Battle of Twt Hill, 16 October 1461

Battle of Twt Hill, 16 October 1461

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Battle of Twt Hill, 16 October 1461

The battle of Twt Hill (16 October 1461) was a Yorkist victory that ended open Lancastrian resistance to Edward IV in most of Wales, leaving only Harlech in Lancastrian hands.

Although the Yorkists were powerful in the Welsh Borders, where they had inherited the lands of the Mortimer earls of March, much of Wales was Lancastrian. After the dramatic Yorkist victory at Northampton (10 July 1460), in which Henry VI was captured, Jasper Tudor, earl of Pembroke, organised the Lancastrian resistance in Wales. He was opposed by Edward, earl of March (the future Edward IV), who was sent to Ludlow to deal with resistance in Wales. At the same time the earl of Warwick remained in London, while Edward's father Richard of York went north to deal with the main Lancastrian army.

On 30 December 1460 York attacked a larger Lancastrian army at Wakefield and was defeated and killed. The victorious Lancastrians advanced south towards London. Edward prepared to move east to join with Warwick, but he was prevented from moving by Tudor, who with James Butler, earl of Wiltshire and Ormond was advancing across Wales towards him. The two armies met at Mortimer's Cross on 2 February 1461, where Edward won his first battlefield victory. The Lancastrian army was scattered, but Pembroke and Wiltshire escaped. Pembroke remained in Wales, while Wiltshire made his way to the main Lancastrian army.

For the moment Edward remained in the borders, but events elsewhere forced him to abandon any attempts to complete his victory. The earl of Warwick had moved from London to St. Albans, where on 17 February 1461 his army was overwhelmed (Second battle of St. Albans). Warwick escaped, but the Lancastrians liberated Henry VI and were free to advance on London. This forced Edward to abandon his campaign in the borders. He rushed east, met up with Warwick, and in late February was welcoming in London. At the start of March Edward claimed the throne as Edward IV, before leading his army north to victory at Towton (29 March 1461).

Towton crushed the Lancastrian cause in most of England, although Henry VI and his family escaped, and resistance to Edward continued in the far north for another three years. Much of Wales was also held against him. Pembroke had a small field army, and held a number of castles, and he was soon reinforced by Henry Holland, duke of Exeter, who had escaped from Towton. The Lancastrians also attempted to get support from the French, but their cause suffered when Louis XI died and was succeeded by his son Charles VII. Louis had favoured the Lancastrians, and so his son chose to switch his support to the Yorkists.

At first Edward IV planned to lead the campaign in Wales in person. In July he ordered Sir William Herbert, and the newly promoted Walter Devereux, Lord Ferrers, to raise an army, and in September moved to Hereford himself. He reached Hereford on 17 September, moved to Ludlow on the following day, and then on 26 September departed for London, where Parliament was due to meet in November.

Command of the Welsh army now passed to Sir William Herbert, aided by Ferrers and Henry Bourchier, earl of Essex. Their first target was Pembroke Castle, which surrendered without a fight on 30 September. Pembroke and Exeter retreated into Snowdonia. They may have been planning to continue their resistance from the mountains, but when Herbert caught up with them they were on the north Welsh coast at Caernarvon.

The two armies clashed at Twt Hill, just to the north of Caernarvon (now under the northern suburbs), on 16 October 1461. Herbert's men were victorious, but we know almost nothing about the actual battle. Both Pembroke and Exeter escaped after the battle. Pembroke fled to Ireland, from where he continued to support the Lancastrians. Exeter eventually reached Burgundy, where he remained in exile until 1471. He then returned to England to support Henry VI's readeption government, but was captured at the battle of Barnet. He was kept in prison until 1475 when he was finally released and took part in Edward IV's French expedition, but on the way back he drowned.

In the aftermath of this victory the Yorkists moved against the remaining Lancastrian strongholds in Wales. Denbigh surrendered in January 1462 and Carreg Cennen in May. This only left Harlech Castle, but this was a much more difficult target. In 1462 the castle still had its water gate (the shore has since moved west away from the castle) and so could be supplied from the sea by Pembroke in Ireland. Edward IV was unwilling to commit to the major expense that a full-scale siege would have required, and so the famous siege of Harlech Castle dragged on into 1468.

Books on the Middle Ages -Subject Index: War of the Roses

He was born about 1432 in Weobley, Herefordshire, the son of Sir Walter Devereux (1411–1459), Lord Chancellor of Ireland (from 1449 to 1450), and Elizabeth Merbury, the daughter and heiress of Sir John Merbury, Chief Justice of South Wales by his first wife, Alice Pembridge.

Walter Devereux married twice:

  • Firstly before 25 October 1446, at age 13, [1] he married Anne Ferrers (d.9 January 1469), the daughter and heiress of William de Ferrers, 7th Baron Ferrers of Chartley, [2][3] and thereby became jure uxorisBaron Ferrers of Chartley (in right of his wife) on 26 July 1461. [4] His wife Anne inherited great wealth upon the death of her father. Through the marriage, the Devereux family gained Chartley Castle as well as its barony. [5] By his wife, who predeceased him by seventeen years, [a] he had at least six children including:
    • Sir Robert Devereux of Ferrers (c1455 to ?) [6] who was appointed a Justice of the Peace for Shropshire on 24 February 1473, and again on 8 Nov 1473. (1463 - 3 May 1501) [4][2]
    • Elizabeth Devereux (c1454 to 1516) [b][4][2]
    • Anne Devereux (c1453 to aft 1475) [c][7][2][8]
    • Sir Richard Devereux [4][2]
    • Sir Thomas Devereux [4][2]

    On 6 November 1450 the Escheator of Buckinghamshire was instructed to deliver the manor of Dorton to Elizabeth, widow of the late Baron Ferrers of Chartley. An Inquisition post mortem declared that her heir was Anne, wife of Walter Devereux. His father was attainted for treason in 1452 for supporting Richard, Duke of York, on his march to London and subsequent confrontation with the king at Dartford Heath. On 6 March 1453 he attended Parliament as Lord Ferrers, and represented Herefordshire in place of his father. On 17 March 1453 Walter and Anne Devereux were granted livery of her father's lands as she was 14 years of age or older, [13] deemed the age of majority for females.

    On 20 March 1453 the escheators were ordered to take the fealty of Walter Devereux for his wife's lands. [e] On 24 January 1454 the Escheator of Warwickshire released to Walter and Anne Devereux her lands there. [f] An agreement was acknowledged on 4 March 1454 between Walter and Anne Devereux and Elizabeth, widow of the late Sir William Ferrers of Charteley, that they would honor her dower rights when she entered the church, and Anne would receive the inheritance of these estates when she reached 21 years of age. [14] On 8 June 1455 Urias and Elizabeth de la Hay, and Henry and Joan ap Griffith, granted to Walter Devereux and his father, Sir William Herbert John Barrow and Miles Skull a moiety of Wellington manor, and Adzor manor and 100 acres of land and 20 shillings of rent in Wellington forever. Devereux acquired half the manor of Tonge, Shropshire, on 1 November 1456 as his wife's inheritance from a distant cousin, Sir Richard Vernon. [15]

    Walter Devereux and William Mayell acquired from Henry Gryffith of Bakton and Thomas Herbert of Billingsley the wardship and marriage of Thomas, minor heir of Edmund de Cornewaylle on 1 July 1453. [16] Walter Devereux and his father were appointed on 14 December 1453 to investigate the escape of prisoners in Herefordshire. [17] On 22 May 1455 Richard, 3rd Duke of York, led the Yorkists to victory at the First Battle of St Albans, and captured Henry VI. On 25 May the Duke crowned Henry VI again, and was re-instated as Protector of the Realm. Walter Devereux's father was pardoned shortly after at the Parliament meeting on 9 July 1455. Over the next several years the Devereux carried on an intermittent war with the Tudors along the Welsh Marches. Walter Devereux, along with other prominent Yorkists of Herefordshire, were placed under a recognizance of 5000 marks on 13 May 1457 if they did not immediately present themselves for imprisonment at Marshalsea. [18] His father was added to the group on 2 June.

    Following his father's death on 22 April 1459, Walter Devereux assumed his place as the Steward of York's lands in Radnor, and in the Duke's retinue. [19] He was with the Duke of York at the Battle of Ludford Bridge on 12 October 1459, but surrendered and threw himself on the King's mercy when York fled to Ireland following the defeat. Granted his life, he was attainted on 20 November 1459, and his lands awarded to Humphrey Stafford, 1st Duke of Buckingham. [20] Devereux was permitted in 1460 to redeem his properties for a fine of 500 marks. [21] [22]

    On 26 June 1460 the earls of Warwick and Salisbury landed at Sandwich, and raised a Yorkist rebellion. They marched on London, and captured Henry VI at the Battle of Northampton on 10 July 1460. Walter Devereux was appointed to arrest and imprison any in Herefordshire resisting the rebellion, [23] [24] Richard of York returned to England and Walter Devereux attended Parliament on 7 October as a knight of the shire for Herefordshire. The Duke became Protector of the Realm again on 31 October, and Devereux was granted a general pardon.

