Help us create a biggest collection of medieval chronicles and manuscripts on line.
#   A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z 
Medieval chronicles, historical sources, history of middle ages, texts and studies

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 

  Previousall pages


Queens of England. Vol.1.
page 300

of York was proclaimed King by the title of Edward the Fourth, and the sceptre passed for ever from the hands of the weak, but truly virtuous, benevolent, and religious monarch Henry the Sixth. Meantime, Margaret, undaunted by the success of her foes, raised an army of sixty thousand men, in order to strike her strongest blow. The command of these forces was entrusted to Somerset and Clifford, and, by their advice, she consented to remain with her husband and son within the city of York, whilst they marched against the army of the white rose. The preparations of the house of York were equally formidable. At the head of forty-nine thousand men "Warwick conducted the young Edward to enforce his claims to the contested crown. Both sides at length met and fought at Ferry Bridge, in Yorkshire ; but the contest was undecided, and the next day, March the twenty-ninth, being Palm Sunday, between the villages of Towton and Saxton, was fought the most fierce and bloody battle that ever happened in any domestic war. The engagement began at nine in the morning; a heavy fall of snow drifted in the face of the Lancasterians, and nearly blinded them ; Lord Falconberg, who led the van of the Yorkists, improved this advantage by causing a party of his archers to advance, discharge a volley of flightarrows, and. immediately afterwards shift their position. The Lancasterians, unsuspicious of the ruse, and prevented by the snow from perceiving the changed position of their opponents, emptied their quivers by repeated discharges of arrows without producing any effect. The Yorkists now advanced, led on by Edward in person, and, after assailing their foes with a murderous discharge of arrows, made a terribly destructive charge. The bow was laid aside on both sides for the sword and the battle-axe. At three in the afternoon the Lancasterians began to give way, when the Yorkists, redoubling their efforts, broke their ranks, and a precipitate flight ensued. The victory was decisive. By Edward's orders no quarter was given to the van quished, and the pursuit and slaughter continued all the night and the following day. The Lancastcrian loss was estimated at thirty-six thousand men, several thousands of whom perished in the river Cock, which intercepted their retreat. The Earls of Westmoreland and Northumberland and five barons fell in the battle, and the Earls of Devon and Wiltshire were made prisoners and beheaded. In allusion to this most terrible of battles, where Englishmen slew Englishmen with a courage deserving of a better cause than that of placing an ambitious stripling upon the contested throne of their country, the poet Southey says :— " Witness Aire's unhappy water, Where the ruthless Clifford fell, And where Wharfe ran red with slaughter, On the day of Towcester's field, Gathering in its guilty flood The carnage and the ill-spilt blood That forty thousand lives could yield. Cressy was to this but sport, Poictiera hut a pageant vain, And the work of Agineourt Only like a tournament." The Dukes of Somerset and Exeter, having had the good fortune to escape to York, conducted Margaret and her hapless husband and son to Alnwick, and thence shortly afterwards to Berwick. Margaret, to win the aid of the Scots, gave them possession of the town of Berwick, ana caused her son, then in bis eighth year, to he betrothed to the eldest daughter of the Scottish King ; and, although the Duke of Burgundy, who was related to Mary Gneldres, the Queen Regent of Scotland, afterwards prevented the marriage from being comsummatcd, these measures greatly increased the distressed Queen's unpopularity in England. Meanwhile the Parliament, which assembled on the fourth of November, pronounced the crown to be Edward's by right, and attaindered the Queen, her husband, their son, and almost every man who had snpported the cause of the red rose. But Margaret of Anjou was too courageous, too resolute to be cast down by the apparent hopelessness of her position. With the promise of an English dukedom she secured the services of the powerful Earl of Angus ; and to aid her cause, Lord Hungerford and Sir Robert Whitting

  Previous First Next  

"Medievalist" is an educational project designed as a digital collection of chronicles, documents and studies related to the middle age history. All materials from this site are permitted for non commersial use unless otherwise indicated. If you reduplicate documents from here you have to indicate "Medievalist" as a source and place link to us.