‘The Wars of the Roses’ is the name commonly given by modern historians to campaigns in the second half of the fifteenth century which were fought mainly in England and Wales, but also spilled over on to Irish, French and Scottish soil, and had important international repercussions and involvements. Their starting-point has usually been taken to be the brief revolt in May 1455 headed by the richest secular magnate in the realm, Richard duke of York, a great lord in that part of Wales known as the Marches as well as in northern England. York was protesting against the enmity shown to him by those favoured by Henry VI, notably Edmund Beaufort, duke of Somerset.