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we

earthly can gouerne again their willes, and we wel also perceue, that no manne is there, to whom the crowne can by so just tytle appertayn as to our self, as verye ryghte heyre lawfullye begotten of the bodye of oure moste deere father 5 Rycharde late Duke of Yorke, to whiche tytle is nowe joyned your elleccion, the nobles and comons of this realm, whiche wee of all titles possible take for most effectual : be content and agre fauourably to incline to your peticion

him to be

The protector and request, and accordyng to the same, here jo taketh uppon

we take vppon vs the royall estate, preeminence kynge.

and kyngdome of the twoo noble realmes, England and Fraunce, the tone fro this day forward by vs and our heires to rule, gouerne and defend, the tother by

Goddes grace and youre good helpe to geat again and sub25 dewe, and establish for euer in due obedyence vnto this

realme of Englande, thaduancement wherof we neuer aske of God longer to lyue then we entende to procure. With this there was a great shout, crying, kyng Richard, king

Rychard. And then the lordes went vp to the kyng (for 20 so was he froin that time called) and the people departed,

talkyng diuersly of the matter euery man as his fantasye gaue hym. But muche they talked and marueiled of the maner of this dealing, that the matter was on bothe partes

made so straunge, as though neither had euer communed 25 with other thereof before, when that themself wel wist

there was no man so dul that heard them, but he perceiued well inough, that all the matter was made betwene them. Howbeit somme excused that agayne, and sayde all

must be done in good order though. And menne must 30 sommetime for the manner sake not bee a-knowen what

they knowe. For at the consecracion of a bishop, euery man woteth well by the paying for his bulles, that he purposeth to be one, and thoughe he paye for nothing elles.

And yet must he bee twise asked whyther he wil be bishop or no, and he muste twyse say naye, and at the third tyme take it as compelled ther vnto by his owne wyll. And in a stage play all the people know right wel, that he that playeth the sowdayne is percase a sowter.

Yet if one 5 should can so lyttle good, to shewe out of seasonne what acquaintance he hath with him, and calle him by his owne name whyle he standeth in his magestie, one of his tormentors might hap to breake his head, and worthy for marring of the play. And so they said that these matters 10 bee Kynges games, as it were stage playes, and for the more part plaied vpon scafoldes. In which pore men be but the lokers on. And thei that wise be, wil medle no farther. For they that sometyme step vp and playe with them, when they cannot play their partes, they disorder the play and do 15 themself no good.

* The nexte daye the protectoure with a

great traine wente to Westmynster halle and inarke * was not there when he had placed himself in the court written by

of the kinges bench, declared to the audience, 20 in this history written by him that he woulde take vpon him the crowne in in English, but is translated that place there, wher the king himself sitteth tory which he and ministreth the law; because he considred

that it was the chiefest duety of a kyng to minister the lawes. Than with as pleasant an oracion 25 as he could, he went about to win vnto him the nobles, the marchantes, the artificers, and in conclusion al kinde of men, but specially the lawyers of this realme. And fynally to thentent that no man shoulde hate hym for feare, and that his deceitful clemency mighte geat him 30 the good wyll of the people, when he had declared the dyscomoditie of discorde, and the commodyties of concorde and vnitie, he made an open proclamacion, that

This that is here betwene this marke * and this

master More

out of this his

wrote in Latin.

he did put oute of his minde all enymities, and that he there did openly pardon all offences committed against hin. And to the entente that he might shew a proofe

thereof, he commaunded that one Fogge, whom he had 5 long deadly hated, shold be brought than before him.

Who being brought oute of the saintuary by (for thither had he fled, for fere of hym) in the sight of the people, he tooke him by the hand. Whiche thyng the common people

rejoysed at and praised, but wise men tooke it for a vanitye. 10 In his returne homewarde, whom so euer he met he saluted.

For a minde that knoweth it self giltye, is in a maner dejected to a seruile flattery.

When he hadde begonne his reygne the-daye of June, after this mockishe eleccion, than was he crowned the 15 day of the same moneth. And that solemnitie was

furnished for the most part with the selfe same prouision that was appointed for the coronacion of his nephew*.

