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FTER Henry’s defeat, Edward returned to London like a triumphant emperor, elated partly by such a great victory, and partly by the general defection to himself of the Peerage and Commons. And in a parliament assembled at Westminster he was created king in the traditional way, under the name of Edward IV. This was on June 29 of the year of human salvation 1460. In the same year Edward held another parliament, in which the state of the realm was, as it were, founded anew, and this was very much in the interest of the commonwealth, which had been long neglected because of civil war. Then, in accordance with his will, all decisions made in parliaments held under King Henry were rescinded, quashed, and nullified. Finally his two younger brothers George and Richard were created Dukes of Clarence and Gloucester. Likewise John, brother of Earl Richard of Warwick, was made Marquis Montague, Henry Bourchier, brother of Thomas Archbishop of Canterbury was made Earl of Essex, and William Falconbridge was created Earl of Kent. Richard Duke of York had bestowed his sister Elizabeth on that Henry Bourchier, a very noble man, excellent, and renowned for his achievements, so to make him at all times a reliable partner in his war and in his fortunes. Afterwards Edward, the son of this Richard, did the very same thing by creating this man Earl of Essex, so that father and son might both be his supporters. For Henry had fathered by his wife Elizabeth for sons, William, Thomas, John,and Henry, and a single daughter named Isabelle, who only lived a very few days. In his sons there was much industry in action, effort in business, fortitude in perils, and great counsel in forecast, but these virtues especially existed in William, the eldest. He married Anne, a very highborn and virtuous girl, the daughter of James of Luxemburg Count of St. Paul, by whom he fathered Henry, the current Earl of Essex of whom I shall have more to say in Book XXVI, Cecily, and Isabelle. The latter died before attaining marriageable age, the former was married to Walter Ferris. But let my narrative return where it began.
2. While everything thus turned out well for Edward, Duke Henry of Somerset, now losing faith in King Henry’s prospects, defected to him and received a very warm welcome. But the duke quickly regretted what he had done. For in the meantime King Henry, assembling no mean army among the Scots, made a sudden raid on County Durham. Hearing this, Somerset secretly went to him. Many friends of the king imitated him, but a far greater number were induced by hope of plunder to gather quickly, so many that Henry was thought to be not a bad match to his enemy in numbers. And it increased his reputation, since wherever he went he wasted towns and fields, he burned them, he drove off prey. In his ravaging he came to the village called Hexham, where he attacked Marquis John Montague, come to confront him, and in a hard-fought battle, as had happened so often before, he suffered defeat and lost the larger part of his army. He and a few others fled straight to Scotland, and others slipped off in very direction seeking to save their skins. Duke Henry of Somerset, Earl Robert of Hungerford, and Thomas Ross were taken. Somerset paid with his head for his change of heart, and the others were brought to Newcastle and also executed soon thereafter, so that other men would abandon hope when they saw their afflicted nobility bereft of their lives. But even if King Edward thought his affairs were sufficiently assured for the time being by means of this victory, nevertheless was greatly concerned lest Henry’s wife Margaret might return to solicit men’s minds. And so he stationed garrisons along the coast to bar access from the sea, and wrote to the people of each town of the south shore that they should not receive this woman, should she arrive, nor assist her in any way, and that he would regard any people who did receive or assist her as his enemies. And likewise he maintained watches in the part of England adjoining Scotland, so nobody would go to Henry. But whatever threat Henry posed was quickly removed. For either because he had lost his fear, or because of the insanity with which he was affected, he did not remain hidden long. Rather, he dared to return to England in disguise, but had scarcely set foot in the country when he was caught by the watchmen, brought to Edward at London, and imprisoned. With Henry in captivity, the state of the realm was more quiet, since henceforth men of his faction lost their enthusiasm for rebellion. And so Edward was all but freed from fear of his enemies, and at Westminster he held a parliament of the entire people. With domestic matters put on a sure footing, he enjoyed nearly four years of easy living. Since, as the proverb has it, The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits, first of all in accordance with the will and authority of parliament he distributed to his deserving soldiers the lands of those who had sided with Henry. Then he employed every manner of liberality to garner popular favor, bestowed lavish gifts on his nobility, and, to gain universal good will, he was friendlier with all men, highborn and lowborn alike, more than was fitting, a style of life he did not afterwards alter. Likewise he partly corrected the laws, and partly decreed new ones. He put in circulation the gold and silver coinage that remain in use even today. Some of the gold coins ones are called royals, some are called nobles, and the silver ones are called groats. Finally, by an edict published throughout the realm he declared an amnesty for all his adversaries who would set aside their arms and swear loyalty to himself, but those who would not would suffer condign punishment. How much these gestures served his advantage, and how well disposed the people were towards him, was easily shown by this, that henceforth, propped up only by his popularity, seemed all but invincible.
3. But Edward did not rest content with the good will of his own subjects. Also seeking new friendships with foreigners, he decided to cement these by kinship, so that they might assist him, should the need arise, or at least not do him any harm. Therefore he first married his sister Margaret to Charles, son of Duke Philippe of Burgundy, and then sent Earl Richard of Warwick on an embassy to France, to request for himself the hand of Bona, the sister of Queen Charlotte of France and the daughter of Duke Louis of Savoy. While the earl, having gone to France, dealt about this new kinship with King Louis, at whose court the girl Bona was staying, serving as a handmaid to her sister the queen, Edward suddenly changed his mind and married Elizabeth, the daughter of Earl Richard Rivers, who was once married to Sir John Grey, and who had given him to sons, Thomas and Richard. And because Elizabeth was lowborn, he concealed this marriage not only from the nobles of his own kindred, but also from her father Richard. For this reason, when news of this development spread throughout the realm, all men were astonished, and the nobles also grumbled, saying the king had acted beneath his dignity. They blamed him for this marriage, thinking it disgraceful, the result of blind love rather than reason. And this was considered either the beginning of the quarrel that afterwards arose between Edward and Warwick, or a means of venting a grudge that already existed. For after Henry had gained the crown thanks to Warwick, as everybody knows, he began to be suspicious of the authority he had conferred upon him, to the point that he thought it should be diminished so that he might act in his own right both at home and abroad. It is common that men very rarely repay like with like, indeed they quite often repay great benefits with great ingratitude. These considerations did not elude Richard of Warwick, who, even if he hoped for great thanks to be shown him, nevertheless thought it best to dissimulate for the moment, until the king might experience some helplessness, giving him the chance to upbraid him for his poor thanks. Nor is what they say unlikely, that the king did something dishonorable in the earl’s household, since Edward was a man could easily cast his eye on girls and become smitten. But whatever it was, whether some injury or rivalry for power wrecked their friendship, after the earl learned from his friends’ letters that the king had secretly married, and whatever he had accomplished in negotiating a kinship with King Louis had gone for naught, he was overcome with such indignation that he came to the conclusion that Edward was a man altogether unworthy of kingship and should by all means necessary be dethroned. And yet even nowadays a popular rumor is in circulation that the earl had urged the king not to bestow his sister Margaret on Charles, the son of Duke Philippe of Burgundy, whom he himself hated worse than any man alive, and the reason for the quarrel between them was that Edward had refused to heed his counsel — as if a matter of such small moment could or should have alienated the earl from his sovereign. So this is a sheer invention. But let me return to my narrative. Warwick, thus annoyed, angry, and irate, so as not to destroy himself and his plan, decided to dissimulate by enduring these insults until the time came when he could accomplish his enterprise. And so, having a little later received the royal letter commanding his return, he excused Edward’s change of mind to King Louis as best he could, attributing it to love, in which there is no self-control. And so he returned and had the usual audience with the king, as best he could relating the facts of his embassy without any show of anger. Then not many days passed before the earl retired to his own county by royal permission, both for relaxation and for the sake of his health, as he gave out. This was the year of human salvation 1456, the sixth of Edward’s reign. In this same year George Neville, the earl’s brother, was substituted for the deceased Archbishop William of Work, the fifty-second in that series, and Duke Philippe of Burgundy died, and was succeeded by his son Charles, a man most excellent for his largeness of mind and skill at war.
4. Richard was in his earldom of Warwick, as I have said, when he called to himself George Archbishop of York, and John Marquis Montague, his brothers, and after he had spoken to them about other matters for a day or two, he found a suitable occasion to complain about the king and share his plan, using many words and arguments to urge them to join him in joining Henry’s faction and assist in his restoration to the throne, saying, “I am not moved by levity, of which I have no share, brothers, but by my appraisal of King Henry and Edward. For the former is a most pious man, very friendly to his followers, and he remembers favors done him. He has a son, Edward, born to praise, grace, and liberality, from whom every man can expect yet more, and who will support this father in his calamity. The latter, on the other hand, is insulting, ungrateful, given over to pleasure, and shuns labor. He has decided to put upstarts in places of honor in lieu of gentlemen of ancient breeding, and so it will soon come to pass either that he will destroy the nobles, or the nobles him. For I think you are not unaware that after gaining the throne he has first secretly, then openly, begrudged our house its honor, and has begun daily to detract something from it, just as if we have not enhanced him in honor and dignity. And it is for this reason that I was treated as a no-account in my recent embassy to France, so as to diminish and undermine the esteem that we enjoy among all the Peerage of this realm, partly because of our father’s virtue, and partly by our own efforts.” By these arguments he easily induced the archbishop to side with him, but not so the marquis, since originally he could not be led to approve of making any kind of attempt against Edward. But in the end, when Warwick promised that many nobles would contribute their help and their wealth, he was drawn into this alliance. After this Warwick, a man of sage intellect, had a presentiment, I know not why, that Duke George of Clarence was not well-disposed towards his brother Edward, first made complaints about the king in his presence for the sake of testing him. And then, when the duke did the same, he was candid about the many wrongs done to himself by his brother, and, daring to speak of greater things, revealed his plans to the duke, and invited him to join him. But so as to dismiss any suspicion that he was acting lightly, he showed the duke how prudent, circumspect, and careful he had been in his planning, and urged that the duke exercise the same care and consideration in such a great business. And, after making many promises, he bestowed on the duke his daughter of marriageable age. The duke, worn out by Warwick’s urging and exhortation, undertook to do everything according to his will. Having thus shared his counsel with the duke, Warwick chose to retire to Calais, of which he was still the governor, and where he kept his wife and daughters. But to make a beginning of so great a sedition, by which England was troubled for several years, he commanded his brothers the Archbishop of York and the marquis to provoke some uprising in Yorkshire as soon as he had departed, so that a civil was would thus be started when he was far away. And after the duke had sworn his eternal loyalty, he married Isabelle, the earl’s eldest daughter, who had been betrothed to him. This business set in motion, both were beginning to deliberate more earnestly about strategies and plans for making war, when, in accordance with his instructions, a great rebellion broke out in Yorkshire, which took its beginning in impiety.
