The opening years of the fifteenth century saw one of the most bitterly contested political and military convulsions in the history of the British Isles, a conflict that is too-often overlooked by military historians. Henry IV, who had overthrown and probably murdered his predecessor Richard II, fought a protracted and bloody campaign against the most powerful nobles in the land. This war is the subject of John Barratt's gripping study.The Percy family, the 'Kings of the North', and their most famous leader Sir Henry Percy - 'Hotspur',whose fiery nature and military prowess were immortalized by Shakespeare - stood out against Henry's rule. And the beleagured king also had to contend with a range of other unrelenting opponents, among them Owain Glyn Dwr, who led the Welsh revolt against English supremacy. In this graphic account of the first, deeply troubled years of Henry IV's reign, John Barratt concentrates on the warfare, in particular on the setpiece pitched battles fought at Homildon Hill, Pilleth and Shrewsbury. His story brings to life the embittered politics and the personal and family enmities that gave rise to armed conflict.
And he describes in vivid detail the tactics and fighting methods of the day, which were dominated by the devastating power of the English longbow.