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that he could dissemble at home, the more he did belief, as an ill measuring of the forces of the urge the prosecution of the war, the more he did, other party. at the same tiine, urge the solicitation of the For, as was partly touched before, the king peace. Insomuch as during the siege of Nantz, had cast the business thus with himself. He took after many letters and particular messages, the it for granted, in his own judgment, that the war better to maintain his dissimulation, and to refresh of Britain, in respect of the strength of the towns the treaty, he sent Barnard D’Aubigney, a person and of the party, could not speedily come to a peof good quality, to the king, earnestly to desire riod. For he conceived, that the counsels of a him to make an end of the business how- war, that was undertaken by the French king, ļ
then childless, against an heir apparent of France, The king was no less ready to revive and would be very faint and slow; and, besides, that quicken the treaty; and thereupon sent three it was not possible, but that the state of France commissioners, the abbot of Abingdon, Sir should be embroiled with some troubles and alRichard Tunstal, and chaplain Urswick formerly terations in favour of the Duke of Orleans. He employed, to do their utmost endeavours to man- conceived likewise, that Maximilian, King of the age the treaty roundly and strongly.
Romans, was a prince, warlike and potent; who, About this time the Lord Woodville, uncle to he made account, would give succours to the Brithe queen, a valiant gentleman, an desirous of tains roundly. So then judging it would be a honour, sued to the king that he might raise some work of time, he laid his plot how he might best power of voluntaries underhand, and without li- make use of that time for his own affairs. Wherecense or passport (wherein the king might any in first he thought to make his vantage upon his ways appear) go to the aid of the Duke of Britain. parliament; knowing that they being affectionate The king denied his request, or at least seemed unto the quarrel of Britain, would give treasure so to do, and laid strait commandment upon him largely; which treasure, as a noise of war might that he should not stir, for that the king thought draw forth, so a peace succeeding might coffer up. his honour would suffer therein, during a treaty, to And because he knew his people were hot upon better a party. Nevertheless this lord, either being the business, he chose rather to seem to be deceivunruly, or out of conceit that the king would not ed and lulled asleep by the French than to be backinwardly dislike that, which he would not openly ward in himself; considering his subjects were not avow, sailed directly over to the Isle of Wight, so fully capable of the reasons of state, which whereof he was governor, and levied a fair troop made him hold back. Wherefore to all these of four hundred men, and with them passed over purposes he saw no other expedient, than to set into Britain, and joined himself with the duke's and keep on foot a continual treaty of peace, layforces. The news whereof, when it came to the ing down, and taking it up again, as the occurrence French court, put divers young bloods into such a required. Besides, he had in consideration the fury, as the English ambassadors were not with-point of honour, in bearing the blessed person of out peril to be outraged. But the French king, a pacificator. He thought likewise to make use both to preserve the privilege of ambassadors, and of the envy that the French king met with by ocbeing conscious to himself that in the business of casion of this war of Britain, in strengthening peace he himself was the greater dissembler of the himself with new alliances; as, namely, that of two, forbad all injuries of fact or word against their Ferdinando of Spain, with whom he had ever a persons or followers. And presently came an consent even in nature and customs; and likewise agent from the king, to purge himself touching with Maximilian, who was particularly interestthe Lord Woodville's going over; using for a ed. So that in substance he promised himself principal argument, to demonstrate that it was money, honour, friends, and peace in the end. But * without his privity, for that the troops were so those things were too fine to be fortunate and sucsmall, as neither had the face of a succour by au- ceed in all parts; for that great affairs are comthority, nor could much advance the Britain af- monly too rough and stubborn to be wrought upon fairs. To which message, although the French by the finer edges or points of wit. The king was king gave no full credit, yet he made fair weather likewise deceived in his two main grounds. For with the king, and seemed satisfied. Soon after although he had reason to conceive that the counthe English ambassadors returned, having two of cil of France would be wary to put the king into them been likewise with the Duke of Britain, and a war against the heir apparent of France; yet he found things in no other ternis than they were be- did not consider that Charles was not guided by fore. Upon their return, they informed the king any of the principal of the blood or nobility, but of the state of the affairs, and how far the French by mean men, who would make it their masterking was from any true meaning of peace; and piece of credit and favour, to give venturous countherefore he was now to advise of some other sels which no great or wise man durst or would. course; neither was the king himself led all this And for Maximilian, he was thought then a greatwhile with credulity merely, as was generally er matter than he was; his unstable and necess: supposed; but his error was not so much facility of tous courses being not then known. VOL. 1.-42
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After consultation with the ambassadors, who “ And the better to open your understandings brought him no other news than he expected be in this affair, the king bath commanded me to say fore, though he would not seem to know it till then, somewhat to you from him, of the persons that do he presently summoned his parliament, and in intervene in this business; and somewhat of the open parliament propounded the cause of Britain consequence thereof, as it hath relation to this to both houses, by his chancellor, Morton, Arch- kingdom, and somewhat of the example of it in bishop of Canterbury, who spake to this effect. general; making nevertheless no conclusion or
My lords and masters, the king's grace, our judgment of any point, until his grace hath resovereign lord, hath commanded me to declare unto ceived your faithful and politic advices. you the causes that have moved him at this time to « First, for the king our sovereign hins If, who summon this his parliament; which I shall do in is the principal person you are to eye in tais busifew words, craving pardon of his grace, and you ness; his grace doth profess, that he tiny and all, if I perform it not as I would.
