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PERKIN WARBECK. The daring attempt of Lambert Simnel being so satisfactorily frustrated, Henry remained for the next five years in undisturbed possession of his kingdom, secure, as he fondly thought, from all further conspiracies, and so firmly fixed on his throne that no mortal power could remove him; but he was soon aroused from his delusion to confront an enemy whose pretensions were so formidable that it required all his talent and courage to maintain the field against him. This enemy was Perkin Warbeck, described by the old chronicler Hall, as “ a young man of visage beautiful, of countenance demure, of wit, subtle, crafty and pregnant;" set up by the Duchess of Burgundy (sister of Edward IV.,) who was stil plotting to restore the fallen fortunes of her house, to personate the Duke of York, whose escape from the Tower was endeavoured to be proved by a chain of most circumstantial and truth-seeming evidence. In the case of Lambert Simnel, the production of the real Earl of Warwick at once gave the lie to the impostor, but with Perkin Warbeck it was widely different. The fate of the Duke of York was shrouded in great mystery, and the sworn testimony of several creditable witnesses who had seen the Duchess of Burgundy's protegé, declared that he was the true prince. Thus the peril of Henry was most imminent, the more so, as Warbeck greatly resembled Edward IV., and possessed many natural and acquired qualifications for the station to which he pretended. This most perplexing personage in English history was the son of a renegado Jew of Tournay, who had resided some time in London, in the reign of Edward IV. Having had opportunities of being known to the king, he persuaded that monarch to stand godfather to his son, to whom he gave the name of Peter, corrupted after the Flemish manner into Peterkin or Perkin. By some it was believed, from the child's extraordinary likeness to Edward, that he was his father, and, indeed, it was somewhat strange that a king should stand godfather to one of so mean a parentage. Some years afterwards the Jew returned to Tournay, where Perkin did not long remain, but by different accidents was carried from place to place, so that his real birth and fortune were difficult to trace. The variety of his adventures favoured the natural sagacity of his genius, and he seemed a youth fitted to act any part or assume any character. In this light he was represented to the Duchess of Burgundy, who found him to exceed her most sanguine expectations : handsome in his person, graceful in his air, courtly in his address, and full of docility and good sense in his behaviour and conversation.

Thus patronised, he was instructed to personate Richard, Duke of York. Ireland was again fixed on for the débût of this second impostor. He landed at Cork, and immediately assuming the name of Richard Plantagenet, drew to him numerous followers. He dispersed everywhere the strange intelligence of his escape from his uncle, the Duke of Gloucester, and soon became the general object of favour and conversation,

His first attempt was upon the coast of Kent; being here repulsed, and many of his followers taken prisoners, he retired to Scotland. Here he was so well received, and his title so firmly believed, that the Scottish king gave him in marriage his niece, the Lady Katherine Gordon. Supported by the Scots, he invaded England, having first dispersed a manifesto, setting forth his pretensions, and calling upon his loving subjects to expel the usurper, whose oppressions and rapacity rendered him justly odious to all men. The license and disorder of the Scots struck terror into the English; and Perkin, to support his pretensions to royal birth, feigned great compassion for his plundered subjects, and remonstrated with his august ally against the excesses of the Scottish army.

After experiencing a variety of fortune, he was at length taken prisoner, and conducted in mock triumph through London. His life was granted him, but impatient of confinement, he broke from his keeper, and flying to the sanctuary of Shene, put himself into the hands of the prior of that monastery. The prior again prevailed upon the king to pardon this restless adventurer. But in order to reduce him to greater contempt, he was set in the stocks at Westminster and Cheapside, and compelled to read aloud to the people a real account of his origin and history. He was then confined in the Tower, but the same restless spirit accompanying him, he was detected in new plots and intrigues. Having by this new attempt rendered himself unworthy of mercy, he was arraigned, condemned, and soon after hanged at Tyburn.*

Kings of England, p. 84. HENRY'S AVARICE AND EXTORTIONS. While the king sought by foreign alliances to add to the security of his family, he was equally solicitous to amass riches at the expense of his subjects. What they termed avarice he denominated policy; observing that to deprive his adversaries of their

* Horace Walpole's great point in his "Historic Doubts,” relating to the document which he thought proved, by the account therein given of the robes supplied to tbe young king, that he walked at his uncle's coronation, is thus ably refuted by Lingard : “ We are told that the deposed prince walked in the procession, because it appears that robes were ordered for him and his henchmen or pages. The inference is far from correct, as the robes charged in the roll (Archæol. i.--372) are probably those which had been ordered and made for Edward's own coronation. To have forced him to walk on such an occasion would have been a dangerous experiment, nor could it have escaped the notice of the contemporary writers who mention the principal personages.”

