Note: Excerpts from Holinshed’s Chronicles – England, Scotland and Ireland; with a new introduction by Vernon Snow, Vol. 6 relating to the reign of Edward V– prepared for the web by Ellen Mertz, Janet Trimbath, P. K. Maynard, and Laura Blanchard. This is a work in progress, and may contain typographical errors or missing sections. Students are encouraged to seek out an actual copy of the volume rather than relying on this edition, which is presented only as a guide to the material. –Webmaster
KING EDWARD THE FIFT
Written by Maister Thomas More then one of the under shiriffes of London, about the
yeare of our Lord 1513, according to a copie in his owne hand,
printed among his other Works.
King Edward the fourth of that name, after that he had liued fiftie & three yeeres, seuen moneths, and six daies, and hthereof reigned two and twentie yeares, one moneth, & eight daies, died at Westminster the ninth daie of Aprill, the yeare of our redemption, a thousand foure hundred fourscore and three; leaving much fair issue, that is to wit, Edward the prince, a thirteene yeares of age, Richard duke of Yorke two yeares yoonger; Elizabeth, whose fortune and grace was after to be queene, wife vnto king Henrie the seuenth, and mother vnto the eight; Cicilie, not so fortunate as faire; Briget, which representing the vertue of hir, whose name she bare,professed and obserued a religious life in dertford, an house of close nunnes;
Anne, that was after honorablie married vnto Thomas, then lord Howard, and after earle of Surrie; and Katharine, which long time tossed in either fortune, sometime in wealth, oft in aduersitie, at last, if this be the last (for yet she liuith) is by the benignitie of hir nephue king Henrie the eight, in verie prosperous estate, and worthie hir birth and vertue.
This noble prince deceassed at his palace of Westminster, and with great funerall honor and heauines of his people from thence conueied, was interred at Windsor. A king of such gouernance & behauior, in time of peace (for in warre each part must needs be others enimie)
that there was neuer anie prince of this land, atteining the crowne by battell, so heartilie beloued with the substance of the people: nor hee himselfe so speciallie in anie part of his life, as at the time of his death. Which fauour and affection, yet after his deceasse, by the crueltie,
mischiefe, and trouble of the tempestuous world that followed, highlie toward him more increased. At such time as he died, the displeasure of those that bare him grudge for king Henries sake the sixt, whome he deposed, was well asswaged, & in effect quenched, in that manie of them were dead in more than twentie yeres of his reigne, a great part of a long life: and manie of them in the meane season growne into his fauour, of which he was neuer strange.
He was a goodlie personage. and princelie to behold, of heart couragious, politicke in counsell, in aduersitie nothing abashed, in prosperitie rather ioifull than proud, peace iust and mercifull, in warre sharpe and fierce, in the field bold and hardie, and natheles no further ( than wisedome would) aduenturous, whose warres who so well considered, he shall no lesse commend his wisedome where he voided, than his manhood where he vanquished. He was of visage louerlie, of bodie mightie, strong, and clene made: howbeit, in his latter daies with ouer liberall diet somewhat corpulent and boorlie, and nathelesse not vncomelie. He was of youth greatlie giuen to fleshlie wantonnesse: from which health of bodie, in great prosperitie and fortune, without a speciall grace hardle refraineth, the poet implieng no lesse and saieng:
Mens erit apta cpai tunc cum laetissma rerum.
Vt seges in pingui luxuriabit humo.
This fault not greatly greeued the people: for neither could anie one mans pleasure stretch and extend to the displeasure of verie manie and was without violence, and ouer that in his latter daies and well left. In which time of his latter daies tis realme was in quiet and prosperous estate, no feare of outward enimies, no warre in hand, nor none toward, but such as no man looked for. The people toward the prince, not in a constreined feare, but in a willing and louing obedience: among themselues the commons in good peace. The lords, whome hee knew at variance, himselfe in his death bed appeased: he had left all gathering of monie
(which is the onlie thing that withdraweth the hearts of English men from the prince) nor anie thing intended he to take in hand, by which he should be driuen thereto: for his tribute
out of France he had before obteined; and the yeare foregoing his death, he had obteined
And albeit that all the time of his reigne he was with his people, so benigne, courteous, and so familiar, that no part of his vertues was more esteemed: yet the condition in the end of his daies (in which manie princes by a long continued sovereigntie decline into a proud port from debonair behauior of their beginning) maruellouslie in him grew and increased: so farre foorth, that in summer (the last that euer hee saw) his highnes being at Windsor in hunting, sent for the maior and aldermen of London to him for none other errand, but to haue them hunt and be merrie with him, where he made them not so statlie, but so freendlie and familiar cheere, and sent venison from thence so freelie into the citie, that no one thing in manie daies before gat him either more hearts, or more heartie fauour amongst the common people; which oftentimes more esteeme and take for greater kindnesse a little courtesie, than a great benefit.
So deceassed (as I haue said) this noble king, in that time in which his life was most desired. Whose loue of his people, and their entier affection towards him, had beene to his noble children (hauing in themselues also as manie gifts of nature, as manie princelie vertues, as much goodlie towardnesse as their age could receiue) a maruellous fortresse and sure armor, if diuision and dissention of their friends had not vnarmed them, and left them destitute, and the execrable desire of souereigntie prouoked him to their destruction: which, if either kind or kindnesse had holden place, must needs haue beene their cheefe defense. For Tichard the duke of Glocester, by nature their vncle, by office their protector, to their father beholdern, to themselues by oth and allegiance bounden, all the bands broken that bind man and man togither, without anie respect of God or the world, vnnaturallie contriued to bereeve them, not onlie their dignitie, but also their liues.
But forsomuch as this dukes demeanor ministreth in effect all the whole matter whereof this booke shall intreat, it is therefore conuenient somewhat to shew you yer we further go, what manner of man this was, that could find in his hart such mischiefe to conceiue. Richard duke of Yorke, a noble man and a mightie, began not by warre, but by law to chalenge the crowne, putting his claime into the parlement, where his cause was either for right or fauor so farre foorth aduanced, that king Henrie his bloud (albeit he was a goodlie prince) vtterlie reiected, the crowne was by authoritie of parlement intailed into the duke of Yorke and his issue male in remainder, immediatelie after the death of king Henrie. But the duke not induring so long to tarrie, but intending vnder pretext of dissention and debate arising in the realme, to preuent his time, and to take vpon him the rule in king Henrie his life,was with manie nobles of the realme at Wakefield slaine, leauing three sonnes, Edward, George, and Richard.
All three as they were great states of birth, so were they great and statelie of stomach, greedie and ambitious of authoritie, and impatient of partners. Edward reuenging his fathers death, depriued king Henrie, and atteined the crowne. George duke of Clarence was a goodlie noble prince, and at all times fortunate, if either his owne ambition had not set him against his brother, or the enuie of his enimies his brother against him. For it were by the queene and lords of hir bloud, which highlie maligned the kings kinred ( as women commonlie not of malice, burt of nature hate them whome their husbands loue) or were a proud appetite of the duke himslefe, intending to be king; at the least wise heinous treason was there laid to his charge: and finallie, were hee faultie, were he faultlesse, atteinted
was he by parlement, and iudged to the death, and therevpon hastilie drowned in a butt of malmesie. Whose death king Edward (albeit he commanded it) when he wist it was doone, pitiouslie bewailed, and sorrowfullie repented.
Richard the third sonne, of whome we now intreat, was in wit and courage equall with either of them, in bodie and prowesse farre vnder them both, litle of stature, ill featured of
limmes, crooke backed, his left shoulder much higher than his right, hard fauored of visage, and such as is in states called warlie, in other men otherwise; he was malicious, wrathfull, enuious, and from afore his birth euer froward. It is for truth reported, that the duchesse his mother had so much adoo in hir trauell, that she could not be deliuered of him uncut; and that he came into the world with the feet forward, as men be born outward, and (the fame runneth also) not vntoothed, whether men of hatred report aboue the
truth, or else that nature changed hir course in his beginning, which in the course of his
life manie things vnnaturallie committed. So that the full confluence of these qualities, with the defects of fauour and amiable proportion, gaue proofe to this rule of physiognomie:
Distortum vultum sequitur distorsio morum.
None euill capteine was he in the warre, as to which his disposition was more meetly than for peace. Sundrie victories had he & sometimes ouerthrowes; but neuer on default as for his owne person, either of hardinesse or politike order. Free was he called of dispense, and somewhat aboue his power liberall: with large gifts he gat him vnsteadfast freendship, for which he was faine to pill and spoil in other places, and got him steadfast hatred. He was close and secret, a deepe dissembler, lowlie of countenance, arrogant of heart, outwardlie companiable where he inwardlie hated, not letting to kisse whome he thought to kill: despitious and cruell, not for euill will away, but ofter ambition, and either for the suertie and increase of his estate.
Friend and fo was much what indifferent, where his aduantage grew, he spared no mans death whose life withstoode his purpose. He slue with his owne hands king Henrie the sixt, being prisoner in the Tower, as men constantlie said, and that without commandement or
knowledge of the king, which would vndoubtedlie (if he had intended that thing) haue appinted that butcherlie office to some other, than his owne borne brother. Some wise men also weene, that his drift couertlie conueied, lacked not in helping foorth his brother Clarence to his death: which he resisted openlie, howbeit somewhat (as men deemed) more faintlie than he that were hartilie minded to his wealth.
And they that thus deeme, thinke that he long time in king Edwards life forethought to be king; in case that the king his brother (whose life he looked that euill diet should shorten) should happen to decease (as in deed he did) while his children were yoong. And they deeme, that for this intent he was glad of his brothers death the duke of Clarence, whose life must needs haue hindered him so intending, whether the same duke of Clarence had kept him true to his nephue the yoong king, or enterprised to be king himselfe. But of all this point is there no certeintie, and who so diuineth vpon coniectures, maie as well shoot too farre as too short.
Howbeit tis haue I by credible information learned, that the selfe night, in which king Edward died, one Mistlebrooke, long yer morning, came in great hast to the house of one Pottier dwelling in Redcrosse-streete without Creplegate: and when he was with hastie rapping quickelie letten in, he shewed vnto Pottier, that king Edward was departed. “By my truth man” quoth Pottier, “then will my maister the duke of Glocester be king.” What cause hhe had so to thinke, hard it is to saie; whether he being toward him, anie thing knew that he such thing purposed, or otherwise had anie inckeling thereof: for he was not likelie to speake of it nought.
But now to returne to the course of this historie. Were it that the duke of Glocester had of old forminded this conclusion, or was now at erst therevnto mooued, and pit in hope by the occasion of the tender age of the yoong princes, his nephues (as opportunitie & likelihood of speed putteth a man in courage of that he neuer intended) certeine it is that he contriued their destruction, with the vsurpation of the regall dignitie vpon himselfe. And forsomuch as he well wist and holpe to mainteine a long continued grudge and heart-burning betweene the queens kinred and the kings loud, either partie enuieng the others authoritie, he now thought that their diuision should be (as it was in deed) a furtherlie beginning to the pursuit of his intent.
Nay he was resolved, that the same was a sure ground for the foundation of all his building, if he might first (vnder the pretext of reuenging of old displeasure) abuse the anger and ignorance of the tone partie to the destruction of tother; and then win to his purpose as manie as he could, and those that could not be woone, might be lost yer they looked therfore.
For of one thing was he certeine, that if his intent were perceiued, he should soone haue made peace betweene both the parties with his owne bloud. King Edward in his life, albeit that this dissention betweene his freends somewhat irked him: yet in his good health he somewhat the lesse regarded it: bicause he thought whatsoeuer businesse should fall be-
tweene them, himselfe should alwaie be able to rule both the parties.
But in his last sickenwsse, when he perceiued his naturall strength so sore infeebled, that he despaired of all recouerie, then he, considering the youth of his children, albeit he nothing lesse mistrusted than that that hapned; yet well forseeing that manie harmes might grow by their debate, while the youth of his children should lake discretion of themselues, & good counsell of their freends, of which either partie should counsell for their owne commoditie, & rather by plesent aduise to win themselues fauor, than by profitable aduertisement to doo the children good, he called some of them before him that were at variance, and in especiall the lord marquesse Dorset the queenes sonne by hir first husband,
So did he also William the lord Hastings a noble man, then the lord chamberlaine against whome the queen speciallie grudged, for the great fauor the king bare him; and also for that she thought him secretlie familiar with the king in wanton companie. Hir kindred also bare him sore, as well for that the king had made him capteine of Calis, which offic the lord Riuers, brother to the queene, claimed of the kings former promise, as for diuerse other great gifts which he receiued, that they looked for.
When these lords, with diuerse other of both the parties, were come in presence, the king lifting vp himselfe, and vuderset with pillowes, as it is reported, on this wise said vnto them.
The oration of the king on his death-bed.
My lords, my deere kinsmen and alies, in what plight I lie you see, and I feele. By which the lesse while I looke to liue with you, the more deeplie am I mooued to care in what case I leaue you, for such as I leaue you, such be my children like to find you. Which if they should (as God forbid)
find you at variance, might hap to fall themselues at warre, yer their discretion would serue to set you at peace. Ye see their youth, of which I reckonthe onlie suertie to rest in your concord. For it sufficeth not that all you loue them, if ech of you hate other: if they were men, your faithfulnesse happilie would suffice. But childhood must be mainteined by mens authoritie, and slipper youth vunderpropped with elder councell, which neither they can have but ye giue it, nor ye giue it if ye gree not.
For where ech laboueth to break that the other maketh, and for hatred of ech of others person impugneth ech others counsell, there must it needs be long yer anie good conclusion go forward. And also while either partie laboureth to be cheefe, flatterie shall haue more place than paine and faithfull aduise: of which must needs issue the euill bringing vp of the prince, whose mind in tender youth infect, shall redilie fall to mischeefe and riot, and draw downe with his noble relme to ruine. But if grace turne him to wisedome: which if God send, then they that by euill meanes before pleased him best, shall after fall furthest out of fauour: so that euer at length euill drifts shall draw to nought, and good plaine waies prosper.
Great variance hath there long beene betweene you, not alwaie for great causes. Sometimes a thing right well intended, our misconstruction thrineth vnto woorse; or a small displeasure doone vs, either our own affection or euill toongs aggreeueth. But this wot I well, ye neuer had so great cause of hatred, as ye haue of love. That we be all men, that we be christian men, this shall I leaue for preachers to tell you; and yet I wot neere whether anie preachers word outh more to mooue you, than his that is by & by going to the place that they all preach of.