5. At York there was an ancient hospital dedicated to St. Leonard, very well endowed, for the housing of beggars and the poor, and for the healing of the sick. For piety’s sake the entire shire annually gave it a certain amount of grain and firstfruits for the use of the poor. The story goes that, at the urging of certain noblemen belonging to Warwick’s faction, the farmers of the region first refused to give this, claiming that these contributions were bestowed on wealthy overseers rather than on the poor. Then these overseers of the hospital resorted to arms to claim their due. As a result, secret meetings and conspiracies were held, with the result that within a few days 15,000 men assembled and marched against York in battle order. When the report of such a great movement came to the city it filled everything with fear, and the citizens were astonished and panic-stricken, uncertain whether to go confront this furious mob of peasants outside the walls, or to keep within the walls to protect themselves from this violence. But the marquis, being the Lieutenant of that county, soon removed the citizens’ fear. Taking timely counsel for avoiding this danger he confronted the approaching men at the very gates of the city, and after a long struggle he arrested Robert Hulderne, their leader, and beheaded him on the spot. This done, he recalled his men from the fight at nightfall and brought them back inside the walls. The people were not frightened by the death of their leader, but rather became more enraged and, bypassing York (which they were unable to take without siege engines), headed for London, desiring to throw everything into chaos. The marquis appears to have executed the leader of the mob, which had been incited by his own fellow-conspirators, either to hide his counsel or because he had already made up his mind to stand by Edward, with whom, as later became evident, he had formed a friendship. And the king, who had begun to get an inkling of the plans of Warwick and Clarence, which is what he had imagined would happen, learning from the frequent messengers and letters which came flying to him that an angry mob was attacking London, immediately sent William Herbert, whom he had created Earl of Pembroke two years previously, with a great band of Welshmen to meet it, and gave him instructions that, should the opportunity arise, he should fight the mob. Using speed, the earl discovered that the Yorkshire rabble was encamped not far from Northampton, where he too encamped, and on the following day joined battle with them, and was defeated in a trice. The Yorkshire men, content with that successful battle, suddenly cooled off, and did not go farther, but rather, laden down with spoils, went home to await Warwick’s arrival. And a little later he, together with his son-in-law the Duke of Clarence, left Calais and made his appearance. Praising the leaders of the mob and congratulating the soldiers in general on their victory, he quickly began to prepare an army. And the king, not at all frightened by Pembroke’s ill success, sent him back against his enemies with the reinforcements he had ready against such an eventuality, while he himself followed with a small band. And to be all the readier, on his way he enhanced his forces with the men of his faction who came flocking from all sides, saying to anybody who would listen that his intention was to eradicate those rascals. Learning that his adversaries were approaching Warwick immediately sent messengers to the Duke of Clarence, who was nearby with an army, to tell him that he should quickly bring up his forces, saying that the time for battle was at hand. The duke received his message and quickly joined the earl. And so they joined forces and hastened to a village called Banbury, where they had heard the enemy was encamped. There in a set battle they captured Pembroke, killing or routing his entire army. Among the others killed were Earl Richard of Rivers, the father of Queen Elizabeth, and his son John Woodville. Towards the end of the day King Edward came up with his moderate forces, and when he learned of his followers’ defeat he retreated five miles. Warwick and returned to his own town with his victorious army, and there the Earl of Pembroke and the other nobles taken in that battle were beheaded two days later. Meanwhile they had begun peace negotiations, so that frequent messengers were shuttling back and forth between the earl and the king. And now the king, led to hope for peace, was less on his guard and less fearful of outward danger, as if the whole matter had been finished. When Warwick’s scouts informed him of this opportunity for success, he took a strong band and as covertly as he could approached the royal camp in the night, killing the soldiers who kept watch outside the rampart. He captured the king unawares and took him to Warwick, and, to deceive Edward’s friends, by night marches he transferred him to a castle in Yorkshire called Middleham, and kept him in custody there. But no place was so distant that rumor of the king’s capture did not quickly arrive, and it filled many men with panic and trepidation. Edward himself, when he had been put in the castle, began to address and interrogate the governor and his warders to affably, and to load them down with such hope of rewards, that he corrupted them and was let go. But rumor had it this was not done against Warwick’s will, which would be credible, if the earl had subsequently laid down his arms. And this was done to King Henry’s misfortune, since we can see this was the reason that the final fate of his house had come, which could not be averted by any counsel or human effort, perhaps in accordance with the will of God. For Warwick and his friends had particularly exposed their selves to dangers, and expended their fortunes, for the sake of helping, defending, and preserving Henry, since they knew for a surety that as long as Edward lived neither themselves nor Henry could gain power, and yet when they had him in their power they gave him the chance to escape his danger. Thus when are affairs are destined to come to nothing, now fear, now boldness, now folly, now sadness deprives us of our wits. But let me return home.
6. Edward, thus snatched out of his enemies’ hands, quickly betook himself to York, where was joyfully received by the townsmen and stayed in the town for two days for the sake of creating and arming some sort of armed band. But since he was unable to assemble a satisfactory army there, he decided he must go to London, through the middle of his enemies. And so he went to Lancaster, where William Hastings his Lord Chamberlain lived. Here he made his forces greater thanks to William’s help, and with them at his back he arrived safely at London, where, so that that nothing would be wanting to his care, labor, and counsel during this time of his troubled fortunes, he made it his first order of business to make friends out of alienated nobles, to make wavering men firm, and to regain popular opinion and good will, hanging in the balance because the of the disturbance of rebellions, to his side. And Warwick and the duke, learning that King Edward had slipped through their hands and that all their previous efforts had failed at a single stroke, were tortured, troubled, and unhinged with regret. Immediately they called together their noble allies, once more took counsel, and examined their enemies’ policies to see if they could make another beginning to a war which they had imagined to be finished by the king’s capture. It cheered these nobles’ spirits that many men who disliked peace in comparison to war freely promised their service in a new way. Likewise the king devoted himself to martial matters with a diligence that matched his enemies, so that he might either destroy his enemies by forth or bring them back to their sanity, so that thanks to followers someday all men might be allowed to be safe.
7. Thanks to the rebellions of nobles of this stripe, the state of realm was by far its worth, since everywhere churches and homes were being robbed, fields wasted, towns and cites starved, and other evils befell such as are wont to result from war’s savagery. For these reasons many of the nobility, pitied the commonwealth for its catastrophe, and every day dealt earnestly with the king, and also with Warwick and the duke, for a reconciliation, urging that they attach more importance to the benefits they had received than the insults they had suffered, and remember that, although it is sinful not to feed one’s parents, it is much more so to destroy the nation, our common parent, by contention, so that this internal sedition might sometime be ended. These nobles’ authority and pleading so swayed the minds of the king and the earl that mutual assurances were given and the earl and the Duke of Clarence came to London, guarded by a moderate band of armed men, and at Westminster they had a lengthy discussion with the king about a composition. But they were all so wrathful that in the end no decision for peace could be attained. And so, while the king went to the tomb of St. Thomas at Canterbury to fulfil a vow, the earl and the duke departed for Warwick and prepared a new army in Lincolnshire, and placed over it Sir Robert, the son of Richard Wells, a sturdy man in a fight. Reports of this quickly came to London and outraged the king, who had hoped that his adversaries could be brought to some manner of compact rather than resort to arms. But the more the rumor of a new war grew, although it was contrary to his hope, the more quickly he recruited an army and at the same time sent repeated letters telling Richard Wells to come to him. Thus summoned, Richard at first pleaded health and occupation, then, when his excuse was not allowed, he went to London, hoping he could easily clear himself of suspicion. And he took with him Sir Thomas Dimmock, to whose sister he was married, and when he arrived at London his friends informed him that the king was mightily angry at him. In a panic he swiftly took Thomas and fled to the asylum at Westminster, intending to remain their until the king cooled down. But Edward, hoping to suppress that rising without resort to arms, gave his word and summoned them to him from asylum. Trusting the royal pledge, they came. Then the king ordered Richard to admonish his son Robert to stand down from arms, and meanwhile marched against the enemy with the forces he had prepared, bringing Richard and Thomas along with him. He was scarce two days away from Stanford, where his enemies were encamped, when he learned that Robert was in arms, unmoved by his father’s letters. He was so indignant that, in violation of his faith, he set a terrible example by commanding Richard and Thomas to be beheaded on the spot. But Robert, when he saw the king approaching and learned that his father and Thomas had been executed, retired to a nearby village called Edgecote and stayed there a little while, hesitant whether he should fight or not, since it would be dangerous to engage such a large force before Warwick arrived. But in the end he relied on the self-confidence of a youthful mind, immediately lined up his army, and entered the battle. They fought for several hours with great exertion, with many falling on both sides. Then, while Robert was attempting to stop his fleeing men, he was surrounded by his enemy and captured together with Sir Thomas de la Land and many others. After he was taken all his army was defeated and scattered. Having gained this victory, the king immediately executed Robert, Thomas, and some other. Rumor has it that up to 10,000 men died in this battle.
