William Neville, 1st Earl of Kent
William Neville, 1st Earl of Kent KG and jure uxoris 6th Baron Fauconberg, was an English nobleman and soldier. He fought during the latter part of the Hundred Years War, during the English dynastic Wars of the Roses. Born circa 1405, he was the third son of Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland, his second wife, Joan Beaufort, his mother was the legitimised daughter of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster and Katherine Swynford. John of Gaunt was the third surviving son of King Edward III of Philippa of Hainault. William was therefore a great-grandson of Edward III. However, the terms of the legitimisation of the Beaufort family excluded them and their descendants from succession to the throne. William was one of a number of the Neville sons to make a good match, marrying the Fauconberg heiress, Joan de Fauconberg, 6th Baroness Fauconberg suo jure, daughter of Thomas de Fauconberg, 5th Baron Fauconberg by his second wife, Joan Brounflete, taking the title Lord Fauconberg. William's marriage took place at some point before 1422.
His wife was four years older than he was described as an idiot from birth. The Fauconberg estates were in North Yorkshire, a centre of power for other members of the Neville family, he had a conventional military career during the earlier part of Henry VI's reign. Knighted in May 1426, he was serving on the Scottish Borders in 1435. In 1436, he was serving with Richard, Duke of York, in France — his first contact with a man, to receive his allegiance. By 1439, he was a field commander in France, with Lords Scales. At the siege of Harfleur in 1440, he was made a Knight of the Garter for his part in the campaigns of 1438-39, in particular the capture and garrisoning of Meaux; the town where Henry V had died was a crucial marches town for English Normandy. They had re-supplied the town retaking Montargis and Gerberoy. Fauconberg fought with the relief at Meaux when Richemont seized the stronghold by storm on 12 August 1439; the English lords forced a confrontation, but the French fled, leaving twenty barges laden with supplies.
As one of the three field commanders, Neville had been put on the royal council since 30 April, on Warwick's death, before a new regent could emerge. In October, Fauconberg helped recapture Harfleur; the field commander's pre-eminence was supplanted in March 1442 by the appointment of William, Lord Bourgchier, as governor-general of Normandy. On 7 March 1443, while back in England, he took custody of Roxburgh Castle, he was granted £1,000 per annum during peacetime, twice this if at war with Scotland, until 1448, satisfactory payment was made. However, in 1449, he returned to France as part of a diplomatic mission, in May 1449 he spent the night that the French chose to capture Pont de l'Arche in Normandy. One hundred and twenty men were taken in all. Neville was reluctant to surrender to a lowly archer, who killed him. While in captivity in France, he spent two years of his own income supporting the upkeep of the castle. In spite of a grant from Parliament in 1449, by 1451 he was owed £4,109, he was forced to settle for less.
The loss of such an experienced captain was a blow to English administration. The English had lost the Bretons for taking their salt fleet, in July 1449, Somerset refused Fauconberg's return in a deal for Fougeres. In 1453, he was freed from captivity, he still had the custody of Roxburgh Castle, but was impoverished by maintaining this and by his captivity in France. By now, he was owed £1,000 by the government, he settled this by accepting a grant of 1,000 marks from the customs at Newcastle. Not only was this only worth about two-thirds of the original amount, there was no guarantee that he would get the money; as Griffths says, "What is so remarkable about his tale is that the Lancastrian crown could command loyalty". Until this point, he can be seen as a loyal supporter of the House of Lancaster. However, at some time during the next two years, his allegiance began to shift, he was a member of the council of Duke of York, during Henry VI's second period of madness. Although he was with the Lancastrian nobility at the First Battle of St Albans, he was appointed by York to be joint Constable of Windsor Castle after the battle.
