By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Richard III - Makers of History
Author: Abbott, Jacob, 1803-1879
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Richard III - Makers of History" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive)

 Makers of History

 Richard III.




 Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight
 hundred and fifty-eight, by


 in the Clerk's office of the District Court of the Southern District
 of New York.


[Illustration: THE ROYAL CHAMPION.]


King Richard the Third, known commonly in history as Richard the
Usurper, was perhaps as bad a man as the principle of hereditary
sovereignty ever raised to the throne, or perhaps it should rather be
said, as the principle of hereditary sovereignty ever _made_. There is
no evidence that his natural disposition was marked with any peculiar
depravity. He was made reckless, unscrupulous, and cruel by the
influences which surrounded him, and the circumstances in which he
lived, and by being habituated to believe, from his earliest
childhood, that the family to which he belonged were born to live in
luxury and splendor, and to reign, while the millions that formed the
great mass of the community were created only to toil and to obey. The
manner in which the principles of pride, ambition, and desperate love
of power, which were instilled into his mind in his earliest years,
brought forth in the end their legitimate fruits, is clearly seen by
the following narrative.


 Chapter                                                    Page

    I. RICHARD'S MOTHER                                      13

   II. RICHARD'S FATHER                                      33

  III. THE CHILDHOOD OF RICHARD                              57

       BROTHER                                               67

    V. WARWICK, THE KING-MAKER                               89

   VI. THE DOWNFALL OF YORK                                 118

  VII. THE DOWNFALL OF LANCASTER                            137

 VIII. RICHARD'S MARRIAGE                                   165

   IX. END OF THE REIGN OF EDWARD                           182

    X. RICHARD AND EDWARD V.                                208

   XI. TAKING SANCTUARY                                     221

  XII. RICHARD LORD PROTECTOR                               236

 XIII. PROCLAIMED KING                                      258

  XIV. THE CORONATION                                       279

   XV. FATE OF THE PRINCES                                  291

  XVI. DOMESTIC TROUBLES                                    301

 XVII. THE FIELD OF BOSWORTH                                320



 THE ROYAL CHAMPION                              _Frontispiece._

 SCENES OF CIVIL WAR                                         15

 LUDLOW CASTLE                                               26

 CASTLE AND PARK OF THE MIDDLE AGES                          29

 HENRY VI. IN HIS CHILDHOOD                                  38


 WALLS OF YORK                                               49

 LAST HOURS OF KING RICHARD'S FATHER                         54

 YORK                                                        62

 THE OLD QUINTAINE                                           84

 PLAYING BALL                                                86

 BATTLE-DOOR AND SHUTTLE-COCK                                87

 RICHARD'S SIGNATURE                                         88

 EDWARD IV.                                                 102

 QUEEN ELIZABETH WOODVILLE                                  103



 THE SANCTUARY                                              133


 STREET LEADING TO THE TOWER                                151

 CHURCH AT TEWKESBURY                                       155


 TOMB OF HENRY VI.                                          163

 RICHARD III.                                               176

 QUEEN ANNE                                                 177

 MIDDLEHAM CASTLE                                           180

 LOUIS XI. OF FRANCE                                        184

 THE MURDERERS COMING FOR CLARENCE                          200

 JANE SHORE                                                 203

 THE ATTEMPTED RECONCILIATION                               211

 ANCIENT PORTRAIT OF EDWARD V.                              219

 ANCIENT VIEW OF WESTMINSTER                                228

 THE PEOPLE IN THE STREETS                                  235

 DEATH                                                      237

 THE COUNCIL IN THE TOWER                                   244

 POMFRET CASTLE                                             248

 BAYNARD'S CASTLE                                           273

 THE KING ON HIS THRONE                                     276

 THE BLOODY TOWER                                           283

 QUEEN ELIZABETH AT THE GRAVE                               304

 PORTRAIT OF THE PRINCESS ELIZABETH                         318

 THE CASTLE AT TAMWORTH                                     325

 KING HENRY VII.                                            332

 THE MONASTERY AT BERMONDSEY                                335




The great quarrel between the houses of York and Lancaster.--Terrible
results of the quarrel.--Origin of it.--Intricate questions of
genealogy and descent.--Lady Cecily Neville.--She becomes Duchess of
York.--Her mode of life.--Extract from the ancient annals.--Lady
Cecily's family.--Names of the children.--The boys' situation and mode
of life.--Their letters.--Letter written by Edward and Edmund.--The
boys congratulate their father on his victories.--Further particulars
about the boys.--The Castle of Ludlow.--Character of Richard's
mother.--Spirit of aristocracy.--Relative condition of the nobles and
the people.--Character of Richard's mother.--The governess.--Sir
Richard Croft, the boys' governor.

The mother of King Richard the Third was a beautiful, and, in many
respects, a noble-minded woman, though she lived in very rude,
turbulent, and trying times. She was born, so to speak, into one of
the most widely-extended, the most bitter, and the most fatal of the
family quarrels which have darkened the annals of the great in the
whole history of mankind, namely, that long-protracted and bitter
contest which was waged for so many years between the two great
branches of the family of Edward the Third--the houses of York and
Lancaster--for the possession of the kingdom of England. This dreadful
quarrel lasted for more than a hundred years. It led to wars and
commotions, to the sacking and burning of towns, to the ravaging of
fruitful countries, and to atrocious deeds of violence of every sort,
almost without number. The internal peace of hundreds of thousands of
families all over the land was destroyed by it for many generations.
Husbands were alienated from wives, and parents from children by it.
Murders and assassinations innumerable grew out of it. And what was it
all about? you will ask. It arose from the fact that the descendants
of a certain king had married and intermarried among each other in
such a complicated manner that for several generations nobody could
tell which of two different lines of candidates was fairly entitled to
the throne. The question was settled at last by a prince who inherited
the claim on one side marrying a princess who was the heir on the
other. Thus the conflicting interests of the two houses were combined,
and the quarrel was ended.

But, while the question was pending, it kept the country in a state of
perpetual commotion, with feuds, and quarrels, and combats
innumerable, and all the other countless and indescribable horrors of
civil war.

[Illustration: SCENES OF CIVIL WAR.]

The two branches of the royal family which were engaged in this
quarrel were called the houses of York and Lancaster, from the fact
that those were the titles of the fathers and heads of the two lines
respectively. The Lancaster party were the descendants of John of
Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and the York party were the successors and
heirs of his brother Edmund, Duke of York. These men were both sons of
Edward the Third, the King of England who reigned immediately before
Richard the Second. A full account of the family is given in our
history of Richard the Second. Of course, they being brothers, their
children were cousins, and they ought to have lived together in peace
and harmony. And then, besides being related to each other through
their fathers, the two branches of the family intermarried together,
so as to make the relationships in the following generations so close
and so complicated that it was almost impossible to disentangle them.
In reading the history of those times, we find dukes or princes
fighting each other in the field, or laying plans to assassinate each
other, or striving to see which should make the other a captive, and
shut him up in a dungeon for the rest of his days; and yet these
enemies, so exasperated and implacable, are very near
relations--cousins, perhaps, if the relationship is reckoned in one
way, and uncle and nephew if it is reckoned in another. During the
period of this struggle, all the great personages of the court, and
all, or nearly all, the private families of the kingdom, and all the
towns and the villages, were divided and distracted by the dreadful

Richard's mother, whose name, before she was married, was Lady Cecily
Neville, was born into one side of this quarrel, and then afterward
married into the other side of it. This is a specimen of the way in
which the contest became complicated in multitudes of cases. Lady
Cecily was descended from the Duke of Lancaster, but she married the
Duke of York, in the third generation from the time when the quarrel

Of course, upon her marriage, Lady Cecily Neville became the Duchess
of York. Her husband was a man of great political importance in his
day, and, like the other nobles of the land, was employed continually
in wars and in expeditions of various kinds, in the course of which he
was continually changing his residence from castle to castle all over
England, and sometimes making excursions into Ireland, Scotland, and
France. His wife accompanied him in many of these wanderings, and she
led, of course, so far as external circumstances were concerned, a
wild and adventurous life. She was, however, very quiet and domestic
in her tastes, though proud and ambitious in her aspirations, and she
occupied herself, wherever she was, in regulating her husband's
household, teaching and training her children, and in attending with
great regularity and faithfulness to her religious duty, as religious
duty was understood in those days.

The following is an account, copied from an ancient record, of the
manner in which she spent her days at one of the castles where she was

    "She useth to arise at seven of the clock, and hath readye her
    chapleyne to say with her mattins of the daye (that is, morning
    prayers), and when she is fully readye, she hath a lowe mass in
    her chamber. After mass she taketh something to recreate nature,
    and soe goeth to the chapelle, hearinge the divine service and two
    lowe masses. From thence to dynner, during the tyme of whih she
    hath a lecture of holy matter (that is, reading from a religious
    book), either Hilton of Contemplative and Active Life, or some
    other spiritual and instructive work. After dynner she giveth
    audyence to all such as hath any matter to shrive unto her, by the
    space of one hower, and then sleepeth one quarter of an hower, and
    after she hath slept she contynueth in prayer until the first
    peale of even songe.

    "In the tyme of supper she reciteth the lecture that was had at
    dynner to those that be in her presence. After supper she
    disposeth herself to be famyliare with her gentlewomen to the
    seasoning of honest myrthe, and one hower before her going to bed
    she taketh a cup of wine, and after that goeth to her pryvie
    closette, and taketh her leave of God for all nighte, makinge end
    of her prayers for that daye, and by eighte of the clocke is in

The going to bed at eight o'clock was in keeping with the other
arrangements of the day, for we find by a record of the rules and
orders of the duchess's household that the dinner-hour was eleven, and
the supper was at four.

This lady, Richard's mother, during her married life, had no less than
twelve children. Their names were Anne, Henry, Edward, Edmund,
Elizabeth, Margaret, William, John, George, Thomas, Richard, and
Ursula. Thus Richard, the subject of this volume, was the eleventh,
that is, the last but one. A great many of these, Richard's brothers
and sisters, died while they were children. All the boys died thus
except four, namely, Edward, Edmund, George, and Richard. Of course,
it is only with those four that we have any thing to do in the present

Several of the other children, however, besides these three, lived for
some time. They resided generally with their mother while they were
young, but as they grew up they were often separated both from her and
from their father--the duke, their father, being often called away
from home, in the course of the various wars in which he was engaged,
and his wife frequently accompanied him. On such occasions the boys
were left at some castle or other, under the care of persons employed
to take charge of their education. They used to write letters to their
father from time to time, and it is curious that these letters are the
earliest examples of letters from children to parents which have been
preserved in history. Two of the boys were at one time under the
charge of a man named Richard Croft, and the boys thought that he was
too strict with them. One of the letters, which has been preserved,
was written to complain of this strictness, or, as the boy expressed
it, "the odieux rule and demeaning" of their tutor, and also to ask
for some "fyne bonnets," which the writer wished to have sent for
himself and for his little brother. There is another long letter
extant which was written at nearly the same time. This letter was
written, or at least signed, by two of the boys, Edward and Edmund,
and was addressed to their father on the occasion of some of his
victories. But, though signed by the boys' names, I suspect, from the
lofty language in which it is expressed, and from the many high-flown
expressions of duty which it contains, that it was really written
_for_ the boys by their mother or by one of their teachers. Of this,
however, the reader can judge for himself on perusing the letter. In
this copy the spelling is modernized so as to make it more
intelligible, but the language is transcribed exactly from the

    "Right high and mighty prince, our most worshipful and
    greatly redoubted lord and father:

    "In as lowly a wise as any sons can or may, we recommend us
    unto your good lordship, and please it to your highness to
    wit, that we have received your worshipful letters yesterday
    by your servant William Clinton, bearing date at York, the
    29th day of May.[A]

    "By the which William, and by the relation of John Milewater,
    we conceive your worshipful and victorious speed against your
    enemies, to their great shame, and to us the most
    comfortable things that we desire to hear. Whereof we thank
    Almighty God of his gifts, beseeching him heartily to give
    you that good and cotidian[B] fortune hereafter to know your
    enemies, and to have the victory over them.

    "And if it please your highness to know of our welfare, at
    the making of this letter we were in good health of body,
    thanked be God, beseeching your good and gracious fatherhood
    for our daily blessing.

    "And whereas you command us by your said letters to attend
    specially to our learning in our young age, that should cause
    us to grow to honor and worship in our old age, please it
    your highness to wit, that we have attended to our learning
    since we came hither, and shall hereafter, by the which we
    trust to God your gracious lordship and good fatherhood shall
    be pleased.

    "Also we beseech your good lordship that it may please you to
    send us Harry Lovedeyne, groom of your kitchen, whose service
    is to us right agreeable; and we will send you John Boyes to
    wait upon your lordship.

    "Right high and mighty prince, our most worshipful and
    greatly redoubted lord and father, we beseech Almighty God
    to give you as good life and long as your own princely heart
    can best desire.

    "Written at your Castle of Ludlow, the 3d of June.

               "Your humble sons,
                    "E. MARCHE.
                    "E. RUTLAND."

[Footnote A: There were no postal arrangements in those days, and all
letters were sent by private, and generally by special messengers.]

[Footnote B: Daily.]

The subscriptions E. March and E. Rutland stand for Edward, Earl of
March, and Edmund, Earl of Rutland; for, though these boys were then
only eleven and twelve years of age respectively, they were both
earls. One of them, afterward, when he was about seventeen years old,
was cruelly killed on the field of battle, where he had been fighting
with his father, as we shall see in another chapter. The other,
Edward, became King of England. He came immediately before Richard the
Third in the line.

The letter which the boys wrote was superscribed as follows:

"To the right high and mighty prince, our most worshipful and greatly
redoubted lord and father, the Duke of York, Protector and Defender of

[Illustration: LUDLOW CASTLE.]

The castle of Ludlow, where the boys were residing when this letter
was written, was a strong fortress built upon a rock in the western
part of England, not far from Shrewsbury. The engraving is a correct
representation of it, as it appeared at the period when those boys
were there, and it gives a very good idea of the sort of place where
kings and princes were accustomed to send their families for safety in
those stormy times. Soon after the period of which we are speaking,
Ludlow Castle was sacked and destroyed. The ruins of it, however,
remain to the present day, and they are visited with much interest by
great numbers of modern travelers.

Lady Cecily, as we have already seen, was in many respects a noble
woman, and a most faithful and devoted wife and mother; she was,
however, of a very lofty and ambitious spirit, and extremely proud of
her rank and station. Almost all her brothers and sisters--and the
family was very large--were peers and peeresses, and when she married
Prince Richard Plantagenet, her heart beat high with exultation and
joy to think that she was about to become a queen. She believed that
Prince Richard was fully entitled to the throne at that time, for
reasons which will be fully explained in the next chapter, and that,
even if his claims should not be recognized until the death of the
king who was then reigning, they certainly would be so recognized
then, and she would become an acknowledged queen, as she thought she
was already one by right. So she felt greatly exalted in spirit, and
moved and acted among all who surrounded her with an air of stately
reserve of the most grand and aristocratic character.


In fact, there has, perhaps, no time and place been known in the
history of the world in which the spirit of aristocracy was more lofty
and overbearing in its character than in England during the period
when the Plantagenet family were in prosperity and power. The nobles
formed then, far more strikingly than they do now, an entirely
distinct and exalted class, that looked down upon all other ranks and
gradations of society as infinitely beneath them. Their only
occupation was war, and they regarded all those who were engaged in
any employments whatever, that were connected with art or industry,
with utter disdain. These last were crowded together in villages
and towns which were formed of dark and narrow streets, and rude and
comfortless dwellings. The nobles lived in grand castles scattered
here and there over the country, with extensive parks and
pleasure-grounds around them, where they loved to marshal their
followers, and inaugurate marauding expeditions against their rivals
or their enemies. They were engaged in constant wars and contentions
with each other, each thirsting for more power and more splendor than
he at present enjoyed, and treating all beneath him with the utmost
haughtiness and disdain. Richard's mother exhibited this aristocratic
loftiness of spirit in a very high degree, and it was undoubtedly in a
great manner through the influence which she exerted over her children
that they were inspired with those sentiments of ambition and love of
glory to which the crimes and miseries into which several of them fell
in their subsequent career were owing.

To assist her in the early education of her children, Richard's mother
appointed one of the ladies of the court their governess. This
governess was a personage of very high rank, being descended from the
royal line. With the ideas which Lady Cecily entertained of the
exalted position of her family, and of the future destiny of her
children, none but a lady of high rank would be thought worthy of
being intrusted with such a charge. The name of the governess was Lady

The boys, as they grew older, were placed under the charge of a
governor. His name was Sir Richard Croft. It is this Sir Richard that
they allude to in their letter. He, too, was a person of high rank and
of great military distinction. The boys, however, thought him too
strict and severe with them; at least so it would seem, from the
manner in which they speak of him in the letter.

The governor and the governess appear to have liked each other very
well, for after a time Sir Richard offered himself to Lady Mortimer,
and they were married.

       *       *       *       *       *

Besides Ludlow Castle, Prince Richard had several other strongholds,
where his wife from time to time resided. Richard, who was one of the
youngest of the children, was born at one of these, called Fotheringay
Castle; but, before coming to the event of his birth, I must give some
account of the history and fortunes of his father.



A.D. 1415-1461

Genealogy of Richard Plantagenet.--Family of Edward III.--Succession
of heirs in the family of Edward III.--Genealogical table of the
houses of York and Lancaster.--Union of the houses of Clarence and
York.--Richard Plantagenet a prisoner.--King Henry VI.--His gentle and
quiet character.--Portrait.--Discontent of the people.--Arrangements
made for the succession.--Character of Margaret of Anjou.--No
children.--Feeble and failing capacity of the king.--Richard
Plantagenet formally declared the heir.--Unexpected birth of a
prince.--Suspicions.--Various plans and speculations.--Richard's
hopes.--Progress of the formation of parties.--Queen Margaret's
resolution and energy.--Wars.--Richard's two brothers, Edward and
Edmund.--The walls of York.--Prince Richard at York.--Boldness of the
queen.--The advice of Richard's counselors.--Richard's reply.--The
battle.--Richard defeated.--Death of Edmund.--Death of Richard.--The
head set upon a pole at York.

Richard's father was a prince of the house of York. In the course of
his life he was declared heir to the crown, but he died before he
attained possession of it, thus leaving it for his children. The
nature of his claim to the crown, and, indeed, the general relation of
the various branches of the family to each other, will be seen by the
genealogical table on the next page but one.

Edward the Third, who reigned more than one hundred years before
Richard the Third, and his queen Philippa, left at their decease four
sons, as appears by the table.[C] They had other children besides
these, but it was only these four, namely, Edward, Lionel, John, and
Edmund, whose descendants were involved in the quarrels for the
succession. The others either died young, or else, if they arrived at
maturity, the lines descending from them soon became extinct.

[Footnote C: See page 35.]

Of the four that survived, the oldest was Edward, called in history
the Black Prince. A full account of his life and adventures is given
in our history of Richard the Second. He died before his father, and
so did not attain to the crown. He, however, left his son Richard his
heir, and at Edward's death Richard became king. Richard reigned
twenty years, and then, in consequence of his numerous vices and
crimes, and of his general mismanagement, he was deposed, and Henry,
the son of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, Edward's third son,
ascended the throne in his stead.

Now, as appears by the table, John of Gaunt was the third of the four
sons, Lionel, Duke of Clarence, being the second. The descendants of
Lionel would properly have come before those of John in the
succession, but it happened that the only descendants of Lionel were
Philippa, a daughter, and Roger, a grandchild, who was at this time an
infant. Neither of these were able to assert their claims, although in
theory their claims were acknowledged to be prior to those of the
descendants of John. The people of England, however, were so desirous
to be rid of Richard, that they were willing to submit to the reign of
any member of the royal family who should prove strong enough to
dispossess him. So they accepted


                             EDWARD III. = Phillippa.
   |                   |                     |                     |
 EDWARD              LIONEL                JOHN                  EDMUND
 (The Black Prince). (Duke of Clarence).   (Of Gaunt,           (Duke of York).
   |                   |                    Duke of Lancaster).    |
   |                   |                     |                     |
 RICHARD II.         PHILLIPPA = Edward    HENRY IV.            RICHARD = Anne.
                       |         Mortimer.   |           (_See second column._)
                     ROGER MORTIMER        HENRY V.                |
                     Earl of Marche).        |                     |
                       |                   HENRY VI.        RICHARD PLANTAGENET
                       |                     |              (Duke of York).
                       |                     |                     |
                       |                     |              ---------------
                       |                     |              |      |      |
                     ANNE = Richard        EDWARD         EDWARD GEORGE RICHARD
                             of York.      (Prince          IV.  (Duke    III.
                 (_See fourth column._)    of Wales).              of

    The character = denotes marriage; the short perpendicular
    line | a descent. There were many other children and
    descendants in the different branches of the family besides
    those whose names are inserted in the table. The table
    includes only those essential to an understanding of the

Henry of Lancaster, who ascended the throne as Henry the Fourth, and
he and his successors in the Lancastrian line, Henry the Fifth and
Henry the Sixth, held the throne for many years.

Still, though the people of England generally acquiesced in this, the
families of the other brothers, namely, of Lionel and Edmund, called
generally the houses of Clarence and of York, were not satisfied. They
combined together, and formed a great many plots and conspiracies
against the house of Lancaster, and many insurrections and wars, and
many cruel deeds of violence and murder grew out of the quarrel. At
length, to strengthen their alliance more fully, Richard, the second
son of Edmund of York, married Anne, a descendant of the Clarence
line. The other children, who came before these, in the two lines,
soon afterward died, leaving the inheritance of both to this pair.
Their son was Richard, the father of Richard the Third. He is called
Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York. On the death of his father and
mother, he, of course, became the heir not only of the immense estates
and baronial rights of both the lines from which he had descended, but
also of the claims of the older line to the crown of England.

The successive generations of these three lines, down to the period of
the union of the second and fourth, cutting off the third, is shown
clearly in the table.

Of course, the Lancaster line were much alarmed at the combination of
the claims of their rivals. King Henry the Fifth was at that period on
the throne, and, by the time that Richard Plantagenet was three years
old, under pretense of protecting him from danger, he caused him to be
shut up in a castle, and kept a close prisoner there.

Time rolled on. King Henry the Fifth died, and Henry the Sixth
succeeded him. Richard Plantagenet was still watched and guarded; but
at length, by the time that Richard was thirteen years old, the power
and influence of his branch of the royal family, or rather those of
the two branches from which, combined, he was descended, were found to
be increasing, while that of the house of Lancaster was declining.
After a time he was brought out from his imprisonment, and restored to
his rank and station. King Henry the Sixth was a man of a very weak
and timid mind. He was quite young too, being, in fact, a mere child
when he began to reign, and every thing went wrong with his
government. While he was young, he could, of course, do nothing, and
when he grew older he was too gentle and forbearing to control the
rough and turbulent spirits around him. He had no taste for war and
bloodshed, but loved retirement and seclusion, and, as he advanced in
years, he fell into the habit of spending a great deal of his time in
acts of piety and devotion, performed according to the ideas and
customs of the times. The annexed engraving, representing him as he
appeared when he was


a boy, is copied from the ancient portraits, and well expresses the
mild and gentle traits which marked his disposition and character.

Such being the disposition and character of Henry, every thing during
his reign went wrong, and this state of things, growing worse and
worse as he advanced in life, greatly encouraged and strengthened the
house of York in the effort which they were inclined to make to bring
their own branch of the family to the throne.

"See," said they, "what we come to by allowing a line of usurpers to
reign. These Henrys of Lancaster are all descended from a younger son,
while the heirs of the older are living, and have a right to the
throne. Richard Plantagenet is the true and proper heir. He is a man
of energy. Let us make him king."

But the people of England, though they gradually came to desire the
change, were not willing yet to plunge the country again into a state
of civil war for the purpose of making it. They would not disturb
Henry, they said, while he continued to live; but there was nobody to
succeed him, and, when he died, Richard Plantagenet should be king.


Henry was married at this time, but he had no children. The name of
his wife was Margaret of Anjou. She was a very extraordinary and
celebrated woman. Though very beautiful in person, she was as
energetic and masculine in character as her poor husband was
effeminate and weak, and she took every thing into her own hands.
This, however, made matters worse instead of better, and the whole
country seemed to rejoice that she had no children, for thus, on the
death of Henry, the line would become extinct, and Richard Plantagenet
and his descendants would succeed, as a matter of course, in a quiet
and peaceful manner. As Henry and Margaret had now been married eight
or nine years without any children, it was supposed that they never
would have any.

Accordingly, Richard Plantagenet was universally looked upon as
Henry's successor, and the time seemed to be drawing nigh when the
change of dynasty was to take place. Henry's health was very feeble.
He seemed to be rapidly declining. His mind was affected, too, quite
seriously, and he sometimes sank into a species of torpor from which
nothing could arouse him.

Indeed, it became difficult to carry on the government in his name,
for the king sank at last into such a state of imbecility that it was
impossible to obtain from him the least sign or token that would
serve, even for form's sake, as an assent on his part to the royal
decrees. At one time Parliament appointed a commission to visit him in
his chamber, for the purpose of ascertaining the state that he was in,
and to see also whether they could not get some token from him which
they could consider as his assent to certain measures which it was
deemed important to take; but they could not get from the king any
answer or sign of any kind, notwithstanding all that they could do or
say. They retired for a time, and afterward came back again to make a
second attempt, and then, as an ancient narrative records the story,
"they moved and stirred him by all the ways and means that they could
think of to have an answer of the said matter, but they could have no
answer, word nor sign, and therefore, with sorrowful hearts, came

This being the state of things, Parliament thought it time to make
some definite arrangements for the succession. Accordingly, they
passed a formal and solemn enactment declaring Richard Plantagenet
heir presumptive of the crown, and investing him with the rank and
privileges pertaining to that position. They also appointed him, for
the present, Protector and defender of the realm.

Richard, the subject of this volume, was at this time an infant two
years old. The other ten children had been born at various periods

It was now, of course, expected that Henry would soon die, and that
then Richard Plantagenet would at once ascend the throne, acknowledged
by the whole realm as the sole and rightful heir. But these
expectations were suddenly disturbed, and the whole kingdom was thrown
into a state of great excitement and alarm by the news of a very
unexpected and important event which occurred at this time, namely,
the birth of a child to Margaret, the queen. This event awakened all
the latent fires of civil dissension and discord anew. The Lancastrian
party, of course, at once rallied around the infant prince, who, they
claimed, was the rightful heir to the crown. They began at once to
reconstruct and strengthen their plans, and to shape their measures
with a view to retain the kingdom in the Lancaster line. On the other
hand, the friends of the combined houses of Clarence and York declared
that they would not acknowledge the new-comer as the rightful heir.
They did not believe that he was the son of the king, for he, as they
said, had been for a long time as good as dead. Some said that they
did not even believe that the child was Margaret's son. There was a
story that she had had a child, but that he was very weak and puny,
and that he had died soon after his birth, and that Margaret had
cunningly substituted another child in his place, in order to retain
her position and power by having a supposed son of hers reign as king
after her husband should die. Margaret was a woman of so ambitious and
unscrupulous a character, that she was generally believed capable of
adopting any measures, however criminal and bold, to accomplish her

But, notwithstanding these rumors, Parliament acknowledged the infant
as his father's son and heir. He was named Edward, and created at once
Prince of Wales, which act was a solemn acknowledgment of his right to
the succession. Prince Richard made no open opposition to this; for,
although he and his friends maintained that he had a right to the
crown, they thought that the time had not yet come for openly
advancing their claim, so for the present they determined to be quiet.
The child might not survive, and his father, the king, being in so
helpless and precarious a condition, might cease to live at any time;
and if it should so happen that both the father and the child should
die, Richard would, of course, succeed at once, without any question.
He accordingly thought it best to wait a little while, and see what
turn things would take.

He soon found that things were taking the wrong turn. The child lived,
and appeared likely to continue to live, and, what was perhaps worse
for him, the king, instead of declining more and more, began to
revive. In a short time he was able to attend to business again, at
least so far as to express his assent to measures prepared for him by
his ministers. Prince Richard was accordingly called upon to resign
his protectorate. He thought it best to yield to this proposal, and he
did so, and thus the government was once more in Henry's hands.

Things went on in this way for two or three years, but the breach
between the two great parties was all the time widening. Difficulties
multiplied in number and increased in magnitude. The country took
sides. Armed forces were organized on one side and on the other, and
at length Prince Richard openly claimed the crown as his right. This
led to a long and violent discussion in Parliament. The result was,
that a majority was obtained to vote in favor of Prince Richard's
right. The Parliament decreed, however, that the existing state of
things should not be disturbed so long as Henry continued to live, but
that at Henry's death the crown should descend, not to little Edward
his son, the infant Prince of Wales, but to Prince Richard Plantagenet
and his descendants forever.

Queen Margaret was at this time at a castle in Wales, where she had
gone with the child, in order to keep him in a place of safety while
these stormy discussions were pending. When she heard that Parliament
had passed a law setting aside the claims of her child, she declared
that she would never submit to it. She immediately sent messengers all
over the northern part of the kingdom, summoning the faithful
followers of the king every where to arm themselves and assemble near
the frontier. She herself went to Scotland to ask for aid. The King of
Scotland at that time was a child, but he was related to the
Lancastrian family, his grandmother having been a descendant of John
of Gaunt, the head of the Lancaster line. He was too young to take any
part in the war, but his mother, who was acting as regent, furnished
Margaret with troops. Margaret, putting herself at the head of these
forces, marched across the frontier into England, and joined herself
there to the other forces which had assembled in answer to her

In the mean time, Prince Richard had assembled his adherents too, and
had commenced his march to the northward to meet his enemies. He took
his two oldest sons with him, the two that wrote the letter quoted in
the last chapter. One of these you will recollect was Edward, Earl of
Marche, and the second was Edmund, Earl of Rutland. Edward was now
about eighteen years of age, and his brother Edmund about seventeen.
One would have said that at this period of life they were altogether
too young to be exposed to the hardships, fatigues, and dangers of a
martial campaign; but it was the custom in those times for princes and
nobles to be taken with their fathers to fields of battle at a very
early age. And these youthful warriors were really of great service
too, for the interest which they inspired among all ranks of the army
was so great, especially when their rank was very high, that they were
often the means of greatly increasing the numbers and the enthusiasm
of their fathers' followers.

Edward, indeed, was in this instance deemed old enough to be sent off
on an independent service, and so, while the prince moved forward with
the main body of his army toward the north, he dispatched Edward,
accompanied by a suitable escort, to the westward, toward the
frontiers of Wales, to assemble all the armed men that he could find
in that part of the kingdom who were disposed to espouse his cause.
Edmund, who was a year younger than Edward, went with his father.

The prince proceeded to the city of York, which was then a fortified
place of great strength. The engraving gives a very good idea of the
appearance of the walls in those times. These walls remain, indeed,
almost entire at the present day, and they are visited a great deal by
tourists and travelers, being regarded with much interest as
furnishing a very complete and well-preserved specimen of the mural
fortifications of the Middle Ages. Such walls, however, would be
almost entirely useless now as means of defense, since they would not
stand at all against an attack from modern artillery.

The great church seen over the walls, in the heart of the city, is the
famous York minster, one of the grandest Cathedral churches in
England. It was a hundred and fifty years in building, and it was
completed about two centuries before Richard's day.

When Prince Richard reached York, he entered the town, and established
himself there, with a view of waiting till his son should arrive with
the re-enforcements which he had been sent to seek in the western part
of England.

[Illustration: WALLS OF YORK.]

While he was there, and before the re-enforcements came, the queen, at
the head of her army from Scotland, which was strengthened, moreover,
by the troops which she had obtained in the north of England, came
marching on down the country in great force. When she came into the
neighborhood of York, she encamped, and then sent messengers to Prince
Richard, taunting and deriding him for having shut himself up within
fortified walls, and daring him to come out into the open field and
fight her.

The prince's counselors advised him to do no such thing. One of them
in particular, a certain Sir Davy Hall, who was an old and faithful
officer in the prince's service, urged him to pay no attention to
Queen Margaret's taunts.

