418 RICHARD THE THIRD. An. Dom. 1483.
A proclamation for the apprehension of the duke of Buckingha, with large rewards to the apprehender.
streictlie the sea coast, so that no person should passe outward, nor take land within the realme without their assent and knowledge; secondarilie he made proclamation, that what person could shew and reueale where the duke of Buckingham was, should be highlie rewarded; if he were a bondman, he should be infranchised and set at libertie; if he were of free bloud, he should haue a generall pardon, and be rewarded with a thousand pounds.
K. Richard sendeth foorth a nauie to scowre the sea ouer against Britaine.
Furthermore, bicause he vnderstood by Thomas Hutton, which (as you haue heard) was newlie returned out of Britaine, that Francis duke of Britaine not onelie refused to keepe the earle of Richmond as a prisoner, at his contemplation, and for his sake; but also that he was readie to aid and succour the said earle, with men, monie and all things necessarie for his transporting into England; he therefore rigged and sent out ships of warre, well furnished and decked with men and artillerie, to scowre and keepe that part of the sea that lieth ouer against Britaine, to the intent that if the earle of Richmond would aduenture to saile toward England, either he should be taken captiue, or be beaten and driuen from the coast of England. And moreouer, to the intent that euerie coast, waie, passage, and corner, should be diligentlie watched & kept, he set at euerie doubtfull and suspected place men of warre, to seeke, search, and inquire, if anie creature could tell tidings of the duke of Buckingham; or of anie of his confederation, adherents, fautors or partakers.
Humfreie Banaster seruant vnto the duke of Buckingham betraied his maister.
Gods secret iudgements vpon Banaster and his children after the duke was apprehended.
The duke of Buckingham beheaded without arreignmet or iudgement.
While this busie search was diligentlie applied and put in execution, Humfreie Banaster (were it more for feare of life and losse of goods, or allured & prouoked by the auaricious desire of the thousand pounds) he bewraied his guest and maister to Iohn Mitton then shiriffe of Shropshire; which suddenlie with a strong power of men in harnesse apprehended the duke in a little groue adioining to the mansion of Humfreie Banaster, and in great hast and euill speed conueied him apparelled in a pilled blacke cloake to the towne of Shrewesburie, where king Richard then kept his houshold. Whether this Banaster bewraried the duke more for feare thau couetous, manie men doo doubt: but sure it is, that shortlie after he had betraied the duke his master; his sonne and heire waxed mad, & so died in a bores stie; his eldest daughter of excellent beautie, was suddenlie striken with a foule leprosie; his second sonne maruellouslie deformed of his lims, and made lame; his yoonger sonne in a small puddle was strangled and drowned; and he being of extreame age, arreigned, and found guiltie of a murther, and by his cleargie saued. And as for his thousand pounds, K. Richard gaue him not one farthing, saieng that he which would be vntrue to so good a maister, would be false to all other: howbeit some saie that he had a small office or a farme to stop his mouth withall. The duke being by certeine of the kings councell diligentlie vpon interrogatories examined, what things he knew preiudiciall vnto the kings person, opened and declared franklie and freelie all the coniuration, without dissembling or glosing; trusting, bicause he had trulie and plainelie reuealed and confessed all things that were of him required, that he should haue licence to speake to the king: which (whether it were to sue for pardon and grace, or whether he being brought to his presence, would haue sticked him with a dagger as men then judged) he sore desired and required. But when he had confessed the whole fact & conspiracie, vpon All soules daie, without arreigment or iudgement, he was at Salisburie in the open market place, on a new scaffold beheaded and put to death.
This death (as a reward) the duke of Buckingham receiued at the hands of king Richard, whome he before in his affaires, purposes and enterprises had holpen, susteined, and set forward, aboue all Gods forbode. By this all men may easilie perceiue, that he not onelie loseth both his labour, trauell, and industrie (and further staineth and spotteth his line with a perpetuall ignominie and reproch) which in euill and mischiefe assisteth and aideth an euill disposed person, considering. for the most part, that he for his freendlie fauour should receiue some great displeasure or importunate chance.