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and draw off the best friends and servants of Perkin, by making remonstrance to them, how weakly his enterprise and hopes were built, and with how prudent and potent à
King they had to deal; and to reconcile them to the King, 5 with promise of pardon and good conditions of reward.
And, above the rest, to assail, sap, and work into the constancy of Sir Robert Clifford; and to win him, if they could, being the man that knew most of their secrets, and who
being won away, would most appal and discourage the rest, 15 and in a manner break the knot.
There is a strange tradition; that the King, being lost in a wood of suspicions, and not knowing whom to trust, had both intelligence with the confessors and chaplains of
divers great men; and for the better credit of his espials 15 abroad with the contrary side, did use to have them cursed
at Paul's, by name, amongst the bead-roll of the King's enemies, according to the custom of those times. These espials plied their charge so roundly, as the King had an anatomy
of Perkin alive; and was likewise well informed of the par20 ticular correspondent conspirators in England, and many
other mysteries were revealed ; and Sir Robert Clifford in especial won to be assured to the King, and industrious and officious for his service. The King therefore, receiving a
rich return of his diligence, and great satisfaction touching a 25 number of particulars, first divulged and spread abroad the
imposture and juggling of Perkin's person and travels, with the circumstances thereof, throughout the realm : not by proclamation, because things were yet in examination, and
so might receive the more or the less, but by court-fames, 30 which commonly print better than printed proclamations.
Then thought he it also time to send an ambassage unto archduke Philip into Flanders, for the abandoning and dismissing of Perkin. Herein he employed Sir Edward
Poynings, and Sir William Warham doctor of the canon law. The archduke was then young, and governed by his council: before whom the ambassadors had audience: and doctor Warham spake in this manner :
“MY lords, the King our master is very sorry, that 5 "England and your country here of Flanders, having been "counted as man and wife for so long time; now this coun"try of all others should be the stage, where a base counter"feit should play the part of a King of England; not only “ to his grace's disquiet and dishonour, but to the scorn and 10 " reproach of all sovereign Princes. To counterfeit the dead "image of a King in his coin, is an high offence by all laws; "but to counterfeit the living image of a King in his person, “exceedeth all falsifications, except it should be that of a Mahomet, or an Antichrist, that counterfeit divine honour. 15 “The King hath too great an opinion of this sage council, " to think that any of you is caught with this fable, though "way may be given by you to the passion of some, the thing “in itself is so improbable. To set testimonies aside of the “death of duke Richard, which the King hath upon record, 20 "plain and infallible, because they may be thought to be in " the King's own power, let the thing testify for itself. Sense “and reason no power can command. Is it possible, trow "you, that King Richard should damn his soul, and foul his “name with so abominable a murder, and yet not mend his 25 case? Or do you think, that men of biood, that were his "instruments, did turn to pity in the midst of their execu" tion? Whereas in cruel and savage beasts, and men also, “the first draught of blood doth yet make them more fierce " and enraged. Do you not know, that the bloody execu- 32 “* tioners of tyrants do go to such errands with an halter “about their neck; so that if they perform not, they are sure “ to die for it? And do you think that these men would
"hazard their own lives, for sparing another's? Admit they “should have saved him ; what should they have done with “him? Turn him into London streets, that the watchmen,
or any passenger that should light upon him, might carry 5
“hin before a justice, and so all come to light? Or should “they have kept him by them secretly? That surely would “have required a great deal of care, charge, and continual “fears. But, my lords, I labour too much in a clear busi
The King is so wise, and hath so good friends 10"abroad, as now he knoweth duke Perkin from his cradle.
“ And because he is a great Prince, if you have any good “poet here, he can help him with notes to write his life; and “to parallel him with Lambert Simnel, now the King's fal
And therefore, to speak plainly to your lordships, 15
“it is the strangest thing in the world, that the lady Mar“garet, excuse us if we name her, whose malice to the King “is both causeless and endless, should now when she is old, " at the time when other women give over child-bearing,
“bring forth two such monsters; being not the births of 20“nine or ten months, but of many years. And whereas
“other natural mothers bring forth children weak, and not "able to help themselves; she bringeth forth tall striplings, “able soon after their coming into the world to bid battle
“to mighty Kings. My lords, we stay unwillingly upon this 25 “part. We would to God, that lady would once taste the
“joys which God Almighty doth serve up unto her, in “beholding her niece to reign in such honour, and with so "much royal issue, which she might be pleased to account
as her own. The King's request unto the archduke, and 30 “your lordships, might be; that according to the example
“ of King Charles, who hath already discarded him, you “would banish this unworthy fellow' out of your
dominions. “ But because the King may justly expect more from an
"ancient confederate, than from a new reconciled enemy, “ he maketh his request unto you to deliver him up into “his hands: pirates, and impostors of this sort, being fit to “ be accounted the common enemies of mankind, and no “ways to be protected by the law of nations."
5 After some time of deliberation, the ambassadors received this short answer :
“THAT the archduke, for the love of King Henry, "would in no sort aid or assist the pretended duke, but in "all things conserve the amity he had with the King : But 10 " for the duchess dowager, she was absolute in the lands
of her dowry, and that he could not let her to dispose of "her own.”
The King, upon the return of the ambassadors, was nothing satisfied with this answer. For well he knew, that 15 a patrimonial dowry carried no part of sovereignty or command of forces. Besides, the ambassadors told him plainly, that they saw the duchess had a great party in the archduke's council; and that howsoever it was carried in a course of connivance, yet the archduke underhand gave 20 aid and furtherance to Perkin. Wherefore, partly out of courage, and partly out of policy, the King forthwith banished all Flemings, as well their persons as their wares, out of his kingdom; commanding his subjects likewise, and by name his merchants adventurers, which had a resiance 25 at Antwerp, to return; translating the mart, which commonly followed the English cloth, unto Calais; and embarred also all farther trade for the future. This the King did, being sensible in point of honour, not to suffer a pretender to the crown of England to affront him so 30 near at hand, and he to keep terms of friendship with the country where he did set up. But he had also a farther reach: for that he knew well, that the subjects of Flanders
drew so great commodity from the trade of England, as by this embargo they would soon wax weary of Perkin ; and that the tumults of Flanders had been so late and fresh, as
it was no time for the Prince to displease the people. Never5 theless for form's sake, by way of requital, the archduke
did likewise banish the English out of Flanders; which in effect was done to his hand.
The King being well advertised, that Perkin did more trust upon friends and partakers within the realm than 10 upon foreign arms, thought it behoved him to apply the
remedy where the disease lay; and to proceed with severity against some of the principal conspirators here within the realm; thereby to purge the ill humours in Eng
land, and to cool the hopes in Flanders. Wherefore 15 he caused to be apprehended, almost at an instant,
John Ratcliffe, lord Fitzwalter, Sir Simon Mountfort, Sir Thomas Thwaites, William Daubeney, Robert Ratcliffe, Thomas Cressenor, and Thomas Astwood. All these were
arraigned, convicted, and condemned for high-treason, in 20 adhering and promising aid to Perkin. Of these the lord
Fitzwalter was conveyed to Calais, and there kept in hold, and in hope of life, until soon after, either impatient or betrayed, he dealt with his keeper to have escaped, and thereupon was beheaded. But Sir Simon Mountfort, Robert Ratcliffe, and William Daubeney, were beheaded immediately after their condemnation. The rest were pardoned, together with many others, clerks and laics, amongst which were two Dominican friars, and William Worsley dean of
Paul's; which latter sort passed examination, but came not 30 to public trial.
The lord chamberlain at that time was not touched ; whether it were that the King would not stir too many humours at once, but, after the manner of good physicians,