(unfinished) written by Master
Thomas More than one of the undersherriffs of London: a-
bout the yeare of our Lorde, 1513. VVhich worke hath
bene before this tyme printed in hardynges Cronicle, and
in Hallys Cronicle: but very muche corrupte in many
places, sometyme hauyng lesse, and sometyme ha-
uing more, and altered in wordes and whole
sentences: muche varying fro the co-
pie of his own hand, by which
thys is printed.
KYng Edwarde of that name the fowrth, after that hee hadde lyued fiftie and three yeares, seven monethes, and five dayes, and thereof reygned two and twentye yeres, one moneth, and eighte dayes, dyed at Westmynster the nynth daye of Aprill, the yere of oure redempcion, a thowsande foure houndred foure score and three, leavinge muche fayre yssue, that is to witte, Edwarde the Prynce, a thirtene yeare of age: Richarde duke of Yorke, two yeare younger: Elizabeth, whose fortune and grace was after to bee Quene, wife unto kinge Henrie the seuenth, and mother unto the eighth: Cecily not so fortunate as fayre: Brigette, whiche representynge the vertue of her, whose name she bare, professed and obserued a religious lyfe in Dertforde, an house of close Nunnes: Anne, that was after honourablye marryed unto Thomas, than Lorde Hawarde, and after Earle of Surrey. And Katheryne whiche longe tyme tossed in either fortune sommetime in wealth, ofte in aduersitye, at the laste, if this bee the laste, for yet she lyveth, is by the benignitye of her Nephewe, Kinge Henrye the eighte, in verye prosperous estate, and woorthye her birth and vertue.
This noble Prince deceased at his Palice of Westminster, and with greate funerall honoure and heavynesse of his people from thence conueyde, was entered at Windesor. A Kinge of such governaunce and behauioure in time of peace (for in war eche parte must needes bee others enemye) that
The loue of the people
there was never anye Prince of this lande attaynynge the Crowne by battayle, so heartely beloued with the substaunce of the people: nor he hymselfe so speciallye in anye parte of his life, as at the time of his death. Whiche fauour and affection yet after his decease, by the crueltie, mischiefe, and trouble of the tempestious worlde that folowed, highelye towarde hym more increased. At suche time as he died, the displeasure of those that bare him grudge, for kinge Henries sake the sixte, whome he deposed, was well asswaged, and in effecte quenched, in that that manye of them were dead in more then twentie yeares of his raigne, a great parte of a longe lyfe. And many of them in the meane season growen into his fauoure, of whiche he was neuer straunge. He was a goodly parsonage,
Descripcion of Edwarde the fourth
and very Princely to behold, of hearte couragious, politique in counsaile, in aduersitie nothynge abashed, in prosperitie, rather ioyfull than prowde, in peace iuste and mercifull, in warre, sharpe and fyerce, in the fielde, bolde and hardye, and nathelesse no farther then wysedome woulde, aduenturouse. Whose warres who so well consyder, hee shall no lesse commende hys wysedome where hee voyded, than hys mannehoode where he vainquished. He was of visage lovelye, of bodye myghtie, stronge, and cleane made: howe bee it in his latter dayes wyth over liberall dyet, sommewhat corpulente and boorelye, and nathelesse not uncomelye, hee was of youthe greatelye geuen to fleshlye wantonnesse: from whiche healthe of bodye in greate prosperitye and fortune, withoute a specyall grace hardelye refrayneth. Thys faute not greatlye gryued the people: for neyther could any one mans pleasure, stretch and extende to the dyspleasure of verye manye, and was wythoute violence, and ouer that in hys latter dayes: lessyd and wel lefte. In whych tyme of hys latter daies, thys Realm was in quyet and prosperous estate: no feare of outewarde enemyes, no warre in hande, nor none towarde, but such as no manne looked for: the people towarde the Prynce, not in a constrayned feare, but in a wyllynge and louynge obedyence: amonge them selfe, the commons in good peace. The Lordes whome he knewe at Varyaunce, hymselfe in hys deathe bedde appeased. He hadde left all gatherynge of money (which is the onelye thynge that withdr[a]weth the heartes of Englyshmenne fro the Prynce) nor anye thynge entendeth hee to take in hande, by which hee shoulde bee dryeuen
theretoo, for hys Trybute oute of Fraunce hee hadde before obtayned. And the yere foregoynge hys deathe, hee hadde obtayned Barwycke. And al bee it that all the tyme of hys raygne, hee was wyth hys people, soo benygne, courteyse and so familyer, that no parte of hys vertues was more estemed: yet that condicyon in the ende of hys dayes (in which many princes by a long continued souerainty, decline in to a prowde porte from debonayre behauioure of theyr beginning (meruaylouslye in him greive and increased: so farrefoorthe that in the sommer the laste that euer he sawe, hys hyghenesse beeyng at Wyndesore in huntynge, sente for the Mayre and Aldermenne of London to hym, for none other eraunde, but too haue them hunte and bee mery with hym, where hee made them not so stratelye, but so frendely and so familier chere, and sente Venson from thence so frelye into the Citye, that no one thing in manye dayes before, gate hym eyther moe heartes or more heartie fauoure amonge the common people, whiche oftentymes more esteme and take for greatter kindenesse, a lyttle courtesye, then a greate benefyte. So deceased (as I haue said) this noble Kynge, in that tyme, in which hys life was moste desyred. Whose love of hys people and theyr entiere affeccion towarde him, hadde bene to hys noble children (havynge in themselfe also as manye gyftes of nature, as manie Princely vertues, as muche goodlye towardnesse as theire age coulde receiue) a meruailouse forteresse and sure armoure, if deuision and discencion of their frendes, hadde not unarmed them, and lefte them destitute, and the execrable desire of souerayntee, prouoked him to theire destruccion, which yf either kinde or kindenesse hadde holden place, muste needes haue bene theire chiefe defence. For Richarde the Duke of Gloucester, by nature theyr Uncle, by office theire protectoure, to theire father beholden, to them selfe by othe and allegyaunce bownden, al the bandes broken that binden manne and manne together, withoute anye respecte of Godde or the worlde, unnaturallye contriued to bereue them, not onelye their dignitie, but also their liues. But forasmuche as this Dukes demeanoure ministreth in effecte all the whole matter whereof this booke shall entreate, it is therefore conueniente, sommewhat to shewe you ere we farther goe, what maner of manne this was, that could fynde in his hearte, so muche mischiefe to conceiue.
Richarde Duke of Yorke, a noble manne and a mightie,
Richarde duke of yorke
beganne not by warre, but by lawe, to challenge the crown, puttyng his claime into the parliamente. Where hys cause was eyther for right or fauour so farrefoorth auaunced, that kinge Henrye his bloode (all bee it he hadde a goodlye Prince) vtterlye reiected, the Crowne was by authoritye of parliament entaylled vnto the Duke of York and his issue male in remainder immediatelye after the deathe of Kinge Henrye. But the Duke not endurynge so longe to tarye, but entending vnder pretexte of discencion and debate arisynge in the realme, to preuente his time, and take vppon him the rule in Kinge Harry his life, was with manye nobles of the realme at Wakefielde slaine, leauinge three sonnes, Edwarde, George, and Richarde. Al three as they wer great states of birthe, soo were they greate and statelye of stomacke, gredye and ambicious of authoritie, and
impacient of parteners. Edward reuenging his fathers death, depriued king Henrie, and attained the crown. George Duke of Clarence was a goodly noble Prince, and at all pointes fortunate, if either his owne ambicion had not set him against his brother, or the enuie of his enemies, his brother agaynste hym.
George duke of Clarence
For were it by the Queene and the Lordes of her bloode whiche highlye maligned the kynges kinred (as women commonly not of malice but of nature hate them whome theire housebandes loue) or were it a prowde appetite of the Duke himself entendinge to be king: at the lest wise heinous Treason was there layde to his charge, and finallye wer hee fautye were hee faultlesse, attainted was hee by parliament, and iudged to the death, and thereupon hastely drouned in a Butte of Malmesey, whose death kyng Edwarde (albeit he commaunded it) when he wist it was done, pitiously bewailed and sorowfully repented.
The descripcion of Richard the thirde
Richarde the third sonne, of whom we nowe entreate, was in witte and courage egall with either of them, in bodye and prowesse farre vnder them bot, little of stature, ill fetured of limmes, croke backed, his left shoulder much higher then his right, hard fauoured of visage, and suche as is in states called warlye, in other menne otherwise, he was malicious, wrathfull, enuious, and from afore his birth, euer frowarde. It is for trouth reported, that the Duches his mother had so muche a doe in her travaile, that shee coulde not bee deliuered of hym uncutte: and that hee came into the worlde with the feete forwarde, as menne bee borne outwarde, and (as the fame runneth) also not vntothed, whither menne of hatred reporte aboue the trouthe, or elles that nature chaunged her course in hys beginninge, whiche in the course of his lyfe many thinges vnnaturallye committed. None euill captaine was hee in the warre, as to whiche his disposicion was more metely then for peace. Sundrye victories hadde hee, and sommetime ouerthrowes, but neuer in defaulte as for his owne parsone, either of hardinesse or polytike order, free was he called of dyspence, and sommewhat aboue hys power liberall, with large giftes hee get him vnstedfaste frendshippe, for whiche hee was fain to pil and spoyle in other places, and get him stedfast hatred. Hee was close and secrete, a deepe dissimuler, lowlye, of counteynaunce, arrogant of heart, outwardly coumpinable where he inwardely hated, not letting to kisse whome hee thoughte to kyll: dispitious and cruell, not for euill will alway, but after for ambicion, and either for the suretie or encrease of his estate. Frende and foo was muche what indifferent, where his advauntage grew, he spared no man deathe, whose life withstoode his purpose. He slewe with his owne handes king Henry the sixt, being prisoner in the Tower, as menne
The death of king Henry the sixt
constantly saye, and that without commaundemente or knoweledge of the king, whiche woulde vndoubtedly yf he had entended that thinge, haue appointed that boocherly office, to some other than his owne borne brother.
Somme wise menne also weene, that his drifte couertly conuayde, lacked not in helping furth his brother of Clarence to his death: whiche hee resisted openly, howbeit somewhat (as menne demed) more faintly then he that wer hartely minded to his welth. And they that thus deme, think that he long time in king Edwardes life, forethought to be king in case that that king his brother (whose life hee looked that euil dyete shoulde shorten) shoulde happen to decease (as in dede he did) while his children wer yonge. And thei deme, that for thys intente he was gladde of his brothers death that Duke of Clarence, whose life must nedes haue hindered hym so entendynge, whither the same Duke of Clarence had he kepte him true to his Nephew the yonge king, or enterprised to be kyng himselfe. But of al this pointe, is there no certaintie, & whoso diuineth vppon coniectures, maye as wel shote to farre as to short. How beit this haue I by credible informacion learned, that the selfe nighte in whiche kynge Edwarde died, one Mystlebrooke longe ere mornynge, came in greate haste to the house of one Pottyer dwellyng in reddecrosse strete without crepulgate: and when he was with hastye rappyng quickly letten in, hee shewed vnto Pottyer that kynge Edwarde was departed. By my trouthe manne quod Pottier then wyll my mayster the Duke of Gloucester bee kynge. What cause hee hadde soo to thynke harde it is to saye, whyther hee being toward him, anye thynge knewe that hee suche thynge purposed, or otherwyse had anye inkelynge thereof: for hee was not likelye to speake it of noughte.
But nowe to returne to the course of this hystorye, were it that the duke of Gloucester hadde of olde foreminded this conclusion, or was nowe at erste thereunto moued, and putte in hope by the occasion of the tender age of the younge Princes, his Nephues (as opportunitye and lykelyhoo[d]e of spede, putteth a manne in courage of that hee neuer entended) certayn is it that hee contriued theyr destruccion, with the vsurpacion of the regal dignitye uppon hymselfe. And for as muche as hee well wiste and holpe to mayntayn, a long continued grudge and hearte brennynge betwene the Quenes kinred and the kinges blood eyther partye enuying others authoritye, he nowe thought that their deuision shoulde bee (as it was in dede) a fortherlye begynnynge to the pursuite of his intente, and a sure ground for the foundacion of al his building yf he might firste vnder the pretext of reuengynge of olde displeasure, abuse the anger and ygnoraunce of the tone partie, to the destruccion of the tother: and then wynne to his purpose as manye as he coulde: and those that coulde not bee wonne, myght be loste ere they looked therefore. For of one thynge was hee certayne, that if his entente were perceiued, he shold soone haue made peace beetwene the bothe parties, with his owne bloude.
Kynge Edwarde in his life, albeit that this discencion beetwene hys frendes sommewhat yrked hym: yet in his good health he sommewhat the lesse regarded it, because hee thought whatsoeuer busines shoulde falle betwene them, hymselfe should alwaye bee hable to rule bothe the parties.
But in his laste sickenesse, when hee receiued his naturall strengthe soo fore enfebled, that hee dyspayred all recouerye, then hee consyderynge the youthe of his chyldren, albeit hee nothynge lesse mistrusted then that that happened, yet well foreseynge that manye harmes myghte growe by theyr debate, whyle the youth of hys children shoulde lacke discrecion of themself and good counsayle, of their frendes, of whiche either party shold counsayle for their owne commodity and rather by pleasaunte aduyse too wynne themselfe fauour, then by profitable aduertisemente to do the children good, he called some of them before him that were at variaunce, and in especiall the Lorde Marques Dorsette the Quenes sonne by her fyrste housebande, and Richarde the Lorde Hastynges, a noble man, than lorde chaumberlayne agayne whome the Quene specially grudged, for that great fauoure the kyng bare hym, and also for that shee thoughte hym secretelye familyer with the kynge in wanton companye. Her kynred also bare hym sore, as well for that the kynge hadde made hym captayne of Calyce (whiche office the Lorde Ryuers, brother to the Quene claimed of the kinges former promyse as for diuerse other greate giftes whiche hee recyued, that they loked for. When these lordes with diuerse other of bothe the parties were comme in presence, the kynge liftinge vppe himselfe and vndersette with pillowes, as it is reported on this wyse sayd vnto them. My Lordes, my
The oracion of the kyng, in his death bed
dere kinsmenne and allies, in what plighte I lye you see, & I feele. By whiche the lesse whyle I looke to lyue with you, the more depelye am I moued to care in what case I leaue you, for such as I leaue you, suche bee my children lyke to fynde you. Whiche if they shoulde (that Godde forbydde) fynde you at varyaunce, myght happe to fall themselfe at warre ere their discrecion would serue to sette you at peace. Ye se their youthe, of whiche I recken the onely suretie to reste in youre concord. For it suffiseth not that al you loue them, yf eche of you hate other. If they wer menne, your faithfulnesse happelye woulde suffise. But childehood must be maintained by mens authoritye, & slipper youth vnderpropped with elder counsayle, which neither they can haue, but ye geue it, nor ye geue it, yf ye gree not. For wher eche laboureth to breake that the other maketh, and for hated of ech others parson, impugneth eche others counsayle, there must it nedes bee long ere anye good conclusion goe forwarde. And also while either partye laboureth to bee chiefe, flattery shall haue more place then plaine and faithfull aduyse, of whyche muste needes ensue the euyll bringing vppe of the Prynce, whose mynd in tender youth infect, shal redily fal to mischief and riot, & drawe [down] with this noble realme to ruine, but if grace turn him to wisdom: which if god send, then thei that by euill menes before pleased him best, shal after fall farthest out of fauour, so that euer at length euil driftes drewe to nought, & good plain wayes prosper. Great variaunce hath ther long bene betwene you, not alway for great causes. Some time a thing right wel intended, our misconstruccion turneth vnto worse or a smal displeasure done vs, eyther our owne affeccion or euil tongues agreueth. But this wote I well ye neuer had so great cause of hatred, as ye haue of loue. That we be al men, that we be christen men, this shall I leaue for preachers to tel you (and yet I wote nere whither any preachers woordes ought more to moue you, then his that is by and by gooying to the place that thei all preache of.) But this that I desire you to remember, that the one parte of you is of my bloode, the other of myne alies, and eche of yow with other, eyther of kinred or affinitie, whiche spirytuall kynred of affynyty, if the sacramentes of Christes Churche, beare that weyghte with vs that woulde Godde thei did, shoulde no lesse moue vs to charitye, then the respecte of fleshlye consanguinitye. Dure Lorde forbydde, that you loue together the worse, for the selfe cause that you ought to loue the better. And yet that happeneth. And no where fynde wee so deadlye debate, as amonge them, whyche by nature and lawe moste oughte to agree together. Suche a pestilente serpente
is ambicion and desyre of vaineglorye and soueraintye, whiche amonge states where he once entreth crepeth foorth so farre, tyll with deuision and variaunce hee turneth all to mischiefe. Firste longing to be nexte the best, afterwarde egall with the beste, and at laste chiefe and aboue the beste. Of which immoderate appetite of woorship, and thereby of debate and dissencion what losse what sorowe, what trouble hathe within these fewe yeares growen in this realme, I praye Godde as well forgeate as wee well remember.
