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baron's title. In Warwickshire, beside the fair town and castle which went with the earldom, there were not any very broad tracts of land-only nine manors in all, but one of these was the wealthy manor of Tamworth. Going farther south in the Midlands we find in Oxfordshire five manors and the forest of Wychwood reckoned to the Beauchamps, and in Buckinghamshire the baronial seat of Hanslape and seven manors more. Nor was it only in central England that Richard Neville could count his estates; there were scattered holdings accruing to him in Kent, Hampshire, Sussex, Essex, Hertfordshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon, Cornwall, Northampton, Stafford, Cambridge, Rutland, and Nottingham, amounting in all to fortyeight manors. Even in the distant North one isolated possession fell to him-the castle of Barnard's-Castle on the Tees. If in addition to the manors we began to count up the scattered knights' fees, the advowsons of churches, the chantries, the patronage of abbeys, and the tenements in towns, which formed part of the Beauchamp heritage, we should never be done; but these are all written in the Escheats Roll, whence the antiquary may excavate them at his will.

The year 1449, in which Richard Neville attained his majority and gathered in his wife's heritage, was the turning-point in the reign of Henry the Sixth. No more critical time could have been found in the whole century in which to place power and influence in the hands of a young, able, and ambitious man. For it was in 1449 that the doom of the house of Lancaster was settled by the final collapse of the English domination in France. In March came the fatal attack on Fougères which reopened

IV

THE YEAR 1449

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the war, an attack of which it is hard to say whether it was more foolish or wicked. In August, September, and October occurred with bewildering rapidity the fall of the great towns of eastern and central Normandy, ending with the capitulation of Rouen after a siege of only nineteen days.

It was this unparalleled series of disasters which made the existing Lancastrian rule unbearable to the English nation. Suffolk, the minister whose policy had led up to the disaster, and Somerset, the governor whose avarice had depleted the Norman garrisons, and whose rashness and ill faith had precipitated the outbreak of hostilities, were henceforth pursued by the bitter hatred of the majority of Englishmen. When it was found that King Henry identified their cause with his own, he himself— against whom no one had previously breathed a word— found for the first time that the current of public opinion was setting against him.

It was now that the final scission of the two parties that were afterwards to be known as Yorkist and Lancastrian took place. Every man of note in England had now to make his choice whether his personal loyalty to the King should lead him into acquiescing in the continuance in office of the ministers whom Henry openly favoured, or whether he would set himself in opposition to the Court faction, even though he was thereby led into opposition to the King.

From the first moment there was no doubt which of the two courses would be adopted by the two Neville earls of the younger branch. Warwick, now as always, acted in strict union with his father, and Salisbury had never been a friend of Suffolk. Moreover, they were

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both concerned in behalf of their relative the Duke of York, who by Somerset's contrivance had been sent into a kind of honorary exile in Ireland. When the crisis should come, it was already pretty certain that Salisbury and Warwick would be found on the side of York, and not on that of Suffolk and Somerset. But as yet, though men were growing excited and preparing for evil times, no one foresaw the exact shape which the troubles were to take. One thing only was certain, that Suffolk and Somerset were growing so hateful to the nation that an explosion against them would soon take place, and that when the explosion came there would be a large party among the leading men of England who would rejoice in its effects.

The most ominous sign of the times was that the great barons on both sides were already quietly arming, seeing to the numbers of their retainers, and concluding agreements to take their neighbours into their livery if the worst should come to the worst.

Nothing can be a more typical sign of the times than the treaty which Salisbury entered into with a Westmoreland knight, whose lands lay not far from his great holding in the North-Riding, as early as September 1449, the very month when Somerset was losing Normandy.

"This indenture made between Richard Earl of Salisbury, on the one part, and Walter Strykelande knight, on the other, beareth witness that the said Walter is retained and withholded with the said Earl for the term of his life, against all folk, saving his allegiance to the King. And the said Walter shall be well and conveniently horsed, armed, and arrayed, and always ready to bide come and go with to and for the said Earl, at all

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THE CUSTOM OF LIVERY

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times and places, as well in time of peace as time of war, at the wages of the same Earl." Walter's following was worth having, being "servants, tenants, and inhabitants within the county of Westmoreland; bowmen with horse and harness, sixty-nine; billmen horsed and harnessed, seventy-four; bowmen without horses, seventy-one ; billmen without horses, seventy-six"-in fact a little army of two hundred and ninety men. The existence of a few such treaties as this between Salisbury and his northern neighbours shows clearly enough how the Neville power was built up, and how formidable to the public peace it might become. If once such treaties were in existence, how long would it be before the single clause "saving his allegiance" would begin to drop into oblivion?

CHAPTER V

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THE CAUSE OF YORK

IF 1449, the year of Warwick's accession to his wife's heritage, was a time of trouble for England, the year which immediately followed was far worse. The loss of the Norman fortresses was followed in a few months by the sporadic outbreaks of popular rage which might have been expected-outbreaks directed against all who could in any way be connected with the evil governance of the realm. Bishop Moleyns, the Keeper of the Privy Seal, was-murdered by a mob of mutinous sailors at Portsmouth in January. But this blow was only a premoni tory symptom of the storm which was brewing against Suffolk, the head of the Government. Four months later the fatal battle of Formigny had been fought meanwhile, and the last English foothold in Northern France lost he was driven from power by an irresistible demonstration of wrath, in which the whole nation, from the House of Lords to the London mob, took its part. Protected from legal punishment by the King's pardon, Suffolk fled over-sea; but some London ships waylaid him in the Straits of Dover, and he was seized and put to death after a mock trial by the captain of the Nicholas of the Tower. So well hated was he that his tragic end

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