The Text      




King Edward, of that name the fourth, after that he had lived
fifty and three years, seven months, and six days, and thereof
reigned two and twenty years, one month, and eight days, died
at Westminster the ninth day of April, the year of our redemption
a thousand four hundred fourscore and three, leaving much
fair issue: that is to wit, Edward, the Prince, a thirteen-year-of-age;
Richard, Duke of York, two years younger; Elizabeth, whose
fortune and grace was after to be queen, wife unto King Henry the
Seventh and mother unto the Eighth; Cecily, not so fortunate as fair;
Bridget, which, representing the virtue of her whose name she
bore, professed and observed a religious life in Dartford, an house
of close nuns; Anne, that was after honorably married unto
Thomas, then Lord Howard, and after Earl of Surrey. And
Catherine, which, long time tossed in either fortune -- sometimes
in wealth, often in adversity -- at the last, if this be the last (for yet
she liveth), is by the benignity of her nephew King Henry the Eighth
in very prosperous estate, and worthy her birth and virtue.
This noble prince deceased at his palace of Westminster, and with
great funeral honor and heaviness of his people from thence
conveyed, was interred at Windsor. A king of such governance
and behavior in time of peace (for in war each party must needs
be other's enemy) that there was never
any prince of this land attaining the
crown by battle, so heartily beloved with the substance of
the people; nor he himself so specially in any part of his life
as at the time of his death. Which favor and affection yet

after his decease, by the cruelty, mischief, and trouble of the
tempestuous world that followed, highly toward him more increased.
At such time as he died, the displeasure of those that bore
him grudge for King Henry's sake the Sixth, whom he deposed,
was well assuaged, and in effect quenched, in that that many of
them were dead in more than twenty years of his reign -- a great
part of a long life -- and many of them in the mean season grown
into his favor, of which he was never
strange. He was a goodly personage and
very princely to behold, of heart courageous,
politic in counsel, in adversity nothing abashed, in
prosperity rather joyful than proud, in peace just and merciful,
in war sharp and fierce, in the field bold and hardy, and
nevertheless no farther than wisdom would, adventurous. Whose
wars, whoso well consider, he shall no less commend his wisdom
where he voided than his manhood where he vanquished.
He was of visage lovely, of body mighty, strong, and clean-made;
howbeit, in his latter days, with overliberal diet, somewhat
corpulent and burly, and nevertheless not uncomely; he was of
youth greatly given to fleshly wantonness -- from which health
of body in great prosperity and fortune, without a special grace,
hardly refraineth. This fault not greatly grieved the people, for
neither could any one man's pleasure stretch and extend to the
displeasure of very many, and was without violence, and, over
that, in his latter days lessened and well left. In which time of his
latter days, this realm was in quiet and prosperous estate: no fear
of outward enemies, no war in hand, nor none toward, but
such as no man looked for; the people toward the prince, not in
a constrained fear, but in a willing and loving obedience;
among themselves, the commons in good peace. The lords
whom he knew at variance, himself in his deathbed

appeased. He had left all gathering of money (which is the only
thing that withdraweth the hearts of Englishmen from the prince),
nor anything intended he to take in hand by which he should
be driven thereto -- for his tribute out
of France he had before obtained,
and the year foregoing his death, he had obtained Berwick.
And albeit that all the time of his reign, he was with his
people so benign, courteous and so familiar, that no part of
his virtues was more esteemed, yet that condition in the end of
his days (in which many princes by a long-continued sovereignty
decline into a proud port from debonair behavior of their
beginning) marvelously in him grew and increased, so far
forth that in the summer, the last that ever he saw, His Highness,
being at Windsor in hunting, sent for the mayor and aldermen
of London to him for none other errand but to have them
hunt and be merry with him, where he made them not so stately,
but so friendly and so familiar cheer, and sent venison from thence
so freely into the city, that no one thing in many days before
got him either more hearts or more hearty favor among the
common people, which oftentimes more esteem and take for
greater kindness a little courtesy than a great benefit. So
deceased (as I have said) this noble king in that time in which
his life was most desired; whose love of his people and their
entire affection toward him had been to his noble children
(having in themselves also as many gifts of nature, as many
princely virtues, as much goodly towardness, as their age could
receive) a marvelous fortress and sure armor, if division and
dissension of their friends had not unarmed them and left them
destitute, and the execrable desire of sovereignty provoked him to

their destruction which if either kind or kindness had held
place, must needs have been their chief defense. For Richard
the Duke of Gloucester -- by nature their uncle, by office their
Protector, to their father beholden, to themselves by oath and
allegiance bound -- all the bands broken that bind man and
man together, without any respect of God or the world
unnaturally contrived to bereave them not only their dignity,
but also their lives. But forasmuch as this duke's demeanor
ministreth in effect all the whole matter whereof this book shall
treat, it is therefore convenient somewhat to show you, ere
we farther go, what manner of man this was, that could find in
his heart so much mischief to conceive.
Richard, Duke of York, a noble man
and a mighty, began not by war, but
by law, to challenge the crown, putting his claim into the
Parliament. Where his cause was, either for right or favor, so
far forth advanced that, King Henry's blood (albeit he
had a goodly prince) utterly rejected, the crown was by
authority of Parliament entailed unto the Duke of York and his
issue male in remainder, immediately after the death of King
Henry. But the Duke, not enduring so long to tarry, but intending,
under pretext of dissension and debate arising in the realm, to
prevent his time and to take upon him the rule in King
Harry's life, was with many nobles of the realm at Wakefield
slain, leaving three sons: Edward, George, and Richard. All
three as they were great states of birth, so were they great and
stately of stomach, greedy and ambitious of authority, and
impatient of partners. Edward, revenging
his father's death, deprived King Henry

and attained the crown. George, Duke of
Clarence, was a goodly, noble prince and
at all points fortunate -- if either his own ambition had not set
him against his brother, or the envy of his enemies, his brother
against him. For -- were it by the Queen and the lords of her
blood, which highly maligned the King's kindred (as women
commonly, not of malice but of nature, hate them whom their
husbands love), or were it a proud appetite of the Duke
himself, intending to be king -- at the leastwise, heinous treason was
there laid to his charge, and finally, were he faulty, were he
faultless, attainted was he by Parliament, and judged to the death,

and thereupon hastily drowned in a butt of malmsey, whose death
King Edward (albeit he commanded it), when he wist it was done,
piteously bewailed and sorrowfully repented.
Richard, the third son, of whom we
now treat, was in wit and courage
equal with either of them, in body and
prowess far under them both: little of stature, ill-featured of
limbs, crookbacked, his left shoulder much higher than his right,
hard-favored of visage, and such as is in states called warlike, in
other men otherwise. He was malicious, wrathful, envious, and,
from before his birth, ever froward. It is for truth reported that the
Duchess, his mother, had so much ado in her travail that she
could not be delivered of him uncut, and that he came into the
world with the feet forward (as men be borne outward), and, as
the fame runneth, also not untoothed -- whether men of hatred report
above the truth, or else that nature changed her course in his
beginning which in the course of his life many things unnaturally
committed. None evil captain was he in the war, as to which

his disposition was more meetly than for peace. Sundry victories
had he, and sometimes overthrows, but never in default (as for
his own person) either of hardiness or politic order. Free was he
called of dispense, and somewhat above his power liberal; with
large gifts he got him unsteadfast friendship, for which he was
fain to pill and spoil in other places and get him steadfast hatred.
He was close and secret, a deep dissimuler, lowly of countenance,
arrogant of heart, outwardly companionable where he inwardly
hated, not letting to kiss whom he thought to kill;
dispiteous and cruel, not for evil will always, but oftener for ambition,
and either for the surety or increase of his estate. Friend and foe
was muchwhat indifferent: where his advantage grew, he spared
no man's death whose life withstood his purpose. He slew with
his own hands King Henry the Sixth,
being prisoner in the Tower, as men
constantly say;

and that without
commandment or knowledge of the King, which would
undoubtedly, if he had intended that thing, have appointed that
butcherly office to some other than his own born brother.
Some wise men also ween that his drift, covertly conveyed,
lacked not in helping forth his brother of Clarence to his death --
which he resisted openly, howbeit somewhat (as men deemed)
more faintly than he that were heartily minded to his wealth. And
they that thus deem, think that he long time in King Edward's
life forethought to be king in case that the king his brother (whose
life he looked that evil diet should shorten) should happen
to decease (as indeed he did) while his children were young.

And they deem that for this intent he was glad of his
brother's death, the Duke of Clarence, whose life must needs have
hindered him so intending, whether the same Duke of Clarence
had kept him true to his nephew the young king or enterprised
to be king himself. But of all this point is there no certainty, and
whoso divineth upon conjectures may as well shoot too far as too
short. Howbeit, this have I by credible information learned: that
the self night in which King Edward died, one Mistlebrook,
long ere morning, came in great haste to the house of one Pottier,
dwelling in Red Cross Street, without Cripplegate; and when he was
with hasty rapping quickly let in, he showed unto Pottier that
King Edward was departed. "By my troth, man," quoth Pottier,
"then will my master, the Duke of Gloucester, be king!" What
cause he had so to think, hard it is to say -- whether he, being
toward him, anything knew that he such thing purposed, or
otherwise had any inkling thereof. For he was not likely to
speak it of naught.


But now to return to the course of this history. Were it that the
Duke of Gloucester had of old foreminded this conclusion, or was
now at erst thereunto moved, and put in hope by the occasion
of the tender age of the young princes his nephews (as opportunity
and likelihood of speed putteth a man in courage of that he
never intended), certain is it that he contrived their destruction,
with the usurpation of the regal dignity upon himself. And forasmuch
as he well wist, and helped to maintain, a long-continued
grudge and heart-burning between the Queen's kindred and the
King's blood, either party envying other's authority, he now

thought that their division should be (as it was indeed) a furtherly
beginning to the pursuit of his intent, and a sure ground for
the foundation of all his building, if he might first, under the pretext
of revenging of old displeasure, abuse the anger and ignorance
of the one party to the destruction of the other, and then win
to his purpose as many as he could; and those that could not be
won might be lost ere they looked therefor. For of one thing
was he certain: that if his intent were perceived, he should soon
have made peace between the both parties with his own blood.
King Edward in his life, albeit that this dissension between his
friends somewhat irked him, yet in his good health he somewhat
the less regarded it, because he thought, whatsoever business should
fall between them, himself should always be able to rule both
the parties. But in his last sickness, when he perceived his
natural strength so sore enfeebled that he despaired all recovery,
then he, considering the youth of his children -- albeit he nothing
less mistrusted than that that happened, yet well foreseeing that
many harms might grow by their debate while the youth of
his children should lack discretion of themselves and good counsel
of their friends,


of which either party should counsel for their own
commodity, and rather by pleasant advice to win themselves
favor than by profitable advertisement to do the children good --
he called some of them before him that were at variance, and in
especial the Lord Marquis Dorset, the Queen's son by her
first husband, and Richard the Lord Hastings, a noble man

then Lord Chamberlain, against whom the Queen specially
grudged for the great favor the King bore him, and also for that
she thought him secretly familiar with the King in wanton
company. Her kindred also bore him sore, as well for that the
King had made him captain of Calais (which office the Lord
Rivers, brother to the Queen, claimed of the King's former promise)
as for divers other great gifts which he received, that they looked
for. When these lords, with divers others of both the parties, were
come in presence, the King, lifting up himself and underset
with pillows, as it is reported on this wise said unto them: "My
lords, my dear kinsmen and allies, in
what plight I lie, you see and I feel.
By which the less while I look to live
with you, the more deeply am I moved to care in what case I leave
you; for such as I leave you, such be my children like to find you.
Which, if they should (that God forbid) find you at
variance, might hap to fall themselves at war ere their discretion
would serve to set you at peace. Ye see their youth, of which I
reckon the only surety to rest in your concord. For it sufficeth not
that all you love them, if each of you hate other. If they were men,
your faithfulness haply would suffice. But childhood must
be maintained by men's authority, and slippery youth underpropped
with elder counsel, which neither they can have but ye give it,
nor ye give it if ye agree not. For where each laboreth to break
that the other maketh, and for hatred of each of other's person
impugneth each other's counsel, there must it needs be long ere
any good conclusion go forward. And also while either party
laboreth to be chief, flattery shall have more place than plain and
faithful advice, of which must needs ensue the evil bringing
up of the Prince, whose mind in tender youth infected, shall readily fall
to mischief and riot and draw down with this noble realm to ruin,

but if grace turn him to wisdom; which if God send, then they that by
evil means before pleased him best, shall after fall farthest out of
favor; so that ever, at length, evil drifts drive to naught and good
plain ways prosper. Great variance hath there long been between
you, not always for great causes. Sometimes a thing right well intended,
our misconstruction turneth unto worse; or a small displeasure done us,
either our own affection or evil tongues aggrieveth. But this wot I
well: ye never had so great cause of hatred as ye have of love. That we
be all men, that we be Christian men, this shall I leave for preachers to tell
you -- and yet I wot ne'er whether any preacher's words ought more
to move you than his that is by and by going to the place that they
all preach of. But this shall I desire you to remember: that the one
part of you is of my blood, the other of mine allies, and each of
you with other, either of kindred or affinity; which spiritual kindred
of affinity, if the sacraments of Christ's church bear that
weight with us that would God they did, should no less move
us to charity than the respect of fleshly consanguinity. Our
Lord forbid that you love together the worse for the self cause
that you ought to love the better! And yet that happeneth. And nowhere
find we so deadly debate as among them which by
nature and law most ought to agree together. Such a pestilent
serpent is ambition and desire of vainglory
and sovereignty, which among
states where he once entereth creepeth forth so far till with
division and variance he turneth all to mischief -- first longing
to be next the best, afterward equal with the best, and at last
chief and above the best; of which immoderate appetite of
worship, and thereby of debate and dissension, what loss, what

sorrow, what trouble hath within these few years grown in this
realm, I pray God as well forget as we well remember.
Which things if I could as well have foreseen as I have with my
more pain than pleasure proved, by God's blessed Lady" -- that
was ever his oath -- "I would never have won the courtesy of men's
knees with the loss of so many heads. But since things past
cannot be gaincalled, much ought we the more beware by what
occasion we have taken so great hurt before, that we eftsoons fall
not in that occasion again. Now be those griefs past, and all is
(God be thanked) quiet, and likely right well to prosper in
wealthful peace under your cousins my children, if God send
them life and you love. Of which two things, the less loss were
they, by whom though God did his pleasure, yet should the
realm always find kings, and peradventure as good kings. But
if you among yourselves in a child's reign fall at debate, many a
good man shall perish, and haply he too, and ye too, ere this land
find peace again. Wherefore in these last words that ever I look to
speak with you, I exhort you and require you all, for the love that you
have ever borne to me, for the love that I have ever borne to you, for
the love that our Lord beareth to us all, from this time forward, all
griefs forgotten, each of you love other. Which I verily trust you
will if ye anything earthly regard -- either God or your king,
affinity or kindred, this realm, your own country, or your own
surety." And therewithal the King, no longer enduring to sit up, laid
him down on his right side, his face toward them; and none was
there present that could refrain from weeping. But the lords, recomforting
him with as good words as they could, and answering for the
time as they thought to stand with his pleasure, there in his presence
(as by their words appeared) each forgave other, and joined their
hands together, when (as it after appeared by their deeds) their
hearts were far asunder. As soon as the King was departed, the noble