Whiche thinges yf I coulde as well haue foresene, as I haue with my more payne then pleasure proued, by Goddes blessed Ladie (that was euer his othe) I woulde neuer haue won the courtesye of mennes knees, with the losse of soo many heades. But sithen thynges passed canot be gaine called, muche oughte wee the more beware, by what occasion we haue taken soo greate hurte afore, that we eftesoones fall not in that occasion agayne. Nowe be those griefes passed, and all is (Godde bee thanked) quiete, and likelie righte wel to prosper in wealthfull peace vnder youre coseyns my children, if Godde sende them life and you loue. Of whyche twoo thinges, the lesse losse wer they by whome thoughe Godde dydde hys pleasure, yet shoulde the Realme alway finde kinges and paraduenture as good kinges. But yf you among youre selfe in a childes reygne fall at debate, many a good man shal perish and happely he to, and ye to, ere thys land finde peace again. Wherefore in these last wordes that euer I looke to speake with you: I exhort you and require you al, for the loue that I haue euer born to you, for the loue that our lord beareth to vs all, from this time forwarde, all grieues forgotten, eche of you loue other. Whiche I verelye truste you will, if ye any thing earthly regard, either godde or your kinge, affinitie or kinred, this realme, your owne countrey, or your owne surety. And therewithal the king no longer enduring to to sitte vp, laide him down on his right side, his face towarde them: and none was there present that coulde refraine from weeping. But the lordes recomforting him with as good wordes as they could, and answering for the time as thei thought to stand with his pleasure, there in his presence (as by their wordes appered ech forgaue other, & ioyned their hands together, when (as it after appeared by their dedes) their herts, wer far a sonder. As sone as the king was departed, that noble prince his sonne drew toward London, which at the time of his decease, kept his houshold at Ludlow in wales. Which countrey being far of from the law and recourse to iustice, was begon to be farre out of good wyll & waxen wild, robbers and riuers walking at libertie vncorrected. And for this encheason the prince was in the life of his father sente thither, to the end that the authoritie of his presence, should refraine euil disposed parsons from the boldnes of their formar outrages, to the governaunce and ordering of this yong prince at his sending thyther, was there appointed sir Antony Woduile Lord Riuers
and brother unto the Quene, a right honourable man, as valiaunte of hande as politike in counsayle. Adioyned wer there vnto him other of the same partie, and in effect euery one as he was nerest of kin vnto the Quene, so was planted next about the prince. That drifte by the Quene not vnwisely deuised, whereby her bloode mighte of youth be rooted in the princes fauor, the Duke of Gloucester turned vnto their destruccion, & vpon that grounde set the foundacion of all his vnhappy building. For whom soeuer he perceiued, either at variance with them, or bearing himself their fauor, hee brake vnto them, some by mouth, som by writing & secret messengers, that it neyther was reason nor in any wise to be suffered, that the yong king their master and kinsmanne, shoold bee in the handes and suctodye of his mothers kinred, sequestred in maner from theyr compani & attendance, of which eueri one ought him as faithful seruice as they, and manye of them far more honorable part of kin then his mothers side: whose blood (quod he) sauing the kinges pleasure, was ful unmetely to be matched with his: whiche nowe to be as who say remoued from the kyng, & the lesse noble to be left aboute him, is (quod he) neither honorable to hys magestie, nor vnto vs, and also to his grace no surety to haue the mightiest of his frendes from him, and vnto vs no little ieopardy, to suffer our wel proued euil willers, to grow in ouergret authoritie with the prince in youth, namely which is lighte of beliefe and sone perswaded. Ye remember I trow king Edward himself, albeit he was a manne of age and of discrecion, yet was he in manye thynges ruled by the bende, more then stode either with his honour, or our profite, or with the comoditie of any manne els, except onely the immoderate advauncement of them selfe. Whiche whither they sorer thirsted after their own weale, or our woe, it wer hard I wene to gesse. And if some folkes frendship had not holden better place with the king, then any respect of kinred, thei might peraduenture easily haue be trapped and brought to confusion somme of vs ere this. Why not as easily as they haue done some other alreadye, as neere of his royal bloode as we. But our lord hath wrought his wil, and thanke be to his grace that peril is paste. Howe be it as great is growing, yf wee suffer this yonge kyng in our enemyes hande, whiche without his wyttyng, might abuse the name of his commaundement, to ani of our vndoing, which thyng god and good prouision forbyd. Of which good prouision none of vs hath any thing the lesse nede, for the late made attonemente, in whyche the kinges pleasure hadde more place then the parties willes. Nor none of vs I belieue is so vnwyse, ouersone to truste a newe frende made of an olde foe, or to think that an houerly kindnes, sodainely contract in one houre continued, yet scant a fortnight, shold be deper setled in their stomackes: then a long accustomed malice many yeres rooted.
With these wordes and writynges and suche other, the Duke of Gloucester sone set a fyre, them that were of themself ethe to kindle, and in especiall twayne, Edwarde Duke of Buckingham, and Richard Lord Hastinges and chaumberlayn, both men of honour and of great power. The tone by longe succession from his ancestrie, the tother by his office and the kinges fauor. These two not bearing eche to other so muche loue, as hatred bothe vnto the Quenes parte: in this poynte accorded together wyth the Duke of Gloucester, that they wolde vtterlye amoue fro the kynges companye, all his mothers frendes, vnder the name of their enemyes. Upon this concluded, the Duke of Gloucester vnderstanding, that the Lordes whiche at that tyme were aboute the kyng, entended to bryng him vppe to his Coronacion, accoumpanied with suche power of theyr frendes, that it shoulde bee harde for him to brynge his purpose to passe, without the gathering and great assemble of people and in maner of open warre, wherof the ende he wiste was doubtuous, and in which the kyng being on their side, his part should haue the face and name of a rebellion: he secretly therefore by diuers meanes, caused the Quene to be perswaded, and brought in the mynd, that it neither wer nede, & also shold be ieopardous, the king to come vp strong. For where as nowe euery lorde loued other, and none other thing studyed vppon, but about the Coronacion and honoure of the king: if the lordes of her kinred shold assemble in the kinges name muche people, thei should geue the lordes atwixte whome and them hadde bene sommetyme debate, to feare and suspecte, leste they shoulde gather thys people, not for the kynges sauegarde whome no manne enpugned, but for theyr destruccion, hauyng more regarde to their olde variaunce, then their newe attonement. For whiche cause thei shoulde assemble on the other partie muche people agayne for their defence, whose power she wyste wel farre stretched. And thus should all the realme fall on a rore. And of al the hurte that therof should ensue, which was likely not to be litle, and the most harme there like to fal wher she lest would, all the worlde woulde put her and her kinred in the wyght, and say that thei had vnwyselye and vntrewlye also, broken the amitie and peace that the kyng her husband so prudentelye made, betwene hys kinne and hers in his death bed, and whiche the other party faithfully obserued.
The Quene being in this wise perswaded, suche woorde sente vnto her sonne, and vnto her brother being aboute the kynge, and ouer that the Duke of Gloucester hymselfe and other Lordes the chiefe of his bende, wrote vnto the kynge soo reuerentelye, and to the Queenes frendes, there soo louyngelye, that they nothynge Earthelye mystrustynge, broughte the Kynge vppe in great haste, not in good speede, with a sober coumpanye. Nowe was the king in his waye to London gone, from Northampton, when these Dukes of Gloucester and Buckyngham came thither. Where remained behynd, the Lorde Ryuers the Kynges vncle, entending on the morowe to folow the Kynge, and bee with hym at Stonye Stratford [eleuen] miles thence, earely or hee departed. So was there made that nyghte muche frendely chere betwene these Dukes and the Lord Riuers a greate while. But incontinente after that they were oppenlye with greate courtesye departed, and the Lorde Riuers lodged, the Dukes secretelye with a fewe of their moste priuye frendes, sette them downe in counsayle, wherin they spent a great parte of the nyght. And at their risinge in the dawnyng of the day, thei sent about priuily to their seruantes in their Innes and lodgynges about, geuinge the commaundemente to make them selfe shortely readye, for their Lordes wer to horsebackward. Vppon whiche messages, manye of their folke were attendaunt, when manye of the lorde Riuers seruantes were vnreadye. Nowe hadde these Dukes taken also into their custodye the kayes of the Inne, that none shoulde passe foorth without theyr licence. And ouer this in the high waye towarde Stonye Stratforde where the Kynge laye, they hadde beestowed certayne of theyr folke, that shoulde sende backe agayne, and compell to retourne, anye manne that were gotten oute of Northampton toward Stonye Stratforde, tyll they should geue other lycence. For as muche as the Dukes themselfe entended for the shewe of theire dylygence, to bee the fyrste that shoulde that daye attende vppon the Kynges highnesse oute of that towne: thus bare they folke in hande. But when the Lorde Ryuers vnderstode the gates closed, and the wayes on euerye side besette, neyther hys seruanted nor hymself suffered to gone oute, parceiuyng well so greate a thyng without his knowledge not begun for noughte, comparyng this maner present with this last nightes chere, [in] so few houres so gret a chaunge marueylouslye misliked. How be it sithe hee coulde not geat awaye, and keepe himselfe close, hee woulde not, leste hee shoulde seeme to hyde him selfe for some secret feare of hys owne faulte, whereof he saw no such cause in hym self: he determined vppon the suretie of his own conscience, to goe boldelye to them, and inquire what thys matter myghte meane. Whome as soone as they sawe, they beganne to quarell with hym, and saye, that hee intended to sette distaunce beetweene the Kynge and them, and to brynge them to confusion, but it shoulde not lye in hys power. And when hee beganne (as hee was a very well spoken manne,) in goodly wise to excuse himself, they taryed not the ende of his aunswere, but shortely tooke him and putte him in warde,
The Lorde Riuers putte in warde
and that done, foorthwyth wente to horsebacke, and took the waye to stonye Stratforde. Where they founde the kinge with his companie readye to leape on horsebacke, and departe forwarde, to leaue that lodging for them, because it was to streighte for bothe coumpanies. And as sone as they came in his presence, they lighte adowne with all their companie aboute them. To whome the Duke of Buckingham saide, goe afore Gentlemenne and yomen, kepe youre rowmes. And thus in a goodly arraye, thei came to the kinge, and on theire knees in very humble wise, salued his grace: whiche receyued them in very ioyous and amiable maner, nothinge earthlye knowing nor mistrustinge as yet. But euen by and by in his presence, they piked a quarell to the Lord Richard
The Lord Gray
Graye, the kynges other brother by his mother, sayinge that hee with the lorde Marques his brother and the Lorde Riuers his vncle, hadde coumpassed to rule the kinge and the realme, and to sette variaunce among the states, and to subdewe and destroye the noble blood of the realm. Toward the accoumplishinge whereof, they sayde t[h]at the Lorde Marques hadde entered into the Tower of London, and thence taken out the kinges Treasor, and sent menne to the sea. All whiche thinge these Dukes wiste well were done for good purposes and necessari by the whole counsaile at London, sauing that somewhat thei must sai. Vnto whiche woordes, the king aunswered, what my brother Marques hath done I cannot saie. But in good faith I dare well aunswere for myne vncle Riuers and my brother here, that thei be innocent of any such matters. Ye my leige quod the Duke of Buckingham thei haue kepte theire dealing in these matters farre fro the knowledge of your good grace. And foorthwith thei arrested the Lord Richarde and sir Thomas Waughan knighte, in the kinges presence, and broughte the king and all backe vnto Northampton, where they tooke againe further counsaile. And there they sente awaie from the kinge whom it pleased them, and sette newe seruauntes aboute him, suche as lyked them better than him. At whiche dealinge hee wepte and was nothing contente, but it booted not. And at dyner the Duke of Gloucester sente a dishe from his owne table to the lord Riuers, prayinge him to bee of good chere, all should be well inough. And he thanked the Duke, and prayed the messenger to beare it to his Nephewe the lorde Richard with the same message for his comfort, who he thought had more nede of coumfort, as one to whom such aduersitie was straunge. But himself had bene al his dayes in vre therwith, and therfore coulde beare it the better. But for al this coumfortable courtesye of the Duke of Gloucester he sent the lord Riuers and the Lorde Richarde with sir Thomas Vaughan into the Northe countrey
The death of the lorde Riuers and other
into diuers places to prison, and afterward al to Pomfrait, where they were in conclusion beheaded.
In this wise the Duke of Gloucester tooke vpon himself the order & gouernance of the young king, whom with much honor & humble reuerence he conuayed vppewarde towarde the citye. But anone the tidinges of this mater came hastely to the quene, a litle before the midnight folowing, & that in the sorest wise that the king her sonne was taken, her brother, her sonne and her other frendes arested, & sent no man wist whither, to be done with god wot what. With which tidinges the quene in gret f[r]ight & heuines, bewailing her childes r[u]in, her frendes mischance, & her own infortune, damning the time that euer shee diswaded the gatheryng of power aboute the kinge, gate her self in all the haste possible with her yonger sonne and her doughters oute of the Palyce of westminster in whiche shee then laye, into the Sainctuarye, lodginge
The Quene taketh saintuary
her selfe and her coumpanye there in the Abbottes place.
Nowe came there in one likewise not longe after myddenighte, fro the Lorde Chaumberlayn vnto the arch bishoppe of Yorke then Chaunceller of Englande to his place not farre from Westminster. And for that he shewed his seruauntes that hee hadde tidings of soo greate importaunce, that his maister gaue him in charge, not to forbeare his reste, they letted not to wake hym, nor hee to admitte this messenger in to his bedde syde. Of whome hee hard, that these dukes were gone backe with the Kynges grace from Stonye Stratforde vnto Northampton. Notwithstanding sir quod hee, my Lorde sendeth youre Lordeshippe woorde, that there is no feare. For hee assureth you that all shall bee well. I assure him quod the Archebishoppe bee it as well as it will, it will neuer bee so well as wee haue seene it. And thereuppon by and by after the messenger departed, he caused in all the haste all his seruauntes to bee called vppe, and so with his owne householde aboute hym, and euerie man weaponed, hee tooke the greate Seale with him, and came yet beefore day vnto the Queene. Aboute whom he found muche heauinesse, rumble, haste and businesse, carriage and conueyaunce of her stuffe into Sainctuary, chestes, coffers, packes, fardelles, trusses, all on mennes backes, no manne vnoccupyed; somme lading, somme goynge, somme descharging, somme commynge for more, somme breakinge downe the walles to bring in the nexte waye, and somme yet drewe to them that holpe to carrye a wronge waye. The Quene her self satte alone alowe on the rishes all desolate and dismayde, whome the Archebishoppe coumforted in the best manner hee coulde, showinge her that hee trusted the matter was nothynge so sore as shee tooke it for. And that he was putte in good hope and oute of feare, by the message sent him from the Lorde Chamberlaine. Ah woo worthe him, quod she, for hee is one of them that laboureth to destroye me and my bloode. Madame quod he, be ye of good chere. For I assure you if thei crowne any other kinge then your sonne, whome they nowe haue with them, we shal on the morowe crowne his brother whome you haue here with you. And here is the greate Seale, whiche in likewise as that noble prince your housebande deliuered it vnto me, so here I deliuer it vnto you, to the use and behoofe of youre sonne, and therewith hee betooke her the greate Seale, and departed home agayne, yet in the dauninge of the daye. By which time hee might in his chaumber window, see all the Temmes full of bootes of the Duke of Gloucesters seruantes, watchinge that no manne shoulde go to Sanictuary, nor none coulde pass vnserched. Then was there greate commocion and murmure aswell in other places about, as specially in the city, the people diuerselye diuininge vppon this dealinge. And somme Lordes, Knightes, and Gentlemenne either for fauoure of the Quene, or for feare of themselfe, assembled in sundry coumpanies, and went flockmele in harneis: and manye also, for that they reckened this demeanor attempted, not so specially against the other Lordes, as agaynste the kinge hymselfe in the disturbaunce of hys Coronacion. But then by and by the Lordes assembled together at [London]. Towarde which meting, the Archebishoppe of Yorke fearing that it wold be ascribed (as it was in dede) to his ouermuch lightnesse, that he had so sodainly had yelded up the great seale to the Quene, to whome the custodye thereof nothing partained, without especial commaundement, of the king, secretely sent for the Seale againe, and brought it with him after the customable maner. And at this meting, the lord Hasting, whose trouth towarde the king no manne doubted nor neded to doubte, perswaded the Lordes to belieue, that the Duke of Gloucester, was sure and fastlye faithfull to hys prince, and that the lorde Riuers and Lord Richard with the other knightes wer for maters attempted by them against the dukes of Gloucester & Buckingham, putte vnder arreste for theire surety, not for the Kynges ieopardye: and that thei were also in savegarde, and there no lenger shoulde remayn, then tyll the matter wer, not by the dukes onelye, but also by all the other Lordes of the Kynges counsayle indifferentelye examyned, and by other discrecions ordered, and eyther iudged or appeased. But one thynge hee aduised them beware, that they iudged not the matter to farrefoorth, ere they knewe the trueth, nor turnynge theire priuate grudges into the common hurte, yrritinge and prouoking menne vnto anger, and disturbynge the Kynges Coronacion, towarde whiche the Dukes were commynge vppe, that thei mighte paraduenture brynge the matter so farre oute of ioynt, that it shold neuer be brought in frame agayne. Whiche stryfe if it should happe as it were likelye to come to a fielde, though both parties were in all things egall, yet shoulde the authoritie bee on that syde where the Kynge is hymselfe. With these parswasions of the Lorde Hastynges, whereof parte hym selfe belieued, of parte he wist the contrarye, these commocions were sommewhat appeased. But specyally, by that that the Dukes of Gloucester and Buckingham were so nere, and came so shortelye on with the kynge, in none other maner, with none other voyce or semblaunce, then to his coronacion, causynge the fame to bee blowen about, that these Lordes and knyghtes whiche were taken, hadde contryued the destuccyon of the Dukes of Gloucester and Buckingham, and of other the noble bloode of the Realme, to the ende that them selfe woulde alone, demeane and gouerne the king at their pleasure. And for the colourable proofe thereof, such of the Dukes seruantes as rode with the cartes of theyr stuffe that were taken (amonge whiche stuffe no meruayle thoughe somme were harneys, whiche at the breakinge vp of that householde, muste needes eyther bee broughte awaye or caste awaye) they shewed vnto the people al the waye as they wente: loe here bee the barelles of harneys that this traitours had priuelye conuayd in their carryage to destroye the noble lordes with all. This deuise all be it that it made the matter to wise men more vnlykely, well perceyuying that the intendours of suche a purpose, wolde rather haue hadde theyr harneys on the backes, then taue bounde them vppe in barrelles, yet muche part of the common people were therewith verye well satisfyed, and said it wer almoise to hange them.
