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counsellor, Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, she managed the government with his help, and in such a way as to give great offence to the Duke of York and his friends.

In 1453, the king became, for a time, quite insane, then Somerset was imprisoned, and the parliament placed the government in the hands of York, who was called Protector of the Kingdom. But as soon as the king recovered his reason, Somerset was set at liberty, and the Duke of York was so deeply offended, that he took up arms. Now began one of the most dreadful wars which ever raged in England. It is called the War of the Roses, because the friends of York took a White Rose for their badge, and the friends of King Henry a Red one. As Henry the Sixth was descended from John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, the men of his party were called Lancastrians; the Duke of York's men were called Yorkists.

The first battle in this terrible war was fought at St. Alban's, in May, 1455; Somerset was killed in this action, and a few years of peace followed his death; but in September, 1459, the war broke out again, and in the following year the king was made prisoner, and Queen Margaret was obliged to fly to Scotland. was now settled that Henry should continue to be king as long as he lived, but that the Duke of York and his children should inherit the crown, and not Henry's own son.


Queen Margaret could not patiently hear that her child was to be deprived of his father's throne; she came back from Scotland, gathered an army, and marched against the Yorkists. In the battle which followed, the duke was slain, his second son murdered

in cold blood when the fight was over, and several noblemen who had been made prisoners by the queen's party were put to death as traitors. But a few weeks afterwards, the duke's eldest son, Edward, took heavy revenge for these things. In a great battle at Mortimer's Cross, near Leominster, he defeated the Lancastrians, and put all the chief men who were taken prisoners to death. This frightful bloodshedding continued on both sides during all the war of the Roses, until every noble family in England had seen fathers, and sons, and brothers, fall in the field of battle, or by the hand of the executioner.

Edward entered London, after his victory at Mortimer's Cross, and was joyfully received by the citizens, who were almost all friendly to the house of York. On the 4th of March, 1461, he was proclaimed king.



(From 1461 to 1483.)

EDWARD THE FOURTH was no sooner made king than he was obliged to prepare for another encounter with Queen Margaret's forces. At Towton, in Yorkshire, he overthrew them with terrible slaughter, twenty-eight thousand Lancastrians were left dead on the field of battle. Margaret, with her husband and their little son, found refuge in Scotland; but at the end of a few years she returned again, bringing some French and Scottish troops with her. Once more the Lancastrians rose in arms, but only to be again defeated. Their party now seemed quite crushed: the queen fled

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with her son to France, King Henry remained in concealment in the north of England; but a treacherous monk betrayed his retreat to the Yorkists, and after enduring much insulting treatment, he was shut up in the Tower of London.

Hitherto Edward had been entirely successful. His cause had been supported by the most powerful nobleman in England, Neville, Earl of Warwick, who possessed so many friends and vassals, that thirty thousand persons were daily fed at his cost, in the various manors and castles which belonged to him. But King Edward began to offend his friends now. He had married Elizabeth Woodville, the widow of Sir John Grey, a Lancastrian knight, and he heaped honours and gifts upon his wife's relations till every one else became jealous of them.

His own brother, George, Duke of Clarence, was particularly indignant at the favours conferred upon the Woodvilles. George had married the eldest daughter of the Earl of Warwick; and when Warwick, in the year 1470, received very great offence from Edward, and determined to dethrone him, he hoped that he should be made king in his brother's stead. But Warwick intended to restore Henry the Sixth, and gave his youngest daughter in marriage to Henry's son. Warwick was called "the king-maker," for he was so beloved and so powerful that whichever prince he favoured seemed sure to prevail.

Edward was now obliged to fly from the kingdom, and Henry was brought out of the Tower, and once more shown to the people as their sovereign, October, 1470. But this change of kings lasted for a very little while; Edward returned by stealth to England,

and Clarence, who hated Warwick now because he had not given him the crown, took revenge by deserting to his brother, and assisting him to raise an army. The forces of the White and the Red Rose met at Barnet on Easter-day, 1471, and in the dreadful battle which followed, Warwick, "the king-maker," was slain, and the Lancastrians totally routed.

Queen Margaret had been raising troops in France to assist her friends, but contrary winds would not suffer them to sail; and when, at last, she ventured to embark, she was kept tossing about the Channel for sixteen days. She landed at Weymouth but a few hours before the fatal battle of Barnet, which was the ruin of her husband's cause. When she heard of the death of Warwick and the defeat of her friends, she would fain have returned to France with her son, and waited till better times might come; but some Lancastrian noblemen who had escaped from Barnet, raised a force in the western counties, and persuaded her to encounter Edward once more. They met at Tewkesbury, May 4th, 1471, and the Lancastrians were totally defeated. Margaret and her son were taken prisoners; and the prince, who was a brave and accomplished youth, in his eighteenth year, is said to have been barbarously murdered in Edward's presence after the battle.

Poor King Henry had been again shut up in the Tower, and was put to death there, a few weeks after the battle of Tewkesbury. Queen Margaret was imprisoned for some years, and then allowed to retire to France, where she wore out the sad remainder of her days in deep distress.

Edward the Fourth had now triumphed over all his

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enemies. During the rest of his life he gave himself up to every kind of vicious indulgence, and to this he joined extreme cruelty. Amongst those whom he put to death at this time, was his brother, the Duke of Clarence. Some of Clarence's friends had been most unjustly executed, and when he expressed his indignation at the treatment they had met with, he was himself accused of being a traitor, and condemned to die. It is said that he was drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine in his prison in the Tower.

Only one brother now remained to Edward, Richard Duke of Gloucester. The excesses of the king ruined his health; he died at the age of forty-two, April 9th, 1483, leaving two young sons and several daughters.


EDWARD V., 1483.-RICHARD III., 1483.-THE FIRST ENGLISH PRINTER. (From 1483 to 1485.)

EDWARD THE FIFTH was about thirteen years old when his father died. He had been placed under the care of his mother's relations, and was residing with them at Ludlow Castle, and keeping court as Prince of Wales, when his father's death occasioned his being called to London. On the way thither he was met by his uncle, the Duke of Gloucester, who took him away from his mother's friends, and sent them to prison. Gloucester brought the young king to London, and placed him in the royal apartments at the Tower-for


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