    In December 1460 Walter Devereux accompanied Edward, Earl of March, to Wales to raise an army to counter a Lancastrian rebellion led by the Tudors. On 30 December, Richard, 3rd Duke of York, was killed at the Battle of Wakefield, and a Lancastrian army moved south towards London. Devereux fought on behalf of Edward, now the 4th Duke of York, at his victory in the Battle of Mortimer's Cross on 2 February 1461, and commanded his left wing. [25] He remained at the side of the future Edward IV on his advance from Gloucester to London. The Lancastrian army marching south was again victorious at the Second Battle of St Albans on 17 February, and recovered Henry VI here. On 3 March 1461, Walter Devereux was present at the council held at Baynard's Castle where it was resolved that Edward would be made King, and rode at his side to Westminster where Henry VI was deposed in absentia and Edward IV proclaimed King of England.

    Walter Devereux was with the army as Edward IV marched north, and fought in the victory at the Battle of Towton on 29 March 1461, where he was knighted. [26] On 8 July Devereux was appointed Justice of the Peace, and place on the Commission of Array for Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, and Shropshire to raise troops to stamp out Lancastrian resistance in Wales. [27] He was also placed on a commission of Oyer and terminer to inquire into all treasons, insurrections and rebellions in South Wales, and granted the authority to receive submission into the king's peace of rebels. [28] In September Walter Devereux met with the king and William Herbert at Ludlow Castle where they were assigned to take into the king's hands all the castles, lordships, manors, land and possessions of the late Humphrey, Duke of Buckingham, in South Wales. [29] On 30 September 1461, Herbert and Devereux captured Pembroke Castle. On 16 October Herbert and Devereux defeated the Lancastrians under Pembroke and Exeter at the Battle of Twt Hill, effectively ending resistance in Wales. Walter Devereux attended Parliament on 4 November 1461, but was back in Wales for the capture of Denbigh Castle in January 1462.

    On 10 February 1462 Devereux was again Justice of the Peace for Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, and would effectively retain these offices for the rest of his life, at times extending his authority to Shropshire as well. [30] [31] [32] On 20 February 1462, Devereux received an extensive grant of forfeited lands for his service, [33] and was assigned to raise further troops in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire. John Salwey granted the manor of Stanford, Worcestershire, to Walter Devereux on 18 April, and Herbert and Devereux captured Carreg Cennen Castle in Wales in May 1462.

    In October 1462 Margaret of Anjou landed and raised a Lancastrian rebellion in northern England. Devereux accompanied King Edward on an expedition to the north in November 1462, which put the rebellion down by January 1463. Walter attended Parliament on 29 April 1463 where he was rewarded with an exemption from the crown's Act of Resumption revoking various gifts and grants. [g]

    On 18 June 1463 Devereux was appointed as Constable of Aberystwyth Castle for life, [34] and 10 August 1464 joint keeper of the Haywood in Herefordshire. [35] In late 1467 he was granted Oyer and terminer in Wales with power to pardon or arrest, and specifically tasked with investigating counterfeiting, clipping, sweating and other falsifications of money. [36] This was extended into Herefordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire, and Shropshire in early 1468, [37] and Devonshire and Gloucestershire later in the year. [38] Devereux was further rewarded on 30 May 1468 with the grant of the custody of all castles, lordships, manors, lands, rents, and possessions with knights’ fees, advowsons, courts leet, views of frankpledge, fairs, markets, privileges and franchises of the late Sir Roger Corbet, [39] and in the king's hands by reason of the minority his son and heir, Richard. [h] In June 1468, Jasper Tudor, 1st Earl of Pembroke landed near Harlech Castle and captured Denbigh. Walter Devereux and William Herbert were assigned to raise an army in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, and the marshes of Wales to attack the rebels [40] and on 14 August 1468, Harlech castle finally surrendered to the Yorkists.

    In 1468 Edward IV announced his intent to invade France. On 3 August 1468 Walter Devereux was assigned to muster at Gravesend with his men for service overseas, [41] but other events in the kingdom prevented this from occurring. On 12 February 1469 he was commanded to deliver prisoners to the gaol of Hereford Castle. [42] On 22 May he was appointed to a commission of Oyer and terminer for the counties of York, Cumberland, and Westmoreland and the city of York. [43] He was probably at the Battle of Edgecote Moor on 26 July 1469 when the Earl of Warwick defeated King Edward, and Devereux's brother-in-law, William Herbert, was killed. Edward IV was captured, but Warwick was forced to release him within a few months. By September 1469 Walter Devereux was assigned to raise new troops for the Yorkists in Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Shropshire, and Worcestershire. [44] On 16 November he was rewarded with the grant of the offices of Constable of the Castles of Brecon, Hay, and Huntington and Steward of the Lordships of Brecon, Hay, and Huntington during the minority of Henry Stafford. [45]

    On 6 January 1470 he was granted Oyer and terminer over Wales. [46] He probably fought for Edward IV at the resounding victory of the Battle of Losecoat Field, which resulted in the flight of the earl of Warwick and Duke of Clarence to France. On 26 March Devereux was assigned to raise additional troops in Herefordshire to defend against the rebels. [47] On 28 July 1470 he was rewarded with appointment as sheriff of Caernarfonshire and Master-Forester of the Snowdon Hills in North Wales for life. [48]

    On 13 September 1470 after Edward IV had been lured north to deal with rebels, Warwick landed at Plymouth raising a Lancastrian rebellion in his rear. Edward was forced to flee to Flanders, and Henry VI was readapted to the throne of England on 3 October. When Edward IV returned, landing at Ravenspur, Yorkshire, on 14 March 1471, Devereux joined him for the victory at the Battle of Barnet on 14 April 1471, which deposed Henry VI once again. Walter Devereux was assigned to raise more troops in Shropshire, and Herefordshire, [49] and fought at the Battle of Tewkesbury on 4 May 1471 where Edward IV finally secured his throne. Devereux was at the king's side when he entered London in triumph, and was one of the Lords who swore in the Parliament Chamber at Westminster on 3 July 1471 to accept Edward, Prince of Wales, as heir to the crown. [50] On 27 August he was granted the power to receive the submission of all rebels in South Wales and the marshes, [51] and to raise an army in South Wales, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, and the marches to resist Jasper Tudor. [52]

    He was selected on 20 February 1473 to serve on the Council of Wales as a tutor and councilor of the king's heir until the Prince of Wales reached the age of 14 years. [53] On 26 February 1474 he was assigned to raise troops in Herefordshire and Shropshire to suppress another rebellion. [54] On 1 July, Margaret, widow of John Walsh and wife of Henry Turner, remised and quitclaimed (for 9L annually during her life) to Walter Devereux the following in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire: Andrews manor 1 messuage, 20 acres of land, and 20 acres of pasture and a moiety of La Mote manor. She also quitclaimed 1 messuage in Holborn (London). On 25 October Walter Devereux, Lord Dacre, and the king's chaplain were granted the collation to the next vacant prebend in the king's College of St George within Windsor Castle. [55] [56] In 1481, Walter Devereux granted the advowson of The Abbey, Sutton Courtenay to St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. [57]

    On 26 May 1475 Devereux and others were granted a license to found a perpetual guild in St Bride's Church near his London properties. [58] He was with Edward IV when he led an army into France in July, and at the Conference at Saint-Christ in Vermandois, France, on 13 August where the king agreed to withdraw in exchange for a yearly payment. [59] Devereux was rewarded on 31 January 1476 with the grant of the manor and lordship of Wigston, Leicestershire, in the king's hands following the attainder of John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford and the Welshman, a brewhouse outside Ludgate in the ward of Farringdon Without (St Martin parish, London). [60]

    Over the next 4 years Walter Devereux served on various commissions of Oyer and terminer in Middlesex, Yorkshire, and London. [61] On 14 February 1480 he was identified as a member of the king's council hearing petitions in the Star Chamber at Westminster. [62] Devereux was assigned on 12 June 1481 to survey the land of the king's lordship of Cheshunt, Hertfordshire the land of Thomas, abbot of Waltham, in Essex and the boundary between the counties there. [63]

    As a member of the Council of Wales, Walter Devereux was probably with Edward V when he was declared king following the sudden death of Edward IV on 9 April 1483. It would be expected that he accompanied Edward as he set out for London, and was probably among the retinue that was dismissed when Richard, Duke of Glouucester intercepted them at Stony Stratford, Buckinghamshire on 29 April. Following the deposition of Edward V and crowning of the Duke as Richard III on 6 July 1483, Walter Devereux transferred his allegiance to the new king and was confirmed as Justice of the Peace for Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Shropshire, and Hertfordshire. On 1 August Walter Devereux of Ferrers his son, Sir John Devereux of Ferrers and others were assigned in Herefordshire to assess and appoint collectors of the subsidies granted by the last Parliament from aliens (with the exception of the nations and merchants of Spain, Brittany, and Almain). [64] Devereux attended Parliament on 23 January 1484, [65] and was assigned to raise an army on 1 May 1484 in Hertfordshire, and Herefordshire. [66] He was rewarded with the grant of Cheshunt manor, Hertfordshire, for life on 12 August [67] and assigned to investigate certain treasons and offenses committed by William Colingbourne late of Lidyard, Wiltshire and John Turburville late of Firemayne, Dorset. [68]

    On 26 July 1461 Walter Devereux was raised to the rank of Baron in right of his wife and on account of his great services against Henry VI, the Duke of Exeter, the earls of Pembroke and Wiltshire, and the other rebels and traitors, thereby becoming Lord Ferrers.

