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And lastly, both reason of estate and war seemed fall upon spoil in the end. Wherefore there was to agree with this course: for that insurrections great running to and fro of people, some to the of base people are commonly more furious in their beginnings. And by this means also he had them the more at vantage, being tired and harassed with a long march; and more at mercy, being cut off far from their country, and therefore not able by any sudden flight to get to retreat, and to renew the troubles.
gates, some to the walls, some to the water-side; giving themselves alarms and panic fears continually. Nevertheless, both Tate, the lord mayor, and Shaw and Haddon the sheriffs, did their parts, stoutly and well, in arming and ordering the people. And the king likewise did adjoin some captains of experience in the wars, to advise and assist the citizens. But soon after, when they understood that the king had so ordered the matter, that the rebels must win three battles, before they could approach the city, and that he had put his own person between the rebels and them, and that the great care was, rather how to impound the rebels that none of them might escape, than that any doubt was made to vanquish them; they grew to be quiet and out of fear; the rather, for the confidence they reposed, which was not small, in the three leaders, Oxford, Essex, and D'Aubigny; all men well famed and loved amongst the people. As for Jasper, Duke of Bedford, whom the king used to employ with the first in his wars, he was then sick, and died soon after.
When therefore the rebels were encamped on Blackheath, upon the hill, whence they might behold the city of London, and the fair valley about it; the king, knowing well that it stood him upon, by how much the more he had hitherto protracted the time in not encountering them, by so much the sooner to despatch with them, that it might appear to have been no coldness in fore-slowing, but wisdom in choosing his time; resolved with all speed to assail them, and yet with that providence and surety, as should leave little to venture or fortune. And having very great and puissant forces about him, the better to master all events and accidents, he divided them into three parts; the first was led by the Earl of Oxford in chief, assisted by the Earls of Essex and Suffolk. These noblemen were appointed, with some cor- It was the two-and-twentieth of June, and a nets of horse and bands of foot, and good store Saturday, which was the day of the week the of artillery, wheeling about to put themselves king fancied, when the battle was fought: though beyond the hill where the rebels were encamped; the king had, by all the art he could devise, given and to beset all the skirts and descents thereof, out a false day, as if he prepared to give the except those that lay towards London; thereby rebels battle on the Monday following, the better to have these wild beasts, as it were, in a toil. to find them unprovided, and in disarray. The The second part of his forces, which were those lords that were appointed to circle the hill, had that were to be most in action, and upon which some days before planted themselves, as at the he relied most for the fortune of the day, he did receipt, in places convenient. In the afternoon, assign to be led by the lord chamberlain, who towards the decline of the day, which was done, was appointed to set upon the rebels in front, the better to keep the rebels in opinion that they from that side which is towards London. The should not fight that day, the Lord D'Aubigny third part of his forces, being likewise great and marched on towards them, and first beat some brave forces, he retained about himself, to be troops of them from Deptford-bridge, where they ready upon all events to restore the fight, or con- fought manfully; but, being in no great number, summate the victory; and meanwhile to secure were soon driven back, and fled up to their main the city. And for that purpose he encamped in army upon the hill. The army at that time, person in St. George's Fields, putting himself be- hearing of the approach of the king's forces, tween the city and the rebels. But the city of were putting themselves in array, not without London, especially at the first, upon the near en- much confusion. But neither had they placed, camping of the rebels, was in great tumult: as upon the first high ground towards the bridge, it useth to be with wealthy and populous cities, any forces to second the troops below, that kept especially those which being for greatness and the bridge; neither had they brought forwards fortune queens of their regions, who seldom see their main battle, which stood in array far into out of their windows, or from their towers, an the heath, near to the ascent of the hill. So that army of enemies. But that which troubled them the earl with his forces mounted the hill, and remost, was the conceit that they dealt with a rout covered the plain without resistance. The Lord of people, with whom there was no composition D'Aubigny charged them with great fury; insoor condition, or orderly treating, if need were; much as it had like, by accident, to have brandled but likely to be bent altogether upon rapine and the fortune of the day: for, by inconsiderate forspoil. And although they had heard that the wardness in fighting at the head of his troops, rebels had behaved themselves quietly and he was taken by the rebels, but immediately modestly by the way as they went; yet they rescued and delivered. The rebels maintained doubted much that would not last, but rather the fight for a small time, and for their persons make them more hungry, and more in appetite to showed no want of courage; but being ill armed,
and ill led, and without horse or artillery, they were with no great difficulty cut in pieces, and put to flight. And for their three leaders, the Lord Audley, the blacksmith, and Flammock, as commonly the captains of commotions are but half-couraged men, suffered themselves to be taken alive. The number slain on the rebels' part were some two thousand men; their army amounting, as it is said, unto the number of sixteen thousand. The rest were, in effect, all taken; for that the hill, as was said, was encompassed with the king's forces round about. On the king's part, there died about three hundred, most of them shot with arrows, which were reported to be of the length of a tailor's yard; so strong and mighty a bow the Cornish men were said to draw.
