Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Henry VI (1421 - 1471)

King from 1422 to 1461 and from 1470 to 1471 and the last Lancastrian ruler of England, Henry's reign was dominated by the Wars of the Roses.
Henry was born on 6 December 1421 at Windsor Castle. He was only nine months old when he succeeded his father, Henry V. He was crowned king of England in 1429 and, as result of his father's successes against the French, king of France in 1431. A regency council ran England until Henry was considered old enough to rule in 1437. In 1445, he married Margaret of Anjou.
Henry was a pious man whose interest in government was sporadic, who picked the wrong advisors and who was unable to prevent the power struggles that began to develop at court. Meanwhile, the dual monarchy proved too difficult to maintain; the successes of the Dauphin and Joan of Arc began to weaken England's grip on its French possessions and Normandy was lost in 1450. This only contributed to the erosion of Henry's prestige and authority.
In 1453, the king had a mental breakdown and Richard, Duke of York, was made protector. The king recovered in 1455, but civil war broke out between the Yorkist and Lancastrian factions. The ensuing struggle came to be known as the Wars of the Roses. While the Duke of York was the main figure on the Yorkist side, Margaret, Henry's queen, took charge of the Lancastrian cause. In 1460, York was killed at the Battle of Wakefield but his son took up the fight, defeating the Lancastrians at Towton in 1461 and crowning himself Edward IV. Henry fled into exile, but returned and was captured by Edward in 1465. The Earl of Warwick - previously an ally of Edward - now switched sides and restored Henry to the throne in 1470. Edward returned from exile and destroyed the Lancastrian forces at Tewkesbury in May 1471. Henry and Margaret's only son was among the Lancastrian dead. Henry VI, who had been imprisoned in the Tower of London, was murdered shortly afterwards.

The American Actor Vying to Play Napoleon at Waterloo

American actor Mark Schneider plays the part of Napoleon Bonaparte

Each summer, on some unassuming farmland not far from Brussels, Belgium, an epic battle occurs. Re-enactors stage The Battle of Waterloo. Thousands gather to act out, and watch, Napoleon's defeat at the hands of Wellington.
It's a big deal. But in 2015, the re-enactment will be an even bigger deal, as it will be the 200th anniversary of the real battle. And that means there's a lot of pressure to choose the right man to play Napoleon.
One of the top candidates for the job sits down with me for our Skype interview. Or, I should say, Napoleon Bonaparte himself sits down.
"Je suis Napoleon Bonaparte," Mark Schneider says, completely and utterly in character. He goes on to remind me that he's "the Emperor of France, the King of Italy, etc. etc."
It's remarkably believable. Schneider looks like Napoleon, complete with the hat, the medals and the 'I'm going to mop the battlefield with you' stare.
Then he breaks character with a smile, and says: "I don't really believe I'm Napoleon, I assure you."
Whew. Scratch the Napoleon Complex thing. But I have to say that if I were choosing Napoleon for Waterloo in 2015, Schneider would definitely get the nod.
"I jokingly say I've been preparing for this role my whole life," says Schneider. "My mother is French and my father is American, so I had a connection with France."
"When I was about 2-years-old, I received some toy soldiers from a French cousin who had come to the US for a visit. It was Napoleon and several of his imperial guardsmen. And as my mother says, 'The rest is history.'"
Growing up, Schneider didn't have Superman or Batman posters on his walls. He had a picture of Napoleon. He liked to dress up as a French soldier, and act out famous battles.
Schneider served in the US Army during the 1990s.
After he left the service, an Army buddy asked him to join a Napoleonic Era cavalry re-enactment group here in US.
A year later, Schneider says, the group needed someone to play Napoleon.
"Everybody said, "Oh, you look like Napoleon, you're the same height. You were born in 1969, and he was born in 1769.'">
Schneider started getting gigs playing Napoleon in documentaries for the History Channel.
Then, in 2005, the Waterloo Committee – the group that organizes the yearly re-enactment in Belgium – got in touch.
"They requested that I come to Europe to portray Napoleon for the Battle of Waterloo. I couldn't believe it. It was a dream come true," Schneider says. "I sent them a résumé, and some pictures, and they said, 'Okay, come on over.' And so my first European event as Napoleon was at Waterloo."
Other Europe-based Napoleon jobs quickly followed.
Take a quick spin through YouTube and you can watch Schneider ride through the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin to the delight of his "troops."
Here he is again, at a re-enactment of the Battle of Borodino outside Moscow, brandishing a sword amid the gunfire…
Schneider concedes that – despite his experience – some in Europe might balk at handing an American the reins for the 200th anniversary of Waterloo.
But then again, he says, remember Napoleon's own background.
"He's certainly a Frenchman, but he's from the island of Corsica. His first language was Italian." Schneider even puts on a Corsican accent when he plays the role.
But he's got serious competition.
An actual Frenchman, and a Belgian are vying for the Waterloo role in 2015.
Schneider won't trash-talk his rivals.
"Speaking for myself, I would love to do it," he says. "If I'm not selected, that's okay too. I've had a wonderful run as Napoleon. Not that I'm giving up. I certainly would like to be selected, but I'm sure we'll all be able to do a great job of bringing history to life."
I ask Schneider, who has a day job as an actor at Colonial Williamsburg, to give me his favorite Napoleon speech. With a Gallic sniff, he signs off with the one Napoleon rallied his troops with on the eve of the Battle of Austerlitz.
The last thing I hear is "Vive la France! Et vive la Grande Armée!"

