22 August 1485 – The Battle of Bosworth

Posted By on August 22, 2014

Richard III and Henry VII

Richard III and Henry VII

On 22nd August 1485, near Market Bosworth, in Leicestershire, the armies of King Richard III and Henry Tudor faced each other.

Richard III was killed in battle and Henry Tudor, son of the late Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond, and Lady Margaret Beaufort, became King Henry VII.

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

And I give primary source accounts of Richard III’s death in my article from last year – click here to read it now.

Also on this day in history…

  • 1545 – Death of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, magnate, courtier, soldier and close friend of Henry VIII, at Guildford, while making preparations to lead an army to Boulogne. He was laid to rest in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. He died on the anniversary of the death of his father, Sir William Brandon, who was killed at the Battle of Bosworth while acting as Henry Tudor’s standard bearer.
  • 1553 – Execution of John Dudley, Earl of Warwick and Duke of Northumberland, on Tower Hill for his part in putting his daughter-in-law, Lady Jane Grey, on the throne in place of Mary I. He was buried in the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula, at the Tower of London, and is thought to lie under the Chancel floor next to Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, and between Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard. Northumberland’s friends, Sir John Gates and Sir Thomas Palmer, were also executed on this day in 1553 for supporting Northumberland. Read more…

8 thoughts on “22 August 1485 – The Battle of Bosworth”

  1. Leslie says:

    I recently read how tests have been run on Richard III’s newly discovered remains that detailed his diet. The results were interesting – high protein diet, and a bottle of wine a day! Article link below.

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/18/world/europe/richard-iii-bones-reveal-luxury-lifestyle/

    1. Christine says:

      Yes and he suffered from tapeworm too which would have made him very sick, they reckon the wine a day was due to the stress he was under.

  2. TudorGirl says:

    It’s no wonder King Richard III was portrayed negatively in Shakespeare’s play – he was an enemy of the family that was still on the throne when the play was composed! Talk about effective propaganda.

    1. John Boulter says:

      Richard was portrayed as he was, he had no right to the throne. Was in with the murder of his brother, so he could come regent. He put the boys in the tower and cast the word on his brother being married so the rightful King was displaced. He did have a twisted back which would have given him a hump. The walk may be not but there say it could not be ruled out.

      1. Hannele says:

        Richard did not murder his brother, Edward IV. On the contrary, Edward named him Lord Protector during his son Edward V’s minority as he was the royal duke, an able commander and governor of the northern England. Despite her husband’s will, Dowager Queen Elizabeth Woodiville tried to put Richard aside, crown the new king at once and after that rule with the help of her own low-born relatives.

        However, Richard won the struggle of power and seized the king en route to London. Edward V was first sent to the Tower because the king always lived there before coronation. Elizabeth Woodiville who had fled to the sanctuary, was persuaded to let his younger son Richard duke of York join his brother’s company.

        Richard probably remembered the fate of former Lord Protectors and afraid of what would happen when Edward V became of age decided to take the crown.

        Whether Richard also murdered his nephews, is a question that is still debated. Curiously, Elizabeth Woodiville let her daughters to Richard’s court.

        It is sad that Elizabeth Woodiville and Richard could have understood in time that the internal struggle between Yorkists would destroy the whole family.

        The “right” to the throne had been decided by violence since Henry IV took the crown from Richard II and Edward IV took the crown from Henry VI.

        If anybody, Henry Tudor had the weakest claim as he descended through his mother from John of Gaunt’s bastard son who was legitimized when John married his mistress. His future wife Elizabeth’s claim was much better.

        Richard could not have a twisted back as he was known to be a brilliant sodier

      2. Banditqueen says:

        Richard lll did not murder anyone. There is no evidence that the boys were even killed, we don’t know. His brothet Edward IV died of bad fish and a chill, Anne Neville died of consumption and his brother George was executed in the Tower on Edward’s orders for treason. Richard was Lord Protector and High Constable of England. He was given evidence that the marriage of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville was not lawful due to a prior union with Eleanor Talbot Butler. The boys were therefore set aside as illegitimate. Richard iii did have a claim to the throne. He was the next in line after Edward if the boys were illegitimate. He legally and peacefully took the crown, offered to him by the three estates and confirmed by his coronation and Parliament. He passed laws to protect trade, justice for the ordinary people, was betrayed by greedy nobles and died heroically. Having recently been to his tomb I know now he is honoured with dignity at least. Read the contemporary evidence not Tudor propaganda and Shakespeare.

        Yes Richard lll had a curved spine, he did not have a humped back, he did not drink wine because of stress but because of his status as King, the same as all other Kings, he had to keep his status at court and when entertaining, he was still a great horseman and warrior. Richard was a great King.