    On 24 April 1472 he was honored by creation as a Knight of the Garter.

    Walter Devereux supported Richard III of England during his reign, and fought by his side at the Battle of Bosworth (22 August 1485). There, Lord Ferrers commanded in the vanguard under John Howard, Duke of Norfolk, alongside Sir Robert Brackenbury and Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey. Devereux was slain during the initial fight with the opposing van under John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford, fighting next to the young John, Lord Zouche. An in-law, Sir John Ferrers, was also killed at Bosworth. He was attainted after his death on 7 November 1485.

    Wars of the Roses

    PRINCIPAL COMBATANTS: Earl of Warwick vs. King Edward IV
    MAJOR ISSUES AND OBJECTIVES: Warwick sought to overthrow the king.
    OUTCOME: Warwick’s Rebellion was defeated, Warwick was killed in battle, and Edward IV returned to the throne.
    CASUALTIES: Unknown
    TREATIES: None

    Richard Neville (1428󈞳), earl of Warwick, was the power behind the throne of England’s Edward IV (1442󈞿). While he had been negotiating a grand diplomatic marriage between Edward and some French bridal candidates, Warwick discovered that Edward had already secretly wed Elizabeth Woodville (1437󈟈), an English woman, the widow of a Lancastrian knight, and well outside of the royal circle. She was an extraordinary beauty who refused to be kept as Edward’s mistress he yielded and married her. Warwick kept his outrage to himself—until Edward dared to replace certain government appointees chosen by Warwick with those nominated by Elizabeth Woodville, who, it was clear, was emerging as a political power. Even worse, in 1467, Edward struck an alliance with Burgundy, the traditional rival of France, thereby wrecking Warwick’s negotiations with that nation. Edward cemented the alliance by marrying his sister Margaret of York (fl. 1470s) to Burgundy’s Charles the Bold (1433󈞹).

    This was the final straw. In 1469, Warwick led an outright rebellion. Warwick defied the king in June 1469 by marrying his eldest daughter, Isobel (fl. 1460s), to the king’s brother, George, duke of Clarence (1449󈞺). A figure known to history as Robin of Redesdale, and subsequently identified as Sir John Conyers (1433󈞱), assembled a force of discontented northerners. Edward sent an army against this band. As a battle developed at Edgecote, an army under Warwick suddenly appeared and immediately sided with Conyers’s rebels. Together, Conyers and Warwick defeated the royal army and gave chase to Edward, whom they ran to ground at Coventry and took prisoner. Warwick held Edward for three months, but, finding that he had little support from his fellow nobles, he released the king.

    The new-found freedom did not make Edward grateful. In March 1470, with the rebellion renewed, Edward dispatched an army to confront the rebels at Losecoat Field. This time, it was the king’s forces that emerged victorious. Edward declared Warwick a traitor, sending him fleeing to France for his life. There he plotted with Queen Margaret of Anjou (c. 1430󈞾), the consort of Henry VI (1421󈞳), the deposed English king who was then languishing in the Tower of London.

    After recruiting a French force, Warwick invaded England in 1470, stormed the Tower, and freed Henry. This time, Edward fled—to Burgundy. He returned to England in 1471, however, and fought Warwick at the Battle of Barnet. Warwick was slain in this battle. Henry VI was subsequently recaptured and, once again, sent to the Tower, where he died, leaving Edward IV the undisputed king of England.

    Further reading: Andrew Boardman, The Medieval Soldier in the Wars of the Roses (Stroud: Sutton, 1998) Christine Carpenter, The Wars of the Roses: Politics and Constitution in England 1437� (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997) Phillip A. Haigh, The Military Campaigns of the Wars of the Roses (Stroud: Sutton, 1999) A. J. Pollard, Richard III and the Princes in the Tower (New York: St. Martin’s, 1991).


    In December 1779, the British Commander-in-Chief in America, General Sir Henry Clinton, left New York City with a fleet of ninety troopships, fourteen warships, and more than 13,500 soldiers and sailors. Sailing for Savannah, Georgia, Clinton planned to rendezvous with a force commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Mark Prevost and march overland to Charleston, South Carolina. Defending the city was a grossly outnumbered American army under the command of General Benjamin Lincoln.

    In March 1780, Clinton, Prevost, and General Charles Lord Cornwallis, whose force had accompanied Clinton from New York, descended on Charleston. By early April, the combined British forces had successfully trapped the Americans in the beleaguered city.

    To make matters worse for the defenders, British warships successfully ran past Fort Moultrie at the mouth of Charleston Harbor, further isolating Lincoln’s position by effectively closing off any means of escape or reinforcement. The noose only grew tighter as more British forces converged on the Charleston area and began to bombard the Americans’ hastily prepared defensive works.

    On April 21, hoping to preserve his army, Lincoln offered to surrender the city if his men were allowed to leave unharmed. Clinton refused to accept these terms and quickly resumed his artillery bombardment.

    Over the next two weeks, the British moved closer and closer to the American lines. By May 8, only a few yards separated the armies. Clinton demanded that Lincoln surrender unconditionally. The American general refused, so Clinton ordered the city bombarded with heated shot. As Charleston burned, Lincoln had no choice but to accept the inevitable.

    The siege of Charleston finally came to a close on May 12, 1780. With General Lincoln’s surrender, an entire American army of roughly 5,000 men ceased to exist.

    Kings Mountain

    The Revolutionary War battle of Kings Mountain in South Carolina proved to be a stinging defeat in the British attempt to secure control of the Southern colonies.

    How it ended

    American victory. The fierce firefight at Kings Mountain pitted Loyalist militia elements under the command of British major Patrick Ferguson against 900 patriots. The British effort to secure Loyalist support in the South was a failure. Thomas Jefferson called the battle "The turn of the tide of success."

    In context

    The siege of Charleston in May 1780 was one of the worst American defeats of the Revolutionary War. Another British victory, in the Battle of Camden, followed in August 1780. British general Charles Lord Cornwallis dispatched Major Patrick Ferguson to North Carolina in early September 1780. Ferguson had two tasks: recruit members to fight for the Loyalist militia and protect the Cornwallis’s left flank as he attempted to move through the Carolinas.

    Nicknamed Bull Dog by his men, Ferguson soon came up against the Overmountain men, residents of the Carolina Backcountry and the Appalachian mountain range, and from places that would later become the states of Tennessee and Kentucky. American cavalry commander “Light Horse” Harry Lee called them, “A race of hardy men who were familiar with the use of the horse and the rifle, stout, active, patient under privation, and brave.” To the British, however, they were “more savage than the Indians.” From the start Ferguson miscalculated his potential foes, brazenly issuing a proclamation for the local patriots to “desist from their opposition to British arms” or he would “march over the mountains, hang their leaders, and lay their country to waste with fire and sword.” His scare tactics backfired.

    On October 7, 1780, Ferguson and the Overmountain men met in a small but significant battle in the War for Independence. It took place on a rocky hilltop in Western South Carolina called Kings Mountain. The rout of the Loyalists there was the first major setback for Britain's southern strategy and started a chain of events that culminated in Cornwallis's surrender at Yorktown.

    Several local patriot militias of the region led by William Campbell, John Sevier, Joseph McDowell, William Hill, Edward Lacy, Benjamin Cleveland, Joseph Winston, William Chronicle and Isaac Shelby decide to take on Ferguson and his men. Learning of their plans, Ferguson opts to retreat from his forward position and pulls back closer to the main body of the British Army. He digs in and fortifies a small 60-foot hill two miles inside the South Carolina border. An American scouting party learns of Ferguson’s position, giving militia commanders the intelligence they need to launch an attack. Sensing an impending battle, the American commanders tell their men, “Don’t wait for the word of command. Let each one of you be your own officer and do the very best you can.” The American plan was simple—to assault the hill from all sides. Campbell tells his men to “shout like Hell and fight like devils.”