Statue of Napoleon

PARIS, FRANCE - APRIL 10  Statue of Napoleon Bonaparte, Les Invalides on april 10 2013, Paris, France  Stock Photo - 20372054

PARIS, FRANCE - APRIL 10 Statue of Napoleon Bonaparte, Les Invalides on april 10 2013, Paris, France

A Late Roman army in Britain

The Third Century AD
The third Century AD is often referred to as the time of crisis for the Roman Empire. Around 40 men were proclaimed emperor, many were simultaneous rivals raised
to the position in their own territories.
During this century, plague swept across the Roman Empire, many areas were de-populated to the point where military logistics were rendered useless.
This, combined with massive inflation, civil wars and relentless military pressure from invasions by Goths in the area we call the Balkans, Parthians in the Middle Eastern territories and by unrest amongst the Germanic tribes
in areas such as Gaul, across the Danube and even Northern Italy, all took their toll on a weakening Empire.
Britain didn't escape these ravages, raids from Germanic tribes on its South and East coasts, Irish (Scot) attacks on the West and Pictish incursions from the North forced the Romano British forces to fight on several fronts.
Britain was also caught up in a major rebellion (286-96AD) against Rome under the rebel Emperors Carausius and his successor Allectus, eventually Britain returned to Roman rule Consantius Chlorus moved his forces into Northern Gaul and reclaimed it for the empire in 293AD, isolating Carausius
from the rest of the empire and any support he had. However Consantius had to wait until a suitable fleet could be built to invade Britain, in this
time of uncertainty Carausius was assasinated and Allectus replaced him. His reign lasted only three more when Britain was finally invaded by
Constantius's subordinate forces and Allectus was slain. One recent theory is that the large fortress building/consolidating work that was carried out in South Britain in this century along the area of costal defences that modern scholars refer to as The Saxon Shore Forts, was actually undertaken to keep the pro-Roman forces out of Britain rather than a defence network intended to defend Romes interests.
The Fourth Century AD
Order was restored at the beginning of the 4th Century AD when a succession of stronger Emperors like Diocletian (a former soldier from the area we
refer to as the Balkans), who reigned from 306 to 337AD decided to re-structure not only the army, but the empire itself. Power was to be divided between two emperors, one to govern the Eastern half of the empire and one the West, each was to rule with a deputy who would
succeed either instantly on their deaths or abdication.
The army was re-organised, and divided into static frontier troops (Limitanei) and powerful mobile field armies (Comitantenses). Units or
'legions' were now only 1000 strong as opposed to the 5,000 man legions of the early empire. Due to the chronic manpower shortage caused by barbarian invasions, plagues, civil wars and desertion Diocletian made military service compulsory amongst the sons of soldiers, in these desperate times many men mutilated themselves rather than serve in the army, this act was made punishable by death. Increasing numbers of mercenaries from outside the empire were fighting for the Roman army and eventually this influx of men and their own equipment would change the appearance of the Roman army for good. The classic imperial Gallic helmet amd lorica segmentata (body armour) seemed to fall out of service in the third Century AD. Soldiers were wearing long sleeved and knee length linen or wool tunics, whwn armour was worn it was likely to be ring mail, scale or lamellar, the helmets were spangenhelms or ridge helmets (adapted from Persian style headgear and far more economical to mass-produce). Shields were now largely round or oval and swords, when carried were long slashing spathas and not the short thrusting gladius swords of the early legionary.
The fourth Century was not without unrest, civil war erupted between rival emperors Contantine and his rival Maxentius, culminating in Constantine's victory at Milvian Bridge which was attributed to the God of the Christians in 312AD (a year later the Edict of Milan was issued, which
ended the persecution of Christianity within the Roman empire).

