The Archbishop of York had called his trusted friend, Sir Michael, to his palace because he had an important mission for him.
‘Hurry, Sir Michael,’ he said. ‘ Take this sealed letter to the Lord Marshal as fast as you can. Take this one to Scroop, and all the rest to those they’re addressed to. If you knew how important they were, you would hurry.’
‘My lord, I can guess what they’re about,’ his friend said as he took the letters.
‘I’m sure you can,’ the Archbishop said. ‘Tomorrow, Sir Michael, ten thousand men will test their fate. I’ve been told that at Shrewsbury, the King – with a huge and quickly assembled army – will fight Harry Percy. I’m afraid, Michael, that without Northumberland, whose army was the largest of all, and without Owen Glendower, whose presence was considered vital but who is absent – over-ruled by prophesies – I’m afraid that Percy’s army will be too weak to fight the King at present.
‘Don’t worry, my lord. Douglas is there, and Lord Mortimer’.
‘No, Mortimer isn’t there.’
‘But Mordake and Vernon, and Harry Percy are there, and Worcester and a lot of brave warriors and good men.’
The Archbishop nodded. ‘That’s so. But the King has drawn the best men in the country together: the Prince of Wales, Lord John of Lancaster, the noble Westmoreland, warlike Blunt, and many other acquaintances and valuable and highly respected men with great military skill.’
‘I have no doubt that they will face great opposition.’
‘I hope so, but still I’m worried. Now hurry, Sir Michael, to prevent an absolute disaster. For if Lord Percy doesn’t prevail the King will come looking for us before he disbands his army. He’s heard about our involvement, so it would be wise to prepare to meet him. Now hurry. I have to write to more friends. So. Farewell, Sir Michael.’