War of the Roses


The Battle of Ludford Bridge


Date: 12th October 1459   Victory: Lancastrian
 
House of York
Richard Plantagenet (3rd Duke of York)   Richard Neville (16th Earl of Warwick)
Richard Neville (5th Earl of Salisbury)      
 
House of Lancaster
King Henry VI   Margaret of Anjou

Henry, Duke of Somerset was appointed Governor of Calais and was dispatched to take over the vital fortress on the French coast, but his attempts to evict the Earl of Warwick were easily repulsed. Earl of Warwick and his supporters began to launch raids on the English Coast from Calais that added more to the sense of chaos and disorder. Evading the royal ships commanded by Henry Holland (3rd Duke of Exeter), Earl of Warwick travelled to Ireland to concert plans with Richard Plantagenet.

12th October 1459 The Yorkist factions regrouped at Ludford Bridge at the town of Ludlow and started to advance towards Worcester. They quickly fell back when they encountered a larger enemy force led by King Henry VI. The Lancastrians ended up taking a position opposite the Yorkists across the Teme River, by excavating a defensive ditch in a field and also constructed barricades of carts for the cannon to be emplaced.

Among the troops brought by Earl of Warwick from Calais were 600 men led by Andrew Trollope, who was an experienced captain. During the night, Andrew Trollope and his men, along with others from the Yorkist forces, defected to the Lancastrians after accepting the king's pardon.

Giving the impression of returning to Ludlow for the night, Richard, Duke of York, Earl of Salisbury and Earl of Warwick abandoned their armies and fled.

At dawn on 13th October 1459, the leaderless Yorkist troops knelt in submission before King Henry IV, and were pardoned. Richard had abandoned not only his troops but also his wife Cecily Neville (Duchess of York), his two younger sons and his daughter. They were found standing at the Ludlow Market Cross when the Lancastrians arrived.

After the engagement Richard returned to Ireland and Earl of Sailsbury fled to Calais.