Most of you know that the town of Barnet is historical and nothing says it more than the names of some of the roads around here. Below is a small section of some of them.

BOSWORTH ROAD: The Battle of Bosworth or Bosworth Field was an important battle during the Wars of the Roses in 15th century England. It was fought on 22 August 1485 between the Yorkist King Richard III, the last of the Plantagenet dynasty, and the Lancastrian contender for the crown, Henry Tudor, 2nd Earl of Richmond (later King Henry VII). It ended in the defeat and death of Richard and the establishment of the Tudor dynasty. Historically, the battle is considered to have marked the end of the Wars of the Roses.

GLOUCESTER ROAD: Richard III, the eleventh child of Richard, Duke of York, and Cecily Neville, was born in 1452. He was created third Duke of Gloucester at the coronation of his brother, Edward IV. Richard of Gloucester was crowned Richard III on July 6, 1483. He was the last of the Plantagenet dynasty, which had ruled England since 1154; and the last English king to die on the battlefield at Bosworth Field. He is credited with the responsibility for several murders including his nephews Edward and Richard (princes in the Tower)

KING EDWARD ROAD: Edward IV was born in 1442. He married Elizabeth Woodville in 1464, the widow of the Lancastrian Sir John Grey, who bore him ten children. Edward came to the throne through the efforts of his father; Richard Duke of York as his cousin Henry VI became increasingly less effective, Richard pressed the claim of the York family but was killed before he could ascend the throne: Edward deposed Henry after defeating the Lancastrians at Mortimer's Cross in 1461. Richard Neville, the Kingmaker, Earl of Warwick proclaimed Henry king once again in 1470, but less than a year elapsed when Edward reclaimed the crown and after winning the Battle of Barnet he had Henry executed in 1471.He also had his brother, George, Duke of Clarendon, murdered in 1478 on a charge of treason. His marriage to Elizabeth Woodville annoyed his councillors, and he allowed many of the great nobles to build large power bases in the provinces in return for their support. Edward died suddenly in 1483, leaving behind two sons five daughters, and a troubled kingdom.

LANCASTER ROAD: In the late 1400's the House of York fought the House of Lancaster for the English crown. Because Lancaster's heraldic badge was a red rose and York's was a white rose, the long conflict came to be known as the Wars of the Roses (1455 - 85). The wars started when the nobles of York rose against Henry VI of Lancaster who was a feeble ruler. Edward IV, of York, replaced Henry as king. Later, Henry again became king, but lost his crown once more to Edward after the battle of Tewkesbury in 1471.This battle was the month following the Battle of Barnet where Warwick (who had changed sides to the Lancastrians) was killed .The Yorkists held power until Richard II lost his throne to the Lancastrian Henry Tudor who into the House of York. This union ended the conflict.

NORFOLK ROAD: John Mowbray, 3rd Duke of Norfolk (1415-1461) was an important player in the Wars of the Roses and he held the office of Earl Marshal from 1432, when he inherited the title of3rd Duke of Norfolk. At the beginning of the War of the Roses in 1450 he supported Richard, Duke of York, the leader of the Yorkist faction. However, in 1459, he swore allegiance to the Lancastrian Henry VI. He then quickly changed sides back to the Yorkists. This sort of treachery was by no means unusual during the Roses. In February 1461 he fought for the defeated Yorkists in the Second Battle of St Albans. In March 1461 (Richard, Duke of York now being dead) he was one of those who asked the Duke's son the Earl of March to become Edward IV and later that month his intervention at the Battle of Towton was decisive. As Earl Marshal Mowbray he then officiated at Edward IV's coronation.

John Neville. Earl of Northumberland was a Yorkist leader in the Wars of the Roses. best-known for eliminating Lancastrian resistance during the early part of the reign of Edward IV. Montagu was a younger son of Richard Neville. 5th Earl of Salisbury and a brother of Warwick the Kingmaker He fought at the Battle of Blore Heath and was captured and imprisoned by the Lancastrians. After the Yorkist victory at Northampton he was released. but was captured again at the Albans. Following his second release from imprisonment. he led the Yorkist forces in the north defeating the Lancastrians at Hedgeley Moor and at Hexham (both 1465). In reward for driving out the Lancastrians. Montagu was created Earl of Northumberland. This title had long been held by the Percy family. but they were in disgrace. However. when Henry Percy was rehabilitated in 1470. Montagu was forced to give up the earldom and many important offices in favour of his former enemy. He then turned against Edward IV and he joined his brother Warwick the Kingmaker in the restoration of Henry VI. He was by his brothers side when they were both killed at the Battle of Barnet.

The Plantagenets were a dynasty of kings that ruled England for over three centuries between the years 1155 and 1485. The name Plantagenet seems to have originated as a nickname for Count Geoffrey and refers to his habit of wearing a sprig of broom flower (Latin planta genista) in his hat. Two separate branches of the family had a difference of opinion regarding which of them had a best claim to the throne and it led to Roses. This difference of opinion appeared to have been settled by the events of the years 1470 to 1471, which resulted in the deaths of the last two Lancastrian Plantagenets in Henry VI and his son Edward of Westminster. This left the three surviving sons of Richard Plantagenet. the 3rd Duke of York; being Edward, George and Richard. Edward became Edward IV who had his bother drown in a barrel of wine for treason. When Edward died Richard took over until his death at the battle of Bosworth, The legitimate male issue of the Plantagenet line became extinct with the execution in 1499 of Edward, Earl of Warwick, grandson of Richard. Duke of York

SALISBURY ROAD: Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury , fought on the side of the Yorkist during the War of the Roses and he was beheaded by the Lancastrians. His eldest son was the famous Earl of Warwick also known as The Kingmaker. (see Warwick Road)

WARWICK ROAD: Commonly known as the 'Kingmaker: Richard Neville was the eldest son of his namesake. Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury The Earl of Salisbury 's sister was married to the Royal claimant. the Duke of York. He became a great supporter of the Yorkist cause and became adviser and friend to. Edward IV. He soon became the second richest and second most powerful person in the land after the king. But this friendship was to end when Edward married Elizabeth Woodville and, the favours. which he showered on her relations, soon roused the jealousy of the Earl This falling out led to Warwick joining the enemy forces of the Lancastrians and in April 1471 he found himself in charge of the Lancastrian army as they faced theYorkists and his old friend at the Battle of Barnet. He is reported to have been slain somewhere near the Hadley Highstone.

WOODVILLE ROAD: Wife of Edward IV, mother of Elizabeth of York and therefore maternal grandmother of Henry VIII. Her first marriage was to Sir John Grey (by whom she had two sons) who died and left her a widow. She then married King Edward IV and bore him as many as 11 children. Even though her daughter became Henry VII's queen, she may have been involved in a treasonous plot against the king, and was deprived of her dower (1487) and retired to Bermondsey Abbey.

If you want to know more about the street names of Barnet READ “Barnet in its street names” by Doreen Wilcox, available from Barnet Museum