8. The Earl of Warwick, who at that time was at his own home and was intending to join the army any day now, when he learned that the battle had been joined sooner than he expected and that his side had suffered a defeat, although he was less confident of his affairs, nevertheless thought that he was of necessity obliged to dissimulate, because in war falsehoods often pass for truths. So that he might console his comrades, to whom the situation seemed desperate, in both word and truth he began to assemble new forces. At the same time, by employing many promises he strove to bring over to his side Thomas Stanley, who was married to his sister. When he could not achieve this, since Thomas refused to take up arms against Edward, seeing that he had no more reason for delay and despairied of being able to withstand his enemies’ strength, he went to Exeter with the Duke of Clarence. There he stayed for a few days, and while he had no supply of those things necessary for war, he decided to go quickly to King Louis of France, who had befriended him a few years earlier while he was on his embassy, in hopes either of gaining some help or of provoking the king against Edward. For this journey he hired ships from all over and arranged for them to be brought to the port of Dartmouth. Soon thereafter these were outfitted with armament and other needful things, and both of them boarded ship with their wives and a great number of servants, and with the first wind sailed for Normandy. The governor of that region received them liberally, and immediately informed King Louis of Warwick’s arrival. Having heard reports of his feats, Louis had already been gripped by such great admiration for Warwick that nothing was more agreeable to him than to do a favor for the man. And when he learned he had come to France, he was overjoyed and sent some nobles to meet him, instructing them to tell him that he had long hoped for an occasion to be of assistance, and now that one was offered he did not intend to let it slip. And therefore he requested him to take no offence at being asked to come to Amboise (a royal manor built by the Loire) together with his son-in-law the duke, for he would not have cause to regret his trouble. Warwick’s flight too place in the ninth year of Edward’s reign, which was the year of human salvation 1469. This flight of his adversaries greatly intensified Edward’s concern, because Warwick’s absence daily did more to whet men’s desire to see him, for they thought they had lost the sun from their universe. This man’s name was so famous among the people that there was no man they revered more, or praised more to the skies. What about the fact that this name was like a popular tune, always resounding in their mouths when the people cheered? And so it came about that within a few days the earl’s faction was wonderfully increased. So the king was gnawed by a double care, became he feared the enemy both at home and abroad. But he particularly feared Warwick’s return. Therefore at the first possible he sent messengers to Duke Charles of Burgundy, whom I have shown above to have been married to his sister Margaret, asking him, who was in league with the French, to advise King Louis not to help Warwick and the Duke of Clarence with arms and money, for enemies of his ally King Edward, closely conjoined to him in kinship. Charles not only did this energetically, but also issued many threats against Louis, if he should do this. But the French king was so far from placing any weight on them that he easily scoffed at them, and replied that, without breaking the treaty, he could and would help his friends, particularly those distinguished by their deeds, such as was the Earl of Warwick, and if he did so, this would be no burden or expense for the duke. When these things were related in England they were troubling, and gave Edward much greater concern. So he more diligently put his captives to the question to identify his adversaries’ friends. The result that many men were afraid for themselves, partly fleeing to asylum, and partly making their submission to the king. Among these was Marquis John Montague, who once more yielded and vowed himself to Edward’s friendship, whom the king accepted most affably and pleasantly, so as to allure other men to his friendship.
9. Meanwhile Warwick and the duke set out for Ambois, and throughout their journey men came flocking to see him, so famous was he among the French. When he had been given a courteous and lavish reception by Louis, in a lengthy speech he explained the reason for his arrival. Louis, captivated and delighted by the presence of his friend no less than by his reputation, promised his resources would not be wanting. Not long thereafter appeared Henry’s wife Margaret with his son Edward Prince of Wales, Earl Jasper of Pembroke, and Earl John of Oxford, who had gone over to Margaret a little earlier. After they had conferred of many matters concerning their common safety, they arrived at a means of formalizing their alliance, at the suggestion of King Louis. First of all Warwick’s daughter Anne, whom he had brought with him, was betrothed to Prince Edward. Then the earl and the duke promised on their oath that they would not lay down their arms until the throne of England was restored to Henry or to Edward. Lastly, the the queen and the prince agreed that the earl and the duke should be regents of the realm until Edward matured to the point he was capable of ruling, and they most solemnly undertook to observe all these points. They discussed many more conditions, demanded by both by the reason and the magnitude of the business required. With this alliance formed, King Louis bestowed on Warwick arms, men, and ships, so that he might more safely return to England when equipped with these. Margaret’s father René also did his part to help. Now no mean army had been enlisted, and a ready fleet rode at anchor at the mouth of the Seine, when the earl received a letter from his friends in England, who indicated that throughout the realm men were so much anticipating, hoping and longing for his return that they were already up arms awaiting his arrival, so he should hasten his journey even if accompanied by no forces, since as soon as he set foot on land immediately many thousands of armed men would gather there ready to do all his bidding, as indeed did happen. This was the enthusiasm of the Commons, but there were also many nobles ready to furnish money for a war, to supply arms, to send provisions, and to provide their helping hands. Receiving the letters, the count was wonderfully overjoyed and decided not to ignore this opportunity for gaining a success. Since Margaret and his son were not yet ready to travel, he, the duke, and the Earls of Oxford and Pembroke decided to go ahead with part of the army and the readied fleet to make a first test of his fortune. And if that turned out well, then Margaret and the prince would follow. So Warwick, thinking the business needed to be done without any delay and put in to execution quickly. After offering as much thanks as he could to King Louis for helping King Henry and himself and obtaining Louis’ permission to depart, he went to the fleet and, having put aboard his soldiers, sailed for England. Meanwhile Duke Charles of Burgundy, taking it in bad part that the earl was being helped against Edward by Louis, stationed a fleet of many ships off the coast of Normandy to intercept him as he came. But Warwick, untroubled by the Burgundian fleet, arrived safely with his friends at the port of Dartmouth, from where he had crossed over to France six months previously. After landing, he ordered a herald to proclaim in the name of King Henry that all men of fighting age should take up arms against Duke Edward of York, who at present, contrary to law and right, was usurping the throne. This done, it is impossible to tell how quickly the report of Warwick’s arrival spread throughout all quarters of the realm, and how many thousands of armed men joined him at this first announcement. Supported with such great forces, the earl marched on London. When Edward discovered Warwick was approaching, he abandoned all hope of defending himself for the moment, and thought it best to postpone his supreme effort for the future. And so he had no thoughts for preparing an army with which to resist his adversaries. Rather, anxious for his personal safety, in the company of his brother Duke Richard of Gloucester he sought the coastal town of Lynn, and took a ready ship and sailed to Charles in Flanders, although a very savage wind was blowing, so that he did not to this without considerable risk. And his wife Elizabeth, who was pregnant at the time, fled to Westminster and shut herself up in asylum, where she gave birth to a son whom she named Edward. Learning of Edwards’ flight, Warwick hastened his march, and with all men yielding to him, he arrived at London. At the time it was filled with rioting Kentishmen, who were ransacking its suburbs because of Edward’s departure, and he pacified it. Making himself all the more welcome by that good deed, he was received by all men, and went to the Tower, where he freed King Henry. Together with Richard Lee the Lord Mayor, and the two Sheriffs Robert Draper and Richard Gardiner, and all the aldermen of the city, he escorted Henry, clad in his regalia, through the middle of the city to St. Paul’s cathedral. And there he gave thanks to God that the business had been done to his satisfaction. This year in which Henry was restored to the throne was the year of human salvation 1470.
10. Thus King Henry, so often defeated, began to rule again. After this, on about November 26, a parliament was held at Westminster in which Edward was first declared an enemy of his country for having usurped the throne, and all his fortunes were confiscated. The same sentence was passed against all the adherents of his party, and it was voted that all the captives of this same faction should be punished. Then all decrees, decisions, and acts of the said Edward were revoked. And lastly, the Earl Warwick was made Regent of the Realm for having deserved well of his nation, and was given the Duke of Clarence as a colleague. Thus the commonwealth assumed a new condition. Marquis John Montague came to that parliament, who made a lengthy speech to clear himself of guilt, saying that he had defected to Edward a little earlier only out of fear for his life, and he obtained pardon, having acted unwillingly and then had performed no service for Edward’s common cause. Furthermore, if he did side with Edward, he beyond doubt would done less harm as an enemy than as a false friend, since those things against which we are on our guard rarely hurt us. Queen Margaret, anxious about the uncertain outcome every day from the time Warwick took his departure for England, never ceased praying to God for victory. And as soon as she received a letter informing her it had been gained, immediately she took ship with her son Edward and attempted to return to England. But since the winter was harsh, she was driven back to land by the force of a storm and compelled to postpone her journey. At the same time Earl Jasper of Pembroke returned to his earldom in Wales, where he found Henry, the son of his brother Earl Edmund of Richmond, a boy of scarce ten years, to be held captive but otherwise being well reared by the wife of William Herbert, whom I have recorded above to have been made Earl of Pembroke by Edward, and beheaded at Warwick’s command after being taken in war. This child was borne by his mother Margaret, the single daughter of John, the first Duke of Somerset, when she was barely fourteen years old. Then she married Henry, the son of Duke Humphrey of Buckingham, and her third husband was Earl Thomas of Derby, although she produced no more children, as if thinking it had been sufficient to produce this single son. And so Jasper took the little Henry from the wife of Lord Herbert and took him to King Henry when he returned to London a little later. It is said that the king, seeing the boy, held his silence for a while, studying his character, and then said to the nobles who were present, “This indeed is the one to whom we and our adversaries must yield our power.” Thus this pious man predicted that someday Henry would obtain the crown. In the same year (that I may speak of something in its proper place which in Book IX I promised not to omit) Pope Sixtus IV, learning from King James III of Scotland that the Scots bishops had no primate, whom they might consult about matters pertaining to religion during the English civil wars, and asked to take timely provision for this created the Bishop of St. Andrews primate of all Scotland, so that those bishops could any more be said to be headless because of the external and internal tumults which often arose between the two nations. He did so over the objection of George Neville, Archbishop of York. Subject to this primate were twelve bishops, those of Glasgow, Ross, Brechin, Dunkeld, Dunblane, Aberdeen, Caithness, Whithorn or Galloway, Lismore or Argyle, Moray, the Orkneys, and Sodor, a see on the Isle of Man, which is reckoned as part of York diocese.
