Month: October 2017

The Wars of the Roses and the Battle of Bosworth Field


Wars of the Roses  pic
Wars of the Roses

A spine surgeon, Paul McDonough, MD, has served on the clinical team at Orthopedic Associates of Abilene since 2001. Dr. Paul McDonough enjoys reading historical nonfiction and is particularly fond of British historical events, such as the Battle of Bosworth Field and the Wars of the Roses.

The Battle of Bosworth Field took place in August of 1485. It was the last significant battle of the Wars of the Roses, in which the houses of Lancaster and York competed for the crown.

The house of York, symbolized by the white rose, occupied the throne in the person of King Richard III. He took the throne following the death of his young nephew, Edward V, who was murdered alongside his brother Richard in the Tower of London. The blame for the boys’ deaths fell on Richard III, largely because of the deaths of so many others who had claimed the throne.

The house of Lancaster, meanwhile, had been forcibly attempting to regain the throne since the deposition of Henry VI in 1461. These efforts became known as the Wars of the Roses and significantly reduced the number of nobles in England.

The wars ended at Bosworth Field, where Richard III had brought his forces after hearing of the landing of the aspiring king, Henry Tudor, in South Wales. Henry had sailed from France and marched through Wales gathering supporters, while his stepfather Thomas, Lord Stanley, amassed a private army of 6,000.

Stanley stood aside as his army took on Richard III’s army, which numbered 10,000. The advantage shifted from one side to the other until Richard decided to take on Lord Stanley himself.

Stanley ultimately overwhelmed Richard in the one-on-one battle. A bystander removed the crown from the deceased king’s head and brought it to Henry Tudor, who was standing nearby. With this coronation, he became King Henry VII, and the rule of the Tudors began.