The History of Tewkesbury

By James Bennett

Transcriptions by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2015

CHAPTER III.

BATTLE OF TEWKESBURY

KING Edward the fourth having sent his unfortunate rival, Henry the sixth, a prisoner to the tower, and slain the powerful Earl of Warwick and routed his army in the great battle at Barnet, was left at liberty to watch the movements of the courageous Margaret, consort of King Henry, who, with her son, a young prince of great promise, supported by a small body of French troops, landed at Weymouth on the same day on which the dreadful slaughter of her friends at Barnet took place.

When the queen received intelligence of her husband's captivity, and of the defeat and death of Warwick, her accustomed intrepidity of spirit for a while appeared to forsake her; and she immediately foresaw all the dismal consequences of these calamities. Despair at first induced her to seek sanctuary in the abbey of Beaulieu, in Hampshire; but finding herself encouraged and supported by Edmund Duke of Somerset, Courtenay Earl of Devonshire, Tudor Earl of Pembroke, Viscount Beaumont, Lord Wenlock, Lord John Beaufort, Sir Hugh Courtenay, and other men of rank, she determined to defend to the utmost the ruins of her fallen fortunes. Having assembled these noblemen and gentlemen, with their followers, at Exeter, she advanced through the counties of Devon and Somerset, until she reached Bristol, and every day added to the number of her troops - the report of which induced Edward to hasten from London to arrest her progress.

 HISTORY OF TEWKESBURY.27

On Thursday the second of May, 1471, Queen Margaret proceeded on her march to Berkeley, and from thence to Gloucester, with the intention of passing through that city into Wales, in order to join the army which the Earl of Pembroke had been raising for her support in the principality. But King Edward, being apprised of her object, had sent to Richard Beauchamp, eldest son of Lord Beauchamp of Powick, to whom he had recently given the custody of the city and castle of Gloucester, commanding him not to suffer the queen to enter that city; and promising, if she attempted to assail it, that he would come with his whole army instantly to its relief. Margaret, on finding that preparations had been made to prevent her admittance, at first threatened to assault the gates and walls of the city; but, from the near approach of the enemy, she subsequently thought it would be imprudent to waste her strength and time in wreaking her vengeance upon the inhabitants, and therefore hastened with the utmost expedition to Tewkesbury, with the intention there of crossing the Severn.

The queen arrived with her army at Tewkesbury about four o'clock in the afternoon of Friday, having travelled during that day and the preceding night upwards of "six and thirty miles", with very little refreshment, so that both men and horses were nearly exhausted. Here therefore she was compelled to make a stand, and await the arrival of her enemies, who were so near as to render the crossing of the river impracticable, without exposing her whole army to destruction. A council of war was immediately held, at which it was determined, according to Holinshed, to entrench themselves "in a close, even hard at the town's end, having the town and abbey at their backs; and directly before them, and upon each side of them, they were defended with cumbersome lanes, deep ditches, and many hedges, besides hills and dales, so as the place seemed as noisome as might be to approach unto". The queen hoped that the Earl of Pembroke would be able to come to her assistance before the king compelled her to an engagement; as it was well understood that he was rapidly marching to her relief.

28HISTORY OF TEWKESBURY. 

King Edward reached the camp at Sodbury Hill on the same day on which Margaret quitted Bristol; and having, as before noticed, prevented her entrance into Gloucester, he, very early on the following morning, marched his army, consisting of three thousand infantry and a large body of cavalry, over the hills to "a village called Chiltenham", at which he arrived in the afternoon, having had a long and tedious march of thirty miles in a very hot day. At Cheltenham he received intelligence that the queen's army was encamped at Tewkesbury, and after refreshing himself and his troops, he marched forward, and lodged that night in a field about three miles from Margaret's encampment.[31]

At day-light the next morning, on Saturday the fourth of May, Edward drew towards his enemies in three lines; the first of which was commanded by his victorious brother Richard Duke of Gloucester;[32] the centre by himself and the Duke of Clarence; and the rear by the Marquis of Dorset and Lord Hastings. He then displayed his banners, blew his trumpets, and marched directly upon his antagonists.