When the kynge approched nere to the citie, Edmonde Sha goldesmithe then Mayre, with Willyam White and Iohn Mathewe sheriffis, and all the other aldermenne in scarlette with fiue hundred horse of the citezens in violette, receiued hym reuerentlye at Harnesy: and rydynge from thence, accoumpanyed him in to the citye,
The kinges commynge to London
whiche hee entered the fowrth daye of Maye, the firste and laste yeare of hys raygne. But the Duke of Gloucester bare him in open sighte so reuerentelye to the Prince, with all semblaunce of lowlinesse, that from the great obloquy in which hee was soo late before, hee was sodainelye fallen in soo greate truste, that at the counsayle next assembled, hee was made the onely manne chose and
The protectoure made
thought moste mete, to bee protectoure of the king and hys realme, so (that were it destenye or were it foly) the lamb was betaken to the wolfe to kepe. At whiche counsayle also the Archebishoppe of Yorke Chauncelloure of Englande, whiche hadde deliuered vppe the greate Seale to the Quene, was thereof greatlye reproued, and the Seale taken from hym and deliuered to doctour
The bishop of Lincolne made Lorde chauncellour
Russell, bysshoppe of Lyncolne, a wyse manne & a good and of muche experyence, and one of the beste learne[d] menne vndoubtedlye that Englande hadde in hys time. Diuers Lordes and knigh[t]es were appoynted vnto dyuerse rowmes. The Lorde Chaumberlayne and somme other, kept styll theyr offices that they hadde beefore. Nowe all were it soo that the protectoure so soore thyrsted for the finyshynge of that hee hadde begonne, that thoughte euerye daye a yeare tyll it were atchyeued, yet durste hee no further attempte as longe as had but halfe his praye in his hande: well wittinge that yf hee deposed the one brother, all the Realme would falle to the tother, yf hee either remayned in Sainctuarye, or shoulde happelye bee shortelye conuayde too hys farther libertye. Wherefore incontinente at the
The protectours oracion
nexte metynge of the Lordes at the counsayle, hee preposed vnto them, that it was a haynous deede of the Quene, and procedinge of great malyce towarde the Kynges counsayllers, that she should keepe in Sanctuarye the Kynges brother from hym, whose specyall pleasure and coumforte were to haue his brother with hym. And that by her done to none other entente, but to brynge all the Lordes in obloquie and murmure of the people. As thoughe they were not to be trusted with the Kynges brother, that by the assente of the nobles of the lande wer appoynted as the Kynges nereste friendes, to the tuicyon of his owne royall parsone. The prosperytye whereof standeth (quod hee) not all in keepynge from enemyes or yll vyande, but partelye also in recreacion and moderate pleasure: which he cannot in this tender youthe take in the coumpanye of auncient parsons, but in the famylier conuersacyon of those that bee neyther farre vnder, nor farre aboue his age. And nathlesse of estate conuenient to accoumpanye his noble magestie. Wherefore with whom rather then with his owne brother? And yf anye manne thinke this consideracion light (whiche I thynke no manne thynketh that loueth the Kynge) lette hym consyder that sommetime withoute smal thinges greatter cannot stande. And verlye it redowndeth greatelye to the dishonoure both of the kinges highnesse and of al vs that bene about his grace, to haue it runne in euery mans mouth, not in this realme onely, but also in other landes (as euyll woordes walke farre:) that the Kynges brother shoulde bee fayne to keepe Saynctuarye. For euerye manne will weene, that no manne wyll so dooe for noughte. And suche euyll oppinyon once fastened in mennes heartes, harde it is to wraste oute, and maye growe to more grief than anye manne here canne diuine.
Wherefore mee thynketh it were not woorste to sende vnto the Quene for the redresse of this matter, somme honourable trustye manne, suche as bothe tendereth the Kynges weale, and the honoure of his counsaile, and is also in fauoure and credence wyth her. For al which consideracions, none seemeth mee more metelye than oure reuerente father here presente, my Lorde Cardynall, who maye in this matter dooe moste good of anye manne, yf it please hym to take the payne. Whiche I doubte not of his goodnesse he wyll not refuse, for the Kynges sake and ours, and wealthe of the younge Duke hym selfe the kinges moste honourable brother, and after my soueraygne Lorde hymself, my moste dere Nephewe: considered that thereby shall bee ceased the slanderous rumoure and obloquye nowe goynge and the hurtes auoyded that thereof mighte ensue, and much rest and quyete growe to all the realme. And yf shee bee percase so obstynate, and so preciselye sette vppon her owne wyl, that neyther his wise and faithful aduertysemente canne moue her, nor any mannes reason content her: then shall wee by myne aduyse, by the Kynges authoritye fetche hym out of that prisone, and brynge hym to his noble presence, in whose continuall coumpanye he shal bee so well cherished and so honurablye entreated, that all the world shall to our honor and her reproch, perceiue that it was onelye malyce, frowardenesse, or foly, that caused her to keepe him there. This is my minde in this matter for this time, excepte any of your Lordeshippes anye thinge perceiue to the contrarye. For neuer shal I by gods grace so wedde my selfe to myne own will, but that I shall bee readye to chaunge it vppon youre better aduyses.
When the protectoure hadde said, al the counsayl affyrmed that the mocion was good and reasonable, and to the kynge and the Duke his brother, honourable, and a thing that should cease greate murmure in the realme, if the mother might be by good meanes enduced to delyuer hym. Whiche thynge the Archebishoppe of Yorke, whome they all agreed also to bee thereto most conuenyente, tooke vppon hym to moue her, and therein to dooe hys vttermoste deuowre.
Howe bee it if shee coulde bee in no wyse entreated with her good wyll to delyuer hym, then thoughte hee and suche other as were of the spiritualtye present, that it were not in anye wyse to be attempted to take him oute agaynste her wil. For it would bee a thynge that shoulde tourne to the great grudge of all menne, and hyghe dyspleasure of Godde, yf the priueledge of the holye place should nowe bee broken?
Whiche hadde so manye yeares bee kepte, whyche bothe Kynges and Popes soo good hadde graunted, so many hadde confirmed, and whiche holye grounde was more then fyue hundred yeare agoe by Saincte Peter his own parson in spirite, accoumpanyed with greate multitude of Aungelles, by nyghte so specyallye halowed and dedicate to Godde, (for the proofe wherof they haue yet in the Abbay Sainct Peters cope to shewe) that from that tyme hytherwarde, was there neuer so vndeuowte a Kinge, that durst that sacred place violate, or so holye a Bishoppe that durste it presume to consecrate. And therefore (quod the Archebishoppe of Yorke) Godde forbydde that anye manne shoulde for anye thynge earthly enterpryse to breake the immunitee, and libertye of that sacred Sainctuary, that hath bene the safegarde of so many a good mannes life. And I truste (quod he) with Gods grace, we shall not nede it. But for ani maner nede, I would not we shoulde dooe it. I truste that shee shall bee with reason contented, and all thynge in good maner obtayned. And yf it happen that I brynge it not so to passe, yet shall I towarde it so farrefoorth dooe my beste, that ye shall all well perceiue, that no lacke of my deuoure, but the mothers drede and womannishe feare, shall be the let. Womannishe feare, naye womannishe frowardnesse (quod the Duke of Buckyngham.) For I dare take it vppon my soule, she well knoweth she needeth no such thyng to feare, either for her sonne or for her selfe. For as for her, here is no manne that wil bee at warre with women. Woulde God some of the men of her kynne, were women too, and then shoulde al bee soone in reste. Howe bee it there is none of her kinne the lesse loued, for that they bee her kinne, but for their owne euill deservinge. And nathelesse if we loued neither her nor her kinne, yet were there no cause to thinke that we should hate the kynges noble brother, to whose Grace wee ourse selfe bee of kynne. Whose honoure if shee as much desyred as oure dishonoure, and as muche regarde tooke to his wealthe, as to her owne will, she woulde bee as lothe to suffer him from the kinge, as anye of vs bee. For if shee haue anye witte, (as woulde Godde she hadde as good will as she hathe shrewde witte) she reckoneth her selfe no wiser then shee thinketh some that bee here, of whose faithefull mynde, she nothing doubteth, but verelye beleueth and knoweth, that they woulde bee as sorye of his his harme as her selfe, and yet would haue hym from her yf she byde there. And wee all (I thinke) contente, that bothe bee with her, yf she come thence and bide in suche place where they maie with their honoure bee.
Nowe then yf she refuse in the deliueraunce of hym, to folowe the counsaile of them whose wisdom she knoweth, whose trouth she wel trusteth: it is ethe to perceiue, that frowardnesse letteth her, and not feare. But goe to suppose that she feare (as who maye lette her to feare her owne shadowe) the more she feareth to delyuer hym, the more oughte wee feare to leaue him in her handes. For if she caste such fonde doubtes, that shee feare his hurte: then wyll she feare that hee shall bee fette thence. For she will soone thinke, that if menne were sette (whiche Godde forbydde) vppon so greate a mischeife, the saintuarye woulde litle let them. Which good menne mighte as mee thynketh without sinne sommewhat lesse regarde then they do.
Nowe then if she doubte leste hee mighte bee fetched from her, is it not likelye ynoughe that she shall sende him somme where out of the realme? Verely I looke for none other. And I doubte not but shee nowe as sore myndeth it, as wee the lette thereof. And yf she myghte happen to brynge that to passe, (as it were no greate maistrye, wee lettinge her alone) all the worlde woulde saye that wee wer a wyse sort of counsaylers aboute a kynge, that lett his brother bee caste awaye vnder oure noses. And therefore I ensure you faythfully for my minde, I wyll rather maugrye her mynde, fetche hym awaye, then leaue hym ther, til her frowardnes or fond feare conuay hym awaye. And yet will I breake no Saintuary therefore. For verelye sithe the priuileges of that place and other lyke, haue bene of long continued, I am not he that woulde bee aboute to breake them. And in good faith if they were nowe to begynne, I woulde not bee he that shoulde bee aboute
to make them. Yet wyll I not saye naye, but that it is a deede of pitie, that suche menne as the sea or theyr euill dettours haue broughte in pouertye, shoulde haue somme place of libertye, to keepe their bodies oute of the daunger of their cruell creditours. And also yf the Crowne happen (as it hathe done) to comme in questyon, whyle eyther parte taketh other as Traytours, I wyll well there bee somme places of refuge for bothe. But as for theeues, of whiche these places bee full, and which neuer fall fro the crafte, after thei once falle thereto, it is pitie the saintuarye shoulde serue them. And muche more mannequellers whome Godde badde to take from the aulter and kyll them, yf theyr murther were wylfull. And where it is otherwyse there neede wee not the sayntuaryes that God appointed in the olde lawe. For yf eyther necessitie, hys owne defence, or misfortune drawe hym to that dede, a pardon serueth which eyther the law graunteth of course, or the Kynge of pitie maye.
Then looke me nowe how few saintuarye menne there bee, whome any fauourable necessitie compelled to gooe thyther. And then see on the tother syde what a sorte there be commonly therein, of them whome wylfull vnthriftynesse hathe broughte to nought.
What a rabble of theues, murtherers, and maliciuos heyghnous Traitours, and that in twoo places specyallye. The tone at the elbowe of the Citie, the tother in the verye bowelles. I dare well auowe it, waye the good that they dooe, with the hurte that commeth of them, and ye shall fynde it muche better to lacke bothe, then haue both. And this I saye, although they were not abused as they nowe bee, and so longe haue bee, that I feare mee euer they wyll bee whyle menne bee a fearde to sette theyr handes to the mendement: as thoughe Godde and Saincte Peter were the Patrons of vngracious lyuinge.
The abuse of saintuaries
Nowe vnthriftes ryote and runne in Dette, vppon the boldenesse of these places: yea and ryche menne runne thither with poore mennes goodes, there they builde, there thei spende and bidde their creditours gooe whistle them. Mens wyues runne thither with theyr housebandes plate, and saye, thei dare not abyde with theyr housbandes for beatinge. Theues bryng thyther theyr stollen goodes, and there lyve thereon. There deuise thei newe roberies, nightlye they steale out, they robbe and reue, and kyll, and come in again as though those places gaue them not onely a safe garde for the harme they haue done, but a licence also to dooe more. Howe bee it muche of this mischeife if wyse menne woulde sette their handes to, it myghte bee amended, with greate thank of god and no breache of the priuiledge. The residew sith so long agoe I wote neere what Pope and what Prince more pyteous then politique: hathe graunted it and other menne since of a certayne relygious feare haue not broken it, lette vs take a payne therewith, and lette it a Goddes name stande in force, as farrefoorth as reason wyll. Whiche is not fullye so farrefoorth, as may serue to lette vs of the fetchynge foorthe of this noble manne to his honoure and wealthe, oute of that place in whiche he neither is, nor canne bee a Saynctuary manne.
A Sainctuarye serueth alway to defende the bodie of that manne that standeth in daunger abrode, not of greate hurte onelye, but also of lawful hurte. For agaynste vnlawfull harmes, neuer Pope nor Kynge entended to priueledge anye one place. For that priueledge hath euery place. Knoweth anye manne anye place wherein it is lawefull one manne to dooe another wrong? That no manne vnlawfully take hurt, that libertie, the Kynge, the lawe, and verye nature forbiddeth in euery place, and maketh to that regarde for euerye manne euerye place a Saintuarye. But where a man is by lawful meanes in perill, there needeth he the tuicion of some special priuilege, which is the the only ground and cause of al saintuaryes. From whiche necessitie this noble prince is far. Whose loue to his king, nature & kinred proueth, whose innocence to al the world, his tender youth proueth. And so saintuary as for him, neither none he nedeth, nor also none can haue. Men come not to saintuary as they come to baptisme, to require it by their Godfathers. He must ask it himself that muste haue it. And reason, sithe no man hath cause to haue it, but whose conscience of his own faut maketh hym faine neede to require it, what wil then hath yonder [babe]? which and if he had discecion to require it, yf nede were, I dare saye would nowe bee right angry with them that kepe him ther. And I woulde thynke withoute anye scruple of conscience, without any breache of priueledge, to bee sommewhat more homely with them that be there saintuary men in dede. For if one go to saintuary with another mannes goodes, why should not the kyng leauinge his bodye at libertie, satisfy the part of his goodes euen within the saintuary? For neither king nor Pope can geue any place such a priueledge, that it shall discharge a man of his dettes being able to paye.
And with that divers of the clergy that were present, whither thei said it for his pleasure, or as thei thought, agreed plainly, that by the law of god and of the church the goodes of a saintuarye man shoulde be deliuered in paiment of his dets, and stollen goodes to the owner, and onelye libertie reserued him to geat his lyuing with the labour of his handes. Verely (quod the duke) I thinke you say very trueth. And what if a mannes wyfe will take saintuary, because she lyste to runne from her husbande: I woulde wene if she can allege none other cause, he may lawfullye without any displeasure to sainct Peter, take her out of .S. Peters churche by the arme. And yf no body maye be taken out of saintuarye that sayth he wyll bide there: Then yf a childe will take saintuarie, because hee feareth to goe to schole, hys mayster must lette hym alone. And as simple as that saumple is, yet is there lesse reason in our case, then in that. For therein though it be a childish feare, yet is ther at the leastwise some feare. And herein is there none at all. And verelye I haue often heard of saintuarye menne. But I neuer heard erste of saintuarye chyldren. And therefore as for the conclusion of my minde, who so maie haue deserued to neede it, yf thei thinke it for theyr suretye, lette them kepe it. But he cannot bee no saintuarye manne, that neither hath wisedom to desire it, nor malice to deserue it, whose lyfe or libertye can by no lawfull processe stand in ieopardie. And he that taketh one oute of saintuary to dooe hym good, I saye plainely that he breaketh no saintuary. When the Duke hadde done, the temporall menne whole, and good part of the spirituall also, thinking none hurt erthly ment towarde the younge babe, condescended in effecte, that if he were not deliuered, he should be fetched. Howbeit they thoughte it all beste, in the auoydyng of all maner of rumour, that the Lorde Cardinall shoulde fyrst assaye to geat him with her good will. And thervppon all the counsaile came vnto the sterrechaumber at westminster. And the Lorde Cardinall leauinge the protectour with the counsell in the sterrechaumber, departed into the saintuary to the Quene, with divers other lordes with him, were it for the respecte of hys honoure, or that she shoulde by presence of so manye perceyue that this erande was not one mannes minde, or were it for that the protectour entended not in this matter to trust any one manne alone, or els that if she finally wer determined to kepe him, somme of that company had happely secret instruccion incontinent magry her minde to take him and to leaue her no respite to conuaye hym, whiche she was likely to mind after this matter broken to her, yf her time would in any wyse serue her.
When the Quene and these Lordes were comme together in presence, the Lorde Cardinall shewed vnto her, that it was thought vnto the protectour and vnto the whole counsayle, that her kepyng of the kinges brother in that place was the thing whiche highlye souned, not onelye to the greate rumoure of the people and theyr obloquye, but also to the importable griefe and displeasure of the kinges royall maiestie. To whose grace it were as singuler coumforte, to haue his naturall brother in company, as it was their bothe dishonour and all theirs and hers also, to suffer hym in saintuarye. As though the tone brother stode in danger and perill of the tother. And he shewed her that the counsel therfore had sent him vnto her, to require her the deliuerye of him, that hee might bee brought vnto the kinges presence at his libertie, oute of that place whiche they reckoned as a prisone. And ther should he be demeaned accordyng to his estate. And she in this doing should bothe dooe great good to the realme, pleasure to the counsell and profyt to her selfe, succour to her frendes that were in distres, and ouer that (which he wiste well she speciallye tenderid). Not onely great comfort and honour to the king, but also to the yong duke himself, whose both great welthe it were to bee together, as well for many greater causes, as also for their both disporte and recreacion: which thing the lord estemed not slight, thoughe it seme lyght, well pondering that their youthe without recreacion & play, cannot endure nor any estraunger for the conuenience of their both ages & estates, so metely in that pointe for any of them as either of them for other.
