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within two or three days after, upon a scaffold set up in the palace-court at Westminster, he was fettered and set in the stocks for the whole day. And the next day after, the like
was done by him at the cross in Cheapside, and in both 5 places he read his confession, of which we made mention
before; and was from Cheapside conveyed and laid up in the Tower. Notwithstanding all this, the King was, as was partly touched before, grown to be such a partner with for
tune as nobody could tell what actions the one, and 10 what the other owned. For it was believed generally, that
Perkin was betrayed, and that this escape was not without the King's privity, who had him all the time of his flight in a line; and that the King did this, to pick a quarrel to him
to put him to death, and to be rid of him at once : but this 15 is not probable. For that the same instruments who ob
served him in his flight, might have kept him from getting into sanctuary.
But it was ordained, that this winding-ivy of a Plantagenet should kill the true tree itself. For Perkin, after he had 20 been a while in the Tower, began to insinuate himself into
the favour and kindness of his keepers, servants to the lieutenant of the Tower Sir John Digby, being four in number; Strangeways, Blewet, Astwood, and Long Roger.
These varlets, with mountains of promises, he sought to 25 corrupt, to obtain his escape ; but knowing well, that his
own fortunes were made so contemptible, as he could feed no man's hopes, and by hopes he must work, for rewards he had none, he had contrived with himself a vast and tragical
plot; which was, to draw into his company Edward Plan30 tagenet earl of Warwick, then prisoner in the Tower ; whom
the weary life of a long imprisonment, and the often and renewing fears of being put to death, had softened to take any impression of counsel for his liberty. This young Prince he thought these servants would look upon, though not upon himself: and therefore, after that by some message by one or two of them, he had tasted of the earl's consent; it was agreed that these four should murder their master the lieutenant secretly in the night, and make their best of such 5 money and portable goods of his, as they should find ready at hand, and get the keys of the Tower, and presently let forth Perkin and the earl. But this conspiracy was revealed in time, before it could be executed. And in this again the opinion of the King's great wisdom did surcharge him with 10 a sinister fame, that Perkin was but his bait, to entrap the earl of Warwick. And in the very instant while this conspiracy was in working, as if that also had been the King's industry, it was fatal, that there should break forth a counterfeit earl of Warwick, a cordwainer's son, whose name was 15 Ralph Wilford; a young man taught and set on by an Augustin friar, called Patrick. They both from the parts of Suffolk came forwards into Kent, where they did not only privily and underhand give out, that this Wilford was the true earl of Warwick, but also the friar, finding some light 20 credence in the people, took the boldness in the pulpit to declare as much, and to incite the people to come in to his aid. Whereupon they were both presently apprehended, and the young fellow executed, and the friar condemned to perpetual imprisonment.
This also happening so oppor- 25 tunely, to represent the danger to the King's estate from the earl of Warwick, and thereby to cover the King's severity that followed; together with the madness of the friar so vainly and desperately to divulge a treason, before it had gotten any manner of strength; and the saving of the friar's 30 life, which nevertheless was, indeed, but the privilege of his order ; and the pity in the common people, which if it run in a strong stream, doth ever cast up scandal and envy,
made it generally rather talked than believed, that all was but the King's device. But howsoever it were, hereupon Perkin, that had offended against grace now the third time, was at the last proceeded with, and by commissioners of 5 oyer and determiner arraigned at Westminster, upon divers
treasons committed and perpetrated after his coming on land within this kingdom, for so the judges advised, for that he was a foreigner, and condemned, and a few days after
executed at Tyburn; where he did again openly read his 10 confession, and take it upon his death to be true. This was
the end of this little cockatrice of a King, that was able to destroy those that did not espy him first. It was one of the longest plays of that kind that hath been in memory, and
might perhaps have had another end, if he had not met with 15 a King both wise, stout, and fortunate.
As for Perkin's three counsellors, they had registered themselves sanctuary men when their master did ; and whether upon pardon obtained, or continuance within the privilege, they came not to be proceeded with.
There were executed with Perkin, the mayor of Cork and his son, who had been principal abettors of his treasons. And soon after were likewise condemned eight other persons about the Tower conspiracy, whereof four were the
lieutenant's men: but of those eight but two were executed. 25 And immediately after was arraigned before the Earl of (x
ford, then for the time high steward of England, the poor Prince, the Earl of Warwick; not for the attempt to escape simply, for that was not acted; and besides, the imprison
ment not being for treason, the escape by law could not be 30 treason, but for conspiring with Perkin to raise sedition, and
to destroy the King: and the earl confessing the indictment, had judgment, and was shortly after beheaded on Tower-hill.
This was also the end, not only of this noble and commiserable person Edward the earl of Warwick, eldest son to the duke of Clarence : but likewise of the line male of the Plantagenets, which had flourished in great royalty and renown, from the time of the famous King of England, King 5 Henry the second. Howbeit it was a race often dipped in their own blood. It hath remained since only transplanted into other names, as well of the imperial line, as of other noble houses. But it was neither guilt of crime, nor treason of state, that could quench the envy that was upon the King 10 for this execution : so that he thought good to export it out of the land, and to lay it upon his new ally, Ferdinando King of Spain. For these two Kings understanding one another at half a word, so it was that there were letters shewed out of Spain, whereby in the passages concerning 15 the treaty of marriage, Ferdinando had written to the King in plain terms, that he saw no assurance of his succession, as long as the earl of Warwick lived; and that he was loth to send his daughter to troubles and dangers. But hereby, as the King did in some part remove the envy 20
from himself; so he did not observe, that he did withal : bring a kind of malediction and infausting upon the
marriage, as an ill prognostic: which in event so far proved true, as both Prince Arthur enjoyed a very small time after the marriage, and the lady Catharine herself, 25 a sad and a religious woman, long after, when King Henry the eighth his resolution of a divorce from her was first made known to her, used some words, that she had not offended, but it was a judgment of God, for that her former marriage was made in blood; meaning that of the earl of 30 Warwick.
This fifteenth year of the King, there was a great plague both in London and in divers parts of the kingdom.
Wherefore the King, after often change of places, whether to avoid the danger of the sickness, or to give occasion of an interview with the archduke, or both, sailed over with his Queen to Calais. Upon his coming thither, the arch5 duke sent an honourable embassage unto him as well to
welcome him into those parts, as to let him know, that, if it pleased him, he would come and do him reverence. But it was said withal, that the King might be pleased to
appoint some place, that were out of any walled town oi 10 fortress, for that he had denied the same upon like occasion
to the French King: and though, he said, he made a great difference between the two Kings, yet he would be loth to give a precedent, that might make it after to be expected
at his hands, by another whom he trusted less. The King 15 accepted of the courtesy, and admitted of his excuse, and
appointed the place to be at Saint Peter's church without Calais. But withal he did visit the archduke with ambassadors sent from himself, which were the lord Saint
John, and the secretary; unto whom the archduke did the 20 honour, as going to mass at Saint Omer's, to set the lord
Saint John on his right hand, and the secretary on his left, and so to ride between them to church. The day appointed for the interview the King went on horseback
some distance from Saint Peter's church, to receive the 25
archduke: and upon their approaching, the archduke made haste to light, and offered to hold the King's stirrup at his alighting; which the King would not permit, but descending from horseback, they embraced with great af
fection; and withdrawing into the church to a place pre30 pared, they had long conference, not only upon the
confirmation of former treaties, and the freeing of commerce, but upon cross marriages, to be had between the duke of York the King's second son, and the archduke's