The Battle of Northampton

by Ellen Castelow

On 10 July 1460, a Yorkist force under the Kingmaker, Earl of Warwick approached the defensive encampment of the Lancastrian King Henry VI in the grounds of Delapré Abbey, Northampton.

Despite the large number of forces involved on either side, and in spite of the superior Lancastrian defensive position, the encounter was exceptionally short with very little bloodshed.

When Warwick’s forces reached the Lancastrian right flank, the defenders under the command of Lord Grey of Ruthin simply laid down their arms and allowed the Yorkists to enter the king’s camp.

After action lasting barely 30 minutes, King Henry was captured and several leading Lancastrian noblemen were killed.

Many foot soldiers drowned attempting to escape the overrun encampment by swimming the rain-swollen River Nene. And the reason for Lord Grey’s treachery …he had been promised Yorkist support in a property dispute that he was having!!

Click here for a battlefield map.

Key Facts:

Date: 10th July, 1460

War: Wars of the Roses

Location: Northampton, Northamptonshire

Belligerents: Lancastrians and Yorkists

Victors: Yorkists

Numbers: Lancastrians unknown, Yorkists unknown

Casualties: Lancastrians around 300, Yorkists unknown

Commanders: Richard ‘The Kingmaker’ Neville (Yorkists), King Henry VI of England (Lancastrians)


The Battle of Northampton

More Battles in the Wars of the Roses

The First Battle of St Albans 22 May, 1455
Battle of Blore Heath 23 September, 1459
Battle of Northampton (1460) 10 July, 1460
The Second Battle of St Albans 17 February, 1461
Battle of Towton 29 March, 1461
Battle of Barnet 14 April, 1471
Battle of Tewkesbury 4 May, 1471
Battle of Bosworth Field 22 August, 1485
Battle of Stoke Field 16 June, 1487
Background to the Wars of the Roses  

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