• Vol. 01
  • Chapter 06
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1460 Wakefield and Shrewsbury

(A Messenger brings the news of the deaths at the hands of the Lancastrians of the Duke of York and the seventeen year old Earl of Rutland to Edward, Earl of March – later King Edward IVth. York and Rutland were decapitated and their heads impaled on poles overlooking the city of York. In Henry VI Part Three, Shakespeare focuses more upon the battle in which they died, and Edward’s raising of his own army.)

Messenger:     My Lord, he overlooks the city: crowned
        He is…my tongue is shamed to speak the words –
        A paper crown to mock his bold ambition.
        Beside, him, Sire, your brother Rutland bends
        His sightless eyes upon his father’s face.
        All this was done at envious Clifford’s hands.
        But even in our grief, my Lord, we marvelled
        Much how brave York’s eyes in death could yet
        Enkindle fires of sure revenge within
        Our hearts. And so we come to kneel before
        You, Sire – your true liegemen in life and limb,
        The hope of York and England’s rightful heir.