The Duke of Somerset had arranged the queen's army also in three lines, behind those entrenchments which they had hastily cast up: he himself, supported by his brother Lord John Beaufort, took his station in the flout line, that he might withstand the first assault of the enemy, which he expected to be furiously made; the second line was conducted by Lord Wenlock and the Lord Prior of St. John's, under the Prince of Wales, who was considered commander in chief; and the Earl of Devonshire headed the line reserved for the rear.

Holinshed says, that the queen's camp was "right hard to be assailed, by reason of the deep ditches, hedges, trees, bushes, and cumbersome lanes, wherewith the same was fenced, both in

 HISTORY OF TEWKESBURY.29

front and on the sides, so as the king could not well approach them to any advantage. Nevertheless, he being well furnished with artillery, the same was aptly lodged to annoy the enemy, that they received great damage thereby; and the Duke of Gloucester, who lacked no policy, galled them grievously with the shot of arrows: and they rewarded their adversaries home again with like payment, both with shot of arrows and artillery, although they had not the like plenty of guns as the king had".

The experienced Edward soon observed that Somerset had left several openings in his entrenchments, through which he intended, if a favourable opportunity should occur, to sally forth upon the assailants; and being aware of the impetuosity of that nobleman, he ordered his brother Gloucester to make a furious attack upon the enemy's quarters, and, after a short attempt, to give way a little, and then retreat with precipitation, till he should have inveigled Somerset from his entrenchments; and as soon as he should perceive that he had enticed him to a proper distance, then suddenly to halt, face about, and return to the charge with redoubled vigour. Richard joyfully embraced this idea, "because", as one of our historians observes, "there was something of treachery in the execution of it"; and having entrapped his adversary into the snare thus artfully laid for him, by enticing him across a lane into an open field, he suddenly ordered his troops to halt, recover their ranks, and face about: this command, considering it a presage of victory, they obeyed with alacrity, and stood firm to receive their eager pursuers, who, when too late, began to suspect the stratagem of their enemies. They had proceeded too far, however, to be able to regain their former position, and were therefore compelled to make the best stand of which their perilous situation would admit; but Richard led on his men to the charge with determined bravery, and penetrated with ease the open files of his incautious adversaries, pursuing them into the very entrenchments with horrible slaughter.

In this successful affair, Gloucester was much assisted by the sudden arrival of two hundred spearmen, whom the king

30HISTORY OF TEWKESBURY. 

had sent to guard the corner of a wood which ran down from the Park, about a quarter of a mile from the encampment, in order to prevent his army from being surprised by any ambush which might have been placed there by Somerset; and which detachment was ordered, should there be no ambuscade to demand its attention, to render assistance to the main body in any other manner that the events of the battle might seem to require.

Somerset, thrown off his guard by the unexpected artifice of his enemies, became almost mad with passion, and riding furiously up to Lord Wenlock, who had not advanced to the support of the first line, according to his express orders, after reviling him and calling him traitor, he cleft him to the earth with a stroke of his battle axe. The Lancastrian army, astonished at this act of rashness and folly, and being closely pursued by the king's troops, who now, with Gloucester at their head, had entered their entrenchments, began to give way on every side, and the rout quickly became general.

The queen's forces endeavoured to save themselves by flight, but their victorious opponents followed up their successes with such vigour, that considerable numbers were cut to pieces in the pursuit; and the carnage was terrible "at a mill in the meadow fast by the town", where great numbers of them were drowned in endeavouring to escape from their reckless pursuers.[33]

On this eventful day, Margaret, aided by the gallantry of her son, the ardour of Somerset, and the devoted attachment of a considerable army, might probably have been hailed as the victor, had the judgment of her commanders been equal to their valour; but the inexperience of the prince, and the impetuosity of the duke, threw the advantage of the battle into the scale of her more cautious and able adversaries.

