Sir Andrew Trollope, (d. 1461)September 22, 2010 1 Comment
Having acquired a reputation for courage and skill in the French wars, Sir Andrew Trollope was perhaps the most famous professional soldier in England at the start of the WARS OF THE ROSES.
Although Jean de Waurin claimed Trollope was of lower class origins, little is known of his early life. Trollope fought with distinction in Normandy in the 1440s, returning to England in 1450 after the surrender of Falaise. By 1453, he was in CALAIS, holding an appointment as sergeant-porter of the garrison. When Richard NEVILLE, earl of Warwick, who had been captain of Calais since 1456, brought part of the garrison to England to support Richard PLANTAGENET, duke of York, in 1459,Trollope came with him.
On the night of 12 October 1459 at the Battle of LUDFORD BRIDGE, Trollope accepted HENRY VI’s offer of pardon and switched sides, bringing the Calais garrison with him into the Lancastrian camp. Because Trollope was privy to all York’s plans, the duke’s position became untenable, and the Yorkist leaders fled the field during the night. In November, Trollope accompanied Henry BEAUFORT, duke of Somerset, to Calais, where the duke tried unsuccessfully to wrest the town from Warwick. After receiving news of Warwick’s capture of Henry VI at the Battle of NORTHAMPTON in July 1460, Somerset and Trollope surrendered their stronghold at Guisnes and withdrew into FRANCE. Trollope was in northern England by December, when he and Somerset led the Lancastrian force that defeated and killed York at the Battle of WAKEFIELD.
Trollope was also one of the leaders of the unruly Lancastrian force that surged south from Wakefield to defeat Warwick at the Battle of ST. ALBANS on 17 February 1461 (see MARCH ON LONDON). After the battle, which reunited Henry VI with his family, the king knighted his son Prince EDWARD OF LANCASTER, who in turn knighted Trollope. Sir Andrew supposedly joked that he did not deserve the honor, having killed only fifteen men due to a foot injury inflicted by a caltrop (i.e., a pointed, metal, anticavalry device). After the Battle of St. Albans, Trollope withdrew with the Lancastrian army into Yorkshire, where he died six weeks later at the Battle of TOWTON.
Further Reading: Boardman, Andrew W., The Battle of Towton (Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK: Sutton Publishing, 1996); Haigh, Philip A., The Military Campaigns of the Wars of the Roses (Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK: Sutton Publishing, 1995).