Page:A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland - Volume I.djvu/49

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[37]

The cunning Glocester was directed to entice Somerset from his strong position, by the appearance of a flight. The Duke instantly fell into the snare, and rushing forward from his intrenchments in loose array, exposed his line to the attack of Glocester, who immediately forming his troops into a firm battalion, faced about, returned to the charge, and penetrated with ease the open files of his incautious adversaries, pursuing them into the very intrenchments with horrible slaughter. Thrown completely off his guard by this unexpected artifice, Somerset became mad with passion, and riding furiously up to the Lord Wenlock, (second to him in command) who had not advanced to the support of his line, he cleft him to the earth with a stroke of his battle-axe. The troops, astonished at this act of rashness, gave way on every side; the rout became general; three thousand Lancastrians were cut to pieces; and the Queen and her son taken prisoners. Somerset himself escaped the carnage, and, accompanied by a party of knights and gentlemen, cut his way through the enemy, and retired into the abbey-church. Protected by the sanctity of the place, they flattered themselves they should escape destruction, and be admitted to terms; but the passions which are called out in civil broils know no distinction of