Posts Tagged ‘Wars of the Roses’

30
Dec

Battle of Wakefield

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Events in History

Battle of Wakefield

Battle of Wakefield

The Battle of Wakefield was fought on 30 December 1460 in West Yorkshire.  Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, and Edmund, Earl of Rutland, father and brother of Edward IV and Richard III, were killed.  Also killed was Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury.  Their heads were stuck on poles and displayed over Micklegate Bar, York, the Duke wearing a paper crown.

For a thorough analysis of the battle read Helen Cox, The Battle of Wakefield Revisited:  A Fresh Perspective on Richard of York’s Final Battle, December 1460. You can read more on Helen’s website here.

And for visitors we recommend:  Helen Cox, Walk Wakefield 1460:  A Visitor Guide to Battle-Related Sites

A short description of the various battles of the Wars of the Roses can be found on the website of the Richard III Society (you need to scroll down a bit).

Dorothea Preis

Tags: , , , ,

23
Dec

Review of 14 December 2019 Meeting

   Posted by: Rhonda Bentley    in Branch News, Meetings, News

“A Closer Look at the Roses Used as Symbols During the Wars of the Roses”

presented by Dianne Herbert

Dianne Herbert, a long standing member of the Richard III Society, introduced us to the Alba Semi-Plena, the rose we know of as the White Rose of York. It is not like the mass produced roses we know today, being much simpler but more perfumed. Roses are thought to have originated in Persia (Iran) about 35 million years old and were brought to the west by the Crusaders. The Middle East was a major producer of rosewater, rose attar (rose essence or rose oil) and rose petals, for use in medicine, as food and in cosmetics. The Alba doesn’t interbreed successfully with other roses.

Review of 14 December 2019 Meeting

Rosa ‘Semi-plena’ (Photo by A. Barra via Wikimedia Commons)

There are a number of stories associated with roses. Apparently, roses only started to produce thorns when evil appeared in the world. At the Feast of Heliogabalus (204 – 222), guests died after being smothered in rose petals. The oldest rose bush alive today was established by King Louis the Pious (King of the Franks) in 815, and is at Hildesheim Cathedral in Germany. In the Middle Ages, a rose suspended from the ceiling meant that those present were sworn to secrecy.

Review of 14 December 2019 Meeting

Thousand-year-old rose, Hildesheim (Photo by Bischöfliche Pressestelle Hildesheim via Wikimedia Commons)

Edmund Langley, 1st Duke of York was the first nobleman to use the White Rose of York. Edmund Crouchback, 1st Earl of Lancaster used the red rose (Rosa gallica). Margaret of Anjou was known as the Red Rose of Anjou. Edward IV’s wife, Elizabeth Woodville used a white rose. Edward IV’s mistress, Jane Shore was known as the Rose of London. And it was not until 1829 that the term “Wars of the Roses” was used, when Sir Walter Scott included the term in his novel Anne of Geierstein.

White Rose of York

There is a “Jacobite” or “Bonny Prince Charlie’s” rose, as well as a rose called “York and Lancaster”. Roses have been cultivated in China since the 11th century, and a Rose Museum has recently been opened in Beijing. Unfortunately, there are no native roses in the Southern Hemisphere.

It was interesting to learn about the history of roses and the white rose in particular. We could hear Dianne’s love of roses in her talk. Amongst other roses, she grows “Mr Lincoln”, “Duchess of Provence”, and the “Peace Rose”. I’m sure her garden is spectacular.

Tags: , , , ,

29
Mar

Battle of Towton

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    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:

James Clark, ‘The Medieval Somme: forgotten battle that was the bloodiest fought on British soil’, The Conversation (13 July 2016).  URL:  https://theconversation.com/the-medieval-somme-forgotten-battle-that-was-the-bloodiest-fought-on-british-soil-62129 [last accessed 28 March 2019]

Helen Cox, ‘The Battle of Towton is alive and well in Yorkshire’, Herstory Writing & Interpretation..  Link “Towton” on URL:  http://helencox-herstorywriting.co.uk/#/articles/4539783477  [last accessed 28 March 2019]

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 at URL: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/238691750_The_Towton_Battlefield_Archaeological_Survey_Project_An_Integrated_Approach_to_Battlefield_Archaeology [last accessed 28 March 2019]

‘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  [last accessed 28 March 2019]

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

Tags: , , , , ,

28
Mar

Skirmish at Ferrybridge

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    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.

