Traditionally Palm Sunday is known as the day that the Battle of Towton took place, but as Easter dates are changed every year, it is impossible to call it the anniversary.
The fact that the Battle took place on such a religious day, in a time when faith was very important to the majority of English people, always struck me as strange. Why did the forces choose to fight on this day, when snow covered the ground and the visibility was terrible?
The answer is lost to history, of course, though many can interpret it in their own way.
The way I see it, Edward was King in all but name, and travelled north for this final battle. He had to rid himself of the troublesome Queen Margaret (of Anjou), in order to secure his throne. He did not care about the casualties that would be incurred in this battle, he just wanted to finish it and return to London to claim his crown.
His father and brother had been killed in the area, and he maybe saw this battle as a retribution of sorts, to the people of the area who had supported the Lancastrians. The Lancastrian force was alledgedly the larger and could have been predicted to be the winner, but Edward and his cousin, the Earl of Warwick, Richard Neville (forever known to history as the Kingmaker) had the stronger army and took the victory, at the expense of over 25000 men from both sides.
I find it almost impossible to imagine that many dead people in the field of battle, its an image I struggle with.
Speaking of Edward though, the 9th April also marks the anniversary of his death in 1483, setting in motion the events that would lead to Bosworth and the last King, his brother, to die in battle in England.
A book that I am currently reading, questions whether Edward’s death was natural or ‘helped’. A question that I look forward to investigating further……………….