M. (Paul) Rapin de Thoyras.

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which prevented the Minifters from attending to the re- the Court of
newal or confirmation of the Truce with England, which f""".
Richard earneftly follicited.

Whilft the King was flattering himfelf with having ta- 7*. £>„*, t f
ken all necefiary meafures to fupport himfeif on the Bucking-
Throne, a Confpiracy was forming againft him, which ^"J,"*."
ended in his ruin, after proving the deftruction of its Au- f ainfltix
thor. I left the Duke of Buckingham diiTatisfied, and '-"■•
parting from the King in order to retire. He was a pcr-
fon of a lively and penetrating Genius, exceeding proud,
ambitious, revengeful, and not very ftrict in his Morals.
During Edward the fourth's Life, he could never bring
himfelf to ftoop to the Queen, though fhe had a great af-
cendant over the King her Husband. He ~was even con-
fidered as head of the party of the Antient Nobility againft
the New, which wholly confifted of the Queen's relations
and creatures. It was chiefly from his averiion to the
Queen, that after Edward IV s death, he devoted him-
felf entirely to the Duke of Glocejler, for whom, as has
been related, he procured the Protectorfliip, and at laft
the Crown itfelf. In return for i~o iignal a l'ervice, Rich-

(il That Rapin, and the reft of our Hiftnrians are miftaken in this particular, is plain from Sir W. Dugdale't Baronage, Vol. t. p. 16S,
wherein is inlcrted a Bill figncd by King Richard, whereby he granted the Duke of Buckingham Livery ol all thole Lands to which he pretended a
right by delcent from Humphrey de Bohun. Among the reft there were fixteen Lordlhips in Eflex, | particularly ffaldsn, Badow, Pitt, , IValtkam.
Hii^b-E/Ire) befides many more in other dunties, amounting in all to the yearly value of 108+ /■ I 1. 9 d.

7-1 Dugdalc alctibes the caufe of his retiring, either to trouble ol CWcience, or becaul'e he found himlelf neglected by the King. Ibid.

(-, , Miles Forcji, and John Di bt n. Moor.

(4 In the time of Sir Thomas Chichelry M.iftcr of the Ordnance, great heaps of Records rf Bills and Anfwers ]■ ing in the Six Clerk's Office, were
removed to be repofitcd in the urn e Tower; and a new pair of Stairs were made into the Chapel there, lor the eafiei Conveyance ol them thi-
ther. The Labourers, in digging al the I ot of the ,M Stairs, came to a wooden Chert, containing the Bones at conmmed C rps covered w.th a
hep of Stones : Which Bones King Charles cauled to be interred in Heir, Vll'i Chapel, near two other Royal Children, Mary and Sophia, Daujh-
ten of King James I, with a Monument of white- M-irble, and an Infuiption in it in Capit. 1 Letters. Sandford, p 42; — -+29.

(51 Wh.th he did 'by putting a gold Collar lound his Neek, and fluking him thrice on the Shoulders with his eWurd Rymtr'l Fa;.!. Tom. 12.
p. 200.

(6) a". Damd fays, it was the 30th. Tom. VI. p. 558.

3 aid

Book XIII.

1 8. R I C H A R D III.



Cavff r>f hi

The Duke

and Bijhof)
of Ely con-
fult together
kvw ta de-
throne the

T£* Bifify

the Duke
to make bint-

fit/ Ki v .



P .■'•!.

<7r</ had liberally beftowed his favours upon him. Parti-
cularly he made him as it were matter of Wales, and the
adjoining Counties, by the Potts and Governments given
> him in thofe parts ( 1 ). But all thefe favours were tor-
gotten, when he refilled to grant him a Moiety of the
Lands of Hereford. The Duke perceived the King's po-
licy, in giving him Potts, from which he could remove
him at pleafure, whereas in rcttoring the Lands he de-
manded, it would not have been in his power to refume
them without ufing force. This proceeding convinced
him, that the King would always keep him in depen-
dance, and as he perfectly knew that Prince's Character,
eafily perceived, that the leaft occafion would be fufficient
to make him forfeit whatever he enjoyed. Befides, he
thought it a manifert injuftice, in refuting him what he
believed to be his lawful right ; that moreover he broke
his promife, and fhowed himfelf extremely ungrateful, in
making fo ill a return for the fervices he had received from
him. All this gave him reafon to fear, he had intended
to ruin him in time.

