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Battle of Bosworth - The Aftermath

'"A battle was fought. King Richard was killed on the battlefield and the Earl of Richmond was crowned King of England on the field with Richard's crown." Philippe de Commines.


incised slab of Sir Humphrey Cotes and his wife Eleanora Blount

Amongst Richard III’s men, casualties were ofcourse heavy. Amid his closest supporters the elderly John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk, Walter Devereux (the younger), Lord Ferrers, Richard’s close companion Sir Richard Ratcliffe, Keeper of the Tower of London Sir Robert Brackenbury, Controller of the King’s household, Sir Robert Percy and the King’s secretary John Kendall were all killed in battle. Richard’s other close friend Sir William Catesby fled but was soon captured and executed. Henry Percy, 4th Earl of Northumberland and Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey (son of the slain Duke of Norfolk) were both taken into custody and imprisoned but later restored to their lands and titles. John de la pole, 1st Earl of Lincoln, Francis Viscount Lovell and the brothers Humphrey and Thomas Stafford all escaped.

Polydore Vergil reported that 1,000 men were slain amongst Richard III’s men and about 100 on Henry Tudor’s side. According to Vergil Henry’s standard-bearer Sir William Brandon was ‘the only one from the nobility who had fallen on the victor’s side. For my second book (The Wars of the Roses Visitors Companion: Wales and the Borders, Book 1) I recently traveled through Wales and the borders and discovered that this is not the case. Sir Humphrey Cotes (or Coates) of Woodcote joined Henry’s army en route between Shrewsbury to Bosworth around 19 August, at Muster Hill near Woodcote, Shropshire. While on the winning side Sir Humphrey Cotes did not return home, he was killed during the battle. He was buried at the church on the grounds of his home Woodcote Hall. Eventhough kept locked I was very lucky to visit the church and see the beautiful incised slab of Sir Humphrey Cotes and his wife Eleanora Blount.


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