 HISTORY OF TEWKESBURY.31

It is computed, by some historians, that the Lancastrians lost four thousand men in this battle, but others estimate the number only at three thousand, and some much lower. Trussell, who is considered by Malone to be correct in such matters, states the exact number to be three thousand and thirty-two.

In this engagement fell the following distinguished individuals: Thomas Courtenay Earl of Devonshire, Lord John Beaufort, Lord Wenlock, Sir Edmund Havarde, Sir William Wittingham, Sir John Delves, Sir John Locknore, Sir William Vauxe, Sir William Lermouth, Sir John Urmon, Sir Thomas Seymour, Sir William Rouse, Henry Barrow, esq. William Fielding, esq. and Thomas Harvey, esq.[34]

Drayton, in his "Miseries of Queen Margaret", says, in reference to the battle of Tewkesbury:-

"Ill was her choice of this uneven ground,
"Luckless the place, unlucky was the hour,
"The heavens upon her so extremely frown'd,
"As on her head their plagues at once to pour;
"As in a deluge here her hopes were drown'd,
"Here sees she death her faithful friends devour;
"The earth is fill'd with groans, the air with cries,
"Horror on each side doth enclose her eyes.

"Never did death so terrible appear,
"Since first their arms the English learnt to wield;
"Who would see slaughter, might behold it here
"In the true shape, upon this fatal field;
"In vain was valour, and in vain was fear,
"In vain to fight, in vain it was to yield,
"In vain to fly; for destiny discust,
"By their own hands, or others, die they must".

The Duke of Somerset escaped the carnage, and accompanied by the great prior of St. John's, and fourteen other officers, cut his way bravely through some of the enemy's parties, and sought sanctuary in the abbey church. Edward pursued them thither, but was stopped at the porch by the priest, who, presenting the host, would not suffer him to defile

32HISTORY OF TEWKESBURY. 

the church with blood; nor would he permit the king to enter until he had promised a pardon to the refugees.

The Prince of Wales, being taken prisoner by Sir Richard Crofts, towards the close of the battle, was for some time secreted by him; but after the termination of the contest, proclamation was made, in the king's name, that whoever would produce the prince, either alive or dead, should have an annuity of one hundred pounds, and that the prince's life should be spared if he were brought forth unhurt. Sir Richard, confiding in the royal promise that clemency Bhouid be shewn to the youthful captive, hesitated not to bring him into the presence of the conquering Edward, who, in the most haughty manner, demanded of him how he dared to invade his dominions? The noble-minded prince fearlessly answered, that he came to recover his father's liberty, and the crown which Edward had usurped. A person of maturer judgment, in the power of a relentless foe, would not perhaps have made a reply so imprudent and offensive, though a magnanimous conqueror should have excused it on account of the youth and the peculiar situation of the prince: Edward, however, was so incensed at this ill-timed rebuke, that, as some historians say, he pushed him violently from him with his hand; but, according to the generally received opinion, the king struck him on the face with his gauntlet so furiously, that the blood gushed out of his mouth. This behaviour on the part of the king served as a signal for the Dukes of Gloucester and Clarence, the Marquis of Dorset and Lord Hastings, who brutally fell upon him and pierced him to death with their daggers.[35]

"This unhappy bud of royalty", says Hutton, "son of a most unhappy father, was thus cut off from the ancient stem of the Plantagenets, in the very spring of existence - a fine figure of eighteen; and had no greater funeral honours paid him, than to be flung into a large hole, dug in the monastery of

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Tewkesbury, there to ferment and mingle with the bodies of those common soldiers who had been killed in the field of battle".

Shakspeare gives the following fine description of this unfortunate scion of royalty:-

"A sweeter and a lovelier gentleman,
"Framed in the prodigality of nature,
"Young, valiant, wise, and no doubt right royal,
"The spacious world cannot again afford".