The victory thus obtained, the king created divers bannerets, as well upon Blackheath, where his lieutenant had won the field, whither he rode in person to perform the said creation, as in St. George's Fields, where his own person had been encamped. And for matter of liberality, he did, by open edict, give the goods of all the prisoners unto those that had taken them; either to take them in kind, or compound for them as they could. After matter of honour and liberality, followed matter of severity and execution. The Lord Audley was led from Newgate to TowerHill, in a paper coat painted with his own arms; the arms reversed, the coat torn, and at TowerHill beheaded. Flammock and the blacksmith were hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn; the blacksmith taking pleasure upon the hurdle, as it seemeth by words that he uttered, to think that he should be famous in after-times. The king was once in mind to have sent down Flammock and the blacksmith to have been executed in Cornwall, for the more terror; but being advertised that the country was yet unquiet and boiling, he thought better not to irritate the people further. All the rest were pardoned by proclamation, and to take out their pardons under seal, as many as would. So that, more than the blood drawn in the field, the king did satisfy himself with the lives of only three offenders, for the expiation of this great rebellion.
It was a strange thing to observe the variety and inequality of the king's executions and pardons; and a man would think it, at the first, a kind of lottery or chance. But, looking into it more nearly, one shall find there was reason for it, much more, perhaps, than after so long a distance of time we can now discern. In the Kentish commotion, which was but a handful of men, there were executed to the number of one hundred and fifty; but in this, so mighty a rebellion, but three. Whether it were that the king put to account the men that were slain in the field, or that he was not willing to be severe in a popular cause, or that the harmless behaviour of this people, that
came from the west of England to the east, without mischief almost, or spoil of the country, did somewhat mollify him, and move him to compassion; or lastly, that he made a great difference between people that did rebel upon wantonness, and them that did rebel upon want.
After the Cornish men were defeated, there came from Calais to the king an honourable embassage from the French king, which had arrived at Calais a month before, and there was stayed in respect of the troubles, but honourably entertained and defrayed. The king, at their first coming, sent unto them, and prayed them to have patience, till a little smoke, that was raised in his country, were over, which would soon be: slighting, as his manner was, that openly, which nevertheless he intended seriously.
This embassage concerned no great affair, but only the prolongation of days for payment of moneys, and some other particulars of the frontiers. And it was, indeed, but a wooing embassage, with good respects to entertain the king in good affection; but nothing was done or handled to the derogation of the king's late treaty with the Italians.
But during the time that the Cornish men were in their march towards London, the King of Scotland, well advertised of all that passed, and knowing himself sure of a war from England, whensoever those stirs were appeased, neglected not his opportunity; but thinking the king had his hands full, entered the frontiers of England again with an army, and besieged the castle of Norham in person, with part of his forces, sending the rest to forage the country. But Fox, Bishop of Duresme, a wise man, and one that could see through the present to the future, doubting as much before. had caused his castle of Norham to be strongly fortified, and furnished with all kind of munition; and had manned it likewise with a very great number of tall soldiers, more than for the proportion of the castle, reckoning rather upon a sharp assault than a long siege. And for the country likewise, he had caused the people to withdraw their cattle and goods into fast places, that were not of easy approach; and sent in post to the Earl of Surrey, who was not far off, in Yorkshire, to come in diligence to the succour. So as the Scottish king both failed of doing good upon the castle, and his men had but a catching harvest of their spoils; and when he understood that the Earl of Surrey was coming on with great forces, he returned back into Scotland. The earl, finding the castle freed, and the enemy retired, pursued with all celerity in Scotland, hoping to have overtaken the Scottish king, and to have given him battle; but, not attaining him in time, sat down before the castle of Ayton, one of the strongest places, then esteemed, between Berwick and Edinburgh, which in a small time he took. And soon after, the Scottish king retiring farther into
his country, and the weather being extraordinary might treat of the conditions. Whereupon the foul and stormy, the earl returned into England. king directed Bishop Fox, who at that time was So that the expeditions on both parts were, in efat his castle of Norham, to confer with Hialas fect, but a castle taken, and a castle distressed; and they both to treat with some commissioners not answerable to the puissance of the forces, nor deputed from the Scottish king. The commissionto the heat of the quarrel, nor to the greatness of ers on both sides met. But after much dispute the expectation. upon the articles and conditions of peace, proAmongst these troubles, both civil and exter-pounded upon either part, they could not conclude nal, came into England from Spain, Peter Hialas, a peace. The chief impediment thereof was the some call him Elias, surely he was the forerunner demand of the king to have Perkin delivered into of the good hap that