11. While these things were happening elsewhere, Edward, albeit he was outside his nation, did not lose hope for a chance of regaining the crown. For partly he was promised great assistance by Burgundy, and partly he was solicited to return by men of his faction, by means of letters and secret messengers, and continually a large number of men, either fearful of the laws, or impelled by hatred of the present situation and eager to obtain the freedom to do as they please, fled to him from England, urging him more and more to make this journey. Fired by these promises, Edward thought nothing more wretched than to remain one day longer, or more attractive than taking wing, assembled scarce 2,000 armed men and some ships, and at the beginning of spring he crossed over to England, brought to the harbor of Ravensport on the Yorkshire coast. Here he put his soldiers ashore and discussed with his captains where they should go first. For in view of his small number of soldiers no route seemed safe. After a length consultation they all decided that some light horse should be sent to nearby places to discover the disposition of the peasantry and test to see whether they were willing to take up arms on Edward’s behalf. They rode forth and did their duty again and again. But it seems probable that Edward, a prudent man, would never have dared come to England with such a small band, unless he knew for sure that he would quickly gain great assistant. And this is sure evidence that the Duke of Clarence had secretly reconciled with him, and that the Marquis Montague had likewise joined his alliance, manifest signs of which thing later came to light. And those who had gone out and tried the minds of the neighboring peoples as best they might, returned to Edward on the following day and reported that all neighboring localities were steadfast in their loyalty to Henry, and that there was no further point in soliciting them, for in their fear of Warwick no man had been willing to listen to anything about this matter. Understanding these things, Edward was obliged to change of plans, and while at the beginning he had proclaimed he was reclaiming his throne, now he only gave out that he was seeking to gain back his dukedom of York, so that by appealing to this just cause he might gain more favor among all men. It is incredible to tell the weight that fiction carried, such is the power of justice among all men. For when men heard that nothing was more foreign to Edward than desire for the crown, nothing dearer than to regain his patrimony, they were moved by pity and either began to favor him, or at least not to stand in the way of his reclaiming his dukedom of York. Edward, having in this way discovered a way of mollifying men’s minds, or of gaining their good will, headed towards York and went to Beverley.
12. When the earl, who in those days was at Warwick, discovered that Edward had returned to England and was moving towards York, he immediately sent letters and messengers to warn his brother Montague, who was wintering at Pontefract with a large band of soldiers, how great the peril would be if his enemy reached York, and ordered him either to confront him on his way and fight a battle, or at least bar his passage until he himself could come up in time with larger forces, which he was busily assembling. And since he was unsure through which region his enemies were making their way, first he sent picked messengers to the individual towns of Yorkshire, and then to York itself, who in the name of the king would command all men to stand under arms and shut their gates to Edward. Meanwhile Edward, encountering no opposition, approached York, When the townsmen learned this, they snatched up their arms and came running to the gates, and they sent out two aldermen to meet him, to warn him on their behalf not to draw any closer nor to expose himself to danger, since they had decided by all means to exclude him. Edward gave these spokesmen a hearing, and was no little disturbed, for of all of his cares these troubled him the most. For should he turn back, he feared that the peasants would pursue him in their eagerness for plunder. But if he went forward, he was concerned lest the burghers would make a sally and surround him. So he thought that the thing was to be accomplished in the gentlest possible way rather than by force of arms, and he humbly asked the spokesmen to tell the townsmen on his behalf that he was not coming to seek the kingdom of England, but his ancestral dukedom of York, and so they should wish to help their lord, who, if he were to get it back with their help, would forever be grateful. And, thus speaking sweetly, he sent them home, and at the same time approached the gates in battle array. The burghers were somewhat mollified by Edward’s answer, since he seemed to be making no attempt on Henry’s government, as he professed, and they spoke with him from the wall, bidding him go elsewhere. They maintained he would suffer no harm if he did so promptly. If not, he was not far from peril to his life. But he affably appealed to the individual nobles by name and, addressing them honorably and making many promises, he asked to be admitted safely into the city. After nearly the whole day had been spent in this conference, in the end the citizens, induced by hope of rewards, came to the agreement, if Edward would swear on his oath that he would treat the citizens kindly and henceforth to be obedient to King Henry, they would admit him within their walls and help him with their resources. Overjoyed by these conditions, on the following day at dawn, a priest said Mass at the gate where Edward was to enter, and in the course of the Mass Edward promised he would most solemnly observe his oath, and so he was admitted into the city. But he was so far from being minded to observe this (as became obvious immediately thereafter) that nothing was more important to him than to harry and dethrone Henry. Thus a number of nobles, and likewise lowborn men, blind with greed and forgetful of all religion and honor, are wont to pledge their faith, swearing oaths by the everlasting God which they are determined to break before they even give them. I can give well-known exampled how sooner or later they pay just penalties for their perjury, in such a way that that often their guilt taints even their descendants. At the appropriate point in my life of Richard III I will not be ashamed to recall this, where it perhaps can be gathered that Edward’s progeny was not held blameless for this perjury. And Edward, thus settling this popular upheaval, entered York and, setting aside all memory of his oath, he strengthened the city with a garrison lest any innovation be attempted, increased his forces, and, when things were now in readiness, he thought that he should be all the less hesitant because he heard his adversaries were managing themselves sluggishly. He set out for London, and deliberately avoided the direct road which went by Pontefract, where, as I have said, Montague was with his army. And when he had passed by that place and his enemy had not budged from the spot, he returned to the highway a little beyond that place and headed for Nottingham. This misdeed of Edward caused great chagrin for the citizenry of York, because they were ashamed to have have such a fine (not to say dishonorable) trick played on themselves.
13. But when it was reported that Edward had arrived at Nottingham without suffering any inconvenience, then the nobles began to defect to him, since they imagined that the marquise had either refused to attack his adversaries because he sympathized with them, or had not dared leave his camp because he was their unequal in strength. Therefore, whichever was true, that thought it safer to join themselves to Edward, now supported by a large army, than take their chances in standing by Henry. Encouraged by this, Edward suddenly broke camp and went to Leicester, where he learned that the earl was at Warwick, and that Earl John of Oxford had come there with a large number of soldiers, so they might both lead their forces against himself. To forestall this he decided he should go there with his army himself, in hopes either of fighting a battle or joining himself to his brother Clarence, whom he desired to meet as he came up from London with his forces, before he had a chance to join with his allies. For he feared lest he be seduced into changing sides, since he was aware that the duke was not particularly constant. Meanwhile the Earl of Warwick was grieved and distressed because, although he had taken provision for all contingencies, nevertheless the marquis had not only not gone there where the enemies’ swords had first been rattled, as he had been instructed, but had even allowed them to pass by with their small forces right under his nose, without offering battle. And so that he might fight his adversary while on the march in good time (since Edward was gaining strength as he went along, like a river), he gathered forces from every side and caused the Duke of Clarence, who was enlisting an army at London to be summoned quickly. When he learned that Clarence was dragging his heels and doing everything in a negligent way, as if doubtful abut war and peace, he began to suspect that he had been corrupted by his brothers and, making no delay, went to Coventry with his forces to confront the approaching enemy. Meanwhile Edward arrived at Warwick and occupied it, since it was devoid of a garrison. Then he hastened towards the earl and encamped nearby him. And on the day following his arrival he brought out all his forces, drew them up in battle order, and offered battle to the earl. But he, suspecting (as I have said) that he was being led into a trap by the duke, remained with his walls. Then it was announced the duke himself was approaching with a great army. When Edward learned this, he broke camp and went to meet him. Lest he give any appearance of prearranged trickery, he went forward in full fighting order as if about to give battle. The duke did likewise. But when they came in sight of each other, Duke Richard of Gloucester played the part of umpire of all their controversies, meeting first with the duke in secret conference, than returning to Edward and doing the same. at length, peace and not arms was the watchword, and then, casting aside their weapons, the brothers ran to embrace each other.
14. After this, Edward commanded that in the same place a herald should proclaim that the duke and his followers should be held blameless forevermore. He also decided to see if he could induce Warwick to defect, and the duke sent certain of his noble friends, first to excuse his action, and then to urge him to be willing to make some settlement with Edward, while he was still able. The earl gave the duke’s message a hearing, but condemned him with all his prayers because he had so shamefully broken his oath and gone over to Edward. But to their message he made no other response than that he would prefer to remain true to himself rather than resemble the treacherous duke, and so would not stand down from arms before he either lost his life or gained revenge on his enemies. Then Edward, enhanced by such strong forces, departed for London with great confidence. And when the rumor reached there that the Duke of Clarence had gone back to his brothers and that they were all arriving, such dread overcame the townsmen that they did know where to turn. But soon this fear swayed them towards Edward’s side. At the same time letters came from the earl to King Henry, Duke Edmund of Somerset, the Archbishop of York and the other members of the Privy Council, saying that they should strive to keep the city loyal for two or three days after the arrival of their adversaries, because he himself would be coming with great forces. They applied themselves to the task with energy, but in vain. For at that very moment Sir John Stockton the Lord Mayor, and John Crosby and John Ward the Sheriffs convened a meeting of the city council at the Guildhall and began a serious discussion of which party it was better to follow. at length, when they reflected that Henry was not the kind of man who could govern public affairs well in his own right, but that Edward was in the habit of ruling the realm according to his own dictates rather than those of other men, and was the kind of man who could protect himself and his subjects from harm, they unanimously voted to cleave to him. Learning of this decision the common people, eager for innovation, could not be restrained from going out to meet Edward on his approach and acclaiming him as king. Seeing this, Somerset and the others fled, each man for himself. And Henry himself was abandoned alone in the bishop’s palace at St. Paul’s, like a lamb ready for the slaughter, unsure of what counsel to adopt, since his troubles had dulled his mind all the more. There he was taken captive by Edward and placed in custody once more. Edward entered London on April 11. So six months after he had crossed over to Flanders he held a parliament, greatly praised his subjects’ loyalty, and thanked the members of parliament in particular that they had kept the common folk loyal to himself. But he expended many words on chastising certain merchants, both citizens and foreigners, whom he knew to have supplied funding to Henry, but, having vehemently complained about their malfeasances, at the end of his speech he bid them abandon their fear and said he forgave them their crimes. This gentleness did much to bind the multitude to him.
