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Archive for the tag “livery colours”

The Banbury Barmaid and the Battle of Edgecote Moor. . . .

 

battle of edgecote - 1

According to this site, (http://www.northamptonshiresurprise.com/news/2018/the-battle-decided-by-a-banbury-bar-maid/) Edward IV lost the Battle of Edgecote Heath in 1469 because of a Banbury barmaid. And no, amazingly, Edward was not involved in the lustful squabble. The culprits were the Earls of Pembroke and Devon. . .and a barmaid from Banbury.

It seems that prior to the battle:-

“Edward decided to wait in Nottingham for the William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke and Humphrey Stafford, Earl of Devon, arriving with an army from the south. The strength of this army was around 15,000 -20,000 men and had with it over 200 Welsh nobles. Unusually, most of the archers were with the Earl of Devon, whilst Pembroke’s contingent included around 2,000 cavalry under Pembroke’s brother, Sir Richard Herbert.”

“On 25th July, Pembroke and Devon arrived at Banbury. According to legend, they argued over who would spend the night with a barmaid. Pembroke won and Devon left in a sulk, taking his forces with him. The real cause of the altercation will probably be never known; however, Devon withdrew with his men to Deddington Castle, thus dividing their army at a crucial point.”

When the battle commenced, the rebels (Robin of Redesdale, Warwick and George of Clarence):-

“…attacked across the river, forcing Pembroke to retreat and pull his men back some distance. Pembroke was attacked again in his new position, but he put up a brave defence while awaiting Devon. At 1 o’clock the Earl received the news he had been waiting for: Devon was rapidly advancing with all his men. However, at the same time the advance guard of Warwick’s army arrived upon the field. Rebel morale was instantly boosted. Seeing Warwick’s livery amongst the enemy, Pembroke’s men presumed his whole force of expert soldiers was upon them. The royal army broke and fled the field, possibly before Devon could even reinforce them.”

Battle of Edgecote Moor

“The Earl of Devon never reached the battlefield and . . .fled with his army, but was captured and executed at Bridgewater, Somerset a few weeks later. The Herberts [the earl and his brother] were taken to Northampton’s Queen Eleanor’s Cross and executed in the presence of Warwick and Clarence.”

Robin of Redesdale was believed to have died in the battle, although there is an element of doubt about this.

Edward IV fled the country, and Henry VI was put on the throne again. However, Edward returned in 1471, defeated Henry’s army (well, Margaret of Anjou’s) at Tewkesbury, and remained on the throne until his death in 1483.

So, we have lust for a Banbury barmaid to blame for the outcome of the Battle of Edgecote Moor. The lady’s name does not seem to have been recorded….

battle edgecote barmaid

 

 

 

Livery colours, badges, and the Battle of Barnet…

battle

Once again, I have been rambling around the internet, seeking information about livery colours. In the process I came upon the following site, which has an abundance of interesting information about many aspects of the medieval period.

http://history.stackexchange.com/questions/13103/whose-colors-coat-of-arms-did-men-of-arms-wear-in-a-feudal-army-14th-century

The link deals with one area of interest, but the main site covers a lot more. One passage on this page particularly caught my attention, because it mentions livery colours and badges, and describes why the Lancastrians lost the Battle of Barnet. Yes, we all know Barnet was to do with confusing Edward IV’s Sun in Splendour with the Earl of Oxford’s Star, but I found this extract particularly clear and interesting.

Here is the passage, which I have broken up into smaller paragraphs, to make it easier to read:-

“Referring to the Black Book of Edward IV – it’s drawn from his own household accounts, so the limits to the retainers allowed are the limits Edward himself set. Remember that Edward had only managed to get, hold, then regain the throne by force-of-arms but he was very well aware that the nobles had their own retainers and that it was possible to lose the throne again. Warwick had a huge number of retainers, well into the hundreds. The limitations on the numbers of retainers were an attempt to control the issue of lords having private armies as large as they could afford and attacking each other if they disagreed with something.

