« PreviousContinue »
who themselves were not inlawed. The truth was, that divers of those, which had in the time of King Richard been strongest, and most declared for the King's party, were
returned knights and burgesses for the parliament; whether 5 by care or recommendation from the state, or the voluntary
inclination of the people; many of which had been by Richard the third attainted by outlawries, or otherwise. The King was somewhat troubled with this; for though it had a
grave and specious shew, yet it reflected upon his party. 10 But wisely not shewing himself at all moved therewith, he
would not understand it but as a case in law, and wished the judges to be advised thereupon; who for that purpose were forthwith assembled in the exchequer-chamber, which
is the council-chamber of the judges, and upon deliberation 15 they gave a grave and safe opinion and advice, mixed with
law and convenience; which was, that the knights and burgesses attainted by the course of law should forbear to come into the house, till a law were passed for the reversal of
their attainders. 20 It was at that time incidently moved amongst the judges
in their consultation, what should be done for the king himself, who likewise was attainted? But it was with unanimous consent resolved, “ That the crown takes away all defects
and stops in blood : and that from the time the King did 25 assume the crown, the fountain was cleared, and all attain
ders and corruption of blood discharged.” But nevertheless, for honour's sake, it was ordained by parliament, that all records, wherein there was any memory or mention of the ::
King's attainder, should be defaced, cancelled, and taken off 30 the file.
But on the part of the King's enemies there were by parliament attainted, the late duke of Glocester, calling himself Richard the third; the duke of Norfolk, the earl of Surrey,
viscount Lovel, the lord Ferrers, the lord Zouch, Richard Rateliffe, William Catesby, and many others of degree and quality. In which bills of attainders, nevertheless, there were contained many just and temperate clauses, savings, and provisoes, well shewing and fore-tokening the wisdom, stay, and 5 moderation of the King's spirit of government. And for the pardon of the rest, that had stood-against the King, the King, upon a second advice, thought it not fit it should pass by parliament, the better, being matter of grace, to impropriate the thanks to himself: using only the opportunity of a par- 10 liament time, the better to disperse it into the veins of the kingdom. Therefore during the parliament he published his royal proclamation, offering pardon and grace of restitution to all such as had taken arms, or been participant of any attempts against him; so as they submitted themselves 15 to his mercy by a day, and took the oath of allegiance and fidelity to him. Whereupon many came out of sanctuary, and many more came out of fear, no less guilty than those that had taken sanctuary.
As for money or treasure, the King thought it not season- 20 able or fit to demand any of his subjects at this parliament; both because he had received satisfaction from them in matters of so great importance, and because he could not remunerate them with any general pardon, being prevented therein by the coronation-pardon passed immediately before: 25 but chiefly, for that it was in every man's eye, what great forfeitures and confiscations he had at that present to help himself; whereby those casualties of the crown might in spare
purses of the subject; especially in a time when he was in peace with all his neighbours. Some few 30 laws passed at that parliament, almost for form sake : amongst which there was one, to reduce aliens, being made denizens, to pay strangers customs; and another, to draw to
himself the seizures and compositions of Italians goods, for not employment, being points of profit to his coffers, whereof from the very beginning he was not forgetful; and had been
more happy at the latter end, if his early providence, which 5 kept him from all necessity of exacting upon his people,
could likewise have attempered his nature therein. He added, during parliament, to his former creations, the ennoblement or advancement in nobility of a few others; the
lord Chandos of Britain, was made earl of Bath ; Sir Giles 10 Daubeney, was made lord Daubeney; and Sir Robert Willoughby, lord Brook.
The King did also with great nobleness and bounty, which virtues at that time had their turns in his nature,
restore Edward Stafford, eldest son to Henry duke of Buck15 ingham, attainted in the time of King Richard, not only to
his dignities, but to his fortunes and possessions, which were great: to which he was moved also by a kind of gratitude, for that the duke was the man that moved the first stone
against the tyranny of King Richard, and indeed made the 20 King a bridge to the crown upon his own ruins. Thus the parliament broke up.
The parliament being dissolved, the King sent forthwith · money to redeem the marquis Dorset, and Sir John Bourchier,
whom he had left as his pledges at Paris, for money which 25 he had borrowed, when he made his expedition for England.
And thereupon he took a fit occasion to send the lord Treasurer and master Bray, whom he used as counsellor, to the lord mayor of London, requiring of the city a prest of
six thousand marks : but after many parleys, he could 30 obtain but two thousand pounds; which nevertheless the
King took in good part as men use to do, that practise to borrow
money when they have no need. About this time the King called unto his privy council John Morton and
Richard Fox, the one bishop of Ely, the other bishop of Exeter; vigilant men, and secret, and such as kept watch with him almost upon all men else. They had been both versed in his affairs, before he came to the crown, and were partakers of his adverse fortune. This Morton soon after, 5 upon the death of Bourchier, he made archbishop of Canterbury. And for Fox, he made him lord Keeper of his privy-seal, and afterwards advanced him by degrees, from Exeter to Bath and Wells, thence to Durham, and last to Winchester. For although the King loved to employ and 10 advance bishops, because having rich bishopricks, they carried their reward upon themselves; yet he did use to raise them by steps, that he might not lose the profit of the first fruits, which by that course of gradation was multiplied.
15 At last, upon the eighteenth of January, was solemnized the so long expected and so much desired marriage, between the King and the lady. Elizabeth : which day of marriage was celebrated with greater triumph and demonstrations, especially on the people's part, of joy and gladness, 20 than the days either of his entry or coronation; which the King rather noted than liked. And it is true, that all his life time, while the lady Elizabeth lived with him, for she died before him, he shewed himself no very indulgent husband towards her, though she was beautiful, gentle, and 25
But his aversion towards the house of York was so predominant in him, as it found place not only in his Wars and councils, but in his chamber and bed.
Towards the middle of the spring, the King, full of confidence and assurance, as a prince that had been victorious 30 in battle, and had prevailed with his parliament in all that he desired, and had the ring of acclamations fresh in his ears, thought the rest of his reign should be but play, and
the enjoying of a kingdom: yet, as a wise and watchful King, he would not neglect any thing for his safety; thinking nevertheless to perform all things now, rather as an
exercise than as a labour. So he being truly informed, that 5 the northern parts were not only affectionate to the house
of York, but particularly had been devoted to King Richard the third, thought it would be a summer well spent to visit those parts, and by his presence and application of himself
to reclaim and rectify those humours. But the King, in his 10 account of peace and calms, did much over-cast his for
tunes, which proved for many years together full of broken seas, tides, and tempests. For he was no sooner come to Lincoln, where he kept his Easter, but he received news,
that the lord Lovel, Humphrey Stafford, and Thomas Staf15 ford, who had formerly taken sanctuary at Colchester, were
departed out of sanctuary, but to what place no man could tell : which advertisement the King despised, and continued his journey to York. At York there came fresh and more
certain advertisement, that the lord Lovel was at hand with 20 a great power of men, and that the Staffords were in arms
in Worcestershire, and had made their approaches to the city of Worcester, to assail it. The King, as a prince of great and profound judgment, was not much moved with it;
for that he thought it was but a rag or remnant of Bosworth25 field, and had nothing in it of the main party of the house
of York. But he was more doubtful of the raising of forces to resist the rebels, than of the resistance itself; for that he was in a core of people, whose affections he suspected. But
the action enduring no delay, he did speedily levy and send 30 against the lord Lovel, to the number of three thousand
men, ill armed, but well assured, being taken some few out of his own train, and the rest out of the tenants and followers of such as were safe to be trusted, under the conduct of