“towards the close of the same year, it being the week of our Lord’s Nativity, the said Richard, duke of York, incautiously engaged the northern army at Wakefield which was fighting for the king, without waiting to bring up the whole of his own forces; upon which, a charge was made by the enemy on his men, and he was without any mercy or respect relentlessly slain. There fell with him the at the same place many noble and illustrious men; and countless numbers of common people, who had followed him, met their deaths there, and all to no purpose.
The duke being thus removed from this world, the northmen, being sensible that the only impediment was now withdrawn, and that there was no one now who would care to resist their inroads, again swept onwards like a whirlwind from the north, and in the impulse of their fury attempted to overrun the whole of England. At this period too, fancying that every thing tended to insure them freedom from molestation, paupers and beggars flocked forth from those quarters in infinite numbers, just like so many mice rushing forth from their holes, and universally devoted themselves to spoil and rapine, without regard for place or person. For, besides the vast quantities of property which they collected outside, they also irreverently rushed, in their unbridled and frantic rage, into churches and other sanctuaries of God, and most nefariously plundered them of their chalices, books, and vestments, and, unutterable crime! broke open the pixes in which were kept the body of Christ and shook out the sacred elements therefrom. When the priests and other faithful of Christ in any way offered to make resistance, like so many abandoned wretches as they were, they cruelly slaughtered them in the very churches or church yards. Thus did they proceed with impugnity, spreading in vast multitudes over a space of thirty miles in breadth, and, covering the whole surface of the earth just like so many locusts, and made their way almost to the very walls of London; all the moveables which they could possibly collect in every quarter being placed on beasts of burden and carried off. With such avidity for spoil did they press on, that they dug up the precious vessels, which, through fear of them, had been concealed in the earth, and with threats of death compelled the people to produce the treasures which they had hidden in remote and obscure spots.”