"We are not strong enough yet," said he, "to meet the army which she
has assembled. We must wait till our re-enforcements come. By going
out now we shall put our cause in great peril, and all to no purpose

"Ah! Davy, Davy," said the prince, "hast thou loved me so long, and
now wouldst thou have me dishonored? When I was regent in Normandy,
thou never sawest me keep fortress, even when the dauphin himself,
with all his power, came to besiege me.[D] I always, like a man, came
forth to meet him, instead of remaining within my walls, like a bird
shut up in a cage. Now if I did not then keep myself shut up for fear
of a great, strong prince, do you think I will now, for dread of a
scolding woman, whose weapons are only her tongue and her nails, and
thus give people occasion to say that I turned dastard before a woman,
when no man had ever been able to make me fear? No, I will never
submit to such disgrace. I would rather die in honor than live in
shame; and so the great numbers of our enemies do not deter me in the
least; they rather encourage me; therefore, in the name of God and St.
George, advance my banner, for I am determined that I will go out and
fight them, if I go alone."

[Footnote D: In former years Prince Richard had acted as viceroy of
the English possessions in France, under King Henry, and while there
he had been engaged in wars with the King of France, and with the
dauphin, his son.]


So Prince Richard came forth from the gates of York at the head of his
columns, and rode on toward the queen's camp. Edmund went with him.
Edmund was under the care of his tutor, Robert Aspell, who was charged
to keep close to his side, and to watch over him in the most vigilant
manner. The army of the queen was at some distance from York, at a
place called Wakefield. Both parties, as is usual in civil wars, were
extremely exasperated against each other, and the battle was
desperately fought. It was very brief, however, and Richard's troops
were defeated. Richard himself was taken prisoner. Edmund endeavored
to escape. His tutor endeavored to hurry him off the field, but he
was stopped on the way by a certain nobleman of the queen's party,
named Lord Clifford. The poor boy begged hard for mercy, but Clifford
killed him on the spot.

The prince's army, when they found that the battle had gone against
them, and that their captain was a prisoner, fled in all directions
over the surrounding country, leaving great numbers dead upon the
field. The prince himself, as soon as he was taken, was disarmed on
the field, and all the leaders of the queen's army, including, as the
most authentic accounts relate, the queen herself, gathered around him
in wild exultation. They carried him to a mound formed by an ant-hill,
which they said, in mockery, should be his throne. They placed him
upon it with taunts and derision. They made a crown for him of knotted
grass, and put it upon his head, and then made mock obeisances before
him, saying, "Hail! king without a kingdom. Hail! prince without a

After having satisfied themselves with their taunts and revilings, the
party killed their prisoner and cut off his head. They set his head
upon the point of a lance, and in this way presented it to Queen
Margaret. The queen ordered the head to be decorated with a paper
crown, and then to be carried to York, and set up at the gates of
that city upon a tall pole.

Thus was little Richard, the subject of this narrative, left
fatherless. He was at this period between eight and nine years old.



Condition of young Richard in his childhood.--Strange tales in
respect to his birth.--Dangers to which Richard was exposed in
his childhood.--Extraordinary vicissitudes in the life of his
mother.--The castles and palaces belonging to the house of
York.--Situation of Lady Cecily at the time of her husband's
death.--Lady Cecily sends the children to the Continent.--Situation
of Lady Cecily and of her oldest son.

Young Richard, as was said at the close of the last chapter, was of a
very tender age when his father and his brother Edmund were killed at
the battle of Wakefield. He was at that time only about eight years
old. It is very evident too, from what has been already related of the
history of his father and mother, that during the whole period of his
childhood and youth he must have passed through very stormy times. It
is only a small portion of the life of excitement, conflict, and alarm
which was led by his father that there is space to describe in this
volume. So unsettled and wandering a life did his father and mother
lead, that it is not quite certain in which of the various towns and
castles that from time to time they made their residence, he was born.
It is supposed, however, that he was born in the Castle of
Fotheringay, in the year 1452. His father was killed in 1461, which
would make Richard, as has already been said, about eight or nine
years old at that time.

There were a great many strange tales related in subsequent years in
respect to Richard's birth. He became such a monster, morally, when he
grew to be a man, that the people believed that he was born a monster
in person. The story was that he came into the world very ugly in face
and distorted in form, and that his hair and his teeth were already
grown. These were considered as portents of the ferociousness of
temper and character which he was subsequently to manifest, and of the
unnatural and cruel crimes which he would live to commit. It is very
doubtful, however, whether any of these stories are true. It is most
probable that at his birth he looked like any other child.

There were a great many periods of intense excitement and terror in
the family history before the great final calamity at Wakefield when
Richard's father and his brother Edmund were killed. At these times
the sole reliance of the prince in respect to the care of the younger
children was upon Lady Cecily, their mother. The older sons went with
their father on the various martial expeditions in which he was
engaged. They shared with him the hardships and dangers of his
conflicts, and the triumph and exultations of his victories. The
younger children, however, remained in seclusion with their mother,
sometimes in one place and sometimes in another, wherever there was,
for the time being, the greatest promise of security.

Indeed, during the early childhood of Richard, the changes and
vicissitudes through which the family passed were so sudden and
violent in their character as sometimes to surpass the most romantic
tales of fiction. At one time, while Lady Cecily was residing at the
Castle of Ludlow with Richard and some of the younger children, a
party of her husband's enemies, the Lancastrians, appeared suddenly at
the gates of the town, and, before Prince Richard's party had time to
take any efficient measures for defense, the town and the castle were
both taken. The Lancastrians had expected to find Prince Richard
himself in the castle, but he was not there. They were exasperated by
their disappointment, and in their fury they proceeded to ransack all
the rooms, and to destroy every thing that came into their hands. In
some of the inner and more private apartments they found Lady Cecily
and her children. They immediately seized them all, made them
prisoners, and carried them away. By King Henry's orders, they were
placed in close custody in another castle in the southern part of
England, and all the property, both of the prince and of Lady Cecily,
was confiscated. While the mother and the younger children were thus
closely shut up and reduced to helpless destitution, the father and
the older sons were obliged to fly from the country to save their
lives. In less than three months after this time these same exiled and
apparently ruined fugitives were marching triumphantly through the
country, at the head of victorious troops, carrying all before them.
Lady Cecily and her children were set at liberty, and restored to
their property and their rights, while King Henry himself, whose
captives they had been, was himself made captive, and brought in
durance to London, and Queen Margaret and her son were in their turn
compelled to fly from the realm to save their lives.

This last change in the condition of public affairs took place only a
short time before the great final contest between Prince Richard of
York, King Richard's father, and the family of Henry, when the prince
lost his life at Wakefield, as described in the last chapter.


Of course, young Richard, being brought up amid these scenes of wild
commotion, and accustomed from childhood to witness the most cruel and
remorseless conflicts between branches of the same family, was trained
by them to be ambitious, daring, and unscrupulous in respect to the
means to be used in circumventing or destroying an enemy. The seed
thus sown produced in subsequent years most dreadful fruit, as will be
seen more fully in the sequel of his history.

There were a great many hereditary castles belonging to the family of
York, many of which had descended from father to son for many
generations. Some of these castles were strong fortresses, built in
wild and inaccessible retreats, and intended to be used as places of
temporary refuge, or as the rallying-points and rendezvous of bodies
of armed men. Others were better adapted for the purposes of a private
residence, being built with some degree of reference to the comfort of
the inmates, and surrounded with gardens and grounds, where the ladies
and the children who were left in them could find recreation and
amusement adapted to their age and sex.

It was in such a castle as this, near London, that Lady Cecily and her
younger children were residing when her husband went to the northward
to meet the forces of the queen, as related in the last chapter. Here
Lady Cecily lived in great state, for she thought the time was drawing
nigh when her husband would be raised to the throne. Indeed, she
considered him as already the true and rightful sovereign of the
realm, and she believed that the hour would very soon come when his
claims would be universally acknowledged, and when she herself would
be Queen of England, and her boys royal princes, and, as such, the
objects of universal attention and regard. She instilled these ideas
continually into the minds of the children, and she exacted the utmost
degree of subserviency and submission toward herself and toward them
on the part of all around her.

While she was thus situated in her palace near London, awaiting every
day the arrival of a messenger from the north announcing the final
victory of her husband over all his foes, she was one day
thunderstruck, and overwhelmed with grief and despair, by the tidings
that her husband had been defeated, and that he himself, and the dear
son who had accompanied him, and was just arriving at maturity, had
been ignominiously slain. The queen, too, her most bitter foe, now
exultant and victorious, was advancing triumphantly toward London.

Not a moment was to be lost. Lady Cecily had with her, at this time,
her two youngest sons, George and Richard. She made immediate
arrangements for her flight. It happened that the Earl of Warwick,
who was at this time the Lord High Admiral, and who, of course, had
command of the seas between England and the Continent, was a relative
and friend of Lady Cecily's. He was at this time in London. Lady
Cecily applied to him to assist her in making her escape. He
consented, and, with his aid, she herself, with her two children and a
small number of attendants, escaped secretly from London, and made
their way to the southern coast. There Lady Cecily put the children
and the attendants on board a vessel, by which they were conveyed to
the coast of Holland. On landing there, they were received by the
prince of the country, who was a friend of Lady Cecily, and to whose
care she commended them. The prince received them with great kindness,
and sent them to the city of Utrecht, where he established them safely
in one of his palaces, and appointed suitable tutors and governors to
superintend their education. Here it was expected that they would
remain for several years.

Their mother did not go with them to Holland. Her fears in respect to
remaining in England were not for herself, but only for her helpless
children. For herself, her only impulse was to face and brave the
dangers which threatened her, and triumph over them. So she went
boldly back to London, to await there whatever might occur.

Besides, her oldest son was still in England, and she could not
forsake him. You will recollect that, when his father went north to
meet the forces of Queen Margaret, he sent his oldest son, Edward,
Earl of Marche, to the western part of England, to obtain
re-enforcements. Edward was at Gloucester when the tidings came to him
of his father's death. Gloucester is on the western confines of
England, near the southeastern borders of Wales. Now, of course, since
her husband was dead, all Lady Cecily's ambition, and all her hopes of
revenge were concentrated in him. She wished to be at hand to counsel
him, and to co-operate with him by all the means in her power. How she
succeeded in these plans, and how, by means of them, he soon became
King of England, will appear in the next chapter.



A.D. 1461

Edward now becomes heir to the crown.--His energy and decision.--He
marches to intercept Margaret.--Warwick.--Battle with the
queen.--Warwick defeated.--Margaret regains possession of her
husband.--Excesses committed by the queen's troops.--Edward
advances.--He enters London.--His welcome.--Excitement in
London.--Measures taken by Edward.--Voice of the people.--They declare
in favor of Edward.--Edward is formally enthroned.--Various
ceremonies.--Edward marches to the northward.--A battle.--Edward
enters York in triumph.--He inters his father's body.--He returns
to London.--Grief of his mother.--Situation of George and
Richard.--Richard's person.--Description of the armor worn in those
days.--Necessity of being trained to use this armor.--The armor
costly.--Substitutes for it.--Exercises.--Feats to be
performed.--Account of the quintaine.--Other exercises and
sports.--Playing ball.--Jumping through a hoop.--The two brothers
companions.--Richard's intellectual education.

Richard's brother Edward, as has already been remarked, was at
Gloucester when he heard the news of his father's death. This news, of
course, made a great change in his condition. To his mother, the event
was purely and simply a calamity, and it could awaken no feelings in
her heart but those of sorrow and chagrin. In Edward's mind, on the
other hand, the first emotions of astonishment and grief were followed
immediately by a burst of exultation and pride. He, of course, as now
the oldest surviving son, succeeded at once to all the rights and
titles which his father had enjoyed, and among these, according to the
ideas which his mother had instilled into his mind, was the right to
the crown. His heart, therefore, when the first feeling of grief for
the loss of his father had subsided, bounded with joy as he exclaimed,

"So now _I_ am the King of England."

The enthusiasm which he felt extended itself at once to all around
him. He immediately made preparations to put himself at the head of
his troops, and march to the eastward, so as to intercept Queen
Margaret on her way to London, for he knew that she would, of course,
now press forward toward the capital as fast as possible.

He accordingly set out at once upon his march, and, as he went on, he
found that the number of his followers increased very rapidly. The
truth was, that the queen's party, by their murder of Richard, and of
young Edmund his son, had gone altogether too far for the good of
their own cause. The people, when they heard the tidings, were
indignant at such cruelty. Those who belonged to the party of the
house of York, instead of being intimidated by the severity of the
measure, were exasperated at the brutality of it, and they were all
eager to join the young duke, Edward, and help him to avenge his
father's and his brother's death. Those who had been before on the
side of the house of Lancaster were discouraged and repelled, while
those who had been doubtful were now ready to declare against the

It is in this way that all excesses in the hour of victory defeat the
very ends they were intended to subserve. They weaken the
perpetrators, and not the subjects of them.

In the mean time, while young Edward, at the head of his army, was
marching on from the westward toward London to intercept the queen,
the Earl of Warwick, who has already been mentioned as a friend of
Lady Cecily, had also assembled a large force near London, and he was
now advancing toward the northward. The poor king was with him.
Nominally, the king was in command of the expedition, and every thing
was done in his name, but really he was a forlorn and helpless
prisoner, forced wholly against his will--so far as the feeble degree
of intellect which remained to him enabled him to exercise a will--to
seem to head an enterprise directed against his own wife, and his best
and strongest friend.

The armies of the queen and of the Earl of Warwick advanced toward
each other, until they met at last at a short distance north of
London. A desperate battle was fought, and the queen's party were
completely victorious. When night came on, the Earl of Warwick found
that he was beaten at every point, and that his troops had fled in all
directions, leaving thousands of the dead and dying all along the road
sides. The camp had been abandoned, and there was no time to save any
thing; even the poor king was left behind, and the officers of the
queen's army found him in a tent, with only one attendant. Of course,
the queen was overjoyed at recovering possession of her husband, not
merely on his own account personally, but also because she could now
act again directly in his name. So she prepared a proclamation, by
which the king revoked all that he had done while in the hands of
Warwick, on the ground that he had been in durance, and had not acted
of his own free will, and also declared Edward a traitor, and offered
a large reward for his apprehension.

The queen was now once more filled with exultation and joy. Her joy
would have been complete were it not that Edward himself was still to
be met, for he was all this time advancing from the westward; she,
however, thought that there was not much to be feared from such a boy,
Edward being at this time only about nineteen years of age. So the
queen moved on toward London, flushed with the victory, and
exasperated with the opposition which she had met with. Her soldiers
were under very little control, and they committed great excesses.
They ravaged the country, and plundered without mercy all those whom
they considered as belonging to the opposite party; they committed,
too, many atrocious acts of cruelty. It is always thus in civil war.
In foreign wars, armies are much more easily kept under control.
Troops march through a foreign territory, feeling no personal spite or
hatred against the inhabitants of it, for they think it is a matter of
course that the people should defend their country and resist
invaders. But in a civil war, the men of each party feel a special
personal hate against every individual that does not belong to their
side, and in periods of actual conflict this hatred becomes a rage
that is perfectly uncontrollable.

Accordingly, as the queen and her troops advanced, they robbed and
murdered all who came in their way, and they filled the whole country
with terror. They even seized and plundered a convent, which was a
species of sacrilege. This greatly increased the general alarm. "The
wretches!" exclaimed the people, when they heard the tidings, "nothing
is sacred in their eyes." The people of London were particularly
alarmed. They thought there was danger that the city itself would be
given up to plunder if the queen's troops gained admission. So they
all turned against her. She sent one day into the town for a supply of
provisions, and the authorities, perhaps thinking themselves bound by
their official duty to obey orders of this kind coming in the king's
name, loaded up some wagons and sent them forth, but the people raised
a mob, and stopped the wagons at the gates, refusing to let them go

In the mean time, Edward, growing every hour stronger as he advanced,
came rapidly on toward London. He was joined at length by the Earl of
Warwick and the remnant of the force which remained to the earl after
the battle which he had fought with the queen. The queen, now finding
that Edward's strength was becoming formidable, did not dare to meet
him; so she retreated toward the north again. Edward, instead of
pursuing her, advanced directly toward London. The people threw open
the gates to him, and welcomed him as their deliverer. They thronged
the streets to look upon him as he passed, and made the air ring with
their loud and long acclamations.

There was, indeed, every thing in the circumstances of the case to
awaken excitement and emotion. Here was a boy not yet out of his
teens, extremely handsome in appearance and agreeable in manners, who
had taken the field in command of a very large force to avenge the
cruel death of his father and brother, and was now coming boldly, at
the head of his troops, into the very capital of the king and queen
under whose authority his father and brother had been killed.

The most extraordinary circumstance connected with these proceedings
was, that during all this time Henry was still acknowledged by every
one as the actual king. Edward and his friends maintained, indeed,
that he, Edward, was _entitled_ to reign, but no one pretended that
any thing had yet been done which could have the legal effect of
putting him upon the throne. There was, however, now a general
expectation that the time for the formal deposition of Henry was near,
and in and around London all was excitement and confusion. The people
from the surrounding towns flocked every day into the city to see what
they could see, and to hear what they could hear. They thronged the
streets whenever Edward appeared in public, eager to obtain a glimpse
of him.

At length, a few days after Edward entered the city, his counselors
and friends deemed that the time had come for action. Accordingly,
they made arrangements for a grand review in a large open field. Their
design was by this review to call together a great concourse of
spectators. A vast assembly convened according to their expectations.
In the midst of the ceremonies, two noblemen appeared before the
multitude to make addresses to them. One of them made a speech in
respect to Henry, denouncing the crimes, and the acts of treachery and
of oppression which his government had committed. He dilated long on
the feebleness and incapacity of the king, and his total inability to
exercise any control in the management of public affairs. After he had
finished, he called out to the people in a loud voice to declare
whether they would submit any longer to have such a man for king.

The people answered "NAY, NAY, NAY," with loud and long acclamations.

Then the other speaker made an address in favor of Edward. He
explained at length the nature of his title to the crown, showing it
to be altogether superior in point of right to that of Henry. He also
spoke long and eloquently in praise of Edward's personal
qualifications, describing his courage, his activity, and energy, and
the various graces and accomplishments for which he was distinguished,
in the most glowing terms. He ended by demanding of the people whether
they would have Edward for king.

FOREVER!" with acclamations as long and loud as before.

Of course there could be no legal validity in such proceedings as
these, for, even if England had at that time been an elective
monarchy, the acclamations of an accidental assembly drawn together to
witness a review could on no account have been deemed a valid vote.
This ceremony was only meant as a very public announcement of the
intention of Edward immediately to assume the throne.

The next day, accordingly, a grand council was held of all the great
barons, and nobles, and officers of state. By this council a decree
was passed that King Henry, by his late proceedings, had forfeited the
crown, and Edward was solemnly declared king in his stead. Immediately
afterward, Edward rode at the head of a royal procession, which was
arranged for the purpose, to Westminster, and there, in the presence
of a vast assembly, he took his seat upon the throne. While there
seated, he made a speech to the audience, in which he explained the
nature of his hereditary rights, and declared his intention to
maintain his rights thenceforth in the most determined manner.

The king now proceeded to Westminster Abbey, where he performed the
same ceremonies a second time. He was also publicly proclaimed king on
the same day in various parts of London.

Edward was now full of ardor and enthusiasm, and his first impulse was
to set off, at the head of his army, toward the north, in pursuit of
the queen and the old king. The king and queen had gone to York. The
queen had not only the king under her care, but also her son, the
little Prince of Wales, who was now about eight years old. This young
prince was the heir to the crown on the Lancastrian side, and Edward
was, of course, very desirous of getting him, as well as the king and
queen, into his hands; so he put himself at the head of his troops,
and began to move forward as fast as he could go. The body of troops
under his command consisted of fifty thousand men. In the queen's
army, which was encamped in the neighborhood of York, there were about
sixty thousand.

Both parties were extremely exasperated against each other, and were
eager for the fight. Edward gave orders to his troops to grant no
quarter, but, in the event of victory, to massacre without mercy every
man that they could bring within their reach. The armies came together
at a place called Towton. The combat was begun in the midst of a
snow-storm. The armies fought from nine o'clock in the morning till
three in the afternoon, and by that time the queen's troops were
every where driven from the field. Edward's men pursued them along the
roads, slaughtering them without mercy as fast as they could overtake
them, until at length nearly forty thousand men were left dead upon
the ground.

The queen fled toward the north, taking with her her husband and
child. Edward entered York in triumph. At the gates he found the head
of his father and that of his brother still remaining upon the poles
where the queen had put them. He took them reverently down, and then
put other heads in their places, which he cut off for the purpose from
some of his prisoners. He was in such a state of fury, that I suppose,
if he could have caught the king and queen, he would have cut off
_their_ heads, and put them on the poles in the place of his father's
and his brother's; but he could not catch them. They fled to the
north, toward the frontiers of Scotland, and so escaped from his

Edward determined not to pursue the fugitives any farther at that
time, as there were many important affairs to be attended to in
London, and so he concluded to be satisfied at present with the
victory which he had obtained, and with the dispersion of his enemies,
and to return to the capital. He first, however, gathered together
the remains of his father and brother, and caused them to be buried
with solemn funeral ceremonies in one of his castles near York. This
was, however, only a temporary arrangement, for, as soon as his
affairs were fully settled, the remains were disinterred, and
conveyed, with great funeral pomp and parade, to their final
resting-place in the southern part of the kingdom.

As soon as Edward reached London, one of the first things that he did
was to send for his two brothers, George and Richard, who, as will be
recollected, had been removed by their mother to Holland, and were now
in Utrecht pursuing their education. These two boys were all the
brothers of Edward that remained now alive. They came back to London.
Their widowed mother's heart was filled with a melancholy sort of joy
in seeing her children once more together, safe in their native land;
but her spirit, after reviving for a moment, sank again, overwhelmed
with the bitter and irreparable loss which she had sustained in the
death of her husband. His death was, of course, a fatal blow to all
those ambitious plans and aspirations which she had cherished for
herself. Though the mother of a king, she could now never become
herself a queen; and, disappointed and unhappy, she retired to one of
the family castles in the neighborhood of London, and lived there
comparatively alone and in great seclusion.

The boys, on the other hand, were brought forward very conspicuously
into public life. In the autumn of the same year in which Edward took
possession of the crown, they were made royal dukes, with great parade
and ceremony, and were endowed with immense estates to enable them to
support the dignity of their rank and position. George was made Duke
of Clarence; Richard, Duke of Gloucester; and from this time the two
boys were almost always designated by these names.

Suitable persons, too, were appointed to take charge of the boys, for
the purpose of conducting their education, and also to manage their
estates until they should become of age.

There have been a great many disputes in respect to Richard's
appearance and character at this time. For a long period after his
death, people generally believed that he was, from his very childhood,
an ugly little monster, that nobody could look upon without fear; and,
in fact, he was very repulsive in his personal appearance when he grew
up, but at this time of his life the historians and biographers who
saw and knew him say that he was quite a pretty boy, though puny and
weak. His face was handsome enough, though his form was frail, and not
perfectly symmetrical. Those who had charge of him tried to strengthen
his constitution by training him to the martial exercises and usages
which were practiced in those days, and especially by accustoming him
to wear the ponderous armor which was then in use.

This armor was made of iron or steel. It consisted of a great number
of separate pieces, which, when they were all put on, incased almost
the whole body, so as to defend it against blows coming from any
quarter. First, there was the helmet, or cap of steel, with large oval
pieces coming down to protect the ears. Next came the _gorget_, as it
was called, which was a sort of collar to cover the neck. Then there
were elbow pieces to guard the elbows, and shoulder-plates for the
shoulders, and a breast-plate or buckler for the front, and greaves
for the legs and thighs. These things were necessary in those days, or
at least they were advantageous, for they afforded pretty effectual
protection against all the ordinary weapons which were then in use.
But they made the warriors themselves so heavy and unwieldy as very
greatly to interfere with the freedom of their movements when engaged
in battle. There was, indeed, a certain advantage in this weight, as
it made the shock with which the knight on horseback encountered his
enemy in the charge so much the more heavy and overpowering; but if he
were by any accident to lose his seat and fall to the ground, he was
generally so encumbered by his armor that he could only partially
raise himself therefrom. He was thus compelled to lie almost helpless
until his enemy came to kill him, or his squire or some other friend
came to help him up.[E]

[Footnote E: See engraving on page 148.]

Of course, to be able to manage one's self at all in these habiliments
of iron and steel, there was required not only native strength of
constitution, but long and careful training, and it was a very
important part of the education of young men of rank in Richard's days
to familiarize them with the use of this armor, and inure them to the
weight of it. Suits of it were made for boys, the size and weight of
each suit being fitted to the form and strength of the wearer. Many of
these suits of boys' armor are still preserved in England. There are
several specimens to be seen in the Tower of London. They are in the
apartment called the Horse Armory, which is a vast hall with effigies
of horses, and of men mounted upon them, all completely armed with
the veritable suits of steel which the men and the horses that they
represent actually wore when they were alive. The horses are arranged
along the sides of the room in regular order from the earliest ages
down to the time when steel armor of this kind ceased to be worn.

[Illustration: THE OLD QUINTAINE]

These suits of armor were very costly, and the boys for whom they were
made were, of course, filled with feelings of exultation and pride
when they put them on; and, heavy and uncomfortable as such clothing
must have been, they were willing to wear it, and to practice the
required exercises in it. When actually made of steel, the armor was
very expensive, and such could only be afforded for young princes and
nobles of very high rank; for other young men, various substitutes
were provided; but all were trained, either in the use of actual
armor, or of substitutes, to perform a great number and variety of
exercises. They were taught, when they were old enough, to spring upon
a horse with as much armor upon them and in their hands as possible;
to run races; to see how long they could continue to strike heavy
blows in quick succession with a battle-axe or club, as if they were
beating an enemy lying upon the ground, and trying to break his armor
to pieces; to dance and throw summersets; to mount upon a horse
behind another person by leaping from the ground, and assisting
themselves only by one hand, and other similar things. One feat which
they practiced was to climb up between two partition walls built
pretty near together, by bracing their back against one wall, and
working with their knees and hands against the other. Another feat was
to climb up a ladder on the under side by means of the hands alone.

Another famous exercise, or perhaps rather game, was performed with
what was called the _quintaine_. The quintaine consisted of a stout
post set in the ground, and rising about ten or twelve feet above the
surface. Across the top was a strong bar, which turned on a pivot made
in the top of the post, so that it would go round and round. To one
end of this cross-bar there was fixed a square board for a target; to
the other end was hung a heavy club. The cross-bar was so poised upon
the central pivot that it would move very easily. In playing the game,
the competitors, mounted on horseback, were to ride, one after
another, under the target-end of the cross-bar, and hurl their spears
at it with all their force. The blow from the spear would knock the
target-end of the cross-bar away, and so bring round the other end,
with its heavy club, to strike a blow on the horseman's head if he did
not get instantly out of the way. It was as if he were to strike one
enemy in front in battle, while there was another enemy ready on the
instant to strike him from behind.

There is one of these ancient quintaines now standing on the green in
the village of Offham, in Kent.

Such exercises as these were, of course, only fitted for men, or at
least for boys who had nearly attained to their full size and
strength. There were other games and exercises intended for smaller
boys. There are many rude pictures in ancient books illustrating these
old games. In one they are playing ball; in another they are playing
shuttle-cock. The battle-doors that they use are very rude.

[Illustration: PLAYING BALL.]

These pictures show how ancient these common games are. In another
picture the boys are playing with a hoop. Two of them are holding the
hoop up between them, and the third is preparing to jump through it,
head foremost. His plan is to come down on the other side upon his
hands, and so turn a summerset, and come up on his feet beyond.


In these exercises and amusements, and, indeed, in all his
occupations, Richard had his brother George, the Duke of Clarence, for
his playmate and companion. George was not only older than Richard,
but he was also much more healthy and athletic; and some persons have
thought that Richard injured himself, and perhaps, in some degree,
increased the deformity which he seems to have suffered from in later
years, or perhaps brought it on entirely, by overloading himself, in
his attempts to keep pace with his brother in these exercises, with
burdens of armor, or by straining himself in athletic exertions which
were beyond his powers.

The intellectual education of the boys was not entirely neglected.
They learned to read and write, though they could not write much, or
very well. Their names are still found, as they signed them to ancient
documents, several of which remain to the present day. The following
is a fac-simile of Richard's signature, copied exactly from one of
those documents.

[Illustration: RICHARD'S SIGNATURE.]

Richard continued in this state of pupilage in some of the castles
belonging to the family from the time that his brother began to reign
until he was about fourteen years of age. Edward, the king, was then
twenty-four, and Clarence about seventeen.



A.D. 1461-1468

Situation of Richard under the reign of his brother.--Strange
vicissitudes in the life of Margaret.--Representatives of the house
of York.--Margaret.--Value of a marriageable young lady.--Warwick
becomes Edward's prime minister.--The three great parties.--The
fortunes of Margaret of Anjou.--She escapes to France.--A new
expedition planned.--Margaret is defeated and compelled to fly.--She
encounters great dangers at sea.--The king concealed.--The king is
made prisoner, and sent to the Tower.--Brutal punishments.--Great
exasperation of the combatants.--Account of Elizabeth
Woodville.--Edward's first interview with her.--The secret
marriage.--The marriage gradually revealed.--Indignation of the Earl
of Warwick.--Ancient portrait of Edward IV.--Portrait of Queen
Elizabeth Woodville.--George and Richard.--The queen is publicly
acknowledged.--Various difficulties and entanglements resulting
from this marriage.--Jealousy against the queen's family and
relations.--Situation of Henry and his family.--Margaret of
York.--Plans and manoeuvres in respect to Margaret's marriage.--Count
Charles carries the day.--Vexation of Warwick.--Progress of the
quarrel.--A temporary reconciliation.--A new marriage scheme.--Edward
displeased.--He fails of preventing the marriage.--The ceremony
performed at Calais.

Richard's brother, Edward the Fourth, began to reign when Richard was
about eight or nine years of age. His reign continued--with a brief
interruption, which will be hereafter explained--for twenty years; so
that, for a very important period of his life, after he arrived at
some degree of maturity, namely, from the time that he was fourteen to
the time that he was thirty, Richard was one of his brother's
subjects. He was a prince, it is true, and a prince of the very
highest rank--the next person but one, in fact, in the line of
succession to the crown. His brother George, the Duke of Clarence, of
course, being older than he, came before him; but both the young men,
though princes, were subjects. They were under their brother Edward's
authority, and bound to serve and obey him as their rightful
sovereign; next to him, however, they were the highest personages in
the realm. George was, from this time, generally called Clarence, and
Richard, Gloucester.

The reader may perhaps feel some interest and curiosity in learning
what became of Queen Margaret and old King Henry after they were
driven out of the country toward the north, at the time of Edward's
accession. Their prospects seemed, at the time, to be hopelessly
ruined, but their case was destined to furnish another very striking
instance of the extraordinary reverses of fortune which marked the
history of nearly all the great families during the whole course of
this York and Lancaster quarrel. In about ten years from the time when
Henry and Margaret were driven away, apparently into hopeless exile,
they came back in triumph, and were restored to power, and Edward
himself, in his turn, was ignominiously expelled from the kingdom. The
narrative of the circumstances through which these events were brought
about forms quite a romantic story.

In order, however, that this story may be more clearly understood, I
will first enumerate the principal personages that take a part in it,
and briefly remind the reader of the position which they respectively
occupied, and the relations which they sustained to each other.

First, there is the family of King Henry, consisting of himself and
his wife, Queen Margaret, and his little son Edward, who had received
the title of Prince of Wales. This boy was about eight years old at
the time his father and mother were driven away. We left them, in the
last chapter, flying toward the frontiers of Scotland to save their
lives, leaving to Edward and his troops the full possession of the

Henry and his little son, the Prince of Wales, of course represent the
house of Lancaster in the dispute for the succession.

