Battles and Sieges

King Edward IV arrived in Bristol

Having already undertaken a progress around the coastline of Kent and Suffolk, the King, after a short stay in Westminster, moved his attention elsewhere. The Welsh Marches were an area he was very familiar with. The Yorkist stronghold at Ludlow was in the vicinity, and loyal support for the Yorkist cause came from William Herbert, a powerful presence in the area.

King Edward IV arrived in Bristol, 4th September 1461

Edward chose to take a royal progress through the area with the destination being Bristol, which he reached on 4th September 1461. From here he could assess the progress made by William Herbert and Sir Walter Devereux in crushing Lancastrian support in Wales. He could also take a personal look at the fleet assembled to support Yorkist campaigns in Wales.

Crushing opposition whilst offering mercy

He would then move to Hereford from Bristol, where the royal army had been summoned to muster by 8th September. Whilst in Bristol the King also took personal control of several trials. Men of rank who had fought against him at Mortimer’s Cross or on the Towton campaign had by now had ample opportunity to pledge their allegiance to him.

Sir Baldwin Fulford

Some had not, and they received little mercy. At Bristol, Sir Baldwin Fulford was tried by the King for treason, found guilty and beheaded. His head was placed on a spike in Bristol where it remained until 1463 when it was removed due to complaints that it regularly fell off the spike and ended up amongst the feet of the locals going about their daily business.

Image Credits

Town of Bristol, ca. 1480
This map is a depiction of how Bristol appeared in the late 15th century, just prior to John Cabot’s arrival.
Adapted from a map by E.M. Carus-Wilson in The Merchant Adventurers of Bristol in the Fifteenth Century (Bristol, England: The Bristol Branch of the Historical Association, ©1962) which was based on an earlier map by William Hunt in Bristol, 2nd ed. (London: Longmans, Green, & Co., 1887). Source.

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