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Battle of Touton -Henry escapes into Scotland
parliament-Battle of Hexham Henry taken pri-
shire-Battle of Banbury-Warwic and Clarence .. banished-Warwic and Clarence return-Edward • IV. expelled-Henry VI. restored-Edward IV.
returns~-Battle of Barnet and death of Warwie - Battle of Teukesbury, and murder of prince Éd. ward-Death of Henry VI.-Invasion of France .- Peace of Pecquigni— Trial and execution of the
duke of Clarence Death and character of Eda ward IV,
c H A P, UNG Edward, now in his twentieth year, XXII.
I was of a temper well fitted to make his way through such a scene of war, havoc, and devastation, as must conduct him to the full possession of that crown, which he claimed from hereditary right, but which he had assumed from the tumultuary election alone of his own party. He was bold, active, enterprising; and his hardness of heart and severity of character rendered him impregnable to all those movements of compassion which might relax his vigour in the prosecution of the most bloody revenges upon his enemies. The very commencement of his reign gave symptoms of his sanguinary disposition. A tradesman of London, who
nark of distino.caster chose the "he par
kept shop at the sign of the Crown, having said CH A P. that he would make his son heir to the Crown; this harmless pleasantry was interpreted to be spoken 1461. in derision of Edward's assumed title ; and he was condemned and executed for the offence. Such an act of tyranny was a proper prelude to the events which ensued. The scaffold, as well as the field, incessantly streamed with the noblest blood of England, spilt in the quarrel between the two contending families, whose animosity was now become implacable. The people, divided in their affections, took different symbols of party : The partisans of the house of Lancaster chose the red rose as their mark of distinction; those of York were denominated from the white; and these civil wars were thus known, over Europe, by the name of the quarrel between the two roses.
THE licence, in which queen Margaret had been obliged to indulge her troops, infused great terror and aversion into the city of London, and all the southern parts of the kingdom; and as she there expected an obstinate resistance, she had prudently retired northwards among her own partisans. The same licence, joined to the zeal of faction, soon brought great multitudes to her standard, and she was able, in a few days, to assemble an army, sixty thousand strong, in Yorkshire.' The king and the earl of Warwic hastened with an army of forty thousand men, to check her progress; and when they reached Pomfret they dispatched a body of troops, under the command of lord Fitzwalter, to secure the passage of Ferrybridge over the river Ayre, which lay between them and the enemy. Fitzwalter took possession of the post assigned him; but was not able to maintain it against lord Clifford, who attacked him with superior numbers. The Yorkists were chased back with great slaughter; and lord Fitzwalter himself was slain in the
action, Habington in Kennet, p. 431. Grafton, p. 791,
CH A P. action.". The earl of Warwic, dreading the conseXXII.
quences of this disaster, at a time when a decisive action was every hour expected, immediately or. dered his horse to be brought him, which he stabbed before the whole army; and, kissing the hilt of his sword, swore that he was determined to share the fate of the meanest soldier. And, to shew the greater security, a proclamation was at the same time issued, giving to every one full liberty to retire; but menacing the severest punishment to those who should discover any symptoms of cowardice in the ensuing battle. Lord Falconberg was sent to recover the post which had been lost: He passed the river some miles above Ferrybridge, and, falling unexpectedly on lord Clifford, revenged the former disaster by the defeat of the party and the
death of their leader." Battle of THE hostile armies met at Touton; and a fierce Touton,
and bloody battle ensued. While the Yorkists 29th of March. were advancing to the charge, there happened a
great fall of snow, which driving full in the faces of their enemies, blinded them; and this advantage was improved by a stratagem of lord Falconberg's. That nobleman ordered some infantry to advance before the line, and, after having sent a volley of flight arrows, as they were called, amidst the enemy, immediately to retire. The Lancastrians, imagining that they were gotten within reach of the opposite army, discharged all their arrows, which thus fell short of the Yorkists. After the quivers of the enemy were emptied, Edward advanced his line, and did execution with impunity on the dismayed Lancastrians : The bow, however, was soon laid aside, and the sword decided the combat, which ended in a total victory on the side of the Yorkists. Edward issued orders to
give uw: Wyrcester, p. 489. Hall, fol. 186. Holingshed, p. 664. "Habington, p. 432. * Holingshed, p. 664.
y Hist, Croyl. contin. p. 532. ? Hall, fol. 186.
en blinde ich drives the
of Non, and
give no quarter. The routed army was pursued c H A P. to Tadcaster with great bloodshed and confusion; and above thirty-six thousand men are computed
1461. to have fallen in the battle and pursuit :b Among these were the earl of Westmoreland, and his brother, sir. John Nevil, the earl of Northumberland, the lords Dacres and Welles, and sir Andrew Trollop. The earl of Devonshire, who was now engaged in Henry's party, was brought a prisoner to Edward ; and was, soon after, beheaded by martial law at York. His head was fixed on a pole erected over a gate of that city; and the head of duke Richard, and that of the earl of Salisbury, were taken down, and buried with their bodies. Henry and Margaret had remained at York during the action ; but learning the defeat of their army, and being sensible that no place in England could now afford them shelter, they fled with great precipitation into Scotland. They were accompanied by the duke of Exeter, who, though he had married Edward's sister, had taken part with the Lancas. trians, and by Henry, duke of Somerset, who had commanded in the unfortunate battle of Touton, and who was the son of that nobleman killed in the first battle of St. Albans. NOTWITHSTANDING the great animosity which Henry.es
"capes into prevailed between the kingdoms, Scotland had never Scotland. exerted itself with vigour to take advantage, either of the wars which England carried on with France, or of the civil commotions which arose between the contending families. James I. more laudably employed, in civilizing his subjects, and taming them to the salutary yoke of law and justice, avoided all hostilities with foreign nations; and though he seemed interested to maintain a balance between France
and * Habington, p. 432. Holingshed, p. 665. Grafton, p. 656. Hist. Croyl. cont, p. 533.
' Hall, fol. 187. Habington, p. 433.
CHA P. and England, he gave no farther assistance to the
former kingdom, in its greatest distresses, than per-
His son and successor, James III. was also a minor on his accession: The usual distractions ensued in the government: The queen-dowager, Anne of Gueldres, aspired to the regency: The family of Douglas opposed her pretensions : And queen Margaret, when she fled into Scotland, found there a people little less divided by faction than those by whom she had been expelled. Though she pleaded the connexions between the royal family of Scotland and the house of Lancaster, by the young king's grandmother, a daughter of the earl of Somerset; she could engage the Scottish council to go no farther than to express their good wishes in her favour: But, on her offer to deliver to them immediately the important fortress of Berwic, and to contract her son in marriage with a sister of king James, she found a better reception; and the Scots , promised the