402 RICHARD THE THIRD. An. Dom. 1483.
The two murtherers of the two princes appointed.
prince neuer tied his points, nor ought rought of himselfe ; but with that yoong babe his brother, lingered with thought and heauinesse, vntill this traitorous death deliuered them of that wretchednesse. For sir Iames Tirrell deuised, that they should be murthered in their beds. To the execution whereof, he appointed Miles Forrest, one of the foure that kept them, a fellow fleshed in murther before time. To him he ioined one Iohn Dighton his owne horssekeeper, a big, broad, square, and strong knaue.
The yoong K. and his brother murthered in their beds at midnight in the Tower.
Then all the other being remooued from them, this Miles Forrest, and Iohn Dighton, about midnight (the seelie children lieng in their beds) came into the chamber, & suddenlie lapping them vp among the clothes, so to bewrapped them and intangled them, keeping downe by force the fether bed and pillowes hard vnto their mouths, that within a while, smoothered and stifled, their breath failing, they gaue vp to God their innocent soules into the ioies of heauen, leauing to the tormentors their bodies dead in the bed. Which after that the wretches perceiued, first by the strugling with the paines of death, and after long lieng still, to be thoroughlie dead, they laid their bodies naked out vpon the bed, and fetched sir Iames to see them; which vpon the sight of them, caused those murtherers to burie them at the staire foot, meetlie deepe in the ground, vnder a great heape of stones.
The murther confessed.
Then rode sir Iames in great hast to king Richard, and shewed him all the maner of the murther ; who gaue him great thanks, and (as some saie) there made him knight. But he allowed not (as I haue heard) the burieng in so vile a corner, saieng, that he would haue them buried in a better place, bicause they were a kings sonnes. Lo the honourable courage’of a king. Whervpon they saie, that a priest of sir Robert Brakenberies tooke vp the bodies againe, and secretlie interred them in such place, as by the occasion of his death, which onelie knew it, could neuer since come to light.
Verie truth is it, and well knowne, that at such time as sir Iames Tirrell was in the Tower, for treason committed against the most famous prince king Henrie the seauenth, both Dighton and he were examined, and confessed the murther in maner aboue written: but whither the bodies were remooued, they could nothing tell.
And thus (as I haue learned of them that much knew, and little cause had to lie) were these two noble princes, these innocent tender children, borne of most roiall bloud, brought vp in great wealth, likelie long to liue, reigne, and rule in the realme, by traitorous tyrannie taken, depriued of their estate, shortlie shut vp in prison, and priuilie slaine and murthered, their bodies cast God wot where, by the cruell ambition of their vnnaturall vncle and his despiteous tormentors. Which things on euerie part well pondered, God neuer gaue this world a more notable example, neither in what vnsuertie standeth this worldlie weale; or what mischeefe worketh the proud enterprise of an high heart; or finallie, what wretched end insueth such despiteous crueltie.
The iust iudgement of God seuerelie reuenging the murther of the innocent princes vpon the malefactors.
For first, to begin with the ministers, Miles Forrest, at S. Martins peecemeale rotted awaie. Dighton in deed yet walketh on aliue in good possibilitie to be hanged yer he die. But sir Iames Tirrell died at the Tower hill beheaded for treason. King Richard himselfe, as ye shall hereafter heare, slaine in the field, hacked and hewed of his enimies hands, haried on horsse backe dead, his haire in despite torne and tugged like a curre dog; and the mischeefe that he tooke, within lesse than three yeares of the mischeefe that he did: and yet all (in the meane time) spent in much paine & trouble outward, much feare, anguish and sorow within. For I haue heard by credible report of such as were secret with his chamberleine, that after this abominable deed doone, he neuer had a quiet mind. [Than the which there can be no greater torment. For a giltie conscience inwardlie accusing and bearing witnesse against an offendor, is such a plague and punishment, as hell itselfe