Bosworth Fielde

Text from Bishop Percy’s Folio Manuscript. Ballads and Romances, ed. J.W. Hales and F.J. Furnivall, 3 vols. (London, 1868), III, pp. 233-59. Reproduced by kind permission of Department of Special Collections, University of Pennsylvania Library.

GOD:that shope both sea and Land,
& ffor all creatures dyed ont tree,
saue and keepe the realme of England
to liue in peace & tranquillitye! — 1.4

St. George, to vs a sheild thou bee!
ffor we haue cause to pray, both old & younge,
with stedfast hart fful devatlye,
& say “welcome HENERY,
 right-wise King!” — 2.8

welcome right-wise King, & Ioy royall,
he that is grounded with grace!
welcome the ffortune that hath befall,
which hath beene seene in many a place! — 3.12

who wend that England itt was,
soe suddenlye changed shold haue beene?
therfore lett vs thanke god of his grace,
& say “welcome Henery, right-wise King!” — 4.16

how had wee need to remember, & to our minds recall
how England is transported miraculouslye
to see the great Mischeefe that befall
sith the Martyrdome of the holy King H ENERY! — 5.20

how many lords haue beene deemed to dye,
young innocents that neuer did sinn!
therfore lett vs thanke god hartilye,
& say, “welcome HENERY, right-wise King!” — 6.24

some time a King raigned in this land,
that was Edward of hye ffelicytye;
he was dowted & dread, as I vnderstand,
through all the nations in Christentye. — 7.28

he serued Iesus ffull heartilye:
these examples may be taken by him
which hath preuailed 
him with royaltye
to weare the crowne & be our King. — 8.32

ffor with tounge I haue heard it told,
when HENERY was in a ffar cuntrye,
that 3 times he was bought & sold
throughe the might of gold & ffee. — 9.36

he serued Iesus ffull hartylye:
this example may be said by him
which preuailed right royallye
he weare the crowne and be our King. — 10.40

they banished him ouer the fflood,
ouer the fflood & streames gray;
yett his right in England was good,
as herafter know you may. — 11.44

there was hee banished ouer the ffloode,
& into a strange Land they can 
him bring
that time Raigned Richard with royaltye,
he ware the crowne & was our Kinge. — 12.48

that was well seene att streames stray;
att Milford hauen, when he did appeare
with all his Lords in royall array,
he said to them that with him weare: — 13.52

“into England I am entred heare,
my heritage is this Land within;
they shall me boldlye bring & beare,
& loose my liffe, but Ile be King. — 14.56

“Iesus that dyed on good ffryday,
& Marry mild thats ffull of might
send me the loue of Lord Stanley!
he marryed my mother, a Lady 
bright; — 15.60

that is long sith I saw her with sight;
I trust in Iesu wee shall meete with 
& I shall maintaine her honor right
ouer all England when I am Kinge. — 16.64

“had I the Loue of that Lord in rich array
that hath proued his manhood soe well att need,
& his brother Sir William, the good Stanley;–
a better Knight neuer 
vmstrode steede! — 17.68

that hath beene seene in mickle dreed;
much was the worshipp that happened him!
a more nobler Knight att neede
came neuer to maintaine Kinge.” –18.72

now leaue wee HENERY, this prince royall,
& talke of Richard in his dignitye,
of the great misfortune did him befall:
the causer of his owne death was hee. —

wicked councell drew Richard neere,
of them that had the 
prince in their guiding;
ffor wicked councell doth mickle 
that bringeth downe both Emperour & King. — 20.80

the Lord Stanley bothe sterne & stout,–
he might be called fflower of fflowers-
man dye.
that was well seene without doubt
att Barwicke walls with towers hye; — 21.84

when all the Lords of England let itt bee,
that castle wightlye can hee winn.
was there euer Lord in England, ffare or 
nere (12)
that did such 
iorney to his Kinge? — 22.88

then Richard bade a messenger to ffare
ffare into the west countrye
to comfort his knights, squiers lesse & more,
& to set good rule amongst his comintye. — 23.92

then wicked councell drew Rich[ard] neere;
these were 
they words they said to him,
“wee thinke yee worke vnwittylye
in England, 
& yee will continue King. — 24.96

“ffor why, the Lord Stanley is lent in this Land,
the Lord Strange & the 
Chamberlaine; these 3
they may show vpon a day a band
such as may noe Lorde in Christentye. — 25.100

“lett some of them vnder your bondage bee,
if any worshipp you thinke to winn;
or else short while continue shall yee
In England to be our Kinge.” — 26.104

then they made out messengers with maine & might
soe ffarr into the west countrye;
to the Lord Stanley that noble Knight
they kneeled downe vpon their knee — 27.108

& said “Richard that raignes with royaltye,
Emperour of England this day within,
hee longeth you sore, My Lord, to see;
you must come & speake with our Kinge.” — 28.112

then the Lord busked him vpon a day
To ryde to King Richard with royaltye,
& hee ffell sicke att Manchester by the way;
as the will of god is, all things must bee. — 29.116

the Lord strange then called [he] him nee;
these were the words hee said to him:
“In goodlye hast now ryde must yee
to witt the will of Richard, our Kinge.”– 30.120

Then this Lord bowned him ffull right
to ryde to King Richard hastilye.
when hee came before his soueraigine in sight,
he kneeled downe vpon his knee. — 31.124

“welcome, Lord Strange, & kinsman nye!”
these were the words he said to him:
“was there euer any Baron in England of 
shold be soe welcome his to his Kinge?” — 32.128

alas, that euer he cold soe say
soe ffroward a hart as hee had vnder!
that was well seene after vpon a day;
itt cast him & his crowne assunder. — 33.132