    October 7. In the early afternoon, the Overmountain men creep quietly toward Ferguson’s position. When the first shot rings out the Americans attack en masse from all sides. Ferguson deploys his Loyalist militia in the center of the hilltop. He remains mounted and personally leads the counterattack against the patriots surging from the southwest. After firing a volley and fixing bayonets, Ferguson’s men blunt the Overmountain men’s advance. But it is only on one side of the hill and the Overmountain men continue unabated to attack from the other sides using the undergrowth and woods to their advantage. One Loyalist later recalled that the Overmountain men looked “like devils from the infernal regions… tall, raw-boned, sinewy with long matted hair.” Ferguson and his men are surrounded, and their additional counterattacks fail to stop the Americans. The Overmountain men continue their yelling and whooping as they gain ground.

    With his defensive perimeter shrinking, Ferguson tries to lead his men past the onslaught. Mounted on his horse, he proves the perfect target for his crack shot opponents. He is hit multiple times, his body hanging from his horse as his mount flees down the hill.

    Shortly after Ferguson’s death, the Loyalists surrender.

    The American riflemen are victorious but there is a cost. One young Overmountain man later recalled, “The dead lay in heaps on all sides, while the groans of the wounded were heard in every direction. I could not help turning away from the scene before me, with horror, and though exalting in the victory, could not refrain from shedding tears.”

    At Kings Mountain the Backcountry militiamen demonstrate that they can coordinate and execute a battle plan. Their success encourages other patriot revolutionaries. General George Washington later proclaims to his own army that “The crude, spirited, hardy determined volunteers who crossed the mountains served as proof of the spirit and resources of the country.” Loyalist elements in North Carolina and South Carolina are intimidated. Kings Mountain sets the scene for an American military resurgence. With the loss of his western flank force, Cornwallis falls back into South Carolina, delaying his planned invasion of North Carolina.

    The Battle of Kings Mountain was one of the few major battles of the Revolutionary War waged entirely between fellow countrymen. It was fought entirely between Americans—no British troops served there. Major Patrick Ferguson, commander of the Loyalist force, was the only Briton on the field.

    As is other parts of the colonies, the South was divided in its loyalties to England. Some fought for independence, others defended the Crown. There were many reasons for people to remain loyal to the government of King George. Some of the Loyalists expected to be rewarded at the end of the war. Others wanted to protect their vast amounts of property. Many were professionals, such as clergymen (who were dependent on the Church of England for their livelihood), lawyers, doctors, and teachers. Among the Loyalists were also servants and slaves, who believed the way to freedom was not through American independence.

    As a British officer, Patrick Ferguson had the burden of turning South Carolina Loyalists into a trained militia. But his hope of molding them into an effective fighting force died with him at Kings Mountain. The British ultimately failed to prepare and lead the South Carolina Loyalists to develop consistently reliable fighting units across the state and secure the area from the better-organized and drilled militias of the patriots.

    The weapons of the Patriot riflemen at Kings Mountain were more accurate than those of their opponents and led to more enemy fatalities. Generally, rifles were not used by armies. A rifle was primarily a hunting weapon for families living on the frontier. But the Overmountain men at Kings Mountain mainly favored their rifles, while the Loyalist troops carried muskets.

    The difference between a rifle and a musket is speed versus accuracy. A rifle is slow to load, but very accurate. Riflemen can hit a target at 200 or 300 yards. Yet the rifle can only be fired once a minute. A musket, with a smooth bore, is easy to load but inaccurate. Muskets have an accurate range of about 100 yards but can be fired up to three times a minute.

    In addition to using different weapons, the opposing troops at Kings Mountain had disparate strategies. Each militiaman on Kings Mountain had been instructed to act as his own captain and to take every advantage that was presented. The Patriots fought frontier-style from behind trees and rocks. They selected a definite human target for every ball fired. The Loyalists fought in close-order ranks with volley fire and bayonet charges. Better communication and knowledge of the terrain by militia officers, combined with the skilled marksmanship of their men, trumped all the military training and discipline Ferguson imparted to his Loyalist troops.

    The effectiveness of the American rifle and the skill of American riflemen made a great impression on British military leaders during the Revolutionary War and had a significant negative impact on British morale. Colonel George Hanger, a British officer in South Carolina, observed:

    I never in my life saw better rifles (or men who shot better) than those made in America they are chiefly made in Lancaster, and two or three neighboring towns in that vicinity, in Pennsylvania. …I am not going to relate any thing respecting the American war but to mention one instance, as a proof of most excellent skill of an American rifleman. If any man shew me an instance of better shooting, I will stand corrected.

    The astounded Hanger later estimated the distance between the riflemen and the horse to be a “full four hundred yards.”


    The word armada is from the Spanish: armada, which is cognate with English army. Originally from the Latin: armāta, the past participle of armāre, 'to arm', used in Romance languages as a noun for armed force, army, navy, fleet. [22] Armada Española is still the Spanish term for the modern Spanish Navy.

    Background Edit

    King Henry VIII began the English Reformation as a political exercise over his desire to divorce his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. Over time, England became increasingly aligned with the Protestant reformation taking place in Europe, especially during the reign of Henry's son, Edward VI. Edward died childless, and his half-sister Mary ascended the throne. Mary and her husband, Philip II of Spain, began to reassert Roman Catholic influence over church affairs. Her attempts led to more than 260 people being burned at the stake, earning her the nickname "Bloody Mary". [23]

    Mary's death in 1558 led to her half-sister Elizabeth taking the throne. Unlike Mary, Elizabeth was firmly in the reformist camp and quickly reimplemented many of Edward's reforms. Philip, no longer co-monarch, deemed Elizabeth a heretic and illegitimate ruler of England. In the eyes of the Catholic Church, Henry had never officially divorced Catherine, making Elizabeth illegitimate. It is alleged that Phillip supported plots to have Elizabeth overthrown in favour of her Catholic cousin and heir presumptive, Mary, Queen of Scots. These plans were thwarted when Elizabeth had Mary imprisoned and executed in 1587. Elizabeth retaliated against Philip by supporting the Dutch Revolt against Spain, as well as funding privateers to raid Spanish ships across the Atlantic. She had also negotiated an enduring trade and political alliance with Morocco.

    In retaliation, Philip planned an expedition to invade England in order to overthrow Elizabeth and, if the Armada was not entirely successful, at least negotiate freedom of worship for Catholics and financial compensation for war in the Low Countries. [24] Through this endeavour, English material support for the United Provinces, the part of the Low Countries that had successfully seceded from Spanish rule, and English attacks on Spanish trade and settlements [25] in the New World would end. Philip was supported by Pope Sixtus V, who treated the invasion as a crusade, with the promise of a subsidy should the Armada make land. [26] Substantial support for the invasion was also expected from English Catholics, including wealthy and influential aristocrats and traders. [27]

    A raid on Cádiz, led by privateer Francis Drake in April 1587, had captured or destroyed about 30 ships and great quantities of supplies, setting preparations back by a year. [28] There is also evidence that a letter from Elizabeth's security chief and spymaster, Sir Francis Walsingham, to her ambassador in Istanbul, William Harborne, sought to initiate Ottoman Empire fleet manoeuvres to harass the Spaniards, [29] but there is no evidence for the success of that plan. Philip initially favoured a triple attack, starting with a diversionary raid on Scotland, while the main Armada would capture either the Isle of Wight or Southampton to establish a safe anchorage in The Solent. The Duke of Parma would then follow with a large army from the Low Countries crossing the English Channel. Parma was uneasy about mounting such an invasion without any possibility of surprise. The appointed commander of the Armada was the highly experienced Álvaro de Bazán, Marquis of Santa Cruz, but he died in February 1588, and the Duke of Medina Sidonia, a high-born courtier, took his place. While a competent soldier and distinguished administrator, Medina Sidonia had no naval experience. He wrote to Philip expressing grave doubts about the planned campaign, but his message was prevented from reaching the King by courtiers on the grounds that God would ensure the Armada's success. [30]

    Prior to the undertaking, Pope Sixtus V allowed Philip to collect crusade taxes and granted his men indulgences. The blessing of the Armada's banner on 25 April 1588 was similar to the ceremony used prior to the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. On 28 May 1588, the Armada set sail from Lisbon and headed for the English Channel. The fleet was composed of 130 ships, 8,000 sailors and 18,000 soldiers, and bore 1,500 brass guns and 1,000 iron guns. The full body of the fleet took two days to leave port. It included 28 purpose-built warships, of which 20 were galleons, four were galleys and four were Neapolitan galleasses. The remaining heavy vessels were mostly armed carracks and hulks, along with 34 light ships. [31]