But this shall I desire you to remember, that the one part of you is of my blood, the other of mine alies; and ech of you with other either of kinred or affinitie; which spiritual kinred of affinitie, if the sacraments of Chrits church beare that weight with vs that would God they did, should no less mooue vs to charitie, than the respect of fleshle consanguinitie. Our Lord forbid, that you loue together the woorse, for the selfe cause that you ought to loue the better. And yet that happeneth, and no where find we so deadlie debate, as among them, which by nature and law most ought to agree togither. Such a pestilent serpent is ambition and desire of vaine glorie and souerigntie, which among states where she once entereth, creepeth foorth so farre, till with diuision and variance she turneth all to mischeefe: first longing to be next vnto the best, afterward equall with the best, & at last cheefe and above the best.
Of which immoderat appetite of worship, and thereby of debate and dissention, what losse, what sorow, what trougle hath within these few yeares growne in this realme, I praie God as well forget, as we well remember. Which things if I could as well haue forseene, as I have with my more paine than pleasure prooued, by Gods blessed ladie ( that was euer his oth) I would neuer have woone the courtesie of mens knees, with the losse of so many heads. But sithens things passed cannot be gaine called, much ought we the more beware, by what occasion we haue taken so great hurt afore, that we eftsoones fall not in that occasion againe.
Now be those greefes passed, and all is (God be thanked) quiet, and likelie right well to prosper in wealthfull peace vnder your coosins my children, if God send them life and you loue. Of which two things, the lesse losse were they, by whom though God did his pleasure, yet should the realme alwaie find kings, and peraduenture as good kings.
But if you among your selues in a childs reigne fall at debate, manie a good man shall perish, and happilie he too, and ye too, yer this land find peace againe. Wherefore in these last words that euer I looke to speake with you, I exhort you and require you all, for the loue that you haue euer borne to me: for the loue that I haue euer borne vnto you; for the loue that our Lord beareth to vs all; from this time forward (all greefes forgotten) ech of you loue other. Which I verilie trust you will, if ye anie thing eathlie regard, either God or your king, affinitie or kinred, this realme, your owne countrie, or your owne suertie. And therewithall the king no longer induring to sit vp, laid him downe on his right side his face towards them: and none was there present that could refraine from weeping.
But the lordrecomforting him with as good words as they could, and answering for the time as they thought to stand with his pleasure, there in his presence, as by their words appeared, ech forgaue other, and ioined their hands togethir, when (as it after appeared by their deeds) their haearts were far asunder. As soone as the king was departed, the noble prince his sonne drew toward London, which at the time of his deceasse kept his household at Ludlow in Wales, which countrie being farre off from the law and recourse to iustice, was begun to be farre out of good rule, and waxen with robbers and reauers, walking at libertie vncorrected. And for this occasion the prince was in the life of his father sent thither, to the end that the authoritie of his presence should refraine euill disposed persons from the boldnesse of their former outrages.
To the gouernance and ordering of this yoong prince at his sending thither, was there appointed sir Anthonie Wooduille lord Riuers, and brother vnto the queene, a right honourable man, as valiant of hand as politike in counsell. Adioined were there vnto him other of the same partie; and in effect euerie one as he was neerest of kin vnto the queene, so was he planted next about the prince. That drift by the queene not vnwiselie deuised, whereby hir bloud might of youth be rooted into the princes fauour, the duke of Gloucester turned vnto their destruction; and vpon that ground set the foundation of all his unhappie building. For whome soeuer he perceiued either at variance with them, or bearing himselfe their fauour, he brake vnto them some by mouth & some by writing.
Nay, he sent secret messengers saieng, that it was neither reason, nor in anie wise to be suffered, that the yoong king their maister and kinsman, should be in the hands and custodie of his mothers kinred, sequesterd in maner from their compagnie and attendance, of which euerie one ought him as faithfull seruice as they, and manie of them farre more honourable part of kin than his moothers side. Whose bloud (quoth he) sauing the kings pleasure, was full vnmeetelie to be matched with his: which now to be as who say remooued from the king, and the lesse noble to be left abouthim, is (quoth he) neither honourable to his maiestie nor to vs, and also to his grace no suertie, to haue the mightiest of his freends from him; and vnto vs no little iepordie, to suffer our well prooued euill willers to grow in ouer-great authoritie with the prince in youth; namelie, which is light of beleefe and soone persuaded.
Yee remember ( I trow) king Edward himselfe, albeit he was a man of age & discretion, yet was he in manie things ruled by the bend, more than stood either with his honor, or our profit, or with the comoditie of any man else, except onlie the immoderate aduancement of themselues. Which, whether they sorer thirsted after their owne weale, or our wo, it were hard ( I weene) to gesse. And if some folks freendship had not holen a better place with the king, than anie respect of kinred, they might peraduenture easilie betrapped and brought to confusion some of vs yer this. Why not as easilie as they haue doone some other alreadie, as neere of his roiall bloud as we? But our Lord hath wrought his will, and ( thanks be to his grace) that perill is past. Howbeit as great is growing, if we suffer this yoong king in our enimies hand, which without his witting might abuse the name of his commandment, to anie of our undooing, which thing God (defend) and good prouision forbid.
Of which good prouision none of vs hath anie thing the lesse need, for the late made attonement, in which the kings pleasure had more place than the parties willes. Nor none of vs ( I believe) is so vnwise, ouersome to trust a new freend made of an old fo; or to thinke that an hourlie kindnes, suddenlie contracted in one houre, continued yet a sccant fortnight, should be deeper settled in their stomachs, than a long accustomed malice manie years rooted. With these words and writings, and
such other, the duke of Glocester soon set on fire them that were of themselues easie to kindle, & in speciallie twaine, Edward duke of Buckingham, and William lord Hastings the chamberlaine, both men of honour & of great power; the one by long succession of his ancestrie, the other by his office and the ings fauour. These two, not bearing ech to other so much loue, as hatred both vnto the queenes part: in this point accorded togither with the duke of Glocester, that they would vtterlie remoue from the kings companie all his mothers freends, vnder the name of their enimies.
Vpon this concluded the duke of Glocester, vnderstanding that the lords, which at that time were about the king, intended to bring him vp to his coronation accopanied with such power of their freends, that it should be hard for him to bring his purpose to passe, without the gathering and great assemblie of people and in manner of open warre, whereof the end ( he wist) was doubtfull, and in whcih the king being on their side, his part should haue the face and name of a rebellion: he secretlie therefore by diuese means caused the queene to be persuaded and brought in the mind, that it neither were need, and also should be iepardous, the king to come vp strong.
For whereas now euerie lord loued other, and none other thing studied vpon, but about the coronation and honor of the king: if the lords of hir kindred should assemble in the kings name much people, they should ive the lords, betwixt whome and them had bene sometime debate, to feare and suspect, lest they should gather this people, not for the kings safegard, whome no man impugned, but for their destruction, hauing more regard to their old variance, than their new attonement. For defense, whose power she wist well far stretched: and thus should all the realme fall on a rore. Amd of all the hurt that thereof should insue, which was likelie not to be a little, and the most harme there like to fall where she least would, all the world would put hir and hir kindered in the wight, and saie that they had vnwiselie and vntrulie also broken the amitie & peace that the king hir husband so prudentlie made, betweene his kin and hirs in his death bed and which the other partie faitfullie obserued.
The queene, being in this wise persuaded, such word sent vnto her sonne, and vnto hir brother being about the king, and ouer that the duke of Glocester himselfe and other lords the chiefe of his bend, wrote vnto the king so reuerentlie, and to the queenes freends there so louinglie, that they nothing so earthlie mistrusting, brought the king vp in great hast, not in good speed, with a sober companie. Now was the king in his waie to London gone from Northampton, when these dukes of Glocester and Buckingham came thither, where remained behind the lord Riueres the kings vncle, intending on the morrow to follow the king, and to be with him at Stonie Dtratford (cereteine) miles thence earlie he departed. So was there made that night much freendlie cheere betweene these dukes & the lord Riuers a great while, but incontinent after that they were openlie with great courteseie departed, and the lord Riuers lodged, the dukes secretlie with a few of their most pruie freends send them downe in counsell, wherein they spent a great part of the night.
And at their rising in the dawning of the daie, they sent about priuilie to their seuants in their Ins & lodgings about, giuing them commendement to make themselues shortlie readie, for their lords were to horsse backeward. Vpon which messages, manie of their folke were attendant, when manie of the lord Riuers seruants were vnreadie. Now had these dukes taken also into their custodie the keies of the IN, that none should passe forth without their licence. And ouer this, in the high waie toward Stonie Stratford, where the king lay, they had bestowed certeine of their folke, that should send back againe, and compell to returne, anie man that were gotten out of Northampton, toward Stonie Stratford, till they should giue other licence. For as much as the dukes themselues intended for the shew of their diligence, to be the first that shoud that daie attend vpon the kings highnesse out of that towne. thus bare they folke in hand.
But when the lord Riuers vnderstood the gates closed, and the waies on euerie side beset, neither his seruants nor himselfe suffered to gone out, perceiuing well so great a thing without his knowledge not begun for nought, comparing this manner present with last nights cheere, in so few houres so great a change, maruellouslie misliked. Howbeit, sith he could not get awaie, and keepe himslfe close, he would not, least he should seeme to hide himselfe for some secret feare of his owne fault, whereof he saw no such cause in himselfe; he determined vpon the suritie of his owne conscience, to go boldlie to them. and inquire what this matter night meane. Whom assoone as they saw, they began to quarell with him and saie that he intended to set distance betweene the king and them, and to bring them to confusion, but it should not lie in his power.
And hen he bagan ( as he was a verie well spoken man) in goodlie wise to excuse himselfe, they tarried not the end of his answer, but shortlie tooke him, and put him in ward, and that doone, foorthwith went to horssebacke, and took the waie to Stonie Stratford, where they found the king with his companie, readie to leape on horseebacke, and depart forward to leaue that lodging for them, bicause it was to steight for two companies. and assoone as they came in his presence, they light adowne with all their companie about them. To whome the duke of Buckingham said; Go afore gentlemen & yeomen keepe your roomes. and thus in a goodlie araie, they came to the king, and on their knees in verie humble wise saluted his grace, which receiued them in very ioius and amiable manner, nothing earthie knowing nor mistrusting as yet.
But euen by and by in his presence they piked a quarrell to the lord Richard Greie, the kings other brother by his mother, saieng, that he withthe lord marquesse his brother, & the lord Riuers his uncle, had compassed to rule the king and the realme, and to set variance among the states, and to subdue and destroie the noble bloud of the Realme. Towrd the accoplishing whereof they said that the lord marquesse had entered the Tower of London, & thence taken out the kings treasure, and sent men to the sea. All which things these dukes wist well were doone for good purposes and necessaire, by the whole councell at London, sauing that somewhat they must saie.
Vnto which words the king answered; What my brother marquesse hath doone I cannot saie, but in good faith I dare well answer for mine vncle Riuers and my brother here, that they be innocent of anie such matter. Yea my liege (quoth the duke of Buckingham) they haue kept their dealings in these matters farre fro the knowledge of your good grace. And foorthwith they arrsted the lord Richard and sir Thomas Vaughan knight, in the kings presence; and brought the king and all backe vnto Northampton, where they tooke againe further councell. And there they sent awaie from the king, whom it pleased them, and set new seruants about him, such as liked better them than him. At which dealing he wept, and was nothing content; but it bootd not.
And at dinner, the duke of Glocester sent a dish from his owne table vnto the lord Riuers, praieng him to be of good cheere: all should be well inough. and he thanked the duke, and praied the messenger to beare it to his nephue the lord richard, with the same message for his comfort, who he thought had more need of comfort, as one of whome such aduersitie was strange. But himselfe had beene all his daies in vse therewith & therefore could beare it the better. But for all this comfortable courtesie of the duke of Glocester, he sent the lord Riuers, and the lord Richard, with sir thomas Vaughan into the north countrie, into diuerse places to prison, and afterward all to Pomfret, where they were in conclusion beheaded.
In this wise the duke of Glocester tooke vpon himselfe the order and gouernance of the yoong king, whome with much honor and humble reuerence he conueied vpward towerd the citie. But anon, the tidings of this matter came hastilie to the queene a little before mifnight following, and that in sorest wise; that the king hir son was taken, hir brother, hir sonne, & hir other freends arrested, and sent no man wist whither, to be doone with God wot what. With which tidings the queene in great flight & heauinesse, bewaikling hir childes reigne, hir freends mischance, and hir owne infortune, damning the time that euer she dissuaded the gathering of power abut the king, gat hir selfe in allthe hast possible with hir yoonger sonne and hir daughters out of the palace of Westminster, in which she then laie, into the sanctuarie, lodging hir selfe and hir companie there in the abbats place.
Now came there one in likewise not long after midnight from the lord chamberlaine, to doctor Rotheram the archbishop of yorke, the chancellor of England, to his place not farre from Westminster, and for that he shewed his seruants that he had tidings of so great importance, that his maister gaue him in charge, not to forbeare his rest, they letted not to wake him, nor he to admit this messenger in, to his bed side. Of whom he heard that these dukes were one backe with the kings grace from Stonie Stratford vnto Northampton. Notwithstnding sir (quoth he) my lord sendeth your lordship word, that there is no feare: for he assureth you that all shall be well. I assure him (quoth the archbishop) be it as well as it will, it will neuer be as well as we have seen it.
And therevpon, by and by after the messenger departed, he caused in all the hast all his seruants to be called vp, and so with his owne houshold about him, and euerie man weaponed, he tooke the great seale with him, and came yet before the daie vnto the queene. About whom he found much heauinesse, rumble, hast and businesse, cariage and conueyance of hir stuffe into sanctuarie, chests,
coffers, packs, fardels, trussed all on mens backs, no man vnoccupied, some lading, some going,
some discharging, some comming for more, some breaking downe the walles to bring in the next waie, and some yet drew to them that holpe to carrie a wrong waie: such made their lucre of others losse, praising a bootie aboue beautie, to whome the poets verse may be well applied, to wit:
Ferrea non Venerem sed praedem saecula laudant.
The queene hir selfe sate alone alow on the rushes all desolate and dismaid, whome the archbishop comforted in best manner he could, shewing hir that he trusted the matter was nothing so sore as she tooke it for, and that he was put in good hope and out of feare by the message sent him from the lord chamberlaine. Ah wo woorth him ( quoth she) for he is one of them that laboureth to destroie me and my bloud. Madame ( quoth he) be yee of good cheere, for I assure you, if they crowne anie other king than your sonne, whome they now haue with them, we shall on the morrow crowne his brother, whome you haue here with you. And here is the great seale, which in likewise as that noble prine your husband deliuered it vnto me; so here I deliuer it vnto you, to the vse and behoofe of your sonne: and therewith he betooke hir the great seale, then departed home againe, yet in the dawning of the daie.
