Visits to Fields of Battle, in England, of the Fifteenth Century to which are added, some miscellaneous tracts and papers
The Project Gutenberg eBook, Visits to Fields of Battle, in England, ofthe Fifteenth Century, by Richard BrookeThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and mostother parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms ofthe Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org. If you are not located in the United States, you'll haveto check the laws of the country where you are located before using this ebook.Title: Visits to Fields of Battle, in England, of the Fifteenth Century to which are added, some miscellaneous tracts and papersAuthor: Richard BrookeRelease Date: October 21, 2018 [eBook #58147]Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK VISITS TO FIELDS OF BATTLE, INENGLAND, OF THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY***
Transcribed from the 1857 John Russell Smith edition by DavidPrice, email [email protected] Many thanks to the Bodleian /British Library for the scans of the book.
FIELDS OF BATTLE,
OF THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY;
TO WHICH AREADDED,
SOME MISCELLANEOUS TRACTS AND PAPERS UPON
RICHARD BROOKE, ESQ., F.S.A.
JOHN RUSSELL SMITH,
36, SOHO SQUARE.
J. MAWDSLEY AND SON, CASTLE STREET.
M DCCC LVII.
London;F. Pickton, Printer, Perry’sPlace, 29, Oxford Street
In the course of the fifteenthcentury, England experienced, in a lamentable degree, the sadeffects of internal discord, and the miseries caused by theconflicts of adverse factions.
It is scarcely possible, for historians to point out, in theannals of any country in Europe, in the feudal ages, deeds ofviolence and bloodshed, of a more appalling nature, than thosewhich the chroniclers have recorded, as having occurred inEngland, during the period which intervened between the years1400 and 1500—a period memorable for the sanguinary wars ofYork and Lancaster. During the continuance of thosedisastrous conflicts, thousands of brave men perished in arms,the axe of the executioner was seldom idle, great numbers of thenobility and gentry lost their lives in the field or upon thescaffold, property was usurped in consequence of wholesaleconfiscations, numberless innocent lives were sacrificed, andmany happy homes were outraged.
This misery was the result of contests for a crown, whichperhaps neither of the claimants merited, nor does it appear,that it was of great importance to the nation, which of the rivalcompetitors wore it.
Of those destructive wars, the battle of Shrewsbury in thereign of Henry IV., in 1403, may be considered in some degree asthe first; because it was the earliest attempt by an appeal toarms, to remove from the throne a monarch of the House ofLancaster; [v] and the last was the battle of
These sanguinary conflicts are usually called the Wars of theRoses, from the circumstance, that the supporters of the House ofYork assumed the badge or device of the White Rose, and those ofLancaster the Red Rose.
It has been remarked with great truth, by Sir John Fenn, theantiquary, [vi1] in adverting to that disastrousperiod, “That our own kingdom has fewer authentic recordsof the transactions, during the reigns of Henry VI., Edward IV.,and Richard III., than of any other later period of our history,is a truth known to and lamented by every man of historicalknowledge.”
He ascribes the deficiency of information, amongst othercauses, to the invention of printing; which at first sightappears to be a paradox, because such an invention seems to becalculated to favour universal knowledge:—“At thebeginning of the art of printing, those who practised it, weresolicitous to perpetuate things already committed to writing,relative to past times, and past occurrences, not regardingrecent transactions as of equal consequence. This artlikewise probably prevented the writers of manuscripts frommultiplying their copies; they foreseeing that the new inventionwould in time, supply a sufficient number, at a much less price,by which means, the value of their manual labour would be greatlydiminished.”
p.viiNotwithstanding, however, the scanty nature of thehistorical accounts handed down to us, some information of valuehas reached us; and the fields of battle, and the positions ofthe hostile armies, may in several instances, be clearlyidentified, after a perusal of the statements of the oldchroniclers, and a comparison of their descriptions with thepresent aspect of the localities where the battles werefought.
