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    English History 1450 to 1500

    The information on this page has been gathered primarly from the Richard III Foundation, although some links to the pedigrees of some of the participants have been added. Visitors are invited to consult their website for updated information and information on their program. 
    The Wars of Roses
    Principal Battles of The Wars of Roses 

    In Chronological Order 

    1455: 22 May - First Battle of St. Albans 

    1459: 23 September - Blore Heath

    1460: 10 July - Northhampton

    1460: 30 December - Wakefield 

    1461: 2 February - Mortimer’s Cross.

    1461: 17 February - Second Battle of St. Alban

    1461: 29 March - Towton 

    1464: 25 April - Hedgeley Moor

    1464: 14 May - Hexham

    1464: June - Bamburgh Castle

    1469: 26 July - Edgecote

    1470: 12 March - Empingham -'Losecoat Field'

    1471: 14 April - Barnet

    1471: 4 May - Tewkesbury

    1485: 22 August - Bosworth Field 

    1487: 16 June - Stoke Field

    The War of Roses refers to a conflict fought in late Medieval England, which was essentially a power struggle between noble factions who were fighting for the right to the throne of England. 

    On one side was the House of Lancaster, who in King Henry VI held the throne. However the King was a weak leader and prone to bouts of mental illness, which meant that frequently his wife, Queen Margaret of Anjou, reigned in his place. 

    The King was opposed by the House of York led by Richard Duke of York, who felt that he had a stronger claim to the throne. He was also a wealthy and powerful nobleman, which counted for a lot in the 15th century. 

    Relations between the two sides grew increasingly tense from 1450, and erupted into violence and bloodshed at St Albans in 1455. An uneasy peace held for 4 years after that, although both sides grew increasingly wary of each other and continued to actively build up their armed forces. 


    First Battle of St. Albans

    May 22, 1455

    The first battle of the "Wars of the Roses" was fought out between the retinues of King Henry VI's supporters and those of the Duke of York and his allies. The latter, along with his kinsmen the Earls of Warwick and Salisbury, raised around 3.000 men and attacked Henry's army of 2,000 men who had barricaded themselves inside the town of St Albans. After the Yorkist's initial attacks had been repulsed, Warwick's men forced their way into the town and the King's forces were overwhelmed in the street fighting that ensued. The Duke of Somerset, the Earl of Northumberland, Lord Clifford, plus about 50 other notable Lancastrians, were killed in the fighting.

    Major Participants of First Battle of St. Albans
    House of York House of Lancaster
    James Baskervillle of Eardisley, Herefordshire Ralph Babthorpe of Babthorpe, Yorkshire (killed in battle)
    Edward Brooke of Holditch, Suffolk Edmund Beaufort, Somerset (killed in battle)
    William Bourchier of Brampton, Devon Sir Henry Beaufort, Earl of Dorset, wounded
    Edward Bouchier, Essex James Butler, Wiltshire
    Henry Bouchier of Pleshey, Essex Thomas Clifford of Skipton Craven, Yorkshire (killed in battle)
    Christopher Conyers of Sokebourne, Durham Richard Cotton of Hampstall Ridware, Staffordshire (killed in battle)
    John de Clinton of Amington, Warwickshire Sir Thomas Courtenay, Earl of Devon, captured
    Walter Devereux of Weobley, Herefordshire Bertine Entwisell of Entwisell, Lancashire
    Ralph Fitzrandolph of Spennithorne, Yorkshire Robert Harcourt of Stanton Harcourt, Oxford
    Thomas Lumley of Lumley, Durham Richard Harrington of Westerley, Lancashire (killed in battle)
    Richard Hamerton of Hamerton, Yorkshire Richard Harrowden of Harrowden, Northamptonshire (killed in battle)
    Thomas Harrington of Hornby, Lancashire Henry Plantagenet, (Henry VI), captured
    James Metcalfe of Nappa, Yorkshire William Neville, Lord Fauconberg, captured
    John Middleton of Belsay Castle, Northumberland Thomas Packington of Hampton Lovett, Worcestershire
    Christopher Moresby of Moresby, Cumberland Thomas Percy of Egremont Castle, Cumberland
    Thomas Mountford of Hackforth, Yorkshire Henry Percy of Alnwick, Northumberland (killed in battle)
    John Mowbray of Framlingham, Suffolk John Radcliffe of Smithills, Lancashire (killed in battle)
    Richard Neville of Middleham, Yorkshire (Earl of Westmoreland) Thomas Roos of Rockingham, Northamptonshire
    Richard Neville of Middleham, Yorkshire (Earl of Warwick) Ralph Shirley of Shirley, Sussex
    William Neville of Skelton, Yorkshire Henry Stafford of Stafford, Staffordshire (killed in battle)
    Robert Ogle of Choppington, Northumberland Lord Humphrey Stafford of Stafford, Staffordshire
    William Oldhall of Hunsdon, Herefordshire Edmund Sutton of Dudley, Worcestershire
    William Parr of Carlisle John Sutton of Dudley, Worcestershire
    Thomas Parr of Kendal, Westmoreland Thomas Tresham of Rushton, Northamptonshire
    John Parr of Westminster, Westmoreland Thomas Thorpe of Thorpe, Northumberland
    James Pickering of Ellerton, Yorkshire Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond
    Edward Plantagenet, (Edward IV), Middlesex Jasper Tudor of Hatfield, Anglesey
    Richard, Plantagenet of Fotheringhay, Northamptonshire (Duke of York) John Wenlock of Wenlock, Shropshire
    William Pudsey of Selaby, Durham Philip Wentworth of Nettlestead, Suffolk
    Thomas Rempston of Warren, Huntingdon Richard West of Hempston-Cantilupe, Devon
    Henry Retford of Lincolnshire  
    John Savile of Thornhill, Yorkshire  
    James Strangeways of Whorlton, Yorkshire  
    Walter Strickland of Sizergh, Westmoreland  
    Thomas Vaughan of Hergest, Herefordshire  
    James Wandesford of Kirklington, Yorkshire  
    Richard Grey of Powis, Powis  
    The Battle of Blore Heath

    September 23, 1459

    The Battle of Blore Heath was the first major battle in the English War of Roses and was fought on September 23, 1459, at Blore Heath, two miles east of Market Drayton in Shropshire, England. 
    After four years of uneasy peace the King presided over a wasting realm. No parliament had been summoned for three years, the country was sadly divided and distressed. 

    In September 1459, a further conflict was looking more and more likely. The Yorkist force based at Middleham Castle in Yorkshire (led by Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury) needed to join with the main Yorkist army at Ludlow Castle in Shropshire. As Salisbury marched south-west through the Midlands the Queen ordered James Touchet, Lord Audley to raise a force to intercept them. 

    The Yorkists were armed, armies were marching across all England. Lord Audley had recently raised a Lancastrian army centered round Market Drayton, and the Queen -through whom the King ruled- sent him orders to intercept Lord Salisbury, who was marching from Yorkshire to join the Duke of York at Ludlow. The two armies met head on two and a half miles east of Market Drayton at a place called Blore Heath. Salisbury, with 3,000 troops, was outnumbered by more than two to one, but could not avoid giving battle.

    Audley took up a position just west of a little stream that crossed the Market Drayton-Newcastle-under-Lyme road, and Salisbury’s men were drawn up about 150 yards east of the present Audley Cross, which marks the spot where Lord Audley fell. The Yorkist left rested upon the boggy edge of a wood, but their right was in the air, and Salisbury made a laager of his wagons to protect this flank. Whether Salisbury feigned retreat in order to draw Audley on is not certain, but the Lancastrian commander was definitely the one to attack. Two cavalry charges were repulsed, the first with heavy loss to the Lancastrians, and then they mounted an infantry attack up the hill to the Yorkist position. But this too failed; there was no support from the cavalry, Lord Audley had already fallen and 500 Lancastrians chose this moment to desert to the enemy. Salisbury’s victory was complete and in the pursuit, which continued for two miles, the slaughter was very heavy. Possibly 2,000 Lancastrians perished in this battle, but fewer than 200 Yorkists fell.
    Audley chose the barren heathland of Blore Heath to set up an ambush. On the morning of the 23 September 1459 (St Tecla's day), a force of some 6-12,000 men took up a defensive position behind a 'great hedge' on the south-western edge of Blore Heath facing the direction of Newcastle-under-Lyme to the north-east, the direction from which Salisbury was approaching. 

    Yorkist scouts spotted Lancastrian banners visible over the top of a hedge and immediately warned Salisbury. As they emerged from the woodland, the Yorkist force of some 3-6,000 men realized that a much larger enemy force was awaiting their arrival. Salisbury immediately arranged his men into battle order, just out of range of the Lancastrian archers. To secure his right flank, he arranged the supply wagons in a defensive laager, a circular formation to provide cover to the men on that flank. Fearing a rout, Yorkist soldiers are reported to have kissed the ground beneath them, supposing that this would be the ground on which they would meet their deaths. 

    The two armies were separated by about 300 metres on the barren heathland. A steep-sided, wide and fast-flowing brook flowed between them. The brook made Audley's position seemingly inpenetrable. 

    Initially, both leaders sought to parley in a futile attempt to avoid bloodshed. In keeping with many late medieval battles, the conflict opened with an archery duel between the longbows of both armies. At Blore Heath, this proved inconclusive because of the distance between the two sides. 

    Salisbury, aware that any attack across the brook would be suicidal, employed a ruse to encourage the enemy to attack him. He withdrew some of his middle-order just far enough that the Lancastrians believed them to be retreating. The Lancastrians launched a cavalry charge. After they had committed themselves, Salisbury ordered his men to turn back and catch the Lancastrians as they attempted to cross the brook. It is possible that the order for this Lancastrian charge was not given by Audley but it had the effect of turning the balance in favour of Salisbury. The charge resulted in heavy casualties for the Lancastrians. 

    The Lancastrians withdrew, and then made a second assault, possibly attempting to rescue casualties. This second attack was more successful with many Lancastrians crossing the brook. This led to a period of intense fighting in which Audley himself was killed, possibly by Sir Roger Kynaston of Stocks near Ellesmere. 

    The death of Audley meant that Lancastrian command devolved on to the second-in-command John Sutton, 1st Baron Dudley, who ordered an attack on foot with some 4,000 men. As this attack also failed, some 500 Lancastrians joined the enemy and began attacking their own side. At this, any remaining Lancastrian resistance collapsed and the Yorkists only had to advance to complete the rout. 

    The rout continued through the night, with the Yorkists pursuing the fleeing enemy for miles across the countryside. 

    York was concerned that Lancastrian reinforcements were in the vicinity and was keen to press on towards Ludlow. He made his camp on a hillside at Market Drayton, which later took his name. York employed a local friar to remain on Blore Heath throughout the night and to periodically discharge a cannon in order to deceive any proximal Lancastrians into believing that the fight was continuing. 

    It is believed that at least 3,000 men died in the battle, with at least 2,000 of these from the Lancastrian side. Local legend says that Hempmill Brook flowed with blood for 3 days after the battle. 

    Legend has it that Margaret of Anjou watched the battle from the spire of the church in nearby Mucklestone, before fleeing when she realised Audley was being defeated. It is said that she employed a blacksmith, William Skelhorn, to reverse the shoes on her horse to disguise her escape. The anvil from the smithy stands in the churchyard at Mucklestone to commemorate this event. 

    A cross was erected on Blore Heath after the battle to mark the spot where Audley was slain. It was replaced with a stone cross in 1765. Audley's Cross stands on Blore Heath to this day. Audley is buried in Darley Abbey in Derbyshire.

    The main Participants in the Battle of Blore Heath
    House of Lancaster House of York
    Sir Christopher Conyers of Sokebourne, Durham Sir Henry Bromflete, Wymington, Bedford
    Sir John Conyers of Hornby, Yorkshire Sir Robert del Booth of Wilmslow, Cheshire (killed in battle)
    Sir Walter Devereux of Weobley, Herefordshire (killed in battle) Sir John Bourchier of West Horsley, Surrey
    Sir Richard Grey of Powis, Powis Sir Hugh Calveley of the Lea, Cheshire (killed in battle)
    Sir Richard Hamerton of Hamerton, Yorkshire Sir William Catesby (Sr.) of Ashby St. Legers, Northamptonshire
    Sir Thomas Harrington, Lancashire Sir John Dawne of Cheshire
    Sir Roger Kynaston of Hordley, Shropshire Sir Jerkin Done of Wickington, Cheshire (killed in battle)
    Sir Thomas Lumley of Lumley, Durham Sir Robert Downes of Shrigley, (killed in battle)
    Thomas Meering of Tong Sir Thomas Dutton of Dutton, Cheshire (killed in battle)
    Sir James Metcalfe of Nappa, Yorkshire Sir John Dwnn of Cheshire, killed in battle
    Sir John Middleton of Belsay Castle, Northumberland Sir John Egerton of Egerton, Cheshire (killed in battle)
    Sir Thomas Mountford of Hackforth, Yorkshire Sir Nicholas of Eyton of Eyton, Shropshire
    Sir Richard Neville (Earl of Salisbury) of Middleham, Yorkshire (fled to Calais) Sir Richard Fitton of Gawsforth, Cheshire
    Sir Richard Neville (Earl of Warwick) of Middleham, Yorkshire (fled to Calais) Thomas Fitton, fate unknown
    Sir Thomas Neville of Thornton Bridge, Durham Sir John Haigh, killed in battle
    Sir Robert Ogle of Ogle, Northumberland Sir Edmund Hampden of Hampden, Buckinghamshire
    Sir Thomas Parr of Kendal, Westmoreland Sir Thomas Hesketh of Rufford, Lancashire
    Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, fled to Ireland Sir Henry Holland of Darlington, Devon
    Sir William Pudsey of Selaby, Durham Sir John Legh of Booths, Cheshire (killed in battle)
    Sir James Strangeways of Whorlton, Yorkshire Sir Philip Maunsell of Scrurlage, Glamorgan
    Sir Walter Strickland of Sizergh, Westmoreland Sir Richard Molyneux of Sefton, Lancashire (killed in battle)
    Sir John Wandesford of Kirklington, Yorkshire Sir John Neville of Raby, Durham
    Sir John Wenlock of Wenlock, Shropshire Sir Ralph Shirley of Shirley, Sussex
    Sir Walter Wrottesley of Wrottesley, Shropshire Sir John Skidmore of Mochas, Herefordshire
      Sir John Stanley of Pipe, Staffordshire
      Sir Edmund Sutton of Dudley, Westmoreland
      Sir John Sutton of Dudley, Westmoreland
      Sir William Troutbeck of Dunham-on-the-Hill, killed in battle
      James Touchet (Lord Audley) of Markeaton, Derbyshire (killed in battle)
      Sir Hugh Venables of Kinderton (killed in battle)
    Immediately after Blore Heath the Yorkists were dispersed near Ludlow without a battle, owing to the treachery of a large part of their army. The Yorkist cause seemed finished after the previous disaster at Ludford Bridge. 
    York himself retired to Ireland, Salisbury and Warwick to Calais.Some of the Yorkist commanders, Warwick, Salisbury and York's son Edward, Earl of March reached Calais on 2nd November 1459, where Warwick found his uncle Lord Fauconberg. Meanwhile York and Edmund, Earl of Rutland retired to the relative safety of Ireland.

