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“Some write that the duke was taken alive, and in derision caused to stand upon a molehill, on whose head they put a garland instead of a crown, which they had fashioned and made segges or bulrushes, and having so crowned him with that garland they kneeled down afore him as the Jews did to Christ in scorn, saying to him, Hail, king without rule; hail, king without heritage ; hail, duke and prince without people or possessions. And at length, having thus scorned him with these and divers other the like despiteful words, they stroke off his head, which (as ye have heard) they presented to the queen.”
In the beginning of 1471 Edward was a fugitive, almost without a home. The great earl of Warwick had placed Henry again in the nominal seat of authority; a counter-revolution had been effected. By one of those bold movements which set aside all calculation of consequence Edward leaped once more into the throne of England. In an age when perjury and murder were equally resorted to, Edward, on landing, did not hesitate to disguise his real objects, and to maintain that he was in arms only to enforce his claims as duke of York. The narrative of Hall thus proceeds :
King Edward, without any words spoken to him, came peaceably near to York, of whose coming when the citizens were certified, without delay they armed themself and came to defend the gates, sending to him two of the chiefest aldermen of the city, which earnestly admonished him on their behalf to come not one foot nearer, nor temerariously to enter into so great a jeopardy, considering that they were fully determined and bent to compel him to retract with dint of sword. King Edward, marking well their message, was not a little troubled and unquieted in his mind, and driven to seek the farthest point of his wit; for he had both two mischievous and perilous chances even before his eyes, which were hard to be evaded or repelled :-one was, if he should go back again he feared lest the rural and common people, for covetousness of prey and spoil, would fall on him as one that fled away for fear and dread; the other was, if he should proceed any farther in his journey, then might the citizens of York issue out with all their power, and suddenly circumvent him and take him. Wherefore he determined to set forward, neither with army nor with weapon, but with lowly words and gentle entreatings, requiring most heartily the messengers that were sent to declare to the citizens that he came neither to demand the realm of England nor the superiority of the same, but only the duchy of York, his old inheritance ; the which duchy if he might by their means readopt and recover, he would never pass out of his memory so great a benefit and so friendly a gratuity to him exhibited. And so, with fair words and flattering speech, he dismissed the messengers ; and with good speed he and his followed so quickly after, that they were almost at the gates as soon as the ambassadors. The citizens, hearing his good answer, that he meant nor intended nothing prejudicial to king Henry, nor his royal authority, were much mitigated and cooled, and began to commune with him from their walls, willing him to convey himself into some other place without delay, which if he did, they assured him that he should have neither hurt nor damage. But he, gently speaking to all men, and especially to such as were aldermen, whom he called worshipful, and by their proper names them saluted, after many fair promises to them made, exhorted and desired them that, by their favourable friendship and friendly permission, he might enter into his own town, of the which he had both his name and title. All the whole day was consumed in doubtful communication and earnest interlocution. The citizens partly won by his fair words, and partly by hope of his large promises, fell to this pact and convention, that if king Edward would swear to entertain his citizens of York after a gentle sort and fashion, and hereafter to be obedient and faithful to all king Henry's commandments and precepts, that then they would
receive him into their city, and aid and comfort him with money. King Edward (whom the citizens called only duke of York), being glad of this fortunate chance, in the next morning, at the gate where he should enter, a priest being ready to say mass, in the mass time, receiving the body of our blessed Saviour, solemnly swearing to keep and observe the two articles above mentioned and agreed upon, when it was far unlik, that he either intended or purposed to observe any of them, which plainly afterwards was to all men manifest."
Of the battle of Barnet the following is Hall's description :
“When the day began to spring the trumpets blew courageously and the battle fiercely began. Archers first shot, and bill-men them followed. King Edward, having the greater number of men, valiantly set on his enemies. The earl on the other side, remembering his ancient fame and renown, manfully withstood him. This battle on both sides was sore fought and many slain, in whose rooms succeeded ever fresh and fresh men. In the mean season, while all men were together by the ears, ever looking to which way fortune would incline, the earl of Warwick, after long fight, wisely did perceive his men to be over pressed with the multitude of his adversaries ; wherefore he caused new men to relieve them that fought in the forward, by reason of which succours king Edward's part gave a little back (which was the cause that some lookers-on, and no fighters, galloped to London, saying that the earl had won the field), which thing when Edward did perceive, he with all diligence sent fresh men to their succours.
