The Kingmaker Became the Power Behind the King
The newly crowned King Edward IV was a formidable warrior and military genius. However, he had little interest in governance, so Warwick became the power behind the throne, and ran England on the king’s behalf. Things soured when Edward impulsively married a commoner. That ruined years of negotiations by Warwick for a treaty between England and France, that was to have been sealed by Edward’s marriage to a French princess. Matters finally came to a head in 1470, when Warwick, with the help of the king’s younger brother, George, Duke of Clarence, deposed Edward.
The Yorkist monarch was forced to flee England, while the deposed Lancastrian Henry VI was dusted off and restored to the throne. Warwick’s triumph was short lived, however: Edward returned to England in 1471, and raised a counter rebellion. At a critical moment, Warwick was betrayed by the Duke of Clarence, who had a change of heart and defected back to his brother, Edward. The two sides met in the Battle of Barnet in April of 1471, a Lancastrian defeat in which Warwick was slain.