28th March 1461
The crossing on the river Aire at Ferrybridge was to play host to an event that would eventually lead to the more famous Battle of Towton a day later. By the time dusk had arrived on the 27th, Richard Earl of Warwick, had reached Ferrybridge and found the Lancastrian forces on the Aires other bank had made a good job of destroying the bridge, this had the effect of cutting off Warwick’s vanguard. A small Yorkist force had left while Warwick’s men had made another ‘bridge’ out of planks of wood. Edward was still south of the river had recently received word of the arrival of a large number of Lancastrian soldiers under the command of the Duke of Somerset who had set up camp between the villages of Towton and Saxton.
The morning of the 28th of March saw Warwick’s army taken by surprise by Lancastrian soldiers and in the confusion and panic many of Warwick's troops lost their lives, and it was at this point, that Richard Neville had been hit in the leg by an archers arrow. Edward Hall, the fifteenth century chronicler, does write of Warwick’s leg wound, but has him heroically riding to inform the king of the battle and then has him nobly cutting the throat of his horse to prove his commitment. It is unlikely that Warwick did such a thing, but it does show how committed these men were to a cause.
Edwards forces succeeded in taking possession of the bridge, and once this was done the king moved his army across the river and prepared to take on the Lancastrian forces the following day.