By which time, he might in his chamber window see all the Thames full of boates of the duke of Glocesters seruants, watching that no man should go to sanctuarie, nor none could passe vnsearched. then there was great commotion and murmur, as well in other places about, as speciallie in the citie, the people diuerselie diuining vpon this deling. And some lords, knoghts, and gentlemen, either for favour of the queene, or for feare of themselues, assembled in sundrie companies, and went flockmele in harnesse: and many also, for that they reckoned this demeanor attempted, not so speciallie against the other lords, as against the king himselfe in the disturbance of his coronation. But then by and by the lords assembled togither at [a certeine place.]
Toward which meeting, the archbishop of Yorke fearing that it would be ascribed (as it was indeed) to his ouermuch lightnesse, that he so suddenlie had yeelded vp the great seale to the queene, to whome the custodie thereof nothing pertained, without especiall commendement of the king, secretlie sent for the seale againe, and brought it with him after the customable maner. And at this meeting the lord Hastings (whose truth toward the king no man doubted, nor needed to doubt) persuaded the lords to beleeue, that the duke of Glocester was sure and fastlie faithfull to his prince, and that the lord Riuers, and lord Richard with the other knights, were for matters attempted by them against the duke of Glocester and Buckingham, put vnder arrest for their suretie, not for the kings ieopardie: and that they were also in safegard, and there no longer should remaine, than till the matter were, not by the dukes onlie, but also by all the other lords of the kings councell indifferentlie examined, & by others discretions ordered, and either iudged or appeased.
But one thing he aduised them beware, that they iudged not the matter too farre foorth, yer theyb knew the truth; nor turning their priuate grudges into the common hurt, irriting and poruoling men vnto anger, and disturbing the kings coronation, towards which the dukes were comming vp, that they might peraduenture bring the matter so farre out of ioint, that it shoulkd neuer be brought in frame againe. Which strife if it should hap (as it were likely) to come to a field, though both parties were in all other things equall; yet should the authoritie be on that side where the king is himselfe. With these persuations of the lord Hastings, whereof part himselfe beleeved, of part he wist the contrarie, these commotions were somewhat appeased. But speciallie by that, that the dukes of Glocester and Buckingham were so neere and came so shortlie on with the king, in none other manner, with none other voice or semblance than to his coronation, causing the fame to be blowen about, that these lords and knights which were taken, had contriued the destruction of the dukes of Glocester and Buckingham, and of other noble bloud of the realme, to the end that, themselues would demeane and gouern the king at their pleasure.
And for the colourable proofe thereof, such of the dukes seruants as rode with the carts of their stuffe that were taken (among which stuffe, no maruell though some were harnesse, which at the breaking vp of that household must needs either be brought awaie or cast awaie) they shewed vnto the people all the waies they went; “Lo here be the barrells of harnesse that these traitors had priuilie conueied in their carriage to destroie the noble lords withall.” This deuise albeit that
it made the matter to wise men more vnlikelie, well perceiuing that the intendors of such a purpose would rather haue had their harnesse on their backs, than to haue bound them vp in barrels, yet much part of the common people were therewith verie well satisfied, and said it were almesse to hang them.
When the king approached near to the citie, Edmund Shaw goldsmith, then maior, with William White, and Iohn Matthews shiriffes and all the other aldermen in scarlet, with fiue hundred horse of the citizens, in violet, receiued him reuerentlie at Harnesie; and riding from thence accompanied him into the citie, which he entered the fourth daie of Maie, the first and last year of his reigne. But the duke of Glocester bare him in open sight so reuerentlie to the prince, with all semblance of lowlinesse, that from the great obloquie in which he was so late before, he was suddenlie fallen in so great trust, that at the councell next assembled he was made the onlie man, chosen and thought most meet to be protector of the king and his realme, so that (were it destinie or were it follie) the lambe was betaken to the wolfe to keepe.
At which counsell also, the archbishop of Yorke chancellor of England, which had deliuered vp the great seale to the queene, was therefore greatly reprooued, and the seale taken from him, and deliuered to doctor Russell bishop of Lincolne, a wise man and a good, and of much experience, and one of the best learned men vndoubtedlie that England had in his time. Diuerse lords and knights were appointed vnto diuerse roomes. The lord chamberleine and some other kept still their offices that they had before. Now all were it so that the protector so sore thirsted for the finishing of that he had begun, that the thought euerie day a yeare till it were atchiued; yet durst he no further attempt, as long as he had but halfe his preie in his hand.
And why? Well did he weet, that if he deposed the one brother, all the realme would fall to the other, if he either remained in sanctuarie, or should happilie be shortlie conueied to his fathers libertie. Wherfore incontinent at the next meeting of the lords at the councell, he proposed to them, that it was a heinous deed of the queene, & proceeding of great malice toward the kings councellors, that she should keepe in sanctuarie the kings brother from him, whose speciall pleasure & comfort were to haue his brother with him. And that by hir doone to none other intent, but to bring all the lords in obloquie and murmur of the people.
As thpugh tney were not to be ytrusted with the kings brother, that by the assent of the nobles of the land, were appointed as the kings neerest freends, to the tuition of his owne roiall person. the prosperitie whereof standeth (quoth he) not all in keeping from enimies, or ill viand, but partlie also in recreation, amd moderate pleasure: which he cannot ( in this tender youth) take in the companie of ancient persons, but in the familiar conuersations of those that be neither farre under, nor farre aboue his age: and neuerthelesse of estate conuenient to accompanie his noble maiestie. Wherefore, with whome rather than his owne brother?
And if anie man thinke this consideration light (which I thinke none thinks that loues the king) let him consider, that sometimes without small things, greater cannot stand. And verilie, it redoundeth greatlie to the dishonour of both the kings highnesse, and of all vs that beene about his grace, to haue it run in euerie mans mouth, not in this realme onlie, but also in other lands (as euill words walke far) that the kings brother should be faine to keep sanctuarie. For euerie man will weene, that no man will so doo for naught. Aand such euill opinion once fastened in mens harts, hard it is to wrest out, and may grow to more greefe than anie man can here diuine.
Wherefore me thinketh it were not worst to send vnto the queene, for the redresse of this matter, some honourable trustie man, such as both tendereth the kings weale and the honour of his councell, and is also in fauour and credence with hir. For all which considerations, none seemeth more meetlie, than our reverend father here present, my lord cardinall, who may in this matter doo most good of anie man, if it please him to take the paine; which I doubt not of his goodnesse he will not refuse for the kings sake and ours, and welth of the yoong duke himselfe, the kings most honorable brother, and ( after my souereign lord himselfe) my most deere nephue, considered that thereby shall be ceassed the slanderous rumor and obloquie now going, and the hurts auoided that thereof might insue, and much rest an quiet grow to all the realme.
And if she be percase so obstinate, and so preciselie set vpon hir owne will, that neither his wise and faithfull aduertisement can not mooue hir, nor anie mans reason content hir; then shall we by mine aduise, by the kings authoritie fetch him out of that prison, and bring him to his noble presence,
in whose continuall companie he shall be so well cherished and so honorablie intreated, that all the world shall to our honour and hir reproach perceiue that it was onelie malice, frowardnesse, or follie, that caused hir to keepe him there. This is my purpose and my mind in this matter for this time, except anie of your lordships anie thing perceiue to the contrarie; for neuer shall I (by
Gods grace) so wed myselfe to mine owne will, but that I shall be readie to change it vpon your better aduises.
When the protector had said, all the councell affirmed, that the motion was good and reasonable; and to the king and the duke his brother, honorable; and a thing that should ceasse great murmur in the realme, if the mother might be by good means induced to deliuer him. Which thing the archbishop of Yorke, whome they all agreed also to be thereto the most conuenient, tooke vpon him to moove hir, and therein to doo his vttermost deuoir. Howbeit, if she could be in no wise intreated with hir good will to deliuer him, then thought he, and such other as were of the spiritualtie present, that it were not in anie wise to be attempted to take him out against hir will.
For it should be a thing that would turne to the great grudge of all men, and high displeasure of God, if the priuilege of that holie place should now be broken, which had so manie yeares be kept, which both kings and popes so good had granted, so manie had confirmed, and which holie ground was more than fiue hundred yeares ago (by saint Peter in his owne person in spirit accompanied with great multitudes of angels by night) so speciallie hallowed, & dedicated to God (for the proofe whereof,
they have yet in the abbeie saint Peters cope to shew) that from that time hitherward, was there neuer so vndeuout a king that durst that sacred place violate, or so holie a bishop that durst it presume to consecrate.
And therefore (quoth the archbishop of Yorke) God forbid that anie man should for anie thing earthlie, enterprise to break the immunitie & libertie of the sacred sanctuarie, that hath beene the safegard of so manie a good mans life. And I trust (quoth he) with Gods grace, we shall not need it. But for anie maner need, I would not we should doo it. It trust that shee shall be with reason contented, and all things in good maner obteined. And if it happen that I bring it not so to passe, yet shall I toward it so farre foorth doo my best, that ye shall al well perceiue, that no lacke of my deuoire, but the mothers
dread and womanish feare shall be the let.
Womanish feare, naie womanish frowardnes (quoth the duke of Buckingham) For I dare take it vpon my soule, she well knoweth she needeth no such thing to feare, either for hir son or for hir selfe. For as for hir, here is no man that will be at war with women. Would God some of the men of hir kin were women too, & then should all be soone in rest. Howbeit there is none of hir kin the lesse loued, for that they be hir kin, but for their owne euill deseruing. And nathelesse, if we loued neither hir nor hir lin, yet were there no cause to thinke that wee should hate the kings noble brother, to whose grace we our selues be of kin. Whose honor, if she as much desired as our dishonor, and as much regard tooke to his wealth as to hir owne will, she would be as loth to suffer him to be absent from the king, as anie of us be. For if she haue anie wit (as would God she had as good will as she hath shrewd wit) she reckoneth hir selfe no wiser than she thinketh some that be here, of whose faithfull mind she nothing doubteth, but verilie beleeueth and knoweth, that they would be as sorie of his harme as hir selfe, and yet would haue him from hir if she bide there: and we all ( I thinke) contented, that both be with hir, if she come thence, and bide in such place where they may with their honors be. Now then, if she refuse in the deliuerance of him, to follow the counsell of them, whose wisdome she knoweth whose truth she well trusteth: it is easie to perceiue, that frowardnesse letteth hir and not feare. But go to, suppose that she feare (as who maie let hir to feare hir owne shadow) the more she feareth to deliuer him the more ought we feare to leaue him in hir hands.
For if she cast such fond doubts, that she feare his hurt: then will she feare that he shall be fet thence. For she will soone thinke, that if men were set (which God forbid) vpon so great mischiefe, the sanctuarie would little let them: which good men might (as me thinketh) without sinne somewhat lesse regard than they doo. Now then, if she doubt, least he might be fetched from hir, is it not likelie inough that she shall send him some where out of the realme? Verelie I looke for none other. And I doubt not, but shee now as sore mindeth it, as we the let thereof. And if she might happen to bring that to passe (as it were no great maistrie, we letting hir alone) all the world would saie, that we were a wise sort of councellors about a king, that let his brother be cast awaie vnder our noses.
And therefore, I insure you faithfullie for my mind, I will rather (mauger hir mind) fetch him awaie,
than leaue him there, till hir frowardnesse and fond feare conueie him awaie. and yet I will breake no sanctuarie therefore. For verely, sith the priuileges of that place, and other like, haue beene of long continued, I am not he that would be about to break them. And in good faith, if they were now to begin, I would not be he that should be about to make them. Yet will I not say naie, but that it is a deed of pitie, that such men as the sea, or thie euill debtors haue brought in pouertie, should haue some place of libertie, to keepe their bodies out of danger of their cruell creditors.
And also, if the crowne happen (as it hath doone) to come in question, while either part taketh other as traitors, I will well there be some places of refuge for both. But as for theeus, of which these places be full, and which neuer fall from the craft, after they once fall thereto, it is pitie the sanctuarie should serue them. And much more, mankillers, whome God bad to take them from the altar and kill them, if their murther were wilfull. And where it is oitherwise, there need we not the sanctuaries that God appointed in the old law. For if either necessitie, his owne defense, or misfortune draweth him to that deed, a pardon serueth, which either the law granteth of course, or the king of pitie maie. then looke me now how few sanctuarie men there be, whome anie fauourable necessitie compelled to go hither. And then see on the other side, what a sort there be commonlie therin of them, whom wilfull vnthriftinesse hath brought to naught.
What a rabble of theeues, murtherers, and malicious heinous traitors, and that in two places speciallie; the one at the elbow of the citie, the other at the verie bowels. I dare well auow it, weie the good that they doo, with the hurt that commeth of them, and ye shall find it much better to lacke both, than haue both. And this I saie, although they were not abused as they now be, & so long haue be, that I feae me euer they will be, while men be afraid to set their hands to the mendment, as though God & S. Peter were the patrones of vngratious living. Now vnthrifts riot & run in debt, vpon boldnesse of these places, yea, and rich men run thither with poore mens goods, there they build, there they spend, & bid there creditors go whistle them. Mens wiues run thither with their husbands plate, & saie they dare not abide with their husbands for beating. Theeues bring thither their stollen goods, and there liue thereon.
There deuise they new robberies, nightlie they steale out, they rob, and reaue, and kill, and come in againe, as though those places gaue them not onlie a safegard for the harme they haue done, but a licence also to doo more. Howbeit, much of this mischiefe (if wise men would set their hands to it) might be amended, with great thanks to God, and no breach of the priuilege. The residue, sith so long ago, I wote neere what pope, and what prince more piteous than politike, hath granted it, & other men since, of a certeine religious feare, haue not broken it, let vs take a paine therewith, and let it a Gods name stand in force, as farre foorth as reason will, which is not so fullie farre foorth, as may serue to let vs of the fetching foorth of this noble man to his honor and wealth, out of that place, in which he neither is, nor can be a sanctuarie man.