Some historians have considered that the Duke of Gloucester was the contriver of the plan, first to insult the Prince of Wales, and afterwards to murder him if he should in any way attempt to resent his injuries: the subsequent conduct of this "ambitious York" appears to give great plausibility to the idea, though the general odium which he incurred after his death might perhaps have inclined the nation to aggravate the number of his crimes without adequate authority. Buck,[36] in his life of Richard the Third; Horace Walpole,[37] in his Historic Doubts; Dr. Masters,[38] in the second volume of the

34HISTORY OF TEWKESBURY. 

Archaelogia; and Mr. Hutton,[39] in his Battle of Bosworth Field, may be ranked among the most distinguished of those who have endeavoured to extenuate the imputed guilt of Gloucester with respect to this transaction.

Mr. Sharon Turner[40] doubts the truth of the murder of the Prince of Wales in cold blood after the battle, but says, he was taken whilst flying towards the town, and there slain. He notices, that the Harleian MS. "not only gives no sanction to the popular tale of Edward's calling the prince before him; rebuking him for his opposition, and striking him for his answer, and of Gloucester and Clarence stabbing him; but declares, that he was slain in the field". He further observes, that Bernard Andreas, who wrote the life of Henry the seventh, in 1509, about thirty-eight years after the battle, and which is now in manuscript, though he abuses Richard

 HISTORY OF TEWKESBURY.35

for his other crimes, yet does not hint that he had stabbed the son of Margaret; his words implying that the prince fell in the battle.

These authorities are far from conclusive, and their weight is by no means sufficient to induce us to discredit historians who form a contrary opinion. A document indeed which has just been brought to light, entitled, "Account of King Edward the Fourth's second Invasion of England",[41] drawn up by one of his followers and transmitted to the Duke of Burgundy a few days after the death of the prince, might be adduced as a strong argument against Mr. Turner's supposition. This description of the battle was confessedly written by a Yorkist, and one who probably witnessed the discomfiture of the Lancastrians at Tewkesbury, but he does not, in the body of his narrative, name the Prince of Wales among the other persons who are there said to have been slain, and undoubtedly he would not have omitted this the most important personage, if he had been killed in the fight. It is true that, at the foot of his communication, he places Prince Edward among those slain at Tewkesbury. This greatly tends to prove, that he did not fall in the field, and that the writer did not choose to tell in what manner he came by his death. Writers of different parties at the period which immediately followed the struggles for power between the houses of York and Lancaster - like too many in more recent times, - were so influenced by their fears and prejudices, that it is difficult now to decide who is most entitled to credit; and it is hopeless to expect that we shall ever be able satisfactorily to determine what degree of reliance can be placed on many of the most interesting and important events recorded in English history.

After the victory, the king went to the abbey church, and before the high altar returned thanks to God for the success of his army.

On the second day after that on which the Duke of Somerset and his friends had fled to sanctuary, Edward,

36HISTORY OF TEWKESBURY. 

indulging in those hateful passions which are uniformly called into action in times of civil commotion, and disregarding alike his former solemn promises of pardon and the anathemas of the abbot and monks, commanded Somerset and his unfortunate companions to be brought before the Duke of Gloucester, who sat as constable of England, assisted by the Duke of Norfolk, who officiated as marshal, "in the midst of the town", before whom they were summarily arraigned and condemned to suffer death. And on Monday, the 6th of May, Edmund Beaufort Duke of Somerset, John Lonstrother the Lord Prior of St. John's of Jerusalem, Sir Humphrey Audley, Sir Gervis Clifton, Sir William Carey, Sir Henry Rouse, Sir Thomas Tresham, Sir William Newborough, Sir Henry Courtenay, Mr. John Delves, Mr. John Gower, Mr. Walter Courtenay, and eight other gentlemen of rank, were beheaded in the market-place, on a scaffold erected there for the purpose.

