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and was never cruel when he was secure; now he saw the danger was past, pardoned them all in the end, except some few desperate persons, which he reserved to be executed, the better to set off his mercy towards the rest. There were also sent with all speed some horse to Saint Michael's mount in Cornwall, where the Lady Catharine Gordon was left by her husband, whom in all fortunes she entirely loved; adding the virtues of a wife to the virtues of her sex. The king sent in the greater diligence, not knowing whether she might be with child, whereby the business would not have ended in Perkin's person. When she was brought to the king, it was commonly said, that the king received her not only with compassion, but with affection; pity giving more impression to her excellent beauty. Wherefore comforting her, to serve as well his eye as his fame, he sent her to his queen to remain with her; giving her very honourable allowance for the support of her estate, which she enjoyed both during the king's life, and many years after. The name of the white-rose, which had been given to her husband's false title, was continued in common speech to her true beauty.
The king went forwards on his journey, and made a joyful entrance into Exeter, where he gave the citizens great commendations and thanks; and taking the sword he wore from his side, he gave it to the mayor, and commanded it should be ever after carried before him. There also he caused to be executed some of the ringleaders of the Cornish men, in sacrifice to the citizens whom they had put in fear and trouble. At Exeter the king consulted with his council, whether he should offer life to Perkin if he would quit the sanctuary, and voluntarily submit himself. The council were divided in opinion: some advised the king to take him out of sanctuary perforce, and to put him to death, as in a case of necessity, which in itself dispenseth with consecrated places and things: wherein they doubted not also but the king should find the pope tractable to ratify his deed, either by declaration, or, at least, by indulgence. Others were of opinion, since all was now safe, and no further hurt could be done, that it was not worth the exposing of the king to new scandal and envy. A third sort fell upon the opinion, that it was not possible for the king ever, either to satisfy the world well touching the imposture, or to learn out the bottom of the conspiracy, except by promise of life and pardon, and other fair means, he should get Perkin into his hands. But they did all in their preambles much bemoan the king's case, with a kind of indignation at his fortunes; that a prince of his high wisdom and virtue should have been so long and so oft exercised and vexed with idols. But the king said, that it was the vexation of God Almighty himself to be vexed with idols, and theretore that that was not to trouble any of his friends;
and that for himself, he always despised them; but was grieved that they had put his people to such trouble and misery. But in conclusion, he leaned to the third opinion, and so sent some to deal with Perkin, who seeing himself prisoner, and destitute of all hopes, having tried princes and people, great and small, and found all either false, faint, or unfortunate, did gladly accept of the condition. The king did also, while he was at Exeter, appoint the Lord Darcy, and others commissioners, for the fining of all such as were of any value, and had any hand or partaking in the aid or comfort of Perkin, or the Cornish men, either in the field or in the flight.
These commissioners proceeded with such strictness and severity as did much obscure the king's mercy in sparing of blood, with the bleeding of so much treasure. Perkin was brought unto the king's court, but not to the king's presence; though the king, to satisfy his curiosity, saw him sometimes out of a window, or in passage. He was in show at liberty, but guarded with all care and watch that was possible, and willed to follow the king to London. But from his first appearance upon the stage, in his new person of a sycophant, or juggler, instead of his former person of a prince, all men may think how he was exposed to the derision not only of the courtiers, but also of the common people, who flocked about him as he went along: that one might know afar off where the owl was by the flight of birds; some mocking, some wondering, some cursing, some prying and picking matter out of his countenance and gesture to talk of: so that the false honour and respects which he had so long enjoyed, was plentifully repaid in scorn and contempt. As soon as he was come to London, the king gave also the city the solace of this May-game; for he was conveyed leisurely on horseback, but not in any ignominious fashion, through Cheapside and Cornhill, to the Tower, and from thence back again to Westminster, with the churm of a thousand taunts and reproaches. But to amend the show, there followed a little distance off Perkin, an inward counsellor of his, one that had been sergeant-farrier to the king. This fellow, when Perkin took sanctuary, chose rather to take a holy habit than a holy place, and clad himself like a hermit, and in that weed wandered about the country, till he was discovered and taken. But this man was bound hand and foot upon the horse, and came not back with Perkin, but was left at the Tower, and within few days after executed. Soon after, now that Perkin could tell better what himself was, he was diligently examined; and after his confession taken, an extract was made of such parts of them as were thought fit to be divulged, which was printed and dispersed abroad; wherein the king did himself no right; for as there was a laboured tale of particulars, of Perkin's father and mother,
