Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 01.djvu/438

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


was waiting for a wind. He had, moreover, won the decisive battle of Barnet on the very day that Margaret landed; who learned to her dismay on Easter Monday that her new supporter, Warwick, was slain and her husband once more a prisoner. Moreover, she was deserted by Clarence, who had made peace with his brother Edward. Nevertheless, encouraged by the support of the Duke of Somerset, she went on into the West country, summoning the people to join her in defence of her husband's rights. She was joined by a large company out of Cornwall and Devonshire, but was met at Tewkesbury by Edward at the head of a superior force, and utterly defeated. Young Edward, prince of Wales, was either slain in the field, or, as there is too much reason to believe, shamefully butchered after the battle; and Richard, duke of Gloucester, who afterwards married the lady to whom he had been affianced, is commonly believed to have been an accomplice in the deed. It is important, however, to observe that no early writer considers him the sole agent in this particular crime. He was at that time only in his nineteenth year, and his education in ferocity was only just beginning.

Anne was now, according to most writers, a widow. But the marriage arranged at Angers between her and Prince Edward does not appear ever to have been solemnised. She was at this time not quite fifteen years of age, and she must have looked upon her brother-in-law Clarence as her chief protector, who seems to have treated her as his ward. For he, perceiving that his own brother Gloucester desired to have her for his wife, not only disapproved the match, but induced her to put on disguise in order to escape his attentions. Richard, however, discovered her place of concealment, where he found her in the attire of a kitchenmaid, and took her to the sanctuary of St. Martin's. The dispute between the brothers was carried before the king's council. Clarence selfishly declared that Richard might have his sister-in-law if he pleased, but they should part no livelihood; he himself meant to be sole heir of all the Earl of Warwick's property, except some portions which had already been granted by patent to his brother. Little regard was paid by either brother to the claims of their mother-in-law, the widowed Countess of Warwick, who was at this time living in the sanctuary of Beaulieu, and petitioning parliament and the king for restitution of her own inheritance. In 1473, apparently, the king had some thought of doing her justice. In that year she left sanctuary, and was conveyed into the north by Sir James Tyrell, when she apparently put herself under the protection of Gloucester. ‘The king,’ says a contemporary letter-writer, ‘has restored the Countess of Warwick to all her inheritance, and she has granted it unto my lord of Gloucester, with whom she is.’ In May 1474 the dispute between the brothers was settled at her expense. An act passed in parliament that they should divide the whole inheritance between them and succeed to it at once ‘as if the said countess were now naturally dead.’ A singular provision was also added ‘that if the said Richard, duke of Gloucester, and Anne be hereafter divorced, and after the same be lawfully married,’ they should still have the full benefit of the act just as if no divorce had taken place. What this could have implied it is not very easy to divine, unless it be that there was some doubt whether a real marriage had taken place. There seems to be no precise record of the date of the event, and perhaps a dispensation should have been procured to make it valid. Their only son, Edward, was born at Middleham Castle (Rows Roll, 64) in 1476, as we may infer from his having been a little over seven when created prince of Wales (Hearne's Ross, 217).

At Middleham Richard and Anne made their principal abode during the latter part of his brother's reign. The locality was convenient for him as warden of the West Marches against Scotland, an office to which he was appointed by the king, and in which he acquitted himself so well that it was confirmed to him and the heirs male of his body by parliament in 1482 (Rolls of Parl. vi. 204). At Middleham we may presume that Anne remained during her husband's very successful campaign in Scotland; and here, no doubt, they were both staying (for Richard, at least, was in Yorkshire according to Polydore Vergil) when the death of Edward IV called him suddenly up to London.

That was in April 1483. In June Richard usurped the crown, and Anne was queen. On 6 July she was crowned along with him at Westminster Abbey with peculiar splendour. He soon after left her at Windsor to go on a progress, at first towards the west of England; but she rejoined him at Warwick and went on with him to York, where the citizens gave them a magnificent reception. Here they stayed some days, and on 8 September Richard created their son Edward prince of Wales. This was the occasion that is sometimes inaccurately spoken of as Richard's second coronation, when he and Queen Anne walked through the streets in solemn procession, with crowns upon their heads. Next year, on 9 April, the young