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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 318



of the sanctuary. The abbey was surrounded by a vigilant guard, under the command of John Nesfield, who cut off all supplies of food, and searched all goers and comers. At length the means of the Queen and the hospitality of the monks were all but exhausted ; but, although famine stared the fugitives in the face, the hapless Elizabeth would not surrender until after the usurper had solemnly sworn, before several lords and prelates, and the mayor and aldermen, that he would treat the Queen and her daughters with kindness, shield them from harm, settle a life annuity upon the mother, of seven hundred marks, allow each of the daughters two hundred, and marry them to none but gentlemen. By the terms of her surrender, Elizabeth was reduced to the station of an ordinary gentlewoman, and.what was equally degrading, her annuity was paid, not to her, but to John Nesfleld, one of Richard's Esquires, "to pay all the household and other expenses of Dame Elizabeth Grey, lately called Queen of England." On quitting the sanctuary, Elizabeth, although received at court with outward marks of honour, was subjected to severe indignities and privations. John Nesfield had the entire control of her person, as well as of her scanty revenue ; and her spirits were so completely broken, that, at the instigation of the usurper, she consented that ltichard himself should, on restoring to her her lost authority and income, as Queen Dowager, espouse her daughter, the Princess Elizabeth ; and joining her interests with those of the murderer of her three sons and of her brother, she wrote to all her partizans, and, amongst the rest, to her son, the Marquis of Dorset, desiring them to withdraw from the Earl of .Richmond ; an injury she was forced by the usurper to inflict, but which the Earl never afterwards forgave. These efforts, however, of the wily hunchback availed him not. On the seventh of August, Richmond, having resolved to win the promised bride and crown, or die in the attempt, landed at Milford Haven, and at the head of only four thousand men, whose number in creased on the way to about seven thousand, courageously marched towards London. Richard, at the head of thirteen thousand men, met him in Bosworth-field. Lord Stanley, who secretly favoured Richmond, posted himself in a situation equally convenient for joining either army. Richard threatened to execute his son, whom he held as a hostage, if he did not join his ranks ; but the threat was disregarded, and on the morning of the twenty-second of August the trumpet sounded to battle. The action commenced with a shower of arrows, and soon the two ranks began to close. Northumberland remained inactive at his post, but Stanley, profiting by the occasion, joined the line of Richmond, and turned the fortune of the day. In the meanwhile, Richard, mounted on his spirited charger, sped to the thickest of the fight, and Richmond quitted his station behind, to encourage his troops by his presence in front. Richard perceiving him, resolved to end all by one blow, and with the fury of a lion, flew through the opposing hosts to attack him. He slew Sir William Brandon, the Earl's standard-bearer, who had attempted to stop his career. Sir John Cheney having taken Brandon's place, was thrown to the ground. Richmond in the mean time stood to oppose him, but the crowd interposing, they were separated. Richard now, therefore, went to inspire his troops at another quarter ; but at length, perceiving his army everywhere yielding or flying, he fiercely spurred his horse, and loudly shouting treason, treason, rushed into the midst of the enemy, and there met a better death than his actions had merited. In the battle there fell about four thousand of the vanquished. The loss was inconsiderable on the side of victors. The notorious Catesby, a great instrument of Richard's crimes, was taken, and soon afterwards beheaded with some others, who probably had merited that distinction by their crimes at Leicester. The body of Richard was found in the field covered with a heap of slain, and all besmeared with blood. It was stript, laid carelessly across a horse, and conducted amidst the


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