    In the Spanish Netherlands, 30,000 soldiers [32] awaited the arrival of the Armada, the plan being to use the cover of the warships to convey the army on barges to a place near London. In all, 55,000 men were to have been mustered, a huge army for that time. On the day the Armada set sail, Elizabeth's ambassador in the Netherlands, Valentine Dale, met Parma's representatives in peace negotiations. The English made a vain effort to intercept the Armada in the Bay of Biscay. On 6 July, negotiations were abandoned, and the English fleet stood prepared, if ill-supplied, at Plymouth, awaiting news of Spanish movements. The English fleet outnumbered that of the Spanish, 200 ships to 130, [33] while the Spanish fleet outgunned that of the English. The Spanish available firepower was 50% more than that of the English. [34] The English fleet consisted of the 34 ships of the Royal Fleet, 21 of which were galleons of 200 to 400 tons, and 163 other ships, 30 of which were of 200 to 400 tons and carried up to 42 guns each. Twelve of the ships were privateers owned by Lord Howard of Effingham, Sir John Hawkins and Sir Francis Drake. [4]

    The Armada was delayed by bad weather. Storms in the Bay of Biscay forced four galleys and one galleon to turn back, and other ships had to put in for repairs, leaving about 124 ships to actually make it to the English Channel. Nearly half of the fleet was not built as warships and was used for duties such as scouting and dispatch work, or for carrying supplies, animals and troops. [31]

    The fleet was sighted in England on 19 July when it appeared off the Lizard in Cornwall. The news was conveyed to London by a system of beacons that had been constructed along the south coast. On 19 July, the English fleet was trapped in Plymouth Harbour by the incoming tide. The Spanish convened a council of war, where it was proposed to ride into the harbour on the tide and incapacitate the defending ships at anchor. From Plymouth Harbour the Spanish would attack England, but Philip explicitly forbade Medina Sidonia from engaging, leaving the Armada to sail on to the east and toward the Isle of Wight. As the tide turned, 55 English ships set out to confront the Armada from Plymouth under the command of Lord Howard of Effingham, with Sir Francis Drake as vice admiral. The rear admiral was Sir John Hawkins.

    First actions Edit

    On 20 July, the English fleet was off Eddystone Rocks with the Armada upwind to the west. To execute its attack, the English tacked upwind of the Armada, thus gaining the weather gage, a significant advantage. At daybreak on 21 July, the English fleet engaged the Armada off Plymouth near the Eddystone Rocks. The Armada was in a crescent-shaped defensive formation, convex toward the east. The galleons and great ships were concentrated in the centre and at the tips of the crescent's horns, giving cover to the transports and supply ships in between. Opposing them, the English were in two sections, with Drake to the north in Revenge with 11 ships, and Howard to the south in Ark Royal with the bulk of the fleet.

    Given the Spanish advantage in close-quarter fighting, the English ships used their superior speed and manoeuvrability to keep beyond grappling range and bombarded the Spanish ships from a distance with cannon fire. The distance was too great for the manoeuvre to be effective and, at the end of the first day's fighting, neither fleet had lost a ship in action, although the Spanish carrack Rosario and galleon San Salvador were abandoned after they collided with each other. When night fell, Drake turned his ship back to loot the abandoned Spanish ships, capturing supplies of much-needed gunpowder and gold. Drake had been guiding the English fleet by means of a lantern, which he snuffed out to slip away from the Spanish ships, causing the rest of his fleet to become scattered and disarrayed by dawn. [35] The English ships again used their superior speed and manoeuvrability to catch up with the Spanish fleet after a day of sailing.

    The English fleet and the Armada engaged once more on 23 July, off Portland. A change of wind gave the Spanish the weather gage, and they sought to close with the English, but were foiled by the smaller ships' greater manoeuvrability. At one point, Howard formed his ships into a line of battle to attack at close range, bringing all his guns to bear, but he did not follow through with the manoeuvre and little was achieved.

    If the Armada could create a temporary base in the protected waters of the Solent, a strait separating the Isle of Wight from the English mainland, it could wait there for word from Parma's army. However, in a full-scale attack, the English fleet broke into four groups with Martin Frobisher of the ship Aid given command over a squadron, and Drake coming with a large force from the south. Medina Sidonia sent reinforcements south and ordered the Armada back to open sea to avoid the Owers shoals. [36] There were no other secure harbours further east along England's south coast, so the Armada was compelled to make for Calais, without being able to wait for word of Parma's army.

    On 27 July, the Armada anchored off Calais in a tightly packed defensive crescent formation, not far from Dunkirk, where Parma's army, reduced by disease to 16,000, was expected to be waiting, ready to join the fleet in barges sent from ports along the Flemish coast. Communication was more difficult than anticipated, and word came too late that the Parma army had yet to be equipped with sufficient transport or to be assembled in the port, a process that would take at least six days. As Medina Sidonia waited at anchor, Dunkirk was blockaded by a Dutch fleet of 30 flyboats under Lieutenant-Admiral Justinus van Nassau. [37] Parma wanted the Armada to send its light pataches to drive away the Dutch, but Medina Sidonia would not send them because he feared he would need these ships for his own protection. There was no deep-water port where the fleet might shelter, which had been acknowledged as a major difficulty for the expedition, and the Spanish found themselves vulnerable as night drew on.

    The Dutch flyboats mainly operated in the shallow waters off Zeeland and Flanders where larger warships with a deeper draught, like the Spanish and English galleons, could not safely enter. The Dutch enjoyed an unchallenged naval advantage in these waters, even though their navy was inferior in naval armament. An essential element of the plan of invasion, as it was eventually implemented, was the transportation of a large part of Parma's army of Flanders as the main invasion force in unarmed barges across the English Channel. These barges would be protected by the large ships of the Armada. However, to get to the Armada, they would have to cross the zone dominated by the Dutch navy, where the Armada could not go. This problem seems to have been overlooked by the Spanish planners, but it was insurmountable. Because of this obstacle, England never was in any real danger, at least from the Duke of Parma and the Army of Flanders. Because of the eventual English victory at sea, the Army of Flanders escaped the drowning death van Nassau had in mind for them. [38] [39]

    At midnight on 28 July, the English set alight eight fire ships, sacrificing regular warships by filling them with pitch, brimstone, gunpowder and tar, and cast them downwind among the closely anchored vessels of the Armada. The Spanish feared that these uncommonly large fireships were "hellburners", [40] specialised fire ships filled with large gunpowder charges that had been used to deadly effect at the Siege of Antwerp. Two were intercepted and towed away, but the remainder bore down on the fleet. Medina Sidonia's flagship and the principal warships held their positions, but the rest of the fleet cut their anchor cables and scattered in confusion. No Spanish ships were burnt, but the crescent formation had been broken, and the fleet found itself too far leeward of Calais in the rising southwesterly wind to recover its position. The English closed in for battle.

    Battle of Gravelines Edit

    The small port of Gravelines was part of Flanders in the Spanish Netherlands close to the border with France and was the closest Spanish territory to England. Medina Sidonia tried to regather his fleet there and was reluctant to sail further east, knowing the danger from the shoals off Flanders, from which his Dutch enemies had removed the sea marks. The English learned of the Armada's weaknesses during the skirmishes in the English Channel and concluded it was possible to close to within 100 yards (91 m) to penetrate the oak hulls of the Spanish ships. They had spent most of their gunpowder in the first engagements and had, after the Isle of Wight, been forced to conserve their heavy shot and powder for an anticipated attack near Gravelines. During all the engagements, the Spanish heavy guns could not easily be reloaded because of their close spacing and the quantities of supplies stowed between decks, as Drake had discovered on capturing the damaged Nuestra Señora del Rosario in the channel. [41] Instead, the Spanish gunners fired once and then transferred to their main task, which was to board enemy ships as had been the practice in naval warfare at the time. Evidence from Armada wrecks in Ireland shows that much of the fleet's ammunition was unused. [42] Its determination to fight by boarding, rather than employing cannon fire at a distance, proved a weakness for the Spanish. The manoeuvre had been effective in the battles of Lepanto and Ponta Delgada earlier in the decade, but the English were aware of it and sought to avoid it by keeping their distance.

