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1464: 14 May - Hexham
The Lancastrian position in the North, where their only remaining strength lay, was fast crumbling. The Scots had agreed to cease sheltering them, and their Northumbrian strongholds could not expect to withstand the heavy siege weapons that Edward was hurriedly assembling for long. However, they could still put an army into the field, and Lord Montagu again set out from Newcastle to oppose it. He found Somerset’s men drawn up in a meadow called the Linnels some three miles southeast of Hexham on the banks of the Devil’s Water.
It was a hopeless position from which to fight any sort of battle; the field being almost totally enclosed and too cramped to allow free manoeuvre. The Lancastrian soldiers seem to have realized this, for many made off at the Yorkist approach without so much as discharging an arrow. It required no great feat of generalship to demolish those that stayed to fight. Montagu practically surrounded the meadow, and then made a frontal attack through the one opening at the eastern end. Those that were not killed in this attack were pressed across the river into West Dipton Wood and forced to surrender. Battle casualties were not great, but the executions that followed (including that of Somerset) were on a scale unparalleled even in these bloodthirsty times. Henry remained north of the Tyne during the fight and escaped to the Lake District, where he was among predominantly loyal subjects.