island endued with rich commodities, procured him to man and victual a ship at Bristol, for the discovery of that island; with whom ventured also three small ships of London merchants, fraught with some gross and slight wares, fit for commerce with barbarous people. He sailed, as he affirmed at his return, and made a card thereof, very far westwards, with a quarter of the north, on the north side of Terra de Labrador, until he came to the latitude of sixty-seven degrees and an half, finding the seas still open. It is certain also, that the king's fortune had a tender of that great empire of the West Indies. Neither was
and grandsire and grandmother, and uncles and cousins, by names and sirnames, and from what places he travelled up and down; so there was little or nothing to purpose of any thing concerning his designs, or any practices that had been held with him; nor the Duchess of Burgundy herself, that all the world did take knowledge of, as the person that had put life and being into the whole business, so much as named or pointed at. So that men missing of that they looked for, looked about for they knew not what, and were in more doubt than before; but the king chose rather not to satisfy than to kindle coals. At that time also it did not appear by any new ex-it a refusal on the king's part, but a delay by amination or commitments, that any other person of quality was discovered or appeached, though the king's closeness made that a doubt dormant. About this time, a great fire in the night time suddenly began at the king's palace of Sheen, near unto the king's own lodgings, whereby a great part of the building was consumed, with much costly household-stuff; which gave the king occasion of building from the ground that fine pile of Richmond which is now standing.
accident, that put by so great an acquest: for Christopherus Columbus, refused by the King of Portugal, who would not embrace at once both east and west, employed his brother Bartholomeus Columbus unto King Henry, to negotiate for his discovery: and it so fortuned, that he was taken by pirates at sea, by which accidental impediment he was long ere he came to the king: so long, that before he had obtained a capitulation with the king for his brother, the enterprise by him was achieved, and so the West Indies by providence were then reserved for the crown of Castile. Yet this sharpened the king so, that not only in this voyage, but again in the sixteenth year of his reign, and likewise in the eighteenth thereof, he granted forth new commissions for the discovery and investing of unknown lands.
Somewhat before this time also, there fell out a memorable accident: there was one Sebastian Gabato, a Venetian, dwelling in Bristol, a man seen and expert in cosmography and navigation. This man seeing the success, and emulating perhaps the enterprise of Christopher Columbus in that fortunate discovery towards the south-west, which had been by him made some six years be- In this fourteenth year also, by God's wonderfore, conceited with himself, that lands might ful providence, that boweth things unto his will, likewise be discovered towards the north-west. and hangeth great weights upon small wires, And surely it may be he had more firm and preg-there fell out a trifling and untoward accident, nant conjectures of it, than Columbus had of this that drew on great and happy effects. During at the first. For the two great islands of the old the truce with Scotland, there were certain and new world, being, in the shape and making Scottish young gentlemen that came into Norham of them, broad towards the north, and pointed town, and there made merry with some of the towards the south; it is likely, that the dis- English of the town; and having little to do, covery first began where the lands did near- went sometimes forth, and would stand looking est meet. And there had been before that upon the castle. Some of the garrison of the time a discovery of some lands, which they castle, observing this their doing twice or thrice, took to be islands, and were indeed the continent and having not their minds purged of the late ill of America, towards the north-west. And it blood of hostility, either suspected them, or may be that some relation of this nature coming quarrelled them for spies: whereupon they fell afterwards to the knowledge of Columbus, and at ill words, and from words to blows; so by him suppressed, (desirous rather to make his that many were wounded of either side, and the enterprise the child of his science and fortune, Scottish men, being strangers in the town, had than the follower of a former discovery,) did give the worst; insomuch as some of them were slain, him better assurance, that all was not sea, from and the rest made haste home. The matter being the west of Europe and Africa unto Asia, than complained on, and often debated before the wareither Seneca's prophecy or Plato's antiquities, dens of the marches of both sides, and no good or the nature of the tides and land-winds, and order taken: the King of Scotland took it to the like, which were the conjectures that were himself, and being much kindled, sent a herald given out, whereupon he should have relied: to the king to make protestation, that if reparathough I am not ignorant, that it was likewise tion were not done, according to the conditions laid unto the casual and wind-beaten discovery, of the truce, his king did denounce war. The a little before, of a Spanish pilot, who died in king, who had often tried fortune, and was inthe house of Columbus. But this Gabato bear-clined to peace, made answer, that what had Ing the king in hand, that he would find out an been done, was utterly against his will, and
This year there was also born to the king a third son, who was christened by the name of Edmund, and shortly after died. And much about the same time came news of the death of Charles the French king, for whom there were celebrated solemn and princely obsequies.
