The Battle Of Bosworth Field And Its Effect On Government And Society

1282 words - 5 pages

The Battle of Bosworth Field took place on 22 August 1485; it was between the army of Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond and King Richard III. It was the 16th and penultimate battle of the War of the Roses. It was crucial to the outcome to the war and the history of the world to come. The battle of Bosworth Field effected England, through the military, as peace was brought to England after centuries of war, politically as Henry VII came to the crown, beginning the Tudor dynasty, with Henry VII revolution of Government, and Socially with the reformation of the Church in England with a split from the Catholic Church.

The War of the Roses were a series of Civil Wars from 1455 – 1487, they were fought between the House of York and the House of Lancaster. The banner of the House of Lancaster was the Red Rose and the banner for the House of York was a White Rose, leading to these battles becoming known as The War of the Roses (Gormley, 2008).

After the death of Edward IV in 1483, his son Edward V ascended to the throne, as Edward was only 12 years old at the time, Edward IV had designated his brother Richard to act as protector. Richard had Edward V and his younger brother Richard taken to the Tower of London where it is likely that they were killed (it remains a mystery as to what exactly happened) (Funk and Wagnall’s Encyclopaedia, 1990). Richard was crowned king later that year. Richard was from the house of York and was greatly disliked by many Lords, particularly those from the house of Lancaster.

Henry Tudor became the head of the Lancaster line through his mother’s ancestry; he was Earl of Richmond many lords of the time rallied around Henry to try get rid of Richard III. Henry had been exiled by Richard III after a failed uprising against the Yorkists in 1483 but he returned to England in 1485 when his promised marriage to Elizabeth of York came under threat when Richard III tried to also marry her.

Henry Tudor left France on August 1 with 2,000 men and gathered more men as he travelled through Wales; by the time of battle on the 22nd of August he had a 5,000 strong army (Hickman, 2009). Richard III had an army of 10,000 men. Henry had sent messengers to Lord Stanley and Sir William Stanley requesting assistance, they both agreed to desert Richard III during the battle. When both Stanleys swapped sides, this turned the numbers in favour of Henry's army. The battle only lasted approximately 2 hours ending with Richard’s death and Henry Tudor, despite being 13th in line for the crown at the time, was crowned King Henry VII.

Richard’s army charged downhill to meet Henry’s. The Stanley’s observed from the south before joining Henry in battle, being able to overwhelm Richard III army (Hickman, 2009). It is not completely certain where the battle took place but it is thought to have been near Dadlington and Ambion hill (as seen below).

The main military effects of the battle of Bosworth Field were that it brought to an end centuries...

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