Lancastrian flight to Scotland, November 1462

On 13 November 1462 Margaret of Anjou and King Henry VI sailed from Northumbria to the safety of Scotland. 

The War in the North East, November 1462

In November of 1462, King Edward IV was determined to extinguish Lancastrian resistance in the North East. A short-term truce had been negotiated with Scotland earlier in the year. The fleet had been readied for war. Edward planned and, in November, made for the north. He issued commissions of array as he marched on the pocket of resistance.

Lancastrian’s in a perilous situation

With just a few castles holding out for Henry VI, supported by a severely depleted armed force, the situation looked quite desperate for the Lancastrians. Some support had come from France, and there was sympathy and some military aid from Scotland. It was not enough to survive a siege from Edward’s army. The Yorkist fleet was being loaded with artillery from the royal arsenals. It was only a matter of time before Margaret, Henry, and Prince Edward would be captured.

Margaret of Anjou’s dilemma

Faced with these odds, Queen Margaret saw that the royal family had little choice but to go into exile. Symbolically it was important to have a foothold in England. Pragmatically, they needed to be able to fight another day.

Lancastrian Royals Secreted to Scotland by Sea

So, Margaret set about organising for the royal party to be secreted to Scotland. It would be a difficult task. Edward IV had ordered the Earl of Douglas to use the Newcastle Fleet to harass the Lancastrian held castles in the region. The weather, too, would make even a short journey to Scotland arduous.

Margaret of Anjou flees to Scotland

On 13th November 1462, the escape from the northeast took place. Poor weather did hinder the short voyage, the royal party being lucky to reach Berwick unscathed.

Featured Image

Dunstanburgh Csstle, one of the castles that held out for the Lancastrian cause 1461-64.

This image was taken from the Geograph project collection. See this photograph’s page on the Geograph website for the photographer’s contact details. The copyright on this image is owned by Ian Capper Edit this at Structured Data on Commons and is licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.

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