The Fifth Century AD
The last and most significan damage to the Western Empire began when, in 395AD the Visigoths under Alaric I revolted. In 402 AD they besieged Mediolanum, the capital of Roman Emperor Honorius. The Roman general Flavius Stilicho and his army forced Alaric to end this action and the Goths moved towards Hasta (western Italy), where Stilicho attacked it at at the battle of Pollentia (in which Alaric's camp was captured). Further defeats forced the Goths to withdraw from Italy. However, in 406 AD many crossed the frozen River Rhine, they encountered little resistance and over-ran Gaul. More unrest and rebellion affected the Roman army because of these events and Alaric took advantage of this situation returning again in 410 managing to sack Rome itself. The admisistrative capital of the Western empire was now Ravenna but many scholars see the sack of Rome under the Christian Goth Alaric as the true end of the Roman rule. It was in this year and under these circumstances that the Western Emperor Honorius famously responded to a British request for aid by saying 'Look to your own defences'
What remained of Rome's territory, was defended by Flavius Aëtius or simply Aëtius, (c. 396-454), he successfully turned each of Rome's barbarian
invaders against one another. In 436 with the help of Hunnic forces he defeated Visigoths at the Battle of Arles, and later achieved victory 436AD
at the battle of Narbonne (against fhe forces of Theoderic I). Later in 451AD he led a force which included his former enemies the Visigoths against
hostile Hunnic forces at the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains. Tragically Aëtius was killed by the Emperor Valentinian III himself because he felt
intimidated as he had once supported Valentinian's rival. Also Valentinian was convinced Aëtius wanted to place his son upon the imperial throne.
By 476AD the Western Roman Empire was in the hands of federated Germanic tribes and when they finally revolted under Germanic General Odoacer (the
son of Attila's General Edeko) The Emperor Romulus Augustus was deposed. The Empire in the West had finally fallen. The Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) was to persist for 1,000 more years and for two centuries after Rome's fall, carried on trying to win it back in a series of campaigns (most notably under Belisarius), eventually, its strategic and economic importance had faded as the Byzantines became more concerned with problems on their immediate borders.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

"Birther" Controversies and the Wars of the Roses

By Jone Johnson Lewis

Was Edward of Westminster Really the Son of Henry VI? (1453)
Marriage of Margaret of Anjou and Henry VI (1445)

