Battles and Sieges

Richard Duke of York and the earls of Rutland and Salisbury march north

On 2 December 1460, Richard 3rd Duke of York and the earls of Rutland and Salisbury marched north from London to confront the Lancastrians. It was the beginning of a campaign that would include the trios deaths at the Battle of Wakefield, and the Lancastrian advance on London.

Following the Act of Accord the divisions between the court of Queen Margaret, in the name of Prince Edward and the Yorkist faction increased rapidly. The compromise solution to appease the Duke of York provoked anger from those loyal to the House of Lancaster.

Margaret had retreated to Wales, then Scotland, following setbacks in Council and the South. From Scotland, she orchestrated a response to events in the south.

Her northern allies included the powerful Earl of Northumberland and the Earl of Westmoreland. They quickly gathered their armies and marched them to strategic locations near York and Pontefract.

News of this rapid array and deployment alarmed the Yorkists. Their response was to gather an army and make haste to the north to tackle the problem head-on.

The Duke of York and his son, the Earl of Rutland, along with the Earl of Salisbury would march north. The Earl of Warwick would safeguard the south and the midlands.

Logistically such a march is quite hard to arrange for an army of any size. Messengers were sent ahead to try and secure victuals and the castle at Sandal, the final destination, would be warned of the impending arrival of a large host of men.

The route to be travelled was the Great North Road. This route was not entirely welcoming to a Yorkist force, so not only were supplies and speed of the essence but so too was readiness for an attack at any time.


Battle of Wakefield

Richard 3rd Duke of York

Margaret of Anjou

Sandal Castle

Edmund Earl of Rutland

Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury

Image is Sandal Castle, the destination of the Yorkist Force.

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