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The Battle of Bosworth Field (or the Battle of Bosworth) was the last significant battle of the Wars of the Roses, the civil war between the House of Lancaster and the House of York that raged across England in the latter half of the 15th century. Fought on 22 August 1485, the battle was won by the Lancastrians. Their leader Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, became the first English monarch of the Tudor dynasty by his victory and subsequent marriage to Elizabeth of York. His opponent, Richard III, the last king of the House of York, was killed in the battle. Historians consider Bosworth Field to mark the end of the Plantagenet dynasty, making it one of the defining moments of English and Welsh history.

Richard's reign began in 1483 when he seized the throne from his twelve-year-old nephew Edward V. The boy and his younger brother soon disappeared, to the distress of many, and Richard's support was further eroded by rumours of his involvement in the death of his wife. Across the English Channel in Brittany, Henry Tudor, a descendant of the greatly diminished House of Lancaster, seized on Richard's difficulties and laid claim to the throne. Henry's first attempt to invade England in 1483 was frustrated by a storm, but on his second attempt he arrived unopposed on 1 August 1485 on the southwest coast of Wales. Marching inland, Henry gathered support as he made for London. Richard hurriedly mustered his troops and intercepted Henry's army south of the town of Market Bosworth in Leicestershire. Thomas, Lord Stanley and Sir William Stanley also brought a force to the battlefield, but held back while they decided which side it would be more advantageous to support.

Richard divided his army, which outnumbered Henry's, into three groups (or "battles"). One was assigned to the Duke of Norfolk and another to the Earl of Northumberland. Henry kept most of his force together and placed it under the command of the experienced Earl of Oxford. Richard's vanguard, commanded by Norfolk, attacked but struggled against Oxford's men, and some of Norfolk's troops fled the field. Northumberland took no action when signalled to assist his king, so Richard decided to gamble everything on a charge across the battlefield to kill Henry and end the fight. Seeing the king's knights separated from his army, the Stanleys intervened; Sir William led his men to Henry's aid, surrounding and killing Richard. After the battle, Henry was crowned king on Crown Hill.

Henry hired chroniclers to portray his reign favourably; the Battle of Bosworth Field was popularised to represent his Tudor dynasty as the start of a new age. From the 15th to 18th centuries the battle was glamorised as a victory of good over evil, and as the climax of William Shakespeare's play about Richard's rise and fall, it provides a focal point for critics in later film adaptations. The exact site of the battle is disputed because of the lack of conclusive data, and memorials have been erected at different locations.

BlackadderEdit

The battles ends with the victor being Richard III. Richard III, played by Peter Cook, is presented as a good king who doted on his nephews. After his victory in the battle, Richard III is then unintentionally killed by Lord Edmund Plantagenet. Richard borrows Edmund's horse, which he thinks is a stray. Not recognising the king, Edmund thinks Richard is stealing it and cuts his head off. The late King's nephew, Richard, Duke of York (played by Brian Blessed) who is Lord Edmund Plantagenet's father, is then crowned as Richard IV. Lord Edmund himself did not take part in the battle after arriving late, but later claims to have killed 450 peasants and several nobles, one of whom had actually been killed by his brother in the battle.

It is also possible that Dougal MacAngus participated in the Battle, since he is amongst Richard IV's most trusted millitary companion, and could have easily been to do with the imminent victory at Bosworth Field. The only person who didnt actually participate in the Battle would have been Baldrick, since Lord Percy would have blindly loosed an arrow and then turned and hidden behind a tree or something.

Arguably the second best battle-scene of the Blackadder franchise, the first being the Battle of the Somme at the finale of Blackadder Goes Forth. The only displayed event of the Battle being the meeting between Richard III and his successor, Richard IV, and the subsequent decapitation of Richard III.

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