Page 427

An. Reg. 2. RICHARD THE THIRD. 427

Sir Iohn Vere earle of Oxford getteth out of prison, & he with others go to the earle of Richmond

Picardie, togither with the duchie of Britaine, were by a new mariage inuested in the power of Charles the eight.]
While the earle was thus attendant in the French court, Iohn Vere earle of Oxford, which (as you haue heard before) was by king Edward kept in prison within the castell of Hammes, so persuaded Iames Blunt capteine of the same fortresse, and sir Iohn Fortescue porter of the towne of Calis, that he himselfe was not onelie dismissed and set at libertie ; but they also abandoning and leauing their fruitfull offices, did condescend to go with him into France to the earle of Richmond, and to take his part. But Iames Blunt, like a wise capteine, bicause he left his wife remaining in the castell before his departure, did fortifie the same both with new munitions, and fresh souldiers. [And here bicause the names of Vere and Fortescue are remembred, it shall not be amisse, somewhat out of due place, yet better a little out of order than altogither to omit the same, to adde a supplement for the further perfecting of a report recorded in page 329, and adding some light also to this present place touching the said persons, with others.]

Abr. Fl. ex I. S. pag. 733.

The earle of Oxford leuieth a power and commeth into England.

¶ Know you therefore, that this sir Iohn Vere earle of Oxford (that withdrew himselfe from Barnet field, and with all speed fled into Scotland) in the yere 1473, and the thirteenth of Edward the fourth, did (after he had sometime soiourned there) saile into France, about the borders whereof he was continuallie houering, as hoping to win some preie (to support his estate) of such passengers as for merchandize cause or otherwise must keepe their course a long the sea. Whose good successe therein did not deceiue his mind. For in the end (what of one and other) he got such riches and other furniture, as he was able to support a chosen number of followers. Wherwith he (being releeued and incouraged to aduenture to set foot in his countrie in despite of king Edward) did with his companie of 397 persons, and with his saile of ships land in the west countrie the last of September, where (partlie by force of his, and partlie through feare of the inhabitants, but mostlie by a subtill shift) he gat and entered the castell of saint Michaels mount, a place of strength, and such an harborough, as he determined to keepe the same against all assailants. During the time of his remaine there, he would with his companie manic times descend the hill, and come abrode in the countrie, where (for his loue, for his honour, and for the hatred they bare to king Edward) he was well interteined of manie gentlemen, and others of the countrie.

But this matter vnpossible long to be kept in secret, was at length brought to the knowledge of king Edward; who being somewhat mooued, thought in the beginning to withstand such mischeefe, least suffering too long, & the earle growing to strength, he might be put to as great plunge for the crowne as he had bene twise before: wherwith seeing he was possessed, he grew resolute to keepe it both by policie and puissance, maugre the open violence and priuie practises as well of his professed as secret enimies. For he ran through the pikes yer he could obteine it, and offered his bodie to manic desperate perils in hope to get it : which if he had either feared or shunned, it is a matter of demand whether he had euer had it. For pretious things, as principalities and such like, vnlesse they be hereditarie, as they are hardlie kept, so are they not easilie gotten: for he that desireth to gather a rose, must not be tender ouer his fingers bicause of thornes; and he that would tast honie fresh out of the hiue, must not be scared with the stinging of bees, as the poet verie sweetlie noteth:

Non quisquam fruitur veris odoribus,
Hyblaeos latebris nec spoliat fauos,
Si fronti caueat si timeat rubos,
Armat spina rosas, mella tegunt apes.

Shiriffe Bodringham besiegeth the mount that the earle had taken

Wherefore king Edward gaue in charge to Bodringham, ruler or shiriffe of Cornwall to assemble such power as he could ; and besieging the mount; he should either take