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A.C.1460, was thought necessary by the council. But War

wick surprised this armament, pillaged the town of Sandwich, took Montfort, and carried the ships to Calais. It was during this short expedition, that he became acquainted with the state of affairs in England; the knowledge of which, together with the invitation of the Kentish men, determined him and his associates to land without delay. Nothing was wanting but a sum of money to purchase neceffaries; and the earl of Warwick borrowed on his own credit eighteen thousand pounds from the merchants of the staple. Thus supplied, he began to make preparations, and in the mean time fent over his uncle, the lord Falconbridge, to Kent; where he was joined by a great number of people belonging to that and the adjacent counties. He was foon followed by Warwick himself, with the earls of March and Salisbury, who landed at Sandwich, where they were mer by Thomas Bourchier, archbishop of Canterbury, the lord Cobham, and other persons of distinction. Before they set sail from Calais, they had dispersed a manifesto in England, assuring the nation, that their sole motive for taking arms, was to deliver the people from the oppression under which they groaned, and to secure their liberties and privileges ; towards the re-establishment of which they follicited the affiftance of all true-hearted Englismen. They had informed the duke of York of their intended operations, and the day on which they set fail for England. They brought over about fifteen hundred men, who being reinforced by four thousand, under the lord Cobham, they began their march towards London,

and such numbers joined them in their route, Rymer.

that they entered the city in triumph with an army of forty thousand men devoted to their service.

Mean while the queen was not idle at Coventry : she had endeavoured to prevent their being received


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in London, by sending thither the lord Scales with A. C. 5460.
a strong body of forces; but he was refused admit- The queen
tance by the mayor even before the arrival of the at Nor-
malcontents, and threw himself into the Tower, thampton.
from whence he threatened to cannonade the city,
should the magistrates admit the rebels : to these
menaces however, they paid no regard. Margaret
still continued to assemble her forces, until her army
being completed, she bestowed the joint command
of it upon the dukes of Somerset and Buckingham,
though she herself was in effect the general, and
issued out all the orders in the name of Henry, who
was there in person. As soon as the young earl of
March understood that she was advancing towards
London, he left the earl of Salisbury with good
part of his troops in that capital, and marched out
with the earl of Warwick, at the head of five and
twenty thousand men, to attack her before her army
should be increased. The two parties mer in the
neighbourhood of Northampton; after the queen
had passed a river by which they were divided. Be-
fore they proceeded to batcle, the associated lords
sent the bishop of Salisbury to the king, with a
message, intreating his majesty would suspend his
indignation, and join with them in some falutary
measures to prevent the effufion of English blood.
This address was looked upon as a mere ceremony
to save appearances; and being rejected as such,
both sides prepared for an engagement. On the
nineteenth day of July the malcontents drew up
their army in order of battle : the earl of Warwick
commanded the right wing; the lord Cobham con-
ducted the left; and the earl of March took his
ftation in the center. The royal army was com-
manded by the dukes of Somerset and Bucking-
ham; the queen remained at a little distance, from
whence she could observe the particulars of the ac-
tion, and give her directions according to the emer-


A.C. 1460. gency of the occasion; and Henry stayed in his terit,

waiting the event of a battle on which the fate of his crown depended. The Yorkists, having published orders through their army to respect the king's person, and spare the common soldiers, but to give no quarter to the officers, proceeded to the attack about two o'clock in the afternoon; and the action beginning with equal fury on both sides, continued till seven in the evening; when the lord Grey of Ruthwin, who commanded a considerable


