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edit. Davies, 98-9.

8—2



n6 MORTIMER'S CROSS [ch.

the vital importance of which had been forced upon him
in the campaign of the preceding autumn.

Warwick's r ? . r . ~°

activity in In July commissions were issued to Walter

Devereux, Henry Griffith, and Richard Croft in
Herefordshire, and to Roger Kynaston, Corbet, and others
in Shropshire 1 . A fortnight afterwards Devereux was com-
manded to seize Thomas Fitzharry 2 . Acting through the
Privy Council, the earl of Warwick called upon Jasper Tudor,
earl of Pembroke, and Roger Puleston, his deputy at Denbigh,
to surrender that fortress to the duke of York's nominee,
at the same time assuring them of his belief in the loyal
intentions of the duke 3 . The constables of Beaumaris,
Conway, Flint, Hawarden, Holt, and Ruthin, were directed
to provide for the safety of those places. This precaution
may have been considered especially important in view of
the fact that the duke of York would soon be returning
from Ireland. Also Richard Grey, Lord Powys, who had
submitted to Henry VI after Ludford, was enjoined to
surrender Montgomery castle to Warwick's nominee, Edward
Bourchier 4 . Policy dictated that such wavering allegiance
as that of Lord Powys should not be sheltered in so im-
pregnable and advantageous a fort.

Sir Walter Devereux was similarly circumstanced 5 . He
sir waiter had acted with the Yorkists in the recent
Devereux. campaign and had been attainted at Coventry.

Both had escaped the full penalties of treason. Yet on the
return of the Yorkists to power Devereux was admitted
to their confidence, while Lord Powys was visited with
disfavour. It is conceivable that the indulgence shown to
Walter Devereux was in some measure due to Herbert.

1 Cal. Pat. Rolls, 607, 608. July 28.

2 Ibid. August 13, 612.

8 Proceedings, vi. 303. Aug. 9, 1460.

* In the records the name is given incompletely as " Edward Bou — ."
Probably Edward Bourchier is intended. He was a son of Viscount
Bourchier, earl of Essex, and Isabel, daughter of Richard, earl of Cambridge.
He was slain at Wakefield, 1460. Proceedings, vi. 303.

5 Rot. Pari. 38 Henry VI, 349.



vi] MORTIMER'S CROSS 117

For, in the course of the year 1459-60, Herbert had married
Anne Devereux, sister of Walter 1 . This was a stroke of
address in that the Yorkists may have regarded it as the
first link which bound the fortunes of Herbert afresh to those
of the duke of York, while Margaret may easily have inter-
preted it as a step towards the complete reconciliation of
Devereux with the Lancastrians. As late as June, 1460,
William Herbert was a reputed Lancastrian ; for, while the
king was at Coventry, almost on the eve of the battle of
Northampton, a further bond of union was effected be-
tween Herbert and the court party 2 . Unlike Sir Walter
Devereux, he had veiled his own political intentions in such
mysterious secrecy that he was able to shield his brother-
in-law from the consequences of his apostacy as well with
the Yorkists as with the Lancastrians.

Yet, when the moment for an irretrievable decision came,
Herbert ^ William Herbert struck boldly. Family

becomes associations, fear, ambition, stratagem, the

slender thread upon which hung the royalist
hopes, everything conspired to urge him to throw aside his
Lancastrian weeds. His transitory association with that
party had been elusive, though sufficient to humour Mar-
garet without alienating York. He had steered his craft
skilfully between the rival sirens of faction. The new
situation which was created by the overwhelming victory
of the Yorkists at Northampton offered him boundless
scope, and a rare opportunity which he seized with prompti-
tude, and pursued with an intrepidity all his own.

Two circumstances now favoured his rise to eminence.
The death of the duke of Buckingham at Northampton left
the lordship of Brecon in the hands of a minor, Henry
Stafford, whose father Humphrey, the duke's son and heir,
had been slain at St Albans in 1455 ; this removed from

1 Doyle's Baronage. " Before July, 1460." Sir Walter Devereux was
the first Lord Ferrers of Chartley.

2 Cal. Pat. Rolls, 594. June 26, 1460. Thomas Herbert was associated
with his brother on this occasion.



n8 MORTIMER'S CROSS [ch.

