Royal Armouries: Leeds museum’s great battle weekend

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THE Royal Armouries in Leeds will stage a weekend of events to mark the anniversary of the bloodiest battle of the Wars of the Roses.

The events, on Saturday, March 26 and Sunday, March 27, will commemorate the 550th anniversary of the Battle of Towton, fought on Palm Sunday in 1461.

The battle, near North Yorkshire village of Towton, is remembered as the bloodiest ever fought on English soil, with 50,000 soldiers from the Houses of Lancaster and York fighting it out during a snowstorm.

Museum visitors will be able examine artefacts from the battlefield, enjoy living history demonstrations and participate in talks and handling sessions, conducted by the Towton Battlefield Society. Other highlights include themed dramatic performances by costumed actors and children’s craft activities in the Jester’s Yard.

Creative director Peter Armstrong said: “The Battle of Towton has particular significance for us, as our headquarters are based in Yorkshire. This will make history come alive for local people in a colourful and meaningful way.”

The Battle of Towton was fought on March 29, 1461, during the Wars of the Roses, a series of civil wars between the Houses of York and Lancaster over the English throne.

The Lancastrians backed the reigning King of England, Henry VI, with the Yorkist army initially led by Richard Plantagenet, third Duke of York, and later by his son Edward.

A newsletter circulated a week after the battle reported that 28,000 died on the battlefield and Edward IV displaced Henry VI as King of England.

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