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People, he forthwith gave Orders for the King's Coronation. In the mean time he fecretly contrived with the Duke of Buckingham to fix the Crown upon his own Head, and for that Purpose he took care to difmifs all the old Minifters from their Pofts, except the Lord Haftings, who was continued Lord Chamberlain, tho' he believed him to be a fast Friend to the King. After he had modelled the Council to his Liking, he prevailed on them to consent, that the Earl of Rivers, and the reft of the Prisoners at Pontefract Caftle fhould lofe their Heads: Accordingly an Order was fent down to Sir Richard Radcliffe, the Governor, to fee the Execution performed.

A few Days after, Richard called a fecret Council of his Creatures, who agreed in Opinion, that the Protector would more easily fucceed in his Project, in cafe he could draw the Lord Haftings from the King's Interefts; but, he being found immoveable, his Ruin was refolved on, and effected in the following Manner. A Council was held on the 13th of June in the Tower, where Haftings attended, and Gloucester came to them about Nine in the Morning, feemed extremely merry, and foon left the Room, defiring they would proceed in their Confultations without him. About an Hour after he returned frowning, and a time remained filent; and when he fpoke, he demanded in an angry Tone, What Punifoment they deferved, who had confpired against his Life? It was anfwered, They ought to be punifhed as Traytors. Gloucester then named the Queen and Shore's Wife as the principal Parties concerned. Haftings (who had taken the latter to his Bed) replied, If they had been guilty of fuch Practices they deferved to be feverely punished.-Doft thou answer me with Ifs and Ands? fays the Protector. I tell thee they are guilty, and that I will make it good upon thy Body, Traytor! Gloucefter had no fooner uttered the laft Expreffion, than a Cry of Treafon was heard without, and a Company of armed Men rushed into the Council Cham

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ber, one of whom wounded the Lord Stanley. Then the Protector ordered Haftings, Stanley, the Archbifhop of York, and the Bishop of Ely, to be taken into Cultody, and, leaving the Council Chamber abruptly, declared, He would not dine till Haftings's Head was ftruck off. In brief, he was hurried to the Towergreen, and, being allowed only Time to make a fhort Confeffion to a Prieft, was there beheaded, at the very Inftant the Earl of Rivers, the Lord Grey, and others, were executed at Pontefract, in the fame illegal Manner; to whofe Deaths the Lord Haftings had confented, which occafioned Sir Walter Raleigh to fay, That a greater Judgment than this upon Haftings he • had never observed in Story.'

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Gloucester, the better to put a Colour upon the barbarous Murder of Haftings, as foon as he had dined, fent in all Hafte for feveral fubftantial Citizens to come to him in the Tower; and, against their Coming, he and his Agent Buckingham harneffed themfelves in old rufty Armour, as tho' fome fudden and imminent Danger had neceffitated them thereunto for their own Defence: When the Citizens were introduced, he told them, That the Lord Haftings, and others of his Party had formed a Plot, to destroy him and Buckingham that Forenoon as they fat at Council; that he had not the leaft Notice of it till Ten of the 'Clock the fame Day; and, to prevent fo dangerous

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a Confpiracy taking place, he had caufed Haftings's Head to be ftruck off.' The Citizens were greatly furprized at hearing what his Highness related, expreffed their Joy to find him fafe, and congratulated him upon his difcovering the Confpiracy: Which Gloucefter received with many Thanks; afterwards they retired to their refpective Houses. Richard, the better to perfuade the People into a Belief of the Confpiracy, caufed an Herald at Arms to proclaim it through the City, and commanded the Sheriffs of London to repair to Jane Shore's House, and difpoffefs

her

her of all her Effects; and at laft procured the Bishop to make her do Penance, for her former Dalliance with Edward the IVth.

Thefe fudden and violent Proceedings fo terrified both the Nobility and Gentry, that no one durft move his Head or Tongue against the Administration. Richard now thought it a proper Time to declare, that he had a Title to the Crown; which he had no fooner done, but Buckingham preffed him to mount the Throne, and took upon himfelf to manage the Citizers of London, which he fo effectually did, that thro' his Artifice they were drawn in at laft to acknowledge Richard King of England; and, at the fame time, the late King and his Iffue were reprefented to the People as fpurious: So that the young King reigned but three Months, and, during most part of that Time he and his Brother Richard, Duke of York, continued in the Tower, and foon after they fell a Victim to their cruel Uncle.

