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HERE followed this year, being the second of the Kings’ reign, a strange accident of state, whereof the relations which we have are so naked, as they leave it scarce credible; not for the nature of it, (for it hath fallen out oft,) but for the manner and circumstance of it, especially in the beginnings. Therefore we shall make our judgment upon the things themselves, as they give light one to another, and (as we can) dig truth out of the mine. The King was green in his estate; and contrary to his own opinion and desert both, was not without much hatred throughout the realm. The root of all was the discountenancing of the house of York, which the general body of the realm still affected. This did alienate the hearts of the subjects from him daily more and more, especially when they saw that after his marriage, and after a son born, the King did nevertheless not so much as proceed to the coronation of the Queen, not vouchsafing her the honour of a matrimonial crown; for the coronation of her was not till almost two years after, when danger had taught him what to do. But muc/h more, when it was spread aborad (whether by error or the cunning of malcontents) that the King had a purpose to put to death Edward Plantagenet closely in the Tower; whose case was so nearly paralleled with that of Edward the Fourth’s children, in respect of the blood, like age, and the very place of the Tower, as it did refresh and reflect upon the King a most odious resemblance, as if he would be another King Richard. And all this time it was still whispered everywhere, that at least one of the children of Edward the Fourth was living. Which bruit was cunningly fomented by such as desired innovation. Neither was the King’s nature and customs greatly fit to disperse these mists; but contrariwise he had a fashion rather to create doubts than assurance. Thus was fuel prepared for the spark: the spark, that afterwards kindled such a fire and combustion, was at the first contemptible.
2. There was a subtile priest called Richard Simon, that lived in Oxford, and had to his pupil a baker’s son named Lambert Simnell, of the age of some fifteen years; a comely youth, and well favoured, not without some extraordinary dignity and grace of aspect. It came into this priest’s fancy (hearing what men talked, and in hope to raise himself to some great bishoprick) to cause this lad to counterfeit and personate the second son of Edward the Fourth, supposed to be murdered; and afterward (for he changed his intention in the manage) the Lord Edward Plantagenet, then prisoner in the Tower; and accordingly to frame him and instruct him in the part he was to play. This is that which (as was touched before) seemeth scarcely credible; not that a false person should be assumed to gain a kingdom, for it hath been seen in ancient and late times; nor that it should come into the mind of such an abject fellow to enterprise so great a a matter; for high conceits do sometimes come streaming into the imaginations of base persons; especially when they are drunk with news and talk of the people. But here is that which hath no appearance; that this priest, being utterly unacquainted with the true person according to whose pattern he should shape his counterfeit, should think it possible for him to instruct his player, either in gesture or in fashions, or in recounting past matters of his life and education, or in fit answers to questions, or the like, any ways to come near the resemblance of him whom he was to represent. For this lad was not personate one that had been long before taken out of his cradle, or conveyed away in his infancy, known to few; but a youth that till the age almost of ten years had been brought up in a court where infinite eyes had been upon him. For King Edward, touched with remorse of his brother the Duke of Clarence’s death, would not indeed restore his son (of whom we speak) to be Duke of Clarence, but yet created him Earl of Warwick, reviving his honour on the mother’s side, and used him honourably during his time, though Richard the Third afterwards confined him. So that it cannot be, but that some great person, that knew particularly and familiarly Edward Plantagenet, had a hand in the business, from whom the priest might take his aim. That which is most probable, out of the precedent and subsequent acts, is, that it was the Queen Dowager from whom this action had the principal source and motion. For certain it is, she was a busy negotiating woman, and in her withdrawing-chamber had the fortunate conspiracy for the King against King Richard the Third been hatched; which the King knew, and remembered perhaps but too well; and was at this time extremely discontent with the King, thinking her daughter (as the King handled the matter) not advanced but depressed: and none could hold the book so well to prompt and instruct this stage-play, as she could. Neverthless it was not her meaning, nor no more was it the meaning of any of the better and sager sort that favoured this enterprise and knew the secret, that this disguised idol should possess the crown; but at his peril to make way to the overthrow of the King; and that done, they had their several hopes and ways. That which doth chiefly fortify this conjecture is, that as soon as the matter brake forth in any strength, it was one of the King’s first acts to cloister the Queen Dowager in the nunnery of Bermondsey, and to take away all her lands and estate; and this by a close counsel, without any legal proceeding, upon far-fetched pretences, — that she had delivered her two daughters out of sanctuary to King Richard, contrary to promise. Which proceeding being even at that time taxed for rigorous and undue, both in matter and manner, makes it very probable there was some greater matter against her, which the King upon reason of policy and to avoid envy would not publish. It is likewise no small argument that there was some secret in it and some suppressing of examinations, for that the priest Simon himself after he was taken was never brought to execution; no not so much as to public trial (as many clergymen were upon less treasons); but was only shut up close in a dungeon. Add to this that after the Earl of Lincoln (a principal person of the house of York) was slain in Stoke-field, the King opened himself to some of his counsel, that he was sorry for the Earl’s death, because by him (he said) he might have known the bottom of his danger.
