Henry Percy and The Percy Panels

1530AD - 1530AD

These carved oak panels come from The Percy Inn, a house in Walmgate once owned by the Percy family.

The last two panels are said to be Henry Percy, 4th Earl of Northumberland and his wife Maud.

The 4th Earl was great-grandson of Henry ‘Hotspur’ Percy.  His father and grandfather had both died for the Lancastrian cause in the War of the Roses, but the younger Henry, pictured here, broke the family tradition by siding with the Yorkist, Richard III.

Ironically, he may have actually been the cause of Richard's downfall.   As a commander in the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 he refused to carry out Richard's command to join the battle.  The Lancastrians won the day and Henry VII began the Tudor era.  He later rewarded Percy by giving him the job of Lord-Lieutenant of Yorkshire.  This appointment was eventually to lead to his murder in 1489. 

Henry VII had introduced new taxes to carry on a war in France and the whole country was complaining.  Percy informed the King of the discontent, but the King replied that the tax should be rigourously exacted.

When Percy came back and delivered this message it didn't go down well with the locals.  His manor was broken into and he was murdered, together with several of his staff.