Howell Thomas Evans.

Wales and the wars of the Roses online

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to the cause of the Crown, or greater resource in defending
it. Sleepless in his devotion to his party for nearly thirty
years, he laboured more assiduously than any other to shape
its destiny. His achievements in the open field were
negligible ; the only victory in which he could claim a share
was the final triumph of his cause at Bosworth. But,
from his entry into political life he displayed extraordinary
skill and tenacity in reorganising his forces after defeat, as
well as a keen zest for the shifts of statecraft. His strategy

1 His name appears on numerous commissions in London, Kent and
Sussex in 1456. Cal. Pat. Rolls (1456-1461), 306-7. See also ibid. 359,
viz. a grant to him and the king's sergeant, Thomas Vaughan, of Garlek
and Stebenhithe. See Glyn Cothi's ode to Edmund Tudor (vttt. x.).


was that of timely retreat when victory had eluded his grasp.
He alone of the leaders on either side lived through the
struggle and witnessed its close. Sometimes lurking in
caverns and woods, sometimes traversing lonely mountain
paths, sometimes stranded on a deserted shore, he continued
to hold in his hands the thread of Lancastrian hopes. Shrewd,
adroit, and persevering, he was undaunted by the caprice
of fortune, and successfully braved the perilous vicissitudes
incident to his arduous undertaking. And in an age of brutal
passion he emerged with his fame untarnished by any deed
of cruelty or wrong ; while the affectionate care which he
bestowed upon his fatherless nephew, Henry Tudor, throws
into relief the hideous ferocity that surrounded him 1 .

Ther is a sayle-yeard fulle good and sure,
To the shyp a grete tresour,
For alle stormes it wolle endure,
It is trusty atte nede.
Now the sayle-yeard I wolle reherse,
The Erie of Pembroke, curtys and ferce,
Across the mast he hyethe travers,
The good ship for to lede 2 .

His first task was to fortify the allegiance of Griffith
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Online LibraryHowell Thomas EvansWales and the wars of the Roses → online text (page 9 of 22)