Full of thefe finifter thoughts he retired to his Cattle of
Brecknock, where Dr. Morton Bifhop of Ely was Prifoner
under his cuftody. In his frequent converfations with
that Prelate, he could not help difcovering his refentment
againft the King. The Bifhop , who was a Man
of fenfe, quickly found, the Duke was diflatisfied, which
iinbokdened him to talk to him freely. He obferved the
Duke took a pleafure in hearing him, and would have per-
haps fpoken himfelf more plainly, had he dared to truft
him entirelv. So, to infpire him with more confidence,
he affected to fpeak of the King in a manner, which by
fhowing what he thought of him, gave him to under-
ftand, that he fhould find in him a Perfon ready to fecond
him in all his defigns. At length, after mutually founding
each other for fome time, they opened their minds to one
another, and lamented together the unhappy ftate of the
Kingdom under fuch a King;. The late death of Ed-
ivard V and of the Duke his Brother, afforded them frefh
matter to exclaim againft Richard. They concluded, that
fmce he had not fpared his own Nephews, no Lord in the
Kingdom could be fure of his life. Thefe converfations
ended at length in the Duke's requeft to the Bifhop, to
tell him freely, whether he faw no way to prevent the
rnifchiefs they had reafon tn fear; promifing with an Oath
to keep the fecret inviolably. Morton, who till then was
under fome apprehenfions that the Duke defigned to in-
fnaie him, being encouraged by this Oath, told him in
plain terms, " it was his opinion, there was no other way
" than to dethrone Richard, and fet up another King.
" He owned, that though he could have wifhed the
" Crown had continued in the family of Henry VI, he
" had not been able to avoid following the ftream, when
" he faw almoft all England declare for Edward IV.
" That afterwards, Henry VI and the Prince his Son
" being dead, he had faithfully adhered to Edward.
" That upon Edward's death he had ferved with tiie
" fame zeal his young Son, whom he believed his lawful
" Succeflbr. That aiterwards he perceived with grief the
" Duke of Glocejhr afpiring to the Throne, and having
" the honour to be of the Council, thought it his duty to
" endeavour to oppofe his defign. But inftead of fuc-
" ceeding, he had only drawn upon himfelf the hatred
" and difpleafure of that Prince, who had thrown him
" into Prifon, folely for adhering to the family of Ed-
" ward IV. That this unjuft violence had increafed his
" averfion for the Ufurper, and the tragical death of the
" two young Princes had carried it to the utmoft height.
" That being in thefe circumftances, he had confidered
" with himfelf what Prince would be moft proper to be
" placed on the Throne in the room of the Tyrant, and
" had found no other than the Duke of Buckingham, de-
" fcended from a Son of Edward III. That the whole
" race of Lancajhr being extinct, at leaft in England,
" there remained of the Houfe of York only the Tyrant
" and his Son, with the young Earl of IVarwick Son of
" the Duke of Clarence. As for the laft, he could not
" pretend to the Crown, his Father's attainder having de-
" barred his Heirs of the right of inheriting. That the
" prefent King had by his crimes rendered himfelf un-
" worthy, and to preferve the Son's right after deftroying
" the Father, would be acting imperfectly. That there-
" fore, once more, he faw only the Duke of Bucking-
" ham capable of lawfully claiming the Crown. "

The Duke liftened very attentively to this difcourfe,
but deferred his anfwer till next day. This delay

threw the Bifhop into great perplexity, fince it left him 14S3.
flill uncertain whether the Duke was lincere, or defigned
only to fift him. By the w.iy, the Bifhop it feems, was
not very fcrupulous, fince knowing the Duke of Bucklng-
hants Character, as he muft have done, he readil) offered
his fer /ice to fet him on the Throne. This is a iign that H ,,_
he acted more from a motive of revenge arzainff Richard,
than with a view to the good of the publick. The King
and the Duke were too much alike to expect a great ad-
vantage by fuch a change.

