Wars of the Roses
The Wars of the Roses were a series of English civil wars for control of the throne of England fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the House of Lancaster, associated with a red rose, the House of York, whose symbol was a white rose. The wars eliminated the male lines of both families; the conflict lasted through many sporadic episodes between 1455 and 1487, but there was related fighting before and after this period between the parties. The power struggle ignited around social and financial troubles following the Hundred Years' War, unfolding the structural problems of feudalism, combined with the mental infirmity and weak rule of King Henry VI which revived interest in Richard of York's claim to the throne. Historians disagree on. With the Duke of York's death in 1460, the claim transferred to Edward. After a series of Yorkist victories from January–February 1461, Edward claimed the throne on March 4, 1461, the last serious Lancastrian resistance ended at decisive Battle of Towton.
Edward was thus unopposed as the first Yorkist king of England, as Edward IV. Resistance smoldered in the North until 1464, but the early part of his reign remained peaceful. A new phase of the wars broke out in 1469 after The Earl of Warwick, the most powerful noble in the country, withdrew his support for Edward and threw it behind the Lancastrian cause. Fortunes changed many times as the Yorkist and Lancastrian forces exchanged victories throughout 1469–1470; when Edward fled to Flanders in 1470, Henry VI was re-installed as king on 3 October 1470, but his resumption of rule was short lived, he was deposed again following the defeat of his forces at the Battle of Tewkesbury, on 21 May 1471, Edward entered London unopposed, resumed the throne, had Henry killed that same day. With all significant Lancastrian leaders now banished or killed, Edward ruled unopposed until his sudden death in 1483, his son reigned for 78 days as Edward V, but was deposed by his uncle, who became Richard III. The ascension of Richard III occurred under a cloud of controversy, shortly after assuming the throne, the wars sparked anew with Buckingham's rebellion, as many die-hard Yorkists abandoned Richard to join Lancastrians.
While the rebellions lacked much central coordination, in the chaos the exiled Henry Tudor, son of Henry VI's half-brother Edmund Earl of Richmond, the leader of the Lancastrian cause, returned to the country from exile in Brittany at the head of an army of combined Breton and English forces. Richard avoided direct conflict with Henry until the Battle of Bosworth Field on 22 August 1485. After Richard III was killed and his forces defeated at Bosworth Field, Henry assumed the throne as Henry VII and married Elizabeth of York, the eldest daughter and heir of Edward IV, thereby uniting the two claims; the House of Tudor ruled the Kingdom of England until 1603, with the death of Elizabeth I, granddaughter of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. Shortly after Henry took the throne, the Earl of Lincoln, a Yorkist sympathizer, put forward Lambert Simnel as an imposter Richard of York, younger brother of Edward V. Lincoln's forces were defeated, he was killed at the Battle of Stoke Field on 16 June 1487, bringing a close to the Wars of the Roses.
The name "Wars of the Roses" refers to the heraldic badges associated with two rival branches of the same royal house, the White Rose of York and the Red Rose of Lancaster. Wars of the Roses came into common use in the 19th century after the publication in 1829 of Anne of Geierstein by Sir Walter Scott. Scott based the name on a scene in William Shakespeare's play Henry VI, Part 1, set in the gardens of the Temple Church, where a number of noblemen and a lawyer pick red or white roses to show their loyalty to the Lancastrian or Yorkist faction respectively, it is suggested by literary critics that Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has strong allegorical references to the conflict with York represented by the White Queen and Lancaster represented by the Red Queen. The Yorkist faction used the symbol of the white rose from early in the conflict, but the Lancastrian red rose was introduced only after the victory of Henry Tudor at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, when it was combined with the Yorkist white rose to form the Tudor rose, which symbolised the union of the two houses.
Owing to nobles holding multiple titles, more than one badge was used: Edward IV, for example, used both his sun in splendour as Earl of March, but his father's falcon and fetterlock as Duke of York. Badges were not always distinct. Most, but not all, of the participants in the wars wore livery badges associated with their immediate lords or patrons under the prevailing system of bastard feudalism. Another example: Henry Tudor's forces at Bosworth fought under the banner of a red dragon while the Yorkist army used Richard III's personal device of a white boar. Although the names of the rival houses derive from the cities of York and Lancaster, the corresponding duchy and dukedom had little to do with these cities; the lands and offices attached to the Duchy of Lancaster were in Gloucestershire, North Wales, in Yorkshire, while the estates and castles of the Duke of York were spread throughout England and Wales, many in the We
England is a country, part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to Scotland to the north-northwest; the Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south; the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century, since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world; the English language, the Anglican Church, English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, the country's parliamentary system of government has been adopted by other nations.
