Remembering those who died in The Wars of The Roses

+8 votes

Just watched the first episodes in the new series about the Wars of the Roses.....Britain's Bloody Crown. Absolutely amazing. I am recording the series. Just went searching in the family archives and I have found my first ancestral casualty: Sir James Luttrell died on 17 February 1461 at 2nd battle of St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England. 

I went over my family tree and he is the only one I can find on my tree who died in the Wars of The Roses, though I am sure many others were at various battles and managed to survive.

Got me thinking, however: how many others have ancestors who fought in The Wars of the Roses? There seems to be no battle roll anywhere, except for the royals at the top of the food chain. It would be nice to remember at least some of those further down, who were dragged into this horrific dynastic struggle.

in Genealogy Help by Susan Scarcella G2G6 Mach 7 (73.3k points)
To date I haven't found any family who fought in The War of the Roses.  It's always a shame that events like this occur.
Good Question Susan. I haven't yet come across any of my ancestors fighting that war. At the moment my ancestors are more names dates and locations..basic info. That's something I need to research into at some point. Thank you for the thought, until know it hadn't even entered my mind.

The date should give a clue. There are though also those who died of wounds afterwards.

Recently came across a recently written guide to some memorials in the church in Athelhampton Dorset. For many years a tomb of a knight  there has been said to be of Sir William Martin who died in 1504. Recent research suggests that it is twenty years older than that.

  You can't see it in the photo used on Sir William's profile  but the figure is in full armour and has a shield . He has round his neck, what the researchers call a ' Yorkist  collar of suns and roses with a lion badge... a mark of favour bestowed by Edward IV' . William's father  Thomas   died on 14th September 1485 ie just after the Battle of Bosworth so they suggest  that this may be Thomas and speculate that he may have died of injuries sustained in the battle (but no documentary evidence)

To answer your question, maybe some of my ancestors died at the Battle of Northampton but they were probably carrying pitchforks or staves .If so they lie beneath a golf course and no-one will ever know that they existed.


Helen, I am sure that a lot of mine died holding pitchforks or staves as well. I have only one line on mum's side that takes me back into landed gentry of the Middle Ages.Most of mine are quite humble and I can't get past the 1700s on them, I wish I could know the names of all those humble ones, but I can't. I can, however honour at least one whose name is recorded as dying there, even if he is just a knight.

Absolutely, have you come across this book which has a some details of his life?

(I found it when researching, Francis Luttrell, who married John Tregonwell's daughter. She has no profile yet,   She was  (I think) the 8x grand daughter of Thomas Martin whose tomb I described above, so you may have more than one casualty of these wars in your wider tree )

thanks for the link, Helen. I shall read it eagerly. what I do like about having some landholders on my tree is that, at least you can see them as people and not just dates. I think, on the funny side of genealogy, I would love to know who Hick/Hitch was who inspired the surname Hickmott, which appears on my tree. I have the Hickmotts back to within a century of the first recording of the surname, which means 'male relative of Hick/Hitch". Who on earth was Hick/Hitch that he inspired a family to be named as his relative? What did he do to earn this claim to fame? LOLOL
my family tree says, my family are both sides, York and Tudor, and I placed a question in another post about the coincidence ,in the people who left England after Henry made the new laws, and taxes.

So many of the pilgrim's came from Herefordshire, or Warwickshire or Lincoln shire, all who had lost lords and land's, in the wars of the rose's

and were overly taxed now! It wasn't religious persecution, it was taxes and laws. Is what my tree says! although the wars of the rose's was over catholic and protestant religions! the bishops war!
I wish to see this TV series.

if you want to see what I have on the subject ,go to  that section on my family and that era!

on one side, my uncle is Warwick, on the other John of gaunt. So both sides of the wars!
and if you know how it goes I am actually York and Tudor on both sides! John of gaunt is my grandfather, or step grandfather, in several lines!
The Wars of the Roses was not over religion. It was a struggle between two lines of descent from Edward the Third, the Yorkists and the Lancastrians. It had nothing to do with Catholic/Protestant struggles, which did not happen until the reign of Henry VIII and his successors. This was two generations earlier.
well according to my history ,Warwick may have made kings, but bishops were the weapons. and they paid the price, I have like 20 Saints from that period because they died over religion, and decreed by popes! Beheaded or hanged or whatever!

The martins of athelhampton were legitimized and delegitimized by a pope? that's religious in my book! and they created almost every Abby, or friary, or priory of the era!  Come on not religious? I haven't counted but there must be at least 5 abbess in that line!

On May 22, 1455, Richard, Duke of York engaged the forces of King Henry VI of England at the First Battle of St. Albans. The clash is now considered the traditional start date of the Wars of the Roses, a 30-year period of sporadic warfare and constant political intrigue between the rival Houses of York and Lancaster, both of whom laid claim to the English throne. Their intermittent struggle resulted in the capture, disappearance or death of scores of English nobles and would-be kings, and eventually gave rise to a new royal dynasty that ruled for more than a century.

Of course there were bishops there....England was a Roman Catholic country, but any history site will tell you that this was a dynastic war between two branches of the same family. It had nothing to do with the Reformation, which only began,at the earliest, with the publication of the Ninety Five Theses by Martin  Luther in 1517. The Wars of the Roses were between 1455 and 1487 unless there are 'alternate facts' LOl No more comments please.

1 Answer

+1 vote

so my date I tossed out there is wrong, sorry 1560? so I was off a100 years, you mean my uncle, and his brothers?

Sir Oliver St John Beaufort, 1st Duke of Somerset


Birth 1371 • Lincolnshire, England

Death 16 MAR 1410 • London, Middlesex, , England. St. Michael's Chapel in Canterbury Cathedral

18th great-uncle


by David Martin G2G6 (8.7k points)

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