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Title: Battles of English History
Author: George, H. B. (Hereford Brooke)
Language: English
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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.

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[Illustration: _Map I._

  _Outline Map of
  England & Wales._]




Fellow of New College, Oxford

Methuen & Co.
36 Essex Street, W.C.

Richard Clay & Sons, Limited,
London & Bungay.


It has been the business of my life to teach history: and the informal
division of labour which comes to pass in a University has led me
to pay special attention to the military side of it. This aspect
of history involves much comparison of statements and weighing of
evidence, and is therefore calculated to be very useful to those for
whom the study of history is, not their permanent occupation, but
the means of completing their mental training. Campaigns and battles
present in an exceptionally clear shape the stock problems of history,
what was done, why it was done, what were the results, what ought to
have been done, what would have been the consequences if this or that
important detail had been different.

It is however not easy to gain from books a clear general idea of a
campaign or a battle, harder perhaps than to obtain a similar grasp
of the work of a legislator, or of the drift of a social change. To
the ordinary historian the military side is only one aspect of his
theme, and very possibly an aspect which interests him but little. He
narrates the facts as given him by his authorities: but when these are
vague, as mediæval writers mostly are, or discrepant, as modern writers
are who mean to be precise and write from different standpoints, he
need be something of an expert to make his narrative lifelike. On the
other hand, purely military works are, very reasonably, technical:
they are written for experts, to whom the technical language is
familiar, and they often go into considerable detail. Ordinary readers
are apt, consequently, to want help in obtaining from them a clear
idea of the outline of events. Like Pindar's poetic shafts, they are
φωνᾶντα συνετοῖσιν, ἐς δὲ τοπὰν ἑρμηνέων χατίζει.

Having experienced these difficulties myself, both as student and as
teacher, I have thought that I might render some service by trying
to act as interpreter, and to describe the chief military events of
English history in a way which shall not be technical, but yet shall
bring out their meaning. I do not write for experts, though it is they
who must judge whether I have described correctly. I write for those
who do not know much about battles, and would like to understand events
which are interesting in themselves, and are great turning-points in
history: they must judge whether I have described intelligibly. If I
have met the proverbial fate of those who sit on two stools, it is not
for want of pains in trying to keep my balance.

I feel that it is _prima facie_ presumptuous for a civilian to write
what is in some sense a military book: but after all it is the customer
who feels where the shoe pinches. Moreover many of the battles of
English history occurred in past ages, in relation to which the
professional training of a modern soldier would teach him little beyond
the permanent principles of strategy, which every educated man should
understand. Given also an elementary knowledge of tactics, which has
spread pretty widely in this country since volunteering began and the
war-game became popular, a civilian ought to be able to deal adequately
with Hastings and Crecy, with Towton and Marston Moor, if not with the
campaigns of Marlborough and Wellington. If I have failed, it is not
because the subject is outside the province of a civilian, but because
the writer has been unequal to his task.

_Si vis pacem, para bellum_ is a sound maxim for statesmen: for
ordinary citizens it may be paraphrased thus—the better you understand
war, the more you will desire peace. I have found that soldiers'
love for peace, and horror of war, is usually in proportion to their
experience: they deem no sacrifice too heavy to secure the greatest of
national blessings. I think therefore that it is reasonable for one
who belongs to a profession pre-eminently peaceful, to attempt to aid
his countrymen in realising what war means. The better they understand
this, the less they will be tempted to enter on war lightly, the more
they will feel how amply worth while is every effort to put their
country beyond the risk of attack.

I wish here to acknowledge a great debt of gratitude to my friend Col.
Cooper King, formerly Professor of Tactics at Sandhurst, who has not
only taken great trouble in drawing the maps to suit my scheme, but has
also obtained for me useful information, besides helping me with some
valuable suggestions and much friendly criticism. I would not however
do him the ill service of sheltering myself behind his authority as an
expert. The faults of my work, whatever they are, are mine and not his,
though they might well have been more numerous without his assistance.

I have made no reference to the naval battles of English history,
hardly less numerous than the great land battles, and, two or three of
them at least, even more important. To deal with them adequately would
require knowledge to which I cannot pretend. Moreover they might best
be treated on a separate plan, similar perhaps to that which I have
followed, but entirely distinct from it.

  Jan. 1, 1895._


 CHAP.                                             PAGE

    I. Introductory                                   1

   II. Hastings                                       9

  III. The Barons' War                               28

   IV. Falkirk and Bannockburn                       40

       Intermediate Note—The Long-Bow                51

    V. Crecy and Poitiers                            54

   VI. Agincourt and Orleans                         80

  VII. The Wars of the Roses                        101

       Intermediate Note—Gunpowder                  115

 VIII. Flodden                                      118

   IX. The Great Civil War                          128

       Intermediate Note—Standing Armies            151

    X. Marlborough                                  153

       Intermediate Note—Line _versus_ Column       175

   XI. The Eighteenth Century                       179

  XII. The Peninsula. Part I.—Defensive             197

 XIII.        "       Part II.—Offensive            215

  XIV. Waterloo                                     237

   XV. The Crimea                                   264

       Intermediate Note—Inferior Races             288

  XVI. India. Part I.—Conquest                      295

 XVII.   "    Part II.—Supremacy                    305

       Appendix: Battles Described                  323

                    "    Mentioned                  324

                 Sieges                             324

       Index                                        325



     I. Outline Map of England             _Frontispiece_

    II. Hastings                                       18

   III. Evesham                                        35

    IV. Outline Map of North France: Crecy             58

     V. Outline Map of West Central France:
        Poitiers                                       66

    VI. Agincourt                                      86

   VII. Towton                                        106

  VIII. Flodden                                       122

    IX. Outline Map of Southern Scotland: Dunbar      147

     X. Blenheim                                      160

    XI. Ramillies                                     166

   XII. Quebec                                        188

  XIII. Outline Map of Spanish Peninsula              196

   XIV. Salamanca                                     222

    XV. Vittoria                                      230

   XVI. Outline Map of Belgium: Waterloo              236

  XVII. The Crimea                                    266

 XVIII. Outline Map of India                          294




Battles are the most generally interesting class of events in history,
and not without reason. Until mankind have all been reduced to a single
pattern, which would put an end to history, there will be conflicting
interests, sentiments, creeds, principles, which will from time to
time lead to war. We may settle many disputes peacefully by mutual
concession, or by voluntary submission to external arbitration: but
an appeal to arms always lies behind, and is the only resource when
differences go too deep for reconciliation, or when the self-respect of
nations is too severely wounded. Even within a nation there are many
possibilities, remote perhaps yet never unimaginable, which may bring
about civil war. And though it is perfectly conceivable that a given
war may be waged to the end without a single important battle, if the
superior skill of one side enables it to gain overwhelming advantage
without fighting, yet practically this does not happen. Battles are in
fact the decisive events in the contests which are of sufficient moment
to grow into war. It is very easy to exaggerate their importance, to
fix attention on the climax only, and lose sight of the events which
led up to it, and which went very far in most cases towards determining
its result. But after all the battle is the climax, and the world in
general may be forgiven for over-estimating it.

Writers, whose humane instincts have been outraged by the way in
which other people ignore the horrors of war, and dwell only on its
glories, have sometimes argued that wars settle nothing, as they only
leave behind a legacy of hatred which tends to fresh wars. No doubt in
some cases, and in a certain sense, this is true. Napoleon trampled
Prussia under foot at Jena, and the spirit engendered in the Prussian
government and people by their ignominious defeat brought about in
course of time the war of 1870, in which France in her turn was crushed
almost as ruthlessly, to cherish ever since a hope of revenge. Still
Jena was decisive for the time, and Sedan for a still longer period;
and there is nothing to prove that France and Germany may not be the
best of friends one day. If peaceful accord at one time does not
prevent a future quarrel should circumstances alter, no more does past
hostility prevent future alliance. Austria and Prussia were permanent,
apparently natural, enemies during a century and a half, except when
the common danger from Napoleon forced them into tardy and unwilling
union; now their alliance is paraded as the permanent guarantee of the
peace of Europe. Russia contributed more than any other power, except
perhaps England, to the destruction of that fabric of universal empire
with which Napoleon dazzled the French. Forty years later, another
Napoleon joined England in making war on Russia and humbling her in the
Crimea: now France and Russia advertise their enthusiastic attachment
to each other. This is however only to say that men's interests will
often be stronger motives of action than their passions; and if the
interests of two nations conflict again in the present, as they have
done in the past, their animosity will be all the keener for the
memories of past defeats sustained at each other's hands.

Is it then undesirable that the memory of past wars should be fostered?
Does it produce nothing but a longing for revenge on the part of those
who have suffered defeat, a sentiment of vainglory on the part of the
victors? Is the roll of English victories over France to breed in
us nothing but an arrogant notion that an Englishman is worth three
Frenchmen, an inference which the mere numbers engaged at Crecy or
Agincourt, if we knew no more, might seem to justify? There is some
danger that this may be the case, if we remember only the battles, the
points of decisive collision, and take no heed to the wars as a whole,
and to the contemporary conditions generally. An isolated battle is
like a jewel out of its setting; it may look very brilliant, but no
use can be made of it. The glories of Sluys and Crecy, of Trafalgar
and Waterloo, would be a _damnosa hereditas_ indeed, if they led us to
despise our neighbours and possible enemies.

Battles however which are not isolated, but are fitted into their
places in the wars to which they belong, and sufficiently linked
together to make them illustrate the political and social changes
from age to age which are reflected in the changes of armament, may
be a subject of study both interesting and instructive. Detailed
narratives of the battles themselves appeal to the imagination in more
ways than one. There is the romantic element, not merely the "pomp
and circumstance of glorious war," and the feats of brilliant courage
which are often admired out of all proportion to their utility, but
also the occasional startling surprises. What drama ever contained
a more thrilling incident than the battle of Marengo, changed in a
moment from a more than possible French defeat into a complete victory,
through a sudden cavalry charge causing the panic rout of an Austrian
column up to that moment advancing successfully? And there is the
personal interest of noting how one man's great qualities, skill,
promptitude, forethought, fertility of resource, in all ages, bodily
powers also in the days before gunpowder, lift him above his fellows,
and enable him visibly to sway their destinies—how the rashness and
incompetence of another entail speedy and visible punishment. And
behind and above all, is the great fact which of itself suffices to
justify the universal interest, that the lives of the combatants are
at stake. "All that a man hath will he give for his life;" yet the
call of duty, or zeal for his cause, induces the soldier to expose
his life to danger, never insignificant, and often most imminent and
deadly; and discipline enables him to do this coolly, and therefore
with the best prospects, not of escaping the sacrifice, but of making
it effectual. The admiration of the soldier which is caricatured in
the nursery-maid's love for a red coat is obviously silly, but the
demagogue's denunciation of him as a bloodthirsty hireling is equally
foolish, and far more mischievous.

If detailed narratives are to be fitted into their historical place,
the first question that suggests itself is why battles were fought
where they were. The exact site is usually a matter of deliberate
choice on the part of one combatant or the other, the assailant seizing
his enemy at a disadvantage as he crosses a river, for instance, or the
defendant selecting what seems to him the best position in which to
await attack; and what position is most favourable obviously depends
on the tactics of the age. Of the latter Hastings and Waterloo furnish
conspicuous examples; of the former the clearest instance in English
history is Tewkesbury. The locality however, as distinguished from the
exact spot, is determined by a variety of considerations. Some are
geographical: the formation of the country, which includes not only
the direction and character of rivers and chains of hills, but also
the position of towns and forests and the course of roads, limits in
various ways the movements of armies. Some may be called political: the
course of events practically compels the attempting of a particular
enterprise. For instance, the battle of Bannockburn had to be fought
because Stirling Castle was to be surrendered to the Scots, if an
English army did not relieve it by a given day. The majority of the
considerations involved are however strategical; and it is worth while
to attempt to make clear what is implied by this often misapplied word.

Strategy is the art of moving an army to advantage, so that either when
it comes to fight it may do so on favourable terms, or it may gain
ground on the enemy without fighting. An invasion so directed as to
give the invader the command of the resources of a rich district, or to
deprive the enemy of access to an important harbour, is an instance of
the latter form of strategic movement. The former and commoner form,
so moving as to compel the enemy to fight at some disadvantage, may
take either of two shapes, or may involve both. There are two elements
to be considered in comparing the situation of the combatants before
a decisive battle. Which side has the best chance of winning? This
depends mainly on the relative strength that can be brought into the
field. To which side will the consequences of defeat be most serious?
This depends mainly on the position of the two armies in the theatre
of war. James IV. of Scotland, when the battle of Flodden was fought,
had allowed Surrey to get between him and Scotland: here a defeat meant
destruction. Henry V. was in a similar strait before Agincourt, but in
this case victory in the field extricated him from danger. Obviously
one of two combatants may begin with very inferior strength to his
opponent; in that case he will probably be obliged to stand on the
defensive, and his strategy must be directed to making the most of
his force, to doing the best he can with very small numbers for minor
purposes, to avoiding battle until he can equalise matters somewhat,
and bring as large a proportion as possible to bear on the decisive
point. Obviously also one side may have an advantage over the other
derived from geography; for instance, one may have, while the other
has not, a great fortress near the common frontier, which will serve
as a starting point for invasion. A general has to take the facts
as he finds them, and make the best of them. He is the most skilful
strategist who gains the most without fighting, and who succeeds in
shifting the balance most largely in his own favour before engaging in
decisive battle.

Changes in tactics again are matters of great interest from age to age,
not merely in themselves, but in connection with other developments
on which at first sight they seem to have no bearing. Primarily they
are matters of intellectual progress: the invention of gunpowder was
an event of incalculable importance in human history. Similarly the
material progress exemplified in making good roads brought with it the
possibility of supplying an army in the field, instead of its being
compelled to subsist on the country; and the possibility of doing
this presently became a virtual necessity, because the best supplied
army had a visible advantage. Thus gradually, through the progress
of civilisation, armies have become highly elaborate machines, which
require to be continuously supplied with food, ammunition, clothing,
all the material without which they cannot act effectually. Hence they
need to keep up continuous communication with their base of operations:
and the conditions of strategy have been proportionally altered and
rendered more complicated.

There are other changes in tactics, that is to say in equipment and
mode of fighting, which may be called political: and it is not always
easy to see whether they are the causes, or the effects, of social and
political changes; possibly they are both. In the early middle ages,
the feudal aristocracy was dominant politically, the mailed knights
were preponderant on the battle-field. When infantry had learned on the
continent of Europe to repel mailed cavalry with the pike, in England
to destroy them with the clothyard arrow, the political supremacy of
the feudal nobles waned along with their military superiority: their
overthrow was consummated when the development of artillery placed
feudal castles at the mercy of the crown. Inasmuch as political power
must in the last resort depend on physical force, it is plain that
the nature of the armed strength of a nation at any time will be an
important element in determining the nature of its government.

There are also lessons to be learnt from battles which may roughly
be called moral. Frederick the Great remarked cynically that, so
far as he had observed, Providence was always on the side of the
strongest battalions: and if the phrase be given sufficient width of
interpretation it is perfectly true. No man ever exhibited more clearly
than Frederick that strength has many elements. Discipline, endurance,
mobility, courage, are all important constituents of military strength,
as also is the relative excellence of armament. Soldiers who can be
trusted not to lose their heads, either from eagerness or from panic,
are worth far more in the long run than more excitable men. The
bulldog, that never relaxes his grip but in death, is a more formidable
opponent, weight for weight, than the tiger. Still more valuable is the
iron tenacity which is capable of fighting after all hope is lost: it
may apparently succumb, but such defeat is worth many a victory. The
Spartans at Thermopylae were cut to pieces, but they taught the Persian
king what Greeks could do, and prepared the way for his headlong flight
when his fleet was beaten at Salamis: and the English in the Indian
Mutiny enforced the same lesson. The individuals are lost to their
country, but their death is worth more than many lives.

English history is in many ways well suited for illustrating the
lessons that may be learnt from battles and their setting. It is
continuous beyond any other national history of even moderate length.
Englishmen of to-day have more in common with the axemen of Harold
than Frenchmen of to-day have with the horsemen of Condé. Hence it
is easier in England than elsewhere to see the significance of the
changes, social and political, which accompany the military changes.
The Norman feudal cavalry overcome the Saxon foot-soldiers, and the
long-bow presently discomfits the lance; artillery makes mediæval
walls worthless: the musket and pike supersede the bow, and the
invention of the bayonet combines pike and musket in one. Later still
have come enormous extension of the range of fire, both for infantry
and artillery, the invention of new explosives and other engines of
destruction, the effects of which are still matters of conjecture.
Happily more than a generation has passed since British troops fought
on a European battle-field: we have not yet tried long range artillery
and machine guns, and cordite and melinite, and the other deadly things
that end in -ite, except on a very small scale and against inferior
races. But all the previous stages are reflected in our history of
a thousand years, to go no further back than Alfred, and in some
instances with very special significance.

Moreover English history is on the whole a history of success. We
have suffered defeat from time to time, but the last crushing rout
of a considerable army even mainly English, which history records,
occurred nearly six centuries ago at the hands of our kindred the
Scots, who have long since become our fellow-citizens. Why this has
been the case is obvious enough; and the battle-fields point the moral
very distinctly. First of all the English obtained a coherence of
organisation and of feeling which entitled them to be called a nation,
as that word is understood now-a-days, centuries before any other
peoples of modern Europe; and the military value of that advantage is
the foremost lesson of the so-called Hundred Years' War with France.
Secondly, "the English don't know when they are beaten," as a great
enemy said, in scorn for the stupidity of men who would fight on
without perceiving that their opponents had gained tactical advantages,
which to the quicker apprehension of some troops would have meant
defeat. Such stupidity however is very difficult to distinguish from
the dogged resolution which will not give way while life remains: and
the quality, by whichever name it is called, is very apt to win. It
needs no words to show that the lessons deducible from battles are more
obvious to the victors; the losers have a great temptation to see only
what may serve to excuse or palliate their defeat.

It may be added that in English history there is a considerable
proportion of civil war, where the purely military aspect of things
is not obscured by the possible or probable results of diversity of
race. The conquest of India is also unique in history, for the mode in
which it was achieved as well as for its extent. Thus English history
gives every variety—its long continuity spreads its great battles over
eight centuries, and those battles have been fought against European
equals, in internal conflict, against the alien races of India. The
only experience which England has not had is that of one armed nation
precipitating itself on another; from this we are happily preserved by
the narrow seas.



It is probably needless to say that Hastings was not the first battle
of English history. The Romans met with desperate resistance in
more than one locality before they could complete their conquest of
Britain: indeed it was not completed at all, for the wild tribes of
the Scottish highlands never submitted. Details are scantily given:
some of the principal scenes of conflict cannot even be identified
with any certainty. But any one who desires to know how our British
ancestors fought against the Romans may feel sure that the narratives
given by Caesar of his battles with the Gauls afford a pretty faithful
picture of the battles fought by the Celts on this side of the Channel.
He may even be content with newspaper accounts of the fighting in
Africa between English troops and Soudanese, or Zulus, or Matabeles.
The picture of the fierce enthusiasm, the desperate courage, of
untrained savages dashing themselves to pieces against the coolness
of disciplined troops armed with superior weapons, is essentially the
same, whether the legionaries use the _pilum_ or the Maxim gun.

So too, after the Romans had quitted Britain, and the Angles and Saxons
came pouring across the narrow seas, the contest between them and the
Britons was in some localities most stubborn. The scanty but reasonably
trustworthy information which we possess indicates this clearly enough:
the kingdom of Wessex in particular extended itself westward very
gradually and at the cost of serious battles. The localities of some
of these are known, and the geographical and other reasons which led
to their taking place on these fields may be fairly well inferred. But
of detail there is none, though we may safely conclude that the "dim
weird battle of the west" in Tennyson's _Morte d'Arthur_, which belongs
to this age so far as it has other than ideal existence, was totally
unlike, except for the fury of hand-to-hand conflict, any actual
encounter between British king and heathen invaders leagued with his
own rebel subjects.

Similarly when the Anglo-Saxon conquest was complete, and the new
kingdoms began to contend for mastery among themselves, there were
many bloody battles, some of them of real importance to the history
of our island, as marking the decisive points in the severe struggle
between Christian Northumbria and heathen Mercia, but little or nothing
more than their names is known. Hume in a well-known passage cites
with apparent approval the saying of a greater man than himself, to
the effect that the battles of the Heptarchy period were of no more
interest than the conflicts of kites and crows. If this be overstated
from the point of view of their permanent results, it is impossible
to dispute its truth relatively to the military aspect of these wars.
Little as is known about them, there is every reason to believe
that the art of war formed no exception to the general rudeness and
ignorance of the age.[1] Indeed there is positive evidence, in the fact
that the first Danish invaders, who appeared before England had come
to own a single ruler, found the English far their inferiors in arms,
in skill, in everything but mere courage. The English had no coherent
organisation, no practice in combined warfare, no defensive armour.
Hence they were no match for the pirates, clad in mail shirt and iron
cap, trained to rapid movement, and prompt to defend themselves behind
rudely constructed fortifications when hard pressed.

Gradually the scene changed. The Danes who had begun as mere marauders,
landing here and there to plunder and destroy and then return to
their ships, remained in the land as conquering settlers. The English
gradually adopted arms and equipment similar to those of their enemies,
and learned to encounter them on equal terms. By degrees the Saxon
kings of Wessex (their power, like good metal, rendered tougher by
the hammering it had received from the Danes) became the effective
rulers over the main part of the island, over Angles, Saxons and Danes
alike, and at least nominally supreme over the Celtic fringe in the
north and west. Gradually too the organisation took somewhat of a
feudal character. The free ceorl bound by the general law to appear
in arms for the defence of the country, becomes the "man" of a lord,
bound to serve at his call. The Danish Cnut, who won the English crown
by the sword after a long conflict in which there are no military
differences traceable between Saxon and Dane, but who was in the end
fully accepted by both alike, carried the approximation to feudalism
still further. He divided England into great earldoms, resembling only
too closely the duchies of Normandy and Burgundy in their tendency to
become both hereditary and practically independent. When the Danish
dynasty died out, the weakness of the restored Saxon king worked for
good in one respect: the power of the crown was virtually wielded by
Godwine, the ablest of the earls, and by his greater son after him. On
the other hand the very preponderance of Godwine's house sharpened the
antagonism of its rivals. When Harold, at length king in name as well
as in fact, had to face the two-fold danger of invasion from Norway and
from Normandy, he found those parts of England which were not ruled
by himself or his brothers lukewarm in the national cause: the old
separate traditions, the old race jealousy of Angle, Saxon, Dane, had
resumed serious activity. The only solid support he had was the finest
body of trained infantry which the world had seen since the decay of
the Roman legion.

On January 5, 1066, Edward the Confessor died: his last public act had
been the consecration of his new abbey at Westminster. The Witenagemot,
assembled as usual at Christmas time, and probably in unusual numbers
for the sake of the ceremony so dear to the heart of Edward, whose
end was known to be near, felt that no time must be lost in filling
the throne. The right of election beyond all possible question lay
with the Witan: custom prescribed the choice of a member of the royal
house, and gave obvious and natural preference to the last king's son,
at any rate if he were a grown man; but not even he could have any
right save by election and coronation. Now however the royal house was
extinct, save a feeble boy, grandson of Edward's elder half-brother;
William duke of Normandy was known to be dreaming of the English crown.
Under such circumstances there was virtually no alternative but to
elect some one not of royal birth: and Harold the earl of Wessex, the
virtual ruler of England for some years past, was the only possible
choice. Accordingly the crown was offered to him on the very day of
Edward's death, and the next day saw the burial of the dead saint and
the coronation of the living hero. Harold's position was a difficult
one even at home, besides the danger from over seas. The earldom of
Mercia, the whole centre of England, was ruled by Edwin, third in
succession of a family which had been permanently hostile to the house
of Godwine. Northumbria was in the hands of his younger brother Morcar,
who had replaced Harold's brother Tostig, against whose tyrannous rule
the men of Northumbria had revolted. The young earls were in every way
contemptible, feeble in action, narrow-minded, selfish, short-sighted.
They saw no reason why Harold should be preferred to themselves, and
in their hatred of him lost sight of their own true interests. They
dallied with the thought that England might once more be divided into
separate kingdoms for their benefit, being ignorant or reckless enough
to imagine that they would be able to withstand the Norman if he,
through their inactivity, succeeded in conquering Wessex. For the time
Harold's personal influence won over the Northumbrians, and the two
earls acquiesced in his rule, and were only too glad of his assistance
against the Northmen: but when the final stress came not a man whom
Edwin and Morcar could control was found by the king's side.

William the Norman had absolutely no claim to the crown of England: his
ambition saw an opportunity, and his unscrupulous skill made a string
of baseless pretexts look sufficiently plausible to be accepted by
those who wished to believe in them. He said that he was the nearest
of kin to the late king, which was false; he was a distant cousin, but
only through Edward's Norman mother, and so was in no way descended
from the English royal house. As reasonably might the king of France
have claimed the crown of the Stuarts, on the ground that the wife of
Charles I. was a French princess. He said that Edward the Confessor
had promised him the succession; and it is most probable that Edward,
whose education had been Norman and whose sympathies were not English,
had encouraged him, years before, to hope for it. But the king of
England had no right to bequeath the crown; and whatever influence a
dying king's recommendation might have, had been exerted in favour of
Harold. He said that Harold had done him homage, and sworn[2] solemnly
to recognise him as king after Edward's death; but nothing that Harold
might have done could bind England. The crown of England was elective,
freely so in form: and the only limitation which custom imposed, or
which could be pretended to have legal force, confined the choice to
members of a single family to which William did not belong.

Nevertheless William succeeded in making this farrago of insolent
irrelevancy deceive those whom he was interested in persuading, by
the aid of a policy even more unscrupulous and far-reaching than his
own. In the eleventh century clearness of thought was rare; men were
capable of grasping the idea of kindred, without understanding that
not every form of kindred could give rights of inheritance. No one in
England, except the handful of Norman settlers, would listen for a
moment to William's pretensions: but in Europe generally the notions
of hereditary right, and of the sacredness of royal blood, had gained
a firmer hold, though fortunately for William they were still vague.
It seemed as if a duke of Normandy must needs have a better claim to a
vacant throne than any mere subject. Most important of all, William
obtained the aid of the Church to condemn Harold for perjury. England
had always been too independent to please the papacy; and Hildebrand,
afterwards the greatest of popes as Gregory VII., who already swayed
the papal policy, saw the value of the opportunity. To denounce Harold
as having forfeited the crown by his perjury, to grant the solemn
blessing of the Church to William's mission of pure conquest, would, if
William succeeded, be a great step towards establishing the papal claim
to make and unmake kings at will, to be supreme temporally as well as
spiritually. William could thus appeal for aid to the superstition as
well as to the cupidity of all the adventurers of western Europe, as
the popes did later for the crusades. It was indeed the first, the most
successful, and perhaps the most wicked of all crusades.

William lost no time in solemnly demanding the crown of England as
his by right, and formally calling on Harold to fulfil his oath; of
course he expected the curt refusal which he received. It was no
part of his policy to conceal his purpose: rather he hoped to awaken
superstitious terrors in the minds of the English, and give them time
to grow. His preparations however took many months, and when he was
ready, contrary winds delayed the passage of the Channel for many weeks
more, to his great advantage. Harold got together a large fleet to
guard the Channel, and called out the _fyrd_ of the southern counties
to defend the coast. But a body of men serving without pay is hard to
keep together, and the imperfect resources of the age made it difficult
to feed them. In September, when the summer was over, and no Norman
expedition had appeared, Harold was obliged to disband his army, and
let the fleet go back to London. Almost immediately he received the
news that another and to all appearance more formidable enemy was on
the point of invading England in the north.

Tostig, Harold's brother, who had been driven out by his Northumbrian
subjects, and whom Harold's justice had refused to support against
them, thought he saw his opportunity for revenge and restoration.
Whether he suggested to Harold Hardrada, king of Norway, that he should
attempt to seize the English throne, or whether Hardrada had already
thought of it as a fitting crown to his career of warlike adventure,
is not clear. Certainly they united in the last, the greatest and the
most disastrous of the Viking expeditions. With a fleet of several
hundred ships, manned it is said by half the fighting population of
his kingdom, Harold Hardrada crossed to the Orkneys, and drawing
contingents from thence and from Scotland, sailed down the Northumbrian
coast, plundering and destroying. Entering the Humber, he went up the
Ouse as far as Riccall, some ten miles south of York, and leaving
his ships there under a guard, marched upon York. Morcar the earl
of Northumbria had so far made no attempt at resistance, but he had
gathered the _fyrd_ of his earldom, and perhaps of his brother's also,
for the two earls moved together from York to meet the invaders. On
September 20 a battle took place at Fulford, only two miles from York,
in which the earls, after a severe struggle, were decisively defeated.
The city surrendered, and the Northmen withdrew to Stamford Bridge
on the Derwent, eight miles east of York, to await the collecting of
hostages in token of the submission of the whole earldom. King Harold,
on hearing the news of his namesake's expedition, had hastily gathered
what forces he could, and marched with all speed northwards. On the
morning of September 25 he reached York, which had only surrendered the
day before, and without halting went in search of the enemy.

Harold Hardrada's camp was pitched on the eastern side of the
Derwent—the locality is still known as the Battle Flats—but some
of his men were on the western bank, keeping no watch, and in no way
prepared for battle. The road from York rises slightly most of the way,
and then descends a mile or two to the Derwent: hence Harold's approach
was not seen until he was near at hand. The Northmen on the western
bank resisted as long as they could, but were driven over the river.
One man, we are told by his enemies, defended the bridge with his
single arm for some time, until he was killed by a thrust from below.
Then the English crossed the Derwent, and the real struggle began.

The Northmen were drawn up, according to their usual tactics when
standing on the defensive, in a continuous ring, their shields
interlocking. In the centre rose their standard, the black raven,
significantly known as the Landwaster, the gigantic form of the last of
the Vikings towering beside it. Their weapon of offence was the long
two-handed sword, though how they managed to wield it, and yet maintain
the continuity of the shield wall, is rather difficult to understand.

According to the famous saga of Snorro Sturleson, the English king made
one last effort for peace before beginning the final onset. His face
concealed by his helmet, he rode across with a few of his thegns to
the enemy, and offered his brother forgiveness and the restoration of
his earldom if he would return to his allegiance. "And what," replied
Tostig, "shall be given to king Harold of Norway?" "Seven feet of land
for a grave, or as much more as he needs, since he is taller than other
men." "Then go back, and tell king Harold of England to prepare for
battle: it shall never be said in Norway that I brought their king over
to England, and then deserted him." The story is too true to the spirit
of the age not to be told; but authority for it there is none, any more
than for the words of the champions in Homer. The saga was written
so long after the event that it had been quite forgotten how the
English of that day fought: they are described as consisting entirely
of horsemen and archers, after the fashion prevalent two centuries
and more later. Nothing on the contrary is more certain than that at
Stamford Bridge there were few or none of either arm. The battle was
fought and won mainly by king Harold's housecarls, armed with the
Danish axe.

It needs little imagination to picture the encounter of the two hosts,
clad and armed substantially in the same fashion, practically of
the same race. After a desperate hand-to-hand conflict the English
prevailed; Harold Hardrada and Tostig were both killed, and the host of
the Northmen was almost annihilated. With politic mercy Harold allowed
his namesake's youthful son and the remnant of the invaders to sail
home, on their giving pledges for peace, which in truth they were long
in no condition to break. The victory of Stamford Bridge was a great
stroke for the security of Europe generally: it broke for ever the
aggressive power of the Northmen, which for two centuries had been a
standing danger to all coasts from the mouth of the Baltic to far into
the Mediterranean, and which had completely conquered two regions as
far remote from each other as Sicily and Normandy. At the same time
the fearful losses of the battle may well have turned the scale in the
struggle that was impending with the transformed Northmen from across
the Channel.

William of Normandy's fleet and army was assembled in the first
instance at the mouth of the Dive, west of the Seine. Of its numbers it
is impossible to speak with confidence, the accounts vary so greatly;
but it was as large and complete as the resources of his duchy and the
promises he held out to adventurers could make it. He was ready to sail
some time in August, but the wind was steadily contrary. About the
time when the English fleet was perforce withdrawn from the Channel,
he was able to move his whole expedition to the mouth of the Somme, a
necessary preliminary to attempting to cross the Channel. So large a
fleet, consisting no doubt to a great extent of open boats, could not
possibly have ventured to make the passage from the original point
of assembly, which was doubtless selected as being more central to
Normandy generally. Not for two or three weeks more did the necessary
south wind blow. On September 27 the wind was at last favourable: next
day William landed at Pevensey, and on the 29th occupied Hastings,
where he formed a fortified camp to protect his ships. Nothing could
have been more opportune for his interests: he had been unable to
move while the English fleet was at sea, nor until Harold, far away
in the north, had been weakened by the slaughter among his housecarls
at Stamford Bridge. It was not the Norman's policy to plunge into a
hostile country. Harold must needs come to meet him, and the nearer he
could bring on a battle to his fleet, and therefore to his means of
escape in case of defeat, the better for him. Accordingly he remained
at Hastings, ravaging the country far and wide, partly for subsistence,
partly to compel Harold to approach him.

A Sussex thegn soon brought the news to Harold: he had ridden the
whole distance to York in three days, and found the king, so the story
is told, at the banquet held in honour of his recent victory. Harold
returned to London at once with his housecarls, summoning in all haste
the forces of the south and east of England, which responded heartily
to the call, the men of Kent and of London foremost. As soon as an
adequate number was assembled, he marched straight to meet the invader.
The king's exact movements cannot be traced, but the speed with which
the whole was accomplished was extraordinary. In sixteen days at the
latest from the time of William's landing, Harold and his army were
close to him. In that time the news had been conveyed to York, the
king's army had marched the whole way back, and men had been sent
for and gathered from every shire from the Wash to the Exe. While in
London, say the chroniclers, Harold was urged to let his brother Gyrth
lead the army against the Norman, on the ground that, while he could
not deny his promise to William, and there was a widespread fear of
the wrath of the saints at his breaking the oath sworn on their relics,
all this applied only to Harold personally. The king might stay in
London, organise further levies, and by wasting the country render the
advance of the invaders impossible: all would not be lost even if Gyrth
were defeated. Harold rejected the well-meant advice; he would ask no
one to run a risk he was not prepared to share, he would never harm
those who were entrusted to his care. The decision was wise as well as
chivalrous, in his peculiar position: his standing aloof would only
have strengthened the superstitious awe which the maledictions of the
Church on his perjury aroused, and given excuse for other defections
than those for which Edwin and Morcar were responsible. Under ordinary
circumstances a king's or a commander-in-chief's obvious duty is not
to risk his own life. In Harold's case every consideration dictated
his being personally foremost in the fight. It would have been well
for England had he acted on the advice in a reversed sense, and left
Gyrth behind in his stead. While Harold lived Gyrth was only of minor
importance; when Harold had fallen, the cause of England might still
have been sustained successfully by his brother.


  _Map II._

  _Battle of Hastings._
  _14^{th}. Oct. 1066._]

The contemporary, or nearly contemporary, accounts of the battle of
Hastings are numerous, both English and Norman, but their statements
differ greatly. Hardly any of them write with knowledge of the ground;
none, it may be safely said, with anything like military precision.
It is easy to discount the exaggerations of partisanship; it is easy
to perceive that some statements made cannot be true, for reasons of
time and distance, or because they are based on misapprehension of
known facts. Beyond this one can only conjecture, as one statement
seems more probable than another, or more easily reconcilable with
things ascertained beyond reasonable doubt. Moreover, though the
locality of the battle is open to no question, the appearance of it
has been so much changed, that reconstruction of its condition at the
date of the battle must again be imperfect. Much was probably altered
in the building of Battle Abbey, much has certainly been altered in
forming the grounds of the modern house, which include the ruins of the
abbey church. For instance the slope up to the spot where Harold's
standard was planted, a spot fixed for all time by the high altar of
Battle Abbey being placed there, is in its upper part scarped to form
a terrace. Again, the whole position looks very like one that might
have been selected in earlier days for a camp. The ditch which some
accounts say covered Harold's front may possibly have been an ancient
one; in which case the hollow bearing the name of Malfosse on the other
side, where the defeated English turned and smote their pursuers, may
have been partly artificial also. But the present state of the ground
affords no positive support to this conjecture, though it does not
negative it. All that can be done, in attempting to picture the battle
for modern readers, without going into wearisome detail, is to tell the
story in a form that does not contradict the known conditions, and to
refer to the original authorities[3] readers who desire to judge for

Harold was by the necessity of the case compelled to fight a battle: so
far the Norman had prevailed. Tactically however Harold succeeded in
forcing the Norman to fight on ground of his choosing, under conditions
favourable to the English method of fighting, and unfavourable to the
Norman method. He posted his army on a projecting bit of hill, a spur
in fact of the South Downs, close to the direct road from Hastings
towards London. William of Normandy could not possibly pass the English
without fighting: if he did so he was liable to be cut off from his
ships. Nor could he wait indefinitely at Hastings: he had no choice
but to advance. Further, to receive attack in a defensive position was
what gave the best chance of success to the English, practically all
foot-soldiers, the best of them clothed in mail shirts and armed with
axes. Finally, the piece of ground actually chosen was exactly suitable
for its purpose: it was not too large to be fully manned, and it
compelled the Normans to charge uphill. On the other hand it is obvious
that the Normans, whose main strength lay in mailed horsemen, could not
stand on the defensive; attack was what they were fitted for.

Harold's army was drawn up facing to the south, on a ridge somewhat
under a mile in length. The ground in front sloped away, gently on the
right, steeply in the centre, rather less steeply on the left flank,
where the little town of Battle now stands. Behind the right and again
behind the left there were hollows, the latter being apparently then
the most marked. Behind the centre of the hill was a sort of broad
isthmus connecting it with the mass of the Downs. Along the whole
or part of the front a palisade[4] of some kind seems to have been
constructed, by way of protection against the onset of the Norman
horsemen: but this cannot possibly have been an elaborate and solid
barrier. In the first place there was not time to make such a thing;
as has been already noted, the interval between William's landing and
the battle was amazingly short for what was done in it. Harold cannot
possibly have had more than one October day in which to fortify his
position. Nor is there the least probability that the Norman would
have looked on, while the position he would have to attack was
strengthened to the extent suggested. Moreover there were no materials
for such a work ready to hand, though there may well have been plenty
for a slighter fence. A chronicler of later date does indeed say
that houses were pulled down for the purpose; but the contemporaries
imply, if they do not positively assert, that there were none near:
the spot is identified in one English chronicle only as being "by the
hoary apple-tree." Again, the narratives of the actual battle describe
close hand-to-hand fighting, which must have been across the barrier,
if there was one; and this is obviously inconsistent with its having
been a massive structure, still more so with its having been double or
triple. Whatever the nature of the fortification, whether palisade or
ditch, or both, it was only a slight additional protection: the real
defence of the position was the stout arms of the English.

The Norman camp was still at Hastings, seven miles off. We hear of
spies being sent out by both sides, and of the Englishmen, unused to
see shaven faces, coming back with the report that there were more
priests than soldiers among the Normans. We hear of formal demands
made by William that Harold should keep his oath, or submit to the
arbitration of the Church, an obvious mockery, as the Pope had already
sent William a consecrated banner in token of his solemn blessing on
the invasion. We even hear of William challenging Harold to decide
the dispute by single combat. Such are just the details likely to be
invented by a narrator desiring to be picturesque; the only intrinsic
improbability about them is that they imply a longer time spent by the
two armies in the presence of each other than is consistent with the
known facts.

Early on the morning of October 14, the Norman host marched out from
Hastings, and passing over the intervening high ground, halted on the
hill of Telham, whence they looked down on the English position, a
mile and a half away on the other side of the valley. Here the knights
assumed their heavy armour, and the duke by accident put on his coat
of mail hind part before. His superstitious followers were shocked
at the evil omen, but he readily turned it, as most such supposed
presages can be turned, in his own favour, saying, "That means that
my duchy will be turned into a kingdom." Hearing from one of his spies
that Harold's standard was displayed, so that there was no doubt that
the king was there and meant to fight, William went on to vow that in
case of victory he would build an abbey where that standard stood.
The centre of the army, when drawn up for attack, consisted of the
native Normans, the left of the auxiliaries from Brittany and Maine,
more or less dependent on Normandy; the right was formed of the French
adventurers who had joined in the expedition in hopes of sharing the
plunder of England, but was commanded by William Fitzosborn and Roger
of Montgomery, two of William's most trusted nobles. The sole idea
of battle being an attack straight to the front, the whole line was
formed in the same way. The archers went foremost to do what mischief
they could to the stationary English. Next came the heavier armed
foot-soldiers to break down the defences (whatever they were), and open
the way for the mounted knights, who constituted the third line, and on
whom the chief stress of decisive fighting would fall. In the centre
rode the duke himself, with his brother Odo bishop of Bayeux by his
side, each armed, as the tapestry shows them, with the heavy mace.

It was about nine a.m.,[5] according to the chroniclers who note the
hour, that the battle began. About the centre of the English line were
planted the twin royal standards. The red dragon of Wessex, which
had waved over many a battle-field and had but rarely seen defeat,
appeared now for the last time. Beside it Harold's own personal
device, the Fighting-man, the figure of an armed warrior embroidered
in gold, marked on its first and last field the spot where the king
and his brothers fought. Harold's housecarls, and the men of London
and Kent armed in like fashion, formed the centre of the line. On
their left were seemingly men less heavily armed, but quite able to
hold their own against their opponents. On this part of the line the
fighting throughout the battle seems to have been obstinate, equal,
and uneventful; the great oscillations of fortune, the murderous
repulses, the ultimate success of the Normans, are at the centre and
on the right. From the present appearance of the ground there can be
no doubt that the access to the English right was by a much gentler
slope than elsewhere. Nevertheless the ill-armed portion of the English
host, peasants with no defensive armour, carrying javelins or clubs,
a few possibly with bows, were there placed. A modern general would
certainly have guarded with special care the flank that was most easily
assailable. Harold doubtless took for granted, and quite correctly,
that wherever he planted his standard, thither the principal attack
would be directed.

While the archers covered the general advance with a flight of arrows,
a minstrel named Taillefer rode forward singing "of Charlemagne and
Roland, and those who died at Roncesvalles." Throwing his sword into
the air and catching it again, he made straight for the English, and
killed two, one with his lance and one with his sword, before he
himself fell. Behind him the Norman foot-soldiers charged up the hill,
met by darts and stones, and as they reached the line by the deadlier
hand weapons. Finding that they made no impression, William led in
person the charge of the mailed knights, to be equally repulsed. Horse
and man went down under the blows of the terrible axe. The Bretons and
others on the Norman left fled in confusion, pursued by some of the
English right, who contrary to orders broke their ranks to follow up
the flying enemy. Panic and disorder spread more or less to the centre:
there was a cry that the duke was slain: the battle was almost lost.
Baring his head, William in person stemmed the tide and drove the
fugitives back: they rallied and cut down such of the English as had
ventured far in pursuit.

The duke, as soon as order was restored, led a fresh attack on the
English standard. This time his horse was killed under him, but he
himself escaped unhurt, to deal with his own hand, if one is to follow
Professor Freeman's account, a very serious blow to the English cause,
by slaying Gyrth, Harold's brother and most trusted counsellor.
Harold's other brother Leofwine fell, according to the picture in
the Tapestry, about the same time with Gyrth. Still the English line
remained unbroken; though the defences must have been by this time
more or less broken down, the men behind were as firm as ever. Had
not William possessed a ready insight, prompter than anything we
find elsewhere in mediæval warfare, the Norman chivalry would have
exhausted itself finally in vain charges, and Hastings had been as
Crecy. The Norman duke however had noted that the only thing which
hitherto had disturbed the impregnable line of the English was the
rush from the right in pursuit of the flying Bretons. He ventured on
the bold experiment of bidding his left make a fresh assault, take
again to flight, and if the English rushed forward, turn suddenly on
the pursuers. The stratagem succeeded; again the English, out of reach
of their king's direct authority, broke their line entirely. When
the feigned flight was converted into a fresh charge they were taken
utterly at a disadvantage, and though they filled the hollow round
the right of the position with French dead, they none the less were
routed. The Norman horsemen could now easily reach the level of the
hill top, and charge along it towards the standard, instead of toiling
up the slope in front. Even yet the battle was in doubt; the Normans
could bring the weight of horses and men to bear more effectually, and
the English had lost the protection such as it was of their palisade,
but the horsemen could charge only on a narrow front, the width of
the ridge, instead of up its whole face. Once more William's ready
skill suggested a combination against which mere courage and strength
must ultimately fail. His archers had obviously been useless while
the direct charges up the slope were going on, and of little avail in
the intervals, when the English could protect themselves with their
shields. He could now use both archers and horsemen together, for the
ground to the south was free[6] for the archers, when the knights had
reached the hill top on their left. Bidding his archers shoot into the
air, so that their arrows fell like rain about the standard, he led
the horsemen on once more. The device was fatal. The English could not
ward off the arrows, while engaged in hand-to-hand conflict: they must
perish or give way, unless darkness came to their rescue. Just before
sunset the final blow was struck: an arrow pierced Harold's eye, and
as he lay in agony at the foot of the standard he was despatched by
four knights. If we could believe the exulting French poet they mangled
his body brutally; but this is happily inconsistent with the certain
fact that his corpse was found and buried. The standards were trampled
down, the position was at every part seized by the Normans; still the
desperate English fought on, and hardly a man of Harold's personal
following, or of the nobility of southern England, survived the day,
except those already too badly wounded to move. Under cover of the
darkness the light armed English fled, again inflicting serious loss
on their pursuers, who rolled headlong into the hollow that afterwards
bore the significant name of Malfosse.

Had Harold, or even Gyrth, survived the battle, the conquest of
England, it is said, need not have ensued. The remark is a futile one;
under the peculiar conditions there was no third alternative. Harold,
we may safely say, never dreamed of the possibility of surviving
defeat: and his brothers, once in the field, would share his fate,
whether victory or death. The Norman duke, we are told, to taste the
full flavour of his triumph, had his tent pitched where the English
standard had stood, and passed the night there, surrounded by the
piled-up dead. Next day William superintended the burial of his own
dead; the corpses of the English he left to the dogs and birds, except
such as their kindred carried away. Two monks from Harold's own abbey
of Waltham came offering large sums, in their own name and in the name
of his aged mother, for leave to inter the fallen king within the walls
he had built. But the conqueror was inexorable: he bade one of his
knights bury the body of the accursed of the Church beneath a cairn
of stones on the Sussex shore.[7] Little as William meant it, he was
giving the noblest of sepulchres to the fallen hero, the one English
king who has died fighting for his fatherland.

Our sympathies are naturally with Harold and the English, defending
their homes and their independence against unprovoked foreign
aggression. William's claim was based on falsehood, supported by fraud,
established by violence. Nevertheless when once king he ruled well and
wisely. If he rewarded his followers with English lands, he prevented
the intrusive nobles from obtaining the position and privileges which
would render them a mere curse to England. In the fifth generation
their descendants had become the leaders of a fairly united nation,
winning for all ranks and classes the Great Charter of liberty. Without
the Norman Conquest, without the new blood mingled with the English
race, without the new ideas introduced into church and state through
closer intercourse with the continent, the subsequent history must
have been totally different, and so far as conjecture is admissible,
far less eminent than it in fact has been, alike in arts and arms, in
commerce and in government.

From the point of view of the art of war, the battle of Hastings is
also important, marking an epoch there too very decidedly. For more
than two centuries after Hastings infantry are of no account in western
Europe. The battle had indeed been won by the skilful combination of
archery with the charge of mailed horsemen. It is at least doubtful
whether the latter would finally have prevailed without the rain of
arrows to smite and perplex those whom they were attacking in front.
The horsemen however did in fact trample under foot the last relics of
Harold's heavy armed foot-soldiers, and feudal pride did the rest. It
was taken for granted on all hands that mailed knights, and they alone,
constituted strength in war, and this fell in with the political ideas
of the age only too well. Seven generations were destined to elapse
before the tables began to be turned on the knights.



The Norman Conquest was, to the English body politic, like one of
those powerful drugs which seriously disorder the constitution for the
time, but if the patient has strength to bear the treatment do him
permanent good. The Barons' War was, as it were, the last feverish
fit resulting from the Conquest. The Normans, though they had adopted
French ideas and speech, were in race closely akin to the Anglo-Danes;
and the fusion between them was hastened by the accession of the house
of Anjou to the throne. The Conqueror and his sons had to a certain
extent identified themselves with England, leaning for support against
the turbulent Norman barons upon their English subjects. Henry II.,
though he did great things for England as a wise legislator and strong
administrator, was distinctly a foreigner. His father was French, his
wife was French, his ambition was to dominate France. Henry III.,
without his grandfather's strong qualities for both good and evil, was
still more completely un-English. His confidence was given only to
foreigners, to the Poitevin kindred of his mother, to the Provençal
and Savoyard kindred of his wife, never to Englishmen. He fleeced the
nation and the church beyond endurance to enrich foreign favourites,
to satisfy the Pope, to further schemes of vague ambition alien, if
not hostile, to English interests. Naturally strong opposition was
roused, which pervaded the nation generally, and was headed by the
greatest of the nobles and the most conspicuous prelates who were not
foreign intruders. Their chief, Simon de Montfort, earl of Leicester,
though French by birth, had inherited a great station from his English
mother, and was as thorough an English patriot as was in that age
possible. The barons at length forced upon the king changes in his
government, which amounted to a temporary superseding of the royal
authority. The king of course strove to free himself from restraint:
and desultory hostilities followed, which led to an agreement to refer
the matters in dispute to the arbitration of the king of France. The
high reputation of Saint Louis seems to have blinded the barons to
the fact that he was on principle a steady upholder of royal power.
His award was completely in Henry's favour, and the appeal was most
injurious to the barons' cause. They must either abandon all that they
had been contending for, or repudiate the judgment they had themselves
accepted beforehand. The former evil was the worse of the two: they
chose war.

The decisive struggle took place at Lewes in Sussex, which the king
had made his headquarters, as being the seat of earl Warrenne, his
brother-in-law and most powerful supporter. Montfort marched to
Fletching, some nine miles from Lewes, whence he despatched the bishops
of London and Worcester to attempt to come to terms with the king. The
royalist party were far too confident to listen to any compromise;
probably they were ignorant of Montfort's strength, for they did
not even send out scouts to watch his movements. On receiving the
contemptuous defiance of the king the barons resolved to march before
daylight next morning (May 14, 1264). Religious feeling ran high in
their camp: earl Simon exhorted all his followers to confess their sins
before the battle, and the bishop of Worcester solemnly absolved and
blessed the kneeling host, after which all put a white cross on breast
and back, as a token that they were going to war for the right. The
army advanced unopposed and unobserved, till they came up on the great
ridge of the South Downs, whence they could see Lewes, about two miles
off. Here a halt was made, to form order of battle, before beginning
the descent. The Londoners, a numerous body and zealous in the cause,
but little trained to war, were on the left. Montfort's sons commanded
the right, the earl of Gloucester the centre. Montfort himself was
at the head of a fourth division, which was either in reserve, or on
the right centre. Modern writers seem agreed that it was in reserve,
though the contemporary authorities do not say so expressly: apparently
they assume it, because the regular mediæval practice was to divide
into three "battles."[8] If Montfort really did so organise his line of
battle, he was in advance of his contemporaries, and most thoroughly
deserved his victory. The earl is credited with a rather puerile device
by way of deceiving the enemy. He had injured his leg some time before,
and had been obliged to travel in some kind of carriage,[9] or horse
litter. This had accompanied him so far: he now left it behind on the
ridge of the downs, with the baggage of the army, under a guard; and it
is suggested that he did this in order to make the royalists think he
had stayed there in person, unable to ride.

The barons' army was approaching Lewes from the north-west. The tidal
river Ouse half encircles the town; coming from the north it bends
round the east side, where the bridge was and is, and then flows
southwards to the sea, but at that date the ground to the south of
the town was more or less flooded every tide. On the north edge of
the town is the castle, on the south the large priory of St. Pancras,
which was the king's headquarters. From the height where Montfort
left his baggage a well-marked ridge runs southwards, falling almost
to the level of the plain two miles due west of Lewes. South of this
the ground again rises in a sort of hog's back on which stand two
wind-mills, bearing the name of Kingstone mills: the present Brighton
road runs through the gap. East of the ridge is a hollow, large enough
to hold the present race-course, and beyond this is a gentler slope,
straight down to Lewes, which is hollowed out in its lower part, so as
to divide it into two, the easternmost portion leading straight to the

On the alarm being given the royalist army assembled in all haste, in
the usual three divisions, of which prince Edward, the king's eldest
son, commanded the right; the king in person was in the centre; the
left was under his brother Richard, earl of Cornwall, the titular
king of the Romans.[10] The prince, issuing from the castle, found
himself opposed to the Londoners who formed Montfort's left wing,
and who seem to have been somewhat in advance. With youthful zeal he
charged them at once, and put them to flight. Some writers say that
he selected the Londoners for attack, because of his eagerness to
avenge the insults offered to his mother in passing through London a
little while before: and it is perfectly possible that this animosity
led him to pursue them, as in fact he did, several miles, thereby
losing the battle: but it is obvious that he had no time to select his
opponents, even if the arrangement which committed the right wing to
his leadership had allowed it. Gloucester with the centre came down
the other part of the slope leading straight to the town, and thus
encountered the king: of this there can be no reasonable doubt, or
that the king after an obstinate conflict was driven into the priory.
But it seems to be generally assumed that Henry and Guy de Montfort
led their wing down the ridge which runs southwards, and that Richard
of Cornwall met them at the bottom. The slope is extremely steep for
a mediæval force of mounted horsemen in order of battle; moreover
to do this would have left a very dangerous gap between the right
and centre. It seems more probable that Montfort's right descended
straight on Lewes in close proximity to the centre. However this may
be, the right wing encountered the earl of Cornwall's troops, and
could make no impression on them, until Montfort supported his sons
with his own division. Then the king of the Romans was routed, and
himself took refuge in a wind-mill, doubtless on the spot now known as
Kingstone,[11] where he eventually surrendered. By this time the king's
own division had also been broken, and though part escaped into the
priory, most part of them were cut off from both it and the castle,
and were slaughtered in the streets of the town. The only hope of
retrieving even partially the fortunes of the day lay in the prince,
who after pursuing the Londoners to his heart's content, had caught
sight on his return of Montfort's carriage, and assuming that the earl
was lying helpless in it, made a dash to seize him and the baggage. The
carriage however contained three citizens of London who had entered
into some plot against Montfort, and had been carried off as prisoners
and left there for safety; but in the confusion of the sudden onslaught
the poor citizens were killed by their own friends. By the time
prince Edward had got back to Lewes it was growing dark; many of his
companions, including earl Warrenne himself, seeing that all was lost,
fled over the bridge, which soon became a scene of frightful confusion,
hundreds being drowned in the river, or forced into the tidal mud and
there suffocated.

The foregoing account of the battle of Lewes is partly conjectural:
the chroniclers are as usual wanting in precision of language, and
not altogether in accord; and there is always room for doubt as to
the identification of localities vaguely described. It agrees with
the conformation of the ground, and with the ascertained facts:
particularly it explains the king being driven into the priory, and
the earl of Cornwall into a wind-mill. With the royal right wing gone,
after the prince had dashed on the Londoners, Gloucester would have had
no real difficulty in pressing the king's right, so as to cut him off
from the castle, which would be an obvious advantage. Again Montfort's
own troops, whether in the right centre or in the second line, would
naturally have come down on Richard of Cornwall's right, and separated
him from the king, and unless the story of Richard's barricading
himself in a wind-mill is altogether an invention, which there is not
the slightest reason to imagine, it could only have been the Kingstone
mill. Wind-mills, beyond most things, remain for centuries on the same

The Barons' War is the only occasion in English history, except the
great civil war of the seventeenth century, in which a national party
in arms against the crown won a great victory in the field, and became
dominant in consequence, at least temporarily. It is an interesting
coincidence that the blunder which lost Lewes, the eagerness of a
youthful prince to pursue his routed opponents, regardless of the
general fate of the battle, should have been repeated, not once only,
by his descendant four centuries later. The hastiness of Rupert
prevented Edgehill from being a victory, and definitely lost Naseby,
the final battle of the war. Otherwise Lewes has no great military
interest. It exhibits the disastrous results to a defeated army of
having a river in its rear, and (possibly) the value of a reserve.
But the two armies were alike in equipment, in straightforward hard
fighting all along the line, in the preponderance of mailed horsemen.
Of missile weapons we hear nothing, except that _balistarii_ assisted
in defeating Richard of Cornwall: the word is often used to denote
cross-bowmen, and probably has that meaning here. The strange thing is
that there should be no trace of the archers, who only thirty years
later played an important part at Falkirk.

The battle of Lewes made Montfort master of England, and gave him
the opportunity of summoning the famous assembly, to which for the
first time the towns sent representatives. His rule was not very
successful: hampered as he was by the natural hostility of the king
and his adherents, and by the selfish jealousy of some of his own
party, he would have been more than human if he had overcome all his
difficulties, and laid himself open to no imputations of personal love
of power. The fact that he had the king in his hands, virtually a
prisoner, made his position especially difficult. So long as the king
was in his power, he could not expect the royalists to acquiesce in
his new policy: to let him go was to give up his one safeguard. The
earl of Gloucester, the most powerful of his supporters, broke away
from him, chiefly out of personal jealousy. Earl Warrenne and others
of the fugitives from Lewes landed in South Wales with a strong force
in the spring of 1265. Montfort was at Hereford, trying to quiet the
disordered marches of Wales, the king and prince Edward with him. From
Hereford the prince made his escape on May 28, and became naturally the
head of the royalist party. Bristol, Gloucester, Worcester fell into
the hands of prince Edward; the earl was unable to cross the Severn,
and was obliged to wait until his second son Simon could bring an army
to his assistance. Simon had been besieging Pevensey, and was a long
time in reaching Kenilworth, his father's principal stronghold. The
castle was too small to contain his troops, and Simon with incredible
carelessness allowed them to remain outside without keeping any guard,
apparently for two or three days at least, since Edward at Worcester
had time to hear of it, it is said through a female spy. On the night
of July 31, Edward marched rapidly from Worcester, and completely
surprised young Simon's forces, capturing several important prisoners
and all the baggage. Simon himself escaped into the castle, but he and
his army were utterly lost to his father's cause.

On the same day the earl of Leicester left Hereford, and crossing
the Severn in boats camped some miles to the south of Worcester. He
probably had heard that his son had reached Kenilworth, and may either
have purposed to attack prince Edward, while, as he might expect,
his son was approaching the prince from another quarter, or simply
to effect a junction with his son. Edward had taken great pains,
apparently with success, to let no fugitives escape from Kenilworth:
for the earl never heard of his son's overthrow. The exact times are
somewhat differently given by the various authorities, but it is quite
certain that Montfort was in Evesham early on August 4, and that Edward
knew of his movements and had time to anticipate him. One story is that
the king, who was still with him, insisted on stopping at Evesham on
the evening of the 3rd, that he might sup in the abbey and hear mass
there next morning, a request with which the earl could not decently
refuse to comply without a strong motive, which, ignorant as he was
of the disaster at Kenilworth, he could not have. The king's love of
ease, and of devotion, would account for this well enough: that he
did it in concert with his son, in order to delay Montfort, is not
credible, for in that case Edward might have saved some miles of a hard
march. The prince, on ascertaining that the earl had moved from his
camp at Kempsey south of Worcester, in the direction of Kenilworth,
formed a plan for cutting him off.


  _Map III._

  _Battle of Evesham._
  (_4th. Aug. 1265_)]

Evesham stands on the north bank of the Avon, at the bottom of a loop
some two miles deep and one wide. In the thirteenth century the banks
were marshy, and there was no bridge for a long distance, except one at
Evesham leading to the hamlet of Bengeworth on the east of the loop.
Over the high ground known as Green Hill, rising above the town and
filling the north part of the loop, ran the direct road from Worcester,
crossing the Avon by a ford[12] at Offenham, two miles above Evesham.
By this road prince Edward set part of his forces, including probably
all his foot-soldiers, to march in the night of August 3, in pursuit
of Leicester, entrusting the command to his new supporter the earl of
Gloucester. He himself started with a large body of horsemen on the
north road, so that his purpose might not be detected, then cutting
across country to the eastward reached the ford on the Avon at Prior's
Cleeve, some miles above Evesham, early on the 4th. As the road from
Evesham to Kenilworth passes near Prior's Cleeve on the left bank, he
hoped thus to intercept the earl in front, while Gloucester pressed on
his rear. Finding that there was no sign of Montfort's approach, he
descended the left bank as far as Offenham: thence he despatched Roger
Mortimer with a detachment to hold the bridge at Bengeworth and prevent
the earl escaping that way, and himself recrossed the Avon and occupied
Green Hill.[13]

When troops were first seen from Evesham on the slopes above, it
was supposed that they were young Montfort's army come to join his
father: for among the banners that waved over the prince's ranks
were those captured at Kenilworth. "It is my son," said the old
earl, "nevertheless go up and look, lest we be deceived." The earl's
barber, Nicholas, ascended the bell-tower of the abbey, and soon
detected the banners of the prince and his supporters, and presently
saw Gloucester's forces come up the western side of the hill from the
road along the Avon. The earl went up to see for himself, but he knew
that he was ruined: the only road of escape for his army must by this
time have been almost barred by Mortimer, and his men were not even
formed for march. Individuals might yet escape by swimming the Avon,
or dashing across the bridge before Mortimer arrived, but for the main
body the only way lay through the hostile army, outnumbering his by
three or four to one. "God have mercy on our souls," he exclaimed,
"for our bodies are the enemy's." The rest of the story cannot be told
better than in Professor Prothero's words.

"His friends urged him to fly, but the thought of flight for himself
was not in his mind. A natural flash of anger burst forth in the remark
that it was the folly of his own son which had brought him to this
pass. Nevertheless he endeavoured to persuade his eldest son Henry, his
old comrade Hugh Despenser, and others to fly while there was yet time,
and maintain the good cause when fortune should smile again. But one
and all refused to desert him, preferring not to live if their leader
died. 'Come then,' he said, 'and let us die like men; for we have
fasted here and we shall breakfast in heaven.' His troops were hastily
shriven by the aged bishop of Worcester, who had performed the same
office a year before upon a happier field. Then he led them out against
the enemy, with the white cross again upon their shoulders, in as
close order as he could. In the midst of them was the king, for Simon
seems to the last to have cherished a faint hope of cutting his way
through his adversaries; and as at Lewes, the possession of the royal
person was everything to him. As they neared the hill, prince Edward's
troops, who had been in no hurry to leave their point of vantage, began
to descend upon them. Simon's heart was struck with admiration of the
fair array before him, so different from that which he had met a year
before; his soldierly pride told him to whom their skill was due. 'By
the arm of St. James,' he cried, 'they come on well; they learnt that
not of themselves but of me.'

"On the south-western slope of Green Hill there is a small valley or
combe; in this hollow the chief struggle raged. On the further side,
in the grounds of a private house, stands the obelisk, which marks the
spot where, according to tradition, Simon de Montfort fell. Towards
the higher part of the combe is a spring, still called Montfort's
Well, which, on the day of the battle, is said to have run with blood.
Prince Edward began the fray, and while the earl was engaged with him,
Gloucester came up with a second body on his left, so that he was soon
surrounded. The Welsh infantry, poor, half-armed troops, fled at once,
and were cut down in the neighbouring gardens by Mortimer's forces,
which must now have been advancing from the rear. Simon's horse was
killed under him; his eldest son was among the first to fall. When
this was told him, he cried, 'Is it so? then indeed is it time for me
to die;' and rushing upon the enemy with redoubled fury, and wielding
his sword with both his hands, the old warrior laid about him with so
terrific force, that had there been but half-a-dozen more like himself,
says one who saw the fight, he would have turned the tide of battle.
As it was he nearly gained the crest of the hill. But it was not to
be. For a while he stood 'like a tower,' but at length a foot-soldier,
lifting up his coat of mail, pierced him in the back, and, with the
words _Dieu merci_ on his lips, he fell. Then the battle became a
butchery. No quarter was asked or given. The struggle lasted for about
two hours in the early summer morning, and then all was over.

"Of the horrid cruelties practised by the victors on the body of their
greatest foe it is better not to speak. The gallant old man lay, with
the few who remained faithful to him and to his cause, dead upon the
field, and with him the curtain seemed to fall upon all that was free
and noble in the land. The tempests which raged throughout the country
that day were remarked as shadowing forth the grief of heaven. The
accompanying darkness, which was so thick that in some places the
monks could no longer see to chant their prayers, was nothing to that
which must have fallen on many when they heard of the death of their
protector. But he had not lived in vain. England had learnt a lesson
from him, and had seen glimpses of what might be; and a retributive
justice brought his principles to life again through the very hands
which had destroyed him."

It is a coincidence that Montfort, whose victory at Lewes was made so
complete by the royalists having the Ouse behind them to cut off their
flight, should have himself been destroyed by being caught in the same
trap. He did not however wilfully commit the blunder of fighting with a
river at his back: his ruin was due to the overthrow which his son had
incurred by his own folly at Kenilworth, and to the skill with which
the prince utilised his very superior information. Edward seems indeed
to have developed in these few months from a headstrong boy into a
general of exceptional power for his age. At Lewes he threw away a
fair chance by his impetuosity, while Montfort, employing his inferior
numbers to the best advantage, was securing the victory behind him. At
Evesham he so used his opportunities that the earl, who had given him
that severe lesson, had no scope for generalship: he could only fight
and die as a brave man should.



In 1290 Margaret of Norway, the infant queen of Scotland, died, and
a difficult question arose as to the succession to her. Edward I. of
England had made it the chief object of his policy to strengthen and
consolidate his power within the island. To this end he made Parliament
a permanent institution, truly representative of the nation as then
constituted, though it was not very willingly that he concurred in
limitations of his prerogative at the hands of Parliament, which he
had systematised, if not created. To this end was directed much of
the legislation which is his highest title to fame. To this end he
had conquered Wales, and taken the first steps towards incorporating
it with England. Now he had an opportunity of uniting Scotland to his
own kingdom (he had made plans already for effecting this through a
marriage between his heir and the little Maid of Norway), at any rate
of making his influence paramount in Scotland.

National prejudices have very naturally coloured the views of
historical writers, especially on the Scottish side, who have discussed
the right and wrong of the conflict that ultimately ensued. There
is no need to enter deeply into the controversy, but it is safe to
say that neither party was entirely in the wrong. The English kings
had for centuries had some kind of superiority over Scotland, but it
dated back to times when feudal theories had not been formulated;
and it is clear that Edward I. claimed too much when he asserted his
right to be feudal suzerain over Scotland in the widest sense. On
the other hand the Scots could not honestly maintain that he had no
rights at all over it, as being an independent kingdom. The question
of the succession was a thorny one in every way. There was not, and
could not be, any written law on the subject: all the claimants were
remotely related to the royal house: all of them whose claims could
be seriously pressed, even in an age when ideas on such matters were
vague, were nobles of Norman descent, having lands in England as well
as in Scotland. Edward on being called in to award the crown required
all concerned to acknowledge him as feudal overlord. The competitors,
already personally his subjects, naturally made no objection, and if
any was made by others, their voice was drowned. Edward awarded the
crown to John Balliol, the person who had the best claim according to
the legal principles now fully recognised. Difficulties soon arose: the
new king's subjects appealed against him to the king of England, which
they had a right to do if the king of Scotland was in the full sense
vassal, but not otherwise. Edward entertained the appeals, asserting
to the very utmost his feudal authority, till the patience of John
Balliol was overtaxed. Taking advantage of a quarrel between England
and France,[14] John Balliol repudiated his allegiance to Edward; the
latter, caring infinitely more for Scotland than for his dominions over
sea, let things take their chance in Guienne, and returned to make war
on Scotland. His success was easy and complete: Balliol was declared to
have forfeited his kingdom, which the lord paramount took into his own
hands. At first there was no opposition; there existed in the country
a considerable amount of patriotic feeling, but there were no leaders,
until one suddenly appeared in William Wallace. Personal injuries
received from English soldiers led to his taking up arms, but he was
welcomed as a leader by such elements in the Scottish people as cared
for their independence, and he justified their confidence. The English
forces in Scotland were but small, and Wallace had time to organise
resistance on a large scale before he was called on to face an invading

A glance at the map[15] will show how completely Stirling is the
military centre of Scotland. The firths of Forth and Clyde indent the
country very deeply on the east and west, almost dividing it into two
parts. Hence Stirling, the lowest point where the Forth is bridged, and
commanding the entrances into Fife, into the basin of the Tay, and into
the western Highlands, is of primary importance. Here Wallace defeated
in 1297 the army first sent against him; at Falkirk not far off he was
defeated in the next year; at Bannockburn, within sight of Stirling
Castle, was fought the great battle of 1314, which virtually achieved
Scottish independence.

Wallace was a born soldier, as he proved alike by his easy victory
of Cambuskenneth, and by his dispositions for meeting king Edward's
superior force at Falkirk. The Forth flows through the plain, from
above Stirling till it opens into the estuary, in many loops and
windings; there was then but one narrow bridge across it, leading
from close to Stirling to the abbey of Cambuskenneth, which stands in
one of the loops on the eastern bank. When Wallace learned that his
enemies were approaching, he posted his men on a bold steep hill known
as the Abbey Craig, which is in fact the extreme south-western spur
of the Ochil hills. The English leaders, ignorant of their business
and despising their opponents, began crossing the river to attack him.
Wallace waited till a considerable portion of the English had crossed,
and were crowded together in a loop of the Forth, and then led his men
down to attack. It was rather a butchery than a battle: the English on
the east of the Forth, outnumbered, unable to take order, devoid of
any way of retreat, could make no effectual resistance. The numbers
given in the chronicles are probably excessive: it is most unlikely
that the earl of Surrey should have had 50,000, or Wallace 40,000 men:
but under the conditions it is obvious that Wallace could choose his
time, so as to have a decisive superiority to that portion of the enemy
which alone could encounter him. The slaughter of the defeated side
in a hand-to-hand battle was always great, and Cambuskenneth was no
exception. The earl of Surrey had never crossed the fatal bridge; but
among other Englishmen of note who fell, was Cressingham, the king's
treasurer for Scotland, who was much hated for his exactions. "And
so," says the chronicler, "he who had terrified many with the sword of
his tongue was himself slain with the sword: and the Scots flayed him,
and divided his skin into little bits, _non quidem ad reliquias, sed ad

In consequence of this victory, Wallace was recognised as guardian of
the kingdom in the name of the fugitive John Balliol, and governed
Scotland with some success for the time. Edward I. fully understood
the wisdom of doing things thoroughly, and when he next year invaded
Scotland, came with an overwhelming army. It took him some time to
capture Berwick, and during the siege Wallace contrived to leave
Lothian bare of inhabitants and of food. His hope was to baffle the
invaders by preventing their finding sustenance or guidance. Two
Scottish nobles are said to have sent word to Edward where his enemy
was, but it is hardly likely that this would have been so serious a
difficulty as the lack of food, which rendered abortive, at one time
or another, several invasions of Scotland on a large scale. Obviously
Wallace must fight at or near Stirling, if not sooner, or else retire
into the wild country of the north, which meant giving up all the
valuable parts of Scotland to the English king. His numbers were far
below those of his enemy: his only chance lay in skilful arrangements
for defence. He selected a piece of sloping ground near Falkirk, where
a small stream, running at that part through very soft and boggy
ground, covered his front. The mass of his soldiers were spearmen,
and these he drew up in four circular masses, the front rank sitting,
with their spear-butts resting on the ground. The intermediate spaces
were occupied by the archers, who were neither efficient nor very
numerous; and the mounted men-at-arms, very few in comparison with the
English array, were drawn up in rear. One chronicler adds that Wallace
addressed to his men the somewhat grim jest, "I have brought you to the
ring; hop gif ye can." He had done all that a skilful commander could
do: but the result was a foregone conclusion unless king Edward was
guilty of some gross blunder.

When the English army came in sight of Wallace's position, the king
desired that they should rest and eat before attacking; but his
knights, perhaps remembering Cambuskenneth, represented that it
was not safe to do so, with the Scots so near at hand. The first
"battle," apparently consisting entirely of men-at-arms, commanded
by the earl Marshal, accordingly advanced to the attack, found the
stream impassable, and had to make a wide circuit to the left. The
second division, under the warlike bishop of Durham, saw the obstacle
and turned it on the right. Seeing how far the earl Marshal had to
go, the bishop tried to check the impetuosity of his men, till the
king with the third "battle" should be at hand to support them; but
Ralph Basset rudely told him that he had better attend to his own
business of saying mass, and not interfere in military matters. The
bishop was a better judge than the knight; the men-at-arms rode down
the Scottish archers, and easily defeated the small body of horse, but
they could make little impression on the spearmen. The latter could
not charge without breaking their order, but they could and did stand
on the defensive till the English archers came up. Then it was soon
all over with them: the arrows made gaps in their ranks, through which
the horsemen charged, breaking up their formation, and slaughtering
them in thousands. Wallace drew off the relics of his army towards the
Highlands, and from that time practically disappears from history.
Partisanship has always dealt eagerly with his name: the contemporary
English chroniclers call him _latro_, the Scots exalt him into an
ideal patriot hero. The truth would seem to be that, while by no means
superior to his age in humanity, he gave evidence of real ability and
integrity in his very difficult post as guardian of Scotland; moreover,
he exhibited exceptional military skill.

Wallace's "schiltrons," to use the Scottish name for his great clumps
of spearmen, were in truth an important advance in the art of war;
and though they were not in fact a novelty, they were no doubt a real
invention on his part, for it is scarcely conceivable that he should
ever have heard of the Macedonian phalanx. The natural formation for
men armed with spears is close together, in line, the ranks being drawn
up one behind the other, two, four or more deep. Such a line can hold
its own against attacks in front, and can advance: but if it is once
broken it can be destroyed, and it is almost helpless if its flank is
turned. This was substantially the sole order of battle during the
palmy days of Greece. Philip of Macedon improved upon it by forming
the phalanx, a solid square of pikemen, who faced outwards in case of
need, and could not therefore be taken in flank. The phalanx moved
slowly, and hardly at all over rough ground; and it obviously had no
power of vigorous attack. Hence in its turn it was beaten by the Roman
legionaries, who threw their heavy _pila_ from a short distance, and
then charged sword in hand. With the fall of the Roman Empire the
military art, like all others, had suffered eclipse in western Europe;
and though the Anglo-Danes with their axes and shields had reproduced
in some sense the Roman tactics, yet from the day of Hastings, when
they went down before the feudal horsemen of the Normans, the mailed
chivalry had been everywhere dominant. The political preponderance
of the feudal nobility was partly cause, partly effect, of their
military supremacy. They alone could procure, for themselves and their
following, the armour which rendered them almost invulnerable to the
ill-armed foot-soldier: the contempt they felt for the villein and the
trader seemed justified by the facility with which they could slaughter
the lower classes in the field. Slowly the pike reappeared on the
scene, in the hands of peoples who were not over-ridden entirely by
feudalism, and who had to defend themselves against men-at-arms. It is
Wallace's most undoubted title to fame, if not his highest glory, that
he was the first to organise plebeian spearmen afresh, not indeed for
victory,[16] but with success as against mailed horsemen only. It was
the combination of archers with the men-at-arms which won Falkirk for
king Edward, just as the same combination had won Hastings for William
the Norman. The great difference lay in the fact that in times wholly
feudal the credit of the victory of Hastings went entirely to the
knights, whereas Edward I. was wiser: from the day of Falkirk onwards
the archers became more and more the mainstay of an English army.

England has been destined in three wars to experience the truth that a
country whose people refuse to submit to invaders cannot practically
be conquered, however superior may be the invaders in military skill
or resources: in a fourth war she helped the Spaniards to exemplify
the same maxim. Between England and Scotland at the beginning of the
fourteenth century no comparison was possible; the southern people
were wealthier, more numerous, better organised. Yet the war begun
by Wallace's brief career ended in the establishment of Scottish
independence. So also the French had no chance in the field against
the English of Edward III. and Henry V.; yet the English attempt at
conquering France ended in total failure. The little English armies won
nearly every engagement against the revolted American colonists; yet
the task of subjugating the colonies would have been hopeless, even if
other enemies had not assailed England, and hastened the catastrophe.

Edward I. won a great victory at Falkirk, but he never was able to
subdue Scotland. Just before his death the Scots found a new leader in
Robert Bruce, representing the house rival to the Balliols at the time
of the disputed succession and now accepted instead of them, who was
duly crowned king. Edward's death stopped a great invasion of Scotland,
and his incompetent son neglected Scottish affairs, till gradually the
whole country was lost except Stirling Castle. This was, as has been
pointed out, the most important post in Scotland: but it could not be
held indefinitely, and the governor ultimately agreed to surrender
unless relieved before Midsummer day 1314. Edward II. was driven for
once into activity, and approached just in time, with an army to which
the chroniclers ascribe the incredible number of 100,000 men. Robert
Bruce had no choice but to await attack at Stirling: if he marched to
meet his enemy, it was obvious that the English might evade him and
reach Stirling unopposed. They might even, with their great superiority
of numbers,[17] engage him on more than equal terms, and have plenty to
spare to be pushed forward to Stirling. Fortunately for him, he had an
admirable position ready to his hand within a very short distance.

