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the army, to strengthen that throne which she had in a great measure established. Had the history of the Maid of Orleans, as she was now called, here terminated, mankund would have been at a loss to account for her extraordinary exploits; but her subsequent miscarriages tended only to show that she was an unfortunate visionary, whom a heated imagination had inspired with superior energy. She had been several times wounded; on one occasion she received an arrow in her neck; she retreated for a moment, pulled out the arrow with her own hand, had her wound dressed, and then hastened back to head her troops. At the siege of Luxembourg, where she fell into the hands of the English, she behaved with her accustomed intrepidity; twice she drove the enemy from their entrenchments; finding their numbers increase every moment, she ordered a retreat; when hard pressed by her pursuers, she turned upon them, and made them again recoil; but being deserted by her friends, she was at last surrounded, and taken prisoner. The common opinion was that the French officers, in envy of her renown, purposely exposed her to this fatal accident.
The English made a barbarous and most unjustifiable use of their capture. Instead of being treated as a prisoner of war, she was consigned into the hands of the ecclesiastics, who accused her of sorcery, idolatry, impiety, magic, and other unintelligible crimes. Loaded with irons, and clothed in her military appare., she was introduced before her merciless persecutors. At first she behaved with great firmness ; but brow-beaten and over-awed by men clothed with the ensigns of a sacred character, which she had once been accustomed to revere, her spirit was at last subdued, and those visionary dreams of inspiration gave way to the terror of that punishment with which she was threatened. She publicly declared herself ready to recant, acknowledged the illusion of her imaginary revelations, and promised
never more to maintain them. Her sentence was then mitigated; she was sentenced to perpetual imprisonment, and to be fed during life on bread and water.
This, however, was not enough to satisfy the barbarous vengeance of her holy prosecutors. Suspecting that the female dress she had consented to wear was not agreeable to her, they placed a suit of man's apparel in her apartment, and watched the effect of that temptation. On the sight of the dress in which she had acquired so much renown all her former ideas and passions revived, and she ventured to clothe herself in the forbidden garment. Her insidious enemies caught her in that situation ; her fault was interpreted to be no less than a relapse into heresy ; no recantation would suffice, and no pardon could be granted her. She was condemned to be burnt in the market-place at Rouen, and the infamous sentence carried into execution on the 30th of May, 1431.+ Such is a brief history of the celebrated Maid of
Lingard, vo.. V., p. 90, gives the following affecting account of her execution :"She was led sobbing and struggling to the stake, nor did the expectation of a
Orleans. The more generous superstition of the ancients would haye erected altars to her memory, while Christian bigots, under the senseless charge of heresy and magic, consigned the heroine to the flames.
Hume, vol. iü., p. 142. INSURRECTION OF JACK CADE. An Irish adventurer, whose real name was John Cade, but who had assumed that of Mortimer, cousin to the Duke of York, seized the moment when the public mind was greatly irritated against the king and the government, to unfurl the standard of insurrection. At the head of twenty thousand men he marched to Blackheath. Henry instantly dissolved the parliament, and summoning his forces, advanced to London. Many messages passed between the king and the feigned Mortimer, who delivered the wishes of his followers in two papers, entitled “The Complaints of the Commons of Kent,” and “The Requests of the Captain of the great Assembly in Kent.' Henry had levied between fifteen and twenty thousand men, with whom he had marched to suppress the insurgents; but Cade withdrew before the king's arrival, and was pursued by a detachment under Sir Humphrey Stafford. At Sevenoaks he turned on his pursuers, put them to flight, killed their commander, and arrayed himself in the knight's armour. When the news was brought to Blackheath the royalists began to waver; the requests of the Kentish men they now thought reasonable, and it was asked why they should fight against their countrymen, who had taken up arms in defence of their national liberties. At the persuasion of the Lords, who distrusted, or pretended to distrust the fidelity of their followers, Henry sent to the Tower his chamberlain, the Lord Say, one of the most obnoxious ministers, disbanded his forces, and retired to the Castle of Kenilworth. Lord Scales, with a thousand men, undertook the defence of the Tower. Cade resumed his former position on Blackheath, and two days later took possession of Southwark. The mayor had summoned a common council, in which, after a long debate, it was resolved to offer no resistance; and in the afternoon Cade entered in martial array, cutting with his sword the ropes of the drawbridge as he passed ; and on coming to “London Stone” struck it with his sword, saying, “ Now is Mor
heavenly deliverer forsake her, till she saw the fire kindled at her feet; she then burst into loud exclamations, protesting her innocence, and invoking the aid of the Aimighty, and just before the flames enveloped her, was seen embracing a crucifix, and calling on Christ for mercy.”