constantly desireth to reign in peace. Uut his • His grace doth first of all let you know, that he grace saith he will neither buy peace with disretaineth in thankful memory the love and loyalty honour, nor take it up at interest of danu i to enshown to him by you, at your last meeting, in sue; but shall think it a good change, it please establishment of his royalty; freeing and dis- God to change the inward troubles and. ditions charging of his partakers, and confiscation of his wherewith he hath been hitherto (Xered into traitors and rebels; more than which could not an honourable foreign war. And for t e other come from subjects to their sovereign in one action. two persons in this action, the French ng and This he taketh so well at your hands, as he hath the Duke of Britain, his grace doth deti re unto made it a resolution to himself to communicate you, that they be the men unto whom in is of all with so loving and well-approved subjects, in all other friends and allies most bounden: he one affairs that are of public nature at home or abroad. having held over him his hand of proteti n from
“. Two therefore are the causes of your present the tyrant; the other having reached frih unto assembling : the one a foreign business, the other him his hand of help for the recovery of his king. matter of government at home.
dom. So that his affection toward tit. in his “ The French king, as no doubt ye have heard, natural person is upon equal terms. An wheremaketh at this present hot war upon the Duke of as you may have heard that his grace was enBritain. His army is now before Nantz, and forced to fly out of Britain into France for doubts holdeth it straitly besieged, being the principal of being betrayed, his grace would not in any sort city, if not in ceremony and pre-eminence, yet in have that reflect upon the Duke of Britain in destrength and wealth of that duchy. Ye may facement of his former benefits; for that he is guess at his hopes, by his attempting of the hard- thoroughly informed, that it was but the practice est part of the war first. The cause of this war of some corrupt persons about him, during the he knoweth best. He allegeth the entertaining time of his sickness, altogether without his conand succouring of the Duke of Orleans, and some sent or privity. other French lords, whom the king taketh for his “ But howsoever these things do interest his enemies. Others divine of other matters. Both grace in this particular, yet he knoweth well that parts have, by their ambassadors, divers times the higher bond that tieth him to procure by all prayed the king's aids: the French king aids or means the safety and welfare of his loving subneutrality; the Britains aids simply; for so their jects, doth disinterest him of these obligations of case requireth. The king, as a Christian prince, gratitude otherwise than thus; that if his grace and blessed son of the holy church, hath offered be forced to make a war, he do it without passion himself as a mediator to treat of a peace between or ambition. them. The French king yieldeth to treat, but “For the consequence of this action towards. will not stay the prosecution of the war. The this kingdom, it is much as the French king's inBritains that desire peace most hearken to it least; tention is. For if it be no more, but to range his not
upon confidence or stiffness, but upon distrust subjects to reason, who bear themselves stout of true meaning, seeing the war goes on. So as upon the strength of the Duke of Britain, it is nothe king, after as much pains and care to effect a thing to us. But if it be in the French king's peace as ever he took in any business, not being purpose, or if it should not be in his purpose, yet able to remove the prosecution on the one side if it shall follow all one, as if it were sought, that nur the distrust on the other, caused by that pro- the French king shall make a province of Britain. secution, hath let fall the treaty; not repenting and join it to the crown of France; then it is of it, but despairing of it now as not likely to suc- worthy the consideration, how this may iinport ceed. Therefore by this narrative you now under- England, as well in the increasement of the greatstand the state of the question, whereupon the ness of France, by the addition of such a country,
ing prayeth your advice; which is no other, but that stretcheth his boughs unto our seas, as in de whether he shall enter into an auxiliary and de- priving this nation, and leaving it naked of so fensive war for the Britains against France ? firm and assured confederates as the Britains bara
always been. For then it will come to pass, that him to sheath his sword, as he greatly desired, whereas not long since this realm was mighty otherwise than for administration of justice, but upon the continent, first in territory, and after in that he hath been forced to draw it so oft, to cut alliance, in respect of Burgundy and Britain, off traitorous and disloyal subjects, whom, it which were confederates indeed, but dependent seems, God hath left, a few amongst many good, confederates ; now the one being already cast, as the Canaanites amongst the people of Israel, partly into the greatness of France, and partly in- to be thorns in their sides, to tempt and try them; to that of Austria, the other is like wholly to be though the end hath been always, God's name be cast into the greatness of France ; and this island blessed therefore, that the destruction hath fallen shall remain confined in effect within the salt upon their own heads. waters, and girt about with the coast countries “Wherefore his grace saith ; Thạt he seeth that of two mighty monarchs.
