How The Battle Bosworth Ended The War Of The Roses. Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre.

Battle of Bosworth

 Wars of the Roses - Battle Of Bosworth
Wars of the Roses - Battle Of Bosworth | Source

Introduction into the cause of the battle bosworth.

On the 22 th of August in the year 1485 the last battle of the War of the Roses was fought. The Plantagenet King Richard III of the House of York was killed and the new King Henry VII of the House of Lancaster became the first ruler of the Tudor Dynasty.

Two years earlier Richard had become King of England after his brother King Edward IV had died and his 12-year-old heir Edward V was declared illegitimate. He and his younger brother later mysteriously disappeared from the Tower of London where they were held, still one of the greatest mysteries in English history to this day. Their uncertain fate did not do Richard's popularity much good.

War Of The Roses

The War Of The Roses

The Wars of the Roses, also going by the name of the Cousins' Wars, was in fact a power struggle between rival factions of the Royal Family.
Richard, the Duke of York raised an army against King Henry VI from the House of Lancaster. He was married to Margaret of Anjou, an unpopular queen of French birth.

Due to the loss of English lands in France, Henry VI's mental health deteriorated, leading to insanity and his wife ruled in his name.
In 1455 she made sure the Duke of York, Henry's uncle was excluded from the succession.
This led to a string of battles between the two houses of which the Battle of Bosworth was the last.

Philippa Gregory books on the War of the Roses

The Red Queen (The Cousin's War)
The Red Queen (The Cousin's War)

This book tells the story of Henry Tudor's mother, who gave birth to him when she was 13 and devoted her live to putting him on the throne.

Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre.
Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre. | Source

Henry Tudor, Claimant To The Throne.

Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond was born as a son of Edmund Tudor and Margaret Beaufort. Through his mother Henry's royal claim was traced.
After Edward IV came to the throne no Lancastrian was safe, especially claimants to the throne. Henry fled together with his uncle Jasper Tudor to the Continent.
In 1483 he had already attempted a military landing but this failed due to bad weather and Royal spies, for which his mother narrowly escaped execution through her marriage to the Yorkist Thomas, Lord Stanley.

Finally, on the seventh of August 1485 he succeeded in landing in Wales.
His small army consisted of paid mercenaries and a group of exiled Englishmen.
Marching east, gathering support on the way, they arrived in Warwickshire on the 20th of August.

When Richard learned about the landing he ordered his nobles to gather their troops and march to Leicester.
Although many nobles did not obey the King an impressive army began to arrive around the 20th of August.
As Henry planned to march to London to proclaim himself King the Royal army tried to cut him off.

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The Battle of Bosworth 1485 [Total War Reenactment]

The Actual Battle Bosworth Of 22th Of August 1485.

On the battlefield on the 22nd of August the two armies were divided by a marsh.
The armies of Thomas, Lord Stanley and his brother Sir William Stanley were in between at both sides.
As usual they waited which side they would support depending on the outlook of the battle, even though Richard had taken Thomas Stanley's son hostage to assure his support.
Henry had given the command to the Earl of Oxford due to his own lack of battle experience.
He led Henry's army around the marsh and attacked Richard's right flank, eventually killing his commander the Duke of Norfolk.
When Richard noticed Henry was riding towards the Stanley's he decided to kill Henry to end the fight quickly.
So he unsuccessfully tried to reach him, separating himself from his main force.

William Stanley then made his move and attacked Richard. Richard lost his horse and he went on fighting on foot, refusing to escape from the field saying "he would live or die as King of England."
Outnumbered, he and his supporters did not stand a chance and they were all brutally cut down. Henry was now King of England, unofficially crowned on the battlefield with Richard's circlet, which some say was found under a hawthorn bush, hence his crest showing the English crown in a hawthorn bush.