3. But to return to the narration itself: Simon did first instruct his scholar for the part of Richard Duke of York, second son to King Edward the Fourth; and this was at such time as it was voiced that the King purposed to put to death Edward Plantagenet prisoner in the Tower, whereat there was great murmur. But hearing soon after a general bruit that Plantagenet had escaped out of the Tower, and thereby finding him so much beloved amongst the people, and such rejoicing at his escape, the cunning priest changed his copy, and chose now Plantagenet to be the subject his pupil should personate, because he was more in the present speech and votes of the people; and it pieced better, and followed more close and handsomely upon the bruit of Plantagenet’s escape. But yet doubting that there would be too near looking and too much perspective into his disguise, if he should shew it here in England; he thought good (after the manner of scenes in stage-plays and masks) to shew it afar off; and therefore sailed with his scholar into Ireland, where the affection of the house of York was most in height. The King had been a little improvident in the matters of Ireland, and had not removed officers and counsellors, and put in their places, or at least intermingled, persons of whom he stood assured; as he should have done, since he knew the strong bent of that country towards the house of York, and that it was a ticklish and unsettled state, more easy to receive distempers and mutations than England was. But trusting to the reputation of his victories and successes in England, he thought he should have time enough to extend his cares afterwards to that second kingdom.
4. Wherefore through this neglect, upon the coming of Simon with his pretended Plantagenet into Ireland, all things were prepared for revolt and sedition, almost as if they had been set and plotted beforehand. Simon’s first address was to the Lord Thomas Fitz-Gerald, Earl of Kildare and Deputy of Ireland; before whose eyes he did cast such a mist (by his own insinuation, and by the carriage of his youth, that expressed a natural princely behaviour) as, joined perhaps with some inward vapours of ambition and affection in the Earl’s own mind, left him fully possessed that it was the true Plantagenet. The Earl presently communicated the matter with some of the nobles and others there, at the first secretly. But finding them of like affection to himself, he suffered it of purpose to vent and pass abroad; because they thought it not safe to resolve, till they had a taste of the people’s inclination. But if the great ones were in forwardness, the people were in fury, entertaining this airy body or phantasm with incredible affection; partly out of their great devotion to the house of York, partly out of a proud honour in the nation to give a King to the realm of England. Neither did the party in this heat of affection much trouble themselves with the attainder of George Duke of Clarence; having newly learned by the King’s example that attainders do not interrupt the conveying of title to the crown. And as for the daughters of King Edward the Fourth, they thought King Richard had said enough for them; and took them to be but as of the King’s party, because they were in his power and at his disposing. So that with marvellous consent and applause, this counterfeit Plantagenet was brought with great solemnity to the castle of Dublin, and there saluted, served, and honoured as King; the boy becoming it well, and doing nothing that did bewray the baseness of his condition. And within a few days after he was proclaimed King in Dublin, by the name of King Edward the Sixth; there being not a sword drawn in King Henry his quarrel.
5. The King was much moved with this unexpected accident, when it came to his ears, both because it struck upon that string which ever he most feared, as also because it was stirred in such a place, where he could not with safety transfer his own person to supress it. For partly through natural valour and partly through an universal suspicion (not knowing whom to trust) he was ever ready to wait upon all his achievements in person. The King therefore first called his counsel together at the Charter-house at Shine; which counsel was held with great secrecy, but the open decrees thereof, which presently came abroad, were three.
