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Battle of Towton 1461

G Pollen
The Battle of Towton took place on a snowy 29th March 1461 (Palm Sunday) on a plateau between the villages of Towton and Saxton in Yorkshire (about 12 miles southwest of York and about 2 miles south of Tadcaster). The battle was part of the Wars of the Roses, fought between the Houses of York and Lancaster for control of the English throne. The battle was a decisive victory for the Yorkists. The Lancastrian army suffered heavy losses and ceased to exist as an effective fighting force. Towton was the largest battle fought in Britain. It is estimated that between 50,000 and 80,000 soldiers fought in the battle, including 28 lords (almost half the peerage at that time), mainly on the Lancastrian side. One of the most commonly quoted figures is 42,000 for the Lancastrians and 36,000 for the Yorkists. All estimates for the battle agree that the Lancastrians started the battle with the larger force.