The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation. England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the west; the capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. England's population of over 55 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom concentrated around London, the South East, conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century; the Kingdom of England – which after 1535 included Wales – ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The name "England" is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means "land of the Angles"; the Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages. The Angles came from the Anglia peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea; the earliest recorded use of the term, as "Engla londe", is in the late-ninth-century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. The term was used in a different sense to the modern one, meaning "the land inhabited by the English", it included English people in what is now south-east Scotland but was part of the English kingdom of Northumbria; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that the Domesday Book of 1086 covered the whole of England, meaning the English kingdom, but a few years the Chronicle stated that King Malcolm III went "out of Scotlande into Lothian in Englaland", thus using it in the more ancient sense.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its modern spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, in which the Latin word Anglii is used; the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars. How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe, less significant than others, such as the Saxons, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons to distinguish them from continental Saxons of Old Saxony between the Weser and Eider rivers in Northern Germany. In Scottish Gaelic, another language which developed on the island of Great Britain, the Saxon tribe gave their name to the word for England. An alternative name for England is Albion; the name Albion referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus the 4th-century BC De Mundo: "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules is the ocean that flows round the earth.
In it are two large islands called Britannia. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, i.e. it was written in the Graeco-Roman period or afterwards. The word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins, it either derives from a cognate of the Latin albus meaning white, a reference to the white cliffs of Dover or from the phrase the "island of the Albiones" in the now lost Massaliote Periplus, attested through Avienus' Ora Maritima to which the former served as a source. Albion is now applied to England in a more poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England and made popular by its use in Arthurian legend; the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximate
Nottinghamshire is a county in the East Midlands region of England, bordering South Yorkshire to the north-west, Lincolnshire to the east, Leicestershire to the south, Derbyshire to the west. The traditional county town is Nottingham, though the county council is based in West Bridgford in the borough of Rushcliffe, at a site facing Nottingham over the River Trent; the districts of Nottinghamshire are Ashfield, Broxtowe, Mansfield and Sherwood, Rushcliffe. The City of Nottingham was administratively part of Nottinghamshire between 1974 and 1988, but is now a unitary authority, remaining part of Nottinghamshire for ceremonial purposes. In 2017, the county was estimated to have a population of 785,800. Over half of the population of the county live in the Greater Nottingham conurbation; the conurbation has a population of about 650,000, though less than half live within the city boundaries. Nottinghamshire lies on the Roman Fosse Way, there are Roman settlements in the county; the county was settled by Angles around the 5th century, became part of the Kingdom, Earldom, of Mercia.
However, there is evidence of Saxon settlement at the Broxtowe Estate, near Nottingham, Tuxford, east of Sherwood Forest. The name first occurs in 1016, but until 1568, the county was administratively united with Derbyshire, under a single Sheriff. In Norman times, the county developed woollen industries. During the industrial revolution, the county held much needed minerals such as coal and iron ore, had constructed some of the first experimental waggonways in the world. In the 18th and 19th centuries, mechanised deeper collieries opened, mining became an important economic sector, though these declined after the 1984–85 miners' strike; until 1610, Nottinghamshire was divided into eight Wapentakes. Sometime between 1610 and 1719, they were reduced to six – Newark, Thurgarton, Rushcliffe and Bingham, some of these names still being used for the modern districts. Oswaldbeck was absorbed in Bassetlaw, of which it forms the North Clay division, Lythe in Thurgarton. Nottinghamshire is famous for its involvement with the legend of Robin Hood.
This is the reason for the numbers of tourists who visit places like Sherwood Forest, City of Nottingham, the surrounding villages in Sherwood Forest. To reinforce the Robin Hood connection, the University of Nottingham in 2010 has begun the Nottingham Caves Survey, with the goal "to increase the tourist potential of these sites"; the project "will use a 3D laser scanner to produce a three dimensional record of more than 450 sandstone caves around Nottingham". Nottinghamshire was mapped first by Christopher Saxton in 1576; the map was the earliest printed map at a sufficiently useful scale to provide basic information on village layout, the existence of landscape features such as roads, tollbars and mills. Nottinghamshire, like Derbyshire, South Yorkshire, sits on extensive coal measures, up to 900 metres thick, occurring in the north of the county. There is an oilfield near Eakring; these are overlaid by sandstones and limestones in the west, clay in the east. The north of the county is part of the Humberhead Levels lacustrine plain.
