Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bosworth Field and the Demise of the Plantagenents

August 22 marks the anniversary of one of those pivotal days in British History (or "American History - Part One" as I like to call it.)  The year of 1485 does not stand out like other important years in British history such as 1066, but it was very important just the same.  On this day, 427 years ago, the War of the Roses ended in the strategic battle of Bosworth Field. The war between two rival houses of the Plantagenet dynasty, had raged off and on for thirty years. It is ironic that when it was over, neither the house of York or the House of Lancaster would hold the crown. Instead, a new family would rule the country. The reign of the Plantagenet kings ended with the death of Richard III on Bosworth field.  Henry Tudor, only remotely related to the Plantagenets, established a new dynasty when he left the battlefield as the victor. 

See more about Bosworth Field here:

So ended over three hundred years of Plantagenet rule. From 1154 to 1485 fifteen monarchs of this dynasty held the crown.  Among those fifteen were some of the best and worst kings in English history.  See more here:

Henry Tudor, who became Henry VII when he came to the crown after Bosworth Field, established a short, but dynamic dynasty.  Some of the most tumultuous events of English history would occur under his son Henry VIII and Granddaughter Elizabeth I, including the reformation, discovery of the new world and the emergence of England as a true European power.

Henry Tudor (Henry VII) founder of the Tudor dynasty

I had two distant cousins who fought for Henry at Bosworth Field, Sir Edward Courtnenay of Powderham and Piers Courtenay the Bishop of Exeter.  But I am also a Plantagenet descendant.  I guess I should mourn for my other distant cousin, Richard III, and the end of the Plantagenet dynasty.

See my update on this subject at this later blog entry:

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