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"Livery banners for the Wars of the Roses" Topic

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Warspite109 Nov 2020 3:20 a.m. PST

This is a personal project of mine to create flag sheets in Photoshop for the so-called Wars of the Roses. WOTR is a term which I hate, but there you go!

This one:


1) Livery banner of Richard, Duke of York, killed at the Battle of Wakefield 1460. The falcon in a fetterlock was his personal badge. This copy was taken from a contemporary stained glass window.

2) Livery banner of Sir William Stanley, fought at Bosworth in 1485 but executed in the 1490s after supporting Perkin Warbeck.

3) Livery banner of Viscount Lovell, fought at Bosworth 1485, Stoke Field 1487 but disappeared after that. May have fled to Scotland. "The Cat, the Rat and Lovell the Dog rule all England under the Hog". This is the dog, his badge on his known livery colours.

4) The main banner of Sir William Stanley. It is the coat of arms of the Stanleys with a difference (crescent moon in black) to indicate cadency. His elder brother Sir Thomas used the same but without the crescent cadency mark.

1) to 3) are speculative by me but based on known colours and designs.

This one:


1) The main banner of the Howard, Duke of Norfolk who was killed at Bosworth in 1485.

2) The main banner of Viscount Francis Lovell. Fought at Bosworth 1485, Stoke Field 1487 but disappeared after that. May have fled to Scotland.

3) + 4) French "the cross of St Denis' probable national flag of French troops at Bosworth in 1485.

3) and 4) are based on known examples. Only the white cross is important, the backing colour may vary. Red and Blue are known on banners and livery jackets shown in manuscripts and I think I have seen green.

This one:


1) Livery banner of Howard, Duke of Norfolk, killed at Bosworth in 1485. Speculative but based on known designs. The only confusion we have is that Howard senior is recorded as using black for his household livery clothing while his long standard (shown in Osprey's Wars of the Roses plate G) suggests that his troops wore red. This may be further confirmed by the Pastons, his tenants, also turning out in red.
Other wargames flag suppliers show Norfolk using red over white but I believe that is a confusion with his son (Earl of Surrey) and may stem from a misreading of Standards, Badges and Livery Colours of the Wars of the Roses by Pat McGill and Jonathan Jones. On page 39 this clearly states: "a lion rampant argent" and livery as gules (red). It then unfortunately cross refs to colour image 36 which is his son the Earl of Surrey who DID use red over white. Thus the wrong image has been copied.

2) Entirely fake on my part. Martin Schwartz, commander of the 'Swiss' (probably German) troops at Stoke Field. The one company supplying flags for Stoke Field offers a Holy Roman Empire flag for Schwartz. I think this is improbable as the Swiss and the HRE were enemies. Thinking laterally, his name is Schwartz (black) so I gave him a black banner with a white monogram M for Martin. He could also carry a banner of St Martin as that was his name saint.

3) + 4) Variations on a theme. Richard III's white boar on blue and claret (murrey) with a field of white roses en soleil on sunbursts.

Note my comments on the Duke of Norfolk's livery colours as I believe a book has been misread by several flag suppliers. Osprey 145 on WOTR is the only one to get it right.


Garryjohnuk09 Nov 2020 6:30 a.m. PST

Nice work Warspite1.
But just to let you know all your holiday snaps are on the links too


Warspite109 Nov 2020 9:34 a.m. PST

Thank you.
Yes, I am aware. It is my main Flickr profile.

All the Wars of the Roses pictures are gathered here:
and include battlefields, re-enactors, castles, Tussauds at Warwick Castle and some wargaming.


Personal logo Unlucky General Supporting Member of TMP09 Nov 2020 11:57 a.m. PST

A very useful and well thought through set of plates. Thanks for your efforts. I've saved them myself and will no doubt use them whenever I get back to my WOTR army. Thank you very much for posting. This is what makes our hobby so internationally collegiate and this forum and those like it so useful. Much appreciated and well done.

Porthos09 Nov 2020 12:35 p.m. PST

Wonderful, thank you ! I also saved them, they will certainly be very useful !

Warspite109 Nov 2020 1:10 p.m. PST

@Unlucky General:

Thank you both. Bear in mind that some are speculative where marked and in the case of Martin Schwartz downright fictitious.


Swampster09 Nov 2020 11:57 p.m. PST

I doubt that Schwartz would have carried the Imperial flag, but he had been employed by Maximillian a year earlier and Margaret of Burgundy was paying Schwartz.

