Richard has the distinction of being the last English king to die in battle (and only the second to ever do so, Harold Godwinson being the only other – at the Battle of Hastings in 1066).
On 22 August 1485 the War of the Roses reached a bloody climax at Bosworth Field. Here, Richard III, England’s most controversial king, defended his crown against the Lancastrian champion Henry Tudor.
Three armies converged on a field south of Bosworth Market, 13 miles west of Leicester: Richard’s, numbering 10,000; Henry Tudor’s army, numbering 5,000; and that of the Stanley brothers, some 6,000 strong. The Stanleys had been in close communication with Tudor, and were ostensibly his ally. However, on the day of battle, they refused to declare themselves one-way-or-another; making the Battle of Bosworth Field a three-sided affair.
Richards took up a position on Ambion Hill, a strong position dominating the battlefield. Elevation aside, it was protected (or constricted, as events would show) by a marsh in the low ground to the left. Richard’s deployment is disputed: Norfolk’s van may have been in the front or on the right of the Yorkist forces, with Richard, commanding the main behind this (or in the center) at the crest of the hill. Northumberland deployed his 4,000 man rear behind or to the left of Richard’s main.