« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
free from such qualifications had not been observed :) negotiating woman, and in her withdrawingseveral persons who had submitted and claimed chamber had the fortunate conspiracy for the the benefit of the amnesty had been thrown intoking against King Richard III. been hatched, prison and cruelly treated; and in this number which the king knew, and remembered, perhaps, was the Earl of Surrey,* who was now a close but too well, and was at this time extremely prisoner in the Tower. Henry, trembling at the discontent with the king, thinking her daughter effect of all this, now resolved to proclaim another (as the king handled the matter) not advanced, general pardon, free from all exceptions, " or con- but depressed : and none could hold the book so ceived in so ample and liberal a manner as no high well to prompt and instruct this stage-play as she treason (no, not against the king's own person) could.” should be excepted; which (continues Bacon), Soon after, the Marquess of Dorset, Elizabeth's though it might seem strange, yet was it not so son by her first marriage, was arrested and thrown to a wise king, that knew his greatest dangers into the Tower. The amnesty was of course pubwere not from the least treasons, but from the lished immediately; but, not relying wholly on greatest.” The next resolution adopted in council '
this measure, Henry sent trusty agents to the seawas to arrest Elizabeth Woodville, the mother of ports to prevent fugitives, malcontents, and susthe queen ;
and the third was to produce the real pected persons from passing over to Ireland or to Earl of Warwick, and show himn in the most public Flanders : on a Sunday he brought young Edward manner. The council was held with great secrecy. Plantagenet, Earl of Warwick, out of the Tower, It would be a rich treat, and something in all pro- and conducted him in the most public manner bability tending to defeat the many speculations through all the principal streets of London, that and hypotheses of historians, if we could discover he might be seen and recognised by the citizens, the real motives which directed the most remark- many of whom had known the boy up to his tenth able of their measures—the order for the seizure of year. “ And having passed the view of the streets, the queen-dowager ; but this is hopeless. The the
earl was conducted to St. Paul's Church resolutions, however, were immediately carried in solemn procession, where great store of people into execution ; and, first, the queen-dowager was were assembled. And it was provided also, in arrested, deprived of all her property, and placed good fashion, that divers of the nobility and others as a close prisoner in the monastery of Bermond- of quality (especially of those the king most sussey, “whereat there was much wondering that a pected, and that knew the person of Plantagenet weak woman, for the yielding to the menaces and best) had communication with the young gentlepromises of a tyrant, after such a distance of time, man by the way, and entertained him with speech wherein the king had showed no displeasure or and discourse.' This well-studied and most open alteration, but much more after so happy a mar- exhibition had its effect in England. riage between the king and her daughter, blest theless, in Ireland, where it was too late to go with issue male, should, upon a sudden muta- back, it wrought none; but contrariwise, there bility or disclosure of the king's mind, be so they turned the imposture upon the king, and severely handled.”
The motive set forth by gave out that he, to defeat the true inheritor, and Henry was certainly not the true one; it seemed to mock the world, and blind the eyes of simple altogether incredible to the historians of the follow- men, had tricked up a boy in the likeness of Eding age, and it was not credited by Henry's con- ward Plantagenet, and showed him to the people, temporaries. It was, that Elizabeth Woodville was not sparing to profane the ceremony of a solemn punished for her intrigues with King Richard, and procession, the more to countenance the fable.”+ for delivering her daughter into the hands of the But, for a time, the plot thickened even in Engusurper, contrary to her pact and agreement with land. John Earl of Lincoln, son of John de la those that had arranged with her concerning the Pole, Duke of Suffolk, and of Elizabeth, second marriage of her said daughter Elizabeth with sister of Edward IV. and Richard III., had, like Henry himself, then an exile in France. Bacon, the Earl of Warwick, fallen into the power of and Hall, whom he follows, plainly assign another Henry after the battle of Bosworth. It was known
After observing that the priest of Oxford, that his uncle, the late king, had at one time who had never seen the real Earl of Warwick, appointed this young Earl to be his successor on must have had a prompter in a person conversant the throne, and that many persons looked up to with the history of the court and family of York, him as the most promising member of the House
so it cannot be, but that some of York. “ Neither was this unknown to the great person, that knew particularly and familiarly king, who had secretly an eye upon him; but the Edward Plantagenet, had a hand in the business, king, having tasted of the envy of the people for from whom the priest might take his aim. That his imprisonment of Edward Plantagenet, was which is most probable out of the precedent and doubtful to heap up any more distastes of that subsequent acts is, that it was the queen-dowager kind by the imprisonment of de la Pole also ; the from whom this action had the principal source rather thinking it policy to conserve him as a coand motion. For, certain it is, she was a busy, rival unto the other.” The
young earl is described • Surrey had fought bravely for King Richard at the battle of
as a person of great wit, courage, and enterprise, Bosworth-field, where his father, the Duke of Norfolk, was slain.
