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Wars of the Roses

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Wars of the Roses

Post by Guest on Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:51 pm

Much of the latter half of the 15th century was occupied by the Wars of the Roses between the claimants to the throne, the houses of Lancaster and York.[96] The castle was once again besieged in 1460, this time by a Yorkist force. The Tower was damaged by artillery fire but only surrendered when Henry VI was captured at the Battle of Northampton. With the help of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick (nicknamed "the Kingmaker") Henry recaptured the throne for a short time in 1470. However, Edward IV soon regained control and Henry VI was imprisoned in the Tower of London, where he was probably murdered.[93] During the wars, the Tower was fortified to withstand gunfire, and provided with loopholes for cannons and handguns: an enclosure was created for this purpose to the south of Tower Hill, although it no longer survives.[96]


The Two Princes Edward and Richard in the Tower, 1483 by Sir John Everett Millais, 1878, part of the Royal Holloway picture collection
Shortly after the death of Edward IV in 1483, the notorious murder of the "Princes in the Tower" is traditionally believed to have taken place. The incident is one of the most famous events associated with the Tower of London.[97] Edward V's uncle Richard Duke of Gloucester was declared Lord Protector while the prince was too young to rule.[98] The 12-year-old Edward was confined to the Tower of London along with his younger brother Richard. The Duke of Gloucester proclaimed himself King Richard III in July. The princes were last seen in public in June 1483;[97] the most likely reason for their disappearance is that they were murdered late in the summer of 1483.[98] Bones thought to belong to them were discovered in 1674 when the 12th-century forebuilding at the entrance to the White Tower was demolished. Opposition to Richard escalated until he was defeated at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 by the Lancastrian Henry Tudor, who ascended to the throne as Henry VII.[97]





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