Tag Archives: Battle of Wakefield

The Wars of the Roses/[Susan Higginbotham]/Margaret of Anjou

 

margaret of anjou

 

MARGARET OF ANJOU

(The following is a slightly revised blog post I did on Margaret of Anjou, the subject of my novel in progress,
The Queen of Last Hopes
. For more pieces about her and a picture gallery, see the links at the bottom of the page.)

 

 

Margaret of Anjou, queen to the unfortunate Henry VI, has surely been one of the most maligned English queens. She’s regularly portrayed as an adulteress and a vengeful harpy. One historical novel even has her repeatedly trying to murder her daughter-in-law, Anne Neville, though I never quite figured out why. (I’m not sure the author knew either.)

A set piece in many a Wars of the Roses novel, even some recent ones where the authors should have known better, involves cruel Margaret ordering immediately after the Battle of Wakefield that the severed heads of the Duke of York and his teenage son, the Earl of Rutland, be displayed and the Duke’s head be garnished with a
paper crown. In fact, Margaret was not at the Battle of Wakefield; she was in Scotland at the time. There’s even been considerable doubt cast as to the extent of the atrocities supposedly committed by her troops.

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The Wars of the Roses/[NevillFeast]/Wakefield and murder at Pontefract

WAKEFIELD AND MURDER AT PONTEFRACT

Firstly, I need to say that others have written about the battle of Wakefield in more depth than I can here. Keith Dockray & Richard Knowles’ excellent article can be found here in its entirety; and Helen Cox and Philip Haigh have both written more detailed accounts, among many others.

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The Wars of the Roses/[From Susan Higginbotham ”In Their Own Words”]/Letter of Edward, Earl of March and Edmund, Earl of Rutland, to their father Richard, Duke of York

[Source: Reprinted in Richard III as Duke of Gloucester and King of England, by Caroline Amelia Halsted]

 

Edward and Edmund were the oldest living sons of Richard, Duke of York. This letter was written in the 1450’s, following the duke’s return to England from Ireland. Edmund, along with his father, died at the battle of Wakefield on December 30, 1460; Edward became King Edward IV.

 

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