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exacting upon the trade: which it seemeth they did a little to save themselves, after the hard time they had sustained by want of trade. But those innovations were taken away by parliament.
But it was fatal to the King to fight for his money; and though he avoided to fight with enemies abroad, yet he was still enforced to fight for it with rebels at home: for no sooner began the subsidy to be levied in Cornwall, but the people there began to grudge and murmur. The Cornish 10 being a race of men, stout of stomach, mighty of body and limb, and that lived hardly in a barren country, and many of them could, for a need, live under ground, that were tinThey muttered extremely, that it was a thing not to be suffered, that for a little stir of the Scots, soon blown 15 over, they should be thus grinded to powder with payments: and said it was for them to pay that had too much, and lived idly. But they would eat their bread that they got with the sweat of their brows, and no man should take it from them. And as in the tides of people once up, there 20 want not commonly stirring winds to make them more rough; so this people did light upon two ringleaders or captains of the rout. The one was Michael Joseph, a blacksmith or farrier of Bodmin, a notable talking fellow, and no less desirous to be talked of. The other was Thomas Flam25 mock, a lawyer, who, by telling his neighbours commonly upon any occasion that the law was on their side, had gotten great sway amongst them. This man talked learnedly, and as if he could tell how to make a rebellion, and never break the peace. He told the people, that subsidies were 30 not to be granted, nor levied in this case; that is, for wars of Scotland for that the law had provided another course, by service of escuage, for those journeys; much less when all was quiet, and war was made but a pretence to poll and
pill the people. And therefore that it was good they should not stand now like sheep before the shearers, but put on harness, and take weapons in their hands. Yet to do no
creature hurt; but go and deliver the King a strong petition, for the laying down of those grievous payments, and for the 5 punishment of those that had given him that counsel; to make others beware how they did the like in time to come. And said, for his part he did not see how they could do the duty of true Englishmen, and good liege-men, except they did deliver the King from such wicked ones, that would 10 destroy both him and the country. Their aim was at archbishop Morton and Sir Reginald Bray, who were the King's screens in this envy.
After that these two, Flammock and the blacksmith, had by joint and several pratings found tokens of consent 15 in the multitude, they offered themselves to lead them, until they should hear of better men to be their leaders, which they said would be ere long: telling them farther, that they would be but their servants, and first in every danger; but doubted not but to make both the west-end and the east-end 20 of England to meet in so good a quarrel; and that all, rightly understood, was but for the King's service. The people upon these seditious instigations, did arm, most of them with bows, and arrows, and bills, and such other weapons of rude and country people, and forthwith under 25 the command of their leaders, which in such cases is ever at pleasure, marched out of Cornwall through Devonshire unto Taunton in Somersetshire, without any slaughter, violence, or spoil of the country. At Taunton they killed in fury an officious and eager commissioner for the subsidy, 30 whom they called the provost of Perin. Thence they marched to Wells, where the lord Audley, with whom their leaders had before some secret intelligence, a nobleman of
an ancient family, but unquiet and popular, and aspiring to ruin, came in to them, and was by them, with great gladness and cries of joy, accepted as their general; they being now proud that they were led by a nobleman. The lord Audley 5 led them on from Wells to Salisbury and from Salisbury to Winchester. Thence the foolish people, ho, in effect, led their leaders, had a mind to be led into Kent, fancying that the people there would join with them; contrary to all reason or judgment, considering the Kentish men had shewed 10 great loyalty and affection to the King so lately before. But the rude people had heard Flammock say, that Kent was never conquered, and that they were the freest people of England. And upon these vain noises, they looked for great matters at their hands, in a cause which they conceited 15 to be for the liberty of the subject. But when they were come into Kent, the country was so well settled, both by the King's late kind usage towards them, and by the credit and power of the earl of Kent, the lord Abergavenny, and the lord Cobham, as neither gentleman nor yeoman came 20 in to their aid; which did much damp and dismay many of the simpler sort; insomuch as divers of them did secretly fly from the army, and went home: but the sturdier sort, and those that were most engaged, stood by it, and rather waxed proud, than failed in hopes and courage. For as it 25 did somewhat appal them, that the people came not in to
them; so it did no less encourage them, that the King's forces had not set upon them, having marched from the west unto the east of England. Wherefore they kept on their way, and encamped upon Blackheath, between Greenwich 30 and Eltham; threatening either to bid battle to the King, for now the seas went higher than to Morton and Bray, or to take London within his view; imagining with themselves, there to find no less fear than wealth.
But to return to the King. When first he heard of this commotion of the Cornish men occasioned by the subsidy, he was much troubled therewith; not for itself, but in regard of the concurrence of other dangers that did hang over him at that time. For he doubted lest a war from Scotland, a rebellion from Cornwall, and the practices and conspiracies. of Perkin and his partakers, would come upon him at once: knowing well, that it was a dangerous triplicity to a monarchy, to have the arms of a foreigner, the discontents of subjects, and the title of a pretender to meet. Nevertheless IO the occasion took him in some part well provided. For as soon as the parliament had broken up, the King had presently raised a puissant army to war upon Scotland. And King James of Scotland likewise, on his part, had made great preparations, either for defence, or for new assailing of 15 England. But as for the King's forces, they were not only in preparation, but in readiness presently to set forth, under the conduct of Daubeney the lord chamberlain. But as soon as the King understood of the rebellion of Cornwall, he stayed those forces, retaining them for his own service o and safety. But therewithal he despatched the earl of Surrey into the north, for the defence and strength of those parts, in case the Scots should stir. But for the course he held towards the rebels, it was utterly differing from his former custom and practice; which was ever full of forwardness 25 and celerity to make head against them, or to set upon them as soon as ever they were in action. This he was wont to do. But now, besides that he was attempered by years, and less in love with dangers, by the continued fruition of a crown; it was a time when the various appearance to his thoughts of perils of several natures, and from divers parts, did make him judge it his best and surest way, to keep his strength together in the seat and centre of his kingdom:
according to the ancient Indian emblem, in such a swelling season, to hold the hand upon the middle of the bladder, that no side might rise. Besides, there was no necessity put upon him to alter his counsel. For neither did the rebels 5 spoil the country, in which case it had been dishonour to abandon his people: neither on the other side did their forces gather or increase, which might hasten him to precipitate and assail them before they grew too strong. And lastly, both reason of estate and war seemed to agree with this course: for that insurrections of base people are commonly more furious in their beginnings. And by this means also he had them the more at vantage, being tired and harassed with a long march; and more at mercy, being cut off far from their country, and therefore not able by any sudden flight to get to retreat, and to renew the troubles.
When therefore the rebels were encamped on Blackheath upon the hill, whence they might behold the city of London, and the fair valley about it; the King knowing well, that it stood him upon, by how much the more he had hitherto protracted the time in not encountering them, by so much the sooner to despatch with them, that it might appear to have been no coldness in fore-slowing, but wisdom in choosing his time; resolved with all speed to assail them, and yet with that providence and surety, as should leave little to venture or fortune. And having very great and puissant forces about him, the better to master all events and accidents, he divided them into three parts; the first was led by the earl of Oxford in chief, assisted by the earls of Essex and Suffolk. These noblemen were appointed, with some corners of horse, and bands of foot, and good store of artillery, wheeling about to put themselves beyond the hill where the rebels were encamped; and to beset all the skirts and descents thereof, except those that lay to