15. Meanwhile the earl, perceiving that the entire struggle turned on speed, pursued his enemies by forced marches, so that if they were slowed by some difficulty, as he hoped, he could come to blows with them before they reached London. He thought this most important, since it did not escape his note that that city, empty of all provisions and surrounded by no walls, could not sustain a siege, and therefore was accustomed to follow the victor. Therefore he had marched for many days when he heard that Edward had gained London and thrown Henry in prison. So then, seeing that the matter had been brought to this necessity that everything had to be staked on a single battle, he halted at St. Albans, partly to refresh his soldiers, and partly to take counsel. The noblemen in his army included Duke John of Exeter, Earl John of Oxford, Duke Edmund of Somerset, and Marquis John Montague, the earl’s brother, whom by now he perceived was fighting this war against Minerva’s will, as the saying goes, and therefore had no idea how much trust he could place in him. And yet brotherly love erased nearly all suspicion. But, no matter what he thought about him or anybody else, he alone intrepidly chose to go against the enemy. And so he turned aside at St. Albans to a village lying between St. Albans and London, about ten miles from the city, called Barnet. This hamlet is set on a hill which has a flat space on its top, suitable for a battlefield. Here the earl encamped and awaited his enemies. Meanwhile, when rumor of the earl’s arrival was brought to London, Edward added to the army he had brought with him a new draft of young men and likewise sought high and low for new helps, replenished his weapons, missiles, horses, and other furniture of war, and, in sum, devoted his attention and his resources wholly to this war. For he hoped it would bring an end to all his efforts. And so, having readied an immense army, he went to meet his enemies. And so he would be readier for a fight wherever he found them, should needs be, he marched in square formation. He took along the captive Henry, perhaps with the idea that the enemies, seeing their king in a battle, would be terrified, or, if the fortune of war was adverse, that by means of Henry he might be saved. After noon he arrived at the hill near Barnet, and there he encamped not far from the enemy. So as not to be obliged to fight a night battle, he surrounded his camp with new earthworks. For delay was advantageous to him, since many were coming from all sides bearing aid. On the other hand, it was harmful to the enemy, for they, far from their supporters, had no hope for reinforcements. Both sides spent the night in arms. For because of the closeness of their camps such a great racket of men and horses was heard that neither side dared sleep. But when the sky began to lighten, Warwick thus disposed his lines. On the left wing he stationed his brother the marquis and the Earl of Oxford with part of his calvary, he held the right with the Earl of Exeter, and the Duke of Somerset presided over the middle between the two wings. With his soldiers thus ordered for battle, he delivered a lengthy harangue encouraging them to be of a ready spirit, and urging them to bear in mind that they were about to fight for their nation’s liberty against a tyrant who had wrongly usurped the crown. Edward did the same, and after he had stationed all his men in their proper order, having a great supply of soldiers was left over, since nobles continually came flocking in to ingratiate themselves with him, he gathered this multitude together as a reserve, and he fired their ardor with many encouragements, reminding them he had led them to fight against seditious men who were seeking nothing else but dissension among all men, but the bloodshed of their fellow citizens, but the ruin of their nation.
16. After it began to grow light, the signal was given on both sides and they joined the fray. First the work was done at a distance with arrows. Then they fought at close range with swords. Edward, relying on his numbers, in which he was far superior, attacked with vigor. The earl, mindful of his old virtue, was not timid in resisting. Therefore they fought everywhere with might and main, with men falling on all sides and being replaced by fresh ones. Meanwhile all were intent on fight and awaiting its outcome, after a lengthy struggle the earl observed his men being hard pressed by the enemy multitude, and came to the relief of those fighting in the forefront with his light horse, forcing the enemy to back off a little. Seeing this, Edward quickly sent new men to support his soldiers. Then the fight was renewed with even greater slaughter than before. Now they had fought from morning to midday and the outcome still hung in the balance when Edward, who did not wish the battle to continue much longer, commanded the soldiers he had in reserve to attack. The earl, seeing his enemies’ extra men had entered the battle, was not afraid, but was still hopeful for victory and greatly urged, vehemently incited, and earnestly begged his weary men to sustain this final effort spiritedly, crying at the same time that this was the end of the battle. But when his men, exhausted by their protracted labor, refused to respond to his encouragement, with an indomitable will he charged into the midst of his enemies, and dashing ahead carelessly while bent on killing his enemy, he was cut down while fighting together with his brother the marquis, who followed him as if he were already the victor. After the earl’s death the rest where turned to flight and captured everywhere. This was the end of the Earl Richard of Warwick, who, after suffering so many vicissitudes, died a premature death because of his greatness of spirit. On both sides there were killed about 10,000 men, and so many were taken captive that there was no way in which to count them. Duke Edmund of Somerset, together with Earl John of Oxford, headed for Scotland at an unbroken run, but because of the length of the journey he changed his mind in mid-course and betook himself to the Earl of Pembroke in Wales, and others fled each in his own way. It was only with difficulty that the Duke of Exeter took refuge at Westminster and hid himself there in the asylum. Although Edward won a victory that was not bloodless, was nevertheless elated and returned to London like a triumphant emperor, taking the captive Henry with him. Afterwards the bodies of the earl and the marquis were taken there too, and before they were buried they were laid out in their coffins for two days in St. Paul’s cathedral, so that all men might see them to be dead, lest the people later be incited to new seditions by any pretender using the name of Warwick. It is said that King Edward did not take so much pleasure in Warwick’s death as he mourned for the marquis, whom, as I have shown, he had regarded as a friend.
17. Meanwhile Queen Margaret, learning that all was in confusion because of Edward’s return to England, immediately levied no mean army and strove to return to the island as soon as she could. But fate stood in her way. Having been detained by stormy seas longer than the situation demanded, she put in at the port of Weymouth. Landing, she learned that Edward had regained power, and that her husband Henry had been abandoned by his followers and captured, Warwick and his brother killed, his army partly destroyed and partly scattered, and that, in sum, a most bitter defeat had been suffered. Hearing these things, the poor woman collapsed in fear, and was distraught, dismayed, and tormented. She deplored this ruinous time, she railed at Henry’s fate, which she knew for sure had come, and she tortured herself and scorned life in favor of death, perhaps because she imagined worse things to be hanging over her head. Now Margaret could have reflected that in great part these evils had befallen her because of the unworthy murder of Duke Humphrey of Gloucester, for, although she perhaps had not been party to that plot, she nevertheless had sinned because she could have rescued that good man. Certainly had he survived and continued to govern the commonwealth, Henry would never have experienced so many threats to his life. Would that many men would weigh the causes of such events, who frequently measure fairness and justice by the yardstick of power and will! Now back to my subject. Margaret, seeing that there was no reason to wage war, and despairing for the safety of herself and her son alike, went to a nearby Cistercian monastery, in a village called Beaulieu, and retired to the asylum there. Meanwhile the report of her arrival was published, and Duke Edmund of Somerset, his brother John, Thomas Courtney Earl of Devonshire (who originally had belonged to the other party), Earl Jasper of Pembroke, John Wentlock, and John Longstruther, the Master of the Knights of Rhodes, quickly meet at Beaulieu and went to the queen. Seeing her noble friends, the sad woman cheered up somewhat, gaining a little respite from fear, and so not to be said to do anything rashly she spoke much with them and told them the reason which she had not been able to appear on time, and why she had fled to this asylum. And she asked each one to take faithful care for her son’s safety. Since at present she had no hope for achieving anything by arms, if the weather and her enemies would permit, she thought it best to return to France, there to abide until God granted her a better opportunity for waging war. After the duke and the rest had said much to console the queen, he began a lengthy speech on war strategy, first stating that they should make no delay, which would only serve to weaken themselves and make Edward stronger, for he had no ready army. For nearly all the strength of the youth belonging to his faction had been shattered in the previous battle, and he who had lately enjoyed such good success against Warwick would deservedly experience misfortune in a future war, since very often a transformation of military affairs is wont to transpire in a moment. He then maintained that a goodly part of the nobility stood for King Henry, and fighting men would voluntarily come to her aid, if only she were willing (as she had often done in the past) to be a commander against the enemy. And for this he promised great forces himself, and even more on behalf of the two earls. And finally, after he used many arguments to show that victory was within their grasp, he asked all of them to be of good cheer. And since speed was required, they should not spend any more time discussing whether nor not to fight, but turn to their manner of waging war. The queen, more concerned about her son’s safety than her own, for she was anxious and troubled about this, since in her opinion nothing boded well, replied that she could easily agree with his view, if she could foresee the loss of nothing dearer than her own life, but she suspected that while they were seeking to succor her afflicted affairs the life of Prince Edward, in whom all the hope of her house reposed, would be endangered. Therefore she thought that either the war should be postponed to another time or her son should be sent back to France, to wait in safe hiding until the outcome of the first war could be known. The mother was not wrong in attempting to consult for her son’s life, since for her (next to her husband, who she thought was doomed), nothing was more beloved, dearer, or delightful than him. So this most prudent queen asked that these nobles, skilled in the art of warfare, would closely consider these things. After that, if they adjudged a war should be undertaken, she would not decline to be of their opinion. But there was no room for a lengthier debate, since the duke maintained that they had all made up their minds to fight against their enemies as long as they enjoyed life, and so what had been decided with great counsel must be carried out with great consensus. And so to a man they were all aroused for a war, and each raised his own army. The duke conducted a diligent levy throughout his dukedom, the Earl of Devonshire did the same, and Pembroke also departed to his earldom to enlist forces. The queen, put in hope for success, said, “Let this turn out well,” and then went to Bath at the duke’s urging, there to await until her allies returned. But only a few knew where in the world she had gone, so her plan would not become known to her adversaries before she arrived where she was going.