Richard the IIId, pretending a Right to the Crown both by Defcent and the Election of the People, was proclaimed King on the 22d of June. He began his Reign in granting a general Pardon to his Subjects, very few excepted; fat once in the Court of King's-Bench, and ordained the Knights of the Bath; the Lord Stanley he not only fet at Liberty, but made him Steward of his Houfhold; Morton, Bifhop of Ely, he caused to be delivered into the Cuftody of the Duke of Buckingham, who fent him to his Houfe at Brecknock. On the 6th of July he was crowned at Westminster, in greater State than any King had been before him; nor did there appear a Murmur or melancholy Look to interrupt the Solemnity: After which Ambaffadors were fent Abroad to different Courts to notify his Acceffion to the Throne.

Richard the IIId..

1483.

When King Edward was told, by one of Gloucefter's Creatures, that his Uncle had left the Title

of

of Protector, and taken that of King, he answer'd, I would to God my Uncle would let me bave my Life, tho' I lose my Kingdom: To which the Party replied, There was no doubt of it. However, both his and his Brother's Attendance were immediately reduced to fix Perfons. After which the young King never minded, nor regarded himself in the leaft; but, with his Brother, linger'd out the fhort Remainder of their Days. In the interim, Richard spent part of his Time in confulting with James Tyrrell, one of his Domefticks, to find out the most private Way to deftroy them; at last it was agreed to get them murdered in their Bed, and Tyrrell undertook to fee it perform'd: The King upon this Occafion gave fpecial Orders to the Lieutenant of the Tower to let Tyrrell, and others with him, go in and out of that Place, either by Day or by Night, as he should request. When this Point was fettled, Tyrrell employed two Wretches under him, Miles Forest, one of the Perfons that attended, or rather guarded the young Princes, and John Dighton, his Horfe-keeper: Thefe Villains foon learnt the Part they were to act, and, according to Tyrrell's Directions, entered the Princes Chamber about Midnight, where, finding them afleep, they wrapped them up in their Bed-clothes, and ftifled them. Thus returned their innocent Souls into the Hands of God, from whom they received them, and were, as fome fay, buried by the Murderers under the Stairs in the Tower; but, as others relate, they were rolled up in Lead, put into a Coffin full of Holes, and thrown into Tower-ditch.

As foon as Richard was informed, that the Children were dispatched, he caused it to be spread abroad, that they died fuddenly; but there were none, even at that Time, that believed any other, than that they were deftroyed, tho' they did not know in what Manner. The Queen and her Friends greatly bewailed their un

timely End, and cried to God for Vengeance on the Murderers.* A Reverend and Learned Divine,+ on a like Occafion, breaks out into thefe Expreffions.

Find him, ye Minifters of Vengeance, find
The Murderer, in Mercy to Mankind.
O Earth difcover him! ye rolling Floods
Tell it in Murmurs; bide him not ye Woods.
The Earth is burthen'd till he meets his Fate,
And groans and labours with the Villain's Weight.
Behold the Good, the Pious, and the Fair,
plung'd in deep Despair.

After the Tragedy we have been speaking of was performed, Richard repaired to Gloucester, accompa nied by the Duke of Buckingham, where they feemingly appeared to be the fame intimate Friends as before. When the King left Gloucester, Buckingham retired to his House at Brecknock. From that Time the Duke conceived a great Displeasure against the King, the Cause whereof is differently afcribed by Hiftorians. As foon as the Duke came home, he entered into Difcourfe with the Bishop of Ely concerning the State of Affairs, and defired him to speak his Mind freely; on which the Bishop in general answered, 'He loved not to talk with Princes, for that it was not very fafe fo to do, fince the Words that are spoken, tho' they be innocent in themselves, yet they may be taken in what Senfe the Prince pleases ⚫ to conftrue them to the Destruction of the Speaker.'

In fhort, before the Bifhop quitted the Duke's Company, he perceived, that he had harboured an irreconcileable Enmity against the Ufurper. He then delivered himself freely, and endeavoured to render the ferable at Calais; Tyrell was beheaded, and the cruel Tyrant, Richard, was killed in Battle.

Foreft rotted away by Piecemeals; Dighton, after he had lived for fome time defpifed, died mi

+ Dr. TRAP P's POEM upon the PEACE. 1713. P. 27.

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