Key Issues

Historians and contemporaries alike disagree(d) on many of the key issues of the Wars of the Roses that are studied at A Level. On this page we are assembling extracts from the works of modern writers and from contemporary sources to help you explore and come to your own conclusions.

The associated long articles are intended to provide background to each issue for current students of A level history. They are NOT model essays but a starting point from which you can do more research to write your own essays.

Henry VI from a Book of Statutes
BL MS Hargrave 274 f. 204

Henry VI’s Kingship

Richard III from a Book of Statutes
BL MS Hargrave 274 f. 328

Richard III’s Policies

There are a wide variety of sources for considering Richard’s policy. The most useful and comprehensive single document for examining Richard’s approach to government is a manuscript in the British Library which is catalogued as BL MS Harley 433. It is a record of the grants, letters and financial matters that Richard III’s secretary dealt with. The published version is in four volumes and most of it is in Middle English – you can read it here.

Here are some extracts in modern English from MS Harley 433 as well as from some of the laws Richard’s parliament made and comments by early chroniclers.