'Battle of Bosworth relic' sells at Derbyshire auction

Flag fragment The fragment of the red and gold flag had been mounted in a frame for safe-keeping

A fragment of a flag believed to have been carried into the Battle of Bosworth has been sold at auction.

The red and gold cloth fragment from 1485, which measures 6.5in (16.5cm) by 5.5in (14cm), sold for £3,800 in Derbyshire on Saturday.

Auctioneer Charles Hanson said the piece had strong provenance and was part of a far larger flag carried by Henry Tudor's standard bearer.

The anonymous buyer said the cloth would be taken to the West Country.

Wars of the Roses

Picture of King Richard III being killed during the Battle of Bosworth Field on 22 August, 1485
  • In 1453, King Henry VI had a mental breakdown and Richard, Duke of York, was made protector
  • The king recovered in 1455, but civil war broke out between the Yorkist and Lancastrian factions. The ensuing struggle came to be known as the Wars of the Roses
  • The period was seen as a time of enormous moral, military and political turmoil in Britain
  • The death of Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 effectively ended the Wars of the Roses

Source: BBC History

'Pivotal' battle

"This is an incredible find from one of the most important battles ever fought on British soil," said Mr Hanson.

He said the fragment had been one of three decaying parts originally hung above the tomb of Sir Robert, Knight of The Bath, where he had been laid to rest after his death in 1490.

Sir Robert's tomb in St Michael's Church in Stanton Harcourt, Oxfordshire, is also decorated with the Lancastrian red rose.

Mr Hanson added the material's provenance was "very good" as it had been in the keeping of the same family in Northamptonshire since at least 1847, when it had been mounted in a frame for safe keeping.

"I am just delighted such a fundamental accessory to that 1485 battle has been unearthed only months after finding King Richard III in a Leicester car park," he added.

The Battle of Bosworth was a pivotal and bloody fight between the houses of Lancaster and York which took place at Bosworth Field, near Market Bosworth in Leicestershire, in 1485.

Henry's forces slew Richard, ending the Wars of the Roses and marking the beginning of the Tudor dynasty which ruled England until 1603.

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