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  • James i, king of scotland 1424

    In 1406, Prince James of Scotland had been sent to France for his own safety (principally from his uncle, the Duke of Albany, who had already murdered James\'s elder brother, David). James never reached France as he was captured by English shipping off King\'s Lynn. James spent the next eighteen years of his life in the Tower of London, at the English court and in English military service in France.On the death of Henry V, the king\'s ransom was ...


  • Henry vi's personal rule, end of the hundred years' war 1436

    Even after Henry VI came of age in 1436, he was uninterested in the conventional business of government. Thus although he founded Eton School and King\'s College, Cambridge, he refused to take a personal hand in the French war. Increasingly, a narrow court faction led by the Earl (later Duke) of Suffolk dominated the young king (though an unpopular peace policy with France was probably Henry\'s own initiative). The English resolutely held Normand ...


  • James ii, king of scotland, and the douglases 1437 - 1460

    Following James I\'s murder, the regency was accepted by Archibald, fifth Earl Douglas, the leader of the most powerful family in Scotland. Since the days of Robert I, the Douglases had been extremely prominent and, at times, had rivalled the authority of the Stewart crown. James I, while attacking his own extended family, had relied on the Douglases as a counter-balance to his aims. James II (1437-60), however, perceived the authority of the Dou ...


  • Lancastrian collapse and the wars of the roses 1450

    Notwithstanding English reluctance to shoulder the financial burden of defending Normandy and Guyenne, public opinion regarded their loss as completely unnecessary. Henry VI\'s regime never recovered from the loss of credit. In 1450, Kent rebels under Jack Cade seized London and overthrew the ministry of the Duke of Suffolk (who was murdered while fleeing). In 1450 and 1452, Richard, Duke of York, challenged the government but he only managed ...


  • The yorkist assumption of power 1460 - 1461

    The Yorkist Earl of Warwick re-took London in 1460 and captured Henry VI. Subsequently the Duke of York returned to claim the throne in Parliament but was recognised only as Protector and heir to the throne. Weeks later he marched north to enforce this settlement, but was killed at Wakefield. A large Lancastrian army swarmed south, overwhelming Warwick at Northampton and liberating the mad-again Henry. Fearful Londoners would not admit the Lancas ...


  • Edward iv and warwick the kingmaker 1464 - 1469

    Edward IV suffered the same problems of consolidation as Henry IV. In 1463-64 he crushed Lancastrian challenges and in 1464 Henry VI was recaptured and sent to the Tower. Edward owed his throne to his own military prowess in 1460 and 1461, rather than to his chief ally, his uncle the Earl of Warwick. However, Warwick was a great magnate and major figure in the government, and when he became alienated after 1464, serious problems developed. ...


  • The 'readeption' of henry vi 1470 - 1471

    After several conspiracies and rebellions, Warwick and Edward\'s brother, the Duke of Clarence, fled to France where Louis XI brokered an agreement between them and the Lancastrian exiles, led by Queen Margaret. Backed by Louis, Warwick returned, took London and ruled in Henry VI\'s name with his uneasy Lancastrian allies. Edward IV fled to Holland and prepared his counterstroke. Henry VI\'s second reign is known as the \'Readeption\'. When Edwar ...


  • Edward iv's second reign 1471 - 1483

    After regaining the crown, Edward decentralised considerable power to regional councils organised around his most loyal supporters. Thus his brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, became Edward\'s lieutenant in the north. Edward resumed the French war in 1475, only to allow himself to be bought off with a large French pension. In the 1470s, William Caxton began printing in English at Bruges, and later brought printing to London. Sir John Fortesc ...


  • Richard iii and the princes in the tower 1483

    When Edward IV died suddenly in April 1483, the Yorkists expected his brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester, to assume the regency as Protector until the young Edward V (1483) came of age. However, Richard took them by surprise when he seized the young king at Stoney Stratford and executed his companions. He wooed the remainder of his brother\'s servants by telling them that he was only against the family of his brother\'s widow, the Wydevilles. Bu ...


  • The battle of bosworth field 1485

    After the murder of the young princes in 1483, loyal Yorkists began to look for a focus of opposition. A rebellion under Richard\'s former ally, the Duke of Buckingham, failed in 1483 and, after his execution, many older Yorkists fled abroad. Anti-Richard support gradually gravitated to the last Lancastrian claimant, Henry Tudor - hitherto largely unimportant. Richard\'s support narrowed, so when he faced a small invasion force at Bosworth Field ...


