Forgotten battle which settled the Wars of the Roses

Medieval battle Image copyright PA
Image caption The battle involved more men and caused more casualties than Bosworth

A "forgotten" battle which ended the Wars of the Roses and confirmed the Tudor dynasty is to be marked.

Stoke Field on 16 June 1487 saw the final attempt by the House of York to seize the crown after decades of war.

Despite involving more soldiers and having higher casualties, it is overshadowed by Bosworth, which saw the death of Richard III two years earlier.

But a weekend of events at Stoke Hall, near Newark in Nottinghamshire, will help mark its 530th anniversary.

Image copyright Society of Antiquaries
Image caption Henry VII's reign was two years old and far from secure when the battle took place

While Bosworth witnessed the death of the last Plantagenet king, those supporting the Yorkist cause had found a new figurehead.

A man claiming to be Edward, Earl of Warwick, one of the Princes in the Tower, had prompted a handful of nobles to rally to his cause.

He was, in fact, a commoner called Lambert Simnel and it was likely that the rebel commander, John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, had his own eyes on the crown.

Henry VII's army of about 15,000 was twice the size of his enemy and, despite some initial resistance, Simnel's force was routed.

In an unusual display of medieval mercy Simnel was pardoned and employed in the royal kitchens as a servant.

Re-enactment expert Allan Harley of the Beaufort Companye said: "The battle is largely forgotten because the Tudor dynasty wanted it that way.

"They did not want anyone to think a pretender to the throne could raise an army and mount a challenge.

"But it should be remembered because it was the last swansong of the House of York.

"The Battle of Bosworth put the Tudors in charge but this battle was really the start of the Tudor dynasty."

The weekend of events will give visitors a rare opportunity to walk around the battlefield, which is in private hands, as well as see re-enactments and hear talks about events of the time.

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