Battle of Mortimer's Cross
Posted on 10th January 2021
Edward, Earl of March, now Edward, Duke of York, following his father’s death at the Battle of Wakefield, had planned to march his forces from Gloucester to London.
Having learnt of a Lancastrian army raised by Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke and his father Owen Tudor, travelling to meet up with the main Lancastrian army, he changed his mind and decided to block their advance.
Edward marched his army north, meeting the Lancastrian force at Mortimer’s Cross, near Wigmore, Herefordshire on 2 February 1461.
On the morning of the battle, a meteorological phenomenon known as ‘parhelion’ or ‘sun dog’ occurred, when three suns were seen to rise in the sky. Many of Edwards soldiers were frightened by this, believing it to be a bad omen. Edward managed to convince them otherwise, that it was a good sign and meant that God was on their side.
Edwards army outnumbered the Tudors, but it was the Tudors who attacked first.
The Lancastrian division led by James Butler, Earl of Wiltshire, attacked Edwards right wing, forcing them to retreat. Jasper Tudor faced the Yorkist centre, and Owen Tudor attempted to encircle the left wing.
Owen Tudors force were defeated, the centre broke and the battle was over. Owen Tudors men fled the battlefield and were pursued by Yorkist forces. Owen Tudor was captured and beheaded, however Pembroke and Wiltshire managed to escape.
Battle of Mortimer’s Cross
Fought - 2 February 1461
Location - Wigmore, Herefordshire
Participants - House of York and House of Lancaster
Edward, Earl of March
Sir Owen Tudor
Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke
James Butler, Earl of Wiltshire
Victory - House of York
Sir Owen Tudor (Lancaster)
Tagged as: Junior Middle Ages
Share this post: