Imatges de pàgina

On the accession of Henry the Eighth, he continued in the same high office--was elected a privy councillor, appointed earl marshal of the kingdom and his majesty's lieutenant for the north of England. His next appearance in the field was at the battle of Flodden, where, with his two sons, he had the chief command. The fortunes of that day are too well known to every reader to require any lengthened description in this place; but to connect the achievements with the subject of this brief memoir, it becomes necessary to take a cursory view

“Of the stern strife and carnage drear
Of Flodden's fatal field;
Where shiver'd was fair Scotland's spe
And broken was her shield.”

Sept. 9,


On the morning of the battle the English army advanced in four

divisions. On the right, which first engaged, were the two sons of Earl Surrey: Thomas Howard, Admiral of England, and Sir Edmund, Knight Marshal of the Army. Their divisions were separated from each other; but at the request of Sir Edmund, his brother's battalion was drawn up very near to liis own. The centre was commanded by Surrey in person; the left wing by Sir Edward Stanley, with the men of Lancashire and Cheshire. Lord Dacres, with a large body of horse, formed a reserve. When the smoke which the wind had driven between the armies was somewhat dispersed, they perceived that the Scots, after having set fire to their tents, had moved down the hill in a similar order of battle, and in profound silence.

“Scarce could they see or hear their foes

Until at weapon-point they close-
They close in clouds of smoke and dust,
With sword-sway and with lances' thrust;

And such a yell was there
Of sudden and portentous birth,
As if men fought upon the earth,

And fiends in upper air
Oh, life and death was in the shout;
Revel and rally, charge and rout,

And triumph and despair !"

The Earls of Huntly and Home commanded the left wing of the Scots, and charged Sir Edmund Howard with such impetuosity and success as entirely discomfited his part of the right wing. Sir Edmund's banner was beaten down-

Then fell the spotless banner white,

The Howard's Lion' fell

and he himself escaped with difficulty to his brother's division. The admiral, however, stood firm; and quickly advancing to his support with the reserve of cavalry, appears to have kept the victors in effectual check.




Then seizing the favourable moment and pushing forward, the admiral charged and routed a large division of the Scottish army in his front, commanded by the Earls of Crawford and Montrose, both of whom were slain on

the spot.

The King and Surrey, who led the centres of their respective armies, were now engaged in close and doubtful conflict. James, surrounded by the flower of his kingdom, supported by the reserve under the Earl of Borthwick, but impatient and exasperated by the galling discharge of arrows from the English bowmen, made his attack with such impetuosity that the standard of Surrey was in imminent danger. But at that critical moment Stanley, who liad routed the Scottish wing on the left, and was now pursuing his career of victory, arrived on the right flank in the rear of the king's division, which,

by throwing itself into a circle, disputed the battle till night closed in upon them.

Surrey then drew back his forces; for the Scottish centre remaining unbroken, and their left wing being victorions, he yet doubted the event of the field, for in the words of the

“ The stubborn spearmen still made good

Their dark impenetrable wood
Each stepping where his comrade stood

The instant that he fell;
No thought was there of dastard flight;
Link'd in the serried phalanx tight
Groom fought like-noble, squire like knight,

As fearlessly and well."



The Scottish army, however, dispirited by the loss of their king and his principal chiefs, abandoned the field before day-break, with a loss of between eight and ten thousand men-among whom were the very prime of their nobility, gentry, and even clergy.-Here the reader is referred to Pinkerton.

Surrey's loss was also very great; perhaps within one-third of the vanquished; but those who fell were only men of inferior note. According to the old ballad, there perished-

“ Never a nobleman of fame

But Bryan Tunstall bold, alas !
Whose corse home to his burial came,

With worship great, as worthy was."
The trophies of this victory were received by King Henry under the walls


{ di

of Tournay, to which he had laid siege; and every honour which could testify the royal satisfaction, or gratify a victorious commander, was subsequently conferred on the hero of the day. He was restored to the dukedom of Norfolk, acquired immense possessions, filled the highest offices of state,

lived in princely splendour at the royal castle of Framlingham, and

died at the age of eighty; leaving a numerous family to support his dignities, and share his vast possessions. He was the last of the Dukes of Norfolk buried in the Abbey of Thetford.

He eldest daughter, Elizabeth, was the mother of Anne Boleyn, who fell a victim to the very hand which heaped so many honours upon her uncle and his sons. The Duke himself presided as High Steward at her trial; and even her father, “ reluctantly it is to be hoped, sat among the judges.”