Prince his son drew toward London -- which at the time of his decease
kept his household at Ludlow, in Wales.
Which country, being
far off from the law and recourse to justice, was begun to be far
out of good will and waxen wild, robbers and reavers walking at
liberty, uncorrected. And for this encheason the Prince was in the
life of his father sent thither, to the end that the authority of his
presence should refrain evil disposed persons from the boldness of their
former outrages. To the governance and ordering of this young
prince, at his sending thither, was there appointed Sir Anthony
Woodville (Lord Rivers and brother unto
the Queen) -- a right honorable man, as
valiant of hand as politic in counsel. Adjoined were there
unto him others of the same party; and in effect everyone as he
was nearest of kin unto the Queen, so was planted next about the
Prince. That drift by the Queen not unwisely devised, whereby her
blood might of youth be rooted in the Prince's favor, the Duke of
Gloucester turned unto their destruction, and upon that ground set
the foundation of all his unhappy building. For whomsoever he
perceived either at variance with them or bearing himself their
favor, he broke unto them, some by mouth, some by writing and secret
messengers, that it neither was reason nor in any wise to be suffered
that the young king, their master and kinsman, should be in the
hands and custody of his mother's kindred, sequestered in manner
from their company and attendance of which every one ought him as
faithful service as they -- and many of them far more honorable part
of kin than his mother's side, "whose blood," quoth he, "saving the
King's pleasure, was full unmeet to be matched with his -- which
now to be, as who say, removed from the King, and the less noble to
be left about him, is," quoth he, "neither honorable to His Majesty
nor unto us, and also to His Grace no surety to have the mightiest of

his friends from him, and unto us no little jeopardy to suffer our well-proved
evil-willers to grow in over-great authority with the Prince --
in youth namely, which is light of belief and soon persuaded. Ye
remember, I trow, King Edward himself, albeit he was a man of
age and of discretion, yet was he in many things ruled by the
band, more than stood either with his honor or our profit, or
with the commodity of any man else, except only the immoderate
advancement of themselves. Which whether they sorer thirsted
after their own weal or our woe, it were hard, I ween, to guess. And if
some folks' friendship had not held better place with the King than
any respect of kindred, they might peradventure easily have betrapped
and brought to confusion some of us ere this. Why not as easily as
they have done some others already, as near of his royal blood as
we? But our Lord hath wrought his will, and, thanks be to his grace,
that peril is past. Howbeit, as great is growing, if we suffer this
young king in our enemy's hand which without his witting
might abuse the name of "his commandment" to any of our undoing;
which thing God and good provision forbid! Of which good provision
none of us hath anything the less need for the late-made atonement,
in which the King's pleasure had more place than the
parties' wills. Nor none of us, I believe, is so unwise oversoon to trust
a new friend made of an old foe, or to think that an hoverly
kindness, suddenly contracted in one hour, continued yet scant a
fortnight, should be deeper settled in their stomachs than a long-accustomed
malice many years rooted."
With these words and writings and such others, the Duke of
Gloucester soon set afire them that were of themselves easy to kindle,
and in especial twain: Edward, Duke of Buckingham, and
Richard, Lord Hastings and Chamberlain; both men of honor
and of great power, the one by long succession from his ancestry,
the other by his office and the King's favor. These two -- not bearing
each to other so much love, as hatred both unto the Queen's party --

in this point accorded together with the Duke of Gloucester: that
they would utterly remove from the King's company all his mother's
friends, under the name of their enemies. Upon this concluded,
the Duke of Gloucester, understanding that the lords which at
that time were about the King intended to bring him up to his
coronation accompanied with such power of their friends that
it should be hard for him to bring his purpose to pass without
the gathering and great assembly of people, and, in manner, of open
war -- whereof the end, he wist, was doubtful, and in which, the
King being on their side, his part should have the face and name of a
rebellion -- he secretly, therefore, by divers means, caused the Queen
to be persuaded and brought in the mind that it neither were need
and also should be jeopardous, the King to come up strong. For whereas
now every lord loved other, and none other thing studied
upon but about the coronation and honor of the King, if the
lords of her kindred should assemble in the King's name much
people, they should give the lords atwixt whom and them had
been sometime debate to fear and suspect lest they should
gather this people, not for the King's safeguard -- whom no man
impugned -- but for their destruction, having more regard to their
old variance than their new atonement. For which cause they
should assemble on the other part much people again for their
defense whose power, she wist well, far stretched. And thus should
all the realm fall on a roar. And of all the hurt that thereof should
ensue -- which was likely not to be little, and the most harm there
like to fall where she least would -- all the world would put her and her
kindred in the wite, and say that they had unwisely, and untruly
also, broken the amity and peace that the king her husband so
prudently made between his kin and hers in his deathbed, and
which the other part faithfully observed.

The Queen, being in this wise persuaded, such word sent unto
her son and unto her brother being about the King; and over
that, the Duke of Gloucester himself and other lords, the chief of
his band, wrote unto the King so reverently, and to the
Queen's friends there so lovingly, that they, nothing earthly
mistrusting, brought the King up in great haste, not in good
speed, with a sober company. Now was the King in his way to
London gone from Northampton, when these dukes of Gloucester
and Buckingham came thither.


Where remained behind the Lord
Rivers, the King's uncle, intending on the morrow to follow the
King and be with him at Stony Stratford, eleven miles thence,
early, ere he departed. So was there made that night much
friendly cheer between these dukes and the Lord Rivers, a great
while. But incontinent after that they were openly with great
courtesy departed, and the Lord Rivers lodged,

the dukes
secretly with a few of their most privy friends set them down
in counsel, wherein they spent a great part of the night. And at
their rising in the dawning of the day, they sent about privily to
their servants in their inns and lodgings about, giving them
commandment to make themselves shortly ready, for their
lords were to horseback-ward. Upon which messages, many of
their folk were attendant, when many of the Lord Rivers'
servants were unready. Now had these dukes taken also
into their custody the keys of the inn, that none should pass
forth without their license. And over this, in the highway

toward Stony Stratford, where the King lay, they had
bestowed certain of their folk, that should send back again
and compel to return any man that were gotten out of
Northampton toward Stony Stratford, till they should give other
license; forasmuch as the dukes themselves intended, for the
show of their diligence, to be the first that should that day
attend upon the King's Highness out of that town: thus bore
they folk in hand. But when the Lord Rivers understood the
gates closed and the ways on every side beset -- neither his
servants nor himself suffered to go out -- perceiving well so
great a thing without his knowledge not begun for naught,
comparing this manner present with this last night's cheer, in so few
hours so great a change marvelously misliked. Howbeit,
since he could not get away -- and keep himself close he
would not, lest he should seem to hide himself for some
secret fear of his own fault, whereof he saw no such cause in himself --
he determined, upon the surety of his own conscience, to go
boldly to them and inquire what this matter might mean.
Whom as soon as they saw, they began to quarrel with him
and say that he intended to set distance between the King
and them, and to bring them to confusion, but it should not lie
in his power. And when he began (as he was a very well-spoken
man) in goodly wise to excuse himself, they tarried not the
end of his answer, but shortly took
him and put him in ward, and, that
done, forthwith went to horseback and
took the way to Stony Stratford -- where they found the King with
his company ready to leap on horseback and depart forward,
to leave that lodging for them, because it was too strait for both
companies. And as soon as they came in his presence, they

lighted adown, with all their company about them. To whom the
Duke of Buckingham said, "Go before, gentlemen and yeomen; keep
your rooms." And thus in a goodly array they came to the King,
and on their knees, in very humble wise, saluted His Grace -- which
received them in very joyous and amiable manner, nothing earthly
knowing nor mistrusting as yet. But even by and by, in his presence
they picked a quarrel to the Lord Richard
Grey, the King's other brother by his
mother, saying that he, with the Lord Marquis his brother
and the Lord Rivers his uncle, had compassed to rule the
King and the realm, and to set variance among the states,
and to subdue and destroy the noble blood of the realm. Toward
the accomplishing whereof, they said that the Lord Marquis
had entered into the Tower of London and thence taken out the
King's treasure, and sent men to the sea. All which things these
dukes wist well were done for good purposes and necessary, by the
whole Council at London; saving that somewhat they must say.
Unto which words the King answered, "What my brother
Marquis hath done, I cannot say. But in good faith, I dare well
answer for mine uncle Rivers and my brother here, that they be
innocent of any such matters." "Yea, my liege," quoth the Duke of
Buckingham, "they have kept their dealing in these matters far
from the knowledge of your good grace." And forthwith they arrested
the Lord Richard and Sir Thomas Vaughan, knight, in the King's
presence,



and brought the King and all back unto Northampton,
where they took again further counsel. And there they sent
away from the King whom it pleased them, and set new servants

about him, such as liked better them than him. At which
dealing he wept and was nothing content, but it booted not. And
at dinner the Duke of Gloucester sent a dish from his own table to
the Lord Rivers, praying him to be of good cheer, all should be well
enough. And he thanked the Duke, and prayed the messenger to
bear it to his nephew the Lord Richard, with the same message
for his comfort, who he thought had more need of comfort, as one
to whom such adversity was strange. But himself had been all his
days in ure therewith, and therefore could bear it the better. But
for all this comfortable courtesy of the Duke of Gloucester, he sent
the Lord Rivers and the Lord Richard, with Sir Thomas Vaughan,
into the north country into divers places
to prison, and afterward all to Pomfret,
where they were in conclusion beheaded.
In this wise the Duke of Gloucester took upon himself the order and
governance of the young king, whom with much honor and humble
reverence he conveyed upward toward the city. But anon the
tidings of this matter came hastily to the Queen, a little before the
midnight following, and that in the sorest wise: that the King her son
was taken; her brother, her son, and her other friends arrested and
sent no man wist whither, to be done with God wot what.



With which
tidings the Queen in great flight and heaviness, bewailing her child's ruin,
her friends' mischance, and her own infortune, damning the time that
ever she dissuaded the gathering of power about the King,
got herself in all the haste possible, with her younger son and her
daughters, out of the Palace of Westminster, in which she then lay,

into the sanctuary, lodging herself
and her company there in the abbot's
place. Now came there one, in like wise not long after midnight,
from the Lord Chamberlain unto the Archbishop of York
(then Chancellor of England), to his place not far from Westminster.
And for that he showed his servants that he had
tidings of so great importance that his master gave him in
charge not to forbear his rest, they letted not to wake him, nor
he to admit this messenger into his bedside. Of whom he
heard that these dukes were gone back with the King's Grace from
Stony Stratford unto Northampton. "Notwithstanding, sir," quoth he,
"my lord sendeth Your Lordship word that there is no fear.
For he assureth you that all shall be well." "I assure him," quoth
the Archbishop, "be it as well as it will, it will never be so well
as we have seen it." And thereupon, by and by after the messenger
departed, he caused in all the haste all his servants to be called
up, and so, with his own household about him, and every
man weaponed, he took the Great Seal with him and came,
yet before day, unto the Queen. About whom he found much
heaviness, rumble, haste, and busyness; carriage and conveyance
of her stuff into sanctuary; chests, coffers, packs, fardels, trusses,
all on men's backs; no man unoccupied; some lading, some
going, some discharging, some coming for more, some
breaking down the walls to bring in the next way -- and some
yet drew to them that helped to carry a wrong way. The
Queen herself sat alone, alow on the rushes, all desolate and
dismayed,

whom the Archbishop comforted in the best manner
he could, showing her that he trusted the matter was nothing

so sore as she took it for,
and that he was put in good hope and
out of fear by the message sent him from the Lord Chamberlain.
"Ah, woe worth him," quoth she, "for he is one of them that
laboreth to destroy me and my blood." "Madam," quoth he, "be ye
of good cheer. For I assure you, if they crown any other king than
your son whom they now have with them, we shall on the
morrow crown his brother whom you have here with you. And
here is the Great Seal, which in like wise as that noble prince your
husband delivered it unto me, so here I deliver it unto you, to
the use and behoof of your son." And therewith he betook her
the Great Seal, and departed home again, yet in the dawning of
the day. By which time he might in his chamber window see
all the Thames full of boats of the Duke of Gloucester's servants,
watching that no man should go to sanctuary, nor none could
pass unsearched. Then was there great commotion and murmur, as
well in other places about as specially in the city, the people
diversely divining upon this dealing. And some lords,
knights, and gentlemen, either for favor of the Queen or for
fear of themselves, assembled in sundry companies and went,
flockmeal, in harness;


and many also for that they reckoned this
demeanor attempted not so specially against the other lords
as against the King himself, in the disturbance of his coronation.
But then, by and by, the lords assembled together at London.
Toward which meeting, the Archbishop of York -- fearing that it
would be ascribed (as it was indeed) to his overmuch lightness that
he so suddenly had yielded up the Great Seal to the Queen, to whom
the custody thereof nothing pertained without especial commandment
of the King -- secretly sent for the Seal again, and brought

it with him after the customable manner. And at this meeting
the Lord
Hastings, whose troth toward the King no man doubted nor
needed to doubt, persuaded the lords to believe that the Duke of
Gloucester was sure and fastly faithful to his prince, and that the
Lord Rivers and Lord Richard, with the other knights, were, for
matters attempted by them against the dukes of Gloucester and
Buckingham,

put under arrest for their surety, not for the
King's jeopardy; and that they were also in safeguard, and there
no longer should remain than till the matter were, not by the dukes
only, but also by all the other lords of the King's Council,
indifferently examined, and by other discretions ordered, and
either judged or appeased. But one thing he advised them beware:
that they judged not the matter too far forth, ere they knew the
truth; nor, turning their private grudges into the common hurt,
irritating and provoking men unto anger and disturbing the
King's coronation, toward which the dukes were coming
up -- that they might peradventure bring the matter so far out
of joint that it should never be brought in frame again. Which
strife, if it should hap, as it were likely, to come to a field,
though both parts were in all other things equal, yet should the
authority be on that side where the King is himself. With these
persuasions of the Lord Hastings (whereof part himself
believed, of part he wist the contrary), these commotions were
somewhat appeased, but especially by that that the dukes of
Gloucester and Buckingham were so near, and came so shortly on
with the King, in none other manner, with none other voice or
semblance, than to his coronation -- causing the fame to be
blown about that these lords and knights which were taken
had contrived the destruction of the dukes of Gloucester and

Buckingham, and of other the noble blood of the realm, to the
end that themselves would alone demean and govern the King
at their pleasure. And for the colorable proof thereof, such of the
dukes' servants as rode with the carts of their stuff that were
taken (among which stuff no marvel though some were
harnesses, which at the breaking up of that household must
needs either be brought away or cast away), they showed unto
the people all the way as they went: "Lo, here be the barrels of
harnesses that these traitors had privily conveyed in their carriage
to destroy the noble lords with." This device, albeit that it
made the matter to wise men more unlikely (well perceiving that
the intenders of such a purpose would rather have had their
harnesses on their backs than to have bound them up in barrels),
yet much part of the common people were therewith very well
satisfied, and said it were alms to hang them.
When the King approached near to the city, Edmund Shaa, goldsmith,
then mayor, with William White and John Mathew,
sheriffs, and all the other aldermen in scarlet, with five hundred
horse of the citizens in violet, received him reverently at
Hornsea, and riding from thence, accompanied him into the
city, which he entered the fourth day
of May, the first and last year of his
reign. But the Duke of Gloucester bore him in open sight so
reverently to the Prince, with all semblance of lowliness,
that from the great obloquy in which he was so late before,
he was suddenly fallen in so great trust that at the Council
next assembled, he was made the only man chosen, and
thought most meet, to be Protector
of the King and his realm; so that, were
it destiny or were it folly, the lamb was betaken to the wolf to

keep. At which Council also, the Archbishop of York, Chancellor
of England, which had delivered up the Great
Seal to the Queen, was thereof greatly reproved, and the seal
taken from him and delivered to Doctor
Russell, Bishop of Lincoln, a wise
man and a good, and of much experience,
and one of the best-learned men, undoubtedly, that England
had in his time. Divers lords and knights were appointed unto
divers rooms. The Lord Chamberlain and some others kept
still their offices that they had before. Now, all were it so that
the Protector so sore thirsted for the finishing of that he had
begun that thought every day a year till it were achieved,
yet durst he no further attempt as long as he had but half his
prey in his hand -- well witting that if he deposed the one
brother, all the realm would fall to the other, if he either
remained in sanctuary or should haply be shortly
conveyed to his farther liberty. Wherefore, incontinent, at the
next meeting of the lords at the
Council he proposed unto them that
it was an heinous deed of the Queen, and proceeding of great
malice toward the King's Councillors, that she should keep
in sanctuary the King's brother from him, whose special
pleasure and comfort were to have his brother with him;



and that
by her done to none other intent but to bring all the lords in
obloquy and murmur of the people -- as though they were not to
be trusted with the King's brother that by the assent of the nobles
of the land were appointed, as the King's nearest friends, to the
tuition of his own royal person.






