Edward IV (Dictionary of World Biography: Renaissance)
Article abstract: Utilizing instruments of government inherited from the Lancastrian kings, as well as molding pragmatic methods which anticipated those of the Tudors, Edward of York restored both the authority and prestige of the English monarchy following the dangers and drift of the reigns of the Lancastrian kings. He was aided in this success by the end of the Hundred Years’ War (1453), which had become both a distraction and a financial and military disaster for the English monarchy.
Nothing is known of the childhood of Edward IV; he was the son of Richard, Duke of York, and of Cecily Neville, daughter of Ralph, Earl of Westmoreland. Edward was not born to kingship; he won it at the battles of Mortimer’s Cross and Towton Field (both fought in 1461); although he was proclaimed king between the fighting of the two battles, domestic conflict with the deposed Henry VI and his supporters, foreign complications with France and Burgundy, and the whirling allegiance of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick (the “Kingmaker”) prevented the full and unchallenged exercise of Edward’s royal power until 1471, by which time Henry VI and his son, and Warwick, lay dead. England, exhausted by 116 years of intermittent and ultimately unsuccessful war in France, and by the Wars of the Roses, which kept parts of England in turmoil from 1455 until 1471, was ready for a period of tranquillity guaranteed by abundant...
(The entire section is 1712 words.)
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