“ If the battle were fierce and deadly before, now it was crueller, more bloody, more fervent and fiery, and yet they had fought from morning almost to noon without any part getting advantage of other. King Edward, being weary of so long a conflict and willing to see an end, caused a great crew of fresh men (which he had for this only policy kept all day in store) to set on their enemies, in manner being weary and fatigate : but although the earl saw these new succours of fresh and new men to enter the battle, being nothing afraid, but hoping of the victory (knowing perfectly that there was all king Edward's power), comforted his men, being weary, sharply quickening and earnestly desiring them with hardy stomachs to bear out this last and final brunt of the battle, and that the field was even at an end. But when his soldiers, being sore wounded, wearied with so long a conflict, did give little regard to his words, he, being a man of a mind invincible, rushed into the midst of his enemies, where as he (aventured so far from his own company to kill and slay his adversaries that he could not be rescued) was in the middle of his enemies stricken down and slain. The Marquis Montacute, thinking to succour his brother, which he saw was in great jeopardy, and yet in hope to obtain the victory, was likewise overthrown and slain. After the earl was dead his party fled, and many were taken, but not one man of name nor of nobility."
The following graphic account of the battle of Tewkesbury is from Hall
“After the field ended king Edward made a proclamation that whosoever could bring prince Edward to him, alive or dead, should have an annuity of an cl. during his life, and the prince's life to be saved. Sir Richard Croftes, a wise and a valiant knight, nothing mistrusting the king's former promise, brought forth his prisoner prince Edward, being a goodly feminine and a well-featured young gentleman, whom when king Edward had well advised, he demanded of him how he durst so presumptuously enter into his realm with banner displayed. The prince, being bold of stomach and of a good courage, answered, saying, To recover my father's kingdom and inheritage from his father and grandfather to him, and from him, after him, to 'me lineally divoluted. At which words king Edward said nothing, but with his hand thrust him from him (or, as some say, stroke him with his gauntlet), whom incontinent they that strode about, which were George Duke o
Clarence, Richard Duke of Gloucester, Thomas Marquis Dorset, and William Lord Hastings, suddenly murdered and piteously mangled. The bitterness of which murder some of the actors after in their latter days tasted and essayed by the very rod of justice and punishment of God. His body was homely interred with the other simple.corpses in the church of the monastery of Black Monks in Tewkesbury. This was the last civil battle that was fought in king Edward's days, which was gotten the iii day of May, in the x year of his reign, and in the year of our Lord Mcccclxxi then being Saturday. And on the Monday next ensuing was Edmund duke of Somerset, John Longstrother, Prior of Saint John's, Sir Garveys Clifton, Sir Thomas Tresham, and xii other knights and gentlemen beheaded in the marketplace at Tewkesbury."
139.-THE BATTLE OF TOWTON.
SHAKSPERE. [The great battle of Towton is thus described by Hall:-"This battle was sore fought, for hope of life was set on side on every part, and taking of prisoners was proclaimed as a great offence; by reason whereof every man determined either to conquer or to die in the field. This deadly battle and bloody conflict continued ten hours in doubtful victory, the one part sometime flowing and sometime ebbing; but, in conclusion, king Edward so courageously comforted his men, refreshing the weary and helping the wounded, that the other part was discomforted and overcome, and, like men amazed, fled toward Tadcasterbridge to save themselves.
This conflict was in manner unnatural, for in it the son fought against the father, the brother against the brother, the nephew against the uncle, and the tenant against his lord."]
Alarum. Enter King Henry.
Thereby to see the minutes how they run :
Enter a Son that has killed his Father, dragging in the dead body.
K. Hen. Opiteous spectacle ! O bloody times ! Whiles lions war, and battle for their dens, ,
Poor harmless lambs abide their enmity.
Fath. Thou that so stoutly hast resisted me,
K. Hen. Woe above woe! grief more than common grief !
Son. How will my mother, for a father's death,
Fath. How will my wife, for slaughter of my son, Shed seas of tears, and ne'er be satisfied !
A. Hen. How will the country, for these woeful chances,
Son. Was ever son so rued a father's death ?
K. Hen. Was ever king so griev'd for subjects' woe?
[E.cit with the body.
[Excit, with the body,