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free from such qualifications had not been observed: several persons who had submitted and claimed the benefit of the amnesty had been thrown into prison and cruelly treated; and in this number was the Earl of Surrey, who was now a close prisoner in the Tower. Henry, trembling at the effect of all this, now resolved to proclaim another general pardon, free from all exceptions, "or conceived in so ample and liberal a manner as no high treason (no, not against the king's own person) should be excepted; which (continues Bacon), though it might seem strange, yet was it not so to a wise king, that knew his greatest dangers were not from the least treasons, but from the greatest." The next resolution adopted in council was to arrest Elizabeth Woodville, the mother of the queen; and the third was to produce the real Earl of Warwick, and show him in the most public manner. The council was held with great secrecy. It would be a rich treat, and something in all probability tending to defeat the many speculations and hypotheses of historians, if we could discover the real motives which directed the most remarkable of their measures-the order for the seizure of the queen-dowager; but this is hopeless. The resolutions, however, were immediately carried into execution; and, first, the queen-dowager was arrested, deprived of all her property, and placed as a close prisoner in the monastery of Bermondsey, whereat there was much wondering that a weak woman, for the yielding to the menaces and promises of a tyrant, after such a distance of time, wherein the king had showed no displeasure or alteration, but much more after so happy a marriage between the king and her daughter, blest with issue male, should, upon a sudden mutability or disclosure of the king's mind, be so severely handled. " The motive set forth by Henry was certainly not the true one; it seemed altogether incredible to the historians of the following age, and it was not credited by Henry's contemporaries. It was, that Elizabeth Woodville was punished for her intrigues with King Richard, and for delivering her daughter into the hands of the usurper, contrary to her pact and agreement with those that had arranged with her concerning the marriage of her said daughter Elizabeth with Henry himself, then an exile in France. Bacon, and Hall, whom he follows, plainly assign another reason. After observing that the priest of Oxford, who had never seen the real Earl of Warwick, must have had a prompter in a person conversant with the history of the court and family of York, Bacon says, so it cannot be, but that some great person, that knew particularly and familiarly Edward Plantagenet, had a hand in the business, from whom the priest might take his aim. That which is most probable out of the precedent and subsequent acts is, that it was the queen-dowager from whom this action had the principal source and motion. For, certain it is, she was a busy,
• Surrey had fought bravely for King Richard at the battle of Bosworth-field, where his father, the Duke of Norfolk, was slain.
negotiating woman, and in her withdrawingchamber had the fortunate conspiracy for the king against King Richard III. been hatched, which the king knew, and remembered, perhaps, but too well; and was at this time extremely discontent with the king, thinking her daughter (as the king handled the matter) not advanced, but depressed and none could hold the book so well to prompt and instruct this stage-play as she could."*
Soon after, the Marquess of Dorset, Elizabeth's son by her first marriage, was arrested and thrown into the Tower. The amnesty was of course published immediately; but, not relying wholly on this measure, Henry sent trusty agents to the seaports to prevent fugitives, malcontents, and suspected persons from passing over to Ireland or to Flanders: on a Sunday he brought young Edward Plantagenet, Earl of Warwick, out of the Tower, and conducted him in the most public manner through all the principal streets of London, that he might be seen and recognised by the citizens, many of whom had known the boy up to his tenth year. "And having passed the view of the streets, the young earl was conducted to St. Paul's Church in solemn procession, where great store of people were assembled. And it was provided also, in good fashion, that divers of the nobility and others of quality (especially of those the king most suspected, and that knew the person of Plantagenet best) had communication with the young gentleman by the way, and entertained him with speech and discourse." This well-studied and most open exhibition had its effect in England. "Nevertheless, in Ireland, where it was too late to go back, it wrought none; but contrariwise, there they turned the imposture upon the king, and gave out that he, to defeat the true inheritor, and to mock the world, and blind the eyes of simple men, had tricked up a boy in the likeness of Edward Plantagenet, and showed him to the people, not sparing to profane the ceremony of a solemn procession, the more to countenance the fable."+
