« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
officers of the garrison and of the town did the same. Vaucler, meantime, sent secret advice to Warwick, that if he attempted to enter the town he would be lost; the townsmen and most of the garrison being against him, as well as his own country and the duke of Burgundy : he advised him, therefore, to return into France, make his part good there, and leave him to manage his affairs in Calais, of which he would render him a good account in due time.* Warwick by this time had collected about fourscore vessels, they who rejoiced in any pretext for plundering the merchant ships gladly joining him : with these he sailed for Normandy, capturing all vessels belonging to the Low Countries which came in his way; he landed at Dieppe, and repaired immediately with Clarence to the king of France, to commune with him at Amboise.†
That crafty monarch, than whom no king ever knew better when to spend and when to spare, received him to his heart's content, supplied him largely with money for his followers, and ordered his admiral, the Bastard of Bourbon, to put to sea in aid of this new ally against the duke of Burgundy. Meantime Warwick's ships scoured the coast of Flanders, and brought in such stores of merchandise in their prizes into the French ports, that Louis is said to have prohibited by proclamation any further sale of such goods, lest the province should be drained of its money. At Amboise, one of those matrimonial alliances were formed, which having policy for their sole motive, have so frequently frustrated the very purpose for which they were designed: the earl's youngest daughter was married to prince Ed
"Il servit très-bien son capitaine, luy donnant ce conseil," says Comines, "mais très-mal son roy. Jamais homme ne tint plus grande desloyauté que ce Vaucler, vu que le roy d'Angleterre l'avoit fait capitaine en chef, avec ce que le duc de Bourgogne luy donnoit." Comines gives his reasons for relating these particulars: he says, " pour ce qu'il est besoin d'estre informé aussi bien des tromperies et mauvaistrez de ce monde, comme du bien, (non pour en user, mais pour s'en garder), je veux declarer une tromperie, une habilité, ainsi qu'on la voudra nommer, car elle fut sagement conduite; et aussi veux qu'on entend les tromperies de nos voisins, comme les nostres, et que partout il y a du bien et du mal." - Coll. Univ. des Mémoires, &c. t. xi. 147, 148.
+ Hall, 278, 279. Holinshed, 294. Comines, ut supra, 144-8. Cont. of Monstrelet, xi. 98-104
ward, king Henry's only son. Bitter wrongs were to be forgiven on either side, and the deepest resentment to be overcome: but, in contracting this alliance with the house of Lancaster, whereby he pledged himself to the restoration of that house, the earl overlooked the probable effect upon Clarence, who might now think it safer to be reconciled to his brother than to serve under the red rose. Edward did not lose the occasion which was thus presented to him, and by means of a female agent opened an intercourse with his weak and worthless brother, which prepared the way for his defection, was the only measure to which an apprehension of his danger excited him, though Burgundy repeatedly warned him, that unless he was well prepared the enemy would be upon him. Yet Edward could not but be aware how greatly Warwick was to be dreaded. "There was no other man," says Hall, "whom the people held in so much honour, and praised so much, and extolled to the clouds so highly. His only name sounded in every song in the mouth of the common people, and his person was represented with great reverence, when public plays or open triumphs were showed or set forth in the streets; and now his absence made them long daily more and more to have the sight of him, for they judged that the sun was clearly taken from the world when he was absent." * But Edward, a young, hale, and handsome prince, brave as the bravest of his undaunted race, and equally devoid of fear and of forethought, reckoned upon his own popularity, and disbelieved or disregarded that of Warwick, the king-maker, whose reputation, however, was then as great in other countries as in England. The king of France had bound this mighty
* "One cause of the great favour in which Warwick was held by the commons of this land was by reason of the exceeding household which he daily kept in all countries, wherever he sojourned or lay; and when he came to London, he held such an house that six oxen were eaten at a breakfast; and every tavern was full of his meat, for who that had any ac. quaintance in that house, he should have as much sod and roast as he might carry upon a long day."- Holinshed, 301.
"Taniala con el rey y con todos," says Sueyro,
66 pues devia valer mucho el hombre que pudo trocar dos vezes el estado de Ingalaterra, y disponer de la corona."-T. ii. 479.
earl, and with him queen Margaret for her husband, and the prince of Wales for himself as well as his father, by oath, never to confederate with the house of Burgundy, but to assist him till he should have subverted that house, and subjected its dominions.* Even Charles the Bold might reasonably regard with apprehension the consequences of such an engagement.