The Quenes aunswere
¶ My lord (quod the quene:) I saye not nay, but that it were very conuenient, that this gentilman whom ye require, were in the company of the kinge his brother. And in good faith me thinketh it were as great commoditie to them both as for yet a while, to ben in the custody of their mother, the tender age consydred of the elder of them both, but speciall the yonger, which besides his infancie that also nedeth good loking to, hath a while ben so sore diseased vexed with sicknes, and is so newly rather a lyttle amended then well recouered, that I dare put no parson erthly in trust with his keping but my selfe onely, considering, that there is as phisicians saye, & as we also finde, double the perill in the reciduacion, that was in the first sicknes, with which disease nature being forelaborid, foreweried and weaked, waxeth the lesse able to beare out a new surfet. And albeit there might be founden other, that would happely doe theyr best vnto him: yet is there none that either knoweth better how to order him, then I that so long haue kept him: or is more tenderly like to cherishe him, then hys own mother that bare him. No man denieth good madam (quod the Cardinal) but that your grace were of all folke most necessary aboute your children: & so woulde al the counsell, not onely be content, but also glad that ye were, if it might stand with your pleasure to be in such place as might stande with their honour. But yf you appoint your selfe to tary here, then thinke they yet more conuenient, that the duke of yorke wer with the king honorably at his liberte to the comfort of them both, then here as a saintuary man to their both dishonour and obloquy: sith there is not alwaye so great necessitie to haue the childe bee with the mother, but that occasion may sometime be such, that it should be more expedient to kepe him els where. Which in this well appeareth that at such time as your derest sonne then prince and now king, should for his honour and good order of the Countrey, kepe householde in Wales farre out of your company: your grace was well contente there wyth your selfe. Not very well content, quod the Quene: And yet the case is not like: for the tone was then in helthe, and the tother is now sike. In which case I merueile greatly that my lord protectour is so disirous to haue him in his keping where if the child in his sicknes miscaried by nature, yet might he runne into slaunder and suspicion of fraude. And where they call it a thinge so sore against my childes honour and theirs also, that he bydeth in this place: it is all their honours there to suffer him byde, where no manne doubteth, hee shall be beste kepte. And that is here, while I am here, whiche as yet intende not to come forthe and iubarde my selfe after other of my frendes: which woulde god wer rather here in suertie with me, then I were there in iubardy with them. Whye Madame (quod a nother Lorde) know you any thing why thei should be in iubardye? Nay verely sur quod shee, nor why they should be in prison neither, as they now be. But it is I trow no great maruaile though I fere, lest those that haue not letted to put them in duresse with out colour, wil let as lytle to procure their distruccion without cause.
The Cardinall made a continuance to the tother Lord, that he should harp no more vpon that string. And then said he to the Quene, that he nothing doubted, but that those lordes of her honorable kinne, which as yet remained vnder arrest should vpon the matter examined, do wel ynough. Ans as toward her nobele person, neither was nor coulde be, any maner iubardy. Wherby should I truste that (quod the Quene) In that I am giltles? As though they were gilty. In that I am with their enemies better beloued then thei? When they hate them for my sake. In that I am so nere of kinne to the king? And how farre be they of, if that would helpe as god send grace it hurt not. And therfore as for me, I purpose not as yet to departe hence. And as for this gentilman my sonne, I mynde that he shalbe where I am till I see further. For I assure you, for that I se some men so gredye withowte any substaunciall cause to haue him, this maketh me much the more farder to deliuer him. Truely madame, quod he, and the farder that you be to delyuer him, the farder bene other men to suffer you to kepe hym, lest your causeles fere might cause you ferther to conuay him. And many be there that thinke that he can haue no priuelege in this place, which neither can haue wil to aske it, nor malyce to deserue it. And therefore they recken no pryuilege broken, though thei fetche him out. Which if ye fynally refuse to deliuer him, I verly thynke they will. So much drede hath my Lorde his vncle, for the tender loue he bereth him, lest your grace shold
hap to send him awaye. A syr quod the Quene, hath the protectour so tender zele to him, that he fereth nothing but lest he should escape him. Thinketh he that I would send hym hence, which neyther is in the plight to send out, and in what place could I reckon him sure, if he be not sure in this the sentuarye whereof, was there never tiraunt yet so deuelish, that durste presume to breake. And I trust god as strong now to withstande his aduersaries, as euer he was. But my sonne can deserue no sentuary, and therefore he cannot haue it. Forsooth he hath founden a goodly glose, by whiche that place that may defend a thefe, may not saue an innocent. But he is in no iupardy nor hath no nede therof. Wold god he had not. Troweth the protector (I pray god he may proue a protectour) troweth he that I parceiue not whereunto his painted processe draweth? It is not honorable that the duke bide here: it were comfortable for them both that he wer with his brother, because the king lacketh a play felowe be ye sure. I pray god send them both better play felowes then hym, that maketh so high a matter vpon such a trifling pretext: as though there coulde none be founden to playe with the kyng, but if his brother that hath no lust to play for sicknes, come oute of sanctuary out of hys sauegarde, to play with him. As though princes as yonge as thei be, could not play but with their Peres, or children could not play but with their kyndred, wit[h] whom for the more part they agree much worse then wyth straungers. But the childe cannot require the priuelege, who tolde hym so? he shall here him aske it and he will.
Howbeit this is a gay matter: Suppose he could not ask it, suppose he would not aske it, suppose he woulde aske to goe owte, if I saye he shall not, if I aske the priuilege but for my selfe, I say he that agaynst my wyll taketh out him, breaketh the sanctuary. Serueth this liberty for my person only, or for my goodes to? ye maye not hence take my horsse fro me: and maye you take my childe fro me? he is also my warde, for as my lerned counsell sheweth me, syth he hath nothing by discent holden by knightes seruice, the law maketh, his mother his gardaine. Then may no man, I suppose take my warde fro me oute of sanctuarye, wythout the breche of the sanctuary. And if my pryuelege could not serue hym, nor he aske it for hymselfe, yet sythe the lawe committeth to me the custody of him, I may require it for hym, excepte the lawe giue a childe a gardayne onely for his goodes & hys landes, discharging hym of the cure and saufe kepyng of hys body, for whych only both landes & goodes serue.
This that is here betwene this marke, ‡ and this marke * was not written by M. More in this history written by him in englishe but is translated oute of this history which he wrote in laten
‡And if examples be sufficient to obtayne priuiledge for my chylde, I nede not farre to seeke. For in thys place in which we now be (and whych is now in questyon whyther my chylde may take benefyte of it) myne other sonne now kyng was born, and kept in hys cradle, and preserued to a more prosperous fortune, which I pray god long to continu. And as all you know, this is not the first tyme that I have taken sanctuarye, for when my lord my husbande was banished & thrust out of his kingdom, I fled hither being great with child, and here I bare the prynce. And when my lorde my husbande retourned safe again and had the victorye, then went I hence to welcome him home, and from hence I brought my babe the prynce vnto hys father, when he fyrste toke hym in hys armes. And I praye God that my sonnes palace may be as great sauegard to him now rayning, as thys place was sometime to the kin[g]es enemye. In whych place I entend to kepe his brother sith &c. *
Wherfore here intend I to kepe him sins mans law serueth the gardain to kepe the infant. The law of nature wyll the mother kepe her childe. Gods law pryuelegeth the sanctuary, & the sanctuary my sonne, sith I fere to put hym in the protectours handes that hath hys brother already, and were if bothe fayled, inheritour to the crowne. The cuase of my fere hath no man to doe to examine. And yet fere I no ferther then the law fereth which as lerned men tell me forbiddeth euery man the custody of them, by whose death he may inherite lesse lande then a kingdome. I can no more, but whosoeuer he be that breketh this holy sanctuary: I pray god shorttly sende him nede of sanctuary, when he may not come to it. For taken out of sanctuary would I not my mortall enemy were.
The lord Cardinall perceiuing that the quene waxed euer the lenger the farder of, and also that she began to kindle and chafe, and speke sore biting words against the protectour, and such as he neither beleued, and was also loth to here, he said vnto her for a finall conclusion, that he woulde no leger dispute the matter. But if she were content to deliuer the duke to him & to the other lordes there present, he durst lay his owne body & soule both in pledge, not onely for his suerty but also for hys estate. And if she woulde giue them a resolute aunswere to the contrary, he would forthwith depart there with all, and shyfte whoso would with thys busynes afterwarde: for he neuer entended more to moue her in that matter, in which she thought that he and all other saue herselfe, lacked either wit or trouth. Wit if they were so dul, that they coulde nothing perceiue what the protectour [entended]: trouthe if they should procure her sonne to be delyuered into his handes, in whom thei shold perceyue toward the childe any euil intended.
The quene with these wordes stode a good while in a great study. And for asmuch her semed the Cardinall more redy to depart, then some of the remnant, & the protectour himself redy at hand, so that she verely thought she coulde not kepe him there, but that hee shoulde incontinent be taken thence: & to conuay him els where, neyther had shee time to serue her, nor place determined, nor parsons appointed, all thinge vnredy thys message came on her so sodaynely, nothing lesse loking for them to haue him fet out of sentuary, which she thought to be now beset in such places about, that he coulde not be conuaied out vntaken, & partly as she thought it might fortune her fere to bee false, so will she waste it was either nedeles or boteles: wherfore if she shold nedes go from him, she dempte it beste to deliuer him. And ouer that of the Cardinals faith she nothing doubted, nor of some other lordes neither, whom she there saw. Which as she fered lest they might bee deceiuid: so was she well assured they would not be corrupted: Then thought she it should yet make them the more warely to loke to him, & the more sircumspectly to se to his surety, if she with her owne handes betoke him to them of trust. And at the last she toke the yong duke by the hande, and said vnto the lordes: my lord (quod she) & all my lordes, I neither am so vnwise to mistrust your wittes, nor so suspicious to mistruste your trouthes. Of which I purpose to make you such a proofe, as if either of both lacked in you, might tourne both me to great sorowe, the realme to much harme, and you to great reproche. For loe here is (quod she) this gentilman, whom I doubt not but I could here kepe safe if I woulde, whatsoeuer any man say. And I doubt not also but ther be some abrode so deadly enemies vnto my blood, that if thei wist where any of lay in their owne body, they would let it out. We haue also had experience that the
The desire of a kingdome
desire of a kingdome knoweth no kinred. The brother hath bene the brothers bane. And may the nepheus be sure of their vncle? Eche of these children is others defence while they be a sunder, and eche of their liues lieth in the others body. Kepe one safe & both be sure, and nothing for them both more perilouse, then to be both in one place. For what wise merchaunt aduentureth all his good in one ship? All this notwithstanding, here I deliuer him and hys brother in him, to kepe into your handes, of whome I shall aske them both afore god and the world. Faithfull ye be that wot I wel and I know wel you be wise. Power & strenght to kepe him if ye list neither lacke ye of your self, nor can lack helpe in this cause. And if ye cannot els where, then may you leue him here. But only one thing I beseche you for the trust that his father put in you euer, and for trust that I put in you now, that as farre as ye thinke that I fere to muche, be you well ware that to fere not as far to little. And therewithall she said vnto the child: farewel my own swete sonne, god send you good keping, let me kis you ones yet ere you goe, for God knoweth when we shal kis togither agayne. And therewith she kissed him, & blessed him, turned her back and wept and went her way, leauing the childe weping as fast. When the lord Cardinal & these other lordes with him, had receiued this yong duke, thei brought him into the sterrechamber where the protectour toke him in his armes & kissed him with these wordes:
Now welcome my lord euen with al my very hart. And he sayd in that of likelihod as he thought. Thereupon forthwith they brought him to the kynge his brother into the bishoppes palice at powles, & from thence through the citie honorably into the tower, out of which after that day they neuer came abrode.
‡When the protector had both the children
This that is here betwene thys mark ‡ & this mark * was not written by M. More in this history written by him in englishe, but is translated out of this history which he wrote in laten
in his handes, he opened himself more boldly, both to certaine other men, and also cheifly to the duke of Buckingham. Although I know that many thought, that this duke was priuy to al the protectours counsel, euen from the beginning[.] And some of the protectours frendes said, that the duke was the first mouer of the protectoure to this matter, sending a priuie messenger vnto him, streight after king Edwards death. But other agai[n] which knewe better the suttle wit of the protectour, deny that he euer opened his enterprise to the duke, vntill he had brought to passe the thinges before rehersed. But when he had imprsoned the quenes kinsefolkes, & gotten bothe her sonnes into his owne handes, than hee opened the rest of his purpose with lesse fere to them whom he thought mete for the matter, and specially to the duke: who being wonne to his purpose, he thought his strength more then halfe encreased. The matter was broken vnto the duke, by suttell folkes, and such as were their crafte maisters in the handling of such wicked deuises: who declared vnto him, that the yong king was offended with him for his kinsfolkes sakes, and that if he were euer able, he would reuenge them. Who wold prick him forward therunto, if they escaped (for they would remembre their imprisonment). Or els if thei wer put to death, without doubte the younge king wold be careful for their deathes, whose imprisonment was greuous vnto him. And that with repenting the duke should nothing auaile: for there was no way left to redeme his offence by benefites: but he should soner distroy himself than saue the king, who with his brother & his kinsefolkes he saw in such places imprisoned, as the protectour might with a beck distroy them al: and that it were no doubte but he woulde do it in dede, if there wer any new enterprise attempted. And that it was likely that as the protectour had prouided priuy garde for himself, so had he spialles for the duke, and traines to catche hym, if he should be againste him, & that paraduenture from them, whom he least suspected. For the state of thinges & the disposicions of men wer than such, that a man could not wel tell whom he might truste, or whom he might feare. These thinges and such like, being beaten into the dukes minde, brought him to that pointe, that where he had repented the way that he had entred, yet wold he go forth in the same: & since he had ones begon, he would stoutly go through. And therefore to thys wicked enterprise, which he beleued coulde not bee voided, hee bent himselfe and went through: and determined, that since the comon mischief could not be amended, he wold tourne it as much as he might to hys owne commodite.
Than it was agreed, that the protectour should haue the dukes aide to make him king, & that the protectours onely lawful sonne, should mary the dukes daughter, and that the protectour shold graunt [him the] quiet possession of the Erledome of Hertford, which he claimed as his enheritance, and could neuer obtain it in king Edwardes time. Besides these requestes of the duke, the protectour of hys owne minde promised him a great quantite of the kinges tresure & of his howsehold stuffe. And when they wer thus at a point betwene themselfes, they went about to prepare for the coronacyon of the yong king as (they would haue it seme. And that they might turne both the eies & mindes of men, from perceiuing of their driftes other where the lordes being sent for from al parties of the realme, came thick to that solemnite. But the protectour & the duke, after that, that they had set the lord Cardinall, the Archebishoppe of Yorke than lorde Chauncellour, the Bishoppe of Ely, the lord Stanley & the lord Hastinges than lord chamberleine, with many other noble men* to commune & deuise about the coronacion in one place: as fast were they in an other place contryuyng the contrary, & to make the protectour kyng. To which counsel, albeit there were adhibit very few, & they very secret: yet began there here & there about, some maner of muttering amonge the people, as though al should not long be wel, though they neither wist what thei feared nor wherfore: were it that before such great thinges, mens hartes of a secret instinct of nature misgiueth them. As the sea without wind swelleth of himself sometime before a tempest: or were it that some one man happely somwhat perceiuing, filled mani men with suspicion, though he shewed few men what he knew. Howbeit somwhat the dealing self made men to muse on the mater, though the counsell were close. For litle and little all folke withdrew from the Tower, and drew to Crosbies place in Bishops gates strete wher the protectour kept his household. The protectour had the resort, the king in maner dessolate. While some for their busines made sute to them that had the dooing, some were by their frendes secretly warned, that it might happelye tourne them to no good, to be to much attendaunt about the king without the protectours appointment: which remoued also diuers of the princes olde seruantes from him, & set newe aboute him. Thus many thinges comming togither p[a]rtly by chaunce, partly of purpose, caused at length, not comen people that waue with the winde, but wise men also & soe lordes, yeke to marke the mater and muse theron: so ferforth that the lord Stanly, that was after Erle of Darbie, wisely mistrusted it, & saied vnto the lord Hasting, that he much misliked these two seuerall counsels. For while we (quod he) talke of one matter in the tone place, litle wote we wherof they talk in the tother place. My lord (quod the lord Hastinges) on my life neuer doute you. For while one man is there which is neuer thence, neuer can there be thinge ones minded that should sownde amisse toward me, but it should be in mine eares ere it were well oute of their mouthes. This ment he by
Catesby, which was of his nere secret counsail, and whome he veri familiarly vsed, and in his most weighty matters put no man in so special trust, rekening hymself to no man so liefe, sith he well wist there was no man to him so much beholden as was thys Catesby, which was a man wel lerned in the lawes of this lande, & by the special fauour of the lord chamberlen, in good aucthorite & much rule bare in al the county of Leceter where the Lord Chamberlens power chiefly laye. But surely great pity was it, that he had not had either more trouthe or lesse wytte. For his dissimulacion onelye, kepte all that mischyefe vppe. In whome if the lord Hastinges had not put so speciall trust, the lord Stanley and he had departed with diuerse other lordes, and broken all the daunce, for many il signed that hee sawe, which he nowe const[r]ues all to the beste. So suerly thoughte he that there could be none harme toward him in that counsaile entended where Catesby was. And of trouth the protectour and the Duke of Buckingham made very good semblaunce vnto the Lord Hastinges, and kept him much in company. And vndoubtedly the protectour loued him wel, & loth was to haue loste him, sauing for fere lest his life shoulde haue quailed their purpose. For which cause he moued Catesby to proue wyth some words cast out a farre of, whither he could thinke it possible to winne the lord Hasting into their part. But Catesby whither he assayed him or assaied him not, reported vnto them, that he founde him so fast, and hard him speke so terrible woordes, that he durst no further breke. And of theouth the lord Chamberlen of very trust shewed vnto Catesbye, the mistrust that other began to haue in the mater. And therfore he fering lest their mocions might with the lord Hastinges minishe his credence, wherunto onely al the matter lenid, procured the protectour hastely to ridde him. And much the rather, for that he trusted by his deth to obtaine much of the rule that the lorde Hastinges bare in his countrey: the only desire whereof, was the allectiue that induced him to be partener and one specyall contriuer of al this horrible treson.
