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That I am not ignoble of descent,
Do cloud my joys with danger and with sorrow.” These few lines, which, though there is not much in them, strike me as decidedly Shakspearian, are not in the old play. Elizabeth assuredly was not “ ignoble of descent;" her father, Sir Richard Widville, of a family of considerable antiquity, had been ennobled by Henry VI.* previuusly to the alliance with royalty. Her mother was the widow of the Duke of Bedford, and daughter of the Earl of St. Pol, and sister to the Duchess of Burgundy.
The messenger now brings from Paris the news of what we have seen (in the play) to pass there; Clarence now departs, declaring his intention to join Warwick, and to marry his other daughter. He is followed by Somerset ; but Gloucester to whom this aside had already been given,
“I hear-yet say not much, but think the more,” refuses to join his brother, and announces in another aside his ambitious views :
* In 1448, 26 Hen. VI. Banks, iii. 689.
It may be asked how it is that Somerset, who is mentioned in the dramatis personæ as a “ Lord on King Henry's side,” and whose predecessor was slain fighting in that king's cause, * is placed at King Edward's court.
The duke who was slain at St. Alban's, left a son Henry, who fought for Henry VI. at Towton, and escaped. He afterwards made his submission to Edward (in company with Sir Ralph Percy and others), but again revolted to King Henry when Margaret obtained her brief successes in the north.f At Hexham he was taken and beheaded. All this was really prior to Edward's marriage and to Warwick's defection ; but I can find no other ground
play. The successor 8 of Duke Henry was faithful to the Lancastrian side, and was beheaded after the battle of Tewksbury.
Pembroke and Stafford are correctly made faithful to Edward. Montagu was the brother, and Hastings the brother-in-law of Warwick, and they were therefore reasonably suspected.
* See part ii. of the play.
+ Hol., 281; W. Wyrc., 495-498; Leland, ii. 499. The story is not very clear.
I Edmund Beaufort; it is doubtful whether he was ever styled Duke of Somerset. Nicolas, ii. 593.
§ Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke; Humphrey, Lord Stafford, of Southwick, afterwards Earl of Devon.
There is an important error in making the marriage of Clarence with the one daughter of Warwick subsequent to the marriage of Prince Edward with the other.
The marriage of Prince Edward, far from being together with that of Clarence, a part of that arrangement by which the duke and Warwick became Lancastrians, was rather the cause which estranged Clarence from that party, with which his own marriage had, through Warwick, connected him. There was now a new participator in the great inheritance of the Neville's. It is obviously impossible to trace with certainty the causes of personal dissatisfaction, but there is sufficient reason to conclude that the estrangement between Edward and the man to whom he owed so much, arose out of the king's impatience, fomented by the queen's relatives, of the power and influence of Warwick, and Warwick's jealousy of the increasing favour of those relatives. * It is impossible to fix a date to the rupture. The great seal was taken from Archbishop Neville in June, 1467,+ which may be deemed either a symptom or a cause of enmity. In 1468, it is supposed that there was a political difference between the king and his late favourite; the king being desirous of allying himself with the Duke of
Burgundy, whose son about this time married his sister Margaret, and Warwick seconding the views of Louis XI. to whom he had lately been sent upon a special mission, and whose ambassadors now accompanied him to England with a view of preventing their alliance with Burgundy. According to Comines, Warwick was in league with Louis.* What discontents existed were apparently assuaged in January, 1468, when the Archbishop and Lord Rivers met for that purpose, and Warwick openly escorted Margaret towards the coast.f
By this time Clarence had united himself with Warwick, probably from sharing with him the jealousy of the Widvilles, and discontented at his brother's opposition to his marriage with Isabel Neville. This marriage took place in July, 1469. An insurrection soon broke out in the north, in the course of which the father and the brother of the queen were put to death. The Nevilles were suspected, how justly, it is really impossible to pronounce, of encouraging this outbreak. After a summons, in which Edward's suspicions were pretty plainly insinuated, Warwick and Clarence joined
* In Petitot, xii. 23-4. He says that the court of Burgundy was the refuge of the Lancastrian exiles. He mentions particularly Somerset (Edmund Beaufort), and Exeter (Henry Holland), the latter begging his bread from door to door.
+ Lingard, 189; W. Wyrc., 510.
the king in England, and treated him as a prisoner. But all this was previous to the espousal of Henry's cause by Warwick and to the renewal of the war between York and Lancaster. For it is remarkable, that while Edward was a captive, Warwick marched against and defeated a body of Lancastrians, who raised the standard of Henry on the Scottish borders.* Soon after this, Edward was set free; with the consent, as some suppose, of Warwick himself, who obtained from him the office of Justiciary of South Wales.f Others say, that the Archbishop let him escape.
After this the two confederates were ostensibly reconciled to the king, and obtained a pardon for all offences committed. The king even visited the Archbishop of York at his country-seat, but suddenly left the place on an information of intended treachery. Whether this was true or false, the quarrel now became mortal. An insurrection broke out in Lincolnshire, encouraged, it is said, by Clarence and Warwick; it was defeated; they were summoned by the king in March, 1470, to come in and vindicate themselves, if possible. Not obeying this call, they were declared traitors, I but escaped to France. And then it was that Warwick was reconciled to Margaret, and
* Lingard, 195. Rymer, xi. Rolls, vi. 233. § July or August, 1470. Ellis, Second Series, i. 132.