Towton, 29th March 1461: The Bloodiest Battle in English History?
Towton is regarded by many historians as the worst battle to ever be fought on English soil in terms of the number of combatants, casualty figures, conditions on the day and treatment of those captured during the rout.
It is always extremely difficult to gauge the reality of the medieval battlefield due to a number of factors. There were other, more ancient battles that were recorded in annals and chronicles which talk of massive numbers of combatants and bloody routs – Boudicca’s last stand on Watling Street in 60-1 AD, the Battle of Brunanburgh in 937 AD and the Battle of Hastings in 1066 for example but how reliable were the figures recorded at the time or later by chroniclers and historians?
Without reliable eye witness accounts and archaeological evidence of mass grave pits, it is difficult to establish exactly how many troops were present, how many were actually killed…
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