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What were the key events that led to the War of the Roses occurring in England during the 15th century. Was there any particular event that was the tipping point?

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Thanks Seth for the edit – canadiancreed Oct 11 '11 at 21:08
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In what way is wikipedia's explanation insufficient? – Mark C. Wallace May 8 at 23:17
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One of the events that led to the War(s) of the Roses was the birth of a son, Edward, Prince of Wales, to (Lancastrian) King Henry VI, and his Queen, Margaret of Anjou, in 1453.

Prior to that time, Richard, Duke of York (a cousin) had been next in line to the throne, and therefore had no incentive to fight. The birth of Henry's son "disinherited" him. Which is why he rebelled in 1455 and helped start the War of the Roses. The events referred to by the Honorable Rose occurred in 1460, during the war itself, but had no bearing on the cause.

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Did he have any justification for claiming the throne? From what you say, it seems that there is no ambiguity in the succession rule in this case. – Louis Rhys Feb 6 '13 at 16:46
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The king tended to go bonkers every so often. – Oldcat Nov 21 '14 at 20:14
    
@LouisRhys He had arguably a better claim to the throne than Henry, but through the female line, his mother being the great granddaughter of Edward IIt's second son. Henry was descended from the third son. Richard was descended on his father's side from Edward's fourth son. So yes, he had a reasonable claim to the throne. – TheHonRose May 8 at 21:30
    
@Tom Au not quite. As late as 1460 Parliament made York Protector of the Realm, Prince of Wales and Henry's successor, effectively disenheriting Edward, Henry's son. – TheHonRose May 8 at 21:35
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@TheHonRose: "1460 Parliament made York Protector of the Realm, Prince of Wales and Henry's successor, effectively disenheriting Edward, Henry's son." That was about seven years after the birth of Edward, and five years after the (1455) start of the War of the Roses. So it was a "feature" of the war, not a cause. – Tom Au May 8 at 23:07

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