The Battle of Blore Heath

September 23, 1459

After four years of uneasy peace the King presided over a wasting realm. No parliament had been summoned for three years, the country was sadly divided and distressed. The Yorkists were armed, armies were marching across all England. Lord Audley had recently raised a Lancastrian army centered round Market Drayton, and the Queen -through whom the King ruled- sent him orders to intercept Lord Salisbury, who was marching from Yorkshire to join the Duke of York at Ludlow. The two armies met head on two and a half miles east of Market Drayton at a place called Blore Heath. Salisbury, with 3,000 troops, was outnumbered by more than two to one, but could not avoid giving battle.

Audley took up a position just west of a little stream that crossed the Market Drayton-Newcastle-under-Lyme road, and Salisbury’s men were drawn up about 150 yards east of the present Audley Cross, which marks the spot where Lord Audley fell. The Yorkist left rested upon the boggy edge of a wood, but their right was in the air, and Salisbury made a laager of his wagons to protect this flank. Whether Salisbury feigned retreat in order to draw Audley on is not certain, but the Lancastrian commander was definitely the one to attack. Two cavalry charges were repulsed, the first with heavy loss to the Lancastrians, and then they mounted an infantry attack up the hill to the Yorkist position. But this too failed; there was no support from the cavalry, Lord Audley had already fallen and 500 Lancastrians chose this moment to desert to the enemy. Salisbury’s victory was complete and in the pursuit, which continued for two miles, the slaughter was very heavy. Possibly 2,000 Lancastrians perished in this battle, but fewer than 200 Yorkists fell.

For more information on the Battle of Blore Heath, contact Blore Heath 1459 online at  http://www.bloreheath.org

 


    YORKISTS                                                                                  LANCASTRIANS

Sir Christopher Conyers of Sokebourne, Durham

Sir Henry Bromflete, Wymington, Bedford

Sir John Conyers of Hornby, Yorkshire

Sir Robert del Booth of Wilmslow, Cheshire (killed in battle)

Sir Walter Devereux of Weobley, Herefordshire (killed in battle)

Sir John Bourchier of West Horsley, Surrey

Sir Richard Grey of Powis, Powis

Sir Hugh Calveley of the Lea, Cheshire (killed in battle)

Sir Richard Hamerton of Hamerton, Yorkshire

Sir William Catesby (Sr.) of Ashby St. Legers, Northamptonshire

Sir Thomas Harrington, Lancashire

Sir John Dawne of Cheshire

Sir Roger Kynaston of Hordley, Shropshire

Sir Jerkin Done of Wickington, Cheshire (killed in battle)

Sir Thomas Lumley of Lumley, Durham

Sir Robert Downes of Shrigley, (killed in battle)

Thomas Meering of Tong

Sir Thomas Dutton of Dutton, Cheshire (killed in battle)

Sir James Metcalfe of Nappa, Yorkshire

Sir John Dwnn of Cheshire, killed in battle

Sir John Middleton of Belsay Castle, Northumberland

Sir John Egerton of Egerton, Cheshire (killed in battle)

Sir Thomas Mountford of Hackforth, Yorkshire

Sir Nicholas of Eyton of Eyton, Shropshire

Sir Richard Neville (Earl of Salisbury) of Middleham, Yorkshire (fled to Calais)

Sir Richard Fitton of Gawsforth, Cheshire

Sir Richard Neville (Earl of Warwick) of Middleham, Yorkshire (fled to Calais)

Thomas Fitton, fate unknown

Sir Thomas Neville of Thornton Bridge, Durham

Sir John Haigh, killed in battle

Sir Robert Ogle of Ogle, Northumberland

Sir Edmund Hampden of Hampden, Buckinghamshire

Sir Thomas Parr of Kendal, Westmoreland

Sir Thomas Hesketh of Rufford, Lancashire

Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, fled to Ireland

Sir Henry Holland of Darlington, Devon

Sir William Pudsey of Selaby, Durham

Sir John Legh of Booths, Cheshire (killed in battle)

Sir James Strangeways of Whorlton, Yorkshire

Sir Philip Maunsell of Scrurlage, Glamorgan

Sir Walter Strickland of Sizergh, Westmoreland

Sir Richard Molyneux of Sefton, Lancashire (killed in battle)

Sir John Wandesford of Kirklington, Yorkshire

Sir John Neville of Raby, Durham

Sir John Wenlock of Wenlock, Shropshire

Sir Ralph Shirley of Shirley, Sussex

Sir Walter Wrottesley of Wrottesley, Shropshire

Sir John Skidmore of Mochas, Herefordshire

 

Sir John Stanley of Pipe, Staffordshire

 

Sir Edmund Sutton of Dudley, Westmoreland

 

Sir John Sutton of Dudley, Westmoreland

 

Sir William Troutbeck of Dunham-on-the-Hill, killed in battle

 

James Touchet (Lord Audley) of Markeaton, Derbyshire (killed in battle)

 

Sir Hugh Venables of Kinderton (killed in battle)

For further reading on the battle:

Parry, Nicholas, Editor, Battle of Blore Heath, Tern P., 1987.

Swynnerton, Brian, Battle of Blore Heath, 1459, P. Griffith Associates, 1995.

           ©The Richard III Foundation, Inc.

 

 

Blore Heath

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