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and enter London in triumph, where he put to death the Lord Say and others of the nobility. His men having quarrelled, he was forced to flee, and was slain by a gentleman named Iden, in Kent, in whose garden he was hid.
The Duke now raised an army for the avowed purpose of reforming the abuses in the government. He was met by the Duke of Somerset at St. Alban's (A.D. 1455), and a battle took place, in which Somerset, Clifford, and other noblemen fell. Finding that his chance of a peaceable succession was lessened by the birth of a Prince of Wales, York at length openly claimed the crown; and a war began between the houses of York and Lancaster, which for a period of thirty years (A.D. 1455-1485) carried enmity and sorrow to every hearth in England, and cut off successive generations of many noble families in the field or on the scaffold. It is called the War of the Roses, because a white rose was the badge of the house of York, and a red rose the cognizance of the house of Lancaster. During these civil wars, the English possessions on the continent (except Calais) were annexed to the French crown; and this loss may be reckoned a real gain, among the many evils of these contests; because, when peace came back, the undivided care of the government was given to the true prosperity of the nation.
The claims of York were supported by the powerful family of the Nevilles, at the head of which was the Earl of Salisbury. His son, the Earl of Warwick, who was the greatest leader of the age, defeated the forces of Henry at Northampton (A.D. 1460); and it was agreed in a parliament afterwards holden in London, that Henry should have the crown for his life, and York should be declared his successor. The queen, however, raised an army in the north, with which she completely routed the Yorkists at Wakefield (A.D. 1460), where the duke himself fell into her hands, and his second son, the Earl of Rutland, a youth of seventeen, was butchered in cold blood by Lord Clifford, in revenge for his father's death at St. Alban's. It is said that York was crowned by his enemies, in derision, with a wreath of grass. His head was then struck off, and set upon the gates of York.
He left, however, several sons, of whom Edward, the eldest, succeeded to his claims. Edward was a prince of
great courage and ability, as well as personal beauty, but of a licentious and cruel character. He was able to give the queen's forces a total defeat at Mortimer's Cross, near Hereford (A.D. 1461); and though Margaret, on the other hand, worsted the Earl of Warwick in a second battle at St. Alban's, in the same year, and recovered possession of her husband's person, she was forced to retire when Edward joined his forces to those of Warwick. That prince then marched to London, where he was received by the citizens, and proclaimed king, A.D. 1461. Shortly afterwards, his brothers George and Richard were created Dukes of Clarence and Gloucester.
Born at Rouen, in Normandy. Buried at Windsor. 22 years. From A.D. 1461 to A.D. 1483.
Archbishop of Canterbury.
Thomas Bourchier, A.D. 1454-1486.
THE triumphs of the House of York appeared to be confirmed by a victory gained a few days afterwards at Towton in Yorkshire. Edward had ordered that no quarter should be given, and nearly one-half of the Lancastrians perished. Margaret withdrew to the continent, but, by the assistance. af Louis XI., was able to land in the north the following winter. She was defeated at Hexham; and in the course of this campaign, was once seeking concealment in a forest with her son, when she was met by a robber. Her courage and presence of mind saved her from this danger. Boldly approaching the man, she said, "Friend, I commit to thy care the son of good King Henry." The outlaw accepted the trust, and conducted Margaret and the prince to their friends. She again withdrew from England; while Henry, after being concealed for a year in Lancashire, was betrayed and brought to London, where he was treated with great indignity, and consigned to the Tower.
It was not long before Warwick began to be dissatisfied
with the prince whom he had seated on the throne. He had been sent to France to negotiate a marriage between Edward and the sister-in-law of Louis. During his absence it happened that the king was struck with the beauty of Elizabeth Woodville, lady Grey; and finding her virtue proof against his solicitations, at once made her his queen, regardless of the slight which would thus be put upon Warwick. The estrangement thus occasioned was increased when the king heaped titles and offices on the relatives of the queen; and he was himself deeply offended at the marriage of the Duke of Clarence with one of the earl's daughters. After a time both Clarence and Warwick were forced to fly the kingdom, and a reconciliation took place between them and Queen Margaret, cemented by the marriage of Prince Edward her son with Warwick's youngest daughter. Assisted by King Louis, the earl on his return to England was joined by vast numbers, and took his measures so ably, that Edward in his turn was forced to withdraw to Flanders; while Henry was brought from the Tower, and walked in procession with the crown upon his head to St. Paul's. From this time Warwick obtained from the people the title of King-maker. Nothing could seem more desperate than the prospects of Edward; but one of the remarkable features in these wars is the suddenness with which the scene so often changed; and so it was in this instance. Edward landed with a few followers at Ravensburgh, where Bolingbroke had landed about seventy years before; and, like him, professed that he came only to claim his inheritance. The city of York opened its gates to him he was rejoined by the fickle Clarence; and having been received in London, he there possessed himself again of Henry's person, and resumed the royal title. He then advanced to meet Warwick at Barnet, in Hertfordshire, where a battle took place on Easter-day (1471), in which Warwick fell, and Edward was completely victorious. This was soon followed by another with the same result at Tewkesbury against Margaret, who had received the news of the battle of Barnet on her landing. She was taken prisoner, together with her son, whose name was Edward. The prince, being asked by the king what had brought him to England, replied, "I came to recover my father's kingdom."
