The Battle of Bosworth was the last significant battle of the Wars of the Roses which was the long lasting civil war between the Houses of Lancaster and York that during the latter part of the 15th century ravaged across England.
Fought on 22 August 1485, the battle was won by Henry Tudor from the house of the Lancastrians. Henry’s victory meant he became the first English monarch of the Tudor dynasty.
Richard III, from the House of York, was brutally killed in the battle despite out numbering Henry’s army and having a lot of support from across England. It is said that the Battle of Bosworth marked the end of the Plantagenet dynasty, thereby making it a defining moment of English and Welsh history.
Richard III’s reign as King began in 1483 after being suspiciously crowned after his twelve-year-old nephew Edward V, was declared ineligible to stand as King of England. Edward V and his younger brother mysteriously disappeared shortly after this event which did nothing to support Richard III especially after rumours of his involvement in the death of his wife.
French based (Brittany) Henry Tudor who was a direct descendant of the greatly diminished House of Lancaster heard about the King’s lack of popularity and decided to seize the opportunity and Richard III’s claim to the English throne.
A storm in 1483 put paid to his first invasion attempt however his second was unopposed as he landed on the shores of the West coast of Wales on the 7th of August 1485.
Henry Tudor gathered support for his quest as he marched towards London but was met by King Richard on Bosworth field in Leicestershire, who had brought together his own troops. Thomas, Lord Stanley, and Sir William Stanley brought a powerful force to the battlefield, but interestingly did not partake in the fray until they decided which side it would be more advantageous to join forces with.
The King divided his larger army into three groups of which one was assigned to the Duke of Norfolk and another to the Earl of Northumberland. On the opposite side, Henry Tudor kept most of his force together and placed it under the command of the experienced Earl of Oxford.
Norfolk attacked but struggled against the Earl of Oxford’s men and eventually began to flee the battle field. Northumberland ignored the King’s request for assistance so Richard III gambled everything on a desperate charge across the battlefield to kill Henry and end the fight.
This was his undoing as when Stanley saw the English King and his Knights separated from his army; Sir William rushed with his men to Henry’s aid, surrounding and killing Richard III. Henry Tudor was subsequently crowned king below an oak tree in nearby Stoke Golding, now a residential garden.
Taking my little Jack Russell and girlfriend along to visit the battlefield of Bosworth, below is a string of pictures to hopefully give you part of the experience of our visit and education of the battle of Bosworth.
The pictures above are the start of the tour around the field of Bosworth. It is a mile and a half loop that begins on top of the hill.
There are points of interest along the route, I have pictures of most which you can see below.
Sorry, should have cleaned the bird poo off it first.
Not great pictures but it was the best I could do with what I had. The sign needs updating clearly.
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