Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The Percy memorial, Bramham Moor

Having driven past it on a daily basis I finally took a photo of the remnants of a monument that marks where Henry Percy fell at the battle of Bramham Moor (albeit relocated slightly from its original location).

The Battle of Bramham Moor on 19 February 1408 was the final battle in the Percy Rebellion of 1402 – 1408, which pitted the Earl of Northumberland, leader of the wealthy and influential Percy family, against the usurper King of England, King Henry IV. The Percy’s had previously aided Henry IV in his coup d'etat against his cousin, King Richard II in 1399.

Silver penny, Richard II, York mint

At Bramham Moor, south of Wetherby, Percy’s army was met by a force of local Yorkshire levies and noble retinues which had been hastily assembled to meet the force, led by the High Sheriff of Yorkshire Sir Thomas Rokeby. The exact sizes and compositions of the contending armies are not known, but the armies were far smaller than the thousands who had gathered at Shrewsbury, the rebels failing to gain widespread support or receive aid from other rebellious factions, such as Wales, where Owain Glynd┼Ár's rebellion was collapsing.

Percy was defeated, and the Earl himself died fighting a furious rearguard action as his army was routed. His severed head was subsequently put on display at London Bridge.

His position as a character in the Shakespearean canon may have inspired the character of Lord Percy Percy, Duke of Northumberland, played by Tim McInnerny in the first series of the historical sitcom The Black Adder that is set during the very late Plantagenet era.