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Exploring Alternate Wars of the Roses: The Other Warwick

Redolegna

Champagne Socialist
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Published by SLP
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#3
Also, I think I threw around ''he'' and ''his'' a little indiscriminately. Hopefully no one got confused?
I found it clear enough. What gets me furious every time, though, and that's not directed towards you at all, is the tendency to refer to people exclusively by their title and to switch to their new ones sometimes without any attention being drawn to it. At least include their bloody names!

I have a complicated relationship with the War of the Roses. I'm a Yorkist through-and-through even though I hate the Burgundians and strongly support Louis XI, which by right should make me a fervent Lancastrian, but the Beauforts are such shits.
 
#4
I found it clear enough. What gets me furious every time, though, and that's not directed towards you at all, is the tendency to refer to people exclusively by their title and to switch to their new ones sometimes without any attention being drawn to it. At least include their bloody names!

I have a complicated relationship with the War of the Roses. I'm a Yorkist through-and-through even though I hate the Burgundians and strongly support Louis XI, which by right should make me a fervent Lancastrian, but the Beauforts are such shits.
Glad you were able to follow it. :).

Particularly when you're discussing three different Earls of Warwick (Richard Beauchamp, Henry Beauchamp, and Richard Neville) in a single article, the referring to people purely by their titles thing can be particularly dicey. The writer not telling you that someone's title has changed is definitely something I've come across and is really frustrating.

Names have their own pitfalls, of course, given a reader might be driven mad by the expectation that they can keep all the Henrys, Richards, Edwards, Johns, Humphreys, Thomases, and Georges straight in their head.

The most complex part of my relationship to the Wars of the Roses is trying to reconcile my sympathy with Richard III with my acceptance that it's overwhelmingly likely he murdered his nephews.
 
#5
It's an interesting sideline to the question of 'why did the Wars of the Roses get so bloody and vicious?' to consider the sheer size of some of the major families involved - the Nevilles with their mass of younger sons and daughters in particular. Richard Neville, the 'Kingmaker', was the eldest of three sons of the eponymous Richard Neville, earl of Salisbury (k 1460), who was himself the eldest of five sons of Ralph Neville, earl of Westmorland (d 1425) by his second marriage. Ralph's own ancestral lands and the Westmorland title went to the son of his predeceasing eldest (of two) sons by his first marriage; the sons by the second marriage all had to find their own riches by marrying heiresses to titles and/or getting grants from the current King by making themselves useful in politics or war. (One son usually became a bishop in each generation.)

Richard Neville, earl of Salisbury, scooped up the heiress to the Montacute/ Montague family, earls of Salisbury, as the last earl (a major general to Henry V and VI in France) died without a son in France in 1428, hit by a cannonball at the siege of Orleans before Joan of Arc arrived to rescue it; our Richard Neville, who secured the heiress to the Warwick title and estates, acquired a major heiress the same way. Technically once our RN was killed in battle at Barnet by Edward IV in 1471 the title and lands should have gone back to his widow Anne, not on to his daughters Isabel (married to E IV's next brother, George, duke of Clarence) and Anne (soon to be married to E's youngest brother Richard, aka Richard III). But Edward IV charmingly had Anne , countess of Warwick declared legally dead so the lands went to her daughters and their husbands, his brothers - R III was not the only person to indulge in legal sharp practice. Both RN, earl of Salisbbsury, and RN, earl of Warwick, had lots of younger sisters too, so these could be married off to top nobles who were thus lured into the orbit of their brothers-in-law.

If there had been fewer Neville sons needing lands and wives, and fewer daughters to be married off to potential allies, would there have been so much intense competition and squabbling with the Nevilles at the heart of it? Other families also had these aggressive and heiress-hunting younger sons roaming around ready to start a feud or try to get inconvenient relatives or rivals disgraced or killed, eg the Percies. I point out in my book on 'Alternative History of Britain: The Wars of the Roses' that at the 1450s-1480s court it was rather like the Cold War rivalry between the US and USSR - each 'great power' (aka head of a major dynasty, a bit like a Mafia boss) had a multitude of younger sons and brothers plus clients to support , and if they did not help them out or come to their aid in a quarrel they would lose face and lose support, so they had to back them up. Hence a court quarrel would easily escalate into a showdown and pitched fight, even if the Queen, Somerset, and York had not been looking for support at the time and needing to back their own clients too. What was needed was a strong and feared King who everyone knew would crack down on troublemakers, like Edward I or Edward III or Henry V, not a weak and indecisive one (with chronic indebtedness so no cash or troops to hand) like Henry VI.
 
#7
If there had been fewer Neville sons needing lands and wives, and fewer daughters to be married off to potential allies, would there have been so much intense competition and squabbling with the Nevilles at the heart of it? Other families also had these aggressive and heiress-hunting younger sons roaming around ready to start a feud or try to get inconvenient relatives or rivals disgraced or killed, eg the Percies.
There is the time-honoured route of stuffing younger sons into the church (e.g. Salisbury's brother Robert and son George, the 2nd Earl of Northumberland's sons George and William), but you obviously can't find a bishopric for all of them. It's quite interesting that the early stages of the Neville-Percy feud was, at least initially, driven by younger sons on both sides (John and Thomas Neville, Thomas and Richard Percy).

Plus, I suppose the more kids you have the greater the chance one of them is a reckless hothead.