Tags: , , , ,

25
Mar

25 MARCH 1458

   Posted by: Michael    in Events in History

‘Love Day’ at St Paul’s. An attempt at reconciliation between the opposing Yorkists and Lancastrians, loyal to Henry VI, to resolve the feud resulting from the 1st Battle of St Albans (22 May 1455).   Then, on Lady Day (25 March), the King led a “love day” procession to St. Paul’s Cathedral, with Lancastrian and Yorkist nobles following him, hand in hand, among them Richard, Duke of York, with Queen Margaret of Anjou.

Tags: , , , , ,

12
Mar

12 MARCH 1470

   Posted by: Michael    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.

Tags: ,

17
Feb

Second Battle of St Albans

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Events in History

Second Battle of St Albans

St Michael’s Bridge and ford (© D Preis)

Second Battle of St Albans – a Lancastrian victory

The second Battle of St Albans was fought on 17 February 1461 between the Lancastrian forces under Margaret of Anjou (Henry VI’s queen) and the Yorkist forces under Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick (‘The Kingmaker”).  It was won by the Lancastrian forces.  Henry VI was reunited with his wife and son.  The Yorkists, however, won the Battle of Towton on 29 March 1461 and with it the crown for Edwrad IV.

The photo shows St Michael’s Bridge and ford.  Part of the Lancastrian forces led by Sir Andrew Trollope entered St Albans via this ford.  The present bridge was only built in 1765, but it is considered to be the oldest still existing bridge in Hertfordshire.

The second Battle of St Albans was fought over a larger area than the first Battle of St Albans on 22 May 1455, which was concentrated on the streets in the town centre.

The website St Albans & Hertfordshire Architectural and Archaeological Society has a map showing the area covered by both battles.

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

 

Tags: , , ,

2
Feb

Battle of Mortimer’s Cross

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Events in History

Battle of Mortimer’s CrossBattle of Mortimer’s Cross, Herefordshire – Edward on the way to the throne

The Battle of Mortimer’s Cross was fought on 2 February 1461 in Herefordshire,  It was an important battle in the Wars of the Roses.

In the Battle of Mortimer’s Cross the Yorkists were led by 18-year-old  Edward, Earl of March (later Edward IV).  They intercepted a  Lancastrian forces led by Owen Tudor and his son Jasper into England.  The Lancastrians outnumbered the Yorkists considerably and were better mounted and armed.  The Yorkists were encouraged by a parhelion, a meteorological phenomenon in which three suns appear.  This is the origin of Edward’s badge ‘The Sun in Splendour’.

Unfortunately the Battle of Mortimer’s Cross is not very well documented.  The fighting must have been ferocious in adverse weather conditions in the middle of winter.

After the battle Owen Tudor was captured and executed in Hereford, along with other prisoners of rank.

To find out more:

Battle of Mortimer’s Cross, Battlefields Resource Centre.

Jennifer Young, ‘The Mortimer’s Cross Parhelion: How a Meteorological Phenomenon Changed English History’, Decoded Science (2 October 2011).  URL:  http://www.decodedscience.com/the-mortimers-cross-parhelion-how-a-meteorological-phenomenon-changed-english-history/3437  [accessed 26 January 2015]

Dorothea Preis

 

Tags: , ,

3
Sep

NOT LOOKING FOR RICHARD?

   Posted by: Julia Redlich    in Bookworm

NOT LOOKING FOR RICHARD?Thanks to Philippa Langley and John Ashdown-Hill the phrase “Looking for Richard” became part of our lives and enthralled us through the search, discovery and final result. Then came the pride and emotion as we witnessed the re-interment – and acknowledgement of King Richard’s life in Leicester.

But what happens if you aren’t looking for Richard and he – and some historical connections – suddenly turn up when you least expect them, usually through a brief reference is a totally unexpected book.

I changed my mind about Richard’s character at the ripe old age of ten. I’d read the junior history books, seen the Millais’ portrait of those innocent little boys and even accepted the fact that in a pantomime The Babes in the Wood (at the Bournemouth Pavilion for the Dorset Group’s info) the wicked uncle wore black and had a hunchback. Hmm.

Then my sister and I saw a production of The Black Arrow at London’s Old Vic theatre and this was the cue for a major switch. This novel is subtitled A Tale of Two Roses and is set during the Cousin’s War. The young hero, Richard Shelton fighting for the Yorkists, becomes aware of a fierce encounter taking place. One of a small group of fighters is “so active and dexterous … so desperately did he charge and scatter his opponents … but so icy was the ground, one slip and his life would be forfeit.”

