Hotspurs Arms


Lord Henry Percy (AKA Harry Hotspur).

Lord Henry Percy was born on the 20th of May 1366 at Alnwick Castle.
His father Henry had already been endowed with the Earldom of Northumberland and his Grand Mother Mary Plantagenet was the Grand daughter of the ruthless King Edward the III. 

Crescent and Manacles

At the age of 8 years Lord Harry accompanied his father on a campaign against Du Guesclin as a page, wearing the badge of Percy the Crescent and the manacles. In 1376 he witnessed the bloody fights between the Scots and the English. At 11 years he was knighted at the Coronation of Richard the II to become Sir Harry Percy Knight by the Kings hand.

Below is an effigy of Hotspur, but the commissioned painting below that is far more like him – a real Percy.

In the autumn of 1388, Berwick the major border power point was captured by the Scots. This was a slight on Earl Percy’s watchfulness. The siege of Berwick lasted nine days. The Northumbrians cleverly created a massive furnace under the castle wall and the intense heat literally caused a section of the stone wall crashing down. The final victory being led in person by Sir Harry Percy to whom his father had granted him this most dangerous honour. Sir Harry leapt through the gap with sword shouting ‘esperance’, the Percy motto. He was just 12 years old and was protected by the stalwart Northumbrian ‘Redmayne’ to make sure he came to no harm.

No quarter was given and no Scots survived. But revenge was quick and the Scots tore Northumberland apart for leagues. King Richard II intervened on the advice of John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster also a cousin of Richard (as Hotspur was). This intervention by Lancaster was motivated by his desire to see his son Henry Bolingbroke nominated as Richards successor. This caused much mistrust between Lancaster and the Percies who were loyal to Richard and this factor eventually led to the troubles culminating in the battle of Shrewsbury in 1403.

Harry Hotspur. A very close resemblance. A true Percy.

All of England began ringing with the fame of Harry Hotspur.
With his youthful good looks and absolute fearlessness he caught the popular fancy. Gentle and simple swore that never since the days of the Black Prince had England seen such a Knight as him.

These are the words the Minstrel sang. “The Lord Northumberland sped to the field in truth as I do say.
Jesus Christ in heaven on high did hold him up that day. Sir Harry came up to the walls the Scottish foe to see, Sir Harry and the Scot did meet in battle forsworn was he.
They fought together all that day with swords of fine collayne. The Scot was beat by his English foe and gave him Hotspur as a name”.

Sir Harry was now known by the sobriquet ‘Hotspur’, so named by his Scottish foe for his impetuous, devastating speed in battle.

In 1386 his father Earl Percy entered into a solemn covenant with the Scots Earl of Douglas for the peace and protection of the border. Douglas and Percy set their seals at the water of Eske on the 15th day of March. But still the border skirmishes continued across the frontier and these cross road fights were almost a weekly occurrence as private armies went against the covenant of the wardens to loot rape and pillage the countryside.

All this came to a head in 1388 when a Scots army led by Douglas and Montgomerie and numbering 50,000 men and invaded the North as far as Newcastle laying waste to the whole country side. Their aim was to confront Lord Harry Percy who was constable of Newcastle. But in pushing so recklessly Southward Douglas had failed to take cognisance of Earl Percy’s movements. He had deliberately withdrawn to Alnwick and had let Douglas pass on his way allowing him time to collect a sizeable army.

No sooner had Douglas set down before Newcastle than Earl Percy took his cue and set forth with his assembled army to cut off the enemys retreat. Douglas had allowed himself to be drawn into a cleverly devised trap. Douglas was keener to scrap with Hotspur in chivalrous combat than to dwell on strategy and he soon challenged Hotspur to single combat, which was accepted. A course was set before the Newcastle gates and the two champions advanced unattended to the encounter.

Douglas had the advantage of age and strength being 8 years older than Hotspur who had barely attained his majority. But in all other respects the combatants were fairly matched. They met mounted on two greete coursers, with sharpe grounde speares at the utterance. Fortune did not favour Hotspur that day and he was struck hard on his side and flung from his saddle to the ground and was concussed. Fearing that he might fall into the hands of the Scots Hotspurs men rescued him back within the walled town.

This untoward event was galling to the Northumbrians as much as it filled the Scots with fresh vigour and the victorious Douglas immediately ordered a general assault on Newcastle. Again and again they attacked only to be beaten back each time. Hotspur and his brother Ralph fought in the forefront of the garrison. So resolute was their defence that Douglas raised the siege and began to retire towards the border.

