Part VIII: Warkworth’s Chronicle

The Warkworth Chronicle: Part VIII

Warkworth’s Chronicle

The Appearance of a “Mervelous Blasynge Sterre” in January of Edward’s Eleventh Regnal Year to the Defeat and Capture of the Earl of Oxford at St. Michael’s Mount in Cornwall in Edward’s Thirteenth Regnal Year

And in [the] same xj. yere of the Kynge, in the begynnynge of Januarij, there apperyd the moste mervelous blasynge sterre (1) that hade bene seyne. It aroose in the southe este, as ij. of the cloke at mydnyghte, and so contynuede a xij. nyghtes; and it arose ester and ester, tille it aroose fulle este; and rather, and rather (2); and so whenne it roose playne est, it rose at x. of cloke in the nyght, and kept his cours flamynge westwarde overe Englonde; and it hade a white flaume of fyre fervently brennynge, and it flammede endlonges fro the est to the weste, and nogt upryght, and a grete hole therin, whereof the flawme came oute of. And aftyre a vj. or vij. dayes, it aroose north-est, and so bakkere and bakkere; and so enduryd a xiiij. nyghtes, fulle lytelle chaungynge, goynge from north-este, to the weste, an some tyme it wulde seme aquenchede oute, and sodanly it brent fervently ageyne. And thenne it was at one tyme playne northe, and thenne it compassede rounde aboute the lodesterre, for in the evynynve the blase went ageyns the southe, and in the mornynge playne northe, and thenne afterwarde west, and so more west, flaumyng up ryghte; and so the sterre contynuede iiij. wekys, tylle the xx. day of Feveryere; and whenne it appered yest in the fyrmament, thenne it lasted alle the nyghte, somewhat discendyng withe a grettere smoke one the heyre. And some menne seyde that the blassynges of the seide sterre was of a myle length. And a xij. dayes afore the vanyschynge therof, it appereryd in the evynynge, and was downe anone within two oures, and evyr of a colour pale stedfast; and it kept his course rysynge west in the northe, and so every nyght, it apperide lasse and lasse tylle it was a lytelle as a hesylle styke; and so at the laste it waneschede away the xx. day of Februarij. And some menne saide that this sterre was seene ij. or iij. oures afore the sunne rysynge in Decembre, iiij. dayes before Crystynmasse, in the south-west; so by that resoune it compassed rounde abowte alle the erthe, alle way chaungynge his cours, as is afore reherside.

And in the xij. yere of Kynge Edwarde, he lete calle a parleament to be holdene at Westmynstere, the qwhiche beganne the viij. day after Michaelmasse (3) the same yere; in qwhiche parleament was a generalle resumpcion of alle lordschippes, tenamentes, and other possessions and feys grawntede be the Kynge, frome the fyrst day of his regne unto the day aforeseid. Also ther was grauntyde, in the same parleamente, that the x. parte of every mannys good, londes, tenamentes, rentys, and feys, thrugheoute alle Englonde, the valowe therof as for a yere; and also a hole quynsyme amonge the comons, to be reysede, of goodes and catelle; and also lj. M{1}.vij.c.{li}. of money to be raysed, of alle mennys londes, goodes, and other possessions within the reame of Englonde. Also ther was grawntede to the Kynge by the spiritualte, in a convocacion two dymes and prestes markes thrughoute all Englonde; whiche all was grauntede by the desyre of the Kyng, for he seide he wuld overe see and conquere his right and title in Fraunce, Normandy, Gascoyne, and Guyane.

Also in the xiij. yere of Kynge Edwarde, ther was a gret hote somere, bothe for manne and beste; by the whiche ther was gret dethe of menne and women, that in feld harvist tyme men fylle downe sodanly, and unyversalle feveres, axes (4), and the blody flyx, in dyverse places of Englonde. And also the hete was so grete, that in brent awey whete and all other greynis and gresse, in southe partyes of the worlde, in Spayne, Portyngale, Granade, and othere, &c. that a bowsshelle of whete was worthe xx. s.; and menne were fayne in that cuntre to yeve away there childeryne for to fynde them. But, blessede be Almyghty God, no suche derthe was nogt in Englonde, ne in Fraunce.

