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VOL. I. 





Contents of Vol. I 




Early History of Warwick Britons and Romans John Rons, the 
Antiquary Early Legends recorded in his Roll The Truth 
that underlies them . I 


Ethelfleda, Daughter of Alfred the Great Her Life and Work Her 
Castle at Warwick Architectural Details The Saxon Earls of 
Rous Were they really Earls, or were they Shire-reeves? . . 10 


Earl Rohand His Daughter Phyllis Her Love for Guy The Legend of 
Guy's Adventures and of his Retirement to the Hermitage at Guy's 
Cliff The Relics at Warwick Castle Mr. Bloxam's Damaging 
Criticisms .... . . .... 17 


Other Saxon Earls Reynbron Wegeatus Ufa Wolgeatus 
Wygotus The Legend of Lady Godiva in Prose and Verse Some 
very Good Reasons for not believing a Word of it . . . 38 


Contents of Vol. I *- 



Thurkill, the Traitor Earl Why he was not at Hastings How the 
Conqueror favoured him How lie changed his Name, and was the 
Ancestor of William Shakespeare ...... .48 


The Rebuilding of the Castle by William the Conqueror Architectural 
Particulars Henry de Newburgh, the First Norman Earl His 
OHiccs His Benefactions to Religions Houses His Services to 
Henry I. -His Death and Burial 52 


The House of Ncu burgh continued Roger de Newburgh William de 
Ncwburgh Waleran de Newburgh -Henry de Newburgh Thomas 
de Newburgh Ela, Countess of Warwick Her Second Husband 
Her Benefaction to the University of Oxford .... 


Margaret de Newburgh, Countess in her own Right Her Two 
Husbands, John Marshall and John du Plessis John Mauduit 
The Last of the Norman Earls ........ 67 



The House of Beauchamp William de Beauchamp His Wars in 
Wales Guy de Beauchamp His Enmity to Piers Gaveston The 
Execution of Piers Gaveston on Blacklovv Hill ... 75 


Contents of Vol. I 



Thomas de Beauchamp, the Earl of Warwick of Edward II I. 's French 
Wars His Exploits at Crecy, at Poictiers, and at Calais His 
Death His Arms and Crest His Monument in St. Mary's Church, 
Warwick . 88 


Thomas de Beauchamp His Hostility to Richard II. His Arrest and 
Imprisonment His Confession of Treachery His Subsequent 
Repudiation of it His Death Richard de Beauchamp His Feats 
of Chivalry His Tailor's Bill 100 


Richard de Beauchamp in the French War The Towns he took His 
Advice to Poet Lydgate Guardian of Henry VI. The Ousting 
of the English from France Richard de Beauchamp's Part in the 
Resistance His Death in Normandy . . . . . 117 




The House of Neville Its Wealthy Marriages Its Alliance with the 
House of Beaucliamp Richard Neville becomes Earl of Warwick 
The Condition of England during his Minority Jack Cade's 
Rebellion The Rebellion of the Duke of York The First Battle 
of St. Albans The Redistribution of Offices Warwick's Exploits 
as Captain of Calais and Captain to guard the Sea . . . 139 


Queen Margaret's Counter-revolution The Rout of Ludford Warwick 
at Calais His Raid on Sandwich The Battle of Northampton 
The Battle of Wakefield The Second Battle of St. Albans The 
Battle of Towton Flight of King Henry and Queen Margaret . 155 

Contents of Vol. I 



lonours for the Karl of Warwick His Subjugation of the Northern 
Lancastrian Fortresses Coolness between King and King-maker 
The Three Causes of Difference The Indignation of Warwick 
and his Surly Message to the King ...... 169 


The Vengeance of the King-maker His Lauding in Kent His Com- 
promise with Edward IV 7 . His Flight His Accommodation with 
(Jueen Margaret His Landing at Dartmouth The Treachery of 
the Duke of Clarence The Death of Warwick at the Battle of 
Barnet An Estimate of his Character ...... 179 


The King-maker's Widow, his Daughters, and his Sons-in-law Anne 
Neville's Petition to Parliament The Sad End of the Duke of 
Clarence The Still Sadder Fate of Edward, Earl of Warwick 
The Fate of Edward's Sister Margaret in the Reign of Henry VIII. 190 


Architectural Particulars The Norman Castle Giffard's Siege The 
Edwardian Castle, built by the Beauchamps The General 
Principles of Edwardian Castles The Warwick Gatehouse Guy's 
Tower Caesar's Tower The Prison The Inscriptions The 
Curtain Walls between the Towers- The River Gate . . 203 



The Policy of Heniy VII. The Assistance given him by Edmund 
Dudley The Pedigree of Edmund Dudley His Descent from the 
House of Sutton Dudley and Empson Bacon's Scathing Account 
of their Proceedings The Arrest of Dudley His Conviction of 
High Treason His Book in Favour of Absolute Monarchy His 
Execution An Estimate of his Character 219 

Contents of Vol. I 



Edmund Dudley's Family Andrew Dudley John Dudley, Earl of 
Warwick and Duke of Northumberland The List of his Honours 
and Offices under Henry VIII. and under Edward VI. His 
Military Achievements at Boulogne, at Pinkie, arid at Dussindale 
His Rivalry with Lord Protector Somerset His Acquisition of 
Dudley Castle John Knox's Candid Opinion of him . . . 234 


John Dudley's Children The Family Conspiracy in Favour of Lady 
Jane Dudley The Deatli of King Edward and the Failure of the 
Plot The Treatment of the Conspirators " The Saying of John, 
Duke of Northumberlande, uppon the Scaffold " His Character 
His Son, John Dudley, who succeeded him, but died soon after 
his Release from the Tower ........ 245 


Ambrose Dudley His Imprisonment and Release His Exploits at 
Saint Ouentin and Exemption from the Act of Attainder His 
Appointments His Command against the French at Havre His 
Appointment as Commissioner for the Trial of Mary Queen of 
Scots Her Special Appeal to his Sense of Justice .... 257 


The Visit of Queen Elizabeth to Warwick Extracts from the Account 
of the Ceremonies in the Borough and the Festivities at the Castle 
given in " The Black Book of Warwick '' . . . . . . 267 


Ambrose Dudley and Local Affairs His Concern for Good Govern- 
ment His Interference with Parliamentary and Municipal Elections 
Other Events of his Later Years The Amputation of his Leg 

His Death His Character 295 


Contents of Vol. I 



Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester The Reasons why he is Interesting 
His Marriage with Amy Robsart The Robsart Pedigree The 
Storv of Lady Amy's Death The Suggestion that Dudley murdered 
her A Review of the Evidence -The Grounds on which Dudley 
must be acquitted of the Crime ....... 312 


Burial of Amy Dudley at Oxford -The Queen's Friendship for 
Robert Dudley The Grant of Kenilworth Castle The History of 
the Castle Dudley's Restorations and Improvements James I.'s 
Survey of Kenihvorth ......... 333 


Kenihvorth Festivities Addresses in Prose and Verse The 
Tumbler The Morris Dance The Mock Wedding Tilting at 
the Quintain The Masque that was suppressed, and the Probable 
Reason for its Suppression ........ 342 


Leicester's Marriage to Douglas, Lady Sheffield Did he poison her? 
Leicester in the Low Countries His Failure as a General His 
Relations with the Borough of Warwick He Visits the Borough 
in State His Benefactions His Good Advice to Mr. Thomas 
Fisher An Attempt to estimate his Character .... 354 


Robert Dudley, Son of the Earl of Leicester The Difficult Question of 
his Legitimacy His Early Life His Remarkable Adventures as a 
Navigator His Marriage to the Daughter of Sir Thomas Leigh 
His Elopement with Elizabeth Southwell ..... 


Robert Dudley at Florence His Various Achievements there His Skill 
as an Engineer As an Inventor As a Ship-bnilder His Remark- 
able Patent Medicine His Book on Great Circle Sailing . . 389 

-* Contents of Vol. I 



Dudley at Florence His Attempts to restore Friendly Relations with 
the English Court His Memorandum to Prince Henry on the 
Importance of Sea Power His Advice to King James as to the 
Bridling of his Parliament and the Augmentation of his Revenue 
Dudley's Endeavours to obtain the Restitution of his Property by 
a Threat of Reprisals on English Shipping ..... 401 


Duchess Dudley Her Charitable Works Her Daughters and their 
Husbands Robert Dudley's Large Italian Family The Pro- 
ceedings of Carlo the Scapegrace The Great Marriages of the 
Daughters General Remarks about the House of Dudley and its 
Prominent Representatives . . . . . . . .412 

List of Illustrations in Vol. I 

7 he pictures in this book tut otherwise acknowledged are from photographs by 
Mr. L. C. Kelghlcy Peach, Alderminster, Stratford-on-Avon. 

Warwick Castle in 1746 .......... 3 

Caesar's Tower, Warwick Castle ........ 5 

A Crusader's Helmet .......... 7 

Ethelfleda's Tower and Keep, in the Grounds of Warwick Castle . . 9 

Caesar's Tower, Warwick Castle 15 

Guy of Warwick ........... 19 

A Crusader's Armour .......... 25 

Guy of Warwick, from a Basso Relievo formerly in Warwick Lane, 

London ............ 29 

Guy's Porridge-pot ........... 33 

Guy's Sword and Meat-fork ......... 35 

Lady Godiva 39 

Battlement Steps, Warwick Castle ........ 43 

Thurkill, Earl of Warwick . . 49 

An Arch of the Clock Tower, Warwick Castle . . . . -55 

Roger de Newburgh, Earl of Warwick ....... 59 

The Seal of Thomas de Newburgh, Earl of Warwick .... 65 

The Charter of Henry de Newburgh, Earl of Warwick, granting the 

Advowson of Compton Verney to St. Mary's, Warwick ... 66 

John du Plessis, Earl of Warwick ........ 69 

William de Mauduit, Earl of Warwick . . . . . . .71 

Guy's Tower, Warwick Castle, from the Drive 73 

A Deed confirming Compton Verney ....... 74 

The Beauchamp Chapel, Warwick. View from the South-east . . 77 
The Breastplate of Guy de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick . . .81 

The Shield of Guy de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick .... 83 

The Entrance to Piers Gaveston's Dungeon, Warwick Castle ... 85 


List of Illustrations in Vol. I 


The Seal of Thomas de Beauchamp, I ith Earl of Warwick (1369 1401) 88 
Thomas de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick ...... 89 

A Piece of Edward the Black Prince's Armour ..... 91 

Edward, the Black Prince 93 

Thomas de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, and his Countess. From their 

Tomb at Warwick .......... 95 

The Tomb of Thomas de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, in the Choir of 

St. Mary's Church, Warwick 99 

The Obverse of the Seal of the Famous Thomas de Beauchamp, i2th 

Karl of Warwick 102 

The Reverse of the Seal of the Famous Thomas de Beauchamp. I2th 

Karl of Warwick 103 

Thomas de Beauchamp, Karl of Warwick, and his Countess, the Lady 

Margaret . 107 

The Birtli of Richard de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick .... 109 

The Baptism of Richard de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, by the Arch- 
bishop of York, in the Presence of Richard II. . . . . .ill 

Richard de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick . . . . . 113 

Richard de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick . . . . . i 1 5 

The Second Seal of Richard de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick . . 118 
Richard de Beauchamp, K.G., Earl of Warwick, Regent of France, 

Governor of Normandy, and Captain of Calais . . . .119 

Richard de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, crossing the Channel witli his 

Lady and his Son . . . . . . . . . .122 

King Henry V. .......... -125 

The Death of Richard de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick . . .127 

The Interior of the Beauchamp Chapel, Warwick ..... 129 

The Effigy of Richard de Beauchamp 131 

The Monument of Richard de Beauchamp in the Beauchamp Chapel, 

Warwick . . . . . . . . . . . .133 

The Tomb of Isabella, Second Wife of Richard de Beauchamp, Earl of 

Warwick . 


Henry Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick ....... 136 

The Seal of Johanna de Beauchamp, Lady Bergevenny . . . .137 

King Henry VI I3 8 

Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, the King-maker 141 

The Servants' Hall, Warwick Castle 147 

The Signature of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, the King-maker . 151 

An Effigy in Armour of the King-maker riding on an Armoured Steed . 153 


^ List of Illustrations in Vol. I 


Margaret of Anjou, Queen-Consort of Henry VI., who commanded her 

Husband's Forces against the King-maker in many a Battle . 157 

Caesar's Tower, Warwick Castle .... ... 163 

Figure of the King-maker on the Tomb of Richard de Beauchamp, Earl 

of Warwick, in the Beauchamp Chapel 167 

Warwick Castle in 1746 171 

A Letter signed by Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, asking the Dean 

of Warwick to obtain the Advowson of the Church, held by 

Master Arundel, for his Servant . . . . . . .178 

King Edward IV., whom the King-maker first placed upon the Throne 

and then deposed .......... 181 

The King-maker's Mace 187 

A Letter with the Autographs of .Ralf, Lord Sudeley, William de 

la Pole, Earl of Suffolk, and Richard, Earl of Salisbury, asking the 

Dean of Warwick to send the Register of Knights' Fees to London . 189 
Anne Neville, Daughter of the King-maker and Queen-Consort of 

Richard III 191 

George, Duke of Clarence, Son-in-law of the King-maker by Marriage 

with his Elder Daughter, Isabel, and Jure uxoris Earl of Warwick . 193 
King Richard III., Son-in-law of the King-maker by Marriage with his 

Younger Daughter, Anne 197 

The Gate Tower, Warwick Castle, 1823. From the Inner Court . . 205 
Guy's Tower, Bridge, and Old Gateway, Warwick Castle . . .211 

Warwick Castle, 1746 . 221 

The Main Gateway and Portcullis, Warwick Castle .... 225 

The River Front, Warwick Castle 229 

John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland and Earl of Warwick . . 237 
The Water-tower, Warwick Castle ........ 241 

The Lady Mary Dudley, afterwards the Wife of Sir Henry Sidney, and 

the Mother of Sir Philip Sidney ....... 243 

The Lady Jane Grey, who was wedded to Lord Guilford Dudley . . 247 
An Inscription by John Dudley (Eldest Son of John Dudley, Duke of 

Northumberland), in the Beauchamp Tower, Tower of London . 251 

Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick 259 

Mary Queen of Scots .......... 261 

The Gate-house, Warwick Castle . . 265 

Queen Elizabeth ........... 269 

Anne Dudley, Countess of Warwick, the Third Wife of Ambrose 

Dudley ............ 277 


List of Illustrations in Vol. I 

Oucen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge, in the Grounds of Warwick Castle . 285 

Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick . ....... 297 

The Chantry Chapel, adjoining the Beauchamp Chapel, Warwick . . 301 
The Tomb of Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick, in the Lady Chapel, 

Warwick ............ 309 

Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester 313 

The Death of Amy Robsart 323 

Kenilworth Castle ........... 335 

The Festivities at Kenilworth in Honour of Queen Elizabeth . . . 343 

Queen Elizabeths Saddle 348 

Queen Elizabeth's Viol .......... 353 

Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester ........ 355 

The Leicester Hospital, Warwick . . . . . . . .361 

The Tomb of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, in the Beauchamp 

Chapel, Warwick .......... 369 

Sir Robert Dudley, "The Noble Impe," son of Robert Dudley, Earl of 

Leicester and the Lady Douglas Sheffield ..... 375 

The Armour of Sir Robert Dudley, " The Noble Impe " . . . . 379 

The Interior of St. Mary's Church, Warwick ...... 391 

Henry, Prince of Wales ....... . . 403 

The Tomb of Sir Robert Dudley, "The Noble Impe,'' in the Beauchamp 

Chape], Warwick 409 

Interior of the Beauchamp Chapel, Warwick ...... 419 

Warwick Castle and its Karls 



Early History of Warwick Britons and Romans John Rous, the An- 
tiquary Early Legends recorded in his Roll The Truth that 
underlies them. 

THE history of Warwick Castle is almost as old 
as the history of England itself. Earls of 
Warwick, belonging to each of the families that have 
successively held the title, have played their part in 
most of the dramas of English history. We meet 
them in our foreign wars : at Crecy, and Poictiers, 
and Agincourt, and in Queen Elizabeth's expedition 
to Havre. They have been even more conspicuous 
in our civil wars : the wars of Stephen and of 
Edward II., the wars of the Roses, the rising 
of Lady Jane Grey, and the war of the Parlia- 
ment against Charles I. They have been the hosts 
of kings, and also their executioners. They have 

VOL. I. I B 

Warwick Castle <*- 

dictated the policy of their country, and they have 
perished miserably on the scaffold. They have been 
generals in our armies and admirals in our navies ; 
and they have distinguished themselves in other fields 
of fame. There was once an Earl of Warwick who 
was a pirate ; there was once a pretender to the 
earldom who distinguished himself by inventing a 
valuable patent medicine. This history, therefore, will 
not lack variety. 

Before touching upon the history of the Castle, 
I must say a word, by way of preface, about the 
early history of the town and county. It is neither 
a very long nor a very complicated history, though 
it is a little difficult to decide exactly where legend 
ends and history begins. 

The "prehistoric" history need not detain us. 
According to Mr. Timms, the able historian of the 
county, " no remains are known, except, of course, in 
the case of early camps and tumuli and ancient roads 
which are within the limits of written history, but of 
which nothing or little is definitely known." 

Presently, of course, the ancient Romans came and 
found the ancient Britons there. The town of Warwick 
is believed to have been the Roman Presidium ; but 
even this is not quite certain. There are, at any rate, 
very few traces of the Roman occupation, especially in 
the heart of the county. They had two roads there, 
the Ryknield Street, which enters the county on the 
south of Biclford-on-Avon, and runs nearly due north 
through Birmingham ; and Watling Street, which enters 

Warwick Castle *- 

Warwickshire near Rugby, and thence to Atherstone 
forms the county boundary. Probably the Romans 
were satisfied with these roads and the camps by the 
roadside, and left the Britons in comparative tranquillity 
in the forests. 

In due course the Roman legions were withdrawn, 
and the Anglo-Saxon invaders arrived. Their policy, 
whenever and wherever they came, was not to subdue 
the Britons, but to exterminate them. No doubt they 
exterminated the Britons of Warwickshire like the rest, 
but we do not know the details. What we do know 
is that Warwickshire became a part of the Saxon 
kingdom of Mercia, and that there were Earls of 
Warwick. Authentic history or perhaps it will be 
more correct to say comparatively authentic history 
then begins. 

Before proceeding with this authentic history, how- 
ever, we must glance at the legendary history preserved 
in the writings of the famous Warwickshire worthy 
and antiquary, John Rous. 

This John Rous (1411-1491) was a scholar of the 
University of Oxford, distinguished for his learning. 
He spent the greater part of his life as a chantry 
priest at Guy's Cliff, of which more presently. He 
erected a library over the south porch of St. Mary's 
Church, Warwick, and furnished it with books ; and he 
also wrote many books of his own, of which the one 
that here concerns us bears the quaint title " This Rol l 

1 A modern edition of the Roll states that it was in 1636 in possession 
of Robert Arden, of Park Hall, Warwick, Esq., and was then transcribed 

The Saxon and Norman Earls 

was laburd and 
finished by 
Master John 
Rows of War- 
rewyk." It is 
a magnificently 
MS., now in 
the library of 
the College of 
Arms, and is a 
history of the 
Earls of War- 
wick, intro- 
duced by a 
history of the 
town. The 
statements con- 
tained in it will 
be more intel- 
ligible to the 
general reader 
if I presume to 
modernise the 


From a print published in 1814. 


by William Dugdale, Garter, which transcript now forms a part of a 
volume of his MSS. in the Ashmolean Museum (62). Mr. Arden died 
unmarried, August 22nd, 1643 (in the flower of his youth, says Dugdale), 
and his estate passed among his sisters and coheirs ; but it was not till the 
year 1786 that the Roll itself came into the library of the College of Arms. 


Warwick Castle <*- 

to Rous, then, Warwick was founded by a certain 
King Guthelyne, "about the birth of King Alexander, 
the Greek conqueror," which would be 356 B.C., when 
it is possible, though it cannot be proved, that the 
Britons had some sort of settlement here. There is 
a picture in the Roll of King Guthelyne bearing a 
model of the town, with a bear sitting in the gateway. 
Other early worthies mentioned by the antiquary 
are : 

(1) King Gwiclard, who "died about the same year 
that our Lord died." 

(2) Saint Caracloc, 1 who restored the town because 
"he found it destroyed by the great wars that had 
been in the land," and "considering the good air and 
pleasant standing of it on a rock over a river between 
the woodland and the champagne made on it great 
building for him and his." 

(3) King Constantine, 2 who reigned A.D. 433-443, 
built extensively, and was grandfather to King Arthur, 
" the mighty warrior." 

(4) King Gwayr, cousin of King Arthur, who "on 
a time met with a giant that ran on him with a tree 
shred and the bark off." "He overcame the giant, 
and therefor ward bore on his arms a ragged staff of 

1 I would take St. Caradoc as merely representing that the British 
people here, before the Romans interfered, were Christians. 

- King Constantine may represent Roman influence. A Roman road is 
presumed, without any evidence, to have passed through the town, and 
remains have been found, though not sufficient to indicate any extensive 
settlement, which would be unnecessary with Chesterton, an undoubted 
camp, so near. 


The Saxon and Norman Earls 

silver on a field of sable, and so his heirs continually 
after him.' 

(5) Saint Dubricius, 1 Archbishop of Caerleon or 
Warwick. " His see pontifical was then at All Hallows 
Church in the Castle, and so it continued a college 
till after the Conquest threescore years." He after- 
wards fled to Wales to escape the Saxons, and became 
first Bishop of Llandaff. 

(6) Arthgal or Arthal, a knight of King Arthur's 
Round Table, Earl of Warwick : " a lord of royal 
blood, and witty in all 

his deeds. ... Of his 
name, that is to say Arthe 
or Narthe, is as much 
as to say in Welsh as a 

(7) Morwid, Earl of 
Warwick. In the section 
concerning him Rous 
speaks of " wells 2 that be 
half of the year, as from 
Christmas to Midsummer, 
salt, and the other half ot 
the year they ran fresh, 
and there is but little 
water in them." 

From the Armoury in Warwick Castle. 


1 St. Dubricius represents merely the fact that the Saxon burh had 
a church within its enceinte ; many of them had, as Castle Rising in 

2 The legend about the salt and fresh water curiously suggests a spa, 
and Leamington occurs to the mind at once 


\Yarwick Castle <+- 

(8) Marthrud, 1 Earl of Warwick, "a noble knight, 
and many more Welsh earls there were, one of whom 
was marvellously buried in the bottom of Avon. . . . 
In his days the Britons were driven into Wales, and 
the land divided into many kingdoms, and the kingdoms 
parted into shires. . . . Then King Warremund 2 did 
change the name of this town, then a city named 
Caer-gwayr, and called it Warwyke, and inhabit it new 
with Saxons that now are called English people." 

Such are the early legends embodied in the Rous 
Roll. The probable basis of fact underlying the fanciful 
stories has been indicated in the foot-notes. We gather 
from them that the town was thought to have been built 
in the fourth century B.C., and this is no doubt correct. 
An encampment about this date may yet be traced in 
the park, not far from the present castle, and hostile 
tribes long after occupied and fortified the ridges of 
the valley on either side of the Avon, as witness the 
long line of encampments at Loxley and the early 
mounds at Welcomb. The rest is partly deliberate 
invention and partly floating tradition, upon which no 
certain reliance can be placed. We will not, therefore, 
dwell further upon the stories, but will proceed to the 
period in which a portion at least of the history is 
better attested. 

1 The wars of Saxons with the Britons, or rather Roman-Britons, are 
suggested by the legendary Marthrud. 

2 Warremund is merely a name invented to account for a name, as 
Romulus to account for Rome; but it also points to the historic Saxon 


Kthclfleda, daugliter of Alfred the Great Her Life and Work Her Castle at 
Warwick Architectural Details The Saxon Earls of Rons Were they 
really Earls, or were they Shire-reeves ? 

SOUND, authentic history, based upon credible 
contemporary documents, only begins for us at 
the time when Alfred the Great rolled back the tide 
of the Danish invasion. There is still a good deal of 
legend existing side by side with the history ; but the 
two things can with some confidence be disentangled 
and kept separate. 

One name shines prominently in this period the 
name of Ethelfleda, eldest daughter of Alfred, sister of 
Edward the Elder, the millenary of whose coronation 
at Kingston-on-Thames was celebrated in 1901, and 
wife of Ethelred, Earl of Mercia. She was a great 
woman- warrior the Boadicea of Saxon times. Asser's 
famous Chronicle is full of her exploits. She led her 
troops in person on the field of battle, liberated Mercia, 
built a chain of forts for its defence, marched as far 
west as Wales and as far north as York, and went 
on conquering and to conquer, until she died at 
Tamworth (A.D. 918) twelve days before midsummer, 
in the eighth year of her rule over Mercia ; she was 
buried in the east porch of St. Peter's Church in 

-*> The Saxon and Norman Earls 

But our concern here is with the renown of Ethel- 
fleda, not as a warrior, but as a builder. Never 
was there a greater builder than the Lady of the 
Mercians, as they called her. She " comes upon the 
scene," says Clark, in his " Mediaeval Military Archi- 
tecture," " as the greatest founder of fortresses in 
that century." 1 She either founded or fortified 
Chester, Scargate, Bridgnorth, Tamworth, Stafford, 
Eddisbury, Cherbury, Warbury, and Runcorn. Last, 
but not least, she threw up the Warwick mounds 2 in 
the year A.D. 914. 

The Warwick Castle of Ethelfleda was a very 
different place from the Warwick Castle of to-day. 
It was a fort rather than a house in which it 
was possible to dwell. I will try to give some 
account of it ; but not being myself a military expert 

1 "A.D. 912. ^Ethelred and /Ethelflaeda came to Scaergate on the eve of 
the Invention of the Holy Cross, and built the fort there and that of 
Bridgenorth. A.D. 913. ^Ethelflaeda gathered her Mercians and went to 
Tamworth early in summer and built the foitress there, and the same year 
before Lammas that of Stafford. A.D. 91.4. She built the fortress of 
/Eadesbyrig, and afterwards in the same year late in harvest that of Warwick. 
A.D. 915. After midwinter she built the fortress at Weard-byrig, and 
before midwinter that at Rumcoft. A.D. 916. She sent her forces into 
Wales, and stormed Brece-nan Mere, took the king's wife and thirty-four 
prisoners. A.D. 917. She stormed and took Derby, but at a loss of four 
thanes. A.D. 918. The fortress of Leicester surrendered peacefully to her, 
and York made a covenant with her, and her army was augmented." 
" A.-S. Chron.," pp. 58, 59. 

- Of these works of Ethelfleda are to be seen the great circular Bush at 
the western end of the enceinte, with traces of an outer fosse and vallum 
beyond it, and a good deal of the oval line of earthen ramparts which ran in a 
curve from the north-east of the mound to the river, and originally doubtless 
followed the precipitous bank of the latter till it rejoined the mound. The 
Cotton MS. gives date of foundation of Warwick as 951. 


Warwick Castle <*- 

or an intimate student of the subject of fortifications, 
I must do so by quoting, with grateful acknowledg- 
ments, from Clark's work, already referred to, on 
"Mediaeval Military Architecture." His general de- 
scription of the fortifications of Saxon times will be 
found applicable to the particular case of the fortifications 
at Warwick. 

" These works," says Clark, " thrown up in England 
in the ninth and tenth centuries, are seldom if ever 
rectangular, nor are they governed to any extent by 
the character of the ground. First was cast up a 
truncated cone of earth, standing at its natural slope 
from twelve to even fifty or sixty feet in height. This 
'mound,' ' motte,' or 'burh,' the mota of our records, 
was formed from the contents of a broad and deep 
circumscribing ditch." 

" Connected," he continues, " with the mound is 
usually a base court or enclosure, sometimes circular, 
more commonly oval or horseshoe-shapecl, but if of 
the age of the mound always more or less rounded. 
This enclosure had also its bank and ditch on its 
outward faces, its rear resting on the ditch of the 
mound, and the area was often further strengthened 
by a bank along the crest of the scarp of the 
ditch. There are no traces of this ditch at Warwick." 

As to the material used to strengthen the earth- 
works, Clark says : 

" Upon a bnr/i, or upon an artificial earthwork of 
any height, masonry of any kind was obviously out 
of the question. Timber, and timber alone, would 

<+> The Saxon and Norman Earls 

have been the proper material. Timber was always 
at hand, and it was a material of which, possibly 
from their early maritime habits, the English were 
very fond. Also the rapidity with which these 
burhs were constructed shows that timber must have 
been largely employed. They were thrown up, com- 
pleted, attacked, burnt, and restored, all within a few 

Finally, he constructs the following graphic picture 
of Warwick Castle, or any other castle, of the 
period : 

" In viewing one of these moated mounds, we have 
only to imagine a central timber house on the top of 
the mound, built of half-trunks of trees set upright 
between two waling pieces at the top and bottom, 
like the old church at Greensted, with a close paling 
around it along the edge of the table top, perhaps a 
second line at its base, and a third along the outer 
edge of the ditch, and others not so strong upon the 
edges of the outer courts, with bridges of planks 
across the ditches, and huts of ' wattle and dab ' or of 
timber within the enclosures, and we shall have a 
very fair idea of a fortified dwelling of a thane or 
franklin in England, or of the corresponding classes 
in Normandy, from the eighth or ninth centuries down 
to the date of the Norman Conquest." 

So much for Ethelfleda and the castle which she 
built. We will now leave the Lady of the Mercians 
and turn to other matters. The Saxon Earls of 
.Warwick claim our attention. Rous, in that interesting 

Warwick Castle <*- 

but untrustworthy Roll of his, gives a list of eight such 
earls. The names are : 







Concerning these earls there are two questions to 
be faced. Were they real or only mythical personages ? 
Assuming that they were or that some of them were 
real personages, are they properly spoken of as earls, 
a word of many meanings ? 

Rons' earls, if they existed at all, can hardly have 
failed to be earls in some sense or another. They 
must at least have been "men generally," and also, 
we may presume, "men of noble rank," and in all 
probability "warriors" as well. 

There is also, however, a strict technical meaning of 
the title. Among a multitude of earls, the earl was 
the nobleman who, within the confines of any given 
county, was entitled to receive one-third of the proceeds 
of the administration of justice. As Professor Maitland 
puts it in his " Domesday Book and Beyond " : 

" In the county court, and in every hundred court 
that has not passed into private hands, the king is 
entitled to but two-thirds of the proceeds of justice, 
and the earl gets the other third, except perhaps in 
certain exceptional cases in which the king has the 
whole profit of some specially royal plea. The soke 
in the hundred courts belongs to the king and the earl. 


From a photograph by H. N. King. 


\Yar\vick Castle *- 

And just as the king's rights as the lord of a hundredal 
court become bound up with, and are let to farm with, 
some royal manor, so the earl's third penny will be 
annexed to some comital manor." 

In this sense Rous' earls most certainly were not 
the Earls of Warwick. The third penny of the county 
belonged at that time to the Earls of Mercia. They, 
therefore, were de facto Earls of Warwick, though without 
bearing any distinctive title to indicate the fact. Indeed 
the county as a separate Earldom did not exist. Rous' 
earls may have been assuming again, for the sake of 
argument, that there ever were such persons the shire- 
reeves or vicccomites. But the shrievalty, be it noted, 
is an office, and the sheriff, qua sheriff, has neither 
land nor goods. He is, say Pollock and Maitland, 
" the governor of the shire, the captain of its forces, 
the president of its court, a distinctively royal officer, 
appointed by the king, dismissible at a moment's 
notice, strictly accountable to the Exchequer." 

We will adopt this view, therefore, for want of a 
better one, of Rous' Saxon earls, leaving ourselves 
free to pass on to the legends which the diligent student 
of the period finds nourishing side by side with 
the established facts of history. And first we will 
deal with the famous legend of Guy of Warwick, of 
whom there are many reputed relics preserved, and 
shown to visitors, at the Castle. 



Earl Rohand His Daughter Phyllis Her Love for Guy The Legend of 
Guy's Adventures and of his Retirement to the Hermitage at Guy's 
Cliff The Relics at Warwick Castle Mr. Bloxam's Damaging Criticisms. 

EARL ROHAND is merely mentioned by Rous as 
the first Earl after the direct rule of the kings. 
"When one king reigned over all," he says, "then 
Earls had profit of the lordships." His date, therefore, 
is that of the end of the Heptarchy. He appears 
only to be known as the father of his daughter Felice 
or Phyllis, who was, Rous says, "by true inheritance 
Countess of Warwick, and wife of the most victorious 
Knight, Sir Guy, to whom, in his wooing time, she 
made great strangeness, and caused him for her sake 
to put himself in many great distresses, dangers, and 
perils." The only relic of Phyllis at Warwick is the 
well called Phyllis' or Eelyce's Well, and the curious 
iron slipper-stirrups named after her. The latter, 
however, are of far later date. 

The love of Guy for Phyllis is the subject of our 
legend. There are several versions of it, 1 both in 

1 The oldest MS. is " Romanz de Gui de Warvvyk," at Wolfenbiittel. An 
English version is quoted by Hampole in the "Mirror of Life '' (Speculum 
VitcE),c. 1350, and by Chaucer in the "Rime of Sir Topas," c. 1380. In its 
ballad form " A Pleasante Songe of the Valiante Actes of Guye of Warwicke," 
to the tune of " Was ever man so lost in love ?" appeared in 1591-92. 

The legend no doubt appeared as an early Saxon ballad altered to suit 
the times, so that the Saxon champion became a Norman knight. The French 

VOL. I. 17 C 

Warwick Castle 

English and French, and at least four distinct trans- 
lations of the French MS. into English, 1 as well as 
various more popular renderings. For my own part, I 
prefer to follow the story as it is told in a chapbook 
of the eighteenth century, entitled " The History of the 
famous exploits of Guy Earl of Warwick." 

Guy was the son of Earl Rohand's steward. His 
birth was heralded by remarkable portents, which were 
fully justified by the prowess of his earliest years : 

" His Mother dreamed soon after her Conception 
that Mars in a bloody Chariot drawn by fiery Dragons 
descended and told her the Child she bore in her 
Womb should come to be the honour and glory of this 
Nation, and a Terror to all Tyrants and Infidels, and 
his amazing acts should fill the World with Wonder, 
which fell out so, for no sooner was he Eight Years 
old, but he was delighted with all sorts of manly 
exercise, as running, wrestling, pitching the Bar, and 

prose romance was turned into English, and at length took ballad form. 
Ellis declared, " It is certainly one of the most ancient and popular, and no 
less certainly one of the dullest and most tedious of our early romances." 

The oldest preserved form is that of an Anglo-Norman romance (temp, 
thirteenth century), probably founded on the folk-songs of the people 
dressed by the romance writer in the fashion of his age. The Saxon is a 
Norman knight, sent to the Crusade, conducted from tournament to tourna- 
ment throughout Europe. The monastic feeling is so strong that it may 
be the writer was a monk. 

1 (i) In short couplets: Auchinleck MS., ff. 108-146 (Abbotsford Club, 
1840); Caius MS., 107; Sloane MS., 1044. (2) In twelve-line stanzas; 
Auchinleck MS. (3) In short couplets: Add. MS. 14408; Bodleian Douce 
Frag. 20; one leaf printed by Wynkyn de Worde. Printed version, "The 
Booke of the most victorious Prince Gny of Warwick,'' London, by William 
Copland, D.D. (4) In short couplets: Univ. Camb. MS., ff. 2-38; Caius 
MS., 107. 


The Saxon and Norman Earls 

throwing ponderous weights, which he did to that 
Perfection that others more in age and stature could 
not come near him in, to the admiration of all 
that beheld him. In this manner he exercised himself 

From the Rons Roll. 


till the age of Sixteen, at which no man dare to 
encounter with him ; when they did he always was 
victorious, which gained him much applause, and fame 
spoke loud of him." 


Warwick Castle *- 

Guy's exploits came to the ears of Earl Rohand, 
who invited him to a banquet. After the feast there 
were certain athletic competitions, in which Guy over- 
threw all comers. But his heart was not in the sports, 
for he had seen Phyllis and fallen in love with her, 
but being of lowlier station feared that he must love in 
vain. Me withdrew, therefore, and thus soliloquised : 
" For me to attain this Perfection of Beauty is, 
I fear, altogether impossible, by reason of the great 
Distance of our Fortune. O ye powers, for what 
are these fair Beauties created, if not to be enjoyed ? 
Or do you send down these bright Shapes from your 
Heavenly Abodes, only to be gazed at by Lovesick 
Man? I'll no longer torture myself thus between 
Hope and Despair, but will instantly go to her, and 
receive from her Fair Lips the sentence of my Life 
or Death." 

Suiting the action to the word, he sought Phyllis 
out in an arbour, and thus pleaded his suit : 

" Most divine Creature, Fairest of your Sex, I 
have brought a Heart all over love to offer a Sacrifice 
to your dear Eyes. Pardon the Boldness of my rash 
Presumption that I should soar so high, to court that 
Bliss a King might be proud to possess. But Love, 
dear Lady, has such boundless Power, that I'm com- 
pelled with Humbleness to let you know I cannot 
live unless you give me life, by granting me the 
Blessing of your Love." 

But Phyllis was not to be won so easily. " No, 
noble Guy," she said, " though I esteem your valour, 

-> The Saxon and Norman Earls 

yet T cannot stoop to anything so much below myself." 
And she left him, and he " with many bitter sighs 
lamented his misfortune in his Courtship, and said, 
' O ye mighty Deity of Love, I implore your Divine 
help. Wound her Heart as you have clone mine, and 
make her have Compassion on a Suffering Lover.'" 

Venus heard the prayer addressed to her, and 
Phyllis dreamt of Guy that night. Cupid appeared to 
her in her vision, and recited the following verses : 

Fair Phillis, see Renowned Guy here stands, 
And I am come (by Venus' strict commands) 
To tell you that for you he is designed, 
Who will the Glory be of all Mankind. 

Princes shall court his favour, and his Arms 

His Country shall protect from threatening Harms. 

Tyrants he will subdue, and all his Foes 

Shall dread his Name that dare him to oppose. 

Victory crowns his Arms, while his Delight 

The Wronged and Oppressed is to right : 

His Conquering Arms through all the World shall raise 

Him Monuments of everlasting praise. 

Despise him not, he's worthy of thy Love ; 

Then turn thy Frowns to Smiles and kinder prove ; 

Or, by my Powerful Art, this Dart I send 

Shall quickly make your stubborn Heart to bend. 

The vision changed the heart of Phyllis. When 
Guy next threw himself at her feet, her reception of 
him was more encouraging : 

" ' Most noble Youth, you ask me what is not in 
my Power to grant ; the World would blame me for 


\Yar\vick Castle 

my rashness if I should consent to love my Father's 
Steward's Son without the consent of my Father, to 
whose disposal I wholly resign myself. Therefore 
despair not, if you can do anything to meet his Good- 
will.' 'I doubt not, dear lady,' replied he, 'of that. 
I will go abroad, and Purchase Fame by the Power of 
my Arms, and at my Return lay all the Trophies of my 
Victories at your Feet.' 'Go then, most noble Guy, 
you have my Love ; may Victories and Success attend 
upon your Arms where'er you go, while I will remain 
in a Virgin State, wishing your happy Return, loaded 
with that fame as may make my Father think you 
worthy of me, and I proud of such a Lover.' ' Bright 
Star, by whose influences I am wholly guided, if glorious 
Feats of Arms and Fame in Fields of Battle gained will 
please my Love, I'll wade through Seas of Blood and 
dene the greatest of clangers. My Love, farewell, I 
must repair to Arms.' " 

Our chapbook next relates Guy's dashing exploits. 
He first went to Normandy, where he found an 
opportunity of acting as the champion of beauty in 
distress. There was a fair lady, condemned to be 
burnt alive, on a false charge of perjury, unless she 
could find some champion to engage in ordeal of 
battle on her behalf. Guy arrived at the very nick 
of time, and entered the lists to engage one of her 
accusers. We read that, "the Trumpet sounding, they 
furiously met each other, and Guy couching the Spear 
against his Breast it ran quite through, so that he fell 
dead from his horse. The Accusers, seeing the Fate 


-* The Saxon and Norman Earls 

of their Fellow, stood not to engage single, but all at 
once clapping Spurs to their Horses, rid hastily up to 
Guy, who being ready received one upon the Point 
of his Spear, and unhors'd him as he had done the 
first ; then pulling out his Sword he laid on upon the 
other Two, cutting and mangling them desperately, and 
in a little time brought one of them down dead by his 
Fellows ; the other falling upon his Knees, begg'd his 
Life, and confessed the innocence of the Lady and 
the falseness of his accusation, which caused all the 
beholders to set up a great shout, and applauded the 
action of the Most Noble and Valiant Stranger that 
had thus delivered the Lady, whom Guy unbound and 
returned to her Friends," 

From Normandy Guy took ship and sailed to 
"the confines of Germany," where he happened to 
arrive just in time for a tournament, of which the 
prize was to be the hand of Blanche, the Emperor's 
daughter. He entered for the prize, and won it, 
nearly killing several of his rivals, but did not take 
it, explaining his delicate position to the Emperor, 
who, " much admiring his virtue as well as his valour, 
dismissed him after many favours bestowed upon 
him." Then : 

" Attended by the chief Nobility to the Sea-side, 
he embarked for England, where in a little time 
he arrived, while Phyllis, whom Fame had loudly in- 
formed of his glorious actions abroad, hearing of his 
safe arrival, waited with joy to receive him. Now 
Guy, coming to Warwick Castle, found a most kind 


Warwick Castle <*- 

welcome by Phillis, and Earl Rohand, who, with tears 
of joy, embraced him in his arms." 

This seems the natural happy ending of the story ; 
but it, nevertheless, rambles on. Guy, it appears, after 
" passing some time in the enjoyment of fair Phyllis' 
company," conceived a desire for fresh adventures, 
and " prepared (since his country afforded no occasion 
for his valour) to go to Foreign Parts." Here 
follows the episode of the Dun Cow of Dunsmore 
Heath, which I quote from my chapbook at length. 
It says : 

" The vessel he was in for his intended Voyage 
being driven back by Contrary Winds, and lying in 
harbour, he heard a Report about the Country of 
a Monstrous Cow, which terrified the neighbouring 
Places, destroying the Cattle, and hurting and killing 
many that went about to destroy her ; she was beyond 
the ordinary size of other Cattle, six yards in length, 
and four high, with large sharp Horns and fiery Eyes, 
of a Dun Colour ; her place ot abode was on a Heath 
near Warwick, now called Dunsmore Heath, which 
derived its name from this Monstrous Cow. The 
King hearing of the dreadful havock this Beast made, 
offered Knighthood to any that should overcome this 
Dun Cow. Guy, who was by all thought to be far 
beyond Sea, privately arming himself with a Strong 
Battle Axe, and his Bow and Quiver, made his way 
towards the Place where this Monster was, and ap- 
proaching near the Den, he beheld upon the Heath 
the sad Objects of Desolation, the Carcasses of Men 


The Saxon and Norman Earls 

and Beasts she had de- 
stroyed. Guy, no whit 
daunted at that, pursued on 
his way, till such time she 
espied Guy, staring with her 
dreadful Eyes upon him, 
and roaring most hideously ; 
he bent his bow of steel 
and let fly an arrow, which 
rebounded from her hide as 
if it had been shot against 
a Brazen Wall ; she en- 
raged, ran as swift as the 
wind at Him, who seeing 
his arrows of no effect, had 
prepared himself with his 
Battle Axe to receive her, 
which he did with such a 
blow upon her head as 
made her recoil, but she 
recovering, more enraged 
at such a Treatment, ran 
full tilt with her Sharp 
Horns at Guy's Breast, 
which only dented his 
Armor and made him 
stagger ; laying on many 
forceable blows at last he 
luckily hit her under the 
Ear, which was the only Place that was penetrable, 

2 5 


In the Armoury at Warwick Castle. 

Warwick Castle <+- 

where making a deep wound, the Blood gushed 
out amain, and he following his Blows in the same 
Place, made so many gashes that with loud roaring 
she fell down, and weltering in a stream of blood, 
died. Guy having done this work, soon made it 
known to the Country People, who to be satisfied 
of their being freed from this Monster, flocked to the 
place where they beheld the monstrous Carcass lie. 
The King hearing of it, sent for Guy, and with a 
great deal of Joy welcomed him and conferred upon 
him the honour of Knighthood, and caused one of 
the Cow's Ribs to be hung up in Warwick Castle as 
a lasting Monument of his Fame." 

The dun cow duly disposed of, Guy put to sea 
again " with three other knights who had vowed to 
bear him company in his adventures." When they 
reached Germany, an ambush was laid for them by 
sixteen soldiers in the pay of Otto, Duke of Tus- 
cany, one of the unsuccessful competitors at the 
tournament. Guy acquitted himself with his usual 
intrepidity : 

"'Courage, my Friends,' said Guy, 'these Villains' 
Lives shall pay the reward of their Treachery.' 
Then they drawing their swords, laid manfully about 
them, while Guy still encountering where he found 
most to do, had dispatch'd Ten of them, and looking 
about to rescue his friends, he found the Rogues had 
killed two of them, and only Sir Harauld left alive, 
much wounded, which Guy enraged at, like Lightning 
flew at the other Six, and soon made their mangled 


-> The Saxon and Norman Earls 

bodies lifeless Trunks, as he had done the other Ten. 
Guy, much troubled for the loss of his Friends, 
ordered a Hermit thereby to bury them, and to take 
care of his wounded Friend, Sir Harauld, while he 
pursued his intended Course." 

The next feat was the relief of the city of 
Byzantium, which was then being besieged by the 
Turks. Guy, by some means or other, had become 
the commander of an army of two thousand men. 
He slew the Sultan with his own hand, and left twenty 
thousand Saracen soldiers dead upon the field of carnage. 
Then he set out to return to England, and had another 
truly remarkable adventure by the way. He landed at 
some place for water, and rode up into the woods to 
look for venison, and there saw the strange spectacle of 
" a fiery Dragon and a fierce Lyon fighting together." 
Observe what followed : 

" Guy pleased at the Sport, sat himself down to 
see which would have the Better on it, resolving to 
help the Weakest ; the Encounter was very fierce and 
terrible, till at last the Dragon, with her irivenomed 
Teeth and knotted Tail, had so foiled the princely 
Lyon, that he began to look how he might fly from 
him ; which Guy seeing, said, ' Dragon, have at your 
Hide,' and so laying on with mighty Blows on her 
rough scaly Back, which made no Impression, he found 
that would not do his Business, but observing a Place 
under the Wing, more easie to be entered, with a 
strong Thrust pierced his Heart : The Lyon, seeing 
his Enemy slain, with show of Reverence, came and 


Warwick Castle -a 

licked Guy's Feet, and fawned upon him, and followed 
him by his Horse's side like a dog, all the time of his 
stay in the Place." 

The next feat was the slaughter of a boar, whose 
head weighed " almost an hundredweight." The 
foreigners were so impressed by these performances 
that they withheld Guy's ' : licences to depart," desiring 
to keep him among them, performing noble exercises. 
He told them of his love, however, and then they 
let him go, with compliments. A five days' voyage 
brought him to England, but not yet to Warwick. 
Before he could get there the King summoned him to 
York, and covered him with flattery. 

" ' If there be anything,' replied Guy, ' that could 
imploy my Arms in any hazardous Enterprise, to make 
me worthy of your Favour, I should be happy.' 'Alas!' 
says the King, ' there is at this time a dreadful Dragon 
inhabiting the Rocks in Northumberland, who for some 
time has devoured Men and Beasts, so that the Country 
round about her Cave for many Miles is become 
desolate.' Guy not at all daunted at the Relation, 
desired leave of the King to encounter the Dragon, 
which he granted him, with many wishes of Success, 
and ordered twelve Knights to Conduct him on his 
Way to the Cave." 

The dragon was dealt with no less successfully 
than the boar, and the King " bestowed many rich 
Presents on Guy, and ordered the just Proportion of 
the Dragon to be drawn, which proved to be Thirty 
Foot in length, and proportionable alike, and hung up 


From a print published in 1791. 

Warwick Castle *- 

in Warwick-Castle, as a Monument, of lasting Fame 
of the Noble Heroick Champion, Sir Guy." 

And so home at last to Warwick, where Earl 
Rohand received the hero cordially, and gave him the 
hand of Phyllis, and made such a feast for the wedding 
as " gave a great deal of Joy and Satisfaction on all 
sides." He died soon afterwards, making Guy his heir, 
" which was further confirmed upon him by the King 
in the Title of Earl of Warwick, by which Title he 
was ranked with other Lords and Peers and in Favour 
with all Men." 

Here once again we seem to have reached the 
proper and natural end of the story, but once more 
we find that it has a sequel. The sequel, indeed, is 
the part of the story that has become most famous. 
Guy was destined to roam abroad once more, but this 
time with a very different object. 

" Ruminating upon past Actions of his Life, and 
the Showers of Blood he had spilt in seeking after 
Honour, it made him extream pensive, insomuch that 
Phyllis taking notice of it, enquired into the Cause, to 
whom he said : ' For thy sake, dear Lady, have I 
wandred through Seas of Blood, and with this Hand 
laid many Thousands sleeping in their silent Graves, 
and spent all the Days of my blooming Youth in seeking 
that empty Title called Honour, therefore 'tis now my 
Resolution, to take a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, to 
visit the Sepulchre of our blessed Saviour, who freely 
parted with his Life for sinful Man's Redemption. I 
will lay by my rich Armour, and cloath myself in a 


-* The Saxon and Norman Earls 

Pilgrim's Weed. Come, my clear and gentle Phyllis, 
give me thy Ring, and take thou mine, which shall 
be a sure Pledge of our lasting Love, and a certain 
Token of my Return when I send it thee again.' He 
had no sooner ended his Discourse, but she burst out 
in Tears so soon to be separated from her Lord, 
begging his stay, which he refusing, with many tender 
expressions of Love to each other, he departed on his 

Of course it was not a pilgrimage without adventure. 
In the course of it Guy fought with one Amarant, a 
cruel giant, and killed him, releasing a great many 
prisoners that were kept by him. Then after "a great 
deal of Hardship and Danger, he trod back those 
many weary Steps he had gone before, and returned 
to England, to spend the remainder of his Days, and 
lay his aged Bones in their own native Soil." 

Even so, however, there was another giant to be 
encountered before he could return to Warwick 
Colbrand, the champion of the Danes, who were besieging 
Winchester, where, as at Warwick, Guy is still honoured 
as the type of a Christian hero. At first the Dane 
despised the aged pilgrim. Then, finding the pilgrim 
more vigorous than he expected, he " offered Guy, if 
he would submit, to promote him in the Danish camp." 
Guy rejected the proposal with indignation, and smote 
the giant on the head " till he fell to the ground 
breathless, while they on the wall set up such a shout 
as echo'd to the Clouds." A sally followed, and the 
siege of Winchester was raised. 

Warwick Castle *- 

But still Guy did not return to Phyllis. He was, 
now, altogether too holy a man for the enjoyment of 
connubial bliss ; and he repaired not to Warwick Castle, 
but to Guy's Cliff, 1 where he lived not as an earl, but 
as a hermit. Let our chapbook give the details : 

" Guy secretly departing from the City, went to a 
large Cave which was cut in the side of a Rock, and 
lived a solitary Life some Years, unknown to Phyllis, 
often going to Warwick Castle in his Pilgrim's Weeds 
to receive an Alms, which he did from his own dear 
Lady's Hands, who freely distributed her Charity, 
enquiring of all Pilgrims if they could give her any 
Intelligence of her Lord, whom she could hear nothing 
of, 'till such time as Guy finding a great decay in 
Nature, and that the Thread of his Life was almost 
spun, being not able to go out of his Cave, seeing a 
Traveller pass by, desired him to deliver the Countess 
of Warwick her own Ring, which was to be the Token 
of his Return, and said he should be rewarded for it 
by her, to whom he was to give Directions where to 
find the Cave. He going to Warwick, did accordingly 
deliver the Ring into her Hand, who was surprized with 
such excess of Joy, that she hardly knew what to say ; 
but giving him a good Reward, cryed, ' Where is my 

1 More presently about Guy's Cliff, the residence of Rons, and the site 
of so much legendary lore. It is situated about a mile and a quarter 
from the town of Warwick, and was described by Leland as being in his 
time " an abode of pleasure, a place meet for the Muses, with its natural 
cavities, its shady woods, its clear and crystal streams, its flowering 
meadows, and caves overgrown with moss, whilst a gentle river murmurs 
amongst the rocks, creating a solitude and quiet, most loved by the 


The Saxon and Norman Earls 

Lord ? ' Then he directed her to the Cave, whither 
she soon went with her Attendance, to bring her Lord 
home : When she came to the Cave, she embraced his 
weak Body, and sent forth abundance of Tears, between 
Joy and Sorrow, while Guy thus expressed himself: 


Now in the Great Hall of Warwick Castle. 

' My dear Lady, I am very well satisfy'd of your chast 
Life and pious Doings since my Departure ; I have, 
since my Return, lived some time here, and have been 
myself Partaker of your Bounties.' 

"'Ah! my Lord,' replyed she, 'how could you be 
VOL. i. 33 D 

\Yanvick Castle <*- 

so unkind for to live so long by me, and not let me 
enjoy the Felicity of your Company ? The want of 
which hath been the greatest Trouble I could have. 

"' Heaven knows,' says Guy, ' I love no earthly thing 
like thyself, but the care of my immortal Soul made 
me despise all earthly Felicities, but willing to see thee 
once more before my Life was spent, I sent the Ring 
according to my Promise, that thou mightest come and 
close my dying Eyes.' So ending his Words, he laid 
his fainting head on Phyllis's trembling Breast, and 
dyed : When she saw his Exit, she tore her rich 
Attire, and her lovely Hair, and beat her fair Breasts 
like one distracted ; and being conveyed home by her 
Servants, with the Body of her Lord, she refused 
any thing that might sustain Life, and soon after dyed. 
The Noise of Guy's Death spreading abroad, the King 
and Queen came to Warwick, to see them nobly Interred, 
much lamenting the Loss of so good a Subject, and 
his vertuous Lady : They caused the Castle to be 
hung in Mourning, and truly all England mourned for 
the Loss of their Champion ; who, with his Lady, 
was Buried with all the Solemnity that could be per- 
formed on such an Occasion ; and a famous Monument 
erected over them, by the most curious Artists and 
Workmen as could be found, and the Trophies of his 
Victories was ordered to be kept in Warwick Castle, 
where some Remains of them are to be seen to this 

Such is our legend, rambling and inchoate, ending 
in a pathos which the monkish middle ages would have 


The Saxon and Norman Earls 

understood and felt, though it is 
thoroughly wrong-headed and ridicu- 
lous, according to our modern notions. 
It is quite impossible to accept it as 
a whole ; but it is difficult to believe 
that it is purely fabrication, or that 
Guy of Warwick was entirely a 
mythical character. I should imagine 
that there was a real Guy, around 
whose name legends belonging to 
other heroes, and even to other 
countries, have clustered in the 
manner familiar to all diligent students 
of mythology. An effort has evidently 
been made to give a Saxon hero to 
certain Norman legends ; and a com- 
parison of the later with the earlier 
versions of the story makes it clear 
that some at least of the episodes 
are accretions. 

The story of the Dun Cow is one 
case in point. This first appears in 
a printed version of the legend about 
1680 ; and the earliest incidental 
reference to it is in Dr. Caius's " De 
rariorum animalium historia libellus," l 

1 Dr. Cains says : " I met with the head of a 
certain huge animal, of which the naked bone, with 

GUY'S SWORD AND t i, e bones supporting the horns, were of enormous 
/eight, and as much as a man could well lift. The 


Now in the Great Hall of 

Warwick Castle. curvature of the bones of the horns is of such a 


Wanvick Castle 

printed in London in 1570. It is also related in a 
play entitled " The Tragical History, Admirable 
Achievements, and various events of Guy, Earl of 
Warwick, a Tragedy acted very frequently with great 
applause, by his late Majesties servants. Written by 
B. J., London. Printed for Thomas Vere and William 
Gilbertson, without Newgate, 1661." The initials 
" B. J." may possibly be those of Ben Jonson, but this 
is doubtful. The allusion to the Cow, which is in the 
first Act, runs thus : 

And now again 

he combats with that huge and monstrous beast, 
called the wild Cow of Dunsmore Heath. . . . 
And by thy hand the wild Cow slaughtered 
that kept such revels upon Dunsmore Heath. . . . 

projection as to point not straight downwards, but obliquely forwards. . . . 
Of this kind I saw another head at Warwick, in the Castle, A.D. 1552, in the 
place where the arms of the great and strong Guy, formerly Earl of Warwick, 
are kept. There is also a vertebra of the neck of the same animal, of such 
great size that its circumference is not less than three Roman feet, seven 
inches and-a-half. I think also that the blade bone, which is to be seen 
hung up in chains from the north gate at Coventry, belongs to the same 
animal ; it has, if I remember right, no portion of the back-bone attached 
to it, and it is three feet one inch and-a-half broad across the lowest part 
and four feet six inches in length. The circumference of the whole is not 
less than eleven feet four inches and-a-half. In the chapel of the great 
Guy, Earl of Warwick, which is situated not more than a mile from the 
town of Warwick (at Guy's Cliff), there is hung up a rib of the same animal, 
as I suppose, the girth of which, in the smallest part, is nine inches, the 
length six feet and-a-half. It is dry, and, on the outer surface, curious, but 
yet weighs nine pounds and-a-half. Some of the common people fancy it 
to be the rib of a wild boar killed by Sir Guy, some the rib of a cow, 
which haunted a ditch near Coventry, and injured many persons. The last 
opinion I judge to come nearer to the truth, since it may perhaps be 
the bone of Bonasus or Urus. It is probable that many animals of this 
kind formerly lived in our England, being of old an island full of woods 
and forests.' Bloxam's " Mediaeval Legends of Warwickshire." 


-* The Saxon and Norman Earls 

Athelstan. Rainborne 'tis true . . . 

the shield-bone of the bore of Callidon 
shall be hang'd up at Coventrie's great gate. 
The rib of the Dun Cow of Dunsmore Heath 
in Warwick Castle for a monument. 
And on his Cave where he hath left his life, 
a stately Hermitage I will erect 
in honour of Sir Guy of Warwick's name. 

With regard to the relics attributed to Guy and 
preserved at Warwick Castle, I fear these must, 
however reluctantly, be given up, at any rate, so far 
as the legendary Guy is concerned, though we will 
retain from sentimental motives his caldron or por- 
ridge pot, fork, and sword. Antiquarians have shown 
that most of the "Guy relics" belong to other periods, 
but, curiously enough, these eminent authorities overlook 
the fact that there have been more than one Guy of 
Warwick, and most of the armour so described belongs 
to Guy de Beauchamp, the famous Earl of Warwick 
who flourished in the reign of Edward III., and whose 
story will be related later. 

We now pass on to our second legend, that of 
Lady Godiva of Coventry. 



Other Saxon Earls Reynbron Wegeatus Ufa Wolgeatus Wygotus 
The Legend of Lady Godiva in Prose and Verse Some very Good 
Reasons for not believing a Word of it. 

THE Legend of Lady Godiva belongs to a some- 
what later date than that of Guy of Warwick. 
It has its place here because Lady Godiva's husband, 
Leofric, Earl of Chester and Coventry, was a brother- 
in-law of the man Rous calls Earl of Warwick. Before 
coming to it, we must trace the history, so far as we 
know it, of the intervening earls. And for that 
purpose, of course, we must go back to Rous. 

First comes Reynbron, or Reinburn, son of Guy 
and Phyllis, who had a romantic history. He was 
" stolen from his master and guider, Sir Harold of 
Ardern, by mariners of Russia, and sold to a heathen 
king, whom Sir Harold sought wide in far lands, and 
after by fighting between Sir Reynbron and Sir 
Harold's son as is plain in the Romance of the said 
Sir Reynbron's life (e.g. the Auchinleck MS., edited 
by J. Zupitza, Early English Text Society) the said 
Sir Harold came to knowledge of them both, and 
brought Sir Reynbron back to England, and was full 
cheerfully received of King Athelstan, and received 
his lands with the King's daughter to his wife," 


Warwick Castle <*- 

Rous believed, though he was not sure, that Reynbron 
died in the course of a journey to the Holy Land, 
and was buried on an island near Venice. 

Next comes Wegeatus, or Wayth, who endowed 
the Abbey of Evesham " with 2 lordships and their 
purtenance in the County of Warwick." The lord- 
ships in question were those of Willysford and Little 
Crafton, "that belongs now to the Hospitallers of 
the Temple of Balsale." The next earl was Ufa, 
commonly called Huve the Humed, and also known 
as Wulfer, whose principal stronghold was at Bury 
Banks, near Stone. He was a special friend to the 
monks of Evesham, and in 974 gave them all Wit- 
laxford (\Vixford) and Little Grafton. He was buried 
in Evesham Abbey about the beginning of the reign 
of Edward the Confessor. 1 He was succeeded by his 
son Wolgeatus, or Wollet, who was also a benefactor 
to Evesham, since when the monks there were put 
out in St. Edward and King Ethelred's days, the 
gifts of his ancestor, Witlaxford and Grafton, came 
back to him for life, and " at his decease they were 
to receive them, with his stuf at that time found in 

"In this Lord's days," says Rous, " the cruel 
Danes burned Warwick, and 2 Abbeys, one of monks 
that stood above Wodlow Hill, and another of black 
nuns that stood in the town at Saint Nicholas (1016 
A.D.). . . . Afore that was Warwick a royal town, and 
never since it might recover the hurt that was then 

1 Register of Evesham Abbey, quoted by Dugdale, " War. Ant." 

The Saxon and Norman Earls 

done." So many people were murdered in various 
parts of Warwickshire that there " are many murder 
stones congealed of sand, gravel, and men's blood. 
This bloodshed was between New Year's Day and the 
Twelth Day. King Ethelred, few years afore, by 
reason of his evil courses slew Wolgeat in England." 

