31
Mar

31 MARCH 1204

   Posted by: Lawrence Osborn   in Events in History

Death of Eleanor of Aquitaine.  She was first married to Louis VII of France, from 1137 until their divorce in spring 1352.  She married Henry II of England in May 1352.  At the time of her death she was 82.

She was buried at the abbey church in Fontevrault, next to her second husband.  Several of their children, including their son Richard I ‘the Lionheart’ are also buried there.

Source: ODNB ‘Eleanor , suo jure duchess of Aquitaine (c.1122–1204)’

Photograph of the tomb effigies of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II at Fontevrault Abbey taken by ElanorGamgee; obtained through Wikimedia Commons.

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29
Mar

Battle of Towton

   Posted by: Lawrence Osborn   in Events in History

Battle of Towton

Towton Cross

Battle of Towton – the bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil

The Battle of Towton , regarded as  “the largest and bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil”, was fought in a snow storm on Palm Sunday, 29 March 1461, between the Lancastrian forces of King Henry VI and the Yorkist forces led by Edward, Earl of March.  It has been said that 28,000 men died that day, out of 50,000 to 100,000 soldiers.  The result was a Yorkist victory and Edward became king as Edward IV.

In 1996 a mass grave of fallen soldiers was found at Towton Hall.  Their remains have been studied by the University of Bradford.

Edward IV had planned to build a memorial chapel at Towton, but it was Richard III, who put this plan into action.  The chapel was nearly finished, when he was killed at Bosworth, and the chapel had been lost.  Or so it was thought.  In October 2013 it was revealed that scientists had found strong evidence of remains of the chapel.

In 2010 fragments of hand held guns and lead shot were found at the battle site, the earliest ever to be found.

References:

Helen Cox, ‘Towton: the Battle and the Battlefield Society’, Herstory Writing & Interpretation (4 Sept 2010).  Link “Towton” on URL:  http://helencox-herstorywriting.co.uk/#/articles/4539783477  Date accessed:  19 Oct 2010

T. Sutherland & A. Schmidt,’The Towton Battlefield Archaeological Survey Project:  An Integrated Approach to Battlefield Archaeology’, Landscapes, Vol.4, Issue 2 (October 2003), pp.15-25.  Available from URL:  http://bradscholars.brad.ac.uk:8080/bitstream/handle/10454/818/Towton03-Preprint.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y  Date accessed:  30 December 2014

‘Richard III Towton chapel remains are ‘found’’, BBC News York & North Yorkshire (7 Oct 2013).  URL:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-24434795  Date accessed:  8 Oct 2013

A short description of the various battles of the Wars of the Roses can be found on the website of the Richard III Society.

Dorothea Preis

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28
Mar

END OF MARCH 1484

   Posted by: Lawrence Osborn   in Events in History

Death of Edward of Middleham, only son of Richard III and Anne Neville

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28
Mar

Skirmish at Ferrybridge

   Posted by: Lawrence Osborn   in Events in History

Skirmish at Ferrybridge

Skirmish at Ferrybridge

On 28 March 1461, a skirmish at Ferrybridge, West Yorkshire, was fought in the lead-up to the Battle of Towton.  Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick (‘The Kingmaker”), received an arrow wound to the leg.  John, Lord Clifford, (believed to be responsible for the death of Edward IV’s brother Edmund, Earl of Rutland) fell on the Lancastrian side.

Traditionally the skirmishes at Ferrybridge and Dintingdale (also on 28 March 1461) and the battle of Towton were seen as three separate battles, both in space and time.  However, Tim Sutherland argues, that these were rather three interconnected conflicts. He bases his analysis on archaeological finds and a new interpretation of the sources.

Reference:

Tim Sutherland, ‘Killing Time:  Challenging the common perceptions of three medieval conflicts – Ferrybridge, Dintingdale and Towton  — ”The Largest Battle on British Soil”’, Journal of Conflict Archaeology, Vol.5 No.1 (2010). Available from URL:  http://www.towton.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/killing-time_tim_sutherland.pdf  Date accessed:  14 December 2011

A short description of the various battles of the Wars of the Roses can be found on the website of the Richard III Society.

