Page:VCH Surrey 1.djvu/434

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A HISTORY OF SURREY which had supported him, Surrey included, were mainly Yorkist in the coming Wars of the Roses. The Arundel interest was Yorkist. The de Clare lands had long been broken up, and the part of them which had fallen to the Staffords, Dukes of Buckingham, was the only impor- tant Lancastrian strength in Surrey. There was no fighting of any consequence south of the Thames in those wars till 1471. In 1452 the Duke of York, coming from the west and being refused entry into London, had crossed by the bridge at Kingston and marched through Surrey to Blackheath. In 1460 the Earls of Salisbury, Warwick and March the last was the future Edward IV. came the other way through Surrey .on their road from Calais, to London, which they entered without fighting. In 1470, when Warwick and Clarence declared for King Henry, the men of Kent rose ' consueta necquicia ' apparently in this same cause, and plundered Southwark but shortly withdrew. 1 In 1471 however, when Edward IV. was away winning Tewkesbury, the Bastard of Falconbridge had come from Calais with supporters of the Warwick-Lancaster alliance, had landed in Kent, and came by land to the foot of London Bridge, while his ships came up the Thames so far as the batteries of the Tower allowed. Falcon- bridge would have had a party in London for him if he had not alienated the citizens by assaulting Aldgate with a force from his ships and the bridge also from the south, burning some houses and firing on the city. His ships lay at RedclifF, Ratcliffe we now call it, out of reach of the Tower guns. Had they been able to face the batteries, he might have succeeded and got the captive Henry VI. into his hands. He was repulsed, but the attack seems to have been the most serious made upon the city since Cnut's siege, and was singular in being delivered from both sides of the river. Falconbridge then marched all his forces to Kingston with the intention of meeting Edward on his return from the west. But he allowed himself to be overpersuaded into retreating again to Blackheath, where his followers dispersed. The news of the battle of Tewkesbury had no doubt become generally known. The im- pregnable position of London to attacks from Surrey evidently depended upon the narrow pass of the fortified bridge, supported to some extent by the Tower batteries on one side. It defied mediaeval assailants, as Orleans defied Salisbury and Suffolk from across the Loire. It was perhaps the jealousy of London, always striving to acquire rule over Southwark, which prevented the Surrey side from being walled and erected into a separate city in the Middle Ages. The various suburbs spread along the Thames from Bermondsey to Lambeth made up a more populous and important place than many corporate towns. But a fortified Southwark would not have made London at all more secure. The reign of Henry VI. added a borough, a rotten borough, to Surrey. In 1449 Henry granted to John Tymperley certain rights of free warren and so on in his manor of Gatton, and in 1450 called up two 1 This rising is recorded in the Brief Latin Chronicle, edited by Mr. Gairdner for the Camden Society, 1880, and is briefly mentioned by Polydore Vergil. 364