Herbert's neighbourhood the most considerable Lancastrian
in the Marches. If the duke had lived, Herbert would have
found himself between the hammer and the anvil — Bucking-
ham at Brecon, and Warwick at Cardiff. The removal of
the one and the favour of the other enabled him to extend
his influence in South-east Wales just as the attainder of
Jasper, at a later period, brought him to Pembroke. The
other circumstance was the proximity of Herbert's patrimony
to Warwick's lordship of Glamorgan. It enhanced his value
to the earl as an ally.

Warwick was the first to appreciate his supple genius
as a most formidable asset in Wales. Whether

The earl of

Warwick and aware or not of his Lancastrian leanings during

Herbert. _ . ° . . . .

the Ludford campaign, he now gave him his
unqualified confidence. He gave him priority even over
Sir Walter Devereux. He threw upon him, primarily, the
responsibility for the loyalty of South Wales, a task in which
his Welsh birth gave him an advantage over Devereux.
On August 17 Warwick, through the Privy Council, gave
William Herbert, Walter Devereux, and Roger Vaughan
authority to prevent all unlawful assemblies, arrest all such
persons as should, in defiance of the king's commands,
attempt to victual or fortify castles, towns, or strongholds
in Wales, and adopt adequate measures for the safe custody
of those castles, until they received further instructions.
The trend of the letter leaves no doubt that Herbert and his
associates were vested with absolute and practically un-
limited powers of raising troops and extinguishing the
embers of rebellion in South Wales. It is a curious document
when we bear in mind that Herbert at that moment held
as a gift from Margaret certain offices in Warwick's Welsh
dominions 1 :

1 Proceedings, vi. 304-5. In Paston Letters, I. 538, there is reference
to a " Richard Harbard " who was evidently familiar with the Pastons
and at the time (Oct. 29, 1460) in communication with Warwick. But
there is nothing to show conclusively whether the brother of William
Herbert or some other of the name is intended. He may have been the



vi] MORTIMER'S CROSS ng

" To Sir William Herbert, Walter Devereux and Roger
Vaughan. We have understande by audible reporte made
unto us nowe late how that divers persons without our will
or commandement and expressly contrary to our laws and
place usurp and take upon them to victual and fortify divers
castles, places, and strengths in our country of Wales and
over make great assemblies, routes and gaderyng of people
in riotous wise whereby, unless than it were soon purveyed
for the ceasing thereof great hurt and inconvenience is
like to ensue both to our said countrie of Wales, and to all
this our land. Wherefore we straightly charge you and each
of you and give you full authority and power that in all
possible haste after the sight hereof ye putte you in effectual
devoir and diligence by all ways and means possible to you
to repress and subdue all those persons — not only letting
them of their purpose in that behalf, but also putting such
as are the leaders, principal doers, and stirrers of them
in sure hold and keeping, so to remain and dwell till further
knowledge from us — unless ye can without danger or peril
bring or send them to us — the which if ye may we will
ye do so — and ye take all manner such castles unto our
hands and surely keep them to our use till we have ordained
otherwise. Besides we command all sheriffs, mayors,
bailiffs, constables, etc. — to assist you, and that ye and they
and none of you fail herein as our perfect trust is in you
and as ye desire to be recommended of good and diligent
obeissance and to stand in our especial favour and have
singular thanks of us."

In the beginning of September the duke of York landed
at Redcliffe in Lancashire 1 . On previous journeys his

Richard Heberd mentioned in another letter, the date of which is not
established ; ibid. i. 76. Apparently the only other person of the name
Herberd or Harbard mentioned in this correspondence is Julian Herberd
of Thornham (March 1, 1426) and one " of my iii adversaries " ; ibid. I. 26.

