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THE HISTORIE

OF

KYNG RYCHARDE

THE THIRDE.

YNG Edwarde of that name the fowrth, after that

hee hadde lyued fiftie and three yeares, seuen monethes, and sixe dayes, and thereof reygned

two and twentye yeres, one moneth, and eighte dayes, dyed at Westmynster the nynth daye of Aprill, the 5 yere of oure redempcion a thowsande foure houndred foure score and three, leauinge muche fayre yssue, that is to witte, Edwarde the Prynce, a thirtene yeare of age: Richarde duke of Yorke, two yeare younger: Elizabeth, whose fortune and grace was after to bee Quene, wife unto kinge Henrie 10 the seuenth, and mother unto the eighth: Cecily not so fortunate as fayre: Brigette, whiche representynge the vertue of her whose name she bare, professed and obserued a religious life in Dertforde, an house of close Nunnes: Anne, that was after honourablye maryed unto Thomas, 15 than Lorde Hawarde, and after Earle of Surrey. And Katheryne whiche longe tyme tossed in either fortune, sommetime in wealth, ofte in aduersitye, at the laste, if this bee the laste, for yet she lyueth, is by the benignitye of her Nephewe, Kinge Henrye the eighte, in verye prosperous estate, 20 and woorthye her birth and vertue.

This noble Prince deceased at his palice of Westminster, and with greate funerall honoure and heauynesse of his people from thence conueyde, was entered at Windesor.

RICH,

I

A Kinge of suche gouernaunce and behauioure in time of peace (for in war eche parte muste needes bee others eneTheioueofthe mye) that there was neuer anye Prince of this people. lande, attaynynge the Crowne by battayle, so

5 heartely beloued with the substaunce of the people; nor he hymselfe so speciallye in anye parte of his life, as at the time of his death. Whiche fauour and affeccion yet after his decease, by the crueltie, mischiefe, and trouble of the tempestious worlde that folowed, highelye towarde hym

10 more increased. At suche time as he died, the displeasure of those that bare him grudge, for kinge Henries sake the sixte, whome he deposed, was well asswaged, and in effecte quenched, in that that manye of them were dead in more then twentie yeares of his raigne, a great parte of a longe

J5 lyfe. And many of them in the meane season growen into his fauoure, of whiche he was neuer straunge.

Description of _ .

Edwarde the He was a goodly parsonage, and very Princely

to behold, of hearte couragious, politique in

counsaile, in aduersitie nothynge abashed, in prosperitie

20 rather joyfull then prowde, in peace juste and mercifull, in warre sharpe and fyerce, in the fielde bolde and hardye, and nathelesse no farther then wysedome woulde aduenturouse; Whose warres who so well consyder, hee shall no lesse commende hys wysedome where hee voyded, than

25 hys mannehoode where he vainquisshed. He was of visage louelye, of bodye myghtie, stronge, and cleane made: howe bee it in his latter dayes, wyth ouer liberall dyet, sommewhat corpulente and boorelye, and nathelesse not vncomelye;hee was of youthe greatlye geuen to fleshlye wantonnesse, from

30 whiche healthe of bodye, in greate prosperitye and fortune, wythoute a specyall grace hardelye refrayneth. Thys faute not greatlye gryeued the people: for neyther could any one mans pleasure stretch and extende to the dyspleasure of 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 10 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 tayned. And the yere foregoynge hys deathe 15 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 f 5 also as manye gyftes of nature, as manie Princely vertues, as muche goodlye towardenesse as fheire 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 yf 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 allegy

15 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 therefore 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,

2 5 Richard Duke beganne not by warre, but by lawe, to challenge of Yorke. the crowrl) 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 IO fortunate, if either his owne ambicion had not °f clarenceset 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 them, in bodye and prowesse farre vnder them don 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

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