we enjoy at this day; for his his hands, as a reproach to all kings, and a person embassage set the truce between England and not protected by the law of nations. The King Scotland; the truce drew on the peace; the peace of Scotland, on the other side, peremptorily denied the marriage; and the marriage the union of the so to do, saying, that he, for his part, was no kingdoms; a man of great wisdom, and, as those competent judge of Perkin's title; but that he had times were, not unlearned; sent from Ferdinando received him as a suppliant, protected him as a and Isabella, Kings of Spain, unto the king, to person fled for refuge, espoused him with his treat a marriage between Catharine, their second kinswoman, and aided him with arms, upon daughter, and Prince Arthur. This treaty was the belief that he was a prince; and therefore by him set in a very good way, and almost brought that he could not now with his honour so to perfection. But it so fell out by the way, that unrip, and, in a sort, put a lie upon all that he upon some conferences which he had with the had said and done before, as to deliver him up to king touching this business, the king, who had a his enemies. The bishop, likewise, who had cergreat dexterity in getting suddenly into the bosom tain proud instructions from the king, at the least of ambassadors of foreign princes, if he liked the in the front, though there were a pliant clause at men; insomuch as he would many times commu- the foot, that remitted all to the bishop's discrenicate with them of his own affairs, yea, and em- tion, and required him by no means to break off ploy them in his service, fell into speech and dis- in ill terms, after that he had failed to obtain the course incidently, concerning the ending of the delivery of Perkin, did move a second point of his debates and differences with Scotland. For the instructions, which was, that the Scottish king king naturally did not love the barren wars with would give the king an interview in person at Scotland, though he made his profit of the noise Newcastle. But this being reported to the Scotof them. And he wanted not in the council of tish king, his answer was, that he meant to treat Scotland, those that would advise their king to a peace, and not to go a begging for it. The meet him at the half way, and to give over the bishop also, according to another article of his inwar with England; pretending to be good patriots, structions, demanded restitution of the spoils but indeed favouring the affairs of the king. Only taken by the Scottish, or damages for the same. his heart was too great to begin with Scotland But the Scottish commissioners answered, that for the motion of peace. On the other side, he that was but as water spilt upon the ground, had met with an ally of Ferdinando of Arragon, which could not be gotten up again; and that the as fit for his turn as could be. For after that king's people were better able to bear the loss King Ferdinando had, upon assured confidence than their master to repair it. But in the end, as of the marriage to succeed, taken upon him the persons capable of reason, on both sides they person of a fraternal ally to the king, he would made rather a kind of recess than a breach of not let, in a Spanish gravity, to counsel the king treaty, and concluded upon a truce for some in his own affairs. And the king, on his part, not months following. But the King of Scotland, being wanting to himself, but making use of every though he would not formally retract his judg man's humours, made his advantage of this in ment of Perkin, wherein he had engaged himself such things as he thought either not decent, or so far; yet in his private opinion, upon often not pleasant to proceed from himself; putting speech with the Englishmen, and divers other adthem off as done by the counsel of Ferdinando.vertisements, began to suspect him for a counterWherefore he was content that Hialas, as in a feit. Wherefore in a noble fashion he called him matter moved and advised from Hialas himself, should go into Scotland, to treat of a concord between the two kings. Hialas took it upon him, and coming to the Scottish king, after he had with much art brought King James to hearken to the more safe and quiet counsels, wrote unto the king, that he hoped that peace would with no great difficulty cement and close, if he would send some wise and temperate counsellor of his own, that
unto him, and recounted the benefits and favours that he had done him in making him his ally, and in provoking a mighty and opulent king by an offensive war in his quarrel, for the space of two years together; nay more, that he had refused an honourable peace, whereof he had a fair offer, if he would have delivered him; and that, to keep his promise with him, he had deeply offended both his nobles and people whom he might no
hold in any long discontent; and therefore required him to think of his own fortunes, and to choose out some fitter place for his exile: telling him withal, that he could not say, but the English had forsaken him before the Scottish, for that, upon two several trials, none had declared themselves on his side; but nevertheless he would make good what he said to him at his first receiving, which was that he should not repent him for putting himself into his hands; for that he would not cast him off, but help him with shipping and means to transport him where he should desire. Perkin, not descending at all from his stagelike greatness, answered the king in few words, that he saw his time was not yet come; but whatsoever his fortunes were, he should both think and speak honour of the king. Taking his leave, he would not think on Flanders, doubting it was but hollow ground for him since the treaty of the archduke, concluded the year before; but took his lady, and such followers as would not leave him, and sailed over into Ireland.
