Manner and Guiding of the Earl of Warwick at Angers

(1470)
   Written probably at the direction of Richard NEVILLE, earl of Warwick, the Manner and Guiding of the Earl of Warwick at Angers was a contemporary newsletter that was intended to give the earl’s friends and allies news of his activities in France in July and August 1470.
   Designed to show Warwick’s actions in the best light, the Manner and Guiding describes the negotiation of and reasons for the ANGERS AGREEMENT, a pact brokered by LOUIS XI of FRANCE to create an anti-Yorkist alliance between Warwick and Queen MARGARET OF ANJOU, the exiled wife of HENRY VI. The newsletter depicts Warwick as the initiator of the agreement and emphasizes Margaret’s reluctance to accept the alliance, thus showing the earl’s skill and patience in bringing the unreasonable queen to agreement and portraying him as calm and deliberate, not as a desperate man grasping at his last political option. To reassure his English RETAINERS, whose support was vital to his coming enterprise,Warwick needed to project such an image.
   Although obviously a piece of pro-Warwick PROPAGANDA, and contradicting some of the dates and events given in other contemporary accounts, the Manner and Guiding is nonetheless an important source of information for the events of the summer of 1470. It was written by someone (or perhaps by several persons) who were eyewitnesses to the discussions at Angers, and it was produced immediately after the conclusion of those discussions, between 4 August 1470, the date given for Warwick’s departure from Angers, and 9 September, the date Warwick’s invasion fleet sailed for England. The newsletter was probably distributed in England either during the weeks before the invasion, to prepare Warwick’s supporters for his landing, or during the invasion itself in mid-September, to reassure the members of Warwick’s AFFINITY that the earl was acting with the blessing and support of the French king and the Lancastrian queen. If modern historians must use the Manner and Guiding with care, the document seems to have admirably achieved its original purpose, for Warwick received a large and enthusiastic response when he disembarked in the West Country on 13 September.
   Further Reading: Hammond, P.W., The Battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1990); Hicks, Michael,Warwick the Kingmaker (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1998).

Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses. . 2001.

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