The Second Battle of St Albans

Lancastrians Missed Their Opportunities despite Victory

Lancastrians defeat the Earl of Warwick.

The Second Battle of St Albans should have been a disaster for the Yorkist cause. However it did prove anywhere near as costly as the Yorkists had feared, or as the Lancastrians had hoped it would be. Had the whole of Warwick's force been destroyed then the Lancastrians would have done much to secure their position.


Margaret Of Anjou And the Revival of The Lancastrian Cause


The Lancastrian revival in fortunes had been largely due to the considerable efforts of Henry VI's Queen Consort, the strong willed Margaret of Anou. It was Margaret that had got the Duke of York removed from the Regency. She turned her attention to defeating the Earl of Warwick, Richard Neville.

A Lancastrian Priority - Defeating The Earl Of Warwick


For the Lancastrians rightly regarded the Earl of warwick  as a dangerous enemy. He had not been present at the defeat at Wakefield that had witnessed the death of Richard the Duke of York, and after the death of the Earl of Salisbury he was the most experienced Yorkist commander. 
Warwick had still not been able to join up with Edward the Earl of March so remained vulnerable to been defeated by the Lancastrians.  They caught up with him at St Albans.

This second battle in St Albans in the space of six years was not as decisive in it'sconsequences as the Lancastrians even though they won the actual battle itself convincinly enough. 

Warwick: Defeated But Not Destroyed 


Led by the Queen the Lancastrians duly defeated Warwick's force on 17 February 1461. However Warwick lived to fight another day. Margaret of Anjou made the superior strength of the Lancastrian force decisive. The survival and escape of Warwick and the failure of the Queen to stop him joining with the main Yorkist army meant Edward of March was in a strong position over all. 

A Fatal Lancastrian Mistake


Morever the Lancastrians made the mistake of not regaining London whilst they had their chance. That was a decision that proved costly after Towton Moor, which all but sealed Edward of March position as the first Yorkist King. Some of the Lancastrian survivors did make it to London, as prisoners.

Bibliography
Dodds, G L (1996) Battles in  Britain 1066-1746, Arms & Armour Press, London 
Roberts J M (1996) A History of Europe, Penguin, London
Schama S (2000) A History of Britain Volume 1 - Standing At The Edge Of The World, BBC Books, London  


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