Definition of the Wars of the Roses from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


the Wars of the Roses

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the name now used for the period of fighting (1455-85) in England between the supporters of the two most powerful families in the country at the time, the House of Lancaster, whose symbol was a red rose, and the House of York, whose symbol was a white rose. The aim of each side was to make a member of their family the king of England. Each side was successful at different times and the wars only ended when Henry Tudor (House of Lancaster) defeated Richard III (House of York) and became King Henry VII. His marriage to Elizabeth of York united the two sides and ended the fighting. see also Bosworth Field, Tudor rose

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