The centre and south west of the county, around Sherwood Forest, features undulating hills with ancient oak woodland. Principal rivers are the Trent, Idle and Soar; the Trent, fed by the Soar and Idle, composed of many streams from Sherwood Forest, run through wide and flat valleys, merging at Misterton. A point just north of Newtonwood Lane, on the boundary with Derbyshire is the highest point in Nottinghamshire; the lowest is Peat Carr, east of Blaxton, at sea level. Nottinghamshire is sheltered by the Pennines to the west, so receives low rainfall at 641 to 740 millimetres annually; the average temperature of the county is 8.8–10.1 degrees Celsius. The county receives between 1470 hours of sunshine per year. Nottinghamshire contains one green belt area, first drawn up from the 1950s. Encircling the Nottingham conurbation, it stretches for several miles into the surrounding districts, extends into Derbyshire. Nottinghamshire is represented by eleven members of parliament. Kenneth Clarke of Rushcliffe is a former Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer and Lord High Chancellor.
Following the 2017 County Council elections, the County Council is controlled by a coalition of Conservatives and Mansfield Independent Forum, having taken control from the Labour administration. The seats held are 31 Conservatives, 23 Labour, 11 Independents, 1 Liberal Democrat. In the previous 2013 election, the County Council was Labour controlled, a gain from the Conservatives. Local government is devolved to seven local district councils. Ashfield, Bassetlaw and Mansfield
Buckingham's rebellion was a failed but significant uprising, or collection of uprisings, of October 1483 in England and parts of Wales against Richard III of England. To the extent that these local risings had a central coordination, the plot revolved around Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, who had become disaffected from Richard, had backing from the exiled Henry Tudor and his mother Margaret Beaufort. Rebels took arms against the king, they included many loyalists of Edward V, others, Yorkist supporters of his father Edward IV. Seven ships from Brittany carrying over 500 Breton soldiers, Henry Tudor, many of his supporters were to have risen against Richard III. A gale prevented this planned landing from being carried out, in England a premature uprising in Kent forewarned Richard that Buckingham had changed sides; when his brother King Edward IV died in April 1483, Richard of Gloucester was named Lord Protector of the realm for Edward's son and successor, the 12-year-old Edward V.
As the young king travelled to London from Ludlow, Richard met and escorted him to lodgings in the Tower of London, where Edward V's own brother Richard of Shrewsbury joined him shortly afterwards. Arrangements were made for Edward's coronation on 22 June 1483. On 25 June, an assembly of commoners endorsed the claims; the following day, Richard III began his reign, he was crowned on 6 July 1483. The young princes were not seen in public after August, accusations circulated that the boys had been murdered on Richard's orders, giving rise to the legend of the Princes in the Tower. In late September 1483, a conspiracy arose among a number of disaffected gentry, many of whom had been supporters of Edward IV and the "whole Yorkist establishment"; the conspiracy was nominally led by Richard's former ally and first cousin once removed Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, although it had begun as a Woodville-Beaufort conspiracy. Indeed, Davies has suggested that it was "only the subsequent parliamentary attainder that placed Buckingham at the centre of events", in order to blame a single disaffected magnate motivated by greed, rather than "the embarrassing truth" that those opposing Richard were "overwhelmingly Edwardian loyalists".
It is possible that they planned to depose Richard III and place Edward V back on the throne, that when rumours arose that Edward and his brother were dead, Buckingham proposed that Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond should return from exile, take the throne and marry Elizabeth of York, elder sister of the Tower Princes. The Lancastrian claim to the throne had descended to Henry Tudor on the death of Henry VI and his son Edward of Westminster in 1471. Henry's father, Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond, had been a half-brother of Henry VI, but Henry's claim to royalty was through his mother, Margaret Beaufort, she was descended from John Beaufort, a son of John of Gaunt and thus a grandson of Edward III. John Beaufort had been illegitimate at birth, though legitimised by the marriage of his parents, it had been a condition of the legitimation that the Beaufort descendants forfeited their rights to the crown. Henry had spent much of his childhood under siege in exile in Brittany. After 1471, Edward IV had preferred to belittle Henry's pretensions to the crown, made only sporadic attempts to secure him.
However his mother, Margaret Beaufort, had been twice remarried, first to Buckingham's uncle, to Thomas, Lord Stanley, one of Edward's principal officers, continually promoted her son's rights. Buckingham's precise motivation has been called "obscure"; the traditional naming of the rebellion after him has been labelled a misnomer, with John Morton and Reginald Bray more plausible leaders. Henry, in exile in Brittany, enjoyed the support of the Breton treasurer Pierre Landais, who hoped Buckingham's victory would cement an alliance between Brittany and England; some of Henry Tudor's ships ran into a storm and were forced to return to Brittany or Normandy, while Henry himself anchored off Plymouth for a week before learning of Buckingham's failure. For his part, Buckingham raised a substantial force from his estates in Wales and the Marches. Buckingham's army was troubled by the same storm and deserted when Richard's forces came against them. Richard in the field defeated the rising in a few weeks.
