An. Reg. 1. RICHARD THE THIRD. 401
but after that waie that I haue so heard by such men and by such meanes, as me thinketh it were hard but it should be true.
King Richard after his coronation, taking his waie to Glocester to visit (in his new honour) the towne of which he bare the name of his old, deuised (as he rode) to fulfill the thing which he before had intended. And forsomuch as his mind gaue him, that his nephues liuing, men would not reckon that he could haue right to the realme : he thought therefore without delaie to rid them, as though the killing of his kinsmen could amend his cause, and make him a kindlie king.
Close dealing is euer suspected.
Whervpon he sent one Iohn Greene, (whom he speciallie trusted) vnto sir Robert Brakenberie, constable of the Tower, with a letter and credence also, that the same sir Robert should in anie wise put the two children to death.
This Iohn Greene did his errand vnto Brakenberie, kneeling before our ladie in the Tower. Who plainelie answered, that he would neuer put them to death to die therefore. With which answer Iohn Greene returning, recounted the same to king Richard at Warwike yet in his waie. Wherewith he tooke such displeasure.& thought, that the same night he said vnto a secret page of his: ” Ah! whom shall a man trust? Those that I haue brought vp my selfe, those that I had weent would most suerlie serue me, euen those faile me, and at my commandement will doo nothing for me.” ” Sir (quoth his page) there lieth one on your pallet without, that I dare well saie, to doo your grace pleasure, the thing were right hard that he would refuse.”
Iohn Greene. Robert Brakenberie constable of the Tower.
Meaning this by sir Iames Tirrell, which was a man of right goodlie personage, and for natures gifts worthie to haue serued a much better prince, if he had well serued God, and by grace obteined as much truth and good will as he had strength and wit.
Sir Iames Tirrell described.
The man had an high heart, & sore longed vpward, not rising yet so fast as he had hoped, being hindered & kept vnder by the meanes of sir Richard Ratcliffe, and sir William Catesbie, which longing for no mo parteners of the princes fauour; and namelie, not for him, whose pride they wist would beare no peere, kept him by secret drifts out of all secret trust, which thing this page well had marked and knowne. Wherefore this occasion offered, of verie speciall friendship he tooke his time to put him forward, and by such wise doo him good, that all the enimies he had (except the deuill) could neuer haue doone him so much hurt. For vpon this pages words king Richard arose (for this communication had he sitting at the draught, a conuenient carpet for such a councell) and came out into the pallet chamber, on which he found in bed sir Iames and sir Thomas Tirrels, of person like, and brethren of bloud, but nothing of kin in conditions.
Authoritie loueth no partners.
Then said the king merilie to them; What sirs, be ye in bed so soone? And calling vp sir Iames, brake to him secretlie his mind in this mischeeuous matter. In which he found him nothing strange. Wherefore on the morow he sent him to Brakenberie with a letter, by which he was commanded to deliuer sir Iames all the keies of the Tower for one night, to the end he might there accomplish the kings pleasure, in such things as he had giuen him commandement. After which letter deliuered, & the keies receiued, sir Iames appointed the night next insuing to destroie them, deuising before and preparing the meanes. The prince (as soone as the protector left that name, and tooke himselfe as king) had it shewed vnto him, that he should not reigne, but his vncle shuld have the crowne. At which word the prince sore abashed, began to sigh, and, said: Alas, I would my vncle would let me haue my life yet, though I leese my kingdome.
The constable of the Tower deliuereth the keies to sir Iames Tirrell vpon the kings commandement.
Then he that told him the tale, vsed him with good words, and put him in the best comfort he could. But foorthwith was the prince and his brother both shut vp, & all other remooued from them, onelie one (called Blacke Will, or William Slaughter) excepted, set to serue them and see them sure. After which time the prince