taken them, for twelve pence and two shillings a piece, were come down into their country, had rather emboldened them than reclaimed them; insomuch as they stuck not to say to their neighbours and countrymen, that the king did well to pardon them, for that he knew he should leave few subjects in England, if he hanged all that were of their mind; and began whetting and inciting one another to renew the commotion. Some of the subtilest of them, hearing of Perkin's being in Ireland, found means to send to him to let him know, that if he would come over to them they would serve him.
When Perkin heard this news, he began to take heart again, and advised upon it with his council, which were principally three: Herne, a mercer, that had fled for debt; Skelton, a tailor; and Astley, a scrivener; for Secretary Frion was gone. These told him, that he was mightily overseen, both when he went into Kent, and when he went into Scotland; the one being a place so near London, and under the king's nose; and the This twelfth year of the king, a little before this other a nation so distasted with the people of time, Pope Alexander, who loved best those England, that if they had loved him never so well, princes that were furthest off, and with whom he yet they would never have taken his part in tha had least to do, taking very thankfully the king's company. But if he had been so happy as to late entrance into league for the defence of Italy, have been in Cornwall at the first, when the peodid remunerate him with a hallowed sword and ple began to take arms there, he had been crowncap of maintenance, sent by his nuncio. Pope ed at Westminister before this time. For these Innocent had done the like, but it was not received kings, as he had now experience, would sell in that glory for the king appointed the mayor poor princes for shoes. But he must rely wholly and his brethren to meet the pope's orator at Lon-upon people; and therefore advised him to sail don-bridge, and all the streets between the bridge foot and the palace of Paul's, where the king then lay, were garnished with the citizens, standing in their liveries. And the morrow after, being All-hallows-day, the king, attended with many of his prelates, nobles, and principal courtiers, went in procession to Paul's, and the cap and sword were borne before him. And after the procession, the king himself remaining seated in the quire, the lord archbishop, upon the greece of the quire, made a long oration; setting forth the greatness and eminency of that honour which the pope, in these ornaments and ensigns of benediction, had done the king; and how rarely, and upon what high deserts they used to be bestowed: and then recited the king's principal acts and merits, which | had made him appear worthy in the eyes of his holiness of this great honour.
All this while the rebellion of Cornwall, whereof we have spoken, seemed to have no relation to Perkin; save that perhaps Perkin's proclamation had stricken upon the right vein, in promising to lay down exactions and payments, and so had made them now and then have a kind thought on Perkin. But now these bubbles by much stirring began to meet, as they use to do upon the top of water. The king's lenity, by that time the Cornish rebels, who were taken and pardoned, and, as it was said, many of them sold by them that had
over with all possible speed into Cornwall; which accordingly he did, having in his company four small barks, with some sixscore or sevenscore fighting men. He arrived in September at Whitsand-Bay, and forthwith came to Bodmin, the blacksmith's town; where there assembled unto him to the number of three thousand men of the rude people. There he set forth a new proclamation, stroking the people with fair promises, and humouring them with invectives against the king and his government. And as it fareth with smoke, that never loseth itself till it be at the highest; he did now before his end raise his style, entitling himself no more Richard, Duke of York, but Richard the Fourth, King of England. His council advised him by all means to make himself master of some good walled town: as well to make his men find the sweetness of rich spoils, and to allure to him all loose and lost people, by like hopes of booty; as to be a sure retreat to his forces, in case they should have any ill day, or unlucky chance in the field. Wherefore they took heart to them, and went on, and besieged the city of Exeter, the principal town for strength and wealth in those parts.