The house of York was represented by Edward, whose title, as king, was
Edward the Fourth, and his two brothers, George and Richard, or, as
they were now generally called, Clarence and Gloucester. In case
Edward should be married and have a son, his son would succeed him,
and George and Richard would be excluded; if, however, he should die
without issue, then George would become king; and if George should die
without issue, and Richard should survive him, then Richard would
succeed. Thus, as matters now stood, George and Richard were
presumptive heirs to the crown, and it was natural that they should
wish that their brother Edward should never be married.

Besides these two brothers, who were the only ones of all his brothers
that were now living, Edward had a sister named Margaret. Margaret was
four years younger than Edward the king, and about six years older
than Richard. She was now about seventeen. A young lady of that age in
the family of a king in those days was quite a treasure, as the king
was enabled to promote his political schemes sometimes very
effectually by bestowing her in marriage upon this great prince or
that, as would best further the interests which he had in view in
foreign courts.

This young lady, Edward's sister, being of the same
name--Margaret--with the queen of old King Henry, was distinguished
from her by being called Margaret of York, as she belonged to the York
family. The queen was generally known as Margaret of Anjou. Anjou was
the place of her nativity.

The next great personage to be named is the Earl of Warwick. He was
the man, as you will doubtless recollect, who was in command of the
sea between England and the Continent at the time when Lady Cecily
wished to send her children, George and Richard, away after their
father's death, and who assisted in arranging their flight. He was a
man of great power and influence, and of such an age and character
that he exerted a vast ascendency over all within his influence.
Without him, Edward never would have conquered the Lancaster party,
and he knew very well that if Warwick, and all those whom Warwick
would carry with him, were to desert him, he should not be able to
retain his kingdom. Indeed, Warwick received the surname of
_King-maker_ from the fact that, in repeated instances during this
quarrel, he put down one dynasty and raised up the other, just as he
pleased. He belonged to a great and powerful family named Neville. As
soon as Edward was established on his throne, Warwick, almost as a
matter of course, became prime minister. One of his brothers was made
chancellor, and a great number of other posts of distinction and honor
were distributed among the members of the Neville family. Indeed,
although Edward was nominally king, it might have been considered in
some degree a question whether it was the house of York or the house
of Neville that actually reigned in England.

The Earl of Warwick had two daughters. Their names were Isabella and
Anne. These two young ladies the earl reckoned, as Edward did his
sister Margaret, among the most important of his political resources.
By marrying them to persons of very high position, he could strengthen
his alliances and increase his power. There was even a possibility, he
thought, of marrying one of them to the King of England, or to a
prince who would become king.

Thus we have for the three great parties to the transactions now to be
described, first, the representatives of the house of Lancaster, the
feeble Henry, the energetic and strong-minded Margaret of Anjou, and
their little son, the Prince of Wales; secondly, the representatives
of the house of York, King Edward the Fourth, the two young men his
brothers, George, Duke of Clarence, and Richard, Duke of Gloucester,
and his sister Margaret; and, thirdly, between these two parties, as
it were, the Earl of Warwick and his two daughters, Isabella and Anne,
standing at the head of a vast family influence, which ramified to
every part of the kingdom, and was powerful enough to give the
ascendency to either side, in favor of which they might declare.

We are now prepared to follow Queen Margaret in her flight toward the
north with her husband and her son, at the time when Edward the Fourth
overcame her armies and ascended the throne. She pressed on as rapidly
as possible, taking the king and the little prince with her, and
accompanied and assisted in her flight by a few attendants, till she
had crossed the frontier and was safe in Scotland. The Scots espoused
her cause, and assisted her to raise fresh troops, with which she made
one or two short incursions into England; but she soon found that she
could do nothing effectual in this way, and so, after wasting some
time in fruitless attempts, she left Scotland with the king and the
prince, and went to France.

Here she entered into negotiations with the King of France, and with
other princes and potentates, on the Continent, with a view of raising
men and money for a new invasion of England. At first these powers
declined to assist her. They said that their treasuries were
exhausted, and that they had no men. At last, however, Margaret
promised to the King of France that if he would furnish her with a
fleet and an army, by which she could recover the kingdom of her
husband, she would cede to him the town of Calais, which, though
situated on the coast of France, was at that time an English
possession. This was a very tempting offer, for Calais was a fortress
of the first class, and a military post either for England or France
of a very important character.

The king consented to this proposal. He equipped a fleet and raised an
army, and Margaret set sail for England, taking the king and the
prince with her. Her plan was to land in the northern part of the
island, near the frontiers of Scotland, where she expected to find the
country more friendly to the Lancastrian line than the people were
toward the south. As soon as she landed she was joined by many of the
people, and she succeeded in capturing some castles and small towns.
But the Earl of Warwick, who was, as has been already said, the prime
minister under Edward, immediately raised an army of twenty thousand
men, and marched to the northward to meet her. Margaret's French army
was wholly unprepared to encounter such a force as this, so they fled
to their ships. All but about five hundred of the men succeeded in
reaching the ships. The five hundred were cut to pieces. Margaret
herself was detained in making arrangements for the king and the
prince. She concluded not to take them to sea again, but to send them
secretly into Wales, while she herself went back to France to see if
she could not procure re-enforcements. She barely had time, at last,
to reach the ships herself, so close at hand were her enemies. As soon
as the queen had embarked, the fleet set sail. The queen had saved
nearly all the money and all the stores which she had brought with her
from France, and she hoped still to preserve them for another attempt.
But the fleet had scarcely got off from the shore when a terrible
storm arose, and the ships were all driven upon the rocks and dashed
to pieces. The money and the stores were all lost; a large portion of
the men were drowned; Margaret herself and the captain of the fleet
saved themselves, and, as soon as the storm was over, they succeeded
in making their escape back to Berwick in an old fishing-boat which
they obtained on the shore.

Soon after this, Margaret, with the captain of the fleet and a very
small number of faithful followers who still adhered to her, sailed
back again to France.

The disturbances, however, which her landing had occasioned, did not
cease immediately on her departure. The Lancastrian party all over
England were excited and moved to action by the news of her coming,
and for two years insurrections were continually taking place, and
many battles were fought, and great numbers of people were killed.
King Henry was all this time kept in close concealment, sometimes in
Wales, and sometimes among the lakes and mountains in Westmoreland. He
was conveyed from place to place by his adherents in the most secret
manner, the knowledge in respect to his situation being confined to
the smallest possible number of persons. This continued for two or
three years. At last, however, while the friends of the king were
attempting secretly to convey him to a certain castle in Yorkshire, he
was seen and recognized by one of his enemies. A plan was immediately
formed to make him prisoner. The plan succeeded. The king was
surprised by an overwhelming force, which broke into the castle and
seized him while he sat at dinner. His captors, and those who were
lying in wait to assist them, galloped off at once with their prisoner
to London. King Edward shut him up in the Tower, and he remained
there, closely confined and strongly guarded for a long time.

Thus King Henry's life was saved, but of those who espoused his cause,
and made attempts to restore him, great numbers were seized and
beheaded in the most cruel manner. It was Edward's policy to slay all
the leaders. It was said that after a battle he would ride with a
company of men over the ground, and kill every wounded or exhausted
man of rank that still remained alive, though he would spare the
common soldiers. Sometimes, when he got men that were specially
obnoxious to him into his hands, he would put them to death in the
most cruel and ignominious manner. One distinguished knight, that had
been taken prisoner by Warwick, was brought to King Edward, who, at
that time, as it happened, was sick, and by Edward's orders was
treated most brutally. He was first taken out into a public place, and
his spurs were struck off from his feet by a cook. This was one of the
greatest indignities that a knight could suffer. Then his coat of arms
was torn off from him, and another coat, inside out, was put upon him.
Then he was made to walk barefoot to the end of the town, and there
was laid down upon his back on a sort of drag, and so drawn to the
place of execution, where his head was cut off on a block with a

Such facts as these show what a state of exasperation the two great
parties of York and Lancaster were in toward each other throughout the
kingdom. It is necessary to understand this, in order fully to
appreciate the import and consequences of the very extraordinary
transaction which is now to be related.

It seems there was a certain knight named Sir John Gray, a
Lancastrian, who had been killed at one of the great battles which had
been fought during the war. He had also been attainted, as it was
called--that is, sentence had been pronounced against him on a charge
of high treason, by which his estates were forfeited, and his wife
and children, of course, reduced to poverty. The name of his wife was
Elizabeth Woodville. She was the daughter of a noble knight named Sir
Richard Woodville. Her mother's name was Jacquetta. On the death and
attainder of her husband, being reduced to great poverty and distress,
she went home to the house of her father and mother, at a beautiful
manor which they possessed at Grafton. She was quite young, and very

It happened that by some means or other Edward paid a visit one day to
the Lady Jacquetta, at her manor, as he was passing through the
country. Whether this visit was accidental, or whether it was
contrived by Jacquetta, does not appear. However this may be, the
beautiful widow came into the presence of the king, and, throwing
herself at his feet, begged and implored him to revoke the attainder
of her husband for the sake of her innocent and helpless children. The
king was much moved by her beauty and by her distress. From pitying
her he soon began to love her. And yet it seemed impossible that he
should marry her. Her rank, in the first place, was far below his, and
then, what was worse, she belonged to the Lancastrian party, the
king's implacable enemies. The king knew very well that all his own
partisans would be made furious at the idea of such a match, and that,
if they knew that it was in contemplation, they would resist it to the
utmost of their power. For a time he did not know what he should do.
At length, however, his love for the beautiful widow, as might easily
be foreseen, triumphed over all considerations of prudence, and he was
secretly married to her. The marriage took place in the morning, in a
very private manner, in the month of May, in 1464.

The king kept the marriage secret nearly all summer. He thought it
best to break the subject to his lords and nobles gradually, as he had
opportunity to communicate it to them one by one. In this way it at
length became known, without producing, at any one time, any special
sensation, and toward the fall preparations were made for openly
acknowledging the union.

[Illustration: KING EDWARD IV.

This engraving is a portrait of King Edward as he appeared at this
time. It is copied from an ancient painting, and doubtless represents
correctly the character and expression of his countenance, and one
form, at least, of dress which he was accustomed to wear. He was, at
the time of his marriage, about twenty-two years of age. Elizabeth was
ten years older.]


This engraving represents the queen. It is taken, like the other, from
an ancient portrait, and no doubt corresponds closely to the

Although the knowledge of the king's marriage produced no sudden
outbreak of opposition, it awakened a great deal of secret indignation
and rage, and gave occasion to many suppressed mutterings and curses.
Of course, every leading family of the realm, that had been on
Edward's side in the civil wars, which contained a marriageable
daughter, had been forming hopes and laying plans to secure this
magnificent match for themselves. Those who had no marriageable
daughters of their own joined their nearest relatives and friends in
their schemes, or formed plans for some foreign alliance with a
princess of France, or Burgundy, or Holland, whichever would best
harmonize with the political schemes that they wished to promote. The
Earl of Warwick seems to have belonged to the former class. He had two
daughters, as has already been stated. It would very naturally be his
desire that the king, if he were to take for his wife any English
subject at all, should make choice of one of these. Of course, he was
more than all the rest irritated and vexed at what the king had done.
He communicated his feelings to Clarence, but concealed them from the
king. Clarence was, of course, ready to sympathize with the earl. He
was ready enough to take offense at any thing connected with the
king's marriage on very slight grounds, for it was very much for his
interest, as the next heir, that his brother should not be married at


The earl and Clarence, however, thought it best for the time to
suppress and conceal their opposition to the marriage; so they joined
very readily in the ceremonies connected with the public
acknowledgment of the queen. A vast assemblage of nobles, prelates,
and other grand dignitaries was convened, and Elizabeth was brought
forward before them and formally presented. The Earl of Warwick and
Clarence appeared in the foremost rank among her friends on this
occasion. They took her by the hand, and, leading her forward,
presented her to the assembled multitude of lords and ladies, who
welcomed her with long and loud acclamations.

Soon after this a grand council was convened, and a handsome income
was settled upon the queen, to enable her properly to maintain the
dignity of her station.

Early in the next year preparations were made for a grand coronation
of the queen. Foreign princes were invited to attend the ceremony, and
many came, accompanied by large bodies of knights and squires, to do
honor to the occasion. The coronation took place in May. The queen was
conveyed in procession through the streets of London on a sort of open
palanquin, borne by horses most magnificently caparisoned. Vast crowds
of people assembled along the streets to look at the procession as it
passed. The next day the coronation itself took place in Westminster,
and it was followed by games, feasts, tournaments, and public
rejoicings of every kind, which lasted many days.

Thus far every thing on the surface, at least, had gone well; but it
was not long after the coronation before the troubles which were to be
expected from such a match began to develop themselves in great force.
The new queen was ambitious, and she was naturally desirous of
bringing her friends forward into places of influence and honor. The
king was, of course, ready to listen to her recommendations; but then
all her friends were Lancastrians. They were willing enough, it is
true, to change their politics and to become Yorkists for the sake of
the rewards and honors which they could obtain by the change, but the
old friends of the king were greatly exasperated to find the important
posts, one after another, taken away from them, and given to their
hated enemies.

Then, besides the quarrel for the political offices, there were a
great many of the cherished matrimonial plans and schemes of the old
families interfered with and broken up by the queen's family thus
coming into power. It happened that the queen had five unmarried
sisters. She began to form plans for securing for them men of the
highest rank and position in the realm. This, of course, thwarted the
plans and disappointed the hopes of all those families who had been
scheming to gain these husbands for their own daughters. To see five
great heirs of dukes and barons thus withdrawn from the matrimonial
market, and employed to increase the power and prestige of their
ancient and implacable foes, filled the souls of the old Yorkist
families with indignation. Parties were formed. The queen and her
family and friends--the Woodvilles and Grays--with all their
adherents, were on one side; the Neville family, with the Earl of
Warwick at their head, and most of the old Yorkist noblemen, were on
the other; Clarence joined the Earl of Warwick; Richard, on the other
hand, or Gloucester, as he was now called, adhered to the king.

Things went on pretty much in this way for two years. There was no
open quarrel, though there was a vast deal of secret animosity and
bickering. The great world at court was divided into two sets, or
cliques, that hated each other very cordially, though both, for the
present, pretended to support King Edward as the rightful sovereign of
the country. The struggle was for the honors and offices under him.
The families who still adhered to the old Lancastrian party, and to
the rights of Henry and of the little Prince of Wales, withdrew, of
course, altogether from the court, and, retiring to their castles,
brooded moodily there over their fallen fortunes, and waited in
expectation of better times. Henry was imprisoned in the Tower;
Margaret and the Prince of Wales were on the Continent. They and their
friends were, of course, watching the progress of the quarrel between
the party of the Earl of Warwick and that of the king, hoping that it
might at last lead to an open rupture, in which case the Lancastrians
might hope for Warwick's aid to bring them again into power.


And now another circumstance occurred which widened this breach very
much indeed. It arose from a difference of opinion between King Edward
and the Earl of Warwick in respect to the marriage of the king's
sister Margaret, known, as has already been said, as Margaret of York.
There was upon the Continent a certain Count Charles, the son and heir
of the Duke of Burgundy, who demanded her hand. The count's family had
been enemies of the house of York, and had done every thing in their
power to promote Queen Margaret's plans, so long as there was any hope
for her; but when they found that King Edward was firmly established
on the throne, they came over to his side, and now the count demanded
the hand of the Princess Margaret in marriage; but the stern old Earl
of Warwick did not like such friendship as this, so he recommended
that the count should be refused, and that Margaret should have for
her husband one of the princes of France.

Now King Edward himself preferred Count Charles for the husband of
Margaret, and this chiefly because the queen, his wife, preferred him
on account of the old friendship which had subsisted between his
family and the Lancastrians. Besides this, however, Flanders, the
country over which the count was to reign on the death of his father,
was at that time so situated that an alliance with it would be of
greater advantage to Edward's political plans than an alliance with
France. But, notwithstanding this, the earl was so earnest in urging
his opinion, that finally Edward yielded, and the earl was dispatched
to France to negotiate the marriage with the French prince.

The earl set off on this embassy in great magnificence. He landed in
Normandy with a vast train of attendants, and proceeded in almost
royal state toward Paris. The King of France, to honor his coming and
the occasion, came forth to meet him. The meeting took place at Rouen.
The proposals were well received by the French king. The negotiations
were continued for eight or ten days, and at last every thing was
arranged. For the final closing of the contract, it was necessary that
a messenger from the King of France should proceed to London. The king
appointed an archbishop and some other dignitaries to perform the
service. The earl then returned to England, and was soon followed by
the French embassadors, expecting that every thing essential was
settled, and that nothing but a few formalities remained.

But, in the mean time, while all this had been going on in France,
Count Charles had quietly sent an embassador to England to press his
claim to the princess's hand. This messenger managed this business
very skillfully, so as not to attract any public attention to what he
was doing; and besides, the earl being away, the queen, Elizabeth,
could exert all her influence over her husband's mind unimpeded.
Edward was finally persuaded to promise Margaret's hand to the count,
and the contracts were made; so that, when the earl and the French
embassadors arrived, they found, to their astonishment and dismay,
that a rival and enemy had stepped in during their absence and secured
the prize.

The Earl of Warwick was furious when he learned how he had been
deceived. He had been insulted, he said, and disgraced. Edward made
no attempt to pacify him; indeed, any attempt that he could have made
would probably have been fruitless. The earl withdrew from the court,
went off to one of his castles, and shut himself up there in great

The quarrel now began to assume a very serious air. Edward suspected
that the earl was forming plots and conspiracies against him. He
feared that he was secretly designing to take measures for restoring
the Lancastrian line to the throne. He was alarmed for his personal
safety. He expelled all Warwick's family and friends from the court,
and, whenever he went out in public, he took care to be always
attended by a strong body-guard, as if he thought there was danger of
an attempt upon his life.

At length one of the earl's brothers, the youngest of the family, who
was at that time Archbishop of York, interposed to effect a
reconciliation. We have not space here to give a full account of the
negotiations; but the result was, a sort of temporary peace was made,
by which the earl again returned to court, and was restored apparently
to his former position. But there was no cordial good-will between him
and the king. Edward dreaded the earl's power, and hated the stern
severity of his character, while the earl, by the commanding influence
which he exerted in the realm, was continually thwarting both Edward
and Elizabeth in their plans.

Edward and Elizabeth had now been married some time, but they had no
son, and, of course, no heir, for daughters in those days did not
inherit the English crown. Of course, Clarence, Edward's second
brother, was the next heir. This increased the jealousy which the two
brothers felt toward each other, and tended very much to drive
Clarence away from Edward, and to increase the intimacy between
Clarence and Warwick. At length, in 1468, it was announced that a
marriage was in contemplation between Clarence and Isabella, the Earl
of Warwick's oldest daughter. Edward and Queen Elizabeth were very
much displeased and very much alarmed when they heard of this plan. If
carried into effect, it would bind Clarence and the Warwick influence
together in indissoluble bonds, and make their power much more
formidable than ever before. Every body would say when the marriage
was concluded,

"Now, in case Edward should die, which event may happen at any time,
the earl's daughter will be queen, and then the earl will have a
greater influence than ever in the disposition of offices and honors.
It behooves us, therefore, to make friends with him in season, so as
to secure his good-will in advance, before he comes into power."

King Edward and his queen, seeing how much this match was likely at
once to increase the earl's importance, did every thing in their power
to prevent it. But they could not succeed. The earl was determined
that Clarence and his daughter should be married. The opposition was,
however, so strong at court that the marriage could not be celebrated
at London; so the ceremony was performed at Calais, which city was at
that time under the earl's special command. The king and queen
remained at London, and made no attempt to conceal their vexation and




Insurrections.--The king goes to meet the rebels.--Rebellion
suppressed.--A grand reconciliation.--The king frightened.--The
quarrel renewed.--New reconciliations.--New rebellions.--Warwick comes
to open war with the king.--Warwick and his party not allowed to land
at Calais.--The party in great straits.--They land at Harfleur.--Strange
compact between Warwick and Queen Margaret.--Attempt to entice Clarence
away from Warwick.--Edward does not fear.--The Duke of Burgundy.--Queen
Margaret crosses the Channel.--Landing of the expedition.--Reception of
it.--Edward's friends and followers forsake him.--Edward flies from the
country.--Difficulties and dangers.--His mother makes her escape to
sanctuary.--Birth of Edward's son and heir.--King Henry is fully
restored to the throne.

Edward's apprehension and anxiety in respect to the danger that
Warwick might be concocting schemes to restore the Lancastrian line to
the throne were greatly increased by the sudden breaking out of
insurrections in the northern part of the island, while Warwick and
Clarence were absent in Calais, on the occasion of Clarence's marriage
to Isabella. The insurgents did not demand the restoration of the
Lancastrian line, but only the removal of the queen's family and
relations from the council. The king raised an armed force, and
marched to the northward to meet the rebels. But his army was
disaffected, and he could do nothing. They fled before the advancing
army of insurgents, and Edward went with them to Nottingham Castle,
where he shut himself up, and wrote urgently to Warwick and Clarence
to come to his aid.

Warwick made no haste to obey this command. After some delay, however,
he left Calais in command of one of his lieutenants and repaired to
Nottingham, where he soon released the king from his dangerous
situation. He quelled the rebellion too, but not until the insurgents
had seized the father and one of the brothers of the queen, and cut
off their heads.

In the mean time, the Lancastrians themselves, thinking that this was
a favorable time for them, began to put themselves in motion. Warwick
was the only person who was capable of meeting them and putting them
down. This he did, taking the king with him in his train, in a
condition more like that of a prisoner than a sovereign. At length,
however, the rebellions were suppressed, and all parties returned to

There now took place what purported to be a grand reconciliation.
Treaties were drawn up and signed between Warwick and Clarence on one
side, and the king on the other, by which both parties bound
themselves to forgive and forget all that had passed, and thenceforth
to be good friends; but, notwithstanding all the solemn signings and
sealings with which these covenants were secured, the actual condition
of the parties in respect to each other remained entirely unchanged,
and neither of the three felt a whit more confidence in the others
after the execution of these treaties than before.

At last the secret distrust which they felt toward each other broke
out openly. Warwick's brother, the Archbishop of York, made an
entertainment at one of his manors for a party of guests, in which
were included the king, the Duke of Clarence, and the Earl of Warwick.
It was about three months after the treaties were signed that this
entertainment was made, and the feast was intended to celebrate and
cement the good understanding which it was now agreed was henceforth
to prevail. The king arrived at the manor, and, while he was in his
room making his toilet for the supper, which was all ready to be
served, an attendant came to him and whispered in his ear,

"Your majesty is in danger. There is a band of armed men in ambush
near the house."

The king was greatly alarmed at hearing this. He immediately stole out
of the house, mounted his horse, and, with two or three followers,
rode away as fast as he could ride. He continued his journey all
night, and in the morning arrived at Windsor Castle.

Then followed new negotiations between Warwick and the king, with
mutual reproaches, criminations, and recriminations without number.
Edward insisted that treachery was intended at the house to which he
had been invited, and that he had barely escaped, by his sudden
flight, from falling into the snare. But Warwick and his friends
denied this entirely, and attributed the flight of the king to a
wholly unreasonable alarm, caused by his jealous and suspicious
temper. At last Edward suffered himself to be reassured, and then came
new treaties and a new reconciliation.

This peace was made in the fall of 1469, and in the spring of 1470 a
new insurrection broke out. The king believed that Warwick himself,
and Clarence, were really at the bottom of these disturbances, but
still he was forced to send them with bodies of troops to subdue the
rebels; he, however, immediately raised a large army for himself, and
proceeded to the seat of war. He reached the spot before Warwick and
Clarence arrived there. He gave battle to the insurgents, and defeated
them. He took a great many prisoners, and beheaded them. He found, or
pretended to find, proof that Warwick and Clarence, instead of
intending to fight the insurgents, had made their arrangements for
joining them on the following day, and that he had been just in time
to defeat their treachery. Whether he really found evidence of these
intentions on the part of Warwick and Clarence or not, or whether he
was flushed by the excitement of victory, and resolved to seize the
occasion to cut loose at once and forever from the entanglement in
which he had been bound, is somewhat uncertain. At all events, he now
declared open war against Warwick and Clarence, and set off
immediately on his march to meet them, at the head of a force much
superior to theirs.

Warwick and Clarence marched and countermarched, and made many
manoeuvres to escape a battle, and during all this time their
strength was rapidly diminishing. As long as they were nominally on
the king's side, however really hostile to him, they had plenty of
followers; but, now that they were in open war against him, their
forces began to melt away. In this emergency, Warwick suddenly changed
all his plans. He disbanded his army, and then taking all his family
with him, including Clarence and Isabella, and accompanied by an
inconsiderable number of faithful friends, he marched at the head of a
small force which he retained as an escort to the sea-port of
Dartmouth, and then embarked for Calais.

The vessels employed to transport the party formed quite a little
fleet, so numerous were the servants and attendants that accompanied
the fugitives. They embarked without delay on reaching the coast, as
they were in haste to make the passage and arrive at Calais, for
Isabella, Clarence's wife, was about to become a mother, and at Calais
they thought that they should all be, as it were, at home.

It will be remembered that the Earl of Warwick was the governor of
Calais, and that when he left it he had appointed a lieutenant to take
command of it during his absence. Before his ship arrived off the port
this lieutenant had received dispatches from Edward, which had been
hurried to him by a special messenger, informing him that Warwick was
in rebellion against his sovereign, and forbidding the lieutenant to
allow him or his party to enter the town.

Accordingly, when Warwick's fleet arrived off the port, they found the
guns of the batteries pointed at them, and sentinels on the piers
warning them not to attempt to land.

Warwick was thunderstruck. To be thus refused admission to his own
fortress by his own lieutenant was something amazing, as well as
outrageous. The earl was at first completely bewildered; but, on
demanding an explanation, the lieutenant sent him word that the
refusal to land was owing to the people of the town. They, he said,
having learned that he and the king had come to open war, insisted
that the fortress should be reserved for their sovereign. Warwick
then explained the situation that his daughter was in; but the
lieutenant was firm. The determination of the people was so strong, he
said, that he could not control it. Finally, the child was born on
board the ship, as it lay at anchor off the port, and all the aid or
comfort which the party could get from the shore consisted of two
flagons of wine, which the lieutenant, with great hesitation and
reluctance, allowed to be sent on board. The child was a son. His
birth was an event of great importance, for he was, of course, as
Clarence's son, a prince in the direct line of succession to the
English crown.

At length, finding that he could not land at Calais, Warwick sailed
away with his fleet along the coast of France till he reached the
French port of Harfleur. Here his ships were admitted, and the whole
party were allowed to land.

Then followed various intrigues, manoeuvres, and arrangements, which
we have not time here fully to unravel; but the end of all was, that
in a few weeks after the Earl of Warwick's landing in France, he
repaired to a castle where Margaret of Anjou and her son, the Prince
of Wales, were residing, and there, in the course of a short time, he
made arrangements to espouse her cause, and assist in restoring her
husband to the English throne, on condition that her son, the Prince
of Wales, should marry his second daughter Anne. It is said that Queen
Margaret for a long time refused to consent to this arrangement. She
was extremely unwilling that her son, the heir to the English crown,
should take for a wife the daughter of the hated enemy to whom the
downfall of her family, and all the terrible calamities which had
befallen them, had been mainly owing. She was, however, at length
induced to yield. Her ambition gained the victory over her hate, and
she consented to the alliance on a solemn oath being taken by Warwick
that thenceforth he would be on her side, and do all in his power to
restore her family to the throne.

This arrangement was accordingly carried into effect, and thus the
earl had one of his daughters married to the next heir to the English
crown in the line of York, and the other to the next heir in the line
of Lancaster. He had now only to choose to which dynasty he would
secure the throne. Of course, the oath which he had taken, like other
political oaths taken in those days, was only to be kept so long as he
should deem it for his interest to keep it.

He could not at once openly declare in favor of King Henry, for fear
of alienating Clarence from him. But Clarence was soon drawn away.
King Edward, when he heard of the marriage of Warwick's daughter with
the Prince of Wales, immediately formed a plan for sending a messenger
to negotiate with Clarence. He could not do this openly, for he knew
very well that Warwick would not allow any avowed messenger from
Edward to land; so he sent a lady. The lady was a particular friend of
Isabella, Clarence's wife. She traveled privately by the way of
Calais. On the way she said nothing about the object of her journey,
but gave out simply that she was going to join her mistress, the
Princess Isabella. On her arrival she managed the affair with great
discretion. She easily obtained private interviews with Clarence, and
represented to him that Warwick, now that his daughter was married to
the heir on the Lancastrian side, would undoubtedly lay all his plans
forthwith for putting that family on the throne, and that thus
Clarence would lose all.

"And therefore," said she, "how much better it will be for you to
leave him and return to your brother Edward, who is ready to forgive
and forget all the past, and receive you again as his friend."

Clarence was convinced by these representations, and soon afterward,
watching his opportunity, he made his way to England, and there
espoused his brother's cause, and was received again into his service.

In the mean time, tidings were continually coming to King Edward from
his friends on the Continent, warning him of Warwick's plans, and
bidding him to be upon his guard. But Edward had no fear. He said he
wished that Warwick would come.

"All I ask of my friends on the other side of the Channel," said he,
"is that, when he does come, they will not let him get away again
before I catch him--as he did before."

Edward's great friend across the Channel was his brother-in-law, the
Duke of Burgundy, the same who, when Count Charles, had married the
Princess Margaret of York, as related in a former chapter. The Duke of
Burgundy prepared and equipped a fleet, and had it all in readiness to
intercept the earl in case he should attempt to sail for England.

In the mean time, Queen Margaret and the earl went on with their
preparations. The King of France furnished them with men, arms, and
money. When every thing was ready, the earl sent word to the north of
England, to some of his friends and partisans there, to make a sort
of false insurrection, in order to entice away Edward and his army
from the capital. This plan succeeded. Edward heard of the rising,
and, collecting all the troops which were at hand, he marched to the
northward to put it down. Just at this time a sudden storm arose and
dispersed the Duke of Burgundy's fleet. The earl then immediately put
to sea, taking with him Margaret of Anjou and her son, the Prince of
Wales, with his wife, the Earl of Warwick's daughter. The Prince of
Wales was now about eighteen years old. The father, King Henry,
Margaret's husband, was not joined with the party. He was all this
time, as you will recollect, a prisoner in the Tower, where Warwick
himself had shut him up when he deposed him in order to place Edward
upon the throne.

All Europe looked on with astonishment at these proceedings, and
watched the result with intense interest. Here was a man who, having,
by a desperate and bloody war, deposed a king, and shut him up in
prison, and compelled his queen and the prince his son, the heir, to
fly from the country to save their lives, had now sought the exiles in
their banishment, had married his own daughter to the prince, and was
setting forth on an expedition for the purpose of liberating the
father again, and restoring him to the throne.

The earl's fleet crossed the Channel safely, and landed on the coast
of Devonshire, in the southwestern part of the island. The landing of
the expedition was the signal for great numbers of the nobles and high
families throughout the realm to prepare for changing sides; for it
was the fact, throughout the whole course of these wars between the
houses of York and Lancaster, that a large proportion of the nobility
and gentry, and great numbers of other adventurers, who lived in
various ways on the public, stood always ready at once to change sides
whenever there was a prospect that another side was coming into power.
Then there were, in such a case as this, great numbers who were
secretly in favor of the Lancaster line, but who were prevented from
manifesting their preference while the house of York was in full
possession of power. All these persons were aroused and excited by the
landing of Warwick. King Edward found that his calls upon his friends
to rally to his standard were not promptly obeyed. His friends were
beginning to feel some doubt whether it would be best to continue his
friends. A certain preacher in London had the courage to pray in
public for the "king in the Tower," and the manner in which this
allusion was received by the populace, and the excitement which it
produced, showed how ready the city of London was to espouse Henry's

These, and other such indications, alarmed Edward very much. He turned
to the southward again when he learned that Warwick had landed.
Richard, who had, during all this period, adhered faithfully to
Edward's cause, was with him, in command of a division of the army. As
Warwick himself was rapidly advancing toward the north at this time,
the two armies soon began to approach each other. As the time of trial
drew nigh, Edward found that his friends and supporters were rapidly
abandoning him. At length, one day, while he was at dinner, a
messenger came in and told him that one of the leading officers of the
army, with the whole division under his command, were waving their
caps and cheering for "King Harry." He saw at once that all was lost,
and he immediately prepared to fly.

