The Battle of Wakefield Revisited: A Fresh Perspective on Richard of York’s Final Battle, December 1460
Paperback, 140 pages, 16 black & white plates, 5 line drawings; ISBN 978-0-9565768-0-4
Order from any good bookshop, or signed copies at £12.00 plus p&p directly from the author
On 30th December 1460, a battle took place which changed the course of English history. Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, had recently been named heir-apparent to King Henry VI. But Henry’s wife, Queen Margaret of Anjou, refused to accept this and mustered a mighty army to oppose the Duke and restore the succession to her son Edward, Lancastrian Prince of Wales. Their forces clashed near the city of Wakefield, where the Duke was killed along with his son Edmund, Earl of Rutland and many of their supporters – and the reason why York led them out from the safety of Sandal Castle to face certain defeat by a much larger army has puzzled historians ever since. Some believe he was reckless and stupid, an ageing commander past his prime who made a bad decision – or that he charged out in blind fury because the enemy had sent heralds to insult him. Others think he made a heroic but futile attempt to rescue a foraging party; or that he didn’t realise how big the Lancastrian army was, because many of their troops were cunningly hidden in nearby woodland, waiting to charge out and ambush him. None of these theories hold water – so The Battle of Wakefield Revisited pulls together and re-examines all the surviving historical and archaeological evidence relating to the encounter to offer a simple, plausible explanation of why the Duke of York rode out to face his enemies on that day.
What’s In The Battle of Wakefield Revisited?
Introduction: Traditional accounts of the battle and the Duke of York’s ‘failure’
Enter the Protagonists: Historical prelude to the conflict from Edward II to Henry V; introduction to Henry VI, Margaret of Anjou and Richard of York
The Road to War: Upheavals of the 1450s, resulting in York’s claim to the throne and the Act of Accord Dispelling the Myths: Crritical analysis of the traditions – the alleged ‘destruction’ of York’s vanguard at Worksop; the Duke’s ‘rashness’; the role of foragers in his defeat; alleged Lancastrian ‘provocations’; the ‘ambush from the woods’ theory; accounts of the battle; York’s dishonour on the ‘ant-hill’ throne; the fate of the hapless young Earl of Rutland
The Real Battle of Wakefield? An alternative view of the battle based on the most reliable evidence
The Fate of the Vanquished: What subsequently became of the Yorkists – and their conquerors
Finding Proof Positive: Suggestions for research and fieldwork to support or refute various theories
A Nursery Rhyme Duke? Is Richard Plantagenet really the ‘Grand Old Duke of York’?
Afterword: Who should we blame for the Battle of Wakefield?
The text is fully supported by notes at the end of each chapter and a Select Bibliography of the most frequently cited sources.
Paperback, 50 pages, 16 colour plates, 8 black-and-white plates, 6 line drawings
Published by Herstory Writing & Interpretation/York Publishing Services, 2011
ISBN 978-0-9565768-1-1 Price: £7.50
Five hundred and fifty years ago, Richard, Duke of York attempted to take the crown from his cousin King Henry VI. The outcome, on 30th December 1460, was one of the most decisive encounters in the Wars of the Roses – the Battle of Wakefield. Walk Wakefield 1460 tells the story of this fateful winter campaign, from its opening skirmish at Worksop to the grisly aftermath in York, through sites connected with the battle. Each section of the concise illustrated guidefeatures a brief history, directions to the sites (including maps), and up-to-date information on opening times and admission charges for visiting: Worksop Priory & Castle; Sandal Castle; Duke of York’s Monument; Wakefield Green (battlefield remnant). St Mary’s Chantry Chapel; Pontefract Castle; Micklegate Bar & York City Walls
‘The story of the Battle of Wakefield is little known today, yet it was a pivotal moment in English history. This well-researched little book provides a clear and accessible guide to the most crucial events, whilst also enabling people to explore and understand the various heritage sites associated with the battle. I look forward to future titles in the series.’ David Santiuste, author of Edward IV and the Wars of the Roses
Paperback, 70 pages, 20 black-and-white plates, 6 line drawings
Published by Herstory Writing & Interpretation/York Publishing Services, 2012
ISBN 978-0-9565768-2-8 Price: £7.50
The death of Richard, Duke of York at the Battle of Wakefield in December 1460 launched his eldest son and heir Edward, Earl of March, into the unprecedented winter campaign destined to end in carnage at Towton on Palm Sunday, 1461. With Walk Towton 1461, you can follow the Earl’s campaign from his first victory at Mortimer’s Cross to disaster at St Albans, the fierce contests of Ferrybridge and Dintingdale, and the bloody finale at Towton, with an illustrated guide to visiting sites connected with the battles. Each of the four main sections contains a short history, directions to sites (including maps), and information on opening times and admission charges for: Wigmore Castle & Mortimer’s Cross; St Albans; Ferrybridge & Dintingdale; The Crooked Billet & St Mary’s Chapel, Lead; All Saints Church, Dacre’s Tomb & Towton Monument, Saxton; Towton Battlefield Trail; Dacre’s Cross & Bloody Meadow; Bridge of Bodies