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How long the battle of Bosworth actually last?

The Wikipedia article on the Battle of Bosworth Field doesn't say anything about how long the battle lasted.

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    Please share your preliminary research. – yannis Oct 1 '17 at 16:02
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    How are we supposed to answer "how long?" You should ask whether the battle lasted minutes, hours, days, or weeks, and tell why you think one of the headings is correct. Example: "My research shows that the battle took place on August 22, 1485. Does that mean that it lasted the whole day?" – Tom Au Oct 1 '17 at 20:21
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For many, 22 August 1485 remains one of the key dates in British history. Yet what exactly took place in the early hours of the morning (the battle was over by noon) still remains tantalisingly elusive. BBC Extra

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    Well, I guess that takes it down to less than 12 hours. 6 if we assume the battle would not have started before dawn. – T.E.D. Oct 2 '17 at 13:57
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More than two hours, or about 2 hours, seems to be the accepted estimated duration of the battle. There is little doubt that the battle was decided before midday, though the pursuit of the remnants Richard III's fleeing army continued for several more hours at least.


The only contemporary or near contemporary source which appears to say anything about this is Polydore Vergil (c. 1470 to 1555). In his Anglica Historia (drafted in 1513 but not published until 1534), he wrote that

...the fight lasted more than two houres.

(my emphasis)

Other sources, such as Crowland Chronicle and the chronicler Jean Molinet, make no mention of the duration of the battle according to Glenn Foard in Bosworth Battlefield: A Reassessment. Foard also surmises that

it might have been as late as 9:00 [AM] before the two armies engaged.

in which case the battle was over by midday at the latest.

John Ashdown-Hill, in The last days of Richard III and the fate of his DNA gives the earlier end time of around 10am, this based on the assumption that the battle started at around 8am (so he seems to accept Vergil's time).

Christopher Gravett in Bosworth 1485: The last Charge of the Plantagenets (2005) and Chis Skidmore in Bosworth: The Birth of the Tudors (2013) also cite Vergil's 'two hours' without casting any doubt on it.

Polydore Vergil's two hours (or more) is certainly believable in the context of medieval battles. He cites the Battle of Patay (1429) as lasting 3 hours, while (other) contemporary sources give the duration of the Battle of Agincourt (1415) as two to three hours.

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