#1
Despite it being the only English war with the phrase "civil war" in its title, the English Civil War in the 17th Century wasn't the only civil war to have been fought in England.

And it wasn't even the first.

The conflict known as The Anarchy, or the The Nineteen-Year Winter, which took place between 1135 and 1154, was a succession crisis between the supporters of Stephen and his cousin, the Empress Matilda (the daughter of King Henry I who, in turn, was the son of William the Conqueror). Stephen was crowned king, but a state of war prevented effective government during all of Stephen's reign. The issue was resolved only shortly before Stephen's death, when he signed the Treaty of Wallingford, which named Matilda's son Henry Curtmantle as his heir. Curtmantle was crowned King Henry II upon Stephen's death in 1154, and so establishing the Plantagenet dynasty.

And it was those Plantagenets which were to blame for the Wars of the Roses, another English civil war. This series of mini conflicts lasted from 1455 to 1485, when two rival houses of the Plantagenet dynsasty - Lancaster (symbolised by a red rose) and York (symbolised by a white rose) - fought each other for the Throne. And it was a bloody affair - 100,000 lives were lost in the conflict, a huge number when England's popualation was just a couple of million.

The Lancastrians were the victors (even to this day, a rivalry exists between the people of Lancashire and the people of Yorkshire). During the penutimate battle of that war, Bosworth Field in August 1485, England's monarch, King Richard III, a Yorkist, was killed. During that battle, the Lancastrians were led by Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond. According to Shakespeare, Richard III cried out during the battle: “A horse, a horse! My kingdom for a horse!” though the king never actually did say those words (it was also Shakespeare who gave the name "Wars of the Roses" to the conflict)

After the battle, Henry was crowned king on Crown Hill - he became King Henry VII, the first Tudor monarch, and the Tudors went on to reign England for the next 118 years.

So we know what happened during the battle, but it seems that for years we haven't known exactly WHERE it took place, although we thought we did.

Over the last 35 years many people have gathered around the stone memorial in a quiet copse of trees with a plaque that reads: "Richard, the last Plantagenet King of England, was slain here 22nd August, 1485."

Except this isn't the case. After a four-year study, historians and archaeologists have concluded that the Battle of Bosworth Field did not take place right next to the village of Bosworth but about two miles down the road.

Battle of Bosworth Field... located in the wrong field

From Times Online
October 28, 2009


Battlefield experts and historians used soil samples, peat deposits, contemporary documents and maps as clues to pinpoint the site


The current site was opened as an attraction in 1974 and last year it officially became a museum


The archaeological survey of Bosworth battlefield has so far produced 22 lead roundshot fired from artillery and bullets fired from early hand guns

The thousands of tourists and school children who have travelled to Bosworth for re-enactments, tours and talks on the decisive War of the Roses battle might want to consider revisiting the area.

Over the last 35 years many have gathered around the stone memorial in a quiet copse of trees with a plaque that reads: "Richard, the last Plantagenet King of England, was slain here 22nd August, 1485."


The Battle of Bosworth, 22nd August 1485

Except he wasn't.

After a four-year study, historians and archaeologists have concluded that the Battle of Bosworth Field did not take place right next to Bosworth any more than Richard III cried out: “A horse, a horse! My kingdom for a horse!”

The Battlefields Trust, which was given a £150,000 commission to investigate, announced today that the King was actually killed about two miles down the road.


King Richard III, a Yorkist, was killed at the Battle of Bosworth....


.... and Henry, the Earl of Richmond and commander of the Lancastrian forces during the battle, was crowned King Henry VII, the first Tudor monarch

Battlefield experts and historians used soil samples, peat deposits, contemporary documents and maps as clues to pinpoint the site of the infamous battle between the houses of Lancaster and York.

Using references to places like Redmore (or Reed Moor) and Sandyford (a sandy crossing in the marsh) they said they had built up a picture of the landscape.

Despite the announcement, officials refused to give the precise new location of battle because they fear that illegal treasure seekers may target the site.

A spokesman said: “[We] will work to define the boundaries of the battle over the coming months and agree a conservation plan and to ensure protection for the Battlefield for present and future generations.”

The current site was opened as an attraction in 1974 and last year it officially became a museum after a new exhibition space was built.

As well as locating the famous battle the historians say it “is now almost certain” that the legendary Crown Hill, in the nearby parish of Stoke Golding, was indeed the location where Henry was crowned the first Tudor King.

The archaeological survey of Bosworth battlefield has so far produced 22 lead roundshot fired from artillery and bullets fired from early hand guns – more than all the lead roundshot from all the other battlefields of the 15th and 16th century in Europe put together.

Dr Glen Foard, from the Battlefields Trust, who has lead the search, said: "For me the most important thing about the discoveries at Bosworth is that it opens the door for archaeology to explore the origins of firepower.

"In collaboration with the University of Leeds we want to trace this story across Europe."

Since 1985 there has been a heated debate between historians over the true location of the battlefield, with at least four contending sites.

This led in 2005 to the Battlefields Trust being commissioned by Leicestershire County Council, with £154,000 funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, to undertake a major investigation to resolve the issue.

In an attempt to reach a final conclusion, specialists from various disciplines applied the techniques of battlefield archaeology to search for the site.

The original documentary evidence for the battle and the armies was re-examined, the historic landscape of the area was mapped from documents and archaeological evidence and the soils were examined forensically.

The Battle of Bosworth took place in 1485, at the culmination of the War of The Roses, which consisted of a series of battles fought between 1455 and 1485 by two rival branches of a dynasty for the control of the English throne.

Each family had a rose as its emblem, white for the York family and red for the House of Lancaster. It is thought that over 100,000 lives were lost.

timesonline.co.uk
Last edited by Blackleaf; Oct 28th, 2009 at 02:48 PM..