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shew than the skull. A packet of his letters dated from Devizes 7 Henry V. are stated to be in the “Michael Record.”
Duke Humphrey's Tomb. And now began the contest of the Red and White Roses. Richard Plantagenet Duke of York seeking to usurp a sceptre which since the death of Duke Humphrey was wielded by the Queen Consort, plotted among the governors of castles and cities, and stimulated the discontent which our recent disasters in France had already fomented. The first fruits of the conspiracy were the Kentish rising headed by Jack Cade, and the putting to death three of the principal ministers of Court, Suffolk, the Lord Treasurer Say, and William Ayscough Bishop of Sarum. Suffolk, against whom as supposed agent in Duke Humphrey's death there was no difficulty in raising a storm, had his head struck off on the gunwale of a boat off Dover; Lord Say was dispatched by Jack Cade in Cheapside, and Bishop Ayscough met a similar fate at Edington Abbey seven miles from Devizes, where his own tenants dragged him from the High Altar, led him to a neighbouring eminence, and there clave his head in sunder. According to Leland, a chapel for awhile pointed out the fatal spot. Why his persecutors carried him to the top of a hill before dispatching him, is not very apparent. One account adds that they then pillaged his palace, attached to the Abbey. After the re-establishment of order, the King came on to Clarendon in person, in order to execute condign punishment on the murderers. In order to strike terror into these parts, Salisbury had been selected as one of the four places in which the quarters of the rebel Cade were to be exhibited, while London Bridge was to be decorated with his head. Thomas of Cannings and William Heelyn the two London Sheriffs to whom this edifying mission was entrusted, complained that the service had been attended with great expence, for so excited was the general mind that scarce any one could be bribed to risk his life by carrying a limb of Jack Cade across the country."
SIR EDMUND HUNGERFORD KNT. This Knight was evidently in close alliance with the Lancastrian party. He held the personal office of “one of the King's carvers,” and his name appears among the feoffees in trust for executing Henry VI.'s will. [This was the side maintained by the Hungerfords of Farley and some other parts of Wilts, throughout the wars of the Roses, “in which cause,” says Canon Jackson, “they liberally lost both their
1 Jack Cade's assumption of the Popular leaders in England seldom name of John Mortimer of the house prevail without this attribute of of March, and his affirmation that good descent. In our own days, Sir his mother was a Lacy, were a prin- Francis Burdett and Henry Hunt cipal element of his first success. owed much to their ancestral status.
heads and their estates.” For a short time Farley itself was in the possession of the Duke of Clarence, the prince popularly said to have been drowned in a butt of malmsey.] In 1451 The Commons petitioned for the removal of Sir Edmund Hungerford from the royal presence as a person injurious to the peace of the realm ; but that Henry had no intention of disowning his adherent is evidenced by an exceptionary clause in his favour in the Act of Resumption of 1455, retaining for Sir Edmund the Constableship of Devizes Castle with its usual forest appendages, a grant which he already enjoyed. These “Acts of Resumption” were among the features characterising the alternate possession of the kingly authority, to which the faction of the Roses gave rise; enabling the monarch for the time being, to confiscate, re-adjust, or confirm, the royal grants of land, as prudence might dictate. A similar Act passed by the opposing party in 1461, 1st Edward IV. describes
RICHARD BEAUCHAMP BISHOP OF SALISBURY As in possession of Devizes; the same being confirmed to him by a subsequent Act of 4th Edward IV. Bishop Beauchamp was a powerful civilian, who contrived to secure the favour successively of both the opposing monarchs Henry VI. and Edward IV. Perhaps also the preservation of the peace in this county is mainly to be attributed to him. During the rebellion against Edward IV. in 1468, headed by Clarence and Warwick and signalized by the battle of Banbury, two distinguished men Sir Thomas Hungerford of Rowden near Chippenham and Henry Courtenay attempted a rising in Salisbury and other parts of Wilts; but being apprehended by the Sheriff George Darell, they were tried by a special commission and hung at Bemerton.
A SCHOOLMASTER'S LICENCE 1461. “Richard, by the Divine permission Bishop of Sarum:-To our beloved Walter Barbur, clerk, health, grace, and benediction. We have granted unto
thee a special licence for teaching and expounding grammar and literature in the town of the Devizes, to all such as may desire by thee to be instructed in the science of the humanities, according to the tenour of these presents; such licence to continue in force during our good pleasure. Given under our seal in our manor of Sonnyng, 22 May 1461.” Besides Sunning in Berks, the Bishops of Salisbury had many other residencies, principally at Ramsbury and at Potterne Park. It was in his “palace at Potterne" that Bishop Richard de Mitford had died in 1407. In 1378 the prelate for the time being obtained leave to crenellate (or embattle) bis mansions at Salisbury, Bishops' Woodford, Sherbourn, Chardstock, Pottern, Cannings, Ramsbury, Sunning, and Fleet Street.] Bishop Beauchamp relinquished Devizes in favour of
ELIZABETH WOODVILLE WIFE OF Edward IV. 1467-8. This Queen was the daughter of Richard Woodville Earl Rivers, and sister to Lionel Woodville Bishop of Sarum. Her military representative at Devizes, if, as may be inferred, a Yorkist, must have found himself somewhat isolated, for the partisans of the exiled Queen Margaret were particularly numerous in the West. Her last army, that namely which fought at Tewkesbury, was altogether gathered from this district. “Great numbers of the people of Wiltshire,” says Mr. Britton, “were present at the battle of Tewkesbury and bore the brunt of that fatal day.” Wiltshire p. 23. It was at Tewkesbury that the Lord Wenlock of Fonthill met his inglorious death, when his own Commander the Duke of Somerset struck him down with a battle-axe for failing to support him in a critical moment. Both Margaret and Elizabeth survived the slaughter of those terrible days, to exhibit to one another their mutual wrongs and to denounce the common foe Richard III. After the death of Elizabeth's husband had been succeeded by the supposed murder of her two sons in the Tower, her situation at the period of the Duke of Buck
ingham's rising against Richard III. must have been emi. nently critical and painful; for independently of the anguish of which she was already the victim, she now found herself implicated by family relationship with the principal agents of the new conspiracy; her sister being the wife of Buckingham, and her brother Lionel Woodville the Bishop of Salisbury being a partizan. The Duke's execution by beheading in the Market-place of Salisbury so affected the Bishop that he survived the scene only one year:: nor was a much more indulgent fate reserved for the bereaved and outraged Queen. Even if tranquility had been possible to her after such events, it was speedily cut short, when Henry VII. though her sonin-law, despoiled her, two years after, of all her possessions. Before that culminating calamity had been reached, and while Richard III. still lived, Queen Margaret the widow of Henry VI. could thus address her
“I am hungry for revenge ;
"Farewell York's wife, and Queen of sad mischance.
Richard III, Act iv. sc. 4.
Other Wiltshire names besides of Salisbury, Michael Skilling of the Bishop's, in this affair of Buck- Salisbury, Humphrey Cheyne of ingham's were Richard Beauchamp Falstone, John Milborne of LaverLord St. Amand, Sir Roger Tocotes stock, William Bampton of Falof Bromham, John Cheyne of Fal- stone, and Edward Hampton of stone, Thomas Milborne of Laver- Fisherton, gentlemen. These were stock, and Walter Hungerford of all attainted of high treason, but Heytesbury, Esquires; William Hall soon after pardoned by Henry VII.