& brought his body into bale & blunder,
these wicked words he cold begin:
thus ffalshood endeth in shame & wonder,
whether itt be with Emperour or King. — 34.136

of itt heere is no more to say,
but shortlye to ward comanded was hee.
new messengers were made without delay
soe ffarr into the west countrye — 35.140

to the Lord stanley soe wise & wittye:
these were the words thé sayd to him,
“you must raise those that vnder you bee,
& all the power that you may bringe; — 36.144

“yonder cometh Richmond over the fflood
with many 
allyants out of ffarr countrye,
bold men of bone and blood;
the crowne of England chalengeth hee. –37.148

“you must raise those that vnder you bee,
& all the power that yee may bringe,
or else the Lord strange you must neuer see,
which is in danger of our King.” — 38.152

In a studye this Lord can stand,
& said, “deere Iesus! how may this bee?
I draw wittenes to him tha
shope both sea & land,
that I neuer delt with noe trecherye. — 39.156

“Richard is a man that hath no mercye;
hee wold mee & mine into bondage bringe;
therfore cleane against him will I bee,
of all England though hee bee King.” — 40.160

then another messenger he did appeare
to william Stanley, that noble Knight,
& saith, “Richard that weareth the crowne soe cleare,
& in his Empire raigneth right, — 41.164

“willeth you to bring your powere to helpe him to ffight;
ffor all his trust itt is you in.”
then answered that gentle Knight,
“I haue great marueill of your King; — 42.168

“hee keepeth the[r]e my nephew, my brothers heyre;
a truer knight is not in christentye.–
that Richard shall repent ffull 
ffor any thing that I can see. — 43.172

“bidd him array him with royaltye
& all the power that hee may bringe;
ffor hee shall either ffight, or fflee,
or loose his liffe, if hee bee Kinge. — 44.176

“I make mine avow to Marye, that may,
& to her sonne that died on tree,
I will make him such a breakefast vpon a day
as neuer made Knight any King in Cristetntye! — 45.180

“tell thou King Richard these words from me:
ffor all the power that he may bringe,
in the ffeild he shall either ffight, or fflee,
or loose his liffe or hee be Kinge.” — 46.184

then this messenger fforth hee went
to carry to King Richard with royaltye,
& saith, “in yonder countrye I haue beene sent,
soe greeued men are not in Christentye. — 47.188

“ffor loue of the Lord strange that in bale doth bee.
these were the words hee sayd to him:
“you must either ffight or fflee,
or loose your liffe, if you bee Kinge.” — 48.192

att that King Richard smiled small,
& sware, “by Iesu ffull of might,
when they are assembled with their powers all,
I wold I had the great turke against me to ffight, — 49.196

“or Prester Iohn in his armor bright,
the Sowdan of Surrey with them to bringe!
yett with manhood & with might
in England I shold continue King. — 50.200

“I sweare by Iesu that dyed on a tree,
& by his mother that mayden blythe,
ffrom the towne of Lancaster to Shrewsburye,
Knight nor squier Ile leaue none aliue. — 51.204

“I shall kindle their cares riffe,
& giue their Lands to my Knights keene;
many a man shall repent the while
that euer they rose against their King. — 52.208

“ffrom the holy-head to St. davids Land,
where now be towers & castles hye,
I shall make parkes & plaine ffeilds to stand,
ffrythes ffaire, & fforrests ffree. — 53.212

“Ladyes, ‘well-away!’ shall crye;
widdowes shall weepe & their hands wringe;
many a man shall repent that day
that euer they rose against their Kinge.” — 54.216

then he made out messengers with maine & might
throughout England ffarr & 
to Duke, Erle, Barron & Knight,
& to euery man in his degree. — 55.220

you neuer heard tell of such a companye
att sowte, 
seege, nor noe gatheringe:
part of their names here shall yee
that came that day to serue their King. — 56.224

thither came the duke of Norffolke vpon a day
& the Erle of Surrey that was his heyre:
the Erle of Kent was not away
the Erle of Shrewsbury 
breme as beare. — 57.228

the Erle of Lincolne wold not spare,
the Erle of Northumberland ready bowne,
the Erle of westmoreland great othes sware,
all they said Richard shold Keepe his crowne. — 58.232

theres was my Lord Zouch, sad at assay:
my Lord 
Mattrevis, a noble Knight;
young Arrundell dight him vpon a day,
the Lord wells, both wise and wight; — 59.236

the Lord Gray Cotner in his armour bright,
the Lord Bowes made him bowne,
the Lord Audley was ffeirce to ffight,
& all said Richard shold keepe his crowne. — 60.240

there was my Lord Bartley, sterne on a steede,
the Lord fferryes of chartlye, the Lord fferryes of Strobe,
the Lord Bartley noble att neede,
chamberlaine of England that day was hee. — 61.244

the Lord ffittz Hugh & his cozen nye,
the Lord Scroope of vpsall, the Lord scroope of Bolton;
the Lord Dacres raised all the North cuntrye;
& all said Richard shold keepe his crowne. — 62.248

There was many nobles mustered to ffight:
the Lord Audley & the Lord Lumley,
the Lord 
Grey-stocke in his armour bright,
he brought with him a noble companye. — 63.252

he sware by Iesus that dyed on a tree,
that his enemyes shold be beaten downe;
he was not [in] England, ffarr nor neere,
that shold 
lett Richard to weare his crowne.” — 64.256

there was Sir Iohn Spencer, a noble Knight,
Sir Raph 
hare-bottle in rich array,
Sir william ward, alwayes that was wight,
Sir Archeobald, good Rydley; — 65.260

