Another Big Weekend: Part Two
Saturday at Bosworth was followed by a 2-car trip to Newark Showground for the second Partizan of the year. The 28mm Edgcote game is sufficiently big that it and the stands won't go into one car unless it's a 4x4 or van.
(Northampton Battlefields Society at the other Partizan 2019)
But I think, generally, the contributions we make to the Partizans' History Zones is worth it and it is good to see the Society of Ancients there alongside the Lance & Longbow and Pike and Shot ... and to see Naseby making a modest appearance alongside the Battlefields Trust and Newark's Civil War Centre.
Partizan's history zone is a winning concept and is always one of the busier thoroughfares. It would be completed by a few more 'tie-in' games and some reenactment or living history (but the show is full already so I guess this is just a vain wish list) ...
(The History Zone at The Other Partizan 2019)
It was a great show. And it was busy. Thriving.
Our main purpose, of course, was to promote Edgcote and the 550th anniversary of this key event in the histories of England, Northamptonshire, Yorkshire and Wales.
By the way - and in case you look it up on the internet - the battle was fought on the 24th July 1469 (not 2 days later, as many books and pages which do not use primary sources will tell you*) ...
(the battle of Edgcote at Partizan 2019)
(Humphrey Stafford's contingent at Edgcote - will he stay or will he go?)
(On his way to the action? The earl of Warwick somewhere in central England)
(On his way to the action? King Edward somewhere in central England)
(In the thick of it: Henry Tudor stuck as a guest of the earl of Pembroke)
(Edgcote 1469: there would be no negotiaing and no quarter given)
Although we were mostly using the wargame display as an interpretative tool in the morning, in the afternoon we had a full(ish) play-through of the battle.
Confident that his superiority in archers would dictate the course of the engagement, Robin of Redesdale stood firm on the East Hill, just sending sufficient archers forward to the watercourse as a welcoming party.
(Edgcote at the other Partizan: Robin of Redesdale is able to bring up his reinforcements)
Gates and Parr were quickly on the scene and pushed up to cover the flank.
The earl of Pembroke, meanwhile, mounted up his personal division to clear the archers and brave an uphill challenge to Robin's Yorkshiremen.
The attack became fragmented, and although Stafford joined the battle, he was not in line during the opening phases (so the rest of the Royalists took the brunt of the arrowstorm - and although many of you will know I think that that term is generally misleading and overused, in this instance it was indeed more a storm than a shower).
(Edgcote at the other Partizan: the earl of Pembroke makes an uncoordinated attack)
Taken one-by-one by a solid, mutually supporting line, each of Pembroke's divisions were repulsed.
(Edgcote at the other Partizan: Pembroke's line fragments and retires)
Humphrey Stafford (lord of Southwick and newly created earl of Devon) was last to arrive and gamely tried to rescue the situation. He died in the fighting ... cut down and given no quarter.
(Edgcote at the other Partizan: Humphrey Stafford falls in the combat and is given no quarter)
This was the first deployment of my new skull-markers, which I purchased at Britcon for indicating downed commanders. Actually (and unexpectedly) I think they need basing up to properly look the part. But, in case you think they look a bit GW, in fact they mesh perfectly with the 'dance of death' motif which is entirely contemporary with the battle and which resonates through the Welsh poetic accounts.
(Edgcote 1469: the dance of death, the dance of the earls ... the dance of the men of Doncaster)
This battle was fought out by William Herbert, earl of Pembroke, supported by Humphrey Stafford, earl of Devon, and by Robin of Redesdale, supported by sir Geoffrey Gates (of the Calais Garrison) and sir William Parr from the earl of Warwick's army. No other forces arrived or intervened. So a good quick battle, gamely played and fairly historical (although in 1469, Robin needed the intervention of a further force under John Clapham to swing the balance) ...
As may be evident, the battle was fought with 28mm figures using an adpapted version of Hail Caesar and the circular battlefield (inspired by the medieval wheel of fortune) has an approximate 6ft diameter. We reckon about 2,000 men a side fought on Danesmoor in 1469. It was a disaster for Pembroke and Devon, and the medieval nobility of South Wales was nigh on wiped out in the rout after the battle. A dance of death indeed.
The rest of the show ...
I had a little bit of time at lunch to get some sense of the rest of the show.
Great stuff all round although most of my break was spent chatting with Simon Miller over the 'To the Strongest' interpretation of Boudicca's last battle (sometimes called 'the battle of Watling Street'.) - I'm always interested as it features centrally in my Lost Battles of Northamptonshire talk (so 'lost' we don't even know if it was fought in Northamptonshire) and is one I attempted many year ago at History in Action (at Kirby Hall) using Armati.
(a familiar set up for the end of Boudicca's rebellion)
(The other Partizan 2019: the Britons mass for the attack)
Simon went with the Mancetter interpretation although his campaign graphic supporting the game amply demonstrated how easily it could be part of Northamptonshire's lost history.
(Boudicca's rebellion: smoke tracks the advance of the Iceni)
Shopping wise, it has to be said, Partizan has always had very little to distract me ... it tends to be all one scale, all one style and very 'on trend'. That's fine as, as the stand and the game and the History Zone pretty much fill the day on their own.
Next up for us is Hereward, the ever friendly local show in Peterborough. We'll have Edgcote again, if you were thinking of dropping by ... copies of the new book, and the author on hand to sign copies.
* they almost all have the same date as they have almost all copied each other rather than checked the facts thoroughly