The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #90128   Message #1705537
Posted By: Abby Sale
29-Mar-06 - 08:11 AM
Thread Name: happy? - Mar 29 (Blood Red Roses)
Subject: happy? - Mar 29 (Blood Red Roses)
The wars (1455–85), were named many years afterward from the supposed badges of the contending parties: the white rose of York and the red of Lancaster. On Palm Sunday, March 29 in 1461, the two armies met on a field near Towton, in Yorkshire. They fought the climactic battle of the Wars of the Roses, contesting the succession to the throne of England. Whoever lost the battle would be outlawed, to lose his lands and probably his life; the armies would fight to the death.

[From Blood Red Roses: The Archaeology of a Mass Grave From the Battle of Towton AD 1461 edited by Veronica Fiorato, Anthea Boylston, and Christopher Knusel. Oxbow Books, 2000.]

At Towton, in the bloodiest battle of the war, the Yorkists won a complete victory. The first phase of the fighting was over, except for the reduction of a few pockets of Lancastrian resistance. [from EncBrit]

        Our boots and clothes are all in pawn
        Go down, you blood red roses, Go down.
        And its flamin' drafty 'round Cape Horn,
        Go down, you blood red roses, Go down.

                Cho: Oh, you pinks and posies,
                    Go down, you blood red roses, Go down.

No one knows the chantey (my favorite, BTW) refers to this war/battle but it seems to be a good bet that it does.

Early warning notice: This series of the Happy File noncontinues beginning April 16.
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