Изображения страниц

A. D.

taking in consequence to a different pursuit, he became
at length lord high treasurer. Wounded as he was,
he brought the ships royal, laden with money and pri-
soners, to Calais, and there presented them to the earl
of March;
66 not knowing then," says Hall, "that the
lord Rivers's daughter, which then had an husband living,
should be the earl's wife, nor thinking that her father,
for his sake, should after be destroyed: but who can
know the secrets of God, or without Him declare the
chances that after shall ensue?"

Some of these ships were immediately manned and vic1460. tualled, and Warwick sailed in them to Ireland, there to confer with York. The weather favoured both his going and his return; in other respects he was strong enough to defy fortune. It is said that sir Baldwin Fulford undertook to destroy him, on pain of losing his head, which he afterwards lost as a faithful adherent of the red rose but, after spending a thousand marks of the king's money, he returned from a bootless quest. The duke of Exeter had been appointed chief admiral, and he lay on the west coast, hoping to intercept Warwick; but he was afraid of his people, captains as well as men, who did not dissemble that Warwick had their good wishes, and that they had neither respect nor liking for their commander; so that Warwick, who was prepared for battle, and expected it, passed by without molestation. Orders were now given for the defence of the sea coast, and all men passing to Flanders were forbidden to touch at Calais on pain of death, lest forced loans should be taken from them, or from the merchants of the staple. Sir Simon Montford was appointed to guard the Downs and the Cinque Ports; but his fortune was even worse than that of the lord Rivers, for a detachment under the lord Fauconbridge was sent from Calais against him: that unlucky town was a second time taken, and Montford and twelve of the principal persons under his command were carried across the Channel, and beheaded on the sands before Risebank. After

† Hall, 243. Fabyan, 635. Holinshed, 254.



this success, March and Warwick, putting "the castle and town of Calais in sure and safe custody to their only use," sailed for England, landed at Sandwich, and marched against the king.*

While the English barons with desperate courage, and at this time with unshaken fidelity, were waging life and land for the contending houses of York and Lancaster, the rare instance occurred of one who looked only to his own security, caring for neither claimant, nor for his country, nor for his own good name. The earl of Wiltshire was at this time treasurer of England: as an active enemy of the Yorkites, he went with the lords Scales and Hungerford to Newbury, which belonged to the duke of York, made inquisition there of those who in any wise had favoured the duke, executed some, and spoiled all the inhabitants of the town. From thence he went to Southampton, and, under pretence of fitting out an expedition against the earl of Warwick, he manned four great Genoese carracks with soldiers, stored them with food, which he took up at the king's price without payment, put great part of his treasures on board, and, after sailing about awhile, conveyed himself and his property into Dutchland, sending the soldiers back. Events followed each other now in rapid succession, - York's first successes, his subsequent defeat and death, and the assumption of the crown by his son Edward IV., who took full vengeance upon the enemies of his line. He appointed the earl of Kent high A.D. admiral; and a fleet, with 10,000 men, put to sea 1461. with the apparent view of deterring the French from sending a force to assist queen Margaret, landed in Bre- 1462. tagne, took Conquet, and afterwards the Isle of Rhé, and then returned. In the following year, the queen 1463. obtained from Louis XI. a force of 2000 men, under the same seneschal of Normandy, Pierre de Brezé, who had formerly got possession of Sandwich: it was supposed that the king wished to be rid of him by fair

Hall, 243. Fabyan, 636. Holinshed, 254-256. + Holinshed, 258.

means, and therefore sent him on this service in the hope that he might perish in it. Expecting to be joined by Somerset, with a Scottish force, they landed at Tynemouth; but meeting there neither with succour nor tidings of succour, they reimbarked. The weather suddenly became tempestuous; the queen herself was glad to escape in a small caravel into Berwick; the other ships were driven on shore near Bamborough Castle, and the French, who saw no means of saving them, set them on fire, retired into Holy Island, and there endeavoured to defend them. They were attacked there by the Bastard Ogle, and a squire, by name John Manners, with the strength of the adjacent parts. Some 400 were taken prisoners, and put to ransom, many were slain; the remainder, with the seneschal, made their way to Berwick, where the queen received them gladly, and gave him the command of Alnwick Castle: he defended it well till he was relieved by the Scots under the earl of Angus, who came with a great army and rescued them; the English looking on, and thinking it much better to leave the castle without loss, than to lose both the castle and the men, considering the great power of the Scots and their own small number.t