On the same day on which these friends of the queen suffered an ignominious death for their attachment to her interests, Margaret was found in a poor religious house[42] in the neighbourhood, and brought before the king, who ordered her to be conveyed to London and confined in the tower, hut to be kept apart from her husband; and there she remained until she was ransomed by her father for fifty thousand crowns.

King Henry expired during his confinement, a few weeks after the battle of Tewkesbury; but whether he died a natural or violent death is questionable.

When the Earl of Pembroke heard of the disastrous overthrow of Margaret's army, he disbanded his troops, and fled with his young nephew, Henry Earl of Richmond, into France, and thus preserved the only surviving branch of the Lancastrian line; who, at a subsequent period, vanquished Richard

 HISTORY OF TEWKESBURY.37

at Bosworth Field, and ascended the throne of these realms by the name of Henry the seventh.[43]

There are few local memorials respecting the important engagement between the "rival roses" at Tewkesbury; and no historian or narrator of the transaction has enabled us to determine at what point the contest commenced; but we shall endeavour to add such observations to the preceding account of this sanguinary conflict, as may possibly furnish some idea of the positions and movements of the contending armies.

It has been said that the Lancastrians encamped in the Vineyard, a sloping meadow which faces the south side of the abbey church, the site of Holme Castle; but it cannot reasonably be imagined that Margarets generals would have entrenched themselves in so unfavourable a situation, while much more eligible positions readily presented themselves. In the Vineyard they would have had a long ridge of high land in front of their outworks, with the river Swilgate almost close behind them; and we must therefore believe that the Duke of Somerset was much more deficient in the art of war than he has ever been represented, before we can suppose he would have selected a position so objectionable.

History, tradition and probability unite in leading us to the conclusion, that the queen's army entrenched themselves on the summit of a field now called the Home Ground, on the estate of Mrs. Wintle, at Gupshill, one mile from Tewkesbury, on the eastern side of the road leading to Gloucester and

38HISTORY OF TEWKESBURY. 

Cheltenham; and that the king's army, as he advanced upon his antagonist by the way of Tredington and Rudgeway, over Prest bridge, occupied the sloping ground to the southward, called the Red Piece, on the estate of Edward Ransford, esq.

Holinshed's observation, that the queen's entrenchment was "even hard at the town's end", would appear somewhat opposed to the notion of its having been at Gupshill: this place however is not more than half a mile in a direct line from the outskirts of the town. The Lancastrians would here also have had, as the historian observes "the town and abbey at their backs"; and if they had chosen any other site in its vicinity, it could not with so much appearance of truth hare been said, that their camp was "right hard to be assailed, by reason of the deep ditches, hedges, trees, bushes and cumbersome lanes, wherewith the same was fenced, both in the front and on the sides".

At Gupshill there is also a small circular entrenchment, surrounded with a ditch and hedge, and shaded with lofty elms, which has immemorially been denominated "Margaret's Camp". It might have been within the limits of this little mound, that the heroic Margaret, previously to the commencement of the fatal battle, harangued the brave troops with which she was surrounded. The intrepid spirit of the queen is admirably pourtrayed in the address, which Shakspeare has put into her mouth, in the third part of King Henry the sixth, beginning thus:-

"Great lords, wise men ne'er sit and wail their loss,
"But clearly seek how to redress their harms":

and, after urging every motive that could be supposed most to animate her followers, concludes with a reflection not less apposite than beautiful:-

"Why, courage then! what cannot be avoided,
"'Twere childish weakness to lament, or fear".

There are now some considerable ridges and long hollow places, in various directions, near to this inclosure; and although an enthusiastic enquirer might readily imagine he could discover in them vestiges of military entrenchments,

 HISTORY OF TEWKESBURY.39

(and more slender grounds have sometimes served for an hypothesis in similar cases), - yet we will not positively assert that these inequalities in the surface of the field add any considerable weight to our conjectures.

