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Sound drum and trumpets :—and to London all:
And more such days as these to us befal !]

The first battle of St. Alban's, fought on Thursday, 22nd
May, 1455, is thus described by Holinshed. "The king
enformed hereof, assembled lykewise a great host, and
meaning to meet with the Duke, rather in the north parts
than about London, where it was thought he had too
many friends, with great speede, and small lucke, being
accompanied with the Dukes of Somerset and Buckingham,
the Erles of Pembroke, Stafford, Northumberland, Devon-
shire, Dorset, and Wiltshire, the Lords Clifford, Sudley,
Berneis, Roos, and others, beeing in all above two thou-
sande men of warre, departed from Westminster the
twentith, or, as some have, the one and twentith of May,
and lay the first night at Wadford. Of whose doings
the duke of Yorke by espials having still advertisement,
with all his power, being not past three thousande men
(as some write), coasted the countrey, and came to the
toune of Saint Albons, the third day next ensuing. The
king there had pight his standerte in a place called Gos-
clowe, otherwise Sandiford, in Saint Peeters streete: the
Lord Clifforde kept the barriers of the toune, to stop that
the Duke, being assembled in Keye field, should not
enter the toune.
The king, when first he heard of
the Dukes approche, sent to him messengers, as the
Duke of Buckingham and others, to understand what he
meant by his comming, thus furnished after the manner
of warre. The Duke of Buckingham, doing his message
as hee had in commaundement, was answered by the Duke
of Yorke and his complices, that they were all of them
the king's faithfull liege subjects, and intended no harme
to him at all but the cause of our comming (saie they)
is not in meaning anie hurt to his person. But let that
wicked and naughtie man the duke of Somerset be deli-
vered unto us, who hath lost Normandie, and taken no
regard to the preservation of Gascoigne; and furthermore
hath brought the realme into this miserable estate: that
where it was the floure of nations, and the princesse of
provinces, now is it haled into desolation and spoile, not so
dreadfull by malice of forren enimie, that indeed utterlie
(as yee knowe) seeketh our ruine, as by the intollerable
outrages of him that so long ago and even still appeares
to have sworne the confusion of our king and realme. If
it therefore please the king to deliver that bad man into
our hands, we are readie without trouble or breach of
peace, to returne into our countrie. But if the king be not
minded so to do, because he cannot misse him; let him
understand, that we will rather die in the field, than
suffer such a mischeefe unredressed.

"The king, advertised of this aunswere, more wilfull than reasonable, chose rather to trie battell than deliver the duke of Somerset to his enimies. Whereof they ascer

tained made no longer staic, but straightway sounded the trumpet to battell, or rather as Hall hath, while King Henry sent forth his ambassadors to treate of peace at the one end of the toune, the Erle of Warwike, with his Marchmen, entred at the other end, and fiercely setting on the king's foreward, within a small tyme discomfited the same. The place where they first brake into the towne was about the middle of saint Peter's street. The fight for a time was ryghte sharp and cruell, for the Duke of Somerset, with the other lords, coming to the succours of their companions, that were put to the worse, did what they could to beate back the enimies, but the Duke of York sent ever fresh men to succour the wearie, and to supplie the places of them that were hurt, by which policie, the king's army was finally brought to confusion, and all the chiefetaines of the fielde slaine and beaten doune. For there dyed under the sign of the Castell, Edmund Duke of Somerset, who, as hath bin reported, was warned long before to avoid all castels: and beside hym laye Henry the second of that name Earle of Northumberland, Humfrey erle of Stafford, son to the Duke of Buckingham, John Lord Clifford, sir Barthram Antwisell knight, a Norman born (who forsaking his native countrie to continue in his loiall obedience to king Henrie, came over to dwell here in England when Normandie was lost), William Zouch, John Boutreux, Rafe Babthorp, with his sonne, William Corwin, William Cotton, Gilbert Faldinger, Reginald Griffon, John Dawes, Elice Wood, John Eith, Rafe Woodward, Gilbert Skarlock, and Rafe Willoughbie esquires, with many other, in all to the number of eight thousand, as Edward Hall saith in his chronicle: if there escaped not a fault in the impression, as 8000 for 800, sith hundreds in verie deed would better agree with the number of the kings whole power, which he brought with him to that battell, being not manie above two thousand, as by writers appeareth.

"Humfrey, duke of Buckingham, being wounded, and James Butler, Earle of Ormond and Wiltshire, and Thomas Thorpe lord cheefe baron of the escheker, seeing fortune thus to bee against them, left the king alone and with a number fledde away. Those that thus fled, made the best shift they could to get awaie through gardens and backesides, through shrubs, hedges, and woods, seeking places where to hide themselves, untill that dangerous tempest of the battell were overblowne. Diverse of the kings house also, that could better skill to plaie the courtiers than warriors, fled with the first; and those of the east parts of the realme were likewise noted of too much lacke of courage, for their speedie withdrawing themselves, and leaving the king in danger of his adversaries, who, perceyving hys men thus fledde from him, withdrewe into a poor mans house to save himselfe from the shot of arrowes, that flew about his eares as thicke as

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THIS tragedy was first printed in its present form, in the folio of 1623. It is an enlarged and improved version by Shakespeare, of "The True Tragedie of Richard, Duke of Yorke," &c. before adverted to, as that, we conceive, was an alteration and improvement by him of an earlier drama, the work of one or more of his contemporaries.

From the circumstance of Robert Greene's paraphrasing a line of "The True Tragedy :

"O, tiger's hart, wrapt in a woman's hide;"

when reflecting on Shakespeare, in his "Groatsworth of Wit," 1592,* and of some resemblances between passages in his acknowledged dramas and passages in "The True Tragedy," it may be inferred that he had some share in the production of the piece or pieces, on which were based "The First Part of the Contention," and "The True Tragedie of Richard, Duke of Yorke." This deduction is strengthened by a passage in "Greene's Funeralls, By R. B. Gent." 4to. Lond. 1594, a small tract of twelve leaves preserved in the Bodleian Library :

"Greene is the pleasing Obiect of an eie;

Greene pleasde the eies of all that lookt upon him.
Greene is the ground of everie Painter's die;
Greene gave the ground to all that wrote upon him
Nay, more, the men that so Eclipst his fame,
Purloynde his Plumes, can they deny the same?"

"Yes, trust them not: for there is an upstart crow beautified with our feathers, that with his Tygre's heart wrapt in a player's hyde, supposes hee is as well able to

bombast out a blanke verse as the best of you; and, being an absolute Johannes Factotum, is, in his own conceyt, the onely Shake-scene in a countrey."

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Soldiers, and other Attendants on King Henry and King Edward, Messengers,

Watchmen, &c.

SCENE,-During part of the Third Act, in France; during the rest of the Play, in England.

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