Having felt a considerable degree of interest in theoccurrences of those stirring and extraordinary times, I haverepeatedly visited the scenes of action; and, by carefullycomparing the statements of the old writers, the actualappearance of the fields, and the traditions of theneighbourhood, I have obtained strong confirmation, in severalinstances, of the accuracy of the accounts which have been handeddown to us; and have derived great pleasure from visiting andexploring the various localities, and obtaining information frompersons in the vicinity.
The results of my visits were committed to writing, in aseries of papers,
It is much to be regretted, that in the majority of historicalworks, describing the events of this country in the fifteenthcentury, whenever the exploits of any noblemen or warriors,
In the following publication will also be found some otherpapers and tracts, principally of an archæological nature,written at various times, as the subjects came under my notice;and as they may possibly interest, in some degree, the class ofreaders who take pleasure in pursuits of that description, I havebeen induced to add them to the present collection.
In committing this work to the press, it will be a source ofgratification to the Author, if his humble exertions shall be, insome degree, instrumental in elucidating any events hithertoimperfectly known, in solving any difficulties which may havesuggested themselves, or in confirming the statements of the oldhistorical writers of this country.
12th March, 1857.
The Field of the Battle of Shrewsbury
,, ,, ,, Blore Heath
,, ,, ,, Northampton
,, ,, ,, Wakefield
,, ,, ,, Mortimer’s Cross
,, ,, ,, Towton
,, ,, ,, Tewkesbury
,, ,, ,, Bosworth
,, ,, ,, Stoke
,, ,, ,, Evesham
,, ,, ,, Barnet
The General Use of Firearms by the English, in theFifteenth Century
The ancient Family of Wyche, or De la Wyche, ofCheshire
Wilmslow Church, in Cheshire
Handford Hall and Cheadle Church, in Cheshire
Part 1. The Office of Keeper of the Royal Menageriein the reign of Edward IV.
Part 2. The probable period of the Extinction ofWolves in England
Extract from the Act of Attainder of 1st Edward IV.,passed in 1461
Extract from the Act of Attainder of 14th Edward IV.,passed in 1475
Extract from the Act of Attainder of 1st Henry VII.,passed in 1485
Proclamation for enforcing Order and Discipline, andExtract from a Journal of the March and Proceedings of HenryVII., previously to the Battle of Stoke
Extract from the Act of Attainder of 3rd Henry VII.,passed in 1487
Extract from the Act of Attainder of 11th Henry VII.,passed against Lord Lovel in 1495
Letter from William Cooper, Esq., Clerk of the Parliamentof 9th August, 1737
FIELD OF THE BATTLE
“Afterhim came spurring hard
A gentleman almost forspent with speed,
That stopp’d by me to breathe his bloodied horse:
He ask’d the way to Chester; and of him
I did demand, what news from Shrewsbury.
He told me, that rebellion had ill luck,
And that you Harry Percy’s spur was cold.”
Shakespeare’s Henry IV.part ii. act 1, scene 1.
Twice in the year 1851, and once in each of the fivesucceeding years, [1b] I visited the field of the celebratedBattle of Shrewsbury, and also the church erected there by KingHenry the Fourth. It is called Battlefield Church, and owesits erection to Henry’s gratitude for, and desire tocommemorate, the victory which he obtained in 1403, over theinsurgent forces commanded by Henry Percy, usually calledHotspur, the son of Henry Percy, the first Earl of Northumberland[1c]
The field of battle has also occasionally been called theBattle of Berwick Field, of Bull Field, and of Hussee Field: thetwo former appellations being taken from the names ofneighbouring places, at or near which, Percy’s army is saidto have been, prior to the battle; and the latter from an ancientfamily owning the lands where the battle took place,
It lies about three miles and a quarter, in a north-westwardlydirection, from Shrewsbury, contiguous to the turnpike road, ofwhich one fork or continuation leads in one direction by Preesand Whitchurch, towards Cheshire, and another towards
In 1403, a confederacy was entered into between the Earl ofNorthumberland, the Earl of Worcester, Henry Percy (calledHotspur), Owen Glendowr, and others, for an insurrection
Not any of the old annalists