(Graham Turner: Studio 88)
There are varying accounts of what happened after the battle, putting very different slants on events, depending upon the loyalties of the author. This account follows what is said in the ‘Arrivall’, which is the most contemporary but was written by one of King Edward’s followers. For balance, the Chronicle of Tewkesbury Abbey’ says that Edward entered the Abbey with sword drawn and that the spilling of blood there meant that the church had to be re-consecrated.
The ‘Arrivall’, though, says that King Edward went to the Abbey to give thanks for his victory. Already there were Lancastrian soldiers sheltering, under the Church’s protection. They were all given a free pardon, despite, the author asserted, the Abbey having no power to give sanctuary to the King’s traitors.
Edward also granted that the bodies of those slain in the battle, including Prince Edward, could be buried in the church or where their family wanted. The bodies would not be put on display or subjected to the gruesome butchery which was so common at the time. This magnanimity to the dead, or condemned to death, was a theme in Edward’s victories. At a time when a burial in consecrated ground was considered so important for the after-life it was a gesture which must have helped ease tensions. He was harder on living enemies, though.
Thus this done, and with God's might achieved, the King took the right way to the abbey there, to give unto Almighty God laud and thank for the victory, that, of his mercy, he had that day granted and given unto him; where he was received with procession, and so conveyed through the church, and the quire, to the high alter, with great devotion praising God, and yielding unto him convenient laud.
And, where there were fled into the said church many of his rebels, in great number, hoping there to have been relieved and saved from bodily harm, he gave them all his free pardon, albeit there ne was, ne had not at any time been granted, any franchise to that place for any offenders against their prince having recourse thither, if so had bene his pleasure; but, at the reverence of the blessed Trinity, the most holy virgin Mary, and the holy martyr Saint George, by whose grace and help he had that day attained so noble a victory; and, at the same reverence, he granted the corpses of the said Edward, and other so slain in the field, or elsewhere, to be buried there, in church, or elsewhere it pleased the servants, friends, or neighbours, without any quartering, or defouling their bodies, by setting up at any open place.
and these were taken and behedede afterwarde, where the Kynge hade pardoned them in the abbey cherche of Teukesbury, by a prest that turnyd oute at his messe and the sacrament in his handys, whanne Kynge Edwarde came with his swerde into the chirche, requyrede hyme by the vertu of the sacrament that he schulde pardone alle tho whos names here folowe ; the Duke of Somersett, the Lorde of Seynt Jhones, Sere Humfrey Audeley, Sere Gervis of Clyftone,
Sere William Gremyby, Sere William Gary, Sere Thomas Tresham, Sere William Newbrugh, knyghtes, Herry Tresham, Walter Curtenay, Jhon Florey, Lowes Myles, Robart Jacksone, James Gowere, James Delvis, sonne and heire to Sere Jhon Delvis; whiche, uppone trust of the Kynges pardone yevene in the same
chirche the Saturday, abode ther stille, where thei myght have gone and savyd ther lyves; whiche one monday aftere were behedede, notwhitstondynge the Kynges pardone.