"The prosperity whereof standeth,"
quoth he, "not all in keeping from enemies or ill viand, but
partly also in recreation and moderate pleasure -- which he cannot
in this tender youth take in the company of ancient persons, but
in the familiar conversation of those that be neither far under
nor far above his age. And nevertheless of estate convenient to
accompany his noble majesty. Wherefore, with whom rather than
with his own brother? And if any man think this consideration
light (which I think no man thinketh that loveth the King),
let him consider that sometimes without small things greater
cannot stand. And verily, it redoundeth greatly to the dishonor
both of the King's Highness and of all us that be about
His Grace, to have it run in every man's mouth -- not in this realm
only, but also in other lands (as evil words walk far) -- that
the King's brother should be fain to keep sanctuary. For
every man will ween that no man will so do for naught.
And such evil opinion once fastened in men's hearts, hard
it is to wrest out, and may grow to more grief than any man
here can divine.
"Wherefore, methinketh it were not worst to send unto the
Queen, for the redress of this matter, some honorable, trusty
man, such as both tendereth the King's weal and the honor
of his Council and is also in favor and credence with her. For all
which considerations, none seemeth me more meetly than our
Reverend Father here present, my Lord Cardinal, who may in
this matter do most good of any man, if it please him to take
the pain. Which I doubt not, of his goodness, he will not refuse,

for the King's sake and ours, and wealth of the young duke himself,
the King's most honorable brother and, after my sovereign
lord himself, my most dear nephew -- considered that thereby
shall be ceased the slanderous rumor and obloquy now going,
and the hurts avoided that thereof might ensue, and much rest
and quiet grow to all the realm. And if she be percase so
obstinate, and so precisely set upon her own will, that neither
his wise and faithful advertisement can move her nor any man's
reason content her, then shall we, by mine advice, by the King's
authority fetch him out of that prison and bring him to his
noble presence -- in whose continual company he shall be so well
cherished and so honorably treated that all the world shall, to
our honor and her reproach, perceive that it was only malice,
frowardness, or folly that caused her to keep him there. This is
my mind in this matter for this time, except any of your lordships
anything perceive to the contrary. For never shall I, by
God's grace, so wed myself to mine own will but that I shall be
ready to change it upon your better advices."
When the Protector had said, all the Council affirmed that
the motion was good and reasonable, and to the King and the duke
his brother honorable, and a thing that should cease great murmur
in the realm, if the mother might be by good means induced
to deliver him. Which thing the Archbishop of York, whom
they all agreed also to be thereto most convenient, took upon
him to move her, and therein to do his uttermost devoir. Howbeit,
if she could be in no wise entreated with her good
will to deliver him, then thought he, and such others as were of
the spiritualty present, that it were not in any wise to be attempted
to take him out against her will. For it would be a thing that
should turn to the great grudge of all men, and high displeasure
of God, if the privilege of that holy place should now
be broken! Which had so many
years been kept, which both kings

and popes so good had granted, so many had confirmed,
and which holy ground was more than five hundred years
ago -- by Saint Peter's own person in spirit, accompanied
with great multitude of angels by night -- so specially hallowed
and dedicated to God (for the proof whereof they have yet in the
abbey Saint Peter's cope to show) that from that time hitherward
was there never so undevout a king that durst that sacred place
violate, or so holy a bishop that durst it presume to consecrate.
"And therefore," quoth the Archbishop of York, "God forbid
that any man should, for anything earthly, enterprise to
break the immunity and liberty of that sacred sanctuary, that
hath been the safeguard of so many a good man's life. And I trust,"
quoth he, "with God's grace, we shall not need it. But for any manner
need, I would not we should do it. I trust that she shall be
with reason contented, and all thing in good manner obtained.
And if it happen that I bring it not so to pass, yet shall I toward
it so far forth do my best that ye shall all well perceive that
no lack of my devoir, but the mother's dread and womanish
fear shall be the let." "Womanish fear? Nay, womanish
frowardness!" quoth the Duke of Buckingham. "For I dare take it
upon my soul, she well knoweth she needeth no such thing to
fear, either for her son or for herself. For as for her, here is no
man that will be at war with women. Would God some of the
men of her kin were women too, and then should all be soon
in rest! Howbeit, there is none of her kin the less loved for
that they be her kin, but for their own evil deserving. And
nevertheless, if we loved neither her nor her kin, yet were there no
cause to think that we should hate the King's noble brother, to
whose grace we besides be of kin. Whose honor if she as
much desired as our dishonor, and as much regard took to
his wealth as to her own will, she would be as loath to suffer
him from the King as any of us be. For if she have any wit

(as would God she had as good will as she hath shrewd wit),
she reckoneth herself no wiser than she thinketh some that be
here, of whose faithful mind she nothing doubteth, but verily
believeth and knoweth that they would be as sorry of his harm as
herself, and yet would have him from her if she bide there. And
we all, I think, content that both be with her, if she come
thence and bide in such place where they may with their honor
be.
"Now, then, if she refuse in the deliverance of him to follow the
counsel of them whose wisdom she knoweth, whose troth she well
trusteth -- it is easy to perceive that frowardness letteth her, and
not fear. But go to, suppose that she fear -- as who may let her
to fear her own shadow? The more she feareth to deliver him,
the more ought we fear to leave him in her hands. For if she
cast such fond doubts that she fear his hurt -- then will she
fear that he shall be fetched thence. For she will soon think



that if
men were set (which God forbid) upon so great a
mischief, the sanctuary would little let them. Which good men
might, as methinketh, without sin somewhat less regard
than they do.
"Now, then, if she doubt lest he might be fetched from her, is
it not likely enough that she shall send him somewhere out of
the realm? Verily, I look for none other. And I doubt not but she
now as sore mindeth it as we the let thereof. And if she might
happen to bring that to pass (as it were no great mastery, we
letting her alone), all the world would say that we were a wise
sort of councillors about a king, that let his brother be cast
away under our noses! And therefore -- I ensure you faithfully --
for my mind, I will rather maugre her mind fetch him away

than leave him there till her frowardness or fond fear convey him
away. And yet will I break no sanctuary therefor. For verily,
since the privileges of that place and others like have been of long
continued, I am not he that would be about to break them. And
in good faith -- if they were now to begin, I would not be he that
should be about to make them. Yet
will I not say nay but that it is a
deed of pity that such men as the sea or their evil debtors
have brought in poverty should have some place of liberty,
to keep their bodies out of the danger of their cruel creditors.
And also, if the crown happen (as it hath done) to come in
question, while either party taketh other as traitors, I will
well there be some places of refuge for both.
But as for
thieves, of which these places be full, and which never fall from the
craft after they once fall thereto, it is pity the sanctuary should
serve them. And much more manquellers, whom God bade
to take from the altar and kill them, if their murder were willful.
And where it is otherwise, there need we not the sanctuaries that
God appointed in the Old Law. For if either necessity, his own
defense, or misfortune draw him to that deed, a pardon serveth,
which either the law granteth of course or the king of pity
may.
"Then look me now how few sanctuary men there be whom
any favorable necessity compelled to go thither. And then see,
on the other side, what a sort there be commonly therein, of them
whom willful unthriftiness hath brought to naught.
"What a rabble of thieves, murderers, and malicious heinous
traitors! And that in two places especially: the one at the elbow
of the city, the other in the very bowels. I dare well avow it:
weigh the good that they do with the hurt that cometh of them,

and ye shall find it much better to lack both than have both.
And this I say although they were not abused as they now be,
and so long have been that I fear me ever they will be, while
men be afeard to set their hands to the amendment -- as
though God and Saint Peter were the patrons of ungracious
living!
Now unthrifts riot and run in
debt, upon the boldness of these
places; yea, and rich men run thither with poor men's
goods; there they build, there they spend and bid their creditors
go whistle them. Men's wives run thither with their husbands'
plate and say they dare not abide with their husbands for
beating. Thieves bring thither their stolen goods, and there live
thereon. There devise they new robberies, nightly they steal out,
they rob and reave and kill, and come in again as though those
places gave them not only a safeguard for the harm they have
done, but a license also to do more. Howbeit, much of this
mischief, if wise men would set their hands to, it might be
amended, with great thank of God and no breach of the privilege.
The residue, since so long ago I wot ne'er what pope and what
prince more piteous than politic hath granted it, and other
men since, of a certain religious fear, have not broken it, let us
take a pain therewith and let it a God's name stand in force
as far forth as reason will. Which is not fully so far forth as
may serve to let us of the fetching forth of this nobleman, to
his honor and wealth, out of that place in which he neither is
nor can be a sanctuary man.
"A sanctuary serveth always to defend the body of that man
that standeth in danger abroad, not of great hurt only, but also
of lawful hurt. For against unlawful harms, never pope nor

king intended to privilege any one place. For that privilege
hath every place. Knoweth any man any place wherein it is
lawful one man to do another wrong? That no man
unlawfully take hurt, that liberty the king, the law, and very
nature forbiddeth in every place, and maketh, to that regard, for
every man every place a sanctuary. But where a man is by
lawful means in peril -- there needeth he the tuition of some special
privilege; which is the only ground and cause of all sanctuaries. From
which necessity this noble prince is far, whose love to his king,
nature and kindred proveth; whose innocence, to all the world his
tender youth proveth. And so sanctuary, as for him, neither none he
needeth nor also none can have. Men come not to sanctuary as they
come to baptism, to require it by their godfathers; he must ask it
himself that must have it. And reason, since no man hath cause to
have it but whose conscience of his own fault maketh him fain
need to require it. What will, then, hath yonder babe?
Which, and if he
had discretion to require it if need were, I dare say would now
be right angry with them that keep him there. And I would think
without any scruple of conscience, without any breach of privilege,
to be somewhat more homely with them that be there sanctuary
men indeed. For if one go to sanctuary with another man's goods,
why should not the king, leaving his body at liberty, satisfy the
party of his goods even within the sanctuary? For neither king nor
pope can give any place such a privilege that it shall discharge a
man of his debts, being able to pay."
And with that, divers of the clergy that were present, whether they said
it for his pleasure or as they thought, agreed plainly that by the law
of God and of the Church, the goods of a sanctuary man should be
delivered in payment of his debts, and stolen goods to the owner,
and only liberty reserved him to get his living with the labor
of his hands. "Verily," quoth the Duke, "I think you say very truth.
And what if a man's wife will take sanctuary because she list to
run from her husband? I would ween if she can allege none

other cause, he may lawfully, without any displeasure to Saint
Peter, take her out of Saint Peter's church by the arm. And if nobody
may be taken out of sanctuary that saith he will bide there --
then if a child will take sanctuary because he feareth to go to
school, his master must let him alone. And as simple as that
sample is, yet is there less reason in our case than in that. For
therein, though it be a childish fear, yet is there at the leastwise some
fear. And herein is there none at all. And verily I have often heard
of sanctuary men, but I never heard erst of sanctuary children.
And therefore, as for the conclusion of my mind: Whoso may have
deserved to need it, if they think it for their surety, let them
keep it. But he can be no sanctuary man that neither hath
wisdom to desire it nor malice to deserve it, whose life or liberty
can by no lawful process stand in jeopardy.


And he that taketh
one out of sanctuary to do him good, I say plainly that he
breaketh no sanctuary."
When the Duke had done, the temporal men whole, and good
part of the spiritual also, thinking none hurt earthly meant toward
the young babe, condescended in effect that if he were not
delivered, he should be fetched. Howbeit, they thought it all best,
in the voiding of all manner of rumor, that the Lord Cardinal
should first essay to get him with her good will. And thereupon
all the Council came unto the Star Chamber at Westminster. And
the Lord Cardinal, leaving the Protector with the Council in the
Star Chamber, departed into the sanctuary to the Queen, with
divers other lords with him -- were it for the respect of his honor,
or that she should by presence of so many perceive that this
errand was not one man's mind, or were it for that the Protector
intended not in this matter to trust any one man alone, or else

that if she finally were determined to keep him, some of that company
had haply secret instruction incontinent, maugre her mind, to take
him, and to leave her no respite to convey him; which she was
likely to mind after this matter broken to her, if her time would in
any wise serve her.
When the Queen and these lords were come together in
presence, the Lord Cardinal showed unto her that it was thought
unto the Protector and unto the whole Council that her keeping
of the King's brother in that place was the thing which highly
sounded, not only to the great rumor of the people, and their
obloquy, but also to the importable grief and displeasure of the
King's royal majesty. To whose grace it were as singular comfort
to have his natural brother in company as it was their both dishonor,
and all theirs and hers also, to suffer him in sanctuary -- as
though the one brother stood in danger and peril of the other! And
he showed her that the Council therefore had sent him unto her to
require her the delivery of him, that he might be brought unto
the King's presence -- at his liberty, out of that place which they
reckoned as a prison -- and there should he be demeaned according
to his estate. And she in this doing should both do great good
to the realm, pleasure to the Council, and profit to herself,
succor to her friends that were in distress, and over that (which he
wist well she specially tendered), not only great comfort and
honor to the King but also to the young duke himself, whose both
great wealth it were to be together, as well for many greater causes
as also for their both disport and recreation; which thing the lord
esteemed not slight, though it seem light, well pondering that their
youth without recreation and play cannot endure, nor any stranger
for the convenience of their both ages and estates so meetly in that
point for any of them as either of them for other.
"My lord," quoth the Queen, "I say not
nay but that it were very convenient

that this gentleman whom ye require were in the company of
the King, his brother. And in good faith, methinketh it were
as great commodity to them both as, for yet a while, to be in
the custody of their mother -- the tender age considered of the elder
of them both, but especially the younger, which besides his infancy, that
also needeth good looking to, hath a while been so sore diseased with
sickness, and is so newly rather a little amended than well recovered,
that I dare put no person earthly in trust with his keeping but myself
only, considering that there is, as physicians say,
and as we also find,
double the peril in the recidivation that was in the first sickness,
with which disease nature, being forlabored, forwearied, and weaked,
waxeth the less able to bear out a new surfeit. And albeit there
might be found others that would haply do their best unto
him, yet is there none that either knoweth better how to order him
than I that so long have kept him, or is more tenderly like to cherish
him than his own mother that bore him." "No man denieth, good
madam," quoth the Cardinal, "but that Your Grace were of all folk
most necessary about your children -- and so would all the Council
not only be content, but also glad that ye were, if it might stand
with your pleasure to be in such place as might stand with their
honor. But if you appoint yourself to tarry here, then think they
yet more convenient that the Duke of York were with the King,
honorably, at his liberty, to the comfort of them both, than here as a
sanctuary man, to their both dishonor and obloquy; since there is
not always so great necessity to have the child be with the mother
but that occasion may sometimes be such that it should be more
expedient to keep him elsewhere. Which in this well appeareth: that
at such time as your dearest son then Prince and now King should,
for his honor and good order of the country, keep household in
Wales, far out of your company -- Your Grace was well content therewith
yourself." "Not very well content," quoth the Queen. "And yet
the case is not like; for the one was then in health, and the other is
now sick. In which case I marvel greatly that my Lord Protector
is so desirous to have him in his keeping, where if the child in his

sickness miscarried by nature, yet might he run into slander and
suspicion of fraud.
















And where they call it a thing so sore against
my child's honor, and theirs also, that he bideth in this place, it is
all their honors there to suffer him bide where no man
doubteth he shall be best kept. And that is here, while I am here,
which as yet intend not to come forth and jeopard myself after
others of my friends -- which would God were rather here in surety
with me than I were there in jeopardy with them." "Why, madam,"
quoth another lord, "know you anything why they should be in
jeopardy?" "Nay, verily, sir," quoth she. "Nor why they should be in
prison, neither -- as they now be! But it is, I trow, no great marvel
though I fear lest those that have not letted to put them in duress
without color will let as little to procure their destruction without
cause."
The Cardinal made a countenance to the other lord that he
should harp no more upon that string. And then said he to the
Queen that he nothing doubted but that those lords of her
honorable kin which as yet remained under arrest should, upon

the matter examined, do well enough. And as toward her noble
person, neither was nor could be any manner jeopardy. "Whereby
should I trust that?" quoth the Queen. "In that I am guiltless? As though
they were guilty! In that I am with their enemies better beloved than they? --
when they hate them for my sake! In that I am so near of kin to
the King? And how far be they off? -- if that would help, as God send
grace it hurt not. And therefore, as for me, I purpose not as yet to
depart hence. And as for this gentleman, my son, I mind that
he shall be where I am till I see further. For I assure you, for
that I see some men so greedy without any substantial cause to
have him, this maketh me much the more farther to deliver him."
"Truly, madam," quoth he, "and the farther that you be to deliver him,
the farther be other men to suffer you to keep him, lest your
causeless fear might cause you further to convey him. And many be
there that think that he can have no privilege in this place which
neither can have will to ask it nor malice to deserve it. And therefore
they reckon no privilege broken though they fetch him out. Which,
if ye finally refuse to deliver him, I verily think they will, so much
dread hath my lord his uncle, for the tender love he beareth him,
lest Your Grace should hap to send him
away." "Ah, sir," quoth the Queen, "hath the
Protector so tender zeal to him that he feareth nothing but lest he
should escape him? Thinketh he that I would send him hence
which neither is in the plight to send out --




and in what place
could I reckon him sure, if he be not sure in this, the sanctuary
whereof was there never tyrant yet so devilish that durst presume

to break? And I trust God as strong now to withstand his adversaries
as ever he was. But my son can "deserve" no sanctuary, and
therefore he cannot have it? Forsooth, he hath found a goodly gloss
by which that place that may defend a thief may not save an
innocent! But "he is in no jeopardy," "nor hath no need thereof." Would God
he had not!