Marriage of Margaret of Anjou and Henry VI (1445)
Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Margaret of Anjou (1430 - 1482) was the queen consort of England's Henry VI of
 England (1421 - 1471). Henry's father, Henry V, died when the son was only nine 
months old. Henry VI was raised with considerable influence of his regents. Even 
before Margaret, at 15, married Henry in 1445, there were rumors he'd been afflicted 
with bouts of mental instability. Henry's mother, Catherine of Valois, was the daughter
 of Charles VI of France, known to have struggled with insanity. (Henry also inherited 
the crown of France through his mother when he was eleven months old, when that 
grandfather died; he never ruled France as the throne was taken by Charles VII 
Valois in 1429.)
Even after he assumed power, Henry seemed mostly interested in religion and statecraft, 
not in his wife. Margaret did not become pregnant until 1453. About that time, Henry 
slipped into a serious mental breakdown, and was unaware of what was happening, 
including the birth of his son, Edward, in October 1453. When he came out of the 
breakdown, he acknowledged paternity of his son, and had him invested as Prince 
of Wales in 1454.
However, there were rumors that, given the long period before the queen became 
pregnant, and his insanity around the time of conception, the son had a different father. 
Two men were the primary suspects of being the real father:
  • Edmund Beaufort, second (or first) Duke of Somerset (1406 - 1455). He was a 
  • younger son of John Beaufort, whose parents were John of Gaunt, Duke of 
  • Lancaster, and Katherine Swynford. He was a cousin of Henry VI, and a favorite 
  • of Henry. Edmund Beaufort had considerable power from 1451 through 1453, 
  • when the king's insanity made him vulnerable; the king was imprisoned in the 
  • Tower of London, released only when he recovered his wits. Edmund Beaufort 
  • was killed in 1455 at the First Battle of St. Albans, known as the first battle of the 
  • Wars of the Roses. The rumor of his adultery with the queen may have been part 
  • of a campaign during the king's insanity to destroy his reputation and reduce his 
  • power. His marriage in the early 1430s was unlicensed, and had to be later 
  • pardoned (1438), so he was already the subject of marital scandal. His wife, 
  • Eleanor Beauchamp, lived until 1467.
  • James Butler, fifth Earl of Ormond and first Earl of Wiltshire (1420 - 1461). He 
  • was a strong supporter of the Lancastrians in the Wars of the Roses, and was an 
  • advisor to the young Prince of Wales, his
      • alleged illegitimate son. When the York party prevailed at the Battle 
      • of Towton, Butler was beheaded. Butler was married in 1458 to the 
      • daughter of Eleanor Beauchamp and Edmund Beaufort, the latter being 
      • the other suspect in Margaret's alleged adultery.
    As with other accusations of infidelity and illegitimacy, these were leveled by 
    those who had an interest in destroying the reputation of the prince and his claim t
    o the throne, and countered by those who had the contrary interest. Few have taken 
    these claims seriously, however.

Napoleon Bonaparte (1769 - 1821)

Emperor of France, Napoleon I
One of the greatest military leaders in history and emperor of France, he conquered much of Europe.
Napoleon Bonaparte was born on 15 August 1769 in Corsica into a gentry family. Educated at military school, he was rapidly promoted and in 1796, was made commander of the French army in Italy, where he forced Austria and its allies to make peace. In 1798, Napoleon conquered Ottoman-ruled Egypt in an attempt to strike at British trade routes with India. He was stranded when his fleet was destroyed by the British at the Battle of the Nile.
France now faced a new coalition - Austria and Russia had allied with Britain. Napoleon returned to Paris where the government was in crisis. In a coup d'etat in November 1799, Napoleon became first consul. In 1802, he was made consul for life and two years later, emperor. He oversaw the centralisation of government, the creation of the Bank of France, the reinstatement of Roman Catholicism as the state religion and law reform with the Code Napoleon.
In 1800, he defeated the Austrians at Marengo. He then negotiated a general European peace which established French power on the continent. In 1803, Britain resumed war with France, later joined by Russia and Austria. Britain inflicted a naval defeat on the French at Trafalgar (1805) so Napoleon abandoned plans to invade England and turned on the Austro-Russian forces, defeating them at Austerlitz later the same year. He gained much new territory, including annexation of Prussian lands which ostensibly gave him control of Europe. The Holy Roman Empire was dissolved, Holland and Westphalia created, and over the next five years, Napoleon's relatives and loyalists were installed as leaders (in Holland, Westphalia, Italy, Naples, Spain and Sweden).
In 1810, he had his childless marriage to Josephine de Beauharnais annulled and married the daughter of the Austrian emperor in the hope of having an heir. A son, Napoleon, was born a year later.
The Peninsular War began in 1808. Costly French defeats over the next five years drained French military resources. Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812 resulted in a disastrous retreat. The tide started to turn in favour of the allies and in March 1814, Paris fell. Napoleon went into exile on the Mediterranean island of Elba. In March 1815 he escaped and marched on the French capital. The Battle of Waterloo ended his brief second reign. The British imprisoned him on the remote Atlantic island of St Helena, where he died on 5 May 1821.

