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The Battle of Edgecote or Banbury (1469) Through the Eyes of Contemporary Welsh Poets

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 February 2013

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Summary

The battle of Edgecote, also known as the battle of Banbury, was fought in late July 1469. It is one of the least studied and most obscure and poorly understood battles of the Wars of the Roses. Charles Ross, the biographer of Edward IV, spoke of “total confusion amongst contemporary chroniclers” which leaves the events of Edgecote “far from clear today.” An examination of the various chronicles which report the events of July 1469 leaves no doubt as to what he meant. They do not agree about the date of the battle, the sequence of events before, during or after the battle, or even whether there was one battle or two. The reason for this is straightforward. The rebel army consisted of northerners. The royalist army was largely Welsh. Most of our chronicle sources, on the other hand, were written in the south of England, or even further afield on the Continent, and most are late. The lines of transmission between what happened in a muddy field in Northamptonshire in July 1469 and the “Warkworth chronicle,” probably written at St Albans in the 1480s, or the Burgundian Jehan Waurin, writing in the 1470s, not to mention the Tudor historians Polydore Vergil and Edward Hall, are obscure.

Fortunately, there is an exception to the rule that our sources for the battle of Edgecote are distant in time from the events and lack a clearly identifiable link to the participants.

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Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2011

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