Buckingham tried to escape in disguise, but was either turned in by a retainer for the bounty Richard had put on his head, or was discovered in hiding with him. He was beheaded in Salisbury, near the Bull's Head Inn, on 2 November, his widow, Catherine Woodville married Jasper Tudor, the uncle of Henry Tudor, in the process of organising another rebellion. In military terms it was a complete failure, it did, deepen the opinion of many towards Richard as king, its effect over the next few months was to drive a number of leading figures into Henry Tudor's camp. Five hundred Englishmen slipped through the King's net and found their way to Rennes, the capital of Brittany, where in desperation or fresh expectation they forged an alliance with the Earl of Richmond; the failure of Buckingham's revolt was not the end of the plots against Richard, who could never again feel secure, who suffered the loss of his wife in March 1485 and eleven-year-old son in April 1484, putting the future of the Yorkist dynasty in doubt.
House of York
The House of York was a cadet branch of the English royal House of Plantagenet. Three of its members became kings of England in the late 15th century; the House of York was descended in the male line from Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York, the fourth surviving son of Edward III, but represented Edward's senior line, being cognatic descendants of Lionel, Duke of Clarence, Edward III's second surviving son. It is based on these descents. Compared with the House of Lancaster, it had a senior claim to the throne of England according to cognatic primogeniture but junior claim according to the agnatic primogeniture; the reign of this dynasty ended with the death of Richard III of England at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. It became extinct in the male line with the death of Edward Plantagenet, 17th Earl of Warwick, in 1499. Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York, 1st Earl of Cambridge, KG was a younger son of King Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault, the fourth of their five sons who lived to adulthood.
He was the founder of the House of York, but it was through the marriage of his younger son, Richard to Anne Mortimer that the Yorkist faction in the Wars of the Roses made its claim on the throne. The other party in the Wars of the Roses, the Lancasters, were descendants of Edmund's elder brother, John of Gaunt whose son Henry usurped the throne of Richard II in 1399. Edmund had two sons and Richard of Conisburgh. Edward succeeded to the dukedom in 1402, but was killed at the battle of Agincourt in 1415, with no issue. Richard married Anne Mortimer, a great-granddaughter of Lionel of Antwerp, the second surviving son of Edward III. Furthermore, Anne's son Richard became heir general to the earldom of March, after her only brother, Edmund, 5th Earl, died without issue in 1425, their father Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March had been named heir presumptive of Richard II before Henry IV's accession. Richard of Conisburgh was executed following his involvement in the Southampton Plot to depose Henry V of England in favour of the Earl of March.
The dukedom of York therefore passed to Richard Plantagenet. Through his mother, Richard Plantagenet inherited the lands of the earldom of March, as well as the Mortimer claim to the throne. Despite his elevated status, Richard Plantagenet was denied a position in government by the advisers of the weak Henry VI John Beaufort, 1st Duke of Somerset, the queen consort, Margaret of Anjou. Although he served as Protector of the Realm during Henry VI's period of incapacity in 1453–54, his reforms were reversed by Somerset's party once the king had recovered; the Wars of the Roses began the following year, with the First Battle of St Albans. Richard aimed only to purge his Lancastrian political opponents from positions of influence over the king, it was not until October 1460. In that year the Yorkists had captured the king at the battle of Northampton, but victory was short-lived. Richard and his second son Edmund were killed at the battle of Wakefield on 30 December. Richard's claim to the throne was inherited by his son Edward.
With the support of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, Edward showing great promise as a leader of men, defeated the Lancastrians in a succession of battles. While Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou were campaigning in the north, Warwick gained control of the capital and had Edward declared king in London in 1461. Edward strengthened his claim with a decisive victory at the Battle of Towton in the same year, in the course of which the Lancastrian army was wiped out; the early reign of Edward IV was marred by Lancastrian plotting and uprisings in favour of Henry VI. Warwick himself changed sides, supported Margaret of Anjou and the king's jealous brother George, Duke of Clarence, in restoring Henry in 1470–71. However, Edward regained his throne, the House of Lancaster was wiped out with the death of Henry VI himself, in the Tower of London in 1471. In 1478, the continued trouble caused by Clarence led to his execution in the Tower of London. On Edward's death in 1483, the crown passed to his twelve-year-old son Edward.
