In this series, I have followed the progress of Henry and Jasper Tudor from Pembroke Castle to their long exile in Brittany and their return with an army to Wales. Their long march, covering as much as twenty-six miles a day, ended when they encountered King Richard III’s army camped at Ambion Hill, close to Sutton Cheyney.
The Battle of Bosworth is poorly documented, with no first-hand accounts surviving. Anything we read about the battle, therefore, has to be looked at closely to see who wrote it and when. One of the best summaries of the often conflicting accounts is Chris Skidmore’s book, Bosworth - The Birth of The Tudors. Even as Chris was writing the book, news emerged of a new location for the battlefield site, and the bones of Richard III were discovered in a car park as he completed the first draft.
I visited the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre for the special anniversary weekend events, which now attract visitors to the area from all over the world. As well as a re-creation of the march to Bosworth, there was a full-scale re-enactment of the battle, complete with the hundreds of archers and the artillery of the Wars of The Roses Society.
It was also fascinating to visit the ‘living history’ encampment and see the soldiers preparing for battle. I spoke to several of them, and they take great pride in achieving historical accuracy – even to the extent of sleeping in their flimsy canvas tents overnight, despite the strong winds. I’d be interested to know what Henry Tudor would have to say if he knew the battle was still being re-enacted 531 years after his amazing victory!
Click on the following links for Tony's other articles in this series:
- The Tudors’ Journey to Bosworth: Part 1 by Tony Riches
- The Tudors’ Journey to Bosworth: Part 2 - Exiled at Château de l’Hermine, Brittany, by Tony Riches
- The Tudors’ Journey to Bosworth: Part 3 – Exiled at Château de Suscinio, Brittany, by Tony Riches
- The Tudors' Journey to Bosworth: Part 4 - Henry Tudor at Forteresse de Largoët by Tony Riches
- The Tudors’ Journey to Bosworth: Part 5 - Jasper Tudor at Château Josselin, Brittany by Tony Riches
- The Tudors’ Journey to Bosworth: Part 6 - The Tudors Land at Mill Bay in Pembrokeshire by Tony Riches
Tudor Society members can enjoy the following resources:
- Claire's talk on Henry VII - Usurper?
- The Battle of Bosworth Quiz
- Bosworth’s Lost Commander by Susan Fern – see the March 2015 issue of Tudor Life Magazine at www.tudorsociety.com/march-2015-tudor-life-magazine/
- Henry Tudor, Richard III and the Stanleys by Mike Ingram – see the December 2014 issue of Tudor Life magazine at www.tudorsociety.com/tudor-life-december-2014/
- Bosworth: The Day the Tudors Came by Mike Ingram – see the January 2015 issue of Tudor Life magazine at www.tudorsociety.com/tudor-life-january-2015/
Here is a video which gives you a taster of what the annual Battle of Bosworth re-enactment is like:
Tony Riches is a full-time author of best-selling fiction and non-fiction books. He lives in Pembrokeshire, West Wales and is a specialist in the fifteenth century, with a particular interest in the Wars of the Roses and the lives of the early Tudors.
For more information about Tony’s other books please visit his popular blog, The Writing Desk and his WordPress website and find him on Facebook and Twitter @tonyriches.
Here are the blurbs for Tony's first two books of his "Tudor Trilogy":
Owen: Book 1 of the Tudor Trilogy
England 1422: Owen Tudor, a Welsh servant, waits in Windsor Castle to meet his new mistress, the beautiful and lonely Queen Catherine of Valois, widow of the warrior king, Henry V. Her infant son is crowned King of England and France, and while the country simmers on the brink of civil war, Owen becomes her protector.
They fall in love, risking Owen’s life and Queen Catherine’s reputation—but how do they found the dynasty which changes British history – the Tudors?
This is the first historical novel to fully explore the amazing life of Owen Tudor, grandfather of King Henry VII and the great-grandfather of King Henry VIII. Set against a background of the conflict between the Houses of Lancaster and York, which develops into what have become known as the Wars of the Roses, Owen’s story deserves to be told.
Owen - Book One of the Tudor Trilogy from Tony Riches is a new addition to the story of the Tudors and the great historical fiction tradition of C J Sansom, Conn Iggulden, Philippa Gregory and Hilary Mantel.
Jasper: Book 2 of the Tudor Trilogy
Following the best-selling historical fiction novel OWEN – Book One of The Tudor Trilogy, this is the story, based on actual events, of Owen’s son Jasper Tudor, who changes the history of England forever.
England 1461: The young King Edward of York takes the country by force from King Henry VI of Lancaster. Sir Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke, flees the massacre of his Welsh army at the Battle of Mortimer’s Cross and plans a rebellion to return his half-brother King Henry to the throne.
When King Henry is imprisoned by Edward in the Tower of London and murdered, Jasper escapes to Brittany with his young nephew, Henry Tudor. After the sudden death of King Edward and the mysterious disappearance of his sons, a new king, Edward’s brother Richard III takes the English Throne. With nothing but his wits and charm, Jasper sees his chance to make young Henry Tudor king with a daring and reckless invasion of England.
Set in the often brutal world of fifteenth century England, Wales, Scotland, France, Burgundy and Brittany, during the Wars of the Roses, this fast-paced story is one of courage and adventure, love and belief in the destiny of the Tudors.
Wonderful series of articles, thank you! Very intriguing about the details of Henry’s and Jasper’s “journey” to eventually reach victory at Bosworth! Certainly proves how significant their victory was…