Friday, 28 September 2018

War of the Roses Livery Colours Database

I've put together this database to address one of history's mysteries.

It is well known that during the War of the Roses great Lords maintained their own troops or retinues. They would identify one another by wearing their Lord's livery colours, one of their badges or both. So far so good. The mystery arises because reliable information about the livery colours used is scarce.

There's always Pat McGill's book "Standards, Badges & Livery Colours of the Wars of the Roses" and the sets of livery flags, both from Freezywater, but there's not that much more. In contrast there's a lot of information about heraldic flags from the period.

As a wargamer liveries are important. They are a ready way of identifying units on the tabletop via flags or jackets in the livery colours. So to tackle the mystery I created a database and decided to be fairly relaxed as to the source of the information. So far I've combined two sources resulting in a database of 88 livery colours.

Search the Livery Colours Database.

The data can be searched using the filter icon in the menu bar above the spreadsheet itself. I've already found searching by livery colour really useful. There's also a war record for each person taken from the data used to create the Poleaxed War of the Roses Sourcebooks. This should help if you are researching a particular battle or looking for people who changed sides.

If you are just looking for one or two items then try this quick reference view of the database. Unfortunately this table can't be sorted or filtered.  However all the text is searchable using Ctrl-F on most browsers.

One word of caution: apart from the data marked as from the Freezywater database I cannot vouch for the accuracy of any of the livery colours.

Finally, if you know of any other sources post a link in the comments.


  1. The source of the data not from the Freezywater database has been identified. It came from a Hobilar article written by Barry Slemmings.

    As a result a few errors have been corrected: the sons of York were listed as "Murrey & Azure" this has been changed to "Azure & Murrey".


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