Battles and Sieges

Yorkists return to London after the Battle of Northampton

The Earls of March and Salisbury arrived in London after the Battle of Northampton with Henry VI their captive on 14 July 1460.

John Stone, in his chronicle, describes the aftermath of the Battle of Northampton:

“After the battle, they came to the King and entered with him into the house of monks, Delapre [Abbey], close to Northampton, then into the town of Northampton, with other earls and commoners. After that, the lords returned with Henry VI to the city of London”.

The Yorkist victory at Northampton was significant for several reasons. Militarily, it stands out as being an assault on a fortified town. One in which massed gins were used for the first time on English soil. It was also the last time that Parley was attempted in the Wars of the Roses. At the time, the significance was political. The Yorkists had captured the King for a second time and now had the political initiative.

With the Yorkist lords returning to London in triumph the tide had turned in their favour. The Tower of London soon surrendered. The news reached the Duke of York as he readied himself for his return to England.

With Henry in captivity, Richard now chose to press for his hereditary rights. His own return to England was like a royal progress. Upon his arrival in London, he went as far as claiming the throne. This led to the political compromise that was the Act of Accord, which led to all out war between the supporters of Queen Margaret, and those of the Duke of York.

Image Credit

Miniature of Edward IV kneeling to Henry VI after the battle of Northampton. Harley 7353. British Library.

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