Immediately in front of this small inclosure ran the ancient British trackway, in its route from Lincoln's Green to the ford across Swilgate: this might have separated the two armies, and, if so, was "the lane" which Somerset crossed when his opponents inveigled him out of his strong hold. A few paces to the eastward of this station ran another road, which formerly led from Cheltenham into Tewkesbury. No situation on that side of the town could perhaps have been so properly chosen, though it did not merit the appellation of a "wonderful strong position". Exclusive of the artificial means of defence which it presented, and which could readily be increased, there is an advantageous descent from the camp on three sides, forming a kind of head-land to the ridge of high ground which extends in its rear almost to the town. Unless it be admitted that this was Margaret's station, Holinshed can scarcely be considered accurate when he says, that Gloucester won the hedge and ditch, entered the close, and drove the Lancastrian troops "up towards the hill from whence they descended".

After the Duke of Gloucester had entered the queen's entrenchments, we are informed that "some fled into the park, others into the meadow there at hand, some into the lanes, and some hid themselves in ditches", and that the rout and destruction of the Lancastrians became general. Great slaughter may at that time have taken place in the Gastons, - a large field which then bore its present name, for Leland terms this conflict "the battle of the Gastons": it is now divided into several inclosures, but was then probably open, and comprised the three meadows on the eastern and the five on the western side of the present turnpike-road, extending from Holme Hill to Gupshill.

Those who fled towards the park and the meadow, were perhaps overtaken and cut to pieces in a field which has thence been called "the Bloody Meadow" - a long slip of land,

40HISTORY OF TEWKESBURY. 

with shelving sides, lying to the westward of the turnpike-road, beyond the Windmill Hill, and within a few hundred yards of the house of industry. This "historic field" forms a portion of the fine estate of the Rev. Joseph Shapland; and oral testimony still cherishes the rude idea - (as it does with respect to many other places similarly entitled to remembrance by the common people) - that the blood of the vanquished ran down the centre of it in torrents!

The mill, mentioned by Holingshed, at which so much carnage took place, was undoubtedly the abbey mills: thus far probably the poor fugitives, who sought a retreat in the town, had proceeded, when a party of the victors overtook or by another route met them, and induced them in despair to fly into the Severn Ham, where those who escaped drowning were hewn dow n and slaughtered without remorse.

It seems to have been a great oversight in Margaret's generals, when they found it unsafe to cross the Severn, through the sudden approach of Edward's army, that they did not station themselves at the Mythe, on the opposite side of the town, - a situation so admirably adapted to their exigencies. Here they would have enjoyed a most commanding and highly advantageous position, and, protected by the Severn and the Avon, might for a while have defied every attack which it was in the power of their foes to make; and if they could have reposed here until the Welch forces, under the Earl of Pembroke, and their faithful adherents from Lancashire and Cheshire, had united with them - some of whom were nearly within view of the disastrous field at the termination of the battle - it is by no means improbable that the issue of the campaign would have been very different.