Lingard, vol v., p. 253. There is, however, one fact in this mysterious matter, upon which all historians agree, viz., that Elizabeth, Henry's queen, who could at once have decided the question of Perkin Warbeck's identity, was never permitted to see her pretended brother.

The discovery of the bones on making the staircase in the chapel of the Tower is certainly a strong corroboration of the popular legend regarding the death of the two young princes ; still there are many powerful circumstances connected with Warbeck's history, which, if they do not prove him to have been the true Duke of York, establish him as one of the most mysterious and extraordinary personages ever recorded in English history.

wealth was to take from them the means of annoyance; but Henry's rapacity was not very scrupulous in its selection; it fed with equal appetite on his friends and his enemies. The men whom he employed as the agents of oppression were Sir Richard Empson and Edmond Dudley, both lawyers of inventive heads and unfeeling hearts, who despoiled the subject to fill the king's coffers, and despoiled the king to enrich themselves. By

the arts of these men (who revived long dormant statutes, brought false accusations, and condemned their victims to imprisonment or death, which illegal punishments they afterwards commuted to a heavy fine), every class of subjects was harrassed and impoverished, while a constant stream of wealth passed through the hands of Empson and Dudley, of which part only was suffered to reach the treasury, the remainder they diverted into their own coffers. *

Lingard, vol. v., p. 334, DEATH OF HENRY VII. His health, which for many years had been gradually failing, now beginning rapidly to decline, he began to cast his eye towards hat future existence which the iniquities and severities of his reign rendered a very dismal prospect to him. To allay the errors under which he laboured he endeavoured, by distributing alms and founding religious houses, to make atonement for his crimes, and to purchase by the sacrifice of his ill-gotten treasures a reconciliation with his offended Maker. Remorse even seized him at intervals for the abuse of his authority by Empson and Dudley, but not sufficient to make him stop the rapacious hand of those oppressors, until death by its near approaches impressed new terrors upon him, and he then ordered, by a general clause in his will, that restitution should be made to all those whom he had injured. He died on the 21st of April, 1509, of consumption, at his favourite palace of Richmond, in the fifty-second year of his age, and was buried in his stately tomb in his chapel in Westminster Abbey.

Hume, vol. iii., p. 395.

* If we may credit a story related by Bacon, Henry was not less adroit, or less unfeeling than his two ministers. Of the partizans of the House of Lancaster there was no one whose exertions or sacrifices had been greater than those of the Earl of Oxford. That nobleman on one occasion had entertained the king at his castle at Henningham, and when Henry was ready to depart, a number of servants and retainers in the earl's living were drawn up in two lines, to do honour to the sovereign. “My lord," said the king, “I have heard much of your hospitality, but I see it is greater than the speech. These handsome gentlemen and yeoman that I see on each side of me are surely your menial servants ?” The earl replied with a smile, “That, inay it please your grace, were not for mine ease. They are most of them mine retainers, come to do me service at a time like this, and chiefly to see your grace.' Henry affected to start, and returned, “By my faith, my lord, I thank you for your good cheer, but I may not endure to have my laws broken in my sight. My attorney must speak with you." He alluded to the statuto against retainers, which had been passed in his first parliament; and the earl, for his misplaced generosity, was condemned to pay a fine of ten thousand pounds; an almost incredible sum, if we consider the relative value of money at that period. It is said that llenry, at his death, left 1,800,0001. sterling in gold and silver, about three millions of our present money.

PERSON AND CHARACTER. He was tall, straight, and well shaped, though slender, of a grave aspect, and saturnine complexion, austere in his dress, and reserved in conversation, except when he had a favourite point to carry, and then he would fawn, flatter, and practise all the arts of insinuation.

Smollett. His capacity was excellent, but somewhat contracted by the narrowness of his heart; avarice was his ruling passion, and he remains an instance, almost singular, of a man placed in a high station, and possessed of talents for great affairs in whom this passion predominated above ambition. Hume, vol. ii., p. 396.