1 Gregory 208. The Paston correspondent was under the belief that
York had landed at Chester. Paston Letters, 1. 525-6. Oct. 12, 1460.
" My lord of York hath dyvers straunge commissions fro the kyng for to
sitte in dyvers townys comyng homeward ; that is for to sey, in Ludlow,



120 MORTIMER'S CROSS [ch.

route had been through North Wales. The change was
The duke of a reflex of his bitter experiences during the
York returns. previous autumn. Wales was still more insecure
now, for Denbigh was in the hands of Jasper Tudor's lieu-
tenant, Roger Puleston, and probably harboured some
Lancastrian refugees. Realising the insecurity of his hold
on the affections of the Marches the duke of York traversed
the borders leisurely and cautiously, holding sessions at
Shrewsbury, Ludlow, and Hereford, where he was to be
joined by the duchess. Having confirmed the loyalty of
these parts he marched on London, and reached the city
on October 9th, accompanied by a strong bodyguard of
Welshmen from his estates in the Marches 1 .

Parliament had already assembled, Sir William Herbert
being member for Hereford 2 . To the amazement of the
lords the duke of York laid claim to the throne. Friendly
representations, in which the earl of Warwick played a
prominent part, convinced him of the unpopularity and
unwisdom of the step. He therefore agreed that Henry
should be king during his lifetime, and that he should
succeed him. York therefore became Protector. The Prin-
cipality of Wales was assigned to him. When parliament
was dissolved he left London for his Yorkshire estates, on
December 9th. Warwick remained in London. York's
eldest son, the earl of March, came to the Marches of Wales
to raise forces.

On October 12, Queen Margaret and her son were still
in Wales. The duke of Exeter was with her with a good
following 3 . Her headquarters were probably Pembroke,
whence she sailed to Scotland 4 .

Shrewsbury, Herford, Leycestre, Coventre." See also William of
Worcester, Annales, 774.

1 Waurin, 312, which states that York sent to many of the Welsh chief-
tains for help and came up to London with a large following of Welshmen.

2 He was summoned in October, 1460.

3 Pastnn Letters, I. 525-6.

4 William of Worcester, 774. Gregory 208-9. Ramsay, Lancaster and
York, 11. 236, states that Margaret moved from Harlech to Denbigh, but
the authorities quoted do not warrant the statement.



vi] MORTIMER'S CROSS 121

The most explicit statement as to her movements in
Lancastrian Wales comes from Gregory, who says that she
movements. moved to Jasper, lord of Pembroke. Denbigh
had been reduced by the Lancastrians since March, 1459,
but Jasper Tudor made Tenby and Pembroke his headquar-
ters. From Pembroke Margaret could sail to Scotland more
conveniently than if she had been at Denbigh. Before
sailing she had sent urgent messages to Somerset and Devon
to join her as speedily as possible " with their tenants as
strong in their harness as men of war 1 ." It was reported
that the great muster was to be in Wales 2 , but the activity
of the queen's friends in the north of England drew the duke
of Somerset and the earl of Devon thither. They passed
through Bath, Cirencester, Evesham, and Coventry on their
journey northwards, but did not touch the Welsh border 3 .
Apparently Margaret intended Yorkshire to be the venue of
the next campaign, for she hoped to bring reinforcements
from Scotland 4 . Jasper Tudor was to remain in Wales.

While Margaret was recuperating in Scotland the duke
of York was attacked by her northern suppor-

Battles of J rr

wakefieid ters with disastrous promptitude at Wakefield.

There, on December 30, his army was annihi-
i7 n Fe S b.f46 b i ans lated, and he himself put to death. Next

morning the earl of Salisbury was beheaded.
Seven weeks later, on February 17, Margaret with an army
of " Scots, Welsh, and Northmen 5 " defeated Warwick at
St Albans and put him to flight with a remnant of
his host.

