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now become desperate. He offered, therefore, upon an assurance of pardon for himself and all who were with him, to deliver up the town and the fleet. This offer,

upon great consideration, and by good deliberate advice of council, it was thought best to accept." The Bastard could make no conditions for those who had been made prisoners during his expedition : some of these had been lucky enough to fall into the hands of people who ransomed them as if they had been Frenchmen."* But Spiring's head was set up over Aldgate, where he had led the assault ; and Bishopsgate bore a like barba. rous trophy, in the head of Quintin, a butcher, who had commanded in that quarter. Edward himself, visiting divers places in Kent, sate in judgement upon those who had aided in the commotion ; after which the lord marshal and other judges were appointed to carry on the course of justice, —or of law. The mayor of Canterbury was executed, and several persons at Rochester, Maidstone, and Blackheath.

About an hundred were put to death in Kent, and many of the wealthy commons in that county

were set at grievous fines, both for themselves and their servants. The Essex men did not escape, “divers of them being hanged between Stratford and London.” Falconbridge himself, notwithstanding the pardon which he had obtained at the king's hand, was apprehended in the ensuing autumn, and put to death t; and his head was set on London bridge, “looking Kentward."

One of the Lancastrians still remained, who, like lord Falconbridge had taken to the seas. This was John Vere, earl of Oxford. It is said that the battle of Barnet would have been won by the Lancastrians, if his

* Fabyan, 662.

+ “ Being afterwards at sea, a roving belike as he had used before, he came at length into the open haven at Southampton, and there taking land was apprehended." - Holinshed. The English authorities place this in the same year. It appears in Rymer that the king of Portugal, Alfonso V., sent Joam de Elvas to complain of the piracies which Falconbridge had com. mitted upon his subjects, and that, after due enquiry, restitution was promised. I have not an opportunity of verifying my references to the Federa; but I find in them that in these documents which are dated 1473, the Bastard is spoken of as still an outlaw and a pirate. Rymer, xi. 767–769.

$ Holinshed, 328. Fabyan, 663. Turner iii. 237–240. (8vo. edition.)

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OXFORD AT ST. MICHAEL'S MOUNT.

137

men, after a successful attack upon the Yorkites, had kept their array, and not fallen to rifling ;

" and if on the drawing up of a fog (which was imputed at the time to friar Bungay's enchantments), the star with streaming rays, which was the badge of his men, had not been mistaken for the sun, which was king Edward's, by Warwick's archers. Oxford fled from that field in the belief that his chaplain would have betrayed him * ; but he was still of good cheer, and doubted not to repair the disasters of that day: nor was his own courage subdued when the battle of Tewkesbury, the murder of prince Edward, and the death of Henry, extinguished the last hopes of the house of Lancaster. After remaining more than a year in Scotland, he sailed to France, and hovered about the coast, till successful piracy enabled him to maintain some 400 followers. With these he made for the Land's End, and, entering Mount's Bay, partly by force, partly through the fear of the inhabitants, but mostly, it is said, “by a subtle shift," he got possession of the castle on St. Michael's Mount, and thought himself strong enough to keep the castle and the bay against all assailants. He and his people often ventured into the country, and were well entertained there, both for the earl's own sake, and for the hatred which was there borne to king Edward. It was indeed on the prevalent disaffection in these parts that his hope of maintaining himself could have been founded ; and it was, so far, well founded, that when the sheriff, Bedringham by name, besieged the Mount, with orders to take or kill the earl, the siege was so faintly prosecuted, and with so little wish of bringing it to a successful issue, that the earl, when provisions were begining to fail him, found means of revictualling the Mount, a place which could only be reduced by famine. When Edward, who neglected no danger, was informed of this, he sent "

one Fortescue, with a stronger and faithfuller company, to prosecute the siege ; and he continued it, for the castle was not easy to be had, being by nature strongly set, by policy well victualled, and by manhood

* Fabyan, 661. Holinshed, 313. Turner, 322.

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valiantly defended.” At length it was found easier to
shake the fidelity of the earl's people than to starve the
place: “strong pardons” were offered to them, accom-
panied with “ rich promises ;” and the effect was such,
“ that if the earl, fearing the worst, and judging it bet-
ter to try the king's mercy than to hazard the extremity
of taking, on which rested nothing but assured death,
had not wholly submitted himself, he had been by his
own men most dishonestly betrayed, and suddenly taken
prisoner.” Four months and fourteen days he held the
castle, and it was stored for six months more, when he
found it necessary thus to yield himself up a prisoner.
He stipulated only for his life, well knowing that more
would not be granted; and, to be out of all doubtful
imagination Edward sent him over the sea to the castle
of Hammes, where, during twelve years, he was in strong
prison shut up, and warily looked to.'