His alignment with York, his brother-in-law, was natural, as his brother, the Earl of Salisbury and his nephew the Earl of Warwick were Richard's principal allies. In 1457, he joined Warwick as his deputy. Warwick used Calais as a base for what was piracy, Fauconberg seems to have been happy to assist, he was in England in 1458, in May he was imprisoned in London — but he was bailed by Warwick and returned to Calais. The rewards of victory followed, he was appointed Lieutenant of the North. On 1 November, he was appointed Steward of the Royal Household. In July 1462, he was appointed Lord Admiral, in August that year he was granted 46 manors in the West Country. Edward IV relied on him for naval warfare. Following the victory at Towton, he took part in the gradual establishment of royal control in Northumberland, heading a garrison of 120 men at Newcastle in the summer of 1461, taking part in the siege of Alnwick in November 1462. Between these dates, he was back in Calais, raiding the Breton coast in August 1462 burning Le Conquet near Brest, raiding the Ile de Re.
He died on 9 January 1463, was buri
House of Lancaster
The House of Lancaster was the name of two cadet branches of the royal House of Plantagenet. The first house was created when Henry III of England created the Earldom of Lancaster—from which the house was named—for his second son Edmund Crouchback in 1267. Edmund had been created Earl of Leicester in 1265 and was granted the lands and privileges of Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, after de Montfort's death and attainder at the end of the Second Barons' War; when Edmund's son Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lancaster, inherited his father-in-law's estates and title of Earl of Lincoln he became at a stroke the most powerful nobleman in England, with lands throughout the kingdom and the ability to raise vast private armies to wield power at national and local levels. This brought him—and Henry, his younger brother—into conflict with their cousin Edward II of England, leading to Thomas's execution. Henry inherited Thomas's titles and he and his son, called Henry, gave loyal service to Edward's son—Edward III of England.
The second house of Lancaster was descended from John of Gaunt, who married the heiress of the first house. Edward III married all his sons to wealthy English heiresses rather than following his predecessors' practice of finding continental political marriages for royal princes. Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster, had no male heir so Edward married his son John to Henry's heiress daughter and John's third cousin Blanche of Lancaster; this gave John the vast wealth of the House of Lancaster. Their son Henry usurped the throne in 1399. There was an intermittent dynastic struggle between the descendants of Edward III. In these wars, the term Lancastrian became a reference to members of the family and their supporters; the family provided England with three kings: Henry IV, who ruled from 1399 to 1413, Henry V, Henry VI. The House became extinct in the male line upon the murder in the Tower of London of Henry VI, following the battlefield execution of his son Edward of Westminster, Prince of Wales, by supporters of the House of York in 1471.
Lancastrian cognatic descent—from John of Gaunt and Blanche of Lancaster's daughter Phillipa—continued in the royal houses of Spain and Portugal while the Lancastrian political cause was maintained by Henry Tudor—a unknown scion of the Beauforts—eventually leading to the establishment of the House of Tudor. The Lancastrians left a legacy through the patronage of the arts—most notably in founding Eton College and King's College, Cambridge—but to historians' chagrin their propaganda, that of their Tudor successors, means that it is Shakespeare's fictionalized history plays rather than medievalist scholarly research that has the greater influence on modern perceptions of the dynasty. After the supporters of Henry III of England suppressed opposition from the English nobility in the Second Barons' War, Henry granted to his second son Edmund Crouchback the titles and possessions forfeited by attainder of the barons' leader, Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, including the Earldom of Leicester, on 26 October 1265.
Grants included the first Earldom of Lancaster on 30 June 1267 and that of Earl Ferrers in 1301. Edmund was Count of Champagne and Brie from 1276 by right of his wife. Henry IV of England would use his descent from Edmund to legitimise his claim to the throne making the spurious claim that Edmund was the elder son of Henry but had been passed over as king because of his deformity. Edmund's second marriage to Blanche of Artois, the widow of the King of Navarre, placed him at the centre of the European aristocracy. Blanche's daughter Joan I of Navarre was queen regnant of Navarre and through her marriage to Philip IV of France was queen consort of France. Edmund's son Thomas became the most powerful nobleman in England, gaining the Earldoms of Lincoln and Salisbury through marriage to the heiress of Henry de Lacy, 3rd Earl of Lincoln, his income was £11,000 per annum—double that of the next wealthiest earl. Thomas and his younger brother Henry served in the coronation of their cousin King Edward II of England on 25 February 1308.