    On the English mainland, the Lancastrians were quick to exploit the Yorkist flight; the Earl of Wiltshire was appointed Lieutenant of Ireland and Henry Beaufort, 3rd Duke of Somerset became Captain of Calais. Neither however succeeded in occupying their new posts as the Irish refused to dislodge York and the gates of Calais remained firmly closed to their new 'Captain'.

    The Lancastrians gave Somerset an army to storm Calais, but first they had to cross the Channel, so the construction of a fleet was started at Sandwich in Kent. No sooner had the ships been finished than Warwick made a raid on Sandwich and stole them. In May, Warwick crossed the channel again and destroyed the new fleet under construction there. Warwick left his uncle in Sandwich with a small force of Yorkists to act as a bridgehead for his planned invasion of England.

    The Queen summoned a parliament and Henry gave his assent to a bill of attainder against all the principal Yorkist leaders. At the end of June the Calais exiles made a landing in Kent, seized Sandwich and gathering support entered London on 2 July. Here they were joined by almost all the Yorkist peers and their retainers. 


    July 10,  1460

    On 26 June Warwick, Salisbury and Edward landed at Sandwich with 2,000 men at arms. The King and Queen were at Coventry with their small army. Warwick entered London on 2nd July with an army of supporters numbering between 20,000 and 30,000, and leaving a part of it to blockade the Tower, held by Lancastrians, the remainder under Lord Warwick set out to meet the King. The court had been in Coventy, but on learning of the Yorkist advance the King moved to Northampton, and here on 10 July, entrenched in a meadow just south of the town, Warwick found the Lancastrian army under the Duke of Buckingham. 

    The Duke had fewer men than Warwick, but his position was a strong one and his earthworks were lined with artillery. The first attack, on a three section front, was repulsed; it seemed that the position was too formidable a one for any frontal assault to succeed. 

    While approaching, Warwick sent a delegate to negotiate with the King on his behalf. The Lancastrian commander, the Duke of Buckingham, however, replied "The Earl of Warwick shall not come to the King's presence and if he comes he shall die." During Warwick's advance to Northampton he was twice more denied access to the King's person. Once in position, he sent a message that read "At 2 o'clock I will speak with the King or I will die."

    At two o'clock the Yorkists advanced.

    The men were in column, but the hard rain blowing in their faces somewhat hindered them. As they closed with the Lancastrians, Warwick was met by a fierce barrage of arrows; luckily for them, though, the rain had rendered the Lancastrian collection of cannon quite useless.

    When Warwick reached the Lancastrian right flank, commanded by Lord Grey of Ruthin, treachery ensued. Grey had his men lay down their weapons and simply allow the Yorkists to have easy access into the camp beyond.

    This proved a fatal blow to the loyal Lancastrians: after this, the battle lasted a mere thirty minutes. The defenders, unable to manoeuvre inside the fortifications, fled the field as their line was rolled up by attacking Yorkists.

    The Duke of Buckingham, the Earl of Shrewsbury and Lords Egremont and Beaumont all died trying to save Henry from the Yorkists closing on his tent.

    Three hundred Lancastrians were slain in the battle, the King was captured and once more became a puppet in the hands of the Yorkists.

    The casualties were not high, but as at St. Albans many of the Lancastrian leaders, including Buckingham, Shrewbury and Egremont, were killed.  The King was captured and once more led back to London.


    Major Participants of Battle of Northampton
    House of York House of Lancaster
    John Lord Clinton Sir John Beaumont, Viscount Beaumont, killed in battle
    Henry Essex, Viscount Bourchier Jean de la Foix, went over to Yorkists
    William Fiennes, Lord Say Edmund Lord Grey of Ruthin, betrayed Lancastrian troops at battle
    Henry Mountford Henry VI, King of England, captured
    Sir John Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk Lord Hungerford, taken prisoner
    Edward Neville, Lord Abergavenny Earl of Kendal, went over to Yorkists
    Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick John Lord Lovel, taken prisoner
    William Neville, Lord Fauconberg Sir William Lucy, killed in battle
    Edward Plantagenet, Earl of March Thomas Percy, Lord Egremont, killed in battle
    John Lord Scrope of Bolton Humphrey Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, killed in battle
    Sir John Stafford Sir John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, killed in battle
    John Touchet, Lord Audley Lord de la Warre, went over to Yorlists
    The Battle of Wakefield

    December 30, 1460

    Following the capture of Henry VI, Queen Margaret raised an army in Yorkshire numbering some 15,000 men. The Duke of York and the Earl of Salisbury, with an army of about 6,000 men, marched out of London in early December and headed north. At Worksop they brushed aside a Lancastrian advance guard commanded by the captain Andrew Trollope and arrived at Sandal castle in Yorkshire.   Unbeknown to York, the Lancastrians had concentrated their forces at nearby Pontefract castle. 

    On 29th December a Yorkist foraging party blundered into the main body of the Lancastrian army and was pursued back to Wakefield. The following morning a force of about 6,000 men commanded by the Duke of Somerset and Lord Clifford deployed for battle in full view of the Yorkist army in and around Sandal castle. On seeing this, the Duke of York and the Earl of Salisbury marched their army down from the castle onto level ground near the River Calder. They did not realise that the Lancastrians had laid a trap. As soon as York and Somerset became embroiled in a melee, two large forces of the Lancastrian army, commanded by the Earl of Wiltshire and Lord Roos, emerged from nearby woods surrounding the Yorkist army. Around 3,000 Yorkists were killed including the Duke of York. His son the Earl of Rutland was killed escaping from the battlefield and the Earl of Salisbury was captured that evening and executed the next day



    Sir Robert Apsall, killed after battle

    Edward Bourchier, killed in battle

    Sir David Hall, executed

    Sir Thomas Harrngton, executed

    Sir Hugh Mortimer, executed

    Sir John Mortimer, executed

    Lord John Neville, survived

    Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury, killed in battle

    Sir Thomas Neville, killed in battle

    Sir Thomas Parr, executed

    Sir James Pickering, killed in battle

    Edmund Plantagenet, Earl of Rutland, killed after battle

    Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, killed after battle

    Sir Henry Retford, killed in battle


    Henry Beaufort, Duke of Somerset

    James Butler, Earl of Wiltshire

    John Lord Clifford

    Thomas Courtenay, Earl of Devon

    Henry Lord Fitzhugh

    Ralph Lord Greystoke

    Henry Holland, Duke of Exeter

    George Neville, Lord Latimer

    Sir Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland

    Thomas Lord Roos

    Andrew Trollope

    Mortimer’s Cross

    February 2, 1461

    Queen Margaret was not present at Wakefield, but accompanied the Lancastrian army on its destructive march south to St. Albans. Warwick arrived in London at the beginning of February. On learning of York’s death he appears to have made no effort to get in touch with the Earl of March who was then on the Welsh Marsh. But Edward, although only nineteen years old, had proven himself a capable soldier after defeating a Lancastrian force at the Battle of Mortimer's Cross. 

    Edward, Earl of March was at Shrewsbury with an army of about 10,000 men, raised in Wales and the Marches, when he received news of the death of his father and brother at Wakefield. He was also told that another Lancastrian army of about 8,000 men was marching out of South Wales behind him commanded by the Earl of Pembroke, the Earl of Wiltshire and Owen Tudor. Edward quickly headed south and deployed his army in three battles straddling the road from Hereford at Mortimer's Cross. The Lancastrians advanced from the south in three battles. The left under Wiltshire contained a large number of lightly armed Irish, Breton and French mercenaries and in the ensuing melee these troops were quickly routed. The Lancastrian centre and right wing was then outflanked and crushed on the banks of the River Lugg. Some 4,000 Lancastrians were killed, although Pembroke and Wiltshire escaped. 

    On the morning of the battle, through an unusual atmospheric condition, three suns were said to be visible. Edward took this as a propitious omen and after his victory added the sun to his banner. 

    Major Participants of Battle of Mortimer's Cross
    House of York House of Lancaster
    James Baskerville James Butler, Earl of Wiltshire, escaped
    Sir Richard Croft Hopkin Davy of Carmarthen
    Sir Walter Devereaux Thomas Fitzharry
    John Dwnn Owen ap Griffith, escaped
    Lord FitzWater Thomas ap Griffith, escaped
    Lord Grey of Wilton Rheinallt Gwynnedd of Harlech
    Henry ap Griffith David Lloyd, executed
    Richard Hakluyt Philip Mansel, escaped
    Mr. Harper of Wellington Griffth ap Nicholas, killed in battle
    Sir William Hastings Sir Thomas Perot of Haverfordwest, escaped
    Richard Herbert Lewis Powys of Powysland
    Sir William Herbert of Raglan Morgan ap Rhydderch, executed
    Sir William Knylle Hopkin ap Rhys of Gower, escaped
    John Lingen Lewis ap Rhys of Carmarthen
    Sir John Lynell Sir Harry Skydmore
    John Milewater James Skydmore
    Thomas Monington Sir John Skydmore, escaped
    Walter Mytton Sir William Skydmore
    Edward Plantagenet, Earl of March Sir John Throckmorton, executed
    Sir Humphrey Stafford Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke, escaped
    John Touchet, Lord Audley Owen Tudor, executed
    William Thomas  
    Philip Vaughan  
    Sir Roger Vaughan  
    Thomas Vaughan  
    Sir John Wenlock  
    Second Battle of St. Albans
    February 17, 1461

    Following the defeat of the Yorkist army at Wakefield, a large Lancastrian army of about 12,000 men pillaged and plundered its way south towards London. At St Albans the Earl of Warwick and about 9.000 Yorkists encamped in and about the north of the town on Barnard's Heath and Nomansland Common. Here they constructed a number of defences including caltraps, spiked nets and pavises and awaited the arrival of the Lancastrian army. The attack did not come in the direction Warwick had anticipated: a large Lancastrian vanguard entered St Albans from the direction of Dunstable and chased the Yorkist rearguard out of the town. The main Yorkist army was then attacked from the flank and rear. Even so, most of the Yorkist army withdrew in good order amid the confusion. Warwick then marched west towards the approaching Yorkist army commanded by Edward, Earl of March. This left London to defend itself. When the Lancastrian army arrived outside the city walls the Londoners refused to open the gates. Without sufficient artillery the Lancastrians were forced to withdraw north to Yorkshire again. 

