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.
(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
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