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The Battle of Towton was the "largest and bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil". The engagement took place near the village of the same name in Yorkshire on 29March 1461, a Palm Sunday. It was part of the series of civil wars—the Wars of the Roses—fought between the Houses of Lancaster and York. More than 50,000 soldiers were mustered for this battle. Thereigning king of England, Henry VI, headed the Lancastrians, while the Yorkists were led by Edward IV, who had declared himself king and was using this battle to affirm his claim. Their armies met on aplateau near Towton amidst a snowstorm. The Lancastrians, superior in numbers, were lured out of their defensive positions by the Yorkist archers, who took advantage of the strong wind to outrange theircounterparts and inflict casualties without suffering any in return. The ensuing melee raged for hours, and the Yorkists finally gained victory after the arrival of their reinforcements. ManyLancastrians were killed in their panicked flight from the battlefield, and the heralds reported a count of 28,000 dead. Henry fled to Scotland, leaving Edward free to start the Yorkist dynasty. (more...)Recently featured: Rhodocene – Drapier's Letters – Acrocanthosaurus
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