About 2½ miles south of Stirling a small stream, the Bannockburn,
flows from west to east, and then curving northwards flows into the
Forth. Between it and Stirling lay the king's park, in which the
Scottish army camped. The position chosen for receiving battle was
immediately behind this stream. Bruce, who was comparatively weak in
horsemen, had to depend, like Wallace, mainly on his spearmen for
receiving the charge of the English men-at-arms. Barbour's long-winded
poem on the life and acts of Robert Bruce, from which is derived
the traditional account of the battle, contains sundry picturesque
incidents, the truth of which need not be doubted, though he indulges
in a vast amount of patriotic exaggeration. He does not, however, give
the details in a form which renders the battle really intelligible. For
instance, he describes minutely the "pots," round holes a foot broad
and as deep as a man's knee, covered over with sticks and grass all
green, which were intended to break the charge of the English horse.
But he does not say where, relatively to the army, these pots were:
nor does he mention them as having answered their purpose. An English
chronicler, Baker of Swinbrook, describes a ditch, three feet deep
and wide, as having been dug along the whole front, and covered over
with hurdles and grass, into which the first line of the English fell;
and the confusion thus occasioned involved the defeat of the English.
Neither refers to the burn as having been any obstacle; Barbour indeed
mentions houses having been pulled down by the English, with the
timbers of which they made bridges over certain pools, but he does not
say where the pools were. It is possible that as the battle was fought
at midsummer, and Barbour lays great stress on the intense heat, the
marshy ground on the north of it was unusually dry and firm; otherwise
it is not obvious why Bruce should have wanted either pots or ditch.

The English host, marching from the direction of Linlithgow, came in
sight of the Scottish position in the afternoon of June 23. When they
were about two miles off, a body of 800 men-at-arms under Clifford
was sent forward to try and pass by the left of the Scottish army,
between it and the lower course of the burn, so as to reach Stirling
Castle. Had this attempt succeeded the castle might have been said to
be relieved in time to save the promised surrender: and it was within
an ace of succeeding. Thomas Randolph, earl of Moray, Bruce's nephew,
commanded on the Scottish left; and it was only on Bruce's express
order, telling him that a rose had fallen from his chaplet, that he
hastened with a body of spearmen to place himself, just in time, across
their path. The spearmen formed a clump, like a hedgehog with all his
spikes out, and the English horsemen were unable to break their array.
James of Douglas, seeing that Moray was very hard pressed, asked the
king's permission to go to his assistance. Bruce for the moment allowed
his chivalrous instincts to overcome his judgment as a general, and
wished to leave Moray to take his chance, but on Douglas urging him
consented. On the approach of reinforcements, the English saw that the
opportunity was lost, and retired. Douglas, in the true spirit of the
age, abstained from pursuit, lest he should rob Moray of any of the
glory of having repulsed them.

Edward II., on coming fully in front of the Scots, ordered a halt, but
the order was not made known in time to prevent some of the vanguard
from coming into collision with them. According to the fashion of the
time, Sir Henry Bohun rode out in advance, and seeing Bruce in front of
his line charged at him. The king was mounted on a pony, but did not
avoid the combat, as in any age when a commander was not a knight first
and a general afterwards he certainly would and ought to have done, and
killed the Englishman. The story goes that the Scottish lords, having
better sense than their king, blamed him for having risked his life,
which might have meant the ruin of every one, and that Bruce's sole
answer was that he was sorry he had broken his battle-axe. The English
vanguard, on seeing the issue of this duel, retired again without
coming into serious collision with the Scots, and doubtless feeling the
omen to be a bad one.

Next morning early the battle commenced in earnest, and the authorities
are hopelessly at variance as to what happened. Barbour describes the
attack of the English men-at-arms on the Scots in their position, with
severe fighting which ended in their defeat. Incidentally he mentions
Sir Robert Keith having charged into the flank of the English archers
with five hundred men armed with steel that on light horse were horsed
well, and having totally discomfited them so that they did not shoot
any more. But he does not say where the archers were posted, and as he
declares there were 52,000 of them, it is simply impossible to accept
his story. More than one English chronicler says that the English front
line was formed of archers and spearmen, with the mounted men-at-arms
behind: but they do not explain what became of the front line. It
has been suggested as an explanation that the archers were so far in
advance of the men-at-arms that the Scottish horse were able to charge
and disperse them before they were supported: but this is scarcely
possible, as the whole English array was too near. Baker of Swinbrook
says that the archers were in the second line, and as he carefully
adds that it was a great mistake not placing them on the flanks of the
men-at-arms, as was done afterwards, his informant may be presumed
to have noted the point. According to his account, which is the most
intelligible and coherent, the English men-at-arms charged straight on
the Scottish front, were thrown into utter confusion by the front rank
falling into Bruce's concealed ditch and the hinder lines pressing on,
and were slaughtered helplessly by the Scots, who reserved only the
rich for ransom. The archers seeing the disaster, tried to shoot over
their heads; but many of them, in the excitement of battle shooting
straight to their front, "struck a few Scots in the breast and many
English in the back." The crush and hopeless confusion will be all
the more intelligible when it is remembered that the space occupied
by the Scots was far too narrow to give room for the charging masses,
who consequently impeded and overthrew each other. The fight was still
going on, when over the little hill above the Scottish right, which
has ever since been known as the Gillies' hill, appeared the "yeomen
and swaynes" of the Scottish army, who had rigged up an apology for
banners, so that they seemed to the English to be a large reinforcement
to the Scots, coming to take them in flank. A panic seized that portion
of the army which was not engaged, and they fled in confusion, the king
himself following their example.

Whatever uncertainty may hang over the details, there is no doubt
about the completeness of the victory. The number of the slain may
well have been large, seeing how the knights and men-at-arms were
crowded together in a confused mass, incapable of resistance. The
gross incompetence of Edward II. or his advisers, who with all the
material for victory in their hands, and the precedent of Falkirk to
guide them, threw their advantage away, was responsible for the defeat.
Their hasty flight was also probably the cause of the dispersion in
panic rout of the whole English host, a disgrace which has never since
fallen on an English army. According to Barbour, the king with his
immediate attendants sought shelter in Stirling Castle, and was refused
admittance by Mowbray the governor, who pointed out that the castle
could not hold out long, now that the English army was defeated, and
that therefore the king's only chance of safety lay in making off.
How Edward could possibly have made his way round to Stirling Castle,
with the victorious Scots between him and it, can with difficulty be
imagined. The advice, however, if ever given, was sound as far as it
went. Better judgment still would have bidden him rally his host, for
even after the defeat he must still have greatly outnumbered the Scots.
But if he had been capable of taking this obvious and soldierlike step,
he would not have committed the folly which lost the battle.

The victory of Bannockburn virtually gained the cause of Scottish
independence, though fourteen years had yet to elapse before England
acknowledged it by treaty. That the Scots fully deserved to win their
independence, and that they had a right to win it if they could, no one
in modern times will deny. No impartial reader of history can doubt
that in some sense they had been dependent on England before the war,
or that the exaggerated claims of Edward I. gave reasonable ground for
repudiating them entirely. Whether the success of the Scots was for
their permanent benefit is another question. The union of the whole
island into one kingdom was, it may be fairly said, inevitable sooner
or later. Scotland must needs have gained enormously in all material
respects by incorporation with her more advanced neighbour. Had this
taken place before centuries of political antagonism and repeated wars
had developed national hatred, and quickened into a passion Scottish
national feeling, the union would have been easier and more thorough.
With Scotland added, instead of permanently hostile, the weight of
England in the European scale, already great, would have been much
increased, with consequences impossible to calculate. At the same time
the world would have been the poorer for the loss of the distinctive
character, which was developed in the Scots mainly through their
separate Reformation.



The long-bow is like many other inventions which have played a great
part in history: its origin is obscure. The bow in some form is almost
as old as the human race; but it on the whole was regarded as the
weapon of inferior soldiers, down to near the time when the invention
of gunpowder was destined to render it altogether antiquated. We have
seen that the Norman archers at Hastings, skilfully used, contributed
greatly to the victory: but the evidence of the Bayeux Tapestry may
be taken as conclusive that these bows were only the short bows of
the ancient world. Richard I., the only really warlike king between
the Conqueror and Edward I., took pains to introduce the cross-bow,
then a comparatively new weapon.[18] It is incredible that the ablest
soldier, as Richard undoubtedly was, even of an ignorant age, should
have preferred the cross-bow to a weapon which could beat it at every
point. Hence we must conclude that the feats of archery attributed
to Robin Hood, Richard's contemporary, were reflected back upon his
memory from a later time, when such feats were no longer impossible.
In the Barons' War the archers play no important part; but in the
course of the reign of Edward I., the long-bow came into general use.
Edward used his archers with such effect at Falkirk, that it may fairly
be inferred that he had long before seen the value of the long-bow
and taken steps to foster the use of it, though even then they were
employed as an afterthought, to help the horsemen, who alone could not
break the Scottish spears. There is nothing like clear evidence as to
the locality which developed the long-bow, which not only exceeded
the older bows in size and power, but was used in a different manner,
though there are slight indications suggesting that South Wales had
that honour. At any rate in the fourteenth century it was the familiar
and trusted weapon of the English, the instrument of their great and
repeated victories.

Archery, as an amusement, has lost much of its popularity of late
years, being superseded by other sports which demand less space and
afford more active exercise. Probably however every Englishman, if a
bow were put into his hands, would instinctively draw it more or less
in the right fashion, whether he has ever seen an arrow shot off or
not. That is to say he would hold it upright, and draw the string back
on his right side, standing himself sideways. Before the introduction
of the English long-bow, all archers held their bows more or less
horizontal, and drew the string to their bodies. The advantages of
the English method are probably obvious: at any rate the briefest
experiment will render them so. First, a much longer bow can be drawn
to the side than to the breast, which enables a longer and therefore
more powerful arrow to be used. Secondly, a much stronger bow can be
pulled in that way, which means greater penetrating force. Thirdly,
if the long-bow is drawn correctly, the arrow is brought up close to
the right ear, which enables the archer to look along the arrow, and
aim it with considerable accuracy, whereas obviously no arrow drawn to
the breast could be really aimed. Practice makes perfect, in archery
more than in many other things: the English archers of the fourteenth
century practised assiduously, and attained corresponding proficiency.
The regular practising distance was a furlong,[19] which implies that
arrows discharged at a high elevation would travel much further.
In fact we find "a bow shot" used as a rough measure of distance,
equivalent to about 400 yards. If they struck armour obliquely, of
course they would be likely to glance and not penetrate; but it
required the very best steel to stop an arrow which struck full and
true. Add the fact that a trained archer could shoot with astonishing
rapidity, so that the arrows in their flight dazzled and bewildered the
enemies at whom they were aimed, and still more their horses: and we
have the picture of a missile weapon unequalled till the introduction
of the rifle.

Why the long-bow should have remained, as in fact it did, the
exclusive property of the English, is a mystery. It is true that
archers could not stand alone: they required the assistance of troops
differently armed, to protect them against determined attack by mailed
horsemen in adequate numbers. It is true also that the long-bow needed
considerable muscular strength for using it; and the average Englishman
had probably the advantage in this respect over the average Frenchman,
then as now. But Lowland Scots are to all intents and purposes of
the same race, yet they went on generation after generation losing
their fights large and small against the English, chiefly through the
archers, yet never learning to shoot. The explanation may perhaps be
that among all who came to feel the power of the clothyard shaft,
feudal pride was too stubborn to be taught quickly, so that gunpowder
was coming into use before they had digested the lesson. Whatever the
cause, the fact is certain that the English kept their monopoly of the
long-bow, and consequently were, for a century at least, supreme on the
field of battle.



A few months after the accession of Edward III., his uncle the king of
France died. Edward had a claim in right of his mother, which, if the
crown of France had been a bit of land, to be inherited according to
the subtleties of English real property law, would have been plausible,
if not sound. The conclusive answer to his claim however lay in the
fact that France had a right to settle the matter in her own way.
If there was a law of succession, which from the jurist's point of
view is more than doubtful,[20] it was against Edward: if there was
not, the peers of France, who must be taken to constitute France for
this purpose, chose Philip of Valois. Edward's pretensions were not
seriously urged, and he acknowledged the new king as his suzerain for
the duchy of Guienne; but disputed questions were left open both as
to the amount of territory belonging to Edward, and as to the nature
of his homage for it to the king of France. Peace was not broken for
ten years, but Philip VI. showed himself steadily hostile, assisting
Edward's enemies in Scotland, interfering with English commerce,
encroaching in Guienne. Philip was entirely unscrupulous, and naturally
desirous of carrying on the work of his predecessors, by obtaining
effective possession of another of the great feudal domains over which
the king of France had titular suzerainty. The south-west had never
acknowledged more than the most nominal inferiority: it is no paradox
to say that the Plantagenets defended the ancient independence of
Aquitaine against French aggression.[21] Nevertheless the people of
Aquitaine had closer affinities of race and language with France than
with England: the ultimate and natural result of the war was to make
them French subjects.

Finding war inevitable, Edward III. thought to rouse the enthusiasm
of his subjects by reviving his claim to the French crown. Without
the cordial support of England Edward was weaker than his rival; with
it he was, as the event showed, very decidedly stronger. England
was, and had been for two centuries, a nation in the true sense of
the word: it needed the long agony of the Hundred Years' War to give
France real national coherence. Henry II. had given England a strong
central administration, with a system of law fairly equal and well
enforced. Ever since the barons had extorted Magna Charta from John,
not for themselves only but for the whole people, the powers of the
Parliament, and its significance as the representative body of the
nation, had been growing. No laws could be made, no new taxation could
be imposed, without the advice and consent of Parliament. This was only
the beginning of political liberty, in the modern sense, but it was a
beginning. In France on the other hand the king ruled over a number of
vassals who had little or no relation to each other, and each of whom
was much more effectually master of his dependents than the king. The
political contrast showed itself in the military organisation of the
two kingdoms. Though Edward III. was deeply imbued with the spirit of
chivalry, he was far too sensible to carry into the field the noble's
absolute contempt for the villein. Moreover there existed in England
a class of yeomen who were in fact completely above villeinage, from
which on the whole the archers were drawn. The feudal rule, by which
the king summoned his vassals to serve him in war, and they came with
their following (or did not come if they were disinclined, and the
king lacked force to coerce them), had long been obsolete in England.
The Parliament granted the king money for war, to supplement his own
resources; and the king agreed with individual noblemen to bring so
many men into the field, who were adequately paid and came voluntarily;
hence they tended to make war their business, and to acquire something
like discipline.

Edward had not far to look for allies. The commercial relations between
England and Flanders were close, and highly important to both. The
Flemish cities, then at the height of their prosperity, had recently
quarrelled with their count, who appealed to his suzerain the king of
France; and they promised Edward much more assistance than in fact they
afforded. However Flanders gave him a base of operations as against
France, and the first years of the war were occupied in more or less
futile efforts at invasion, though they brought an overwhelming victory
over the French fleet at Sluys on the Flemish coast. Later, a disputed
succession to the duchy of Brittany, in which the candidate rejected
by the king of France naturally asked help from England, opened a new
field for hostility. In 1345 there was serious fighting in Guienne, in
the course of which the earl of Derby won a considerable victory at
Auberoche. On the other hand the murder of Jacques van Artevelde, the
virtual ruler of Flanders and a strong partisan of England, made the
prospects of effectual support from the Flemings worse than ever. The
English Parliament, though desiring peace, probably realised that it
was hopeless except at the price of abandoning Guienne, and therefore
wisely desired that war should be waged in earnest. Great preparations
were made for the campaign of 1346, which the king was to conduct in
person. The king of France had raised a very large army, which was
commanded by his son the duke of Normandy, and which early in 1346
occupied part of the English possessions in the south-west of France.
The obvious thing for Edward to do with the large expedition he was
fitting out was to defend his own provinces, since Flanders now offered
a very unpromising field. Instead of this he decided suddenly to invade
Normandy,[22] and on July 12 he landed at Cape La Hogue.


  _Map IV._

  _Outline Map
  to illustrate the
  Campaigns of Crecy

There is no evidence that Edward had formed any coherent plan of
operations. Able tactician as he showed himself at Crecy, he was no
strategist; indeed no one in that age had any idea of strategical
combinations, though of course it is easy after the event to see that
a particular direction given to an army was or was not judicious
from this point of view. This invasion of France might have been an
extremely brilliant stroke. The English command of the sea made it
feasible to land almost anywhere; the main French army was engaged
in the south-west: there were no preparations for attempting to meet
invasion anywhere else. Had Edward landed near the mouth of the Seine,
at the nearest point to the capital, and marched straight on Paris,
he would have had the king of France almost at his mercy, for Paris
might have been in his hands before the duke of Normandy could come
to its rescue. Instead of this, Edward landed at the extremity of
the Cotentin peninsula, and then marched in a leisurely way through
Normandy, capturing and plundering town after town, there being
virtually no resistance. The absolute vagueness of his intentions may
be gathered from his having sent away his fleet, laden with the booty
of the Norman towns, thus depriving himself of the means of retreat in
case of need. If Froissart is to be believed, he had already determined
to march on Calais and attempt to seize it; but if so, it is still
more difficult to explain his having landed in the Cotentin, Calais
being within a march or two of Flanders, where if he had not met with
much support he would have at least found a friendly reception. The
only thing which looks as if he really meant to go towards Calais is
that having reached Louviers, he seems to have marched some way down
the Seine again towards Rouen; but this may have been in the hope of
being able to plunder the capital of Normandy. The French meanwhile
had broken down all the bridges on the Seine, which can only have been
in order to prevent the English from extending their ravages to the
right bank of the Seine, as it was obvious that they could reach the
coast as easily on one side as on the other. Whatever may have been
his original plan, or want of one, Edward, unable to cross the Seine
in Normandy, did what he ought to have done weeks before, and marched
up the left bank towards Paris. The king of France had used the
breathing time unwisely allowed him to collect an army, which is said
to have amounted to 100,000 men. Why he made no attempt to interfere
with Edward earlier is a mystery. The English king marched unopposed
to Poissy, a few miles below Paris, and there amused himself, while
the bridge was being rebuilt, in ravaging the country to the very
gates of the capital; he no doubt knew that the city was by this time
full of soldiers, and therefore not open to attack. On August 16 the
bridge was finished, and Edward crossed the Seine, his advanced guard
having a sharp but successful fight with a large body of men coming
from Amiens to join king Philip. Seeing that the huge French army was
gathered at St. Denis, on the right bank, nearly half-way to Poissy,
it is equally mysterious to find Edward crossing the Seine close to an
enormously superior force, and Philip making no attempt to take him
at a disadvantage. However Edward had by this time resolved on making
for Flanders, and marched hastily northwards, sending out a strong
detachment to endeavour to seize some point of passage over the Somme.
As was natural, these were all broken or defended; Edward went on down
the Somme, with an enemy of four or five times his strength behind him,
till on August 23 he came opposite Abbeville, below which the river
becomes a tidal estuary. The town was fortified and garrisoned, and
there was a large body of troops on the right bank: it looked as if
Edward's reckless movements had led him at last into a trap, as if the
king of France had achieved a success which his own military management
had by no means deserved. In the nick of time a peasant told Edward of
a ford some way below Abbeville, broad and firm, but available only at
low water. Early on the morning of the 24th the English army crossed
by this ford, the archers giving a foretaste of what was to happen at
Crecy by completely driving off the French force stationed to defend
it. They were barely across when Philip was upon them; but the rising
tide prevented pursuit.

Edward was now safe: he had only a short march before him to reach
Flanders. Here however the spirit of chivalry took possession of him:
he chose to turn and await battle, saying that he was now in his own
heritage,[23] and would defend it against the usurper. Accordingly he
encamped on August 25 near the little village of Crecy, and selected a
position in which to give battle, into which he moved the next morning.
The army was divided as usual into three "battles," each consisting of
about 800 men-at-arms and 2000 archers, besides light-armed infantry,
chiefly Welsh. The prince of Wales commanded the first, the earl of
Northampton the second: the king kept the third, which was to act as a
reserve, under his own immediate orders. The exact position is not easy
to determine: but it was on a piece of sloping ground, with a wind-mill
on the upper part of it at which the king took up his station, facing
the south-east or nearly so. The French attacked in such a hasty
and irrational manner that it is not safe to infer anything from
what they did: but certainly they did not attempt, with all their
vast superiority of numbers, to turn Edward's position. A competent
tactician would most probably have taken care that his flanks were
protected in some way; and therefore it is probable that the English
right rested on Crecy, through which flows the little river Maye, in
which case its left may have been covered by the adjoining hamlet of
Wadicourt. This position is shown in the accompanying map, not as
ascertained, but as answering well to the conditions.

The essential novelty in Edward's tactics, the fact which makes
Crecy an epoch in the history of the art of war, was that having to
fight with very inferior numbers he discerned an effective way of
combining the two elements of his army. He caused all the men-at-arms
to dismount, and placed the horses with the baggage in an enclosed
park in rear. The men-at-arms were to serve simply as spearmen, like
the Scots at Falkirk and Bannockburn: they were to form the solid
line of resistance, while the archers shot down the assailants. There
is a certain discrepancy between the accounts, as to the position of
the archers. Froissart says that they were drawn up in front, after
the fashion of a harrow (_herse_).[24] Baker of Swinbrook says very
precisely that they were put on the wings, so as not to be in the way
of the men-at-arms, nor meet the enemy in front, but shoot into their
flanks. The two may be reconciled, if we bear in mind that the archers
would naturally not be drawn up in the same straight line with the
men-at-arms, but thrown forward at an angle, so as to allow them to
shoot more freely at the advancing enemy. Moreover it is certain that
the prince of Wales' "battle" was on the right, in front, Northampton's
on the left, a very little further back, perhaps because of some slight
irregularity in the ground. If each division had part of its archers
on each flank, thrown somewhat forward, the two inner lines of archers
would meet at an angle: and the whole front would present an appearance
not very unlike a harrow.[25]


All through the middle of the day (August 26) the English sat in their
lines, waiting quietly for the enemy. As evening drew near the French
host came in sight: the knights and men-at-arms were divided into nine
"battles," but no attempt had been made to form any plan of action, or
even to make the commanders of them understand that they were expected
to obey general orders. There was also a large body, 15,000 it is said,
of Genoese cross-bowmen, besides an indefinite number of ill-armed
peasants who only served to cumber the space. On hearing from certain
knights who had pushed forward that the English were drawn up to await
attack, the king of France, in accordance with their advice, ordered a
halt, intending his army to bivouac where it was, and to form regularly
for battle the next morning. On the word being given, the front halted,
but those in rear pushed on, saying they would not halt till they were
equal with those in front. Neither the king nor the marshals could
assert any authority over the rabble of nobles and knights, and they
advanced anyhow till they were close in front of the English position.
Then the king, seeing that it was too late to avoid an action, ordered
the Genoese forward. Just as the sun was close on its setting, and
shining full in the face of the French line, the battle began. The
cross-bowmen advanced, shouting, but the English never stirred;
presently they began to shoot. The English archers then took one step
forward, and shot their arrows with such force and quickness that it
seemed to be snowing. The cross-bow bolts fell short: the clothyard
arrows totally discomfited the Genoese,[26] already worn out with a
long hot march. Therefore the king of France, with the true feudal
contempt for all that was not noble, bade the men-at-arms trample
down these rascals. The knights, nothing loth, rode over the unhappy
Genoese, and charged tumultuously on the English front. Men and horses
went down in heaps before the arrows, which were shot from both flanks
into the surging mob. Those who escaped fell furiously on the English
line, and were with difficulty kept at bay. It shows how blindly the
French came on, that the main stress fell on the prince of Wales, who
was on the right, and therefore in the part of the line nearest to the
French coming from Abbeville: Northampton on his left seems to have had
much less to do. Time after time the French charged, with the effect
of adding to the heaps of dead and wounded: between the charges the
English bill-men slipped out through the front line to kill and take
prisoners. Edward, who was watching the whole course of the action from
his post on the higher ground, was once appealed to for help for his
son: he could see that there was no real need, and refused it, saying,
according to the well-known story, "Let the boy win his spurs." One
account tells how the king sent twenty knights down, who found the
prince and his men sitting on the heaps of slain, resting themselves
while the enemy were withdrawn and preparing for a fresh charge.
Darkness at length put an end to the battle. Edward was far too prudent
to attempt a counter attack: he owed his victory to firmly maintaining
the position he had chosen, and could not afford to risk a disaster by
quitting it. The slaughter on the French side had been frightful—4000
knights and men-at-arms, and uncounted multitudes besides: the English
loss had naturally been but slight.

A tinge of romance is always supposed to be thrown over Crecy by the
conduct of the blind king of Bohemia, who caused some of his knights to
lead him in one of the charges, the bridles of the whole party being
fastened together, with the natural result of all being killed. But as
he had no sort of concern with the quarrel, one feels rather inclined
to dismiss him with Polonius' epitaph—

    "Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell."

It would seem as if, after such a victory, Edward III. might have
resumed the offensive, with good prospect of reducing the king of
France to sue for peace. But it must be remembered that his army was
relatively small, that the battle had been won in a defensive position,
and that he could not possibly know how soon he might find himself face
to face with the duke of Normandy's army recalled from Guienne. It
rather speaks well for Edward's military judgment that he should have
quietly carried out his previous design, and marched on Calais, which
he succeeded in taking after an unexpectedly long siege, and which
furnished from that day forth a ready door into France. Small however
as the direct and immediate results of the battle of Crecy were,
it was in its ultimate consequences of incalculable importance.
Superficially it resembles Bannockburn: a very superior army, badly and
presumptuously led, attacks an inferior enemy well posted for defence,
and is decisively and deservedly beaten. The difference lies a little
deeper, in the fact that the foremost kingdom in Europe in point of
national organisation, ruled as it was by a king who was the mirror
of chivalry, adopted tactics which could and must overthrow feudal
chivalry. All ranks and classes fought side by side, and fought on
foot; the men-at-arms, the archers, the bill-men all contributed their
share. Such a victory would naturally stimulate national feeling more
than twenty won by the knights alone. And such victories, as the event
showed, were sure to be repeated, as often as opportunity offered. The
French, as will be seen, were slow to learn the lesson: but from Crecy
may fairly be dated the preponderance of infantry, though much time
elapsed, and many changes in the battle-field were seen, before this
was finally established.


  _Map V._

  _Map of W. Central France._
  Battle of Poitiers.]

The capture of Calais in 1347 was followed by a truce, which, largely
on account of the frightful ravages of the Black Death in both
countries, was renewed again and again. In 1350 Philip VI. died, and
was succeeded by his son John, who continued his father's policy.
Year after year there were acts of hostility, chiefly but by no means
exclusively on the French side, and abortive negotiations for peace.
Edward offered repeatedly to resign his claims to the French crown
on terms, but the price he asked was larger than the king of France
could be expected to pay. At length in 1355 Edward was led by offered
co-operation from the king of Navarre, which however came to nothing,
to invade France in earnest once more. Two subsidiary expeditions
were foiled by the winds, but the main one was carried out, and led
to the great victory of Poitiers. The Black Prince, who commanded it,
and who thenceforth was his father's representative in France, led a
successful plundering expedition from Bordeaux across the south of
France, but avoided serious fighting. Early in July the next year the
prince started for a similar expedition on a larger scale, striking
this time into the very heart of France. Two or three weeks earlier,
the duke of Lancaster had left Brittany to unite with some Norman
nobles who had risen in rebellion: and it is supposed by some writers
that the two invasions were parts of a concerted scheme, by which the
English hoped finally to conquer France. The direction of the Black
Prince's march, the leisurely character of his proceedings, and the
amount of plunder carried off, make this view highly improbable.
Ignorance of topography, and the necessity of avoiding strong places
which could not be captured, might account for some deviations from the
straight route; the necessity of living on the country might account
for the loss of a few days. It is not impossible that, aiming merely
at the Loire, he should have gone as far east as Vierzon, instead of
taking the direct route by Poitiers to Tours. But it is incredible
that with such an object in view he should have consumed about three
times the number of days necessary for covering the distance, or that
he should have deliberately burdened his march with vast quantities
of plunder. The prince was certainly a competent soldier for his age:
and all accounts agree that his army was thoroughly under control, and
that the plundering was systematic. He doubtless knew of his cousin's
enterprise: but that there was intended to be real co-operation between
them could only be believed on very good and positive evidence, which
does not exist.

The duke of Lancaster had in fact effected nothing: he had been obliged
to retreat before the vastly superior armies brought to bear against
him: but king John was still occupied in reducing the rebellious
towns, when he heard somewhat tardily of the Black Prince's march. He
instantly went to Chartres, and there gathered a large army, besides
garrisoning every town on the Loire, to guard against the Black Prince
crossing that river and making his way into Normandy.

The prince had by this time reached Vierzon, after plundering and
destroying unresisted across Angoumois, La Marche and Berri. He there
heard that the king of France was assembling a large army on the Loire,
and therefore gave up all thought of continuing his elaborate raid. One
would have thought that the necessity of prompt action, seeing that he
had only from 8000 to 10,000 men, would have been sufficiently obvious:
but the chivalric point of honour was of so much importance that he
wasted several days in taking the castle of Romorantin, which had
offered unexpected resistance. It was a fortunate piece of rashness,
for otherwise the French king would not have compelled him to fight at

There seems to be no doubt that the Black Prince thought of crossing
the Loire; but this gives no real support to the theory that his whole
expedition was made in concert with Lancaster. Of course each was
generally aware that the other was going to move, which would imply the
possibility, if both succeeded, of their meeting somewhere thereabouts;
but this is a very long way from deliberate co-operation. He might well
have thought that if he could pass the Loire he would have as safe a
refuge, would harass and perplex the French king more, and would not
seem to have been driven to retreat; otherwise he would certainly have
never gone near Poitiers, but would have followed a line of retreat as
straight on Bordeaux as possible, every march in which would take him
further from king John's overwhelming army. Some of the authorities
trace his route, some do not; the places named do not always agree, and
are not all to be certainly identified. The most precise of them says
that he went straight to Tours, remained near that city several days
hoping to cross the river there, and decamped south on hearing that the
French king was crossing at Blois. The same account states that king
John through his scouts was acquainted with the prince's movements: if
so, one would think he ought to have made a little more haste. When
he did move however the French king marched not straight towards his
enemy, but in a direction intended to intercept his retreat, a piece of
strategy which may seem obvious enough, but not so common in the middle
ages. From Loches he directed his army on Poitiers, the main part with
the king in person crossing the Vienne at the bridge of Chauvigny,
fifteen miles east of that city. The slight information which each
side had of the other, seems to have failed totally at the critical
juncture. On Friday September 16 king John slept between Chauvigny and
Poitiers, in complete ignorance where the Black Prince was. The same
night the prince was a few miles north of the Chauvigny-Poitiers road,
in equal ignorance that his enemy was between him and safety. Starting
early on the 17th, the prince took, none too soon, the precaution of
sending a small troop of men-at-arms forward to reconnoitre. These
fell in with the last of king John's great army to cross the bridge of
Chauvigny; it would be an abuse of language to call them a rearguard.
Outnumbered four to one, the English[27] fell back on the main body,
and the French pursuing heedlessly were nearly all killed or captured.
The prince, thus warned of the proximity of his enemy, pushed on a few
miles further, till he was well on the Bordeaux side of Poitiers, and
there halted. King John, on hearing the news, ordered his forces to
retrace their steps, and passed the night of the 17th about three miles
south-east of Poitiers.

The locality of the battle of Poitiers, or Maupertuis as the French
name it, has now been ascertained. Documentary evidence shows that
the spot formerly called Maupertuis is La Cardinerie, a farm near the
Limoges road, about five miles south-east of Poitiers. This disposes
of the theory of the battle, based upon expressions of the chroniclers
to the effect that the Black Prince could not help fighting, that the
French army was between him and Bordeaux. It also destroys all ground
for the charge against king John of wasteful folly in attacking his
enemy strongly posted, when that enemy had no choice, unless he would
starve or surrender, but to attack an enormously superior force. The
Black Prince, it is clear, was not cut off: he had the choice between
standing to fight, and attempting to escape from the French, who were
within two or three miles of him, and several times his strength. There
is no doubt, further, that the Black Prince selected the strongest
position available, fortified it to the best of his power, and there
awaited attack. He evidently thought that it was scarcely possible
to get away in safety, or else he would certainly not have halted
comparatively early in the day.

The position was a strong one, for the arms of that age. Like his
father, the Black Prince, though his strategy might be faulty,
possessed great tactical skill, and coolness in encountering danger.
The essentials for his situation were, ample scope for his archers,
all possible impediments to the French horsemen, and some security
against being attacked on all sides at once, seeing how great were the
odds against him. All these conditions he managed to fulfil, and all
would hardly have sufficed to save him from destruction, but for the
disastrous blunder of the French, in dismounting to attack.

The scene of the battle is slightly undulating country, the variations
of level being only a few feet. The chroniclers, to whom language
for expressing minute differences was wanting, talk of hills and
deep valleys, and have thereby misled writers who have not seen the
ground, nor examined with attention a contoured map. South-eastwards
from Poitiers runs the modern Limoges road, almost parallel to an
ancient Roman road, which may have been still the working road of the
fourteenth century. A small rivulet, the Miosson, flows at the bottom
of a ravine, about 100 feet below the level of the battle-field, and
joins the Clain just above Poitiers. The bottom is presumably muddy,
and the quantity of water varies greatly with the season. But there
is a ford (the Gué de l'Homme marked on the map) to which a narrow
road, believed on good evidence to be ancient, leads from close to
La Cardinerie. That farm itself is not so old as the battle, having
taken the place of the hamlet of Maupertuis, which stood somewhere
in the same neighbourhood, and is said to have been destroyed at the
time of the battle. Maupertuis was[28] supplied with water from a
pond, now almost filled up, which used to be known as "la mare aux
Anglais," and out of which sundry relics of the battle have been taken.
The overflow of this pond, and doubtless the surface drainage of the
immediate neighbourhood, which in rainy weather might be considerable,
passed down a very slight hollow running nearly north and south on the
Poitiers side of La Cardinerie. As the soil is soft, and the slope
very gentle till near the Miosson, the bottom of this hollow may
well have been boggy. It is a good illustration of the exaggerated
impression conveyed by the defective vocabulary of the chroniclers,
that this depression of a very few feet is the place best answering
to the _profunda vallis_, and the _torrens_ of Baker of Swinbrook,
the chronicler whose narrative of the battle has a far greater air of
precision in details than any other.

Not far on the east side of this little depression was the Black
Prince's position. His front was covered by a hedge with a ditch
in front: Baker expressly mentions a _sepes subterfossata_, and it
was the usual custom in Poitou to fence in this way. Behind it was
a space partly planted with vines, but by no means clear of bushes,
on which the English encamped. The hedge was apparently on rather
lower ground, for the French knights sent to reconnoitre were able to
bring back a pretty accurate report of the position and numbers of
the enemy. Somewhere in this hedge was a gap left for carts to reach
the upper level, the hedge apparently curving up to it so as to form
a sort of funnel-shaped opening. There is now no long hedge anywhere
east of the wood of Nouaillé, half a mile to the south-eastwards; but
hedges and ditches disappear easily in a fertile soil under continuous
cultivation. It is most probable, though it cannot be said to be
certainly known, that the Black Prince's hedge ran from very near La
Cardinerie towards the hamlet of Les Bordes, and that through the gap
passed the road to the Gué de l'Homme.

On the morning of Sunday September 18, king John, according to
Froissart, sent some knights to reconnoitre the English position,
which he proposed to attack at once. On hearing their report, the
king, we are told, asked them in what way the attack should be made;
and Eustace de Ribeaumont, their chief, advised the king to make all
his men-at-arms dismount, except a few who were to charge and break
the English archers. According to Baker of Swinbrook the advice was
given by a Douglas, who had fought many times against the English,
and affirmed that the English always dismounted their men-at-arms,
ever since their defeat at Bannockburn. Whoever gave the advice, it
was suicidal folly. A little learning is proverbially a dangerous
thing; probably the most dangerous form which a little learning can
assume is to know a fact, and to draw utterly baseless and absurd
inferences from it. Edward II. was not routed at Bannockburn because
his men-at-arms fought on horseback, but because they attacked in a
confused and tumultuous manner on ground too narrow for their numbers.
Edward III. did not win Crecy merely because his men-at-arms fought on
foot, but because he had learned, alike from the victory of Falkirk and
from the defeat of Bannockburn, how to combine the destroying force
of archers with the defensive firmness of spearmen on foot. Moreover
the difference between offensive and defensive tactics is fundamental.
Horsemen obviously by dismounting lose most of their _momentum_ for
attack; as obviously, they cannot in any other way stand firm to
sustain a charge. Want of numbers compelled the English, at Crecy and
at Poitiers alike, to stand on the defensive: therefore, and therefore
only, their men-at-arms abandoned their natural mode of fighting.

Reminiscences of Crecy may well have inclined king John to try whether
some other tactics would not succeed better than the tumultuous rush of
mailed horsemen straight on a front better protected than at Crecy: but
the choice he made, whether inspired by sheer stupidity, or dictated
by the insane class pride which refused to see in the plebeian archers
the real victors over noble knights, was the worst possible. With his
overwhelming numbers he could have surrounded the English; he could
have kept them fully occupied in resisting attack while detaching a
superior force to cut their retreat; he could have done anything he
pleased. His defeat was even more crushing than his father's, and was
all the more discreditable, in that it was due to his own deliberate
orders, and not to the undisciplined rush of nobles too vain-glorious
to obey.

Before the battle could begin, however, the cardinal of Perigord
begged John to let him try to arrange terms with the Black Prince.
There was some division on the subject in the French councils, some
of the king's advisers thinking that the English could not escape
destruction, and that therefore any concession was folly. The king
ultimately consented, and the whole day was spent by the cardinal in
going to and fro between the two camps. The accounts vary as to the
exact course of these negotiations: very possibly several offers and
counter offers were exchanged. The king, if he thought his enemies in
his power, may reasonably have proposed very severe terms as the price
of their lives; the prince was apparently ready to concede a good deal;
but all the efforts of the cardinal were unavailing to bring about an
agreement. Whatever the terms finally offered by the king of France may
have been, they were such as the prince felt he could not honourably
accept, while an appeal to the arbitrament of battle was still open.
The delay enabled the English to improve their defences, probably by
intrenching on their right flank and rear, which had been protected
on their first taking up the position by a _lager_ of waggons. It was
injurious in another way, as they were very short of food; but this
mattered little, as the morrow must bring victory or destruction.

Down to the morning of September 19, the day of the battle, every
detail can be determined, if not with certainty, yet with reasonable
probability. At this point, however, we encounter very serious
difficulties. The two authorities which describe the battle minutely,
Froissart and Baker, differ from one another in points too important to
be called details, though they agree in representing the Black Prince
as having remained in his position. The Chandos Herald, whose testimony
is _primâ facie_ deserving of the highest respect, affirms that the
prince had in the night made up his mind to retreat, that he had sent
off his vanguard to convey the baggage across the stream, and would
have followed with his whole army, had not the French made haste to
attack the rear-guard. The discrepancy is obviously fundamental;[29]
one side or the other must start from a total misconception, and if
so, it is hardly worth while to speculate as to what rags of truth may
be left in the narrative.

The Black Prince's army was as usual divided into three parts, under
the earl of Warwick, the prince himself, and the earl of Salisbury.
The numbers are disputed, the French being naturally inclined to raise
the total, the English to diminish it. The authorities on the English
side agree in giving about 8000, and they obviously would have the best
means of knowing. A real element of uncertainty is, however, always
present, in the doubt whether the attendants on the knights are to
be added, or are meant to be included in the number given of other
soldiers besides the men-at-arms and archers. Probably it would be safe
to affirm that the number did not exceed 10,000 of all arms. Having
to fight a defensive action against very superior forces, the prince
necessarily resorted to tactics much like those of Crecy. The earl of
Warwick's division, comprising comparatively a large proportion of
archers, lined the hedge in front. Salisbury's men-at-arms, dismounted,
were drawn up in line, a stone's-throw back from the gap in the hedge,
with archers on their flanks, who would naturally be thrown forwards.
The prince's own "battle" he moved[30] up on to a gentle eminence on
one flank; this was at the spot marked Bernon on the map, and on the
left flank, assuming Colonel Babinet to be right in his identification
of the position. From this point he returned after the battle had
begun, to sustain Warwick and Salisbury, except that he throughout kept
some hundreds of men-at-arms mounted, in reserve.

The numbers on the French side are stated with much greater discrepancy
than on the English. Froissart gives no less than 60,000, but there
seems reason to believe that the real amount was about 40,000, or fully
four times the Black Prince's total. A picked body of 500 horsemen,
under the two marshals Audrehen and Clermont, was to lead the attack.
This was followed by the first of the main "battles" under the duke of
Normandy, John's eldest son. The second was commanded by his brother
the duke of Orleans, the third by the king in person; both of these
remained apparently at some distance. As the marshals advanced up
the funnel-shaped opening leading to the gap, which was itself only
wide enough for four horsemen abreast, the archers, protected by the
hedge, poured in volleys of arrows. Thanks to their armour, the French
were not all shot down, and engaged in a hand-to-hand conflict with
Salisbury's men, ranked beyond the gap. The first French line, as they
followed, engaged with Warwick's troops along the whole line of the

Seeing that many arrows were broken on the stout armour, or glanced
from it, the earl of Oxford bade the archers, who were closing round
the flank and rear of the mounted force, aim at the horses, which
were less protected. In this way the horsemen were soon routed; one
marshal was killed, the other taken prisoner, their immediate command
was nearly destroyed, and the whole first line was driven back in
confusion. The temptation to pursue must have been strong: but the
English leaders knew that their work was only begun. They reformed
their ranks, and awaited a fresh attack, which was not long in coming.
The French second line under the duke of Orleans advanced in its turn,
and after a similar struggle was repulsed even more completely. Still
the English commanders would not allow pursuit, though Sir Maurice
Berkeley[31] charged on his own private account into the retreating
mass, and was, as might be expected, taken prisoner, desperately
wounded, after performing prodigies of valour. The breathing time was
spent in carrying back the wounded into safety behind the hedges, and
in gathering as many arrows as possible, for the stock was running
short. It speaks volumes for the deadliness of the shooting at that
short range, that the chronicler speaks of the archers drawing the
arrows out of the bodies of the dead and wounded, not picking them up
from the ground. The French king, on hearing that his son had been
beaten back, swore solemnly that he would not leave the field that day,
unless dead or a prisoner, and led on the third line. The English, all
of whom, except the prince's small reserve, had now been fighting for
hours against heavy odds, were nearly worn out; a great many had been
wounded, and the numbers left seemed too small to withstand another
onset. At this juncture some dismay was caused by the Captal de Buch,
a Gascon noble who won a great reputation in the latter part of the
war, riding off the field followed by a handful of men-at-arms and
a hundred archers. It was naturally imagined that he was flying or
deserting: instead of this, he had obtained the prince's permission to
make a bold stroke for victory, by circling round the French flank and
attacking them in their left rear. This third conflict was the severest
of all, the more so as the archers, their arrows being exhausted,
had to resort to their bills. At length the Captal de Buch was seen
emerging from beyond the slightly rising ground which had masked his
movements from the French, displaying the red cross of St. George as a
signal: thereupon the Black Prince charged with his reserve of mounted
men-at-arms. The day was finally won: though the king of France fought
on desperately for awhile, showing himself as good soldier as he was
bad general, he was at length obliged to surrender himself prisoner.

A long list of nobles and knights interred in the churches of Poitiers,
another long list of distinguished captives, mark the overwhelming
nature of the defeat which the French had sustained. So great was the
number of prisoners that the Black Prince released a very large part,
on their undertaking to pay their ransom at Bordeaux. The English
loss must have been severe, relatively to the force engaged, though
no authoritative figures can be given. The French of course lost much
more heavily; but the mere number of slain was as nothing compared to
the crushing effect of the unexpected blow. Had there been any spirit
of resistance left in the French, the Black Prince could hardly have
reached Bordeaux in safety. The relics of the army defeated at Poitiers
must have amounted to several times his diminished force: yet he
carried off his noble prisoners, with all the spoil of the royal camp
and of his previous raid, without a trace of opposition.

It would almost seem as if Edward III. and his son never seriously
contemplated the subjugation of France: for instead of attempting to
take advantage of the virtual dissolution of all government resulting
from the defeat of Poitiers and the king's capture, the Black Prince
returned to England with his prisoner. The treaty of Bretigny, by
which Edward resigned his claims to the French crown, and the French
king abandoned all suzerainty over the south-west, was a reasonable
solution of the difficulty, if nothing had been at stake but the
personal pretensions of the two monarchs. But the national feelings of
the French were too strongly roused: the treaty was never carried out.
John's son and successor Charles V., or rather his military adviser the
Constable Duguesclin, learned wisdom from the crushing defeats of Crecy
and Poitiers, and steadily abstained from confronting English armies in
the field. All the arts of minor warfare, raids, surprise of castles,
cutting off of small parties, were adopted against the English, and
the success though slow was steady, and was twofold. Outnumbered
from the nature of the case, the English could not but lose in a war
thus carried on; and the French subjects of the Black Prince were
alienated, through being exposed both to injury at the hands of their
own countrymen, and to heavy demands on their resources made by the
prince to help him fight a losing game. Gradually things went more and
more against the English, until by the time the Black Prince's health
failed, and he went home to die, little was left beyond a few towns,
which were bound to England by commercial ties. Nor was this all; in
the second active stage of the great war, when Henry V. was formally
accepted as heir to the French crown, the south-west was the region in
which the cause of the Dauphin, the national cause, was most steadily



For nearly forty years after the death of the Black Prince the English
pretensions against France lay dormant. Something like friendly
relations existed from time to time between the two countries: Richard
II. even contracted a marriage with a French princess, though he was
deposed before his child bride was grown up. Cordial peace however
was impossible: the English possessions in Guienne were a standing
temptation to French ambition and patriotism: the English claim to the
French crown was a standing provocation. That claim had by no means
been forgotten: the glories of Crecy and Poitiers had made a deeper
impression than the slow failure of the following years, the burden of
which had fallen much more heavily on Guienne than on England. To the
English mind the pretensions of their kings to the throne of France
had become a national rather than a personal matter. It was England
that considered herself entitled to dominate over France, rather
than an individual claiming an inheritance for himself. Richard II.
had been succeeded by his cousin the duke of Lancaster, who reigned
by a perfectly valid national title, formally voted by Parliament,
and substantially accepted by the country as a whole. He was, as it
happened, the heir male of Edward III., heir according to the theory
embodied in the Salic law which France had made her rule of succession:
but he was not the heir of Edward III. according to the theory which
alone could render valid Edward III.'s claim to France. What is
commonly said in relation to Edward is strictly true of Henry V.: if
his contention was based on a sound theory, it held good in favour of
some one else. There is no trace of this being recognised in England:
Henry V. was the lawful king of England, lawful successor of his
great-grandfather, and might reasonably urge his great-grandfather's

The state of France at the date of the accession of Henry V. was
deplorable. The king, Charles VI., had long been mad; his occasional
lucid intervals, when he was supposed to resume the reins of
government, only served to make confusion worse. The queen was one
of the worst of women, without the great abilities which went some
way towards atoning for the wickedness of Catharine de Medicis or her
namesake of Russia. The Dauphin was a dissolute and reckless boy.
All good government was lost: for power was disputed by two bitterly
hostile factions, each of which used it in turn for its own purposes.
One was headed by the duke of Burgundy, cousin of the king, son of the
boy who was taken prisoner at Poitiers beside his father king John. The
other, which bore the name of Armagnacs,[32] was headed by the young
duke of Orleans, the king's nephew, between whom and John of Burgundy
there was an irreconcilable blood-feud. The statesmanship of France was
not ill-represented by the Dauphin's insult to Henry V., in sending him
a present of balls at his accession, with a message implying that he
deemed the young king, perhaps the ablest man of his age, little better
than a child. Shakespeare makes much of the story that the archbishop
of Canterbury urged Henry to undertake war with France, in order to
divert his attention from ecclesiastical affairs at home. Whatever
weight this may have had, the opportunity was obvious, and Henry was
very well competent to use it.

In August 1415 Henry V. landed at the mouth of the Seine, with a
well-equipped army of about 30,000 men. No better point for an invasion
could be chosen: there was a good harbour for his base, and almost
the shortest distance from the sea-shore to Paris is straight up the
Seine. Before however he could advance Harfleur must be taken, and
this cost an unexpectedly long time. More than a month elapsed before
the town surrendered; and then it is suggested that dysentery, which
was raging alike inside and outside the walls, was largely answerable
for the surrender. The siege was conducted entirely by battering, like
a siege of three or four centuries later: probably the comparative
slowness and inadequacy of the cannonade was more or less balanced by
the inferiority of the defensive works to those of later times. When
the town had fallen (or was on the point of falling, for the date is
not quite certain), Henry sent a message to the Dauphin, offering
to settle the dispute by single combat with him, as his father was
incapacitated. The proposal is altogether in the style of chivalry, and
was doubtless considered the right and proper thing to do: but seeing
that the Dauphin was a weak and debauched lad, and Henry in the very
prime of vigour, there was nothing really high-minded about it. Henry
deemed himself bound to wait for an answer, and during the interval
resolved on his course of action. His army had been frightfully reduced
by illness as well as by the losses in the siege: we are told that 5000
men had to be sent home invalided, besides the large number who died.
A garrison was also wanted for Harfleur; altogether the king could not
move with above a third of his original force. The accounts given from
the English side, which are numerous and unusually circumstantial,
vary only slightly: and one French writer, who expressly says that he
saw the English army, agrees pretty closely with them. French writers
in general had only hearsay to guide them, and had every motive to
exaggerate the English numbers. Of men-at-arms Henry had left from 800
to 1000, of archers five or six thousand, besides other foot-soldiers
who were probably about half as numerous. Whatever the number was, it
had suffered no material change before the battle of Agincourt.

With such an insignificant force, offensive operations were out of
the question. Prudence obviously suggested, while honour forbade, a
direct return to England. Henry determined to march through the coast
districts of Normandy, and so gain Calais. Doubtless he was encouraged
to take this venturous course by his knowledge of the distracted state
of France, and in particular by the fact that, while he had now been
six weeks in the country, no attempt had been made to disturb him,
though there was by this time a hostile army gathering at Rouen. About
October 8 the English army started, carrying with them provisions for
several days, with no waggons to delay their march, and under strict
orders that there should be no plundering. Henry aimed at crossing the
Somme as his great-grandfather had done, by the ford of Blanchetaque
below Abbeville: but on coming within a few miles he was informed
that it was very strongly held by the enemy. One French writer says
that this information was false, and that it was the cause of the
subsequent disaster, as otherwise Henry would have reached Calais
without fighting. True or false, Henry believed it, and marched up the
Somme, finding bridge after bridge broken, and naturally feeling that
the chance of a French army barring the road was hourly increasing.
At length, on October 18, fords were found near Nesle, and the
English made their way safely across. Two days later Henry received
a message from the dukes of Orleans and Bourbon to the effect that
they proposed to fight him before he reached Calais, and asking him to
appoint a meeting-place. Henry's reply was that of a general, not of a
knight-errant: he was marching straight to Calais, and they might meet
him where they pleased.

The proceedings of the French as reported are somewhat difficult to
interpret. We are told, and there is no reason to disbelieve it,
that D'Albret, the Constable of France, had been against attempting
to relieve Harfleur: the tradition of the great defeats at Crecy and
Poitiers, and of the success which had attended the subsequent policy
of not fighting in the open field, might well account for this. For
the same reason, doubtless, the army under his command was withdrawn
behind the Somme on the news of Henry's march having begun, though why
the river was not better guarded it is difficult to imagine. On the
other hand we are told that the king of France came to Rouen with the
Dauphin, after the fall of Harfleur, and that all the chief nobility
of France came thither at his summons. So numerous were their forces,
and so confident were they, that they refused the offer of a contingent
from the city of Paris of 6000 men, one of them saying, "What do we
want of the assistance of these shopkeepers, since we are three times
as many as the English?" Most of these nobles must have marched with
the Constable: it can only have been from his army that the challenge
to Henry, above referred to, can possibly have been sent. Then an
unintelligible story is told, of a royal council having been held at
Rouen on October 20 (this date is clearly impossible), at which it was
decided to fight a battle, and orders were sent accordingly to the
Constable. But the same account goes on to speak of summons for all
who were fit to bear arms to join the Constable's army, which from the
nature of the case would have fought and (as was assumed) destroyed the
English, long before any fresh troops could reinforce what was already
far larger than necessary. Then follows a statement that an invitation
was sent to the duke of Burgundy's son, who was only prevented from
joining by his father's express orders, and that he never to his dying
day forgot the humiliation of being kept away from the battle. Seeing
that the youth in question was afterwards duke Philip called the Good,
whose co-operation with Henry V. put France, officially speaking, into
the hands of the latter, it is scarcely possible to accept this as
true. Equally out of keeping with the prevalent feeling of the French
at the time is the story that the king and the Dauphin wanted to join
the army, and were prevented by the old duke of Berri, the king's
uncle, who said, remembering Poitiers, "Better lose the battle than
the king and the battle too." Why, if there was anything of an army in
Normandy, and the council at Rouen were so bent on a battle, no attempt
was made to harass Henry's march, when the Constable was ready to stop
him in front, does not appear. From the English accounts, one of which
was written by Henry's own attendant chaplain, it is perfectly certain
that their march was nowhere really impeded by encountering enemies.
The whole conduct of the French, alike in strategy and in the tactics
of the actual battle of Agincourt, was ill judged: the explanation
doubtless being that the great nobles could not be controlled
effectually by the Constable.

When Henry crossed the Somme, the French army was apparently at
Bapaume, twenty miles to the northward. Why they made no attempt
to attack the English, who marched past them in a line parallel to
the river, but a few miles to the north-east of it, can hardly be
conjectured. At any moment, during two or three days, the Constable
might have fallen upon them, and the English if defeated must have
been destroyed, for the Somme would have been at their back. Perhaps
the Constable thought it wiser to let Henry go to Calais unimpeded,
and only moved in deference to positive orders from the king. Whatever
the reason, it was not till Henry was passing him that he moved: then
he marched in the same direction, the two routes gradually converging
towards each other. On October 24, just after crossing the little
river Ternoise, called in the English narratives the river of swords,
Henry came almost into collision with the French, whose swarming bands
covered the country on his right, and almost in front. The French
halted, as if to tempt him to attack. Henry knew better than so to
throw away his best chance: having the advantage of the ground, he
halted and formed his line for battle. The general feeling in the
English army, if one may trust Henry's chaplain, was one of deep
despondency. Nor was this unreasonable, seeing that they must cut their
way through an army several times the size of their own, unless the
enemy threw away his advantage. The king alone was cool and confident.
When Sir Walter Hungerford in his hearing uttered a wish for 10,000
more archers, Henry uttered the famous rebuke which Shakespeare[33] has

    "If we are marked to die, we are enow
    To do our country loss; and if to live,
    The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
    God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
    By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
    Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
    It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
    Such outward things dwell not in my desires:
    But if it be a sin to covet honour,
    I am the most offending soul alive.
    No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England:
    God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
    As one man more, methinks, would share from me
    For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
    Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
    That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
    Let him depart; his passport shall be made
    And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
    We would not die in that man's company
    That fears his fellowship to die with us."


  _Map VI._

  (_25^{th} Oct. 1415_)]

The Constable, seeing that he could not attack the English to
advantage, continued his march for a mile or so, and halted across the
road by which the English must march to Calais, between the little
villages of Agincourt and Tramecourt, the English camping almost where
they had halted to offer battle, in and about Maisoncelles. There was
much rain in the night, to the great discomfort of the English, who had
little shelter, and had had more than a fortnight of continuous and
fairly hard marching, with rather scanty supplies of food. The rain
proved in truth a valuable ally, when the French assailed them next day
over the soft wet ground.

Early on the 25th Henry arrayed his little army in order of battle. In
accordance with custom, the vanguard for marching purposes formed the
right of the line, the rearguard the left: the former was commanded
by the duke of York, the latter by lord Camoys, the king himself
taking charge of the main body in the centre: the total number was
too small to admit of a reserve. Accounts differ as to the exact
formation adopted, though there is perfect unanimity as to the English
men-at-arms having all dismounted, and left their horses in rear
with the baggage, such as there was. Nor is there any doubt that the
archers carried each man a six-foot stake, to plant in the ground in
front of the line, so as to form a sort of palisade. These stakes we
are expressly told had been cut by Henry's order immediately before
crossing the Somme, when he knew that an attack from superior numbers
was at any time possible. It seems to have been his own idea, and
to have become the regular practice after Agincourt. Some writers
state that the archers were entirely on the flanks, so that when the
line had advanced to where it came into collision with the French,
the archers lined the woods on each side of the open ground, which
was crossed by the dismounted men-at-arms. This view however must
be rejected for more reasons than one. The distance from the wood
skirting Tramecourt on the English right to that skirting Agincourt on
the left was over half-a-mile.[34] This is too great a distance to be
covered by arrows from the sides, even with the long-bow at its best,
and it is certain that the arrows did deadly execution all over the
battle-field. Moreover Henry had at the most only 1000 men-at-arms,
probably under 900. This number in single rank would hardly suffice to
cover half-a-mile, and of course they could not be in single rank:
there is no reason to doubt what is stated by every authority who
mentions the point at all, that they were four deep. It is necessary
therefore to adopt the other view, that each of the three divisions
had its separate formation, dismounted men-at-arms in line in the
centre, and the archers on each flank of them. The archers were formed
in wedges (_cuneos_), says Henry's chaplain. The formation already
described in giving account of Crecy was no doubt by this time the
regularly established one for an English line: its merits were obvious,
and well tested. The differences between Crecy and Agincourt were only
that in the latter case the front was in three divisions instead of
two, and the archers were protected by an improvised palisade, besides
being separated by shorter lines of spearmen. These differences would
obviously all tend to make them more destructive.

The numbers of the French army are told so variously that it is
impossible to state them with any confidence. They are usually given by
comparison with the English, and the proportion varies from six times
as great down to three times. Henry had perhaps about 10,000 in all,
as has been stated above; he may well have had less, but cannot have
had more.[35] The French were drawn up in three divisions, one behind
the other, each having a continuous line of dismounted men-at-arms.
One contemporary, who says that the English were four deep, says that
the French were thirty deep, which may possibly have been true of the
men-at-arms, who formed a much larger proportion of the French army
than of the English. The front line, at any rate, cannot have had more
than 600 in front at the outside, for a small body of horsemen was
placed on each flank to charge the English archers, and the whole space
available was but half-a-mile, though it is true that they were much
crowded together. There were archers, or at any rate cross-bowmen, in
the French army: how they were posted does not appear, except that they
were never given a chance of being useful. The knights, we are told,
refused to let them have the post of honour in front, behaving thus
with the usual feudal vaingloriousness, which had cost the French so
dear at Crecy. Similarly we are told that the French had cannon, but
certainly no use was made of them, perhaps for the same reason.

The highest nobility of France was well represented on the
battle-field: in fact there were so many semi-royal personages that it
was a difficult task for the Constable, whose authority they barely
recognised, to distribute the honour of command so as to satisfy them.
Ultimately the first division, which was to have the brunt of the
fighting, and expected to carry off all the glory, comprised (it would
be a farce to say it was commanded by) the Constable, the Marshal, the
dukes of Orleans and Bourbon, the brother of the duke of Brittany,
and the count of Eu. The second division had at its head the dukes of
Alençon and Bar, the count of Nevers, youngest brother of the duke of
Burgundy, and the count of Vaudemont, brother of the duke of Lorraine.
The rear division was under men of less note: some or all of the
men-at-arms belonging to it remained on horseback. The front line of
the French was drawn up a little north of the cross-road which now (and
possibly then) leads from Agincourt to Tramecourt. Here they were on
rising ground, and had a wider space than further to the south, the
woods which bound the ground which was the actual scene of conflict
trending back a little on each side. Consequently when the French
advanced, the men were crowded more together. We cannot be wrong in
assuming that the taking up of this position was the Constable's doing,
as he had throughout been averse to attacking the English in the field:
they had but to hold it, and Henry must attack, with everything against
him. If the French authorities are correct, Henry so fully recognised
this that he tried to negotiate, but the terms offered were such as
he declined to accept. This is not improbable in itself, though the
English writers do not mention it: and it is all the more likely to be
true, as the battle did not begin till some three hours after sunrise.

Less than a mile separated the two armies, over ploughed land, gently
rising towards the French, and soft with the recent rain, the upper
part at least doubtless already trodden into mire by the French, who
had been stationary thereabouts since the previous afternoon. There
was no alternative but to advance, as the French did not: but Henry
possessed in his archers a means of stinging them into action, and the
class pride of the French nobles had led to the adoption of an order of
battle which gave them no means of replying. Towards ten o'clock the
king gave the word, "In the name of Almighty God and of St. George,
advance banners." For a moment, the English line knelt and touched the
earth with their faces: then with a cheer they moved forward. As soon
as they were within bowshot of the enemy the line halted, the archers
fixed their stakes in the soft ground and began to shoot. Obviously the
French could not stand to be riddled with arrows: the horsemen who had
been placed on the flanks of the front line on purpose to "over-ride"
the archers, were ordered to charge, but were unable even to reach the
English and were driven back in confusion. The Constable now led the
men-at-arms forwards, separating them apparently into three masses,
to attack the three lines of English spearmen. Weighted with armour,
they sank to the calf at each step, and the archers took them more and
more in flank as they advanced. Still, they managed to reach and even
to press back the English men-at-arms: but then the archers, taking to
their bills, quitted the protection of the stakes, and closed on to
the flanks of the helpless struggling mass, who were far too closely
wedged together to use their spears. The Constable was killed: all the
other noble personages figure on the list of prisoners: of one of them,
the duke of Orleans, it is expressly said that he was taken out after
the battle from a pile of dead and wounded; and probably the same fate
befell others. Wounded or not, they could not move to escape from the
ghastly heap, sunk deeper and deeper in the struggle into the miry
soil. Pushing a little forward, Henry attacked the second French line,
doubtless in the same manner, and with equally decisive result. The
slaughter of the second division was presumably even greater, for all
its leaders, with the duke of Brabant, who arrived with reinforcements
during the battle, were found among the slain. Most of the third line
fled without resistance; the counts at its head made a last desperate
charge at the head of a few hundred men, and found the death they

The battle was now won, and the English had time to secure the
prisoners. Suddenly a body of French fugitives who had rallied,
threatened a fresh attack: how many there were is not stated, but the
total number of fugitives was two or three times as great as the whole
English army. It was impossible to guard the prisoners while repelling
the attack, and a slaughter of them had begun, when the enemy withdrew.
Of the total French loss the estimates vary greatly: the names of the
most important nobles who fell have been given already. It is perhaps
worth mention that the grandfathers of two of them perished at Crecy,
the then count of Alençon, and the then duke of Lorraine. Between slain
and prisoners, the French nobility suffered enormously; in fact the
blow to the Armagnac party was for the time crushing, though it may be
doubted whether the loss was not a disguised gain to France, as leaving
room for the far more competent professional soldiers, who conducted
the last stages of the great war.

On the English side king Henry fought like the meanest soldier, with
his own hand saving the life of his young brother Humphrey. His
helmet still hangs in Westminster Abbey, with more than one dent from
a sword-stroke, doubtless received in the great battle. The list of
English slain is preposterously small; just thirteen men-at-arms,
though among them was included the duke of York, last surviving
grandson of Edward III., and about a hundred others. One need realise
very fully the conditions of the battle, the absurd mismanagement
of the French leaders, and the helplessness of their masses, not to
multiply tenfold the numbers given, which nevertheless are authentic.

An illustration of the imminence of the danger from which the English
escaped, is furnished by the fact that during the action the baggage
was plundered by French stragglers. As the army left Harfleur without
a waggon, with nothing but what could be carried on horses or by
the soldiers themselves, there cannot have been much: but the king
lost some articles of plate and jewellery for his own personal use,
including the seals of his chancery, which however were most of them
recovered afterwards through the instrumentality of a French noble who
had been taken prisoner in Harfleur. Henry's crown he wore fixed on his
helmet, and a portion of it was cut away in the battle.

Henry V. was too wise to imagine that his small force, even after
victory, could achieve great things. He returned in triumph to
England, leaving the French factions to tear the country to pieces.
In 1417 he landed again in Normandy, and set to work systematically
to conquer that province, which was left to defend itself, while the
princes pursued the much more interesting employment of quarrelling
with each other. After capturing Rouen, and organising the government
so thoroughly that Normandy remained in English hands for thirty
years, Henry marched on Paris. In face of this pressing danger the
French factions began to negotiate, and an interview was arranged on
the bridge of Montereau: but the Armagnacs seized the opportunity
treacherously to murder the duke of Burgundy in the presence of the
Dauphin. Naturally his son at once went over to Henry's side. The
Dauphin was entirely in the hands of the Armagnacs, who were as
incapable as they were base. In Paris, which was always inclined to the
Burgundian side, the feeling spread that Henry of England, especially
if he married a French princess as he proposed to do, would be better
than the Dauphin. In a few months the treaty of Troyes was agreed to,
by which Henry was to be regent during the lifetime of Charles VI.,
and succeed to the throne on his death, on condition of his marrying
the princess Catharine. Unfortunately Henry died two years later, just
before Charles VI. The infant Henry VI. was proclaimed king of both
countries, and his uncle Bedford ruled vigorously in his name. The
death of Charles VI. however made the Dauphin no longer a quasi-rebel,
but the legitimate king: and the national feeling of France declared
for him. Roughly speaking, the English ruled all north of the Loire,
thanks to the Burgundian alliance; the south more or less ruled itself,
for Charles VII. was indolent and unwarlike. His cause was not without
support in the north, while his Scottish allies were there, but two
bloody defeats at Crevant and Verneuil inflicted enormous loss on the
Scots. In the latter battle the archers played a very conspicuous
part: we find some of the archers, left to guard the horses and baggage
while the men-at-arms fought on foot, beating off unaided the body of
French horse which had been sent round to attack the English rear.
Though no more fighting on a large scale took place, it was not till
1428 that Bedford saw his way to the definite forward step of besieging

This city is usually spoken of as being of paramount importance, the
"key of the south"; it is assumed that its capture would have been
equivalent to the final overthrow of Charles VII. A glance at the map
will show that, although the possession of Orleans would have been an
undoubted advantage to the English, it would have only been one step
towards the conquest of the southern half of France. It might with more
justice be asserted that until Orleans was taken, the English were far
from secure in their hold on the north. However this may be, the siege
of Orleans did in fact witness the first English failure. One of the
most remarkable characters in history appeared quite suddenly on the
scene, and turned the scale against them.

Orleans stands on the north bank of the Loire, with a long bridge
connecting it with the south bank. At the time of the siege the
inhabitants destroyed the suburb on the south bank, retaining only a
fort commanding the bridge-head, called the Tournelles, which they
covered with a _boulevard_.[36] The English under the earl of Salisbury
began the siege on October 12, 1428. Their camp was pitched on the
south of the Loire, and the first operation was to construct a little
fort on the ruins of the Augustin convent, whence their cannon were
directed mainly at the Tournelles. A mine was run from thence under the
_boulevard_ in front of the Tournelles. For some mysterious reason the
English did not wait to fire the mine, but assaulted the _boulevard_,
and were repulsed. This waste of life might well have been spared, for
the French not only abandoned the outwork, but, the Tournelles being
injured by the cannonade, evacuated that also after offering almost
nominal resistance to an assault. The French broke down an arch of
the bridge next to the Tournelles, and proceeded to construct a new
_boulevard_ on a small islet near the south bank of the Loire, over
which the bridge passed. So far the siege had progressed successfully
and rapidly: but on October 27 Salisbury was mortally wounded by a
cannon-shot from the city, while reconnoitring from the top of the
Tournelles. The death of so experienced a soldier was a great blow
to the besiegers: but his successor Suffolk carried on the work with
energy. Bringing the army over to the right bank, he left Sir William
Glansdale in command of the Tournelles and the other forts on the left
bank. His purpose was to complete the investment by a series of small
forts all round the city; but the weather delayed his operations,
and it was not till the end of the year that the city was actually
invested. Even then it was not impossible to run the gauntlet of the
forts, or to steal into the city by the river: scarcity however began
to be severely felt. In February 1429 a relieving force, attempting
to destroy a convoy of provisions on its way to the English camp,
was totally routed on the "Day of the Herrings," so called because
a large part of the provisions consisted of salt herrings (Lent was
just beginning). Sir John Fastolfe, who commanded, and who had a force
partly English, partly French of the Burgundian party, had time to
form his waggons in square,[37] within which extemporised fort his
men stood on the defensive, the English archers guarding one of the
issues, the French spearmen the other. The attack was begun by a body
of picked men who had come out of Orleans, and who had cannon with
them. Obviously Fastolfe's defence could not long have been maintained
against even the inefficient cannonading of that age: but the vanguard
of the relieving army came up in time to save the day to the English.
Throwing themselves from their horses, in obedience to the unreasoning
superstition which had cost the French so dear on greater fields,
they rushed at Fastolfe's _lager_. The Scots were shot down by the
archers, the Gascons impaled themselves on the spears: when the rout
was complete, the little English army issuing from behind their waggons
slaughtered as they pleased. Such a disaster was calculated to drive
the men of Orleans to despair. As a last chance they offered their city
to the duke of Burgundy, who naturally would much have liked such an
addition to his dominions: as naturally, the English would not listen
to the proposal for a moment. One of the regent's council said in the
duke's presence that the English were not made to chew morsels for
the duke of Burgundy to swallow. Bedford himself put the same point
with less vulgarity, but equal force, saying that he was not going to
beat the bushes, for some one else to catch the birds. Burgundy had
no answer to make: he was not yet prepared to break with the English,
though this disappointment helped no doubt to increase the growing
coolness between him and Bedford. Orleans had no prospect before it but
starvation or surrender, when its doom was averted by a miracle.

The deliverer who appeared at this critical moment was Jeanne d'Arc, a
peasant girl from Lorraine. Her imagination had been deeply impressed
by the miseries of the war: for years she had heard voices, as she
called them, telling her that she was to save France, and gradually
becoming more frequent and more specific in their commands. At length
her profound enthusiasm made such an impression on her neighbours that
she was able to make her way to the young king, to whom she announced
herself as sent by God to deliver France, and conduct him to Rheims for
his coronation. Charles was naturally inclined to be incredulous, but
she convinced him of her good faith, and won so great an influence over
courtiers and soldiers alike, as to put down for the time the prevalent
profligacy and irreligion. We are told that the roughest of the French
soldiers of fortune, notorious for bad language, accustomed himself, to
please the Maid, to swearing only _par mon bâton_.

The immediate and pressing business was to save Orleans. Clad in
armour, Jeanne accompanied a force which obeyed her inspiration,
though it could hardly be said to have been under her orders, to
convey provisions from Tours. In her simple faith she wished to attack
the besiegers in the most direct way; but the leaders, thinking it
safer to set about their difficult task in the fashion most likely to
succeed, brought her opposite Orleans on the south side of the Loire.
She was indignant at the deception, but the incident only served to
increase her influence. The intention was to send the provisions
into Orleans by large boats, which were to be sent up the river to a
convenient spot, and run the gauntlet of the besiegers back again,
under cover of an attack from the relieving force. The wind however
blew down stream, and the boats could not move against both wind and
current. Jeanne however confidently declared that the wind would
change, as it in fact did, and she herself entered Orleans. Nothing
was so far gained but the immediate relief of urgent need: but in
this case the first step was emphatically everything. The French
were roused to confident enthusiasm by the belief that the Maid was
their divinely-appointed deliverer, the English were correspondingly
depressed. The consciousness of superiority, that mysterious but very
real feeling which often plays a great part in war, changed sides.
"Before the Maid arrived," said Dunois, one of the bravest of the
French leaders, "200 English would put to flight, in a skirmish, 800
or 1000 of the king's army: after she came, 200 French engaged all
the strength of the English, and forced them to shut themselves up
in their forts." This was an exaggeration, but no more. One by one
the English _bastides_ were assailed, and fell into the hands of the
French. Sometimes the defence was but feeble, sometimes it was for the
time successful. The truth was that the English superiority was due
to their tactics in the field, for which there was obviously no place
in the attack and defence of fortifications, not to greater courage,
except so far as repeated defeats had cowed the French and led them
to expect failure. Jeanne d'Arc had changed all that: her own perfect
courage, and calm conviction that she was under the guidance of Heaven,
roused her excitable countrymen to irresistible enthusiasm. At length
came the turn of the Tournelles: the relieving army, with the Maid at
their head, assaulted the _boulevard_ which protected the little fort
on the south. The English defended themselves desperately, and for
three hours kept the enemy at bay. Jeanne was wounded by an arrow,
and this caused such general discouragement that the leaders of the
French were on the point of retreating. The Maid herself however had
not lost heart; "See," she cried suddenly, "my banner touches the
wall, the place is yours," and returned to the assault. Roused to
madness by her example, the French renewed the conflict, some of them
shouting that they could see St. Michael in the air beckoning them on,
others that they saw the white dove of the Holy Spirit alight on the
Maid's standard. Some of the garrison of Orleans pushed planks across
the broken arch of the bridge, and took the Tournelles in rear. The
_boulevard_ was carried, and as Glansdale the commander was retiring
into the Tournelles, a cannon-ball broke the bridge of communication,
and he was drowned in the ditch. With his death all resistance ceased:
the relics of the garrison of the Tournelles were taken prisoners. The
besiegers, seeing that the game was finally lost, abandoned the siege.

Apart from the personal interest awakened by the first exploits of
Jeanne d'Arc, who is a character unique in history, the siege of
Orleans has some military interest. In it we see the mediæval and the
modern[38] conditions of a siege more or less combined. Cannon are
employed on both sides, and at first with some effect; the English
capture of the Tournelles is due to the damage done by their fire:
Salisbury could have been killed from the town by no other means. The
_bastides_ erected by the besiegers are in mediæval style, belonging to
a state of things when walled towns had to be starved out: it does not
seem to have been regarded as possible to batter Orleans itself. The
_boulevard_ of the Tournelles on the other hand is modern, an outwork
formed expressly for the use of cannon. The hand-to-hand fighting of
the assaults is of all ages, down to very recent times. Whether, in
face of all the engines of destruction that can now be brought into
play, a storm like that of the Tournelles, or even like that of
Badajos, will ever be possible again, is another question.

The failure of the siege of Orleans marks the beginning of the decline
of English power in France. Jeanne d'Arc is reasonably called a saint
and a heroine: her career, brief and ultimately disastrous as it
was, had a great immediate effect in stimulating French patriotism
generally, and especially in rousing Charles VII. to a sense of his
duty. But it is entirely a mistake to rank her first and greatest
exploit as an event of supreme importance.[39] One may see any day on
the sea-shore the tide at its height lapping round the base of a bit of
rock which it never entirely covers: but one does not therefore suppose
that the rock caused the turn of the tide. The nominal submission of
France to Henry V. at the treaty of Troyes had been due to France being
divided against herself, to one party being so bitter against the other
as to be willing to league with the foreigner. The superiority of
Henry, and of his brother the regent Bedford, to any of their immediate
opponents, was most marked; the excellence of the English soldiers and
tactics gave them every advantage. Yet even so they could not conquer
France. Such a state of things could not last; competent soldiers,
rulers who were not slaves of faction, were sure to emerge sooner or
later. The duke of Burgundy had only to change sides, which as a matter
of fact he did out of personal grudge against Bedford, to weight the
scale heavily. The ultimate failure of the English attempt to conquer
France was inevitable: whether the process of expelling them should be
long or short must needs depend on the amount of capacity shown on each

The superstitious awe inspired by Jeanne d'Arc did not last long; in
that age all the world was ready to believe in her having supernatural
powers, but these might as easily be diabolical as divine. Naturally
the French regarded her at first as divinely inspired; and her piety,
honesty, and perfect simplicity, which were conspicuous to them, might
well have roused a more lasting enthusiasm. The English as naturally
regarded her as a witch, and put her to a cruel death as such when she
fell into their hands. The victory of Patay, won by the French during
the period of her influence, was due mainly to the English commander
being attacked before he had time to form his line, though to Jeanne
may doubtless be ascribed the unusual promptness of the French in
attacking. The Maid fulfilled her word, and had Charles VII. crowned in
Rheims: but otherwise the war dragged on indecisively till the regent
Bedford died, just when the duke of Burgundy had found it worth his
while to go over to the French side. Thenceforward the English had no
competent head in France: the government at home was weak and torn by
dissensions, which led to the claims of the duke of York. Nevertheless
the war lasted nearly twenty years longer, steadily tending in one
direction, but marked by only one notable event. This was the battle
of Formigny in 1451, which was the final blow to the English power in
Normandy. Formigny was lost because the English leaders applied the
tactics which had won Crecy and Agincourt under conditions to which
they were not applicable. They took up a defensive position, and stood
to await attack, when their business was to force their way onwards.
The French had a couple of cannon, and the English broke their lines
to try and seize them. They nearly succeeded, but the result was that
the two armies engaged in a hand-to-hand conflict, in which the archers
could not use their bows. Another French force coming up and falling on
the rear of the English completed their destruction: of the 5000 men
engaged, 3700 were counted dead on the field.