After supporting Edward, Thomas became one of the Lords Ordainers, who demanded the banishment of Piers Gaveston and the governance of the realm by a baronial council. After Gaveston was captured, Thomas took the lead in his trial and execution at Warwick in 1312. Edward's authority was weakened by poor governance and defeat by the Scots at the Battle of Bannockburn; this allowed Thomas to restrain Edward's power by republishing the Ordinances of 1311. Following this achievement Thomas took little part in the governance of the realm and instead retreated to Pontefract Castle; this allowed Edward to regroup and re-arm, leading to a fragile peace in August 1318 with the Treaty of Leake. In 1321 Edward's rule again collapsed into civil war. Thomas raised a northern army but was defeated and captured at the Battle of Boroughbridge in March 1322, he was sentenced to be hanged and quartered but because he was Edward's cousin he was given a quicker death by beheading. Henry joined the revolt of Edward's wife Isabella of France and Mortimer in 1326, pursuing and capturing Edward at Neath in South Wales.
Following Edward's deposition at the Parliament of Kenilworth in 1326 and reputed murder at Berkeley Castle, Thomas's conviction was posthumously reversed and Henry regained possession of the Earldoms of Lancaster, Derby and Lincoln, forfeit for Thomas's treason. His restored prestige led to him knighting the young King Edward III of England before his coronation. Mortimer lost support over the Treaty of Edinburgh–Northampton that form
Battle of Tewkesbury
The Battle of Tewkesbury, which took place on 4 May 1471, was one of the decisive battles of the Wars of the Roses. The forces loyal to the House of Lancaster were defeated by those of the rival House of York under their monarch, King Edward IV; the Lancastrian heir to the throne, Prince of Wales, many prominent Lancastrian nobles were killed during the battle or were dragged from sanctuary two days and executed. The Lancastrian king, Henry VI, a prisoner in the Tower of London, died or was murdered shortly after the battle. Tewkesbury restored political stability to England until the death of Edward IV in 1483; the term Wars of the Roses refers to the informal heraldic badges of the two rival houses of Lancaster and York, contending for power—and for the throne—since the late 1450s. In 1461 the Yorkist claimant, Earl of March, was proclaimed King Edward IV and defeated the supporters of the weak, intermittently insane Lancastrian King Henry VI at the Battle of Towton. Lancastrian revolts in the far north of England were defeated in 1464, the fugitive King Henry was captured and imprisoned the next year.
His wife, Margaret of Anjou, their 13-year-old son Edward of Westminster were exiled and impoverished in France. Edward IV's hold on the throne appeared temporarily to be secure. Edward owed his victory in large measure to the support of his cousin, the powerful 16th Earl of Warwick, they became estranged when Edward spurned the French diplomatic marriage that Warwick was seeking for him and instead married Elizabeth Woodville, widow of an obscure Lancastrian gentleman, in secret in 1464. When the marriage became public knowledge, Edward placed many of his new queen's family in powerful positions that Warwick had hoped to control. Edward meanwhile reversed Warwick's policy of friendship with France by marrying his sister Margaret to Charles the Bold, the Duke of Burgundy; the embittered Warwick secured the support of Edward IV's brother George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence, for a coup in exchange for Warwick's promise to crown Clarence king. Although Edward was imprisoned Clarence was unacceptable as monarch to most of the country.
