Monday 14 February 2022

Bedford's Battle, Battle of Verneuil 1424 Part I, Bedford and Talbot

What follows is a republication of a very old blog post (so old I cannot remember what year it was pit together- though mu guess would be 2010) recovered on Wayback Machine that I think Hundred Years War aficionados out there might find interesting. I chose to publish it again as it focuses in on the the John, Duke of Bedfore and the importance of pageantry and accompanying symbolism during the Hundred Years War. A subject that is often misunderstood and missing on the wargames table, at least in my opinion.

Here we have Bedfords Battle for the WAB army that accompanied me to Havok! at Gripping Beast HQ, Evesham. (ED. Yep, that long ago!) The first unit I will be putting together for The Battle of Verneuil demo game will contain many of these miniatures, if not all of them. I think Simon and I have settled upon the idea of using Impetus, with some modifications, as it is probably for the good that we keep the rules simple as we are hoping to be chatting with a few folks as we play the game!

As the unit is based for WAB it gives me an opportunity to talk a little about the composition of the stands and what prompted me to paint up the miniatures in the manner that I have chosen. The mini's will be eventually be based for Impetus..... I'm thinking of 60mm by 60mm bases as this fits with other rule systems like Foundry's Medieval Warfare, and as many Medieval wargamers will know, it is not always easy to find a fellow enthusiast that plays the same rule system as one another. I will be adding another 60x60mm base in order to make the units 180mm wide as this will look much better on the tabletop and will make no difference whatsoever to the way in which the rules operate.

As you can see from the pics above featuring Bedford's stand, his heraldic attire is not in what you might expect from the third son of Henry IV and the uncle of Henry VI. As will be explained later, in an indepth introduction leading up to and including the battle, Bedford made a huge fuss of his personal Heraldic Pageantry prior to the Battle of Verneuil 1424 in a dramatic display designed to bring about strength through unity with the disparate forces he had available, from Normandy, from England and other parts of "English" France. To conjure up a sense of unity and purpose to the forces he had available. Prior to the battle Bedford was reported to be wearing a surcoat combining the white cross of France with the red cross of England in order to convey the the desired message of union between the two kingdom. Perhaps more importantly, as Regent of France for his nephew Henry VI, that he alone had the right to bear this coat of arms. I have painted him up with the white cross of France quartered with the red cross of England instead of superimposing the images as is suggested in de Waurin's account (you will hear more about this chap later). Bedford is a from Perry miniatures as are most of my collection. The actual mini is taken from their French High command at Agincourt on Foot pack and is the Duc de Orleans figure. His heraldry was beautifully sculpted on to the miniature by Michael Perry which in this case was actually an impediment to getting the effect I wanted! So, I took a Dremel to the heraldry (yep, you heard me! A Dremel) and carefully ground off his coat of arms. This was smoothed down by hand with a needle file before priming.

Next to John of Bedford stands John Talbot, known for his 
daring and martial prowess in battle. There is only one chronicle that indicates his presence at the battle (de Waurinbut I have included him as the rest of the 'cast of characters' were present and there is no reason to suppose that such an important figure would not be in amongst the action. Talbot wears his heraldic coat of arms and wields a poleaxe as appropriate to his rank and status.

The musician advancing behind Bedford and Talbot wears the Lancastrian livery of Bedford. Musicians of this type would have had a limited but important role on the battlefield, indicating where the banners were, at what pace to advance etc. It has to be said that once battle was joined they may have become superfluous during the clash of arms and din of battle.

This brings us onto the next base. Sir Henry Tilleman was given the right to bear Bedford's Heraldic banner. Tillemen was over 70 years old and had been active in the Black Prince's expedition to Spain and fought at the Battle of Najera, 1367! Bedford, by honouring Tillemen was making a deliberate link to the past and the Battle of Najera, which recalled the days of the Black Prince as a commander of renown enhancing the martial prowess of his army. Of the two other knights, one wears a surcoat and is evading a blow, perhaps as a feint, wielding his poleaxe. The other advances without bearing his arms as was often the practice of the English at that time.

Rebased for Impetus (now in the process of being rebased again!):

Sir John Fastolf is next :)


  1. I love these and they are so beautifully painted

  2. They really are nice looking figures.

    1. Cheers Ray. I'm really glad to resurrect the project. It is long over due.

  3. So impressive, something to aspire to.

  4. Damn, how I love them. STUNNING WORK!

    1. Thanks again Bartek. They are some of the miniatures I'm most happy with.


Please Feel Free to Leave a Comment