Also in the same yere Womere (5) watere ranne hugely, withe suche abundaunce of watere, that nevyr manne sawe it renne so moche afore this tyme. Womere is callede the woo watere: for Englyschmen, whenne thei dyd fyrst inhabyde this lond, also sone as thei see this watere renne, thei knewe wele it was a tokene of derthe (6), or of pestylence, or of grete batayle; therefore thei callede itWomere; (for we as in Englysche tonge woo, and mere is called watere, whiche signyfieth woo-watere;) for alle that tyme thei sawe it renne, thei knewe welle that woo was comynge to Englonde. And this Wemere is vij. myle frome Sent Albons, at a place callede Markayate; and this Wemere ranne at every felde afore specifyede, and nevere so hugely as it dyd this yere, and ranne stylle to the xiij. day of June next yere followynge. Also ther has ronne dyverse suche other wateres, that betokenethe lykewyse; one at Lavesham (7) in Kent, and another byside Canterbury called Naylborne, and another at Croydone in Suthsex (8), and another vij. myle a this syde the castelle of Dodley, in the place called Hungervale; that whenne it betokenethe batayle it rennys foule and trouble watere; and whenne betokenethe derthe or pestylence, it rennyth as clere as any watere, but this yere it ranne ryght trouble and foule watere, &c. Also there is a pytte in Kent, in Langley Parke (9): ayens any batayle he wille be drye, and rayne nevere so myche; and if ther be no batayle towarde, he wille be fulle of watere, be it nevyre so drye a wethyre; and this yere he is drye (10) &c. Also this same yere, ther was a voyce cryenge in the heyre, betwyx Laicetere and Bambury, uppon Dunmothe, and in dyverse othere places, herde a long tyme cryinge, “Bowes! Bowes!” whiche was herde of xl. menne; and some menne saw that he that cryed soo was a hedles manne; and many other dyverse tokenes have be schewede in Englonde this yere, for amendynge of mennys lyvynge.

Also this yere, or a lytelle before, George the Archebysshoppe of Yorke, brother to the Erle of Warwyke, was withe Kynge Edwarde at Wynsoure, and huntede, and hade there ryghte good chere; and supposid he hade stonde in grete favour with the Kynge; for the Kynge seid to the sayde Archebyschope that he wuld come to hunte and disporte withe hyme in his manere at Moore; whereof he was ryghte glade, and toke his leve and went home to make purvyaunce therfore; and fett oute of Londone, and dyverse other places, alle his plate and othere stuffe that he hade hyde after Barnet felde an Teukysbury feld; and also borrowede more stuff of other menne, and purveyede for the Kynge for two or iij. dayes for mete and drynke and logynge, and arayed as rychely and as plesauntly as he coude. And the day afore the Kynge schulde have come to the Archebysshoppe, to the seid manere of Moore, whiche the saide Archebisshoppe had purchasshed and byllede (11) it ryght comodiusly and plesauntly, the Kynge send a gentylman to the seide Archebisshoppe, and commaundyd him to come to Wyndsoure to hyme; and asone as he came he was arested and apeached of hye treysone, that he schuld helpe the Erle of Oxenforde; and anone ryght he was put to warde. And forthewithe Sere William Parre, knyghte, and Thomas Vaghan, squyre, withe othere many dyverse gentilmenne and yomen, were sent to the seide manere of Moore; and ther by the Kynges comawndement seysed the seid manere into the Kynges handes, and alle the good that was therin, whichw was worthe xx.M{1}.{li}. or more, and alle other lordschippes and landes that the seid bysshoppe hade withein Englonde; and alle his stuff and rychesse withein alle his lordschippes; and sent the same bisshoppe overe the see to Caleis, and from thens to the castelle of Hammys, and ther he was kepte presonere many a day; and the Kynge alle that seasone toke the prophete of the Archebysshopperyche, &c. And anone after the Kynge brake the seyd Archebysschoppes mytere, in the whiche were fulle many ryche stones and preciouse, and made therof a croune for hyme self. And alle his other juels, plate, and stuff, the Kynge gaff to his eldest sonne and heyre Prynce Edward: for the sayd Archebisshoppe hade be Chauncelere of Englond many dayes, and he and his brotheres hade the reule of the lande, and hade gaderyde grete rychesse many yeres, whiche in one day was lost; and all be the hye jugement of ryghtwisnes (as many manne seide be hym) for his grete covetousenes, and had no pyte of Kynge Herry menne, and was cause of mannys undoynge for Kynge Edwardys sake, if he myghte gete any good by hym. Wherefore suche goodes as were gaderide with synne, were loste with sorwe. And also menne supposid for cause he was duble to Kynge Herry, and kepte hym in Londone, where he wulde be at Westmynstere, he had a lettere send frome Kynge Edward to kepe hym oute of sanctuary, and he hade his charture send hym; where he had be a trewe manne to Kynge Herry, as the comons of Londone were, Kynge Edwarde hade not comene into Londone afore Barnet felde, &c.

