First Battle of St. Albans

May 22, 1455

The First Battle of St. Albans

The First Battle of St. Albans was fought on May 22, 1455.  The battle traditionally marks the beginning of the Wars of the Roses.  Richard, Duke of York along with Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick defeated the Lancastrians under the leadership of Edmund, Duke of Somerset who was killed.

The Lancastrian army of 2,000 troops arrived at St. Albans and began placing their troops along the Tonman Ditch and at Sopwell and Shropshire Lane.  The Yorkist army of 3,000 camped in Keyfield to the east.  After several hours of negotiations between the rival commanders, Richard, Duke of York, decided to attack.

The First Battle of St Albans was a victory for York and Warwick. York captured the King restoring himself to power.  Somerset, Henry Percy, 2nd Earl of Northumberland and Lord De Clifford fell during the rout.

                     Yorkists                                                 Lancastrians

James Baskervillle of Eardisley, Herefordshire

Ralph Babthorpe of Babthorpe, Yorkshire (killed in battle)

Edward Brooke of Holditch, Suffolk

Edmund Beaufort, Somerset (killed in battle)

William Bourchier of Brampton, Devon

Sir Henry Beaufort, Earl of Dorset, wounded

Edward Bouchier, Essex

James Butler, Wiltshire

Henry Bouchier of Pleshey, Essex

Thomas Clifford of Skipton Craven, Yorkshire (killed in battle)

Christopher Conyers of Sokebourne, Durham

Richard Cotton of Hampstall Ridware, Staffordshire (killed in battle)

John de Clinton of Amington, Warwickshire

Sir Thomas Courtenay, Earl of Devon, captured

Walter Devereux of Weobley, Herefordshire

Bertine Entwisell of Entwisell, Lancashire

Ralph Fitzrandolph of Spennithorne, Yorkshire

Robert Harcourt of Stanton Harcourt, Oxford

Thomas Lumley of Lumley, Durham

Richard Harrington of Westerley, Lancashire (killed in battle)

Richard Hamerton of Hamerton, Yorkshire

Richard Harrowden of Harrowden, Northamptonshire (killed in battle)

Thomas Harrington of Hornby, Lancashire

Henry Plantagenet, (Henry VI), captured

James Metcalfe of Nappa, Yorkshire

William Neville, Lord Fauconberg, captured

John Middleton of Belsay Castle, Northumberland

Thomas Packington of Hampton Lovett, Worcestershire

Christopher Moresby of Moresby, Cumberland

Thomas Percy of Egremont Castle, Cumberland

Thomas Mountford of Hackforth, Yorkshire

Henry Percy of Alnwick, Northumberland (killed in battle)

John Mowbray of Framlingham, Suffolk

John Radcliffe of Smithills, Lancashire (killed in battle)

Richard Neville of Middleham, Yorkshire (Earl of Westmoreland)

Thomas Roos of Rockingham, Northamptonshire

Richard Neville of Middleham, Yorkshire (Earl of Warwick)

Ralph Shirley of Shirley, Sussex

William Neville of Skelton, Yorkshire

Henry Stafford of Stafford, Staffordshire (killed in battle)

Robert Ogle of Choppington, Northumberland

Lord Humphrey Stafford of Stafford, Staffordshire

William Oldhall of Hunsdon, Herefordshire

Edmund Sutton of Dudley, Worcestershire

William Parr of Carlisle

John Sutton of Dudley, Worcestershire

Thomas Parr of Kendal, Westmoreland

Thomas Tresham of Rushton, Northamptonshire

John Parr of Westminster, Westmoreland

Thomas Thorpe of Thorpe, Northumberland

James Pickering of Ellerton, Yorkshire

Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond

Edward Plantagenet, (Edward IV), Middlesex

Jasper Tudor of Hatfield, Anglesey

Richard, Plantagenet of Fotheringhay, Northamptonshire (Duke of York)

John Wenlock of Wenlock, Shropshire

William Pudsey of Selaby, Durham

Philip Wentworth of Nettlestead, Suffolk

Thomas Rempston of Warren, Huntingdon

Richard West of Hempston-Cantilupe, Devon

Henry Retford of Lincolnshire


John Savile of Thornhill, Yorkshire


James Strangeways of Whorlton, Yorkshire


Walter Strickland of Sizergh, Westmoreland


Thomas Vaughan of Hergest, Herefordshire


James Wandesford of Kirklington, Yorkshire


Richard Grey of Powis, Powis


Additional reading on the Battle of St. Albans

Boardman, Andrew, The First Battle of St. Albans 1455, The History Press Ltd., 2006


The Richard III Foundation, Inc.


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