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Shores wife.

a set hande, and therwith of it self so long a processe, that eueri child might wel perceiue that it was prepared before. For al the time betwene his death and the proclaming could scant haue suffised vnto the bare wryting alone, all had it bene but in paper and scribled forth in hast at aduenture. 5 So that vpon the proclaming therof, one that was scole master of Poules of chaunce standing by, and comparing the shortnes of the time with the length of the matter, said vnto them that stode about him, here is a gay goodly cast foule cast awai for hast. And a merchant answered hym, 10 that it was writen by profecy. Now then by and bi, as it wer for anger, not for couetise, the protector sent into the house of Shores wife (for her husband dwelled not with her) and spoiled her of al that euer she had, aboue the value of ii. or iii. M. marks, and sent 15 her body to prison. And when he had a while laide vnto her, for the maner sake, that she went about to bewitch him, and that she was of counsel with the lord chamberlein to destroy him: in conclusion, when that no colour could fasten vpon these matters, then he layd heinously 20 to her charge, the thing that herself could not deny, that al the world wist was true, and that natheles euery man laughed at to here it then so sodainly so highly taken, that she was nought of her body. And for thys cause (as a goodly continent prince, clene and faultles of himself, sent 25 oute of heauen into this vicious world for the amendement of mens maners) he caused the bishop of London to put her to open penance, going before the crosse in procession upon a Sonday with a taper in her hand. In which she went in countenance and pace demure so womanly, and 30 albeit she were out of al array saue her kyrtle only: yet went she so fair and louely, namelye while the wondering of the people caste a comly rud in her chekes (of whiche she


before had most misse) that her great shame wan her much praise. And many good folke also, that hated her liuing, and glad wer to se sin corrected, yet pitied thei more her

penance, then rejoyced therein, when thei considred that 5 the protector procured it, more of a corrupt intent then

ani vertuous affecion. This woman was born in The descripcion of Shores London, worshipfully frended, honestly brought

vp, and very wel maryed, sauing somewhat to sone, her husbande an honest citezen, yonge and goodly 10 and of good substance. Proper she was and faire ; nothing

in her body that you wold haue changed, but if you would haue wished her somewhat higher. Thus say thei that knew her in her youthe. Albeit some that now se her (for yet she

liueth) deme her neuer to haue ben wel visaged. Whose 15 jugement semeth me somwhat like as though men should

gesse the bewty of one longe before departed, by her scalpe taken out of the charnel house ; for now is she old, lene, withered, and dried vp, nothing left but ryuilde skin and

hard bone. And yet being euen such, whoso wel aduise 20 her visage, might gesse and deuise which partes how

filled wold make it a faire face. Yet delited not men so much in her bewty, as in her plesant behauiour. For a proper wit had she, and could both rede wel and write,

mery in company, redy and quick of aunswer, neither mute 25 nor ful of bable, sometime taunting without displesure

and not without disport. In whom the king therfore toke speciall pleasure. Whose fauour, to sai the trouth, (for sinne it wer to belie the deuil) she neuer abused

to any mans hurt, but to many a mans comfort and relief: 30 where the king toke displeasure she would mitigate and

appease his mind : where men were out of fauour, she wold bring them in his grace. For many that had highly offended, shee obtained pardon. Of great forfetures she gate men

remission. And finally in many weighty sutes, she stode many men in gret stede, either for none, or very smal rewardes, and those rather gay then rich; either for that she was content with the dede selfe well done, or for that she delited to be suid vnto, and to show what she was able to 5 do wyth the king, or for that wanton women and welthy be not alway couetouse. I doubt not some shal think this woman to sleight a thing to be written of and set amonge the remembraunces of great matters; which thei shal specially think, that happely shal esteme her only by that thei 10 now see her. But me semeth the chaunce so much the more worthy to be remembred, in how much she is now in the more beggerly condicion, vnfrended and worne out of acquaintance, after good substance, after as gret fauour with the prince, after as gret sute and seking to with al those that 15 those days had busynes to spede, as many other men were in their times, which be now famouse, only by the infamy of their il dedes. Her doinges were not much lesse, albeit thei be much lesse reme[m]bred, because thei were not so euil. For men vse if they haue an euil turne, to write it in marble : 20 and whoso doth vs a good tourne, we write it in duste, which is not worst proued by her : for at this daye shee beggeth of many at this daye liuing, that at this day had begged if she had not bene.

