First St. Albans - 22 May 1455

First St. Albans was the opening battle in the Wars of the Roses. Richard, duke of York led a force of about 3,000 on a march toward London. Henry VI's Lancastrian troops moved from London to intercept the Yorkist army. The king's army halted in the town of St. Albans and waited. The people of St. Albans along with some of the king's men setup defensive barricades. In the middle of negotiations, troops under the earl of Warwick attacked the barricades. After about two hours the Yorkists overran the defenses and flowed into the town. Soon after the battle was over and the Lancastrians were in full retreat. Overall casualties were about 300. Henry was captured and escorted to London while the Queen and her young son Edward made their way to Coventry.

Victor Yorkists
York Leadership Richard, duke of York
Richard Neville, earl of Warwick
Richard Neville, earl of Salisbury
Lancaster Leadership: King Henry VI
Edmund Beaufort, duke of Somerset
Humphrey Stafford, duke of Buckingham
Thomas, Lord Clifford
Size of forces Yorkists - 3,000
Lancastrians - 2,500
Notable deaths Edmund Beaufort, duke of Somerset
Thomas, Lord Clifford
Henry Percy, earl of Northumberland