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BBDA Battle of Tewkesbury

4th May 1471

Today I set up and fought the War of the Roses Battle of Tewkesbury.

The original battle had the Yorkists commanded by King Edward who led the Central Battle, with Gloucester commanding the Left Battle and Hastings the right.

The Lancastrians had Wenlock commanding the centre with Somerset and Devon commanding the right and left battles respectively.

It is known that Edward of York had a substantial artillery train and he also sent "Mounted Spearmen" out to Tewkesbury Park on his left flank. Some accounts doubt the spearmen were mounted, however I chose to represent them as "Pricker or Scourers" and had them as cavalry for DBA purposes.

I fought this as a semi BBDBA. I had 15 elements on Lancaster's side and 16 on the Yorks. This included 2 Artillery elements.

Both sides had elements formed into 3 groups to represent the three "Battles" per side each with a small reserve. Each side had two Generals one being the Army commander. Yorks had Edward and Gloucester and Lancaster Wenlock and Somerset. The remaining commanders Devon and Hastings were not needed as the command distance of the other two covered the ground.

I had defeat set as 6 elements.

I laid out the terrain with a wooded area on the Left of the York Host, midway between the two sides. Edward deployed his Prickers there. The remaining groups on both  were deployed as per the actual battle. The area between the two forces was described as full of hedges, dykes and rough ground. I represented this by having 2 enclosures set there.

In the actual battle Somerset attacked the Yorkist left commanded by Gloucester rather than endure the Yorkist artillery barrage, Wenlock was supposed to have supported his attack but failed to move, and a flank charge by Gloucesters prickers routed Somersets men. Somerset escaped and made his way back to Wenlock's Contingent, approached Wenlock, denounced him as a traitor and then struck Wenlock's brains out with his axe, by this time the Centre groups met as did Devon's and Hastings. The Lancaster army collapsed, Edward of Lancaster died in the fighting, Somerset was dragged from his refuge in Tewkesbury Abbey and executed in the market place. Henry VI held by York was also executed. 

In my battle Somerset also attacked Gloucester vigorously, The Lancastrian arrows took an early toll on the Yorkists archers, Devon advanced his Lancastrian forces but as in the real battle again Wenlock refused to move due this time to poor Pip rolls. The York artillery was not as effective as it was in 1471. Somersets attack was very effective and a desperate flank charge by the prickers failed to turn the tide. Then Wenlock woke up and started to move forward, he also sent elements of billmen to support Somerset. Edward of York weakened his group by sending archers and bills to support Gloucester. The action between Devon and Hastings was a tit for tat affair fought out in the enclosures.

The battle ended with York losing 6 elements and Lancaster 4. History was reversed. King Edward was still insecure on the Yorkist Throne. Henry VI remained their captive. Margret of Anjour and her son Edward could carry on recruiting to the Lancastrian cause and hatch new plots.

Wenlock got to keep his brains inside his skull and Somerset his entire head!

Although all commanders were at one time of another involved in the fighting there was no commander casualties.

Sorry their are no pictures. But really enjoyed this historical re-fight.


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