Troweth the Protector (I pray God he may prove a
protector!) -- troweth he that I perceive not whereunto his painted
process draweth?
' It is not honorable that the Duke bide here'; "it were
comfortable for them both that he were with his brother, because the
King lacketh a playfellow' -- be ye sure! I pray God send them both
better playfellows than him that maketh so high a matter upon
such a trifling pretext; as though there could none be found to
play with the King but if his brother -- that hath no lust to play, for
sickness -- come out of sanctuary, out of his safeguard, to play with
him. As though princes as young as they be could not play but with
their peers, or children could not play but with their kindred -- with
whom, for the more part, they agree much worse than with strangers.
But the child "cannot require the privilege." Who told him so? He
shall hear him ask it, and he will. Howbeit, this is a gay matter.
Suppose he could not ask it; suppose he would not ask it; suppose
he would ask to go out. If I say he shall not -- if I ask the
privilege but for myself! -- I say he that against my will taketh out
him, breaketh the sanctuary. Serveth this liberty for my person
only, or for my goods too? Ye may not hence take my horse from
me -- and may you take my child from me? He is also my ward; for,
as my learned counsel showeth me, since he hath nothing by descent
held by knight's service, the law maketh his mother his guardian.
Then may no man, I suppose, take my ward from me out of

sanctuary without the breach of the sanctuary. And if my privilege
could not serve him, nor he ask it for himself, yet since the law
committeth to me the custody of him, I may require it for him --
except the law give a child a guardian only for his goods and his
lands, discharging him of the cure and safekeeping of his body,
for which only both lands and goods
serve. And if examples be sufficient to
obtain privilege for my child, I need
not far to seek. For in this place in
which we now be (and which is now in
question whether my child may take
benefit of it), mine other son, now
king, was born and kept in his cradle and preserved to a more
prosperous fortune, which I pray God long to continue. And as
all you know, this is not the first time that I have taken sanctuary;
for when my lord my husband was banished and thrust out of
his kingdom, I fled hither, being great with child, and here I
bore the Prince. And when my lord my husband returned safe
again and had the victory, then went I hence to welcome him
home, and from hence I brought my babe the Prince unto his
father, when he first took him in his arms. And I pray God that my
son's palace may be as great safeguard to him now reigning, as this
place was sometime to the king's enemy. In which place I intend
to keep his brother, since [etc.]."
"Wherefore, here intend I to keep him, since man's law serveth the
guardian to keep the infant, the law of nature will the mother keep
her child, God's law privilegeth the sanctuary, and the sanctuary my
son -- since I fear to put him in the Protector's hands, that hath his
brother already, and were, if both failed, inheritor to the crown.
The cause of my fear hath no man to do to examine. And yet
fear I no further than the law feareth, which, as learned men tell me,
forbiddeth every man the custody of them by whose death he may
inherit less land than a kingdom!


I can no more, but whosoever
he be that breaketh this holy sanctuary, I pray God shortly send him
need of sanctuary when he may not come to it.

For taken out of sanctuary
would I not my mortal enemy were!"
The Lord Cardinal, perceiving that the Queen waxed ever the
longer, the farther off, and also that she began to kindle and chafe and
speak sore, biting words against the Protector, and such as he
neither believed and was also loath to hear, he said unto her, for a
final conclusion, that he would no longer dispute the matter. But
if she were content to deliver the Duke to him and to the other lords
there present, he durst lay his own body and soul both in pledge, not
only for his surety but also for his estate. And if she would give
them a resolute answer to the contrary, he would forthwith depart
therewithal, and shift whoso would with this business afterward;
for he never intended more to move her in that matter, in which she
thought that he and all others also, save herself, lacked either wit or
troth. Wit, if they were so dull that they could nothing perceive
what the Protector intended; troth, if they should procure her
son to be delivered into his hands in whom they should perceive
toward the child any evil intended.
The Queen with these words stood a good while in a great study.
And forasmuch her seemed the Cardinal more ready to depart than
some of the remnant, and the Protector himself ready at hand, so that
she verily thought she could not keep him there, but that he should
incontinent be taken thence; and to convey him elsewhere, neither
had she time to serve her nor place determined, nor persons
appointed -- all thing unready, this message came on her so suddenly,

nothing less looking for than to have him fetched out of sanctuary, which
she thought to be now beset in such places about that he could not
be conveyed out untaken --
and partly, as she thought it might fortune
her fear to be false, so well she wist it was either needless or bootless:
wherefore, if she should needs go from him, she deemed it best to deliver
him. And over that, of the Cardinal's faith she nothing doubted, nor of
some other lords', neither, whom she there saw, which as she feared
lest they might be deceived, so was she well assured they would
not be corrupted. Then thought she it should yet make them the more
warily to look to him, and the more circumspectly to see to his surety,
if she with her own hands betook him to them of trust. And at the
last she took the young duke by the hand, and said unto the lords:
"My lord," quoth she, "and all my lords, I neither am so unwise to mistrust
your wits nor so suspicious to mistrust your troths. Of which
thing I purpose to make you such a proof as, if either of both lacked
in you, might turn both me to great sorrow, the realm to much
harm, and you to great reproach. For lo, here is," quoth she, "this
gentleman,
whom I doubt not but I could here keep safe if I would,
whatsoever any man say. And I doubt not also but there be some
abroad so deadly enemies unto my blood that if they wist where any
of it lay in their own body, they would let it out. We have also had
experience that the desire of a kingdom
knoweth no kindred. The brother hath been
the brother's bane.
And may the nephews be sure of their uncle?
Each of these children is other's defense while they be asunder, and
each of their lives lieth in the other's body. Keep one safe and both
be sure; and nothing for them both more perilous than to be
both in one place. For what wise merchant adventureth all his
goods in one ship? All this notwithstanding, here I deliver him, and
his brother in him, to keep, into your hands, of whom I shall ask

them both, before God and the world. Faithful ye be -- that wot I well;
and I know well you be wise. Power and strength to keep him if ye list,
neither lack ye of yourselves nor can lack help in this cause.
And if ye cannot elsewhere, then may you leave him here. But only
one thing I beseech you, for the trust that his father put in you ever,
and for the trust that I put in you now: that as far as ye think
that I fear too much, be you well ware that you fear not as far too
little." And therewith she said unto the child, "Farewell, my own
sweet son; God send you good keeping. Let me kiss you once yet ere
you go, for God knoweth when we shall kiss together again." And
therewith she kissed him and blessed him, turned her back and wept,
and went her way, leaving the child weeping as fast. When the Lord
Cardinal and these other lords with him had received this young duke,
they brought him into the Star Chamber,
where the Protector
took him in his arms and kissed him, with these words: "Now, welcome,
my lord, even with all my very heart." And he
said, in that, of likelihood as he thought.
Thereupon forthwith they brought him to the King his brother,
unto the bishop's palace at Paul's,
and from thence through the city
honorably into the Tower, out of which after that day they never
came abroad.
When the Protector had both the children
in his hands, he opened himself more
boldly, both to certain other men and
also chiefly to the Duke of Buckingham --
although I know that many thought that
this duke was privy to all the Protector's
counsel even from the beginning, and
some of the Protector's friends said that the Duke was the first
mover of the Protector to this matter, sending a privy messenger

unto him straight after King Edward's death. But others again,
which knew better the subtle wit of the Protector, deny that he
ever opened his enterprise to the Duke until he had brought to
pass the things before rehearsed. But when he had imprisoned the
Queen's kinsfolk, and gotten both her sons into his own hands,
then he opened the rest of his purpose with less fear to them whom
he thought meet for the matter, and especially to the Duke -- who being
won to his purpose, he thought his strength more than half
increased. The matter was broken unto the Duke by subtle folks,
and such as were their craftsmasters in the handling of such wicked
devices, who declared unto him that the young king was offended with
him for his kinsfolk's sakes, and that if he were ever able, he would
revenge them. Who would prick him forward thereunto if they escaped
(for they would remember their imprisonment); or else, if they were put
to death, without doubt the young king would be careful for their
deaths whose imprisonment was grievous unto him. And that with
repenting the Duke should nothing avail, for there was no way left
to redeem his offense by benefits, but he should sooner destroy himself
than save the King, who with his brother and his kinsfolk he saw in
such places imprisoned as the Protector might with a beck destroy
them all; and that it were no doubt but he would do it indeed if
there were any new enterprise attempted. And that it was likely that
as the Protector had provided privy guard for himself, so had he
spies for the Duke, and trains to catch him if he should be
against him -- and that, peradventure, from them whom he least
suspected. For the state of things and the dispositions of men were then
such that a man could not well tell whom he might trust or whom
he might fear. These things and suchlike, being beaten into the
Duke's mind, brought him to that point that, where he had repented
the way that he had entered, yet would he go forth in the same; and
since he had once begun, he would stoutly go through. And therefore
to this wicked enterprise, which he believed could not be avoided,
he bent himself, and went through, and determined that since the
common mischief could not be amended, he would turn it as much as
he might to his own commodity.

Then it was agreed that the Protector should have the Duke's aid
to make him king, and that the Protector's only lawful son should
marry the Duke's daughter, and that the Protector should grant him
the quiet possession of the earldom of Hereford, which he claimed
as his inheritance, and could never obtain it in King Edward's time.
Besides these requests of the Duke, the Protector of his own mind
promised him a great quantity of the King's treasure and of his household
stuff. And when they were thus at a point between themselves, they
went about to prepare for the coronation of the young king -- as they
would have it seem. And that they might turn both the eyes and
minds of men from perceiving of their drifts otherwhere,

the lords,
being sent for from all parts of the realm, came thick to that
solemnity. But the Protector and the Duke, after that that they had
set the Lord Cardinal, the Archbishop of York (then Lord
Chancellor), the Bishop of Ely, the Lord Stanley, and the Lord
Hastings (then Lord Chamberlain), with many other noblemen, to
commune and devise about the coronation in one place, as fast were
they in another place contriving the contrary, and to make the
Protector king. To which council albeit there were adhibited very
few, and they very secret, yet began there, here and there about, some
manner of muttering among the people as though all should not
long be well, though they neither wist what they feared nor wherefore:
were it that before such great things, men's hearts of a secret instinct
of nature misgiveth them -- as the sea without wind swelleth of itself
sometimes before a tempest -- or were it that some one man, haply
somewhat perceiving, filled many men with suspicion though he
showed few men what he knew. Howbeit, somewhat the dealing itself
made men to muse on the matter, though the council were close.
For little and little all folk withdrew from the Tower and drew to
Crosby's Place in Bishopsgate Street, where the Protector kept his
household. The Protector had the resort, the King in manner

desolate. While some for their business made suit to them that had
the doing, some were by their friends secretly warned that it might
haply turn them to no good to be too much attendant about
the King without the Protector's appointment -- which removed also
divers of the Prince's old servants from him and set new about him.
Thus many things coming together, partly by chance, partly of
purpose, caused, at length, not common people only, that wave with
the wind, but wise men also and some lords eke, to mark the matter
and muse thereon --
so far forth that the Lord Stanley, that was after Earl
of Derby, wisely mistrusted it, and said unto the Lord Hastings
that he
much misliked these two several councils. "For while we," quoth he,
"talk of one matter in the one place, little wot we whereof they talk
in the other place." "My lord," quoth the Lord Hastings, "on my life, never
doubt you. For while one man is there which is never thence, never
can there be thing once minded that should sound amiss toward
me but it should be in mine ears ere it were well out of their
mouths." This meant he by Catesby, which
was was of his near, secret counsel and whom
he very familiarly used, and in his most weighty matters put no
man in so special trust, reckoning himself to no man so lief, since
he well wist there was no man to him so much beholden as was
this Catesby,
which was a man well-learned in the laws of this
land, and, by the special favor of the Lord Chamberlain, in good
authority, and much rule bore in all the county of Leicester, where the
Lord Chamberlain's power chiefly lay. But surely great pity was it
that he had not had either more troth or less wit. For his
dissimulation only kept all that mischief up in whom if the
Lord Hastings had not put so special trust, the Lord Stanley and he

had departed, with divers other lords, and broken all the dance,
for many ill signs that he saw -- which he now construed all to the
best. So surely thought he that there could be none harm toward
him in that council intended where Catesby was.


And of truth, the
Protector and the Duke of Buckingham made very good semblance
unto the Lord Hastings, and kept him much in company. And
undoubtedly the Protector loved him well, and loath was to have lost
him, saving for fear lest his life should have quailed their purpose.
For which cause he moved Catesby to prove, with some words cast
out afar off, whether he could think it possible to win the Lord
Hastings into their part. But Catesby, whether he essayed him or
essayed him not, reported unto them that he found him so fast, and
heard him speak so terrible words, that he durst no further break.
And of truth, the Lord Chamberlain of very trust showed unto
Catesby the mistrust that others began to have in the matter. And
therefore he, fearing lest their motions might with the Lord Hastings
diminish his credence, whereunto only all the matter leaned, procured
the Protector hastily to rid him.
And much the rather for that
he trusted by his death to obtain much of the rule that the Lord
Hastings bore in his country -- the only desire whereof was the
allective that induced him to be partner and one special contriver of
all this horrible treason.
Whereupon, soon after -- that is to wit, on
the Friday the thirteenth day of June -- many
lords assembled in the Tower and there sat in council devising
the honorable solemnity of the King's coronation, of which the
time appointed then so near approached that the pageants and
subtleties were in making day and night at Westminster, and much

victual killed therefor that afterward was cast away. These lords so
sitting together communing of this matter, the Protector came in
among them -- first about nine of the clock, saluting them courteously and
excusing himself that he had been from them so long, saying merrily
that he had been asleep that day. And after a little talking with them,
he said unto the Bishop of Ely, "My lord, you have very good strawberries
at your garden in Holborn; I require you, let us have a mess
of them." "Gladly, my lord," quoth he. "Would God I had some better thing
as ready to your pleasure as that." And therewith, in all the haste, he sent
his servant for a mess of strawberries. The Protector set the lords
fast in communing, and thereupon, praying them to spare him for a
little while, departed thence.

And soon after one hour, between ten
and eleven, he returned into the chamber among them, all changed,
with a wonderful sour, angry countenance, knitting the brows,
frowning and frothing and gnawing on his lips, and so sat him down
in his place, all the lords much dismayed and sore marveling of this
manner of sudden change, and what thing should him ail. Then, when
he had sat still a while,
thus he began: "What were they worthy to
have, that compass and imagine the destruction of me -- being so near of
blood unto the King, and Protector of his royal person and his realm?" At
this question all the lords sat sore astonished, musing much by whom
this question should be meant, of which every man wist himself clear.
Then the Lord Chamberlain, as he that for the love between them thought
he might be boldest with him, answered and said that they were worthy
to be punished as heinous traitors, whatsoever they were. And all
the others affirmed the same. "That is," quoth he, "yonder sorceress -- my
brother's wife! -- and others with her," meaning the Queen. At these words many
of the other lords were greatly abashed, that favored her. But the Lord
Hastings was in his mind better content that it was moved by her
than by any other whom he loved better -- albeit his heart somewhat

grudged that he was not before made of counsel in this matter,
as he was
of the taking of her kindred and of their putting to death, which were by
his assent before devised to be beheaded at Pomfret this selfsame
day, in which he was not aware that it was by others devised that
himself should the same day be beheaded at London. Then said the
Protector, "Ye shall all see in what wise that sorceress and that other
witch of her counsel, Shore's wife, with their affinity, have by their sorcery
and witchcraft wasted my body." And therewith he plucked up his doublet
sleeve to his elbow upon his left arm, where he showed a wearish,
withered arm and small -- as it was never other. And thereupon every
man's mind sore misgave them, well perceiving that this matter was
but a quarrel.
For well they wist that the Queen was too wise to go about
any such folly; and also, if she would, yet would she of all folk least
make Shore's wife of counsel, whom of all women she most hated, as
that concubine whom the King, her husband, had most loved. And also,
no man was there present but well knew that his harm was ever such
since his birth. Nevertheless, the Lord Chamberlain (which from the death of
King Edward kept Shore's wife -- on whom he somewhat doted in the
King's life, saving, as it is said, he that while forbore her of reverence
toward his King, or else of a certain kind of fidelity to his friend)
answered and said, "Certainly, my lord, if they have so heinously done,
they be worthy heinous punishment. "What?" quoth the Protector. "Thou
servest me, I ween, with "if's and with "and's! I tell thee, they have so done;
and that I will make good on thy body, traitor!" And therewith, as in a
great anger, he clapped his fist upon the board, a great rap. At which
token given, one cried "Treason!" without the chamber. Therewith, a door
clapped, and in came there rushing men in harness, as many as the
chamber might hold. And anon the Protector said to the Lord
Hastings, "I arrest thee, traitor!" "What? Me, my lord?" quoth he. "Yea, thee,

traitor!" quoth the Protector. And another
let fly at the Lord Stanley, which
shrank at the stroke and fell under the table, or else his head had been
cleft to the teeth; for as shortly as he shrank, yet ran the
blood about his ears.




