Page 445

An. Reg. 3. RICHARD THE THIRD. 445

that before vs be our enimies; and on either side of vs be such, as I neither suerlie trust, nor greatlie beleeue; backeward we cannot flee; so that heere we stand like sheepe in a fold, circumuented and compassed betweene our enimies and our doutfull friends.

What persons of name were slaine on king Richards side.

There were slaine beside him, Walter lord Ferrers of Chartleie, sir Richard Radcliffe, and Robert Brakenberie lieutenant of the Tower, and not manie gentlemen more. Sir William Catesbie learned in the lawes of the realme, and one of the cheefe councellors to the late king, with diuerse other, were two daies after beheaded at Leicester. Amongst them that ran awaie, were sir Francis vicount Louell, and Humfreie Stafford, and Thomas Stafford his brother, which tooke sanctuarie in saint Iohns at Glocester. Of captiues and prisoners there were a great number. For after the death of king Richard was knowne and published, euerie man in manner vnarming himselfe, & casting awaie his abiliments of warre, meekelie submitted themselues to the obeisance and rule of the earle of Richmond: of the which the more part had gladlie so doone in the beginning, if they might haue conuenientlie escaped from king Richards espials, which hauing as cleere eies as Lynx, and open eares as Midas, ranged & searched in euerie quarter.

Erle of Surreie comitted to the Tower notwithstanding his submission.

Amongst these was Henrie the fourth earle of Northumberland, which (whether it was by the commandement of King Richard, putting diffidence in him; or he did it for the loue and fauour that he bare vnto the earle) stood still with a great companie, and intermitted not in the battell, which was incontinentlie receiued into fauour and made of the councell. But Thomas Howard earle of Surreie, which submitted himselfe there, was not taken to grace; bicause his father was chiefe councellor, and he greatlie familiar with king Richard, but committed to the Tower of London, where he long remained; and in conclusion deliuered, was for his truth and fidelitie after promoted to high honors, offices and dignities. On the earle of Richmonds part were slaine scarse one hundred persons, among whome the principall was sir Wiliam Brandon his standard bearer. This battell was fought at Bosworth in Leicestershire, the two and twentith daie of August, in the yeare of our redemption 1485. The whole conflict indured litle aboue two houres.

How king Richard might haue escaped.

King Richard (as the fame went) might haue escaped and gotten safegard by fleeing. For when they, which were next about his person, saw and perceiued at the first ioining of the battell the souldiers faintlie and nothing couragiouslie to set on their enimies; and not onlie that, but also that some withdrew themselues priuilie out of the prease and departed; they began to suspect fraud and to smell treason; and not onelie exhorted, but determinatlie aduised him to saue himselfe by flight. And when the losse of the battell was imminent and apparant, they brought to him a swift and a light horsse, to conueie him awaie. He which was not ignorant of the grudge and ill will that the common people bare toward him, casting awaie all hope of fortunate successe and happie chance to come, answered (as men saie) that on that daie he would make an end of all battels, or else there finish his life. Such a great audacitie and such a stomach reigned in his bodie.

For suerlie he knew that to be the daie, in the which it should be decided and determined whether he should peaceablie obteine and inioy his kingdome during his life, or else vtterlie forgo and be depriued of the same. With which too much hardines he being ouercome, hastilie closed his helmet, and entered fiercelie into the hard battell, to the intent to obteine that daie a quiet reigne and regiment; or else to finish there his vnquiet life, and vnfortunat gouernance. And so this miser at the same verie point had like chance and fortune, as happeneth to such which in place of right iustice and honestie, following their sensuall appetite, loue, and vse to imbrace mischiefe, tyrannie, and vnthriftinesse. Suerlie these be examples of more vehemencie, than mans toong can expresse, to feare and astonish such euill persons, as will not liue one houre vacant from dooing and exercising crueltie, mischiefe, or outragious liuing.

The deuout behauior of the earle of Richmond after the victorie.

When the earle had thus obteined victorie, and slaine his mortall enimie, he kneeled downe and rendred to almightie God his hartie thanks, with deuout and godlie orisons; beseeching his goodnesse to send him grace to aduance and defend the catholike faith