First Battle of St Albans – fighting on the market place
On 22 May 1455 the first Battle of St Albans, Hertfordshire, between the Yorkist forces under Richard, 3rd Duke of York, and the Lancastrian forces of Henry VI under Edmund, Duke of Somerset, who fell in the battle. Henry VI was captured. The battle was won by the Yorkists.
This is the first battle in what became known as the Wars of the Roses, with the white rose standing for York and the red for Lancaster (Henry VI). This battle is unique among all the battles of the Wars of the Roses in that it was entirely fought in the streets of the town and not in a field. Walking around the market area of St Albans today, you can still see the outline of the area in medieval times with its half-timbered houses and the narrow and winding alleyways. One can’t help wondering what the town’s citizens made of this. And not to forget that not even six years later on 17 February 1461, the armies were back for a second battle.
You can read more on the first Battle of St Albans on Karen’s blog.
A short description of the various battles of the Wars of the Roses can be found on the website of the Richard III Society.
Death of John de la Pole, duke of Suffolk, only son of William de la Pole and Alice Chaucer. As a child, John was married Margaret Beaufort, but the marriage contract was dissolved in February 1453 by Henry VI. In 1458 he married instead Elizabeth, the daughter of Richard, duke of York, and Cecily Neville, a sister of Edward IV and Richard III. They had 11 children. They were buried together at Wingfield, Suffolk.
Tags: de la Pole
Death of Alice Chaucer, duchess of Suffolk. She is buried in St Mary’s Church Ewelme. Her tomb (pictured left) shows her wearing the Garter insignia on her left forearm. The tomb is remarkable: Alice’s effigy rests on an alabaster tomb chest, with a cadaver effigy below.
Alice had been married as a child to Sir John Phelip, who died when she was only 11 years old. After 1421 she married Thomas Montagu, earl of Salisbury. After his death in 1438, she married in November 1430 William de la Pole, earl of Suffolk.
Source: ODNB on Alice Chaucer, duchess of Suffolk
Photograph of the tomb of Alice Chaucer by the present author.
Richard Duke of York Knighted
On Whitsunday, 19 May 1426, Henry VI was knighted in St Mary de Castro, Leicester, by his uncle, John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford. Then the only four-year-Richard, Duke of York, old Henry knighted 44 others, foremost among them Richard, duke of York (father of Edward IV and Richard III).
More information on the church of St Mary de Castro here.
William Arthur Shaw, The Knights of England. Vol.1. Sherratt and Hughes, London, 1906, pp.130-132
Death of Katherine Woodville, sister of Elizabeth Woodville. She was first married to Henry Stafford, second duke of Buckingham. Her second husband was Jasper Tudor. Her marriage to her third husband, Richard Wingfield, in 1496 was not licenced by the king and her eldest son had to pay her fine after her death. Wingfield requested in his will of 1525 masses for Katherine’s soul. According to the ODNB, Jasper Tudor had not mention her at all in his will, but this is incorrect.
Source: ODNB on Henry Stafford, Henry, second duke of Buckingham
Tags: Woodville Family