• Bacon, Life.-Hall.
"with thoughts highly raised by hopes and expectations;" yet, if he had been of a different temper, it seems probable that, at a moment when Henry's suspicions and jealousies were so much excited, self-preservation might have induced him to fly, if not to embark in some desperate project. Immediately after the private sitting of the council at Richmond, Lincoln disappeared, and it was not known for some time whither he had betaken himself. We have seen that the Irish lords had sent emissaries into Flanders. The high personage to whom they addressed themselves was the dowagerduchess of Burgundy, the widow of Charles the Rash, and sister to Edward IV. and Richard, who lived in good state in the Netherlands, having sovereign authority in the district which her husband had left as her dower. The duchess, besides, had acquired great love and authority among the people of the Low Countries generally, by her virtues and popular manners, and by the tenderness she showed to Philip and Margaret, the children of Mary of Burgundy, the daughter of her husband, Duke Charles, by a former marriage. Good and amiable as she was in other respects, this princess hated King Henry and all his race with a most enduring and implacable hatred; and she persevered in a most extraordinary manner in impeding his path with difficulties and dangers. Bacon says, rather ungallantly, that she had "the spirit of a man, and the malice of a woman;" and that, “abounding in treasure by the greatness of her dower and her provident government, and being childless and without any nearer care, she made it her design and enterprise to see the majesty royal of England once again replaced in her house, and had set up King Henry as a mark at whose overthrow all her actions should aim and shoot." It was to her that Lovel had fled on the failure of the insurrection in Yorkshire; and it was to her that her nephew, the Earl of Lincoln, now repaired. The duchess presently got together a body of two thousand Germans, being choice and veteran bands, under the command of Martin Swart, a valiant and experienced captain. With these foreign mercenaries, the Earl of Lincoln, the Lord Lovel, and some other English exiles embarked for Ireland. In the month of May, a few days after their landing, the Earl of Warwick, of that side of the water, was crowned in the cathedral church of Dublin in the most solemn fashion, the Bishop of Meath performing the ceremony. As there was no royal crown at hand, they took a golden diadem from a statue of the Virgin Mary, which answered the purpose very well; and when the boy was well crowned and anointed, he was carried, after the manner of the Irish, from the church to the castle, on the shoulders of a very tall chieftain named Darcy. All this was done without any show of opposition, there being not a single sword drawn for King Henry, and, indeed, no displeasure testified in Ireland, except in the city of Waterford and among the people of the Butlers, who were old Lancastrians and hereditary
enemies of the Earl of Kildare, the lord keeper.* Edward VI., as the new king was styled, issued writs, convoked a parliament, and caused penalties to be enacted against the Butlers and the citizens of Waterford. of Waterford. It appears that some of the principal actors in this astonishing drama thought it would be best to establish themselves first in Ireland, to make that country the seat of the war, and to draw thither King Henry in person, whose absence it was calculated (not without a knowledge of causes) would excite great alterations and commotions in England; but that this plan was defeated by the poverty of the country, by want of the means of paying the German mercenaries, and by the eagerness of the goldiery and the poorer Irish to make their fortunes in the invasion of England. It was, therefore, concluded that with all possible speed Edward VI. and his faithful army should cross St. George's Channel.
