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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 301



ham paid a visit to the court of France. In a letter addressed by these noblemen to Margaret, dated August, 1461, after informing her of the death of lier uncle, Charles the Seventh, they continue : " Madam, fear not, but be of gode comfort, and beware that ye adventure not your person ne my lord the Prince by the sea till ye have word from us, unless extreme necessity drive ye thence ; and for God's sake the Kyng's hyghness he advised the same, for we learn that the Earl of March hath sent his great navy upon the sea." But as the efforts of these nobles and of the Duke of Somerset, who had also gone to France, proved unsuccessful, Margaret, almost friendless and quite moneyless, resolved to visit the Continent, and invite her foreign kindred and friends to avenge the wrongs of her injured husband. Sailing from Kirkcudbright, she landed in Brittany on the eighth of April, 1463, and obtained from the Duke the handsome present of twelve thousand crowns. From Brittany she hastened to her cousin, Louis the Eleventh ; hut the cold, politic monarch of France, although he had passed the early years of his childhood in the company of Margaret, disregarded her tears and entreaties, until she offered Calais as a security, when he lent her twenty thousand crowns, and permitted Brezé, the seneschal of .Normandy, one of the nobles who had negociatcd her marriage, and who now entertained a tender regard for her, to follow her fortunes with two thousand men. With this little army Margaret, after an absence of five months, returned, and, having eluded the pursuit of the English fleet, which had long waited to intercept her passage, landed in October in Northumberland, and summoning her friends and her Scotch allies to her standard, successfully besieged the three strong fortresses of Hamborough, Alnwick, and Dcnstanburgh. This transient gleam of success was followed by a severe reverse. On the arrival of Warwick with overwhelming forces, Mnrgaret, with her French auxiliaries, took to their ships. A storm arose, and part of her fleet, with all her treasures, was dashed on the rocky coast ; five hundred followers, who had sought refuge in Holy Island, were cut to pieces or taken by Sir Kobert Ogle, and the Queen, in an open fishing boat, attended only by Brezé and her beloved son, carried the sad tidings to her friends at Berwick. The Lancasterians wure now attacked and overpowered by tbe Yorkists, who took Ban ι borough and Dunstanburgh in December, and Alnwick in the subsequent January ; and three months afterwards, on learning that the ex-King Henry had left that safe Lancasterian refuge, the castle of Hardlough, in Wales, and with Somerset was encamped in the neighbourhood of Hexham, Lord Montague unexpectedly marched against them aud routed them with great slaughter. Henry was so closely pursued in his flight from Hexham, that three of his attendants, attired in blue velvet, were taken, one of them wearing his bycoket, or cap of state, embroidered with two crowns of gold, and ornamented with pearls. He, however, had the good fortune to escape, and for a period elude the vigilance of his foes. Margaret, fearing for the life of her son, fled with him and lier faithful friend Brezé to the neighbouring woods, where, bewildered and lost in the tangled mazes of the forest, they were attacked by banditti, who robbed them of all their money and valuables. Whilst the ruffians were with drawn swords quarrelling about the partition of the plunder, Margaret fled with her son into a neighbouring thicket. She had proceeded but a short distance—whither she knew not —when another robber presented himself, and, escape being impossible, she, with an air of confidence and majesty, advanced to meet him, and taking her son by the hand, exclaimed, " Here, my friend, to your loyalty I entrust the son of your good Kmg Henry." The robber being a gentleman who had been ruined through his adherence to the cause of Lancaster, vowed himself to Margaret's service, and joyfully conducted her and her son to tho bosom of her friends. After suffering many privations, and ν


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