Military history

Fatal Colours: Towton, 1461 - England's Most Brutal Battle

Fatal Colours: Towton, 1461 - England's Most Brutal Battle

Gripping account of the Wars of the Roses battle of Towton - the most brutal day in English history.

The Battle of Towton in 1461 was unique in its ferocity and brutality, as the armies of two kings of England engaged with murderous weaponry and in appalling conditions to conclude the first War of the Roses. Variously described as the largest, longest and bloodiest battle on English soil, Towton was fought with little chance of escape and none of surrender.

Fatal Colours includes a cast of strong and compelling characters: a warrior queen, a ruthless king-making earl, even a papal legate who excommunicates an entire army.

Combining medieval sources and modern scholarship, George Goodwin colourfully recreates the atmosphere of 15th century England and chronicles the vicious in-fighting as the increasingly embittered royal factions struggle for supremacy.


Dramatis Personae: England, 1422–1450

Dramatis Personae: England, Spring 1460


Chapter 1: A Step Too Far

Chapter 2: A Great Man’s Legacy – Minority

Chapter 3: An Absence of Kingship – Majority

Chapter 4: An Absent-Minded King

Chapter 5: A Question of Honour

Chapter 6: A Queen Transformed

Chapter 7: ‘A Warwick’

Chapter 8: The Sun in Splendour

Chapter 9: A Country at War – North vs South

Chapter 10: Towton – Palm Sunday 1461

In Memoriam

Dramatis Personae: After Towton

Family Trees



Selected Places to Visit and Related Organisations


You can support our site by clicking on this link and watching the advertisement.

If you find an error or have any questions, please email us at Thank you!