412 RICHARD THE THIRD. An. Dom. 1483.
* The duke of Glocester now king.
title to the crowne of this noble relme. To which conclusion if the mothers of both parts, and especiallie the earle himselfe, and the ladie will agree: I doubt not but the * bragging bore, which with his tuskes raseth euerie mans skin, shall not onelie be brought to confusion (as he hath deserued) but that this empire shall euer be certeine of an vndubitate heire, & then shall all ciuill and intestine warre cease, which so long hath continued to the paring of manie mens crownes, and this realme shall be reduced againe to quietnesse, renowme and glorie.
The summe of the dukes purpose.
This inuention of the duke manie men thought after, that it was more imagined for the inward hatred that he bare to king Richard, than for anie fauor that he bare to the earle of Richmond. But of such doubtfull matter it is not best to iudge, for erring too farre from the mind and intent of the author. But what soeuer he intended, this deuise once opened to king Richurd was the verie occasion, that he was rounded shorter by the whole head, without attaindor or iudgement. When the duke had said, the bishop which fauoured euer the house of Lancaster, was woonderous ioifull, and much reioised to heare this deuise. For now came the wind about euen as he would haue it, sith all his imagination tended to this effect, to haue king Richard subdued, and to haue the lines of king Edward, and king Henrie the sixt againe raised and aduanced.
The motion for the coniunction of the two houses of Lancaster & Yorke (deuised by the duke) furthered.
But lord how he reioised, to thinke how that by this marriage the linages of Yorke and Lancaster should be conioined in one, to the verie stedfastnesse of the publike wealth of this realme. And least the dukes courage should swage, or his mind should againe alter, as it did often before (as you may easilie perceiue by his owne tale) he thought to set vp all the sailes that he had, to the intent that the ship of his pretended purpose might come shortlie to some sure port, and said to the duke: My lord, sith by Gods prouision and your incomparable wisedome and policie, this noble coniunction is first mooued, now is it conuenient, yea and necessarie, to consider what personages, and what freends we shall first make priuie of this high deuise and politike conclusion: [which is not rashlie & without aduisement to be aduentured, for therin is danger, as the wiseman saith:
Semper habet damnum mentis temerarius ardor.]
By my truth, quoth the duke, we will begin with the ladie Richmond, the earles mother, which knoweth where he is, either in captiuitie, or at large in Britaine. For I heard saie, that the duke of Britaine restored him to libertie, immediatlie after the death of king Edward, by whose means he was restreined. Sith you will begin that waie (said the bishop) I haue an old freend with the countesse, a man sober, secret, and well witted, called Reginald Braie : whose prudent policie I haue knowne to haue compassed things of great importance, for whome I shall secretlie send, if it be your pleasure; and I doubt not but he will gladlie come and that with a good will. So with a little diligence the bishop wrote a letter to Reginald Braie, requiring him to come to Brecknocke with speed, for great and vrgent causes touching his mistresse : and no other thing was declared in the letter. So the messenger rode into Lancashire where Braie was with the countesse, and lord Thomas Stanlie hir husband, and deliuered the letter: which when he had read, he tooke it as a signe or presage of some good fortune to come.
Then he (with the messenger) came to the castell of Brecknocke, where the duke and the bishop declared what thing was deuised, both for to set the relme in a quiet stedfastnesse, as also for the high preferment of the earle of Richmond, sonne to his ladie and mistresse : willing hir first to compasse how to obteine the good will of queene Elizabeth, and also of hir eldest daughter bearing the same name: and after secretlie to send to hir sonne into Britaine, to declare what high honor was prepared for him, if he would sweare to marrie the ladie Elizabeth assoone as he was king, and in roiall possession of the relme. Reginald Braie with a glad heart, forgetting