He was not far from the eastern coast at this time, and there was a
small vessel there under his orders, which had been employed in
bringing provisions from the Thames to supply his army. There were
also two Dutch vessels there. The king took possession of these
vessels, with Richard, and the few other followers that went with him,
and put at once to sea. Nobody knew where they were going.

Very soon after they had put to sea they were attacked by pirates.
They escaped only by running their vessel on shore on the coast of
Finland. Here the king found himself in a state of almost absolute
destitution, so that he had to pawn his clothing to satisfy the most
urgent demands. At length, after meeting with various strange
adventures, he found his way to the Hague, where he was, for the time,
in comparative safety.

As soon as Warwick ascertained that Edward had fled, he turned toward
London, with nothing now to impede his progress. He entered London in
triumph. Clarence joined him, and entered London in his train; for
Clarence, though he had gone to England with the intention of making
common cause with his brother, had not been able yet to decide
positively whether it would, on the whole, be for his interest to do
so, and had, accordingly, kept himself in some degree uncommitted, and
now he turned at once again to Warwick's side.

The queen--Elizabeth Woodville--with her mother Jacquetta, were
residing at the Tower at this time, where they had King Henry in
their keeping; for the Tower was an extended group of buildings, in
which palace and prison were combined in one. As soon as the queen
learned that Edward was defeated, and that Warwick and Clarence were
coming in triumph to London, she took her mother and three of her
daughters--Elizabeth, Mary, and Cecily--who were with her at that
time, and also a lady attendant, and hurried down the Tower stairs to
a barge which was always in waiting there. She embarked on board the
barge, and ordered the men to row her up to Westminster.

Westminster is at the upper end of London, as the Tower is at the
lower. On arriving at Westminster, the whole party fled for refuge to
a sanctuary there. This sanctuary was a portion of the sacred
precincts of a church, from which a refugee could not be taken,
according to the ideas of those times, without committing the dreadful
crime of sacrilege. A part of the building remained standing for three
hundred years after this time, as represented in the opposite
engraving. It was a gloomy old edifice, and it must have been a
cheerless residence for princesses and a queen.

[Illustration: THE SANCTUARY.]

In this sanctuary, the queen, away from her husband, and deprived of
almost every comfort, gave birth to her first son. Some persons
living near took compassion upon her forlorn and desolate condition,
and rendered her such aid as was absolutely necessary, out of charity.
The abbot of the monastery connected with the church sent in various
conveniences, and a good woman named Mother Cobb, who lived near by,
came in and acted as nurse for the mother and the child.

The child was baptized in the sanctuary a few days after he was born.
He was named Edward, after his father. Of course, the birth of this
son of King Edward cut off Clarence and his son from the succession on
the York side. This little Edward was now the heir, and, about
thirteen years after this, as we shall see in the sequel, he became
King of England.

As soon as the Earl of Warwick reached London, he proceeded at once to
the Tower to release old King Henry from his confinement. He found the
poor king in a wretched plight. His apartment was gloomy and
comfortless, his clothing was ragged, and his person squalid and
dirty. The earl brought him forth from his prison, and, after causing
his personal wants to be properly attended to, clothed him once more
in royal robes, and conveyed him in state through London to the palace
in Westminster, and established him there nominally as King of
England, though Warwick was to all intents and purposes the real king.
A Parliament was called, and all necessary laws were passed to
sanction and confirm the dynasty. Queen Margaret, who, however, had
not yet arrived from the Continent, was restored to her former rank,
and the young Prince of Wales, now about eighteen years old, was the
object of universal interest throughout the kingdom, as now the
unquestioned and only heir to the crown.



A.D. 1470-1471

Position of Richard.--The Duke of Burgundy.--His cunning.--Secret
communication with Clarence.--Warwick's plans to secure
Clarence.--Edward and Richard sail for England.--Stratagems
of war.--Reception of Edward at York.--The roses.--Public
opinion.--Warwick.--Position of Clarence.--His double
dealing.--Clarence goes over to Edward's side.--Edward
triumphant.--Henry again sent to the Tower.--Warwick refuses to
yield.--Preparations for a battle.--Edward victorious.--Warwick
slain.--King Henry.--Margaret and the Prince of Wales.--Meeting
of the armies.--Two boys to command.--The killing of Lord
Wenlock.--End of the battle.--Murder of the Prince of Wales.--The
queen's refuge.--Edward in the church.--Margaret taken.--Conducted
a prisoner to London.--Henry is put to death in the Tower.--Burial
of Henry VI.--The Lancastrian party completely subdued.

It was in the month of October, 1470, that old King Henry and his
family were restored to the throne. Clarence, as we have seen, being
allied to Warwick by being married to his daughter, was induced to go
over with him to the Lancastrian side; but Gloucester--that is,
Richard--remained true to his own line, and followed the fortunes of
his brother, in adverse as well as in prosperous times, with
unchanging fidelity. He was now with Edward in the dominions of the
Duke of Burgundy, who, you will recollect, married Margaret, Edward's
sister, and who was now very naturally inclined to espouse Edward's

The Duke of Burgundy did not, however, dare to espouse Edward's cause
too openly, for fear of the King of France, who took the side of Henry
and Queen Margaret. He, however, did all in his power secretly to
befriend him. Edward and Richard began immediately to form schemes for
going back to England and recovering possession of the kingdom. The
Duke of Burgundy issued a public proclamation, in which it was
forbidden that any of his subjects should join Edward, or that any
expedition to promote his designs should be fitted out in any part of
his dominions. This proclamation was for the sake of the King of
France. At the same time that he issued these orders publicly, he
secretly sent Edward a large sum of money, furnished him with a fleet
of fifteen or twenty ships, and assisted him in collecting a force of
twelve hundred men.

While he was making these arrangements and preparations on the
Continent, Edward and his friends had also opened a secret
communication with Clarence in England. It would, of course, very much
weaken the cause of Edward and Richard to have Clarence against them;
so Margaret, the wife of the Duke of Burgundy, interested herself in
endeavoring to win him back again to their side. She had herself great
influence over him, and she was assisted in her efforts by their
mother, the Lady Cecily, who was still living in the neighborhood of
London, and who was greatly grieved at Clarence's having turned
against his brothers. The tie which bound Clarence to the Earl of
Warwick was, of course, derived chiefly from his being married to
Warwick's daughter. Warwick, however, did not trust wholly to this.
As soon as he had restored Henry to the throne, he contrived a cunning
plan which he thought would tend to bind Clarence still more strongly
to himself, and to alienate him completely from Edward. This plan was
to induce the Parliament to confiscate all Edward's estates and confer
them upon Clarence.

"Now," said Warwick to himself, when this measure had been
accomplished, "Clarence will be sure to oppose Edward's return to
England, for he knows very well that if he should return and be
restored to the throne, he would, of course, take all these estates
back again."

But, while Edward was forming his plans on the Continent for a fresh
invasion of England, Margaret sent messengers to Clarence, and their
persuasions, united to those of his mother, induced Clarence to change
his mind. He was governed by no principle whatever in what he did, but
only looked to see what would most speedily and most fully gratify his
ambition and increase his wealth. So, when they argued that it would
be much better for him to be on the side of his brothers, and assist
in restoring his own branch of the family to the throne, than to
continue his unnatural connection with Warwick and the house of
Lancaster, he allowed himself to be easily persuaded, and he promised
that though, for the present, he should remain ostensibly a friend of
Warwick, still, if Edward and Richard would raise an expedition and
come to England, he would forsake Warwick and the Lancasters, and join

Accordingly, in the spring, when the fleet and the forces were ready,
Edward and Richard set sail from the Low Country to cross the Channel.
It was early in March. They intended to proceed to the north of
England and land there. They had a very stormy passage, and in the end
the fleet was dispersed, and Edward and Richard with great difficulty
succeeded in reaching the land. The two brothers were in different
ships, and they landed in different places, a few miles apart from
each other. Their situation was now extremely critical, for all
England was in the power of Warwick and the Lancastrians, and Edward
and Richard were almost entirely without men.

They, however, after a time, got together a small force, consisting
chiefly of the troops who had come with them, and who had succeeded at
last in making their way to the land. At the head of this force they
advanced into the country toward the city of York. Edward gave out
every where that he had not come with any view of attempting to
regain possession of the throne, but only to recover his own private
and family estates, which had been unjustly confiscated, he said, and
conferred upon his brother. He acquiesced entirely, he said, in the
restoration of Henry to the throne, and acknowledged him as king, and
solemnly declared that he would not do any thing to disturb the peace
of the country.

All this was treacherous and false; but Edward and Richard thought
that they were not yet strong enough to announce openly their real
designs, and, in the mean time, the uttering of any false declarations
which they might deem it good policy to make was to be considered as a
stratagem justified by usage, as one of the legitimate resources of

So they went on, nobody opposing them. They reached, at length, the
city of York. Here Edward met the mayor and aldermen of the city, and
renewed his declaration, which he confirmed by a solemn oath, that he
never would lay any claim to the throne of England, or do any thing to
disturb King Henry in his possession of it. He cried out, in a loud
voice, in the hearing of the people, "Long live King Henry, and Prince
Edward his son!" He wore an ostrich feather, too, in his armor, which
was the badge of Prince Edward. The people of York were satisfied
with these protestations, and allowed him to proceed.

His force was continually increasing as he advanced, and at length, on
crossing the River Trent, he came to a part of the country where
almost the whole population had been on the side of York during all
the previous wars. He began now to throw off his disguise, and to avow
more openly that his object was again to obtain possession of the
throne for the house of York. His troops now began to exhibit the
white rose, which for many generations had been the badge of the house
of York, as the red rose had been that of Lancaster.[F] In a word, the
country was every where aroused and excited by the idea that another
revolution was impending, and all those whose ruling principle it was
to be always with the party that was uppermost began to make
preparations for coming over to Edward's side.

[Footnote F: It was in consequence of this use of the roses, as the
badges of the two parties respectively, that the civil wars between
these two great families are often called in history the Wars of the

In the mean time, however, Warwick, alarmed, had come from the
northward to London to meet the invaders at the head of a strong
force. Clarence was in command of one great division of this force,
and Warwick himself of the other. The two bodies of troops marched at
some little distance from each other. Edward shaped his course so as
to approach that commanded by Clarence. Warwick did all he could to
prevent this, being, apparently, somewhat suspicious that Clarence was
not fully to be relied on. But Edward succeeded, by dint of skillful
manoeuvring, in accomplishing his object, and thus he and Clarence
came into the neighborhood of each other. The respective encampments
were only three miles apart. It seems, however, that there were still
some closing negotiations to be made before Clarence was fully
prepared to take the momentous step that was now before him. Richard
was the agent of these negotiations. He went back and forth between
the two camps, conveying the proposals and counter-proposals from one
party to the other, and doing all in his power to remove obstacles
from the way, and to bring his brothers to an agreement. At last every
thing was arranged. Clarence ordered his men to display the white rose
upon their armor, and then, with trumpets sounding and banners flying,
he marched forth to meet Edward, and to submit himself to his command.

When the column which he led arrived near to Edward's camp, it halted,
and Clarence himself, with a small body of attendants, advanced to
meet his brother; Edward, at the same time, leaving his encampment, in
company with Richard and several noblemen, came forward too. Thus
Edward and Clarence met, as the old chronicle expresses it, "betwixt
both hosts, where was right kind and loving language betwixt them two.
And then, in like wise, spoke together the two Dukes of Clarence and
Gloucester, and afterward the other noblemen that were there with
them; whereof all the people that were there that loved them were
right glad and joyous, and thanked God highly for that joyous meeting,
unity and concord, hoping that thereby should grow unto them
prosperous fortune in all that they should after that have to do."

Warwick was, of course, in a dreadful rage when he learned that
Clarence had betrayed him and gone over to the enemy. He could do
nothing, however, to repair the mischief, and he was altogether too
weak to resist the two armies now combined against him; so he drew
back, leaving the way clear, and Edward, at the head now of an
overwhelming force, and accompanied by both his brothers, advanced
directly to London.

He was received at the capital with great favor. Whoever was uppermost
for the time being was always received with favor in England in those
days, both in the capital and throughout the country at large. It was
said, however, that the interest in Edward's fortunes, and in the
succession of his branch of the family to the throne, was greatly
increased at this time by the birth of his son, which had taken place
in the sanctuary, as related in the last chapter, soon after Queen
Elizabeth sought refuge there, at the time of Edward's expulsion from
the kingdom. Of course, the first thing which Edward did after making
his public entry into London was to proceed to the sanctuary to rejoin
his wife, and deliver her from her duress, and also to see his
new-born son.

Queen Margaret was out of the kingdom at this time, being on a visit
to the Continent. She had her son, the Prince of Wales, with her; but
Henry, the king, was in London. He, of course, fell into Edward's
hands, and was immediately sent back a prisoner to the Tower.

Edward remained only a day or two in London, and then set off again,
at the head of all his troops, to meet Warwick. He brought out King
Henry from the Tower, and took him with the army as a prisoner.

Warwick had now strengthened himself so far that he was prepared for
battle. The two armies approached each other not many miles from
London. Before commencing hostilities, Clarence wished for an
opportunity to attempt a reconciliation; he, of course, felt a strong
desire to make peace, if possible, for his situation, in case of
battle, would be painful in the extreme--his brothers on one side, and
his father-in-law on the other, and he himself compelled to fight
against the cause which he had abandoned and betrayed. So he sent a
messenger to the earl, offering to act as mediator between him and his
brother, in hopes of finding some mode of arranging the quarrel; but
the earl, instead of accepting the mediation, sent back only
invectives and defiance.

"Go tell your master," he said to the messenger, "that Warwick is not
the man to follow the example of faithlessness and treason which the
false, perjured Clarence has set him. Unlike him, I stand true to my
oath, and this quarrel can only be settled by the sword."

Of course, nothing now remained but to fight the battle, and a most
desperate and bloody battle it was. It was fought upon a plain at a
place called Barnet. It lasted from four in the morning till ten.


Richard came forward in the fight in a very conspicuous and prominent
manner. He was now about eighteen years of age, and this was the first
serious battle in which he had been actually engaged. He evinced a
great deal of heroism, and won great praise by the ardor in which he
rushed into the thickest of the fight, and by the manner in which he
conducted himself there. The squires who attended him were both
killed, but Richard himself remained unhurt.

In the end, Edward was victorious. The quarrel was thus decided by the
sword, as Warwick had said, and decided, so far as the earl was
concerned, terribly and irrevocably, for he himself was unhorsed upon
the field, and slain. Many thousands of soldiers fell on each side,
and great numbers of the leading nobles. The bodies were buried in one
common trench, which was dug for the purpose on the plain, and a
chapel was afterward erected over them, to mark and consecrate the

It is said in respect to King Henry, who had been taken from the Tower
and made to accompany the army to the field, that Edward placed him in
the midst of the fight at Barnet, in the hope that he might in this
way be slain, either by accident or design. This plan, however, if it
were formed, did not succeed, for Henry escaped unharmed, and, after
the battle, was taken back to London, and again conveyed through the
gloomy streets of the lower city to his solitary prison in the Tower.
The streets were filled, after he had passed, with groups of men of
all ranks and stations, discussing the strange and mournful
vicissitudes in the life of this hapless monarch, now for the second
time cut off from all his friends, and immured hopelessly in a dismal


On the very day of the battle of Barnet, Queen Margaret, who had
hastened her return to England on hearing of Edward's invasion, landed
at Plymouth, in the southwestern part of England. The young Prince of
Wales, her son, was with her. When she heard the terrible tidings of
the loss of the battle of Barnet and the death of Warwick, she was
struck with consternation, and immediately fled to an abbey in the
neighborhood of the place where she had landed, and took sanctuary
there. She soon, however, recovered from this panic, and came forth
again. She put herself, with her son, at the head of the French troops
which she had brought with her, and collected also as many more as
she could induce to join her, and then, marching slowly toward the
northward, finally took a strong position on the River Severn, near
the town of Tewkesbury. Tewkesbury is in the western part of England,
near the frontiers of Wales.

Edward, having received intelligence of her movements, collected his
forces also, and, accompanied by Clarence and Gloucester, went forth
to meet her. The two armies met about three weeks after the battle of
Barnet, in which Warwick was killed. All the flower of the English
nobility were there, on one side or on the other.

Queen Margaret's son, the Prince of Wales, was now about eighteen
years of age, and his mother placed him in command--nominally at the
head of the army. Edward, on his side, assigned the same position to
Richard, who was almost precisely of the same age with the Prince of
Wales. Thus the great and terrible battle which ensued was fought, as
it were, by two boys, cousins to each other, and neither of them out
of their teens.

The operations were, however, really directed by older and more
experienced men. The chief counselor on Margaret's side was the Duke
of Somerset. Edward's army attempted, by means of certain evolutions,
to entice the queen's army out of their camp. Somerset wished to go,
and he commanded the men to follow. Some followed, but others remained
behind. Among those that remained behind was a body of men under the
command of a certain Lord Wenlock. Somerset was angry because they did
not follow him, and he suspected, moreover, that Lord Wenlock was
intending to betray the queen and go over to the other side; so he
turned back in a rage, and, coming up to Lord Wenlock, struck him a
dreadful blow upon his helmet with his battle-axe, and killed him on
the spot.

In the midst of the confusion which this affair produced, Richard, at
the head of his brother's troops, came forcing his way into the
intrenchments, bearing down all before him. The queen's army was
thrown into confusion, and put to flight. Thousands upon thousands
were killed. As many as could save themselves from being slaughtered
upon the spot fled into the country toward the north, pursued by
detached parties of their enemies.

The young Prince of Wales was taken prisoner. The queen fled, and for
a time it was not known what had become of her. She fled to the church
in Tewkesbury, and took refuge there.


As for the Prince of Wales, the account of his fate which was given
at the time, and has generally been believed since, is this: As soon
as the battle was over, he was brought, disarmed and helpless, into
King Edward's tent, and there Edward, Clarence, Gloucester, and others
gathered around to triumph over him, and taunt him with his downfall.
Edward came up to him, and, after gazing upon him a moment in a fierce
and defiant manner, demanded of him, in a furious tone, "What brought
him to England?"

"My father's crown and my own inheritance," replied the prince.

Edward uttered some exclamation of anger, and then struck the prince
upon the mouth with his gauntlet.[G]

[Footnote G: The gauntlet was a sort of iron glove, the fingers of
which were made flexible by joints formed with scales sliding over
each other.]

At this signal, Gloucester, and the others who were standing by, fell
upon the poor helpless boy, and killed him on the spot. The prince
cried to Clarence, who was his brother-in-law, to save him, but in
vain; Clarence did not interfere.

Some of the modern defenders of Richard's character attempt to show
that there is no sufficient evidence that this story is true, and they
maintain that the prince was slain upon the field, after the battle,
and that Richard was innocent of his death. The evidence, however,
seems strongly against this last supposition.

Soon after the battle, it was found that the queen, with her
attendants, as has already been stated, had taken refuge in a church
at Tewkesbury, and in other sacred structures near.

Edward proceeded directly to the church, with the intention of hunting
out his enemies wherever he could find them. He broke into the sacred
precincts, sword in hand, attended by a number of reckless and
desperate followers, and would have slain those that had taken refuge
there, on the spot, had not the abbot himself come forward and
interposed to protect them. He came dressed in his sacerdotal robes,
and bearing the sacred emblems in his hands. These emblems he held up
before the infuriated Edward as a token of the sanctity of the place.
By these means the king's hand was stayed, and, before allowing him to
go away, the abbot exacted from him a promise that he would molest the
refugees no more.


This promise was, however, not made to be kept. Two days afterward
Edward appointed a court-martial, and sent Richard, with an armed
force, to the church, to take all the men that had sought refuge
there, and bring them out for trial. The trial was conducted with
very little ceremony, and the men were all beheaded on the green,
in Tewkesbury, that very day.

Queen Margaret and the ladies who attended her were not with them.
They had sought refuge in another place. They were, however, found
after a few days, and were all brought prisoners to Edward's camp at
Coventry; for, after the battle, Edward had begun to move on with his
army across the country.

The king's first idea was to send Margaret immediately to London and
put her in the Tower; but, before he did this, a change in his plans
took place, which led him to decide to go to London himself. So he
took Queen Margaret with him, a captive in his train. On the arrival
of the party in London, the queen was conveyed at once to the Tower.

Here she remained a close prisoner for five long and weary years, and
was then ransomed by the King of France and taken to the Continent.
She lived after this in comparative obscurity for about ten years, and
then died.

As for her husband, his earthly troubles were brought to an end much
sooner. The cause of the change of plan above referred to, which led
Edward to go directly to London soon after the battle of Tewkesbury,
was the news that a relative of Warwick, whom that nobleman, during
his lifetime, had put in command in the southeastern part of England,
had raised an insurrection there, with a view of marching to London,
rescuing Henry from the Tower, and putting him upon the throne. This
movement was soon put down, and Edward returned from the expedition
triumphant to London. He and his brothers spent the night after their
arrival in the Tower. The next morning King Henry was found dead in
his bed.

The universal belief was then, and has been since, that he was put to
death by Edward's orders, and it has been the general opinion that
Richard was the murderer.

The body of the king was put upon a bier that same day, and conveyed
to St. Paul's Church in London, and there exhibited to the public for
a long time, with guards and torch-bearers surrounding it. An immense
concourse of people came to view his remains. The object of this
exposition of the body of the king was to make sure the fact of his
death in the public mind, and prevent the possibility of the
circulation of rumors, subsequently, by the partisans of his house,
that he was still alive; for such rumors would greatly have increased
the danger of any insurrectionary plans which might be formed against
Edward's authority.

In due time the body was interred at Windsor, and a sculptured
monument, adorned with various arms and emblems, was erected over the

[Illustration: TOMB OF HENRY VI.]

The remaining leaders on the Lancaster side were disposed of in a very
effectual manner, to prevent the possibility of their again acquiring
power. Some were banished. Others were shut up in various castles as
hopeless prisoners. The country was thus wholly subdued, and Edward
was once more established firmly on his throne.




Characters of Clarence and Richard.--Embarrassing situation in which
Clarence was placed.--Richard made Lord High Admiral of England.--His
real character.--Requisites of a good soldier.--Young Edward formally
acknowledged heir to the crown.--Forlorn condition of Lady Anne.--Her
sister Isabella.--Clarence's views in respect to the
property.--Richard's plan.--His early acquaintance with Anne.--The
banquet at the archbishop's.--Clarence conceals Lady Anne.--Richard
finds her at last.--His marriage.--Measures for securing the
property.--Difficulty about the division of the property.--The quarrel
becomes serious.--It is at last settled by the king.--Richard's child
is born.--Anne becomes more contented.

When the affairs of the kingdom were settled, after the return of King
Edward to the throne, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, the subject of the
present volume, was found occupying a very exalted and brilliant
position. It is true, he was yet very young, being only about nineteen
years of age, and by birth he was second to Clarence, Clarence being
his older brother. But Clarence had been so wavering and vacillating,
having changed sides so often in the great quarrels, that no
confidence was placed in him now on either side. Richard, on the other
hand, had steadily adhered to his brother Edward's cause. He had
shared all his brother's reverses, and he had rendered him most
valuable and efficient aid in all the battles which he had fought, and
had contributed essentially to his success in all the victories which
he had gained. Of course, now, Edward and his friends had great
confidence in Richard, while Clarence was looked upon with suspicion
and distrust.

Clarence, it is true, had one excuse for his instability, which
Richard had not; for Clarence, having married the Earl of Warwick's
daughter, was, of course, brought into very close connection with the
earl, and was subjected greatly to his influence. Accordingly,
whatever course Warwick decided to take, it was extremely difficult
for Clarence to avoid joining him in it; and when at length Warwick
arranged the marriage of his daughter Anne with the Prince of Wales,
King Henry's son, and so joined himself to the Lancaster party,
Clarence was placed between two strong and contrary attractions--his
attachment to his brother, and his natural interest in the advancement
of his own family being on one side, and his love for his wife, and
the great influence and ascendency exerted over his mind by his
father-in-law being on the other.

Richard was in no such strait. There was nothing to entice him away
from his fidelity to his brother, so he remained true.

He had been so brave and efficient, too, in the military operations
connected with Edward's recovery of the throne, that he had acquired
great renown as a soldier throughout the kingdom. The fame of his
exploits was the more brilliant on account of his youth. It was
considered remarkable that a young man not yet out of his teens
should show so much skill, and act with so much resolution and energy
in times so trying, and the country resounded with his praises.

As soon as Edward was established on the throne, he raised Richard to
what was in those days, perhaps, the highest office under the crown,
that of Lord High Admiral of England. This was the office which the
Earl of Warwick had held, and to which a great portion of the power
and influence which he exercised was owing. The Lord High Admiral had
command of the navy, and of the principal ports on both sides of the
English Channel, so long as any ports on the French side remained in
English hands. The reader will recollect, perhaps, that while Richard
was quite a small boy, his mother was compelled to fly with him and
his little brother George to France, to escape from the enemies of the
family, at the time of his father's death, and that it was through the
Earl of Warwick's co-operation that she was enabled to accomplish this
flight. Now it was in consequence of Warwick's being at that time Lord
High Admiral of England, and his having command of Calais, and the
waters between Calais and England, that he could make arrangements to
assist Lady Cecily so effectually on that occasion.

Still, Richard, though universally applauded for his military courage
and energy, was known to all who had opportunities of becoming
personally acquainted with him to be a bad man. He was unprincipled,
hard-hearted, and reckless. This, however, did not detract from his
military fame. Indeed, depravity of private character seldom
diminishes much the applause which a nation bestows upon those who
acquire military renown in their service. It is not to be expected
that it should. Military exploits have been, in fact, generally, in
the history of the world, gigantic crimes, committed by reckless and
remorseless men for the benefit of others, who, though they would be
deterred by their scruples of conscience or their moral sensibilities
from perpetrating such deeds themselves, are ready to repay, with the
most extravagant honors and rewards, those who are ferocious and
unscrupulous enough to perpetrate them in their stead. Were it not for
some very few and rare exceptions to the general rule, which have from
time to time appeared, the history of mankind would show that, to be a
_good soldier_, it is almost absolutely essential to be a _bad man_.

The child, Prince Edward, the son of Edward the Fourth, who was born,
as is related in a preceding chapter, in the sanctuary at Westminster,
whither his mother had fled at the time when Edward was expelled from
the kingdom, was, of course, King Edward's heir. He was now less than
a year old, and, in order to place his title to the crown beyond
dispute, a solemn oath was required from all the leading nobles and
officers of Edward's government, that in case he survived his father
they would acknowledge him as king. The following is the form of the
oath which was taken:

     I acknowledge, take, and repute you, Edward, Prince of
     Wales, Duke of Cornwayll, and Erl of Chestre, furste begoten
     son of oure sovereigne lord, as to the corones and reames of
     England and of France, and lordship of Ireland; and promette
     and swere that in case hereafter it happen you by Goddis
     disposition do outlive our sovereigne lord, I shall then
     take and accept you for true, veray and righteous King of
     England, and of France, and of Ireland; and feith and trouth
     to you shall here, and yn all thyngs truely and feithfully
     behave me towardes you and youre heyres, as a true and
     feithful subject oweth to behave him to his sovereigne lord
     and righteous King of England, France, and Ireland; so help
     me God, and Holidome, and this holy Evangelist.

Richard took this oath with the rest. How he kept it will hereafter

The Lady Anne, the second daughter of the Earl of Warwick, who had
been betrothed to the Prince of Wales, King Henry's son, was left, by
the fall of the house of Lancaster and the re-establishment of King
Edward the Fourth upon the throne, in a most forlorn and pitiable
condition. Her father, the earl, was dead, having been killed in
battle. Her betrothed husband, too, the Prince of Wales, with whom she
had fondly hoped one day to sit on the throne of England, had been
cruelly assassinated. Queen Margaret, the mother of the prince, who
might have been expected to take an interest in her fate, was a
helpless prisoner in the Tower. And if the fallen queen had been at
liberty, it is very probable that all her interest in Anne would prove
to have been extinguished by the death of her son; for Queen Margaret
had never felt any personal preference for Anne, and had only
consented to the marriage very reluctantly, and from political
considerations alone. The friends and connections of her father's
family, a short time since so exalted in station and so powerful, were
now scattered and destroyed. Some had been killed in battle, others
beheaded by executioners, others banished from the realm. The rest
were roaming about England in terror and distress, houseless,
homeless, friendless, and only intent to find some hiding-place where
they might screen themselves from Edward's power and vengeance.

There was one exception, indeed, the Lady Isabella, Clarence's wife,
who, as the reader will recollect, was Warwick's oldest daughter, and,
of course, the sister of Lady Anne. She and Clarence, her husband, it
might be supposed, would take an interest in Lady Anne's fate. Indeed,
Clarence did take an interest in it, but, unfortunately, the interest
was of the wrong kind.

The Earl of Warwick had been immensely wealthy. Besides the ancient
stronghold of the family, Warwick Castle, one of the most renowned old
feudal fortresses in England, he owned many other castles, and many
large estates, and rights of property of various kinds all over the
kingdom. Now Clarence, after Warwick's death, had taken most of this
property into his own hands as the husband of the earl's oldest
daughter, and he wished to keep it. This he could easily do while Anne
remained in her present friendless and helpless condition. But he knew
very well that if she were to be married to any person of rank and
influence on the York side, her husband would insist on a division of
the property. Now he suspected that his brother Richard had conceived
the design of marrying her. He accordingly set himself at work
earnestly to thwart this design.

It was true that Richard had conceived the idea of making Anne his
wife, from the motive, however, solely, as it would seem, to obtain
her share of her father's property.

Richard had been acquainted with Anne from her childhood. Indeed, he
was related to the family of the Earl of Warwick on his mother's side.
His mother, Lady Cecily Neville, belonged to the same great family of
Neville from which the Warwicks sprung. Warwick had been a great
friend of Lady Cecily in former years, and it is even supposed that
when Richard and his brother George were brought back from the
Continent, at the time when Edward first obtained possession of the
kingdom, they lived for a time in Warwick's family at Middleham
Castle.[H] This is not quite certainly known, but it is at any rate
known that Richard and Anne knew each other well when they were
children, and were often together.

[Footnote H: For a view of this castle, and the grounds pertaining to
it, see page 180.]

There is an account of a grand entertainment which was given by the
Warwick family at York, some years before, on the occasion of the
enthroning of the earl's brother George as Archbishop of York, at
which Richard was present. Richard, being a prince of the blood royal,
was, of course, a very highly honored guest, notwithstanding that he
was but a child. So they prepared for him and some few other great
personages a raised platform, called a dais, at one end of the
banquet-hall, with a royal canopy over it. The table for the
distinguished personages was upon this dais, while those for the other
guests extended up and down the hall below. Richard was seated at the
centre of the table of honor, with a countess on one side of him and a
duchess on the other. Opposite to him, at the same table, were seated
Isabella and Anne. Anne was at this time about twelve years old.

Now it is supposed that Isabella and Anne were placed at this table to
please Richard, for their mother, who was, of course, entitled to take
precedence of them, had her seat at one of the large tables below.

From this and some other similar indications, it is supposed that
Richard took a fancy to Anne while they were quite young, as Clarence
did to Isabella. Indeed, one of the ancient writers says that Richard
wished, at this early period, to choose her for his wife, but that she
did not like him.

At any rate, now, after the re-establishment of his brother upon the
throne, and his own exaltation to such high office under him, he
determined that he would marry Anne. Clarence, on the other hand,
determined that he should not marry her. So Clarence, with the
pretense of taking her under his protection, seized her, and carried
her away to a place of concealment, where he kept her closely shut up.
Anne consented to this, for she wished to keep out of Richard's way.
Richard's person was disagreeable to her, and his character was
hateful. She seems to have considered him, as he is generally
represented by the writers of those times, as a rude, hard-hearted,
and unscrupulous man; and she had also a special reason for shrinking
from him with horror, as the mortal enemy of her father, and the
reputed murderer of the husband to whom she had been betrothed.

