View Full Version : Historic Battles

06-18-2004, 06:14
Two Crowns will also include a number of historic battles, this is the place to talk about them.

WORKING LIST of possible battles....

1403 Shrewsbury (underway)
1415 Agincourt (Working version has been created - needs moding for two Crowns)

1471 Tewkesbury
1485 Bosworth field

06-18-2004, 06:16
Shrewsbury 1403

The following battle comes from from ......http://www.battleofshrewsbury.org/battle


The Battle of Shrewsbury, fought on July 21st, 1403 between an army led by the Lancastrian King, Henry IV and a rebel army led by members of the Percy family from Northumberland, is principally remembered today by many as the climax of Shakespeare's play, Henry IV part 1. The Percy forces, mostly raised from their estates in Cheshire, were believed to be aiming to join forces with a Welsh rebel force led by Owain Glyn Dwr. Shrewsbury was a principal town on the route taken by the Percy forces and was the major crossing point over the river Severn as well as a potential supply base. The royal army had to take and defend the site urgently before the Percies and Glyn Dwr could join up. Our knowledge of the battle, the battlefield and the armies is less than complete and even contemporary estimates of the numbers involved or of those slain are very much open to debate.


Early in July 1403, Sir Henry Percy rode south to his Cheshire lands with about 200 men, intending to raise a large force, including numbers of Welsh archers. By July 12th, the King was en route to face the threat when he heard whilst at Nottingham of the Percy forces actions. He immediately turned via Burton on Trent and Lichfield preparing to take the field wherever it became necessary. The Percy forces were somewhat deflated when the hoped for Welsh support failed to materialise and only physical and moral pressure induced many of them to stay with the army.



Both armies arrived in the vicinity of Shrewsbury from opposite directions a day or so before the battle. The Percy forces encamped around Berwick to the north west of the town., whilst the King's forces lay in wait to the north east around Haughmond. During the night of the 20th, the royal forces began the crossing of the Severn at Uffington and took the field below Haughmond Abbey. This gave them the wider ground on which their superior numbers could be brought to best use. The Percy army was forced to take the field on unfavourable ground and although the Percy's had greater military experience than the King, many of their troops did not. Numbers given for the combatants range from 60,000 - 14,000 Royalists and 20,000 - 5,000 rebels.



For some hours on the morning of the 21st, the two armies faced each other out of arrowshot whilst negotiations took place to try to resolve the position. Eventually, the King seems to have decided that no solution would be reached since the Percies were either too determined in their stance or because they were seeking to bring in surprise reinforcements. The order to advance was given.

Both vanguards found themselves subject to such a bombardment of arrows that many were killed within minutes. Once the hand to hand fighting had begun, the royal forces proved superior and a rash charge from the Percy force led them into disarray and destruction. When the cry went up that Harry Percy (Hotspur) had fallen, resistance crumbled and the slaughter began. Chroniclers of the day recorded that such a slaughter had never been seen or read about in Christian times. Thousands fell.

Both sides suffered tremendous casualties, many as the result of the dramatic impact of the use of the English longbow, whose archers were reputed to be able to fire 12 arrows a minute into the enemy ranks - as there were several thousand archers in each force, the prospect is awe inspiring.


Over 300 knights of the realm perished or died of their wounds, up to 20,000 men fell on the field and many thousands succumbed to their injuries over the ensuing weeks. Many of the bodies were gathered for decent burial by relatives or kinsmen but it is reputed that some 1500 bodies were buried in a great charnel somewhere on the site of the battle. Hotspur was initially buried at Whitchurch, Shropshire, but the King ordered him disinterred and displayed to prove he was truly dead. His body was set up in Shrewsbury impaled on a spear between two millstones and was later quartered and put on show in the four corners of the country. In November they were returned to his widow who had them buried in the Percy chapel of Beverly Minster.

More info to follow.......

A FEW RANDOM NOTES - Need to be summorized and sorted

Estimates vary wildly, but it's likely that the royalist army mustered about 10,000 men, including Prince Henry's force of up to 1,500.

The rebels, many wearing Richard II's emblem of the white hart, probably had between 5,000 and 7,000 men.


With him were some 200 men, including his uncle, the Earl of Worcester, and the Scottish Earl of Douglas.

Sir Richard Vernon and Sir Richard Venables

Chester provided most of Hotspur's troops and leaders, but leaders from Shropshire are also recorded, along with others from Flintshire, Herefordshire, Lancashire, Yorkshire and Northumberland.


Henry, meanwhile, was in Nottingham on his way to Northumberland to help the Percys against the Scots when word of the rebellion reached him. He immediately headed east via Derby, Burton and Lichfield, raising troops along the way

held by Harry, Prince of Wales and a small garrison, (1500men)

But Henry was careful and took advice from one of his battle-hardened commanders, the Earl of Dunbar.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/shropshire/history/2003/02/battle_of_shrewsbury/images/white_hart.jpg http://libwww.library.phila.gov/medieval/lewis_e201/badges/hart.jpg

The white hart was the deposed Richard II's personal emblem and was adopted by the rebels

The fighting men

And while the likes of Harry Hotspur and King Henry had the luxury of parading around in full suits of armour, these were expensive (and custom-made), and wouldn't have been available to your average bloke in the front line.

