Battle of Hexham
Posted on 10th January 2021
Following the Yorkist victory at the Battle of Hedgeley Moor on 25 April 1464, their leader John Neville, Marquess of Montagu returned to Newcastle.
The Lancastrian leader Henry Beaufort, Duke of Somerset advanced his army through Northumberland into the Tyne Valley, gathering support from Lancastrian garrisons as he went. He then camped his army near Hexham in early May.
Montagu marched in advance of Edward IVs army, and met the Lancastrians at the Battle of Hexham on 15 May 1464.
The Lancastrians were camped near Linnels Bridge, over Devils Water, a tributary of the River Tyne, just south of Hexham.
The Yorkist army crossed to the south bank of the Tyne and were in position to attack Hexham by the morning of 14 May.
Somerset deployed his army in three detachments in a meadow near Devils Water, hoping to meet the Yorkist army before they passed into Hexham.
The Lancastrians had only just taken position when the Yorkist army charged at them from higher ground. When seeing the advance, the right detachment of the Lancastrian army, led by Lord Roos, turned and fled across Devils Water, into Hexham; not one blow had been struck.
The Lancastrian army being hemmed in, showed little resistance when charged by Yorkist forces. Many pushed into Devils Water either drowned or were crushed when trying to climb the steep bank and retreat into Hexham.
Many Lancastrian soldiers were trapped in woods near Devils Water and had no choice but to surrender to Yorkist forces. Montagu and his Yorkist army had gained a quick and decisive victory.
The Lancastrian force lost three of its leaders with Henry Beaufort, Duke of Somerset; Thomas, Lord Roos; and Sir William Tailboys executed.
Battle of Hexham
Fought - 15 May 1464
Location - Hexham, Northumberland
Participants - House of York and House of Lancaster
York 3,000 - 4,000
John Neville, Marquess of Montagu
Henry Beaufort, Duke of Somerset
Thomas, Lord Roos
Robert, Lord Hungerford
Victory - House of York
Henry Beaufort, Duke of Somerset (Lancaster)
Thomas, Lord Roos (Lancaster)
Sir William Tailboys (Lancaster)
Tagged as: Junior Middle Ages
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