    Major Participants of 2nd Battle of St. Albans
    House of York House of Lancaster
    William Lord Bonville, executed Henry Beaufort, Duke of Somerset
    Edward Lord Bourchier John Lord Clifford
    John Bourchier, Lord Berners, taken prisoner Thomas Courtenay, Earl of Devon
    Lord Charlton, taken prisoner Henry Lord Grey of Codnor
    Sir William Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel Sir John Grey of Groby, killed in battle
    William Gregory Ralph Lord Greystoke
    Henry VI, captured by Lancastrians Henry Holland, Duke of Exeter
    Sir Thomas Kyriel, executed Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland
    Sir Henry Lovelace, went over to Lancastrians Robert Poynings, killed in battle
    John Neville, Lord Montague, taken prisoner Henry Lord Roos
    Sir John Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk Sir William Tailboys, knighted
    Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury
    William Neville, Lord Fauconberg Sir Andrew Trollope, knighted
    John de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk Richard Willoughby, Lord Welles
    Sir John Wenlock  
    Battle of Towton 
     March 29, 1461
    After St. Albans, Henry was reunited with his queen, but he refused too let his army advance on London and instead the Lancastrians headed north again, plundering as they went.  Meanwhile, Warwick acted swiftly and had Edward proclaimed king in London. Edward fully realized that there could not be two kings in England, and on about 12 March he set out for the north. Lord Fauconberg had marched in advance and Warwick had been dispatched to raise troops in the Midlands. Somewhere north of the Trent Edward assembled his large army of about 40,000 soldiers.A slight Yorkist reverse was suffered at Ferrybridge, where Lord Fitzwalter’s troops were surprised and their commander killed in an attack led by Lord Clifford; but Clifford’s forces was soon caught and Clifford himself killed. The Yorkists then proceeded to the higher ground, where the Lancastrians were drawn up between the villages of Towton and Saxton.The battle that was fought on this windswept plateau lasted for nearly the whole day. Rather more than 80,000 men took part and this time the snowstorm that set in favored the Yorkists. The advantage seemed to go first to one side then to the other in this fiercely contested battle. About midday the Duke of Norfolk’s troops arrived on the field and took position on the Yorkist right flank. With his numbers thus increased, Edward was at last able to turn the Lancastrian left and gradually, they began to fall back, closely pressed by the Yorkists.Eventually discipline snapped and in the mad rush to cross the Cock Beck and gain the London road thousands of Lancastrians perished. The exact numbers of those who died on the field of battle, or in the marshy fields of the beck, are not known; but there has been no greater slaughter in any battle fought on British soil.
    Major Participants of Battle of Towton
    House of York House of Lancaster
    Edward IV, Earl of March, later King of England, crowned 28 June, 1461 William Ackworth, Esq, killed in battle and later attainted
    Sir John Asherton John Aldeley,Esq
    Sir John Astley William Antron,Esq
    James Baskerville, Esq John Audley, killed in battle and later attainted
    Thomas Baskerville, Esq Sir Thomas Babthorpe
    Sir Richard Beauchamp Henry Beaufort, 3rd Duke of Somerset, attainted
    Sir Humphrey Blount Henry Beaumont, Gent., killed in battle
    Sir Walter Blount, knighted John Beaumont, Gent., killed in battle and later attainted
    Humphrey Bourchier, rewarded after battle Sir Henry Bellingham, attainted
    John Bourchier, captured by Lancastrians and later freed Robert Bellingham, Esq, killed in battle and later attainted
    William Viscount Bourchier, created Earl of Essex by Edward IV Sir William Bertram
    William Brandon, Esq Sir John Bigod, Lord Mauley, killed in battle
    Edward Brooke, Lord Cobham, rewarded after battle Sir Henry Bokingham
    Sir Thomas Burgh Robert Bolling, Gent.,killed in battle and later attainted
    Sir Nicholas Byron Edward Brampton, killed in battle and later attainted
    Sir Robert Chamberlain Thomas Brampton, Esq, killed in battle
    Thomas Claymond, attainted Thomas Burnby
    Sir John Clay Sir John Burton
    Sir Robert Clifton James Butler, Earl of Wiltshire, executed after battle and later attainted
    John Lord Clinton, rewarded after battle Sir John Butler, attainted
    Sir Christopher Conyers Sir Thomas Butler, attainted
    Sir John Conyers Sir Richard Carey
    Sir Roger Corbie, rewarded after battle Thomas Carr, Yeoman, killed in battle and later attainted
    Sir Philip Courtenay Sir William Catesby
    Sir Richard Croft the Younger, rewarded after battle John Chapman, Yeoman, killed in battle and later attainted
    Sir Richard Croft the Elder, rewarded after battle Ralph Chernok, Gent., killed in battle and later attainted
    Sir Gilbert Debenham Thomas Claymond, Esq
    Thomas Denyes, Esq John Baron Clifford, killed in battle
    Sir Walter Devereaux, knighted Sir Roger Clifford
    Sir John Dinham, rewarded after battle Sir Gervase Clifton
    Sir John Dunne, rewarded after battle Richard Cokerell, Merchant, killed in battle and later attainted
    Sir Guy Fairfax Sir John Courtenay, attainted
    William Fiennes, Lord Saye and Sele, rewarded after battle Thomas Courtenay, Earl of Devon, executed after battle
    Thomas Fitzalan, Lord Maltravers, rewarded after battle Sir John Crackenthorpe, killed in battle
    Sir John Fogge, rewarded after battle Sir Thomas Crackenthorpe, killed in battle
    Sir Geoffrey Gate Thomas Crawford, Esq, killed in battle and later attainted
    Sir Robert Green Sir Henry Dacre
    Edmund Lord Grey of Ruthin, rewarded after battle Sir Humphrey Dacre, attainted
    Reginald Lord Grey of Wilton, rewarded after battle Randolph Lord Dacre of Gilsland, killed in battle and later attainted
    Gruffyd ap Henry, Esq Thomas Daniel, Esq, killed in battle and later attainted
    Richard Hakluyt, Esq John Dawson, Yeoman, killed in battle and later attainted
    Sir John Harcourt, Esq Sir John Delves
    Sir Robert Harcourt, rewarded after battle Everard Digby, Esq, killed in battle and later attainted
    John Harper, Esq John Doubigging, Esq, killed in battle and later attainted
    Sir James Harrington Sir John Dunn
    Sir Robert Harrington Sir Thomas Elderton
    Ralph Hastings, Esq Edward Ellesmere, killed in battle and later attainted
    Sir Richard Hastings Sir Ralph Eure, killed in battle
    Sir William Hastings, knighted John Everyingham, Esq, killed in battle and later attainted
    Sir William Herbert, knighted Richard Everyingham, killed in battle and later attainted
    Ralph Hopton, Esq Sir Thomas Everyingham, attainted
    Robert Horne, Esq, killed in battle Sir William Fielding
    Sir John Howard, rewarded after battle Sir John Fortescue, attainted
    Sir Richard Jenney, killed in battle Richard Fulmady, Yeoman, killed in battle and later attainted
    Sir Henry Lewys Sir Baldwin Fulford
    Sir George Lumley Sir Thomas Fulford
    Sir Thomas Lumley Sir Thomas Fyndern, attainted
    Sir John Markham Richard Gaitford, Gent., attainted
    Sir Robert Markham Sir William Gascoigne
    Geoffrey Middleton, Esq Sir Ralph Grey
    John Milewater the Younger Sir Thomas Grey, attainted
    John Milewater the Elder William Grimsby, Esq, killed in battle and later attainted
    Sir Thomas Montgomery, rewarded after battle Sir Edward Hamden, attainted
    Thomas Mornington Sir Simon Hammes, attainted
    Sir Simon Mountford Sir Richard Hammis, killed in battle
    John Mowbray, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, officiated as Earl Marshall at Edward IV’s coronation Sir Edmund Hampden
    Walter Myton Sir William Harhill, killed in battle
    Edward Neville, Lord Abergavenny, rewarded after battle Lord Harry, killed in battle
    Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, wounded, later helped solidify Yorkist position in the North Sir Nicholas Harvey, attainted
    William Neville, Lord Fauconberg, created Earl of Kent Robert Hatecale, Yeoman, killed in battle and later attainted
    Sir William Norrys Sir William Havill, killed in battle
    Sir Robert Ogle, knighted John Hawt
    Robert Palmer, Esq John Haydon, Esq
    Sir Thomas Parr Sir John Heron, killed in battle
    Sir John Paston Sir Thomas Hervey
    Sir William Petche Sir John Heyton, killed in battle
    Sir Henry Pierrepont Laurence Hill, Yeoman, killed in battle and later attainted
    Sir John Pilkington Sir William Hill, killed in battle
    John de la Pole, 2nd Duke of Suffolk Sir Robert Hillyard, killed in battle
    James Radcliffe, Esq Sir Alexander Hody
    John Radcliffe, Lord Fitzwalter, killed in battle Henry Holland, Duke of Exeter, attainted
    Sir Laurence Rainsford, rewarded in battle Sir William Holland, attainted
    Sir William Rainsford Robert Lord Hungerford, attainted
    Sir Henry Ratcliffe Sir Walter Hungerford, attainted
    Sir John Say, rewarded after battle William Joseph, Esq, killed in battle and later attainted
    Sir John Scott, rewarded after battle John Joskin, Esq, killed in battle and later attainted
    John Lord Scrope of Bolton, wounded but survived Richard Kirkby, Gent., killed in battle and later attainted
    Nicholas Sharpe, Esq Sir Nicholas Latimer, attainted
    Henry Sotehill John Lenche, Esq, attainted
    Fulk Staffork, Esq Sir Henry Lewes, attainted
    Sir Henry Stafford Richard Lister the Younger, killed in battle and later attainted
    Sir Humphrey Stafford, knighted Thomas Litley, Grocer, killed in battle and later attainted
    Sir John Stafford, killed in battle Sir James Luttrell
    Thomas Lord Stanley John Maidenwell, killed in battle and later attainted
    Sir William Stanley Ralph Makerell, killed in battle and later attainted
    John Lord Stourton, rewarded in battle Thomas Manning, killed in battle and later attainted
    Thomas Sturgeon, Esq Sir John Marney
    William Sturgeon, Esq Sir John Maulever
    Sir James Strangeways, rewarded after battle Sir Thomas Metham
    Sir Richard Strangeways Sir William Mille, attainted
    Sir Thomas Strickland John Mirfin, Esq, attainted
    Sir William Stoner Sir Thomas Molyneaux
    John Sutton, Lord Dudley, rewarded after battle Sir John Montgomery, executed
    William Tendering, Esq John Morton, killed in battle and later attainted
    Sir Roger Thornton of Nether Whitton, Northumberland Sir Edmund Moundford, attainted
    Sir Thomas Thorpe John Myrvyn
    Sir Lancelot Threlkeld of Threlkeld of Cumberland Sir Henry Narbohew, killed in battle
    Sir Roger Tocotes of Bromham, Wilts, rewarded after battle John Naylor, killed in battle and later attainted
    John Touchet, Lord Audley, rewarded after battle Sir Charles Neville
    Sir Thomas Tudenham, of Oxborough, Norfolk Sir Humphrey Neville
    Sir William Tyrell John Lord Neville, killed in battle and later attainted
    Philip Vaughan, Esq Sir William Newburgh
    Sir Roger Vaughan Walter Nuthill, Esq
    Sir Thomas Vaughn, rewarded after battle William Nuthill, attainted
    Ralph Vestynden, Esq, EdwardIV’s standard bearer, given annuity for life Sir John Pennington
    Sir Thomas Walgrave, rewarded after battle John Penycock, Esq, killed in battle and later attainted
    Sir John Wenlock, knighted Henry Percy, 3rd Duke of Northumberland, killed in battle and later attainted
    Sir Robert Wingfield Sir Ralph Percy, did not suffer forfeiture under Edward IV
    Sir Roger Wolferstone Sir Richard Percy, killed in battle
      Thomas Philip, Esq, killed in battle and later attainted
      John Plumpton, killed in battle
      Sir William Plumpton
      John Preston, killed in battle and later attainted
      Sir Henry Roos
      Thomas Lord Roos, attainted
      Sir Henry Ross, killed in battle and later attainted
      Lord Rugemond-Grey, attainted
      Sir William St. Quyntin
      Giles Saintlove, killed in battle and later attainted
      John Lord Scrope of Bolton, killed in battle
      John Smothing, Yeoman, killed in battle and later attainted
      Henry Spencer, Yeoman, killed in battle and later attainted
      Thomas Stanley of Carlisle, Gent., killed in battle and later attainted
      Richard Stuckley, Esq, killed in battle and later attainted
      Sir William Tailboys, executed
      Sir Richard Tempest of Bracewell, Yorkshire, betrayed by Henry VI, allegiance to Clifford
      Thomas Thompson of Guines
    Sir John Tresham
      Sir Thomas Tresham
      Sir Andrew Trollope, killed in battle
      Sir David Trollope, killed in battle
      Sir Richard Tuddenham of Oxborough, Norfolk
      Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke
      Sir Richard Tunstall of Thurland, attainted
      Thomas Tunstall, Esq, attainted
      Sir William Vaux, attainted
      Lionel Lord Welles, killed in battle and later attainted
      Sir Philip Wentworth, attainted
      William Weynsford, Esq, killed in battle and later attainted
      Roger Wharton, Groom, killed in battle and later attainted
      John Whelpdale, killed in battle and later attainted
      Sir Robert Whitingham, attainted
      Robert Lord Willoughby, killed in battle
      Anthony Woodville, Lord Scales, reported killed but survived
      Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers, accompanied Henry VI in flight to Newcastle
    The Battle of Towton 1461 - A Re-Assessment

    by John Davey

    Why should we even think that Towton’s history may need any rewriting? Well quite simply, the modern image of that battle has too many questions, all of which doubt the present-day ‘historical’ picture of that bloody event. 
    Let us first take a look at the supposedly cast-iron picture that is broadly presented to us today, at the beginning of this twenty first century. This basic view of the historical explanation of the battle tells us how the Lancastrian forces had to pull back from London to York where their main, basic support was to be found. Yorkist Edward advances himself northward from London gaining men as he goes and comes along to Pontefract Castle. He has the nearby crossing at Ferrybridge secured and prepares for the advance into ‘enemy’ territory. 

    The Lancastrian faction sends Lord Clifford rushing south to Ferrybridge from their powerbase at York while they move their equally immense forces south of Tadcaster to Towton to take up a strong position there upon the plateau north of Saxton. Lord Clifford successfully takes over the bridge at Ferrybridge and destroys it. 

    Lord Warwick slays his horse and tells anyone who wishes to leave to do so now. The Yorkists then cross the river upstream at Castleford, thus outflanking Clifford and causing him to retreat back north to the main Lancastrian force‘s position. 

    The Yorkists, foreseeing this possibility, send a detachment of mounted archers to ambush him at Dintingdale between Towton and Sherburn-in-Elmet, and he is killed. They then advance their main force to Dintingdale and Saxton and there take up their own position upon the plateau, with the woods to their left. 

    The next morning, Palm Sunday, the main battle begins. Yorkist Lord Fauconberg launches an arrow storm into the Lancastrians backed by a snowstorm and supporting wind. There is devastation within the Lancastrian ranks. The Lancastrians counter attack with foot soldiers up the slope which is on their right flank. The slaughter then begins that names the area ‘Bloody Meadow’ to this day. 

    The Lancastrians seemingly hid a detachment in the woods to the left of the Yorkist upon the previous day and these troops lunge upon the Yorkist lines at the same time. 

    The fight goes on most of the day until Yorkist Lord Norfolk, having repaired the crossing at Ferrybridge, comes onto the Lancastrian east flank with 6,000 fresh men. 

    The Lancastrians are pivoted and they panic. Their retreat is a massacre as they try to cross the flooded Cock Beck. It is a clear victory for Edward and the new Plantagenet regime takes the crown. 

    So what is wrong with this picture? Let us look at where it all seemed to come from. We have various Victorian writers who take up the story. The one who seems to have been adopted by modern writers is Leadman in 1891. He tells us of the Old London Road being the entry for the Lancastrians and of how Warwick made his speech about anyone wanting to leave at Pontefract after the Ferrybridge set back. He gives the starting lines as being upon the site that modern writers now have them. 

    Bogg almost copies this in the last years of that century, though he indicates the battle was started in Dintingdale. Apart from that it is much the same and it has come down to us in that manner and style ever since. But what of other Victorian writers?

    Langdale wrote his version in 1822, with no position given as to where battle commenced, with no reference to the Old London Road and no comment as to the speech. 

    Grainge was writing in 1854 and only mentions the battle positions as at Grimston. He gives no mention to Old London Road and puts the speech in the mouths of both Warwick and Edward at Pontefract. 

    In 1882, Wheater puts the starting lines at Dintingdale. There is no mention of any Old London Road and the speech down to Edward while upon the field. 

    In 1891, we have Lamplough placing the starting lines at Dintingdale and the speech being made by both Edward and Warwick at Pontefract, yet with no mention, again, of Old London Road. 

    Bulmers came out in 1892, but does not mention the Old London Road, nor the speech, nor the starting lines. 

    Speight went to press in 1903 with the starting lines between Saxton and Towton, but with no mention of the speech nor of Old London Road. Not very consistent. 

    What can we, in this 21st century, gather from these few articles of the mid 19th to early 20th Century and how should we compare them with today’s published view of the battle? There are quite a few views given of the battle and of that bloody day in these descriptions, but, little, if any, information as to where this information came from. Even then, most of this selection of ‘historic’ reports manage to contradict each other and differ, in no small part, with the picture that today’s supposed history tells us of this action. 

    Reading most of these articles, it has to be noted that the battle is not even initially set upon the plateau where modern day descriptions put it, but instead to the north and south of the slightly more southerly placed Dintingdale valley. Leadman, in 1891, tells the world of the importance of the track heading west out of Towton called ‘Old London Road’. This seems to have been picked up by Edmund Bogg a few years later. He very firmly states as to how this was the main northern entry to the battlefield site from Tadcaster due to no other road, such as today’s modern road line, having existed until some 300 years after the battle, which would mean the late 1700’s. Today’s views of the battle in many ways also seem to mirror Leadman’s and Bogg’s writings. 

    Is the Leadman and Bogg picture to be regarded as correct? Perhaps not, it certainly has no merit in any of the other written views of that period, but let yourself be the judge of that. First let us consider their ‘Old London Road’ as being the only highway from Towton to Tadcaster. 