The visitor to Rouen will find in a corner of the Place de la Pucelle, an old house, the Hotel du Bourgtheroude, on pulling a bell at the gate he is admitted into a court-yard, on the left hand of which is a long hall or gallery, having on the exterior of its walls the far-famed bas reliefs of the interview of Henry VIII. and Francis I. on the field of the cloth of gold. In this hall, according to popular tradition, the Maid of Orleans was tried and condemned, and from a window which overlooked the place, the Duke of Bedford witnessed her execution. The church on the opposite side of the place, in which the martyred heroine passed her last night in prayer, is now a wheelwright's shop. The ancient monument was replaced in 1755 by the present fountain.
timer lord of London.” He preserved the strictest discipline among his followers, and in the evening, to prevent disorder, led them back into the Borough. He acted in the same manner the next day, but compelled the mayor and judges to sit in the Guildhall; and having, by some means which are not mentioned, got possession of Lord Say, arraigned him before them, bills of indictment were immediately found against the prisoner, the Duchess of Suffolk, the Bishop of Salisbury, Thomas Daniel, and several others who, in the parliament at Leicester, had been pointed out as the accomplices of the late minister. Fortunately the rest were absent. Lord Say pleaded the privilege of the peerage, but was hurried to the standard in Cheapside, and immediately beheaded. His son-in-law, Cromer, sheriff of Kent, was soon afterwards discovered, and underwent the same fate.* On the third day a few houses were pillaged, and the citizens fearing the same violence on the next morning, determined, with the assistance of Lord Scales, to defend the bridge, and exclude the insurgents. Cade received intelligence of their design, and a bloody conflict ensued during the night; sometimes the citizens, sometimes the men of Kent prevailed; but at the end of six hours the royalists were in possession of the bridge, and a short truce was taken by mutual consent. The Archbishops of Canter. bury and York, who were in the Tower, deemed this a favourable moment to divide the insurgents; and the Bishop of Winchester, crossing the river, carried with him pardons under the great seal for all who should immediately return to their homes. The offer, after some demur, was gratefully accepted, and the army imme diately dispersed. Cade, however, repenting of his credulity, again unfurled his banner, and found men prepared to rejoin it. But their number was too small to attack the City; they retired from Southwark through Deptford to Rochester, and there quarrelled among themselves respecting the partition of their plunder. The captain in despair mounted his horse, and fled in the direction of Lewes, but was hotly pursued by Iden, the sheriff of Kent, and taken and beheaded in a garden at Heyfield, Iden conveyed the dead body to London, for the satisfaction of the king and council, and claimed the reward, 1,000 marks, for himself and his companions.
Lingard, vol. V., p. 137. MARGARET OF ANJOU. This heroic woman, whose name bears so distinguished a place in the annals of England, was the daughter of René, Titular King of Sicily, and niece of the Queen of France ; she is described by contemporary chroniclers as possessing “rare perfections alike of mind and body.”. Courageous, enterprising, and reflective, she was born for dominion, and although extraordinary reverses and
** Holinshed says,—“With these two heads, placed on poles, this bloody butcher entered the city again, and in despite caused them at every street to kiss together, to the great detestation of all beholders.”
misfortunes attended her eventful life, she never for an instant quailed, or forgot her high estate; but equally great in power and in sorrow, maintained to the last her dearly-bought title of the heroine of Anjou, England's warrior queen. Married at the early age of fifteen* to Henry VI., a man whose character was most singularly opposed to her own, she soon discovered his utter incapacity for government, and aroused by the intrigues of the Duke of York and his faction, who, presuming on the timidity and want of firmness in the “ priest-like Henry” were gradually working his ruin, she boldly took upon herself the care of the state, and supplied by her energy and talent the qualities which were wanting in her husband.
