Edward IV is portrayed as a usurper, oppressor and destroyer of the rightful king and noble blood of the realm of England in this contemporary document. Written at the time when George duke of Clarence and Richard Neville earl of Warwick had forged an alliance with Queen Margaret and Prince Edward, it talks of King Henry VI being freed from his captivity and the efforts to amend the evil oppressions of the Yorkist regime. It notes the readeption of King Henry VI for the start of his second reign and the call upon the nobility to attend to the king ‘in their best array’.
Other relevant pages: Edward IV, Flight of Clarence and Warwick, Clarence becomes disillusioned, Battle of Empingham/ Losecote Field, Contemporary view on the readeption, Clarence, Gloucester and the marriage to Anne, Attainder of George Duke of Clarence, Trial and execution of George duke of Clarence.
Source Material: Readeption of Henry VI
The following document, from Chart. Antiq. Cotton. XVII. 11, is cited in the notes of the Camden Society’s 1839 publication of the Warkworth Chronicle.
Jhesus. Maria. Johannes.
…. the most nobylle and Crysten prynce, oure most dradde soverayne Lorde Kynge Hary the syxte, verrey true undoutyde Kynge of Englonde and of Fraunce, nowe beynge in the hondys of hys rebellys and gret en[e]my, Edwarde, late the Erl of Marche, usurpur, oppressour, and distroyer of oure seyde Soverayn Lorde, and of the nobylle blode of the reme of Englonde, and of the trewe commenes of the same, by hys myschevus and inordinate newe founden lawes and ordenaunces inconveniant, to the uttyrmoste destruccion of the goode commenes of the seyde reme of Englonde; yf yt so schulde contenne ffor the reformacion wherof, in especialle for the comenwelle of alle the seyde reme, the rygt hyghe and mygty Prynce George Duke [of] Clarens, Jasper Erl of Penbroke, Richarde Erl of Warewyke, and Johnne Erl of Oxenforde, as verrey and trewe feytfulle cosyns, subgettes, and liege men to oure seyde soveraine Lorde Kynge Harry the syxt, by sufficiante autorite commysyd unto theme in thys behalfe, be the hole voyse and assent of the moste nobylle pryncesse Margaret, Quene of Englonde, and the Ryjt Hyje and my3ty Prynce Edwarde, atte thys tyme beyng Quene, into thys reme to putte theme in ther moste uttermoste devers to dylyver oure seyd Sopheraine Lord oute of hys grete captivite, and daungere of hys enmyes, unto hys liberte, and by the grace of Gode to rest hym in his rialle estate, and crowne of thys hys seyd reme of Englond, and reforme and amende alle the grete myschevus oppressions, and alle odyr inordinate abusions, nowe raynynge in the seyde reme, to the perpetualle pese, prosperyte, to the comene welfare of thys reme. Also ytt ys fully concludyd and grauntyde that alle mail men within the reme of Englonde, of whatt estat, degre, condicion that they be of, be fully pardonede of alle maner tresoun or trespace imagenyd or done, in eny maner of wyse contrary to ther legeyns, agayne oure soveraine Lorde the Kynge, the Quene, and my Lorde the prynce, before the day of comynge and entre of the sayde Duke and Erles in thys sayde reme ; so that they putte them in ther uttermost dever, and att thys tyme drawe them to the compeny of the seyde Duke and Erles, to helpe and to fortefy theme in ther purpose and jorney ; excepte suche persons as be capitalle enmyes to oure seyde soferaine Lorde, withowte punyschement of the’whyche god pece and prosperite of thys reme canuatte be had ; and excepte alle suche as atte thys tyme make any rescistens ageyns the seyde Duke and Erlys, or eny of theme, or of ther compeny. Also the sayde Duke and Erlys, in the name and behalfe of oure seyde soferaine Lorde Kynge Harry the syxt, chargyne and commawndyne that alle maner of men, that be betwen xvj. yeres and Ixti., incontinently and immediatly aftyr thys proclamacion made, be redy, in ther best aray defensabell, to attende and awayte upponne the sayde Duke and Erlys, to I aschyst theme in ther jorney, to the entente afore rehercyd, upponne payne of dethe and forfiture of alle that they [may forfeyte], withinne the reme of Englond ; excepte suche persons as be visette with syknesse, or with suche noune poure that they may not go.
Further Reading on the Readeption of King Henry VI
National Archives Blog – Article about the 550th anniversary of the readeption of King Henry VI the above image is an example of archival material held at Kew on the return to the throne of King Henry VI.