    The map of the late 1700’s, which perhaps was the earliest one available to be used in forming Leadman’s and thus Bogg‘s articles, may well only show the local area as it was during the enparking of Grimston Hall. That narrow period of British history saw the local gentry of all regions putting their money and efforts into grand parks around their houses and halls while moving the previously connected villages and their people to new sites beyond the walls and hedges of this expanded new park’s boundary. World famous Harewood is an example, and in the local area of Towton, Parlington and Lotherton embody the same layout. The present day hall at Grimston was also built in that same enparking period and developed to suit that grand-scale parking theme. 

    The only map that was available to them, from that narrow period in time, was somewhat erroneously used by Leadman to conclude his ‘Old London Road’ comments and perhaps led to Bogg’s presumption about no other Tadcaster to Towton road until some 300 years after the battle. The map they may well have seen shows that the present day road line north from Towton finished just north of Grimston where the lane to Stutton links in, again at 90 degrees. This map was the work of Mr. Jeffries, published in 1770. Edmund Bogg was, however, most certainly, and totally wrong in saying that the present-day road line from Towton to Tadcaster was not available until the late 1700’s. 

    If we may, let us now look a little further back than these Victorian writers could see. They were not blessed with having today’s Internet and other forms of media to find and view extra evidence; the evidence that comes from the records of the other earlier maps of that self-same road dating back, as they do, as far as 1765, 1744 or 1720 and even to 1675. What do we find that these earlier maps now show us? The road maps from this earlier period cannot be viewed as perfectly as those of today. They were shown as long lines with side roads and towns marked upon them, ribbons almost, each of which came with a compass rose to show the direction in which each ribboned panel was heading. They were more of a route map than a district road map. A road map of this region by Cary in 1794 shows the road as it is today. 

    A route map published in Gentleman’s Magazine and dated 1765, which is five years before Jeffries, shows the same route we have today, with the milestones noted and details of all road junctions, major and minor, that were connecting to the main highway. It does not give any indication of an ‘Old London Road’ even existing at that time. 

    Cowley’s Map of 1744 also shows a similar straight through roadway, though it’s detail is not clear enough for our argument. 

    The 1720 map of Mr. Lumby has similar details to 1765. This touring map again passes directly south out of Tadcaster and shows the side road link to Sutton, the present-day Stutton Road as already mentioned. It also shows the side road link to Ulleskelf, the side road link to Leeds, past today’s memorial Cross, the side road to Fenton directly opposite, the roads to Saxton, Barkston, Huddlestone and many more very small country lanes as it continues further south. It does not even give today’s so-called Old London Road a mark nor a mention. 

    The 1675 map by John Ogilby shows that the road through Ferrybridge and Sherburn-in-Elmet comes up to Towton and then carries straight on as with today’s road line. It then crosses the Cock River at the stone bridge, which is now part of the south bound slip road of the Tadcaster By-pass, and carries on into Tadcaster. Grimston is specifically shown to the east of it and Stutton to the west. Virtually mirroring, once more, that of today’s road line. All side roads are marked, but no indication of the Old London Road is given. 

    Since there was no earlier local road maps on record then, could it be perceived to mean that the present day road was not in use before 1675? Not really, it is just simply that the map of 1675 was actually the first published map of this area that specifically showed the road lines, while any previous maps we know of today only showed the towns, villages and rivers. 

    Three maps by Gentleman‘s Magazine, and Mssrs. Lumby and Ogilby, herein mentioned, are drawn at one inch to the mile and, as stated, also show all the constructed milestones that were alongside the road. It would appear that these milestones and the self-same road line must have been already in place much earlier than that initial map of 1675 and most of the mile stones are, indeed, still there alongside the road today. The maps gave mileages from the stones that, to be accurate, must indicate the use of the exact line of the present-day road. If the longer Old London Road we are debating about was the earlier route then they would all be wrong all the way south! These milestones go straight through Grimston Park, north of Towton and south of Tadcaster, on today’s road line. The only one that is missing alongside today’s road in this area is the one which would likely have been removed when Grimston was enparked because it was ON the then temporarily defunct roadway in the new park, if that was what was happening in 1770. There is always the other possibility that the Cock Bridge was down and awaiting repair. But, keep in mind, that not one map is available that shows the Old London Road as existing before the enparking period. 

    Yet, the title ’Old London Road’ is there beside the lane adjacent to the present-day road. Let us look more closely with the problems of the Old London Road. Heading out of Towton, it leads first west and then generally north from Towton, while London is obviously to the south. So when was it given the name ‘Old London Road’? It would not have been known thus by the people of Towton because to them, it headed in the opposite direction. It is fairly safe to assume that it would be named this way at it’s more northern end in-or-near Tadcaster. However, this track’s 'the Old London Road’ name only runs as far as Stutton. Afterwards it was called Stutton Road, from Stutton to Tadcaster for the simple reason that is where it went from Tadcaster. Therefore, the folks of Stutton may well have called it Old London Road because, at least to them, that is where it eventually went. 

    This is all well and good, but if the earlier road, on today’s line, was removed for any reason whatsoever, then why did it soon return afterwards and was used, and remains so all the way till today? Could it be that the nation came up with this great idea.  Of toll roads? There was money to be made and here was an obvious old-time main road route. It was re-instated as a highway and to its south, a toll bar was put across it as it entered Grimston Park, at the previously mentioned Ulleskelf turnoff and this location is still known today as Towton Bar. Or was it simply a temporary situation while the bridge was being repaired? 

    Now we must look at the layout of where the Old London Road meets the main road at Towton. It is a 90 degree connection and on the route from London to York we do not find any other 90 degree, not then, and not now. Mile after mile the London road heads north towards Towton, and from Ferrybridge upwards it winds north in a consistent width and form, all the way to Tadcaster. If the present historic view of the road line is accepted, it supposedly turns onto the Old London Road, where it then changes from a main, wide, usable highway into a mere narrow track, which is less than a quarter of its previous consistent width. Does this Old London Road theory really add up in the whole scheme of things? 

    Added to all that is where the Old London Road has it’s crossing place over the Cock River. The slope of the road’s track upon the Towton side is much too steep for any sizeable or weighty cart to use making heavy transport usage virtually impossible; something that such a main highway would be most often used by. A steep slope would show deep wear from heavy use and from erosion, and indeed the track leading up from the bridge towards Towton is quite deep with use. But, this wear is only three feet wide indicating single foot or horse traffic. It hardly gives the signs of any main north-south highway. 

    Today’s road line was obviously there in the 1600’s, and most likely even earlier, while the so-called Old London Road was little more that a track that was used during that ‘glitch’ of the enparking rage that swamped England in the late 1700’s, or perhaps as no more than a way for light traffic to avoid the toll road through Grimston Park. However, despite this, who is to say that the present and 1600’s road line was there, one hundred and fifty years or more earlier, back in the late 1400’s? 

    This is not an easy question to answer by any means, with the maps of earlier periods not showing any road lines. But, between Sherburn-in-Elmet and South Milford a major Roman road has recently been discovered which leads due north to south - with Ferrybridge to the south and Tadcaster to the north. Also in the early 1900’s the old bridge on the present road-line crossing over the Cock Beck near Tadcaster by the modern-day by-pass (mentioned above) was also found to have been built upon Roman foundations. 

    This direct Ferrybridge to Tadcaster route was certainly in use some 1000 years before the Battle of Towton. It was in use on the self-same line less than two hundred years later than the battle, as it shows on maps from 1675, 1720, 1744, 1765, 1794, 1831, 1849 and it still is in use today while there is only one map of 1770 that shows any differing route. There is no certain proof from all this of its use in the fifteenth century, but the odds in favor of the present road line being in use in 1461 must now be 10 to 1 in favor while the odds for the so-called Old London Road being the main roadway at that time would appear to be nearer 50 to 1 against. 

    Do not forget though that we are told in the modern published versions of The Battle of Towton’s histories that the Lancastrians were slaughtered around Cock Bridge and that was, according to the likes of Edmund Bogg and those who came after, on today’s Old London Road’. This is most certainly a very big point in its favor. But was the said Cock Bridge actually upon Old London Road? The problem for this modern school of thought being that the said title only appears on that self-same map of 1770, while the last bridge over the Cock (the one with the Roman foundations), which is on the more modern-day route to Tadcaster, was the crossing point which was actually known as ‘Cock Bridge’. It says so even on the 1849 Ordnance Survey map where its then current 19th century name was ‘New Bridge’ but ‘Cock Bridge’ is shown clearly as its much earlier title. This is also a possible indication of it having been lately repaired and re-instated. 

    So either we have a wide, continuous and consistent roadway from the south to only just past Grimston. The road width shows that it is a consistently wide and well used ancient way along its whole route, but it then slips into a mere track way at Towton which joins it at an unacceptable 90 degrees to its main course. It then has milestones upon the road south of Towton are all incorrect in their distances to Tadcaster. 

    It is also far too narrow and too steep in certain sections to have been anything more than a country track and the only map which calls this track Old London Road is of the enparking period. 

    Or, we more likely have a 1600 year old through way with consistent road width, consistent milestones and all the features that argue in its favor and with the earliest road map of 1675 showing that it was indeed so. It has continuous milestones from earlier than 1675. It has a Roman road mirroring it between Sherburn-in-Elmet and South Milford. It has a bridge just outside Tadcaster with Roman foundations. Certainly all the other maps of both later and earlier than the enparking period show it near exactly ‘as-is’ today. 

    If, by some weird case of distorted imagination, this Old London Road track could have been the main road at the time of the battle then its steep incline and its narrow bridge would likely have not allowed the battle to take place at Towton anyway. To put such a large Lancastrian army on the field by this route would have required nearer to five days than the seemingly one day that was available. It would most certainly appear that either the idea of this being the main Tadcaster to Towton road is wrong or all else of the battle’s history is wrong. 

    But what of other problems with today’s picture of that battle? As already mentioned it would seem that the majority of Victorian writers put the start of the battle in a different place to where today’s battle maps put it. And in their option they do at least seem to pick the more militarily obvious site. The slope to the north of Dintingdale, and thus Saxton, would be a far more obvious place for the Lancastrian force to await the enemy, especially given the strategy of warfare in that period. 

    Likewise, should the battle lines have indeed been drawn up upon the higher plateau, the idea of thousands of Yorkist soldiers spending a freezing night alongside the ‘ambush’ party in the wood to their left without ever checking it or even simply going in there for their firewood is a little too far fetched to be believed. 

    Then we also have the famous references to the ‘bridge of bodies’ over the Cock river by Cock Bridge and the said waterway to be later seen ‘running red with blood‘. A far from impossible situation given the numbers who died. But, and it must be a big ‘but‘, we find we have exactly the same description given of Penda’s defeated army’s retreat further up the Cock river in the 7th century. Exactly the same description, virtually word for word. Bridge of bodies, river running red with blood? A possible coincidence? Or could it just perhaps be a case of local legends becoming mixed up over time? 

    And, finally we have the story of Warwick at Pontefract exclaiming that any man who would rather leave him should do so now, while we also have a very similar statement being made by Edward upon the battlefield. Hardly is it likely that this offer was made twice within twenty four hours. 

    There are certainly many questions that need to re-asked. But, I conclude from this evidence that the present-day road route was the self-same route that was open to the warring factions back in 1461 and thus the search for bodies should be directed to the region due north of Towton as much, if not more, than around the Old London Road’s smaller bridge. 

    Minor details perhaps, but details that could mean a total re-think on the Battle of Towton, and, if this is indicative of history in general, then many other ‘accepted’ facts may need some serious re-thinking. 

    ©Article appeared in July 2003 issue of The Medelai Gazette.

    Battle of Hedgeley Moor

    April 25, 1464

    Following the Lancastrian defeat at Towton 1461, Queen Margaret, a few nobles and what was left of the army retreated into Scotland. From there, the Lancastrians invaded the northern counties of Northumberland and Cumberland with the help of the Scots and French. They captured a number of strategic castles including Alnwick, Dunstanburgh and Bamburgh. These changed hands a number of times as the Yorkists, under Edward IV, sought to alienate the Lancastrians from their Scottish allies. To this end Edward's ambassadors were negotiating a peace with James III of Scotland in 1463/4.In April 1464, John Neville, Lord Montague was commanded to go to Norham castle on the Scottish border and escort a Scottish delegation south. The Lancastrians under the Duke of Somerset set out to prevent Montague from reaching Norham. Just outside Newcastle, Humphrey Neville of Brancepeth - from the Lancastrian side of the Neville family - and about 80 men attempted to ambush Montague. This alerted the Yorkists and they continued on their journey north with an increased force of 500 to 1,000 that contained mounted men-at-arms and archers. Midway between Alnwick and Wooler, at Hedgeley Moor, the Lancastrians under Somerset laid another ambush for Montague. They probably numbered about 1,000 men and included Lord Roos, Lord Hungerford, Sir Ralph Percy, Sir Richard Tunstall and Sir Thomas Finderne. When Lord Montague and his mounted escort arrived at Hedgeley Moor they were charged by the Lancastrian vanguard under Sir Ralph Percy. In what could be described as a mounted skirmish, Percy was killed and the rest of the Lancastrians took flight, leaving Montague to complete his mission north.

