On 13th August 1485, Henry Tudor’s invasion force arrived at Machynlleth. Having embarked from France on 1st August, Tudor had landed on 7th August 1485 at Mill Bay. After camping at Dale, his army had begun the march northwards. Henry’s correspondence shows the route quite clearly. He chose initially to march northwards, along the coast. This provided him with opportunities to recruit on land, but potentially escape by sea should the need arise.
This route would maintain distance between himself and Richard III, useful whilst his own army grew in size, and his heralds went to and fro in their quest to raise further support. This route took in Haverfordwest, Cardigan and Llwyn Dafydd.
This was an area known to Jasper Tudor and one where Henry could begin to use his Welsh ancestry to full effect. Already using Welsh heraldry on his banners, he was also referred to as the Prince of Wales. After Llwyn Dafydd, Henry moved to Aberystwyth, where the garrison of the Castle offered no resistance.
Henry Tudor’s army arrived at Machynlleth.
With his messengers bringing him positive news about troops being raised, he then turned inland. From Aberystwyth, he marched to Machynlleth, where he spent the night of 13th August. The following morning, he would march on to Dolarddun. From this point, the castles would be harder to persuade to submit, towns may bar entry, and the King of England would, somewhere, be waiting.
It is suggested by Chris Skidmore that Henry’s fleet may have shadowed his progress as far as Aberystwyth. This would potentially meant that his army on land was smaller, and more mobile without as much baggage. Additionally some of the French mercenary force may have stayed on board the ships. If this was the case, this force would have disembarked for this leg of Henry Tudor’s march. They would not be tired from the march, nor lacking in supplies. However, this theory is speculative.
Chris Skidmore – Bosworth, the Birth of the Tudors
P Hammond and A Sutton – Richard 3rd: The Road To Bosworth Field (History and Politics)
David Rees – Son of Prophecy: Henry Tudor’s Road to Bosworth
Featured Image: The Castle, Aberystwyth. Forms part of: Views of landscape and architecture in Wales in the Photochrom print collection.; Title from the Detroit Publishing Co., catalogue J-foreign section. Detroit, Mich. : Detroit Photographic Company, 1905.; More information about the Photochrom Print Collection is available at http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.pgz; Print no. “10600”. Via Wikipedia.