400 RICHARD THE THIRD. An. Dom. 1483
And on the right hand of the king sat the bishop of Canturburie. The ladies sat all on one side, in the middle of the hall. And at the table against them sat the chancellor and all the lords. At the table next the cupboord, sat the maior of London; and at the table behind the lords, sat the barons of the ports : and at the other tables sat noble and worshipfull personages. When all persons were set, the duke of Norffolke earle marshall, the earle of Surrie, constable for that daie, the lord Stanlie lord steward, sir William Hopton treasuror, & sir Thomas Persie controllor, came in and serued the king solemnelie, with one dish of gold, and an other of siluer, and the queene all in gilt vessell, and the bishop all in siluer.
Sir Robert Dimmocke the kings champion his challenge in the behalfe of king Richard.
At the second course came into the hall sir Robert Dimmocke the kings champion, making proclamation, that whosoeuer would saie, that king Richard was not lawfull king, he would fight with him at the vtterance, and threw downe his gantlet, and then all the hall cried; king Richard. And so he did in three parts of the hall, and then one brought him a cup of wine couered, and when he had drunke, he cast out the drinke, and departed with the cup. After that, the heralds cried a largesse thrise in the hall, and so went vp to their stage. At the end of dinner, the maior of London serued the king & queene with sweete wine, and had of each of them a cup of gold, with a couer of gold. And by that time that all was doone, it was darke night. And so the king returned to his chamber, and euerie man to his lodging.
A gaie pretense of iustice and equitie.
When this feast was thus finished, the king sent home all the lords into their countries that would depart, except the lord Stanleie, whom he reteined, till he heard what his sonne the lord Strange went about. And to such as went home, he gaue streight charge and commandement, to see their countries well ordered, and that no wrong nor extortion should be doone to his subiects. And thus he taught other to execute iustice and equitie, the contrarie whereof he dailie exercised. He also with great rewards giuen to the Northernemen, which he sent for to his coronation, sent them home to their countrie with great thanks: whereof diuerse of them (as they be all of nature verie greedie of authoritie, & speciallie when they thinke to haue ante comfort or fauour) tooke on them so highlie, and wrought such maisteries, that the king was faine to ride thither in his first yeare, and to put some in execution, and staie the countrie, or else no small mischeefe had insued.
Sir Thomas More againe.
Now fell there mischeefs thicke. And as the thing euill gotten is neuer well kept, thorough all the time of his reigne neuer ceassed there cruell death and slaughter, till his owne destruction ended it. But as he finished his time with the best death and the most righteous, that is to wit, his owne; so began he with the most pitious and wicked, I meane the lamentable murther of his innocent nephues, the yoong king and his tender brother: whose death and finall infortune hath naitheless comen so farre in question, that some remaine yet in doubt, whether they were in his daies destroied or no.
Not for that onelie that Perkin Werbecke by manie folks malice, and mo folks follie, so long space abusing the world, was as well with princes as the poorer people reputed and taken for the yoonger of these two ; but for that also that all things were in late daies so couertlie demeaned, one thing pretended, and an other meant.
Close dealing is euer suspected.
Insomuch that there was nothing so plaine and openlie prooued, but that yet for the common custome of close and couert dealing, men had it euer inwardlie suspect; as manie well counterfeited iewels make the true mistrusted. Howbeit, concerning the opinion, with the occasions moouing either partie, we shall haue place more at large to intreat, if we hereafter happen to write the time of the late noble prince of famous memorie king Henrie the seauenth, or percase that historie of Perkin in anie compendious processe by it selfe. But in the meane time, for this present matter, I shall rehearse you the dolorous end of those babes, not after euerie waie that I haue heard.