Capture Of Hotspurs Lance

Before he left however he rode up to within earshot of the town wall followed by his esquire holding Hotspurs captured lance and Pennon. Earl Douglas shouted up to the battlement.

“Syre”, he said ” I shall bear this token of of your prowess into Scotland, and shall set it high in my castle of Dalkeith that it may be seen from far off “. Hotspur shouted down in reply. ” Ye may be sure ye shall not passe the bounds of the countrye tyll ye be met withal in such wyse that ye shall make none account thereof “.To which Earl Douglas replied. ” Well Syre come you this night to my lodgyngs and seek for your pennon. I shall set it before my lodgynge, and see if you will come and take it away “.

Hotspur had already received the cheering news from Alnwick of his fathers advance Meanwhile Douglas waited at Otterbourne for Hotspurs arrival not knowing that Earl Percy was also on the march with his army.

Most authorities say that the battle of Otterbourne engagement began during the evening of August the 19th 1388 a Wednesday according to the Julian Calendar. Hotspur had indeed followed Douglas but did not bother to wait to join his fathers army from Alnwick. It was not in the Percy way to wait to launch an attack and so Hotspur broke the battle upon the Scottish foe though it was late afternoon. Even so the Scots were clearly surprised at the speed with which Hotspur had travelled and their hastily formed line was shattered by the Northumbrians first onslaught. But darkness came quickly saving the Scottish a rout. Douglas shouted out for his men to rally or to never think upon Scotland again. The Scots rallied and counter attacked as the moon shone out sweeping down upon the Northumbrians. To make matters worse the Bishop of Durhams troops coming from the South mistook Hotspurs force for Scots and attacked from the rear. Hour after hour the fight went on until Earl Percys garrison arrived and turned the tide of the battle. Hotspur and Douglas fought in fantastic hand to hand combat, Hotspur mortally wounding Douglas who kept cheering his men on from his bloody position on the ground. The Scots fled and Hotspur and his brother Ralph took after them in hot pursuit only to be captured for being so rash. Hotspur and Ralph Percy were ransomed after a brief sojourn across the border.

The death of Douglas and the cruel slaughter of Otterbourne awed the border into a peace more lasting than it had known for many a long year. The cessation of hostilities gave the Earl of Northumberland time to attend to turn to the most pressing issue of the King. Richard II had allowed himself to to fall into the ways of his unhappy ancestor, Edward Carnarvon. Richards favourites, chief among whom was Robert De Vere were elevated to positions of power at the expense of the old nobles so that they could be dominated by the feeble mind of the King. For a time Earl Percy and Hotspur kept aloof and even thought to become peacemaker between Richard and the increasing animosity of the old guard. But the pressure was already being applied on Richard through Parliament and he reluctantly relented. De Vere and his cronies fled and Earl Northumberland took advantage of the Royal repentance by introducing numerous reforms.

Richards fickle favour shone also upon Hotspur and he was made Governor of Carlisle and Warden of the West Marches and a Knight of the Garter joining his father and uncle Thomas in this proud distinction. Hotspurs elevation though was beginning to cause some jealous irritation with Earl Percys (and Richards) cousin the powerful John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster who wanted the crown of England for his own.

From the Scottish border fresh invasions had begun and by 1393 Northumbria was laid bare. Lancaster deliberately criticised Northumberland and Hotspur in Parliament gaining them a Royal reproach.

In 1396 Hotspur accompanied Richard to his meeting with the French King at Guisnes and during the same year Sir Thomas Percy (Hotspurs uncle) with Hotspur among his Knights went in full state to conduct the child queen, Isabel of France to English territory.

In the meantime King Richard had grown weary of well doing and had permitted his favourites to surreptitiously return to their old places at court. Most of the great Barons and the commons generally regarded the return of Richardss evil counsellors with anger and disgust. Only the intervention of the Clergy was needed to precipitate a revolution, which Lancaster was lobbying hard for. Sir Thomas Percy had become spokesman for the clergy and his influence saved the day for the King and civil war was stayed and Sir Thomas was elevated to Earl of Worcester but the time was drawing near when even Earl Thomas could no longer uphold his master.

All his life Old John of gaunt had been a menace to the peace and prosperity of England, but the evils which he had wrought when living were nothing to those he bequeathed to England upon his deathbed. The unscrupulous Lancaster passed away on February the 4th 1399 beginning what was to be a most terrible eighty years of rapine and bloodshed, which we now call the “Wars of the Roses”.