    Major Participants of Battle of Hegeley Moore
    House of York House of Lancaster
    Thomas Borough (Brugh) of Gainsborough, Lincolnshire Henry Beaufort, Duke of Somerset
    John Middleton of Belsay, Northumberland Sir Henry Bellingham
    Henry Neville of Heversham, Westmoreland Sir Thomas Finderne
    John Neville of Montague, Durham Sir Ralph Grey
      Thomas Hungerford of Rowden, Herefordshire
      Robert Lord Moleyns, Lord Hungerford
      Humphrey Neville of Brancepath, Durham
      Sir Ralph Percy, killed in battle
      Thomas Roos of Rockingham, Northamptonshire
      Henry Lord Roos
      William Stock of Warmington, Northamptonshire
      William Talboys of Kyme, Lincolnshire
      Sir Richard Tunstall of Thurland, Lancashire
      Sir Thomas Wentworth of Yorkshire
      Sir Philip Wentworth
    Battle of Hexham

    May 14, 1464

    The Lancastrian position in the north, where lay their only remaining strength, was fast crumbling. The Scots had agreed to cease sheltering them, and their Northumbrian strongholds could not expect to withstand for long the heavy siege weapons that Edward was hurriedly assembling. They put an army into the field, and Lord Montagu again set out from Newcastle to oppose it. He found Somerset’s men drawn up in a meadow called the Linnels some three miles southeast of Hexham on the banks of the Devil’s Water.It was a hopeless position from which to fight any sort of battle; the field was almost totally enclosed and too cramped to allow of free maneuver. The Lancastrian soldiers realized this and many left as the Yorkists approached without so much as discharging an arrow. It required no great feat of generalship to demolish those that stayed to fight. Montagu practically surrounded the meadow, and then made a frontal attack through the one opening at the east end. Those that were not killed in this attack were pressed across the river into West Dipton Wood and forced to surrender. Battle casualties were not great, but the executions that followed, including that of Somerset, were on a scale unparalleled even in these bloodthirsty times. Henry remained north of the Tyne during the fight and escaped to the Lake District, where he was among predominantly loyal subjects.
    Major Participants of First Battle of Hexham
    14 May 1464
    House of York House of Lancaster
    Ralph Lord Greystoke Sir Henry Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, executed
    Henry Neville of Heversham, Westmoreland Sir Henry Bellingham
    John Neville, Earl of Northumberland Sir Thomas Finderne, executed
    John Scrope of Bolton, Yorkshire Lord Willoughby Sir Edmund Fish, executed
    Richard Tempest of Bracewell, Yorkshire Sir Ralph Grey, escaped
      Henry VI, King of England
      Robert Hungerford of Heytesbury, Wiltshire executed
      Robert Lord Moleyns, Lord Hungerford, executed
      Sir Humphrey Neville, escaped
      Thomas Reresby of Thrybergh, Yorkshire executed
      Henry Lord Roos, executed
      John Tempest of Bracewell, Yorkshire
      Sir William Tailboys, executed
      Thomas Wentworth of Yorkshire, executed
      Philip Wentworth of Nettlestead, Suffolk, executed
    Battle at Bamburgh Castle

    June 1464

    After Hexham, the Lancastrians held only the castles of Bamburgh,  Dunstanburgh and Alnwick. The castles had already changed hands more than once.  Warwick and Montague, now the Earl of Northumberland, brought the massive siege pieces of Edward IV, set out  to smother the last embers of Lancastrian resistance. 

    On the 23rd, Alnwick yielded followed by Dunstanburgh the next day but Bamburgh refused the summons.  Bamburgh was held by Sir Ralph Grey and he had been exempted from the general pardon. Soon the debris from the ramparts was being blasted into the sea, and resistance quickly collapsed.

    The affair is of interest in being the first time that a battering train was used effectively in England. The King’s great guns, ‘London’ and ‘Newcastle’ (made of iron) and ‘Dijon’ (a brass cannon), were supported by bombardels, and it was with some ease that they breached the walls, allowing Warwick to lead an assault that completed the work. Grey was seriously wounded, but this did not save him from being dragged before the High Constable, John Tiptoft Earl of Worcester, who made good on his reputation for recognizing no law but the axe. 

    Major Participants of Battle of Bamburg Castle
    House of York House of Lancaster
    John Neville, Earl of Northumberland Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick
    Sir Ralph Grey, executed Humphrey Neville of Brancepath
    Battle of Edgecote

    July 26, 1469

    While in Calais, the Earl of Warwick and the Duke of Clarence inspired a series of rebellions in the north to draw Edward IV northwards. In July the considerable forces of 'Robin of Redesdale', Sir John Conyers who was one of Warwick's retainers, forced Edward to move north to Nottingham. Here he waited for William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke and Humphrey Stafford, Earl of Devon to bring their retainers from Wales and the West Country. 

    Meanwhile, Warwick and Clarence landed in Kent and marched on London with a large army. From here Warwick sent Sir John Clapham north to rendezvous with Sir John Conyers' rebels. All four armies now converged on the area around Banbury.

    On 25th July Pembroke with about 10,000 Welsh infantry and cavalry and Devon with about 6,000 men, mostly archers, arrived at Banbury. They argued over billets (or the favours of a landlord's wife) and Devon withdrew with his men south to Deddington Castle, thus dividing their army at a crucial point. On that same day the Welsh skirmished with the vanguard of Conyers' army, which was coming from the direction of Daventry. This army may have been as large as 20,000 men, but 10,000 to 12,000 are a more practical figure. Clapham was at Northampton with around 6,000 men. 

    The following morning Pembroke moved east out of Banbury and arrayed his army on high ground on Danes Moor between Wardington and Culworth and waited for Devon to bring up the main body of archers. To the south, Conyers arrayed his men near Thorpe Manderville and advanced towards the Welsh showering them with arrows. Pembroke, without Devon's archers, was forced to abandon his position and charged downhill into Conyers rebels. A fierce melee ensued lasting two or three hours. Just as the Welsh were getting the upper hand, Clapham and his men appeared on the left flank of Pembroke's army and, crying "a Warwick, a Warwick", they poured onto the battlefield. 

    The Welsh thinking Warwick's army was attacking them as well put up fierce resistance but were eventually driven from the field. About 5,000 Welsh lay dead on the battlefield and all their leaders were captured and executed, including the Earl of Pembroke and his brother Sir Richard Herbert. The Earl of Devon never reached the battlefield and on learning of the defeat of the Welsh he fled with his army, but was captured and executed at Bridgewater, Somerset a few weeks later. One report by the Burgundian Jean de Waurin says that Devon withdrew during the fighting.

    Major Participants of Battle of Edgecote
    House of York House of Lancaster
    John Eynton William Burgh
    Sir Richard Herbert, executed Sir Geoffrey Cate
    Sir William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, executed John Chapman


    Sir Henry Neville, killed in battle Sir William Conyers
    Thomas ap Roger, killed in battle Sir Henry Fitzhugh, killed in battle
    Sir Humphrey Stafford, Earl of Devon Sir Henry Neville, killed in battle
      Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick
      Sir William Parr
    Battle of Empingham (Losecoat)
    March 12, 1470
    In February 1470 a disturbance at Gainsborough, Lincolnshire instigated by Richard Lord Welles quickly escalated into a full-scale rebellion when the rebels began crying for Henry VI.By the beginning of March a force of rebels numbering up to 30,000 men had gathered at Ranby Hawe and began to march south towards Stamford. Edward IV, who was in London, acted quickly. Welles and Sir Thomas Dymmoke were summoned to London with a promise of safe conduct to find out the reason for the rebellion. He gathered together an army of 15,000 men and a considerable artillery train and headed north via Royston, Huntingdon and Stamford. On 12th March the Lincolnshire rebels, led by Welles' son Sir Robert Welles, stopped north of Slamiord on hearing news of the approach of Edward IV's army and arrayed themselves across Ermine Street between Empingham and Pickworth on slightly rising ground. Edward IV having marched out of Stamford deployed his army facing the rebels just north of Tickencote and then made an example of Lord Welles and Dymmoke by having them brought before the army and executed in full view of the rebels. This was quickly followed by a massive bombardment of the rebel position by the Royal artillery train. This threw the whole rebel army into disarray. As soon as Edward's army advanced the rebels broke and ran from the field throwing away their livery jackets, giving the battle its name 'Losecote Field', also known as the Battle of Empingham. Sir Robert Welles with Richard Warin, the Lincolnshire captain and other leaders were executed a week later.
    Major Participants of Battle of Empingham (Losecoat)
    House of York House of Lancaster
    Sir James Butler, Earl of Wiltshire Sir Thomas Dymock, executed
    William Lord Hastings Thomas de la Lande, taken prisoner
    John Lord Howard Richard Warren, executed
    John Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk Lord Welles, executed
    Edward IV, King of England Sir Robert Welles, executed
    John de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk  
    Sir John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester  
    Battle of Barnet
    April 14, 1471

    After a brief spell in exile Edward IV, the Duke of Gloucester and about 500 other exiles set sail from Holland with an army of some 1,500 mercenaries landing at Ravenspur on the Humber estuary. From here they marched to York.

    Edward then quickly headed south avoiding elements of Warwick's army whilst being reinforced on the way by a large numbers of his retainers at both Doncaster and Nottingham. At Banbury, Edward met up with his brother, the Duke of Clarence, who was at the head of a considerable force and they men marched on London. There they freed a number of prominent Yorkist prisoners and captured Henry VI.

    In the meantime the Earl of Warwick, his brother the Marquis of Montague, the Duke of Exeter and the Earl of Oxford had gathered their forces together at Coventry and were marching on London. Edward having received news of Warwick's approach marched out of London on April 13, 1471 with some 12,000 men. They camped on Hadley Green just north of Barnet and awaited Warwick's army, which numbered about 15,000 men.

    The following morning both sides deployed for battle somewhere between Kitts End and Old Fold Manor. Due to a thick mist both armies were not properly aligned and their right wings were slightly overlapping each other. When Edward's army advanced, his right wing outflanked Warwick's left under Exeter, but Edward's left was similarly outflanked and routed by Warwick's right wing under the Earl of Oxford. Somehow Edward managed to shore up his left with his reserve and weighed into Warwick in the centre.

    Oxford, who had pursued some of the routing Yorkist army towards Barnet, began to make his way back towards the raging battle and in the mist, came upon Warwick's right flank. In the confusion of battle Montague's men mistook Oxford for Yorkists and fired upon them. With shouts of treason, Oxfords men withdrew and Edward IV threw in the last of his reserve, which finally broke Warwick's army.

    In the subsequent rout Warwick and Montague were killed. Exeter was left for dead on the battlefield. In total about 3,000 men were killed on both sides.

    Major Participants of First Battle of Barnet
    14 April 1471
    House of York House of Lancaster
    Isaru de la Berina, Lord de Gensac, killed in battle William Viscount Beaumont
    Walter Blount, Lord Mountjoy Henry Holland, Duke of Exeter, wounded
    Humphrey Bourchier, Lord Cromwell, killed in battle Sir Louis John, killed in battle
    Sir Humphrey Bourchier, killed in battle Sir John Marney
    Sir Robert Chamberlain John Myslent, killed in battle
    Sir Gilbert Debenham William Myslent, escaped
    Sir Walter Devereaux, Lord Ferrers George Neville, Archbishop of York, taken prisoner and pardoned
    Gaillard de Durefort, Lord Duras John Neville, Marquis Montagu, killed in battle
    William Fiennes, Lord Saye, killed in battle Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, killed in battle
    Lord de la Force, killed in battle John Paston, III, wounded but survived
    Henry Lord Grey of Codnor, rewarded Sir John Paston, escaped
    Sir James Harrington Sir William Tyrell, killed in battle
    John Harper, killed in battle Sir George de Vere, escaped
    Sir Ralph Hastings John de Vere, Earl of Oxford, escaped
    William Lord Hastings Sir Thomas de Vere, escaped
    John Lord Howard
    Thomas Howard
    Thomas Huddleston, killed in battle
    John Milewater, killed in battle
    Sir William Norris
    Thomas Parr, killed in battle
    Sir William Parr
    Edward IV, King of England
    George, Duke of Clarence
    Richard, Duke of Gloucester
    Thomas, Lord Stanley
    Sir William Stanley
    Anthony Woodville, Earl Rivers
    Christopher Worslsey, killed in battle
    Battle of Tewkesbury

    May 4, 1471

    On the same day that Edward IV was celebrating his victory over Warwick, Queen Margaret of Anjou and Edward, Prince of Wales landed with about 1,000 mercenaries at Weymouth.

    The following day a large army under the Duke of Somerset and the Earl of Devon met her at Cerne Abbey. From there they marched to Exeter to gather more recruits.

    Edward IV quickly learned of Queen Margaret's presence and marched from London to Windsor with 6,000 men and awaited further news. The Lancastrians had marched from Exeter to Bristol via Taunton, Wells and Bath.

    Edward realised they were heading for Wales and a rendezvous with the Earl of Pembroke's army. He marched to head them off, giving orders that the gates of Gloucester were to be closed stopping the Lancastrians from crossing the River Severn. With the Gloucester crossing denied them, the Lancastrian army marched up the Severn towards the next crossing point at Tewkesbury.

    Edward's army shadowed them, marching on a parallel course. At Tewkesbury the Lancastrian army of 6,000 men decided to give battle rather than risk a crossing of the Severn with the Yorkist army so near.

    On the morning of May 4, 1471 the Lancastrian army deployed for battle to the south of Tewkesbury. Somerset was on the right, the Prince of Wales and Lord Wenlock in the centre and the Earl of Devon held the left. To their front were a number of ditches and hedges that made it difficult for the Yorkist army to advance.

    Edward IV had deployed his army of about 5,000 to 6,000 men with the Duke of Gloucester commanding the vanguard on the left. Lord Hastings commanding the right, and himself and the Duke of Clarence in the centre. This left a small force of about 200 mounted men protecting his left flank. Following a general bombardment of the Lancastrian position with artillery and archers, Edward ordered the advance.

    Whether by chance or design, the Duke of Somerset came upon the Yorkist left and attacked them in the flank as they advanced. However, the rest of the Lancastrian army did not support him. Somerset was then attacked in the flank by the Yorkist cavalry wing and routed. The rest of the Lancastrian army soon gave way and ran from the battlefield back into Tewkesbury pursued by the Yorkists. Many were slaughtered on the way including the Prince of Wales, Wenlock and Devon. The Duke of Somerset and a number of other Lancastrian fugitives took sanctuary in Tewkesbury Abbey, but were dragged out, tried and executed.