without his privity; but if the garrison soldiers had been in fault, he would see them punished, and the truce in all points to be preserved. But this answer seemed to the Scottish king but a delay, to make the complaint breathe out with time; and therefore it did rather exasperate him than satisfy him. Bishop Fox, understanding from It was not long but Perkin, who was made of the king, that the Scottish king was still discontent quicksilver, which is hard to hold or imprison, beand impatient, being troubled that the occasion gan to stir. For, deceiving his keepers, he took of breaking of the truce should grow from his him to his heels, and made speed to the sea-coast. men, sent many humble and deprecatory letters But presently all corners were laid for him, and to the Scottish king to appease him. Whereupon such diligent pursuit and search made, as he was King James, mollified by the bishop's submis- fain to turn back, and get him to the house of sive and eloquent letters, wrote back unto him, Bethlehem, called the priory of Sheen (which had that though he were in part moved by his letters, the privilege of sanctuary) and put himself into yet he should not be fully satisfied, except he the hands of the prior of that monastery. The spake with him, as well about the compounding prior was thought a holy man, and much reveof the present differences, as about other matters renced in those days. He came to the king, and that might concern the good of both kingdoms. besought the king for Perkin's life only, leaving The bishop, advising first with the king, took him otherwise to the king's discretion. Many his journey for Scotland. The meeting was at about the king were again more hot than ever, to Melross, an abbey of the Cistercians, where the have the king to take him forth and hang him. king then abode. The king first roundly uttered But the king, that had a high stomach, and could unto the bishop his offence conceived for the not hate any that he despised, bid, “Take him insolent breach of truce, by his men of Norham forth, and set the knave in the stocks;" and so castle; whereunto Bishop Fox made such humble promising the prior his life, he caused him to be and smooth answer, as it was like oil into the brought forth. And within two or three days wound, whereby it began to heal: and this was after, upon a scaffold set up in the palace court at done in the presence of the king and his council. Westminster, he was fettered and set in the stocks After, the king spake with the bishop apart, and for the whole day. And the next day after, the opened himself unto him, saying, that these tem-like was done by him at the cross in Cheapside, porary truces and peaces were soon made, and and in both places he read his confession, of which soon broken, but that he desired a straiter amity we made mention before; and was from Cheapwith the King of England; discovering his mind, side conveyed and laid up in the Tower. Notthat if the king would give him in marriage the withstanding all this, the king was, as was partly Lady Margaret, his eldest daughter, that indeed touched before, grown to be such a partner with might be a knot indissoluble. That he knew fortune, as nobody could tell what actions the well what place and authority the bishop de- one, and what the other owned. For it was beservedly had with his master: therefore, if he lieved, generally, that Perkin was betrayed, and would take the business to heart, and deal in it that this escape was not without the king's privity, effectually, he doubted not but it would succeed who had him all the time of his flight in a line; well. The bishop answered soberly, that he and that the king did this to pick a quarrel to him thought himself rather happy than worthy to be to put him to death, and to be rid of him at once: an instrument in such a matter, but would do his but this is not probable. For that the same inbest endeavour. Wherefore the bishop returning struments who observed him in his flight, might to the king, and giving account what had passed, have kept him from getting into sanctuary. and finding the king more than well disposed in it, gave the king advice; first to proceed to a conclusion of peace, and then to go on with the treaty of marriage by degrees. Hereupon a peace was concluded, which was published a little before Christmas, in the fourteenth year of the king's reign, to continue for both the king's lives, and the over-liver of them, and a year after. In this peace there was an article contained, that no Englishman should enter into Scotland, and no Scotchman into England, without letters commendatory from the kings of either nation. This at the first sight might seem a means to continue a strangeness between the nations; but it was done to lock in the borderers. VOL. I.-47
But it was ordained, that this winding-ivy of a Plantagenet should kill the true tree itself. For Perkin, after he had been a while in the Tower, began to insinuate himself into the favour and kindness of his keepers, servants to the lieutenant of the Tower, Sir John Digby, being four in number; Strangeways, Blewet, Astwood, and Long Roger. These varlets, with mountains of promises, he sought to corrupt, to obtain his escape; but knowing well, that his own fortunes were made so contemptible, as he could feed no man's hopes, and by hopes he must work, for rewards he had none, he had contrived with himself a vast and tragical plot; which was, to draw into his company Edward Plantagenet, Earl of