6. The first was, that the Queen Dowager, for that she, contrary to her pact and agreement with those that had concluded with her concerning the marriage of her daughter Elizabeth with King Henry, had nevertheless delivered her daughters out of sanctuary into King Richard’s hands, should be cloistered in the nunnery of Bermondsey, and forfeit all her lands and goods.
7. The next was, that Edward Plantagenet, then close prisoner in the Tower, should be, in the most public and notorious manner that could be devised, shewed unto the people; in part to discharge the King of the envy of that opinion and bruit, how he had been put to death privily in the Tower; but chiefly to make the people see the levity and imposture of the proceedings of Ireland, and that their Plantagenet was indeed but a puppet or counterfeit.
8. The third was, that there should be again proclaimed a general pardon to all that would reveal their offences and submit themselves by a day; and that this pardon should be conceived in so ample and liberal a manner, as no high-treason (no not against the King’s own person) should be excepted. Which though it might seem strange, yet was it not so to a wise King, that knew his greatest dangers were not from the least treasons, but from the greatest. These resolutions of the King and his counsel were immediately put in execution. And first, the Queen Dowager was put into the monastery of Bermondsey, and all her estate seized into the King’s hands: whereat there was much wondering; that a weak woman, for the yielding to the menaces and promises of a tyrant, after such a distance of time (wherein the King had shown no displeasure nor alteration), but much more after so happy a marriage between the King and her daughter, blessed with issue male, should upon a sudden mutability or disclosure of the King’s mind be so severely handled.
9. This lady was amongst the examples of great variety of fortune. She had first, from a distressed suitor and desolate widow, been taken to the marriage bed of a bachelor-King, the goodliest personage of his time; and even in his reign she had endured a strange eclipse, by the King’s flight and temporary depriving from the crown. She was also very happy in that she had by him fair issue, and continued his nuptial love (helping herself by some obsequious bearing and dissembling of his pleasures) to the very end. She was much affectionate to her own kindred, even unto faction; which did stir great envy in the lords of the King’s side, who counted her blood a disparagement to be mingled with the King’s. With which lords of the King’s blood joined also the King’s favourite the Lord Hastings; who, notwithstanding the King’s great affection to him, was thought at times, through her malice and spleen, not to be out of danger of falling. After her husband’s death she was matter of tragedy, having lived to see her brother beheaded, and her two sons deposed from the crown, bastarded in their blood, and cruelly murdered. All this while nevertheless she enjoyed her liberty, state, and fortunes. But afterwards again, upon the rise of the wheel, when she had a King to her son-in-law, and was made grandmother to a grandchild of the best sex, yet was she (upon dark and unknown reasons, and no less strange pretences,) precipitated and banished the world into a nunnery; where it was almost thought dangerous to visit her or see her; and where not long after she ended her life; but was by the King’s commandment buried with the King her husband at Windsor. She was foundress of Queen’s College in Cambridge. For this act the king sustained great obloquy, which nevertheless (besides the reason of state) was somewhat sweetened to him by a great confiscation.
10. About this time also, Edward Plantagenet was upon a Sunday brought throughout all the principal streets of London, to be seen of the people. And having passed the view of the streets, was conducted to Paul’s Church in solemn procession, where great store of people were assembled. And it was provided also in good fashion, that divers of the nobility and others of quality (especially of those that the King most suspected, and knew the person of Plantagenet best) had communion with the young gentleman by the way, and entertained him with speech and discourse, which did in effect mar the pageant in Ireland with the subjects here; at least with so many as out of error, and not out of malice, might be misled. Nevertheless in Ireland (where it was too late to go back) it wrought little or no effect. But contrariwise they turned the imposture upon the King; and gave out that the King, to defeat the true inheritor, and to mock the world and blind the eyes of simple men, had tricked up a boy in the likeness of Edward Plantagenet, and shewed him to the people; not sparing to profane the ceremony of a procession, the more to countenance the fable.
The general pardon likewise near the same time came forth; and the King therewithal omitted no diligence in giving straight order for the keeping of the ports; that fugitives, malcontents, or suspected persons might not pass over into Ireland or Flanders.