Edward was allowed to resume his rule, outwardly reconciled with Clarence. Within a year, though, he forced them to flee to France. With no hope of a reconciliation with King Edward, Warwick's best hope of regaining power in England lay in restoring Henry VI to the throne. Louis XI of France feared a hostile alliance of Burgundy under Charles the Bold and England under Edward, he was prepared to support Warwick with men and money, but to give legitimacy to any uprising by Warwick, the acquiescence of Margaret of Anjou was required. Warwick and Margaret were sworn enemies, but her attendants and Louis persuaded her to ally the House of Lancaster with Warwick. At Angers Warwick begged her pardon on his knees for all past wrongs done to her, was forgiven. Prince Edward was betrothed to Warwick's younger daughter Anne, they swore loyalty to Henry VI on a fragment of the True Cross in Angers Cathedral. However, Margaret declined to let Prince Edward land in England or to land there herself until Warwick had established a firm government and made the country safe for them.
Warwick landed in the West Country on 13 September 1470, accompanied by Clarence and some unswerving Lancastrian nobles, including the Earl of Oxford and Jasper Tudor, the Earl of Pembroke. As King Edward made his way south to face Warwick, he realised that Warwick's brother John, Marquess of Montagu, who had up until remained loyal to Edward, had defected at the head of a large army in the north of England. Edward fled to King's Lynn, where he took ship for Flanders, part of Burgundy, accompanied only by his youngest brother Richard of Gloucester and a few faithful adherents. In London Warwick released King Henry, led him in procession to Saint Paul's cathedral and installed him in Westminster palace. Warwick's position remained precarious, his alliance with Louis of France and his intention to declare war on Burgundy was contrary to the interests of the merchants, as it threatened English trade with Flanders and the Netherlands. Clarence had long been excluded from Warwick's calculations. In November 1470 Parliament declared that Prince Edward and his descendants were Henry's heirs to the throne.
Unknown to Warwick, Clarence secretly became reconciled with King Edward. With Warwick in power in England, it was Charles of Burgundy's turn to fear a hostile alliance of England and France; as an obvious counter to Warwick, he supplied King Edward with money and several hundred men. Edward set sail from Flushing on 11 March 1471 with 1200 men, he touched on the English coast at Cromer but found that the Duke of Norfolk, who might have supported him, was away from the area and that Warwick controlled that part of the country. Instead, his ships made for Ravenspurn, near the mouth of the River Humber, where Henry Bolingbroke had landed in 1399 on his way to reclaim the Duchy of Lancaster and depose Richard II. Edward's landing was inauspicious at first; the port of Kingston-upon-Hull refused to allow Edward to enter, so he made for York, claiming rather like Bolingbroke that h
Battle of Barnet
The Battle of Barnet was a decisive engagement in the Wars of the Roses, a dynastic conflict of 15th-century England. The military action, along with the subsequent Battle of Tewkesbury, secured the throne for Edward IV. On 14 April 1471 near Barnet a small Hertfordshire town north of London, Edward led the House of York in a fight against the House of Lancaster, which backed Henry VI for the throne. Leading the Lancastrian army was Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, who played a crucial role in the fate of each king. Historians regard the battle as one of the most important clashes in the Wars of the Roses, since it brought about a decisive turn in the fortunes of the two houses. Edward's victory was followed by 14 years of Yorkist rule over England. A key figure in the Yorkist cause, Warwick defected to the Lancastrians over disagreements about Edward's nepotism, secret marriage and foreign policy. Leading a Lancastrian army, the earl defeated his former allies, forcing Edward to flee to Burgundy in October 1470.
The Yorkist king persuaded his host, Charles the Bold, the Duke of Burgundy, to help him regain the English throne. Leading an army raised with Burgundian money, Edward launched his invasion of England, which culminated at the fields north of Barnet. Under cover of darkness, the Yorkists moved close to the Lancastrians and clashed in a thick fog at dawn; as both armies fought, the Earl of Oxford on the Lancastrian right routed the Yorkists opposite under Lord Hastings, chasing them back to Barnet. On their return to the battlefield, Oxford's men were erroneously shot at by the Lancastrian centre commanded by Lord Montagu; as cries of treason spread through their line, Lancastrian morale was disrupted and many abandoned the fight. While retreating, Warwick was killed by Yorkist soldiers. Warwick had been such an influential figure in 15th-century English politics that, on his death, no one matched him in terms of power and popularity. Deprived of Warwick's support, the Lancastrians suffered their final defeat at the Battle of Tewkesbury on 4 May, which marked the end of the reign of Henry VI and the readeption of the House of York.