  3. Banditqueen says:

    Today’s my 22nd wedding anniversary shared with some great history here. Visited Leicester Cathedral and Bosworth last year, saw the reconstructed face and the grave site, the memorial, the varied churches connected with Richard on last few days, and the exhibition. The battle sites are across 7 miles now with the old site and new site, the visit is still a deeply moving experience.

    At least Richard’s enemies conclude that he was brave, refusing to flee, dying fighting in the press of the battle. I was amazed at the prowess that was possible even with a curved spine from the latest reconstruction on Sunday night. The cavalry change was not like the one in the programme. It was single file and world have been no more than 200 to 500 horse. Once unhorsed, however, Richard world have found it really difficult to fight on foot for long, Stanley had 3000-5000 men, most on horseback. Richard and his supporters were simply overwhelmed.

    RIP Richard lll last Yorkist King.

    The battle of Bosworth of course also marks the start of our own Tudor Dynasty, with the victory by Henry Tudor, now Henry Vii legendary crowned with Richard’s battle crown, taken from the late kings helmet. Some people think Henry Tudor was the son of prophecy, that the victory was meant to be. Henry certainly had some lucky escapes during the wars of the roses, his mother fought for his rights, and the house of York quickly imploded on itself, most of the people who stood before him in the line of succession dying like flies in a few years. Henry was to marry the living York heiress, Elizabeth, daughter of Richard lll brother, Edward IV, thus uniting the two factions and bring the wars to an end. Both York and Lancaster therefore gave us the Tudor Dynasty.

    Long life to King Henry and his bride to be Elizabeth.

  4. Dawn 1st says:

    I watched with great interest the follow up documentary on Richard III last Sunday.
    The young man who played his body double was amazing, especially when he charged at a gallop, one handed, in full armour with the little amount of horsemanship training he received.
    You could see that the saddles used then where built to give support and keep you seated, as the armour gave support and upper body strength.

    I personally think, although the programme was very good it missed out on a few points when it came down to Richard’s strength and diet.
    This is all supposition on my part, but I would have thought that Richard would have ridden from a really young age, for sport and transport, plus trained in armed combat of some type too, building up a considerable amount of strength even when his spine started to curve. We know he been in battle for his brother. This needs to be considered as well as the support and upper body strength his armour gave him, add this to the advantage of being on horse back, he must have been up there with the best of them.
    It maybe that when he went into battle he wasn’t at his peak, physical activities having to be replaced by matters of state, therefore his ‘desk job’ taking priority, all that sitting would have not been the best thing for his condition I would imagine, a knock-on effect., or as he aged it did start to become more problematic, a combination of things perhaps.

    You could see that he would have become very much compromised when he came off his horse, the actual fall must have knocked the wind out of him at least, then trying to get on your feet again, quickly, a massive effort…but then anyone in full armour would have the same problems, the weight, restriction of agility, would hinder the best of the best against an onslaught of foot soldiers.
    I don’t know the ins and outs of the battle, but it seems that it turned in favour of the Tudors when Stanley decided to support them with his troops. And I don’t think Richard did himself any favours really by making himself stand out by wearing a crown, it did kind of bring ‘open season’ on him, a prime target for one and all, and it seems that is what happened.
    As for his diet, I can’t see it being any different to any other person who was wealthy then. The programme seemed to make out it was quite shocking that he was drinking the equivalence of a bottle of wine a day…I would have thought that was pretty normal, if not far less than the average amount of wine/beer drinking then, and I think I am right in saying that wine was no where near as strong as it is now. They drunk small beer with little potency which contained vitamins that replaced those lacking in diet, there were stronger ales and cider too, but what else was there too drink, the water was rank, deadly…all social classes and ages drunk alcohol, so I can’t understand how Richard drinking a ‘bottle of wine’ a day is unusual at all, or shocking either, the stress that came with his job I’m surprized he wasn’t on a vat of wine a day, a bit like his brother Clarence!, the country as a whole was permanently squiffy… 🙂

    Like many characters in history, I have changed my views on them as more is revealed, the myths are being shown for what they are, and learning to see things from the prospective of their time, not ours, and getting older I suppose!!. Richard to me is no longer the man built on the propaganda from other dynasties, he needs a fair hearing, that doesn’t mean he was innocent of all he is accused of, but it doesn’t mean he is guilty either, things are not always that straight forward…marmite man-love him or hate him, he is a big part of our colourful history.

    What I do hope is the young guy that played his body-double for the programme got to keep that armour for all his hard work and the daring feats he performed, then he can stop being a surf when he’s with his group of re-enactors, and become a Knight!! he deserves it.

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