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Reign of Edward IV. Part 1 page 6

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The fugitives made sail for the coast of Holland, but no sooner had the king escaped from his enemies on land than he fell amongst fresh ones at sea. These were the Easterlings, or mariners of the Hanse-Towns, who were now at war with both France and England. The Easterlings were at this time as terrible at sea as the pirates of Algiers were afterwards. They had committed great ravages on the English coast while the nation was thus engaged in suicidal intestine warfare, and no sooner did they perceive this little fleet than they immediately gave chase. There were eight vessels to Edward's three, and to escape the unequal contest, he ran his vessels aground on the coast of Friesland, near Alkmaar. It was a very fortunate circumstance, amid all these unfortunate ones, that Grautuse, the Governor of Holland, was at this time at Alkmaar, and he gave the most prompt and kind assistance to the distressed party. The king and his followers were enabled to land, and were hospitably received into the town before the turn of the tide gave the Easterlings opportunity to lay their vessels alongside and board the king's ships.

The hospitable governor sent an express from the Hague to the Duke of Burgundy, announcing the arrival of his royal brother-in-law.

To ascertain how Vauclerc, the Governor of Calais, was disposed, in case Warwick resolved to attack the duke in his own territories, he sent an envoy to him to sound him. The envoy found all the garrison wearing the red rose. This discovery added to the alarm and chagrin of Burgundy, and while he conceded to Edward a place of refuge, he publicly declared himself the ally, not of this power or that, but of England, avowed himself averse to Edward's designs, and that he might expect no aid from him in endeavouring to recover his crown.

On the other hand, Louis of France was thrown into ecstacies of delight. He sent for Queen Margaret and her son, the Prince of Wales, who had been living for years totally neglected, and almost forgotten in their poverty, and received her in Paris with the most splendid and expensive pageants and rejoicings. He at the same time dispatched a splendid embassy to Henry at London, and immediately concluded with him a treaty of peace and commerce for fifteen years.

Warwick and Clarence made their triumphal entry into London on the 6th of October, 1470. Warwick proceeded to the Tower, and brought forth King Henry, who had lain there as a captive for five years. The royal procession which attended the poor king to Westminster, to reinstate him in his palace, presented a strange contrast to that by which he had been led to the Tower. Then, Warwick rode beside him, leading him round the pillory, and crying, "Treason! treason! Behold the traitor!" Now, he proclaimed Henry lawful king, and conducted him with great pomp through the streets of London to the bishop's palace, where he resided till the 13th, when he walked in solemn procession, with the crown upon his head, attended by his prelates, nobles, and great officers, to St. Paul's, where solemn thanksgivings were offered up for his restoration.

All this time Clarence was looking on, an immediate spectator of proceedings which pushed him farther from the throne he coveted. To keep him quiet, Warwick heaped every favour but the actual possession of the kingdom upon him. He joined him with himself in the regency which was to continue till the majority of the Prince of Wales; he made him Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, and conferred upon him all the estates of the house of York. Warwick retained himself the offices of Chamberlain of England, Governor of Calais, High Admiral of the seas; his brother, the archbishop, was continued Chancellor; and his other brother, Montacute, returned to the Wardenship of the Marches.

Warwick summoned a Parliament, which, surrounded by his troops and his partisans, of course passed whatever acts he pleased. The crown was settled on Edward, the Prince of Wales, and his issue; but that failing, it was to devolve upon Clarence.

Queen Margaret might have been expected, from her characteristic energy and rapidity of action, to have been in London nearly as soon as Warwick; but this was not the case. In the first place, she was in want of the necessary funds. Louis, who was chary of his money, probably thought he had done sufficient in enabling the victorious armament of Warwick to reach England; and poor King Rene, Margaret's father, was in no condition to assist her. In the meantime all the exiled Lancastrians flocked to her; and all were destitute. In February, 1471, she set sail to cross the Channel, but was driven back by tempests. Three times did she make the daring attempt to cross, though warned against it by the seamen of Harfleur; and every time she was driven back with such fury and damage, that many declared it was the will of Heaven she should not pass over; nor was she able to do so till the following month. Till that time Warwick held England in the name of Henry, and appeared established, if not exactly on the throne, in the seat of supreme and settled power.

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