Then were they all quickly bestowed in diverse
chambers -- except the Lord Chamberlain, whom the Protector
bade speed and shrive him apace; "for by St. Paul," quoth he,
"I will not to dinner till I see thy head off." It booted him not to ask why,
but heavily he took a priest at adventure and made a short shrift, for a
longer would not be suffered, the Protector made so much haste to
dinner -- which he might not go to till this were done, for saving of his oath.



So w So was he brought forth into the green
beside the chapel within the Tower, and his
head laid down upon a long log of timber and there stricken off,
and afterward his body, with the head, interred at Windsor, beside the
body of King Edward; whose both souls our Lord pardon.
A marvelous case is it to hear, either the warnings of that he
should have avoided, or the tokens of that he could not avoid.


For the
self night next before his death, the Lord Stanley sent a trusty secret
messenger unto him at midnight in all the haste, requiring him to rise
and ride away with him, for he was disposed utterly no longer to bide --

he had so fearful a dream,

in which him thought that a
boar with his tusks so razed them both by the heads that the blood
ran about both their shoulders. And forasmuch as the Protector
gave the boar for his cognizance, this dream made so fearful an
impression in his heart that he was thoroughly determined no longer to
tarry, but had his horse ready, if the Lord Hastings would go with him, to ride
so far yet the same night that they should be out of danger ere day.
"Ay, good lord," quoth the Lord Hastings to this messenger, "leaneth my lord
thy master so much to such trifles, and hath such faith in dreams which
either his own fear fantasieth or do rise in the night's rest by reason of his
day thoughts? Tell him it is plain witchcraft to believe in such
dreams! Which if they were tokens of things to come, why thinketh he
not that we might be as likely to make them true by our going, if we
were caught and brought back (as friends fail fleers)? For then had the
boar a cause likely to raze us with his tusks, as folk that fled for some
falsehood. Wherefore either is there no peril -- nor none there is, indeed -- or
if any be, it is rather in going than biding. And if we should needs cost
fall in peril one way or other, yet had I liefer that men should see it were
by other men's falsehood than think it were either our own fault or
faint heart. And therefore go to thy master, man, and commend me to
him, and pray him be merry and have no fear; for I ensure him I am as
sure of the man that he wotteth of as I am of my own hand." "God send
grace, sir," quoth the messenger, and went his way.
Certain is it also that in
the riding toward the Tower, the same morning in which he was beheaded,
his horse twice or thrice stumbled with him almost to the falling; which
thing albeit each man wot well daily happeneth to them to whom no
such mischance is toward, yet hath it been of an old rite and custom
observed as a token oftentimes notably foregoing some great misfortune.
Now this that followeth was no warning, but an enemious scorn.

The same morning, ere he were up, came a knight unto him, as it were
of courtesy to accompany him to the Council, but of truth sent by the
Protector to hasten him thitherward, with whom he was of secret
confederacy in that purpose -- a mean man at that time, and now of
great authority. This knight, when it happed the Lord Chamberlain by the
way to stay his horse and common a while with a priest whom he met in
the Tower street, broke his tale and said merrily to him, "What, my lord! I
pray you come on! Whereto talk you so long with that priest? You have
no need of a priest yet" -- and therewith he laughed upon him, as though he
would say, "Ye shall have soon." But so little wist the other what he meant,
and so little mistrusted, that he was never merrier nor never so full of
good hope in his life -- which self thing is often seen a sign of change.
But I shall rather let anything pass me than the vain surety of
man's mind so near his death. Upon the very Tower wharf, so near the
place where his head was off so soon after, there met he with one Hastings,
a pursuivant of his own name. And of their meeting in that place, he was
put in remembrance of another time in which it had happened them
before to meet in like manner together in the same place. At which
other time the Lord Chamberlain had been accused unto King Edward
by the Lord Rivers, the Queen's brother,
in such wise that he was for the while
(but it lasted not long) far fallen into the King's indignation, and stood
in great fear of himself.




And forasmuch as he now met this pursuivant
in the same place, that jeopardy so well past, it gave him great
pleasure to talk with him thereof with whom he had before talked thereof

in the same place while he was therein. And therefore he said, "Ah,
Hastings, art you remembered when I met thee here once with an heavy
heart?" "Yea, my lord," quoth he, "that remember I well; and thanked be
God they got no good, nor ye none harm, thereby." "Thou wouldst
say so," quoth he, "if thou knewest as much as I know, which few know else
as yet, and more shall shortly." That meant he by the lords of the Queen's
kindred that were taken before and should that day be beheaded at
Pomfret -- which he well wist, but nothing aware that the axe hung over
his own head. "In faith, man," quoth he, "I was never so sorry, nor never stood
in so great dread in my life as I did when thou and I met here. And
lo how the world is turned: now stand mine enemies in the danger (as
thou mayest hap to hear more hereafter), and I never in my life so merry,
nor never in so great surety." O good God, the blindness of our mortal
nature! When he most feared, he was in good surety; when he reckoned
himself surest, he lost his life, and that within
two hours after. Thus ended this honorable
man -- a good knight and a gentle,
of great
authority with his prince; of living somewhat dissolute; plain and
open to his enemy and secret to his friend; easy to beguile, as he that of
good heart and courage fore-studied no perils; a loving man, and passing
well-beloved; very faithful, and trusty enough, trusting too much.
Now flew the fame of this lord's death swiftly through the city,
and so forth farther about, like a wind in every man's ear. But the
Protector immediately after dinner, intending to set some color
upon the matter, sent in all the haste for many substantial men out of the
city into the Tower; and at their coming, himself, with the Duke of
Buckingham, stood harnessed in old, ill-faring brigandines, such as no man
should ween that they would vouchsafe to have put upon their backs
except that some sudden necessity had constrained them. And then
the Protector showed them that the Lord Chamberlain and others of

his conspiracy had contrived to have suddenly destroyed him and the
Duke there, the same day, in the Council. And what they intended further
was as yet not well-known. Of which their treason he never had
knowledge before ten of the clock that same forenoon; which sudden fear
drove them to put on for their defense such harness as came next to
hand; and so had God helped them that the mischief turned upon them
that would have done it. And this he required them to report.
Every man
answered him fair, as though no man mistrusted the matter which of
truth no man believed. Yet for the further appeasing of the people's mind,
he sent immediately after dinner, in all the haste, one herald of arms with
a proclamation to be made through the
city in the King's name,
containing that the
Lord Hastings with divers others of his traitorous purpose had before
conspired the same day to have slain the Lord Protector and the
Duke of Buckingham sitting in the Council, and after to have taken
upon them to rule the King and the realm at their pleasure, and thereby
to pill and spoil whom they list, uncontrolled. And much matter was there
in the proclamation devised to the slander of the Lord Chamberlain,
as that he was an evil counselor to the King's father, enticing him to many
things highly redounding to the diminishing of his honor and to the
universal hurt of his realm, by his evil company, sinister procuring, and
ungracious example, as well in many other things as in the vicious
living and inordinate abusion of his body, both with many others and also
specially with Shore's wife, which was one also of his most secret counsel
of this heinous treason, with whom he lay nightly, and namely the night last
past, next before his death; so that it was the less marvel if ungracious
living brought him to an unhappy ending -- which he was now put
unto by the most dread commandment of the King's Highness and of his
honorable and faithful Council, both for his demerits, being so openly
taken in his falsely conceived treason, and also lest the delaying of his
execution might have encouraged other mischievous persons, partners of
his conspiracy, to gather and assemble themselves together in making some

great commotion for his deliverance; whose hope now being by his
well-deserved death politicly repressed, all the realm should by God's grace
rest in good quiet and peace. Now was this proclamation made within
two hours after that he was beheaded, and it was so curiously indited, and so
fair written in parchment, in so well a set hand, and therewith of itself so
long a process, that every child might well perceive that it was prepared
before. For all the time between his death and the proclaiming could scant
have sufficed unto the bare writing alone, all had it been but in paper
and scribbled forth in haste, at adventure. So that upon the proclaiming thereof,
one that was schoolmaster of Paul's, of chance standing by, and comparing
the shortness of the time with the length of the matter, said unto them that stood
about him, "Here is a gay, goodly cast, foul cast away for haste." And a
merchant answered him that it was written by prophecy. Now then, by and
by, as it were for anger, not for covetousness, the Protector sent into the house of
Shore's wife (for her husband dwelled not
with her), and spoiled her of all that ever she had --
above the value of two or three thousand marks -- and sent her body to prison.
And when he had a while laid unto her, for the manner sake, that
she went about to bewitch him and that she was of counsel with the Lord
Chamberlain to destroy him -- in conclusion, when that no color could
fasten upon these matters, then he laid heinously to her charge the
thing that herself could not deny, that all the world wist was true, and that
nevertheless every man laughed at to hear it then so suddenly so highly
taken: that she was naught of her body. And for this cause -- as a goodly,
continent prince, clean and faultless of himself, sent out of heaven into
this vicious world for the amendment of men's manners -- he caused the
bishop of London to put her to open penance: going before the cross in
procession upon a Sunday, with a taper in her hand.
In which she went
in countenance and pace demure, so womanly, and albeit she were out of
all array save her kirtle only, yet went she so fair and lovely, namely
while the wondering of the people cast a comely rud in her cheeks (of

which she before had most miss), that her great shame won her much
praise among those that were more amorous of her body than curious
of her soul. And many good folk, also, that hated her living and glad
were to see sin corrected, yet pitied they more her penance than
rejoiced therein, when they considered that the Protector procured it
more of a corrupt intent than any virtuous
affection. This woman was born in
London, worshipfully friended, honestly brought up, and very well
married, saving somewhat too soon; her husband an honest citizen,
young and goodly and of good substance. But forasmuch as they were
coupled ere she were well ripe, she not very fervently loved for whom
she never longed. Which was haply the thing that the more easily
made her incline unto the King's appetite when he required her. Howbeit,
the respect of his royalty --
the hope of gay apparel, ease, pleasure, and other
wanton wealth -- was able soon to pierce a soft, tender heart. But
when the King had abused her, anon her husband (as he was an honest
man and one that could his good -- not presuming to touch a King's
concubine), left her up to him altogether.
When the King died, the Lord
Chamberlain took her; which in the King's days, albeit he was
sore enamored upon her, yet he forbore her, either for reverence or
for a certain friendly faithfulness. Proper she was and fair --
nothing in her
body that you would have changed, but if you would have wished her somewhat
higher. Thus say they that knew her in her youth, albeit some that
now see her (for yet she liveth) deem her never to have been well-visaged.
Whose judgment seemeth me somewhat like as though men should
guess the beauty of one long before departed, by her scalp taken out
of the charnel house. For now is she old, lean, withered, and dried up,
nothing left but rivelled skin and hard bone. And yet, being even such,
whoso well advise her visage might guess and devise which parts how

filled would make it a fair face. Yet delighted not men so much in her
beauty as in her pleasant behavior. For a proper wit had she, and could
both read well and write; merry in company, ready and quick of answer,
neither mute nor full of babble, sometimes taunting -- without displeasure and
not without disport. The King would say
that he had three concubines which in
three diverse properties diversely excelled: one the merriest, another
the wiliest, the third the holiest harlot in his realm -- as one
whom no man could get out of the church lightly to any place but it
were to his bed. The other two were somewhat greater personages, and
nevertheless of their humility content to be nameless and to forbear the
praise of those properties. But the merriest was this Shore's wife, in whom
the King therefore took special pleasure. For many he had, but her
he loved; whose favor, to say the truth (for sin it were to belie the
devil), she never abused to any man's hurt, but to many a man's comfort
and relief. Where the King took displeasure, she would mitigate and
appease his mind; where men were out of favor, she would bring them
in his grace. For many that had highly offended, she obtained pardon.
Of great forfeitures she got men remission. And finally, in many
weighty suits she stood many men in great stead, either for none or
very small rewards, and those rather gay than rich -- either for that she
was content with the deed itself well done, or for that she delighted to be sued
unto and to show what she was able to do with the King, or for that
wanton women and wealthy be not always covetous.

I doubt not some
shall think this woman too slight a thing to be written of and set among
the remembrances of great matters -- which they shall especially think
that haply shall esteem her only by that they now see her. But meseemeth
the chance so much the more worthy to be remembered in how much
she is now in the more beggarly condition, unfriended and worn out of
acquaintance, after good substance, after as great favor with the prince,

after as great suit and seeking-to with all those that those days had business to
speed, as many other men were, in their times, which be now famous
only by the infamy of their ill deeds. Her doings were not much less,
albeit they be much less remembered because they were not so evil.
For men use, if they have an evil turn, to write it in marble; and whoso
doth us a good turn, we write it in dust -- which is not worst proved
by her,




for at this day she beggeth of many at this day living, that
at this day had begged if she had not been.
Now was it so devised by the Protector
and his council that the self day in which the
Lord Chamberlain was beheaded in the
Tower of London, and about the selfsame hour, was there (not without
his assent) beheaded at Pomfret the fore-remembered lords and
knights that were taken from the King at Northampton and Stony
Stratford. Which thing was done in the presence and by the order
of Sir Richard Radcliff, knight, whose
service the Protector especially used in the
counsel and in the execution of such lawless enterprises, as a man that had
been long secret with him, having experience of the world and a shrewd wit,
short and rude in speech, rough and boisterous of behavior, bold in
mischief, as far from pity as from all fear of God. This knight -- bringing
them out of the prison to the scaffold, and showing to the people about that
they were traitors (not suffering them to speak and declare their innocence,
lest their words might have inclined men to pity them and to
hate the Protector and his party) -- caused them hastily, without judgment,

process, or manner of order, to be beheaded, and without other earthly guilt
but only that they were good men, too true to the King and too nigh to the
Queen. Now, when the Lord Chamberlain and these other lords and
knights were thus beheaded and rid out of the way, then thought the
Protector that -- while men mused what the matter meant, while the lords of
the realm were about him, out of their own strengths, while no man
wist what to think nor whom to trust, ere ever they should have
space to dispute and digest the matter and make parties -- it were best hastily
to pursue his purpose and put himself in possession of the crown, ere men
could have time to devise any ways to resist. But now was all the study
by what means this matter, being of itself so heinous, might be first
broken to the people in such wise that it might be well taken. To this
counsel they took divers, such as they thought meet to be trusted,
likely to be induced to that part, and able to stand them in stead, either by
power or policy. Among whom they made
of counsel Edmund Shaa, knight, then
Mayor of London, which upon trust of his own advancement
(whereof he was, of a proud heart, highly desirous) should frame
the city to their appetite. Of spiritual men, they took such as had
wit and were in authority among the people for opinion of their
learning, and had no scrupulous conscience.
Among these had they John Shaa -- cleric,
brother to the Mayor -- and Friar Penker, Provincial of the Augustinian
friars; both doctors of divinity, both great preachers, both of more
learning than virtue, of more fame than learning. For they were
before greatly esteemed among the people; but after that, never. Of these
two, the one had a sermon in praise of the Protector before the

coronation, the other after; both so full of tedious flattery that no
man's ears could abide them. Penker in his sermon so lost his voice that
he was fain to leave off and come down in the midst.
Doctor Shaa by
his sermon lost his honesty and soon after his life, for very shame of
the world, into which he durst never after come abroad. But the friar
forced for no shame, and so it harmed him the less. Howbeit, some doubt,
and many think, that Penker was not of counsel of the matter before
the coronation, but, after the common manner, fell to flattery after -- namely
since his sermon was not incontinent upon it, but at St. Mary's Hospital
at the Easter after. But certain is it that Doctor Shaa was of counsel
in the beginning, so far forth that they determined that he should
first break the matter, in a sermon at Paul's Cross, in which he should
by the authority of his preaching incline the people to the Protector's
ghostly purpose. But now was all the labor and study in the devise of
some convenient pretext for which the people should be content to
depose the Prince and accept the Protector for king. In which, divers
things they devised. But the chief thing and the weighty of all that
invention rested in this: that they should allege bastardy, either in King
Edward himself or in his children, or both, so that he should seem
disabled to inherit the crown by the Duke of York, and the Prince
by him.