The counsell in the tower
sone after that is to wit, on the friday]the [thirtene] day of [Iune] many Lordes assembled in the tower, and there sat in counsaile, deuising the honorable solempnite of the kinges coronacion, of which the time appointed so nere approched, that the pageauntes and suttelties were in making day and night at westminster, and much vitaile killed therfore, that afterward was cast away. These lordes so sytting togyther comoning of thys matter, the protectour came in among them, fyrst aboute ix. of the clock, saluting them curtesly, & excusyng hymself that he had ben from them so long, saieng merely that he had bene a slepe that day. And after a little talking with them, he sayd vnto the Bishop of Elye: my lord you haue very good strawberies at your gardayne in Holberne, I require you let vs haue a messe of them. Gladly my lord, quod he, woulde god I had some better thing as redy to your pleasure as that. And therwith in al the hast he sent his seruant for a messe of strauberies. The protectour sette the lordes fast in comoning, and therupon prayeng them to spare hym for a little while, departed thence. And sone after one hower betwene .x. & .xi. he returned into the chamber among them, al changed with a wonderful soure angrye countenaunce, knitting the browes, frowning and froting and knawing on hys lippes and so sat him downe, in hys place: al the lordes much dismaied & sore merueiling of this maner of sodain chaunge, and what thing should him aile. Then when he had sitten still a while, thus he began: what were they worthy to haue, that compasse & ymagine the distruccion of me, being so nere of blood vnto the king and protectour of his riall person & his realme. At this question, al the lordes sat sore astonied, musyng much by whome thys question should be ment, of which euery man wyst himselfe clere. The the lord chamberlen, as he that for the loue betwene them thoughte he might be boldest with him, aunswered and sayd, that thei wer worthye to bee punished as heighnous traitors whatsoeuer they were. And al the other affirmed the same. That is (quod he) yonder sorceres my brothers wife & other with her meaning the quene. At these wordes many of the other Lordes were gretly abashed that fauoured her. But the lord Hastinges was in his minde better content, that it was moued by her, then by any other whom he loued better: Albeit hys harte somewhat grudged, that he was not afore, made of counsell in this mater as he was of the taking of her kynred, and of their putting to death, which were by his assent before, deuised to bee byhedded at Pountfreit, this selfe same day, in which he was not ware that it was by other deuised, that himself should the same day be behedded at London. Then said the protectour: ye shal al se in what wise that sorceres and that other witch of her counsel shoris wife with their affynite, haue by their sorcery & witchcraft wasted my body. And therwith he plucked vp hys doublet sleue to his elbow vpon hist left arme, where he shewed a werish withered arme and small, as it was neuer other. And thereupon euery mannes mind sore migaue them, well perceiuing that this matter was but a quarel. For wel thei wist, that the quene was to wise to go aboute any such folye. And also if she would, yet wold she of all folke leste make Shoris wife of counsaile, whom of al women she most hated, as that concubine whom the king her husband had most loued. And also no man was ther present, but wel knew that his harme was euer such since his birth. Natheles the lorde Chamberlen (which fro the death of king Edward kept Shoris wife, on whome he somwhat doted in the kinges life, sauing as it is sayd he that while forbare her of reuerence towarde hys king, or els of a certaine kinde of fidelite to hys frende) aunswered & sayd: certainly my lorde if they haue so heinously done, & thei be worthy heinouse punishement. What quod the protectour thou seruest me I wene wtih iffes & with andes, I tel the thei haue so done, & that I will make good on thy body traitour. And therwith as in a great anger, he clapped his fist vpon the borde a great rappe. At which token giuen, one cried treason without the c[h]ambre. Therwith a dore clapped, and in come there rushing men in harneys as many as the chambre might hold. And anon the protectour sayd to the lorde Hastinges: I arest the traitour. What me my Lorde quod he. Yea the traitour, quod the protectour.
The lord Standley wounded
And a nother let flee at the Lorde Standley which shronke at the stroke & fel vnder the table, or els his hed had ben clefte to the tethe: for as shortely as he shranke, yet ranne the blood aboute hys eares. Then were they al quickly bestowed in diuerse chambres, except the lorde Chamberlen, whom the protectour bade spede & shryue hym a pace, for by saynt Poule (quod he) I wil not to dinner til I se thy hed of. It boted him not to aske why but heuely he toke a priest at aduenture, & made a short shrift, for a longer would not be suffered, the protectour made so much hast to dyner: which he might not go to til this wer done for the sauing of his othe.
The Lorde Chamberlein behedded
So was he brought forth into the grene beside the chappel within the tower, & his head laid down vpon a long lof of timbre, and there stricken of, and afterward his body with the hed entred at Windsore beside the body of kinge Edward, whose both soules our lord p[ar]don.
A merueilouse case is it to here, either the warninges of that he shoulde haue voided, or the tokens of that he could not voide. For the self night next before his death, the lord Standley sent a trustie secret messenger vnto him at midnight in al the hast, requiring hym to rise & ryde away with hym, for he was disposed vtterly no lenger to bide: he had so fereful a dreme, in which him
The Lord Stanleis dreame
thoughte that a bore with his tuskes so raced them both bi the heddes, that the blood ranne aboute both their shoulders. And forasmuch as the protector gaue the bore for his cognisaunce, this dreme made so fereful an impression in his hart, that he was throughly determined no lenger to tary, but had his horse redy, if the lord Hastinges wold go with him to ride so far yet the same night, that thei shold be out of danger ere dai. Ey good lord quod the lord Hastinges to this messenger, leneth my lord thi master so much to such trifles, & hath such faith in dremes, which either his own fere fantasieth or do rise in the nightes rest by reson of his daye thoughtes? Tel him it is plaine witchcraft to beleue in suche dremes: which if they wer tokens of thinges to come, why thinketh he not that we might be as liely to make them true by our going if we were caught & brought back (as frendes fayle fleers) for then had the bore a cause likely to race vs with his tuskes, as folke that fled for some falshed, wherfore either is ther no peryl, nor none there is in dede: or if any be, it is rather in going then biding. And if we should nedes cost fall in perill one way or other: yet had I leuer that men should se it wer by other mens falshed, then thinke it were either our owne faulte or faint hart. And therfore go to thy master man, & commende me to him & pray him be mery & have no fere: for I ensure hym I am as sure of the man that he woteth of, as I am of my own hand. God sende grace sir quod the messenger, and went his way.
Certain is it also, that in the riding toward the tower, the same morning in which he was behedded, his hors twise or thrise stumbled with him almost to the falling, which thing albeit eche man wote wel daily happeneth to them to whom no such mischaunce is toward: yet hath it ben of an olde rite & cutome, obserued as a token often times n[o]tably foregoing some great misfortune. Now this that foloweth was no warning, but an enemiouse scorne. The same morning ere he were vp, came a knight vnto him, as it were of curtesy to accompany hym to the counsaile, but of trouth sent by the protectour to hast him thitherward, wyth whom he was of secret confederacy in that purpose, a meane man at that time, and now of gret auctorite. This knight when it happed the lord Chamberlen by the way to stay his horse, and comen a while with a priest whome he met in the tower strete, brake his tale & said merely to him: what my lord I pray you come on, whereto talke you so long with that priest, you have no nede of a prist yet: & and therewith he laughed vpon him, as though he would say, ye shal haue sone. But so litle wist the tother what he ment, & so little mistrusted, that he was neuer merier nor neuer so full of good hope in his life: which self thing is often sene a signe of chaunge. But I shall rather let anye thinge passe me, then the vain sureti of mans mind so nere his death. Vpon the very tower wharfe so nere the place where his hed was of so sone after, there met he with one Hastinges a purseuant of his own name. And of their meting in that place, he was put in remembraunce of an other time, in which it had happened them before, to mete in like maner togither in the same place. At which other tyme the lord Chamberlein had ben accused vnto king Edward, by the lord Riuers the quenes brother, in such wise that he was for the while (but it lasted not long) farre fallen into the kinges indingnacion, & stode in gret fere of himselfe. And for asmuch as he nowe met this purseuant in the the same place that iubardy so wel passed: it gaue him great pleasure to talke with him therof with whom he had before talked thereof, in the same place while he was therin. And therfore he said: Ah hastinges, art y[ou] rememmbered when I met thee here ones with an heuy hart: Yea my lord (quod he) that remembre I wel, & thanked be God they gate no good, nor ye none harme thereby. Thou wouldest say so quod he, if thou knewest asmuch as I know, which few know els as yet & moe shall shortly. That ment he by the lordes of the quenes kindred that were taken before, and should that day be behdded at Poumfreit: which he wel wyst, but nothing ware that the axe hang ouer his own hed. In faith man quod he, I was neuer so sory, nor neuer stode in so great dred in my life, as I did when thou and I met here. And lo how the world is turned, now stand mine enemies in that daunger (as thou maist hap to here more hereafter) & I neuer in my life so mery, nor neuer in so great suerty. O good god, the blindnes of our mortall nature, when he most feared, he was in good suerty: when he reckened him self surest, he lost his life, & that within two houres after. Thus ended this honorable man, a good knight and a gentle, of gret
The descripcion of the lord Hastinges
aucthoritie with his prince, of liuing somewhat dessolate, plaine & open to his enemy, & secret to his frend: eth to begile, as he that of good hart & corage forestudied no perilles. A louing man & passing wel beloued. Very faithful, & trusty ynough, trusting to much. Now flew the fame of this lordes death, swiftly through the citie, & so forth farder about like a winde in euery mans ere. But the protector immediatelye after diner, entending to set some colour upon the matter, sent in al the hast for many substauncial men out of the city into the Tower. And at their comming, himself with the Duke of Bukingham, stode harnesed in old il faring briginders, such as no man shold wene that thei wold vouchsafe to haue put vpon their backes, except that some sodaine necessitie had constrained them. And then the protectour shewed them, that the lord chamberlain, & other of his conspiracy, had contriued to haue sodeinly destroide him & the duke, ther the same day in the counsel. And what thei intended further, was as yet not well knowen. Of whiche their treson he neuer had knowlage before x. of the clock the same fore none. Whiche sodain fere draue them to put on for ther defence such harneis as came next to hande. And so had god holpen them, that the mischief turned vpon them that wold haue done it. And this he required them to report. Eueri man answered him fair, as though no man mistrusted the mater which of trouth no man beleued. Yet for the further appesing of the peoples mind, he sent immediatli after diner in al the hast, one herode of armes, with a proclamacion
The protectors proclamcion
to be made through the city in the kinges name, conteyning that the lord Hastinges with diuers other of his traytorous purpose, had before conspired the same day, to haue slaine the lord protector & the duke of Buckingham sitting in the counsel, & after to haue taken vpon them to rule the king & the realm at their pleasure, & therbi to pil & spoil whom thei list vncontroled. And much mater was ther in the proclamcion diuised, to the slaunder of the lord chamberlain, as that he was an euil counsellor to the kinges father, intising him to many thinges highlye redounding to the minishing of his honor, & to the vniuersal hurt of his realm, by his euyl company, sinister p[ro]curing, & vngracious ensample, as wel in many other thinges as in the vicious liuing & inordinate abusion of his body, both with many other, & also specialli with shores wife, which was one also of his most secret counsel of this heynous treson, with whom he lay nightli, & nameli the night last passed next before his death, so that it was the less meruel, if vngracious liuyng brought him to an vnhappy ending: which he was now put vnto, by the most drede commaundement of the kinges highnes & of his honorable & faithful counsel, bothe for his demerites, being so openli taken in his falsli conceiued treson, & also lest the delaying of his execucion, might haue encoraged other mischiuous p[er]sons p[ar]tners of his conspiracy, to gether & assemble themself together in makyng some gret commocion for his deliueraunce, whose hope now being by his wel deserued deth politikely repressed, al the realm shold bi gods grace rest in good quiete and peace. Now was this proclamacion made within .ii. houres after that he was beheded, & it was so curiously indited, &so fair writen in parchment in so wel a set hande, & therwith of it self so long a p[ro]cesse, that eueri child might wel p[er]ceive, that it was prepared before. For al the time betwene his death & the p[ro]claiming could scant haue suffised vnto the bare wryting alone, all had it bene but in paper & scribled forth in hast at adventure. So that vpon the p[ro]claming therof, one that was scole master of Poules of chaunce standing by, & comparing the shortnes of the time with the length of the matter, said vnto them that stode about him here is a gay goodly cast, foule cast awai for hast. And a merchant answered hym, that it was writen by p[ro]fecy. Now then by & bi, as it wer for anger not for couetise, the p[ro]tector sent into the house of shores wife
(for her husband dwelled not with her) & spoiled her of al that euer she had, aboue the value of .ii. or .iii. M. marks, & sent her body to prison. And when he had a while laide vnto her for the maner sake, that she went about to bewitch him, & that she was of counsel with the lord chamberlein to destroy him: in conclusion, when that no colour could fasten vpon these matters, then he layd heinously to her charge, & the thing that she her self could not deny, that al the world wist was true, & that natheles euery man laughed at to here it then so sodainly so highly taken, that she was nought of her body. And for thys cause (as a goodly continent prince clene & fautles of himself, sent oute of heauen into this vicious world for the amendment of mens maners) he caused the bishop of London to put her to open penance, going before the crosse in processionvpon a sonday with a taper in her hand. In which she went in countenance & pace demure so womanly, & albe it she were out of al array saue her kyrtle only: yet went she so fair & louely, namelye while the wondering of the people caste acomly rud in her chekes (of whiche she before had most misse) that her great shame wan her much praise, among those that were more amourous of her body then curious of her soule. And many good folke also that hated her liuing, & glad wer to se sin corrected: yet pitied thei more her penance, then reioyced therin, when thei considred that the protector p[ro]cured it, more of a corrupt intent then ani vertuous affeccion.
The descrypcion of Shores wife
This woman was born in London, worshipfully frended, honestly brought vp, & very wel maryed, sauing somewhat to sone, her husbande an honest citezen, yonge & goodly & of good substance. But forasmuche as they were coupled ere she wer wel ripe, she not very feruently loued, for whom she neuer longed. Which was happely the thinge, that the more easily made her encline vnto the kings appetite when he required her. Howbeit the respect of his royaltie, the hope of gay apparel, ease, plesure & other wanton welth, was hable soone to perse a softe tender hearte. But when the king had abused her, anon her husband (as he was an honest man & one that could his good, not presuming to touch a kinges concubine) left her vp to him al togither. When the king died, the lord Chamberlen toke her. Which in the kinges daise, albeit he was was sore ennamored vpon her, yet he forbare her, either for reuerence, or for a certain frendly faithfulnes. Proper she was & faire: nothing in her body that you would haue changed, but if you would haue wished her somewhat higher. Thus say thei that knew her in her youthe. Albeit some that now se her (for yet she liueth) deme her neuer to haue ben wel visaged. Whose iugement semeth me somwhat like, as though men should gesse the bewty of one longe before departed, by her scalpe taken out of the charnel house: for now is she old lene, withered & dried vp, nothing left but ryuilde skin & hard bone. An yet being euen such: whoso wel aduise her visage, might gesse & deuise which partes how filled, wold make it a faire face. Yet she delited not men so much in her bewty, as in her plesant behauiour. For a proper wit had she, & could both rede wel & write, mery in company, redy & quick of aunswer, neither mute nor ful of bable, sometime taunting without displeasure not without disport.
King Edwardes .iii. concubines
The king would say that he had .iii. concubines, which in three diuers properties diuersly exceled. One the meriest, an other the wiliest, the thirde the holiest harlot in his realme, as one whom no man could get out of the church lightly to any place, but it wer to his bed. The other two were somwhat greter parsonages, & Natheles of their humilitie content to be nameles, & to forbere the praise of those properties. But the meriest was this Shoris wife, in whom the king therfore toke speciall pleasure. For many he had, but her he loued, whose fauour to saithe trouth (for sinne it wer to belie the deuil) she neuer abused to any mans hurt, but to many a mans comfort & relief: where the king toke displeasure, she wolud mitigate & appease his mind: where men were out of fauour, she wold bring them in his grace. For many that had highly offended, shee obtained pardon. Of great forfetures she gate men remission. And finally in many weighty sutes, she stode many men in gret stede, either for none, or very smal rewardes, & those rather gay then rich: either for that she was content with the dede selfe well done, or for that she delited to be suid vnto, & to show what she was able to do wyth the king, or for that wanton women and welthy be not alway couetouse. I doubt not some shal think this woman to sleight a thing, to be written of & set amonge the remembraunces of great matters: which thei shal specially think, that happely shal esteme her only by that thei now see her. But me semeth the chaunce so much the more worthy to be remembred, in how much she is now in the more beggerly condicion, vnfrended & worne out of acquantance, after good substance, after as gret fauour with the prince, after as gret sute & seking to with al those that those days had busynes to spede, as many other men were in their times, which be now famouse, only by the infamy of their il dedes. Her doinges were not much lesse, albeit thei be muche lesse remembered, because thei were not so euil. For men vse if they haue an euil turne, to write it in marble: & whoso doth vs a good tourne, we write it in duste which is not worst proued by her: for at this daye shee beggeth of many at this daye liuing, that at this day had begged if she had not bene.
The Lord Riuers and other behedded
Now was it so deuised by the protectour & his counsel, that the self day in which the lord Chamberlen was behedded in the tower of London, & about the selfsame hower, was there not without his assent behedded at Poontfraite, the fore remembred lordes & knightes that were taken from the king at Northampton & Stony Stratford. Which thinge was done in the presence & by the order of syr
Sir Richard Ratclif
Richard Ratclif knight, whose seruice the protector specially vsed in the counsel and in thexecucion of such lawles enterprises, as a man that had ben long secret with him, hauing experience of the world & a shrewde wit, short & rude in speche, rough & rough & boistiouse of behauiour, bold in mischief, as far from pitie as from al fere of god. This knight bringing them out of the prison to the scafold, & shewing to the people about that thei were Traitors, not suffring them to speke & declare their innocence lest their wordes might haue inclined men to pity them, & to hate the protectour & his part: caused them hastly without iugement, processe, or maner of order to be behedded, & without other earthly gilt, but only that thei were good men, to be true to the king & to [nigh] to the quene. Now when the lord Chamberlen & these other lordes were thus behedded & ridde out of the way: then thought the protectour, that while men mused what the mater ment, while the lordes of the realme wer about him out of their owne strenghtis, while no man wist what to thinke nor whome to trust, ere euer they should haue space to dispute & digest the mater & make parties: it wer best hastly to pursue his purpose, & put himself in possession of the crowne, ere men could haue time to deuise ani wais to resist. But now was al the study, by what meane thys matter being of it self so heinouse, might be first broken to the people, in such wise that it might be wel taken. To this counsel they toke diuerse, such as they thought metely to be trusted, likely to be indused to the parte, & able to stand them in stede, either by power or policy.
Edmunde Shaa Maier of London
Among whom, they made of Counsail Edmond Shaa knight then Maier of London, which vpon trust of his own aduauncement, whereof he was of a proud hart highly desirouse, shold frame the cite to their appetite. Of spiritual men thei toke such as had wit, & were in aucthorite among the peple for oppinion of ther lerning, & had no scrupilouse consience.
