The Wars of the Roses: Society at War in the 15th Century

This conference has now SOLD OUT.

‘I will stir up in England some black storm,
Shall blow ten thousand souls to heaven or hell’
(Richard, Duke of York, Henry VI Part 2, Act III Scene I)

Ever since William Shakespeare wrote his cycle of history plays the characters and events of the Wars of the Roses have gripped the popular imagination. This inter-disciplinary conference commemorates the 550th anniversary of the battle of Towton, the bloodiest and most violent encounter between the opposing Lancastrian and Yorkist armies.

The conference will bring together some of the leading historians of the later middle ages who will re-evaluate our current thinking into different aspects of the conflict.

Speakers include:

Dr Sean Cunningham – The National Archives
Dr Sally Dixon-Smith – Curator, Historic Royal Palaces
Dr Peter Fleming – Principal Lecturer, University of the West of England
Dr David Green – Senior Lecturer, Harlaxton College
Dr David Grummitt – Lecturer, University of Kent
Professor Michael Hicks – Head of History, University of Winchester
Dr Philip Morgan – Senior Lecturer, Keele University
Mr Thom Richardson – Keeper of Armour and Oriental Collections, Royal Armouries
Dr Jonathon Riley – Master of the Armouries, Royal Armouries

In a series of wide-ranging papers the speakers examine the causes of the wars, the role of the nobility and gentry, the experiences of towns, the nature of chivalry, types of arms and armour, the impact of gunpowder weaponry, the practicalities of supply and logistics, the commemoration of battlefields, and the role of the Tower of London.

The conference will also provide an opportunity to view some of the unique finds from the Towton battlefield excavations.

Download the provisional programme


Conference including lunch: £45
Conference including lunch (concession): £30
Concessions: 60+, students, registered unemployed

For more information about the conference please email Dr Malcolm Mercer.

To book

The conference has now SOLD OUT but if you wish to be placed on a reserve list or to receive information about future conferences please contact:

Jon Copley
Sales & Bookings Manager
Royal Armouries
LS10 1LT
Tel: 0113 220 1888