Friday, November 30, 2012


Portrait of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, 'The Kingmaker', from the Rous Roll, 15th century.
Signature of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, 'The King-Maker' (1428-1471)
Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, 'The King-Maker' (1428-1471)
RICHARD NEVILLE, EARL OF WARWICK, called "the king-maker," was the eldest son of Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury, by Alice, only daughter and heiress of Thomas, the last Montacute Earl of Salisbury. He was born on the 22nd of November 1428, and whilst still a boy betrothed to Anne, daughter of Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick. When her brother's daughter died in 1449, Anne, as only sister of the whole blood, brought her husband the title and chief share of the Warwick estates. Richard Neville thus became the premier earl, and both in power and position excelled his father.

Richard, Duke of York, was his uncle, so when York became Protector in 1453, and Salisbury was made Chancellor, it was natural that Warwick should be one of the council. After the King's [Henry VI] recovery in 1455 Warwick and his father took up arms in York's support. Their victory at St Albans on the 22nd of May was due to the fierce energy with which Warwick assaulted and broke the Lancastrian centre. He was rewarded with the important office of captain of Calais; to his position there he owed his strength during the next five years. Even when York was displaced at home, Warwick retained his post, and in 1457 was also made admiral. He was present in February 1458 at the professed reconciliation of the two parties at St Paul's, London.

During the previous year he had done some good fighting on the march of Calais by land, and kept the sea with vigour; now on his return he distinguished himself in a great fight with Spanish ships off Calais on the 28th of May, and in the autumn by capturing a German salt-fleet on its way to Lubeck. These exploits brought him a prestige and popularity that were distasteful to the home government. Moreover, England was at war neither with Castile nor with the Hanse. Warwick's action may possibly have formed part of some Yorkist design for frustrating the foreign policy of their rivals. At all events there was pretext enough for recalling him to make his defence.

Whilst he was at the court at Westminster a brawl occurred between his retainers and some of the royal household. Warwick himself escaped with difficulty, and went back to Calais, alleging that his life had been deliberately attempted. When in the following year a renewal of the war was imminent, Warwick crossed over to England with his trained soldiers from Calais under Sir Andrew Trollope. But at Ludlow, on the 12th of October, Trollope and his men deserted, and left the Yorkists helpless [cf. Rout of Ludford]. Warwick, with his father, his cousin the young Edward of York, and only three followers, made his way to Barnstaple. There they hired a little fishing vessel. The master pleaded that he did not know the Channel, but Warwick resourcefully took command and himself steered a successful course to Calais. He arrived just in time to anticipate the Duke of Somerset, whom the Lancastrians had sent to supersede him. During the winter Warwick held Calais against Somerset, and sent out a fleet which seized Sandwich and captured Lord Rivers. In the spring he went to Ireland to concert plans with Richard of York. On his return voyage he encountered a superior Lancastrian fleet in the Channel. But Exeter, the rival commander, could not trust his crews and dared not fight.

The bear and ragged staff -- Heraldic badges of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick
Bear and Ragged Staff —
Badges of Richard Neville
From Calais Warwick, Salisbury and Edward of York crossed to Sandwich on the 26th of June. A few days later they entered London, whence Warwick at once marched north. On the 10th of July he routed the Lancastrians at Northampton, and took the Kingprisoner. For the order to spare the commons and slay the lords, Warwick was responsible, as also for some later executions at London. Yet when Richard of York was disposed to claim the crown, it was, according to Waurin, Warwick who decided the discussion in favour of a compromise, perhaps from loyalty to Henry, or perhaps from the wish not to change a weak sovereign for a strong. Warwick was in charge of London at the time when Richard and Salisbury were defeated and slain at Wakefield. The Lancastrians won a second victory at St Albans on the 17th of February 1461, possibly through lack of generalship on Warwick's part. But in his plans to retrieve the disaster Warwick showed skill and decision. He met Edward of York in Oxfordshire, brought him in triumph to London, had him proclaimed king [as Edward IV], and within a month of his defeat at St Albans was marching north in pursuit of the Lancastrians. The good generalship which won the victory of Towton may have been due to Edward rather than to Warwick, but the new king was of the creation of the powerful earl, who now had his reward.

For four years the government was centred undisputedly in the hands of Warwick and his friends. The energy of his brother John, Lord Montagu, frustrated the various attempts of the Lancastrians in the north. In another sphere Warwick himself was determining the lines of English policy on the basis of an alliance with France. The power of the Nevilles seemed to be completed by the promotion of George, the third brother, to be Archbishop of York. The first check came with the announcement in September 1464 of the king's secret marriage toElizabeth Woodville. This was particularly distasteful to Warwick, who had but just pledged Edward to a French match. For the time, however, there was no open breach. The trouble began in 1466, when Edward first made Rivers, the Queen's father, treasurer, and afterwards threw obstacles in the way of an intended marriage between Warwick's daughter Isabel andGeorge of Clarence, the King's own next brother. Still in May 1467 Warwick went again with the king's assent to conclude a treaty with France. He returned to find that in his absence Edward, under Woodville's influence, had committed himself definitely to the Burgundian alliance.

Warwick retired in dudgeon to his estates, and began to plot in secret for his revenge. In the summer of 1469 he went over to Calais, where Isabel and Clarence were married without the king's knowledge. Meantime he had stirred up the rebellion of Robin of Redesdale in Yorkshire; and when Edward was drawn north, Warwick invaded England in arms. The King, outmarched and outnumbered, had to yield himself prisoner, whilst Rivers and his son John were executed. Warwick was apparently content with the overthrow of the Woodvilles, and believed that he had secured Edward's submission. In March 1470, a rebellion in Lincolnshire gave Edward an opportunity to gather an army of his own. When the King alleged that he had found proof of Warwick's complicity, the earl, taken by surprise, fled with Clarence to France. There, through the instrumentality of Louis XI, he was with some difficulty reconciled toMargaret of Anjou, and agreed to marry his second daughter to her son.

Earl of Warwich slain at the Battle of BarnetIn September Warwick and Clarence, with the Lancastrian lords, landed at Dartmouth. Edward in his turn had to fly overseas, and for six months Warwick ruled England as Lieutenant for Henry VI, who was restored from his prison in the Tower to a nominal throne. But the Lancastrian restoration was unwelcome to Clarence, who began to intrigue with his brother. When in March 1471 Edward landed at Ravenspur, Clarence found an opportunity to join him. Warwick was completely outgeneralled, and at Barneton the 14th of April was defeated and slain.