Three centuries after the Battle of Barnet, a stone obelisk was raised on the spot where Warwick purportedly died. The Wars of the Roses were a series of conflicts between various English lords and nobles in support of two different royal families descended from Edward III. In 1461 the conflict reached a milestone when the House of York supplanted its rival, the House of Lancaster, as the ruling royal house in England. Edward IV, leader of the Yorkists, seized the throne from the Lancastrian king, Henry VI, captured in 1465 and imprisoned in the Tower of London; the Lancastrian queen, Margaret of Anjou, her son, Edward of Lancaster, fled to Scotland and organised resistance. Edward IV pressured the Scottish government to force Margaret out; as the Yorkists tightened their hold over England, Edward rewarded his supporters, including his chief adviser, Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, elevating them to higher titles and awarding them land confiscated from their defeated foes. The Earl grew to disapprove of the King's rule and their relationship became strained.
Warwick had planned for Edward to marry a French princess—Bona of Savoy, sister-in-law to Louis XI of France—to create an alliance between the two countries. The young king, favoured ties with Burgundy and, in 1464, further angered the Earl by secretly marrying Elizabeth Woodville. Edward bestowed gifts of land and titles on her relations and arranged their marriages to rich and powerful families. Eligible bachelors were paired with the Woodville females, narrowing the marriage prospects for Warwick's daughters. Furthermore, the Earl was offended by two; the first was the marriage of his aunt, Lady Katherine Neville, over 60 years old, to Elizabeth's 20-year-old brother, John Woodville, a pairing considered outside of normal wedlock by many people. The other was his nephew's fiancée, the daughter of Henry Holland, 3rd Duke of Exeter, taken as a bride by the Queen's son, Thomas Grey, with Edward's approval. Exasperated by these acts, Warwick decided, he felt marginalized: his influence over the young king was failing, he decided to take drastic action to force Edward's compliance.
Warwick's alternative plan was to replace the King with his fellow conspirator, the Duke of Clarence, Edward's younger brother. Instigating several rebellions in the north, Warwick lured the King away from his main bastion of support in the south. Edward found. After winning the Battle of Edgecote Moor on 26 July 1469, the Earl found the Yorkist king deserted by his followers, brought him to Warwick Castle for "protection". Lancastrian supporters took advantage of Edward's imprisonment to stage uprisings; because most Yorkist-aligned warlords refused to rally to Warwick's call, the Earl was pressured to release the King. Back in power, Edward did not pursue Warwick's transgressions against him, but the Earl suspected that the King held a grudge. Warwick engineered this time to replace Edward with Clarence; the two conspirators, had to flee to France when Edward crushed the uprising—the Battle of Losecoat Field—on 12 March 1470. Through letters in the rebels' possession and confessions from the leaders, the King uncovered the Earl's betrayal.
In a deal brokered by the French king, Louis XI, the Earl agreed
Battle of Losecoat Field
The Battle of Losecoat Field was fought on 12 March 1470, during the Wars of the Roses. Spellings of "Losecoat" vary, with "Losecote" and "Loose-coat" seen; the battle secured the defeat of the poorly organised Welles Uprising against King Edward IV, but led to the defection of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick and the king's brother George, Duke of Clarence to the Lancastrian cause after they were forced to flee the country having been implicated in the rebellion. A year earlier, in July 1469, an army loyal to the Yorkist king, King Edward IV was defeated at the Battle of Edgecote Moor by Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, his disaffected former supporter. However, with the help and support of his brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester, he had by now regained power. Despite the nominal reconciliation of Warwick and the king, by March 1470 Warwick found himself in a similar position to that which he had been in before the battle of Edgecote, he was unable to exercise any control over, or influence, Edward's policies.
