The period 1485 – 1603 was one of almost unremitting war across Europe. The Scots fought the English, the English fought the French, the French fought the Spanish and the Empire and the Italians were attacked by both France and Spain, as well as fighting amongst themselves. The Empire was also heavily engaged in resisting the Turkish advance into Europe.

Individual battles could still be decisive – Flodden (1513), Pavia (1527) and St Quentin (1557) all significantly affected the protagonists, but crowns no longer changed hands on the battlefield.

Weaponry and tactics changed enormously, from the successful model of Agincourt (1415) still used at Bosworth (1485), where the majority of fighting took place on foot with archers, to the combination of artillery, infantry and cavalry that gave the Dutch the victory at the Battle of Nieuwport in 1600.