We are bound to the present precisely because of the events that have come before us. The members of Wessex Medieval Alliance spend a great deal of time researching the late medieval period, to help bring history to life in the 21st century.
We portray the periods encompassing The Hundred Years War and The Wars of the Roses, two of the bloodiest and brutal periods of English history. Over approximately 150 years England and France were torn apart and re-assembled time and time again as one protagonist after another laid claim to the crown (or crowns) of these countries. The wars spilt over to the rest of western Europe with Ireland, Scotland, Flanders, Aquitane, Burgundy and further afield all being drawn into the conflicts. By the the time Henry VII defeated Richard III at Bosworth Field in 1485 tens of thousands would be dead and many more displaced. Yet, even with Henry's victory turmoil would continue throughout England and Europe almost up until the present day.
Our Members typically choose to portray specific individuals from history, recreating their colours, researching their lives and using this information to create a representation of their character in the living history camp and on the battlefield.
The Hundred Years War
Waged from 1337 to 1453 between the Plantagenets of England and the House of Valois of France for the control of France. It included possibly the most famous late medieval battle: Agincourt (Azincourt).
The Wars of the Roses
Effectively England's first civil war. The country was split in two with the houses of Lancaster and York vying for control of the English throne. The bloodiest battle on England's soil, Towton, on 29th March 1461, the rout of Lancaster at Tewkesbury on 4th May 1471, and the death of King Richard III (marking the end of Plantagenet rule) at Bosworth Field on 22nd August 1485 were each pivotal moments in this internal feud.
An excellent introductory book to the events leading up to and taking place at Bosworth Field is Battle Story: Bosworth 1485. And from Channel 4 the program Richard III: The New Evidence looks at the modifications to armour necessary for Richard III.
If you are looking for magazines about history we can highly recommend:
Medieval Warfare from Karwansaray