The Wars of the Roses in European Context

  • C. S. L. Davies
Part of the Problems in Focus book series (PFS)


The involvement of foreign troops in the battles of the Wars of the Roses is well known; so, too, the support that the protagonists received, in money and other ways, from foreign powers. In turn, events in England affected the political situation in western Europe. These themes are acknowledged in the standard accounts but rarely explored. English history tends to be discussed in insular terms; even ‘insular’ is an over-statement, since Anglo-Scottish relations are even more neglected than Anglo-French. What happened in England was part of a complex series of inter-related events which profoundly influenced the development of western Europe as a whole. At stake was the future power of the French monarchy: both the power of the monarchy within France itself, and with it therefore the nature of French political society. Equally important was the question of the future of the Netherlands, and whether a revived France would take over the provinces of Flanders and Brabant with their great cities of Bruges, Ghent, and Antwerp, the economic heartland of northern Europe. News of Towton, Barnet, and Bosworth were eagerly awaited in Bruges and Malines, in Nantes and Dijon, and in Paris; and were not without interest in Seville, Milan, Rome and Vienna.


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Notes and References

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© C. S. L. Davies 1995

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