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The Richard III Society

Promoting research into the life and times of Richard III since 1924

Patron: HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO

The Battles of The Wars of the Roses

Where the Wars of the Roses were foughtClick on a label on the map to find out more about that particular battle. This will take you to a brief summary of that battle. A variety of sources have been used to write these summaries but readers should be aware that sources for some of the battles are scant, and in some instances virtually non-existent, so much of what is written about the battles – both here and in other secondary sources – is conjecture based on what is available. These battles – perhaps more than any other aspect of this period of history – demonstrate the difficulties any historian faces in trying to recapture the past and emphasises the need to read as many contemporary and near contemporary sources as possible, in order to provide an hypothesis of what actually happened.

In the summary list below (presented in chronological order) you will see that the battle name is a link, which will take you to a separate and more detailed description of that battle. The coats of arms shown in these descriptions represent some of those who took part in the battle, and have been drawn by Geoffrey Wheeler.

Each battle section has its own further reading list in addition to the extensive bibliography for the Wars of the Roses. The Society's Barton Library holds copies of many of the books, papers. and leaflets listed below and is thus a unique source for material on this period in history.

Battle of Hedgely Moor Battle of Hexham Battle of Towton & Ferrybridge Battle of Wakefield Battle of Blore Heath Battle of Stoke Battle of Tewkesbury Battles of St Albans Battle of Barnet Battle of Bosworth Battle of Mortimer's Cross Battle of Ludford Bridge Battle of Empingham (or Losecote Field) Battle of Edgecote Battle of Northampton

The Battles of The Wars of the Roses – in chronological order

'(ex)' after a name in the 'casualties' means the person in question was 'captured or arrested and subsequently executed'.

Battle  York  Lancaster Victor

The 1st Battle of St Albans
Date: 22 May 1455
Battle site: Fought in the town of St Albans, Hertfordshire.

Leaders in battle: Duke of York • Earl of Warwick

Casualties: c. 100 men in total

Leaders in battle: King Henry VI • Duke of Buckingham • Duke of Somerset • Earl of Northumberland • Lord Clifford

Casualties: Duke of Somerset • Earl of Northumberland • Earl of Dorset • Lord Clifford

The Battle of Blore Heath
Date: 23 September 1459
Battle site: Site crosses A53, Newcastle-under-Lyme to Market Drayton road, about 3 miles east of the latter, Staffordshire.

Leaders in battle: Earl of Salisbury

Casualties: Yorkist casualties minimal

Leaders in battle: Lord Audley • Lord Dudley

Casualties: Lord Audley • Sir William Troutbeck • Sir Hugh Venables • Sir John Donne • c. 2000 Lancastrians

The Rout of Ludford Bridge
Date: 12 October 1459 - 13 October 1459
Battle site: South of Ludlow, bridge crossing the River Teme, Shropshire.

Leaders in battle: Duke of York • Earl of Salisbury • Earl of Warwick • Earl of March • Earl of Rutland

Casualties: None

Leaders in battle: King Henry VI • Duke of Buckingham

The Battle of Northampton
Date: 10 July 1460
Battle site: Immediately south-east of Northampton and north of Delapré Abbey.

Leaders in battle: Earl of Warwick • Earl of March

Casualties: c. 300 men in total

Leaders in battle: King Henry VI • Duke of Buckingham • Earl of Shrewsbury • Lord Grey of Ruthyn

Casualties: Duke of Buckingham • Earl of Shrewsbury • Lord Egremont • Lord Beaumont

The Battle of Wakefield
Date: 30 December 1460
Battle site: Sandal, about 1.5 miles south-east of Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

Leaders in battle: Duke of York • Earl of Salisbury • Earl of Rutland

Casualties: Duke of York • Earl of Salisbury (ex) • Earl of Rutland • Sir Thomas Neville • Sir Thomas Harrington • Sir Thomas Parre • Sir Hugh Mortimer • Sir John Mortimer

Leaders in battle: Duke of Somerse • Earl of Northumberland • Earl of Devon • Lord Clifford • Lord Roos

The Battle of Mortimer's Cross
Date: 2 February 1461 or 3 February 1461
Battle site: Approx. 4.5 miles north-west of Leominster, Hereford & Worcester, to the right of the A4410.

Leaders in battle: Earl of March • Sir William Hastings • Sir William Herbert • Walter Devereux

Leaders in battle: Earl of Pembroke • Earl of Wiltshire • Owen Tudor • Sir John Throckmorton

Casualties: Owen Tudor (ex) • Sir John Throckmorton (ex)

The 2nd Battle of St Albans
Date: 17 February 1461
Battle site: The town of St Albans, Barnard's Heath and Sandridge, Hertfordshire.

