After the Yorkist victory at the Battle of Towton in 1461, the House of York wanted to remove any threat against the king, Edward IV’s reign, however there was still Lancastrian resistance against the king.
Margaret of Anjou was still determined to gain the English throne for her son, and she tried to gather support in Scotland.
The king wanted to reach an agreement with Scotland to remove the threat of a Scottish invasion, and Parliament arranged to meet a Scottish delegation in the city of York on 5 May 1464.
Due to Lancastrian activity in Northumberland and Yorkshire, John Neville, Lord Montagu was sent north with an army to meet and escort the Scottish delegates to York.
Henry Beaufort, Duke of Somerset attempted to ambush Montagu near Newcastle, but Montagu’s scouts reported seeing the Lancastrian force and he managed to evade them.
He was, however to meet a Lancastrian force at Hedgeley Moor, north of Wooler in Northumberland on 25 April 1464.
Somerset’s army held the high ground and blocked passage north. The battle started with both armies sending a hail of arrows at their enemy. As Montagu, advanced over the moorland, he was forced to halt when the Lancastrian left flank, commanded by Lord Roos and Lord Hungerford, broke rank and fled.
The entire Lancastrian force gave way as the Yorkist army advanced to their line. Sir Ralph Percy was the only Lancastrian leader to stay and fight and he made a brave stand, but without any other support, he was soon to lose his life.
The Yorkist force had won an easy victory, and following this Montagu continued north to escort the Scottish delegation to York, where a peaceful solution to invasion was negotiated.