A sanctuarie serueth alwaie to defend the bodie of that man that standeth in danger abroad, not of great hurt onlie, but also of lawfull hurt: for against vnlawfull harmes, neuer pope nor king intended to priuilege anie one place, for that priuilege hath euerie place. Knoweth anie man, anie place wherin it is lawfull one man to doo another wrong? That no man vnlawfullie take hurt, that libertie, the king, the law, and verie nature forbiddeth in euerie place, and maketh ( to that regard) for euerie man euerie place a sanctuarie. But where a man is by lawfull means in perill, there needeth he the tuition of some speciall priuilege, which is the onlie ground and cause of all sanctuarie.
From which necessitie, this noble prince is farre, whose loue to his king, nature, and kinred prooueth; whose innocencie to all the world, his tender youth prooueth; and so sanctuarie, as for him, neither none he needeth, nor also none can haue. Men come not to sanctuarie, as they come to baptisme, to require it by their godfathes, he must aske it himselfe that must haue it, and reason; sith no man hath cause to haue it, but whose conscience of his owne fault maketh him fane, need to require it. What will then hath yonder babe, which and if he had discretion to require it, if need were, I dare say would now be right angrie with them that keepe him there? And I would thinke without anie scruple of conscience, without anie breach of priuilege, to be somewhat more homelie with them that be there sanctuarie men in deed.
For if one go into sanctuarie with another mans goods, whie should not the king, leauing his
bodie at libertie, satisfie the partie of his goods, euen within the sanctuarie? For neither king nor pope can giue anie place such a priuilege, that it shall discharge a man of his debts, being able to paie. [ And with that, diuerse of the clergie that were present (whether they said it for pleasure, or as they ought) agreed plainlie, that by the law of God, and of the church, the goods of a sanctuarie man should be deliuered in paiment of his debts, and stolledn goods to the owner, and onlie libertie reserued him to get his liuing with the labor of his hands.]
Verelie (quoth the duke) I thinke you say verie truth. And what if a mans wife will take snactuarie, because she lust to run fro hir husband, I would weene if she could alledge none other cause, he maie lawfullie without anie displeasure to saint Peter, take hir out of saint Peters church by the arme. And if no bodie maie be taken out of sanctuarie, that saith hee will bide there: then if a child will take sanctuarie, bicause he feareth to go to schoole, his maister must let him alone. And as simple as that sample is, yet is there lesse reason in our case than that; for therein, though it be a childish feare, yet is there at leastwise some feare, and herein is there none at all. Amd verelie, I haue often heard of sanctuarie men, but I neuer heard earst of sanctuarie children.
And therefore, as for the conclusion of my mind, who so maie haue deserued to need it, if they thinke it for their suertie, let them keepe it. But he can be no sanctuarie man, that neither hath wisdome to desire it, nor maice to deserue it; whose life or libertie can by no lawfull processe stand in ieopardie. And he that taketh one out of sanctuarie to doo him good, I saie plainlie, that he breaketh no sanctuarie. When the duke had doone, the temporall men whole, and a good part of the spirituall also, thinking no hurt earthlie meant toward the yoong babe, condescended in effect, that if he were not deliuered, he should be fetched. Howbeit they though it all best in the auoiding of all maner of rumor, that the lord cardinall should first assaie to get him with hir good will.
Wherevpon all the councell came vnto the Starre chamber at Westmionster; and the lord cardinall, leauing the protector with the councell in the Starchamber, departed into the sanctuarie to the queene, with diuers other lords with him: were it for the respect of his honor, or that she should by presence of so manie perceiue, that this errand was not one mans mind: or were it, for that the protector intended not in this matter to trust anie one man alone; or else, that if she finallie were determined to keepe him, some of that companie had happilie secret instruction, incontinent (maugre hir mind) to take him, and to leaue hir no respit to conueie him, which she was likelie to mond after this matter broken to hir, if hir time would in anie wise serue hir.
When the queene and these lords were come togither in presence, the lord cardinall shewed vnto hir, that it was thought vnto the protector, and vnto the whole councell that hir keeping of the kings brother in that place, was the thing which highlie sounded, not onlie to the great rumor of the people and their obloquie; but also to the importable greefe and displeasure of the kings roiall maiestie, to whose grace it were as singular a comfort, to haue his naturall brother in companie, as it was their both dishonour, and all theirs and hirs also, to suffer him in sanctuarie, as though the one brother stood in danger and perill of the other [and therefore more conuenient it were they should be together, than parted asunder; that the world may well thinke and saie both of their kinred and also of them, when they shall see and heare how they keepe continuall companie, and liue in mutuall amitie (as becometh brethren) which bringeth commodities with it, for number, infinite; and for vse, comfortable and necessairie; as it is truelie said:
Quae ligat vnanimes foelix concordia fratres,
O quales fructus vtilitatus habet!]
The cardinall shewed hir likewise, that the councell therefore had sent him vnto hir to require the deluerie of him, that he might be brought vnto the kings presence at his libertie, out of that place, which they reckoned as a prison; and there should h be demeaned according to his estate: and she in this dooing, should both doo great good to the realme, pleasure to the councell, and profit to hir selfe, succour to hir freends that were in distresse, and ouer that (which he wist well she speciallie tendered) not onlie great comfort and honor to the king, but also to the yoong duke himselfe, whose both great wealth it were to be togither, as well for manie greater causes, as also for their both disport & recreation. Which thing the lord esteemed no slight, though it seeme light, well pondering that their youth without recreation and plaie cannot indure; nor anie stranger, for the conuenience of both their ages and estates, so meetlie in that point for anie of them, as either of them for other.
My lord (quoth the queene) I saie not naie, but that it were verie conuenient, that this gentleman, whome yee require, were in companie of the king his brother: and in good faith, me thinketh it were as great a commoditie to them both, as for yet a while to beene in the custodie of their mother, the tender age considered of the elder of them both but speciallie the yoonger, which ( besides his infancie, that also needeth good looking to) hath a while beene so sore diseased, vexed with sicknesse, and is so newlie rather a little amended, than well recouered, that I dare put no person earthlie in trust with his keeping, but my selfe onlie, considering that there is (as physicians saie) and as we also find, double the perill in the recidiuation, than was in the first sicknesse, with which disease nature being sore laboured, forewearied and weakened waxeth the lesse able to beare out and sustaine new surfet. And albeit there might be founden other that would happilie doo their best vnto him, yet is there none that either knoweth better how to order him, than I that so long haue kept him: or is more tenderlie like to cherish him, than his owne mother that bare him.
No man denieth, good madame, (quoth the cardinall) but that yur grace were of all folke most necessarie about your children: and so would all the councell not onlie be content, but glad that ye were (if it might stand with your pleasure) to be in such place as might stand with their honour. But if yoo doo appoint your selfe to tarrie heere, then thinke they it more conuenient that the duke of Yorke were with the kinghonourablie at his libertie, to the comfort of them both: than heere as a sanctuarie man, to their both dishonour and obloquie, sith there is not alwaie so great necessitie to haue the child to be with the mother: but that occasion may sometime be such, that it should be more expedient to keepe him elsewhere. Which in this well appeareth, that at such time as your deerest sonne then prince, and now king, should for his honor, and good order of the countrie, keepe houshold in Wales, farre out of your companie: your grace was well content therewith your selfe.
Not verie well content (quoth the queene) and yet the cse is not like, for t’one was then in health, and t’other is now sicke. In which case, I maruell greatlie, that my lord protector is so desirous to haue him in his keeping, where if the child in his sicknesse miscarried by nature, yet might he run into slander and suspicion of fraud. And where they call it a thing so sore against my childes honor, and theirs also, that he bideth in this place: it is all thier honours there to suffer him bide, where no man doubteth he shall be best kept; and that is heere, while I am heere, which as yet intend not to come foorth and ieopard my selfe after other of my freends, which would God were rather heere in suertie with me, than I were in ieopardie with them.
Whie madame (quoth another lord) know you anie thing whie they should be in ieopardie? Naie verelie sir (quoth shee) nor whie they should be in prison neither, as they now be. But it is (I trow) no great maruell though I feare, least those that haue not letted to put them in duresse without colour, will let as little to procure their destruction without cause. the cardinall made a countenance to the other lord, that he should harpe no more vpon that string; and then he said to the queene, that he nothing doubted, but that those lords of hir honorable kin, which as yet remained vnder arrest, should vpon the matter examined, doo well inough: and as toward hir noble person, neither was nor could be anie maner ieopardie.
Whereby should I trust that (quoth the queene) in that I am giltlesse? As though they were giltie, in that I am with their enimies better loued than they? When they hate them for my sake, in that I am so neere of kin to the king? and how far they be off, if that would helpe, as God send grace it hurt not, and therefore as for me, I purpose not as yet to depart hence. And for this gentleman my sonne, I mind that he shall be where I am, till I see further: for I assure you, for that I see some men so greedie, without anie substantiall cause to haue him, this maketh me much the more fearder to deliuer him.
Truelie madame, quoth he, and the fearder that you be to deliuer him, the fearder bin other men to suffer you to keepe him, least your causelesse feare might cause you to further conueie him; and manie be there that thinke he can haue no priuilege in this place, which neither can haue will to aske it, nor malice to deserue it. And therefore, the reckon no priuilege broken, though they fetch him out; which if yee finallie refuse to deliuer him, I verelie thinke they will. So much dread hath my lord his vncle, for the tender loue he beareth him, least your grace should hap to send him awaie.
A sir (quoth the queene) hath the protector so tender seale, that he feareth nothing but least he should escape him? Thinketh he that I would send him hence, which neither is in the plight to send out. And in what place soule I reckon him sure, if he not be sure in this sanctuarie, whereof was
there neuer tyrant yet so deuelish that durst presume to breake? And I trust God is as strong now to withstand his aduersaries as euer he was. But my sonne cand seserue no sanctuarie, and therefore he cannot haue it. Forsooth he hath found a goodlie glose, by which that place that may defend a theefe, may not saue and innocent. But he is in no ieopardie, nor hath no need thereof, would God he had not.
Troweth the protector (I praie God he may prooue a protector) troweth he that I perceiue not wherevnto his painted processe draweth? It is not honourable that the duke bide heere: it were comfortable for them both, that he were with his brother, bicause the king lacketh a plaiefellow. Be you sure? I praie God send them both better plaiefellowes than him, that maketh so high a matter vpon such a trifling pretext: as though there could be none founded to plaie with the king, but if his brother that hath no lust to plaie for sicknesse, come out of sanctuarie out of his safeguard to plaie with him. As though princes (as yoong they be) could not plaie but with their peeres, or children could not plaie but with their kinred, with whome the more part they agree much woorse than with strangers.
But the child cannot require the priuilege. Who told him so? He shall heare him aske it, and he will. Howbeit, this is a gaie matter. Suppose he could not aske it, suppose he would not aske it, suppose he would aske to go out. If I saie he shall not; if I aske the priuilege but for my selfe, I say he that against my will taketh him out, breaketh the sanctuarie. Serueth this libertie for my person onlie, or for my goods too? Yee may not hence take my horsse fro me: and may you take my child fro me? He is also my ward: for as my learned councell sheweth me, sith he hath nothing by descent holden by knights seruice, the law maketh his mother his gardian. Then may no man I suppose take my ward fro me out of sanctuarie, without breach of the sanctuarie.
And if my priuilege could not serue him, nor he aske it for himselfe, yet sith the law committeth to me the custodie of him, I may require it for him, except the law giue a child a gardian onelie for his goods and lands, discharging him of the cure and safe keeping of his bodie, for which onlie both lands and goods serue. And if examples be sufficient to obteine priuilege for my child, I need not farre to seeke. For in this place in which we now be (and which is now in question whether my child may take benefit of it) mine other sonne now king was borne, and kept in his cradle and preserued to a more prosperous fortune, which I praie God long to continue. and as all you know, this is not the first time that I haue taken sanctuarie.
For when my lord my husband was banished, and thrust out of his kingdome, I fled hither, being great with child, and heere I bare the prince. And when my lord my husband returned safe againe, and had the victorie, then went I hece to welcome him home, and from hence I brought my babe the prince vnto his father, when he first tooke him in his armes. And I praie God that my sonnes palace may be as great a safegard vnto him now reigning, as this place was sometime to the kings enimie. In which place I intend to keepe his brother, sith,&c. Wherefore heere intend I to keepe him, sith mans law serueth the gardian to keepe the infant.
The law of nature will the mother to keepe hir child, Gods law priuilegeth the sanctuarie, and the sanctuarie my sonne, sith I feare to put him in the prtectrs hands that hath his brother alreadie, and were (if both failed) inheritor to the crowne. The cause of my feare hath no man to doo to examine. And yet feare I no further than the law feareth, which (as learned men tell me) forbiddeth euerie man the custodie of them, by whose death he maie inherit lesse land than a kingdom. I can no more but whosoeuer he be that breaketh this holie sanctuarie, I praie God shortlie send him need of sanctuarie, when he maie not come to it. For taken out of sanctuarie would I not my mortall enemie were.
The lord cardinall, perceiuing that the queene waxed euer the longer the farther off, and also that she began to kindle and chafe, and spake more biting words against the protector, ans such as he neither beleeued, and was also loth to heare, he said to hir for a finall conclusion, that he would no longer dispute the matter: but if she were content to deliuer the duke to him, and to the other lords present, he durst laie his owne bodie & soule both in pledge, not onlie for his suertie, but also for his estate. And if she would giue them a resolute answer to the contrarie her would foorthwith depart therewithall, and shift who so would with this businesse afterwards: for he neuer intended more to moove hir in that matter, in which she thought that he & all other also (saue hir selfe) lacked either
wit or truth: wit, if they were so dull that they could nothing percieue what the protector intended: truth, if they should procure hir sonne to be deliuered into his hands, in whom they should percieue toward the child anie euill intended.
The queene with these words stood a good while in a great studie. And forsomuch as hir seemed the cardinall more readie to depart than some of the remnant, and the protector himselfe readie at hand; so that she verelie thought she could not keepe him, but that he should incontinentlie be taken thense: and so conueie him else-shere, neither had she time to serue hir, nor place determined, nor persons appointed, all things vnreadie, this message came on hir so suddenlie, nothing lesse looking for than to haue him fet out of sanctuarie, which she thought to be now beset in such places about, that he could not be conueied out vntaken, and partlie as she thought it moght fortune hir feare to be false, so well she wist it was either needlesse or bootlesse: wherefore if she should needs go fro him, she deemed it best to deliuer him.
