The Battle of Stoke Field, 16 June 1487 :: Shared Description

This was the final battle of the Wars of the Roses, coming 2 years after the Battle of Bosworth which had decided the monarchy in favour of the house of Tudor.

It represented a final attempt by dissidents of the Yorkist cause to overthrow Henry VII by installing Lambert Simnel as the purported Edward V. Their army, around 8000 men, the core of which was formed by German mercenaries together with a number of Irish and English dissidents was marching south from Yorkshire and at this point encountered the royal army which had marched north. There was an engagement with the vanguard, around 6000 strong, of the royal army under the Earl of Oxford, the main part of the royal force remaining camped at Radcliffe on Trent.

Contemporary accounts indicated that the Yorkist force, led by the Earl of Lincoln was formed up on high ground, to the south west of Newark, with the royal army below it. There are conflicting views on exactly where the engagement took place, and particularly the alignment of the opposing armies, but the information boards installed in 2018 on the site suggest that the royal army was along the line of the Fosse Way facing north west, with the Yorkist force on the high ground of the Trent Hills to the south west of the current Stoke Hall. The centre of the conflict is indicated as being immediately to the east of Trent Lane. This would appear to be the most logical interpretation given the terrain.

The engagement was fierce, with the German forces in particular involved, but the less well armed parts of the Yorkist army were seriously reduced by royalist archery, and despite inferior numbers the royal army gained the upper had and the rebels were routed, fleeing across the River Trent at Fiskerton. The ferocity of the fighting can be judged from the estimated 7000 casualties in the conflict.

The Earl of Lincoln and the leader of the German contingent, Martin Schwarz, were both killed, and the losses put an effective end to any further attempts to oust the Tudors.

More detailed accounts can be found on the Battlefield Trust website LinkExternal link

The site is a Registered Historic Battlefield.
by Alan Murray-Rust
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6 images use this description:

SK7448 : Information board on Trent Lane relating to the Battle of Stoke Field by Alan Murray-Rust
SK7348 : Stoke Field Battlefield by Alan Murray-Rust
SK7349 : Stoke Field Battlefield, Burrand Furlong by Alan Murray-Rust
SK7448 : Humber Lane, East Stoke by Alan Murray-Rust
SK7448 : Stoke Field Battlefield by Alan Murray-Rust
SK7448 : Stoke Field Battlefield, Information board by Alan Murray-Rust


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Created: Mon, 24 Aug 2020, Updated: Mon, 24 Aug 2020

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