Books, Prehistory, Archaeologia Volume 21 Section III Chapter I

Archaeologia Volume 21 Section III Chapter I is in Archaeologia Volume 21.

1824 Edward IV lands at Ravenspur

1824 Battle of Barnet

Battle of Barnet

How King Edward departed from Zealand, and arrived in his Kingdom of England; of the great Battle [Battle of Barnet] he fought with the Earl of Warwick and his Adherents, and how the Earl of Warwick was slain, and his whole army dispersed.

Edward IV lands at Ravenspur

From the time our Sovereign Lord Edward, by the Grace of God, King of England and Lord of Ireland, departed from the Province of Zealand, and embarked, the 10th day of March, on the seas, he experienced exceeding bad weather and heavy tempests, so that he reached his kingdom of England, with his followers, in great peril and danger, on the 14th day of the said month; and landing on the northern coasta [Edward IV lands at Ravenspur], a they took from thence the road leading to the city of York, where they arrived on the 18th, and then proceeded by such forced marches, that they got to the river Trent, which is about the centre of the kingdom, on the 21st. Here they received intelligence that the Earl of Oxford was posted at a ford, and was assembling men, in order to guard the passage; but our sovereign lord advanced within so short a distance of the earl, that the latter presently took to flight; whereupon the king marched straight forward towards his grand rebel and traitor the Earl of Warwick, who by this time had taken the field with a powerful force, but he also being informed of the approach of our sovereign lord, retired with his men on the 27th day of the same month, within a strong closed city called Coventry; before which city, our sovereign lord, on the 29th of the said month, drew up his whole army in battle array.

Note a. At Ravenspurgh [Map], on the Holderness side of the Humber.

In order, however, to preserve from destruction his own subjects, the inhabitants of this city, our sovereign lord sent a challenge to the Earl of Warwick, to come out and determine their quarrel by battle in the open field; but the earl declining the challenge for six days successively, the king drew off his army towards the town of Warwick, with a view to entice and encourage the earl to sally forth. In the mean time, the king took possession of the town of Warwick, in order to receive therein his brother the Duke of Clarence, who had arrived with a noble company of men tendering their submission and service, and before whom the king immediately appointed his banners to be displayed.

After this, news was received that the Duke of Exeter, and the Lord Beaumont were marching to the relief of the said arch rebel the Earl of Warwick; to encounter these, the king sent forward, as far as the town of Leicester, a company of men, who with all expedition repulsed and put them to flight on the 3d day of April.

At length, however, when the king found there were no means of provoking his said arch rebel to come forth out of the city of Coventry, and that he could not lay siege to, and assault the same, without destroying his own subjects, the inhabitants thereof, in number 20,000, and for whom he felt the greatest commisseration; and knowing also, that his adversary, Henry, was then within the city of London, with divers other rebels and traitors, there using and usurping his royal authority; he left Coventry, and bending his course towards London, reached the latter on the 11th day of April. Here, he presently made himself master of the Tower of this city, and seized the person of the said Henry, as well as that of the Archbishop of York: both whom he retained in custody, with divers other rebels and traitors.

In the mean while, the Earl of Warwick, supposing that the said Tower and City of London would be stoutly defended against the king’s attack, or, in all events, that the king would be engaged in solemnizing the feast of Easter in that city, and expecting therefore to come upon him unawares, he ventured forth out of the city of Coventry, and advanced forward hastily, with a numerous host.

The king, well advised of the earl’s treacherous intent, and in order presently to encounter him, notwithstanding the solemnity of the season, set out with all his forces on the eve of Easter Sunday, the 13th of April, and marched that day as far as ten of our English miles. The whole of that night he remained under arms in the open fields, his army drawn up in the finest order of battle, until five o’clock in the morning, when he engaged with the rebels, who were commanded by the Duke of Exeter, the Marquis of Montague, the Earl of Warwick, the Earl of Oxford, and the Lord Beaumont, to the number of 30,000 combatants, according to their own reckoning.

In this battle were slain the Earl of Warwick, and the marquis his brother, with a great number of knights, squires, and others, who fighting stoutly, resisted the attacks of the king and his army during three hours, but King Edward at length remained in possession of the field, through the aid of Almighty God, and of the glorious martyr Saint George.