3 Northampton, Battle of

Northampton, Battle of

   Resulting in the capture of HENRY VI by the Yorkists, and in the deaths of several key Lancastrian noblemen, the Battle of Northampton, fought outside the town of Northampton on 10 July 1460, was a major turning point in the Wars of the Roses. The battle between the royal army and a Yorkist force under Richard NEVILLE, earl of Warwick, the most important ally of Richard PLANTAGENET, duke of York, transformed the duke’s cause, which had languished since his flight to IRELAND in the previous autumn. The victory at Northampton allowed the duke to return to England and lay formal claim to the Crown, and briefly handed effective control of the government to Warwick.
   In October 1459, the Yorkist leaders, facing a superior Lancastrian force at the Battle of LUDFORD BRIDGE, abandoned their army and fled the country.York and his second son Edmund PLANTAGENET, earl of Rutland, took ship for Ireland; Warwick; his father, Richard NEVILLE, earl of Salisbury; and Edward, earl of March,York’s eldest son (see Edward IV, King of England), sailed for CALAIS. During the early months of 1460, Warwick maintained himself in Calais against attacks by Henry BEAUFORT, the Lancastrian duke of Somerset. Warwick twice surprised and destroyed Lancastrian fleets under construction at Sandwich, and spent most of April and May in Ireland conferring with York.
   In late June,Warwick, Salisbury, and March sailed for England. The Yorkist lords spent several days collecting support from the counties of Kent, Sussex, and Surrey, and arrived before LONDON on 2 July with a sizable force. Because Henry VI and Queen MARGARET OF ANJOU were northwest of London at Coventry with the bulk of their army, the capital contained only a small Lancastrian force under Thomas SCALES, Lord Scales, who withdrew to the TOWER OF LONDON when he realized that the municipal authorities did not intend to resist Warwick’s entry into the city. Intending to intercept the royal army as it marched southeast from Coventry, Warwick and March left London by 5 July; Salisbury remained behind to lay siege to the Tower and confine Scales.
   Upon reaching Northampton, the royal army took up a defensive position outside the city walls with its back to the River Nene and its front protected by a water-filled ditch and sharpened stakes. As he approached the Lancastrian position on the rainy morning of 10 July,Warwick dispatched several delegations to negotiate with the king. Each delegation was refused access to Henry by Humphrey STAFFORD, duke of Buckingham, the commander of the Lancastrian army. At midafternoon, Warwick ordered an assault on the Lancastrian position. The continuing rain put the Lancastrian ARTILLERY out of action, but it also slowed the Yorkist advance, which stalled under a hail of arrows (see Archers).Warwick and March now concentrated their attack on the Lancastrian right flank, which was commanded by Edmund GREY, Lord Grey of Ruthyn. Grey ordered his men to lay down their arms and allow the Yorkists to enter the camp. This defection, which was apparently preplanned, for Warwick’s men had been told to spare the life of anyone wearing Grey’s livery (see Livery and Maintenance), gave the day to the Yorkists, who quickly rolled up the Lancastrian line.
   Northampton was a disaster for the Lancastrians. The king fell into Yorkist hands, and such prominent Lancastrian lords as Buckingham; John Talbot, earl of Shrewsbury; and Thomas PERCY, Lord Egremont, were slain defending the royal person. The brief encounter resulted in relatively few other CASUALTIES, but it completely transformed the Yorkist position, which had seemed so bleak after the Battle of Ludford Bridge. Although Queen Margaret and her son Prince EDWARD OF LANCASTER were still at large in WALES, Warwick now controlled both the king and the kingdom, and York was able to return from Ireland in September to claim the throne.
   Further Reading: Haigh, Philip A., The Military Campaigns of the Wars of the Roses (Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK: Sutton Publishing, 1995); Ross, Charles, The Wars of the Roses (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1987).
   Henry VI is taken prisoner after the Battle of Northampton; behind the king are piled the dead bodies of those slain in his defense.
(Harley MS, 7353 f. 8, British Library)

Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses. . 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Northampton Town F.C. — Northampton Town Full name Northampton Town Football Club Nickname(s) The Cobblers, Tayn, Shoe Army Founded …   Wikipedia

  • Northampton Saints — Full name Northampton Rugby Football Club Nickname(s) Jimmies,[1] Saints Founded …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Northampton — may refer to:*Battle of Northampton (1460) *Battle of Northampton (1264) …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Dupplin Moor — Part of the Second War of Scottish Independence Date 10 August–11 August 1332 Location Dupplin Moor, Scone, Perthshire Result …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Old Byland — Part of First War of Scottish Independence Date 14 October 1322 Location Scawton Moor, Yorkshire, England …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Morlaix — Infobox Military Conflict caption=Map showing disposition of English forces during the battle. conflict=Battle of Morlaix partof=the Breton War of Succession date=30 September, 1342 place=Morlaix, France casus= territory= result=English tactical… …   Wikipedia

  • Northampton — This article is about Northampton in England. For other places of the same name, see Northampton (disambiguation). Borough of Northampton   Town Borough   …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Tassafaronga — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Battle of Tassafaronga caption=USS Minneapolis at Tulagi with torpedo damage a few hours after the battle on December 1, 1942 partof=the Pacific Theater of World War II date=November 30, 1942 place=off… …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Northampton (1460) — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Battle of Northampton caption= partof=the Wars of the Roses date=10 July, 1460 place= Northampton in Northamptonshire, England result= Significant Yorkist victory combatant1= combatant2= commander1=Warwick… …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Brest (1342) — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Battle of Brest partof=The Breton War of Succession Hundred Years War date=18 August 1342 place=Brest, Brittany result=Decisive English victory combatant1= combatant2= commander1=William de Bohun, 1st Earl of… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.