John Egerton

Male 1404 - 1459  (55 years)

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  • Name John Egerton 
    Born 1404  Egerton, Cheshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 23 Sep 1459 
    • Battle Of Bloreheath, , Staffordshire, England
    Person ID I12067  My Genealogy
    Last Modified 10 Feb 2020 

    Father Phillip Egerton,   b. 1362, Egerton, Cheshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1446  (Age 84 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Matilda Malpas,   b. 1377, Hampton Heath, Cheshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Relationship natural 
    Married 1 Sep 1403 
    Family ID F4072  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Margaret Fitton,   b. 1408, Cheshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 1429  Egerton, Cheshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Philip Egerton,   b. 1430, Egerton, Cheshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1474  (Age 44 years)  [natural]
    Last Modified 10 Feb 2020 
    Family ID F3966  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • "An Old Battlefield" Transcript of a document from St Mary's church in Mucklestone To the traveller - cyclist or pedestrian - few places present more diversified, quiet, rural scenery than the borderland of Cheshire, Shropshire, and Staffordshire, which rivals the sylvan beauties of Warwickshire and its neighbouring counties. But whilst this district can boast of classic Stratford, of romantic Kenilworth, of ancient Coventry and Warwick, and their many delightful associations, the locality of which I write has, comparatively speaking, few such names to recommend it to the imaginative mind. In that way its record cannot be considered a brilliant one. In England's battles, however, Cheshire has done bold service in defence of king and country, and it was chiefly from the yeomen of Cheshire and Shropshire that Lord Audley drew his army of 10,000 men, and gave battle to the enemies of his sovereign, King Henry VI. This was in the autumn of 1459. The struggle for supremacy between the two rival houses of York and Lancaster had commenced in the month of May four years previously. When the country round St Albans was decked out in all the pageantry of early summer, and luxuriant growth of wood and flowers beautified the earth, wild internecine war waged in the hitherto sleepy town hard [sic] by, and its streets ran with the best blood of the land. Four autumns had come and gone, and a fifth was replendent with yellowing limes and chestnuts, and on the heath the gorse blossomed fitfully, when the rival factions met again. This time the battlefield was Bloreheath, in the North of Staffordshire, close to the Shropshire borderland. From Eccleshall the Queen - the beautiful, high-spirited, though unfortunate Margaret of Anjou - and her Council issued orders to Lord Audley, commanding him to intercept the Earl of Salisbury, who was marching from Middleham, in Yorkshire, to join the Earl of Warwick and the Duke of York at Ludlow. The latter claimed the throne in opposition to Henry VI, who now held the crown, was a descendant of John of Gaunt, a younger son of Edward III. The road from the ancient town of Newcastle-under-Lyme, is undulating, and the country through which it passes is pleasantly interesting. Some miles from the town there is a stiff climb up the fir-covered Blore Edge, from which the battlefield is not three miles distant. The village of Loggerheads lies below, with its inn displaying an odd sign, "The Three Loggerheads". Beyond is the battlefield. On the left of the road is to be seen Cross Field, and about the middle of it is a stone coross, apparently of very ancient date, which marks the spot where fell the Lancastrian leader, Lord Audley. it is much dilapidated and time-stained, and the inscription upon it is very difficult to decipher. It reads thus: On this spot was fought the Battle of Bloreheath in 1459 Lord Audley who commanded for the side of Lancaster, was defeated and slain. To perpetuate the memory of the action and the place this ancient monument was repaired in 1765 At the charge of the Lord of the Manor Charles Boothby Schrymsher On the far side of the cross a narrow valley stretches east and west. At the bottom of it a fussy little brook babbles through a verdant flowery croft, lazily rejoicing in having nothing to do but chatter. It is called Hemp Mill Brook, for in days long since [gone] it hurried along to turn the wheel of a hemp mill close by. It attained an unwanted degree of importance - never since realised - the day it formed the boundary line between the armies of the two factions about to engage in mortal combat. the remains