The thatched cottages and Georgian houses of tiny MARKET BOSWORTH, some eleven miles west of Leicester, fan out from a dinky Market Place, which was an important trading centre throughout the Middle Ages. From the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, the dominant family hereabouts were the Dixies, merchant-landlords who mostly ended up at the church of St Peter.
The Dixies were not universally admired, however, and the young Samuel Johnson, who taught at the Dixie Grammar School – its elongated facade still abuts the Market Place – disliked the founder, Sir Wolstan Dixie, so much that he recalled his time there “with the strongest aversion and even a sense of horror”.Read More
Market Bosworth is best known for the Battle of Bosworth Field, which was fought on hilly countryside near the village in 1485. This was the last and most decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses, an interminably long-winded and bitterly violent conflict among the nobility for control of the English Crown. The victor was Henry Tudor, subsequently Henry VII; he defeated Richard III, who famously died on the battlefield. In desperation, Shakespeare’s villainous Richard cried out “A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse,” but in fact the defeated king seems to have been a much more phlegmatic character. Taking a glass of water before the fighting started, he actually said, “I live a king: if I die, I die a king”.