Part IV: The Coming of Queen Margaret through the Battle of Tewkesbury

Here aftar folowithe how that Qwene Margaret, with hir sonne Edward, catted Prince of Wales, aftar theyr arryvall in the west contrye, assembled greate people and cam to Tewkesberye, where the Kynge delyveryd theym battayle, distressed theym and theyr felawshipe, [and] the sayd Edward, the Duke of Somarset, and othar, were slayne. Aftar all thes things thus fallen, the Twseday in Estar weke, the xvj. day of Aprile, came certayn tydyngs to the Kynge how that Qwene Margaret, hir sonne Edward, callyd Prince of Wales, the Countese of Warwyke, the Priowr of Seint Johns, that tyme called Tresorar of England, the Lord Wenloke, and many othere knyghts, squiers, and othar of theyr party, whiche longe had bene owt of the land with them, with suche also as, with the sayde Priowr of Seint Johns, had gon into Fraunce to fet them into England, were arryved, and landed in the west-contrye, upon Estar day, at Waymowthe, aftar longe abydynge passage, and beyng on the sea, and landinge agayne for defawlte of good wynde and wethar. For, trewthe it is, that the Qwene, and Edward hir sonne, with all theyr felowshipe, entendinge to passe out of Normandy into England, toke first the sea, at Humflew, in the monithe of Marche, the xxiiij. day of the same, and, from that tyme forthe wards, they cowlde nat have any stable wethar to passe with; for and it were one day good, anon it chaunged upon them, and was agaynst them, and fayne they were therefor to goo to land agayne. And so, at divars tymes, they toke the sea, and forsoke it agayne? tyll it was the xiij. day of Aprill, Estars Even.

That day they passyd. The Countysse of Warwyke had a shippe of avaunctage, and, therefore, landyd afore the othar, at Portsmowthe, and, from thens, she went to Sowthampton, entendynge to have gon towards the Qwene, whiche was landyd at Wemowthe. But, beinge there, she had certayne knowledge that the Kynge had wonne thefielde upon her howsband, at Barnet, and there slayne hym, wherefore she would no farthar goo towards the Qwene, but, secretly, gat ovar Hampton-watar into the new forreste, where she tooke hir to the fraunches of an abbey called Beawlew, whiche, as it is sayde, is ample, and as large as the franchesse of Westmynstar, or of Seint Martins at London. The Qwene, Margarete, and hir sonne went from there she landyd to an abbey nere by, callyd Seem, and all the lords, and the remenaunt of the fellowshipe with them. Thethar came unto them Edmond, callyd Duke of Somerset, Thomas Courteney, callyd th’Erle of Devonshire, with othar, and welcomyd them into England ; comfortyd them, and put them in good hope that, albe it they had lost one felde, whereof the Qwene had knowledge the same day, Monday, the xv. day of Aprell, and was therefore right hevy and sory, yet it was to thinke that they shuld have ryght good spede, and that, for that los, theyr partye was nevar the febler, but rathar strongar, and that they dowted nothinge but that they shuld assemble so great puisaunce of people in dyvars partis of England, trewly asswred unto theyr partye, that it shuld not mowe lye in the Kyngs powere to resyste them ; and in that contrye they would begyne. And so, forthewith, they sent alabout in Somarsetshere, Dorsetshire, and parte of Wiltshere, for to arredy and arays the people by a certayne day, suche, algats, as the sayde lords, and theyr partakersafore that had greatly laboryd to that entent, preparinge the contry by all meanes to them posseble. And, for that they would gather and arrays up the powere ofDevonshire and Cornewaile, they drew from thens more west ward to the citie of Excestar, movinge Edward, callyd Prince, and his mothar, the Qwene, to doo the same ; trustynge that theyr presence- she wynge in the contrye shuld cawse moche more, and the sonnar, the people to com to theyr helpe and assistaunce. At Excestar, they sent for Syr John Arundell, Syr Hughe Courteney, and many othar on whom they had any trust, and, in substaunce, they araysed the hoole myghte of Cornwall and Devonshire, and so, with great people, they departyd out of Excestre, and toke the ryght waye to Glastonberye, and, from thens, to the city of Bathe, withar they came the day of Aprell ; and, as they went, they gatheryd the hable men of all thos partes.

