Beginnings of the Wars of the Roses (Local Rivalries (Yorkshire: Percies…
Beginnings of the Wars of the Roses
: Cromwell vs. Exeter
Sir Henry Pierpoint supported the Yorkists after dispute with Lancastrian Plumptons
Mountford dispute in Warwickshire
: Warwick vs. Somerset over Despenser lordship
: Percies vs. Nevilles
May 1454: Egemond & Exeter made open northern rebellion
24 August 1453: Heworth
Marriage of Sir Thomas Neville to Maud Stanhope
Wardenships of the east and west marches
1459-61: 56 of the 70 noblemen took an active part in fighting
23 noblemen active Yorkists
33 noblemen active Lancastrians
: "The Wars of the Roses were to a large extent a quarrel between Welsh Marcher Lords, who were also great English nobles, closely related to the English throne"
Blame it on the lords
: Suffolk arrested & impeached
: "The kyngis landys in Fraunce beyn allyenyd and put a wey from the croune and his lordys and peple there dystroyed be untrewe menys of treson"
: "enemyes to the sayde commune wele, have to theyre owne vse, syffryng alle the olde possessyons that the kyng had in Fraunce....to be shamefully loste or solde"
War effort needed the leadership of a king
Henry VI not a warlike King
Enthusiasm for France = government had no flexibility in policy & strategy
Defeat/French superiority inconceivable
Took English military prowess for granted
Henry V had been a national hero
: Act of Resumption
: "Soo unmesurable and outerageously spoiled and robbed from his lyvelodes"
"His estate shulde bee susteyned in as grete honour and mighte as his noble progenitours"
: "Alle the possessyons and lordeshyppes that perteyned to the croune the kyng had yeve awey"
Contemporaries blamed extravagance, corruption, and incompetence of his ministers
: "he helde no householde ne meyntened no warres"
: deplored that HVI lived so frugally
Medieval governments: did not purport to manage the economy
Aggravating problems, e.g. war
people blamed economic problems on the government
Nothing they could do about the weather, plagues, etc.
Falling prices & purchasing power
Unsaleable grain, stock, and wool
Reductions in entry and common fines
Due to shortages of silver bullion
From Black Death, for 150 years, the English economy shrank
Falling prices & rents
Reductions in arable farming
: Newsletter of John Stodeley: Queen "desireth to have the hole reule of this land"
: "The queen with such as were of her affynyte rewled the reame as her lyked, gaderyng ryches innumerable"
: We sey that our soveraygne lorde may wele understand that he hath hadde fflase counsayle"
: Subjects did everything they could to preserve, not frustrate, the power of the crown
: Somerset "by whom at that tyme the kyng was principally gided and governed, as he had be before by the duk of Suffolk"
"The reame of Englonde was oute of alle good governaunce, as it had be meny dayes before, for the king was simple and lad by covetous counseylle, and owed more than he was worth"
"Stiryng the Kyng dayly and maliciously ageyns the forseyde duke of York"
HVI's failures came not from the legacy, but his own personal failings
Tensions & contractions: even an 'identity' at all?
Presumes that contemporaries were both aware of the distinct pillars of the Lancastrian legacy, and that it was at the forefront of their minds when comprehending royal policy & served as a direct influence on response
Shaped the king, defined his reign, and left it open to a level of unparalleled scrutiny from contemporaries?
1450: HVI violated/abandoned the Lancastrian legacy
Opportunity for others to come forward as its true defenders
: Lancastrianism comprised of distinct principles
International ambition pursued by war and diplomacy
Distinctive religious orthodoxy
Dynastic loyalty built through strong records of service
Public commitment to good governance
Problem of the King
: fundamental cause was constitutional
: Concentrate upon necessary domestic changes
Reform of the royal council
King endowed with a protected income
Principal emphasis: need to give greater power to the office of the crown through institutional and financial reform
Resumption of royal lands
"The inability of monarchy, a means for the satisfaction of the public interest in the body of a single man, to adjust to one of the possible extremes of human frailty"
: Undermighty king (System was fine)
: Emphasised the need to recover English possessions lost in France through human failure and divided command
': positive contribution made towards the common welfare
"The common good is the good of the people, the good of the country, the good of the community"
Needed a leader who could restore the monarchy to its historic glory through personal leadership
Dynastic issue = side issue
"Only an undermighty ruler had anything to fear from overmighty subjects; and if he were undermighty his personal lack of fitness was the cause, not the weakness of his office and its resources"