And ouer that, of the cardinals faith she nothing doubted, nor of some other lords neither, whome she saw there. Which as she feared least they might be deceiued: so was she well assured they would not be corrupted. Then thought she it should yet make them the more warilie to looke to him to them of trust. And at rhe last she tooke the yoong duke by the hand, and said vnto the lords: My lords (quoth she) and all my lords, I neither am so vnwise to mistrust yur wits, nor so suspicious to mistrust your truths: of which thing I purpose to make you such a proofe, as if either of both in you, might turne both you and me to great sorow, the realme to much harme, and you to great reproach.
For lo, here is (quoth she) this gentleman, whome I doubt not but I could here kepe safe, if I would, what euer anie man say: & I doubt not also, but there be some abroad so deadlie enimies vnto my bloud, that if they wist where anie of it laie in their owne bodie, they would let it out. We haue also experience that desire of a kingdome knoweth no kinred. The brother hath beene the brothers bane: and maie the nephues be sure of their vncle? Ech of these children is the others defense while they be asunder, and ech of their liues lieth in the others bodie. Keepe one safe and both be sure, and nothing for them both more perillous, than to be both in one place. For what wise merchant aduentureth all his goods in one ship?
All this notwithstanding, here I deliuer him and his brother in him, to keepe, into your hands, of whome I shall aske them both afore God & the world. Faithfull ye be that wot I well, & I know well you be wise. Power and strength to keepe him (if you list) lacke ye not of your selfe, nor can lacke helpe this cause. And if ye can not else-where, then maie you leaue him here. But onelie one thing I besech you, for the trust which his father put in you euer, & for the trust that I put in you now, that as farre as ye thinke that I feare too much, be you well ware that you feare not as farre to little. And therewithall she said vnto the child; Fare well mine owne sweet sonne, God send you good keeping: let me kiss you yet once yer you go, for God knoweth when we shat kiss togither againe. and therewith she kissed him and blessed him, turned hir backe and wept and went hir waie, leauing the child weeping as fast. [Howbeit she was sorie afterwards that she had so parted from hir son (when it was past hir power to procure remedie, & no hope of helpe ledt against afterclaps) which is the common case of all that kind, as the prouerbe saith:
Femineus vere dolor est post facta dolere]
When the lord cardinall, and these other lords with him, had receiued this yoong duke, they brought him into the Star chamber, where the protector tooke him in his armes and kissed him with these words: Now welcome my lord euen with all my verie heart. And he said in that of likelihood as he thought. Therevpon foorthwith they brought him vnto the king his brother into the bishps palace at Paules, and from thense thorough the citie honourablie into the Tower, out of the which after that daie they neuer came abroad. When the protector had both children in his hands, he opened himselfe more boldlie, both tho certeine other men, and also cheeflie to the duke of Buckingham. Although I know that manie thought that this duke was priuie to all of the protectors counsell, euen from the beginning; and some of the protectors freends said, that the duke was the first moover of the protector to this matter, sending a priuie messenger vnto him, streict after king Edwards death.
But others againe, which knew better the subtill wit of the protector, denie that he euer opened his enterprise to the duke, vntill he had brought to passe the things before rehearsed. But when he had imprisoned the queenes kinsfolks, & gotten both his sonnes into his owne hands, then he opened
the rest of his purpose with lesse feare to them whome he thought meet for the matter, and speciallie to the duke, who being woone to his purpose, he thought his strength more than halfe increased. The matter was broken vnto the duke by subtill folks, and such as were their crafts-masters in the handling of such wicked deuises: who declared vnto him that the yoong king was offended with him for his kinsfolks sake, and if he were euer able he would reuenge them, who would pricke him forward therevnto if they escaped (for they would remember their imprisonment) or else if they were put to death, without doubt the yoong K. would be carefull for their deaths, whose imprisonment was greeuous to him.
Also that with repenting the duke should nothing auaille, for there was no waie left to redeeme his offense by benefits, but he should sooner destroie himselfe than saue the king, who with his brother and his kinsfolks he saw in such places imprisoned, as the protector might with a becke destroie them all: and that it were no doubt but he would doo it in deed, if there were anie new enterprise attempted. And that it was likelie, that as the protector had prouided priuie gard for himselfe, so had he spials for the duke, and traines to catch him, if he should be against him; and that peraduenture from them. whome he lest suspected. For the state of things and the dispositions of men were then such, that a man could not well tell whome he might trust, or whom he might feare.
These things and such like, being beaten into the dukes mind, brought him to that point, that where he had repented the way that he had entered; yet would he go foorth in the same; and sith he had once begun, he woud stoutlie go thorough. And therefore to this wicked enterprise, which he beleeued could not be voided, he bent himselfe, and went through; and determined, that sith the common mischeefe could not be amended, he would turne it as much as he might to his owne commoditie. Then it was agreed, that the protector should have the dukes aid to make him king, and that the protectors onelie lawfull sonne should haue the dukes daughter, and that the protector should grant him the quiet possession of the earldome of Hereford, which he claimed as his inheritance, and could neuer obteine it in king Edwards time.
Besides these requests of the duke, the protector of his owne mind promised him a great quantitie of the kings treasure, and of his houshold stuffe. And when they were thus at a point betweene themselues, they went about to prepare for the coronation of the yoong king, as they would haue it seeme. And that they might turne both the eies and the minds of men from perceiueing of their drifts other-where, the lords being sent for from all parts of the realme, came thicke to that solemnitie. But the protector and the duke, after that they had sent the lord cardinall, the archbishop of Yorke then lord chancellor, the bishop of Elie, the lord Satnlie, and the lord Hastings then lord chamberlaine, with manie other noble men to common and deuise about the coronation in one place, as fast were they in an other place, contriuing the contrary, and to make the protector king.
To which councell albeit there were adhibited verie few, and they were secret: yet began there here and there abouts, some maner of muttering among the people, as though all should not long be well, though they neither wist what they feared, nor wherefore: were it, that before such great things, mens hearts of a secret instinct of nature misgiue them; as the sea without wind swelleth of himselfe sometime before a tempest: or were it that some one man, happilie somewhat perceiuing, filled manie men with suspicion, though he shewed few men what he knew. Howbeit somewhat the dealing it selfe made men to muse on the matter, though the councell were close. For by little and little all folke withdrew from the Tower, and drew into Crosbies in Bishops gates street, where the protector kept his houshold. The protector had the resort, the king in maner desolate.
While some for their businesse made sute to them that had the dooing, some were by their freends secretlie warned, that it might happilie turne them to no good, to be too much attendant about the king without the protetors appointment, which remooued also diuerse of the princes old seruants from him, and set new about him. Thus manie things comming togither, partlie by chance, partlie of purpose, caused at length not common people onelie, that woond with the wind, but wise men also, and some lords eke to marke the matter and muse thereon; so farre foorth that the lord Stanlie that was after earle of Derbie, wiselie mistrusted it, and said vnto the lord Hastings, that he much misliked these two seuerall councels. For while we (quoth he) talke of one matter in t’one place, little wot we whereof they talke in t’other place.
My lord (quoth the lord Hastings) on my life neuer doubt you: for while one man is there, which is neuer thense, neuer can there be thing once mooued, that should sound amiss toward me, but it
should be in my eares yer it were well out of their mouths. This ment he by Catesbie, which was of his neare secret councell, and whome he verie familiarlie vsed, and in his most weightie matters put no man is so speciall trust, reckoning himselfe to no man so liefe, sith he well wist there was no man so much to him beholden as was this Catesbie, which was a man well learned in the lawes of the land, and by the speciall fauour of the lord chamberlaine, in good authoritie, and much rule bare in all the countie of Leicester, where the lord chamberlains power cheeflie laie.
But suerlie great pitie was it, that he had not had either more truth, or lesse wit. For his dissimulation onelie kept all that mischeefe vp. In whome if the lord Hastings had not put so speciall trust, the lord Stanleie & he had departed with diuerse other lords, and broken all the danse, for manie ill signes that he saw, which he now construes all to the best. So suerlie thought he, that there coud be none harme toward him in that councell intended, where Catesbie was. And of tryth the protector and the duke of Buckingham made verie good semblance vnto the lord Hastings, and kept him much in companie. And vndoubtedlie the protector loued him well, and was loth to haue lost him, sauing for feare lest his life should haue quailed their purpose.
For which cause he mooued Catesbie to proove with some words cast out a farre off whether he could thinke it possible to win the lor Hastings vnto their part. But Catesbie, whether he assaied him not, reported vnto them, that he found him so fast, and heard him speake so terrible words, that he durst no further breake. And of thruth, the lord chamberlaine of verie trust shewed vnto Catesbie the distrust that others began to haue in the matter. And therefore h, fearing least their motion might with the lord Hasting minish his credence, wherevnto onelie all the matter leaned, procured the protector hastilie to rid him. And much the rather, for that he trusted by his death to obteine much of the rule that the lord Hastings bare in this countrie: the onelie desire whereof was the allectiue that induced him to be partner, and one speciall contriuer of all this horrible treason.
Wherevpon soone after, that is to wit, on the fridaie [being the thirteenth of Iune] manie lords assembled in the Tower, and their sat in councell, deuising the honourable solemnitie of the kings coronation, of which the time appointed then so neere approached, that the pageants and subtilties were in making daie & night at Westminster, and much vittels killed therefore, that afterward was cast awaie. These lords so sitting togither communing of this matter, the protector came in amnongst them, first about nine of the clocke, saluting them courteouslie, and excusing himselfe that he had beene from them so long, saieng merilie that he had beene a sleeper that daie.
After a little talking with them, he said vnto the bishop of Elie; My lord you haue verie good strawberies at your garden in Holbourne, I require you let vs have a messe of them. Gladlie my lord (quoth he) would God I had some better thing as readie to your pleasure as that! And therewithall in all hast he sent his seruant for a messe of strawberies. The protector set the lords fast in communing, and therevpon praieng them to spare him for a little while, departed thense. And soone after one houre, betweene ten & eleuen he returned into the chamber amongst them all, changed with a woonderfull soure angrie countenance, knitting the browes, frowning and fretting, and gnawing on his lips: and so sat him downe in his place.
All the lords were much dismaid and sore maruelled at this maner of sudden change and what thing should him aile. Then, when he had sitten a while, thus he began: What were they worthie to haue that compasse and imagine the destruction of me, being so neere of bloud vnto the king, and protector of his roiall person and his realme? At this question, all the lords sat sore astonied, musing much by whome his question should be meant, of which euerie man wist himselfe cleere. Then the lord chamberlaine (as he that for the loue betweene them thought he might be boldest with him) answered and said, that they were worthie to be punished as heinous traitors, whatsoeuer they were. And all the others affirmed the same. That is (quoth he) yonder sorceresse my brothers wife, and other with hir (meaning the queene.)
At these words manie of the other lords were greatlie abashed, that fauoured hir. But the lord Hastings was in his mind better content, that it was mooued by hir, than by anie other whome he loued better: albeit his heart somewhat grudged, that he was not afore made councell in this matter, as he was of the taking of hir kinred, and of their putting to death, which were by his assent before deuised to be beheaded at Pomfret this selfe same daie, in which he was not ware that it was by other deuised, that he himselfe should be beheaded the same daie at London. Then said the protector: Ye shall all see in what wise that sorceresse, and that other witch of hir councell Shores wife, with their
affinitie, haue by their sorcerie and witchcraft wasted my bodie. And therwith he pluckt vp his dublet sleeve to his elbow vpon his left arme, where he shewed a weerish withered arme, and small; as it was neuer other.
Herevpon euerie mans mind sore misgaue them, well perceiuing that this matter was but a quarell. For they well wist that the queene was too wist to go about anie such follie. And also if she would, yet would she of all folke least, make Shores wife of hir councell, whome of all women she most hated, as that concubine whome the king hir husband most loued. And also, no man was there present, but well knew that his arme was euer such since his birth. Naithelesse, the lord chamberlaine (which from the death of king Edward kept Shores wife, on whome he somewhat dotted in the kings life, sauing (as it is said) he that forbare hir of reuerrence toward the king, or else of a certeine kind of fidelitie to his freend) answered and said: Certeinelie my lord, if they haue so heinouslie doone, they be worthie heinous punishment.
What (quoth the protector) thou seruest me I weene with ifs and with ands, I tell they they haue so doone, and that I will make good on they bodie traitor: and therewith as in a great anger, he clapped his fist vpon the board a great rap. At which token one cried, Treason, without the chamber. Therewith a doore clapped, and in come there rushing men in harnesse, as manie as the chamber might hold. And anon the protector said to the lord Hastings: I arrest thee traitor: What me my lord? (quoth he.) Yea thee traitor quoth the protector. And an other let flie at the lord Stanleie, which shrunke at the stroke, & fell vnder the table, or else his head had beene cleft to the teeth: for as shortlie as he shranke, yet ran the bloud about his eares.
Then were they all quickelie bestowed in diuerse chambers, except the lord chamberlaine, whome the protector bad speed and shriue him apace, for by saint Paule (quoth he) I will not to dinner till I see they head off. It booted him not to aske whie, but heauillie tooke a priest at aduenture, & made a short shrift: for a longer would not be suffered, the protector made so much hast to dinner, which he might not go to vntill this were doone, for sauing of his oth. So was he brought foorth to the greene beside the chappell within the Tower, and his head laid downe vpon a log of timber, and there striken off, and afterward his bodie with thehead interred at Windsor beside the bodie of king Edward, both whose soules our Lord pardon. [Thus began he to establish his kingdome in bloud, growing thereby in hatred of the nobles, and also abridging both the line of his life, and the time of his regiment: for God will not haue bloudthirstie tyrants daies prolonged, but will cut them off in their ruffe; according to Dauids words:
Impio, fallaci,audioque caedis
Fila mors rumpet viridi in iuuenta.]
A maruellous case is it to heare either the warnings of that he shoukd haue voided, or the tokens of that he could not void. For the selfe night next before his death, the lord Stanleie sent a trustie messenger vnto him at midnight in all the hast, requiring him to rise and ride awaie with him, for he was disposed vtterlie no longer to bide, he had so fearfull a dreame; in which hm thought that a boare with his tuskes so rased them both by the heads, that the bloud ran about both their shoulders. And forsomuch as the protector gaue the boare for his cognisance, this dreame made so fearefull an imprssion in his heart, that he was thoroughlie determined no longer to tarie, but had his horsse readie, if the lord Hastings would go woth him, to ride yet so farre the same night, that they should be out of danger yer daie.
