The Battle of St Albans - 22nd May 1455 by Graham Turner.
On the 22nd May 1455, the struggle for control of the government of England boiled over into armed conflict in the first battle of what would become known as the Wars of the Roses. When King Herny VI regained his sanity in January 1455, the Duke of Yorks brief protectorate came to an end and his chief rival, the Duke of Somerset, regained his position of influence at court. York withdrew to the north and began mustering men, supported by his brother in law, the Earl of Salisbury, and Salisburys son, Richard Neville, later known as the Kingmaker. Advancing to meet the Yorkist force and block their route to London, the royal army, commanded by the Dukes od Somerset and Buckingham, the Earl of Northumberland and Lord Clifford, took up position in the small town of St Albans. At first the two sides negotiated, with the Yorkists protesting their loyalty to the King but demanding that Somerset be surrendered to them. The Lancastrians refused and Yorks men stormed the towns defences while Warwick broke into the market place through alleys and gardens, attacking the Lancastrian centre. Somerset, Northumberland and Clifford were amongst those killed in the fighting and the King was slightly wounded in the neck by an arrow. Pardoned by the King after the battle, the Duke of York became protector once again, but this unstable situation would not last for long before the old rivalries led to further bloodshed. The painting is set towards the end of the battle and shows the Earl of Warwick greeting the Duke of York in the market place, with the Abbey towering over the proceedings in the background. York is indicating in the direction of the Castle Inn, site of Somersets last stand.
|Item Code : GT0011||The Battle of St Albans - 22nd May 1455 by Graham Turner. - This Edition|
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