of a miniature dam may still be seen and the foundations of the hemp mill clearly traced. the millrace, too, is there, and the mill cottage, now a farm. stands close by with a plank bridge leading to it, and a garden, rich in flowering plants and perfume, surrounding it. The homely quiet of the place contrasts strongly with the bustle and din, and the clanging of weapons and accoutrements that must have obtained on a Sunday morning four and a half centuries ago. It was close to the hemp mill where the thickest of the fight was and the noisy rivulet ran blood for three months - so the country people say. This is, of course, an absurd tale but the exaggeration is perhaps pardonable. Accounts of the awful carnage would be handed down through many generations - each succeeding decade finding the details more and more harrowing. Lord Audley chose a very strong position on the rising ground south of the stream, but he indiscreetly allowed himself, by the old trick of a feigned retreat on the part of his opponents, to be cheated of his advantage. He crossed the stream in pursuit of the retreating Yorkists, but on the opposite slope paid the penalty with his life for his rashness deceived by the tactics of the wily enemy. The battle was lost, and many brave Cheshire yeoman knight and esquires lay dead upon the marsh. Bloreheath no longer exists. It is enclosed and comforable farmsteads may be seen, here and there, dotting what was once a wide stretch of moorland. As I passed along the road which branches to the right, almost opposite the "The Three Loggerheads", I overtook a countryman. We fell into conversation. Up the hillside to the right lay a large whitewashed dwelling, and after pointing this place out as having been the scene of the blood-curdling murder of a rich man whose property was coverted by others, he went on to tell the popular legend of the old battlefield. Almost every place has its ancient tradition, to be had for the seeking, and the tale, substantially the same, was afterwards detailed to me more than once. Far away back these legends have their roots, and the growth of centuries clings tenaciously to them. Whether true in all details or not matters little. It may be well not to inquire too closely into this particular tradition, and after all, perhaps in regard to matters of this kind the practice of a little self-deception is a harmless sort of luxury. H.F. probably had his conversation on the Loggerheads to Mucklestone road. Therefore it is likely that the house which H.F. refers to is White House Farm, still present to this day on the hill roughly north-east of Loggerheads, and visible from miles around. It is said that Queen Margaret watched the battle from Mucklestone Church - the spire of which we could see half-hidden amongst the trees which clothe the slope of the Blore Edge. When the battle was over the Queen fled over the Heath towards Newcastle, having first taken the precaution to get her horse's shoes reversed in order that the soft turf might not betray the course of her flight. The smith, whose name was Skelhorn, lived near the church, and the smithy, now a wheel-wright's shop, is still pointed out by the villagers. Until lately, comparatively speaking, the house was occupied by a family of the same name. They claimed descent from the man who assisted the escape of a queen, just as two hundred years afterwards the Penderils found means of escape for a future king. Apart from its interesting associations, Mucklestone is a charming little village. The outlook from the church tower is very grand. A noble pine wood stretches down from the summit of Blore Edge, intercepting the view which was once to be had of the battlefield. About three miles to the west is the delightfully quaint old town of Market Drayton, with its ancient black-and-white timbered houses, which, could they speak, would tell of many a dying straggler from the bloody field who found quiet and protection within their friendly walls. H.F. circa 1870 The Battle of Blore Heath was the first major battle in the English Wars of the Roses and was fought on September 23, 1459, at Blore Heath in Staffordshire, two miles east of the town of Market Drayton in Shropshire, England. Background After the First Battle of St Albans in 1455, an uneasy peace held in England. Attempts at reconciliation between the houses of Lancaster and York enjoyed marginal success. However, both sides became increasingly wary of each other and by 1459 were actively recruiting armed supporters. The Queen (Margaret of Anjou) continued to raise support for the King (Henry VI) amongst noblemen, distributing an emblem of a silver swan to her supporters; whilst the Yorkist command under Richard, Duke