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Death of the Kingmaker

A foggy morning in 1471 saw the end of one of the most famous figures in medieval England – the Earl of Warwick, the fabled Kingmaker. Julian Humphrys explains

WARS OF THE ROSES

Forget any notions of glamour or chivalry. Barnet was a confused and brutal slogging match in which the thick fog made it difficult to tell friend from foe

DRESSED FOR WAR

The two armies were fronted by heavily armoured knights and men-at-arms. In addition to plate armour and mail, these two men are wearing brigandines: cloth jackets with small metal plates riveted to the material.

Elizabeth Woodville’s marriage to Edward led to the elevation of her entire family, a thorny issue for Warwick
ALAMY X2

It was a foggy Easter Sunday in 1471, and Warwick the Kingmaker was running for his life. His army had just been defeated by the forces of his former ally, Edward IV, and now his only hope was to reach his horse and ride away to safety. But he was no longer a young man. His armour slowed him down, his enemies closed in and he was knocked to the ground. Someone pulled up his visor, a blade flashed, and one of the most powerful men in England became just another corpse on the blood-soaked fields around Barnet.

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About BBC History Revealed Magazine

In this month's issue… Hitler's rise to power How a failed painter on the fringes of local politics managed to hoodwink a nation and become - against all likelihood - the Fürher. Plus: 250 years of the circus; the Kingmaker's comeuppance in the War of the Roses battle of Barnet; famous folk who died broke in spite of their achievements; women who fought against the suffragette movement; and the strangely enthralling history of the toilet. Watch out for X.