The cuntrie had bene so longe laboryd afore by th’Erle of Warwike, and such as he for that caws sent thethar to move them to take Kynge Henry’s partie, and, now of late, they were also sore laboryd for the same entent, and thereunto the more lyghtly enducyd, by Edmond, callyd Duke of Somarset, and Thomas Courtney, callyd th’Erle of Devonshire, for that they reputyd them old enheritors of that contrie. The Kynge beynge at London, and havynge knowledge of all this theyr demeanyng from tyme to tyme, anon purveyed for the relevynge of his sycke and hurt men, thathad bene with hyra at Barnet fielde, which were ryght many in nombar, what left at London, and what in the contrye, and sent to all partes to get hym freshe men, and, incontinent, prepared all things that was thowght behovefull for a new field ; whiche he saw was imminent and comyng on. So purveyed he artilary, and ordinaunce, gonns, and othar, for the filde gret plentye. And Fryday, the xix. day of Aprille, he departyd out of London, and went to Wyndsore, ther to thanke and honor God, and Seint George, where he kept also the feaste of Seint George, tarienge somwhat the longar there for that he had commaundyd all the people, and thos that wold serve hym in this iourney, to draw unto hym thithar, and from thens, suche waye as shulde happen hym take towards his enemyes. And, for so moche as they at that season were in an angle of the land, and nedes they must take one of the two wayes, (that is to say, eythar to come streight to Salisbery, and so, that way, towards London ; or ells, alonge by the sea-coaste into Hampshire, Sussex, and Kent, and so to London, to make in the way theyr people the mo in nombar ; or elsj they, nat thynkyng themselves to be of puisaunce lykly to have a doo with the Kynge, and, therefore, paradventure, wowlde drawe northwards into Lancasshyre and Cheshere, trustynge also to have in theyr waye th’assystaunce of Walchemen, by the meane of Jasper called Erie of Penbroke, whiche, for that cawse, had bene afore sent into the contrie of Wales, to arays them, and make them redy to assyst that partye at theyr comynge ; for whiche con sy derations, the Kynge cawsed great diligence to be done by meane of espies, and by them he had knowledge, from tyme to tyme, of theyr purposes in that behalfe.

Yf they would have taken estwards theyr way, his entent was to encountar them as sonne as he myght, and the farthar from London that shuld be to hym posseble, for th’entent that they shuld assemble no myght owt of eny contrye but where they then were, but, for so moche as he undarstode well they toke theothar waye, towards northwest, he hastyd hym, with his host, all that he myght, upon the purpos that he had taken to stope them theyr waye and passage into thos parties whereunto their desyre was to goo, and to make them the more myghty, whiche passagis of lykelyhode eythar must be at Glowcestar, or els at Tewkesbery, or farthar of at Worcestar. And, algates, the Kynge lay so that, would they or no, he nedes shuld nowe recountar them, or stope them, and put them bake. They in lyke wyse, thynkynge by theyr wysdomes that suche was, or of convenience muste be, the purpos of the Kyngs party, therefore put them gretly in devowre to abwse the Kyngs party in that behalfe, for whiche cawse and purpos they sent theyr aforerydars streight from Excestar to Shaftesbery, and aftarwards to Salisbery, and toke them the streight way to Tawnton, and to Glastonberye, to Wells, and there abouts, hovinge in the contrye ; from whens, anothar tyme, they sent theyr forrydars to a towne called Yevell, and to a towne callyd Bruton, to make men to undarstond that they would have drawne towards Redynge, and by Barkeshire, and Oxfordshire, have drawne towards London, or ells fallen upon the Kynge at some great advantage. Suche mannar sendynge natheles servyd them of two thyngs ; one was, to call and arays the people to make towards them for theyr helpe owt of all thos parties ; an othar was, to have abusyd the Kynge in his approchyng towards them but, thanked be God, he was nat hereof unadvertysed, but, by goode and sad advyse, purveyed for every way, as may appere in tellyng furthe his progres from Wyndsowr towards them ; from whence he departyd the Wedensday, the morne aftar Saynt Georgis day, the xxiiij. day of Aprell, so kepinge his iorney that he cam to Abyndon the Satarday next, the xxvij. day; where he was the Sonday; and, on the Monday, at Cicestre ; where he had certayne tydyngs that they wowld, on Twesday next, [be] at Bathe, as so they were ; and that on the morne next, the Wedensday, they wowld com on streight towards the Kyngs battayle. For whiche cawse, and for that he would se and set his people in array, he drove all the people owt of the towne, and lodgyd hym, and his hoste, that nyght in the fielde, iij myle out of the towne. And, on the morow, he, having no certayne tydyngs of theyr comynge forward, went to Malmesbury, sekynge upon them. And there had he knowledge that they undarstandynge his approchinge and marchinge neare to them, had lefte theyr purpos of gevynge battayle, and turned asyde-hand, and went to Bristowe, a good and stronge wallyd towne, where they were greatly refreshed and relevyd, by such as were the Kyngs rebells in that towne, of money, men, and artilarye ; wherethrwghe they toke new corage, the Thursday aftar to take the filde, and gyve the Kynge battayll, for whiche intent they had sent forrydars to a towne ix myle from Bristow, callyd Suclbury, and, a myle towards the Kynge, they apoyntyd a grownd for theyr fielde at a place callyd Sudbury hill. The Kynge, heringe this, the same Thursday, first day of May, with all his hooste in array and fayre ordinaunce came towards the place by them apoyntyd for theyr fielde.

