Page 431

An. Reg. 3. RICHARD THE THIRD. 431

The queene wife to king Richard suddenlie dead.

K. Richard casteth his loue on his neece purposing to marie her.

within few daies after the queene departed out of this transitorie life, and was with due solemnitie buried in the church of S. Peter at Westminster. This is the same Anne, one of the daughters of the earle of Warwike, which (as you haue heard before) at the request of Lewes the French king was maried to prince Edward, sonne to king Henrie the sixt. The king thus (according to his long desire) losed out of the bonds of matrimonie, began to cast a foolish fantasie to ladie Elizabeth his neece, making much sute to haue hir ilined with him in lawfull matrimonie.

But bicause all men and the maiden hirselfe most of all detested and abhorred this vnlawfull, and in maner vnnaturall copulation; he determined to prolong and defer the matter, till he were in a more quietnesse. For all that verie season he was oppressed with great, weightie, and vrgent causes, and businesses on euerie side; considering that dailie, part of the nobilitie sailed into France to the earle of Richmond: other priuilie fauoured and aided certeine of the coniuration, so that of his short end few or none were in doubt. And the common people (for the most part) were brought to such desperation, that manie of them had rather be reputed and taken of him in the number of his enimies, than to abide the chance and hazard to haue their goods taken as a spoile of victorie, by his enimies. [In such hatred they had the wretch, wishing his hart in their hands with the hazard of their heads. For how can people saie well or thinke well of tyrants, whose propertie it is to teare them in peeces with their clawes, like a woolfe let loose among a fold of sheepe? Whereto Homer had an eie when he said in pithie sense as here followeth:

Quisquis inhumanis studet intestabilis vti
Moribus, huic omnes viuo clam dira precantur:
Huic omnes credunt fas insultare perempto.]

Hom. Odyss. lib. 19
What noble men K. Richard most mistrusted.

Amongst the noble men whome he most mistrusted, these were the principall. Thomas lord Stanleie, sir William Stanleie his brother, Gilbert Talbot, and six hundred other: of whose purposes although king Richard were not ignorant, yet he gaue neither confidence nor credence to anie one of them; and least of all to the lord Stanleie, bicause he was ioined in matrimonie with the ladie Margaret, mother to the earle of Richmond, as afterward apparantlie yee may perceiue. For when the said lord Stanleie would haue departed into his countrie to visit his familie, and to recreate and refresh his spirits (as he openlie said, but the truth was, to the intent to be in a perfect readinesse to receiue the earle of Richmond at his first arriuall in England) the king in no wise would suffer him to depart, before he had left as an hostage in the court George Stanleie lord Strange, his first begotten sonne and heire.

1485
An. Reg. 3.

The castell of Hammes deliuered vnto the earle of Richmond.

While king Richard was thus troubled and vexed with imaginations of the troublous time that was like to come: lo, euen suddenlie he heard newes, that fire was sprung out of the smoke, and the war freshlie begun; and that the castell of Hammes was deliuered into the hands of the earle of Richmond, by the meanes of the earle of Oxford; and that not onlie he, but also Iames Blunt capteine of the castell, were fled into France to aid the earle Henrie. Wherefore he, thinking it great policie to withstand the first brunt, sent the most part of the garrison of Calis, to recouer againe by force tile castell of Hammes. They which were in the castell, perceiuing their aduersaries to approch, prepared munitions and engines for their defense, and sent also to the earle of Richmond, to aduertise him of their sudden inuasion, requiring of him hastie aid and speedie succour.

Thomas Brandon entereth the castell.

The earle sleeping not this first begun assault, sent the earle of Oxford with an elected companie of souldiers to raise the siege, and rescue the castell: which at their first arriuing pitched their campe not far from their enimies. Now while king Richards men gaue vigilant eie, waiting least the earle of Oxford should take anie aduantage of them that laie on that side of the castell; Thomas Brandon with thirtie approoued men of war by a marish, which laie on the other side; entered into the castell