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Edward's claim to the throne::Wars of the Roses

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Henry::edward    Richard::england    London::battle    Warwick::neville    Beaufort::margaret    Yorkist::throne

Edward's claim to the throne The Act of Accord and the events of Wakefield left the 18-year-old Edward, Earl of March, York's eldest son, as Duke of York and heir to his claim to the throne. With an army from the pro-Yorkist Marches (the border area between England and Wales), he met Jasper Tudor's Lancastrian army arriving from Wales, and he defeated them soundly at the Battle of Mortimer's Cross in Herefordshire. He inspired his men with a "vision" of three suns at dawn (a phenomenon known as "parhelion"), telling them that it was a portent of victory and represented the three surviving York sons; himself, George and Richard. This led to Edward's later adoption of the sign of the sunne in splendour as his personal device.

Margaret's army was moving south, supporting itself by looting as it passed through the prosperous south of England. In London, Warwick used this as propaganda to reinforce Yorkist support throughout the south – the town of Coventry switched allegiance to the Yorkists. Warwick's army established fortified positions north of the town of St Albans to block the main road from the north but was outmanoeuvred by Margaret's army, which swerved to the west and then attacked Warwick's positions from behind. At the Second Battle of St Albans, the Lancastrians won another decisive victory. As the Yorkist forces fled they left behind King Henry, who was found unharmed, sitting quietly beneath a tree.

Henry knighted thirty Lancastrian soldiers immediately after the battle. In an illustration of the increasing bitterness of the war, Queen Margaret instructed her seven-year-old son Edward of Westminster to determine the manner of execution of the Yorkist knights who had been charged with keeping Henry safe and had stayed at his side throughout the battle.

As the Lancastrian army advanced southwards, a wave of dread swept London, where rumours were rife about savage northerners intent on plundering the city. The people of London shut the city gates and refused to supply food to the queen's army, which was looting the surrounding counties of Hertfordshire and Middlesex.


Wars of the Roses sections
Intro  Name and symbols  Summary of events  Origins of the conflict  Start of the war  Act of Accord  Death of Richard, Duke of York  Edward's claim to the throne  Yorkist triumph  Edward IV  Warwick's rebellion and the death of Henry VI  Richard III  Buckingham's revolt  Henry VII  Aftermath and effects  In literature  Key figures  See also  References  Further reading  External links  

Edward's claim to the throne
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