Warwick has been made famous by Lytton as "The Last of the Barons." The title suits him as a great feudal lord, who was a good fighter but a poor general, who had more sympathy with the old order than with the new culture. But he was more than this. He had some of the qualities of a strong ruler, and the power to command popularity. He was a skilled diplomatist and an adroit politician. These qualities, with his position as the head of a great family, the chief representative of Beauchamp, Despenser, Montacute and Neville, made him during ten years "the king-maker." Warwick's only children were his two daughters. Anne, the younger, was married after his death to Richard of Gloucester, the future Richard III.

      Excerpted from:

      Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th Ed. Vol XVIII.
      Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1910. 340.


Queen of England (1429-1482)
Margaret was born at Pont à Mousson, Lorraine. She was the daughter of René, Duke of Anjou, King of Naples and his wife, Isabella, Duchess of Lorraine. At the age of sixteen she was married by proxy to King Henry VI of England, the ceremony taking place at the cathedral of St Martin, Tours, France. In April 1445 Margaret married Henry in person at Tichfield Abbey, Hampshire. Margaret was a very determined character. She made very little attempt to understand the ways and customs of her husband’s country. Strong minded and arrogant, it was soon evident to all that Margaret intended to rule through her weak husband. This she did with the assistance of her favourites, the Earl, later Duke, of Suffolk and the Duke of Somerset. Almost from the beginning Margaret disliked and distrusted the Duke of York. In her eyes York, as the king’s nearest relative, was a danger to her authority, even possibly wishing to replace Henry as king. There is absolutely no evidence for this, but York had at least as good a claim to the throne as Henry, and this was enough for Margaret. This antagonism was to colour all her actions throughout her time in England. Unfortunately her favourites were totally incompetent and more interested in feathering their own nests and clinging on to power than in the good of the realm.
The first hint of the queen's unpopularity came early. Margaret’s marriage had been arranged by the Earl of Suffolk. Unfortunately she brought no dowry, and indeed Suffolk had agreed to hand back to France the provinces of Anjou and Maine. Once this became common knowledge in England it caused a great outcry. Margaret’s behaviour, pride, arrogance and a complete disregard for anything but her own wishes hardly helped. Opposition to the terms of the marriage treaty was led by the king’s uncle, Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, the youngest and only remaining brother of Henry V. In 1447 Humphrey was arrested and twelve days later he died. The cause was officially 'natural causes', but rumours swept the country that the duke had been put to death. With Gloucester gone York was now Margaret’s chief opponent and the enmity between them increased. In 1453, when Margaret was at last pregnant, Henry suffered his first spell of insanity. Margaret was desperate to secure the Regency for herself, but the council refused to allow this. As the king’s nearest relative York became Protector. Margaret gave birth to a son in October that year. York had ordered her to Windsor in April 1454 and it was made quite clear to her that she would no longer be allowed to interfere in the running of the country’s affairs. She was now more than ever determined to be rid of York one way or another.
Henry regained his senses on Christmas Day, 1454. Despite the fact that York had ruled well, Margaret was able to regain her influence and many of the reforms put in place during Henry’s illness were cancelled. In 1455 matters came to a head, and the first battle between Lancaster and York took place at St Albans, ending in a victory for York, and Henry was taken into the custody of the Yorkist forces. In 1456 Margaret was once more reunited with the king, and was now intent on gaining as much support as she could. Knowing that she could count on no support from the Londoners, she and Henry moved the court to Coventry. In August 1457 the Queen's popularity suffered another blow. That month the French raided the south coast, leaving Sandwich in flames. The raid was lead by Pierre de Brézé, well known to be a friend of Margaret. She attempted to blame others for the attack but such was her unpopularity that she continued to be the one held responsible. By the beginning of 1458 it was becoming increasingly obvious that hostilities would once more break out at some point. The peace-loving King Henry VI, along with the Archbishop of Canterbury, attempted to patch up a peace. Henry arranged what became known as a 'love day'. On March 24th 1458 he led both Lancastrians and Yorkists in procession to St Paul’s Cathedral, the leading pair being the Queen and York. The peace was short lived. By the autumn of 1459 both sides were gathering their forces again. The Yorkists gathered at Ludlow, and it was here that Henry’s army arrived on October 11th. When a great part of York’s force went over to Henry the Yorkist leaders were forced to flee. On October 13th the Lancastrian army entered Ludlow. The unfortunate town was made to pay dearly for its shelter of the Yorkists. The royal army went on the rampage, looting, raping and destroying, whilst Margaret made no move to alleviate the town’s misery.
York returned to England in September 1460. To Margaret’s fury he now claimed a better right to the throne than Henry. Her fury knew no bounds when it was decided that York rather than her son should become king after Henry. Margaret once more gathered a great army. This time she recruited help from the Scots and, since she had no way of paying for their services, promised them plunder once they were south of the Trent. In the meantime her commanders had tricked York out of his castle of Sandal, near Wakefield, during a truce, and in the ensuing battle the duke had been killed. Margaret ordered his head to be placed over Micklegate Bar in York, crowned with a paper crown. She now turned her attention to the remaining Yorkist leaders and led her army south. True to her word the troops were allowed to run riot. Just as after Ludlow a trail of carnage lay behind them as they moved south. After her victory over Warwick at the second battle of St Albans, Margaret demanded entry into London. London however defied the queen and refused her entry. Now thoroughly alarmed at the way her army was getting out of control, she began to retreat north. York’s son, Edward was proclaimed king after his father’s death and his own victory at the battle of Mortimer’s Cross in March that year, and his army followed Margaret north. The two armies clashed at the battle of Towton on Palm Sunday, March 29th, in a bitter snowstorm. Victory went to York.
Once again Margaret had to flee and once again she sought help in Scotland, until she and her son found refuge in France. Her exile lasted until King Louis of France persuaded her to make a common cause with the Earl of Warwick and cement their new alliance with the betrothal of Prince Edward to Warwick's daughter Anne. For quite some time Margaret held out against this, Warwick being one of her bitterest enemies, but eventually she was persuaded. Warwick was to take control of England from Edward IV before Margaret was to return. He did take back the realm. Margaret lingered in France. Eventually she was persuaded to sail for England, but she had lingered too long. The very day she landed at Weymouth, Warwick was killed in battle at Barnet. Margaret was all for a return to France, wishing at all costs to keep her son safe from harm, but in this she was opposed by her supporters, Somerset and Devon, and chiefly by her son Edward himself. There followed a mad dash for the Welsh border to join up with the forces under Jasper Tudor. The plan was doomed to failure. At Tewkesbury on May 4thEdward of York’s army faced Margaret’s forces and once again the Yorkists had the victory. Among the dead was Margaret’s beloved son.
After the battle of Tewkesbury Margaret was taken to London, where she was lodged in the Tower, until her removal into the custody of the Duchess of Suffolk. She was ransomed eventually by Louis of France and returned to her own country where she spent the rest of her life in poverty, a broken woman. She died on August 25th 1482 and was buried in St Maurice’s Cathedral, Angers.