To lay bastardy in King Edward sounded openly to the
rebuke of the Protector's own mother, which was mother to them
both; for in that point could be none other color but to pretend that
his own mother was an adulteress -- which, notwithstanding, to further
this purpose he letted not. But nevertheless he would that point should
be less, and more favorably, handled -- not even fully plain and directly,
but that the matter should be touched aslope, craftily, as though men
spared in that point to speak all the truth, for fear of his displeasure. But
the other point, concerning the bastardy that they devised to surmise
in King Edward's children -- that would he should be openly declared, and
enforced to the uttermost. The color and pretext whereof cannot be well

perceived but if we first repeat you some things long before done,
about King Edward's marriage. After that King Edward IV had
deposed King Henry VI and was in peaceable possession of the
realm, determining himself to marry (as it was requisite both for
himself and for the realm), he sent over in embassage the Earl of
Warwick,
with other noblemen in his company, unto Spain, to
entreat and conclude a marriage between King Edward and the king's
daughter of Spain. In which thing the Earl of Warwick found the
parties so toward and willing that he speedily, according to his instructions,
without any difficulty, brought the matter to very good conclusion. Now
happed it that in the mean season there came, to make a suit by
petition to the King, Dame Elizabeth Grey
(which was after his queen), at that time
a widow -- born of noble blood, especially by her mother, which
was Duchess of Bedford ere she married the Lord Woodville, her
father. Howbeit, this Dame Elizabeth, herself being in service with
Queen Margaret, wife unto King Henry VI, was married unto one
John Grey, a squire

whom King Henry made knight upon the field that
he had on Shrove Tuesday at St. Alban's against King Edward. And
little while enjoyed he that knighthood, for he was at the same field slain.
After which done, and the Earl of Warwick being in his embassage about
the fore-remembered marriage,


this poor lady made humble suit unto
the King
that she might be restored unto such small lands as her late
husband had given her in jointure.





Whom when the King beheld and heard
her speak -- as she was both fair, of a good favor, moderate of stature,
well made, and very wise -- he not only pitied her but also waxed enamored
on her. And taking her afterward secretly aside, began to enter
in talking more familiarly.





Whose appetite when she perceived, she
virtuously denied him. But that did she so wisely, and with so good manner,
and words so well set, that she rather kindled his desire than quenched
it. And finally, after many a meeting, much wooing, and many great
promises, she well espied the King's affection toward her so greatly
increased
that she durst somewhat the more boldly say her mind, as to
him whose heart she perceived more firmly set than to fall off for a
word. And in conclusion she showed him plainly that as she wist herself
too simple to be his wife, so thought she herself too good to be his
concubine. The King, much marveling of her constancy, as he that had
not been wont elsewhere to be so stiffly said nay, so much
esteemed her continence and chastity that he set her virtue in the
stead of possession and riches. And thus taking counsel of his desire,
determined in all possible haste to marry her. And after he was thus
appointed, and had between them twain ensured her,

then asked he
counsel of his other friends, and that in such manner as they might easily
perceive it booted not greatly to say nay.
Notwithstanding, the Duchess of York, his

mother, was so sore moved therewith that she dissuaded the marriage
as much as she possibly might, alleging that it was his honor, profit,
and surety also, to marry in a noble progeny out of his realm --
whereupon depended great strength to his estate by the affinity, and great
possibility of increase of his possessions -- and that he could not well
otherwise do, standing that the Earl of Warwick had so far moved
already; which were not likely to take it well if all his voyage were in
such wise frustrated and his appointments deluded. And she said
also that it was not princely to marry his own subject, no great occasion
leading thereunto, no possessions or other commodities depending
thereupon, but only as it were a rich man that would marry his maid,
only for a little wanton dotage upon her person. In which marriage
many more commend the maiden's fortune than the master's wisdom.
And yet therein, she said, was more honesty, than honor in this marriage,
forasmuch as there is between no merchant and his own maid so great
difference as between the king and this widow. In whose person, albeit
there was nothing to be misliked, yet was there, she said, "nothing so
excellent but that it might be found in divers others that were more
meetly," quoth she, "for your estate, and maidens also;



whereas the only
widowhood of Elizabeth Grey, though she were in all other things
convenient for you, should yet suffice, as meseemeth, to refrain you from
her marriage, since it is an unsitting thing -- and a very blemish, and high
disparagement -- to the sacred majesty of a prince, that ought as nigh to
approach priesthood in cleanness as he doth in dignity, to be defouled with
bigamy in his first marriage."

The King, when his mother had said, made
her answer, part in earnest, part in play,
merrily, as he that wist himself out of her rule. And albeit he would
gladly that she should take it well, yet was at a point in his own mind
took she it well or otherwise. Howbeit, somewhat to satisfy her, he said
that albeit marriage, being a spiritual thing, ought rather to be made for the
respect of God, where his grace inclineth the parties to love together, as
he trusted it was in his, than for the regard of any temporal advantage --
yet nevertheless him seemed that this marriage even worldly considered was
not unprofitable. For he reckoned the amity of no earthly nation so
necessary for him as the friendship of his own; which he thought likely
to bear him so much the more hearty favor in that he disdained not to
marry with one of his own land. And yet if outward alliance were
thought so requisite,

he would find the means to enter thereinto much
better by others of his kin, where all the parties could be contented, than to
marry himself whom he should haply never love, and for the possibility
of more possessions lose the fruit and pleasure of this that he had
already. For small pleasure taketh a man of all that ever he hath besides, if
he be wived against his appetite.



"And I doubt not," quoth he, "but there be,
as ye say, others that be in every point comparable with her. And therefore I
let not them that like them to wed them. No more is it reason that it
mislike any man that I marry where it liketh me. And I am sure that my
cousin of Warwick

neither loveth me so little to grudge at that I love, nor is so
unreasonable to look that I should in choice of a wife rather be ruled by
his eye than by mine own -- as though I were a ward that were bound to

marry by the appointment of a guardian! I would not be a king with that
condition -- to forbear mine own liberty in choice of my own marriage.
As for possibility of more inheritance by new affinity in strange
lands, is often the occasion of more trouble than profit. And we have
already title by that means to so much as sufficeth to get and keep well in
one man's days.



That she is a widow and hath already children -- by God's
blessed Lady, I am a bachelor and have some too! And so each of us hath
a proof that neither of us is likely to be barren. And therefore, madam, I pray
you be content;


I trust in God she shall bring forth a young prince that
shall please you. And as for the bigamy, let the bishop hardily lay it in
my way when I come to take Orders. For I understand it is forbidden a
priest, but I never wist it yet that it was forbidden a prince." The
Duchess with these words nothing appeased, and seeing the King so set
thereon that she could not pull him back, so highly she disdained
it that, under pretext of her duty to Godward, she devised
to disturb this marriage, and rather to help that he should marry one
Dame Elizabeth Lucy, whom the King had
also, not long before, gotten with child.

Wherefore the King's mother objected openly against his marriage,
as it were in discharge of her conscience, that the King was sure
to Dame Elizabeth Lucy, and her husband before God. By reason
of which words, such obstacle was made in the matter that either the
bishops durst not, or the King would not, proceed to the solemnization
of this wedding till these same were clearly purged and the truth
well and openly testified. Whereupon Dame Elizabeth Lucy was sent for.
And albeit that she was by the King's mother and many others put in good

comfort to affirm that she was ensured unto the King, yet when she
was solemnly sworn to say the truth, she confessed that they were
never ensured. Howbeit, she said His Grace spoke so loving words
unto her that she verily hoped he would have married her. And that if it
had not been for such kind words, she would never have shown such
kindness to him, to let him so kindly get her with child. This examination
solemnly taken, when it was clearly perceived that there was
none impediment, the King with great feast and honorable solemnity
married Dame Elizabeth Grey, and her
crowned queen that was his enemy's wife
and many times had prayed full heartily for his loss. In which God
loved her better than to grant her her boon.
But when the Earl of Warwick understood of this marriage, he took
it so highly that his embassage was deluded that for very anger and
disdain he at his return assembled a great puissance against the
King, and came so fast upon him, ere he could be able to resist, that
he was fain to void the realm and flee into
Holland for succor.



Where he remained
for the space of two years, leaving his new wife in Westminster, in
sanctuary, where she was delivered of
Edward, the prince of whom we before
have spoken. In which meantime the Earl of
Warwick took out of prison and set up
again King Henry VI, which was before by King Edward deposed --
and that muchwhat by the power of the Earl of Warwick, which was a
wise man and a courageous warrior, and of such strength, what for his
lands, his alliance, and favor with all the people, that he made kings
and put down kings almost at his pleasure, and not impossible to have
attained it himself, if he had not reckoned it a greater thing to make a

king than to be a king. But nothing lasteth always; for in conclusion
King Edward returned, and, with much less number than he had, at
Barnet on the Easter Day field slew the Earl
of Warwick with many other great estates of that
party, and so stably attained the crown again that he peaceably
enjoyed it until his dying day, and in such plight left it that it could
not be lost -- but by the discord of his very friends, or falsehood of his
feigned friends.
I have rehearsed this business about this marriage somewhat the more
at length because it might thereby the better appear upon how slippery a
ground the Protector built his color by which he pretended King
Edward's children to be bastards. But that invention, simple as it
was, it liked them to whom it sufficed to have somewhat to say, while
they were sure to be compelled to no larger proof than themselves list
to make. Now then, as I began to show you, it was by the Protector and
his council concluded that this Doctor
Shaa should in a sermon at Paul's Cross
signify 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 York, but begotten unlawfully by other
persons by the adultery of the Duchess, their mother. And that, also, Dame
Elizabeth Lucy was verily the wife of King Edward, and so the Prince
and all his children bastards that were begotten upon the Queen.

According to this device, Doctor Shaa the Sunday after at Paul's
Cross, in a great audience (as always assembled great number to his
preaching), he took for his theme "Spuria vitulamina non agent radices altas,"
that is to say, "Bastard slips shall never take deep root." Thereupon
when he had shown the great grace that God giveth and secretly
infoundeth in right generation after the laws of matrimony, then
declared he that commonly those children lacked that grace, and for the
punishment of their parents were for the more part unhappy, which
were begotten in bastardy, and especially in adultery. Of which though
some, by the ignorance of the world and the truth hid from knowledge,

inherited for the season other men's lands, yet God always so
provideth that it continueth not in their blood long, but, the truth
coming to light, the rightful inheritors be restored
and the bastard slip
pulled up ere it can be rooted deep. And when he had laid for the
proof and confirmation of this sentence certain examples taken out
of the Old Testament and other ancient histories, then began he to
descend into the praise of the Lord Richard, late Duke of York, calling
him "father to the Lord Protector," and declared the title of his heirs
unto the crown, to whom it was, after the death of King Henry VI,
entailed by authority of Parliament. Then showed he that his
very right heir, of his body lawfully begotten, was only the Lord
Protector. For he declared then that King Edward was never lawfully
married unto the Queen, but was before God husband unto Dame
Elizabeth Lucy, and so his children bastards.






And besides that, neither
King Edward himself nor the Duke of Clarence among those that were
secret in the household were reckoned very surely for the children of the
noble duke, as those that by their favors more resembled other
known men than him -- from whose virtuous conditions he said also
that King Edward was far off. But the Lord Protector, he said, "that very
noble prince, that special pattern of knightly prowess, as well in all
princely behavior as in the lineaments and favor of his visage" represented
"the very face of the noble duke his father." "This is," quoth he, "the father's own
figure; this is his own countenance, the very print of his visage, the
sure, undoubted image, the plain, express likeness of that noble duke."
Now was it before devised that in the speaking of these words

the Protector should have come in among the people to the sermonward,
to the end that those words meeting with his presence might have
been taken among the hearers as though the Holy Ghost had put
them in the preacher's mouth, and should have moved the people even
there to cry "King Richard! King Richard!" -- that it might have been after
said that he was specially chosen by God and, in manner, by miracle. But
this device quailed, either by the Protector's negligence or the preacher's
overmuch diligence. For while the Protector found by the way tarrying
lest he should prevent those words, and the Doctor, fearing that he should
come ere his sermon could come to those words, hastened his matter
thereto -- he was come to them and past them and entered into other matters
ere the Protector came. Whom when he beheld coming, he suddenly
left the matter with which he was in hand and, without any deduction
thereunto, out of all order and out of all frame, began to repeat
those words again: "This is the very noble prince, the special pattern of
knightly prowess, which as well in all princely behavior as in the
lineaments and favor of his visage representeth the very face of the noble
duke of York his father. This is the father's own figure, this his own
countenance, the very print of his visage, the sure, undoubted image, the
plain, express likeness of the noble duke, whose remembrance can never
die while he liveth." While these words were in speaking, the Protector,
accompanied with the Duke of Buckingham, went through the people into
the place where the doctors commonly stand, in the upper story, where he
stood to hearken the sermon. But the people were so far from crying
"King Richard!" that they stood as they had been turned into stones, for
wonder of this shameful sermon. After which once ended, the
preacher got him home and never after
durst look out, for shame, but kept him
out of sight, like an owl. And when he once asked one that had
been his old friend what the people talked of him, all were it that his
own conscience well showed him that they talked no good, yet when
the other answered him that there was in every man's mouth spoken
of him much shame, it so struck him to the heart that, within few days
after, he withered and consumed away.

Then on the Tuesday following
this sermon, there came unto the Guildhall in London the Duke of
Buckingham, accompanied with divers lords and knights, more than
haply knew the message that they brought. And there -- in the east
end of the hall (where the Mayor keepeth the hustings), the Mayor and
all the aldermen being assembled about him, all the commons of the
city gathered before them -- after silence commanded (upon great
pain) in the Protector's name, the Duke stood up, and (as he was
neither unlearned and of nature marvelously well-spoken) he said
unto the people, with a clear and a loud voice, in this manner of wise:
"Friends, for the zeal and hearty favor
that we bear you, we be come to break
unto you of a matter right great and
weighty, and no less weighty than pleasing unto God and profitable to
all the realm; nor to no part of the realm more profitable than to you,
the citizens of this noble city. For why? That thing that we wot well
ye have long time lacked and sorely longed for, that ye would have
given great good for, that ye would have gone far to fetch -- that
thing we be come hither to bring you, without your labor,
pain, cost, adventure, or jeopardy. What thing is that? Certes, the
surety of your own bodies, the quiet of your wives and your
daughters, the safeguard of your goods -- of all which things in
times past ye stood evermore in doubt. For who was there of you
all that would reckon himself lord of his own goods, among so
many grins and traps as was set therefor, among so much
pilling and polling, among so many taxes and tallages, of which there
was never end and oftentimes no need -- or if any were, it rather grew of
riot and unreasonable waste than any necessary or honorable charge. So
that there was daily pilled, from good men and honest, great substance of
goods to be lashed out among unthrifts, so far forth that fifteenths
sufficed not -- nor any usual names of known taxes -- but under an easy
name of "benevolence and good will," the commissioners so much of every

man took as no man would of his good will have given. As though the
name of "benevolence" had signified that every man should pay, not
what himself of his good will list to grant, but what the King of his
good will list to take! Which never asked little, but everything was
hawsed above the measure: amercements turned into fines, fines into
ransoms, small trespass to misprision, misprision into treason.




Whereof, I
think, no man looketh that we should remember you of examples by
name -- as though Burdet were forgotten,
that was for a word spoken in haste cruelly
beheaded, by the misconstruing of the laws of this realm for the
prince's pleasure; with no less honor to
Markham, then Chief Justice, that left his
office rather than he would assent to that judgment, than to the
dishonesty of those that, either for fear or flattery, gave that judgment.