Warwick, then prisoner in the Tower; whom the weary life of a long imprisonment, and the often and renewing fears of being put to death, had softened to take any impression of counsel for his liberty. This young prince he thought the servants would look upon, though not upon himself: and therefore, after that by some message by one or two of them, he had tasted of the earl's consent; it was agreed that these four should murder their master the lieutenant, secretly, in the night, and make their best of such money and portable goods of his, as they should find ready at hand, and get the keys of the Tower, and presently let forth Perkin and the earl. But this conspiracy was revealed in time, before it could be executed. And in this again the opinion of the king's great wisdom did surcharge him with a sinister fame, that Perkin was but his bait to entrap the Earl of Warwick. And in the very instant while this conspiracy was in working, as if that also had been the king's industry, it was fatal, that there should break forth a counterfeit Earl of Warwick, a cordwainer's son, whose name was Ralph Wilford; a young man taught and set on by an Augustin friar, called Patrick. They both from the parts of Suffolk came forwards into Kent, where they did not only privily and underhand give out that this Wilford was the true Earl of Warwick, but also the friar, finding some light credence in the people, took the boldness in the pulpit to declare as much, and to incite the people to come in to his aid. Whereupon they were both presently apprehended, and the young fellow executed, and the friar condemned to perpetual imprisonment. This also happening so opportunely, to represent the danger to the king's estate from the Earl of Warwick, and thereby to colour the king's severity that followed; together with the madness of the friar so vainly and desperately to divulge a treason, before it had gotten any manner of strength; and the saving of the friar's life, which nevertheless was, indeed, but the privilege of his order; and the pity in the common people, which, if it run in a strong stream, doth ever cast up scandal and envy, made it generally rather talked than believed that all was but the king's device. But howsoever it were hereupon, Perkin, that had offended against grace now the third time, was at the last proceeded with, and, by commissioners of oyer and determiner, arraigned at Westminster, upon divers treasons committed and perpetrated after his coming on land, within this kingdom, for so the judges advised, for that he was a foreigner, and condemned, and a few days after executed at Tyburn; where he did again openly read his confession, and take it upon his death to be true. This was the end of this little cockatrice of a king, that was able to destroy those that did not espy him first. It was one of the longest plays of that kind that hath been in memory, and might perhaps have had another
end, if he had not met with a king both wise, stout, and fortunate.
As for Perkin's three counsellors, they had registered themselves sanctuary-men when their master did; and whether upon pardon obtained, or continuance within the privilege, they came not to be proceeded with.
There were executed with Perkin, the Mayor of Cork and his son, who had been principal abettors of his treasons. And soon after were likewise condemned eight other persons about the Tower conspiracy, whereof four were the lieutenant's men: but of those eight but two were executed. And immediately after was arraigned before the Earl of Oxford, then for the time high steward of England, the poor prince, the Earl of Warwick; not for the attempt to escape simply, for that was not acted, and besides, the imprisonment not being for treason, the escape by law could not be treason, but for conspiring with Perkin to raise sedition, and to destroy the king: and the earl confessing the indictment, had judgment, and was shortly after beheaded on Tower-hill.
This was also the end, not only of this noble and commiserable person, Edward, the Earl of Warwick, eldest son to the Duke of Clarence; but likewise of the line male of the Plantagenets, which had flourished in great royalty and renown, from the time of the famous King of England, King Henry the Second. Howbeit it was a race often dipped in their own blood. It hath remained since only transplanted into other names, as well of the imperial line, as of other noble houses But it was neither guilt of crime, nor reason of state, that could quench the envy that was upon the king for this execution: so that he thought good to export it out of the land, and to lay it upon his new alley, Ferdinando, King of Spain. For these two kings understanding one another at half a word, so it was that there were letters showed out of Spain, whereby in the passage concerning the treaty of the marriage, Ferdinando had written to the king in plain terms, that he saw no assurance of his succession as long as the Earl of Warwick lived, and that he was loath to send his daughter to troubles and dangers. But hereby, as the king did in some part remove the envy from himself; so he did not observe, that he did withal bring a kind of malediction and infausting upon the marriage, as an ill prognostic: which in event so far proved true, as both Prince Arthur enjoyed a very small time after the marriage, and the Lady Catharine herself, a sad and a religious woman, long after, when King Henry the Eighth's resolution of a divorce from her was first made known to her, used some words, that she had not offended, but it was a judgment of God, for that her former marriage was made in blood; meaning that of the Earl of Warwick.