Warwick wanted to place another of the King's brothers, Duke of Clarence, on the throne so that he could regain his influence. To do so, he called on former supporters of the defeated House of Lancaster; the rebellion was initiated in 1470 by Sir Robert Welles, son of Richard Welles, 7th Baron Welles, a former Lancastrian, when his family fell foul of Edward. Sir Robert turned to Warwick for help. Warwick judged the time was ripe for another coup d'état, to kill Edward or remove him from the throne. Welles started gathering troops at his base in Lincolnshire, ready for a show of arms against the King; the unrest in Lincolnshire prompted the King to act, he started gathering men for his army on 4 March. The news of the King's intention to march to Lincolnshire spread panic among people there. Due to Welles' deliberate misinterpretation, rumours were spread that the King was coming to try the pardoned rebels from Edgecote, that he would "hang and draw a great number" of them. With the encouragement of Warwick and Clarence, Welles set himself up as a "great captain" of the people of Lincolnshire.
On 4 March summons were sent to all the surrounding estates requesting every able man to join him in resisting the King. On the 7th the King heard that the rebels were marching towards Stamford with an army of 100,000 men, having recruited many men from nearby counties from Yorkshire; the King received letters from Clarence and Warwick stating they were marching North with all their men to support the King. The King unsuspectingly issued commissions of array which included Warwick's name, authorising him to raise his own army of professional soldiers. Edward received news that the rebels had changed course for Leicester, as had Warwick and Clarence, which revealed their intentions. Welles received a letter from the King telling him to disband his rebel army, or his father Lord Welles would be executed. Welles turned back with his army to Stamford. Edward's confidence grew when Welles failed to rendezvous with his experienced forces. Edward's scouts informed him that the rebel army was some five miles from Stamford, arrayed for battle beside the Great North Road to the north of Tickencote Warren near Empingham in Rutland.
Edward positioned his men in a battle line to the north of Welles' army, in the space separating the two forces, had Lord Welles executed in sight of both armies. This action set the rebels advancing with cries of á Clarence. A single barrage of cannonballs was fired and Edward had his men charge towards the enemy. Before the leaders of this attack could come to blows with the rebel front line the battle was over; the rebels broke and fled rather than face the King's trained men. Both captains, Sir Robert Welles and his commander of foot Richard Warren were captured during the rout and were executed a week on 19 March. Welles confessed his treason, named Warwick and Clarence as the "partners and chief provokers" of the rebellion. Documents were found proving the complicity of Warwick and Clarence, who were forced to flee the country. According to popular etymology, the name of the battle is explained in this way; the battle was thus called "Lose-coat". This story does not appear to have any historical basis, being first recorded in the 19th century.
Contemporary accounts refer to the battle site as "Hornfield", do not use the name Losecoat or anything comparable. The name is derived from an Old English phrase hlose-cot meaning "pigsty cottage". Forms of Losecote appear as field names in other parishes in Rutland. A field at the site of the battle seems to have acquired that name, which generated the imaginary "lose coat" etymology, linked to the battle. An adjacent woodland is now called Bloody Oaks and Bloody Oaks Quarry is a 1.3 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest and managed by the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust
Battle of Bosworth Field
The Battle of Bosworth Field was the last significant battle of the Wars of the Roses, the civil war between the Houses of Lancaster and York that extended across England in the latter half of the 15th century. Fought on 22 August 1485, the battle was won by the Lancastrians, their leader Henry Tudor, by his victory became the first English monarch of the Tudor dynasty. His opponent, Richard III, the last king of the House of York, was killed in the battle. Historians consider Bosworth Field to mark the end of the Plantagenet dynasty, making it a defining moment of English and Welsh history. Richard's reign began in 1483. At the request of his brother Edward IV, Richard was acting as Lord Protector for his twelve-year-old son Edward V. Richard had Parliament declare Edward V illegitimate and ineligible for the throne, took it for himself. Richard lost popularity when the boy and his younger brother disappeared after he incarcerated them in the Tower of London, his support was further eroded by the popular belief that he was implicated in the death of his wife.