Now was it so deuised by the protectour and his 25 counsel, that the self day in which the lord Chamberlen was behedded in the tower of London, and about the selfsame hower, was there, not with- Rivers and out his assent, behedded at Poontfraite, the fore-remembred lordes and knightes that were taken from 35 the king at Northampton and Stony Stratford. Which thinge was done in the presence and by the order of syr Richard Ratcli knight, whose seruice the protector speci

The Lord

other beheaded.

Sur Richard

ally vsed in the counsel and in thexecucion of

such lawles enterprises, as a man that had ben long secret with him, hauing experience of the world and a shrewde wit, short and rude in speche, rough and bous5 tiouse of behauiour, bold in mischief, as far from pitie

as from al fere of God. This knight bringing them out of the prison to the scafold, and shewing to the people about that thei were traîtors, not suffring them to speke and

declare their innocence, lest their wordes might haue in10 clined men to pity them, and to hate the protectour and

his part, caused them hastly without jugement, processe, or maner of order to be behedded, and without other earthly gilt, but only that thei were good men, to true to

the king and to nigh to the quene. Now when the lord 15 Chamberlen, and these other lordes and knightes were thus

behedded and ridde out of the way: then thought the protectour, that while men mused what the mater ment, while the lordes of the realme wer about him out of their

owne strenghtis, while no man wist what to thinke nor 20 whome to trust, ere euer they should haue space to dispute

and disgest the mater and make parties, it wer best hastly to pursue his purpose, and put himself in possession of the crowne, ere men could haue time to deuise ani wais

to resist. But now was al the study, by what meane thys 25 matter being of it self so heinouse, might be first broken to

the people, in such wise that it might be wel taken. To this counsel they toke diuerse, such as they thought metely to be trusted, likely to be indused to the parte, and able

to stand them in stede, either by power or policy. Among 30

whom, they made of counsail Edmond Shaa Shaa, Maier

knight, then Maier of London, which, vpon trust

of his owne aduauncement, whereof he was of a proud hart highly desirouse, shold frame the cite to their


of London.

Doctour Shaa.

Frere Penker.

appetite. Of spiritual men thei toke such as had 'wit, and were in aucthoritie among the peple for oppinion of ther lerning, and had no scrupilouse consience. Among these had thei John Shaa clerke, brother to the Maier, and freer Penker, prouincial of the Augustine

5 freers, both doctors of diuinite, both gret prechars, both of more learning then vertue, of more fame then lerning. For thei were before gretly estemed among the peple, but after that neuer. Of these two the tone had a sermon in praise of the protectour before the 10 coronacion, the tother after, both so ful of tediouse flatery, that no mans eares could abide them. Penker in his sermon so lost his voice that he was faine to leaue of and come downe in the middes. Doctour Shaa by his sermon lost his honestie, and sone after his life, for very shame of the 15 worlde, into which he durst neuer after come abrode. But the frere forced for no shame, and so it harmed him the lesse. Howbeit some dout and many thinken that Penker was not of counsel of the mater before the coronacion, but after the comen maner fell to flattery after, namely 20 sith his sermon was not incontinent vpon it, but at S. Mary hospytall at the Ester after. But certaine is it, that Doctour Shaa was of counsel in the beginning, so farre forth that they determined that he should breke the mater in a sermon at Poules Crosse, in whiche he shold, by the 25 aucthorite of his preaching, encline the peple to the protectours ghos[t]ly purpose. But now was al the labour and study in the deuise of some conuenient pretext, for which the peple should be content to depose the prince and accept the protector for kinge. In which, diuerse thinges 30 they deuised. But the chief thing and the weighty of al that inuencion rested in this that they should allege bastardy, either in king Edward himself, or in his children,

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