Lancasters intrigues to place his own son Henry Bolingbroke in the position of next heir to the throne had already done its damage with Northumberland and Hotspur. These same ambitions had not unnaturally drawn upon Bolingbroke the dislike and suspicion of the King. Richard acted quite foolishly and without council revoking the letters patent granted to the heir of Lancaster and confiscating all his estates and banishing him for life to France. There was great outcry at his Majesties arbitrary proceeding. Fearing their own chastisement the great Lords including Northumberland and Hotspur protested so vehemently against Bolingbrokes despoilments that the King ordered their arrest. Sir Thomas, Earl Worcester (the kings Lord Steward) warned his brother and nephew in time and they escaped the tower by a swift journey Northward to Warkworth. Richard sent several emissaries to them commanding them to return but this they wisely refused to do, pleading unsettled conditions on the border. Sentences of banishment and confiscation were therefore pronounced against them and they remained under arms in their own territory.

Richard postponed the execution of the warrants against Northumberland and Hotspur due to troubles in Ireland. He set sail for Waterford in a fleet commanded by Worcester! Richard had hardly set foot in Ireland when Hotspur opened communication with his cousin Bolingbroke inviting him to return to attempt the recovery of his inheritance by force of arms. To this Bolingbroke cunningly agreed.

The Percies had no intent whatsoever to forward the banished Plantagenet Bolingbroke as a candidate for the crown. They rather had in mind their regent until the young Mortimer Richards chosen heir became of age should it be necessary. After all Bolingbroke was a blood relative and had to all intents and purposes been unjustly treated by the King. Should Richard have returned to find them unprepared it would surely place them in jeopardy.

Henry Bolingbroke landed at Ravenspur on the 4th of July that same year where he met with Northumberland and Hotspur. From Ravenspur, they travelled to Doncaster where wise Northumberland compelled the young Lancaster to sign a solemn oath not to lay claim to the crown but to rest content with the goodly estates and titles of his father.

A transcript from the metrical version of Chaplain William Peeris:

“The said Henry of Darby (Bolingbroke) after he was entered into the land.
At Doncaster in the White-friars was sworn on the sacrement,
To the said seventh Henry, 1st Earl of Northumberland,
And to the Lord Percy his eldest son, being there present,
With his uncle the Earl of Worcester, that he would be content
His owne inheritance onely to claim,
Which was the Dukedom of Lancaster which of right he would obteine;
And not to usurpe the crowne upon his prince King Richard;
And after he was perjured, and of his oathe had no regarde.”

When the King returned in haste from Ireland he found that the might of the nation swayed against him and his armies had disbanded. Seeing that his power had vanished Richard commanded Worcester to break his staff of office and dismiss the Royal household. He then despatched the Duke of Exeter to Chester where Bolingbroke lay with a great army. Asking that Northumberland visit him. From this point on the story of Northumberland and Hotspurs role varies widely suffice to say that Bolingbroke was so determined in his quest for the crown that any sense of honour or duty was merely a pipe dream. What ever thr truth Richard abdicated and on September the 29th 1399 Bolingbroke read it out to Parliament and Richard was imprisoned in the Tower.

Whether it be true that the Percies wittingly assisted Bolingbroke to climb the throne or whether they were duped by John of Gaunts right worthy offspring is still the subject of much conjecture. What is certain though is that Northumberland knew that his son and heir Hotspur had equal right to the crown as Henry Bolingbroke knew so jealously.

A short time after his accession the new King Henry IV saw fit to seek the goodwill of his north – country kinsmen by loading them with many new honours and his first signature as King was attached to a charter making Northumberland Lord High Constable., and he shortly thereafter granted the Percies the Isle of man and its dependencies. Hotspur was granted the Wardenship of the Eastern Marches and the Justiciaryship of North Wales while he was also named Governor or Constable of Berwick, Roxburgh, Bamburgh, Chester, Carnarvon and Flint.

But the political climate on the border was unstable. When the George Dunbar the Scottish Earl of March was banished from Scotland by the mighty Douglas on treason he fled to Alnwick and the Percies refused to surrender him staring another round of bitter border clashes that led to outright war. Although Dunbar was the Percies hereditary enemy Henry IV wanted Dunbar to help with his expert strategic experience. The devastation to both sides of the border was so continuous and fierce that there was no food to be had by man or beast. In March 1401 Northumberland and Douglas endeavoured to patch up their differences to no avail.

