Edward IV was eager to renew the English claim to the throne of France. He was also keen to improve English trading relations on the continent, as the treasury under his rule had been under financial pressures.
A truce and a marriage union
When Parliament resumed on 17th May 1468, the Chancellor made a series of announcements on trade and diplomacy. Diplomatically two key items were announced. Firstly, a 50-year truce with the Scots. Secondly, the diplomatic marriage of Margaret of York to Charles of Burgundy.
These were both designed to strengthen the English position against France. So too were some of the trade related treaties that were announced. Though these would be unpopular with some elements of the London Mercantile class, one was a new treaty with the Hanseatic League. Another was with Aragon.
An anti-French approach
Treaties were also concluded with the King of Naples and with both the Dukes of Brittany and Burgundy. Edward’s diplomats had tied almost all of Frances neighbours into formal agreements with England and removed the threat of a counter strike from Scotland should a French War begin.
It was a complex web of treaties designed to isolate and weaken France whilst bolstering the English economy and continental support for campaigns against the French.
The Earl of Warwick
That England would adopt an anti-French position had been far from certain. 1468 also saw the Earl of Warwick engaged in discussions with the French. Key decisions about ties with Burgundy were actually made whilst the Earl was in Paris, agreeing a series of agreements that, if adopted, would have seen Anglo-French trade flourish at the expense of Burgundy. The decision by Edward IV and the manner in which it was made werd major factors in Richard Neville’s rebellion of the following year.
Illuminated miniature of Margaret of York before the resurrected Christ, MS Add 7970, f. 1v