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The Wars of the Roses, 1450-1525

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About this Course

About the Course

In this course, Professor Michael Hicks (University of Winchester) explores the Wars of the Roses, c. 1450 – c. 1525. In the first module, we explore the English system of government in the late Medieval period, focusing in particular on the relationship of the king to his nobles, and the breakdown of these political norms in the 1450s. After that, in the second module, we turn to the long build-up to the First War (1459-61), a period that is dominated by Richard of York and which ends with the Yorkist victory at the Battle of Towton (1461). In the third module, we trace events from the Battle of Towton (1461) to the Battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury (1471), thinking in particular about the attempts of the recently-crowned Edward IV to consolidate control, as well as the political manoeuvrings of Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick. In the fourth module, we focus on the rise of Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who eventually becomes Richard III, before moving on in the fifth module to think about what happened to Edward IV's two sons – the Princes in the Tower. When were they killed? Who killed them? Finally, in the sixth module, we think about the end of the Wars of the Roses, focusing in particular on the Battle of Bosworth Field (1485), the reign of Henry VII, and the reasons why the Wars of the Roses came to an end in this period.

About the Lecturer

Professor Michael Hicks is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Winchester. a historian of Late medieval England, especially the nobility and the Wars of the Roses, and has written about all the Yorkist kings. Other academic interests are the Late medieval English church, especially chantries, and English regional and local history.