What? Cook, your own worshipful neighbor --
alderman and mayor of this noble city!
Who is
of you either so negligent that he knoweth not, or so forgetful that he
remembereth not, or so hard-hearted that he pitieth not, that worshipful
man's loss -- what speak we of loss? his utter spoil, and undeserved
destruction -- only for that it happed those to favor him whom the
prince favored not! We need not, I suppose, to rehearse of these any more
by name, since there be, I doubt not, many here present that either in
themselves or their nigh friends have known as well their goods as
their persons greatly endangered, either by feigned quarrels or small

matters aggrieved with heinous names. And also there was no crime so
great, of which there could lack a pretext. For since the King, preventing
the time of his inheritance, attained the crown by battle, it sufficed
in a rich man for a pretext of treason to have been of kindred or alliance,
near familiarity or leger acquaintance, with any of those that were at
any time the King's enemies; which was, at one time and other, more than
half the realm. Thus were neither your goods in surety, and yet they
brought your bodies in jeopardy -- besides
the common adventure of open war, which
albeit that it is ever the well and occasion of much mischief, yet is it
never so mischievous as where any people fall at distance among
themselves, nor in none earthly nation so deadly and so pestilent as when
it happeneth among us, and among us never so long-continued dissension,
nor so many battles in the season, nor so cruel and so deadly
fought, as was in the king's days that dead is, God forgive it his soul.
In whose time and by whose occasion, what about the getting of the
garland, keeping it, losing and winning again, it hath cost more English
blood than hath twice the winning of France. In which inward
war among ourselves hath been so great
effusion of the ancient noble blood of
this realm that scarcely the half remaineth, to the great enfeebling
of this noble land, besides many a good town ransacked and spoiled
by them that have been going to the field or coming from thence.
And peace long after not much surer than war. So that no time
was there in which rich men for their money, and great men for their lands,
or some others for some fear or some displeasure, were not out of peril.
For whom trusted he that mistrusted his own brother? Whom spared he
that killed his own brother? Or who could perfectly love him, if his own
brother could not? What manner of folk he most favored, we shall,
for his honor, spare to speak of. Howbeit, this wot you well all: that
whoso was best bore always least rule, and more suit was in his days
unto Shore's wife, a vile and abominable strumpet, than to all the
lords in England -- except unto those that made her their proctor --

which simple woman was well-named and honest till the King for his
wanton lust and sinful affection bereft her from her husband, a right
honest, substantial young man among you. And in that point -- which in
good faith I am sorry to speak of, saving that it is in vain to keep in
counsel that thing that all men know -- the King's greedy appetite was
insatiable, and everywhere over all the realm intolerable. For no
woman was there anywhere, young or old, rich or poor, whom he set
his eye upon, in whom he anything liked, either person or favor,
speech, pace, or countenance, but without any fear of God or respect of
his honor, murmur or grudge of the world, he would importunately
pursue his appetite and have her; to the great destruction of
many a good woman, and great dolor to their husband and their
other friends which, being honest people of themselves, so much
regard the cleanness of their house, the chastity of their wives and their
children, that them were liefer to lose all that they have besides than
to have such a villainy done them. And, all were it that with this and
other importable dealing the realm was in every part annoyed, yet
especially ye here, the citizens of this noble city -- as well for that among
you is most plenty of all such things as minister matter to such
injuries as for that you were nearest at hand, since that near hereabout
was commonly his most abiding. And yet be ye the people whom
he had as singular cause well and kindly to treat as any part of
his realm -- not only for that the prince by
this noble city (as his special chamber and
the specially well-renowned city of his
realm) much honorable fame receiveth among all other nations, but
also for that ye, not without your great cost and sundry perils and
jeopardies in all his wars, bore ever your special favor to his party.
Which -- your kind minds borne to the house of York -- since he hath
nothing worthily acquitted, there is of that house that now, by God's grace,
better shall; which thing to show you is the whole sum and effect of
this our present errand.
It shall not, I wot well, need that I rehearse you

again that ye have already heard of him that can better tell it, and
of whom, I am sure, ye will better believe it. And reason is that it so be.
I am not so proud to look therefor -- that ye should reckon my words
of as great authority as the preacher's of the word of God, namely a
man so cunning and so wise that no man better wotteth what he
should say, and thereto so good and virtuous that he would not say
the thing which he wist he should not say, in the pulpit namely, into
which none honest man cometh to lie. Which honorable preacher, ye
well remember, substantially declared unto you, at Paul's Cross on
Sunday last past, the right and title that the most excellent prince
Richard, Duke of Gloucester, now Protector of this realm, hath unto
the crown and kingdom of the same.

For as that worshipful man groundly
made open unto you, the children of King Edward the Fourth were
never lawfully begotten, forasmuch as the King (living his very wife,
Dame Elizabeth Lucy) was never lawfully married unto the Queen,
their mother -- whose blood, saving that he set his voluptuous pleasure
before his honor, was full unmeet to be matched with his, and the
mingling of whose bloods together hath been the effusion of great
part of the noble blood of this realm. Whereby it may well seem that
marriage not well made, of which there is so much mischief grown.
For lack of which lawful coupling, and also of other things (which the
said worshipful doctor rather signified than fully explained, and which
things shall not be spoken for me, as the thing wherein every man
forbeareth to say that he knoweth, in avoiding displeasure of my noble
Lord Protector, bearing, as nature requireth, a filial reverence to the
Duchess, his mother);
for these causes, I say, fore-remembered -- that is to wit,
for lack of other issue lawfully coming of the late noble prince
Richard, Duke of York, to whose royal blood the crown of England
and of France is by the high authority of Parliament entailed -- the
right and title of the same is, by the just course of inheritance, according

to the common law of this land, devolved and come unto the most
excellent prince the Lord Protector, as to the very lawfully begotten son
of the fore-remembered noble duke of York. Which thing well considered,
and the great knightly prowess pondered, with manifold virtues which in
his noble person singularly abound, the nobles and commons also of this
realm (and especially of the north parts), not willing any bastard blood to
have the rule of the land, nor the abusions before in the same used any
longer to continue, have condescended and fully determined to make
humble petition unto the most puissant prince the Lord Protector that it
may like His Grace, at our humble request, to take upon him the guiding
and governance of this realm, to the wealth and increase of the same, according
to his very right and just title. Which thing, I wot it well, he will be
loath to take upon him, as he whose wisdom well perceiveth the labor and
study both of mind and of body that shall come therewith to whosoever
so well occupy that room as I dare say he will if he take it. Which
room, I warn you well, is no child's office. And that the great wise
man well perceived when he said, "Vae regno cuius rex puer est':
"Woe is that realm that hath a child to their king." Wherefore,
so much the more cause have we to thank God that this noble
personage, which is so righteously entitled thereunto, is of so sad
age, and thereto of so great wisdom joined with so great experience;
which albeit he will be loath, as I have said, to take it upon him,
yet shall he to our petition in that behalf the more graciously incline
if ye, the worshipful citizens of this the chief city of this realm, join
with us, the nobles, in our said request. Which for your own weal we
doubt not but ye will; and nevertheless I heartily pray you so to do,


whereby you shall do great profit to all this realm besides, in choosing
them so good a king, and unto yourselves special commodity, to
whom His Majesty shall ever after bear so much the more tender
favor, in how much he shall perceive you the more prone and
benevolently minded toward his election. Wherein, dear friends, what
mind you have, we require you plainly to show us." When the Duke

had said -- and looked that the people, whom he hoped the Mayor
had framed before, should after this proposition made have cried
"King Richard! King Richard!" -- all was hushed and mute, and not one
word answered thereunto. Wherewith the Duke was marvelously
abashed, and taking the Mayor nearer to him, with others that were
about him privy to that matter, said unto them softly, "What meaneth
this, that these people be so still?" "Sir," quoth the Mayor, "percase they
perceive you not well." "That shall we amend," quoth he, "if that will
help." And by and by, somewhat louder, he rehearsed them the same
matter again in other order and other words, so well and ornately, and
nevertheless so evidently and plainly, with voice, gesture, and countenance
so comely and so convenient, that every man much marveled that
heard him, and thought that they never had in their lives heard so evil
a tale so well-told. But, were it for wonder or fear, or that each looked
that other should speak first, not one word was there answered
of all the people that stood before, but all was as still as the midnight --
not so much as rounding among them, by which they might seem to
common what was best to do. When the Mayor saw this, he with other
partners of that counsel drew about the Duke and said that the
people had not been accustomed there to be spoken unto "but by the
Recorder, which is the mouth of the city; and haply to him they will
answer." With that, the Recorder,

called Fitzwilliam, a sad man
and an honest, which was so newly come
into that office that he never had spoken to the people before -- and loath was
with that matter to begin -- notwithstanding, thereunto commanded
by the Mayor, made rehearsal to the commons of that the Duke had twice
rehearsed them himself. But the Recorder so tempered his tale that he
showed everything as the Duke's words and no part his own. But all
this nothing no change made in the people, which always, after one,
stood as they had been men amazed. Whereupon the Duke
rounded unto the

Mayor and said, "This is a marvelous obstinate silence"; and therewith
he turned unto the people again, with these words: "Dear friends, we
come to move you to that thing -- which peradventure we not so greatly
needed but that the lords of this realm and the commons of other
parts might have sufficed, saving that we such love bear you, and
so much set by you, that we would not gladly do without you --
that thing in which to be partners is your weal and honor; which, as
it seemeth, either you see not or weigh not. Wherefore we require you give
us answer one or other: whether you be minded as all the nobles of
the realm be -- to have this noble prince, now Protector, to be your
king -- or not."

At these words the people began to whisper among
themselves secretly, that the voice was neither loud nor distinct, but,
as it were, the sound of a swarm of bees; till at the last, in the nether
end of the hall, an ambushment of the Duke's servants and Nashfield's,
and others belonging to the Protector, with some apprentices and lads
that thrust into the hall among the press, began suddenly at men's
backs to cry out as loud as their throats would give, "King
Richard! King Richard!" -- and threw up their caps in token of
joy. And they that stood before cast back their heads, marveling
thereof; but nothing they said.

And when the Duke and the Mayor

saw this manner, they wisely turned it to their purpose and said it
was a goodly cry and a joyful to hear, every man with one voice, no
man saying nay. "Wherefore, friends," quoth the Duke, "since that we
perceive it is all your whole minds to have this noble man for your
king, whereof we shall make His Grace so effectual report that we
doubt not but it shall redound unto your great weal and commodity,
we require ye that ye tomorrow go with us, and we with you,
unto his noble Grace, to make our humble request unto him in manner

fore-remembered." And therewith the lords came down, and the
company dissolved and departed, the more part all sad, some with
glad semblance that were not very merry; and some of those that came
thither with the Duke, not able to dissemble their sorrow, were fain
at his back to turn their face to the wall while the dolor of their
heart burst out at their eyes.
Then on the morrow after, the Mayor
with all the aldermen and chief commoners
of the city, in their best manner appareled,
assembling themselves together, resorted unto Baynard's Castle, where the
Protector lay. To which place repaired also, according to their appointment,
the Duke of Buckingham, with divers noblemen with him,
besides many knights and other gentlemen. And thereupon the Duke
sent word unto the Lord Protector of the being there of a great
and honorable company, to move a great matter unto His Grace.
Whereupon the Protector made difficulty to come out unto them
but if he first knew some part of their errand; as though he doubted
and partly distrusted the coming of such number unto him so
suddenly, without any warning or knowledge whether they came
for good or harm. Then the Duke, when he had showed this unto the
Mayor and others, that they might thereby see how little the Protector
looked for this matter, they sent unto him by the messenger such
loving message again, and therewith so humbly besought him to
vouchsafe that they might resort to his presence to purpose their
intent, of which they would unto none other person any part disclose,
that at the last he came forth of his chamber -- and yet not down
unto them, but stood above in a gallery over them where they might
see him and speak to him; as though he would not yet come too near
them till he wist what they meant. And thereupon the Duke of
Buckingham first made humble petition unto him, on the behalf
of them all, that His Grace would pardon them and license them to
purpose unto His Grace the intent of their coming without his

displeasure -- without which pardon obtained they durst not be
bold to move him of that matter. In which albeit they meant as much
honor to His Grace as wealth to all the realm besides, yet were they not
sure how His Grace would take it -- whom they would in no wise
offend. Then the Protector, as he was very gentle of himself and
also longed sore to wit what they meant, gave him leave to purpose
what him liked, verily trusting, for the good mind that he bore them
all, none of them anything would intend unto himward wherewith
he ought to be grieved. When the Duke had this leave and pardon to
speak, then waxed he bold to show him their intent and purpose,
with all the causes moving them thereunto, as ye before have heard,
and finally to beseech His Grace that it would like him, of his accustomed
goodness and zeal unto the realm, now with his eye of pity
to behold the long-continued distress and decay of the same and to set
his gracious hands
to the redress and amendment thereof, by taking
upon him the crown and governance of this realm,

according to
his right and title lawfully descended unto him, and to the laud of
God, profit of the land, and unto His Grace so much the more honor
and less pain in that that never prince reigned upon any people
that were so glad to live under his obeisance as the people of this
realm under his. When the Protector had heard the proposition, he
looked very strangely thereat, and answered that all were it that he
partly knew the things by them alleged to be true, yet such entire
love he bore unto King Edward and his children, that so much more
regarded his honor in other realms about than the crown of any
one, of which he was never desirous, that he could not find in his
heart in this point to incline to their desire. For in all other
nations, where the truth were not well-known, it should peradventure
be thought that it were his own ambitious mind and device to
depose the Prince and take himself the crown. With which infamy he
would not have his honor stained for any crown; in which he
had ever perceived much more labor and pain than pleasure to

him that so would so use it as he that would not were not worthy
to have it. Notwithstanding, he not only pardoned them the motion
that they made him, but also thanked them for the love and hearty
favor they bore him, praying them for his sake to give and bear
the same to the Prince, under whom he was and would be content
to live; and with his labor and counsel, as far as should like the King
to use him, he would do his uttermost devoir to set the realm in good
state. Which was already in this little while of his protectorship (the
praise given to God) well begun, in that the malice of such as were before
occasion of the contrary, and of new intended to be, were now,
partly by good policy, partly more by God's special providence
than man's provision, repressed. Upon this answer given, the Duke, by
the Protector's license, a little rounded as well with other noblemen
about him as with the Mayor and Recorder of London. And after that,
upon like pardon desired and obtained, he showed aloud unto the
Protector that for a final conclusion, that the realm was appointed
King Edward's line should not any longer reign upon them -- both
for that they had so far gone that it was now no surety to retreat,
as for that they thought it for the weal universal to take that way
although they had not yet begun it. Wherefore if it would like His
Grace to take the crown upon him, they would humbly beseech
him thereunto. If he would give them a resolute answer to the
contrary, which they would be loath to hear, then must they
needs seek and should not fail to find some other nobleman that
would. These words much moved the Protector, which else, as
every man may wit, would never of likelihood have inclined
thereunto. But when he saw there was none other way but that either
he must take it or else he and his both go from it, he said unto the
lords and commons: "Since we perceive well that all the realm is so set
(whereof we be very sorry) that they will not suffer, in any wise, King
Edward's line to govern them, whom no man earthly can govern
against their wills; and we well also perceive that no man is there to
whom the crown can by so just title appertain as to ourself, as

very right heir, lawfully begotten of the body of our most dear
father, Richard, late Duke of York; to which title is now joined
your election, the nobles and commons of this realm, which we of all
titles possible take for most effectual: we be
content, and agree favorably to incline to
your petition and request, and, according
to the same,
here we take upon us the royal estate, preeminence, and
kingdom of the two noble realms England and France -- the one
from this day forward by us and our heirs to rule, govern, and defend;
the other, by God's grace and your good help, to get again and subdue,
and establish forever in due obedience unto this realm of
England,

the advancement whereof we never ask of God longer to
live than we intend to procure." With this there was a great shout
crying "King Richard! King Richard!" And then the lords went up to
the King (for so was he from that time called), and the people departed,
talking diversely of the matter, every man as his fantasy gave him.
But much they talked and marveled of the manner of this dealing,
that the matter was on both parts made so strange, as though neither
had ever communed with other thereof before, when that themselves well
wist there was no man so dull that heard them but he perceived well
enough that all the matter was made between them. Howbeit, some
excused that again and said, "All must be done in good order, though.
And men must sometimes for the manner sake not be acknown
what they know. For at the consecration of a bishop, every man
wotteth well, by the paying for his bulls, that he purposeth to be one, and
though he pay for nothing else. And yet must he be twice asked
whether he will be bishop or no, and he must twice say nay, and at
the third time take it as compelled thereunto -- by his own will. And

in a stage play all the people know right well that he that playeth the
sultan is percase a souter. Yet if one should con so little good to
show out of season what acquaintance he hath with him, and call
him by his own name while he standeth in his majesty, one of his
tormentors might hap to break his head -- and worthy, for marring of
the play." And so they said that these matters be kings' games -- as
it were, stage plays -- and for the more part played upon scaffolds. In
which poor men be but the lookers-on. And they that wise be, will meddle no
farther. For they that sometimes step up and play with them, when they
cannot play their parts, they disorder the play and do themselves no good.
The next day the Protector, with
a great train, went to Westminster
Hall,

and there, when he had placed
himself in the Court of the King's Bench,


declared to the audience that he would take upon him the crown
in that place -- there where the king himself sitteth and ministreth
the law -- because he considered that it was the chiefest duty of
a king to minister the laws. Then, with as pleasant an oration as
he could, he went about to win unto him the nobles, the merchants,
the artificers, and, in conclusion, all kind of men -- but specially the
lawyers of this realm. And finally -- to the intent that no man should
hate him for fear, and that his deceitful clemency might get
him the good will of the people -- when he had declared the
discommodity of discord and the commodities of concord and
unity, he made an open proclamation that he did put out of his
mind all enmities, and that he there did openly pardon all offenses
committed against him. And to the intent that he might show a proof
thereof, he commanded that one Fogge, whom he had long deadly
hated, should be brought then before him. Who being brought out of
the sanctuary by (for thither had he fled, for fear of him), in the sight

of the people he took him by the hand. Which thing the common
people rejoiced at and praised, but wise men took it for a vanity.
In his return homeward, whomsoever he met he saluted. For a
mind that knoweth itself guilty is in a manner dejected to a servile
flattery.


