An. Reg. 1. RICHARD THE THIRD. 417
The duke of Buckinghas power of wild Welshmen (falseharted) doo faile him
The king was scarse two daies iournie from Salisburie, when the duke of Buckingham accompanied with a great power of wild Welshmen, whom he (being a man of great courage and sharpe speech) in maner against their willes had rather thereto inforced and compelled by lordlie and streict commandement, than by liberall wages and gentle demenour, which thing was the verie occasion why they left him desolate, & cowardlie forsooke him. The duke with all his power marched through the forrest of Deane, intending to haue passed the riuer Seuerne at Glocester, & there to haue ioined his armie with the Courtneis, and other westerne men of his confederacie and affinitie. Which if he doone, no doubt but king Richard had beene in great ieopardie, either of priuation of his realme, or losse of his life, or both.
A sore floud or high water dooing much harme, called the duke of Buckinghas great water.
But see the chance. Before he could atteine to Seuerne side, by force of continuall raine and moisture, the riuer rose so high that it ouerflowed all the countrie adioining, insomuch that men were drowned in their beds, and houses with the extreame violence were ouerturned, children were caried about the fields swimming in cradels, beasts were drowned on hilles. Which rage of water lasted continuallie ten daies, insomuch that in the countrie adioining they call it to this daie, The great water; or the duke of Buckinghams great water. By this floud the passages were so closed, that neither the duke could come ouer Seuern to his adherents, nor they to him. During the which time, the Welshmen lingring idelie, and without monie, vittels, or wages, suddenlie scattered and departed: and for all the dukes faire promises, threatnings, and inforcement, would in no wise either go further nor abide.
The duke (being thus left almost post alone) was of necessitie compelled to flie, and in flight was with this sudden fortune maruellouslie dismaid: and being vnpurneied what counsell he should take, and what waie he should follow, like a man in despaire, not knowing what to doo, of verie trust & confidence conueied himselfe into the house of Humfreie Banaster his seruant beside Shrewesburie, whome he had tenderlie brought vp, and whome he aboue all men loued, fauoured and trusted; now not doubting but that in his extreame necessitie he should find him faithfull, secret, and trustie, intending there couertlie to lurke, till either he might raise againe a new armie, or else shortlie to saile into Britaine to the earle of Richmond. [But alas (good duke) the meanes (by occasion of Gods prouidence, shaking men out of their shifts of supposed safetie) failed him, and he fell infortunatlie into the hands of the foming bore, that tare him in peeces with his tuskes.]
The dukes adherents & their powers dispersed.
Now when it was knowne to his adherents, which were redie to giue battell, that his host was scatred, and had left him almost alone, and was fled, & could not be found; they were suddenlie amazed & striken with sudden feare, that euery man like persons desperate shifted for himselfe & fled. Some went to sanctuarie, and to solitarie places; some fled by sea, whereof the most part within a few daies after arriued safelie in the duchie of Britaine. Among which number were these persons; Peter Courtneie bishop of Excester, and sir Edmund Courtneie his brother, by king Henrie the seuenth after created earle of Deuonshire; Thomas marquesse Dorset, Iohn lord Welles, sir Iohn Bourchier, sir Edward Wooduile, a valiant man in armes, brother to queene Elizabeth, sir Robert Willoughbie, sir Giles Daubneie, sir Thomas Arundell, sir Iohn Cheinie and his two brethren, sir William Barkelie, sir William Brandon, & Thomas his brother, sir Richard Edgecombe: all these for the most part being knights, Iohn Hallowell, and Edward Poinings, a politike capteine.
At this verie season, Iohn Morton bishop of Elie, and Christopher Urswike priest, and an other companie of noble men soiourned in Flanders; and by letters and messengers procured manie enimies against king Richard, which vsing a vigilant eie, and a quicke remembrance, being newlie come to Salisburie, hauing perfect notice and knowledge how the duke was fled, and how his complices intended to passe out of the realme; first he sent men of warre to all the next ports and passages, to keepe