Henry, meanwhile, levied troops in different parts of the kingdom, put on a smiling, yet at the same time a devout, face, and, with great policy, resorted to the best means for disconcerting the plots hatching in England, and for securing the good will of the people. Shortly after the sudden flight of Lincoln, he travelled leisurely through Essex, Suffolk, and Norfolk, in which counties the young earl's influence was high. He was courteous to all the gentry, many of whom held themselves ready to do him service.† From Bury St. Edmund's he went to Norwich, and, to captivate the populace, he went from Norwich "in manner of a pilgrimage" to Walsingham, where he visited our Lady's Church, famous for miracles, and made his prayers and vows for help and deliverance. He then proceeded by way of Northampton and Coventry, to Kenilworth Castle, within the strong walls of which he had placed his mother, his wife, and his infant son, Prince Arthur. While he lay at Kenilworth, the king, from Ireland, landed at the pile of Foudray, in the southern extremity of Furness. Immediately on their landing, the Earl of Lincoln and the Lord Lovel were joined by their sworn friend Sir Thomas Broughton, whose estates lay in Lancashire, and whose tenants were ready armed. From the coast they advanced boldly towards York, expecting to be joined on
Three or four of the bishops, however, kept aloof.
† We learn, from one of the Paston letters, dated in the month of May, that the king and his lieutenant, the Earl of Oxford, were right well content at the conduct of the Norfolk gentry. "Howbeit," says the Earl of Oxford, the writer of the letter," his highness will not as yet put you to any further labour or charge for so much as his rebels and enemies be into Ireland; nevertheless his grace will that the country be ready at all times to do his highness service upon reasonable warning, for so much as the king's grace intendeth to make provision to send an army into Ireland in haste, not knowing as yet whether that ye, and other about you, shall be desired to bear any charge thereto or no." We also learn, from the same invaluable collection, that Lord Lovel's wife had remained in England, and that the court was jealous of such as held communications with her. The Pastons were not more steady in their politics than the majority of their cotemporaries: they had changed sides more than once already, and now Sir John seems to have been suspected of favouring the Lord Lovel. Sir Edmund Bedingfield, who was in high favour at court, writes thus to his loving cousin John, on the 16th of May, "Furthermore, cousin, it is said, that after my lord (Oxford) departing to the king ye were at Barkway, which is construed that ye had been with the Lady Lovel, but wrath said never well; and inasmuch as we understand my lord's pleasure, it is we done we deal wisely hereafter."
worn a crown.....
the road by many malcontents. · But their snow- adventurous lord. Within this chamber was ball did not gather as it went; for the people came a skeleton of a man seated in a chair with his not in to them, neither did any rise or declare head resting upon a table; and these sad relics themselves in other parts of the kingdom for them, were supposed, with some reason, to tell a tale of which was caused partly by the good taste that the horror.* king had given his people of his government, Henry's conduct after the victory of Stoke was joined with the reputation of his felicity (good luck), very characteristic. “For Lambert (Simnel)” says and partly for that it was an odious thing to the Bacon, “ the king would not take his life, both out people of England to have a king brought in to them of magnanimity--taking him but as an image of upon the shoulders of Irish and Dutch, of which wax, that others had tempered and moulded-and their army was in substance compounded. Neither likewise out of wisdom, thinking that if he suffered was it a thing done with any great judgment on death, he would be forgotten too soon, but being the part of the rebels, for them to take their way kept alive he would be a continual spectacle, and a towards York; considering that, howsoever those kind of remedy against the like enchantments of parts had formerly been a nursery of their friends, people in time to come. For which cause he was yet it was there where the Lord Lovel had so taken into service in his court, to a base office in lately disbanded, and where the king's presence his kitchen; so that he turned a broacht that had had a little before qualified discontents.”* Though