“As for colours – lords had their own livery. For example, the House of York, in the person of the Duke of York (father to Edward IV and Richard III) used murray (a sort of deep burgundy-red) and blue. There might also be a sigil and a coat-of-arms. Richard III’s personal emblem was the White Boar, but his brother Edward’s was the “Sunne in Splendor” – a sort of star-burst. The lord himself would use his colours and his sigil. His employed retainers – the men employed directly by himself to be his armsmen – would probably wear his colours – so for example, a heavy padded jacket made up of four sections of cloth in two of the lord’s colours, with the diagonal-opposites being in matching colours. They would also likely wear his sigil (eg White Boar) sewn onto their breast. During battle, they would start grouped together under a banner displaying the colours and/or the sigil.

“However, over time, the lower lords didn’t always have a standing army – it was expensive. So they would either hire professional arms-men when they needed them or they would gather (volunteers or strong-armed) peasants in from the villages they controlled. These peasants would have an arming/padded jack (heavyly padded jacket) if they were lucky. They would be very unlikely to have the lord’s colours. So in a small skirmish between two small lords, you have your two sigil banners and other than that, very little way of telling who fought for whom. In larger battles, you might have a mix of peasants in their own gear/mercs who might have put the sigil on for ease and would have decent gear/liveried retainers. Where your higher lord needs back-up (perhaps to bring his own strength up to a level required by HIS higher lord), he will send to the lower lords to provide their men. So you have groups of peasants under their manorial lord’s banner standing in larger groups headed by the liveried retainers of the upper lord under HIS banner with the upper lord’s own peasants in the mix.

“Most Middle Ages battles were bloody messes, in part because of the difficulty in determining friend and foe. Not helped by confusion over banners: at the Battle of Barnet (wars of the Roses) in poor weather, the Earl of Oxford’s men (Lancastrian) attacked the men of Lord Hastings (York) and chased them off the field. In the time it took Oxford to get his men back under control, the battle-line veered around. As he returned, he unknowingly came up behind his own side, right behind the position held by John Montagu. Montagu’s men mistook Oxford’s banner of a “streaming star” for Edward IV’s “Sunne in Splendor” and attacked Oxford. As Montagu had been on Edward’s side at one point, Oxford’s men assumed Montagu had turned sides again. They called “treason” and panic spread through the Lancastrian side. Edward attacked, Montagu was killed and the Lancastrians were utterly defeated, including the death of Montagu’s older brother the famous Earl of Warwick.

“This defeat, with the deaths of the two brothers, led almost directly to the following defeat of the Lancastrian Prince Edward and the death of Henry VI, leaving the future Henry VII as the only Lancastrian with any chance of the throne. So the fact that English troops fought without any ready identifiers, and the fact that knowing your enemy very often relied on whether or not you recognised their badge, had a very large bearing on the rulership of England. Had Edward IV lost at Barnet, Henry VI would probably have been put back on the throne and Henry VII would perhaps never have ruled, as Henry VI had a son and heir.”

A useful list of Wars of the Roses livery colours….

John_de_la_Pole,_1st_Earl_of_Lincoln_svg

The following list was found initially at http://www.livinghistory.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=17408#p242342 (written in 2009), but since then I have found it elsewhere, so I do not know exactly whose work it is. I can only say it’s not mine.

Edward Neville, Lord Abergavenny [d.1476] – green and white

William Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel [d.1487] – red and white

John Touchet, Lord Audley [d.1490] – yellow and red

John, Viscount Beaumont [d.1460] – white

William, 7th Lord Berkeley [active until at least 1483] – red

John Bouchier, Lord Berners [d.1474] – yellow and green

Humphrey Stafford, Duke of Buckingham [d.1460] – black and red (also Henry Stafford d. of Buckingham, d.1483).