The fifteenth year of the king, there was a great plague both in London and in divers parts of the
kingdom. Wherefore the king, after often change | protector, (these very words the king repeats, when he certified of the loving behaviour of the archduke to the city,) and what else he could devise, to express his love and observance to the king. There came also to the king, the governor of Picardy, and the bailiff of Amiens, sent from Lewis the French king to do him honour, and to give him knowledge of his victory, and winning of the Duchy of Milan. It seemeth the king was well pleased with the honours he received from those parts, while he was at Calais, for he did himself certify all the news and occurrents of them in every particular, from Calais, to the mayor and aldermen of London, which, no doubt, made no small talk in the city. For the king, though he could not entertain the good-will of the citizens, as Edward the Fourth did, yet by affability and other princely graces did ever make very much of them, and apply himself to them.
of places, whether to avoid the danger of the sickness, or to give occasion of an interview with the archduke, or both, sailed over with his queen to Calais. Upon his coming hither, the archduke sent an honourable embassage unto him, as well to welcome him into those parts, as to let him know, that if it pleased him, he would come and do him reverence. But it was said withal, that the king might be pleased to appoint some place, that were out of any walled town or fortress, for that he had denied the same upon like occasion to the French king: and though he said, he made a great difference between the two kings, yet he would be loath to give a precedent, that might make it after to be expected at his hands, by another whom he trusted less. The king accepted of the courtesy, and admitted of his excuse, and appointed the place to be at Saint Peter's church without Calais. But withal he did visit the arch- This year also died John Morton, Archbishop duke with ambassadors sent from himself, which of Canterbury, Chancellor of England, and carwere the Lord St. John, and the secretary; unto dinal. He was a wise man, and an eloquent, whom the archduke did the honour, as, going to but in his nature, harsh and haughty; much acmass at Saint Omer's, to set the Lord St. John cepted by the king, but envied by the nobility, on his right hand, and the secretary on his left, and hated of the people. Neither was his name and so to ride between them to church. The day left out of Perkin's proclamation for any good appointed for the interview the king went on will, but they would not bring him in amongst horseback some distance from Saint Peter's church, the king's casting counters, because he had the to receive the archduke: and upon their approach- image and superscription upon him of the pope, ing, the archduke made haste to light, and offered in his honour of cardinal. He won the king to hold the king's stirrup at his alighting; which with secrecy and diligence, but chiefly because the king would not permit, but descending from he was his old servant in his less fortunes: and horseback, they embraced with great affection; and also for that, in his affections, he was not without withdrawing into the church to a place prepared, an inveterate malice against the house of York, they had long conference, not only upon the con- under whom he had been in trouble. He was firmation of former treaties, and the freeing of com- willing also to take envy from the king, more merce, but upon cross marriages, to be had be- than the king was willing to put upon him: for tween the Duke of York, the king's second son, the king cared not for subterfuges, but would and the archduke's daughter; and again between stand envy, and appear in any thing that was to Charles, the archduke's son and heir, and Mary, his mind; which made envy still grow upon him the king's second daughter. But these blossoms more universal, but less daring. But in the matof unripe marriages were but friendly wishes, and ter of exactions, time did after show, that the the airs of loving entertainment; though one of bishop, in feeding the king's humour, did rather them came afterwards to conclusion in treaty, temper it. He had been by Richard the Third though not in effect. But during the time that committed, as in custody, to the Duke of Buckthe two princes conversed and communed toge-ingham, whom he did secretly incite to revolt ther in the suburbs of Calais, the demonstrations from King Richard. But after the duke was enon both sides were passing hearty and affection-gaged, and thought the bishop should have been ate, especially on the part of the archduke; who, his chief pilot in the tempest, the bishop was besides that he was a prince of an excellent good gotten into the cock-boat, and fled over beyond nature, being conscious to himself how dryly the seas. But whatsoever else was in the man, he deking had been used by his council in the matter serveth a most happy memory, in that he was the of Perkin, did strive by all means to recover it principal mean of joining the two roses. He died in the king's affection. And having also his ears of great years, but of strong health and powers. continually beaten with the counsels of his father The next year, which was the sixteenth year and father-in-law, who, in respect of their jealous of the king, and the year of our Lord, one thou hatred against the French king, did always ad- sand five hundred, was the year of jubilee at vise the archduke to anchor himself upon the Rome. But Pope Alexander, to save the hazard amity of King Henry of England; was glad upon and charges of men's journeys to Rome, thought this occasion to put in ure and practice their pre-good to make over those graces by exchange, to cepts, calling the king patron, and father, and such as would pay a convenient rate, seeing they