If Oxford's intention, in occupying St. Michael's
Mount, had only been to secure for himself a port * to
which he could at any time return, and a strong-hold
wherein to deposit the booty which he might acquire by
sea-roving, he should rather have taken possession of
Lundy; for the state of the English navy was such, that
great difficulty might have been found in bringing against
him a naval force. When Edward had resolved upon
invading France, in resentment for the assistance which
Louis had afforded to his enemies, the diminution of
our naval strength during the civil wars was made appa-
rent; there was an equal deficiency of ships, of seamen,

and of maritime skill. Charles the Bold, who incited 1474. him to the undertaking, supplied him with more than 500

vessels for the passage of his army: they were chiefly
from Holland and Zeeland, and well adapted for the
transport of cavalry. One William Philpott, the
master of a ship called the Peter of London, received
a commission to impress as many mariners as were
wanted t; but when all was ready, the passage and the
troops from Dover to Calais was not completed in three

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A.D.

* Holinshed, 427, 428, 429.

+ Rymer, xii, 4.

PEACE WITH FRANCE..

139

weeks. Luckily for the English, Louis, though he had begun to give some attention to naval affairs *, had made no preparation for disputing the passage ; and it was effected with the loss only of some small transports, which were captured by a single privateer. The army was more formidable than any which the conquerors of Cressy and Poictiers and Agincourt had led into France. Edward IV., whatever his military talents were, had always been a successful leader, for which cause his men had entire confidence in him; and so exhilarating were the thoughts of a French war to the English people, that the imposts which were raised for it were paid with cheerfulness. It was well for both countries, though honourable for neither, that the king of France, who cared not by what means he could bring about his politic designs, was willing to purchase peace, and that the king of England, a reckless and dissolute man, preferred money to such glory as might be gained by a career of conquest. Louis feared, despised, flattered, and cajoled him, bribed his favourites, and outwitted his counsellors. The French were thus confirmed in their opinion, that though it was difficult to deal with the English in the field, they might always be outreached in negotiation t; and from that time, in all their treaties with England, their statesmen have felt as full a pre-. sumption of their own superiority, and generally as well founded, as English soldiers and sailors have always manifested in battle.

During the remainder of Edward's reign no thought * Comines says, “quand le roy nostre maistre eût entendu le fait de la mer, aussi bien qu'il entendoit le fait de la terre, jamais le roy Edouard ne fust passé, au moins au cette saison ; mais il ne l'entendoit point; et ceux à qui il donnoit authorité sur le fait de sa guerre, y entendoient encores moins," p. 263. But it will be seen presently that Louis attended to the con. struction of ships of war.

+ “Jamais ne se mena traité entre les François et Anglois, que le sens des Francois et leur habilité ne se monstrat par dessus celle des Anglois; et ont les dits Anglois un mot commun, qu'autrefois m'ont dit, traitant avec eux; c'est, qu'aux batailles qu'ils ont eues avec les François, tousjours, ou le plus souvent, ils ont eu la gain; mais en tous traitez qu'ils ont eu à conduire avec eux ils y ont eu perte et dommage.” — Comines. Coll. des Mem. t xi. p. 180.

“Sans point de doute, comme j'ai dit ailleurs, les Anglois ne sont pas si subtils,'en traitez et en appointemens, comme sont les François, et quelque chose qui l'on en die, ils vont assez grossement en besogne; mais il faut avoir un peu de patience, et ne débattre point coleriquement avec eux.”Idem, 298.

was taken for maintaining a naval force; and when Richard had made his way by wicked means to a crown, of which, if it had rightfully devolved to him, he would have been most worthy, so little could he attend to these means of defence, that when Richmond, on his first at. tempt against the usurper, sailed from Bretagne with a

fleet of forty sail, the seas were wholly unguarded. He A. D. set forth with a prosperous wind; “but toward night 1483. the wind changed, and the weather turned, and so huge

and terrible a tempest so suddenly arose, that with the very power and strength of the storm the ships were disparkled, severed, and separated asunder. Some by force of weather were driven into Normandy, some were com. pelled to return again into Bretagne. Richmond himself, with only one other bark in his company, arrived off the entrance of Poole harbour, and not being deceived by invitation to look upon the soldiers who occupied the shore as his friends, “weighed up his anchor, halsed up his sails, and having a prosperous and streinable wind, and a fresh gale, sent even by God to deliver him from that peril, arrived safe in Normandy.” The tempest which dispersed his fleet had been his preservation ; for if he had effected a landing after the failure of his confederate Buckingham, the fortune of the Tudors would, in all human likelihood, never have obtained that ascendant which brought with it to this nation so much evil, and so much greater good.

But the measure of the Plantagenets' crimes was full. The house of York had taken vengeance for the wrongs of Richard II., upon the house of Lancaster ; it was then divided against itself. The sins of Edward IV. were visited upon his children; those of Richard III. upon his own head. Of all the enemies whom this last of the Plantagenet kings had designed for destruction, Richmond alone survived ; but the dreadful measures which the king had taken for his own security, drew after them more inevitable danger, for they turned from him the hearts of the people. Richmond was waiting at the French coast for a second opportunity of asserting his

* Holinshed, 419.

*

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