Ha good Lord (quoth the lord Hastings to this messenger) leaneth my lord thy maister so much to such trifles, and hath such fait in dreames, which either his owne feare fantasieth, or doo rise in the nights rest by reason of his daies thought? Tell him it is plaine witchcraft to beleeve on such dreames, which if they were tokens of thingsd to come, why he not that we might be as likelie to make them true by our going, if we were caught & brought backe, as freends faile fliers; for then had the boare a cause likelie to rase vs with his tusks, as folke that fled for some falsehood. Wherefore, either is there perill, or none there is in deed: or if anie be, it is rather in going than in biding. And in case we should needs fall in perill one waie or other, it were either by our owne fault, or faint heart. And therefore go to thy maister (man) and commend me to him, & praie him be merie & haue no feare: for I insure him I am as sure of the man that he woteth of, as I am of mine owne hand. God send grace sir (quoth the messenger) and went his waie.
Certeine is it also, that in riding towards the Tower, the same morning in which he was beheded,
his horsse twise ot thrise stumbled with him, almost to the falling. Which thing albeit ech man wote well dailie happeneth to them, to whome no such mischance is toward; yet hat it beene of an old rite and custome obserued, as a token oftentimes notablie foregoing some great misfortune. Now this that followeth was no warning, but an enuious scorne. the same morning yer he was vp, came a knoght vnto him, as it were of courtesie, to accompanie him to councell; but of truth sent by the protector to hast him thitherwards, with whome he was of secret confederacie in that purpose; a meane man at that time and now of gret authoritie.
That knight (I say) when it happened the lord chamberlaine by the waie to staie his horsse & common a while with a priest whome he met in the Tower street, brake his tale, and said merilie to him; What my lord, I pray you come on, whereto talke you so long with that priest? you haue no need of a priest yet: and therwith he laughed vpon him, as though he would say, Ye shall haue soone. but so little wist the t’other what he m ent, and so little mistrusted, that he was neuer merier, not neuer so full of good hope in his life, which selfe thing is oft seene as a signe of change. But I shall rather let anie thing passe me, than the vaine suertie of mans mind so neere his death [flattering himselfe with deceitfull conceipts of inward motions of life to be prolonged, euen in present cases of deadlie danger, and heuie misfortunes offering great mistrust; as he did that is noted for speaking like a foole:
Non est (crede mihi) sapientic dicere Viuam:
Nascentes morimur, finisq; ab origine pendet.]
Vpon the verie Tower wharfe, so neare the place where his head was off soone after, there met he with one Hastings a purseuant of his owne name. And at their meeting in that place, he was put in rememberance of another time, in which it had appened them before to meet in like manner togither in the same place. At which other time the lord chamberlaine had beene accused vnto king Edward by the lord Riuers the queenes brother, in such wise, as he was for the while (but it lasted not long) farre fallen into the kings indignation, & stood in great feare of himselfe. And forsomuch as he now met this purseuant in the same place, that iopardie so well passed, it gaue him great pleasure to talke with him thereof, with whome he had before talked thereof in the same place, while he was therein.
And therefore he said: Ha Hastings, art thou remembered when I met thee here once with an heauie heart? Yea my lord (quoth he) that remembered I well, and thanked be God, they gat no good, nor you no harme thereby. Thou wouldest say so (quoth he) if thu knowest as much as I know, which few know else as yet, an mo shall shortlie. That meant he by the lords of the queenes kinred that were taken before, and should that daie be beheaded at Pomfret: which he well wist, but nothing ware that the axe hung ouer his owne head. In faith man (quoth he) I was neuer so sorie, nor neuer stood in so great dread in my life, as I did when thou and I met here. And lo how the world is turned, now stand mine enimies in the danger (as thou maiest hap to heare more hereafter) and I neuer in my life so merrie, nor neuer in so great suertie.
O good God, the blindnesse of our mortall nature, when he most feared, he was in good suertiee; when he reckoned himselfe surest, he lost his life, and that within two houres after. Thus ended this honorable man, a good knight and a gentle, of great authoritie with his prince, of liuing somewhat dissolute, plaine and open to his enimie, &and secret to his friend, easie to beguile, as he that of good heart and courage forestudied no perils, a louing man, and passing well beloued: verie faithfull, and trustie inough, trusting too much. Now flew the fame of this lords death swiftlie through the citie, and so foorth further about ike a wind in euerie mans eare. But the protector, immediately after dinner, intending to set some colour vpon the matter, sent in all the hast for manie substantiall men out of the citie into the tower.
Now at their coming, himselfe with the duke of Buckingham, stood harnessed inold ill faring briganders, such as no man should weene, that they would vouchsafe to haue put vpon their backs, except that some sudden necessitie had constreined them. And then the protector shewed them, that the lord chamberlaine, and other of his conspiracie, had contriued to haue suddenlie destoied him, and the duke, there the same day in the councell. And what they intended further,was as yet no well knowne. Of which their treason he neuer had knowledge bwefore ten of the clocke the same forenoone, which sudden feare draue them to put on for their defense such harnesse as came next to hand. And so had God holpen them, that the mischiefe turned vpon them that would have doone it.
And this he required them to report.
Euerie man answered him faire, as though no man mistrusted the matter, which of truth no man beleeued. Yet for the further appeasing of the peoples minds, he sent immediatelie after diner in all the hast one herald of armes, with a proclamation to be made through the sitie in the kings name, conteining, that the lord Hastings, with diuerse others of his traitorous purpose, had before conspired the same day to haue slaine the lord protector, and the duke of Buckingham sitting in the councell; and after to haue taken vpon them to rule the king & the realme at their pleasure, and therby to pill and spoile whome they list vncontrolled. And much matter there was in that proclamation, deuised to the slander of the lord chamberlaine, as that he was an ill councellor to the kings father, intising him to manie things highlie redounding to the minishing of his honour, and to the vniuersall hurt of the realme.
The meanes whereby; namlie, his euill companie, sinister procuring, and vngratious example, as well in manie other things, as in the vicious liuing and inordinate abusion of his bodie, with manie other, and also speciallie with Shores wife, which was one also of his most secret counsell in this most heinous treason, whith whome he laie nightlie, and namelie the night last past next before his death
So that it was the lesse maruell, if vngratious liuing brought him to an vnhappie ending, which he was now put vnto by the most dred comandement of the kings highnesse, and of his honorable and faitfull concell, both for his demertis, being so openlie taken in his falslie conceiued treason, and also least the delaieng of his executin might hauve incouraged other mischiefous persons, partners of his conspiracie, to gather and assemble themselues togither, in making some great commotion for his deliuerance: whose hope being now by his well deserued death politikelie repressed, all the realme should (by Gods grace) rest in good quiet and peace.
Now was this proclamation made within two houres after that he was beheaded, and it was so curiouslie indicted, & so faire written in parchment, in so well set a hand, and therewith of it selfe so long a processe, that euerie chiled might well perceiue that it was prepared before. For all the time betweene his death and the proclaming, could scant haue sufficed vnto the bare writing alone, all had it beene but in paper, and scribbled foorth in hast at aduenture. So that vpon the proclaming thereof, one that was schoolmaister of Powles of chance standing by, and comparing the shortnesse of time with the length of the matter, said vnto them that stood about him; Here is a gaie goodlie cast foule cast awaie for hast. And a merchant answered him, that it was written by prophesie.
Now then by and by, as it were for anger, not for courtesie, the protector sent into the house of Shores wife (for hir husband dwelled not with hir) and spoiled hir of all that euer she had, aboue the value of two or three thousand markes, and sent hir bodie to prison. And when he had a while laid vnto hir (for the maner sake) that she went about to bewitch him, and that she was of councell with the lord chamberlaine to destroie him: in conclusion, when that no colour could fasten vpon these matters, then he laid heinouslie to hir charge, that thing that hir selfe could not denie, and that all the world wist was true, and that nathelesse euerie man laughed at, to heare it then so suddenlie so highlie taken, that shee was naught of hir bodie.
And for this cause (as a goodlie continent prince, cleane and faultlesse of himselfe sent out of heauen into this vicious world for the amendment of mens maners) he caused the bishop of London to put hir to open penance, going before the crosse in procession vpon a sundaie with a taper in hir hand.
In which she wnet in countenance and pase demure so womanlie; that albeit she were out of all araie, saue hir kirtle onelie, yet went she so faire and louelie, namelie while the woondering of the people cast a comelie rud in hir cheeks (of which she before had most misse) that hir great shame wan hir much praise among thise that were more amorous of hir bodie, than curious of hir soule. And manie good folks also that hated hir liuing, & glad were to see sin corrected: yet pitied they more hir penance, than reioised therin, when they considered that the protector procured it, more of a corrupt intent, than anie virtuous affection.
This woman was borne in London, worshipfullie friended, honestlie brought vp, and verie well maried, sauing somewhat too soone, hir husband an honest citizen, yoong and godlie, & of good substance. But forsomuch as they were coupled yer she were well ripe, she not verie feruentlie loued him, for who she neuer longed, which was happilie the thing that the more easilie made hir incline vnto the kings appetite, when he required hir. Howbeit, the respect of his roialtie, the hope of gaie apparell, ease, and other wanton wealth, was able soon to pearse a soft tender heart, [so that she became flexible
and pliant to the kings appetite and will: being so blinded with the bright glorie of the present courtlie brauerie which she inioied, that she vtterlie forgat how excellent a treasure good name and fame is, and of what incomparable sweetnesse, euen by the iudegement of him, whose match for wisdome the world neuer bred vp, saieng:
Sunt optanda magis purae nomina famae,
Nobilis vnguenti quam pretiosus odor.]
But when the king had abused hir, anon hir husband (as he was an honest man, and one that could his good, not prsuming to touch a kings concubine) left hir vp to him altogither. When the king died, the lord chamberlaine tooke hir, which in the kings daies, albeit he was sore inamoured vpon hir, yet he forbare hir; ether for reuerence, or for a certeine frendlie faithfullnesse. Proper she was and faire; nothing in hir bodie that you would haue changed, but if ye would haue wished hir somewhat higher. Thus saie they that knew hir in hir youth. Albeit some that now see hir (for yet she liueth) deem hir neuer to haue been well visaged: whose iudegement seemeth to me somewhat like, as though men should gesse the beautie of one long before departed by hir scalpe taken out of the charnell house.
For now she is old, leane, withered and dried vp, nothing left but riuelled skin and hard bone. And yet being euen such, who so well aduise her visage, might gesse and deuise, which parts how filed would make it a faire face. Yet delighted not men so much in hir beautie, as in hir pleasant behauiour. For a proper wit had she, and could both read well and write, merie in companie, readie and quicke of answer, neither mute, nor full of bable, sometimes tawnting without displeasure and not without disport. The king would saie that he had three concubins, which in three diuerse properties diuerslie excelled. One the merriest, another the wiliest, the third the holiest harlot in his realme, as one whome no man could get out of the church lightlie to any place, but it were to his bed.
The other two were somewhat greater personages, and nathelesse of their humilitie consent to be namelesse, and to forbeare the praise of those properties: but the merriest was Shores wife, in whom the king therefore tooke speciall pleasure. For manie he had, but hir he loued; whose fauour to say the truth (for sin it were to beelie the deuill) she neuer abused to anie mans hurt, but to manie a mans comfort and releefe. Where the king tooke displeasure, shee would mitigate and appease his mind: where men were out of fauour, she would bring them in his grace. For manie that had highlie offended she obteined pardon. Of great forfeitures she gat men remission.
Finallie, in manie weightie sutes she stood manie a man in great stead, either for none or verie small rewards, and those rather gaie than rich; either that she was content with the deed it selfe well doone; or for that she delighted to be sued vnto, and to shew what she was able to doo with the king; or for that wanton women and wealthie be not alwaies couetous. I doubt not some shall thinke this woman too slight a thing to be written of, and set among the rememberances of great matters: which they shall speciallie thinke, that happilie shall esteeme hir onelie by that they now see hir.
But me seemeth the chance so much the more worthie to be remembered, in how much she is now in the more beggerlie condition, vnfreended and worne out of acquaintance, after good substance, after as great fauour with the prince, after as great sute and seeking to with all those, that those daies had businesse to speed; as manie other men were in their times, which be now famous onelie by the infamie of their ill deeds. Hir dooings were not much lesse, albeit they be much lesse remembered, bicause they were not so euill. For men vse if they haue an euill turne, to write it in marble: and who so dooth vs a good turne, we write it in dust, which is not worst prooued by hir: for at this daie she beggeth of manie at this daie liuing, that at this daie had begged if she had not beene.
Now was it so deuised by the protector and his councell, that the selfe daie, in which the lord chamberlaine was beheaded in the Tower of London, and about the selfe same houre, was there (not without his assent) beheaded at Pomfret, the foreremembred lords & knights that were taken from the king at Northampton and Stonie Stratford. Which thing was doone in the presence, and by the order of sir Richard Ratcliffe knight, whose seruice the protector speciallie vsed in that councell, and in the execution of such lawlesse enterprises, as a man that had beene long secret with him, hauing experience of the world, and a shrewd wit, short & rude in speech, rough and boistersous of behaviour, bold in mischiefe, as far from pitie as from all feare of God.
This knoght bringing them out of the prison to the scaffold, and shewing to the people about that they were traitors (not suffering them to declare & speake their innocencie, least their words might haue inclined men to pitie them, and to hate the protector and his part) caused them hastilie, without iudgement, processe, or maner of order to be beheaded, and without other earthlie gilt, but onelie that they were good men., to true to the king, and too nigh to the queene. Now when the lord chamberlaine & these other lords and knights were thus beheaded, and rid out of the waie: then thought the protector, that when men mused what the matter meant, while the lords of the realme were about him out of their owne strength, while no manwist what to thinke, nor whom to trust, yer euer they should haue space to dispute and digest the matter and make parties; it were best hastilie to pusue his purpose, and put himselfe in possession of the crowne, yer men could haue time to deuise anie waie to resist.
But now was all the studie by what meanes this matter, being of itselfe so heinous, might be first broken to the people, in such wise that it maight be well taken. To this councell they tooke diuerse, such as thought meetlie to be trusted, likelie to be induced to that part, and able to stand them in steed either by power or policie. Among whome they made of councell Edmund Shaw knight then maior of London, which vpon trust of his owne aduancement, whereof he was of a proud heart highlie desireous, should frame the sitie to their appetite. Of spirituall men they tooke such as had wit, and were in authoritie among the people for opinion of their learning, and had no scrupulous conscience. Among these had they Iohn Shaw clearke brother to the maior, and frier Penker, prouinciall of the Augustine friers both doctors of diuinitie, both great preachers, both of more learning thatn vertue, of more fame than learning. For they were before greatlie esteemed among the people: but after that neuer.
