Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Saturday 29 March 2014

Victims of the Battle of Towton

Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Towton in 1461, fought in a snow storm on Palm Sunday and reputedly the bloodiest battle fought in English history. I have posted about it previously in Palm Sunday Field 1461Towton links, The Battle of Towton - 550th anniversary and Towton - remembering the dead. I have a longstanding interest in the battle which was fought in my home area.

In recent years there have been several books about the battle, but so far I have not managed to read them. However one I would draw attention to is based on the detailed archaeological examination of skeletons of soldiers who died in the fighting and which were discovered in a mass burial at Towton in 1996.


Blood Red Roses is published by Oxbow Books, who are based very close to where I live in Oxford. the book is now in a second edition and is established as an exemplary case study of such battlefield archaeology.

In the years before I came to Oxford I used to organise a Requiem for the fallen of Towton in Saxton church, where many are buried in the churchyard, and in whose parish the battle sites lie. I always try to remember them in my prayers on this day and invite others of you as readers of this blog to do as well.

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