Monday, August 22, 2005

On August 22nd in military 1485

On August 22nd in military history….in 1485. The Lancastrian forces under Henry Tudor defeat the Yorkist forces of King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field. In the 1450’s, due to reverses on the battle field during the Hundred Years War in France and King Henry VI’s bouts with insanity, a power struggle developed for the English throne. The two pretenders were King Richard III of the House of York, whose symbol was a red rose, and Henry Tudor of the House of Lancaster, whose symbol was a white rose, hence the War of the Roses.

Both Houses needed the support of the various lords, dukes, barons and earls of English aristocracy and therein lied the problem. Neither pretender to the throne wanted to completely cut off all contact with any of the others forces since he would need their support afterwards. In fact, the one of King Richard III’s commanders, Lord Stanley, was the stepfather of Henry Tudor. Richard did not trust him, but he needed his support if he was going to succeed.

The battle site is located between Shenton and Dadlington in Leichestershire, England. Richard’s forces arrived first and set themselves up on a hill overlooking some rough ground below where Henry’s forces set up. Since Richard’s forces were well rested, they could have attacked Henry’s forces as they arrived and slaughtered them, but chose not to. When Henry was ready, he used cannon fire and arrows to force Richard down off the hill. At this point, Richard called to Lord Northumberland on his right wing and Lord Stanley on his left wing to join him with fresh forces in battle. Unfortunately for Richard, Lord Northumberland refused and decided to sit and watch the battle. Lord Stanley had promised both Richard and Henry that he would assist them in battle and at that moment, he chose instead to join Henry’s forces. The result was that Richard’s forces were routed and King Richard himself was killed in a suicidal charge against Henry. At Richard’s death, Henry Tudor became King Henry VII, the first king of the Tudor dynasty.


Post a Comment

<< Home