Also in the xiij. yere of [the] regne of Kynge Edwarde, Sere Jhon Veere, Erle of Oxenforde, that withdrewe hyme frome Barnet felde, and rode into Scottlonde, and frome thens into Fraunce asailed (12), and ther he was worschipfully received. And in the same yere he was in the see withe certeyne schippes, and gate grete good and rychesse, and afterewarde came into westcountre, and, with a sotule poynte of werre, gate and enteryd Seynt Michaels Mount in Cornwayle, a strong place and a mygty, and can nogt be geet yf it be wele vytaled withe a fewe menne to kepe hit; for xx{ti}. menne may kepe it ageyne alle the world. So the seyde Erle, withe xx{ti} score menne save iij (13), the last day of Septembre the yere afore sayd, enteryd fyrst into [the] seyd mount, and he and his menne came doune into cuntre of Cornwale, and had riyhte good chere of the comons, &c. The Kynge and his counselle sawe that therof myche harme myght growe, &c.; comawndyd Brodrygan, scheff reulere of Cornwayle, to besege the seid mount. And so he dyd; and every day the Erle of Oxenfordes menne came doune undere trewis, spake with Bodrynghan and his menne; and at the laste the seid Erle lacked vytale, and the seyde Bodrygan suffryd hyme to be vytailed; and anone the Kynge was put in knowlache therof; wherefor the seide Bodrygan was discharged, and Richard Fortescu, squyere for the body, by auctoryte of the Kynge, toke uppone honde to lay sege to the forseide mount, &c. And so gret dyversione roose betwyx Bodrygan and Fortescu, whiche Fortescu was schreve of Cornwayle, &c.; and the seid Fortescu layed sege, &c. the xx. xiij{ti}. (14) day of Decembre the yere aforeseide; and for the most party every day eche of theme faughte withe othere, and the seide Erles menne kylled dyverse of Fortescu menne; and som tyme whenne thei hade welle y-foughte, thei wulde take a trewis for one day and a night, and some tyme for two or thre dayes, &c. In the whiche trewes eche one of them spake and commaunde (15) the other. The Kynge and his counselle sent unto dyverse that were with the Erle of Oxenforde prevely there pardones, and promysede to them grete yeftes and landes and goodes, by the whiche dyverse of them were turned to the Kynge ayens the Erle; and so in conclusione the Erle hade nogt passynge and the viij. or ix. menne that wolde holde withe hym; the whiche was the undoynge of the Erle. For ther is a proverbe and a seyenge, that a castelle that spekythe, and a womane that wille here, thei wille be gotene bothe: for menne that bene in a castelle of warr, that wille speke and entrete withe ther enemyes, the conclusione therof [is] the losynge of the castelle; and a womanne that wille here foly spokyne unto hyre, if sche assent nogt at one tyme, sche wille at another. And so this proverbe was prevede trewe by the seide Erle of Oxenforde, whiche was fayne to yelde up the seyde mount, and put hyme in the Kynges grace; if hade nogt do so, his owne menne wulde have brought hym oute. And so Fortescu enterd into the seyd mount, the xv. day of Februarij. the yere afore sayde, in the whiche was vytale enough tylle midsomere aftere. And so was the Erle aforeseyd, the Lorde Bemonde, two brotheres of the seide Erles, and Thomas Clyfforde, brought as presonere to the Kynge; and alle was donne by ther oun foly, &c.