Full armour was the preserve of the various leaders and knights who fought at Shrewsbury. The next step down would have been the full-time private armies belonging to each of the knights.

These were known as the household troops and made up the backbone of the rebel army.

Many of the household troops would also have been archers - but of great significance was the high numbers of Cheshire archers at Shrewsbury.

To use the longbow effectively, a high standard of training was needed, and the government was always passing laws making archery training compulsory for the male population.

In practice, it was in the areas where war was never far away - the Welsh and Scottish borders, for example, that the most expert fighting men, especially archers, were to be found.

Archers also appeared amongst the professional soldiers raised by the king, who were 'employed' on a contract basis.

So each knight - on both sides - would bring their own men to the battlefield, but the vast majority of those who fought on the royalist side were part timers.

Some were the tenants of Shropshire landlords - and many of these were deceived into taking up arms against the king.

Tenant farmers at Ellesmere, for example, were tricked into marching to Myddle under the pretext that they were meeting their lord, Richard Lord le Strange.

Instead they found themselves part of Hotspur's army. And once there, they couldn't get out of fighting for the rebels.

On hearing of the revolt, the king raised his army from many counties.

These militia were raised by each county for a limited period during emergencies. They were armed with pole-type weapons, or swords or daggers - whatever they could lay their hands on - and had little to protect them.

Prince Harry was famously wounded at the Battle of Shrewsbury when an arrow pierced his nose and injured the right hand side of his face. He received the latest (for the time) medical treatment and the arrow was removed, although he remained scarred for the rest of his life.

Incidentally, this is possibly why the best known picture of the prince when he became Henry V showed him in profile from the left.

Similar medical facilities may have been available to the men of the various private armies involved, but the militia, and those who joined (or were press-ganged into) Hotspur's army in Cheshire wouldn't have been so lucky.

Many of the casualties of the Battle of Shrewsbury would not have died on the battlefield. While some of the wounded were left to die where they lay, others would have been carried away by friends and family to be treated.

It's estimated that many more died of their wounds in the days after it, than died on the field of battle.

06-19-2004, 19:39
The 1st Battle at St Albans May 22, 1455


The Lancastrians including Summerset, Northumberland, Clifford and Sir Bertine [2] among many other nobles and ranks barricaded themselves in the streets of the town of St Albans, with the Yorkist army (3,000 troops to the 2,000 on the Lancastrian side) ranged in the fields outside.

The Yorkists protested their own loyalty to the King but Richard insisted on the hand-over of Summerset and his henchmen. This the Lancastrians refused after 4 hours of negotiations They emphasised the presence of their puppet monarch by hoisting the royal standard.

Richard retorted by storming the barricades. Whilst the bulk of the Lancastrian force were surprised and fully occupied by the speed of Richard's attack, Warwick took the reserves and broke through into the main street from behind the Lancastrian fighters by taking a path through the back lanes and gardens. This manoeuvre so surprised the Lancastians that the whole army soon fell. The battle became a route and most of the nobles on the Lancastrian side were slain, including Sumerset who is said to have been cut down by Warwick himself. Henry himself was spared and Richard regained his Lord Protector role.

Most of the nobles on the Lancastrian side found their resting place in the Abbey Church (Catherderal) at St Albans, whilst just three nobles were taken to St Peterís Church Ė Bertine was one. Sir Bertine Entwistle was buried along with two of Northumberlands retinue, Ralf and Ralf Babthorpe (father & son) [3] in the crypt of St Peterís.

In the battle 800 men were said to have fallen on the Lancastrian side including: the Duke of Sumerset, the Earls of Stafford and Northumberland, Thomas, Lord Clifford of Skipton, Sir Robert Vere, Sir William Chaimberlain, Sir Richard Fortesque, Sir Ralf Ferriers , Sir Bertine Entwisle and many more esquires and gentlemen.

War of the roses.com- 1st Battle of St Albans (http://www.warsoftheroses.com/WRBattleShell.cfm?bid=1)

War of the roses.co.uk (http://www.warsoftheroses.co.uk/chapter_47.htm)

The Blind King of Bohemia
06-25-2004, 18:42
Are there any other battles you don't have enough info for yet shades?

06-26-2004, 07:25
Not yet BkB I havent looked into any others. Im waiting for my book on Shrewsbury to arrive, before I go any further with the battle.

Its playable, but even at 2v1 its still quite easy to win http://www.totalwar.org/forum/non-cgi/emoticons/mecry.gif

06-27-2004, 21:33
OK BKB we should start from the begining. The first battle of St.Albans

07-11-2004, 14:20
What about the battle of Barnet in 1472.

07-12-2004, 10:08
A few things might be changing soon, so when I return to the UK I will fill you all in....