This Day in History: 1461-01-02

Margaret of AnjouFollowing the Lancastrian victory at Wakefield, Lancastrian forces  joined  the Queen Consort, Margaret of Anjou, and her army of northern and Scots mercenaries at York. The Lancastrian commanders then planned to liberate King Henry VI from his Yorkist ‘gaolers’ in London. In early January 1461, the whole army headed south along the Great North Road. The Lancastrians had much of the nobility in their ranks and marched under the banner of the Prince of Wales with the emblems of the white swan and ostrich feather. The northern mercenaries were, unfortunately, generally no more than a rabble and widespread pillaging on their way south severely damaged what little favourable public opinion the Lancastrians held in the country.  These actions would be a key factor in the events that were to follow at the second Battle of St Albans and Battles of Mortimers Cross and Towton. Also, on this date, Cecily, Duchess of York, and her children Margaret, George and Richard heard news of the Duke of York’s death and post mortem insults inflicted upon his body and Cecily sent her two sons off to safety in Burgundy (Utrecht) via an unspecified port in the Low Countries.