But, for a time, the plot thickened even in England. John Earl of Lincoln, son of John de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk, and of Elizabeth, second sister of Edward IV. and Richard III., had, like the Earl of Warwick, fallen into the power of Henry after the battle of Bosworth. It was known that his uncle, the late king, had at one time. appointed this young Earl to be his successor on the throne, and that many persons looked up to him as the most promising member of the House of York. "Neither was this unknown to the king, who had secretly an eye upon him; but the king, having tasted of the envy of the people for his imprisonment of Edward Plantagenet, was doubtful to heap up any more distastes of that kind by the imprisonment of de la Pole also; the rather thinking it policy to conserve him as a corival unto the other." The young carl is described as a person of great wit, courage, and enterprise,
"with thoughts highly raised by hopes and expec- | tations;" 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. 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 carl'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." 2 P
adventurous lord. Within this chamber was a skeleton of a man seated in a chair with his head resting upon a table; and these sad relics were supposed, with some reason, to tell a tale of horror.*
the road by many malcontents. "But their snowball did not gather as it went; for the people came not in to them, neither did any rise or declare themselves in other parts of the kingdom for them, which was caused partly by the good taste that the king had given his people of his government, joined with the reputation of his felicity (good luck), and partly for that it was an odious thing to the people of England to have a king brought in to them upon the shoulders of Irish and Dutch, of which their army was in substance compounded. Neither was it a thing done with any great judgment on the part of the rebels, for them to take their way towards York; considering that, howsoever those parts had formerly been a nursery of their friends, yet it was there where the Lord Lovel had so lately disbanded, and where the king's presence had a little before qualified discontents." Though cruelly disappointed in his expectations, the young Earl of Lincoln, who was the soul of the party, boldly turned southward to meet Henry, who was advancing upon York by way of Coventry, Leicester, and Nottingham, at the head of a well-appointed and numerous army. On the 16th of June the Earl of Oxford, who led Henry's van, was brought into action at Stoke, then a little village upon the brow of a hill not far from Newark. Henry prudently remained with the rear-guard, which never came into action. The battle was fierce and obstinate for about three hours; but the invaders had little or no cavalry, and the mass of them were ill provided with arms. "Martin Swart, with his Germans, performed bravely, and so did those few English that were on that side; neither did the Irish fail in courage or fierceness, but, being almost naked men, only armed with darts and skeins, it was rather an execution than a fight upon them; insomuch as the furious slaughter of them was a great discouragement and appalment to the rest. The veteran Germans died in their ranks almost to a man; nor was the victory decided till one half of the whole invading force and many hundreds of the Earl of Oxford's men had perished. His majesty Edward VI., now plain Lambert Simnel, the son of a baker, and the priest of Oxford, whose proper name Simons, were taken prisoners; the Earl of Lincoln, the Lords Thomas and Maurice Fitzgerald, Sir Thomas Broughton, and Martin Swart, died fighting like brave men. The Lord Lovel was seen to escape from the field: his name was not included in the mournful list of the dead, made as usual by a herald, but, as he was never more seen, it was believed that he had been drowned in attempting to swim his horse across the river Trent. Long after, when the race of the Tudors had gone to their account, and when the dynasty of the Stuarts had been driven out of the kingdom,— nearly two hundred years from the time of this forgotten battle of Stoke,―some workmen accidentally discovered a subterranean chamber at Minster Lovel, in Oxfordshire, the ancient seat of the
Henry's conduct after the victory of Stoke was very characteristic. "For Lambert (Simnel)" says Bacon," the king would not take his life, both out of magnanimity-taking him but as an image of wax, that others had tempered and moulded-and likewise out of wisdom, thinking that if he suffered death, he would be forgotten too soon, but being kept alive he would be a continual spectacle, and a kind of remedy against the like enchantments of people in time to come. For which cause he was
taken into service in his court, to a base office in his kitchen; so that he turned a broach† that had worn a crown. . . . . And afterwards he was preferred to be one of the king's falconers. As to the priest, he was committed close prisoner, and heard of no more-the king loving to seal up his own dangers." In many respects Henry took great pains to surround the whole business with mystery and silence. This, perhaps, proceeded in part from his peculiar disposition, which seems to have delighted in making mysteries even where none existed. The priest Simon was never brought to trial; but though he was probably put to the rack in secret, Henry pretended that there were things connected with the plot of which Simon was ignorant; and the king said to some of his council that he was sorry for the death of the Earl of Lincoln, who might have revealed to him the bottom of his danger, or the full extent of the conspiracy.‡
