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verye manye, and was wythoute violence, and ouer that in hys latter dayes lessyd and wel lefte. In whych tyme of hys latter daies thys Realm was in quyet and prosperous estate: no feare of outewarde enemyes, no warre in hande, nor none towarde, but such as no manne looked for; the 5 people towarde the Prince, not in a constrayned feare, but in a wyllynge and louynge obedyence: amonge them selfe, the commons in good peace. The Lordes whome he knewe at varyaunce, hymselfe in hys deathe bedde appeased. He hadde lefte all gatherynge of money (which is the onelye 1o thynge that withdraweth the heartes of Englyshmenne fro the Prynce) nor anye thynge entended hee to take in hande, by which hee shoulde bee dryeuen theretoo, for hys trybute oute of Fraunce hee hadde before ob
Trybute. tayned. And the yere foregoynge hys deathe hee hadde obtayned Barwycke. And al bee it that all the tyme of hys raygne hee was wyth hys people soo benygne, courteyse, and so familyer, that no parte of hys vertues was more estemed; yet that condicyon in the ende of hys dayes (in which many princes, by a long continued souerainty, 20 decline in to a prowde porte from debonayre behauioure of theyr beginning) meruaylouslye in him grewe and increased; so farrefoorthe that in the sommer the laste that euer he sawe, hys hyghenesse beeyng at Wyndesore in huntynge, sente for the Mayre and Aldermenne of London to hym. 25 For none other eraunde, but too haue them hunte and bee mery with hym, where hee made them not so statelye, but so frendely and so familier chere, and sente venson from thence so frelye into the Citye, that no one thing, in many dayes before, gate hym eyther moe heartes or more heartie 30 fauoure amonge the common people, whiche oftentymes more esteme and take for greatter kindenesse a lyttle courtesye, then a greate benefyte.
So deceased (as I haue said) this noble Kynge, in that tyme in whiche hys life was moste desyred. Whose loue of hys people, and theyr entiere affeccion towarde him,
hadde bene to hys noble children (hauynge in themselfe 5 also as manye gyftes of nature, as manie Princely vertues,
as muche goodlye towardenesse as theire age coulde receiue) a meruailouse forteresse and sure armoure, if deuision and discencion of their frendes hadde not vnarmed them, and
lefte them destitu[t]e, and the execrable desire of souerayntee 10 prouoked him to theire destruccion, which yr either kinde
or kindenesse hadde holden place, muste needes haue bene theire chiefe defence. For Richarde the Duke of Gloucester, by nature theyr vncle, by office theire protectoure, to
theire father beholden, to them selfe by othe and allegy15 aunce bownden, al the bandes broken that binden manne
and manne together, withoute anye respecte of Godde or the worlde, vnnaturallye contriued to bereue them, not onelye their dignitie, but also their liues. But forasmuche
as this Dukes demeanoure ministreth in effecte all the 20 whole matter whereof this booke shall entreate, it is there
fore conueniente, sommewhat to shewe you ere we farther goe, what maner of manne this was, that coulde fynde in his hearte so muche mischiefe to conceiue.
Richarde Duke of Yorke, a noble manne and a mightie, 25 Richard Duke beganne not by warre, but by lawe, to challenge
the crown, puttyng his claime into the parliamente. Where hys cause was eyther for right or fauour so farrefoorth auaunced, that kinge Henrye his bloode (all bee
it he hadde a goodlye Prince) vtterlye rejected, the crowne 30 was by authoritye of parliament entaylled vnto the Duke of
York and his issue male in remainder immediatelye after the deathe of Kinge Henrye. But the Duke not endurynge so longe to tarye, but entending. vnder pretexte of discencion
and debate arisynge in the realme, to preuente his time, and to take vppon hym the rule in Kinge Harry his life, was with manye nobles of the realme at Wakefielde slaine, leauinge three sonnes, Edwarde, George and Rycharde. Al three as they wer great states of birthe, soo were they 5 greate and statelye of stomacke, gredye and ambicious of authoritie, and impacient of parteners. Edward, reuenging his fathers death, depriued king Henrie, and attained the crown. George Duke of Clarence was a goodly noble Prince, and at all pointes George Duke fortunate, if either his owne ambicion had not set him against his brother, or the enuie of his enemies his brother agaynste hym. For were it by the Queene and the Lordes of her bloode whiche highlye maligned the kynges kinred (as women commonly not of malice but of nature 15 hate them whome theire housebandes loue) or were it a prowde appetite of the Duke himself entendinge to be king, at the lest wise heinous Treason was there layde to his charge, and finallye, wer hee fautye were hee faultlesse, attainted was hee by parliament and judged to the death, 20 and therupon hastely drouned in a Butte of Malmesey, whose death kyng Edwarde (albeit he commaunded it) when he wist it was done, pitiously bewailed and sorowfully repented.