    Sir Henry Beaumont of Wednesbury, knighted after battle
    Sir Maurice Berkeley of Beverstone, knighted at Tewkesbury

    Sir John Bingham of Welcome Bingham, knighted after battle

    Sir Humphrey Blount of Kinlet, knighted after battle

    Sir Edward Brampton, godson to Edward IV

    Sir William Brandon of Sohan Court, knighted at Tewkesbury

    Sir John Brooke, Lord Cobham, knighted after battle

    Sir George Browne of Betchworth, knighted after battle

    Sir John Clay of Cheshnut, knighted after battle

    Sir Richard Corbet of Moreton Corbet, knighted after battle

    Sir Thomas Cornewall of Berrington, knighted after battle

    John Courtenay of Exminster and Kenn, knighted and made a banneret at Tewkesbury

    Sir Philip Courtenay of Kingston and Molland, knighted

    Sir John Crocker of Lineham, knighted after battle, standard bearer to Edward IV

    Sir Richard Croft of Croft, knighted after battle

    Sir James Crowner of Tunstall, knighted on the field after battle

    Sir John Donne of Kidwelly, knighted after battle

    Sir Henry Ferrers of Peckham, knighted at Tewkesbury

    Sir John Ferrers, knighted after battle

    Sir Robert Green of Hayes, knighted after battle

    Sir Henry Grey of Crawdon, knighted and made banneret after battle

    Sir Thomas Grey, Lord Ferrers, Marquis of Dorset, part command of the right wing

    Sir Robert Harrington of Badsworth, knighted at Tewkesbury

    Sir John Harley of Brampton, knighted after battle

    Sir Ralph Hastings o f Harrowden and Wanstead, knighted at Tewkesbury and created banneret

    Sir Richard Hastings, knighted at Tewkesbury

    Sir William Hastings, Lord Hastings, commanded the right wing

    Sir John Heveningham of Heveningham, created knight banneret

    Sir Roger Kynaston of Middle and Hordley, knighted at Tewkesbury

    Sir Nicholas Latimer of Duntish, created knight banneret after Tewkesbury

    Sir John Lingen of Sutton and Stoke Edith, knighted at Tewkesbury

    Sir Nicholas Longford of Longford, knighted at Tewkesbury

    Sir Thomas Montgomery of Faulkborn, joined Edward IV’s army at Nottingham, fought at Barnet and Tewkesbury, escorted Margaret of Anjou home to France

    Sir Simon Montfort of Coleshill, created knight banneret after Tewkesbury

    Sir Christopher Moresby of Scaleby and Windermere, knighted at Tewkesbury

    Sir Williwm Motton of Pickleton, knighted at Tewkesbury

    John Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, hereditary Earl Marshall of England, presided over the trial of the Lancastrian prisoners with Richard, Duke of Gloucester

    Sir George Neville, Lord of Abergavenny, knighted at Tewkesbury

    Sir John Parr of Westminster, knighted at Tewkesbury

    Sir Henry Pierrepoint of Holbeck Woodhouse, knighted at Tewkesbury

    Sir John Pilkington of Pilkington and Sowerby. knighted at Tewkesbury

    Edward Plantagenet, King Edward IV, commanded the Yorkist forces

    George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence, brother to Edward VI and Richard, Duke of Gloucester, fought with the middle ward of the army

    Richard Plantagenet, Duke of Gloucester, later Richard III, brother to Edward IV and George, Duke of Clarence, commanded the left wing of the Yorkist army

    Sir Poole, knighted at Tewkesbury

    Sir Laurence Rainsford of Rainsford, Queen Margaret stayed at Gupshill Manor before the battle; afterwards the manor house was in the possession of the Rainsford family

    Sir Richard Ratcliff, knighted at Tewkesbury

    Sir Roger Ree of Woodham Ferrers, knighted at Tewkesbury

    Sir Terry Robsart of Norfolk, knighted at Tewkesbury

    Sir John St. Lo of Chew Magna, knighted at Tewkesbury

    Sir William Sandys of The Vyne and Andover, Hants, knighted at Tewkesbury

    Sir John Savage of Clifton, knighted at Tewkesbury

    Sir John Saunders, knighted at Tewkesbury

    Sir John Skrene of Essex, knighted at Tewkesbury

    Sir John Stanley of Elford, created knight banneret

    Sir William Stanley of Holt, created knight banneret

    Sir Thomas Strickland of Sizergh, knighted at Tewkesbury

    Sir Roger Tocotes of Bromham, created knight banneret

    Sir James Tyrell of Gipping, knighted at Tewkesbury

    Sir Thomas Vaughn, in exile with Edward IV, fought at Barnet and Tewkesbury

    Sir John Willoughby, knighted at Tewkesbury

    Sir Henry Wingfield, knighted at Tewkesbury

    Sir Thomas Wingfield, knighted at Tewkesbury

    Sir Edward Wodehouse of Kimberley, knighted at Tewkesbury


    Sir John Arundel of Lanherne, received a general pardon on 19 July, 1471, for being at Tewkesbury
    Sir Humphrey Audley, executed after battle

    Henry Barron, killed in battle

    John Basset, taken prisoner and later pardoned, died in 1485

    Sir Robert Baynton of Farleston, taken prisoner and later pardoned, died in 1472

    Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, commanded the Lancastrian army, executed after battle

    John Beaufort, Marquess of Dorset, killed in battle

    Sir William Boteler of Warrington, died 8 June, 1471 from wounds in battle

    John Butler, Earl of Ormond, reported killed in battle

    Thomas Butler, Earl of Ormond, received a pardon after battle

    Sir William Cary of Cockington, executed after battle

    Robert Clerke, executed after battle

    Sir Gervaise Clifton of Brabourne, executed after battle

    Sir Hugh Courtenay, executed after battle

    John Courtenay, Earl of Devon, son of Hugh Courtnay, killed during battle

    Walter Courtenay of Exeter, killed in battle

    Thomas Cruyws of Cruyws Morchard, according to family tradition either died from wounds received in battle or executed after battle

    John Daunt of Wootton-under-edge, killed in battle

    Sir John Delves, executed after battle

    Edward of Lancaster, Prince of Wales, killed on the field of battle

    Sir William Fielding of Lutterworth, killed in battle

    Sir Thomas Fitzhenry of Monnington, reported slain by Warkworth, but mentioned in August 1471 as being pardoned

    John Flory, standard bearer to the Duke of Somerset, executed after battle

    Sir John Fortescue, pardoned after battle

    Sir Thomas Fulford, pardoned after battle

    Sir John Giles, pardoned after battle

    Mr. Gough, executed after battle

    John Gower of Clapham, sword bearer to Edward of Lancaster, executed after battle

    Sir William Grimsby of Grimsby, pardoned after battler

    Sir Edward Hampden of Beckley, killed in battle

    William Hemmer, died in battle

    Sir Nicholas Hervey of Eastbury in Godalming, killed in battle

    Robert Jackson, executed after battle

    William Joseph, King’s secretary, received pardon on 17 December 1471

    Sir Robert Knollys, killed in battle

    Lechfield of Westminster, beheaded after battle

    Sir William Lermouth of Bamburgh, killed in battle

    Sir John Lewkenor of West Grinstead, killed at Tewkesbury

    Queen Margaret of Anjou, taken prisoner after battle but pardoned as “Ladye Margaret qwene”

    Dr Ralph Makerell, Parson of Risby, companion of Queen Margaret and John Morton, pardoned by Edward IV after battle

    Lewis Miles, Lancastrian squire, beheaded after battle

    Dr. John Morton of Bere Regis, afterwards Bishop of Ely, Archbishop of Canterbury and Cardinal, pardoned after battle

    Sir William Newburgh of East Lulworth, executed after battle

    John Parker, squire, pardoned by Edward IV after battle

    Sir Seinclere Pomeroy of Berry Pomeroy, killed in battle (?) post mortem states he died on 31 May 1471

    Sir Henry Roos of West Grinstead, executed after battle

    Sir John Seymour, knight, killed in battle

    Sir Thomas Seymour, knight, killed in battle

    Thomas Tarlaway, killed in battle

    John Throckmorton of Haresfield, pardoned after battle

    Sir Thomas Thresham of Sywell, executed after battle

    John Turnbull of Calais, beheaded after battle

    Sir John Urman, killed in battle

    Sir William Vaux of Harrowden, killed in battle

    John, Lord Wenlock of Someries, joint commander of the Lancastrian centre, killed by the Duke of Somerset

