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Henry VII could not hope to invade England without financial assisstance from abroad, and this came from Charles VIII. He was involved with a war with Britanny and feared Richard III may seek to defend the Bretons - so he financed Henry's invasion as a way of distracting Richard.

Henry set sail with 500 people who had been in exile with him, and 1,500 mediocre French soldiers. He landed at Milford Haven on 7 August 1485 and marched north, securing the help of the most influential landowner in South Wales and secret financial support from Lord Stanley and Sir William Stanley. They could only send money in secret because Richard III held Lord Stanley's eldest son as a hostage for his father's good behaviour.

When Henry met Richard's forces, he was outnumbered two to one with 5,000 troops. Sources do not indicate whether this included Stanley's 3,000 troops, who hung around in the wings seeing which way the battle was going.

No eye witness accounts of the battle exist, but from piecing together later accounts, it seems the battle lasted around three hours, and was an incredibly bloody affair with many casualties on both sides. The battle was won for Henry when Richard attempted to strike at him personally, slaying his standard bearer before Henry's personal guard closed ranks.

At this moment, Sir William Stanley finally picked his side and rushed to Henry's rescue. Richard was killed and the leaderless Yorkists fled. Lord Stanley picked up the crown and placed it on Henry's head.

A curious twist of policy would result in all those who fought for Richard being declared traitors - Henry backdated the official start of his reign to before the battle! This meant he could pass acts of attainder against Richard's followers, taking their lands.

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Date: 22nd August, 1485

Time: morning Duration - 2 hours

Location: Redmore Plain south of Bosworth, near Welsh border

Factions: Tudor vs York Victor: Tudor

Troops/inventory: Tudor - 5,000 - 7,000 men-at-arms (including archers), cannons York - 8,000 - 12,000 men-at-arms (including archers), cannons

Injuries/fatalities of interest: Tudor

  • Sir William Brandon (slain)
York
  • King Richard III (slain)
  • John, Lord Howard, Duke of Norfolk (slain)
  • Sir Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey (captured)
  • Sir Robert Brackenbury (slain)
  • Sir Richard Ratcliffe (slain); Sir Gervase Clifton (slain)
  • Walter, Lord Ferrers (slain)
  • William Catesby (captured, executed)

Total slain: 1,000 soldiers

Interesting bit: The Battle of Bosworth marked the end of 24 years of Yorkist rule in England. Richard Plantagenet, now King Richard III was killed. He was struck down while apparently making a final desperate charge against Henry Tudor. It is said that he almost succeeded in bringing Henry down, which is evidenced by the death of the young Tudor's standard-bearer. As a standard-bearer of the time invariably stayed close to the commander he was serving, it is generally accepted that Henry was involved in some form of close combat. However, as we do know, it was Richard who met his demise. The King was later stripped naked and paraded through town slung over the back of a horse. His body was exposed to the public for two days, then inferred in a stone coffin in the Grey Friars Church at Leicester. Years later, when this church was destroyed, King Richard's bones were tipped into a river, and the coffin used as a horse trough outside the White Horse Inn in Gallow Tree Gate. Henry Tudor allegedly found Richard's crown under a hawthorn bush near the battle site and was claimed King of England from that day forward. This marked the beginning of the 120 year Tudor dynasty.

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