Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Although a relatively small skirmish, the Battle of Twt Hill (or Tuthill), fought on 16 October 1461, ended open warfare in WALES, and brought all Wales, except HARLECH CASTLE, under the new regime of EDWARD IV.

After the Yorkist victory at the Battle of TOWTON in March 1461, Jasper TUDOR, earl of Pembroke, continued to hold the Welsh fortresses of Pembroke, Denbigh, and Harlech for his half brother, HENRY VI. To quell Lancastrian resistance in Wales, Edward accompanied his army to Hereford in September, but left the actual campaigning to his chief Welsh lieutenants, Sir William HERBERT; Henry BOURCHIER, earl of Essex; and Walter DEVEREUX, Lord Ferrers. After a short stay at Ludlow, the king returned to LONDON for the opening of his first PARLIAMENT on 4 November.

Meanwhile, the Yorkist commanders captured Pembroke Castle on 30 September, after which Herbert led the bulk of the royal army into North Wales to pursue the earl of Pembroke, who was thought to be hiding in the mountain fastnesses of Snowdon with Henry HOLLAND, duke of Exeter. The duke, who had fought at the Battle of Towton, may have brought reinforcements to Pembroke by sea, for the Lancastrian leaders were able to put a force in the field and meet Herbert in battle at Twt Hill outside the walls of Carnarvon in northwest Wales.

Although almost nothing is known of the course of the battle, the result was a complete victory for Herbert, who destroyed the last Lancastrian field force in Wales. Exeter and Pembroke escaped the battle and fled the country, with Pembroke sailing for IRELAND. The defeat isolated the remaining Lancastrian castles; Denbigh surrendered in January 1462, and the western fortress of Carreg Cennen capitulated in May. Although most Welsh Lancastrians had ended active resistance by mid- 1462, Harlech Castle, which could be resupplied by sea and thus required a costly and difficult effort to reduce, continued in Lancastrian hands until 1468, while all Wales remained vulnerable to seaborne invasion and to the ongoing intrigues of Pembroke.

Further Reading: Evans, H.T., Wales and the Wars of the Roses (Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK: Alan Sutton Publishing, 1995); Haigh, Philip A., The Military Campaigns of the Wars of the Roses (Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK: Sutton Publishing, 1995).

No comments:

Post a Comment