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Arthur, fo long as the Earl of Warwick was alive.' Strange fort of Apology this! as if a Marriage with the Princefs of Spain was fo neceffary for England, that it must be purchafed with Blood; but if it was not requifite for the State, it was very beneficial for the King, who was to receive 200,000 Crowns of Gold for Catherine's Dowry, which alone would have induced him to facrifice the Earl of Warwick; and on the like Motive he beheaded the Lord Chamberlain; but many were of Opinion, that what Henry published, concerning King Ferdinand, was only a Pretence, fince Arthur's Marriage with Catherine by Proxy was folemnized the 19th of May this very Year, before the Earl of Warwick's Death. On Henry the VIIIth's divorcing Catherine, fhe faid, That she had not offended, but it was a Judgment of God; for that her former Marriage was made in Blood.
A Dunghill was thy Cradle. So a Puddle,
Lamb. He's paft
Recovery, a Bedlam cannot cure him!
Urfw. Away, inform the King of his Behaviour.
Lamb. Perkin, beware the Rope, the Hangman's coming.
Enter Oxford, Dawbeney, Huntley; Sheriff and Officers, Sketon,
Aftley, Heron, and Mayor.
Oxf. Look'ee, behold your Followers appointed
To wait on thee in Death,
Warbeck being justly executed, and the Earl of Warwick butchered, the King next ordered Blewit and Aftwood, two of the Lieutenant of the Tower's Servants, to be profecuted as Traitors, for aiding and abetting Perkin and the Earl in their Escape; for which Offence they were convicted, and executed at Tyburn.
Warb. Why, Peers of England!
We'll lead them on courageoufly. I read
A Triumph over Tyranny upon
Their several Foreheads. Faint not in the Moment
Death! Pish, 'tis but a Sound, a Name of Air;
Shall blaze our Names, and stile us KINGS O'ER DEATH.
Hunt. I have
[Ex. all Officers and Prisoners.
Not Thoughts left, 'tis fufficient in fuch Cafes
Juft Laws ought to proceed.
Enter King Henry, Durham.
K. Henry. We are refolv'd:
Your Bufinefs (noble Lords) shall find Success,
Such as your King importunes.
Hunt. You are gracious.
K. Henry. Perkin, we are inform'd, is arm'd to die;
In that we'll honour him; our Lords fhall follow
To fee the Execution; and from hence
We gather this fit Ufe, that publick States,
However, the Death of these different Perfons paffed not without fevere Reflections upon the King; first, that he suffered Perkin to escape, that he might have a Pretence to get rid of him; fecond, that he was kept in the Tower as a Bait to enfnare the Earl of Warwick, that he might at one Stroke, under the Shew of Juftice, destroy both his Enemy and Compe
Notwithstanding the King had swept so many off, more Work was cut out for him; for, while Perkin and the Earl of Warwick were in the Tower, another Pretender was fet on Foot by an Austin Friar, who had a Scholar named Ralph Wilford, a Shoemaker's Son, who the Friar caused to perfonate the Earl, as lately by good Fortune escaped out of the Tower : They went together into Kent, where, tho' the Friar found he had but little Credit, he had the Confidence to declare Ralph the true Earl of Warwick openly in the Pulpit, and defired all good Subjects to affift him; but this Cheat was foon difcovered, the Friar and Ralph were apprehended, and foon after tried and convicted. Poor Ralph was hanged on Shrove Tuesday, at St. Thomas a Waterings, near Southwark, in Surry; and the Friar was condemned to perpetual Imprisonment; for at that time fo much Refpect was paid to Holy Orders, that the Life of a Prieft, tho' he had committed High Treafon, was spared.
Some have offered, in Excufe for his Majefty's fevere Proceedings against the Earl of Warwick, that thefe repeated Counterfeits fo exafperated the King against him, tho' innocent in himself, that it put him upon finding out a Pretence to bring the Earl to his unhappy End. But neither one Pretence nor the other could ever allay the Cenfures that juftly remained on Henry, for putting that unhappy Prince to Death fo undefervedly.
The King, tho' peftered with thefe different Impostors and Rebellions, did not forget to promote the Discovery of the new Lands in the Weft-Indies; for which Purpose he granted a Patent to John Cabot, a Venetian, and three of his Sons to go with five Ships under English Colours, on thefe Terms: That, after all Charges deducted, they fhould give the King a Fifth of the Profits; which they undertook, and engaged to land at Bristol at their Return; but it does not appear in History what was made of this Expedition.
Mr. Wolfey still continued at Oxford, indefatigably employing his Time in Studying and Teaching. But before Christmas this Year, the Marquefs of Dorfet was pleased to fend for his Sons home, and requested Wolfey to attend them, in order to keep that Festival at his Lordship's Seat.
The Marquefs received Wolfey very kindly, who had not been long with this wife Statefman before he discovered his fine Genius; and his Lordship, upon Examination, finding his Sons were much improved in their Learning far beyond what he expected, he expreffed his Satisfaction thereat: And as the Living of Lymington in his Gift was vacant, he bestowed it unasked on his Sons Schoolmaster; and, at the same time intimated, that he should be glad on all Occafions to do him Service.
After the Holidays were over, Wolfey returned to Oxford with his Charge, highly delighted with the kind and generous Treatment he had met with from his Patron, which feemed to prognofticate further Preferment. With which Incident we fhall conclude the Year 1499, in respect to the Affairs of England. We left the Emperor in his German Dominions, regulating the Government of the different States belonging to the Imperial Crown. After this was effected, and Spain, he returned into the Low Countries, the
Guardianship of which he then refigned to his Son Philip, tho' three Years under Age.
During the first Part of the Rebellion raised by Perkin and his Adherents, all Correspondence between England and Flanders had been broke off; Philip therefore took this Opportunity of fending Ambaffadors to King Henry, to notify the taking upon himfelf the Government of the Low Countries, and to folicit the renewing a Treaty of Commerce with England. They were graciously received by his Majefty, and found no Difficulty in fucceeding in their Commifsion, it being no lefs neceffary for the English than the Flemings: And, February the 24th, a Treaty in form was concluded at London, which proved fatisfactory to both Nations.
A Marriage having been propofed between young Philip, then eighteen Years old, and the Infanta Jane, one of the Daughters of Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of Spain. Maximilian expreffed his Defire of feeing it accomplished, which took place accordingly; and, notwithstanding the Infanta's feeming Distance from the Succeffion, (the Infant John, her elder Brother, who was afterwards married to Philip's Sifter, and the Infanta Ifabella, her eldest Sister, Wife to Emanuel, King of Portugal, intervening) fhe unexpectedly, by the Deaths of her Brother, Sister, and their refpective Children, at last became fole Heiress of the Kingdom of Spain: Thus the Alliance by this Union was no lefs advantageous to the House of Auftria, than was that of Maximilian to the Heiress of Burgundy.
In October this Year, the young Lady Jane arrived in the Low Countries, and foon after was publickly married to Philip. The fame Ships that brought Jane into Flanders, carried Margaret, Philip's Sifter, into Spain, where her Marriage with Don John, King Ferdinand's only Son, was confummated.