The dead, naked body of Richard was taken to Leicester, unrespectfully slung over a horse.
He was buried at Greyfriars Priory, his grave to be discovered in 2012 under a carpark.
On the fourth of February 2013 it was confirmed that the skeleton was indeed Richard III, the last Plantagenet King of England.

War Of The Roses

Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre.
Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre. | Source

Bosworth Battlefield Anniversary Re-enactment 2012

Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre.
Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre. | Source
Bosworth Heritage Visitor Centre
Bosworth Heritage Visitor Centre

The Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre

I was lucky to be able to visit the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre and Country Park at Ambion Hill Farm in the autumn of 2013.
Originally this exhibition started in 1974 to commemorate and tell the history of the Battle of Bosworth.
Several extensions later, in 2005 a Heritage Lottery Fund grant enabled the exhibition to be updated and an examination about the exact location of the battlefield was undertaken.

The exhibition is excellent for both adults and children.
It not only tells the story of the real battle with audio tracks but it also shows and tells about the nobles like Thomas, Lord Stanley and the common people who partook, like the French mercenaries and their families or John, farmer and archer with his longbow.

There are weapons on display and clothing and armour to be tried on, great for taking photographs.
You can see the horrors of war when you look at the tools of the barber-surgeon.
Outside you can take a walk round Ambion Hill or partake in a guided walk (to prebook in summer and autumn) of 7.5 mile cross the actual fields of conflict, enjoying the stories of the enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides.

Every year on the weekend closest to the 22th of August an re-enactment takes place at the Heritage Center, a great day out for families and everybody else interested in the battle between King Richard III and Henry Tudor, that would define English history for many years to come.

Bosworth Heritage Centre

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The Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre

show route and directions
A markerThe Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre -
Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre, Ambion Lane, Sutton Cheney, Nuneaton, Warwickshire CV13 0AD, V
[get directions]

In 1973 Leicester County Council chose Ambion Hill as the location for the country's first battlefield interpretation centre.

B markerHarfleur -
Harfleur, Frankrijk
[get directions]

Henry Tudor sailed from Harfleur in France to land at Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

C markerMilford Haven Pembrokeshire -
Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, Verenigd Koninkrijk
[get directions]

This is where Henry Tudor landed from Harfleur, France.

D markerNottingham -
Nottingham, Verenigd Koninkrijk
[get directions]

King Richard is in Nottingham, uncertain where Henry Tudor will arrive.

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War Of The Roses
War Of The Roses | Source
Raymond Philippe, 2013
Raymond Philippe, 2013 | Source
Henry VIII
Henry VIII | Source

History of the British Monarchy

The UK Monarchy has a rich and long history.
The first kings descended from people who came to England in the fourth century.
King Alfred I was the first king to rule great parts of the UK.
Shortly after that Danish kings reigned.

William the Conqueror became King William I, after defeating the Danish King Harold II.
Several houses ( dynasties ) came to power, including the House Plantagenet, Lancaster House, York House, House of Tudor and Stuart House.

The Tudors came to power after the war between the Lancasters and Yorks ( The War of the Roses).
It delivered the most talked about king and queens from British history: Henry VIII and his daughters, Mary I and Elizabeth I. Henry is best known for his six wives, Catherine of Aragon ( with whom he had Mary ), Anne Boleyn (with whom he got Elizabeth ), Jane Seymour ( who gave him the coveted son Edward ), Katherine Howard and Catherine Parr.

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FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

This was a very interesting hub and I wish I had the chance to visit. It's intriguing to imagine all the history that we walk over every day (i.e., Richard III's body being under a parking lot). Well done hub. Voted up +++ and sharing.

raymondphilippe profile image

raymondphilippe 2 years ago from The Netherlands Author

Thanks FlourishAnyway. We had a swell day there despite the rain pouring down all day. But well, that's England for you ;-)

Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 2 years ago from Wales

So well told and also well presented.

Voting up and shared.


karinhistory profile image

karinhistory 2 years ago

Find this part of English history quite fascinating. Love to read about it. Thanks.

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