That England gained anything by the Hundred Years' War, except military
repute, no one would dream of affirming: even that was evanescent,
for gunpowder presently drove the bow out of use. France gained, at a
frightful cost of suffering, her national coherence, but she gained
it in the disastrous form of a monarchy virtually absolute. The war
almost destroyed the feudal nobility, and left nothing strong but the
crown. What might have been the history of France if she had not gone
through this fiery trial, if the nobles had remained petty princes as
in Germany, can hardly be conjectured; the Hundred Years' War fixed
the destiny of France for her. The political lessons of the war are
glaringly obvious. A nation in the modern sense is indefinitely
stronger than a feudal kingdom: conquest of a people that chooses to
resist persistently and with judgment is impossible. The military
lessons are equally clear: discipline will counterbalance almost
any odds: the chief means of tactical success lies in the skilful
combination of different arms.



The Wars of the Roses were in more ways than one the outcome of the
great French war. Formally they were an appeal to arms to decide a
disputed succession to the crown: substantially they were a revolt
against a weak and discredited government, of whose incompetence the
unsuccessful conduct of the war in France had been the most conspicuous
evidence. Henry VI., or those who bore rule in his name, had neither
the sagacity to make peace and save some portion of the French
territory at the price of abandoning claim to the whole, nor the energy
to carry on the conflict vigorously. The absurdly scanty numbers of
the English troops in France during the last fifteen or twenty years
of the war testify alike to the feebleness of the government at home,
and to the respect which English military skill and prowess inspired
abroad. The marriage of Henry VI. was arranged in the hope of propping
up his failing cause in France. And the personality of Margaret of
Anjou is on the whole the most important in the Wars of the Roses.
On the one hand her energy and daring alone sustained the cause of
Lancaster, which without her would have collapsed; on the other hand
her extreme unpopularity helped the cause of York. The accident that
she was eight years a wife before becoming a mother contributed to
the same end. The duke of York had so long been in the position of
next in succession to the crown,[40] that when a direct heir was born
to Henry VI. the disappointed partisans of York began to say that
in strict hereditary right he ought to take precedence of the boy.
They could not bear to see the predominance of the hated French queen
assured, and her offspring barring for ever the hopes of their leader
and themselves. This was perfectly natural under the circumstances, but
it does not therefore follow that the claim of York was sound. Those
disaffected to an actual king naturally look for a rival claimant,
the support of whom may serve to disguise rebellion. There can be no
doubt that, on the principles of succession now legally established,
the next heir to Richard II. was the young earl of March, or that his
claim passed eventually to the duke of York. On the other hand it is
equally certain that in the fifteenth century there was no established
law of succession, and that the substitution of Henry of Lancaster for
his cousin was in accordance with the traditional rule of election.
If Henry V. had lived to old age, nothing would ever have been heard
of the pretensions of the house of York. Those pretensions were in
accordance with the legitimist ideas which were then gaining ground
elsewhere, as the natural corollary of absolutism, but which have never
been really accepted in England except by Jacobite fanatics.

When the war at length broke out, ample material for the armies was
supplied by the soldiers whose occupation in France was gone, by the
overplus of a population not industrially prospering, and most of
all by the personal following of the nobles. Though on the whole the
cause of York was favoured by the towns, by the merchants, by the most
prosperous and civilised elements of the nation, while the backward
regions of the north and west supported Lancaster, yet the differences
were not deep enough to affect the conduct of the war. Both sides
were equipped and fought after the same fashion; both used cannon
more or less; both knew the deadly effect of the cloth-yard arrow,
and therefore sought to come to close quarters; both fought with the
obstinacy of their race, and often with the special fury which civil
war is apt to engender. Hence there is much similarity between the
battles, and not much interest, in spite of the remarkable vicissitudes
of fortune, except in the three great battles won by Edward IV. in
person. To what extent Edward deserves the credit of Towton, the first
and greatest of them, cannot be determined; he had the co-operation of
the earl of Warwick, and he was still very young. Barnet and Tewkesbury
were clearly his own.

Late in 1460, as the result of a Yorkist victory at Northampton, a
compromise was arranged by which Henry VI. was to retain the crown for
his life, and Richard duke of York was recognised as his successor.
Queen Margaret, however, would not surrender the rights of her son
without a struggle: the nobles of the north rose in arms again, and the
duke of York was obliged to march against them. On December 30 he was
defeated and slain at Wakefield; his second son, and his brother-in-law
the earl of Salisbury, Warwick's father, perished with him. The victory
cost the Lancastrians dear: the barbarity of decapitating York's dead
body, and placing the head, crowned in mockery with a paper diadem,
over the gate of York, strengthened the feeling of hatred and contempt
for the north-countrymen, as little better than savages, already
growing in the south. Moreover, York, who had displayed no particular
capacity, was replaced by his son Edward, who, with all his faults,
proved the best soldier of the war. Warwick also, who was an abler man
than his father, and who already held the great inheritance of the
Beauchamps through marriage with the heiress, succeeded to his father's
wide domains, and so concentrated in his own hands by far the greatest
independent power ever possessed by an English subject. Margaret
advanced southwards, won a battle at St. Albans, but found London
unassailable, and was obliged to return to Yorkshire, her soldiers
plundering and destroying on the way in a manner ruinous to her cause.
Meanwhile the young duke of York, after crushing the Lancastrians of
the Welsh border at Mortimer's Cross, had reached London, and had been
proclaimed king as Edward IV. Without delay he and Warwick marched
northwards to bring the contest to a decisive issue, and fought on Palm
Sunday 1461 the greatest battle, in respect of the numbers engaged,
ever fought on English soil.[41]

The great north road, dating back to Roman times, crosses the river
Aire at Ferrybridge, and the Wharfe at Tadcaster, twelve or thirteen
miles further north, and nine miles from York. The Lancastrians
intended to defend the passage of the Aire, and encamped near Towton,
between the two rivers, but fully nine miles from the Aire. They were
apparently in complete ignorance of the rapid advance of the Yorkists,
who seized the important bridge unopposed. Somerset, who commanded the
Lancastrian army, if any one can be said to have had supreme command,
sent forward Lord Clifford to attempt to regain Ferrybridge. The
Yorkists still more inexcusably were in their turn surprised and cut to
pieces. Again Somerset blundered, and left Clifford unsupported. The
Yorkist vanguard, under Lord Falconbridge, was sent up the Aire, and
crossed it unopposed by the ford, difficult and dangerous in spring
when the rivers are full, three miles up at Castleford. Clifford, in
danger of being cut off, retreated on the main army, the enemy making
no attempt to pursue him: but within little more than a mile of the
camp his force was surprised and annihilated by Falconbridge. When we
remember that English armies had been fighting in France down to 1453,
under conditions which ought to have developed the utmost care in never
neglecting a precaution or an opportunity, and that they had been
fighting at home almost ever since, it seems scarcely credible that
such a series of astonishing blunders should have been committed by
both sides.


  _Map VII_

  _Battle of Towton_
  (_29^{th}. M^{ch}. 1461._)]

The Yorkists, marching by the two roads from Ferrybridge and
Castleford, which unite at the village of Towton, halted on the evening
of Saturday March 28, a couple of miles from the Lancastrian position.
The one thing which every Englishman who pretended to be a general in
that age understood, was how to take up a position tactically strong
for standing on the defensive. Somerset's army was however far too
large for his capacity: he drew up his 60,000 men on a front of a mile,
thereby throwing away his advantage in numbers. For a third of his
force, awaiting an attack from a fairly equal enemy, the position
would have been excellently chosen, assuming that he was not going to
be forced to retreat. The Lancastrian army was posted facing south on
a plateau, their right resting on a little stream, the Cock, which in
summer is a mere thread of water, but was at that season in flood,
and quite impassable. In rear of their left was Towton village, to
which the great road ran at the bottom of a tolerably steep slope of
from 50 to 80 feet from the edge of the plateau: the slope down to the
Cock on the other flank was impracticably steep. In front was a slight
depression known as Towton Dale, from which the ground rose again on
the south to a similar plateau. Thus the right was perfectly secure;
if the enemy attempted to turn the left they would have to attack
up a steep ascent: even in front they would have the ground against
them. Somerset had only to place some of the useless thousands that
overcrowded his line of battle in observation on the plain east of the
high-road, ready to strike at the enemy's flank, and he could hardly
have been assailed successfully. The weak point of the position was
that the Cock bends round the rear of it, a serious obstacle in its
flooded state to retreat in case of need, the more so as the old road
from Towton descended very steeply to the only bridge. The country
being at that date all open, retreat was possible north-eastwards,
in rear of the left, without crossing the Cock, more or less in the
direction of the modern road, which only crosses the Cock close to its
junction with the Wharfe, very near Tadcaster. Obviously, however,
should the enemy turn or defeat the left of the army, this resource
would be cut off, and defeat would mean destruction.

Warwick and Edward advanced at dawn on the Sunday morning, though their
rearguard, under the duke of Norfolk, delayed by the crossing of the
Aire, was still some miles off. Their numbers, though far inferior to
those of the enemy,[42] were amply sufficient for covering a front of a

The Lancastrians, having chosen their ground, naturally did not
oppose the Yorkists' advance. The latter climbed the southern slope,
and marched across the plateau, a fall of snow preventing either party
seeing the other until they faced each other at a distance of a quarter
of a mile across Towton Dale. From this time, if not before, the snow
was driving in the faces of the Lancastrians, and Falconbridge utilised
this advantage very cleverly. He ordered his archers to advance and
begin shooting at the enemy, whom they could dimly see: as soon as the
Lancastrians, annoyed by the arrows which they could not see coming,
began to reply, he withdrew his men a short distance, and let the
enemy waste their shafts on the open ground. Presently the hail of
Lancastrian arrows slackened, as the supply ran short, and Falconbridge
once more sent his archers forward, and so galled the defenceless enemy
that they advanced to come to close quarters. The Lancastrians had thus
to attack up-hill through the blinding snow, instead of compelling
their antagonists to assail them at a disadvantage. A hand-to-hand
conflict all along the line followed. Both sides fought stubbornly:
orders had been given on both sides, so the chronicler says, to give no
quarter. How long this continued it is hard to say: the armies may very
well have been face to face by seven in the morning, though one account
names nine o'clock. The losses on the victorious side, enormous for
a hand-to-hand battle, in which the front lines only can fall, prove
that it must have lasted a long while. About noon Norfolk, coming up
at length from Ferrybridge by the great road, took the Lancastrians in
flank. Still it was only gradually that they gave way: the battle had
lasted for ten hours before the Lancastrians finally broke and fled by
the only way open to them, towards the narrow bridge over the Cock.
The swollen stream was scarcely fordable, the bridge was soon blocked,
thousands were trampled down in the water, till the latest fugitives
escaped over a causeway of their comrades' bodies. In modern times
many thousands of the defeated army would have been taken prisoners, as
happened at Blenheim when Marlborough pinned the French right against
the Danube. The fury of civil war in the fifteenth century allowed very
few prisoners to be made. Over 30,000 corpses are said to have been
buried near Towton, of whom about a quarter were Yorkists. How many
more found their last resting-place in the river cannot be guessed; all
we know is that the Lancastrian army was to all intents and purposes

After the battle of Towton the Lancastrians would never again have
been able to shake Edward's throne, had he continued on good terms
with his great supporter Warwick. It would be irrelevant to discuss
the causes of the quarrel between them: it suffices to say that the
breach ultimately became irreparable, and that Warwick determined
to restore Henry VI. Before the vast power of the house of Neville,
in alliance with the Lancastrian party, and strengthened by others
whom Edward's conduct had offended, the king was helpless, and fled
the country without striking a blow. For some months Warwick reigned
in the name of the imbecile Henry VI.; but in March 1471 Edward was
enabled by his brother-in-law, the duke of Burgundy, to land with
a small force at the mouth of the Humber. He deliberately perjured
himself by solemnly swearing in York Minster that he would never
again claim the crown, and that he only came to claim his ancestral
lands, and then marched southwards to try his luck. He conducted his
enterprise with great skill and audacity, but his enemies also played
completely into his hands. Northumberland, perhaps out of jealousy
of the Nevilles, made no attempt to move southwards with the forces
he raised in the extreme north. Montagu, Warwick's brother, who held
Pontefract, apparently did not deem himself strong enough to attack
Edward without Northumberland's co-operation. The earl of Oxford moved
from the eastern counties upon Newark, but shrunk back in alarm when
Edward turned to attack him. Somerset was far away in the south-west.
Warwick was doing his best to gather an army in the midlands, and was
at Coventry when Edward, who had by this time accumulated a respectable
army, moved from Leicester. As he knew that Montagu was following
Edward from the north, and Oxford threatening him from the east, as he
was every day expecting his son-in-law the duke of Clarence to join him
from the west, Warwick chose to play a cautious game, and let Edward
pass Coventry without fighting. The next news that Warwick heard was
that Clarence had joined Edward: without principle to keep him true to
any cause, without judgment to discern his own best interest, Clarence
was always ready to plunge into a new treason. Edward now deemed
himself strong enough to march on London, where his cause had always
been popular, and on April 11 took possession of the capital without a
blow. Hearing that Warwick was approaching, he moved out on the 13th
to meet him, and on that night the two armies bivouacked opposite each
other north of the little town of Barnet. Warwick had been joined not
only by Montagu and Oxford, but also by Somerset: Edward had drawn
considerable reinforcements from Essex. Of the numbers on each side
very conflicting accounts are given, but from the narrative of the
battle it would seem that there was no very great disparity, though
probably Warwick had some little superiority; neither side can well
have had 20,000 men, possibly much less.

The contemporary narratives are not more valuable than most mediæval
chronicles in determining topography with precision, and the
battle-field of Barnet has now been so much enclosed and built over
that little can be discovered from examination of the ground. In the
fifteenth century Gladsmuir Heath, as it was then called, was open
ground, as the name implies: nor is there any trace in the narratives
of the battle having extended over the rough broken ground which
lies east of the great north road towards Monk's Hadley. The only
topographical point made in the official Yorkist narrative is that
Warwick, who was first on the field, arranged his men more than
half-a-mile north of Barnet "under an hedge-side." There can nowhere
have been a great length of hedge, sufficient to protect even a large
part of Warwick's front; but he may well have taken up a line of which
the southern boundary of Wrotham Park would form nearly the centre.[43]
Nothing however turns on the exact shape of the ground: the battle
was, like most others of the age, a straightforward engagement all
along the line. Edward was anxious to make sure of fighting on the
morrow: he had nothing to gain by delay, and might lose much, for
Lancastrian forces were gathering in Kent. He therefore under cover
of the darkness moved up so near to Warwick's line, that it would be
impossible for either party to retire without engaging. So near did he
venture that Warwick's guns, which were kept firing during the night,
sent their shot harmlessly over the heads of the Yorkists. When day
dawned on Easter Sunday, April 14, Gladsmuir Heath was enveloped in
so thick a mist that neither party discovered at first that each army
outflanked the other on the right.[44] The battle began in the usual
way with an ineffective cannonade and some flights of arrows, and then
they came to close quarters. As might be expected, Montagu and Oxford
on the Lancastrian right defeated Edward's left, which fled through
Barnet, pursued by Oxford, though Montagu seems not to have quitted
the line of battle. In the centre the king in person engaged in an
obstinate struggle with Somerset, and slowly gained some advantage.
Warwick on the left was partially outflanked by Gloucester, but held
his ground fairly well, though he was gradually forced back on the
centre. In the thick fog nothing could be seen a few hundred yards off:
thus Warwick remained ignorant of the success of Oxford, who, in his
turn, was so completely bewildered by the fog that when he turned back,
after driving his own immediate opponents through Barnet, he lost his
way completely, and instead of taking Edward in rear as he presumably
aimed at doing, went past the contending lines, and came upon the
reserve of his own side. Here occurred the fatal mistake which ruined
Warwick's chance of victory. In the mist the silver star of the De
Veres was mistaken for Edward's cognizance, a sun with rays: Oxford's
men were received with a volley of arrows. Instantly the notion
of treachery arose: the jealousy between the old Lancastrians and
Warwick's supporters blazed out. Oxford fled at once: Somerset followed
his example. Some of the old Lancastrians turned their arms against the
Nevilles, and Montagu, it would seem, was killed by his own friends.
Warwick saw that all was lost: but in determining to fight on foot, in
his heavy armour, he had made flight impossible, and he was beaten down
and killed, apparently unrecognised. When Edward saw that the victory
was gained, his one anxiety was to know whether Warwick had fallen. The
corpses of Warwick and Montagu were found, and exposed for three days
in St. Paul's Cathedral, in order that there might be no doubt about
the great earl being really dead. Edward was quite right: the cause of
Henry VI. was bound up with Warwick's life. Unlike as Warwick was in
personal character to the typical feudal noble, he was in a very real
sense "the last of the Barons." The quasi-despotic monarchy of the
Tudors and Stuarts was founded on the field of Barnet.

On the day of the battle of Barnet, queen Margaret with her son landed
at Weymouth. She soon learned the fatal news, and was joined by
Somerset and other fugitives. The Beauforts and Courtenays, strong in
their hereditary influence in the west, were far from believing that
their cause was ruined: and the fact that Edward waited at Windsor
till he was sure that they were not moving eastwards towards London,
implies that he at least thought them not too weak to attempt it. The
ultimate and undoubtedly more prudent resolution of the Lancastrian
leaders was to make for Gloucester, and form a junction with the earl
of Pembroke, who was raising forces in Wales; but their purpose was not
certainly apparent until they left Bath, and instead of seeking battle
with the king, who was by this time at Cirencester, moved on Bristol.
Still it was not quite certain that they were avoiding battle. On May
2, Edward, who was well served by his scouts, was informed that the
enemy were in position at Sodbury, some dozen miles north of Bristol.
He hastily moved towards them, but on reaching Sodbury towards evening
found no trace of the enemy. The Lancastrians marched all night, and on
the forenoon of May 3 approached Gloucester, hoping to occupy the town
and there cross the Severn. The governor of Gloucester was however a
Yorkist, and refused them admission, and the wearied Lancastrians had
to continue their march, for they knew that Edward was not far off.
There was no bridge over the Severn nearer than Worcester: but if the
Avon could be crossed at Tewkesbury they might hope to reach Worcester
unattacked, or even to pass the Severn by boats at some nearer point.
Accordingly they struggled on ten miles further to Tewkesbury, and
there halted for the night, utterly overcome by fatigue, after marching
forty-four miles since the preceding morning. All day Edward had been
marching along the Cotswolds on a line parallel to that followed by
the Lancastrians, but some distance in rear, though gradually gaining
on them. Towards evening, in passing through Cheltenham, he heard
positively that the enemy were in Tewkesbury; and he also halted for
the night about three miles off.

The author of the _Arrivall of King Edward_, who obviously accompanied
his master to Tewkesbury, takes great pains to describe what he saw.
Like many other writers, he has no names but "hill" and "valley"
for trifling inequalities of ground, but otherwise he writes with
unusual precision, and there is no reason whatever for distrusting his
authority. The Lancaster position, he says, was "in a close, even at
the towne's end, the towne and abbey at their backs, afore them, and
upon every hand of them, fowle lanes and depe dikes with hills and
valleys, a ryght evill place to approache." Their leaders doubtless
deemed it impossible to escape across the Avon without fighting, and
as they were certainly not seriously outmatched in numbers,[45] they
had no reason to avoid a battle. As usual in that age they took up a
position well chosen for fighting on the defensive; but it had a muddy
brook between them and Tewkesbury, and the Avon beyond the town, so
that defeat involved total destruction. Sir John Ramsay[46] gives a
very good map, which shows all the ancient lanes, as well as the modern
road and other things which have materially altered the ground. It is
of course impossible to discover exactly which enclosures are ancient,
and there are now no "depe dikes." The small numbers engaged could
not have covered nearly the length of front possible according to the
topography; but the left flank must have been near the easternmost of
the ancient lanes, for the author of the _Arrivall_ speaks of Somerset
having "passyd a lane" in his attempted turning movement in the
battle, which can have been no other. Whatever the exact position of
the Lancastrian line, king Edward brought his own troops up opposite
to them, except that he posted two hundred spears "near a quarter of
a myle from the fielde," to watch a wood by means of which he thought
his right flank might be threatened. The battle began with some
cannonading and "shott of arrows," in both of which the Yorkists had
rather the advantage. The position was however very difficult to assail
at close quarters, and the Lancastrians might apparently have held
it successfully, had not Somerset attempted a counter-stroke. He, we
are told, "somewhat asydehand the king's vaward, and by certain paths
and ways therefore afore purveyed, and to the king's party unknown,
departed out of the fielde, passyd a lane, and came into a faire place
or close even afore the king where he was embattailed, and from the
hill that was in that one of the closes, he set right fiercely upon
the end of the king's battaile." There must have been a gap between
the king's division in the centre and the vaward, or right, for this
to be possible. However the centre and right united in pushing back
this attack, and the two hundred spears above-mentioned, falling
unexpectedly on Somerset's flank, completed his defeat. The king was
then able to advance, attack in flank the Lancastrian centre, and so
rout the whole army, which broke and fled in all directions. The only
local name that survives as a memorial of the battle is the "Bloody
Meadow" by the Avon below Tewkesbury: this may well mark a place where
many fugitives of the right wing, cut off from the only escape into
the town, were slaughtered by the victors. Prince Edward, the last
heir of Lancaster, was killed in the battle or the pursuit—there
seems no foundation for the story which Shakespeare used, that he was
taken prisoner and killed in cold blood. Somerset, Devon, nearly all
the remaining Lancastrians of note were killed, or were executed after
the battle. Except for the Tudor interest in Wales, the Lancastrian
party was annihilated. It required the early death of Edward IV., and
the murder of his nephews by Richard of Gloucester, before Henry of
Richmond could resuscitate it.

       *       *       *       *       *



The invention of gunpowder was slower in making itself felt than most
of the other great discoveries which have turned the course of history.
There is no intrinsic impossibility in the statement of a contemporary
Italian writer, that Edward III. had cannon at Crecy, though in the
absence of any other testimony it is not generally believed. He had
them at the siege of Calais immediately afterwards, though they were
of little use. The earliest firearms were of very clumsy make, slow
and difficult to load, short in range and allowing no accuracy of aim.
From the nature of the case, cannon[47] were made practically useful
earlier than hand weapons. As soon as ever gun-carriages of a tolerably
movable form were devised, it was possible at least to use them on
the battle-field, though a very long time had still to elapse before
they became important; in the battles of the English civil war of the
seventeenth century artillery plays a very minor part. Naturally they
were much more effective in sieges, where mobility was not required,
and the slowness of fire less important. By the end of the fifteenth
century, if not sooner, it was perceived that gunpowder had effected
a revolution in this branch of warfare. In the early middle ages a
well-walled town or castle was proof against such modes of battering
as were then in use. Unless escalading proved possible, the besiegers
could only reduce the place by starvation. With that inevitable
reservation the defence was stronger than the attack. Hence a feudal
noble, possessed of a well-situated castle, could defy the crown,
for a time at least; hence in Italy the cities could make themselves
independent. With the introduction of cannon all this was changed. The
crown, and as a rule the crown only, could afford to maintain artillery
that could be used against a fortified city or castle, and with its aid
could reduce with certainty every place which had walls of the mediæval
type. To fortify in a fashion that would give a reasonable chance
against cannon was out of the power of most nobles. Thus artillery
contributed largely, perhaps more than any other single agency, to
the great political change which marks the close of the middle ages,
by which the crown becomes, at least as against the nobles, virtually

Firearms to be used by hand were far slower in their development, as
was natural, owing to their greater complication. The earliest were
mere tubes, elevated on a stand, miniature cannon in fact. For a very
long while they could not be fired from the shoulder, but required to
be supported on iron rests fixed into the ground, which added seriously
to the weight to be carried. Musketeers, if one may apply the term to
the soldiers who bore the earlier firearms before the musket properly
so called was invented, were quite incapable of standing alone. They
might fire one volley at charging cavalry, but long before they could
be ready for a second, the horsemen would be cutting down their
defenceless ranks. Hence pikemen, who should do the defensive part of
the work, were a necessary adjunct to musketeers: obviously also the
pikemen alone could come to close quarters in attacking. It was not
until the invention of the bayonet enabled the musketeer to be, so to
speak, his own pikeman, that infantry equipped with firearms could
become the real backbone of an army.

It is doubtful whether a musket bullet[48] was ever so deadly a
missile as the clothyard arrow, all points taken into account. If
a bullet struck armour obliquely, it would penetrate, instead of
glancing, at a greater angle than an arrow point.[49] And it would
also be likely to make worse wounds, by driving in bits of the metal.
On the other hand the arrow was noiseless and smokeless, merits which
are reckoned important by modern authorities who are seeking after
smokeless powder. It had greater range than the musket bullet, admitted
of much greater accuracy of aim, and had probably at least equal direct
penetrating power, except at very short distances. England however was
the only country in the latter middle ages which used a missile weapon
that would bear comparison even with the clumsiest firearms. Naturally
musketeers, with their pikemen, were developed rather on the continent
than in England, though everywhere the development was slow, and the
process of superseding armour and hand-to-hand weapons very gradual.

The ultimate political tendency of the invention of gunpowder was
obvious. By rendering discipline more necessary for the efficiency
of the soldier, it threw power into the hands of the state, which
alone could maintain and organise bodies of trained men, as against
individuals. By making infantry the one indispensable arm, it tended
to make oppression less easy: the class which furnishes the fighting
strength of a nation will in the long run have at least its full share
of political power. It may be only a coincidence, but it is at any rate
symbolical, that England, the country in which, thanks to the long-bow,
infantry became earliest of paramount importance in war, is also the
country in which aristocratic privileges in the strict sense of the
word, as distinguished from aristocratic influences, were of least
extent and soonest reduced to insignificance. It is also the country in
which the nation as a whole earliest felt its strength, and taught its
kings to respect the national will.



The establishment of Scottish independence, in the teeth of English
claims to supremacy, not unnaturally led to a feeling of opposition
to England, and of consequent alliance with France, which on the
whole worked disastrously for Scotland. Unfortunately also the policy
of hostility gradually developed in the smaller people a feeling of
bitter animosity towards their neighbours, which the English on their
side hardly felt. On the borders mutual injuries stimulated personal
hatred, but only rarely affected the relations of the two states.
The English government had no motive for hostility to Scotland, no
passion to indulge: it would at any time have been glad of firm peace
with Scotland, but was apt to try to secure this by establishing
its influence over Scotland, rather than by relations of equal
friendliness. While the long contest with France lasted, England had
obviously every motive for desiring to be free of a troublesome enemy
in the north: but Scotland was ever hostile. Sometimes a Scottish
army invaded England more or less in concert with the French, as when
Nevil's Cross followed hard upon Crecy. Later, Scottish nobles and
soldiers swarmed in the French armies: the defeat of Verneuil was a
heavier blow to Scotland than to France.

Unfortunately for the success of the Scots in their many encounters
with the English, Bannockburn had been too great a victory. The
spearmen had on that day so decisively defeated the English mailed
horsemen that the Scots seem always to have assumed that nothing could
be more effective. Time after time the English archers inflicted
crushing losses on the Scottish armies. Halidon Hill (1333), Nevil's
Cross (1346), Homildon (1402) are the chief instances, but not the
only ones, before the day of Flodden, the last great victory of the
bow, and perhaps the most overwhelming defeat which a kingdom ever

From the accession of the house of Tudor, the English policy was
directed, more systematically than ever, towards gaining over Scotland.
The difficulty was obvious, that an alliance between the two countries
must needs mean Scotland following in the wake of England, which was
galling to Scottish pride, and distasteful to their hereditary hatred
of the English. Henry VII. succeeded, with the help of Spain, in
bringing Scotland for the time into his circle of allied powers, and
in cementing that union, as he hoped, by the marriage of his eldest
daughter Margaret to the young king of Scots. Personal ties, however,
seldom count for much as against national interests and prejudices,
or even against the passions of kings: as soon as ever Henry VIII.
entangled himself in a war with France, his brother-in-law followed
the traditional practice of his predecessors and attacked England.
There were plenty of small grievances on both sides, which might be
used as pretexts; but the only adequate reason for war was to be
found in the Scottish king's own disposition. James IV., with the
virtues of chivalry, carried to great lengths its fantastic follies,
including total indifference to his own wife, and susceptibility to
the fascinations of other women. Scottish chroniclers say that James
was greatly influenced by a letter from the queen of France, sending
him a turquoise ring and a sum of money, and begging him to take three
steps on English ground for her sake: and whether this be true or not,
it is in accordance with his character. The war was not altogether
welcome to Scotland: some at least of the king's advisers thought the
venture dangerous, or desired to maintain friendly relations with
England. More than one attempt was made to work on James' well-known
superstitiousness, the most daring being the midnight voice from the
Cross at Edinburgh which Sir Walter Scott describes in _Marmion_. James
had however gone too far to recede: he invaded England with an army
which is said to have amounted to 100,000 men, and which certainly
comprised every great noble in Scotland who was capable of bearing

On August 22, 1513, the Scots crossed the border. The king seems
to have had no definite purpose beyond gratifying his taste for
knight-errantry. Norham Castle surrendered a week later, and there was
no English army as yet ready to dispute his further advance: he might
have penetrated far into England if he had chosen. Instead of this he
occupied himself in taking Wark and other small castles, "enterprises
worthy of a border chieftain," as a Scottish historian contemptuously
remarks, and in devastating the country, to his own speedy detriment.
Unless all the chroniclers were in a conspiracy to calumniate him,
James was guilty of a far worse folly, quite in keeping with his
character as a knight-errant, but absolutely unpardonable in a king and
a general conducting a great war. After taking Ford Castle, he fell
deeply in love with Lady Heron of Ford, and loitered day after day near
Ford for her sake, until it was too late to advance. Meanwhile his army
was suffering, provisions were failing, and the season was rainy. The
army melted away by desertion to something like a third of its original
strength: the numbers that fought at Flodden seem to be ascertained
with tolerable certainty at not much over 30,000 on each side. The
spirit of chivalry prevented the nobles leaving their king in the
field, whatever the common soldiers might do: they stayed with James
without influencing his conduct, and shared his fate.

Meanwhile the earl of Surrey, who had been entrusted with the defence
of England during the king's absence in France, had gathered an army,
which would have been largely overmatched at first if James had not
wasted his opportunities. Surrey knew the man he had to deal with, and
as soon as he felt himself strong enough, sent to the Scottish king a
formal challenge to fight a battle on a given day, Friday, September
9. Of course the crowned knight-errant accepted the challenge, and
thereby precluded himself from fighting earlier, as would have been to
his obvious advantage. The aged earl of Angus, the famous Archibald
Bell-the-Cat, who had played a great part in Scottish history for the
last half-century, is said to have vainly implored the king not to
accept: the only answer he could get was, "Angus, if you are afraid,
you can go home." After such an insult, the old man could but go; but
two of his sons remained to die with the king.


  _Map VIII._

  _Battle of Flodden._
  _9^{th} Sep^{t} 1513._
  (_From an old Map._)]

On September 7, Surrey reached Wooler, a few miles from the Scottish
camp: on the previous day James moved from the low ground near Ford,
and took up his position on Flodden Edge. The lower course of the
Tweed, where it forms the boundary between England and Scotland, is
towards the north-east. About ten miles from its mouth, a mile or two
above Norham, the Till falls into it on the English side, nearly at
right angles. Flodden Edge is a high ridge a mile or more in length,
running east and west, nearly south of the mouth of the Till, and
about five miles off; its easternmost end almost reaches the Till,
just above Ford. The descent is abrupt on the south to the wide plain
of Millfield, stretching along the Till nearly to Wooler. On the north
the slope is more gradual, and is broken by a hollow rising to another
lower ridge, beyond which the descent is continued to Brankston.
Flodden Edge was an excellent position in which to await attack, at
any rate from the south, but an impossible one for long occupation,
being badly supplied with water, though not quite destitute of it.
Local ingenuity, anxious to gratify the lovers of poetry, and devoid
of military insight, points out a scanty spring on Flodden Edge as the
"Sybil's Well" beside which the wounded Marmion was laid to die. As
will be seen from the details of the battle, it is simply impossible
that any Englishman should have come there, still more impossible that
Marmion should have left Clare there under charge of his squires. Sir
Walter Scott is not however in any way answerable for this mistake: in
a note he expressly says that Sybil's well must be situated somewhere
behind the English right. The well was of course the creature of
his own imagination; and from the shape of the ground no spot in
that quarter could have given the dying Marmion a view of the whole

Surrey, on arriving at Wooler, and discovering where the Scots were,
tried to play once more on James' weakness: he sent him a letter
reproaching him for having quitted the level ground, and challenging
him to come down on the appointed day and fight on the Millfield. This
time however James refused even to hear the herald; either he was
visited by a stray gleam of common sense, or his nobles prevented the
purport of the message from reaching him. Surrey was not at all the
man to attack a formidable position if he could manœuvre his enemy
out of it. Accordingly on September 8 he crossed the Till at Wooler
and marched down its right bank, but far enough from the river to be
concealed from the Scots by the high ground east of it. Halting for the
night on Barmoor, he continued his march next morning, and recrossed
the Till with his vanguard and artillery at Twizel Bridge close to its
mouth, the rest of his army crossing by fords higher up the stream.
Surrey was now between the Scots and their country: James must fight,
and his promise was given to fight on that day.

James was ignorant or careless of every duty of a general. He did not
know that Surrey had moved until the English were seen in the far
distance crossing Twizel Bridge. The only precaution he had taken was
to plant some cannon to command the bridge (if there was one then) or
the ford on his right, leading across the Till to Ford.

    "And why stands Scotland idly now,
    Dark Flodden! on thy airy brow,
    Since England gains the pass the while,
    And struggles through the deep defile?
    What checks the fiery soul of James?
    Why sits that champion of the dames
        Inactive on his steed,
    And sees, between him and his land,
    Between him and Tweed's southern strand,
        His host Lord Surrey lead?
    What 'vails the vain knight-errant's brand?
    —O, Douglas, for thy leading wand!
        Fierce Randolph, for thy speed!
    O for one hour of Wallace wight,
    Or well-skill'd Bruce, to rule the fight,
    And cry—'Saint Andrew and our right!'
    Another sight had seen that morn,
    From Fate's dark book a leaf been torn,
    And Flodden had been Bannockbourne!—
    The precious hour has pass'd in vain,
    And England's host has gain'd the plain;
    Wheeling their march, and circling still,
    Around the base of Flodden hill."

The censure is just, but not quite accurately placed. By the time James
was aware of Surrey's manœuvre it was probably too late to attack
him with his army half across the river, as Wallace had done with
fatal effect at Cambuskenneth. James' first and unpardonable fault was
in neglecting to watch Surrey's movements; his second was the usual
halting between two opinions of a weak man. When he saw Surrey's whole
army advancing towards him, he could neither be content to remain
in his position, sufficiently formidable if not so strong as on the
reverse aspect, nor resolve boldly to push on so as to encounter Surrey
as soon as possible, with the angle of the Tweed and Till to enclose
him fatally if defeated. Suddenly taking it into his head that the
Brankston ridge in front either was a better position for himself, or
would be a convenient one for the English, he ordered his camp to be
fired, that the south wind might blow the smoke towards Surrey and
conceal his movements, and descended from Flodden Edge. It did not
occur to James that the smoke would prevent his seeing the English,
which was much more important: they were steadily on the march and knew
where they were going. It could have been no surprise to Surrey on
reaching Brankston to see the Scots on the near ridge in front, though
it was an obvious advantage to him that they had not yet had time to
get fully into order.

The English army formed its line of battle on tolerably level ground,
facing south, the Scots being on higher ground. Both armies were drawn
up in the same manner, in four divisions, with a reserve of horsemen
in rear of the centre. On the English right was Sir Edmund Howard,
Surrey's younger son; next to him his brother the Admiral, next to him
Surrey, and on the left Sir Edward Stanley, while Lord Dacre commanded
the horsemen in reserve. Nothing is expressly said about it, but no
doubt all the divisions were composed as usual of archers and spearmen
combined. On the Scottish side the earls of Huntly and Home faced Sir
Edmund Howard, Huntly with the Gordons of the north-eastern Highlands,
Home with the borderers. Opposite to the Admiral were Crawford and
Montrose, opposite Surrey was the king. On the Scottish right the earls
of Lennox and Argyle had with them a mass of wild Highlanders. The earl
of Bothwell was in reserve behind the centre.

The battle began about four p.m. with a cannonade. The English guns
were well served and did great execution; the Scots were less skilful,
and probably at a disadvantage from their hasty move. At any rate
the artillery duel, as it would be called now-a-days, was so greatly
in favour of the English that the Scots hastened to come to close
quarters. On their left the borderers with their long spears charged
home with such determination that they broke Sir Edmund Howard's line.
The white lion banner of the Howards was trampled in the dust, part
of the English right wing fled: it was only by the prompt support of
Dacre's horsemen that defeat on this wing was averted. In the right
centre the Admiral had a severe struggle with Crawford and Montrose,
but ultimately prevailed, both the earls being slain. On the left the
English success was much more decided: the wild clansmen, unable to
bear the clothyard arrows, broke their ranks and dashed at the enemy,
who beat them off with great slaughter. Meanwhile James in person had
engaged Surrey, and being presently supported by the reserve under
Bothwell pressed him hard. The day however was virtually decided: the
success on the Scottish left was now more than neutralised, for Huntly
had fled apparently before Dacre's first charge, and Home, isolated
from the rest of the army, did not venture to renew the conflict,
but drew off, watched and held in check by Dacre. The Admiral, after
defeating Crawford, took James in flank: Stanley still more fatally
attacked him on the right rear. The time for exhibiting the best side
of knight-errantry had come: James, with a splendid courage which
has more than half redeemed his credit, refused to yield. Forming
themselves into the national circle, the Scots held their ground to the

    "But yet, though thick the shafts as snow,
    Though charging knights like whirlwinds go,
    Though bill-men ply the ghastly blow,
        Unbroken was the ring;
    The stubborn spear-men still made good
    Their dark impenetrable wood,
    Each stepping where his comrade stood,
        The instant that he fell.
    No thought was there of dastard flight;
    Link'd in the serried phalanx tight,
    Groom fought like noble, squire like knight,
        As fearlessly and well;
    Till utter darkness closed her wing
    O'er their thin host and wounded king.
    Then skilful Surrey's sage commands
    Led back from strife his shatter'd bands;
        And from the charge they drew,
    As mountain waves, from wasted lands,
        Swept back to ocean blue.
    Then did their loss his foemen know;
    Their king, their lords, their mightiest low,
    They melted from the field as snow,
    When streams are swoln and south winds blow,
        Dissolves in silent dew.
    Tweed's echoes heard the ceaseless plash,
    While many a broken band,
    Disorder'd, through her currents dash,
        To gain the Scottish land;
    To town and tower, to down and dale,
    To tell red Flodden's dismal tale,
    And raise the universal wail.
    Tradition, legend, tune and song,
    Shall many an age that wail prolong:
    Still from the sire the son shall hear
    Of the stern strife and carnage drear,
        Of Flodden's fatal field,
    Where shiver'd was fair Scotland's spear
        And broken was her shield!"

The Scottish loss in men was heavy, about 10,000 men, and the English
paid for the victory with a loss of perhaps half the amount. But the
rank of the Scots who fell made it a blow to the kingdom which perhaps
has no equal in history. The king, his natural son the archbishop of
St. Andrew's, twelve earls, or nearly every man of the highest rank
below royalty, many other lords and chiefs of clans, all perished:
there is scarcely a family of distinction in Scotland but had a member
killed at Flodden. The last victory of the long-bow was even more
complete than its first great triumph at Crecy. For to the bow is
fairly to be attributed alike the defeat of the fierce rush of the
Highlanders which proved so formidable on other occasions, and the last
destruction wrought upon the nobles around their king.



Civil wars are not all of the same type. Sometimes the division is
geographical, as in the great war between the northern and southern
states of the American Union; sometimes the people throughout the
country are separated into opposing ranks. Of course in neither case
is the line likely to be drawn quite sharply: there were partisans
of the north in the Confederate States: the preponderant feeling in
some districts at least of a country divided against itself is sure to
be strongly on one side or the other. The great English civil war of
the seventeenth century is an instance of the latter type, though not
in its most clearly marked form. There were large regions which were
very decidedly royalist, others almost as distinctly parliamentarian;
but certainly there was something of royalist feeling everywhere,
and probably anti-royalist feeling also. These facts determine to so
large an extent the nature and course of the war that it cannot be
understood without keeping them in mind. They give a political reason
for conduct on both sides, which from the purely military point of
view must be regarded as mistaken. No competent general in an ordinary
war will fritter away his forces in holding a number of small posts:
he will only occupy those which are of importance to his operations
in the field, well knowing that victory will give him possession of
the rest. In the English civil war both parties acted on the principle
that it was worth while to hold posts in districts where the enemy
predominated, as means of keeping alive the spirit of their own
partisans in those regions: and both sides deemed it well worth while
to capture such posts, at the cost of greatly weakening their armies
in the field. Nor can it be doubted that in the main they were right
under the circumstances, though possibly there were instances in which
acting in this manner was mistaken. In civil war it is emphatically
true that until every spark is extinguished there is always a risk of
the fire breaking out afresh.

The merits of the quarrel between Charles I. and his Parliament need
not be discussed. Given that the question had once been raised whether
the king was to be in the last resort master, or be bound to defer to
the distinct wish of his people, a solution was only to be obtained
by the king, or the representatives of the nation, definitely giving
way. The ancient traditions of self-government made it certain that
the Parliament would not yield except to armed force: the character
and convictions of Charles I. made it equally certain not only that he
would not yield, but that the conflict would be precipitated, rather
than postponed, by his action.

England had not followed the example of the continental nations, which
during the sixteenth century formed standing armies. Just before the
civil war, there were no troops at all in England: in fact it was the
necessity for putting down the Irish rebellion that brought about
the final breach, as the Parliament would not trust the king with
uncontrolled authority over the forces to be levied, and Charles would
not bate an inch of his ancient prerogative. Hence it was of importance
in the beginning of the war that the best raw material for an army
was mainly on the king's side. Most of the gentry were royalist; and
they, with their gamekeepers, grooms, etc., were naturally better
skilled in the use of firearms, and (what was even more important) were
more accustomed to riding than the rest of the population. The strong
supporters of the Parliament were mostly found in the towns, merchants
and shopkeepers, men ignorant of warlike pursuits, and little suited or
inclined to incur in their own persons the hardships of war. England
as a nation had engaged in no land warfare within living memory,
except Buckingham's ill-conducted expedition to the Isle of Rhé. Many
Englishmen however had seen service on the continent, in the earlier
stages of the Thirty Years' War or in the last years of the Dutch
War of Independence; and those who served under Maurice or Frederick
Henry of Nassau, still more under the great Gustavus,[50] learned in a
good school. Thus there was a fair supply of officers possessing some
experience, though few of them exhibited any great military skill,
again mostly on the king's side; and the royalist soldiers, having
already some useful knowledge, were fairly soon converted into adequate
troops. The parliamentary recruits were largely drawn in the first
instance from the lowest classes of the towns; and though, thanks to
natural courage and stubbornness, the infantry proved always a match
for the royalists, their cavalry, an arm which was in that age of
primary importance, and obviously required much more time for training,
proved themselves defective. A remedy was presently found: we are told
that Oliver Cromwell, then only a captain, after seeing in the first
battle the panic rout of most of the parliamentary horse, observed to
his cousin Hampden, that they must have men of another stamp to match
with these men of honour. He set to work to bring into the ranks the
stern Puritan yeomen of the eastern counties, and to inspire them with
a spirit of strict discipline. This took time, and for many months
after the war began the king had on the whole the advantage; but no
enemy ever got the better of Cromwell's Ironsides, and from the date at
which cavalry animated by his ideas came into the field in any numbers,
the preponderance went over decisively to the Parliament.

Though, as has been said, there was hardly a spot in England where
both parties had not adherents, yet roughly speaking a line drawn from
Hull to Weymouth would divide England into a larger royalist half,
and a smaller parliamentarian half, as things were just after the war
had begun. The Parliament had its headquarters in London: the eastern
counties, using that term very widely, were strongly on its side: and
though the royalists were fairly numerous in Kent, Surrey and Hants,
yet they were there so far overmatched by their opponents that the
authority of Parliament was recognised. The king, whose headquarters
after the first movements of the war were fixed in Oxford, was
preponderant in the north (except Lancashire), in Wales (except
Pembrokeshire) and the border counties, and in Cornwall, while the
other south-western counties were more equally divided.

Charles I. finally set up his standard at Nottingham late in August
1642, whence he moved westwards to Chester, and when he had gathered
sufficient forces marched on London. The earl of Essex, commanding
the parliamentary army, had gone to Worcester to meet the king, and
the first skirmish of the war took place at Powick bridge, just south
of that city, on the very ground where nine years later was fought
the last battle, the "crowning mercy" as Cromwell called it, which
extinguished Charles II.'s last hopes of being restored by the aid of
the Scots. It is a proof of the real inexperience of both sides that
Charles and Essex moved towards London a few miles apart without either
apparently being fully aware what the other was doing. On October 23
the king, who had the start, but had now come into hostile country, and
therefore could not advance safely without beating off Essex, turned
and fought at Edgehill on the southern edge of Warwickshire. The battle
still further illustrated the rawness of both armies. The royalists
gave away an advantage by coming down a fairly steep slope to meet
their assailants: prince Rupert with the main body of their cavalry,
after defeating the parliamentary horse opposed to him, pursued them
headlong far away from the field, and then took to plundering Essex's
baggage. The smaller body on the other wing were even more reckless,
for they drove off only part of the cavalry opposed to them, leaving
two small regiments untouched, in one of which was Cromwell's troop.
How far this was due to want of discipline among the men, how far to
lack of judgment in their commanders, it is difficult to tell; but
the result was most disastrous to the king's cause. The infantry on
both sides fought bravely, but two or three of Essex's regiments had
been broken by the flying horsemen, and the king would have won a
considerable victory but for the vigorous and effective way in which
the few hundred cavalry that had escaped attack co-operated with the
infantry. The clumsy, ill-made, slow-firing muskets of the seventeenth
century were not very formidable to cavalry, and a charge pressed home
in earnest had a very good chance against a mixed body of musketeers
and pikemen, unless the latter were fresh and in good order. When
prince Rupert at length returned to the field, Essex's infantry had got
on the whole the best of it, though the royalists were hardly defeated:
it was too late to begin again, and the battle remained drawn. The
king's one chance of finishing the war at a blow was lost.

Charles advanced as far as Brentford, but the troops drawn out for
the defence of London were too strong to be attacked, and he withdrew
to Oxford, and entered on useless negotiations for peace. When active
hostilities were resumed in the spring of 1643, all went favourably
for the king. John Hampden, one of the most important leaders in the
House of Commons, was killed in a skirmish: a series of successes in
the field gave the whole south-west, with the important exception of
Plymouth, into royalist hands: a victory at Atherton Moor drove Fairfax
into Hull, and made the king master of all the rest of Yorkshire. Had
Charles boldly marched on London, it is possible that the citizens
in their dismay would have submitted. But Charles was hardly the man
to take an audacious resolve; and it would have been audacious, even
if no stronger word be applicable, to advance on London with his
own immediate forces. His right wing, so to speak, was tied to the
west by Plymouth, the garrison of which, if left unbesieged, would
soon have revived the partisans of Parliament in the west. His left
wing was still more closely fettered by the necessity of observing
Hull. Moreover behind the king lay Gloucester, well garrisoned, and
interrupting at a vital point, the lowest bridge on the Severn, free
communication between the royalists of the south and west. Ordinary
military judgment pointed out the capture of Gloucester as the most
useful enterprise he could attempt, while waiting for the co-operation
of Hopton from the west, of Newcastle from the north. The Parliament
realised the supreme importance of Gloucester, and Essex, with an
army consisting largely of the London train-bands, marched to relieve
the place. Charles was obliged to raise the siege, and on his return
to Oxford fought with Essex the bloody and indecisive battle of
Newbury. The tide of royalist success had been stemmed, but no more.
The outlook for the parliamentary cause seemed so gloomy that Pym,
their greatest statesman, negotiated with his dying breath, at the
price of important concessions to the Presbyterian spirit, for the
assistance of the Scots for the next campaign. Things however were in
reality less black than they seemed: in the eastern counties not only
had their cause completely triumphed, but an army was being organised
which was to turn the scale in the next year. This army was commanded
by the earl of Manchester, under whom was Cromwell at the head of the
cavalry, which was the specially important arm. In it the ideas which
Cromwell had been the first to act on were definitely carried out. To
quote the description of it sent to London by an admiring correspondent
of a newspaper—"Neither is his army so formidable in number as exact
in discipline; and that they might be all of one mind in religion as
of resolution in the field, with a severe eye he hath looked into the
manners of all those who are his officers, and cashiered those whom he
found to be in any way irregular in their lives or disaffected to the
cause. This brave army is our violets and primroses, the first-fruits
of the spring, which the Parliament sends forth this year, for the
growth of our religion, and the re-implanting of this kingdom in the
garden of peace and truth."

Early in 1644 a Scottish army crossed the Tweed, and gradually pushed
Newcastle back, till in April, when Fairfax was able to unite with
them, they were strong enough to shut him up in York. Two or three
weeks earlier Waller had won a victory at Cheriton in Hampshire, which
finally assured the south-east to the Parliament, and which, though on
a small scale, is an interesting prelude to Marston Moor, as exhibiting
superiority of discipline passed over to the parliamentary side. Two
or three weeks later Manchester's army came up to help in the siege
of York. Newcastle was clearly doomed, unless assistance reached him.
Months before, prince Rupert had been despatched by Charles with a
small body of men to raise an army in the Severn region, and he was
now, in accordance with his own earnest wish, ordered to relieve
York. Making his way up through Lancashire, he ultimately crossed
the Pennine hills from Skipton into the valley of the Wharfe. The
governing committee of the Parliament had been anxious that the armies
of Manchester and Fairfax should be sent into Lancashire to encounter
Rupert, who had spent more than a month in taking various small
places. Rupert was acting on the plan largely followed throughout the
war; but on this occasion at least it was very mistaken policy. The
capture of Newcastle's army in York would have been ill compensated
by advantages tenfold greater than Rupert obtained in Lancashire;
and York was very nearly lost. The generals were wiser than their
government: they refused to raise the siege while a chance remained
of capturing the city. If Rupert appeared they would fight him; and
then, as they wrote to the committee, "if it please God to give us the
victory, all Lancashire and Yorkshire will fall to us." At the same
time they were well aware that in that case they would have to raise
the siege, and they therefore pressed it vigorously, all the more so
after intercepting a letter from Newcastle begging Rupert to make
haste, as he could only hold out a few days longer. But for the folly
of Crawford,[51] third in command under Manchester, who exploded a mine
without waiting for the co-operation of the Scots or of Fairfax, so
that his own assault being unsupported was repulsed, York would in fact
have been taken; but Crawford's failure gave the besieged just respite
enough. On June 30 the generals heard that Rupert was at Knaresborough,
only twelve miles off; the next morning therefore they raised the siege
and marched towards him. Rupert however made a circuit northwards,
crossing the Ure at Boroughbridge, and came down the left bank of the
Ouse to join Newcastle, protected by the river from any possibility
of the parliamentary forces intercepting him or taking him in flank.
The fiery prince, who had in his pocket a letter from the king which
he averred to be positive orders[52] to fight the rebels, and who was
Newcastle's superior officer, insisted on marching at once after the
enemy. It cannot for a moment be maintained that he was wrong; though
he was slightly inferior in numbers, his enemies might very reasonably
be assumed to be hampered, as in fact they were, by difficulties
arising from divided command, and from divergence of views as to the
most important object to be attained.

The parliamentary army had moved westward from York, on the morning of
July 1, and marched about half-way to Knaresborough. When the generals
found that Rupert had given them the slip, and that a battle was out
of the question unless he came out of York to seek them, serious
difference of opinion seems to have arisen. The Scots, we are told,
the earl of Leven and his lieutenant-general David Leslie, were for
the prudent course of retreating. Considerable reinforcements were
expected, and the junction with them would be best secured by retiring
on Tadcaster. The English generals, or some of them, were for holding
their ground; if this be true, it is safe to assume that Cromwell was
for fighting, and probably also the Fairfaxes, father and son, as they
were always of one mind, and usually for bold counsels. Whatever may
have been the opinions, there was no supreme authority, and it was
therefore inevitable that the prudent plan should be adopted. On July
2 the infantry started for Tadcaster; the cavalry, or a great part of
the cavalry (for all the three lieutenant-generals were with them),
remained on the moor to cover the retreat. About two o'clock Rupert's
army was seen approaching from York; a message was sent hastily after
the infantry, who retraced their steps, and assumed a position in
which to await the oncoming royalists. Rupert was in no situation to
attack at once; in fact he himself was not on the field till later,
having been detained in York in order to appease Newcastle's troops,
who were mutinous for lack of pay. During the whole afternoon the two
armies "looked one another in the face." Why Leven was unwilling to
attack then, and did so at evening, when Newcastle's men had reached
the field, is not easy to understand: possibly the conflict of opinion,
whether or not to fight if they had the option, was still undecided. At
any rate it was not till about seven o'clock that the action was begun,
by the advance of their whole line.

The battle of Marston Moor is in some respects one of the simplest
ever fought. Very little depended on the ground, either in its
natural formation, or in artificial features such as enclosures. The
armies came straight into collision along their whole front. The
numbers differed but little, the stubborn courage of both sides was
unmistakably great, yet on both sides large bodies were utterly broken
up by defeat. Yet from another point of view Marston Moor is possessed
of very special interest: the battle was won by the perfect discipline
of Cromwell's horse, and by the coolness which prevented him from being
carried away by the excitement of immediate victory, and losing sight
of the general issue.

The parliamentary army was posted on a ridge of ground lying south of
the wide expanse of moorland, now all enclosed and cultivated, which
stretched nearly to York. At the northern foot of this ridge, which
was covered at the time of the battle with rye full grown though not
ripe, runs a lane joining two hamlets, Long Marston and Tockwith, about
a mile and a half apart. North of this line the moor rose, quite open
and bare, though there was a wood a mile or so to the northwards. The
moor was divided from the lane by a ditch, which has since disappeared,
and therefore cannot be placed with accuracy. A little way from this
ditch Rupert drew up his line, so near to it in fact that a battle must
ensue, as neither side could possibly withdraw in safety. At the same
time the ditch was a sufficient obstacle to make both sides somewhat
reluctant to begin. Neither side seems to have thought it worth while
to attempt to utilise the enclosures of Long Marston or Tockwith:
indeed they could not have been occupied without departing from the
established tactics of the day, which drew up the infantry in the
centre, placing cavalry on each wing. Obviously the enclosures would
have been fatal to the full use of the cavalry.

The threefold division of the parliamentary army was naturally retained
in the order of battle. Manchester's troops were on the left of the
line, Cromwell's cavalry reinforced by three Scottish regiments under
David Leslie being on the flank, and the infantry commanded by Crawford
to their right. In the centre were part of the Scottish infantry
under Baillie; to their right Lord Fairfax commanded his own infantry,
with the rest of the Scots in reserve behind him. The extreme right
was occupied by Sir Thomas Fairfax's horse, again with a reserve of
Scottish cavalry in rear. The numbers seem to have been about 19,000
foot and 7600 horse, the royalists having some 3000 less infantry
but being equally strong in cavalry. The proportion of cavalry to
infantry is enormous if measured by modern standards, though it was
exceeded in some other battles of the war. This was of course natural,
in view of the superior value of cavalry in action, as compared to
the ill-armed infantry of that age. The royalist line was formed in
a similar fashion. Rupert's infantry was on the right, Newcastle's
on the left; the prince commanded in person the horse on the right
wing, Goring those on the left. It seems strange to a modern reader,
who habitually associates the idea of marked uniform colours with the
soldier's appearance, to find that Newcastle's infantry attracted
special notice as the Whitecoats, because the marquis had clothed them
alike in undyed cloth, and that the parliamentary soldiers all wore
white ribbons or paper in their hats in order to recognise one another.
An equally marked contrast with the warfare of to-day is to be found
in the fact that both sides, having twenty or thirty guns, merely used
them during the afternoon for a little futile cannonading, and ignored
them entirely in the real battle.

Rupert had, as we have seen, put it out of his power to decline battle,
by drawing up his line so close to the enemy. No doubt he had fully
intended to attack as soon as Newcastle came up; but the cautious
veteran who commanded Newcastle's foot urged that it was too late
in the day, and Rupert, according to one account, called for food,
saying he would attack them in the morning. But he had no longer the
choice: almost at this moment the enemy's whole line advanced, the
left slightly leading. Rupert at once charged Cromwell's horse, and in
the first collision got the advantage, Cromwell himself being slightly
wounded. Leslie however who followed soon turned the scale back again,
and before long Rupert's hitherto unbeaten cavalry was totally routed.
In front of Crawford the ditch had been filled up, and the royalists
had apparently crowded in to their left for the sake of the protection
the ditch afforded. This was a serious mistake, for Crawford advancing
at first unchecked could turn and take the royalist infantry in flank,
thus greatly facilitating Baillie's passage of the ditch. The royalists
defended themselves stubbornly, but they were still getting the worst
of it. On the right however things had gone very differently. In front
of Fairfax the moor was covered with furze-bushes, which compelled him
to advance by a lane which led up on to the moor from the country road
behind which had been their original position. This gave an obvious
advantage to his immediate opponents, who occupied enclosures on each
side of the lane, and inflicted on Fairfax a check, which the overthrow
of the cavalry on his right converted into rout. Sir Thomas Fairfax
there encountered Goring with signal ill success. He himself with his
own troop broke through the enemy, but the remainder were driven back
on the infantry, scattering them utterly. The Scottish cavalry was
apparently swept away by the rush of fugitives, whom Goring with most
of his men pursued far off the field, and then turned to plunder the
enemy's baggage. The precedent of Edgehill was followed, with even
more disastrous results. For the moment however the battle seemed
still to be going well for the royalists. Some of Goring's command had
been sufficiently alive to common sense to remain on the field; and
their attack on the flank of the Scottish infantry, combined with the
Whitecoats in front, gradually broke most of it. Baillie with three
regiments stood his ground heroically; but Leven himself came at last
to the conclusion that the day was lost, and fled from the field,
never halting, according to the perhaps slanderous report of narrators
who did not love the Scots, till he reached Leeds. Help came just in
time to save Baillie from destruction, and ultimately convert defeat
into decisive victory. Cromwell had by this time completed the rout of
Rupert's wing, and had halted, with his men well in hand, behind the
royalist line, to make out how the battle was going and where he could
strike in effectually. Sir Thomas Fairfax, tearing off his white badge,
had succeeded in making his way round the rear of the royalists, and
encountering Cromwell was able to tell him what was happening under
the smoke. He saw at once his opportunity. Bidding Leslie charge into
the rear of the Whitecoats, he led his own men round, as Fairfax had
come, encountered and totally routed Goring's horsemen, returning in
confusion from their reckless raid. The Whitecoats perished almost to a
man: and then Cromwell and Leslie had no difficulty in completing the
victory, by breaking up the rest of the royalist infantry, with which
Crawford and Baillie had been engaged.

A battle so stubbornly contested and involving such vicissitudes was
necessarily a bloody one. According to one eye-witness over 4000
bodies were buried on the field. The royalist cause was utterly ruined
in the north, though prince Rupert rallied a few thousand men. York
surrendered in a few days: before the winter nothing was left to the
king in the whole of the north and northern midlands except a few
isolated posts. Marston Moor is rightly regarded as the turning-point
of the civil war. The victory was conspicuously due to Oliver
Cromwell personally, and to the troops raised by him and trained on
his principles. This naturally gave great additional weight to the
Independents, the party partly religious and partly political which
he represented—all the more so because of the comparative failure of
the Scots, the champions of Presbyterianism, whose valour was in truth
somewhat unfairly decried. The most important, for the time being at
least, of the ideas of the Independents was the conviction that the
war could only be adequately waged by strong measures, by leaders who
meant to win thoroughly, and by troops that could and would fight
effectively. The victory of Marston Moor was a clinching argument in
favour of the New Model army. Marston Moor was however much more than
the decisive event in a conflict between two contending parties. It
produced consequences more far-reaching than any battle ever fought
on British soil, except perhaps Hastings. If ideas rule the world,
it is one of the most important in human history. When the royalist
gentry went down before Cromwell's Ironsides, absolutism received its
death-wound. The great issue, whether the king or the nation should be
supreme, was decided in favour of the nation, though generations had
yet to elapse before the full results were attained. And since England
alone set the example, and stored up the ideas, from which political
liberty in other countries has been derived, it is hard to see what
hope would have been left for sober freedom anywhere.[53] Had Charles
I. definitely triumphed in the civil war, and stamped out by force
Puritanism in the widest sense of the word, the circle of absolute
monarchies would have been complete. The United States of America, the
French Republic, the constitutional Parliaments of Germany, Austria,
Italy owe their existence to the victory of Marston Moor.

Great however as the ultimate political consequences were, the
immediate military results of Marston Moor were limited to the north.
While Rupert was approaching York, the king began a campaign in
the south, which, thanks to the obstinacy of Essex, was completely
successful. Essex and Waller, each in command of a small army, were
left to face the king at Oxford: and if they could have cordially
co-operated, they ought to have been at least a match for him. The
rivalry between them was however too strong, nor was the governing
committee in a position to dismiss either. Essex insisted on marching
into the south-west, which he hoped to regain, and on leaving Waller to
cope with Charles. Waller's forces were however very difficult to keep
together: his money was expended, and his men were nearly all enlisted
for very short periods. Charles found no difficulty in leaving Oxford
adequately guarded, and following Essex. The latter, in a country on
the whole unfriendly, was ultimately driven into Cornwall, where his
infantry surrendered or dispersed, though he himself with his cavalry
escaped by sea. When the king returned eastward, the difficulties
of the Parliament reached their height. Essex and Waller agreed as
little as ever, and Manchester, whose army had now been drawn down
from the eastern counties, was more impracticable than either. The
army which encountered Charles on October 17 in a second battle at
Newbury, was directed by a council in which sat two civilians: there
was no commander over the whole. Naturally the result of the action was
indecisive. Fought on intricate ground, it was an infantry battle; and
the soldiers of the Parliament proved themselves somewhat superior
in the stubborn determination which was in truth conspicuous on both
sides. As the final result the king was able, not without heavy loss,
to return to his head-quarters at Oxford, without losing the minor
posts which served as its outlying defences.

During the winter the Independent party, who were in earnest about
crushing the king's power, and many of whom were inclined to believe
that the only means of reaching a permanent settlement lay in deposing
him, gained the upper hand in the House of Commons. They saw the
necessity of organising an army the soldiers of which should be
permanently enlisted and brought under thorough discipline, on the
model in fact of Cromwell's regiments. They saw also the necessity of
removing from the command men like Manchester, and even Essex, who were
almost as much afraid of victory which should destroy the king, as of
defeat which should leave him absolute. As a means to this end they
proposed the Self-denying Ordinance, which disqualified all members
of both houses from holding military commands; but the Lords rejected
it. The latter however agreed to the scheme for a New Model army, to
consist of 21,000 men regularly paid out of the taxes, and therefore
dependent on no mere local resources, to be commanded by the younger
Fairfax. Having done so they passed a new Self-denying Ordinance, which
merely required that members of both houses should resign the posts
they held, but contained no proviso against re-appointment. It is
plain that the Lords were actuated by motives partly selfish, partly
political: they desired if possible to retain control over the armies.
But the result of their action was to make possible the retention of
Cromwell's invaluable services; he, on the contrary, out of zeal for
the cause, had inspired the first proposal, which would have compelled
him to retire. The organisation of the New Model was none too rapidly
completed; but when it did take the field it proved irresistible.

The need of the Parliament was all the greater because for the campaign
of 1645 their Scottish auxiliaries were practically not available.
Late in the previous summer Montrose had succeeded in inducing a
great part of the Highlands to take up arms for the king, and in a
series of short campaigns, continued contrary to the usual practice
of that age through the winter, had inflicted so many blows on the
king's enemies all over Scotland that Leven's army was much wanted at
home. Rupert, who was in the Severn region, urged his uncle to join
him with all available troops, and make a push northwards, so as to
defeat or drive away Leven's much diminished forces, and restore the
royalist cause in the north of England, before the New Model army was
ready. But for a brilliant dash made by Cromwell, who at the head of
1500 cavalry swept right round Oxford, defeating one detachment after
another, and clearing the neighbourhood of all draught horses, there
might have been time to achieve much. The delay thus caused prevented
Charles from taking the field for some little time: but the Parliament
went far towards neutralising this advantage by instructing Fairfax
to go into Somerset and relieve Taunton, the most strongly Puritan
town of the west, which was in great straits. Hearing that the king
had called to Oxford some of the royalist troops in the west, they
recalled Fairfax, too late to prevent the king marching where he
pleased. They followed up this waste of time, which was not altogether
their fault, by the error of bidding Fairfax besiege Oxford, where
the king was not: it ought to have been sufficiently plain that to
defeat the king's army in the field was the one paramount object. The
king however, instead of either going northwards in earnest, which
might have achieved something, or gathering every available man to
face Fairfax, which would at any rate have brought matters boldly to a
crisis, pushed across to Leicester, which he stormed after a few days'
siege. Here he heard that Oxford was badly straitened for provisions,
and must surrender unless soon relieved. Nothing can more strongly mark
the incompetence of the king and his officers to administer, however
they might fight, than his having left his head-quarters on a vague
campaign, without having satisfied himself that the city was adequately
provisioned to stand the siege which he knew was impending. There
was nothing for it but to turn back towards Oxford. At Daventry the
king learned that Fairfax had abandoned the siege; and he accordingly
halted, not venturing to go northwards again until he knew that Oxford
was properly supplied.

On the news of the storm of Leicester, the Parliament bade Fairfax
take the field against the king, and at the same time acceded to
the unanimous request of Fairfax's officers that Cromwell might be
appointed to the vacant post of lieutenant-general. Such was the
presumptuous contempt of the royalists for the New Model, that they
allowed Fairfax to approach within a dozen miles of Daventry before
they heard that he was moving towards them at all. They then withdrew a
little further north to Market Harborough, but on Fairfax pressing on
they saw that a battle was inevitable, and returned southwards to meet

The battle of Naseby merits but little description; it was Marston
Moor over again, only with the superiority of numbers greatly on the
parliamentary side; and therefore victory was much more easily won.
Fairfax drew up his army behind the crest of a line of hills, so that
the enemy could not see their numbers till he was committed to an
attack. As usual the infantry was in the centre, with Skippon at their
head; Cromwell commanded the cavalry on the right wing, Ireton on the
left. The royalist infantry was under Sir Jacob Astley, Rupert on
the right wing, Langdale on the left, Charles himself headed a small
reserve. Fairfax numbered less than 14,000 men, but even so he had
nearly double the king's strength. As in all the battles of the war
where the ground did not absolutely prevent it, there was a direct
attack all along the line, the royalists having the disadvantage of
advancing up-hill. The infantry engaged in a fierce struggle, which
remained doubtful till the cavalry intervened. Ireton was somewhat
hampered by the roughness of the ground, and a great part of his wing
was defeated by Rupert's charge and pursued off the field. It seems
scarcely credible that Rupert should have been so feather-brained,
after repeated experience: but he galloped as far as Naseby village, a
mile and more in rear, and would have plundered Fairfax's baggage had
not the guard fired on him. Then he awoke to his duty, and returned to
the field, but even in that short time the battle was over. Cromwell
had had no real trouble in overthrowing the weaker royalist cavalry
opposed to him; as they bore down upon the reserve, followed hard
by part of Cromwell's force, the king ordered his reserve cavalry
to charge the pursuers, and rode forward to place himself at their
head. As he did so, one of his suite seized his bridle, and turned
his horse round, exclaiming "Will you go upon your death?" It was
the best thing Charles could have done, for his own fame and for the
cause he represented. He yielded however, and the reserve retreated a
little way, and then halted again to await the inevitable. Cromwell,
and the unbroken parts of Ireton's wing, were meanwhile charging into
the flanks and rear of the royalist infantry. Many surrendered, the
rest were cut to pieces: the king's infantry ceased to exist. When
Rupert had by a circuit regained the king, there was nothing left but
to escape. The king's baggage fell into the hands of the victors,
including all his correspondence. The Parliament with excellent
judgment instantly published a selection of the letters, under the
title of "The King's Cabinet Opened," which did more harm to his
cause than the loss of the battle of Naseby. The one unpardonable
offence in the eyes of Englishmen has ever been the bringing in of
foreigners to interfere in their affairs. And Charles was convicted
out of his own mouth of incessant intrigues to get help not only from
Irish and Scottish Celts, who though fellow-subjects were detested as
semi-savages, but from France, Holland, Lorraine, from any one who
could be importuned or bribed (with promises only) to send him aid.

The king with his usual optimism thought all could yet be put right:
even the total overthrow of Montrose two or three months later did not
impress him. The war was however virtually decided at Naseby, though
all hostilities had not quite terminated a year later. The New Model
army made short work with the royalists in Somersetshire; the last
force which the king had in the open field was crushed at Stow on the
Wold; castle after castle surrendered. The king presently shut himself
up in Oxford, whence in the spring of 1646 he stole across England and
took refuge in the camp of the Scots, to their extreme discomfiture.
After an interval the Scots yielded up the king on the demand of the
English Parliament. Many months elapsed, filled with negotiations
for the restoration of Charles to his throne on terms, negotiations
rendered abortive partly by the antagonism between Independents and
Presbyterians, mainly by the king's own incurable inability to look
facts in the face, or to abide by any plan or promise. An attempt
of the moderate party in Scotland to restore him to his throne, by
an invasion combined with risings of the English royalists, failed
disastrously. The Independents held Charles to be guilty of this
wanton bloodshed, and forcibly ejecting their opponents from the House
of Commons took possession of the government. Their first act was to
bring Charles to trial and public execution: their next to declare the
monarchy and the House of Lords abolished, and to confide the executive
authority to a council chosen by the Commons. This new experiment in
politics worked with very fair success, seeing that they had all the
world against them outside England, and were only supported in England
itself by a comparatively small minority, who however had the enormous
advantage of knowing their own minds. Cromwell was sent over to
reduce Ireland to submission, which he did effectively. He had hardly
completed the task when he was recalled to make war on Scotland, which
had declared for Charles II.

On July 22, 1650, Cromwell crossed the Tweed, and marched towards
Edinburgh. His old coadjutor at Marston Moor, David Leslie, was in
command against him, and by skilful manœuvring in the country
round the capital, managed to keep Cromwell at bay for several weeks,
without being forced to an engagement. Supplies at length began to
fail, and Cromwell reluctantly began a retreat by the coast road as
far as Dunbar. If supplies could be brought him thither by sea, which
depended on the weather, there being no good harbour, he could still
hold his ground: if not he must retire into England. Leslie followed at
once, further inland; having the shorter distance to go he succeeded
in blocking the roads beyond Dunbar, and encamped on the heights to
landward of the town, Cromwell occupying the level ground along the
seashore. The Scottish position was unassailable, as Leslie's positions
had been in Midlothian: moreover there had been a good deal of sickness
in the English army, due chiefly to the wet weather, which had reduced
its numbers to little more than half those of the enemy. Unless Leslie
made a mistake, Cromwell would have to embark, and confess that he
had failed totally. It was reported afterwards that the committee of
the Presbyterian Kirk pressed Leslie not to allow Cromwell to escape,
and that he in consequence made the disastrous move which led to his
defeat. There is however no adequate authority for this, any more
than for the well-known anecdote that Cromwell, noting Leslie's false
move, exclaimed, "The Lord hath delivered them into our hand:" either
would be in keeping, and is therefore all the more likely to have been
invented. The one excuse for Leslie's blunder lay in the fact that his
army was encamped on bare hills in frightful weather, a state of things
which could not be continued indefinitely. Confidence in his superior
numbers may easily have led him to believe that he could afford to move
down and force Cromwell to fight: possibly a safe way of doing this
might have been found, but the movement he actually made exposed him to
a fatal blow.


  _Map IX._

  _Battle of Dunbar._
  _3^{rd}. Sept^r. 1650._]

A little stream called the Brocksburn flows along the base of the
hills on which Leslie was posted, and then northwards across into the
sea, a mile or so east of Dunbar, flowing at the bottom of a little
ravine which it has hollowed out for itself. There were but two points
where the steep banks of this ravine were broken enough to allow even
carts to pass, one close under the hills, which was held by Leslie's
outposts, the other a little way out into the plain, where the
high-road from Dunbar towards Berwick runs. Cromwell's army lay on the
Dunbar side of this stream, which formed something of a defence for his
front. If Leslie could occupy the spot where the high-road crosses the
Brocksburn, he could compel an action when he pleased, besides more
effectually blocking any communication with England. In order however
to do this, he drew down his whole army on to the narrow strip of
ground between the burn and the base of the steep slope, and then edged
his whole line somewhat to the right, so that his right wing, with most
part of his cavalry, lay beyond the road. Cromwell coming out of Dunbar
to his camp late in the afternoon, saw the movement being completed. He
instantly perceived the opportunity it gave him, and pointed it out to
Lambert his major-general: "to which he instantly replied that he had
thought to have said the same thing to me." The opportunity was much
like that which Marlborough saw at Ramillies, and was used with equally
decisive effect. If Leslie's right wing were attacked with superior
force, it could be overpowered before the rest of the army, cramped in
the narrow strip of ground between the Brocksburn and the hill, could
move to its support. And Cromwell could bring overwhelming strength to
bear in spite of his inferiority of numbers, because the enemy could
not cross the burn elsewhere to make a counter attack. Under cover of
darkness the English troops could be massed opposite the slope giving
access across the burn to the enemy's position.[54] The assault was to
have been made at dawn on September 3, but was a little delayed: the
enemy were consequently not surprised. "Before our foot could come up,
the enemy made a gallant resistance, and there was a very hot dispute
at sword's-point between our horse and theirs. Our first foot after
that they had discharged their duty (being overpowered with the enemy)
received some repulse, which they soon recovered. For my own regiment
under the command of lieutenant-colonel Goffe, and my major, White, did
come seasonably in; and, at the push of pike, did repel the stoutest
regiment the enemy had there, merely with the courage the Lord was
pleased to give. Which proved a great amazement to the residue of their
foot; this being the first action between the foot. The horse in the
meantime did, with a great deal of courage and spirit, beat back all
oppositions; charging through the bodies of the enemy's horse and of
their foot: who were, after the first repulse given, made by the Lord
of Hosts as stubble to their swords."[55] The quality of the English
troops was probably superior, and their officers more experienced; they
had the _impetus_ of the first rush to help them, and so far as can be
judged superior numbers at the critical point. Naturally the struggle,
though sharp, was not long. Just as the sun rose over the sea, "I heard
Nol say," relates an officer who was in the battle, "in the words of
the Psalmist, Let God arise, and let his enemies be scattered." The
defeated portion of the Scots fled eastwards, abandoning everything;
the rest of Leslie's army, taken in flank, and with hardly any cavalry
left, was able to make no resistance. Cromwell reported nearly 10,000
prisoners, and 3000 of the enemy killed, while his own loss was but
small. The Scottish army was virtually annihilated.

The natural consequence was that Cromwell took possession of Edinburgh
unopposed; and though he did not proceed to further conquest, there
being political dissension enough among the Scots to render it probable
that peaceable measures would suffice, yet to all intents and purposes
Dunbar rendered him master of the Lowlands. So matters remained through
the winter, Cromwell being personally much hampered by illness, a chill
caught on an expedition in February having developed into ague, from
which he suffered frequently, and which killed him a few years later.
The next summer, the Scottish army, with Charles II. nominally at their
head, took advantage of Cromwell's moving into Fife and Perthshire to
make a last desperate venture. It is suggested, though it is hardly
probable, that Cromwell gave them the opportunity on purpose; whether
this were so or not, nothing could have been more advantageous to the
cause of the Commonwealth. The Scots marched southwards, crossed the
border at Carlisle, and made their way through Lancashire, Cheshire,
and Shropshire, meeting with much less support from the English
population than the young king's sanguine advisers had expected. By the
time they reached Worcester Cromwell was upon them: he had pushed his
own cavalry in pursuit as soon as he heard of their march, following
himself with the foot by the eastern route, and begging the government
to send what troops they could to meet him. The battle of Worcester,
fought on the anniversary of Dunbar, was a foregone conclusion:
Cromwell had about 30,000 against 20,000 or less, and defeated the
enemy with considerable loss. The defeated Scots, far from their own
country, nearly all surrendered themselves prisoners. The "crowning
mercy," as Cromwell called it, put a final end to the civil war, and
led to the complete submission of Scotland, which sent members to all
the Parliaments of the Protectorate.

       *       *       *       *       *



In 1658, on the anniversary of his two last victories, which was also
his birthday, the great Protector died. With him practically expired
the fabric of government which he had built up; and the nation a
year and a half later recalled Charles II. The Protector's power had
depended greatly on the army, which had been used after his death no
longer to support steady if arbitrary government, but to further the
interests of individuals or of factions. Naturally at the Restoration
there was a strong feeling among the royalists against a standing
army, though it is only fair to the best conducted body which ever
bore that title, to point out that the many interferences of the army
in public affairs, before the abolition of the monarchy and during
the Commonwealth, were due to the strong feeling of all ranks, that
as being soldiers they were all the more bound to do their duty
as citizens, and not to the opposite tendency of soldiers to obey
their chiefs in blind indifference to every political consideration.
Everywhere except in England standing armies prevailed, and everywhere
except in England the kings were absolute. Charles II. had had ample
opportunities for imbibing the ideas of his contemporaries, especially
of his cousin Louis XIV. He had all the will to be absolute, but would
not take trouble to make himself so. Had it rested with him alone, he
would no doubt have been glad to maintain a standing army like his
neighbours. The cavaliers of the Restoration, however, partly from
recent and painful experience, partly imbued with the traditional
English jealousy of military force in any shape, were resolute that
there should be none. They affirmed positively the principle for which
Charles I. had contended, that the king was the sole and uncontrolled
head of the armed forces of the state; but they took very good care, in
resettling the royal revenue, that the king should not have the means
of maintaining an army. Charles nevertheless made a beginning; he took
into his service the regiment of General Monk, a prime agent in the
Restoration, which has since been known as the Coldstream Guards. To
them he added other regiments, one by one as occasion offered, and his
brother James followed his example. On the deposition of the latter,
Parliament affirmed in the Declaration of Right the maxim, very dubious
as a statement of historical fact, but very rational as a principle of
government, that "the maintenance of a standing army in time of peace,
without consent of Parliament, is illegal."