Th’enemyes alsoo avauncyd them forthe, the same day, owt of Bristow, makynge semblaunce as thowghe they would have comen streyght to the place appoyntyd, but, havynge knoledge of the Kyngs approochinge, they lefte that way, albe it theyr herbengars were come afore them as ferre as Sudberye towne ; where they distressed certayne of the Kyngs party e, five or six, suche as neglygently pressed so ferre forwards, dredynge no dangar, but only entendyng to have purveyed ther theyr masters lodgyngs ; and so they changyd theyr sayd purpos, and toke theyr way streyght to Berkley, travelyng all that nyght, and, from thens, towards the towne of Gloucestar. The Kynge, the same Thursday, sonne aftar none, came nere to the same grownd, called Sudbury hill, and, nat havynge eny certaynty of his enemys, sent his scowrers alabowte in the cuntrye, trustynge by them to have wist where they had bene. Aboute that place was a great and a fayre large playne, called a would, and dowbtfull it was for to pas ferther, to he myght here somewhate of them, supposynge that they were right nere, as so they myght well have bene, yf they had kepte forthe the way they toke owt of Bristow. And, when he cowthe nat here any certayntye of them, he avauncyd forwards his hoole battayle, and lodgyd his vaward beyonde the hill, in a valley towards the towne of Sudberye, and lodged hymselfe, with the remenaunt of his hooste, at the selfe hill called Sudbery hill. Early in the mornynge, sonne aftar three of the cloke, the Kynge had certayne tydyngs that they had taken theyre way by Barkley toward Gloucestar, as so they toke indede. Whereupon he toke advise of his counsell of that he had to doo for the stopynge of theyr wayes, at two passagys afore namyd, by Glocestar, or els by Tewkesberye, and, first, he purvayed for Gloucestar, and sent thethar certayne servaunts of his owrie to Richard Bewchamp, sonne and heyr to the Lord Bewchampe, to whom afore he had comyttyd the rule and govarnaunce of the towne and castell of Gloucestar, commaundynge hym to kepe the towne and castle for the Kynge, and that he, with suche helpe as he myght have, shuld defend the same agaynst them, in caas they woulde in any wise assayle them ; as it was suppos they so would doo that same aforenone ; lettynge them wete that he would have good espye upon them yf they so did. And, yf he myght know that they so dyde, he promised to come theyr rescows, and comforte. With this the Kyngs message they were well receyved at Gloucestar, and the towne and castell put in sure and save kepinge of the sayd Richard, and the sayde Kynges servaunts.