18. When King Edward had learned that Margaret had come to England and that the Duke of Somerset and his allies were assembling an army, he immediately sent out light horse in all directions to discover the size of the enemy forces and where they were going. As commanded, they swiftly departed, and after scouring a goodly part of the West Country, they diligently reported their findings. Learning nothing certain from his scouts about his enemies’ route of march, he decided they must be confronted elsewhere before they could approach London, And so, taking the army he had mustered at London, he went to Oxfordshire, and, seeking a suitable place for an encampment, he chose one at Abingdon, and commanded his forces being collected elsewhere to assemble there. When he had gathered all his army there and learned that his adversaries had arrived at Bath, and were delaying there to be enlarged by men flocking in from all quarters, he went to Marlbridge, about fifteen miles distant from Bath, so that he might fight with this enemies, should the chance be offered, before they could go to Wales, where he suspected they were headed (as indeed they were) to join themselves to the Earl of Pembroke, who had been collecting large forces there. But when the queen learned that Edward was in front of her, she left Bath and headed for Bristol. From there she sent out some horsemen to discover if there was a safe road to Wales through Gloucestershire, where she needed to go first to increase her army, and then to march against her enemy without delay, wherever he might be encamped. The horsemen returned quickly and reported that the town of Gloucester was remaining loyal to Edward’s brother Duke Richard, and although they had attempted to solicit the townsmen to defect, first by promises and then by threats, they remained unmoved. Learning this, the queen moved from Bristol and came to a town on the river Severn called Tewkesbury, bypassing Gloucester so as not to waste time on a siege. Encamping here, Somerset heard that Edward, whose tracks they were following, was not far away. So the duke led forth his men in battle array, although the other captains had no great enthusiasm for this because they preferred to wait for Pembroke. Edward made his appearance not long thereafter, with his army in fighting formation, and when the signal had been given on both sides the battle was joined. After a long and bitter struggle Duke Edward, sensing that his few men were being hard-pressed by the enemies’ multitude, promptly recalled them to their standards so that they might put up a better resistance when packed tightly together. For a little while this revived his soldiers’ spirits and they began to kill more fiercely. But since the queen did not have fresh soldiers with whom she could replace those who were wounded or exhausted, she was at length overwhelmed by the multitude and defeated, with her followers killed or captured almost to a man. The nobles killed in that fight were Earl Thomas of Devonshire, John Wenlock, Somerset’s brother John, and many others. Queen Margaret, Prince Edward, Duke Edmund of Somerset, John, the Master of St. Johns, and more than twenty knights were taken prisoner. Two days later all these, save for Margaret and her son, paid with their heads in that same village. A little later Prince Edward, a very excellent young man, was taken to meet Edward, and was asked why he had dared invade his kingdom and trouble it with arms. He had the presence of mind to reply he had come to claim his ancestral realm. Edward made no response this, he only waved the lad away, and immediately those who stood around him (these were Dukes George of Clarence, Richard of Gloucester, and William Hastings) cruelly butchered him. His body, together with those of the others who had been executed, was buried in a nearby Benedictine abbey. But Margaret was brought to London as a prisoner, and not long thereafter she was ransomed and released by her enemy. She went to France, and there she lived in perpetual sorrow, not so much for herself or her husband (for they were rather advanced in age), as for her lost son Edward, whom she and his father Henry had hoped would survive their own loss of life and dignity, so that nothing more bitter could befall them in all their lives. Edward was overjoyed by this victory, which spelled the end of civil war. After scouring that part of the realm in which his adversaries had collected, he went back to London, in which men’s happiness was wonderfully celebrated with a three-days’ supplication. This is the sum of Edward’s military exploits. This was the year of salvation 1470, the eleventh of Edward’s reign.
19. At the time of Edward’s return, Thomas Falconbridge, a son of William Falconbridge Earl of Kent by a mistress, a man of supreme audacity and a factious one, whose bad morals inspired him to disturb the commonwealth, incited a great sedition. For he had been the Earl of Warwick’s sometime admiral, charged with protecting the passage between Calais and Dover so that none of Edward’s followers could cross with impunity. After he become impoverished, and hostile to friend and foe alike, he began to indulge in open piracy. So it came about that within a short time he had assembled a fleet of many ships and was troubling all the surrounding shores with his robberies. Finally he sailed to Kent and landed. Having recruited no small band of Kentishmen he made directly for London, ransacking it on his first arrival, while the populace exclaimed he had come to free his King Henry. But when they discovered Margaret had been bested in battle, then WIlliam Edward the Lord Mayor, together with John Alleyn and John Chelley the Sheriffs, with a sizeable band of armed man, made a sudden assault and routed Falconbridge, stripping him of his spoils, and many fleeing Kentishmen were either killed or captured. Had this commotion, insignificant as it was, occurred a little earlier, doubtless it would have placed Edward in great danger. For in these final wars he was exceedingly fortunate in that he was troubled by his enemies at different times. Had Warwick hastened towards London with his troops in high readiness, had Queen Margaret assaulted the English land in another quarter (as the woman had thrice tried to do), so that she could attack him from the rear and he the front at the same moment, or had Duke Edmund of Somerset had not given the signal for a fight at Tewkesbury before Earl Jasper of Pembroke had come to his aid, or if Falconbridge had attacked the city at the same time, under one or all of these circumstances Edward would have been placed under the necessity of fleeing once more or making a shameful surrender. But in all things, and particularly in war, such is the power of what the common folk are pleased to call good luck, although perhaps this came to pass rather by the misfortune of the House of Lancaster. For wise men of those days thought this was to be ascribed to divine justice, since that family could not long retain a throne taken by force by Henry IV, grandfather to Henry VI, so that that his grandchildren atoned for their grandfather’s sins. Now I return to my narrative. Falconbridge quickly fled back to his ships, but a little later he was captured when he rashly put in at the port of Southampton, where he paid the price with his head. When Earl Jasper of Pembroke learned that the queen had been defeated in a set battle at Tewkesbury, and that no hope for safety remained, he broke off his march and, together with the soldiers he was leading, returned to his confederates at Cheapstowe. While he stayed there, lamenting that haste, which is always imprudent and blind, had in the end destroyed all of Henry’s power, he was discussing with his followers what was to be done, when Roger Vaughan, a very brave man, came to him, sent by Edward to capture the earl by trickery. The earl, sure this was a fraud, arrested Roger within the town and beheaded him. And so Roger suffered at the earl’s hands the punishment which he intended to inflict by treachery. Hence we can learn that a man preparing to destroy someone else ought to be on the lookout for a downfall himself. Then, making his departure, the earl retired to Pembroke, which was immediately besieged by Morgan Thomas, sent by Edward. He encircled it with a rampart and ditch, and prevented the earl’s escape. But eight days later he was freed from this siege by his trusty friend David, Morgan’s brother, and departed to the coastal town called Tynby.From there, in a ship quickly made ready, he sailed to France with Henry, his nephew by his brother the Earl of Richmond, and a few servants, but by chance he was carried to Britanny. And there he humbly approached Duke Francis, explained the reason for his arrival, and entrusted himself and his nephew Henry to the duke’s protection. The duke cheerfully received the earls with his hospitality, treated them with honor, kindness, and grace, no differently than if they had been his own brothers, and promised on his oath that they would henceforth be free of harm while they stayed with him, and that they were free to come and go wherever they wished.
20. Edward, having pacified his kingdom in this way, so that no more new uprisings would occur, spent a few days in traveling through Kent, because that was the scene of the latest uprising, and took harsh revenge on them for having created that sedition. This done, so that it might appear to every man that peace had been achieved, and so everything might be freed of fear of his enemies, Henry VI, deposed a little earlier, was put to death in the Tower. A persistent rumor has it that Duke Richard of Gloucester killed him with a sword to free his brother of all fear from his enemies. But whoever was the murderer of this most pious man, it is quite clear that both the murder and the men responsibile were adequately punished. For afterwards, when they had no enemies on whom to vent and slake their savagery, they exercised their cruelty on each other and polluted their hands with their own blood, as will be shown at the appropriate place below. Then Henry’s body was removed, without any honor, from the Tower to St. Paul’s cathedral and lay in its coffin for an entire day, and on the following day it was was taken to the Benedictine monastery in the village of Chertsey, fifteen miles from London, and buried there. But not long afterwards it was transferred to Windsor Castle and placed in a new tomb in the Chapel of St. George. St. Erchinwald, a Bishop of London, founded that monastery at Chertsey about the year of salvation 678, as I have shown above in Book IV. Henry reigned thirty-eight years, and six months after regaining the throne. He lived for fifth-two years. By Margaret he fathered a single son, Edward Prince of Wales. He was tall of stature, slender of body, with proportionate limbs. His face was seemly, and in it there continually shone that goodness of mind with which he was particularly endowed. He naturally abhorred all vices, physical and men, since he was honorable from boyhood, upright and unacquainted with evil, agreeable to the good, and he scorned all things which usually corrupt men’s minds. He likewise was so patient regarding all the wrongs committed against himself that he sought no vengeance, rather for that very reason he would thank Almighty God, because he regarded this as a means of atoning for his sins. What should we say about the fact that this good, gracious, pious, modest man used to say that all these evils befell him because of the manifold sins and vices of himself and his ancestors? For this reason he was not greatly obsessed or tormented about the loss of his dignity, honors, station in life, son, and friends. Rather, he was concerned, regretful, and grieved about how he had offended God. The result of these and similar acts of genuine piety was that God performed miracles in his name during his lifetime. So a few years ago Henry VII not undeservedly began to negotiate with Pope Julius about his canonization, but his death soon afterwards prevented him from performing this service. Henry was also endowed with a liberal mind. He admired the studies of the goodly arts and loved the men in whom he discerned them, and so he also assisted his subjects in the acquisition of learning. For he founded a magnificent school at Eton, the village next to Windsor, in which he installed a college of priests and a large number of students who would be raised and educated in their grammar at no charge. Likewise he was the founder of King’s College, Cambridge, which today so flourishes with the cultivation of the sciences that it is easily the sovereign of all colleges. I return to my subject.
