“Bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil”
On this day in 1461 the Battle of Towton was fought during the English Wars of the Roses, near the village of Towton in Yorkshire. It brought about a change of monarchs in England, with the victor, the Yorkist Edward, 4th Duke of York (who became King Edward IV) having displaced the Lancastrian King Henry VI as king, and thus drove the head of the Lancastrians and his key supporters out of the country.
It was “probably the largest and bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil”. According to chroniclers, more than 50,000 soldiers from the Houses of York and Lancaster fought for hours amidst a snowstorm on that day, which was Palm Sunday. A pamphlet circulated a week after the battle reported that 28,000 died on the battlefield.