Sunday, 22 May 2011

battle of barnet by cherilea and crescent

The Battle of Barnet was a decisive engagement in the Wars of the Roses, a dynastic conflict of 15th-century England. The military action, along with the subsequent Battle of Tewkesbury, secured the throne for Edward IV.On 14 April 1471 near Barnet, then a small town north of London, Edward led the House of York in a fight against the House of Lancaster, which backed Henry VI for the throne. Leading the Lancastrian army was Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, who played a crucial role in the fate of each king. Historians regard the battle as one of the most important clashes in the Wars of the Roses, since it brought about a decisive turn in the fortunes of the two houses. Edward's victory was followed by fourteen years of Yorkist rule over England.
Formerly a key figure in the Yorkist cause, Warwick defected to the Lancastrians over disagreements about Edward's nepotism, secret marriage, and foreign policy. Leading a Lancastrian army, the earl defeated his former allies, forcing Edward to flee to Burgundy. The Yorkist king persuaded his host, Charles the Bold, to help him regain the English throne.
Leading an army raised with Burgundian money, Edward launched his invasion of England, which culminated at the fields north of Barnet. Under cover of darkness, the Yorkists moved close to the Lancastrians, and clashed in a thick fog at dawn. While the main forces struggled in battle, John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford, and his Lancastrian troops routed the Yorkists under Lord William Hastings, chasing them up to Barnet. The battle of Barnet, where a 15th-century "kingmaker" had his comeuppanceOn their return to the battlefield, Oxford's men were erroneously shot at by his allies commanded by John Neville, 1st Marquess of Montagu. The Lancastrians lost the battle as cries of treason spread through their line, disrupting morale and causing many to abandon the fight. While retreating, Warwick was killed by Yorkist soldiers.
Warwick had been such an influential figure in 15th-century English politics that, on his death, no one matched him in terms of power and popularity. Deprived of Warwick's support, the Lancastrians suffered their final defeat at the Battle of Tewkesbury on 4 May 1471, which marked the downfall of the House of Lancaster and the ascendancy of the House of York. Three centuries after the Battle of Barnet, a stone obelisk was raised on the spot where Warwick purportedly died. Nick Clegg and fellow imbecile Cameron should heed the warning here.You may have to forgive thenm as if you chose to go to bed with a hideous fellow human being every night then you too may imagine yourself as a "Kingmaker" instead of the would be so called leader of a small country near Scandanavia.
For those who have only heard the term “kingmaker” recently and in connection with Nick Clegg, the name may suggest a divine and benevolent power.
Yet to those who know its medieval origins, it carries a hidden curse: that of Richard Neville, 16th earl of Warwick and foremost commander of the wars of the roses. Warwick tried to turn political stalemate to his personal advantage, and then, forced into breaking promise after promise, met a decidedly sticky end.
He earned his nickname for his part in making and breaking (and making again) the two dynasties that squabbled for control of England between about 1450 and 1485: the houses of Lancaster and York. Both of these had some claim to the throne, and when Warwick rose to prominence, the Lancastrians were ruling. They didn’t have the support of parliament, and their leader was possibly the most incompetent king ever to have ruled England: the hapless Henry VI, who owes his fame to the fact that he squandered the nation’s resources on grandiose projects while his soldiers suffered bitter defeat in the final days of the hundred years war.

The rebellious Warwick supported a pretender to the throne: his young cousin, Edward, earl of March. March’s father, the duke of York, had won what we might call a democratic mandate, in the form of support from parliament in 1460, but he had been murdered by his Lancastrian enemies only a few months later. Warwick hatched a plan to make good Edward’s inherited “mandate” while promoting his own interests at the same time. He cut a deal with the young earl, which led to an alliance of talent and manpower that toppled the Lancastrians in 1461. With the former Henry VI incarcerated in the Tower and most of his supporters dead, only his runaway queen, Margaret of Anjou, and their infant son, Edward of Westminster, had any right to dispute the claim of Edward IV to be king of England.
But the power Warwick had wanted for himself remained out of reach. The new king was simply too happy to rule without the assistance of his opportunistic cousin, since he believed his victory to have owed more to God and his own prowess than to the help of others. He even claimed there had been a miracle at one of his battles, where three suns had appeared on the horizon (an optical illusion known as a “parhelion”).
A disenchanted Warwick tried to replace Edward with a member of his own faction: the king’s younger brother, George, duke of Clarence. When this ploy failed, he shed all pretence of loyalty to York and decided that his interests were best served by bringing back the Lancastrians: he made overtures to the runaway Queen Margaret towards the end of 1470. To spectators this was a most unlikely of alliances, since the two parties were sworn enemies, both dripping with the blood of their respective friends and relations. But in the interests of power politics, then as much as now, even a pact with the devil was preferable to lonely obscurity.

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