Of these two the one had a serman in praise of the protector before the coronation, the other after, both so full of tedious flatterie, that no mans eares could abide them. Penker in his sermon so lost his voice, that he was faine to leaue off, and come down in the midst. Doctor Shaw by his serman lost his honestie, & soone after his life, for verie shame of the world, into which he durst neuer after come abroad. But the frier forced for no shame, and so it harmed him the lesse. Howbeit some doubt, and manie thinke, that Penker was not of councell in the matter before the coronation, but after the common maner fell to flaterie after: namelie sith his sermon was not incintinentlie vpon it, but at saint Marie hospitall at the Easter afte.
But certeine it is, that doctor Shaw was of councell in the beginning, so farre foorth that they determined that he should first breake the matter in a sermon at Paules crosse, in which he should (by the authoritie of his preaching) incline the people to the protectors ghostlie purpose. But now was all the labor and studie in the deuise of some conuenient pretext, for which the people should be content to depose the prince, and accept the protector for king. In which diuerse things the deuised. But the cheefe thing & the weightiest of all that inuention rested in this, that they should allege bastardie, either in king Edward himselfe, or in his children, or both. So that he should seeme disabled to inherit the crowne, by the duke of Yorke, and the prince by him.
To laie bastardie in king Edward, sounded openlie tot he rebuke of the protectors owne mother, which was mother tot hem both; for in that point could be no other color, but to pretend that his owne mother was an adultresse, which notwithstanding, to further his purpose he letted not. But neuerthelesse, he would that point be lesse and more fauourablie handled: Not euen fullie plaine and directlie, but that the matter should be touched aslope craftiie, as though men spared in that point to speake all the truth for feare of his displeasure. But the other point concerning the bastardie that they deuised to surmize in king Edwards children, that would he should be openlie declared and inforced to the vttermost. The colour and pretext whereof cannot be well perceiued, but if we first repeat you some things long before doone about king Edwards mariage.
After that king Edward the fourth had deposed king Henrie the sixt, and was in peaceable possession of the realme, determining himselfe to marie (as it was meet both for him selfe & the realme) he sent ouer in ambassage the erle of Warwike, with other noble men in his companie to Spaine, to
treat & conclude a mariage betweene K. Edward & the kings daughter of Spaine. In which thing the erle of Warwike found the parties so toward & willing, that he speedilie (according to his instructions withiut any difficultie) brought the matter toa good coclusion. Now hapned it, that in the meane season there came to make a sute by petition to the king dame Elizabeth Greie, which was after his queene, at that time a widow, borne of noble bloud, by hir mother, duches of Bedford, yer she maried the lord Wooduile, hir father.
Howbeit, this dame Elizabeth hir selfe, being in seruice with queene Margaret, wife vnto Henrie the sixt, was maried vnto one (Iohn) Greie, an esquier, whome king Henrie mae knight vpon the field that he had on [Barnet heath by saint Albons] against king Edward. But litle while inioied he that knighthood: for he was at the same field slaine. After which doone, and the erle of Warwike, being in his ambassage about the afore remembred mariage, this poore ladie made humble sute vnto the king, that she might be restored vnto such small lands as hir late husband had giuen hir in iointure.
Whome when the king beheld, and heard hir speqke as she was both faire and of a goodlie fauor, moderate of stature, well made and verie wise: he not onelie pitied hir, but also waxed inamoured of hir. And taking hir afterward secretlie aside, began to enter in talking more familiarlie. Whose appetite when she perceiued, she vertuouslie denied him.
But that she did so wiselie, and with so good maner, and words so well set, that she rather kindled his desire than quenched it. And finallie, after manie a meeting, much wooing, and many great promises, she well esieng the kings affection toward hir so greatlie increased, that she durst somewhat the more boldlie saie hir mind, as to him whose hart she perceiued more feruentlie set, than to fall off for a word. And in conclusion. she shewed him plaine, that as she wist hir selfe to simple to be his wife, so thought hir selfe to good to be his concubine. The king much maruelling at hir constancie (as he that had not been woont elsewhere to be so stifflie said naie) so much esteemed hir countenance and chastitie, that he set hir vertue in the steed of possesion and riches: and thus taking councell of his desire, determined in all possible hast to marie hir.
Now after he was thus appointed, and had betweene them twaine insured hir: then asked he councell of his other freends, and that in such maner, as they might then perceiue, it booted not greatlie to say naie. Notwithstanding the duches of Yorke his mother was so sore mooued therewith, that she dissuaded the mariage as much as she possible might; alledging that it was his honour, profit, and suertie also, to marie a noble progenie out of his realme, wherevpon depended great strength to his estate, by the affinitie and great possibilitie of increase in his possessions. And that he could not well otherwise doo, seeing that the earle of Warwike had so farre mooued alreadie: which were not likelie to take it well, if all his voiage were in such wise frustrate, and his appointment deluded. And she said also, that is was not princelie to marie his owne subject, no great occasion leading therevnto, no posessions, or other commodities depending therevpon; but onlie as it were a rich man that would marie his maid, onelie for a little wanton dotage vpon hir person.
In which mariage manie mo commend the maidens fortune, than the maisters wisdome. And yet therein (she said) was more honestie than honour in this mariage. For somuch as there is betweene no merchant and his owne maid so great differnce as betweene the king and this widow. In whose person, albeit there was nothing to be miskiled; yet was there (she said) nothing so excellent, but that it might be found in diuerse other that were more meetlie (quoth she) for your estate, and maidens also; whereas the onelie widowhead of Elizabeth Greie, though she were in all other things conuenient for you, shuld yet suffice (as me seemeth) to refraine you from hir mariage, sith it is an vnfitting thing, and a verie blemish and high disparagement to the sacred maiestie of a prince, that ought as nigh to approach priesthood in cleannesse as he dooth in dignitie, to be defiled with bigamie in his first mariage.
The king, when his mother had said, made hir answer, part in earnest, part in plaie merilie, as he that wist himselfe out of hir rule. And albeit he would gladlie that she would take it well, yet was at a point in his owne mind, tooke she it well or otherwise. Howbeit somewhat to satifie hir, he said, that albeit mariage (being a sprituall thing) ought rather to be made for the respect of God, where his grace inclineth the parties to loue togither, as he trusted it was in his, than for the regard of anie temprall aduantage: yet neuerthelesse, him seemed that this mariage, euen worldlie considered, was not
vnprofitable. For he reckoned the amitie of no earthlie nation so necessarie for him, as the freendship of his owne, which he thought likely to beare him so much the more hartie fauour, in that he disdeined not to marie with one of his owne land.
2 pages missing pages 387 and 388
he the fathers owne figure, this is his owne countenance, the verie print of his visage, the sure vndoubted image, the pleine expresse likenesse of that noble duke. Now was it before deuised, that in speaking of these words, the protector should haue comen in among the people to the sermon ward, to the end that those words meeting with his presence, might haue been taken among the hearers, as though the Holie-ghost had put them in the preachers mouth, & should have mooued the people euen there to crie; King Richard, king Richard: That it might haue been after said, that he was speciallie chosen by God, and in maner by miracle. But this deuise quailed, either by the protecors negligence, or the preachers overmuch diligence
For while the protector found by the waie tarieng least he should preuent those words, and the doctor fearing that he should come yer his sermon could come to these words, hasted his matter thereto, he was come to them and past them, and entred into other matters yer the protector came. Whome when he beheld coming, he suddenlie left the matter with which he was in hand, and without anie deduction therevnto, out of all order, and out of all frame, began to repeat those words againe: “This is the vwerie noble prince, the speciall patrone of knightlie prowesse, which as well in all princelie behauior, as in the lineaments & fauor of his visage, representeth the verie face of the noble duke of Yorke his father: this is the fathers owne figure, this is his owne countenance, the verie print of his visage, the sure vndoubted image, the pleine expresse likenesse of the noble duke, whose rememberence can neuer die while he liueth.”
While these words were in speaking, the protector accompanied with the duke of Buckingham, went through the people into the place where the doctors commonlie stand in the vpper storie, where he stood to hearken the sermon. But the people were so farre fro criend; K. Richard, that they stood as they had beene turned into stones, for woonder of this shamefull sermon. After which once ended, the preacher gat him home, and neuer after durst looke out for shame, but kept him out of sight lake an owle. And when he once asked one that had beene his olde freend what the people talked of him, all were it that his owne conscience well shewed him that they talked no good; yet when t’other answered him, that there was in euerie mans mouth spoken of him much shame, it so strake him to the heart, that within a few daies after he withered and consumed awaie [for verie thought and inward pine, procured by irrecouerable cares, whose nature is noted by obseuation of their effects:
Attenuant vigiles corpus miserabile curae.]
Then on the tuesdaie following this sermon, there came to the Guildhall in London the duke of Buckingham, accompanied with diuerse lords and knights mo than happilie knew the message that they brought. And there in the east end of the hall, where the maior keepeth the Hustings, the maior and all the aldermen being assembled about him, all the commons of the citie gathered before them. After silence commanded vpon great paine in the protectors name: the duke stood vp, and (as he was neither vnlearned, and of a nature maruellouslie well spoken) he said vnto the people with a cleare and lowd voice in this maner of wise.
The duke of Buckingham oration to the assemblie of the maior, aldermen, and commoners.
FRIENDS, for the zeale and heartie fauour that we beare you, we be comen to breake vnto you of a mater right great and weightie, and no lesse weightie than plesing to God, and profitable to all the realme: nor to no part of the realme more profitable, than to you the citizens of this noble sitie. For whie, that thing that we wote well ye haue long time lacked, and sore longed for, that yee would haue giuen great good for, that yee would haue gone farre to fetch; that thing we come hither to bring you without your labor, paine, cost, aduenture, or iopardie. What thing is that? Certes the suertie of your owne bodies, the quiet of your wiues and your daughters, the safegard of your goods: of all which
things in times past ye stood euermore in doubt. For who was there of all of you, that would reckon himselfe lord of his owne goods among so manie grens & traps as was set therefore, among so much pilling and polling, among so manie taxes and tallages, of which there was neuer end, & oftentimes no need? Or if anie were, it rather grew out of riot, and vnreasonable wast, that anie necessarie or honourable charge.
So that there was dailie pilled fro good men and honest, great substance of goods, to be lashed out among unthrifts; so far forth, that fifteenes sufficed not, not anie vsual names of knowne taxes: but vnder an easie name of beneuolence and good will, the commissioners so much of euerie man tooke as no man could with his good will haue given. As though that name of beneuolence had signified, that euerie man should paie, not what himselfe of his owne good will list to grant, but what the king of his good will list to take. Which neuer lasked little, but euerie thing was hawswd aboue the measure, amercements turned into fines, fines into ransoms small trespasses into misprison, misprison into treason. Whereof (I thinke) no man looketh that we should remember yiu of examples by name, as though Burdet were forgotten, that was for a word spoken in hast cruellie beheaded, by the misconstructing of the laws of this realme, for the princes pleasure.
With no lesse honour to markam then cheefe iustice, that left [ the benefit & dignitie] of his ofice, rather than he would assent to the dishonestie of those, that either for feare or flatterie gaue that iudgement. What Cooke, your owne worshipful neighbor, alderman and maior of this noble citie, who is of you so either negligent that he knoweth not, or so forgetful that he remembereth not, or so hard hearted that he pittieth not that worshipful mans losse? What speake we of losse? His vtter spoile and vndeserved destruction, onelie for that it hapned those to fauour him whome the prince did not. We need not (I suppose) to rehearse of these anie mo by name, sith there be ( I doubt not) manie heere present, that either in themselues or in their nigh friends haue knowne, as well their goods as their persons greatlie indangered, either by feigned quarels, or small matters aggreeued with heinous names. and also no crime so great, of which there could lacke a pretext.
For sith the king, preuenting the time of his inheritance, atteined the crowne by battell: it sufficed in a rich man for a pretext of treason, to haue beene of kinred or aliance, neer familiaritie, or legier acquaintance with anie of those that were at anie time the kings enimies, which was at one time and other more than halfe the relme. Thus were neither your goods in suertie, and yet they brought your bodies in iopardie, beside the common aduenture of open warre, which albeit that it is euer the will and occasion of much mischeefe, yet it is neuer so mischeeuous, as where any people fall at distance among themselues; nor in none earthlie nation so deadlie and so pestilent, as when it hapneth among us; and among us neuer so long continued dissention, nor so manie batels in that season, nor so cruell and so deadlie fought, as was in that kiongs daies that dead is. God forgiue it his soule.
In whose time, and by whose occasion, what about the getting of the garland, keeping it, leesing it and winning againe, it hath cost more English bloud, than hath twise the winning of France. In which inward war among our selues, hath beene so great effusion of the ancient noble bloud of this realme, that scarselie the halfe remaineth, to the great enfeebling of this noble land, beside manie a good towne ransacked and spoiled by them, that haue been going to the field or commin from thence. And peace long after not much surer than war. So that no time was therein, which rich men for their monie, and great men for theior lands, or some other for some feare, orsome displeasures were not out of perill. For whome trusted he that mistrusted his owne brother? Whome spared he that killed his owne brother? Or who could perfectlie loue him, if his owne brother could not?
What maner of folke he most fauored we shall for his honour spare to speake of. Howbeit this wote you well all, that who so was best, bare alwaie least rule; & more sute was in his daies to Shores wife a vile and abbominable strumpet, than to all the lords in England: except vnto those that made hir their proctor. Which simple woman was well named & honest, till the king for his wanton lust and sinfull affection bereft hir from hir husband, a right honest substantiall yoong man among you. And in that point, which in good faith I am sorie to speake of, sauing that it is in vaine to keepe in councell that thing that all men know, the kings greedie appetite was insatiable, and euerie where ouer all the realme intollerable.
For no woman was there anie where, yoong or old, rich or poore, whome he set his eie vpon, in
whome he anie thing liked, either person or fauor, speech, pase, or countenance, but without anie feare of God, or respect of his honor, murmur or grudge of the world, he would importunelie pursue his appetite, and haue hir, to the great destruction of manie a good woman, and great dolor to their husbands, and their other freends: which being honest people of themselues, so much regard the cleannesse of their house, the chastitie of their wiues , and their children, that them were leauer to leese all that they had beside, than to haue such a villanie doone them. And all were it that with this and other importable dealing, the realme was in euerie part annoied: yet speciallie yee heere the citizens of this noble citie, as well for that amongst you were nearest at hand, sith that neere heere abouts was commonlie his most abiding.