All the while the first signs of ill will between the new made King and the House of Percy were becoming obvious. Hotspur urged the strengthening of Carlisle and Berwick castles as protection against possible invasion, but the King took no notice of the appeal. On Good Friday 1401 Conway castle was somehow betrayed to the Welsh but Hotspur succeeded in recovering the stronghold after a months siege. When he wrote to the King requesting funds to pay for his endeavours the King refused to pay anywhere near the full amount. This was the first sign of King Henrys duplicity against the Percies whom he feared. Again Hotspur wrote pleading for the money telling his Majesty that his troops remained unpaid. But the King and his council turned a deaf ear. Hotspur wrote.

” remember how I have repeatedly applied for payment of the kings soldiers who are in such distress as they can no longer endure owing to the lack of money. I therefore implore you to order that they be paid. If better means cannot be found I shall have to go to you in person to claim payment, to the neglect of other duties.”

Hotspur had also written to the King warning him that serious trouble might result from lack of payment to his soldiers. This veiled threat was ignored and declined to offer Hotspur any financial relief although his exchequer was well filled. In September Hotspur resigned his ungrateful post of Justiciary of North Wales and went North to assist his father in the endeavour to preserve peace with the Scots, which was destined to failure.

In May 1402 a considerable body of Scots raiders crossed the border and proceeded to plunder and slay until Hotspur with a considerable force encountered them at Nesbitt Moor. The Scots marauders were taken by surprise and Hotspurs force won a complete victory. Thousands of Scots were slain and their captain Hepurn and many other notable men of distinction fell into Hotspurs hands.

To avenge the defeat at Nesbitt a second Scottish expedition invaded England in August this time commanded by the Earl of Douglas. Thirty French Knights of great distinction accompanied the army which numbered over 12,000 picked men. They ravaged Northumberland as far as Durham and to the Wear. Returning homeward weighed down with their plunder the Douglas army was intercepted 6 miles north of Wooler by Harry Hotspur. Sitting at the lead with Hotspur was none other than the banished Scots Earl of March Lord Dunbar. The English occupied a strong position at Millfield on Till commanding the main line of Douglas’s retreat. The Scots halted at Homildoun Hill a mere bow shot away. Hotspur was all for immediately charging the Scots down but the cautious Dunbar succeeded in restraining Hotspur’s eagerness. At the advice of Dunbar the battle was left to the English archers who had been drawn up in the van. The showers of arrows that these archers sent veiled the sun. The exposed Scotsmen were blocked in retreat by their own train and suffered such a massacre that the battle was over in only an hour. The Northumberland men at arms were never called into action the rout was so effective. Five Earls Douglas, Fife, Angus, Moray and Orkney were taken prisoner and so was Dunbar’s revenge.

King Henry rejoiced in Hotspur’s victory and issued an edict strictly forbidding that any of the prisoners taken should be ransomed or exchanged. His excuse for such a course is wholly at variance with established custom, and designed to cause certain discontent was that by keeping the Scottish border Lords in durance peace might be insured between the two Kingdoms. Captives and captors alike were enraged, the latter by the loss of their liberty, the former by what they held to be a breach of chivalry and a deliberate insult from the throne. Henry followed up his first order with a second desiring that all the prisoners should be conveyed to London without delay. Hotspur who had taken the Earl Douglas by his own hand simply refused to comply. When the Scots and French Lords arrived in London the Kings prize Douglas was not among them.

The King sent couriers to Warkworth demanding Hotspurs instant appearance at court together with that of his prisoner Douglas. The second portion of the message was ignored but Harry Percy set out for London by himself. On his way South Hotspur heard news that the young Roger Mortimer the young Earl of march had been captured by Owen Glendower on the Welsh frontier. Hotspur had recently married the Earls aunt Lady Elizabeth Mortimer. Hotspur now had family reasons for being interested in the fate of this unfortunate house. It must also not be forgotten that Roger of March stood next after Richard II in the strict line of succession to the English throne and it must have concerned Hotspur that the legitimate heir to the throne lay at the mercy of the wild Glendower. Hotspur hastened to London to meet the King.

Hotspur made application to henry to have Mortimer ransomed but due to Hotspurs lack of handing over Douglas this was denied. Angry Hotspur replied publicly thus.

” Behold the heyre of the realme is robbed of his right and the robber with his owne will not redeem him “.