Earl Wolgeat's son, Earl Wygotus, is said to have 
married the sister of Leofric, Earl of Coventry, and 
husband of the Lady Godiva, to whose story we now 

Every one knows the story, at least in outline. It 
has been told by poets and ballad-mongers, as well as 
by the writers of chapbooks, and the compilers of the 
local guidebooks. It has been dramatised for use in 
circuses. I shall take my version from an old account 
of the Origin of the Procession at Coventry Show 
Eair, which professes to be "copied from an ancient 
record." This brief tract runs as follows : 

" The wife of Leofric, Earl of Mercia, with her 
husband, founded a Monastery for an abbot and twenty- 
four Benedictine monks in Coventry in 1043, which 
was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, St. Peter and St. 
Osburg. Leofric, and his Lady, who both died about 
the latter end of the reign of Edward the Confessor, 
were buried in the church of the Abbey they had 
founded. The former seems to have been the first 
lord of Coventry and the latter its greatest bene- 
factress, as will appear from the following extraordinary, 
and indeed romantic tradition, which is not only firmly 
believed at Coventry, but is recorded by many 

4 1 

Warwick Castle <*- 

of our own historians : The Earl had granted the 
convent and city many valuable priveleges [stc], but the 
inhabitants having offended him, he imposed on them 
very heavy taxes, for the great lords to whom the 
Towns belonged under the Anglo-Saxons had that 
privelegc, which cannot be exercised at present by any 
but the House of Commons. The people complained 
grievously of the severity of the taxes, and applied to 
Godiva, the Earl's lady, a woman of great piety and 
virtue, to intercede in their favour. She willingly 
complied with their request, but the Earl remained 
inexorable ; he told his lady, that were she to ride 
naked through the streets of the city, he would remit 
the tax meaning that no persuasion whatever should 
prevail with him, and thinking to silence her by the 
trange proposal ; but she, sensibly touched by the 
distress of the city, generously accepted the terms. She, 
therefore, sent notice to the Magistrates of the town, 
with the strictest orders that all doors and windows 
should be shut, and that no person should attempt to 
look out on pain of death. These precautions being 
taken, the lady rode through the city, covered only 
with her fine flowing locks. 

"While riding in that manner through the streets, 
no one dared to look at her, except a poor taylor, 
who, as a punishment, it is said, for his violating the 
injunction of the noble lady which had been published 
with so pious and benevolent design, was struck blind. 
This taylor has been ever since remembered by the 
name of Peeping Tom, and in memory of the event 


The Saxon and Norman Earls 

his figure is still kept up in a window near to the 
house from whence it is said he gratified his curiosity. 
" The lady having thus discharged her engage- 
ments, the Earl performed his promise, and granted the 

city a charter, by 
which they were 
exempted from all 
taxes. As a proof 
of the truth of this 
circumstance, in a 
window of Trinity 
Church are the 
figures of the Earl 
and his Lady, and 
beneath the follow- 
ing inscription : 

I, Leofric, 1 for the love 
of thee, 

Do set Coventry toll 

"To this day 
the love of Godiva 
is sometimes com- 
memorated on 
Friday in Trinity 
week, when a valiant fair one rides (not literally like 
the good Countess) but in silk or fine linen, closely 
fitted to her limbs. The figure of Peeping Tom is 
also new dressed and painted annually on the occasion. 

1 Luriche, according to Dngdale ; but no trace of figures, or insciiption, remains. 



Warwick Castle <*" 

" Peeping Tom is a very ancient full-length oak 
statue in armour, with a helmet on his head and sandals 
on his feet ; to favour the posture of his leaning out of 
a window, his arms have been cut off at the elbows. 
There is every reason to believe it was originally 
intended either for Mars, the fabulous God of War, 
or some warlike Chieftain. In the reign of Charles II. 
the Show at the Great Fair was instituted." 

So far in sober prose. The tract then breaks 
exuberantly into verse : 

O'er Godiva's great actions Fame echoes the strain ; 

Long, sacred to Freedom, her name shall remain : 

Her patriot zeal gained the glorious decree, 

That hade Tyranny die and our City be free. 

Then blame not the custom which bids us combine, 

In Gratitude's offering at Virtue's fair shrine ; 

But freely contribute your voice to the cause, 

Which gives Worth its just praise to true Greatness applause. 

The legend, indeed, has inspired more and better 
poetry than have most legends. Tennyson's idyll 
on the subject is too well known to be quoted 
here ; but I am tempted to consign to the appendix 
an anonymous ballad on the subject, dating from 
i 780, and to embellish my text with some of the very 
witty stanzas written for the Etonian by Macaulay's 
contemporary and friend at Cambridge, the Rev. John 
Moultrie. They treat of the Peeping Tom incident : 

Godiva passed, but all had disappear'd, 
Each in his dwelling's innermost recess : 
One would have thought all mortal eyes had fear'd 
To gaze upon her dazzling loveliness. 

The Saxon and Norman Earls 

Sudden her palfrey stopp'd, and neigh'd and rear'd, 
And prick'd his ears as if he would express 
That there was something wicked in the wind ; 
Godiva trembled and held fast behind. 

And here I also must remark that this is 
With ladies very frequently the case, 
And beg to hint to all Equestrian Misses 
That horses' backs are not their proper place : 
A woman's forte is music love or kisses, 
Not leaping gates, or galloping a race ; 
I used sometimes to ride with them of yore, 
And always found them an infernal bore. 

The steed grew qujet, and a piercing cry 
Burst on Godiva's ears ; she started, and 
Beheld a man, who, in a window high, 
Shaded his dim eyes with his trembling hand : 
He had been led by curiosity 
To see her pass, and there had ta'en his stand, 
And as he gazed ('tis thus the story's read) 
His eyeballs sunk and shrivell'd in his head. 

I know not, gentles, whether this be true ; 
If so, you'll own the punishment was just. 
Poor wretch ! full dearly had he cause to rue 
His prying temper, or unbridled lust. 
No more could he his daily toil pursue 
He was a tinker but his tools might rust, 
He might dispose of all his stock of metal, 
For ne'er thenceforward could he mend a kettle. 

Alas, poor Peeping Tom ! Godiva kept 

And fed him. Reader, now my tale is told ; 

I need not state how all the peasants wept, 

And laughed, and bless'd their Countess, young and old. 

That night Godiva very soundly slept 

I grieve to add she caught a trifling cold ; 

Leofric's heart was so extremely full 

He roasted for the populace a bull. 


Warwick Castle <- 

There stood an ancient cross at Coventry, 

Pull'd down, of late, by order of the Mayor, 

Because 'twas clear its downfall must be nigh, 

And 'twould be too expensive to repair ; 

It bore two figures carved and you might spy 

Beneath them graved, in letters large and fair, 

" Godiva, Leofric, for love of thee, 

Doth make henceforth fair Coventry toll free." 

The tale's believed by all the population, 
And still a sham Godiva, every year, 
Is carried by the Mayor and Corporation 
In grand procession and the mob get beer. 
Gentles, I've spent my fit of inspiration, 
Which, being over, I must leave you here j 
And for Godiva hope you'll decent think her, 
Laugh at the husband, and forgive the tinker. 

The story, like that of Guy, has encountered a 
good deal of sceptical criticism. Of the existence of 
Godiva, indeed, no doubt exists, since she appears 
(as Godeva) in Domesday Book as one of the great 
landowners in Warwickshire. But the legend itself 
does not rest upon good authority, since none of the 
chroniclers mention it before Roger de Wendover, 
who wrote in the reign of King John. William 
of Malmesbury and Florence of Worcester make no 
mention of it ; but, on the contrary, praise Leofric in 
no measured terms. 

" Earl Leofric," says the latter, writing in the 
early part of the twelfth century, " of blessed memory 
and worthy of all praise, died in a good old age, at 
his own vill of Bromley, on the 2nd of the Kalends 
of September (3ist Aug.), and was buried with great 


* The Saxon and Norman Earls 

state at Coventry. Amongst his other good deeds in 
this life, he and his wife, the noble Countess Gogdiva 
(who was a devout worshipper of God, and one who 
loved the ever-virgin Saint Mary), entirely constructed, 
at their own cost, the monastery there, well endowed 
it with land, and enriched it with ornaments to such 
an extent that no monastery could be then found 
in England possessing so much of gold, silver, jewels, 
and precious stones." 

As for the Peeping Tom story, that Mr. Bloxam 
has demonstrated to be very improbable, if not actually 
impossible. According to the Norman Survey, taken 
nearly thirty years after Earl Leofric's death, there 
were only sixty-nine houses in Coventry ; and " if we 
take the Bayeux tapestry as our guide in delineating 
the habitations of the commonalty, we shall find them 
to be mere wooden hovels of a single story, with a 
door, but no windows" 

If there were no windows, the windows clearly 
cannot have been shut, nor can any Tom have got 
into trouble by peeping out of one of them. Conse- 
quently, we may as well surrender the legend uncon- 
ditionally, and pass on to graver matters. 



Thurkill, the Traitor Earl Why he was not at Hastings How the 
Conqueror favoured him How he changed his Name, and was the 
Ancestor of William Shakespeare. 


TE have now done with the collapsing legends, 
and may tread upon the solid floor of history. 
Facts are at last at our disposal trustworthy, though 
not as yet superabundant. We cannot go into many 
details ; but we are sure of our ground, such as it is. 

The last Earl of Warwick whom we mentioned 
was Wygotus, who is said to have married the sister 
of the Lady Godiva's husband, Leofric, Earl of 
Mercia. A Harleian MS. is our authority for the 
statement that he had by her Alwine, Earl of Warwick, 
slain by the Danes at Stamford Hill, in the first year 
of the reign of Harold, son of Godwin, Earl of 
Wessex ; and that Alwine, in his turn, had a son, 
Thurkill, Earl of Warwick, who married a Countess 
of Perche. About Thurkill (or Turchill, as the name 
is sometimes written) we really know facts, from 
Domesday Book, from Dugdale's " Baronage," and 
from a few other sources. 

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that he was 
present at the consecration of the minster of Assandune 
in 1020; that he was outlawed by King Cnut, 1021, 
but received into favour again, and entrusted with the 


The Saxon and Norman Earls 

government of Denmark in 1023 ; also that he marched 
against the Welsh with " Elfyet and many good men" 
to avenge the death of Edwin, brother of Leofric of 

the Rons Roll. 


Mercia, in 1039. His position in the county is carefully 
fixed by Dugdale. 

"This Turchill," says Dugdale, "resided here in 
Warwick, and had great possessions in this County, 
when William Duke of Normandy invaded England, 

VOL. I. 49 E 

Warwick Castle <*- 

and vanquisht King Harold, and though he were then 
a man of especial note and power yet he did give no 
assistance to Harold in that Battail, as may easily be 
seen from the favour he received at the hands of 
the Conqueror, for by the General Survey begun 
about the 14. of King William's Reign, it appears that 
he then continued possest of vast lands in this Shire, 
and yet whereof was neither the borough, or castle of 
Warwick any part." 

His possessions are enumerated in Domesday Book. 
There are no fewer than seventy entries under his 
name, of which the following may serve as examples : 

" Robert de Olgi holds of Turchil, in Dercelai 
(probably Dosthill), 2 hides in mortgage. The arable 
employs 3 ploughs. There are 7 villeins, with 2 
ploughs, and 2 bondmen. A mill pays 32d., and there 
are 10 acres of meadow. Wood 2 furlongs long, 
and the same broad. It was worth 3cs., now 405. 
Untain held it." 

The reason why Thurkill refrained from opposing 
the Conqueror is clear enough. His relatives, the 
Earls of Mercia, Leofric, and his successors /Elfgar and 
Morkere, had been constantly in arms against Harold, 
whom Mercia generally had never really recognised as 
King of England. Posterity, however, without taking 
account of his reason, has contemptuously styled him 
"the Traitor Earl," and he certainly profited by his 
treachery. Though William later on took some of 
his estates for the endowment of the new Earldom 
of Warwick, Thurkill's son held of the new Earl, 


-*> The Saxon and Norman Earls 

holding by sergeantry in his household, and taking the 
name of de Arden ; and Thurkill himself, as a mark 
of special favour, was allowed to retain his property 
for life, and was even appointed cnstos of the newly 
fortified town of Warwick. 

That is all there is to be said about him, except 
that he has a further claim on our interest through 
the most illustrious of his descendants. Observe : 

" TURCHILL was twice married; by his second wife 
LEVERUNIA, daughter, according to Drummond, of ALGAR, 
son and successor of LEOFRIC, EARL of MERCIA, he 
had a son, OSBERT DE ARDEN, whose daughter and 
heir, AMICE, carried the ancient seat of the Mercian 
kings, called after them Kingsbury, to her husband 
PETER DE BRACEBRIDGE, of Bracebriclge, co. Lincoln, 
and one of their descendants, ALICE BRACEBRIDGE, 
became the wife of Sir JOHN ARDEN, Knight, elder 
brother of THOMAS ARDEN, maternal great-grandfather 

So it is written in " Shakespeareana Genealogica." 
Among the literary associations of the Earldom of 
Warwick which it will be seen, as our narrative pro- 
ceeds, are fairly numerous this, the earliest and most 
glorious, is also, in all probability, the least known. 
Most Earls of Warwick have almost certainly lived 
and died without ever discovering their connection 
with England's greatest poet. 


The Rebuilding of the Castle by William the Conqueror Architectural 
Particulars Henry de Newburgli, the first Norman Earl His Offices 
His Benefactions to Religious Houses His Services to Henry I. His 
Death and Burial. 

CASTLES were of great importance in the early 
Norman period. The Conqueror wisely con- 
solidated his power by assigning them to men whom 
he could trust. The barons held them, and the 
estates attached to them, on condition of rendering 
military service at the royal call. The tenants owed 
an analogous duty to the barons. " Hear, my lord," 
they swore ; "I become liegeman of yours for life 
and limb and earthly regard, and I will keep faith 
and loyalty to you for life and death, God help me." 
A new power in this way arose which ultimately 
became a check to the absolutism of the Crown, and 
even a danger to it, but tor the moment served the 
purpose of the King by nipping Saxon risings in 
the bud. Collectively, the new baronage was as 
strong as had been the old Earldoms of Mercia, 
Wessex, Northumbria, etc., now abolished ; but its 
strength was more scattered and less organised. 

Restrictions, too, unknown to the superseded 
Saxon nobility, were introduced. The sub-tenants, in 
addition to their oaths of allegiance to their lords, 


-*> The Saxon and Norman Earls 

swore direct allegiance to their King. When estates 
devolved upon minors, the profit of them passed 
during their minority to the King. When they 
devolved upon heiresses, a curious custom, which we 
shall meet with in the course of our narrative, pre- 
vailed. The lady's hand was at the King's disposal, 
and he could put her up to auction and sell her 
to the highest bidder. Moreover, there were dues 
to be paid, the assessing of which was the purpose 
of the compilation of Domesday Book. 

Except for the favour shown to the Traitor Earl, 
it was at Warwick as elsewhere. Warwick Castle 
was, in the first instance, not the Earl's Castle, but 
the King's. "William," says Clark, to whom I am 
indebted for so much valuable information, "made it 
to be understood that the chief castles of the realm, 
by whomsoever built, were royal castles ; and their 
actual acquisition was always an important part of the 
policy of both him and his successors so long as 
castles were of consequence." 

It was, in fact, by the King, and not by the 
Earl, that the Castle was restored. "The same King 
William," says our good friend Rous, " enlarged the 
castle, and diked the town, and gated it, and for 
the enlarging of the Castle there were pulled down, 
among other, xxvi houses that were tenancies to 
the houses of the monks of Coventry, as is writ 
plainly in Domesday the Book." 

Rous, however, was no expert in the history of 
fortifications, and would only assume the work to 


\Yanvick Castle <*- 

have been similar to that of his own day, when stone 
was the material used. The Castle was wanted in a 
hurry, and the general rule of the reign was, accord- 
ing to Clark, that "some temporary arrangement was 
made, and the existing works strengthened until it 
was convenient to replace them by others more in 
accordance with the new ideas of strength and 

At what exact dates stone walls were built in 
place of the wooden palisades we do not know. Only 
parts of this, the second, Castle now remain namely, 
the basement of the curtain between Guy's Tower 
and the mota, and on the riverside the basement of 
the undercroft, in both of which are blocked semi- 
circular doors, and in the latter, part of an early newel 

We find, moreover, that, when the keep was 
erected, it was a polygon like that at York/ though 
the portion now standing may be a portion of the 
restoration of Sir Fulke Greville. In other respects the 
enceinte of the Edwardian Castle followed the lines of 
the Saxon burk, consisting of a parallelogram, having 
the mota on the west and in its least defensive line, 

1 "Warwick was one of the greatest, and by far the most famous of the 
midland castles, famous not merely for its early strength and later mag- 
nificence, but for the long line of powerful earls, culminating in the King 
Maker, who possessed it and bore its name. It was founded as a burh 
early in the tenth century, and the keep, said to have resembled Clifford's 
Tower at York, stood upon the mound : both are now removed. The 
castle, as usual, formed part of the enceinte of the town, and the wall 
from the west gate to the castle stood upon an early earth bank " (G. Clark, 
"Med. Mil. Arch.," p. So). 


-* The Saxon and Norman Earls 

the gatehouse and barbican flanked by Caesar's Tower 
on the south-east and Guy's Tower on the north-east, 
both capable of raking the approach to the curtain 
walls, and the former defending the bridge into the town. 

Showing the Archers gallery. 

The safest position, crenelated and loopholed like 
the rest, was chosen as the habitable portion, and the 
living-rooms were built upon a series of vaulted 
undercrofts at a later date. 


Warwick Castle 

That Warwick Castle was at this date, and the 
reign of James I., a royal castle, and that the Royal 
Exchequer was charged with expenses connected with 
it, is further demonstrated by various entries in the 
Pipe Roll. 1 

This is enough, however, for the present, of archi- 
tecture a subject apt to be dull to those who have 
not specialised in it. It is time to leave the Castle 
in order to trace the fortunes of its new Earls. 

Henry de Newburgh, the first Norman Earl, was 
the second son of Roger, Earl of Beaumont. Like 
the Traitor Earl whom he supplanted, he was absent, 
for what reason is not known, from the battle called 
Hastings by the vulgar, and Senlac by the learned. 
Born about 1046, he stood high in the Conqueror's 
favour, and held various offices, though he resided 
principally in Normandy. In 1068, at the age of 
twenty-two, he was made Constable of Warwick Castle, 
and he became Councillor to William I. in 1079, and 
Baron of the Exchequer of Normandy in 1080, and 
was, apparently, created Earl of Warwick by William 
the Red the William Rufus of our school-books 
after 1085. 

Our information about him is but scanty ; but what 
we do know of him is entirely to his credit. He 
was diligent in the founding of religious houses. As 
Dugdale says : " He founded the Priory of the Holy 
Sepulchre in Warwick, and was patron of Preaulx, a 
Norman abbey founded by Humfrey de Verulis, grand- 

1 Vide Appendix. 

The Saxon and Norman Earls 

father of Robert, Earl of Melleux (himself a monk in 
it), and completed by Roger, son of Robert. To the 
abbey Henry, Earl of Warwick, gave the Manor of 
Warmington, and the parent foundation sent over monks 
to found a cell here ; he also confirmed to them the 
adjoining Manor of Arlescote, together with tithes of 
Cherlenton and toftes in Norfolk." 1 He played a 
useful part at a time of civil dissension. Henry I., 
it will be remembered, had trouble with the barons 
on his accession, and appealed to his English subjects 
against them, granting a charter and marrying a 
Saxon princess. Throughout these disturbances Henry 
de Newburgh was on the side of King and people, 
and it was largely owing to his influence that the 
discord was quieted and the King came safely to his 

He married, at an uncertain date, but certainly 
before noo, Margaret, elder daughter of Geoffrey, 
Count of Perche, by Beatrice, daughter of Hildiun, 
fourth Count of Montdidier and Roncy, and had 
three sons, Roger de Newburgh, who succeeded him ; 
Rotrod, who became Bishop of Evreux and Archbishop 
of Rouen ; and Robert, Lord of Newburgh, Seneschal 
and Justice of Normandy. He died on June 2Oth, 
1123, and was buried in the Abbey of Preaulx, near 
Pont Audemer, in Normandy. 

1 Dtigdale, " Antiquities of Warwickshire, " vol. i., 539. 



The House of Nevvburgh continued Roger de Nevvburgh- William de 
New-burgh- Waleran de Nevvburgh Henry de Newburgh Thomas de 
Newburgh Ela, Countess of Warwick Her Second Husband Her 
Benefaction to the University of Oxford. 

ROGER DE NEWBURGH'S tenure of the 
Earldom was contemporaneous with the stormy 
reign of Stephen. His name appears in the list of 
witnesses to the two charters granted by the King to 
his people, at London and Oxford respectively. After- 
wards, when the King broke his pledges, and mis- 
governed the country in various ways, creating new 
barons with pensions on the Exchequer, importing 
Flemish mercenaries, and debasing the coinage to 
provide their pay, he joined the party of the Empress 
Maud. He was present at the siege of Winchester, 
and was taken prisoner, but was afterwards exchanged, 
with the Earl of Gloucester, for Stephen. It is also 
said that he conquered Gower Land, in Wales. 

The times in which he lived were truly terrible. 
Civil war had brought the country to chaos. The 
central authority was set at nought, and every feudal 
lord governed his dependants and harried his enemies 
as he chose. The English Chronicle, quoted by 
Green, draws a lurid picture of their barbarous pro- 
ceedings : 


The Saxon and Norman Earls 

" They hanged up men by their feet and smoked 
them with foul smoke. Some were hanged up by 
their thumbs, others by the head, and burning things 
were hung on to their feet. They put knotted strings 

From the Rons Roll. 


about their head and writhed them till they went into 
the brain. They put men into prisons where adders 
and snakes and toads were crawling, and so they 
tormented them. Some they put into a chest, short 


Warwick Castle <*- 

and narrow and not deep, and that had sharp stones 
within, and forced men therein so that they broke all 
their limbs. In many of the castles were hateful and 
grim things called rachenteges, which two or three 
men had enough to do to carry. It was thus made : 
it was fastened to a beam, and had a sharp iron 
to go about a man's neck and throat, so that 
he might noways sit, or lie, or sleep, but he bore 
all the iron. Many thousands they afflicted with 

To say that Roger de Newburgh was "better 
than his age," when this is what his age was like, 
is not, perhaps, to load him with excessive flattery. 
For what it may be worth, however, he seems to be 
entitled to the compliment. One need not lay stress 
upon his benefactions to religious houses, which were 
many, including the raising of St. Mary's, Warwick, 
to collegiate rank ; for such benefactions, being the 
fashion of the period, prove little. But a chronicle 
of the period " Gesta Regis Stephani " speaks of 
him as " a man of gentle disposition " ; and the town 
of Warwick remembers him as the founder of the 
Hospital of St. Michael in the Saltesford, which he 
endowed with the tithes of Wedgnock (inde Appen- 
dix) and other property, and of the House of the 
Templars, beyond the Bridge, afterwards Temple 
Manor, 1 and now Temple Mount. Moreover, he took 

1 Roger, Earl of Warwick, built the House of the Templars beyond the 
Bridge. William, Earl of Warwick, built a new church for the Templars 
there (Collins, "Peerage," vol. v., 101). 


-+> The Saxon and Norman Earls 

part in a crusade, and was apparently in the great 
expedition of Conrad of Hohenstaufen, Louis VII., 
and Eleanor of Aquitaine, which wrested Lisbon from 
the Moors. 

He died on June I2th, 1153; and a year later 
his Countess, Gundrada, daughter of William, Earl of 
Warrenne and Surrey, to welcome Henry II., turned 
Stephen's soldiers out of the Castle, and delivered it 
to him. 

His son, Earl William, is not very interesting. He 
was, like Earl Roger, a benefactor to religious houses ; 
an honorary brother of Pipewell Abbey ; and although 
Rous records that he " was a whyle hevy to the 
howis of Sepulcris of Warwick," and that the " Patriark 
of Jherusalem wrote to hym a full stiryng letter, 
wheche I have rod, and after he was a good lord 
to hem," yet he founded the Hospital of St. John 
the Baptist in Warwick, and was patron of Whitby 
Abbey, and gave the monks of Combe a hide of 
land in Bilney in confirmation of the grant of 
Thurbert de Bilney, and ratified to the Priory of 
Kenilworth the churches of Loxley, Kenilworth, and 
Brailes. He also took the cross and went to the 
Holy Land, where he died without issue on November 
1 5th, 1184, leaving the succession to his brother, 
Earl Waleran. 

Earl Waleran is hardly more notable. He evidently 
had no taste for soldiering, for he paid scutage 
(<>5 l 3 s - 4-d-) to escape military service in Wales. 
His position in the country is, however, attested by 


Warwick Castle <*- 

the fact that at the coronation of King John he bore 
the right-hand sword. He had his troubles accord- 
ing to Dugdale, " there starting up one who feigned 
himself to be his brother, Earl William "and he 
granted the tithes of Wedgnock to St. Michael's 
Hospital, gave the nuns of Pinley lands in Curdeshale 
(Claverdon), and to the nuns of Wroxall a yardland 
in Brailes. 

He died, December I2th, 1204, leaving by his first 
wife, Margaret, daughter of Humphrey, Lord Bohun, 
a son and heir. He is said to have married secondly 
one Maud, of whom nothing is known ; and, thirdly, 
Alice de Harecurt, to whom he must have been 
warmly attached, since she paid the heavy fine of 
,i,oco and ten palfreys to remain widow as long as 
she pleased. This lady, in the Qth of John, had 
Tanworth assigned to her as dower, with remainder 
to Ela, widow of Earl Thomas. 

Henry de Newburgh, his son and heir, was only 
a boy of twelve when Waleran died. He was given in 
wardship to one Thomas Basset, of Hedinton. During 
his minority (in 1203) King John unlawfully granted 
away from him his lordship of Gower Land, in Wales, 
part of his ancient inheritance, giving it to W 7 illiam 
de Braose ; but at his full age, by writ dated June 
ist, 1213, directed Hugh de Chaucombe, then Sheriff 
of Warwickshire, to pay him the third penny of the 
county, and to deliver him seisin of the Castle of 
Warwick and all his lands. This may account for the 
fact that, in the quarrels that arose between John and 


The Saxon and Norman Earls 

the barons, the Earl was on the King's side, together 
with the Earls of Chester, Warrenne, Pembroke, Salis- 
bury, Ferrers, Arundel, Albemarle, and many others. 
One would rather by far that he had helped to wrest 
the great Charter from his worthless monarch at 
Runnymede. He fought for John's son, Henry III., 
during his minority, in the siege of Mount Sorel Castle 
and the storming of Lincoln, and also later at the 
siege of Biham. 

However, he was not for long a King's man. In 
July, 1227, he was among the peers who sided with 
Richard, Earl of Cornwall, on an occasion of discord 
between him and Henry III. They assembled with 
horses and armed men at Stamford, and threatened 
the King if he did not forthwith repair the injury 
he had done to his brother, and further demanded 
the restitution of the charters of forest liberties which 
by the justiciar's advice he had suddenly cancelled at 

This is decidedly more satisfactory. No doubt, if 
the Earl had lived, we should have found him figuring 
in the agitations which procured the Provisions of 
Oxford. He died, 1 however, on October loth, 1229, 
and on his death his widow, Philippa, gave 100 marks 

1 To his son Waleran he left his manors of Greetham and Cotsmore, 
co. Rutland, but he died before 1263 sine prole, though Rous makes him 
succeed as Earl on the death of John de Plessis (Note in G. E. C, " Com- 
plete Peerage "). His daughter Alice married William Mauduit of Hanslope, 
and received by her father's orders the Manor of Walton Mauduit. Gundred, 
his daughter, was educated by the nuns of Pinley, together with his niece 
Mabel, and the said nuns were to receive 2 marks of silver out of Claverdon 
for their pains. 


Warwick Castle *- 

that she might not be compelled to marry, but live a 
widow as she liked or marry whom she would, so 
that he were a loyal subject. In the same year she 
married Richard Siward, who proved a turbulent 
man, a warlike spirit from his youth, and joined, 
17 Hen. III., in the rebellion against the King, 
which lasted for six years ; but at last, in spite of his 
evil ways, was held in favour. The lady was divorced 
from Richard in 1242, and died four years later, being 
buried at Bicester Priory. 

Thomas de Newburgh, who succeeded Henry, is 
another Earl of no particular importance. He paid 
scutage to be excused attendance in the King's ridiculous 
campaign in Gascony, was knighted at Gloucester in 
1253, anc l bore the third sword at the coronation of 
Eleanor of Provence in 1236, claiming that it was his 
hereditary right to do so. He died on June 26th, 
1242, some time before the outbreak of the great 
baronial war, and was buried at Warwick. 

His Countess was Ela Longespee, daughter of 
William, first Earl of Salisbury. Her first husband 
having died soon after his union with her, she married, 
as his second wife, Sir Phillip Basset, widower, of 
Wycombe, Bucks, the Chief Justiciar of England, 
who, says Dugdale, " being an eminent man in that 
time, was one of the Peers that went to Pope Inno- 
cent the Fourth in An. 1245, 29 Hen. III., then 
sitting in the Council of Lyons, with Letters from the 
rest of the Nobility and Commons of England, repre- 
senting the great oppressions under which this realm 


The Saxon and Norman Earls 

at that time suffered by the Court of Rome, and de- 
siring relief. And afterwards faithfully adhering to the 
said King in that great Rebellion of his Barons, was 
taken prisoner with him in the Battail of Lewes." 
The King, in a charter granting him certain pro- 
perties, styled him, in what I believe is called dog- 
Latin, amicus 
nostcr speciaiis. 

The benefac- 
tions of this 
Countess of 
Warwick were 
numerous and sub- 
stantial. She 
helped the monks 
of Reading, the 
canons of Oseney, 
the nuns of God- 
stow, and the 
Grey Friars of 
London ; and one 

of her charities was of an exceptionally interesting 
character : 

" So great a friend was she to the University of 
Oxford, that she caused a common Chest to be made, 
and put therein Cxx marks, out of which such as 
were poor schollars, might upon security at any time, 
borrow something gratis for supply of their wants. 
In consideration whereof the said University were 
obliged to celebrate certaine solemne Masses every 

VOL. I. 65 r 


\Yar\vick Castle <*- 

year in S. Marie's Church, which Chest was in being 
in K. Ed\v. 4 time, and called by the name of 
Warwick Chest." 

Her association with Oxford continued to the last, 
for it was at Headington that she died on Feb- 
ruary 6th, 1297, beloved by all for her wide charity 
and manv virtues. 




Margaret de Newburgh, Countess in her own Right Her Two Husbands, 
John Marshall and John du Plessis John Mauduit The Last of the 
Norman Earls. 

HPHOMAS DE NEWBURGH left no children. 
.1- His sister Margaret, therefore, the daughter of 
Henry de Newburgh, Earl of Warwick, who was his 
next of kin, may be regarded as Countess in her own 
right from June 26th, 1262. The Earls of the House 
of Newburgh end with her, but the dignity was 
passed on, through her marriages, to other families 
one of them, however, already related in degree of 
cousinship to the Norman house. 

Her first husband was John Marshall, son and 
heir of John Marshall, of Hingham, co. Norfolk, who 
was Earl of Warwick in his right through his marriage 
from June 26th, 1242, until his death four months 
later : he had seisin of Warwick Castle, October 3rd, 
1242, and died childless the same month. Royal 
pressure then induced her to marry again, and Margaret 
was united to John du Plessis, who is first mentioned 
as Earl of Warwick in 1245. 

There are many families named du Plessis in 
France, and it is not certain to which of them John 
du Plessis belonged. According to the " Dictionary 
of National Biography" he was son of Hugh de 


Warwick Castle <*- 

Plessis, whose name occurs as a royal knight, 1222- 
1227, and grandson of John de Plesseto, a witness to 
a charter of King John, 1204. But he may also have 
been youngest brother of Peter Seigneur du Plessis in 
1249, and perhaps son of William, living 1201 and 
1213, ancestors of the great family of du Plessis 

Whatever his origin, however, he was a notable 
man, who might have said, with Napoleon, " Je suis 
ancetre," but for the fact that he died without male 
issue, leaving the succession to a cousin of his wife. 

He was by no means the sort of man to pay 
scutage in lieu of personal service in the wars. On 
the contrary, he served in Wales in 1231, and was 
with Henry III. in Gascony in 1253 and 1254; an d 
on the latter occasion had an unpleasant adventure. 
Louis IX. had given him letters of safe conduct to 
go home through Poitou, and he set off in the 
company of Gilbert de Segrave and \Villiam Mauduit. 
On their way the party were treacherously waylaid, 
seized, and imprisoned by the citizens of the town of 
Pons. Segrave died in prison, and John du Plessis 
was detained until the following year. Henry III., 
says Matthew Paris, the chronicler, " was angry when 
he heard of it, but not so angry as he should have 
been had he had a royal heart ; he did, however, 
write to the Citizens, but they paid no heed to his 
letter." The same chronicler records that the French 
King wrote to the citizens, "but they took no notice 
of his command." 


The Saxon and Norman Earls 


His services to the King, however, were rewarded 
in various ways. In 1227 he was one of four knights 
to whom ^"60 was given for their support. His 
wife, too, was, as we have seen, bestowed upon him 
as a mark of royal favour. On the return from an 
expedition to Poitou, in 1242, he was granted a 

charger worth 
,30 ; and while 
in Gascony he 
was paid ^200 
for his services 
in conducting 
n ego t iat ions 
with Gaston de 

Sundry offices were also given 
to him. He was Warden of Devizes 
Castle and of Chippenham Forest, 
Sheriff of Oxfordshire, Constable of 
the Tower of London, and a Com- 
missioner of Oyer and Terminer for 
the counties of Somerset, Devon, and 
Dorset. He also particularly pleased 
the King by taking the cross in in- 
teresting circumstances, related by Matthew Paris: 

" On the Monday before Hokeday the King 
summoned all the Londoners to come to Westminster 
to hear his will ; and ordered the Bishops of Worcester 
and Chester, and the Abbot of Westminster, to make 
a solemn sermon to the people on the subject of 

6 9 

From the Rons Roll. 


Warwick Castle <*- 

taking up the cross. On account of the extortions 
and deceptions practised by the court of Rome very 
few took the cross, wherefore the King called the 
Londoners a pack of base mercenaries. The King 
himself (whose motives were suspected to have a 
financial origin) swore to take the cross on St. John 
the Baptist's day three years from that date. Among 
the courtiers Richard de Grey and his brother John, 
and John de Plexeto, took the cross, and the King 
ran up to them, and kissed and embraced them, 
calling them his brothers." 

John du Plessis was also one of the royal repre- 
sentatives of the Committee of Twenty-four appointed 
under the Provisions of Oxford, one of the royal 
electors of the Council of Fifteen, and a member of 
that body. He was also one of the barons who, as 
we read in the "Annals of Dunstable," "took the 
King's brothers at Winchester, and took them to the 
sea, making them swear never to return." He died 
on February 25th, 1263, and was buried at Missenden 
Abbey, Buckinghamshire. 

Countess Margaret l had predeceased her second 
husband ; and as he had no children by her, the 
Earldom passed to her first cousin, William de Mauduit, 
a grandson of Waleran, Earl of Warwick, and a great- 
grandson, through his father, of the chamberlain of 

1 " She gave to the poor of the borough of Warwick the comin ground 
that into thys daye is callyd the Cleyputtis. . . . She was special good 
Lady to the Hospital of Seynt Mihels of Warwick, among odre gevyng 
hem fredame these Courtis to holde, aftre the form of the Comun Law" 
(Rons Roll). 


The Saxon and Norman Earls 

Henry I. His name marks the beginning of that 
preference of the constitution of the kingdom to the 

From the Rons Roil. 


prerogative of the King which has been the character- 
istic of so many Earls ot Warwick after him. His 
father had fought against John during the barons' 

7 1 

Warwick Castle *- 

war, when his Castle of Hanslape was taken and 
destroyed by Fawkes de Breaute, and was on the 
same side at Lincoln on May 2Oth, 1217. 

He himself, in the war which the barons waged 
against King Henry III. because he would not 
observe the Charter, took part at first with Simon 
de Montfort. Afterwards he became a backslider, 
and had to pay penalty for his backsliding, as is 
recorded in the Roll of Rous. In 1264, says Rous : 

"He held ever of the King's part, wherefore Sir 
Andrew Gifford by treason took the Castle of War- 
wick," and beat down the wall, and " took with him 
the Earl and the Countess to Kenil worth Castle, and 
ransomed the Earl at xix hundred marks that was 
justly paid : at which time Alice the Countess, play- 
ing at Chess in Kenilworth Castle with Sir Richard 
Roundville, Knight, took i pawn of his ; and at 
the same season he was challenged by his armies 
appointed at the Castle gate ; then rose he and took 
that Knight, and brought him to the lady, and with 
him redeemed or ransomed his pawn. After, by 
appointment, the Castle was yielded up to the King, 
that time being with his great Counsel at Warwick." 
Mauduit died on January 8th, I268, 1 having 

1 " His heart was interred at Catesby Priory, co. Northants, and his body 
in Westminster Abbey. At his death he held the Manor of Berndon, with 
the advowson of the church there and that of Inchiffeham, also land at 
Langedich, the Manor of Chedworth-Horley, the Manor of Warwick, with 
land at Wegenok, and the advowson of the Church of the Blessed Mary 
there, with its eight prebends, and that of the Church of St. James, the 
Manor of Brailes and a market ; also the Manor of Walton Mauduit, 
alienated by the Earl" (Chancery Inq. P. M., 52 Hen. III. 173). 


Front a photograph by L, C. Keighley Peach. 


\Yanvick Castle 

married Alice, daughter of Gilbert de Segrave. He 
left no children, and the Earldom of Warwick con- 
sequently passed to his sister's son, William Beauchamp, 
who was father of Guy de Beauchamp. 

And so we take our leave of the Norman Earls 
of Warwick. There were, as we have seen, both 
great men and ordinary men among them. But I 
tear I have failed to make any of them vital figures. 
The material is so scanty that I have no right to 
try. There is little but the stray references of old 
chroniclers to build upon ; and on that foundation 
nothing very definite or characteristic can be built. 
The great men who stand out clearly in the period we 
have passed through are men like Anselm, Lanfranc, 
Thomas a Becket, and Simon de Montfort. The Earls 
of Warwick of the period do not leave any definite 
impress. The possibilities of picturesqueness in our 
history come later on. 


hi the Collection of Lord Willoughby de Broke. 




The House of Beauchamp William de Beauchamp His Wars in Wales 
Guy de Beauchamp His Enmity to Piers Gaveston The Execution 
of Piers Gaveston on Blacklovv Hill. 

THE Beauchamps " came over with the Con- 
queror," though that is the least of their claims 
to distinction. 

The family took its rise from Walter de Beauchamp, 
or Bellocampo, a Norman who had granted to him 
the estates of Roger de Wygracestra, as also the 
shrievalty of Worcester, which Urso D'Abitot had 
held in the time of William I., whose daughter 
Emeline Walter had married. His son William held 
the office of Dispensator to the King, and his great- 
grandson, William de Beauchamp, married Isabel 
Maucluit, sister and heir of William Mauduit, Earl of 
Warwick, as we have already seen. 

From early times we find the heads of the house 
figuring in the civil wars. William the first named 
played an important part in the wars of Stephen, 
siding with Empress Maud, who granted him the 


Warwick Castle ^ 

city of Worcester, which Stephen had given to Eari 
Waleran. The Empress added to this a grant of 
the shrievalty of the county and its forests, 
which included Malvern Chase, and also restored 
to him the Castle and Honour of Tameworth, and 
the Rutland estates of Bekeford, Weston, and 
Luffenham, and granted him an annuity of 60 per 

Mis grandson changed sides more than once under 
John. Me was first in arms against the King, owing 
to excessive scutage, and again after the signing of the 
Great Charter of Liberties at Runnymede, but made his 
peace, and was absolved by the Legate Gualo. After 
the death of the King he had livery of his Castle of 
Worcester, and was made Sheriff of Worcestershire, 
but subsequently fell into disfavour, probably siding 
with the rebel barons against Henry MI. 

His son, William de Beauchamp, 1 was in the wars 
both in Gascony and Wales. He was, as we have 
seen, the husband of Isabel, daughter of William 
Mauduit, of Hanslape, and the father of the William de 
Beauchamp who became Earl of Warwick. 

This first Earl of the House of Beauchamp, who 
succeeded to the title on January i2th, 1268, and did 

1 "His will, dated morrow of the Epiphany, 1268, bequeathed his 
body to be buried in the Friars Minors of Worcester, and ordered that 
a horse fully armed should be led behind the coffin. He left to Joan, his 
daughter, ' Surcellam Sancti Wolstani ' and a book of Lancelot ; to William, 
his eldest son, the cup and horns of St. Hugh, and many small sums to 
various religious foundations, the largest, x marks, being left to the nuns 
of Cokehill " (Register of Bishop, f. 1 1 d). 


\Yar\vick Castle 

homage- for it on February gth of the same year, was 
one of the guardians of Prince Edward (afterwards 
Edward II.) during his father's absence from the 
kingdom, and one of the sureties for the King that 
he would renew in England the confirmation of the 
charters first made on foreign soil. He was also 
a formidable fighting-man, who distinguished himself 
both in Scotland and in Wales. In the former country 
he retook Dunbur Castle, which had been captured 
by the Scots, and in the latter he performed several 
notable feats of arms. At a place called Meismeidoc, 
Madoc-ap- Llewellyn, Prince of Wales, " fled disgrace- 
fully " before him, leaving slain " 700 of their best 
men, besides those drowned and mortally wounded." 
In Merionethshire he " brought Morgan, a Prince of 
South Wales, in the King's peace " ; and in a battle 
fought after the passage of the Conway he gained a 
victory, thus picturesquely recorded in the " History 
of Walsingham " : 

" The Earl of W r arwick," we there read, " hearing 
that the Welsh were assembled in great numbers in 
a certain plain between two woods, took with him a 
picked band of soldiers, with archers, etc., and sur- 
rounded them in the night. The W T elsh fixed their 
lances in the ground, and tried to protect themselves 
with their shields against the onrushing horsemen. 
But the Earl put one slinger (balistarius} between 
each two horsemen, and thus killing most of those who 
were holding the lances, rushed upon the others with 
the horsemen, and made an incredible slaughter." 


-* The House of Beauchamp 

His rewards were the appointments of Constable 
of Rockingham Castle, and Steward of the Royal 
Trusts between Oxford and Stamford. His death, 
like his life, was picturesque. The account of it is 
given in the " Annales de Wigornia " : 

" Being sore sick, in the absence of all his friends, 
he made his will by the advice of Brother John of 
Olneye ; who persuaded him not to be buried with his 
predecessors in the cathedral church of Worcester, but 
among the Friars Minors ; he died 5 Ides June. 1 
Solemn vigils were kept in the convent of Pershore 
and the church of Worcester. At length the friars, 
with the body of so great a man, like victors with 
their booty, on 10 Kal. July went all round the places 
and streets of the city, and made a spectacle for the 
citizens ; and so they buried him in a place where no one 
was ever yet placed, where in winter time one would 
be rather said to be drowned than buried, and where I 
formerly have seen green herbs (olerd] growing." 

1 His arms are given in the Grimaldi Roll as " De goules croiseleetz dor, 
ove une fees dor." Chancery Inquisition (26 Edw. I. 41) informs us of the 
extent of Warwick Castle and the property appertaining to it at this 
period : 

"Thursday after the Feast of SS. Peter and Paul, 26 Edw. 1. Extent 
of the lands, etc., which Sir William de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, held 
in Warwick on the day he died. A castle, worth 6s. yearly, 240 acres of 
arable land, 88 acres of meadow, a several pasture, 90 free tenants (with 
account of their rents); toll of the market-place; stallage there; farm of 
the bailiffs ; a fishery in the Auene ; the preserve (vivarium) of Pakmor, 
with a small preserve towards Loudesham ; 4 watermills ; pleas and per- 
quisites of the Court and portmote. At Wegenok there are 80 acres of 
arable land, a park containing 20 acres, a small preserve. AU held of 
the King in chief by the services of 5 knights' fees." 


Warwick Castle <*- 

His son Guy, by his wife Maud, widow of Gerard 
de Furnival, of Sheffield, arid daughter of John Fitz 
Geoffrey, of Berkhampstead, who became Earl in 
1298, was an even more prominent man than his 
father, and may be saluted as the first Earl of 
\Yarwick whose deeds, whether we account them good 
or evil, have made his name familiar to every school- 
boy. He was present at Edward I.'s second marriage 
at Canterbury, was commissioner to treat with the 
French ambassadors in 1301, Councillor to Prince 
Edward in 1307, bearer of the third sword at 
Edward I I.'s coronation in 1308, Chief Warden of the 
Castles of Skipton-in-C raven, Appleby, Bonham, and 
Pendragon, and patron of Weston Priory, in Norfolk. 
But his fame rests not upon these things, but upon his 
relations with the King and the King's favourites. 

Edward I., it will be remembered, had assigned 
his son as companion Piers Gaveston, the son of 
an old Gascon servant, but, finding that Gaveston 's 
influence was bad, had, towards the end of his reign, 
banished him from the kingdom. The new King's 
first act was to recall his friend, and make him Earl 
of Cornwall. 

We have been taught to look with contempt upon 
Piers Gaveston. Still, he had certain personal merits. 
"The favourite," says John Richard Green, "was a 
fine soldier, and his lance unhorsed his opponents in 
tourney after tourney." This, as he was a foreigner, 
did not help to make him popular. He increased his 
unpopularity by inducing the King to dismiss old 


^ The House of Beauchamp 

ministers, and to 
set aside claims of 
precedence or in- 
heritance in the 
distribution of 
coronation offices. 
Moreover, he had 
a nimble wit, and 
incurred further 
dislike by bestow- 
ing nicknames on 
the barons. The 
Earl of Lincoln was 
" burst belly," 
Lancaster was "the 
fiddler " or " the 
play actor," Glou- 
cester, his own 
brother-in-law, was 
" whoreson " (filz 
a put eyrie], and Guy , 
Earl of Warwick, 
was " the black 
hound of Ardern." 

The barons, just then, were in no mood to stand 
nonsense from either favourite or King. Edward I., 
who was a strong man, had already found them 
stubborn. When he had issued writs, in imitation of 
the French King, requiring every noble to produce 
his titles to his estates, Earl Warrenne had replied 

VOL. I. 8 1 G 


' .\ow in the A >/>. 

Warwick Castle <*- 

by Hinging his sword upon the commissioners' table. 
" This, sirs," he said, " is my title-deed. By the sword 
my fathers won their lands when they came over with 
the Conqueror, and by my sword I will hold them." 
( )ther barons had refused to follow the King in a 
Flemish expedition. " By God, Sir Earl," he swore to 
Bohun of Hereford, "you shall either go or hang." 
" By Cod, Sir King," was the reply, " I will neither go 
nor hang." 

The son was hardly likely to be a match for the 
men who had thus stood up to his father. Gaveston 
had to be banished ; and the King had to agree, in 1310, 
to the appointment ot Lords Ordainers, who were to 
hold office tor a year, and make ordinances for the 
good of the realm agreeable to the tenor of the 
coronation oath. The Earl of Warwick was one of 
these Lords Ordainers. 

Piers Gaveston had, in the meanwhile, been re- 
called by the King; and, while some of the ordinances 
dealt with such matters as the reform of taxation, 
the proper administration of justice, and the regular 
holding of parliaments, one of them required the 
favourite's banishment, this time for life. Edward II. 
first accepted this ordinance, and then annulled it. 
The barons were enraged, and the Earl of Warwick 
was the most wroth of all. The nickname rankled, 
and he had sworn to be avenged. " Let him call me 
hound," he had said : " one day the hound will bite 
him." And the hour when the hound could bite was 


-+> The House of Beauchamp 

The King went north, and the barons marched 
against him. Let Capgrave's "Chronicle" tell us what 
happened next : 

" When the King had seen that the Lords came 

In the Armoury of Warwick Castle. 

with such strength, he fled unto Tynemouth, and by the 
sea led Peter to the Castle of Scarborough, and there 
left him, commanding the country that they stuff the 
Castle with victuals and with men. Hut short to say, 
the Lords took this man, and he prayed them that he 


Warwick Castle +- 

might speak with the King or he died. They would 
have lodged him in a town close by Warwick, called 
Dodington, but the Earl of Warwick came with 
strength and led him to his Castle. And when they 
were in great doubt what they should do with him, 
whether they should lead him to the King or not, 
a great-wilted man said thus : ' Many days have ye 
hunted and tailed of your game ; now have ye caught 
your prey. If he escape your hands, ye get him not 
li^htl\". Soon was he led out, and his head smote off!" 

lie was not executed in the Castle, however, but 
a mile away, at Blacklow Hill, where the place of his 
death is marked by an inscription. How this came 
about is explained in detail in the Chronicle of Adam 
Murimuth : 

" The King wished Peter de Gaverstone to be 
conveyed to him by Lord Aclomar de Valence, Earl of 
Pembroke, for safety ; and, when they were at Danyn- 
tone next Bannebury, the same earl sent him away in 
the night, and he went near to one place for this 
reason. And on the morrow in the morning came Guy, 
Earl of Warwyk, with a low-born and shouting band, 
and awakened Peter and brought him to his Castle of 
Warwyk ; and, after deliberation with certain elders 
of the kingdom, and chiefly with Thomas, Earl of Lan- 
caster, finally released him from prison to go where he 
would. And when he had set out from the town 
of \\ arwyk even to the place called, somewhat pro- 
phetically, Gaveressich, he came there with many men, 
making a clamor against him with their voices and 


-*> The House of Beauchamp 

horns, as against an enemy of the King and a lawful 
outlaw of the kingdom, or an exile ; and finally be- 
headed him as such xix day of the month of June." 
So the favourite died. His execution, according 


to Holinshed, was " a just reward for so scornefull 
and contemptuous a merchant, as in 'respect of himselfe 
(bicause he was in the prince's favour), esteemed the 
nobles of the land as men of such inferioritie, as that, 
in comparison of him, they deserved no little jot or 
mite of honour." 

Warwick Castle - 

Still )bs. however, in " The Early Plantagenets," 
passes a different moral judgment. The execution 
was, in his view, "a piece of vile personal revenge 
tor insults which any really great man would have 
scorned to avenge." 

However that may be, it would appear that re- 
tribution overtook the Earl. He died a mysterious 
death, and the general opinion was that he was 
poisoned some said by the Despensers, others by a 
mistress of Piers Gaveston. His character is variously 
summed up by the chroniclers. " A most severe 
soldier" is one verdict; "A discreet and cultured 
man " (lionio discretus ct bcnc liicratus\ is another ; but 
I do not know where any evidence of his culture is 
to be found. 

\Ye have a further valuation of the Warwick 
property in a Chancery Inquisition, dated Tuesday 
after the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, in the ninth 
year of King Edward II.'s reign: 

" The easements of the castle with the castle ditch 
(tossato) are worth 6s. 8d. yearly ; a garden without the 
castle and another garden called ' le Wynyerd ' ; three 
carucates of arable land in demesne in several fields 
called 'le Mort,' Me Ryfeld,' ' Berreford,' and in the 
field towards ' le Lee'; there is 85 acres of Lovell's 
land ; 30 acres of fallow land without the park of 
Wegenoc, and lying in common ; the easements of 
Lovell's houses with garden; 6| acres of meadow in 
'le Castelmedewe' ; other meadow land in Mitton 
meadow and ' le lemedew,' the meadow of Berreford, 


-* The House of Beauchamp 

and in Lovell's meadow which is called ' Stochullemede' ; 
there is a several pasture called Pakkemor, with a little 
meadow called Tappingesmede ; 2 ' Hammes ' in the 
fields of Cotis ; 2 ' Lynches ' and two pieces of pasture 
called ' Le Puttes,' which are ' in defense ' for two years 
and in the third year because it lies in the fallow field ; 
a plot of land called Conyngere ; the pasture of Coumbe- 
well ; a park with game called Wegenoc, with under- 
wood and two preserves (vivaria) therein, and one 
preserve next Lodenam ; a fishery in the water of 
Auene ; 4 watermills, which mills were destroyed 
(destructe) by the flood on the Vigil of St. Luke the 
Evangelist this year; toll of the marketplace with 
stallage ; pleas of court ; account of rents. 

" Extent of the Templars' manor of Warwick : 
easements of the houses with gardens ; 160 acres of 
arable land in demesne ; 24 acres of meadow ; a pasture 
in demesne after the corn has been carried and when 
it lies fallow ; one watermill ; pleas of court ; one fallow 
croft ; 34 free tenants. The said Templars used to 
find one chantry in the said manor for the ancestors 
of the Earls of Warwick. The Earl entered the said 
manor by the forfeiture of the Templars ; and it is held 
together with the castle by the service aforesaid." 

CHAPTER II, dr Beauchamp, the Earl of Warwick of Edward III.'s French 
War* His Exploits at Cre.-y, at Poictiers, and at Calais His Death- 
His Arms and Crcst-His Monument in St. Mary's Church, Warwick. 

GUV DE HEAUCHAMP married Alice, widow 
of Thomas Leyburne, daughter of Ralph de 
Toni, and sister of Robert, Lord cle Toni. His son 

Thomas succeeded him at 
two years of age. 

The public appoint- 
ments of Thomas de Beau- 
champ were more numerous 
than those of his father. 
He was by hereditary right 
Pantler 1 of England, 
Sheriff of Worcester, Con- 
stable of Worcester Castle, 
and Chamberlain of the 
Exchequer ; was knighted 
January ist, 1330, ->nd had livery of his lands 
February 2Oth, 1330; and was Guardian of the Peace, 
co. Warwick and Worcester, March 23rd, 133- I 

I ITII EARI. OF WARWICK (1369-1401). 

1 "Pantler: An officer in a great family who has charge of the bread; 
in general, a sen-ant who has charge of the pantry. Thomas Beauchamp, 
Earl of Warwick, to bear the third sword before the King ; and also to 
exercise the Office of 1> antler (Baker, Chronicles, p. 136)." Century Dictionary, 

- The House of Heauchamp 

Captain of the Army against 
the Scots, March 25th, 1337, 
and the day previous Royal 
Commissioner to Parliament ; 
Chief Commissioner to treat 
with the Scots, July 24th, 
1337 ; Chief Commissioner 
of Array in Gloucestershire 
and Worcestershire, Febru- 
ary 1 6th, 1339; Constable 
of the Host in Flanders, 
1339 ; Chief Governor of 
Southampton, July loth, 1339; 
Chief Justice of Over and 
Terminer in the Royal Forests 
of Salcey, Rockingham, and 
Whittlewood, August loth, 
1341 ; Chief Surveyor of the 
East Marches and Com- 
missioner to treat with Scot- 
land, July 1 6th, 1367; and 
Ambassador to Flanders, 
October 2oth to November 5th, 
1367. His position in history, 
however, is determined, not 
by any of these honours, but 
by the fact that he was the 
Karl of Warwick of the 
French wars of Edward III. 
Those wars were really a 

r'/</ /; int of the window in 
} 'ark Cathedral. 


\Yar\vick Castle <*- 

legacy from the two preceding reigns. France had 
taken the part of Scotland in the wars of Edward I., 
and the French fleet had, in consequence, been 
severely handled in a naval battle which the English 
sailors insisted upon fighting in spite of the King's 
endeavours to hold them back. Intermittent hostilities 
followed ; but the real crisis did not come until 
Edward III. put forward his claim to the French 
crown, lie claimed through his mother, Isabella, 
daughter of Philip IV., contending that the nearest 
living male descendant of that king had a better 
title than females who were related to him in as 
near a degree. His first intention was to fight with 
mercenaries and foreign allies. When these failed 
him, he decided to invade with an English army, 
and landed at La Hogue with thirty thousand men. 

The leading events in the campaign the stories 
of the siege of Calais and of the great battles of 
Crecy and Poictiers are familiar to every schoolboy. 
Our concern here is to trace the part played in the 
great military drama by Thomas de Beauchamp, Earl 
of Warwick. 

We first hear of him at the landing. Here, says 
Walsingham, " the Earl of Warwick displayed wonder- 
ful valour, for he left the ship before the others, with 
one esquire and six archers, riding a feeble horse taken 
in the hurry of the moment, and boldly attacked 100 
men, and at one onset, with his said followers, slew 
sixty Normans, and enabled the whole army to land 
without hindrance." 


-* The House of Beauchamp 

From La Hogue the King marched north, in- 
tending to join a Flemish force, gathered at Grave- 
lines. He was pursued ; his army dwindled ; he 
was nearly compelled to surrender. Brought to 
bay, he turned to give battle, at the little village of 
Crecy, in Ponthieu. We all know what happened : 
how the Genoese crossbow-men were helpless be- 
cause a shower of rain had wetted their bow- 
strings ; how the English arrows fell so fast that " it 

seemed as if it 
snowed " ; how 
the King re- 
fused help to 
his son, the 
Black Prince, 
saying, " Let 
the boy win 
his spurs " ; 
how twelve 
knights and 
thirty thousand 
f o o t m e n a 
number equal 
to the whole 
English army 
f e 11; how 
the cry of 
''God has 


fn the A rmoury of Warwick Castle. punished US 


Warwick Castle * 

tor our sins" broke from the chronicler of Saint 
I )(.-nys. 

From the Chronicle of Knighton we gather that 
the Karl of Warwick was in the great charge which 
determined the issue of the day : 

In the first line of Battle was Edward Prince of 
Wales, eldest son of King Edward, the Earl of North- 
ampton, and the Earl of Warwyk, with their men, 
who fought the van of the French, and by divine 
assistance overcame it ; then without any cessation the 
second rank also, in which were two kings and a 
duke. vix. the Kings of Bohemia and Malogria and 
Duke of Loryngia, and many others." 

From another chronicler, Robert de Avesbury, 
we gather that " they took of knights and squires 
great number, and slew 2,000 or more and chased 
them three leagues of the land." 

The way was now open for the march to Calais. 
The King was resolved to capture that town because 
it was a great resort of pirates, It sounds incredible, 
but it seems to be true, that twenty-two privateers 
had sailed from its port in a single year. The siege, 
as we know, lasted for a year. Supplies being intro- 
duced in the course of the operations, the Earl of 
\\ arwick " kept guard on the sea with 80 ships," 
to prevent a repetition of the occurrence, He also 
conducted a dashing guerilla raid when the French 
were mustering to relieve the town. He, "with many 
others," says Knighton, plundered the fair of Tyrwan 
( I erouenne), and there came in many armed men 


The House of Beauchamp 

From a painting in St. Stephens Chapel, Westminster. 

was of value carried 
the King at Calais." 


deputed to 
defend the 
market, viz. 
the Bishop 
of Tyrwan 
with his men 
to the num- 
ber of 10,000 
men at arms, 
whom the 
E n g 1 i s h 
fought and 
slew very 
many. The 
Bishop him- 
self was badly 
wounded and 
scarce es- 
caped with 
his life. 
The Earl of 
with his 
plundered the 
market and 
spoiled it, 
and whatever 
carts and on horseback to 


Warwick Castle *- 

This is not the place to repeat the story of the 
fall of Calais. How six of the burgesses surrendered 
unconditionally on the promise that the garrison and 
people should be spared ; how the King was for 
hanging them, but spared them on the intercession of 
Queen Philippa, these things may be read in any 
manual of history. Thomas de Beauchamp was engaged 
in one military operation in the same year. He " made 
an expedition from the King's army to the vill of 
St. Omer, and lost many men at arms and archers to 
tin; number of 180 men"; and he was also 'captain 
at sea" against the Spaniards in 1350, in the battle 
in which Froissart pictures the King " sitting on deck 
in his jacket ot black velvet, his head covered with a 
black beaver hat which became him well, and calling 
to his minstrels to play to him on the horn, and on 
John Chandos to troll out the songs he had brought 
from Germany," till the Spanish ships came up and 
were destroyed. 

A truce followed ; and then came the campaigns 
in which the Black Prince won fresh glory. Thomas 
de Beauchamp was with him " with 1,000 men of 
arms and 2,000 archers, with a great many Welsh." 
Many ot the incidents of the operations were far from 
creditable to the English name. Loot was the principal 
object of the expeditions up the Garonne and to the 
Loire ; and loot was forthcoming in abundance. " The 
Lnghsh and Gascons," we read, "found the country 
full and gay, the rooms adorned with carpets and 
draperies, the caskets and chests full of fair jewels. 


The House of Beauchamp 

But nothing was safe from these robbers. They, and 
especially the Gascons, who are very greedy, carried 
off everything . . . their horses so laden with spoil 
that they could hardly move." 

It was in the course of the second of these 
predatory ex- 
cursions that 
King John of 
France, with 
an army of sixty 
thousand men, 
barred the path 
of the Black 
Prince and his 
eight thousand 
at Poictiers. 
The odds were 
such that the 
Prince offered 
to surrender all 
his prisoners, 
and to swear 
an oath not to 
fight against 
France again 
for seven years, 
if he were al- 
lowed free re- 
treat. King ^^ ^ BKAUCHAMP, KARL OF WARWICK, AN.. 



Warwick Castle - 

to flight, and the result was as at Crecy, the King 
being captured with two thousand men-at-arms and 
many nobles, and eight thousand of his soldiers left 
dead upon the field. 

Knighton's narrative shows how the Earl of War- 
wick played his part : 

" They were divided into three lines. The Earl of 
Warwyk had the first and opposed that led by the 
two Marshals of France. Xow the van of the French 
began the tight with the Earl of Warwyk, but they 
were rapidly trampled underfoot by the archers. And 
the Marshal Clermont was slain and many others. The 
Earl ot \Var\vyk followed them up flying, and slew 
some and took others prisoners. Whilst thus the King 
ot the French began to join battle. He was overcome. 
The Earl of Warwyk returning from the flight of the 
enemy with his whole army opposed himself to the 
flank of the army of the King of France, and they 
fought desperately, and thus by the grace of God and 
not by human valour the victory was won." 

A second truce of two years' duration followed the 
battle of Poictiers ; and after the truce came the treaty 
ot Hretigny, whereby the English King waived his 
claims on the crown of France and on the Duchy of 
Normandy, but retained Calais, and received recog- 
nition of his right to the Duchy of Aquitaine (including 
Gascony, Guienne, Poitou, and Saintonge), not as a 
fief, but as an integral part of his dominions. 

In 1368, however, war broke out again, and once 
again 1 homas de Beauchamp was to the fore ; and it 


- The House of Beauchamp 

was in the campaign of the following year that he met 
his death, a fighting-man to the last, though he did not 
fall upon the field. 

Walsingham is our reporter. The scene of the 
exploit was Calais : 

" He reproached the Duke of Lancaster with sloth, 
saying he himself was going on, while the English bread 
still lay undigested in his men's stomachs. He then laid 
waste the island of Caws, no one daring to oppose him. 
But on his return to Calais he was suddenly carried off by 
a pestilential disease, leaving behind him no equal in the 
zeal of battle, nor in loyalty to the King and kingdom." 

Evidently he was a great man in the esteem of his 
contemporaries. " A spirited warrior " is Walsingham's 
verdict in another place. He would seem, indeed, to 
have been so taken up with fighting that he let Warwick 
Castle fall into disrepair. A Chancery Inquisition 1 
shortly after his death reports that it is " worth nothing 
beyond reprises," whereas, as we have seen, it had been 
worth " six shillings yearly " in the reign of Edward I. 

His arms 2 are recorded in an Ashmolean MS. 