Such in brief are two of the acts of this drama of feud,
Mortimer's which were enacted in the winter 1460-146 1.
Cross - The third, and the most decisive, took place

1 Gregory, 209.

2 Paston Letters, 1. 525-6. " Theyseythe here he (the duke of Somerset)
propose hym to go to Walys to the Queen."

8 William of Worcester, 774-5 ; " cum multis militibus et generosis de
partibus occidentalibus."

4 Gregory, 209. Stowe.

5 Three Fifteenth Century Chronicles, 155. Brief Notes.



122 MORTIMER'S CROSS [ch.

on the borders of Wales, at Mortimer's Cross. Let us
consider it.

News of his father's death at Wakefield reached young
, . Edward, earl of March, at Gloucester 1 . He

The earl of '

March's thereupon set about gathering an army in the

Marches and the border counties, and was soon
at the head of a numerous host. He had been well
acquainted with the borders from his boyhood, having been
under the tutelage of Richard Croft of Herefordshire. He
was a lusty youth of nineteen, but he had not yet organised
a campaign in person, although he had taken a prominent
part at Northampton. He was now the chief of the
Yorkist faction, and under his standard Wales wrote her-
self in capital letters.

Of Edward's lieutenants and advisers the most con-
The Welsh spicuous were Sir William Herbert, Sir Walter
Yorkists. Devereux (Lord Ferrers of Chartley) and Sir

Roger Vaughan 2 , the three who had been collectively
commissioned to look after Yorkist interests in Wales in
the previous August ; and of these the recognised chief
was Herbert. To him, who had an end in view and an eye
to means, the fact that Edward was heir to the title and

1 William of Worcester, Annates, 775-6. Three Fifteenth Century
Chronicles, 76. English Chronicle, edit. Davies 203, states that Edward
received news of his father's death at Gloucester, and then moved to
Shrewsbury. The Annates put him at Shrewsbury.

2 William of Worcester, Itinerarium, 328, gives him a knighthood.
I can see no evidence to show when he had been knighted. In addition
to those given in the text, the same authority mentions the following as
being with Edward at Mortimer's Cross — " Stafford, Dom. Audley, Reg.
Gray, Sir John Skydmore, Sir Wm. Skydmore, Sir Morys Skydmore, fratres,
milites in armis in Francia." This Stafford may have been Humphrey
Stafford of Southwick, son of that William Stafford who was killed during
Cade's rising in 1450, and who, at the coronation of Edward IV, was raised
to the peerage as Lord Stafford of Southwick. There is a good deal of
confusion about the Skydmores. Sir John and Sir William are given
in the list of prominent Lancastrians as well. Sir John Skydmore held
Pembroke Castle for Jasper and could not have been among the Yorkists.
We may safely dismiss these three brothers from William of Worcester's
list. Philip Vaughan of Hay is described as " homo guerrae in Francia,
nobilior armiger lanceatus inter omnes alios, fuit occisus apud obsidium
castri de Harlaugh per librillam et nullus homo honoris occisus ibidem
praeter ipsum."



vi] MORTIMER'S CROSS 123

pretensions of Richard, duke of York, appealed with tremen-
dous force. To be associated with his prospective sovereign
in his first campaign, and to turn that campaign into a
triumph, was an alluring prospect for future eminence. He
therefore threw himself with inflexible resolution into the
task. He and Walter Devereux were men of experience.
Both had served in the French wars, Herbert under the
most daring and consistently successful captain of his day
in France, Mathew Gough. What was more important for
the enterprise then being forged, both were familiar with
the turbid politics of the Marches. Moreover, Herbert and
Roger Vaughan especially could appeal with effect to Welsh
sentiment, which was never more intense or more general
than in the second half of the fifteenth century. With them
were William Herbert's brother Richard, Henry ap Griffith,
Philip Vaughan captain of Hay, William Thomas, John
Dwnn, and three knights from Herefordshire, viz., Sir
Richard Croft, Sir John Lynell and Sir W 7 illiam Knylle 1 .
In a letter written a few weeks after the engagement Jasper
Tudor attributes his reverse to " March, Herbert, and the
Dwnns 2 ."

