Battle of Blore Heath

Battle of Blore Heath
Part of the Wars of the Roses
York victory over Lancaster.svg
Date23 September 1459
Location
ResultYorkist victory[1]
Belligerents
White Rose Badge of York.svg House of YorkRed Rose Badge of Lancaster.svg House of Lancaster
Commanders and leaders
Neville arms.svg Earl of Salisbury
Neville arms.svg Sir Thomas Neville
Neville arms.svg Sir John Neville
COA Tuchet.svg Lord Audley 
Arms of John Sutton, 1st Baron Dudley Blazon: or, a lion rampant queue forché vert Lord Dudley Surrendered[2]
Strength
5,000[3]10,000[4]
Casualties and losses
1,000[5]2,000[6]

The Battle of Blore Heath was a battle in the English Wars of the Roses. It was fought on 23 September 1459, at Blore Heath in Staffordshire. Blore Heath is a sparsely populated area of farmland, two miles east of the town of Market Drayton in Shropshire, and close to the towns of Market Drayton and Loggerheads, Staffordshire.

Background

Map for Battle of Blore Heath by James Henry Ramsay (1892)

After the First Battle of St Albans in 1455, an uneasy peace held in England. Attempts at reconciliation between the houses of Lancaster and York enjoyed but marginal success. However, both sides became increasingly wary of each other and by 1459 were actively recruiting armed supporters. Queen Margaret of Anjou continued to raise support for King Henry VI amongst noblemen, distributing an emblem of a silver swan to knights and squires enlisted by her personally,[7] whilst the Yorkist command under the Duke of York was finding plenty of anti-royal support despite the severe punishment for raising arms against the king.

The Yorkist force based at Middleham Castle in Yorkshire (led by the Earl of Salisbury) needed to link up with the main Yorkist army at Ludlow Castle in Shropshire. As Salisbury marched south-west through the Midlands the queen ordered Lord Audley to intercept them.[8]