of Henry's army, suddenly revolted to the rebels. This unexpected defection threw the rest of the king's forces into such consternation, that they forthwith began to giveground, and were routed with great flaughter. The duke of Buckingham, the earl of Shrewsbury, fon to the famous Talbot, the lord Beaumont, and many other persons of distinction, were killed upon the spot. The queen, the prince of Wales, and the duke of Somerset, Aed with such precipitation, that they did not halt until they had reached Durham. Henry fell into the hands of the victors, who treated him with all the exterior respect due to their sovereign ; and this deference, in some measure, consoled him for the mischance of the day, which would have rendered him a very great object of compassion, had not his natural indolence and want of sensibility fortified him against all the viciffitudes of fortune. He was immediately conducted to Northampton, with all the marks of honour and regard; and, after a short stay in that place, repaired to London, surrounded by a croud of noblemen and

others, who had fo lately appeared against him in Rymer. Stowe,

the field of battle. Mean time the queen, who did not think herself safe at Durham, retired privately 10 Wales, in order to elude the search of her ene. mies ; but she foon quitted that retreat, and with her son took refuge in Scotland. Immediately after the king's arrival in London, the Tower surrendered


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for want of provisions; and the lord Scales, who A. C. 1460,
acted as governor, attempting to go by water in
disguise to the sanctuary at Wettminster, was dif-
covered and assassinated by the watermen. A com-
mission was granted to the earl of Salisbury, im-
powering him to march with an army to the relief
of Roxburgh castle, besieged by James II. of Scot-
land, who infringed the truce that he might take ad-
vantage of the intestine troubles of England. The
garrison was already reduced to extremity, when
that prince happened to lose his life by a cannon's
bursting in the explosion ; nevertheless, the queen
continued the fiege, and the place was obliged to
capitulate. The earl of Warwick was confirmed
in the government of Calais and Guisnes, by virtue
of a new commiflion; and the duke of York and
his adherents were declared good and faithful sub-
jects. At this period died Charles VII. king of
France, who is said to have starved himself to death
from apprehension of being poisoned by the dauphin,

Coucy. who succeeded him under the name of Lewis XI. Mezerai.

The parliament meeting at Westminster on the The duke of seventh day of October, according to the writs York claims

the crown in which had been issued before the battle of Nor

parliament, thampton, the king assisted in person; and, the first business on which they proceeded was a repeal of the transactions in the last parliament held at Coventry, on pretence of its having been unduly summoned, and constituted of unqualified persons, who aimed at the destruction of the realm. The duke of York having been apprised of his son's success, returned immediately from Ireland ; and, arriving at London on the third day of the session, went directly to the house of lords, who were then sitting, He stood for some time under the canopy, with his hand upon the throne, waiting until he should be desired to ascend: but, the whole assembly maintained a profound filence; and, the archbishop of


A. 6. 1450. Canterbury advancing to him, asked, if he had

waited upon the king since his arrival ? He could not help blushing at this question; and, after some pause, replied, that he did not know any person to whom he owed that respect. So saying, he retired to his own house ; and next day fent a writing to the parliament, containing the reasons upon which his pretensions to the crown were founded. He pretended to mount the throne as heir to the house of March ; desired, that he might be heard by his counsel; and, that the parliament would do him justice. It was not without some difficulty that the lords allowed his claim to be read in the house ; but, they resolved to proceed no farther, without communicating the affair to his majesty. When Henry was informed of their resolution, he desired, that the claim might be considered by his judges, serjeants, and attorney. These being summoned, declined giving their opinions in a matter so far above their cognizance. Then the lords, after another debate, ordered the ferjeancs and attorney to come and defend the king's title: it was likewise resolved, that there should be an intire freedom of debate; and that no lord should be called in queftion for what he should say in support of his own opinion.

We have already mentioned the pedigree of and against Richard duke of York, as descended from Lionel the dike of duke of Clarence, elder brother of John of Gaunt,

the founder of the house of Lancaster; and, we shall now take notice of the objections that were made to Richard's claim. Henry's friends observed, that when his grandfather Henry IV. took poffeffion of the throne, no person pretended to dispute his cide. The Yorkists replied, that as Edmund earl of March, who was then alive, could not alfert his title without running the risque of his life, his silence could not be interpreted into acquiescence

Reasons uiged for


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