Active Learning on

Wars of the Roses:
Newsletter 1

Obviously, I have no idea what you will know or use but if there’s one item that’s useful to you each time then it’s worth doing. I’m beginning with historian and writer, Lauren Johnson, who got in touch after seeing the tweets about the mailing list idea.

Lauren Johnson: Resources and ‘Meet the Historian’

I am a historian, author and historical interpreter who has worked in heritage for the past decade. I have created A-level sessions for Historic Royal Palaces at the Tower of London and spoken in schools and colleges about the research for my books (including Shadow King: The Life and Death of Henry VI). I’m looking to create interactive and downloadable resources for A level students and teachers, particularly around the Wars of the Roses. Having written 4 books on this topic, I know how challenging this complicated era can be! These resources will include:

1. 20 minute downloadable video presentations with supporting classroom materials, covering topics like:
• The characters of Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou
• The ‘madness’ of King Henry VI
• Margaret Beaufort and women in the Wars of the Roses
• Why did it take so long for the Wars to break out?

Anything else you’d be interested in…! Just let me know. *

2. Possible add-on: Meet the Historian! (20-30 minute live Q&A with me)
• My unusual career path as a historian
• How to write a History book
• Using ‘real’ historical sources
• Forming independence and confidence as a historian
• Why can’t historians just agree?!

3. Teacher development support (20-30 minute live Q&A or videos)
• Guide to C15th sources – making sense of the complexity!
• Historical Interpretation vs Historical Source
• Making sense of medieval motivations

Note*: I really want to tailor this to your needs, so if you want to know more about this project, or to discuss a Q&A with your teachers/ students, contact me at: or check my website:

Richard III Society website

Detailed articles on The Wars of the Roses, the politics, battles and rebellions and of Richard III and his family. As an example, the section on Richard’s family includes articles on his parents, wife and son, brother George and illegitimate children. Contributors include Professor Michael Hicks and Dr Joanna Laynesmith HERE …

The website also provides the text of editions of The Ricardian, the Society’s journal from 1974 to 2010 HERE …

Henry Tudor Society

And just to be even-handed there is also a Henry Tudor Society

History of Parliament website and blog

This site provides authoritative articles and discussions – you can explore it through the Medieval Section on Parliament and Politics before 1509 or through individual constituencies or members. Currently the site doesn’t cover the period from 1422-1509 in detail but the research on 1422 to 1461 has been completed and this section will be available soon. In the meantime there are articles on individual Parliaments and you can follow the blog on The Commons in the Wars of the Roses and catch up with past blogs (e.g. on Mortimer’s cross, Towton, the 1459 Parliament etc) HERE …

Rolls of Parliament

These transcriptions published in 2005 are normally behind a paywall but are currently available free until 30 September – the Rolls cover the parliaments held between 1275-1504. Some of the individual parliaments such as those in 1449, 1459 and 1484 may be of particular interest. The section for each parliament begins with a historical introduction by one of the series editors

The Treaty of Troyes

The medieval records team at The National Archives has produced a commentary on the Treaty of Troyes illustrated with a range of documents from their collection.

Tudor Chamber Books

The Chamber Books are the expense and receipt books of the King’s Chamber and cover 1485 to 1521. They reveal the financial decisions made by monarchs, their purchases and the politics and finances of kingship. This project, based at the University of Winchester, makes the text of the Chamber Books searchable and in modernised English. Resources for A level students are available, created by staff at Farnborough Sixth Form College.

WotR Mailing List
for A level teachers

I began sending out a newsletter about resources for teaching Wars of the Roses at A level in June 2020.

If you would like to be added to the mailing list please get in touch (details HERE … )


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