And afterwards he was precruelly disappointed in his expectations, the young ferred to be one of the king's falconers. As to the Earl of Lincoln, who was the soul of the party, priest, he was committed close prisoner, and heard boldly turned southward to meet Henry, who was of no more—the king loving to seal up his own advancing upon York by way of Coventry, Lei- dangers.” In many respects Henry took great cester, and Nottingham, at the head of a well-ap- pains to surround the whole business with mystery pointed and numerous army,
On the 16th of and silence. This, perhaps, proceeded in part from June the Earl of Oxford, who led Henry's van, his peculiar disposition, which seems to have dewas brought into action at Stoke, then a little vil- lighted in making mysteries even where none existed. lage upon the brow of a hill not far from Newark. The priest Simon was never brought to trial; but Henry prudently remained with the rear-guard, though he was probably put to the rack in secret, which never came into action. The battle was Henry pretended that there were things connected fierce and obstinate for about three hours; but the with the plot of which Simon was ignorant; and invaders had little or no cavalry, and the mass of the king said to some of his council that he was them were ill provided with arms. " Martin sorry for the death of the Earl of Lincoln, who Swart, with his Germans, performed bravely, and might have revealed to him the bottom of his danso did those few English that were on that side; ger, or the full extent of the conspiracy. I neither did the Irish fail in courage or fierceness, One of the king's first cares after the battle of but, being almost naked men, only armed with Stoke was to return a solemn thanksgiving, and to darts and skeins, it was rather an execution than offer up his banner at the shrine of our Lady of a fight upon them ; insomuch as the furious Walsingham. He then travelled northward slaughter of them was a great discouragement and punish such persons as had assisted or favoured appalment to the rest.” The veteran Germans the rebels. His proceedings were wholly indedied in their ranks almost to a man; nor was the pendent of the ordinary courts of justice; but, as victory decided till one half of the whole invading on many other occasions, his revenge was subserforce and many hundreds of the Earl of Oxford's vient to his avarice. “ For all along as he went, men had perished. His majesty Edward VI., with much severity and strict inquisition, partly now plain Lambert Simnel, the son of a baker, and by martial law, and partly by commission, were the priest of Oxford, whose proper name punished the adherents and aiders of the late rebels; Simons, were taken prisoners; the Earl of Lincoln, not all by death, for the field had drawn much the Lords Thomas and Maurice Fitzgerald, Sir blood, but by fines and ransoms, which spared life Thomas Broughton, and Martin Swart, died fight- and raised treasure. Amongst other crimes of this ing like brave men. The Lord Lovel was seen nature, there was diligent inquiry made of such as to escape from the field : his name was not in- had raised a bruit and rumour, a little before the cluded in the mournful list of the dead, made as field fought, that the rebels had the day, and that usual by a herald, but, as he was never more seen, the king's army was overthrown, and the king it was believed that he had been drowned in at- fled."'S But the pleasure Henry derived from a tempting to swim his horse across the river Trent. harvest of this kind, and from sceing that all imLong after, when the race of the Tudors had gone mediate opposition had vanished, did not blind to their account, and when the dynasty of the him to the facts, that his behaviour to his queen Stuarts had been driven out of the kingdom, had created him many enemies, and that his jealousy nearly two hundred years from the time of this for- of the whole House of York, instead of strengthengotten battle of Stoke,—some workmen accidentally ing him, had weakened him, by alienating the discovered a subterranean chamber at Minster Lovel, in Oxfordshire, the ancient seat of the
Bacon.-llall.--Rot. Parl.-Carte. Hist. Eng.
affections of the people. Elizabeth, the rightful heir, was kept in obscurity; she had been his wife a year and a half, and had borne him a son, and still she was not crowned. Now, however, he was "willing to give some contentment of that kind, at least in ceremony." From Warwick he sent instructions to prepare for a splendid coronation; and when all things were ready, and the parliament was sitting, Elizabeth was crowned at Westminster on the 20th of November,-Henry witnessing the whole ceremony, and the feast which followed, from behind a screen or lattice
that concealed his person.
business of the parliament when it met was to vote supplies and a bill of attainder, which, on slight evidence, included a great number of persons said to have been concerned in the late insurrection. It appears that no names were inserted except of persons who had property to forfeit.
