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The Last Significant Battle
Cannons were used by armies during the Wars of the Roses.

The Last Significant Battle

On the 22nd August 1485 the last battle of the Wars of the Roses was fought - The Battle of Bosworth. Its outcome would decide the fate of England and who was to be its king; Richard of York or Henry of Lancaster? The destiny of the nation was in the balance.

In 1485 Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, set sail from France with 2,000 men, intent on taking the English throne. Where did he make landfall?
Dover, Kent
Plymouth, Devon
Milford Haven, Wales
Boston, Lincolnshire
He landed on 7th August and gathered supporters as he marched east through Wales and the Midlands. By the time he reached Bosworth, Henry had 5,000 men at his command
One of Richard's commanders, Lord Stanley, was the step-father of Henry Tudor and Richard was not sure if he could be trusted. In an attempt to guarantee Stanley's loyalty, Richard held his son hostage. By what name was Stanley's son known?
Lord Silly
Lord Peculiar
Lord Odd
Lord Strange
Stanley's son, George, was married to Baroness Strange and so he became Baron Strange
On his march east Henry thought about abandoning his attack. A secret meeting with who, restored his confidence?
Lord Stanley
Richard III
Henry's wife
The Earl of Warwick
Henry met the Yorkist commander, Lord Stanley, in secret. What the two men said is not known, but their meeting possibly changed the course of history
Henry's army was made up of 5,000 men. How large was Richard's force?
15,000 men
12,000 men
9,000 men
6,000 men
Richard had 12,000 soldiers, however 4,000 of these were commanded by Lord Stanley and their loyalty was suspect
Cannons were used by armies during the Wars of the Roses, but only at the start of battles. Why was this?
Because there was only enough ammunition for one shot
Because they took too long to load and fire
Because they were considered un-chivalric
Because they were too expensive to use more than once
Cannons of the period took around 6 minutes to reload, by which time hand-to-hand battle would have begun. Cannons were also prone to explode in the faces of their operators!
In addition to the 4,000 men commanded by Stanley, 3,000 men in Richard's army were under the command of which of his earls?
The Earl of Northumberland
The Earl of Richmond
The Earl of Warwick
Earl Grey
Although the Earls of Northumberland had previously supported the Lancastrians, Richard had helped them in their wars with the Scots. Because of this, Lord Henry Percy, the Earl of Northumberland at the time, brought his 3,000 men to Richard's aid
The Middle Ages are often regarded as being an age of chivalry but in reality battlefields were cruel and brutal. What was the main weapon of a common soldier?
A sword
A club
An axe
A spike or hook
Professional soldiers, the Men-at-arms, carried battle-axes, maces and hammers. The more common soldiers were armed with hooks or spikes. Chivalry was reserved for tournaments. On the battlefield, soldiers aimed to kill or wound their opponents as quickly as possible
The Battle began when Henry's forces attacked Richard's vanguard. Richard's men charged to meet them and a vicious exchange between common soldiers ensued. How long did this first part of the battle last for?
Ten minutes
Thirty minutes
One hour
Two hours
Although Henry lost many of his men in this exchange, they did manage to kill the Duke of Norfolk, one of Richard's most trusted commanders
Before Bosworth, Henry had little experience of battle. He had spent much of his life as an exile in which country?
For this reason support for Henry was poor. His claim to the throne was also regarded at the time as tenuous, coming, as it did, through a female line of descent
Henry's army was tired before the battle, having marched from Milford Haven to Leicestershire in little over a week. How many miles had they covered?
100 miles
125 miles
160 miles
200 miles
This was no mean feat considering that Henry's men walked through the difficult terrain of Wales whilst trying to gather supporters to their cause


Author:  Graeme Haw

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