420 RICHARD THE THIRD. An. Dom. 1483
The earle arriueth in Normandie & passeth by land into Britaine agiane.
tooke his recreation by the space of three daies, and cleerelie determined with part of his companie to passe all by land againe into Britaine. And in the meane season he sent ambassadors to the French king, called Charles the eight, which newlie succeeded his father king Lewes the eleuenth, not long before departed to God, requiring of him a safe conduct and licence to passe thorough his countrie of Normandie into Britaine.
Charles the 8. of France his beneuolence to the earle of Richmond.
This yoong king, hauing compassion of the misfortune of the earle of Richmond, not onelie gentlie granted and assigned to him a pasport; but also liberallie disbursed to him a great summe of monie for his conduct and expenses necessarie in his long iournie and passage. But the earle trusting in the French kings humanitie, aduentured to send his ships home into Britaine, and to set forward himselfe by land on his iournie, making no great hast till his messengers were returned. Which being with that benefit so comforted, and with hope of prosperous successe so incouraged, marched towards Britaine with all diligence, intending there to consult further with his louers & freends of his affaires and enterprises. When he was returned againe into Britaine, he was certified by credible information, that the duke of Buckingham had lost his head; and that the marquesse Dorset, and a great number of noble men of England, had a little before inquired and searched for him there, and were now returned to Vannes.
The earle lamenteth and reioiseth
When he had heard these newes thus reported, he first sorowed and lamented his first attempt and setting forward of his freends, and in especiall of the nobilitie, not to haue more fortunatelie succeeded. Secondarilie, he reioised on the other part, that God had sent him so manie valiant and prudent capteins to be his companions in his martiall enterprises, trusting suerlie and nothing doubting in his owne opinion, but that all his businesse should be wiselie compassed, and brought to a good conclusion. Wherefore he determining with all diligence to set forward his new begun businesse, departed to Rheims, and sent certeine of his priuie seruitours to conduct and bring the marquesse and other noble men to his presence. When they knew that he was safelie returned into Britaine, Lord how they reioised ! for before that time they missed him, and knew not in what part of the world to make inquirie or search for him. For they doubted and no lesse feared least he had taken land in England, & fallen into the hands of king Richard, in whose person they knew well was neither mercie nor compassion.
The English lords giue faith and promise either to other.
The earle of Richmond sweareth to marrie Elizabeth daughter to Edward the fourth, after possession of the crowne.
Wherefore in all speedie maner they galoped toward him, and him reuerentlie saluted. Which meeting after great ioy and solace, and no small thanks giuen and rendered on both parts, they aduisedlie debated and communed of their great businesse and weightie enterprise. In the which season the feast of the Natiuitie of our sauiour Christ happened, on which daie all the English lords went with their solemnitie to the cheefe church of the citie, and there ech gaue faith and promise to other the earle himselfe first tooke a corporall oth on his honor, promising that incontinent after he shuld be possessed of the crowne and dignitie of the realme of England, he would be conioined in matrimonie with the ladie Elizabeth daughter to king Edward the fourth. Then all the companie sware to him fealtie, and did to him homage (as though he had beene that time the crowned king, and annointed prince) promising faithfullie, and firmelie affirming, that they would not onelie loose their worldlie substance; but also be depriued of their liues and worldlie felicitie, rather than to suffer king Richard that tyrant longer to rule and reigne ouer them.
Which solemne oths made and taken, the earle of Richmond declared and communicated all these dooings to Francis duke of Britaine, desiring & most heartilie requiring him to aid him with a greater armie to conduct him into his countrie, which so sore longed and looked for his returne, and to the which he was by the more part of the nobilitie and communaltie called and desired. Which (with Gods aid, and the dukes comfort) he doubted not in short time to obteine; requiring him further to prest to