Doctour Shaa. Frere Penker
Among these had thei Iohn Shaa clerke brother to the Maier, & freer Penker prouincial of the Augustine freers both doctors of diuinitie, both gret prechars, both of more learning then vertue, of more fame then lerning. For thei were before gretly estemed among the peple: but after that neuer. Of these two the tone had a sermon in praise of the protectour before the coronacion, the tother after, both so ful of tediouse flatery, that no mans eares could abide them. Penker in his sermon so lost his voice that he was faine to leaue of & come downe in the middes. Doctour Shaa by his sermon lost his honestie, & sone after his life, for very shame of the worlde, into which he durst neuer after come abrode. But the frere forced for no shame, & so it harmed him the lesse. Howbeit some dout & many thinken, that Penker was not of counsel of the mater before the coronacion, but after the comen maner fell to flattery after: namely sith his sermon was not incontinent vpon it, but at S. Mary hospytall at the Ester after. But certaine is it, that Doctour Shaa was of counsel in the beginning, so farre forth that they determined that he should first breke the mater in a sermon at Poules Crosse, in whiche he shold by the aucthoritie of his preaching, encline the peple to the protectours ghostly purpose. But now was al the labour & study, in the deuise of some convenient pretext, for which the peple should be content, to depose the prince & accept the protector for kinge. In which diuerse thinges they deuised. But the chief thing & the weighty of al that inuencion, rested in this that they should allege bastardy, either in king Edward himselfe, or in his children, or both. So that he should seme dihabled to inherite the crowne by the duke of Yorke, and the prince by him. To lay bastardy in kynge Edward, sowned openly to the rebuke of the protectours owne mother, which was mother to them both: for in that point could be none other colour, but to pretend that his own mother was one aduouteresse which not withstanding to farther this purpose he letted not: but Natheles he would the point should be lesse & more fauorably handled, not euen fully plain & directly, but that the matter should be touched a slope craftely, as though men spared in that point to speke al the trouth for fere of his displeasure. But the other point concerning the bastardy that they deuised to sumise in King Edwards children, that wold he should be openly declared & inforsed to the vttermost. The coloure & pretext wherof cannot be wel p[er]ceiued, but if we first repete you some thinges longe before done about king Edwardes mariage.
After that king Edward the fourthe had deposed kinge Henry the sixt, & was in peasyble possession of the realme, determining himself to mary, as it was requisite bothe for himself & for the realme, he sent over in embassiate, the Erle of warwike with other noble men in his company vnto Spaine, to intreate & conclude a mariage betwene king Edward & the kinges doughter of Spain. In which thing the Erle of Warwik founde the parties so toward & willing, that he spedely according to his instruccions, without any difficulty brought the matter to verye good conclusion.
dame Elizabeth Gray
Now happed it that in the meane season, there came to make a sute by peticion to the king, dame Elizabeth Gray which was after his quene, at that tyme a widow borne of noble blood, specyally by her mother, which was Duches of Bedford ere she maried the lord Wodefeld her father. Howbeit this dame Elizabeth her self being in seruice with quene Margaret, wife vnto king Henry the .vi. was maried vnto one [Iohn] Gray a squier whom king Henry made knight vpon the field that he had on [Shroue Tuesday] at [Saint Albans] against king Edward. And litle while enioyed he that knighthod, for he was at the same field slaine. After which done, & the Erle of Warwik being in his embassiate about thafore remebred mariage, this pore Lady made humble sute vnto the king, that she might be restored vnto such smal landes as her late husband had giuen her in iointure. Whom when the king beheld, & hard her speke, as she was both faire, of a good fauour, moderate of stature, wel made & very wise: he not only pitied her, but also waxed ennamored on her. And taking her afterward secretly aside, began to entre in talking more familiarly. Whose appetite when she perceiued, she verteousely denyed him. But that did she so wiseli, & with so good maner, & wordes so wel set, that she rather kindled his desire then quenched it. And fynally after many a meting, much woing & many great promises, she wel espied the kinges affeccion toward her so greatly encresed, that she durst somwhat the more boldly say her minde, as to hym whose harte she perceiued more fimely set, then to fall of for a worde. And in conclusion she shewed him plaine, that as she wist herself to simple to be his wife, so thought she her self to good to be his concubine. The king much merueling of her constaunce, as he that had not ben wont els where to be so stiffely sayd naye, so muche estemed her contynence and chastitie, that he set her vertue in the stede of possession & riches. And thus taking counsaile of his desyre, determined in al possible hast to mary her. And after he was thus appointed, & hadde betwene them twain ensured her: then asked he counsel of his other frendes, and that in suche maner, as thei might ethe perceiue it boted not greatly to say nay.
The kinges mother
Notwithstanding the Duches of york his mother was so sore moued therewith, that she diswaded the mariage as much as she possible might alleging that it was in his honor, profite, and surety also, to mary in a noble progeny out of his realm, wherupon depended gret strength to his estate by the affinitie & gret possibilitie of encrease of his possessions. And that he could not well otherwise do, standing that the Earle of warwik had so far moued already. Whiche wer not likely to take it well, if al his viage were in suche wise frustrate, and his appointmentes deluded. And she said also that it was not princely to mary hys owne subiect, no gret occasion leading thervnto, no possessions, or other commodityes, depending therupon, but onely as it were a rich man that would mary his mayde, onely for a litle wanton dotage vppon her parson. In which mariage manye moe commend the maidens fortune, then the maisters wisdom. And yet therin she said was more honesty, then honor in this mariage. Forasmuch as there is betwene no merchant & his own maid so gret difference, as betwene the king and this widowe. In whose parson albeit ther was nothing to be misliked, yet was there she saide: nothing so excellent, but it might be founden in divers other, that wer more metely (quod she) for your estate, & maydens also, wheras the only widowhed of Elizabeth Gray though she wer in al other thinges conuenient for you, shold yet suffice as me semeth to refrain you from her mariage, sith it is an vnsitting thing, & a veri blemish, & highe disparagement, to the sacre magesty of a prince, that ought as nigh to approche priesthode in clenes as he doth in dignitie, to be defouled with bigamy in his first mariage.
The kynges answer to his mother
The king when his mother had said, made her answer part in ernest part in play merely, as he that wiste himself out of her rule. And albeit he would gladly that she shold take it wel, yet was at a pointe in his owne mynde, toke she it wel or otherwise. Howbeit somwhat to satisfy her he saide, that albeit mariage being a spiritual thing, ought rather to be made for the respect of God where his grace enclineth the parties to loue together as he trusted it was in his then for the regard of any temporal aduauntage: yet natheles him semed that this mariage euen worldly considred, was not vnprofitable. For he reckened the amitye of no earthly nacion so necessari for him, as the frendship of his own. Which he thought likely to beare him so muche the more herty fauor in that he disdayned not to marye with one of his own land. And yet yf outeward aliance wer thought so requisite, he wold find the meanes to enter therinto, much better bi other of his kin, wher al the parties could be contented, than to mary himself, whom hee shoulde happelye neuer loue, and for the possibility of more possessions, lese the fruit & pleasure of this that he had alredy. For smal pleasure taketh a man of al that euer he hath beside, yf he bee wiued against his appetite. And I doubt not quod he but there be as ye saye other, that be in euery point comparable with her. And therefore I let not them that like them to wedde them. No more is it reason that it mislike any man, that I mary where it liketh me. And I am sure that my cosein of warwik neither loueth me so litle, to grudge at that I loue, nor is so vnreasonable to loke that I shold in choise of a wife, rather than be ruled by his eye, then by mine own: as though I wer a ward that wer bound to mary by thapointment of a gardain. I wold not be a kyng with that condicion, to forbere mine own liberty in choise of my own mariage. As for possibilitie of more inheritaunce by new affinity in estraunge landes, is ofte the occasion of more trouble then profite. And we haue already title by that meanes, to so much as suffiseth to get & kepe wel in one mans daies. That she is a widow & hath alredy children, by gods blessed Ladye I am a batcheler & haue some to: & so eche of vs hath a profe that neither of vs is lyke to be barain. And therfore madam I pray you be content, I trust in god she shal bring furth a young prince, that shal please you. And as for the bigamy, let the bishop hardely lay it in my wai, when I come to take orders. For I vnderstand it is forbidden a priest, but I neuer wiste it yet that it was forbidden a prince. The Duchesse with these wordes nothyng appeased, and seing the king so set thereon that she coulde not pull him backe, so hyghelye she dysdained it, that vnder pretect of her duetye to Godwarde, shee deuised to disturbe this mariage, and rather to help that he shold mary one dame
Elizabeth Lucy, whom the king had also not long before gotten with child. Wherefor the kinges mother obiected openly against his mariage, as it were in discharge of her conscience, that the kinge was sure to dame Elizabeth Lucy and her husband before god. By reson of which wordes, such obstacle was made in the mater, that either the Bishoppes durst not, or the king would not, procede to the solempnisacion of this weding, til these same wer clerely purged, & the trouth wel & openly testified. Wherupon dame Elysabeth Lucy was sent for. And albeit that she was by the kinges mother & many other put in good comfort, to affirme that she was ensure vnto the king: yet when she was solempnely sworne to say the trouth, she confessed that they were neuer ensured. Howbeit she sayed his grace spake so louing wordes vnto her, that she verely hopid he wold have maried her. And that if it had not ben for such kind wordes, she would never have shewed such kindenes to him, to let him so kindly get her with childe. This examinacion sole[m]pnly taken, when it was clerely perceiued that there was none impediment:
The kinges mariage
the king with gret feast & honorable solempnite, maried dame Elisabeth Grai and her crowned quene that was hys enemies wife, & many time had praied full hartly for his losse. In which god loued her better, then to graunt her her bone.
But when the Erle of Warwick vnderstode of this mariage, he tooke it so highly that his embasiate was deluded, that for very angre & disdaine,
The king fledde
he at his retourne assembled a gret puisaunce against the king, and came so fast vppon him or he could be able to resist, that he was faine to voide the realme & fle into hollaund for succour.
The prince borne
King Kenry the .vi. set vp
Of the Erle of warwik
Wher he remayned for the space of .ii. yeres, leuing hys new wife in westminster in sanctuary, wher she was deliuered of Edward the prince, of whom we before haue spoken. In which mene time the Erle of warwik toke out of prison and set vp againe Henry the .vi. which was before by king Edward deposed and that much what by the power of the Erle of warwike: which was a wiseman & a couragiouse warriour, & of such strength, what for his landes his alliaunce and fauer with al the people, that he made kinges and put down kinges almost at his pleasure, & not impossible to haue attained it himselfe, if he had not rekened it a greater thing to make a king then to be a king. But nothing
Therle of warwik slain
lasteth alway, for in conclusion king Edwarde returned, and with much lesse number then he had, at Barnet on thestre daye felde, slewe the Erle of wawik with many other great estates of that partie, & so stably attained the crowne againe, that he peassybly enioyed it vntil his dieng day: and in such plight left it, that it could not be lost, but by the discorde of his verye frendes, or falshed of his fained frendes.
I haue rehersed this busines about this mariage somwhat the more at lenght, because it might therby the better appere how slipper a grounde the protector builded his colour, by which he pretended king Edwardes children to be bastardes. But that inuencion simple as it was, it liked them to whom it suffised to haue somwhat to say, while they wer sure to be compelled to no larger proofe then themselfe list to make.
Doctoure Shawes sermon
Now then as I began to shew you, it was by the protectour & his counsaile concluded, that this doctour Sha should in a sermon at Poules Crosse, sygnifie to the people, that neither king Edward himself, nor the Duke of Clarence, were lawfully begotten, nor were not the very children of the duke of Yorke, but gotten vnlawfully by other parsons by thaduoutry of the duches their mother. And that also dame Elisabeth Lucy was verely the wife of king Edward, and so the prince and all his children bastardes that were gotten vpon the quene. According to this deuise, doctour Shaa the sonday after at Poules crosse in a gret audience (as alwy assembled gret numbre to his preching) he toke for his tyme Spuria vitulamina non agent radices altas. That is to say bastard slippes shal neuer take depe roote. Thereupon when he had shewed the great grace that god giueth & secretly infowndeth in the right generacion after the lawes of matrimony, then declared he that comenly those children lacked that grace, & for the punishment of their parentes were for the most parte vnhappie, which were gotten in baste and specciallye in aduowtrie. Of which, though some by the ignoraunce of the world & the trouth hid fro knowlege enherited for the season other mennes landes, yet god alway so prouideth, that it continueth not in their blood long, but the trouth comming to light, the rightful inheritors be restored, & the bastard slip pulled vp, ere it can be rooted depe. And when he had laid for the proofe & confirmacion of this sentence, certain ensamples taken out of the olde testament & other auncient histories, then began he to descend into the praise of the lord Richarde late duke of York, calling him father to the lord protectour, & declared the title of hys heires vnto the crowne, to whom it was after the deathe of King Henry the sixte entailed by authoritye of parleamente. Then shewed he that his very right heire of his body lawfully begotten, was onely the lord protector. For he declared then, that king Edward was neuer lawfully maried, vnto the quene, but was before god, husband vnto dame Elizabeth Lucye, & so his children bastardes. And besides that, neither king Edward himself, nor the duke of Clarence among those that wer secret in the household, wer reckened very surely for the children of the noble Duke, as those that by their fauours more resembled other knowen men then him. From whose vertuous condicions, he said, that very noble prince, the special paterne of knightly prowes, as well in all princely behauor as in the liniamentes & fauor of his visage, represented the verye face of the noble duke his father. This is quod he, the fathers owne figure, this is his own countenance, the very prent of his visage, the sure vndoubted image, the plaiyne expresse likenes of that noble Duke.
Nowe was it before deuised, that in the speaking of these wordes, the protector should haue comen in among the people to the sermonwarde, to thend that those words meting with his presence, might haue been taken among the hearers, as thoughe the holye ghost had put them in the preachers mouth, & should haue moued the people euen ther, to crie Richard king Richard, that it might haue bene after said, that he was specially chosen by god & in maner by miracle. But this deuise quailed either by the protectors negligence, or the preachers ouermuche diligence. For while the protector found by the way tarying lest he should preuent those woordes, & the doctor fearing that he should come ere his sermon could come to those wordes hasted his matter thereto: he was com to them & past them & entred into other matters ere the protector came. Whom when he beheld coming, he sodainly lefte the matter, with which he was in hand, and without ani deducion therunto, out of al order, & oute of al frame, began to repete those wordes again: this is the verye noble prince, the special patrone of knightly prowes, which aswell in al princelye behaueor, as in the liniamentes & fauor of his visage, representeth the very face of the noble duke of york his father. This is the fathers own figure, this his own countenance, the very printe of his visage, the sure vndouted ymage, the plain expresse lykenes of the noble duke, whose remembrance can neuer dye while he liueth. Whyle these wordes wer in speaking, the protector accompanied with the duke of Buckingham, went thorow the people into the place where the doctors comonly stand in the vpper story, where he stode to hearken the sermon. But the people wer so farre fro crying king Richard, that thei stode as thei had bene turned into stones, for wonder of this shamefull sermon. After whiche once ended, the preacher gate him home & neuer after durst looke out
for shame, but kepe him out of sight lyke an owle. And when he once asked one that had bene his old frend, what the people talked of him, al wer it that his own conscience wel shewed him that thei talked no good, yet when the tother answered him that there was in euery mans mouth spoken of him much shame, it so strake him to the heart, that within fewe daies after he withered & consumed away. Then on the tewesday folowing this sermon, there came vnto the yeld hall in London the duke of Buckingham, accompanied with diuers lordes and knightes, mo then happely knewe the message that thei brought. And there in the east ende of the hall where the maire kepeth the hustinges, the maire & al the aldermen being assembled about him, all the commons of the citie, gathered before them, after silence commaunded vpon greate pain in the protectors name: the Duke stode vp, and (as he was neither vnlearned, and of nature marueilouslye well spoken) hee saide vnto the people with a clere and a loude voice in this maner of wyse.
The duke of Buckinghams oracion
Frendes, for the zeale & heartye fauour that we beare you, we be comen to breake vnto you, of a matter ryghte great & weighty, and no lesse weightye, then pleasing to God and profitable to all the realme: nor to no part of the realm more profitable, then to you the citezens of this noble citie. For why, that thyng that we wote well ye haue long time lacked and sore longed for, that ye would haue geuen great good for, that ye woulde haue gone farre to fetche, that thynge wee bee comme hyther to bringe you, withoute youre labour, payne, coste, aduenture or iopardie. What thynge is that? certes the suretye of your owne bodyes, the quiete of youre wiues and youre doughters, the safegarde of youre goodes: of all whiche thynges in tymes passed ye stoode euer more in doubte. For who was there of you all, that woulde recken hym selfe Lorde of his own good, among so many grennes and trappes as was set therfore, among so much pilling and polling, among so may taxes & tallages, of whiche there was neuer ende, & often time no nede: or if any wer, it rather grew of riote & vnresonable wast, then any necessarye or honorable charge. So that there was dayly pilled fro good men & honest, gret substaunce of goodes to be lashed oute among vnthriftes so farforth that fiftenes suffised not, nor ani vsual names of knowen taxes: but vnder an easy name of beneuolence & good will, the commissioners so much of euery man toke, as noman would with his good wil haue giuen. As though the name of beneuolence, had signified that euery man shold pay, not what himself of his good wil list to graunt, but what the king of his good will list to take.
Which neuer asked litle, but euery thing was hawsed aboue the mesure: amercementes turned into fines, fines into raunsomes, smal trespas to misprision, misprision into treson. Wherof I thinke no man loketh that we should remembre you of examples by name, as though
Burdet were forgotten, that was for a worde spoken in hast, cruelly behedded, by the misconstruing of the lawes of thys realme for the princes plesure: with no les honour to
Markam then chief Iustyce, that left his office rather then he would assent to that iudgement, then to the dishonesty of those, that either for fere or flatterie gaue that iudgement. What
Coke your own worshipful neibour alderman & Mayer of this noble citie, who is of you either so negligent that he knoweth not, or so forgetfull that he remembreth not, or so harde hearted that he pitieth not, that worshipful mans losse? What speke we of losse? his vtter spoile and vnderserued distruccyon, only for that it happed those to fauor him, whome the prince fauored not. We nede not I suppose to reherse of these any mo by name, sith ther be I doubte not many here present, that either in themself or their nighe frendes, haue knowen as well their goodes as their parsons greatly endaungered, either by fained quarels, or smal matters agreuid with heinouse names. And also there was no crime so great, of whiche there could lack a pretext. For sithe the king preuenting the time of his enheritaunce attained the crowne by batayl: it suffised in a riche man for a pretext of treson, to haue ben of kinred or alliaunce nere familiarite or leger aquaintaunce with any of those that were at any time the kinges enemies, which was at one time & other, more then halfe the realme. Thus wer nether your goods in surety & yet thei brought your bodies in iubardi besyde the comen aduenture of
open warre, which albeit that it is euer the wil & occasion of much mischief, yet is it neuer so mischeuouse, as where any peple fal at distaunce among themself, nor in none erthly nacion so dedely & so pestilent, as when it happeneth among vs & among vs neuer so long continued dissension, nor so many battailes in the season, nor so cruel & deadly foughten, as was in the kinges daies that dead is god forgiue it his soule. In whose time & by whose occasion, what about the getting of the garland, keping it, lesing & winning againe, it hath cost more englishe blood then hath twise the winning of Fraunce.
