Back to the video list: History of the British Isles


The houses of Lancaster and York fought for the English crown during the second half of the 15th century. After 30 years of war both family lines endet and the house Tudor ascended to the English throne.






  • Date: 1455 – 1485
  • Location: England
  • Event: Military confrontation between the houses of Lancaster & York for the ascend to the English throne
  • Result: End of both of the family lines & the house of Tudor ascends to the throne



  • 1377: Edward III dies & his grandson ascents to the throne
  • 1399: The Parliament removes Richard II from the throne & his cousin becomes king
  • 1422: The 8 months old Henry VI is crowned
  • John, Duke of Somerset, & Richard, Duke of York, struggle for influence on the king
  • 1453: England loses the 100 Years’ War & Henry VI falls into aberration
  • 1454: Richard (York) is announced Lord Protector
  • 1455: Richard (York) is removed from his position



  • 22 May 1455: The Duke of Somerset is killed in the Battle of St. Albans & the King is taken prisoner
  • Richard regains his former positions
  • 12 Oct 1459: The House of Lancaster wins the Battle of Ludlow & Richard flees to Ireland
  • 11 Jul 1460: Richard wins the Battle of Northampton & takes the King prisoner again
  • 25 Oct 1460: Richard is announced successor of Henry VI
  • 30 Dec 1460: Richard is killed during the Battle of Wakefield
  • 22 Feb 1461: The House of Lancaster frees the King in the 2nd Battle of St. Albans
  • 29 Mar 1461: Decisive victory of the House of York in the Battle of Towton
  • 28 Jun 1461: Edward is crowned King
  • Mar 1464: Edward IV marries Elizabeth Woodville
  • 1469: Edward’s main ally, the Duke of Warwick, revolts & joins the House of Lancaster
  • 1470: The Duke of Warwick drives Edward IV out of England & Henry VI is reinstated
  • There is a growing opposition against Warwick & reigning royal council
  • 1471: Edward IV returns to England & wins the Battles of Barnet (14 Apr) & Tewkesbury (04 May) & has Henry VI murdered (21 May)
  • The Duke of Warwick is killed & with the death of crown prince Edward the family line of the House of Lancaster ends
  • 1471: Henry Tudor flees to Brittany & continues his claims on the crown from exile
  • 1471 - 1483: Stable reign of Edward IV
  • 1483: After Edward dies his 12 years old son is King under the guardianship of his uncle Richard, Duke of Gloucester
  • 1483: Richard has the Parliament declaring Edward’s son being illegitimate & himself being king
  • 1483: Edward’s sons disappear without a trace
  • Larger & larger parts of the of the nobility reject Richard & join the side of Henry Tudor
  • 22 Aug 1485: Henry Tudor wins the Battle of Bosworth Field during which Richard is killed
  • 1485: Henry Tudor is crowned King Henry VII & marries Elizabeth of York



Consequences & Impact

  • End of the family lines of the houses Lancaster & York
  • The house of Tudor is established on the English throne
  • After 30 years of fighting the reign of Henry VII is a phase of peace & economic recovery