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“false usurper of the crown of England, which to us by “natural and lineal right appertaineth, knowing in his own “heart our undoubted right, we being the very Richard duke “of York, younger son, and now surviving heir male of the “ noble and victorious Edward the fourth, late King of 5
England, hath not only deprived us of our kingdom, but “ likewise by all foul and wicked means sought to betray
us, and bereave us of our life. Yet if his tyranny only “ extended itself to our person, although our royal blood “ teaches us to be sensible of injuries, it should be less 10 “to our grief. But this Tudor, who boasteth himself to “have overthrown a tyrant, hath, ever since his first en“trance into his usurped reign, put little in practice, but “ tyranny and the feats thereof.
“For King Richard, our unnatural uncle, although 15 “desire of rule did blind him, yet in his other actions, “ like a true Plantagenet, was noble, and loved the honour “ of the realm, and the contentment and comfort of his “nobles and people. But this our mortal enemy, agree“ able to the meanness of his birth, hath trodden under 20 “ foot the honour of this nation; selling our best con“federates for money, and making merchandise of the “ blood, estates, and fortunes of our peers and subjects,
by feigned wars, and dishonourable peace, only to enrich “his coffers. Nor unlike hath been his hateful misgovern. 25 “ment, and evil deportments at home. First, he hath to fortify his false quarrel, caused divers nobles of this our “realm, whom he held suspect and stood in dread of, to “be cruelly murdered; as our cousin Sir William Stanley, “ lord chamberlain, Sir Simon Mountfort, Sir Robert Rat- 30 “ cliffe, William Daubeney, Humphrey Stafford, and many
others, besides such as have dearly bought their lives " with intolerable rans as: some of which nobles are now
“in the sanctuary. Also he hath long kept, and yet keepeth in prison, our right entirely well-beloved cousin,
Edward, son and heir to our uncle duke of Clarence, "and others; withholding from them their rightful in5
“heritance, to the intent they should never be of might “and power, to aid and assist us at our need, after the “duty of their legiances. He also married by compulsion “ certain of our sisters, and also the sister of our said “cousin the earl of Warwick, and divers other ladies of “the royal blood, unto certain of his kinsmen and friends “of simple and low degree; and, putting apart all well
disposed nobles, he hath none in favour and trust about “his person, but bishop Fox, Smith, Bray, Lovel, Oliver
King, David Owen, Riseley, Turberville, Tiler, Chomley, 15“ Empson, James Hobart, John Cut, Garth, Henry Wyat,
“and such other caitiffs and villains of birth, which by “subtile inventions, and pilling of the people, have been “the principal finders, occasioners, and counsellors of the “misrule and mischief now reigning in England.
“We remembering these premises, with the great and “ execrable offences daily committed and done by our “ foresaid great enemy and his adherents, in breaking the “liberties and franchises of our mother the holy church,
upon pretences of wicked and heathenish policy, to the 25" high displeasure of Almighty God, besides the manifold
treasons, abominable murders, manslaughters, robberies, extortions, the daily pilling of the people by dismes, taxes, tallages, benevolences, and other unlawful imposi
tions, and grievous exactions, with many other heinous 30“ effects, to the likely destruction and desolation of the
“ whole realm : shall by God's grace, and the help and « assistance of the great lords of our blood, with the counsel “ of other sad persons, see that the commodities of our
“realm be employed to the most advantage of the same; “the intercourse of merchandise betwixt realm and realm s to be ministered and handled as shall more be to the
common weal and prosperity of our subjects; and all such “dismes, taxes, tallages, benevolences, unlawful imposi- 5
tions, and grievous exactions, as be above rehearsed, to “be fordone and laid apart, and never from henceforth “ to be called upon, but in such cases as our noble pro'genitors, Kings of England, have of old time been accustomed to have the aid, succour, and help of their 10 subjects, and true liege-men.