it is not the blood spilt in the field that will save “ For the example, it resteth likewise upon the the blood in the city ; nor the marshal's sword same question, upon the French king's intent. that will set this kingdom in perfect peace : but For if Britain be carried and swallowed up by that the true way is, to stop the seeds of sedition France, as the world abroad, apt to impute and and rebellion in their beginnings; and for that construe the actions of princes to ambition, con- purpose to devise, confirm, and quicken good and ceive it will; then it is an example very danger- wholesome laws against riots, and unlawful asous and universal, that the lesser neiglıbour state semblies of people, and all combinations and conshould be devoured of the greater. For this may federacies of them, by liveries, tokens, and other be the case of Scotland towards England; of Por- badges of factious dependence; that the peace of tugal towards Spain; of the smaller estates of the land may by these ordinances, as by bars of Italy towards the greater; and su of Germany; iron, be soundly bound in and strengthened, and or as if some of you of the commons might not all force, both in court, country, and private live and dwell safely besides some of these great houses, be supprest. The care hereof, which so lords. And the bringing in of this simple will much concerneth yourselves, and which the nabe chiefly laid to the king's charge, as to him that ture of the times doth instantly call for, his grace was most interested and most ablet forbid it. commends to your wisdoms.. But then on the other side, there is so tuir a pre- “ And because it is the king's desire, that this text on the French king's part, and yet pretext is peace, wherein he hopeth to govern
and maintain never wanting to power, in regard the danger im- you, do not bear only unto you leaves, for you to minent to his own estate is such as may make this sit under the shade of them in safety: but also enterprise seem rather a work of necessity than should bear you fruit of riches, wealth, and plenof ambition, as doth in reason correct the danger ty; therefore his grace prays you to take into of the example. For that the example of that consideration matter of trade, as also the manuwhich is done in a man's own defence cannot be factures of the kingdom, and to repress the bastard dangerous ; because it is another's power to avoid and barren employment of moneys to usury and it. But in all this business the king remits him- unlawful exchanges; that they may be, as their self to your grave and mature advice, whereupon natural use is, turned upon commerce, and lawful he purposeth to rely."
and royal trading. And likewise that our people This was the effect of the Lord Chancellor's be set on work in arts and handicrafts; that the speech touching the cause of Britain ; for the realm may subsist more of itself; that idleness king had commanded him to carry it so as to af- be avoided, and the draining out of our treasure fect the parliament towards the business : but for foreign manufactures stopped.
But you are without engaging the king in any express decla- not to rest here only, but to provide further, that ration.