Her strong mind and indomitable courage, asserting their natural superiority over the weak and the irresolute, placed her at once (as is daily perceptible in all conditions of life with those who possess the like advantages), by tacit and universal acknowledgment, in her high position, and during five-and-twenty years hard fighting, both in the field and the council chamber, she proved to the world she had not mistaken her vocation. The courage and misfortunes of the heroine of Anjou have ever been fruitful themes for our historians, and when we read in their pages the capture of the king at St. Albans, the death of the Duke of York at Wakefield, the fall of the mighty king-maker, the Earl of Warwick, at Barnet, the defeat of the royalists at Hexham, the murder of Prince Edward at Tewkesbury, the imprisonment and murder of King Henry in the Tower, and the establishment of the white rose on the throne, we see in them all spirit-stirring passages in the life of the warrior queen ; and when we close the chequered records with her death in poverty and exile, the reflection will steal upon us that a life of ambition is a life of sorrow, and that great qualities in man or woman seldom bring happiness to their possessors.t
Historical Characters, p. 47.
* The lady Margaret, being transported from Dieppe, landed at Porchester, from whence she was conveyed by water to Hampton (Southampton), and rested there in a place called God's house, from whence she went to Southwick, and was married to the king on the 22nd April, 1445, at Tichfield Abbey; and from thence she was honourably conveyed by the lords and estates of this land, which met her in sundry places with great retinues of men in divers liveries with their sleeves broidered, and some beaten with goldsmiths work, in most costly manner, and specially of the Duke of Gloucesier, who met her with five hundred men in livery, and was conveyed to Blackheath, where she was met by the Lord Mayor, aldermen, and sheriffs of the city, in scarlet, with the crafts of the same, all riding on horseback in blue gowns, with broidered sleeves and red hoods. On the 18th May she was conveyed with her train through Southwarke, and so through the city of London, then beautified with pageants and divers histories, and other shows of welcome, marvellous, costly and sumptuous. On the 30th May she was solemnly crowned at Westminster. This woman excelled all others as well in beauty and favour as wit and policy, and was of stomach and courage not inferior to any. Her badge was the daisy flower.
Stowe's Annals, p. 633. † Miss Agnes Strickland, in her most elaborate and interesting history of this infortunate princess, thus eloquently records her death :-“The last tie that bound Margaret to the world was severed by the death of her father, and she wished to end her days in profound retirement. Her efforts to obtain the bodies of her murdered husband and son were ineffectual ; but till the last day of her life she employed some faithful ecclesiastics in England to perforin at the humble graves of her loved and lost ones those offices deemed needful for the repose of their souls. On her death-bed she divided among her faithful attendants the few valuables that remained from the wreck of her fortunes ; and worn out with the pressure of her sore afflictions of mind and body, she closed her troublous pilgrimage at the chateau of Damprierré, August 25th, in the fifty-first year of her age. She was buried in the cathedral of Angers, in the same tomb with her royal parents, without epitaph or inscription, or any other memorial excepting her portrait painted on glass in a window of the cathedral.'
THE WARS OF THE ROSES. The claim of the Duke of York to the crown of England, as the descendant of the second son of Edward III., against that of Henry VI., who derived his descent from the Duke of Lancaster, the third son of Edward, being recognised by many of the principal nobility and the greater part of the Commons, who were exasperated by the loss of France, the insolence of the queen and her favourites, and the supineness and incapacity of the king, it was determined that measures should be taken to overturn the existing government, and establish the direct succession.
The first movement of the duke to try the disposition of the people for his cause was the insurrection of Jack Cade;* and although the result of that popular outburst was for the moment unsatisfactory, the seeds of disaffection were sown, and it required but little to cultivate them into full-blown rebellion. The white and red roses, which the two factions had assumed for their badges, soon began to be seen in the caps of their several retainers and partizans, and it was not long before secret meetings and plottings merged into open war, and the houses of York and Lancaster commenced at St. Albans the fatal struggle for supremacy, which lasted thirty years, was signalised by twelve pitched battles, is computed to have almost entirely annihilated the old nobility, and cost the lives of two kings, one prince, ten dukes, two marquesses, twenty-one earls, twenty-seven lords, two viscounts, one lord prior, one judge, one hundred and thirty-three knights, four hundred and fifty-one esquires, and eighty-four thousand nine hundred and ninety-eight private soldiers.
Kings of Engiand, p. 73. THE EARL OF WARWICK. This nobleman, commonly known from the subsequent events by the appellation of the king maker, had distinguished himself by his gallantry in the field, by the hospitality of his table, by the magnificence, and still more by the generosity of his expense, and by the spirited and bold manner which attended him in all his actions. The undesigning frankness and openness of his cha
Queens of England, vol. iii, p. 312.
* Hume says—" It was imagined by the court that the Duke of York had secretly instigated Cade to his attempt, in order to try by that experiment the dispositions of the people to his title and family.” Rapir and Spencer both assert that Cade was suborned by the duke.