Medieval War of the Roses

Battle of Ludford Bridge 1459

Battle of Ludford Bridge, largely bloodless confrontation with some Yorkists defecting to the Lancastrians accepting the Kings pardon in 1459

The lead up to the Battle of Ludford Bridge had been when King Henry VI had been reappointed Lord Protector of England. Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick had become appointed Captain of Calais. The Earl of Warwick dispatched ships to take over the vital fortress on the French coast.

The Earl of Warwick and his supporters began launching raids. These were upon the merchant ships, along English Coast from Calais in France. The raids added more to the sense of chaos and disorder.

Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York had been at Ludlow Castle in Shropshire. Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury at Middleham Castle in North Yorkshire. The Earl of Warwick came back to England. He marched up to Ludlow to join with both Duke of York and Earl of Salisbury at Ludlow.

Queen Margaret of Anjou ordered Henry Beaufort, 3rd Duke of Somerset to command Lancastarian army to intercept the Earl of Warwick. The Duke of Somerset had become successfully evaded by the Earl of Warwick.

James Tuchet, 5th Baron Audley lead anther Lancastrian army to head off the Earl of Salisbury. They came together in the bloody Battle of Blore Heath.

Battle of Ludford Bridge

12th October 1459, The Yorkist armies regrouped at Ludford Bridge in the town of Ludlow. They then proceeded to advance towards Worcester. The Yorkists quickly fell back when they encountered a larger enemy force led by Henry VI.

The Lancastrians ended up taking a position opposite the Yorkists, across the Teme River. The Yorkist army had excavated a defensive ditch in a field. They had also constructed barricades of carts for the cannon to be emplaced.

Among the Yorkist troops brought by Earl of Warwick from Calais were 600 men. They were led by Sir Andrew Trollope, who was an experienced captain. During the night, Sir Andrew Trollope and his men, defected to the Lancastrians after accepting the Henry IV pardon.

Giving the impression of returning to Ludlow for the night. The Duke of York, Earl of Salisbury, and Earl of Warwick abandoned their armies and fled to Wales.

Yorkist army leaderless

13th October 1459, during the morning, the Yorkist troops found themselves leaderless. They ended up kneeling in submission before Henry IV, and as a result had become pardoned. The Duke of York had not only abandoned his troops, but also his wife Cecily Neville the Duchess of York, his two younger sons and daughter. They appeared to be standing at the Ludlow Market Cross when the Lancastrians arrived.

After the engagement the Duke of York returned to Ireland with his son Edmund, Earl of Rutland. The Earl of Salisbury, Earl of Warwick and Edward, Earl of March fled to Calais.


26 June 1460, the Earl of Warwick, Earl of Salisbury, and Earl of Marsh landed at Sandwich in Kent with Yorkist army of 2,000 men. By 2nd June 1460 the Earl of Warwick had gathered an army of 10,000 men.

Henry VI along with his Lancastarian army of 5,000 men arrived at Northampton. Once the Yorkists arrived on 10th July 1460, the Battle of Northampton would take place.