The Wars of the Roses

This is an attempt by a non-historian to make sense of a confusing part of English history with the aid of HTML, JavaScript and SVG.

Family Tree

While I was watching The White Queen on TV, I was sometimes very confused by who was who (and who they had been or would become). To try to understand, I hunted for a family tree online for the royal family. I found this family tree, which helped a lot, but I thought it would be even more helpful if it could show how the tree changed over time. So I've created a more interactive version of the tree with a scrollable timeline. I have left out lots of people who could have appeared; even so it's quite big and a bit messy. I have tried to include everyone who is a King, married to a King, or an ancestor of a King. As ever, please let me know if something needs adding, changing or removing (email via the About page).

Click on the left or right buttons towards the top, to move through time. Hover over people's pictures to find out more about them - the number after their name shows their age. As people die, their image will be blanked out. The crown shows who's King, and a greyed-out crown shows who was King in the past.

Go to Interactive Royal Family Tree


Another thing that confused me in the White Queen was people switching sides (as it reflected what actually happened), and loyalties twisting and turning like a twisty turny thing. So I've had a go at mapping out who is on whose side when, and how this relates to key battles. This is really crude, but I hope it's still helpful. There are many things it should do but doesn't: for instance people switch abruptly from one day to the next, rather than gradually over time. There are things that would make it even messier so I haven't bothered, like people claiming to be in camp A but actually being in camp B, or not knowing which they're really in. Please let me know if I've left out someone you were expecting, got anything wrong or how it could be better.

Hovering over a person's name or their timeline will tell you about them and highlight them while you hover. Clicking on a person's name or their timeline will turn highlighting on or off for them. Hovering over an event's blob tells you about that event. Hovering over crossed swords tells you about that battle.

Go to Allegiances