It will thus be seen that the forces of Edward, earl of
March, in this campaign were drawn mainly from what
are now the shires of Glamorgan, Brecknock, Monmouth,
Radnor, and Montgomery, and the border county of Hereford.
Lord Audley, the son of him who was slain on the Lancastrian
side at Bloreheath, is also mentioned as having been with
Edward. He had estates in Cemmaes, Pembrokeshire ;
but as Jasper, earl of Pembroke, was gathering fuel for war
in these parts, it is hardly possible that Audley could have
sought material there. He had been taken prisoner by the
earl of Warwick in Calais after the panic of Ludford, had
crossed the Channel with him in June 1460, and was with
the Yorkists at Northampton. He may therefore have

1 William of Worcester, Itinerarium.

1 See a letter from Jasper to Koger Puleston, given later.



124 MORTIMER'S CROSS [ch.

accompanied the earl of March to the borders of Wales at
Christmas.

Against this compact, homogeneous force, the Lan-
The castrians brought a motley body of Welsh,

Lancastrian Irish, French and Bretons, under the leadership

forces. T

of Jasper, earl of Pembroke, and the earl of
Wiltshire and Ormond (James Butler) 1 . With them were
Jasper's father, old Owen Tudor 2 , Sir John Skydmore, who
had a personal bodyguard of thirty men 3 ; Sir Thomas Perot
of Haverfordwest ; two of the sons of Griffith ap Nicholas,
Owen and Thomas ; Lewis ap Rhys of Carmarthen ; Philip
Mansel and Hopkin ap Rhys of Gower ; Rheinallt Gwynedd
of Harlech ; Lewis Powys of Powysland ; Hopkin Davy
of Carmarthen ; Thomas Fitzharry ; James Skydmore and
Sir Harry Skydmore, sons of Sir John Skydmore ; Sir
William Skydmore, his brother 4 .

If we except the Hereford contingent these men were
drawn mainly from Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire.
There was also a large body of foreigners who came by sea,
and who formed the bulk of the Lancastrian army. At least
they were so numerous that one contemporary chronicler
makes no mention whatever of the Welsh contingent 5 .



1 Three Fifteenth Century Chronicles, 76, describes the army as " French-
men and Bretons and Irishmen " who came by sea. Engl. Chron. edit.
Davies, no, describes them indiscriminately as " Walsshemen."

2 " Who had been dragged from a seclusion of three and twenty years
to do battle for the dynasty " — an unfortunate gloss in Ramsay. Lancaster
and York, II. 243. As we have already seen, Owen Tudor had left his
seclusion before this.

3 William of Worcester, Itinerarium, 328, whence the list is taken.
Skydmore had endeavoured to recoup himself for his losses in the French
Wars by exporting tin. Record Reports, July 30, 1455-6. He was
reckoned the most influential knight in Herefordshire. Proceedings, vi. 341.

4 William of Worcester, Itinerarium, 327—8.

5 Three Fifteenth Century Chronicles, 76— 77. It is there stated that
Wiltshire was present at Wakefield. It is difficult to reconcile these
assertions. So also Hall, 250. If he was at Wakefield there was no need
for him to have come by sea to join Jasper in Wales. Moreover, it is
impossible that he could have transferred an army by such a circuitous
route in less than five weeks (Dec. 31-Feb. 2). A short time previously
he had been in Ireland stirring up Irish opposition to Yorkist rule. Chro-
nicle, edit. Davies, 87, seq.



vi] MORTIMER'S CROSS 125

These Irish, French, and Bretons were probably the re-
inforcements brought by the earl of Wiltshire, unless we may
suppose, what is quite feasible, and actually suggested by
Lewis Glyn Cothi, that Jasper himself had left for Ireland
and perhaps for France, when Margaret sailed for Scotland 1 .

Moreover, it is suggested by Lewis Glyn Cothi that
Jasper landed at Milford Haven about December 27. If so,
there arises a strong presumption that his attack from
Wales and that of his allies from the north were timed to
take place simultaneously ; for the battle of Wakefield
was fought on December 30.

