Page 429

An. Reg. 2. RICHARD THE THIRD. 429

K. Richards deuise to infringe and defeat the earle of Richmods purpose.

In the meane season, king Richard was crediblie aduertised, what promises and oths the earle and his confederates had made and sworne togither at Reimes, and how by the earles means all the Englishmen were passed out of Britaine into France. Wherefore being sore dismaid, and in a maner desperate, bicause his craftie chieuance tooke none effect in Britaine, he imagined & deuised how to infringe and disturbe the earles purpose by an othermeane; so that by the marriage of ladie Elizabeth his neece, he should pretend no claime nor title to the crowne. For he thought if that marriage failed, the earles cheefe combe had beene clearlie cut. And bicause that he being blinded with the ambitious desire of rule before this time in obteining the kingdome, had committed and doone manie curssed acts, and detestable tyranies, yet according to the old prouerbe; Let him take the bull that stale awaie the calfe; he thought all facts by him committed in times passed to be but of small moment, and not to be regarded in comparison of that mischeeuous imagination, which he now newlie began and attempted.

A subtill and lewd practise of king Richard to beguile the earle of Richmond.

There came into his vngratious mind a thing not onelie detestable to be spoken of in the remembrance of man, but much more cruell and abhominable to be put in execution. For when he reuolued in his wauering mind, how great a founteine of mischeefe toward him should spring, if the earle of Richmond should be aduanced to the marriage of his neece; which thing he heard saie by the rumor of the people, that no small number of wise and wittie personages enterprised to compasse and bring to conclusion: he cleerelie determined to reconcile to his fauour his brothers wife queene Elizabeth, either by faire words, or liberall promises; firmelie beleeuing hir fauour once obteined, that she would not sticke to commit (and louinglie credit) to him the rule and gouernance both of hir and hir daughters, and so by that meanes the earle of Richmond of the affinitie of his neece should be vtterlie defrauded and beguiled.
And if no ingenious remedie could be otherwise inuented, to saue the innumerable mischeefes which were euen at hand, and like to fall if it should happen queene Anne his wife to depart out of this present life, then he himselfe would rather take to wife his cousine and neece the ladie Elizabeth; than for lacke of that affinitie the whole realme should run to ruine, as who said, that if he once fell from his estate and dignitie, the ruine of the relme must needs shortlie insue and follow. Wherefore he sent to the queene (being in sanctuarie) diuerse and often messengers, which first should excuse and purge him of all things before against hir attempted or procured, and after should so largelie promise promotions innumerable, and benefits, not onelie to hir, but also to hir sonne lord Thomas marquesse Dorset, that they should bring hir (if it were possible) into some wanhope, or (as men saie) into a fooles paradise.

The inconstancie of Q. Elizabeth.

The messengers, being men both of wit and grauitie, so persuaded the queene with great and pregnant reasons, & what with faire and large promises, that she began somewhat to relent, and to giue to them no deafe eare; insomuch that she faithfullie promised to submit and yeeld hir selfe fullie and frankelie to the kings will and pleasure. And so she putting In obliuion the murther of hir innocent children, the infamie and dishonour spoken by the king hir husband, the liuing in adulterie laid to hir charge, the bastarding of hir daughters; forgetting also the faithfull promise and open oth made to the countesse of Richmond, mother to the earle Henrie, blinded by auaricious affection, & seduced by flattering words, first deliuered into king Richards hands hir fiue daughters, as lambs once againe committed to the custodie of the rauenous woolfe.

Queene Elizabeth allureth hir sonne the marquesse Dorset home out of France.

After she sent letters to the marquesse hir sonne, being then at Paris with the earle of Richmond, willing him in anie wise to leaue the earle, and without delaie to repaire into England, where for him were prouided great honours, and honourable promotions; ascerteining him further, that all offenses on both parts were forgotten and forgiuen