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Henry VI had become a kings baby, grew up to be simple-minded and book-loving. He founded two places of learning that till exist, Eton College not far from London, and King's College in Cambridge. But Henry's simple mindedness gave way to peri­ods of mental illness.

England gas lost the war and was ruled by a mentally ill king who was bad at choosing advisers. The nobles remembered that Henry's grandfather had taken the throne when Richard II was deposed.

The disconnected nobility were divided between those remained loyal to Henry VI, the "Lancastrians", and those supported the duke of York, the "Yorkists". In 1460 the York claimed the throne for himself. After his death in battle, his son Edward took up the struggle and won the throne in 1461. Edward IV put Henry into the Tower of London, but nine years later a new Lancastrian army rescued Henry and chased Edward out of the country. Like Lancastrians, Edward was able to raise another army. Edward had the advantage of his popularity with the merchants of London and southeast of England. This was be­cause the Yorkists had strongly encouraged profitable trade. Ed­ward returned to England in 1471 and defeated the Lancastrians. At last Edward IV was safe on the throne. Henry VI died in the Tower of London soon after, almost certainly murdered.

The war between York and Lancaster would probably have stopped then if Edward's son had been old enough to rule and if Edward's brother, Richard of Gloucester, had not been so ambi­tious.

But when Edward IV died in 1483, his own two sons, the twelve-year-old Edward V and his younger brother, were put in the t by Richard of Gloucester! Richard took the crown and be-King Richard III. A month later the two princes were murdered. Richard's guilt has never been proved. Richard HI was not popular. Lancastrians and Yorkists booth disked him. In 1485 a challenger with a very distant claim lo royal blood through John of Gaunt landed in England with Breton soldiers to claim the throne. Many disconnected lords, both Lancastrians and Yorkists, joined him. His name was Henry Tudor, duke of Richmond, and he was half Welsh. He met Richard III at Bosworth/ Half of Richard's army changed sides, and the battle quickly ended in his defeat and death. Henry Tudor was frowned king immediately on the battlefield.

The war had finally ended, though this could not have been clear at the time. Much later, in the nineteenth century, the novelist Walter Scott named these wars the

"Wars of Roses", because York's symbol was a white rose, and Lancaster’s red one.

The Wars of Roses nearly destroyed the English idea of for ever. After 1460 there had been little respect for any-except the power to take the Crown. Tudor historians made much of these wars and made it seem as if much of England had been destroyed. This was not true. Fighting took place for only a total of fifteen months out of the whole 25 year period. Only the nobles and their armies were involved.

It is true, however, that the wars were a disaster for the no-hilily. For the first time there had been no purpose in taking pris­oners, because no one was interested in payment of ransom. Eve­ryone was interested in destroying the opposing nobility. Those ciiptured in battle were usually killed.

By the time of the battle of Bosworth in 1485, the old nobility had nearly destroyed itself. Almost half the lords of the sixty noble families had died in wars. It was this fact which made it possible for the Tudors to build a new nation state.


1. Read the text.

2. Find ten sentences with different Past Tenses and translate them into Russian.

3. Think of your own five sentences with Past Simple.

4. Make seven questions on the text.

5. Give the summery in 13-15 sentences.

6. Give Russian equivalents to the following words and phrases:Simple-minded, mental illness, noble family, disconnected nobil­ity, Duke, ambitious, challenger, to claim, to be involved, disaster, to pay ransom.


Date: 2016-04-22; view: 561

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