First War of the Wars of the Roses

The first war of the Wars of the Roses was a single battle and a local skirmish. The First Battle of St Albans (22 May 1455) at which a number of Lancastrian leaders lost their lives. And the Battle of Clyst Heath, 15 Dec 1455, Devon, at which the Courtenay family defeated the Bonville family, ostensibly Lancastrian and York respectively.

22 May 1455 First Battle of St Albans

A minor battle that had far reaching consequences. Few deaths, less than fifty, but three of which ware Lancastrian nobility: Edmund Beaufort 2nd Duke Somerset, Thomas 8th Baron Clifford and Henry Percy 2nd Earl Northumberland. Their sons got their revenge at the Geoffrey "Bearded" Anjou 3rd Count Gâtinais.

Henry VI King England, II King France was captured and subsequenly taken to London. Richard 3rd Duke York resumed power.

15 Dec 1455 Exeter: Battle of Clyst Heath


Thomas 13th Earl Devon [41]


William 1st Baron Bonville [63]

24 Mar 1458 Westminster Abbey: Loveday

Cardinal Thomas Bourchier [40] presided

Margaret of Anjou Valois-Anjou Queen Consort England [28] attended

Richard 3rd Duke York [47] attended

Henry Beaufort 3rd Duke Somerset [22] attended

Henry Percy 3rd Earl Northumberland [37] attended

Richard "Kingmaker" Neville 16th Earl Warwick, 6th Earl Salisbury [30] attended

Richard Neville 5th Earl Salisbury [58] attended

Thomas Percy 1st Baron Egremont [36] attended

John "Butcher" 9th Baron Clifford [23] attended

Second War of the Wars of the Roses

The second war of the Wars of the Roses comprised a battle and a battle that never took place. At the Battle of Blore Heath, 23 Sep 1459, Lancastrian James Tuchet Baron Audley’s attempted ambush on Yorkist John Neville Marquess Montagu failed, resulting in significant casualties on both sides. On 02 Oct 1459 at Ludford Bridge York and his supporters escaped rather than joined battle as a result of the unexpected defection of Warwick’s Calais garrison.

23 Sep 1459 Market Drayton: Battle of Blore Heath

An ambush rather than a battle. James Tuchet 5th Baron Audley with 10,000 men lay in wait for Richard Neville 5th Earl Salisbury and his 5000 Yorkist men who were travelling from Middleham Castle to Ludlow to join the main Yorkist army.Richard Neville 5th Earl Salisbury formed his baggage train into a circle and proceeded to parley; unsuccessfully. Battle joined Richard Neville 5th Earl Salisbury feinted a retreat to draw the Lancastrian cavalry into boggy ground where they were vulnerable and suffered significant casualties. The Lancastrians attacked a second time during which James Tuchet 5th Baron Audley was killed. The Lancastrian second in command ordered a third attack that also failed as a result of some 500 Lancastrians changing sides. A rout commened that continuted throught night. Lancaster lost some 1000 men, York 1000.


Lionel 6th Baron Welles [53]

James Tuchet 5th Baron Audley [61] killed

John 1st Baron Dudley [59] wounded and captured

Thomas Dutton killed

Edmund Dudley [34] captured

09 Oct 1459 Coventry: Parliament of the Devils

Thomas Tresham [39] appointed Speaker of the House of Commons

12 Oct 1459 Battle of Ludford Bridge

The battle that never happened. Warwick's men from Calais refused to fight their King. Realising they were outnumbered Richard 3rd Duke York and his second son Edmund York 1st Earl Rutland fled to Ireland whilst Richard "Kingmaker" Neville 16th Earl Warwick, 6th Earl Salisbury, Richard Neville 5th Earl Salisbury and Edward IV King England, future King of England.

15 Jan 1460 Battle of Sandwich

An ambush rather than a battle insofar as Richard Woodville was surprised in his bed and captured, along with his family. Warwick captured several Lancastrian ships and took them to Calais enabling their later capture of Sandwich in Jun 1460. Woodville, too, was taken to Calais to be berated by his future son-in-law Edward IV for supporting the Lancastrian cause.

Anthony Woodville 2nd Earl Rivers [20] captured

Richard Woodville 1st Earl Rivers [55] captured

Richard "Kingmaker" Neville 16th Earl Warwick, 6th Earl Salisbury [32]

John 1st Baron Dinham [27] commanded

Jacquetta Luxembourg [45] captured

Third War of the Wars of the Roses

The third war of the Wars of the Roses lasted nine months commencing June 1460 when Richard Neville Earl of Warwick left Calais, landed at Sandwich (Kent), raised an army, took over London and captured King Henry VI at the Battle of Northampton, July 1460.

Richard Duke of York returned from Ireland Sep 1460, claimed the throne unsuccessfully, and agreed to the Act of Accord, 25 Oct 1460, by which he and his successors were heirs to King Henry VI.

Queen Margaret, wife of King Henry VI, raised forces in the North, supported by Henry Beaufort Duke of Somerset. Richard Duke of York and Richard Neville Earl of Salisbury went north to suppress the rebels. Both Richard’s were killed at the Battle of Wakefield (30 Dec 1460).