Nevertheless the art of war had undergone such a transformation that
a standing army was a necessity unless England were to abjure all
interest in European affairs, almost a necessity if she would preserve
her independence. It was no longer possible to extemporise efficient
armies, as in the earlier middle ages: the superior strength given by
discipline, which takes time and practice, was fully recognised. The
providing of artillery, and of ammunition, to say nothing of supplies
of other kinds, was become a complicated and expensive business, which
could not be properly carried out except under the permanent care of
the state. There was no peace till late in William III.'s reign; and by
that time the method of voting men and money for the army annually had
been introduced. In spite of this, strong pressure was put on William
to disband the army altogether, and it was only with great difficulty
that he induced Parliament, which saw things too exclusively from the
point of view of constitutional checks on the crown, to assent to
the retention of a small force. With the accession of Anne came the
outbreak of the great European War of the Spanish Succession, and by
the end of it the question was decided in favour of a standing army.
Some of our present regiments bear on their colours the proud names of
Marlborough's victories.



With the reign of William III. the military history of England entered
on a new phase. Her continental wars had hitherto been, with trifling
exceptions, connected with the claim of the English kings to the throne
of France. Henceforth she took part in nearly every European war; and
thanks to the restless energy of William III. and to the military
genius of Marlborough, the part she played was a leading one from the
first. It has been argued that England was wrong to concern herself
with continental quarrels, when her real interests lay elsewhere, at
sea, in North America, at a later date in India, and that she only
weakened herself for protecting these interests by intervening in
European affairs. Those who take this view leave out of account the
essential facts which governed the action of England at the time of
this new departure. She had recently expelled her legitimate king, who
had still many partisans at home, and who found in France a ready and
most powerful ally. Louis XIV. was bound to the Stuarts by every tie of
sympathy, religious, political, personal: and though he was not the man
to let his sentiments outweigh his interest, the two so far coincided
that his schemes for domination in Europe would obviously be furthered
by weakening England through civil dissension. The English nation as
a whole was passionately attached to its church, to its political
liberties, still more perhaps to its independence of foreigners, and
saw in France the one dangerous enemy to all three. France had other
enemies, arrayed against her for reasons which did not much concern
England, and alliance with them was an opportunity worth seizing.
The determining motive however was not this calculation, but outraged
honour. When Louis XIV. formally recognised the son of the dying James
II. as lawful king of England, he committed at once a crime and a
blunder: he deliberately broke his word, and insulted England beyond
endurance. Those words cost him his supremacy in Europe, and made
England henceforth a permanent and ever weightier factor in European

The military reputation of England had suffered eclipse since the
days of Henry V., not altogether deservedly, for the fighting
qualities of Englishmen had been conspicuous on many fields, and yet
not unnaturally. English troops fighting for the independence of the
Netherlands had done excellent service; Cromwell's contingent allied
with France in 1658 had mainly contributed to an important victory
over Spain. But the few independent expeditions sent by the English
government to the continent had been ill managed or ill commanded, and
had failed more or less completely. Under William III. they showed all
their ancient stubborn valour, but luck was against them. The defeats
of Steinkirk and Landen were more glorious to the English infantry
than many a victory: the misconduct of their allies in one case, the
very superior numbers of the French army and the great skill of its
commander in the other case, amply accounted for the failure, but
still they were defeats. The great victories of Marlborough, almost
as brilliant as Crecy or Agincourt, restored the military credit of
England, again not quite deservedly, for the armies of Marlborough were
by no means wholly English, and yet very naturally, since the great
Englishman was the real conqueror of Louis XIV. The death of William
III., just before war actually broke out, left Marlborough, who was all
powerful with queen Anne, the real head of the coalition against France.

England thus entered on the war of the Spanish Succession as the ally
of continental powers banded together against France, and hampered
by having to act in concert with them, as well as supported by their
strength. In the patient tact requisite for managing a body of allies
with diverging interests, and practically no bond of union except
hostility to the enemy, Marlborough was perhaps never excelled. In
military skill he was vastly William's superior, being on the whole
the first of an age fertile in good generals. The weak point in his
position was that it depended on the personal favour of a stupid
woman: when his wife lost her influence over queen Anne, his political
antagonists in England found no great difficulty in bringing about
his disgrace. Marlborough was not a good man; he was greedy of money
and of power, and unscrupulous as to the means he adopted for gaining
them. As a general however he had the virtues never too common, and
almost unknown in his age, of humanity towards the peaceful population
even of a hostile country, and of attention to the welfare of his own
soldiers. Like Wellington a century later, he was habitually careful
of the lives of his men, though he knew how to expend them when the
occasion demanded it. Like Wellington also he never lost his patience
and coolness of judgment, either in the excitement of battle or in
dealing with troublesome allies. In fact the two great Englishmen were
conspicuously alike, at least in their military character, though there
is no real doubt that Marlborough had the greater genius.

The commencement of the war was uneventful. The king of France had
taken possession of Belgium in the name of his grandson Philip, the
French claimant of the crown of Spain, which alarmed the Dutch for
their homes. In Spain itself the French party was preponderant, but
not unopposed. Louis had every motive for standing on the defensive.
Marlborough was as yet powerless to move his allies. It was not until
the alliance of Bavaria with France opened a road for French armies
into the heart of Germany that decisive events occurred. The chief
item in the French plans for 1704 was that Marshal Tallard should
march from the Rhine into Bavaria, where another army under Marsin had
wintered; then the two armies, combined with the Bavarian contingent,
were to advance down the basin of the Danube. It was calculated that
the Emperor, already greatly hampered by an insurrection in Hungary,
would be unable to oppose effectual resistance, and would purchase
peace on almost any terms. If this were achieved, the keystone of the
alliance against France, the candidature of an Austrian prince in
Spain, would be removed, and the whole fabric might be expected to
collapse. The plan was well conceived: it was an instance, on the great
political scale, of acting upon the fundamental military maxim—strike
at the vital point. But for Marlborough it must have succeeded, so
far as anything can be safely predicted in war. But for the practice,
invariable in that age and perhaps inevitable by reason of the badness
of roads and of organised supply, that all military operations should
be suspended during the winter half of the year, Marlborough would have
had no time to prepare his counter stroke. His plan was indeed fully
thought out before the winter, in concert with the imperial general
Eugene of Savoy, but he had many obstacles to overcome before it could
be carried into operation. Even to the English cabinet he did not
venture to disclose his whole purpose, but he succeeded in obtaining a
large addition to his own army, and increased money grants. The Dutch
had but one idea, to guard their own frontier: they would not even
assent beforehand to Marlborough's proposal, intended to conceal his
real object from friend and foe alike, that he with part of the German
contingents should operate against France from the Moselle, while
the Dutch, with the rest of the Germans, defended the Netherlands.
Marlborough was obliged to be content with the assurance of his one
firm supporter in Holland, the Pensionary Heinsius, that consent should
be obtained when the time came. Much trouble had also to be taken
with other minor members of the confederacy, but Marlborough attained
his ostensible object of being free to move with his own army to the

Not until Marlborough with his army had reached Coblenz, did he
give any hint of his intentions, except to the two or three persons
necessarily in his confidence. Even then he only declared to the Dutch
that he found it necessary to go further south; and they, finding that
a deaf ear was turned to their remonstrances, let Marlborough take his
own course, and even sent reinforcements after him. The distance to be
traversed, the necessity of arranging every detail for troops moving
by different routes, made his progress necessarily slow. The French
did not in the least guess his design, but nevertheless persevered in
their plan of reinforcing the army in Bavaria, a process which the
Margrave of Baden, who commanded for the allies on the upper Rhine,
ought to have rendered much more difficult. Not till Marlborough,
ascending the Neckar, began to penetrate the hill country that
separates the basins of the Neckar and Danube, was his real purpose
apparent. He had before then met Eugene of Savoy, who was as he hoped
to command the imperial army destined to co-operate with him: but
the Margrave of Baden, who was Eugene's senior in rank, insisted on
taking the more important part, and leaving Eugene to command on the
Rhine. Marlborough's purpose was something like Napoleon's at the
beginning of the famous Austerlitz campaign, to concentrate his army,
reaching the Danube by various routes, near Ulm. In Marlborough's
time however Ulm was not yet an important fortress: and the Elector
abandoned it on the allies appearing in the vicinity, and marched down
the Danube to a great intrenched camp near Dillingen. Marlborough's
first object was necessarily to secure a point of passage across the
Danube: and he determined to seize Donauwerth, a small fortified town
lower down. His zeal was quickened by the tidings that the French army
under Marshal Tallard was on the point of marching from Strasburg to
assist the Elector. He therefore, as soon as his troops had come up in
sufficient numbers, without waiting for full concentration, circled
round Dillingen, and directed his march on Donauwerth. The Elector
divined his intention, and occupying that town, with the hill of the
Schellenberg adjoining it, began to put in order the fortifications.
Marlborough saw the urgent necessity for haste: a couple of days' delay
might render the works on the Schellenberg unassailable, in which case
his chance of securing a bridge over the Danube before Tallard arrived
would be but small. He therefore ordered an attack immediately on
reaching the place, though his men had had a very long march, and it
was verging towards evening.[56]

Donauwerth stands on the north bank of the Danube, just below the
junction of a tributary, the Wernitz. The Schellenberg, a large
flat-topped hill, immediately adjoins the town on the east. A
continuous line of works existed, passing along the brow of the hill,
and extending to the fortifications of Donauwerth on one side and down
to the Danube on the other; only the central portion however was in a
state fit for defence, though the enemy was at work on the remainder.
Marlborough arrived in person with his cavalry before Donauwerth on
the forenoon of July 2. While waiting for the infantry to come up,
he caused bridges to be thrown over the Wernitz, and ordered a site
for a camp to be marked out, thus giving the enemy the impression
that no attack was intended, at any rate until next day. At 6 p.m.
however the pick of Marlborough's army assailed the hill: after a
long and desperate struggle, in which the allies lost heavily, the
enemy were routed, and fled down the reverse slope to the Danube.
The crush broke down the bridge, and thousands were precipitated
into the rapid stream. Scarcely more than a quarter of the defenders
of the Schellenberg reached the Elector's camp. As a consequence of
this defeat the Elector abandoned Donauwerth, as well as Dillingen,
and retired to Augsburg, where he shut himself up, while Marlborough
ravaged Bavaria, in the vain hope of compelling the Elector to abandon
the French alliance. Nuremberg became the centre of Marlborough's
supply system, which was elaborated in a manner far in advance of his
age; and the devastation[57] of Bavaria made him even more dependent
on his magazines than he would otherwise have been. As Tallard was now
approaching from the Rhine, with a force that Eugene was powerless to
stop, the allies found it necessary to abandon the southern bank of the
Danube. Marlborough and Eugene persuaded the Margrave of Baden that
to capture Ingolstadt, a fortified town lower down the river, would
be a higher distinction than to await attack from the French. They
themselves united their armies at Donauwerth on the northern bank, and
marched up the river towards the enemy, whom they found encamped beyond
the Nebel, a small tributary of the Danube.

The line occupied by the French and Bavarians ran nearly north and
south, and extended for about four miles. They had naturally formed
their camp on the higher ground west of the Nebel, the course of which
was marshy along the whole front, troublesome to cross everywhere, and
believed by the French to be a much greater obstacle than it really
was. Tallard, misconstruing information that he had received, was
under the impression that Eugene's army had not joined Marlborough,
and that therefore the movement before dawn on August 13, of which
he was apprised, was a retreat northwards. The body of cavalry which
escorted the allied generals to the Nebel, when they rode in advance
of their armies to reconnoitre, was supposed to be detached to cover
this retreat. Nothing was further from the minds of the French generals
than the expectation of being attacked where they were. Hence they had
taken no steps, as they might easily have done, to render their front
virtually unassailable. Hence also, when the morning fog cleared off,
and discovered columns of infantry at the edge of the higher ground
which bordered the valley of the Nebel on the east, they were in too
great a hurry to do anything but form line of battle on the ground
which they already occupied.


  _Map X._

  _Battle of Blenheim._
  (_13th Aug 1704_)]

The Nebel emerges from the wooded uneven country to the northwards
about a mile east of Luzingen, in which village were the Elector's
head-quarters. A little lower down, also on the right bank of the
stream, is the village of Oberglauheim. The infantry of the joint army,
commanded by the Elector and Marshal Marsin, was drawn up from Luzingen
to Oberglauheim, most of its cavalry on the right, extending further
to the south. Marshal Tallard's infantry was most of it posted in
Blenheim,[58] a village close to the Danube; his cavalry continued the
line to the north till they met Marsin's, but had a reserve of infantry
behind its centre. The artillery, which was not numerous in proportion,
was distributed at intervals. The French apparently believed the Nebel
to be impassable from Oberglauheim to Blenheim, where there were some
mills on the stream, which however they neglected to occupy: nor had
they effectually broken the bridge by which the high-road crosses the
Nebel. About Unterglauheim, a hamlet on the left bank half-way between
the two, there lies a wide piece of swamp. During a great part of the
year, or after heavy rain, the Nebel might no doubt be a very serious
obstacle, but in August the difficulty could be overcome. Their want of
care to ascertain the truth on this point was the direct cause of their
defeat. Their dispositions had two ruinous defects, the Nebel being
passable: first, their line was fatally weak in the centre, where for a
long distance it consisted almost entirely of cavalry: secondly, they
were posted so far back from the stream that there was room for the
enemy to form line for attack after struggling through it. The latter
error might easily have been remedied by a short advance, but nothing
was done. Tallard, it is said, uneasy about the weakness of the centre
when he saw the enemy massing at Unterglauheim, urged Marsin to post
his reserve of infantry there; but Marsin thought, rightly as the event
showed, that his reserves were needed on the left. Why Marshal Tallard
did not withdraw from Blenheim several of the useless thousands that
crowded it, is a question easier to ask than to answer.

Tallard had plenty of time to correct his dispositions, had he known
how, for the battle did not begin for several hours after the allies
came in sight. Eugene and Marlborough had agreed that the army of the
former should constitute the right, Marlborough's the left, of the
line of battle. As their line of march had been near the Danube, and
the ground through which Eugene's columns had to make their way was
broken and wooded, it was a long time before he was opposite Luzingen,
ready to begin the action, and Marlborough was of course obliged to
wait for him. The allied generals had discerned the defect in the
French position: a vigorous attack on the centre ought to cut the line
in half. Their plan was that Eugene should occupy the Elector and
Marsin, and that Cutts with Marlborough's left should assail Blenheim
directly, while the duke himself undertook the decisive movement. All
preparations were duly made while Eugene was on the march: the pontoon
train was brought up, and bridges laid at intervals from Unterglauheim
downwards: the artillery was posted to command the opposite bank:
troops were pushed forward to seize the small existing bridges near
Blenheim. Except for a not very serious cannonade, Tallard remained
inactive: he had in fact no longer any choice, unless he retreated
(for which there was no reason), after he had allowed all the passages
of the Nebel to fall into his enemy's hands. About one o'clock came
the welcome news that Eugene had completed his march, and the battle
began at once on both flanks. Of the conflict on the right very little
need be said. The Nebel above Oberglauheim was not a real obstacle,
and Eugene attacked directly. The contest was long and obstinate, with
considerable vicissitudes: Eugene's troops, exhausted by the long march
under a hot sun, were scarcely equal to the exertion required of them.
The Elector and Marsin held their ground till Tallard was routed, and
then made an orderly retreat, but they could not spare a man to help
their colleague. Eugene's share in the action, though not in itself
successful, was a necessary and important contribution to the victory.

Cutts made his attack on Blenheim with all the fury which earned for
him the nickname of the Salamander. Against the enormous force that was
massed in the village it was scarcely possible that he should actually
succeed, but he prevented any troops from being withdrawn towards the
centre. Here also the vicissitudes of the action were great. The first
line of English infantry advanced right up to the palisades covering
the village before they fired a shot. While vainly trying to force
their way through the defences they were suddenly charged in flank by
some French cavalry, and would have been routed but for some Hessian
cavalry, which drove back the enemy. A fierce and confused cavalry
fight followed, into which was drawn every squadron that Cutts could
command, but with no decisive result. Meanwhile Marlborough's centre
had been slowly crossing the Nebel, covered by the artillery on the
high ground east of the stream, which approached much nearer to it
than on the French side. The passage was begun opposite Unterglauheim
by the infantry of General Churchill, Marlborough's brother. As soon
as they could begin to form on the further bank cavalry pushed across
after them, and though charged by the first line of Tallard's cavalry,
and driven back, they were rescued by the infantry, now fairly formed,
and made good their position. As more and more cavalry crossed the
Nebel they extended to the right towards Oberglauheim, which was held
in force by the right of Marsin's army. His cavalry fully held their
own, driving some of the Danish and Hanoverian squadrons back across
the Nebel. The infantry of Marlborough's right now began to cross above
Oberglauheim, but being promptly attacked by the French infantry out of
that village, the Irish brigade conspicuous among them, suffered heavy
loss, and would have been defeated, but for reinforcements brought up
by Marlborough in person, which restored the balance.

The time was now come for Marlborough to deliver the decisive attack.
His whole army was across the stream, and formed, the cavalry in two
lines, the infantry in support with intervals between the battalions,
so that the squadrons if repulsed might pass through. His artillery,
advanced to the Nebel, played upon the stationary French until the last
moment. Tallard had done, could do, nothing to meet the coming storm,
except to bring up his reserve infantry, nine battalions, and mingle
them with his cavalry. About five o'clock the signal was given, and
Marlborough led his horsemen, some 8000 strong, up the gentle slope
to the French position. The first charge did not succeed, but some
infantry and artillery, brought up in support, took up the action.
The French did not venture to charge in their turn, though they had
ample numbers for doing so: apparently the feebleness of Tallard was
felt throughout his army, and so the last chance was thrown away.
Marlborough's second charge completely broke the French cavalry: the
infantry intermixed with them were cut to pieces or surrendered.
Tallard in vain tried to re-form his cavalry, in order to cover the
retreat of his infantry from Blenheim: they did not even stand another
charge, but fled in confusion, some westwards, some towards the Danube.
Detaching part of his force to pursue the former, Marlborough drove the
latter upon the river. Tallard himself, with such of the fugitives as
did not try to swim the Danube, was compelled to surrender. Meanwhile
General Churchill, advancing in rear of the victorious cavalry, had
encircled Blenheim, where nearly 12,000 French, mostly infantry, were
still cooped up. After vain attempts to cut their way out, the whole
mass surrendered: they had been utterly wasted by the mismanagement of
their general.

It was the practice in Marlborough's day to count armies by the
number of battalions and squadrons; and as those of course varied
in strength, through casualties as well as through unequal original
numbers, calculations based on them are a little uncertain. There is
very fair agreement as to the battalions and squadrons engaged on both
sides, from which it may be reasonably inferred that the allies had
about 52,000 men (9000 only being English), of which nearly 20,000
were cavalry, and the French about 56,000, of whom perhaps 18,000
were cavalry. In artillery the French had a decided superiority. With
this advantage, and with a position difficult to assail effectually,
they ought to have been well able to hold their own. The miserable
tactics of Tallard however did more than throw away this advantage.
The opinion has been expressed that 4000 men were amply sufficient
to hold Blenheim: Tallard left 13,000 there all through the day. The
difference, 9000, more than neutralised the French superiority in
infantry, and left the allies their preponderance in cavalry. Moreover
Eugene had apparently rather inferior forces to those immediately
opposed to him. Thus Marlborough was able to carry out, to some extent
at least, the cardinal maxim of bringing superior forces to bear at the
decisive point.

As might be inferred from the severity of the fighting, the victory
cost the allies dear, no less than 4500 killed and 7500 wounded. The
French loss was enormous: fully a quarter of their army surrendered
themselves prisoners, a still larger number were killed and wounded,
or were drowned in attempting to pass the Danube. Their camp and
nearly all their artillery fell into the hands of the victors. Roughly
speaking it may be said that Tallard's army was annihilated: Marsin's,
though it suffered severely, made good its retreat without being

Without going so far as Sir E. Creasy, who ranks Blenheim among the
fifteen decisive battles of the world, we may still say that its moral
results were even more important than the heavy material blow inflicted
on France. For half a century France had been much more than the first
military nation in Europe. Thanks in the first place to Turenne, but
also to the organising skill of Louvois and the engineering genius of
Vauban, Louis XIV. had developed a power which, wielded as it was by
a despot steadily bent on selfish aggrandisement, had been fully a
match for coalition after coalition. A succession of great generals
carried on the traditions of Turenne: they were pitted against enemies
who on the whole were inferior in skill, in resources, above all in
homogeneity. The world had almost come to believe in the natural and
permanent military superiority of France, and to accept Louis XIV. on
his own estimate of himself. The news of Blenheim broke the spell: the
domination of France was over. Louis himself had to admit that he was
mortal: during the remainder of the war he stood substantially on the
defensive, trying to retain or to recover territories over which he or
his grandson, the king of Spain, had some claim, but no longer dreaming
of crushing his antagonists. The power of France was by no means broken
as yet; thanks to the difficulties inherent in working a coalition, she
held her ground for several years more, but the tide, which had turned
at Blenheim, set on the whole steadily against her.

Believing France to be more exhausted than she in fact was, Marlborough
hoped to achieve great things in 1705 by attacking France from the side
of the Moselle. The reluctance of his allies however kept his army so
small that he was powerless. Villars, the ablest living French general,
was opposed to him with superior forces, and with orders to avoid a
battle. After vainly trying for six weeks to find an opportunity—a
direct attack on Villars in an intrenched position being beyond his
strength—Marlborough returned to the Netherlands, where the incapable
Villeroi lay behind a great line of almost continuous fortifications
from Antwerp to Namur. It was the fashion of the age to construct
these elaborate defences, always open to two fatal objections, that
they deprived the army holding them of all mobility, and that they
became useless if broken through at any point. So long as the enemy was
content to play the game in the fashion that best suited the defence,
or was so hindered by bad roads and lack of subsistence that he found
it difficult to move promptly, such lines might serve their purpose;
and if from the nature of the country they could not be turned, an
enemy might deem it too hazardous to break through them. But from
Turenne onwards skilful generals turned or pierced them whenever they
seriously tried; and Marlborough's easy success in breaking through
the French lines at what was deemed their strongest point was a very
striking proof of their inutility.[59] Had it not been for the
persistent opposition of the Dutch to any decisive action, Marlborough,
advancing on Brussels, would have fought a great battle very nearly on
the field of Waterloo. Hampered by the Dutch, he could achieve nothing;
and the year 1705, though eventful in other parts of the vast theatre
of war, ended in the Netherlands much as it began.


  _Map XI._

  _Battle of Ramillies._
  _23^{rd}. May 1706._]

The next year Marlborough formed a plan even more far-reaching
and audacious than that which had been brought to so triumphant a
conclusion on the field of Blenheim. The French in northern Italy
had been pressing their enemies hard: well led by Vendôme, they
had gone very near to conquering Piedmont entirely. Marlborough
dreamed of marching his own army down into Italy, and relieving
the duke of Savoy. Fortunately perhaps for his fame, he found the
obstacles insurmountable, and remained in the Netherlands,[60] where
the incapable Villeroi soon played into his hands. Believing that
Marlborough's army was not yet concentrated, and that therefore he
could fight a battle to advantage, Villeroi moved from his intrenched
camp at Louvain in the direction of Liège, not far from which city were
Marlborough's head-quarters. As a matter of fact, Marlborough was not
only ready for action, but slightly superior in numbers to Villeroi,
and he promptly moved towards the sources of the two small rivers known
as the great and little Gheet, in order that Villeroi might not protect
himself behind them, if he discovered that he had no chance of fighting
with the weight of numbers on his side. Villeroi however was in no way
desirous of avoiding a battle, and took up a position facing eastwards,
near the source of the little Gheet.

The field of Ramillies is the highest ground in Brabant, and, as is
apt to be the case in flat countries where the fall of the ground is
extremely gradual, there was a great deal of morass, in some places
impassable. Immediately at the source of the little Gheet is the small
village of Ramillies; about two miles to the north of it lies another
village, Autre Eglise, on the west of the stream, the whole course of
which, so far, is very marshy. Just south of Ramillies runs from east
to west an old Roman road known as Brunehaut's road, with the small
river Mehaigne beyond it, and between the road and the Mehaigne, about
south of Ramillies, is the village of Tavière. Villeroi's position
was on the higher ground behind the little Gheet, whence the slope to
the great Gheet, about two miles further west, is rather greater, and
along which runs the road by which Villeroi had come from Judoigne
on the great Gheet. His left was behind Autre Eglise, his centre
behind Ramillies, his right on a barrow called the tomb of Ottomond,
close above the Roman road, with a small force thrown forward into
Tavière. The allied army, marching from the east, arrived in front
of this position about noon (May 23, 1706). Marlborough at once saw
the opportunity which was afforded him by half of the French front
being covered by the morasses of the little Gheet. The left was in
fact almost, not quite, unassailable; but inasmuch as the road to
Judoigne, Villeroi's most direct line of retreat, ran in rear of the
left, this flank was, apart from the obstacle of the marshes, the one
which it would be most advantageous for an enemy to attempt to turn.
Hence Villeroi was easily led by demonstrations to strengthen his left
wing. Marlborough on the other hand, secure that no counter-attack
could be effectively made on his right through the marshes, could
leave there only just troops enough to continue the demonstration,
and mass nearly his whole force towards the left. The curve of the
ground enabled him to do this unobserved by Villeroi, who had gone in
person to his left wing, on the attack in that quarter being begun.
The French were driven out of Tavière after a short struggle: then
the Dutch and German cavalry charged the famous musketeers, who were
posted nearly behind Tavière. They broke the first line, but being
attacked by the second line when in the confusion of a successful
charge, were driven back. Marlborough however came to their support,
with the cavalry which he had withdrawn from the right wing; the
musketeers were broken, outflanked, and driven in towards the centre,
while the allies occupied the tomb of Ottomond, whence their guns could
enfilade the whole French line. Meanwhile a fierce contest had been
raging in the village of Ramillies. The French there held their ground,
though unable to repulse the assailants, until taken in flank from
the tomb of Ottomond. The battle was now virtually won: the whole of
the French centre and right were crowded together in utter confusion.
Villeroi in vain tried to form a new line, with his left still on
Autre Eglise, thrown back nearly at a right angle to his former line.
Such an attempt, desperate at best in face of a victorious enemy, was
rendered entirely hopeless by the ground being blocked with the baggage
and ammunition waggons. Some English troops, making their way as best
they could through the swamps, assailed the French left behind Autre
Eglise, and completed the rout. Seldom, in modern times, has a great
victory been so cheaply purchased; the total of killed and wounded
on the side of the allies fell considerably short of 4000 men. The
loss of the French was naturally greater: but the blow to them was
far heavier than the figures would imply. They lost nearly all their
artillery and baggage; and most of the army was for the time dissolved
into a mob of fugitives, among whom thousands of Walloons, unwilling
soldiers at best, took the opportunity of dispersing to their homes.
The French army, as at Vittoria, almost ceased for a while to exist as
an army, and was even longer in being restored to efficiency. In the
completeness of the disorganisation inflicted by defeat, Ramillies has
perhaps no superior in modern times except Waterloo.

The victory of Ramillies was followed by the immediate occupation of
the whole of Belgium. The great inland cities opened their gates as
the defeated French withdrew; both Antwerp and Ostend surrendered
without serious resistance. Nothing of importance was left in French
hands except the two fortresses of Mons and Namur. So severely was the
blow felt that Vendôme was withdrawn from Italy to take the command
against Marlborough, with the result that prince Eugene won a great
victory at Turin over Vendôme's incapable successors, and drove the
French entirely beyond the Alps. In Spain also the allies met with
considerable success. Louis XIV., knowing how exhausted France was
becoming, offered terms of peace, which were rejected, not altogether
unreasonably, though in the event unfortunately, for in 1707 the
tide turned back again. The French won the battle of Almanza, which
restored their ascendency in Spain, a battle noteworthy for the curious
coincidence that the defeated army, partly English, was commanded by
a French Huguenot noble who had entered the service of England, while
the victors were commanded by an Englishman, James duke of Berwick,
natural son of James II., who had shared his father's exile and entered
the French service. Prince Eugene's attempt to invade the south of
France from Piedmont failed. The lines of Stollhofen on the Rhine were
forced by the French as easily as Marlborough had surprised the French
lines in Belgium two years before, and the imperial troops suffered a
defeat. The Dutch, deeply impressed by these disasters, would consent
to no active measures: moreover in the administration of the Spanish
Netherlands, which had been entrusted provisionally to Dutch hands,
they had rendered themselves highly unpopular. Thus, when in 1708
Vendôme, still in command, re-entered the provinces which Villeroi
had been driven to evacuate, he was welcomed by Ghent and Bruges as a
deliverer from their new masters.

When the campaign of 1708 opened, Marlborough was still waiting
for his allies. His hope was that prince Eugene with an imperial
army would come from the region of the Moselle to join him, and
that in combination they would be able to complete the conquest of
the Netherlands, if not to carry the war into France. The usual
dilatoriness of Austria gave time for Vendôme to take the initiative.
Having a secret understanding with French partisans in Ghent and
Bruges, Vendôme began by threatening first Brussels, and then Louvain,
so as to draw Marlborough to that neighbourhood, and then suddenly
marching westwards, occupied the two great cities of the Scheldt
region, and formed the siege of Oudenarde, in order to complete by its
capture his hold on western Flanders. The alarm of the Dutch for their
own safety was great, and instead of objecting to active measures,
they were eager for a battle, though Marlborough without Eugene was
inferior to the enemy in numbers. With great promptitude Marlborough
seized a point of passage over the river Dender, which lay between
him and the French, and which the latter had intended to employ as
the line of defence for covering the siege. Foiled in this purpose by
Marlborough's speed, the French generals[61] thought to avoid a battle
by relinquishing for the present the siege of Oudenarde, and placing
themselves behind the Scheldt. Again Marlborough was too quick for
them: as the French were crossing that river on the evening of July
11, they heard that Marlborough, after a march of almost incredible
rapidity for that age, was between them and France, and was himself
crossing the Scheldt close to Oudenarde. North of Oudenarde there is a
sort of natural amphitheatre formed by somewhat higher ground extending
in two curved lines, one of them passing close to the city, the other
some three miles further off. The space between is, and was, cut up by
hedgerows and patches of woods, and covered with small hamlets: hence
the battle was much broken up into separate combats; moreover the
artillery could find few available positions. Vendôme drew up his army
along the side of this basin furthest from Oudenarde, with a detachment
occupying a hamlet some distance in front. Cadogan, who commanded
Marlborough's vanguard, did not hesitate to attack this force, though
no supports were at the moment within reach, in order to gain time
for the main body to cross the Scheldt behind him. As often happens,
apparent rashness was in reality the most prudent course. Cadogan
would have been destroyed if the French had brought their overwhelming
numbers to bear on him, whether he attacked or stood on the defensive:
but the bolder his attitude, the less likely they were to discover his
real weakness, and the more time there would be for the main army to
form behind him. After an obstinate struggle, in which prince George
of Hanover, afterwards George II., distinguished himself at the head
of some Hanoverian cavalry, Cadogan succeeded in forcing back the
French advanced guard, which Burgundy, then in a timid mood, would not
allow to be reinforced. By the time Marlborough's army was in order of
battle, Burgundy had gone to the other extreme, and ordered an advance,
without consulting Vendôme, which rendered a general action inevitable.
Marlborough's troops had already done a very severe day's work, and
possibly he might not have ventured to attack the French standing on
the defensive: but Burgundy decided the question for him. Having thrown
away, by timidity, the chance of overwhelming Cadogan, and the chance
of attacking Marlborough while his army was still crossing the Scheldt,
Burgundy now threw away by hastiness the advantage of compelling
Marlborough's tired troops to attack a fairly strong position.

Prince Eugene had come in advance of his army, and Marlborough gave
him the charge of his right wing, the Dutch general Overkirk commanding
the left. At first the French gained some advantage, but Burgundy,
finding obstacles to pushing forward his left, ordered that portion of
his line to intrench their position, and merely hold their ground, an
error by which Marlborough immediately profited. While Eugene, with
some cavalry, held the French left in check, Marlborough was able to
bring severe pressure to bear on the remainder of the French line,
and at the same time to outflank their right. The broken nature of
the ground rendered it impossible for the French generals to discern
clearly what was happening: when night fell their centre and right were
almost surrounded, but the darkness enabled them to escape from being
compelled to lay down their arms, and the exhaustion of the victors,
who had fought a long battle after an extremely long march, rendered
close pursuit impossible. Nevertheless 10,000 prisoners were taken,
which with the losses in the action reduced the French to a condition
of complete inactivity. Their retreat had from the nature of the case
been to the northwards, and though they were able to take up a safe
position between Ghent and Bruges, yet they could do nothing to guard
the French frontier, which lay open to attack.

Soon after the battle Eugene's army arrived, and the two generals,
instead of waiting to recover Ghent and Bruges, resolved on carrying
the war into France. The great fortress of Lille, deemed the
masterpiece of Vauban, barred the way, and the losses of Oudenarde had
been made good to the French army. Marlborough, who had learned under
Turenne that it was not necessary to follow the traditional routine of
the age, and take every fortress before advancing further, if it was
feasible to mask it, desired to apply this principle to Lille. Even
Eugene however shrunk from so audacious a proceeding, which would have
been ruinous if unsuccessful: and the siege of Lille was therefore
undertaken by Eugene while Marlborough covered the siege. The transport
of siege train, ammunition, and supplies requisite for besieging a
fortress large enough to contain a garrison of 15,000 men, was for that
age a task of enormous difficulty: the French still holding part of
Flanders, it was necessary to bring everything from Ostend, the naval
strength of Great Britain making it a matter of certainty that all
could be landed there. All difficulties were however overcome, though
a severe action had to be fought at Wynendael to prevent the French
from intercepting one important convoy,[62] and before the end of 1708
the first great conquest of Louis XIV. had been taken from him. Again
the French made proposals for peace, and would have agreed to very
unfavourable terms. But the allies demanded that Louis should go the
length of compelling his grandson to relinquish the throne of Spain,
in which country the arms of France were in the ascendant, and the
general feeling of the nation was favourable to the French claimant of
the crown. Marlborough has been blamed for this, but apparently without
reason: his own personal advantage lay in continuing the war, and party
hatred was ready to impute to him any baseness. The utmost that can be
said against him, or the English government, in the matter is, that
they did not insist on this demand being abandoned.

Rather than submit to this ignominy, Louis XIV. for the first time
in his life appealed to the patriotism of his people, who responded
zealously. Villars, the only French general of high repute whom
Marlborough had not yet defeated, was placed in command, in spite of
his being not unreasonably disliked at court. Villars was undeniably
the ablest French soldier living, and fully justified the confidence
somewhat tardily placed in him. Standing at first on the defensive,
he waited till the allies advanced to besiege Mons, the capital of
Hainault, which now that Lille had fallen was the chief defence of
the French frontier. He was unable to prevent them from forming the
siege, but soon approached with a large army, in order if possible to
relieve the place. Whether Villars would have attacked, if the allies
had taken up a defensive position to cover the siege, may perhaps be
doubted. Whether Marlborough was really guilty of fighting a great
battle against his military judgment, in the hope of supporting by
another victory his failing influence at home, may be doubted also. If
Marlborough had had his way, he would have attacked Villars immediately
on his arrival in the neighbourhood of Mons, without allowing time
for him to strengthen his position; but he unfortunately yielded
to Eugene's wish that approaching reinforcements should be waited
for, and so enabled Villars thoroughly to intrench a position very
strong by nature. On September 11, 1709, was fought the battle of
Malplaquet, the last, the least creditable, and the most costly of all
Marlborough's victories. It consisted mainly in a direct attack on the
French army posted on a wooded ridge, their centre occupying the only
gap in the woods. By sheer hard fighting the allies were just able to
compel the enemy to abandon their position, but the French retired in
perfect order, the victors gaining nothing but the battle-field, while
their losses far exceeded those of the French. So frightful was the
slaughter that public feeling in England blamed Marlborough for the
losses incurred far more than it rejoiced in the victory. Not even the
capture of Mons, which resulted from the failure of Villars' attempt to
relieve it, atoned for what was described as the needless butchery of

The rest of the war offers no features of interest. The Tories in
England succeeded in gaining Anne's favour, and in overthrowing
Marlborough, and they inclined to peace both because their great
opponent had all the glory of the war, and also because the Jacobite
sympathies of many of them disposed them favourably towards France, the
mainstay of the Jacobite cause. Presently the Austrian claimant of the
crown of Spain succeeded, by his brother's unexpected death, to the
Empire, and to the whole Austrian dominions. This changed the whole
situation, and fully justified the English government in seeking peace,
though nothing could justify their conduct towards their allies. Thanks
to political intrigues mainly, but partly also to his own faults of
a non-military kind, the career of the greatest genius among English
generals had a feeble and almost ignominious close.



The order of battle (_acies_) has always been in some sense a line, for
a permanent and obvious reason. None but those who are in front can
fight, and the natural desire is to encounter the enemy with as great
strength as possible. What will be the depth of the formation must
depend upon many considerations, among which the nature of the weapons
of the period is the most obvious, though others, such as the training
of the men and their national traditions, are far from unimportant.
A body of men drawn up more than four deep could hardly however be
called a line. Similarly the order of march (_agmen_) has always been
the converse of the order of battle: four men abreast require a fairly
wide road. It is not necessary that a whole army shall move by a single
road, in modern times they do not. But until armies grew very large it
was not needful that they should separate: until roads grew plentiful
and maps were available it was not safe, unless where no collision with
the enemy was possible.

The _acies_ and _agmen_ are then, in their simplest form, the same
thing looked at from two different points of view. The thin line
drawn up to face the enemy may be imagined turning to the right or
left and marching off. Of course it is not meant to be implied that
such, and such only, were actually the primitive methods. Just as a
mechanical problem is solved by assuming the absence of friction, a
condition which in fact can never be realised, and correcting the
result afterwards on account of friction, so one may for the moment
leave out of sight all subsidiary things, in order to bring out in its
simplicity the fundamental idea of an order of battle. Historically,
no doubt, by the time men had advanced far enough to comprehend
the value of combining to form a line, they had attained also to
diversity of weapons, which would tend at once to interfere with this
bare simplicity. Every fresh change, especially the introduction
of war-chariots or of horse-soldiers, would further complicate the
_acies_. So too, as soon as an army carries anything with it, the
simple idea of the _agmen_ is encroached on. Nevertheless both _acies_
and _agmen_ are rooted, so to speak, in the nature of things: the
former can be traced in every battle, the latter in every march.

Some of the departures from the principle of the line are rather
apparent than real. A reserve is no exception, even when it becomes
a whole second, or even third line: for the reserve ex _hypothesi_
is not fighting: when it is wanted to fight it is brought up to the
front, and ceases to be in reserve. Foot-soldiers standing on the
defensive, especially as against horsemen, present the largest amount
of front in the safest way by forming a closed figure, the ring of
the Northmen and of the Scots, or the familiar square of modern
infantry in the days before the rifle. Nevertheless modifications
are liable to be introduced, so to speak, from both sides. The order
of battle is deepened, with the idea of giving greater impetus to a
charge, from the weight of men behind backing up the front ranks.
Epaminondas, using this device unexpectedly at Leuctra, defeated the
Spartans, whose superior discipline and physique made them invincible
so long as both sides used the same formation. His success led to the
adoption of the Macedonian phalanx, and the abandonment of the line
for the time being, until the Romans reverted successfully to the
natural order. The order of march, for a real journey, cannot well be
modified, because roads do not allow it. But for short marches, over
open ground, there was much to be gained by massing men more closely
together. They could hear orders better, and could be moved in any
direction with more ease and precision. Hence arose the column, which
is strictly speaking a series of short lines ranged one behind the
other, and which, as military evolutions were developed, became the
natural formation for manœuvring, as distinguished from fighting.
Then obvious convenience would suggest keeping the troops as long as
possible in the more handy formation of columns, even on the field of
battle. Until the actual shock was impending, it was better to leave
them so formed that they could be readily moved if necessary to another
part of the field. Until artillery became really effective, the risk of
increased loss, from cannon-balls passing through a solid body, instead
of a line, was not very serious. Until the bayonet was introduced, the
necessity for pikemen and musketeers acting together would tend to make
deep formations, which are columns without their mobility, a virtual
necessity. Thus in more ways than one column came to be regarded as
the ordinary formation, line as the exception. And generals were led
by the real convenience of mobility and facility of command, perhaps
also by other calculations, to make attacks in column, with or without
the intention of extending into line after the enemy's front had been

No words are required to show that troops armed with the short-range
musket and bayonet, fighting against opponents similarly armed, are
more effective in proportion as their depth can be safely reduced. More
men can fire on the enemy, fewer are liable to be hit by the hostile
bullets. This holds good alike for attack and for defence, and is
indeed so obvious that when one finds great masters of the art of war
adopting the column as the formation for attack, one begins to look
for some latent flaw in the reasoning. There is none however from the
material point of view: the real or supposed advantage of the column
is moral only. When a mass of men formed in a deep column advances
to attack a line, the front ranks of the column have the (imaginary)
support of the ranks behind them. The imagination of the line is meant
to be impressed by the spectacle of the heavy mass about to impinge on
it. Both notions are really baseless: the line has no assailants except
the front ranks of the column, who not only are not helped by those
behind, but become the targets for the concentrated fire of the line.
But imagination is a very real force in war, as in other human affairs:
the generals who have formed heavy columns for attack, need not be
supposed to have made a gross blunder: they may have adopted the method
best suited to the qualities and traditions of their men. All that
can fairly be concluded is that the line is enormously more effective
for those who can bear the strain. And England may be congratulated
alike on having the requisite toughness of material, and on having had
generals who knew how to utilise it.

From the beginning of English history, as the foregoing pages have
shown, the English modes of fighting have always led to the adoption
of a thin line. Harold's house-carls must have stood in a single rank.
The archers of Crecy cannot have been in more than two. The dismounted
men-at-arms were drawn up, we are told on one or two occasions, four
deep: and seeing that they had to sustain the momentum of mailed
horsemen charging, they could not well have had less. The bodily
strength and toughness of the English race, perhaps their lack of
imagination, qualified them to bear the shock of battle well: and the
habit of victory engendered a confidence of superiority, which was
doubtless arrogant, but was also calculated to realise the expectation.
Thus the national qualities and traditions were favourable to the
adoption in later ages of a thinner line than other nations saw their
way to employ.

The evidence of the drill books seems to be clear that in England the
fighting formation in the seventeenth century was three deep, that
in the war of American independence the practice of skirmishing in
two ranks began, and that in the Peninsula the formation in two ranks
for all fighting was finally adopted. A thinner line still is to all
intents and purposes impossible. Whether the adoption of this system
was the carrying out in full of the fundamental theory of the line,
namely that it is the mode in which the largest proportion of force can
be brought to bear on the enemy at once, or was suggested by virtual
necessity, it is hard to tell. Given two very unequal forces opposed
to each other, it is obvious that the smaller can form an order of
battle tolerably equal to the larger only by making its line very thin.
It is also obvious that this can be done safely only if the men are not
to be daunted by feeling the lack of support. These conditions existed,
in extreme form, in the early English wars in India. The soldiers of
Clive and Coote, whether English or sepoys, were infinitely superior in
discipline and equipment, if not in courage, to their enemies, and they
were outnumbered many times over. It is quite possible that the first
impulse to the two-deep formation came from India. However this may
be, it is certain that England, and England alone, adopted a century
ago the line of two ranks only; it seems to be also the case that at a
much earlier period it was the English practice to fight in line, while
other nations made more use of the column. And it is certain too that
England gained enormously by being able to do so. The whole Peninsular
war forms a commentary on this text, with Waterloo for a crowning



The peace of Utrecht left England in the very front rank of European
powers, bound by treaty obligations to maintain the settlement then
made, and taught by many victories to assume that her intervention
would be effective. Moreover a new influence tended in the same
direction: her kings had through their Hanoverian dominions a personal
interest in continental affairs, and naturally tried to obtain English
support in Hanoverian quarrels. Naturally also France was permanently
jealous of the power which had destroyed her dream of naval supremacy,
and had played the leading part in humbling Louis XIV. Thus it was
to be expected that England would be involved more or less in most
European wars, and also that she would habitually have France as her
antagonist. She had private troubles in addition, in the shape of the
Jacobite rebellion of 1745 and the revolt of the American colonies.
The former could hardly have taken place had England not been at war
with France: the latter succeeded very largely because France and the
other European opponents of England seized the opportunity to coalesce
against her. France and England were in truth pitted against each other
all the world over. In North America they began the rivalry of the
eighteenth century on fairly equal terms, so far as that continent was
concerned. But the naval and commercial superiority of Great Britain,
which grew more and more pronounced as time passed, insured her
ultimate triumph in America in spite of all that France could do; while
nearer home England found her advantage in supporting with money and
men the continental enemies of her rival.

Nevertheless nearly thirty years elapsed after the peace of Utrecht
before England again sent an army to the continent. At first temporary
considerations led the governments of George I. and the regent Orleans,
threatened by similar dangers at home, to act in concert abroad.
A little later Walpole came into power, and his chief aim was the
maintenance of peace, in order that the new dynasty might have time to
take root. During this period of peace the army lost the efficiency
which Marlborough had given it. Political corruption undermined every
department of the public service. The traditional jealousy of the
existence of a standing army exhibited itself in the form of cutting
down the numbers, and neglecting the equipment, of the army which was
still kept in existence. The officers, who owed their rank to money or
court favour, trained neither themselves nor their men. The only thing
which saved England from disgrace in battle after battle was the stolid
courage which never knows when it is beaten. This is to all appearance
a national characteristic: in other words it is a quality found in most
Englishmen, developed in them by the unconscious influence of race, of
tradition, of we know not what, but not the outcome of conscious and
deliberate training. English soldiers might have incompetent leaders,
be ill-supported by their allies, be even placed under foreign generals
because the government could find no competent Englishman to command.
In spite of every discouragement they exhibited time after time the
same obstinate valour, and on the distant battle-fields of India,
where the good fortune of England brought men like Clive and Coote to
the front, they accomplished feats worthy to rank with the greatest
achievements of the Black Prince or Marlborough.

When the war of the Austrian Succession broke out, a strong feeling
arose in England in favour of Maria Theresa, who was being deprived by
a league of European powers of rights which they had all solemnly bound
themselves to maintain. France was her chief enemy, and this doubtless
quickened English zeal, though it was not until many months after an
army largely English, under George II. in person, had won a victory
which drove the French out of Germany, that war was formally declared
by France. For two years both English and French had been nominally
acting only as auxiliaries to their respective German allies. The
battle of Dettingen (June 27, 1743), the last in which an English king
has taken part, was not creditable to the skill of either party. The
Anglo-Austrian army, in attempting a bold stroke, allowed itself to be
so shut in by a very superior French force that its surrender seemed
almost inevitable. Mismanagement on the French side brought on a battle
under conditions which neutralised this advantage; and they were badly
defeated, though the allies, content with rescue from their perilous
position, did not press the pursuit.

Two years later (May 11, 1745) the English contingent played a
distinguished part in the bloody battle of Fontenoy, fought in the
hope of raising the siege of Tournay. The task was almost hopeless,
for Marshal Saxe with superior numbers occupied a strong intrenched
position, and the allies not only had no general comparable to Saxe,
but were not even under the real command of any one. The duke of
Cumberland, son of George II., was nominal commander-in-chief by virtue
of his rank, but he had practically no authority over his Austrian and
Dutch colleagues. The idea of the battle was of mediæval simplicity,
direct attack all along the line. The Austrians and Dutch could make
no impression on the French right: Cumberland, after more than one
unsuccessful attack on their left, formed most part of his British and
Hanoverian infantry into a single heavy column 14,000 strong, which
broke through the left centre of the hostile line, bearing down all
opposition, though suffering enormous loss. If Cumberland had been
properly supported at the critical moment, a victory might have been
won, but his colleagues would not stir; and his column had to retire
under a heavy cannonade, and fiercely assailed in flank by the Irish
troops in the French service. They left 4000 dead behind them, but
their ranks remained unbroken, and the cavalry ultimately was able to
cover an orderly retreat.

The most noteworthy fact about Fontenoy is that on that day the English
infantry was led to attack in column, instead of in line. It was very
natural that Cumberland should do so under the circumstances; English
military science was at a low ebb, and he might well suppose that
the methods of the continent were superior. His previous efforts,
apparently made in line, had been foiled: it was most natural, since
his obstinate courage refused to accept failure as his allies were
doing, that he should try another formation. The attack in column was
up to a certain point successful, but it would be rash to infer that
therefore the column was preferable. The movement of retreat was made
under every condition calculated to demoralise soldiers, frightful
losses in their own ranks, inability to strike at the enemy in return,
refusal of their allies to support them. Troops capable of maintaining
their formation with perfect steadiness under such a trial were capable
of anything. An attack made by them in line, pressed home with equal
determination, would have been quite as likely to succeed, would have
cost the enemy more, and themselves much less.

The Jacobite rebellion of 1745, which involved the last fighting that
has taken place on British soil, is chiefly remembered because of the
romantic interest in the Stuart cause created more than half a century
later by the genius of Sir Walter Scott. In the home of their race
the Stuarts aroused much chivalrous loyalty, though never was a noble
sentiment wasted on more unworthy objects. The advance into England
can plausibly be described as a piece of brilliant daring, which went
very near to being rewarded with success: but it is perfectly obvious
that no other policy offered the remotest chance of succeeding, and
equally certain, though perhaps less obvious, that failure was always
inevitable. England seemed indifferent: Jacobite zeal was almost dead,
and the feeling toward the house of Hanover had not risen above passive
acquiescence. Still the apathy was largely superficial: the panic in
London, when it was known that the Highlanders were in Derbyshire, is
a grotesque proof of this. If the English nation had ever seriously
believed that there was a probability of a Roman Catholic king, backed
by the strong favour of France, mounting the throne, the chances of the
Pretender would have vanished in a moment.

The battles fought during the rebellion, small as they were, point
with some force more than one military lesson. At Preston Pans the
disgraceful panic flight of the English cavalry left the infantry
exposed without support, and with both flanks uncovered, to the sudden
rush of the Highlanders. Armed with clumsy muskets which required so
long to load that they had no time to deliver a second volley, and
with bayonets slow and awkward to fix, they were practically unarmed
against the onset of brave men armed in a manner most effective at
close quarters. It was no wonder that they imitated the dragoons and
took to flight, though with more excuse. At Falkirk General Hawley,
grossly incompetent and careless, allowed his army to be surprised:
the Jacobites, well handled, and having the further fortune of being
able to attack while wind and rain were blinding the enemy, gained a
well-deserved victory. At Culloden (April 16, 1746) the Jacobite bubble
finally burst. The duke of Cumberland understood his business, and
had in his favour superior numbers, and more efficient artillery. The
rebels, half starving, had no choice but to fight or disperse. Unable
to bear the fire of Cumberland's guns, which instead of being massed
were distributed along the front line, two in each interval between
regiments, the Highlanders of the right and centre charged desperately
home. In spite of Cumberland's ingenious order that his men should
thrust with the bayonet each at the enemy to his right, so as to avoid
the Highland targets, they succeeded in breaking the front line. The
second line however received them with a crushing fire which drove them
back in utter rout. The Macdonalds on the left had hung back, sulky at
being refused their traditional post on the right: but this only made
the difference that a few less fell on both sides. Against discipline
and steadiness they had never had a chance of victory.

The treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, 1748, put an end to the European war,
and made formal peace between England and France. The differences
between the two great rivals outside Europe were however in no way
removed: it can scarcely be said that in India or America the peace was
ever more than nominal. The French attempt to connect their possessions
in Canada with Louisiana gave the English colonies no option but
armed resistance, unless they were prepared to abandon all prospect
of extension westwards. For some time the contest was carried on in
the region of the Ohio, without involving a formal breach between the
two nations. In 1756 however, a coalition was formed between Austria,
France, Russia, and Saxony for the dismemberment of the Prussian
monarchy, which had risen to considerable power under Frederick the
Great. Great Britain naturally allied herself with the enemy of France,
and English subsidies were of great value to Frederick in his skilful
and substantially successful resistance to enormous odds. The part
taken by English arms in the war in Germany was not very important. The
duke of Cumberland's blundering campaign, which ended in the convention
of Closterseven, was made with Hanoverian and other German troops.
More than one expedition against the French coast proved practically
abortive. In 1759 however British troops had a conspicuous share in the
important victory of Minden.

Marshal Contades with a French army of about 45,000 men held Minden,
which is situated on the left bank of the Weser, just below the
junction of a small tributary, the Wastau. On the approach of
Ferdinand of Brunswick with a slightly inferior army, mainly German,
but including six regiments of British infantry and some cavalry,
Contades determined to give him battle. Accordingly during the night of
July 31 he crossed the Wastau, over which he had constructed several
bridges, his camp having been hitherto on the south of it, and formed
in order of battle two or three miles north and west of Minden, with
the left resting on the village of Hahlen, the right extending to
the Weser. His own immediate command, about two-thirds of the whole,
faced nearly north-west; and for a very inadequate reason his cavalry
was massed in the centre, the infantry on the wings, the artillery
being as then usual distributed along the front. The duke of Broglie's
command, which had hitherto been acting separately, formed the right
of the army, at an angle to Contades' line, facing northwards. Prince
Ferdinand, advancing also before day-break, placed his army on an arc
corresponding to the French, but necessarily somewhat longer, and
therefore, as his numbers were less, in decidedly less dense formation.
Contades' plan of battle was that Broglie should begin the action by
attacking Ferdinand's left wing, and after driving it off, should
turn and take the German centre in flank, while he himself attacked
it in front. Broglie's opening cannonade however made no impression
on the enemy, and he had to content himself with holding his ground.
Prince Ferdinand's army was drawn up in a more rational fashion. On
his extreme right was a mass of cavalry, under Lord George Sackville
the English general: and another body of cavalry faced the immediate
right of Contades, while the space between was filled by infantry
in two lines, with guns at intervals. A detachment sent forward to
drive the French out of Hahlen, in order to clear the way for the
artillery to advance, had not yet succeeded in its task, when the
English regiments, which formed the right of the infantry line, began
to advance. Ferdinand had not intended this, some order seems to have
been misunderstood; but the advance once begun could not be checked.
Supported by some Hanoverian regiments, the British marched in line, as
if on parade, towards the left centre of the French, regardless of the
fire poured on them by two batteries, one on each flank. The first line
of the French, here entirely cavalry, attacked them in vain: but their
continued advance exposed them to flanking fire from the infantry of
the French left. Prince Ferdinand sent repeated orders to Lord George
Sackville to bring forward his cavalry, and take some of the pressure
off the infantry; but he remained obstinately inactive. Had he obeyed
orders, the victory would have been decisive and complete: the whole
French army must apparently have been driven into the Weser. Charge
after charge was delivered upon the English, rather ill combined, with
the result that the whole of the splendid French cavalry was completely
defeated, and driven off the field, with a loss of 1700 men.

Meanwhile the action had been better sustained on Contades' right;
but the defeat of his centre involved the retreat of his whole army.
Covered by Broglie's corps, which had not been seriously engaged, the
French retired on their bridges, and succeeded in crossing the Wastau,
not without sustaining additional losses from the British artillery,
which was boldly and skilfully pressed forward as the French left
gave way. Broglie made good his retreat into Minden, but not without
losing a whole brigade, which was surrounded and had to surrender. The
French loss was 7000 men, that of the allies about 2600, of which
half fell on the six English regiments, the 12th, 20th, 23rd, 25th,
37th, and 51st, which to this day bear the name of Minden on their
colours. But for the English general, the result would have been like
that of Friedland, the annihilation or surrender of the whole hostile
army, except the few who might succeed in crossing a bridgeless river.
Lord George Sackville's military career ended on that day, as well it
might: a fortunate accession to property enabled him to enter political
life under a new name, but it can hardly be said that the achievements
of Lord George Germaine were much more distinguished in the arena of
politics than those of his former self on the battle-field.

Almost simultaneously with Minden, occurred the brilliant capture of
Quebec by Wolfe, which meant the conquest of Canada. Pitt, who knew how
to select and to appreciate a capable man, chose Wolfe, who was only
a colonel, to conduct the most difficult part of a complicated scheme
for invading Canada. One force was to strike at Niagara, another was
to move by way of Lake Champlain, the third was to go in ships up the
St. Lawrence and assail the capital. Separated as these forces were by
long distances, and opposed by the French in adequate numbers, they
could not possibly act in close concert. It may suffice to say of
the two expeditions which started by land from the territory of the
colonies, that they were conducted in a steady methodical way, and
achieved a fair amount of success. Their real importance lay in their
distracting the councils of the French, and preventing Wolfe from being
overwhelmed. Even as it was, Wolfe was enormously overmatched so far as
mere numbers were concerned; but his troops if few were of excellent
quality, whereas opposed to him were still fewer French regulars, the
Canadian militia, for which he had a well-grounded contempt, forming
the bulk of the army that held Quebec. There was some little delay,
after Wolfe had reached Louisburg, before the expedition could set
sail up the St. Lawrence. The French knew of his coming, and had
made all possible preparations; but as time went on, they persuaded
themselves that their enemy would not venture to attempt the dangerous
navigation of the river. The English admiral, however, managed to
secure pilots: some of his captains even scoffed at the difficulty,
and piloted themselves. Without any accident, the whole English fleet
passed up the tortuous channel, and landed Wolfe's army opposite
Quebec. As the governor of the province wrote home to the French
minister, "the enemy passed sixty ships of war where we hardly dared
risk a vessel of a hundred tons."


  _Map XII._

  _Quebec._ (_1759._)]

Quebec stands facing eastwards down the St. Lawrence at the end of a
long strip of high ground, which above Quebec is about a mile wide,
with extremely steep descent both southwards to the river bank, and
northwards to the plain through which the river St. Charles winds, to
fall into the St. Lawrence beside Quebec. Seven or eight miles below
the mouth of the St. Charles, on the north bank, is a narrow and deep
ravine, into which the river Montmorenci tumbles in the celebrated
falls. Between the two the ground is fairly flat, but high above the
level of the river, which is edged by slopes too steep to be climbed
except at a few spots. Along this shore the French general Montcalm,
with the concurrence of the governor Vaudreuil, thought fit to encamp
his army, and to line the whole bank with fortifications. He doubtless
thought to crush the English fleet if it attempted to pass up: but as
the river is there two or three miles wide, the ships passed to and
fro as they pleased, and whenever it suited Wolfe's purpose gave the
shore batteries and camp a very unpleasant time. Immediately under
Quebec the St. Lawrence is but a mile wide, and the south bank forms
a great curve known as Point Levi, immediately below which, separated
from it by a deep inlet, and opposite the mouth of the Montmorenci, is
a long stretch of low ground called the Isle of Orleans. Wolfe arrived
before Quebec on June 26, without having encountered any opposition,
and landed his forces on the Isle of Orleans. Montcalm had decided on
the prudent course: he believed that he had made Quebec unassailable,
and he calculated that by avoiding battle and simply standing on
the defensive, he would compel the English, after expending their
resources, to retreat baffled. He only omitted one element from his
calculation, the perfect mobility given to Wolfe by the British ships.
There were French vessels in the St. Lawrence, but very inferior in
force to the English: and they had been sent, with disastrous caution,
far up the river for safety, and their crews withdrawn to aid in the
defence of Quebec. Wolfe consequently could move his troops exactly as
he pleased, to or from any part of either bank not actually occupied by
the French, and they were powerless even to impede his movements. The
only possible device open to the French was to attempt to destroy the
fleet with fire-ships: this was tried more than once, but the English
sailors on each occasion grappled the flaming masses, towed them
ashore, and left them to burn themselves out innocuous.

Wolfe's first move was to occupy Point Levi, and erect batteries
there, from which he could bombard the city. His next was to occupy
the ground just east of the mouth of the Montmorenci, in the hope of
being able to cross that stream higher up and attack the main French
camp in rear. There was no real risk in dividing his army, assuming
that the force on the north bank of the St. Lawrence was sufficiently
large, for the detachments on the south bank were inaccessible to the
French. On July 18, some ships ran past the batteries of Quebec, a feat
which the French commanders had deemed impossible. Boats were dragged
overland behind Point Levi, and launched on the river above. It became
necessary to detach troops to guard the long line of cliffs extending
for many miles above Quebec. Still Montcalm could not be brought to
risk anything by a counter stroke: a direct attack on his camp seemed
hopelessly rash, but there was apparently no alternative. On July 31 an
attempt was made to scale the heights a little west of the Montmorenci,
which failed: the over-eagerness of the detachment ordered to lead the
attack spoiled what little chance there may have been, but success was
hardly possible. Then Wolfe fell ill, and for weeks nothing was done.
When he recovered, if it can be called recovery for an acute attack
of a mortal disease to pass away, he turned his attention in earnest
to the river above Quebec. Ship after ship ran the gauntlet of the
batteries, and troops were pushed up the southern bank. A large French
force under Bougainville had to be employed to guard, as best they
could, the long line of cliffs on the opposite shore. Several attempts
at landing were made, without achieving much except wearing out the
French troops with incessant marching to and fro, while the English,
conveyed rapidly in boats, could threaten any point they pleased.
Obviously however, it was one thing to land a party for a mere raid; it
was far more difficult, under the conditions, to land the whole army,
small as it was, and establish it on the high ground west of Quebec.
Before he had seen the place, Wolfe had hoped to attack the city in
this way: now, after proving that no other course was feasible, he
reverted to this desperate venture.

When Wolfe evacuated his camp by the Montmorenci, taking the soldiers
on ship-board, the natural hope of the French was that this step was
preparatory to retreat. They knew, or thought they knew, that the
English admiral was anxious to be gone, before the season was too far
advanced. Nor could they understand the meaning of his taking the ships
up the river: they believed the north bank, guarded as it was, to be
unassailable. Wolfe however had fully resolved on making the attempt;
his great anxiety was to be fit to lead in person, since he would not
devolve on any one else the responsibility of probable failure. "I know
perfectly well you cannot cure me," he said to his physician: "but pray
make me up so that I may be without pain for a few days, and able to do
my duty." After reconnoitring the whole shore carefully, he decided on
trying to ascend at the spot now known as Wolfe's Cove, about a mile
and a half above Quebec. By so doing he would compel Montcalm, who had
of course ready access to the city across the mouth of the St. Charles,
to choose between fighting a battle to save Quebec and being shut up in
the city, already beginning to starve. It is true that he would have in
his rear the considerable force under Bougainville, but he knew that
his own troops were far superior in quality to most part of the French,
and relied on being able to keep Bougainville at bay. After all, if the
risk was great, the prize was great also, and the only alternative was
to submit to total failure.

For several days the ships were allowed to drift up and down with the
tide, while boats seemed to be looking for points of landing, and
Bougainville's men were kept incessantly on the move. Every man that
could be spared, without evacuating the necessary stations at Point
Levi and the Isle of Orleans, was brought on board the vessels: even
then, the total did not reach 5000. At two a.m. on Sept. 13, the
tide served, and the boats conveying the infantry who were to land
dropped down the river, the other vessels following gradually. As they
neared the chosen spot, they were challenged from a French post on the
heights: an officer promptly replied in French, and the enemy, who
were expecting some provision boats to steal down in the night, were
satisfied. Fortune was favourable at the landing-place: the officer
commanding the post above was negligent, and a regiment which ought
to have been encamped on the plateau near at hand had been by mistake
placed at some distance. The ascent was made without opposition, and
before daylight Wolfe's little army, all infantry from the nature of
the case, was safe on the plateau. A regiment was left to hold the
landing-place, and another was pushed out to the rear to guard against
the chance of attack from Bougainville. Thus the total force available
for the actual battle was but 3600 men. As soon as there was light
enough, Wolfe formed his line facing Quebec, about a mile from the
city. English ships had been cannonading Montcalm's lines until after
nightfall, and seeming to threaten a landing. When at daybreak Montcalm
heard firing from above Quebec, he rode in that direction, caught sight
of the red-coats on the plateau, and hastily ordered up all the troops
that were within reach. By about ten o'clock the French also were in
order of battle, and advanced to the attack. Two field-guns had by this
time been dragged up from the landing-place; Montcalm had also obtained
three from the citadel: but substantially it was a battle of infantry
only, with everything to favour the English. Montcalm had not waited to
bring up all possible force, and engaged with numbers little greater
than Wolfe's, of by no means uniformly good quality. The English line
had been long formed, and the men quietly halted in perfect order;
the French advanced hastily, not in the best order. Wolfe waited till
the enemy were within forty yards: then a volley along the whole line
broke the attacking column to pieces. The English charged, and all
was over. "As Wolfe led on his men he was struck first by one bullet,
then by another, but still held on his way. A third pierced his breast
and he fell. He was carried to the rear, and asked if he would have a
surgeon. 'There's no need,' he answered, 'it's all over with me.' A
moment after one of them cried out, 'They run: see how they run.' 'Who
run?' Wolfe demanded, like a man roused from sleep. 'The enemy, sir:
egad, they give way everywhere.' 'Go, one of you, to Colonel Burton,'
returned the dying man; 'tell him to march Webb's regiment down to
Charles river, to cut off their retreat from the bridge.' Then, turning
on his side, he murmured, 'Now God be praised, I will die in peace:'
and in a few moments his gallant soul had fled."[63]

Montcalm was mortally wounded in the retreat, and there was no one to
replace him. Total as the French defeat had been on the field, they had
still at least double the English force, and Quebec was untaken. But
despondent counsels prevailed, the city capitulated, and when peace
came, France had to purchase it by surrendering her one great colony;
England was left mistress of North America. Well may Parkman say,
"Measured by the numbers engaged, the battle of Quebec was but a heavy
skirmish: measured by results, it was one of the great battles of the

The operations before Quebec furnish an admirable illustration, on a
small scale, of what sea power can do to render assistance to land
warfare. The French were forced not only to watch, but to occupy, many
miles of shore; the English could post themselves where they pleased
on the opposite bank in perfect security, and could move hither and
thither when they desired it. They could cannonade from the water
any portion of the French shore, and their enemies could never feel
safe at any point against attack at any moment. The ships practically
multiplied two or threefold the little force at Wolfe's disposal. Wolfe
might grow sick at heart at seeing no opening for decisive action, his
men might grow weary of delay, but they had no hardships to suffer.
The French position was extraordinarily strong, and Montcalm steadily
patient in giving his opponent no opportunity. Wolfe was obviously
right in exhausting all other possibilities before trying a venture
which if unsuccessful would have been fatal; but when he did try it,
his naval strength enabled him to do so with every chance in his favour
which the situation allowed.

Of the war of American independence it does not enter into my plan to
write. A detailed narrative would only ring the changes on two or three
simple themes. Disciplined troops might be expected, unless grossly
ill-commanded, to have the advantage over the colonists. The vast
extent of the country made it impossible for the small British armies
effectually to occupy more than isolated bits. The generals sent out
from England were some of them incompetent, some neglectful, all face
to face with a task beyond their strength. Washington, who held the
chief control of the colonial forces, did his work with great skill
and most admirable patience, and he was on the whole fortunate in his
subordinates. Had not France intervened, the war might very probably
have been much longer protracted. But when France and Spain and Holland
had all joined in the war, the British navy was no longer dominant
in the Atlantic; supplies, reinforcements, communications generally,
ceased to reach America with ease and certainty, and the case became
hopeless. British credit was restored, to say the least, by the great
naval victory of Rodney in the West Indies, and by the total failure of
the French and Spaniards to make any impression on Gibraltar; but the
American colonies had none the less achieved their independence.



  _Outline Map of




The French Revolution gave the signal for a long series of wars, in
which France, thanks to the great military genius of Napoleon, got the
better of all the nations of Europe, except England. At the end of the
year 1807 Napoleon was at the height of his power; all central Europe
was at his feet, and he had concluded with Russia the treaty of Tilsit,
by which the two emperors agreed to support one another, at least
passively, in further schemes of aggression. England alone was hostile,
and England, though absolutely supreme at sea, was helpless on land,
having not only no allies, but no field of action. Napoleon proceeded
to give her both by his interference in the Spanish peninsula. First
he made the Spanish government co-operate with him in a wolf-and-lamb
quarrel with Portugal, occupied that little country with French troops,
before whom the royal family fled to Brazil, and cheated Spain out
of her share of the spoils. Then by a series of perfidious intrigues
he insinuated a French army into the heart of Spain, got into his
power the weak old king and his foolish heir, made them both renounce
the Spanish crown, and ordered a few fugitive courtiers to salute
his own brother Joseph as king of Spain. He knew that Spain had no
trustworthy army; he had military possession of the capital, and took
for granted that Spain would acquiesce. But the Spaniards, proud of
past glories, intensely ignorant, and caring very little for the
capital, where alone a few partisans of the new king could be found,
broke out into insurrection everywhere. The French forces, which were
but small, had to retire behind the Ebro, one little army that had
penetrated into Andalusia being actually surrounded and compelled to
surrender. Simultaneously an English army landing in Portugal defeated
the French at Vimiero, and obliged them to evacuate Portugal under a
convention. Napoleon, more irritated than alarmed, poured vast armies
into Spain, with the utmost ease defeated the Spanish levies that tried
to stop him, and entered Madrid in triumph with his puppet brother in
his train. Sir John Moore, who commanded the small English army in
Portugal, made a brilliant march into the heart of Spain, threatening
to cut Napoleon's communications with France; but he was far too weak
to do more than trouble the emperor's repose. French forces of full
double his numbers were sent to drive him into the sea, and succeeded,
though Moore, turning to bay when he reached Corunna and found his
ships not ready, inflicted on them a sharp repulse, of which his own
life was the glorious price. Napoleon fondly dreamed that Spain was
conquered, and returned to France, leaving Joseph as titular king, and
several French armies to complete the work.

Had Spain been left unsupported, a real conquest would still have been
impossible, so long as the endurance of the people lasted. The Spanish
armies, if such they can be called, were defeated and dispersed in
fifty battles. Their generals on very few occasions showed any judgment
or capacity. But the panic-stricken runaways of to-day enlisted again
none the worse in two or three weeks; the generals discomfited to-day
were ready to try again with a serene self-confidence that was not
quite a step beyond the sublime. Guerilla bands spread everywhere,
sometimes serving in a so-called regular army, sometimes behaving
as brigands. A despatch could not be sent to France without a large
escort: the duty of convoying supplies was incessant, harassing and
often unsuccessful. French armies could march where they pleased, but
could not permanently conquer a single square mile. On the other hand
the Spaniards unaided could have achieved no definite success against
the French armies, and the strain on Napoleon's resources, though
real, would not have been ruinous. It was the English intervention
which converted the Spanish ulcer, as Napoleon himself termed it,
into a deadly disease eating into the very vitals of his power. A
treaty of alliance was concluded between England and Spain, signed,
as it happened, on the very day of the battle of Corunna (January 19,
1809). The English government did not then know how ignorant, how
presumptuous, how untrustworthy, was the knot of self-chosen incapables
who styled themselves the Spanish Junta. Nevertheless they took the
wise resolution of basing their operations on Portugal and not on
Spain. There was a very old alliance with Portugal, which had made the
smaller power for a century almost a satellite of the greater one: the
Portuguese royal family was in America, and it was hence comparatively
easy to rule in its name. But though political considerations dictated
this step, it entailed also great military advantages. England having
complete command of the sea, the French had to derive all supplies,
except such food as the country afforded, from France, which was
rendered very difficult by the guerillas. Spain, as a glance at the
map shows, is greatly cut up by mountain chains: of these the Sierra
de Guadarrama, south of the Douro basin, and the Sierra Morena, north
of Andalusia, are serious barriers, though not impassable. The country
between them is mostly barren, Andalusia (except parts of the east
coast which do not enter into account) being the only very fertile
region. Moreover the roads were few and bad. Hence it followed that
large armies could not long hold together for want of subsistence,
except in Andalusia; while even there a French army could not stay, if
an enemy in the centre of Spain intercepted its supplies of ammunition,
clothing, reinforcements, coming from France. Moreover in Portugal the
English army, with an excellent harbour at Lisbon through which to draw
its supplies and reinforcements, was on the flank of Spain. This was
clearly the position most favourable[64] for dealing effective blows at
the French power in Spain, taken as a whole.

On these facts, added to the necessity of sparing his men to the
utmost, for the English government could not supply large numbers,
and by no means realised the importance of their opportunity,
Wellington[65] based his general plan. He was convinced, as his
Correspondence shows, that sooner or later the nations of Europe would
combine to overthrow Napoleon's domination, and that meanwhile to
keep alive resistance in the Peninsula would be a steady drain on his
resources and would set an example to other nations. Hence his first
object was to hold his ground in Portugal; his second was to trouble
the French hold on Spain when opportunity offered. Finally he hoped,
when pressure elsewhere compelled Napoleon to weaken his Spanish
armies, to drive them altogether from the Peninsula. Thus the first,
and by far the longest, portion of the war is defensive, the battles
being only fought when a paramount object is to be gained; the latter
portion is offensive.

Wellington landed in Portugal on April 22, 1809. Promptly marching
northwards, he forced the passage of the Douro at Oporto with a cool
audacity difficult to surpass, and drove Soult into the mountains
with the loss of his artillery. Then returning to Lisbon he planned
the defensive works which were to protect him whenever, as was sure
to happen, the French pressed him with overwhelming strength. The map
shows that Lisbon stands at the end of a broad tongue of land between
the estuary of the Tagus and the sea. The city itself was not beyond
the range of guns on the opposite shore; but ships could be trusted in
case of need to keep at bay any enemy who might come dangerously near
in this quarter. Across the tongue of land, some twenty-five miles
north of Lisbon, a system of forts was constructed, taking advantage
of the heights of Torres Vedras, and other inequalities of the ground.
Another line, stronger both in form and armament, was drawn ten miles
nearer Lisbon; thus even behind the inner line there was ample room for
an army.

Having ordered these works, Wellington concerted measures with the
Spanish Junta for an advance into Spain. The plan agreed on was that
Wellington in combination with Cuesta, who commanded the largest
Spanish army, should move towards Madrid up the valley of the Tagus,
while Venegas, with another Spanish army, approached Madrid from the
south. He soon found out, by bitter experience, what the Spaniards
were worth. The supplies promised to his army were never forthcoming,
though the commissaries unblushingly asserted afterwards that the
English had had double rations all the time. Cuesta was alternately
foolhardy and timid, his men ready to yield to unmeaning panic; Venegas
was incredibly dilatory: no trustworthy information could be obtained
as to the French armies in the north. Marshal Victor, who faced the
allied armies, retired at first to a point where he could prevent
Venegas from joining Cuesta: then when he found that the English had
halted (Wellington had positively refused to advance any further
without supplies), and that Cuesta alone was following him, he turned
to fight. The Spanish advanced guard broke and fled, and the whole army
was soon in such a state of confusion and terror that Victor might
have dispersed it, had not the nearest English division (Sherbrooke's)
interposed. Wellington in vain urged Cuesta to retreat a few miles to
the position at Talavera which he had already selected: the old man
took a mulish delight in rejecting advice. When at dawn next morning
the French approached, and Sherbrooke began to retire, Cuesta yielded
to necessity, but solaced his insane pride by saying to his staff that
he had first made the Englishman go down on his knees. He yielded
however so completely as to take up the position Wellington assigned to
him, though during the retreat a large part of Cuesta's army fled in
wild panic on the near approach of some French horse.