The most probable conclusion from the few fragments
jasper Tudor-s °f records that are available seems to be that,
march. while Jasper mustered his supporters in Wales,

the earl of Wiltshire, having enlisted troops on his Irish
estates and abroad, landed in Wales, probably at Milford
Haven 2 ; that the combined force, moving up the valley
of the Towy, passed through Radnorshire, and, having
reached Presteign, which is about seven miles from Aymestrey,
followed the valley of the Lugg in the direction of Leominster.
But they found their further progress barred by the Yorkists
at Mortimer's Cross. This route would serve to explain the
predominance of the levies of Carmarthenshire and Pembroke-
shire. The earl of Wiltshire was sheriff of the former county
as well as of Cardiganshire 3 . It should be remembered, more-
over, that some time previously he had fitted out a fleet
of five ships at Genoa, with which to act against the Yorkists ;
and, having been appointed captain to guard the sea in
April, 1454, he was presumably in command of a fleet 4 .

1 Lewis Glyn Cothi, viii. i. seq.

2 I have already shown in the first chapter that Lewis Glyn Cothi was
aware that Jasper had gone abroad to seek reinforcements and that he
would land at Milford Haven about the end of December (the Feast of
St John). See ibid. vm. i., iii., iv.

3 Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1442.

* Rot. Pari. v. 244. Carte's Life of Ormond, Vol. 1. lxxx. He was
lord-deputy of Ireland in 1451, in the absence of the duke of York. See
Ellis, Letters, Second Series, 1. 117 ; it refers to the activity of the Wogans
in Ireland.



126 MORTIMER'S CROSS [ch.

In short, the Lancastrian plan of campaign was a repetition
of what we conceive to have been their strategy during the
manoeuvres which culminated at Ludford.

Edward, earl of March, was advancing eastwards when
The battle of he heard of the Lancastrian advance in his rear.
CroM, merB -^ e t urne d to meet them, advancing probably
2 Feb. 1461. from Hereford and Leominster towards Pres-

teign 1 . The two armies came face to face at Mortimer's
Cross on the Lugg, about six miles north-west of Leominster,
on February 2, 1461 2 . About ten o'clock on the morning
of the day of battle a strange portent was seen in the heavens ;
for " there were seen three suns in the firmament shining
full clear, whereof the people had great marvel, and thereof
were aghast. The noble earl Edward them comforted and
said, — ' Be of good cheer and dread not ; this is a good
sign 3 .' ' Another reports " a shower of rain of the colour
of blood," as well as a three-fold sun 4 .

The Yorkists, who considerably outnumbered their
opponents 5 , obtained the victory, and a large number of
the Lancastrians were slain. Jasper Tudor and the earl
of Wiltshire stole away in disguise ; and Sir John Perot also
made good his escape 6 .

1 Three Fifteenth Century Chronicles. 76-77.

2 This is the date given by Gregory, 211. He places the portent on
the same day. Three Fifteenth Century Chronicles, 77, also states that
the portent and action occurred on the same day, though " Sunday,
Candlemas Day," which was February 1, is self-contradictory. English
Chronicle, edit. Davies, iio-m, gives February 3, and places the atmo-
spheric phenomenon on the day before the battle, Monday. William of
Worcester, Annates, 775, gives February 3.

3 English Chronicle, edit. Davies, no. " By the morrow appeared
the sun as three suns sundry on him in the east and closed again together."
Gregory says that the Yorkists were mustered " withoute the towne wallys
in a mersche that ys callyd Wyg mersche " ; i.e. Wigmore, which is a few
miles to the north.

* Whethamstede. 6 William of Worcester, Annates, 776.

6 Three Fifteenth Century Chronicles, 77. I find no contemporary
authority for Ramsay's statement that they were pursued as far as Hereford.
Lancaster and York, 11. 243. On the contrary, considering the directions
along which the two forces respectively were moving, the Lancastrians
were pursued, if at all, towards Presteign and the Welsh border. It was


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