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THE NEW YORK
ASTOR, LENOX AND . TILDEN FOUNDATIONS. 1001
Printed by WILLIAM CLOWES and SONS,
GREAT SEAL OF HENRY VII.
FTER the death of Richard, the person that gave most uneasiness to the conqueror of Bosworth Field was Edward Plantagenet, Earl of Warwick, son and heir to the late Duke of Clarence, who for some time had been kept a prisoner in the manor-house of Sheriff - Hutton, in Yorkshire, by the jealous fears of his uncle Richard. This unfortunate boy was indisputably the next heir of the House of York after the Princess Elizabeth; he had even at one time been treated by his uncle Richard III. as heir apparent; and as he was already in his fifteenth year, he was not likely to be overlooked by Henry, who had "the ingenious forecast of the subtle serpent." Before leaving Leicester, he sent Sir Robert Willoughby to remove the captive from Sheriff-Hutton to London, where the young prince, " born to perpetual calamity, was incontinent in the Tower of London put under safe and sure custody."* His heart
must have sunk as he saw the prison chosen for him by the new king, the walls of which had so recently heard (as was generally believed) the dying moans of his two cousins. At Sheriff-Hutton Edward Plantagenet had for a short time a fellow prisoner, if not a companion, in the Princess Elizabeth, who had been sent thither by her uncle Richard soon after the failure of his scheme for marrying her.* This lady, not long after Edward Plantagenet's removal to the Tower, was brought up to London "with a numerous attendance as well of noblemen as honourable matrons," and was there lodged with her mother, the queen dowager, Elizabeth Woodville, who was quite ready to take another turn, and adapt herself to any circumstances, if they held out a prospect of gratifying her ambition.
From Leicester Henry travelled by easy journeys towards the capital. The "rustical people" on every side of the way assembled in vast numbers, and with great joy clapped their hands and shouted, "King Henry! king Henry!" and when he approached the city on the 27th of August, five days after the battle of Bosworth Field, the mayor, aldermen, and companies, all clad in violet, met him at Hornsey Wood, and, with great pomp, conveyed him through the city to St. Paul's church,
See ante, p. 128.
where he offered his three standards on the high altar, one, an image of St. George; the second, a red dragon; the third, a dun-cow; and after prayers said and Te Deum sung, he departed to the bishop's palace, and there sojourned a season; during which time plays, pastimes, and pleasures were showed in every part of the city. These profane amusements were interspersed with religious pageants: immense processions were ordered to express the hearty and humble thanks of the people, who, it was said (rather prematurely), had been restored to liberty and freedom. The concourse of people in the capital and their constant meeting in great crowds appears to have spread a disease which had been for some time raging with less violence in the provinces.† The sweating sickness," as it was called from one of its symptoms, is not easy of description; but it was an epidemic that committed great ravages, and which, like the plague, generally proved fatal within a very short time. It began in London about the 21st of September and continued till the end of October. According to one old writer, it was a new kind of sickness coming suddenly through the whole realm, and one very fatal to lord mayors and aldermen, probably, we should say, because these functionaries were much exposed during the celebrations we have mentioned: 66 so that of all them that sickened there was not one amongst an hundred that escaped, insomuch
Hall-Stow. Henry entered London in a clumsy, close carriage, carefully shut up so as to conceal his person. The Londoners, who had always been accustomed to see their kings ride on horseback, thought this a very bad sign.
+ It will be remembered that Stanley excused his non-attendance on King Richard by saying that he was laid up with the sweating sickness.-See ante, p. 129.
that, beside the great number which deceased within the city of London, two mayors successively died of the same disease within eight days, and six aldermen also."* We are not told that this visitation, so inauspicious at the beginning of a new reign and dynasty, was held to be a judgment, though it may have been so considered by some of the losing party, who had no historians. When the malady abated, Henry prepared for his coronation. On the eve of St. Simon and Jude he rode from Kennington unto Lambeth, and there dined with Thomas Bourchier, Cardinal-Archbishop of Canterbury; and after dinner, with a goodly company of lords, both spiritual and temporal, he went by land towards London, his nobles riding, "after the guise of France, upon small hackneys, two and two upon a horse ;" and, at London-bridge end, he was met and welcomed by John Warde, the new mayor, with his brethren and the crafts. The king took up his lodging in the Tower. There, on the following day, the 28th of October, he made. a number of promotions. His uncle Jasper, Earl of Pembroke, was made Duke of Bedford; the Lord Stanley, who had put the crown upon his head on Bosworth Field, was made Earl of Derby; and Sir Edward Courtenay was raised to the rank of Earl of Devonshire. Sir Gilbert Talbot, Sir John Cheney, Sir Humphrey Stanley, with nine others, were created knights bannerets. On the 30th of October Henry was, with all ceremonies accustomed, anointed and crowned king, by Bourchier, the cardinal-archbishop who, little more than two years before, had performed the same ceremonies for Richard. It was declared now, as