1461: 2 February - Mortimer’s Cross

Queen Margaret was not present at Wakefield, but she accompanied the Lancastrian army on its destructive march South to St. Albans. Warwick arrived in London at the beginning of February. On learning of York’s death he appears to have made no effort to get in touch with the Earl of March, who was then on the Welsh Marsh. Edward, although only nineteen years old, was already a capable soldier and in a battle at Mortimer’s Cross, some four miles south of Wigmore, defeated a Lancastrian force under the Earls of Wiltshire and Pembroke.

We know nothing of the details of this battle, except that in the morning, through some freak atmospheric condition, three suns were said to be visible. Edward took this as a propitious omen and after his victory added the sun to his banner: the device that was to serve him so well at Barnet ten years later. The beaten army was pursued as far as Hereford, some sixteen miles to the South; and, although the two commanders escaped, ten important prisoners, including Pembroke’s father Owen Tudor, were summarily executed in Hereford. Edward then marched to join Warwick, but arrived too late for the second Battle of St. Albans.