11. Meanwhile the rebels in Ireland had sent privy messengers both into England and into Flanders, who in both places had wrought effects of no small importance. For in England they won to their party John Earl of Lincoln, son of John De la Pole Duke of Suffolk, and of Elizabeth King Edward the Fourth’s eldest sister. This Earl was a man of great wit and courage, and had his thoughts highly raised by hopes and expectations for a time. For Richard the Third had a resolution, out of his hatred to both his brethren, King Edward and the Duke of Clarence, and their lines, (having had his hand in both their bloods), to disable their issue upon false and incompetent pretexts, the one of attainder, the other of illegitimation; and to design this gentleman (in case himself should die without children) for inheritor of the crown. Neither was this unknown to the King (who had secretly an eye upon him): but the King having tasted of the envy of the people for his imprisonment of Edward Plantagenet, was doubtful to heap up any more distastes of that kind by the imprisonment of De la Pole also; the rather thinking it policy to conserve him as a corrival unto the other. The Earl of Lincoln was induced to participate with the action in Ireland, not lightly upon the strength of the proceedings there, which was but a bubble; but upon letters from the Lady Margaret of Burgundy, in whose succours and declaration for the enterprise there seemed to be a more solid foundation, both for reputation and forces. Neither did the Earl refrain the business for that he knew the pretended Plantagenet to be but an idol. For contrariwise he was more glad it should be the false Plantagenet than the true; because the false being sure to fall away of himself, and the true to be made sure of by the King, it might open and pave a fair and prepared way to his own title. With this resolution he sailed secretly into Flanders, where was a little before arrived the Lord Lovell, leaving a correspondence here in England with Sir Thomas Broughton, a man of great power and dependencies in Lancashire. For before this time, when the pretended Plantagenet was first received in Ireland, secret messengers had been also sent to the Lady Margaret, advertising her what had passed in Ireland, imploring succours in an enterprise (as they said) so pious and just, and that God had so miraculously prospered in the beginning thereof; and making offer that all things should be guided by her will and direction, as the sovereign patroness and protectress of the enterprise. Margaret was second sister to Kng Edward the Fourth, and had been second wife to Charles surnamed the Hardy, Duke of Burgundy. By whom having no children of her own, she did with singular care and tenderness intend the education of Philip and Margaret, grandchildren to her former husband; which won her great love and authority among the Dutch. This Princess (having the spirit of a man and the malice of a woman) abounding in treasure by the greatness of her dower and her provident government, and being childless and without any nearer care, made it her design and enterprise to see the Majesty Royal of England once again replaced in her house; and had set up King Henry as a mark at whose overthrow all her actions should aim and shoot; insomuch as all the counsels of his succeeding troubles came chiefly out of that quiver. And she bare such a mortal hatred to the house of Lancaster and personally to the King, as she was no ways mollified by the conjunction of the houses in her neice’s marriage; but rather hated her niece, as the means of the King’s ascent to the crown and assurance therein. Wherefore with great violence of affection she embraced this overture. And upon counsel taken with the Earl of Lincoln and the Lord Lovell, and some other of the party, it was resolved with all speed, the two lords assisted with a regiment of two thousand Almains [Germans], being choice and veteran bands, under the command of Martin Swart (a valiant and experimented captain) should pass over into Ireland to the new King; hoping that when the action should have the face of a received and settled regality (with such a second person as the Earl of Lincoln, and the conjunction and reputation of foreign succours), the fame of it would embolden and prepare all the party of the confederates and malcontents within the realm of England to give them assistance when they should come over there. And for the person of the counterfeit, it was agreeed that if all things succeeded well he should be put down, and the true Plantagenet received; wherein nevertheless the Earl of Lincoln had his particular hopes. After they were come into Ireland (and that the party took courage by seeing themselves together in a body,) they grew very confident of success; conceiving and discoursing amongst themselves, that they went in upon far better cards to overthrow King Henry, than King Henry had to overthrow King Richard: and that if there were not a sword drawn against themselves in Ireland, it was a sign the swords in England would be soon sheathed or beaten down.