The personal doctor to Edward V and supposedly the last member of the young King’s household to have access to him. Probably implicated in the Buckingham rebellion. Afterwards fled to join Henry Tudor in exile. Argentine was the source of much of Dominic Mancini’s information in his "Usurpation of Richard III". Since Argentine was a supporter of Henry Tudor, much of his information has to be treated with extreme caution. After Henry’s accession he became one of his personal physicians, later holding the same post with Henry’s eldest son, Arthur, Prince of Wales. As pointed out in W. E. Hampton’s "Memorials of the Wars of the Roses", it is strange that, having known them so well, Argentine was never called to examine the pretenders who later claimed to be one or other of the Yorkist family. This applies especially to Perkin Warbeck, who claimed to be Richard Duke of York, whom one would have expected Argentine to know.
Argentine is buried in King’s College, Cambridge. 

BEAUCHAMPAnneCountess of Warwick (1426-1490)
The daughter of Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, by his second wife, Isabel Despenser, Anne was married to Richard Neville, the eldest son of Richard, Earl of Salisbury, at the age of nine. Her marriage made her the future Countess of Salisbury, but in 1449 an event occurred which was make this prospect pale into insignificance. Anne’s only brother, Henry had died in 1447, leaving only a young daughter to inherit the Warwick fortune. In 1449 the child died. This left the Warwick inheritance in an awkward position. Anne’s father had married twice. From his first marriage he had three daughters. From his second he had Anne and her brother, Henry. Since Anne was Henry’s only full sibling, it was to her the Warwick lands and fortune passed. This of course was not to the liking of her three half-sisters, or of their husbands, one of whom was her husband's uncle, Lord Abergavenny, and another the Duke of Somerset, but nevertheless in July 1449 Richard Neville became Earl of Warwick in right of his wife.
Anne gave Warwick two daughters, Isabel, born in September 1451, and Anne, born in June 1456.No sons were born of the marriage. In 1460 Anne became Countess of Salisbury as well as Warwick, after the death of Richard's father as a result of the battle of Wakefield. They now made their homes principally at Middleham and Warwick. In 1469, after Warwick took Edward IV prisoner, Anne became hostess to the king as long as he remained in Warwick’s custody. She travelled to Calais with her family for the marriage of her elder daughter to the Duke of Clarence the same year.
When Warwick was forced into exile Anne and her daughters were forced to flee with him. It fell to Anne to deliver the child her daughter Isabel gave birth to on board ship. Anne played only a minor role in the marriage arrangements of her daughter Anne, but she was in Margaret of Anjou’s train when that lady set sail for England. She travelled on a different ship from Margaret. This vessel dropped anchor at Plymouth, where Anne received news of her husband’s defeat and death at the battle of Barnet. She immediately sought sanctuary in Beaulieu Abbey. King Edward’s victory at Tewkesbury gave Anne no respite from her troubles. Her son-in-law George of Clarence was determined that she stay in sanctuary, and be treated as dead, so that he could claim both Warwick’s Yorkshire estates and the Warwick inheritance which now reverted to Anne. Not until after the marriage of her younger daughter to Richard of Gloucester did Anne emerge from Beaulieu, to travel north where she made her home with her daughter at Middleham.
The death of both her daughters, Isabel in 1476 and Anne in 1485, left Anne bereft of close family. After Richard’s defeat at the battle of Bosworth she petitioned for the return of her lands. Henry responded with the return of a small portion of the estate. He insisted however that Anne disinherit her grandchildren by leaving all her lands to him after her death. Until her death in 1490 she lived in obscurity. She was buried with her husband at Bisham Abbey. 

BEAUCHAMPEleanorDuchess of Somerset (1407-1466)
Eleanor was the daughter of Richard, Earl of Warwick, by his first wife, Elizabeth Berkeley. This made her the half-sister of Anne Beauchamp, the previous entry. Eleanor married first Thomas, Lord de Roos. Thomas died in 1430, and Eleanor married again in 1431. This time her husband was Edmund Beaufort, a grandson of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, by his mistress - later his third wife - Katherine Swynford. This marriage produced ten children, who were to become like their father staunch supports to the Lancastrian cause. After the death of her half-brother and his young daughter, Eleanor was one of the sisters denied any part of the Warwick inheritance. She and her husband, along with her sisters, protested vigorously and long about this injustice (as they saw it). But to no avail. In 1455 she became a widow again after the death of her husband at the 1st battle of St Albans. She married for a third time, her husband being Walter Rokesley. In 1464 her eldest son, Henry, was executed after the battle of Hexham. Eleanor survived a further two years, dying in 1466. Hers is just one instance of the tangled loyalties between families in this period. Her own family was so closely allied to Lancaster, and that of her half- sister to the Yorkists.

2nd Duke of SomersetK.G(1405-1455) 
Edmund’s father John Beaufort, Earl of Somerset, was the eldest of four children born to John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and his third duchess, Katherine Swynford. All four of the children had been born before their parents' marriage and were legitimized by church and state. The charter granted by the state specifically excluded the Beauforts from the line of succession to the throne, an exclusion which was endorsed by their half-brother Henry IV when he took the throne in 1399.
In 1397 John had married Margaret Holland. The marriage produced six children of whom Edmund was the third son. Edmund married Eleanor Beauchamp in 1431 and this marriage gave him ten children. His elder brother, Henry, died in 1418 and his title passed to his next brother, John. The Earldom was advanced to a Dukedom in 1443. John Beaufort died in 1444, leaving only a daughter, Margaret. In 1448 Edmund was granted the title as 2nd Duke of Somerset.  
Edmund had fought in France, as did his elder brothers John and Thomas, who were taken prisoner after the battle of Beaugé in 1420. In 1431 he was present at Henry VI’s coronation banquet in Paris. In 1433 he was sent as an ambassador to Scotland. His sister, Joanna Beaufort, was Queen of Scots, being married to James I. In 1438 he was made constable of Windsor Castle for life, and in 1440 had the honour of conducting the siege and capture of Harfleur.
After King Henry’s marriage he became close to Queen Margaret of Anjou, one of the councillors on whom she depended. There was no love lost between Somerset and the Duke of York any more than between York and Margaret. After the death of the Duke of Suffolk in 1450, Somerset became the Queen’s principal adviser. So close did the two become that there were persistent rumours that Margaret of Anjou’s son Edward was Somerset’s child rather than King Henry’s. In 1448 Somerset became commander of the king’s army in France. In this role he was totally unsuccessful, a fact which increased his unpopularity at home. During the king’s first period of illness Somerset was incarcerated in the Tower of London by order of the Protector the Duke of York. Once Henry regained his senses Somerset was released and continued in his role of chief councillor to the king and queen. Needless to say, when hostilities broke out in 1455, Somerset was one of the principal supporters of the king and queen. At the 1st battle of St Albans he fought for the Lancastrians. At the close of the battle Edmund of Somerset was found dead outside the Castle Inn. He was buried in St Albans Abbey Church.BEAUFORTEdmund4th Duke of Somerset (1439-1471)
The second surviving of Edmund, 2nd Duke of Somerset’s four sons, this Edmund assumed the title of fourth duke after his brother’s execution in 1464, although in fact the title was never formally bestowed upon him. Even so, it is as the Duke of Somerset that he was known from this date. Like his older brother Henry and his younger brother John, Edmund was a devoted Lancastrian. Throughout the conflict he never ceased to support the Lancastrian monarchs. He was present at the battle of Ludford Bridge in 1459. At the age of 21, in 1460, he was captured by the Yorkists and sent to Calais. Edmund was present at the battle of Towton in March 1461. In 1464 he joined Margaret of Anjou at her court in exile at Bar. It was here in 1464 that he assumed the title Duke of Somerset.
At the beginning of 1471, Somerset desperately tried to persuade Charles of Burgundy to support the readeption of Henry VI to the throne of England. Bearing in mind the danger from France if England became settled under a Lancastrian king, Charles chose to support his brother-in-law, Edward IV. Edmund returned to England at the same time as the Earl of Warwick, but did not fight at the battle of Barnet, preferring to await the arrival of his queen.
Edmund was one of the most persuasive voices begging Margaret of Anjou not to return to France after the battle of Barnet. At the battle of Tewkesbury he was in overall command of the Lancastrian force, and in personal command of his army's right wing. No one tried harder than Somerset to win the battle for Lancaster. He fought courageously throughout the day, even killing Lord Wenlock when that gentleman failed in his support for him. After the battle, Somerset was found in Tewkesbury Abbey with various other Lancastrian commanders. Tried for treason before Richard of Gloucester and the Duke of Norfolk, he was condemned and executed. He was buried in Tewkesbury Abbey.BEAUFORTHenry3rd Duke of Somerset (1436-1464)
The eldest surviving of Edmund the 2nd Duke’s sons, Henry became Duke of Somerset on the death of his father at the 1st battle of St Albans, in which battle he also fought. Henry was named as Captain of Calais in 1460, but never managed to take over the post from the Earl of Warwick. He was given the commission of oyer and terminer for the counties of Somerset, Devon and Cornwall in 1460. At the battle of Wakefield Somerset commanded the victorious Lancastrian army. He was with Queen Margaret on the march south in 1461, and again commanded the Lancastrian force at the 2nd battle of St Albans. In March 1461 he was in command of the Lancastrians at Towton, after which defeat he was forced to flee into exile in Scotland.
He led an embassy to seek help from Charles VII of France in spring the same year. Unfortunately Charles' death led to Somerset's arrest by the new King, Louis XI. When he did manage to obtain an audience with Louis he was refused the aid he sought. In 1462 he surrendered to Edward IV. Edward astounded his supporters by pardoning Somerset and reinstating him. It was unfortunate that he found it impossible to settle with the Yorkist court. He found too many of Edward’s supporters unwilling to come to terms with one they saw as a Lancastrian sympathiser. In late 1463 Henry returned to his Lancastrian allegiance. Once again he commanded a Lancastrian force in the field, this time at the battle of Hedgeley Moor. Taken prisoner after the battle and being brought before John Neville, he was condemned to death and executed in Hexham. It is believed he was buried in Hexham Abbey.BEAUFORT JoanCountess of Westmorland (1376-1440)
Joan Beaufort was the only daughter of John of Gaunt and his third duchess, Katherine Swynford. Joan had married, at fifteen, Robert, Lord Ferrers of Wemme. By this marriage she had two daughters. In 1396 she married for the second time. This marriage was to Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland. It was a marriage which was to be of some significance in the years of conflict. Joan gave Ralph thirteen children, twelve of whom lived to maturity. Her children all made excellent marriages. Only two remained unmarried: her namesake, Joan, became a nun, and Robert became Bishop of Salisbury, and then Bishop of Durham. Ralph of Westmorland left Joan all his Yorkshire lands outright on his death in 1425. This meant that his estates were split in two since he had a family by his first wife who inherited his title, and the lands and castle of Raby which went with it. Joan, of course, was determined to retain the lands, the greater part of his estate left her by her husband, and hand them on to her eldest son, causing a great deal of dissent between her children and their half siblings. Joan lived until 1440. On her death her lands did indeed pass to her eldest son, Richard of Salisbury.
As stipulated in her will Joan was buried beside her mother in Lincoln Cathedral.BEAUFORT, JohnLord (1422-1471)
Very little is known about John, the youngest of the 2nd Duke of Somerset’s sons. He may have fought at the battle of Towton in 1461. He was certainly at Margaret of Anjou’s court in exile at Bar and it is certain he returned to England in Margaret’s retinue before the battle of Tewkesbury. John was one of those killed in the battle, and was buried with his brother Edmund in Tewkesbury Abbey. None of the Beaufort brothers left legitimate issue. With them the Somerset title left the Beaufort name.

Countess of Richmond and Derby (1443-1509)
The only child of John Beaufort 1st Duke of Somerset and his wife, Margaret  Beauchamp. At the age of six Margaret went through a form of marriage with John de la Pole, later second Duke of Suffolk. This was annulled in 1453. In 1455 she was married to Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond, the half-brother of Henry VI. Edmund was the eldest child of Katherine of Valois, Henry’s mother, and Owen Tudor, a gentleman of Katherine’s household. There has been speculation as to whether there was ever a marriage between the two, but certainly Henry accepted the sons born to Katherine and Owen as his brothers. Margaret was twelve years old at the time of her marriage. One year later she was a widow and seven months pregnant with what was to prove her only child. This child was born in January the following year when his mother was still only thirteen years old. Margaret called her son Henry.
While still in her teens Margaret was married for a third time, this time to Sir Henry Stafford. Her son was in the care of Sir William Herbert, but this did nothing to lessen the bond Margaret built up with him. Henry seems to have been her prime concern throughout her life, and as we shall see her ambition for him knew no bounds. When her third husband supported Edward IV in 1471, she arranged for Henry to be spirited away to Brittany, in a bid to keep him safe from the Yorkist regime. Henry Stafford died in 1471, leaving Margaret to make her final marriage in 1472. This time her husband was Thomas, Lord Stanley. Even before the marriage she had made a vow of perpetual chastity. This leads one to think the marriage may have been one of mutual and political necessity on both sides. Certainly the two were to be involved in many plots ending in the eventual elevation to the throne of Margaret’s son.
Margaret was a prominent figure at the court of Edward IV. The accession of Richard III saw a complete change in her status. At Richard’s coronation, she carried Queen Anne Neville’s train. But throughout Richard’s short reign Margaret was constantly plotting to gain the throne for her son. In 1484 there is some evidence that she and her half-brother, Lord Welles, were conspiring to obtain the release from the Tower of Edward IV’s sons. If true, it leads one to wonder what the object of this exercise was to be. Many men would have lost patience and committed her to some secure prison but Richard III, who has been portrayed down the years as a monster, did not. He made the mistake of handing her over to her husband’s control. It was a mistake he would regret.
As may be expected Margaret was deeply involved in the events leading up to the battle of Bosworth. It was the treachery of her husband and his brother Sir William Stanley that won the throne for Henry. No doubt Margaret played her part in this. Henry’s accession saw a great rise in Margaret’s status. She was now the mother of the king. Henry had formed an extremely close relationship with her. Indeed, he seemed to prefer the advice of his mother to that of his wife. Certainly Margaret had more influence over Henry than did Elizabeth of York  Throughout Henry’s reign, mother and son remained close. His death in 1509 was a bitter blow for Margaret. Towards the end of her life she had cultivated a taste for piety and learning, but this was no substitute for the loss of her son who had been her whole concern from his infancy. Margaret did not long survive Henry, dying in June 1509, some nine weeks after him. She is buried in Westminster Abbey.

Demi-Brigade, French army unit (from 1792)

three ranks in Jena 1806 - photo by fusilier La Béquille, 18eme de ligne -

Prior to the Revolution, the French Army was composed of three-battalion regiments. One of the early results of the revolution was the influx of enthusiastic but inexperienced volunteers, all determined to fight for their ideals. It was quickly realised that these new volunteer units would be ineffective without some sort of experienced core to help the new troops. Just prior to the battle of Valmy (1792), it was decided to form demi-brigades, each made up of one regular battalion from a pre-revolutionary regiment combined with two battalions of volunteers.
By 1793, many of the volunteers had disappeared, while the increasingly radical revolution had alienated many officers, including General Dumouriez ( the French commander at Valmy) to the extent that they deserted the cause. The formation of the First Coalition meant that the French army was now massively outnumbered. The immediate response was to call a levee en mass, in August 1793 making all men between the ages of 18 and 25 liable for military service (an early form of conscription).
The new demi-brigades were adopted by the entire French army in 1794. These new formations soon gelled to provide the core of the revolutionary armies that first helped defend the revolution and then helped Napoleon to achieve his conquests. The demi-brigades were known by numbers rather than names. In theory, each demi-brigade numbered around 3,000 men, split into three battalions of 1,050 men. Standard line infantry battalions contained one grenadier company of 90 men and eight fusilier companies of 120 men. In practice, the demi-brigades often fell far below this theorical maximum, often failing to reach even 2,000 men, but despite this they proved to be an effective fighting force.

Armour, Napoleonic

Body armour was only worn by the heavy cavalry of the rival nations in the Napoleonic wars and then not by all nations or all units. The basic infantryman was too encumbered to wear armour and often made do with his blanket roll tied diagonally across his chest to offer some protection and a simple hat, which offered very limited protection against a sword cut from above. The use of blanket rolls and cloaks to do this was common among the French, Prussian and Russian armies but not often seen among the British. The only relic of medieval armour was the cuirass, a solid body plate often but not always with front and back plates. The cuirass was proof only against sabre or bayonet and not effective against muskets or artillery so was abandoned in many armies. It was heavy and an unhorsed trooper could have difficulty getting up, as Lord Wellington put it they “struggle like a Turtle”. 
The French heavy cavalry were famous for their Cuirassiers and questions of effectiveness aside they would have been an impressive sight. The Austrian and Russian armies also fielded such troops although the Russians at times dropped the usage of armour only to later reintroduce it. The British cavalry did not use armour during this period. This was probably due to the fact that the heavy armour required big heavy horses to carry and the British cavalry were short of good horses throughout this period. The Austrians favoured just a front breastplate to save weight but in a confused melee this left the back vulnerable and engagements against French heavy cavalry bare this out as the Austrians suffered 13 casualties to every 8 the French suffered. Armour during this period saw very little if any technological development.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Margaret of Anjou: Queen of England, She-wolf of France

It’s hard not to love Margaret of Anjou. First of all, she has some of the greatest lines in the entire tetralogy. For example, in Henry VI, Part III after her spineless husband has agreed to make Richard of York his heir, she tells him that

Had I been there, which am a seely woman,
The soldiers should have tossed me on their pikes
Before I would have granted to that act.
But thou preferr’st thy life before thine honor.
And seeing thou dost, I here divorce myself
Both from thy table, Henry, and thy bed” (1.2.245-249)

Descriptions of Margaret tell us that she was “intelligent and energetic,” “charming and attractive,” and the complete opposite of her “gentle” husband (Wagner 158, Gillingham 58, Luminarium). InHenry VI, Part III, Richard of York challenged her womanhood, calling her “stern, obdurate, flinty, rough, remourseless,” with a “tiger’s heart wrapped in woman’s hide" (Shakespeare HVI3 1.4.143, 138). Even her own son calls her a woman of “valiant spirit” who would infuse the breast of a coward with magnanimity (HVi3 5.5.39). But who exactly was this “she-wolf of France?” (HVI3 1.4.112).

Margaret of Anjou was born 23 March 1430. Her father was René of Anjou, but more importantly, she was the niece of king Charles VII. This made her the perfect candidate for a political marriage and when an Anglo-French treaty was negotiated by William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk, Margaret sealed the deal. Her marriage to Henry VI was settled when she was just fourteen years old, and she was brought to England in 1445 by a fleet of fifty-six ships where she was crowned at Westminster Abbey. She was given a large procession from the Tower to St. Paul’s weraing white damask and powdered gold with her hair about her shoulders, while the “city conduits ran with red and white wine” (Gillingham 58). She remained close to Suffolk and his faction at court and did her duty, ensuring that England returned the region of Maine to France, until England lost Normandy and Suffolk in turn fell from power. Margaret was not a very popular Queen, since she brought no dowry and sapped England of several French territories. Of course, it would be her husband who lost all of France but Calais during his rule, not to mention he was deposed on multiple occasions.

The Marriage of Margaret.

Margaret was pregnant only once, despite the fact that women were pregnant relatively often in this time period, and gave birth to Edward on October 13, 1453. However, it is probably not surprising when one considers that Henry VI was apparently not very big on sex, was counseled “not to ‘come nigh’” his wife, and collapsed into a psychological breakdown when she finally did become pregnant after ten years of marriage (Gillingham 80). Even so, Margaret had a fierce loyalty to her son, which she pursued from the moment she seized power at court during her husband’s absence. On February 1454, she issued a “bill of five articles…whereof the first is that she desireth to have the whole rule of this land” (Gillingham 80). Although York would eventually successfully instigate two protectorates, after Henry put down the second after just three months in1456, she was described as “a great and intensely active woman, for she spares no pains to pursue her business towards an end…favourable to her power” (Gillingham 99). While Margaret put up with Henry’s Love-Day reconciliation in 1458, walking arm-in-arm with York to St. Paul’s, she more or less stayed in control. She knew how to manipulate politics, put her own supporters in power while stripping her enemies of their lands, and keep her husband under her watch away from London in the Midlands.

Margaret was also highly proficient in war. In fact, John Talbot, the English hero of his day, gave her a copy of Christine de Pisan’s Le livre des faiz darmes as a wedding present, another celebrated female authority on war. Margaret knew what she was doing in battle and was a very cunning leader, employing false reports to throw off the enemy, advance troupes of soldiers, and all her skills negotiating control over land to win supporters. It was Margaret who raised an army and defeated the Yorks at the Battle of Ludlow Bridge in 1459, and again in 1460 when she refused to let her son Prince Edward be disinherited by his own father. At the Battle of Wakefield, Margaret’s armies slaughtered York and his supporters, and then went on to restore Henry to the throne at the second Battle of St. Albans in 1461. In Shakespeare’s play, this is the moment when she places a paper-crown upon York’s head just before she stabs him in front his own sons, sending his body off to be beheaded and his head displayed on the gates of York.

Margaret at court with Henry VI.

Unfortunately, it was her unruly northern armies that had wreaked havoc on the southern countryside that made London weary of her forces and ultimately forced her to retreat only to let Warwick and Edward, on of York’s principle supporters and his son, enter the capital and claim the crown. But she didn’t give up. Margaret petitioned for more forces from the French king and continued her campaign, although she was ultimately defeated. She later teamed up with Warwick, who sought her out in France to form a surprising alliance against Edward IV. Supposedly, Warwick had to beg on his knees for her forgiveness and trust, and would not allow the alliance between her son and his daughter, Anne, to be solemnized until they had won. Although Warwick restored Henry VI from his five-year imprisonment in the Tower in 1470, he died the same day Margaret and Prince Edward arrived back in England. She kept fighting, and was finally defeated at the Battle of Tewkesbury and captured and brought to London three days later. Henry VI was murdered and she was locked up for four years until Louis XI ransomed her as part of a treaty, a sort of tragic replica of her start in England. She died at the age of fifty-two and was buried in the Angers Cathedral.


Gillingham, John. Wars of the Roses: Peace and Conflict in 15th Century England. Phoenix Press. 2005. Print.

Hallam, Elizabeth. The Wars of the Roses: From Richard II to the Fall of Richard III at Bosworth Field—Seen Through the Eyes of Their Contemporaries. NY: Weidenfeild and Micholson. 1988. Print.

Shakespeare, William. Henry VI, Part III.

Wagner, John A. Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses. CA: ABC-CLIO, Inc. 2001. Print.

“Wars of the Roses.” Luminarium Encyclopedia Project. 2009. Web. Accessed 2-22-10.

Margaret in History

MargaretOfAnjouNEW.jpgMargaret of Anjou, Queen of England
Born: March23, 1430
Pont-a-Mousson, France
Died: August 25, 1482
Anjou, France (Age 52)

Though a mere political tool of her father's for the first fifteen years or so of her life, Margaret of Anjou (daughter of Duke Rene of the same region) was able to use this factor to her own advantage. By 1444, it was agreed that Margaret should marry King Henry VI of England as part of a peace settlement between England and France, two countries that had been long at war with one another. The marriage was settled upon and a ceremony was performed in France that saw Henry VI's adviser the Duke of Suffolk stand in for the king himself. Margaret and Suffolk returned to England the following year (with an extremely small dowry) and Henry VI met his new queen for the first time. The first several years that Margaret was Queen of England seem to have been relatively inactive. She maitained close relations with Suffolk and his wife (although rumors of a love affair between the queen and duke are, most likely, without warrant) and was given a number of territories in the midlands, courtesy of the Duchy of Lancaster. The queen would build up her influence in these areas and they would indeed become her power base in the following years. It is not until 1453 that things began to become truly interesting for Queen Margaret. In this year, the queen finally had produced a child, Prince Edward, to continue the Lancastrian line of succession. Unfortunately, the king was suffering from a severe mental disorder at the time (undoubtedly inherited from his maternal grandfather, King Charles VI of France) and was unaware that his child had even been born. With the king incapacitated and the new prince a minor, it was decided that a protector should be appointed to watch over the realm until the king's recovery. It is at this point that historians can trace Margaret's hunger for power to. The queen felt that she should be appointed protector in her husband's place but was voted down by the council. In turn, the position was given to the Duke of York, a man who had a significant claim to the throne through his mother's line, who was descended through Edward III's second surviving son, Lionel of Antwerp (Henry VI and the Lancastrians based their claim from John of Gaunt, the third of Edward III's surviving sons). Despite the fact that York swore loyalty to Henry VI and his heirs (and the fact that he did a more than competent job of ruling the kingdom during his protectorate), this scene can be looked at as the beginning of the rivalry between to rival houses of Lancaster and York known as the Wars of the Roses.
Margaret aligned herself with York's bitter enemy, the Duke of Somerset, a Lancastrian commander who, since the death of Suffolk, had been Henry VI's most powerful adviser. Somerset was briefly imprisoned under York's orders but was released once Henry VI regained his wits. Tensions between the two men flared and York aligned himself with the powerful Neville family of the north (headed by the Earl of Salisbury and his son the Earl of Warwick) to do battle against the Lancastrians. At St Albans, the Yorkists defeated the Lancastrians decisively. Somerset was killed and Henry VI captured. Though the Lancastrians were down, Margaret made sure they were far from out and built up significant power bases in her lands over the next five years to ultimately rid herself of the Yorkists. In 1459, the Yorkists were attainted of treason and a full scale war broke out between the two houses. The Lancastrians were defeated at the Battle of Northampton and Henry VI was once again captured. This time, he was forced to make York (who by this point had publicly announced his claim to the throne) his heir. Fortunately, the Lancastrians were able to isolate York's forces at Wakefield and defeat them. York himself was killed and the Earl of Salisbury was taken and executed. Queen Margaret now saw her chance to strike and marched with her army towards London. Along the way, they defeated the Earl of Warwick at St Albans and recaptured the king. Once the Lancastrian army had made to London, however, they were denied access into the city and were forced to flee the country upon the approach of the Earl of March, York's eldest son and now the leading member of the Yorkist cause. March was free to have himself crowned as King Edward IV. Over the following ten years, Margaret and her son searched for help in any place that they could find it. She had already approached the King of Scotland for help before going to Louis XI of France. At first, Louis was hesitant to help the rebel queen and thought, on several occasions to join forces with Edward IV, rather than risk himself aiding a house that had been deposed. Meanwhile, there were sporadic Lancastrian uprisings back in England, but nothing amounted to anything and Henry VI was eventually captured and imprisoned by the Yorkists. It was not until 1468 that the Lancastrians would gain any real ground in their efforts to win back power.
By that year, Edward IV had formed an alliance with the Duke of Burgundy, a mortal enemy of Louis XI. In addition, Edward had alienated the Earl of Warwick (a man who was crucial to his ascension to the throne) by marrying a common woman instead of Louis XI's sister-in-law, whom Warwick had chosen for the king. Warwick rebelled against the king had him imprisoned at one point, even convincing George, Duke of Clarence, one of the king's younger brothers, to desert Edward. After releasing the king, Warwick realized that his best chance of success lye with the Lancastrians. Therefore, he formed an alliance with Queen Margaret and Louis XI against Edward IV, which saw the betrothal of Prince Edward to Warwick's daughter Anne. The forces of Warwick and Louis landed in England, forcing the unprepared Edward IV to flee. Warwick freed Henry VI from prison and placed him back on the throne, although he would be nothing but Warwick's puppet for the next six months. The queen longed to return to England and her newly reinstated husband (although most historians will say it was likely Prince Edward would have been placed on the throne instead) but was continuously delayed. By the time she finally did return, she had learned that Edward IV had returned, Warwick had been defeated and killed at Barnet and Clarence had defected back to his brother. The Lancastrians made one last effort to uphold their cause but were brutally defeated by the Yorkists at Tewksbury. Prince Edward was killed in battle and the queen was captured. Henry VI was soon after executed, officially eliminating the house of Lancaster in the male line. Margaret had gone from being Queen of England to being a childless widow. She remained in royal custody for the next four years until she was finally ransomed by Louis XI and returned to France. While in France, she was practically disowned by her elderly father and was forced by the king to renounce any claim to her inheritance as a way of paying for her large ransom. Margaret died quietly, and with little to call her own, in 1482 at the age of fifty-two. This was indeed a tragic end for a woman who had once been so powerful in an age dominated by men. 
Margaret in Shakespeare
Appears in: Henry VI, Part 1Henry VI, Part 2Henry VI, Part 3Richard III
Margaret of Anjou first appears in the closing scenes of 1 Henry VI. The Duke of Suffolk had chosen her to marry Henry VI, despite being advised against it due to the fact that her father Rene cannot supply an adequate dowry. When Suffolk and Margaret first meet, they immediately fall in love and engage in an adulterous relationship in secret. By 2 Henry VI, it is clear that Margaret is by far the more dominating personality over her weak husband. She plots with the lords to murder Duke Humphrey of Gloucester, a task that is ultimately accomplished. When Suffolk is exiled for his part in the murder the two share a touching farewell and the queen is genuinely devastated when she learns of the duke's death, even going so far as to carry his severed head around at court. She vows revenge against the Yorkists and supports the Duke of Somerset, angering York and causing the Battle of St Albans. At the beginning of 3 Henry VI, after the Lancastrians have been defeated, Henry VI agrees to make York his heir, disinheriting his own son. This greatly angers the queen who, despite the peace between the two sides, attacks York anyway. The Yorkists are defeated at Wakefield and York captured. Margaret torments him by placing a paper crown on his head and rubbing his face with a cloth soaked in the blood of his youngest son, before stabbing him to death. The Lancastrians are chased from England by York's son Edward, who, in turn, becomes king. Margaret and Prince Edward desperately seek help from King Louis XI in France but are rejected. Only when Warwick arrives, followed by news that Edward IV has married Elizabeth Woodville instead of Louis XI's sister-in-law, does the French king agree to aid the fallen queen. Margaret joins forces with Warwick and a marriage is agreed upon between Prince Edward and Warwick's daughter Anne. The Lancastrians return and take back the throne, but only temporarily. Edward IV returns and Warwick is defeated and killed at Barnet. Margaret is then defeated at Tewksbury and Prince Edward is murdered by the king and his brothers. Henry VI is soon after murdered by Richard and, in the play's final scene, Edward IV announces that Margaret will be ransomed back to France. 
Nonetheless, she is present in England in Richard III and acts as a prophetess of sorts. She rebukes the Yorkists for there actions that resulted in the deaths of her husband and son and warns them that terrible things will happen to them (ie. in the form of Richard III and his murderous ways). In reality, Margaret was not only not present in England during these events, but was most certainly dead by the time Richard III ascended the throne. Overall, Shakespeare portrays Margaret in a fairly negative light as a woman who is unfaithful to her husband as is commanding to the point of intolerance. Many of the views of modern historians come from Shakespeare's portrayal of the queen. In the end, though, it is difficult not sympathize with someone who went from having so much, to having so little. 
Dunn, Diana E. S. ‘Margaret (1430–1482)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [, accessed 18 Jan 2010]