The Round Table

King Arthur's Round Table - the amphitheatre Caerleon Wales

For centuries the site of the Roman amphitheatre in Caerleon was known as 'King Arthur's Round Table'.
Back in the 1587 Thomas Churchyard wrote of Caerleon:
In Arthur's tyme, a table round,
Was whereat he sate:
As yet a plot of goodly ground,
Sets forth that rare estate...
It would surely have been an excellent place for a leader to address his followers.
Our theory is that somewhere in time the meaning shifted from 'a round meeting place' to a 'round table'.

Monday, October 28, 2013


After the victory of Edward's forces at Mortimer's Cross, Jasper and the Earl of Wiltshire fled in disguise. Jasper returned to Pembroke and tried to rally the spirits of the Lancastrian supporters.
At the same time, Margaret of Anjou and her son, Prince Edward, were moving south after their victory at Wakefield. They met the Yorkist forces at St. Albans and were victorious. Margaret and son were reunited withHenry VI, who had been a prisoner since the summer of 1460.
With Margaret's troops marching toward London, it was hoped that Jasper Tudor could raise enough forces in the west and the two Lancastrian armies could attack the combined Yorkist forces of the Earl of Warwick and march from either side. However, Jasper wasn't able to raise his army in time and Margaret's army lost popular support when they began pillaging and looting after their victory at St. Albans. She was forced to withdraw to Yorkshire.
Meanwhile, London welcomed the Yorkist faction and the Earl of March was proclaimed King on March 4, 1461. Edward IV kept pursuing the Lancastrian forces and handed them another defeat, this time at Towton. Henry VI, Queen Margaret and Prince Edward fled to safety in Scotland.
Meanwhile, Jasper Tudor was left vulnerable in Wales. Sir William Herbert was given the authority to seize the properties of Jasper Tudor throughout England and Wales. Parliament officially stripped him, as well as many loyal to Henry VI, of his properties with acts of attainder.
Jasper continued to try to raise support for the Lancastrians in Wales, but was eventually forced to flee to Scotland, along with the Duke of Exeter, who had survived from the battle at Towton.
When Sir William Herbert took Jasper's former residence of Pembroke, he found inside the four year old Earl of Richmond, Henry Tudor. The boy was taken into Herbert's custody, but was treated well and looked after by Herbert's wife, Anne Devereux at Raglan Castle. At some point, Herbert sought to marry the young Earl to his daughter Maud. Henry apparently felt little or no hostility toward Anne Devereux since he still regarded her with affection even after becoming king 25 years later. Henry was still addressed as the Earl of Richmond, even though the actual estates of the Earldom had been given to George, Duke of Clarence, brother of Edward IV.
While with the Herberts, Henry was educated by two Oxford graduates, Edward Haseley and Andrew Scot, both of whom were remembered by Henry after he became King. Other instruction was provided by Sir Hugh Johns, who was also remembered with a gift by Henry when he was King.
Henry Tudor's mother, Margaret Beaufort, was not given care of her son. She and her husband, Henry Stafford, lived at Bourne (Lincolnshire) and Woking (Surrey). Margaret was still allowed to correspond with her son and visited him at Raglan at least once.
Plots began to arise against the Yorkist crown. One ambitious plot was uncovered and John de Vere, Earl of Oxford and his son were arrested and executed for treason. In preparation for the planned attack, Jasper Tudor had gone to Brittany. After the plot was exposed, he went to King Louis XI of France looking for support. Margaret of Anjou also joined him there and she managed to get the King to agree to an alliance with the Lancastrians. Jasper had been traveling between Wales, Scotland, Brittany and France on behalf of the cause. Margaret had basically put Calais up as collateral for a loan from the King of France.
The Queen returned to Scotland and from there she, Henry VI and others sailed south to Northumberland and took over Bamborough and Alnwick Castles. Jasper Tudor was one of the Lancastrians left to hold Bamborough. However, upon news of the approaching army led by Edward IV, Henry VI, the Queen and their supporters fled back to Scotland. Bamborough surrendered Christmas Eve 1462. Jasper returned to Scotland.
Margaret of Anjou traveled again to France to try to prevent King Louis from reconciling with Edward IV, but she failed. Jasper Tudor probably accompanied the Queen to France but returned to Scotland without her in December 1463. Margaret remained in France until 1470.
Jasper tried to raise a force to land in Wales in 1464, but they met with little success. Parts of Wales were still sympathetic to the Lancastrians, especially in the west and northwest. Harlech Castle on the west coast remained in Lancastrian hands until 1468.
In 1467-8, the political situation began to turn back to the favor of the Lancastrians. In early 1468, Edward IV made alliances with the Dukes of Brittany and Burgundy, much to the discomfort of the King of France. Looking for a way to embarrass Edward IV, Louis XI of France gave some money and three ships to Jasper Tudor for his trip to Wales in June 1468. However, this was not enough support for Jasper to be able to inflict any real damage. Jasper probably landed at the Dyfi estuary near Harlech and made his way across north Wales toward Denbigh. It is written that by the time he reached Denbigh his force had grown to 2000 men. Jasper seized the castle and burned it.
