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E had rather save one of his own soldiers than
kill ten of his enemies. He accounts it an idle,
vainglorious, and suspected bounty, to be full of good words; his rewarding, therefore, of the deserver arrives so timely, that his liberality can never be said to be goutyhanded. He holds it next his creed, that no coward can be an honest man, and dare die in it. He doth not think his body yields a more spreading shadow after a victory than before; and when he looks upon his enemy's dead body, 'tis with a noble heaviness, not insultation; he is so honourably merciful to women, in surprisal, that only that makes him an excellent courtier. He knows the hazard of battles, not the pomp of ceremonies, are soldiers' best theatres, and strives to gain reputation not by the multitude, but by the greatness of his actions. He is the first in giving the charge, and the last in retiring his foot. Equal toil he endures with the common soldier; from his example they all take fire, as one torch lights many.
He understands in wars there is no mean to err twice; the first and least fault being sufficient to ruin an army, faults therefore he pardons none; they
that are presidents of disorder or mutiny repair it by being examples of his justice. Besiege him never so strictly, so long as the air is not cut from him, his heart faints not. He hath learned as well to make use of a victory as to get it; and in pursuing his enemy, like a whirlwind carries all afore him, being assured if ever a man will benefit himself upon his foe, then is the time when they have lost force, wisdom, courage, and reputation. The goodness of his cause is the special motive to his valour; never is he known to slight the weakest enemy that comes armed against him on the hand of justice. Hasty and over much heat he accounts the step-dame to all great actions, that will not suffer them to thrive ; if he cannot overcome his enemy by force, he does it by time. If ever he shakes hands with war, he can die more calmly than most courtiers, for his continual dangers have been, as it were, so many meditations of death! He thinks not out of his own calling, when he accounts life a continual warfare, and his prayers then best become him when armed cap-a-pie. He utters them like the great Hebrew general, on horseback. He casts a smiling contempt upon calumny; it meets him as if glass should encounter adamant. He thinks war is never to be given o'er but on one of these three conditions -an assured peace, absolute victory, or an honest death. Lastly, when peace folds him up, his silver head should lean near the golden sceptre, and die in the prince's bosom.'1
1 Miscellaneous Works of Sir Thomas Overbury. Now first collected and edited by E. F. Rimbault, LL.D.
2 LOTS on the escutcheon is an old phrase used to
denote the black spots of disgrace which appear
in the records of many opulent families; but in few so darkly as that of the Hungerfords of Farleigh Castle, in Somersetshire, about nine miles west from Bath. There are other branches of the Hungerfords in Wiltshire; and their history is so complicated as to baffle collectors, who are ever on the lookout for additions to their stores, notwithstanding that accomplished antiquary, Sir Richard Colt Hoare, printed in 1823 a small octavo volume of this remarkable family, entitled Hungerfordiana. From these accumulations of evidence we may glean a narrative which not only portrays individuals, but affords us pictures of periods which are interesting as well as suggestive. The name of the Hungerfords has been preserved in our metropolis for several centuries; and that upon a spot which was long noted as a site of unfortunate speculation.
The Farleigh Castle estate is of high antiquity. For a long period it was held by Saxon thanes; and in the eleventh century it fell into the possession of Roger de
Curcelle, a Norman baron, who stood in high favour with William the Conqueror. After his death, the property reverted to the Crown, when William Rufus granted it, with other lands, to Hugh de Montfort; whence in old records we often find it denominated Farley Montfort. A strange character was this same Hugh. In opposition to the almost universal custom of the time, he chose to wear a long beard, whence he acquired the cognomen of the bearded Hugh cum barba. He was a right valiant soldier, but got killed in a duel with Walkeline de Ferrers, of Oakham Castle. The estate, however, remained in his family till the year 1335, when Sir Henry de Montfort granted this and other lands to Bartholomew Lord Burghersh, who figures in the unfortunate wars carried on by Richard 11. against the Scots. His son and successor held the property but a short time, being compelled by his imprudence to part with it to Thomas Lord Hungerford. With his descendants it then continued for many generations, except only for a brief interval, when, its possessor having been beheaded, it was confiscated to the Crown and given to the Duke of Gloucester. Upon the Duke's accession to the throne it was granted by him to John Howard, Duke of Norfolk—Jockey of Norfolk '-one of the staunchest of his adherents on Bosworth Field, where he fell in a personal encounter with the Earl of Oxford. After shivering their spears on each other's shields or breastplates, they fell to with their swords. Oxford, wounded in the arm by a blow which glanced from his crest, returned it by one which hewed off the vizor of
Norfolk's helmet, leaving the face bare ; and then, disdaining to follow up the advantage, drew back, when an arrow from an unknown hand pierced the Duke's brain. We must spare room for the close of this striking episode of Bosworth. Surrey, hurrying up to assist or avenge his father, was surrounded and overpowered by Sir Gilbert Talbot and Sir John Savage, who commanded on the right and left for Richmond.
*Young Howard single with an army fights;
If we may credit tradition or the chroniclers, all this was literally true. When completely exhausted, Surrey presented the hilt of his sword to Talbot, whom he requested to take his life, and save him from dying by an ignoble hand. He lived to be the Surrey of Flodden Field, and the worthy transmitter of all the blood of all the Howards.'
To return to the Hungerfords. The fact of a lady of this name having suffered execution at Tybourn on the 20th of February 1523, has been handed down by the Chronicle of Stow; and it is stated by that historian that
1 Bosworth Field, by Sir John Beaumont, Bart., in Weaver's Funeral Monuments, p. 554.