Sir Nicholas Moberly was not away,
nor yett Sir Robert of Clotton,
alsoe Sir Oliuer, the hend horsley;
all said Richard shold keepe his crowne. — 66.264

there was Sir Henery Percy, sterne on steede,
Sir Roger Bowmer in his companye,
Sir Richard Manners, noble att neede,
Soe was Sir Henery the hend Hatteley; — 67.268

Sir Robert Conway in companye
Sir Raphe Smyth & Sir Roger Akerston,
& Sir William, his cozen nye,
& all sayd Richard shold keepe his crowne. — 68.272

There was a noble Knight, Sir Iohn the Gray,
& Sir Thomas of Mountgomerye;
Sir Rodger Sanfort was not away;
ffrom London came Sir Robert Brakenburye; — 69.276

Sir Henery Bowdrye was not away,
nor yett Sir Richard the good Chorlton;
Sir Raphe Robbye made him yare;
all said Richard wold keepe his crowne. — 70.280

there ws Sir Marmaduke Constable, a noble Knight,
of King Richards councell hee was nye;
Sir william 
Counyous, allwayes that was wight,
Sir Robert Thribald with his meanye; — 71.284

soe was Sir Martine of the wardley,
& Sir Richard the good Hortton,
&Sir Richard Rosse sware smartlye
that King Richard shold keepe his crowne. — 72.288

There was Sir Robert, the sterne Sturley;
Sir Iohn of Melton, thither Came hee,
Garuis Clyfton in rich array,
Sir Henery Perpoint in his degree, — 73.292

Sir Thomas North with royaltye,
& alsoe Sir Iohn of Babington,
Sir Hemphrey Stafford sware certainelye
that King Richard shold keepe his crowne. – – 74.296

there was Sir Robert Ryder, a man of might,
Sir Robert Vtridge in his dignitye;
Sir Iohn Huntington was ffeirce to ffight,
soe was Sir Iohn willmarley. — 75.300

Sir Robert Swayley with royaltye,
& alsoe Sir Bryan of 
& Sir william his cozen nye,
& all said Richard shold keepe his crowne. — 76.304

There was Sir Richard Ratcliffe, a noble Knight,
of King Richards councell was hee;
Sir William his brother was ffeirce to ffight,
& Sir Thomas, they were brethren 3. — 77.308

& Sir Richard the Mallinere,
& Sir Iohn the good Hortton,
& Sir Thomas the good Mallynere,
& all said Rich[ard] shold keepe his crowne. — 78.312

There was Sir Raphe Dacres out of the North,
& Sir Christopher the 
Sir William Musgreaue was stiffe to stand,
soe was Sir Alexander ffawne in his dignitye. — 79.316

Sir George Murkenffeild behind wold not bee,
nor yett Sir Thomas the doughtye Boughton:
SiChristopher Owen made him readye,
& all sayd Rich[ard] shold weare his crowne. — 80.320

there was Sir william Tempest out of the vale,
& Sir Richard his cozen nye;
Sir Raph Ashton, hee made not ffaile,
Sir Thomas 
Maclefeild in Companye. — 81.324

Sir Richard ward behind wold not bee,
nor yett Sir Robert of Middleton;
Sir Iohn Coleburne sware certainelye
that King Richard shold keepe his crowne. — 82.328

there was Sir Iohn Neuill of bloud soe hye,
Sir Iohn 
Hurlstean in rich array,
Sir Rodger Herne behind wold not bee,
Sir Iames Harrington, sad att assay. — 83.332

Sir Robert his brother was not away,
nor yett was Sir Thomas of Pilkinton;
& all these, great othes sware they
that King Richard shold keepe his crowne. — 84.336

had wee not need to Iesus to pray,
that made the world, the day & night,
to keepe vs out of bale and woe?
2 shires against all England to ffight. — 85.340

& maintaine HENERY that came ffor his right,
& in the realme of England was ready bowne!
ffreinds, & yee will harken me right,
I shall tell you how Henery gott his crowne. — 86.344

the Lord Stanley sterne and stout,
that euer hath beene wise and wittye,
ffrom Latham Castle withouten doubt
vppon a munday bowned hee — 87.348

with Knights & squiers in companye.
they had their banners in the sunn glitteringe;
they were as ffeirce as ffawcon to fflye,
to maintaine HENERY
 that was their King. — 88.352

then this Lord bowned him vpon a day
with noble men in companye:
towards Newcastle vnder Line he tooke the way,
& told his men both gold and ffee. — 89.356

Sir william Stanley wise and wight,
ffrom the castle of Holt with holts hye
to the Nantwich hee rydeth straight,
& tooke his men wages of gold and ffee. — 90.360

all the north wales ffor the most partye,
the fflower of Cheshire, with him hee did bringe;
better men were not [in] christentye
that euer came to maintaine their King. — 91.364

Erly vpon Twesday att Morne
Sir william Stanley, that noble Knight,
remoued ffrom Nantwiche to the towne of stone,–
by then was Henery come to stafford straight,– 92.368

he Longed sore to see him in sight,
& straight to stafford towne is 
& kneeled downe anon-right,
by the hand he hath him tane: — 93.372

hee said, “I am ffull glad of thee;”
& these were the words he said to him:
“through the helpe of my Lord thy ffather, & thee,
I trust in England to continue Kinge.” — 94.376

then he hent that noble prince by the hand,
& said, “welcome my soueraigne King HENERY!
chalenge thy Herytage & thy Land,
that thine owne is, & thine shall bee. — 95.380

