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Map of the location of the battle on Danesmoor given by Beesley.
 
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The map accompanying Beesley's 1841 discussion of the battle
Further Reading

Generally, the events leading up to the battle, and the consequences afterwards are afforded much more time and space by historians than the actual battle itself. The earliest detailed discussion is by the local Banbury historian Beesley in 1841, although brief comments are made by Baker in 1822 and Morton in 1712. These accounts generally rely exclusively on Hall’s account from the 16th century, and ignore other more contemporary sources. This reliance on Hall is one of the reasons for the error in respect of the date of the battle being repeated in most modern studies. Beesley is responsible for the theory that the battle was fought in the area of the River Cherwell, identifying three small tumuli as Hall’s West, East and Southern hills.

Edgcote is included in several of the usual general national battlefield studies, but was ignored by key authors such as Burne.  General books discussing battles in Britain or England are consistently inaccurate in respect of Edgcote, and so are not included here.

Research undertaken by the Northamptonshire Battlefields Society in 2019 to mark the 550th anniversary, published in the book listed below, located the site was on Danes Moor, at the foot of Culworth Hill, adjacent to the Historic England site.

W G Lewis’ brief article on the date of the battle is essential reading, highlighting an error carried forwards in English historiography since the 16th century. The most up to date collection of the English sources is contained in Embree & Tavormina, however the historical footnotes should be disregarded as they rely upon outdated analysis. The book does not contain non-English sources such as Waurin and the Welsh poets, and so cannot be relied upon as a definitive collection of sources.

 

Modern Accounts 

  • Evans, Graham. The Battle of Edgcote 1469 – Re-evaluating the evidence. Northamptonshire Battlefields Society 2019

Published by the Northamptonshire Battlefields Society to commemorate the 550th anniversary of the battle in 2019, the Society’s book is the most up to date analysis of the campaign and the battle. Separate chapters examine what evidence we have about the course of the campaign, the whereabouts of the main protagonists, the size of the armies, and also the location of the battle and the course of the fighting. It includes all of the relevant historical sources as an appendix, using a mix of 19th century published transcriptions and modern translations..

  • Haigh, P A. Where Both Hosts Fought : The Rebellions of 1469-1470 & Battles of Edgecote & Lose-cote-field. Stockton on Tees: Battlefield Press.

Haigh’s study argues for a more northerly battle site straddling the River Cherwell similar to that proposed by Beesley, but rotates the battle, ignoring much of the location evidence in Hall, on which it is mainly based. Haigh’s work is included in the list as it has an extensive bibliography, but is not recommended as an analysis of the battle, as it ignores several key sources, such as Waurin and the Welsh poets.

The discussion in the report prepared  by Historic England for the battlefield’s registration is of considerable value, placing the location of the battle further south on the area of Danes Moor as discussed on this site.

  • Lewis B. The Battle of Edgcote or Banbury (1469) through the eyes of contemporary Welsh poets. 2011

A wide ranging article that examines the work of the Welsh poets and explains why their poems are as important and as reliable, if not more so, than English chronicle writers.

  • Lewis W. G. "The exact date of the battle of Banbury i.e. Edgecote , 1469." Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, no. 55 (1982): 194-6.

The definitive analysis of how the Welsh sources prove that the commonly held belief that the battle was fought on the 26th July is incorrect.

  • Thomas, D. H. The Herberts of Raglan and the Battle of Edgecote 1469. Enfield: Freezywater Publications, 1994.

The only work that makes extensive use of the Herbert family history, the Herbertorum Prosapia, written in the 17th century. Alas it is now out of print and hard to find.

 

Background Reading

  • Dockray, K R. The Yorkshire Rebellions of 1469. 1983

This is still the best account of the risings in early 1469 that preceded the battle. Originally written for “The Ricardian” magazine.

  • Hicks M. Warwick the Kingmaker 2002

The best modern account of the life of the pivotal Wars of the Roses leader. One of the few modern historical works that has the date of the battle correct.

  • Partida T, Hall D, Foard G. An Atlas of Northamptonshire: The Medieval and Early-Modern Landscape 2013.

An indispensable guide to what the landscape looked like at the time of the battle. Works published prior to its publication suffer a considerable disadvantage when trying to understand the terrain over which the battle was fought.

  • Strutt, Sally, Edgcote, A Brief History, 2008

Useful background to Edgcote estate and the surrounding area written by the Edgcote Estate historian and archivist.

 

Historic Accounts

  • Baker, George. The history and antiquities of the county of Northampton. London: 1822.
  • Beesley, Alfred. The History of Banbury. Banbury, 1841. 178-186.
  • Morton, John. The Natural History of Northamptonshire, 1712.
  • Whellan, William. History, Gazetteer and Directory of Northamptonshire, 1849.

These accounts by 18th and 19th century writers provide our first considered accounts of the campaign, battle and local area. They are useful as background but the writers often did not have access to the full range of contemporary and near contemporary sources that were transcribed and published throughout the Victorian era by organisations such as the Camden Society.

 

Primary Sources

  • Embree D & Tavormina M T: The Contemporary English Chronicles of the Wars of the Roses 2019 

This is a valuable collection of the sources written by English writers either in the vernacular or Latin. It is important for identifying a small number of transcription errors in the 19th century publications. However please note that in respect of Edgcote the historical footnotes are unreliable and rely on outdated and inaccurate works. It is not definitive for Edgcote sources as it ignores works by non-English contemporary writers. For these other sources see Evans above.

 

   
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