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.