Battle at Bamburgh Castle

June 1464

After Hexham, the Lancastrians held only the castles of Bamburgh,  Dunstanburgh and Alnwick. The castles had already changed hands more than once.  Warwick and Montagu, now the Earl of Northumberland, brought the massive siege pieces of Edward IV, set out  to smother the last embers of Lancastrian resistance.

On 23, Alnwick yielded followed by Dunstanburgh the next day but Bamburgh refused the summons.  Bamburgh was held by Sir Ralph Grey and he had been exempted from the general pardon. Soon the debris from the ramparts was being blasted into the sea, and resistance quickly collapsed.

The affair is of interest in being the first time that a battering train was used effectively in England. The King’s great guns, ‘London’ and ‘Newcastle’ (made of iron) and ‘Dijon’ (a brass cannon), were supported by bombardels, and it was with some ease that they breached the walls, allowing Warwick to lead an assault that completed the work. Grey was seriously wounded, but this did not save him from being dragged before the High Constable, John Tiptoft Earl of Worcester, who had a reputation for recognizing no law but the axe.

Also see synopsis on Battle at Bamburgh on the Battle of Hexham page.



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