Sunday, March 24, 2013

1455 - 1459: An Uneasy Peace
The view from Mucklestone Church tower, looking SW towards Blore Heath

In the years which followed the bloodshed at St Albans, both sides took steps to ease the rivalry which had emerged. York was aggrieved, but well aware of the seriousness of raising arms against the King; whilst the King and court party were wary of the levels of support enjoyed by the Yorkist leaders. However, any respite from ill-feeling was only temporary, and in many ways further bloodshed was inevitable.
Attempts were made by both sides to reconcile the deep-seated grievances which had given rise to violence, and this enjoyed a temporary success. However, the problems which had caused conflict soon re-emerged. A lack of law and order, especially in London, was blamed by its citizens on the weakness of the King, who was becoming increasing withdrawn from active leadership effectively leaving his wife to rule. Londoners' hatred of Queen Margaret resulted in her moving the royal court to Coventry, in the Lancastrian heartland of the Midlands. Warwick was able to capitalise on the resentment towards the royals and increase support for the Yorkist cause, even going so far as to publicly slander the Queen.
Fearing that the support enjoyed by Warwick and the Yorkists was putting the royal command at risk, Margaret responded by introducing conscription, an act which was previously unheard of in England, and meant that every town and village in England was to supply men-at-arms to turn out in support of the King.
With both sides actively preparing for conflict, it was clear that a lasting reconciliation was very unlikely. The Yorkists realised that their hopes for holding onto any sort of power were being blocked by the Queen, whilst Margaret was convinced that the Yorkists had the sole intention of seizing the throne. It was now a case of when, not if, a further battle would take place.

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