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influence, ready and able to act with effect upon such
an opportunity as was here presented. Their numbers
were dreaded by the other party, who probably over-
estimated them; and further strength was added to their
cause by popular feeling, then strongly excited in favour
of Edward's queen, who, now herself in sanctuary, had
recently been delivered of a son. The second cause
which Comines indicates was, that Edward owed many
debts in London, and the merchants to whom he was
indebted were greatly interested in his success.
third was, that a young and handsome and licentious
king, who had courted the women within his sphere or
his reach for widely different purposes, found zealous
partisans in them at this critical hour, and they incited
all whom they could influence to appear in his behalf.
Each of these causes had, no doubt, its effect; but
the truth is, that that revolution, like all such revo-
lutions, was the effect of audacity on the one side, and
irresolution and timidity on the other. When it was
known that Clarence had forsaken his father-in-law,
Warwick, and joined the king his brother,
"such a
fear," says Hall, "rose suddenly among the citizens,
that they were driven to their wits' ends, not knowing
either what to do or to say; but at the last very fear
compelled them to take king Edward's part."


When Clarence sent by some of his friends to Warwick excuses for his own conduct, and exhortations that the earl would come to some good accord with king Edward while he might, the king-maker returned this reply, "that he would liever be always like himself, than like a false and perjured duke; and that he was fully determined never to cease from the contest till he had either lost his own life, or utterly extinguished and put under his enemies." In that determination he marched against the king, and the battle of Barnet was fought: in that battle the king appears to have shown more military skill than his great opponent. The accidents of war and of the weather were in the king's favour; and


* Hall, 291-294. Holinshed, 305-314. Speed, 682. Comines, 170.

Warwick, the last of those great barons who were powerful enough to enthral the sovereign and transfer the crown, came to that end which, when the day went against him, he sought, and which, probably for himself and certainly for the nation, was the best that could have befallen him. "After so many strange fortunes and perilous chances by him escaped, death did for him one thing that could not do; for by death he had rest, peace, quietness, and tranquillity, which his life ever abhorred, and could not suffer nor abide."* The battle of Tewkesbury soon followed, and the fruits of victory were secured to Edward, by the murder, in his presence, of the prince of Wales, who had been brought before him as a prisoner, upon the king's promise that his life should be saved. The bitterness of that murder, it has been properly observed, some of the actors, in their latter days, tasted and assayed by the very rod of justice and punishment of God."+

Edward ordered three days' thanksgiving for his final success, and following up that success with just such measures as his enemies would have taken had the victory fallen to their part, he visited the towns and places where the Lancastrians had first assembled, and there, "to the pain and punishment of no small number,' provided for his own security. All opposition within the kingdom was effectually put down; but an alarm reached him from the sea. Warwick had appointed his kinsman, Thomas Nevil, the bastard son of Thomas lord Falconbridge, his vice-admiral; and, in expectation of maintaining the ascendency which he then held, charged him so to keep the seas, and especially the passage between Dover and Calais, as that none of the Yorkites "should escape untaken or undrowned." The bastard is described as being, "for his evil conditions, such an apt person, that a more meeter could not be chosen to set all the world in a broil, much more easily then might he put this realm on an ill hazard." Upon Warwick's fall, the boldest course seemed to him the best:

* Hall, 297.

† Idem.



"he robbed both on the sea and the land, as well his enemies as his friends;" and, soon becoming notorious for his piracies, a great number of sailors came to him from all parts of the land, and many lawless people, and not a few who are called traitors, and who, in the ruin which was brought upon them by the utter overthrow of the Lancastrian family, had become desperate. Calais was still open to him; and having got together a great navy, and no inconsiderable means, by the prizes which he had taken from all nations, and especially from the Portugueze, he resolved upon an enterprise which, though in regard to his own character and to that of the men whom he had assembled, it may deservedly have been called mischievous, and wicked, as well as great, was nevertheless not unworthy of his name and paternal line. He sailed for the Thames : many Kentish men were willing to assist him, others were forced either to join him, or aid him with their substance and money; and having collected some 16,000 or 17,000 May men, he brought his ships to Blackwall, and eight 12. days only after the battle of Tewkesbury, appeared with his army before London. Henry was then living; and the Bastard demanded admission in his name, proclaiming his intention to deliver him from the Tower, restore him to his royal dignity, and, leading him through the city, to march forthwith against Edward, whose destruction he and his people vowed to pursue "with all their uttermost endeavours." Fear was then the moving principle by which the mayor and aldermen were actuated; and being more afraid of a victorious king than of such a force as this adventurer had brought together, they refused to admit him or any of his company*, and May despatched advice to Edward, who was then at Coventry.


