Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Wars of the Roses: Earl of Oxford's Billmen and Martin Schwartz' German Crossbow Troops

Earl of Oxford's Billmen advancing
Latest Troops off the Table:  From Perry's plastic European Mercenaries, I painted these based on the livery of John De Vere,  Earl of Oxford, and ally of Henry Tudor.  Oxford rallied to the Tudor banner, having fought against both Edward and Richard previously during the Wars of the Roses. 

The movement tray is simply cardboard covered in sand and flocked.  I added
washers for weight and to give the magnets on the bases
 something on which to cling
At Bosworth, he held Henry's left flank against Norfolk, and was appointed Lord Admiral and Captain of the Yeoman of the Guard upon Henry's taking the crown.  (He also dabbled in privateering during his exile in the 1470's).  Oxford was probably one of Henry's most trusted lords, commanding the van at Stoke during the Lambert Simnal affair and again leading troops against the pretender Perkin Warbeck at Blackheath.

Several of the billmen wear the Oxford livery and star badge, also depicted on one of the two flags.  The smaller pennant is Devere's personal banner, with the blue boar and stars.  I painted both of these on linen for the flags.  Not as detailed as decals, but I like the fabric texture it gives to the banners.

I also include a movement tray of German Crossbow companies under an Imperial banner.  Over 1,500 Germans, 2,000 Swiss and 5,000 Irish Kerns fought under the German mercenary, Martin Schwartz at the battle of Stoke.  Schwartz was probably recruited by Margaret of Anjou (as she recognized Perkin Warbeck as the heir, Edward).  Schwartz joined John De La Poole, The Earl of Lincoln in the Warbeck conspiracy.  So I need to repaint my Burgundian handgunners as Swiss, must purchase some Irish Kerns and repaint my other Burgundian infantry in the livery of Stafford (who accompanied Oxford to crush Lincoln and Schwartz at Stoke.

The pavises are painted from actual German pavises I found online...but I am not sure of the actual units or cities, except the white/red and what appears to be a cedar (Augsburg).  I thought this was appropriate since Schwartz was born in in Augsburg, however what companies were actually at Stoke is up for debate.  I am not aware of any extant contracts or rolls that record that information.

The movement trays are just cardboard with magnet sheets covered with sand, pebbles, etc.  The pennant is an Imperial German pennant.  Again, conjecture, but Schwartz' last gig before the Warbeck Conspiracy was putting down rebellions in the former Burgundian holdings (as the long arm of the Holy Roman Empire), which is probably how he came to the attention of Margaret of Anjou.  It would make for a good story!
German Command:  The horn on the Herald is a paperclip with millput to make
the bell.  I used an arm from a Wargames Factory Saxon to hold it
(with a bit of pinning and a resculpt at the shoulder joint). 
The flags are glued linen and are typical of Imperial units...
not sure if they would have carried them to England..


  1. Nifty work in earthy tones that I would expect to see in the field.

  2. Excellent and realistic job on the figures, love the pavises ...

    1. Thanks. I wish I could figure out their provenance (i.e. from what city they came). Just pulled the photos off a pinterest site...

  3. Fab looking stuff - very gritty campaign look to them :)

    1. Thank you! My wife always says they look great...and then I ruin them with ink and brown washes! 😏

  4. I love your banners; they're much better than paper. I wish you'd do a tutorial.

    The same with the pavise; painting shields provides so much more character than decals.

    What did you do in the Service?

    1. Thank you! I value that coming from you ! As for my Service: Marine Infantry Officer