1 " Monday after Corpus Christi, 2 Hen. IV. The castle and manor of 
Warwick. The castle is worth nothing beyond reprises ; ditto, the site 
of the manor of Warwick; there are there 300 acres of land, 40 acres 
of meadow ; an old park called Weggenok with game ; a several pasture 
called ' Paclemor ' ; a watermill ; a several pasture (sic) in the river 
Auene ; pleas of court, with view of frankpledge. (There is no separate 
extent of the Templars' manor.)" 

3 Arms: " De goul a un fes dor a sis croiseletz les boutz iumelz " 
(MS. Ashm., 153). Crest: out of a coronet a swan's head and neck. 

Arms: " De goul a un fes dor a sis croiseletz les boutes jumelz " (MS. 
Ashm., 153). 

We should now blazon the coat : Gules, a fess or between six crosses- 
crosslet botonee of the second. 

VOL. I. 97 H 

Warwick Castle *- 

He is buried in the choir of St. Mary's, Warwick, 
which he rebuilt. 

In the centre of the chancel of St. Mary's, Warwick, 
is the handsome tomb of its founder and his Countess. 
Their effigies lie on a high tomb, the lady to the right 
of her husband, whose hand she holds. She wears a 
long, close-fitting robe, laced down the bodice, and has 
a long girdle, buckled in front and ornamented with 
the four-leaved flower. Above this is a loose cloak, 
fastened by a brooch on either shoulder. She wears 
the stiff netted head-dress of the period, and her feet 
rest on a bull. Her husband is in bascinet and camail, 
shirt of mail, with jupon over it, bearing the arms of 
Beauchamp. His arms are protected by brassarts, his 
legs with greaves, and the feet covered with pointed 
sollerets. His feet rest on a bear, and on either side 
of the tomb by the head-cushions are seated angels. 
About the sides of the tomb are thirty-six statuettes in 
cusped panels, and below these is a series of plain 
shields, which from Dugdale's figure seem formerly to 
have been tinctured. They represent alternately male 
and female members of the families of Beauchamp and 



Thomas de Be.iucliamp His Hostility to Richard II. His Arrest and 
Imprisonment His Confession of Treachery His subsequent Re- 
pudiation of it His Death Richard de Beanchamp His Feats of 
Chivalry His Tailor's Bill. 

TI I E Thomas tie Beauchamp whose famous deeds 
we have recounted married Katherine, eldest 
daughter of Roger, Earl of March. His eldest son, 
Guy, having predeceased him, another Thomas de 
Beauchamp, 1 his second son, succeeded to the title 
and estates. 

He was only a moderately famous Earl, and 
perhaps one had better add, only a moderately satis- 
factory one. His renown is over-shadowed by his 
son's, no less than by his father's ; though his titles, 
distinctions, and public offices and employments were 
numerous enough. He was Earl of Warwick, Baron 
Beauchamp of Elmley and Hanslape, Lord of Castle 
Barnard and Kirtling, and by hereditary right Pantler 
of England, Chamberlain of the Exchequer, Sheriff of 
the County of Worcester, Constable of Worcester Castle, 
and also Patron of Warwick Priory and Patron of 
Llangeneth Priory ; Joint Ambassador to Scotland, 
13/6 ; Honorary Brother of St. Albans Abbey, 

1 His badges were: a bear (J. Govver, "Pol. Poems," i. 419); a ragged 
staff (tomb); crest as his father's; supporters, two bears. 

-* The House of Beauchamp 

January 22nd, 1377; Bearer of the Third Sword, 
Coronation of King Richard II., July i6th, 1377; 
Admiral of the North, December 5th, 1377, to Novem- 
ber 5th, 13/8 ; Joint Commissioner to supervise the 
Administration and Revenue at Home and Abroad, 
March 2nd, 1380; Tutor to King Richard II. about 
February, 1380-81 ; Joint Guardian of the Truce with 
Scotland, September 6th, 1380; Captain to oppose 
Rebels in the County of Northants, July 3rd, 1381 ; 
Captain to oppose Rebels in the Counties of Warwick 
and Worcester, July 5th, 1381 ; and a member of the 
Privy Council, 1386. But he does not seem to have 
been a man of any striking or impressive individuality. 

He was with John of Gaunt in the fruitless French 
campaign of 1373, and afterwards in the descent on 
Brittany ; but the interesting events of his life took 
place in the reign of the unfortunate Richard II. 

In 1380 he "was elected by common consent to 
remain continuously with the King, receiving yearly 
a certain sum of money for his pains, as was fitting, 
out of the royal treasure " ; and he led the largest 
contingent in the field (600 archers and 280 men-at- 
arms) in the Scotch campaign of 1385. In 1387, 
however, when the King tried to shake off his 
guardians, saying, " I have been longer under guardian- 
ship than any ward of my realm : I thank you for your 
past services, my lords, but I need them no longer," he 
joined the opposition, and, with the Duke of Gloucester 
and the Earl of Arundel, marched on London. 

The King tried to ambush his opponents on their 

Warwick Castle *- 

way, but failed ; and they came to Westminster, and 
were given audience in Westminster Hall, while their 
armed followers stood outside the door. Richard, with 
cunning and ulterior motives, repaired to the Tower of 
London, and invited them to enter and have a second 


audience with him there. But they saw through the 
trick. The Tower was not, they replied, a safe place 
for them ; but they would like a word with the King 
outside. The account of the subsequent proceedings 
may be taken from the " Eulogium Historiarum " : 

11 I he King sent for the mayor, and commanded 
him to call the city to arms. The mayor refused, 


The House of Beauchamp 

saying the King's lieges were also friends of the 
kingdom. The King then sent the Duke of Ireland 
to gather forces at Chester, etc. The earls, with 
increased forces, having been joined by the Earl of 
Derby and the Earl of Nottingham, met the Duke 


coming up with the King's standard flying, near 
Oxford. The Duke refused to fight, and fled with 
his confessor to Sheppey, and thence to Germany ; 
his troops returned disgracefully, the strings of their 
bows cut, and beaten with their own arrows. And 
the said five lords took and killed a number of rebels 
at Rotcotbrigge." 


Warwick Castle <+- 

For the time being they triumphed, and Richard 
was obliged to accept them as his advisers. But the 
triumph was short-lived. In 1389 there was a coup 
d'etat. The King dismissed his new counsellors and 
pulled in others that pleased better his use." Thomas 
de Beauchamp seems, as the vulgar say, to have 
taken it lying down." He withdrew to Warwick 
Castle, and lived in retirement there, occupying 
himself with the building of the nave of St. Mary's 

The King awaited his opportunity for vengeance, 
which came in 1397. The Earl of Warwick had 
quarrelled with the Earl ot Nottingham, who, by writ 
of error, had ousted him from the lands of Gower. 
Nottingham then denounced him for complicity in a 
conspiracy, the details of which are very obscure ; 
and King Richard played him a treacherous trick, 
which succeeded better than the similar trick essayed 
on the occasion of the previous rising. "He made 
a great feast," say the annals of his reign, " for 
the Earls of Arundel and Warwick arid the Duke 
ot Gloucester. Warwick was the only one who came. 
The King took his hand, and promised to be his 
good lord, bidding him not grieve for the lost lands 
of Gower ; he would provide him with lands of the 
same value. But when the banquet was ended, he 
had the earl arrested." 

He was committed to the Tower where the name 
ot Beauchamp's Tower preserves the memory of his 
imprisonment and brought to trial for high treason. 

I O-J 

-*> The House of Beauchamp 

On his trial he seems to have lost his nerve, for he 
pleaded guilty confessa toute la trahison and threw 
himself on the King's mercy. His sentence was the 
forfeiture of his estates, and perpetual banishment 
to the Isle of Man. It is said that he was "in- 
humanely treated by the servants of William Scrop, 
to whom that Island belonged." One of his grievances 
was that he was not given enough to eat. He was 
brought back and recommitted to the Tower, whence 
he was liberated on the triumph of Henry IV. 

His last public appearance is not greatly to his 
credit. He did not wish to go down to posterity 
branded as a traitor. Wherefore " he endeavoured to 
excuse his former admission of treason, in parliament, 
and blushing with shame, rose and stood in public, 
and asked the King that that record might be cor- 
rected, swearing that he had never uttered such words 
with his lips ; but that there was a certain man that 
would have counselled him to confess thus, and he 
had refused to follow the advice." 

The peers, however, had longer memories than he 
gave them credit for. Henry himself silenced the Earl, 
and, " unwilling to further dissimulate the testimony of 
such manifest truth, ordered that no more should be 
said on the subject." 

It is said that Thomas de Beauchamp urged 
Henry to put Richard II. to death. That is as it 
may be ; there is nothing improbable in the sugges- 
tion. But he retired immediately afterwards into 
private life (though he fought for Henry against 

\Yar\vick Castle 

the rebel lords in January, 1400), and died on April 8th, 
1401, at Warwick, where he was buried. 1 

His wife was Margaret, daughter of William, Lord 
Ferrers of Groby, by his first wife, Margaret, daughter 
of Robert U fiord, Earl of Suffolk. His son Richard, 
who succeeded to the Earldom at the age of twenty, 
may be welcomed to our pages as the greatest of all 
tin: Beauchamps. He was not only, like his grand- 
father, a great soldier, but also the flower of courtesy, 
and, as we shall see, a patron of art and letters. He 
was Earl in the reigns of Henry IV., Henry V., and 
Henry VI. 

Henry IV. had succeeded to the throne with the 
support of the Church and the baronage. The under- 

1 His monument, figured by Dngdale as an altar-tomb with its mensa 
inlaid with effigies of the Earl and Countess, beneath a double canopy 
with a marginal inscription, v\as destroyed in the great Warwick fire in 
1694, and only the effigies are left. These are affixed to the wall of the 
south transept of St. Mary's Church, and represent the Earl in much- 
enriched armour, with a pointed bascinet, edged with ragged staves, and 
necklace or camail of mail, ornamented along the lower edge with short 
pendants of mail. His hands are clasped in prayer, and he wears a jupon 
of his arms a less between three crosslets botonee. His feet rest on a 
chained bear ; the mail shirt shows beneath the jupon, and is ornamented 
as in the camail. The sword-sheath is delicately damascened. The lady 
wears a frilled head-dress, and has long, curling hair ; she wears a long 
under-mantle with her arms, a cross of mascles, and over it a cloak, with 
those of her husband ; in the folds of her dress is a small pet dog. The 
ancient inscription ran: "Hie jacent dominus Thomas de Bellocampo 
quondam Comes Warwici qui obiit octavo die mensis Aprilis Anno 
Domini Millesimo cccc primo et Domina Margareta uxor ejus quondam 
Comitissa Warwici qua; obiit xxii mensis Januarii Anno Domini Millesimo 
crcc sexto quorum animabus propicietur deus amen." Above the tomb 
was a canopy with cusped arch, ornamental spandrels, and crested cornice 
with coats of arms. The modern inscription is in accordance with the 
bad taste of the time that of William III. 



From their effigies in St. Mary's CAvrJ,, H ..*. 

\Yar\vick Castle <+- 

standing with the Church was that he would persecute 
the- Lollards ; the understanding with the barons, that 
he would go to war with France. Though Scrope, 
Archbishop of York, had, as Bishop of Lichfield, been 
one of his sponsors, Richard de Beauchamp does not 
seem to have played any active part in the execution 
of the former policy. At first he was kept busy fighting 
the Welsh, from whom, in 1403, he captured the banner 
of Owen Glendower ; but his early years were mainly 
consecrated to the doughty deeds of chivalry. At the 
coronation of Queen Jane he kept jousts on her part 
against all comers ; and that was only the first of a long 
series of remarkable exploits in this department of human 
endeavour, esteemed so highly in the Middle Ages. 

Richard de Beauchamp, at this period of his life, 
may be pictured as the mediaeval analogue of Guy of 
Warwick. Adventure was as necessary to him as food 
and air ; and when his own country failed to furnish 
suitable occasions of adventure, he went abroad to 
seek them. His Wander-jahre were from 1408 to 
1410; and he divided his time between the devotional 
exercises proper to a pilgrimage and those feats of 
arms that formed the fashionable recreation of the 
period. Dugdale's account of his progress suggests 
a tour of the Harlequins, or Will-o'-the-wisps, or other 
amateur cricketers. 

" Entering Lumbardy," we read, " he was met by 

another Herald from Sir Pandulph Malacet or Malet, 

with a challenge to perform certain feats of Arms 

with him at Verona, upon a day assigned for the 


-* The House of Beauchamp 

Order of the Garter ; and in the presence of Sir 
Galeot of Mantua ; whereunto he gave his assent. 
And as soon as he had performed his pilgrimage at 
Rome, returned to Verona, where he and his Chalenger 

Frain Rons' s " History of Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick" (Cotton MS.). 

were first to joust, next to fight with Axes, afterwards 
with Arming Swords, and lastly, with sharp Daggers. 
At the day and place assigned for which exercises, 
came great resort of people, Sir Pandulph entring 
the Lists with nine Spears born before him : But the 


Warwick Castle * 

Act of Spears being ended, they fell to it with Axes ; 
in which encounter Sir Panclulph received a sore wound 
on the Shoulder, and had been utterly slain, but that 
Sir Galeot cried Peace." 

From Verona Richard de Beauchamp went to 
Venice, and thence to Jerusalem, where he had an 
interesting experience. While he was there, " a Noble 
Person, called Baltredam, (the Soldans Lieutenant) 
hearing that he was descended from the famous Sir 
Guy of Warwick, whose Story they had in Books of 
their own Language, invited him to his Palace ; and 
royally feasting him, presented him with three Precious 
Stones of great value ; besides divers Cloaths of Silk 
and Gold, given to his servants." He came back by 
way of " Russia, Lithuania, Poland, Prussia, Westphalia, 
and some Countreys of Germany ; shewing great valor 
in divers Tourneaments, whitest he was in those parts"; 
and on his return to England " was by Indenture, 
dated 2 Octob. 12 H. 4. retained with Henry, Prince 
of Wales, (afterwards King, by the name of Henry 
the Fifth) to serve him as well in times of Peace as 
War ; both in this Realm, upon, and beyond the Seas, 
for Two hundred and fifty marks per annum, to be 
paid out of the Prince's Exchequer at Caermarthen, 
at Easter and Michael mass, by even portions." 

His first service was at Calais, where he was made 
Captain of the Town. A French attack was anticipated ; 
but when the danger passed, Richard de Beauchamp 
"resolved to put in practice some new point of chevalry." 
So he " came into the Field with his Face covered, a 

-* The House of Beauchamp 

Plume of Ostrich Feathers upon his Helm, and his 
Horse trapped with the Lord Toney's Arms (one of 
his Ancestors,) viz. Argent a Manch Gules : Where 

Front Rmis's " History of Richard Beauchamp, Eat! of Warwick " (Cation MS.). 

first encountering with the Chevalier Rouge, at the 
third Course he unhorsed him, and so returned with 
close Vizor, unknown, to his Pavilion ; whence he 
sent to that Knight a good Courser. 


Warwick Castle *- 

" The next day he came into the Field with his 
Vixor close, a Chaplet on his Helm, and a Plume of 
Ostrich Feathers aloft, his Horse trapped with the 
Arms of Hanslap, viz. Silver two bars Gules, where he 
met with the Blank Knight, with whom he encountred, 
smote; off his Vizor thrice, broke his Besagurs, and other 
Harneys, and returned victoriously to his Pavilion, with 
all his own Habiliments safe, and as yet not known 
to any ; from whence he sent this Blank Knight, Sir 
Hugh Launey, a good Courser. 

" But the morrow after, viz. the last day of the 
justs, he came with his Face open, and his Helmet as 
the day before, save that the Chaplet was rich with 
Pearl and Precious Stones ; and in his Coat of Arms, 
of Guy and Beauchamp, quarterly ; having the Arms of 
Toney and Hanslap on his Trappers ; and said, That 
as he had in his own person performed the service 
the two days before, so with God's grace he would the 
third. Whereupon encountring with Sir Collard Fines, 
at every stroke he bore him backward to his Horse ; 
insomuch, as the Frenchmen saying, That he himself 
was bound to his Saddle ; he alighted and presently 
got up again. But all being ended, he returned to 
his Pavilion, sent to Sir Collard Fines a fair Courser, 
feasted all the people, gave to those three Knights 
great rewards, and so rode to Calais with great honor." 

At Constance, again, where he went as ambassador 
to the Council, he " was challenged by and slew a 
great Duke, whereon the Empress set his badge on 
her own shoulder, which he hearing of, had one made 

-+> The House of Beauchamp 


(He fs holding his ward, the infant King 
Henry FA, on his arm.) 

the Rons Roll. 

of Pearls, etc., which she received. The Emperor 
gave him his sword to bear, and offered him the 
Heart of" St. George to bear to England, but he 
persuaded the Emperor to bring it himself, what 
he did, and offered it at Windsor, when he was made 
K.G." The German Emperor's verdict on him was : 
" That no Christian Prince hath such another Knight 
for Wisdom, Nurture and Manhood, that if all courtesie 
were lost, yet it might be found again in him." 

So he came to be known as " the Prince of 
Courtesie." An interesting memorial of his life and 
times is furnished by his tailor's bill, which has been 
preserved. I give it textually : 
VOL. i. 113 i 

\Yarwick Castle ^ 

These be the parcels that William Seyburgh, Citizen 
and Painter of London, hath delivered in the Moneth 
of July, the Fifteenth year of the Reign of King Henry 
the Sixth, to John Ray, Tailor, of the same City ; for the 
use and stuff of my Lord of Warwick. 

Item, Four hundred Pencils beat with the Ragged- 
staff of Silver, price the peece five pence = 8 6 o 

Item, for the Painting of two Pavys for my Lord, 
the one with a Griffin, standing on my Lords colours, 
Red, White and Russet, price of the Pavys 6 s 8 d 

Item, For the other Pavys Painted with Black and 
a RaggedstafF beat with Silver occupying all the Field, 
price 3 s 4 d 

Item, One Coat for my Lords Body, beat with fine 
Gold i 10 o 

Item, Two Coats for Heralds, beat with Demmy 
Gold : price the piece 20 - = ,2 o o 

Item, Pour Banners for Trumpets, beat with Demmy 
Gold, price the peece 13* 4 d 

Item, Four Spear-Shafts of Red, Price the peece 
i - = 4 s o d 

Item, One great Burdon, Painted with Red I s 2 d 

Item, Another Burdon, written with my Lords 
colours, Red, White, and Russet 2 s o d 

Item, For a Great Streamer of a Ship of forty yards 
in length and eight yards in breadth, with a great Bear 
and Griffin, holding a RaggedstafF, poudred full of 
Raggedstaffs and for a great Cross of St. George, for 
the Limming and Portraying .168 

Item, a Gyton for the Ship of eight yards long, 

The House of Beauchamp 

Drawn l>y S. Harding front a print in tlic British Museum, 1793. 


powdered full of Raggedstaffs, for the Limming and 
Workmanship \ 2 o 

\Yar\vick Castle <*- 

Item, For eighteen great Standards entertailed with 
the Raggedstaff, price the peece 8 d = i 2 s o d 

Item, Eighteen Standards of Worsted, entertailed 
with the Hear and a Chain, price the peece i/- = i8 s o d 

Item, Sixteen other Standards of Worsted, entertailed 
with the Raggedstaff price the peece i - = 5 s 4 d 

Item, Three Penons of Satten, entertailed with 
Kaggedstaffs, price the peece 2 - = 6 s o d 

Item, for the Coat- Armor, beat for George, by the 
Commandment of my Lord 6 s 8 d 

So much for Richard de Beauchamp's feats of 
chivalry. His feats ot arms ma}' be related in another 



Richard de Beauchamp in the French War The Towns he took His 
Advice to Poet Lydgate Guardian of Henry VI. The Ousting of 
the English from France Richard de Beauchamp's Part in the Re- 
sistance His Death in Normandy. 

IT has been mentioned that Richard de Beauchamp 
fought in Wales and captured the banner of 
Owen Glendower. He was also instrumental in 
putting down an insurrection in Shropshire. But his 
chief military exploits were in the long war which 
Henry V. waged against the French. 

It was a thoroughly unjust and iniquitous war. 
Henry's claim to the French throne differed from that 
of Edward III. in that no possible quibble could 
make it appear valid. If any Englishman had a good 
title, the claims of the House of Mortimer were ob- 
viously prior to those of the House of Lancaster. But 
English King and English barons were alike "spoil- 
ing for a fight," and French internal dissensions offered 
a fair prospect of success. So the campaign began, 
of which the best-known landmarks are the battle of 
Agincourt and the Peace of Troyes. 

Richard de Beauchamp does not seem to have 
been present at the battle of Agincourt ; but, after 
Agincourt, his name is of constant occurrence in the 
chronicles. At Calais he "received with due rever- 


Warwick Castle <*- 

ence " the Emperor 
Sigismund. He was 
sent in 1416 prazstctn- 
tissimus vir Comes 
V arvicensis he is 
ca 1 1 e d t o relieve 
Harfleur. At the siege 
of Caen " the Earl 
of Warwick and Sir 
John Gray were on 

THE M-:rO.\D SEAL OF RICHARD DE the King's right 

liEAL'CHAMl 1 , EARL OF WARWICK. i i )> TT 1 

hand. He captured 

Caudebec, and Mont Saint Michel, and Domfront, 
and Melun. He was sent on an embassy to the 
Duke of Burgundy, and treacherously ambuscaded 
by the way. He marched to the relief of Cosne, 
which the Dauphin was beleaguering. He was made 
Captain of Beauvais ; and he was at the siege of 

This, though it is hardly so much as mentioned 
in the school-books, was one of the most memorable 
sieges in history. It lasted for six months. The 
garrison, in order that they might resist the longer, 
turned twelve thousand of the country folk who had 
taken refuge with them outside the walls to starve. 
It was no part of the policy of Henry V. to feed 
them. " War," he said, " has three handmaidens 
ever waiting on her, Fire, Blood, and Famine, and 
I have chosen the meekest maid of the three." So 
he held the city in his iron grip until the hard 


-* The House of Beauchamp 

terms which he offered which included the execution 
of the commander, Alan Blanchard were accepted. 

From a print published 


Then it was Richard de Beauchamp who received the 


Warwick Castle <*- 

We meet him once again at the time of the Peace 
of Troves, whereby Henry received the hand of 
Katharine, and was recognised as the French heir- 
apparent. It was at his instance that Lydgate, the 
poet, wrote his metrical account of the English claims 
to the French throne. The fact is set forth in the 
poem : 

I moved was shortly in sentement 

]>y precept first and comruaundement 

Of the nobly prince and manly man, 

Which is so knyghtly and so moche can, 

My lord of Warrewyk, so prudent and wise, 

Being present that tyme at Parys, 

Whanne he was then repairede agein 

From seint Juliane of Mauns, out of Mayne, 

Resorted home, as folks telle conne, 

From the castelle that he had wonne 

Thurgh his knyghthode and his hy noblesse, 

And thurgh his wysdom and his hy prowesse. 

Of which my lorde that I spake of byforne, 

My lord of Warrewyk, ful worth! of renoun, 

Of high prudence and discrecioun, 

Touching the writyng of this Calot clerk, 

Draw into Frenssh by his besy werk, 

Oaf me precept in conclusioun 

To make thereof a playne translacioun 

In Englissh tong, and bade me hit translate. 

So stout a soldier could hardly have failed to be 
the valued and trusted friend of such a king as 
Henry Y . The King, in fact, visited him at Warwick, 
and went to see Guy's Cliff, " whether out of respect 
to the memory of the famous Guy or to its situation " 
Dugdale cannot say, and "did determine to have 

-* The House of Beauchamp 

formed a chantry 1 here for 2 Priests, had he not been 
by death prevented." On his death-bed, moreover, he 
sent for Richard de Beauchamp, and gave his young 
son into his care. "It is my wish, fair cousin of 
Warwick," he said, " that you be his master. Be 
very gentle with him and guide him and instruct in 
the condition of life to which he belongs. For I 
could make no better provision for him." 

So Richard de Beauchamp began the new reign 
with the boy King for his ward, though the formal 
title of Tutor and Governor was not conferred upon 

1 This was subsequently done by Richard de Beauchamp, as is re- 
corded in Dugdale's "Antiquities of Warwickshire": "After which the 
before specified Ric. Beauchamp, E. of Warw. bearing a great devotion 
to the place, whereupon then stood nothing but a small Chapel, and a 
Cottage in which the Heremite dwelt, in i. H. 6. obtained license to do 
the like, sc. for 2. Priests, which should sing Mass, in the Chapel there 
daily, for the good estate of him the said Earl and his wife, during their 
lives ; and afterwards for the health of their souls, and the souls of all 
their parents, friends, with all the faithfull deceased. Of which Chantry 
Will. Berkswell (afterwards Dean of the Collegia! Church in Warw.) and 
one John Berington, were the first Priests; for whose maintenance, and 
their successors, the said E. in 9. H. 6. had license to grant the mannour 
of Ashorne in this County, with one mess, one carucat of land, and 
Cxvii s. x d. ob. yearly rent lying in Whitnash and Wellesburne. And 
because he thought not that enough, by his last W T ill and Testament he 
ordained, that in all hast alter his decease, the remnant of what he had 
designed for his Chantry Priests there, should by his Executors be de- 
livered, and made sure to them : and that the Chapel there, with the 
other buildings, should be new built, as he the said Earl had devised, for 
the vvholsom and convenient dwelling of those Priests. The costs of all 
which, with the consecration of the two Altars therein, as appearcth by 
the accounts of the said Executors, from the 28. to the 37. H. 6. amounted 
unto Clxxxivl. vd. ob. Then did Earl Richard, in memory of the warlike 
Guy, erect that large Statue, there yet to be seen on the south side 
within that Chapel, the Figure whereof I have here exprest : and having 
raised a roof over the adjacent Springs, walled them with stone." 


Warwick Castle *- 

him until the year 1428. We find him, at this period, 
holding various offices both at home and abroad. He 
was appointed Captain and Lieut.-General " for the 


From Rous's "History of Richard Beawhamp, Earl of Warwick" (Cotton MS.). 

Field " in Normandy, Anjou, Maine, and the Marches 
of Bretagne, March I4th, 1426 ; Joint Guardian of 
the Truce with Scotland, May 26th, 1426 ; Captain 
of the Town and Marches of Meaux-en-Brie, 

-* The House of Beauchamp 

November ist, 1430; Ranger of Wichwood Forest, 
November 2ist, 1433; Joint Commissioner to treat 
with France, April ;th, 1437; Constable of Bristol, 
and Warden of the Forests of Kingswood and Fil- 
wood and the Forest and Park of Gillingham, 
July nth, 1437; Lieut.-General and Governor of 
France and Normandy, July i6th, 1437. 

He bore Henry VI. to church for his coronation, 
and a ballad written on that occasion shows the 
esteem in which he was held 

Six erles in their estate shewed them alle ; 
And the 5 poortis beryng up the palle. 
Gracious VVerwik, God hym contynue, 
Beryng up his trayne in peece and vue. 

But the times were evil, and Richard de Beau- 
champ's later years can hardly have been happy. 
Internal disorders were paving the way for the inter- 
necine strife of the Wars of the Roses. Parliament 
was degenerating into a bear-garden. The nominees 
and retainers of the rival barons actually came to 
blows there. One Parliament that of 1426 has 
gone down to history as the Parliament of Bats or 
Bludgeons, because, when the carrying of arms was 
forbidden, the representatives of the people came to 
legislate with cudgels in their hands. When the 
cudgels were prohibited, they brought stones and 
lumps of lead, concealed in the folds of their garments. 
Such sights and such stories must surely have 
saddened a knight so chivalrous as Richard de 


\Yanvick Castle *- 

Beauchamp. But the great sorrow of his declining 
life must have been the turning of the tide in the 
great Hundred Years' War with France. 

Many causes combined to make the unfortunate 
issue of that war inevitable. It was, as we have seen, 
a most unrighteous war. The people of England 
had no particular interest in it. Few of them fought 
in it ; the rest paid taxes to support foreign merce- 
naries. Those who did fight the barons and their 
retainers fought, not for patriotism, but for plunder. 
When they won victories, they were less anxious to 
follow them up than to get their plunder safely home, 
and place their captives in security, so that they might 
be held to ransom. In such a war, when once the 
strong personality and brilliant generalship of Henry V. 
was removed, the debacle could only be a question 
of time. 

It did not come at once. The Duke of Bedford, 
who succeeded to the command, was hardly less com- 
petent a soldier, and hardly less adroit a diplomatist, 
than King Henry himself. His victory at Verneuil 
was scarcely less complete than that of Agincourt. 
But his ranks were depleted, and he had no proper 
support from England. Joan of Arc arose, like a 
portent, in the obscure village of Domremy, in 
Lorraine. She had seen visions and heard voices. 
Michael the archangel had appeared to her, telling 
her that there was " pity " in heaven for the sorrows 
of the fair land of France. " The Maid prays and 
requires you," she wrote to Bedford, " to work no 

'in and engraved by George Vertue from an old picture at Kensington i'alace. 

(In whose reign Richard de Beauchamf> performed his most famous deeds, and who 
appointed him " guardian " of his son, King Henry VI.) 

Warwick Castle - 

more destruction in France, but to come in her 
company to rescue the Holy Sepulchre from the 
Turk." And when Bedford rejected this strange pro- 
posal of alliance, she marched at the head of an army, 
and raised the siege of Orleans, and caused Charles VII. 
to be crowned at Rheims. " O gentle King," she 
there said to him, " the pleasure of God is done." 

Even so, however, the English cause was not yet 
lost. The new English King was pompously crowned 
at Paris, and held his court at Rouen for a year, and 
actually founded a university at Caen. There seemed 
to be a chance of retaining Normandy, though the 
rest of the French possessions must be abandoned. 
In defensive as in offensive war great feats of arms 
were done by English soldiers. Lord Talbot's ford- 
ing of the Somme, with the waters up to his chin, 
to relieve Crotoy, is one great case in point. But the 
end was coming, though it came slowly. There was 
a day when Rouen rose in revolt against its garrison, 
and even Cherbourg fell, and the fortresses of Guienne 
surrendered, and a peace had to be agreed to whereby 
Calais alone of the French towns remained in English 

Of the Earl of Warwick the chronicles of the 
time give us a good many glimpses. In 1427 we 
find him besieging the town and castle of Montargis 
with about three thousand men. The account of the 
operations may be summarised from de Waurin. 

They surrounded the town, and fortified their 
camps, building bridges over the river for intercom- 


-* The House of Beauchamp 

munication. The Earl of Warwick had his quarters 
in an abbey outside the town. They besieged and 
battered the town with their engines for about two 


From Rons' s " History of Richard Beanchamp, Earl oj Wanvuk" (Cotton .IfS.). 

months, vigorously opposed by the besieged ; they 
sent for help to King Charles, who, after delay, 
dispatched sixteen hundred men with food, etc. They 
came secretly upon the English army, led by certain 


Warwick Castle <*- 

of the garrison, who had made their way out, and 
attacking them on two sides, completely routed them ; 
many of the English were killed and drowned, by 
the people in the town stopping the water until it was 
high enough to flow right over the English bridges. 
One of the bridges broke under the weight of people 
pressing in full retreat to the Earl of Warwick's 
quarters. The Earl gathered his men together as 
quickly as he could (he had already lost from ten to 
twelve hundred men in killed and wounded), and drew 
them up on a hill ; but the Erench, who were much 
worn out, retired into the town, and during the night 
the Earl marched oft, some of the English going to 
the castle of Landon, some to Nemours and else- 
where. The Earl rejoined the regent in Paris. 

In 1428, as we gather from the same source, it 
was decided that the Earl of Warwick should besiege 
Pontorson, and the Earl of Suffolk should invade 
Brittany. Their armies were well provided with all 
necessaries. The Earl of Warwick made the attack in 
the usual way, first dragging up his engines before the 
guns and bombards, which brought the town to such 
a state that they were forced to agree to surrender, 
provided they did not receive succours by a certain 
date. These did not arrive, and the fortress was de- 
livered to the English, who demolished it, and then 
returned into garrisons on the frontiers. 

Other operations are reported in less detail. In 
J 433 Richard de Beauchamp was in London, where 
the ambassadors of Hue de Lannoi waited on him: 

VOL. I. 

\Var\vick Castle *- 

" he received them graciously, though a little more 
gravely than before." In 1435 his name appears 
first in a list of the retinue of the Duke of Bedford, 
where he is described as "captain of the city of 
Meaulx in P>rie, lieutenant of the field in the absence 
of the Regent." He returned home, but sailed again 
on August 29th, 1437, and there, says Stow's 
Chronicle : 

" After the regaining of the towne of Ponthoise, 
Richard Beauchamp, Karle of Warwike, Lieutenant 
General of France, and of the Dutchy of Normandy, 
dyed in the Castle of Roan in Normandy, on the 
last of April, the yeere of his age 58. And on 
the fourth of October next following his corpes was 
honorably conveied, as well by water as by land, from 
Roan in Normandy to Warwike in England, and was 
laid with lull solemnities in a faire chest made of 
stone in the West door of the Colledge of our Ladies 
Church, by his noble ancestors, till a chappell by him 
devised in his life were made, which chappell founded 
on the rocke, and all the members thereof, his 
executors did fully make and apparell, by the au- 
thoritie of his said last will and testament : and 
thereafter by the said authority they did translate 
the said body into the vault above sayd, where 
he is intoombed right princely and portured [? por- 
trayed] with an image armed of copper and gilt, like 
a chariot." 

In the centre of the Lady Chapel of St. Mary's, 
Warwick, stands the beautiful monument of its founder, 

The House of Beauchamp 

Richard Beauchamp 
Earl of Warwick. 
The high tomb, richly 
panelled, contains 
some fine statuettes 
of latten gilt : namely, 
at the head, Henry 
Beauchamp Earl of 
Warwick and the 
Lady Cecilia his 
Countess ; on the 
south, Edmund Beau- 
fort Duke of Somer- 
set, Humphrey 
Stafford Earl of 
Buckingham, John 
Talbot Earl of Shrews- 
bury, Richard Neville 
Earl of Warwick ; on 
the east, George 
Neville Lord Latimer 
and Elizabeth his 
Lady ; on the north, 
Alice Countess of 
Warwick, Eleanor 
Duchess of Somerset, 
Anne Duchess of 
Buckingham, Margaret 
Countess of Shrews- 
bury, Anne Countess 

From a drawing by Edward Rlort, 1825 
/'rtim his toinh in the Rcatichamfi C/tafei, Warwick. 

Warwick Castle *- 

of Warwick. Between these are smaller statuettes of 
angels holding scrolls inscribed with texts. Upon a 
massive slab of marble lies the great effigy of " fine 
latten," representing the Earl in complete plate-armour, 
his head bare, resting upon a tilting-helmet with his 
crest. Issuant from a crest coronet are a swan's head 
and neck ; at his feet are a " griffon and a bear mussled," 
and about the margin two fillets of brass inlaid with this 
inscription : " Preieth devoutley for thee sowel whom 
God assoille of one of the moost worshipfull knightes in 
his dayes of manhode and coursing, Richard Beauchamp 
1-ite Earle of Warrewik, lord Despencer of Bergevenny 
and of many other grete lordships." The pall which 
originally covered the tomb and hung upon the brazen 
hearse has long since perished. 

So we take our leave of Richard de Beauchamp l 
with a real regret. He is the first Earl of Warwick 
whose personality it has been possible to grasp clearly ; 
and we find it a dashing and altogether an attractive 
personality. He was a soldier, not a politician a 
better man by far than some of those whose names 
loom larger in the histories a typical knight of the 
departed age of chivalry. 

He was twice married : first, to a grand-daughter 
of Warrine de Lisle, who was only seven at the time 
of her wedding, and died in 1422 ; secondly, by special 
dispensation, to Isabella, widow of his cousin, Richard 
Beauchamp, Earl of \Vorcester, and apparently suo 

1 His will a striking document, reflecting the character of the man 
together with that of his wife, is given in an appendix. 

Warwick Castle <*- 

jure Baroness Burghersh, by whom he had a son 
Henry, who succeeded to the Earldom. 

By comparison with his father, Henry de Beau- 
champ is hut a shadowy and unsubstantial figure, 
though apparently a young man of amiable and en- 
gaging disposition. There are one or two references 
to his appearance in the French war. He is 
mentioned as a leader of an expedition to France in 
1431 ; but as he was then but seven years of age, he 
can only have been the leader in a titular and compli- 
mentary sense. It is also recorded that he " went a 
little way out of London to meet the embassy " of 
Comte de Vendome in 1445, and that in the same 
year the Archbishop of Rheims lodged in his house. 
He was also in high favour with Henry VI., who 
loaded him with honours, making him premier Earl, 
and Duke, and Privy Councillor, and King of the Isle 
of \Yight, and Constable of St. Briavel's Castle, and 
Lord of the Forest of Dean, and Lord of Jersey, 
Guernsey, Alderney, and Sark, and High Steward of 
the Duchy of Lancaster, and Warden of the Forest of 
West Brere, and Ranger of Wichwood Forest, and 
Lieutenant-General in the Duchy of Aquitaine, and 
Captain of the Forces in the States of the Church, 
and J.P. for the Counties of Warwick, Gloucester, 
and Northampton. 

He did not live long, however, in the enjoyment 

of these distinctions, but died at the early age of 

twenty-two, and was buried, at his desire, in the 

middle of the choir of Tewkesbury Abbey, between 


-* The House of Beauchamp 

the stalls. We 
have some 
evidence of 
his worth and 
amiability in 
the fact that 
his popularity- 
was so great 
that the abbot 
arranged for 
his burial to 
take place at 
night, to avoid 
the inconveni- 
ence and pos- 
sible damage 
which might 
arise from the 
crowds of 
gathered to 
witness the 

His bene- 
factions to the 

abbey were considerable, including the patronage of 
the Church and Priory of St. Mary Magdalen, at Gold- 
cliffe, Monmouthshire, the Church of Sherston, and the 
whole of the vestments which he wore about his person. 
Rous describes him as "a seemlie sort of person." 



Warwick Castle *- 

He married Lady Cecilia Neville, daughter of 
Richard, Earl of Salisbury, who, after his death, 
contracted a second marriage with John, Earl of 
Worcester, known as Tiptoft, who was, as we shall 
see, beheaded on October i8th, 14/0. She bore her 
first husband in 1444 one child, Anne, who suc- 

ceeded as Countess or 
Warwick, sno jure, in 
1446, but died only 
three years later. The 
Earldom then lapsed 
to the Crown, the next 
of kin being her four 
aunts, daughters of her 
grandfather, Earl 
Richard. Oneofthese, 
another Anne, born 
in 1427, was created 
Countess of Warwick 
on July 23rd, 1449. 
She had been married, 
since 1439, to Richard 
Neville, son of Richard, 
Earl of Salisbury, 
known to history as 
the King-maker. 

He succeeded, ac- 
cording to the doctrine 
of the exclusion of 


The House of Beauchamp 

the vast estates of the Earldom of Warwick, which 
included the Castles of Warwick, Worcester, Elmley, 
Abergavenny, Neath, etc., and the Lordships of Gower 
and Barnard Castle, to which, after his father's death 
in 1460, the great Neville estates of Middleham and 
Sheriff Hutton in 
Yorkshire were 
added, a n d on 
March 2nd, 1450, 
the former creation 
was cancelled, and 
he was created 
Earl and she Coun- 
tess of Warwick 
each for life, with 
all the privileges 
granted by the 
preceding patent, 
with remainder 
after death of both 

of the dignity to the heirs of the body of the said 
Anne, and in case she should die without issue then 
to Margaret, Countess of Shrewsbury. 

Thus is the King-maker first brought upon the 
scene. But the account of so illustrious a man cannot, 
with propriety, be begun at the end of a chapter. 



From a drawing by S. Hardhig. 


Whom War-wick the King-maker deposed from the throne and then restored. 




The House of Neville Its Wealthy Marriages Its Alliance with the House 
of Beauchamp Richard Neville becomes Earl of Warwick The Con- 
dition of England during his Minority Jack Cade's Rebellion The 
Rebellion of the Duke of York The First Battle of St. Albans The 
Redistribution of Offices Warwick's Exploits as Captain of Calais and 
Captain to guard the Sea. 

BEFORE proceeding to the relation of the doings 
of Richard Neville, known to history as Warwick 
the King-maker, we shall do well to pause and trace 
the rise of the great family of which he was the most 
illustrious of many illustrious representatives. 

The founder of the family was Robert Fitz-Maldred, 
Lord of Raby, who, in the reign of John, took to wife 
Isabella de Neville, heiress of Geoffrey de Neville 
of Brancepeth. His son Geoffrey, together with 
his mother's lands in the county of Durham, took 
his mother's name, dropping that of Fitz-Maldred. 
Members of the family fought against Henry III. 
with Simon de Montfort, and also against the Scots. 
It was to one of them that the famous battle-field of 


Warwick Castle <*- 

Neville's Cross owed its name. They were collectively 
distinguished for begetting large families and arranging 
advantageous marriages for their children. Robert 
Neville's marriage with Ida Mitforcl, in the reign of 
Henry III., added lands in Northumberland to those 
in Durham. His son Robert, by his marriage with 
Mary of Middleham, acquired Middleham Castle and 
the manors thereupon depending, which stretched 
for twelve miles along the River Ure, in Yorkshire. 
His heir, Ralph, through his wife Euphemia of 
Clavering, got land in Essex, and also at Warkworth, 
on the Northumbrian coast. He had a son, John, 
who allied himself first with a younger daughter of 
the House of Percy, and secondly with Elizabeth 
Latimer, who was heiress to sundry properties in 
Bedfordshire and Bucks. 

The Nevilles had thus become the lords of more 
than seventy manors, scattered over six counties. 
Ralph Neville could raise as many as six hundred 
men to serve in Brittany, and more than eighteen 
hundred to serve against the Scots. His claim to 
preferment was good. After the startling coup cCttat 
of 1397, which, as we have seen, resulted so un- 
pleasantly for Thomas de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, 
Richard II. gave him the title of the Earl of West- 
moreland. Nevertheless, he was not loyal to his 
sovereign. His marriage with a natural daughter of 
the great John of Gaunt by Katherine Swinford 
disposed him to favour the House of Lancaster. He 
joined Henry of Bolingbroke when he landed at 


* House of Neville and House of Plantagenet 

Ravenspur only two years later, and was further 
rewarded when Henry of Bolingbroke became King 
Henry IV. Not only did he bear the royal sceptre 
at Henry's coronation, but he also took the office of 
Earl .Marshal, vacated through the exile of the Duke 


of Norfolk. He rendered further services to the 
usurper by assisting in the suppression of the rebellions 
of the Percys in 1403, and of Scrope, Mowbray, and 
Northumberland in 1405. 

In the succeeding reign he was notable for his 
opposition to the French war. If the King must fight, 


Warwick Castle <*- 

he said, let him fight the Scotch rather than the 
French. There was more to be gained from such 
a venture, and it would be easier to conduct it to a 
successful issue. And he clinched his argument by 
quoting the popular rhyme : 

He that wolde France win, 
Must with Scotland first begin. 

His advice, as we know, was rejected, and the war 
took place. Students who get their history from 
Shakespeare believe that he took part in it. He is 
the "cousin Westmoreland" who sighs for "one ten 
thousand of those men in England, Who do no work 
to-day,'' and provokes the great retort, " The fewer 
men, the greater share of honour." But this is one 
of Shakespeare's many historical mistakes. On the 
day of Agincourt, Earl Ralph of Westmoreland was at 
Carlisle, with Earl Scrope and the Baron of Greystock, 
acting as Warden of the Scottish Marches. His five 
sons, however John, Ralph, Richard, William, and 
George were in I 7 ranee with the King ; and John, 
his heir, was made Governor of Verneuil, and held 
the trenches opposite the Porte de Normandie during 
the famous siege of Rouen, already mentioned in our 
pages. The Earl himself, after being appointed a 
member of the Privy Council nominated to govern 
during the minority of Henry VI., died, at the age 
of sixty-two, on October 2ist, 1425. 

He had been twice married first to Margaret of 
Stafford, and secondly to Joan of Beaufort and had 

-* House of Neville and House of Plantagenet 

a family remarkable even in the annals of that prolific 
house. He had had twenty-three children in all 
nine by his first and fourteen by his second wife 
and twenty-two of them survived him. 

Most of them had married well. The Earl's sons- 
in-law included Richard, Duke of York; John Mowbray, 
Duke of Norfolk ; Humphrey Stafford, Duke of Buck- 
ingham ; and Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland. 
Among his sons' wives were the heiresses of Ferrers, 
Salisbury, Falconbridge, and Abergavenny. His son 
Robert, who entered the Church, was made Bishop 
of Salisbury at twenty-four, and at thirty-four Bishop 
of Durham. One of the Parliaments summoned in the 
reign of Henry VI. contained five of his sons-in-law, 
three of his sons, and one of his grandsons 1 a great 
and powerful family group, when we remember that 
the largest number of peers ever assembled in Par- 
liament in that reign was thirty-five. 

Let us narrow the scope of our interests, however, 
and follow the fortunes of the son who most immediately 
concerns us Richard, the eldest son of the marriage 
with Joan of Beaufort. 

Richard Neville had served in the French wars 
with his brother John, and with his father on the 
Scottish Border. When he came of age in 1420, he 
was knighted and associated with his father as Warden 

1 The sons-in-law were the Dukes of York, Norfolk, and Buckingham, 
the Earl of Northumberland, and Lord Dacre ; the sons were Richard of 
Salisbury, William of Falconbridge, and George of Latimer ; the grandson 
was Ralph, Earl of Westmoreland. 


Warwick Castle *- 

of the Western Marches. He escorted the Scottish 
Kino', James I., to the frontier on his release from 
captivity in England and he held the honourable 
office of Carver at the banquet given in honour of 
the coronation of Queen Katherine a banquet, says 
a chronicler, so magnificent that " the like had never 
been seen since the time of that noble Knight 
Arthur. King of the English and Bretons." His 
interest, for the purpose of this narrative, how- 
ever, only begins with his marriage, in 1425, to 
Alice, the only child of Thomas Montacute, Earl of 

From his father, who died in the same year, he 
did not inherit a great deal only, as we gather from 
the will, " two chargers, twelve dishes, and a great 
ewer and basin of silver, a bed of Arras, with red, 
white, and green hangings, and tour untrained horses, 
the best that should be found in the stable." Nor 
did his wife's portion amount to very much. The 
Montacutes had been more loyal to Richard II. than 
Ralph Neville, and had lost their estates through 
their loyalty, and had only had a portion of their 
inheritance restored to them. It was not, therefore, 
till the death of his mother and the lapse of her 
jointure that his property made him a power in 
the land. 

His father-in-law fell in the siege of Orleans half 

of his face torn away by a stone-shot in 1428. This 

brought him the title of Earl of Salisbury, bestowed 

in 1429, and property in Wiltshire and Hampshire, 


-* House of Neville and House of Plantagenet 

including the Castles of Christchurch and Trowbridge. 1 
A little later he was engaged in a private war " which 
things," says a contemporary report to the Lord 
Chancellor, " are greatly against the estate and weal 
and peace of this Royaume of England " with his 
half-brother, Ralph, Earl of Westmoreland, who wanted 
to take his mother's estates away from her. The 
Countess died, and the Earl of Salisbury got the 
estates in 1440. 

He pursued the traditional policy of aggrandising 
the family by means of matrimonial alliances. One of 
his closest friends was Richard de Beauchamp, Earl 
of Warwick, whose fortunes we have related in an 
earlier chapter ; and the two earls resolved to set the 
seal upon their friendship by a double marriage. Henry 
of Warwick, therefore, was married, as we have already 
seen, to Salisbury's daughter, Cecily Neville, and 
Warwick's daughter, Anne Beauchamp, was married to 
Salisbury's son Richard ; while, to complete the con- 
nection, Edward Neville, Salisbury's younger brother, 
married Warwick's step-daughter, Elizabeth, heiress of 

Then death laid its cold hand prematurely on the 
Beauchamps. Henry de Beauchamp, the " seemlie sort 
of person," died in 1446, at the age of twenty-two. 
His little daughter died in 1449, at the age of seven. 
The inheritance devolved upon Henry's aunt, Anne, 
the wife of Richard Neville, the future King-maker, 

1 The property also included some manors in Berkshire, Dorset, and 

VOL. I. 145 L 

Warwick Castle - 

who, in the right of his wife, became " Earl of 
Warwick, Nevvburgh, and Aumarle, Premier Earl of 
England, Baron of Elmley and Hanslape, and Lord 
of Glamorgan and Morgannoc." 

There was now no greater landowner in the country. 
The new Earl possessed estates in almost all parts of 
the kingdom. He had the Despencer holding in South 
Wales and Herefordshire, with the Castles of Cardiff 
Xeath, Caerphilly, Llantrussant, Seyntweonard, Ewyas- 
Lacy, Castle-Dinas, Snodhill, Whitchurch, and Maud's 
Castle, and as many as fifty manors ; the Despencer 
estates in Gloucestershire, including the manors of 
Tewkesbury, Sodbury, Fairford, Whittington, Ched- 
worth, Wichwar, and Lidney ; the manors of Upton- 
on-Severn, Hanley Castle, and Bewdley, with the 
Castle of Elmley and twenty-four estates of less im- 
portance in Worcestershire ; nine manors, including 
Tamworth, in Warwickshire ; five manors and the Forest 
of Wychwood in Oxfordshire ; seven manors and the 
seat of Hanslape in Buckinghamshire ; forty-eight other 
manors in Kent, Hampshire, Sussex, Essex, Hertford- 
shire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Somerset, 
Devon, Cornwall, Northampton, Stafford, Cambridge, 
Rutland, and Nottingham ; and Barnard's Castle, on the 
Tees. 1 

A man so greatly endowed, provided that he were 
a great man, was clearly cast for a great part. For 

1 He was also entitled to various knights' fees, advowsons, chantries, 
town tenements, etc., etc., for which the curious may be referred to the 
Escheats Roll. 


Warwick Castle *- 

the times were not such that any great man's light 
was likely to remain for long hidden under a bushel. 

Let us turn, then, to examine the character of the 
times in which Warwick the King-maker came into his 
immense inheritance. 

1 he years in which he was growing to manhood 
were the years in which the King of England was 
gradually losing his domains in France. The siege 
of Orleans was in progress when he was born. Rouen 
capitulated in the year in which he came of age. How 
and where he spent his youth cannot be discovered, 
though it may be presumed that much of it was passed 
in London, at his father's house in the " tenement 
called the Harbour in the Ward ot Dowgate." The 
times were stormy, as we have seen. They were the 
times ot the free fights, already referred to, in the House 
of Parliament, and of private wars between antagonistic 
barons. In the private war between the King-maker's 
father and his step-brother of Westmoreland, there were 
"great routs and companies upon the field," which did 
" all manner of great offences as well in slaughter and 
destruction of the King's lieges as otherwise." 

And the stormy times were daily becoming stormier. 
The disastrous conclusion of the French war brought 
outbursts of popular indignation and violence in its 
train. The people did not formally demand victims, but 
they chose them, laid hands on them, and lynched them. 
Mutinous sailors at Portsmouth murdered the Bishop of 
Chichester, who had negotiated the cession of Anjou. 
Suffolk was impeached, and, even though the King 

-> House of Neville and House of Plantagenet 

pardoned him, thought it wiser to seek safety in flight. 
Some London ships waylaid him in the Channel, and 
he was summarily and informally tried and executed 
by the captain of one of them. On the heels of these 
events followed the famous insurrection of Jack Cade. 
Cade and his rebels, be it noted, were not a mere 
mob, as the popular histories represent, but really 
responsible insurgents. The leader had fought in the 
French wars ; he had esquires and gentlemen, as well 
as peasants, among his followers ; and he had a definite 
programme of demands. He asked for reforms, and 
a change of ministry, and public economy, and freedom 
of election ; and he nearly succeeded in getting what he 
asked for. When he had defeated the royal forces at 
Sevenoaks and executed Lord Say, who of all the 
ministers was the most unpopular, the Council received 
the " Complaint of the Commoner of Kent," and the 
King gave all the rebels a free pardon. Cade himself, 
however, was treacherously pursued and slain, after his 
forces were dispersed, and the promise of reformation 
was ignored. A stronger leader was needed to take 
in hand the task of checking misgovernment. Such 
a leader was in due course forthcoming in the person 
of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York. 

The name of the Duke of York had been used, 
almost certainly without his authority, in Cade's pro- 
clamations. He now, however, returned from Ireland 
and placed himself definitely at the head of the opposi- 
tion to the government of Heaufort, Duke of Somerset. 
But the constitutional machinery for opposing the royal 


Warwick Castle * 

advisers was not so well developed in those days as 
in ours. A leader of opposition generally had to back 
his opinion with his sword, and the Duke of York 
before long discovered that necessity. For a time, 
when the King was mad and childless and public opinion 
looked to him as the probable successor to the throne, 
he got his way. He ruled as Lord Protector, locked 
Somerset up in the Tower, made Salisbury Chancellor, 
and Warwick a Privy Councillor. 

Presently, however, the Queen became a mother, 
and the King recovered his reason. He immediately 
released the Duke of Somerset, dismissed the Duke 
of York, and called a Council, which convoked a Parlia- 
ment at Leicester " for the purpose of providing for 
the safety of the King's person against his enemies." 
The Duke of York not unnaturally surmised that he 
was aimed at, and took time by the forelock. He called 
out his men and marched south. With him were the 
Karl of Salisbury and the King-maker that was to be 
the only peers, except Lord Clinton, in his host. With 
the King, on the other hand, were many peers : the 
Dukes of Somerset and Buckingham, the Earls of 
Northumberland, Devon, Stafford, Wiltshire, and 
Dorset ; and Lords Clifford, Dudley, Berners, and 

The clash of arms took place at St. Albans. The 
King's men held the town, and the Duke of York's 
men stormed it. The Paston Letters show that the 
honours of the day fell chiefly to the Earl of Warwick 
Lord Clifford " kept the barriers so strongly that the 

-> House of Neville and House of Plantagenet 

Duke might not in anywise, for all the power he had, 
break into the streets." But Warwick found an unex- 
pected way in through gardens and the back doors of 
houses. He came " between the sign of the Chequer 
and the sign of the Key, blowing up his trumpets and 
shouting with a great voice, A Warwick ! A Warwick!" 
The Lancastrians were taken in the rear. The retainers 
tied, and the knights and nobles were overborne. 
Somerset was killed, as were also the Earl of North- 
umberland and Lord Clifford. The Duke of Bucking- 
h a in , with an 
arrow in his face, 
took sanctuary in 
an abbey. The 
King himself was 
wounded ; and so 



ley (the ancestor 

of a future Earl of Warwick) and the Earls of 
Stafford and Dorset. The road to London was open 
to the rebels. 

They marched there, though not yet for king- 
making purposes. For the time being they were 
contented with a redistribution of offices to their ad- 
vantage. The Duke of York became Constable ; Lord 
Bourchier, Treasurer ; the Earl of Salisbury, Steward 
of the Duchy of Lancaster. To Warwick, who, be it 
remembered, was only five-and-twenty years of age, 
fell Somerset's office the Captaincy of Calais. It was 
in this post, and that of " Captain to Guard the Sea," 

Warwick Castle - 

which he held from October, 1457, to September, 1459, 
that he proved himself a born leader of men. 

He was, as we shall see, the only Yorkist leader 
whom the Lancastrians, when they began to lift up 
their heads again, were satisfied to leave to his own 
devices whether because they liked the way he did 
his work, or because they felt safer when he was on 
the other side of the Channel. There is, at any rate, 
no question that he did his work very well. 

It was a time of wars and rumours of wars. In 
June, 1456, "men said that the siege should come to 
Calais, for much people had crossed the waters of 
Somme, and great navies were on the sea." Another 
attack was threatened in 1457: "So he had the folks 
of Canterbury and Sandwich before him, and thanked 
them for their good hearts in victualling of Calais, and 
prayed them for continuance therein." But Warwick 
raised the strength of his troops, and raided Picardy, 
and took Etaples, and captured a fleet of wine-ships, 
and marched against the Burgundians at Gravelines and 
Saint Omer, and compelled them to agree not only to 
a peace, but to a commercial treaty. 

On the high seas, too, he was equally successful, 
though less scrupulous in the choice of enemies. An 
account of his first sea-fight is given in a letter of 
the period. 

" On Trinity Sunday (May 28th) in the morning," 
writes John Jernyngan, " came tidings unto my Lord 
of Warwick that there were twenty-eight sail of 
Spaniards on the sea, whereof sixteen were great ships 

-*> House of Neville and House of Plantagenet 

of forecastle ; and then my Lord went and manned 
five ships of forecastle and three carvells and four 
pinnaces, and on the Monday we met together before 
Calais at four of the clock in the morning, and fought 


together till ten. And there we took six of their ships, 
and they slew of our men about fourscore and hurt 
two hundred of us right sore. And we slew of them 
about twelvescore, and hurt five hundred of them. 
It happened that at the first boarding of them we 


\Yur\vick Castle <*- 

took a ship of three hundred tons, and I was left 
therein and twenty-three men with me. And they 
fought so sore that our men were fain to leave them. 


Then came they and boarded the ship that I was in, 
and there was I taken, and was prisoner with them 
six hours, and was delivered again in return for their 
men that were taken at the first. As men say, there 
has not been so great a battle upon the sea these forty 
winters. And, to say sooth, we were well and truly 
beaten. So my Lord has sent for more ships, and is 
like to fight them again in haste." 

Other dashing naval exploits stand to his credit. 
In 1458 he attacked "three great Genoeses Carracks 
and two Spaniards," and took so many prisoners that 
the prisons of Calais would hardly hold them, and so 
much booty that prices fell fifty per cent, in the Kent 
and Calais markets. He also fell upon a fleet from 
Liibeck, and captured five Hanseatic vessels. They 
called him a pirate on the Continent perhaps justifiably, 
seeing that England was not at that time at war with 
either Genoa or the Hanseatic League. But, however 
that may be, Calais was a good school of arms for 
him. It was there that he acquired not only the 
military skill, but also the military force that he was 
to use so signally in the coming civil war. His 
army was then the only standing force, properly drilled, 
equipped, and disciplined, in the kingdom. 



Queen Margaret's Counter-revolution The Rout of Ludford Warwick at 
Calais His Raid on Sandwich The Battle of Northampton The 
Battle of Wakefield The Second Battle of St. Albans The Battle 
of Towton Flight of King Henry and Queen Margaret. 

WHILE Warwick was guarding Calais and the 
seas, a counter-revolution was gradually being 
brought about at home. As early as 1456 the 
victorious Yorkists were beginning to feel insecure. 
A letter from John Bocking to Sir John Fastolf, printed 
in the Paston Letters, indicates that a coup d'etat was 
in the air. Warwick was then in England, so we read 
that " . . . this day my lords York and Warwick come 
to the Parliament in a good array, to the number of 
300 men, all jakkid [i.e. in coats of mail] and in 
brigantiens, and no lord else, whereof many men 
marvelled. It was said on Saturday my lord should 
have been discharged this same day. And this day 
was said, but if he had come strong, he should have 
been ' distrussid ' ; and no man knoweth or can say 
that any proof may be had by whom, for men think 
verily there is no man able to take any such enterprize." 
It was a false alarm ; but Queen Margaret, whose 
strong character generally got her her way with the 
King, managed to weed out the Yorkists from the 
Royal Council, and to replace them by such good 


\Ynr\vick Castle <*- 

Lancastrians as Shrewsbury, Wiltshire, Beaumont, 
and Exeter, and Waynflete, Bishop of Winchester. 
The Yorkists did not move ; and the King, with 
that amiable desire for peace which distinguished 
him throughout his troubled reign, arranged the great 
ceremony of reconciliation between the hostile barons, 
known as the " Loveday Procession." The enemies 
who had fought at the first battle of St. Albans 
walked hand in hand to the Cathedral of St. Paul 
Salisbury hand in hand with the son of the slain Duke 
of Somerset, and Warwick hand in hand with Exeter. 
It was the delusive calm before the storm. 

The Queen pursued her plans without the least 
regard to the reconciliation. There was indeed a plot 
immediately after it, with which she was certainly con- 
cerned, to murder Warwick, who withdrew to Calais, and 
threw himself upon the loyalty of his garrison. Queen 
Margaret meanwhile went to Lancashire and Cheshire 
" allying to her the knights and squires in those parts 
for to have their benevolence." She also summoned 
Salisbury, in the King's name, to London. Suspecting 
danger, the Earl took up arms instead of coming, 
marched with three thousand men to Ludlow to look for 
the Duke of York, and sent an urgent message to his 
son Warwick to come over from Calais and help him. 

Warwick came, landed at Sandwich, and marched 
through London to Warwickshire. His father had, 
in the meantime, defeated and slain Lord Audley, 
who had been sent to arrest him, at Blore Heath, 
near Market Drayton. The two Earls then joined 

-* House of Neville and House of Plantagenet 

the Duke of York at Lucllow ; but their followers 
deserted them at the engagement known as the Rout 
of Ludford, and they had to ride for their lives. York 

From a drawing by S. Harding, after an old picture in the- collection o> 
Horace II 'alpole at Strawberry Hill. 



went by way of Wales to Ireland. Warwick and his 
father travelled across country, and reached a fishing 
village near Barnstaple, in Devon. 


Warwick Castle *- 

It was then fortunate for them that Warwick was 
a sailor as well as a soldier. The master of the fishing- 
smack which they bought for 222 nobles confessed 
that he knew only the seas in the immediate neigh- 
bourhood. "Then," says the chronicler, "all that 
company was much cast down : but the Earl seeing 
that his father and the rest were sad, said to them that 
by the favour of God and St. George he would himself 
steer them to a safe port. And he stripped to his 
doublet, and took the helm himself, and had the sail 
hoisted, and turned the ship's bows westward." 

He thus piloted them first to Guernsey, and thence 
to Calais, where his uncle, \Yilliam Xeville, Lord Fal- 
conbridge, commanded in his absence. "And then," 
we read, " all those lords went together in pilgrimage 
to Xotre Uame de St. Pierre, and gave thanks for 
their safety. And when they came into Calais, the 
Mayor and the aldermen and the merchants of the 
Staple came out to meet them, and made them good 
cheer. And that night they were merry enough, when 
they thought they might have found Calais already 
in the hands of their enemies." 