The Kings advisors asked that action be taken against Hotspur but the King made no effort to have Hotspur impeached. The Sovereigns motives were more subtly crafty than those of his advisors. Henry Bolingbroke realising the instability of his throne and the widespread popularity of Hotspur was under the cover of fair words and the pretence of magnanimity trying to provoke the Percies into outright war and so rid himself of their opposition. King Henrys political machinations were carefully executed. In March 1403 he granted Northumberland all the land of Douglas in persuasion to send them to the North out of London. This was seen as a generous treatment but history ensured that this was not the Kings reasoning. The lands on the border needed to be conquered before they could be sequested and the king was not about to finance these efforts as we saw previously. Hotspur and Northumberland made new submission to the King requesting payment. But this time the King acted and went forth with his army to quell the Percies once and for all precipitating the civil war that had been brewing since Henry refused to ransom Mortimer.

In the interim a son had been born to Harry Hotspur and Elizabeth Mortimer. This offspring of their union furthermore strengthened the alliance between the Percies the Mortimers and the legitimate heir to the crown. This young boy Lord Henry Percy through Hotspurs mothers Plantagenet blood and the Mortimers royal line gave him right over Bolingbrokes child to the crown as reported thus.

” The King began to think that now Hotspur’s son had nearer right to the crown than his own offspring. It was not to be borne with “.

On hearing of the Kings march North Hotspur sent his wife and babe to a secure retreat. Then leaving his father to gather an army in Northumberland he took a large force into Cheshire to where he was to meet with Owen Glendower. Riding with Hotspur was the Earl Douglas and the other Scottish nobles retained by him after the battle at Homildoun. On arriving at Chester Hotspur sent couriers to Wales to Owen Glendower. Glendower had released Roger Mortimer after he took his daughters hand in marriage thus establishing an alliance in blood. Now it became apparent what was going to happen. This newly formed triumvirate between Hotspur, Douglas and Glendower was planning to take England from the King.

The combination against King henry IV was beyond all questions formidable. He rose promptly to the occasion displaying not his qualities of unscrupulous craftiness and other ill qualities.

In Wales was Glendower with the legitimate heirs to the throne by his side, calling his fiery Celts together in the name of liberty pronouncing to his people the supernatural the prophecy of Merlin the Arthurian seer.

” And now after these there shall come out of the North a Dragon and a Wolfe, the which shall be the help of the Lyon, and bring the realme great rest, with peace and glory. These three shall rise agaynst the Moldewarpe which is accursed of god. Also they shall thrust him forth from the realme and the Moldewarpe shall flee and take a ship to save himself “.

It was written that the Plantagenets were spurned from the devils seed and it was written that King henry had contacted the great pox of leprosy under this families curse by God.

Many of the great Lords of the land joined Hotspur and Glendower. The rest remained outwardly neutral including the Nevilles of Furnival while secretly sympathising with the insurgents.

In the North the Earl of Northumberland made his headquarters a Berwick drawing a great host of Scottish and English nobles to his standard. Letters were broadcast over the realm requesting support. Worcester left the Kings service and joined Hotspur at Chester jeopardising his high office. He then drew up a manifesto declaring that the King had obtained his crown by fraud and perjury. Meanwhile at Berwick Northumberland had delayed his departure South due to illness. Had he gone then the outcome might have been very different.

In Chester the Blue Lion of Percy hung side by side with the arms of Douglas. The galleried courtyard was thronged with envoys and couriers from every corner of the land.

Cheshire loyal to the memory of Richard II sent its Knights and Squires to battle with Hotspur for Richard heir while reinforcements poured in from Lancashire, Derbyshire and the Marches. On about the 17th of July Worcester declared his manifesto and he and Hotspur issued a proclamation to the effect that the Earl of March was the rightful King of England and that Henry of Bolingbroke was deposed and that they themselves had assumed the ” style and title of joint protectors of the Commonwealth “. They also sent out letters of defiance accusing Henry of breaking the oath that he made at Doncaster that he would not claim the Crown and further stating that he arranged Richards murder.

Learning that Glendower was on the march Hotspur set his force in motion and on the morning of Saturday the 21st of July he appeared down the Ostwestry road before the Castle Foregate of Shrewsbury. But dire disappointment greeted him. On the walls of Shrewsbury the banner of King Henry IV hung.

By one splendid strategic stroke the King had resolved to win or lose all. Hearing of the revolution on the 16th of July he knew there was only one hope of survival. That was to go into the heart of the war to cut off the insurgents before Northumberland and Glendower could join them. It has been suggested that Earl Dunbar promoted this strategy the Scottish refugee on whose advice Henry commissioned.

