22 August 1485 – The Battle of Bosworth

Henry VII and Richard IIIThe 22nd August is an important date in Tudor history as it is the anniversary of the battle which saw the end of Plantagenet rule and the start of a new royal dynasty: the House of Tudor.

On this day in 1485, the forces of King Richard III and Henry Tudor met at the Battle of Bosworth. Henry had returned from exile in Brittany on 7th August 1485, landing at Mill Bay in Pembrokeshire, and had then set off for London, marching through Wales and the Marches gathering troops. Richard, on hearing the news of Henry’s landing, set off to cut him off and the two forces met near Market Bosworth in Leicestershire.

King Richard III was killed at the battle and Professor Guy Rutty, from the University of Leicester, following the examination of Richard’s skeleton, concluded that “Richard’s head injuries are consistent with some near-contemporary accounts of the battle, which suggest that Richard abandoned his horse after it became stuck in a mire and was killed while fighting his enemies.”1 Richard’s crown was recovered from the battlefield and Henry Tudor was crowned King Henry VII. Richard was buried at Greyfriars Monastery but, following an archaeological dig in 2012, his remains were reinterred at Leicester Cathedral on 26th March 2015.

You can read more about the battle in the following articles:

Notes and Sources

  1. “Richard III died in battle after losing helmet, new research shows”, The Guardian/Press Association, 16 September 2014.

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12 thoughts on “22 August 1485 – The Battle of Bosworth”
  1. Thus this day was pitilessly killed and slain, having been betrayed by the Stanleys, cut down, fighting manfully in the midst of his enemies. Richard, true King of England, rest in peace, with dignity and honour, at last. RIP YNWA

    Also cut down this day in 1922, betrayed by a friend and ambushed on his way to a peace meeting with De Valara, in his own country of Cork, shot in the head, Michael Collins, the Irish hero of freedom. RIP YNWA.

    Also as mentioned above, died suddenly but peacefully, an achievement worthy of note in his friends England, one Sir Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, aged about 61/2 at Guildford in 1545. With him, his wife and at least two of his daughters. What he died from is not known, but he did have reoccurring bouts of illness for the last three years of his life, possibly the same things just got worse with age. Having said this, in an age before antibiotics or germ control understanding, many things could kill that you may survive today. Tudor flue was also much nastier than most common flues today, more akin to the rarer, deadly strains such as the Spanish flue of 1918, bird flu or Asian flu. In any event, Brandon was taken ill early in the day and was gone hours later. He had lived through all of Henry’s queens, had four wives of his own, having children by three of them, had seen war and famine, religious and political upheavals, several colleagues go to the block, come close to treason charges himself, yet somehow Brandon had lived through the lot to die in his own bed, with family around him. Henry Viii was genuinely shocked and distressed by the loss of a loyal and dear friend, so much so that he wanted him close in death. Brandon wanted to be buried in the peaceful and beautiful Tattersall college church in Lincolnshire, but Henry paid for a state funeral and burial in Saint George Chapel Windsor in the hereldic choir of the garter knights. His own burial place is in the centre of this, Charles Brandon was buried to the right as you face the alter, practically level to the King and Queen Jane Seymour. Henry told his council that Brandon had never taken unfair advantage of an enemy or betrayed a friend, could they say the same? High praise indeed.

    Today is also mine and Steve’s 24th Wedding Anniversary.

    1. Congratulations, Bandit Queen, on your anniversary! Here’s hoping there are at least another good, loving 24 years ahead of you.

      What does YNWA mean?

      One last question – is Lyn-Marie your first name? My full first name (no kidding!) is Lynda-Marie.

      1. Miladyblue, I think YWNA is short for “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.

        BQ – Happy anniversary Lyn-Marie & Steve! I hope you had a wonderful day. Tim and I have just celebrated 21 years. I hope Steve is doing ok now. Much love to you.

  2. In passing Banditqueen, did the Tudors celebrate wedding anniversaries and give the (now) traditional gifts, do you know? Congrats anyway. Hope you had a good evening.

  3. Hello, many thanks for all your good wishes. We only had a quiet evening but are going out tomorrow. Steve is doing much better now. Miladyblue, yes Lyn-Marie is my real first name, love your name, so pretty, Lynda Marie. Globerose, I have no idea if the Tudors celebrated wedding anniversaries, but they seemed to celebrate everything else, so you would assume they would give gifts at least. They celebrated Valentines Day and probably still had the Morning Gift which was land or jewellery or some other special gift which stayed with the woman, even if the marriage ended, as a thankyou for the wedding night. Gifts of course celebrated births and the mother would be given a gift, baptism, marriage, the court exchanged gifts at New Year, some religious festivals involved gifts, but I honestly don’t know if they celebrated wedding anniversaries. With some of the traditions of what you are meant to give for different anniversaries, I suspect that gift giving is fairly old.

    Claire, thanks for asking, Steve is doing very well. Thanks for your good wishes. Now, back to King Richard and Bosworth. lol.