The queen, whose spirit nothing could subdue, leaving her helpless husband and her son at Edinburgh, sailed from Kirkcudbright with four ships, once more to solicit help from France. The duke of Bretagne aided her with 12,000 crowns, and Louis, out of his wonted policy, privately gave her a small † body of troops, exacting from her an obligation that she should deliver up Calais to him, as soon as it was in her power. The battle of Hexham followed, and the capture of king Henry; and Edward then thought himself " set in the sure stall, stable throne, and unmovable chair" of his kingdom, and " 'clearly out of doubt of all hostility and dan

* Monstrelet, x. 19, 20. Hall, 259. Holinshed, 280, 281. Henry v. 127. + Hall, I suspect, states the number of the detachment (500) erroneously, for that of the force which was sent with the seneschal; "a small number for her purpose," he says, "and yet greater than her husband or she were able to entertain in wages of their own coffers,"




ger." Of all his adherents, Warwick was the person to whom he was most beholden for his success; but, by privately contracting a marriage while that great baron was publicly negotiating for one by his authority, he gave him deep offence, and is said previously to have offered him a private wrong, which was not likely ever to be forgotten or forgiven. When the earl had A. D. determined upon taking vengeance, he connected himself with Edward's brother, the duke of Clarence, by giving him his eldest daughter in marriage. The marriage was celebrated at Calais, and some months elapsed before any demonstration of enmity was made on Warwick's part, or any suspicion appeared on the king's. The earl's plans were ill laid: he seems to have halted between two opinions, and to have resolved upon unmaking the king whom he had made, before he could subdue his own enmity toward the house of Lancaster, so far as to reconcile himself with queen Margaret, and prepare for restoring the dynasty which he had deposed. The effect of this irresolution was, that he was prepared with no plan of proceedings when he had made himself master of the king's person by a night attack upon his quarters at Wolney, near Warwick, and placed him in custody of his brother, the archbishop of York, at Middleham Castle, in Yorkshire: and when Edward, escaping from his careless guard, made his way safely 1470. to York first, and thence to Lancaster and London, the earl and Clarence found it necessary to fly the kingdom. They hired ships at Dartmouth, well armed, and at all points trimmed, and decked; and, embarking with their wives and retainers, sailed for Calais.*

Warwick's intention was to leave his family in that safe hold, while he proceeded to the French king, Louis, in the hope of either obtaining a great aid from him, or of "incensing him earnestly to make battle against king Edward." He was the more likely to succeed, because, by the marriage of Charles the Bold of Burgundy with Edward's sister, Margaret, the house of York had con

✦ Hall, 261. 265. 275. 278. Holinshed, 284. 294.

nected itself with the power that, of all others, Louis regarded with the most jealous and inimical feeling. That the duke wore the blue garter on his leg, and the red cross, which was the badge of king Edward, on his mantle, he considered a plain demonstration of his friendship for the English, and of his capital enmity against France.* Warwick had left Calais in charge to his lieutenant, the sieur de Vaucler, a Gascon by birth, on whose fidelity he firmly relied: nor was he altogether deceived in him; for it appears that Vaucler was very desirous to serve his lord, provided he could do so with safety to himself. Few men have succeeded so well in playing so dangerous a game. Instead of opening the gates to Warwick, he fired upon his ships, not, however, with the intention of injuring them. The duchess of Clarence was delivered of a fair son while they lay at anchor before the place- (poor child, his fate is one of the blackest stories in the black history of state crimes!); · it was not without great entreaty that Vaucler would allow the infant to be taken on shore for baptism, and permit two flagons of wine to be taken aboard. Edward, as may be supposed, was well pleased with the deputy lieutenant's conduct; knowing that, if the same course had been pursued on a former occasion, when he and Warwick took refuge there, it would have been fatal to what was then the insurrectionary cause. He immediately sent over his letters patent, constituting him chief captain of Calais, and proclaiming Warwick a traitor. Vaucler's character and station qualified him for the post, for he was a knight of the garter. The duke of Burgundy also estimated th importance of this act to the king of England, and consequently to his own immediate interest, so highly, that he sent Philippe de Comines to Calais, to settle upon Vaucler a pension of 1000 crowns, and exhort him to continue faithful to the part which he had now taken; and that captain accordingly took the oath of fidelity to Edward, in presence of Comines, and the other

* Continuation of Monstrelet, xi. 95.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »