The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 08 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 478 pages of information about The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 08.
to the men, though not to their leaders, had a proportional effect on both armies:  it inspired unusual courage into Henry’s soldiers; it threw Richard’s into dismay and confusion.  The intrepid tyrant, sensible of his desperate situation, cast his eye around the field, and, descrying his rival at no great distance, he drove against him with fury, in hopes that either Henry’s death or his own would decide the victory between them.  He killed with his own hand Sir William Brandon, standard-bearer to the Earl; he dismounted Sir John Cheyney.  He was now within reach of Richmond himself, who declined not the combat, when Sir William Stanley,[3] breaking in with his troops, surrounded Richard, who, fighting bravely to the last moment, was overwhelmed by numbers, and perished by a fate too mild and honorable for his multiplied and detestable enormities.  His men everywhere sought safety by flight.

There fell in this battle about four thousand of the vanquished.  The loss was inconsiderable on the side of the victors.  Sir William Catesby, a great instrument of Richard’s crimes, was taken, and soon after beheaded, with some others, at Leicester.  The body of Richard was found in the field, covered with dead enemies, and all besmeared with blood.  It was thrown carelessly across a horse, was carried to Leicester amid the shouts of the insulting spectators, and was interred in the Gray Friars’ Church of that place.

The historians who favor Richard—­for even this tyrant has met with partisans among the later writers—­maintain that he was well qualified for government had he legally obtained it, and that he committed no crimes but such as were necessary to procure him possession of the crown; but this is a poor apology when it is confessed that he was ready to commit the most horrid crimes which appeared necessary for that purpose; and it is certain that all his courage and capacity—­qualities in which he really seems not to have been deficient—­would never have made compensation to the people for the danger of the precedent and for the contagious example of vice and murder exalted upon the throne.  This Prince was of a small stature, hump-backed, and had a harsh, disagreeable countenance; so that his body was in every particular no less deformed than his mind.

[Footnote 1:  Wife of Henry VI.]

[Footnote 2:  The Queen’s brother.]

[Footnote 3:  Brother of Lord Stanley, above.]

IVAN THE GREAT UNITES RUSSIA AND BREAKS THE TARTAR YOKE

A.D. 1462-1505

Robert Bell

At the birth of Ivan III (1440) Russia was all but stifled between the great Lithuanian empire of the Poles and the vast possessions of the Mongols.  In vain had a succession of Muscovite princes endeavored to give unity to the little Russian state.  Between the grand princes of Moscow and those of Lithuania stood Novgorod and Pskof, the two chief Russian republics, hesitating to declare their allegiance.

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The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 08 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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