Notes
[31] As the road from Cheltenham to Tewkesbury then ran through Elmstone Hardwick and Tredington, we may venture to suppose that at one of those places King Edward and his army rested for the night.
[32] The duke, who was only in his nineteenth year, on this occasion wore the identical suit of bright polished steel armour in which, fourteen years afterwards, he was slain at Bosworth.
[33] Sir John Harley, who was sheriff of Shropshire in 1482, was knighted by King Edward in the Gastons, immediately after the battle, as a reward for the bravery he displayed in the conflict- George Neville, second Lord Abergavenny, being with his father at the battle of Tewkesbury, was then knighted by Edward, at Barton, near Tewkesbury.- Coll. Peer.
[34] See Appendix, No.4.
[35] Tradition has uniformly pointed out a house in the Church-Street, standing opposite the market-place, now the property and in the occupation of Mr. John Moore, auctioneer, as the scene of this inhuman tragedy.
[36] Buck, who was certainly too much of a partizan, affirms that the death of the Prince of Wales was occasioned by his own insolence; and says, "I have seen, in a faithful manuscript chronicle of those times, (Chron. in quarto MS. apud Dom. Reg. Rob. Cotton), that the Duke of Gloucester only, of all the great persons, stood still and drew not his sword". But in the preface to Spelman and Leman's History of the Civil Wars between York and Lancaster, it is observed, "if Richard was then in presence, and undoubtedly he was, we can hardly suppose that he would stand by, as an unconcerned spectator, while all the rest were dabbling with their daggers; for that the young prince was murdered, there can be no doubt". - Carte says it was Dorset and Hastings only who dispatched Prince Edward.
[37] Mr. Walpole was the first of modern writers who attempted wholly to rescue the memory of Richard from the obloquy which had been thrown upon it by Lancastrian writers: he is not contented with palliating the crimes with which he has been charged, but labours earnestly to vindicate him alike from every deformity both of body and mind.
[38] Dr. Masters, in endeavouring to extenuate Richard's conduct respecting this murder, says, "if however the Duke of Gloucester had any share in this transaction, he could be but one among many; and therefore the whole of the guilt ought by no means to be placed to his account".
[39] Mr. Hutton does not, like Mr. Walpole, attempt entirely to exculpate Richard; he thinks his "crimes originated from ambition, and took their complexion from the boldness of his character", and seems half disposed to apologise for his delinquencies on the plea of necessity;
"So spoke the fiend, and with necessity,
"The tyrant's plea, excused his devilish deeds". - Milton.
Respecting the murder of the Prince of Wales at Tewkesbury, he observes, that as Clarence, Dorset and Hastings were all Richard's seniors, "it cannot be supposed a lad of eighteen would first draw his dagger, in the presence of his superiors in age, who had always controuled him". This is however but a weak defence. Of his general character he truly asserts, that, "Richard the third, of all the English monarchs, bears the greatest contrariety of character. Some few have conferred upon him almost angelic excellence, have clouded his errors, and blazoned every virtue that could adorn a man. Others present him in the blackest dye; his thoughts were evil, and that continually, and his actions diabolical; the most degraded mind inhabited the most deformed body". After endeavouring to gloss over the turpitude of Richard's character, by comparing him with others who have been guilty of equal or perhaps of greater crimes than himself, Mr. Hutton concludes, "He was a faithful servant, a brave soldier, an admirable legislator; yet one of the vilest of men. Perhaps history cannot produce another instance of such an assemblage of virtues and defects in one person. In him were united, as many excellencies as would furnish several shining characters, and as many faults as would damn a troop".
[40] History of England during the Middle Ages, v.3, p.335.
[41] See Appendix, No.5.
[42] Some accounts say, that the queen was discovered in a waggon or chariot, where she had concealed herself towards the close of the fight; and that the full tide of sorrow which had flowed in upon her, by the loss of the battle and the yet uncertain fate of her son, had almost bereft her of reason and of life.
[43] It is said, on the authority of Stebbing, that when this monarch, in whom were united the families of York and Lancaster, came to the throne, he granted the parochial church of Towton, to the monastery of Tewkesbury, to purchase masses for the souls of the Duke of Somerset, his brother John, and others, who lost their lives in the depopulating contest of the roses. - Leland says, that King Richard the third began a chapel over the bodies of the Yorkists slain at the battle of Towton, in Yorkshire; and Buck, in his life of that monarch, asserts, "he built a church or chapel in Towton, in Gloucestershire, a monument of his thankfulness to Almighty God, for the happy and great victory his brother had upon the partizans of the family of Lancaster". Stebbing may be correct; but Buck is at least in error in placing Towton in Glouccsterhire.

OCR/transcript by Rosemary Lockie in October 2015.

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