whatsoever merchandise shall be brought in from The chancellor went on:
beyond the seas, may be employed upon the com“ For that which may concern the government modities of this land; whereby the kingdom's at home, the king hath commanded me to say un- stock of treasure may be sure to be kept from to you, that he thinketh there was never any king, being diminished by any over-trading of the for the small time that he hath reigned, had foreigner. greater and juster cause of the two contrary pas- 66 And lastly, because the king is well assured, sions of joy and sorrow than his grace hath. Joy that you would not have him poor that wishes you in respect of the rare and visible favours of Al- rich; he doubteth not but that you will have care mighty God, in girding the imperial sword upon as well to maintain his revenues of customs and his side, and assisting the same his sword against all other natures, as also to supply him with your all his enemies; and likewise in blessing him with loving aids, if the case shall so require. The 80 many good and loving servants and subjects rather, for that you know the king is a good huswhich have never failed to give him faithful coun- band, and but a steward in effect for the public ; sel, ready obedience, and courageous defence. and that what comes from you is but as moisture Sorrow, for that it hath not pleased God to suffer drawn from the earth, which gathers into a cloud,
and falls back upon the earth again. And you cours into Britain ; which he did under the conknow well how the kingdoms about you grow duct of Robert, Lord Brooke, to the number of more and more in greatness, and the times are eight thousand choice men and well armed; who stirring, and therefore not fit to find the king with having a fair wind, in few hours landed in Brian empty purse. More I have not to say to you; tain, and joined themselves forthwith to those and wish that what hath been said had been bet- Briton forces that remained after the defeat, and ter expressed: but that your wisdoms and good marched straight on to find the enemy, and enaffections will supply. God bless your doings.” camped fast by them. The French wisely hus
It was no hard matter to dispose and affect the banding the possession of a victory, and well acparliament in this business, as well in respect of quainted with the courage of the English, espethe emulation between the nations, and the envy cially when they are fresh, kept themselves withat the late growth of the French monarchy; as in in their trenches, being strongly lodged, and reregard of the danger to suffer the French to make solved not to give battle. But meanwhile, to their approaches upon England, by obtaining so harass and weary the English, they did upon all goodly a maritime province, full of sea-towns advantages set upon them with their light horse; and havens, that might do mischief to the Eng- wherein nevertheless they received commonly lish, either by invasion or by interruption of traf- loss, especially by means of the English archers. fic. The parliament was also moved with the But upon these achievements Francis, Duke of point of oppression; for although the French Britain, deceased ; an accident that the king seemed to speak reason, yet arguments are ever might easily have foreseen, and ought to have reckwith multitudes too weak for suspicions. Where- oned upon and provided for, but that the point of fore they did advise the king roundly to embrace reputation, when news first came of the battle lost, the Britons' quarrel, and to send them speedy that somewhat must be done, did overbear the aids; and with much alacrity and forwardness reason of war. granted to the king a great rate of subsidy in con- After the duke's decease, the principal persons templation of these aids. But the king, both to of Britain, partly bought, partly through faction, keep a decency towards the French king, to whom put all things into confusion; so as the English he profest himself to be obliged, and indeed de- not finding head or body with whom to join their siřous rather to show war than to make it, sent forces, and being in jealousy of friends, as well new solemn ambassadors to intimate unto him the as in danger of enemies, and the winter begun, decree of his estates, and to iterate his motion, returned home five months after their landing. So that the French would desist from hostility; or if the battle of St. Alban, the death of the duke, and war must follow, to desire him to take it in good the retire of the English succours, were after part, if, at the motion of his people, who were sen- some time, the causes of the loss of that duchy; sible of the cause of the Britons as their ancient which action some accounted as a blemish of the friends and confederates, he did send them suc- king's judgment, but most but as the misfortune cours; with protestation nevertheless, that, to of his times. save all treaties and laws of friendship, he had But howsoever the temporary fruit of the parlimited his forces, to proceed in aid of the Britons, liament, in their aid and advice given for Britain, but in nowise to war upon the French, otherwise took not, nor prospered not; yet the lasting fruit than as they maintained the possession of Britain. of parliament, which is good and wholesome laws, But before this formal ambassage arrived, the did prosper, and doth yet continue to this day. party of the duke had received a great blow, and For, according to the lord chancellor's admonigrew to manifest declination. For near the town tion, there were that parliament divers excellent of St. Alban in Britain, a battle had been given, laws ordained concerning the points which the where the Britons were overthrown, and the Duke king recommended. of Orleans and the Prince of Orange taken pri- First, the authority of the star-chamber, which soners, there being slain on the Britains' part six before subsisted by the ancient common laws of thousand men, and amongst them the Lord the realm, was confirmed in certain cases by act Woodville, and almost all his soldiers, valiantly of parliament. This court is one of the sagest fighting. And of the French part, one thousand and noblest institutions of this kingdom. For in two hundred, with their leader James Galeot, a the distribution of courts of ordinary justice, begreat commander.
sides the high court of parliament, in which dis. When the news of this battle came over into tribution the king's bench holdeth the pleas of the England, it was time for the king, who now had crown, the common-place pleas civil, the exche no snbterfuge to continue further treaty, and saw quer pleas concerning the king's revenue, and before his eyes that Britain went so speedily for the chancery the pretorian power for mitigating lost, contrary to his hopes: knowing also that the rigour of law, in case of extremity, by the with his people, and foreigners both, he sustained conscience of a good man; there was nevertheless no small envy and disreputation for his former de always reserved a high and pre-eminent power to lays, to despatch with all possible speed his suc- the king's council in causes that might in exam.