In which inward warre among our self, hath ben so gret effucion of the auncient noble blood of this realme, that scarcely the half remaineth, to the gret infebling of this noble land, beside many a good town ransakid & spoiled, by them that haue ben going to the field or cumming from thence. And peace long after not much surer then war. So that no time was ther in which rich men for their mony, & gret men for their landes or some other for some fere or some displesure were not out of peryl. For whome trusted he that mistrusted his own brother? whom spared he that killed his own brother? or who could parfitely loue him, if hys owne brother could not? what maner of folke he most fauoured, we shall for hys honour spare to speke of, howbeit thys wote you wel al, that whoso was beste, bare alway lest rule, & more sute was in his dayes vnto Shores wife a vile & abhominable strumpet, then to al the lordes in England, except vnto those that made her their proctoure which simple woman was wel named & honest, tyll the kyng for his wanton lust & sinful affeccion byreft her from her husband a right honest substauncial yong man among you. And in that point which in good faith I am sorye to speke of, sauing that it is in vain to kepe in counsel that thing that al men know, the kinges gredy appetite was insaciable, and euery where ouer al the realme intollerable. For no woman was there any where yong or olde, riche or pore, whom he set his eie vpon, in whome he anythinge lyked either person or fauour, speche, pace, or countenance, but without any fere of god, or respect of his honour, murmure or grudge of the worlde, he would importunely pursue hys appetite, and haue her, to the gret destruccion of many a good woman, & greate dolor to their housebande, and theyr other frendes, whiche being honest people of themself, so much regarde the clennes of their house, the chastitie of theyr wifes and their children, that them wer leuer to leese all that thei haue besyde, then to haue suche a villany done them. And all were it that with this and other importable dealing, the realme was in euery part annoyd: yet specially ye here the citezens of this noble citie, as well for that among you is most plenty of all such thinges as minister matter to such iniuries, as for that you were nereste at hande, sith that nere here about was comonly his most abyding. And yet bee ye the people whom he had as singuler cause wel and kyndly to entreate, as any part of his realme, not onely for that the prince by
London the kinges special chaumber
this noble citye, as his special chamber & the speciall wel renoumed citye of his realme, much honorable fame receiueth among all other nacions: but also for that ye not without your great coste and sundry perils and iopardies in all his warres, bare euer your specyall fauoure to his parte whiche youre kynde myndes borne to the house of York, sith he hath nothing worthely acquited, ther is of that house that now by gods grace better shal, which thing to shewe you is the whole some and effect of this our present errande. It shall not I wote well nede that I rehearse you agayn that ye haue alreadye harde, of him that can better tell it, and of whom I am sure ye wil better beleue it. And reason is that it so be. I am not so proude to looke therfore, that ye shoulde recken my wordes of as great authoritie as the preachers of the worde of god, namelye a manne so cunninge and so wise that no manne better woteth what he should say, and thereto so good and vertuous that he would not say the thyng whiche he wist he shoulde not say, in the pulpet namely into which none honest man commeth to lie, which honorable preacher ye wel remember substancially declared vnto you at Poules crosse on Sunday last passed, the righte and title that the most excellent Prince Richard duke of Gloucester now protectour of this realme, hath vnto the crown & kingdom of the same. For as that worshipful man groundly made open vnto you, the children of king Edward the fourth wer neue lawfully begotten, forasmuch as the king (liuing his very wife dame Elizabeth Lucy) was neuer lawfully married vnto the Quene their mother, whose bloode sauing that he set volupteous pleasure before his honor, was full vnmetely to bee matched with his, and the mengling of whose bloodes together, hath bene the effusion of great parte of the noble blood of this realme. Wherby it maye wel seme that mariage not well made, of which ther is so much mischief growen. For lack of which lawfull accoupling, & also of other thinges, which the said worshipful doctor rather signified then fully explaned, & which thynges shal not be spoken for me as the thing wherin euery man forbeareth to say that he knoweth in auoidinge dyspleasure of my noble lord protector, bearinge as nature requireth a filial reuerence to the duches his mother, for these cause I say before remembred, that is to wit for lack of other issue lawfully comming of the late noble prince Richard duke of York to whose roial bloode the crown of England and of Fraunce, is by the high authoritie of parliament entailed, the right and title of the same, is by the iust course of enheritance accordinge to the comon law of this lande, deuolute & comen vnto the most excellent prince the lord protector as to the very lawfully begotten sonne of the fore remembred noble duke of Yorke. Which thing well considred, & the greate knightly prowes pondred, with manyfolde vertues which in his noble parson singularly abound, the nobles & commons also of this realm, & specially of the north partes, not willing any bastard blood to haue the rule of the land, nor the abusions before in the same vsed any longer to continue, haue condiscended & fullye determined to make humble peticion vnto the most puisant prince, the lord protector: that it maye like his grace at our humble request, to take vpon him the guiding & gouernance of this realm, to the welth & encrease of the same, according to his very right & iust title. Which thing I wote it wel he wilbe loth to take vpon him, as he whose wisdom well perceiueth the labor & study both of minde & of bodye that shal come therewith, to whom so euer so wel occupy that roume, as I dare say he wil if he take it. Which roume I warne you well is no childes office. And that the greate wise manne well percieued. When hee sayde: Veh regno cuius rex puer est. Woe is that Realme, that hathe a chylde to theyre Kynge. Wherefore soo muche the more cause haue we to thank god, that this noble parsonage which is so ryghteousely intitled thereunto, is od so sadde age, and therto of so great wisedome ioined with so great experience: whiche albeit he wil be lothe as I haue said to take it vpon him: yet shall he to oure peticion in that behalf the more graciously encline if ye the worsshipfull citezens of this the chiefe citie of this realme, ioyne wyth vs the nobles in our said request. Which for your owne weale we doubte not but ye will, and natheles I hartelye praye you so to doe, wherby you shall doe gret profite to all this realme beside in chosing them so good a king, and vnto your selfe speciall commodite, to whome hys maiesty shall euer after beare so muche the more tender fauour, in howe much he shall perceiue you the more prone & beneuolently minded toward his eleccion. Wherin dere frendes what mind you haue, wee require you plainely to shew vs. When the duke had saied, and looked that the people whome he hoped that the Mayer had framed before, shoulde after this proposicion made, haue cried king Richarde, king Richard: all was husht and mute, and not one word aunswered therunto. Wherewith the duke was meruailously abashed, and taking the Maier nere to him, with the other that were about him priuey to that matter, saied vnto them softlye what meaneth this, that this peple be so stil. Sir quod the Mayer parcase they perceyue you not well. That shal we mende (quod he) if that wyll helpe. And by and by somewhat louder, he rehersed them the same matter againe in other order and other wordes, so wel and ornately, & natheles so euidently and plaine, with voice gesture and countenance so cumly and so conuenient, that eueryman much meruailed that heard him, and thought that they neuer had in their liues heard so euill a tale so well tolde. But were it for wonder or feare, or that eche looke that other shoulde speake fyrste: not one woorde was there aunswered of all the people that stode before, but al was as styl as the midnight, not so much as rowning among them, by whych they myght seme to comen what was best to doe, when the Mayer saw thys he wyth other pertiners of that counsayle, drew aboute the duke and sayed that the people had not ben accustomed there to be spoken vnto but by the recorder, whiche is the mouth of the citie, and happely to him they will aunswere,
Fitz williams recorder
With that the recorder called Fitz Wyllyam a sadde man and an honest, whiche was so new come into that office that he neuer had spoken o the peple before, and loth was with that matter to beginne, not withstanding thereunto commaunded by the Mayer, made rehersall to the comens of that the duke had twise rehersed them himselfe. But the recorder so tempered his tale, that he shewed euery thing as the dukes wordes and no part of his owne. But all thys nothing no chaunge made in the people which alway after one, sode as they had ben men amased, wherupon the duke rowned vnto the Mayer and sayd: Thys is a maruelouse obstinate silence, and therewith he turned vnto the peple againe with these wordes: dere frendes we cume to moue you to that thing which peraduenture we not so greately neded, but that the lordes of thys realme and the comens of other parties, might haue suffised, sauing that we such loue bere you, and so much sette by you, that we woulde not gladly do withoute you, that thing in which to bee parteners is your weale & honour which as it semeth, eyther you se not or way not. Wherfore we require you giue aunswer one or other, whither you be mynded as all the nobles of the realme be, to haue this noble prynce now protectour to be your kyng or not. At these wodes the people began to whisper among themselfe secretly, [t]hat the voyce was neyther loude nor distincke, but as it were the sounde of a swarm of bees, tyl at the last in [the nether] ende of the hal, a bushement of the dukes seruantes and Nashefeldes and other longing to the protectour, with some prentises and laddes that thrust into the hal amonge the prese, began sodainlye at mennes backes to crye owte as lowde as their throtes would gyue: king Rycharde kinge Rycharde, and threwe vp their cappes in token of ioye. And they that stode before, cast back theyr heddes meruailing thereof, but nothing they sayd. And when the duke and the Maier saw thys maner, they wysely turned it to theyr purpose. And said it was a goodly cry and a ioyfull to here, euery man with one voice no manne sayeng nay. Wherfore frendes, quod the duke, sins that we parceiue it is al your hole mindes to haue this noble man for your king whereof we shall make his grace so effetuall reporte, that we doubte not but it shall redounde vnto your great weal and commoditye: we require ye that ye to morow go with vs and wee with you vnto his noble grace, to make our humble request vnto him in maner before remembred. And therewith the lordes came downe, and the company dissolued and departed, the more part al sad, som with glad semblaunce that wer not very mery, and some of those that came thyther with the duke, not able to dissemble theyr sorow, were faine at his backe to turne theyr face to the wall, while the doloure of their heart brast oute at theyr eyen. Then
The mayers commynge to Baynardes castel
on the morowe after, the mayre with all the aldermen and chiefe comeners of the citie in their beste maner apparailed, assembling themself together resorted vnto Baynardes castell where the protector lay. To which place repaired also according to theyr [appo]intmente the duke of Buckingham, with dyuers noble menne with him, beside manye knightes and other gentlemen. And thereupon the duke sent worde vnto the lord protectour, of the being there of a great and honourable coumpanye, to moue a great matter vnto his grace.
Whereupon the protectour made difficultie to come oute vnto them, but if he first knewe some part of theyr errande, as though he doubted and partelye dystrusted the commyng of suche noumber vnto him so sodainlye, withoute anye warnyng or knowledge, whyther they came for good or harme, then the Duke when he had shewed this vnto the maire and other, that they mighte thereby see howe lytle the protectour loked for this matter, thei sent vnto him by the messenger suche louyng message againe, and therewith so humblye besought hym to vouchsafe that thei might resort to hys presence, to purpose their intent, of which they would vnto none other parson any part disclose, that at the laste hee came foorth of his chamber, and yet not down vnto them, but stode aboue in a galarye ouer them, where they mighte see hym & speake to him, as though he woulde not yet come to nere them tyll he wist what they mente. And thereuppon the Duke of Buckingham fyrste made humble peticion vnto him, on the behalfe of them all, that his grace woulde pardon them and lycence them to purpose vnto hys grace the intent of their commyng with oute his displeasure, withoute whiche pardon obtayned, they durst not be bold to moue him of that matter. In whiche albeit thei ment as muche honor to hys grace as wealthe to al the realm beside, yet were they not sure howe hys grace woulde take it, whom they would in no wyse offende. Then the protector as hee was very gentle of hymselfe, and also longed sore to wit what they mente, gaue hym leaue to purpose what hym lyked, verely trustyng for the good minde that he bare them al, none of them ani thing would intende vnto hym warde, where with he ought to be greued. When the duke had this leaue & pardon to speake, then waxed he bolde to shewe hym theyr intent and purpose, with all the causes mouing them thereto as ye before haue harde, and finally to beseche hys grace, that it wold lyke him of his accustomed goodnes and zeale vnto the realm, now with his eye of pitie, to beholde the long contiued distres and decay of the same and to sette his gracious handes to the redresse and amendement therof, by taking vppon him the crowne and gouernaunce of theis realme, according to his right and tytle lawfully descended vnto hym, and to the laude of god, profyte of the land, and vnto his grace so muche the more honour and lesse paine, in [that] neuer prince raigned vpon any people, that were so glad to liue vnder hys obeysaunce as the people of this realme vnder his. When the protector had hard the proposicion, he loked very strangely therat, and answered: That all were it that he partli knew the thinges by them alledged to be true: yet such entier loue he bare vnto king Edward and his children, that so muche more regarded hys honour in other realmes about, then the crowne of any one, of which he was neuer desyrous, that he could not fynde in his hearte in this poynte to enclyne to theyr desyre. For in all other nacyons where the trueth wer not wel knowen, it shold paraduenture be thought, that it were his owne ambicious minde and deuise, to depose the prince & take himself the crown. With which infami he wold not haue his honoure stayned for anye crowne. In whiche he had euer parceyued muche more labour and payn, the pleasure to hym that so woulde so vse it, as he that woulde not were not worthy to haue it. Not withstanding he not only pardoned them the mocion that they made him, but also thanked them for the loue and hearty fauoure they bare him, prayinge them for his sake to geue and beare the same to the prynce, vnder whom he was and would be content to lyue, & with his labour and counsel as farre as should like the kyng to vse him, he woold doe his vttermost deuor to set the realm in good state. Whiche was alreadye in this litle while of his protectorship (the prayse geuen to god) wel begon, in that the malice of such as wer before occasion of the contrary and of new intended to bee, were nowe partelye by good policye, partly more by goddes special prouidence then mans prouision repressed. Vpon this answer geuen, the Duke by the protectours lycence, a lytle rouned, aswell with other noble men about him as with the mayre and recorder of London. And after that vpon lyke pardone desyred and obtayned, he shewed aloude vnto the protectour, that for a fynal conclusion, that the realm was appointed king Edwardes lyne shoulde not any longer reigne vpon them, both for that thei had so farre gone, that it was now no surety to retreate, as for that they thought it for the weale vniuersal to take that wai although they had not yet begonne it. Wherfore yf it would lyke hys grace to take the crowne vpon him, they woulde humblye beseche hym thereunto. If he woulde geue them a resolute aunswere to the contrary, whyche they woulde bee lothe to heare, than muste they needes seke and shold not faile to fynd some other noble manne that woulde. These wordes muche moued the protectoure, whiche els as euery manne may witte, would neuer of likelyhoode haue inclyned therunto. But when he saw ther was none other way, but that eyther he must take it or els he and his bothe goe fro it, he said vnto the lordes and commons: Sith we parceiue wel that al the realm is so set, whereof we be very sorye that they wil not suffer in any wise king Edwardes line to gouerne them, whom no manne earthly can gouerne again their willes, and we wel also perceue, that no manne is there, to whom the crown can by so iust tytle appertayn as to our self, as verye ryghte heyre lawfullye begotten of the bodye of oure moste deere father Rycharde late Duke of Yorke, to whiche tytle is nowe ioyned your elleccion, the nobles & comons of this realm, whiche wee of all titles possible take for most effectual: we be content & agre fauourably to incline to your peticion and request, and accordyng to the same,
The protector taketh uppon him to be kynge
here we take vppon vs the royall estate, preeminence and kyngdome of the two noble realmes, England and Fraunce, the tone fro this day forward by vs and our heires to rule, gouerne and defend, the tother by goddes grace & youre good helpe to geat again and subdewe, and established for euer in due obedyence vnto this realme of Englande, thaduancement wherof we neuer aske of god longer to lyue then we entende to procure. With this there was a great shout, crying Richarde king Rychard. And then the lordes went vp to the kyng (for so was he from that time called) and the people departed, talkyng diuersly of the matter euery man as his fantasye gaue hym. But muche they talked and marueiled of the maner of this dealing, that the matter was on both partes made so straunge, as though neither had euer communed with other thereof before, when that themself wel wist there was no man so dul that heard them, but he perceiued wel inough, that all the matter was made betwene them. Howbeit somme excused that agayne, and sayde all must be done in good order though. And menne must sommetime for the manner sake not bee a knowen what they knowe. For at the consecracion of a bishop, euery man woteth well by the paying for his bulles, that he purposeth to be one, & though he paye for nothing elles. And yet must he bee twise asked whyther he wil be bishop or no, and he muste twyse say naye, and at the third tyme take it as compelled ther vnto by his owne wyll. And in a stage play all the people know right wel, that he that playeth the sowdayne is percase a sowter. Yet if one should can so lyttle good, to shewe out of seasonne what acquaintance he hath with him, and calle him by his owne name whyle he standeth in his magestie, one of his tormentors might hap to breake his head, and worthy for marring of the play. And so they said that these matters bee Kynges games, as it were stage playes, and for the more part plaied vpon scafoldes. In which pore men be but the lokers on. And thei that wise be, wil medle no farther. For they that sometyme step vp and playe with them, when they cannot play their partes, they disorder the play & do themself no good.