Clarence kept her for some time in obscure places of concealment,
changing the place from time to time to elude the vigilance of
Richard, who was continually making search for her. The poor princess
had recourse to all manner of contrivances, and assumed the most
humble disguises to keep herself concealed, and was at last reduced to
a very forlorn and destitute condition, through the desperate shifts
that she resorted to, in her endeavors to escape Richard's
persecutions. All was, however, in vain. Richard discovered her at
last in a mean house in London, where she was living in the disguise
of a servant. He immediately seized her, and conveyed her to a place
of security which was under his control.

Soon after this she was taken away from this place and conveyed to
York, and placed, for the time, under the protection of the
archbishop--the same archbishop at whose enthronement, eight or ten
years before, she had sat at the same table with Richard, under the
royal canopy. But she was not left at peace here. Richard insisted on
her marrying him. She insisted on her refusal. Her friends--the few
that she had left--turned against her, and urged her to consent to the
union; but she could not endure the thought of it.

[Illustration: RICHARD III.]

Richard, however, persisted in his determination, and Anne was finally
overcome. It is said she resisted to the last, and that the ceremony
was performed by compulsion, Anne continuing to refuse her consent to
the end. It was foreseen that, as soon as any change of circumstances
should enable her to resume active resistance to the union, she would
repudiate the marriage altogether, as void for want of her consent, or
else obtain a divorce. To guard against this danger, Richard procured
the passage of an act of Parliament, by which he was empowered to
continue in the full possession and enjoyment of Anne's property, even
if _she were to divorce him_, provided that he did his best to be
reconciled to her, and was willing to be re-married to her, with her
consent, whenever she was willing to grant it.

[Illustration: QUEEN ANNE.]

As for Richard himself, his object was fully attained by the
accomplishment of a marriage so far acknowledged as to entitle him to
the possession of the property of his wife. There was still some
difficulty, however, arising from a disagreement between Richard and
Clarence in respect to the division. Clarence, when he found that
Richard would marry Anne, in spite of all that he could do to prevent
it, declared, with an oath, that, even if Richard did marry her, he,
Clarence, would never "part the livelihood," that is, divide the
property with him.

So fixed was Clarence in this resolution to retain all the property
himself, and so resolute was Richard, on the other hand, in his
determination to have his share, that the quarrel very soon assumed a
very serious character. The lords and nobles of the court took part in
the controversy on one side and on the other, until, at length, there
was imminent danger of open war. Finally Edward himself interposed,
and summoned the brothers to appear before him in open council, when,
after a full hearing of the dispute, he said that he himself would
decide the question. Accordingly, the two brothers appeared before the
king, and each strenuously argued his own cause. The king, after
hearing them, decided how the property should be divided. He gave to
Richard and Anne a large share, but not all that Richard claimed.
Richard was, however, compelled to submit.

[Illustration: MIDDLEHAM CASTLE.]

When the marriage was thus consummated, and Richard had been put
in possession of his portion of the property, Anne seems to have
submitted to her fate, and she went with Richard to Middleham
Castle, in the north of England. This castle was one which had
belonged to the Warwick family, and it now came into Richard's
possession. Richard did not, however, remain long here with his wife.
He went away on various military expeditions, leaving Anne most of the
time alone. She was well contented to be thus left, for nothing could
be so welcome to her now as to be relieved as much as possible from
the presence of her hateful husband.

This state of things continued, without much change, until the end of
about a year after her marriage, when Anne gave birth to a son. The
boy was named Edward. The possession of this treasure awakened in the
breast of Anne a new interest in life, and repaid her, in some
measure, for the sorrows and sufferings which she had so long endured.

Her love for her babe, in fact, awakened in her heart something like a
tie to bind her to her husband. It is hard for a mother to continue
long to hate the father of her child.



A.D. 1475-1483

Richard's high position.--His character.--Edward's plan for the
invasion of France.--Character of King Louis.--Louis's wily
management.--Treaty proposed.--Arrangements made for a personal
interview.--The grating on the bridge.--Meeting of the kings at
the grating.--Jocose conversation of the two kings.--Terms of the
treaty.--Marriage agreed upon.--Clarence and Gloucester.--The people
of England discontented.--Renewal of the quarrel between Edward and
Clarence.--Clarence retires from court.--Belief in witchcraft.--Birth
of Clarence's second son.--New quarrels.--The rich heiress.--Edward
and Clarence quarrel about the heiress.--Clarence becomes furious.--He
is sent to the Tower.--Clarence is accused of high treason.--He is
sentenced to death.--He is assassinated.--Dissipation and wickedness
of Edward.--Jane Shore.--Edward sends Richard to war.--Difficulties
in Scotland.--Edward falls sick.--His anger against the King of
France.--Death of the Duchess Mary.--Louis's treachery.--Vexation
and rage of Edward.--His death.

King Edward reigned, after this time, for about eight years. During
this period, Richard continued to occupy a very high official
position, and a very conspicuous place in the public mind. He was
generally considered as personally a very bad man, and, whenever any
great public crime was committed, in which the government were
implicated at all, it was Richard, usually, who was supposed to be
chiefly instrumental in the perpetration of it; but, notwithstanding
this, his fame, and the general consideration in which he was held,
were very high. This was owing, in a considerable degree, to his
military renown, and the straightforward energy and decision which
characterized all his doings.

He generally co-operated very faithfully in all Edward's plans and
schemes, though sometimes, when he thought them calculated to impede
rather than promote the interests of the kingdom and the
aggrandizement of the family, he made no secret of opposing them. As
to Clarence, no one placed any trust or confidence in him whatever.
For a time, he and Edward were ostensibly on friendly terms with each
other, but there was no cordial good-will between them. Each watched
the other with continual suspicion and distrust.

About the year 1475, Edward formed a grand scheme for the invasion of
France, in order to recover from the French king certain possessions
which Edward claimed, on the ground of their having formerly belonged
to his ancestors. This plan, as, indeed, almost all plans of war and
conquest were in those days, was very popular in England, and
arrangements were made on an immense scale for fitting out an
expedition. The Duke of Burgundy, who, as will be recollected, had
married Edward's sister, promised to join the English in this proposed
war. When all was ready, the English army set sail, and crossed over
to Calais. Edward went with the army as commander-in-chief. He was
accompanied by Clarence and Gloucester. Thus far every thing had gone
on well, and all Europe was watching with great interest for the
result of the expedition; but, very soon after landing, great
difficulties arose. The Duke of Burgundy and Edward disagreed, and
this disagreement caused great delays. The army advanced slowly
toward the French frontier, but for two months nothing effectual was

[Illustration: LOUIS XI. OF FRANCE.]

In the mean time, Louis, the King of France, who was a very shrewd and
wily man, concluded that it would be better for him to buy off his
enemies than to fight them. So he continually sent messengers and
negotiators to Edward's camp with proposals of various sorts, made to
gain time, in order to enable him, by means of presents and bribes,
to buy up all the prominent leaders and counselors of the expedition.
He gave secretly to all the men who he supposed held an influence over
Edward's mind, large sums of money. He offered, too, to make a treaty
with Edward, by which, under one pretext or another, he was to pay him
a great deal of money. One of these proposed payments was that of a
large sum for the ransom of Queen Margaret, as mentioned in a
preceding chapter. The amount of the ransom money which he proposed
was fifty thousand crowns.

Besides these promises to pay money in case the treaty was concluded,
Louis made many rich and valuable presents at once. One day, while the
negotiations were pending, he sent over to the English camp, as a gift
to the king, three hundred cart-loads of wine, the best that could be
procured in the kingdom.

At one time, near the beginning of the affair, when a herald was sent
to Louis from Edward with a very defiant and insolent message, Louis,
instead of resenting the message as an affront, entertained the herald
with great politeness, held a long and friendly conversation with him,
and finally sent him away with three hundred crowns in his purse, and
a promise of a thousand more as soon as a peace should be concluded.
He also made him a present of a piece of crimson velvet "thirty ells
long." Such a gift as this of the crimson velvet was calculated,
perhaps, in those days of military foppery, to please the herald even
more than the money.

These things, of course, put Edward and nearly all his followers in
excellent humor, and disposed them to listen very favorably to any
propositions for settling the quarrel which Louis might be disposed to
make. At last, after various and long protracted negotiations, a
treaty was agreed upon, and Louis proposed that at the final execution
of it he and Edward should have a personal interview.

Edward acceded to this on certain conditions, and the circumstances
under which the interview took place, and the arrangements which were
adopted on the occasion, make it one of the most curious transactions
of the whole reign.

It seems that Edward could not place the least trust in Louis's
professions of friendship, and did not dare to meet him without
requiring beforehand most extraordinary precautions to guard against
the possibility of treachery. So it was agreed that the meeting should
take place upon a bridge, Louis and his friends to come in upon one
side of the bridge, and Edward, with his party, on the other. In
order to prevent either party from seizing and carrying off the other,
there was a strong barricade of wood built across the bridge in the
middle of it, and the arrangement was for the King of France to come
up to this barricade on one side, and the King of England on the
other, and so shake hands and communicate with each other through the
bars of the barricade.

The place where this most extraordinary royal meeting was held was
called Picquigny, and the treaty which was made there is known in
history as the Treaty of Picquigny. The town is on the River Somme,
near the city of Amiens. Amiens was at that time very near the French

The day appointed for the meeting was the 29th of August, 1475. The
barricade was prepared. It was made of strong bars, crossing each
other so as to form a grating, such as was used in those days to make
the cages of bears, and lions, and other wild beasts. The spaces
between the bars were only large enough to allow a man's arm to pass

The King of France went first to the grating, advancing, of course,
from the French side. He was accompanied by ten or twelve attendants,
all men of high rank and station. He was very specially dressed for
the occasion. The dress was made of cloth of gold, with a large _fleur
de lis_--which was at that time the emblem of the French
sovereignty--magnificently worked upon it in precious stones.

When Louis and his party had reached the barricade, Edward, attended
likewise by his friends, approached on the other side. When they came
to the barricade, the two kings greeted each other with many bows and
other salutations, and they also shook hands with each other by
reaching through the grating. The King of France addressed Edward in a
very polite and courteous manner. "Cousin," said he, "you are right
welcome. There is no person living that I have been so ambitious of
seeing as you, and God be thanked that our interview now is on so
happy an occasion."

After these preliminary salutations and ceremonies had been concluded,
a prayer-book, or missal, as it was called, and a crucifix, were
brought forward, and held at the grating where both kings could touch
them. Each of the kings then put his hands upon them--one hand on the
crucifix and the other on the missal--and they both took a solemn oath
by these sacred emblems that they would faithfully keep the treaty
which they had made.

After thus transacting the business which had brought them together,
the two kings conversed with each other in a gay and merry manner for
some time. The King of France invited Edward to come to Paris and make
him a visit. This, of course, was a joke, for Edward would as soon
think of accepting an invitation from a lion to come and visit him in
his den, as of putting himself in Louis's power by going to Paris.
Both monarchs and all the attendants laughed merrily at this jest.
Louis assured Edward that he would have a very pleasant time at Paris
in amusing himself with the gay ladies, and in other dissipations.
"And then here is the cardinal," he added, turning to the Cardinal of
Bourbon, an ecclesiastic of very high rank, but of very loose
character, who was among his attendants, "who will grant you a very
easy absolution for any sins you may take a fancy to commit while you
are there."

Edward and his friends were much amused with this sportive
conversation of Louis's, and Edward made many smart replies,
especially joking the cardinal, who, he knew, "was a gay man with the
ladies, and a boon companion over his wine."

This sort of conversation continued for some time, and at length the
kings, after again shaking hands through the grating, departed each
his own way, and thus this most extraordinary conference of sovereigns
was terminated.

The treaty which was thus made at the bridge of Picquigny contained
several very important articles. The principal of them were the

    1. Louis was to pay fifty thousand crowns as a ransom for
    Queen Margaret, and Edward was to release her from the Tower
    and send her to France as soon as he arrived in England.

    2. Louis was to pay to Edward in cash, on the spot,
    seventy-five thousand crowns, and an annuity of fifty
    thousand crowns.

    3. He was to marry his son, the dauphin, to Edward's oldest
    daughter, Elizabeth, and, in case of her death, then to his
    next daughter, Mary. These parties were all children at this
    time, and so the actual marriage was postponed for a time;
    but it was stipulated solemnly that it should be performed as
    soon as the prince and princess attained to a proper age. It
    is important to remember this part of the treaty, as a great
    and serious difficulty grew out of it when the time for the
    execution of it arrived.

    4. By the last article, the two kings bound themselves to a
    truce for seven years, during which time hostilities were to
    be entirely suspended, and free trade between the two
    countries was to be allowed.

Clarence was with the king at the time of making this treaty, and he
joined with the other courtiers in giving it his approval, but Richard
would have nothing to do with it. He very much preferred to go on with
the war, and was indignant that his brother should allow himself to be
bought off, as it were, by presents and payments of money, and induced
to consent to what seemed to him an ignominious peace. He did not give
any open expression to his discontent, but he refused to be present at
the conference on the bridge, and, when Edward and the army, after the
peace was concluded, went back to England, he went with them, but in
very bad humor.

The people of England were in very bad humor too. You will observe
that the inducements which Louis employed in procuring the treaty were
gifts and sums of money granted to Edward himself, and to his great
courtiers personally for their own private uses. There was nothing in
his concessions which tended at all to the aggrandizement or to the
benefit of the English realm, or to promote the interest of the people
at large. They thought, therefore, that Edward and his counselors had
been induced to sacrifice the rights and honor of the crown and the
kingdom to their own personal advantage by a system of gross and open
bribery, and they were very much displeased.

       *       *       *       *       *

The next great event which marks the history of the reign of Edward,
after the conclusion of this war, was the breaking out anew of the old
feud between Edward and Clarence, and the dreadful crisis to which the
quarrel finally reached. The renewal of the quarrel began in Edward's
dispossessing Clarence of a portion of his property. Edward was very
much embarrassed for money after his return from the French
expedition. He had incurred great debts in fitting out the expedition,
and these debts the Parliament and people of England were very
unwilling to pay, on account of their being so much displeased with
the peace which had been made. Edward, consequently, notwithstanding
the bribes which he had received from Louis, was very much in want of
money. At last he caused a law to be passed by Parliament enacting
that all the patrimony of the royal family, which had hitherto been
divided among the three brothers, should be resumed, and applied to
the service of the crown. This made Clarence very angry. True, he was
extremely rich, through the property which he had received by his
wife from the Warwick estates, but this did not make him any more
willing to submit patiently to be robbed by his brother. He expressed
his anger very openly, and the ill feeling which the affair occasioned
led to a great many scenes of dispute and crimination between the two
brothers, until at last Clarence could no longer endure to have any
thing to do with Edward, and he went away, with Isabella his wife, to
a castle which he possessed near Tewkesbury, and there remained, in
angry and sullen seclusion. So great was the animosity that prevailed
at this time between the brothers and their respective partisans, that
almost every one who took an active part in the quarrel lived in
continual anxiety from fear of being poisoned, or of being destroyed
by incantations or witchcraft.

Every body believed in witchcraft in these days. There was one
peculiar species of necromancy which was held in great dread. It was
supposed that certain persons had the power secretly to destroy any
one against whom they conceived a feeling of ill will in the following
manner: They would first make an effigy of their intended victim out
of wax and other similar materials. This image was made the
representation of the person to be destroyed by means of certain
sorceries and incantations, and then it was by slow degrees, from day
to day, melted away and gradually destroyed. While the image was thus
melting, the innocent and unconscious victim of the witchcraft would
pine away, and at last, when the image was fairly gone, would die.

Not very long after Clarence left the court and went to Tewkesbury,
his wife gave birth to a child. It was the second son. The child was
named Richard, and is known in history as Richard of Clarence.
Isabella did not recover her health and strength after the birth of
her child. She pined away in a slow and lingering manner for two or
three months, and then died.

Clarence was convinced that she did not die a natural death. He
believed that her life had been destroyed by some process of
witchcraft, such as has been described, or by poison, and he openly
charged the queen with having instigated the murder by having employed
some sorcerer or assassin to accomplish it. After a time he satisfied
himself that a certain woman named Ankaret Twynhyo was the person whom
the queen had employed to commit this crime, and watching an
opportunity when this woman was at her own residence, away from all
who could protect her, he sent a body of armed men from among his
retainers, who went secretly to the place, and, breaking in suddenly,
seized the woman and bore her off to Warwick Castle. There Clarence
subjected her to what he called a trial, and she was condemned to
death, and executed at once. The charge against her was that she
administered poison to the duchess in a cup of ale. So summary were
these proceedings, that the poor woman was dead in three hours from
the time that she arrived at the castle gates.

These proceedings, of course, greatly exasperated Edward and the
queen, and made them hate Clarence more than ever.

Very soon after this, Charles, the Duke of Burgundy, who married
Margaret, Edward and Clarence's sister, and who had been Edward's ally
in so many of his wars, was killed in battle. He left a daughter named
Mary, of whom Margaret was the step-mother; for Mary was the child of
the duke by a former marriage. Now, as Charles was possessed of
immense estates, Mary, by his death, became a great heiress, and
Clarence, now that his wife was dead, conceived the idea of making her
his second wife. He immediately commenced negotiations to this end.
Margaret favored the plan, but Edward and Elizabeth, the queen, as
soon as they heard of it, set themselves at work in the most earnest
manner to thwart and circumvent it.

Their motives for opposing this match arose partly from their enmity
to Clarence, and partly from designs of their own which they had
formed in respect to the marriage of Mary. The queen wished to secure
the young heiress for one of her brothers. Edward had another plan,
which was to marry Mary to a certain Duke Maximilian. Edward's plan,
in the end, was carried out, and Clarence was defeated. When Clarence
found at length that the bride, with all the immense wealth and vastly
increased importance which his marriage with her was to bring, were
lost to him through Edward's interference, and conferred upon his
hated rival Maximilian, he was terribly enraged. He expressed his
resentment and anger against the king in the most violent terms.

About this time a certain nobleman, one of the king's friends, died.
The king accused a priest, who was in Clarence's service, of having
killed him by sorcery. The priest was seized and put to the torture to
compel him to confess his crime and to reveal his confederates. The
priest at length confessed, and named as his accomplice one of
Clarence's household named Burdett, a gentleman who lived in very
intimate and confidential relations with Clarence himself.

The confession was taken as proof of guilt, and the priest and Burdett
were both immediately executed.

Clarence was now perfectly frantic with rage. He could restrain
himself no longer. He forced his way into the king's council-chamber,
and there uttered to the lords who were assembled the most violent and
angry denunciation of the king. He accused him of injustice and
cruelty, and upbraided him, and all who counseled and aided him, in
the severest terms.

When the king, who was not himself present on this occasion, heard
what Clarence had done, he said that such proceedings were subversive
of the laws of the realm, and destructive to all good government, and
he commanded that Clarence should be arrested and sent to the Tower.

After a short time the king summoned a Parliament, and when the
assembly was convened, he brought his brother out from his prison in
the Tower, and arraigned him at the bar of the House of Lords on
charges of the most extraordinary character, which he himself
personally preferred against him. In these charges Clarence was
accused of having formed treasonable conspiracies to depose the king,
disinherit the king's children, and raise himself to the throne, and
with this view of having slandered the king, and endeavored, by bribes
and false representations, to entice away his subjects from their
allegiance; of having joined himself with the Lancastrian faction so
far as to promise to restore them their estates which had been
confiscated, provided that they would assist him in usurping the
throne; and of having secretly organized an armed force, which was all
ready, and waiting only for the proper occasion to strike the blow.

Clarence denied all these charges in the most earnest and solemn
manner. The king insisted upon the truth of them, and brought forward
many witnesses to prove them. Of course, whether the charges were true
or false, there could be no difficulty in finding plenty of witnesses
to give the required testimony. The lords listened to the charges and
the defense with a sort of solemn awe. Indeed, all England, as it
were, stood by, silenced and appalled at the progress of this dreadful
fraternal quarrel, and at the prospect of the terrible termination of
it, which all could foresee must come.


Whatever the members of Parliament may have thought of the truth or
falsehood of the charges, there was only one way in which it was
prudent or even safe for them to vote, and Clarence was condemned to

Sentence being passed, the prisoner was remanded to the Tower.

Edward seems, after all, to have shrunk from the open and public
execution of the sentence which he had caused to be pronounced against
his brother. No public execution took place, but in a short time it
was announced that Clarence had died in prison. It was understood that
assassins were employed to go privately into the room where he was
confined and put him to death; and it is universally believed, though
there is no positive proof of the fact, that Richard was the person
who made the arrangements for the performance of this deed.[I]

[Footnote I: There was a strange story in respect to the manner of
Clarence's death, which was very current at the time, namely, that he
was drowned by his brothers in a butt of Malmsey wine. But there is no
evidence whatever that this story was true.]

After Clarence was dead, and the excitement and anger of the quarrel
had subsided in Edward's mind, he was overwhelmed with remorse and
anguish at what he had done. He attempted to drown these painful
thoughts by dissipation and vice. He neglected the affairs of his
government, and his duties to his wife and family, and spent his time
in gay pleasures with the ladies of his court, and in guilty
carousings with wicked men. In these pleasures he spent large sums of
money, wasting his patrimony and all his resources in extravagance and
folly. Among other amusements, he used to form hunting-parties, in
which the ladies of his court were accustomed to join, and he used to
set up gay silken tents for their accommodation on the hunting-ground.
He spent vast sums, too, upon his dress, being very vain of his
personal attractions, and of the favor in which he was held by the
ladies around him.

The most conspicuous of his various female favorites was the
celebrated Jane Shore. She was the wife of a respectable citizen of
London. Edward enticed her away from her husband, and induced her to
come and live at court with him. The opposite engraving, which is
taken from an ancient portrait, gives undoubtedly a correct
representation both of her features and of her dress. We shall hear
more of this person in the sequel.

[Illustration: JANE SHORE.]

Things went on in this way for about two years, when at length war
broke out on the frontiers of Scotland. Edward was too much engrossed
with his gallantries and pleasures to march himself to meet the enemy,
and so he commissioned Richard to go. Richard was very well pleased
that his brother Edward should remain at home, and waste away in
effeminacy and vice his character and his influence in the kingdom,
while he went forth in command of the army, to acquire, by the vigor
and success of his military career, that ascendency that Edward was
losing. So he took the command of the army and went forth to the war.

The war was protracted for several years. The King of Scotland had a
brother, the Duke of Albany, who was attempting to dethrone him, in
order that he might reign in his stead; that is, he was doing exactly
that which Edward had charged upon his brother Clarence, and for which
he had caused Clarence to be killed; and yet, with strange
inconsistency, Edward espoused the cause of this Clarence of Scotland,
and laid deep plans for enabling him to depose and supplant his

In the midst of the measures which Richard was taking for the
execution of these plans, they, as well as all Edward's other earthly
schemes and hopes, were suddenly destroyed by the hand of death.
Edward's health had become much impaired by the dissolute life which
he had led, and at last he fell seriously sick. While he was sick, an
affair occurred which vexed and worried his mind beyond endurance.

The reader will recollect that, at the treaty which Edward made with
Louis of France at the barricade on the bridge of Picquigny, a
marriage contract was concluded between Louis's oldest son, the
Dauphin of France, and Edward's daughter Mary, and it was agreed that,
as soon as the children were grown up, and were old enough, they
should be married. Louis took a solemn oath upon the prayer-book and
crucifix that he would not fail to keep this agreement.

But now some years had passed away, and circumstances had changed so
much that Louis did not wish to keep this promise. Edward's great
ally, the Duke of Burgundy, was dead. His daughter Mary, who became
the Duchess Mary on the death of her father, and who, so greatly to
Clarence's disappointment, had married Maximilian, had succeeded to
the estates and possessions of her father. These possessions the King
of France desired very much to join to his dominions, as they lay
contiguous to them, and the fear of Edward, which had prompted him to
make the marriage contract with him in the first instance, had now
passed away, on account of Edward's having become so much weakened by
his vices and his effeminacy. He now, therefore, became desirous of
allying his family to that of Burgundy rather than that of England.

The Duchess Mary had three children, all very young. The oldest,
Philip, was only about three years old.

Now it happened that just at this time, while the Duchess Mary was out
with a small party, hawking, near the city of Bruges, as they were
flying the hawks at some herons, the company galloping on over the
fields in order to keep up with the birds, the duchess's horse, in
taking a leap, burst the girths of the saddle, and the duchess was
thrown off against the trunk of a tree. She was immediately taken up
and borne into a house, but she was so much injured that she almost
immediately died.

Of course, her titles and estates would now descend to her children.
The second of the children was a girl. Her name was Margaret. She was
about two years old. Louis immediately resolved to give up the match
between the dauphin and Edward's daughter Mary, and contract another
alliance for him with this little Margaret. He met with considerable
difficulty and delay in bringing this about, but he succeeded at last.
While the negotiations were pending, Edward, who suspected what was
going on, was assured that nothing of the kind was intended, and
various false tales and pretenses were advanced by Louis to quiet his

At length, when all was settled, the new plan was openly proclaimed,
and great celebrations and parades were held in Paris in honor of the
event. Edward was overwhelmed with vexation and rage when he received
the tidings. He was, however, completely helpless. He lay tossing
restlessly on his sick-bed, cursing, on the one hand, Louis's
faithlessness and treachery, and, on the other, his own miserable
weakness and pain, which made it so utterly impossible that he should
do any thing to resent the affront.

His vexation and rage so disturbed and worried him that they hastened
his death. When he found that his last hour was drawing near, a new
source of agitation and anguish was opened in his mind by the remorse
which now began to overwhelm him for his vices and crimes.
Long-forgotten deeds of injustice, of violence, and of every species
of wickedness rose before his mind, and terrified him with awful
premonition of the anger of God and of the judgment to come. In his
distress, he tried to make reparation for some of the grossest of the
wrongs which he had committed, but it was too late. After lingering a
week or two in this condition of distress and suffering, his spirit
passed away.



A.D. 1483

Effect of the tidings of Edward's death.--Anxiety of Queen Elizabeth
Woodville.--Attempt made by Edward to effect a reconciliation.--Plans
for bringing the young prince to London.--Richard's movements.--His
letter to the queen.--He arrives at Northampton.--The king at Stony
Stratford.--Movements and manoeuvres at Northampton.--The noblemen
taken into custody.--Seizure of the king.--The little king is very
much frightened.--Richard's explanations of his proceedings.--Edward's
astonishment.--He is helpless in Richard's hands.

As the tidings of Edward's death spread throughout England, they were
received every where with a sentiment of anxiety and suspense, for no
one knew what the consequences would be. Edward left two sons. Edward,
the oldest of the two, the Prince of Wales, was about thirteen years
of age. The youngest, whose name was Richard, was eleven. Of course,
Edward was the rightful heir to the crown. Next to him in the line of
succession came his brother, and next to them came Richard, Duke of
Gloucester, their uncle. But it was universally known that the Duke of
Gloucester was a reckless and unscrupulous man, and the question in
every one's mind was whether he would recognize the rights of his
young nephews at all, or whether he would seize the crown at once for

Richard, Duke of Gloucester, was in the northern part of England at
this time, at the head of his army. The great power which the
possession of this army gave him made people all the more fearful
that he might attempt to usurp the throne.

The person who was most anxious in respect to the result was the
widowed Queen Elizabeth, the mother of the two princes. She was very
much alarmed. The boys themselves were not old enough to realize very
fully the danger that they were in, or to render their mother much aid
in her attempts to save them. The person on whom she chiefly relied
was her brother, the Earl of Rivers. Edward, her oldest son, was under
this uncle Rivers's care. The uncle and the nephew were residing
together at this time at the castle of Ludlow.[J] Queen Elizabeth was
in London with her second son.

[Footnote J: For a view of this castle, see page 26.]

Immediately on the death of the king, a council was called to
deliberate upon the measures proper to be taken. The council decreed
that the Prince of Wales should be proclaimed king, and they fixed
upon the 4th of May for the day of his coronation. They also made
arrangements for sending orders to the Earl of Rivers to come at once
with the young king to London, in order that the coronation might take

Queen Elizabeth was present at this council, and she desired that her
brother might be ordered to come attended by as large an armed force
as he could raise, for the protection of the prince on the way.

Now it happened that there were great dissensions among the officers
and nobles of the court at this time. The queen, with the relatives
and connections of her family, formed one party, and the other nobles
and peers of England another party, and great was the animosity and
hatred that prevailed. The English nobles had never been satisfied
with Edward's marriage, and they were very jealous of the influence of
the queen's family and relations. This feud had been kept down in some
degree while Edward lived, and Edward had made a great final effort to
heal it entirely in his last sickness. He called together the leading
nobles on each side, that had taken part in this quarrel, and then, by
great exertion, went in among them, and urged them to forget their
dissensions and become reconciled to each other. The effort for the
time seemed to be successful, and both parties agreed to a compromise
of the quarrel, and took a solemn oath that they would thenceforth
live together in peace. But now, on the death of the king, the
dissension broke out afresh. The other nobles were very jealous and
suspicious of every measure which Elizabeth proposed, especially if
it tended to continue the possession of power and influence in the
hands of her family. Accordingly, when she proposed in the council to
send for the earl, and to require him to raise a large escort to bring
the young Prince Edward to London, they objected to it.


"Against whom," demanded one of the councilors, "is the young prince
to be defended? Who are his enemies? He has none, and the real motive
and design of raising this force is not to protect the prince, but
only to secure to the Woodville family the means of increasing and
perpetuating their own importance and power."

The speaker upbraided the queen, too, with having, by this proposal,
and by the attempt to promote the aggrandizement of the Woodville
party which was concealed in it, been guilty of violating the oath of
reconciliation which had been taken during the last sickness of the
late king. So the council refused to authorize the armed escort, and
the queen, with tears of disappointment and vexation, gave up the
plan. At least she gave it up ostensibly, but she nevertheless
contrived to come to some secret understanding with the earl, in
consequence of which he set out from the castle with the young prince
at the head of quite a large force. Some of the authorities state
that he had with him two thousand men.

In the mean time, Richard of Gloucester, as soon as he heard of
Edward's death, arranged his affairs at once, and made preparations to
set out for London too. He put his army in mourning for the death of
the king, and he wrote a most respectful and feeling letter of
condolence to the queen. In this letter he made a solemn profession of
homage and fealty to her son, the Prince of Wales, whom he
acknowledged as rightfully entitled to the crown, and promised to be
faithful in his allegiance to him, and to all the duties which he owed

Queen Elizabeth's mind was much relieved by this letter. She began to
think that she was going to find in Richard an efficient friend to
sustain her cause and that of her family against her enemies.

When Richard reached York, he made a solemn entry into that town,
attended by six hundred knights all dressed in deep mourning. At the
head of this funeral procession he proceeded to the Cathedral, and
there caused the obsequies of the king to be celebrated with great
pomp, and with very impressive and apparently sincere exhibitions of
the grief which he himself personally felt for the loss of his

After a brief delay in York, Richard resumed his march to the
southward. He arranged it so as to overtake the party of the prince
and the Earl of Rivers on the way.

He arrived at the town of Northampton on the same day that the prince,
with the Earl of Rivers and his escort, reached the town of Stony
Stratford, which was only a few miles from it. When the earl heard
that Gloucester was so near, he took with him another nobleman, named
Lord Gray, and a small body of attendants, and rode back to
Northampton to pay his respects to Gloucester on the part of the young
king; for they considered that Edward became at once, by the death of
his father, King of England, under the style and title of Edward the

Gloucester received his visitors in a very courteous and friendly
manner. He invited them to sup with him, and he made quite an
entertainment for them, and for some other friends whom he invited to
join them. The party spent the evening together in a very agreeable

They sat so long over their wine that it was too late for the earl and
Lord Gray to return that night to Stony Stratford, and Richard
accordingly made arrangements for them to remain in Northampton. He
assigned quarters to them in the town, and secretly set a guard over
them, to prevent their making their escape. The next morning, when
they arose, they were astonished to find themselves under guard, and
to perceive too, as they did, that all the avenues of the town were
occupied with troops. They suspected treachery, but they thought it
not prudent to express their suspicions. Richard, when he met them
again in the morning, treated them in the same friendly manner as on
the evening before, and proposed to accompany them to Stony Stratford,
in order that he might there see and pay his respects to the king.
This was agreed to, and they all set out together.