And first, for a bravery upon this accession of power, they crowned their new King in the cathedral church of Dublin, who formerly had been but proclaimed only; and then sat in counsel what should further be done. At which counsel, though it were propounded by some that it were the best way to establish themselves first in Ireland, and to make that the seat of the war, and to draw King Henry thither in person, by whose absence they thought there would be great alterations and commotions in England; yet because the kingdom there was poor, and they should not be able to keep their army together, nor pay the German soldiers; and for that also the sway of the Irishmen and generally of the men of war, which (as in such cases of popular tumults is usual) did in effect govern their leaders, was eager an in affection to make their fortunes upon England; it was concluded with all possible speed to transport their forces into England. The King in the mean time, who at the first when heard what was done in Ireland, though it troubled him, yet throught he should be well enough able to scatter the Irish as a flight of birds, and rattle away this swarm of bees with their King; when he heard afterwards that the Earl of Lincoln was embarked in the action, and that the Lady Margaret was declared for it, he apprehended the danger in a true degree as it was; and saw plainly that his kingdom must again be put to the stake, and that he must fight for it. And first he did conceive, before he understood of the Earl of Lincoln’s sailing into Ireland out of Flanders, that he should be assailed both upon the east parts of the kingdom of England by some impression from Flanders, and upon the north-west out of Ireland: and therefore having ordered musters to be made in both parts, and having provisionally designed two generals, Jasper Earl of Bedford, and John Earl of Oxford (meaning himself also to go in person where the affairs should most require it), and nevertheless not expecting any actual invasion at that time (the winter being far on), he took his journey himself towards Suffolk and Norfolk, for the confirming of those parts. And being come to St. Edmonds’-bury, he understood that Thomas Marquis of Dorset (who had been one of the pledges in France) was hasting towards him to purge himself of some accusations which had been made against him. But the King though he kept an ear for him, yet was the time so doubtful, that he sent the Earl of Oxford to meet him and forthwith to carry him to the Tower, with a fair message nevertheless that he should bear the disgrace with patience; for that the King meant not his hurt, but only to preserve him from doing hurt either to the King’s service or to himself; and that the King should always be able (when he had cleared himself) to make him reparation.
12. From St. Edmond’s-bury he went to Norwich, where kept his Christmas. And from thence he went (in a manner of pilgrimage) to Walsingham, where he visited our Lady’s church, famous for miracles, and made his prayers and vows for his help and deliverance. And from thence he returned by Cambridge to London. Not long after, the rebels with their King (under the leading of the Earl of Lincoln, the Earl of Kildare, the Lord Lovell, and Colonel Swart) landed at Fouldrey in Lancashire, whither there repaired to them Sir Thomas Broughton, with some small company of English. The king by that time (knowing now the storm would not divide but fall in one place) had levied forces in good number; and in person (taking with him his two designed generals, the Duke of Bedford and the Earl of Oxford) was come on his way towards them as far as Coventry, whence he sent forth a troop of light-horsemen for discovery, and to intercept some stragglers of the enemies, by whom he might the better understand the particulars of their progress and purposes; which was accordingly done; thought he King otherways was not without intelligence from espials in the camp.
13. The rebels took their way towards York without spoiling the country or any act of hostility, the better to put themselves into favour of the people and to personate their King (who no doubt out of a princely feeling was sparing and compassionate towards his subjects). But their snow-ball did not gather as it went. For the people came not in to them; neither did any rise or declare themselves in other parts of the kingdom for them; which was caused partly by the good taste that the King had given his people of his government, joined with the reputation of his felicity; and partly for that it was an odious thing to the people of England to have a King brought in to them upon the shoulders of Irish and Dutch, of which their army was in substance compounded. Neither was it a thing done with any great judgment on the party of the rebels, for them to take their way towards York; considering that howsoever those parts had formerly been a nursery of their friends, yet it was there where the Lord Lovell had so lately disbanded; and where the King’s presence had a little before qualified discontents. The Earl of Lincoln, deceived of his hopes of the country’s concourse unto him (in which case he would have temporised) and seeing the business past retreat, resolved to make on where the King was, and to give him battle; and thereupon marched towards Newark, thinking to have surprised the town. But the King was somewhat before this time come to Nottingham, where he called a counsel of war, at which was consulted whether it were best to protract time or speedily set upon the rebels. In which counsel the King himself (whose continual vigilance did suck in sometimes causeless suspicions which few else knew) inclined to the acclerating a battle. But this was presently put out of doubt, by the great aids that came in to him in the instant of this consultation, partly upon missives and partly voluntaries, from many parts of the kingdom.