The campaign spurred Edward IV into action and sent orders to Lord Herbert to raise a force and attack the Lancastrian-held Harlech Castle. Confronted with two wings of soldiers (one from the east and the other from the south), Harlech surrendered on August 14, 1468. Jasper Tudor managed to once again avoid being captured. As a further humiliation to Jasper, King Edward gave the Earldom of Pembroke to Lord Herbert.
Over time, Edward IV had been alienating his most powerful supporter - Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick (known as 'The Kingmaker') because of the favors given to the family of his wife, Elizabeth Woodville. Warwick raised an army which defeated the King's force, led by Lord Herbert, the new Earl of Pembroke. Herbert was captured and executed along with his brother, leaving the earldom open once more. This divide in the Yorkist faction raised another moment of opportunity for the Lancastrians.
For almost a year, ending in September 1470, Jasper Tudor was in France in the service of King Louis.
The Earl of Warwick had joined with George, Duke of Clarence (brother of Edward IV) and gone to France in May 1470. Louis and Warwick began working on a plan to restore Henry VI to the throne. The deposed King had been captured in 1465 and was in the hands of the Yorkist King Edward IV. Warwick also proposed a marriage between his daughter Anne and Henry's son, Prince Edward.
Margaret of Anjou, who was still in France with her son, at first was not very enthusiastic about the plot. It is understandable that she would not be overly supportive of Warwick, since he had played a major role in the move against Henry VI ten years earlier. But Louis was able to convince her to go along with the plan.
Warwick and Jasper Tudor were to go to England, followed by Margaret, Prince Edward and Anne Neville, who was now betrothed to the Prince. Jasper was to go to Wales and Warwick to London. They landed at Dartmouth and Plymouth and Jasper set off to Wales to raise his forces.
Henry Tudor was still in the Herbert household now under the protection of Lord Herbert's widow. At some point while Jasper and Warwick began their movements against Edward IV, Henry Tudor was taken into the protection of of Sir Richard Corbet, who was able to convey the boy to his uncle.
Edward IV was in Yorkshire and was not going to be able to reach London before the Earl of Warwick. On October 2, 1470, Edward IV fled to Holland. Henry VI was released from the Tower of London and restored to the throne.
Henry Tudor and his mother Margaret Beaufort were reunited and stayed together for over a week at the Beaufort residence at Woking in November 1470. After that they parted on November 12, and Henry left to rejoin his uncle. It is probable that the next time the teenager saw his mother was after the Battle of Bosworth Field and he had become King Henry VII.
It is recorded that at about this time there was a meeting between Henry VI and young Henry Tudor. The most famous telling is from Shakespeare, but other chronicles have also noted the meeting (and it was this material that Shakespeare drew on). In this interview, Henry VI was said to have told the boy that he would one day sit on the throne of England.
It would not have been too out of the ordinary for Henry to have an audience with the 13 year old Earl of Richmond, but it would have been odd for him to tell the boy he would be king. Henry VI did have a son to succeed him, although the boy was in France with his mother. Whether the king truly made the prophecy will never be known, but it did eventually come to pass.
Parliament met for a month at the end of 1470 to undo Edward IV's work and restoration of the Lancastrians, including Jasper Tudor's title of Earl of Pembroke, and the associated lands and estates. Jasper was given other estates which greatly increased his holdings and power.
Unfortunately for the young Henry, his holdings of the Richmond estates remained in the hands of the Duke of Clarence, although the teenager still held the title of Earl of Richmond. Jasper was put in control of the areas of Wales where Edward IV still had support - the borderlands and southeast Wales.
The restoration of Henry VI proved to be short-lived. Edward IV landed in Yorkshire on March 12, 1471 and he reached London a month later. On April 14, he fought Warwick at the Battle of Barnet, where the Earl was killed. Henry VI was captured once again.
Margaret of Anjou and Prince Edward returned from France, not knowing of the recent turn of events. Once she received the news, the strong-willed Queen began gathering troops to presumably meet Jasper Tudor at the Welsh borderlands. Edward IV left London to pursue Queen Margaret and their forces met near the town of Tewksbury in one of the bloodiest battles of the Wars of the Roses. The day was a disaster for the Lancastrians. One of the many killed in the battle was the young Prince Edward, Henry VI's only heir. Margaret was captured. Jasper Tudor (presumably with his nephew) were unable to reach Queen Margaret in time and the Lancastrian's cause was near complete collapse. To make matters worse, Henry VI died on May 21 in the Tower of London under mysterious circumstances.