Whiche message was sent and done in right good season, for certayne it is the Kyngs enemyes were put in sure hope, and determyned to have enteryd the towne, and ethar have kept it agaynst the Kynge, or, at the leaste, to have passed thrwghe the towne into othar contries, where they thowght [to] have bene myghtely assysted, as well with Welchemen, which they demed shuld have fallen to them in thos parties, in the company of Jasper, called Earle of Penbroke, as also for to havd goten into theyr companye, by that way-takynge, greate nombar of men of Lancashire, and Chesshere, upon whom they muche trustyd. For whiche cawses they had greatly travayled theyr people all that nyght and mornynge, upon the Fryday, to the about ten of the cloke they were comen afore Gloucestar ; where there en tent was uttarly denyed them by Richard Bewchampe, and othar of the Kyngs servaunts, that, for that cawse, the Kynge had sent thethar. Natwithstandynge, many of the inhabytaunts of that towne were greatly disposed towards them, as they had certayne knowledge. Of this demenynge they toke right great displeasure, and made great manasys, and pretendyd as thowghe they wowlde have assaultyd the towne, and wonne it upon them, but, as well thos that kepte the towne as the sayde enemyes that so pretendyd, knewe well, that the Kynge with a myghty puisawnce was nere to them, and, yf eny affraye had there be made, he myght sone have bene upon them, and taken upon them ryght grete advantage ; wherefore they in the towne nothynge dowbtyd, and they withoute durste not for feare begynne any suche werke; and, therefore, they shortly toke theyr conclusyon for to go the next way to Tewkesbery, whithar they came the same day, about four aftar none. By whiche tyme they hadd so travaylled theyr hoaste that nyght and daye that they were ryght wery for travaylynge ; for by that tyme they had travaylyd xxxvj longe myles, in a fowle contrye, all in lanes and stonny wayes, betwyxt woodes, without any good refresshynge. And, for as mooche as the greatar parte of theyr hooste were fotemen, the othar partye of the hoste, whan they were comen to Tewkesbery, cowthe, ne myght, have laboryd any furthar, but yf they wolde wilfully have forsaken and lefte theyr fotemen behynd them, and therto themselves that were horsemen were ryght werye of that iorwney, as so were theyr horses. So, whethar it were of theyr election and good will, or no, but that they were veryly compelled to byde by two cawses ; one was, for werines of theyr people, which they supposed nat theyr people woulde have eny longer endured ; an other, for they knew well that the Kynge ever approchyd towards them, nere and nere, evar redy, in good aray and ordinaunce, to have pursuyd and fallen uppon them, yf they wolde any ferther have gon, and, paradventure, to theyr moste dyssavantage. They therefore determyned t’abyde there th’aventure that God would send them in the qwarell they had taken in hand. And, for that entent, the same nyght they pight them in a fielde, in a close even at the townes ende ; the towne, and the abbey, at theyr backs ; afore them, and upon every hand of them, fowle lanes, and depe dikes, and many hedges, with hylls, and valleys, a ryght evill place to approche, as cowlde well have bene devysed.