Young Richard of course comes to this man’s aid, the fight is won and he is “surprised to find in one who had displayed such strength skill and energy [was] a lad no older than himself – slightly deformed, with one shoulder higher than the other … The eyes, however, were very clear and bold.”

This is his first meeting with the young Duke of Gloucester, and after more fighting, Richard is knighted by the Duke for his valour, and finally, with the Duke’s royal consent, marries his love Joanna. RLS may well have been an early Ricardian …

A few years later, when reading one of English author Angela Thirkell’s delightful novels in which she picks up the descendants and places of Anthony Trollope’s Barchester novels, and sets them in the mid-1900s, I rejoiced to find Mrs Morland praising The Black Arrow.

“Why Stevenson thought so poorly of that book I shall never understand. All my boys loved it … And it was the only thing that made me really interested in Richard Crookback, until I read that book by that clever woman with three names, who proved that Richard didn’t murder the little Princes in the Tower and was a hero all the time and not a villain.”

Well, we all know the name of that book, don’t we? It’s probably on everyone’s bookshelves even after all the years since it was published in 1951.

Another book I loved at about the same age was Maddy Alone, by Pamela Brown. Twelve-year-old Maddy, an aspiring actress, learns about a film being made about a castle near her home. The kindly Bishop who is a family friend, takes her for lunch (with meringues) to soothe her misery at being left behind while her sister and older friends start at drama academy. Afterwards they go for a walk near the castle and he tells her that the film is about the daughter of Arthur, Prince of Wales, and Catherine of Aragon. He has just found some old papers that reveal that “at twelve years old away she fledde, forsook her crown but saved her hedde”. Apparently there was a plan to put her on the throne after Henry VII died, but naturally Henry VIII would have none of it.

There are some pretty valid comments about the undesirability of this particular Tudor and his propensity for an axe and a block to dispense with those he no longer needed in his life!

Richard isn’t mentioned, but I liked the Tudor reference. And, of course, our 12-year-old finds out that the daughter of Arthur is being played by a well-known and glamorous actress and chaos inevitably ensues. Now guess who plays the role at the right age …

Ricardians who are also die-hard fans of detective novels will be familiar with the Inspector Lynley novels, by the American author Elizabeth George, a self-confessed supporter of the last Plantagenet king. Her references to him in many of her books give us enormous pleasure – as does the investigation through to pages to find his name! These are some of my favourites.

The Evidence Exposed:

This is a collection of three novellas, in one of which – I Richard – an interesting theory as to what happened to the Princes and, indeed, whodunit, is presented. With Philippa Langley’s new quest to discover an answer to the age-old mystery, you could appreciate the idea.

Well-Schooled in Murder

Sergeant Barbara Havers asks Lynley why the statue of Henry VII outside a school faces north, not south, towards the school entry.

“He wants us to remember his moment of glory. So he’s looking to the north, in the direction of Bosworth Field.”

“‘Ah. Death and treachery. The end of Richard III. Why does it always slip my mind that you’re a Yorkist… Do you spit on Henry’s tomb whenever you get the chance to slip down to the Abbey?”

He smiled. “Religiously. It’s one of my rare pleasures.”

Missing Joseph:

Lynley speaks to Deborah and Simon St James about the power of tourism: “Don’t people pay to see the Queen of Scots death mask?”

“Not to mention some of the grimmer spots of the Tower London,” St James said. “The Chapel Royal, Wakefield Tower.”

“Why bother with the Crown Jewels when you can see a chopping block?” Lynley added. “Crime doesn’t pay, but death brings them running with a few quid.”

“Is this irony from the man who’s made at least five personal pilgrimages to Bosworth Field on the twenty-second of August?” Deborah asked blithely. “… where you drink from the well and swear to Richard’s ghost that you would have fought for the Yorks?”

“That’s not death,” Lynley said with some dignity, lifting his glass to salute her. “That’s history, my girl. Someone’s got to be willing to set the record straight.”

The Girl in the Photograph, by Kate Riordan, is a recent publication I enjoyed. Set in an old, crumbling English manor, the heroine, living a lonely life there, is convinced that one night the resident ghost is around. The sound of footsteps, drifts of perfume and so on. According to local legend this is none other than Margaret of Anjou who stayed there on her way to join young Edouard, Lancaster Prince of Wales, at Tewkesbury, unaware that his death is imminent. It seems that the author assumed her readers would know exactly who Margaret was as there is no further reference to her back story, the Cousins’ War, or the fact that her companion would have been Anne Neville , the future queen and wife of Richard III.

