Yorkists Take Back Control and Force Henry into Exile – May 4, 1471

The Lancastrian forces, reduced greatly by the loss at Barnet three weeks earlier, were no match for Edward IV’s army at the Battle of Tewkesbury. Edward not only won the battle but also managed to kill Henry VI’s son and sole heir, Prince Edward of Lancaster. Henry VI was taken prisoner and executed May 21, 1471. Jasper and Henry fled Pembroke Castle, heading east to the harbor town of Tenby, and hiring a boat to take them to France where King Louis XI would support them. Rough weather forced them off course and they landed in the independent French duchy of Brittany instead. Duke Francis welcomed them to his palace of Château de l’Hermine. Although they lived comfortably, Henry was in constant fear that the Duke would buckle to Edward IV’s pressure to turn him and his uncle Jasper over to England.