    I love the battlefield site, I would recommend the guided walk, as you get more insight into the logistics of the battlefield and where everyone was, than you can from just walking around. The army camp with the reenactors is very helpful on the weapons, the exhibition is fabulous, as is the small exhibition showing pictures of the progress at the remembrance of the burial of Richard lll, there is a copy of the bier and photos of the beacon and the service. I would also highly recommend a visit to Saint James Sutton Cheney, where Richard had his last evening service, down the road, literally from Bosworth, and Darlington where many of the dead where buried. If you ever get to Leicester Cathedral and the King Richard iii Centre, very moving experiences and visits, I was overwhelmed when I went to the new tomb last year and it was great to take Steve there this year. I would also recommend the Battle Bosworth enactment weekend, every August if anyone likes live excitement, this is definitely for you. King Richard may have lost, but he always gets the loudest chear..

  4. The Battle of Bosworth was a turning point in English history, like Hastings centuries before it divided the country and caused death to an old dynasty, the Anglo Saxon rulers were displaced by Norman ones and they were harsh and William the new king was determined to subdue his rebellious subjects, he treated his adopted country very harshly and was hated by the English, yet he spawned a new generation of monarchs that would endure until Bosworth when the last of it’s line Richard died and thus England had a new dynasty – the Tudors who in their turn made their mark in history, there are now plans to recover the tomb of Henry 1st which disappeared when Reading Abbey was ransacked, it’d be very interesting to find another dead king and have a facial reconstruction done.

  5. Can not sww how Richard was the rightful King at all. His brother was King and died , should have passed on to his sons, did not due to his action one of them the murder of them . His other brother was killed by him.
    which in fact the daughter should have become Queen. She did as the wife of HenryVII.

    1. There is no evidence that Richard iii killed either of his nephews. Even the sources are divided, at best there were rumours, some blamed other people, including Buckingham and Henry Tudor even did not blame him directly for their deaths. Later sources are not totally unbiased, as they were now serving a man with even less claim to the throne, Henry Tudor. The truth is that nobody can say for certain what happened to the Princes in the Tower. A number of alternative theories exist, murder by persons unknown, murder by one or the other people who had access to them, the list consists of Richard lll, Henry Tudor, Buckingham, Norfolk, Margaret Beaufort, Lord Stanley and the person who confessed in dubious circumstances, Sir James Tyrell and Blackenberry. Blackenberry was not likely to remain at Richard’s side, dying with him at Bosworth if Richard ordered him to kill the boys as he was too honourable for this. Tyrell had other motives and a cohersed confession 15 years later is not evidence. Sadly, we will not know who killed them even if the queen allows an investigation into the alleged bodies in the Westminster Abbey. Identify the boys, ages, sex, cause of death, who killed, if they are the princes, if they were killed no.

      Other historians believe that the boys lived and were moved and without proof to the contrary, this is a possibility. Other historians believe that one boy died naturally and one was one of the pretenders. None of these theories can be taken as certain, but all possibilities exist without proof of their deaths or how they died, when and by whom. Richard iii did not even have a motive. He was given evidence that Edward Iv was married to Eleanor Butler before Elizabeth Woodville, he believed that evidence and witnesses to be true, had this investigated and the boys were declared illegitimate. As the next male heir, this gave him the next right to the throne. The house of York had the superior claim, so as the next lawful heir, Richard iii was the rightful King. In any event, he had been crowned and accepted as King. Contrary to Tudor propaganda, Richard iii was popular, he was proclaimed and greeted everywhere and the ordinary people praised him for his generosity, for his fairness and justice, came to him to have wrongs put right and wrote about it. Read the sources, they are full of what ordinary people say and it is positive. Henry Tudor only won narrowly because Sir William Stanley betrayed Richard. There is always talk about nobles leaving Richard. This is not true. While a handful of southern gentry and one or two like Stanley either did nothing or joined Henry Tudor as they had a personal axe to grind, the majority of the gentry and nobility died with Richard iii. Many more remained out of it, but if you read who was there, the fact is Richard had the better support. He was betrayed by greed and killed when he saw a chance to kill Henry Tudor and end the battle.Henry Tudor had a slight claim, but he won by virtue of trial and battle, a legitimate means to claim a crown. Henry then had the Titulas Regis reversed and destroyed in order to re legitimize his intended bride, Elizabeth of York, the sister of the vanished princes, thus uniting the house of York and Lancaster and confirming his own right to the throne.

  6. Yes again, rest in peace King Richard iii and all who perished in the Battle of Bosworth on 22nd August 1485. Loyaltie Me Lie

    Amongst those killed on that fatal day was William Brandon, knighted that day by Henry Earl of Richmond, later Henry Vii, his standard bearer, killed by Richard himself, the father of Charles Brandon, the boyhood friend of the future King Henry Viii. Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk died on 22nd August 1545 at Guildford, his family around him aged 61.

    Executed today was John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, who backed Lady Jane Grey and was the man who led the army to stop the real Queen, Mary I from claiming her throne. It was probably his idea to devise this conspiracy and who persuaded Edward vi to exclude his sisters from the will, thus defending the Protestant succession. He converted to the Catholic Faith before he died.

    Most importantly of all I was married on this day, 1992 and am celebrating our 28th Wedding Anniversary.

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