Edward IV now seemed to be seated securely upon the throne. But trouble was near. Warwick wished him to follow his advice. Edward thought he could manage without any advice. Then the king and the kingmaker quarreled, and at last became open enemies and fought one another on the field of battle. The end of it was that Warwick was defeated, and driven out of the country. He sailed across the channel and sought refuge in France .
There whom should he meet but his old enemy, Queen Margaret. She had beaten him in battle, and had beheaded his cousin Richard, duke of York ; he had beaten her and driven her from her kingdom; and twice he had made her husband prisoner and taken from him his crown. In spite of all this the two now became fast friends, and the kingmaker agreed to make war upon Edward and restore Henry to the throne.
He asked assistance from Louis XI, king of France , who supplied him with men and money. So with an army of Frenchmen the kingmaker landed on the shores of England . Thousands of Englishmen who were tired of Edward flocked to Warwick 's standard, and when he reached London he had an army of sixty thousand men.
Edward fled without waiting for a battle and escaped to the Netherlands in a sailing-vessel. The kingmaker had now no one to resist him. The gates of London were opened to him, and the citizens heartily welcomed him. Marching to the Tower, he brought out the old king and placed him once more upon the throne.
But though Edward had fled, he was not discouraged. He followed the example of the kingmaker and asked aid from foreign friends. The duke of Burgundy supplied him with money and soldiers, and he was soon back in England .
His army grew larger and larger every day. People had been very much dissatisfied with Edward and had rejoiced to get rid of him and have Henry for king, because if Henry was not clever he was good. But in a short time they had found out that England needed a king who was not only good but capable.
So when Edward and his French soldiers landed most people in England welcomed them. The kingmaker was now on the wrong side.
Edward met him in battle at a place called Barnet, and completely defeated him. Warwick was killed and Henry once more became prisoner.
In another battle both Margaret and her son were made prisoners. The son was brutally murdered in the presence of King Edward. Margaret was placed in the Tower, and King Henry, who died soon after the battle of Tewksbury , was probably poisoned by order of Edward.
In 1438, after a reign of twenty-two years, Edward died, leaving two sons. Both were boys, so Edward's brother, Richard, duke of Gloucester , was made regent until young Edward V, the older of the two, should come of age.
But Richard was determined to make himself king. So he put both the young princes in the Tower. He than hired ruffians to murder them. One night, when the little princes were asleep, the murderers smothered them with pillows and buried their bodies at the foot of a stairway in the Tower, and there, after many years, their bones were found.
After Richard had murdered his two nephews, he was crowned king, as Richard III, much pleased that his plans had succeeded so well. He thought that now nobody could lay claim to the throne. But he was mistaken. One person did claim it. This was Henry Tudor, earl of Richmond .
Henry's father, Edmund Tudor, was only a Welsh gentleman, but was the half-brother of Henry VI through their mother Queen Katherine. Henry's mother was descended from John of Gaunt, fourth son of Edward III, and thus through his mother he was of royal blood and a Lancastrian.
When Richard III by his wickedness and cruelty had made all England hate him, the Red Rose party gathered about Henry Tudor, raised an army, and fought against the king in the battle of Bosworth.
Richard was a bad man, but he was brave, and he fought like a lion. However, it was all in vain. He was defeated and killed. His body was thrown on the back of a horse, carried to a church near the field of battle and buried.
The battered crown which Richard had worn was picked up and placed on Henry's head and the whole Lancastrian army shouted, "Long live King Henry!"
Parliament now voted that Henry Tudor and his heirs should be kings of England . Not long afterwards Henry married the heiress of the house of York, and thus both the Red Roses and the White were satisfied, as the king was a Lancastrian and the queen a Yorkist. So the long and terrible Wars of the Roses came to an end.