    Sir Robert Whittingham of Salden, killed at Tewkesbury

    John Walleys, pardoned after battle

    Henry Wrottesley, killed at Tewkesbury

    John Wroughton of Broad Hinton, Lancastrian squire, pardoned after battle

    Battle of Bosworth

    August 22, 1485

    In-depth Study on Battle of Bosworth

    The unofficial heir to Lancaster was now Henry Tudor.  Tudor was descended on his mother's side from John of Gaunt's illegitimate Beaufort children, and on his father's side from an unauthorized liaison between Henry V's widowed French queen, Katherine of Valois and Owen Tudor, a Welsh esquire. With the backing of the French king and an army gathered from the jails and mercenaries of France and the remnants of the Lancastrian army, they prepared to invade England in the summer of 1485.  By May, Richard left London for the last time and journeyed to Windsor.  His Knights and Esquires of his Household accompanied him.   Francis, Viscount Lovel, was sent to Southampton to lead the forces in case Tudor landed in the southern counties.  John, Duke of Norfolk, was stationed in Essex.  Sir Robert Brackenbury, the Constable of the Tower, was defending the capital.Richard left Windsor and departed for Kenilworth.  By the middle of June, he was at the centre of his realm at Nottingham Castle.   He sent his niece, Elizabeth of York, along with her sisters, his nephews and his illegitimate son, John of Gloucester, to Sheriff Hutton.   From Nottingham, he sent instructions to the commissioners of array in all the shires alerting them to the invasion.  On the 11th August, a messenger brought news to Richard, who had been at Beskwood Lodge, that Henry Tudor had landed at Milford Haven in South Wales on Sunday, the 7th of August.Richard sent word to Northumberland, Brackenbury, Lovel and Norfolk commanding them to join him in Leicester.  On Friday, 19th August, Richard left Nottingham and traveled south toward the city of Leicester.  On the 20th August, Richard was in Leicester with his captains mustering his men.  By late afternoon, he learned from his scouts that the army of Lord Stanley was at Stoke Golding while William Stanley was at Shenton.   Henry Tudor and his men were at Atherstone.  On Sunday, the 21st of August, Richard and his royal army left the city of Leicester.   Richard and his commanders took their position on Ambion Hill at Bosworth Field.The Duke of Northumberland and Lords Thomas and William Stanley, along with their troops, waited out the start of the battle while the rest of Richard's army engaged Henry's exiles and French mercenaries.  After Richard's commander, the Duke of Norfolk was killed, Richard tried to win the conflict by a surprise charge at Tudor, before the waiting armies of the Stanley and Northumberland chose sides.  Richard led his household men against Tudor.  Richard killed Tudor's standard bearer, William Brandon, and a giant of a man named Sir John Cheyney.  When Richard was only a few feet away from Tudor, Stanley's army moved, surrounding and killing Richard and the men of his Household. 
    As he swung his battle-axe, he was known to have shouted "Treason - Treason - Treason" as he was slain.   Northumberland and his army remained waiting on the sidelines and never engaged in battle to assist Richard.
    Richard was 32 years old when he was killed at the Battle of Bosworth.   His reign showed great promise.  He was the only king from the north, the last of the Plantagenet kings and the last king of England to die in battle. Polydore Vergil, Henry Tudor's official historian wrote "King Richard, alone, was killed fighting manfully in the thickest press of his enemies"
    Through betrayal, Henry Tudor became Henry VII.  Henry attempted to backdate his reign to the date before the battle in order to attaint for treason men who had fought for King Richard III. 
    John Spooner, rode into the city of York the day after the battle.  The Mayor and Alderman of York assembled in the council chamber and recorded "it was recorded by John Spooner that King Richard, late mercifully reigning upon us, was piteously slane and murdered to the grete heaviness of this citie". 
    Major Participants of First Battle of Bosworth
    22 August 1485
    House of York House of Lancaster/Tudor
    Richard III, King of England, killed in battle, later attainted by Henry VII as the Duke of Gloucester, in bill of attainder dated 21 August, 1485 Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, later Henry VII
    William Allington, killed in battle Adam ap Evan, rewarded after battle
    Sir Ralph Ashton of Ashton Under Lyne, did not suffer forfeiture under Henry VII Sir Thomas Arundel of Lanherne, Cornwall, knighted by Henry VII
    Sir John Audley of Markeaton, Derbyshire Richard Ashton
    Sir John Babington of Chilwell Richard Bagot of Blithfield, Staffordshire, killed in battle
    John Babington of Dethick, Derbyshire, killed in battle Sir William Berkeley* of Beverstone, Gloucestershire, knighted by Henry VII
    Sir Humphrey Beaufort of Barford St. John, Oxfordshire, killed in battle John Bicknell of South Perrott, Dorset
    Sir Willialm Berkeley of Uley, Gloucestershire Sir James Blount of Tutbury, Staffordshire, attainder under Richard III reversed
    William Berkeley, Earl of Nottingham, created a marquis by Henry VII Sir Thomas Bourchier* of Horsley, Surrey
    Sir Henry Bodrugan of Restronget, Cornwall, attainted Sir William Brandon* of Soham, Cambridgeshire, killed in battle
    Richard Boughton of Lawford, Warwickshire, killed in battle Sir Reginald Bray of Eaton Bray, Bedfordshire
    William Bracher, executed after the battle Alexander Bruce, created Valet of the Royal Chamber under Henry VII
    Sir Robert Brackenbury of Denton, Durham, killed in battle Arnold Butler of Dunraven, Glamorganshire
    William Brampton, attainted John Byron of Clayton, Lancashire, rewarded after battle
    Sir Thomas Broughton of Broughton in Furness, Lancashire, attainted* Sir Edmund Carew of Mohun’s Ottery, Devon
    Sir John Buck of Harthill, Yorkshire, executed William Case of South Petherton, Somerset
    William Catesby of Ashby St. Legers, Northamptonshire, executed after the battle Philibert de Chandee of Brittany, created Earl of Bath
    Sir Richard Charlton of Edmonton, Middlesex, killed in battle William Chetwynd of Ingestre, Shropshire
    William Clerk, attainted Sir John Cheyne of Falstone Cheney, Wiltshire, created Lord Cheyne after Bosworth*
    Sir Gervase Clifton of Clifton, Nottinghamshire Sir Richard Corbet of Moreton Corbet, Shropshire
    Sir Marmaduke Constable* of Somersby, Lincolnshire, pardoned Humphrey Cotes of Cotes, Staffordshire, killed in battle
    Sir John Conyers of Hornby, Yorkshire Sir Edward Courtnenay of Tiverton, Devon, created Earl of Devon by Henry VII
    Sir William Conyers, killed in battle Piers Courtenay, Bishop of Exeter
    Lord Thomas Dacre of Gilsland, Cumbria Matthew Cradock of Caerphilly, Glamorgan
    Walter Devereaux, Lord Ferrers of Chartley of Weobley, Herefordshire, killed in battle John Crokker, rewarded part of Clevedon, Somerset
    John Lord Dudley, created Sheriff of Sussex by Henry VII Sir Giles Daubeney of South Petherton, Somerset, became royal councillor under Henry VII
    Sir John Ferrers, killed in battle Sir Simon Digby of Coleshill, Warwickshire, rewarded after battle
    Thomas Fiennes, Lord Dacre, did not suffer forfeiture under Henry VII Hugh Eardswick
    Thomas Fitzalan, Lord Maltravers, pardoned Sir Richard Edgecombe of Cotehele, Cornwall, rewarded after battle
    Richard Lord Fitzhugh of Ravensworth, Yorkshire, created chief lieutenant of the North under Henry VII Sir John ap Ellis Eyton of Ruabon, Denbighshire
    Edward Franke Sir John Fortescue of Ponsbourne, Hertfordshire, attainder under Richard III reversed, knighted by Henry VII
    Sir William Gascoigne of Gawthorpe, Yorkshire Williamap Griffith ap Robin of cochwillan, Caernarvonshire
    William Gilpin of Kentmire, Westmoreland, killed in battle Sir Richard Guildford of Cranbrook, Kent, knighted by Henry VII
    Sir Thomas Gower of Sittenham, Durham, killed in battle Sir John Hallwell of Bigbury, Devon
    Edmund Grey, Earl of Kent of Ampthill, Bedfordshire Edmund Hampden of Hampden, Buckinghamshire
    Lord Henry Grey of Codnor, Derbyshire Sir Robert Harcourt of Stanton Harcourt, Oxfordshire, rewarded after battle
    Sir John Grey John Hardwick of Lindley, Leicestershire
    Ralph Lord Greystoke of Greystoke, Cumbria*, did not suffer forfeiture under Henry VII Reginald Hassall
    Sir Ralph Harbottle of Beamish, Durham Thomas Havard of Caerleon, Monmouthshire
    Sir James Harrington of Brearley, Yorkshire, attainted* Sir Walter Herbert of Raglan, Monmouthshire, knighted
    Sir Robert Harrington of Badsworth, Yorkshire Philip ap Howel, given pension by Henry VII
    Richard Hastings, Lord Welles Richard ap Howel of Mostyn, Flintshire
    John Howard, Duke of Norfolk* of Stoke by Nayland, Suffolk, killed in battle Sir Walter Hungerford* of Heytesbury, Wiltshire, knighted, attainder under Richard III reversed
    Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey of Ashwellthorp, Norfolk, imprisoned* Thomas Iden of Stoke, Kent
    Walter Hopton, attainted Sir Roger Kynaston of Hordley, Shropshire
    Sir John Huddleston, attainted Sir Nicholas Latimer of Buckland in Duntish, Dorset
    John Joyce of Windsor, Berkshire, killed in battle Thomas Leighton of Stretton en le Dale, Shropshire
    John Kendal, killed in battle Sir Piers Legh of Lymm, Cheshire
    Thomas Kendall of Smisby, Derbyshire, killed in battle Morris Lloyd of Wydegada, Llanstephen, Carmarthenshire, rewarded after battle
    George Lord Lumley of Lumley, Durham Thomas Lovell of Barton Bendish, Norfolk
    Thomas Lord Lumley, pardoned John ap Meredith of Clenenney, Caernarvonshire
    Christopher Mallory of Studley, Yorkshire Sir Thomas Milbourn of Salisbury, Wiltshire
    Sir Robert Manners of Etal, Northumberland Sir John Morgan, rewarded after battle
    Sir Thomas Markenfield of Markenfield, Yorkshire, created Sheriff of Yorkshire under Henry VII* Sir John Mordaunt of Turvey, Bedforshire
    Sir Thomas Maulever of Allerton Mauleverer, Yorkshire, fought for Yorkists at Battle of Stoke (1487) John Mortimer of Kyre Magna, Worcestershire
    Sir John Melton of Ashton by Sheffield, Yorkshire Edmund Mountfort of Coleshill, Warwickshire
    Thomas Metcalfe, attainted David Myddleton of Denbigh, Denbighshire
    Sir John Middleton of Belsay, Northumberland John Mynde
    Sir Robert Middleton of Dalton, Westmoreland, attainted Richard Nanfan of Threthwell, Cornwall
    Sir Thomas Montgomery of Faulkborn, Essex, did not suffer forfeiture under Henry VII William Norris, rewarded after battle
    Sir Christopher Moresby* of Windermere, Westmoreland, created Sheriff of Cumberland under Henry VII Sir David Owen of Cowdray, Sussex, knighted by Henry VII
    Robert Mortimer of Thorpe le Soken, Essex, killed in battle Sir James Parker, awarded part of Clevedon, Somerset
    William Musgrave of Penrith, Cumbria Sir Thomas Perrott of Haroldston, Pembrokeshire
    Sir John Neville* of Liversedge, Yorkshire Sir Hugh Pershall of Knightley, Staffordshire, rewarded after battle
    Ralph Neville, Earl of Westmorland, pardoned David Phillip of Thornhaugh, Northampshire
    Owen Lord Ogle of Ogle, Northumberland Philip ap Rhys
    Sir William Parker of London Ralph Ponthieu
    Sir John Paston Sir Edward Poynings* of Southwark, Surrey, knighted by Henry VII
    Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland*, of Alnwick, Northumberland, imprisoned, then released Robert Poyntz of Irton Acton, Glocestershire, appointed Sheriff of Southampton under Henry VII
    Sir Robert Percy* of Scotton, Yorkshire, killed in battle Rhys Fawr ap Maredudd of Voelas, Denbighshire
    Sir Henry Pierpont of Holme Pierrepoint, Nottinghamshire Richard ap Howell
    Sir Thomas Pilkington* of Pilkington, Lancashire, attainted Sir John Risley of Laenham, Suffolk, attainder under Richard III reversed
    Sir Robert Plumpton of Plumpton, Yorkshire Rydderch ap Rhys of Cilbronnau, Cardiganshire
    John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, of Wingfield, Suffolk Sir Brian Sandford ofThorpe Salvin, Yorkshire
    Thomas Poulter of Downe,Kent, attainted Sir John Savage* of Clifton, Cheshire, knighted, granted lands from attainted Yorkists
    Sir John Pudsey of Arnford, Yorkshire Sir Charles Somerset of Chepstow, Monmouthshire
    Sir Richard Ratcliffe of Derwentwater, Cumbria*, killed in battle George Stanley, Lord Strange, pardoned, became royal councilor under Henry VII
    Andrew Ratt, attainted Sir Humphrey Stanley, awarded part of Clevedon, Somerset
    John Ratte Thomas Lord Stanley of Lathom Lancashire, created Earl of Derby after battle
    Richard Revel of Ogston, Derbyshire, attainted Sir William Stanley* of Holt Denbighshire, created Chamberlain of Henry VII’s household
    Sir Robert Ryther of Ryther, Yorkshire Bernard Stuart, 3rd Siegneur of Aubigny of Aubigny, France, returned to France
    Geoffrey St. Germain of Broughton, Northamptonshire, attainted Sir Gilbert Talbot of Slottesden, Shropshire, knighted, granted lands from attainted Yorkists
    John Sacherverel of Morley, Derbyshire, killed in battle John ap Thomas of Aber Marlais, Carmarthenshire
    Juan de Salazar Rhys ap Thomas of Newton Carmathenshire, awarded Crown lordship of Brecknock and Chamberlain of Carmarthen and Cardigan
    William Sapcote of Thornhaugh, Northamptonshire, attainted Sir Roger Tocotes, created Sheriff of Wiltshire under Henry VII
    Sir Martin del See, Barmston, Yorkshire Sir John Treffry of Fowey, Cornwall
    John Lord Scrope of Castle Bolton, Yorkshire, fought for Yorkists at Battle of Stoke (1487) Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, created Duke of Bedford*
    Thomas Lord Scrope of Masham, Yorkshire Sir Richard Tunstall, rewarded after battle
    William Staffertone of Windsor, Berkshire John Turberville of West Knighton, Dorset
    Sir Humphrey Stafford of Grafton, Worcestershire, attainted Sir William Tyler of Snarestone, Leicestershire
    Thomas Stafford of Grafton, Worcestershire, attainted Sir Christopher of Urswick of London
    Sir Brian Stapleton of Carleton, Yorkshire Roland de Veleville, became member of Henry VII’s household
    Sir Thomas Strickland of Sizergh, Westmoreland John de Vere, Earl of Oxford of Hedingham, Essex, created hereditary Great Chamberlain of England*
    Gilbert Swinborne of Nattertone, Northumberland, killed in battle Henry de Vere of Great Addington, Northamptonshire
    George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, pardoned John Waller the Younger, awarded part of Clevedon, Somerset
    Sir Richard Tempest of Bracewell, Yorkshire John Lord Welles of Maxey, Northamptonshire, awarded property in East Deeping, Lincolnshire
    Sir Percival Thirlwall of Thirlwall, Northumberland, killed in battle John Williams of Burghfield, Berkshire
    Sir Robert Ughtered of Kexby, Yorkshire William Willoughby of Broke, Wiltshire
    Henry Vernon Sir Robert Willoughby of Beer Ferrers, Devon, granted Receivership of the Duchy of Cornwall and appointed Steward of all mines in Devonshire and Cornwall
    Roger Wake, of Blisworth, Northamptonshire, attainted Sir John Wogan of Wiston, Pembrokeshire
    John Walsh, attainted Sir Edward Woodville, rewarded after battle
    Sir Christopher Warde of Givendale, Yorkshire  
    Richard Watkins, attainted  
    Richard Williams, attainted  
    Thomas Windsor of Stanwell, Middlesex  
    John Lord Zouche of Harringworth, Northampshire, imprisoned, attainted, then pardoned*  
    Name Town/City County Date of Birth Died Yorkist Lancastrian
    Adam Ap Evan           X
    Alington, William Horseheath Cambridgeshire   1485+ X  
    Arundel, Thomas Lanherne Cornwall       X
    Ashton, Ralph Ashton Under Lyne Lancashire   4/28/1507    
    Ashton, Richard            
    Aske, John Aughton Yorkshire     X  
    Audley, John Markeaton Derbyshire        
    Babington, John Dethick Derbyshire   1485+   X
    Babthorpe, Ralph Babthorpe Yorkshire     X  
    Bagot, Richard Blithfield Staffordshire       X
    Beaufort, Humphrey Barford St. John Oxfordshire        
    Berkeley, William (earl) Uley Worcestershire     X  
    Berkeley, William (sir) Beverstone Gloucestershire   1485   X
    Bernard Stuart            
    Bernard, John Islesham Cambridgeshire   1485+ X  
    Bicknell, John South Perrot Dorset       X
    Bigod, Ralph Settington Yorkshire   1515 X  
    Blount, James Tutbury Staffordshire       X
    Bodrugan, Henry Restronget Cornwall     X  
    Boughton, Richard Lawford Warwickshire     X  
    Bourchier, Thomas Horsley Surrey       X
    Bracher, William and son            
    Bracher, William and son            
    Brackenbury, Robert Denton Durham   1485+ X  
    Brampton, William Burford       X  
    Brandon, William Sohan Cambridgeshire   1485+   X
    Bray, Reginald Eaton Bray Bedfordshire   1500   X
    Brook, John Holditch Staffordshire        
    Broughton, Thomas Broughton-in-Furness Cumbria     X  
    Bruce, Alexander           X
    Buck, John Harthill Yorkshire   1485+ X  
    Bulmer, William Wilton Yorkshire     X  
    Butler, Arnold Dunraven Glamorganshire       X
    Byron, John Colwick Nottinghamshire       X
    Byron, John Clayton Lancashire       X
    Calthorp, William North Creake Norfolk   1494 X  
    Carew, Edmund Mohuns Ottery Devon       X
    Case, William South Petherton Sussex        
    Catesby, William Ashby St. Ledgers Northamptonshire   1485 X  
    Chandee, Philibert            
    Charlton, Richard Edmonton Middlesex   1485+ X  
    Cheney, John Cheney Wiltshire   1499   X
    Chetwynd, William Ingestre Shropshire       X
    Clement, William   Carmarthenshire       X
    Clerk, William         X  
    Clifton, Gervase Clifton Nottinghamshire   1491 X  
    Constable, John Halsham Yorkshire     X  
    Constable, Marmaduke Everingham Yorkshire   1518 X  
    Conyers, John Hornby Yorkshire   1490 X  
    Conyers, Richard South Cowton Yorkshire   1503    
    Conyers, Robert Wynyard Durham     X  
      1485+ X  
    Corbet, Richard Moreton Corbet Shropshire 1448 1492   X
    Cotes, Humphrey Cotes Staffordshire       X
    Courtenay, Edward Boconnoc Cornwall   1509   X
    Courtenay, Philip Molland Botreaux Devon   1489 X  
    Courtenay, Piers           X
    Courtenay, William       X
    de Cotton, Roger Cotton Gloucestershire     X  
    de la Mare, Thomas Aldermaston Berkshire       X
    de la Pole, John Wingfield Suffolk   1487 X  
    de la see, Martin Barmston Yorkshire   1494 X  
    de la Zouche, John Ashby-la-Zouche Northamptonshire   1526 X  
    de Say, William Hoddesdon Hertfordshire     X  
    de Veleville, Roland           X
    de Vere, Henry Great Addington Northamptonshire       X
    de Vere, John Hedingham Essex 1442 1512   X
    Devereux, Walter  1432 1485+ X  
    Digbie, Everard Digbie Rutland       X
    Digby, John Eye-Kettleby Devon       X
    Digby, Simon Coleshill Warwickshire   1519   X
    Digby, Thomas Oulney Buckinghamshire       X
    Dudley, John   Sussex        
    Eardswick, Hugh            
    Edgecombe, Richard Mount Edgecombe Devon       X
    Eure, William Eure Yorkshire     X  
    Everingham, John Birkin Yorkshire   1502 X  
    Fawr ap Maredudd, Rhys            
    Ferrers, Henry Hambleton Rutland   1500 X  
    Ferrers, John   1485+ X  
    Gray, Edward Cockfield Buckinghamshire       X
    Grey, Edmund Ampthill Bedfordshire        
    Grey, Henry Codnor Derbyshire   1496 X  
    Grey, John         X  
    Greystoke, Herbert Greystoke Cumberland     X  
    Greystoke, Ralph Greystoke Cumberland   1487 X  
    Griffith ap William Cochwillan Caernarvonshire       X
    Griffith, ap William            
    Guildford, John Rovenden Kent   1493   X
    Guildford, Richard Halden Kent       X
    Haliwell, John Bigbury Devon       X
    Hampden, Edmund Hampden Buckinghamshire       X
    Harbottle, Ralph Beamish Durham     X  
    Harcourt, Richard            
    Harcourt, Robert Stanton Harcourt Oxfordshire       X
    Hardwick, John Lindley Leicestershire     X  
    Harrington, James Brierly Yorkshire   1497 X  
    Harrington, Robert Badsworth Lancashire   1487 X  
    Hassell, Reginald            
    Hastings, Richard            
    Havard, Thomas Caerleon Monmouthshire       X
    Herbert, Walter Raglan Monmouthshire       X
    Heron, Roger            
    Hilton, William
    Holford, George Holford Cheshire       X
    Hopton, Walter            
    Horsey, Henry         X  
    Howard, John Wiggenhall Norfolk   1485+ X  
    Howard, Thomas Ashwellthorpe Norfolk   1524 X  
    Huddleston, John Millum Cumberland   1493 X  
    Hungerford, Walter Heytesbury Wiltshire       X
    Iden, Thomas Stoke Kent       X
    John ap Ellis Eyton Raubon Denbighshire       X
    John ap Meredith Clenenney Carnarvon       X
    John ap Thomas Aber Maelais  Carmarthenshire       X
    Joyce, John   1485+ X  
    Kendall, Thomas     X  
    Lovell, Thomas Barton Bendish Norfolk       X
    Lumley, George Lumley Durham     X  
    Lumley, Thomas            
    Mallory, Christopher Studley Yorkshire     X  
    Manners, Robert Etal Northumberland     X  
    Markenfield, Thomas Markenfield Yorkshire   1497 X  
    Mathew, William Radyr Glamorgan       X
    Mauleverer, Halnath Allerton Mauleverer Yorkshire   1502 X  
    Mauleverer,Thomas Allerton Mauleverer Yorkshire   1494 X  
    Melton, John Fenton Yorkshire   1510 X  
    Metcalfe, Thomas         X  
    Middleton, John Belsay Northumberland     X  
    Middleton, Ralph         X  
    Middleton, Robert Dalton Westmoreland     X  
    Milbourn, Thomas Salisbury Wiltshire       X
    Montgomery, Thomas Faulkborn Essex 1433 1495 X  
    Mordaunt, John Turvey Bedfordshire       X
    Moresby, Christopher Moresby Cumberland   1495 X  
    Morgan, John            
    Mortimer, John Kyre Magna Worcestershire       X
    Mortimer, Robert   1502 X  
    Neville, Ralph Raby Durham   1497 X  
    Norbury, John Stoke d'Abernon Surrey   1504 X  
    Norreys, William Yattenden Berkshire       X
    Norton, John Norton Conyers Yorkshire   1489 X  
    Ogle, Owen Ogle Northumberland        
    Paston, John            
    Paulet, Amyas Heaton St. George Somerset   1537   X
    Percy, Henry Alnwick Northumberland   1489 X  
    Percy, Henry Leconfield Yorkshire     X  
      1485+ X  
    Perrot, Owen Ystington Pembrokeshire       X
    Perrot, Thomas Haroldston Pembrokeshire       X
    Peshall, Hugh Knightley Staffordshire       X
    Philip ap Howel Mostyn Flintshire       X
    Philip ap Rhys           X
    Phillip, David Thornhough Northamptonshire       X
    Pierrepoint, Henry Holme Pierrepoint Nottinghamshire        
    Pigot, Ranulph Clotherholm Yorkshire     X  
    Pikington, Charles Stanley Huntingdon   1487 X  
    Pikington, Thomas Stanley Huntingdon     X  
    Pilkington, John     X  
    Plumpton, Robert Plumpton Yorkshire     X  
    Ponthieu, Ralph           X
    Poulter, Thomas Downe Kent     X  
    Poynings, Edward Southwark Surrey       X
    Poyntz, Robert Iron Acton Gloucestershire   1520   X
    Pudsey, John Barford  Yorkshire     X  
    Radcliffe, John Derwentwater Cumberland       X
    Radcliffe, Robert Hunstanton Norfolk   1496 X  
      1485+ X  
    Ratt, Andrew            
    Ratte, John            
    Revel, Richard Ogston Derbyshire     X  
    Rhys ap Fawr Maredudd Voelas Denbighshire       X
    Rhys ap Rydderch Cilbronnau Cardiganshire       X
    Rhys ap Thomas Dinefawr Carmarthenshire       X
    Richard ap Howel Mostyn Flintshire       X
    Richard III         X  
    Risley, John Lavenham Suffolk       X
    Ryther, Richard         X  
    Ryther, Robert Ryther Yorkshire     X  
    Sacherverel, John   1495   X
    Scrope, John Bolton Yorkshire   1498 X  
    Scrope, Thomas Masham Yorkshire     X  
    Somerset, Charles Chepstow Monmouthshire   1526   X
    St. Germain, Gregory Broughton  Cumbria     X  
    Staffertone, William Windsor Berkshire     X  
    Stafford, Humphrey Grafton Worcestershire   1486 X  
    Stafford, Thomas Grafton Worcestershire     X  
    Stanley, George Hooton Lancashire       X
    Stanley, Humphrey Pipe Staffordshire   1505   X
    Stanley, Thomas Lathom Lancashire   1504   X
    Stanley, William Holt Cheshire   1495   X
    Stapleton, Brian Carleton Yorkshire     X  
    Stapleton, William Wighill Yorkshire   1503 X  
    Strangeways, James Whorlton Yorkshire     X  
    Strickland, Thomas Sizergh Westmoreland   1494 X  
    Stuart, Bernard Aubigny France       X
    Swinborne, Gilbert Nattertone Northumberland     X  
    Talbot, George Furnival Herefordshire   1538 X  
    Talbot, Gilbert Slottesden Shropshire       X
    Tempest, Sir Richard Bracewell Yorkshire   1488   X
    Tempest, Thomas Bracewell Yorkshire   1507 X  
      1485+ X  
    Tocotes, Roger            
    Treffry, John Teffrey Cornwall       X
    Trevanion, Hugh Trelugan Cornwall       X
    Tudor, Henry   Middlesex 1457     X
    Tudor, Jasper Hatfield Anglesey   1495   X
    Tunstall, Richard           X
    Turberville, John West Knighton Dorset       X
    Tyler, William Snarestone Leicestershire       X
    Ughtred, Robert Coxwold Yorkshire     X  
    Urswick, Christopher Dagenham Essex       X
      1485+ X  
    Vernon, Henry         X  
    Wake, Roger Blisworth Northamptonshire     X  
    Waller, John (the younger)           X
    Walsh, John            
    Walter, John            
    Ward, Christopher Givendale Yorkshire     X  
    Watkins, Richard            
    Welles, John Welles Lincolnshire       X
    Welles, John Maxey Northamptonshire       X
    Widdrington, John Widdrington Northumberland     X  
    Williams, John Burghfield Berkshire       X
    Williams, Richard         X  
    Willoughby, John         X  
    Willoughby, Robert Beer Ferrers Devon       X
    Willoughby, Robert Broke Wiltshire   1501   X
    Willoughby, William Broke Wiltshire       X
    Windsor, Thomas Stanwell Middlesex        
    Wogan, John Wiston Pembrokeshire       X
    Woodville, Edward Mote Kent     1488 X
    Zouche, John Harringworth Northamptonshire        
              Updated: March 11, 2010
    Battle of Stoke

