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WYAT'S MARCH TO LONDON.
on their march to Brentford, and halted not till they reached Knightsbridge. Here they were detained by the dismantling of a gun-carriage, and their object of a night attack on Whitehall was defeated. When the news reached Westminster that the rebels had passed Brentford, drums went through the streets at four o'clock in the morning, warning all to arm themselves and repair to Charing-cross. It was broad day when, after this march through a cold February night, the Kentish men reached the west end of what we now call Piccadilly, but which was then known as "The Reading"-a highway amidst fields and trees. The first houses of the western suburb were a scattered few about the Mews-now Trafalgar-square -and one or two at the south end of the Haymarket, a country road. St. James's palace stood in St. James's Field, where, on that eventful morning, horse and foot had assembled. The movements of the royal forces and of the rebels are minutely described in the Diary of the Resident in the Tower, from which Stow has copied his narrative. "By ten of the clock, or somewhat later, the earl of Pembroke had set his troop of horsemen on the hill in the highway about the new bridge over against St. James's; his footmen were set in two battalions somewhat lower, and nearer Charing-cross. At the lane turning down by the brick-wall from Islington-ward, he had set also certain other horsemen, and he had planted his ordnance upon the hill-side. In the mean season Wyat and his company planted his ordnance upon the hill beyond St. James's, almost over against the park corner; and himself, after a few words spoken to his soldiers, came down the old lane on foot, hard by the court gate at St. James's, with four or five ancients, his men marching in good array." This is not difficult to understand if we picture to ourselves that "the hill in the highway above the new bridge over against St. James's," where the earl of Pembroke "had set his troop of horsemen," was the elevated ground of "the way to Reading" at the upper end of the present St. James's-street; and the "new bridge was over a stream in the Green Park: that "the lane turning down by the brick-wall from Islington-ward" near Charing-cross, where the earl's footmen were, was St. Martin's-lane, and that "the brick-wall" was the wall of the Convent Garden, which was a great inclosure extending from St. Martin's-lane far along the Strand.* Wyat's men marched by St. James's Palace, by the road called "the old lane." The earl of Pembroke's horsemen hovered about them, but made no bold attempt to stop their march. Great ordnance were fired on both sides with little damage. The rebels passed on to Charing-cross, where was the lord chamberlain with the guard; but onward the rebels went towards the city, by the highway of the Strand. Amidst this little fighting, "the noise of women and children, while the conflict was at Charing-cross, was so great and shrill, that it was heard to the top of the White Tower." The queen seems to have been the only person of the whole court endowed with sense and courage. There was a party of Wyat's force that separated from him by St. James's Palace, and went towards Westminster to attack Whitehall, and when they came suddenly through the gate-house, says another relater of these events, “Sir John Gage, and three of the judges that were meanly armed in old brigantines, were so frightened that they fled in at the gates in such haste that old
* See the plan of London by Aggas, 1578.
THE INSURRECTION DEFEATED.
[1554. Gage fell down in the dirt, and was foul arrayed; and so shut the gates, whereat the rebels shot many arrows." * When "divers timorous and coldhearted soldiers came to the queen, crying 'all is lost-away, away; a barge, a barge,' her grace never changed her cheer, nor would remove one foot of the house." Her women were shrieking and hiding in helpless terror. Wyat continued his march, unresisted, though his men were in a disordered condition, on through Temple-bar and Fleet-street, till they came to Ludgate. He knocked at the gate; but was refused admittance by lord William Howard, with the words, " Avaunt, traitor! thou shalt not come in here." He rested awhile at the Bell-Savage gate; and then turned back, purposeless. After a skirmish at Temple-bar, a herald persuaded him to yield; and sir Maurice Berkeley received his submission, and carried him behind him on his horse to court. From Whitehall to the Tower was his last journey.
* Underhill's Narrative. Appendix to "Chronicle of Queen Jane."