Page 446

446 RICHARD THE THIRD. An. Dom. 1485

and to mainteine iustice and concord amongst his subiects and people, by God now to his gouernance committed & assigned. Which praier finished, he replenished with incomparable gladnesse ascended vp to the top of a little mounteine, where he not onelie praised and lauded his valiant souldiers; but also gaue vnto them his hartie thanks, with promise of condigne recompense for their fidelitie and valiant facts, willing and commanding all the hurt and wounded persons to be cured, and the dead carcasses to be deliuered to the sepulture. Then the people reioised, and clapped their hands, crieng vp to heauen; King Henrie, king Henrie.

The lord Stanleie setteth the crowne on king Henries head.

When the lord Stanleie saw the good will and gladnesse of the people, he tooke the crowne of king Richard which was found amongst the spoile in the field, and set it on the earles head; as though he had beene elected king by the voice of the people, as in ancient times past in diuerse realmes it hath beene accustomed: and this was the first signe and token of his good lucke and felicitie, ¶ I must put you here in remembrance, how that king Richard (putting some diffidence in the lord Stanleie) had with him as an hostage the lord. Strange, his eldest sonne, which lord Stauleie (as ye haue heard before) ioined not at the first with his sonne in lawes armie, for fear the king would haue slaine the lord Strange his heir.

The lord Stanlies bold answer to K. Richards purseuant.

When king Richard was come to Bosworth, he sent a purseuant to the lord Stanleie, commanding him to aduance forward with his companie, and to come to his presence; which thing if he refused to doo, he sware by Christes passion, that he would strike of his sonnes head before he dined. The lord Stanleie answered the purseuant that if the king did so, he had more sonnes aliue; and as to come to him, he was not then so determined. When king Richard heard this answer, he commanded the lord Strange incontinent to be beheaded; which was at that verie same season, when both the armies had sight ech of other. But the councellors of king Richard pondered the time and cause, knowing also the lord Strange to be innocent of his fathers offense, & persuaded the king that it was now time to fight, & no time to execute.

Proclamation made to bring in the lord Strange.

Besides that, they aduised him to keepe the lord Strange as prisoner till the battell were ended, and then at leisure his pleasure might be accomplished. So (as God would) king Richard brake his holie oth, and the lord was deliuered to the keepers of the kings tents, to be kept as prisoner. Which, when the field was doone, and their maister slaine, and proclamation made to know where the child was, they submitted themselues as prisoners to the lord Strange, and he gentlie receiued them, and brought them to the new proclamed king, where, of him and of his father he was receiued with great ioy. After this the whole campe remooued with bag and baggage.

The shamefull cariage of K. Richards bodie to Leicester.

The same night in the euening, king Henrie with great pompe came to the towne of Leicester; where as well for the refreshing of his people & souldiers, as for preparing all things necessarie for his iournie toward London, he rested and reposed himselfe two daies. In the meane season the dead corps of king Richard was as shamefullie caried to the towne of Leicester, as he gorgeouslie (the day before) with pompe and pride departed out of the same towne. For his bodie was naked and despoiled to the skin, and nothing left about him, not so much as a clout to couer his priuie members, and was trussed behind a purseuant of arms, one Blanch Senglier, or White bore, like a hog or calfe, his head and armes hanging on the one side of the horsse, and his legs on the other side, and all besprinkled with mire and bloud he was brought to the graie friers church within the towne, and there laie like a miserable spectacle.

But suerlie considering his mischiefous acts and vngratious dooings, men maie woonder at such a caitife, who although he deserued no buriall place either in church or churchyard, chappell or chancell, but otherwise to haue bin bestowed: yet in the said church he was with no lesse funerall pompe & solemnitie interred, than he would to be doone at the buriall of his innocent nephues, whome he caused cruellie to be murthered, and vnnaturallie killed. Now when his death was knowne, few lamented