Dorothea Preis

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22
Mar

22 MARCH 1459

   Posted by: Lawrence Osborn   in Events in History

Birth of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor.  His first wife was Mary, daughter of Charles the Bold of Burgundy and stepdaughter of Margaret of York.  Maximilian was a strong supporter of “Perkin Warbeck” who might – or might not – have been Richard of York.

Rather than going to war, he sought to strengthen his country’s position by diplomatic marriages, which was summed up in the couplet:

Bella gerant alii, tu felix Austria nube.
Nam quae Mars aliis, dat tibi diva Venus.

(Let others wage war, but thou, O happy Austria, marry; for those kingdoms which Mars gives to others, Venus gives to thee.)

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20
Mar

Birth of Cecily of York

   Posted by: Lawrence Osborn   in Events in History

Birth of Cecily of York

Birth of Cecily of York

Cecily of York

Birth of Cecily of York, third daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, at Westminster Palace on 20 March 1469.

Married (1) 1484 to Ralph Scrope of Upsall, union annulled  in 1486, after accession of Henry VII.

Married (2) before New Year’s Day 1488 to John Welles, 1st Viscount Welles, half-brother of Henry VII’s mother Margaret Beaufort.  They had two daughters, Elizabeth and Anne.  Welles died on 9 February 1499.

Married (3) to Sir Thomas Kyme of Friskney (in Lincolnshire) in 1502 without Henry VII’s permission and she was banished from court and all her estates were confiscated, though some were returned later.  It is not clear whether they had any children.

Cecily died on 24 August 1507 at Hatfield, Hertfordshire.

References:

ODNB ‘Cecily, Viscountess Welles (1469–1507)’ (accessed online: 11 May 2011)

Susan Higginbotham, ‘The Queen’s Sister: Cecil, Viscountess Welles’, History Refreshed by Susan Higginbotham (1 September 2013).  URL: http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/blog/posts/the-queens-sister-cecily-viscountess-welles/  Date accessed:  29 December 2014

Dorothea Preis

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20
Mar

20 MARCH 687

   Posted by: Lawrence Osborn   in Events in History

Death of St Cuthbert at Inner Farne Island, off the coast of Northumberland.  He is venerated at Durham Cathedral.

He must have had special relevance for Richard III, as the statutes for his college at Middleham, which it has been suggested Richard might have written himself, state that one of the stalls for the priests should be named for St Cuthbert.  St Cuthbert’s was one of the principal feast days to be celebrated at Middleham.

 

Further reading:

Melhuish, Joyce M., The College of King Richard III, Middleham.  Richard III Society (nd)

Rollason, David & Dobson, R.B., ‘Cuthbert [St Cuthbert] (c.635–687)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.  URL:  http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/6976 Date accessed: 18 July 2011

Sutton, Anne F. & Visser Fuchs, Livia, The Hours of Richard III.  Alan Sutton Publishing Ltd (first published 1990, paperback 1996)

Dorothea Preis

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16
Mar

16 MARCH 1485

   Posted by: Lawrence Osborn   in Events in History

Death of Richard III’s wife Anne Neville at Westminster, probably of tuberculosis.  She was buried at Westminster Abbey, but the location of her grave is unknown.  It is often said that Richard openly wept at her funeral, though the origin of this assumption is unclear.  There is a plaque for her at Westminster Abbey donated by the Richard III Society.  Unfortunately it does not get mentioned in the audio guide, so you have to look out for it.

The illustration on the left is from the in memoriam card which accompanied the wreath for Queen Anne’s tomb at Westminster in 2007. (© Richard III Society)

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14
Mar

14 MARCH 1471

   Posted by: Lawrence Osborn   in Events in History

Edward IV and his brother Richard (later Richard III) arrive back in England on their return from exile in Burgundy, landing at Ravenspur.

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12
Mar

12 MARCH 1470

   Posted by: Lawrence Osborn   in Events in History

Battle of Losecoat Field, at Tickencote Warren near Empingham, Rutland.  The Yorkists were led by Edward IV against Robert Welles, 8th Baron Willoughby de Eresby, and his men who had sided with Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick (‘The Kingmaker’).  Fast victory for the Yorkists.   A popular myth is that as they fled, Welles’ men quickly left their coats behind to avoid identification, which gave the battle its name.

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