‡The nexte daye the Protectoure with a great
This that is here betwene this marke ‡ & this marke * was not writen by master More in this history written by him in English, but is translated out of this history which he wrote in latin
traine wente to westmynster halle and there when he had placed himself in the court of the kinges bench, declared to the audience, that he woulde take vpon him the crowne in that place there, wher the king himself sitteth and ministreth the law: because he considred that it was the chiefest duety, of a kyng to minister the lawes. Then with as pleasant an oracion as he could, he went about to win vnto him, the nobles, the marchantes, the artificers, and in conclusion al kinde of men. But specially the lawyers of this realme. And fynally to thentent that no man shoulde hate hym for feare, and that his deceitful clemency mighte geat him the good wyll of the people, when he had declared the dyscomoditie of discorde, and the commodyties of concorde and vnitie, he made an open proclamacion, that he did put oute of his minde all enymities, and that he there did openly pardon all offences committed against him. And to the entente that he might shew a proofe thereof, he commaunded that one Fogge whom he had long deadly hated, shold be brought than before him. Who being brought oute of the saintuary by (for thither had he fled, for fere of hym) in the sight of the people, he tooke him by the hand. Whiche thyng the common people reioysed at and praised, but wise men tooke it for a vanitye. In his returne homewarde, whom so euer he met he saluted. For a minde that knoweth it self giltye, is in a maner deiected to a seruile flattery.
When he hadde begonne his reygne the [twenty sixth] day of Iune, after this mockishe selccion, than was he Crowned the [sixte] day of Iuly. And that solemnitie was furnished for the most part, with the selfe same prouision that was appointed for the Coronacion of his nephew.*
Now fell ther mischieues thick. And as the thinge euill gotten is neuer well kept: through all the time of his reygne, neuer ceased there cruel death & slaughter, till his owne destrucccion ended it. But as he finished his time with the beste death, and the most righteous, that is to wyt his own: so began he with the most piteous and wicked, I meane the lamentable murther of his innoocent nephewes, the young king and his tender brother. Whose death and final infortune hathe natheles so far comen in question, that some remain yet in doubt, whither they wer in his dayes destroyde or no. Not for that onely that
Perken Warbecke, by many folkes malice, and mooe folkes foly, so long space abusyng the worlde, was aswel with princes as the porer people, reputed and taken for the yonger of those two, but for that also that all thynges wer in late daies so couertly demeaned, one thing pretended and an other ment, that there was nothyng so plaine and openly proued, but that yet for the comen custome of close &
Close delyng is euer suspected
couert dealing, men had it euer inwardly suspect, as many well counterfaited iewels make the true mistrusted. Howbeit concerning that opinion, with the occasions mouing either partie, we shall haue place more at large to entreate, yf we hereafter happen to write the time of the late noble prince of famous memory king Henry the seuenth, or parcase that history of Perkin in any compendious processe by it selfe. But in the meane time for this present matter, I shall rehearse you the dolorous end of those babes, not after euery way that I haue heard, but after that way thay I haue so hard by such men & by such meanes, as me thinketh it wer hard but it should be true. King Richarde after his coronacion, takyng his way to Gloucester to visit in his newe honor, the towne of which he bare the name of his old, deuised as he roode, to fulfil that thing which he before had intended. And forasmuch as his minde gaue him, that his nephewes liuing, men woulde not recken that hee could haue right to the realm, he thought therfore without delay to rid them, as though the killing of his kinsmen, could amend his cause, and make him a kindly king. Whereuppon he sent one
Iohn GreneRobert Brakenbury constable of the Tower
Iohn Grene whom he specially trusted, vnto sir Robert Brakenbery constable of the Tower, with a letter and credence also, that the same sir Robert shoulde in any wise put the two children to death. This Iohn Grene did his errande vnto Brakenbery kneling before our Lady in the Tower, who plainely answered that he would neuer putte them to death to dye therfore, with which answer Ihon Grene returning recounted the same to Kynge Richarde at Warwick yet in his way. Wherwith he toke such displeasure and thought, that the same night, he said vnto a secret page of his: Ah whome shall a man trust? those that I haue brought vp my selfe, those that I had went would most surely serue me, euen those fayle me, and at my commaundemente wyll do nothyng for me. Sir quod his page there lyeth one on your paylet without, that I dare well say to do your grace pleasure, the thyng were right harde that he wold refuse, meaning this by
Syr Iames Tyrell
sir Iames Tyrell, which was a man of right goodlye parsonage, and for natures gyftes, woorthy to haue serued a muche better prince, if he had well serued god, and by grace obtayned asmuche trouthe & good will as he had strength and witte. The man had an high heart, and sore longed vpwarde, not rising yet so fast as he had hoped, being hindered and kept vnder by the meanes of sir Richard Ratcliffe and sir William Catesby,
Authority loueth no partners
which longing for no moo parteners of the princes fauour, and namely not for hym, whose pride thei wist would beare no pere, kept him by secrete driftes out of all secrete trust. Whiche thyng this page wel had marked and knowen. Wherefore thys occasion offered, of very speciall frendship he toke his time to put him forward, & by such wise doe him good, that al the enemies he had except the deuil, could neuer haue done him so muche hurte. For vpon this pages wordes king Richard arose. (For this communicacion had he sitting at the draught, a conuenient carpet for such a counsaile) and came out in to the pailet chamber, on which he found in bed sir Iames and sir Thomas Tyrels, of parson like and brethren of blood, but nothing of kin in condicions. Then said the king merely to them: What sirs be ye in bed so soone, and calling vp syr Iames, brake to him secretely his mind in this mischieuous matter. In whiche he founde him nothing strange. Wherfore on the morrow he sente him to Brakenbury with a letter, by which he was commaunded to deliuer sir Iames all the kayes of the Tower for one nyght, to the ende he might there accomplish the kinges pleasure, in such thing as he had geuen him commaundement. After which letter deliuered and the kayes receiued, sir Iames appointed the night nexte ensuing to destroy them, deuysing before and preparing the meanes. The prince as soone as the protector left that name and toke himself as king, had it shewed vnto him, that he should not reigne, but his vncle should haue the crowne. At which worde the prince sore abashed, began to sigh and said: Alas I woulde my vncle woulde lette me haue my lyfe yet, though I lese my kingdome. Then he that tolde him the tale, vsed him with good wordes, and put him in the best comfort he could. But forthwith was the prince and his brother bothe shet vp, and all other remoued from them, onely one called black wil or William slaughter except, set to serue them and see them sure. After whiche time the prince neuer tyed his pointes, nor ought rought of himselfe, but with that young babe hys brother, lingered in thought and heauines til this tratorous death, deliuered them of that wretchednes. For Sir Iames Tirel deuised that thei shold be murthered in their beddes. To the execucion wherof, he appointed
Miles ForestIhon Dighton
Miles Forest one of the foure that kept them, a felowe fleshed in murther before time. To him he ioyned one Iohn Dighton his own horsekeper, a big brode square strong knaue. Then al the other beeing remoued from them, thys Miles Forest and Iohn Dighton, about midnight (the sely children lying in their beddes) came into the chamber, and sodainly lapped them vp among the clothes so be wrapped them and entangled them keping down by force the fetherbed and pillowes hard vnto their mouthes, that within a while smored and stifled, theyr breath failing, thei gaue vp to god their innocent soules into the ioyes of heauen, leauing to the tormentors their bodyes dead in the bed.
The yong kyng and his brother murthered
Whiche after that the wretches parceiued, first by the strugling with the paines of death, and after long lying styll, to be throughly dead: they laide their bodies naked out vppon the bed, and fetched sir Iames to see them. Which vpon the sight of them, caused those murtherers to burye them at the stayre foote, metely depe in the grounde vnder a great heape of stones. Than rode sir Iames in geat haste to king Richarde, and shewed him al the maner of the murther, who gaue hym gret thanks, and as som say there made him knight. But he allowed not as I have heard, the burying in so vile a corner, saying that he woulde haue them buried in a better place, because thei wer a kinges sonnes. Wherupon thei say that a prieste of syr Robert Brakenbury toke vp the bodyes again, and secretely entered them in such place, as by the occasion of his deathe, whiche onely knew it could neuer synce come to light. Very trouthe is it & well knowen, that at such time as syr Iames Tirell was in the Tower, for Treason committed agaynste the moste famous prince king Henry the seuenth, bothe Dighton an he were examined, & confessed the murther in maner aboue writen, but whither the bodies were remoued thei could nothing tel. And thus as I haue learned of them that much knew and litle cause had to lye, wer these two noble princes, these innocent tender children, borne of moste royall bloode, brought vp in great wealth, likely long to liue to reigne and rule in the realme, by traitorous tiranny taken, depryued of their estate, shortly shitte vp in prison, and priuily slaine and murthered, theyr bodies cast god wote where by the cruel ambicion of their vnnaturall vncle and his dispiteous tormentors. Which thinges on euery part wel pondered: god neuer gaue this world a more notable example, neither in what vnsuretie standeth this worldy wel, or what mischief worketh the prowde enterprise of an hyghe heart, or finally what wretched end ensueth such dispiteous crueltie. For first to beginne with the ministers, Miles Forest at sainct Martens pecemele rotted away. Dighton in ded walketh on a liue in good possibilitie to bee hanged ere he dye. But sir Iames Tirel dyed at Tower hill, beheaded for treason. King Richarde himselfe as ye shal herafter here, slain in the field, hacked and hewed of his enemies handes, haryed on horsebacke dead, his here in despite torn and togged lyke a cur dogge. And the mischief that he tooke, within lesse then thre yeares of the mischiefe that he dyd. And yet all the meane time spente in much pain and trouble outward, much feare anguish and sorow within. For I haue heard by credible report of such as wer secrete with his chamberers, that after this abhominable deede done, he neuer hadde quiet in his minde, hee neuer thought himself sure.
The out & inward troubles of tyrauntes
Where he went abrode, his eyen whirled about, his body priuily fenced, his hand euer on his dager, his countenance and maner like one alway ready to strike againe, he toke ill rest a nightes, lay long wakyng and musing, sore weried with care & watch, rather slumbred then slept, troubled wyth feareful dreames, sodainly sommetyme sterte vp, leape out of his bed & runne about the chamber, so was his restles herte continually tossed & tumbled with the tedious impression & stormy remembrance of his abominable dede. Nowe hadde he outward no long time in rest. For hereupon sone after began the conspiracy or rather good confederacion, betwene the Duke of Buckingham and many other gentlemen against him. Thoccasion wheruppon the king and the Duke fell out, is of diuers folke diuers wyse pretended. This duke as I haue for certain bene enformed, as soone as the duke of Gloucester vpon the death of kyng Edward came to York, & there had solemne funeral seruice for king Edward, sente thither in the most secret wise he could, one Persal his trusty seruant, who came in to Iohn warde a chamberer of like secret trust with the Duke of Gloucester, desiring that in the most close & covert maner, he might be admitted to the presence and speche of his maister. And the duke of Gloucester aduertised of hys desyre, caused him in the dead of the night after al other folk auoyded, to be brought vnto him in his secret chamber, wher Persall after his masters recommendacion shewed him, that he had secretly sente hym to shew him, that in this new worlde he would take such part as he wold, & wait vpon him with a .M. good felowes if neede wer. The messenger sent back with thanks, & some secret instruccion of the protectors mind: yet met him again with farther message from the duke his master, within a few dayes after at Notingham: whither the protector from york with many gentlemen of the north countrey to the number of sixe .C. horses, was comen on his way to London ward. And after secrete meting & communicacion had, eftsoone, departed. Wherupon at Northampton the duke met with the protector himself, wyth CCC. horses & from thence still contynued with, partner of all his deuises, till that after his coronacion thei departed as it semed very great frendes at Glocester. From whence as sone as the duke came home, he so lightli turned from him and so highly conspired against him, that a man would marueil wherof the chaunge grew. And surely the occasion of theyr variaunce is of diuers men diuersly reported. Some haue I heard say, that they duke a litle before the coronacion among other thinges, required of the protector the duke of Hefordes landes, to which he pretended himself iust inheritor. And forasmuch as the title which he claimed by inheritance, was somewhat enterlaced with the title to the crowne by the line of king Henry before dipriued: the protector conceiued such indignacion, that he reiected the dukes request with many spiteful & minatory wordes. Which so wounded his hert with hatred & mistrust, that he neuer after could endure to loke a right on king Richard, but euer feared his own life, so farfoorth that when the protectour rode through London toward his coronacion, he fained himself sick, because he wold not ride with hym. And the tother taking it in euil part, sent hym worde to rise, & come ride or he wold make him be caried. Wherupon he rode on with euil wil, & that notwithstanding on the morow rose from the feast faining himself sicke, & kyng Richard said it was done in hatred and dispite of him. And they say that euer after continually ech of them liued in such hatred & distrust of other, that the duke verilye looked to haue bene murthered at Gloucester. From which nathles he in fair maner departed. But surely some right secrete at the daies deny this: & many right wise men, think it vnlikely, (the depe dissimuling nature of those bothe men considered, & what nede in that grene world the protector had of the duke, and in what peril the duke stode if he fell once in suspicion of the tiraunt) that either the protector wold geue the duke occasion of displeasure, or the duke the protector occasion of mistrust. And vtterly men think, that yf kyng Richard had any such oppinion conceiued: he would neuer haue suffred him to escape his handes. Very trouth it is, the duke was an high minded man, & euyll could beare the glory of an other, so that I haue heard of som that said thei saw it, that the duke at such time as the crown was first set vpon the protectors hed, his eye could not abide the sight thereof, but wried hys hed an other way. But men say that he was of trouth not wel at ease, & that both to king Richard wel knowen, & not yl taken, nor ani demaund of the dukes vncourteisly reiected, but he both with gret giftes & high behests, in most louing trusty maner departed at Gloucester. But sone after his coming home to Breknock, hauing ther in his custody by the commaundement of king Richard, doctor Morton bishop of Ely, who as ye before herd was taken in the counsel at theTower, waxed with him familiar. Whose wisedom abused his pride to his own deilueraunce & the dukes destruccion. The bishop was a man of great natural wit, very wel lerned, & honorable in behaueor, lacking no wise waies to win fauor. He had bene fast upon the part of king Henry while that part was in wealth, & natheles left it not nor forsoke it in wo, but fled the realme with the quene & the prince, while king Edward had the king in prison, neuer came home but to the field. After which lost, & that parte vtterly subdued, the tother for his faste faith & wisedom, not only was contente to receiue him, but also woed him to come & had him from thence forth bothe in secret trust & very speciall fauor. Whiche he nothing deceiued. For he being as ye haue heard after king Edwardes death, first taken by the tirant for his trouth to the king, found the meane to set this duke in his top, ioined gentlemen together in aid of king Henry, deuising first the maryage betwene him & king Edwardes doughter, by whiche his faith declared & good seruice to bothe his masters at once, with infinite benefite to the realm, by the coniunccion of those twoo bloodes in one, whose seueral titles had long enquieted the land, he fled the realm, went to Rome, neuer minding more to medle with the world til the noble prince king Henry the .vii. gate him home again, made him archbishop of Canturburye & chaunceller of England wherunto the Pope ioned thonor of Cardinal. Thus liuing many dayes in asmuch honor as one man mighte well wish, ended them so godly, that his death with gods mercy wel changed his life. Thys man therfore as I was about to tell you, by the long & often alternate proofe, aswel of prosperitie as aduers fortune, hadde gotten by great experience the verye mother & maistres of wisdom, a depe insighte in politike worldli driftes. Wherby perceiuing now this duke glad to comen with him, fed him with faire wordes and many pleasaunt praises. And parceiuing by the processe of their communicacions, the dukes pride now & then balke oute a lytle breide of enuy toward the glory of the king, & therby feling him ethe to fal out yf the matter were well handled: he craftelye sought the waies to pricke him forwarde taking alwaies thoccasion of his comming & so keping himself close within his bondes, that he rather semed him to folow hym then to lead him. For when the duke first began to praise & bost the king, & shewe how much profit the realm shold take by his reign: my lord Morton aunswered: surely my lord foly wer it for me to lye, for yf I wold swere the contrary, your lordship would not I weene beleue, but that if the worlde woold haue gone as I would haue wished, king Henryes sonne had had the crown & not king Edward. But after that god had ordered hym to lese it, and kinge Edwarde to reigne, I was neuer soo mad, that I would with a dead man striue against the quicke. So was I to king Edward faithfull chapleyn, & glad wold haue bene that his childe had succeeded him. Howebeit if the secrete iudgement of god haue otherwyse prouided: I purpose not to spurne againste a prick, nor labor to set vp that god pulleth down. And as for the late protector & now kyng. And euen there he left, saying that he had alredy medled to muche with the world, and would fro that day medle with his boke and his beedes and no farther. Then longed the duke sore to here what he would haue sayd, because he ended with the king & there so sodeinly stopped, & exhorted him so familiarly betwene them twain, to be so bold to say what soeuer he thought, wherof he faithfully promised there should neuer come hurte & paraduenture more good then he would wene, and that himselfe intended to vse his faithful secret aduise and counsayle whiche he saide was the only cause for whiche he procured of the kyng to haue him in his custody where he might recken himself at home, and els had he bene put in the handes of them, with whome he should not haue founded the lyke fauor. The bishop right humbly thanked him & said, in good faith my lord I loue not much to talk muche of princes, as thing not all out of peril, thoughe the word be without fault forasmuch as it shal not be taken as the party ment it, but as it pleaseth the prince to conster it. And euer I think on Esops tale, that were the lion had proclaimed that on pain of deth there should none horned beast abide in that wood, one that had in his forehed a bonch of flesh, fled awaye a great pace. The fox that saw him run so faste, asked him whither he made al that hast. And he aunswered, in faith I neither wote nor reck, so I wer once hence because of this proclamacion made of horned beastes. What fole quod the fox thou maist abide wel inough, the lyon ment not by thee, for it is none horn that is in thine head. No mary quod he that wote I wel ynough. But what & he cal it an horn, wher am I then? The duke laughed merely at the tale, & said, my lord I warant you, neither the lyon nor the bore shal pyke anye matter at any thyng here spoken, for it shall neuer come nere their eare. In good fayth sir said the bishop if it did, the thing that I was about to say, taken aswel as afore god I ment it, could deserue but thank. And yet taken as I wene it wold, might happen to turne me to litle good and you to lesse. Then longed the duke yet moch more to wit what it was. Wherupon the bishop said: in good faith my lord, as for the late protector, sith he is now king in possession, I purpose not to dispute his title. But for the weale of this realm, wherof his grace hath now the gouernaunce, & wherof I am my self one poore member, I was about to wish, that to those good habilities wherof he hath already right many, litle nedyng my prayse: it might yet haue pleased Godde for the better store, to haue geuen him some of suche other excellente vertues mete for the rule of a realm, as our lorde hath planted in the parsone of youre grace.