    With its superior manoeuvrability, the English fleet provoked Spanish fire while staying out of range. The English then closed, firing damaging broadsides into the enemy ships, which enabled them to maintain a windward position, so the heeling Armada hulls were exposed to damage below the water line when they changed course later. Many of the Spanish gunners were killed or wounded by the English broadsides, and the task of manning the cannon often fell to the regular foot soldiers who did not know how to operate them. The ships were close enough for sailors on the upper decks of the English and Spanish ships to exchange musket fire. After eight hours, the English ships began to run out of ammunition, and some gunners began loading objects such as chains into cannon. Around 4 p.m., the English fired their last shots and pulled back. [43]

    Five Spanish ships were lost. The galleass San Lorenzo, flagship of Don Hugo de Moncada, ran aground at Calais and was taken by Howard after fighting between the crew, galley slaves, English, and the French. The galleons San Mateo and San Felipe drifted away in a sinking condition, ran aground on the island of Walcheren the next day and were taken by the Dutch. One carrack ran aground near Blankenberge and another foundered. Many other Spanish ships were severely damaged, especially the Portuguese and some Spanish Atlantic-class galleons, including some Neapolitan galleys, which bore the brunt of the fighting during the early hours of the battle. The Spanish plan to join with Parma's army had been defeated.

    Elizabeth's Tilbury speech Edit

    Because of the threat of invasion from the Netherlands, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester assembled a force of 4,000 militia at West Tilbury, Essex, to defend the Thames Estuary against any incursion up-river toward London. Because the result of the English fire ship attack and the sea battle of Gravelines had not yet reached England, on 8 August, Elizabeth went to Tilbury to review her forces, arriving on horseback in ceremonial armour to imply to the militia she was prepared to lead them in the ensuing battle. She gave to them her royal address, which survives in at least six slightly different versions. [44] One version is as follows:

    My loving people, we have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit ourselves to armed multitudes for fear of treachery but, I do assure you, I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear, I have always so behaved myself, that under God I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and goodwill of my subjects and, therefore, I am come amongst you as you see at this time, not for my recreation and disport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of battle, to live or die amongst you all – to lay down for my God, and for my kingdoms, and for my people, my honour and my blood even in the dust. I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman but I have the heart and stomach of a king – and of a King of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm to which, rather than any dishonour should grow by me, I myself will take up arms – I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field. I know already, for your forwardness, you have deserved rewards and crowns, and, we do assure you, on the word of a prince, they shall be duly paid you. In the mean time, my lieutenant general shall be in my stead, than whom never prince commanded a more noble or worthy subject not doubting but by your obedience to my general, by your concord in the camp, and your valour in the field, we shall shortly have a famous victory over those enemies of my God, of my kingdom, and of my people. [45]

    After the victory, typhus swept the English ships, beginning among the 500-strong crew of the Elizabeth Jonas and killing many mariners. The sailors were not paid for their service, and many died of the disease and starvation after landing at Margate. [46] : 144–148

    Return to Spain Edit

    On the day after the battle at Gravelines, the disorganised and unmanoeuvrable Spanish fleet was at risk of running onto the sands of Zeeland because of the prevailing wind. The wind then changed to the south, enabling the fleet to sail north. The English ships under Howard pursued to prevent any landing on English soil, although by this time his ships were almost out of shot. On 2 August, Howard called a halt to the pursuit at about the latitude of the Firth of Forth off Scotland. The only option left to the Spanish ships was to return to Spain by sailing round the north of Scotland and home via the Atlantic or the Irish Sea. The Spanish ships were beginning to show wear from the long voyage, and some were kept together by having their damaged hulls strengthened with cables. Supplies of food and water ran short. The intention would have been to keep to the west of the coast of Scotland and Ireland in the relative safety of the open sea. There being no way of accurately measuring longitude, the Spanish were not aware that the Gulf Stream was carrying them north and east as they tried to move west, and they eventually turned south much closer to the coast than they thought. Off Scotland and Ireland, the fleet ran into a series of powerful westerly winds which drove many of the damaged ships further toward the lee shore. Because so many anchors had been abandoned during the escape from the English fire ships off Calais, many of the ships were incapable of securing shelter as the fleet reached the coast of Ireland and were driven onto the rocks local inhabitants looted the ships. The late 16th century and especially 1588 was marked by unusually strong North Atlantic storms, perhaps associated with a high accumulation of polar ice off the coast of Greenland, a characteristic phenomenon of the "Little Ice Age". [47] More ships and sailors were lost to cold and stormy weather than in direct combat.

    About 5,000 men died by drowning, starvation and slaughter by local inhabitants after their ships were driven ashore on the west coasts of Scotland and Ireland. [48] Reports of the passage of the remnants of the Spanish Armada around Ireland abound with onerous accounts of hardships and survival. [49] Spanish Captain Francisco de Cuéllar was wrecked on the coast of Ireland and gave a remarkable account of his experiences in the fleet and on the run in Ireland.

    In the end, 67 ships and fewer than 10,000 men survived. [50] Many of the men were near death from disease, as the conditions were very cramped, and most of the ships had run out of food and water. Some were captured and imprisoned by the English in what was later called the "Spanish Barn" in Torquay on the south coast of England. More Armada survivors later died in Spain or on hospital ships in Spanish harbours from diseases contracted during the voyage. It was reported that when Philip learned of the result of the expedition, he declared, "I sent the Armada against men, not God's winds and waves". [51]

    The following year the English launched the Counter Armada, with 23,375 men and 150 ships under Sir Francis Drake, but thousands were killed, wounded or died of disease [52] [53] [54] and 40 ships sunk or captured. [55] The attempt to restore the Portuguese Crown from Spain was unsuccessful, and the opportunity to strike a decisive blow against the weakened Spanish navy was lost. The failure of the expedition depleted the financial resources of England's treasury, which had been carefully restored during the long reign of Elizabeth I.

    During the course of the war, the Spanish failed to gain control of the English Channel or stop the English intervention in Flanders or English privateer transatlantic raids. Although substantially weaker than the great armada sent in 1588, two more armadas were sent by Spain in 1596 and 1597, but both were scattered by storms. [56] Nevertheless, through Philip's naval revival, the English and Dutch ultimately failed to disrupt the various fleets of the Indies despite the great number of military personnel mobilised every year. Thus, Spain remained the predominant power in Europe for several decades. [57] The conflict wound down with diminishing military actions until a peace was agreed between the two powers on the signing of the Treaty of London in 1604.

    The defeat of the Spanish Armada vindicated the English strategy and caused a revolution in naval tactics, taking advantage of the wind (the "weather gage") and line-to-line cannon fire from windward, which exposed the opponent ship's hull and rudder as targets. Also instilled was the use of naval cannon to damage enemy ships without the need to board. Until then, the cannon had played a supporting role to the main tactic of ramming and boarding enemy ships.

    Most military historians hold that the battle of Gravelines reflected a lasting shift in the balance of naval power in favour of the English, in part because of the gap in naval technology and cannon armament which continued into the next century. [58] In the words of historian Geoffrey Parker, by 1588, "the capital ships of the Elizabethan navy constituted the most powerful battlefleet afloat anywhere in the world". [59] The English navy yards were leaders in technical innovation, and the captains devised new battle formations and tactics. The sleeker and more manoeuvrable full-rigged ship, with ample cannon, was one of the greatest advances of the century and permanently transformed naval warfare.

    English shipwrights introduced designs in 1573, first demonstrated in Dreadnought, that allowed the ships to sail faster, manoeuvre better, and carry more and heavier guns. [60] Whereas before warships had tried to grapple with each other so soldiers could board the enemy ship, they were able to stand off and fire broadside cannonades that could sink the vessel. Superior English ships and seamanship had foiled the invasion. The English also took advantage of Spain's complex strategy that required coordination between the invasion fleet and the Spanish army on shore. The outdated design of the Spanish cannon meant they were much slower in reloading in a close-range battle, allowing the English to take control. Spain still had numerically larger fleets, but England was catching up. [61]

    Dills Bluff

    In the closing weeks of 1782, the British forces occupying Charleston were preparing to evacuate the city. In the meantime, foraging parties were sent beyond the city’s defenses to gather needed supplies, including firewood. Seeing an opportunity to harass these detachments, Colonel Tadeusz Kosciuszko, the Polish volunteer military engineer, and one of Major General Nathanael Greene’s most prominent officers, held command of a nearby American detachment of light calvary. American Captain William Wilmot of the 2 nd Maryland Continental line reconnoitered James Island on October 23. He discovered that 50 to 100 British sailors arrived the same time every morning at Dill’s Bluff to cut firewood on the south side of James Island Creek. Spying the British routine, Kosciuszko moved onto James Island that night and laid in ambush until late the next morning. The woodcutters failed to appear because the British had learned of the attempted ambush. Altering their schedule, the British changed their escort from 20 men to a combined force of infantry and cavalry from the command of Major William Dancey at Fort Johnson. Three weeks later Kosciuszko decided to make a second attempt on the woodcutters, after his successful raid on James Island to capture horses.