Their enemies, indeed, were already hard upon 
their heels. Somerset's herald arrived that very night, 
announcing that his master would come the next day 
to take possession. But " the guard answered the 
herald that they would give his news to the Earl of 
Warwick, who was their sole and only captain, and 
that he should have Warwick's answer in a few 
minutes. The herald was much abashed, and got 

*> House of Neville and House of Plantagenet 

him away, and went back that same night to his 

Sundry passages of arms for the possession of 
Calais followed. The most notable episode was 
Warwick's raid upon Sandwich, where his enemies 
had their base. He sent Sir John Dynham, and Sir 
John Wenlock, formerly Speaker of the House of 
Commons, who ran up the River Stour, and kidnapped 
and carried off to Calais Lord Rivers and his son, 
Sir Anthony Woodville. A grotesque performance 
followed their arrival : 

" So that evening Lord Rivers and his son were 
taken before the three Earls, accompanied by a 
hundred and sixty torches. And first the Earl of 
Salisbury rated Lord Rivers, calling him a knave's 
son, that he should have been so rude as to call him 
and these other lords traitors, for they should be 
found the King's true lieges when he should be found 
a traitor indeed. And then my Lord of Warwick rated 
him, and said that his father was but a squire, and 
that he had made himself by his marriage, and was 
but a made lord, so that it was not his part to hold 
such language of lords of the King's blood. And 
then my Lord of March rated him in like wise. 
Lastly Sir Antony was rated for his language of all 
three lords in the same manner." 

This, we may take it, ends the first chapter in 
the Wars of the Roses. The second chapter begins 
with Warwick's invasion of Kent in June, 1460. He 
had arranged his plans with York, whom he had 

Warwick Castle <*- 

visited in Ireland, scattering the Lancastrian fleet 
by the way, at the end of the previous year ; and 
as soon as he landed, the men of Kent, including 
the Archbishop of Canterbury, rallied to his standard. 
Their sentiments towards him and his cause may be 
gathered from a fragment of an anonymous ballad 
hung on the gate of Canterbury : 

Send home, most gracious most benigne. 
Send home the true blood to his proper vein, 
Richard Duke of York thy servant insigne, 
Whom Satan not ceaseth to set at disdain, 
But by thee preserved he may not be slain. 
Let him " ut sedeat in principibus " as he did before, 
And so to our new song, Lord, thyne ear incline, 
(lloria, laus et honor tibi sit Christe redemptor ! 

Edward the Earl of March, whose fame the earth shall spread, 

Richard Earl of Salisbury, named Prudence, 

With that noble knight and flower of manhood 

Richard Karl of Warwick, shield of our defence, 

Also little Eaulconbridge, a knight of grete reverence. 

Jesu ! restore them to the honour they had before! 

London welcomed the Yorkists hardly less eagerly 
than Kent. They entered in state with the Arch- 
bishop and a Papal Legate. The Lancastrian Lords 
who attempted resistance were driven by the mob 
into the Tower, where Lords Hungerford and Scales 
occupied themselves in " shooting wild-fire into the 
town every hour and laying great ordnance against 
it." Salisbury besieged them there ; and when they 
surrendered, Lord Scales, on his way to seek sanctuary 
in Westminster, was murdered by the angry populace. 
1 60 

-* House of Neville and House of Plantagenet 

Meanwhile, however, the battle of Northampton 
had been fought. The Lancastrians had gathered there, 
and might have won the day, had not Lord Grey de 
Ruthyn turned traitor and gone over to the Yorkists 
in the middle of the fight. Then their lines were 
pierced and many of their leaders slain, including 
Buckingham, Beaumont, Egremont, and Shrewsbury. 

It was at this juncture that Warwick first appeared 
in the role of King-maker. The Duke of York now, 
for the first time, laid claim to the royal dignity. On 
his march to London "he sent for trumpeteres and 
clary ners from London, and gave them banners with 
the royal arms of England without distinction or 
diversity, and commanded his sword to be borne 
upright before him, and so he rode till he came to 
the gates of the Palace of Westminster." 

On his arrival in London he proceeded to further 
ostentation, and even to brutality, taking forcible 
possession of the apartments of the unhappy King, 
who had just opened Parliament, and who was much 
too meek to resist : "He had the doors broken open, 
and King Henry hearing the great noise gave place, 
and took him another chamber that night." Then the 
Duke announced his intention of being crowned, and 
even began the necessary preparations. But there 
was the King-maker to be reckoned with, and the 
King-maker this time withstood him. He asked 
the Archbishop to remonstrate with him ; and when 
the Archbishop would not, "then the Earl sent for his 
brother Thomas Neville, and entered into his barge, 

VOL. I. l6l M 

\Yar\vick Castle <*- 

and rowed to the palace. It was all full of the 
Duke's men-of-arms, but the Earl stayed not, and 
went straight to the Duke's chamber, and found him 
standing there, leaning against a side-board. And 
there were hard words between them, for the Earl 
told him that neither the lords nor the people would 
suffer him to strip the King of his crown. And as 
they wrangled, the Earl of Rutland came in and said 
to his cousin, ' Fair sir, be not angry, for you know 
that we have the true right to the crown, and that 
my Lord and Father here must have it.' But the 
Earl of March, his brother, stayed him and said, 
' Brother, vex no man, for all shall be well.' But the 
Karl of Warwick would stay no longer when he 
understood his uncle's intent, and went off hastily to 
his barge, greeting no one as he went save his cousin 
of March." 

The upshot was that the Duke was not crowned, 
but a compromise was arranged. Henry was to be 
King for his life, with the Duke of York for his 
Protector and his heir an arrangement which London 
at all events approved : 

" The crowd shouted ' Long live King Henry 
and the Earl of Warwick,' for the said Earl had the 
good voice of the people, because he knew how to 
give them fair words, showing himself easy and familiar 
with them, for he was very subtle at gaining his ends, 
and always spoke not of himself but of the augmenta- 
tion and good governance of the kingdom, for which 
he would have spent his life : and thus he had the 

From a photograph by L. C. Kcighlty reach. 


Warwick Castle <*- 

goodwill of England, so that in all the land he was 
the lord who was held in most esteem and faith and 

The arrangement, however, did not remain in force 
for long. Queen Margaret had, in the meantime, 
been reorganising the Lancastrian forces in the 
North. Leaving Warwick at his Castle, the Duke 
of York marched north to meet her. He faced her 
at \Vakefield, and the result was an overwhelming 
disaster to his arms. He himself fell on the field, 
together with Thomas Neville, William Lord Haring- 
ton, and the Earl of Rutland. Salisbury was captured, 
taken to Pontefract, and beheaded. 

Then the Queen marched south, and Warwick, 
hurrying up to London, mustered a fresh army and 
tried to repair the disaster. At St. Albans, where he 
had gained his first victory, he was now to endure 
defeat. A Kentish squire named Lovelace played 
him the same trick that Lord Grey de Ruthyn had 
played the Lancastrians at Northampton. His line 
was broken by this act of treachery, and his army 
scattered. Two of his followers, Lord Bonville and 
Sir Thomas Kyrriel, were taken and beheaded. King 
Henry was recaptured by his friends "as he sat under 
a great oak, smiling to see the discomfiture of his 

By all the rules the Yorkist game should have 
been up ; but the rules were not observed on this occa- 
sion. London lay at the mercy of the Lancastrians, but 
for various reasons they delayed their march thither. 


-* House of Neville and House of Plantagenet 

King Henry did not want to see the city sacked by 
the fierce moss-troopers of the North ; and Queen 
Margaret, for once irresolute, let him have his way, 
and moved the army back to Dunstable. Time was 
thus given to Warwick to circle round and join 
Edward, Earl of March, fresh from a victory over the 
Welsh at Mortimer's Cross, at Chipping Norton ; and 
they actually marched into London with ten thousand 
men, while the Lancastrians were still delaying in the 

The hour had now come for the King-maker to make 
a king. The time for half-measures and compromises 
was past ; and the Earl of Warwick, with Falconbridge, 
and George Neville, Bishop of Exeter, decided to 
offer the crown to Edward, Earl of March, known to 
history as Edward IV. The coronation was hurriedly 
carried through, and then the Yorkists set out to 
meet the Lancastrian army, which was falling back 
before them. They forced the passage of the Aire, 
in Yorkshire, and came up with them at Towton. 

The odds were heavily against them. To their 
thirty-five thousand the Lancastrians opposed sixty 
thousand men. Nevertheless, they attacked at dawn, 
on Palm Sunday, 1461, Falconbridge leading the 
left wing, Warwick the centre, and Edward the reserve, 
while Norfolk was charged to wheel round and make 
a flank assault. 

It was the bloodiest mctie in all that civil war ; 
and the King-maker was ever in the thickest of the 
fight. " The greatest press of the battle," says Waurin, 


\Yar\vick Castle *- 

"lay on the quarter where the Earl of Warwick 
stood." He was to be seen, says Whethamsted, 
" pressing on like a second Hector, and encouraging 
his young soldiers." As for the details of the fight, 
I must take the liberty of quoting from the mono- 
graph on the King-maker by Professor Oman, whose 
name my readers will recognise as that of one of the 
greatest authorities on mediaeval war. I take up the 
story at the moment of Norfolk's flank attack : 

" The arrival of Norfolk had been to Warwick's 
men what the arrival of Bliicher was to Well- 
ington's at Waterloo ; atter having fought all this day 
on the defensive they had their opportunity at last, and 
were eager to use it. When the Lancastrians had 
once begun to retire they found themselves so hotly 
pushed on that they could never form a new line 
of. battle. Their gross numbers were crushed more 
and more closely together as the pressure on their 
left flank became more and more marked ; and if any 
reserves yet remained in hand, there was no way of 
bringing them to the front. Yet, as all the chroniclers 
acknowledge, the Northern men gave way to no 
panic ; they turned again and again, and strove to 
dispute every step between Towtondale and the edge 
of the plateau. It took three hours more of fighting 
to roll them off the rising ground ; but when once 
they were driven down their position became terrible. 
The Cock when in flood is in many places unford- 
able ; sometimes it spreads out so as to cover the 
fields for fifty yards on each side of its wonted bed ; 

House of Neville and House of Plantagenet 

and the only 
safe retreat 
across it was 
by the single 
bridge on the 
Tadcaster road. 
The sole result 
of the desperate 
fighting of the 
was that this 
deadly obstacle 
now lay in their 
immediate rear. 
The whole mass 
was compelled 
to pass the river 
as best it could. 
Some escaped 
by the bridge ; 
many forded the 




shallow ; many 

yielded themselves as prisoners some to get quarter, 
others not, for the Yorkists were wild with the rage 
of three hours' slaughter. But many thousands had 
a worse fortune. Striving to ford the river where it 
was out of their depth, or trodden down in the 
shallower parts by their own flying comrades, they 


Warwick Castle -* 

died without being touched by the Yorkist steel. Any 
knight or man-at-arms who lost his footing in the 
water was doomed, for the cumbrous armour of the 
later fifteenth century made it quite impossible to rise 
again. Even the billman and archer in his salet and 
jack would find it hard to regain his feet. Hence we 
may well believe the chroniclers when they tell us 
that the Cock slew its thousands that day, and that 
the last Lancastrians who crossed its waters crossed 
them on a bridge composed of the bodies of their 

And so it ended. King Henry, who, says a York- 
shire chronicler, "was kept off the field because he was 
better at praying than at fighting." had only an escort 
of six horsemen to guard him in his flight from York 
Minster to Durham. Thirty thousand Lancastrians 
and eight thousand Yorkists had fallen. Among the 
former were Lords Dacre, Mauley, Neville, and 
Welles, Sir Andrew Trollope, Sir Ralph Grey, and 
Sir Henry Buckingham ; while Thomas Courtenay, 
Karl of Devon, was captured and beheaded, and the 
Karl of Northumberland died the next clay of his 

The extermination of the old feudal baronage, 
which was the most conspicuous consequence of the 
\\ ars of the Roses, was proceeding fast. 



Honours for the Earl of Warwick His Subjugation of the Northern 
Lancastrian Fortresses Coolness between King and King-maker 
The Three Causes of Difference The Indignation of Warwick and 
his Surly Message to the King. 

IN the distribution of honours and emoluments 
Edward IV. did not, it would appear, succeed 
in giving equal satisfaction to all his friends and 
supporters. " The King," writes a correspondent of 
the Fastens, "receives such men as have been his 
great enemies, and great oppressors of his Commons, 
while such as have assisted his Highness be not 
rewarded ; which is to be considered, or else it will 
hurt, as seemeth me but reason." The King-maker, 
however, at all events, had nothing to complain of. 
His old offices were restored to him, and new offices 
were conferred upon him. On one day, May yth, 1461, 
he was appointed Great Chamberlain of England, 
Constable of Dover Castle and Warden of the Cinque 
Ports, Captain of the Town and Castle of Calais 
and the Tower of Risbanck, Lieutenant of the Marches 
of Picardy, Master of the Mews and Falcons, Steward 
of the Manor and Lordship of Feckenham ; and 
he was subsequently made Warden and Commissary- 
General of the East and West Marches ; Procurator, 
Envoy, and Special Deputy to treat with Scotland ; 


Warwick Castle <*- 

Chief Commissioner of Array in the Counties of 
\Yorcester, Hereford, Gloucester, Wilts, Dorset, 
Somerset, and Devon ; Steward of England (for 
certain trials) ; Lieutenant in the North ; Chief 
Special Commissioner and Justice in the County of 
Northumberland, etc., etc. 

A political poem of the period shows how 
prominently he figured in the public eye : 

Richard the erl of Warwyk, of Knyghthode 
Lodesterre, borne of a stok that evyr schal be trewe, 
Havyng the name of prowes and manhoode, 
Hathe ay ben redy to help and resskewe 
Kyng Edward, in hys right hym to endewe ; 
'I'lie commens therto have redy every houre ; 
The voyx of the peuple, the voix of Jhesu, 
Who kepe and preserve hym from alle langoure. 

His immediate task was to finish the war in 
the North by the subjugation of Lancastrian castles, 
while the King held coronation feasts and revelries 
in London. It was a longer business than it seemed 
likely to be at first. Queen Margaret was a great 
adept at intrigue. She managed to get help 
though not, it is true, very much help from 
both Scots and French ; and there were sporadic 
disturbances, which, if not checked, would soon have 
become formidable, in 1461, 1462, and 1463. We 
need not follow the shifting fortunes of the war in 
detail ; but we must take note of Warwick's more 
notable achievements in it. 

He conducted a winter campaign in an age in 

Warwick Castle <*- 

which armies were accustomed to spend the winter 
in winter quarters, maintaining four separate forces in 
the field, and keeping them all well supplied. " The 
Earl of Warwick," says a Paston letter, " is at 
Warkworth, and rides daily to the castles of Alnwick, 
Dunstanborough, and Bamburgh, which are being 
besieged, to oversee the sieges ; and if they want 
victuals or any other thing, he is ready to purvey it 
for them to his power." 

An incident of one of the battles of the period 
may be quoted for the light which it throws upon his 
character : 

" At the departing of Sir Piers de Bressy and his 
fellowship, there was one manly man among them, 
that purposed to meet with the Earl of Warwick ; he 
was a taberette (drummer), and he stood upon a little 
hill with his tabor and his pipe, tabering and piping 
as merrily as any man might. There he stood by 
himself; till my lord Earl came unto him he would 
not leave his ground." Whereupon "he became my 
lord's man, and yet is with him, a full good servant 
to his lord." 

I he back of the opposition was at last broken 
by Warwick's brother John, now Lord Montagu, at 
Hedgeley Moor and at Hexham. After the latter 
fight there was, as usual, a great batch of executions. 
Somerset, Lord Roos, Lord Hungerford, Sir Edmond 
Eitzhugh, Sir Philip Wentworth, Sir Thomas Hussey, 
and many others were beheaded. The siege of 
Bamborough followed. It is one of the earliest in- 

-* House of Neville and House of Plantagenet 

stances in history of the use of siege artillery, though 
field artillery to "frighten the horses" had been used 
in the Hundred Years' War with France. The 
contemporary account runs thus : 

" So all the King's guns that were charged began 
to shoot upon the said Castle. ' Newcastle,' the 
King's greatest gun, and ' London,' the second gun 
of iron, so betide the place that the stones of the 
walls flew into the sea. ' Dyon,' a brass gun of 
the King's, smote through Sir Ralph Grey's chamber 
oftentimes, and ' Edward ' and ' Richard,' the bom- 
bardels, and other ordnance, were busied on the place. 
Presently the wall was breached, and my lord of 
Warwick, with his men-at-arms and archers, won the 
castle by assault, maugre Sir Ralph Grey, and took 
him alive, and brought him to the King at Doncaster. 
And there the Earl of Worcester, Constable of England, 
sat in judgment on him." 

The war was over. Our next theme is the quarrel 
that broke out between the King-maker and the King. 

The coolness began over the King's marriage. 
He was now twenty-three, and " men marvelled that 
he abode so long without any wife, and feared that he 
was not over chaste of his living." There was talk 
of his marrying Isabella of Castile ; and his failure to 
do so seems to have rankled for many years. Some 
twenty years later, in the reign of Henry VII., we 
come upon a report of a message delivered, in August, 
1483, by that royal lady's ambassador to the English 
Court, which runs thus : 

Warwick Castle *- 

" Besides these instructions given in writing by 
this orator he shewed to the Kinges grace, by mouth, 
that the queen of Castile was turned in her heart 
from England in tyme past for the unkindness the 
which she took against the King last deceased, whom 
God pardon, for his refusing of her and taking to 
his wife a widow of England ; for the which cause 
also was mortal war betwixt him and the Earl of 
Warwick, the which took ever her part to the time 
of his death." 

This does not seem, however, to be quite an 
accurate version of the events. Warwick, as a matter 
of fact, negotiated on the King's behalf for the hand of 
another lady, Princess Bona of Savoy, sister to Queen 
Charlotte of France ; and it was in connection with 
this proposal that the King, to put it vulgarly, made 
a fool of him. Eor when everything was arranged, 
and the Council had met to approve the arrangements : 

" Then the King answered that of a truth he 
wished to marry, but that perchance his choice might 
not be to the liking of all present. Then those of 
his Council asked to know of his intent, and would 
be told to what house he would go. To which the 
King replied in right merry guise that he would take 
to wife Dame Elisabeth Grey, the daughter of Lord 
Rivers. But they answered him that she was not 
his match, however good and however fair she might 
be, and that he must know well that she was no wife 
for such a high prince as himself; for she was not 
the daughter of a duke or earl, but her mother the 

-* House of Neville and House of Plantagenet 

Duchess of Bedford had married a simple knight, so 
that though she was the child of a duchess and the 
niece of the Count of St. Pol, still she was no wife 
for him. When King Edward heard these sayings 
of the lords of his blood and his Council, which it 
seemed good to them to lay before him, he answered 
that he should have no other wife, and that such 
was his good pleasure." 

It transpired, in fact, that the King had taken 
the irretrievable step five months before ; and he now 
wanted Warwick to explain matters to Louis XI. 
This Warwick naturally declined to do ; but there was 
still no open breach between him and his sovereign. 
He assisted at the coronation of the new Queen, 
and received further marks of the royal favour, being 
commissioned to prorogue a Parliament, and made, 
among other things, Steward of England (for trials) ; 
Lord of the Honour of Cockermouth ; Chief Ambas- 
sador, Orator, and Special Commissioner to treat with 
Burgundy and Brittany ; and Joint Commissioner, 
Procurator, and General and Special Envoy to treat 
with Scotland. 

Occasions of difference, however, between King 
and King-maker multiplied. Let us take them in their 
order : 

i. The King, in order to make himself independent 
of the House of Neville, arranged a series of mar- 
riages to consolidate the influence of the rival House 
of Rivers. He married Margaret Wydville to Thomas, 
Lord Maltravers, heir of the Earl of Arundel ; Anne 

\Yar\vick Castle <*- 

\Vydville to the heir of Bourchier, Earl of Essex ; 
Mary \Vydville to the eldest son of Lord Herbert ; 
Eleanor Wydville to George Grey, heir of the Earl 
of Kent ; Catherine Wydville to the young Duke of 
Buckingham ; and John Wydville to the Dowager- 
Duchess of Norfolk, who was old enough to be his 
grandmother. The cumulative effect of these alliances 
displeased \Yarwick, as it was unquestionably intended to. 

2. The King interfered with Warwick's own am- 
bitious matrimonial plans. His nephew, George Neville, 
heir to Montagu, was betrothed to Anne, heiress of 
the Duke of Exeter; but "the Queen paid to 
the said Duchess 4000 marks " to break off the 
engagement, and marry Thomas Grey, her own son 
by her first marriage, instead. He had also arranged 
to marry his daughter Isabel to the King's brother, 
George, Duke of Clarence, suggesting to him, accord- 
ing to Waurin, though the allegation may have been 
an after-thought, that he could " make him King or 
governor of all England " ; but the King forbade the 
marriage. To interfere with the marriage of a Neville 
was to touch him in a tender spot. 

3. Einally, in 1467, the King sent Warwick on a 
fool's errand to France. His mission was to conclude 
a permanent peace ; and he was well received at 
Rouen : 

" The King gave the Earl most honourable greet- 
ing ; for there came out to meet him the priests of 
every parish in the town in their copes, with crosses 
and banners and holy water, and so he was conducted 


-* House of Neville and House of Plantagenet 

to Notre Dame de Rouen, where he made his offer- 
ing. And he was well lodged at the Jacobins in the 
said town of Rouen. Afterwards the Queen and her 
daughter came to the said town that he might see 
them. And the King abode with Warwick for the 
space of twelve days, communing with him, after which 
the Earl departed back into England." 

French ambassadors came with him : the Archbishop 
of Bayonne, the Bastard of Bourbon, the Bishop of 
Bayeux, Master Jean de Poupencourt, and some others. 
But they landed only to find that the King had 
already concluded an alliance with the rival power of 
Burgundy behind their backs. Warwick was pointedly 
snubbed. When he waited on the King to tell him 
of his cordial reception by the French, he "perceived 
from the King's countenance that he was paying 
no attention at all to what he was saying." The 
ambassadors "were much abashed to see" the King, 
" for he showed himself a Prince of a haughty bearing," 
and could get no satisfaction from him. He failed 
even to appoint commissioners to treat with them ; 
and the presents which he sent them on the eve of 
their departure from the country were beggarly, as 
though intended as an expression of contempt. More- 
over, he took away the Great Seal from Warwick's 
brother, George Neville, Archbishop of York. 

It is no wonder that the King-maker let the 
foreigners see his indignation : 

" As they rowed home in their barge the French- 
men had many discourses with each other. But 

177 N 

Warwick Castle *- 

Warwick was so wroth that he could not contain 
himself", and he said to the Admiral of France, ' Have 
you not seen what traitors there are about the King's 
person ? ' But the Admiral answered, ' My Lord, 
I pray you grow not hot ; for some clay you shall 
be well avenged.' But the Earl said, ' Know that 


those very traitors were the men who have had my 
brother displaced from the office of Chancellor, and 
made the King- take the seal from him.' " 

It is no wonder either that, when at Christmas 
the King summoned him to Court, he stayed at 
Middleham, sending the message that " never would 
he come again to Council while all his mortal enemies, 
who were about the King's person, namely, Lord Rivers 
the Treasurer, and Lord Scales and Lord Herbert and 
Sir John Wydville, remained there present." 

' N. ..,. . ..((- ....* wiUua..~i> 7..-C.V N^..X-,K ,.j I-, /i -. ,, ,,^_. <_p.., T . ^ -g.^p^o 'A ~,u*n-~*.' 

w Nv I.^K r(f.^ |-" , t~e <./ ..iJ r .i t% *-// T ''T V''-S~- r^t-'^ y erS t,y .V ^V' ^<-y" 


I 7 8 


The Vengeance of the King-maker His Landing in Kent His Compromise 
with Edward IV. His Flight His Accommodation with Queen Mar- 
garet His Landing at Dartmouth The Treachery of the Duke of 
Clarence The Death of Warwick at the Battle of Barnet An Estimate 
of his Character. 

ALL England was persuaded that the King-maker 
would take measures to avenge himself ; and 
some of his friends and admirers even went so far 
as to anticipate his plans of vengeance. One of the 
Rivers' manors was sacked by a Kentish mob, and in 
January, 1468, a Erench ambassador reports to his 
sovereign : 

"In one county more than three hundred archers 
were in arms, and had made themselves a captain 
named Robin, and sent to the Earl of Warwick to 
know if it was time to be busy, and to say that all 
their neighbours were ready. But my Lord answered, 
bidding them go home, for it was not yet time to be 
stirring. If the time should come, he would let them 

Moreover, there were some sporadic Lancastrian 
risings in Wales and the South-west, followed by the 
customary brisk series of decapitations. Sir Henry 
Courtenay, son of the Earl of Devon, and Thomas, son 
of Lord Hungerford, and Jasper Tudor, of Pembroke, 


Warwick Castle *- 

were among those who then lost their heads. But 
Warwick was no Lancastrian as yet. He bided his 
time and laid his plans, making sure of the co-opera- 
tion of his kinsmen before he would raise his arm 
to strike. Me even sat among the judges who tried 
some of the Lancastrian conspirators. 

Xot until April, 1469, was he ready ; and then he 
proceeded with great cunning. He went to Calais ; 
and suddenly there were risings in various parts of 
England, unquestionably fomented by him. though 
there was no evidence to implicate him in them at 
the moment. Clarence, however, joined him at Calais, 
and married his daughter there, in the face of the 
royal prohibition ; and on the day after the wedding 
Duke and Earl had landed in Kent, the Kentish men 
had rallied to them, and they were marching upon 
London. The King was in the Midlands, whither 
he had gone to face the northern rebels, and could 
not stay their progress ; and these northern rebels 
did all the fighting that was required. The royal 
forces were defeated at Edgecott ; and Edward, who 
had not been at that battle, was surrounded at Olney. 
There George Neville, Archbishop of York, waited 
upon him, and bade him rise and make haste and 

" Then the King said he would not, for he had 
not yet had his rest ; but the Archbishop, that false 
and disloyal priest, said to him a second time, ' Sire, 
you must rise and come to see my brother of Warwick, 
nor do I think that you can refuse me.' So the King, 
1 80 

*> House of Neville and House of Plantagenet 

fearing worse might come to him, rose and rode off to 
meet his cousin of Warwick." 

The meeting took place at Coventry. The King 
was held prisoner for a month part of the time at 
Warwick Castle though in honourable and comfortable 

From an old print. 


condition, and with leave to go hunting under escort. 
But it was no part of Warwick's plan just then to 
depose King Edward in favour either of his brother 
or of King Henry, who had been captured some time 
before, a wandering fugitive, in the North, and lodged 
for security in the Tower. He was satisfied to exact 
pardons and impose terms, including a grant to himself 

\Yar\vick Castle <+- 

of the office of Chamberlain of South Wales and the 
right to nominate the governors of sundry castles in 
that region. 

Edward is reported to have been satisfied with the 

" The King himself," writes one of the Fastens 
that day, "hath good language of my Lords of Clarence, 
Warwick, and York, saying they be his best friends ; 
but his household have other language, so that what 
shall hastily fall I cannot say." 

It looked, for a little while, as though matters would 
now definitely settle down. But suddenly, in February, 
1470, there was a fresh rising, this time in Lincolnshire, 
headed by Sir Robert Welles, son of Lord Willoughby 
and Welles. The King suppressed it, and then gave 
out that Warwick and Clarence had been concerned 
in it, and summoned them to his presence, bidding 
them come unattended. In the absence of adequate 
evidence of their complicity, one surmises that Edward 
was inventing a pretext for putting it out of their 
power to do him any further harm. 

They naturally did not obey his summons, but fled 
over-sea. Wenlock, who was governing Calais, was 
afraid to admit them, though he sent out a friendly 
message and two flagons of wine as medical comforts 
for the Duchess of Clarence, who gave birth to a son, 
the future Edward, Earl of Warwick, on board ship. 
Then they went down the Channel, making prizes on 
their way of sundry ships belonging to the Duke of 
Burgundy, and found at last a friendly haven at 

-* House of Neville and House of Plantagenet 

Harfleur. It was in the course of this sojourn on 
French soil that Warwick was brought over to the 
Lancastrian side. 

It was Louis XI. who suggested and negotiated 
the reconciliation. Though Queen Margaret had be- 
headed Warwick's father, and Warwick had called 
Queen Margaret an adulteress and her son a bastard, 
the French King did not see why the sentiments 
engendered by these untoward incidents should stand 
in the way of an alliance which considerations of political 
expediency dictated. He gained his end, and the bitter 
enemies swore eternal friendship on a fragment of the 
true cross, the Queen only drawing the line at a proposal 
that Warwick's younger daughter, the Lady Anne, should 
be married to the Prince of Wales. Everybody except 
the Duke of Clarence was satisfied ; and the Duke, for 
the time being, kept his dissatisfaction to himself. 

The invasions, to which these proceedings were the 
prelude, occurred in September of the same year. As 
before, an insurrection was contrived in the North by 
way of prelude to it ; and when Edward had gone 
north to put it down, Warwick and Clarence, with 
sundry Lancastrian barons, landed without opposition 
at Dartmouth. The King was at Doncaster when they 
got to London. He discovered treachery in his own 
camp, and had to fly for his life. He got to Lynn 
so destitute that he had to pay for his passage with 
his fur-lined overcoat ; but he put to sea safely, and, 
landing at Alkmaar, took refuge with the Dutch 
governor, Louis of Gruthuye. 


\Yar\vick Castle <+- 

Henry VI. was now fetched from the Tower, where 
he was found " not worshipfully arrayed as a Prince, 
and not so cleanly kept as should beseem his state." 
lie was a broken man. " He sat on his throne," says 
a chronicler, "as limp and helpless as a sack of wool. 
. . . He was a mere shadow and pretence, and what 
was done in his name was done without his will 
and knowledge." There were, as usual, various new 
appointments made in the King's name, and various 
executions. Warwick became the King's Lieutenant, 
and was restored to the offices of Admiral and Cap- 
tain of Calais. Clarence was made Lord Lieutenant 
of Ireland, an office he had previously held. Tiptoft, 
Earl of \Yorcester, known to fame or infamy as the 
Butcher ot England, was the chief of those who lost 
their heads. Moreover, a treaty with France was 

King Edward, however, was not the man to stay 
abroad without making an effort to come into his own 
again. It took him five months to make his arrange- 
ments; then, with three hundred Germans, hired for 
him by the Duke of Burgundy, and fifteen hundred 
refugees, including the Duke of Gloucester, afterwards 
to be Richard III., and Lords Hastings, Say, and 
Scales, he set out from Flushing, escorted by a 
Hanseatic fleet, and, after failing to land at Cromer, 
effected a landing successfully at Ravenspur, the very 
landing-place of Henry IV. At first he repudiated 
all pretensions to the crown, swearing upon the cross 
of the high altar in York Minster "that he never 


-*> House of Neville and House of Plantagenet 

would again take upon himself to be King of England, 
nor would have done before that time, but for the 
exciting and stirring of the Earl of Warwick, and 
thereto before all the people he cried, ' King Harry ! 
Ring Harry and Prince Edward!'" 

But when he felt strong enough, he gained further 
strength by the disclosure of his true designs. 
Warwick had the greatest difficulty in getting an 
army together to meet him. A letter of his, ap- 
pealing for help to Henry Vernon of Derbyshire, 
written by a secretary, but with a postscript in the 
Earl's own handwriting, was discovered a few years 
ago in a lumber-room at Belvoir Castle. It runs as 
follows : 

" Right trusty and righte welbiloved I grete you 
well, And desire and hertily pray you that in asmoche 
as yonder man Edward, the Kinges oure soverain 
lord gret ennemy, rebelle and traitour, is now late 
arrived in the north parties of this land and cbm- 
myng fast on southward accompanyed with Flemynges, 
Esterlinges, and Danes, not exceeding the nombre of 
all that he ever hath of ij ml persones, nor the centre 
as he commeth nothing falling to him, ye woll therfor 
incontynente and furthwith aftir the sight herof 
dispose you toward me to Coventre with as many 
people defensibly arraied as ye can redily make, and 
that ye be with me there in all haste possible as my 
vray singuler trust is in you and as I mowe doo 
thing to your wele or worship heraftir, And God kepe 
you. Writen at Warrewik the xxv li day of Marche, 


Warwick Castle *- 

[Postscript in the Earl's own hand] " Henry I pray 
you ffayle not now as ever I may do ffor yow." 

Henry Vernon, however, seems to have made no 
response to this urgent repeal, and Warwick soon 
began to find himself in difficulties. The Duke of 
Clarence, who all the time had meditated treachery, 
deserted him and joined his brother, and then tried to 
patch up a peace. 

' He sent to Coventry," says a Yorkist chronicler, 
" offering certain good and profitable conditions to the 
Earl, if he would accept them. But the Earl, whether 
he despaired of any durable continuance of good 
accord betwixt the King and himself, or else willing 
to maintain the great oaths, pacts, and promises sworn 
to Queen Margaret, or else because he thought he 
should still have the upper hand of the King, or 
else led by certain persons with him, as the Earl 
of Oxford, who bore great malice against the King, 
would not suffer any manner of appointment, were it 
reasonable or unreasonable." 

And he told the messengers that he "thanked God 
he was himself and not that traitor Duke." 

Then Edward IV. came on. This time it was his 
turn to march to London while his enemy was in the 
Midlands. The citizens let him in, and King Henry 
was sent back to the Tower. Thus secured, he went 
out to look for Warwick, who, in his turn, was looking 
for him. The armies at last met at Barnet, and the 
battle began with an artillery duel in the dark : 

" Both sides had guns and ordnance, but the Earl, 

House of Neville and House of Planta^enet 

I-'rom the original at ll'ar- 
mick Castle. 



meaning to have greatly annoyed the 
King, shot guns almost all the night. 
But it fortuned that they always over- 
shot the King's host, and hurt them 
little or nought, for the King lay much 
nearer to them than they deemed. But 
the King suffered no guns to be shot 
on his side, or else right few, which was 
of great advantage to him, for thereby 
the Earl should have found the ground 
that he lay in, and levelled guns thereat." 
So far as can be computed, the 
numbers were about equal : on each 
side there were some twenty thousand 
men. At first it looked as though 
Warwick was once more to win the 
day. Montagu and Oxford rolled up 
the left wing of the Yorkists, and 
many of the troopers fled as far as 
London. The advantage was thrown 
away, however, by an indiscreet pur- 
suit ; and in the meanwhile the King, 
in the centre, "beat and bare down 
all that stood in his way, and then 
turned to range, first on that hand 
and then on the other hand, and in 
length so beat and bare them down 
that nothing might stand in the sight 
of him and of the well-assured fellow- 
ship that attended truly upon him." 

\Yar\vick Castle <- 

Presently the pursuers returned. But they had lost 
their way in the thick fog that prevailed throughout 
the battle. They turned up at a point where they 
were not expected, and their friends mistook them for 
the enemy and fell upon them furiously. In the con- 
fusion that prevailed, Oxford, believing that there were 
traitors in the camp, as had so often happened in 
these wars, fled from the field with all his men ; and 
the confusion became worse confounded. There were 
Lancastrians who assumed that Warwick had betrayed 
them, and therefore fell upon the Nevilles. Warwick 
stood his ground a little longer, and then he too fled. 
His heavy armour impeded him. His body and that of 
his brother, Montagu, were found at the edge of Wrotham 
Wood ; and the two bodies were taken to London and laid 
on the pavement of St. Paul's, and exposed to the public 
view for three days, " to the intent that the people should 
not be abused by feigned tales, else the rumour should 
have been sowed about that the Earl was yet alive." 

Such was the end of the King-maker. 1 Thanks to 

1 His arms are thus given in a Lansdowne MS. : 

Anns: "Gules, a saltire argent, a label or." 

Arms : " Quarterly. Gowlys a savvf syllver \v' a difference, and gowlys 
a ffece bytweene vi crosse crosselets golld." 

The arms which he bore as Earl of Salisbury were : 

" I and 4, Quarterly, Montagu and Monthermer ; 2 and 3, Neville, a label 
compony argent and azure." 

Crest: "(i) Out of a coronet a griffin sejant with wings extended ; (2) out 
of a wreath silver and gules a bull's head argent, spotted sable, armed or." 

Supporters : " Dexter, a bull tenu6 armed and unguled and tufted or ; 
sinister, an eagle vert, beaked and membered gules." 

liadgcs: (i) " The Bere "and (2) " Ragged Staff;" ; (3) " Ung baston noir." 

Liveries: 1458, "Rede iakettys with white raggyd staves upon them." 

(Fabyan's Chronicle, p. 633.) 

House of Neville and House of Plantagenet 

Lord Lytton's novel, history knows him as " the last of 
the Barons " ; and he was truly the last of the barons in 
the sense that he was the last of those great feudal lords 
who had but to give the word for their retainers to raise, 
not a battalion, but an army. But though he was a 
great feudal lord, he was also something more than that. 
Me was a statesman, a diplomatist the power behind 
the throne. If he was violent and cruel, he was less 
so than the great majority of his contemporaries. He 
could manage men as well as lead them ; and he was not 
more renowned for his audacity than for his affability : 
"He ever had the voice of the people, because he gave 
them fair words, showing himself easy and familiar." In 
this regard we may endorse the verdict of Professor 
Oman that " he should be thought of as the forerunner 
of Wolsey rather than as the successor of Robert of 
Belesme, or the Bohuns and Bigods." 




l8 9 


The King-maker's Widow, his Daughters, and his Sons-in-law Anne 
Neville's Petition to Parliament The Sad End of the Duke of 
Clarence The Still Sadder Fate of Edward, Earl of Warwick The 
Fate of Edward's Sister Margaret in the Reign of Henry VIII. 

THE King-maker left a widow, Anne, Dowager- 
Countess of Warwick, as well as two daughters, 
Isabel, Duchess of Clarence, and Anne, who married 
the Duke of Gloucester, Clarence's younger brother, 
subsequently to reign as Richard III. She seems to 
have had some fear of being punished for her 
husband's offences. Among the British Museum 
manuscripts is a petition from her " to the right 
worshipful ;ind discreet Commons of this present 
Parliament," setting forth her apprehensions thus : 

" Sheweth unto your wisdoms and discretions the 
King's true liege woman Anne, Countess of Warwick, 
which never offended his most redoubted highness, 
for she immediately after the death of her lord and 
husband, on whose soul God have mercy, for none 
offence by her done, but dreading only trouble being 
that time within this realm, entered into the sanctuary 
of Beaulieu for surety of her person, to dispose for 
the weal and health of the soul of her said lord and 
husband as right and conscience required her so to 
do, making within 5 days or near thereabouts after 


House of Neville and House of Plantagenet 

her entry into the said sanctuary her labours, suits 
and means to the King's highness for her safe guard 
to be had as diligently and effectually as her power 
would extend, she not ceasing but after her power 
continuing in such labours, suits and means, in so 
much that in absence of clerks she hath written letters 
in that behalf to the King's highness with her own 
hand, soothly also to the queen's good grace, to my 
right redoubted lady the King's mother, to my lady 
the King's eldest daughter, to my lords the King's 

brethren, to my 
ladies the 
King's sisters, 
to my lady of 
mother to the 
queen, and to 
other ladies 
noble of this 
realm, in which 
labours, suits 
and means she 
hath continued 
hitherto, and so 
will continue as 
she owes to do, 
that it may 
please the King 
of his most 
good and noble 

Front an old print. 



Warwick Castle *- 

grace to have consideration that during the life of 
her said lord and husband she was covert baron, 
which point she remits to your great wisdoms, and 
that after his decease all the time of her being in 
the said sanctuary she hath duly kept her fidelity 
and legiance, and obeyed the King's commandments. 
Howbeit, it hath passed the King's highness by 
some sinister information to his said highness made, 
to direct his most dread letters to the abbot of the 
monastery of Beaulieu with right sharp commandment 
that such persons as his highness sent to the said 
monastery should have guard and straight keeping 
of her person, which was and is to her great heart's 
grievance, she specially fearing that the privileges 
and liberties of the church, by such keeping of her 
person, might be interrupt and violate, where the 
privileges of the said sanctuary were never so largely 
attempted unto this time, as is said ; yet the said 
Anne, y e countess, under protestation by her made, 
hath suffered straight keeping of her person, and yet 
doth, that her fidelity and legiance to the King's 
highness the better might be understood, hoping she 
might the rather have had largess to make suits to 
the King's highness in her own person, for her liveli- 
hood and rightful inheritance." [She therefore humbly 
prays relief] 

Xo harm came to her, however. " Item," writes 
Sir John Fasten, " that the Countess of Warwick 
is now out of Beaulieu sanctuary. Sir James 
Tyrell conveyed her northwards, men say by the 


+ House of Neville and House of Planta^enet 

King's assent, whereto some men say that the Duke 
of Clarence is not agreed." Later, in the reign of 
Henry VII., she was granted a pension of 500 marks. 

drawing by S. Harding. 


Meanwhile, the Duke of Clarence became, jure 
uxoris, Earl of Warwick. 

His most memorable exploits have already been 

related in our narrative. His death is more famous 

than his life, because of the legend that he was 

VOL. i. 193 o 

\Yar\vick Castle * 

drowned in a butt of malmsey, 1 after being attainted 
of high treason, through the influence of his brother 
and successor. The best-known version of the story 
is that in Shakespeare's " King Richard the Third," 
from which I quote : 

1 Muni. Take him over the costard with the hilts of thy 
sword, and then throw him into the malmsey-butt in the next 

2 Murd. O excellent device ! and make a sop of him. 

1 Murd. Hark '. he stirs. 

2 Murd. Shall I strike? 

i Murd. No, first let's reason with him. 

Clarence (awaking). \Yhere art thou, keeper ? Give me a cup 
of wine. 

i Murd. You shall have wine enough, my lord, anon. 

Clar. In God's name, what art thou ? 

i Murd. A man, as you are. 

Clar. But not, as I am, royal. 

i Murd. Nor you, as we are, loyal. 

Clar. Thy voice is thunder, hut thy looks are humble. 

i Murd. My voice is now the King's, my looks mine own. 

Clar. How darkly and how deadly dost thou speak ! 
Your eyes do menace me : why look you pale ? 
Tell me, who are you, wherefore come you hither ? 

Botli Murd. To, to, to 

Clar. To murder me ? 

Botk Murd. Ay, ay. 

"Malmsey: A wine, usually sweet, strong, and of high flavour, origi- 
nally and still made in Greece, but now especially in the Canary and 
Madeira Islands, and also in the Azores and in Spain. The name is 
somewhat loosely given to such wines, and is used in combination, as 
Malmsey-Madeira" (Century Dictionary). 


-*> Mouse of Neville and House of Plantagenet 

The Duke of Clarence left four children, of 
whom two died in infancy. He was buried with 
his wife at Tewkesbury, 1 and we read in a letter 
written by Dr. Langton to the Prior of Christ 
Church, Canterbury, that Edward IV. "assigned 
certain lords" to accompany his body thither, 
and " intends to do right worshipfully for his 

By his death the dignity passed to his son, Edward, 
Earl of Warwick, whose life is one of the most 
pathetic in all history. 

Xo harm came to him during the reigns of his 
two uncles. His name appears, curiously enough, not 
far removed from those of some ancestors of the 
House of Greville, in the list of admissions to the 

1 The vault was opened in 1828 in the presence of the vicar, curate, 
and churchwardens ; it was in perfect condition, and measured 9 feet from 
north to south, 8 feet from east to west, and 6 feet 4 inches high in centre. 
The arched roof and walls are of large blocks of freestone, the floor paved 
with tiles, in the centre being a cross formed of tiles bearing various 
devices the arms of England, De Clare, etc., and birds, fleur-de-lis, 
foliage, etc. In the north-west corner were the skulls and bones of a 
male and female, whicli were no doubt those of the Duke and Duchess. 
Six large stones at the south end of the vault were evidently arranged 
to carry two coffins side by side. In 1709, 1729, and 1753 the bodies 
of Samuel Hawling, his wife, and their son were allowed to occupy 
the vault, and the earlier remains were probably disturbed and re- 
moved from their original position then; but in 1829 the Hawling 
remains were removed and deposited in a grave in the ambulatory, 
the remains of the original occupants being placed in an ancient stone 
coffin, dug up near the vestry door in 1775, and believed to have 
originally held the remains of a Despencer. This stone coffin was 
found full of water in 1875, and was removed, the remains bring 
placed in a casket on the south wall of the vault, in which position they 
now remain. 


Warwick Castle <- 

Guild of the Holy Cross, at Stratford-on-Avon. 1 
Some documents show grants made in his name, 
during his minority, in connection with services to be 
rendered at Warwick Castle. There is a grant, for 
instance, to " James Kayley, ' in consideration of the 
good and true service which oure trusty servaunt hath 
doon unto us in our last victorious journey,' of the office 
of porter of the castle of Warwick, keeper of the 
garden there, keeper of the meadows of the lordship 
of Warwick, and keeper of the lodge of Goderest, 
co. Warwick, during the minority," etc. ; and another 
to " John Swynerton of the office of porter of Warwick 
Castle, and keeper of the garden there called the 
Vineyard, during the minority of Edward, Earl of 
Warwick, and as long as the earldom of Warwick 
shall remain in the hands of the crown, with wages, 
etc., out of the earldom of Warwick" ; and a third to 
" Thomas Brereton, one of the gentlemen ushers of 
the King's chamber, of the offices of constable of the 


22 H. VI. Joyce, w. of John Grevill of Sesyncote, Esq. 

John, s. of Maurice, s. of said John. 

Johan, \v. of Henry Tracy. 

8 E. IV. Richard Grevell of Lemynton, Gent., and Elena, h. w. 
17 E. IV. George Duke of Clarence and Lady Isabell. 

Edward E. of Warwick, his son. 

Lady Margaret, his sister. 
13 H. VII. Master John Grevell and Johan, h. w. 

23 H. VII. John. s. of Edvv. Grevill and Elizabeth, h. w. 

24 H. VII. Edward Grevill, Esq., and Ann, h. w. 
17 H. VIII. Giles Grevell, Kt. 

N.B. The arms of the Duke's predecessor, viz. Henry Duke of 
Warwick, are painted in the Guild Hall, now the Grammar School. 


--* House of Neville and House of Plantagenet 

castle of Warwick, steward of the lordship of Warwick, 
with its members, and master of the game of Wege- 
nok, co. Warwick, with wages, etc., such as John Hug- 
ford, esq., had in the same office." The Earl attended 

old print. 




Richard III.'s coronation, and was recognised as his 
heir-apparent. But then came the battle of Bosworth 
Field, and the accession of Henry VII., whose reasons 
for wishing the only surviving male representative of 
the House of York out of the way were obvious 
enough. So this poor boy he was only nine years 
of age was shut up in the Tower, and kept there, 


\Var\vick Castle ( +- 

for no other reason than the cowardly fear that, if he 
were left at large, he might be dangerous. 

He proved, in fact, as dangerous in captivity as 
he could have been at liberty. Impostors personated 
him, and in his name raised the standard of revolt. 
Every schoolboy remembers the story of Lambert 
Simnel, who, after professing to be Edward Plan- 
tagenct, Karl of Warwick, was put to the office of 
scullion in the royal kitchen. To expose the im- 
posture, the prisoner was given a day's outing, as is 
recorded in Bacon's " History of King Henry VII." 

"About this time," says Bacon, "Edward Plan- 
tagenet was upon a Sunday brought throughout all the 
principal streets of London, to be seen of the people. 
And having passed the view of the streets, was con- 
ducted to Paul's Church in solemn procession, where 
great store of people were assembled. And it was 
provided also in good fashion, that divers of the 
nobility and others of quality (especially of those that 
the King most suspected, and knew the person of 
Plantagenet best) had communication with the young 
gentleman by the way, and entertained him with 
speech and discourse." 

Then followed the graver affair of Perkin War- 
beck ; and, as Bacon puts it, " it was ordained that 
this winding ivy of a Plantagenet should kill the tree 
itself." Perkin was sent to the Tower, and " there 
contrived with himself a vast and tragical plot which 
was to draw into his company Edward Plantagenet, 
Earl of Warwick, then prisoner in the Tower, whom 

-* House of Neville and House of Phinta^enet 

the weary life of a long imprisonment and the oft and 
renewing fears of being put to death had softened 
to take any impression of counsel for his liberty." 
The nature of the plot was that four " varlets " should 
" murder their master the Lieutenant secretly in the 
night, and make their best of such money and 
portable goods of his as they should find ready at 
hand, and get the keys of the Tower, and presently to 
let forth Perkin and the Earl." It is not in the least 
likely that Edward, who is said to have been rendered 
half imbecile by his long confinement, took any active 
part in the plot, or had any but the vaguest idea what 
it was all about. But the chance was too good for 
the King to lose. Edward of Warwick 1 was be- 
headed on Tower Hill on November 24th, 1499, and 
subsequently had all his honours taken from him by 
posthumous process of attainder. It is a tragical 
story of shameless persecution. 

The posthumous attainder, however, was, some years 

1 The arms of Edward, Earl of Warwick, are thus given in a Harlcian 
MS. : 

" I. Quarterly : France modern and England a label of 3 gobony argent 
and azure. 

''II. Fraunce and England a labell of 3 points argent, on cache pointe 
a torteaux. 

" III. Quarterly, I. France, II. England, III. Beauchamp, IV. Neubourg. 
Over all in pretence, quarterly, I, Vairy or and gules an inescutcheon of 
the 2nd (Fit/John); 2, Lozengy or and azure a bordure gules charged 
with 8 plates (Neubourg) ; 3, Neville, a label or ; 4, Argent, a nuuinch gules 
(Toeni). Over I. and II. a label compony argent and azure. 

"Crest: On a chapeau of estate gules, turned up ermine, a lion statant 
crowned or, gorged with a label argent charged as in I. or II. (Arms). 

"Supporters: dexter, a bull sable armed unguled and tufted or; 
sinister, a bear argent." 


Warwick Castle - 

Inter, to be annulled by a statute of Henry VIII.; 
and the words of the petition incorporated in the 
Act show that the injustice of his treatment was fully 

''Which Edward," the document runs, "most 
gracious sovereign lord, was always from his child- 
hood, being of the age of eight years, until the time 
of his decease, remaining and kept in ward and re- 
strained from his liberty, as well within the Tower 
of London as in other places, having none experience 
nor knowledge of the worldly policies, nor of the laws 
of this realm, so that, if any offence were by him 
done ... it was rather by innocency than of any 
malicious purpose." 

The petitioner at whose instance this act of justice 
was done was Edward's sister Margaret, who had married 
Sir Richard Pole, Knight, son of Sir Geoffrey Pole, 
Knight, descended from a family of ancient gentry in 
Wales, who, having valiantly served King Henry VII. 
in his wars, was made Chief Gentleman of the Bed- 
chamber to Prince Arthur, and Knight of the Garter. 
In the fifth year of King Henry VIII. she petitioned 
the King that she might be allowed to inherit the 
state and dignity of her brother, the late Earl of 
Warwick, and be styled Countess of Salisbury. Her 
petition was granted, and the same year she obtained 
letters patent for all the castles, manors, and lands of 
Richard, late Earl of Salisbury, her grandfather, which, 
by the attainder of the said Edward, Earl of Warwick, 
came to the Crown. 

-* House of Neville and House of Plantagenet 

Her end, however, like her brother's, was to be 
evil. " In the 3ist year of King Henry VIII.," says 
Edmondson, " she was condemned in parliament for 
high-treason ; certain bulls from Rome having been 
found at Cowdray, her mansion-house. It was also 
charged upon her, that the parson of Warblington 
had conveyed letters from her to her son, Cardinal 
Reginald Pole, and that she had forbid all her tenants 
to have the New Testament in English, or any new 
book privileged by the King." 

Perhaps the King had other causes of complaint 
against her. We do not know. But she appears 
to have behaved with fortitude, to have refused to 
confess, and to have been sentenced without being 
heard. On May 27th, 1541, without arraignment or 
trial, at the great age of seventy-nine, she was carried 
to the place of execution on Tower Hill, and beheaded 

Here the House of Plantagenet, so tragic in its 
destinies, passes out of our history, leaving a vacant 
place to be filled, after an interval, by the House of 
Dudley. It is a proper point at which to turn back 
and say something about the building of Warwick 
Castle a branch of the subject which it has been 
necessary to pass over, while relating, in such detail 
as the authorities made possible, the history of the 
Earls of Warwick. 

For we have, as a matter of fact, reached a 
crisis and a turning-point in the history of castles. 
Hitherto we have found them more useful than 

\Yar\vick Castle <*- 

ornamental ; henceforward we shall find them more 
ornamental than useful. The invention of gunpowder, 
and the consequent invention of siege artillery, was 
fatal to their military importance. Fire-arms had been 
used, as we have mentioned, as early as Crecy ; but 
they were only little " bombards," which " with fire 
threw little iron balls to frighten the horses." Even 
in the time of Henry V. the guns counted for little, 
and the wars were mainly wars oi sieges. But 
Edward IV. had a siege-train cast, and we have seen 
the King-maker using it against Bamborough with 
great effect; and Henry YII. began his reign with 
the only siege train in the kingdom in his possession. 
Xo baronial castle was now impregnable, and in the 
course of the ensuing years many such castles were 
allowed to fall into ruin and decay. Kenilworth has 
gone, though Kenilworth Castle was a greater place 
than Warwick Castle in its time. Warwick Castle, in 
fact, is one of the very few feudal fortresses that still 
stand and are still used for human habitation. It 
affords unique facilities for the study of military archi- 
tecture in the times of the Plantagenet kings, and 
some glimpses of earlier arrangements. 


Architectural Particulars The Norman Castle GifTard's Siege The 
Edwardian Castle, built by the Beauchamps The General Principles 
of Edwardian Castles The Warwick Gatehouse Guy's Tower 
Cresar's Tower The Prison The Inscriptions The Curtain Walls 
between the Towers The River Gate. 

THE Normans, as we have seen, hastily patched 
up the Saxon castles, postponing the recon- 
struction of them to a more convenient season. 
Warwick is one of fifty castles belonging to the 
reign of the Conqueror that stood upon old sites. 
There was nothing then unique about it. Even in 
the Midlands even in Warwickshire there were other 
more important castles. In the reign of Henry I. 
Kenilworth and Beaudesert Castles appear temporarily 
to have superseded it. Down to the time of Henry II., 
as has been already mentioned, the defences, as far as 
can be ascertained, were chiefly of wood. 

The first important event in the history of the 
Castle is the siege which it sustained in 1265, when 
Henry III. was King of England and William Mauduit 
was Earl of Warwick. I have touched upon that 
operation in the course of my narrative ; but I must 
here revert to it. What happened then is best stated 
in Spicer's " History of Warwick Castle," from which 
I quote : 


\Yar\vick Castle <*- 

" An old chronicle says, ' William Mauduit ever 
held the King's part ; wherefore Sir Andrew GifFard 
by treason took the castell of Warwyke, and for that 
it should be no strength to the King, he beat with 
his fellowship down the wall from towere to towere, 
which, until Earl Thomas's days, afterwards was 
hedged. He also took the Earl and Countess with 
him to Kenilworth, and ransomed the Earl to 600 
marks, that was justly payde.' The ' Thomas ' here 
referred to was born in the castle. ' He walled the 
castell of Warwyke, towered it, and gated it ' ; and 
his son it was who built Guy's Tower, at a cost of 
^395 5 s * 9^- a considerable sum at that period." 

This is not, perhaps, very clear ; but the materials 
available do not make it possible to be clearer. To 
realise, in any way, what happened, we must picture 
a castle wholly different from that of to-day, with 
probably no towers save that on the keep and that 
at the gateway. The walls between would be plain 
and massive, with bastions at intervals, but not towers. 
The living portions would even at that date be near 
the river, or at any rate some strong works would be 
there. If the only towers were the gatehouse and 
keep, it is fairly easy to understand what Giffard did. 

He had, at any rate, done enough to render re- 
construction necessary. This must have commenced 
early in the regime of the Beauchamps, since the Castle 
was at the time of the Wolf of Arderne strong enough 
and secure enough not only to hold Gaveston a prisoner, 
but to take the steps preliminary to his capture. 

Warwick Castle <*- 

The Beauchamps built the long undercroft, the hall 
and chapel, the curtain walls, gatehouse, and Guy 
and Caesar's Towers, and made the Castle assume an 
Edwardian form. Of these, Ccesar's Tower was built 
about 1550; Guy's, the last, in 1394. The Despencer 
who was guardian of Guy de Beauchamp is said to 
have demolished much of the walling ; but on what 
evidence I do not know. Other building operations 
which may be noted here are those of the Duke of 
Clarence, who is said to have contemplated additions 
to the walls and to have begun the tower called after 
his name; of Richard III., who is said to have made 
extensive alterations, including the commencement of 
the companion tower to that of Clarence ; and of 
Henry VI 1 1., who had to under-pin the foundations, 
owing to a landslip on the river-side. Some Exchequer 
accounts of the last-mentioned reign bearing on the 
Castle are in existence : 

19 Hen. VIII. Account of delivery of timber only for repair of the 
King's tenements in the Borough of Warwick; including 
20 oak trees for the repair of the castle mill ; the said 
mill is in sore decay by reason of the great floods that 
fell last year. 

Do. 490 15. 

1557. Declaration of decays, etc., in tenements and cottages 

in Warwick Borough. 

Do. 490 ~ 6 

*558- A similar account. 


House of Neville and House of Plantairenet 


For the description of the Edwardian Castle I feel 
that I have no choice but to quote from the work to 
which I have already expressed my deep indebtedness 
Clark's " Mediaeval Military Architecture." 

First, as to the walls : 

" The walls of these Edwardian castles varied from 
25 to 40 feet in height, and were from 6 to 8 feet 
thick, or even more to allow of mural galleries. Upon 
their top was a path called the 'allure' or rampart 
walk, protected in front by an embattled parapet, and 
in the rear by lower and lighter walls. Frequently 
there was a loop in each merlon, and each embrasure 
was fitted with a hanging shutter. The ramparts were 
usually reached from the adjacent mural towers, but 
sometimes, as at Warwick, by an open staircase of 
stone. Occasionally, where a wall is too slight to 
allow of a rampart wall, it was in time of war provided 
with a platform of wood like a builder's scaffold." 

Secondly, as to the drawbridge : 

"In its most simple form the drawbridge was a 
platform of timber turning upon two gudgeons or 
trunnions at the inner end : when up it concealed 
the portal, and when down dropped upon a pier in 
the ditch or upon the counterscarp. Its span varied 
from 8 to 12 feet. The contrivances for working it 
were various. Sometimes chains attached to its outer 
end passed through holes above the portal, and were 
worked within by hand or by a counterpoise. Occa- 
sionally there was a frame above the bridge, also on 
trunnions. In the larger castles the arrangements were 


Warwick Castle *- 

very elaborate. Sometimes the bridge was the only 
connexion between the gateway and the opposite pier : 
at others the parapets or face walls rested on a fixed 
arch, and the bridge dropped between them." 

Thirdly, as to the gatehouse : 

" An Edwardian gatehouse is a very imposing 
structure. It was usually rectangular in plan, always 
flanked in front by two drum towers, and sometimes 
in the rear by two others containing well-staircases. In 
its centre was the portal arch, opening into a long 
straight passage traversing the building. Three loops 
in each flanking tower commanded the bridge of 
approach, raked the lateral curtain, and covered a point 
immediately outside the gate. Above the portal was 
usually a small window, and above that, at the summit, 
a machicolation set out on corbels, or in its place a 
sort of bridge, thrown across from tower to tower a 
couple of feet in advance of the wall, so that a chase 
or slot was left, down which stones or even beams 
could be let fall upon those who might be assailing 
the gate below." 

Fourthly, as to the portcullis : 

" The portcullis was an important part of the 
defence. It was a strong grating, in the smaller gate- 
ways of iron, in the larger of oak, strengthened and 
shod with iron spikes and suspended in grooves by 
two cords or chains, which passed over two sheaves, 
or sometimes through a single central block, and either 
were attached to counterpoises or worked by a winch. 
The grooves are generally half round with slightly 

-* House of Neville and House of Plantagenet 

prolonged sides, 4 to 6 inches broad by from 4 to 
7 inches deep. Sometimes the portcullis chamber 
is a small cell in the wall. Sometimes the grate had 
no lateral grooves, and must have either hung loose or 
been steadied by its spikes resting on the ground below. 
Sometimes grooves are cut for a spare grate, but do 
not appear to have been armed." 

The approach to the portcullis lay through a portal 
arch " wide enough to admit a wain or three men-at- 
arms abreast." Behind it was " a door of two leaves 
opening inwards, and, when closed, held by one or 
two stout bars of oak, which could be pushed back into 
cavities in the wall. The vaulting there was pierced 
with holes, about a foot across, called meurtrieres" 

"These holes," says Clark, "might serve to hold 
posts to check the entrance of a body of men, or for 
thrusting pikes down upon them. They have also 
been supposed to be intended to allow water to be 
poured down, supposing the passage filled with bushes 
set on fire, though it is difficult to see how any quantity 
of water could be obtained, any more than melted lead 
or pitch, which are spoken of. The first floor of the 
larger gatehouses contained a handsome chamber with 
lateral doors leading to the ramparts of the curtain 
and sometimes to an oratory. The portcullises were 
worked through the floor, and their tackle must have 
given an air of warlike reality to the room." 

The passages cited outline the picture clearly ; but 
the generalities should, of course, be supplemented by 
particulars as to our Warwick Castle gatehouse. 

VOL. I. 20t; P 

Warwick Castle <+ 

The barbican was sometimes a mere walled space 
attached in front of the gateway, and sometimes a 
tcte dn pont posted at the end of the bridge away 
from the main work. Here at Warwick the barbican 
nearly resembles that at Bridgenorth, and is really 
a subordinate gate. It has a central archway, guarded 
with a double row of nmirtrieres, with a heavy port- 
cullis, still in use, and double doors. The entrance is 
flanked by drum towers, containing basement chambers 
for the winch by which the portcullis is raised and 
lowered, and pierced with loops for defence. The 
second chamber has small lights, and it is studded on 
the exterior with heavy iron hooks, on which wool- 
sacks were suspended for defence during the Royalist 
siege. Two short newel stairs reach the interior rooms 
from the leads, but not through the drum towers, and 
the whole is crenelated and flanked by the archers' 
galleries of the gatehouse above and from the merlons 
of the curtain wall. 

The gatehouse proper is joined to the barbican 
by curtain walls on north and south, both with allures. 
In the south wall is a second shallow recess, defended 
by a second portcullis and an arch with broad soffit 
containing a double row of meurtrieres. 

Behind these was a lighter gate, supported on double 
hinges and with the usual double leaves ; and behind 
this a vaulted roof of two bays, the ribs rising from 
elegant corbels. 

The porters' or warders' room is on the north, and 
is of two and a half bays, with simple vaulting rising 

< V 

\Yar\vick Castle +- 

from corbels carved with cither foliage or masks. The 
window is formed by the angle of the interior turrets, 
and is also vaulted. 

On the opposite side is an open archway into 
the court, with a small chamber in the tower base on 
the rio-ht and a stair on the left, which winds round 


a newel to the leads. This has blocked loops on the 
south, which show it to be of earlier date than the 
building (the dairy) now erected against it. There 
also a door leads to the barbican leads, and is 
matched by another on the north, while another gives 
access to the allure on the south curtain. The stair, 
meanwhile, ascends through several small chambers to 
the gatehouse leads. 