The valley of the Tagus being but narrow, the allied armies were able
to cover the whole space between the river and the northern hills.
The Spanish troops had their right resting on the Tagus, close to the
little town of Talavera, and their front was covered by buildings,
ditches, and other obstacles, so that it could hardly be assailed.
The left of the Spaniards and right of the English was protected by a
large redoubt; from this the English divisions stretched across the
plain, their left on a little hill, separated by a deep and narrow bit
of valley from the boundary hills. Victor, coming up before evening,
saw that the hill on the English left was but slightly occupied (by
some mistake General Hill had not taken up his position), and tried
to seize it by a _coup de main_. The attack might have succeeded, had
not some of the French troops gone astray in the failing light and
intricate ground; it was not without some hard fighting that it was
repulsed. Another attempt was made early the next morning (July 28)
with an even worse result: for Wellington was led by it to strengthen
his left, and render any turning movement much more unpromising than
before. King Joseph, who was on the field in person, was advised by
his military tutor, Marshal Jourdan, to retreat. It was known to the
French, though not as yet to Wellington, that Soult's army from near
Salamanca would come into the valley of the Tagus behind the allies in
a very few days, and the English must either decamp promptly, or be cut
off from Portugal. Thus the game would be won without risk, whereas
a third attack on Wellington might well end like the others. Victor
however was urgent for a renewal of the battle, and Joseph foolishly
assented. During this interval the Spaniards were in great confusion,
and one of the few generals who were worth anything sent word to
Wellington that Cuesta was betraying him. The message was delivered to
the commander of an English brigade who conveyed it to Wellington. "The
latter, seated on the summit of the hill which had been so gallantly
contested, was intently watching the movements of the advancing enemy;
he listened to this somewhat startling message without so much as
turning his head, and then drily answering: 'Very well, you may return
to your brigade,' continued his survey of the French.[66]" Cuesta did
not in fact signify, though it required coolness as well as ability to
discern it at such a moment. The renewed French attack was directed
as before against the British half of the position, a single brigade
of cavalry being placed to watch the Spaniards. About two o'clock the
French advanced against the whole line, the great object being as
before to break or turn the left. Victor had sufficient advantage of
numbers over the English alone to engage them on about equal terms on
the right, and send a division to turn the left, while attacking with
some superiority of force the centre and left. The hill on the left
was as before the key of the position, but Victor, had his movements
succeeded, would have compelled its abandonment by easier means than
mere direct attack. The French left came on with great impetuosity,
but Campbell's division advancing in line to meet the columns drove
them back with severe loss, and then resumed its position, while the
artillery played on the French, and prevented their renewing the
attack. In the centre things followed at first much the same course:
but there the English guards in repulsing the assault followed up their
enemies too far, and were driven back, the French being able to bring
overwhelming artillery fire to bear on them; the German legion which
formed the rest of Sherbrooke's division was also shaken. The centre
seemed broken; but Wellington had drawn down the 48th from the hill on
the left. With his usual tactical insight he had seen that the hill
would be of no use if he were beaten in the centre; the left must for
the moment take care of itself. As on the right, the line showed its
superiority over column: after wheeling back to let the retiring crowds
pass, the 48th resumed its advance, and pushing the victorious French
back, gave time and space for the guards and the Germans to rally,
which they quickly did.

Before this, there had occurred on the left one of those heroic feats
which military theorists truly say are contrary to all rules of
tactics, but which experience shows to be high above rules. On seeing
the French division making its way through the narrow valley to his
left, Wellington ordered Anson's cavalry brigade to charge them. As
they neared the French, who formed squares, they suddenly came on
a slight but steep-sided ravine. The veteran colonel of the German
hussars stopped short, as he had a perfect right to do, exclaiming,
"I will not kill my young men;" but the 23rd light dragoons plunged
headlong into the ravine, scrambled up the opposite bank, naturally
in great confusion, rallied, dashed between the French squares, and
fell furiously on a cavalry regiment in rear. More enemies coming up
when they were overmatched already, the 23rd was utterly broken, and
only half their number escaped to the protection of their own lines.
The advance of the French was however stopped: after this experience
they had no mind to press forward into the plain where masses of fresh
cavalry stood in reserve; and the repulse of the centre taking place
just afterwards, the whole French army returned, foiled but by no means
routed, to their original position. Had the Spaniards been trustworthy,
Wellington might even yet have won a great victory; but then had they
been so, there would have been no battle of Talavera at all. The
Spanish troops engaged amounted to three or four regiments and a few
guns. The rest did no more for Wellington than what a natural obstacle
might have done, in preventing his right flank being turned. In nominal
force the advantage was with the allies, who gained also by standing on
the defensive, the numbers being under 50,000 French, against at least
54,000, though the French had great superiority in cavalry; but then
34,000 of these were Spanish. The losses on both sides were severe,
Wellington losing over 6000 killed and wounded, the French a thousand

The day after the battle, when the French were retreating and
Wellington was not attempting to pursue them, he was joined by
Craufurd's brigade, consisting of the 43rd, 52nd, and 95th. These
troops, halting on their way to join the army, were met by crowds
of the Spanish fugitives of the 27th, telling the wildest tales of
disaster. Craufurd was then fully four ordinary days' march from
Talavera, but he resolved not to halt again, and "in 26 hours they
crossed the field of battle in a close and compact body, having in the
time passed over 62 English miles, and in the hottest season of the
year, each man carrying from 50 to 60 pounds weight upon his shoulders."

Wellington had not yet fully learned what the Spaniards were good for.
Not content with putting every obstacle in the way of the English
obtaining provisions in Talavera, and accommodation for the wounded, of
which Cuesta had hardly any himself, the Spanish general obstinately
refused till too late to take any steps to observe and delay Soult's
approach, of which the allies had now somewhat vague information.
Wellington, who could on no account allow his retreat on Lisbon to
be cut off, was obliged to move himself towards Soult, and left his
wounded in care of Cuesta, whose line of retreat being to the south was
not endangered, and who solemnly promised to provide transport for all
who could be moved. Wellington soon found that Soult's force had been
much underrated, and that he must retire towards Portugal, whereupon
Cuesta abandoned the English wounded, all of whom, except those who
died of neglect and starvation, fell into the hands of the French. It
is no wonder that after his experience of Cuesta, Wellington steadily
refused to combine operations with any Spanish general.

The campaign of Talavera may in some sense be called a failure; it
was too soon to attempt to shake the French hold on Spain, though
Wellington may be excused for the mistake. The magnificent defence
of Saragossa had created a great sensation; there was no doubt
Spaniards could fight. No one could have imagined the ignorance and the
irrational pride of their commanders, or the amazing assurance with
which government and generals alike gave elaborate undertakings which
they never meant to fulfil. At the same time the slaughter of Talavera
was not wasted: the victory gave the English cabinet, and still more
the nation, confidence alike in their general and in his troops.
Talavera was the first distinct defeat sustained by a French army of
any size since Napoleon had appeared on the scene.[68] Wellington had
two long years of severe struggle before the tide began to flow in his
favour, contending at once with the far superior strength of the French
and with half-heartedness at home; it may be doubted whether, without
Talavera to his credit, he would have successfully overcome these

In 1810 Napoleon gave the chief command to Massena, the ablest of his
marshals with one possible exception, the only one who had gained
distinction at the head of an independent army. Massena's instructions
were, in one of Napoleon's pet phrases, to drive the English into
the sea, and the emperor, who could estimate no forces that could
not be expressed in battalions, had every reason to expect that he
would achieve his task. Wellington's scheme of defence was based on
the geographical conditions. Three important rivers flow out of Spain
across Portugal into the Atlantic. Where the Guadiana crosses the
frontier stands the great fortress of Badajos on the Spanish side,
faced by Elvas on the Portuguese. As both were at this time in the
hands of the allies (Elvas indeed remained so throughout) they formed a
serious obstacle to an attack on Portugal from this direction. Moreover
it was obviously absurd for Massena to base his attack on the south,
lengthening his communications by hundreds of miles: all that was
possible was a subsidiary attack from the French army in Andalusia,
already fully occupied with the hopeless siege of Cadiz. The Tagus
valley is narrow, and barren of supplies, and almost as circuitous a
route from France as the Guadiana. North of the Tagus, the Sierra de
Estrella, which is a sort of continuation of the Sierra de Guadarrama,
though at an angle to it, lies behind the frontier between Spain and
Portugal. The roads across it into the Tagus basin were few and bad,
and Wellington took care to render them worse. Thus the only route that
needed serious defence was the northern one by the broad valley of the
Douro, the natural and obvious course for an invader based on France,
the easiest for an army, though not the shortest, between Lisbon and
Madrid. Here also two fortresses faced each other across the frontier,
Ciudad Rodrigo in Spain on the Agueda, Almeida in Portugal on the Coa,
both rivers tributaries to the Douro. Strong as Massena was, he could
not spare troops effectually to blockade these, and yet have sufficient
superiority to drive Wellington before him. As a necessary preliminary
therefore the two fortresses must be taken. Wellington took up his
position near the frontier, so as to harass[69] Massena wherever it was
possible without fighting a battle, and waited. Ciudad Rodrigo, weakly
garrisoned by Spaniards, cost Massena forty days; the commandant, who
did his best manfully, was naturally loud in his appeals for help, but
Wellington turned a deaf ear. It would have been quixotic to fight a
great battle against heavy odds to save a small garrison; as well might
a chess-player sacrifice his queen to save a pawn. The turn of Almeida
followed, though in consequence of an accidental explosion the siege
did not last long. The way was now open for Massena to invade Portugal,
though, thanks to Ciudad Rodrigo and to Craufurd, September had been
reached. He resolved, as Wellington had hoped, to follow the course of
the Mondego.

Sixteen months had now elapsed since Wellington assumed the command.
During that time the lines of Torres Vedras had been completed, though
no outsiders seem to have understood them, and the Portugese troops,
largely officered by Englishmen, had been gradually organised and
disciplined. Moreover Wellington had obtained from the Portuguese
government authority to order the withdrawal of the inhabitants, and
the destruction of mills, barns, everything that could aid the invader.
This policy, though not effectually carried out, caused serious
difficulty to Massena, and striking the imagination of the Czar of
Russia, furnished the model for the defence of that country against
Napoleon in 1812. Before the superior force of the French, Wellington
had no choice but to retreat, as he had always intended to do: but the
Portuguese government, a prey at this time to absurd faction, raised a
violent clamour, obstructed his measures for clearing the country, and
inspired a general panic among the inhabitants of Lisbon, including
even the English civilians. Wellington found it necessary to risk a
battle, against his military judgment, in order to prove how irrational
was the panic dread of the French, in order also to gain a little more
time for clearing the country in front of the lines of Torres Vedras.
Fortunately Massena, who was very badly informed, played into his
hands: instead of making his way across towards the coast, into the
great road from Oporto to Lisbon, he took the direct but very bad road
down the Mondego, which, besides other disadvantages, gave his opponent
the chance of turning to bay in a most formidable position. Not only
so, he did not press his advance, and so allowed time for Wellington
to draw to him the English divisions which had been left to guard the
Tagus until it was certain that the French were not coming that way.

The position of Busaco, somewhat too large even for the whole army,
would not have been tenable without these troops. It is a mountain
ridge, one end abutting on the Mondego, the other joining high, more
difficult mountains, with a road running along its crest, and its
northern face falling very steeply into a deep ravine, whence an
equally steep ascent led up to lower uneven ground over which the
French line of approach lay. Moreover projecting masses afforded
positions for artillery to sweep a great part of the face. Nothing but
infantry could obviously be used to assail such a position. Marshal
Ney, who was with the French advanced guard, perceived that it was
only partially occupied, and would have attacked at once; but Massena
was ten miles in rear, and refused his consent. Two days later all
Wellington's divisions had joined him; the peculiarities of the ground
had been made the most of, and it was too late. On September 27 the
French came on in two great columns with their usual dash and rapidity.
The left column, directed a little to the right of the English centre,
for a time succeeded in breaking a gap in the English line, till Hill's
division, hastening along the ridge from the right (it was in this
quarter that the excessive length of the position had caused part to
be unoccupied), drove them down again. The other attack, much further
towards the English left, had a still more disastrous fate. Craufurd,
taking advantage of a hollow on the face of the slope, had drawn up two
regiments in line, out of sight of the ascending French, which, as the
head of the enemy's column reached the edge of the hollow, suddenly
advanced and hurled them back with terrible slaughter. A similar fate
befell the smaller and less serious efforts made by the assailants: the
attack was doomed to certain failure, if only the defending army stood
steady. How disastrous was the repulse may be estimated from the fact
that while Wellington lost about 1300 men, Massena lost considerably
over three times that number. One advantage Wellington gained from
the battle: his Portuguese troops had been given their fair share of
the fighting, and learned by the victory that they need not regard the
French as their superiors.

Busaco is an instructive battle in more ways than one. From
Wellington's side it is an instance of a political battle, as Napier
calls it, of political motives, not military ones, determining a
general's action. On Massena's side it illustrates the important lesson
that faulty information may easily be ruinous. Not only had he taken
the wrong route, believing it to be the best; he also engaged under
the impression that the only other alternative was a retreat nearly to
Almeida, whereas all the time there was a road over the mountains to
his right, which would have enabled him to turn Busaco. On the night of
the battle he found this out, and masking the movement next day with
a skirmishing attack on the position, he threw his whole army into
this narrow cross-road. Had the English general been less hampered
by the political conditions, he might well have made Massena rue his
audacity in trying so proverbially dangerous a thing as a flank march
in presence of the enemy. As it was he felt bound simply to resume
his retreat, of which, once in the open country, there could be no
cessation, until the lines of Torres Vedras were reached. Massena had
never even heard of the lines till a short time before he came in sight
of them; it is strange that so little was known about them, seeing that
no such elaborate works had been constructed in Europe since the days
when the Romans, in the decline of the empire, built their great walls
in Northumberland and elsewhere to keep out the barbarians. Massena
reconnoitred them from end to end, in the hope of finding a weak spot;
but the more he looked at them, the more hopeless the prospect of an
assault appeared, for every day in fact added to their strength. After
a month he withdrew to Santarem, high up the Tagus, where subsistence
was procurable, and there remained all the winter. Wellington was far
too severely hampered by politics to attack him. The Portuguese nation
was as a whole sound in its patriotism, and the troops only wanted to
be taught; but the politicians were selfish, narrow-minded and factious
to an incredible extent, and Wellington found it harder to master the
politicians than to stop Massena. Moreover the English government was
all this time in a state of perplexity and weakness,[70] and gave the
army in Portugal nothing which could on any pretence be withheld.

Thus March arrived before reinforcements reached Wellington; and then
Massena, whose army was greatly diminished through sickness, began
his retreat, despairing of reinforcements reaching him in time, or of
any effective diversion being caused by the French army of Andalusia.
Massena's retreat was conducted with great skill, and it was not till
he was nearing Almeida that the pursuing army was able to gain any
great advantage over him. Wellington was in truth at the beginning
anxious to relieve Badajos, which Soult was besieging with an army
from Andalusia, and which was at first gallantly defended by the
Spanish garrison. But the commandant having been killed, his successor,
traitor or coward, instantly surrendered. The disaster having happened,
Wellington followed up Massena more vigorously, and when he had pushed
him far enough, detached Beresford with a considerable English force
to combine with the Spaniards, and attempt to recover Badajos. He
himself pressed Massena back to Ciudad Rodrigo, and blockaded Almeida,
accepting battle rather than abandon the prey which had nearly fallen
into his hands. The battle of Fuentes d'Onoro, fought on May 5, 1811,
was not particularly creditable to either of the rival generals.
Tactically it was a drawn battle, strategically it was a distinct
victory for Wellington; for Massena, probably piqued at hearing of his
supercession by Marmont, retired after the action, leaving Almeida to
its fate. The commandant however was equal to the occasion; blowing
up the works as completely as he could, he led the garrison out, and
with a mixture of skill and good fortune made his way in safety through
the besieging lines. Almeida was of no immediate use, but it remained
in Wellington's hands, something at least of a barrier against a fresh
invasion of Portugal.

Meanwhile Beresford had commenced on the very day of the battle of
Fuentes d'Onoro a so-called siege of Badajos. He had no proper siege
train, and must have failed in any case: but within a week Soult was
approaching, and the attempt had to be abandoned. Beresford very
unwisely yielded to the eagerness of his own troops and the wish of
the Spanish generals, and agreed to accept battle—very unwisely, for
nothing could be gained, and much might be lost. Even victory would be
contrary to Wellington's principle of not expending a British soldier
unless for an adequate end. It is true that he had 30,000 infantry,
while Soult had only 19,000; but a very large majority of these were
Spanish troops, nearly starved and miserably led: on the other hand
Soult was superior in guns, and had double the number of cavalry.
Moreover Beresford mismanaged his position. He occupied a line of high
ground with the fordable stream of the Albuera in front of it. As the
road which formed his line of retreat led away in rear of his left
centre, he perhaps naturally placed his English and Portuguese on the
left, leaving the Spanish general Blake, over whom he had no authority,
to occupy the centre and right, which was posted on the famous hill
for which the battle of Albuera will ever be remembered. So far he had
perhaps done wisely, but he neglected to occupy a detached hill on the
other side of the stream opposite his right; and behind this hill Soult
was able to mass his troops unobserved. The battle (May 16, 1811) began
as Beresford expected, with an attack on the bridge and village of
Albuera in front of his left; but this was only a feint. Simultaneously
more than half the French army moved out from under cover of the hill
that Beresford had ignored, and were soon in line across his right
flank. Blake refused to believe the evidence of his senses until too
late; the Spaniards were only beginning to form a new front to the
right when the French were upon them. Naturally they were thrown into
confusion. Stewart coming up with a British division to their support
was in so great a hurry that he did not form line until he reached the
summit level of the hill. A mass of French cavalry, their approach
unseen in the obscurity of a heavy storm, charged the leading brigade
as it was forming, and nearly destroyed it. Fortunately the same
darkness concealed this blow from Soult, and the rest of the division
had time to reach the hill and renew the fight; part of the Spanish
troops also were brought into action. Both sides fought desperately,
but the line formation of the English gave them some little advantage
over the close columns of the French. Beresford for a moment wavered,
but recovered himself, and acquiesced in the order already given in his
name, to bring up practically the last reserves to sustain the conflict
on the hill. The chief stress fell on the fusileer brigade, consisting
of the 7th and 23rd regiments under General Myers, and led into action
by General Cole commanding the division, which mounted the hill just in
the nick of time.

"At this time six guns were in the enemy's possession, the whole of
Werlé's reserves were coming forward to reinforce the front column of
the French, the remnant of Houghton's brigade could no longer maintain
its ground, the field was heaped with carcases, the lancers were riding
furiously about the captured artillery on the upper parts of the
hill, and behind all, Hamilton's Portuguese and Alten's Germans, now
withdrawing from the bridge, seemed to be in full retreat. Soon however
Cole's fusileers, flanked by a battalion of the Lusitanian legion under
Colonel Hawkshawe, mounted the hill, drove off the lancers, recovered
five of the captured guns and one colour, and appeared on the right of
Houghton's brigade precisely as Abercrombie passed it on the left.

"Such a gallant line, issuing from the midst of the smoke and rapidly
separating itself from the confused and broken multitude, startled the
enemy's heavy masses, which were increasing and pressing onwards as to
an assured victory: they wavered, hesitated, and then vomiting forth
a storm of fire, hastily endeavoured to enlarge their front, while a
fearful discharge of grape from all their artillery whistled through
the British ranks. Myers was killed, Cole, the three colonels, Ellis,
Blakeney, and Hawkshawe, fell wounded, and the fusileer battalions,
struck by the iron tempest, reeled and staggered like sinking ships.
But suddenly and sternly recovering they closed on their terrible
enemies: and then was seen with what a strength and majesty the British
soldier fights. In vain did Soult with voice and gesture animate his
Frenchmen; in vain did the hardiest veterans break from the crowded
columns and sacrifice their lives to gain time for the mass to open
out on such a fair field; in vain did the mass itself bear up, and
fiercely striving, fire indiscriminately upon friends and foes, while
the horsemen hovering on the flank threatened to charge the advancing
line. Nothing could stop that astonishing infantry. No sudden burst
of undisciplined valour, no nervous enthusiasm weakened the stability
of their order, their flashing eyes were bent on the dark columns in
their front, their measured tread shook the ground, their dreadful
volleys swept away the head of every formation, their deafening shouts
overpowered the dissonant cries that broke from all parts of the
tumultuous crowd, as slowly and with a horrid carnage it was pushed by
the incessant vigour of the attack to the farthest edge of the height.
There the French reserves mixed with the struggling multitude and
endeavoured to sustain the fight, but the effort only increased the
irremediable confusion, the mighty mass gave way and like a loosened
cliff went headlong down the steep: the rain flowed after in streams
discoloured with blood, and eighteen hundred unwounded men, the remnant
of six thousand unconquerable British soldiers, stood triumphant on the
fatal hill."

Soult was defeated: he had lost a third of his army, and did not see
his way to renew the conflict, though his still formidable cavalry
and artillery would have enabled him to do so with good prospects.
Beresford deserves credit for holding his ground boldly, though he was
well aware that his crippled army was incapable of fighting again: to
retreat was to render inevitable the destruction which a confident
attitude might and did avert.

Wellington, relieved from any further anxiety in the north, came to
Beresford's support. During the rest of the year he continued his
system of remaining practically on the defensive, while giving the
French as much annoyance as possible. He attempted a fresh siege of
Badajos, which had the effect of bringing Marmont down from the Douro
basin, and Soult back from Andalusia. Then retiring to a position to
cover Elvas he awaited attack, which the French marshals, hampered by
various difficulties, declined to make. Later in the year he blockaded
Ciudad Rodrigo, compelling the French armies to concentrate for its
support, and again retiring before superior force. His political
difficulties, strictly so called, were as great as ever, perhaps
greater: for the Portuguese authorities took advantage of his successes
to assume that the war was over and that the British army might be got
rid of, and the home government supported him but feebly. But his army
was more and more inured to war, and his Portuguese well worthy to
stand in line with the English. Moreover Napoleon was already beginning
to withdraw troops from Spain for the huge army he was organising
against Russia. It was practically certain, when 1811 closed, that 1812
would see Napoleon engaged in a gigantic contest with Russia. The day
for which Wellington had been waiting patiently was beginning to dawn.




During the year 1811 the French arms made considerable progress on the
east side of Spain: this did not however give them any real additional
advantage as against Wellington. They had more fortresses to garrison,
more territory to occupy, and the Spanish armies went on causing much
the same trouble to them as before. Moreover Napoleon's system of
giving the various generals independent spheres of action, with no
common control except his own, worked in Wellington's favour. If he
made a threatening movement against Marmont, who commanded what was
called the army of Portugal, occupying the basin of the upper Douro,
or against Soult in Andalusia, neither marshal could order the other
to assist him by a diversion. There was an obvious difference between
combined action ordered by a chief who controlled the whole, and
co-operation arranged between equals who had each his own separate ends
in view. Napoleon should either have come to Spain in person—he was
too far off in point of time to direct from Paris—or have given one
marshal[71] command throughout the country. When towards the end of
1811 Wellington judged that the time was come for operations no longer
merely defensive in purpose, he formed his plans to take advantage of
this want of union among his enemies.

It has been pointed out that the ways into Spain from Portugal are
practically three: but the central one by the valley of the Tagus
being ill suited for the movements of armies, there are but two
really advantageous. That by the basin of the Douro is guarded at
the frontier by two fortresses, Almeida and Ciudad Rodrigo; that by
the Guadiana is guarded by Elvas and Badajos. Without possession of
the pair of fortresses commanding one route or the other, invasion
is scarcely feasible: with both pairs in his hands Wellington could
choose, and he already held both Almeida and Elvas. Accordingly he
resolved during the winter season, when the French would have serious
difficulty in moving, to besiege first one and then the other of the
Spanish border fortresses. He began with Ciudad Rodrigo, partly because
it was the easier task to prepare for, as he had a battering-train in
Almeida of which the French knew nothing (the guns were supposed to
have been brought there to arm the fortress), partly because he then
purposed to move against Soult if he succeeded in capturing Badajos.
The preparations for the siege were very quietly made in Almeida, and
on January 8, 1812, the first British troops appeared before Ciudad
Rodrigo. That very evening a detached fort to the north of the town
was suddenly stormed, which enabled the trenches to be begun much
nearer to the walls than could otherwise have been done. Wellington
had calculated that he should require twenty-four days, but the
uncertainties were great, for besides the prospect of Marmont coming to
its relief, there was always the risk that heavy rain might raise the
river Agueda in flood prematurely, which would have stopped the siege
by intercepting communication across it. On the 19th the walls were
sufficiently breached to make storming them possible, though according
to the ordinary rules of siege warfare much remained to be done before
an assault was made. Wellington however knew as well how and when to
make a sacrifice in order to attain an adequate object, as how to
spare his men: he issued orders for the assault to take place that
night, ending with the emphatic words: "Ciudad Rodrigo must be stormed
this evening." There were two breaches near together on the north
face of the fortress, both of which were directly assailed, besides
minor attacks on other points. The fighting at the main breach was
desperate, for the French were well prepared: possibly the attack there
might not have succeeded, but the conflict was ended by the success of
the light division at the smaller breach.

"The bottom of the ditch was dark and intricate, and the forlorn hope
took too much to their left; but the storming party went straight to
the breach, which was so contracted that a gun placed lengthwise across
the top nearly blocked up the opening. Here the forlorn hope rejoined
the stormers, but when two-thirds of the ascent were gained, the
leading men, crushed together by the narrowness of the place, staggered
under the weight of the enemy's fire; and such is the instinct of
self-defence, that although no man had been allowed to load, every
musket in the crowd was snapped. The commander, Major Napier, was at
this moment stricken to the earth by a grape-shot which shattered
his arm, but he called on his men to trust to their bayonets, and
all the officers simultaneously sprang to the front, when the charge
was renewed with a furious shout, and the entrance was gained. The
supporting regiments, coming up in sections abreast, then reached the
rampart, the 52nd wheeled to the left, the 43rd to the right, and the
place was won."

The loss of life was great, the English having nearly as many killed
and wounded as the whole garrison: General Craufurd, the brilliant
commander of the light division, was killed. The officer who led the
forlorn hope at the lesser breach was the man to whom the governor of
Ciudad Rodrigo surrendered, an incident probably unique in the annals
of siege warfare. The advantage gained, which was attainable in no
other way, was well worth the cost. It was henceforth impossible for
Marmont seriously to invade the north-east of Portugal: and the capture
in Ciudad Rodrigo of Marmont's battering-train made it certain that he
would not even try.

Wellington's calculations were nicely adapted to the season of the
year, as well as to the other conditions. He felt sure that in the
rains of February and March, with all the rivers in flood, Marmont
could not practically move at all, and that therefore he might be
watched by a very small force, while he himself went south to continue
the scheme he had formed. Elvas served, as Almeida had done, for a
convenient place to make siege preparations within a short distance
of Badajos, and on March 16 the famous siege was begun, ten days at
least later than Wellington had intended, through the default of the
Portuguese in providing transport. This was a much more serious task
than the capture of Ciudad Rodrigo, the garrison being three times as
large, the defences stronger, and the governor, Phillipon, a man of
great energy and fertility of resource. Two of Soult's divisions were
near at hand; but Wellington, having decided that he might practically
ignore Marmont, had plenty of men to spare for covering the siege, at
least until Soult should approach with his whole army. He had also
arranged, so far as it was possible to arrange anything with the
Spanish armies, that one of them should be in a position to march on
Seville if Soult denuded Andalusia too completely of troops.

Badajos is situated on the south bank of the Guadiana, with a strong
fort on the north bank. The castle was at the north-east corner of the
town, close to the river: along the east face a rivulet flowing into
the Guadiana had been artificially extended into a complete defence
for nearly half the length. A small outwork covered the northern end
of this piece of water, and outside its southern end, on an isolated
hill, stood a work called the Picurina. The plan was to breach, at
the south-eastern corner of the town, the two great bastions known
as the Trinidad and the Sta. Maria, and the curtain uniting them. In
order that this might be done effectually, the Picurina must first be
taken, and after the siege works had made sufficient progress, on the
night of March 25, this work was stormed, and batteries constructed on
its ruins. As the siege progressed, Soult drew near, and arrangements
were actually made for leaving two divisions to hold the trenches,
and marching with the rest of the army to give him battle. On April 6
however the breaches were reported practicable, Soult being still some
way off; Badajos could therefore be assaulted with adequate force.

Three separate attacks were arranged, besides minor ones merely to
distract attention, all to begin at ten p.m. The third division,
Picton's, was to cross the rivulet on the east side and scale the
castle walls; the fifth was to attack the west face of the town; to the
fourth and light divisions was assigned the frightful task of storming
the breaches. A fireball thrown by the French however disclosed to them
the third division ready formed and awaiting the signal: the assault
was consequently begun half-an-hour sooner on the east and south-east,
and the perfect concert with the other distant attacks was lost. After
one failure, the third division succeeded in scaling the castle and
driving the French out of it, but were unable for some time to advance
any further. The assault on the breaches was one of the most terrible
scenes on record. Nothing could exceed the determination of the
stormers, but the French had made preparations for defence which were
simply insuperable.

"Now a multitude bounded up the great breach as if driven by a
whirlwind, but across the top glittered a range of sword-blades,
sharp-pointed, keen-edged on both sides, and firmly fixed in ponderous
beams, which were chained together and set deep in the ruins; and for
ten feet in front, the ascent was covered with loose planks, studded
with sharp iron points, on which the feet of the foremost being set the
planks moved, and the unhappy soldiers, falling forward on the spikes,
rolled down upon the ranks behind. Then the Frenchmen, shouting at the
success of their stratagem, and leaping forward, plied their shot with
terrible rapidity, for every man had several muskets; and each musket
in addition to its ordinary charge contained a small cylinder of wood
stuck full of leaden slugs which scattered like hail when they were

"Again the assailants rushed up the breaches, and again the
sword-blades, immovable and impassable, stopped their charge, and the
hissing shells and thundering powder-barrels exploded unceasingly.
Hundreds of men had fallen, and hundreds more were dropping, but still
the heroic officers called aloud for new trials, and sometimes followed
by many, sometimes by a few, ascended the ruins; and so furious were
the men themselves, that in one of these charges, the rear strove to
push the foremost on to the sword-blades, willing even to make a bridge
of their writhing bodies, but the others frustrated the attempt by
dropping down; and men fell so fast from the shot, that it was hard to
know who went down voluntarily, who were stricken, and many stooped
unhurt that never rose again. Vain also would it have been to break
through the sword-blades, for the trench and parapet behind the breach
were finished, and the assailants, crowded into even a narrower space
than the ditch was, would still have been separated from their enemies,
and the slaughter would have continued.

"Two hours spent in these vain efforts convinced the soldiers that
the breach of the Trinidad was impregnable; and as the opening in the
curtain, although less strong, was retired, and the approach to it
impeded by deep holes, and cuts made in the ditch, the troops did not
much notice it after the partial failure of one attack which had been
made early. Gathering in dark groups and leaning on their muskets, they
looked up with sullen desperation at the Trinidad, while the enemy
stepping out on the ramparts, and aiming their shots by the light of
the fire-balls which they threw over, asked, as their victims fell,
'_Why they did not come into Badajos?_'"

Meanwhile the attack on the west face of the town had succeeded, after
one or two attempts, and soldiers of the fifth division were making
their way into the empty streets. Wellington, ignorant of this, and
perceiving no movement from the castle, the capture of which had been
reported to him, ordered the assailants of the breaches to withdraw and
re-form for a fresh attack. This however was not necessary: the French,
taken in flank both from the castle and from the west, abandoned the
defence. The relics of the garrison which had withdrawn to the outlying
fort north of the Guadiana surrendered next morning. Over the frightful
expenditure of life in this storm, and over the horrors of the sack of
Badajos, it is better to draw a veil. Wellington's Peninsular veterans
were capable of any deeds of desperate courage, or of steady endurance,
but they were also capable of great atrocities on the rare occasions
when their officers lost control over them.

The Spaniards, to whom Ciudad Rodrigo had been handed over, had so
grossly neglected the duty of repairing the fortifications, and the
Portuguese government was so dilatory, to use no stronger word, in
supplying all four fortresses, that Wellington's plan for invading
Andalusia, to fight Soult there, was necessarily abandoned. The
defensive side of his duty was obviously the essential one. Still
he had it now in his power to choose his own route and his own time
for entrance into Spain: and he utilised the interval to render the
communications of the French circuitous and difficult. Soult's bridge
train having been captured in Badajos, a stroke of good fortune which
matched the capture of Marmont's siege train in Ciudad Rodrigo, they
could only cross the Tagus at permanent bridges. The lowest bridge
on the Tagus, a boat bridge protected by three small forts, was at
Almaraz; and General Hill by a brilliant dash seized the forts and
destroyed the bridge. Almost simultaneously the bridge over the Tagus
at Alcantara, down in Portugal, was skilfully repaired. The combined
result of the two operations was to make the communication between
Hill, who was left to watch the Guadiana, and Wellington when he moved
to the Douro region, a fortnight shorter than the distance between
Marmont and Soult's northernmost division.


  _Map XIV._

  Battle of Salamanca.
  22^{nd} July 1812]

On June 13, the spring rains being over, Wellington, having
concentrated his immediate army near Ciudad Rodrigo, marched on
Salamanca. His motives for deciding to operate against Marmont rather
than in Andalusia seem to have been various, some embracing the whole
area of the Peninsula, one at least the practical consideration that
his supplies, brought by water up the Douro, could more quickly
and easily be conveyed to the army. He had no intention of running
serious risks, or of fighting a great battle unless he could do so
under favourable conditions. If successful, he could greatly shake
the French hold on Spain: if he found Marmont too strong, his retreat
into Portugal was insured by possession of the fortresses. Marmont
retired at once, leaving garrisons in the forts round Salamanca. These
forts offered unexpectedly long resistance, and Wellington, encamped
on the high ground north-east of the city, did not think it prudent
to risk a battle until they were in his hands, though Marmont's
somewhat rash manœuvres, undertaken in the hope of saving them,
gave him more than one opportunity. On the 27th the forts fell, and
Marmont, having no longer any motive for lingering near Salamanca, and
expecting reinforcements from the north, promptly retreated behind
the Douro. Wellington followed, but could not pass the river, of
which the enemy held or had destroyed the bridges, except by deep and
dangerous fords. He could only wait for his antagonist to make the
next move, which soon came. On receiving his reinforcements, Marmont
re-crossed the Douro, and a series of complicated movements ensued, in
which Marmont out-manœuvred Wellington, compelling him to retire on
Salamanca again, and seizing passages over the river Tormes above the
city. That river, after flowing northwards for some distance, makes a
great bend to the westward from a point about east of Salamanca, and
then after passing the town, which is on its right bank, flows away
north-westwards into the Douro. It was in the space enclosed by this
curve of the Tormes, south-east from Salamanca, that the great battle
was fought. Marmont's purpose in crossing the river into this space
was to threaten the Ciudad Rodrigo road, and so compel Wellington to
retreat or lose his one line of communication. Wellington naturally
also crossed the Tormes by the fords near Salamanca: being aware that
further reinforcements, especially of cavalry, in which Marmont was
relatively deficient, would arrive in a day or so, he had made up his
mind to retreat at night unless something unexpected should happen. And
the unexpected did happen: Marmont, who had hitherto carried off the
honours of the campaign so far as manœuvring went, for there had
been no important fighting, suddenly committed a gross tactical blunder.

Early on the morning of July 22, Wellington's army occupied a position
three or four miles from Salamanca, the left resting on the ford of
Santa Marta above the town, with Pakenham's division beyond the river,
and the right extending nearly to two small rugged hills, called the
Arapiles. Marmont, whose object was to turn the English right, and
so cut them off from the Ciudad Rodrigo road, and compel them to
fight with their backs to the Tormes, made a demonstration towards
Wellington's right front, driving in the cavalry occupying posts in
front, while the mass of the French army marched in a direction to
bring them across the flank of the English line. The possession of
the Arapiles would have enabled him to form line across Wellington's
flank unopposed, if not undiscovered: accordingly he sent forward a
detachment to seize them. A staff officer saw this movement beginning,
and informed Wellington, who hitherto had neglected the little hills,
apparently not expecting Marmont's movement. Just in time a Portuguese
regiment occupied the northernmost of the two Arapiles, but the French
could not be prevented from seizing the other. Marmont had thus secured
part of the advantage he aimed at, on the other hand Wellington was
now fully aware of his adversary's purpose. Accordingly he formed his
army on a new front facing southwards: what had been his right became
the left resting on the Arapiles hill, the main body massed on the
slopes behind the hill, while the right occupied the little village of
Arapiles. Pakenham's division, with its attendant brigade of cavalry,
was at the same time brought across the Tormes, and posted at Aldea
Tejada, two or three miles off, where it covered the Ciudad Rodrigo
road, and was completely out of sight of the French. Wellington had
thus gone far towards neutralising the advantage which he had allowed
Marmont to gain in turning his right: he held a strong position,
difficult to assail, and it was open to him to retreat under cover of
the darkness, though it would have been more than dangerous to do so in
the day-time.

Several hours passed away, for a great part of Marmont's army had
far to march before coming into position. The marshal at last grew
impatient, and in order to draw Wellington from his position, ordered
his left, Thomière's division of infantry with a quantity of cavalry
and guns, to move westwards so as to threaten the Ciudad Rodrigo road.
Marmont was of course totally ignorant that Pakenham's division was
ready to stop any such movement: but anyhow the mistake was flagrant,
as gross as the blunder of the allies at Austerlitz. Wellington
instantly poured his troops down from behind the Arapiles hill on to
the lower ground about the village of the same name, and formed in
two lines, the right flanked by cavalry. At the same time he ordered
Pakenham to advance against the line of march of the French left.
Marmont saw too late that he had been over hasty: the divisions which
were to form his centre were not yet on the ground. Wellington's
advance had brought him under a heavy fire from the enemy's artillery
ranged opposite him, and Marmont hoped that this might serve to check
the English until he could retrieve his mistake. It was too late:
suddenly he saw Pakenham's troops come into view and meet Thomière's
long column of march, while two English batteries took it in flank.
Marmont personally was spared further effort, for a shell struck him
down with a broken arm and other wounds as he descended from the
Arapiles. The fall of the commander increased the confusion, the
more so as the next in command was soon also wounded. The rout of
Thomière's division was soon complete, and its commander was killed.
Wellington had only waited for Pakenham to come well into action before
advancing in the centre, at the same time sending a brigade to assail
the Arapiles hill held by the French. The battle raged fiercely for
a short time along the front, where Clausel, on whom the command had
devolved, had now come up into line. The French left was to all intents
and purposes destroyed, partly by Pakenham, partly by a grand charge of
Le Marchant's cavalry, which dashed forward from the right of the main
body. The centre and right kept up the conflict for some time longer,
all the better because the English attack on the Arapiles had been
heavily repulsed. The battle however was lost, and Clausel had only to
retreat as best he could. This he managed with great skill, covering
his rear with clouds of skirmishers, until gradually his troops gained
the shelter of the forest from which they had emerged in the forenoon
with every prospect of victory. The oncoming darkness prevented direct
pursuit, but Wellington was little concerned at this, for he had pushed
forward on his left the divisions that had formed his reserve towards
the fords by which alone the French could cross the Tormes, assuming
that the castle of Alba de Tormes was held by the Spanish troops which
he had placed there. The Spanish commander had however evacuated the
place on Marmont's approach the previous day, and had carefully omitted
to inform Wellington. Hence the French were able to escape by Alba with
much less loss in prisoners than well might have been. The French loss
however was very serious: out of about 42,000 men nearly 12,000 were
killed, wounded, or taken prisoners. Wellington had to pay the heavy
price of 6000 men out of 46,000 for his victory; but by it he shook
the French hold on Spain in every corner of the country.

Though the defeated army was seriously disorganised beyond its heavy
losses, Clausel nevertheless tried to make a stand beyond the Douro, in
the expectation that king Joseph, with the small army at his immediate
disposal, would there join him. Joseph was distracted between many
counsels, and consequently did not act promptly. Wellington however
decided the question for him. Forcing Clausel from the Douro, he
entered Valladolid, seizing the French stores there. Then leaving a
small force to face Clausel, who had retreated towards Burgos, and who
could not be in a condition to resume offensive operations for some
time, Wellington turned upon Joseph, and easily drove him from Madrid.
The intruding king, after much hesitation, retired eastwards, and sent
positive orders to Soult to evacuate Andalusia and bring his army to
the east side of Spain. The occupation of Madrid by Wellington involved
the capture of a vast quantity of French material of war, which they
found it difficult to replace; but the moral effects were incomparably
greater, as an encouragement to the Spanish people. A great part of
the north was already in a state of insurrection, in spite of the
presence of French troops: this stroke stimulated them by the hope of
speedy success, besides setting the whole south free from the invaders.
Wellington was perfectly aware that his hold on Madrid could be but
temporary: as soon as Soult and Joseph were united, they would have
strength enough to compel him to retire. This could not however take
place immediately: so Wellington, leaving Hill at Madrid, marched
northwards, hoping to inflict another blow on Clausel's army, now
commanded by Souham, in the time at his disposal. At Burgos he allowed
himself to be drawn into a siege of the castle, which was bravely and
skilfully defended, and proved impregnable to field artillery, which
was all that Wellington had with him. The concentration of the enemy's
armies in the east rendered it impossible for him to maintain his
position much longer. Accordingly on October 21 he began for the last
time a retreat into Portugal, Hill also abandoning Madrid. The latter
part of the retreat had to be conducted in frightful weather, and was
marked by more disorder in the British army than occurred at any other
time during the war; thus the losses were severe, out of all proportion
to the pressure which the French were able to exercise.

Just at the time when Wellington turned his back on Burgos, Napoleon's
retreat from Moscow began. Before the end of the year he was driven
out of Russia, having lost nearly half-a-million of men: Prussia also,
hitherto his nominal ally, rose in arms against him. In order to
make head against Russia and Prussia on the Elbe, he had to withdraw
troops from Spain, besides directing to Germany reinforcements and
supplies which otherwise might have been devoted to the Spanish
armies. Hence when the campaign of 1813 began, Wellington had the
superiority of strength, though his enemies were now less widely
scattered than before the evacuation of Andalusia. There could be no
doubt that to invade Spain once more in the same general direction
as in 1812 would be the most effective. Even Sir John Moore's small
force, boldly plunging into Spain by that route at the end of 1808,
had made Napoleon fear for his line of communication with France, and
compelled him to detach overwhelming forces against the English. _A
fortiori_ Wellington, advancing by that line with an army equal to all
that king Joseph could bring together, must compel him to evacuate
Madrid, and retreat sufficiently far northwards to guard the main road
to France. Wellington knew by his experience of the last year that the
line of the Douro beyond Salamanca was difficult to force in the face
of a fairly equal enemy. He therefore resolved that a large portion
of his army should cross the Douro down in Portugal, and then move
eastwards, while he himself advanced _viâ_ Salamanca. The pressure of
his left wing would compel the French in his front to retire, for fear
of being completely outflanked. And here came in the advantage which
he derived from the English command of the sea. Instead of dragging
behind him an ever-lengthening chain, in the shape of communication
with Lisbon, which had hitherto been his base for supplies, he could,
if confident of having the upper hand in the north-west of Spain, have
his supplies brought to the northern ports, and conveyed thence by
comparatively short journeys. And he was confident, so thoroughly so
as to let it be seen; it is told that when he passed the frontier
into Spain, he rose in his stirrups, and looking round waved his
hand, exclaiming: "Farewell, Portugal!" During four weary years he
had stood substantially on the defensive, guarding the frontier if he
could, retreating if he could not, obliged to withdraw behind it after
incursions into Spain. Now at last his turn was come, and he knew it.


  _Map XV._

  Battle of Vittoria.
  21^{st} June 1813.]

Wellington's movements were at the beginning so far concealed that the
French did not penetrate his purpose. King Joseph did not understand
that the game was substantially lost, and hoped to concentrate the
French armies behind the Douro, and stop Wellington, if he could not
force him back to Portugal once more. Graham's divisions appearing
north of the Douro, and steadily pushing forwards, undeceived him.
The French retreated first to Burgos, protecting as long as possible
the vast amount of property of all kinds which was being poured along
the great high-road to Bayonne, from the reserve artillery to the
pictures robbed from Spanish churches and palaces, all the treasure and
apparatus of the usurping government and court, all the military stores
which had accumulated during five years of war, all the non-military
persons who had so identified themselves with the invaders that they
dared not stay in Spain. Wellington continued moving in the same
manner, pushing his left forward while with his right he followed up
the French, thus ever threatening to cut their communications, ever
securing the command of more and more of the north coast. King Joseph
found it necessary to retreat still further, till at Vittoria he had
to choose between abandoning Spain altogether, and risking a battle.
That he could have fought with at least equal chances of success two
or three times, at earlier stages of the retreat, seems clear: but
there was no sound directing head at the French head-quarters. Joseph
was always incompetent, his military adviser, Marshal Jourdan, was
either over-ruled or failed even less excusably because he had more
experience; the subordinate generals received vacillating orders. The
whole machine in fact was out of gear; though in the various combats,
large and small, generals and soldiers fought as well as ever, the army
as a whole expected to be beaten and was beaten.

The basin of Vittoria is about twelve miles in length, from the defile
of Salinas, where the river Zadorra enters it on the east, to the
defile of Puebla, where the river quits it to flow towards the Ebro.
The great royal road, the only one good enough for the enormous convoys
with which the French army was burdened, traversed these defiles,
running through the town of Vittoria on the south side of the river.
The basin is more or less completely surrounded with hills, crossed
by rough and difficult roads. To the west is the valley of the small
river Bayas, which converges towards the Zadorra, joining the Ebro just
above it. From the Bayas there is a way into the basin of Vittoria by
a gap in the hills behind the village of Subijana de Morillos, four or
five miles from the Puebla defile. A dozen miles higher up the Bayas
the road from Bilbao crosses that stream, and threading the defiles of
the northern hills comes down straight on Vittoria. The French, who
were in fact to fight for the plunder of Spain and the accumulated
material of the army, had been already weakened by large detachments
sent forward in charge of convoys. Outnumbered in fact, outweighed
still more in imagination, they were massed, except Reille's divisions,
at the western end of the basin, the plain behind them being full of
waggons of all descriptions. Reille was posted north of Vittoria,
facing the Bilbao road, so far from the rest of the army that he could
not possibly be supported if attacked by superior numbers, though it is
obvious that if Reille were overpowered the great road would be lost.
Nothing could better illustrate the extreme unwisdom of not standing
to fight earlier: defeat at Vittoria meant the loss of everything, and
the dispositions made invited defeat. Wellington fully realised his
advantage: he sent Graham with some 20,000 men up the Bayas, to cross
into the basin of Vittoria by the Bilbao road and attack Reille, while
the rest of the army attacked the main body of the French posted behind
the Zadorra at the west end of the basin.

At daybreak on June 21 Wellington's immediate right under Hill moved
forwards and slowly crossed the Zadorra just below the defile of
Puebla. There was no occasion for haste, rather it was expedient to
be leisurely, so as to give time for Graham to accomplish his much
longer march. Then a brigade of Spanish infantry was sent to scale the
heights which form the eastern side of the defile, and push along
them so as to threaten to turn the French left. The remainder of the
right wing passed through the defile and attacked the French left in
front. Meanwhile Wellington with his centre had made his way through
and over the hills separating the Bayas from the Zadorra, part by
the gap of Subijana de Morillos, so as to converge on Hill's force,
part some distance further to the northwards. By this time it was
one o'clock, and the distant sound of cannonading told that Graham
was already engaged. The French main army began to retreat, pressed
steadily in front by Wellington, till they were driven back to within
a mile of Vittoria. By this time Graham, who had considerably larger
forces than those immediately opposed to him, had obtained command of
the royal road. Carrying out on a small scale in action the same idea
which had inspired Wellington's movements on the large scale, he had
pushed forwards his left, winning possession of the village of Gamarra
Mayor on Reille's extreme right. The French here held their ground
with admirable tenacity, and Graham could seize neither the bridge
at Gamarra, nor that directly in his front by which the Bilbao road
enters Vittoria, though his guns could sweep the great road towards
France. Reille thus saved the French army from annihilation: if he had
been driven over the Zadorra a comparatively small part would have
been able to escape at all. Thanks to him, the bulk of the soldiers
were able to retire by the Pampeluna road; but it could scarcely be
called an army. The losses in the battle, or rather in the pair of
simultaneous battles, had not been exceptional, and had been tolerably
equal, about 6000 killed and wounded on each side; but nothing escaped
except the men. To quote the words of a French officer who took part in
the action: "They lost all their equipages, all their guns, all their
treasure, all their stores, all their papers, so that no man could
prove how much pay was due to him: generals and soldiers alike were
reduced to the clothes on their backs, and most of them were barefoot."

The deliverance of Spain was not yet complete, but it was virtually
achieved by the battle of Vittoria. Before Wellington could capture
San Sebastian, the fortress which guarded the Spanish side of the
frontier at the extreme south-west corner of France, Soult had been
sent by Napoleon to reorganise the disordered fragments of several
separate commands which had escaped from Vittoria. As soon as he could
move, Soult crossed the passes of the western Pyrenees, trying to break
up the scattered parts of the English army, which had to besiege San
Sebastian and Pampeluna, besides its other duties. Wellington was able
to concentrate just in time, and after some very complicated warfare in
the mountain country, involving serious losses on both sides, Soult was
driven back into France. Before the end of the year Wellington was in
France; he had stormed San Sebastian, converted the siege of Pampeluna
into a blockade, driven Soult successively across the two little rivers
beyond the frontier, and surrounded Bayonne. The fall of Napoleon
early in 1814 put an end to the war, not without two more battles,
in the latter of which Soult was driven from a very strong position
close to the city of Toulouse, while inflicting very great loss on his
assailants. Wellington had contributed largely to the overthrow of
Napoleon by his direct efforts, by his caution and foresight so long as
was necessary, by his daring at the right moment, by his skilful and
bold offensive strategy. How much he contributed indirectly, by keeping
up resistance to the universal conqueror in one corner of Europe, it
would be difficult to estimate.


  _Map XVI._

  Campaigns of
  Waterloo (1815) & Marlborough.

  (a.) General Map.

  (b.) Battle of
  (18^{th} June 1815)]



 [NOTE.—Controversy has raged over almost every point of the Waterloo
 campaign. Matters of fact have been disputed, whether or not given
 things happened, and if they did happen, when and how. Still more
 naturally have questions of inference and judgment been disputed,
 under the influence of partisanship, or supposed patriotism, or
 preconceived ideas. I have deemed it unnecessary to enter into any
 of these controversies. I have narrated the facts as I believe
 them to have occurred, without citing evidence, and have left
 doubtful inferences to the reader. To have done more would have been
 inconsistent with the scope of this book.]

The combined efforts of the great powers of Europe overthrew Napoleon
early in the year 1814. In spite of amazing efforts on his part, the
allied armies marched to Paris; and the emperor, finding himself almost
deserted, was compelled to abdicate. The allied powers made the great
mistake, as events proved, of allowing him to take possession in full
sovereignty of the little island of Elba. A man of more chivalrous
spirit would probably have felt that it was a mockery to call him
emperor of so minute an empire, and would have preferred to disappear
entirely from the observation of a world in which he had risen to
so vast a height and fallen so decisively. Napoleon took his small
kingdom seriously, and seems to have been contented for a time, until
reports of the state of affairs in France led him to think that he
might recover his throne. The legitimate line of the Bourbon kings had
been restored on Napoleon's overthrow, in the person of Louis XVIII.,
brother of the king executed in 1793. How far this restoration was
acceptable at the time to the French nation as a whole it is difficult
to judge. Certainly the knot of selfish politicians who seized the
opportunity of speaking in the name of France desired it for their
own ends. Certainly also the allied sovereigns, who for the moment
held the fate of France in their hands, most or all of them thought it
the most desirable course in the interests of Europe generally. But
the Bourbons, like their English forerunners in disaster, had learned
nothing and forgotten nothing. The great mass of Frenchmen had no wish
to lose the great fruits of the Revolution, abolition of aristocratic
privilege, limitation of the royal authority, curtailment of the vast
influence of the clergy. Still less were they willing to see the crown
and the royalist exiles resume possession of the lands of which they
had been deprived, and which had mostly been sold to new owners. Least
of all were they inclined to allow the rejection, in favour of the
Bourbon white flag, of the tricolour which was the emblem alike of the
liberty and equality won by the Revolution, and of the military glories
won by Napoleon. The king himself seems to have been at least willing
to abide by the constitution he had proclaimed, and to accept the
great social results of the Revolution; but his brother and destined
successor, and many of the restored exiles, made no secret of their
desire to revert to the _ancien régime_. Naturally a large amount of
discontent was engendered, and of this Napoleon took advantage to try
his luck once more. On March 1, 1815, he landed near Cannes with a
few hundred followers. The population of the provinces through which
his way to Paris lay were on the whole favourable, more so probably
than the average of the whole of France. The soldiers could nowhere be
induced to fight against the emperor; and many of the officers, though
by no means all, set them the example of defection. The king fled into
Belgium, and Napoleon marched to Paris in triumph, and resumed the
government without a blow.

The allied powers however were in no mind to see their vast
sacrifices thrown away, and to allow Napoleon the chance of once more
consolidating his power in France, and beginning a fresh series of wars
of aggression. Their representatives were still assembled in congress
at Vienna, occupied in the difficult task of resettling Europe after
the universal removing of landmarks which had been produced by the
recent wars. They at once declared Napoleon a public enemy, and began
preparations for launching enormous hosts against him. Months must pass
before, in the then state of roads and modes of locomotion, a single
Russian soldier could be seen on the French frontier. A shorter, but
still considerable, interval must elapse before the Austrian armies
could take the field. But England was only across the narrow seas,
and Prussia held great territories on the Rhine. Accordingly these
two powers, acting in concert, poured their troops, one army under
Wellington, the other under Blucher, into the new kingdom of the
Netherlands, which had but recently formed part of Napoleon's empire.
From the Belgian frontier starts the easiest and shortest line of
invasion of France, assuming invasion to be directed at the capital.
And the intention was that the English and Prussian armies should
take this route, when the Austrians had reached the eastern frontier,
and the Russians were getting within supporting distance. Napoleon no
doubt realised that his game was lost if his enemies once gathered
in their irresistible numbers. At any rate he saw plainly enough
that his best chance lay in defeating his opponents piecemeal. Could
he succeed in destroying the Anglo-Prussian army, the other powers
might be intimidated, or possibly bribed, into letting him alone.
The indications are that this would never have happened; the Czar
would probably have receded before nothing but overwhelming defeat,
and the overthrow of Wellington and Blucher would not have meant the
annihilation of the power of Prussia, still less of Great Britain.
Nevertheless Napoleon had a chance in this way, and in no other, and he
proceeded to try it with characteristic vigour and resolution, though
with less than his usual skill and care when the actual stress came.

In order that the campaign may be understood, of which Waterloo was the
climax, it must be always remembered that political reasons rendered
it essential for Napoleon to assume the offensive in spite of inferior
numbers, and offered every inducement to the allies to await attack,
and also that this gave Napoleon the great strategical advantage of
the initiative. The allies had to guard the Belgian frontier; he could
select his own point for invasion. Accordingly the allies occupied a
line from east to west, some thirty miles south of Brussels, and a
little north of the actual frontier. The Prussians on the eastern half
lay chiefly on the north side of the Meuse and its tributary the Sambre.

Wellington's army was only a third English, another third being
Dutch-Belgians of very poor quality and doubtful fidelity,[72] the
remainder Germans, some of them excellent troops, the rest mere
recruits. He covered the western part of the frontier, as was natural,
seeing that he drew his supplies from England by the Belgian ports of
Ostend and Antwerp. The two armies met just south of Brussels, near
Charleroi, where a main road crosses the Sambre. The allies could not
of course know by what route Napoleon, if he assumed the offensive,
as was probable, would enter Belgium. They therefore had to watch the
whole line; and partly for this reason, partly for convenience of
subsistence, they quartered their forces over a space of country fully
100 miles in length from east to west. On the Prussian side, where the
rivers formed a protection, and where there was less reason to expect
attack, the troops were comparatively near the frontier line. On the
English side none except outposts were close to the frontier, and some
were at least thirty miles behind it.

Napoleon could bring into the field about 125,000 men, practically
all veterans commanded by excellent officers, though the successive
re-organisations after his first overthrow and on his restoration had
left it lacking in the perfect mutual confidence of officers and men
which makes a veteran army so formidable. Of these nearly 24,000 were
cavalry; and there were 344 field guns. The Prussians under Blucher
were not much inferior in numbers to the French, about 121,000, but
their proportion of cavalry (12,000) and guns (312) was lower, and the
quality of part at least of the army inferior. Wellington had about
94,000 men, of whom over 14,000 were cavalry, with 196 guns, but, as
has been said before, barely half[73] of them were really trustworthy
troops. Thus Napoleon was nearly equal to his opponents in number of
cavalry, but was outmatched in guns in the proportion of about three
to two, and in infantry by at least seven to four, though the superior
quality of his troops went some way towards compensating for this
inequality. He had the further advantage of unity of command, while the
armies of the allies not only were separate, with no further concert of
action than what the voluntary accord of the chiefs might establish,
but drew their supplies from opposite directions, the Prussians from
the Rhine, the English from the Belgian ports. Both sides seem to have
been fairly well informed as to the strength of the other. Napoleon
also had information as to the position of the allied troops, nor
were Wellington and Blucher quite in the dark when the French troops
concentrated on the frontier, skilfully as Napoleon had arranged their
movements, though they could not at first be certain what was real
attack, what feint.

Napoleon had practically a choice between two plans. He might invade
Belgium on the west, opposite the right of Wellington's widely
divided army, and by advancing northwards cut Wellington off from his
communication with the sea. This was what Wellington expected; he was
very anxious about his supplies, being probably more than doubtful
whether his army would find subsistence if compelled to depend on the
Prussians, who had quite enough to do in supplying their own army.
A corresponding movement on the left of the Prussians was obviously
possible, but for many reasons not worth Napoleon's while. The
alternative plan, which he adopted, and which all critics consider to
have been the best open to him, was to concentrate his army due south
of Brussels, at the nearest point to that capital, and cross the Sambre
at Charleroi, which would bring him on the point where the English and
Prussian armies met. Napoleon knew that the Prussian forces were less
dispersed, and generally nearer the frontier than those of Wellington.
He therefore calculated that if, as was probable, Blucher concentrated
his army for battle, it would be at a point comparatively near to
Charleroi, and that Wellington could not be in time to give him serious
assistance. He further calculated that Blucher, if defeated, would
retreat eastwards in the direction of his proper line of communication,
and that then Wellington ought to be an easy prey to the French army,
superior in both numbers and quality.

Accordingly Napoleon issued orders that his whole army should move at
dawn on June 15, and cross the Sambre at or near Charleroi. At the
same time he ordered slight demonstrations to be made much further
west, in the neighbourhood of Mons, in order that Wellington might be
kept as long as possible in doubt as to what Napoleon's real purpose
was. Ziethen, who commanded the Prussian corps nearest to Charleroi,
had unaccountably taken no steps to destroy the bridges over the
Sambre, which would have delayed the French greatly: but he disputed
their advance with much skill and pertinacity, and slowly retired
north-eastwards to Fleurus. Blucher had on the night of June 14, on
receiving certain tidings that the French were in great force beyond
the Sambre, ordered his whole army to concentrate at Sombref, four or
five miles behind Fleurus, at the point where the road from Charleroi
crosses the great high-road that runs a little north of west from Namur
to Nivelles, and thence towards the coast. It was at this point that
it had been agreed between the allies, some weeks before, that the
Prussians should concentrate in case of an advance by Napoleon, which
they then thought improbable. One of the four Prussian corps, that of
Bulow, was at a great distance, and failed to arrive in time; but those
of Pirch and Thielemann duly joined Ziethen. On the 16th Blucher, with
nearly 90,000 men, took up a position at Ligny, a mile or so south
of the great Namur road, and awaited attack. Napoleon's intention
had been to bring his whole army across the Sambre on the 15th, to
occupy Fleurus in force, in anticipation of battle with Blucher, and
to send a detachment to Quatre-Bras, where the Charleroi-Brussels
road crosses the Namur-Nivelles road, in order to intercept the main
line of communication between Wellington and Blucher. This was only
approximately carried out: at nightfall, some French divisions were
still on the wrong side of the Sambre. Quatre-Bras was found to be
occupied, and the French left therefore did not go beyond Frasne,
two or three miles to the south; and Ziethen's rear-guard still held
Fleurus. The difference was of no serious consequence, the less so
as the allied generals played into Napoleon's hands, Blucher by
committing himself to battle with only three-fourths of his army and
with no assurance of assistance from his colleague, Wellington by his
slowness in concentrating his army. The English general, ill served
as to intelligence, only heard the news of the French advance in the
afternoon: even then, slow to abandon his belief that Napoleon would
try to cut him off from the sea, he only warned his troops to be ready.
In the evening he ordered concentration on Nivelles, and not till the
morning of the 16th did he direct movements on Quatre-Bras.[74]

On the morning of June 16 Napoleon was in no hurry to move. He had
entrusted Ney with the command of his left wing, and given him orders
to attack the English at Quatre-Bras. There was much delay, which
seems attributable partly to Ney's doing nothing to hasten the march
(he had only joined the army on the 15th and had no staff), and partly
to the remissness of the corps commanders, Reille and D'Erlon. About
two o'clock however he began, with Reille's corps only, the battle of
Quatre-Bras. It was extremely fortunate for Wellington that Ney had
not moved earlier, for the position at daybreak was only held by one
brigade, and it was but slowly that fresh troops came up. At first
the French seemed likely to carry all before them: the Dutch-Belgian
troops suffered severely, and some of them fled. No reader of _Vanity
Fair_ can have forgotten Thackeray's description of the panic caused
in Brussels by the arrival of these fugitives, reporting that the
allied army was cut to pieces. The Brunswick division was also broken
for the time, and their duke killed.[75] But reinforcements came up
in succession, and Wellington, who was on the field in person, grew
relatively stronger as evening approached, and foiled every effort Ney
made. Why Ney did not make greater efforts, why especially he made so
little use of his cavalry, of which arm Wellington had very few on
the field, is hard to say. Possibly his Peninsular experiences made
him feel convinced that Wellington would not risk a battle without
adequate strength. Certainly the woods interfered with his seeing
fully the amount of Wellington's force. The absence of D'Erlon's corps
was, as will appear presently, no fault of his, except so far as he
was responsible for not having brought D'Erlon up to the front in the
morning. At any rate he failed: at nightfall on the 16th the French
were at Frasne, the English at Quatre-Bras, as they had been on the
night of the 15th; only each side had lost between 4000 and 5000 men,
the English rather more than the French.

Meanwhile Napoleon had taken for granted that Ney would be able to
dislodge the English,[76] and had not only told him how far to advance
on the Brussels road, but had also ordered him to despatch part of his
troops, as soon as Quatre-Bras was occupied, down the Namur road, to
co-operate in his own attack on the Prussians. He had waited until Ney
was engaged before beginning his own battle, which he did not doubt
winning, and hoped by Ney's aid to render decisive. On the Prussian
left Thielemann's corps covered the road to Namur: the centre and
right, formed by Ziethen's corps, with Pirch in second line, were
thrown forward almost at a right angle to the left, behind the villages
of Ligny and St. Amand, so as to cover the same road further west, by
which communication was to be kept up with Wellington. The duke had
seen Blucher in the morning, and had promised to assist the Prussians
if not himself attacked. Thus both French and Prussians were hoping at
least for help from Quatre-Bras, which neither combatant there was in
any condition to afford. Napoleon decided to begin by assailing the
Prussian right: for this he had every motive, as it was unprotected by
any natural obstacle, and success there would not only tend to separate
Blucher from Wellington, but would also drive Blucher to retreat
towards Namur, which Napoleon naturally desired. His plan however aimed
at a much more decisive stroke. He had determined, after the Prussian
right had been shaken by some hours of fighting, to assail the centre
with his reserve. If that attack succeeded, and one of Ney's corps took
the Prussians in rear, as was to be done when Quatre-Bras had been
won, half of the Prussian army would be virtually surrounded, and must
either be destroyed or surrender. The fighting all through was of a
most desperate character, but the French had, on the whole, the best
of it, and Napoleon was preparing for his attack on the centre, when
the news that a considerable body of troops were in sight a couple of
miles or so on his left, naturally caused him to wait. They might be
Wellington's, in which case caution was obviously expedient: they might
be Ney's expected succour appearing in the wrong place, in which case
time would be needed for them to work round the flank of the Prussians.
It had just been ascertained that the approaching troops were French,
when they suddenly halted and began to return the way they had come.
They were D'Erlon's corps, which had been on their way to join Ney, and
had been directed towards the field of Ligny, apparently by a staff
officer who thought he was rightly interpreting Napoleon's wishes.
Ney, on hearing what had happened, very properly recalled D'Erlon:
his orders were to dislodge the English from Quatre-Bras, which he
could not do without D'Erlon's troops, and then, but not till then, to
reinforce Napoleon. The result however was that D'Erlon's corps wasted
the day in marching to and fro, and took part in neither battle, though
its active co-operation ought to have been decisive on either field.

Sunset was approaching, and Napoleon, seeing that it was too late to
send effective orders after D'Erlon, made his attack on the Prussian
centre as before arranged. Its success gave him an undoubted victory,
but dearly bought, and not overwhelming. The Prussians were able to
retreat unmolested under cover of the darkness, leaving behind them
over 20,000 men, killed, wounded and prisoners, or about a third of the
two corps, Ziethen's and Pirch's, on which the stress of the fighting
had fallen. The French army bivouacked on the field how they could:
their loss had amounted to 11,000 or 12,000 men.

Thus up to nightfall on June 16 Napoleon had gained considerable
success. He had attained his first object, of engaging and defeating
Blucher before Wellington could come to his assistance, and might
reasonably expect to attain his second object, of attacking Wellington
with his main force while separated from the Prussians, in which case
with a superior army he ought to win a decisive victory. That more
had not been achieved was due to the delay on the French left, which
neutralised the advantage resulting from Wellington's undue slowness
in concentrating his army. As often happens in war, one mistake but
cancelled the other. On the 17th most part of the advantage which the
French possessed over the allies was lost, largely by Napoleon's own
fault, partly by the loyal co-operation of Blucher and Wellington.
Critics who treat war like a game of chess, and forget that soldiers
are men who must eat and sleep, say that Napoleon ought to have started
at daybreak, to take Wellington at Quatre-Bras in flank, while Ney
renewed the attack in front. But the emperor himself was exhausted by
two extremely long and fatiguing days: nor could even the troops that
had taken but little part in a battle ending at 9.30 p.m. be expected
to be in marching order again in six hours. Napoleon made the grievous
mistake of taking for granted two things, both of them likely, but
neither of them in fact true. First he more or less assumed that
Wellington, informed of the result of the battle of Ligny, would have
retreated, leaving only a rearguard at Quatre-Bras; if this were so,
there was no use in Napoleon's trying to attack him. As a matter of
fact, Wellington did not receive the news of Ligny till the morning of
the 17th, and he then waited to exchange communications with Blucher
before ordering a retreat, for which there was no immediate hurry,
unless the French resumed the offensive. Napoleon's other and far more
disastrous mistake was taking for granted that Blucher had retreated on
Namur, that is to say straight away from his ally. As a matter of fact
the Prussians were retreating northwards on Wavre, true to the general
agreement between Blucher and Wellington that they would co-operate
as thoroughly as possible; and since that movement was ordered, news
had come from Wellington that he was on the point of retreating on
Waterloo, and would stand to fight there if assured of assistance from
one Prussian corps. Napoleon had plenty of cavalry available, for Ligny
was essentially an infantry battle, and certainly ought to have pushed
cavalry along every road by which the Prussians could possibly have
retreated. If they were gone eastwards, as he hoped and believed, all
was plain sailing: if they were gone north, they might still unite with
Wellington, and the game was by no means won. As it was, he contented
himself with one reconnaissance along the Namur road, which confirmed
him in his error by capturing a few stragglers, and so threw away the
advantages gained already by his skilfully-devised plan of campaign.

In the course of the morning of the 17th, Wellington withdrew his
forces from Quatre-Bras, and retreated to the position at Waterloo
which he had noted the year before, as an excellent one for a defensive
battle to protect Brussels. In the afternoon heavy rain came on, which
lasted all night, soaking the ground, seriously injuring the roads,
and thus interfering with the march of the French, who followed at
some distance. By nightfall the French were in front of Wellington's
position; and both armies bivouacked on the wet ground, no very
favourable preparation for the work of the morrow. Before moving
from Ligny with the guard and Lobau's corps, to unite them to the
troops under Ney, and with the whole body follow up the retreating
English, Napoleon had given his orders for the pursuit of the defeated
Prussians. Marshal Grouchy was put at the head of the two corps,
Vandamme's and Gérard's, on which the stress of the fighting at Ligny
had fallen, which with some cavalry amounted to about 33,000 men.

Napoleon after the event attempted to make Grouchy entirely responsible
for the loss of the battle of Waterloo, and Napoleon's partisans have
followed his example. A few writers have exempted Grouchy from all
blame: the majority of reasonably impartial critics blame him more or
less severely, though without holding Napoleon faultless. In any case
the absence of Grouchy at Waterloo, without his thereby preventing
Blucher from participating, was a decisive fact, however it was
brought about. Hence it is necessary to understand clearly what his
intentions were, and what was the discretionary power left to him. In
personal conversation Napoleon told Grouchy that he was himself going
to fight the English "if they will stand on this side of the forest
of Soignies," and ordered him to pursue the Prussians and complete
their defeat by attacking them as soon as he came up with them: and it
is clear that he then still supposed the Prussians to have retreated
on Namur, and therefore that the pursuit of them was not a matter
of primary importance. Afterwards he heard news which implied the
probability that part at least of the Prussian army might have gone
further north: and he sent Grouchy written orders to take his forces
to Gembloux (N.E. from Ligny), explore in the direction of Namur and
of Maestricht (still further to N.E.), and find out what the Prussians
were doing, whether they were or were not intending to unite with the
English, to cover Brussels or Liège,[77] and try another battle. These
orders still treat as most probable the separation of the Prussians
from Wellington, but they contemplate the other possibility—they
do not however tell Grouchy what to do in that event. Unfortunately
for Napoleon, Grouchy was without experience in independent command,
of rather limited range of ideas, and sharing the abject dread of
disobeying Napoleon which cramped the energy and clouded the judgment,
at times if not always, of most of his generals. He was capable
enough, as he showed when left altogether to himself after the rout
of Waterloo; but so long as he was under Napoleon's orders, he dared
not think for himself. Grouchy accordingly marched to Gembloux: and
having ascertained beyond further doubt that the Prussians had not gone
to Namur, but that part of them had gone north to Wavre, and the main
body as he believed north-eastward towards Maestricht, he reported this
late at night to Napoleon, adding his intention to follow the enemy, if
it turned out after all that they were moving on Wavre, "in order to
prevent their gaining Brussels and to separate them from Wellington."
As a matter of fact, the whole Prussian army had gained Wavre, in
accordance with the agreement between Blucher and Wellington, in order
to be able to support Wellington on the next day. That there existed
between the two allied generals a substantial and hearty accord is
certain enough, though Gneisenau, who was Blucher's chief of staff,
always suspicious of Wellington, was inclined to doubt his sincerity,
and to take care of the Prussian army only, not of the common cause.
These suspicions were in fact groundless, and were very bad policy
also; Gneisenau reminds one of a whist-player who plays for his own
hand and will not co-operate with his partner, a style of play which is
equivalent to giving the other side odds. That Gneisenau was overruled,
that the co-operation was carried through to a triumphant end, was
due to Marshal Blucher personally, a man far inferior to Gneisenau in
military ability, but stanch to the backbone, and moreover hating the
French with a keen personal hatred.

On the morning of the 18th Grouchy moved on Wavre: the hour named for
starting was not a very early one, as it would have been if Grouchy
had deemed time of great importance; and the troops, doubtless still
feeling the effects of Ligny, in spite of an easy day's work on the
17th, were slow to get into motion. About eleven o'clock, while Grouchy
was halting to eat at Walhain, about one-third of the way to Wavre,
the opening cannonade of the battle of Waterloo was heard. General
Gérard at once urged him to "march towards the cannon," and a vehement
discussion arose, which ended in Grouchy deciding to obey what he
averred to be the emperor's orders, and continue his march on Wavre.
That Grouchy ought to have crossed the Dyle at once, cannot reasonably
be doubted: if Blucher gave large assistance to Wellington, the emperor
must be overwhelmed, and there was no means of preventing this, if
Grouchy failed in achieving it. True, Blucher might not be sending
any large force across from Wavre to Waterloo, but if he were not,
Grouchy would have discovered this eventually, and might have pushed
on Wavre as easily from the south-west as from the south. If however,
as was actually the case, the bulk of the Prussian army was moving to
support Wellington and take the French in flank, there would be little
compensation for Napoleon's total defeat to be derived from a slight
success of Grouchy at Wavre. The marshal however could not rise to the
opportunity, he dared not depart from what he understood to be the
purpose of his master. And it may pretty confidently be conjectured
that in a different case, had Napoleon beaten Wellington before Blucher
could come up, and had Grouchy's march towards the cannon left it
feasible for Blucher to unite with Wellington before Brussels, Grouchy
would have been blamed without mercy.

It remains to be seen whether Grouchy, acting on Gérard's advice,
could have saved the defeat of Waterloo. He had to take 33,000 men
with all their guns and ammunition waggons across the river Dyle, by
two bridges, one narrow and steep, the other of wood and presumably
not strong enough for artillery. He had to march fourteen or fifteen
miles by very bad country roads, rendered much worse by the rain. The
Prussians from Wavre had a shorter distance to go with no river to
cross, and the foremost corps, Bulow's, had considerably the start:
the head of his column was in sight of the battle-field when Grouchy's
resolution was taken. Moreover one corps, Ziethen's, took a parallel
road further to the north, entirely out of Grouchy's reach. It is
pretty certain that if Grouchy had marched on Waterloo, he would have
prevented Pirch's corps, which followed Bulow's, from taking part in
the battle, and so would have rendered the rout a little less absolute.
It is pretty certain also that Bulow need have taken no notice of
him, but it is not so clear that he might not have been sufficiently
disquieted by Grouchy's appearance to think it expedient to turn
back and encounter him. Blucher however was with Bulow's corps, and
he was eager to press forward, at whatever cost. If Napoleon had
been in Blucher's place, he would have seen that the defeat of the
enemy's main army was of primary importance, and would have taken his
chance of Grouchy achieving some success against the Prussians left
behind. It is however unprofitable to conjecture what might have been.
Happily for Wellington and for Europe, Grouchy was afraid to face the
responsibility, and marched on Wavre. Here, to finish his story, he
encountered Thielemann's corps, left to play against him the very game
which Napoleon intended him to play against the whole Prussian army, to
detain and occupy as much as possible a superior force. There was some
fighting on the evening of the 18th, and again on the next morning, to
the advantage of the French. But when Grouchy heard of the total defeat
of the emperor, he naturally thought only of regaining France. His
retreat was conducted with skill and audacity, and ended, thanks to the
protection afforded him in crossing the Meuse by the fortifications of
Namur, in his reaching French territory with his army unbroken.

When Napoleon and Wellington stood at length face to face on the night
of June 17, both were naturally anxious about the morrow, but in
singularly different ways. The emperor, justly believing that his army
was the better of the two, was only afraid that Wellington might yet
rob him of victory by decamping in the dark; and this fear haunted him
so obstinately that in the middle of the night, and again at daybreak,
he rode out to satisfy his own eyes that the English army was still
in position. Strangely enough he does not seem to have been at all
apprehensive of the contingency which in fact happened to his ruin:
he still supposed the Prussian army out of reach. On the morning of
the 18th he sent a despatch to Grouchy, which accepted as the right
thing to be done that general's intention of marching on Wavre. Not
till eleven a.m., when the battle was on the point of beginning, did
he send a regiment[78] of cavalry towards the bridges by which Grouchy
would have had to cross the Dyle, as if that were a chance worth taking
account of. But he took no steps to secure Grouchy's coming, till the
first Prussian troops were in sight,[79] as he certainly would have
done had he seriously feared Blucher taking him in flank. And this
reduplication of the grievous mistake he had made on the field of Ligny
was absolutely fatal.

Wellington on the other hand had fully made up his mind to fight,
in spite of the great risk he ran of being overwhelmed before the
Prussians could reach him, assuming always that Blucher would come to
his assistance. How great that risk was, it is a little hard to realise
after the event. He could have no knowledge of the amount of Grouchy's
army, though he may well have guessed that Napoleon had detached some
troops to observe the Prussians. For all he knew the French might
be outnumbering him considerably, the more so as he still deemed it
necessary to guard his right by leaving a large force at Hal, some ten
or twelve miles off. Napoleon made a miscalculation, as most critics
think, in giving Grouchy so large a force. If Grouchy was merely to
follow up the Prussians retreating eastwards, less would suffice: if
the emperor was to encounter at Waterloo the allied armies united,
he needed every man. And Wellington made a similar miscalculation
in leaving 18,000 men at Hal: if he was beaten at Waterloo, there
would be no longer a flank to guard; if he was successful, a French
detachment sent to turn his flank would have great difficulty in
escaping destruction. Even on the assumption that Wellington knew the
strength of the army facing him, he was outmatched so long as he stood
alone: and what was his security for being supported? It has been said
already that he and Blucher acted cordially together, but there was
not, and could not be, a common plan of action worked out in detail.
The very fact that they had to await attack, wherever Napoleon might
assail them, rendered any such elaborate concert impossible. Moreover
Wellington was doubtless aware that Gneisenau would be slow to take a
course that endangered the Prussians. If after all the Prussians were
not coming, there was yet time to retreat from an untenable position.
Under the pressure of this anxiety, Wellington is said to have spent a
great part of the night in riding over to Wavre and back, in order to
see Blucher and make sure. Whatever passed at that interview,[80] the
duke was satisfied, and on the fateful morning of the 18th, his troops
stood to their arms in the stations already assigned to them.