Immediately Edward sent off " 1500 of the choicest soldiers he had about him" to the succours of the mayor and aldermen, that they might be enabled to resist this enemy, till he could get together such an army as was thought necessary; for he was far from regarding such * Fabyan, 662. Hall, 301. Holinshed, 321.


an enemy with contempt. The queen and his infant children were thought not to be in very good safeguard, considering the evil dispositions of many within the city, I who, for the favour they had borne to Warwick, and for their desire to be partakers of the spoil, cared not if the Bastard might have attained to his full purpose and wished intent." Falconbridge, meantime, finding that neither by persuasion nor threats he could obtain entrance, marched with his whole land force towards Kingston, leaving his ships between St. Catherine's and Blackwall, near Ratcliff. His declared intention was to spoil and destroy Westminster, and the suburbs of that city, and then to assault the city, and take vengeance upon those who had refused to admit him. But as he was on his way, he was advertised that Edward was preparing to march against him, with all the great lords of the realm, and a larger army than he had ever brought into the field efore. The Bastard saw that if he crossed the river there was danger of his being surrounded; and that if, in the present state of his army, Edward could force him to a battle, his destruction would be inevitable: he knew also that there was no means of escape but by his ships; and that, while he was within reach of them, he was safe. So, with a resolution as prompt and as brave as the crisis required, he turned back, and mustered his people in St. George's Fields. Whatsoever the outward words of these men might be, "their inward cogitations," says Hall,


were only hope of spoil, and desire to rob and kill;" and their purpose was to carry the city by assault if they could, and, putting it to the sack, bear off the plunder in their ships.

With this view, they landed some pieces of artillery, and "planted them along the water-side, right over against the city, and there they shot off lustily, to annoy the citizens as much as possible." The citizens, on the other hand, brought their great artillery to bear, greater no doubt and more, "and with violent shot thereof, so galled them that they were driven even from

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their own ordnance. But Falconbridge was not so inexpert a soldier as to have expected more from this mode of attack than that it might occupy the attention of the Londoners, and serve as a diversion, while more serious attempts were made. He landed about 3000 men on the Middlesex side, with orders to form them close into two bodies, the one to attack Aldgate, the other Bishopsgate, while another part of his army were to set fire to the bridge, and open a passage there. London Bridge had suffered no such fierce assault since the repulse of Olaf: about sixty of the houses thereon were consumed; but this availed the assailants nothing; for the citizens had planted cannon at the further end, which commanded the passage. The magistrates and other worshipful citizens were in good array, and each man "appointed and bestowed where he was thought needful." The earl of Essex, and many knights, esquires, and gentlemen, with their friends and servants, came to aid the citizens," taking great pains," says Holinshed, "to place them in order for the defence of the gates and walls, and furthermore devised how and in what sort they might sally forth upon their enemies to destroy them; and surely by the intermingling of such gentlemen and lords' servants in every part with the citizens they were greatly encouraged."

Yet the rebels, as they are called, "bore themselves stoutly," especially the Essex men. *Under a captain of the Bastard's, by name Spiring, they won the bulwarks at Aldgate, and drove the citizens back within the portcullis; a handful of them had entered in pursuit when the portcullis was let fall: some were killed by it, and others, who were thus shut in, and cut off from aid, were presently dispatched. They continued to assault the gate, endeavouring to burn it ; and guns and bows were well plied on both sides, the bow being used with more effect than the fire-arms. At length Robert Basset, the alderman, who had been appointed to command at this point, and Ursewick, the recorder, “both

* "Harnessed in their wives' cheeseclouts," says Hall.

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