“be Eger to ffight, & lothe to fflee!
let manhood be bredd thy brest within!
& remember another day who doth ffor thee,
of all England when thou art Kinge.” — 96.384

after, there was noe more to say,
but leaue of the prince he hath 
& came againe by the light of the day
to the litle prettye towne of stone. — 97.388

Early vpon Saturday att morne,
to Lichffeild they remoue, both old & younge.
att woosley bridge them beforne,
there had they a sight of our Kinge. — 98.392

& to Lichefeild they ridden right,
with answerable army came royallye:
to nomber the companye that was with the Knight
itt was a goodlye sight to see. — 99.396

guns in Lichefeild they cracken on hye
to cheere the countye both more & min,
& glad was all the Chiualrye
that was on heneryes parte, our Kinge. — 100.400

throughout Lichefeild rydeth the Knight,
on other side there tarryed hee:
a messenger came to him straight,
& kneeled downe vpon his knee, — 101.404

& saith, “the Lord Stanley is his enemy nye,
that are but litle way ffrom him;
they will ffight within these houres 3
With Richard that is Englands Kinge.” — 102.408

that wold I not,” the Knight can say,
“ffor all the gold in Christentye!”
towards Tamworth he tooke the way,
& came to Hattersey, & neighed nye — 103.412

where Lord Stanley in a dale cold bee,
with trumpetts & tabours tempered with him;
itt was a comelye sight to see
as euer was to maintaine Kinge. — 104.416

All that night there tarryed they,
& vpon the sunday gods service did see.
toward the ffeild they did them array;
the vawward the Lord Stanley tooke hee. — 105.420

Sir William Stanley the rerward wold bee,
& his sonne Sir Edward with a winge.
thé did remaine in their array
to waite the coming of Richard King. — 106.424

then they Looked to a fforrest syde,
they hard trumpetts & tabours tempered on hye:
they thought King Richard had comen there,
& itt was the Noble prince, King HENERYE. — 107.428

ouer a riuer then rydeth hee;
he brake the ray, & rode to him:
itt was a comelye sight to see
the meeting of our Lord & Kinge. — 108.432

then in their host there did ffall affray
a litle time before the night;–
you neuer saw men soe soone in their array
with ffell weapons ffeirce ffor to ffight. — 109.436

vpon a keene courser that was wight,
other Lords with him hee cold bringe;
thus in array came ryding straight,
HENERY of England, our noble Kinge. — 110.440

he lowted low & tooke his hatt in his hand,
& thanked the 
states and cominaltye:
quitt you all I vnderstand:
I trust in Iesus that day to see.” — 111.444

many a cry in the host that night did bee;
& anon the Larke began to singe;
truth of the battell heere shall yee,
that euer was betweene King and King. — 112.448

King HENERY desired the vaward right
of the Lord stanley that was both wise & wittye;
& hee hath granted him in sight,
& saith “but small is your companye.” — 113.452

4 of the Noble Knights then called hee:
their names to you then I shall minge;
he bade array them with their chiualrye,
& goe to the vaward with our Kinge. — 114.456

Sir Robert Tunsall, a Noble Knight,
& come of royall anceytree;
Sir Iohn Savage, wise & wight,
Sir Hugh Persall; there was 3: — 115.460

Sir Humphrey Stanley the 4th did bee,
that proued noble in euerye thinge;
they did assay them with their chiualrye,
& went to the vaward with our kinge. — 116.464

the Lord stanley bothe sterne and stout,
2 battells that day had hee
of hardye men, withouten doubt
better were not in christentye. — 117.468

Sir william, wise and worthye,
was hindmust att the outsettinge;
men said that day that dyd him see,
hee came 
betime vnto our King. — 118.472

then he remoued vnto a mountaine full hye,
& looked into a dale ffull dread;
5 miles compasse, no ground they see,
ffor armed men & trapped steeds. — 119.476

theyr armor glittered as any gleed; 
in 4 strong battells they cold fforth bring;
they seemed noble men att need
as euer came to maintaine [a] King. — 120.480

the duke of Norfolke avaunted his banner bright,
soe did the young Erle of Shrewsburye,
to the sun & wind right speedylye dight,
soe did Oxfford, that Erle, in companye. — 121.484

to tell the array itt were hard ffor me,
& they Noble power that they did bring.
And of the 
ordinance heere shall yee,
that had that day Richard our Kinge. — 122.488

they had 7 scores Sarpendines without dout,
that locked & Chained vppon a row,
 many bombards that were stout;
<>like blasts of thunder they did blow. — 123.492

10000 Morespikes, with all,
& harquebusyers, throwlye can thé 
to make many a noble man to ffall
that was on HENERYS part. our kinge. — 124.496

King Richard looked on the mountaines hye,
& sayd, “I see the banner of the Lord Stanley.”
he said, “ffeitch hither the Lord Strange to me,
ffor doubtlesse hee shall dye this day; — 125.500

“I make mine avow to Marye, that may,
that all the gold this Land within
shall not saue his liffe this day,
in England iff I be Kinge!” — 126.504

then they brought Lord Strange into his sight;
he said, “ffor thy death make thee readye.”
then answered that noble Knight,
& said, “I crye god & the world mercye! – – 127.508

“& Iesus, I draw wittnesse to thee
that all the world ffrom woe did winn,
since the time that I borne did bee,
<>was I neuer traitor to my Kinge.” — 128.512

a gentleman then called hee,–
men said Latham was his name,–
“& euer thou come into my countrye,
greete well my gentlemen eche one; — 129.516