CHRONICLE. 1485. Sweating sickness makes its first appearance in London; it carried off several thousands who died of it in four-and-twenty hours; among others were two Lord Mayors in succession, one sheriff, and six aldermen; it re-appeared in 1506, 1517, 1528, and last in 1551. Oct. 30th, 1485. Henry crowned at Westminster, on which occasion he first instituted the yeomen of the guard. The houses of York and Lancaster united on the 18th of Jan., 1486, by the marriage of Henry with the Princess Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Edward IV. 1487. The Court of Star Chamber instituted. 1488. The Cape of Good Hope discovered. 1492. Columbus sails from Palos on his first memorable voyage of discovery; on the 11th of October, after touching at the Canary Islands, he caught sight of one of the Bahama Islands. In a second voyage across the Atlantic he made important discoveries, but it was not until his third voyage commenced, in 1498, that he first saw the main land of America, so that he was preceded by Sebastian Cabot and Americus Vespucius, who departed from Europe the preceding year, and both visited the American continent before him; but Columbus having first crossed the Atlantic the chief merit belongs to him. It was Columbus who at this time first brought sea charts and maps into England. 1493. The queen delivered of her second son, Henry, who succeeded his father as Henry VIII. 1498. Richmond palace burnt down and rebuilt. 1499, Nov. 28. The Earl of Warwick, the last of the male line of the Plantagenets, beheaded on Tower-hill. This unfortunate prince was twenty-four years old, and had been confined by Henry VII. in the Tower for fifteen years in such complete seclusion, says Stowe," from the company of men and beasts, that he was said not to know a goose from a capon.” May, 1500. There happened so great a plague in England that it occasioned the king and court to move to Calais, and it swept off upwards of 30,000 people in London. 1505. Shillings first coined in England. 1507. Window-glass was such a rarity as not to be usually found in the castles of the nobility, lattice-horn or bevil being of almost universal use, except in the king's palaces. In this reign suits “in forma pauperis" were first established, and sumptuary laws were enforced, regulating apparel both as to quality and quantity, and also fixing the price of provisions. *

FROM 1509 to 1547–37 YEARS, 9 MONTHS, 7 DAYS.

HENRY'S SIX WIVES. The history of the six ill-starred women on whom Henry bestowed his affection and his hate can find no parallel in the records of regal crime, and so uniformly fatal was the result of all his marriages, that their brief joys and speedy sorrows may be summed up in these words; from the throne to the scaffold, there was but one step, and the passing bell of the last victim had scarcely tolled ere it rang the bridal peal for another.

Catherine of Arragon was the first unfortunate queen whose cruel wrongs enlist our sympathy; she was the Infanta of Spain, and widow of Prince Arthur, Henry's elder brother, who survived his marriage but five months. Catherine was in her twentyfourth year when she was united to Henry, who was then eighteen. For eighteen years their happiness was undisturbed,

* Hume, in the notes to his history of this reign, has inserted an extract from the household book of an old Earl of Northumberland, who lived at this time; it is & curious picture of ancient manners, and affords a complete insight into the domestic economy of the ancient barons. The family consists of 166 persons, masters and servants ; 57 strangers are reckoned upon every day; in the whole 223 persons. Two-pence halfpenny are supposed to be the daily expense of each, for meat, drink, and firing ; this would make a groat of our present money. The sum allotted by the earl for his whole annual expense is 1,1181. 175. 8d.; meat, drink, and firing cost 7961. Ils. 20. more than two-thirds of the whole.

Every thing is conducted with extreme order; insomuch that the number of pieces which must be cat ont of every quarter of beef, mutton, pork, nay, even stock-fish and salmon, is determined, and must be entered and accounted for by the different clerks apppointed for that purpose. If a servant be absent a day his mess is struck off; if he go on my lord's business, board wages are allowed him, 8d. & day for his journey nter, 5d. in summer. Two hundred and fifty quarters of malt are allowed a month, at 4s. a quarter. Two hogsheads are to be made of & quarter, which amounts to a bottle and third of beer a day to each person, and the beer not be very strong. The family only eat fresh meat from Midsummer to Mie chaelmas; all the rest of the year they live on salted meat. One hundred and sixty gallons of mustard are allowed in a year, which seems a necessary qualification for their salt beef.

Only seventy ells of linen, at 8d. an ell, are annually allowed for the whole family: no sheets were used. The linen was made into eight table-cloths for my lord's table, and one table cloth for the knights ; the last probably washed only once a month, or longer. Only 40s. are allowed for washing throughout the year, and that is principally expended on the linen in the chapel. Only ninety-one dozen of candles for the whole year. The family rose at six in the morning, dined at ten, and supped at four in the afternoon. The gates were all shut at nine, and no farther ingress or egress permitted. My lord and lady have set on their table at breakfast a quart of beer, as much wine, two pieces of salt fish, six red herrings four white ones, or a dish of sprats. In flesh days, half a chine of mutton, or a chine of beef boiled. Mass is ordered to be said at six in the morning, in order says the household book, that all my lord's servants may rise early.

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