1460: 30 December - Wakefield

In the September after Northampton the Duke of York came to London and, although he failed to win the crown, he obtained from Henry the right of succession for himself and his heirs on the King’s death. But Queen Margaret, then in north Wales, was not prepared to disinherit her son and soon had a very large army mustering in the north. The Duke of York marched to meet her and, with an army of between 5,000 and 6,000 men, reached his castle at Sandal (just south of Wakefield) on Christmas Eve. A few days later the much larger Lancastrian host was upon him.

Although details of the Battle of Wakefield are scarce, it appears that York refused to wait expected reinforcements and marched out of the castle to give battle. Leaving the castle by the south gate he had to swing round it to meet the Lancastrians, who were assembled between Sandal and Wakefield. Heavily outnumbered he found himself between two arms of a pincer movement and his army was quickly defeated. The Duke himself was killed in the battle, together with many other prominent Yorkist's.