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Sunday, 20 March 2011

A Percy!, A Percy!

(In the period before the conflicts known as the Wars of the Roses, in northern Yorkshire especially, members of the Percy family, related to Henry, Duke of Northumberland, were in low level conflict with the Neville family, based in Cumberland and Westmoreland)

Sir Richard Percy stood watching the low, rolling ground ahead of him. Despite the smell and noises of his retinue men around him, Richard could still, just, make out the tell-tale clanking of the Nevilles coming down the valley.

 To the left, he could see the banner of the De Lacy family, most of who supported Richard, Duke of York, it is true, but Hugh was related by marriage to the Percies, and was loyal as they come...

 His retinue had many well equipped Men-at-Arms, but was lacking in Archers. Richard had placed him in the most hilly part of the battlefield where archery would be less of a danger. Additionally, Hugh lacked battle experience.....

 Behind the lines was a friend of the Percies, a certain Edmund Blackadder......

 Richards own men were mostly from his personal retinue, and well armed. several times they had bested the Nevilles, but the Retinue had shrunk since the last battle to provide forces elsewhere.

 At last, the Nevilles came into view, Richard realised he had been holding his breath, and let it out slowly. Yes, they had split their forces. This could work to his advantage. Perhaps the Neville commanders did not get on?, no, that would be too much to hope for...

 The main Neville force seemed to be going for De Lacy, hmm,-- plenty of lightly equipped archers and Scourours, with a fair number of Billmen. De Lacy would probably need some help.

 The Nevilles marched towards the Percy positions, the sound of clanking arms and low voices was becoming clearer, they were almost within a bowshot now...

 De Lacy and Richard, upon a signal, moved forward to take their prearranged positions, atop two low hills...

 De Lacy sent some archers into the valley,  - Richard could do nothing but watch in horror as dozens of clothyard shafts decended like so much snow and slew several of Hughs men.

 The Yorkists had deployed against the hill De Lacy was on, and made the most of the opportunity to shoot.

 The remaining De Lacy men gratefully took cover behind their hill, shaken by their first experience of an arrow storm.

Sir Laurence Catterall, leading the Yorkists against Richard, split his forces against both the Percies on the hill and those Richard had placed in a wood at the valley head.

Richards archers advanced and shot some shafts at Laurences forces, and the archers in the woods shot at the Yorkists threatening De Lacy...

Seeing De Lacy lose his archers, and seeing a lot of shooting going into his archers in the woods, Richard withdrew his men into cover, rather than fight an uneven fight in the Nevilles favour.

Sir Laurence had pulled back himself to the edge of some woods having taken little damage from the long range Percy shooting.but seeing the Percies fall back began again to advance.

The De Lacy forces, having regained their composure, now moved further up their hill - being careful to stay out of sight of their archers!

Sir Richard himself,-in cover- moved to the front of his archers position to await the Nevilles advance.

Having let the nevilles come closer, and seeing the De Lacy archers return to shoot...

Sir Richard advanced his archers to shoot, splitting his fire against both bodies of the enemy.

De Lacys crossbowmen, having fought bravely but caused little hurt, rejoined the fight.

Sir Laurences billmen began to fall to Percy longbowmen, evening the odds with Sir Richards men-at-arms, ere they meet...

Despite their losses, Sir Laurence commited his Billmen to an attack.....

...Which Sir Richard personally countered with a ferocious charge. The fight was fierce and confused.

While overhead the archers on both sides engaged in a fierce and bloody exchange of arrows.

On the De Lacy side the arrow fight was finally turning in the Lancastrian favour, and the Yorkist archers, taking severe losses,  began to flee...

They retired from the field, covered by their remaining archers, and the cavalry, which had done nothing but stand and watch the battle.
Sir Laurence, who belatedly had neared the melee his billmen were losing, decided to break off when he saw his ally retreat.

The Percies did not pursue, Sir Richard was exhausted after fighting in the melee, and was still weak after his wound in the last battle. He was heartened, however, to see the retreating Yorkist leaders apparently arguing and threatening each other as they withdrew!

Hugh De Lacy  - Phil
Sir Richard Percy - Richard
Sir Laurence Catterall - Lawrence
Sir Ralph Neville - Ian

The Rules were our own, freely downloadable from our club website: Link



  1. Great set of pics..and I like the inclusion of Edmund Blackadder :-D

  2. Great pics and lovely figures too!