By David Alan Johnson King Edward IV could not have asked for better news. On the evening of May 3, 1471, his scouts reported that the army of his Lancastrian archrival, Queen Margaret of Anjou, was camped a few miles south of the abbey town of Tewkesbury with its back to the River Severn. Edward, the former Earl of March and son of the Duke of York, had been hunting Queen Margaret’s force for over a week. The queen had returned to England on April 14, landing at Weymouth in Dorset after eight years of exile in France. She was met by supporters of her husband, the feeble-minded Henry VI, including Edward Beaufort, Duke of Somerset. Somerset advised Margaret to fight Edward, who was keeping her husband prisoner in the Tower of London. But Somerset realized that he did not have enough men to march on London and face the king. First, Somerset advised, it would be necessary to travel to Wales and join forces with Jasper Tudor, the Earl of Pembroke, an enemy of Edward and an almost legendary figure in Welsh history. (He was also the uncle of Henry Tudor, who would become Henry VII.) During this “royal progress,” Margaret and Somerset would also be able to pick up as much support as possible for their army, which would be indispensable in the coming battle with Edward. The queen began moving northward toward the Welsh border, gathering recruits along the way. Margaret Joines Forces with Jasper Tudor On April 23, Edward learned that Margaret had arrived in England and tha


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