Edward IV's younger brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester, was appointed Protector, escorted the young king, his brother Richard, to the Tower of London. The famous Princes in the Tower were never seen again; however it is unknown who might have killed them. Parliament declared, in the document Titulus Regius, that the two boys were illegitimate, on the grounds that Edward IV's marriage was invalid, as such Richard was heir to the throne, he was crowned Richard III in July 1483. Richard III had many enemies. Though the House of Lancaster had been extinguished, the Lancastrian sympathisers survived, who now rallied behind Henry Tudor, a descendant of the Beauforts, a legitimized branch of the House of Lancaster. Moreover, the family of Edward IV, the Edwardian loyalists, were opposed to him dividing his Yorkist power base. A coup attempt failed in late 1483, but in 1485 Richard met Henry Tudor at the battle of Bosworth Field. During the battle, some of Richard's important supporters switched sides or withheld their retainers from the field.
Richard himself was killed. He was the last of the Plantagenet kings, as well as the last English king. Henry Tudor declared himself king, took Elizabeth of York, eldest child of Edward IV, as his wife, symbolically uniting the surviving houses of York and Lancaster, acceded t
Battle of Blore Heath
The Battle of Blore Heath was a battle in the English Wars of the Roses. It was fought on 23 September 1459, at Blore Heath in Staffordshire. Blore Heath is a sparsely populated area of farmland, two miles east of the town of Market Drayton in Shropshire, close to the towns of Market Drayton and Loggerheads, Staffordshire. After the First Battle of St Albans in 1455, an uneasy peace held in England. Attempts at reconciliation between the houses of Lancaster and York enjoyed but marginal success. However, both sides became wary of each other and by 1459 were recruiting armed supporters. Queen Margaret of Anjou continued to raise support for King Henry VI amongst noblemen, distributing an emblem of a silver swan to knights and squires enlisted by her whilst the Yorkist command under the Duke of York was finding plenty of anti-royal support despite the severe punishment for raising arms against the king; the Yorkist force based at Middleham Castle in Yorkshire needed to link up with the main Yorkist army at Ludlow Castle in Shropshire.
As Salisbury marched south-west through the Midlands the queen ordered Lord Audley to intercept them. Audley chose the barren heathland of Blore Heath to set up an ambush. On the morning of 23 September 1459, a force of some 10,000 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 over the top of a hedge and warned Salisbury; as they emerged from the woodland, the Yorkist force of some 5,000 men realized that a much larger enemy force was awaiting their arrival. Salisbury, instead of disbanding or withdrawing his army arranged his troops 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. 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 and fast-flowing brook ran between them; the brook made Audley's position impenetrable. Both leaders sought unsuccessfully to parley in an 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, made a second assault 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 by Sir Roger Kynaston of Myddle and Hordley; the Earl of Salisbury, which knew the sleights and policies of warlike affairs returned, shortly encountered with the Lord Audley and his chief captains, ere the residue of his army could pass the water. The fight was dreadful; the earl desiring the saving of his life, his adversaries coveting his destruction, fought sore for the obtaining of their purpose, but in conclusion, the earl's army, as men desperate of aid and succour, so eagerly fought, that they slew the Lord Audley, all his captains, discomfited all the remnant of his people... The death of Audley meant that Lancastrian command fell to the second-in-command, Lord Dudley, who ordered an attack on foot with some 4,000 men.
As this attack failed, some 500 Lancastrians joined the enemy and began attacking their own side. At this point, all remaining Lancastrian resistance collapsed and the Yorkists had only to advance to complete the rout; the rout continued through the night, with the Yorkists pursuing the fleeing enemy for miles across the countryside. At least 2,000 Lancastrians were killed, with the Yorkists losing nearly 1,000. Salisbury was concerned that Lancastrian reinforcements were in the vicinity and was keen to press on southwards towards Ludlow, he made his camp on a hillside by Market Drayton that took the name Salisbury Hill. He employed a local friar to remain on Blore Heath throughout the night and to periodically discharge a cannon in order to deceive any Lancastrians nearby into believing that the fight was continuing. Audley is buried in Darley Abbey in Derbyshire. Audley's Cross was erected at Blore Heath after the battle to mark the spot, it was replaced with a stone cross in 1765. The battle was commemorated by a re-enactment each year in September at Blore Heath until 2009.
British military history Anthony Goodman, The Wars of the Roses:Military Activity and English Society, 1452-97, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1981. Ralph A. Griffiths, The Reign of King Henry VI, University of California Press, 1981. Edward Hall, The Union of The Noble and Illustre Famelies of Lancastre & Yorke, 1548. Michael Hicks, The Wars of the Roses, Yale University Press, 2010; the Blore Heath Heritage Group
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