Thomas Howard, Admiral of England, his eldest son and successor, inherited the talents of his father, but with the accumulated honours of his house, and the satisfaction which accompanied him in the discharge of his duties to the sovereign and the state, misfortune was intimately blended. His achievements in the field, his wisdom in the cabinet, his devotion to the throne, appeared merely to hasten a catastrophe, from which he was only saved by the death of his persecutor; but which struck, in the person of his Son, one of the noblest victims that ever sank under the axe of despotism :-

“ Who has not heard of Surrey's fame?
His was the hero's soul of fire;
And his the bard's immortal name,
And his was love exalted high

By all the glow of chivalry." The crime for which this young nobleman was arraigned has never been properly investigated. His biographers and historians of the time, satisfied with the manifest absurdity of the treason alleged against him, have omitted to point out the grounds upon which the inference of Surrey's guilt was founded, namely, the crime of quartering, with his own, the royal arms of England. A few words on this subject, on the authority of a recent biographer, may serve to elucidate some portion of its obscurity.

The arms of Edward the Confessor are said to have been a blue field, charged with a gold cross at the end, flory, between five gold martlets. Royal arms appear to have been used in the time of Richard the First, who bore a red shield, charged with three gold lions, which have ever since been the royal standard of England*. In the reign of Edward the First, and perhaps even in the previous century, the arms of three saints—Saint George,

* History of Framlingham and its Lords, p. 89, 90. R. Green.




Saint Edmund, and Saint Edward the Confessor-were always borne on the national banner; but none of which were supposed to have any connexion with the sovereignty of England. Richard the Second, however, choosing the Confessor for his patron or saint, impaled his arms with those of England and France; "and granted, at the same time, the Confessor's arms to be borne, per pale, by two or three of the most eminent men of his court, who

were descended from the blood royal.” One of the noblemen so distinguished was Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk; the right to whose arms and quarterings was indisputably inherited by the Earl of Surrey; but whether the coat or shield of the Confessor was granted to Mowbray for life only, or to him and “his heirs for ever," is a question which remains still unsolved. Surrey, however, conceiving himself entitled to it, obtained the sanction of the heralds, and assumed the distinction among his other armorial quarterings. But the injustice of construing this act into a treasonable design is too glaring to require either comment or exposure. “The King himself, in granting armorial bearings to Anne Boleyn, took especial care to show her royal and illustrious descent through the Howards, by introducing the arms of Thomas de Brotherton, son of Edward the First ; and of the Warrens, Earls of Surrey, out of the Howard shield !*" But in that despotic reign, virtue, talent, and integrity were no protection against the highest penalty-the severest sentence which an obsequious legislation could pronounce or inflict. Surrey was too bright an ornament to be endured near the throne. His very accomplishments—his prowess—his high spirit—his sword and pen—his triumphs in the lists—and his success on the lyre, all raised up enemies whose private resentments could only be appeased with blood.


Hist. of Framlingham, note, p. 90.



SURREY was brought to trial at the Guildhall on the 13th of January,

where he defended himself with singular courage and ability; repelled the charges so insidiously preferred against him ; impeached. the flimsy evidence set up in support of the trial; appealed to the authority of the heralds for the obnoxious quarterings on his shield; and disclaimed, with all the indignation of conscious innocence, the treasonable imputations so rancorously heaped upon him.

In the course of examination, when a witness stated that, in a former conversation with the accused Earl, he repeated some strong expression used by Surrey, with his own insolent reply—which left it to be inferred that Surrey had tamely brooked his defiance—the young noble fixed his penetrating glance for an instant on the speaker, then turning round to the jury“ I leave it to you,” he said, “ to judge whether it be possible that the man before you should so address the Earl of Surrey, and he not strike him on the spot.”

But the die was cast; the sentence of forfeiture was pronounced; the King was deaf to the supplications of his friends—to the last appeal for mercy. The thirst of blood had increased with the last agonies of dissolving nature; and, on the twenty-first morning of the same month, Surrey was hurried to Tower-hill, and there, under the blow of the executioner, bequeathed that name to posterity, around which, poet, painter, historian, and every lover of his country and her literature, have twined the wreaths of immortality.

“ Thou jealous ruthless tyrant, Heaven repay

On thee, and on thy children's latest line,
The wild caprice of thy despotic sway;
The gory bridal bed; the plundered shrine;
The murdered Surrey's blood; the tears of Geraldine !"

Of the lives of Surrey and fair Geraldine, and the tournament in which his knights carried away the prize in the Tuscan capital, we adopt the following short sketch from the “Loves of the Poets :”

“ In the reign of Cosmo the First, the second Grand Duke of Tuscany o Lorenzo's family, Florence, it is said, beheld a novel and extraordinary spectacle. A young traveller, from a court and a country which the Italians of that day seemed to regard much as we now do the Esquimaux, combining the learning of the scholar, and the amiable bearing of the courtier, with all the rash bravery of youthful romance, astonished the inhabitants of that queenly city, first by rivalling her polished nobles in the splendour of his retinue—the gallantry of his manners; and next, by boldly proclaiming that his ‘Ladye-love' was superior to all that Italy could vaunt of beauty. That she was 'Oltre le belle, bella,'— fair beyond the fairest; and maintaining his

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