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Ludford Bridge

Online Catalogue | Historical Art | The Medieval Art of Graham Turner | Original Paintings | Original Medieval paintings by Graham Turner |  Ludford Bridge

'Almyghty God... smote the hertes of the seid Duc of York and Erles soddenly from that most presumptuouse pryde, to the most shamefull falle of Cowardise that coud be thought, so that aboute mydnyght... they stale awey oute of the Felde... levyng their Standardes and Baners in their bataill directly ayenst youre Feld, fledde oute of the Toune unarmed, with fewe persones into Wales; understondyng that youre people hertes assembled, was blynded by theym afore, were he more partie converted by Goddes inspiration to repent theym, and humbly submytte theym to You, and aske youre grace, which so didde the grete part; to whom, at our Lordes reverence and Seint Edward, Ye ymparted largely youre grace.' Rotuli Parliamentorum
Ludford Bridge, 1459 - original painting by Graham Turner Ludford Bridge - original painting Ref: GT-LUD

Henry VI's army sweeps across Ludford Bridge and into Ludlow on the morning of 13th October 1459. Reluctant to commit treason, many of those facing them had dispersed or gone over to the king, and, with the situation seemingly lost, the Yorkist lords had fled during the night, abandoning their remaining soldiers - along with the Duke of York's duchess, Cecily, their daughter Margaret, and younger sons George and Richard.

Here, some of the soldiers who had remained loyal to York, Warwick and Salisbury sit dejectedly as Humphrey Stafford, Duke of Buckingham rides by. Having submitted to the king they desperately hope to be granted his pardon, but for now their futures hang in the balance.

The banners and standards from left to right are: Henry Holland, Duke of Exeter (on the bridge); Lord Clifford; King Henry VI; Henry, Lord Fitzhugh; John, Lord Lovell; Humphrey Stafford, Duke of Buckingham; William Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel. Buckingham himself is in front of his standard, and his soldiers are identified by their black and red livery jackets bearing the Stafford knot.

Original gouache painting by Graham Turner - image size 21"x 15.5" (54cm x 39cm) Note: When framed with a mount, the overall picture size will be larger. Painting is priced unframed.

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Price: 2,700.00

Graham Turner's Original Paintings are offered for sale by the artist himself, rather than through Studio 88, which is our print publishing business. Consequently, payment directly to him is preferred. If you are interested in purchasing an original painting, please email Graham Turner at to discuss the purchase or to arrange to visit.

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Painting is priced unframed.

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The road into Ludlow crossing the river Teme at Ludford Bridge.

Photo by Graham Turner ©
Avoiding battle with the vastly superior royal army, the Yorkists returned to Ludlow. King Henry marched with his army, 'not sparyng for eny ympedyment or difficulte of wey' and he 'logged (lodged) in bare feld somtyme two nyghtes togider with all youre Host in the colde season of the yere'. Although he is usually portrayed as completely ineffectual, Henry clearly had some physical strengths, which he also demonstrated while evading capture for a year in the north in 1464/5.

The force that arrayed in support of King Henry on the wet meadows beside the river Teme at Ludford Bridge made it very clear how isolated the Yorkist lords had become, with most of their fellow peers favouring loyalty to their anointed king over rebellion. Among those who had answered the king's summons were the dukes of Buckingham, Somerset and Exeter, the earls of Northumberland, Shrewsbury, Devon, Wiltshire and Arundel, Viscount Beaumont, and at least five barons. Devon was now with the king, for although he had been one of the few to stand with York at Dartford seven years earlier, the two men had fallen out over the handling of his dispute with Bonville.

The Yorkists had prepared 'a grete depe dyche and fortefyde it with gonnys, cartys, and stakys' and 'than and there shotte their seid Gonnes, and shotte aswele at youre most Roiall persone, as at youre Lordes and people with you'.

As at the Battle of St Albans, the presence of the king still had enormous significance, for despite any shortcoming he might have had, the idea of fighting against your anointed king was considered sacrilegious, not to mention treasonable. Clearly, some of York's army decided that this was a step too far and, as night fell on 12 October 1459, they began to melt away, Yorkist hopes being finally crushed by the defection of most of the Calais garrison under Andrew Trollope to the royalist side 'wher thei wer receyved joyously'.


Graham Turner's eagerly anticipated book about the Wars of the Roses is now available.

It includes over 120 of his paintings and drawings, many newly created, with supplementary images and a comprehensive and fascinating text that illuminates the complex, shifting course of events and the people who lived their lives through this tumultuous time.

Order your signed copy now - CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

Ludford Bridge print

High quality artist-signed prints are available reproduced from Graham Turner's painting of Ludford Bridge - CLICK HERE FOR FULL DETAILS
Ludford Bridge 1459 - Print from a painting by Graham Turner

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