21. And so King Edward, having had a good part of his cares and the pricks of fear removed, so that no traces of the adverse faction would remain, decided that all its remains should be extirpated everywhere. Therefore he sent Archbishop George of York to Guines, to languish in chains, although he was let go and immediately died of a broken heart. He was succeeded by Laurence Booth, and when that man died three years later he was replaced by Thomas Rotherham Bishop of Lincoln, the fifty-fourth in the line of archbishops. Likewise the king arrested Earl John of Oxford, who had gone to Cornwall and occupied St. Michael’s Mount and promptly sent him to the overseas castle of Hamme, where he was imprisoned for more than twelve years. Furthermore, in various places many men were arrested on even the slightest suspicion, and either placed in bondage or heavily fined. After these things, so that not even neighboring places could be a refuge for runaways, he made a twenty years’ truce with James King of Scots. But so the king’s mind could not be rid of all care and concern, at the same time he was given to understand that the Earls of Pembroke and Richmond had sailed to Britanny and received very liberally by the duke. He took this exceedingly hard, just as if his mind had some presentiment of evil. And to avert this evil he forthwith sent secret ambassadors to the duke to promise him great gifts if he would hand over the earls to himself. The duke gladly granted King Edward’s delegation an audience, and when he he learned that the earls were such a costly prize he decided that he should not send them away, but rather keep them with him more carefully than ever. He replied to the ambassadors that he could not hand over the earls because of the pledge he had given them, but for Henry’s sake would keep such a close guard over them that he would have no reason to suspect they could do him any harm. After they could not obtain their request, the ambassadors had to be content with that answer and returned to the the king. Then the king wrote back that he should have voluntarily undertaken to do this out of his dignity, grace, and constancy, and at the same time promised money, help, and great gifts , which he henceforth gave annually with a generous hand. The duke, perceiving that retaining the earls would be greatly to his advantage, to prevent them from possibly going elsewhere, separated the two and took away the English servants they had brought with them, replacing them with other Britons who would both serve and guard them. Meanwhile the king, on October 13 of the twenty-second year of his reign, which was the year of human salvation 1472, convened a parliament at Westminster in which all of his decisions and laws revoked a little earlier by Henry VI were returned to their former usage. Likewise it was decided to confiscate and sell off the goods of his opponents, and likewise to recall from exile those who had been condemned by his adversaries a few months previously. In the second place, taxes were imposed to raise money, of which there was an incredible dearth in the royal treasury. Thirdly, the quarrels both public and private between nobles (and there very few of these, since a goodly part of them had been killed off by domestic slaughters) were resolved, settled, and removed. The king fostered this business to the best of his ability. And to set an example so others would forget injuries and set aside hatred, he forgave all those members of the opposite faction who were still alive in the realm, and remitted their punishment for treason or lawbreaking. And not long thereafter he took back into his good graces the German merchants of the Hansa, whom he had previously imprisoned, their goods confiscated, because certain ships of Lin had been intercepted by the Dacians for a murder for which the English were deemed responsible, although German traders were said to have done the deed. But the controversy was settled by the power of truth, and Edward made full restitution. Henceforth made more cautious, the merchants carefully retained the privileges granted them both by Richard III and Henry VII.
22. While Edward had the leisure to settle domestic affairs, behold, he was summoned by Duke Charles of Burgundy to join in a foreign war against King Louis of France, so he would never be lacking in something to disturb domestic tranquility. For a number of reasons the king could not refuse to enter into that alliance: because Louis was his enemy for having armed Warwick against himself, and because, besides his kinship he enjoyed with Burgundy, he was deeply in his debt for the many kindnesses he had received while in exile. And so, after discussing the undertaking of such a great war with his nobles, he replied to Burgundy that he would come and take part in the war. Indeed at that time a great war was raging between Charles and Louis. And because Louis, a harsh and rough man, was insulting to friend and foe alike, many members of the French nobility, abhorring his cruelty, openly or secretly sided with Burgundy. Among these was Louis of Luxemburg, the Marshal of France. He secretly conferred both with Burgundy and with French nobles about confronting Louis with some catastrophe, so that he would either reform or be endangered, so much so that France was oppressed by a war both foreign and domestic. Burgundy shared all his counsels with Edward, the easier to entice him to join in the war. This thing, like a foretaste of victory, at length brought the king into the war, so that he began as soon as he could to prepare an army with a fleet. And since he had expended a lot of money on this army, and the funds collected a little while earlier by taxation had been consumed on domestic expenses, he hatched a scheme for inspiring the wealthier of his friends to part with their money, by arranging things so that those who did not do this would be held guilty of ingratitude. He instructed his money-men to fetch in the wealthier of his subjects and ask them in the name of their loyalty, good will and friendly disposition towards the king that they would consent to furnish some money for the cost of the war. Not to make a long story of it, his artifice was so successful that some were moved by the recollection of benefits received, others by their sense of shame, and yet others by fear, as each man strove to demonstrate his zeal with his resources, and helped the king with his money. The so that the he might show this contribution was welcome and to perpetuate its memory, he called this voluntary tax a benevolence, even if many a man paid it with malevolence. Thus with his preparations for war complete and having assembled an army of 20,000 men, crossed to Calais on July 12. Charles quickly made an appearance and, having offered great congratulations on his victory, urged him to apply himself to this war with all his strength, for it was beyond doubt that, by means of it, he would at long last recover his French possessions.
23. Louis, learning that Edward had arrived on the Continent with an army, enlarged his own forces, and, the more danger he saw impending at the same time from so many powerful enemies, the quicker he thought he ahead to confront this peril. So he sent Robert d’Estoteville, a senior captain, ahead to the district of Artois with the forces he had quickly assembled, to bear the brunt of the arriving English king’s onset. Meanwhile he himself remained at Senles, cogitating by what means he might bring the matter to a resolution. For, since he was abandoned by those of his subjects he himself had abandoned, he estimated the war would be longer and riskier to himself if blood were once shed, so nothing was more important for him than for concord to be achieved. Louis was thinking such thoughts when Edward moved from Calais and came to Artois, and Louis promptly sent him peace-ambassadors. The English king gave the delegation an audience, and, having heard them, lost some of his ardor and was less averse to a settlement. For even though he was a brave man and relied on the reputation of his deeds, and preferred war to peace when it came to dealing with the French, scarcely ancient friends of the English, nevertheless, when he reflected that civil wars had so used up England’s resources that, should there be need for a new draught of soldiers, he all but despaired of being able to make one up from his subjects. And he was not unaware that at home his treasury was empty, so he would not be able to pay his soldiers for long, and therefore he concluded that necessity had to be heeded and that he must refrain from a war he could end on honorable terms. This was particularly so because he was able to complain that Burgundy and Luxemburg had not kept their original promises. So when the ambassadors begged him to come to a conference with their king, at length he replied he would do so. And so, when a time and place had been agreed upon, he dismissed them. When they brought back the desired answer, Louis, fortified both by men and money and full of high hopes, was the first to come to Pinquigny, a town in the region of Amiens where the congress of kings was set to occur, and not long thereafter Edward, likewise accompanied by a large bodyguard, arrived. Here the kings met on a bridge over the river Somme and had a lengthy conversation, and in the end agreed on a truce for many years on condition that Louis should immediately pay Edward 750,000 gold marks for his military expenses, and then 50,000 marks per year.
24. After this, so that this new friendship might be strengthened, confirmed, and bound fast by kinship, Edward’s daughter Elizabeth was betrothed to Louis’ son Charles. Having made peace and gotten the money, Edward went back to Calais, and from there to England. No man died in that war, save Duke John of Exeter. He had been in asylum, as I have shown above, and latterly followed the king, but was put to death despite the promise of immunity he had been given. This was the year of human salvation 1474. Henceforth Louis faithfully paid the promised tribute to the English king, down to the beginning of the year of his death. I believe he refused to pay this because he was aware of his destined end. Hence we can argue that from the beginning this was no mere truce between the kings, but rather a treaty, of use to both. But when Burgundy and Luxemburg learned Edward had made peace with Louis, they were sorely outraged and sent him a letter that was stinging, threatening, and hateful, saying that it was by his doing that they had not gained their vengeance on Louis. And he was so far from caring about this letter (for, after so many martial preoccupations, he wished only for a vacation, or wholly to be quits with them), that he didn’t give a fig. And Edward’s alienation, which had the effect of revealing the conspirators’ plans, was particularly damaging to Luxemburg, for he was captured a few days later and beheaded at Paris, the final so-called Constable of France.
25. In this way King Edward had achieved peace at home and abroad, and as the victor in so many wars it was deemed he could live out his life in complete tranquility. Nevertheless, while the young Earl Henry of Richmond, the sole survivor of Henry VI’s bloodline, was still alive, he calculated this was greatly to his disadvantage, the sole remaining thing that troubled his happiness, so he would exist in something like constant fear. And so he decided to solicit Duke Francis of Britanny once more with presents, promises, and prayers to hand him over, for he hoped the duke would do more to satisfy his wishes now that he had all but destroyed the faction of Henry VI. Therefore as soon as possible he sent the duke ambassadors laden down with a great weight of gold. And, to impart a more honorable face on his demand, he bid them declare to the duke that he was asking for Henry so he might join him to himself by kinship, so that the remains of the opposing faction might be wholly eradicated. The duke gave the ambassadors a kindly hearing, and first began to refuse and give many excuses why he was unable to do that. At length, worn down by their entreaties and overcome by their bribe, he gave them Henry, at the same time greatly commending him to Edward in a letter, scarcely imagining he was commending a lamb to a wolf, but rather a son to his father, since he was under the impression Henry was going to bestow his eldest daughter Elizabeth on Henry in marriage. Getting their hands on their prey, the ambassadors went happily to the seaside town of St. Malo, so that there they might board ship and sail to England. During the journey Henry, well aware he was being taken to his death, took a fever from sorrow. Meanwhile John Chenlet (the earth bore few men his equal among the nobles of Britanny), a favorite of the duke, was in the countryside, but when he learned of this development, he was moved by the indignity of the thing and quickly returned to court. In his usual manner, he presented himself to the duke in an intimate setting, standing there silently and wearing a hangdog expression. The duke, wondering why he looked so dejected, asked what was the meaning of his melancholy. To this John said, “Illustrious duke, this pallor is the herald of my death. Had this happened before today, it would have harmed me less, because I would have been spared the sorrow your recent unbelievable deed has burned into my mind, which will doubtless compel me either to lose my life or my standing, or henceforth to live in constant sorrow. For you, duke, have a reputation based on your excellent deeds, which all men unanimously extol to the skies. Alas, although this repute is most great (let this be said by your good leave), you least of all men seem concerned with preserving it. For lately, heedless of your pledge, you have handed over Earl Henry of Richmond, a most innocent young man, to butchers for the rending, the tormenting, and finally the killing. And so those who love you (and I myself am one of many such) are not able to restrain their grief when they see that your very famous name will forever be besmirched by the blot of such treachery.” To this the duke instantly retorted, “Silence, I pray, my John. Nothing of the sort will happen to Henry, for King Edward wants him for a son-in-law.” John replies, “Trust me, most illustrious duke, Henry is all but dead. For if you once allow him to set foot outside your borders, no man alive can rescue him from death.” The duke, moved by these words of John, either because he had previously not suspected Henry was being sought by Edward deceitfully, or because he had been seduced away from honor, faith and probity by money, had not considered what was right to do. He immediately sent his treasurer Peter Landois to intercept Henry. Employing speed, Peter arrived at St. Malo hard on the heels of the English ambassadors, and, feigning some business, engaged them in a lengthy discussion while his agents brought Henry, half-dead, to the inviolable asylum in that city. Not long thereafter he brought him back to the duke, freed from the fear of death and having recovered his strength. From this we may gather the truth of that Greek proverb, man is a god to man. For young Henry, undeservedly betrayed to death, was rescued by the help of that excellent nobleman John Chenlet. May the gods bring it about that such examples might show men in high power who lack advisors to warn them of their duty, that they should learn to acquire men how know how to good advice for their households and councils, and not to scorn their admonitions! And when the English ambassadors, thus despoiled of money and merchandise alike, complained that they should not go home empty-handed, Peter promised to make sure Henry was kept in the asylum, where he said he had betaken himself thanks to their neglect, or that he be imprisoned again at the duke’s court, so that he would be no source of fear. And so at such a great the King England purchased his enemy’s incarceration for three days.
