Tuesday, 23 April 2013


The battle between the Yorkists and Lancastrians at Tewkesbury in May 1471 was one of the most decisive of the Wars of the Roses. The king was in captivity in London, but the Lancastrian forces were marshalled in south west England on behalf of his queen, who returned from France with her son, Prince Edward. They marched north to the crossing point of the River Severn, hoping to link up with their Welsh supporters, but were refused entry to the city of Gloucester, and so continued on to Tewkesbury. Meantime, Edward IV’s army had marched from London to intercept the Lancastrians.

The two forces took up their positions early in the morning and, to begin with, it seemed that the Lancastrians had the advantage, with one force manoeuvring around a small hillock, unseen by the Yorkists, to attack the right flank of the Yorkist army. However, Richard, duke of Gloucester  (later Richard III) managed to push the Lancastrians back after some fierce hand-to-hand fighting. The Lancastrians, trapped been two Yorkist forces, fled towards the river Severn.

The rest of the conflict was brief, as Edward IV broke the rest of the Lancastrian line. Many of the Lancastrians were trapped between a small stream called Coln Brook and the river. The ensuing slaughter caused this area to be given the name of Bloody Meadow.

The Queen fled (but was captured the next day), but Prince Edward, who had been commanding the Lancastrian centre, despite his lack of military experience, was captured and killed. He was buried in Tewkesbury Abbey.

The battle of Tewkesbury marked the end of significant Lancastrian opposition to Edward IV. He made a triumphant return to London, and around the same time the Lancastrian king Henry VI was murdered in the Tower of London.


  1. Very interesting, Paula. Now Tewekesbury is one place I have visited. Nice to travel there with you again.

  2. Such a peaceful looking place to be called the Bloody Meadow.

  3. Interesting stuff! I have been thoroughly enjoying the trip to all these amazing historical places with you!

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