At the site of the Royal standard over Shrewsbury Hotspur drew back along the Whitchurch road for about three and a half miles and chose a position of considerable strength on the slope of the Hayteley field to the left of the road in the Parish of Albright Hussey. A mass of tangled pea vines and three small ponds protected his front. The King advancing from Shrewsbury took up a position at the foot of the slope. Then he sent messengers to Hotspur asking Hotspur and Worcester to come forward into the Royal line in order to avert bloodshed. Perhaps under the circumstances this was sincere on Henries part but his proven duplicity led the Percies to believe otherwise.

Glendower and Northumberland had been sighted to the West and North respectively although both at least a days ride away. Hotspur refused to go in person to the King worried about assassination, but he allowed Worcester to go on his behalf. King Henry asked Worcester to convey terms of peace to Hotspur proposing the Prince of Wales as guarantee. Worcester did not trust Henry and advised Hotspur not to harken to them. Worcester went to the King with Hotspurs final response. ” I put no trust in thee “. To which Henry replied ” I pray the Lord that thou and not I may be held responsible for the blood spilt this day. “

Before the ranks of clattering horse and armour had begun to move an omen happened which blanched the cheeks of Hotspur and his friends. Turning to his Esquire Hotspur called for his favourite sword, the staunch crescent handled weapon with which he had won so many fights. The Esquire replied that the sword had been left behind were they camped the previous night a village called Berwick. Hotspur groaned and cried that his plough had reached its last furrow. A soothsayer had long aside prophesied that Harry Percy would die before Berwick, but naturally the Northern hero had thought this to be the Berwick on the border not a tiny hamlet in Shropshire and Hotspur was know to have a very suspicious nature.

Hotspurs fears soon left him and taking a leaf out of Dunbars book he placed the Cheshire archers (the most renowned soldiers in England) at the foremost line of fight. Not long after this and before Northumberland or Glendower could offer Hotspur their support King Henry gave the word to attack. ” En avent baner !Hotspurs force reacted shouting out ” Esperance! Esperance Percy!To which the Royal troops shouted ” St George “.


The Cheshire archers arrows hummed into the fray, six shafts a minute in an endless whirring cacophony of feathers. The arrows broke a part of the Royal line and Hotspurs army surged forward. Hotspur charged ahead the haughty Douglas by his side. Douglas saw what he thought to be the King. Hotspur attacked easily killing him. Shouts went out the King is dead but alas the King had been taken to the rear by Dunbar who had put several Knights dressed in the Kings livery in the midst of the battle confusing the enemy. The kings soldiers would have given in then except another fake King ran forward only to be chopped to death by Douglass mighty axe. Hotspur did not shelter under such devious tactics but he could not tarry long under such conditions. Lifting his visor so that all could see him he launched forward shouting ” Esperance ” and calling on those that loved the right to follow. But a chance arrow falling from aloft imbedded itself in his forehead into his brain. On seeing this, the King shouted out ” Harry Percy is slain “. Few of the insurgent army survived or left the field alive as the sun set on the cause of Mortimer.

Hotspur and the mighty Douglas at Shrewsbury. Hotspur has been shot with an arrow as had been foretold.

Hotspur and the mighty Douglas at Shrewsbury. Hotspur has been shot with an arrow as had been foretold.

In the twilight Henry Bolingbroke searched for Hotspurs body. There lay Douglas his great axe by his side, And there beyond them all with his face looking up at the early stars his forehead pierced by the arrow of doom lay the bravest, rashest, staunchest Knight in England, Lord Harry Percy of Northumberland whom men called Hotspur.

” The earth bore him dead,

Bore not alive so stout a gentleman “.

It is said that the King wept over Hotspurs body. But if he did it was not for long. Thomas Neville removed Hotspurs body to a family chapel in Whitchurch nearby. But in a state of schizophrenic madness King henry ordered it removed and Hotspurs corpse was displayed between two millstones outside the gates of Shrewsbury before being beheaded and quartered. The parts thereof were sent to the Four Corners of the land so as to dissuade others from taking up the cause. Worcester Hotspurs Uncle fared no better and was executed soon after.  Friar Peeris wrote that Hotspurs body was finally interred in York Minster but this has not been verified. The rest of it is history.

Harry Hotspur was immortalised by William Shakespeare in his play Henry IV (part 1).