The Duke of Somerset moved the Lancastrian army through Northumbria in April of 1464. It gathered troops from the garrisons in the area. It culminated in the Second Battle of Hexham, fought on 15 May 1464.
Somerset found at Hexham
Learning of this, Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick, was sent as a forward vanguard of Edward’s army to the North East. Neville’s force arrived quickly. Neville’s brother, Lord Montagu who had already been victorious at Hedgeley Moor, marched his army along the Tyne. They found Somerset camped near Hexham.
Second Battle of Hexham
The battle, fought on 15th May 1464 appears to have been brief. Accounts suggest that the Lancastrians were ill prepared for the sudden arrival of a Yorkist force.
They hastily threw up a defensive line by their camp. Behind them was the River Tyne. As the size of Montagu’s army became visible to the defenders, many deserted. Those that did not probably numbered around 500. They were quickly overwhelmed and forced into the river.
Aftermath of the Battle of Hexham
As the battle ended the Earl of Warwick arrived. At this point, any faint hope of turning the table was over.
Though the battle was small in terms of the numbers involved, it was of significance. The Duke of Somerset was captured and executed.
The Lancastrian baggage train included some £2000, a considerable amount at the time.
A second battle?
John Neville’s retinue had attacked Lancastrians at Hexham on 3 April 1463. It waa a relatively minor affair.
Wars of the Roses in the North East, a timeline.
Battle of Hexham [May 15th, 1464]. (The Queens’s Cup; Percy[‘s] Cross; Queen Margaret of Anjou.)
George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library. “Battle of Hexham [May 15th, 1464]. (The Queens’s Cup; Percy[‘s] Cross; Queen Margaret of Anjou.)” The New York Public Library Digital Collections.