That prince prepared immediately to meet the danger. He seized upon the French property at Bruges, Antwerp, and other places. His states, Burgundy excepted, which had enough to do in providing for its own defence, voted him 120,000 crowns for three years for the expense of a naval armament: he engaged such Spanish, Portuguese, Genoese, and Easterlings' ships as were found at Sluys, and went to Zeeland, there to accelerate the preparations which were making at Arnemuiden and at Veere. The lord of Veere, Henrik van Borselen, sailed with eight and twenty great ships from Arnemuiden; and Warwick's fleet, though strengthened by the French under the Bastard of Bourbon, thought it not advisable to hazard an action with him, but hastened to their port in Normandy. Van Borselen landed some of his people, for he had the strength of Zeeland with him, and burnt ten of the enemy's vessels in the harbour where they had thought themselves safe.
After this victory, Henrik van Borselen sailed for England: where his brother Floris the Bastard landed with a body of men one day for recreation, and went into Southampton, not knowing that the people of that town were partisans of Warwick: but they, regarding the Burgundians as his enemies, ran to arms, set up the cry of "Warwick!" and fiercely attacked him. He was strong enough to get possession of a part of the town, and maintain it, till the foreign traders who were in the river interfered, and took Floris and his wounded people on board their ships. In consequence of this affray, Edward punished some of the persons who had
Sueyro says that treaties to this effect were found among the papers of prince Edward after his death. ii. 479.
been foremost in it, and sent men on whom he could rely to occupy the town. He also despatched a squadron of eleven ships to join the Burgundians.*
An Easterling captain, Hans Voetken by name, distinguished himself during this season by extricating himself from a superior force of Warwick's ships; sinking some, and bearing away others as prizes. In a subsequent action with a fleet of Hollanders freighted with salt from Bretagne, the English lost fourteen ships, and the Hollanders threw their prisoners into the sea; for which barbarity reprisals were made soon afterwards, when eight vessels belonging to the Low Countries fell into the hands of Warwick's people.† Vaucler, who, while he openly adhered to one party, maintained a secret intelligence with the other, anxiously calculated the probabilities of success on either side, and thought them so doubtful, that he desired rather to see the dispute settled by negotiation than by arms. When Comines from time to time urged him to send away from Calais some twenty or thirty servants of Warwick, as dangerous persons, he promised so to do, and continually delayed doing it; till at length, when it was known that Warwick's preparations for returning to England, and there trying his fortunes, were complete, he told Comines, the best advice which could be offered to the duke his master, if he wished to continue in alliance with England, was, to take the opportunity that now presented itself, and forward the proposals for peace which had arrived from king Edward. He had been deceived by the female agent, whom that king, under this pretext, had employed to bring about the defection of his brother Clarence.
The fleet which Charles the Bold had sent out was stronger than the combined forces of Warwick and the
* Oude Chronijcke van Holland, 491, 492. + Sueyro, 479. 481.
Comines, 151. This most amusing writer prides himself not a little upon his knowledge of these intrigues, being the first which he had ever an opportunity of understanding. "De ces secrètes habilitez ou tromperies," he says, "qui se sont faites en nos contrées de deça, n'entendrez vous plus véritablement de nulle autre personne, au moins de celles qui sont advenues depuis vingt ans." - P. 152.
French king; and it lay off the mouth of the Seine, ready to attack them if they should venture forth. The letters which Warwick received from England assured him, that "almost all men were in harness, looking for his landing daily and hourly, sore wishing his arrival:" he was required to "make haste, yea more than haste, although he brought no succour with him ;" and he was assured that thousands would join him as soon as he should land. All this was the offer of the common people; besides which, the chiefs of the Lancastrian party undertook to adventure themselves, and all that they possessed, in the cause. Thus encouraged, the earl determined not to wait till queen Margaret and her son could accompany him, but to set forth at once with that part of the armament which was ready. See," says the chronicler, "the work of God!" he had determined upon putting to sea at all hazards, and the night before the purpose should have been executed, a storm arose, and drove off the duke's fleet; some were lost, some driven to Scotland, some to Holland: Van Borselen with the admiral's ship got to the Isle of Walcheren. When the storm had thus cleared the Channel of this wind became favourable for Warwick, company arrived without opposition on the Devonshire coast, part landing at Dartmouth, part at Plymouth.” "Uncredible it was," says Speed, "to see the confluence of them which came armed to him, who erewhile applauded and approved none but king Edward." The duke of Burgundy had warned the king not only of Warwick's preparations, and of his strength, but of the course which he intended to steer, and the point where it was his purpose to land. Edward, however, took no measures either to prevent the earl from landing, or for giving him battle before he could collect his strength, but pursued his accustomed sports, in disregard of all danger; and when the earl, "fully furnished on every side with his kindred and friends, took his way toward London, where he expected to find more open friends than privy enemies," Edward, even when informed "of
hostile fleet, the and he and his