The field of Waterloo has probably been visited by more travellers than
any other battle-field in the world: but its aspect has been changed
in some respects since 1815, so that the description to be given of
it will not be found to tally exactly with what is to be seen to-day.
Wellington's army was posted on a slight ridge, running about east and
west, and occupied a front of over two miles. The ridge is crossed
about the centre of the position by the high road from Charleroi to
Brussels, and a country road runs along it, a little below the top on
the southern side. Less than three miles to the northward the Brussels
road enters the forest of Soignies; and Wellington calculated that
this would protect him in case of defeat. There were roads enough to
withdraw the artillery, &c.; and the forest, being thick but free of
underwood, would present no obstacle to infantry retiring, and would
assist them in keeping off pursuit. At the extreme western end of the
ridge lies a small village called Merbe Braine, somewhat sunk in a
hollow: this protected Wellington's extreme right from being easily
turned. The front of his right was covered by the château of Hougomont,
a good-sized country house with gardens and orchard, enclosed by a
wall. This lay down in the valley separating the two armies; and it
is obvious that no attack could be made on Wellington's right unless
the assailants had first seized this château, while on the other hand
their possession of Hougomont would have given them great facilities
for further advance. Similarly, in advance of Wellington's left, lay
two farms, La Haye and Papelotte, and a little hamlet called Smohain,
but the ground gave no protection to the left flank of the position.
Close to the Charleroi-Brussels road, near the bottom of the slope lies
the farm of La Haye Sainte; this also formed some little protection to
the centre. The ground was practically all open, and the slope down
into the little valley that divided the two armies before the battle
not very steep, but still an unmistakable descent. The slope up the
opposite side was at about the same inclination, so that the fronts of
the two armies, a little over three-quarters of a mile apart, lay on
two roughly parallel ridges. The English ridge was narrow enough for it
to be feasible to place the troops, when not actually standing to repel
attack, on the reverse or northern slope leading towards the village
of Waterloo, so that they were partially sheltered from the French
artillery. To complete the picture of Wellington's position, it is
necessary to add that the road which runs along it leads to Ohain and
thence to Wavre: this was one of the routes by which Prussian succour
might come, and was in fact the road by which Ziethen arrived shortly
before the close of the battle. The shortest way from Wavre, by which
the first Prussians came, leads through the valley and up against the
eastern end of the French line.

The position was an excellent one for defence, considering the range
of artillery and infantry fire of that date, and would have fully
compensated for the slight advantage of numbers which Napoleon
possessed, had the quality of the two armies been equal. They were
substantially equal in infantry, a little under 50,000 each: but
Napoleon had 15,000 cavalry as against 12,000, and many more guns,
246 to 156. Wellington however could not place much reliance on the
Dutch-Belgian contingent, nearly 18,000 strong. The sympathies of
many of them were with the French, and none of them had seen service,
unless perchance in the emperor's army before his first abdication.
Consequently the duke thought it expedient to distribute these troops
among the English and Germans: he would obviously have done better,
assuming that he was convinced of the necessity of leaving a strong
body at Hal, to have posted none but Dutch and Belgians there, the more
so as the command at Hal was entrusted to a Dutch prince, and to have
had Colville's English on the field of Waterloo.

Wellington's army was distributed as follows, the front being generally
behind the country road from Wavre. On the extreme left, which was
unprotected by any natural features, were two brigades of light
cavalry, Vivian's and Vandeleur's. Next came two Hanoverian brigades,
Vincke's and Best's: then, a little further back, Pack's brigade
consisting of the 1st, 42nd, 44th and 92nd British regiments. To the
right of Pack, extending as far as the high road, was Kempt's brigade,
comprising the 28th, 32nd, 79th and 1st battalion 95th. A Dutch-Belgian
division was posted in front of this, the left half of the line. One
brigade occupied the hamlet and farms that partially protected the
front: the other, Bylandt's, was posted on the slope facing the south,
where it was exposed to crushing fire from the French artillery, which
so shook it that early in the battle it gave way, retired in confusion
over the ridge, and could be used no more. This was almost the only
mistake made by Wellington in the actual tactics of the battle: one
other only can be cited against him, and that as it happened was in the
same part of the field. The farm of La Haye Sainte, a large courtyard
with solid walls and buildings round it, just on the high road and
protecting the very centre of the whole position, was garrisoned but
slightly, and was not prepared for defence, nor were the troops in it
supplied, as they should have been, with ample stores of ammunition. La
Haye Sainte was garrisoned from one of two German brigades, Ompteda's
and Kielmansegge's, which lay immediately to the right of the high
road. Next to them came Sir Colin Halkett's English, these three
brigades forming Count Alten's division. To the right, more or less
behind Hougomont, and furnishing a great part of its garrison, was
posted General Cooke's division, consisting of Maitland's and Byng's
brigades of guards. To the right of the guards, Mitchell's English
brigade lined the cross road which runs north-west from near Hougomont
to Braine-la-Leud, a couple of miles off, where a Belgian division
was posted; they thus guarded the right of the position. In rear of
the guards lay Clinton's division, one brigade of which, Adam's,
played a very important part in the last stage of the battle: this
division was well placed to act as a reserve for any part of the line.
The regular reserve of about 10,000 men, of which over one-third were
cavalry, was placed a mile or so in rear of the centre. The rest of the
cavalry formed a second line in rear of the right and centre, the heavy
cavalry, Somerset's brigade of guards and Ponsonby's Union brigade (the
Royal Dragoons, Scots Greys, and Inniskillings), being close to right
and left of the high road. The artillery was not massed together after
the fashion which has generally prevailed in recent wars; the field
batteries were distributed along the front, in the proportion of about
one battery to each brigade, and the horse artillery was similarly
joined to the cavalry. It remains to add that Hougomont had been very
fully prepared for defence. The entire property, about one-third of a
mile square, was generally enclosed only with hedges: but the farmyard
and garden adjoining the house in the north-west corner had good walls:
and the orchard at the north-east had also a wall on the north, which
enabled the defenders to drive the French out of the orchard again,
when once they penetrated to it.

As the French army were the assailants, it is needless to describe with
any particularity their original formation. The first line, consisting
of D'Erlon's corps on the right, and Reille's on the left, faced the
English on rather a longer extent, with their powerful artillery ranged
in front of the infantry, their left being thrown rather forward so
as to enwrap Hougomont. Behind were the cavalry in a double line. On
the Charleroi road, in rear of the centre, Lobau's corps was drawn up
in close columns. Further back again was Napoleon's guard of all arms
to serve as the last reserve. About half a mile to the east of the
position of the guard, nearly a mile behind the right front of the
French, is the village of Planchenoit: it is obvious that when late in
the battle the Prussians reached Planchenoit, they were attacking the
French at a most dangerous point, as they threatened to cut off nearly
the whole army, for which the Charleroi road was the only line of

If Napoleon had even surmised that one Prussian corps had started at
daybreak to join Wellington, and that two others were to follow, he
would assuredly have begun the battle of Waterloo some hours earlier
than he in fact did. The rain had ceased in the night, but the ground
was soaked, and the artillery could hardly move until it had dried a
little. The emperor, confident of victory, was in no hurry. To quote
his own account given at St. Helena—At eight o'clock, during his
breakfast, the emperor said: "The enemy's army is superior in numbers
by at least one-fourth;[81] nevertheless we have at least ninety
chances in a hundred in our favour." Ney at this moment came up to
announce that Wellington was in full retreat.[82] "You are mistaken,"
replied the emperor, "he has no longer time, he would expose himself
to certain destruction." About nine o'clock the French army began to
take up its position for the coming battle. Every movement was visible
to the English line, and formed a superb spectacle: indeed it is
suggested that Napoleon expected by this display, which continued for
some two hours before the signal was given, to impress the Belgians in
Wellington's army, already half-hearted to say the least. There was
always a touch of the theatrical in Napoleon's character, and it came
out conspicuously before this, his last battle. To Wellington, who
relied for victory on the co-operation of the Prussians, still a long
way off, every minute's delay must have been an additional reason for
trusting that his bold venture would succeed.

The battle began at 11.30 with a cannonade along the whole line, and
an attack on Hougomont made by a division of Reille's corps commanded
by Napoleon's brother Jerome. It is obvious that, whatever the general
plan of the battle might be, Hougomont, which projected like a bastion
from Wellington's line, must be attacked, if only to prevent its
garrison from firing into the flank of any columns that might assail
the English centre. But it is also obvious that Hougomont, unless
weakly held, could not be taken except at very great cost, and that
success there would not be nearly so valuable as elsewhere. Every man
lost in assailing Hougomont, beyond what was necessary for keeping
the English right employed, was wasted. But Reille, and the generals
under him, failed to realise this, and the whole of the corps was drawn
into the conflict. The fighting was of the most desperate character,
especially at first, and was renewed at intervals, but the French never
succeeded in penetrating the house or walled garden. Hougomont was in
fact worth many thousands of men to Wellington.

The map shows plainly that the part of Wellington's line where a
successful attack would be most ruinous was near the centre. A
comparatively small part of his army stood east of the high-road: if
the centre could be pierced, the left might be destroyed, and the
right, cut off from the great road, would have to retreat how it could,
leaving the way to Brussels open, and losing all chance of connection
with Blucher. Wellington's reserves were naturally behind the centre:
but it was here if anywhere that the French could gain the battle, and
it was here, as it happened, that Wellington had failed to utilise La
Haye Sainte. During the first two hours of the battle the French merely
cannonaded this part of the line: their artillery was half as strong
again as the English, but the infantry were partially protected by
lying down on the northern side of the ridge they held, and were not
seriously shaken, except Bylandt's brigade.

About 1.30 began the first great attack on the English centre, the
whole of D'Erlon's corps advancing together. Durutte's division on the
right succeeded in getting temporary possession of Papelotte. Donzelot
on the left seized the orchard and garden of La Haye Sainte, and a
body of heavy cavalry on his left flank nearly destroyed a Hanoverian
battalion that attempted to reinforce the farm. The two centre
divisions, with Donzelot's second brigade on their left and a little
ahead, advanced in columns of unusually close and cumbrous formation.
Bylandt's brigade gave way in confusion, but Kempt's and Pack's stood
firm in their places. As the French halted close to the English line,
and attempted to deploy, Picton, who commanded the English division,
ordered Kempt's brigade to fire a volley, and charge. Picton was shot
dead, but the left column of the French was driven back in utter rout.
Meanwhile Marcognet's division was pressing Pack hard, and Alix's was
forcing its way between Kempt and Pack. At this juncture Lord Uxbridge
ordered forward the English heavy cavalry. The household brigade
charged the French cuirassiers as they came up the slope from La Haye
Sainte, and completely defeated them. The Union brigade charged and
drove back with great loss the French divisions which were pressing
on, but which in their crowded formation were almost helpless against
cavalry well led. Continuing its career, Ponsonby's brigade attacked
the French artillery on the opposite slope (74 guns were here massed
together), and inflicted considerable loss, but being charged in
its turn by fresh French cavalry, was badly cut up. The defeat of
the central columns carried with it the repulse or withdrawal of
the flanks, so that this great attack attained absolutely nothing.
Wellington however found it necessary to order up a brigade from his
reserve, to fill the gap in his front formed by the flight of the
Belgians and the losses in Kempt's and Pack's brigades.

Meanwhile Blucher had been doing his best. The country between Wavre
and the battle-field is formed in rounded hills and deep hollows,
traversed by mere lanes, and the soil was soft and miry from the heavy
rain. At noon Bulow's leading division reached St. Lambert, the highest
point on the road, whence the battle-field was visible at some four
miles' distance: Napoleon within an hour ascertained that they were
Prussians, and too late recognising his danger, sent off a useless
despatch to summon Grouchy to his aid. He also sent some cavalry to
meet the Prussians, but it was not for at least two hours more that
the latter came into action. The roads naturally grew worse with use,
and the artillery could scarcely be moved at all. It needed all the
energy of hatred which inspired the whole Prussian army, it needed
all the pressure Blucher in person could put on the soldiers, for
the task to be accomplished. "Kinder, ihr wollt doch nicht dass ich
wortbrüchig werden soll," was the old marshal's often repeated appeal:
and Englishmen ought never to forget it. At length Bulow was strong
enough to push down into the valley, and occupy the wood of Pâris,
whence he could assail Planchenoit. If he succeeded in this, the French
would be defeated in a most ruinous fashion. Hence Napoleon not only
sent Lobau's corps to face the Prussians, but himself attended to the
new danger.

After the repulse of D'Erlon the main action languished, only the
cannonade and the fighting before Hougomont continuing, till about
four o'clock, when the second main attack began. Forty squadrons
of heavy cavalry charged up between Hougomont and La Haye Sainte,
against Alten's division, which formed promptly in squares, placed in
a double line chess-board fashion, so that the maximum of fire[83]
could be poured into the charging horsemen. The guns in front of the
English line were necessarily abandoned, but the French could make no
impression on the squares, and when in confusion were driven off by
cavalry from the English reserves. Again and again the attempt was
renewed with the same result, till even the English privates saw how
hopeless it was. "Here come these fools again," some of them called
out, as a new charge was made. And indeed it is hard to see why they
were made: Wellington's line was not broken, or even shaken as yet.
Probably the impatience of Ney was to blame, Napoleon being then at a
distance engaged with the Prussians. At any rate the net result was
the destruction of a great part of the French cavalry, at some cost
to Wellington's cavalry, but not much to his infantry, except from
the French guns which told with deadly effect on the squares in the
intervals of the cavalry charges.

Almost before the first repulse of the French cavalry, a new infantry
attack on the British centre was arranged, which was to be directed
primarily on La Haye Sainte. Ney it is said asked the emperor for
reinforcements, seeing how badly D'Erlon's corps had been cut up in
the first attack. "Where am I to get them?" replied the emperor,
"voulez-vous que j'en fasse?" In fact not only Lobau's corps, but a
part of the guard, Napoleon's last reserve, had been already required
to keep Blucher at bay, who assailed Planchenoit again and again,
though without success. Nevertheless this attack on Wellington's centre
attained a greater measure of success than any other during the day.
La Haye Sainte was seized after a desperate struggle: and the French
infantry, and still more their artillery, established there, nearly
destroyed the third division on the left and Kempt's brigade on the
right, opening a most dangerous gap in the English line. Wellington's
coolness and judgment had never failed him for a moment; to demands for
reinforcements he had replied again and again, "It is impossible, you
must hold your ground to the last man," and nobly had the English and
Germans responded to the demands made on them. Hence at this dangerous
crisis there were still infantry reserves in rear of the centre, which
Wellington brought up in person to restore the line, simultaneously
drawing in to the centre Chasse's Belgians from behind the right, and
the two light cavalry brigades from the extreme left, where Blucher's
right was now in touch with Wellington through Smohain, and Ziethen's
corps, coming by the upper road from Wavre, was rapidly approaching.
Napoleon's last reserve, his famous old guard, must be used to make the
last bid for victory. If this had been directed on the same point, for
the sake of the protection afforded by La Haye Sainte, some further
success might have perhaps been achieved, but by this time nothing
could have saved the French from defeat. Pirch was up in rear of Bulow,
who was again pressing hard on Planchenoit, and Ziethen inflicted a
crushing blow on D'Erlon's corps, which advanced to attack Wellington's
left by way of supporting the charge of the guard in the centre. The
guard was formed in two columns: the right, somewhat in advance of
the left, came up the slope to the left of La Haye Sainte, against
Maitland's brigade of guards, which had hitherto had no fighting to
do, and was lying down for shelter from the cannonade, which had been
continued to the last moment over the heads of the advancing infantry.
The crushing fire of the English guards swept away the head of this
column; it fell into confusion in attempting to deploy, and an advance
of Maitland drove it back in disorder. Maitland had only just time to
recover his position before the left column of the old guard was upon
him. Their defeat however was to come not from him, but from his right
flank. Adam's brigade, originally placed in rear of the guards, had
been brought forward to fill the place of Byng's brigade, which had
been nearly destroyed in the defence of Hougomont during eight hours of
almost incessant fighting against very superior numbers. The slope of
the ground threw their line somewhat forward at an angle to Maitland's
front; and Colonel Colborne, commanding the famous 52nd, wheeled his
regiment a little further, so that it took the French guard in flank,
stopping its advance, and throwing it into great disorder. Then was
seen an illustration almost more marked than that at Albuera, of what
line can do against column. Claiborne's line advancing routed the four
battalions of the French guard; then continuing diagonally across the
slope to the high-road came upon the other part of the guard, which
had been formed up there in columns after its repulse by Maitland.
Wellington, who was on the spot, having just ordered a general advance
of the whole line, told Colborne to charge them, saying they would not
stand. In a few minutes more the last remnants of the French arrayed
against Wellington were flying in confusion. Bulow about the same time
finally succeeded in seizing Planchenoit, whence his guns swept the
high road that was the sole line of retreat for the French. Under the
merciless pressure of the Prussian cavalry, which had not yet fought,
the whole French army melted into a mob of fugitives. History hardly
records so complete a dissolution of an organised army.[84] What the
French loss was has never been ascertained. Nearly 15,000 killed and
wounded in Wellington's army, and 7000 in Blucher's, the great majority
of them taken from Bulow's corps, are sufficient evidence of the
severity of the conflict.

Napoleon had played his last stake, and lost it: there is no use in
following his steps as a ruined fugitive. It is however worth while
to sum up the chances of the eventful day of Waterloo. Early in the
morning Napoleon's prospects were excellent: Wellington's army was
slightly inferior to his own in numbers, and the Belgian portion of
it was not trustworthy. In consequence of the rain no Prussians could
be on the field at all early. Doubtless the state of the ground would
also have delayed movements of attack on Wellington's line: but if
the battle had begun even at eight A.M. it is scarcely possible that
Wellington could have held on till four, when first the Prussians began
to be formidable. The delay in beginning threw away this advantage.
Secondly Napoleon, as we have seen, miscalculated utterly about the
Prussians: it was he who detached Grouchy with a force needlessly large
for its supposed purpose, and failed to see in time the necessity
of drawing Grouchy to his side. Thirdly the allied generals carried
out tactically the purpose of co-operation with which they had begun
the campaign, thus ultimately bringing almost double numbers to
bear. It was Wellington's part to hold his ground, it was Blucher's
to come to his assistance. How nobly the old Prussian redeemed his
promise has been shown. Of Wellington it is told that he was asked to
give instructions for the chance of his falling, a contingency the
probability of which may be estimated from the fact that only one
of his staff escaped untouched. "I have none to give," he said, "my
plan is simply to hold my ground here to the last man." Lastly it is
manifest that all might have failed but for the astonishing staunchness
of the English and German infantry in Wellington's army. Nothing, in
war or in peace, is so trying to the nerves as passively to await
deadly peril, making no effort to avert it. And never probably in war
was greater strain of this nature put upon troops than fell on Alten's
and Picton's divisions at Waterloo. The guards and Hanoverians who held
Hougomont had more prolonged and exciting conflict; the heavy cavalry
did magnificent service: to Maitland's brigade, and still more to the
52nd, belongs the conspicuous glory of having given the last crushing
blow. But after all the chief honour belongs to the English brigades of
Halkett, Kempt and Pack, and to the Germans who stood by their side.



Nearly forty years elapsed after Waterloo before another European war
broke out. Peace had been by no means undisturbed; the revolutions of
1848 in particular occasioned serious fighting, but there had been no
sustained war on a large scale. England had been entirely exempt; and
not a few persons in England had begun to dream that the age of peace
had begun, while many more thought that England might and should stand
aloof from all European entanglements, and follow the more profitable
pursuits of peace. There is some reason to think that the latter class
involuntarily helped to bring about war, that the Czar of Russia would
never have adhered to the policy which led to the Crimean War, unless
he had attached undue importance to their language, and believed that
England would not fight.

The period of peace had witnessed great discoveries which were destined
to revolutionise the art of war, as well as the conditions of peaceful
life. Railways had been developed, fully in England, to a greater or
less degree in the other nations of western and central Europe. Steam
navigation had spread widely, though the majority of trading vessels,
and an even larger proportion of men-of-war, still had sails only. The
telegraph had been invented, but was not very extensively in use. All
these new agencies played some part in the Crimean War, the telegraph
somewhat to the detriment of the military operations, though their
effect was trifling compared to the influence exerted in the war of
1870 by railways and the field telegraph. Except in one respect, there
had been no changes in the art of war: and this one exception, the
introduction of the rifle, was only beginning, though it involved
potentially the vast extension in the range and rapidity of fire which
has since revolutionised tactics. The fundamental principle of the
rifle, grooving the gun-barrel so as to produce a rotation of the
bullet, was known in the seventeenth century, if not sooner. The early
forms of rifle far surpassed the musket in accuracy of aim, and also
though in a less degree in range; but the difficulty of loading them
was great, so that they were not suited to be the ordinary weapon
of infantry, though picked men were armed with them. In 1836 a form
of bullet was invented which would expand on the rifle being fired,
and fill the grooves in the barrel. This conquered the difficulty of
loading, and the rifle was gradually substituted for the musket; the
English infantry sent to the Crimea in 1854 had nearly all received the
new weapon, and the French also, but among the Russians the rifle was
still only in the hands of a few picked men. The range was far less
than what all soldiers are now accustomed to, but the advantage over
the musket was very real. No corresponding advance had been made with
artillery; hence the conditions of a siege remained the same as during
the Peninsular War.


  _Map XVII._

  _The Crimea._

The Eastern question was not a new one in 1853: it is not likely to
have disappeared from politics for many a year yet. In one sense it
dates from the first conquest by the Turks of territory in Europe: the
decline of a purely military power was inevitable whenever internal
decay wasted the sources of its strength. Mohammedan conquerors could
not possibly blend with their Christian subjects so as to form one
people, as the Normans for instance did in England. Moreover, as soon
as Russia became a powerful state, it was natural that she should seek
for an outlet to the Mediterranean: and Russian ambition has been
habitually unscrupulous. If Russia had succeeded in seating herself at
Constantinople, after expelling the Turks from Europe, the change might
or might not have been a gain to the Christian peoples of south-eastern
Europe, but it would have meant an augmentation of Russian power
extremely dangerous to the rest of Christendom. The other nations of
Europe might have looked on unmoved while any other changes passed
over the Balkan peninsula; they could not afford to let it fall into
the hands of Russia. In face of Russian aggression against Turkey,
they had no practical option: they must support, for the present at
least, the existing government of the Sultan, at the cost of prolonging
the domination of a Mohammedan power, intolerant, polygamous,
slave-holding, over Christian subjects whom its creed did not allow to
be treated with common justice.

In the year 1853 the general conditions of Europe were such as to
offer Russia an exceptional opportunity. Austria, the great power
most deeply interested, was under a heavy debt of gratitude to the
Czar, who had recently suppressed a Hungarian revolt which threatened
the very existence of the Austrian empire; and she had moreover an
unimportant quarrel with the Sultan. The king of Prussia, the power
least interested, was the Czar's brother-in-law, and greatly under his
influence. Napoleon III. had recently made himself master of France;
and the Czar seems to have assumed that he was not firm enough on the
throne to venture on war. He ought to have perceived that nothing would
so strengthen the new emperor's hold on France as a successful war;
moreover his uncle's fate and his own observations had made Napoleon
III. anxious for alliance with England: if the latter determined on
war with Russia, she was sure to have the co-operation of France.
Thus everything really depended on the temper of England, and the
Russian emperor persuaded himself that from this quarter he had
nothing to fear. A little while before he had tried to bribe England
to acquiescence in his designs, by suggesting that on the impending
decease of the "sick man," as he called Turkey, he should be very
willing to see England occupy Egypt, and thus secure her most obvious
interest, control of the route to India. English diplomacy however had
been, perhaps unfortunately, so reticent that the Czar believed England
to be under the domination of the so-called Manchester school, and no
longer capable of going to war to punish unprovoked disturbance of the
general peace of the world.

A quarrel with Turkey was easily raised over the Turkish treatment of
Christian pilgrims at Jerusalem, and the custody of the Holy Sepulchre
there. The Russian demands amounted to a claim for a full protectorate
over all Christian subjects of the Porte. For the Sultan to grant
this would have been equivalent to surrendering his independence:
he refused, and Russia occupied the Danubian principalities, which
have since become the kingdom of Roumania. In consequence of this
high-handed proceeding, England and France, an attempt at mediation
having failed, sent their fleets to the Bosphorus, and Turkey formally
declared war on Russia. In reply to this, the Russian fleet destroyed a
very inferior squadron of Turkish war-vessels in the harbour of Sinope.
This roused public feeling in England, and the western powers joined
in the war. Undecided fighting had been going on during the winter of
1853-4 along the lower Danube; and in the spring Russia mustered her
armies for decisive efforts. In May 1854 the Russian troops crossed
the Danube and invested Silistria, which resisted steadily. England
and France sent troops to the mouth of the Danube, which however were
not wanted, for the Czar, yielding to Austrian menaces, evacuated the
principalities. It might seem that nothing more need have been done:
but so long as Russia retained a powerful fleet in the Black Sea,
protected by the fortified harbour of Sebastopol, it was obvious that
she could at any moment strike at Constantinople. The western powers
accordingly resolved on an expedition to the Crimea, for the purpose of
destroying this formidable stronghold.

There is no other instance in history of an army composing over 60,000
men being landed on a hostile coast, in face of a hostile fleet. No
power but England has indeed ever successfully despatched a complete
army[85] by sea, at any rate since the time of the Crusades; and no
other power could have achieved the invasion of the Crimea. It is
true that the Russian fleet, knowing itself to be far inferior to the
combined English and French squadrons, did in fact remain sheltered
within the defences of Sebastopol: but it had to be reckoned with,
and by the English alone. The French resources being insufficient to
supply adequate transport, their men-of-war were laden with troops,
and therefore in no condition to fight. Hence the English squadron had
to escort the whole enormous fleet, which fortunately the Russians did
not attempt to disturb. Again, the military value of steam navigation
was plainly shown on this, the first occasion of its being employed,
even partially. Every English transport was either a steamer, or was
towed by one, though the French were less fully supplied. Consequently
the expedition was conducted across the Euxine with speed, and landed
exactly where its leaders chose, on the west shore of the Crimea, some
thirty miles north of Sebastopol. Considerable delay had been caused
by the collection of so vast a fleet of transports, greatly to the
detriment of the health of the armies, which had suffered from the
unwholesome climate of the lower Danube region in summer, and from an
outbreak of cholera, chiefly among the French. Thus it was not until
September 18, 1854, that the landing was completed. The English army
numbered 26,000 infantry, with 60 guns and about 1000 cavalry: the
French had 28,000 infantry and 68 guns, but had been unable to convey
a single squadron of cavalry: there were also 7000 Turkish infantry.
Considering the known strength of the Russians in cavalry, it seems
that the allies ought to have been better supplied with that arm,
even at the cost of leaving five times the number of infantry behind.
The Russian want of enterprise however prevented the deficiency being
seriously felt.

The allied governments had calculated correctly enough that the Crimea
would not contain large armies; and that its great distance from the
centre of the empire, with the badness of existing communications,
would render it very difficult for Russia to carry on war there
effectively. At the same time she could not allow Sebastopol to be
destroyed without making every effort to save it—to do so would be
to acknowledge defeat. The Russian commander, prince Menschikoff,
besides leaving a garrison in the city, was able to meet the allies
with an army very inferior in infantry (between half and two-thirds of
their number) and fully equal in artillery, but with the advantage of
possessing cavalry nearly four-fold the handful of the English light
brigade. With this force he took post across the main road leading to
Sebastopol, on the south bank of the little river Alma. The position
was very strong by nature, and might easily have been made stronger by
art. For fully two miles up the stream from its mouth cliffs rise on
the south bank, in many parts perpendicular, and allowing no access
to the plateau extending thence almost to Sebastopol, save by a slight
and difficult track close to the sea, and by a cleft three-quarters
of a mile up, through which a rough road ran. Further up the cliffs
cease, and the slopes become gradually more and more gentle, though
broken into buttresses. The main road crosses the Alma more than three
miles from its mouth, and ascends to the plateau between two of these
buttresses. The allies having full command of the sea, and having
men-of-war at hand, it is obvious that Menschikoff could not occupy
the plateau above the cliffs; but he could with very little labour
have destroyed the two steep and difficult routes, by which alone the
plateau could be scaled. This however he neglected to do, and when the
time came he was unable to oppose the French troops to whom it fell
to ascend them. Nearly all the Russian artillery was posted on the
landward side of the road, where advantageous ground was available for
it to sweep the slopes in front. A considerable body of infantry was
held in reserve, but the mass of it occupied the crest of the slopes
landward from where the cliffs cease, for about two miles, the cavalry
behind the right of the line.

The country being everywhere open and uncultivated, the allies were not
tied to the road, but advanced on a very wide front, in columns which
could quickly and easily be changed into line of battle. The French
having no cavalry were on the right, nearest the sea: the English on
the left, with the cavalry watching the front and flank. They had
no definite knowledge of the enemy's proceedings or even strength,
until on the morning of the second day, September 20, they came upon
Menschikoff's position behind the Alma. The order of march necessarily
implied that the French should scale the heights near the sea, while
the English attacked that part of the position which being more
accessible was strongly held. The task was a formidable one in face
of the Russian batteries, some of them of heavier metal than ordinary
field guns. The English general, Lord Raglan, waited for some time to
allow the French to gain the plateau and so turn the Russian left:
if he had only waited a while longer Menschikoff would probably have
been dislodged without fighting, but Lord Raglan yielded to a request
from the French general, and ordered his line to advance. The light
division was on the left, supported by the first division, consisting
of the guards and a brigade of Highland regiments; the second division
formed the right of the front line. Having given the word to attack,
Lord Raglan with his staff rode forwards, and under cover of a burning
village on the river-bank, reached a point of observation on the slopes
beyond, whence he could see something of the battle but could issue no
further orders: indeed the generals of division did not know what had
become of him. Under these circumstances the attack cost the English
some unnecessary loss. The first attack, up a slope raked by a powerful
artillery, could hardly have been made with success in any formation
but the familiar English line, though the space was too narrow to
allow the troops room to deploy fully. Naturally the light division,
which had to face the heaviest batteries, suffered severely; but they
reached the crest, driving back the Russians, who were formed in solid
columns of three or four times their strength, but who having only a
narrow front were overpowered by the English fire. The Russians hardly
fought with their usual stubbornness, the guns were withdrawn for fear
lest they should be captured, and the victory would have been gained
then and there if the battle had been properly managed; for the second
division was going through much the same process on the English right,
and the French were by this time making their way on to the plateau.
Unfortunately there was no central control: the light division had to
sustain unsupported a concentrated fire of infantry and artillery,
which drove them at last down the slope, just before the guards came
up behind them. The Russians soon gave way entirely, and the English
artillery, boldly and skilfully used, inflicted severe losses on them
in their retreat, which neither the cavalry nor the artillery made any
attempt to cover. Close pursuit was not possible without a large body
of cavalry; and the allies bivouacked on the plateau. The English loss
in killed and wounded amounted to just 2000 men: the French loss of
course was but slight: the Russians admitted a loss of nearly 6000.

Sir Edward Hamley condemns severely the generalship of all parties.
The Russian neither made the most of his position nor held it
tenaciously, nor did he make any use at all of his very superior
cavalry. The French had little to do, and did it somewhat slowly.
The English fought admirably, and exemplified once more the vast
superiority of line over column, if only troops are steady enough to
be trusted in line: but their attacks were ill combined and therefore
costly. All might have been saved, he argues, if the allies, ignoring
the Russian left above the cliffs, had formed line of battle across
their right. Menschikoff could not have made a counter attack on the
right of the allies, for the descent from the cliffs under fire from
the English ships would have been impossible. He must either have
retreated at once, or have fought in a position where defeat would
drive him into the sea. In fact the allies had much the same sort of
opportunity which Marlborough used with such overwhelming effect at
Ramillies. Neither of the generals however was a Marlborough; and
there was the natural want of unity in operations conducted by two
independent commanders acting together for the first time.

The harbour of Sebastopol is an inlet about four miles long, and from
half to three-quarters of a mile wide. The city with its docks and
arsenal is on the south side: and the ground rises steeply, broken by
narrow ravines, to a high plateau which forms the south-western corner
of the Crimea. On the south side of the peninsula, some eight miles
south-east from Sebastopol, is the small but tolerably good harbour of
Balaclava: and at the corner is the larger but less sheltered bay of
Kamiesch. North of the great harbour of Sebastopol the ground rises
high above the sea-level; and the highest point was crowned by a large
fort, while other fortifications on both sides of the entrance defended
the harbour against attack from the sea. Menschikoff immediately after
his defeat resolved on his course of action. Sinking some of the
men-of-war in the mouth of the harbour, so as to make it impossible for
the allied fleet to attempt an entrance, he left an adequate garrison
in Sebastopol, and prepared to march out with the rest of his army
into the open country. By this means he could keep open communication
with Russia, and could use any chance that might offer itself of
interfering from outside with the siege operations.

The allies might perhaps have taken the north side of Sebastopol, with
the aid of their fleet to engage the Russian ships, before the entrance
to the harbour was blocked; but such a step would have brought them
practically no nearer to the capture of the city and arsenal beyond
the harbour, and would have given them no base of operations. From
the nature of the case their base must be the sea, and therefore they
were compelled to adopt the plan, in all respects the most expedient
open to them, of marching past Sebastopol, seizing Balaclava which
became the English port, and Kamiesch for the French, and beginning a
regular siege of Sebastopol. The Russian communications from the city
northwards were never interrupted, hardly interfered with. Thus the
last great siege of what may be called the Vauban period of military
history, presents the unique spectacle of a fortress never invested and
yet reduced, of the resources of the defending power being poured into
it till they were exhausted before the superior strength of the enemy.

Two days after the battle of the Alma, the allies moved southwards.
Lord Raglan's resolution of "keeping his cavalry in a bandbox," so
long as they were so few, most praiseworthy on the battle-field, was
inexpedient on the march; and the Russian general habitually neglected
to use his cavalry. Hence Menschikoff's army quitting Sebastopol, and
the allies moving on Balaclava, narrowly missed a collision which might
have had very serious results. As it was, Menschikoff had advanced far
enough to get out into the open country unhindered, and the allies
occupied their intended position without a blow. The siege works were
promptly begun, the English, roughly speaking, taking care of the
east side of the city, and the French of the south. On October 17 a
bombardment took place, which it was hoped might open the way to a
decisive assault. The English fire inflicted enormous damage on the
works, but the magazine in the principal French battery was exploded
by a shell, and the Russians succeeded in silencing the other French
guns, while the ships inflicted far less injury on the seaward forts
than they sustained. No assault could be made, and the Russian engineer
Todleben gave the first evidence of his remarkable fertility of
resource, in the speed with which he repaired the damage done by the
English cannonade. The Russians naturally suffered greater loss in
men, being more crowded than the besiegers, and obliged to hold troops
in readiness to meet a possible assault. The well-stored arsenal of
Sebastopol saved them from any fear of being crippled by expenditure
of material. The bombardment was renewed more than once, with much the
same results: it gradually became clear that Sebastopol would not be
taken without a sustained siege.

Meanwhile the Russian field army had been gathering in the
neighbourhood of Balaclava, and on October 25, the anniversary of
Agincourt, made an attack on the allied position there, which led to
the most famous feat of arms of the whole war. From the harbour of
Balaclava the ground rises steeply on the west to the high plateau
which was entirely occupied by the allies. On the east the ground rises
equally steeply, and at the top a line of defence had been fortified,
which formed an adequate protection for Balaclava itself. Northwards
from the harbour a gorge opened up, past the hamlet of Kadikoi, into a
plain, or rather two strips of plain divided by a low ridge, virtually
surrounded on all sides by hills, which was the scene of the battle.
Along the line of the dividing ridge, close to the road leading
south-east from Sebastopol, a series of earthworks had been planned,
as an outer line of defence, but they had only been partially made
and were very slightly garrisoned. Lord Raglan had undertaken rather
more than his fair share of the siege operations, and could spare
very few men to hold Balaclava. In fact the garrison under Sir Colin
Campbell only comprised his own regiment, the 93rd Highlanders, and
three battalions of Turks. The English cavalry division had its camp
in the plain above spoken of, and formed some additional protection,
but they obviously could not man the works. Early in the morning
some 25,000 Russians appeared over the hills bounding the Balaclava
plain on the east, and attacked the nearest and largest of the small
redoubts forming the outer line of defence, which was occupied by a few
hundred Turks. No immediate support was possible: Campbell had not a
man to spare: the cavalry, drawn up at the western end of the plain,
were with reason ordered to await the support of infantry, which had
a long distance to march from before Sebastopol. The Turks fought
obstinately, losing a third of their number before they were driven
out: the Russians took two more of the line of works, and the Turks,
utterly disheartened at receiving no support, fled in confusion down
to Balaclava, carrying away the rest of their countrymen. Campbell
had only the 93rd to resist an attack which might well have been made
with twenty times his numbers. Kinglake tells how he rode down the
line saying, "Remember there is no retreat from here, men; you must
die where you stand!" and how the men shouted in reply, "Ay, ay, Sir
Colin, we'll do that!" Fortunately the Russians did not realise their
opportunity, and only made a desultory attack with a few squadrons
of cavalry. Sir Colin did not deign to form square, according to the
established tradition for infantry receiving a cavalry charge: he
simply awaited their onset in line, two deep, and when the horsemen
swerved to one side and threatened to get round his right flank,
contented himself with wheeling one company to the right, to form a
front in that direction. It was apparently nothing, but it marks the
greatest advance made in warfare since the invention of gunpowder, the
substitution of the rifle for the musket. The present generation is so
used to the later developments of breechloaders, magazines, machine
guns, which render cavalry useless against infantry unless by surprise,
that it requires an effort to realise the fact that it is only forty
years since Sir Colin Campbell's "thin red line" dared for the first
time to await charging squadrons in that formation.

Meanwhile the main body of Russian cavalry had slowly advanced up the
northern half of the plain, invisible to the English cavalry from the
nature of the ground. An order had just arrived for eight squadrons
of the heavy brigade to go forwards to Kadikoi and support Campbell.
General Scarlett, who commanded the brigade, was executing this order,
when a solid body of Russian cavalry, between two and three thousand
strong, appeared over the ridge to his left. Scarlett at the moment
was moving through his camp, where though the tents had been struck
the ground was cumbered by the picketing cords. The Russians, as they
slowly descended the slope, threw out squadrons in line on each flank.
Scarlett as soon as he had room charged with his leading squadrons,
the Scots Greys and half of the Inniskillings, straight into the solid
mass, which made no attempt to meet him with a counter-charge, though
they had the slope of the ground with them. For a moment the handful
of redcoats seemed to the spectators from the edge of the Sebastopol
plateau to be lost among the overwhelming numbers of the grey clad
enemy, but the second line came on in support, and the 4th dragoon
guards, arriving last, took the Russians in flank. The unwieldy mass
gave way, and was driven in confusion back across the ridge, and if
only the English light brigade had charged them, might have been
totally defeated. Unfortunately Lord Cardigan, who commanded the
latter, considered himself bound by his orders to remain strictly on
the defensive. Inexperienced in war, he had no idea that occasions may
arise when a subordinate general should act on his own responsibility,
and he let slip the opportunity.

Two English divisions were by this time approaching, but were not
yet within supporting distance of the cavalry. Lord Raglan, who was
watching everything from the edge of the plateau, saw that the Russians
were preparing to carry off the guns from the field-works they had
captured, and thought this portended a retreat of their whole force.
Accordingly he sent to Lord Lucan, commanding the cavalry division,
a written order to advance rapidly, and try to prevent the enemy
carrying away the guns. It was a rash idea at best, the object to
be attained being entirely incommensurate with the cost, and doubly
unfortunate, considering the character of the men on whom it would
devolve to execute it. Much heated controversy arose afterwards as to
the responsibility of those concerned, which it is unnecessary to enter
into.[86] The upshot was that Lord Lucan ordered the light brigade
to charge the Russian army, proposing to support them with the heavy
brigade, which had already done one piece of very hard work.

Hardly the great breach at Badajos, hardly the _herse_ of archers
against which the French knights staggered through the mud at
Agincourt, formed a more appalling death-trap than that into which
Cardigan's six hundred rode. On the central ridge to their right were
eight Russian guns, on the hills bounding the plain to the north were
fourteen: infantry were on both ridges, with riflemen pushed down into
the valley below. On each side squadrons of lancers were in readiness.
In front, more than half a mile off, were twelve guns, before the main
body of Russian cavalry, which had retreated so far after their defeat.
Through a storm of shells and rifle-bullets the light brigade advanced,
slowly at first, and quickening their pace as they went, and actually
drove the gunners away from the Russian batteries at the end of the
"vale of death." Lord Lucan advanced some way in support with the other
brigade, but his men fell fast: and when the light brigade disappeared
into the cloud of smoke that overhung the Russian guns in front, he
halted and drew back, saying, unless he is misreported, "They have
sacrificed the light brigade: they shall not the heavy if I can help
it." What effect his further advance might have produced it is hard to
say; the audacity of the light brigade had for the time half paralysed
the Russians, and there may have been just a chance of inflicting a
heavy blow, the more so as at the same time a brilliant charge of some
French cavalry along the line of high ground to the north drove the
Russians away from that quarter. Probably however nothing could have
been achieved to compensate for the ruin of all our cavalry: the moral
effect on the enemy could not have been intensified. Presently the
remnants of the light brigade were seen emerging from the smoke, and
forcing their way back again, assisted by the clearance of the northern
hills which the French had effected. Out of a total of 573 they had
lost 247 men and 475 horses: one regiment, the 13th light dragoons,
consisted of only ten mounted troopers at the first muster.

"C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas la guerre," is the famous comment
attributed to the French general: and no doubt the criticism was
valid. At the same time the capacity to perform actions which transcend
even the legitimate daring of war is a gift rarer, and within limits
far more valuable, than the soundest military judgment. "The ruin
of the light brigade," says Sir E. Hamley, "was primarily due to
Lord Raglan's strange purpose of using our cavalry alone, and beyond
support, for offence against Liprandi's strong force, strongly posted:
and it was the misinterpretation of the too indistinct orders, sent
with that very questionable intention, which produced the disaster. And
yet we may well hesitate to wish that this step so obviously false had
never been taken, for the desperate and unfaltering charge made that
deep impression on the imagination of our people which found expression
in Tennyson's verse, and has caused it to be long ago transfigured in a
light where all of error or misfortune is lost, and nothing is left but
what we are enduringly proud of."

The battle of Balaclava left the Russians in a position which commanded
the above-mentioned road leading from Sebastopol past Balaclava to
the south-east, and this cramped the communications of the English
between their port and the siege works. The allies abandoned, if they
had ever entertained, all thought of fighting a great battle in order
to regain the ground thus lost; but Balaclava was soon covered with a
strong and complete line of defence. Meanwhile the Russians had been
pouring reinforcements into the Crimea, being well aware that when
winter arrived it would be impossible to do so, and had formed a plan
for attacking the northern extremity of the allied position, where it
approached the upper end of the great harbour. Again the stress of the
conflict fell on the English: in fact the topographical conditions
were such that the English, taking Balaclava as their harbour, had
necessarily to encounter all attacks from the outside, while the
French, taking Kamiesch, were in contact with the city only.

The plateau surrounding Sebastopol is seamed with deep ravines running
more or less northwards down to the sea, some of them three or four
miles in length. By these ravines the various portions of the besieging
lines were separated from each other, more completely in proportion as
the works were brought nearer to the city. Thus some little time must
elapse before any one portion could be largely reinforced. The Russians
hoped, by bringing a very strong force to bear upon the English troops
occupying the bit of the plateau between the last of these ravines and
the valley of the Tchernaya, to overwhelm them before they could be
adequately supported, and so establish themselves on the plateau. If
they could do this, the allies must fight a general action with their
backs to the sea, that is to say with the certainty of destruction if
they were defeated. From this necessity the allies were saved by the
obstinate valour of the English infantry, who fought in what is known
as the battle of Inkerman.[87]

At the beginning of November Prince Menschikoff had at his disposal
more than 100,000 men, exceeding the forces of the allies in the
proportion of at least three to two. He thus had good reason for hoping
to turn the tables on his enemies; and had his combinations been made
with more skill, he might well have succeeded. His plan was that
nearly 20,000 infantry with a quantity of artillery should issue from
Sebastopol and assail Mount Inkerman, in conjunction with a somewhat
smaller force from outside, which should cross the Tchernaya by the
great bridge at its entrance into the harbour. At the same time the
remainder of the field army under Gortschakoff was to demonstrate
from the Tchernaya valley against the whole east side of the allied
position; and the ample garrison of Sebastopol was to be in readiness
to assault the siege works if they were denuded of troops. He forgot
that every movement of Gortschakoff down in the valley could be fully
seen from the plateau, and that therefore demonstrations were futile.
A real attack in all quarters at once might, with his very superior
numbers, have been made without risk: but he was not the man to depart
from conventional methods. Similarly in planning the actual attack,
he was swayed by the conventional, and usually sound, objection to
sending troops into action divided by an obstacle which prevents
all communication. Mount Inkerman was obviously to be assailed by
ascending both from the Tchernaya on the east and from the great ravine
on the west, known as the Careenage ravine. The forces detailed for
this purpose would have amply sufficed to attack simultaneously the
tongue of land west of the Careenage ravine also: but the Russian
general was afraid to divide his troops by this very steep ravine,
forgetting that Sebastopol with its large garrison lay behind, and
committed the far worse error of crowding all his men into the one
attack, where there was not room for half of them.

The tongue of land known as Mount Inkerman is by no means level. The
English second division was camped just behind a ridge crossing it
from east to west, which formed the position for the English artillery
during the action. In front of this little ridge the ground sinks,
ascending again to a hillock, known as Shell hill, three-quarters of
a mile off, which was the Russian artillery position. Between them
the tongue of land is narrowed considerably by a ravine on the east
side, the incline of which is gentle enough to allow of the road from
Sebastopol descending it to the Tchernaya. This road ascends to Mount
Inkerman from the Careenage ravine, which may for practical purposes
be deemed to terminate there, about three-quarters of a mile behind
the camp of the second division. About this point was the camp of
the guards' brigade: opposite it, on the other side of the Careenage
ravine was the camp of the light division. Other English troops were
from two to three miles off: and the nearest portion of Bosquet's
French corps, which was now charged with the duty of guarding the
east face of the plateau against possible attack from the Tchernaya,
was scarcely nearer. Thus the first stress of the battle fell on the
second division, about 3000 strong, commanded at the moment by General
Pennefather, during the absence through illness of Sir De Lacy Evans.

Before dawn on November 5, General Soimonoff, issuing from Sebastopol,
led 19,000 infantry and 38 guns up on to the northern end of Mount
Inkerman, and there formed in order of battle. His heavier guns were
posted on Shell hill, with two lines of infantry, about 10,000 in
all, in front for attack, and the remainder in reserve behind Shell
hill. As the maximum width of the tongue of land does not exceed
1400 yards, it may be imagined that the infantry were in very dense
formation, a fact which partly accounts for the enormous losses which
they sustained in the course of the battle. About seven o'clock the
Russians advanced, their guns opening fire over the heads of the
infantry: Pennefather very wisely pushed his men forwards into the
hollow to support his pickets, occupying the crest in front of his camp
with artillery. The English infantry, formed as usual in a thin line,
and with the advantage of superior weapons, drove back time after time
their far more numerous assailants. Most part of the light division
were naturally required to occupy their own tongue of land, but
General Buller with two regiments from it was the first to reinforce
Pennefather. One of these regiments rendered the important service
of routing a separate Russian column which was coming up to the head
of the Careenage ravine, and threatening to take the second division
in rear. Gradually other English troops arrived on the scene, but
the conflict long remained very unequal in point of numbers. The day
was not clear, though dense fog clung only to the bottoms: hence the
Russians, unable to see how little there was behind the thin red lines
which met them so firmly, imagined that they were encountering masses
at least equal to their own. The inequalities of the ground rendered
it practically impossible to retain regular formation, and this told
against the Russians, both as being much more crowded together, and
also as lacking the power of independent action which the habit of
fighting in line gives. It was reported at the time that the troops in
Sebastopol had been prepared for battle not only by appeals to their
religious enthusiasm, but also by copious rations of vodki, or, as the
current jest ran, were under the influence of stimulants both spiritual
and spirituous. If there was any truth in this, it would help to
account for the comparative ease with which the first Russian attacks
were routed: when the troops of General Pauloff, brought across the
Tchernaya and up the eastern slopes, came into action, the fighting was
much more obstinate.

As the English grew stronger on the field, General Cathcart with the
fourth division made a needless attempt to push forward along the
slope overhanging the Tchernaya, in which he was killed, and his men
suffered heavily. From the nature of the case, there was nothing
to be done except to hold the ground, and let the Russians exhaust
themselves, as they gradually did. During the latter part of the battle
French troops came up. General Bosquet had naturally been distracted
between his primary duty of watching the Russians below him in the
Tchernaya valley, and the duty of reinforcing his allies. Soon after
the action began he sent a couple of regiments towards Mount Inkerman,
but an English general, totally misinformed as to the strength of
the Russian attack, stopped them as not being needed. Later Bosquet
learned the true state of the case, and also saw that the movements
in the Tchernaya valley meant nothing, and he therefore despatched
heavy and welcome reinforcements to Mount Inkerman, the foremost of
which took an important share in the fighting. It is obvious that if
the large Russian force available for the purpose had attacked Bosquet
in earnest, he could not have spared a man to support the English,
who would have been very hardly pressed. When the Russians finally
abandoned the action despairing of success, though they had lost fully
12,000 men, they had still 9000 in reserve, besides their broken front
lines, while the English had on the field less than 5000 unwounded
men. But for the relief given by the French, who had been fighting
beside them for the last hour or two, and had borne the weight of the
action to an extent represented by a loss on their part of 900 men,
the English would manifestly have been fewer still. They had lost over
2300 men, or about a third of those actually engaged; they were in
no position to turn the tables on their opponents, even if prudence
had not dictated, as the French undoubtedly thought, the choice so
difficult in battle of leaving well alone.

Inkerman was not unappropriately christened "the soldiers' battle."
Under the conditions of weather no general could have efficiently
directed any elaborate scheme, and fortunately none was needed. The
shape of the ground and the relative numbers would have compelled
resort to the simple tactics which in fact were adopted, even if
the air had been perfectly clear. They were in accordance with the
habitual practice of the British soldier to form line, and in that
formation sustain the attack of columns, and drive them back in rout
when their front has been crushed by the wider fire of the line. Thus
regimental officers without superior command, even the men uncommanded
when their officers were struck down, were ready to sustain the fight
in the best way. "No other European troops," says Sir Edward Hamley,
"would at that time have formed in a front of such extent without very
substantial forces behind them." With an enormous weight of artillery
against them until near the close of the action, with odds of infantry
against them which began at three to one, and which must have been
heavier still for a while when General Pauloff came on the field,
they held their ground with an audacious obstinacy which it would be
difficult to parallel in European warfare.

The victory of Inkerman marked a decisive point in the campaign.
Foiled in this carefully prepared enterprise, the Russians henceforth
made no attempt to challenge battle in the open field. They limited
themselves to withstanding as far as possible the advance of the siege
operations, which were carried on under considerable difficulties,
arising both from the nature of the ground and from the skill displayed
by Todleben in making the utmost use of every opportunity. The
approach of winter was however destined to enforce, not a cessation
of hostilities, but the prosecution of them in a slow and uneventful
fashion. Reinforcements could no longer reach the Crimea, except at
a cost prohibitory even to the vast resources in men of the Russian
empire. And though the allies, having their communications by sea,
were not liable to the same exhaustion, yet a disaster befel them soon
after Inkerman which reduced them for the time practically to the
defensive. On November 14 a furious storm burst on the allied camps,
followed by much rain and snow. The tents were blown down, and the
whole country converted into a wilderness of mud. At the same time
many vessels laden with stores were wrecked. For many weeks after
this disaster, the sufferings of the English army were intense. The
fundamental cause was want of forage: without it the horses died,
and supplies could only be conveyed from Balaclava to the camp by
the soldiers, already as hard worked in the trenches as they could
bear. Food was never actually wanting, but hardly any fuel was to be
procured; the soldiers were never dry, and often ate their food raw.
Naturally under such conditions they sickened and died in thousands.
The French, having shorter distance between their harbour and camp,
and a tolerable transport service already organised, in which the
English were deficient, and having also a smaller part of the siege
works to maintain, suffered materially less. Things improved slowly,
but the siege was protracted indefinitely; in fact it became a contest
of endurance between the rival powers, in which the command of the sea
ensured ultimate victory to the allies.

Early in the new year the French, whose army had now been largely
reinforced, took in hand an additional portion of the siege works, thus
making for the first time a fairly equal partition of labour with the
English.[88] Instead however of taking over the left portion of the
English works, which adjoined his own, the French general preferred to
undertake the new operations which had long been intended against the
east face of the city. Here however the ever active Todleben seized and
fortified, just in the nick of time, a knoll some way in advance of the
Malakoff redoubt, the main defence of this side of Sebastopol. This new
fortification, known as the Mamelon, was so situated as to prevent the
English trenches at the south corner of the city being pushed forwards.
Consequently the main work of the siege concentrated itself on the new
French attack.

Political reasons operated to cause delay, which may be fairly said
to be one of the results of divided control. The death of the Czar
Nicholas made no difference, for his successor could not but continue
the defence. But the opinion of Napoleon III., that the capture of
Sebastopol was only feasible if it was completely invested, which
meant the detaching of a force to cope with the Russian field army, was
persistently pressed. The English government, like the generals on the
spot, thought differently; but the emperor must be held responsible
for at least part of the waste of time. Conflicts, equivalent in the
losses sustained to many pitched battles, occurred again and again.
A bombardment of ten days in April, which would have been followed
by an assault if the whole siege had been directed by a single
enterprising general, cost the Russians over 6000 men. The artillery
employed on both sides far exceeded, both in number of guns and in
weight of metal, anything that had ever before been seen in a siege.
The material progress during forty years of peace was visible in many
ways. Steamers brought the contents of the English and French arsenals:
the English made a railway from Balaclava up to the camps: a telegraph
cable put the Crimea into communication with the western countries,
which greatly accelerated the supply of whatever was wanted, though it
enabled Napoleon III. to worry the army incessantly with his military
ideas. Marshal Pelissier, however, who took Canrobert's place in the
spring, was equal to his position, and in concert with Lord Raglan
carried on the siege upon the principles already determined. On June
7, after another terrific bombardment, the French stormed the Mamelon,
though not without a serious struggle. On the 18th another attack
was made which ended in failure. The day had been chosen in the hope
that a victory won by English and French in common might supersede
the bitterness of Waterloo: but whatever chance of success existed
beforehand was wasted by Pelissier's suddenly determining to assault
without waiting for a preliminary cannonade. The result was that the
French were repulsed from the Malakoff with heavy loss, the English
from the Redan, the chief Russian work at the south-eastern corner of
the city, with at least equal loss relatively to the numbers engaged,
the only success being the capture of a small work in front of the
English left.

In spite of this failure, in spite of the death of Lord Raglan which
occurred a few days later, the siege went steadily on. The resources
of Russia were gradually becoming exhausted. Returns compiled about
the date of the Czar's death gave the total cost of the war to Russia
at 240,000 men: since that date more than 80,000 had fallen in the
Crimea. An ill-conceived attempt to raise the siege by attacking the
eastern side of the allies' position from the Tchernaya valley failed
disastrously in August. Prince Gortschakoff, now commanding in the
Crimea, felt that the end was approaching, and took measures to prepare
for the evacuation of Sebastopol, but changed his mind and awaited the
final assault. On September 8 the end came: the French trenches had
now been brought quite close up to the Malakoff tower, and Pelissier,
carefully noting the exact point and moment at which an assault could
best be delivered, stormed the great work. A simultaneous attack by
the English on the Redan was a necessary part of the plan: the soil
in front being solid rock, the assailants had to advance for some
distance over open ground, and suffered badly. The capture of the
Malakoff was however decisive. During the following night the Russians
abandoned Sebastopol, or rather its ruins: for they completed, in
blowing up their magazines and forts, the destruction wrought by the
bombardments. The siege of Sebastopol takes rank in history not as
the most momentous—in that respect it falls far below the Athenian
siege of Syracuse—or the most protracted, but as that in which the
greatest resources were employed on both sides. Success fell, as might
be expected, to the side which represented the greatest advance in
material civilisation.

The war nominally lasted for several months longer: the allied armies
occupied the Sebastopol peninsula during the winter, and small
operations were directed against other points of Russian territory.
Substantially however the fall of Sebastopol was decisive; the
destruction of the great arsenal and fortress was a heavy blow to
Russian power in the Black Sea, and the retention of it had been made
so definitely a point of honour by Russia that its capture was a
formal symbol of defeat. With the spring of 1856 terms of peace were
agreed on, which included the prohibiting any ships of war to sail
on the waters of the Black Sea. At one moment it seemed as if France
would have acceded to terms which required from Russia practically no
sacrifice; but Napoleon III. yielded to remonstrance from England,
coupled with the assurance that England was now able, and quite
prepared, to carry on the war alone.

The history of England is full of evidence that there is almost no
limit to the power which an industrial nation, having command of the
sea, can bring gradually to bear upon a warlike enterprise, always
assuming that she has the necessary resolution. And no more striking
evidence is to be found than from comparing the state of the English
army in the Crimea in December 1854 and in December 1855, especially
if we bear in mind the expenditure in men and material during the
year. Whether anything of the same kind could happen again, whether in
another war time would be available for utilising resources which must
in a sense be latent till war begins, whether other nations have gained
on England in the race of material progress, whether England would
again exhibit the national tenacity displayed in the Peninsula and in
the Crimea, are questions which every lover of peace will desire to see
remaining, as they are at present, matters of speculation.



It is more than probable that Wellington's Indian experience stood
him in good stead when in the Peninsula he had to face the task of
converting the untrained Portuguese into good troops. Discipline is
essentially the same, whatever the race or character of the men to be
subjected to it. They have to learn prompt obedience to orders, the
habit of relying implicitly on their officers for military guidance,
familiarity with the idea that duty must be done first and personal
safety left to take care of itself, coolness and presence of mind in
encountering danger, even unexpectedly. All this the Portuguese had
to learn, but in other respects they were like enough to his English
troops, already disciplined to his hand. They were Europeans and
Christians, that is to say they recognised more or less the same moral
code: they were patriotic, striving with foreign assistance to deliver
their homes from the foreign conqueror. They had motives for responding
to the call made on them which are intelligible, and cogent, to any
European. The native troops that Wellington had learned to employ in
India were like them in one important point, their being called on
to trust and follow a foreign leader; they were like them also, as
the event proved, in capacity to profit by training; but in ideas and
habits they were totally different.

The British conquest of India is one of the most astonishing, as well
as important, things in modern history: and the wonder of it consists
mainly in the fact that the English from the first were successful not
only in getting their subjects to fight for them, but in transforming
them, for military purposes, almost into Englishmen. Men of the most
varied types were from time to time brought under the spell. Hindoos
with a peculiar and very ancient civilisation of their own, the higher
castes regarding themselves as socially and morally the salt of the
earth, the lower castes accustomed to permanent and almost degrading
inferiority; Mahommedans who had once been conquerors and deemed
themselves the born superiors of their former slaves; fierce hill-men
very low down in the scale of civilisation; strangest of all, the
Sikhs with their national and religious enthusiasm still young,—all
alike became the zealous soldiers of their rulers from over the sea.
Nor was this all: the sepoys imbibed the military qualities of the men
who fought beside them, including the superb tenacity which makes the
British soldier always hard to beat.

The English battles in India were nearly all fought against odds,
occasionally enormous; and in every case, except in some of the battles
during the Mutiny, the bulk of the army consisted of native troops.
What is the explanation of this phenomenon, unique in history? One main
cause clearly was, to quote Colonel Malleson's[89] words: "the trusting
and faithful nature, the impressionable character, the passionate
appreciation of great qualities, which formed alike the strength and
the weakness of those races;" but this description hardly applies
to all the multifarious races of India, though doubtless it does to
many, and pre-eminently to the people of Bengal, where practically the
British dominion was founded. Half of the explanation must be looked
for on the other side. Unless the natives of India had been capable
of receiving the impression, obviously none could have been made: but
the Englishmen who laid the foundation of our Indian empire possessed
the requisite qualities for creating it. They made their followers
understand that when an Englishman said a thing he meant it, and this
in two senses. If he made a statement he believed it to be true; also,
and more important, if he gave a promise or declared a purpose, he
would fulfil it. Further they taught the natives to understand that
when a thing was undertaken, it must be done; difficulties must be
vanquished, odds, no matter how great, must be encountered, if such
things came into the day's work. The coolness with which they assumed
the certainty of success naturally went a great way towards achieving
it, and was all-powerful in convincing the natives, ignorant, but by no
means stupid, that the English possessed an inexhaustible reserve of
strength and resource. Then the English treated their native soldiers
well, looked after them more steadily and intelligently than any Indian
princes would have cared or known how to do, and taught them to feel
that they were invincible. The very strangeness of the Englishman's
motives and principles of action made them all the more impressive to
men who saw that they were successful. And the fact that the sepoys
were assumed by their officers to be capable of great things went far
to make them so. Never give in, never mind odds; these were the maxims
on which the men of whom Clive is but the most conspicuous, habitually
acted; and the results were that these became the accepted rules of
conduct for Englishmen in India, and that the native soldiers of
whatever race learned to rely implicitly on their officers.

Scores, hundreds of times in the last century and a half, in matters
great and small, English officers have acted on these principles as
a matter of course; and equally as a matter of course their native
soldiers have done under English leadership what they never would
have dreamed of doing if left to themselves. Courage, most of the
races which furnished sepoys possessed in abundance; and that courage
they placed at the disposal of the foreigners in whom they recognised
fertility of resource, power of combination, so far above their own
level, that they seemed to belong to a superior order of beings. Nor
can there be any doubt that the fact of their being so regarded helped
to raise the English above their natural level.[90] They must live
up to their position, both to the traditions of the service and to
the idea entertained of them. When they cease to do this, the hold of
England on India will be precarious. Whether they are tending to do so
may be judged from the history of any and every little war, such for
instance as the Kanjut expedition in 1891, the most notable feature of
which was the storming of Thol, and which is fully and picturesquely
described in Mr. E. F. Knight's book, _Where Three Empires Meet_. Even
more characteristic of the needs, and the achievements, of British rule
in India, is a narrative of an incident on a very small scale, done
in the way of everyday business, which is given in a tolerably recent
newspaper (the _Spectator_ of April 23, 1892) from a letter of the
chief actor.

"Lieutenant G. F. MacMunn, R.A., had been ordered to march with
fourteen men, of whom, fortunately for him, twelve were Goorkhas,
to convey some stores, principally rum, from Myitchina to Sadon, a
small fortified post in Burmah, a distance of about fifty miles. The
road was considered perfectly safe, and about twenty-five miles were
passed in tranquillity, when the young lieutenant—he cannot be above
twenty-two—received information which showed that some rebels of the
Kachyen tribe intended to bar his path. This meant that he must either
retreat, or force his way along a rough road, continually crossed
by streams, and lined with jungle on each side, through a hostile
force which might number hundreds, and did number sixty at least,
armed with muskets, and sufficiently instructed in the military art
to build stockades both of timber and stone. Lieutenant MacMunn, who
had probably never heard a gun fired in anger in his life, seems not
to have doubted for a moment about his duty. The people in Sadon,
he thought, would want the rum, and he pushed on, to find the enemy
holding a ford where the water was up to his shoulders. He plunged in
with three Goorkhas, and forded the eighty yards of water, 'getting
volleyed at awfully,' but was left unwounded, and 'rushed' one side
of the stockade, and then, bringing over the rest of his men, rushed
the remaining works. The Kachyens fled, but four miles in advance
towards Sadon halted again, constructed another stockade, and filled
the jungle on each side of the road with musketeers, who poured in,
as the Goorkhas advanced, a deadly fire. The Jemadar was shot through
the lungs, a Goorkha hit in the foot, and Lieutenant MacMunn wounded
in the wrist; but he went down into the jungle with two men only,
the remainder forming a rearguard, and carried the stockade, the
Kachyens firing futile volleys, and the Englishman and his comrades,
as he writes in school-boy slang, 'giving them beans.' Sadon was now
visible, and encouraged by the sight, Lieutenant MacMunn pressed on;
but the Kachyens were not tired of the fight, and had erected another
stockade, this time of stone, across the road, with a ditch five feet
deep by ten feet broad in front of it, a proof in itself of their
considerable numbers and skill. The lieutenant asked 'the boys' if
they would 'follow straight,' and they being Goorkhas, half-mad with
fighting, and understanding by this time quite clearly what manner of
lad was leading them, 'yelled' that they would, and did. Into and out
of the ditch, and up to the stockade, and again the Kachyens fled,
only to turn once more, and—but we must let Lieutenant MacMunn tell
the rest of his own story. 'It took us half-an-hour to repair the road
and pull down the stockade; and on and on, wondering where our friends
were.' (The garrison of Sadon knew nothing of the advancing party or
its danger.) 'One mile on they again fired at us from the jungle; but
the road was clear, and we hurried on down the hill, where we had to
cross a river bridged by our sappers. On the way down they banged away
at us, and near the river they had stuck in any amount of pointed
spikes in the road, and while we pulled these up they fired again and
again, and we volleyed in return. We then hurried down to the bridge;
to our dismay it was destroyed, so we had to cross the river by wading
lower down, and very deep it was. It was quite dark, and took us quite
half-an-hour to get every one across, and then the road was blocked
with spikes and trees, and the Kachins fired continually. At last we
got to Sadon village, half-a-mile below the fort which our fellows
had made. In the village from every house and corner they fired. My
horse was shot in the hind-leg, the bullet going through the muscle,
and a driver was hit too. The Goorkha ponies broke loose and galloped
about, the mules went in every direction, and the Goorkhas cursed and
blazed away, and still no sign from our friends, and I began to fear
the fort had been taken. I put the wounded driver on a pony, and we
hurried on, collecting what ponies and mules we could. In ten minutes
more we saw the fort in the darkness ahead, and I started off a ringing
cheer, followed by my men; bugles rang out, and they cheered in reply,
and in another minute we were inside. I was surrounded by men on all
sides, patting me on the back, holding me up, giving me water, asking




The history of the foundation of the English empire in India is full
of paradoxes. The East India Company had no purpose beyond trade:
they had been allowed to form settlements at various places, and like
other landowners had a few armed men to protect them against possible
violence; but they did not dream even of asserting their independence
of the native princes. It was the French, not the English, who won the
first victory against great odds over a native army, and so disclosed
the _arcanum imperii_, the secret that European discipline would
prevail against almost any numbers, and that native soldiers, trained
in the European method and fighting alongside of European comrades,
could be made almost equally effective. The restless ambition of
Dupleix, striving to establish French dominion in southern India,
led him to attack the English of Madras, as hereditary enemies at
home as well as possible rivals in India. The English were driven to
war in self-defence, and they found in Clive a leader who was nearly
Dupleix's equal as a statesman, and was also, what Dupleix was not,
a born general. Down to 1751 it had been supposed in India that the
English could not fight: they had certainly shown no inclination for
war. Clive's defence at Arcot, followed by his victory in the field
over a very superior force commanded by a Frenchman, transferred to
his countrymen that moral and military preponderance which Dupleix
had gained for the French. No better illustration can be found of
the principle that the boldest course is generally the safest, than
Clive's victory at Cauveripak.[91]


  _Map XVIII_

  _Outline Map of

The first step was thus gained involuntarily, as a consequence of
French aggression: the second and more important step was the result
of an unprovoked attack on Calcutta. In 1756 a spoilt boy became
Nawab of Bengal, and at once proceeded to make war on the English
settlements, which had virtually no means of resistance. On his capture
of Calcutta, followed by the well-known catastrophe of the Black Hole,
the Madras government sent all the force that could possibly be spared,
under the command of Clive, to attempt to regain what had been lost.
Clive's landing was followed by the easy recovery of Calcutta and by
other successes, which terrified the Nawab into restoring all that
the English had ever held in Bengal. Clive however had not forgotten
Dupleix. The Seven Years' War had just broken out; it was more than
probable that the French, whose influence was still paramount in the
Deccan, would ally themselves with the Nawab, and so enable him to
re-conquer Calcutta. Clive in fact was beginning to discern dimly, what
we after the event can see plainly enough, the end to which affairs in
India were tending. Given the political conditions, the Mogul empire
utterly weak, and its nominal subordinates fiercely hostile to each
other; given also the enormous preponderance conferred by European
discipline; the time was approaching when some European nation would
become supremely influential, the chief power in India, if not actually
dominant. Moreover the only possible candidates for supremacy in India
were France and England: and in view of the rivalry between them
in America as well as in Europe, no postponement of the inevitable
struggle in India was to be looked for. Neither side saw clearly the
greatness of the stake for which they were contending, but each felt
instinctively that there could be no security while the rival power
retained a real hold on any part of India. The game was won for England
on the field of Plassy by the political and military genius of Robert

The miserable Surajah Dowlah was no match for Clive in the cabinet,
any more than in the field. Afraid of his neighbours, especially
of the Mahrattas, he was distracted between desire to conciliate
English support and dread of English power. The French settlement of
Chandernagore was, like Calcutta, under the nominal suzerainty of the
Nawab, and therefore though France and England were at war, Clive had
no right to attack it without the Nawab's permission. The refusal was
a grievance of which Clive made the most; he seized Chandernagore, and
defied the native army that was marching to protect it. Surajah Dowlah
had dreamed, in one of his vacillations towards a leaning on English
support, of crushing with their aid the great nobles whose power was a
danger to him. Hence some of them were ready to side with the English
against him, and Clive ultimately made a regular treaty with one of
them, Meer Jaffier, who was to be made Nawab, on payment of a large
sum, as soon as Surajah Dowlah had with his assistance been overthrown.
When Clive however found himself within reach of the Nawab's army, Meer
Jaffier was still on openly friendly terms with his master, and in
command of a division of the army. Clive had only general assurances
that Meer Jaffier meant to keep his engagement with the English, which
might or might not be sincere.

The circumstances of the case put any middle course really out of
the question. Though various expedients were suggested, he must
choose between retreat and attacking with 3000 men, of whom less than
one-third were English, the Nawab's army of 50,000 men, on the chance
of Meer Jaffier coming over to his side. While the choice was yet open,
while a river still separated the two armies, Clive called his officers
together. Councils of war proverbially do not fight, and this was no
exception. The majority, with whom Clive himself voted, advised against
immediate action. The minority, led by Eyre Coote, who afterwards won
the victory of Porto Novo that broke Hyder Ali's power, declared for
advancing. When the council was over, Clive, with whom as commander the
final decision necessarily rested, went apart under a clump of trees,
and there took the resolution on which the fate of India hung. Next
morning his little army crossed the river, and by nightfall was face
to face with the enemy; they bivouacked in a mango grove north of the
village of Plassy, with the river close to them on the west, and the
intrenchments which covered the Nawab's camp about a mile off to the

Early next morning (June 23, 1757) the Nawab's army moved out and
took order for battle. On the right, half-a-mile north of the grove
which sheltered Clive, and close to the river, were posted some guns
manned by Frenchmen, behind which were massed the flower of the Nawab's
troops, commanded by his one thoroughly trustworthy general Meer
Mudin. The rest of the army extended thence in a long curve, formed
with horse, foot, and artillery closely massed together, so far that
its extremity almost surrounded Clive. The left portion, that nearest
to the English, was commanded by the traitor Meer Jaffier, who still
hesitated to take any decisive step. Clive formed his little army in
order of battle, north of the grove, his one English regiment, the
39th,[92] in the centre, with his few small guns and his sepoys on each
side. Cavalry he had none, while the enemy had some 15,000, besides
twelve times his number of infantry, and five times his number of guns,
mostly of heavier calibre. The enemy opened a cannonade, but did not
attempt to come to close quarters: they had no need to do so, for their
converging artillery fire would have sufficed to destroy the force
exposed to it. Clive was in a trap, he could not advance on the French
guns without ruinous loss, and exposing himself to being surrounded.
Retreat was out of the question: all he could do was to take shelter
in the mango grove, which was surrounded by banks, and await events,
resolving at any rate to attack the Nawab at night. Then occurred an
incident resembling that which preceded the battle of Crecy. A heavy
storm wetted the powder of the Nawab's artillery, and reduced its
fire to insignificance. Meer Mudin, thinking that the English guns
were in equally evil case, boldly advanced with his cavalry to assail
the position. But Clive's guns, which had been covered from the rain,
received him with a discharge of grape, which drove the cavalry back
in rout. Meer Mudin himself was killed, and with him died the Nawab's
chance of victory. Timid and incapable, surrounded by men who were
either traitors or cowards, the Nawab gave the order to withdraw within
the intrenchments, and soon fled from the field. Meer Jaffier so far
disobeyed orders, as not to withdraw within the lines; but to the last
he never mustered up courage to make his treason complete and side
openly with the English. Clive now saw that his opportunity was come;
advancing boldly, he drove back the artillery which was manned by
Frenchmen, in spite of their determined resistance. The enemy's army
was still intact, but they were practically without leaders, the Nawab
having fled, and some at least of the chief officers being desirous to
see Clive successful. In a disorderly fashion they issued once more
from their intrenched position, but Clive gave them no rest: pushing on
from point to point he drove them from their camp, winning one of the
most decisive and far-reaching victories recorded in history, at a cost
of less than a hundred killed and wounded.

The battle of Plassy virtually gave the East India Company Bengal,
Behar, and Orissa. Many other wars had to be waged, many battles won
by skill and daring which equalled, if they did not surpass, Clive's
exploits, before the English rule was so firmly established that it
could give peace and security to its subjects. But those victories were
facilitated by the profound impression produced on the native mind
by Plassy. It was no unmeaning instinct which interpreted the famous
prophecy about the Company's _raj_ lasting a hundred years only, to
mean that it would be overthrown when a century had elapsed since the
battle of Plassy.

Twenty years later Hyder Ali, a Mahommedan adventurer who had usurped
the throne of Mysore, made an attempt to oust the English from southern
India. It was not until after a long and doubtful struggle that he was
overcome: indeed he himself died before the conflict was over, and
the comparative incompetence of his son contributed greatly to the
triumph of the English. Decade by decade it became clearer that whether
the East India Company liked it or not, English power must extend
itself further and further, under penalty of perishing altogether.
The original strictly commercial basis of the Company had not been
forgotten, but new policy had been forced upon it, partly by the
necessity of its position, partly by the intervention of Parliament.
English officials in India no longer possessed the old opportunities
for enriching themselves, which some of them had used with shameless
rapacity, some with admirable disinterestedness. Good government,
peace, security, were at any rate the avowed objects of the Indian
administration, which had been more or less centralised ever since
1773 by the appointment of a governor-general. When in the first years
of the nineteenth century one more native power attempted to expel
the English, the supreme authority for this final conflict was in the
hands of perhaps the ablest and most far-sighted statesman, whose name
figures on the distinguished list of governors-general of India.

Colonel Meadows Taylor's remarkable tale _Tara_ is probably less
widely known than it deserves. Those who have read it, know what a
fascinating picture it presents of the condition of life in India, at
the epoch when the Mahratta power was founded. In the decline of the
Mogul empire, during the latter part of the seventeenth century, a new
Hindoo power was gradually built up, the original seat of which was
in the difficult mountain country of the western Ghauts. Sivaji the
founder appealed alike to the religious zeal and to the race feeling
of the Hindoos, as against their alien Mahommedan rulers, without
nominally repudiating allegiance to the emperor; the Mahratta power
grew and spread, till it became supreme all over central India. Even
in Bengal the raids of the Mahratta horsemen were a real danger: the
first fortification of Calcutta, some years before Plassy, bears the
name of the Mahratta Ditch. Late in the eighteenth century the Mahratta
confederacy had fallen into somewhat the same condition politically as
the Mogul empire. Their titular head, the Peishwa, was no more really
supreme over the other Mahratta princes than the emperor at Delhi
had been over the rulers of the Deccan and Bengal. About the time at
which Mysore was finally passing into English hands, the ablest of the
secondary Mahratta princes had gone near to making himself master of
all India, outside the British sphere. He dominated the puppet emperor
at Delhi; he had troops trained and officered by Europeans, besides
the splendid cavalry which had always been the main strength of the
Mahrattas. He was rapidly acquiring preponderant influence over the
Peishwa and the other Mahratta states, and dreaming of using his power
to expel foreigners from India, when his death broke up the whole

The new Sindia[93] did not inherit his father's abilities, but he
pursued in a clumsy and hesitating way the same policy. The Peishwa
broke loose from his influence, fomented a quarrel between him and
Holkar, and then, frightened at the storm he had raised, appealed for
protection to the English. Lord Wellesley seized the opportunity: by
the treaty of Bassein the Peishwa put himself into leading-strings.
Sindia tried in vain to revive his father's schemes for a complete
union of the Mahratta states against the British power. The Peishwa
was bound, Holkar jealous; only the rajah of Berar could be induced
to join him in war. The two princes however commanded between them a
very large army, comprising some 10,000 infantry trained and largely
officered by Europeans, a large amount of excellent artillery, cavalry
estimated at fully 40,000, and a mass of irregular infantry besides.
Against this force Lord Wellesley could bring into the field, after
providing for other needs, nearly 17,000 men, including the cavalry of
his dependent allies the Peishwa and the rajah of Mysore. This army
was commanded by his brother Arthur Wellesley, but in view of the many
possibilities of the campaign, it was divided into two nearly equal
parts, General Stevenson commanding the smaller. Poona, the Peishwa's
capital, had to be guarded, the safety of provision trains ensured (for
the Mahrattas had wasted the country), and the enemy prevented from
entering the Deccan, it being known that they were trying to induce
the Nizam to join them. Wellesley's capture of Ahmednugur rendered
Poona safe, and he then moved towards Sindia, who on hearing the
news instantly set out towards the Deccan. With his enormous mass of
quick-moving cavalry, Sindia, having even a small start, could have
reached Hyderabad if he had dared; but he lost heart on finding that
Wellesley was marching after him, and turned north-eastwards, managing
to avoid fighting until he had concentrated the whole of his army.
Wellesley and Stevenson met and concerted a plan, by which they should
follow different routes, a proceeding apparently rendered necessary
by the narrowness of defiles to be traversed, and fall on the enemy
simultaneously on August 24.