“And farther, we do, out of our grace and clemency, hereby as well publish and promise to all our subjects “ remission and free pardon of all by-past offences what
soever, against our person or estate, in adhering to our 15 “said enemy, by whom, we know well, they have been "misled, if they shall within time convenient submit them
selves unto us. And for such as shall come with the foremost to assist our righteous quarrel, we shall make “them so far partakers of our princely favour and bounty, 20
as shall be highly for the comfort of them and theirs, “ both during their life and after their death : as also we shall, by all means which God shall put into our hands, “demean ourselves to give royal contentment to all degrees
and estates of our people, maintaining the liberties of 25 "holy church in their entire, preserving the honours, privi
leges, and preeminences of our nobles, from contempt “of disparagement, according to the dignity of their blood. "We shall also unyoke our people from all heavy burdens "and endurances, and confirm our cities, boroughs and 30 towns, in their charters and freedoms, with enlargement “where it shall be deserved ; and in all points give our “ subjects cause to think, tha the blessed and debonair
government of our noble father King Edward, in his “last times, is in us revived. “And forasmuch as the putting to death, or taking alive
. “ of our said mortal enemy, may be a mean to stay much 5
“ effusion of blood, which otherwise may ensue, if by “compulsion or fair promises he shall draw after him any “number of our subjects to resist us, which we desire to “ avoid, though we be certainly informed, that our said
“enemy is purposed and prepared to fly the land, having 10 “ already made over great masses of the treasure of our
crown, the better to support him in foreign parts, we “ do hereby declare, that whosoever shall take or distress
our said enemy, though the party be of never so mean
a condition, he shall be by us rewarded with a thousand 15“pound in money, forthwith to be laid down to him, and
an hundred marks by the year of inheritance; besides “ that he may otherwise merit, both toward God and all “good people, for the destruction of such a tyrant.
* Lastly, we do all men to wit, and herein we take also God to witness, that whereas God hath moved the heart “ of our dearest cousin, the King of Scotland, to aid us “ in person in this our righteous quarrel; it is altogether “ without any pact or promise, or so much as demand of
“any thing that may prejudice our crown or subjects: 25
“ but contrariwise, with promise on our said cousin's part, “ that whensoever he shall find us in sufficient strength to “ get the upper hand of our enemy, which we hope will “ be very suddenly, he will forthwith peaceably return into
“his own kingdom; contenting himself only with the glory 30 " of so honourable an enterprise, and our true and faithful "love and amity: which we shall ever, by the grace
of Almighty God, so order, as shall be to the great comfort “ of both kingdoms."
But Perkin's proclamation did little edify with the people of England; neither was he the better welcome for the company he came in. Wherefore the King of Scotland seeing none came in to Perkin, nor none stirred any where in his favour, turned his enterprise into a rode; 5 and wasted and destroyed the country of Northumberland with fire and sword. But hearing that there were forces coming against him, and not willing that they should find his men heavy and laden with booty, he returned into Scotland with great spoils, deferring farther prosecution 10 till another time. It is said, that Perkin, acting the part of a Prince handsomely, when he saw the Scottish fell to waste the country, came to the King in a passionate manner, making great lamentation, and desired, that that might not be the manner of making the war; for that no crown 15 was so dear to his mind, as that he desired to purchase it with the blood and ruin of his country. Whereunto the. King answered half in sport, that he doubted much he was careful for that that was none of his, and that he should be too good a steward for his enemy, to save the country 20 to his use.
By this time, being the eleventh year of the King, the interruption of trade between the English and the Flemish began to pinch the merchants of both nations very sore: which moved them by all means they could devise, to 25 affect and dispose their sovereigns respectively, to open the intercourse again ; wherein time favoured them. For the archduke and his council began to see, that Perkin would
prove but a runagate and citizen of the world; and that it was the part of children to fall out about babies. 30 And the King on his part, after the attempts upon Kent and Northumberland, began to have the business of Perkin in less estimation; so as he did not put it to account