ple or consequence concern the state of the com- / general, and repressing of murders and manmonwealth; which, if they were criminal, the slaughters, and was in amendment of the common council used to sit in the chamber called the star laws of the realm, being this: That whereas by chamber; if civil, in the white chamber or white the common law the king's suit, in case of bohall. And as the chancery had the pretorian micide, did expect the year and the day, allowed power for equity, so the star-chamber had the cen- to the party's suit by way of appeal ; and that it sorian power for offences under the degree of was found by experience that the party was many capital. This court of star chamber is compound-times compounded with, and many times wearied ed of good elements, for it consisteth of four kinds with the suit, so that in the end such suit was let of persons, counsellors, peers, prelates, and chief fall, and by that time the matter was in a manner judges. It discerneth also principally of four forgotten, and thereby prosecution at the king's kinds of causes, forces, frauds, crimes various of suit by indictment, which is ever best, “ flagrante stellionate, and the inchoations or middle acts to- crimine,” neglected; it was ordained, that the wards crimes capital or heinous, not actually suit by indictment might be taken as well at any committed or perpetrated. But that which was time within the year and the day as after; not principally aimed at by this act was force, and prejudicing nevertheless the party's suit. the two chief supports of force, combination of The king began also then, as well in wisdom multitudes, and maintenance or headship of great as in justice, to pare a little the privilege of clerpersons.
gy, ordaining that clerks convict should be burned From the general peace of the country the king's in the hand, both because they might taste of some care went on to the peace of the king's house, and corporal punishment, and that they might carry a the security of his great officers and counsellors. brand of infamy. But for this good act's sake But this law was somewhat of a strange compo- the king himself was after branded, by Perkin's sition and temper. That if any of the king's ser-proclamation, for an execrable breaker of the rites vants under the degree of a lord, do conspire the of holy church. death of any of the king's council or lord of the Another law was made for the better peace of realm, it is made capital. This law was thought the country ; by which law the king's officers and to be procured by the lord chancellor, who being farmers were to forfeit their places and holds in a stern and haughty man, and finding he had case of unlawful retainer, or partaking in routs some mortal enemies in court, provided for his and unlawful assemblies. own safety; drowning the envy of it in a general These were the laws that were made for relaw, by communicating the privilege with all other pressing of force, which those times did chiefly counsellors and peers, and yet not daring to ex- require; and were so prudently framed, as they tend it further than to the king's servants in check- are found fit for all succeeding times, and so conroll, lest it should have been too harsh to the gen-tinue to this day. tlemen and other commons of the kingdom, who There were also made good and politic laws might have thought their ancient liberty, and the that parliament, against usury, which is the basclemency of the laws of England invaded, if the tard use of money; and against unlawful chiewill in any case of felony should be made the deed. vances and exchanges, which is bastard usury; And yet the reason which the act yieldeth, that and also for the security of the king's customs; is to say, that he that conspireth the death of coun- and for the employment of the procedures of sel'ors may be thought indirectly, and by a mean, foreign commodities, brought in by merchant to conspire the death of the king himself, is indiff- strangers, upon the nativecommodities of the realm; erent to all subjects, as well as to servants in together with some other laws of less importance. court. But it seemeth this sufficed to serve the But howsoever the laws made in that parliaiord chancellor's turn at this time. But yet he ment did bear good and wholesome fruit; yet the lived to need a general law, for that he grew after- subsidy granted at the same time bare a fruit that wards as odious to the country as he was then to proved harsh and bitter. «All was inned at last the court.
into the king's barn, but it was after a storm. From the peace of the king's house, the king's For when the commissioners entered into the care extended to the peace of private houses and taxation of the subsidy in Yorkshire, and the families. For there was an excellent moral law bishopric of Duresme; the people upon a sudden nioulded thus; the taking and carrying away of grew into great mutiny, and said openly, That women forcibly and against their will, except fe- they had endured of late years a thousand miseries, male wards and bond-women, was made capital. and neither could nor would pay the subsidy. The parliament wisely and justly conceiving that This no doubt proceeded not simply of any present the obtaining of women by force unto possession, necessity, but much by reason of the old humour howsoever afterwards assent might follow by al- of those countries, where the memory of King lurements, was but a rape drawn forth in length, Richard was so strong, that it lay like lees in the because the first force drew on all the rest. bottom of men's hearts; and if the vessel was but
There was made also another law for peace in stirred it would come up. And, no doubt, it was