Richarde the third sonne, of whom we nowe entreate, 25 was in witte and courage egall with either of
The descripthem, in bodye and prowesse farre vnder them cion of Richbothe, little of stature, ill fetured of limmes, croke backed, his left shoulder much higher then his right, hard fauoured of visage, and suche as is in states called 30 warlye, in other menne otherwise, he was malicious, wrathfull, enuious and, from afore his birth, euer frowarde. It is for trouth reported, that the Duches his mother had
arde the thirde.
muche adoe in her trauaile, and that hee came into the worlde with the feete forwarde, as menne bee borne outwarde, and (as the fame runneth) also not vntothed,
whither menne of hatred reporte aboue the trouthe, or 5 elles that nature chaunged her course in hys beginninge,
whiche in the course of his lyfe many thinges vnnaturallye committed. None euill captaine was hee in the warre, as to whiche his disposicion was more metely then for peace.
Sundrye victories hadde hee, and sommetime ouerthrowes, 10 but neuer in defaulte, as for his owne parsone, either of har
dinesse or polytike order; free was hee called of dyspence, and sommewhat aboue hys power liberall, with large giftes hee get him vnstedfaste frendeshippe, for whiche hee was
fain to pil and spoyle in other places, and get him stedfast 15
hatred. He was close and secrete, a deepe dissimuler, lowlye of counteynaunce, arrogant of heart, outwardly coumpinable where he inwardely hated, not letting to kisse whome hee thoughte to kyll; dispitious and cruell, not for euill will alway, but ofter for ambicion, and either for the suretie or encrease of his estate. Frende and foo was muche what indifferent, where his aduauntage grew, he spared no mans deathe, whose life withstoode his purpose.
He slewe with his owne handes king Henry king Henry the sixt, being prisoner in the Tower, as menne
constantly saye, and that without commaunde25
mente or knoweledge of the king, whiche woulde vndoubtedly, yf he had entended that thinge, haue appointed that boocherly office, to some other then his owne borne brother.
Somme wise menne also weene, that his drifte couertly 30
conuayde, lacked not in helping furth his brother Clarence to his death: whiche hee resisted openly, howbeit somwhat (as menne demed) more faintly then he that wer hartely minded to his welth. And they that thus deme, think that
The death of
he long time in king Edwardes life forethought to be king in case that the king his brother (whose life hee looked that euil dyete shoulde shorten) shoulde happen to decease (as in dede he did) while his children wer yonge. And thei deme, that for thys intente he was gladde of his brothers 5 death the Duke of Clarence, whose life must needes haue hindered hym so entendynge, whither the same Duke of Clarence hadde kepte him true to his nephew the yonge king, or enterprised to be kyng himselfe. But of al this pointe is there no certaintie, and whoso diuineth vppon 15 conjectures maye as wel shote to farre as to short. Howbeit this haue I by credible informacion learned, that the selfe nighte in whiche kynge Edwarde died, one Mystlebrooke longe ere mornynge came in greate haste to the house of one Pottyer dwellyng in Reddecrosse strete without 15 Crepulgate; and when he was with hastye rappyng quickly
tten in, hee shewed vnto Pottyer that kynge Edwarde was departed. By my trouthe, manne, quod Pottier, then wyll my mayster the Duke of Gloucester bee kynge. What cause hee hadde soo to thynke harde it is to saye, 20 whyther hee, being toward him, anye thynge knewe that hee suche thynge purposed, or otherwyse had anye inkelynge thereof: for hee was not likelye to speake it of noughte.
But nowe to returne to the course of this hystorye, were 25 it that the duke of Gloucester hadde of olde foreminded this conclusion, or was nowe at erste thereunto moued, and putte in hope by the occasion of the tender age of the younge Princes his Nephues (as opportunitye and lykelyhoode of spede putteth a manne in courage of that hee 30 neuer entended) certayn is it that hee contriued theyr destruccion, with the vsurpacion of the regal dignitye vppon hymselfe. And for as muche as hee well wiste and holpe