14. The principal persons that came then to the King’s aid were the Earl of Shrewsbury and the Lord Strange, of the nobility, and of knights and gentlAliases (these won’t work but ones you make will!)Aliases (these won’t work but ones you make will!)emen to the number of at least three-score and ten persons, with their companies; making in the whole at the least six thousand fighting men, besides the forces that were with the King before. Whereupon the King finding his army so bravely reinforced, and a great alacrity in all his men to fight, he was confirmed in his former resolution, and marched speedily, so as he put himself between the enemies’ camp and Newark; being loth their army should get the commodity of that town. The Earl, nothing dismayed, came forward that day unto a little village called Stoke, and there encamped that night, upon the brow or hanging of a hill. The King the next day presented him battle upon the plain (the fields there being open and champion). The Earl courageously came down and joined battle with him. Concerning which battle the relations which are left unto us are so naked and negligent (though it be an action of so recent memory) as they rather declare the success of the day than the manner of the fight. They say that the King divided his army into three battails, whereof the vant-gauard only well strengthened with wings came to fight: that the fight was fierce and obstinate, and lasted three hours before the victory inclined either way; save that judgment might be made by that the King’s vant-guard of itself maintained fight against the whole power of the enemies (the other two battails remaining out of action) what the success was like to be in the end: that Martin Swart with his Germans performed bravely, and so did those few English that were on that side; neither did the Irish fail in courage or fierceness, but being almost naked men, only armed with darts and skeins, it was rather an execution than a fight upon them; insomuch as the furious slaughter of them was a great discouragement and appalment to the rest; that there died upon the place all the chieftains; that is, the Earl of Lincoln, the Earl of Kildare, Francis Lord Lovell, Martin Swart, and Sir Thomas Broughton, all making good the fight without any ground given. Only of the Lord Lovell there went a report, that he fled, and swam over Trent on horseback, but could not recover the further side, by reason of the steepness of the bank, and so was drowned in the river. But another report leaves him not there, but that he lived long after in a cave or vault. The number that was slain in the field, was of the enemies’ part four thousand at the least, and of the King’s part one half of his vant-guard, besides many hurt, but none of name. There were taken prisoners amongst others the counterfeit Plantagenet, now Lambert Symnell again, and the crafty priest his tutor. For Lambert, the King would not take his life, both out of magnanimity (taking him but as an image of wax that others had tempered and moulded), and likewise out of widom; thinking that if he suffered death he would be forgotten too soon; but being kept alive he would be a continual spectacle, and a kind of remedy against the like inchantments of people in time to come. For which cause he was taken into service in his court to a base office in his kitchen; so that (in a kind of mattacina [mad dance] of human fortune) he turned a broach [a spit] that had worn a crown; whereas fortune commonly doth not bring in a comedy or farce after a tragedy. And afterwards he was preferred to be one of the King’s falconers. As to the priest, he was committed close prisoner, and heard of no more; the King loving to seal up his own dangers.
15. After the battle the King went to Lincoln, where he caused supplications and thanksgivings to be made for his deliverance and victory. And that his devotions might go round in circle, he sent his banner to be offered to our Lady of Walsingham, where before he made his vows.
And thus delivered of this so strange an engine and new invention of fortune, he returned to his former confidence of mind, thinking now that all his misfortunes had come at once. But it fell unto him according to the speech of the common people in the beginning of his reign, that said, it was a token he should reign in labour, because his reign began with a sickness of sweat. But howsoever the King thought himself now in the haven, yet such was his wisdom, as his confidence did seldom darken his foresight, especially in things near-hand; and therefore, awakened by so fresh and unexpected dangers, he entered into due consideration as well how to weed out the partakers of the former rebellion, as to kill the seeds of the like in time to come: and withal to take away all shelters and harbours for discontented persons, where they might hatch and foster rebellions which afterwards might gather strength and motion.