Now fell ther mischieues thick. And as the thinge euill gotten is neuer well kept, through all the time of his 20 reygne, neuer ceased there cruel death and slaughter, till

his owne destruccion ended it But as he finished his time with the beste death, and the most righteous, that is to wyt his own; so began he with the most piteous and

wicked, I meane the lamentable murther of his innoocent 25 nephewes, the young king and his tender brother. Whose

death and final infortune hathe natheles so far comen in question, that some remain yet in doubt, whither they wer in his dayes destroyde or no. Not for that onely that

Perken Werbecke, by many folkes malice, and

more folkes foly, so long space abusyng the worlde, was, as wel with princes as the porer people, reputed and taken for the yonger of those two, but for that also that all thynges wer in late daies so couertly demeaned,

Perken
Werbecke.

30

one thing pretended and an other ment, that there was nothyng so plaine and openly proued, but that

Close delyng yet for the comen custome of close and couert is ever suspect. dealing, men had it euer inwardely suspect, as many well counterfaited jewels make the true mistrusted. Howbeit 5 concerning the opinion, with the occasions mouing either partie, we shal haue place more at large to entreate, yf we hereafter happen to write the time of the late noble prince of famous memory king Henry the seuenth, or parcase that history of Perkin in any compendious processe 10 by it selfe. But in the meane time for this present matter, I shall rehearse you the dolorous end of those babes, not after euery way that I haue heard, but after that

way

that I haue so hard by suche men and by such meanes, as me thinketh it wer hard but it should be true. King Richarde 15 after his coronacion, takyng his way to Gloucester to visit, in his newe honor, the towne of which he bare the name of his old, deuised as he roode to fulfil that thing which he before had intended. And forasmuch as his minde gaue him that, his nephewes liuing, men woulde not recken 20 that hee could haue right to the realm, he thought therfore without delay to rid them, as though the killing of his kinsmen could amend his cause, and make him a kindly king. Whereuppon he sent one John Grene,

John Grene. whom he specially trusted, vnto sir Robert Robert Brak. 25 Brakenbery constable of the Tower, with a stable of the letter and credence also, that the same sir Robert shoulde in any wise put the two children to death. This John Grene did his errande vnto Brakenbery kneling before our Lady in the Tower, who plainely 30 answered that he would neuer putte them to death to dye therfore, with which answer Jhon Grene returning recounted the same to Kynge Richarde at Warwick yet in his way.

6

Tower.

RICH.

IO

Wherwith he toke such displeasure and thought, that the same night, he said vnto a secrete page of his : Ah whome shall a man trust? those that I haue broughte vp my selfe,

those that I had went would most surely serue me, euen 5 those fayle me, and at my commaundemente wyll do

nothyng for me. Sir, quod his page, there lyeth one on your paylet without, that I dare well say, to do your grace pleasure, the thyng were right harde that he wold refuse, Syr James

meaning this by sir James Tyrell, which was a Tyrell.

man of right goodlye parsonage, and for natures gyftes, worthy to haue serued a muche better prince, if he had well serued God, and by grace obtayned as muche trouthe and good wil as he had strength and witte. The

man had an high heart, and sore longed vpwarde, not rising 15 yet so fast as he had hoped, being hindered and kept vnder by the meanes of sir Richarde Ratclife and sir William

Catesby, which longing for no moo parteners Authority

of the princes fauour, and namely not for hym,

whose pride thei wist would beare no pere, 20 kept him by secrete driftes oute of all secrete trust. Whiche

thyng this page wel had marked and knowen. Wherefore thys occasion offered, of very speciall frendship he toke his time to put him forward, and by such wise doe him

good, that al the enemies he had except the deuil, could 25 neuer haue done him so muche hurte. For

vpon
this

pages wordes king Richard arose. (For this communicacion had he sitting at the draught, a conuenient carpet for such a counsaile) and came out in to the pallet chamber, on which

he found in bed sir James and sir Thomas Tyrels, of parson 30 like and brethren of blood, but nothing of kin in condi

cions. Then said the king merely to them : What, sirs, be ye in bed so soone? And calling vp syr James, brake to him secretely his mind in this mischieuous matter. In

loveth no partners.

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