This Day in History: 1461-11-15

By mid November 1461, Edward IV’s first parliament had passed an Act of Attainder against thirty-six Lancastrians for their complicity in the ‘murders’ at the Battle of Wakefield the previous December. The Yorkist interpretation of the battle seemed to indicate a broken Christmas truce or the ambush of a foraging party – no one can say for sure why Richard, Duke of York, left the safety of Sandal castle with his vastly outnumbered forces to meet the Lancastrians – rather than a fair fight. A month later, the Earl of Warwick was appointed to execute the office of Steward of England at the trial of Henry VI and other rebels who had murdered the king’s father, Richard, Duke of York, at Wakefield.