When he had begun his reign the twenty-sixth day of June
(after this mockish "election"), then was he crowned the sixth day of
July. And that solemnity was furnished for the most part with the
selfsame provision that was appointed for the coronation of his
nephew.
Now fell there mischiefs thick. And as the thing evil gotten is
never well kept, through all the time of his reign never ceased there
cruel death and slaughter, till his own destruction ended it. But as he
finished his time with the best death and the most righteous (that is to
wit, his own), so began he with the most piteous and wicked: I mean
the lamentable murder of his innocent nephews, the young king
and his tender brother. Whose death and final infortune hath nevertheless
so far come in question that some remain yet in doubt whether they
were in his days destroyed or no. Not for
that only that Perkin Warbeck, by many
folks' malice and more folks' folly so long space abusing the world,
was as well with princes as the poorer people reputed and taken for
the younger of those two, but for that also that all things were in late
days so covertly demeaned, one thing pretended and another meant,
that there was nothing so plainly and openly proved but that yet,
for the common custom of close and covert
dealing, men had it ever inwardly suspect,
as many well-counterfeited jewels make the true mistrusted. Howbeit,
concerning that opinion, with the occasions moving either part, we
shall have place more at large to treat if we hereafter happen

to write the time of the late noble prince of famous memory King
Henry the Seventh, or percase that history of Perkin in any compendious
process by itself. But in the meantime, for this present
matter, I shall rehearse you the dolorous end of those babes, not
after every way that I have heard, but after that way that I have so
heard by such men and such means as methinketh it were hard
but it should be true. King Richard, after his coronation, taking
his way to Gloucester to visit in his new honor the town of which
he bore the name of his old, devised, as he rode, to fulfill that thing
which he before had intended. And forasmuch as his mind gave
him that, his nephews living, men would not reckon that he could
have right to the realm, he thought therefore without delay to rid them --
as though the killing of his kinsmen could amend his cause and make
him a kindly king. Whereupon he sent
one John Green, whom he specially trusted,
unto Sir Robert Brackenbury, Constable of
the Tower, with a letter (and credence also)
that the same Sir Robert should in any wise put the two children to
death. This John Green did his errand unto Brackenbury (kneeling
before our Lady in the Tower!), who plainly answered that he would
never put them to death, to die therefor; with which answer John
Green returning, recounted the same to King Richard at Warwick,
yet in his way. Wherewith he took such displeasure and thought, that
the same night he said unto a secret page of his, "Ah, whom shall a
man trust? Those that I have brought up myself, those that I had
weened would most surely serve me -- even those fail me and at my
commandment will do nothing for me." "Sir," quoth his page, "there
lieth one on your pallet without, that, I dare well say, to do Your Grace
pleasure the thing were right hard that he would refuse" -- meaning
this by Sir James Tyrell, which was a
man of right goodly personage, and for

nature's gifts, worthy to have served a much better prince,
if he had well served God and by grace obtained as much troth and
good will as he had strength and wit. The man had an high heart
and sore longed upward, not rising yet so fast as he had hoped, being
hindered and kept under by the means of Sir Richard Radcliff and
Sir William Catesby, which, longing for no
more partners of the prince's favor -- and
namely not for him, whose pride, they wist, would bear no peer -- kept
him by secret drifts out of all secret trust. Which thing this
page well had marked and known. Wherefore, this occasion offered,
of very special friendship he took his time to put him forward and by
such wise do him good that all the enemies he had except the devil
could never have done him so much hurt. For upon this page's
words, King Richard arose (for this communication had he sitting at
the draught -- a convenient carpet for such a council) and came out
into the pallet chamber, on which he found in bed Sir James and Sir
Thomas Tyrell -- of person like, and brethren of blood, but nothing of
kin in conditions. Then said the King merrily to them, "What, sirs? Be ye
in bed so soon?" and calling up Sir James, broke to him secretly his
mind in this mischievous matter; in which he found him nothing
strange. Wherefore, on the morrow, he sent him to Brackenbury with a
letter by which he was commanded to deliver Sir James all the keys
of the Tower for one night, to the end he might there "accomplish the
King's pleasure" in such thing as he had "given him commandment."
After which letter delivered and the keys received, Sir James
appointed the night next ensuing to destroy them, devising before
and preparing the means. The Prince, as soon as the Protector left
that name and took himself as king, had it showed unto him that he
should not reign, but his uncle should have the crown. At which

word the Prince, sore abashed, began to sigh and said, "Alas! I would
my uncle would let me have my life yet, though I lose my kingdom."
Then he that told him the tale used him with good words, and put him
in the best comfort he could. But forthwith was the Prince and his
brother both shut up, and all others removed from them -- only one
(called "Black Will," or "William Slaughter") except, set to serve them and
see them sure. After which time the Prince never tied his points, nor
aught recked of himself, but with that young babe his brother
lingered in thought and heaviness till this traitorous death delivered
them of that wretchedness. For Sir James Tyrell devised that they should
be murdered in their beds. To the execution whereof, he appointed
Miles Forest, one of the four that kept
them -- a fellow fleshed in murder beforetime.
To him he joined one John Dighton,
his own horse-keeper; a big, broad, square, strong knave. Then, all the others
being removed from them, this Miles Forest and John Dighton
about midnight, the seely children lying in their beds, came into
the chamber and suddenly lapped them up among the clothes -- so bewrapped
them and entangled them, keeping down by force the featherbed
and pillows hard unto their mouths, that within a while, smothered and
stifled, their breath failing, they gave up to God their innocent souls
into the joys of heaven, leaving to the tormentors their bodies dead in
the bed. Which after that the wretches
perceived -- first by the struggling with the
pains of death, and after, long lying still --
to be thoroughly dead, they laid their bodies naked out upon the
bed, and fetched Sir James to see them. Which, upon the sight of them,
caused those murderers to bury them at the stair-foot, meetly
deep in the ground, under a great heap of stones. Then rode Sir James

in great haste to King Richard, and showed him all the manner of
the murder, who gave him great thanks and, as some say, there made
him knight. But he allowed not, as I have heard, that burying in so vile
a corner, saying that he would have them buried in a better place
because they were a king's sons. (Lo the honorable courage of a
king!) Whereupon they say that a priest of Sir Robert Brackenbury
took up the bodies again and secretly interred them in such place as,
by the occasion of his death which only knew it, could never since
come to light. Very truth is it, and well-known, that at such time as
Sir James Tyrell was in the Tower for treason committed against
the most famous prince King Henry VII, both Dighton and
he were examined, and confessed the murder in manner above written;
but whither the bodies were removed, they could nothing tell. And thus,
as I have learned of them that much knew and little cause had to lie,
were these two noble princes -- these innocent, tender children, born
of most royal blood, brought up in great wealth, likely long to live
to reign and rule in the realm -- by traitorous tyranny taken, deprived
of their estate, shortly shut up in prison, and privily slain and murdered,
their bodies cast God wot where, by the cruel ambition of
their unnatural uncle and his dispiteous tormentors. Which things on
every part well pondered, God never gave this world a more notable
example neither in what unsurety standeth this-worldly weal, or what
mischief worketh the proud enterprise of an high heart, or, finally,
what wretched end ensueth such dispiteous cruelty. For first to

begin with the ministers: Miles Forest at St. Martin's piecemeal
rotted away. Dighton, indeed, yet walketh alive -- in good possibility
to be hanged ere he die. But Sir James Tyrell died at Tower Hill,
beheaded for treason. King Richard himself, as ye shall hereafter hear,
slain in the field, hacked and hewed of his enemies' hands, harried on
horseback dead, his hair in despite torn and tugged like a cur dog.
And the mischief that he took, within less than three years of the
mischief that he did; and yet all the meantime spent in much pain
and trouble outward, much fear, anguish, and sorrow within. For I
have heard by credible report, of such as were secret with his chamberers,
that after this abominable deed done he never had quiet in his
mind, he never thought himself sure.
Where he went abroad, his eyes whirled
about, his body privily fenced, his hand
ever on his dagger, his countenance and manner like one always ready to
strike again. He took ill rest a nights, lay long waking and musing,
sore wearied with care and watch, rather slumbered than slept, troubled
with fearful dreams, suddenly sometimes start up, leap out of his
bed, and run about the chamber -- so was his restless heart continually
tossed and tumbled with the tedious impression and stormy remembrance of
his abominable deed. Now had he outward no long time in rest. For
hereupon soon after began the conspiracy -- or, rather, good confederation --
between the Duke of Buckingham and many other gentlemen
against him. The occasion whereupon the King and the Duke fell out is

of diverse folk diverse-wise pretended. This duke -- as I have for certain
been informed -- as soon as the Duke of Gloucester, upon the death of
King Edward, came to York and there had solemn funeral service for
King Edward, sent thither, in the most secret wise he could, one
Persale, his trusty servant, who came to John Ward, a chamberer of
like secret trust with the Duke of Gloucester, desiring that in the most
close and covert manner he might be admitted to the presence and
speech of his master. And the Duke of Gloucester, advertised of his
desire, caused him in the dead of the night, after all other folk voided,
to be brought unto him in his secret chamber, where Persale, after his
master's recommendation, showed him that he had secretly sent him
to show him that in this new world he would take such part as he
would, and wait upon him with a thousand good fellows if need were. The
messenger, sent back with thanks and some secret instruction of the
Protector's mind, yet met him again, with farther message from the duke
his master, within few days after, at Nottingham -- whither the Protector,
from York, with many gentlemen of the north country (to the number
of six hundred horses), was come on his way to Londonward. And
after secret meeting and communication had, eftsoons departed.

Whereupon at Northampton the Duke met with the Protector himself, with
horses, and from thence still continued with, partner of all his devices,
till that after his coronation they departed, as it seemed, very great friends,
at Gloucester. From whence as soon as the Duke came home, he so
lightly turned from him and so highly conspired against him that a
man would marvel whereof that change grew. And surely the occasion
of their variance is of diverse men diversely reported. Some have I
heard say that the Duke, a little before the coronation, among other
things required of the Protector the Duke of Hereford's lands, to
which he pretended himself just inheritor. And forasmuch as the title
which he claimed by inheritance was somewhat interlaced with the
title to the crown by the line of King Henry before deprived, the Protector
conceived such indignation that he rejected the Duke's request with
many spiteful and minatory words, which so wounded his heart with
hatred and mistrust that he never after could endure to look aright on
King Richard, but ever feared his own life, so far forth that when the
Protector rode through London toward his coronation, he feigned
himself sick, because he would not ride with him. And the other, taking
it in evil part, sent him word to rise and come ride or he would
make him be carried. Whereupon he rode on (with evil will), and that notwithstanding,
on the morrow rose from the feast feigning himself sick; and
King Richard said it was done in hatred and despite of him. And they
say that ever after, continually, each of them lived in such hatred and
distrust of other that the Duke verily looked to have been murdered

at Gloucester. (From which, nevertheless, he in fair manner departed.) But
surely some right secret at the days deny this; and many right wise
men think it unlikely (the deep dissimulating nature of those both
men considered, and what need in that green world the Protector had of
the Duke, and in what peril the Duke stood if he fell once in suspicion of
the tyrant) that either the Protector would give the Duke occasion of displeasure,
or the Duke the Protector occasion of mistrust. And utterly men
think that if King Richard had any such opinion conceived, he would
never have suffered him to escape his hands. Very truth it is, the
Duke was an high-minded man, and evil could bear the glory of another;
so that I have heard, of some that said they saw it, that the Duke, at such time
as the crown was first set upon the Protector's head, his eye could not
abide the sight thereof, but wried his head another way. But men say
that he was of truth not well at ease, and that both to King Richard well
known and not ill taken, nor any demand of the Duke's uncourteously
rejected, but he, both with great gifts and high behests, in most loving and
trusty manner departed at Gloucester. But soon after his coming home
to Brecknock, having there in his custody (by the commandment of
King Richard) Doctor Morton, Bishop of Ely (who, as ye before heard, was
taken in the council at the Tower), waxed with him familiar. Whose
wisdom abused his pride to his own deliverance and the Duke's destruction.
The Bishop was a man of great natural wit, very well-learned, and
honorable in behavior, lacking no wise ways to win favor. He had
been fast upon the part of King Henry while that part was in wealth, and
nevertheless left it not nor forsook it in woe, but fled the realm with the
Queen and the Prince while King Edward had the King in prison -- never

came home but to the field. After which lost and that party utterly subdued,
the other, for his fast faith and wisdom, not only was content to
receive him, but also wooed him to come, and had him from thenceforth
both in secret trust and very special favor. Which he nothing
deceived. For he -- being, as ye have heard, after King Edward's death
first taken by the tyrant for his troth to the King -- found the means to set
this duke in his top: joined gentlemen together in aid of King Henry,
devising first the marriage between him and King Edward's daughter --
by which his faith declared, and good service, to both his masters at
once, with infinite benefit to the realm by the conjunction of those two
bloods in one, whose several titles had long inquieted the land -- he
fled the realm, went to Rome, never minding more to meddle with the
world, till the noble prince King Henry VII got him home again,
made him Archbishop of Canterbury and Chancellor of England,
whereunto the Pope joined the honor of Cardinal. Thus living many days
in as much honor as one man might well wish, ended them so godly
that his death, with God's mercy, well changed his life. This man, therefore, as I
was about to tell you, by the long and often alternate proof as well of
prosperity as adverse fortune, had gotten by great experience (the
very mother and mistress of wisdom) a deep insight in politic worldly
drifts. Whereby perceiving now this duke glad to common with him, fed
him with fair words and many pleasant praises; and, perceiving by
the process of their communications the Duke's pride now and then
balk out a little braid of envy toward the glory of the King, and thereby
feeling him easy to fall out if the matter were well-handled, he craftily
sought the ways to prick him forward -- taking always the occasion of

his coming, and so keeping himself close within his bounds that he rather
seemed him to follow him than to lead him. For when the Duke first began
to praise and boast the King and show how much profit the realm should
take by his reign, my lord Morton answered, "Surely, my lord, folly
were it for me to lie; for if I would swear the contrary, Your Lordship
would not, I ween, believe but that if the world would have gone as
I would have wished, King Henry's son had had the crown, and not
King Edward. But after that God had ordered him to lose it, and King
Edward to reign -- I was never so mad that I would with a dead
man strive against the quick. So was I to King Edward faithful
chaplain, and glad would have been that his child had succeeded him.
Howbeit, if the secret judgment of God have otherwise provided, I
purpose not to spurn against a prick nor labor to set up that God
pulleth down. And as for the late Protector and now King . . ." And even
there he left, saying that he had already meddled too much with the
world, and would from that day meddle with his book and his beads
and no farther. Then longed the Duke sore to hear what he would
have said (because he ended with the "King," and there so suddenly stopped),
and exhorted him so, familiarly between the twain, to be bold to say
whatsoever he thought: whereof he faithfully promised there should
never come hurt, and peradventure more good than he would ween, and
that himself intended to use his faithful, secret advice and counsel --
which he said was the only cause for which he procured of the
King to have him in his custody, where he might reckon himself at
home, and else had he been put in the hands of them with whom he
should not have found the like favor. The Bishop right humbly
thanked him, and said, "In good faith, my lord, I love not much to talk
much of princes, as thing not all out of peril, though the word be
without fault -- forasmuch as it shall not be taken as the party meant it,

but as it pleaseth the prince to construe it. And ever I think on Aesop's
tale, that when the lion had proclaimed that on pain of death there
should none horned beast abide in that wood, one that had in his
forehead a bunch of flesh fled away a great pace. The fox, that saw him
run so fast, asked him whither he made all that haste; and he answered,
' In faith, I neither wot nor reck, so I were once hence, because of this
proclamation made of horned beasts." "What, fool?" quoth the fox. "Thou
mayest abide well enough -- the lion meant not by thee. For it is none horn
that is in thine head." "No, marry," quoth he, "that wot I well enough. But what
an he call it an horn -- where am I then?'" The Duke laughed merrily at the
tale, and said, "My lord, I warrant you, neither the lion nor the boar shall
pick any matter at anything here spoken, for it shall never come
near their ear." "In good faith, sir," said the Bishop, "if it did, the thing
that I was about to say, taken as well as before God I meant it, could
deserve but thank. And yet taken as I ween it would, might happen to
turn me to little good and you to less." Then longed the Duke yet much
more to wit what it was. Whereupon the Bishop said, "In good faith, my
lord, as for the late Protector, since he is now king in possession, I purpose
not to dispute his title. But for the weal of this realm whereof His Grace
hath now the governance, and whereof I am myself one poor member, I
was about to wish that to those good abilities whereof he hath already
right many (little needing my praise), it might yet have pleased God,
for the better store, to have given him some of such other excellent
virtues meet for the rule of a realm, as our Lord hath planted in the
person of Your Grace."




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