI. In June 1453, Somerset was granted custody of the lordship of Glamorgan – part of the Despenser heritage held by Warwick until – and open conflict broke out between the two men.
In the summer of that year, King Henry fell ill. Somerset was a favourite of the king and Queen Margaret, with the king incapacitated he was in complete control of government; this put Warwick at a disadvantage in his dispute with Somerset, drove him into collaboration with York. The political climate, influenced by the military defeat in France started turning against Somerset. On 27 March 1454, a group of royal councillors appointed the Duke of York protector of the realm. York could now count on the support not only of Warwick, but of Warwick's father Salisbury, who had become more involved in disputes with the House of Percy in the north of England. York's first protectorate did not last long. Early in 1455 the king rallied sufficiently to return to power, at least nominally, with Somerset again wielding real power. Warwick returned to his estates, as did York and Salisbury, the three started raising troops. Marching towards London, they encountered the king at St Albans; the battle was brief and not bloody, but it was the first instance of armed hostilities between the forces of the Houses of York and Lancaster in the conflict known as the Wars of the Roses.
It was significant be