CUMBERLAND-L ArchivesArchiver > CUMBERLAND > 1998-03 > 0890074097
From: "robsonp" <>
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 18:48:17 -0000
Please bear with me whilst I pass on a little bit of old English history
which has nothing to do with Cumberland.
At the battle of Towton on 28 March 1461 (part of the Wars of the Roses)
Lord Dacre of Gilsland took off his helmet to relieve pressure on his head.
He was at once recognised by a young member of the York army whose father he
had previously killed. The boy seeing him immediately shot an arrow which
went into Lord Dacre's head and killed him.
For many years the top of a cross (known as Lord Dacre's cross) lay buried
in the hedgerow but eventually it was erected as a memorial to the battle of
Towton. It still stands to this day. Historians point out however that it
had no connection with Lord Dacre probably being a relic from a chapel which
Richard III established at Towton.
Apparently old legend has it that at the battle of Towton the blood ran
everywhere made more conspicious by the fact that there was snow on the
ground. That night there was a frost and the blood froze on the snow. Dwarf
roses with white petals and a red spot used to cover the battlefield area
but by the end of the 19th Century they had virtually disappeared.
The following sums it up pretty well - there are more verses but I won't
bore you with them suffice to say that they couldn't have picked a more
bleak place to have a battle than Towton Moor.
Oh, the red and white rose, upon Towton Moor it grows,
And red and white it blows upon that swarthe for evermore,
In memorial of the slaughter, when the red blood ran like water,
And the victors gave no quarter in the fight from Towton Moor.
(Yorkshire Battlefields by Ivan E Broadhead)
The above is from the book, the next bit is from memory but I am sure that
Lord Dacre is buried at Saxton Church and his horse is buried with him.
So the name Dacre is certainly well known in this part of the world.