There is a second stair on the north side, rising 
from the allure of the north curtain. 

The leads here have corner square towers, those 
on the outside altered in shape by a broad chamfer at 
the north-east and south-east angles. These towers 
are connected by stone bridges supported on segmental 
arches, and have gargoyles with spouting to carry off 
the rain-\vater. All these are loopholed to flank attacks 
on the bridge gate and allures, even the inner works, 
and they are all embattled. 

The turrets form small chambers for archers, and 
are vaulted in stone. 

The tower is used for the clock, which has faces 
both inside to the courtyard and outside. 

The bell is old, and inscribed : THIS jjp BELL ^ WAS $? 

l-OVNDKI) 4? FOR %> WEI.GNOCK $> ANNO $ DOMINI ft I 606. 

-* House of Neville and House of Plaritagenet 

The whole building dates from the middle of the 
fourteenth century. 

We may pass on to the towers. 

Guy's Tower is dodecagonal in shape, rising from 
the inner court to an imposing height. 1 Its base- 
ment, and indeed every stage, is occupied by a triple 
set of rooms a large space well lighted in the centre, 
and cells on either side for defenders, separated by 
a strong dividing wall with narrow doorways. In the 
side rooms are small lockers in the wall, and loopholes 
commanding the direct and flanking attackers. The 
central room in the base is divided into three bays, 
separated by complete arches and with simple cross- 
ribs. The fireplace is in the eastern dividing wall. 

Twenty-seven steps lead to the first stage : this has 
transomed windows in the north and south, and in the 
side rooms three loops commanding the various walls. 
This is now the Muniment Room. Steps lead to the 
second stage similar to that below, and, like it, vaulted 
in stone in two bays. Twenty-seven steps lead to the 
third stage, which is like the second. Twenty-seven 
steps lead to the fourth stage, which has six large 
square crenelles and as many heavy angled walls 
between. The roof is simply vaulted in a hexagon, 
the ribs meeting in the centre. Twenty-two steps lead 
upward to the leads, the newels rising into fan tracery 
and covered by a turret. A second stair leads down- 
ward to the allure on the north curtain. In part of 
this the battlement is machicolated out on corbels to 

1 Ninety-three feet from courtyard to parapet, 

Warwick Castle <*- 

give the defenders power to attack. The covering roof 
was probably conical. The basement of the tower is 
revetted out. 

The building was erected by Thomas, Earl of War- 
wick, in 1394, at a cost of ,395. 

Caesar's Tower, formerly called the Poictiers Tower, 
and said to have been built between 1350 and 1370, 
situated at the south-east corner of the base court, 
rises to a height of 106 feet from its rocky basement 
in Mill Lane to its first parapet. It is one of the 
strongest and most elegant towers in England. It is 
an irregular polygon, the machicolations at the summit 
boldly corbelled out, and the general figure on the 
exterior forms three segments of a circle. 

The tower was constructed to command the passage 
of the river, which was here crossed by an ancient 
packhorse bridge of thirteen arches, widened to twice 
its original breadth in 1375. The reconstructed bridge 
consisted of seven arches, of which only the second 
and fifth remain ; it formed the south gate of the 
town, and was itself defended by earthworks. The new 
bridge, of one span, was built in 1790, and the same year 
the old bridge gave way under the pressure of a flood. 

The basement of the tower is, as we have said, of 
solid rock. An entrance from the courtyard leads by 
steps to the level of the Castle prison. This prison 
is below the courtyard by some twenty-seven steps, 
but not below the level of the Mill Lane. It is 17 feet 
4 inches long by 13 feet 3 inches wide, and 14 feet 
6 inches high. There are inscriptions on the walls. 

-*> House of Neville and House of Plantagenet 

Many miserable prisoners have scrawled the words 
" Jesu Mercy" there. Among other records of their 
sufferings are the following : 

R : 10/zN : SMJVTH : GVNER : TO : HIS : 

PlACE I AND lAjy HERE./FOM 164! TELL th 

WllllAM Slrf'iaTE ROT T/US SAME 

AN;/ if My PEN HAd B/ BETER foR 


Ma/ter i 642 345 

\ohn : SMJVTH GVNER to H. 

IN : T/2E -JEARE of OVR L 

ord 1 642 1345 
ihs mary 
ihs mw. 

Between the two towers run the curtain walls. 
They were, necessarily, the weakest portion of the 
defences ; but they are high and of great thickness. 

On the eastern side they join Guy's Tower to the 
gatehouse and the gatehouse to Caesar's Tower. To 
the former access is gained by an exposed flight of 
steps from Guy's Tower on to the allure, which is 
of considerable breadth, and defended by a stone 
parapet, each merlon pierced with a loophole, skewed 


Warwick Castle * 

on the interior to afford several angles to fire from, while 
presenting but a small cruciform aperture to attack. 
The embrasures were closed with hanging shutters, and 
certain of the merlons were utilised as garde-robes for 
sanitary purposes. 

The allure itself was paved, and the walls on the 
inside show a double series of corbels to support the 
temporary hoardings used in a siege, for giving ready 
access to all parts, and providing stores for ammunition. 

The gr.tehouse is reached from this curtain by a flight 
of steps, leading to the vice in its north-east turret. 

The weakest part of the enceinte was the long 
stretch of curtain from Guy's Tower to the mound. It 
commenced at Guy's Tower, running almost straight to 
a pair of ruined towers, or possibly unfinished towers, 
now called the Bear and Clarence. It is not impossible 
that it was this portion that was broken down by 
Giffard and the Kenil worth men in the siege of 1265, 
when the walls were demolished from tower to tower, 
and the Castle and Earl captured. Just before the 
easternmost of these two towers the allure descends a 
long flight of steps to the lower level. These are 
reached by a newel from the courtyard. 

'I he wall between the towers is pierced with a 
gateway, wide, depressed, and so totally indefensible 
that it must be at least as late as Restoration under 
the first Lord Brooke, if not yet more modern. 

The heptagon tower (nearest Guy's Tower) is 
now entered through a door on the exterior, leading 
through a pointed arch into a basement, viz. a plain 

-* House of Neville and House of Plantagenet 

vaulted room, with three circular crenelles and a rect- 
angular one, thus defending all the angles of approach. 
There is a chimneypiece and locker in its western wall. 

From this base an unfinished or ruined stair leads 
to the upper portions, which I believe were ruined in 
Lord Brooke's time, and restored with merlons and 
embrasures to suit the rest of the work. 

On leaving the second tower, which corresponds 
with the former, but has a broader flight of steps to 
the allure, the curtain ascends gradually to the mound 
and rises in steps. In this portion a considerable 
difference in the thickness of the wall arrests attention. 
The original line of building is left, and an obtuse 
angle formed by the union of a thin wall pierced with 
a broad arch, cut probably early in the nineteenth 
century to form a carriage way in connection with the 
former entrance in Castle Street which is now bricked 
up. As soon as the earthen rampart begins to rise, 
the wall resumes its former thickness and antiquity. 

The river gate occupies the south-west corner of the 
courtyard, at the junction of the south-west curtain wall 
and the mound. It was rebuilt almost from the founda- 
tions by Sir Fulke Greville, and has had modern repairs, 
but generally speaking has followed the original plan. 
From the river-side the tower appears to be of four 
stories, the lowermost occupied by a basement polygonal 
in form. This is entered by a double pointed arch 
with a false portcullis groove and no door : the original 
must have had both. This entrance is flanked by 
angled turrets (rectangles with their outer edges 

Warwick Castle <*- 

chamfered oft making rough pentagons). The southern 
turret meets the main wall by forming an angle, 
panelled and corbelled out at some height from the 
ground, with a pentagonal bastion. 

The tower between the turrets is lighted by a 
pair of shouldered rectangular windows, and one of 
larger size in the succeeding story, and over this 
a pointed window of plate tracery, which seems to be 
a modern innovation, or, if copied from earlier work, 
would have been a replica of Fulke Greville's copy 
of a thirteenth -century window. 

The Hanking turrets are lighted by narrow loops, 
and the merlons of the parapet are loopholed. 

The second story of this gate is reached from the 
basement by twenty-one steps, leading to a second 
basement on the level of the courtyard a groined 
heptagon, the ribs meeting in the centre, where 
there is a boss with a plain shield. This has a small 
porch. From the courtyard the entrance, as before, 
is flanked by a pair of similar towers, but only one 
window, and that of thirteenth-century design, appears 
in the upper portion. 

A solid wall supporting a masked passage joins 
this gateway to the main building. 

Such were the architectural features of the Castle in 
the period which has been passed under review. We 
shall have to return to the subject later, in connection 
with the reparations and extensions effected by Sir 
Fulke Greville. But for the present this will suffice. 




The Policy of Henry VII.- The Assistance given him by Edmund Dudley 
The Pedigree of Edmund Dudley His Descent from the House of 
Sutton Dudley and Empson Bacon's Scathing Account of their 
Proceedings The Arrest of Dudley His Conviction of High Treason 
His Book in Favour of Absolute Monarchy His Execution An 
Estimate of his Character. 

IT has been shown that the accession of Henry VII. 
marked an epoch in the history of castles ; hence- 
forward they could always be battered down, if need 
were, by the royal train of siege artillery. 

The same date marks, not less clearly, an epoch in 
the history of the baronage. The Wars of the Roses 
had changed the face of things in more than one 
respect ; and not the least of these results had been 
the destruction of the baronage by internecine strife. 
The feudal lords had spent a considerable term of 
years in slaying one another alike on the battle-field 
and on the scaffold. The wars had been their wars, 
and not the people's. The merchants of the towns 
had, with rare exceptions, remained neutral in the 
strife ; and the towns had, in consequence, been spared, 


Warwick Castle '*- 

Philip de Commines, observing the wars with the 
impartial eye of a foreigner, notes that "there are 
no buildings destroyed or demolished by war," and 
that '-the mischief falls on those who make the war." 
And that is to say that the mischief fell upon the 
barons. On the one hand, trade had been flourishing; 
and the traders, through their intimate commercial 
relations with Flanders and Burgundy, had been 
acquiring wealth. On the other hand, the barons had 
fought together until the baronage, as a collective 
force, had ceased to be. The weight of their armour, 
hindering their flight, no less than their courage and 
ferocity, had made them the principal sufferers in 
the cases of defeat and massacre ; and nearly every 
defeat had been followed by a bloody assize. Few of 
them, whether Yorkists or Lancastrians, had survived 
the slaughter ; fewer still survived without the dissipa- 
tion of their resources, if not the confiscation of their 

In this new condition of things the monarchy had 
nothing to fear from them ; and it happened that a 
succession of strong kings kept them in the place to 
which circumstances had reduced them. Edward IV. 
was a strong king. So was Henry VII.; and so, in 
a still greater degree, was Henry VIII. We no 
longer hear, therefore, of the barons standing up to 
the kings and wresting reforms from them. The 
strong rule of an absolute sovereign was naturally 
preferred by the trading classes to the lawlessness 
of the feudal system. The barons, therefore, were 


Warwick Castle *- 

dependent upon the royal favour for the position that 
they enjoyed. Such insurrections as they raised, 
being no longer on the old scale, furnish no real 
exception to this rule. For a revolution backed by a 
principle, we have to wait until the reign of Charles I. ; 
and that revolution was effected, not by the barons, 
but by the House of Commons. 

Henry VI I. was jealous of the military house- 
holds of the barons. These had been forbidden by 
Edward IV. in the Statute of Liveries ; but that 
statute had not been universally obeyed. Henry VII. 
enforced it even against his own most valued friends. 
His devoted adherent the Earl of Oxford entertained 
him, and he found two lines of retainers in livery drawn 
up for his ceremonious reception. " Thank you for 
your good cheer, my lord," he said ; " but I must not 
endure to have my laws broken in my sight. My 
attorney must speak with you." And the attorney 
spoke with the Earl of Oxford, and fixed his penalty 
at a fine of ,10,000. 

The extortion of money from his subjects on one 
pretext or another was, indeed, the one fixed principle 
of Henry VII. 's policy; and it is in connection with 
the carrying out of this policy that our attention is 
first arrested by the name of Dudley, in the person 
of the notorious Edmund Dudley. In the history of 
the reign no names are more notorious than those of 
Empson and Dudley. They are names associated 
hardly less closely than those of Marshall & Snelgrove 
or Swan & Edgar in these modern times. 

-* The House of Dudley 

The family history of this Edmund Dudley has 
been the subject of acrimonious debate. Sampson 
Erdeswicke, the sixteenth-century historian of Stafford- 
shire, makes him out to be the son of a carpenter. 
This is the argument quoted in Twamley's " History 
of Dudley Castle " : 

" This Edmund was the son of one John Dudley, 
which the duke would needs have (for so I have heard 
Somerset, i.e. Robert Glover, Somerset herald) say 
that he saw a descent, wherein the duke with his 
own hand had put it down, that he was the second 
son of John Sutton, fifth baron of Dudley, of the 
Suttons' race, and brother of the first Edward ; but, 
whether he was so or not, I will not take upon me 
to dispute, being of myself ignorant, except by hearsay 
and report ; for I heard it by one who took upon him 
to be of good credit (while he lived) that the said 
John, father of Edmund, was a carpenter, and, indeed, 
born in the town of Dudley, but not of the name, 
other than travelling for his living, and happening to 
be entertained at work in the abbey of Lewes, in 
Sussex, where (growing into favour with the abbot) 
he was appointed carpenter to the house, and there 
married, and (after the manner as the monks used) 
was called John of Dudley, not because his name was 
so, but because he was born in Dudley town ; and 
having by his wife this Edmund, who was taken into 
the house, and there brought up at school, and proving 
a towardly child, and apt to learn, the abbot having 
scholars' rooms in the university, this Edmund was 


Warwick Castle <+ 

placed into one of them. And, after the abbot, having 
suits at law, and finding this young scholar ingenious 
and wise, took him from the university, and placed 
him at the Inns of Court, where he maintained him, 
and used him as a solicitor, to follow the suits of the 
house ; which he not only did sufficiently and well, 
but also so studied the laws of this land, that he became 
very well learned in them, and so was brought into 
favour of King Henry the Seventh, whereby he was 
advanced in manner I have before spoken of." 

This story, however, is of doubtful authenticity, 
though it was long believed. " The discovery of 
his father's will," says the writer of the Life con- 
tributed to the " Dictionary of National Biography," 
" practically establishes his pretensions to descent from 
the great baronial family of Sutton alias Dudley." 
Accepting this view, we may, still following the 
" Dictionary of National Biography," trace the Dudley 
pedigree from much earlier times. 

We begin with one John de Somery, Baron of 
Dudley, "owner of the castle and lordship of Dudley, 
Staffordshire, which had been in his family since an 
ancestor married, in Henry II.'s time, Hawyse, sister 
and heiress of Gervase Paganell," who " became Baron 
of Dudley in virtue of a writ of summons which was 
issued on the meeting of each Parliament summoned 
between 1308 and 1322." His sister and co-heiress, 
Margaret, married one John de Sutton I. He had 
a son, John cle Sutton II., who died in 1359. There 
succeeded, in lineal succession, John de Sutton III. 

a photograph by Charles (,',-an/. 


\Yar\vick Castle <- 

who was dead in 1370 ; John de Sutton IV., who 
died in 1396; John de Sutton Y., who died in 1406; 
and John de Sutton VI. 

John de Sutton II. was summoned to sit in Parlia- 
ment by a writ of February 25th, 1341-42, in which 
he is described as Johannes de Sutton de Duddeley ; 
but the Suttons III., IV., and V. did not receive this 
honour. The sixth John de Sutton did, the writ of 
February i5th, 1439, entitling him Johannes Sutton 
de Dudley. Hence he is generally regarded, by 
Duofdale and other authorities, as the first Baron 


Dudley of the Sutton family. The title continued to 
be borne, and the writs of summons continued to be 
received, until the line failed by the death of the fifth 
baron, who had survived his heir, and only left illegiti- 
mate male posterity, on June 23rd, 1643. 

This first Baron Dudley was a man of some 
considerable distinction. He bore the royal standard 
at the funeral of Henry V., and under Henry VI. 
was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from 1428 to 1430, 
and was afterwards sent as ambassador to Brittany and 
Burgundy. In the Wars of the Roses we find him on 
the Lancastrian side. He was taken prisoner at the 
first battle of St. Albans and sent to the Tower ; 
and he was wounded at the battle of Blore Heath. 
Edward IV., however, accepted his apologies, granted 
him a hundred marks from the revenues of the Duchy 
of Cornwall and ^100 from the customs of the port 
of Southampton, and sent him to France, with the 
Earl of Arundel, on a diplomatic mission in 1477-78. 

<+> The House of Dudley 

He married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Berkeley, 
and widow of Edward Charlton, last Lord Charlton of 
Powys, died in 1487, and left four sons. Of these, 
Edmund died in his father's lifetime (though he left 
issue to which the title passed) ; William became Arch- 
deacon of Middlesex, Dean of the Chapel Royal, 
Prebendary of Wells, Bishop of Durham, and Chancellor 
of the University of Oxford ; Oliver was killed at the 
battle of Edgcote ; and John is believed to have been 
the father of the Edmund Dudley with whom we are 
now occupied. 

John Dudley, whose will, as we have said, establishes 
Edmund Dudley's identity, was sheriff of the county 
of Sussex in 1485. He lived at Atherington, in Sussex, 
and married Elizabeth, daughter and co-heiress of 
Thomas or John Bramshot, of the same county. Of 
Edmund Dudley we know nothing of importance, except 
that he went to Oxford, until we find him studying 
law at Gray's Inn, where the Dudley arms were em- 
blazoned on one of the windows of the hall. Polydore 
Vergil says that his legal knowledge attracted the 
notice of Henry VII. on his accession, and that he 
was made a Privy Councillor at the age of twenty-three. 
However that may be, preferment came to him rapidly. 
In 1492 he was employed in negotiating the Peace of 
Boulogne ; in 1497 he was, if Stow may be trusted, 
Under-Sheriff of London; in 1504 he became Speaker 
of the House of Commons; in 1506 he was made 
Steward of the Rape of Hastings. But his fame, or 
infamy, reposes on his association with Sir Richard 


\Yar\vick Castle <*- 

Empson in carrying out Henry VI I. 's plans for extorting 
money, by illegal processes, from his subjects. 

The precise locus standi of these two extortioners 
is difficult to define. Polydore Vergil calls them fiscales 
jndiccs; and Mr. Sidney Lee says that they "probably 
acted as a sub-committee of the Privy Council," and 
"certainly were not judges of the Exchequer nor of 
any other recognised court." As regards their pro- 
ceedings, no cold-blooded summary can do justice to 
these. It is better to print the strenuous indictment 
of Bacon, who wrote with a full knowledge of the 
intricacies of the law of the period. 

" And as the Kings do more easily find instruments 
for their will and humour than for their service and 
honour," says Bacon, " he had gotten for his purpose, 
or beyond his purpose, two instruments, Empson and 
Dudley ; whom the people esteemed as his horse-leeches 
and shearers : bold men and careless of fame, and that 
took toll of their master's grist. Dudley was of a 
good family, eloquent, and one that could put hateful 
business into good language. But Empson, that was 
the son of a sieve-maker, triumphed always upon the 
deed done ; putting off all other respects whatsoever. 
These two persons being lawyers in science and privy 
councillors in authority, (as the corruption of the best 
things is the worst) turned law and justice into worm- 
wood and rapine. For first their manner was to cause 
divers subjects to be indicted of sundry crimes ; and 
so far forth to proceed in form of law ; but when the 
bills were found, then presently to commit them ; and 

Warwick Castle *- 

nevertheless not to produce them in any reasonable 
time to their answer ; but to suffer them to languish 
long in prison, and by sundry artificial devices and 
terrors to extort from them great fines and ransoms, 
which they termed compositions and mitigations. 

" Neither did they, towards the end, observe so 
much as the half-face of justice, in proceeding by in- 
dictment ; but sent forth their precepts to attach men 
and conven them before themselves and some others 
at their private houses, in a court of commission ; and 
there used to shuffle up a summary proceeding by 
examination, without trial of jury ; assuming to them- 
selves there to deal both in pleas of the crown and 
controversies civil. 

" Then did they also use to inthral and charge the 
subjects' lands with tenures in capite, by finding false 
offices, and thereby to work upon them for wardships, 
liveries, premier seisins, and alienations, (being the fruits 
of these tenures) ; refusing (upon divers pretexts and 
delays) to admit men to traverse those false offices, 
according to the law. 

" Xay the King's wards after they had accomplished 
their full age could not be suffered to have livery of 
their lands without paying excessive fines, far exceeding 
all reasonable rates. 

" They did also vex men with information of intru- 
sion, upon scarce colourable titles. 

" When men were outlawed in personal actions, they 
would not permit them to purchase their charters of 
pardon, except they paid great and intolerable sums ; 


-* The House of Dudley 

standing upon the strict point of law, which upon 
utlawries giveth forfeiture of goods. Nay contrary to 
all law and colour, they maintained the King ought 
to have the half of men's lands and rents, during the 
space of full two years, for a pain in case of utlawry. 
They would also ruffle with jurors and inforce them to 
find as they would direct, and (if they did not) conven 
them, imprison them, and fine them. 

" These and many other courses, fitter to be buried 
than repeated, they had of preying upon the people ; 
both like tame hawks for their master, and like wild 
hawks for themselves ; insomuch as they grew to great 
riches and substance. But their principal working was 
upon penal laws, wherein they spared none great nor 
small ; nor considered whether the law were possible 
or impossible, in use or obsolete ; but raked over all 
old and new statutes ; though many of them were 
made with intention rather of terror than rigour ; ever 
having a rabble of promoters, questmongers, and leading 
jurors at their command ; so as they could have any 
thing found, either for fact or valuation." 

Naturally the performances described in this vigorous 
language were not productive of popularity. The son 
of the baron and the son of the sieve-maker, having 
enabled their royal master to amass about four and a 
half millions in coin and bullion, became the best-hated 
men in the kingdom. Nor was the popular outcry 
likely to be diminished by the fact that Dudley, by 
the sale ot offices and extra-legal compositions, had 
pulled into the Treasury about ,120,000 a year. He 


Warwick Castle <*- 

and his associate needed all the protection that their 
royal protector could afford them. 

They were safe during Henry VII.'s lifetime; but 
Henry VIII. did not attempt to shield them. He 
yielded to the clamour and sent them to the Tower. 
It transpired that, while Henry VII. was lying on his 
death-bed, Dudley had asked his friends to attend him 
in London in arms in the event of his decease. In 
all probability he only took this step in self-defence. 
He had every reason to fear that there would be 
a riot, and that the rioters would endeavour to do 
him grievous bodily harm. The Court, however, 
chose to see in his action a plot against the life of 
Henry VIII. 

The King himself, probably disbelieving in the 
plot, and meaning to show indulgence, postponed the 
execution. Dudley, to give him a pretext for indul- 
gence, spent his captivity in writing a political treatise 
in favour of absolute government, entitled " The Tree 
of Commonwealth." There are MS. copies in the 
Chetham Library, Manchester, and in the British 
Museum ; and the book was privately printed at Man- 
chester by the Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross in 1859, 
but the copy intended for the King never reached him. 
Dudley, despairing of pardon, tried to escape from the 
Tower. The attempt failed, however ; and the outcry 
against him continuing, he and Empson were sent 
together to execution on Tower Hill, after more than 
a year's incarceration, on August i8th, 1510. 

The summing up of his character is not an agreeable 

-> The House of Dudley 

task, for his character was thoroughly bad ; and though 
he may have had redeeming qualities, all trace of them 
has been lost. For the policy which he helped 
Henry VII. to carry out, there is this to be said: 
that the only way of preserving the peace of the realm 
was to keep the great landowners from becoming too 
powerful, and that there was no better way of doing 
this than to collect feudal dues with rigour and regu- 
larity. But that was only the beginning of the policy. 
It proceeded to and ended in the miserly accumula- 
tion of a hoard by irregular and arbitrary means. In 
the pursuit of these practices Edmund Dudley was 
Henry VII.'s right-hand man. And he not only did 
very well for his master ; his will, of which there is 
a copy in the Record Office, shows that he did very 
well for himself. Posterity will hardly pardon his 
offences because he bequeathed a small portion of his 
ill-gotten gains for the maintenance of poor scholars 
at Oxford. He will be remembered as the most sordid 
servant of the most sordid of the English kings. 



Kdmund Dudley's Family Andrew Dudley John Dudley, Earl of Warwick 
and Duke of Northumberland The List of his Honours and Offices 
under Henry VIII. and under Edward VI. His Military Achievements 
at Boulogne, at Pinkie, and at Dussindale His Rivalry with Lord 
Protector Somerset His Acquisition of Dudley Castle John Knox's 
Candid ( )pinion of him. 

EDMUND DUDLEY was twice married. By 
his first wife, Anne, sister of Andrew, Lord 
\Yindsor, and widow of Roger Corbet, of Morton, 
Shropshire, he had a daughter, Elizabeth, who married 
William, sixth Lord Stourton, and so passes out of 
this history. His second wife was Elizabeth, daughter 
of Edward Grey, Viscount Lisle, and co-heiress of her 
brother John. She bore him three sons, named John, 
Andrew, and Jerome. 

Of Jerome nothing of consequence is to be re- 
corded. Andrew was more notable. He was Admiral 
of the Northern Seas ; he was knighted by Somerset 
in 1547; he was Keeper of the Wardrobe of Edward VI., 
and Keeper of the Palace of Westminster, and Captain 
of Guisnes, where he quarrelled with Lord Willoughby, 
Deputy ot Calais, as to the extent of his jurisdiction, 
and a Knight of the Garter ; he was commissioned 
in 1552 to make a survey of Portsmouth. We shall 
meet him again when we come to treat of the attempt 
to make the Lady Jane Dudley Queen of England. 

-* The House of Dudley 

For the moment we have to concentrate our attention 
upon John Dudley, who became not only Earl of 
Warwick, but also Duke of Northumberland, by which 
latter title history knows him best. 

John Dudley was probably, though not certainly, 
born in 1502. His father, as we have seen, was 
executed and attainted, when he was eight ; but at 
the age of eleven he was restored in blood by Act 
of Parliament, the attainder being repealed a proof 
that Henry VIII. did not really bear malice against the 
man whose head he had cut off. He hardly could, 
seeing that he derived great profit from Edmund 
Dudley's evil deeds, and did not himself propose 
to be scrupulously deferential to the law, when he 
wanted to raise money as witness his exaction of 
benevolences and his spoliation of the religious houses. 

The career of John Dudley was synchronous with 
the reigns of Henry VIII. and Edward VI. a period 
to which we shall have to return in connection with 
the ancestors of later Earls of Warwick of the houses 
of both Rich and Greville. He was made Earl of 
Warwick in 1547 and Duke of Northumberland in 
1551. These titles, however, were only a few of his 
distinctions. There is, perhaps, no better way of 
giving a bird's-eye view of his position in the Tudor 
world than to recite the long list of the honours and 
offices conferred upon him. 

His accumulated title at the end of his life 
was Duke of Northumberland, Earl of Warwick, 
Viscount Lisle, Baron de Malpas, Somery, Basset 


Warwick Castle <*- 

of Drayton, and Tyes, Lord of Dudley; Knight 
of the Garter. He had been I follow the chrono- 
logical order through without peppering the page with 
dates Lieutenant of the Spears of Calais ; Joint 
Constable of Warwick Castle and Town ; Keeper of 
Goodcrest Manor and Wedgnock Park; Master of 
the Armoury in the Tower; Sheriff of the County 
of Stafford; Chief of the Henchmen to Henry VIII. ; 
Deputy Governor of Calais; Master of the Horse to 
Oueen Anne of Cleves ; Member of Parliament for 
the County of Stafford; Lord Warden and Keeper of 
the King's Marches towards Scotland; Great Admiral 
of England, Ireland, and Wales, Calais, Normandy, 
Gascony, and Aquitaine; Privy Councillor; Lieutenant 
and Captain-General of Boulogne ; Seneschal of the 
Boulonnais ; and Ambassador to Paris. 

All that in the reign of Henry VIII. The list for 
the reign of Edward VI. is longer. In that reign we 
find John Dudley Joint Executor to King Henry VIII. ; 
a Commissioner for the Trial of Henry, Earl of Suffolk ; 
a Commissioner of Claims for the Coronation ; Great 
Chamberlain of England; High Steward of Warwick ; 
Joint Commissioner to treat with the French Ambas- 
sadors; Privy Councillor; Lieutenant and Captain-General 
in the Northern Parts ; President of the Council of 
Wales ; Lieutenant of the Counties of Cambridge, 
Bedford, Huntingdon, Northampton, and Norfolk ; 
Great Admiral of England, Ireland, and Wales; 
Master of the Game and Master Forester of En- 
field Chase; Lord Great Master of the Household; 

-* The House of Dudley 

Lord President of the Council; High Steward of 
Great Yarmouth ; Lord Warden General of the 
North ; Governor of the County of Northumberland ; 

After the picture by Holbein. 

Warden of the East, Middle, and West Marches 
towards Scotland ; King's Justice and Lieutenant for 
the Counties of Warwick, Oxford, Stafford, North- 


\Yarwick Castle <*- 

umberland, and Cumberland, and the towns of New- 
castle and Berwick-on-Tweed ; Constable of Beaumaris 
Castle and Captain of Beaumaris ; Chancellor of the 
University of Cambridge ; High Steward of Cam- 
bridge, of the East Riding of the County of York, 
of Holderness and Cottingham ; Keeper of Scrooby 
Manor and Park ; Joint Visitor of Eton College ; 
Steward of all Honours, Castles, Manors, and Lord- 
ships in the Counties of Cumberland, Northumberland, 
Westmorland, York, and Durham ; Steward of the 
Bishopric of Durham ; and Lord Lieutenant of the 
Bishopric of Durham. 

It is a long list, and a list that sounds remarkably 
well when read aloud. Perhaps during the former of 
the two reigns John Dudley was not quite so important 
as it might appear to indicate. Some of his functions 
were purely ornamental, as when, at the meeting of 
the King with Anne of Cleves, at Blackheath, he led 
that Princess's spare horse, trapped to the ground in 
rich tissue. Other names at this period stand out 
more prominently than his the names, for instance, 
of Cardinal Wolsey and Thomas Cromwell and Sir 
I homas More Dudley's duties being more executive 
than administrative. 

His feats of arms, however, were considerable, 
though they were not achieved in battles of which 
the names are household words. He was a child 
at the time of the Battle of the Spurs, in 1513 ; but 
he was with the Earl of Hertford, afterwards Duke 
of Somerset, in the expedition to Scotland in which 

-> The House of Dudley 

Edinburgh was burnt to the ground ; and Nichols, in his 
" Literary Remains of Edward the Sixth," takes a retro- 
spective survey of his notable doings in France in 1544. 
" John Dudley, Earl of Warwick " (we there read), 
" was a Man of ancient Nobility, comely in Stature 
and Countenance, but of little Gravity or Abstinence 
in Pleasures, yea, sometimes almost dissolute, which 
was not much regarded, if in a time when Vices 
began to grow into Fashion, a great Man was not 
over severe. He was of a great Spirit, and highly 
aspiring, not forbearing to make any Mischief the 
PvTeans of attaining his ambitious Ends. Hereto his 
good Wit and pleasant Speeches were altogether 
serviceable, having the Art also, by empty Promises 
and Threats, to draw others to his Purpose : In 
Matters of Arms he was both skilful and industrious, 
and as well in Foresight as Resolution present and 
great. Being made Lord Lieutenant of Bulloine, 
when it was first taken by the English, the Walls 
sore beaten and taken, and in very Truth scarce 
maintainable, he defended the Place against the 
Dauphin, whose Army was accounted to consist of 
52,000 men; and when the Dauphin had entered 
the base Town, not without Slaughter of divers of the 
English, by a brave Sally, he cast out the French 
again, with the Loss of above 800 of their men, 
esteemed the best Soldiers in France. The Year 
next ensuing, when the French had a great Fleet at 
Sea for Invasion of England, he was appointed 
Admiral, and presented Battle to the French Navy ; 


Warwick Castle - 

which they refused, and returned home with all their 
Threats and Cost in vain. Hereupon he landed 5,000 
Men in France, fired Treport, and divers Villages 
thereabouts, and returned to his Ships with the loss 
only of one Man. To say Truth, for Enterprises by 
Arms, he was the Minion of that Time, so as few 
Things he attempted but he achieved with Honour, 
which made him more proud and ambitious when he had 
done. He generally increased both in Estimation with 
the King, and Authority among the Nobility, doubtful 
whether by fatal Destiny to the State, or whether by 
his Virtues, or at least by his Appearances of Virtues." 

It was the reign of Edward VI., however, that 
was the important period of John Dudley's life. In 
that reign he became at once prominent and unpopular. 
The victory of Pinkie, in 1547, was chiefly won by 
him ; and in 1549 he put clown the agrarian rising 
of Ket the Tanner, at the battle of Dussindale. A 
seditious leaflet of the time, entitled " The Epistle of 
Poor Pratte to Gilbert Potter," shows that men were 
disposed to give him an ugly nickname : 

" I have (faythfull Gilbard) scattered abroad thre 
of the bokes more, and two also have I sent into 
the ragged beares campe. that close which 
thou hast ; the world is daungerous. The great devell, 
Dudley, ruleth ; (duke, I shuld have sayd) : wel, let 
that passe, seing it is oute, but I truste he shall not 
longe. I have proved, if I could get a M. of them 
imprinted in some straunge letter, and so a nomber 
of them to be disparsed abroade." 

The House of Dudley 

Dudley's only 
formidable political 
rival at this period 
was Lord Protector 
Somerset; and with 
Somerset he dealt 
successfully. At a 
meeting of his 
friends at his house 
in Ely Place it was 
averre,d that 
Somerset was in 
rebellion against 
the King ; and 
Somerset was duly 
despatched to the 
Tower. In the 
Tower Somerset 
continued to in- 
trigue ; and this 
time he was tried 

for plotting against Dudley's life, and brought in due 
course to the scaffold. Then Dudley had no rival 
whom he could not afford to despise, and took over 
the Great Seal from Lord Chancellor Rich, the ancestor, 
by a curious coincidence, of our next series of Earls 
of Warwick. 

It was at this period that he had a genealogical 
tree compiled to establish his descent from the House 
of Sutton, and purchased Dudley Castle from the then 


VOL. I. 


Warwick Castle * 

head of the Sutton family, under circumstances which, 
if Dugdale's account of the transaction can be trusted, 
were very far from creditable to him. This is what 
Dugdale says in his " Baronage" : 

"It is reported, by credible Tradition, of this 
John Lord Dudley; that, being a weak man of under- 
standing, whereby he had exposed himself to some 
wants, and so became entangled in the Usurers 
Bonds : John Dudley, then Viscount Lisle, and Earl 
of Warwick (afterwards Duke of Northumberland) 
thirsting after Dudley-Castle (the chief seat of this 
Family) made those Money-Merchants his Instruments, 
to work him out of it ; which by some Mortgage being 
at length effected, this poor Lord became exposed to 
the Charity of his Friends for a subsistence ; and 
spending the remainder of his life in Visits amongst 
them, was commonly called the Lord Quondam." 

Another proof of Dudley's increasing unpopularity, 
in some circles at all events, may be found in his quarrel 
with John Knox, the great Scottish Reformer. He had 
been a good friend to that truculent pulpiteer, and had 
even tried to get him a bishopric. But on December 
7th, 1552, we find him writing that he thinks Knox 
" neither grateful nor pleasable," and we also find Knox 
returning the compliment with interest. The language 
is vigorous, though the sentences are involved ; and 
the general tenor of the discourse is clear enough : 

" But yet ceassed not the Devell to blowe hys 
wynde, but by his wicked instrumentes founde the 
meanes, how, against nature, the one broder should 

The House of Dudley 

assent to the death of the other 1 : and fynding the 
same instrumentes apt enough whose labours he had 
used before, he blewe suche mortal hatred betweene 

From an old print. 


two which appeared to have bene the chief pillers under 
the Kinge : for that wretched (alas !) and miserable 
Northumberlande could not be satisfied tyl such tyme as 
symple Somerset most unjustlye was bereft of his lyfe. 

1 Alluding to the sacrifice of Lord Seymour of Sudcley by the Duke 

of Somerset. 


\Yarwick Castle *- 

" And who, I pray you, ruled the rooste in the 
courte all this tyme by stoute corage and proudnes of 
stomack but Northumberland ? But who, I pray you, 
under Kynge Edwarde, ruled all by counsel and wyt ? 
shall I name the man ? I wil wryte no more plainly 
now then my tongue spake the last sermon that it 
pleased God that I should make before that innocent 
and most godly Kynge Edward the Syxte and before 
his counsdl at Westminster, and even to the faces of 
such as of whom I ment. Entreatynge this place of 
scripture, Qui edit inccmn panein, sustulit adversus me 
calcancinu sunm, that is, 'He that eateth bread with 
me hath lifted up his heele against me,' I made this 
affirmacion, That commonlye it was sene, that the most 
godly princes hadde officers and chief counseilours most 
ungodlye, conjured enemies to Goddes true religion, 
and traitours to their princes. Not that their wicked- 
nesse and ungodlynesse was spedely perceyved and 
espied out of the said princes and godly men, but 
that for a tyme those crafty colourers would so cloke 
their malice against God and his trueth, and their 
holowe hartes towarde their loving maisters, that, by 
worldly wysedome and pollicie at length they attained 
to high promotions." 

Thus hedged about by enemies, John Dudley pro- 
ceeded to lay the plot that was destined to undo him. 
He was great and powerful, but not so great and 
powerful as one of his predecessors in the Warwick 
Earldom. It would appear that the laurels of the 
King-maker did not suffer him to sleep. 


John Dudley's Children The Family Conspiracy in Favour of Lady Jane 
Dudley The Death of King Edward and the Failure of the Plot The 
Treatment of the Conspirators "The Saying of John, Duke of 
Northumberlande, uppon the Scaffold" His Character His Son, John 
Dudley, who succeeded him, but died soon after his Release from the 

BY his wife, Jane, daughter and heiress of Sir 
Edward Guilford, John Dudley had five sons 
and two daughters. The sons were John, known in 
his father's lifetime as Lord Lisle and Earl of Warwick ; 
Ambrose, subsequently Earl of Warwick ; Robert, who 
was to become very famous as Earl of Leicester; Lord 
Guilford Dudley ; and Lord Henry Dudley, who fell 
at the battle of Saint Quentin. The daughters were 
Mary, wife of Sir Henry Sidney, and mother of Sir 
Philip Sidney ; and Catherine, who married Henry 
Hastings, Earl of Huntingdon. In the plot now to 
be related, Northumberland had the support of all his 
sons, as well as of his brother, Sir Andrew Dudley. 

The excuse for the plot was loyalty to the principles 
of the Reformation. But John Dudley was only a 
time-serving reformer ; and his real object was obviously 
the aggrandisement of his own house. According to 
the will of Henry VIII., the Princess Mary stood 
next to Edward VI. in order of succession to the 


Warwick Castle *- 

throne ; but the Princess Mary was a bigoted Roman 
Catholic, and England under Edward VI. was a Pro- 
testant country. That might have been a good reason 
for refusing to allow her claims, and passing on to the 
nearest Protestant claimant ; but John Dudley decided 
to pass a good deal further than that. 

He induced the young King, who was entirely 
under his influence, to sign letters patent for the 
" limitation of the crown." The limitations provided 
for were peculiar and extensive, and explicable by no 
motive save a single-hearted desire to benefit the 
House of Dudley. The Princess Mary was excluded, 
not as a Catholic, but as a " bastard " ; the Princess 
Elizabeth was excluded for the same reason. The 
descendants of Henry VII.'s elder sister, Margaret, 
who had married James IV. of Scotland, were excluded 
because they were not mentioned in the will which it 
was proposed to set aside. Next in order came 
Frances, Lady Grey, daughter of Henry VII.'s 
younger daughter, Mary, by her marriage with Brandon, 
Duke of Suffolk. Lady Grey, however, was passed 
over in favour of her eldest daughter, Jane ; and the 
plot was completed by the celebration of a marriage 
between Lady Jane Grey and Lord Guilford Dudley, 
who brought his wife to live in the Dudleys' London 
house. There was opposition to the marriage ; but 
Dudley, by his truculent violence, overbore it. 

The marriage took place on May 2ist, 1553. 
Simultaneously and presumably with the view of 
further consolidating the Dudley influence Lady Jane's 

The House of Dudley 

sister Catherine married Lord Herbert, son of the Earl 
of Pembroke, and Lord Guilford's sister Catherine 
married Lord Hastings, son of the Earl of Huntingdon. 
On July 6th Edward VI. died, and then Dudley's 
power was put to the test. The summary of the 
events of the next few days may be borrowed from 
M r . Sidney 
Lee's concise 
narrative in the 
" Dictionary of 
National Bio- 
graphy " : 

" No public 
was made till 
8 July. On the 
evening of the 
9th Northum- 
berland carried 
Lady Jane be- 
fore the Council, 
and Ridley 
preached in 

favour of her succession at St. Paul's Cross. Lady 
Jane swooned when informed by the Council that 
she was Edward's successor. On 10 July she was 
brought in a barge from Sion House to the Tower 
of London, pausing on her way at Westminster and 
Durham House. After taking part in an elaborate 
procession which passed through the great hall of the 


From an old print 


\Yar\vick Castle <*- 

Tower, Lady Jane retired with her husband to apart- 
ments which had been prepared for her. Later in the 
clay she signed a proclamation (printed by Richard 
Grafton) announcing her accession, in accordance with 
the statute 35 Henry VIII. and the will of the late 
King, dated 21 June. Orders were also issued to 
the lords-lieutenant making a similar announcement, and 
despatches were sent to foreign courts. These were 
signed ' Jane the Ouene.' Public proclamation of her 
accession was, however, only made at King's Lynn 
and Berwick. On 9 July the Princess Mary wrote 
to the Council declaring herself Edward YI.'s lawful 
successor. On the iith twenty-one councillors, headed 
by Northumberland, replied that Lady Jane was Queen 
of England. On 12 July Lord-treasurer Winchester 
surrendered the Crown jewels to the new Queen Jane 
(see inventory in Harl. MS. 611), and on the same 
day she signed a paper accrediting Sir Philip Hoby 
as her Ambassador at the Court of Brussels. Lord 
Guilford Dudley, Lady Jane's husband, claimed the 
title of king ; but Lady Jane declined to admit the 
claim, and insisted on referring the matter to parliament." 
Meanwhile, the eastern counties had risen as one 
man for the cause of the Princess Mary. John Dudley 
decided to march against them with an army of ten 
thousand men ; but he seems to have started in a 
despondent frame of mind. "The people" (i.e. the 
Londoners), he noted, " crowd to look upon us, but 
not one calls ' God speed ye.' " He lost his nerve, 
retired to Cambridge, and let himself be arrested. 

-> The House of Dudley 

Suffolk, meanwhile, had also thrown up the sponge, 
told his daughter to retire into private life, and pro- 
claimed Queen Mary at the gates of the Tower. 

Never before in English history had a serious 
pretender been so rapidly disposed of; and the reason 
why is not far to seek. The people in general had no 
particular objection to Lady Jane Dudley, about whom 
they knew very little ; but they had the strongest 
objection to John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, 
about whom they knew a great deal. Under his 
rdgime> as under that of the Lord Protector Somerset, 
there had been iniquitous misrule. Roman Catholics 
had been persecuted beyond all decency and reason ; 
the Oxford library, for instance, had been scattered to 
the four winds of heaven on the ridiculous ground 
that the books contained in it were papistical. The 
Treasury had been depleted, and the coinage had been 
debased ; while favourites had been enriched. John 
Dudley, like Edmund Dudley, had used his tenure of 
power to line his pockets. The objection to be ruled 
over by a nominee of the Dudleys, with a Dudley 
for royal consort, was instinctive. Consequently the 
plot collapsed like a house of cards ; there was not 
even anything worthy to be called a civil war. 

In the matter of retributive justice the so-called 
Bloody Mary behaved, on the whole, more mildly 
than might have been expected. Even the innocent 
usurper, after pleading guilty of high treason, would 
almost certainly have been pardoned, had not her 
father once again proclaimed her Queen at Leicester, 


Warwick Castle 

and the rising of Sir Thomas Wyatt, and the desertion 
to him of the Duke of Norfolk's train-bands, given 
the impression that she was still dangerous. Sir 
Thomas, in fact, was within an ace of "rushing" 
London. If Mary had only been a little less energetic 
in appealing to the loyalty of the citizens at the 
Guildhall, he would have crossed Southwark Bridge, 
and her reign would have been over. After that, it 
is not surprising that she decided on the decapitation 
of Lord Guilford and Lady Jane Dudley, who died 
together on February i2th, 1554. Even so she 
pardoned Lord Guilford Dudley's brothers. The 
only member of the family whose pardon could not 
even be contemplated was the arch-plotter, John, Earl 
of Warwick and Duke of Northumberland. 

He, indeed, had already been hurried to the block 
within a month of his arrest, and had made a very 
unedifying end. His dying speech and confession was 
an ignominious recantation of the Protestant opinions 
which he had for years avowed, and a cowardly de- 
claration that "others" had "induced" him to his 
treasonable courses. Under the title of " The Saying 
of John, Duke of Northumberlande, uppon the 
Scaffolde," it was printed by " John Cawood, printer 
to the Oueenes highness " soon after his death. I 
give it here : 

" Good people, all you that be here preset to 

see me dye. Though my death be odvouse and 

horrible to the flesh, yet I pray you judge the beste 

in goddes workes, for he doth all for the best. And 



Reproduced from Mr. William Robertson Dick's "Inscriptions and Devices in the Beanchamp 
fmi'cr, Tower of London," by the kind permission of Mr. Dick, the author and artist. 



The device consists of the family crest the lion, bear, and ragged staff which is surrounded by 
a border containing sprigs of oak, roses, geraniums, and honeysuckle, emblematical of the Christian 
names of his four brothers : Ambrose, Robert, Guilford, and Henry. Beneath are the lines : 
"Yow that these beasts do wel behold and se 
May deme withe ease wherfore here made they be 
Withe borders eke wherin 
4 brothers names who list to serche the grovnd." 

The third line may be finished "there may be found" 

\Yar\vick Castle <- 

as for me, I am a Wretched synner, & have deserved 
to dye, and moste justly am condemyned to dye by a 
law. And yet this acte Wherefore I dye, was not 
altogether of me (as it is thoughte) but I was pro- 
cured and induced thereunto by other. I was I saye 
induced thereunto by other, howbeit, God forbyd that 
I \voulde name any man unto you, I wyll name no 
man unto you, (& therefore I beseche you loke not 
for it). 

"I for my parte forge ve all men, and praye God 
also to forge ve the. And yf I have offended anye of 
you here, I praye you and all the worlde to forgeve 
me : and moost chiefly I desire forgevenes of the 
Ouenes highnes, whome I have most grevousliye 
offended. Amen sayde the people. And I pray you 
all to witnes with me, that I depart in perfyt love 
and charitie with all the worlde, and that you wyl 
assiste me with youre prayers at the houre of death. 

" And one thinge more good people I have to 
saye unto you, which I am chiefly moved to do for 
discharge of my conscience, & that is to warne you and 
exhorte you to be ware of these seclitiouse preachers, 
and teachers of newe doctryne, which pretende to 
preache Gods worde, but in very deede they preache 
theyr owne phansies, who were never able to explicate 
the selves, they know not to day what they wold 
have to morowe, there is no stay in theyr teaching 
& doctryne, they open the boke, but they cannot shut 
it agayne. Take hede how you enter into strange 
opinions or newe doctryne, which hath done no smal 

-* The House of Dudley 

hurte in this realme, and hath justlye procured the ire 
and wrath of god upon us, as well maye appeare who 
so lyst to call to remembraunce the many-fold plages 
that this realme hath ben touched with all synce we 
dissevered oure selves from the catholyke church of 
Christ, and from the doctryne whiche hath ben re- 
ceaved by y holy apostles, martyrs, and all saynctes, 
and used throughe all realmes christened since Christ. 

"And I verely beleve, that all the plagues that 
have chaunced to this realme of late yeares synce 
afore the death of kynge Henrye the eyght, hath justly 
fallen upon us, for that we have devyded our selfe 
from the rest of Christendome whereof we be but as 
a sparke in compariso. Have we not had warre, 
famyne, pestylence, y death of our kinge, rebellion, 
sedicion amonge our selves, conspiracies? Have we 
not had sondrye erronious opinios spronge up amonge 
us in this realme, synce we have forsake the unitie of 
the catholyke churche ? and what other plagues be 
there that we have not felt ? 

" And yf this be not able to move you, then loke 
upon Germanye, whiche synce it is fallen into this 
scysme and division from the unitie of the catholike 
church is by continuall dissention and discorde, 
broughte almoost to utter ruyne & decaye. Therefore, 
leste an utter ruyne come amonge you, by provokynge 
to muche the juste vengeance of God, take up betymes 
these contentions, & be not ashamed to returne home 
agayne, and joyne youre selves to the rest of Christen 
realmes, and so shall you brynge your selves againe 

2 53 

Warwick Castle <*- 

to be membres of Christes bodye, for he canot be 
head of a dyftbrmed or monstruous body. 

" Loke upon your crede, have you not there these 
wordes : I beleve in the holy ghost, the holy catholik 
churche, the communio of saynctes, which is the 
universall number of all faythfull people, professynge 
Christe, dispersed throughe the universall vvorlde ; of 
whiche number I trust to be one. I could bryng 
many mo thinges for this purpose, albeit I am 
unlearned, as all you knowe, but this shall suffice. 

" And heare I do protest unto you good people, 
moost earnestly even from the bottome of my harte, 
y this which I have spoken is of my selfe, not 
beyng required nor moved therunto by any man, nor 
for any flattery, or hope of life,, and I take wytnes 
of my lord of \Yorcestre here, myne olde frende and 
gostely father, that he founde me in this mynde and 
opinion when he came to me : but I have declared 
this onely upon myne owne mynde and affection, for 
discharge of my conscience, & for the zeale and love 
that I beare to my naturall countreye. I coulde good 
people reherse muche more even by experience that I 
have of this evyl that is happened to this realme by 
these occasions, but you knowe I have an other thyng 
to do, wherunto I must prepare me, for the tyme 
draweth awaye. 

"And nowe I beseche the Ouenes highnes to 

forgeve me myne offences agaynst her majestic, wherof 

I have a singular hope, forasmuch as she hath already 

extended her goodnes & clemency so farre upon me 


-+> The House of Dudley 

that where as she myghte forthwith without judgement 
or any further tryall, have put me to moste vyle & 
cruell death, by hanging, drawing, and quartering, 
forasmuch as I was in the feild in armes agaynst her 
highnesse, her majestic nevertheles of her most mercyfull 
goodnes suffred me to be brought to my judgement, 
and to have my tryall by the lawe, where I was most 
justly & worthelye condempned. And her highnes 
hath now also extended her mercye and clemencye 
upon me for the manner and kynde of my death. 
And therefore my hoope is, that her grace of her 
goodnes wyl remyt al the rest of her indignation and 
displeasure towardes me, whiche I beseche you all 
moost hartely to praye for, and that it may please 
God longe to preserve her majestic to reigne over 
you in muche honour and felicitie. Ame, sayd the 

" And after he hadde thus spoken he kneeled downe, 
sayinge to them that were about : I beseche you all to 
beare me wytnesse that I dye in the true catholyke 
fayth, and then sayde the Psalms of Miserere, and 
De profundis, and his Pater nostre in Latin, and sixe 
of y fyrste verses of the psalme, In te domine speraui 
endynge with this verse, Into thy handes O lorde I 
comend my spirite. And when he had thus finished 
his prayers, the executioner asked him forgevenes, to 
whom he sayde : I forgeve y with all my harte, and 
doo thy parte without feare. And bowynge to warde 
y block he sayd, I have deserved a thousand deaths, 
and ther upon he made a crosse upon the strawe, 


Warwick Castle <+- 

and kyssed it, and layde his heade upon the blocke, 
and so dyed." 

Decidedly nothing in John Dudley's life became 
him less than the leaving of it. But for the closing 
scene he might have passed for a brave man, 
if not for a good man. As it is, he forfeited the 
admiration even of the Puritans, who might have 
pardoned him for enriching himself by the plunder 
of the Church ; and can only be classed as a sorry 
simulacrum of the King-maker, who was presumably 
his model. His motto " Ung Dieu, ung Foy, ung 
Roy " was singularly ill-chosen. It is recorded in 
the Grey Friars' Chronicle that " all the people reviled 
and called him traitor, and would not cease for all 
they were spoke unto for it " which, indeed, was the 
treatment that he merited. 

His son John, who succeeded him, may be very 
briefly dismissed. His only public appointment seems 
to have been that of Master of the Horse. The only 
other notable fact about him is that Sir Thomas Wilson 
dedicated to him his " Arte of Rhetorique." He died 
ten days after his pardon for complicity in Lady Jane 
Dudley's usurpation. His wife, whom he married at 
Sheen, the King being present at the ceremony, was 
Anne, ninth daughter of the Duke of Somerset, and 
eldest daughter of Somerset's second wife, Anne, 
daughter of Sir Edward Stanhope. She subsequently 
married Sir Edward Unton, K.B., by whom she had 
seven children ; but John Dudley died without issue, 
his heir-at-law being his next brother, Ambrose. 


Ambrose Dudley -His Imprisonment and Release His Exploits at Saint 
Quentin and Exemption from the Act of Attainder His Appoint- 
ments His Command against the French at Havre His Appointment 
as Commissioner for the Trial of Mary Queen of Scots Her Special 
Appeal to his Sense of Justice. 

r THHE date of the birth of Ambrose Dudley is 
JL uncertain, but it seems probable that he was 
born in 1528. From 1546 to 1549 we find him 
styled Ambrose Dudley, Esquire. He was knighted 
before December 2Oth, 1549, and created Baron Lisle 
and Earl of Warwick in December, 1561. 

His public services began in the reign of Edward VI. 
He then was not only a prominent figure at Court 
tournaments and other festivities, and on intimate terms 
with the King and his younger sister, Princess Eliza- 
beth, but also served with his father, the Duke of 
Northumberland, in the war against the Norfolk 
rebels. It was presumably for his services in that 
connection that he got his knighthood. His com- 
plicity in the Lady Jane Grey conspiracy has already 
been mentioned. He was committed to the Tower 
on July 25th, 1553, convicted of treason, with his 
brothers Henry and Guilford, on November i3th in the 
same year, but pardoned and set at liberty, after about 
fifteen months' imprisonment, on October i8th, 1554. 

VOL. I. 257 S 

Warwick Castle *- 

In spite of the Act of Attainder against his family, 
he was not destitute, since in 1555 he became Lord of 
Hale Owen by his mother's death. As a Protestant 
he could hardly have expected his position at home 
to be comfortable ; but Mary went to war with 
France, as the ally of her husband, Philip of Spain, 
and so he found his chance of foreign service. 

It was one of the least glorious wars in all our 
English annals. Perhaps it was not entirely a disadvan- 
tageous war to us, since sorrow for the loss of Calais, 
which resulted from it, is said to have brought the 
Bloody Mary prematurely to her grave. But the 
military honours were all with the Due de Guise, 
whose insolent statues now salute the eye at every 
turn in Calais town. He recovered " the brightest 
jewel in the English crown," as people called it, 
and then took Guisnes, which was our last possession 
on French soil ; and the English people became so 
disgusted with their Queen that they would not help 
her to recover the lost territory, and did not care 
whether the word " Calais " would be found graven 
on her heart, after her death, or not. So long as she 
died, the rest was a detail of no consequence. 

The Dudleys, however, distinguished themselves 
at the siege of Saint Ouentin. Henry Dudley lost 
his life there, as we have seen. Ambrose Dudley 
(who held the rank of captain) and Robert Dudley 
were rewarded for their gallantry by exemption from 
the Act of Attainder in which all the family had 
been involved. That was on March ;th, 1557. In 

Am brofe Dudley ISarl of Warwick 

W Jf Aitl^jrafi/, ef V//-7/7V . v E . / ' .' I 

From the original, formerly in the possession of John Thane. 

Warwick Castle <*- 

1^58 Queen Mary died without issue, and Queen 
Elizabeth succeeded her. Her friendship stood 
Ambrose Dudley in good stead, and opened the door 
of favour and preferment. The dawn of the day of 
advantages was marked by the grant of the Manor 
of Kibworth Beauchamp, in Leicestershire, and the 
office of Chief Pander at coronations ; and when the 
fountain of honour had once begun to flow on him it 
flowed freely. 

Me became successively Master of the Ordnance ; 
a Knight of the Garter ; an M.A. of Cambridge ; an 
M.A. of Oxford; Master of the Buckhounds ; Chief 
Commissioner of Musters in the County of Warwick ; 
Joint Commissioner of Musters in London ; Lord 
Lieutenant of the County of Warwick and the City 
of Coventry ; Chief Butler of England ; Lieutenant of 
the Order of the Garter ; Chief Commissioner of the 
Musters in the Counties of Warwick, Stafford, North- 
ampton, Oxford, Berks, and Buckingham ; Keeper of 
Hatfield \Voocl or Great Park and Middle Inninge 
and Lanley Parks ; High Steward of the Manor of 
Grafton ; Master Forester of Whittlewood and Salcey 
Forests; Keeper of Grafton Park and Chase and Hart- 
well Park ; Chancellor and Chamberlain of Anglesey, 
Carnarvon, and Merioneth; and High Steward of St. 
Albans. All this apart from the commissions and ap- 
pointments which gave him his definite place in 
English history. He also played his part in the 
French war and in the drama of which the central 
figure was Mary Queen of Scots. 

<> The House of Dudley 

The two stories are really two parts of one story. 
Mary Queen of Scots was the Roman Catholic 
claimant to the English throne, in virtue of her 
descent from Henry VII.'s sister, Margaret. Her 

n an old print. 


(Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick, was one of the Commissioners at her trial.) 

marriage with the Dauphin, as well as her religious 
opinions, acquired her the countenance and even the 
active support of France. Therefore it was necessary 
to fight France ; and after the French had been got 


Warwick Castle <*- 

out of Scotland by the Treaty of Edinburgh, the 
Huguenot rising under Admiral Coligny suggested a 
diversion on French soil. The Huguenots had got 
possession of Havre, and offered to surrender that 
town to Elizabeth if she would send them. help. She 
sent an expedition there, with Ambrose Dudley, Earl 
of Warwick, in command. 

The expedition was a failure, though the blame 
can hardly be laid upon the shoulders of the general. 
He did well enough until the Protestants and 
Catholics came to terms and requested him to 
evacuate the town. This, acting on instructions, he 
refused to do. Then the citizens plotted his assas- 
sination, and he turned them out, with the result 
that Catholics and Protestants joined forces to 
besiege him. Even so it was not the French army 
but the outbreak of a pestilence that beat him. His 
garrison endured the plague for three months, dying 
like flies, but still holding their own. At last Warwick 
obtained leave to surrender, and the capitulation took 
effect on July 29th, 1563. He was hit by a poisoned 
bullet while in the act of discussing the terms on the 
rampart, and suffered from the effects of the wound 
for the remainder of his life. His army came home, 
bringing the plague with them, and spreading it all 
over England. 

This was the end of the alliance between the 

French and the Scots. The assassination of the Due 

de Guise and the personal enmity between Mary 

Queen of Scots and Catherine of Medicis did more 


-*> The House of Dudley 

than any feat of English arms to terminate it. But 
Mary Queen of Scots had not, for that reason, ceased 
to be dangerous. Her next contrivance was to appeal 
to the English Catholics. It was to concentrate their 
allegiance that she married Darnley, who, as the grand- 
son of Margaret Tudor by her second marriage with 
the Earl of Angus, stood next to her in the order of 
succession. The match was a challenge to English 
Protestantism, and gave the greater offence in 
England because there had been talk of a marriage 
between her and the Earl of Warwick. The indig- 
nation was deepened by the sense of danger. The 
leading Scottish Protestants were driven over the 
Border, and the loyalty of the northern counties of 
England was undermined. " Her friends were so 
increased," an ambassador wrote to Mary, " that 
many whole shires were ready to rebel, and their 
captains named by election of the nobility." 

The danger was real, but the conduct of Mary 
Queen of Scots averted it. The murder of Darnley 
began the alienation of the affections of her subjects, 
though her complicity in the crime was not estab- 
lished. Her marriage with Bothwell, the murderer, 
completed it. Her agent in England warned her. 
"If she married that man," he wrote, " she would 
lose the favour of God, her own reputation, and the 
hearts of all England, Ireland, and Scotland." But 
she persisted, and her people rose. Her brother, the 
Earl of Murray, came back to assume the Regency, 
and she was taken as a prisoner to Lochleven Castle. 


Warwick Castle *- 

She escaped from Lochleven, crossed the Solway 
in a small boat, and came to Carlisle. While Eliza- 
beth and her advisers were considering what should 
be done with her, there were Catholic risings and 
intrigues, in which were implicated, among others, 
the Earls of Northumberland and Westmorland, 
Lord Dacre of Naworth, and the Duke of Norfolk. 
The Duke of Norfolk, at all events, was found to 
have been in treasonable correspondence with Philip 
of Spain. These designs were duly checked, and the 
Queen of Scots remained for some years in more or 
less comfortable captivity. She was tired of it, and 
was willing to sign any agreement, if only she might 
be released. " Let me go," she wrote to Elizabeth, " let 
me retire from this island to some solitude, where I 
may prepare my soul to die. Grant this, and I will 
sign away every right which either I or mine can claim." 

This, however, was at the time when the pre- 
parations for the Great Armada were proceeding. 
Instead of being released, Mary Queen of Scots was, 
as is well known, brought to trial before a Com- 
mission of Peers at Fotheringay Castle. The Earl 
of Warwick was one of the Commissioners. From 
one of Lord Kenyon's MSS., under the title of "The 
Conference or Commyssone between the Quene of 
Scottes and the Lordes, concerninge the examinacion," 
I copy some passages in which his name appears : 

1586. "Upon Wednesdaie, the 12 of October, 
the Lordes Commissioners for hearinge the Scottishe 
Quene came to the Castle of Fotheringhey, in the 

The House of Dudley 

County of Northampton, aboute nyne of the clocke 
in the morninge, at which houre, in the chappell of 
the said castle, the Deane of Peterboroughe preached 
before them. From the sermone, [they wente to the 

Counsell, in the 
Cbunsell Chamber 
of the same house, 
and from thence 
sente Sir Walter 
Myldmaye and Sir 
Amias Pawlette, 
Governoure of the 
house , to the 
Scottishe Ouene, 
to knowe whether 
shee woulde ap- 
peare or no. 
There was allso 
delivered unto her 
a letter from her 
Majestic, to that 
efFecte." [She re- 
fused to appear all 


that day and 
Thursday, but on 

Friday she appeared about nine o'clock. Below the bar 
sat such gentlemen as came to see the action, and among 
those on the right side was the " Earle of Warwicke."] 