And first he did yet again make a progress from Lincoln to the northern parts, though it were (indeed) rather an itinerary circuit of justice than a progress. For all along as he went, with much severity and strict inquisition, partly by martial law and partly by commission, were punished the adherents and aiders of the late rebels; not all by death (for the field had drawn much blood) but by fines and ransoms, which spared life and raised treasure. Amongst other crimes of this nature, there was a dligient inquiry made of such as had raised and dispersed a bruit and rumour (a little before the field fought) that the rebels had the day, and that the King’s army was overthrown, and the King fled: whereby it was supposed that many succours which otherwise would have come unto the King were cunningly put off and kept back: which charge and accusation, though it had some ground, yet it was industriously embraced and put on by divers, who (having been in themselves not the best affected to the King’s part, nor forward to come to his aid) were glad to apprehend this colour to cover their neglect and coldness under the pretence of such discouragements. Which cunning nevertheless the King would not understand, though he lodged it and noted in some particulars, as his manner was.
16. But for the extirpating of the roots and causes of the like commotions in time to come, the King began to find where his shoe did wring him; and that it was the depressing of the house of York that did rankle and fester the affections of his people. And therefore being now too wise to disdain perils any longer, and willing to give some contentment of that kind (at least in ceremony), he resolved at last to proceed to the coronation of his Queen. And therefore at his coming to London, where he entered in state, and in a kind of triumph, and celebrated his victory with two days of devotion (for the first day he repaired to Paul’s, and had the hymn of Te Deum sung, and the morrow after he went in procession, and heard the sermon at the Cross,) the Queen was with great solemnity crowned at Westminster, the twenty-fifth day of November, in the third year of his reign, which was about two years after the marriage (like an old christening that had stayed long for godfathers); which strange and unusual distance of time made it subject to every man’s note that it was an act against his stomach, to shew that it was now fair weather again, and that the imprisonment of Thomas Marquis Dorset was rather upon suspicion of the time than of the man, he the said Marquis was set at liberty, without examination or other circumstances.
17. At that time also the King sent and ambassador unto Pope Innocent, signifying unto him this his marriage; and that now like another Aeneas he had passed through the floods of his former troubles and travails and was arrived unto a safe haven; and thanking his Holiness that he had honoured the celebration of his marriage with the presence of his ambassador; and offering both his person and the forces of his kingdom upon all occasions to do him service.
The ambassador making his oration to the Pope in the presence of the cardinals, did so magnify the King and Qeen, as was enough to glut the hearers. But then he did again so extol and deify the Pope, as made all that he had said in praise of his master and mistress seem temperate and passable. But he was very honourably entertained and extremely much made on by the Pope, who knowing himself to be lazy and unprofitable to the Christian world, was wonderful glad to hear that there were such echoes of him sounding in remote parts. He obtained also of the Pope a very just and honourable Bull, qualifying the privileges of sanctuary (wherewith the King had been extremely galled) in three points.
18. The first, that if any sanctuary-man did by night or otherwise get out of sanctuary privily and commit mischief and trespass, and then come in again, he should leese [lose] the benefit of sanctuary for ever after.
The second, that howsoever the person of the sanctuary-man was protected from his creditors, yet his goods out of sanctuary should not.
The third, that if any took sanctuary for case of treason, the King might appoint him keepers to look to him in sanctuary.
19. The king also, for the better securing of his estate against mutinous and malcontented subjects (whereof he saw the realm was full) who might have their refuge into Scotland (which was not under key as the ports were), for that cause rather than for any doubt of hostility from those parts, before his coming to London, when he was at Newcastle, had sent a solemn ambassage unto James the Third, King of Scotland, to treat and conclude a peace with him. The ambassadors were, Richard Foxe Bishop of Exeter, and Sir Richard Edgcombe comptroller of the King’s house, who were honourably received and entertained there. But the King of Scotland labouring of the same disease that King Henry did (though more mortal as afterwars appeared), that is, discontented subjects apt to rise and raise tumult, although in his own affection he did much desire to make a peace with the King, yet finding his nobles averse and not daring to displease them, concluded only a truce for seven years; giving nevertheless promise in private, that it should be renewed from time to time during the two Kings’ lives.
Go to Chapter III