The Wars of the Roses by Alison Weir

  23 The oratory in the Wakefield Tower in the Tower of London where tradition sets the murder of Henry VI, which took place on the night of 21 May 1471. He was the last surviving member of the House of Lancaster. (illustration credit 23)

  This book is dedicated to

  a much-loved uncle,

  Rankin Lorimer Weir,

  in commemoration of his ninetieth birthday.

  It is also dedicated

  in loving memory of

  his beloved wife

  Dorothy Weir.

  And also to

  my godson

  David Jonathan Marston

  on the occasion of his twenty-first birthday.

  These matters be kings’ games, as it were stage plays, and for the more part played upon scaffolds.

  Sir Thomas More

  What about the getting of the garland, keeping it, losing and winning it again, it hath cost more English blood than twice the winning of France.

  William Shakespeare, King Richard III


  I am indebted, as usual, to my editor, Jill Black, for her invaluable assistance and support, and also to Pascal Cariss of Jonathan Cape for all his hard work on a difficult manuscript. Thanks are also due to Cathie Arrington for her excellent picture research, and to my literary agent, Julian Alexander, for his constant encouragement.

  I would also like to acknowledge, with grateful thanks, the help given me by my brother-in-law, Dr Ronald Weir of the University of York, in estimating monetary values in the fifteenth century. Lastly, I must once again thank my husband, Rankin, my children, John and Kate, and my parents, Doreen and James Cullen, for their forbearance, help and enthusiasm over the last two years.


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