In the last major battle of the War of the Roses, King Richard III is defeated and killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field by Henry Tudor, the earl of Richmond. After the battle, the royal crown, which Richard had worn into the fray, was picked out of a bush and placed on Henry’s head. His crowning as King Henry VII inaugurated the rule of the house of Tudor over England, a dynasty that would last until Queen Elizabeth’s death in 1603.
In the 1450s, English failures in the Hundred Years War with France, coupled with periodic fits of insanity suffered by King Henry VI, led to a power struggle between the two royal houses whose badges were the Red Rose of Lancaster and the White Rose of York. The War of the Roses left little mark on the common English people but severely thinned the ranks of the English nobility. Among the royalty who perished were Richard of York; Richard Neville; the earl of Warwick; and kings Henry VI and Richard III. In 1486, King Henry VII’s marriage to Elizabeth, the daughter of Edward IV, united the houses of Lancaster and York and formally ended the bloody War of the Roses.