Medieval Warfare
Henry VI was held captive in the Tower of London.

Medieval Warfare

Medieval Warfare focusses on the Wars of the Roses.

In the mid-fifteenth century, the ruling king of England, Henry VI, suffered from bouts of insanity. Because of this, Richard Duke of York ruled in his stead as 'Protector of the Realm'. During a brief recovery, Henry replaced Richard with his own favourites. Richard and his ally, the Earl of Warwick, feared for their safety and so gathered their armies. The Wars of the Roses had begun.

Richard of York's army attacked that of Henry VI in the first battle of the war. At which Hertfordshire town did the battle take place?
St. Albans
The first battle of St. Albans was a victory for York. Henry was captured and taken back to London and Richard was soon back in place as Protector of the Realm
Four years of uneasy peace followed before supporters of Henry VI attacked the Yorkist army at Blore Heath. What ruse did the Yorkist commander, Lord Salisbury, use to bring about victory?
He pretended to retreat
He hid his army in woodland
He led the enemy army into a bog
He had the enemy leader assassinated
Thinking that the Yorkists were retreating, the Lancastrians charged over a brook which separated the two armies. The Yorkists then turned back and caught their enemy off guard. The Lancastrian commander, Lord Audley, was killed, and soon after, the rest of their army fled
Just a few weeks after Blore Heath, the Lancastrians won their first victory in the battle of Ludford Bridge. Which commander led their army into battle?
Henry VI
The Earl of Northumberland
Sir Stanley
Henry VII
The Yorkists claimed to be at war only with Henry's 'evil' counsellors, not with the king himself. On seeing the king was present, the Yorkist commanders fled into exile
One of the Yorkist commanders, the Earl of Warwick, had fled to Calais after Ludford Bridge. Hoping to catch him, the Lancastrians began to build ships at Sandwich in Kent, for an intended invasion of Calais. This invasion never happened. Why was this?
The ships were badly built and did not float
The ships were destroyed by an accidental fire
The weather prevented the ships from sailing
The Earl of Warwick stole the ships
In June 1460 the Yorkists attacked Sandwich and captured weapons, ammunition and troops. Warwick's uncle held the town as a port for the planned Yorkists' return to England
After the capture of Sandwich, the Earl of Warwick did invade. He marched against the King’s army in Northampton, accompanied by 10,000 men. The King had his army set up defensive fortifications around what?
A castle
An abbey
An Island
A hill
They defended the grounds of Delapre Abbey with a ditch filled with water and topped by spikes. The Lancastrian cannons could not fire, having been dampened by the rain, and many Lancastrians switched their allegiance to the Yorkists. The battle lasted only half an hour before the remaining Lancastrians retreated
The war finally turned in favour of the Lancastrians after the Battle of Wakefield when the Yorkist leader, Richard, and his son Edmund, were both killed. It is from this battle that the mnemonic ‘Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain’ comes. What does this help us to remember?
The seven wonders of the world
The seven days of the week
The seven colours of the rainbow
The seven oceans of the world
Richard's army was utterly defeated and the Yorkists lost five of their leaders at Wakefield. Despite this, the war did not come to an end. It was to continue for a further 25 years
Richard’s eldest surviving son, Edward, took command of the Yorkist army after the death of his father. Before the battle of Mortimer’s Cross he saw a ‘parhelion’ in the sky and took it as a good omen. What is a parhelion?
A bright comet
An eclipse of the sun
An eclipse of the moon
A halo around the sun
Edward's troops were worried because of the strange phenomenon. The sun appeared to them to have two smaller companions, one on either side of it. Despite their fears, Edward managed to convince them that it was a sign of the Holy Trinity and it showed that God was on their side
St Albans saw a second battle in 1461 when Lancastrian forces attacked the Earl of Warwick’s army in the town. The King, Henry VI, was being held hostage by Warwick's men. What is he said to have been doing during the battle?
Singing and laughing
Getting drunk
Eating a banquet
This may be true, given that Henry was prone to bouts of madness, or it may be Yorkist propaganda. There are other accounts of the battle which make no reference to the king behaving in this way but they, too, could be biased. We are unlikely ever to know what really happened that day
On March 29th 1461 King Henry VI was defeated at the battle of Towton and the Yorkist leader was declared King Edward IV. It was probably the largest battle ever fought on English soil. How many people were involved?
35,000 men
40,000 men
45,000 men
50,000 men
Contemporary accounts say that there were between 100,000 and over 400,000 people on the battlefield. Historians think that these figures are exaggerated however and a figure of 50,000 is more realistic. Even so, it would still be the largest battle ever to have been fought in England
After the battle of Towton. Henry VI lived as an exile. In which country?
Henry was hidden for a few years by his allies but he was eventually captured in 1465. For the next five years he was held captive in the Tower of London


Author:  Graeme Haw

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