In company with Richard was one of his friends and confederates, the
Duke of Buckingham. This Duke of Buckingham had been one of the
leaders of the party at court that were opposed to the family of the
queen. These two, together with the Earl of Rivers and Lord Gray, rode
on in a very friendly manner toward Stratford. They went in advance of
Richard's troops, which were ordered to follow pretty closely behind.
In this manner they went on till they began to draw near to the town.

Richard now at once threw off his disguise. He told the Earl of
Rivers and Lord Gray that the influence which they were exerting over
the mind of the king was evil, and that he felt it his duty to take
the king from their charge.

Then, at a signal given, armed men came up and took the two noblemen
in custody. Richard, with the Duke of Buckingham and their attendants,
drove on with all speed into the town. It seems that the persons who
had been left with Edward had, in some way or other, obtained
intelligence of what was going on, for they were just upon the eve of
making their escape with him when Richard and his party arrived. The
horse was saddled, and the young king was all ready to mount.

Richard, when he came up to the place, assumed the command at once. He
made no obeisance to his nephew, nor did he in any other way seem to
recognize or acknowledge him as his sovereign. He simply said that he
would take care of his safety.

"The persons that have been about you," said he, "have been conspiring
against your life, but I will protect you."

He then ordered several of the principal of Edward's attendants to be
arrested; the rest he commanded to disperse. What became of the large
body of men which the Earl of Rivers is said to have had under his
command does not appear. Whether they dispersed in obedience to
Richard's commands, or whether they abandoned the earl and came over
to Richard's side, is uncertain. At any rate, nobody resisted him. The
Earl of Rivers, Lord Gray, and the others were secured, with a view of
being sent off prisoners to the northward. Edward himself was to be
taken with Richard back to Northampton.

The little king himself scarcely knew what to make of these
proceedings. He was frightened; and when he saw that all those
personal friends and attendants who had had the charge of him so long,
and to whom he was strongly attached, were seized and sent away, and
others, strangers to him, put in their place, he could not refrain
from tears. King as he was, however, and sovereign ruler over millions
of men, he was utterly helpless in his uncle's hands, and obliged to
yield himself passively to the disposition which his uncle thought
best to make of him.

All the accounts of Edward represent him as a kind-hearted and
affectionate boy, of a gentle spirit, and of a fair and prepossessing
countenance. The ancient portraits of him which remain confirm these
accounts of his personal appearance and of his character.


After having taken these necessary steps, and thus secured the power
in his own hands, Richard vouchsafed an explanation of what he had
done to the young king. He told him that Earl Rivers, and Lord Gray,
and other persons belonging to their party, "had conspired together to
rule the kynge and the realme, to sette variance among the states,
and to subdue and destroy the noble blood of the realme," and that he,
Richard, had interposed to save Edward from their snares. He told him,
moreover, that Lord Dorset, who was Edward's half brother, being the
son of the queen by her first husband, and who had for some time held
the office of Chancellor of the Tower, had taken out the king's
treasure from that castle, and had sent much of it away beyond the

Edward, astonished and bewildered, did not know at first what to reply
to his uncle. He said, however, at last, that he never heard of any
such designs on the part of his mother's relatives, and he could not
believe that the charges were true. But Richard assured him that they
were true, and that "his kindred had kepte their dealings from the
knowledge of his grace." Satisfied or not, Edward was silenced; and he
submitted, since it was hopeless for him to attempt to resist, to be
taken back in his uncle's custody to Northampton.



A.D. 1483

Alarm of the queen on hearing the news.--Visit of the
archbishop.--Hasting's message.--The queen is in great
distress.--Uncertainty in respect to Gloucester's designs.--Arrest
of the leading men in the Woodville party.--The queen
"on the rushes."--Her daughters.--Description of the
sanctuary.--Apartments.--The Jerusalem chamber.--Richard's
plans in respect to the coronation.--Reception of Richard's party
at London.--Richard establishes his court.--Dorset.--The queen's
friends dismissed.--Richard's titles.--Anxiety of the people
of England.--Forlorn situation of the queen.

When the news reached London that the king had been seized on the way
to the capital, and was in Gloucester's custody, it produced a
universal commotion. Queen Elizabeth was thrown at once into a state
of great anxiety and alarm. The tidings reached her at midnight. She
was in the palace at Westminster at the time. She rose immediately in
the greatest terror, and began to make preparations for fleeing to
sanctuary with the Duke of York, her second son. All her friends in
the neighborhood were aroused and summoned to her aid. The palace soon
became a scene of universal confusion. Every body was busy packing up
clothing and other necessaries in trunks and boxes, and securing
jewels and valuables of various kinds, and removing them to places of
safety. In the midst of this scene, the queen herself sat upon the
rushes which covered the floor, half dressed, and her long and
beautiful locks of hair streaming over her shoulders, the picture of

There was a certain nobleman, named Lord Hastings, who had been a very
prominent and devoted friend to Edward the Fourth during his life, and
had consequently been upon very intimate and friendly terms with the
queen. It was he, however, that had objected in the council to the
employment of a large force to conduct the young king to London, and,
by so doing, had displeased the queen. Toward morning, while the queen
was in the depths of her distress and terror, making her preparations
for flight, a cheering message from Hastings was brought to her,
telling her not to be alarmed. The message was brought to her by a
certain archbishop who had been chancellor, that is, had had the
custody of the great seal, an impression from which was necessary to
the validity of any royal decree. He came to deliver up the seal to
the queen, and also to bring Lord Hastings's message.

"Ah, woe worth him!" said the queen, when the archbishop informed her
that Lord Hastings bid her not fear. "It is he that is the cause of
all my sorrows; he goeth about to destroy me and my blood."

"Madam," said the archbishop, "be of good comfort. I assure you that,
if they crown any other king than your eldest son, whom they have
with them, we will, on the morrow, crown his brother, whom you have
with you here. And here is the great seal, which, in like wise as your
noble husband gave it to me, so I deliver it to you for the use of
your son." So the archbishop delivered the great seal into the queen's
hands, and went away. This was just before the dawn.

The words which the archbishop spoke to the queen did not give her
much comfort. Indeed, her fears were not so much for her children, or
for the right of the eldest to succeed to the throne, as for herself
and her own personal and family ascendency under the reign of her son.
She had contrived, during the lifetime of her husband, to keep pretty
nearly all the influence and patronage of the government in her own
hands and in that of her family connections, the Woodvilles. You will
recollect how much difficulty that had made, and how strong a party
had been formed against her coterie. And now, her husband being dead,
what she feared was not that Gloucester, in taking the young king away
from the custody of her relatives, and sending those relatives off as
prisoners to the north, meant any hostility to the young king, but
only against her and the whole Woodville interest, of which she was
the head. She supposed that Gloucester would now put the power of the
government in the hands of other families, and banish hers, and that
perhaps he would even bring her to trial and punishment for acts of
maladministration, or other political crimes which he would charge
against her. It was fear of this, rather than any rebellion against
the right of Edward the Fifth to reign, which made her in such haste
to flee to sanctuary.

It was, however, somewhat uncertain what Gloucester intended to do.
His professions were all very fair in respect to his allegiance to the
young king. He sent a messenger to London, immediately after seizing
the king, to explain his views and motives in the act, and in this
communication he stated distinctly that his only object was to prevent
the king's falling into the hands of the Woodville family, and not at
all to oppose his coronation.

"It neyther is reason," said he in his letter, "nor in any wise to be
suffered that the young kynge, our master and kinsman, should be in
the hands of custody of his mother's kindred, sequestered in great
measure from our companie and attendance, the which is neither
honorable to hys majestie nor unto us."

Thus the pretense of Richard in seizing the king was simply that he
might prevent the government under him from falling into the hands of
his mother's party. But the very decisive measures he took in respect
to the leading members of the Woodville family led many to suspect
that he was secretly meditating a deeper design. All those who were
with the king at the time of his seizure were made prisoners and sent
off to a castle in the north, as we have already said; and, in order
to prevent those who were in and near London from making their escape,
Richard sent down immediately from Northampton ordering their arrest,
and appointing guards to prevent any of them from flying to sanctuary.
When the archbishop, who had called to see the queen at the palace,
went away, he saw through the window, although it was yet before the
dawn, a number of boats stationed on the Thames ready to intercept any
who might be coming up the river with this intent from the Tower, for
several influential members of the family resided at this time at the

The queen herself, however, as it happened, was at Westminster Palace,
and she had accordingly but little way to go to make her escape to the

The space which was inclosed by the consecrated limits, from within
which prisoners could not be taken, was somewhat extensive. It
included not only the church of the Abbey, but also the Abbey garden,
the cemetery, the palace of the abbot, the cloisters, and various
other buildings and grounds included within the inclosure. As soon as
the queen entered these precincts, she sank down upon the floor of the
hall, "alone on the rushes, all desolate and dismayed." It was in the
month of May, and the great fire-place of the hall was filled with
branches of trees and flowers, while the floor, according to the
custom of the time, was strewed with green rushes. For a time the
queen was so overwhelmed with her sorrow and chagrin that she was
scarcely conscious where she was. But she was soon aroused from her
despondency by the necessity of making proper arrangements for herself
and her family in her new abode. She had two daughters with her,
Elizabeth and Cecily--beautiful girls, seventeen and fifteen years of
age; Richard, Duke of York, her second son, and several younger
children. The youngest of these children, Bridget, was only three
years old. Elizabeth, the oldest, afterward became a queen, and little
Bridget a nun.


The rooms which the queen and her family occupied in the sanctuary
are somewhat particularly described by one of the writers of those
days. The fire-place, where the trees and flowers were placed, was in
the centre of the hall, and there was an opening in the roof above,
called a _louvre_, to allow of the escape of the smoke. This hearth
still remains on the floor of the hall, and the louvre is still to be
seen in the roof above.[K] The end of the hall was formed of oak
panneling, with lattice-work above, the use of which will presently
appear. A part of this paneling was formed of doors, which led by
winding stairs up to a curious congeries of small rooms formed among
the spaces between the walls and towers, and under the arches above.
Some of these rooms were for private apartments, and others were used
for the offices of buttery, kitchen, laundry, and the like. At the end
of this range of apartments was the private sitting-room and study of
the abbot. The windows of the abbot's room looked down upon a pretty
flower-garden, and there was a passage from it which led by a corridor
back to the lattices over the doors in the hall, through which the
abbot could look down into the hall at any time without being
observed, and see what the monks were doing there.

[Footnote K: The room is now the college hall, so called, of
Westminster school.]

Besides these there were other large apartments, called state
apartments, which were used chiefly on great public occasions. These
rooms were larger, loftier, and more richly decorated than the others.
They were ornamented with oak carvings and fluting, painted windows,
and other such decorations. There was one in particular, which was
called the Jerusalem chamber. This was the grand receiving-room of the
abbot. It had a great Gothic window of painted glass, and the walls
were hung with curious tapestry. This room, with the window, the
tapestry, and all the other ornaments, remains to this day.

It was on the night of the third of May that the queen and her family
"took sanctuary." The very next day, the fourth, was the day that the
council had appointed for the coronation. But Richard, instead of
coming at once to London, after taking the king under his charge, so
as to be ready for the coronation at the appointed day, delayed his
journey so as not to enter London until that day. He wished to prevent
the coronation from taking place, having probably other plans of his
own in view instead.

It is not, however, absolutely certain that Richard intended, at this
time, to claim the crown for himself, for in entering London he
formed a grand procession, giving the young king the place of honor
in it, and doing homage to him as king. Richard himself and all his
retinue were in mourning. Edward was dressed in a royal mantle of
purple velvet, and rode conspicuously as the chief personage of the
procession. A short distance from the city the cavalcade was met by a
procession of the civic authorities of London and five hundred
citizens, all sumptuously appareled, who had come out to receive and
welcome their sovereign, and to conduct him through the gates into the
city. In entering the city Richard rode immediately before the king,
with his head uncovered. He held his cap in his hand, and bowed
continually very low before the king, designating him in this way to
the citizens as the object of their homage. He called out also, from
time to time, to the crowds that thronged the waysides to see, "Behold
your prince and sovereign."

There were two places to which it might have been considered not
improbable that Richard would take the king on his arrival at the
capital--one the palace of Westminster, at the upper end of London,
and the other, the Tower, at the lower end. The Tower, though often
used as a prison, was really, at that time, a castle, where the kings
and the members of the royal family often resided. Richard, however,
did not go to either of these places at first, but proceeded instead
to the bishop's palace at St. Paul's, in the heart of the city. Here a
sort of court was established, a grand council of nobles and officers
of state was called, and for some days the laws were administered and
the government was carried on from this place, all, however, in
Edward's name. Money was coined, also, with his effigy and
inscription, and, in fine, so far as all essential forms and
technicalities were concerned, the young Edward was really a reigning
king; but, of course, in respect to substantial power, every thing was
in Richard's hands.

The reason why Richard did not proceed at once to the Tower was
probably because Dorset, the queen's son, was in command there, and
he, as of course he was identified with the Woodville party, might
perhaps have made Richard some trouble. But Dorset, as soon as he
heard that Richard was coming, abandoned the Tower, and fled to the
sanctuary to join his mother. Accordingly, after waiting a few days at
the bishop's palace until the proper arrangements could be made, the
king, with the whole party in attendance upon him, removed to the
Tower, and took up their residence there. The king was nominally in
his castle, with Richard and the other nobles and their retinue in
attendance upon him as his guards. Really he was in a prison, and his
uncle, with the people around him who were under his uncle's command,
were his keepers.

A meeting of the lords was convened, and various political
arrangements were made to suit Richard's views. The principal members
of the Woodville family were dismissed from the offices which they
held, and other nobles, who were in Richard's interest, were appointed
in their place. A new day was appointed for the coronation, namely,
the 22d of June. The council of lords decreed also that, as the king
was yet too young to conduct the government himself personally, his
uncle Gloucester was, for the present, to have charge of the
administration of public affairs, under the title of Lord Protector.
The title in full, which Richard thenceforth assumed under this
decree, was, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, brother and uncle of the
king, Protector and Defender, Great Chamberlain, Constable, and Lord
High Admiral of England.

During all this time the city of London, and, indeed, the whole realm
of England, as far as the tidings of what was going on at the capital
spread into the interior, had been in a state of the greatest
excitement. The nobles, and the courtiers of all ranks, were
constantly on the alert, full of anxiety and solicitude, not knowing
which side to take or what sentiments to avow. They did not know what
turn things would finally take, and, of course, could not tell what
they were to do in order to be found, in the end, on the side that was
uppermost. The common people in the streets, with anxious looks and
many fearful forebodings, discussed the reports and rumors that they
had heard. They all felt a sentiment of loyal and affectionate regard
for the king--a sentiment which was increased and strengthened by his
youth, his gentle disposition, and the critical and helpless situation
that he was in; while, on the other hand, the character of Gloucester
inspired them with a species of awe which silenced and subdued them.
Edward, in his "protector's" hands, seemed to them like a lamb in the
custody of a tiger.

The queen, all this time, remained shut up in the sanctuary, in a
state of extreme suspense and anxiety, clinging to the children whom
she had with her, and especially to her youngest son, the little Duke
of York, as the next heir to the crown, and her only stay and hope,
in case, through Richard's violence or treachery, any calamity should
befall the king.




A.D. 1483

Richard forms plans for seizing the crown.--His plan for disposing of
Edward's children.--Clarence's children.--Lady Cecily.--Baynard's
Castle.--Situation of the queen's friends at Pomfret Castle.--Lord
Hastings.--Richard's councils.--The Tower.--Nobles in council at the
Tower.--Richard's proceedings at the council.--Scene in the council
chamber at the Tower.--He makes signals for the armed men to come
in.--Hastings is executed.--Orders sent to the north.--Execution of
the prisoners at Pomfret Castle.--Richard's plans in respect to the
Duke of York.--He determines to seize him.--The case of the little
Richard argued.--Delegation sent to the Tower.--Interview with the
mother of the princes.--The queen is forced to give up the child.--The
parting scene.--The prince is taken away.--Both princes entirely in
Richard's power.

What sort of protection Richard afforded to the young wards who were
committed to his charge will appear by events narrated in this

It was now June, and the day, the twenty-second, which had been fixed
upon for the coronation, was drawing nigh. By the ancient usages of
the realm of England, the office of Protector, to which Richard had
been appointed, would expire on the coronation of the king. Of course,
Richard perceived at once that if he wished to prolong his power he
must act promptly.

He began to revolve in his mind the possibility of assuming the crown
himself, and displacing the children of his older brothers; for
Clarence left children at his decease as well as Edward. Of course,
these children of Clarence, as well as those of Edward, would take
precedence of him in the line of succession, being descended from an
older brother. Richard therefore, in order to establish any claim to
the crown for himself, must find some pretext for setting aside both
these branches of the family. The pretexts which he found were these.


In respect to the children of Edward, his plan was to pretend to have
discovered proof of Edward's having been privately married to another
lady before his marriage with Elizabeth Woodville. This would, of
course, render the marriage with Elizabeth Woodville null, and destroy
the rights of the children to any inheritance from their father.

In respect to the children of Clarence, he was to maintain that they
were cut off by the attainder which had been passed against their
father. A bill of attainder, according to the laws and usages of those
times, not only doomed the criminal himself to death, but cut off his
children from all rights of inheritance. It was intended to destroy
the family as well as the man.

Richard, however, did not at once reveal his plans, but proceeded
cautiously to take the proper measures for putting them into

In the first place, there was his mother to be conciliated, the Lady
Cecily Neville, known, however, more generally by the title of the
Duchess of York. She lived at this time in an old family residence
called Baynard's Castle, which stood on the banks of the Thames.[L] As
soon as Richard arrived in London he went to see his mother at this
place, and afterward he often visited her there. How far he explained
his plans to her, and how far she encouraged or disapproved of them,
is not known. If she was required to act at all in the case, it must
have been very hard for her, in such a question of life and death, to
decide between her youngest son alive and the children of her
first-born in his grave. Mothers can best judge to which side, in such
an alternative, her maternal sympathies would naturally incline her.

[Footnote L: For a view of this castle, see engraving on page 273.]

As for the immediate members of the Woodville family, they were
already pretty well taken care of. The queen herself, with her
children, were shut up in the sanctuary. Her brothers, and the other
influential men who were most prominent on her side, had been made
prisoners, and sent to Pomfret Castle in the north. Here they were
held under the custody of men devoted to Richard's interest. But to
prevent the possibility of his having any farther trouble with them,
Richard resolved to order them to be beheaded. This resolution was
soon carried into effect, as we shall presently see.

There remained the party of nobles and courtiers that were likely to
be hostile to the permanent continuance of the power of Richard, and
inclined to espouse the cause of the young king. The nobles had not
yet distinctly taken ground on this question. There were, however,
some who were friendly to Richard. Others seemed more inclined to form
a party against him. The prominent man among this last-named set was
Lord Hastings. There were several others besides, and Richard knew
very well who they were. In order to circumvent and defeat any plans
which they might be disposed to form, and to keep the power fully in
his own hands, he convened his councils of state at different places,
sometimes at Westminster, sometimes at the Tower, where the king was
kept, and sometimes at his own residence, which was in the heart of
London. He transferred the public business more and more to his own
residence, assembling the councilors there at all times, late and
early, and thus withdrawing them from attendance at the Tower. Very
soon Richard's residence in London became the acknowledged
head-quarters of influence and power, and all who had petitions to
present or favors to obtain gathered there, while the king in the
Tower was neglected, and left comparatively alone.

Still the form of holding a council from time to time at the Tower was
continued, and, of course, the nobles who assembled there were those
most inclined to stand by and defend the cause of the king.

Such was the state of things on the 13th of June, nine days before the
time appointed for the coronation. Richard then, having carefully
laid his plans, was prepared to take decisive measures to break up the
party who were disposed to gather around the king at the Tower and
espouse his cause.

On that day, while these nobles were holding a council in the Tower,
suddenly, and greatly to their surprise, Richard walked in among them.
He assumed a very good-natured and even merry air as he entered and
took his seat, and began to talk with those present in a very friendly
and familiar tone. This was for the purpose of lulling any suspicions
which they might have felt on seeing him appear among them, and
prevent them from divining the dreadful intentions with which he had

"My lord," said he, turning to a bishop who sat near him, and who was
one of those that he was about to arrest, "you have some excellent
strawberries in your garden, I understand. I wish you would let me
have a plateful of them."

It was about the middle of June, you will recollect, which was the
time for strawberries to be ripe.

The bishop was very much pleased to find the great Protector taking
such an interest in his strawberries, and he immediately called a
servant and sent him away at once to bring some of the fruit.

After having greeted the other nobles at the board in a somewhat
similar style to this, with jocose and playful remarks, which had the
effect of entirely diverting from their minds every thing like
suspicion, he said that he must go away for a short time, but that he
would presently return. In the mean time, they might proceed, he said,
with their deliberations on the public business.

So he went out. He proceeded at once to make the preparations
necessary for the accomplishment of the desperate measures which he
had determined to adopt. He stationed armed men at the doors and the
passages of the part of the Tower where the council was assembled, and
gave them instructions as to what they were to do, and agreed with
them in respect to the signals which he was to give.

In about an hour he returned, but his whole air and manner were now
totally changed. He came in with a frowning and angry countenance,
knitting his brows and setting his teeth, as if something had occurred
to put him in a great rage. He advanced to the council table, and
there accosting Lord Hastings in a very excited and angry manner, he

"What punishment do you think men deserve who form plots and schemes
for my destruction?"

Lord Hastings was amazed at this sudden appearance of displeasure, and
he replied to the Protector that such men, if there were any such,
most certainly deserved death, whoever they might be.

"It is that sorceress, my brother's wife," said Richard, "and that
other vile sorceress, worse than she, Jane Shore. See!"

This allusion to Jane Shore was somewhat ominous for Hastings, as it
was generally understood that since the king's death Lord Hastings had
taken Jane Shore under his protection, and had lived in great intimacy
with her.

As Richard said this, he pulled up the sleeve of his doublet to the
elbow, to let the company look at his arm. This arm had always been
weak, and smaller than the other.

"See," said he, "what they are doing to me."

He meant that by the power of necromancy they had made an image of wax
as an effigy of him, according to the mode explained in a previous
chapter, and were now melting it away by slow degrees in order to
destroy his life, and that his arm was beginning to pine and wither
away in consequence.


The lords knew very well that the state in which they saw Richard's
arm was its natural condition, and that, consequently, his charge
against the queen and Jane Shore was only a pretense, which was to be
the prelude and excuse for some violent measures that he was about to
take. They scarcely knew what to say. At last Lord Hastings replied,

"Certainly, my lord, if they have committed so heinous an offense as
this, they deserve a very heinous punishment."

"If!" repeated the Protector, in a voice of thunder. "And thou
servest me, then, it seems, with _ifs_ and _ands_. I tell thee that
they _have_ so done--and I will make what I say good upon thy body,

He emphasized and confirmed this threat by bringing down his fist with
a furious blow upon the table.

This was one of the signals which he had agreed upon with the people
that he had stationed without at the door of the council hall. A voice
was immediately heard in the ante-chamber calling out Treason. This
was again another signal. It was a call to a band of armed men whom
Richard had stationed in a convenient place near by, and who were to
rush in at this call. Accordingly, a sudden noise was heard of the
rushing of men and the clanking of iron, and before the councilors
could recover from their consternation the table was surrounded with
soldiery, all "in harness," that is, completely armed, and as fast as
the foremost came in and gathered around the table, others pressed in
after them, until the room was completely full.

Richard, designating Hastings with a gesture, said suddenly, "I arrest
thee, traitor."

"What! _me_, my lord?" exclaimed Hastings, in terror.

"Yes, thee, traitor."

Two or three of the soldiers immediately seized Hastings and prepared
to lead him away. Other soldiers laid hands upon several of the other
nobles, such as Richard had designated to them beforehand. These, of
course, were the leading and prominent men of the party opposed to
Richard's permanent ascendency. Most of these men were taken away and
secured as prisoners in various parts of the Tower. As for Hastings,
Richard, in a stern and angry manner, advised him to lose no time in
saying his prayers, "for, by the Lord," said he, "I will not to dinner
to-day till I see thy head off."

Then, after a brief delay, to allow the wretched man a few minutes to
say his prayers, Richard nodded to the soldiers to signify to them
that they were to proceed to their work. They immediately took their
victim out to a green by the side of the Tower, and, laying him down
with his neck across a log which they found there, they cut off his
head with a broad-axe.

[Illustration: POMFRET CASTLE.]

The same day Richard sent off a dispatch to the north, directed to
the men who had in charge the Earl Rivers, and the other friends of
the king who had been made prisoners when the king was seized at
Stony Stratford, ordering them all to be beheaded. The order was
immediately obeyed.

The person who had charge of the execution of this order was a stern
and ruffian-like officer named Sir Richard Ratcliffe. This man is
quite noted in the history of the times as one of the most
unscrupulous of Richard's adherents. He was a merciless man, short and
rude in speech, and reckless in action, destitute alike of all pity
for man and of all fear of God.

The place where the prisoners had been confined was Pomfret Castle.[M]
On receiving the orders from Richard, Ratcliffe led them out to an
open place without the castle wall to be beheaded. The executioners
brought a log and an axe, and the victims were slaughtered one after
another, without any ceremony, and without being allowed to say a word
in self-defense.

[Footnote M: Called sometimes Pontefract.]

The whole country was shocked at hearing of these sudden and terrible
executions; but the power was in Richard's hands, and there was no one
capable of resisting him. The death of the leaders of what would have
been the young king's party struck terror into the rest, and Richard
now had every thing in his own hands, or, rather, _almost_ every
thing; for the queen and her family, being still in the sanctuary,
were beyond his reach. He, however, had nothing to fear from her
personally, and there were none of the children that gave him any
concern except the Duke of York, the king's younger brother. He, you
will recollect, was with his mother at Westminster when the king was
seized, and she had taken him with the other children to the Abbey.
Richard was now extremely desirous of getting possession of this boy.

The reason why he deemed it so essential to get possession of him was
this. The child was, it is true, of little consequence while his
brother the king lived; but if the king were put out of the way, then
the thoughts and the hearts of all the loyal people of England,
Richard knew very well, would be turned toward York as the rightful
successor. But if they could both be put out of the way, and if the
people of England could be induced to consider Clarence's children as
set aside by the attainder of their father, then he himself would come
forward as the true and rightful heir to the crown. It is true that it
was a part of his plan, as has already been said, to declare the
marriage of Elizabeth Woodville with the king null, and thus cut off
both these children of Edward from their right of inheritance; but he
knew very well that even if a majority of the people of England were
to assent to this, there would certainly be a minority that would
refuse their assent, and would adhere to the cause of the children,
and they, if the children should fall into their hands, might, at some
future time, make themselves very formidable to him, and threaten very
seriously the permanence of his dominion. It was quite necessary,
therefore, he thought, that he should get both children into his own

"I must," said he to himself, therefore, "I must, in some way or
other, and at all hazards, get possession of little Richard."

It is always the policy of usurpers, and of all ambitious and aspiring
men who wish to seize and hold power which does not properly belong to
them, to carry the various measures necessary to the attainment of
their ends, especially those likely to be unpopular, not by their own
personal action, but by the agency of others, whom they put forward to
act for them. Richard proceeded in this way in the present instance.
He called a grand council of the peers of the realm and great officers
of state, and caused the question to be brought up there of removing
the young Duke of York from the custody of his mother to that of the
Protector, in order that he might be with his brother. The peers who
were in Richard's interest advocated this plan; but all the bishops
and archbishops, who, of course, as ecclesiastics, had very high ideas
of the sacredness and inviolability of a sanctuary, opposed the plan
of taking the duke away except by the consent of his mother.

The other side argued in reply to them that a sanctuary was a place
where persons could seek refuge to escape punishment in case of crime,
and that where no crime could have been committed, and no charges of
crime were made, the principle did not apply. In other words, that the
sanctuary was for men and women who had been guilty, or were supposed
to have been guilty, of violations of law; but as children could
commit no crime for which an asylum was necessary, the privileges of
sanctuary did not extend to them.

This view of the subject prevailed. The bishops and archbishops were
outvoted, and an order in council was passed authorizing the Lord
Protector to possess himself of his nephew, the Duke of York, and for
this purpose to take him, if necessary, out of sanctuary by force.

Still, the bishops and archbishops were very unwilling that force
should be used, if it could possibly be avoided; and finally the
Archbishop of Canterbury, who was the highest prelate in the realm,
proposed that a deputation from the council should be sent to the
Abbey, and that he should go with them, in order to see the queen, and
make the attempt to persuade her to give up her son of her own accord.

After giving notice to the abbot of their intended visit, and making
an arrangement with him and with the queen in respect to the time when
they could be received, the delegation proceeded in state to the Abbey
on the appointed day, and were received by the abbot and by Elizabeth
with due ceremony in the Jerusalem chamber, the great audience hall of
the Abbey, which has already been described.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, who was at the head of the delegation,
explained the case to the queen. They wished her, he said, to allow
her son, the Duke of York, to leave the sanctuary, and to join his
brother the king at his royal residence in the Tower. He would be
perfectly safe there, he said, under the care of his uncle, the Lord

"The Protector thinks it very necessary that the duke should go,"
added the archbishop, "to be company for his brother. The king is very
melancholy, he says, for want of a playfellow."

"And so the Protector," replied the queen--"God grant that he may
really prove a protector--thinks that the king needs a playfellow! And
can no playfellow be found for him except his brother?

"Besides," she added, "he is not in a mood to play. He is not well.
They must find some other playmate for his brother. Just as if
princes, while they are so young, could not as well have some one to
play with them not of their own rank, or as if a boy must have his
brother, and nobody else for his mate, when every body knows that boys
are more likely to disagree with their brothers than they are with
other children."

The archbishop, in reply, proceeded to argue the case with the queen,
and to represent the necessity, arising from reasons of state, why the
young duke should be committed to the charge of his uncle. He
explained to her, too, that the Lord Protector had been fully
authorized, by a decree of the council, to come and take his nephew
from the Abbey, and to employ force, if necessary, to effect the
purpose, but that it would be much better, both for the queen herself
and the young duke, as well as for all concerned, that the affair
should be settled in a peaceable and amicable manner.

The unhappy queen saw at last that there was no alternative but for
her to submit to her fate and give up her boy. Slowly and reluctantly
she came to this conclusion, and finally gave her consent. Richard was
brought in. His mother took him by the hand, and again addressed the
archbishop and the delegation, speaking substantially as follows:

"My lord," said she, "and all my lords now present, I will not be so
suspicious as to mistrust the promises you make me, or to believe that
you are dealing otherwise than fairly and honorably by me. Here is my
son. I give him up to your charge. I have no doubt that he would be
safe here under my protection, if I could be allowed to keep him with
me, although I have enemies that so hate me and all my blood, that I
believe, if they thought they had any of it in their own veins, they
would open them to let it flow out.

"I give him up, at your demand, to the protection of his brother and
his uncle. And yet I know well that the desire of a kingdom knows no
kindred. Brothers have been their brothers' bane, and can these
nephews be sure of their uncle? The boys would be safe if kept
asunder; together--I do not know. Nevertheless, I here deliver my son,
and with him his brother's life, into your hands, and of you shall I
require them both, before God and man. I know that you are faithful
and true in what you intend, and you have power, moreover, to keep the
children safe, if you will. If you think that I am over-anxious and
fear too much, take care that you yourselves do not fear too little."

Then drawing Richard to her, she kissed him very lovingly, the tears
coming to her eyes as she did so.

"Farewell," she said, "farewell, mine own sweet son. God send you good
keeping. I must kiss you before you go, for God knows when we shall
kiss together again."

She kissed him again and blessed him, and then turned to go away,
weeping bitterly.

The child began to weep too, from sympathy with his mother's distress.
The archbishop, however, took him by the hand and led him away,
followed by the rest of the delegation.

They conveyed the young duke first to the hall of the council, which
was very near, and thence to the Lord Protector's residence in the
city. Here he was received with every mark of consideration and honor,
and a handsome escort was provided to conduct him in state to the
Tower, where he joined his brother.

