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


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Queens of England. Vol.1.
page 298

offending, gentle-minded King, At length the Archbishop of Canterbury asked him if he would visit the King. " I know of no one in this realm," he angrily answered, " who ought not rather to visit me ;" and hurrying from the house, appropriated to himself the apartments of the palace usually occupied by the Sovereign From this hour York publicly avowed his claim to the crown. A statement of his claim was read in the House of Lords on the tenth of October, and on the following day the Lords laid this statement before the King, who, on reading it, although a prisoner in the power of York, boldly answered, " My father was King, his father was also King ; I have worn the crown forty years ; from my cradle you have all sworn fealty to me as your Sovereign, and your fathers have done tbe like to my fathers. How then can my right be disputed r" At length, however, it was proposed that the King should wear the crown for the term of his life, and that tbe Duke and his heirs should succeed to it. To this arrangement Henry was forced to acquiesce ; and immediately afterwards, the Duke of York compelled him to sign an order commanding the Queen to return with his son to London, and declaring her wilful disobedience to be an act of high treason. When Margaret received this order she was in Scotland, whither she had proceeded to solicit aid from the Scotch King, who being tbe Bon of a Lancasterian princess, strenuously seconded her efforts. Light days afterwards she crossed the border at the head of a large army, and, strengthened by all the chivalry of the northern counties, marched against York, and drove him to retire for security to his strong castle of Sandal, where he intended to wait the coming of his son Edward with reinforcements. But Margaret, aware of her strength, drew her army up under the castle walls, and by challenges, taunts, and threats urged the Duke to give her battle. For several days he disregarded her defiances. At length, however, either to put a stop to her taunts, or, what is more probable, to supply the wants of his garrison, he, on the thirtieth of December, ushered forth, fought the Royalists with inferior forces near Wakefield, and on the same day, either in the battle, or by the hand of the executioner, lost his life. The conflict was sanguinary. Margaret, as was her custom, directed the arrangements for the engagement, but did not fight in person. By her judicious generalship the Yorkists were surprised by a vigorous attack in the flank and the rear, and in little more than half an hour two thousand of their men, with many of their leaders, lay dead on the field. The most bloody act was committed by Lord Clifford. This ruthless noble, on his return from the slaughter, overtook York's youngest son, the Earl of Rutland, at Wakefield Bridge, and plunging a dagger into his heart, exclaimed, " As thy father slew mine, so will I slay thee, and all of thy lineage." He then cut off tho Duke of York's head, crowned it with a paper diadem, and presented it to the Queen, saying, "Madam, your troubles are over; behold! the ransom of your husband." Margaret first beheld the appalling spectacle with horror, but presently afterwards feelings of triumphant revenge urged her to again look upon the head of the man who had well nigh wrested the crown from the grasp of her husband and her son. And this time the paleness had fled from her face, her eyes beamed with joy, and, after she had indulged in a loud, long, and violent laugh, more befitting a demon of war than the gentle nature of woman, she ordered the Earl of Salisbury to be beheaded, and the heads of the duke and the earl to be placed on York gate, with a space between them for those of the Earls of March and Warwick, which she declared should keep them company before many days had elapsed. Immediately after this action Margaret, with the main body of her victorious army, marched towards London, where the Earl of Warwick had been left in command of the main body of the Yorkists, whilst she sent a detachment, under the King's uterine brother, JaEper, Earl of Pembroke, against Edward, heir to tbe late Duke of York, who was

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