Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

whose promises, oaths, and engagemens, they would A, C. 1458. place no dependence. The father and son agreed in opinion, that this last attack was a snare laid by Margaret for the life of Warwick; and that as this nobleman was the idol of the soldiery, they should make it a pretence for delaring open war against the queen and her adherents.

In these sentiments they visited the duke of York, who adopted their ideas on this subject ; and they concerted their measures accordingly. Warwick returned immediately to Calais, in order to fecure that fortress, and York began to levy forces in Wales, while Salisbury alsembled five or fix thousand men, with which he intended to advance to London, and demand fatisfaction for the outrage committed against his fon Warwick. Mean while Margaret set out with the king on

The royal As a progress into the counties of Warwick, Stafford, under the and Chester, in order to conciliate the affection of lord Aud

ley, defeated the people ; and, by means of her artful behaviour by the earl and affumed affability, formed a strong affociation of Siedlisbury in behalf of herself and her fon Edward. Under- heath. standing that the earl of Salisbury had raised a body of forces, and was on his march to join the duke of York in Herefordshire, she granted a commission to the Lord Audley to assemble troops, and prevent the junction of these noblemen. He accordingly levied A. C. 1459. ten thousand men, with whom he advanced against Salisbury, who had proceeded as far as Bloreheath on the borders of Staffordshire and Shropshire. Here the two armies came in light of each other ; and the earl, though his forces were not above half the number of the enemy, resolved to give them battle. They were parted by a rivulet, and on the twenty-third day of September, Salisbury made a feint of retreating, as if he had been afraid of an attack. Audley, on this supposition, passed the rivulet with great precipitation, in order to pursue

the

D4

Fabian,
Stowe,
Graftone

The mal, content lords are abandoned

by their

army.

A. C. 1459. the fugitives ; and when part of his troops had

crossed the brook, the earl, wheeling about all of à sudden, fell upon them with such impetuosity, before they could form, that, after an obftinate engagement, which lasted five hours, the royalists were utterly defeated, with the loss of their general and four and twenty hundred men, nain upon the field of battle.

Salisbury, having thus opened his paffage, marched into Wales, where he joined the duke of York, who was employed in raising an army for the profecution of his design. The queen, in order to repair the damage she had sustained ac Bloreheath, and oppose the progress of the malcontents, wi whose motions she was perfectly well acquainted, exerted her endeavours with incredible activity, in assembling forces, and appointed the rendezvous at Coventry : while her enemies wrote to Warwick, desiring he would join them with fome troops from Calais. On the receipt of his father's letter, he left that fortress under the command of his uncle the lord Falconbridge, and brought over part of the garrison, commanded by Sir Andrew Trollop, an officer of great reputation. The king's army being assembled, he began his march from Coventry towards Ludlow, where the rebels were encamped : and, halting at Gloucester, offered a pardon to the insurgents, provided they would lay down their arms. To this offer they replied, That they would not confide in such promises, which were no other than snares laid for their destruction; but that they were ready to submit to the king, provided he could find any security for the performance of his promise. Henry, having received this answer, superseded the earl of Warwick in the government of Calais, which he bestowed upon the duke of Somerset, and advanced to give battle to the malcontents. They wrote a letter to him, declaring that their fole view

in taking up arms, was to defend themselves against A. C. 1459. the attempts of their enemies; that they had no intention to fight, unless forced to an engagement; that all they required was a reformation of the abuses which had crept into the government, through the misconduct of the ministry, and they besought his majesty to look upon them as his faithful subjects, who had no delign to the prejudice of his person, and wished for nothing so much as to be reinstated in his favour. The queen, imputing all this submission to fear, approached within half a mile of them in the evening, resolved to give battle next day, and in the mean time dispersed through the enemy's camp a proclamation, promifing pardon to all those who should lay down their arms and submit. This expedient produced a surprising effect: the troops of the duke of York, fupposing, from the king's making such an offer, that he had a great superiority of strength, and that there was no time to be lost, began to disperse instantaneously. Sir Andrew Trollop, who now for the first time perceived that the duke of York had a design upon the crown, deserted in the night, with the detachment he commanded; and his example was followed by such a number, that the lords, fearing they should be wholly abandoned, before day-break consulted their safety in flight. The duke of York, with his second son the earl of Rusland, retired to Wales, where they embarked for Ireland, and the earl of Warwick hastened over to Calais, whither he was soon followed by his father Salisbury, and York's eldest son, the earl of March, at that time in the nineteenth year of his age. The officers and foldiers, who remained after the retreat of their chiefs, submitted to the mercy of the king, who dismissed them in peace, after having caused some of them to be put to death for example.

