A MOST SANGUINARY AFFAIR: BLOODY TOWTON, 1461

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Palm Sunday, 1461: On a bleak, windswept Yorkshire plateau two Medieval armies clashed amidst a snowstorm; brutally hacking-and-slashing with sword, halberd and bill in what was to prove the largest and bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil. It would prove to be the decisive battle in the dynastic struggle known to history as the War of the Roses.

The War of the Roses was a 30 year-long conflict between adherents of two branches of the ruling Plantagenet dynasty: the House of York, whose symbol was a white rose; and the House of Lancaster, whose device was the red rose. The roots of the conflict lay partially in the competing claims of these royal cousins; and can be traced back to the deposition of King Richard II by his Lancastrian cousin, Henry of Bolingbroke, Early of Derby and Duke of Hereford; who took the throne as King Henry IV. While Henry was able to hold onto his usurped crown and pass it to his son, the heroic warrior king Henry V; the legitimacy of Lancastrian rule came into question in the reign of his grandson, Henry VI

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