NFYORK-07 Yorkist Billman – The Retinue of John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk
The Battle of Bosworth (or Bosworth Field) was the last significant battle of the Wars of the Roses, the civil war between the Houses of Lancaster and 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, by his victory became the first English monarch of the Tudor dynasty. 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 a defining moment of English and Welsh history.
By the time of the Wars Of The Roses, badges were of considerable importance. These along with the Livery Colours were closely associated with what was then known as Livery and Retaining (Bastard Feudalism). The badges were rarely worn by their owners, for they were marks of ownership. They were, however, worn by his servants, house-hold men, retainers, and probably temporarily by the adherents to his cause. So great and extensive was the use of these badges, that they were far more generally employed than the coat of arms. For where a man’s badge would be common knowledge and bear some repute throughout the kingdom, few people would know what his coat of arms looked like.
Richard’s most loyal subject was John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk. The duke had served Richard’s brother for many years and was one of Edward IV’s closer confidantes, he was a military veteran, having fought in the Battle of Towton in 1461 and served as Hastings’ deputy at Calais in 1471.