Republican Calendar

During the Napoleonic wars most of Europe used the Gregorian calendar with the exception of Russia, which used the Julian calendar until the revolution of 1917. Between 1792 and 1805 France used what was known as the Republican Calendar. In this all the months were renamed and years began with the foundation of the Republic at An I. All months had 30 days except the 12th month, which had 35 or 36 on a leap year. The Republican year ran from September to August.
Vendemiaire22 September-21 October
Brumaire22 August-20 November
Frimaire21 November-20 December
Nivose21 December- 19 January
Pluviose20 January-18 February
Ventose19 February-20 March
Germinal21 March-19 April
Floreal20 April-19 May
Prairial20 May-18 June
Messidor19 June-18 July
Thermidor19 July-17 August
Fructidor18 August-21 September

The combat of Mohrungen

The combat of Mohrungen (25 January 1807) saw Bernadotte's corps defeat part of a Russian army that was attempting to attack the isolated left wing of Napoleon's army in Poland in the winter of 1806-7.
After the inconclusive battles of Pultusk and Golymin (26 December 1806) Napoleon decided to go into winter quarters east of the Vistula. Most of his corps were concentrated in the area to the north and north-east of Warsaw, but his line ran all the way to the Baltic, with Bernadotte's corps on the extreme left and Ney's corps next in line. Both men were expected to remain in their winter quarters, but Ney ignored his orders and sent some of his men north towards Konigsberg. Napoleon blamed Ney for provoking the Russians into action, although this wasn't actually the case.
At the end of December the main Russian army, under Buxhowden and Bennigsen, was camped to the north-east of the main French concentration, on the Narew River. Much to Napoleon's surprise the Russians decided to launch a fresh offensive. They decided to move north then turn west to attack Bernadotte's isolated corps, using the Forest of Johannesburg to hide their movement. The French were almost entirely in ignorance of this move until 19 January, when the Russian advance guard ran into some of Ney's cavalry at Schippenbeil, on the River Alle. Over the next two days Ney withdrew south-west to Neidenburg, and sent messages to Bernadotte to inform him of the Russian advance.
Bernadotte responded quickly and ordered his scattered corps to concentrate. Rivaud's division was to concentrate at Osterode, Drouet's further north at Saalfeld, from where it was to advance to Mohrungen (modern Morag) and Dupont's division at Preussisch Holland (Paslek), northwest of Mohrungen.
By noon on 25 January Bernadotte had reached Mohrungen. He had nine infantry battalions and eleven cavalry squadrons with him, most from Dupont's division and Drouet's division. This put him in the path of the Russian right, which was advancing towards Liebstadt.
The Russian force, under General Markov, advanced to the village of Georgenthal (now Jurki, two miles to the north of Mohrungen). He placed two infantry regiments in his first line, and another regiment in his second line. Two more infantry battalions were sent forward to the hamlet of Pfarrersfeldchen (Pastor's field, modern Plebania Wólka, just to the north of Mohrungen). A regiment of hussars was placed in front of this advance guard. Markov also had five battalions of jägers and a large number of Cossacks.
Bernadotte decided to attack the Russians. Dupont was ordered to rush to the battlefield and attack the Russian right wing, while Bernadotte himself launched a frontal assault on the Russian position.
The fighting began at around 1pm when the French cavalry attacks the Russian hussars. The Russians had the best of this early fighting, but were eventually driven off by the French artillery. The French cavalry then advanced towards the Russian lines, but they too were stopped by hostile artillery.
Bernadotte then decided to launch an infantry assault on the Russians at Pfarrersfeldchen. The first French attack used a battalion from the 9th Line and the 1st battalion of the 27th Line. The 9th was held off by the Russians, but the 27th advanced into some woods to the right of the hamlet. During the fighting in the woods this battalion temporarily lost its eagle, but was able to recover it.
The attack was reinforced by the 2nd battalion of the 27th Line and the 8th light, with the 94th line in support. This was enough to force the Russians out of Pfarrersfeldchen. Bernadotte then attacked the main Russian position at Georgenthal, while Dupont's troops had now arrived and were attacking the Russian right. Under pressure from both sides Markov decided to retreat. Bernadotte began to pursue the retreating Russians, but was forced to abandon the chase when he heard gunfire from Mohrungen, now in his rear. A force of Russian cavalry had arrived at the undefended village from the east and captured the French baggage. This cavalry force took 360 French prisoners and freed 200 Russians and Prussians, but was itself forced to retreat when Bernadotte appeared on the scene.
The French admitted to having suffered 700-800 casualties at Mohrungen, while claiming to have inflicted 1,600 casualties on the Russians. Other sources give higher casualty figures, perhaps as many as 2,000 on each side.
After the fighting was over Bernadotte retreated, allowing Bennigsen to occupy Mohrungen. He decided to rest for a few days to recover from the ten day march around the French left flank, and was now convinced that he had defeated Bernadotte's corps and was about to achieve his main aims. Instead on 1 February he received a captured copy of Napoleon's orders for a counter-attack that would have seen the French attack the Russian's left and rear and probably led to a disastrous defeat. This advance warning gave Bennigsen the time he needed to cancel his advance and order a retreat. The French caught them at Jankovo (3 February 1807) and more famously at Eylau (8 February 1807). Both of these battles were inconclusive, and after Eylau both sides went into winter quarters, where they remained until the summer.