King Arthur - Re-enactment 2010

On July 3rd and 4th King Arthur lead his men against a band of Saxons in Caerleon's Roman Arena. Arthur won, but a disagreement followed between the great leader and one of his own men, Mordred. The upstart left the scene but swore to meet Arthur again one day...

Lice 'undermined Napoleon's army'

Hard genetic evidence that lice-borne disease
 played a key role in Napoleon's disastrous retreat
through Russia in 1812 has been produced by researchers.

Experts analysed dental pulp extracted from the teeth of
soldiers who died during the campaign.
They found lice-borne versions of typhus and trench fever
ran rampant among the French Grand Army.
The study, by the Université de la Méditerranée in Marseille,
is published by the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Napoleon marched into Russia in the summer of 1812 with 500,000 

Only a few thousand staggered out again, victims of war,
weather, and disease.
Twenty-five thousand arrived in Vilnius that winter, but
only 3,000 lived to continue the retreat. The dead were
buried in mass graves.
Construction work in 2001 unearthed one such grave,
containing between 2,000 and 3,000 corpses.
Bone fragments
Researchers led by Dr Didier Raoult identified body segments
of five lice in a forensic excavation of two kilograms of earth
containing fragments of bone and remnants of clothing.
Three of the lice carried DNA from Bartonella quintana, which
causes the disease commonly known as trench fever and
afflicted many soldiers in World War I.
The team analyzed dental pulp from 72 teeth, taken from
the remains of 35 soldiers.
Dental pulp from seven soldiers contained DNA from
B. quintana, and pulp from three soldiers contained DNA
from Rickettsia prowazakii, which causes epidemic typhus.
In all, 29% of the soldiers tested had evidence of either R.
prowazkii or B. quintana infection.

The researchers said this suggests that louse-born diseases such as typhus and trench fever may have been a major factor
contributing to Napoleon's retreat from Russia.
They believe analysing dental pulp for signs of DNA from
infectious agents may become an important tool for
investigating the history of communicable diseases.
Dr Carole Reeves, a medical historian, said it was ironic
that teeth were now uncovering the health secrets of
Napoleon's army, as they were widely salvaged at the
Battle of Waterloo in order to make dentures.
"Wherever there is warfare there is always infectious
disease," she said.
"And up to World War I many deaths were caused by
infectious disease rather than the warfare itself."