“my yeomen Large of blood and bone,
sometimes we had mirth att our meetinge;
they had a Master, & now they haue none,
ffor here I must be martyred with the Kinge!” — 130.520

there he tooke a ring of his ffingar right,
& to that squier raught itt hee,
& said, “beare this to my Lady bright,
for shee may thinke itt longe or shee 
may see; — 131.524

“yett att doomes day meete shall wee,–
I trust in Iesus that all this world shall winn–
In the celestyall heauen vpon hye
in presence of a Noble King. — 132.528

“& the ffeild be lost vpon our partye,–
as I trust in god it shall not bee,–
take my eldest sonne that is my heyre,
& fflee into some ffar countrye. — 133.532

“yett the child a man may bee,–
hee is comen of a Lords kinn,–
another day to reuenge mee
of Richard of England, if he be King.” — 134.536

then to King Richard there came a Knight,
saith, “I hold noe time about this to be,
see yee not the vawards beginning to ffight?
when yee haue the ffather, the vnkle, all 3, — 135.540

“looke what deathe you will haue them to dye;
att your will you may them deeme.”
through these ffortunate words eskaped hee
out of the danger of Richard the Kinge. — 136.544

then the partyes countred together egerlye,
when the vawards began to ffight,
King Henery ffought soe manfullye,
soe did Oxford, that Erle soe wight; — 137.548

Sir Iohn Sauage, that hardy Knight,
deathes dints he delt that day
with many a white hood in fight,
that sad men were att assay. — 138.552

Sir Gilbert Talbott was not away,
but stoutly stirred him in that ffight;
with noble men att assay
he caused his enemyes lowe to light. — 139.556

Sir Hugh Persall, with sheild & speare
ffull doughtylye that day did hee;
he bare him doughtye to this warr,
as a man of great degree. — 140.560

King Richard did in his army stand,
he was n[u]mbered to 40000 and 3
of hardy men of hart and hand,
that vnder his banner there did bee. — 141.564

Sir William Stanley, wise & worthie
remembred the 
brea[k]ffast hee hett to him;
downe att a backe then cometh hee,
& shortlye sett vpon the Kinge. — 142.568

then they countred together sad & sore;
archers they lett sharpe arrowes fflee,
they shott 
guns both ffell & ffarr,
bowes of 
vewe bended did bee, — 143.572

springalls spedd them speedylye,
harquebusiers pelletts throughly did thringe;
soe many a banner began to
that was on Richards partye, their King. — 144.576

then our archers lett their shooting bee,
with ioyned weapons were 
growden ffull right,
brands rang on basenetts hye,
battell-axes ffast on helmes did light. — 145.580

there dyed many a doughtye Knight,
there vnder ffoot can thé thringe;
thus they ffought with maine & might
that was on HENERYES part, our King. — 146.584

then to King Richard there came a Knight,
& said, “I hold itt time ffor to fflee;
ffor yonder stanleys dints they be soe wight,
against them no man may dree. — 147.588

“Heere is thy horsse att thy hand readye;
another day thou may thy worshipp win,
& ffor to raigne with royaltye,
to weare the crowne, and be our King.” — 148.592

he said, “giue me my battell axe to my hand,
sett the crowne of England on my head soe hye!
ffor by him that shope both sea and Land,
King of England this day I will dye! — 149.596

“one ffoote will I neuer fflee
whilest the breath is my brest within!”
as he said, soe did it bee;
if hee lost his liffe, if he were King. –150.600

about his standard can thé light,
the crowne of gold thé hewed him ffroe,
with dilfull dints his death thé dight,
the Duke of Norffolke that day thé slowe. — 151.604

the Lord fferrers & many other moe,
boldlye on bere they can them bringe;
many a noble Knight in his hart was throwe,
that lost his liffe with Richard the King. — 152.608

there was slaine Sir Richard Ratcliffe, a noble Knight,
of King Richards councell was ffull nye;
Sir william 
Conyas , allwayes that was wight,
& Sir Robert of Brakenburye. — 153.612

a Knight there dyed that was ffull doughtye,
that was Sir Richard the good Chorlton;
that day there dyed hee
with Richard of England that ware the crowne. — 154.616

amongst all other Knights, remember
which were hardy, & therto wight;
Sir william Brandon was one of those,
King Heneryes Standard he kept on height, — 155.620

& vanted itt with manhood & might
vntill with dints hee was dr[i]uen downe,
& dyed like an ancyent Knight,
with HENERY of England that ware the crowne. — 156.624

Sir Perciuall Thriball, the other hight,
& noble Knight, & in his hart was true;
King Richards standard hee kept vpright
vntill both his leggs were hewen him froe; — 157.628

to the ground he wold neuer lett itt goe,
whilest the breath his brest ws within;
yett men pray ffor the Knights 2
that euer was soe true to their King. — 158.632

then they moued to a mountaine on height,
>with a lowde voice they cryed king HENERY,
the crowne of gold that was bright,
to the Lord stanley deliuered itt bee. — 159.636

anon to King HENERY deliuered it hee,
the crowne that was soe deliuered to him,
& said, “methinke ye are best worthye
to weare the crowne and be our King.” — 160.640

Then they rode to Leister that night
with our noble prince King
they brought King Richard thither with might
as naked as he borne might bee. — 161.644

& in Newarke Laid was hee,
that many a one might looke on him.
thus ffortunes raignes most maruelouslye
both with Emperour & with king. — 162.648

now this doubtffull day is brought to an end,
Iesu now their soules haue mercye!
& hee [that] dyed this world to amend,
saue stanleys blood, where-soeuer they bee, — 163.652

to remaine as Lords with royaltye
when truth & conscyence shall spread & spring,
that they bee of councell nye
Iames of England that be our King! 164.656


Marginal Notes

The marginal notes to the Hales & Furnivall edition are listed below according to stanza and line, or lines, to which they correspond in the text. Stanza 1: l.1 – May Christ; l.3 – Keep England; l.4 – in peace!

