Time for the battles. On the land of Clyst Heath, Exeter, on the date of August 5th 1549, Clyst Heath was the site of one of the worst atrocities in British history during the Prayer Book Rebellion when troops loyal to the King under the command of John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford murdered nine hundred Cornish prisoners. Previously that evening Russell had pitched camp on Clyst Heath and was concerned about the burden of the large number of prisoners he had captured from previous encounters at Fenny Bridges, Woodbury Common and Clyst St Mary. Russell discussed the situation with Lord William Grey who was in charge of a thousand German mercenary landsknechts and it was Grey who gave the order for the lanzknechts to carry out the massacre. It took them just ten minutes to slit the throats of all nine hundred bound and gagged prisoners, a number that derives from John Hayward, Edward VI's own chronicler. When news of the massacre broke on 6 August 1549 some 2,000 Cornishmen made for Clyst Heath, some getting there before dawn. Others soon arrived and surrounded the heath where Russell and Grey's army was camped. The Battle of Clyst Heath was the bloodiest and the fiercest battle yet of the Anglo-Cornish war, lasting all of the following day with the enraged Cornish refusing to give in against superior numbers. The viciousness of the battle, and the death toll on both sides, were truly horrendous. Lord Russell's troops were finally victorious but Lord Grey was later to comment that he had "never seen the like, nor taken part in such a murderous fray". As he had led the charge against the Scots in the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh, this was a telling statement. As is usual custom in these parts if you set out to find Clyst Heath, you will be disappointed, because it no longer exists, having been completely obliterated by the Sandylane roundabout and junction 30 of the M5, right next to Exeter Services and the Exeter Chiefs rugby ground at Sandy Park. This motorway route was allowed despite Ordnance Survey maps clearly marking it as a battlefield site, not only in 1549, but also another battle relating to the Wars of the Roses in 1455. In the 1990s English Heritage also followed the same tradition by refusing requests for an archaeological excavation to be carried out at the site of the 1549 battle prior to the construction of the Tesco Exeter Vale supermarket.