There are Swiss pictures of Swiss soldiers in Max's service carrying standards with a Burgundian cross.

Fenman10 Nov 2020 1:40 a.m. PST

Some of the holiday snaps are
Norfolk, Wells-Next-The-Sea. I live just down the road!

Warspite110 Nov 2020 3:44 a.m. PST

@ Fenman: "I live just down the road!"

So do I, I'm actually about 12 miles away with an ex-WW1 Royal Flying Corps portable building in my back garden. 103 years old and needs a bit of work (as do I).

I assume that you missed my earlier TMP appeal for local (North West Norfolk) opponents?

barry (dot) slembo (at) gmail (dot) com if you are interested in making contact – and can decode what I just wrote. It keeps the robots from scanning my address!


Warspite110 Nov 2020 3:46 a.m. PST

I was tempted by the Burgundian connection.
As I am doing all command bases with two flags or banners I may go with my home-made monogram M for one and the Burgundian for the other.

Thank you for reminding me.


Swampster10 Nov 2020 9:45 a.m. PST

I garbled what I meant at the end
It should be….
There are Swiss pictures of soldiers in Max's service carrying standards with a Burgundian cross which might be useful. (They aren't _carried_ by Swiss in the pictures though). The flags are more varied than the usual ones you see.

However, it is right that there were Swiss fighting for Max in his war over the Burgundian inheritance. Seems Martin Schwartz was rather full of himself and Max was glad to pass him on to someone else.

Warspite110 Nov 2020 10:31 a.m. PST

I am just pondering alternatives including a Burgundian saltire and an image of St.Martin, the warrior saint who cut his cloak in half for a beggar.


Warspite111 Nov 2020 6:26 a.m. PST

I am much persuaded by your argument of the Burgundian cross for Martin Schwartz at Stoke Field:


I have also added a manuscript image of St Martin as a 'name saint banner' and repeated the monogram M slightly larger. There is further discussion under the image on Flickr.

My sincere thanks to Swampster.


Charlie11 Nov 2020 9:42 a.m. PST

@ Swampster

Do you have a link to the artwork featuring Maximilian's Swiss with Burgundian crosses?

Swampster11 Nov 2020 10:37 a.m. PST

@Charlie – sorry, I noted above that I had to change what I put. I put Swiss in the sentence too many times! They are Swiss pictures of Max's men, though apart from a red cross instead of white, you can't see much difference. e.g
which is from the Swabian War, so about a dozen years later than Stoke.
The style of gear changes through the course of the Chronicle, so although it was finished in 1513, I think it gives a reasonable guide to some of the look though certainly not infallible.

On a side note, the same source has Margaret of Burgundy leading some of her troops in c. 1507 at Geldern. Interesting as there as so few illustrations I have found of 'Burgundian' rather than general Imperial troops from this date. It could well be a good portrayal – the armour isn't too different to that shown for the 1470s but the clothes are more early 16th century.
It would also give a good excuse for having a female 'general' for my Burgundians.

Warspite111 Nov 2020 11:27 a.m. PST

A fascinating set of images.
I see on a previous page a whole new interpretation of being broken on a wheel – the unfortunate person was tied to the ground with stakes and was being broken WITH a wheel.


Swampster14 Nov 2020 3:31 p.m. PST

Just checked out your St Martin. I'm guessing you based it on an icon or similar.
Have you seen this one?
I doubt it had a military use it could well have been created for the drapers, which might explain his civilian dress but does show the type of image that might be used in the 15th century.
Quite handy that they show both sides, confirming that the image is the seen (except the facial expressions!). Some flags of the period could have different sides.

I'm more familiar with the banners showing St Martin on horseback the military presumably liked his martial links, even though a significant part of the story is that he eventually refused to fight. (They presumably justified this as not fighting for a pagan Emperor, but he didn't return to the army once Julian was dead).
I rather like the couple of 15th century ones from Sweden here
(and as an aside, there is a great mural of an angel clouting a devil on the head. Just need an excuse to put that on a flag).

Warspite115 Nov 2020 2:16 a.m. PST

I saw several but I went for the one I chose as it is full length and it shows the 'story' of cutting the cloak.
It is also very cartoonish in style which I think suits a painted banner.

No 1 here:
If anyone missed it.

I would stress this is fake but not unlikely.


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