Roos, Thomas, Lord Roos

   A loyal partisan of the house of LANCASTER, Thomas Roos, Lord Roos, played a large role in the Lancastrian victory at the Battle of WAKEFIELD in 1460 and in the Lancastrian campaigns in Northumberland in 1464. Succeeding to the important northern lordship of Roos in 1446, Roos fought in Normandy in 1449–1450, being one of the hostages given to the French on the surrender of Rouen. In 1452, he was given ships and charged with guarding the eastern coasts from French invasion. In 1453, at the height of the NEVILLE-PERCY FEUD, Roos was an active ally of the Percy family. He fought for HENRY VI at the Battle of ST. ALBANS in May 1455 and served on various Lancastrian commissions in the north between 1457 and 1460, receiving an annuity in the latter year for his services against Yorkist rebels. He was at CALAIS with Henry BEAUFORT, duke of Somerset, in 1460, when the duke tried unsuccessfully to wrest the town from Yorkist control. In the autumn of 1460, Roos helped rouse the north against the Act of ACCORD, which disinherited Prince EDWARD OF LANCASTER; he was also a leader of the Lancastrian army at the Battle of Wakefield in December, being the first to attack the forces of Richard PLANTAGENET, duke of York, when the duke issued forth from Sandal Castle.
   After marching south from Wakefield with Queen MARGARET OF ANJOU’s army, Roos fought for Lancaster at the Battle of ST. ALBANS in February 1461 and again at the Battle of TOWTON in March. After that defeat, he fled into SCOTLAND with the Lancastrian royal family.He resumed his opposition to the house of YORK in the following June, when he carried Henry VI with him on a raid into Durham. Roos raised the king’s banner at Brancepeth Castle, but little support materialized, and Roos and his men quickly withdrew to Scotland before the local levies could be mobilized against them. Roos was included in the ATTAINDERS passed in EDWARD IV’s first PARLIAMENT in November 1461, and most of Roos’s property was granted to Edward’s ally William HASTINGS, Lord Hastings, in 1462. Roos was part of the Lancastrian garrison that surrendered BAMBURGH CASTLE in December 1462 and was actively involved in Somerset’s campaign in Northumberland in early 1464. Along with Robert HUNGERFORD, Lord Hungerford, Roos commanded a wing of the Lancastrian force at the Battle of HEDGELEY MOOR in April 1464 and again at the Battle of HEXHAM in May. He was captured after Hexham and executed two days later at Newcastle.
   Further Reading: Haigh, Philip A., The Military Campaigns of the Wars of the Roses (Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK: Sutton Publishing, 1995); Ross, Charles, Edward IV (New Haven, CT:Yale University Press, 1998).

Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses. . 2001.

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