The brother of the late Princess Diana, Charles Spencer, has written the foreword for a new book about the 1460 Battle of Northampton.

Charles, the Ninth Earl Spencer, describes the town as ‘under-appreciated’ and ‘often over-looked’ in his forward for the 166-page book, written by local historian, Mike Ingram.

Earl Spencer, a historian himself, also writes how it is a ‘joke’ that some people only know of Northamptonshire because they pass the county on the M1.

But he also points out how the county was, once, ‘one of the great centres of power’, and that the author brings ‘fine scholastic’ research to play in ‘reminding people of Northampton’s past importance’.

The foreword by Charles Spencer reads: “Northampton today is, frankly, an under-appreciated, often overlooked, town.

“The joke is, people only know of Northamptonshire because they shoot through it on the M1: they note the name of the county town on notice boards from exits 15 to 16.

“But this was, once, one of the great centres of power and influence in early and Medieval England. It was also, with Oxford, home to one of the first two universities in the land.

“Mike Ingram brings fine scholastic research to play, in reminding people of Northampton’s past importance – strategic and social. His energetic prose gives colour to every page, while his revelations intrigue and entertain. He helps us appreciate why one of the great battles of English history took place in this Midland town, and he skilfully resurrects the generals and ordinary soldiers who clashed in an engagement that helped lay the foundations of this nation’s past.

“You don’t need to be a champion or resident of Northampton to appreciate this overdue appraisal of the battle that bears its name. This is a book that everyone who loves History – particularly the almost forgotten kind – will savour.”

The book, written by medieval historian Mike Ingram and illustrated by historical artist Matthew Ryan, will be available in both printed and Kindle versions and is available via Amazon, direct from Northampton Battlefields Society and Northampton Museum.

The blurb reads: “It should have been the battle that ended Richard of York’s rebellions. With the Yorkists politically destroyed and the estates confiscated, all that remained was to carry out the punishment for treason – death.

“On 10 July 1460 King Henry VI and his army waited for the Yorkists in a heavily fortified camp in fields outside Northampton. However, they did not count on the treachery of Lord Grey of Ruthin.

“For the first time, this is the full story of the Battle of Northampton which took place during the turbulent period now known as the Wars of the Roses. It was the first and only time that a fortified camp was assaulted and was the last time protracted negotiations took place before a battle. In its immediate aftermath the House of York laid claim to the throne of England for the first time and so began the bloodiest phase of the Wars of the Roses – the war of succession.

“As well as the battle itself, the book looks at Northamptonshire’s medieval history and its involvement in the Wars of the Roses.”

If you would like to order the paperback version of the book, please visit

If you would like to order the Kindle edition, please visit

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