The Battle of Blore Heath was the first major battle in the English Wars of the Roses. It was fought on 23 September 1459, at Blore Heath in Staffordshire, two miles east of the town of Market Drayton in Shropshire, England.
After the First Battle of St Albans in 1455, an uneasy peace held in England. Attempts at reconciliation between the houses of Lancaster and York enjoyed marginal success. However, both sides became increasingly wary of each other and by 1459 were actively recruiting armed supporters. The Queen (Margaret of Anjou) continued to raise support for the King (Henry VI) amongst noblemen, distributing an emblem of a silver swan to her supporters, whilst the Yorkist command under the Duke of York was finding plenty of anti-royal support despite the severe punishment for raising arms against the King.
The Yorkist force based at Middleham Castle in Yorkshire (led by the Earl of Salisbury) needed to link up with the main Yorkist army at Ludlow Castle in Shropshire. As Salisbury marched south-west through the Midlands the Queen ordered Lord Audley to raise a force to intercept them.