The first of these Welsh kings was Henry who defeated all the other kings at the Battle of Boswell and took away all their roses. After the battle the crown was found hanging up in a hawthorn tree at the top of the hill. This is memorable as being the only occasion on which the crown has been found after a battle hanging up in a hawthorn tree at the top of the hill.
With thanks to 1066 and All That by Sellar and Yeatman
As Sellar and Yeatman put it in 1066 and All That - probably still my favourite historical book of all time which may explain a lot - History is not what you thought. It is what you can remember. One of the things many people are pretty certain they can remember is the Wars of the Roses, which ended (or didn't but we'll get to that) 533 years ago today on the 22nd August 1485 with the Battle of Bosworth. History buffs or not, ask a sample of your friends about this time period and I guarantee they'll all have some sense of it. Whether it's the lost princes in the Tower, the ill-fittingly romantic name, Richard and his hunch-back, or his car-park discovery, the Wars of the Roses and its characters still resonate. They also inspire great passion. My father was a member of the Ricardian Society and a war-gamer whose sand-table battles (ask your parents) re-enacted every twist of that August day. As I said many times when my novel about Margaret of Anjou came out, he was so obsessed with the conflict that, as a child, I was fairly certain that it was still going on. And who can forget the Channel 4 documentary after the discovery of Richard III's body and Philippa Langley's face when she looked at that re-created head.
|Stanley Coat of Arms|
|Reconstructed head of Richard III|
|Leicester Council Sign|
Was 1485 the end of the Wars of the Roses? Not for Henry VII who lived under the shadow of pretenders and resurrected dead princes throughout his reign and probably never sat that comfortably on his throne. And, beyond a categorisation date of the here ends/here starts type, not for historians who still have so much of the battle left to pick over. And don't forget there's another controversy to come: the lost princes, one of history's ultimate cold cases. There's bones, they've never been tested and Philippa Langley is on the case...