When they were come before Exeter, they forbare to use any force at the first, but made continual shouts and outcries to terrify the inhabitants. They did likewise in divers places call and talk
chamberlain's coming on, but making a body of forces of themselves, the more to endear their merit; signifying to the king their readiness, and desiring to know his pleasure. So that according to the proverb, in the coming down, every saint did help.
to them from under the walls, to join with them, | ed of him, than he that came upon the eleventh and be of their party; telling them, that the king hour, and had the whole wages of the day. Therewould make them another London, if they would fore now, like the end of a play, a great number be the first town that would acknowledge him. came upon the stage at once. He sent the lord But they had not the wit to send to them, in any chamberlain, and the Lord Brook, and Sir Rice orderly fashion, agents or chosen men, to tempt ap Thomas, with expedite forces to speed to Exethem and to treat with them. The citizens, on ter, to the rescue of the town, and to spread the their part, showed themselves stout and loyal fame of his own following in person with a royal subjects; neither was there so much as any army. The Earl of Devonshire, and his son, tumult or division amongst them, but all prepared with the Carews, and the Fullfords, and other themselves for a valiant defence, and making principal persons of Devonshire, uncalled from the good the town. For well they saw, that the court, but hearing that the king's heart was much rebels were of no such number or power, that they bent upon this service, made haste with troops needed to fear them as yet; and well they hoped, that they had raised, to be the first that should that before their numbers increased, the king's succour the city of Exeter, and prevent the king's succours would come in. And, howsoever, they succours. The Duke of Buckingham likewise, thought it the extremest of evils, to put them- with many brave gentlemen, put themselves in selves at the mercy of those hungry and disorder-arms, not staying either the king's or the lord ly people. Wherefore setting all things in good order within the town, they nevertheless let down with cords, from several parts of the walls, privily, several messengers, that if one came to mischance, another might pass on, which should advertise the king of the state of the town, and implore his aid. Perkin also doubted, that succours would come ere long; and therefore resolved to use his utmost force to assault the town. And for that purpose having mounted scaling ladders in divers places upon the walls, made at the same instant an attempt to force one of the gates. But having no artillery nor engines, and finding that he could do no good by ramming with logs of timber, nor by the use of iron bars and iron crows, and such other means at hand, he had no way left him but to set one of the gates on fire, which he did. But the citizens, well perceiving the danger, before the gate could be fully consumed, blocked up the gate, and some space about it on the inside, with fagots and other fuel, which they likewise set on fire, and so repulsed fire with fire; and in the mean time raised up rampiers of earth, and cast up deep trenches, to serve instead of wall and gate. And for the scaladoes, they had so bad success, as the rebels were driven from the walls with the loss of two hundred men.
The king, when he heard of Perkin's siege of Exeter, made sport with it, and said to them that were about him, that the king of rake-hells was landed in the west, and that he hoped now to have the honour to see him, which he could never yet do. And it appeared plainly to those that were about the king, that he was indeed much joyed with the news of Perkin's being in English ground, where he could have no retreat by land; thinking now that he should be cured of those privy stitches which he had had long about his heart, and at some times broken his sleeps, in the midst of all his felicity. And to set all men's hearts on fire, he did by all possible means let it appear, that those that should now do him service to make an end of these troubles, should be no less accept
Perkin, hearing this thunder of arms, and preparations against him from so many parts, raised his siege, and marched to Taunton; beginning already to squint one eye upon the crown, and another upon the sanctuary; though the Cornish men where become like metal often fired and quenched, churlish, and that would sooner break than bow; swearing and vowing not to leave him, till the uttermost drop of their blood were spilt. He was at his rising from Exeter, between six and seven thousand strong, many having come unto him after he was set before Exeter, upon fame of so great an enterprise, and to partake of the spoil; though upon the raising of his siege some did slip away. When he was come near Taunton, he dissembled all fear, and seemed all the day to use diligence in preparing all things ready to fight. But about midnight he fled with threescore, horse to Bewdley in the New Forest, where he and divers of his company registered themselves sanctuary men, leaving his Cornish men to the four winds; but yet thereby easing them of their vow, and using his wonted compassion, not to be by when his subjects' blood should be spilt. The king, as soon as he heard of Perkin's flight, sent presently five hundred horse to pursue and apprehend him, before he should get either to the sea, or to that same little island called a sanctuary. But they came too late for the latter of these. Therefore all they could do, was to beset the sanctuary, and to maintain a strong watch about it, till the king's pleasure were further known. As for the rest of the rebels, they, being destituted of their head, without stroke stricken, submitted themselves unto the king's mercy. And the king, who commonly drew blood, as physicians do, rather to save life than to spill it,