Richard had now every thing under his own control. The delivery of
the Duke of York into his hands took place on the sixteenth of June.
The time which had been set for the coronation was the twenty-second.



A.D. 1483

The Duke of Buckingham.--Historical doubts.--Richard at Baynard's
Castle.--The expense-book.--Items from the expense-book.--Richard's
plans.--Richard's determination in respect to Jane Shore.--Jane's
character.--Her jewelry confiscated.--The punishment of Jane
Shore.--Alleged marriage of Edward IV. to Elinor Talbot.--Particulars
of the story.--Plan for publishing it.--Sermon preached by Dr. Shaw
near St. Paul's.--Ingenious contrivance.--Coolness of the
people.--Meeting at the Guildhall.--The people do not respond.--The
appeals to the people fail.--Grand council convened.--Arrangements
made by Buckingham.--The petition.--Substance of the petition.--Real
object of it.--Richard receives the petition at Baynard's
Castle.--Richard concludes to accept the crown.--Ceremonies connected
with the investiture of the king.--Richard marches through London.--Is
every where proclaimed king.--Extraordinary character of the reign of
Edward V.

Richard, having thus obtained control of every thing essential to the
success of his plans, began to prepare for action. His chief friend
and confederate, the one on whom he relied most for the execution of
the several measures which he proposed to take, was a powerful
nobleman named the Duke of Buckingham. I shall proceed in this chapter
to describe the successive steps of the course which Richard and the
Duke of Buckingham pursued in raising Richard to the throne, as
recorded by the different historians of those days, and as generally
believed since, though, in fact, there have been great disputes in
respect to these occurrences, and it is now quite difficult to
ascertain with certainty what the precise truth of the case really is.
This, however, is, after all, of no great practical importance, for,
in respect to remote transactions of this nature, the thing which is
most necessary for the purposes of general education is to understand
what the story is, in detail, which has been generally received among
mankind, and to which the allusions of orators and poets, and the
discussions of statesmen and moralists in subsequent ages refer, for
it is with this story alone that for all the purposes of general
reading we have any thing to do.

       *       *       *       *       *

Richard was residing at this time chiefly at Baynard's Castle with his
mother.[N] The young king and his brother, the Duke of York, were in
the Tower. They were not nominally prisoners, but yet Richard kept
close watch and ward over them, and took most effectual precautions to
prevent their making their escape. The queen, Elizabeth Woodville,
with her daughters, was in the sanctuary. Richard's wife, with the
young child, was still at Middleham Castle.

[Footnote N: For view of this castle, see page 273.]

It is a very curious circumstance, showing how sometimes records of
the most trivial and insignificant things come down to us from ancient
times in a clear and certain form, while all that is really important
to know is involved in doubt and obscurity--that the household
expense-book of Anne at Middleham is still extant, showing all the
little items of expense incurred for Richard's son, while all is
dispute and uncertainty in respect to the great political schemes and
measures of his father. In this book there is a charge of 22_s._ 9_d._
for a piece of green cloth, and another of 1_s._ 8_d._ for making it
into gowns for "my lord prince." There is also a charge of 5_s._ for a
feather for him, and 13_s._ 1_d._ paid to a shoemaker, named Dirick,
for a pair of shoes. This expense-book was continued after Anne left
Middleham Castle to go to London, as will be presently related. There
are several charges on the journey for offerings and gifts made by the
child at churches on the way. Two men were paid 6_s._ 8_d._ for
running on foot by the side of his carriage. These men's names were
Medcalf and Pacock. There is also a charge of 2_d._ for mending a

But to return to our narrative. The time for the coronation of Edward
the Fifth was drawing near, but Richard intended to prevent the
performance of this ceremony, and to take the crown for himself
instead. The first thing was to put in circulation the story that his
two nephews were not the legitimate children of his brother, Edward
the Fourth, and to prepare the way for this, he wished first, by every
means, to cast odium on Edward's character. This was easily done, for
Edward's character was bad enough to merit any degree of odium which
his brother might wish it to bear.

Accordingly, Richard employed his friends and partisans in talking as
much as possible in all quarters about the dissoluteness and the vices
of the late king. False stories would probably have been invented, if
it had not been that there were enough that were true. These stories
were all revived and put in circulation, and every thing was made to
appear as unfavorable for Edward as possible. Richard himself, on the
other hand, feigned a very strict and scrupulous regard for virtue and
morality, and deemed it his duty, he said, to do all in his power to
atone for and wipe away the reproach which his brother's loose and
wicked life had left upon the court and the kingdom. Among other
things, the cause of public morals demanded, he said, that an example
should be made of Jane Shore, who had been the associate and partner
of the king in his immoralities.

Jane Shore, it will be recollected, was the wife of a rich citizen of
London, whom Edward had enticed away from her husband and brought to
court. She was naturally a very amiable and kind-hearted woman, and
all accounts concur in saying that she exercised the power that she
acquired over the mind of the king in a very humane and praiseworthy
manner. She was always ready to interpose, when the king contemplated
any act of harshness or severity, to avert his anger and save his
intended victim, and, in general, she did a great deal to soften the
brutality of his character, and to protect the innocent and helpless
from the wrongs which he would otherwise have often done them. These
amiable and gentle traits of character do not, indeed, atone at all
for the grievous sin which she committed in abandoning her husband and
living voluntarily with the king, but they did much toward modifying
the feeling of scorn and contempt with which she would have otherwise
been regarded by the people of England.

Richard caused Jane to be arrested and sent to prison. He also seized
all her plate and jewels, and confiscated them. She had a very rich
and valuable collection of these things.[O] Richard then caused an
ecclesiastical court to be organized, and sent her before it to be
tried. The court, undoubtedly in accordance with instructions that
Richard himself gave them, sentenced her, by way of penance for her
sins, to walk in midday through the streets of London, from one end of
the city to the other, almost entirely undressed. The intention of
this severe exposure was to designate her to those who should assemble
to witness the punishment as a wanton, and thus to put her to shame,
and draw upon her the scorn and derision of the populace. They found
some old and obsolete law which authorized such a punishment. The
sentence was carried into effect on a Sunday. The unhappy criminal was
conducted through the principal streets of the city, wearing a
night-dress, and carrying a lighted taper in her hand, between rows of
spectators that assembled by thousands along the way to witness the
scene. But, instead of being disposed to receive her with taunts and
reproaches, the populace were moved to compassion by her saddened look
and her extreme beauty. Their hearts were softened by the remembrance
of the many stories they had heard of the kindness of her heart, and
the amiableness and gentleness of her demeanor, in the time of her
prosperity and power. They thought it hard, too, that the law should
be enforced so rigidly against her alone, while so many multitudes in
all ranks of society, high as well as low, were allowed to go

[Footnote O: The husband with whom she had lived before she became
acquainted with Edward was a wealthy goldsmith and jeweler.]

Still, Richard's object in this exhibition was accomplished. The
transaction had the effect of calling the attention of the public
universally and strongly to the fact that Edward the Fourth had been a
loose and dissolute man, and prepared people's minds for the charge
which was about to be brought against him.

This charge was that he had been secretly married to another lady
before his union with Elizabeth Woodville, and that consequently by
this latter marriage he was guilty of bigamy. Of course, if this were
true, the second marriage would be null and void, and the children
springing from it would have no rights as heirs.

Whether there was any truth in this story or not can not now ever be
certainly known. All that is certain is that Richard circulated the
report, and he found several witnesses to testify to the truth of it.
The maiden name of the lady to whom they said the king had been
married was Elinor Talbot. She had married in early life a certain
Lord Boteler, whose widow she was at the time that Edward was alleged
to have married her. The marriage was performed in a very private
manner by a certain bishop, nobody being present besides the parties
except the bishop himself, and he was strictly charged by the king to
keep the affair a profound secret. This he promised to do.
Notwithstanding his promise, however, the bishop some time
subsequently, after the king had been married to Elizabeth Woodville,
revealed the secret of the previous marriage to Gloucester, at which
the king, when he heard of it, was extremely angry. He accused the
bishop of having betrayed the trust which he had reposed in him, and,
dismissing him at once from office, shut him up in prison.

Richard having, as he said, kept these facts secret during his
brother's lifetime, out of regard for the peace of the family, now
felt it his duty to make them known, in order to prevent the wrong
which would be done by allowing the crown to descend to a son who, not
being born in lawful wedlock, could have no rights as heir.

After disseminating this story among the influential persons connected
with the court, and through all the circles of high life, during the
week, it was arranged that on the following Sunday the facts should be
made known publicly to the people.

There was a large open space near St. Paul's Cathedral, in the very
heart of London, where it was the custom to hold public assemblies of
all kinds, both religious and political. There was a pulpit built on
one side of this space, from which sermons were preached, orations
and harangues pronounced, and proclamations made. Oaths were
administered here too, in cases where it was required to administer
oaths to large numbers of people.

From this pulpit, on the next Sunday after the penance of Jane Shore,
a certain Dr. Shaw, who was a brother of the Lord-mayor of London,
preached a sermon to a large concourse of citizens, in which he openly
attempted to set aside the claims of the two boys, and to prove that
Richard was the true heir to the crown.

He took for his text a passage from the Wisdom of Solomon, "The
multiplying brood of the ungodly shall not thrive." In this discourse
he explained to his audience that Edward, when he was married to
Elizabeth Woodville, was already the husband of Elinor Boteler, and
consequently that the second marriage was illegal and void, and the
children of it entirely destitute of all claims to the crown. He also,
it is said, advanced the idea that neither Edward nor Clarence were
the children of their reputed father, the old Duke of York, but that
Richard was the oldest legitimate son of the marriage, in proof of
which he offered the fact that Richard strongly resembled the duke in
person, while neither Edward nor Clarence had borne any resemblance to
him at all.

It was arranged, moreover--so it was said--that, when the preacher
came to the passage where he was to speak of the resemblance which
Richard bore to his father, the great Duke of York, Richard himself
was to enter the assembly as if by accident, and thus give the
preacher the opportunity to illustrate and confirm what he had said by
directing his audience to observe for themselves the resemblance which
he had pointed out, and also to excite them to a burst of enthusiasm
in Richard's favor by the eloquent appeal which the incident of
Richard's entrance was to awaken. But this intended piece of stage
effect, if it was really planned, failed in the execution. Richard did
not come in at the right time, and when he did come in, either the
preacher managed the case badly, or else the people were very little
disposed to espouse Richard's cause; for when the orator, at the close
of his appeal, expected applause and acclamations, the people uttered
no response, but looked at each other in silence, and remained wholly

In the course of the following two or three days, other attempts were
made to excite the populace to some demonstration in Richard's favor,
but they did not succeed. The Duke of Buckingham met a large concourse
of Londoners at the Guildhall, which is in the centre of the business
portion of the city. He was supported by a number of nobles, knights,
and distinguished citizens, and he made a long and able speech to the
assembly, in which he argued strenuously in favor of calling Richard
to the throne. He denounced the character of the former king, and
enlarged at length on the dissipated and vicious life which he had
led. He also related to the people the story of Edward's having been
the husband of Lady Elinor Boteler at the time when his marriage with
Queen Elizabeth took place, which fact, as Buckingham showed, made the
marriage with Elizabeth void, and cut off the children from the
inheritance. The children of Clarence had been cut off, too, by the
attainder, and so Richard was the only remaining heir.

The duke concluded his harangue by asking the assembly if, under those
circumstances, they would not call upon Richard to ascend the throne.
A few of the poorer sort, very likely some that had been previously
hired to do it, threw up their caps into the air in response to this
appeal, and cried out, "Long live King Richard!" But the major part,
comprising all the more respectable portion of the assembly, looked
grave and were silent. Some who were pressed to give their opinion
said they must take time to consider.

Thus these appeals to the people failed, so far as the object of them
was to call forth a popular demonstration in Richard's favor. But in
one respect they accomplished the object in view: they had the effect
of making it known throughout London and the vicinity that a
revolution was impending, and thus preparing men's minds to acquiesce
in the change more readily than they might perhaps have done if it had
come upon them suddenly and with a shock.

On the following day after the address at the Guildhall, a grand
assembly of all the lords, bishops, councilors, and officers of state
was convened in Westminster. It was substantially a Parliament, though
not a Parliament in form. The reason why it was not called as a
Parliament in form was because Richard, having doubts, as he said,
about the right of Edward to the throne, could not conscientiously
advise that any public act should be performed in his name, and a
Parliament could only be legally convened by summons from a king.
Accordingly, this assembly was only an informal meeting of the peers
of England and other great dignitaries of Church and State, with a
view of consulting together to determine what should be done. Of
course, it was all fully arranged and settled beforehand, among those
who were in Richard's confidence, what the result of these
deliberations was to be. The Duke of Buckingham, Richard's principal
friend and supporter, managed the business at the meeting. The
assembly consisted, of course, chiefly of the party of Richard's
friends. The principal leaders of the parties opposed to him had been
beheaded or shut up in prison; of the rest, some had fled, some had
concealed themselves, and of the few who dared to show themselves at
the meeting, there were none who had the courage, or perhaps I ought
rather to say the imprudence and folly, to oppose any thing which
Buckingham should undertake to do.

The result of the deliberations of this council was the drawing up of
a petition to be presented to Richard, declaring him the true and
rightful heir to the crown, and praying him to assume at once the
sovereign power.

A delegation was appointed to wait upon Richard and present the
petition to him. Buckingham was at the head of this delegation. The
petition was written out in due form upon a roll of parchment. It
declared that, inasmuch as it was clearly established that King Edward
the Fourth was already the husband of "Dame Alionora Boteler," by a
previous marriage, at the time of his pretended marriage with
Elizabeth Woodville, and that consequently his children by Elizabeth
Woodville, not being born in lawful wedlock, could have no rights of
inheritance whatever from their father, and especially could by no
means derive from him any title to the crown; and inasmuch as the
children of Clarence had been cut off from the succession by the bill
of attainder which had been passed against their father; and inasmuch
as Richard came next in order to these in the line of succession,
therefore he was now the true and rightful heir. This his right
moreover by birth was now confirmed by the decision of the estates of
the realm assembled for the purpose; wherefore the petition, in
conclusion, invited and urged him at once to assume the crown which
was thus his by a double title--the right of birth and the election of
the three estates of the realm.

Of course, although the petition was addressed to Richard as if the
object of it was to produce an effect upon his mind, it was really all
planned and arranged by Richard himself, and by Buckingham in
conjunction with him; and the representations and arguments which it
contained were designed solely for effect on the mind of the public,
when the details of the transaction should be promulgated throughout
the land.

The petition being ready, Buckingham, in behalf of the delegation,
demanded an audience of the Lord Protector that they might lay it
before him. Richard accordingly made an appointment to receive them at
his mother's residence at Baynard's Castle.

At the appointed time the delegation appeared, and were received in
great state by Richard in the audience hall. The Duke of Buckingham
presented the petition, and Richard read it. He seemed surprised, and
he pretended to be at a loss what to reply. Presently he began to say
that he could not think of assuming the crown. He said he had no
ambition to reign, but only desired to preserve the kingdom for his
nephew the king until he should become of sufficient age, and then to
put him peaceably in possession of it. But the Duke of Buckingham
replied that this could never be. The people of England, he said,
would never consent to be ruled by a prince of illegitimate birth.

"And if you, my lord," added the duke, "refuse to accept the crown,
they know where to find another who will gladly accept it."

[Illustration: BAYNARD'S CASTLE.]

In the end, Richard allowed himself to be persuaded that there was no
alternative but for him to accept the crown, and he reluctantly
consented that, on the morrow, he would proceed in state to
Westminster, and publicly assume the title and the prerogatives of

Accordingly, the next day, a grand procession was formed, and Richard
was conducted with great pomp to Westminster Hall. Here he took his
place on the throne, with the leading lords of his future court, and
the bishops and archbishops around him. The rest of the hall was
crowded with a vast concourse of people that had assembled to witness
the ceremony.

First the king took the customary royal oath, which was administered
by the archbishop. He then summoned the great judges before him, and
made an address to them, exhorting them to administer the laws and
execute judgment between man and man in a just and impartial manner,
inasmuch as to secure that end, he said, would be the first and
greatest object of his reign.

After this Richard addressed the concourse of people in the hall, who,
in some sense, represented the public, and pronounced a pardon for all
offenses which had been committed against himself, and ordered a
proclamation to be made of a general amnesty throughout the land.
These announcements were received by the people with loud
acclamations, and the ceremony was concluded by shouts of "Long live
King Richard!" from all the assembly.

We obtain a good idea of this scene by the following engraving, which
is copied exactly from a picture contained in a manuscript volume of
the time.

[Illustration: THE KING ON HIS THRONE.]

The royal dignity having thus been assumed by the new king at the
usual centre and seat of the royal power, the procession was again
formed, and Richard was conducted to Westminster Abbey for the purpose
of doing the homage customary on such occasions at one of the shrines
in the church. The procession of the king was met at the door of the
church by a procession of monks chanting a solemn anthem as they came.

After the religious ceremonies were completed, Richard, at the head of
a grand cavalcade of knights, noblemen, and citizens, proceeded into
the city to the Church of St. Paul. The streets were lined with
spectators, who saluted the king with cheers and acclamations as he
passed. At the Church of St. Paul more ceremonies were performed and
more proclamations were made. The popular joy, more or less sincere,
was expressed by the sounding of trumpets, the waving of banners, and
loud acclamations of "Long live King Richard!" At length, when the
services in the city were concluded, the king returned to Westminster,
and took up his abode at the royal palace; and while he was returning,
heralds were sent to all the great centres of concourse and
intelligence in and around London to proclaim him king.

This proclamation of Richard as king took place on the twenty-sixth of
June. King Edward the Fourth died just about three months before.
During this three months Edward the Fifth is, in theory, considered as
having been the King of England, though, during the whole period, the
poor child, instead of exercising any kingly rights or prerogatives,
was a helpless prisoner in the hands of others, who, while they
professed to be his protectors, were really his determined and
relentless foes.



A.D. 1483

Plan for the coronation.--Anne is sent for, and comes to
London.--Procession of barges.--Great crowds of spectators.--The royal
barges.--Arrival at the Tower.--Measures adopted.--The princes
imprisoned.--Richard and Anne proceed to Westminster.--Ceremonies
connected with the coronation.--The royal paraphernalia.--Religious
services.--The king and queen crowned.--The dais.--Ceremonial in
Westminster Hall.--The banquet.--The royal champion.--Grand
challenge.--Gauntlet thrown down.--The spectators.--A largesse.--Modern
largesses.--The torches.

It was on the 26th of June, 1483, that Richard was proclaimed king,
under the circumstances narrated in the last chapter. In order to
render his investiture with the royal authority complete, he resolved
that the ceremony of coronation should be immediately performed. He
accordingly appointed the 6th of July for the day. This allowed an
interval of just ten days for the necessary preparations.

The first thing to be done was to send to Middleham Castle for Anne,
his wife, who now, since the proclamation of Richard, became Queen of
England. Richard wished that she should be present, and take part in
the ceremony of the coronation. The child was to be brought too. His
name was Edward.

It seems that Anne arrived in London only on the 3d of July, three
days before the appointed day. There is a specification in the book of
accounts of some very elegant and costly cloth of gold bought on that
day in London, the material for the queen's coronation robe.

Richard determined that the ceremony of his coronation should be more
magnificent than that of any previous English monarch. Preparations
were made, accordingly, on a very grand scale. There were several
preliminary pageants and processions on the days preceding that of the
grand ceremony.

On the 4th of July, which was Sunday, the king and queen proceeded in
state to the Tower. They went in barges on the river. The party set
out from Baynard's Castle, the residence of Richard's mother, and the
place where the queen went on her arrival in London.

The royal barges destined to convey the king and queen, and the other
great personages of the party, were covered with canopies of silk and
were otherwise magnificently adorned. Great crowds of spectators
assembled to witness the scene. Some came in boats upon the water,
others took their stations on the shores, where every prominent and
commanding point was covered with its own special crowd, and others
still occupied the windows of the buildings that looked out upon the

Through the midst of this scene the royal barges passed down the river
to the Tower. As they moved along, the air was filled with prolonged
and continual shouts of "Long live King Richard!" "Long live the
noble Queen Anne!"

Royal or imperial power, once firmly established, will never fail to
draw forth the acclamations of the crowd, no matter by what means it
has been acquired.

On his arrival at the Tower, Richard was received with great honor by
the authorities which he had left in charge there, and he took
possession of the edifice formally, as one of his own royal
residences. He held a court in the great council-hall. At this court
he created several persons peers of the realm, and invested others
with the honor of knighthood. These were men whom he supposed to be
somewhat undecided in respect to the course which they should pursue,
and he wished, by these compliments and honors, to purchase their
adhesion to his cause.

He also liberated some persons who had been made prisoners, presuming
that, by this kindness, he should conciliate their good-will.

He did not, however, by any means extend this conciliating policy to
the case of the young ex-king and his brother; indeed, it would have
been extremely dangerous for him to have done so. He was aware that
there must be a large number of persons throughout the kingdom who
still considered Edward as the rightful king, and he knew very well
that, if any of these were to obtain possession of Edward's person, it
would enable them to act vigorously in his name, and to organize
perhaps a powerful party for the support of his claims. He was
convinced, therefore, that it was essential to the success of his
plans that the boys should be kept in very close and safe custody. So
he removed them from the apartments which they had hitherto occupied,
and shut them up in close confinement in a gloomy tower upon the outer
walls of the fortress, and which, on account of the cruel murders
which were from time to time committed there, subsequently acquired
the name of the Bloody Tower.

[Illustration: THE BLOODY TOWER.]

Richard and the queen remained at the Tower until the day appointed
for the coronation, which was Tuesday. The ceremonies of that day were
commenced by a grand progress of the king and his suite through the
city of London back to Westminster, only, as if to vary the pageantry,
they went back in grand cavalcade through the streets of the city,
instead of returning as they came, by barges on the river. The
concourse of spectators on this occasion was even greater than before.
The streets were every where thronged, and very strict regulations
were made, by Richard's command, to prevent disorder.

On arriving at Westminster, the royal party proceeded to the Abbey,
where, first of all, as was usual in the case of a coronation, certain
ceremonies of religious homage were to be performed at a particular
shrine, which was regarded as an object of special sanctity on such
occasions. The king and queen proceeded to this shrine from the great
hall, barefooted, in token of reverence and humility. They walked,
however, it should be added, on ornamented cloth laid down for this
purpose on the stone pavements of the floors. All the knights and
nobles of England that were present accompanied and followed the king
and queen in their pilgrimage to the shrine.

One of these nobles bore the king's crown, another the queen's crown,
and others still various other ancient national emblems of royal
power. The queen walked under a canopy of silk, with a golden bell
hanging from each of the corners of it. The canopy was borne by four
great officers of state, and the bells, of course, jingled as the
bearers walked along.

The queen wore upon her head a circlet of gold adorned with precious
stones. There were four bishops, one at each of the four corners of
the canopy, who walked as immediate attendants upon the queen, and a
lady of the very highest rank followed her, bearing her train.

When the procession reached the shrine, the king and queen took their
seats on each side of the high altar, and then there came forth a
procession of priests and bishops, clothed in magnificent sacerdotal
robes made of cloth of gold, and chanting solemn hymns of prayer and
praise as they came.

After the religious services were completed, the ceremony of anointing
and crowning the king and queen, and of investing their persons with
the royal robes and emblems, was performed with the usual grand and
imposing solemnities. After this, the royal cortége was formed again,
and the company returned to Westminster Hall in the same order as they
came. The queen walked, as before, under her silken canopy, the golden
bells keeping time, by their tinkling, with the steps of the bearers.

At Westminster Hall a great dais had been erected, with thrones upon
it for the king and queen. As their majesties advanced and ascended
this dais, surrounded by the higher nobles and chief officers of
state, the remainder of the procession, consisting of those who had
come to accompany and escort them to the place, followed, and filled
the hall.

As soon as this vast throng saw that the king and queen were seated
upon the dais, with their special and immediate attendants around
them, their duties were ended, and they were to be dismissed. A grand
officer of state, whose duty it was to dismiss them, came in on
horseback, his horse covered with cloth of gold hanging down on both
sides to the ground. The people, falling back before this horseman,
gradually retired, and thus the hall was cleared.

The king and queen then rose from their seats upon the dais, and were
conducted to their private apartments in the palace, to rest and
refresh themselves after the fatigues of the public ceremony, and to
prepare for the grand banquet which was to take place in the evening.

The preparations for this banquet were made by spreading a table upon
the dais under the canopy for the king and queen, and four other very
large and long tables through the hall for the invited guests.

The time appointed for the banquet was four o'clock. When the hour
arrived, the king and queen were conducted into the hall again, and
took their places at the table which had been prepared for them on
the dais. They had changed their dresses, having laid aside their
royal robes, and the various paraphernalia of office with which they
had been indued at the coronation, and now appeared in robes of
crimson velvet embroidered with gold, and trimmed with costly furs.
They were attended by many lords and ladies of the highest rank,
scarcely less magnificently dressed than themselves. They were waited
upon, while at table, by the noblest persons in the realm, who served
them from the most richly wrought vessels of gold and silver.

After the first part of the banquet was over, a knight, fully armed,
and mounted on a warhorse richly caparisoned, rode into the hall,
having been previously announced by a herald. This was the king's
champion, who came, according to a custom usually observed on such
occasions, to challenge and defy the king's enemies, if any such there

[Footnote P: See Frontispiece.]

The trappings of the champion's horse were of white and red silk, and
the armor of the knight himself was bright and glittering. As he rode
forward into the area in front of the dais, he called out, in a loud
voice, demanding of all present if there were any one there who
disputed the claim of King Richard the Third to the crown of England.

All the people gazed earnestly at the champion while he made this
demand, but no one responded.

The champion then made proclamation again, that if any one there was
who would come forward and say that King Richard was not lawfully King
of England, he was ready there to fight him to the death, in
vindication of Richard's right. As he said this, he threw down his
gauntlet upon the floor, in token of defiance.

At this, the whole assembly, with one voice, began to shout, "Long
live King Richard!" and the immense hall was filled, for some minutes,
with thundering acclamations.

This ceremony being concluded, a company of heralds came forward
before the king, and proclaimed "a largesse," as it was called. The
ceremony of a largesse consisted in throwing money among the crowd to
be scrambled for. Three times the money was thrown out, on this
occasion, among the guests in the hall. The amount that is charged on
the royal account-book for the expense of this largesse is one hundred

The scrambling of a crowd for money thrown thus among them, one would
say, was a very rude and boisterous amusement, but those were rude and
boisterous times. The custom holds its ground in England, in some
measure, to the present day, though now it is confined to throwing out
pence and halfpence to the rabble in the streets at an election, and
is no longer, as of yore, relied upon as a means of entertaining noble
guests at a royal dinner.

After the frolic of the largesse was over, the king and queen rose to
depart. The evening was now coming on, and a great number of torches
were brought in to illuminate the hall. By the light of these torches,
the company, after their majesties had retired, gradually withdrew,
and the ceremonies of the coronation were ended.



The king resolves on a grand progress through the kingdom.--State
of public sentiment.--Oxford.--Warwick Castle.--Embassadors.--Arrival
at York.--The coronation repeated.--Richard's son.--Celebrations and
rejoicings.--His determination in respect to the children.--His agent
Green.--Green's return.--Conversation with the page.--Sir James
Tyrrel.--Richard employs Tyrrel.--The letter.--Tyrrel arrives at
the ower.--Murder of the princes.--Action of the assassins.--The
burial.--Joy of Richard.--Re-interment of the bodies.--Richard keeps
the murder secret.

After the coronation, King Richard and Anne, the queen, went to
Windsor, and took up their residence there, with the court, for a
short time, in order that Richard might attend to the most important
of the preliminary arrangements for the management of public affairs,
which are always necessary at the commencement of a new reign. As soon
as these things were settled, the king set out to make a grand
progress through his dominions, for the purpose of receiving the
congratulations of the people, and also of impressing them, as much as
possible, with a sense of his grandeur and power by the magnificence
of his retinue, and the great parades and celebrations by which his
progress through the country was to be accompanied.

From Windsor Castle the king went first to Oxford, where he was
received with distinguished honors by all the great dignitaries
connected with the University. Hence he proceeded to Gloucester, and
afterward to Worcester. At all these places he was received with
great parade and pageantry. Those who were disposed to espouse his
cause, of course, endeavored to gain his favor by doing all in their
power to give éclat to these celebrations. Those who were indifferent
or in doubt, flocked, of course, to see the shows, and thus
involuntarily contributed to the apparent popularity of the
demonstrations; while, on the other hand, those who were opposed to
him, and adhered still secretly to the cause of young King Edward,
made no open opposition, but expressed their dissent, if they
expressed it at all, in private conclaves of their own. They could not
do otherwise than to allow Richard to have his own way during the hour
of his triumph, _their_ hour being not yet come.

At last, Richard, in his progress, reached Warwick Castle, and here he
was joined by the queen and the young prince, who had remained at
Windsor while the king was making his tour through the western towns,
but who now came across the country with a grand retinue of her own,
to join her husband at her own former home; for Warwick Castle was the
chief stronghold and principal residence of the great Earl of Warwick,
the queen's father. The king and queen remained for some time at
Warwick Castle, and the king established his court here, and
maintained it with great pomp and splendor. Here he received
embassadors from Spain, France, and Burgundy, who had been sent by
their several governments to congratulate him on his accession, and to
pay him their homage. Each of these embassadors came in great state,
and were accompanied by a grand retinue; and the ceremonies of
receiving them, and the entertainments given to do them honor, were
magnificent beyond description.

One of these embassadors, the one sent by the government of Spain,
brought a formal proposal from Ferdinand and Isabella for a marriage
between their daughter and Richard's little son. The little prince was
at that time about seven years of age.

After remaining some time at Warwick Castle, the royal party proceeded
northward, and, after passing through several large towns, they
arrived finally at York, which was then, in some sense, the northern
capital of the kingdom. Here there was another grand reception. All
the nobility and gentry of the surrounding country came in to honor
the king's arrival, and the ceremonies attending the entrance of the
royal cortége were extremely magnificent.

While the court was at York, Richard repeated the ceremony of the
coronation. On this occasion, his son, the little Prince Edward, was
brought forward in a conspicuous manner. He was created Prince of
Wales with great ceremony, and on the day of the coronation he had a
little crown upon his head, and his mother led him by the hand in the
procession to the altar.

The poor child did not live, however, to realize the grand destiny
which his father thus marked out for him. He died a few months after
this at Middleham Castle.

The coronation at York was attended and followed, as that at London
had been, with banquets and public parades, and grand celebrations of
all sorts, which continued for several successive days, and the
hilarity and joy which these shows awakened among the crowds that
assembled to witness them seemed to indicate a universal acquiescence
on the part of the people of England in Richard's accession to the

Still, although outwardly every thing looked fair, Richard's mind was
not yet by any means at ease. From the very day of his accession, he
knew well that, so long as the children of his brother Edward remained
alive at the Tower, his seat on the throne could not be secure. There
must necessarily be, he was well aware, a large party in the kingdom
who were secretly in favor of Edward, and he knew that they would very
soon begin to come to an understanding with each other, and to form
plans for effecting a counter-revolution. The most certain means of
preventing the formation of these plots, or of defeating them, if
formed, would be to remove the children out of the way. He accordingly
determined in his heart, before he left London, that this should be

[Footnote Q: I say he determined; for, although some of Richard's
defenders have denied that he was guilty of the crime which the almost
unanimous voice of history charges upon him, the evidence leaves very
little room to doubt that the dreadful tale is in all essential
particulars entirely true.]

He resolved to put them to death. The deed was to be performed during
the course of his royal progress to the north, while the minds of the
people of England were engrossed with the splendor of the pageantry
with which his progress was accompanied. He intended, moreover, that
the murder should be effected in a very secret manner, and that the
death of the boys should be closely concealed until a time and
occasion should arrive rendering it necessary that it should be made

Accordingly, soon after he left London, he sent back a confidential
agent, named Green, to Sir Robert Brakenbury, the governor of the
Tower, with a letter, in which Sir Robert was commanded to put the
boys to death.

