Page 447

An. Reg. 3. RICHARD THE THIRD. 447

K. Richards badge and cognissance euerie where defaced

and manie reioiced. The proud bragging white bore (which was his badge) was violentlie rased & plucked downe from euerie signe and place where it might be espied: so ill was his life, that men wished the memorie of him to be buried with his carren corps. He reigned two yeers, two moneths, and one daie [too long by six and twentie moneths, and foure and twentie houres in most mens opinions, to whome his name and presence was as sweet and delectable, as his dooings princelie, and his person amiable.]

The description of king Richard.

As he was small and little of stature, so was he of bodie greatlie deformed; the one shoulder higher than the other; his face was small, but his countenance cruell, and such, that at the first aspect a man would iudge it to sauour and smell of malice, fraud, and deceit. When he stood musing, he would bite and chaw busilie his nether lip; as who said, that his fierce nature in his cruell bodie alwaies chafed, stirred, aud was euer vnquiet: beside that, the dagger which he ware, he would (when he studied) with his hand plucke vp & downe in the sheath to the midst, neuer drawing it fullie out: he was of a readie pregnant, and quicke wit, wilie to feine, and apt to dissemble: he had a proud mind, and an arrogant stomach, the which accompanied him euen to his death, rather choosing to suffer the same by dint of sword, than being forsaken and left helpelesse of his vnfaithfull companions, to preserue by coward lie flight such a fraile and vncerteine life, which by malice, sicknesss, or condigne punishment was like shortlie to come to confusion.

Thus ended this prince his mortall life with infamie and dishonor, which neuer preferred fame or honestie before ambition, tyrannie and mischiefe. And if he had continued still protector, and suffered his nephues to haue lined and reigned, no doubt but the realme had prospered, & he as much praised & loued as he is now had in hatred: but to God, which knew his inward thoughts at the houre of his death, I remit the punishment of his offenses commited in his life; [which if the one be as manifold as the other, Gods iustice were not to be charged with crueltie. For by nature he is mercifull, slow to anger, and loth to smite: but yet euerie sinne (in respect of his righteousnesse) being deadlie (much more heinous and horrible) how can he but by iustice (which is an essentiall vertue in him) punish it seuerelie? And if he did it with ten thousand torments, who shall be so hardie as to expostulate and reason why he so dooth?

See pag. 324.

But to leaue the tyrant as he died, you shall vnderstand that K. Henrie the seuenth caused a toome to be made and set vp ouer the place where he was buried, in the church of the graie friers at Leicester, with a picture of alabaster representing his person, dooing that honour to his enimie, vpon a princelie regard and pitiful zeale, which king Richard (mooued of an hypocriticall shew of counterfeit pitie) did to king Henrie the sixt, whom he had first cruellie murthered, and after in the second yeare of his vsurped reigne, caused his corps to be remooued from Chertseie vnto Windsore, and there solemnlie interred. And now to conclude with this cruell tyrant king Richard, we may consider in what sort the ambitious desire to rule and gouerne in the house of Yorke, was punished by Gods iust prouidence.

See pag. 268. See pag. 346.

For although that the right might seeme to remaine in the person of Richard duke of Yorke, slaine at Wakefield; yet maie there be a fault worthilie reputed in him, so to seeke to preuent the time appointed him by authoritie of parlement to atteine to the crowne intailed to him and his issue; in whome also, and not onelie in himselfe, that offense (as maie bee thought) was dulie punished. For although his eldest sonne Edward the fourth, beeing a prince right prouident and circumspect for the suertie of his owne estate and his children, insomuch that not content to cut off all his armed and apparant enimies, he also of a gealous feare, made awaie his brother the duke of Clarence, and so thought to make all sure: yet Gods vengeance might not be disappointed