Battle of Ferrybridge
Part of Wars of the Roses
Roses-Lancaster victory
Date 28 March 1461
Location Ferrybridge in Yorkshire, England
53°42′45″N 1°16′25″W / 53.7125, -1.27361Coordinates: 53°42′45″N 1°16′25″W / 53.7125, -1.27361
Result Indecisive
Yorkshire rose House of York Lancashire rose House of Lancaster
Commanders and leaders
Neville Warwick Arms Richard Neville of Warwick Clifford Coat of Arms John Clifford  
Neville arms John Neville
Unknown Unknown
Casualties and losses
3000 Unknown

The Battle of Ferrybridge, 28 March 1461, was a preliminary engagement between the houses of York and Lancaster before the larger battle of Towton, during the period known as the Wars of the Roses.[1]

After proclaiming himself king, Edward IV gathered together a large force and marched north towards the Lancastrian position behind the Aire River in Yorkshire. On 27 March the Earl of Warwick (leading the vanguard) forced a crossing at Ferrybridge, bridging the gaps (the Lancastrians having previously destroyed it) with planks. In the process he lost many men, both to the freezing winter water and to the frequent hail of arrows coming from a small but determined Lancastrian force on the other side. Once the crossing was managed and the Lancastrians seen off, Warwick had his men repair the bridge while camp was established on the north side of the river.

Early next morning the Yorkists were ambushed by a large party of Lancastrians under Sir John Clifford and John, Lord Neville (Warwick’s half-great-uncle). Completely surprised and confused Warwick’s forces suffered many losses. Warwick’s second-in-command at camp, Lord FitzWalter was mortally wounded while trying to rally his men (he died a week later). The Bastard of Salisbury, Warwick's half-brother was slain and in the process of retreating the Earl of Warwick himself was injured, struck by an arrow in the leg. Jean de Wavrin states that nearly 3000 men perished in the fighting.

After the battle Edward arrived with his main army and together Warwick and Edward returned to the bridge to find it in ruins. Warwick sent his uncle, Lord Fauconberg with the Yorkist cavalry upstream to where they crossed the ford at Castleford and pursued Lord Clifford. Fauconberg pursued Lord Clifford, in sight of the main Lancastrian army and defeated him after a fierce struggle. Clifford was killed by an arrow in the throat, having unaccountably removed the piece of armour that should have protected this area of his body.[2]


  1. ^ Christopher Gravett, Towton 1461:England's Bloodiest Battle, (Osprey, 2003), 32-39
  2. ^ Christopher Gravett, Towton 1461:England's Bloodiest Battle, 38.

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Battle of Ferrybridge. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.


 FatherMotherDeath dateAge at death
John Clifford, 9th Baron de Clifford (1435-1461)Thomas Clifford, 8th Baron de Clifford (1414-1455)Joan Dacre (c1418-bef1455)28 March 1461 JL26
Battle of Ferrybridge military event 1