The Battle of Blore Heath was a bloody battle between Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury and his two sons Thomas and John against the elderly royalist James Tuchet, Lord Audley. Audley had not seen action on the field since the French wars three decades ago but nevertheless was a powerful lord and raised a large number of men to fight for Henry VI from his lands in Staffordshire, Cheshire and Shropshire. Audley’s large force was about double the size of Salisbury’s but when Salisbury realized he was outnumbered he feinted to prepare for retreat, Audley took the bait and send his cavalry out to give chase. A storm of arrows fell upon the royalists force, eventually leading to brutal hand-to-hand fighting. Audley too fought in the thick of the battle along with his men but was sought out by Sir Roger Kynaston of Hordley and was hacked down and killed. Around 2,000 men lost their lives. Audley was buried in Darley Abbey, Derbyshire and a stone cross, 'Audley's Cross,' was erected at Blore Heath. The monument we see today is a replacement from 1765.
Shortly before and after the battle, Audley’s two daughters Margaret and Eleanor had married Sir Richard and Sir Humphrey Grey, sons of Sir Henry Grey, Earl of Tankerville and his wife Antigone Plantagenet (d. of Humphrey Duke of Gloucester) Five years later, in 1465, Kynaston married Elizabeth Grey, a daughter of the Earl of Tankerville, ironically making Audley’s daughters and the murderer of their father, Roger Kynaston, brother and sister-in-law.
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