Date: 25th April, 1464
Location: Hedegeley Moor, near Scottish border, 9 miles NW of Alnwick
Factions: York vs Lancaster
Troops/inventory: York - 5,000 - 6,000 men-at-arms
Injuries/fatalities of interest: York:
Lancaster - 5,000
Interesting bit: Everyone knows that it is poignant as well as clever
to utter some famous last words when facing death. It is normally a good
idea if a witness to your death knows what those words mean. As Sir Ralph
Percy received his final death blow on the battlefield at Hedgeley Moor, he
yelled out "I have saved the bird in my bosom." Speculators have assumed
that it was a reference to Percy's loyalty to the Lancastrian cause, but as
such, the meaning of the phrase is unknown. Percy is also said to have made
a final bid for freedom and leapt an impressive 12 yards after being struck.
For someone who was mortally wounded and dressed in full armour, this is
quite a feat. The site of Percy's leap is now marked by two boulders.