Stanza 2: l.6 – We have cause to; l.7 – welcome Henry VII.

Stanza 4: l.13 – Who thought England; l.14 – would have changed; l.15 – so soon?

Stanza 5: l.17 – We know; l.20 – that Henry VI was martyred.

Stanza 6: l.23 – Let us thank God; l.24 – for Henry VII.

Stanza 7: l.26 – King Edward

Stanza 8: l.29 – served Jesus.

Stanza 9: l.34 – Henry VII

Stanza 10: l.37 – did so too.

Stanza 11: l.41 – He was banished.

Stanza 12: l.47 – When Richard III; l.48 – was king.

Stanza 13: l.49 – but he landed; l.50 at Milford Haven.

Stanza 14: l.53 – And claimed; l.54 his heritage 1.56 to be king.

Stanza 15: ll.57-59 – He prayed for the help of Lord Stanley

Stanza 17: l.67 – and his brother Sir William.

Stanza 18: l.71 – That noble knight

Stanza 19: ll.73-74 – But we’ll talk of Richard III.

Stanza 20: ll.77-80 – Wicked counsellors ruined him.

Stanza 21: ll.81-84 – He condemned to death Lord Stanley who won Berwick for him.

Stanza 22: l.85 – When no other Lord could.

Stanza 24: l.93 – His bad counsellors

Stanza 25: l.97-98 – told him Lord Stanley and others were too strong,

Stanza 26: l.101 – he must put them down.

Stanza 27: ll.105-107 – So messengers are sent to Lord Stanley

Stanza 28: l.109 – and bid him; l.112 – come to the King.

Stanza 29: l.113 – He sets off,; l.115 – but falls sick at Manchester

Stanza 30: l.117 – and sends on Lord Strange; l.120 – to know Richard’s will.

Stanza 31: l.121 – Lord Strange; l.124 – kneels to Richard,

Stanza 32: l.125 – who welcomes him; l.126 – with kind words

Stanza 33: l.130 – but froward heart

Stanza 35: l.137 – and casts him into prison.; l.139 – Other messengers come to

Stanza 36: l.141 – Lord Stanley; l.142 – and say,; l.143 – “Raise all your men; for

Stanza 37: l.145 – Richmond is coming; l.148 – to claim the crown.

Stanza 38: l.151 – or you’ll never see; l.152 – Lord Strange again.

Stanza 39: l.153 – Lord Stanley; l.154 – says,

Stanza 40: l.157 – “Richard has no mercy.; l.159 – I am against him.”

Stanza 41: l.161 – Richard’s messenger; l.162 – asks Sir William Stanley

Stanza 42: l.165 – to help the King.; l.168 “What!

Stanza 43: l.169 – when he keeps my nephew in hold.; l.171 – He shall repent it sore!

Stanza 44: l.173 – Let him arm; l.175 – and fight,; l.176 – and flee or die.

Stanza 45: l.177 – By Mary; l.178 – and Christ; l.179 – I’ll make him a meal!

Stanza 46: l.181 – Tell him; l.183 – to fight and flee; l.184 – or die!”

Stanza 47: l.185 – The messenger tells Richard; l.187 – how all the country; l.188 – rebel at

Stanza 48: l.189 – Lord Strange’s imprisonment.; l.191 – He must fight,; l.192 – flee, or die.

Stanza 49: l.193 – Richard swears that; l.194 – whosoever opposes,

Stanza 50: l.200 – he’ll still be King.

Stanza 51: l.203 – he’ll leave no Lancashire; l.204 squire alive.

Stanza 53: l.209 – and will lay waste Wales,

Stanza 54: l.214 – make widows weep,; l.215 – and rebel; l.216 – rue.

Stanza 55: ll.217-218 – He sends all over England for his nobles,

Stanza 56: ll.223-224 – and they come to serve their King:

Stanza 57: ll.225-228 – the Duke of Norfolk, the Earls of Kent, Shrewsbury,

Stanza 58: ll.229-231 – Lincoln, Northumberland, Westmoreland;

Stanza 59: ll.233-236 – Lords Zouch, Maltravers, Arundel, Wells,

Stanza 60: ll.237-239 – Grey of Codnor, Bowes, Audley,

Stanza 61: ll.241-243 – Berkeley, Ferrers of Chartley, Ferrers of Groby,

Stanza 62: ll.245-247 – Fitzhugh, Scrope of Upsal, Scrope of Bolton; Dacres,

Stanza 63: ll.250-251 – Lumley, Greystocke;

