Why Did Edward Iv Lose The Throne In 1470, Yet Regain It In 1471?

3032 words - 13 pages

There are many factors that contribute to Edward's loss of the throne in 1470, including his foreign policy, as Edward failed to secure alliance with Louis XII and France, failure to deal with problems in the North of England, his inability to see that nobles were turning against him and the fact that he didn't want to believe those such as Percy and Somerset were moving against him and his financial policies, though mostly effective were based on loans showing that Edward was unable to be a great monarch during his first reign, yet I believe that the most important factor that contributes to the loss of the throne for Edward was his broken alliance with the Earl of Warwick and it was also ...view middle of the document...

He was able to do this partly with the use of attainders, meaning that nobles could be executed without trial, however this was not used for those like Warwick, who posed the greatest threat. Pickering states that Warwick was the ‘mightiest of subjects’. The king needed to find a way of restricting the power of Warwick. Warwick’s salary was larger than the heirs to the throne with him receiving two times more than the Duke of Clarence. Edward therefore is seen to be ineffective in dealing with the most powerful and influential nobles, he only dealt with minor nobles, the most powerful ones such as Warwick were never dealt with and this effectively lost Edward IV the throne in 1470.

Edward's cousin, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, was a powerful man in his own right and was later known as Warwick the Kingmaker. Edward's brother, George, the Duke of Clarence, hated the king's new wife, Elizabeth Woodville. Warwick wanted to arrange a marriage between his oldest daughter, Isabel, and Clarence. Edward refused to sanction the marriage but Clarence married Isabel anyway. Warwick would cause huge problems during Edward IV’s first reign; however he didn’t take any direct action until 1469. Finally Warwick and Clarence's openly revolted, Edward's forces were defeated by them at the Battle of Edgecote Moor in 1469, and the king himself captured, Warwick attempted to rule England in Edward's name, but a counter rebellion forced the king's release. This rebellion was instigated by the Warwick faction when they spotted the King was in rebellion in the North. Edward was slow in responding to Warwick, showing that he was particularly ineffective in dealing with major disturbances, a huge factor as to why he later lost the throne. The fact that the King was captured shows us that he was unable to deal with problems caused by who had been one of his closest advisors and also showed that he was unable to rule the whole of England at the same time, as being occupied in the North led to his late response to his brother’s and Warwick’s rebellion. Edward should have seen the power Warwick held over him, and dealt with it much better than he did to have kept the throne.

While Edward was held, many Woodville’s were killed. Earl Rivers, Sir John Woodville, and the Earl of Pembroke were all beheaded and it wasn’t until a pro-Lancastrian rebellion developed and was suppressed in the North, that Edward was released and regained power over his country. According to Warren ‘Edward wanted to place Warwick in a power structure but not allow him to dominate’, we can see that Edward failed to do this as Warwick performed a successful against him, with the King unable to resist it. However, though this is part of the reason as to why he lost the throne, this is something Edward did do when he reclaimed the throne in 1471. Edward’s failure to punish the Earl of Warwick allowed him back to his original position. Cook states ‘he did not want to believe that Warwick was...

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