  • Henry tudor crowned 1485

    Tudors In August 1485, Henry Tudor landed at Milford Haven in Wales (from exile in France) and, with the help of French troops, invaded England. He marched unopposed into central England where, on 22 August, he met Richard III at Bosworth Field. Richard was defeated and killed and Henry was proclaimed King as Henry VII (1485-1509). Henry marched on London and, on 30 October, was crowned king. A matter of months later, in January 1486, Henry ...


  • The tudors 1485 - 1602

    The early modern period of British history is dominated by the Tudors in England and the Stewarts in Scotland. In both realms, as the century progressed, there were new ways of approaching old problems. Henry VIII and James IV were both bellicose, cultured, educated Renaissance princes with a love of learning and architectural splendour. As contemporaries and brothers-in-law, they treated the problems of the Reformation in different ways - James ...


  • Lambert simnel and the end of the wars of the roses 1487

    Henry VII was not unopposed as king. In May 1487, Lambert Simnel - claiming to be Edward, Earl of Warwick, the nephew of Edward IV - was crowned as King Edward VI of England in Dublin. Formally recognised as the real Warwick by Margaret of Anjou (wife of Henry VI) and backed by Irish troops and German mercenaries, Simnel invaded England but was defeated at the Battle of Stoke in June 1487. Henry considered him harmless and, instead of being execu ...


  • Battle of sauchieburn 1488

    James III, King of Scots, was an unpopular monarch. Despite his reign seeing the addition of the Orkney and Shetland Isles to the Scottish kingdom (as mortgaged lands by the Danish king instead of a dowry for his daughter), by 1488, James III had survived several attempts to limit his authority by discontented members of his nobility.On 11 June 1488, however, the discontented nobles united behind the king\'s son (later IV) and met James III in ba ...


  • Perkin warbeck and the english throne 1491 - 1499

    In November 1491, a second claimant to Henry VII\'s throne arrived in Ireland. Perkin Warbeck (possibly an illegitimate son of Edward IV) initially claimed to be Edward, Earl of Warwick (as Lambert Simnel had before him) but soon changed his story and claimed to be Richard, Duke of York - the brother of Edward V and the younger Prince in the Tower.Various European monarchs - Charles VIII of France, Margaret of Burgundy, Maximillian I of the Holy ...


  • Royal patronage of john cabot 1496

    The later fifteenth century was an age of maritime discovery. In 1488, the Portuguese Bartholemew Diaz had rounded the Cape of Good Hope (southern Africa); and in 1492, Christopher Columbus, in the service of the King of Spain, had discovered the Caribbean islands of the New World. Not wishing to miss out on any new land (and wealth), Henry VII supported John Cabot in a bid to sail across the Atlantic. Although driven back by poor weather in 1496 ...


  • The renaissance in britain c.1500

    The Renaissance (\'new birth\') began in the Mediterranean countries and spread across Europe during the course of the fifteenth century. By the sixteenth century, - as well as heralding a burgeoning of art and culture - it represented the rebirth of learning and of free enquiry, the exaltation of the individual (both in mind and body) and a focus on \'life\', instead of the medieval preoccupation with the soul and death. It is arguable how much ...


  • Marriage of the thistle and the rose 1503

    In August 1503, James IV, King of Scots, married Margaret Tudor, the daughter of Henry VII of England. Celebrated in poetry as the union of the Thistle and the Rose, the event was to lead the accession of James VI, King of Scots, to the English throne in 1603 as the senior living descendent of Henry VII. ...


  • Accession of henry viii 1509

    Henry VIII is one of the best known English monarchs. Although a great athlete, strong soldier and accomplished Renaissance prince in his youth, it is mainly for his marital exploits that he is remembered. Henry married six times in an increasingly desperate bid to produce a male heir to secure the English throne for the Tudor dynasty. His first wife, Katherine of Aragon (June 1509-May 1533) had previously been married to Henry\'s elder brother ...


  • James iv, king of scots, and the battle of flodden 1513

    While Henry was campaigning on the continent in 1513, the Scottish king broke a Treaty of Perpetual Peace with his uncle, Henry VIII, and invaded England (in French interests). James IV was a popular monarch and took a sizeable army into Northumberland. He was met by English troops under the leadership of the Earl of Surrey. In the ensuing battle, on 9 September 1513, James IV deployed his resources poorly. The Scots were massacred with the king, ...



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