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Raising the Shires for King Edward

Originally a Lancastrian, Sir William Norreys changed his allegiance to King Edward IV after the Battle of Towton. Sir William commanded the men raised in the the Midlands by Lord Hastings to support King Edward when he returned from exile in 1471.


Inspired by my recent Wars of the Roses game, I decided to raise the Midlands levy myself. As non-professional soldiers they are not particularly well accoutred. I have given them a relatively drab non-uniform look with shades of ‘Lincoln green’ predominating.


Apart from the rather fine man at arms carrying Sir William’s banner, most men are unarmoured or wear only padded aketons and helmets for protection. I decided to paint all armour as black iron rather than polished or painted. This is probably how most armour of the time would have appeared. A couple of better equipped men wear Norreys’ white livery with a raven-head badge. They represent his personal retainers.


The figures are mostly Perry, both metal and plastic, from their Wars of the Roses and Agincourt ranges. Those from the Agincourt range look rather out of date for 1471 however I don’t imagine the shire levies were the most dedicated followers of fashion. There are also a couple of Foundry figures (those in livery) and the officer of archers is Front Rank.


This is Sir William Norreys’ banner which I copied, printed and over-painted. Then I ragged it to give it a weathered effect.


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