of York was finding plenty of anti-royal support despite the severe punishment for raising arms against the King. The Yorkist force based at Middleham Castle in Yorkshire (led by Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury) needed to link up with the main Yorkist army at Ludlow Castle in Shropshire. As Salisbury marched south-west through the Midlands the Queen ordered James Touchet, Lord Audley to raise a force to intercept them. [edit] The battle Audley chose the barren heathland of Blore Heath to set up an ambush. On the morning of the 23 September 1459 (Saint Thecla's day), a force of some 6-12,000 men took up a defensive position behind a 'great hedge' on the south-western edge of Blore Heath facing the direction of Newcastle-under-Lyme to the north-east, the direction from which Salisbury was approaching. Yorkist scouts spotted Lancastrian banners visible over the top of a hedge and immediately warned Salisbury. As they emerged from the woodland, the Yorkist force of some 3-6,000 men realized that a much larger enemy force was awaiting their arrival. Salisbury immediately arranged his men into battle order, just out of range of the Lancastrian archers. To secure his right flank, he arranged the supply wagons in a defensive laager, a circular formation to provide cover to the men on that flank. Fearing a rout, Yorkist soldiers are reported to have kissed the ground beneath them, supposing that this would be the ground on which they would meet their deaths. The two armies were separated by about 300 metres on the barren heathland. A steep-sided, wide and fast-flowing brook flowed between them. The brook made Audley's position seemingly inpenetrable. Initially, both leaders sought to parley in a futile attempt to avoid bloodshed. In keeping with many late medieval battles, the conflict opened with an archery duel between the longbows of both armies. At Blore Heath, this proved inconclusive because of the distance between the two sides. Salisbury, aware that any attack across the brook would be suicidal, employed a ruse to encourage the enemy to attack him. He withdrew some of his middle-order just far enough that the Lancastrians believed them to be retreating. The Lancastrians launched a cavalry charge. After they had committed themselves, Salisbury ordered his men to turn back and catch the Lancastrians as they attempted to cross the brook. It is possible that the order for this Lancastrian charge was not given by Audley but it had the effect of turning the balance in favour of Salisbury. The charge resulted in heavy casualties for the Lancastrians. The Lancastrians withdrew, and then made a second assault, possibly attempting to rescue casualties. This second attack was more successful with many Lancastrians crossing the brook. This led to a period of intense fighting in which Audley himself was killed, possibly by Sir Roger Kynaston of Stocks near Ellesmere. The death of Audley meant that Lancastrian command devolved on to the second-in-command John Sutton, 1st Baron Dudley who ordered an attack on foot with some 4,000 men. As this attack also failed, some 500 Lancastrians joined the enemy and began attacking their own side. At this, any remaining Lancastrian resistance collapsed and the Yorkists only had to advance to complete the rout. The rout continued through the night, with the Yorkists pursuing the fleeing enemy for miles across the countryside. Salisbury was concerned that Lancastrian reinforcements were in the vicinity and was keen to press on towards Ludlow. He made his camp on a hillside at Market Drayton, which later took his name. Salisbury employed a local friar to remain on Blore Heath throughout the night and to periodically discharge a cannon in order to deceive any proximal Lancastrians into believing that the fight was continuing. It is believed that at least 3,000 men died in the battle, with at least 2,000 of these from the Lancastrian side. Local legend says that Hempmill Brook flowed with blood for 3 days after the battle. Legend has it that Margaret of Anjou watched the battle from the spire of the church in nearby Mucklestone, before fleeing when she realised Audley was being defeated. It is said that she employed a blacksmith, William Skelhorn, to reverse the shoes on her horse to disguise her escape. The anvil from the smithy stands in the churchyard at Mucklestone to commemorate this event. A cross was erected on Blore Heath after the battle to mark the spot where Audley was slain. It was replaced with a stone cross in 1765. Audley's Cross stands on Blore Heath to this day. Audley is buried in Darley Abbey in Derbyshire. The battle is commemorated by a re-enactment each year in September at Blore Heath