Stanza 65: l.257 – Sirs J. Spencer, l.259 – W. Ward,

Stanza 66: ll.261-263 – N. Moberly, R. Clutton, O. Horsley,

Stanza 67: l.265 – H. Percy; l.267 – R. Manners,

Stanza 68: l.269 – R. Conway; l.271 – W. Akerston,

Stanza 69: l.273 – Jn. Gray,; l.275 – R. Sanfort,

Stanza 70: l.277 – H. Bowdrye,; l.279 – R. Robbye,

Stanza 71: l.281 – M. Constable,; l.283 – W. Conyers,

Stanza 72: l.285 – M. Wardley,; l.287 – R. Rosse,

Stanza 73: l.289 – R. Sturley,; l.291 – G. Clyfton,

Stanza 74: l.295 – H. Stafford,

Stanza 75: l.297 – R. Ryder,; l.299 – J. Huntington,

Stanza 76: l.301 – R. Swayley,; l.303 – W. Stapleton,

Stanza 77: l.305 – R. Ratcliffe,; l.307 – W. Ratcliffe,

Stanza 78: l.309 – R. Malinere,; l.311 – T. Mallynere,

Stanza 79: l.313 – R. Dacres,; l.315 – W. Musgrave,

Stanza 80: l.317 – G. Murkenffield,; l.319 – C. Owen

Stanza 81: l.321 – W. Tempest,; l.323 – R. Ashton,

Stanza 82: l.325 – R. Ward,; l.327 – J. Coleburne,

Stanza 83: l.329 – J. Neville,; ll.331-332 – R. Herne, J. Harrington,

Stanza 84: l.333 – R. Harrington; ll.335-336 – All swear Richard shall reign.

Stanza 85: l.340 – 2 shires alone fight for Henry.

Stanza 87: l.345 – Lord Stanley; l.347 – leaves Latham Castle

Stanza 89: l.353 – and marches towards; l.355 – Newcastle.

Stanza 90: l.357 – Sir Wm. Stanley; l.359 – marches to Nantwich,

Stanza 91: l.362 – with the flower of Cheshire;

Stanza 92: l.367 – thence to Stone,

Stanza 93: ll.369-370 – from whence he goes to meet Henry,

Stanza 94: l.373 – who is full glad of him.

Stanza 95: ll.378-379 – He exhorts Henry to claim his crown.

Stanza 96: l.381 – be eager to fight,; ll.383-384 – and, when he wins, to remember his friends.

Stanza 97: l.385 – Then Sir William; ll.387-388 – returns to Stone.

Stanza 98: l.389 – On Saturday; l.390 – he marches to Lichfield

Stanza 99: l.395 – with a goodly company,

Stanza 101: l.401 – and rides though the town.; l.403 – Then he hears

Stanza 102: l.405 – that Lord Stanley; l.407 – is about to fight Richard.

Stanza 103: l.411 – He passes on to Hattersey,

Stanza 104: l.413 – and joins Lord Stanley.

Stanza 105: ll.418-419 – On Sunday they set their battle in array,

Stanza 106: l.424 – waiting Richard’s attack.

Stanza 107: l.428 – But Henry first comes,

Stanza 108: l.431 – (comely it was to see the meeting)

Stanza 110: l.437 – on a swift courser,; l.440 – our noble King.

Stanza 111: ll.441-443 – He thanked the lords and commons, and said he hoped to requite them.

Stanza 112: l.446 – Next morning

Stanza 113: l.449 – he asked to lead the van.

Stanza 114: l.453 – Lord Stanley gave it to him,; l.456 – with 4 good knights,

Stanza 115: l.457 – Tunstall,; l.459 – Savage; l.460 – Perschall,

Stanza 116: l.461 – Humphrey Stanley,

Stanza 117: ll.465-466 – Lord Stanley has two battalions,

Stanza 118: ll.469-470 – Sir Wm. Stanley has the rearguard.

Stanza 119: l.473 – He sees Richard’s host:; l.475 – five miles of men,

Stanza 120: l.478 – in four battalions,

Stanza 121: l.481 – Norfolk in the van.

Stanza 122: l.487 – Their artillery was,

Stanza 123: l.489 – 140 serpentines,; l.491 – 140 bombards,

Stanza 124: ll.493-494 – 10,000 morris-pikes and harquebusiers.

Stanza 125: ll.497-498 – Richard sees Lord Stanley’s banner.

Stanza 126: l.501 – and swears; l.503 – Lord Strange shall die.

Stanza 127: l.505 – Strange is brought out; l.508 – he calls

Stanza 128: ll.509-512 – Christ to witness that he never was a traitor.

Stanza 129: ll.515-516 – He sends a message to his gentlemen

Stanza 130: l.517 – and yeomen,

Stanza 131: l.521 – a ring to his Lady,

Stanza 132: l.525 – and hopes that; l.527 – they all may meet in heaven,

Stanza 133: l.529 – If Henry loses,; l.531 – his son is to be taken abroad;

Stanza 134: l.533 – and when he’s a man,; ll.535-536 – he is to revenge him on Richard.

Stanza 135: l.537 – Richard hears; l.539 – that the vans are fighting,

Stanza 136: l.541 – waits to take the Stanleys; l.543 – and Strange escapes death.

Stanza 137: l.547 – Henry fights manfully,

Stanza 138: l.549 – and so do Savage,

Stanza 139: l.553 – Talbot,

Stanza 140: l.557 – and Pearsall,

Stanza 141: l.561 – Richard has 40,003 men.

Stanza 142: l.565 – Sir William Stanley; l.568 – attacks him.

Stanza 143: l.570 – Arrows fly,; l.571 – guns shoot;

Stanza 144: l.575 – Richard’s men begin to fail.

Stanza 145: ll.577-578 – Henry’s archers take to their swords,

Stanza 146: l.583 – and his men fight mightily.

Stanza 147: l.585 – A knight advises; l.586 – Richard to flee.

Stanza 149: ll.593-594 – But Richard calls for his battle-axe and crown: l.596 – he will die a King.

Stanza 150: l.597 – and never flee.

Stanza 151: l.602 – Richard is slain.; l.604 – Norfolk, too.