Green immediately repaired to London to execute the commission.
Richard proceeded on his journey. When he arrived at Warwick, Green
returned and joined him there, bringing back the report that Sir
Robert refused to obey the order.

Richard was very angry when Green delivered this message. He turned to
a page who was in waiting upon him in his chamber, and said, in a

"Even these men that I have brought up and made, refuse to obey my

The page replied,

"Please your majesty, there is a man here in the ante-chamber, that I
know, who will obey your majesty's commands, whatever they may be."

Richard asked the page who it was that he meant, and he said Sir James
Tyrrel. Sir James Tyrrel was a very talented and accomplished, but
very unscrupulous man, and he was quite anxious to acquire the favor
of the king. The page knew this, from conversation which Sir James had
had with him, and he had been watching an opportunity to recommend
Sir James to Richard's notice, according to an arrangement that Sir
James had made with him.

So Richard ordered that Sir James should be sent in. When he came,
Richard held a private conference with him, in which he communicated
to him, by means of dark hints and insinuations, what he required.
Tyrrel undertook to execute the deed. So Richard gave him a letter to
Sir Robert Brakenbury, in which he ordered Sir Robert to deliver up
the keys of the Tower to Sir James, "to the end," as the letter
expressed it, "that he might there accomplish the king's pleasure in
such a thing as he had given him commandment."

Sir James, having received this letter, proceeded to London, taking
with him such persons as he thought he might require to aid him in his
work. Among these was a man named John Dighton. John Dighton was Sir
James's groom. He was "a big, broad, square, strong knave," and ready
to commit any crime or deed of violence which his master might

On arriving at the Tower, Sir James delivered his letter to the
governor, and the governor gave him up the keys. Sir James went to see
the keepers of the prison in which the boys were confined. There were
four of them. He selected from among these four, one, a man named
Miles Forest, whom he concluded to employ, together with his groom,
John Dighton, to kill the princes. He formed the plan, gave the men
their instructions, and arranged it with them that they were to carry
the deed into execution that night.

Accordingly, at midnight, when the princes were asleep, the two men
stole softly into the room, and there wrapped the poor boys up
suddenly in the bed-clothes, with pillows pressed down hard over their
faces, so that they could not breathe. The boys, of course, were
suddenly awakened, in terror, and struggled to get free; but the men
held them down, and kept the pillows and bed-clothes pressed so
closely over their faces that they could not breathe or utter any cry.
They held them in this way until they were entirely suffocated.

When they found that their struggles had ceased, they slowly opened
the bed-clothes and lifted up the pillows to see if their victims were
really dead.

"Yes," said they to each other, "they are dead."

The murderers took off the clothes which the princes had on, and laid
out the bodies upon the bed. They then went to call Sir James Tyrrel,
who was all ready, in an apartment not far off, awaiting the summons.
He came at once, and, when he saw that the boys were really dead, he
gave orders that the men should take the bodies down into the
court-yard to be buried.

The grave was dug immediately, just outside the door, at the foot of
the stairs which led up to the turret in which the boys had been
confined. When the bodies had been placed in the ground, the grave was
filled up, and some stones were put upon the top of it.

Immediately after this work had been accomplished, Sir James delivered
back the keys to the governor of the castle, and mounted his horse to
return to the king. He traveled with all possible speed, and, on
reaching the place where the king then was, he reported what he had

The king was extremely pleased, and he rewarded Sir James very
liberally for his energy and zeal; he, however, expressed some
dissatisfaction at the manner in which the bodies had been disposed
of. "They should not have been buried," he said, "in so vile a

So Richard sent word to the governor of the Tower, and the governor
commissioned a priest to take up the bodies secretly, and inter them
again in a more suitable manner. This priest soon afterward died,
without revealing the place which he chose for the interment, and so
it was never known where the bodies were finally laid.

Richard gave all the persons who had been concerned in this affair
very strict instructions to keep the death of the princes a profound
secret. He did not intend to make it known, unless he should perceive
some indication of an attempt to restore Edward to the throne; and,
had it not been for the occurrence of certain circumstances which will
be related in the next chapter, the fate of the princes might,
perhaps, have thus been kept secret for many years.



A.D. 1483-1484

Plots formed against Richard.--Situation of Elizabeth
Woodville.--Plans of the conspirators.--Queen Elizabeth's
agony.--Retribution.--Elizabeth visits the grave.--The Duke of
Buckingham.--Richmond.--Elizabeth.--Plans formed for a
marriage.--Richmond plans an invasion.--Buckingham's attempt to
co-operate.--Failure of the plan.--Death of Buckingham.--Richmond
retreats.--Unhappy situation of Elizabeth.--The princess.--He seeks to
get possession of Richmond.--Parliament.--New policy.--The plan
succeeds.--Excuses for the queen.--Her situation still unhappy.--The
marriage countermanded.--Richard's plan for the princess.--Elizabeth's
views on the subject.--Death of Richard's son.--Sickness of Queen
Anne.--Sufferings of the queen--Suspicions.--Elizabeth's eagerness to
marry the king.--Death of the queen.--Remonstrance of Richard's
counselors.--Richard gives up the plan.--Disappointment of Elizabeth.

While Richard was making his triumphal tour through the north of
England, apparently receiving a confirmation of his right to the crown
by the voice of the whole population of the country, the leaders of
the Lancaster party were secretly beginning, in London, to form their
schemes for liberating the young princes from the Tower, and restoring
Edward to the kingdom.

Queen Elizabeth, who still remained, with the Princess Elizabeth, her
oldest daughter, and some of her other children, in the sanctuary at
Westminster, was the centre of this movement. She communicated
privately with the nobles who were disposed to espouse her cause. The
nobles had secret meetings among themselves to form their plans. At
these meetings they drank to the health of the king in the Tower, and
of his brother, the little Duke of York, and pledged themselves to do
every thing in their power to restore the king to his throne. They
little knew that the unhappy princes were at that very time lying
together in a corner of the court-yard of the prison in an ignoble

At length the conspirators' plans were matured, and the insurrection
broke out. Richard immediately prepared to leave York, at the head of
a strong force, to go toward London. At the same time, he allowed the
tidings to be spread abroad that the two princes were dead. This news
greatly disconcerted the conspirators and deranged their plans; and
when the dreadful intelligence was communicated to the queen in the
sanctuary, she was stunned, and almost killed by it, as by a blow.
"She swooned away, and fell to the ground, where she lay in great
agony, like a corpse;" and when at length she was restored to
consciousness again, she broke forth in shrieks and cries of anguish
so loud, that they resounded through the whole Abbey, and were most
pitiful to hear. She beat her breast and tore her hair, calling all
the time to her children by their names, and bitterly reproaching
herself for her madness in giving up the youngest into his enemies'
hands. After exhausting herself with these cries and lamentations, she
sank into a state of calm despair, and, kneeling down upon the floor,
she began, with dreadful earnestness and solemnity, to call upon
Almighty God, imploring him to avenge the death of her children,
and invoking the bitterest curses upon the head of their ruthless


It was but a short time after this that Richard's child died at
Middleham Castle, as stated in the last chapter. Many persons believed
that this calamity was a judgment of heaven, brought upon the king in
answer to the bereaved mother's imprecations.

It is said that when Queen Elizabeth had recovered a little from the
first shock of her grief, she demanded to be taken to her children's
grave. So they conducted her to the Tower, and showed her the place in
the corner of the court-yard where they had first been buried.

One of the principal leaders of the conspiracy which had been formed
against Richard was the Duke of Buckingham--the same that had taken so
active a part in bringing Richard to the throne. What induced him to
change sides so suddenly is not certainly known. It is supposed that
he was dissatisfied with the rewards which Richard bestowed upon him.
At any rate, he now turned against the king, and became the leader of
the conspirators that were plotting against him.

When the conspirators heard of the death of the princes, they were at
first at a loss to know what to do. They looked about among the
branches of the York and Lancaster families for some one to make their
candidate for the crown. At last they decided upon a certain Henry
Tudor, Earl of Richmond. This Henry, or Richmond, as he was generally
called, was descended indirectly from the Lancaster line. The proposal
of the conspirators, however, was, that he should marry the Princess
Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth Woodville's daughter, who has already been
mentioned among those who fled with their mother to the sanctuary. Now
that both the sons of Elizabeth were dead, this daughter was, of
course, King Edward's next heir, and by her marriage with Richmond the
claims of the houses of York and Lancaster would be, in a measure,

When this plan was proposed to Queen Elizabeth, she acceded to it at
once, and promised that she would give her daughter in marriage to
Richmond, and acknowledge him as king, provided he would first conquer
and depose King Richard, the common enemy.

The plan was accordingly all arranged. Richmond was in France at this
time, having fled there some time previous, after a battle, in which
his party had been defeated. They wrote to him, explaining the plan.
He immediately fell in with it. He raised a small force--all that he
could procure at that time--and set sail, with a few ships, from the
port of St. Malo, intending to land on the coast of Devonshire, which
is in the southwestern part of England.

In the mean time, the several leaders of the rebellion had gone to
different parts of the kingdom, in order to raise troops, and form
centres of action against Richard. Buckingham went into Wales. His
plan was to march down, with all the forces that he could raise there,
to the coast of Devonshire, to meet Richmond on his landing.

This Richard resolved to prevent. He raised an army, and marched to
intercept Buckingham. He first, however, issued a proclamation in
which he denounced the leaders of the rebellion as criminals and
outlaws, and set a price upon their heads.

Buckingham did not succeed in reaching the coast in time to join
Richmond. He was stopped by the River Severn, which you will see, by
looking on a map of England, came directly in his way. He tried to get
across the river, but the people destroyed the bridges and the boats,
and he could not get over. He marched up to where the stream was
small, in hopes of finding a fording place, but the waters were so
swollen with the fall rains that he failed in this attempt as well as
the others. The result was, that Richard came up while Buckingham was
entangled among the intricacies of the ground produced by the
inundations. Buckingham's soldiers, seeing that they were likely to be
surrounded, abandoned him and fled. At last Buckingham fled too, and
hid himself; but one of his servants came and told Richard where he
was. Richard ordered him to be seized. Buckingham sent an imploring
message to Richard, begging that Richard would see him, and, before
condemning him, hear what he had to say; but Richard, in the place of
any reply, gave orders to the soldiers to take the prisoner at once
out into the public square of the town, and cut off his head. The
order was immediately obeyed.

When Richmond reached the coast of Devonshire, and found that
Buckingham was not there to meet him, he was afraid to land with the
small force that he had under his command, and so he sailed back to

Thus the first attempt made to organize a forcible resistance to
Richard's power totally failed.

The unhappy queen, when she heard these tidings, was once more
overwhelmed with grief. Her situation in the sanctuary was becoming
every day more and more painful. She had long since exhausted all her
own means, and she imagined that the monks began to think that she was
availing herself of their hospitality too long. Her friends without
would gladly have supplied her wants, but this Richard would not
permit. He set a guard around the sanctuary, and would not allow any
one to come or go. He would starve her out, he said, if he could not
compel her to surrender herself in any other way.

It was, however, not the queen herself, but her daughter Elizabeth,
who was now the heir of whatever claims to the throne were possessed
by the family, that Richard was most anxious to secure. If he could
once get Elizabeth into his power, he thought, he could easily devise
some plan to prevent her marriage with Henry of Richmond, and so
defeat the plans of his enemies in the most effectual manner. He would
have liked still better to have secured Henry himself; but Henry was
in Brittany, on the other side of the Channel, beyond his reach.

He, however, formed a secret plan to get possession of Henry. He
offered privately a large reward to the Duke of Brittany if he would
seize Henry and deliver him into his, Richard's hands. This the duke
engaged to do. But Henry gained intelligence of the plot before it was
executed, and made his escape from Brittany into France. He was
received kindly at Paris by the French king. The king even promised to
aid him in deposing Richard, and making himself King of England
instead. This alarmed Richard more than ever.

In the mean time, the summer passed away and the autumn came on. In
November Richard convened Parliament, and caused very severe laws to
be passed against those who had been engaged in the rebellion. Many
were executed under these laws, some were banished, and others shut up
in prison. Richard attempted, by these and similar measures, to break
down the spirit of his enemies, and prevent the possibility of their
forming any new organizations against him. Still, notwithstanding all
that he could do, he felt very ill at ease so long as Henry and
Elizabeth were at liberty.

At last, in the course of the winter, he conceived the idea of trying
what pretended kindness could do in enticing the queen and her family
out of sanctuary. So he sent a messenger to her, to make fair and
friendly proposals to her in case she would give up her place of
refuge and place herself under his protection. He said that he felt no
animosity or ill will against her, but that, if she and her daughters
would trust to him, he would receive them at court, provide for them
fully in a manner suited to their rank, and treat them in all respects
with the highest consideration. She herself should be recognized as
the queen dowager of England, and her daughters as princesses of the
royal family; and he would take proper measures to arrange marriages
for the young ladies, such as should comport with the exalted station
which they were entitled to hold.

The queen was at last persuaded to yield to these solicitations. She
left the sanctuary, and gave herself and her daughters up to Richard's
control. Many persons have censured her very strongly for doing this;
but her friends and defenders allege that there was nothing else that
she could do. She might have remained in the Abbey herself to starve
if she had been alone, but she could not see her children perish of
destitution and distress when a word from her could restore them to
the world, and raise them at once to a condition of the highest
prosperity and honor. So she yielded. She left the Abbey, and was
established by Richard in one of his palaces, and her daughters were
received at court, and treated, especially the eldest, with the utmost

But, notwithstanding this outward change in her condition, the real
situation of the queen herself, after leaving the Abbey, was extremely
forlorn. The apartments which Richard assigned to her were very
retired and obscure. He required her, moreover, to dismiss all her own
attendants, and he appointed servants and agents of his own to wait
upon and guard her. The queen soon found that she was under a very
strict surveillance, and not much less a prisoner, in fact, than she
was before.

While in this situation, she wrote to her son Dorset,[R] at Paris,
commanding him to put an end to the proposed marriage of her daughter
Elizabeth to Henry of Richmond, "as she had given up," she said, "the
plan of that alliance, and had formed other designs for the princess."
Henry and his friends and partisans in Paris were indignant at
receiving this letter, and the queen has been by many persons much
blamed for having thus broken the engagement which she had so solemnly
made. Others say that this letter to Paris was not her free act, but
that it was extorted from her by Richard, who had her now completely
in his power, and could, of course, easily find means to procure from
her any writing that he might desire.

[Footnote R: The Earl of Dorset, you will recollect, was Queen
Elizabeth's son by her first marriage; he, consequently, had no claim
to the crown.]

Whether the queen acted freely or not in this case can not certainly
be known. At all events, Henry, and those who were acting with him at
Paris, determined to regard the letter as written under constraint,
and to go on with the maturing of their plans just as if it had never
been written.

Richard's plan was, so it was said, to marry the Princess Elizabeth to
his own son; for the death of his child, though it has been already
once or twice alluded to, had not yet taken place. Richard's son was
very young, being at that time about eleven years old; but the
princess might be affianced to him, and the marriage consummated when
he grew up. Elizabeth herself seems to have fallen in with this
proposed arrangement very readily. The prospect that Henry of Richmond
would ever succeed in making himself king, and claiming her for his
bride, was very remote and uncertain, while Richard was already in
full possession of power; and she, by taking his side, and becoming
the affianced wife of his son, became at once the first lady in the
kingdom, next to Queen Anne, with an apparently certain prospect of
becoming queen herself in due time.

But all these fine plans were abruptly brought to an end by the death
of the young prince, which occurred about this time, at Middleham
Castle, as has been stated before. The death of the poor boy took
place in a very sudden and mysterious manner. Some persons supposed
that he died by a judgment from heaven, in answer to the awful curses
which Queen Elizabeth Woodville imprecated upon the head of the
murderer of her children; others thought he was destroyed by poison.

Not very long after the death of the prince, his mother fell very
seriously sick. She was broken-hearted at the death of her son, and
pining away, she fell into a slow decline. Her sufferings were greatly
aggravated by Richard's harsh and cruel treatment of her. He was
continually uttering expressions of impatience against her on account
of her sickness and uselessness, and making fretful complaints of her
various disagreeable qualities. Some of these sayings were reported to
Anne, and also a rumor came to her ears one day, while she was at her
toilet, that Richard was intending to put her to death. She was
dreadfully alarmed at hearing this, and she immediately ran, half
dressed as she was, and with her hair disheveled, into the presence of
her husband, and, with piteous sobs and bitter tears, asked him what
she had done to deserve death. Richard tried to quiet and calm her,
assuring her that she had no cause to fear.

She, however, continued to decline; and not long afterward her
distress and anguish of mind were greatly increased by hearing that
Richard was impatient for her death, in order that he might himself
marry the Princess Elizabeth, to whom every one said he was now, since
the death of his son, devoting himself personally with great
attention. In this state of suffering the poor queen lingered on
through the months of the winter, very evidently, though slowly,
approaching her end. The universal belief was that Richard had formed
the plan of making the Princess Elizabeth his wife, and that the
decline and subsequent death of Anne were owing to a slow poison which
he caused to be administered to her. There is no proof that this
charge was true, but the general belief in the truth of it shows what
was the estimate placed, in those times, on Richard's character.

It is very certain, however, that he contemplated this new marriage,
and that the princess herself acceded to the proposed plan, and was
very deeply interested in the accomplishment of it. It is said that
while the queen still lived she wrote to one of her friends--a certain
noble duke of high standing and influence--in which she implored him
to aid in forwarding her marriage with the king, whom she called "her
master and her joy in this world--the master of her heart and
thoughts." In this letter, too, she expressed her impatience at the
queen's being so long in dying. "Only think," said she, "the better
part of February is past, and the queen is still alive. Will she
_never_ die?"

But the patience of the princess was not destined to be taxed much
longer. The queen sank rapidly after this, and in March she died.

The heart of Elizabeth was now filled with exultation and delight. The
great obstacle to her marriage with her uncle was now removed, and the
way was open before her to become a queen. It is true that the
relationship which existed between her and Richard, that of uncle and
niece, was such as to make the marriage utterly illegal. But Richard
had a plan of obtaining a dispensation from the Pope, which he had no
doubt that he could easily do, and a dispensation from the Pope,
according to the ideas of those times, would legalize any thing. So
Richard cautiously proposed his plan to some of his confidential

His counselors told him that the execution of such a plan would be
dangerous in the highest degree. The people of England, they said, had
for some time been led to think that the king had that design in
contemplation, and that the idea had awakened a great deal of
indignation throughout the country. The land was full of rumors and
murmurings, they said, and those of a very threatening character. The
marriage would be considered incestuous both by the clergy and the
people, and would be looked upon with abhorrence. Besides, they said,
there were a great many dark suspicions in the minds of the people
that Richard had been himself the cause of the death of his former
wife Anne, in order to open the way for this marriage, and now, if the
marriage were really to take place, all these suspicions would be
confirmed. They could judge somewhat, they added, by the depth of the
excitement which had been produced by the bare suspicion that such
things were contemplated, how great would be the violence of the
outbreak of public indignation if the design were carried into effect.
Richard would be in the utmost danger of losing his kingdom.


So Richard determined at once to abandon the plan. He caused it to be
announced in the most public manner that he had never contemplated
such a marriage, and that all the rumors attributing such a design to
him were malicious and false. He also sent orders abroad throughout
the kingdom requiring that all persons who had circulated such rumors
should be arrested and sent to London to be punished.

Elizabeth's hopes were, of course, suddenly blasted, and the splendid
castle which her imagination had built fell to the ground. It was only
a temporary disappointment, however, for she became Queen of England
in the end, after all.



A.D. 1485-1492

Richmond goes on with his preparations at Paris.--The expedition
sails.--Richard issues a proclamation.--Plans of the campaign.--The
king goes to Nottingham.--Richmond's hopes and expectations.--The
various negotiations.--Richard at Nottingham.--He commences his
march.--The long column.--Bosworth.--The two armies.--Richard's
depression and anxiety.--His painful suspicions.--His remorse.--The
battle.--Richard betrayed.--Defection of his men.--Richard's Well.--His
despair.--Terrible combat.--He refuses to fly.--Richard is
killed.--Transfer of the crown.--Flight of Richard's
troops.--Disposition of the body.--Henry marries the princess.--Queen
Elizabeth Woodville.--Last years of her life.--Her death and burial.

In the mean time, while Richard had been occupied with the schemes and
manoeuvres described in the last chapter, Richmond was going on
steadily in Paris with the preparations that he was making for a new
invasion of England. The King of France assisted him both by providing
him with money and aiding him in the enlistment of men. When Richmond
received the message from Elizabeth's mother declaring that the
proposed match between him and the princess must be broken off, and
heard that Richard had formed a plan for marrying the young lady
himself, he paid no regard to the tidings, but declared that he should
proceed with his plans as vigorously as ever, and that, whatever
counter-schemes they might form, they might rely upon it that he
should fully carry into effect his purpose, not only of deposing
Richard and reigning in his stead, but also of making the Princess
Elizabeth his wife, according to his original intention.

At length the expedition was ready, and the fleet conveying it set
sail from the port of Harfleur.

Richard attempted to arouse the people of England against the invaders
by a grand proclamation which he issued. In this proclamation he
designated the Earl of Richmond as "one Henry Tudor," who had no claim
whatever, of any kind, to the English throne, but who was coming to
attempt to seize it without any color of right. In order to obtain
assistance from the King of France, he had promised, the proclamation
said, "to surrender to him, in case he was successful, all the rich
possessions in France which at that time belonged to England, even
Calais itself; and he had promised, moreover, and given away, to the
traitors and foreigners who were coming with him, all the most
important and valuable places in the kingdom--archbishoprics,
bishoprics, duchies, earldoms, baronies, and many other inheritances
belonging of right to the English knights, esquires, and gentlemen who
were now in the possession of them. The proclamation farther declared
that the people who made up his army were robbers and murderers, and
rebels attainted by Parliament, many of whom had made themselves
infamous as cutthroats, adulterers, and extortioners."

Richard closed his proclamation by calling upon all his subjects to
arm themselves, like true and good Englishmen, for the defense of
their wives, children, goods, and hereditaments, and he promised that
he himself, like a true and courageous prince, would put himself in
the forefront of the battle, and expose his royal person to the worst
of the dangers that were to be incurred in the defense of the country.

At the same time that he issued this proclamation, Richard sent forth
orders to all parts of the kingdom, commanding the nobles and barons
to marshal their forces, and make ready to march at a moment's
warning. He dispatched detachments of his forces to the southward to
defend the southern coast, where he expected Richmond would land,
while he himself proceeded northward, toward the centre of the
kingdom, to assemble and organize his grand army. He made Nottingham
his head-quarters, and he gradually gathered around him, in that city,
a very large force.

In the mean time, while these movements and preparations had been
going on on both sides, the spring and the early part of the summer
passed away, and at length Richard, at Nottingham, in the month of
August, received the tidings that Richmond had landed at Milford
Haven, on the southwestern coast of Wales, with a force of two or
three thousand men. Richard said that he was glad to hear it. "I am
glad," said he, "that at last he has come. I have now only to meet
him, and gain one decisive victory, and then the security of my
kingdom will be disturbed no more."

Richmond did not rely wholly on the troops which he had brought with
him for the success of his cause. He believed that there was a great
and prevailing feeling of disaffection against Richard throughout
England, and that, as soon as it should appear that he, Richmond, was
really in earnest in his determination to claim and take the crown,
and that there was a reasonable prospect of the success of his
enterprise, great numbers of men, who were now ostensibly on Richard's
side, would forsake him and join the invader. So he sent secret
messengers throughout the kingdom to communicate with his friends, and
to open negotiations with those of Richard's adherents who might
possibly be inclined to change sides. In order to give time for these
negotiations to produce their effect, he resolved not to march at once
into the interior of the country, but to proceed slowly toward the
eastward, along the southern coast of Wales, awaiting intelligence.
This plan he pursued. His strength increased rapidly as he advanced.
At length, when he reached the eastern borders of Wales, he began to
feel strong enough to push forward into England to meet Richard, who
was all this time gathering his forces together at Nottingham, and
preparing for a very formidable resistance of the invader. He
accordingly advanced to Leicester, and thence to the town of Tamworth,
where there was a strong castle on a rock. He took possession of this
castle, and made it, for a time, his head-quarters.

In the mean time, Richard, having received intelligence of Richmond's
movements, and having now made every thing ready for his own advance,
determined to delay no longer, but to go forth and meet his enemy.
Accordingly, one morning, he marshaled his troops in the market-place
of Nottingham, "separating his foot-soldiers in two divisions, five
abreast, and dividing his cavalry so as to form two wide-spreading
wings." He placed his artillery, with the ammunition, in the centre,
reserving for himself a position in a space immediately behind it.


When all was ready, he came out from the castle mounted upon a
milk-white charger. He wore, according to the custom of the times,
a very magnificent armor, resplendent with gold and embroidery, and
with polished steel that glittered in the sun. Over his helmet he wore
his royal crown. He was preceded and followed, as he came out through
the castle gates and descended the winding way which led down from the
hill on which the castle stands, by guards splendidly dressed and
mounted--archers, and spearmen, and other men at arms--with ensigns
bearing innumerable pennants and banners. As soon as he joined the
army in the town the order was given to march, and so great was the
number of men that he had under his command that they were more than
an hour in marching out of Nottingham, and when all had finally issued
from the gate, the column covered the road for three miles.

At length, after some days of man[oe]uvring and marching, the two
armies came into the immediate vicinity of each other near the town of
Bosworth, at a place where there was a wide field, which has since
been greatly renowned in history as the Field of Bosworth. The two
armies advanced into the neighborhood of this field on the 19th and
20th days of August, and both sides began to prepare for battle.

The army which Richard commanded was far more numerous and imposing
than that of Richmond, and every thing, so far as outward appearances
were concerned, promised him an easy victory. And yet Richmond was
exultant in his confidence of success, while Richard was harassed with
gloomy forebodings. His mind was filled with perplexity and distress.
He believed that the leading nobles and generals on his side had
secretly resolved to betray him, and that they were prepared to
abandon him and go over to the enemy on the very field of battle,
unless he could gain advantages so decisive at the very commencement
of the conflict as to show that the cause of Richmond was hopeless.
Although Richard was morally convinced that this was the state of
things, he had no sufficient evidence of it to justify his taking any
action against the men that he suspected. He did not even dare to
express his suspicions, for he knew that if he were to do so, or even
to intimate that he felt suspicion, the only effect would be to
precipitate the consummation of the treachery that he feared, and
perhaps drive some to abandon him who had not yet fully resolved on
doing so. He was obliged, therefore, though suffering the greatest
anxiety and alarm, to suppress all indications of his uneasiness,
except to his most confidential friends. To them he appeared, as one
of them stated, "sore moved and broiled with melancholy and dolor,
and from time to time he cried out, asking vengeance of them that,
contrary to their oath and promise, were so deceiving him."

The recollection of the many crimes that he had committed in the
attainment of the power which he now feared he was about to lose
forever, harassed his mind and tormented his conscience, especially at
night. "He took ill rest at nights," says one of his biographers,
"using to lie long, waking and musing, sore wearied with care and
watch, and rather slumbered than slept, troubled with fearful dreams."

On the day of the battle Richard found the worst of his forebodings
fulfilled. In the early part of the day he took a position upon an
elevated portion of the ground, where he could survey the whole field,
and direct the movements of his troops. From this point he could see,
as the battle went on, one body of men after another go over to the
enemy. He was overwhelmed with vexation and rage. He cried out,
Treason! Treason! and, calling upon his guards and attendants to
follow him, he rushed down the hill, determined to force his way to
the part of the field where Richmond himself was stationed, with a
view of engaging him and killing him with his own hand. This, he
thought, was the last hope that was now left him.

There was a spring of water, and a little brook flowing from it in a
part of the field where he had to pass. He stopped at this spring,
opened his helmet, and took a drink of the water. He then closed his
helmet and rode on.

This spring afterward received, from this circumstance, the name of
"Richard's Well," and it is known by that name to this day.

From the spring Richard rushed forward, attended by a few followers as
fearless as himself, in search of Richmond. He penetrated the enemies'
lines in the direction where he supposed Richmond was to be found, and
was soon surrounded by foes, whom he engaged desperately in a
hand-to-hand encounter of the most furious and reckless character. He
slew one or two of the foremost of those who surrounded him, calling
out all the time to Richmond to come out and meet him in single
combat. This Richmond would not do. In the mean time, many of
Richard's friends came up to his assistance. Some of these urged him
to retire, saying that it was useless for him to attempt to maintain
so unequal a contest, but he refused to go.

"Not one foot will I fly," said he, "so long as breath bides within my
breast; for, by Him that shaped both sea and land, this day shall end
my battles or my life. I will die King of England."

So he fought on. Several faithful friends still adhered to him and
fought by his side. His standard-bearer stood his ground, with the
king's banner in his hand, until at last both his legs were cut off
under him, and he fell to the earth; still he would not let the banner
go, but clung to it with a convulsive grasp till he died.

At last Richard too was overpowered by the numbers that beset him.
Exhausted by his exertions, and weakened by loss of blood, he was
beaten down from his horse to the ground and killed. The royal crown
which he had worn so proudly into the battle was knocked from his head
in the dreadful affray, and trampled in the dust.

Lord Stanley, one of the chieftains who had abandoned Richard's cause
and gone over to the enemy, picked up the crown, all battered and
bloodstained as it was, and put it upon Richmond's head. From that
hour Richmond was recognized as King of England. He reigned under the
title of Henry the Seventh.

[Illustration: KING HENRY VII.]

The few followers that had remained faithful to Richard's cause up to
this time now gave up the contest and fled. The victors lifted up the
dead body of the king, took off the armor, and then placed the body
across the back of a horse, behind a pursuivant-at-arms, who, thus
mounted, rode a little behind the new king as he retired from the
field of battle. Followed by this dreadful trophy of his victory, King
Henry entered the town of Leicester in triumph. The body of Richard
was exposed for three days, in a public place, to the view of all
beholders, in order that every body might be satisfied that he was
really dead, and then the new king proceeded by easy journeys to
London. The people came out to meet him all along the way, receiving
him every where with shouts and acclamations, and crying, "King Henry!
King Henry! Long live our sovereign lord, King Henry!"

For several weeks after his accession Henry's mind was occupied with
public affairs, but, as soon as the most urgent of the calls upon his
attention were disposed of, he renewed his proposals to the Princess
Elizabeth, and in January of the next year they were married. It seems
to have been a matter of no consequence to her whether one man or
another was her husband, provided he was only King of England, so that
she could be queen. Henry's motive, too, in marrying her, was equally
mercenary, his only object being to secure to himself, through her,
the right of inheritance to her father's claims to the throne. He
accordingly never pretended to feel any love for her, and, after his
marriage, he treated her with great coldness and neglect.

His conduct toward her poor mother, the dowager queen, Elizabeth
Woodville, was still more unfriendly. He sent her to a gloomy
monastery, called the Monastery of Bermondsey, and caused her to be
kept there in the custody of the monks, virtually a prisoner. The
reason which he assigned for this was his displeasure with her for
abandoning his cause, and breaking the engagement which she had made
with him for the marriage of her daughter to him, and also for giving
herself and her daughter up into Richard's hands, and joining with him
in the intrigues which Richard formed for connecting the princess with
his family. In this lonely retreat the widowed queen passed the
remainder of her days. She was not precisely a prisoner--at least, she
was not kept in close and continual confinement, for two or three
times, in the course of the few remaining years that she lived, she
was brought, on special occasions, to court, and treated there with a
certain degree of attention and respect. One of these occasions was
that of the baptism of her daughter's child.


In this lonely and cheerless retreat the queen lingered a few years,
and then died. Her body was conveyed to Windsor for interment, and
her daughters and the friends of her family were notified of the
event. A very few came to attend the funeral. Her daughter Elizabeth
was indisposed, and did not come. The interment took place at night. A
few poor old men, in tattered garments, were employed to officiate at
the ceremony by holding "old torches and torches' ends" to light the
gloomy precincts of the chapel during the time while the monks were
chanting the funeral dirge.

                         THE END.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Richard III - Makers of History" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.