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An extract from Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 2
by Ian Heath


John Longstrother Lieutenant-Turcopolier of the Hospital by 1448, Castellan of Rhodes by 1453 and Grand Commander of Cyprus in 1467 became Grand Prior of England in 1469 and was made Treasurer of the kingdom by King Edward IV, against whom he subsequently fought at the Battle of Tewkesbury in 1471, commanding an element of the Lancastrian centre. The picture from which this figure is taken is in a ms. of c.1485, depicting the execution of Longstrother and other prisoners after the battle, and is of interest in that the Grand Prior is depicted wearing the black sleeveless mantle of 45 over his armour rather than the red supraveste of 44. This exception to normal practice is probably explained by the fact that Longstrother was fighting at Tewkesbury in the capacity of a secular lord rather than as a bailiff of the Hospital of St John, circumstances under which the wearing of the Order’s battle-dress would not have been authorised.

[Based on the Execution of Somerset and Langstrother in 'Histoire de la rentrée victorieuse du roi Edouard IV en son royaume d'Angleterre, 1471'. Brugge, southern Netherlands. Ghent University Library, Hs 236, f.7v.]

Other extracts by Ian Heath:
43. Knight Hospitaller, 14th century
44. Knight Hospitaller, 1480
45. Knight Hospitaller In Habit, 15th century
Next: 47. Rhodian Greek Militiaman, 14th-15th centuries
48. Flags Of The Knights Of Rhodes

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