The future King Edward IV won the Battle of Mortimer’s Cross 02 Feb 1461. Henry Beaufort, Duke Somerset, defeated Richard Neville Earl of Warwick at the Second Battle of St Albans 17 Feb 1461; King Henry VI was released.

London fearing the northern rebels proclaimed Edward IV King in London on 04 Mar 1461.

At the Battle of Towton, 29 Mar 1461, King Edward IV won an over-whelming victory securing his place on the throne.

The Lancastrian party, King Henry VI, Queen Margaret, their son Prince Edward, Henry Beaufort Duke Somerset and the remaining Lancastrian nobility escaped to Scotland.

Jun 1460 Yorkist Raid on Sandwich

Henry Beaufort 3rd Duke Somerset was made Captain of Calais in an attempt to wrest control of that strategic port that controlled the English Channel. To perform his function Somerset needed ships so the Lancastrians commenced building a fleet at Sandwich. Warwick had previously attacked Sandwich twice making off with ships. In June

b 26 Jun 1460 William Neville 1st Earl Kent [55] commanded

b 26 Jun 1460 John 1st Baron Wenlock [60] commanded

a Jun 1460 Osbert Mumford executed at Rysbank Tower

b 26 Jun 1460 Osbert Mumford captured

10 Jul 1460 Battle of Northampton

Another battle that wasn't really a battle lasting only around thrity minutes before the Lancastrians surrendered. At the commencedmen of the battle Edmund Grey 1st Earl Kent and his men lay down their arms, defecting to York as a result of a prior agreement with Edward IV King England, the soon to be King Edward IV. A number of significant Lancastrian nobles were killed attempting to protect the King: Humphrey Stafford 1st Duke Buckingham, John Talbot 2nd Earl Shrewsbury, 2nd Earl Waterford, Thomas Percy 1st Baron Egremont and John 1st Viscount Beaumont.

03 Aug 1460 Roxburgh Castle: Capture of Roxburgh


William Douglas 3rd Lord Drumlanrig [20]


10 Oct 1460 Westminster Hall: Richard of York claims the Kingdom of England

Cardinal Thomas Bourchier [42] witnessed

Richard 3rd Duke York [49] claimed the Kingdom of England

17 Feb 1461 Second Battle of St Albans

A victory for Lancaster after the Yorkists were betrayed. Notable for the death of death of John Grey of Groby, husband of Elizabeth Woodvile who went on to marry Edward IV causing the Warwick "Kingmaker" to defect to Lancastrian cause.

James Luttrell Baron Dunster [34] killed

04 Mar 1461 Proclamation of Edward IV as King

William 1st Baron Hastings [30] present

Battle of Ferrybridge

27 Mar 1461 Battle of Ferrybridge Part 1

The Battle of Ferrybridge commenced on the evening of 27 March 1461 when a small force of Yorkists led by John Radyclyffe, 06 Baron Fitzwalter, over-whelmed a small force of Lancastrians who were defending the bridge. The Yorkists erected camp with a view to mending the broken bridge to allow the main Yorksist army to cross.


28 Mar 1461 Richard "Kingmaker" Neville 16th Earl Warwick, 6th Earl Salisbury [33]

28 Mar 1461 John Radclyffe [35] took the bridge


28 Mar 1461 Battle of Ferrybridge Part 2

On the morning of the 28 March 1461 the small Yorkist force left to protect and mend the bridge were ambushed by John "Butcher" Clifford and his Flower of Craven killing many including John Radclyffe. Warwick "Kingmaker" escaped back to the Yorkist camp. The Lancastrians spent the day securing the bridge.

Battle of Ferrybridge Part 3

On the evening of the 28 March 1461 the the main Yorkist force attempted to cross the bridge losing several thousand men in the process.


Battle of Dintingdale

Having held of the Yorkist army John "Butcher" Clifford retreated to Dintingdale where a ford crossed the River Aire. Here he was ambushed and shot in the throat by an archer. His gorget (throat armour) having previously been removed the wound proved fatal.


John "Butcher" 9th Baron Clifford [26] killed

29 Mar 1461 Battle of Towton


Cardinal John Morton [41] captured

Thomas 14th Earl Devon [29] captured

Henry Percy 3rd Earl Northumberland [40] killed

Richard Woodville 1st Earl Rivers [56]

John Talbot 3rd Earl Shrewsbury, 3rd Earl Waterford [13]

James Butler 1st Earl Wiltshire, 5th Earl Ormonde [41]

William 2nd Viscount Beaumont [23] captured

Richard 7th Baron Welles [33]

Lionel 6th Baron Welles [55] killed

William Tailboys de jure 7th Baron Kyme [46] and escaped

John Baron Neville [51] killed

Robert 3rd Baron Hungerford [30]

Humphrey 1st Baron Dacre Gilsland [37]

Ralph 1st Baron Dacre Gilsland [49] killed

Thomas Tresham [41] captured and suffered a forfeiture

William Plumpton killed

Ralph Eure [49] killed

John Beaumont [33] killed

Richard Percy [35] killed

William Norreys [20]

Thomas Grey

John Bigod killed

Ralph Bigod [51] killed