Leaders in battle: Earl of Warwick • Earl of Arundel • Duke of Norfolk • Lord Montagu

Casualties: Lord Bonville (ex) • Sir Thomas Kyriell (ex)

Leaders in battle: Queen Margaret • Duke of Somerset

The Battle of Towton & Ferrybridge
Date: 28 March 1461 - 29 March 1461
Towton Battle site: Between Towton and Saxton to the right of the B1217, North Yorkshire.

Leaders in battle: King Edward IV • Duke of Norfolk • Earl of Warwick • Lord Fauconberg

Casualties: Lord Fitzwalter • 

Leaders in battle: Duke of Somerset • Earl of Northumberland • Lord Clifford

Casualties: Earl of Northumberland • Earl of Devon (ex) • Earl of Wiltshire (ex) • Lord Clifford • Lord Dacre • Sir Andrew Trollope

The Battle of Hedgeley Moor
Date: 25 April 1464
Battle site: Approximately 6 miles south-east of Wooler, Northumberland.

Leaders in battle: John Neville • Marquess of Montague • 

Leaders in battle: Duke of Somerset • Lord Roos • Lord Hungerford • Sir Ralph Percy

Casualties: Sir Ralph Percy

The Battle of Hexham
Date: 15 May 1464
Battle site: OS site known as Hexham Levels is 2 miles south-east of Hexham, Northumberland. Alternative site about one mile north-east near Swallowship Hill.

Leaders in battle: John Neville, Marquess of Montagu

Leaders in battle: Duke of Somerset • Lord Roos • Lord Hungerford

Casualties: Duke of Somerset (ex) • Lord Roos (ex) • Lord Hungerford (ex) • Sir Philip Wentworth • Sir William Tailboys

The Battle of Edgecote
Date: 26 July 1469
Battle site: Site known as Danes Moor south-east of Edgecote which is 5.5 miles north-east of Banbury, Oxfordshire.

Leaders in battle: Earl of Pembroke • Earl of Devon • Sir Richard Herbert

Casualties: Sir Thomas Vaughan • Earl of Pembroke (ex) • Earl of Devon (ex) • Sir Richard Herbert (ex)

Leaders in battle: 'Robin of Redesdale' • Sir Henry Neville

Casualties: Sir Henry Neville

The Battle of Empingham, also known as The Battle of Losecote Field
Date: 12 March 1470
Battle site: 2.5 miles north-east of Empingham, Rutland and just east of the Great North Road (A1).

Leaders in battle: King Edward IV

Leaders in battle: Sir Robert Welles • Sir Thomas de Launde • Richard Wauren

Casualties: Sir Robert Welles (ex) • Sir Thomas de Launde (ex) • Richard Wauren (ex)

The Battle of Barnet
Date: 14 April 1471
Battle site: Close to Hadley Wood about 1 mile north-east of Barnet, formerly in Middlesex.

Leaders in battle: King Edward IV • Duke of Gloucester • Duke of Clarence • Sir William Hastings

Casualties: Lord Say and Sele • 

Leaders in battle: Earl of Warwick • Earl of Oxford • Marquess of Montagu

Casualties: Earl of Warwick • Marquess of Montagu • Lord Cromwell • Sir Humphrey Bourchier

The Battle of Tewkesbury
Date: 4 May 1471
Battle site: About 0.5 miles south of Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire.

Leaders in battle: King Edward IV • Duke of Gloucester • Duke of Clarence • Sir William Hastings

Leaders in battle: Edward Prince of Wales • Duke of Somerset

Casualties: Edward Prince of Wales • Duke of Somerset (ex) • Earl of Devon • Lord Wenlock • John Beaufort • Sir John Delves • Sir Robert Whittinhgham

The Battle of Bosworth
Date: 22 August 1485
Battle site: Traditional site about 4.5 miles north-west of Hinckley between the villages of Sutton Cheney and Shenton, Leicestershire.

Leaders in battle: King Richard III • Duke of Norfolk • Earl of Northumberland

Casualties: King Richard III • Duke of Norfolk • William Catesby (ex) • Sir Richard Radcliffe • Sir Richard Brackenbury • Sir Robert Percy

Leaders in battle: Henry Tudor • Earl of Richmond • Earl of Oxford • Jasper Tudor • Lord Stanley • Sir William Stanley

Casualties: William Brandon

The Battle of Stoke
Date: 16 June 1487
Battle site: East Stoke 5 miles south-west of Newark, Nottinghamshire.

Leaders in battle: Earl of Lincoln • Martin Schwartz • Thomas FitzGerald • 

Casualties: Earl of Lincoln • Martin Schwartz • Thomas FitzGerald

Leaders in battle: King Henry VII • Earl of Oxford • Lord Strange

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