‘He knewe the slaightes, stratagems, and the pollecies of warlike affaires’: Richard Neville, earl of Salisbury, and the battle of Blore Heath

On 23 September 1459 the battle of Blore Heath took place. In today’s blog, marking the anniversary of the battle, Dr Simon Payling from our Commons 1461-1504 project looks into the events of the encounter, as the earl of Salisbury’s Yorkist forces faced up to those led by the Lancastrian Lord Audley. The battle of Blore Heath, two miles from Market Drayton, near the border … Continue reading ‘He knewe the slaightes, stratagems, and the pollecies of warlike affaires’: Richard Neville, earl of Salisbury, and the battle of Blore Heath

‘It was the dissimulation of this one man that stirred up that whole plague of evils which followed’: William Catesby, Speaker in the Parliament of 1484, and the accession of Richard III

On 25 August 1485 William Catesby, Speaker of the House of Commons, was executed. But what brought about the downfall of this once influential Member of Parliament? Dr Simon Payling from our Commons 1461-1504 project explores… In his account of the accession of Richard III, written in the 1510s, Sir Thomas More assigned a pivotal role to an unlikely candidate, William Catesby, a lawyer educated … Continue reading ‘It was the dissimulation of this one man that stirred up that whole plague of evils which followed’: William Catesby, Speaker in the Parliament of 1484, and the accession of Richard III

How not to fight a battle: William Herbert, earl of Pembroke, and the battle of Edgcote 24 July 1469

Senior research fellow for our House of Commons 1461-1504 project Dr Simon Payling continues his look at significant battles during the Wars of the Roses. Today he considers the failed leadership of William Herbert at the battle of Edgcote ahead of the anniversary of the battle on Saturday… Some of the battles of the Wars of the Roses were predictable affairs, in that, at the … Continue reading How not to fight a battle: William Herbert, earl of Pembroke, and the battle of Edgcote 24 July 1469

The hunting down of Queen Margaret: the battle of Tewkesbury 4 May 1471

Today we mark the anniversary of another key battle within the Wars of the Roses: the battle of Tewkesbury. As Edward IV’s forces sought to build on their earlier victory at the battle of Barnet, attention turned to Margaret of Anjou, as Dr Simon Payling from our Commons 1461-1504 project explains… The most striking facet of the campaign that saw Edward IV win victories at … Continue reading The hunting down of Queen Margaret: the battle of Tewkesbury 4 May 1471

‘Without any worldly pompe’: the burial of a 15th-century royal consort at Windsor

As the nation mourns the passing of Prince Philip, the duke of Edinburgh, today Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 project, reflects on the burial of another royal consort in the midst of an epidemic, some six centuries prior. When the late Duke of Edinburgh is laid to rest at Windsor on Saturday, 17 April 2021, he will become the latest in a … Continue reading ‘Without any worldly pompe’: the burial of a 15th-century royal consort at Windsor

‘How much ancient divisions survive’: unnatural alliances and the battle of Barnet, 14 April 1471

On 14 April 1471 a crucial battle of the Wars of the Roses was fought. Just outside the town of Barnet, Edward IV’s Yorkist force faced off against the Lancastrians, led by his former ally the earl of Warwick. In today’s blog Dr Simon Payling from our Commons 1461-1504 project examines the events of the battle and the impact of alliances… The period between June … Continue reading ‘How much ancient divisions survive’: unnatural alliances and the battle of Barnet, 14 April 1471

The battle of Towton and the Parliament of 1461

On 29 March 1461 the battle of Towton took place. A notoriously violent encounter, the battle is the topic of a previous History of Parliament blog. But today Dr Charles Moreton, from our Commons 1461-1504, project explores Towton’s longer impact on the planned Parliament of 1461… Today marks the 560th anniversary of by far the largest battle of the Wars of the Roses. It was … Continue reading The battle of Towton and the Parliament of 1461

A New Dawn? The accession of Edward IV on 4 March 1461

On 4 March 1461 Edward duke of York was proclaimed King in Westminster Hall. But the authority of this new regime was not universally accepted. Dr Hannes Kleineke, editor of our Commons 1461-1504 project, continues our look at what some call the ‘first’ war of the roses, 1459-1461 and the parliamentary rulings behind it… On 4 March 1461 a piece of political theatre was played … Continue reading A New Dawn? The accession of Edward IV on 4 March 1461

An empty victory: Queen Margaret and the second battle of St. Albans 17 Feb. 1461

Today Dr Simon Payling from our Commons 1461-1504 project marks the anniversary of the second battle of St. Albans. The battle may have been a convincing victory for the Lancastrian side, but was it a blessing in disguise for their Yorkist foes? The Lancastrian victories of the civil war of 1459-61 have a curious quality. Any victory in a campaign that ends in defeat has the … Continue reading An empty victory: Queen Margaret and the second battle of St. Albans 17 Feb. 1461

Bristol and the Readeption Parliament of Henry VI

This winter marks the 550th anniversary of the Readeption Parliament of 1470-1, the circumstances and proceedings of which are the subject of a recent blog. Today Dr Charles Moreton from our Commons 1461-1504 project looks closer at the Parliament’s impact in Bristol and the period of the short-lived restoration of Henry VI in which this assembly sat. There are no extant election returns for the Parliament, and the names of just 41 of its MPs survive. Forty, if not all of these men, sat for urban constituencies, the archives of which preserve their election. As it happens, the … Continue reading Bristol and the Readeption Parliament of Henry VI