These dedicated supporters and the increased backing of the nobility helped Edward to instil a greater sense of Law and Order and control across the country and helped to eliminate the former factions within the nobility. Peace with neighbouring nations also helped as it avoided expensive wars and kept trade routes open with states such as Burgundy, which kept the London merchants contented and sympathetic towards Edward. Law and Order was reinforced more by the newfound respect for judges and justice.
Justices of the Peace became far more effective and people became more obedient. This was due to the increased respect for Edward and the confidence in his monarchy. A testament to Edward’s improved power was the sign of the reduction in corrupt subjects with far fewer attainders being issued in his second reign. The very fact that Edward could perpetrate frauds with major landed inheritances, as he did with the Mowbray and Exeter lands, shows the extent to which his power and authority reached, as this was one of the most dangerous things for a monarch to do.
Edward appears to have had more support in 1461-1483, as there were far fewer complaints from people about lack of good governance, as there had been in the mid 15th century. Edward improved the country’s finances in his second reign; a major factor in this was the gaining control of much land from estates including Chester, Wales, Cornwall, Lancaster, York and Norfolk. This removed territorial power from nobility and brought more land into the king (and family’s) possession. The king used customs duties, from the flourishing trade, to raise the finances further, as they were granted to him for life by the government.
All of the finances were now diverted from the exchequer into the chamber, this allowed for money to be readily available and proved to be a far more efficient way of managing the finances. Edward’s two benevolences, in aid of the wars with France and Scotland both helped to bolster funds, as they were eventually not even required. Furthermore the invasion of France brought even more income trough the Treaty of Picquigny. However Edward did have a more lavish court than Henry VI and had a larger number of royal households to expend money upon.
The lack of parliamentary taxation in his second reign points to the fact that Edward had created a far safer country, as does the fewer number of parliaments called. Edward’s ‘new monarchy’ left the Crown in a considerably stronger position in 1483 than it had been in 1461. Finance and trade were thriving in the time of relative concord, the nobility were more supportive of the king and due to the respect Edward had gained he controlled the nation and on 9th April 1483 he left a seemingly peaceful and strong monarchy behind him.
BIBLIOGRAPHY The Wars of the Roses, Christine Carpenter (1997) The Lancastrians and Yorkists: The Wars of the Roses, David R. Cook (1984) [Lectures and Notes of Graham D. Wood (2000)] .