During this summer Henry sent Fox, now Bishop of Durham, on an embassy into Scotland, being still prudently anxious to preserve peace with that country. The expert churchman conducted the mission with great success. James was already well disposed to continue to live in peace with his neighbours. He turned aside from the flattering picture of conquest or spoil, presented to him by some of his warlike nobles, who thought it folly to miss the opportunity offered by the factious state of England; and he listened to proposals for a new and enlarged treaty of marriage. "But the King of Scotland, labouring under the same disease that King Henry didthat is, discontented subjects apt to rise"-could do little more than prolong the truce; and in the course of the following year a tragical death broke all his treaties and plans.
the ceremony to "an old christening that had staid long for godfathers." He adds, that owing to the strange and unusual delay, all men saw that the king had merely complied out of necessity and reason of state. He liberated the Marquess of Dorset from the Tower, but it appears that he still left Elizabeth Woodville, that nobleman's mother, and the mother of his queen, in the hands of the monks of Bermondsey. The chief A curious account of the coronation is given by Ives.-See Se lect Papers,' &c.
Ever since his accession Henry had been occupied exclusively in settling his affairs at home; but now, complicated intrigues and great political movements forced him to look abroad. The aspect of affairs in France, even before these demonstrations, was sufficiently alarming: the dissevered parts of that country were gradually uniting into a consistent whole, and forming a great and compact kingdom, while the much narrower extent of Britain was still divided into two rival kingdoms frequently at war with one another. The rapid growth of the French power threatened to cast a dangerous shadow over all the neighbouring countries; and, both according to the principles of common policy, which seeks to check the too rapid aggrandisement of a rival, and to the juster and nobler policy which opposes itself to the conquest of small and weak states by strong ones, Henry seemed bound to take an active part in the affairs of the continent, where the losing party constantly addressed themselves to the warlike spirit and power and magnanimity of the English nation. But Henry was no warrior, and his avidity for money, his juggling and double-dealing, prevented
him from taking up the honourable position of an arbiter and peace-maker; for, with the means he had in his hands, he might have curbed the ambition of France without any war. At the time of the death of Louis XI., which happened on the 30th of August, 1483, about two months after the accession of Richard III., by craft and policy, by fortunate marriages, and by the sword, the French monarchy had swallowed up all the independent principalities, except Brittany, which still preserved its duke and its comparatively free institutions. Charles VIII., the son of Louis, was only fourteen years of age when he ascended the throne of France; and, according to arrangements made by his father, he was placed for a fixed time under the tutelage of Madame Anne, his elder sister, who had married Peter of Bourbon, Lord of Beaujeu. What followed was according to precedent-the Duke of Orleans (afterwards Louis XII.), who hated Bourbon and his wife, flew to arms; but Orleans was unsuccessful and driven to seek refuge in Brittany.* Duke Francis II. had always been a weak prince, and he was now growing old and infirm. His guest, notwithstanding he was already married to one of the daughters of Louis XI., conceived the idea of obtaining possession of the duchy by marrying Anne of Brittany, the elder daughter and heiress of Francis; and a party among the turbulent Breton nobles entered into his views. the same time there was another faction that favoured the French court, and another that inclined to an alliance with England. The country was ravaged by a civil war, the most painful event of which, to the Duke Francis, was his being obliged, by a temporary union of two of the parties, and by the clamour of the people, to deliver up his minister and favourite Landois (the old acquaintance of King Henry), who, being accused of a variety of crimes, among which sorcery was not forgotten, was tortured into a confession of crimes which he had really committed, was sentenced by six commissaries, who tried him under the of the Duke of Orange, his mortal enemy, to be hanged as a traitor, and was hanged accordingly in spite of the solemn promises of the confederates to the duke that his life should be safe. Encouraged by the prevailing disorders, the French regency precociously betrayed their design of seizing the duchy upon the ground of some inexplicable right. Duke Francis thereupon summoned the three estates of the duchy, who took a most solemn oath of allegiance to the Princess Anne, and, in case of her dying without issue, to her younger sister Madame Isabeau. This act fixed the eyes of several princes upon the heiress of Brittany, and, besides the Duke of Orleans, who had many formidable difficulties
to overcome, the Sire d'Albret, whose dominions
Our old friend Comines was deeply concerned in this plot with the Duke of Orleans. His letters were intercepted by the Regent Anne, and he was thrown into prison and harshly treated. It was on this occasion that the historian was shut up in one of those iron cages at Loches (the invention of Louis XI.), which he describes with such unction. "Many men," says he," have cursed those cages, and I among the rest, having tasted of them in mine own person." He was closely caged for eight mouths.