Battle of Wakefield Called off

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis   in News

NewsThe re-enactment of the Battle of Wakefield, which was to have been fought today, has been called off at short notice.

It commemorates the Battle of Wakefield fought on 30 December 1460 between the Yorkists and the Lancastrians, one of the battles of the wars of the Roses.  The Yorkists were greatly outnumbered and destroyed completely; nearly 3000 men fell in the hour long battle.  For Ricardians it is of particular poignancy because of the death of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, the father of Richard III.  His second son Edmund, Earl of Rutland, who was then 17 years old, was murdered after the battle, apparently by John Clifford, 9th Baron de Clifford, as revenge for his father’s death in the 1st Battle of St Albans.  Clifford was afterwards known as ‘Butcher Clifford’.  Also killed was Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury.  He was wounded and captured in the battle, apparently initially with an idea to ransom him, but was executed the next day.  The heads of these three Yorkists were stuck on poles and displayed over Micklegate Bar, York, with the Duke wearing a paper crown.  We can only wonder how history would have turned out if the real battle in 1460 had been called off!

This re-enactment has taken place annually since 2005, with more than 1000 people turning up in 2008.  Events planned for today included medieval crafts, food, costumes and stalls and, weather permitting, demonstrations of medieval combat and archery.  The cancellation is due to a combination of the closure of Sandal Castle Visitor Centre, illness as well as the snow and ice.

However, the wreath laying by members of the Richard III Society at the Duke of York’s Monument on Manygates Lane is set to go ahead at 2.15 pm.

You can read the full article from the Wakefield Express here.

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