    Kosciuszko’s 70-man force consisted of Wilmot’s Marylanders and of Lieutenant John Markland’s 1 st Pennsylvanian Continentals. Wilmot borrowed clothes from his friend, John Gibbes. “I have not my baggage at hand, you must loan me a shift of clothes. If I fall, which is not unlikely, it would be a satisfaction to me that the enemy should find me in clean linens.” On the morning of November 14, Kosciuszko’s men engaged the woodcutters’ escort detachment, only to find the British better prepared for the American attack than they had anticipated. British reinforcements were quickly brought to the action such that Kosciuszko now faced over 300 men and a canon, substantially outnumbered five to one. The brief, intensely hot fight wounded Markland and four others, and killed Wilmot and four more. Overwhelmed, Kosciuszko withdrew. One of those casualties was a slave, William Smith, who was wounded in the shoulder, taken prisoner by the British where he later died. Four musket balls pierced Kosciuszko’s coat and a musket ball shattered a spontoon in his hand, but he was unharmed. He narrowly escaped being cut down by a British dragoon, who was killed by William Fuller. Kosciuszko deftly retreated along the creek and across James Island to reach Johns Island.

    Captain Wilmot is recognized by many historians to be the last Continental soldier killed in the Carolinas during the American Revolution. Markland wrote in his memoirs that this was the last battle in the War of Independence. Depending on the definition of what is a battle this may or may not be true, but the Battle of Dills Bluff was the last combat action of the Continental Army in South Carolina. There would be further maneuvers at Goose Creek and at Charleston. On December 14, 1782, Major General Alexander Leslie’s British army left their forward works and evacuated Charleston while Brigadier General Anthony Wayne’s Continentals moved in. “This fourteenth day of December, 1782, ought never be forgotten by the Carolinians it ought to be a day of festivity with them, as it was the real day of their deliverance and independence,” recorded General William Moultrie. Today, the site of the skirmish at Dills Bluff has been commemorated by a historical marker located off North Shore Drive on James Island. Though a small engagement by all means, it represents the last time American patriots of South Carolina bore arms against the British army in the fight for American independence.

    This was yet another monumental battle in the War of the Roses and it took place at Wakefield on 30 December 1460. After capturing Henry at Northampton, Richard of York forced the king to transfer the right of succession to him (and his heirs) via an Act of Settlement in October 1460. The Act stated that Henry VI would remain king until his death whereupon Richard would become the new monarch. As a result, the king&rsquos son Edward, Prince of Wales, would be disinherited.

    The king&rsquos wife Margaret, refused to acknowledge the settlement and marched south with an army led by the Duke of Somerset. York took an army of around 8,000 men to meet this threat and, after a short skirmish with enemy forces at Worksop on 16 December he arrived at his castle of Sandal which was located close to the town of Wakefield. The Lancastrians were only 9 miles away and sent an army to meet York in battle. York requested aid from his son Edward but instead of waiting, he decided to meet the enemy in battle on 30 December. This turned out to be a disastrous decision.

    It is not known whether York believed the enemy army was roughly the same size as his but as it turned out, the Lancastrian army was twice the size. When the Yorkists charged out of the castle, they were quickly surrounded by the enemy. The Battle of Wakefield lasted little more than an hour as the Yorkists were soundly defeated while York was killed in battle. Other notable casualties included York&rsquos son Edmund (the earl of Rutland) the Earl of Salisbury.

    If the House of Lancaster thought this was the end of the matter, they were sorely mistaken. They gained victory at the Second Battle of St Albans and rescued Henry VI in 1461 but were unable to enter London.

    A Short History of Wales/Chapter 16

    The reign of Henry V. was a reign of brilliant victories in France, and the reign of Henry VI. one of disastrous defeats. During both reigns the lords were becoming more powerful in Wales as well as in England. The hold of the king over them became weaker every year they packed the Parliament, they appointed the Council, they overawed the law courts. If a man wanted security, he must wear the badge of some lord, and fight for him when called upon to do so. In the marches of Wales there were more than a hundred lords holding castle and court and it was easy for a robber or a murderer to escape from one lordship to the other, or even to find a welcome and protection. In Wales and in the marches the lords preyed upon their weaker neighbours, and the country became full of private war.

    The selfish families, all fighting for more land and more power, gradually formed themselves into two parties—the parties of the Red ​ Rose and of the White Rose. The leading family in the Red Rose party was that of Lancaster, represented by the saintly King Henry VI. the leading family in the White Rose party was that of York. In the Wars of the Roses, York and Lancaster fought over the crown, and those who supported them over a castle or an estate.

    Wales was divided. The west was for Lancaster, from Pembroke to Harlech, and from Harlech to Anglesey. The east was for York, from Cardiff and Raglan to Wigmore, and from Wigmore to Chirk. Lancaster held estates in Wales and on the border—the castles of Hereford, Skenfrith, Ogmore, and Kidwelly being centres of strength and wealth. York's chief country was the march of Wales, with Ludlow as its centre. The Welsh barons took sides according to their interests. Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke, held the west for his half-brother, the king. Sir William Herbert, who was very powerful in the country south of the Mortimers, took the side of his powerful neighbour. Others wavered, especially Grey of Ruthin and the Stanleys in North Wales.

    One battle was fought between the Welsh Yorkists and the Welsh Lancastrians, This ​ was the battle of Mortimer's Cross, near Wigmore, in February 1461. The victor was the young Duke of York, who was crowned king as Edward IV. later in the year. An old man, Owen Tudor, the father of Jasper Tudor, and the grandfather of the boy who was "to rule after them all" as Henry VII., was taken prisoner. They took him to Hereford, and there they cut his head off and set it on the market cross. The battles of the Wars of the Roses were very cruel ones the noble prisoners that had been taken, even children of tender age, were murdered in cold blood on the evening of the battle. "By God's blood," said one, as he killed a child, "thy father slew mine, and so will I do thee."

    The Welsh barons led their men to nearly all the important battles. North Wales archers, wearing the three feathers of the Prince of Wales, fought for Lancaster in the snow at the great defeat of Towton on the Palm Sunday of 1461 the archers of Gwent, led by Herbert, fought vainly for York at the battle of Edgecote, in the summer of 1469. And the Welsh waverer and traitor was seen in battle also—Grey of Ruthin led the van for Lancaster at the battle of Northampton in 1460, and caused ​ the battle to be lost by deserting to York at the beginning of the fighting. In Wales itself, also, the war was fought bitterly and the stubborn defence of Harlech for the Lancastrians became famous through the whole country. The last battle fought between Lancaster and York was the battle of Tewkesbury, in May 1471, and Lancaster lost it the Prince of Wales, the king's only son, was killed and his heroic mother, Margaret of Anjou, gave the struggle up. A young Welsh noble—Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond—became the Lancastrian heir. The fortunes of his house were hopeless, however and his uncle, Jasper, sent him in safety to Brittany.

    The Yorkist kings, Edward IV. and Richard III., in spite of cruelty and murder, ruled well. They broke the power of the barons, and they made the people rich by maintaining peace, by repressing piracy, by protecting the woollen industry of the towns.

    In Wales their rule was for peace and order. They made a Court for Wales at Ludlow, the home of their race. From Ludlow they began to force the barons to do justice and to obey the king. It seemed as if the rule of the Yorkists was to be a ​ long one, for they were very popular in London and the towns.

    But the nobles were not willing to see their power taken from them day by day. Jasper Tudor appealed to the loyalty of the Welsh, and the men of West Wales wanted a king of their own blood for the laws had been made unjust to them ever since the time of Owen Glendower.

    Many attempts were made, and they failed. But at last, on August 7, 1485, the fugitive Earl of Richmond came to Milford Haven. He marched on to the valley of the Teivy, and he was joined by Sir Rees ap Thomas, and an army of South Wales men he journeyed on through the valley of the Severn, and the North Wales men joined him English nobles joined him as he marched by Shrewsbury, Stafford, Lichfield, and Tamworth. Richard's army was also on the march. At Bosworth, August 22, 1485, the two armies met in the last battle of the Wars of the Roses. Richard fought fiercely, wearing his crown and when he was defeated and killed, the crown was placed on Henry's head.

    The people of England did not care who ruled, Richard or Henry, as long as he kept order, for they were very tired of civil war. ​ But the people of Wales welcomed Henry as a Welshman who would rule them kindly and justly.