Early however on the 23rd Wellesley, when he had just completed an
early morning march, was informed that the enemy was encamped within
a few miles, but was preparing to move off. As this would frustrate
the plan of attack concerted with Stevenson, Wellesley must either let
them escape or attack at once with his own force only. He had but 4500
trained troops, including two English infantry regiments, the 74th and
78th, and the 19th light dragoons, the rest being sepoys: there were
also nearly 5000 cavalry belonging to Mysore and to the Peishwa, but
he had good reason to believe that the latter at least would desert
him if trusted. On coming in sight of the enemy, Wellesley found them
drawn up on the opposite side of the river Kaitna, the infantry massed
on the left near the village of Assye, the cavalry on the right. He
saw at once that in the confined space they occupied (the river, with
a little tributary flowing into it, forms a sort of horse-shoe) the
enemy could not possibly bring their enormous superiority in cavalry
to bear. The point[94] where the Kaitna could be crossed, was on the
enemy's left flank, within gun-shot of Assye, so that the troops were
obliged to ford the river and form their line of battle under fire. The
Mahrattas meanwhile had had time to make something of a fresh formation
facing the British line, the left still resting on Assye, and a second
line, formed of troops for which there was no room between the rivers,
at an angle to the first. A competent enemy would have used some of
his enormous masses of cavalry to charge Wellesley's forces while
fording the river, but Sindia was not very competent, and his ally
proved himself a coward. Better men than either, both before and after
Assye, were apparently paralysed by the coolness with which the English
commanders did the most audacious things: it was as if they either
could not believe their eyes, or took for granted that there must be
some reserve out of sight to support such an advance. Wellesley's plan
was to move his right slowly forward on Assye, while his left pushed on
rapidly to force back the enemy's right; if this were done, the whole
of the enemy's army would be jammed together upon the little tributary
of the Kaitna, unable to fight effectively. The 74th however, on the
right, were too eager and advanced too fast; the overwhelming artillery
fire from Assye killed the cattle of the few guns that accompanied
them, and caused slaughter enough to check the infantry. Sindia ordered
forward his cavalry to charge the disordered line, but Wellesley was
too quick for him; bringing up the 19th light dragoons and the Madras
cavalry he ordered them to charge at full speed against the advancing
Mahrattas. Nothing could resist the shock: the Mahratta horsemen were
driven behind their infantry, and the 74th had time to rally. Meanwhile
Wellesley had been pushing forward his left, and by the time the
village of Assye was carried, his left had swept round, and the whole
of the enemy's masses were driven at the point of the bayonet back upon
the little tributary of the Kaitna, which however was fordable. As
the infantry showed signs of re-forming beyond the stream, Wellesley
followed them up with his cavalry, and effectually dispersed all but
the troops trained in European fashion, which however retreated without
attempting to renew the action. The Mahratta horse had still to be
dealt with: they had been sharply checked once, but their numbers had
suffered little. Wellesley's cavalry succeeded, though not without a
severe struggle, in driving them off the field. The victory was for the
time complete, though the loss was heavy in proportion to the numbers
engaged, the English regiments in particular suffering greatly.

It required a month's more campaigning, the capture of two or three
fortresses, and another battle at Argaum, to complete the subjugation
of the region south of the Vindhya hills. Simultaneously General Lake
had been engaged in a campaign far away to the northwards, overthrowing
Sindia's power in the basin of the Ganges. Having stormed the extremely
strong fortress of Aligurh, he had defeated near Delhi a Mahratta army
consisting largely of trained troops and commanded by a Frenchman, and
had restored the blind Mogul emperor, who had long been a prisoner of
Sindia, to his nominal throne. Two months after Assye, Lake destroyed
on the hard-fought field of Laswaree the last army with which Sindia
could keep the field. He and his ally practically submitted themselves
to the English. Holkar tried his fortune later, with the same
result.[95] If he had combined with Sindia in 1803 there might have
been a better chance for the Mahrattas. The victory of Assye, which
must on the whole be regarded as the decisive one of the Mahratta war,
made the East India Company virtual masters of India. The Mogul emperor
was their pensioner, the rulers of Oude, Mysore, the Deccan, their
willing dependents. The Mahrattas gave more trouble before they fully
submitted, and there was fighting in various other quarters at one time
or another during the generation which followed Assye; but these wars
were comparatively unimportant. Substantially it may be said that in
the Mahratta war of 1803 the political genius of Lord Wellesley, aided
by the military skill of his brother, completed the British conquest of
India as far as the Sutlej.




Three times, after the East India Company had become supreme in India,
its dominion was exposed to serious danger of overthrow. The Afghan
war, dictated by mistaken policy, and badly carried out, led to the
greatest disaster in Anglo-Indian history, though it was redeemed
by subsequent successes. The Sikh military power, built up by an
able ruler, and disciplined by European officers, went very near to
defeating British armies in pitched battles. The mutiny of the Bengal
sepoys turned against England the main instrument of her previous

In the course of a long reign Runjeet Sing had become by far the
most powerful Indian prince since Hyder Ali. The Khalsa, as the Sikh
commonwealth was styled, was full of zeal for its creed, a reformed
Hindooism. The race was hardy and vigorous, and Runjeet Sing, taking
into his service many French and other adventurers, had given his army
a discipline and cohesion never before approached by any oriental
troops. He had conquered several provinces from the Afghans, though
not uniformly successful against them, and by carefully respecting
the prejudices of his people had won complete ascendancy at home.
Though naturally he looked with no favour on the growth of the British
power, he had the wisdom to discern its vast strength, and sedulously
cultivated friendly relations with it, which the Calcutta government
was very willing to maintain. One of the subsidiary purposes of the
ill-advised Afghan war was to assist Runjeet Sing in increasing his
dominions at the expense of the Afghan monarchy. The real determining
motive was however the same which led to the equally ill-judged Afghan
war of 1878-9, dread of the advance of Russia in central Asia.

In 1837 Persia, largely under Russian influence, tried to wrest Herat
from the Afghan monarch, Dost Mahommed, but the attempt failed,
chiefly through the energy of Eldred Pottinger. The Afghans, fanatical
Mahommedans, and bitterly hostile to foreigners, only asked to be
let alone. Their country is very mountainous, and difficult of
access, much of it barren, and the outlying parts occupied by lawless
predatory tribes. With a little assistance from India, they would have
afforded then, as later, a most effectual barrier against a Russian
advance. Dost Mahommed would have welcomed an English alliance,
chiefly to protect him against Persia. Lord Auckland however, the
governor-general, persuaded himself that Dost Mahommed was not to be
trusted, and determined to replace him by a pretender who had, as the
event showed, no partisans in Afghanistan. Armies were sent to invade
the country by more than one route, as from the nature of the case
was inevitable, and occupied it without serious resistance. Then the
difficulties began. Shah Sujah, the British puppet, had no capacity and
could establish no power. Almost every imaginable blunder was committed
by the English authorities at Cabul, both civil and military: the
envoys were murdered, the army was to all intents and purposes placed
in the hands of the revolted Afghans to destroy at their pleasure.
The government of India was slow to perceive the absolute necessity
of retrieving by vigorous measures our lost credit, and of avenging
those who had been treacherously slaughtered. Lord Ellenborough, who
succeeded Lord Auckland, was less incompetent to deal with the crisis,
though his policy was by no means faultless. In 1842 Afghanistan was
again occupied by armies, this time well and boldly led; and then the
puppet was withdrawn, and Dost Mahommed resumed his throne. The net
result of the whole war was to inspire in the Afghans a feeling of
active dislike towards the English, which had hardly existed before,
and to diminish the elements of order and civilisation, and therefore
the chances of resisting Russia in case of need, in a state always
barbarous and a prey to violence.

What might have happened if Runjeet Sing had lived to hear of the
disaster at Cabul, whether his fidelity to the English alliance would
have been proof against the temptation to strike for Sikh supremacy in
India, it is not pleasant to conjecture. He however died when the first
invasion of Afghanistan was progressing, and his death was followed by
virtual anarchy in the Punjab. Rulers and ministers in rapid succession
rose to power by violence or intrigue, and were deposed and murdered
by similar means. Every revolution made the Sikh army more and more
powerful in the state, more and more conscious of its own power.
The soldiers were admirably brave, and capable of enduring enormous
fatigue, nor had their discipline been impaired by their political
preponderance, with its consequent high pay and license of violence.
Man for man they were superior to any other natives of India, and
little, if at all, inferior to English soldiers. Strong in religious
zeal, they believed it to be their mission to expel the foreigners,
and establish, throughout northern India at least, a purified Hindoo
empire. The Sikhs were well provided with artillery, on which they
placed their main reliance, and trained in all the methods of European
warfare: though slow to attack, they defended intrenchments with
extraordinary determination. Altogether they were an enemy such as
the East India Company had never yet encountered. Fortunately for
England, they had no really skilful generals, and they were, at any
rate in the first war, led by men who were only anxious for their own
personal advantage: from the soldiery they had practically bought their
offices, and might be overthrown by them at any moment. At the best
these chiefs calculated that a war with the English, if unsuccessful,
would bring them under less exacting masters, if successful, might lead
to indefinite possibilities. Their conduct, on more than one occasion,
warrants the belief that they deliberately sought to destroy their own

Sir H. Hardinge, who succeeded Lord Ellenborough as governor-general,
was an experienced and capable soldier: he saw that a Sikh war was
probably inevitable, and brought troops up within easy distance of
the frontier, while avoiding such a concentration as would provoke
immediate attack. On December 11, 1845, the Sikhs crossed the river
Sutlej, the virtual frontier: Sir John Littler, who commanded the
only British force in the immediate neighbourhood, boldly marched
out of Ferozepore and offered battle, though they had five times his
number. His confident attitude impressed the Sikhs; their nominal
commander-in-chief, who desired to commit them as deeply as possible,
represented to them that it would be much more glorious to encounter
and defeat the governor-general, and they followed the insidious
advice. In a few days the English commander-in-chief, with a portion
of the army that was concentrating, drew near. Misinformed as to his
numbers, and urged on by leaders who desired their destruction, the
Sikhs did not march with their whole force to meet him at Moodkee, but
sent a detachment of barely his strength, all arms included, and very
weak in the most important, infantry. Sir Hugh Gough showed on all
occasions impatience of everything but direct attack in front. Forming
his infantry in line he advanced, regardless of the Sikh artillery in
their centre: his cavalry by a brilliant charge broke the superior
Sikh horse which threatened his flank, and the Sikh infantry, greatly
outnumbered, were inevitably forced back with the loss of most of their
guns, though they never were routed. This experience of the quality
of his enemies ought to have taught Sir Hugh Gough wisdom: had it
done so, the unnecessary loss of several hundred men might not have
been too dear a price to pay. Three days later (December 21, 1845)
the available forces were concentrated, and moved to attack the Sikh
army, which had entrenched itself to await him. Their position was,
to use the words of Gough's own despatch, "a parallelogram of about a
mile in length and half a mile in breadth, including within its area
the strong village of Ferozeshah—the shorter sides looking towards
the Sutlej and Moodkee, and the longer towards Ferozepore and the open
country." The governor-general, who had joined the army, intimated his
readiness to serve under Gough. Whether the battle would have been less
rashly fought if he had commanded in chief, cannot be known; certainly
Gough, whose courage was magnificent, but who had no idea of using
skill to save resort to sheer force, brought the army to the verge of
overwhelming disaster.

The short December day was nearly over before the troops were ready
to begin the attack. The plan of the battle was of the simplest.
Littler, on the left, was to assail the west face of the Sikh position;
Wallace on his right, the south-west corner and part of the south face,
Gilbert on the right, the south-east. Between Gilbert and Wallace was
massed nearly all the artillery, of which Gough in his impatience made
very little use. Against Littler the Sikhs had, as it happened, their
heaviest artillery, as well as overwhelming infantry; and his attack
was decisively repulsed. Wallace carried the intrenchments opposite
him, but remained exposed to the fire of the enemy, who had only
been driven back. Gilbert succeeded to about the same extent, but as
darkness came on retired a few hundred yards, and there remained, ready
to renew the action with daylight. The reserves were brought up just
before dark; the 3rd dragoons charged a battery and silenced it, and
then swept through the Sikh camp, dealing destruction as they passed,
but suffering heavily. Sir Harry Smith's division of infantry forced
its way into the heart of the Sikh position, but being attacked in
the dead of night was obliged to retire some distance. So qualified a
success was practically a defeat; Gough was no doubt fully determined
to renew the struggle, but it is hard to see why further efforts
should have been decisively successful, if the Sikhs had been properly
commanded. They however had really no general: the nominal commander,
Tej Sing, was watching Ferozepore with 10,000 men. The chief minister,
who was with the main army, desired for his own sake the destruction
of the soldiery whom he could not control. Hence when day dawned, the
Sikhs had no coherence or definite purpose, and allowed themselves to
be driven from Ferozeshah almost without resistance. Tej Sing and his
division were by this time near enough to have restored the action, and
perhaps to have won it, for the English ammunition was exhausted. But
the traitor contented himself with a mere demonstration, and then fled,
leaving his troops to take care of themselves.

The moral effects of this battle were considerable: it showed that
the English were not invincible. Though they had been ultimately
victorious, it was because the Sikhs abandoned the contest, not
by their own prowess. The origin and growth of beliefs is always
difficult to trace, nowhere more so than in India; but it is at
least credible that the mutiny of 1857 may have been encouraged by
the discovery that the success of the white men was not inevitably
decreed by fate. Gough thought it necessary to wait for several weeks,
while heavy guns were brought up, before resuming active operations
in person. Meanwhile the Sikhs, feeling themselves more or less in
the ascendant, crossed the Sutlej with a considerable force, and Sir
Harry Smith was sent to protect Loodiana. At Aliwal (Jan. 28, 1846) he
completely routed his enemies and drove them back over the Sutlej. This
victory led Golab Sing, who was playing a very important part in Sikh
affairs, and was aiming at his own aggrandisement, whether in hostility
to the English power or by agreement with them, to open negotiations,
which elicited from the governor-general the intimation that if the
Sikh army were disbanded, he would leave the Sikh monarchy standing.
The army however was its own master, and bent on continuing the war for
the predominance of their faith.

When at length Gough's artillery arrived, the Sikhs were occupying
a position at Sobraon, analogous to that at Ferozeshah, but weaker
in that the intrenchments were in parts very badly constructed, and
disadvantageous in that the Sutlej flowed behind it, though adequately
bridged. On Feb. 10, 1846, Gough moved before daylight to the attack,
and by the help of a fog had his artillery in position and his
troops formed in front of the enemy before they were seen. Again his
impatience would not wait for the cannonade to do its work effectually:
the delay of seven weeks since Ferozeshah was rendered virtually
useless. The right being the weakest part of the enemy's intrenchments,
the plan was that the British left should deliver the real attack,
while feints were made by the centre and right. The Sikhs however
reinforced their right so strongly that the assailants could make
scarcely any impression. Gough seeing this, ordered the infantry of
his centre and right to attack in earnest. They suffered heavily, and
recoiled for a moment, but they had relieved the left, and gradually
the whole British line pressed the Sikhs back. Tej Sing again set the
example of flight, and in crossing the bridge broke the centre of it.
Whether this was a deliberate piece of treachery or not, it was fatal
to the Sikh army, which, fighting desperately to the last, was cut to
pieces or driven into the Sutlej. This victory was decisive: the Sikhs
submitted to terms which, while leaving the child Dhuleep Sing nominal
Maharajah, made the British resident virtual ruler of the Punjab, from
which moreover the eastern provinces were ceded to the East India
Company. Cashmere also, which was to be ceded in lieu of a large war
indemnity, was sold to Golab Sing, who paid the sum which the Sikh
government had promised—a transaction indefensible in principle, and
mistaken in policy.

Peace seemed to be so well assured in the Punjab that Sir Henry
Lawrence, the first resident at Lahore, went to England for his
health without misgivings. His successor, a man of less penetration,
was profoundly convinced that no trouble was to be apprehended; yet
all the time the Sikh army and nation were cherishing the purpose of
making another effort for independence, if not supremacy in India.
The mischief began at Mooltan, an important and well fortified town
in the extreme south of the Punjab, where in the spring of 1848 two
English officers were murdered by the soldiery. Whether Moolraj, the
governor of Mooltan, instigated the deed, is doubtful; but he cast in
his lot with the perpetrators. It is suggested that this rising was
part of a wide scheme, and intended to compel the English government to
undertake a difficult siege at the worst period of the year. The new
governor-general counted it the proper business of the Sikh government
to put down what was, formally at least, a rebellion against them. The
old commander-in-chief, Lord Gough, doubted the feasibility of reducing
Mooltan in summer. Their hand was however forced by Lieut. Edwardes,
political officer of a neighbouring district, who raised some native
levies, and marched on Mooltan. He was presently joined by a small
force under General Whish, and by another of Sikhs despatched from
Lahore. The latter presently went over to Moolraj, whereupon General
Whish perforce abandoned the siege till he could be reinforced, but
remained in the neighbourhood. Successive revolts and defections making
it plain that the Sikhs as a nation were resolved on war, Lord Gough
collected an army, and crossed the Sutlej in November. He was short
of numbers until Mooltan should fall, and was intended only to observe
the Sikh army and prevent its attempting any offensive movement. His
inveterate habit, however, of rushing at the enemy, regardless of every
consideration except the hope of inflicting an immediate blow, showed
itself immediately. The Sikh commander, who had no great skill, was of
his own accord quitting a strong position at Ramnugur. A reasonable
man, who was not completely master of the situation, would have been
glad to let him thus throw away an advantage. Gough must needs attack
him with infantry, and lost several hundred men in compelling the enemy
to do what he was already doing without compulsion. A month later, when
changing circumstances rendered it expedient that active operations
should be attempted without waiting any longer for Whish, he indulged
the same propensity in a most wanton manner.

The Sikh army were posted near Chillianwalla, on the river Jhelum,
their front covered by a thick belt of jungle. It was suggested to
Lord Gough that he should move so as to place his right obliquely
across the enemy's left flank; if this were done, the enemy's line
could be enfiladed by artillery, the left driven in on the centre, and
the whole army routed.[96] The jungle in front of the Sikhs, which
prevented them from making a forward movement, greatly facilitated this
manœuvre: if Gough had adhered to his plan, they could only have
escaped defeat by retreating. It was afternoon (Jan. 13, 1849) before
the English army came within reach of the Sikhs, and the intention
was to halt for the night, and engage next morning. The Sikh general,
however, either merely to do what mischief he could to the enemy, or,
as has been suggested, with the deliberate intention of provoking Gough
to attack, pushed forward some guns and opened fire, to which the
English artillery replied. Neither party could really see the other
for the intervening jungle, and the comparatively innocuous cannonade
might have been ignored. Lord Gough's fighting temper was roused, and
he did precisely what the enemy could have desired: he ordered his
infantry to make a direct attack. The dense jungle, in one part nearly
a mile in depth, naturally broke up the order of the troops. On the
left one brigade of Sir Colin Campbell's division reached the hostile
guns, but was overpowered and driven back. The other brigade, under
Campbell in person, found itself almost surrounded; for the Sikhs
being considerably superior in number, their right extended beyond the
British line, and part of it was able to close upon Campbell's flank
and rear, though the rest was kept in check by the cavalry on the
extreme British left: he however obstinately maintained his ground. The
infantry of the right wing under Gilbert was somewhat more successful,
thanks in some measure at least to the brilliant services rendered by
Dawes' troop of horse artillery. The cavalry however of the right wing
were badly defeated. Lord Gough ordered forward his last reserve to
fill the gap between Campbell and Gilbert: and after a severe struggle
the infantry line succeeded in forcing the Sikhs back, and establishing
themselves beyond the jungle. By this time the cavalry of the right
wing had re-formed and had been reinforced from the left; there was
daylight yet left for a charge, which, pushed home upon the Sikhs, who
were already giving way and disordered by hard fighting, might perhaps
have been decisive. Gough however did not see, or would not use, the
opportunity, and went forward in person to the infantry. They were in
a sense victorious, but the enemy was not routed, and might resume
the action. There was neither food nor water within reach. It was
deemed necessary to withdraw from the hard-won field to Chillianwalla,
abandoning the wounded and the captured guns, that could not be removed
in the dark. To do this was virtually to acknowledge defeat, though
fortunately the Sikhs had lost so severely that no evil consequences
followed. A braver soldier than Gough never lived; but few battles are
recorded in which the general showed himself more incompetent than at
Chillianwalla, none in which the blunders of the commander were better
redeemed by the courage of the soldiers.

More than a month of comparative inaction followed. The Sikh army was
largely reinforced, and used every effort to tempt Gough to another
battle before he could be joined by the troops now set free by the
fall of Mooltan. Gough however either had at length learned prudence,
or yielded to the counsels of others, and steadily refused to fight
until it suited him. On February 21 took place the final battle of
the campaign, in front of the town of Gujerat. The Sikhs occupied a
position of no strength, for the two streams on their right and left
were at that season easily passable anywhere. They might easily have
found a better position in the immediate neighbourhood: but nothing
could have saved them from defeat, unless Lord Gough had reverted to
his favourite tactics. The British army was very superior in artillery;
probably no army of anything like equal numbers had ever before been
so strong in this arm, whether for the weight of metal, the number of
guns, or the precision of fire. The Sikhs understood artillery well,
and trusted to it greatly; and they would be naturally all the more
impressed by finding the preponderance against them.[97] The plan of
attack was simply that after the Sikh artillery had been silenced, the
infantry should advance, and that Sir Colin Campbell on the left should
turn the right of the Sikhs, this being the flank by which their line
of retreat could be most effectually threatened. This programme was in
the main carried out, though Gough's impatience ordered the infantry
forward a little too soon. But for this hardly any of the infantry
need have been seriously engaged. The Sikhs resisted with their usual
bravery, but were ultimately forced to abandon the field; and their
retreat was converted into a rout by the English cavalry and horse
artillery. A few days later the remains of the army laid down their
arms, and the Sikh nation submitted. After due deliberation the British
government determined to annex the Punjab. The administration of the
new province was entrusted to the best men in India, headed first by
Henry and then by John Lawrence, with the result that eight years
later, in the terrible strain of the Mutiny, the Punjab was a main
source of strength. The Sikhs, who had been the most dangerous enemies
of British rule in India, won over by good government, and largely by
the personal influence of the Lawrences, became our most faithful and
valuable supporters.

The history of the Indian Mutiny must be written either at length,
or in the briefest possible way. In the whole region of the Ganges,
between lower Bengal and the Punjab, the sepoys with few exceptions
revolted, and murdered in most cases their English officers. The
English, isolated in small bodies, defended themselves as best they
could, with the obstinacy of their race, and the determination of men
who felt that surrender, while certainly disgraceful and injurious to
the general cause, gave no certainty of rescue for their own lives.
In most important places, as for instance in Lucknow, they held their
ground: in a few, as in Delhi, the rebels gained complete possession.
The people generally, alive to the advantages of British rule in
ensuring peace and good government, but unable to understand their
masters, and especially their holding the balance even between Hindoos
and Mahommedans, remained on the whole passive. The native princes,
whose territory, roughly speaking, bounded on the south the disturbed
region, remained generally faithful to England, notably the great
Mahratta princes, Holkar and Sindia, though the adopted son of the
last Peishwa, whose succession the British government had refused to
acknowledge, was naturally a bitter enemy. Had they all made common
cause with the insurgents it is hard to see how the empire could have
been saved, even though the Punjab needed no troops, and the Madras and
Bombay sepoys remained on the whole true to their colours. Gradually as
more and more British soldiers became available, the revolt was crushed
out, though not without great exertion and much time.

The point on which the largest amount of attention was concentrated
was Lucknow, the capital of Oude. The annexation, a measure rendered
absolutely necessary by the scandalous oppression of the king, had
been too recent for even Sir Henry Lawrence to have won over the
population, who furnished a very large proportion of the rebel
sepoys. Hence the difficulty of forcing the way to the capital was
exceptionally great, and it had to be done three times. The original
garrison was but small, the 32nd regiment and about 500 native soldiers
who remained faithful. There were many English women and children shut
up with them. They had no real defences, inadequate supplies, and
almost no servants, and it was the hottest season. After Sir Henry
Lawrence was killed, Colonel Inglis of the 32nd held the command, and
proved himself fully capable of making the most of his very meagre
resources. At the outset it was expected that they could hold out for
about a fortnight: it was eighty-seven days before Havelock was able
to force his way to Lucknow, and then it was only to reinforce, not to
rescue. The heroic endurance of those long weeks cannot be described
in sober prose: no English reader can wish to see it attempted, with
Tennyson's noble poem in his memory. Havelock had had long and severe
fighting in the neighbourhood of Cawnpore, before he could even
begin to advance towards Lucknow. At the last moment General Outram
was sent to supersede him, the government apparently thinking, most
unreasonably, that it was Havelock's fault that more had not been
achieved. But Outram, the 'Bayard of India,' would not rob Havelock of
the credit: in his first and only general order issued on joining the
little army, he announced that he waived his superior rank, and would
accompany the force in his civil capacity as the new chief commissioner
of Oude. Havelock and Outram forced their way into Lucknow on September
28, when Outram of course assumed the chief authority. His first idea
was to withdraw, but he found that transport could not be provided
for the women and children and the large number of sick and wounded.
He therefore resolved to await relief from Sir Colin Campbell, which
could not be very long in coming. Campbell however was hampered by
many difficulties before he could leave Cawnpore: and it was not till
November 17 that he fought his way into Lucknow. The storming of the
Secunderbagh, a fortified palace in the outskirts of the city, and
of the Shah Nujeef, a mosque near it, are among the most sensational
feats authentically recorded. They could not be better told than in
the admirable narrative of Mr. Forbes Mitchell, then a sergeant in
the 93rd Highlanders, which played a conspicuous part in the relief.
This time the garrison was withdrawn, for Campbell had not men enough,
if he occupied Lucknow in force, for the critical operations which
awaited him around Cawnpore: but the gallant Havelock died, worn out,
before the retreat began. Outram remained in a fortified position at
the Alumbagh not far from Lucknow: and after disposing of other duties
Campbell returned to make a final end of the Lucknow rebels. This time
the forces available were large, the operations could be conducted in
a methodical way without undue waste of life, and the work was done

More important in its moral effect, more remarkable as an instance
both of political and military audacity, was the reconquest of Delhi.
The imperial city had but a small force of sepoys stationed in it,
when the mutiny broke out at Meerut, forty miles off. Many of the
mutineers hastened to Delhi, flying, it would seem, from the expected
vengeance of the English troops at Meerut, who however were detained
inactive by the hopeless incapacity of their general. The Delhi sepoys
rose at the news, and slaughtered all the English in the city: those
who lived outside fled as best they could. Lieutenant Willoughby, in
charge of the great magazine, defended it for some time, aided by
eight men only; and then blew it up, and a thousand rebels with it.
The ancient capital, with all its resources, was for the time lost:
and the mutineers proclaimed the restoration of the Mogul emperor,
who, old and blind, resided in the palace, though this did not mean
his assumption of any authority. The supreme importance of recovering
Delhi was obvious, but it was not till three weeks after the outbreak
that General Barnard, who had become commander-in-chief by the death
of General Anson, marched for Delhi, ordering all that could be spared
from Meerut to join him. Wilson with the Meerut force had to fight
his way, and after his junction with Barnard a considerable battle
had to be fought; but on June 8 the army established itself in the
old garrison cantonments, on a long ridge which looks down on the
city from the west and north-west. It was obviously far too small to
besiege Delhi in any real sense. It could furnish visible evidence
that England had not abandoned the idea of reconquest, but it could do
no more without reinforcements and a siege train, unless by a direct
and immediate assault. Some of the ardent spirits in the army strongly
urged General Barnard to hazard an assault; and if he had done so, he
might very possibly have succeeded; for the odds against him were not
much greater than when Delhi was taken three months later, and the
moral effect of prompt audacity is always great, especially in India.
He however thought the consequences of failure too disastrous to be
risked without a greater chance of success. Consequently Delhi became
more and more the focus of the mutiny, to which streamed all rebels
not already in organised bodies: and its fall was a greater material
blow to their cause. This however can hardly be set against the value
of an early proof that the British could and would re-establish their
power. It requires an extraordinary man to realise that the risk of
failure is no greater because the result of failure will be ruinous,
and to run the risk with a full determination not to fail. Had
Nicholson, or Havelock, or Edwardes, been in command before Delhi, the
risk would have been faced. Barnard however was not an extraordinary
man: the early opportunity once let slip, nothing could be done but
hold on. The rebels, daily gaining in number and possessing unlimited
stores of ammunition, made repeated attacks. The British army, though
invariably successful in their encounters, and slowly gaining more and
more ground, could not in any sense be said to besiege the city: they
were not far from being themselves beleaguered. Moreover no help could
come except from one quarter. The whole mass of the revolted territory
lay between Delhi and Calcutta. The means of conquering Delhi must be
furnished, if at all, from the Punjab.

England has never been better served than by the men who at the crisis
of the mutiny governed the Punjab and adjoining provinces. The country
was full of disaffected regiments, but they were nearly all disarmed
without mischief: where material force to compel obedience was lacking,
the calm assumption of irresistible authority answered nearly as well.
Nowhere did the mutineers obtain the superiority, though a certain
number made off towards the rebel ranks at Delhi. After a little
observation of the temper of the Sikh population, Sir John Lawrence
took the bold step of enlisting them by thousands, to take the place
of the Mahommedan and Hindoo mutineers. The Sikhs had found the new
government just: they saw its attitude of perfect confidence in its
own strength, and they served it as devotedly as they had followed
Runjeet Sing. Not only did Lawrence win the Sikhs to remain peaceful
themselves, and keep down the elements of disorder on the borders, thus
setting free the English regiments; he was able also to contribute
thousands of Sikh troops of all arms to the recovery of Delhi. The
delay increased his difficulties, for it weakened the belief in English
invincibility. Regiments mutinied that had hitherto remained quiet:
the wild tribes of the frontier, the non-Sikh parts of the population,
were in a ferment. Lawrence however held firmly to his conviction that
Delhi was the paramount consideration: he even despatched to Delhi the
"movable column" which had been organised in the first days of the
mutiny to meet emergencies. This force was commanded by John Nicholson,
possibly the greatest of the many heroes of Anglo-Indian story, and he
became the soul of the besieging army.

On the arrival of the siege train early in September all felt that the
crisis was come. Archdale Wilson, who had succeeded to the command on
Barnard's death, was still doubtful of success, but he yielded with
a good grace to bolder counsels. From the nature of the case nothing
could be done but to batter those portions of the walls which were
within reach from the English position, and then assault. After a
few days' bombardment breaches had been made in the northern walls,
one in the water-bastion close to the north-eastern angle, one near
the Cashmere gate, which were deemed sufficient. On September 14 the
attack was made in four columns; it was not supposed that the whole
of the great city, swarming with desperate men, could be conquered
at once, but if a firm footing were once gained within the walls,
the rest of the work might be done gradually. One column under Jones
was to storm the water-bastion, another under Nicholson, the breach
near the Cashmere gate: a third under Campbell was to blow in the
Cashmere gate, while Reid with the fourth was to take the suburbs on
the western side of the city, and make for the Lahore gate, in the
middle of the western face. The two first columns advanced first, and
both were successful in making good their footing within the walls.
While Nicholson was fighting his way house by house onwards, Jones
turning to the right made his way along the walls. It would seem as if
in the confusion all parties had lost their bearings, or else Jones
should apparently have taken the Cashmere gate in flank, and saved
the obvious risk of blowing it in. Ultimately, Jones found himself on
the west side of the city, near the Lahore gate, but did not attempt
to seize it, his rendezvous with Nicholson being at the Cabul gate
further north, to which he retired. This waste of a chance was not of
as much importance as it might otherwise have been, for Reid's attack
failed for want of guns, with which the enemy were well provided. He
himself was struck down, and all his men could do was to hold firmly
the extreme end of the previous position. When Nicholson at length was
able to force his way to the Cabul gate, and meet Jones, the enemy was
in great strength there, and it would perhaps have been better policy
to be content with what had been gained on that day. Nicholson however
pushed forward towards the Lahore gate, and was mortally wounded while
attempting the impossible. Meanwhile the Cashmere gate had been blown
in: two engineer officers, with three sergeants and a bugler, were told
off for this most difficult of military duties, for it requires not
merely courage to face almost certain death, but perfect coolness to
deal with the unexpected. Both the officers were badly wounded, two of
the sergeants were killed, the third barely escaped being crushed in
the explosion, but the powder was fired, and the gate blown to pieces.
Campbell had no difficulty in entering the city, but he also failed to
penetrate far. The day of the storm closed with no more success than
to have taken possession of the northern edge of the city, and this
at a cost of 1200 men, besides Nicholson, who was worth all the rest.
The first blow however was really decisive: the rest of the city had
to be conquered piecemeal, but the heart of the resistance was gone.
The old Mogul emperor, who had for three months been the puppet of
the mutineers, was taken prisoner. His sons were shot without trial
by Hodson, commander of a famous regiment of irregular cavalry, a
deed for which Hodson, who acted on his own responsibility, has been
very strongly condemned and as warmly defended. Terrible severity was
at first employed in punishing the rebels at Delhi, for which there
was the excuse that nowhere had helpless women and children been so
brutally murdered. There were some who even wished to destroy the
city, as an example. Thanks to Sir John Lawrence, however, humane
counsels prevailed, and the peaceful inhabitants of Delhi, who had been
grievously ill-treated by the mutineers, returned to their homes.

The effect of the fall of Delhi was not as great as it would have
been had Barnard stormed the place in June: but it put an end to the
strain in the Punjab, and followed as it soon was by the relief of
Lucknow, marked the definite turn of the tide. From that time onwards
it was visible to all India that the English rule would be restored.
The mutineers still fought on, but in fury and despair rather than
expecting success. Great as was the danger at the outset, narrow as
was the margin between the English in India and total destruction,
the mutiny ended in strengthening our hold in the country, besides
furnishing the most vivid testimony in all history to the maxim that
nothing is impossible, while life remains, to those who have courage
and coolness.



  Agincourt               October 25  1415
  Albuera                     May 16  1811
  Alma                  September 20  1854
  Assye                    August 23  1803
  Balaclava               October 25  1854
  Bannockburn                June 24  1314
  Barnet                    April 14  1471
  Blenheim                 August 13  1704
  Busaco                September 27  1810
  Chillianwalla           January 13  1849
  Crecy                    August 26  1346
  Dunbar                 September 3  1650
  Edgehill                October 23  1642
  Evesham                   August 4  1265
  Falkirk                    July 22  1298
  Ferozeshah             December 21  1845
  Flodden                September 9  1513
  Fontenoy                    May 11  1745
  Gujerat                February 21  1849
  Hastings                October 14  1066
  Inkerman                November 5  1854
  Lewes                       May 14  1264
  Marston Moor                July 2  1644
  Minden                    August 1  1759
  Naseby                     June 14  1645
  Oudenarde                  July 11  1708
  Plassy                     June 23  1757
  Poitiers              September 19  1356
  Quebec                September 13  1759
  Ramillies                   May 23  1706
  Salamanca                  July 22  1812
  Sobraon                February 10  1846
  Stamford Bridge       September 25  1066
  Talavera                   July 28  1809
  Tewkesbury                   May 4  1471
  Towton                    March 29  1461
  Vittoria                   June 21  1813
  Waterloo                   June 18  1815


  Aliwal               1846
  Almanza              1707
  Argaum               1803
  Aspern               1809
  Atherton Moor        1643
  Auberoche            1345
  Cambuskenneth        1297
  Cauveripak           1752
  Cheriton             1644
  Corunna              1809
  Courtrai             1302
  Crevant              1423
  Culloden             1746
  Dettingen            1743
  Douro                1809
  Falkirk              1746
  Formigny             1451
  Fuentes d'Onoro      1811
  Fulford              1066
  Halidon Hill         1333
  Herrings             1429
  Homildon             1402
  Jena                 1806
  Landen               1693
  Laswaree             1803
  Leuctra          B.C. 371
  Ligny                1815
  Maida                1806
  Malplaquet           1709
  Marengo              1800
  Moodkee              1845
  Mortimer's Cross     1461
  Nevil's Cross        1346
  Newbury              1643
  Newbury              1644
  Northampton          1460
  Patay                1429
  Porto Novo           1781
  Preston Pans         1745
  Quatre Bras          1815
  Ramnugur             1848
  St. Alban's          1461
  Schellenberg         1704
  Steinkirk            1692
  Stow-on-the-Wold     1645
  Thermopylae      B.C. 480
  Toulouse             1814
  Turin                1706
  Verneuil             1424
  Vimiero              1808
  Wakefield            1460
  Worcester            1651
  Wynendael            1708


  Almeida       1810 and 1811
  Badajos       1811 and 1812
  Burgos                 1812
  Calais              1346-47
  Ciudad Rodrigo         1812
  Delhi                  1857
  Gloucester             1643
  Harfleur               1415
  Herat                  1838
  Lille                  1708
  Lucknow                1857
  Mons                   1709
  Mooltan                1848
  Orleans             1428-29
  Oxford                 1645
  Quebec                 1759
  Sebastopol          1854-55
  Stirling               1314
  York                   1644


[1] There was doubtless learning in Northumbria, but it was altogether
monastic, and limited to that one kingdom.

[2] The famous story of Harold having sworn unconsciously on all the
relics in Normandy, is told by the Norman writers in many different
forms, more or less inconsistent with each other, and some of them
demonstrably incorrect; and it is impossible to discover the truth.
That William accused Harold of perjury all over Europe, and that no
answer was attempted, is evidence that something of the sort had
happened. As Professor Freeman points out, the absolute silence of all
the English chroniclers implies that they did not know how to meet the
accusation. Harold must have taken some such oath, under some form of
coercion, and so have given his enemy an advantage; but obviously it
would have been a greater crime to keep such an oath than to break it.
Obviously too, on any version of the story that is not self-refuted,
William's conduct was far more dishonourable than Harold's.

[3] Professor Freeman's great History of the Norman Conquest contains
a very minute discussion of every point of detail, and a narrative
framed by laboriously piecing together the statements which on careful
comparison he deems most correct. Much of this is very valuable, though
there is at least one important point in which his account cannot be
right. Much of it is more or less wasted labour, because it involves
giving a precise meaning to expressions in the authorities which were
probably used loosely. The main outlines are clear enough, the details
are at least partially conjectural, and inferences based on physical
facts are a safer guide, so far as they go, than interpretations of the
inconsistent and perhaps unmeaning language of monkish writers.

There is also the Bayeux Tapestry, which has been reproduced by Mr.
Collingwood Bruce, and which for costume and arms is invaluable: but
from the nature of the case it is a very poor guide in determining the
tactics of the battle. To rely on it for such purposes, as Professor
Freeman and others do, seems to me as unreasonable as to deduce a
military history of the battle of Agincourt from Shakespeare's _Henry
V._, as put on the stage.

[4] A vehement controversy has raged since Professor Freeman's death
regarding the accuracy of his narrative, the point most strenuously
disputed being his statement that Harold's front was protected by a
solid wooden barrier. It is maintained in opposition that there was
nothing but the wall of interlaced shields familiar to both Saxons and
Danes. Without entering into the controversy, I content myself with
saying that while the weight of testimony seems to be in favour of some
kind of obstacle having been erected, I am satisfied, for the reasons
given in the text, that there cannot have been anything like the
massive structure described by Professor Freeman.

[5] It must have been later in reality; since sunrise, the whole Norman
army had marched seven miles, had halted, and had then been arrayed in
order of battle, and this on October 14. Moreover, such a battle could
not have lasted nine hours, and it certainly ended at dark.

[6] This suggestion is not based on any direct statement, but it seems
to be the only way in which the archers could have aimed effectually.
If they had been behind the horsemen, shooting over their heads, the
arrows would have been as likely to strike Normans as Saxons.

[7] Harold's tomb was shown at Waltham down to the date of the
dissolution of the abbey. There is no positive information on the
point, but there seems no reason for rejecting the explanation that
William afterwards allowed the corpse of Harold to be removed to
Waltham. It is at least much more probable than that a falsehood should
have been allowed to pass unchallenged.

[8] This word, which is of course French but was adopted in English
with the same signification, definitely means a body of men, originally
mailed horsemen, drawn up together; but it implies nothing as to their
formation or strength. The usual practice was to form three; the
vanguard, which became ordinarily the right when in line of battle;
the rearguard, which similarly became the left; and the main battle
or centre. In the Latin chroniclers the equivalent term is generally
_acies_, which occasionally leads to some confusion in interpreting
their statements, as the classical sense of _acies_ is order of battle,
as contrasted with _agmen_, order of march.

[9] It is suggested that this was a waggon, such as was habitually
used in Italy at an earlier date, and occasionally at least in England
(as at the battle of the Standard), to carry to battle the standard of
the town. The earl's standard certainly floated over it, and attracted
prince Edward's attention: and from the account given of the prisoners
being shut up in it, it would seem to have been very substantially
built. Montfort however would hardly have travelled in such a waggon,
and certainly the royalists imagined he was in it. There is no reason
except the silence of the chroniclers why there should not have been
both a _carroccio_, and also Montfort's own carriage.

[10] As he had not been crowned at Rome he had no right to use the
imperial title.

[11] The name itself may very possibly be derived from the event.

[12] There are the remains of an ancient bridge at this spot, where
so many of the fugitives from the battle were cut to pieces that the
meadow bears the name of Dead Man's Eyot: but there is no mention of a
bridge in the authorities, so that probably the bridge was built later.

[13] Here again I have given the account which seems to me most
probable, after study of the ground and of the authorities. Professor
Prothero, in his _Life of Simon de Montfort_ (p. 339 note), gives the
different possibilities, and comes to a conclusion differing from mine
on one point only.

[14] Philip IV. was playing the same game, over-asserting his claims as
feudal suzerain over Guienne.

[15] A map showing all this part of Scotland will be found at p. 147.

[16] The first victory of the pike was gained by the Flemings at
Courtrai, five years later.

[17] All accounts agree in representing the English numbers as more
than double the Scottish, with an enormous superiority in men-at-arms,
the most important item.

[18] The use of the crossbow was solemnly condemned by the Lateran
Council of 1139: no reasons were given, but presumably it was thought
that the cross-bow neutralised the natural, and therefore divinely
intended, advantage of superior strength.

[19] There is a statute of Henry VIII. which forbids practising at any
less distance.

[20] The so-called Salic law had never been heard of till Philip V.
evolved it for his own purposes a few years before: but the principle
of exclusive male succession is a natural one for a feudally organised
nation to adopt.

[21] Louis VII. of France had it is true married the heiress of
Aquitaine and ruled the province for a few years, but only in her name:
and she soon repudiated him, to marry Henry II. of England.

[22] This is said by Froissart to have been done on the advice of
Godfrey of Harcourt, who was certainly one of the king's most trusted
officers during the campaign, habitually leading the advanced guard.

[23] He was in the county of Ponthieu, which had been the portion of
Margaret of France, second wife of Edward I. He was not descended from
her, but from Eleanor of Castile: there does not however seem to have
been any provision for Ponthieu being inherited by Margaret's children.

[24] _Herse_ has another and less familiar meaning, which still better
corresponds to the formation indicated—the stands used in churches for
seven candles, the centre one forming the apex, and those at the sides
gradually lower.

[25] This theory is so far as I know novel, and I put it forward as a
suggestion for what it may be worth. It explains, I venture to think,
the extraordinary success of the English tactics, and it contradicts
no ascertained facts. Every one who knows a little about drill will
see that in this formation the archers would be able to change the
direction of their shooting with perfect ease, and without interfering
with each other. The archers cannot have been on the flanks of the
whole line only, or their arrows, long as the range was, would not have
told across the whole front. They could obviously move with ease and
rapidity, and it is quite possible that they may have formed a line
in front of the dismounted men-at-arms, when no attack was impending,
as for instance to encounter the Genoese, and have fallen back to the
_herse_ when the knights were seen preparing to charge.

[26] There is no need to insist on the picturesque detail of the rain
which fell just before the battle having wetted the strings of the
cross-bows, while the English kept their bows under cover. It may well
have been true: but the range of the long-bow was always greater than
that of the cross-bow.

[27] It is convenient to use this word for those who were fighting in
the English cause: but as a matter of fact two-thirds of the Black
Prince's men-at-arms were from among his Gascon subjects, and the
_servientes_ therefore in about the same proportion. The archers
doubtless were all, or nearly all, English: there is no trace of the
long-bow except in English armies.

[28] I am indebted for these details, except so far as they are from my
own observation, to Colonel Babinet, a retired French officer living
at Poitiers, who has published in the _Bulletin des Antiquaires de
l'Ouest_ a very elaborate memoir on the battle, which he has kindly
supplemented by private letters. His study of the topography has been
most minute, and his conclusions about it, so far as I can judge,
are entirely sound. If there were many investigators as patient and
careful, historians would find many battles less perplexing. Every one
who attempts to understand the battle of Poitiers must feel grateful to
Colonel Babinet, even if he does not accept all that gentleman's views
as to the course of events.

[29] The Chandos Herald was in the service of Sir John Chandos, one
of the Black Prince's best officers. The herald was not apparently
present, but he obviously must have had every means of knowing about
the battle, in which Sir John fought; he did not, however, publish
his rhymed narrative till some thirty years later. Froissart, who
was nineteen years old in 1356, devoted his whole life to the work
of his history; he was familiar with courts, if not with camps,
indefatigable in acquiring information, but not critical. He too had
ample opportunities of learning all about the battle of Poitiers, at
any rate from the English side. The manuscripts of Froissart, however,
vary greatly, which casts a certain doubt over the trustworthiness of
such details as are not given identically in all. Baker was a clerk
of Swinbrook in Oxfordshire: the last words of his chronicle were
written before the peace of Bretigny in 1360, so that he was even more
strictly contemporary than Froissart. Several passages in his history,
in which he makes very definite statements about the tactics of the
long-bow, prove that he, or his informant, understood military matters
well. None of them can have seen the ground, and therefore no stress
need be laid on minor inaccuracies of description. Mistakes about the
names of actors in the drama might easily be made: all that can be said
is that the writer who has made fewest errors has a slightly better
claim to general credibility. None of them can be deemed likely to
have deliberately misrepresented, or to have been totally misinformed
about the ground-work of the whole story. Yet there is the fact, that
their narratives are substantially contradictory. Critical ingenuity
may no doubt patch up some sort of superficial reconciliation between
them, but it can only be superficial. Under these conditions I have
no alternative but to follow the narrative which seems to be most in
accordance with the known facts. I am not ignorant of the difficulties
involved in this course, but my plan does not admit of a full
discussion of every point that might be raised. On the whole I incline
to discard the Chandos Herald, the more so because none of the less
detailed narratives support him, and as between Froissart and Baker,
to prefer the latter. My account of the actual battle will therefore
follow the chronicle of Baker of Swinbrook, in all matters in which he
and Froissart are completely at variance.

[30] According to Baker, the prince began this movement _cum
cariagiis_, to which, however, there is no further reference. It
is obviously possible that the prince may have wished to get the
baggage out of the way, and therefore started it towards the Gué de
l'Homme, and that he shifted his troops in order to cover this from
the French. If so, this would be the element of truth in the Chandos
Herald's narrative; but it does not in any way remove the essential
contradiction between the Chandos Herald and the other authorities.

[31] Froissart calls him Thomas lord of Berkeley, a young man in his
first battle, and says he was son of Sir Maurice Berkeley, who died at
Calais a few years before. Thomas the then lord of Berkeley, and elder
brother of that Sir Maurice, was in the battle, but he was a man of
over fifty, and he had his son Maurice with him for his first campaign.
That Baker should be right, and Froissart wrong, on a point peculiarly
within Froissart's province, is a striking incidental testimony to
Baker's trustworthiness.

[32] The name was derived from Bernard Count of Armagnac, the duke's
father-in-law, who gave the party most of its energy.

[33] _Henry V._ Act iv. Scene 3. Shakespeare has introduced the
incidents told by the English authors with much accuracy, but has gone
quite wrong as to the persons concerned. The wish was expressed by Sir
W. Hungerford, not by the earl of Westmoreland, who was in England.
Henry's chaplain makes the king's words more pious, if less poetical;
and the piety was certainly in keeping with his character.

[34] Comparatively recent plantations slightly obscure the ground,
making minute accuracy impossible: but the general character of the
field, and its main details, are quite clearly to be seen.

[35] The numbers of Henry's original force can be closely computed
from original documents; and there exists also part of a list of the
gentlemen present at Agincourt, with the numbers of their contingents.
Estimating from the latter, the total number of combatants was far
below 10,000.

[36] _Boulevard_ is the technical name for a kind of earthwork used
in the early days of cannon. It was a sort of terrace, protected by
a parapet, on which cannon could be planted as an outer defence to a
fortress, and might be of any shape. The technical name for the small
forts which the English gradually erected round Orleans is _bastide_.

[37] The formation of a fortified post by means of the camp-waggons was
a fundamental part of the tactics of John Zisca, the long successful
leader of the Bohemian insurrection a few years earlier. The _lager_
which is a feature now well known of African warfare, is the same thing
in principle.

[38] This is of course not the first instance of a siege approximating
to the modern type. The siege of Harfleur already mentioned was in fact
more like a modern siege than that of Orleans.

[39] Sir Edward Creasy goes so far as to place the relief of Orleans
among the fifteen _Decisive Battles of the World_.

[40] The Beauforts had been duly legitimated by Parliament, but Henry
IV., in confirming this to his half-brothers, had inserted words in
his charter which barred their succession to the throne. The strict
legality of the latter act can hardly be maintained: but it is plain
that no one dreamed of preferring the Beauforts to the house of York.

[41] In Chapter II. I abstained from giving the numbers at Hastings,
because there seem to me to be no adequate materials for forming a
trustworthy estimate: but it is scarcely possible that the armies which
fought at Hastings can have been within many thousands of the total
given by chroniclers for Towton.

[42] It is possible that the numbers are exaggerated, but there is no
reason for thinking so except the smallness of the battle-field; and
if so the exaggeration was on both sides alike, for it is certain that
the Lancastrian numbers preponderated. The Yorkist force is given at
49,000 by the authorities who put the Lancastrians at 60,000, both
totals being given before any fighting had taken place. What losses had
been incurred at Ferrybridge we are not told, and we can only guess at
the strength of the Yorkist rearguard: but the numbers with which the
battle began cannot have been very far from seven to four.

[43] Sir John Ramsay, in his generally valuable work, _Lancaster and_
_York_, places Warwick's line along the high-road, where there is every
reason to believe that there was no hedge at all in the fifteenth
century, for the amazing reason that "from that position he could take
the king's troops in detail as they came out of the narrow street of
Barnet," which ended in the open heath half-a-mile off. It is true that
he adds, "but Edward always laughed at Warwick's strategy," by which
presumably he means tactics. Since all that Edward knew of Warwick's
tactics was that he had inspired, or at least shared in directing,
the bold and skilful tactics of Towton, he must have been very easily

[44] This fact alone is sufficient to disprove the Yorkist falsehood
that while Warwick had 30,000 men, Edward had but 9000.

[45] The numbers are not very clearly given, but the accounts seem
to indicate no great disparity, with the advantage, if any, to the

[46] Sir John Ramsay must have seen the ground in winter, if he was
able to obtain a view of the whole position. In summer the trees, which
are none of them ancient, intercept a great deal. I should be inclined
to think that the Lancastrian line faced nearly south instead of
parallel to the modern road, as he places it: otherwise he seems to me
to have worked out the topographical details very well.

[47] Curiously enough the earliest cannon seem to have been
breechloading. This mode of construction was however abandoned after
a time, either because the movable pieces did not fit properly, or
because they could not be made strong enough to stand the strain when
gunpowder came to be thoroughly explosive, in favour of muzzle-loading.
In modern warfare, until after the Crimean War, cannon were mere metal
tubes, with a touch-hole by which they were fired. Things have moved
fast since then. Of the millions of men now under military service, how
many have a clear idea of what "spiking a gun" meant?

[48] I use this phrase for convenience' sake, to mean the shot
discharged by every kind of hand firearms until the introduction of the

[49] This especially held good of the heavy plate armour which was
introduced in the fourteenth century, and grew heavier and heavier.
There seems to have been hardly any chain mail which a clothyard arrow
could not pierce.

[50] There had been many Scots in the service of Gustavus: and this
fact made the Scottish intervention in the English civil war more
weighty than it would otherwise have been.

[51] It is significant of the superior importance of the cavalry in the
seventeenth century that the lieutenant-general, second in command,
led the cavalry, the infantry being under the major-general, third in

[52] The letter is rather confused, but it can hardly bear this
meaning, though it undoubtedly authorised fighting a battle.

[53] Switzerland need not be forgotten, but Switzerland could under no
circumstances have wielded the European influence exerted by English
ideas, backed by the vast power, military, naval and commercial, of the
England of Marlborough, and Chatham, and Nelson.

[54] Hodgson, an officer who was in the battle, says that Cromwell sent
four regiments to circle round the enclosures of Brocksmouth House and
fall on the enemy's right flank. Such a manœuvre was hard to work
accurately in the dark, but if successful was bound to be decisive.
The evidence is good: but this very decisiveness makes me hesitate to
believe that Cromwell himself, to say nothing of other narrators, could
have described the battle without mentioning so important a fact.

[55] Quoted from Cromwell's despatch to the Speaker.

[56] The Margrave of Baden helped to drive Marlborough to this extreme
haste: he had claimed the chief command on the junction of the armies,
and had with difficulty been induced to agree that it should be
exercised by himself and Marlborough on alternate days. The Margrave
was far too cautious to storm the Schellenberg: Marlborough had
therefore to attack that evening or to wait two days, which would have
been too late.

[57] This devastation is always regarded as a blot on Marlborough's
fame, and is in marked contrast to his usual humanity. The practice was
dying out, in obedience to the dictates of opinion, but it was not yet,
as it would be now, an outrage on international usage.

[58] The village which gives its name to the battle is properly called
Blindheim: but the spelling in the text has been adopted in English
ever since Marlborough's day.

[59] The famous lines of Torres Vedras are the only instance in more
modern times of such a method of defence proving successful, and they
could not, from the nature of the case, be turned, and were never
assailed. The system on which the eastern frontier of France is now
defended is an instance of the same thing on the greatest possible
scale. There the flanks abut on neutral countries, and cannot therefore
be turned without violating the neutrality of either Belgium or
Switzerland. What it would cost to break through such a line cannot
be calculated, for it would depend on the effect, as yet untried, of
modern scientific developments in explosives, electric communication
and the like: but it can hardly be doubted that it could be done, if
the assailant were willing to pay the price.

[60] A map in which Marlborough's Belgian campaigns can be followed,
will be found at p. 234.

[61] The duke of Burgundy was associated with Vendôme, in accordance
with the vicious method which Louis XIV. frequently adopted. It was
assumed that the young and inexperienced prince would be entirely
guided by the veteran general: but it occasionally happened that the
prince developed a will of his own, and then the veteran was helpless.
How far Burgundy interfered before the battle, how far Vendôme's
well-known sluggishness except in action was responsible for the French
being thus surprised, is not quite clear: it will be seen that in the
actual battle Burgundy, by his alternate hesitation and rashness,
largely caused the French defeat.

[62] General Webb, who commanded the escort, beat off with great
skill and courage a very superior force: Marlborough, who disliked
Webb, in his despatches made so very little of this exploit, which in
fact sealed the fate of Lille, that it was even said he had wilfully
given Webb inadequate numbers, in order to expose him to destruction.
Thackeray makes effective use of this in _Esmond_.

[63] This account of Wolfe's death is quoted from Parkman's _Montcalm
and Wolfe_, on which most interesting work the foregoing narrative is
based. There are several versions of Wolfe's dying words, but Parkman,
after comparing the evidence, accepts that given above.

[64] Had Wellington's base of operations been Cadiz instead of Lisbon,
every step in advance would have pushed the French nearer to their
base, and therefore would have rendered the conditions of supply, etc.,
increasingly favourable to them. A successful advance from Portugal on
Madrid cut off the whole south from easy communication with France,
without which they could not long maintain their ground.

[65] He was only created Lord Wellington after the battle of Talavera,
but it is convenient to use the familiar title all through.

[66] All the quotations in this and the following chapter are from

[67] This is the battle which, in a school-book I once saw, was
described as a glorious victory won by 29,000 French over 90,000
English and Spaniards.

[68] Maida and Vimiero were real defeats, but the numbers engaged were
insignificant. Aspern was a great and bloody battle, in which the
French on the whole got the worst of it, but it was hardly a distinct
Austrian victory.

[69] The exploits of Craufurd, with the light division, acting as
Wellington's advanced guard, are the subject of some of Napier's best

[70] The disastrous Walcheren expedition, which started while the
battle of Talavera was being fought, had wasted a large part of the
military strength of England. Sent as it was after Napoleon had
forced Austria again to sue for peace, and badly conducted, it was
an inevitable failure. This being the case, it is of course true
that the men and material would have been more usefully employed in
the Peninsula. But it is by no means equally clear that the original
idea was faulty. Had even a smaller force, energetically led, been
despatched to the same point two months earlier, when Napoleon was
still absorbed in remedying his failure at Aspern, the consequences
might have been enormous. At the very least it could have ruined
Antwerp for purposes of naval construction; and Napoleon deemed
Antwerp, "a pistol pointed at the heart of England," so valuable that
in 1814, when almost at the last gasp, he broke off negotiations for
peace rather than cede Antwerp.

[71] King Joseph was indeed declared commander-in-chief in March 1812,
but the marshals disputed his authority, and denounced his plans as
unwise. Their criticisms were not unreasonable, but "one bad general is
better than two good ones."

[72] Belgium had been for over twenty years annexed to France. Holland
had been entirely under French influence almost as long, and annexed
to France for six years. Hence the people were either partisans of the
French, or in great dread of them.

[73] In fact this proportion is in some sense far too high. Many of
the English had never seen a shot fired, and though they stood on the
defensive with admirable steadiness, it is at least doubtful whether
they would have been effective for manœuvring.

[74] During the interval the duke of Wellington attended the famous
ball at Brussels given by the duchess of Richmond. It is always a pity
to spoil a romantic story; but the idea derived from the beautiful
description in 'Childe Harold,' and probably still believed by the
majority of those who have not studied the history, that the first
intimation of the French advance was given by the sound of distant
cannon heard at the ball, is contrary to all the facts. Wellington,
having given his orders, went to the ball in order to prevent alarm
spreading in Brussels: there was no firing during the night, none in
fact, that could have been heard at that distance, till the following

[75] The duke's father had also been killed in battle against Napoleon,
at Jena. After Quatre-Bras the Brunswick troops wore black uniforms
with skull and crossbone badges, in token of mourning, until their
young duke came of age.

[76] This would doubtless have happened if the whole of Ney's nominal
command had been united. Napoleon however seems to have expected that
Quatre-Bras would not be held by any serious force.

[77] The mention of Liège shows how vague the Emperor's ideas were
at the moment; it is hard to see how Wellington, known to be moving
straight north on Brussels, could take a position to cover Liège.

[78] This regiment was commanded by Marbot, whose memoirs attracted so
much attention when published in 1891.

[79] Those who say that Waterloo was lost by Grouchy's fault have
to get over the fact that Napoleon took no steps, till it was far
too late, to summon him thither. The emperor knew that Wellington
was standing to fight, Grouchy could only guess. Suppose Gneisenau's
suspicions had been realised, and Wellington had retreated, and the
cannon had been Napoleon attacking Blucher _viâ_ St. Lambert, Grouchy
would, by crossing the Dyle, have lost the chance of annihilating the

[80] Wellington is said to have told the story of his midnight
ride about twenty years afterwards, _à propos_ of his famous horse
Copenhagen. He was not the kind of man to invent such a story, and
his well-known reticence about Waterloo would fully account for
the incident remaining unknown. On the other hand its intrinsic
improbability is so great, that it can hardly be accepted without
cogent evidence. The testimony however is altogether at second-hand,
though quite precise enough to warrant belief in an ordinary way; but
it is obviously reasonable to require something more for a story which
would sound scarcely credible if told of any commander-in-chief, and is
specially at variance with Wellington's cool and prudent disposition.

[81] This was entirely untrue in fact, as we have seen, but if the
troops at Hal had been on the field it would have been nearly true.
Napoleon could only have guessed, as the ground concealed a great part
of Wellington's army: this is not one of the deliberate falsehoods of
which he was only too commonly guilty.

[82] It is impossible to conjecture what put this idea into Ney's mind,
as the English army had bivouacked in very nearly the order of battle,
and had therefore not moved in the morning.

[83] It must be remembered that the range of the musket was very short,
so that the bullets could hardly do mischief in neighbouring squares if
they missed the cavalry.

[84] Readers who are curious in mendacity should read in Napoleon's
Correspondence the bulletin dated Lâon, June 20, 1815, in which the
battles of Ligny and Waterloo are reported.

[85] Napoleon's Egyptian expedition is no real exception: it reached
its destination, but the battle of the Nile rendered it a total failure.

[86] It was said that Captain Nolan, the aide-de-camp who bore the
order, and who was well known from his writings to be a firm believer
in the power of cavalry to perform the most impossible feats,
answered Lord Lucan's objections by putting on the written words an
interpretation which Lord Raglan did not intend, and that Lord Lucan
was stung by implied imputation on his courage. Nolan however was shot
dead at the first moment of the charge, and there was consequently no
means of knowing what he could have said in his own defence.

[87] On the other side of the Tchernaya are some conspicuous remains of
ancient walls known as the ruins of Inkerman: from these the allies,
who found it convenient to have names for all portions of the ground
they were concerned with, named the opposite portion of the plateau
Mount Inkerman.

[88] It is not suggested that the French general at the outset, or
later, evaded his due share of the common duty: it is one of the evils
of a divided command that if a mistake is made in such a matter, as
may easily happen from imperfect information, obstacles to remedying
it arise from motives on both sides which are in themselves perfectly

[89] _Decisive Battles of India._

[90] Englishmen in India made many mistakes at one time or another,
but there was always some one at hand to redeem the blunder, or else
they were saved by the reputation for audacity and invincibility due
to previous successes. They were guilty of many wrongful acts, but
the sufferers were the native princes whom they dispossessed: it is
probably no exaggeration to say that the rule of the English at its
worst was better than the best government of any native princes.

[91] Colonel Malleson, in his _Decisive Battles of India_, gives a very
clear account of this remarkable feat, as well as of other similar
battles, which must be here passed over.

[92] In memory of this great victory the 39th bears on its colours the
motto "Primus in Indis."

[93] Sindia, Holkar, Bhonslay, are family appellations, but they
serve to identify three of the chief Mahratta states better than the
individual names of the successive rulers.

[94] It is said that Wellesley had no information that the Kaitna was
fordable there, but that he inferred it from the fact of there being
another village opposite Assye, and no sort of bridge.

[95] The parallel is singularly exact between the conduct of the three
great Mahratta princes in 1803-4 and that of Austria, Russia and
Prussia in 1805-6. The two former made war on Napoleon, trying in vain
to induce Prussia to join them: after they had been decisively defeated
at Austerlitz, Prussia alone attacked the conqueror, with the natural
result of being still worse beaten at Jena.

[96] This method of attack in oblique order, or in échelon, is by some
writers treated as a great discovery, attributed to Frederick the Great
of Prussia. He certainly won by these tactics his most conspicuous
victory, Rossbach: but the method itself is in the nature of things,
as soon as generals begin to use their brains; it is but one way of
bringing superior force to bear on a vital point.

[97] There is a story that Major George Lawrence, then a prisoner,
communicated to his brother, and so to the commander-in-chief, the
surprise which the Sikh officers had expressed to him at the small use
made of the English artillery in previous battles. This may be true,
but there is no need to suppose that this influenced the battle of
Gujerat: any officer of ordinary judgment would have done at all times
what Gough did only in his last battle.


  Abbeville, ford of Somme at, 60

  _Acies_, order of battle, 30
    — why necessarily a line, 175
    — mediæval use of word, 30

  Afghan war, its cause, 305
    — failure of, 306

  Agincourt, battle of, 5, 87 _sqq._

  _Agmen_, order of march, 30, 175

  Albuera, battle of, 211

  Aliwal, battle of, 310

  Alma, battle of, 272

  Almanza, battle of, 169

  Almaraz, bridge on Tagus, 223

  Almeida, fortress on Portuguese frontier, 206, 216
    — taken by Massena, 207
    — re-taken by Wellington, 211

  America, rivalry of England and France in, 179, 183
    — War of Independence, 194

  Angus, E. of, before Flodden, 120

  Arapiles hills at Salamanca, 224

  Archers, Norman, at Hastings, 25
    — at Falkirk, 44
    — at Bannockburn, 48, 49
    — formation of, for defence, 62
    — at Crecy, 63
    — at Poitiers, 76, 77
    — at Agincourt, 90
    — at Verneuil, 93
    — at Towton, 108
    — at Flodden, 126
    (_See also_ Long-bow.)

  Arcot, Clive's defence of, 295

  Argaum, battle of, 303

  Armagnac faction in France, 81, 92

  Armies, standing, begin at end of Middle Ages, 129
    — — none in England in Civil War, 129
    — — feeling against, in England, 151
    — — become necessary, 152

  _Arrivall of King Edward_, 113

  Artillery, developed before hand firearms, 115
    — long of little use save in sieges, 116
    — gave supremacy to crown, 116
    — at siege of Harfleur, 82
    — — Orleans, 97
    — — Sebastopol, 286
    — at Minden, 185

  Artillery at Alma, 272
    — at Gujerat, 314
    — Sikhs strong in, 307
    — earliest was breechloading, 115

  Aspern, battle of, 205

  Assye, battle of, 302

  Atherton Moor, battle of, 132

  Auberoche, battle of, 56

  Auckland, Lord, Governor-General of India, 306

  Audacity often the best policy:
    — at Oudenarde, 171
    — at Talavera, 203
    — at Balaclava, 278
    — with Orientals, 290, 302

  Axe, main weapon of English at Hastings, 21

  Babinet, Col., his memoir on battle of Poitiers, 71_n_

  Badajos, position of, 206, 218
    — surrendered to French, 210
    — sieges of, 211, 218

  Baden, Margrave of, in Blenheim campaign, 157

  Baillie, Scottish general at Marston Moor, 137

  Baker of Swinbrook, 75_n_
    — his account of Bannockburn, 47, 49
    — — Crecy, 62
    — — Poitiers, 76

  Balaclava, flank march to, 274
    — battle of, 276

  Balliol, John, K. of Scotland, 41

  Bannockburn, battle of, 4, 48
    — consequences of, 50
    — compared to Crecy, 67

  Barbour, his life of Bruce, 47

  Barnard, Gen., at Delhi, 318

  Barnet, battle of, 111

  _Bastide_, 93_n_

  Battle Abbey, 23

  Battles, nature of interest in, 1 _sqq._
    — locality of, how determined, 4
    — mediæval meaning of word, 30_n_
    — cannot be understood if isolated, 3
    — lessons from, 6

  Bavaria, Elector of, in Blenheim campaign, 157

  Bayeux tapestry, 20_n_

  Bayonet, invention of, 116

  Bedford, Regent, 92

  Belgian troops in Wellington's army, 240
    — at Quatre Bras, 243
    — at Waterloo, 254

  Bengal, conquest of, 299

  Berar, rajah of, 301

  Beresford, Gen., at Albuera, 211

  Berkeley, Sir M., at Poitiers, 77

  Berwick, captured by Edward I., 43
    — James duke of, 169

  Black Prince at Crecy, 64
    — his raid through France, 68
    — takes position at Poitiers, 70
    — negotiates for peace, 74
    — leads final charge in battle, 78
    — his death, 79

  Blake, Spanish general at Albuera, 211

  Blenheim, French position at, 159
    — scheme of allies for attacking, 161
    — details of battle, 162
    — importance of victory, 164

  Blucher, marshal, in Waterloo campaign, 239
    — co-operation with Wellington, 245, 249, 263
    — defeated at Ligny, 246
    — retreats on Wavre, 247
    — his personal zeal, 259

  Bohemia, John K. of, at Crecy, 64

  Bosquet, Gen., at Inkerman, 283

  _Boulevard_, 91_n_

  Bretigny, treaty of, 78

  Britons, conquered by Romans, 9
    — — by Saxons, 10

  Broglie, D. of, at Minden, 184

  Bruce, Robt. K. of Scotland, 46
    — his tactics at Bannockburn, 47
    — his exploit before the battle, 48

  Brunswick, D. of, killed at Quatre Bras, 244

  Brussels, in Waterloo campaign, 243

  Bulow, Gen., in Waterloo campaign, 242, 259, 262

  Burgos, siege of, 227

  Burgundy, John D. of, murdered, 92
    — Philip D. of, sides with English, 92
    — — abandons them, 99
    — Charles D. of, helps Edward IV., 109
    — Louis D. of, at Oudenarde, 170

  Busaco, battle of, 208

  Cabul, 306

  Cadogan, Gen., at Oudenarde, 171

  Calais, siege of, 64
    — Henry V. marches for, 82

  Calcutta, Black Hole of, 296

  Cambuskenneth, battle of, 42

  Campbell, Sir Colin, at Balaclava, 275
    — at Chillianwalla, 313
    — at Gujerat, 314
    — relieves Lucknow, 316

  Cannon. _See_ Artillery

  Captal de Buch at Poitiers, 77

  Cardigan, E. of, at Balaclava, 277

  Cardinerie, La, on field of Poitiers, 70

  Cathcart, Gen., killed at Inkerman, 282

  Cauveripak, Clive's victory at, 296

  Cavalry, mailed. _See_ Men-at-Arms
    — cannot stand on defensive, 73
    — most important arm in 17th century, 130
    — at Edgehill, 131
    — at Marston Moor, 138
    — at Naseby, 143
    — element of weakness in line of battle at Blenheim, 160
    — — at Minden, 185
    — not properly used after Ligny, 247
    — French, at Waterloo, 260
    — Russian, in Crimea not used, 274
    — English, at Balaclava, 277, 278
    — Mahratta, 300

  Challenge to single combat sent by William I., 22
    — — Henry V., 82
    — to fight a battle sent to Henry V., 83
    — — to James IV. of Scotland, 120

  Chandernagore, 297

  Charleroi, 242

  Charles VI. of France, 81, 92

  Charles I., precipitated civil war, 129
    — at Edgehill, 131
    — besieges Gloucester, 132
    — drives Essex into Cornwall, 140
    — mismanages Naseby campaign, 142
    — takes refuge with Scots, 144
    — executed, 145

  Charles II. begins standing army, 151

  Cheriton, battle of, 133

  Chillianwalla, battle of, 312

  Chroniclers, mediæval, their weak points, 16, 19, 20_n_, 32, 47, 72, 113

  Church supported William the Conqueror, 14

  Churchill, Gen., at Blenheim, 162

  Ciudad Rodrigo, position of, 206
    — sieges of, 207, 216

  Civil War, peculiar character of, 128
    — local division of parties in, 130

  Clausel, Gen., at Salamanca, 226

  Clifford, Ld., at Towton, 104

  Clive, Robert, founded English power in India, 295
    — sent to recover Calcutta, 296
    — allies secretly with Meer Jaffier, 297
    — wins Plassy, 299

  Cnut divided England into earldoms, 11

  Colborne, Col., at Waterloo, 262

  Column, definition of, 176
    — English, at Fontenoy, 181
    — _versus_ line. _See_ Line

  Combination of different arms at Hastings, 25
    — at Falkirk, 45
    — at Crecy, 61, 73

  Conquest, when impossible, 46

  Contades, marshal, at Minden, 184

  Coote, Eyre, at Plassy, 297

  Cornwall, Essex driven into, 140
    — Rd. Earl of, at Lewes, 31

  Corunna, battle of, 198

  Courtrai, battle of, 45

  Craufurd, Gen. R., marches to Talavera, 202
    — on the Coa, 206_n_
    — at Busaco, 208
    — killed at Ciudad Rodrigo, 217

  Crawford, L., parliamentary general, 134

  Crecy, battle of, 61 _sqq._
    — novelty of tactics, 61
    — an epoch in art of war, 67

  Cressingham, killed at Cambuskenneth, 42

  Crevant, battle of, 92

  Crimean war, state of Europe before, 268
    — general causes of, 267
    — material novelties in, 286
    — results of, 287

  Cromwell, Oliver, at Edgehill, 130
    — forms Ironsides, 133
    — at Marston Moor, 138
    — urges Self-denying Ordinance, 141
    — his raid round Oxford, 142
    — at Naseby, 144
    — sent to invade Scotland, 145
    — held in check by Leslie, 145
    — retreats to Dunbar, 146
    — wins battle, 149
    — at Worcester, 150

  Cross-bow, condemned by Lateran Council, 51_n_
    — encouraged by Richard I., 51
    — no match for long-bow, 63
    — -men, Genoese, at Crecy, 63

  Cuesta, Gen., at Talavera, 201

  Culloden, battle of, 183

  Cumberland, D. of, at Fontenoy, 181
    — at Culloden, 183

  Cutts, Gen., at Blenheim, 162

  D'Albret, Constable of France, at Agincourt, 89

  Danes, invade England, 10
    — mode of fighting of, 10
    — conquer England under Cnut, 11

  Daventry, Charles I. at, 143

  Defences, artificial, at Hastings, 21
    — — at Poitiers, 74

  Delhi, mutiny centred at, 317
    — siege of, formed, 318
    — storming of, 320

  D'Erlon, Gen., on day of Quatre Bras, 245
    — at Waterloo, 258, 261

  Dettingen, battle of, 181

  Dhuleep Sing, 311

  Discipline, definition of, 288

  Divided command, evils of, at Marston Moor, 135
    — in War of Spanish Succession, 156
    — at Oudenarde, 171
    — at Fontenoy, 181
    — in Peninsula generally, 215
    — at Albuera, 211
    — in Crimea, 273, 285

  Donauwerth, Marlborough crosses Danube at, 158

  Dost Mahommed, 306

  Douro, Wellington forces passage of, 200

  Duguesclin, Constable of France, 79

  Dunbar, battle of, 149

  Dunois, his testimony as to influence of Jeanne d'Arc, 96

  Dupleix, 295

  Dutch, troublesome allies to Marlborough, 156, 166

  Edgehill, battle of, 131

  Edward the Confessor, death of, 11

  Edward I. at Lewes, 31
    — at Evesham, 34, 38
    — develops long-bow, 51
    — his relations to Scotland, 40, 41
    — at Falkirk, 43

  Edward II. at Bannockburn, 48
    — defeated by his own fault, 50

  Edward III., his claims to crown of France, 55
    — invades Normandy, 58
    — his haphazard strategy, 59
    — his novel tactics at Crecy, 61
    — takes Calais, 64

  Edward IV. assumes crown, 103
    — at Towton, 107
    — overthrown by Warwick, 109
    — returns from exile, 109
    — at Barnet, 111
    — at Tewkesbury, 114

  Edward, son of Henry VI., his birth, 102
    — killed at Tewkesbury, 115

  Edwardes, Lieut., at Mooltan, 311

  Edwin and Morcar, Earls, 12, 15

  Elba, Napoleon's return from, 238

  Ellenborough, Ld., Gov.-General of India, 306

  Elvas, 206, 218

  English, characteristics of, as soldiers, 6, 177
    — their military history specially instructive, 7
    — a nation earlier than any other people, 7, 55
    — learned Danish modes of fighting, 10
    — the long-bow theirs exclusively, 53
    — had no standing army in Civil War, 129
    — military reputation low before Marlborough, 154
    — reasons for their fighting in line, 177
    — concerned in all European wars of 18th century, 179
    — armies lose efficiency after Marlborough, 180

  Essex, E. of, at Edgehill, 131
    — driven to Cornwall, 140

  Eugene of Savoy, Marlborough's colleague, 156
    — at Blenheim, 161
    — at Oudenarde, 172

  Evesham, battle of, 36

  Fairfax, Ld., at Marston Moor, 138

  Fairfax, Sir T., at Marston Moor, 138
    — commands New Model, 141
    — at Naseby, 143

  Falconbridge, Ld., at Towton, 108

  Falkirk, Wallace's battle of, 44
    — Jacobite battle of, 183

  Fastolfe, Sir J., at battle of the Herrings, 94

  Feigned flight of Normans at Hastings, 25

  Ferozeshah, battle of, 309

  Ferrybridge, 104

  Feudal nobles preponderant after Hastings, 27, 45
    — their power broken by pike and long-bow, 6
    — class pride of, ruinous at Crecy, 63
    — — at Agincourt, 89

  Flanders, ally of Edward III., 56

  Flank march at Busaco, 209
    — to Balaclava, 274

  Flodden, battle of, 5, 123 _sqq._
    — last victory of bow, 127

  Fontenoy, battle of, 181

  Formigny, battle of, 99

  France, contrasted with England in 14th century, 55
    — made a nation by Hundred Years' War, 99
    — state of, under Charles VI., 81
    — her military supremacy broken at Blenheim, 164
    — why hostile to England throughout 18th century, 179
    — rival of England for domination in India, 295

  Freeman, Professor, on Hastings, 20, 21

  Froissart as an authority, 75

  Fuentes d'Onoro, battle of, 210

  Fulford, battle of, 15

  Geography, how it influences the course of a war, 4

  George II. at Oudenarde, 171
    — at Dettingen, 181

  Gérard, Gen., in Waterloo campaign, 249

  Glansdale, Sir W., at siege of Orleans, 97

  Gloucester, siege of, 132
    — E. of, at Lewes, 31
    — — at Evesham, 36

  Gneisenau, Gen., in Waterloo campaign, 249

  Golab Sing in Punjab, 310

  Goring, royalist general at Marston Moor, 138

  Gortschakoff, prince, in Crimea, 280, 287

  Gough, Sir H., at Moodkee, 308
    — at Ferozeshah, 309
    — at Sobraon, 310
    — at Ramnugur, 312
    — at Chillianwalla, 313
    — at Gujerat, 314

  Graham, Gen., in Vittoria campaign, 231

  Grouchy, marshal, detached to pursue Blucher, 247
    — will not "march to the cannon," 249
    — could he have saved Waterloo? 250
    — retreats successfully into France, 251

  Guienne, never French before Edward III., 55
    — becomes French in feelings, 79

  Gujerat, battle of, 314

  Gunpowder came slowly into use, 115
    — political effects of, 117
    (_See_ Artillery and Musket.)