And yet be yee the people, whome he had as singular cause well and kindlie to intreat, as anie part of his realme; not onelie for that the prince (by this noble citie, as his speciall chamber, & the speciall well renowned citie of this realme) much honourable fame receiueth among all other nations: but also for that yee (not wothout your great cost & sundrie perils & iopardies in all his warres) bare euen your speciall fauor to his part. Which your kind minds borne to the house of Yorke, sith he hath nothing worthelie acquited, there is of that house that now by Gods grace better shall: which thing to shew you is the whole summe and effect of this our present errand. It shall not (I wot well) need that I rehearse you againe, that yee haue alreadie heard of him that can better tell it, and of whome I am sure yee will better beleeue it And reason is that it so be.
I am not so proud, to looke therefore that yee should reckon my words of as great authoritie as the preachers of the word of God, namelie a man so cunning and so wise that no manbetter woteth what he shuld saie, and thereto so good and vertuous, that he would not saie the thing which he wist he should not saie, in the pulpit namelie, into the whoch no honest man commeth to lie. Which honorable preacher, yee well remember, substantiallie declared vnto you at Paules crosse, on sundaie just passed, the right and title that the most excellent prince Richard duke of Glocester, now protector of this realme, hath vnto the crowne and kingsome of the same. For as the worshipfull man groundlie made open vnto you, the children of king Edward the fourth were neuer lawfullie begotten, forsomuch as the king (leauing his verie wife dame Elizabeth Lucie) was neuer lawfullie maried vnto the queene their mother, whose bloud, sauing that he set his voluptuous pleasures before his honor, was full vnmeetlie to be matched with his; and the mingling of whose blouds togither, hath beene the effusion of a great part of noble bloud in this realme.
Whereby it may well seeme the mariage was not well made, of which there is so much mischeefe growne. For lacke of which lawfull coupling, & also of other things which the said worshipfull doctor rather signified than fullie explained, & which things shall not be spoken for me, as the thing whereing euerie man forbeareth to say that he knoweth in auoiding displeasure of my noble lord protector, bearing (as nature requireth) a filiall reuerence for the duchesse his mother. For these causes (I say) before remembred that is to wit, for lacke of other issue lawfullei of the late noble prince Richard duke of Yorke, to whose roiall bloud the crowne of England and of France is by the high authoritie of parlement intailed, the right and title of the same is by the iust course of inheritance (according to the comon lawes of this land) deuolued & commen vnto the most excellent prince the lord protector, as to the verie lawfullie begotten sonne of the foreremembred noble duke of Yorke.
Which thing well considered, and the great knightlie prowesse pondered, with manifold vertues, which in his noble peson singularlie abound; the nobles and commons also of this realme, and speciallie the north part, not willing anie bastard bloud to haue the rule of the land, nor abusions before in the same vsed anie longer to continue, haue condescended and fullie determined, to make humble petition to the most puissant prince the lord protector, that it maie like his grace (at our humble request) to take vpon him the guiding and gouernance of this realme, to the wealth and increase of the same, according to his verie right and iust title.
Which thing I wote it well, he will be loth to take vpon him, as he whose wisdome well perceiueth the labor and studie both of mind and bodie, that come therewith, to whomsoeuer so will occupie the roome, as I dare say hee will, if he take it. Which roome I warne you well is no childs office. And that the great wise man well perceiued when hee said: Vae regno cuius rex puer est: Wo is that realme that hath a child to their king.
Whereore so much the more cause have we to thanke God, that this noble personage, which is so rightlie intitled therevnto, is of so sad age, & thereto so great wisdome ioined with so great experience, which albeit hee will bee loth (as I haue said) to take it vpon him, yet shall he to our petition in that behalfe more graciouslie incline, if ye the worshipfull citizens of this the cheefe sitie of this realme, ioine with us the nobles in our sad request. Which for your own weale (we doubt not) but ye will: and nathelesse I heartilie pray you so to doo, whereby you shall doo great profit to all this realm beside, in choosing them so good a king, and vnto your selues speciall commoditie, to whome his maiestie shall euer after beare so much the more tender fauor, in how much he shall perceiue you the more prone and beneuolentlie minded toward his election. Wherein deere friends what mind you haue, we require you to plainlie shew vs.
When the duke had said, and looked that the people, whome he hoped that the maior had framed before should after this proposition made, haue cried; King Richard, king Richard: All was husht and mute, and not one word answered therevnto. Wherewith the duke was maruellouslie abashed, and taking the maior neerer to him, with other that were about him privie to that matter, said vnto them softlie, What meaneth this, that the people be so still? Sir (quoth the maior) percase they perceiue you not well That shall we mend ( quoth he) if that will helpe. And by & by somewhat lowder he rehersed to them the same matter againe in other order, and other words, so well and ornatlie, and nathelesse so euidentlie and plaine, with voice, gesture and countenance so comlie, and so conuenient, that euerie man much maruelled that heard him, and thought that they neuer had in their liues heard so euill a tale so well told [insomuch that he seemed as cunning an orator, as he, of whome the poet spake to his high praise comendation saieng:
Quaelibet eloquio causa fit apta suo.]
But were it for woonder or feare, or that each looked that other should speake first: not one word was there answered of all the people that stood before, but all was still as the midnight. not somuch as rowning amongst them, by which they might seeme to commune what was best to do. When the maior saw this, he with other partners of that councell drew about the duke, and said that the people had not beene accustomed there to be spoken vnto, but by the recorder, which is the mouth of the citie, and happilie to him they will answer. With that the recorder, called Fitz William, a sad man, & an honest, which was so new come into that office, that he neuer had spoken to the people before, and loth was with that matter to begin, notwithstanding therevnto commanded by the maior, made rehersall to the commons of that the duke had twise rehearsed to them himselfe.
But the recorder so tempere his tale, that he shewed euerie thing as the dukes words, and no part his owne. But all this noting no change made in the people, which alwaie after one stood as they had beene men amazed. Wherevpon the duke rowned vnto the maior and said, This is a maruellous obstinate silence: and therewith he turned vnto the people againe with these words: Deere friends, we come to mooue you to that thing, which peraduenture we not so greatlie needed but that the lords of this realme, and the commons of other parteis migh haue sufficed, sauing that we such loue beare you, and so much set by you, that we would not gladlie doo wothout you, that thing in which to be partners is your weale and honor, which (as it seemeth) either you see not, or weie not. Wherefore we require you giue vs answer one way or other, whether you be minded, as all the nobles of the realme be, to haue this noble prince, now protector, to be your king or not.
At these words the people began to whisper among themselues secretly, that the voice
was neither lowd or distinct, but as it were the sound of a swarme of bees, till at the last in the nether end of the hall, an ambushment of the dukes seruants and Nashfields, and other belonging to the protector, with some prentisses and lads that thrust into the hall amongst the prease, began suddenlie at mens backes to crie out, as lowd as theie throtes would giue; King Richard, king Richard: and threw vp their caps in token of ioy. And they that stood before, cast backe their heads maruelling thereof, but nothing they said. Now when the duke and the maior saw this maner, they wiselie turned it to their purpose, and said it was a goodlie crie, & a ioifull, to hear euerie man with one voice, no man saieng naie.
Wherefore friend (quoth the duke) sith we perceiue it is all your whole mind to haue this noble man for your king (whereof we shall make his grace so effectuall report, that we doubt not but it shall redound vnto your great weale and commoditie) we require ye, that to morrow go with vs, and we with you vnto his noble grace, to make our humble request vnto him in maner before remembred. And therewith the lords came downe, and the companie dissolued and departed, the more part all sad: some with glad semblence that were not verie merrie, and some of those that came thither withthe duke not able to dissemble their sorrow, were faine at his backe to turne their face to the wall while the dolor of their hearts burst out of their eies.
Then on the morrow after, the maior with all the aldermen, and cheefe commoners of the citie, in their best maner apparelled, assembling themselues togither, resorted vnto Bainards castell, where the protector laie. To which place repaired also the duke of Buckingham, and diuerse noble men with him, besides manie knights and other gentlemen. And therevpon the duke sent word vnto the lord protector, of the being there of a great and honourable companie, to moove a great matter vnto his grace. Wherevpon the protector made difficultie to come out vnto them. but if he first knew some part of their errand, as though he doubted and partlie mistrusted the comming of such a number vnto him so suddenlie, without anie warning or knowledge, whether they came for good or harme.
Then the duke, when he had shewed this to the maior and other, that they might thereby see how little the protector looked for this matter, they sent vnto him by the messenger such louing message againe, and therewith so humblie besought him. to vouchsafe that theymight report to his presence to propose their intent, of which they would vnto none other person anie part disclose; that at the last he came foorth of his chamber, and yet not downe vnti them. but stood aboue ina gallerie ouer them, where they might see him, and spake to him as though he would not yet come too neere them till he wist what they ment. And therevpon the duke of Buckingham first made humble petition vnto him on behalfe of them all, that his grace would pardon them, and licence them to propose vnto his grace the intent of their comming, without his displeasure, without which pardon obteined, they durst not be bold to mooue him of that matter.
In which albeit they ment as much honor to his grace, as wealth to all the realme beside, yet were they not sure how his grace would take it, whome they would in no wise offend. Then the protector (as he was verie gentle of himselfe, and also longed sore to wit what they ment) gaue him leaue to propose what him liked, verelie trusting (for the good mind that he bare them all) none of them anie thing would intend vnto himward, wherewith he ought to be greeued. When the duke had this leaue and pardon to speake, then waxed he bold to shew him their intent and purpose, with all the causes moouing them therevnto (as ye before haue heard) and finallie to beseech his grace, that it would like him, of his accustomed goodnesse and zeale vnto the realme, now with his eie of pitie to behold the long continued distresse and decaie of the same, and to set his gratious hands to redresse and amendment thereof.
All which he might well doo, by taking vpon him the crowne and gouernance of this realme, according to his right and title lawfullie descended vnto him, and to the laud of God, profit of the land, & vnto his noble grace so much the more honour and lesse paine
in that, that neuer prince reigned vpon anie people, that were so glad to liue vnder his obeisance, as the people of this realme vnder his. When the protector had heard the proposition, he looked verie strangelie thereat, and answered: that all were it that he partlie knew the things alledged by them to be true, yet such entire loue he bare vnto king Edward and his children, that so much more regarded his honour in other realmes about, than the crowne of anie one of which he was neuer desirous, that he could not find in his hart in this point to incline to their desire. For in all other nations, where the truth were not well knowne, it should peraduenture be thought, that it were his owne ambitious mind and deuise, to depose the prince, and take himselfe the crowne.
With which infamie he would not haue his honour stained for anie crowne, in which he had euer perceiued much more labour and paine, than pleasure to him that so would vse it, as he that would not, were not worthie to haue it. Notwithstanding, he not onelie pardoned them the motion that they made him, but also thanked them for the loue and hartie favour they bare him, praieng them for his sake to giue and beare the same to the prince, vnder whome he was, and would be content to liue, and with his labour and councell ( as farre as should like the king to vse him) he would doo this vttermost deuoir to set the realme in good state, which was alreadie in this little while of his protectorship (the praise giuen to God) well begun, in that the malice of such as were before occasion of the contrarie, and of new intended to be, were now partlie by good police, & partlie more by Gods speciall pouidence, than mans prouision, repressed.
Vpon this answer giuen, the duke by the protectors licence, a little rowned aswell with other noble men about him, as with the maior and recorder of London. And after that 9Vpon like pardon desired & obteined) he shewed alowed vnto the protector that for a finall conclusion, that the realme was appointed K. Edwards line should not anie longer reigne vpon them, both for that they had so farre gone, that it was now no suretie to retreat, as for that they thought it for the weale vniuersall to take that waie, although they had not yet begun it. Wherefore, if it would like his grace to take the crowne vpon him, they would humblie beseech him therevnto. If he would giue them a resolute answer tot he ocntrarie, which they would be loth to heare, then must they needs seeke and should not faile to find some other noble man that would. These words much mooved the protector, which else (as eueroie man may weet) would neuer of likelihood haue inclined therevnto.
But when he saw there was none other waie, but that either he must take it, or else he and his both go from it, he said vnto the lords and commons; Sith we perceiue well that all the realme is so set, whereof we be verie sorie, that they will not suffer in anie wise kind Edwards line to gouerne them, whom no man earthlie can gouerne against their willes; & we well also perceiue, that no man is there, to whome the crown can be by iust title apperteine, as to our selues, as verie right heire lawfully begotten of the bodie of our most deere father Richard late duke of Yorke, to which title is now ioined your election, the nobles and commons of this realme, which we of all titles possible take for the mist effectuall: we be content and agree fauourablie to incline to your petition and request, and (according to the same) here we take vs the roiall estate, preheminence and kingdome of the two noble realmes, England and France: the one from this daie forwared by vs and our heires to rule, gouerne, and defend; the other by Gods grace, and your good helpe, th get again and subdue, and establish for euer in due obedience vnto this realme of England, the aduancement whereof we neuer ask of God longer to liue than we intend to procure.
With this there was a great shout, crieng; King Richard, king Richard. And then the lords went vp to the king (for so was he from that time called) and the people departed, talking diuerselie of the matter, euerie man as his fantasie gaue him. But much they talked and maruelled of the maner of this dealing, that the matter was on both parts made so strange, as though neiter had euer communed with other thereof before, when that themselues wist there was no man so dull that heard them, but he perceiued well
inough that all the matter was made betweene them. Howbeit some excused that againe, and said all must be doone in good order though: and men must sometime for the maners sake, not be aknowen what they know [though it be hard to outreach the circumspect. wise, & vigilant man; as the poet saith:
______________non facile est tibi
For at the consecration of a bishop, eueire man woteth well by apieng for his buls, that he purposeth to be the one, & though he paie for nothing else. And yet must he be twise asked whether he will be bishop or no, and he must twisw saie naie, and the third time take it, as compelled therevnto by his owne will. and in a stage plaie, all the people know right well, that the one plaieng the Soldan, is percase a sowter; yet if one should can so little good, to shew out of season what aquaintance he hat with him, and cast him by his owne name while he standeth in his maiestie, one of his tormentors might hap to breake his head ( and worthie) for marring of the plaie. and so they said, that these matters be kings games, as it were satge plaies, and for the more part plaied vpon scaffolds, in which poore men be but the lookers on. For they that sometime step vp, and plaie with them, when they cannot plaie their parts, they disporder the plaie, and doo themselues no good.
Thus farre Edward the fift, who was neuer king crowned, but shamefullie
by his vncle slaine, as in the processe following appeereth……….
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