king struck him in the face with his gauntlet, and the noble youth was killed by the swords of Clarence and Gloucester, the Lord Hastings, and others.
The remainder of Edward's reign was little more than a course of cruelty and licentiousness. Margaret was ransomed by the King of France, but Henry was put to death in the Tower (as was supposed) by the Duke of Gloucester, who succeeded also in awakening suspicions in Edward's mind against Clarence, which led to the untimely end of that prince.
He had for some time been greatly estranged from the king, and his feelings were kindled into a flame by an act which shows Edward's recklessness and cruelty. He was hunting in the park of one Thomas Burdett, a friend of the Duke of Clarence, and out of spite to his brother he killed a favourite white hind belonging to this gentleman. Burdett, in his natural passion, exclaimed that he wished the horns of the deer were in the belly of the man who advised the king to this insult. For this speech he was tried, for his life, and hanged at Tyburn. Clarence went boldly to the council, and so provoked the king by declaring this sentence unjust, that he was arrested and sent to the Tower. It is also said, that Edward's fears had been raised by a ridiculous prophecy, that the name of his successor should begin with a G, which was applied to George, duke of Clarence. (The event, as we shall see, showed that it was more applicable to Gloucester.) Being condemned to death on a charge of treason, the duke was secretly put to death in the Tower; and an idea got abroad that he was drowned in a butt of malmsey.
Edward allied himself with his brother-in-law, Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy, against Louis XI.; and on one occasion led an army into France. He gained, however, little credit by this expedition, and concluded a separate peace with Louis. In the year 1476, Charles was routed and slain by the Swiss at the battle of Nanci.
The dissipated habits of Edward were doubtless fatal to his health, and he died (1483) in the forty-second year of his age; leaving two sons, Edward, prince of Wales, and Richard, duke of York, and five daughters.
It is worth mentioning that to this reign, unfavourable as it seemed to be to every thing except matters connected
with war, we trace the introduction of the art of printing into England. William Caxton, a citizen and mercer of London, was attracted, while on business in Germany, by the fame of the then new invention. He made himself acquainted with it there, and, after some practice, returned home to England in 1471, and set up a printing-press in the Abbot's House, at Westminster. The first work printed in this country was one on the Art of Chess.
Born in the Sanctuary at Westminster. Buried (it is believed) in the Chapel of the Tower. Reigned from April 9, a.d. 1483, to June 26, in the same year.
Archbishop of Canterbury.
Thomas Bourchier, A.D. 1454—1486.
THE new king, who was only in his thirteenth year when his father died, was at Ludlow, under the care of his uncle, Lord Rivers. Being sent for to London, he was escorted by that lord; and on his way was met by the Duke of Gloucester. The duke professed much loyalty to his nephew, but arrested Rivers, and Lord Grey, a son of Edward's queen by her first husband." On hearing of this arrest, the queen took sanctuary at Westminster, with the Duke of York (her son), and her five daughters. The king was conducted to the Tower, and Gloucester was declared Protector. It was plainly his purpose to seize the crown; and finding that the attachment of Hastings to the late king was in his way, he resolved to remove him. Entering the council-chamber, he bared his arm, which had a natural defect, and exclaimed, "See how that sorceress, my brother's wife, with Shore's wife, and others, have withered my arm." Shore's wife had been led astray by Edward, and was then living with Hastings. "If," said Hastings, "they have done this, they should be punished as traitors." 'Do you answer me," cried Gloucester, "with ifs and ands, as if I charged them falsely? I tell you they have done it, and