Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Things come to a head...

First an apology for the increasingly intermittent nature of these posts. I have simply been finding other things to do. I do actually have a life away from the 15th century, hard though some may find that to believe.

Queen Margaret and her faction remained suspicious of York and his, and doubtless the feeling was mutual. What seems to have troubled the Queen most was Warwick's entrenched position in Calais. Winkling him and his supporters out of there would be no small task. It was a fortress, and a naval expedition against such a place was fraught with hazard, to say nothing of expense.

At a Great Council held in Coventry in June 1459, it appears York, the Nevilles and their leading supporters were arraigned on unspecified charges. Sorry to be so vague, but the only account of this is in Benet's Chronicle. In response to this (or if Benet's Chronicle is wrong, in response to something) York and his allies decided to concentrate their forces, at this time split between Calais, the Welsh Marches and Yorkshire.

Warwick, having landed from Calais and persuaded the Londoners to admit him (no great challenge given that they were pro-York) headed for Warwick (the place) but was tracked by Somerset and forced to avoid 'home' and go directly to Ludlow, where York was based. Warwick's father, Salisbury, marched down from Yorkshire and was confronted by Lord Audley and a Lancastrian army (much of it comprising the men of Cheshire) at Blore Heath. There was fierce fighting and although Audley was ultimately defeated it was at some cost to the Yorkists. For example, Warwick's brothers, Thomas and John Neville - the latter eventually Marquis Montagu - were captured near Acton Bridge, Cheshire, presumably trying to find their way around the enemy or maybe even trying to escape north.

The bulk of Salisbury's army moved on to Ludlow, and the Yorkist concentration was complete.

James, Lord Audley, killed at Blore Heath married (as his second wife) a daughter of no less a person than Constance of York. By his two wives he had many children and is the ancestor of legions of people. His eldest son, John, (by his first wife) converted to the Yorkist cause and was a staunch supporter of Edward IV and, to a lesser extent, Richard III. On the other hand at least one of his younger sons, Sir Humphrey, was a strong Lancastrian and died for the cause at Tewkesbury.

The Stanley family's behaviour at Blore Heath was 'typical'. Sir William Stanley fought in Salisbury's army. His elder brother, Thomas, Lord Stanley, was nominally part of Audley's army but in fact stood off, indeed was not even at the battle. For this he was accused of treason (against the Lancastrians) but, needless to say, he got off!!!!


Hels said...

Welcome back to normal life :)

I find I am so fascinated with my new era of history and the arts, my reading, films, television, museum going and travel plans are all determined by the same impulse. Scary, isn't it?

Caroline said...

Thanks, Brian, for another interesting post. I did a little research myself and discovered that Lord Audley's first daughter from his second marriage (Margaret) married a 'Sir Richard Grey' and had five children. Do you happen to know if that's the same Richard Grey who was Elizabeth Woodville's son from her first marriage?

Caroline said...

Brian, I just checked some more sources regarding Sir Richard Grey (including Susan Higginbotham's website) and now I don't think it's possible that he was married to Margaret Touchet - the descrepancy in the birth years is too great (Margaret's is listed as 1430-1431, Sir Richard Grey's being around 1458) so either the original source I checked is wrong, or there was another aristocrat named Richard Grey at the time.

Brian Wainwright said...

Caroline, there were a number of 'Greys' about, including the lines of Grey de Ruthin and Grey of Powys.

There are different versions of the marriages (and even names!) of Audley's children, and confusingly he apparently had several daughters with the same Christian name. I did, believe it or not, research this when writing 'The Adventures of Alianore Audley' and in the end I made use of the info I liked best. More and very thorough research would be necessary to be sure of the facts.

Looking at the Wiki article on Audley I wonder whether they have confused his two daughters called Margaret as both are married to a Richard Grey - it may or may not be the same marriage/man.My understanding was that it was the younger Margaret who married Richard Grey Lord of Powys (aka Earl of Tankerville) but I may be wrong.

Hels - yes, one can spend one's whole life totally absorbed in an era of history. There is so much to learn!