  Gyrth, Harold's brother, killed at Hastings, 24

  Halidon Hill, battle of, 118

  Hamley, Sir E., on battle of the Alma, 273
    — — Balaclava, 279
    — — Inkerman, 284

  Hanoverian troops at Fontenoy, 181
    — at Minden, 185

  Hardinge, Sir H., Gov.-Gen. of India, 307
    — at Ferozeshah, 308

  Harfleur, siege of, 82

  Harold Hardrada invades England, 15
    — killed at Stamford bridge, 16

  Harold, king, election of, 12
    — story of his oath, 13_n_
    — his measures for defence, 14
    — goes north to fight Northmen, 15
    — at Stamford bridge, 16
    — rapidity of his return, 18
    — urged not to face the Normans in person, 19
    — chooses position at Hastings, 21
    — killed in battle, 26
    — his burial, 26

  Hastings, battle of, 20 _sqq._
    — authorities for, 19, 20
    — important consequences of, 27

  Havelock, Sir H., relieves Lucknow, 316

  Haye Sainte, La, on field of Waterloo, 255, 261

  Henry III., un-English, 28
    — defeated at Lewes, 32
    — in Montfort's hands, 33
    — at Evesham, 35

  Henry V., his claim to the French crown, 80
    — invades France, 81
    — besieges Harfleur, 82
    — marches for Calais, 83
    — intercepted at Agincourt, 86
    — his tactics, 90
    — recognized as heir of France, 92
    — his death, 92

  Herat, siege of, 306

  Herrings, battle of the, 94

  _Herse_, formation of archers, 62

  Highlanders at Flodden, 126
    — in Jacobite rebellion, 183
    (_See_ Regiments.)

  Hill, Gen., in Peninsular war, 202, 208, 223, 227

  Holkar, 301, 304

  Homildon, battle of, 119

  Hougomont, on field of Waterloo, 253, 256, 257

  Housecarls, 11, 16, 23

  Hull, held for Parliament, 132

  Hyder Ali, 299

  India, conquered largely with native soldiers, 289
    — France and England rivals in, 295
    — English power becomes supreme in, 304
    — — in, shaken by Ferozeshah, 308
    — — in, strengthened by mutiny, 321

  Inferior races, 288

  Information, danger of faulty, at Blenheim, 159
    — — at Busaco, 209
    — — in Waterloo campaign, 243, 247

  Inglis, Col., at Lucknow, 316

  Inkerman, battle of, 280

  Ironsides, Cromwell's, 153

  Jacobite rebellion of 1745, 182

  James IV. of Scotland makes war on England unprovoked, 119
    — mismanages invasion, 120
    — accepts Surrey's challenge, 120
    — killed at Flodden, 127

  Jeanne d'Arc, her influence and character, 95
    — relieves Orleans, 96
    — her fate, 98

  Jena, battle of, 2

  John, K. of France, collects army to fight Black Prince, 68
    — movements of, to Poitiers, 69
    — wastes his chances of success, 73
    — taken prisoner in the battle, 78

  Joseph Buonaparte made king of Spain, 197
    — at Talavera, 202
    — cannot control French marshals, 215_n_
    — abandons Madrid, 227
    — returns, 227
    — finally quits Madrid, 228
    — at Vittoria, 231

  Jourdan, marshal, at Talavera, 202
    — at Vittoria, 231

  Kenilworth captured by prince Edward, 34

  "King's Cabinet Opened," after Naseby, 144

  Knights. _See_ Men-at-arms

  Lake, Gen., in Mahratta war, 303

  Lambert, Gen., at Dunbar, 146

  Lancaster, D. of, in Poitiers campaign, 68

  Landen, battle of, 154

  Laswaree, battle of, 304

  Lawrence, Sir H., Resident in Punjab, 311
    — at Lucknow, 316

  Lawrence, Sir J., Resident in Punjab, 315
    — sends troops to Delhi, 319

  Leicester, taken by Charles I., 142
    — E. of. _See_ Montfort

  Leslie, D., at Marston Moor, 137
    — in Dunbar campaign, 145

  Leven, E. of, at Marston Moor, 138

  Lewes, battle of, 31

  Ligny, battle of, 245

  Lille, siege of, 172

  Line, the natural order of battle, 175
    — development of column out of, 176
    — superiority of line over column, 176
    — depends on troops, 177
    — habitually used by English, 178
    — its advantage shown at Minden, 185
    — — Talavera, 203
    — — Busaco, 208
    — — Albuera, 212
    — — Waterloo, 262
    — — Alma, 272
    — — Inkerman, 284

  Lines, fortified, why of little use, 165
    — — in Netherlands 1705, 165
    — — at Stollhofen, 169
    — — at Torres Vedras, 200

  Lisbon, English base in Peninsular war, 199
    — panic at, 207

  Littler, Sir J., in Sikh war, 308, 309

  Locality of battles, how determined, 4

  Loire river, Black Prince tried to cross, 69
    — boundary of English power after Henry V., 93

  Long-bow, development of, obscure, 51
    — power and range of, 52
    — exclusively English, 53
    — compared to musket, 117
    — mode of using 52
    (_See also_ Archers.)

  Louis XIV. provoked England to war, 154
    — offers peace 1706, 169
    — offers peace 1709, 173

  Lucan, E. of, in Crimea, 278

  Lucknow, relief of, 316

  MacMunn, Lieut., in Burma, 291

  Madras attacked by Dupleix, 295
    — Clive sent from, to recover Bengal, 296

  Madrid occupied by Napoleon, 198
    — entered by Wellington, 227
    — abandoned again, 227
    — evacuated by French, 228

  Mahrattas, rise of their power, 300
    — make war on British, 301
    — their power broken by Assye, 304

  Maida, battle of, 205

  Maitland, Gen., at Waterloo, 261

  Malakoff tower at Sebastopol, 285

  Malplaquet, battle of, 174

  Manchester, E. of, in Civil War, 133, 141

  Marengo, battle of, 3

  Margaret of Anjou, soul of Lancastrian party, 101
    — at Wakefield, 103
    — lands at Weymouth, 112

  Marlborough, D. of, real head of coalition against Louis XIV., 154
    — his character, 155
    — compared to Wellington, 155
    — his plan of campaign for 1704, 156
    — marches to the Danube, 157
    — storms Schellenberg, 158
    — ravages Bavaria, 158
    — wins Blenheim, 163
    — inactive in 1705, 166
    — wins Ramillies, 168
    — wins Oudenarde, 172
    — covers siege of Lille, 172
    — wins Malplaquet, 174

  _Marmion_, quotations from, 124, 126

  Marmont, marshal, supersedes Massena, 210
    — retreats behind Douro, 223
    — out-manœuvres Wellington, 224
    — his false tactics at Salamanca, 225
    — wounded, 226

  Marsin, marshal, commands French army in Bavaria, 155
    — joined by Tallard, 158
    — his position at Blenheim, 159

  Marston Moor, battle of, 137
    — importance of results of, 139

  Massena, marshal, given command in Spain, 205
    — takes Ciudad Rodrigo, 207
    — invades Portugal, 207
    — at Busaco, 208
    — before Torres Vedras, 209
    — retreats, 210
    — at Fuentes d'Onoro, 210

  Maupertuis, on field of Poitiers, 70

  Meer Jaffier at Plassy, 298

  Meerut, mutiny began at, 317

  Men-at-arms at Hastings, 25
    — thenceforward deemed sole strength of armies, 27
    — failed to break Scottish spears, 44
    — Wallace set example of successfully resisting, 45
    — at Bannockburn, 49
    — at Crecy, English dismount for defence, 61
    — at Crecy, French routed by archers, 64
    — at Poitiers, French dismount for attack, 72
    — madness of this method, 73
    — at Agincourt, 90
    — at battle of the Herrings, 94

  Menschikoff, prince, commands in Crimea, 270
    — his mistake at the Alma, 271
    — moves out of Sebastopol, 273
    — his faulty scheme for Inkerman, 280

  Minden, battle of, 184

  Mogul Empire, decaying, 296
    — under Sindia's influence, 300
    — falls under British control, 304
    — restoration proclaimed in Mutiny, 317

  Montagu, M. of, killed at Barnet, 112

  Montcalm, Gen., at Quebec, 189
    his arrangements for defence, 189
    — mortally wounded, 193

  Montfort, Simon, E. of Leicester, leader in Barons' war, 29
    — his carriage, 30
    — rules England, 33
    — deserted by many of his party, 34
    — marches for Kenilworth, 34
    — intercepted at Evesham, 36
    — his death, 38

  Montrose, M. of, his campaigns in Scotland, 142, 144

  Moodkee, battle of, 308

  Mooltan, siege of, 311

  Moore, Sir J., in Peninsular war, 198

  Mortimer's Cross, battle of, 103

  Moselle, Marlborough's campaign on, 165

  Musket, long a clumsy weapon, 116
    — compared to long-bow, 117

  Mutiny, Indian, general character of, 315
    — Delhi head-quarters of, 318
    — end of, 321

  Napoleon invades Spain, 198
    — withdraws troops for Russian war, 214
    — defeated in Russia, 228
    — overthrown, 234
    — returns from Elba, 238
    — his plan for Waterloo campaign, 241
    — at Ligny, 245
    — amount of his success so far, 246
    — sends Grouchy after Prussians, 247
    — follows Wellington to Waterloo, 247
    — Grouchy's absence from Waterloo due to his orders, 146
    — never expected Prussians to join Wellington, 251
    — delays beginning battle, 257
    — his attention diverted to Bulow, 260

  Napoleon III., why willing to join in Crimean war, 268
    — his views as to siege of Sebastopol overruled, 286

  Naseby, battle of, 143

  National coherence a great source of military strength, 55
    — enmities not necessarily permanent, 2

  Nesle, Henry V. crosses Somme at, 83

  Nevil's Cross, battle of, 118

  New Model army, 141

  Newbury, first battle of, 133
    — second battle of, 140

  Newcastle, M. of, besieged in York, 134
    — at Marston Moor, 137

  Ney, marshal, at Busaco, 208
    — at Quatre Bras, 243
    — at Waterloo, 260

  Nicholson, Gen., killed at Delhi, 320

  Norfolk, D. of, at Towton, 108

  Normandy, Wm. D. of. _See_ William I.
    — John, D. of, at Poitiers, 76
    — Edward III. invades, 59
    — Henry V. marches through, 83
    — — conquers, 92

  Norman conquest, effects of, 27

  Northampton, battle of, 103

  Northmen, at Stamford bridge, 15
    — importance of their defeat, 16

  Nottingham, Charles I. raises standard at, 131

  Numbers engaged at Agincourt, 88
    — Albuera, 211
    — Alma, 270
    — Barnet, 110
    — Blenheim, 163
    — Crecy, 61
    — Flodden, 120
    — Inkerman, 281, 283
    — Marston Moor, 137
    — Minden, 184
    — Naseby, 143
    — Plassy, 297
    — Poitiers, 75
    — Quebec, 192
    — Salamanca, 226
    — Talavera, 204
    — Towton, 107_n_
    — in Waterloo campaign, 240
    — at Waterloo, 254

  Oblique order, 312_n_

  Oporto, passage of Douro at, 200

  Orleans, "key of the south," 93
    — siege of, 94
    — D. of, at Poitiers, 77
    — D. of, Regent, 180

  Oudenarde, battle of, 172

  Outram, Gen., relieves Lucknow, 316

  Oxford, head-quarters of Charles I., 132
    — siege of, 142
    — E. of, at Poitiers, 77
    — E. of, at Barnet, 111

  Pakenham, Gen., at Salamanca, 225

  Parkman's _History of Montcalm and Wolfe_, 193

  Patay, battle of, 99

  Peishwa, the, 301

  Pelissier, marshal, at siege of Sebastopol, 286

  Peninsular war, general character of, 200

  Pennefather, Gen., at Inkerman, 281

  Périgord, cardinal of, mediates at Poitiers, 74

  Phalanx, Macedonian, 45

  Philip VI. of France provokes Edward III. to war, 54
    — cannot control nobles at Crecy, 63
    — his death, 67

  Picton, Gen., at storm of Badajos, 218
    — killed at Waterloo, 259

  Pikemen developed on continent, 6, 117
    — essential support to musketeers, 116
    — superseded by invention of bayonet, 116
    — used by Wallace, 45

  Pirch, Gen., in Waterloo campaign, 242, 261

  Planchenoit, on field of Waterloo, 260, 262

  Plassy, battle of, 298

  Plymouth held for Parliament, 132

  Point Levi, opposite Quebec, 190

  Poitiers, topography of battle-field, 71
    — battle of, 76 _sqq._

  Ponsonby, Gen., at Waterloo, 259

  Porto Novo, battle of, 297

  Portugal, relations of, to England, 199
    — topography of, 206
    — misconduct of government of, 209, 214

  Portuguese troops organized by Wellington, 207
    — at Busaco, 209
    — at Albuera, 212

  Positions of armies described, at Agincourt, 88
    — Albuera, 211
    — Alma, 271
    — Bannockburn, 47
    — Blenheim, 159
    — Busaco, 208
    — Crecy, 61
    — Dunbar, 146
    — Falkirk, 43
    — Ferozeshah, 308
    — Flodden, 125
    — Hastings, 21
    — Ligny, 244
    — Minden, 184
    — Plassy, 298
    — Poitiers, 72
    — Ramillies, 167
    — Salamanca, 225
    — Talavera, 201
    — Vittoria, 232
    — Waterloo, 253

  Preston Pans, battle of, 183

  Prussia, hostile to France since Jena, 2

  Prussian army in Belgium, 239
    — its numbers, 240
    — its position on frontier, 240
    (_See_ Blucher.)

  Pyrenees, battles in, 234

  Quatre Bras, battle of, 243

  Quebec, siege of, 189
    — importance of its capture, 193

  Raglan, Ld., at the Alma, 272
    — at Balaclava, 277
    — death of, 286

  Railway made in Crimea, 286

  Ramillies, battle of, 168

  Ramnugur, battle of, 312

  Range of long-bow, 52
    — of musket, 117

  Redan in siege of Sebastopol, 286

  Regiments of English army:
    — Coldstream Guards, 152
    — under Marlborough, 152
    — Guards at Talavera, 203
    — — at Waterloo, 261
    — cavalry, Union brigade at Waterloo, 259
    — cavalry, 23rd light dragoons at Talavera, 203
    — — heavy brigade at Balaclava, 277
    — — light brigade at Balaclava, 278
    — — 19th light dragoons at Assye, 302
    — infantry, 12th, 20th, 23rd, 25th, 37th, 51st at Minden, 186
    — — 48th at Talavera, 203
    — — march of Craufurd's brigade, 204
    — — 7th, 23rd at Albuera, 212
    — — 43rd, 52nd at Ciudad Rodrigo, 217
    — — position of all at Waterloo, 255
    — — 52nd deals final blow, 262
    — — 93rd at Balaclava, 276
    — — 39th at Plassy, 298
    — — 74th, 78th at Assye, 302
    — — 32nd at Lucknow, 316

  Reille, Gen., at Quatre Bras, 243
    — at Waterloo, 258

  Reserve at Lewes doubtful, 30
    — at Crecy not wanted, 64
    — at Poitiers, 76
    — at Flodden, value of, 126

  Richmond, duchess of, her ball at Brussels, 243

  Rifle, invention of, 267
    — effect at Inkerman, 282

  River in rear of defeated troops at Lewes, 32
    — Evesham, 38
    — Towton, 108
    — Tewkesbury, 113
    — Blenheim, 163
    — Sobraon, 310
    — obstacle to counter attack at Dunbar, 149
    — — Ramillies, 168

  Robin Hood's feats an anachronism, 51

  Romans, their conquest of Britain, 9
    — defeat phalanx, 45

  Romorantin taken by Black Prince, 69

  Royalists, their advantages at outset of civil war, 129
    — where predominant, 131

  Runjeet Sing develops Sikh power, 305
    — his death, 307

  Rupert, prince, compared to Edward I. at Lewes, 33
    — at Edgehill, 131
    — relieves York, 134
    — at Marston Moor, 137
    — at Naseby, 143

  Russia, Napoleon's invasion of, 228
    — too far off to help in Waterloo campaign, 239
    — picks quarrel with Turkey, 268
    — exhausted by Crimean war, 287

  Sackville, Ld. G., at Minden, 185

  S. Albans, battle of, 103

  S. Lawrence, river, 189

  S. Sebastian, storming of, 234

  Salamanca, battle of, 225

  Salisbury, E. of, at Poitiers, 76
    — E. of, killed at Orleans, 94
    — E. of, killed at Wakefield, 103

  Sambre, river, 242

  Santarem, Massena retreats to, 209

  Scarlett, Gen., at Balaclava, 276

  Schellenberg, stormed by Marlborough, 158

  Schiltrons, 44

  Scotland, question of succession to, 40
    — its previous relations to England, 40
    — won its independence, 50
    — permanently hostile to England, 118
    — suffers repeated defeats, 118
    — helps Parliament in civil war, 133
    — takes up cause of Charles II., 145
    — subjugated by Cromwell, 151

  Sea, value of command of, in war, to Edward III., 59
    — to Marlborough, 173
    — at Quebec, 190
    — in Peninsula, 199, 228
    — in Crimea, 269, 288

  Sebastopol, siege of, its unique character, 274, 287

  Seine, river, Edward III.'s difficulty in crossing, 60

  Self-denying Ordinance, 141

  Sepoys, of all Indian races, 289
    — their belief in English officers, 290
    — English won India through, 295
    — mutiny of, 315

  Shakespeare on Agincourt, 85

  Sherbrooke, Gen., at Talavera, 201

  Siege, transition from mediæval to modern type of, 97
    — of Sebastopol, last of the Vauban period, 274

  Sikhs, rise of their power, 305
    — virtual anarchy among, 307
    — betrayed by own leaders in first war, 309
    — provoke second war, 311
    — become subjects of the East India Company, 315

  Sindia, (1) ambitious schemes of, 300
    — (2) provokes war with English in Assye campaign, 301
    — (3) stands by English in Mutiny, 315

  Smith, Sir H., at Aliwal, 310

  Snorro Sturleson, his _saga_ of Stamford bridge, 16

  Snow during battle of Towton, 108

  Sobraon, battle of, 310

  Somerset, D. of, at Towton, 104
    — D. of, at Barnet, 111
    — D. of, at Tewkesbury, 114

  Souham, Gen., 227

  Soult, marshal, driven from Oporto, 200
    — forces Wellington to retire after Talavera, 205
    — takes Badajos, 210
    — at Albuera, 211
    — evacuates Andalusia, 227
    — in command after Vittoria, 234

  Spain favourable to French claimant, 155, 173
    — invaded by Napoleon, 197
    — character of resistance in, 198
    — government of, incompetent, 199
    — geography of, 199
    — French driven out of, 234

  Squares, natural formation against cavalry in days of musket, 176
    — at Waterloo, 260
    — unnecessary with rifle, 276

  Stakes as defence for archers first used by Henry V., 87

  Stamford bridge, battle of, 16

  Standard, Harold's, at Hastings, 23
    — Montfort's, at Lewes, 30

  Standing armies. _See_ Armies

  Stanley, Sir E., at Flodden, 126

  Steamers in Crimean war, 270

  Steinkirk, battle of, 154

  Stirling, importance of its position, 42
    — siege by Bruce, 46

  Stow-on-the-Wold, battle of, 144

  Strategy, definition of, 4
    — little understood in middle ages, 69
    — of Surrey before Flodden, 124

  Suffolk, E. of, at Orleans, 94

  Supplies, when regularly furnished to armies, 152
    — Marlborough careful about, 158
    — to Wellington in Peninsula by sea, 199, 228
    — Wellington anxious about, before Waterloo, 241

  Surajah Dowlah takes Calcutta, 296
    — defeated at Plassy, 299

  Surrey, E. of, at Flodden, 120 _sqq._

  Sybil's Well, 123

  Tactics, bearing on history of changes in, 6
    — novel, Wallace's, at Falkirk, 43
    — — Edward III.'s at Crecy, 61
    — of French at Poitiers disastrous, 73
    — — repeated at Agincourt, 88

  Tagus, river, 201, 206, 223

  Talavera, battle of, 202

  Tallard, marshal, enters Bavaria, 158
    — faults of his position at Blenheim, 160
    — taken prisoner, 163

  Tej Sing at Ferozeshah, 309
    — at Sobraon, 310

  Tewkesbury, battle of, 4, 114

  Thermopylæ, battle of, 6

  Thielemann, Gen., in Waterloo campaign, 149

  Thomière, Gen., at Salamanca, 225

  Todleben, Gen., at Sebastopol, 274, 285

  Torres Vedras, lines of, 200, 209

  Tostig, killed at Stamford bridge, 16

  Toulouse, battle of, 234

  Tournelles at Orleans, 93

  Towton, battle of, 107

  Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, 183
    — Bassein, 301

  Treaty of Bretigny, 78
    — Troyes, 92
    — Utrecht, 179

  Troyes, treaty of, 92

  Turenne, 164

  Utrecht, treaty of, 179

  Vauban, 164

  Vendôme, marshal, at Oudenarde, 170

  Verneuil, battle of, 93

  Victor, marshal, at Talavera, 202

  Villars, marshal, on the Moselle, 165
    — at Malplaquet, 173

  Villeroi, marshal, Marlborough forces his lines, 165
    — at Ramillies, 167

  Vimiero, battle of, 198

  Vittoria, battle of, 232

  Wakefield, battle of, 103

  Walcheren expedition, 210_n_

  Wallace, Sir W., at Cambuskenneth, 42
    — at Falkirk, 43
    — novelty of his tactics, 44

  Waller, Sir W., in civil war, 133, 140

  Walpole, his peace policy, 180

  Waterloo, campaign of:
    — Napoleon's general plan for, 241
    — allies must wait attack, 240
    — co-operation of Wellington and Blucher in, 249
    — success attained by Napoleon at outset of, 246

  Waterloo, battle of:
    — topography, 253
    — Wellington's position, 254
    — tactical errors of French, 258, 260
    — Prussian aid essential part of, 257
    — completeness of victory, 262

  Wars, general character of Barons', 33
    — Scottish Independence, 46
    — Hundred Years', 79, 99
    — Roses, 102
    — Civil, 128
    — American Independence, 194
    — Peninsular, 200

  Warwick, E. of, at Poitiers, 76
    — E. of, his great power, 103
    — at Towton, 107
    — quarrels with Edward IV., 109
    — at Barnet, 111
    — his death, 112

  Washington, Gen., 194

  Wavre, in Waterloo campaign, 247, 251

  Webb, Gen., at Wynendael, 173_n_

  Wellesley, M., Gov.-Gen. of India, 299

  Wellington, D. of, in Assye campaign, 299
    — his plans in Peninsula, 200
    — invades Spain up Tagus, 201
    — at Talavera, 202
    — retreats into Portugal, 205
    — makes lines of Torres Vedras, 207
    — retreats before Massena, 207
    — at Busaco, 208
    — follows Massena to Almeida, 210
    — on the defensive in 1811, 214
    — takes Ciudad Rodrigo, 217
    — takes Badajos, 220
    — invades Spain by Douro, 223
    — at Salamanca, 225
    — enters Madrid, 227
    — fails to take Burgos, 227
    — in Vittoria campaign, 228
    — commands in Belgium, 239
    — his position behind the frontier, 240
    — is slow to concentrate, 243
    — at Quatre Bras, 244
    — retreats on Waterloo, 247
    — in concert with Blucher, 249
    — his anxiety about Prussian aid, 252
    — supposed night-ride to Wavre, 253
    — leaves a large force at Hal, 252
    — his position at Waterloo, 253
    — omits to occupy La Haye Sainte properly, 255
    — in no hurry to use his reserves, 261

  Weymouth, Q. Margaret lands at, 112

  Whish, Gen., at Mooltan, 311

  Whitecoats at Marston Moor, 137

  William I., his claim to English crown, 12
    — allied with the Church, 14

  William I., his preparations, 14
    — lands at Pevensey, 17
    — his tactics at Hastings, 25
    — reigned well, 27

  William III. brought England into continental wars, 153

  Willoughby, Lt., at Delhi, 317

  Wilson, Sir A., at Delhi, 319

  Wolfe, Gen., at Quebec, 186
    — helped by command of sea, 190
    — his death, 193

  Worcester, first skirmish of civil war at, 131
    — battle of, 150
    — Bp. of, at Lewes, 29
    — Bp. of, at Evesham, 37

  Wynendael, battle of, 173

  York, capture of, by Northmen, 15
    — siege of, 134
    — D. of, killed at Agincourt, 91
    — D. of, claims crown against Henry VI., 102
    — D. of, killed at Wakefield, 103

  Ziethen, Gen., in Waterloo campaign, 242, 261

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_Crown 8vo. Buckram. 6s._

 Also 30 copies on hand-made paper. _Demy 8vo. £1, 1s._

 Also 15 copies on Japanese paper. _Demy 8vo. £2, 2s._

Few announcements will be more welcome to lovers of English verse than
the one that Mr. Henley is bringing together into one book the finest
lyrics in our language. Robust and original the book will certainly be,
and it will be produced with the same care that made 'Lyra Heroica'
delightful to the hand and eye.

~"Q"~ THE GOLDEN POMP: A Procession of English Lyrics from Surrey to
Shirley, arranged by A. T. Quiller Couch. _Crown 8vo. Buckram. 6s._

 Also 30 copies on hand-made paper. _Demy 8vo. £1, 1s._

 Also 15 copies on Japanese paper. _Demy 8vo. £2, 2s._

Mr. Quiller Couch's taste and sympathy mark him out as a born
anthologist, and out of the wealth of Elizabethan poetry he has made a
book of great attraction.

~H. C. Beeching.~ LYRA SACRA: An Anthology of Sacred Verse. Edited by
H. C. Beeching, M.A. _Crown 8vo. Buckram. 6s._

This book will appeal to a wide public. Few languages are richer in
serious verse than the English, and the Editor has had some difficulty
in confining his material within his limits.

~W. B. Yeats.~ A BOOK OF IRISH VERSE. Edited by W. B. Yeats. _Crown
8vo. 3s. 6d._

An anthology of Irish poetry selected by an editor whose own verse has
won a considerable reputation.


Messrs. Methuen call attention to the fact that the following novels
are issued for the first time in one volume instead of in the old two
and three volume form.

~Gilbert Parker.~ THE TRAIL OF THE SWORD. By Gilbert Parker, Author of
'Pierre and his People,' etc. _Crown 8vo. 6s._

 A historical romance dealing with the stirring period in the history
 of Canada in which France and England were contending for its

~Anthony Hope.~ A MAN OF MARK. By Anthony Hope, Author of 'The Prisoner
of Zenda,' 'The God in the Car,' etc. _Crown 8vo. 6s._

 This is a re-issue of Anthony Hope's first novel. It has been out
 of print for some years, and in view of the great popularity of the
 author, it has been reprinted. It is a story of political adventure in
 South America, and is rather in the style of 'The Prisoner of Zenda.'

~Mrs. Clifford.~ A FLASH OF SUMMER. By Mrs. W. K. Clifford, Author of
'Aunt Anne,' etc. _Crown 8vo. 6s._

 This is the first long story which Mrs. Clifford has written since the
 remarkably successful 'Aunt Anne.'

~M. M. Dowie.~ GALLIA. By Mene Muriel Dowie. Author of 'A Girl in the
Carpathians.' _Crown 8vo. 6s._

 This is a story of modern society by the author of 'A Girl in the
 Carpathians,' which was probably one of the most popular books of
 travel ever published.

~Mrs. Oliphant.~ SIR ROBERT'S FORTUNE. By Mrs. Oliphant. _Crown 8vo.

~Mrs. Pinsent.~ CHILDREN OF THIS WORLD. By Ellen F. Pinsent, Author of
'Jenny's Case.' _Crown 8vo. 6s._

 A story of modern life and thought, being a study of two opposite
 types—the Christian and the Agnostic. Mrs. Pinsent's first book was
 very successful, and the leading critics spoke of it as a remarkable
 and powerful story, and as one which made them look forward with keen
 interest to the author's next book.

~W. E. Norris.~ THE DESPOTIC LADY AND OTHERS. By W. E. Norris, Author
of 'The Rogue,' etc. _Crown 8vo. 6s._

E. F. Benson, Author of 'Dodo.' _Crown 8vo. 6s._

~Julian Corbett. A~ BUSINESS IN GREAT WATERS. By Julian Corbett, Author
of 'For God and Gold,' 'Cophetua XIIIth.,' etc. _Crown 8vo. 6s._

 This is a historical romance of the time of the French Revolution
 by a writer whose previous stories have been much praised for their
 'romantic beauty and profound interest and nervous strength of
 style.' Many critics noticed their 'wholesome freshness' and 'vivid
 reproduction of the past.'

~Gilbert Parker.~ AN ADVENTURER OF THE NORTH. By Gilbert Parker, Author
of 'Pierre and his People,' 'The Translation of a Savage,' etc. _Crown
8vo. 6s._

 This book consists of more tales of the Far North, and contains the
 last adventures of 'Pretty Pierre.' Mr. Parker's first volume of
 Canadian stories was published about two years ago, and was received
 with unanimous praise.

~Philipps-Woolley.~ THE QUEENSBERRY CUP. A Tale of Adventure. By Clive
Philipps Woolley, Author of 'Snap,' Part Author of 'Big Game Shooting,'
Illustrated. _Crown 8vo. 6s._

 This is a story of amateur pugilism and chivalrous adventure, written
 by an author whose books on sport are well known.

~Miss Benson.~ SUBJECT TO VANITY. By Margaret Benson. With numerous
Illustrations. _Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d._

 A volume of humorous and sympathetic sketches of animal life and home


~Anthony Hope.~ THE GOD IN THE CAR. By Anthony Hope, Author of 'A
Change of Air,' etc. _Sixth Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s._

 'This is, indeed, a very remarkable book, deserving of critical
 analysis impossible within our limits; brilliant, but not superficial;
 well considered, but not elaborated; constructed with the proverbial
 art that conceals, but yet allows itself to be enjoyed by readers to
 whom fine literary method is a keen pleasure; true without cynicism,
 subtle without affectation, humorous without strain, witty without
 offence, inevitably sad, with an unmorose simplicity.'—_World._

 'Immeasurably better than anything Mr. Hope has done before. A
 novel eminently worth reading, full of brilliance, fire, and
 daring.'—_Manchester Guardian._

 'Ruston is drawn with extraordinary skill, and Maggie Dennison with
 many subtle strokes. The minor characters are clear cut. In short
 the book is a brilliant one. "The God in the Car" is one of the most
 remarkable works in a year that has given us the handiwork of nearly
 all our best living novelists.'—_Standard._

~Baring Gould.~ KITTY ALONE. By S. Baring Gould, Author of 'Mehalah,'
'Cheap Jack Zita,' etc. _Second Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s._

 'If any one wants—and in days when so much fiction is morbid and
 depressing it is to the credit of human nature to believe that many
 persons must want—a book brisk, clever, keen, healthy, humorous,
 and interesting, he can scarcely do better than order "Kitty
 Alone."'—_National Observer._

~Norris.~ MATTHEW AUSTIN. By W. E. Norris, Author of 'Mdle. de Mersac,'
etc. _Second Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s._

 'It would be a strangely unsympathetic and cynical person who could
 read the life-story of Matthew Austin, the singularly unselfish and
 gentle-natured country doctor, without affectionate sympathy....
 "Matthew Austin" may safely be pronounced one of the most
 intellectually satisfactory and morally bracing novels of the current
 year.'—_Daily Telegraph._

~Mrs. Watson.~ THIS MAN'S DOMINION. By the Author of 'A High Little
World.' _Second Edition. Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d._

 'It is not a book to be read and forgotten on a railway journey, but
 it is rather a study of the perplexing problems of life, to which the
 reflecting mind will frequently return, even though the reader does
 not accept the solutions which the author suggests. In these days,
 when the output of merely amusing novels is so overpowering, this is
 no slight praise. There is an underlying depth in the story which
 reminds one, in a lesser degree, of the profundity of George Eliot,
 and "This Man's Dominion" is by no means a novel to be thrust aside as
 exhausted at one perusal.'—_Dundee Advertiser._

~Richard Pryce.~ WINIFRED MOUNT. By Richard Pryce. _Second Edition.
Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d._

 The 'Sussex Daily News' called this book '_a delightful story_,'
 and said that the writing was '_uniformly bright and graceful_.'
 The 'Daily Telegraph' said that the author was a '_deft and elegant
 story-teller_,' and that the book was '_an extremely clever story,
 utterly untainted by pessimism or vulgarity_.'


New Edition, edited with Notes and Appendices and Maps by J. B. Bury,
M.A., Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin. _In Seven Volumes. Crown 8vo._

 The time seems to have arrived for a new edition of Gibbon's great
 work—furnished with such notes and appendices as may bring it up to
 the standard of recent historical research. Edited by a scholar who
 has made this period his special study, and issued in a convenient
 form and at a moderate price, this edition should fill an obvious void.

~Horsburgh.~ THE CAMPAIGN OF WATERLOO. By E. L. S. Horsburgh, M.A. With
Plans. _Crown 8vo. 5s._

 This is a full account of the final struggle of Napoleon, and contains
 a careful study from a strategical point of view of the movements of
 the French and allied armies.

~George.~ BATTLES OF ENGLISH HISTORY. By H. B. George, M.A., Fellow of
New College, Oxford. _With numerous Plans. Crown 8vo. 6s._

 This book, by a well-known authority on military history, will be
 an important contribution to the literature of the subject. All the
 great battles of English history are fully described, and connecting
 chapters carefully treat of the changes wrought by new discoveries and

~Oscar Browning.~ THE AGE OF THE CONDOTTIERI: A Short History of Italy
from 1409 to 1530. By Oscar Browning, M.A., Fellow of King's College,
Cambridge. _Crown 8vo. 5s._

 This book is a continuation of Mr. Browning's 'Guelphs and
 Ghibellines,' and the two works form a complete account of Italian
 history from 1250 to 1530.


~Southey.~ ENGLISH SEAMEN (Howard, Clifford, Hawkins, Drake,
Cavendish). By Robert Southey. Edited, with an Introduction, by David
Hannay. _Crown 8vo. 6s._

 This is a reprint of some excellent biographies of Elizabethan seamen,
 written by Southey and never republished. They are practically
 unknown, and they deserve, and will probably obtain, a wide popularity.

~Cutts.~ AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY. By E. L. Cutts, D.D. _Crown 8vo. 3s.

      [_Leaders of Religion._

 A biography of the first Archbishop of Canterbury, containing a fairly
 full account of the conversion of England.

Hutton, M.A., Fellow and Tutor of St. John's College, Oxford. _Crown
8vo. 3s. 6d._

      [_Leaders of Religion._

 Mr. Hutton has made a special study of the life and times of Laud, and
 as the guardian of the Laudian relics and MSS. at Oxford, has been
 able to throw new light on various episodes in his career.

~Mrs. Oliphant.~ THOMAS CHALMERS. By Mrs. Oliphant. _With a Portrait.
Second Edition. Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d._

      [_Leaders of Religion._

~Lock.~ JOHN KEBLE. By Walter Lock, Sub-Warden of Keble College. _With
a Portrait. Seventh Edition. Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d._

      [_Leaders of Religion._

General Literature

~Flinders Petrie.~ EGYPTIAN DECORATIVE ART. By W. M. Flinders Petrie,
D.C.L. With 120 Illustrations. _Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d._

 A book which deals with a subject which has never yet been seriously

~Flinders Petrie.~ EGYPTIAN TALES. Edited by W. M. Flinders Petrie.
Illustrated by Tristram Ellis. _Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d._

 A selection of the ancient tales of Egypt, edited from original
 sources, and of great importance as illustrating the life and society
 of ancient Egypt.

~Ouida.~ ESSAYS by Ouida. _Crown 8vo. 6s._

This volume contains the following articles:—

  O Beati Insipientes!
  Cities of Italy.
  The Failure of Christianity.
  The Sins of Society.
  The Passing of Philomel.
  The Italy of To-day.
  The Blind Guides of Italy.
  L'Uomo Fatale.
  The New Woman.
  Death and Pity.
  Some Fallacies of Science.
  Female Suffrage.
  The State as an Immoral Factor.
  The Penalties of a Well-Known Name.

~Oliphant.~ THE FRENCH RIVIERA. By Mrs. Oliphant and F. R. Oliphant.
With Illustrations and Maps. _Crown 8vo. 6s._

 A volume dealing with the French Riviera from Toulon to Mentone.
 Without falling within the guide-book category, the book will supply
 some useful practical information, while occupying itself chiefly
 with descriptive and historical matter. A special feature will be the
 attention directed to those portions of the Riviera, which, though
 full of interest and easily accessible from many well-frequented
 spots, are generally left unvisited by English travellers, such as
 the Maures Mountains and the St. Tropez district, the country lying
 between Cannes, Grasse and the Var, and the magnificent valleys behind
 Nice. There will be several original illustrations.

~Shedlock.~ THE PIANOFORTE SONATA: Its Origin and Development. By J. S.
Shedlock. _Crown 8vo. 5s._

 This is a practical and not unduly technical account of the Sonata
 treated historically. It contains several novel features, and an
 account of various works little known to the English public.

~Dixon.~ A PRIMER OF TENNYSON. By W. M. Dixon, M. A., Professor of
English Literature at Mason College. _Fcap. 8vo. 1s. 6d._

 This book consists of (1) a succinct but complete biography of
 Lord Tennyson; (2) an account of the volumes published by him in
 chronological order, dealing with the more important poems separately;
 (3) a concise criticism of Tennyson in his various aspects as lyrist,
 dramatist, and representative poet of his day; (4) a bibliography.
 Such a complete book on such a subject, and at such a moderate price,
 should find a host of readers.

THE CHRISTIAN YEAR. By John Keble. With an Introduction and Notes by W
Lock, M.A., Sub-Warden of Keble College, Author of 'The Life of John
Keble.' Illustrated by R. Anning Bell. _Fcap. 8vo. 3s. 6d._

 A charming edition of a famous book, finely illustrated and printed in
 black and red, uniform with the 'Imitation of Christ.'

~Theobald.~ INSECT LIFE. By F. W. Theobald, M.A. _Illustrated. Crown
8vo. 2s. 6d._

      [_Univ. Extension Series._

English Classics

Edited by W. E. Henley.

 Messrs. Methuen propose to publish, under this title, a series of the
 masterpieces of the English tongue, which, while well within the reach
 of the average buyer, shall be at once an ornament to the shelf of him
 that owns, and a delight to the eye of him that reads.

 The series, of which Mr. William Ernest Henley is the general editor,
 will confine itself to no single period or department of literature.
 Poetry, fiction, drama, biography, autobiography, letters, essays—in
 all these fields is the material of many goodly volumes.

 The books, which are designed and printed by Messrs. Constable, will
 be issued in two editions—(1) A small edition, on the finest Japanese
 vellum, demy 8vo, 21_s._ a volume nett; (2) The popular edition on
 laid paper, crown 8vo, buckram, 3_s._ 6_d._ a volume.

The following are some notices which have appeared on 'TRISTRAM
SHANDY,' the first volume of the series:—

 'Very dainty volumes are these; the paper, type, and light green
 binding are all very agreeable to the eye. "Simplex munditiis" is the
 phrase that might be applied to them. So far as we know, Sterne's
 famous work has never appeared in a guise more attractive to the
 connoisseur than this.'—_Globe._

 'The book is excellently printed by Messrs. Constable on good paper,
 and being divided into two volumes, is light and handy without lacking
 the dignity of a classic.'—_Manchester Guardian._

 'This new edition of a great classic might make an honourable
 appearance in any library in the world. Printed by Constable on laid
 paper, bound in most artistic and restful-looking fig-green buckram,
 with a frontispiece portrait and an introduction by Mr. Charles
 Whibley, the book might well be issued at three times its present
 price.'—_Irish Independent._

 'Cheap and comely; a very agreeable edition.'—_Saturday Review._

 'A real acquisition to the library.'—_Birmingham Post._

 Street, and a Portrait. _2 vols._

  25 copies on Japanese paper.

Walton. With an Introduction by Vernon Blackburn, and a Portrait.

 25 copies on Japanese paper.

Introduction by E. S. Browne, M.A.

 25 copies on Japanese paper.

THE POEMS OF ROBERT BURNS. With an Introduction by W. E. Henley, and a
Portrait. _2 vols._

 30 copies on Japanese paper.

THE LIVES OF THE ENGLISH POETS. By Samuel Johnson, LL.D. With an
Introduction by John Hepburn Millar, and a Portrait. _3 vols._

  30 copies on Japanese paper.

Classical Translations


_Crown 8vo. Finely printed and bound in blue buckram._

SOPHOCLES—Electra and Ajax. Translated by E. D. A. Morshead, M.A.,
late Scholar of New College, Oxford; Assistant Master at Winchester.
2_s._ 6_d._

TACITUS—Agricola and Germania. Translated by R. B. Townshend, late
Scholar of Trinity College, Cambridge. 2_s._ 6_d._

New and Recent Books


~Rudyard Kipling.~ BARRACK-ROOM BALLADS; And Other Verses. By Rudyard
Kipling. _Seventh Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s._

 A Special Presentation Edition, bound in white buckram, with extra
 gilt ornament. _7s. 6d._

 'Mr. Kipling's verse is strong, vivid, full of character....
 Unmistakable genius rings in every line.'—_Times._

 'The disreputable lingo of Cockayne is henceforth justified before the
 world; for a man of genius has taken it in hand, and has shown, beyond
 all cavilling, that in its way it also is a medium for literature.
 You are grateful, and you say to yourself, half in envy and half in
 admiration: "Here is a _book_; here, or one is a Dutchman, is one of
 the books of the year."'—_National Observer._

 '"Barrack-Room Ballads" contains some of the best work that Mr.
 Kipling has ever done, which is saying a good deal. "Fuzzy-Wuzzy,"
 "Gunga Din," and "Tommy," are, in our opinion, altogether superior
 to anything of the kind that English literature has hitherto

 'These ballads are as wonderful in their descriptive power as they are
 vigorous in their dramatic force. There are few ballads in the English
 language more stirring than "The Ballad of East and West," worthy to
 stand by the Border ballads of Scott.'—_Spectator._

 'The ballads teem with imagination, they palpitate with emotion. We
 read them with laughter and tears; the metres throb in our pulses, the
 cunningly ordered words tingle with life; and if this be not poetry,
 what is?'—_Pall Mall Gazette._

~Henley.~ LYRA HEROICA: An Anthology selected from the best English
Verse of the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th Centuries. By William Ernest
Henley, Author of 'A Book of Verse,' 'Views and Reviews,' etc. _Crown
8vo. Stamped gilt buckram, gilt top, edges uncut. 6s._

 'Mr. Henley has brought to the task of selection an instinct alike for
 poetry and for chivalry which seems to us quite wonderfully, and even
 unerringly, right.'—_Guardian._

~Jane Barlow.~ THE BATTLE OF THE FROGS AND MICE, translated by Jane
Barlow, Author of 'Irish Idylls,' and pictured by F. D. Bedford. _Small
4to. 6s. net._

 This is a new version of a famous old fable. Miss Barlow, whose
 brilliant volume of 'Irish Idylls' has gained her a wide reputation,
 has told the story in spirited flowing verse, and Mr. Bedford's
 numerous illustrations and ornaments are as spirited as the verse they

~Tomson.~ A SUMMER NIGHT, AND OTHER POEMS. By Graham R. Tomson. With
Frontispiece by A. Tomson. _Fcap. 8vo. 3s. 6d._

An edition on hand-made paper, limited to 50 copies. _10s. 6d. net._

 'Mrs. Tomson holds perhaps the very highest rank among poetesses of
 English birth. This selection will help her reputation.'—_Black and

~Ibsen.~ BRAND. A Drama by Henrik Ibsen. Translated by William Wilson.
_Crown 8vo. Second Edition. 3s. 6d._

 'The greatest world-poem of the nineteenth century next to "Faust."
 "Brand" will have an astonishing interest for Englishmen. It is in the
 same set with "Agamemnon," with "Lear," with the literature that we
 now instinctively regard as high and holy.'—_Daily Chronicle._

~"Q."~ GREEN BAYS: Verses and Parodies. By "Q.," Author of 'Dead Man's
Rock,' etc. _Second Edition. Fcap. 8vo. 3s. 6d._

 'The verses display a rare and versatile gift of parody, great command
 of metre, and a very pretty turn of humour.'—_Times._

~"A. G."~ VERSES TO ORDER. By "A. G." _Cr. 8vo. 2s. 6d. net._

 A small volume of verse by a writer whose initials are well known to
 Oxford men.

 'A capital specimen of light academic poetry. These verses are very
 bright and engaging, easy and sufficiently witty.'—_St. James's

~Hosken.~ VERSES BY THE WAY. By J. D. Hosken. _Crown 8vo. 5s._

A small edition on hand-made paper. _Price 12s. 6d. net._

 A Volume of Lyrics and Sonnets by J. D. Hosken, the Postman Poet. Q,
 the Author of 'The Splendid Spur,' writes a critical and biographical

~Gale.~ CRICKET SONGS. By Norman Gale. _Crown 8vo. Linen. 2s. 6d._

 Also a limited edition on hand-made paper. _Demy 8vo. 10s. 6d. net._

 'They are wrung out of the excitement of the moment, and palpitate
 with the spirit of the game.'—_Star._

 'As healthy as they are spirited, and ought to have a great

 'Simple, manly, and humorous. Every cricketer should buy the
 book.'—_Westminster Gazette._

  'Cricket has never known such a singer.'—_Cricket._

~Langbridge.~ BALLADS OF THE BRAVE: Poems of Chivalry, Enterprise,
Courage, and Constancy, from the Earliest Times to the Present Day.
Edited, with Notes, by Rev. F. Langbridge. _Crown 8vo. Buckram 3s. 6d._
School Edition, _2s. 6d._

 'A very happy conception happily carried out. These "Ballads of the
 Brave" are intended to suit the real tastes of boys, and will suit the
 taste of the great majority.'—_Spectator._

  'The book is full of splendid things.'—_World._

English Classics

Edited by W. E. Henley.

 Messrs. Methuen are publishing, under this title, a series of the
 masterpieces of the English tongue, which, while well within the reach
 of the average buyer, shall be at once an ornament to the shelf of him
 that owns, and a delight to the eye of him that reads.

 The series, of which Mr. William Ernest Henley is the general editor,
 will confine itself to no single period or department of literature.
 Poetry, fiction, drama, biography, autobiography, letters, essays—in
 all these fields is the material of many goodly volumes.

 The books, which are designed and printed by Messrs. Constable, are
 issued in two editions—(1) A small edition, on the finest Japanese
 vellum, demy 8vo, 21_s._ a volume nett; (2) the popular edition on
 laid paper, crown 8vo, 3_s._ _6d._ a volume.


By Lawrence Sterne. With an Introduction by Charles Whibley, and a
Portrait. _2 vols. 7s._

  60 copies on Japanese paper. _42s._

 'Very dainty volumes are these; the paper, type and light green
 binding are all very agreeable to the eye. "Simplex munditiis" is the
 phrase that might be applied to them. So far as we know, Sterne's
 famous work has never appeared in a guise more attractive to the
 connoisseur than this.'—_Globe._

 'The book is excellently printed by Messrs. Constable on good paper,
 and being divided into two volumes, is light and handy without lacking
 the dignity of a classic.'—_Manchester Guardian._

 'This new edition of a great classic might make an honourable
 appearance in any library in the world. Printed by Constable on laid
 paper, bound in most artistic and restful-looking fig-green buckram,
 with a frontispiece portrait and an introduction by Mr. Charles
 Whibley, the book might well be issued at three times its present
 price.'—_Irish Independent._

 'Cheap and comely; a very agreeable edition.'—_Saturday Review._

 'A real acquisition to the library.'—_Birmingham Post._


~Flinders Petrie.~ A HISTORY OF EGYPT, from the Earliest Times to the
Hyksos. By W. M. Flinders Petrie, D.C.L., Professor of Egyptology at
University College. _Fully Illustrated. Crown 8vo. 6s._

 'An important contribution to scientific study.'—_Scotsman._

 'A history written in the spirit of scientific precision so worthily
 represented by Dr. Petrie and his school cannot but promote sound and
 accurate study, and supply a vacant place in the English literature of

~Flinders Petrie.~ TELL EL AMARNA. By W. M. Flinders Petrie, D.C.L.
With chapters by Professor A. H. Sayce, D.D.; F. Ll. Griffith, F.S.A.;
and F. C. J. Spurrell, F.G.S. With numerous coloured illustrations.
_Royal 4to. 20s. net._

~Clark.~ THE COLLEGES OF OXFORD: Their History and their Traditions. By
Members of the University. Edited by A. Clark, M.A., Fellow and Tutor
of Lincoln College, _8vo. 12s. 6d._

 'Whether the reader approaches the book as a patriotic member of a
 college, as an antiquary, or as a student of the organic growth of
 college foundation, it will amply reward his attention.'—_Times._

 'A delightful book, learned and lively.'—_Academy._

 'A work which will certainly be appealed to for many years as the
 standard book on the Colleges of Oxford.'—_Athenæum._

FALL OF THE REPUBLIC. By F. T. Perrens. Translated by Hannah Lynch. _In
Three Volumes. Vol. I. 8vo. 12s. 6d._

 This is a translation from the French of the best history of
 Florence in existence. This volume covers a period of profound
 interest—political and literary—and is written with great vivacity.

 'This is a standard book by an honest and intelligent historian, who
 has deserved well of his countrymen, and of all who are interested in
 Italian history.'—_Manchester Guardian._

~Browning.~ GUELPHS AND GHIBELLINES: A Short History of Mediæval Italy,
A.D. 1250-1409. By Oscar Browning, Fellow and Tutor of King's College,
Cambridge. _Second Edition. Crown 8vo. 5s._

 'A very able book.'—_Westminster Gazette._

 'A vivid picture of mediæval Italy.'—_Standard._

~O'Grady.~ THE STORY OF IRELAND. By Standish O'Grady, Author of 'Finn
and his Companions.' _Cr. 8vo. 2s. 6d._

 'Novel and very fascinating history. Wonderfully alluring.'—_Cork

 'Most delightful, most stimulating. Its racy humour, its original
 imaginings, its perfectly unique history, make it one of the freshest,
 breeziest volumes.'—_Methodist Times._

 'A survey at once graphic, acute, and quaintly written.'—_Times._

~Malden.~ ENGLISH RECORDS. A Companion to the History of England. By H.
E. Malden, M.A. _Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d._

 A book which aims at concentrating information upon dates, genealogy,
 officials, constitutional documents, etc., which is usually found
 scattered in different volumes.


~Collingwood.~ JOHN RUSKIN: His Life and Work. By W. G. Collingwood,
M.A., Editor of Mr. Ruskin's Poems. _2 vols. 8vo. 32s. Second Edition._

 This important work is written by Mr. Collingwood, who has been for
 some years Mr. Ruskin's private secretary, and who has had unique
 advantages in obtaining materials for this book from Mr. Ruskin
 himself and from his friends. It contains a large amount of new
 matter, and of letters which have never been published, and is, in
 fact a full and authoritative biography of Mr. Ruskin. The book
 contains numerous portraits of Mr. Ruskin including a coloured one
 from a water-colour portrait by himself, and also 13 sketches, never
 before published, by Mr. Ruskin and Mr. Arthur Severn. A bibliography
 is added.

 'No more magnificent volumes have been published for a long

 'This most lovingly written and most profoundly interesting
 book.'—_Daily News._

 'It is long since we have had a biography with such varied delights of
 substance and of form. Such a book is a pleasure for the day, and a
 joy for ever.'—_Daily Chronicle._

 'Mr. Ruskin could not well have been more fortunate in his

 'A noble monument of a noble subject. One of the most beautiful books
 about one of the noblest lives of our century.'—_Glasgow Herald._

~Waldstein.~ JOHN RUSKIN: a Study. By Charles Waldstein, M.A., Fellow
of King's College, Cambridge. With a Photogravure Portrait after
Professor Herkomer. _Post 8vo. 5s._

 Also 25 copies on Japanese paper. _Demy 8vo. 21s._

 'Ruskinites will no doubt arise and join battle with Mr. Waldstein,
 who, all the same has produced a remarkably fine piece of criticism,
 which is well worth reading for its own sake.'—_Glasgow Herald._

 'A thoughtful, impartial, well-written criticism of Ruskin's teaching,
 intended to separate what the author regards as valuable and
 permanent from what is transient and erroneous in the great master's
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_With Portraits. Crown 8vo. 6s._

 'The earlier years of Mr. Gladstone's political life stand out all
 the more finely, and leave a more enduring impression, because of the
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 been penned.'—_Glasgow Herald._

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 'By immense labour, guided by a competent knowledge of affairs, he
 has given us a book which will be of permanent value to the student
 of political history. It is exhaustively indexed, and accompanied by
 three portraits.'—_Yorkshire Post._

 'Not only one of the most meritorious, but one of the most
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 the reader's judgment exactly that degree of guidance which is the
 function of a calm, restrained, and judicious historian.'—_Birmingham
 Daily Post._

 'A carefully-planned narrative, into which is woven a great deal of
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Russell, Author of 'The Wreck of the Grosvenor.' With Illustrations by
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General Literature

GLADSTONE, M.P. With Notes and Introductions. Edited by A. W. Hutton,
M.A. (Librarian of the Gladstone Library), and H. J. Cohen, M.A. With
Portraits. _8vo. Vols. IX. and X. 12s. 6d. each._

~Henley and Whibley.~ A BOOK OF ENGLISH PROSE. Collected by W. E.
Henley and Charles Whibley, _Cr. 8vo. 6s._

 Also 40 copies on Dutch paper. _21s. net._

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 'A unique volume of extracts—an art gallery of early
 prose.'—_Birmingham Post._

 'The book is delightfully got up, being printed by Messrs. Constable,
 who have evidently bestowed most loving care upon it.'—_Publishers'

 'The anthology is one every lover of good writing and quaint English
 will enjoy.'—_Literary World._

 'An admirable companion to Mr. Henley's "Lyra Heroica."'—_Saturday

 'Quite delightful. The choice made has been excellent, and the volume
 has been most admirably printed by Messrs. Constable. A greater treat
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~Wells.~ OXFORD AND OXFORD LIFE. By Members of the University. Edited
by J. Wells, M.A., Fellow and Tutor of Wadham College. _Crown 8vo. 3s.

 This work contains an account of life at Oxford—intellectual, social,
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 and chapters on Women's Education, aids to study, and University

 'We congratulate Mr. Wells on the production of a readable and
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~Chalmers Mitchell.~ OUTLINES OF BIOLOGY. By P. Chalmers Mitchell,
M.A., F.Z.S. _Fully Illustrated. Crown 8vo. 6s._

 A text-book designed to cover the new Schedule Issued by the Royal
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_Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d._

 A Popular Account of the poetry of the Century.

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~Bowden.~ THE EXAMPLE OF BUDDHA: Being Quotations from Buddhist
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Preface by Sir Edwin Arnold. _Third Edition, 16mo. 2s. 6d._

~Massee.~ A MONOGRAPH OF THE MYXOGASTRES. By George Massee. With 12
Coloured Plates. _Royal 8vo. 18s. net._

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~Jenks.~ ENGLISH LOCAL GOVERNMENT. By E. Jenks, M.A., Professor of Law
at University College, Liverpool. _Crown 8vo. 2s. 6d._

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 and may learn sufficient of the duties and powers of local bodies to
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 'We can cordially recommend the book as giving an excellent outline in
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~Malden.~ THE ENGLISH CITIZEN: His Rights and Duties, By H. E. Malden,
M.A. _Crown 8vo. 1s. 6d._

 A simple account of the privileges and duties of the English citizen.

~John Beever.~ PRACTICAL FLY-FISHING, Founded on Nature, by John
Beever, late of the Thwaite House, Coniston. A New Edition, with a
Memoir of the Author by W. G. Collingwood, M.A. Also additional Notes
and a chapter on Char-Fishing, by A. and A. R. Severn. With a specially
designed title-page. _Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d._

 A little book on Fly-Fishing by an old friend of Mr. Ruskin. It has
 been out of print for some time, and being still much in request, is
 now issued with a Memoir of the Author by W. G. Collingwood.

~Hutton.~ THE VACCINATION QUESTION. A Letter to the Right Hon. H. H.
Asquith, M.P. By A. W. Hutton, M.A. Crown _8vo. 1s. 6d._


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Descriptive, and Critical Studies. By T. K. Cheyne, D.D., Oriel
Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture at Oxford. _Large
crown 8vo. 7s. 6d._

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~Prior.~ CAMBRIDGE SERMONS. Edited by C. H. Prior, M.A., Fellow and
Tutor of Pembroke College. _Crown 8vo. 6s._

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~Beeching.~ SERMONS TO SCHOOLBOYS. By H. C. Beeching, M.A., Rector of
Yattendon, Berks. With a Preface by Canon Scott Holland. _Crown 8vo.
2s. 6d._

 Seven sermons preached before the boys of Bradfield College.

~Layard.~ RELIGION IN BOYHOOD. Notes on the Religious Training of Boys.
With a Preface by J. R. Illingworth. By E. B. Layard, M.A. _18mo. 1s._

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7s. 6d._

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~Kaufmann.~ CHARLES KINGSLEY. By M. Kaufmann, M.A. _Crown 8vo. Buckram.

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Devotional Books.

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THE CHRISTIAN YEAR. By John Keble. With an Introduction and Notes by W.
Lock, M.A., Sub-Warden of Keble College, Author of 'The Life of John
Keble.' Illustrated by R. Anning Bell. _Fcap. 8vo. 5s._


Leaders of Religion

Edited by H. C. BEECHING, M.A. _With Portraits, crown 8vo._

A series of short biographies of the most prominent leaders of
religious life and thought of all ages and countries.

  2/6 & 3/6

  The following are ready—      ~2s. 6d.~

CARDINAL NEWMAN. By R. H. Hutton. _Second Edition._

 'Few who read this book will fail to be struck by the wonderful
 insight it displays into the nature of the Cardinal's genius and the
 spirit of his life.'—Wilfrid Ward, in the _Tablet_.

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 We regard it as wholly admirable.'—_Academy._

JOHN WESLEY. By J. H. Overton, M.A.

 'It is well done: the story is clearly told, proportion is duly
 observed, and there is no lack either of discrimination or of
 sympathy.'—_Manchester Guardian._




  3s. 6d.

JOHN KEBLE. By Walter Lock, M.A. _Seventh Edition._

THOMAS CHALMERS. By Mrs. Oliphant. _Second Edition._

LANCELOT ANDREWES, Bishop of Winchester. By R. L. Ottley, M.A.

 'A very interesting and skilful monograph.'—_Times._

 'Mr. Ottley has told the story of a great career with judgment and
 knowledge, and he has not forgotten to indicate either the forces
 which shaped it, or the force which it has in turn contributed to the
 shaping of the religious life of to-day.'—_Leeds Mercury._


WILLIAM LAUD. By W. H. Hutton, M.A.

Other volumes will be announced in due course.

Works by S. Baring Gould

OLD COUNTRY LIFE. With Sixty-seven Illustrations by W. Parkinson, F. D.
Bedford, and F. Masey. _Large Crown 8vo, cloth super extra, top edge
gilt, 10s. 6d. Fifth and Cheaper Edition. 6s._

 '"Old Country Life," as healthy wholesome reading, full of breezy
 life and movement, full of quaint stories vigorously told, will not
 be excelled by any book to be published throughout the year. Sound,
 hearty, and English to the core.'—_World._


 'A collection of exciting and entertaining chapters. The whole volume
 is delightful reading.'—_Times._

FREAKS OF FANATICISM. _Third Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s._

 'Mr. Baring Gould has a keen eye for colour and effect, and the
 subjects he has chosen give ample scope to his descriptive and
 analytic faculties. A perfectly fascinating book.'—_Scottish Leader._

A GARLAND OF COUNTRY SONG: English Folk Songs with their traditional
melodies. Collected and arranged by S. Baring Gould and H. Fleetwood
Sheppard. _Demy 4to. 6s._

SONGS OF THE WEST: Traditional Ballads and Songs of the West of
England, with their Traditional Melodies. Collected by S. Baring Gould,
M.A., and H. Fleetwood Sheppard, M.A. Arranged for Voice and Piano. In
4 Parts (containing 25 Songs each), _Parts I., II., III., 3s. each.
Part IV., 5s. In one Vol., French morocco, 15s._

 'A rich and varied collection of humour, pathos, grace, and poetic
 fancy.'—_Saturday Review._

A BOOK OF FAIRY TALES retold by S. Baring Gould. With numerous
illustrations and initial letters by Arthur J. Gaskin. _Crown 8vo.
Buckram. 6s._

 'The stories are old friends—Cinderella, Bluebeard, the Three Bears,
 and so on—in a new dress of simple language which their skilled
 reviser has given them. They make a delightful collection, and Mr.
 Gaskin's illustrations have a beauty all their own, a beauty which
 some will judge to be beyond the appreciation of children, but a
 child is sure to be interested by these pictures, and the impression
 they give cannot but have the best effect in the formation of a good

 'Mr. Baring Gould has done a good deed, and is deserving of gratitude,
 in re-writing in honest, simple style the old stories that delighted
 the childhood of "our fathers and grandfathers." We do not think
 he has omitted any of our favourite stories, the stories that are
 commonly regarded as merely "old-fashioned." As to the form of the
 book, and the printing, which is by Messrs. Constable, it were
 difficult to commend overmuch.'—_Saturday Review._


Gould. _Crown 8vo. Second Edition. 6s._

 A book on such subjects as Foundations, Gables, Holes, Gallows,
 Raising the Hat, Old Ballads, etc. etc. It traces in a most
 interesting manner their origin and history.

 'We have read Mr. Baring Gould's book from beginning to end. It is
 full of quaint and various information, and there is not a dull page
 in it.'—_Notes and Queries._

THE TRAGEDY OF THE CAESARS: The Emperors of the Julian and Claudian
Lines. With numerous Illustrations from Busts, Gems, Cameos, etc. By S.
Baring Gould, Author of 'Mehalah,' etc. _Third Edition. Royal 8vo. 15s._

 'A most splendid and fascinating book on a subject of undying
 interest. The great feature of the book is the use the author has made
 of the existing portraits of the Caesars, and the admirable critical
 subtlety he has exhibited in dealing with this line of research. It is
 brilliantly written, and the illustrations are supplied on a scale of
 profuse magnificence.'—_Daily Chronicle._

 'The volumes will in no sense disappoint the general reader. Indeed,
 in their way, there is nothing in any sense so good in English.... Mr.
 Baring Gould has presented his narrative in such a way as not to make
 one dull page.'—_Athenæum._

THE DESERTS OF SOUTHERN FRANCE. By S. Baring Gould. With numerous
Illustrations by F. D. Bedford, S. Hutton, etc. _2 vols. Demy 8vo. 32s._

 This book is the first serious attempt to describe the great barren
 tableland that extends to the south of Limousin in the Department of
 Aveyron, Lot, etc., a country of dolomite cliffs, and cañons, and
 subterranean rivers. The region is full of prehistoric and historic
 interest, relics of cave-dwellers, of mediæval robbers, and of the
 English domination and the Hundred Years' War.

 'His two richly-illustrated volumes are full of matter of interest
 to the geologist, the archæologist, and the student of history and

 'It deals with its subject in a manner which rarely fails to arrest
 and enchain attention.'—_Times._

 'We leave the author with a clear and delightful knowledge of the
 district and with a fresh attraction towards himself.'—_Leeds

 'A wholly original and singularly attractive work.'—_Daily News._


 'To say that a book is by the author of "Mehalah" is to imply that
 it contains a story cast on strong lines, containing dramatic
 possibilities, vivid and sympathetic descriptions of Nature, and a
 wealth of ingenious imagery.'—_Speaker._

 'That whatever Mr. Baring Gould writes is well worth reading, is a
 conclusion that may be very generally accepted. His views of life
 are fresh and vigorous, his language pointed and characteristic,
 the incidents of which he makes use are striking and original, his
 characters are life-like, and though somewhat exceptional people,
 are drawn and coloured with artistic force. Add to this that his
 descriptions of scenes and scenery are painted with the loving eyes
 and skilled hands of a master of his art, that he is always fresh and
 never dull, and under such conditions it is no wonder that readers
 have gained confidence both in his power of amusing and satisfying
 them, and that year by year his popularity widens.'—_Court Circular._


  IN THE ROAR OF THE SEA: A Tale of the Cornish Coast.


  ARMINELL: A Social Romance.
  URITH: A Story of Dartmoor.
  MARGERY OF QUETHER, and other Stories.
  JACQUETTA, and other Stories.



Corelli, Author of 'A Romance of Two Worlds,' 'Vendetta,' etc.
_Fourteenth Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s._

 'The tender reverence of the treatment and the imaginative beauty
 of the writing have reconciled us to the daring of the conception,
 and the conviction is forced on us that even so exalted a subject
 cannot be made too familiar to us, provided it be presented in
 the true spirit of Christian faith. The amplifications of the
 Scripture narrative are often conceived with high poetic insight,
 and this "Dream of the World's Tragedy" is, despite some trifling
 incongruities, a lofty and not inadequate paraphrase of the supreme
 climax of the inspired narrative.'—_Dublin Review._

~Anthony Hope.~ THE GOD IN THE CAR. By Anthony Hope, Author of 'A
Change of Air,' etc. _Sixth Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s._

 '"The God In the Car" is so good, so immeasurably better than anything
 Mr. Hope has done before in the way of a novel of contemporary
 manners, that there seems no reason why he should not eventually
 reach that place in the front rank, which he has evidently set before
 himself as his goal. "The God in the Car" is a novel eminently worth
 reading, full of brilliance, fire, and daring, and above all full of
 promise of something still better in the future, something which will
 render criticism superfluous.'—_Manchester Guardian._

 'Ruston is drawn with extraordinary skill, and Maggie Dennison with
 many subtle strokes. The minor characters are clear cut. In short
 the book is a brilliant one. "The God in the Car" is one of the most
 remarkable works in a year that has given us the handiwork of nearly
 all our best living novelists.'—_Standard._

 'A very remarkable book, deserving of critical analysis impossible
 within our limit; brilliant, but not superficial; well considered,
 but not elaborated; constructed with the proverbial art that
 conceals, but yet allows itself to be enjoyed by readers to whom fine
 literary method is a keen pleasure; true without cynicism, subtle
 without affectation, humorous without strain, witty without offence,
 inevitably sad, with an unmorose simplicity.'—_The World._

~Anthony Hope.~ A CHANGE OF AIR. By Anthony Hope, Author of 'The
Prisoner of Zenda,' etc. _Crown 8vo. 6s._

 'A graceful, vivacious comedy, true to human nature. The characters
 are traced with a masterly hand.'—_Times._

~Anthony Hope.~ A MAN OF MARK. By Anthony Hope. Author of 'The Prisoner
of Zenda,' 'The God in the Car,' etc. _Second Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s._

 This is a re-issue of Anthony Hope's first novel. It has been out
 of print for some years, and in view of the great popularity of the
 author, it has been reprinted. It is a story of political adventure in
 South America, and is rather in the style of 'The Prisoner of Zenda.'

~Conan Doyle.~ ROUND THE RED LAMP. By A. Conan Doyle, Author of 'The
White Company,' 'The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,' etc. _Third
Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s._

 'The reader will find in it some perfectly constructed stories, the
 memory of which will haunt him long after he has laid it down. The
 author again reveals himself as a keenly sympathetic observer of life
 and a master of vigorous impressive narrative.'—_Yorkshire Post._

 'The book is, indeed, composed of leaves from life', and is far and
 away the best view that has been vouchsafed us behind the scenes of
 the consulting-room. It is very superior to "The Diary of a late
 Physician."'—_Illustrated London News._

 'Dr. Doyle wields a cunning pen, as all the world now knows. His deft
 touch is seen to perfection in these short sketches—these "facts and
 fancies of medical life," as he calls them. Every page reveals the
 literary artist, the keen observer, the trained delineator of human
 nature, its weal and its woe.'—_Freeman's Journal._

 'These tales are skilful, attractive, and eminently suited to give
 relief to the mind of a reader in quest of distraction.'—_Athenæum._

 'The book is one to buy as well as to borrow, and that it will repay
 both buyer and borrower with interest.'—_Sunday Times._

 'It is quite safe to assert that no one who begins to read 'Round the
 Red Lamp' will voluntarily lay the book aside until every one of its
 fascinating pages has been perused.'—_Lady._

 'No more interesting and occasionally sensational stories have
 appeared than these.'—_Punch._

~Stanley Weyman.~ UNDER THE RED ROBE. By Stanley Weyman, Author of 'A
Gentleman of France.' With Twelve Illustrations by R. Caton Woodville.
_Sixth Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s._

 A cheaper edition of a book which won instant popularity. No
 unfavourable review occurred, and most critics spoke in terms of
 enthusiastic admiration. The 'Westminster Gazette' called it '_a book
 of which we have read every word for the sheer pleasure of reading,
 and which we put down with a pang that we cannot forget it all and
 start again_.' The 'Daily Chronicle' said that '_every one who reads
 books at all must read this thrilling romance, from the first page
 of which to the last the breathless reader is haled along_.' It also
 called the book '_an inspiration of manliness and courage_.' The
 'Globe' called it '_a delightful tale of chivalry and adventure, vivid
 and dramatic, with a wholesome modesty and reverence for the highest_.'

~E. F. Benson.~ DODO: A DETAIL OF THE DAY. By E. F. Benson. _Crown 8vo.
Fourteenth Edition. 6s._

 A story of society which attracted by its brilliance universal
 attention. The best critics were cordial in their praise. The
 'Guardian' spoke of 'Dodo' as '_unusually clever and interesting_;
 the 'Spectator' called it '_a delightfully witty sketch of society_;'
 the 'Speaker' said the dialogue was '_a perpetual feast of epigram
 and paradox_'; the 'Athenæum' spoke of the author as '_a writer of
 quite exceptional ability_'; the 'Academy' praised his '_amazing
 cleverness_;' the 'World' said the book was '_brilliantly written_';
 and half-a-dozen papers declared there was '_not a dull page in the

~E. F. Benson.~ THE RUBICON. By E. F. Benson, Author of 'Dodo.' _Fourth
Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s._

 Of Mr. Benson's second novel the 'Birmingham Post' says it is
 '_well written, stimulating, unconventional, and, in a word,
 characteristic_': the 'National Observer' congratulates Mr. Benson
 upon '_an exceptional achievement_,' and calls the book '_a notable
 advance on his previous work_.'

~Baring Gould.~ IN THE ROAR OF THE SEA: A Tale of the Cornish Coast. By
S. Baring Gould. _Fifth Edition. 6s._

~Baring Gould.~ MRS. CURGENVEN OF CURGENVEN. By S. Baring Gould. _Third
Edition. 6s._

 A story of Devon life. The 'Graphic' speaks of it as '_a novel of
 vigorous humour and sustained power_'; the 'Sussex Daily News' says
 that '_the swing of the narrative is splendid_'; and the 'Speaker'
 mentions its '_bright imaginative power_.'

~Baring Gould.~ CHEAP JACK ZITA. By S. Baring Gould. _Third Edition.
Crown 8vo. 6s._

 A Romance of the Ely Fen District in 1815, which the 'Westminster
 Gazette' calls '_a powerful drama of human passion_'; and the
 'National Observer' '_a story worthy the author_.'

~Baring Gould.~ THE QUEEN OF LOVE. By S. Baring Gould. _Second Edition.
Crown 8vo. 6s._

 The 'Glasgow Herald' says that '_the scenery is admirable, and the
 dramatic incidents are most striking_.' The 'Westminster Gazette'
 calls the book '_strong, interesting, and clever_.' 'Punch' says that
 '_you cannot put it down until you have finished it_.' 'The Sussex
 Daily News' says that it '_can be heartily recommended to all who care
 for cleanly, energetic, and interesting fiction_.'

~Baring Gould.~ KITTY ALONE. By S. Baring Gould, Author of 'Mehalah,'
'Cheap Jack Zita,' etc. _Second Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s._

 'A strong and original story, teeming with graphic description,
 stirring incident, and, above all, with vivid and enthralling human
 interest.'—_Daily Telegraph._

 'Brisk, clever, keen, healthy, humorous, and interesting.'—_National

 'Full of quaint and delightful studies of character.'—_Bristol

~W. E. Norris.~ MATTHEW AUSTIN. By W. E. Norris, Author of 'Mdlle. de
Mersac,' etc. _Second Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s._

 '"Matthew Austin" may safely be pronounced one of the most
 intellectually satisfactory and morally bracing novels of the current
 year.'—_Daily Telegraph._

 'The characters are carefully and cleverly drawn, and the story is
 ingenious and interesting.'—_Guardian._

 'Mr. W. E. Norris is always happy in his delineation of everyday
 experiences, but rarely has he been brighter or breezier than in
 "Matthew Austin." The pictures are in Mr. Norris's pleasantest vein,
 while running through the entire story is a felicity of style and
 wholesomeness of tone which one is accustomed to find in the novels of
 this favourite author.'—_Scotsman._

 'Mr. Norris writes as an educated and shrewd observer, and as a
 gentleman.'—_Pall Mall Budget._

~W. E. Norris.~ HIS GRACE. By W. E. Norris, Author of 'Mademoiselle de
Mersac.' _Third Edition. Crown 8vo._ 6s.

 'The characters are delineated by the author with his characteristic
 skill and vivacity, and the story is told with that ease of manners
 and Thackerayean insight which give strength of flavour to Mr.
 Norris's novels. No one can depict the Englishwoman of the better
 classes with more subtlety.'—_Glasgow Herald._

 'Mr. Norris has drawn a really fine character in the Duke
 of Hurstbourne, at once unconventional and very true to the
 conventionalities of life, weak and strong in a breath, capable of
 inane follies and heroic decisions, yet not so definitely portrayed
 as to relieve a reader of the necessity of study on his own

~Gilbert Parker.~ MRS. FALCHION. By Gilbert Parker, Author of 'Pierre
and His People.' _New Edition. 6s._

 Mr. Parker's second book has received a warm welcome. The 'Athenæum'
 called it '_a splendid study of character_'; the 'Pall Mall Gazette'
 spoke of the writing as '_but little behind anything that has been
 done by any writer of our time_'; the 'St. James's' called it '_a very
 striking and admirable novel_'; and the 'Westminster Gazette' applied
 to it the epithet of '_distinguished_.'

~Gilbert Parker.~ PIERRE AND HIS PEOPLE. By Gilbert Parker. _Crown 8vo.
Buckram. 6s._

 'Stories happily conceived and finely executed. There is strength and
 genius in Mr. Parker's style.'—_Daily Telegraph._

~Gilbert Parker.~ THE TRANSLATION OF A SAVAGE. By Gilbert Parker,
Author of 'Pierre and His People,' 'Mrs. Falchion,' etc. _Crown 8vo.

 'The plot is original and one difficult to work out; but Mr. Parker
 has done it with great skill and delicacy. The reader who is not
 interested in this original, fresh, and well-told tale must be a dull
 person indeed.'—_Daily Chronicle._

 'A strong and successful piece of workmanship. The portrait
 of Lali, strong, dignified, and pure, is exceptionally well
 drawn.'—_Manchester Guardian._

 'A very pretty and interesting story, and Mr. Parker tells it with
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Communist. By E. Lynn Linton. Eleventh Edition. _Post 8vo. 1s._


_A Series of Novels by popular Authors, tastefully bound in cloth._


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   6. A DOUBLE KNOT. By G. Manville Fenn.
   7. DISARMED. By M. Betham Edwards.
   8. A LOST ILLUSION. By Leslie Keith.
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Other volumes will be announced in due course.

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~Manville Fenn.~ SYD BELTON: Or, The Boy who would not go to Sea. By
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Oriel College, Oxon.

PROBLEMS OF POVERTY: An Inquiry into the Industrial Conditions of the
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THE EVOLUTION OF PLANT LIFE: Lower Forms. By G. Massee, Kew Gardens.
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AIR AND WATER. Professor V. B. Lewes, M.A. Illustrated.


THE MECHANICS OF DAILY LIFE. By V. P. Sells, M.A. Illustrated.


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 THE COMMERCE OF NATIONS. By C. F. Bastable, M.A., Professor of
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 THE ALIEN INVASION. By W. H. Wilkins, B.A., Secretary to the Society
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 THE RURAL EXODUS. By P. Anderson Graham.


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 BACK TO THE LAND: An Inquiry into the Cure for Rural Depopulation. By
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 TRUSTS, POOLS AND CORNERS: As affecting Commerce and Industry. By J.
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       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

Minor punctuation and printer errors were corrected.

Every effort has been made to replicate this text as faithfully
as possible, including obsolete and variant spellings and other

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