toward the city. But anon the tidings of this matter came hastily to the queen a little before the midnight following, and that in the sorest wise, that the king, her son, was taken, her brother, her son, and her other friends arrested and sent no man wist whither, to be done with God wot what. With which tidings the queen in great fright and heaviness, bewailing her child's ruin, her friends' mischance, and her own infortune, damning the time that ever she dissuaded the gathering of power about the king, gat herself in all haste possible, with her younger son and her daughters, out of the palace of Westminster, in which she then lay, into the sanctuary, lodging herself and her company there, in the abbot's place.

Now came there one in likewise, not long after midnight, from the lord-chamberlain, unto the archbishop of York, then chancellor of England, to his place not far from Westminster. And for that he shewed his servants that he had tidings of so great importance, that his master gave him in charge not to forbear his rest, they letted not to wake him, nor he to admit this messenger in to his bed-side. Of whom he heard, that these dukes were gone back with the king's grace from Stony Stratford unto Northampton. Notwithstanding, Sir, quoth he, my lord sendeth your lordship word, that there is no fear; for he assureth you that all shall be well. I assure him, quoth the archbishop, be it as well as it will, it will never be so well as we have seen it.

And thereupon, by and by, after the messenger departed, · Vol. II.

he caused in all haste all his servants to be called-up; and so with his own household about him, and every man weaponed, he took the great seal with him, and came yet before day unto the queen. About whom he found much heaviness, rumble, haste, and business, carriage and conveyance of her stuff into sanctuary, chests, coffers, packs, fardels, trusses, all on mens' backs, no man unoccupied, some lading, some going, some discharging, some coming for more, some breaking down the walls to bring in the next way, and some yet drew to them that help to carry a wrong way. The queen herself sat alone, alow on the rushes, all desolate and dismayed; whom the archbishop comforted in the best manner he could, shewing her that he trusted the matter was nothing so sore as she took it for, and that he was put in good hope and out of fear, by the message sent him from the lord-chamberlain.

Ah woe worthy him, quoth she, for he is one of them that laboureth to destroy me and my blood. Madam, quoth he, be you of good cheer; for I assure you if they crown any other king than your son, whom they now have with them, we shall on the morrow crown his brother whom you have here with you. And here is the great seal, which in like wise as that noble prince your husband delivered it unto me, so here I deliver it unto you to the use and behoof of your son. And therewith he betook her the great seal, and departed home again yet in the dawning of the day.

By which time he might, in his chamber window, see all the Thames full of boats of the duke of Gloucester's servants, watching that no man should go to sanctuary, nor none could pass unsearched. Then was there great commotion and murmur, as well in other places about as specially in the city, the people diversly divining upon this dealing. And some lords, knights, and gentlemen, either for favour of the queen or for fear of themselves, assembled in sundry companies and went flockmeal in harness (armour); and many also, for that they reckoned this demeanour, attempted not so specially against the other lords, as against the king himself in the disturbance of his coronation.

But then by and by the lords assembled together at Toward which meeting, the archbishop of York, fearing that it would be ascribed (as it was indeed) to his overmuch lightness, that he so suddenly had yielded-up the great seal to the queen, to whom the custody thereof nothing pertained without especial commandment of the king, secretly sent for the seal again, and brought it with him after the customable manner. And at this meeting, the Lord Hastings, whose truth toward the king no man doubted nor needed to doubt, persuaded the lords to believe that the duke of Gloucester was sure and fastly faithful to his prince; and that the Lord Rivers and Lord Richard, ith the other knights, were, for matters attempted by them against the dukes of Gloucester and Buckingham, put under arrest for their surety, not for the king's jeopardy. And that they were also in safeguard, and there no longer should remain than till the matter were, not by the dukes only, but also by all the other lords of the king's council, indifferently examined, and by other discretions ordered and either judged or appeased.

But one thing he advised them beware, that they judged not the matter too far-forth ere they knew the truth ; nor, turning their private grudges into the common hurt, exciting and provoking men unto anger, and disturbing the king's coronation (toward which the dukes were coming up), that they might peradventure bring the matter so far out of joint, that it should never be brought in frame again. Which strife, if it should hap, as it were likely, to come to a field, though both parties were in all other things equal, yet should the authority be on that side where the king is himself.

With these persuasions of the Lord Hastings, whereof part himself believed, of part he wist the contrary, these commotions were somewhat appeased. But specially by that, that the dukes of Gloucester and Buckingham were so near, and came so shortly on with the king, in none other manner, with none other voice or semblance, than to his coronation ; causing the fame to be blown about, that these lords and knights who were taken, had contrived the destruction of the dukes of Gloucester and Buckingham, and of other the noble blood of the realm, to the end that themselves would alone demean and govern the king at their pleasure.

And for the colourable proof thereof, such of the dukes servants as rode with the carts of their stuff that were taken (among which stuff no marvail, though some were harness, which, at the breaking-up of that household, must needs either be brought away or cast away), they shewed unto the people all the way as they went; lo here be the barrels of harness that these traitors had privily conveyed in their carriage, to destroy the noble lords withal. This device, albeit that it made the matter to wise men more unlikely, well perceiving that the intenders of such a purpose would rather have had their harness on their backs than to have bound them up in barrels, yet much part of the common people were therewith very well satisfied, and said it were almoise to hang them.

When the king approached near to the city, Edmund Sha, goldsmith, then mayor, with William White and John Mathewe, sheriffs, and all the other aldermen in scarlet, with five hundred horse of the citizens in violet, received him reverently at Hornsey; and riding from thence, accompanied him into the city, which he entered the fourth day of May, the first and last year of his reign. But the duke of Gloucester bare him in open sight so reverently to the prince, with all semblance of lowliness, that from the great obloquy in which he was so late before, he was suddenly fallen in so great trust, that at the council next asseinbled, he was made the only man chose and thought most meet, to be protector of the king and his realm; so that, were it destiny or were it folly, the lamb was betaken to the wolf to keep.

« VorigeDoorgaan »