    June 16, 1487

    In May 1487, the 10-year-old Lambert Simnel, an impostor posing as Edward Earl of Warwick, was crowned Edward VI in Dublin by a group of disaffected Yorkists led by the Earl of Lincoln, Viscount Lovell and Gerald Fitzgerald, Earl of Kildare. 

    An invasion of England was planned. Margaret Duchess of Burgundy, Edward IV's sister, had supplied money and some 2,000 German mercenaries under the command of Martin Swartz. The rest of the army consisted of about 4,000 Irish under Sir Thomas Fitzgerald and perhaps 2,000 English retainers. 

    They sailed to England and landed near Barrow-in-Furness and moved to Masham in Yorkshire. From there they marched south probably via Rotherham, Mansfield and Southwell and crossed the River Trent close to East Stoke. Meanwhile, Henry VII had gathered his army at Leicester and marched via Loughborough to Nottingham where he met George Stanley, Lord Strange with an estimated 6,000 men. From there he marched up the Trent towards Newark.

    The Earl of Oxford led the vanguard of about 6,000 men. Henry and Jasper Tudor, Duke of Bedford marched with the main battle of about 4,000 ahead of Lord Strange's contingent. On the morning of 16th June 1487, Oxford's vanguard came upon the rebel army and attacked without waiting for the rest of the Royal army. The Earl of Lincoln had probably deployed his army with his English troops on the right, the mercenaries under Swartz in the centre, and the Irish under Fitzgerald on the left. 

    At first the rebel army did well, but after 3 hours of fighting and with more of Henry's troops arriving on the battlefield, the rebels were gradually pushed back towards the Trent. Then the Irish routed and Lincoln and Swartz were surrounded and massacred. In all 4,000 rebels were killed. The ferocity of the fighting is underlined by the fact that at least half of Oxfords 6,000 van was either killed or wounded.

    Major Participants of First Battle of Stoke
    16 June 1487
    House of York House of Lancaster
    Alexander Appleby, attainted November 1487 Sir John Arundel, knighted after battle
    George Ascough Sir John Babington, knighted after battle
    Sir Ralph Ashton William Bedyll
    John Avintry, attainted November 1487 Edward Belknap
    Richard Bank, attainted November 1487 Sir Roger Bellingham, knighted after battle
    Thomas Batell, attainted November 1487 Sir Edmund Beningfield, create knight banneret after battle
    John Beaumont, attainted November 1487 Sir Maurice Berkeley, knighted after battle
    Thomas Blandrehasset, attainted November 1487 Sir James Blount, created knight banneret after battle
    Sir Henry Bodrugan, attainted November 1487 Sir Thomas Blount, knighted after battle
    John Broughton, attainted November 1487 Sir Henry Bold, knighted after battle
    Sir Thomas Broughton, killed in battle, attainted November 1487 Sir Robert Brandon, knighted after battle
    Wiliiam Claxton, fined Sir Thomas Brandon
    Philip Constable of Flamborough, fined Sir Robert Broughton, knighted after battle
    Thomas David Sir Anthony Brown, knighted after battle
    Thomas Fitzgerald, killed in battle Robert Brudenell
    Edward Frank, imprisoned and fined, attainted November 1487 William Bulmer
    Thomas Geraldine, killed in battle Sir Edward Burgh, knighted after battle
    William Hammond Sir Maurice Burgh, knighted after battle
    Roger Harlington Sir William Carew, knighted after battle
    James Harrington, attainted November 1487 Sir John Cheney, created knight banneret after battle
    Thomas Harrington, attainted November 1487 Sir Robert Cheney, knighted after battle
    Richard Harleston, escaped to Burgundy, attainted November 1487 Henry Lord Clifford
    Sir Edmund Hastings, pardoned Sir Robert Clifford, knighted after battle
    Robert Hilton, attainted November 1487 Sir Gervase Clifton
    Richard Hodgeson, attainted November 1487 Sir Thomas Cokesey, knighted after battle
    Edmund Juse, attainted November 1487 Robert Cotton
    William Kay, attainted November 1487 Edward Courtnay, Earl of Devon
    Francis Viscount Lovel, fate unknown Sir Richard Croft, created knight banneret after battle
    Giles Mallary of Grevysnorton, attainted November 1487 Robert Daniel
    John Mallary of Lichborough, attainted November 1487 Sir Edward Darell, knighted after battle
    Robert Mallary of Fallesley, attainted November 1487 Sir Richard Delebare, knighted after battle
    William Mallary, attainted November 1487 Sir John Devenish, knighted after battle
    Robert Manning, attainted November 1487 Sir John Digby, knighted after battle
    Thomas Metcalfe, fined Sir Simon Digby
    Richard Middleton, attainted November 1487 Edward Fielding
    Nicholas Musgrave of Brackenthwaite Thomas Findern
    Robert Percy of Knaresborough, attainted November 1487 Sir Richard Fitzlewis, knighted after battle
    Sir Robert Percy of Scotton Godfrey Foljambe
    Sir Thomas Pilkington Sir John Fortesque, knighted after battle
    John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, killed in battle, attainted November 1487 Thomas Green
    John Pullen, pardoned Thomas Gresley
    Rowland Robinson, imprisoned and fined, attainted November 1487 Edward Grey, Viscount Lisle
    John Lord Scrope of Bolton George Grey of Ruthin
    Sir Thomas Scrope of Masham, imprisoned and fined John Lord Grey of Powys
    Clement Skelton, attainted November 1487 Sir Thomas Grey, knighted after battle
    Lambert Simnel, crowned Edward VI, made part of Henry VII’s household Nicholas Griffin
      Sir Thomas Hansard, knighted after battle
      Sir James Harrington, knighted after battle
      Edward Lord Hastings
      Sir George Hopton, knighted after battle
      William Hugton
      John Hussey
      William Knyvet
      John Langford
      Richard Latimer
      Sir William Littleton, knighted after battle
      Sir John Longville, knighted after battle
      Sir Ralph Longford, knighted after battle
      Sir George Lovel, knighted after battle
      Sir Thomas Lovel, knighted after battle
      Edmund Lucy
      Sir Thomas Lynde, knighted after battle
      John Markham
      Henry Marney
      William Merbury
      William Mering
      Thomas Monington
      John Montgomery
      John Mordaunt
      Sir John Mortimer, knighted after battle
      Sir John Musgrave, knighted after battle
      Sir George Neville, knighted after battle
      John Neville of Thornbridge
      Ralph Neville
      William Newport
      Sir Edward Norris, knighted after battle
      Sir William Norris, knighted after battle
      George Ogle
      Roger Ormston
      Sir James Parker, knighted after battle
      Sir John Paston, knighted after battle
      Sir Amyas Paulet, knighted after battle
      Robert Paynton
      Sir Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland
      David Philip
      Sir Edward Pickering, knighted after battle
      William Pierpont
      Sir Richard Pole, knighted after battle
      Sir Thomas Poole, knighted after battle
      Thomas Pulteney
      Sir Robert Radclyff, knighted after battle
      Sir William Radmill, knighted after battle
      John Rainsford
      John St. John
      Richard Sacheverell
      Sir William Sandes, knighted after battle
      Sir John Sapcote, knighted after battle
      Sir Humphrey Savage, knighted after battle
      Sir John Savage
      Robert Sheffield
      Sir Ralph Shirley, knighted after battle
      Charles Somerset
      Edward Stafford, Earl of Wiltshire
      Edward Stanhope
      George Stanley, Lord Strange
      Humphrey Stanley
      Sir Humphrey Stanley, created knight banneret after battle
      Thomas Stanley, Earl of Derby
      Sir Brian Stapleton
      Sir William Stonor, created knight banneret after battle
      Edward Sutton
      George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury
      Sir Gilbert Talbot, created knight banneret after battle
      Thomas Tempest
      Rhys ap Thomas
      Robert Throckmorton
      Sir William Tirwhit, knighted after battle
      Sir William Troutbeck, knighted after battle
      Henry Tudor, King of England
      Jasper Tudor, Duke of Bedford
      Sir Thomas Tyrell, knighted after battle
      Sir William Vampage, knighted after battle
      Sir Nicholas Vaux, knighted after battle
      Henry Vernon
      John Villiers
      Thomas Walton
      John William
      Sir Henry Willoughby, knighted after battle
      Sir John Windham, knighted after battle
      Guy Wolston
      Sir Thomas Wolton, knighted after battle
      Sir Edward Woodville, Lord Scales
      Sir Christopher Wroughton, knighted after battle