The Kynge, the same mornynge, the Fryday, erly, avanced his banners, and devyded his hole hoost in three battayles, and sent afore hym his forrydars, and scorars, on every syde hym, and so, in fayre arraye and ordinaunce, he toke his way thrwghe the champain contrye, callyd Cotteswolde, travaylynge all his people, whereof were moo than iij M fotemen, that Fryday, which was right-an-hot day, xxx myle and more ; whiche his people might nat finde, in all the way, horse-mete, ne mans-meate, ne so moche as drynke for theyr horses, save in one litle broke, where was full letle relefe, it was so sone trowbled with the cariages that had passed it. And all that day was evarmore the Kyngs hoste within v or vj myles of his enemyes ; he in playne contry and they amongst woods ; havynge allway good espialls upon them. So, continuynge that iourney to he came, with all his hooste, to a village callyd Chiltenham, but five myles from Tewkesberye, where the Kynge had certayn knolege that, but litle afore his comynge thethar, his enemyes were comen to Tewkesbury, and there were takynge a field, wherein they purposed to abyde, and delyver him battayle. Whereupon the Kynge made no longar taryenge, but a litle confortyd hymselfe, and his people, with suche meate and drynke as he had done to be caried with hym, for vitalyge of his hooste ; and, incontinent, set forthe towards his enemyes, and toke the fielde, and lodgyd hym selfe, and all his hooste, within three myle of them. Upon the morow followynge, Saterday, the iiij. day of May, [the Kynge] apparailed hymselfe, and all his hoost set in good array ; ordeined threewards ; displayed his bannars ; dyd blowe up the trompets ; commytted his caws and qwarell to Almyghty God, to owr most blessyd lady his mothar, Vyrgyn Mary, the glorious martyr Seint George, and all the saynts ; and avaunced, directly upon his enemyes ; approchinge to theyr filde, whiche was strongly in a marvaylows strong grown d pyght, full difficult to be assayled. Netheles the Kyiigs ordinance was so conveniently layde afore them, and his vawarde so sore oppressyd them, with shott of arrows, that they gave them right-a-sharpe shwre. Also they dyd agayne-ward to them, bothe with shot of arrows and gonnes, whereof netheles they ne had not so great plenty as had the Kynge. In the front of theyr field were so evell lanes, and depe dykes, so many hedges, trees, and busshes, that it was right hard toapproche them nere, and come to hands; but Edmond, called Duke of Somarset, having that day the vawarde, whithar it were for that he and his fellowshipe were sore annoyed in the place where they were, as well with gonnes-shott, as with shot of arrows, whiche they ne wowld nor durst abyde, or els, of great harte and corage, knyghtly and manly avaunsyd hymselfe, with his fellowshipe, somewhat asyde-hand the Kyngs vawarde, and, by certayne pathes and wayes therefore aforepurveyed, and to the Kyngs party unknowne, he departed out of the field, passyd alane, and came into a fayre place, or cloos, even afore the Kynge where he was enbatteled, and, from the hill that was in that one of the closes, he set right fiercely upon th’end of the Kyngs battayle. The Kynge, full manly, set forthe even upon them, enteryd and wann the dyke, and hedge, upon them, into the cloose, and, with great vyolence, put them upe towards the hyll, and, so also, the Kyng’s vaward, being in the rule of the Duke of Gloucestar.

Here it is to be remembred, how that, whan the Kynge was comyn afore theyr fielde, or he set upon them, he consydered that, upon the right hand of theyr field, there was a parke, and therein moche wood, and he, thinkynge to purvey a remedye in caace his sayd enemyes had layed any bushement in that wood, of horsemen, he chose, out of his fellashyppe, ij speres, and set them in a plomp, togethars, nere a qwartar of a myle from the fielde, gyvenge them charge to have good eye upon that cornar of the woode, if caas that eny nede were, and to put them in devowre, and, yf they saw none suche, as they thowght most behovfull for tyme and space, to employ themselfe in the best wyse as they cowlde ; which provisyon cam as well to poynt at this tyme of the battayle as cowthe well have been devysed, for the sayd spers of the Kyngs party, seinge no lyklynes of eny busshement in the sayd woode-corner, seinge also goode oportunitie t’employ them selfe well, cam and brake on, all at ones, upon the Duke of Somerset, and his vawarde, asyde-hand, unadvysed, whereof they, seinge the Kynge gave them ynoughe to doo afore them, were gretly dismaied and abasshed, and so toke them to flyght into the parke, andinto the medowe that was nere, and into lanes, and dykes, where they best hopyd to escape the dangar ; of whom, netheles, many were distressed, taken, and slayne; and, even at this point of theyr flyght, the Kynge coragiously set upon that othar felde, were was chefe Edward, called Prince, and, in short while, put hym to discomfiture and flyght ; and so fell in the chase of them that many of them were slayne, and, namely, at a mylene, in the medowe fast by the towne, were many drownyd ; many rann towards the towne ; many to the churche ; to the abbey ; and els where ; as they best myght.

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