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"1485, 1487 or 1497 ?" Topic

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Paskal Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2020 5:37 a.m. PST

Hello all,

Some say that the war of the two roses ended in 1485, others in 1487 and finally because of the last interventions of the last Yorkist Pretender, there are some who speak of 1497.

Officially, when was it? And for you, when was it?


Cerdic11 Jan 2020 5:59 a.m. PST

Obviously it is open to interpretation, but my opinion is that Bosworth pretty much settled the whole thing.

Deucey Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2020 7:11 a.m. PST


You said so in your question!

Puster Sponsoring Member of TMP11 Jan 2020 7:40 a.m. PST

1525, when Richard de la Pole died with the Black Band on the fields before Pavia. With some luck, he could have gained sufficient support of Francis to assemble an army for a pretenders invasion (as planned in 1514 – though that force was then needed to fight he Swiss).

That said, such a campaign would probably not be considered part of the War of the Roses today. I would vote for "decided by 1485, and ended by 1487".

Trebian Sponsoring Member of TMP11 Jan 2020 8:42 a.m. PST

The term "Wars of the Roses" is an artificial construct, so the question is sort of irrelevant.

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2020 11:13 a.m. PST

Who says it had ended, looks like we might get a WOTR continuation this time one side will have American support.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2020 1:10 p.m. PST

Some say that the war of the two roses ended in 1485, others in 1487 and finally because of the last interventions of the last Yorkist Pretender, there are some who speak of 1497.

Who champions which date?

Always look at the worth of your sources to determine the more plausible.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2020 2:27 a.m. PST

It is true that the last pretender died in 1525, interesting …

I had forgotten this good man …

But as I believe that there were no military operations of the last Yorkist Pretender after 1497 …

The "specialists" cannot agree on 1485 or 1487, then 1497 or 1525 …

On the other hand, I don't see why the last Yorkist pretenders of 1487 would have more legitimacy than those of 1497?

Me my heart swings, I can't decide …

But if the end is 1485, the last interventions of the last Yorkist Pretender are no longer the WOTR, it is war of what, then ?

Rabelais12 Jan 2020 5:55 a.m. PST


Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2020 12:06 p.m. PST

You need to read RG Collingwood's 'Theory of Absolute Presuppositions: History and Reality'.

Should be a copy online.

This will provide you an answer to this and similar questions.

Puster Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Jan 2020 11:10 p.m. PST

I would go for 1487 as this was the last serious military operation that had a chance of success. While it only sported a pretender, the operation already had the support of at least Margaret of York, stepmother in law to Maximilian, who thus "supplied" the Landsknecht contingent (probably by not paying them himself anymore). 1514 might have seen an invasion of around 10000 Landsknechts under Pole with French support, if not for the Swiss campaign in Italy, so there was again a military danger. Not sure wether there was still any Yorkist support, though.

I will, however, certainly not argue with anybody who claims 85 or any other date. Its always far easier to start a conflict (and patch a date on it) then to end it…

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2020 11:46 p.m. PST

Very good,all these answers but in fact nobody agrees …

But yes some also said on the death of Henry VI of England on May 21, 1471, others as long as there are pretenders who fight for it …

Warspite113 Jan 2020 4:00 a.m. PST

All the dates for the so-called 'Wars of the Roses' are controversial.
Does it start with the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403? That was the first rebellion against the Lancanstrians.
Does it start with the Battle of Heworth Moor in 1453? Heworth Moor was a local fight between the Nevilles and the Percies but both families then lined up on opposite sides two years later at the First Battle of St Albans. People fighting at St Albans would have still been nursing grudges from Heworth Moor. And yes, a Percy died and the Nevilles were triumphant.

When did it end?
Take your choice. The Tudors would have us believe that it was all neatly wrapped up at Bosworth in 1485. In truth the fighting at Stoke Field was as brutal and dangerous and this was only two years later, in 1487.
While the 1497 campaign was 'written down' by the Tudors, in the same way as Stoke Field, it DID happen and it could have toppled the Tudors if things had gone another way. So do not dismiss the Perkin Warbeck adventure of 1497 merely on the basis of Tudor writers 'dissing' it. Warbeck tried to cash-in on genuine Cornish discontent.




Remember also that Henry VII and Henry VIII were paranoid about anyone with Yorkist blood. Henry VIII continued to hound people with Yorkist blood in their veins well into the 16th century, especially the De La Poles. "Uneasy is the head which wears the crown…etc".

Today we see history as distinct periods and we like nice neat names like 'The Wars of the Roses' all tied up with very neat dates.
In truth the red rose was only used towards the end of the fighting (1483-85) while the Yorkists never issued the white rose as a general badge, its use was restricted to the retinue of Edward Earl of March/Edward IV and alludes to his nickname as 'The Rose of Rouen', his place of birth and the fact he was a handsome, amiable lad of well over 6 feet in height.

Trying to tie down dates in a period as complicated and poorly recorded as this is going to be an exercise in futility. I'd say 1450 to 1500 in round numbers but take your pick!


Uesugi Kenshin Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2020 8:45 a.m. PST

Most modern authors seem to favor 1487 for what that's worth.

dapeters13 Jan 2020 8:46 a.m. PST

Didn't Elizabeth have some 80 year old women exacuted because she was a relatin to the house of York?

Warspite113 Jan 2020 8:53 a.m. PST

She was 67 and executed in the reign of Henry VIII in 1541. She was the daughter of George, Duke of Clarence.


Henry may have executed her as he could not get to her son:



Warspite113 Jan 2020 9:02 a.m. PST

@Uesugi Kenshin:
Well if you believe the Tudor line that Perkin Warbeck was 'just a nuisance' then 1487 is your best date – but even Shakespeare ignored Stoke Field and tried to claim (in Richard III) that Bosworth (1485) had settled everything. Of course it had not, as the Lambert Simnel/Stoke Field campaign proved.



In truth Simnel was just a 'front', the real player was John De La Pole, Earl of Lincoln. Lincoln had been named as Richard III's heir (Richard's own son had died) and Lincoln wanted the crown. He knew no-one would support him but they might support a pretender so Simnel was found and used. The fact that he was a pretender was well known as Henry VII even showed off the real Edward, Earl of Warwick, but enough people were gullible enough to put up the money and support Simnel. If matters had gone differently I am quite sure that Simnel would have been elbowed out of the way and Lincoln would have claimed the throne that he felt was his.


Paskal Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2020 9:54 a.m. PST

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! We are saved Barry "I know everything on the WOTR" has arrived, but he is still following me ???


In fact this war ended when there was no more fighting, so it's …


Puster Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Jan 2020 11:29 p.m. PST

Nice question, with some good info :-)

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2020 11:45 p.m. PST

@ Warspite1:

If you know the WOTR so well, go see all the subjects that I launched on these wars (or this war?) since November 14, 2019 and you will be able to enjoy it !



Warspite114 Jan 2020 12:07 p.m. PST

I am always happy to answer someone interested in this period.


Paskal Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2020 12:05 a.m. PST

I think that sooner or later all the theories prove to be false over time …

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