Across the English Channel in Brittany, Henry Tudor, a descendant of the diminished House of Lancaster, seized on Richard's difficulties so that he could challenge his claim to the throne. Henry's first attempt to invade England was frustrated by a storm in 1483, but on his second attempt he arrived unopposed on 7 August 1485 on the southwest coast of Wales. Marching inland, Henry gathered support. Richard intercepted Henry's army south of Market Bosworth in Leicestershire. Thomas, Lord Stanley, Sir William Stanley brought a force to the battlefield, but held back while they decided which side it would be more advantageous to support. Richard divided his army. One was assigned to the Duke of another to the Earl of Northumberland. Henry kept most of his force together and placed it under the command of the experienced Earl of Oxford. Richard's vanguard, commanded by Norfolk, attacked but struggled against Oxford's men, some of Norfolk's troops fled the field. Northumberland took no action when signalled to assist his king, so Richard gambled everything on a charge across the battlefield to kill Henry and end the fight.
Seeing the King's knights separated from his army, the Stanleys intervened. After the battle Henry was crowned king below an oak tree in nearby Stoke Golding, now a residential garden. Henry hired chroniclers to portray his reign favourably. From the 15th to the 18th centuries the battle was glamorised as a victory of good over evil; the climax of William Shakespeare's play Richard III provides a focal point for critics in film adaptations. The exact site of the battle is disputed because of the lack of conclusive data, memorials have been erected at different locations. In 1974 the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre was built on a site that has since been challenged by several scholars and historians. In October 2009 a team of researchers, who had performed geological surveys and archaeological digs in the area from 2003, suggested a location two miles southwest of Ambion Hill. During the 15th century civil war raged across England as the Houses of York and Lancaster fought each other for the English throne.
In 1471 the Yorkists defeated their rivals in the battles of Tewkesbury. The Lancastrian King Henry VI and his only son, Edward of Lancaster, died in the aftermath of the Battle of Tewkesbury, their deaths left the House of Lancaster with no direct claimants to the throne. The Yorkist king, Edward IV, was in complete control of England, he attainted those who refused to submit to his rule, such as Jasper Tudor and his nephew Henry, naming them traitors and confiscating their lands. The Tudors tried to flee to France but strong winds forced them to land in Brittany, a semi-independent duchy, where they were taken into the custody of Duke Francis II. Henry's mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, was a great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt, uncle of King Richard II and father of King Henry IV; the Beauforts were bastards, but Henry IV legitimised them on the condition that their descendants were not eligible to inherit the throne. Henry Tudor, the only remaining Lancastrian noble with a trace of the royal bloodline, had a weak claim to the throne, Edward regarded him as "a nobody".
The Duke of Brittany, viewed Henry as a valuable tool to bargain for England's aid in conflicts with France and kept the Tudors under his protection. Edward IV died 12 years after Tewkesbury on 9 April 1483, his 12-year-old elder son succeeded him as King Edward V. Edward V was too young to rule and a Royal Council was established to rule the country until the king's coming of age; some among the council were worried when it became apparent that the Woodvilles, relatives of Edward IV's widow Elizabeth, were plotting to use their control of the young king to dominate the council. Having offended many in their quest for wealth and power, the Woodville family was not popular. To frustrate the Woodvilles' ambitions, Lord Hastings and other members of the council turned to the new king's uncle—Richard, Duke of Gloucester, brother of Edward IV; the courtiers urged Gloucester to assume the role of Protector as had been requested by his now dead brother. On 29 April Gloucester, accompanied by a contingent of guards and Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, took Edward V into custody and arrested several prominent members of the Woodville family.