Then, in the account of the second day's hearing, 
we read : 


\Yarwick Castle 

" Shee said unto the Earle of Warwicke that shee 
hard hee was an honourable gentleman, desiringe him 
not to beleve all thinges that hee hard of her, 
desiringe him to comende her to my Lord of 
Leycester, sayinge that shee wished him good 
successe in all his affaires." 

The passage bears testimony to the mildness and 
sweet reasonableness of Ambrose Dudley's character 
a character which earned him the popular designation 
of the Good Lord Warwick. But it was not to be 
expected that the appeal would save Mary Stuart. 
She was foredoomed to death. At last, after much 
hesitation, real or feigned, Elizabeth signed the death- 
warrant of her beautiful and unfortunate rival, and the 
tragedy of Fotheringay was played to its dramatic 
close. Of Mary, like her ill-fated grandson, Charles I., 
it may be truly said, that if she did not know how to 
reign, at least she knew how to die, and surely by 
her death she wiped out all her failings. 

But we have anticipated the chronological order 
of events, and must turn back to other incidents in 
Ambrose Dudley's life. The most interesting of them 
is his reception of Queen Elizabeth at Warwick Castle. 



The Visit of Queen Elizabeth to Warwick Extracts from the Account of 
the Ceremonies in the Borough and the Festivities at the Castle given 
in "The Black Book of Warwick." 

SPLENDOUR and pleasure," says John Richard 
Green, " were with Elizabeth the very air she 
breathed. Her delight was to move in perpetual pro- 
gresses from castle to castle through a series of gorgeous 
pageants, fanciful and extravagant as a caliph's dream." 

The date of the visit to Warwick Castle was I572. 1 
It is the first of the royal visits about which really 
detailed information is available. Before proceeding 
to give our account of it, we may fitly pause and 
attempt to draw some sort of a picture of the town 
of Warwick as it appeared in the Elizabethan age. 
This has been very well done by Mr. Thomas Kemp 
in the introduction to his edition of " The Black Book 
of Warwick," 2 from which I will quote: 

1 There had been a previous visit, but no particulars of this are 

- " The Black Book of Warwick" is a MS. preserved among the archives 
of the borough, containing a record, unfortunately not quite continuous and 
complete, of municipal doings from the time of Queen Elizabeth to that 
of James II. The more interesting portions of it were published, some 
years ago, in the Warwickshire Antiquarian Magazine. A more complete 
transcription, with an admirable historical introduction, was made by Mr. 
Thomas Kemp, sometime mayor of the town, and published by Messrs. 
Henry T. Cooke & Sons, the well-known Warwick booksellers, in 1898. 
This is the transcription that I have used. My debt of gratitude to Mr. 
Thomas Kemp is great. 


\Yar\vick Castle * 

" The main thoroughfares and chief features of 
Warwick in the i6th century were much the same 
as they are now. Although the great fire, of 1694 
destroyed a large portion of the town, as well as the 
nave of St. Mary's Church, there are still enough of 
the old houses remaining to show us what the Warwick 
of that day was like. Near to the present Court 
House in Jury Street, which probably occupies the 
site of the old one, there stood a cross, which 
is often referred to as the High Cross or simply 
the Cross. If any one will stand at this spot with 
his back to the Court House he will have Church 
Street and St. Mary's Church facing him ; on his 
right down Jury Street he will see one of the old 
gates of the town, viz. the East Gate, with St. 
Peter's Chapel above it ; on his left up High Street, 
called in Elizabeth's days High Pavement, he will 
see another gate, the \Vest Gate, with St. James's 
Chapel above it. Both these gateways, at the time 
of the commencement of the Black Book, were in a 
ruinous condition, and most of the town walls were 
down. The North Gate, which stood in Northgate 
Street, had even at that time disappeared. The Castle 
stood for the South Gate. The beautiful Chancel of 
St. Mary's, the Vestry and Chapter House, and the 
Beauchamp Chapel were much the same as at 
present. Opposite to the Chapter House a door, 
now filled up by a cupboard, led into the Chancel, 
and the screen dividing the lobby from the Vestry 
was not then pierced for a doorway. In the south- 

From a painting by Znccaro in the National Portrait Gallery. Photo by Walker & Cockerell, 

Painted about the time oj her visit to Warwick Castle. 

Warwick Castle *- 

east angle of the South Transept there was a circular 
staircase leading to an organ loft at the west end of 
the Beauchamp Chapel. The body of the Church, 
which covered nearly the same area as the existing 
one, consisted of nave, aisles and transepts, of 
shallower projection than the present ones, the nave 
having four bays, and being lighted by six clerestory 
windows, and in the walls of each aisle were three 
windows. The transept windows were large and 
handsome, and somewhat similar to the Chancel 
east window. At the east end of the South Aisle 
stood the large altar tomb, with canopy over, of 
Thomas Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, who built the 
nave in the latter half of the i4th century, and of 
his Countess, but this was destroyed in the great fire. 
The brass effigies which were on the tomb however 
survived, and are now placed against the east wall of 
the South Transept. St. Mary's was then, as now, 
sometimes called the High Church, either from its 
position on the top of the hill, or from its being the 
principal Church in the town. The Tower was lower 
than the present one, and over the South Porch there 
was a room, which had been once occupied by John 
Rous, the Warwickshire Antiquary, who died in 
1491, and was buried in St. Mary's. The Tower 
appears to have contained a peal of eight bells. St. 
Nicholas' Church, possibly as old as St. Mary's, was 
pulled down and re-built in 17/9. Our information 
with regard to old St. Nicholas' is very meagre, as 
there are no plans or drawings extant, except the 

-*> The House of Dudley 

distant view in Hollar's view of Warwick, in Dugdale, 
and in some other old engravings. It consisted, in 
Elizabeth's reign, of nave, chancel, and west-end tower 
and spire, and had a north porch. In the churchyard 
there was a cross. The Tower contained a clock and 
bells, which were continually being repaired. A bell 
was rung at 5 o'clock in the morning, and at 8 o'clock 
at night. The Church roof was of shingles, i.e. thin 
pieces of wood instead of tiles, which were frequently 
renewed. The Chancel was also roofed with shingles. 
"The Priory, on the north side of the town, now 
the residence of S. S. Lloyd, Jun., Esq., was then a 
modern building, occupying the site however of a very 
old ecclesiastical establishment. In a westerly direction 
from the North Gate ran a street called Walldyke. 
In the Saltisford, in a decayed condition, stood St. 
Michael's Church. The remains of this building, con- 
sisting of the east and west gables, the walls, and a 
portion of the roof, now form part of a blacksmith's 
forge. Going westwards from St. Mary's, we pass 
through the Old Square, and reach the Market Place. 
In Elizabeth's time the Old Square was called Pibble 
Lane, and in it were Oken's Almshouses : these were 
destroyed by the great fire, and were re-built adjoin- 
ing Eyffler's houses on the Castle Hill. In the 
Market Place there stood a Booth Hall, in which 
were shops let to tenants for terms as long as 21 
years, and somewhere near to the spot which the 
Market Hall and Museum now occupy there were 
the remains of St. John the Baptist's Church, even 


\Yar\vick Castle <+- 

then a ruin, of which no vestige now remains. In the 
Market Place, also, stood the pillory, and the stocks. 
Towards the north side there was a Market Cross, 
which was afterwards pulled clown by Colonel Purefoy 
during the Civil War between Charles I. and the 
Parliament. Close by here was Horse Chipping on 
the Morse Market. Turning down Brook Street, then 
called Cow Lane, at the lower end of which was the 
Rother Chipping or Beast Market, we come to the 
Leycester Hospital, which presents the same appearance 
now as it did in Elizabeth's reign, although even at 
that time it was of respectable age, having being built 
in the latter half of the 1410 century. Close to this 
is the West Gate. Somewhere near to West Street 
stood St. Lawrence's tithe barn. From the south side 
of the West Gate ran a lane called Britten Lane, in 
which were several barns and gardens. From the 
West Gate the street runs straight to the East Gate. 
Beyond this gate is Smith Street, in which stood 
another tithe barn. Turning southward from the 
East Gate, and going down Castle Hill, we come to 
Mill Street, which is full of ancient half-timbered 
houses ; at the bottom of this street, which runs down 
to the Avon, the river was spanned by a bridge of 
many arches, spoken of as the great bridge, and now 
a picturesque ruin. Over this bridge we come to 
Bridge End, which was once a more populous suburb 
of Warwick than at present, and turning to the left 
the road leads to My ton ; it was over this bridge that 
Queen Elizabeth rode when she entered Warwick; 

-> The House of Dudley 

it was over this bridge also that the Bailiff and his 
company passed, when they went to Myton to vindicate 
the law, as described in the account of the Myton 
riots. As the road over this bridge was the highway 
to London, it must have been a place of some traffic, 
and the noble owner of the Castle in Elizabeth's days 
would see from the Castle windows the pack-horses 
bringing goods to the houses of Thomas Oken and 
other tradesmen in the town, and altogether gaze 
upon a busier scene than that presented to the view 
of the present Earl and Countess. From the bottom 
of Mill Street another street, Castle Street, led up by 
the Castle walls to the High Cross before mentioned. 
In no part of Warwick have there been so many changes 
as about the old bridge, consequent on ' the building of 
the present bridge, the enlarging of the Castle grounds, 
and the diversion of the road to the Asps, which took 
place about 100 years ago. The Castle in Elizabeth's 
days was more open to the town, and nearer to the 
boundary than at the present time, as the wall enclosing 
the grounds was then almost close to the moat. By 
this wall ran a road which joined Castle Street near 
to Guy's Tower, and at this point a gate opened into 
the grounds, from which there was an approach to the 
Castle gateway. Part of Castle Street, and other 
land within the town, were added to the Castle 
grounds, as before mentioned, by George, Earl of 
Warwick, at the end of the last century. The gateway 
between the Bear Tower and Clarence Tower appears 
to have been opened since Elizabeth's time. The 
VOL. i. 273 T 

Warwick Castle *- 

Castle Park then consisted of fields, which were 
enclosed by George, Earl of Warwick, at the same 
time that he built the present Castle Bridge, or 
contributed the greater part of the cost of its erection, 
and formed the lake, known as the ( New Waters,' and 
diverted part of the Banbury and London Road. This 
road ran across part of the present park, and crossed 
ground now covered by the New Waters. Along this 
road came Queen Elizabeth, when she visited Warwick 
in 1572, and on the side of the New Waters, 
farthest from the town, is Ford Mill Hill, where 
she was met by the Bailiff, as described in the Black 
Book. Turning northwards from the East Gate we 
are in the Butts, where stood then Butts for the 
practice of Archery." 

The population of Warwick at this period is 
computed by Mr. Kemp at 2,600. The borough 
returned two burgesses to Parliament, one of whom 
appears to have been the nominee of the Earl of 
Warwick. It was governed by a bailiff and twelve 
principal burgesses, with an equal number of assistants. 
These assessed the amount which each citizen was to 
pay to the relief of the poor ; it ranged from a half- 
penny to a shilling a week. The town had a Grammar 
School at the Burgh Hall, now the Leicester Hospital. 1 
Rents ranged from two shillings a year for a cottage 
to thirty shillings a year for a good-sized house. There 
were various inns : " in all probability there was a good 

1 The foundation of the Earl of Warwick's brother, Robert Dudley, Earl 
of Leicester. 


-* The House of Dudley 

hostelry on or near to the site of the present Warwick 
Arms in High Street," and "a Cross Tavern near to 
the High Cross," and "somewhere in the town an 
inn with the sign of the Unicorn." Vagrants were 
much in evidence : 

" There seem to have been a good many men and 
women tramping about in search of work, as people 
from all parts of the county as well as from Yorkshire, 
Lancashire, Lincolnshire, and other counties were 
brought up before the magistrates and examined as to 
their means of support. These examinates included 
the scholar who made his moan to the Vicar, the 
travelling doctor, the man who journeyed from place to 
place with a false passport, and the common vagrant, 
who was sent to the stocks for a day and a night as 
a rogue. The ruffian also, the drunkard, the common 
thief, the Sabbath-breaker, and the recusant, who 
absolutely refused to go to the Church, were all features 
in Elizabethan Warwick. There were also a consider- 
able number of beggars, both men and women and 
children, about the town." 

And market day was, much more than at the 
present time, a great and notable occasion : 

" By the Charter of Philip and Mary, Tuesday and 
Saturday were appointed market days ; and so on these 
days buyers and sellers came from all the villages round 
about to \Varwick Market ; they came even from 
villages and places some distance away, as among the 
licenses to people to sell and buy wheat, rye, barley, etc., 
in the market, and to badgers, i.e. men who bought corn 


Warwick Castle <*- 

or grain to sell again for profit, licenses were given 
to people from Tan worth, Coleshill, Minden, Minworth, 
Northfield, and King's Norton ; and it is curious and 
interesting to notice that licenses were granted to 
people from Birmingham and our neighbour borough 
of Leamington, then the little village of Priors 
Lemington. On these market days proclamations, if 
any, were made from the High Cross, and criminals 
were publicly whipped about the Market Place. The 
market tolls were collected, as they are at the present 
day, by the Sergeant-at-Mace, who was an officer 
appointed each year by the bailiff on his entering 
upon his term of office. There appears to have been 
a considerable fair on St. Bartholomew's Day, when 
a nag could have been bought for i6s. or 175., and 
an ox for $. There was also a fair on St. Simon's 
and 5t. Jude's Day." 

Such was Warwick when Queen Elizabeth came to 
visit it. Our account of the visit must be taken from 
the above-mentioned " Black Book," though I will take 
the liberty of modernising the spelling and also of 
introducing some stops. The original, not being 
punctuated, is confusing. 

" Be it remembered," we read, " that in the year 
of our Lord God one thousand five hundred seventy 
and two, and in the fourteenth year of the reign of 
our sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth, the twelfth day of 
August, in the said year, it pleased the said sovereign 
lady to visit this Borough of Warwick. Whereof the 
Bailiff of the Borough and the principal Burgesses being 

The House of Dudley 

advised by the Right Honourable the Earl of Leicester, 
the said Bailiff and principal Burgesses aforestated, with 
some other of the commoners, after the election of 
Edward Aglionby to be their Recorder, in place of 
Mr. William 
W i g s t o n , 
Knight, pre- 
pare them- 
selves, accord- 
ing to their 
bounden duty, 
to attend her 
Highness, at 
the uttermost 
confinesof their 
Liberty, to- 
wards the place 
from whence 
her Majesty 
should come 
from dinner, 

Which WaS at From a picture f or,,, criy in the possession of John Thane. 



house of 

Edward Fisher, being six miles from Warwick, where it 
pleased her Highness to dine the said i2th of August, 
being Monday. The direct way from whence leading by 
Tachbrook, and so through Myton field, it therefore 
was thought convenient, by the said Bailiff, Recorder, 
and Burgesses, to expect her Majesty by the gate 


\Yar\vick Castle <*- 

between Tachbrook field and Myton field. Never- 
theless, the weather having been very foul long time 
before, and the way much stained with carriage, her 
Majesty was led another way through Chesterton 
pastures, and so Okely, and by that means came toward 
the town by Ford Mill ; whereof the said Bailiff, 
Recorder, and Burgesses having word, they left their 
place afore taken and resorted to the said Ford Mill 
Hill, where they were placed in order, first the Bailiff, 
then the Recorder, then every one of the Burgesses 
in order kneeling. And behind Mr. Bailiff kneeled 
Mr. Griffyn, preacher. Her Majesty, about three of 
the clock, in her coach, accompanied with her Lady 
of Warwick, 1 in the same coach, and many other ladies 
and lords attending, namely, the Lord Burghley, 
lately made Lord Treasurer of England ; the Earl of 
Sussex, lately made Lord Chamberlain to her Majesty ; 
the Lord Howard of Effingham, lately made Lord Privy 
Seal ; the Earl of Oxford, Lord Great Chamberlain of 
England ; the Earl of Rutland ; the Earl of Huntingly 
[for Huntingdon], lately made President of the North; 
the Earl of Leicester, Master of the Horse; and many 
other bishops, lords, ladies, and great estates, approached 
and came as near as the coach could be brought." 

The speech must certainly be given at length, 
though with the same modifications. It breathes the 
spirit of the period. Here it is : 

' The manner and custom to salute princes with 

1 Ambrose Dudley's third wife, Anne, daughter of Francis Russell, 
Earl of Bedford, whom he married in 1565. 

-*> The House of Dudley 

public orations hath been of long time used, most 
excellent and gracious sovereign lady, begun by the 
Greek, confirmed by the Roman, and by discourse bf 
time continued even to these our days. And because 
the same were made in public places, and open 
assemblies of Senators and Councillors, they were 
called, both in Greek and Latin, panegyrics. In 
these were set forth the commendations of Kings 
and Emperors, in the sweet sound whereof, as the 
ears of evil princes were delighted by hearing their 
undeserved praises, so were good princes, by the 
pleasant remembrance of their known and true virtues, 
made better, being put in mind of their office and 
government. To the performance of these orations 
of all the three styles of Rhetorick or figure speech 
the highest was required. Which thing considered, 
most gracious lady, it abasheth me very much to 
undertake this enterprise, being not exercised in these 
studies, occupied and travelling in the common and 
private affairs of the country, and your Highness' 
service here. The Majesty of a Prince's countenance, 
such as it is reported to have been in Alexander, in 
the noble Roman Marius, in Octavius the Emperor, 
and of late time in the wise and politic prince King 
Henry the Seventh, your grandfather, and in your 
noble and victorious father King Henry the Eighth, 
whose looks appalled the stout courages of their 
beholders, the same also remaining in your Highness, 
may soon put me both out of countenance and re- 
membrance also. Which if it happen, I most humbly 


Warwick Castle <*- 

beseech your Highness to lay the fault there rather 
than to any other my folly or want of good regard 
of my duties, who could not have been brought to 
this place if the good will which I have to declare 
both mine own dutiful heart towards your Highness 
and theirs also who enjoined me this office had not 
far surmounted the fear and disability which I felt in 

" But the best remedy for this purpose is to be 
short of speech. Which I intend to use in this place, 
having spoken a few things touching the ancient 
and present estate of this borough, and the joyful 
expectation which the inhabitants of the same have 
of your Grace's repair hither. For if I should enter 
into the commendation of the divine gifts of your 
royal person, of the rare virtues of your mind, 
ingrafted in you from your tender years, of the 
prosperous achievement of all your noble affairs, to 
the contentation of your Highness and the wealth of 
your Dominions, I should rather want time than 
matter to be tedious to your Highness, when I 
should, both to myself and others, have seemed so 
scant in praises. 

" And yet, if we should forget to call to re- 
membrance the great benefits received from God by 
the happy and long-desired entrance of your Majesty 
into the imperial throne of this realm, after the pitiful 
slaughter and exile of many of your Highness' godly 
subjects, the restoration of God's true religion, the 
speedy change of wars into peace, of dearth and 

-* The House of Dudley 

famine into plenty, of our huge mass of dross and 
counterfeit money into fine gold and silver, to your 
Highness' great honour, whose prosperous reign hath 
not been touched hitherto by any troublous season 
(the rude blast of one insurrection except, which, being 
soon blown over and appeased by God's favour, hath 
made your happy government to shine more gloriously, 
even as the sun after dark clouds appeareth more clear 
and beautiful) if this, I say, were not remembered, 
we might seem unthankful unto God, unnatural to 
your Majesty : Of which thing I would say more 
if your Majesty were not present, but I will leave, 
considering rather what your modest ears may abide 
than what is due to your virtues, thanking God that 
he hath sent us such a prince indeed, as the noble 
Senator Caius Plinius truly reported of the good 
Emperor Trajanus, calling him in his presence, with- 
out fear of flattery, Castum sanctum et deo simillimum 

" But to return to the ancient estate of this town of 
Warwick. We read in the old writings and authentic 
chronicles the same to have been a city or walled 
town in the time of the Britons, called then Carwar ; 
and afterwards in the time of the Saxons that name 
was changed into Warwick. We read also of noble 
Earls of the same namely, of one Guydo or Guy, 
who, being Baron of Wallingford, became Earl of 
Warwick by marriage of the Lady Phyllis, the sole 
daughter and heir of that house in the time of King 
Athelstan, who reigned over this land about the year 


Warwick Castle *- 

of our Lord God 933. We read also that it was 
endowed with a bishop's see, and so continued a 
flourishing city, until the time of King Ethelred, in 
whose days it was sacked and burnt by the Danes, 
and brought to utter desolation the common evil of 
all barbarous nations overflowing civil countries, as 
may appear by the famous cities and monuments of 
Germany, France, and Italy, defaced and destroyed by 
the Goths, Vandals, Normans, and Huns. 

" Since this overthrow it was never able to recover 
the name of a city, supported only of long time 
by the countenance and liberality of the Earls of that 
place, especially of the name of Beauchamp, of whom 
your Majesty may see divers noble monuments re- 
maining here until this day whose noble services 
to their Princes and country are recorded in histories 
in the time of King Henry the Third, King 
Edward the First, Second, and Third, and so on 
until the time of King Henry the Sixth, about 
whose time that house, being advanced to Duke- 
dom, even in the top of his honour failed in 
heirs male, and so was translated to the House of 
Salisbury, which afterwards decayed also. And so 
this Earldom, being extinct in the time of your High- 
ness' grandfather King Henry the Seventh, remained 
so all the time of your noble father, our late dread 
sovereign King Henry the Eighth, who, having 
compassion of the pitiful desolation of this town, 
did incorporate the same by the names of Burgesses 
of the town of Warwick, endowing them also with 

-* The House of Dudley 

possessions and lands to the value of ^ 35. 4d. 
by year, enjoining them withal to keep a Vicar to 
serve in the Church, and divers other Ministers, 
with a Schoolmaster for the bringing up of youth in 
learning and virtue. 

" The noble Princess, Queen Mary, your Highness' 
sister, following the example of her father in respect 
of the ancientness of the said town, by her letters 
patent augmented the corporation by creating a Bailiff 
and twelve principal Burgesses, with divers other 
liberties and franchises, to the advancement of the 
poor town and the perpetual fame and praise of her 
goodness, so long as the same shall stand. Your 
Majesty hath graciously confirmed these letters patent, 
adding thereunto the greatest honour that ever came 
to this town since the decay of the Earls Beauchamp 
aforenamed, by giving unto them an Earl, a noble and 
valiant gentleman, lineally extracted out of the same 
house. And further of your goodness and bountiful- 
ness, your Majesty hath advanced his noble and worthy 
brother to like dignity and honour, establishing him in 
the confines of the same liberty, to the great good and 
benefit of the inhabitants of this town. Of whose 
liberality (being enabled by your Highness only) they 
have bountifully tasted by enjoying from him the 
erection of an hospital to the relief of the poor of 
the same town for ever, besides an annual pension 
of s by year bestowed by him upon a preacher, 
without the which they should lack the heavenly food 
of their souls by want of preaching, the town not 


\Yanvick Castle - 

being able to find the same by reason that the 
necessary charges and stipend of the minister and 
other offices there far surmount their yearly revenues, 
notwithstanding the bountiful gift of your noble father 
bestowing the same to their great good and benefit. 

" Such is your gracious and bountiful goodness. 
Such are the persons and fruits rising up and spring- 
ing out of the same. To which two noble personages 
I know your Majesty's presence here to be most 
comfortable, most desired, and most welcome. 

"And to the inhabitants of this town the same 
doth bode and prognosticate the conversion of their 
old fatal decay and poverty into some better estate 
and fortune, even as the coming of Carolus Magnus 
to the old ruins of Agnisgraun, now called Achi, in 
Brabant, being an ancient city builded by one Granus, 
brother to Nero, was the occasion, by the pitiful 
compassion of so noble a Prince, to re-edify the same 
and to advance it to such honour as until this day it 
receiveth every Emperor at his first coronation. 

" Hut what cause soever hath brought your Majesty 
hither either the beautifulness of the place or your 
Highness' gracious favour to these parties surely the 
incomparable joy that all this country hath received 
for that it hath pleased you to bless them with your 
comfortable presence cannot by me be expressed. 
But as their dutiful hearts can show themselves by 
external signs and testimonies, so may it to your 
Majesty appear : the populous concourse of this multi- 
tude, the ways and streets filled with companies of all 

The House of Dudley 

ages desirous 
to have the 
fruition of your 
divine counte- 
nance, the 
houses and 
habitat ions 
changed from 
their old naked 
bareness into 
a more fresh 
show, and as 
it were a smil- 
ing liveliness, 
declare suffici- 
ently, though I 
spake not at all, 
the j o y f u 1 
hearts, the 
singular affec- 
tions, the ready and humble wills of us your true- 
hearted subjects. And for further declaration of the 
same we, as the Bailiff and Burgesses of this poor 
town, do present to your Majesty a simple and small 
gift, coming from large and ample willing hearts, 
though the same be indeed as a drop of water in the 
ocean sea in comparison of that your Majesty deserveth 
and yet in their substance as much as the two mites of 
the poor widow mentioned in the Scripture. 



Warwick Castle 

" So their hope and most humble desire is that 
your Highness will accept and allow the same, even 
as the said two mites were allowed, or as the handful 
of water was accepted by Alexander the Great, offered 
unto him by a poor follower of his, measuring the gift 
not by the value of it, but by the ready will of the 
offerers, whom your Majesty shall find are ready and 
willing to any service that you shall employ them in 
as those that be greatest. 

" And thus, craving pardon for my rude and large 
speech, I make an end, desiring God long to continue 
your Majesty's happy and prosperous reign over us, 
even to Nestor's years, if it be his good pleasure. 
Amen, Amen." 

The speech, it seems, was listened to, and not 
taken as read rightly, since it has an historical as 
well as a literary interest. Our narrative proceeds : 

" The oration ended, Robert Phillips, Bailiff rising 
out of the place where he kneeled, approached now 
to the coach or chariot wherein her Majesty sat, and 
coming to the side thereof, kneeling down, offered 
unto her Majesty a purse, very fair wrought, and in 
the purse 20, all in sovereigns, which her Majesty, 
putting forth her hand, received, showing withal a 
very beaming and gracious countenance, and, smiling, 
said to the Earl of Leicester : 

' My lord, this is contrary to your promise.' 

" And, turning toward the Bailiff: 

" ' I thank you, and you all, with all my heart, 
for your good wills. And I am very loath to take 

^ The House of Dudley 

anything at your hands now, because you, at the last 
time of my being here, presented us to our great 
liking and contentation. And it is not the manner to 
be always presented with gifts, and I am the more 
unwilling to take anything of you because I know that 
a mite of their hands is as much as a thousand pounds 
of some others. Nevertheless, because you shall not 
think that I mislike of your good wills, I will accept 
it with most hearty thanks to you all, praying God 
that I may perform, as Mr. Recorder saith, such 
benefit as is hoped.' 

"And therewithal offered her hand to Mr. Bailiff 
to kiss who kissed it ; and then she delivered to 
him again the mace, which before the oration he had 
delivered to her Majesty, which she kept in her lap 
all the time of the oration. And, after the mace 
delivered, she called Mr. Aglionby to her, and offered 
him her hand to kiss, and, withal smiling, said : 

' ' Come hither, little Recorder. It was told me 
that you would be afraid to look upon me, or to 
speak so boldly ; but you were not so afraid of me 
as I was of you. And I now thank you for putting 
me in mind of my duty, and that should be in me.' 

"And so thereupon, showing a most gracious 
and favourable countenance to all the Burgesses and 
company, said again : 

" ' I most heartily thank you all, my good people.'" 

Then came " Mr. Griffyn the preacher," advancing 
with a paper in his hand. Her Majesty seems to 
have apprehended something tedious, for she said: "If 


\Yar\vick Castle <*- 

it be any matter to be answered, we will look upon 
it, and give your answer at my Lord of Warwick's 
House." But it was only a Latin acrostic -the sort 
of thing that Queen Elizabeth liked. " These verses," 
it seems, " her Majesty delivered to the Countess of 
Warwick, riding with her in the coach, and my Lady 
of Warwick showed them to Mr. Aglionby, and Mr. 
Aglionby to this writer, who took a copy of them." 
(Vide Appendix.) 

And now, after the account of the visit to that 
town, we come to the account of the visit to the 

" Then," our chronicler proceeds, " the Bailiff, the 
Recorder, and principal Burgesses were commanded to 
their houses, which they took with as good speed as 
they might, and in order rode two and two together 
before her Majesty from the Ford Mill till they came 
to the Castle Gate. And thus were they marshalled 
by the heralds or gentlemen ushers : first the Attend- 
ants or Assistants to the Bailiff to the number of 30, 
two and two together in coats of puce laid on 
with lace ; then the 1 2 principal Burgesses in gowns 
of puce lined with satin and damask upon foot- 
clothes ; then two bishops ; then the Lords of the 
Council ; then next before the Queen's Majesty was 
placed the Bailiff in a gown of scarlet, on the right 
of the Lord Compton, who then was High Sheriff of 
this Shire, and therefore would have carried up her 
rod into the town which was forbidden him by the 
heralds and gentlemen ushers, who, therefore, had 

-> The House of Dudley 

placed the Bailiff on the right hand with his 

" And in this manner her Highness was conveyed 
to the Castle Gate, where the said principal Burgesses 
and Assistants stayed, every man in his order, dividing 
themselves on either side, to make a lane or room 
where her Majesty should pass ; who, passing through 
them, gave them thanks, saying withal, 'It is a 
well-favoured and comely company.' 

" What that meant let him divine that can. 

" The Bailiff nevertheless, rode into the Castle, 
still carrying up his mace, being so directed by the 
gentlemen ushers and heralds, and so attending her 
Majesty up into the hall which done he repaired 
home. On whom the principal Commoners and Bur- 
gesses attended to his house, from whence every man 
repaired to his own home ; and Mr. Recorder went 
with John Fisher, where he was simply lodged, 
because the best lodgings were taken up by Mr. 

So far of the Bailiff An account of the Queen's 
own movements follows : 

" That Monday night her Majesty tarried at 
Warwick, and so all Tuesday. On Wednesday she 
decreed to go to Kenilworth, leaving her household 
and train at Warwick, and so was on Wednesday 
morning conveyed through the streets to the North 
Gate, and from thence through Mr. Thomas Fisher's 
grounds, 1 and so by W'oodloes, the fairest way to 

1 The Priory, 
vol.. I. 289 u 

\Yar\vick Castle <- 

Kenil worth, where she rested at the charge of the 
Lord of Leicester from Wednesday morning till 
Saturday night, having in the meantime such princely 
sport made to her Majesty as could be devised. On 
Saturday night, very late, her Majesty returned to 

"And, because she would see what cheer my Lady 
of Warwick made, she suddenly went unto Mr. Thomas 
Fisher's house, where my Lord of Warwick kept his 
house, and there finding them at supper sat down 
awhile, and after a little repast rose again, leaving 
the rest at supper, and went to visit the good man 
of the house, Thomas Fisher, who at that time was 
grievously vexed with the gout. Who, being brought 
out into the gallery end, would have kneeled, or rather 
fallen down, but her Majesty would not suffer it, but 
with most gracious words comforted him, so that for- 
getting, or rather counterfeiting, his pain, he would in 
more haste than good speed be on horseback the next 
time of her going abroad which was on Monday fol- 
lowing, when he rode with the Lord Treasurer, escorting 
her Majesty to Kenilworth again, reporting such things 
as, some for their untruths and some for other causes, 
had been better untold ; but as he did it by counsel 
rashly and in heat, so by appearance at leisure coldly 
he repented. 

" What these things mean is not for every one to 

Next comes the account of the rejoicings when 
it pleased the Queen " to have the country people 

-* The House of Dudley 

resorting to see the dance in the Court of the Castle, 
her Majesty beholding them out of her chamber- 
window." The leading feature of the entertainment 
was " a show of fireworks prepared for that purpose 
in the Temple Fields." Our chronicler apologises for 
the imperfections of his descriptive report on the 
ground that he was "sick in his bed," and therefore 
could not see them. Nevertheless, he informed himself 
about them carefully, and says : 

" The report was that there was devised on the 
Temple ditch a fort made of slender timber covered 
with canvas. In this fort were appointed divers 
persons to serve as soldiers ; and therefore so many 
harnesses as might be gotten within the town were 
had, wherewith men were armed and appointed to 
show themselves. Some others were appointed to cast 
out fireworks, as squibs and balls of fire. 

" Against that fort was another, castle- wise pre- 
pared, of like strength, whereof was governor the 
Earl of Oxford, a lusty gentleman with a lusty band 
of gentlemen. Between these forts, or against them, 
were placed certain battering pieces to the number 
of 12 or 13, brought from London, and 12 score 
chambers l or mortice pieces, brought also from the 
town at the charge of the Earl of Warwick. These 
pieces and chambers were by trains fired, and so 
made a great noise, as though it had been a sore 
assault having some intermission, in which time the 
Earl of Oxford and his soldiers to the number of 

1 A kind of short cannon. 

Warwick Castle <- 

200 with qualevers and arquebuses likewise gave divers 

Unhappily this display of pyrotechnics was not 
entirely harmless : 

" The fort, shooting again and casting out divers 
fires, terrible to those that have not been in like 
experience, valiant to such as delighted therein, and 
indeed strange to them that understood it not. For 
the wild fire falling into the river of Avon would for 
a time lie still, and then again rise and fly abroad, 
casting forth many flashes and flames, whereat the 
Queen's Majesty took great pleasure till after, by 
mischance, a poor man or two were much troubled. 
For, at the last, when it was appointed that the 
overthrowing of the fort should be, a dragon flying, 
casting out huge flames and squibs, lighted upon the 
fort, and so set fire thereon, to the subversion thereof. 
Hut, whether by negligence or otherwise, it happed 
that a ball of fire fell on a house at the end of the 
bridge, wherein one Henry Covvy, otherwise called 
Miller, dwelt, and set fire on the same house, the 
man and wife being both in bed and asleep. 
Which burned so as, before any rescue could be, the 
house and all things in it utterly perished, with much 
ado to save the man and woman. And besides that 
house another house or two adjoining were also fired, 
but rescued by the diligent and careful help as well 
of the Earl of Oxford, Mr. Fulke Greville, and other 
gentlemen and townsmen, which repaired thither in 
greater number than could be ordered. And no 

-* The House of Dudley 

more avail it was that so little harm was done, for 
the fireballs and squibs cast up did fly quite over the 
Castle and into the midst of the town, falling down, 
some on houses, some in courts and backsides, and 
some in the streets, as far as almost of St. Mary 
Church, to the great peril, or else great fear, of the 
inhabitants of this borough. And so as, by what 
means is not yet known, four houses in the town 
and suburbs were on fire at once, whereof one had a 
ball come through both sides and made a hole as 
big as a man's head." 

We can have no difficulty in agreeing with our 
chronicler that " when this fire appeared it was time 
to go to rest." Something was done the next morn- 
ing for the victims of it, when " it pleased her 
Majesty to have the poor old man and woman that 
had their house burnt brought unto her ; whom, so 
brought, her Majesty recomforted very much, and by 
her great bounty and other courtiers there was given 
towards their losses that had taken hurt ^"25 i 2s. 8d. or 
thereabouts, which was dispensed to them accordingly." 

And so the entertainment ended the cost of 
it, apart from the damage done, being a cause of 
some vexation and anxiety, as we gather from our 
chronicler's concluding words : 

"On Monday her Majesty, taking great pleasure 
in the sport she had at Kenilworth, would thither 
again, where she rested till the Saturday after, and 
then from thence by Charlecote she went to the 
Lord Compton's, and so forward. 


\Yar\vick Castle <*- 

"In the meantime, the Earl of Warwick keeping 
house at the Priory to his great charge, the town 
offered unto his lordship a small present. That was 
a fat ox and 10 muttons or wethers fed, which it 
seemed his lordship took very courteously. So as, 
in the end, at his going away, it pleased him to 
appoint 4 bucks to be given and delivered to the 
Bailiff and townsmen to make merry withal, and in 
money [ ]/ which both were promised by his 

officers, but nothing delivered. 

" And thus briefly I thought good to touch some 
part of her Majesty's repair hither, though, for want 
of understanding of many things omitted, and by 
reason of long sickness, being not able to put the 
same in writing, all things be not remembered. But 
the writer thinketh it better to report somewhat than 
leave all undone- -the town having been at so great 
charge, as may appear by the Bailiff's account, where 
the common charge is set forth particularly." 

1 There is a blank here in the MS. 



Ambrose Dudley and Local Affairs His Concern for Good Government 
His Interference with Parliamentary and Municipal Elections Other 
Events of his Later Years The Amputation of his Leg His Death 
His Character. 

A FEW other incidents in the life of Ambrose 
Dudley remain to be recorded. The " Black 
Book," in particular, contains various illustrations of 
his interest in the affairs of Warwick. 

In 1575 we find him taking measures for the 
expulsion of a bigamist who had come from Stratford- 
on-Avon, and who, in addition to this offence against 
law and morality, was " a man very contentious, proud, 
and slanderous, oft busying himself with naughty matters, 
and quarrelling with his honest neighbours." Ambrose 
Dudley's letter on the subject, addressed to " my very 
friend William Hudson at Warwick," runs as follows : 


" I am given to understand by a letter of 
yours, directed unto George Turville, that one Wedge- 
wood is come again to be a dweller in Warwick : who 
for his ill behaviour and dishonest living was afore 
banished by my commandment. And therefore I am 
to desire you in my name to deal with the Bailiff and 
Masters of the Town that he may not remain there for 

2 95 

Warwick Castle '+- 

evil example to others in the like case. And so I bid 
you farewell with my hearty commendations from the 
Court at Woodstock, this second of October, 1575. 
" Your very friend, 


We have similar evidence of his influence in Par- 
liamentary elections. He writes to " my loving friends 
the; Bailiff and the rest of the company of the Town 
of Warwick " thus : 

" After my hearty commendations. I have received 
letters from my lords of the Council, importing the 
great desire her Majesty hath of good choice to be 
made of wise, discreet, and well-disposed persons to 
serve as Knights and Burgesses in this Parliament, now 
summoned by her Highness' order to begin in April 
next. And being thereby required on her Majesty's 
behalt that I for my part (to avoid some enormities) 
will take care that the Burgesses within that town to 
be chosen be to all respects meet and worthy those 
Rooms, I have thought good like as to signify this 
much unto you, so to pray you to consider thereof 
accordingly. And albeit it may be there is no want 
of able men among yourselves for the supply of the 
matter, yet the special opinion I have upon good 
cause conceived of my friend Mr. Edward Aglionby's 
sufficiency doth move me to recommend him unto you 
for one of your burgesses, being a man not only well 
known among you, but one I dare undertake you 
shall find very forward in the advancement of anything 

The House of Dudley 

From the picture in the collection of the Marquis of Salisbury at HatfieU. 

that may tend to the common profit and commodity ot 
your town. Whereof not doubting but you will have 
due regard I bid you heartily farewell. At Westminster, 
the i Qth of February, 1570. 

"Your loving friend, 


Warwick Castle <*- 

Eighteen years later we find him writing similar 
letters on behalf of a relative of his own. It will be 
sufficient to give one of them : 

" To my very loving friends the Bailiff and 
Burgesses of Warwick : 

" After my hearty commendations. Whereas 
you are now to make choice of the Burgesses of the 
Parliament for your Town, I have thought good to 
recommend unto you my kinsman, Thomas Dudley, 
to be used in that place for you. He is a man 
who hath heretofore served in the same place, and 
of that sufficiency every way as I know not which 
way you might better be sped ; and therefore I 
would entreat you to make present choice of him ; 
and let me understand of the same by your letters. 
I would be loath he should be prevented by any 
other man's suit unto you. And therefore I desire 
your expedition herein, which I will take in very 
good part, and thank you all in his behalf. So 
I bid you heartily farewell. From London, this 2ist 
of September, 1588. 

" Your assured loving friend, 


It is characteristic of the period that this letter was 
sent by a special messenger, who was instructed to wait 
for an answer. The tenor of the answer shows that 
the relations between the Earl and the citizens were 
satisfactory. It runs thus : 


-* The House of Dudley 

" To the Right Honourable our very good Lord, 
the Earl of Warwick, his good Lordship : 

" Our duty in most humble manner promised to 
your good Lordship. The same may please to be 
advertised that upon receipt of your honourable letters 
this day touching the election of Mr. Thomas Dudley 
to be one of the Burgesses for the Parliament of this 
Town, we are ready and most willing to satisfy your 
Lordship's request so far as in us lieth. Nevertheless, 
until some warrant come under her Majesty's great seal, 
the election cannot be perfected. Yielding unto your 
honour all dutiful gratuity as becometh us in this and all 
things else. At Warwick, this 25th September, 1588. 

" Your most honorable Lordship's to command, 

The Earl's benefactions to the town may account 
for his popularity. He and his brother Robert, Earl 
of Leicester, whom Warwick also remembers gratefully, 
granted to the corporation, in 1576, the East Gate, 
St. Peter's Chapel, and the Shire Hall. It is interesting 
to find that Sir Fulke Greville, about whom we shall 
have a good deal to say presently, was present at the 
signing of the deed of gift. A translation of it will be 
found among the appendices. 

Irregularities in the conduct of elections and in the 

\Yanvick Castle 

expenditure of public money were other matters which 
aroused the interest of the Earl of Warwick. "As 
regards the election of principal burgesses," says Mr. 
Kemp, " the poor Bailiff and his brethren seem to 
have been unjustly and unnecessarily harassed " by the 
Karl and his brother ; but it is a long and intricate 
story, the rights and wrongs of which are far from 
easy to determine. We read of delegations travelling 
to London, and of counsel's opinion being taken, and 
of suits in Chancery which almost recall the case of 
Jarndyce versus Jarndyce. 

It begins because a certain Brookes, having a 
grievance, " becometh an open enemy and voweth the 
overthrow and breaking the neck of the Corporation," 
and " informeth my Lord [of Leicester] that divers things 
be misgoverned by the Bailiff and Burgesses," notably 
that " they waste the yearly revenues rising of lands 
and tenements given to find ministers, and that to their 
private advantage," and that " they take no accounts or 
recognizances how the money is bestowed," and that 
" the Bailiffs are and have been unduly and not 
lawfully chosen." 

The quarrel dragged on for years. I will not pre- 
tend to understand it sufficiently well to take a side 
in it. But I will print some of Ambrose Dudley's 
letters about it. They show, to some extent, what 
manner of man he was a man zealous for the proper and 
orderly conduct of municipal affairs, and accustomed to 
speak to the citizens in authoritative tones, as one whose 
habit it was to be listened to respectfully and obeyed. 

From a lithograph. 


\Yar\vick Castle 

The first letter is as follows : 

" To my very loving friends, the Bailiff and 
Burgesses of the Town of Warwick : 

" After my hearty commendations. Whereas 
sundry sums of money hath been given to that town 
by divers well-disposed persons and good benefactors, 
to be employed and used to good purposes which 
sums was given under very strict conditions, that if it 
can be proved the money not to be bestowed according 
to the good meaning of those benefactors but translated 
to other private purposes, that then the sums of money 
so bestowed should return to the executors of the 
said benefactors, and the town utterly to lose the 
benefit of so great benevolence ; and whereas I am 
informed the said sums of money have been well 
employed until now of late, and that the consciences of 
divers men being put in trust to the same well bestowed 
according to the good meaning of the benefactors are 
touched for that they see the money neither well 
employed nor the good meaning of the benefactors 
performed, because the same is now in private men's 
hands, who make to themselves a peculiar gain, without 
any regard had to the good intent of the benefactors : 
These are therefore to will you, Mr. Bailiffj and the 
rest of your brethren (having a special regard to see 
such good purposes not abused, the rather to encourage 
others to be beneficial hereafter and for the special love 
I bear to that town and the inhabitants thereof), to 
call a hall and assemble the burgesses together, and 

-* The House of Dudley 

make diligent enquiry how and in what manner those 
several sums of money have been of late employed, 
and in whom the fault especial resteth. For it is pity 
to suffer so liberal benevolence to be turned to abuse, 
and the honest and good meaning of the benefactors 
no better performed without due reformation. This 
hoping you will not fail but advertise me with speed 
the truth of this matter, I bid you all heartily well 
to fare. 

" At the Court, this 2Qth of November, 1579. 
"Your loving friend, 


The answer was to the effect that, "albeit things 
be not to the best sort ordered," there had been gross 
exaggeration in the tales carried to the Earl. The 
matter got, however, into the Court of Chancery, 
where it is difficult, if not impossible, to keep track 
of it. In the course of years the Earl of Leicester, 
we are told, "grew weary of these idle accusations." 
But the Earl of Warwick was determined to see the 
matter through. Six years after the first letter we 
come upon a much more peremptory communication : 

" To the Bailiff and Burgesses of Warwick give 
these : 

" Having heretofore, together with my brother, 
written unto you several letters touching the orderly 
employments of the town money according to the true 
meaning of the givers of the same, and also concern- 
ing the due election of the principal Burgesses there 


\Yar\vick Castle ^ 

according to the Charter, which of long time in that 
point hath been by the frowardness of some of you 
much abused. And in the same other letters, to the 
end your new election might take better effect, we 
did let you know that we had desired Sir Thomas 
Lucy, Edward Boughton, and Thomas Leigh, Esquires, 
your neighbours, to be present at the same. Wherein 
we now find by good advertisement that you have 
done nothing, neither regarding our former letters, nor 
respecting the credit of yourselves, nor the common 
commodity of the Borough, but making light reckon- 
ing of our earnest request, and of Mr. Boughton's 
offer to be present at your election, as was required 
by us. Whereby, albeit you have given us sufficient 
cause to think that such men as delight in misdoing 
and denying our earnest desire to do the town good 
and offer us occasion to bring you to good order by 
other means than by requests which (if this may 
serve) we are loth to attempt I therefore once again 
in former sort require you that you assemble your- 
selves together and make a right choice of your prin- 
cipal Burgesses by the general or more part of the 
voices of the whole Borough as the Law doth warrant 
and appoint you by your Charter to do. At which 
election, once again, I desire and require you that 
the said Edward Boughton may be present, by whose 
means it may take the better effect, and that also he 
may appoint and give notice to you of the time when 
the same shall be. Whereof you will not fail if you 
make account of my favour or be desirous of good 

-*> The House of Dudley 

government of the town. Of which I will be careful, 
and bring you to reform your misordered doings if 
herein you be negligent. Fare ye well. From 
Northall, the loth of July, 1585. 

" Your loving friend, 


How the little difficulty was settled it is impos- 
sible to say, since the above letter is the last refer- 
ence to it which the " Black Book " contains. Nor 
does the settlement really concern us. Our interest 
in the quarrel is limited to the light shed by it upon 
the character of Ambrose Dudley. The documents 
show us an Earl of Warwick who is no longer a 
feudal lord after the fashion of the King-maker, but 
the father, and one might almost say the school- 
master, of his people a kind but severe schoolmaster, 
quite sure that he knows what is best for them, and 
quite resolved that they shall do what they are told. 
He may stand as the type of the Lords of the Manor 
in many counties for many generations. 

The other references to him in the " Black Book " 
are mostly trivial. The following is an example : 

" Memorandum that Mr. John Fisher, in the last 
speeches which he ever delivered unto me touching 
temporal affairs, uttered these words : ' The Queen is 
to have \ 6s. Sd. out of the Friars, for that the 
land was given to the Lord of Warwick ; the town 
to receive 35. 4d. in respect of the title yearly.' 


VOL. I. 305 X 

Warwick Castle <*- 

In spite of his energetic character, to which our 
" Black Book " bears clear testimony, Ambrose Dudley's 
later years were not, and could not be, active. The 
wound received in the Havre campaign was a con- 
stantly recurring cause of trouble. That, no doubt, is 
the reason why we do not hear of him in those wars 
against the Spaniards in the Low Countries in which his 
brother, the Earl of Leicester, fought. Warwick Castle 
contains some interesting returns of corn in the hands 
of dealers, compiled as the result of representations 
made by him, with Lord Burghley, the Earl of 
Bedford, Walsingham, and some others at a time 
of scarcity. The MSS. of the Corporation of Rye 
include an " Indenture between Ambrose, Earl of 
Warwick, master of the ordnance, and the Mayor 
and Jurats of Rye, witnessing the receipt by the 
latter of certain ordnance and stores," which is printed 
in Holloway's "History of Rye"; and the MSS. of 
the Marquis of Salisbury, the Marquis de Townshend, 
and other collections contain some of his letters, not 
of overwhelming interest. There is a letter from 
him to Lord Burghley, for instance, in 1575, asking 
that " works begun for providing rooms, etc., for the 
Mastership of the Tower may be allowed to go 
forward, and that Mr. Martin, who challenged the 
said rooms to belong to the office of the Mint, may 
be written to to suffer the work to proceed." 

He was one of the signatories, in the same year, 
of an instruction of the Privy Council to Lord 
Burghley, requiring him to " give order through his 

-* The House of Dudley 

office for stay of all vessels belonging to the town 
of Flushing, and to put in safe keeping till further 
orders all the ships' masters and mariners. With 
postscript that the arrest is to extend to all those of 

A little later we find him giving orders to the 
Sheriff and Justices of the Peace of the County of 
Norfolk as to the training of the militia in shooting. 
Other letters deal with more personal matters : this, 
for instance, written to Lord Burghley in 1578, 
thanking his correspondent for his great courtesy in 
serving him in this his necessity "Without help 
in this extremity writer's ruinous house should have 
been finished he cannot tell when. My most hearty 
commendations not forgotten to my good lady your 
wife, as likewise to the sweet little Countess of 
Oxford. My ' amys ' [Anne] hath the like to your 
good lordship and to both the ladies." 

And this, also to Lord Burghley, in 1582: 

" Albeit I have otherwares diversely made myself 
beholding to your Lordship, yet in respect I have 
not much troubled your game at Enfield I wold very 
hartely request yow to bestow a Buck of this season 
upon me ther. The deere thrive so badly at Hat- 
field as I am not for this year able to pleasure 
neither myself nor any friend I have with a Bucke 

We hear of him again, in 1587, in the postscript 
of a letter to Lord Burghley from Sir Robert Cecil : 

" P.S. I waited on my Lord of Warwick and my 

\Yar\vick Castle <*- 

lady yesterday at dinner, where was my Lord Talbot, 
Mr. Fulk Greville, and others. They came all to 
London yesternight ; my Lord of Warwick being not 
a little pleased that his hounds had killed a stag 
of force in your lordship's woods, where my Lord 
Chamberlain and so many others had missed before." 

And finally, a few clays before his death, Anthony 
Bagot writes to his father, Richard Bagot : 

"No news. But yesterday the Earl of Warwick 
had one of his legs cut off by the knee for the 
disease the Karl of Bedford had called the gangrene." 

Ambrose Dudley died, 1 as the result of this opera- 
tion, at Bedford House, Bloomsbury, on February 2oth, 
1589-90. He was buried in the Lady Chapel,- at 

1 The arms of Ambrose, Earl of Warwick, were : 

Quarterly : i Button-Dudley, 2 Beaumont, 3 Grey, 4 Hastings, 5 Quincy, 
6 Malpas, 7 Somery, 8 Valance, 9 Talbot, 10 Neubourgh, 11 Beauchamp. 
12 Berkeley, 13 Gerard, 14 Lisle, 15 Guilford, 16 Halden, 17 West, 18 La 
Warr, 19 Cantelupe, 20 Mortimer, 21 Gresley. 

Crest: on a wreath or and azure a bear muzzled and leaning on a 
ragged staff argent, collared and chained or. 

Supporters: Dexter, a lion regardant argent, crowned or; sinister, a lion 
vert, ducally gorged and chained or. 

Mottoes : (i) Tempus omnia Habet ; (2) Ung Dieu, ung Roy, Sarvier je Doy. 

Badge: Ragged staff of silver. (MS. Harl., 1156.) 

- On a raised tomb by the south wall is an effigy in long embroidered 
robe buttoned down the front, with turned-down collar and cuffs to 
match ; the hair is bound with an ornamental fillet, and above the robe 
a cloak is worn. On the basement is a long inscription in memory of 
the " Noble Impe ' : Robert, son of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and 
nephew to Ambrose, Earl of Warwick, who died igth July, 26 Eliz. On 
the wall-piece behind is a shield of arms, with the sixteen quarterings 
of Dudley. 

On a high tomb is a full-length effigy of Ambrose, Earl of Warwick, 
the basement in three compartments, separated by Corinthian pilasters of 
marble, that of the central pair inlaid in arabesque. In each compartment 


Warwick Castle <*- 

Warwick, the funeral being conducted by Sir William 
Dethick. He was three times married : to Anne, 
daughter of William Whorvvood by Cassandra, daughter 
of Sir Edward Grey ; to Elizabeth, daughter of Sir 
(iilbert Talboys, and heiress to George, Lord Talboys ; 
and to Anne, daughter of Francis Russell, Earl of 
Bedford. His only son, by his first wife, died in 
childhood, and he left no legitimate posterity. His 
widow survived him for some years, and there is 
evidence that she enjoyed the favour of Queen 
Elizabeth. Some of her letters which have been 
preserved are dated from " the Court." This, for 
instance, to her uncle, Roger Manners : " I have 
receved your letter and perceve by your man that 
you are retorned from Buxtons and not received so 
muche goocle therby as hertofore, by reason of your 
hasting away uppon theise newes, which are nowe 
againe well ceassed and thought not like to doe any- 
thing except towards the west parts, where they are 
exceding well provided for them. I have remembered 
you to her Majestic and presented your humble duty 
and service, making knowne your readynes upon this 

are shields of arms. The effigy lies on a rolled-np mat, and is repre- 
sented wearing the coronet of his rank, and dressed in richly chased 
armour, trunk-hose, and cloak ; the whole of the tomb is painted in 
colour. The principal shield at the eastern end of the monument contains 
sixteen quarterings of Dudley impaling as many of Russell, all within 
the garter, and with supporters, a lion gorged and chained for Dudley 
and goat crowned and armed or for Russell ; while on either side are 
Dudley impaling Russell, TalLoys, and Whorwood. At the west end are 
the quarterings, crest, and supporters of the Earl, the crest being the 
bear and ragged staff. 

-> The House of Dudley 

occasion. Her Majesty's answer was that she knew 
you to be hir olde and faithful servant, and that she 
doubted not of your desire and willingness to shew 
your dutifull affeccion towards hir, for which she 
dothe hartelye thanck you, but wold not in any wyse 
have you to have left your course in stayinge at the 
Bathe, wherby for hir you shold hinder your helth." 

There was no Dudley admittedly legitimate left 
to succeed to the title and estates. A few years later 
we shall find the House of Greville enjoying the 
estates and owning the Castle, while the House of 
Rich is granted the Earldom. Before proceeding to 
that section of our history, however, we will turn 
aside and follow the fortunes of other branches of 
the House of Dudley notably those of Robert 
Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and his son, the Robert 
Dudley whom the Law Courts have decided to be 
illegitimate, but whose claims to be the rightful heir 
to the Earldoms of both Leicester and Warwick 
have found many supporters, and rest upon substantial 


RnlM-rt Dudley, Karl of Leicester The Reasons why he is Interesting His 
Marriage with Amy Robsart The Robsart Pedigree The Story of Lady 
Amy's Death The Suggestion that Dudley murdered her A Review 
of the Kvidence -The Grounds on which Dudley must be acquitted of 
tin 1 Crime. 

ROHKRT DUDLEY, Earl of Leicester, fifth 
son of john Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, 
and younger brother of Ambrose Dudley, Earl of 
Warwick, was neither a good man nor a great man, 
though he may be said to have approached greatness 
by way of cleverness and goodness by the path of 
charitable benefaction. On the other hand, he failed 
as a general, and was suspected, though on inconclusive 
evidence, of removing obstacles to his ambition by 
means of poison. The most favourable thing that can 
be said of him is that he was conspicuous for his 
culture in a conspicuously cultured age, and was a 
consistent patron of the arts. It is said, though it 
cannot be proved, that he received Shakespeare at 
Kenilworth ; and he was the first grantee of letters 
patent for the maintenance of a troop of actor-servants, 
including the famous James Burbage. It may be that 
his contemporaries wronged him through jealousy of 
the favour which women, from the Queen of England 

l-'rom the picture at Warwick Castle. 


Warwick Castle '* 

downwards, showed him ; but they had a strong case 
against him, even if they exaggerated it. It would 
be rather an exaggeration than an untruth to say of 
him that he "spared neither man in his anger nor 
woman in his lust." 

With all this he is a profoundly interesting figure 
one of the most interesting in the great gallery of notables ; and this not merely because he 
was the reputed lover of the Queen, but because of 
the many mysteries of crime of which the secret is 
locked in his tomb. He was one of the first of those 
who have thoroughly understocjd what Mr. Charles 
Whibley, in an ingenious work, has called " the 
pageant of life." Outwardly, if not inwardly, he was 
the type of the "magnificent man" held up to our 
admiration by Aristotle in his Nicomachean Ethics. 
Thinking of him, one thinks also of the modern hero 
of whom the; American humourist said that he 
had never seen any single man who looked so much 
like a procession. It will be worth while to devote 
a few pages to the consideration of his career and 

1 he year of his birth is uncertain ; but it was 
either 1532 or 1533. We know the day from one of 
his letters to Elizabeth. " This is my birthday," he 
writes to her on June 24th. He was married, as a 
mere boy, to Amy Robsart, who was a mere girl. 
Edward VI. was present at the wedding. There is 
an interesting note of the fact in the King's journal, 
which may still be read, in his own singularly clear 

-* The House of Dudley 

handwriting, in the Manuscript Room of the British 
Museum : 

" 1 55- J une 4- Sir Robert Dudley, third (sur- 
viving) son to the Earl of Warwick, married Sir John 
Robsart's daughter, after which marriage there were 
certain gentlemen that did strive who should first take 
away a goose's head, which was hanged alive on two 
cross posts." 

This disposes of Sir Walter Scott's allegation in 
" Kenilworth " that the marriage was kept secret. 
But that so-called historical novel, as we shall see, 
is full not only of historical inaccuracies, but of 
historical impossibilities. Before coming to them, let 
us give an account of Amy Robsart's family and 

She came of an old house that had distinguished 
itself in English annals. The founder of the family 
was John Robsart, who, together with Richard Verchin, 
Lord High Seneschal of Hainault, surprised John, Duke 
of Normandy, eldest son of King Philip of France, in 
his quarters at Montais, on the River Selle, in the 
fourteenth year of the reign of King Edward III. 
His son was Robert, Baron of Cannon in Hainault, 
who also distinguished himself in the foreign wars, 
taking the Castle of Commercy and defeating the 
Lord Gomeignes, while the King was besieging Rheims, 
in 1359, and afterwards, in the reign of Richard II., 
taking various castles in Spain. His eldest son, Sir 
John Robsart, distinguished himself in the wars with 
the Saracens in the reign of Richard II., was with 

Warwick Castle * 

Henry Y. at the siege of Caen, one of the principal 
commanders under Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, 
and, under Henry YI., was the English representative 
who negotiated the surrender of Cherbourg to the 
French. Having been born in Hainault, he was 
naturalised, and died in 1450. His son, Sir Theodoric 
(or Terry) Robsart, had a son, Sir John Robsart, of 
whom we know little, except that Edward VI., on the 
advice of Lord Protector Somerset, granted him a 
pardon for "all treasons, insurrections, rebellions, 
murders, felonies before the 2oth of January in the 
first year of that king." He married Elizabeth, 
daughter of John Scot, of Camberwell, in Surrey, 
and our Ann" Robsart was his daughter. He was 
several times Lord Justice and Lord Lieutenant for 
the County of Norfolk. 

The Scots were also of good family, though not 
so well descended as the Robsarts. The Manor of 
Camberwell had been granted to John Scot on the 
attainder of Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, 
from whom he had previously rented it. He had 
been made third Baron of the Exchequer in 1529. 
His daughter Elizabeth, before her marriage with 
Sir John Robsart, had been the wife of Roger 
Apple-yard, son and heir of Sir Nicholas Appleyard 
in the County of Norfolk. 

That is enough genealogy for the present We 
will proceed to our story. 

At first, and for some time, Dudley and his wife 
on good terms. She visited him during his 


-* The House of Dudley 

imprisonment in the Tower at the beginning of Queen 
Mary's reign ; hut estrangement must have declared 
itself soon after Queen Elizabeth's accession. Then 
Dudley was at Court making love to the Queen, and 
Lady Amy was living in the country. There is no 
evidence of her feelings in the two letters of hers 
that have been preserved the one ordering a new 
dress, and the other giving directions for the sale 
of some wool on the Siderstern l estate ; but surely 
Mr. Sidney Lee is wrong in saying 2 that "the language 
suggests a perfect understanding between husband 
and wife." Lady Amy may perfectly well have had 
her feelings, even if she did not confide them to her 

Lady Amy's home seems at first to have been at 
the house of a Mr. Hyde, at Denchworth. 3 Early in 
1560 she removed to the house of Anthony Forster, 4 
at Cumnor, near Oxford. Cumnor Place is now a 

The few facts that are certain about the tragedy 

1 This manor came into the possession of the Robsart family by the 
marriage of Sir Terry Robsart with the daughter and heiress oi Sir Thomas 
Kerdeston, of Siderstern, in Norfolk. 

- In the " Dictionary of National Biography." 

3 The Hydes believed themselves to have possessed the Manor 
of Denchworth since the time of King Canute. As a matter of fact 
it belonged, in 1417, to Sir Roger Corbet, whose daughter and sole 
heiress, Sibylla, married Sir John Greville, who will presently reappear 
in our narrative. 

4 Subsequently M.P. for Abingdon. He had purchased the property 
from William Owen, son of George Owen, physician to Henry VIII., to 
whom it had been granted by letters patent at the time of the dissolution 
of the monasteries. 


Warwick Castle *- 

that followed are thus summed up by Mr. Sidney 
Lee :- 

Besides Forster and his wife, Lady Amy found 
living at Cumnor Mrs. Odingsells, a widow and a 
sister of Mr. Hyde of Denchworth, and Mrs. Owen, 
William Owen's wife. On Sunday, 8 September, 
i >6o, Lady Amy is said to have directed the whole 
household to visit Abingdon fair. The three ladies 
declined to go, but only Mrs. Owen dined with 
Lady Amy. Late in the day the servants returned 
from Abingdon, and found Dudley's wife lying dead 
at the foot of the staircase in the hall. She had been 
playing at table with the other ladies, it was stated, 
had suddenly left the room, had fallen downstairs and 
broken her neck." 

Was it accident ? Was it suicide ? Was it murder ? 
These questions have been violently agitated, and the 
proper discussion of them would take up a good deal 
more space than I have at my disposal. All that I 
can attempt is to give a brief review of the arguments 
that others have put forward. 

