Battle of Bosworth

Definition

At the Battle of Bosworth (aka Bosworth Field) in Leicestershire on 22 August 1485 CE, the Yorkist king Richard III of England (r. 1483-1485 CE) faced an invading army led by Henry Tudor, the figurehead of the Lancastrians. It was to be a decisive engagement in the long-running dynastic dispute known to history as the Wars of the Roses (1455-1487 CE). Henry won the day, largely because some of Richard's allies either switched sides or remained inactive during the battle. The king was unseated from his horse and butchered as he made a last-ditch attempt to personally strike down his direct opponent for the throne. The victorious Henry Tudor then became King Henry VII of England (r. 1485-1509 CE). The Battle of Bosworth used to be considered the end of the Middle Ages in England but, even if modern historians tremble at such picturesque and arbitrary cut-off points, the battle remains a pivotal event in English history. Bosworth has gripped the popular imagination ever since, largely thanks to William Shakespeares' play Richard III, which has immortalised that day in August when the last English king to be killed on the battlefield fell.

More about: Battle of Bosworth

Timeline

  • 1455 - 1487
    Wars of the Roses in England.
  • 8 Aug 1485
    Henry Tudor, future Henry VII of England, lands with an army of French mercenaries at Milford Haven in South Wales.
  • 22 Aug 1485
    Henry Tudor, future Henry VII of England, wins the Battle of Bosworth Field where Richard III of England is killed.
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