26. Meanwhile when King Edward, anxious to know what had been accomplished with the duke, and therefore tormented by every passing hour, learned from his ambassadors that nothing had come closer than for Henry to be brought to himself as a captive, he was exceedingly chagrined the business had not gone well, but he was mollified when he learned that he was being kept in custody, and then chose to place the question of his wealth, which was very slender, ahead of his other concerns. And so he became somewhat precise in pursuing his self-interest, but, mindful of his honor, after he had sufficiently replenished the treasury, lest he be guilty of avarice, he was then employing his liberality to prove himself to be a good and useful sovereign for the commonwealth when, behold, he committed a monstrous crime. For he suddenly commanded the arrest and execution of his brother Duke George of Clarence, who was put to death, as they say, in a barrel of Cretan wine, setting the worst example inhuman memory. Although I have interrogated many men who were members of the Privy Council at that time, I have nothing certain to report about the reason for his death. At the time a rumor circulated that he attacked George because he was frightened by a soothsayer’s prediction that after him would reign a man whose name began with the letter G. Because devils are wont to play their pranks to inveigle the minds of folk who delight in such illusions, they said that this prediction was not untrue, since after Edward the Duke of Gloucester occupied the throne. But others give a different reason for this death, which was as follows. At that time the ancient hatred between these brothers (nothing stronger) manifested itself, because the duke, who had lost his wife, sought the hand of Mary, the only daughter of Duke Charles of Burgundy, by the operation of his sister Margaret. Edward begrudged his brother his happiness, and obstructed that affinity. Then, when their rivalry had renewed, a certain servant of the duke was condemned for sorcery and executed. When the duke could not restrain himself from vehemently protesting that deed, the king, irate at his complaint, jailed the duke and soon thereafter, rightly or wrongly, had him killed after he had been condemned for treason. But a sure indication that Edward repented his action, they say, is that whenever somebody begged for the life of a condemned man, he was wont to exclaim, “Oh my wretched brother, no man asked for him to be spared,” making it manifest that he had died because of the nobility’s dislike. The duke left behind two children, Margaret, later married to Richard de la Pole, and Edward, whom the king made Earl of Warwick. These things were done in the year of salvation 1479, the nineteenth of Edward’s reign. And so, every care concerning wars and domestic seditions which could previously have occurred now being set aside, the king began to notice more carefully the wrongdoings of noblemen and and develop an enthusiasm for moneymaking, so that many men were persuaded he was becoming a harsh sovereign, when, after the death of his brother, he perceived that all men feared him, and he feared nobody. But this could not occur, because of the brevity of his life. Sometimes prosperity is as harmful to those who enjoy it as adversity is good for those who bear up under it.
27. About this time King James of Scotland negotiated with Edward through ambassadors for the betrothal of his daughter Cecily to his own son James, and he gladly consented. She was younger than Elizabeth, whom I have said above to have already been promised to Charles, the son of King Louis of France. But neither the one affinity nor the other came to pass, since a goodly number of sovereigns are disposed to pursue the advantageous rather than the honorable. For King Louis, after having been freed of the fear of his enemies, not only scorned his promised kinship with Edward, but also came close to flatly refusing to pay the promised money, and by his shifts he had entirely cheated the English king of a year’s tribute when Edward decided that wrong needed to be avenged by arms. And the King of Scots, that sure and constant ally of the French, hearing that Louis was not abiding by his promises, thought he too could do as he pleased, and so broke the truce and harried English territory with a sudden inroad. Thoroughly irate, Edward decided to make war on him. But afterwards, when James had offered the excuse that this was not done in accordance with his own counsel, by the insolence of certain of his subjects, Edward could easily have been mollified, if in the end he had not been solicited to wage war by James’ own brother. For James, a man with a touchy temper and who had more self-confidence than was was reasonable, and who put too much reliance in a plan once he had adopted it, turning a deaf ear to good advice, was hated by his nobles, because by his daily accusations and imposition of fines he compelled some to go into exile, and others to flee elsewhere under the pretence of having business to conduct there. Among these was his brother Duke Alexander of Albany. On his way to France he stayed with Edward and did not cease inciting him to avenge his dignity, and fanning his desire. Therefore, as I have said, since Edward was minded to avenge this recent insult, and was incited by the duke to take up arms against James, and since the duke was promising his own great cooperation, he had no reluctance to do this, especially because, in addition to recently violating their truce, James had given timely aid to Henry VI and the men of his faction. In addition, he had confidence that, should the king be deposed with his help and the duke gain the crown, he would be loyal to himself. So he promptly sent his brother Duke Richard of Gloucester, Henry, the fourth Earl of Northumbria, Thomas Stanley, and the Duke of Albany himself against the Scots with a strong army. Meanwhile James, learning of the coming of the English, suddenly marshaled all the forces he could muster at present, and, going to confront his enemies in order to defend his borders, proceeded as far as Berwick. But when he discovered the English to be superior in strength of arms and in number, and sensed that his soldiers where less than wholly loyal to himself, he decamped in the middle of the night and returned to Edinburgh, there to await the enemy. The Duke of Gloucester entered Scotland, wasting and burning its fields far and wide, and, going further, was not far distant from his enemy’s camp. Then he noticed that not a single man in the nation of Scotland was coming to join the Duke of Albany, and, not unreasonably, suspected deceit. And for that reason he made a truce with James and headed straight for Berwick, which in the meantime Thomas Stanley had taken, not without losses to his men. And James, hated by his own subjects, was obliged to swallow the insult of having that town taken after the truce had been made. Afterwards the Duke of Albany, regretting having been responsible for a war harmful both to his nation and himself, and now holding the English of no account, departed for France, where not long thereafter he was killed in a joust. He left behind a son named John.
28. This business having been successfully completed, King Edward thought that as soon as possible he should attend to the other war which impended. Thinking that all the injuries suffered before at the hands of the French paled in comparison with the present one, he reminded his nobles about their recent violation of the truce, their refusal to pay their tribute, and the repudiation of his daughters’ betrothal, and urged them to be prompt in avenging their nation’s dignity. All alike were aroused by these things and responded that they were not unaware it was best to fight the French, whom they had often conquered, and to shirk no effort on behalf of their nation’s dignity. Thus they were ready to resort to arms to prosecute such great offenses, and were at his command. Having learned the will of the nobility, he separately asked the clergy for money to fund the war’s expenses, inasmuch as they were forbidden to bear arms. But while Edward was devoting his care and thoughts to these things, behold, he as suddenly attacked by a disease his physicians could not identify. And so, sensing he was being summoned to his life’s end, the first reconciled himself with God, as a good Christian should, for he thought he had offended Him by his frequent sinning, so that when his body perished his soul might return to Him thanks to His divine grace. Then he made his testament, appointing his sons his heirs and making them wards of his brother Duke Richard of Gloucester, and piously distributing much of his goods. And so a few days later, on April 9, he departed this life at Westminster, where the parliament had been convened. He was about fifty years old, and died in the twenty-third year of his reign, which was the year of human salvation 1582. His body was brought to Windsor Castle in funereal estate and buried in the Chapel of St. George. By his wife Elizabeth he fathered ten children, of whom seven survived. These included two males, Edward Prince of Wales and Richard Duke of York, and a third by a mistress named Arthur, a boy born to uprightness and grace. He also had five daughters, Elizabeth, Cecily, Anne, Catharine, and Briget, all of whom married except for Briget, who became a nun. Edward was tall and lofty of stature, so that he towered above everybody else. He had an honest face, happy eyes, a steadfast heart, a great mind, and a memory that retained whatever he had absorbed. He was circumspect in his actions, ready amidst dangers, harsh and fearsome towards his enemies, liberal towards his friends and guests, and very fortunate in fighting his wars. He indulged his lust, to which he was prone by nature, and it was for this reason as well as his kindness (which was very innate in him) that he existed on more familiar terms with the common run of humanity than the honor of his majesty dictated. For this reason a rumor circulated that he died of poison. He gained power over a kingdom depopulated by civil wars and almost emptied of martial power and money, but, after suppressing these civil discords he left it by far the wealthiest in all things. He was always careful to confer ecclesiastical honors on the most distinguished men, and especially relied on their counsel. And he enriched with money rather than dignity those commoners he favored, something that many sovereigns scarcely do because they have no concern for honor. And by these virtues he so attached to himself the minds of his subjects that they sorely missed him after his death.
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