The uncertainly and mystery about Richard has obviously struck a chord with many authors. One of those in the Golden Age of English Crime Writing was Dorothy L. Sayers who, in Have His Carcase has her noble detective Lord Peter Wimsey on the hunt for the killer of a young man whose body was found stranded on a rock off the Cornish coast. His quest takes him to the offices of theatrical agents where the photograph of the victim reminds one agent of someone who would have made “a good Judas”. “Or a Richard III,” says the other.

Then follows an interesting discussion of the guises Richard portrays in Shakespeare’s tragedy. The man who plots, the man who flies into tempers that, according these two, are as artificial as his love-making to Anne. As he leaves, Wimsey asks the Inspector who is with him what made them think of Richard III.

“Wasn’t he the fellow who made up his mind to be a villain?” to which Lord Peter confesses that he has “something on his mind and can’t seem get it out”. A nice cue to let you read on!

A further visit to a theatrical connection occurs in one of the other-authored sequels to Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca. In Sally Beauman’s Rebecca’s Tale we meet one of those seeking to find the secrets of Rebecca’s life, and an obscure reference leads him to the memoirs of legendary actor manager Sir Frank McKendrick, who recalls the charming young actress Isabel Devlin who had died shortly after leaving his company.

“I grieved for her. I should add that Miss Devlin’s daughter was also at this time a member of our little “band of brothers” … she was a most unusual and wicked Puck at a very early age and was of great use to us in boys’ roles. I remember her as a swaggering but subtle young Princeling to my Richard III … but we heard no more of her after her mother died.”

Unusual, wicked, swaggering and subtle could all apply to the later mistress of Manderley.

And Shakespeare’s Edward V recalls another childhood book, Noel Streatfield’s Ballet Shoes in which young Pauline’s portrayal of the role leads her on to the fortune that helps her family.

How many other books are there to prove that their authors found him just as significant as Ricardians? Information welcome!

 

The Black Arrow, by Robert Louis Stevenson, published 1888.

Three Score and Ten, by Angela Thirkell, Hamish Hamilton, 1961

Maddy Alone, by Pamela Brown, Nelson, 1945

The Evidence Exposed, by Elizabeth George, Hodder & Stoughton 1999. ISBN 0 34 075 063 0

Well-Schooled in Murder, by Elizabeth George Bantam, 1990. ISBN 0 553 401 167

Missing Joseph, by Elizabeth George, Bantam, 1993. ISBN 0 553 402 382

The Girl in the Photograph, by Kate Riordan, Michael Joseph, 2014. ISBN 978-0-718-17928-1

Have His Carcase, by Dorothy L. Sayers, Gollancz 1932.

Rebecca’s Tale, by Sally Beaumont, Little Brown, 2001. ISBN 0 316 858 137

Ballet Shoes, by Noel Streatfield, Dent 1936.

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

20
Sep

THE TRUTH ABOUT RICHARD III

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in News, News from Other Organizations

This is the title of a study day arranged by the Centre for Continuing Education at the University of Sydney on 26 October 2013.

The study day will be presented by Yvette Debergue, who is well-known to members and friends of the NSW branch from a variety of interesting talks.  Yvette is one of the centre’s leading presenters in the area of medieval history.  The day promises an in-depth look at the life of the last Plantagenet King.

Course content:

•    The King in the Car Park
•    The Wars of the Roses
•    King Richard III
•    A Twist in the Tale

Planned Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

1.     Develop an understanding of some of the social and familial reasons for the series of dynastic wars between the houses of York and Lancaster known as the Wars of The Roses.
2.     Evaluate and analyse the various sources for Richard III and his life and times.
3.     Recognise the reasons for the different depictions of Richard III throughout the ages in literature and history.
4.    Characterise the key factors in the discovery of the gravesite of Richard III and the positive identification of the body as that of the long dead, and much maligned, last Plantagenet King.

The part on the Greyfriars Dig will be presented by Dorothea of the NSW Branch of the Richard III Society, who has given talks on this topic as well as various others to a variety of organizations in the Sydney area.

To find out more about the study day, please have a look at the attached flyer provided by the Centre for Continuing Education.  20130830 The Truth About Richard III

The day will cost $145, but members of the Richard III Society, the Plantagenet Society and the Military History Society will receive a 10% discount on quoting the code YDS1013.

Tags: , , ,