When King Richard II was overthrown in 1399, antagonism between the House of York and theHouse of Lancaster, both branches of the royal House of Plantagenet, began to emerge. Eventually the two houses fought for the throne of England in a series of civil wars, commonly known as the Wars of the Roses. Some of the battles took place in Yorkshire, such as those atWakefield and Towton, the latter of which is known as the bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil. Richard III was the last Yorkist king.
Henry Tudor of the House of Lancaster, defeated and killed Richard at the Battle of Bosworth Field. He then became King Henry VII and married Elizabeth of York daughter of Yorkist Edward IV, ending the wars. The two roses of white and red, emblems of the Houses of York and Lancaster respectively, were combined to form the Tudor Rose of England.[a] This rivalry between the royal houses of York and Lancaster has passed into popular culture as a rivalry between the counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire, particularly manifested in sport - for example the Roses Match played in County Cricket, or the Roses Tournament between the Universities ofYork and Lancaster.
Yorkist king Richard III grew up at
Saints, Civil War and textile industry
The wool textile industry which had previously been a cottage industry centred on the old market towns moved to the West Riding where budding entrepreneurs were building mills that took advantage of water power gained by harnessing the rivers and streams flowing from the Pennines. The developing textile industry in general helped Wakefield and Halifax grow.
The English Reformation began under Henry VIII and the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536 led to a popular uprising known as Pilgrimage of Grace, started in Yorkshire as a protest. SomeCatholics contingent in Yorkshire continued to practice their religion and those caught were executed during the reign of Elizabeth I. One such person was a York woman named Margaret Clitherow who was later canonised.
During the English Civil War, which started in 1642 between king and parliament, Yorkshire had divided loyalties; Hull famously shut the gates of the city on the king when he came to enter the city a few months before fighting began, while the North Riding of Yorkshire in particular was strongly royalist. York was the base for Royalists, and from there they captured Leeds and Wakefield only to have them recaptured a few months later. The royalists won the Battle of Adwalton Moor meaning they controlled Yorkshire (with the exception of Hull). From their base in Hull the Parliamentarians ("Roundheads") fought back, re-taking Yorkshire town by town, until they won the Battle of Marston Moor and with it control of all of the North of England.
In the 16th and 17th centuries Leeds and other wool industry centred towns continued to grow, along with Huddersfield, Hull and Sheffield, while coal mining first came into prominence in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Canals and turnpike roads were introduced in the late 18th century. In the following century the spa towns of Harrogate and Scarborough also flourished, due to people believing mineral water had curing properties.
The 19th century saw Yorkshire's continued growth, with the population growing and the Industrial Revolution continuing with prominent industries in coal, textile and steel (especially in Sheffield). However, despite the booming industry, living conditions declined in the industrial towns due to overcrowding, this saw bouts of cholera in both 1832 and 1848.Fortunately for the county, advances were made by the end of the century with the introduction of modern sewers and water supplies. SeveralYorkshire railway networks were introduced as railways spread across the country to reach remote areas. County councils were created for the three ridings in 1889, but their area of control did not include the large towns, which became county boroughs, and included an increasing large part of the population.
During the Second World War, Yorkshire became an important base for RAF Bomber Command and brought the county into the cutting edge of the war. In the 1970s there were major reforms of local government throughout the United Kingdom. Some of the changes were unpopular, and controversially Yorkshire and its ridings lost status in 1974 as part of the Local Government Act 1972. The East Riding was resurrected with reduced boundaries in 1996 with the abolition of Humberside. With slightly different borders, the government office entity which currently contains most of the area of Yorkshire is the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England.This region includes a northern slice of Lincolnshire, but omits Saddleworth (now in Greater Manchester); the Forest of Bowland (Lancashire);Sedbergh and Dent (Cumbria); Upper Teesdale (County Durham) as well as Middlesbrough, and Redcar and Cleveland.