Red Rose of Lancaster
The Red Rose of Lancaster is the county flower of Lancashire. The exact species or cultivar which the red rose relates to is uncertain, but it is thought to be Rosa gallica officinalis; the rose. It was one of the badges of Henry IV of the first king of the House of Lancaster. Following the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, it became the emblem of Lancashire. Lancaster's Red Rose is an official variety and is the first cultivated rose; the rose was discovered by the ancient Persians and Egyptians. Adopted by the Romans, who introduced it to Gaul where it assumed the name Rosa gallica, it is documented. The rose was appreciated for its medical value and was utilized in countless medical remedies; the Red Rose of Lancaster derives from the gold rose badge of Edward I of England. Other members of his family used variants of the royal badge, with the king's brother, the Earl of Lancaster, using a red rose, it is believed that the Red Rose of Lancaster was the House of Lancaster's badge during the Wars of the Roses.
Evidence for this "wearing of the rose" includes land tenure records requiring service of a red rose yearly for a manor held directly from Henry VI of England. There are, doubts as to whether the red rose was an emblem taken up by the Lancastrians during the Wars of the Roses. Adrian Ailes has noted that the red rose “probably owes its popular usage to Henry VII responding to the pre-existing Yorkist white rose in an age when signs and symbols could speak louder than words." It allowed Henry to invent and exploit his most famous heraldic device, the Tudor Rose, combining the so-called Lancastrian red rose and the White Rose of York. This floral union neatly symbolised the restoration of peace and harmony and his marriage in January 1486 to Elizabeth of York, it was a brilliant piece of simple heraldic propaganda.” The Tudor Rose is used as the plant badge of England. The rose does not form any part of the insignia of the Duchy of Lancaster, but came to be seen as an emblem of the county of Lancashire, as such was incorporated in the coats of arms of numerous Lancashire local authorities including the county council.
Since 1974 a number of metropolitan boroughs in Greater Manchester and Merseyside have included red roses in their armorial bearings to show their formation from parts of Lancashire. It is present in the crest of the coat of arms of the London Borough of Enfield; the traditional Lancashire flag, a red rose on a white field, was never registered with the Flag Institute and when this was attempted it was found that this flag had been registered by the town of Montrose, Scotland. As two flags of the same design can not be registered, Lancashire’s official flag is now registered as a red rose on a yellow field. Today the Red Rose is still used, not on a yellow background. Lancashire County Cricket Club still use; the Trafford Centre features Red Roses in its architecture, most noticeably on all of the glass panes in the shopping centre. Lancashire GAA features. Manchester City Football Club featured the red rose on the club badge from 1972 to 1997 and reinstated it in 2015, reflecting Manchester's history as part of Lancashire.
It features on the badge of Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers. Edge Hill University in Ormskirk uses the Red Rose on a yellow background on its crest along with a Liver bird which signifies its current location and origins in Liverpool; the shield of Lancashire County Council's coat of arms, displays not one but three red roses, on gold piles on a red background. The arms have been official since 1903. From the nineteenth century the red rose was part of the badge of a number of units of the British Army recruiting in the county. In World War I the rose; the cap badge of the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, formed in 2006, features. The Saskatoon Light Infantry of the Canadian Army incorporated the red rose into the design of their cap badge and regimental buttons, due to an alliance with the York and Lancaster Regiment of the British Army; the Canadian city of Montreal has a Lancastrian rose in the top right hand corner of its flag, representing the city's historical English community. The U.
S. City of Lancaster, known as "Red Rose City", uses the Lancastrian rose as its seal, in its flag. Royal Badges of England Wars of the Roses White Rose of York Tudor rose Lancashire villages homepage concerning the rose 55th Territorial