Battle of Barnet
The Battle of Barnet was fought on 14 April 1471 near Barnet, then a small Hertfordshire town north of London. It was the first of the three battles between the Houses of York and Lancaster, which took place between 1465 and 1471. The battle was won by the Lancastrian army led by the Earl of Oxford, who was killed by Yorkist soldiers while retreating from the battlefield.
About Battle of Barnet in brief
The Battle of Barnet was a decisive engagement in the Wars of the Roses. The military action, along with the subsequent Battle of Tewkesbury, secured the throne for Edward IV. Historians regard the battle as one of the most important clashes in the wars. It brought about a decisive turn in the fortunes of the two houses. Edward’s victory was followed by 14 years of Yorkist rule over England. In 1461 the conflict reached a milestone when the House of York supplanted its rival, The House of Lancaster, as the ruling royal house in England. Three centuries after the battle, a stone obelisk was raised on the spot where Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, purportedly died. The battle was won by the Lancastrian army led by the Earl of Oxford, who was killed by Yorkist soldiers while retreating from the battlefield. The Battle of Barnet was fought on 14 April 1471 near Barnet, then a small Hertfordshire town north of London. It was the first of the three battles between the Houses of York and Lancaster, which took place between 1465 and 1471. The House of Lancaster went into exile in France; the House of York went into hiding in Burgundy. Edward IV, leader of the Yorkists, seized the throne from the Lancastrian king, Henry VI, and imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1465. The Lancastrians fled to Scotland and organised resistance; Edward IV crushed the uprisings and pressured the Scottish government to force Margaret out.
As the Yorkist hold over England, Edward rewarded his supporters by elevating them to higher titles and awarding them land confiscated from their defeated foes. The Earl grew to disapprove of the King’s rule, however, and their relationship later became strained. Warwick had planned for Edward to marry a French princess—Bona of Savoy, sister-in-law to Louis XI of France—to create an alliance between the two countries. The young king favoured ties with Burgundy and, in 1464, further angered the Earl by secretly marrying Elizabeth Woodville. The Earl was offended by two matches involving his kin, Lady Katherine Neville and John Woodville, over 60-years old. He decided to take drastic action to force Edward’s compliance by force. The other was his nephew’s fianée, the daughter of Henry Holland, 3rd Duke of Exeter, taken as a bride by the Queen’s son, Thomas Grey, with Edward’s approval by Exeter’s government. The action was taken by the Exeter court to force Thomas Grey to take as bride by Edward’s son as well as his nephew, John Grey, as a fiancée by Queen Elizabeth’s brother, Henry Holland. Edward was forced to flee to Burgundy in October 1470, forcing his former allies, the Duke of Burgundy, to help him regain the English throne. The Yorkist king persuaded his host, Charles the Bold, the Prince of Wales, to assist him.