Sir Thomas Burgh/Borough of Gainsborough [d.1496] – blue

George, Duke of Clarence [d.1478] – murrey and blue

Thomas, Lord Clifford [d.1455] – white

Brooke, Lord Cobham [Edward d. 1464, John d. 1515] – black and red

Sir Marmaduke Constable [d. 1518] – red

Sir John Conyers [d.1490?] – white

Sir Richard Croft [d.1509] – white and blue

Randolf/Ranulph Lord Dacre of Gilsland [d.1461] – four stripes barry yellow and blue

Sir Richard Fiennes, Lord Dacre of the South [d.1483] – white

Thomas Courtney, Earl of Devon [1st, d.1458, 2nd d.1461] – red

Digby family – blue

Thomas Grey, Marquis of Dorset [d.1501] – white and dark red [murrey] (also known as 3rd Lord Grey, 8th Lord Ferrers, Earl of Huntingdon in 1471, Marquis of Dorset in 1475)

Edward, Earl of March/Edward IV [d.1483] – murrey and blue

Edward, Prince of Wales [d.1471] – red and black

Henry Bouchier, Earl of Essex [1st d.1483, 2nd d.1529] – black and green

Henry Holland, Duke of Exeter [d.1475] – white and red

William Neville, Lord Fauconberg, Earl of Kent [d.1463] – white and blue

Walter Devereaux, 7th Baron Ferrers [d.1485] – white and red Sir Edward Grey, 2nd Lord Grey, 7th Lord Ferrers of Groby [d.1461] – green

Sir John Radcliffe, Lord Fitzwalter [d.1461] – blue

William Bourchier, Lord Fitzwaurin or Fitz-Warine [still active 1469] – white and red [?]

Henry Lord Grey of Codnor [d.1496] – red and green

Edmund, Lord Grey of Ruthin and Earl of Kent in 1465 [d.1490] – red

Sir James Harrington [d.after 1497] – black [?]

William, Lord Hastings [d.1483] – dark red [or purple] and blue

Henry VI [d.1471] – white and blue

Henry VII – white and green

William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke [d.1469] – blue and red

John Howard, Duke of Norfolk [d.1485] – red Thomas Howard [d.1524] – red and white

Thomas Talbot, Viscount Lisle or L’Isle [d.1470] – blue

Robert, 3rd Lord Hungerford and Lord Molynes [d.1464] – red and green

Francis, Viscount Lovell [died after 1487?] – blue and yellow

Thomas Fitzalan, Lord Maltravers, 12th Earl of Arundel in 1487 [d.1524] – black

John Neville, Lord Montague, earl of Northumberland 1464-1470 [d.1471] – red and black

Walter Blount, Lord Mountjoy – blue John Neville 2nd Earl of Westmoreland [d.1461] – black and red

John Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk [Ist d.1461, 2nd d.1476] – blue and red

Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland [2nd earl d.1455, 3rd earl d.1461, 4th earl d.1489] – red and black

John De Vere, Earl of Oxford [Ist d. 1462, 2nd d. 1512] – orange or orange tawney

John Paston [d.1479] – red

Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke [d.1495] – white and green

Edward Poynings [active in 1485] – red

Richard of Gloucester/Richard III [d.1485] – murrey and blue

Anthony Woodville, Earl Rivers and Lord Scales [d.1483] – green [but noted as blue and tawney at a tournament of 1478]

Richard Woodville, Earl Rivers [d.1491] – green

Thomas, Lord Roos [d.1464] – blue and yellow

Edmund, Earl of Rutland [d.1460] – murrey and blue

Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury, 2nd Earl of Westmoreland, [d.1460] – red and black

John, Lord Scrope of Bolton [d. 1498] – white

John Talbot, 2nd Earl of Shrewsbury [1st d. 1460, 2nd d. 1473] – red and black

Henry Beaufort, Duke of Somerset [d.1464] – white and blue

Thomas, Lord Stanley later Earl of Derby [d.1504] – orange tawney and green

William Stanley [d.1495] – red

John De La Pole, Duke of Suffolk [d.1491] – blue and yellow

Humphrey Talbot [active until at least 1483] – black and white

Rhys Ap Thomas ‘The Raven’ [active until at least 1485] – white

Richard Tunstall [d.1491] – black and white [?]

Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick [d.1471] – red

Lionel, 6th Lord Welles [d.1461] – black and red?

John, Lord Wenlock [d.1471] – white

Henry Willoughby – blue

Robert, Lord Willoughby [d.1501] – red and white

Richard, Duke of York [d.1460]- blue and white

John, Lord Zouche [d.1526] – black and murrey [murrey and purple were often confused]

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