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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ. Queens of England. Vol.1.

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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ.
Queens of England. Vol.1.
page 294



raised their standard inside the town, the Yorkists outside. The attack was commenced by AVarwick breaking down the barriers at the entrance of the town, and forcing his way into the streets, his followers loudly shouting, " A Warwick ! a AVarwick !" The encounter was desperate, but of short continuance : in an hour the Royalists were routed with great slaughter, Somerset, Northumberland, and Clifford being numbered amongst the slain. Although severely wounded in the neck, Henry stood under his own royal banner till all his friends had fled or were killed ; when being left alone, he coolly walked into the house of a tanner, where he was immediately visited by York, who, bending his knee, bade him rejoice that the traitor Somerset had now his deserts. " For mercy's sake !" answered Henry, " put a stop to the effusion of the blood of my subjects." AVhen the Duke had complied with this request, he took Henry by the hand and led him first to the shrine of St. Alban and then to his own apartments, whence he conducted him, with all the outward semblance of respect to London, on the _ twenty-fourth of May. At the battle of St. Alban's was the first blood spilt in those sanguine intestine wars occasioned by tho animosities which subsisted between the houses of Lancaster and York, and known as the wars of the Roses—the Lancasterians assuming the red rose as their symbol, and the Yorkists that of the white. In these fearful civil commotions, which for thirty years deluged the plains of England with blood, eighty princes were slain, and the ancient nobility almost entirely annihilated. .Hcnxy jvas_ji)fi-w_. but a prisoner, txeated_with the forms_of royalty. Distress of inuul brought on a relapse of his malady, andato add to his misfortunes, the defeat of St. Alban's reached her. Being at this crisis unable to aid the cause of the Royalists, she bore her misfortunes with fortitude and resignation. To her delight York granted her the custody of her imbecile husband, in November, on condition that she immediately retired with him and the Prince her son to Hertford; an arrangement tho state of public affairs forced her to acquiesce in, as just previously the Parliament, which was made up of her enemies, had, by an unanimous vote, censured her for taking advantage of the King's weakness, by assuming the executive power of the crown, and wielding the sceptre with the arm of despotism and oppression. If York expected to yet exchange his present for a still higher title, he was disappointed. The meek and just character of Henry procured him the goodwill of the people and the friendship of many of the nobles, whilst the lofty spirit of Margaret took every opportunity to oppose the growing pretensions of the Yorkists. Returning fa. Greenwich /by what means history saith not) the Queen drew around her the Lançasteriaji.. princes», and ..the kindred and friend?. ui'.îho*e. who );.;d fallen under t.he_royal standard at St. Alban's. At the"~comme"hceihent of the year Henry again recovered his health, when the Queen, after holding a grand meeting of his friends in private, hurried him, on the twenty-fifth of February, 1456, to Parliament, where, in the temporary absence of York and his leading partizans, who little expected his presence in the house, the surprised members acceded to all his demands; and, on the following day, thejluke, to his astonishment and vexation, was forced to resign his commission. Again were the offices of government filledby the Queen's frienos. The great b.c. wjajji.JÌQi^ York and name TeaTs"weréHKstôwêd on AVaynncte, Bishhim Proteiftofr not as before, during the op of AVinchestcr, Henry Beaufort, heir. ^easjr_epfhmiself only, but at the will minister, and Margaret, in the name of TÂce.aad consent. j)f the lords spiritual the King "and the councn^exercTsëcT the and1 temporal. regit! authority. In thYspringof 1457 Margaret was at Greenwich with her the Queen, in the company of her royal son Prince Edward, when the news of lord, paid a visit to the leading towns in


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