    Close allies in deposing Henry VI in 1461, by 1469 Warwick and Edward IV had fallen out. After marrying Elizabeth Woodville in 1464, Edward increasingly relied on her family, who competed with the Nevilles for lands and positions. Concerned by his close connection with Warwick, Edward blocked a proposed marriage between Clarence, his younger brother and heir, and Warwick's eldest daughter Isabel. For various reasons, Clarence greatly resented this. [5]

    In April 1469, a revolt broke out in Yorkshire, under a leader called Robin of Redesdale. His true identity is unknown. Numerous candidates have been suggested: Sir John Conyers, steward of Warwick's Middleham Castle, either of his son, another John Conyers or Sir William Conyers of Marske (d. 1469), Sir Richard Welles, and Sir Henry Neville. Alternatively, he could have been an unknown commoner, a "villain called Robin of Riddesdale" as described in Jean de Waurin's Chronicle. [6] In May, a second rebellion began, led by a figure known as Robin of Holderness, demanding the restoration of Henry Percy, traditional Earl of Northumberland. [7]

    John Neville, the current Earl, quickly suppressed this and executed its leader, although he made little attempt to intercept Robin of Redesdale. [7] Confident the rebellion was well in hand and accompanied only by his personal household troops, Edward moved slowly north through Lincolnshire, reaching Crowland in early July. On 9 July, he discovered the rebel army was considerably larger than previously advised, followed by even more disturbing news from London. [8]

    Warwick and Clarence spent the summer assembling troops, allegedly to help suppress the revolt in early July, they travelled to Calais, where Clarence married Isabel in a ceremony conducted by Warwick's brother George, Archbishop of York. The three men then issued a 'remonstrance', listing alleged abuses by the Woodvilles, William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke and Humphrey Stafford, Earl of Devon among others. They entered London on 12 July, and on 18th, marched north with to link up with the Yorkshire rebels. [9]

    Edward withdrew to Nottingham and sent urgent instructions to Pembroke in Raglan Castle and Devon in Dorchester, ordering them to meet him there with as many men as they could muster. The northern rebels headed for Northampton, intending to link up with Warwick and Clarence. A small skirmish was fought in the area of Northampton, before the Royal forces retreated towards Banbury. The army camped on Edgcote Lodge Hill and late in the afternoon of 23 July, a brief skirmish was fought between the Royal picquets and the rebel outriders. Sir Henry Neville was captured in the skirmish, and killed after attempting to yield. Pembroke himself, together with the other commander, Devon, were in lodgings in Banbury. According to most of the chroniclers they had a disagreement over lodgings, and Devon retired, taking his part of the army with him. Devon reportedly took his troops ten or twelve miles away. Tradition has it he retreated to Deddington Castle, but there is no contemporary evidence that this was his final location.

    Estimates suggest Pembroke had some 3,000 to 5,000 Welsh knights and spearmen, with 800 to 1,500 under Devon, including most of the archers. Aware of the need to destroy the northern army before they were reinforced, Pembroke's army was camped overnight on high ground to the north-east. This overlooked the site of the 914 CE Battle of Danes Moor, with the two armies separated by a tributary of the River Cherwell. [10] [11]

    The rebel army contained a large contingent of archers, putting Pembroke at a disadvantage he ordered his troops forward and the two sides fought at close quarters for the rest of the morning. By early afternoon, the Royal army had gained control of the river crossing, but at this point, Warwick's advance guard arrived upon the field, led by Sir Geoffrey Gates and Sir William Parr. [9] Gates and Parr were able to hold the rebels together, but they were still under severe pressure when further rebel reinforcements arrived, led by John Clapham.

    In one account Devon was still present, and fled at this point. However, what ever was the case, the Royal army believed this to be Warwick and his forces. Pembroke's men broke. Casualties were reported as 168 knights and gentry, plus 2,000 rank and file, losses significant enough to be remembered and referenced by Welsh poets a century later. [12] [13] Pembroke was captured and executed at Northampton later in the week, on Thursday 27 July his brother Sir Richard Herbert had been executed the previous day, Wednesday 26 July. Their half brother Sir Richard Vaughan died during the battle and Devon was beheaded at Bridgwater on 17 August. [14]

    There are few details on rebel casualties but they would have been considerably less than those suffered by Pembroke since most deaths occurred during a pursuit. Apart from Henry Neville, killed on the evening before the battle, these included Sir William Conyers, and Sir Oliver Dudley, youngest son of John Sutton, 1st Baron Dudley. [2]

    Edward was taken into custody and held in Middleham Castle. His in-laws Earl Rivers and John Woodville were executed at Gosford Green Coventry on 12 August 1469. There is no evidence of any summary trial taking place. However, it soon became clear there was little support for Warwick or Clarence Edward was released in September and resumed the throne. [7]

    Richard Herbert was buried in the Herbert chapel at Abergavenny Priory, which survived the damage caused during the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536 to 1541. It also includes the tomb of William Herbert's illegitimate son, Richard Herbert of Ewyas, who was brought up with Henry Tudor, later Henry VII and fought on his side at Bosworth in 1485. [15]

    On 12 and 13 September 2009 there was a re-creation of the battle on the actual battlefield, staged by the Medieval Siege Society and the English Tournament Society to commemorate the 540th anniversary.

    Following the success of the 2009 commemoration and re-enactment, a second recreation was staged on 11 and 12 September 2010 for the 541st anniversary.

    The 550th anniversary was the subject of several activities organised by the Northamptonshire Battlefields Society, [16] the Medieval Siege Society no longer being actively involved in events connected with Edgcote. These activities included a day conference [17] highlighting new research, and the publication of a book. The Society also organises an annual walk to commemorate the battle on the anniversary itself. Details can be found on the Society's Facebook page. [18]

    In 2021 Edgcote was one of eight Wars of the Roses battles commemorated on stamps issued by the Royal Mail to mark the 550th anniversary of the Battle of Tewkesbury. [19] The stamps used paintings by noted historical artist Graham Turner, and included a presentation pack with notes by historian David Grummitt. Controversy arose because the Edgcote stamp was incorrectly labelled "Edgecote Moor", and the accompanying presentation pack stated the date of the battle as being the 26th July. These errors were highlighted by the Northamptonshire Battlefields Society, and the story was picked up by BBC Radio Northampton, and subsequently reported on the BBC website. [20] The Royal Mail issued a statement saying they were aware of the controversy over the name, but had chosen to go with their expert's recommendation, although both the spelling of "Edgecote", and the place name "Edgecote Moor" do not appear in the Royal Mail postal address database.

    The Registered Battlefield area is described by Historic England as "largely undeveloped" and that " comparisons with other War of the Roses sites indicates that a high order of archaeological potential can be anticipated here". [21] In August 2020 One Planet Ltd, experts in obtaining planning permission for renewable energy projects submitted a screening proposal on behalf of the landowners, Culworth Grounds, requesting the waiver of an Environmental Impact Assessment ahead of a full planning application. [22] The proposal places the development on the "East Hill" mentioned in the sources, at the heart of the fighting. The development will have considerable visual impact on the location, as it will be surrounded by high "deer fences" and CCTV cameras on poles. Despite opposition from Historic England, NCC Archaeology, the Battlefields Trust, the Northamptonshire Battlefields Society and numerous members of the public, the waiver was granted, principally on the grounds that at 40 years lifespan the development is regarded as temporary and reversible. Heritage groups continue to express their concern, and objections to the formal planning application are anticipated.

    The proposed route of HS2 passes along the North Eastern edge of the registered battlefield, but by-passes Danes Moor, the location of the fighting.

    Two major errors in respect of the battle have entered the historiography of the battle, through excessive reliance on one or two major sources in English. The first is the reference to the battle as "Edgecote Moor". A review of all of the primary or near primary records [23] show that the battle was known as Edgcote (although contemporary spellings varied), Banbury or Danes Moor, as stated above. In the 19th century it was referred to as "The Battle of Edgecote", [24] before the Ordnance Survey standardised the spelling to Edgcote on or before 1884. [25] "Edgecote Moor" is a more recent affectation, combining Edgecote and Danes Moor. Uniquely amongst battles in the Wars of the Roses modern writers have not consistently used the modern day spelling.

    The second error relates to the date of the battle. Welsh sources, [3] and contemporary English official records, such as the Coventry Leet Book, [26] and early chronicles [27] clearly place the battle of the eve of the Feast of St James, or Monday, the 24th July 1469. The reference to the 26th July comes from Warkworth's Chronicle, [28] and is repeated in Hall, [29] who places the battle the day after the Feast of Saint James. Hall's work, as it contains the most detail, has then formed the basis for most descriptions and accounts of the battle. The error in respect of the date was identified as early as 1982, [3] and has been restated particularly by Welsh scholars. This has been overlooked by English writers, with the notable exception of Michael Hicks who places the battle on the 24th July. [30]

    Watch the video: ΖΗΤΩ Η ΚΥΠΡΟΣ. Μήνυμα ισχύος της Εθνικής Φρουράς (January 2023).

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