Page 425

An. Reg. 2. RICHARD THE THIRD. 425

freends. Wherefore he sent Christopher Urswike (which at that sent verie season was come out of Britaine into Flanders) to declare to the earle of Richmond how all the deceit and craftie working was conueied and compased, giuing him charge to councell and aduise the earle in all hast possible with all his companie to retire out of Britaine into France.

The earle of Penbroke coductor of the earle of Richmonds companie.

When these newes were brought to the earle, he then kept house in Vannes, and incontinent dispatched againe Christopher Urswike vnto Charles the French king, requiring him that he and his might safelie passe into France. Which desire being obteined, the messenger shortlie returned to his lord and prince. The earle, well perceiuing that it was expedient and necessarie, with all speed and diligence to looke to this weightie matter, calling verie few to counsell, he made inquirie and search of all secret & by waies, & sent before all his noble men, as though for a certeine familiaritie and kindnesse they should visit and comfort the duke, which then (for recreation and change of aire) laie on the borders and confines of France. And secretlie he gaue charge to the earle of Penbroke, which was the leader and conductor of his companie, that when they approched the marches and limits of Britaine, they should diuert and take the next waie into France.

The earles small traine for a policie.

The earle apparelled like a page attedeth vpo one of his men as his maister.

The noble men somewhat suspicious of things newlie imagined, without any tarieng, scowring the waies as fast as their horsses could runne, came out of the duchie of Britaine into the duchie of Aniou in the dominion of France, where they taried the erles comming, which two daies after departed out of Vannes, onelie accompanied with fiue seruitors, as though he had gone secretlie to visit a familiar friend of his, in a small village adioining. No man suspected the he would depart, considering that a great multitude of Englishmen were left and continued in the citie. But after that he had passed directlie fiue miles forward, he suddenlie turned into a solitarie wood next adioining, where clothing himselfe in the simple coat of his poore seruant, made and appointed his said minister leader and maister of his small companie, & he as an humble page diligentlie followed and serued his counterfeit gouernor, neither resting nor refreshing themselues, except the baiting of their horsses, till they by waies vnknowne, now this way, now turning that way, came to their companie abiding them in Angiers.

The fourth day after the earle of Richmond was thus departed, that craftie merchant, Peter Landoise, thirsting still after his preie promised by king Richard, was readie to set forward his crew of souldiers, which he priuilie had consigned, with certeine trustie capteins for that onelie purpose appointed and elected, to performe and atchiue his pretended enterprise; dissembling and feining them to be conducted and hired by him to serue the earle of Richmond, and him to conduct in his returne towards his natiue countrie: meaning no other thing but to apprehend him, and the other noble men in his retinue, which no such fraud suspected, nor yet anie treason imagined, vnware and vnprouided, and destitute of all aid, and them to cast and commit suddenlie into continuall captiuitie and bondage, to the intent that by this his wretched and naughtie act, he might satisfie the charitable request and louing desire of good king Richard, more for his owne profit than king Richards gaine.

Peter Landoise his expectation disappointed by the priuate and vnknowne departing of the earle.

But when this craftie dissembler Peter Landoise, which was no wilier than an old fox, perceiued that the earle was departed (thinking that to be true that he imagined) Lord how currors ran into euerie coast! how light horssemen gallopped in euerie street ! to follow and deteine him, if by anie possibilitie hee could be met with and ouertaken, and him to apprehend and bring captiue into the citie of Vannes. The horssemen made such diligence, and with such celeritie set forward their iournie, that nothing was more likelie than they to haue obteined, yea and seized their preie. For the earle of Richmond was not entered into the realme of France scarse one houre, but the followers