Ugly rumours were afloat from the very first. 
Dr. 1 homas Lever, Prebendary of Durham, and 
Master of Sherborne Hospital, hearing them, took it 
upon himself to write to Sir Francis Knollys and 
Sir \\ illiam Cecil, drawing attention to the scandal, 
and protesting that it must not be hushed up. 

" I am moved and boldened," he wrote, " by 
writing to signify unto you, that here in these parts 
seemeth unto me to be a grievous and dangerous 

-> The House of Dudley 

suspicion and muttering of the death of her which 
was the wife of my Lord Robert Dudley. And now 
my desire and trust is that the rather by your goodly 
discreet device and diligence, through the Queen's 
Majesty's authority, earnest searching and trying out 
of the truth with due punishment, if any be found 
guilty in this matter, may be openly known. For 
if no search nor inquiry be made and known, the 
displeasure of God, the dishonour of the Queen, and 
the danger of the whole realm is to be feared. And 
by due inquiry and justice openly known, surely 
God shall be well pleased and served, the Queen's 
Majesty worthily commended, and her loving subjects 
comfortably quieted." 

The enquiry asked for was duly held, however, 
and there is nothing to indicate that Dr. Lever was 
dissatisfied with the jury's verdict of accidental death. 
Dudley, in fact, had himself demanded the inquest 
before the letter of the divine was written. 

Notwithstanding the result of the inquest the whole 
Continent, at the time, believed Dudley to have 
contrived the murder. Throgmorton, the English 
Ambassador at Paris, reported to this effect on 
several occasions ; and the Spanish Ambassador at 
London, De Quadra, circulated damaging gossip 
to the same effect. " They [i.e. the Queen and 
Dudley]," he wrote, " were thinking of destroying 
Lord Robert's wife. . . . They had given out that 
she was ill, but she was not ill at all ; she was very 
well, and taking care not to be poisoned. . . . The 


Warwick Castle *- 

Queen, on her return from hunting (on 4 Sept.) told 
me that Lord Robert's wife was dead, or nearly so, 
and begged me to say nothing about it." 

Throgmorton, however, had a motive for making 
the most of the scandal he always gave it as 
a reason why the Queen should not marry her 
favourite ; and the Queen herself protested against 
his reports. " She thereupon told me," he writes, 
" that the matter had been tried in the country, 
and found to be contrary to that which was reported, 
saying that he was then in the Court, and none of 
his at the attempt at his wife's house, and that it 
fell out as should neither touch his honesty nor her 

Xor does Burghley appear to have believed the 
reports made to him, though he cited them as a 
ground of objection to the Queen's marriage with a 
subject who was " infamed by his wife's death." 

The murder story was revived, 1567, by the Lady 
Amy's half-brother, John Appleyard, who declared 
that Leicester had bribed the coroner's jury. But 
when John Appleyard came to be examined by the 
Privy Council, he retracted and apologised, saying 
that he had deliberately slandered Dudley because he 
had expected from him benefits which he had not 
received. Possibly the retractation was made under 
pressure ; but it is, in any case, impossible to attach 
value to John Appleyard's evidence. 

Finally, we have a black indictment of Dudley in 
a pamphlet generally known as " Leicester's Common- 

-* The House of Dudley 

wealth " but first printed, probably at Antwerp, in 
1584 as "The copy of a Letter wryten by a Master 
of Arte of Cambridge to his Friend in London 
concerning some talke past of late between two 
worshipfull and grave men about the present state 
and some proceedyngs of the Erie of Leycester and 
his friendes in England." 

The gist of the accusation is contained in the 
following passages : 

" As for example, when his Lordship was in full 
hope to marry her Majesty, and his own wife stood 
in his light, as he supposed, he did but send her 
aside to the house of his servant, Forster of Cumnor, 
by Oxford, where shortly after she had the chance 
to fall from a pair of stairs, and so to break her 
neck, but yet without hurting of her hood that stood 
upon her head. But Sir Richard Varney, who by 
commandment remained with her that day alone, 
with one man only, and had sent away perforce all 
her servants from her, to a market two miles off, 
he (I say) with this man can tell how she died, 
which man being taken afterward for a felony 
in the Marches of Wales, and offering to publish 
the manner of the said murder, was made away 
privily in the prison ; and Sir Richard himself dying 
about the same time in London, cried piteously 
and blasphemed God, and said to a gentleman of 
worship of mine acquaintance, not long before his 
death, that all the devils in hell did tear him in 
pieces. The wife also of Bald Butler, kinsman to 
VOL. i. 321 y 

\Yar\vick Castle *- 

my Lord, gave out the whole fact a little before 
her death. 

" Secondly, it is not also unlike that he prescribed 
unto Sir Richard Varney, at his going thither, that 
he should first attempt to kill her by poison, and 
if that took not place, then by any other way to 
dispatch her howsoever. This I prove by the report 
of old Doctor Bayly, who then lived in Oxford 
(another manner of man than he who now liveth 
about my Lord of the same name), and was Professor 
of the Physic Lecture in the same University. This 
learned, grave man reported for most certain that there 
was a practice in Cumnor among the conspirators to 
have poisoned the poor lady a little before she was 
killed, which was attempted in this order : 

" They, seeing the good lady sad and heavy (as 
one that well knew by her other handling that her 
death was not far off), began to persuade her that 
her disease was abundance of melancholy and other 
humours, and therefore would needs counsel her to 
take some potion, which she absolutely refusing to do, 
as still suspecting the worst, they sent one day 
(unawares to her) for Doctor Bayly, and desired 
him to persuade her to take some little potion at 
his hands, and they would send to fetch the same 
at Oxford upon his prescription, meaning to have 
added also somewhat of their own for her comfort, 
as the Doctor upon just causes suspected, seeing their 
great importunity, and the small need the good lady 
had of physic; and therefore he flatly denied their 

From the picture by W. F. Yeames, R.A., by permission ofttie artist. Photo by H. Dixon & Son. 

\Var\vick Castle *- 

request, misdoubting (as he after reported) lest, if they 
had poisoned her under the name of his potion, he 
might after have been hanged for a colour of their 
sin. Marry, the said Doctor remained well assured 
that this way taking no place, she should not long 
escape violence, as after ensued. And the thing was 
so beaten into the heads of the principal men of the 
t'niversity of Oxford by these and other means; as 
for that she was found murdered (as all men said) 
by the Crowner's inquest, and for that she being 
hastily and obscurely buried at Cumnor (which was 
condemned above, as not advisedly done), my good 
Lord, to make plain to the world the great love he 
bore to her in her life, and what a grief the loss of 
so virtuous a lady was to his tender heart, would 
needs have her taken up again and reburied in the 
University Church at Oxford, with great pomp and 
solemnity ; that Dr. Babington, my Lord's chaplain, 
making the public funeral sermon at her second burial, 
tript once or twice in his speech by recommending 
to their memories that virtuous lady so pitifully 
murdered, instead of so pitifully slain." 

This is the story which, at least in its main 
outlines, is followed in " Kenilworth." Consequently 
it is the story believed by the community at large. 
But it will not stand examination, and has, in fact, 
been riddled with criticism over and over again. It 
did not appear until twenty-four years after the events 
which it purports to relate ; and it contains several 
statements which are at variance with known facts. 

* The House of Dudley 

In particular Sir Richard Varney, 1 who figures so 
prominently in Scott's romance, cannot be, even 
remotely, connected with the tragedy by any authen- 
ticated document. 

The pamphlet was, indeed, at the time of its 
appearance, regarded by all responsible persons as 
a malicious libel. The authorship was attributed 
to Father Parsons, or Persons, 2 the notorious Jesuit 

1 Sir Richard Varney was Sheriff of Warwickshire in 1562. His 
grandson, Richard Varney, of Compton, married Margaret, sister and sole 
heir of Fulke Greville, first Lord Brooke. His great-grandson, Greville 
Varney, married Catherine Southwell, sister of the Elizabeth Southwell 
who, as we shall presently see, eloped with Leicester's son, Robert Dudley, 
in the disguise of a page. This double connection with the Houses of 
Dudley and Greville makes it worth while to give the pedigree in an appendix. 

2 Camden, in his '' Annals of Queen Elizabeth," gives the following 
account of this amazing man: "Robert Persons and Edmund Campian, 
English Jesuits, came into England at this time ' to set Romish affairs 
forward.' This Robert Persons was a Somersetshire man, of a vehement 
and savage nature, of most uncivil manners and ill behaviour. Edward 
Campian was a Londoner, of a contrary carriage; both were Oxford men, 
and I knew them while I was in the same University. Campian, being 
out of St. John's College, professed the place of Attorney in the said 
University in the year 1568, and, being established Archdeacon, made a 
show to affect the Protestant faith until that day he left England. Persons 
being out of Balliol College, in which he openly made profession of the 
Protestant religion, until his wicked life and base conversation purchasing 
him a shameful exile from thence, he retired himself to the Papists' side. 
Since both of them returning into England, were disguised, sometimes in the 
habits of soldiers, sometimes like gentlemen, and sometimes much like unto 
our ministers, they secretly travelled through England, from house to house, 
and places of popish nobility and gentry, valiantly executing by words and 
writings their commission. Persons, who was established chief and superior, 
being of a seditious nature and turbulent spirit, armed with audacity, 
spoke so boldly to the Papists to deprive Oueen Elizabeth of her sceptre, 
that some of them at once determined to accuse and put him into the 
hands of justice. Campian, though something more modest, presumed to 
challenge, by a writing, the ministers of the Church of England to dispute 
with him," etc., etc. 


\Yar\vick Castle *- 

intriguer, though Mr. Sidney Lee holds that " it was 
the work of a courtier, who endeavoured to foist 
responsibility on Parsons." In any case it is a docu- 
ment devoid of historical value. A State document 
signed, among others, by Burghley, Walsingham, 
and Sir Henry Sidney denounces it to the Lord 
Mayor, Sheriffs, and Aldermen of London. 

"Upon intelligence," we there read, "given to 
her Majesty in October last past of certain seditious 
and traitorous books and libels couvertly spread and 
scattered abroad in sundry parts of her realms and 
dominions, it pleased her Majesty to publish pro- 
clamations throughout the realm for the suppressing 
of the same, and due punishment of the authors, 
spreadors abroad, and detainers of them, in such sort 
and form as in the said proclamation is more at 
large contained. Sithence which time, notwithstanding 
her Highness hath certainly known, that the very 
same and divers other suchlike most slanderous, 
shameful, and devilish books and libels have been 
continually spread abroad and kept by disobedient 
persons, to the manifest contempt of her Majestie's 
regal and sovereign authority; and namely, among the 
rest, one most infamous, containing slanderous and 
hateful matter against our very good Lord the Earl 
of Leycester, one of her principal noblemen and 
Chief Counsellor of State, of which most malicious 
and wicked imputations her Majesty in her own clear 
knowledge doth declare and testify his innocence to 
all the world, and to that effect hath written her 

-* The House of Dudley 

gracious letters, signed with her own hand, to the 
Lord Mayor, Sheriffs, and Aldermen of London, 
where it was likely these books would chiefly be cast 
abroad. We therefore, to follow the course taken by 
her Majesty, and knowing manifestly the wickedness 
and falsehood of these slanderous devices against the 
said Earl, have thought good to notify her further 
pleasure and our own consciences to you in this case." 

And so forth. 

Another reply to the libel was written, at the 
time, by Sir Philip Sidney, though, probably owing 
to his death, it was not published until several years 
afterwards. His indignation is, perhaps, discounted by 
the fact that, as a grandson of John Dudley, Duke 
of Northumberland, he was Leicester's second cousin, 
and that his wrath at the aspersions cast upon Leicester 
is exceeded by his anger that doubt was thrown in 
the tract upon the gentle descent of the Dudleys ; 
but it is a burning indignation none the less. 

"Hard it were," Sir Philip writes, "if every 
goose-quill could any way blot the honour of an Earl 
of Leicester, written in the hearts of so many men 
throughout Europe. Neither for me shall ever so 
worthy a man's name be brought to be made a 
question, where there is only such a nameless and 
shameless opposer. But because that, though the 
writer hereof doth most falsly lay want of gentry to 
my dead ancestors, I have to the world thought good 
to say a little, which, I will assure any that list to 
seek, shall find confirmed with much more. But 


Warwick Castle <*- 

to thee I say, thou therein liest in thy throat, which 
I will be ready to justify upon thee, in any place 
of Kurope, where thou will assign me a free place of 
coming, as within three months after the publishing 
hereof I may understand thy mind. And as till thou 
hast proved this, in all construction of virtue and 
honour, all the shame thou hast spoken is thine own, 
the right reward of an evil-tongued Schelm, as the 
(iermans especially call such people. So again, in 
any place whereto thou wilt call me, provided that 
the place be such as a servant of the Queen's 
Majesty have free access unto ; if I do not, having 
my life and liberty, prove this upon thee, I am 
content that this lie I have given thee return to my 
perpetual infamy. And this which I write I would 
send to thine own hands, if I knew thee ; but I trust 
it cannot be intended that he should be ignorant of 
this printed in London, which knows the very whisper- 
ings of the Privy Chamber. I will make dainty of 
no baseness in thee, that art, indeed, the writer 
of this book. And, from the date of this writing, 
imprinted and published, I will three months expect 
thine answer." 

Clearly in all this there is nothing worthy to be 
called evidence, whether on the one side or the other. 
It remains to be seen whether we can draw any 
convincing influence from Robert Dudley's behaviour 
when the news of his wife's death reached him. 

He certainly did not behave well. The tidings 
came to him when he was in attendance on the 

-*> The House of Dudley 

Queen at Windsor. One would have expected him 
to start at once for Cumnor ; but he did nothing of 
the kind. He sent "Cousin Blount " l instead, bidding 
him "send me your true conceit or opinion of the 
matter, whether it happened by evil chance or by 
villany." Blount's behaviour was singular, and cal- 
culated to excite suspicion. Instead of hurrying 
to Cumnor, which would obviously have been the 
natural thing to do, he delayed at Abingdon, where 
"at my supper I called for mine host, and asked 
him what news was thereabout, taking upon me I 
was going into Gloucestershire." He wrote a letter 
reporting that " the tales I do hear of her maketh 
me to think she had a strange mind in her," and 
criticising the coroner's jury in a manner which 
suggests some nervousness as to the verdict. 
To this letter Dudley replied as follows : 


" Until I hear from you again how the matter 
falleth out in very troth, I cannot be in quiet ; and yet 
you do well to satisfy me with the discreet jury you 
say are chosen already : unto whom I pray you say 
from me, that I require them, as even I shall think 

1 Dudley's brother, Ambrose, Earl of Warwick, married for his second 
wife Elizabeth, daughter of Gilbert, Lord Talboys (and widow of Thomas 
Wimbishe) ; she was great-grand-daughter of Sir John Blount, of Kynlette, 
co. Salop. I presume Thomas Blount to be of this family. The father 
of Sir John Blount married Anne, daughter of Sir Richard Croftes. 
A descendant of the latter (I presume), Sir James Croftes, who was 
Comptroller of the Household to Queen Elizabeth, Leicester called " Cousin 


Warwick Castle - 

good of them, that they will, according to their duties, 
earnestly, carefully, and truly deal in this matter, and 
find it as they shall see it fall out ; and, if it fall out 
a chance or misfortune, then so to say ; and, if it appear 
a villany (as God forbid so mischievous or wicked a 
body should live), then to find it so. And, God willing, 
I have never fear fof] the due prosecution accordingly, 
what person soever it may appear my way to touch ; as 
well tor the just punishment of the act as for mine own 
true justification ; for, as I would be sorry in my heart 
any such evil should be committed, so shall it well 
appear to the world my innocency by my dealing in 
the matter, if it shall so fall out. And therefore, 
Cousin Blount, I seek chiefly troth in this case, which 
I pray you still to have regard unto, without any favour 
to be showed either one way or other. When you 
have done my message to them, I require you not to 
stay to search thoroughly yourself all ways that I may 
be satisfied. And that with such convenient speed as 
you may. Thus fare you well, in haste ; at Kew, this 
Xllth day of September. 

"Yours assured, R. D." 

'I he protestations here certainly seem excessive for 
an innocent man not yet formally accused of anything ; 
and it also seems suspicious, after reading it, to 
find first Hlount and then Dudley himself in com- 
munication with the jury. " They be very secret," 
writes Blount, " and yet do I hear a whispering that 
they can find no presumptions of evil." " I have 

- The House of Dudley 

received a letter," Dudley replies, "from one Smith, 
one that seemeth to be the foreman of the jury. I 
perceive by his letter that he and the rest have and 
do travail very diligently and circumspectly for the 
trial of the matter which they have charge of, and for 
anything that he or they by any search or examination 
can make in the world hitherto, it doth plainly appear, 
he saith, a very misfortune ; which, for mine own 
part, Cousin Blount, doth much satisfy and quiet me. 
Nevertheless, because of my thorough quietness and 
all others' hereafter, my desire is that they may continue 
in their inquiry and examination to the uttermost, as 
long as they lawfully may ; yea, and when these have 
given their verdict, though it be never so plainly 
found, assuredly I do wish that another substantial 
company of honest men might try again for the more 
knowledge of troth." 

Here, unfortunately, our correspondence ends. 
There is plenty in it to suggest, and very little to 
contradict, the idea that Blount and Dudley bribed 
the jury to defeat the ends of justice or at least that 
Dudley, only giving Blount half his confidence, bribed 
the foreman behind his back, while hypocritically 
parading a desire to get at the truth, the whole truth, 
and nothing but the truth. A modern judge, discover- 
ing such a correspondence in the course of such a case, 
would hardly fail to suspect something of the sort. 
But there is only a presumption ; and it is quite 
impossible for us to pass the barrier that separates 
presumption from proof. Dudley's equivocal behaviour 

Warwick Castle *- 

may have been and probably was due to fear that 
his enemies, who were numerous and powerful, would 
twist facts against him. This would have been moral 
cowardice ; but nothing that we know of Robert 
Dudley warrants us in crediting him with moral 

Moreover, it must be remembered that the inquest, 
though no further documents relating to it are extant, 
was no hole-and-corner affair. Amy Dudley's half- 
brother, John Appleyard, and her illegitimate brother, 
Arthur Robsart, were present at it. In view of the 
moral depravity of the age, it is just conceivable that 
they were bribed, but it is in the highest degree 
unlikely ; and if they were not bribed, and if they 
seriously suspected Dudley, then they would hardly 
have failed to give Dudley's enemies the handle 
against him which they would unquestionably have 
been glad to have. 

On the whole, therefore, the fact that Dudley's 
enemies could not convict him, and did not even try 
to convict him, is the historian's best reason for 
acquitting him. He neglected his wife shamefully 
that is not disputed. Her death was no doubt a relief 
to him as well as an advantage. But there is no 
good reason for believing that he murdered her, and 
there is fairly good reason for believing that he 
did not. 

33 2 


The Burial of Amy Dudley at Oxford The Queen's Friendship for Robert 
Dudley The Grant of Kenihvorth Castle The History of the Castle 
Dudley's Restorations and Improvements James I.'s Survey of 

AMY DUDLEY'S body was taken from Cuinnor 
Place to Gloucester Hall, now Worcester College, 
Oxford, and buried with great ceremony 1 in St. Mary's 
Church. The Mayor and Corporation and the Heads 
of Colleges and Halls officially attended the funeral, 
and Dr. Babington preached a funeral sermon on the 
text, " Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord." 

The path of ambition now seemed clear for Dudley, 
and Elizabeth heaped favours upon her favourite. 
There can be little doubt that, if she had followed 
her inclinations, she would have married him. One 
does not feel the less sure of this because she some- 
times snubbed him openly, telling him, on one occasion, 
that "she would never marry him nor none so mean 
as he," and saying to him publicly at another time, 
" I have wished you well, but my favour is not so 
locked up for you that others shall not partake thereof " ; 
or because she told a gentleman of her bed-chamber 

1 Dudley himself does not appear to have been present. A long description 
of the funeral is given in a Dugdale MS. in the Ashmolean Collection, 
printed by Mr. George Adlard. 


Warwick Castle *- 

that it would be "unlike herself and unmindful of her 
royal majesty to prefer her servant whom she herself 
had raised before the greatest Princes of Christendom." 
These remarks were invited by Dudley's own pre- 
sumption ; and the sunshine of her smiles was never 
long eclipsed for him. The marriage was canvassed 
in State papers and in the correspondence of ambas- 
sadors, and only considerations of political expediency 
appear to have prevented it. 

Popular opinion, indeed, long regarded Dudley 
as the Queen's paramour. A youth, calling himself 
Arthur Dudley, and claiming to be her son by him, 
was pensioned in 1588 by Philip II. of Spain, though 
he was almost certainly an impostor who lied for the 
sake of a pension. In England several offenders went 
to prison for alleging that the Queen and Dudley 
were unduly intimate : Anne Dowe, of Brentford ; 
Marsham, of Norwich ; Robert Brooke, of Devizes ; 
and some others. It would be equally rash to affirm 
that these stories were altogether true or that they 
were altogether false. The benefits bestowed upon 
Dudley, being quite out of proportion to his public 
services, give them a certain colour of plausibility. 

He had been at Saint Ouentin in the character 
of Master of the Ordnance ; but that was almost his 
only title to distinction. Nevertheless, immediately 
on Elizabeth's accession, he was made Master of the 
Horse and sworn of the Privy Council, and in 1564 
was created Baron Denbigh and Earl of Leicester. 
Other appointments given to him, quite early in the 

Warwick Castle * 

reign, were those of Chancellor of the County Palatine of 
Chester, High Steward of the University of Cambridge, 
and Chancellor of the University of Oxford. More 
substantial benefits were the grant of the Manor, Lord- 
ship, and Castle of Kenil worth ; the Lordship and 
Castle of Denbigh ; lands in Lancashire, Surrey, Rutland, 
Denbigh, Carmarthen, York, Cardigan, and Brecknock ; 
the Manors of Caldecote and Pelynge in Bedfordshire ; 
and sixteen other estates in different parts of England 
and Wales. Last, but not least, he was accorded four 
licences to export wool. These various advantages 
raised him from comparative poverty to be one of the 
richest men in the kingdom. He was able to spend 
,60,000 a sum equal to more than half a million of 
our money in the extension and improvement of 
Kenilworth Castle. 

At Kenilworth, on several occasions, but notably 
in 1575, he entertained the Queen. This last-named 
entertainment was the greatest and most gorgeous of 
the reign. The entertainment at Warwick Castle, 
which we have described, was far eclipsed by it. Before 
giving our account of the " princely pleasures " enjoyed 
there, let us pause to say something about the scene 
of the diversions. 

Kenilworth Castle, like Warwick Castle, claims an 
Anglo-Saxon origin ; but it differs from Warwick Castle 
in that the claim is not allowed by the antiquaries. 
" More to the north-east," says Camden, 1 " where a 
number of small streams, uniting among parks, form 

1 Camdens "Britannia," 1789, vol. ii., p. 239. 

-* The House of Dudley 

a lake, which, soon after being confined in banks, makes 
a canal, stands Kenilworth, anciently called Kenelworda, 
though now corruptly called Killingworth, which gives 
name to a large, beautiful, and strong castle, surrounded 
by parks, not built by Kenulphus, Kenelmus, or 
Kinegilsus, as some dream, but as can be made to 
appear from records by Galfridus Clinton, Chamberlain 
to King Henry I." 

We can begin, therefore, no further back than these 
Norman times ; and we have to come to early Plan- 
tagenet times before we find any facts worth recording. 
In 1172, it seems, Henry II. garrisoned the Castle 
to resist his son Henry's insurrection. A little later 
we find the Castle lapsing from the Clintons to the 
Crown, and held for the Crown by the successive 
sheriffs of the counties of Warwick and Leicester. 
Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, was appointed 
governor in 1243, and tenant for life, with remainder 
to his wife Eleanor, 1 in 1253. After the battle of Eve- 
sham it stood a six months' siege, only surrendering on 
December 2ist, 1265. The Crown then took it again, 
but only to confer it, in 1267, upon the King's second 
son, Edmund Crouchback, Earl of Lancaster. His son 
Thomas forfeited it in the civil wars of Edward II. 

John de Somery, Baron of Dudley, next became 
one of its custodians, to hold it for the King's use. 
It was next given to Henry of Lancaster, from whom 
it descended to John of Gaunt, and Henry of Boling- 
broke, afterwards Henry IV 7 . It then remained, for 

1 Sister of Henry III. 
VOL. i. 337 Z 

Warwick Castle <- 

some generations, a royal property, Henry VII. unit- 
ing it to the Dukedom of Cornwall. Mr. Adlard, 
in his " Amye Robsart and the Earl of Leycester," 
prints documents demonstrating that it came into the 
hands of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. 

\Ye first see Dudley writing to Lord Keeper 
Cromwell to ask for it. "If," he writes, "it might 
please your good Lordship to be so good Lord unto 
me to be a means for me to the King's Highness for 
the office of Kenilworth, I were much bound to your 
Lordship ; if not, your Lordship may do your pleasure 
for any other that you shall think meeter for it, for no 
man hath knowledge hereof by me but your Lordship." 

\Ye know that he got what he wanted from this 
extract from the Privy Council Register, dated 
October 8th, 1553 : 

"At Westminster, the 8th Oct., 1553. A letter 
to the Lord Rich and other the Commissioners 
for the attainted goods, to deliver unto the Duchess 
of Somerset, or to such as she shall send to receive 
the same, by bill indented, all such household stuff 
as remaineth in Kenilworth, lately belonging to the 
late Duke of Northumberland, and to send hither 
the said bill of the parcels that shall be delivered, 
to the end it may be considered whether the same 
be sufficient, or too much, for her furniture." 

By Dudley's attainder the Castle reverted to Queen 
Mary, from whom it passed to Queen Elizabeth, who 
granted it to Robert Dudley, as we have seen. 

Dudley, as has already been mentioned, spent 

-* The House of Dudley 

^"60,000 on restorations and improvements, doing for 
it pretty much what Sir Fulke Greville was afterwards 
to do for Warwick Castle, though with less durable 
results. " He spared for no cost," says Dugdale, " in 
enlarging, adorning, and beautifying thereof; witness 
that magnificent gate-house towards the north, where 
formerly having been the back of the Castle, he made 
the front, filling up a great proportion of the wide 
and deep double ditch wherein the water of the pool 
came. And, besides that stately piece on the south- 
east part, still bearing the name of Leicester's Buildings, 
did he raise from the ground two goodly towers at the 
head of the pool, viz., the Floodgate or Gallery tower, 
standing at one end of the tilt-yard, in which was a 
spacious and noble room for ladies to see the exercises 
of tilting and barriers." 

What was the result of these embellishments we 
know from a survey of the reign of James I. I have 
no space to give it all, but I must make a substantial 
extract : 


" i. The circuit thereof within the walls containeth 
seven acres, upon which the walks are so spacious 
and fair, that two or three persons together may walk 
upon most places thereof. 

" 2. The Castle, with the four gate-houses, all 
built of freestone, hewen and cut ; the walls, in many 
places, fifteen and ten foot thickness, some more, and 
some less ; the least four foot in thickness square. 


\Var\vick Castle * 

" 3. The Castle and four gate-houses, all covered 
with lead, whereby it is subject to no other decay 
than the glass, through the extremity of the weather. 

" 4. The rooms of great state with the same ; 
and such as are able to receive his Majesty, the 
pueen, and Prince at one time, built with as much 
uniformity and conveniency as any houses of later 
time ; and with such stately cellars ; all carried upon 
pillars, and architecture of freestone, carved and 
wrought as the like are not within this kingdom ; 
and also all other houses for officers answerable. 

" 5. There lieth about the same in chases and 
parks ,1,200 per annum, ,900 whereof are grounds 
for pleasure ; the rest in meadow and pasture thereto 
adjoining, tenants and freeholders. 

" 6. There joineth upon this ground a park-like 
ground, called the King's Wood, with fifteen several 
coppices lying all together, containing 789 acres, 
within the same ; which, in the Earl of Leicester's 
time, were stored with red deer. Since which the 
deer strayed, but the ground in no sort blemished, 
having great store of timber, and other trees of much 
value upon the same. 

" 7. There runneth through the said grounds, by 
the walls of the Castle, a fair pool, containing 1 1 1 acres, 
well stored with fish and fowl ; which at pleasure is to 
be let round about the Castle. 

1 8. In timber and woods upon this ground, to 
the value (as hath been offered) of ,20,000 (having 
a convenient time to remove them), which to his 

-* The House of Dudley 

Majesty in the survey are to be valued at ,11,722, 
which proportion, in a like measure, is held in all the 
rest upon the other values to his Majesty. 

" 9. The circuit of the Castle, manors, parks, and 
chase lying round together, contain at least nineteen 
or twenty miles, in a pleasant country ; the like, both 
for strength, state, and pleasure, not being within the 
realm of England." 

Such was the Kenilworth to which Queen Elizabeth 
came to be diverted by her favourite, Robert Dudley, 
Earl of Leicester, in 1575. Two contemporary ac- 
counts of the diversions are extant. One is by 
Robert Laneham, 1 and entitled " A Letter wherein 
Part of the Entertainment unto the Queen's Majesty 
at Killingworth 2 Castle, in Warwickshire, in this 
Summer's Progress [1575] is signified: from a friend 
officer attendant unto the Court unto his friend, a 
citizen and merchant of London." The other is 
George Gascoigne's 3 " The Princely Pleasures at 
Kenilworth Castle, etc." 

1 Robert Laneham was educated at St. Paul's School, and had a 
patent for supplying the Royal Mews with beans. He was presently 
appointed to the office of Clerk of the Council Chamber door, his function 
being to prevent the inquisitive from listening at the key-hole. 

2 Kenilworth is often so written in Elizabethan documents. 

3 George Gascoigne was the son and heir of Sir John Gascoigne, a Cam- 
bridge man, and a student at Gray's Inn. Having squandered his substance 
in riotous living, he went to Holland and served under William the Silent, 
distinguishing himself at the siege of Middleburg. After his return he lived 
in chambers in Gray's Inn and wrote books. Leicester employed him to assist 
in the preparation of the masques and pageants. He died young, in 1577. 
Of the first edition of his " Princely Pleasures," according to Mr. Adlard, 
only one copy is known; but there was another edition printed in 1587. 


The Keuihvorth Festivities Addresses in Prose and Verse The Tumbler 
The Morris Dance The Mock Wedding Tilting at the Quintain 
The Masque that was suppressed, and the Probable Reason for its 

NOTHING quite like the Kenil worth festivities 
had ever happened in the land before. If the 
Karl of Leicester was not a great man, he was at least 
a great Master of the Ceremonies. Elegance and 
pomp and pageantry were things that he understood. 
His organisation and direction of them amounted very 
nearly to genius. The theatres of his period could 
have taught him little, and could have learnt much 
from him. He knew how to use all the arts simul- 
taneously for the purpose of spectacular display. Let 
us try to reconstruct the spectacle from the records of 
those who witnessed it. 

It began when her Majesty drove up in state at 
eight of the clock on a July evening from Long 
Itchington, where she had dined. " In the Park," 
says Laneham, " about a flight-shoot from the brays 
and first gate of the Castle, one of the ten Sibyls, that 
we read were all Fatidical and Theobulee, as parties 
and privy to the Gods' gracious good wills, comely 
clad in a pall of white silk, pronounced a proper poesy 
in English rhyme and metre." It was an ode of 

Warwick Castle *- 

welcome, written by M. Hunnis, Master of her 
Majesty's Chapel. 

The Queen accepted the address " benignly," and 
passed on. As she approached the great gate, there 
was a loud blast of trumpets, and then the porter 
appeared. He made a gesture as though he would 
bar the entrance, and then at last, "being overcome 
bv view of the rare beauty and princely countenance 
of her Majesty, yielded himself and his charge, 
presenting the keys unto her Highness with these 
words : 

'What stir, what coil is here? Come back, hold, whither now? 

Not one so stout to stir. What harrying have we here? 

My friends, a porter I, no poper here am plac'd : 

By leave perhaps, else not while club and limbs do last. 

A garboil this indeed. What, yea, fair Dames? what, yea,. 

What dainty darling's here? O God, a peerless pearl; 

No worldly wight no doubt, some sovereign Goddess sure : 

Even face, even hand, even eye, even other features all, 

Yea beauty, grace, and cheer, yea port and majesty, 

Shew all some heavenly Peer, with virtues all beset. 

Come, come, most perfect paragon, pass on with joy and bliss, 

Most worthy welcome, Goddess guest, whose presence gladdeth all. 

Have here, have here, both club and keys, myself, my wand, I yield, 

E'en gates and all, yea Lord himself, submit and seek your shield." 

These verses were composed and recited by no 
less a personage than Master Badger of Oxford, 
Master of Arts and Bedel. As he delivered them, he 
handed to the Queen his club and keys, with humble 
apologies for his error ; and as her Majesty entered 
the inner court, a third surprise awaited her. In the 

<+> The House of Dudley 

midst of the pool there appeared a nymph, who, 
"upon a movable island, bright blazing with torches, 
floated to land, and met her Majesty with a well- 
penned metre " the composition of Mr. Ferrers, 1 some- 
time Lord of Misrule in the Court relating the 
history of the Castle from the earliest times. 

And then a fourth surprise ! As the Queen passed 
over the bridge, she observed set out on the posts of 
it " sundry presents and gifts of provision : as wine, corn, 
fruits, fishes, fowls, instruments of music, and weapons 
for martial defence. All which were expounded by an 
actor clad like a Poet," who read Latin verses from 
an illuminated scroll. He was a grave and reverend 
senior, one William Muncaster, at that time head- 
master of the Merchant Taylors' School, and subse- 
quently head-master of St. Paul's. He appeared, not 
in sober academical attire, but in "a long ceruleous 
garment with wide sleeves," and he had " a bay 
garland " on his head. When he had finished his 
recitation, the Queen went to bed. 

So Saturday ended, and Sunday was a com- 
paratively quiet day. In the morning there was 
divine service ; in the afternoon " excellent music of 
sundry sweet instruments and dancing of Lords and 
Ladies"; in the evening fireworks, "which were both 
strange and well executed ; as sometimes passing under 
the water a long space, when all men had thought 
they had been quenched, they would rise and mount 

1 A barrister who had translated Magna Charta into English, and sat in 
Parliament for Plymouth in the reign of Henry VIII. 


\Yar\vick Castle <*- 

out of the water again, and burn very furiously until 
they were utterly consumed." 

On Monday there was a return to flattering 
allegory. The Queen went hunting in the afternoon ; 
and as she rode home by torchlight, "out of the woods 
there came roughly forth Honibre Salvagio (i.e. a 
Savage Man) with an oaken plant plucked up by the 
roots in his hand, himself fore-grown all in moss and 
ivy." It was Master Gascoigne in disguise, desiring to 
recite a poem of his own composition. He professed 
to be dazzled by the sudden splendour that he saw. 
" Vouchsafe," he cried 

" Vouchsafe yet, greatest God, 

that I the cause may know, 
Why all these worthy Lords and Peers 

are here assembled so ? 
Thou knowest (O mighty God) 

no man can be so base, 
But needs must mount, if once it see 

a spark of perfect grace." 

I hen the Savage Man burst out into a whirlwind 
of compliment : 

'O Queen (without compare), 

you must not think it strange, 
That here amid this wilderness 

your glory so doth range. 
The winds resound your worth, 

the rocks record your name : 
These hills, these dales, these woods, these waves, 

these fields pronounce your fame." 

And so on for many stanzas. At last he threw his 

-* The House of Dudley 

staff away, and Master Laneham tells us (though 
Master Gascoigne does not) that it very nearly hit 
her Majesty's horse on the head, to the consternation 
of all present. But no harm was done. " ' No hurt, 
no hurt,' quoth her Highness. Which words, I promise 
you, we were all glad to hear, and took them to be 
the best part of the play." 

Tuesday and Wednesday again were quiet days. 
Thursday was distinguished by bear-baiting and the 
acrobatics of an Italian tumbler: "feats of agility 
in goings, turnings, tumblings, castings, hops, jumps, 
leaps, skips, springs, gambols, summersets, caperings, 
and flights, forward, backward, sideways, downward, 
and upward, with sundry windings, gyrings, and 
circumflexions." Laneham compares the performer 
to " a lamprey that has no bone but a line like a lute 
string." Of Friday and Saturday his narrative records 
little, except that the weather was bad. On Sunday 
there was abundant merriment. There was, to begin 
with, divine service and "a fruitful sermon" fruitful 
of what we are not told and then "a solemn bridal of 
a proper couple was appointed," a mock wedding to 
illustrate the rural sports and pastimes : 

"And thus were they marshalled. First, all the 
lusty lads and bold bachelors of the parish, suitably 
habited every wight, with his blue buckram bride-lace 
upon a branch of green broom (because rosemary is 
scant there) tied on his left arm, for on that side lies 
the heart ; and his alder pole for a spear in his right 
hand, in martial order ranged on afore, two and two 


\Yar\vick Castle *- 

in a rank : Some with a hat, some in a cap, some a 
coat, some a jerkin, some for lightness in doublet and 
hose, clean bruss'd with points afore ; some boots and 
no spurs, this spurs and no boots, and he again 
neither one nor other : One had a saddle, another a 
pad or a pannel fastened with a cord, for girths were 


Now at H'at-wick Castle. 

geason : And these to the number of sixteen wights, 
riding men and well beseen : But the bridegroom 
foremost in his father's tawny worsted jacket, (for his 
friends were fain that he should be a bridegroom 
before the Queen,) a fair straw hat with a capital 
crown, steeple-wise on his head ; a pair of harvest 
gloves on his hands, as a sign of good husbandry ; 
a pen and ink-horn at his back, for he would be 

-> The House of Dudley 

known to be bookish ; lame of a leg that in his youth 
was broken at football ; well beloved of his mother, 
who lent him a new muffler for a napkin, that was 
tied to his girdle for losing it. It was no small sport 
to mark this minion in his full appointment, that, 
through good tuition, became as formal in his action 
as had he been a bridegroom indeed ; with this 
special grace by the way, that even as he would have 
framed to himself the better countenance, with the 
worst face he looked." 

The sports that followed the mock ceremony were 
a morris dance and tilting at the quintain a bag of 
sand that swung round upon the slightest blow. 
" By my troth," says Laneham, " 'twas a lively 
pastime ; I believe it would have moved a man to a 
right merry mood, though it had been told him that 
his wife lay dying." It was followed by a performance 
given by "certain good-hearted men of Coventry," 
under the direction of " Captain Cox, an odd man, by 
profession a mason," illustrating an ancient episode in 
the history of the town, when the English fought 
against the Danes, and " twice the Danes had the 
better, but, at the last conflict, beaten down, overcome, 
and many led captive for triumph by our English 

Nor was that all. After supper there was "a play 
of a very good theme presented ... so set forth 
by the actors that pleasure and mirth made it seem 
very short, tho' it lasted two good hours and more." 
And after the play there was a second supper " an 


Warwick Castle <*- 

ambrosial banquet " of three hundred dishes, of which 
it is not surprising to read that "her Majesty ate 
smally or nothing." After the feast, again, there was 
to have been a masque "for riches of array of an 
incredible cost" but the hour was so late that it was 
countermanded, to the chagrin of Master Gascoigne, 
who had composed it. He prints it in full, however ; 
and the closing lines suggest that there may have 
been other reasons besides the lateness of the hour 
tor its suppression. The hint of an impending royal 
wedding may well have been deemed too broad, for 
we find Iris thus declaiming: 

" How necessary were 

for worthy Queens to wed, 
That know you well, whose life always 

in learning hath been led. 
The country craves consent, 

your virtues vaunt each self, 
And Jove in heaven would smile to see 

Diana set on shelf. 
His Queen hath sworn (but you) 
there shall no more be such : 
You know she lies with Jove a-nights, 

and night-ravens may do much. 
Then give consent, O Queen, 

to Juno's just desire, 
Who for your wealth would have you wed, 

and, for your farther hire, 
Some Empress will you make, 

she bade me tell you thus: 
Forgive me (Queen), the words are hers, 

I come not to discuss : 
I am but messenger, 

but sure she bade me say, 

-* The House of Dudley 

That where you now in princely port 

have past one pleasant day, 
A world of wealth at will 

you henceforth shall enjoy 
In wedded state, and therewithal 

hold up from great annoy 
The staff of your estate : 

O Queen, O worthy Queen, 
Yet never wight felt perfect bliss, 

but such as wedded been." 

On the Monday, however, there were further 
poetical recitations. Her Majesty, returning from the 
chase, " came there upon a swimming mermaid (that 
from top to tail was eighteen feet long), Triton, 
Neptune's blaster : who, with her trumpet formed of 
a wrinkled welk, as her Majesty was in sight, gave 
sound very shrill and sonorous, in sign he had an 
embassy to pronounce." He pronounced it; and then 
came the Lady of the Lake, floating upon bulrushes, 
with two attendant nymphs, and a story taken from 
Sir Thomas Malory's " La Morte d'Arthur," and happily 
made topical. 

And then came Proteus, also with verses to 
declaim ; and then her Majesty showed her good 
pleasure by conferring the honour of knighthood upon 
five gentlemen Sir Thomas Cecil, Sir Henry Cobham, 
Sir Thomas Stanhope, Sir Arthur Basset, and Sir 
Thomas Treshanr and also by curing ten sufferers 
from the king's evil by the royal touch. 

This was the culminating ceremonial. The other 
princely pleasures were of a more ordinary character 

\Yar\vick Castle <*- 

until the day came when her Majesty took her 
departure. It seems that she decided to go somewhat 
sooner than she had intended. Whereupon " the Earl 
commanded Master Gascoigne to devise some farewell 
worth the presenting ; whereupon he himself, clad like 
unto Syfaanus, god of the woods, and meeting her as 
she went on hunting, spoke (ex tempore] as followeth." 

Hut it was a long speech much too long to be 
transcribed ; and an empty speech much too empty 
to be analysed. It led up to a recitation and a song 
by one Deep-desire, that stepped out of a holly-bush. 
The recitation was a plea that the Queen would stay 
and give further pleasure to the woods and the waves 
and the fowls and the fishes and the deer, as well as 
to the Earl of Leicester and the woodland deities ; 
and the song lamented her going. 

The song ended, Silvanus spoke a few final 
words : 

" Most gracious Queen, your loyal lieges know that 
your Majesty is so highly favoured of the gods, that 
they will not deny you any reasonable request. There- 
fore I do humbly crave on Deep-desire's behalf, that 
you would either be a suitor for him unto the heavenly 
powers, or else but only to give your gracious consent 
that he may be assured that heaven will smile, the 
earth will quake, men will clap their hands, and I will 
always continue an humble beseecher for the flourishing 
estate of your Royal Person. Wh'om God now and 
ever preserve, to his good pleasure and our great 
comfort. Amen." 

35 2 

The House of Dudley 


NOJU at Warwick Castle. 

And so the princely 
pleasures end. One cannot 
leave them without noting 
the contrast between the 
tone of the farewell verses 
and speeches, and that of 
the masque prepared by 
Master Gascoigne, and at 
the last moment counter- 
manded. Coupled with 
Master Gascoigne's note 
about the Queen "hasten- 
ing her departure from 
thence," it suggests an 
interesting inference which 
seems to have escaped the 
historians. Leicester, I 
should imagine, had once 
more sued for the Queen's 
hand in the course of the 
festivities, had had Gas- 
coigne's masque prepared 
in confident anticipation that 
his suit would be accepted, 
had hurriedly withdrawn it 
when disconcerted by re- 
jection, and was now 
splendidly covering his 

VOL. I. 



Leicester's Marriage to Douglas, Lady Sheffield Did he poison her? 
Leicester in the Low Countries His Failure as a General His 
Relations with the Borough of Warwick He Visits the Borough in 
State His Benefactions His Good Advice to Mr. Thomas Fisher An 
Attempt to estimate his Character. 

\\ 7 H ETHER Leicester aspired to marry Queen 
V V Elizabeth or not, his regard for her did not 
prevent him from marrying other women. We have 
spoken at length of his marriage to Amy Robsart. 
There are now two other marriages to be spoken of. 

In 1571 Leicester contracted himself to, and in 
1573 he married, Douglas, Lady Sheffield, daughter of 
William Howard, first Lord Howard of Effingham, 
grand-daughter of Thomas, second Duke of Norfolk, 
and widow of John, second Baron Sheffield, who had 
died in 1568. According to Dugdale, they were 
privately married in a house in Cannon Row, and 
two years afterwards the ceremony was again more 
solemnly performed "in her chamber at Asher (or 
Esher), in Surrey, by a lawful minister, according to the 
form of matrimony by law established in the Church 
of England, in the presence of Sir Edward Horsey, 
Knight, that gave her in marriage, as also of Robert 
Sheffield, Esq., and his wife, Dr. Julio, Henry Frod- 

The House of Dudley 

From a painting by George Perfect Harding. 


sham, gentleman, and five other persons whose names 
are not specified." 

Two days after the former, or secret, marriage the 
new Countess of Leicester gave birth to a son. Upon 


\Yar\vick Castle <*- 

the validity of that marriage, therefore, that son's 
legitimacy depends. It is a question upon which there 
has been litigation ; and we shall have to return to it 
presently. Here it is enough to note that Leicester 
was not long in tiring of his Countess. He offered 
her ^700 a year to ignore the marriage, and when 
that offer was indignantly rejected he was reputed to 
have tried to poison her (as he was already reputed 
to have poisoned her husband), and to have so far 
succeeded as to have caused the loss of her hair 
and nails. 

It is a ghastly charge. But such charges were 
bandied freely in the Elizabethan age, poison having 
been brought over from Italy, together with culture, 
during the Renaissance. Men called each other 
poisoners as lightly as a little earlier they had called 
each other traitors. The accusations were certainly 
more often false than true, and in the absence of 
strict proof it is safer to disbelieve them. In 
Leicester's case responsible opinion seems to have 
treated the story as idle rumour, for it was about 
this time that the citizens of Tewkesbury presented 
him with "a cup of silver and gilt" and "an ox of 
unusual size." 

Presently, however, the Countess consented to 
ignore the marriage, and gave practical demonstration 
of her consent by marrying Sir Edward Stafford, of 
Grafton, in 1578. Leicester made instant use of his 
freedom by marrying, in the course of the same year, 
Lettice Knollys, the widow of Walter Devereux, first 

-> The House of Dudley 

Earl of Essex, another alleged victim of his alleged 
poisoning proclivities. About this marriage there was 
neither doubt nor obscurity. The ceremony was 
performed twice over first at Kenilworth, and then 
at Wanstead, in the presence of Ambrose, Earl of 
Warwick, Lord North, Sir Francis Knollys, the lady's 
father, and others. His third wife survived him, and 
married Christopher Blount. 

Of Leicester's public career during this, the latter, 
portion of his life, it is hardly necessary to speak at 
very great length. His third marriage brought about 
a temporary breach of friendship with his sovereign. 
Though she had declined to marry him, and even, 
as we have observed, decorated her refusal with ex- 
pressions of disdain, she suffered from what Virgil 
calls Spretcs injitria forma, and even wanted to 
send Leicester to the Tower. She was advised, 
however, to do nothing of the sort, and the advice 
was good. There could have been no surer way of 
making people talk, and they were already talking 
quite enough. Ultimately she took him into favour 
again, and in 1585 sent him with an army to invade 
the Low Countries. 

In so far as the war was a pageant, Leicester 
was an admirable general. At Utrecht he received 
extravagantly laudatory addresses with a perfect grace. 
At Leyden he inaugurated a series of festivities which 
Leyden still remembers. An imitation of them was 
given as recently as 1870, in the cortege arranged to 
celebrate the two hundred and ninety-fifth anniversary 


Warwick Castle *- 

of the foundation of the Leyden High School. At 
the Hague he had himself proclaimed as Governor, 
and surrounded himself with a Court. 

All this was very well as far as it went, but it did 
not go quite far enough. There were also some 
military operations to be conducted, and in these 
Leicester did not excel. He could not get on with 
his Dutch colleagues, whom he called "churls and 
tinkers," and he was out-manoeuvred by the Duke of 
Parma. Such glory as was won in the war fell to 
Prince Maurice and Sir Philip Sidney. Its most 
glorious episode was the battle of Zutphen, in which 
Sir Philip Sidney fell. " Thy necessity is greater than 
mine," he said, it will be remembered, and passed on 
to one of his men the glass of water that had been 
brought to him. But the campaign as a whole was 
most inglorious. Leicester lost Nuys, and Grave, and 
Deventer, and Sluys, while his army wasted away. 
At last he was recalled, and then a happy thought 
struck him. To celebrate his departure he had a 
medal struck bearing the motto " Invitus desero non 
Gregem sed ingratos." It was a splendid piece of 
bravado, thoroughly characteristic of the man. In war, 
as in love, Leicester was an adept at covering his 
retreat. His behaviour always presented the illusion 
of genius when that was the task in hand. He had 
at least mastered the great art of always appearing to 
be greater than he was. 

In the eyes of the citizens of Warwick, of course, 
he always appeared to be great. He appears again 

-* The House of Dudley 

and again in the "Black Book" as their benefactor, 
taking an intelligent interest in their affairs. We have 
already seen him side by side with his brother, the 
Earl ot Warwick, remonstrating against the misuse of 
endowments and irregularities in the conduct of 
elections. He was probably more popular when he 
"appeared in suing to her Majesty and obtaining of 
her and the whole Parliament license and grant to 
erect and build in Warwick or Kenilworth one 
hospital, 1 and to endow the same with lands and 
tenements to the yearly value of two hundred pounds." 
In view of this public service a public reception 
was naturally arranged for him when he came to visit 
the town. We have the report of the discussion : 
" Upon information given to the House that the said 
Earl of Leicester was well provided of muttons, it was 
agreed that a yoke of good oxen should be prepared 
and bestowed on the said Lord." As to the question 
of going out to meet him and the Earl of Warwick, 
" it was agreed that the said Lords being but sub- 
jects must not have such Duty as the Prince," and 
therefore " it was not thought meet to go out of 
the town, but, being ready in the town, to offer 
welcoming to the said Lords with their present." 

1 The Leicester Hospital. "Originally belonging," says Mr. Kemp, 
" to the Guilds of the Holy Trinity and St. George, it passed from them 
to the Corporation, by whom it was granted to Robert Dudley, Earl of 
Leicester, for the purposes of a Hospital. Through a gateway you enter 
the Courtyard, which is surrounded on three sides by buildings; on the 
right is a covered staircase leading to a gallery, open to the Courtyard. 
At the head of the staircase is a hall, now divided into rooms for the 
Brethren." I give, in an appendix, a translation of the Deed of Gift. 


Warwick Castle *- 

The question further arose "whether it was neces- 
sary to yield thanks to the said Earl of Leicester 
for his honorable good mind toward this country 
and borough"; whereupon "it was answered and 
resolved not to give any thanks or to take knowledge 
of his disposition that way unless it might like him, 
cither by himself or some about him, to give occasion 

Thus did the burgesses stand upon their dignity, 
with the result that they presently discovered that 
platform to be insecure. The Earl of Leicester had 
his own views as to what was a suitable reception for 
him, as the burgesses soon discovered : 

" Divers of the said Earl's servants imputed the 
great offence of the Bailiff and his company loudly 
and openly to some of their faces : in that their Lord 
coming down into this country where both he and 
his brother were great possessioners, and where they 
meant to do so great good, and in especially coming 
through the Earl of Warwick's town, they would not 
do so much as bid the Earl of Leicester welcome, but 
hid themselves. Adding further that if the said Earl, 
being in such place as he is, and in such credit with 
the Prince as he is known to be, had come to Bristol, 
Norwich, or any other city or good town of this land 
where he hath less to do than he hath here, he should 
have been received by the Mayor and officers in most 
seemly manner ; but this town was so stout that they 
regarded not of his Lordship." 

A pointed slight from my lord himself followed. 

\Yar\vick Castle *- 

The oxen were ready, and the bailiff and his wor- 
shipful company were ready to present them ; but 
we read : 

Howsoever it happened, when the said Earls 
came by where the said Bailiff and his company 
stood, which then put the Bailiff and the rest doing 
their duties unto them, the said Earl of Leicester 
passed by them hastily, saying he would not charge 
the town so much, and would not look towards the 
said Bailiff and his company, but rode still unto the 
house, and so the said Bailiff and his company, both 
disappointed of their interview and half amazed, knew 
not what to do." 

They conferred upon the situation, however, and 
decided to apologise, "laying the fault only to John 
Butler." Their excuses were duly conveyed by " Mr. 
Hubend and Mr. Dudley," who presently returned 
with the intimation that " my Lord had great marvel 
that they would no better serve themselves to him 
coming to his brother's town, but at their instance had 
remitted that their offence upon condition that from 
thenceforth they would serve themselves more dutifully 
unto his Lordship." So the peace was made, and it was 
arranged that, the next day being Sunday, the officers 
of the town should attend his lordship to church. 
Let us note the order of the great procession : 

" The said Bailiff and Burgesses and Assistants 

came to the Priory, where they were placed and 

appointed to wait upon the said Lord in this manner: 

First the commoners, in gowns, should go foremost, 


-* The House of Dudley 

two and two together. Then, next after the con- 
stables, 4 constables to go on a rank with little white 
sticks in their hands ; then next after them should 
follow the 12 Principal Burgesses, two and two, in 
order, the youngest going foremost. Then, after the 
Principal Burgesses, followed such of my Lord's gentle- 
men and gentlemen of the shire as that day waited 
upon him ; then after the gentlemen came the Serjeant 
bearing his Mace ; then next after the Serjeant fol- 
lowed the Bailiff alone in a gown. After him came 
Mr. William Gorge, that day Steward to my Lord, 
Mr. Robert Christmas, Treasurer to my Lord, and Mr. 
Thomas Dudley, Comptroller to my Lord, all with 
white staves as officers all in one rank. Then, next 
them, followed Dragon Pursuivant at Arms, and 
Clarenceux King at Arms, both in Court armour. 
And then came my said Lord the Earl of Leicester 
by himself." 

Observe the impression which the Earl of Leicester 
made. We must repeat : 

" And then came my said Lord the Earl of 
Leicester by himself, apparelled all in white, his shoes 
of velvet, his stocks of hose knit silk, his upper 
stocks of white velvet lined with cloth of silver, his 
doublet of silver, his jerkin white velvet drawn with 
silver, beautified with gold and precious stones, his 
girdle and scabbard white velvet, his robe white satin 
embroidered with gold a foot broad, very curiously, 
his cap black velvet with a white feather, his collar 
of gold beset with precious stones, and his garter 


\Yar\vick Castle <+- 

about his leg of St. George's order, a sight worthy 
the beholding. 

"And yet surely all this costly and curious apparel 
was not more to be praised than the comely gesture 
of the said Earl, whose stature, being reasonable, was 
furnished with all proportion and lineaments of his 
body and parts, answerable in all things, so as in the 
eyes of this writer he seemed the only goodliest 
personage made in England, which peradventure it 
might be asserted. But surely to all beholders it was 
a sight most commendable." 

It is truly a vivid picture of the Earl in his most 
characteristic posture as the central figure of a pageant, 
and worth looking at a little longer. Let us observe 
the splendour of the ceremony in church : 

" Over the place where my Lord sat was fastened 
my Lord's own arms, environed with the garter, and 
without the garter a wreath of gold after the French 
order, in manner of knots, being scallop shells. So 
far of the choir as have seats was hanged on both 
sides with rich cloth or leather of gold, very fair. 
All the rest of the chancel was hanged with arras 
and tapestry, and round about were forms set for the 
nobles, gentlemen, and others to sit upon to hear the 
sermon. On the stall before my Lord lay a rich 
cloth with a fair and costly cushion. On the Com- 
munion Table was laid another fair cloth of Arras. 
Before the table was laid a Turkey carpet whereon 
my Lord kneeled when he offered. Which carpet 
was spread by two gentlemen, whereof the one was 

-> The House of Dudley 

his gentleman usher, ... At the coming into the 
choir my Lord made low curtsey to the French 
King's arms, being under the cloth of state, and so 
was brought by the heralds to his own place where 
he sat and heard the sermon. 

" After the sermon ended a minister went to the 
Communion Table, and standing at the North side 
thereof he read the service of the Communion until 
he came to the exhortations of alms and relief of the 
poor. Then the said minister went to the midst of 
the table, and taking in hand a bason of silver there 
ready, the children and others of the Church sang a 
psalm, whilst the herald Clarenceux went to my Lord, 
and making curtsey to him my Lord arose and fol- 
lowed the herald till he came before the place where 
the French King's arms stood, and there the said 
Earl made a very low curtsey from thence, and, both 
the heralds going before, my Lord came up to the 
Communion Table where the minister stood with his 
bason, and there the said Earl kneeling down upon 
a cushion of white tissue, he kissed the bason and 
offered one piece of gold, and then rising he went 
down again, right against the place where he before 
had sat, and there both he and the herald made 
another low curtsey before his own arms, and then 
was brought up again on the other side of the choir 
by the said heralds to the said Communion Table, 
and there offered into the bason another piece of 
gold. Which done, the said heralds brought him 
again into his own place, where, sitting down and 


Warwick Castle *- 

kneeling, he heard the rest of the prayers until the 
end. And so, in the same order as he came to the 
Church, he with all the rest returned to the Priory, 
where, very solemnly, he kept the feast with liberal 
bounty and great cheer, himself sitting in a parlour 
by himself, without any company, kept the state and 
was served with many dishes, all covered and upon 
the knee with arraye." 

Rarely, even in Elizabethan literature, do we find 
such a diorama of pomp and pride. It is good to be 
able to get the picture from a spectator whose eyes 
were dazzled by it. It is almost an anticlimax to read 
that the Earl, afterwards, not only thanked the bailiff 
and his company, but "took them all by the hands 
to their great rejoicing." But his haughty demeanour 
was not incompatible with a genuine interest in the 
town's affairs. The fact comes out in the long report 
in our "Black Book" of an interview which Mr. 
Thomas Eisher had with him at Greenwich concerning 
his contemplated benefaction to the borough. 

Mr. Hsher wanted, among other things, money to 
augment the incomes of sundry important officials. 
His representations throw an interesting light upon 
the value of money at the period. He was par- 
ticularly concerned about the revenues of the various 
vicars and the schoolmaster. These, when granted, 
were " thought somewhat reasonable for men to live 
poorly upon " ; but they no longer fulfilled that modest 
purpose, "the prices of all things being since that 
time risen, and every man's charge also increasing by 

-* The House of Dudley 

reason of wives and children," so that the money was 
not " sufficient for the sustaining of learned men with 
their families increased." Mr. Fisher asked, there- 
fore, that it might " like his honour to have some 
consideration thereof, and be means unto the Queen's 
Majesty to bestow on the town some such tithes as 
yet remain in her Majesty's disposition towards the 
increasing of the said ministers' livings." The stipend 
of the Vicar of St. Mary's, he suggested, should be 
raised from 20 to ,30 or ,40 a year ; that of the 
Vicar of St. Nicholas' from ,13 6s. 8d. to 20; and 
that of the Vicar of Budbrook from 6 35. 4d. to 
10; and that of the head-master of the Grammar 
School from \o to 20. " And so," he urged, " those 
places might be furnished with learned and meet men, 
God's word sincerely taught, and the people of the 
same town, besides the people about, with their 
children, better instructed." 

Whereupon the Earl of Leicester proceeded to 
ask questions and to give advice. He was glad 
to hear that the citizens had "such gocd minds to 
the ministry," and desired to know " what good trade 
there was in the town whereby men gained." He 
was told that the mercers and drapers prospered, and 
that some " used to buy barley and to make it in malt, 
and so to sell it again." He quite approved, for, he 
said, " I know a town in Essex wherein are 4 or 5 
worth ,1,000 or ,2,000 apiece that have no other 
trade but malting." But he had a further suggestion 
to make. " I marvel," he said, " that you do not 


Warwick Castle *- 

devise somevvays amongst you some special trade to 
keep your poor on work," adding: 

" In mine opinion nothing would be more necessary 
than clothing or capping, to both which occupations 
is required many workmen and women ; and such may 
therein be employed as in no faculty else. For, though 
they be children, they may spin and card ; though they 
be lame they may pike and free wool, and do such 
things as shall keep them from idleness, and whereof 
some commodity may grow. . . . And because I am 
of that country and mind to plant myself there I 
would be glad to further any good device with all 
my heart." 

Mr. Fisher explained the difficulties: 
" Many causes there were that hindered the same, 
especially two or three : that is chiefly the want of a 
stock, without which clothing in no wise could go 
forward (which he spake of his experience), having 
known divers of the town take upon them to make 
cloth, and because they were not able to bear the 
charge thereof were driven to give it over. . . . Besides 
that skilful men are wanting, without which also if 
they had a good stock it would little prevail, and 
also the trade of clothing is not greatly enjoyed 
because of the damp and stop of intercourse and 
many other causes." 

To which arguments the Earl of Leicester replied 

like a practical man. As for skilful men, these might 

"be provided either from Coventry or from some 

other place if men have desire and care so to do." 


a photograph by L. C. Keighley Pt-ac/t. 



Warwick Castle * 

As tor the stock, he would himself supply it. But 
it", after he had taken the trouble to supply it, the 
town should refuse it (as had happened at Beverley), 
then he "could not like of it." And Mr. Fisher 
humbly answered that " albeit he had no commission 
of them that sent him touching these matters, yet he 
doubted not but that offer, whensoever made unto 
the town, would be not only not refused but most 
thankfully accepted with such dutiful regard to his 
Lordship for so honorable consideration of their pros- 
perous well-doings." 

Decidedly it is in his relations with the borough of 
Warwick that Leicester appears at his best. He was 
dictatorial, and he stood upon his dignity ; he exacted a 
homage that to our modern notions seems exaggerated ; 
he was a little too prone to comport himself like a 
Lord Mayor's Show. But the people liked shows, 
and took no umbrage at that. If they were not quite 
so proud ot him as he was of himself, still they were 
proud ot him. If he sometimes bullied and badgered 
them, they rather liked the idea of being bullied and 
badgered by so magnificent a man. It was the price 
they paid if not cheerfully, at least with resignation 
for basking in the glory reflected from his stately 

On the whole, too, as we have seen, he bullied 
and badgered them for their good. Though he be- 
haved badly elsewhere, he behaved well at Warwick ; 
though he failed elsewhere, at Warwick he succeeded. 
At Cumnor one is reminded that he was an unfaithful 

<+- The House of Dudley 

husband ; in Holland one thinks of him as an incapable 
commander ; the ruins of Kenilworth seem to sym- 
bolise the ruin of his reputation. At Warwick we 
may be permitted to think of him only as a splendid 
figurehead and a notable public benefactor. 