The parliament, assembling in the month of De. çember, declared the duke of York and his adhe

rents

Warwick

A.C. 1459. rents guilty of high treason; their estates were conExploits of fiscated, and they and their descendants rendered the earl of incapable of succeeding to any inheritance, even to by lea.

the fourth generation. As soon as the session broke up, che duke of Somerset embarked with a body of troops, in order to take possession of Calais; but he met with such a reception as obliged him to land in another place, from which he marched to Guifnes, and there he sent out detachments to skirmish with the garrison of Calais, by whom his men were generally repulsed to their quarters. Warwick was so beloved by the nation in general, that when Somerset landed with his troops, the sailors steered their fhips directly into the harbour of Calais. The

queen being determined to wrest the government of this fortress from the hands of her enemies, equipped a fleet for the assistance of Somerset, and ordered a considerable body of troops to be put on board, under the command of the lord Rivers, and his son Sir Anthony Wideville. While the feet lay in the harbour of Sandwich, waiting for a fair wind, the earl of Warwick, having received intelligence of their destination, manned the ships which had lately deserted to him, and embarking some troops, with Sir John Denham, they failed to Sandwich, where they surprised Rivers and all his officers, who were conveyed to Calais, together with their ships ; the

sailors themselves favouring the enterprize. WarRymer.

wick, being thus reinforced with shipping, sailed for Ireland, in order to consult the duke of York about the measures to be taken for another insurrection in England, where the people espoused their cause, and their friends expected them with impatience, The duke agreed with him in opinion that the lords at Calais should make a descent among their adhe, rents and well-wishers in the county of Kent, and proceed directly to the capital, which they did not doubt would receive them with open arms. The

earl

1

earl of Warwick, in his return to Calais, fell in A.C. 1460,
with the English feet, commanded by the duke of
Exeter, who had lately fuperfeded him in the post
of admiral, and been sent out to intercept him in his
paffage: but the sailors and soldiers on board of the
duke's squadron refusing to fight against their old
commander, he, in order to prevent a total revolt,
failed into Dartmouth, where the greater part of his
men deserted for want of pay and provision.

The queen and the ministry did not doubt but the earl of the interview between the duke of York and the March, with

Salisbury earl of Warwick would produce a new rebellion, and Warwhich in order to weaken by anticipation, the Wick, enter council resolved to set on foot an exact inquisition triumph. in all the towns and counties of the kingdom, for the discovery and punishment of all the partisans of the malcontents; the earl of Wiltshire and the lord Scales were vested with a commission to make this inquiry, and punish all those who had carried arms for York and his adherents in the late rebellion ; and they began to execute their powers with great severity in some towns that openly favoured the lords of the opposition. Of all the counties in England Kent had the greatest cause to dread the resentment of the court, for it had always expressed a particular attachment to the duke of York; and the conduct of the inhabitants under Cade was not forgotten: believing therefore that their ruin was inevitable, if not prevented by some vigorous resolution, they sent an intimation to the lords at Calais, assuring them, that if they would land in Kent, the inhabitants would receive them with open arms, and hazard their lives and fortunes in their service. Sir Simon Montfort had been detached by Margaret with a body of freh forces to guard Sandwich and other harbours that lay nearest the enemy; and ships had been equipped for convoying the duke of Somerset to England, where his presence

was

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« НазадПродовжити »