416 RICHARD THE THIRD. An. Dom. 1483.
K. Richards purpose in the case of coniuration against him.
they certeinlie knew to haue a rooted hatred, or to beare cankered malice toward king Richard and his proceedings.
Although this great enterprise were neuer so priuilie handled, and so secretlie amongst so circumspect persons treated, compassed and conueied; yet knowledge therof came to the eares of king Richard, who with the sudden chance was not a little mooued and astonied. First bicause he had no host readie prepared; secondlie, if he should raise an armie so suddenlie, he knew not where to meet his enimies, or whither to go, or where to tarrie. Wherefore he determined to dissemble the matter as though he knew nothing till he had assembled his host; and in the meane season either by the rumour of the common people, or by the diligence of his espials to search out all the counsels, determinations, intents, and compasses of his close aduersaries; or else by policie to intercept and take some person of the same coniuration, considering that there is no more secret nor hid espiall, than that which lurketh in dissimulation of knowledge and intelligence, or is hidden in name and shadow of counterfeit humanitie and feined kindnesse. But yet wisedome hath a deuise to auoid & shift off all such deceiuers, as the poet well saieth:
Dissimulatores vitat prudentia vafros.
The duke of Buckingham conspireth against king Richard.
And bicause he knew the duke of Buckingham to be the chiefe head and aid of the coniuration, hee thought it most necessarie to plucke him from that part, either by faire promises or open warre. Wherevpon he addressed his louing letters to the duke, full of gentle words, & most friendlie speach; giuing further in charge to the messenger that caried the letter to promise the duke (in his behalfe) golden hilles, and siluer riuers, and with all gentle and pleasant means to persuade and exhort the duke to come to the court. But the duke as wilie as the king, mistrusting the faire flattering words, and the gaie promises to him so suddenlie without any cause offered, knowing the craftie casts of king Richards bow, which in diuerse affaires before time he had seene practised, required the king to pardon him, excusing himselfe that he was so diseased in his stomach, that scant he could either take refection or rest.
The duke of Buckingham a professed enimie to king Richard.
King Richard not being content with this excuse would in no wise admit the same; but incontinent directed to the duke other letters, of a more rougher and hautier sort, not without tawnting and biting tearmes, and checking words, commanding him (all excuses set apart) to repaire without anie delaie to his roiall presence. The duke made to the messeng a determinate answer, that he would not come to his mortall enimie, whome he neither loued, nor fauoured : and immediatlie prepared open warre against him, and persuaded all his complices and partakers, that euerie man in his quarter, with all diligence should raise vp people & make a commotion. And by this means almost in one moment Thomas marques Dorset come out of sanctuarie, where since the begining of K. Richards daies he had continued, whose life by the onelie helpe of sir Thomas Louell was preserued from all danger & perill in this troublous world, gathered togither a great band of men in Yorkeshire.
K. Richards drift in the disposing of his armie.
Sir Edward Courtneie, and Peter his brother bishop of Excester, raised an other armie in Deuonshire and Cornewall. In Kent Richard Gilford and other gentlemen collected a great companie of souldiers, and openlie began warre. But king Richard, who in the meane time had gotten togither a great strength and puissance, thinking it not most for his part beneficiall, to disperse and diuide his great armie into small branches, and particularlie to persecute anie one of the coniuration by himselfe, determined (all other things being set aside) with his whole puissance to set on the chiefe head, which was the duke of Buckingham. And so remoouing from London, he tooke his iournie towards Salisburie, to the intent that in his iournie he might set on the dukes armie, if he might know him in anie place incamped, or in order of battell arraied