One of the king's first cares after the battle of Stoke was to return a solemn thanksgiving, and to offer up his banner at the shrine of our Lady of Walsingham. He then travelled northward to punish such persons as had assisted or favoured the rebels. His proceedings were wholly independent of the ordinary courts of justice; but, as on many other occasions, his revenge was subservient to his avarice. "For all along as he went, with much severity and strict inquisition, partly by martial law, and partly by commission, were punished the adherents and aiders of the late rebels; not all by death, for the field had drawn much blood, but by fines and ransoms, which spared life and raised treasure. Amongst other crimes of this nature, there was diligent inquiry made of such as had raised a bruit and rumour, a little before the field fought, that the rebels had the day, and that the king's army was overthrown, and the king fled."§ But the pleasure Henry derived from a harvest of this kind, and from seeing that all immediate opposition had vanished, did not blind him to the facts, that his behaviour to his queen had created him many enemies, and that his jealousy of the whole House of York, instead of strengthening him, had weakened him, by alienating the
Bacon.-Hall.-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.
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.
REMAINS OF THE MONASTERY OF BERMONDSEY, IN WHICH QUEEN ELIZABETH WOODVILLE WAS CONFINED. From a Drawing made
business of the parliament when it met was to vote
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 neighbour
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, pre-ing countries; and, both according to the principles
sented 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 did that 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.
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. At 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
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. 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.
to overcome, the Sire d'Albret, whose dominions lay in Gascony and at the foot of the Pyrenees, and Maximilian, son of the Emperor Frederick IV., aspired to her hand. The poor duke, who had engaged to consult the three estates on the choice of his son-in-law, neglected so to do, and encouraged the hopes of these three suitors, and even treated with others at one and the same time. He thought that he was cunning and politic, but he was only undecided and insincere. The Duke of Orleans made his peace with the French court and returned to Paris, but he was soon detected in a fresh conspiracy, and was again obliged to fly to Nantes. He soon found that his party was losing ground in Brittany, where the nobles were disgusted at seeing that he did what he chose with their imbecile prince, and filled all the offices with French adventurers, his own adherents. The course they pursued to correct this evil was absurd enough: a great many of the Breton nobles opened a correspondence with the French court, and implored its aid. At this moment a French army was on their frontiers; for the regent Anne, who had a good deal of the craft of her father, had made up her mind to take advantage of the condition of affairs. The Bretons formed a confederacy at Chateau-Briant, and stipulated that the king should not send more than four hundred men-at-arms and four thousand foot into their country, that this force should act in concert with the Marshal de Rieux and a small army of natives, that the liberties of the duchy and private property should be respected -and that, as soon as the Duke of Orleans should be expelled, the French should recross the frontier. Charles poured sixteen thousand men into the country, and, of course, broke all his engagements as soon as he was able. In the month of May, 1487, while Henry was expecting Lambert Simnel from Ireland, the French army advanced in three divisions; the first took Ploërmel, the second Vannes, and the third laid siege to Nantes, within the walls of which Duke Francis took refuge with his daughters. Maximilian, now titular king of the Romans, sent a body of fifteen hundred German and Flemish soldiers to the assistance of Francis; and these, being joined by some Bretons, under the command of the Count of Dunois, cut their way through the French lines, and relieved Nantes in the beginning of August. Another of Madame Anne's suitors was less fortunate. As the Sire d'Albret was marching through the Limousin with three or four thousand Gascons to succour Duke Francis and the ladies, he was attacked by a superior force of French, to which he capitulated. Though foiled before Nantes, La Tremoille, Charles's general, took Aurai, Vitré, and St. Aubin-du-Cormier: at the same time fresh troops poured across the French frontier, while Maximilian could send no further reinforcements, for he was rather poor, and skilful agents from the court of France had found him full occu pation in Flanders, by encouraging the citizens of