My Disney spirit animal is Grandma Fa
Us, while watching the VMAs, maybe just a little.
TODAY IN HISTORY: 22 August 1485, Battle of Bosworth
Henry Tudor had a force of about 5000 men while Richard’s army probably was nearer 12,000. However, 4,000 of these soldiers belonged to the Stanley family and no one was sure if the Stanley’s could be trusted. It is thought that Richard did not trust Lord Stanley as he had a reputation of fighting for whoever he felt was going to be the most generous in victory. For Richard it was to be a shrewd judgement of character – and one that led to his death.
The fighting began early in the morning of August 22nd. The two Stanley armies stayed away from the actual fighting at this stage so that the contest was literally a battle between Richard’s and Henry’s forces. Richard held the crest of Ambion Hill with Henry at the bottom in more marshy land. When Henry’s men charged up the hill, they sustained heavy casualties. However, Henry had recruited long bow men while in Wales and these inflicted equally severe wounds on the forces of Richard as being at the top of a hill did not protect them from a deluge of long bow arrows.
Though there are no contemporary accounts of the battle, it is generally accepted that it lasted about two to three hours. Casualties on both sides were heavy. What turned the battle seems to have been a decision made by Richard III to target Henry himself. Henry was seen making a move to where Lord Stanley was almost certainly with the intent to urge Stanley to use his forces on Henry’s side. With some trusted men Richard charged at Henry. He nearly succeeded in getting to Henry, and Tudor’s standard bearer, William Brandon, who was very near his leader, was killed. However, Henry’s bodyguards closed ranks and the future king was saved.
For the duration of the battle, the forces of the Stanley family had stood by the sides – therefore fulfilling what Richard believed - but at this critical moment the army of Sir William Stanley attacked Richard, seemingly coming to the aid of Henry. Richard was killed and his forces broke up and fled. Lord Stanley picked up the slain Richard’s crown and placed it on Henry’s head. Richard’s body was put over a mule and taken to Leicester to be buried. The defeat of Richard ended the reign of the Plantagenet’s and introduced the reign of the Tudors. By marrying Elizabeth of York, Henry unified both houses of Lancaster and York.
NOTE: Margaret Beaufort was not at the Battle.