And there, in the only possible halo of glory that 
can be contrived for him, he may be left. His doings, 
after his return from the Low Countries, are neither 
interesting nor important. His failure there, though 
glaring, did not cause him to lose his Sovereign's 
favour. He was constantly with her at the time of 
the preparations to withstand the Great Armada. She 
rode down the lines with him when the troops were 
mustered at Tilbury Fort, and had a patent drawn 
up, though Burghley's protests prevented her from 
signing it, appointing him Lieutenant-General of 
England and Ireland. 

He did not live to enjoy any further proofs of 
Elizabeth's affection. He fell ill on a journey from 
London to Kenilworth of a mysterious malady de- 
scribed as " a continual fever," attributed by some to 
a dose of poison, 1 and died at his house at Cornbury, 

1 The popular account of his death, resting not on evidence but on 
tradition, is thus given in one of Dr. Bliss's notes to Wood's " Athenae 
Oxonicnses": "The Countess Lettice fell in love with Christopher Blunt, 
of the Earl's horse, and they had many secret meetings, and much wanton 
familiarity, the which being discovered by the Earl, to prevent the pursuit 
thereof, when General of the Low Countries, he took Blunt with him, and 
there purposed to have him made away, and for this plot there was a ruffian 
of Burgundy suborned, who, watching him one night going to his lodging 
at the Hague, followed him, and struck at his head with a halbert or 

Warwick Castle 



Oxfordshire, on September 4th, 1588. He 
buried in the Lady Chapel at Warwick ; and his 
funeral, like his life, was a pageant, costing the 
equivalent in our money of about ,40,000. 

battle-axe, intending to cleave his head. But the axe glanced, and withal 
pared off a great piece of Blnnt's skull ; which wound was very dangerous 
and long in healing, but he recovered, and afterwards married the Countess, 
who took this so ill, as that she, with Blunt, deliberated and resolved to 
dispatch the Earl. The Earl, not patient of the great wrong of his wife, 
purposed to carry her to Kenilworth, and to leave her there until her death 
by natural or by violent means, but rather by the last. The Countess, 
also, having suspicion or some secret intelligence of this treachery against 
her, provided artificial means to prevent the Earl, which was by a cordial, 
the which she had no fit opportunity to offer him till he came to Cornbury 
Hall, in Oxfordshire, where the Earl, after his gluttonous manner, surfeiting 
with excessive eating and drinking, fell so ill that he was forced to stay 
there. Then the deadly cordial was propounded unto him by the Countess. 
As Mr. William Haynes, sometime the Earl's page, and then a gentleman 
of his chamber, told me, who protested he saw her give that fatal cup to 
the Earl, which was his last draught, and an end of his plot against the 
Countess, and of his journey, and of himself; and so ' Frandis frande sua 
t>rcnditnr artife.r.' Which may be thus Englished: 'The cunning deviser 
of deceit contracted for is taken in his own snare.'" 



Robert Dudley, Son of the Earl of Leicester The Difficult Question of 
his Legitimacy His Early Life His Remarkable Adventures as a 
Navigator His Marriage to the Daughter of Sir Thomas Leigh His 
Elopement with Elizabeth Southwell. 

MOST of the Dudleys were remarkable, and some 
of them were romantic ; but the most romantic 
and remarkable of them all was Sir Robert Dudley, 
Knight, son of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, 
declared to be illegitimate by the Courts, but laying 
claim not, as it would appear, unreasonably to his 
father's Earldom of Leicester and his uncle's Earldom 
of Warwick. 

His mother, as we have said, was Douglas, Lady 
Sheffield. We have also seen that the marriage was 
secretly performed and subsequently repudiated, both 
husband and wife contracting other marriages without 
the formality of divorce. Consequently Leicester, in 
his will, described Dudley as his "base son," and his 
subsequent attempt to demonstrate his legitimacy in 
the Archbishop of Canterbury's Court of Audience 
was unsuccessful. We possess the evidence which he 
filed, however, and it seems almost conclusive in his 
favour. In Dr. Jebb's Life of the Earl of Leicester, 
published in 1727, it is thus summarised: 

" That she was his wife, seems evident from the 

Warwick Castle *- 

depositions made in the Star Chamber, in the beginning 
of King James's Reign, in favour of the legitimacy of 
Sir Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester's son by the. 
said Lady Douglas Sheffield. For it was there deposed 
upon oath, by the Lady Sheffield and several other 
persons who were present at her marriage, that after 
beino- contracted to the Earl of Leicester about two 


years before, she was solemnly married to him in 
her chamber, at Esher in Surrey, by a lawful Minister, 
according to form of Matrimony established by law 
in the Church of England, in presence of Sir Edward 
Horsey, who gave her in marriage, Robert Sheffield, 
Esq., and his Lady, Dr. Julio, Mr. Henry Frodsham, 
and five other persons, whose names are there set 
down ; that the ring, with which they were married, 
was set with five pointed diamonds, and a table 
diamond, and had been given to the Earl of Leicester 
by the grandfather to the then Earl of Pembroke, 
upon condition, that he should give it only to the 
Lady whom he made his wife ; that the Duke 
of Norfolk was the principal instrument in making 
the match ; and that the Earl of Leicester, out of a 
pretence of the Queen's displeasure in case it were 
known, had engaged her to a vow of secresy [sic], till 
he should give her leave to reveal it. It was farther 
deposed, that within two days after Sir Robert Dudley 
was born of [sic] Shene, the Lady Douglas received 
a letter from his Lordship, which was read by Mrs. 
Erisa, but then Lady Parker, wherein he thanked 
God for the birth of his said son, who might be 


Warwick Castle *- 

their comfort and staff of their old age, and was 
subscribed, Your loving husband, Rob. Leicester ; 
and that the said Lady was after this served in her 
chamber as a Countess, till he forbad it, for fear the 
marriage should be thereby disclosed. And besides 
these, there were many other depositions made, from 
whence it appeared, that the Earl of Leicester had 
owned Sir Robert Dudley as his lawful son, and that 
his brother, the Earl of Warwick, had in like sort 
asserted his legitimacy." 

This testimony, however, was at the time sup- 
pressed, all the documents being impounded by the 
arbitrary action of the Star Chamber. A calm review 
of the facts leads almost inevitably to the conclusion 
that a great injustice was perpetrated in the interest 
of influential persons, and notably of Lettice Knollys, 
who was concerned for the validity of her own marriage. 
That, as we shall presently have to note, was the 
view taken, many years afterwards, by Charles I., 
when he bestowed the title of Duchess upon Dudley's 
widow, expressing " deep sense of the great injuries 
done to the said Sir Robert Dudley and Lady Alice 
Dudley . . . and holding ourselves in honour and 
conscience obliged to make them reparation now, so 
far as our present ability will enable us." 

Having expressed our opinion, however, on the 
vexed question, we may leave it, and record the events 
of Robert Dudley's remarkable career. 

In early childhood he lived with his mother; but 
in 1578 his father took charge of him, and sent him 

-* The House of Dudley 

to school at Offington, near Worthing, where the 
Earl of Warwick had a seat. The story goes that 
he said to the head-master, Owen Jones : " Owen, 
thou knowest that Robin, my boy, is my lawful son ; 
and as I do and have charged thee to keep it secret, 
so I charge thee not to forget it ; and therefore see thou 
be careful of him." But this is hearsay evidence of 
doubtful value. In 1587 he was entered on the books 
of Christ Church, Oxford, as Comitis filius (son of an 
Earl), and in 1588 we find him serving in his father's 
army at Tilbury. In the same year his father died, 
leaving him, after the death of his uncle Ambrose, the 
bulk of his estate, including Kenilworth. In 1589 the 
Earl of Warwick died, and he came into his inheritance. 
There was some trouble, not mentioned in the 
" Dictionary of National Biography," with the step-mother 
about the property. The exact rights of the dispute 
are not very easy to make out. It would appear, 
however, that there was "a forcible entry made by 
certain the servants of Sir Christopher Blount, Knight, 
and others in the behalf of the Countess of Leicester, 
his lady, upon the Castle of Kenilworth, being then in 
the sole and quiet possession of Mr. Robert Dudley." 
Here Sir Fulke Greville, who will presently figure 
very prominently in our narrative, comes upon the 
scene. He, Sir Thomas Lucy, Sir John Harrington, 
Sir Henry Goodyer, and Thomas Leigh, Esq., as 
Justices of the Peace, informed the Lord Chancellor 
of what had happened, and received the following 
instructions, dated April i6th, 1590: 


Warwick Castle <*- 

" We, being thus informed of these disorders, and 
moved on behalf of the said Mr. Dudley, for the 
redressing of this violent and unlawful course taken 
against him, as well to prevent the inconveniences 
which may therefore ensue, as also for the lawful 
preservation of his right, have thought good to address 
these our letters unto you in that behalf, praying and 
requiring you by authority hereof, as Justices of the 
Peace, not only to see that present force (if any be 
there still maintained), with the assistance of the Sheriff 
of that County, forthwith removed, and any like forcible 
and unlawful attempts that shall be hereafter moved 
against the gentleman, in like sort repressed according 
to law ; but also that the gentleman's possession may 
be peaceably maintained by those which are or shall 
be authorised there for him, and the rents reserved, 
the Courts respited, and the game preserved, and all 
duly accomplished according to those former letters 
unto you (Sir John Harrington) directed ; for which 
purpose you shall, in our names, also reiterate the 
warning given by the said letters, as well unto the 
tenants, as also to the Ranger and Keepers, so much 
as doth particularly concern them." 

More particular instructions follow exactly a fort- 
night later : 

" We have received your letter written at Kenil- 
worth, the 2ist of this present, whereby you advertise 
us of your travail taken in removing of the forces 
assembled there together in the Castle, of which 
your proceedings as we deem well, so would we 

-* The House of Dudley 

better have allowed the same, if you had communi- 
cated our last letter unto Sir John Harrington, unto 

whose further 
advice we re- 
ferred you, have 
before directed 
our letters unto 
him, the cause 
whereof accord- 
ing to our ap- 
pointment you 
should have fol- 
lowed. Since 
which time the 
parties, whom 
the possession 
of the said 
Castle concern- 
eth, have agreed 
amongst them- 
selves, that you, 
Sir Fulke Gre- 
ville, shall, for 

DO til 


"THE NOBLE iMPE." sequester the 

In the Armoury at Warwick Castle. r r . 

profits or the 

said Castle, reserve the rents, respite the Courts, 
and preserve the game, without any joint posses- 
sion of the parties, until the matter in controversy 
be fully decided, and to require you to set the 


\Yanvick Castle *- 

persons committed to the Gaol at Gloucester [at 
liberty], taking bonds to her Majesty's use, to 
answer the disorders by them committed, if hereafter 
it be called into question." 

As we have said, the story cannot very easily be 
pieced together from the. correspondence ; but it is 
clearly the beginning of the long story of injustice. 
Doubtless the persecution and annoyance stimulated 
his desire to seek adventure on the high seas. Talk 
with his uncle of Warwick, who had been one of the 
patrons of the navigator Frobisher, may also have 
contributed to turn his thoughts in that direction, and 
another contributory influence must have been that of 
Thomas Cavendish, whose sister he afterwards married. 

An official document 1 marks the beginning of his 
maritime career. The Corporation of Portsmouth was 
ordered to hand over to him two ships, the property 
of Cavendish, who had died at sea. He was adjudged 
too young, however, to take command of them ; and 
he presently fitted out a small squadron on his own 
account, and weighed anchor from Southampton Roads 
on November 6th, 1594: himself in the Bear, of 200 

1 [1592-3.] "At St. James's, 18 March, 1592. A letter to the Mayor 
and Officers of the Port of Portsmouth. Whereas Robert Dudley, 
Esq., hath taken a letter of Administration of the goods of Thomas 
Cavendish, Esq., lately deceased at the seas. These shall be, notwith- 
standing any former letter written from the Galleon Leicester and the 
Roebuck, two ships that did appertain to the said Mr. Cavendish, to 
require you to cause the said ships, with their lading, to be delivered to 
Mr. Dudley, or such as he shall appoint to receive the same. Wherein 
we require you to give the gentleman your best help and assistance," 
etc., etc. 


-> The House of Dudley 

tons ; Captain Monk in the Bears Whelp, as vice- 
admiral ; two small pinnaces, the Frisking and Earwig, 
in attendance. He was only twenty-one, if so old; 
and on his return he wrote an account of the voyage 
for Hakluyt's collection, whence I extract the most 
interesting passages : 

" Having parted company with my Vice-Admirall, 
I went alone wandering on my voyage, sailing along 
the coast of Spaine, within view of Cape Finister 
and Cape S. Vincent, the north and south Capes of 
Spaine. In which space, having many chases, 1 could 
meet with none but my countreymen, or countrey's 
friends. Leaving these Spanish shores, I directed my 
course, the 14 of December, towards the Isles of the 
Canaries. Here I lingered 12 dayes for two reasons: 
the one, in hope to meete my Vice-Admirall ; the other, 
to get some vessel to remove my pestered men into, 
who being 140 almost in a ship of 200 tunnes, there 
grew many sicke. I tooke two very fine caravels 
under the calmes of Tenerif and Palma, which both 
refreshed and amended my company, and made me 
a Fleete of 3 sailes. In the one caravel, called the 
Intent, I made Benjamin Wood captaine ; in the other, 
one Captaine Wentworth. Thus cheared as a desolate 
traveller, with the company of my small and newe 
erected Fleete, I continued my purpose for the West 
Indies. . . . 

" Riding under this White Cape two daies, and 
walking on shore to view the countrey, I found it a 
waste, desolate, barren, and sandie place, the sand 

Warwick Castle *- 

running in drifts like snow, and very stony ; for so is 
all the countrey sand upon stone, (like Arabia Deserta, 
and Petrea.) and full of blacke venemous lizards, with 
some \vilde beasts and people which be tawny Moores, 
so \vildc, as they would but call to my caravels from 
the shore, who road very neere it. I now caused 
my Master Abraham Kendall to shape his course 
directly for the isle of Trinidad in the West Indies ; 
which after 22 dayes we descried, and the first of 
Februari came to an anker under a point thereof, 
called Curiapan, in a bay which was very full of 
pelicans, and I called it Pelican's bay. About 3 
leagues to the eastwards of this place we found a 
mine of Marcaziles, which glister like golde, (but all is 
not gold that glistereth,) for so we found the same 
nothing worth, though the Indians did assure us it 
was Calvori, which signifieth gold with them. These 
Indians are a fine shaped and a gentle people, al 
naked and painted red, their commanders wearing 
crowns of feathers. These people did often resort 
unto my ship, and brought us hennes, hogs, plantans, 
potatos, pinos, tobacco, and many other pretie com- 
modities, which they exchanged with us for hatchets, 
knives, hookes, belles, and glassebuttons. 

" The country is fertile, and ful of fruits, strange 
beasts, and foules, whereof munkies, babions, and 
parats were in great abundance. 

" Right against the northernmost part of Trinidad, 
the maine was called the high land of Paria, the rest 
a very lowe land. Morucca I . learned to be full of 

-* The House of Dudley 

a greene stone called Tacarao, which is good for 
the stone. 

" The Caribes I learned to be man-eaters or cani- 
bals, and great enemies to the Islanders of Trinidad. 

"In the high land of Paria I was informed by 
divers of these Indians, that there was some Perota, 
which with them is silver, and great store of most 
excellent cane-tobacco. 

" This discovery of the mine I mentioned to my 
company, who altogether mutinied against my going 
in search of it, because they something feared the 
villany of Abraham Kendall, who would means go. 

" I gave them their directions to follow, written 
under mine owne hand. But they went from me, and 
entred into one of the mouthes of the great River 

" I was told of a rich nation, that sprinkled their 
bodies with the powder of golde, and seemed to be 
guilt, and that farre beyond them there was a great 
towne called El Dorado, with many other things. 

"In my boate's absence, there came to me a 
pinnesse of Plimmouth, of which Captain Popham was 
chiefe, who gave us great comfort. 

"I stayed some sixe or eight dayes longer , for 
Sir Walter Ralegh, (who, as wee surmised, had some 
purpose for this discovery,) to the ende that, l?y our 
intelligence and his boates, we might have done some 
good : but it seemed he came not in sixe or eight 
weeks after. 

" And after carefully doubling the shoulder of 

Warwick Castle *- 

Abreogos, I now caused the Master (hearing by a 
pilote that the Spanish Fleete ment now to put out 
of Havana) to beare for the Meridian of the yle of 
Bermuda, hoping there to finde the Fleete. The 
Fleete I found not, but foule weather enough to 
scatter many Fleetes ; which companions left mee not, 
till I came to the yles of Flores and Cuervo : whither 
I made the more haste, hoping to meete some great 
Fleete of Her Majestic my Sovereigne, as I had 
intelligence, and to give them advise of this rich 
Spanish Fleete ; but findinge none, and my victuals 
almost spent, I directed my course for England. 

" Returning alone, and worse manned by half then 
I went foorth, my fortune was to meete a great 
Armada of this Fleete of some 600 tunnes well 
appointed, with whom I fought board and board for 
two dayes, being no way able in all possibilitie with 
fifty men to board a man of warre of sixe hundreth 
tunnes. And having spent all my powder, I was con- 
strained to leave her, yet in such distresse without 
sailes and mastes, and hull so often shot through 
with my great ordinance betweene winde and water, 
that being three hundred leagues from land, I dare 
say, it was impossible for her to escape sinking. 
Thus leaving her by necessitie in this miserable 
estate, I made for England, where I arrived at 
S. Ives in Cornwall, about the latter end of May, 
! 595> scaping most dangerously in a great fogge the 
rocks of Silly. 

" 1 hus, by the providence of God, landing safely, 

-> The House of Dudley 

I was kindely intertained by all my friends, and after 
a short time learned more certaintie of the sinking 
of that great shippe, being also reputed rich by divers 
intelligences out of Spain. 

" In this voyage, I and my Fleete tooke, sunke, 
and burnt nine Spanish ships ; which was losse to 
them, though I got nothing." 

It was truly a remarkable achievement for one so 
young ; but Robert Dudley, as has been said, was a 
very remarkable man. " He was at this time," says 
Craik in his "Romance of the Peerage," " looked 
upon as one of the finest gentlemen in England ; in 
his person tall and well-shaped, having a fresh and 
fine complexion but red-haired ; learned beyond his 
age, more especially in the mathematics ; and of parts 
equal if not superior to any of his family." After 
his return from the West Indies, he sent two ships 
and two pinnaces to the South Seas at his own 
expense, and was with the Earl of Essex and the 
Lord High Admiral in their expedition to Cadiz, 
where his gallant conduct earned him the honour of 

This was in 1596. The next few years were 
comparatively uneventful. In view of Dudley's wide 
knowledge and multifarious accomplishments, we may 
suppose that they were partly devoted to study. The 
one fact to be noted, however, is his second marriage. 
His first wife died without issue in 1596, and in the 
same year he married Alice, second daughter of Sir 
Thomas Leigh, Knight and Baronet, of Stoneleigh, 

VOL. i. 385 c c 

Warwick Castle <*- 

Warwickshire, who bore him seven daughters, of whom 
four only call for mention : Alicia Douglassia, who died 
unmarried ; Frances, who married Sir Gilbert Kniveton, 
of Bradley, Derbyshire ; Anne, who married Sir Robert 
Holbourne, Charles I.'s Solicitor-General ; and Catherine, 
who married Sir Richard Leveson, K.B., of Trentham 
Mall, Staffordshire, the ancestor of the present Duke 
of Sutherland. 

To these years also belong Dudley's efforts to 
establish his legitimacy. We have a letter written 
by him to Arthur Atye, Leicester's secretary, with 
reference to " an instrument my father made," which 
might be produced in Court to his detriment, and 
praying him to " acquaint this bearer, Mr. Ward, my 
proctor, with your directions therein of the substance 
of the deed." But his endeavours were checkmated 
in a shameful manner. 

" Xo sooner," we read, " had Lettice, Countess 
of Leicester, notice of these proceedings, than she 
procured an information to be filed by Sir Edward 
Coke, the King's Attorney-General, in the Star 
Chamber, against Sir Robert Dudley, Sir Thomas 
Leigh, Dr. Babington, and others, for a conspiracy ; 
and upon the petition of Lord Sydney, an order, 
issued out of that Court, for bringing in all the 
depositions that had been taken by virtue of the 
Archbishop's Commission, sealing them up, and de- 
positing them in the Council chest. In order, however, 
to keep up some appearance of impartiality, Sir Robert 
Dudley was allowed to examine witnesses as to the 

-* The House of Dudley 

proofs of his legitimacy, in that Court ; which, when 
he had done, in as full a manner as in such a case 
could be expected, a sudden order was issued for 
stopping all proceedings, and locking up the examina- 
tions, of which no copies were to be taken but by 
the King's licence." 

It is not surprising that Dudley, disgusted at this 
treatment, desired to go abroad, or that in the Privy 
Council Register for June 25th, 1605, we find a note 
of: "A license for Sir Robert Dudley, Knight, to 
travel beyond the seas for three years next after his 
departure, with three servants, four geldings or nags, 
and ^80 in money, with usual provision." 

Nor did he go alone. With him went, not his 
lawful wife, but Elizabeth Southwell, eldest daughter 
of Sir Robert Southwell, of Woodrising, Norfolk, and 
grand-daughter of Charles, second Lord Howard of 
Effingham, Lord High Admiral, disguised as a page 
in his suite. 

Two interesting notes on this elopement have 
been transcribed by Mr. John Temple Leader from 
the letters of the Italian minister Lotti in the 
Medicean archives, and are printed in his useful mono- 
graph " Sir Robert Dudley, Duke of Northumberland." 
The first, dated July i3th, 1605, runs thus: 

" The Queen [Anne of Denmark] is much put out 
because a married cavalier, Sir Robert Dudley, who 
they say is a natural son of the Earl of Leicester, 
has last night carried off a maid of honor of whom 
he was enamoured. Strict orders were promptly given 


\Yar\vick Castle <*- 

out, but at present we have heard no news. This 
gentleman is about 35 years of age, of exquisite 
stature, with a fair beard, and noble appearance. 
The fact has created great scandal." 

The second, dated exactly a week later, is as 
follows : 

" That Court Lady, niece of the Lord High Admiral, 
who they say ran off with Sir Robert Dudley, himself 
nephew of an Admiral, has been stopped at Cales 
[Calais] by the Governor of that city ; the expedition 
from here arriving almost at the same time as the 
fugitives. But as he found that she had taken this 
step, not for love, but with the object of entering a 
monastery and serving God in the true religion, I do 
not know whether the French will let her be brought 
back by force ; on the contrary it is believed they 
will allow her to follow out her holy inspiration." 

But Elizabeth Southwell had no intention whatever 
of entering a convent. A letter of a somewhat later 
date informs us that Dudley's "young relative is con- 
stantly seen with him in public as a kind of protest 
that there is no guilty concealment between them." 



Robert Dudley at Florence His Various Achievements there His Skill 
as an Engineer As an Inventor As a Ship-builder His Remarkable 
Patent Medicine His Book on Great Circle Sailing. 

ROBERT DUDLEY went to Lyons, but did not 
stay long there. His principal actions there 
were to join the Roman Catholic Church and marry 
Elizabeth Southwell. As she was his cousin he had 
to seek a dispensation from the Pope for the purpose. 
He did not mention, in applying for it, that he was 
already a married man with a family, and his Holiness 
was not acquainted with the fact. Consequently the 
dispensation was duly granted, and the ceremony 
was duly performed by a Roman Catholic priest of 
the town. 

From Lyons Robert Dudley repaired to Florence, 
where he sought the protection of the Grand Duke 
Ferdinand I., and became a tenant of Cavalier Annibale 
Orlandini in the Via dell' Amore. He had not been 
there long when the following legal instrument was 
served upon him : 

" 2nd February, 1606-7. 


" James, by the grace of God, King of F^ngland, 


Warwick Castle - 

Scotland, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, 
etc. To our subject Robert Dudley, Knight, greeting. 
Whereas, we, out of our special favour, did grant you 
license to travel out of our realm of England into 
foreign parts, in hope that you might thereby prove 
the better enable to the service of us and our State, 
as you pretended, we do now certainly understand 
that contrary wise in those parts you do bear and 
behave yourself inordinately, and have intended and 
attempted many things prejudicial to us and our 
crown, which we cannot suffer or endure. We do, 
therefore, by these presents, will and straightly charge 
and command you, upon your faith and allegiance, 
and upon the pain of all that you may forfeit unto 
us, that forthwith upon the receipt and understanding 
thereof, you do, all excuses and pretences set apart, 
make your personal repair and return into this our 
realm of England with all speed, and that presently 
upon your arrival here, you do yield and render your 
body to some of our Privy Council, to the intent we 
may be truly advertised of the day and time of your 
return, and hereof fail you not, as you will answer 
the contrary at your uttermost peril. Given under 
our Privy Seal at our Palace of Westminster, the 
second day of February, in the fourth year of our 
reign of England, France, and Ireland, and of 
Scotland the fortieth. 

(Signed) " THOMAS CLARKE. 

"To our subject Kobt. Dudley, Kt." 

Warwick Castle *- 

He refused to obey the summons, and his English 
estates were confiscated. Henry, Prince of Wales, to 
whom Kenilworth was granted, not wishing to take 
an unfair advantage of his circumstances, agreed to 
buy it from him for ,14,500 (which was about a 
third of its value). The purchase, however, was never 
actually completed, and even the instalment of ,3,000 
that was paid was lost to Dudley, owing to the bank- 
ruptcy of the merchant through whom it was to have 
been transmitted. 

In the meantime the Grand Duke had been making 
certain enquiries about him. The report of his London 
minister was not very encouraging, being coloured by 
the views of the Court party. " The King," Lotti 
wrote in cipher, "of his own accord spoke of Sir 
Robert Dudley, and said : 'If he had been a traitor 
to my own person and state, I should expect from 
his Highness the Grand-Duke some real sign of 
friendship ; but as he has only erred in lightness and 
dishonour, I should not wish to drive him out of his 
Serene Highness's state; yet that he should receive 
Dudley in his house, and honour him as he does, 
seems very strange to me. He [Dudley] has a wife 
and children here, the Pope has annulled his marriage 
to the woman he has with him, and I, for my part, 
hold him incapable of any honorable action.' " 

But the Grand Duke had already, to some ex- 
tent, committed himself. " The Earl of Warwick," he 
had written to the Earl of Northampton, '.' as your 
Lordship is aware, has come to reside in these my 
39 2 

--*> The House of Dudley 

dominions that he may be able to live a quiet life, 
according to the religion which till now he has always 
observed. Besides the information I have received of 
his merits and valour, I have the more willingly 
received him, on account of his relationship with your 
illustrious Lordship, and knowing from him the love 
you bear towards him." 

Moreover, he had discovered that Robert Dudley 
could be useful to him. So, in spite of warnings 
and remonstrances, he took him into his service ; and 
neither he nor his son, the Grand Duke Cosimo II., 
ever had any reason to regret the step. 

For the rest of his life, therefore, Robert Dudley 
lived at Florence ; and we have occasional glimpses 
of his life there in the writings of various English 
travellers. James Wads worth, the author of " The 
English and Spanish Pilgrims/' wrote in 1623 that 
" this Dudley now enjoyeth his second wife by dis- 
pensation from his Holiness, and is in great esteem 
with the Archduke of Florence, in regard of his art 
in contriving and fabricating ships and galleys ; and 
hath obtained of the Emperor of Germany to be 
declared Duke of Northumberland, who hath given him 
the title already, and the land when he can catch it." 

Lord Herbert of Cherbury in 1614 reported: 

" I went from Rome to Florence, where I saw 
Sir Robert Dudley, who had the title of Earl and 
Duke of Northumberland given him by the Emperor, 
and the handsome Mrs. Sudel [Southwell], whom he 
carried away with him out of England, and was there 


Warwick Castle <+- 

taken for his wife. I was invited by them to a great 
feast the night before I went out of town. 

" Taking my leave of them both, I prepared for my 
journey. When I was ready to depart, a messenger 
came to me and told me, if I would accept the same 
pension that Sir Robert Dudley had himself, being 
2000 ducats per annum, the Duke would entertain 
me for his service in the war against the Turks. 
This offer, whether procured by the means of Sir 
Robert Dudley, Mrs. Sudel, or Signor Loty, my 
ancient friend, I know not. Being thankfully acknow- 
ledged by me as a great honour, it was yet refused, 
my intention being to serve his Excellency in the 
Low Country war." 

This is complete evidence of the importance of 
Dudley's new station in life. Happily, however, the 
material exists for giving a much fuller account of his 
various achievements. There was hardly any department 
of human endeavour in which he did not attain notable 
distinction. Let us number his useful accomplishments. 

i. He was a great civil engineer. He became 
famous, says the ''Biographia Britannica," "on account 
of that great project which he formed, of draining a 
large morass between Pisa and the sea, and raising 
Livorno, or Leghorn, which was then, though an 
ancient, yet a mean and pitiful place, into a large 
and beautiful town, improving the haven by a mole, 
which rendered it both safe and commodious ; and 
having engaged His Serene Highness to declare it 
scala franca, (or a free port) he, by his influence 

-* The House of Dudley 

and correspondence, drew many English merchants 
to settle and set up houses there, which was a thing 
of great importance to our Italian trade, and, con- 
sidered in that light, was of very great service to his 
native country." 

2. He was a great free-trader. " I have heard 
from some living," says Anthony Wood, " that Sir 
R. Dudley was the chief instrument that caused the 
great Duke to make it (Leghorn) a scala franca, a 
free port." 

3. He was a great inventor. The Florentine 
archives contain a patent granted to him for "a 
new invention to improve silk " ; and the Gabinetto 
Fisico, in the Natural History Museum of Florence, 
contains several nautical instruments invented by him, 
including a brass instrument to find the ebb and flow 
of the tide in divers places. 

4. He was a great physician. Anthony Wood tells 
us that " he had published a medical work called 
' Catholicon,' " which he had never been able to get 
a sight of, though it was " in good esteem among 
physicians " ; and he was the inventor of the famous 
Warwick Powder, which long held its place in both 
British and foreign pharmacopoeias. I give a pre- 
scription for the preparation in case any of my readers 
should care to try it for their ailments : 

Antimonial tartar vitriolated . . . . . 5J. 

Rosin of scammony reduced to powder with sweet 

almonds . . . . . . . -52- 

Cremor tartari . . . . . . 5 V J- 


Wanvick Castle *- 

As regards the uses and efficacy of the mixture, I 
am tempted to quote at length from the account 
of it given by the eminent Italian physician Dr. 
Cornachini, whose name it bears in some of the 
foreign pharmacopoeias, though Zwelfer correctly calls 
it Pitlvis comitis dc Warwick. Dr. Cornachini writes 
as follows : 

"It is now many years ago since Robert, Earl of 
Warwick, possessed of all virtues and worthy of every 
praise, entertained the design of rescuing our sea from 
barbarous pirates and atrocious plunderers, the bitter 
enemies of the Christian name ; neither has he en- 
deavoured with less zeal to deliver the human body 
from the painful ailments and perilous diseases which 
assail and overwhelm it. And when he saw that men 
and women of all classes and conditions of life, of 
all ages and habits, and differences of residence, at 
every season of the year were liable to fall into 
sickness, and sometimes to lose their lives, particu- 
larly by those attacks which derive their origin from 
peccant humours, either by reason of their quantity or 
quality. Tor the driving away of such humours, 'ad 
quos depellendos! the physician is sent for, and blood- 
letting resorted to, not only once or twice, but many 
times. Upon other occasions they resort to medicines 
called sub-tinctures, which more and more affect the 
mouth, palate, and taste, and by reason of their 
nauseousness, overturn the stomach, produce griping, 
constrict the bowels ; neither can such medicines 
continue to be exhibited, however greatly the occasion 

-> The House of Dudley 

which may require them. Other symptoms also are 
superinduced by them; but the illustrious Earl devoted 
his days and nights to this subject, with a view to 
effect a cure of such ailment, and that too by treat- 
ment at once safe, speedy, and pleasant, (tuto cito 
jucunde^] at any time of the year, and without 
bleeding, which patients very often cannot bear, either 
by reason of their age, or the season of the year, 
or for other contra-indicatory symptoms, ' propter alias 
contra-indicatioms? ... At length this excellent man, 
after a long contemplation of the subject, came to the 
conclusion, that if he could discover some Powder, 
without taste or smell, small in quantity, but very 
powerful in effect, (st pulvis ahquis insipidus, inodorus, 
mole quidem parvus scd virtute maximus adinveniretur^ 
a Powder which could conveniently bring about all that 
was required, we ought to embrace it with our whole 
heart, and always have it ready for use. At last 
the Almighty was pleased to fulfil the Earl of 
Warwick's vows and wishes, and guide his thoughts 
and studies to the discovery of this Powder . . . 
which mildly, gently, composedly, (blande, placide, 
sedate^ relieves the patient per alimm. When the 
noble Earl communicated his discovery to me about 
four years ago, telling me, that he would declare 
upon oath that he had cured six hundred persons by 
his Powder, who were all at that time alive, I boldly, 
freely, and openly answered, audacter, liber e, et aperte 
respondebam, that his statement was neither more nor 
less than pure fiction ; that it overthrew all the maxims 


Warwick Castle <*- 

of the ancient physicians ; and that a more pestilent 
practice could not be introduced into medicine. . . . 
And, finally, I exhorted him to give up his opinion 
upon the Powder, and its use. But all I said was 
in vain. He listened with no unkind feeling, but 
obstinately rejected all I could say. Qua quidem ipse 
omnia non ingrato animo sed obstinatione quddam 
scntcnticc rcpudiabat" 

5. He was a great sportsman " noted," according 
to Wood, " for riding the great horse, for tilting, and 
for his being the first of all that taught a dog to sit 
in order to catch partridges." 

6. Finally, Robert Dudley was a great ship-builder, 
and a great writer on the kindred subjects of naviga- 
tion and naval architecture. He began building ships 
for the Grand Duke almost as soon as he arrived 
in Tuscany. "In the Court Diary kept by Cesare 
Tinghi," says Targioni, " I find that in 1607 a 
vessel with a square sail and also oars was built 
from the designs of the Earl of Warwick, and that 
a galleon also designed by him was launched at 
Leghorn on March 20, 1608." Dudley has himself 
recorded some of this vessel's achievements : 

" She carried 64 pezzi grossi (great guns), was a 
rare and strong sailer, of great repute, and the terror 
of the Turks in these seas. Alone and unassisted she 
captured the Captain galleon of the Great Lord (Gran 
Signore), twice her own size, and valuing a million. 
She also, without assistance from the others, fought 
the Grand Turk's fleet of 48 Galleys and 2 ' Galliazze,' 

-* The House of Dudley 

and made the Generalissimo Bassia (Bashaw) of the sea 
in person to fly, as she very nearly captured his Galley." 

A confidential communication, in cipher, from Signor 
Lotti shows that he tried to bring over his old 
instructor in ship-building, Matthew Baker, of the 
Deptford Docks. "In my last letter of the i6th 
inst.," writes Lotti, " I told your Highness that I had 
been at Deptford, and under pretence of knowing some- 
thing about ship-building induced Mathew Caccher to 
come and spend a morning with me in London. I 
then thought he would accept the offer of going over 
to Italy in the service of your Highness. But not- 
withstanding that he is ill satisfied here, and being 
now r old no longer suits the heads of the profession, 
and that he has so little employment, that for tw r o 
years he has not drawn a penny of salary knowing 
also that with you he would have good pay, yet he 
decidedly, though much to his regret, excuses himself 
from coming, solely on account of his great age, he 
being 77 years old, and looking even more. He tells 
me if I w r ill go to Deptford again, he will give me the 
models of some of his ships, hoping thus to be useful to 
your Highness even here. Asking me about his pupil 
Sir Robert Dudley, he expressed how willingly he would 
have taught his profession in Italy to oblige him. Then 
he told me there was a young man whom he had in- 
structed, but as yet he was unknown, or he would not 
be allowed to leave the kingdom, and he would see if 
this youth would accept service under your Highness." 

Dudley went on building ships, however, without 

\Yanvick Castle *- 

Matthew Baker's help, introducing various improve- 
ments, which were accepted and turned out satisfactorily 
in spite of the jealous opposition of Florentine rivals; 
and he also wrote a famous nautical work, entitled 
" Dell' Arcanodel Mare" (" The Secret of the Sea"). 

This book expounds, among other things, the 
principle of Great Circle Sailing, deduced from the 
science of Spherical Trigonometry Each of the t\vo 
volumes weighs about 16 Ibs., and would require to 
be placed upon a lectern in order to be read. A 
second edition was published after the author's death. 
The editor, one Lucini, contributes a grandiloquent 
introduction, saying, after an impressive dissertation 
upon the power of man over the ocean, and the 
advantage of his circumnavigating the globe : 

" In this worthy emprise, O my Serene Lords, if 
one man is more signally eminent than others, it is 
the Duke of Northumberland, who, to make himself 
master of marine science, tore himself away from a 
great house, in which he had princely birth ; and 
sacrificed full forty years of his life in unveiling, for 
the good of humanity at large, the mighty secrets 
of the sea; while I," naively adds Lucini, "for 
twelve years sequestered from all the world in a 
little Tuscan village, have consumed no less than 
5000 Ibs. of copper in engravings to illustrate it." 

Such were Robert Dudley's public services in 
Florence. The detailed enumeration of them clears 
the ground and leaves us free to try to depict the 
life of the exile in that Italian city. 


Dudley at Florence His Attempts to restore Friendly Relations with the 
English Court His Memorandum to Prince Henry on the Importance 
of Sea Power His Advice to King James as to the Bridling of his 
Parliament and the Augmentation of his Revenue Dudley's Endeavours 
to obtain the Restitution of his Property by a Threat of Reprisals on 
English Shipping. 

A "X 7"E have plenty of evidence of the high esteem 
V V in which Robert Dudley was held by the 
Grand Duke Ferdinand. His letters to Ambassador 
Lotti show it. " Here," says one letter, "he is known 
as a worthy knight, and of the utmost goodwill, and 
that he could not possibly entertain any idea of dis- 
loyalty or ill faith towards King James or his state." 
" It seems to us," says another letter, "that this knight 
shows himself every day more worthy of our protection, 
and especially of our efforts to prove in Rome the 
validity of his last marriage." 

It was the same, or nearly the same, in the reign 
of Ferdinand's successor, Cosimo II. His wife, Maria 
Maddalena, daughter of the Archduke Charles of 
Austria, made Robert Dudley her Grand Chamberlain, 
and corresponded about him with Amerigo Salvetti, 
who had succeeded Lotti as minister at the Court of 
St. James. His prosperity at this period enabled him 
to buy land and build himself a palace, now the 
VOL. i. 401 D p 

\Yar\vick Castle - 

property of the Bordoni family, in the parish of San 
Pancrazio a palace of four stones (though the ground 
floor was let out for shops), of which he is believed 
to have been himself the architect. When injury was 
done him by the granting of the Earldoms of Leicester 
and \Yar\vick to the houses of Lisle and Rich re- 
spectively injury which he resented by composing 
anagrams on his name l she used her influence with 
her brother, the Emperor, to procure him the title 
of Duke of Northumberland. The patent speaks of 
his " singular integrity of life and morals, experience, 
and rare and ingenious inventions," orders him to be 
"called, honoured, named, and reputed" by the title, 
and to employ it "in spiritual and temporal, eccle- 
siastical and secular matters, as well as in all business 
affairs and transactions," and instructs all officials 
throughout the Holy Roman Empire to "prevent by 
force " the assumption of the style by any other 

Much of Robert Dudley's time at this period was 
taken up with attempts to restore friendly relations with 
the English Court, and to recover his confiscated 
property. Elizabeth Southwell's sister, Lady Rodney, 
wife of Sir Edward Rodney, possibly assisted him with 
her influence and advice ; and one conjectures that, if 
Henry, Prince of Wales, had lived, he would have 
gained his ends. We have seen that Prince Henry 
behaved better than he was obliged to, and better than 

1 (i) "Robertas Dudleus. Trude sed sublevor." (2) " De trude sub- 
levor." (3) " Re delusus deturbo." 


The House of Dudley 

Ajter the pictnie by Daniel My tens. 


he might have been expected to, in the matter of the 
Kenilworth estate. We also find that Dudley, assisted 
by Sir Thomas Challoner, who had been Prince 
Henry's tutor, tried to negotiate a marriage between 
him and a Tuscan Princess. A letter from Dudley 


Warwick Castle <+- 

to the Grand Duchess on that subject is printed by 
Mr. Temple Leader; and he furthermore addressed to 
Prince Henry a really remarkable memorandum, antici- 
pating some of Admiral Mahan's most characteristic 
opinions on the importance of sea power. 

"It is held," he wrote, "for the surest reason of 
state amongst some of good understanding, that what 
king soever is most powerful by sea hath the best 
means to secure his own greatness ; and if his 
ambition pass further, hath the like occasion to hazard 

"The consequence of this proposition is to be 
confirmed by many examples, observed in the revolu- 
tion of such like affairs, especially by the success of the 
late Queen of England, that so infinitely affronted 
the King of Spain ; as also those States of the Low 
Country, defending very easily their long war, to his 
great expense and loss." 

He illustrated his propositions by reference to the 
histories of England, France, and Holland, Spain, 
Portugal, Italy, Venice, and Turkey, drawing the con- 
clusion that "whosoever is patron of the sea com- 
mandeth the land," and drawing attention to certain 
inventions of his own which would secure the command 
of the sea to England. There were three conditions 
of assuring such supremacy which he claimed to have 
fulfilled : 

i. " Hrst, to invent such a sort of vessel, as by 
the condition and quality thereof, may be better fitted 
for all uses required, than those already made." 

-* The House of Dudley 

2. " That the same invention may be maintained 
at much less charge," etc. 

3. "That their employment may be by fewer men, 
and easier expense and readiness." 

And he concluded with the following personal 
appeal : 

" Further, I must profess, that whereas I have 
found no friendship nor favor in England, but from 
your Highness, my gracious Master, so do I renounce 
all other obligation (his Majesty only excepted) but 
yourself, and therefore do resolve confidently not to do 
any of these services spoken of, upon any contentment 
whatsoever, unless your Highness be pleased to take 
the Admiralty wholly into your hands, for in these 
courses belonging to it, or any other of mine, I will 
depend upon none but his Majesty, your gracious 
father, and yourself. And when it shall please God I 
may, with my honour, return to serve you (which point I 
am above all things to respect, or else were unworthy 
to be your servant,) I can then promise divers other 
services, not inferior to this, as well for your profit as 
force, being the two chief ends I study and endeavour 
for you. So praying God for your Highness's long 
happiness, I humbly take my leave. From Florence, 
the 22nd of November, 1612." 

Such hopes, however, as Dudley may have enter- 
tained from the friendly intervention of Prince Henry 
were brought to disappointment by the Prince's death, 
and an attempt which he made to conciliate King 
James I. was not successful. 


Warwick Castle <*- 

He addressed to King James a memorandum en- 
titled "A Discourse to correct the Exorbitances of 
Parliaments and to enlarge the King's Revenue " : 
a very remarkable document. "Your Parliament," 
Dudley urged, "must be forced to alter their style 
and be conformable to your will and pleasure " ; and 
to this end he made many suggestions, too long to be 
quoted here. 

The forwarding of these propositions, however, did 
Dudley no good, though it got certain other people 
into trouble. 

Nothing came of it till 1629. In that year there 
was handed about in MS. a tract entitled " How a 
Prince may make himself an absolute Tyrant." Par- 
liament was at that period very jealous of its rights 
and privileges. Consequently an enquiry was instituted. 
The MS., it transpired, had come from the collection 
of Sir Robert Cotton, the eminent antiquary. A 
clerk, whom Sir Robert Cotton had set to transcribe 
it, had made several transcriptions and sold them. 
One copy came into the hands of Sir Thomas Went- 
worth, afterwards Earl of Strafford, and then Lord 
Deputy of Ireland. Strafford laid the pamphlet before 
the Privy Council, and the Council cited Sir Robert 
Cotton, together with the Earls of Clare, Somerset, 
and Bedford, to appear before it at the Star Chamber. 

"The means propounded in this discourse," we 
read in the official paper, "are such as are fitter to 
be practised in a Turkish state than amongst Chris- 
tians, being contrary to the justice and mildness of his 

-* The House of Dudley 

Majesty's Government, and the sincerity of his in- 
tentions." The accused, therefore, who had " not 
only read and concealed the same from his Majesty 
and his Council but also communicated and divulged 
it to others," were bidden to go home and prepare 
their defences ; while Sir Robert Cotton " was further 
told, that although it were his Majesty's pleasure 
that his studies should as yet remain shut up, yet 
he might enter into them, and take such writings, 
whereof he should have use, provided, that he did it 
in the presence of a Clerk of the Council, and that 
whereas the Clerk attending hath the keys of two 
of the studies, he might put a second lock on either 
of them, so that neither doors might be opened but 
by him and the said Clerk, both together." 

Ultimately, in the midst of the proceedings, the 
King sent word to the Lord Keeper that " in respect 
of the great joy upon the birth of his son he should 
immediately order the proceedings to be stopped and 
the defendants to be discharged." But Sir Robert 
Cotton died soon afterwards, heart-broken at what 
had happened to him. 

Such was the end of that story, though it was by 
no means the end of Dudley's endeavours to obtain 
his rights. In spite of the favour of the great, he 
was sometimes in sore need of money. We have a 
letter of complaint upon this subject. 

"My income," he writes to Cioli, "thanks to the 
grace of His Serene Highness, is about 157 scudi a 
month. From this I pay more than 50 scudi every 


Warwick Castle <*- 

month for my son Don Carlo, and give Don Ambrogio 
40 scudi a month, besides 17 to his tutor; think then 
what remains to keep a Duke of Northumberland with 
three boys besides, and moreover a daughter who 
wants to take the veil. Then there is the expense 
of dressing Don Ambrogio for Court ; and you know 
it costs a hundred scudi to buy a new suit of a style 
worthy the high service of so eminent a prince. Then 
there is the great expense of a tutor to look after 
him, otherwise such an inexperienced youth would 
spend his month's allowance in a day. Were the case 
different, I should be ashamed to ask anything of you, 
but I have no land or private income, and scarcely means 
enough to put my daughter into a convent, and this I 
can assure the Rev. Cardinal and your Excellency." 

Hence his active agitation. Salvetti acted for him 
in London, but reported that his assumption of the 
title of Duke of Northumberland operated against his 
chances. " 1 have not heard whether his Majesty has 
yet been informed of this," he wrote, " but anyway I 
seem to see him hurling his thunderbolts." 

So Dudley took other measures, applying to the 
Curia Ecclesiastica of Florence for a decree to enable 
him to make reprisals against the English who used 
the port of Leghorn. By this means he proposed to 
make English merchants pay him the debt which he 
considered that the King of England owed him. The 
Grand Duke disapproved, but he persisted. The fol- 
lowing decree was actually posted on the doors of 
the Cathedral at Florence : 

From a photograph by L. C. Keighley Peach. 


Warwick Castle *- 

" This letter of Gregorius Navo, Auditor-general 
of the Camera Apostolica, commands by the same the 
Grand-Duke Ferdinand and all the other Ministers 
of Justice under pain of 1000 gold ducats, that they 
shall confiscate, and sell all or any of the goods of 
English Parliamentarians and the English residents, 
/// solidiiw, excepting only professed Catholics ; to the 
end that they may give and re-pay to Robert Dudley, 
Duke of Northumberland, son of another Robert 
Dudlev ; to Cosimo Dudley, Earl of Warwick, his 
son ; and to Elisabeth Sathuella (Elizabeth Southwell), 
wife of the above-said Robert, and to all other 
children which are, or shall be born to the above 
coningi, eight millions of Pounds sterling ; with other 
two hundred thousand pounds as interest for the same, 
by reason of the unfair occupation and confiscation 
made of the above-named Dukedom ; and this accord- 
ing to the sentence promulgated by Pietro Niccolini, 
Vicar-general of the Archbishop of Florence, and 
confirmed by the before-mentioned Gregorius Navo." 

The decree, though posted, was not carried into 
effect ; and Dudley once more tried to obtain justice 
through the diplomacy of Salvetti, to whom his wife 
sent in an official claim for the money owing for the 
sale of Kenilworth to Prince Henry. Salvetti at first 
regarded the task as hopeless. 

' With the enclosed," he wrote on November 22nd, 

1630, " I give the Duchess of Northumberland an 

account of her negozio, which I fear will be little to 

her taste, as it becomes every day more difficult. 


-* The House of Dudley 

Treating as it does of extorting from the Royal 
Exchequer the sum of 12,000 scudi which her Grace 
claims, I confess I have not the courage to demand 
it, knowing the straitness of means in these parts. 
Besides, the debt is no longer legal, as the Duke is 
in a continued state of contumacy, and now has no 
friend at Court ; like the Maggiordomo I have but the 
faintest hopes of coming out of it with honour, never- 
theless I will not abandon the negotiation as far as 
my faithful service can go," etc. 

Ultimately, however, he succeeded, and was able 
to send Dudley various official papers to sign and 
return, saying : 

" Sig. Guadagni will pay the Duke of Northumber- 
land 8000 scudi, for which I have this day sent him 
the order. I beg that I may have a receipt in full, 
and I am very happy to have succeeded well in these 
intricate negotiations and to have done something to 
serve your Excellency." 

So he got his rights or a portion of them at 
last, and lived to enjoy them until 1649, when he 
died at Carbello, two miles from Florence, at the 
great age of seventy-six. 

It remains to say something about the fortunes of 
the two families his two wives bore him 1 



Duchess Dudley Her Charitable Works Her Daughters and their Hus- 
bands Robert Dudley's Large Italian Family The Proceedings of 
Carlo the Scapegrace The Great Marriages of the Daughters General 
Remarks about the House of Dudley and its Prominent Representatives. 

IT has already been mentioned that Robert Dudley's 
deserted wife, Alice Dudley, was created Duchess 
Dudley by letters patent issued at Oxford in the middle 
of the Civil War. The patent recites the history of 
the litigation which prevented her husband from prov- 
ing his legitimacy, and the wrongs done to him by 
the confiscation of his property, and describes him as 
"a person not only eminent for his great learning and 
blood, but for sundry rare endowments." It records 
that "our dear father, not knowing the truth of the 
lawful birth of the said Sir Robert (as we piously 
believe), granted away the titles of the said Earldoms 
to others," repudiates any intention to "call in question 
nor ravel into our deceased father's actions " or to 
annul honours bestowed by him, but expresses " a 
very deep sense of the great injuries to the said Sir 
Robert Dudley and the Lady Alice Dudley and their 
children," and in view of the fact that " in justice and 
equity these possessions so taken from them do rightly 
belong unto them, or full satisfaction for the same," 
proceeds to make amends. 


-* The House of Dudley 

" We have conceived ourselves bound," runs the 
essential clause, " in honour and conscience, to give 
the said Lady Alice and her children such honour and 
precedencies, as is or are due to them in marriage or 
blood. And therefore we do not only give and grant, 
unto the said Lady Alice Dudley, the title of Duchess 
Dudley for her life, in England and other our realms 
and dominions, with such precedencies as she might 
have had, if she had lived in the dominions of the 
sacred empire ; (as a mark of our favour unto her, and 
out of our Prerogative Royal, which we will not have 
drawn into dispute ;) but we do also further grant 
unto the said Lady Katherine, and Lady Anne, her 
daughters, the places, titles, and precedencies of the 
said Duke's daughters, as from that time of their 
said father's creation, during their respective lives, not 
only in England, but in all other our kingdoms and 
dominions, as a testimony of our princely favour and 
grace unto them ; conceiving ourselves oblig'd to do 
much more for them, if it were in our power, in these 
unhappy times of distraction." 

This instrument was duly confirmed by Charles II, 
at the Restoration ; and Duchess Dudley lived in 
the peaceable enjoyment of her honours till the great 
age of eighty-nine. Most of our information regarding 
her is contained in the funeral sermon preached by 
the Rev. Dr. Boreman a singular name for a divine, 
and reminiscent of the nomenclature of the " Pilgrim's 
Progress " which first appeared about this time. 

From this discourse we gather that she was 

\Yar\vick Castle *- 

eminent for charitable works : " Her charity began at 
the House of God, which was first in her thoughts, as 
it is usually the last, or not at all, in others." She 
restored the Church of St. Giles-in-the-Fields, be- 
stowing upon it altar-cloths, altar-rails, marble steps, 
organs, service-books, communion plate, and a big bell, 
besides a house for the incumbent, and "a yearly 
stipend to the Sexton of that Church to toll the great 
bell when the prisoners condemned to die were passing 
by, and to ring out after they were executed." She 
gave to "the Church of Stoneley, in Warwickshire, (where 
her sacred body lies now entombed,) as also to the 
Churches of Mancetter, Leke Wotton, Ashow, Kenil- 
worth, and Monks Kirby, 20 and upwards per annum 
apiece for a perpetual augmentation to the poor 
Vicarages of those respective Churches for ever." And 
she bestowed " on the same Churches, and likewise 
upon the Churches of Bidford in the foresaid county of 
Warwick, Acton in Middlesex, S. Albans in Hertford- 
shire, Patshill in Northampton, divers pieces of fair 
and costly plate, to be used at the celebration of the 
Holy Communion in each of them." 

Her will contained sundry interesting bequests to 
the poor : " to four score and ten widows (according to 
the number of the years she lived), to each one a gown 
and fair white kerchief, to attend the hearse wherein 
her body was carried, and one shilling apiece for their 
dinner"; "five pounds to be given to every place or 
town where her corpse should rest in its passage from 
London unto Stoneley"; "sixpence to be given to 

-> The House of Dudley 

every poor body that should meet her corpse on the 
road"; "for the redemption of Christian captives from 
the hands of the infidels one hundred pounds per 
annum for ever"; "for the placing out for ever of 
poor parish children of St. Giles' as apprentices, two 
hundred pounds to purchase a piece of land at ten 
pounds per annum, and two to be put out every year." 
Such good deeds naturally inspired the preacher to 
eloquent panegyric. 

"As," he preached, "St. Austin referred those who 
desired to profit in virtiie to the life and conversation of 
Paulinus, saying, Vade in Campaniam et disce Paulinum, 
(Go to Campania, and study Paulinus,} so would I say 
to any person that should desire to attain to some degree 
of perfection in grace, goodness, and piety, Vade ad 
Sancti /Egidii oppidum et disce Ducissam Dudleyam, 
(Go to St. Giles s, and enquire after the life and 
manners of Duchess Dudley ',) and conform your life to 
her religious conversation." 

The parish allowed the Duchess a private entrance 
into the church and kept it in repair. It also paid 
$ 2s. for lining her pew with green baize and 
flooring it with matting. 

As stated before, the Duchess Dudley had seven 
dacMMfctf. The eldest, Alicia Douglassia, died at 
the a^e^W twenty-four. Her effigy, underneath that 
of her mother, in Stoneleigh Church, bears this 
inscription : 

" Here lyeth Alicia, who, dying before marriage on 
the 22nd of May, 1621, left to her mother afore-said, 


Wanvick Castle <*- 

or to the cause of charity, a handsome patrimony, to 
he at the disposal of her mother, and to be laid out 
in works of piety." 

This gift (amounting to ,3,000) was made by will 
nuncupatory, i.e. by word of mouth in the presence 
of witnesses. Where Alicia Douglassia got the money 
from no antiquary seems to have been able to dis- 
cover ; but, from whatever source it may have been 
derived, it was laid out in the augmentation of Church 

The second daughter, Frances, lies in effigy in 
her winding-sheet in the parish church of St. Giles- 
in-the- Fields. Originally of the ancient bedstead form, 
the monument was altered to its present form by the 
Hon. Charles Leigh in 1738. John Parton, in his 
history of the parish of St. Giles, speaks of it as 
"an extraordinary spacious monument mostly marble, 
adorned with cartouches, cornish, pediment, mantling, 
festoons, etc. Arms : ruby a chevron verry, on a 
canton pearl, a sinister hand of the first impaled 
with topas, a lion rampant diamond, three crescent 
topas, in chief, two birds rising cliam." She married 
Sir Gilbert Kniveton, and died in 1663. History 
records nothing more about her. 

The third daughter, Anne, married Sir Robert 
Holbourne, Charles I.'s Solicitor-General, who probably 
drew up the patent making his mother-in-law a Duchess. 
Dugdale invited her to compose a dedication for one 
of the engravings in his "Antiquities of Warwickshire," 
and she dedicated it as follows : 

-* The House of Dudley 

" To her ancestors, very honourable by descent, 
but by far more so by their virtues, but most of 
all by the union of both, but specially to Richard 
Beauchamp, the excellent Earl of Warwick, at once 
an example of true nobility, family greatness, and his 
country's glory, the distinguished ornament of his age, 
for what he famously did at home and abroad, in 
peace and in war ; to such a man, who to the very 
close of his life was a pattern of piety, fortitude, and 
magnanimity, and to his worth and memory, Anne 
Dudley, one of the co-heiresses of his noble family, 
dedicates this engraving of his tomb." 

She died in 1663. 

Catherine, the youngest daughter, alone survived 
her mother, and rivalled her mother in deeds of piety. 
She increased the benefices of the clergy ; she endowed 
a school ; she built almshouses for twenty poor widows 
" each of them for their maintenance therein to have 
eight pounds per annum, and a gown of grey cloth, 
with these two letters, K and L, in blue cloth, fixed 
thereon." Whatever else in her history interests us is 
recorded on a tablet against the north wall of the Beau- 
champ Chapel in St. Mary's Church, which I transcribe : 

" To the memory of the Lady Katherine, (late wife 
of Sir Richard Levison, of Trentham, in the county of 
Stafford, Knight of the Bath,) one of the daughters 
and co-heirs of Sir Robert Dudley, Knt. (son to 
Robert, late Earl of Leicester,) by Alicia his wife, 
daughter to Sir Thomas Leigh, of Stonley, Knt. and 
Bart., created Duchess Dudley by King Charles L 

VOL. I. 417 E E 

Warwick Castle <*- 

in regard that her said husband, leaving this real me, 
had the title of Duke conferred upon him by 
Ferdinand II., Emperor of Germany, which Hon. 
Lady, taking notice of these tombes of her noble 
ancestors being much blemished by consuming time, 
but more by the rude hands of impious people, were 
in danger of utter ruin by the decay of this chapel, 
it not timely prevented, did in her lifetime give fifty 
pounds for its speedy repair ; and by her last Will 
and Testament, bearing date XVIII Dec. 1673, 
bequeath forty pounds per annum, issuing out of her 
manor of Foxley in the county of Northampton, for 
the perpetual support and preservation of these monu- 
ments in their proper state ; the surplusage to be for 
the poor brethren ot her grandfather's Hospitall in 
this borough ; appointing William Dugdale, of Blythe 
Hall, in this county, Esq. (who represented to her 
the necessity of this good worke,) and his heirs, 
together with the Mayor of Warwick for the time 
being, to be her trustees therein." 

Dudley's Italian family was much more extensive. 
Elizabeth Southwell bore him seven sons Cosimo, 
Carlo, Ambrogio, Giovanni, Antonio, Ferdinando, and 
Enrico; and five daughters Maria, Anna, Madalena, 
I eresa, and Maria Christina. 

Cosimo was a young man of great promise, cut 
off in his prime. He was hardly more than a boy 
when the Grand Duke made him Colonel of the 
Guard. He died at Piombino, of malaria, at the age 
of twenty -one. 


Warwick Castle * 

Carlo was a scapegrace. One of his scandalous 
exploits is set forth in the following letter from his 
father to Cioli : 

" I write to-day to beg your Excellency to inform 
His Serene Highness that Don Carlo with several 
men armed with guns entered my house, while I was 
at Mass, and carried away all the silver which was not 
locked up, to the value of 300 ducats. His Highness 
knows that 1 was aware of these evil designs and of 
others even worse. I hope some serious mark of dis- 
pleasure from the Court will be shown for so grave 
a crime against his father, and defiance to the laws 
of his Prince. . . . He came, as far as I can gather, 
from Lucca, and has probably returned there with 
his booty. I place myself entirely in the hands of 
His Serene Highness," etc., etc. 

A warrant was issued for his arrest, and he 
entrenched himself in a church in the middle of 
Horence. Ultimately he was caught and locked up 
until he promised to mend his behaviour treatment 
which certainly did not err on the side of severity. 
Notwithstanding his misconduct, however, he made a 
grand marriage with Marie Madeleine Gouffier, of 
the ancient house of Gouffier of Poitou ; but he 
remained a matrcais sujct all the same. When he was 
seventy years of age, he made such a disturbance at 
a Court reception that it once more became necessary 
to lock him up, and it seems probable that he died 
in prison. He had several children. One Robert, 
Canon to the Cathedral of the Vatican, succeeded to 

-* The House of Dudley 

the title. One of his daughters, Christine, married the 
Marchese Paleotti, and had two children : a son, who 
was hanged at Tyburn for the murder of his valet ; 
and a daughter, who married Charles Talbot> Duke of 
Shrewsbury, and was one of the beauties at the Court 
of George I . 

Ambrogio became page to the Grand Duchess. 
There was some talk of marrying him to "a daughter 
of the Rucellai close by " ; but he died young, un- 
married. The next brother, Giovanni, also died 
young; Antonio only just lived to reach man's estate; 
Ferdinando became a monk. Of Enrico we know very 
little, except that in 1652, all his brothers except 
Carlo, Duke of Northumberland, being dead, he took 
the title of Earl of Warwick. 

We turn to the daughters. 

Maria, in 1630, married Orazio Appiano, Prince of 
Piombino. Anna died unmarried in 1629, and was 
buried in San Pancrazio. Madalena married first 
Spinetta Malespina, and then Giambattista, son of 
Gianantonio Fieschi of the Counts of Lavagna with 
which house the English family of Heneage is con- 
nected. Christina, Queen of Sweden, was present at 
her first marriage. Teresa first thought of taking the 
veil, but afterwards changed her mind and accepted an 
offer of marriage from the Duca della Cornia. Her 
husband died soon afterwards, and she then married 
Count Mario Carpegna, first Gentleman of the Chamber 
to the Cardinal Carlo di Medici, subsequently High 
Steward and Vice-Legate to Avignon. She died in 


\Yar\vick Castle <*- 

Rome on August 2ist, 1698. Of the youngest sister, 
Maria Christina, there is no information. 

And so we close our chronicle of the fortunes of 
the House of Dudley. It rose quickly from obscurity 
to splendour by methods that were considered repre- 
hensible even in an age more tolerant than ours. 
The most conspicuous representatives of the house 
are rather to be called notorious than famous. Their 
ambition was overweening, and outran their talents. 
They had great talents for display, but only moderate 
talents for the conduct of affairs. They excelled as 
courtiers rather than as soldiers or as statesmen. In 
their private lives, too, they were unscrupulous more 
particularly in their treatment of women. But they 
figured impressively on the stage, and realised the 
pageant of life better than any of their contemporaries. 


PrinUd by Hazel!, Watson & Viney, Ld., London and Aylesbury, England. 



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