Stanza 152: l.605 – Lord Ferrers,

Stanza 153: l.609 – Sir Richard Ratcliffe,; l.611 – Sir William Conyers,

Stanza 154: l.614 – and Sir Richard Chorlton.

Stanza 155: l.619 – Sir William Brandon.; l.620 – Henry’s standard-bearer,

Stanza 156: l.622 – was killed.

Stanza 157: l.625 – and also Sir P. Triball,; l.627 – Richard’s standard-bearer

Stanza 159: l.633 – Henry is proclaimed King,; l.636 – and Lord Stanley

Stanza 160: l.637 – hands the crown of England to him.

Stanza 161: l.641 – They ride to Leicester,

Stanza 162: l.645 – and lay Richard’s body in Newark.

Stanza 163: l.649 – Jesu have mercy on their souls,

Stanzas 163-164: ll.652-654 – and save Stanley’s blood as Lords wherever truth shall spread!


For the purposes of adaptation, the numerical sequence of the notes in the Hales & Furnivall edition has been altered. Original numbers appear in parentheses below.

1. (1) rightwise, i.e., righteous, –P. A.-S. rihtwís–F.

2. (2)wen’d, ween’d –P.

3. (3)? him superfluous, see 1.39

4. (1)MS. hin. –F.

5. (2) Lord Stanley, (afterwards Earl of Derby) had married as his second wife the Countess of Richmond, mother of Henry VII. She was his wife as early as 1473, if not earlier. — G.E. Adams

6. (1) A.S. win, pleasure. –F.

7. (2) bestrode, –P. vm, um-, means ’round’. –F.

8. (3) only half the n in the MS. –F.

9. (4) Four strokes for ui in the MS. –F.

10. (5) A.-S. dar, daru, destruction, injury. –F.

11. (6) maun, i.e. must. –P.

12. (1) far or nere, or perhaps neie. –P.

13. (2) A day’s work. — Dyce. Cp. Fr. Bonne iournée fait qui de foe se delivre. Pro he does an excellent day’s work that rids himself of a foole. Cotgrave. –F.

14. (3) far. –P.

15. (4) the. –P.

16. (5) an, if. –F.

17. (6) lend, to dwell, remain, tarry. –Halliwell. –F.

18. (7) John de Vere, Earl of Oxford, Lord Chamberlain. –G.E.A.

19. (1) busked, i.e., dressed. –P.

20. (2) bowned, i.e., prepared. –P.

21. (3) ancestry. –P.

22. (1) i.e., allyants, aliens. –P.

23. (2) i.e., shaped. –P.

24. (1) sair (i.e., sore). –Dyce.

25. (1) Syria. –Robson.

26. (2) nee. –P.

27. (1) assault, siege. –F.

28. (2) MS, brenne. –F.

29. (3) MS, Lincolme. –F.

30. (4) stedfast in trial. –F.

31. (5) Maltrevers. –P.

32. (6) i.e., Lord Grey of Codnor. –P.

33. (1) Ralph, Lord Greystock, who died in 1487, without male issue, when the barony became united with that of Dacre. –G.E. Adams.

34. (2) hinder. –Robson.

35. (3) Harbottle. –P.

36. (4) Sir Henry Percy. –P.

37. (1) Conyers. –P.

38. (2) Sir Gervase Clyfton. –P.

39. (3) Sir Bryan Stapleton. –P.

40. (1) Perhaps Thoresby. –P.

41. (2) Sir Thomas Macklesfield. –P.

42. (3) Neville. –P.

43. (4) ? MS, Hurfslean. –F.

44. (1) gane (i.e., gone). –Dyce.

45. (2) This should be “brother”: Thomas, Lord Stanley, the father of Sir William, and then (1485) Lord Stanley, having died in 1458. –Adams.

46. (3) tane. –P.

47. (4) yinge. –Dyce.

48. (1) nobles. –F.

49. (2) quite, i.e., requite. –P.

50. (3) MS, betine. –F.

51. (2) burning coal. –Dyce.

52. (1) Norfolk was on the side of Richard. Shrewsbury, a minor, probably with his uncle, Sir Gilbert Talbot, was on the side of Henry. Oxford was a achief commander of Henry’s side. — Adams.

53. (2) availed, or perhaps avanced. –P. advanced, raised. –Dyce.

54. (3) MS, bamer. –F.

55. (4) Fr. Artillerie, Ordinance. –Cotgrave. –P.

56. (5) A kind of cannon. Halliwell. Fr. Serpentine, the Artillerie called a Serpentine or Basiliskoe. Cotgrave. –F.

57. (6) See Florio, ed. 1611, pp.100, 112, 127. Halliwell. Fr. Bombarde. A Bumbard, or murthering peece. Cotgrave. –F.

58. (7) a large pike. Halliwell. –F.

59. (8) A.-S, þringen=to rush. –F.

60.(9) Vide Pag. 478. St. 236, & sequens [The 6th Part of Ladye Bessiye, below.] –P.

61. (1) me. –F.

62. (1) i.e., encountered. –P.

63. (1) See line 179, page 242. –F.

64. (2) MS, gums. –F.

65. (3) yewe. –P.

66. (4) Springal, an ancient military engine for casting stones and arrows. Halliwell. –F.

67. (5) swee, qu. perhaps flee. –P. sway (& fall).–F.

68. (6) ? grownden. –F.

69. (7) Vide Pag. 479, St. 255 [of MS…..last part of Ladye Bessiye] et sequentes. –P.

70. (1) Conyers. –P.

71. (1) A place in Leicester so called. –P.

72. (2) This Poem was certainly written before the time of King James, but some transcriber applied the Prayer to the reigning Prince. –P.

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