Next day the converfation being refumed, the Duke, 7-4, /y-Ae
after a long apology for all his former actions, freely con- rqeBt n> e
letted to the Prelate, " he had once an intention to afpire ^''H" 1 -
" to the Throne, but upon mature deliberation had en- f b, Earl of
" tirely dropped it. He confidered, that in acting for Richmond.
" himfelf, he fhould ftir up againft him all the friends of s Hjil '
" the two Houfes of York and Lancajhr, equally concern- HoJlmglh.
" ed to oppofe his prctenhons. That there was a Prince
" nearer than he, whom the Houfe of Lancajler looked
" upon as their head, and he it was on whom he had calf his
" eyes to raife to the Throne. Then he n.med Henry Earl
" of Richmond, who w;is in Bretagne." Adding, " that
" the project to reflore the Houfe of Lancajler 10 the
" Throne, would draw one half of the Kingdom to that
" Prince's intereft, and he had devifed a happy exp lient
" to gain him the other half : And that was his marriage
" with Elizabeth, eldeft Daughter of Edward IV, which
" would make all the Yorkjl; his friends. That more-
" over, the Nation would receive gre-t advantage from
" thence, in as much as all the feeds of the Civil Wars
" would be delboyed, by the union of the two contending
" Houfes. That by this means even thofe who were in-
" different for either party, would be forced, as one mav
" fay, to promote tlie common good of their Country ;
" and then Richard's few friends would not be able to
" balance fo great a power. Whereas if he pretended to
" fet up himfelf, the whole Kingdom would be united
" againft him, fince there was not the leaft colour to ex-
" elude from the Throne, two Houfes that had been in
" pofklHon above fourfcore j'ears. In fine, he added,
" that in his way to Brecknock, he met the Countefs
" of Richmond, and having founded her upon this head,
" believed he could be fure, fhe would be eafily difpofed
" to promote the advancement of her Son. "

The Bifhop iiked this expedient, as more conformable Tie Bip.-.p
to juftice and equity, and more adapted to the good of the ,fl
Realm, efpecially as it came from the only perfon, who Half,
would have had reafon to oppofe it, had it been prcpofed by

Henry Earl of Richmond, as I elfewhere obferved, was Rights of
of Weljh extraction. But his Mother Margaret was '*.' f Jr '° r
Daughter of John de Beaufort Duke of Somerfet, Grand-
fon of John of Gant Duke of Lancajler. Margaret's P'a-
ther dying without Iffue-Male, Edmund his younger Bro-
ther inherited his title. But Edmund and all his pofteritv
being deftroyed in the Civil Wars, Margaret and her Son
were the only remains of that Houfe. So, it feemed,
they fhould have indifputably inherited all the rights of the
Houfe of Lancajler. But however the title was liable to
great objections.

Whilft John of Gant Duke of Lancajler lived with
Conjlantia o{ Cajlile his fecond Wife, he kept, as his
Concubine, Catharine Roet, Widow of Sir Otho de Siuin-
ford, and by her had feveral Children. Conjlantia his Wife
being dead, he married his Concubine, and kad intereft
enough to caufe her Children, born before marriage, to be
legitimated by an Act of Parliament, and by Richard IPs
fubfequent Letters-Patent. However, the King and the
Parliament, willing to make a diltinction between thefe
natural Children and the others born in Wedlock, gave
them not the name of Lancajler or Platitagenet, but that
of Beaufort, the name of the Cattle where they were
born. Moreover, though in the Act of Parliament, anj
in the King's Letters Patent, power was granted them to
hold Principalities, Dukedom'', Earldoms, C5Y. and to tran-
fmit them to their Heirs, there was no mention of the
Crown (2). During the Reigns of Henry IV, and Hen-
ry V, the Princes of this branch durft not allume the name
of Lancajler. It was not till about the end of Henry \ Ts
reign, that Edmund Duke of Scmerfet being Prime Mi-
nifter, and very zealous tor the King, againil the attempts
of the Duke of York, began bv degrees to afiert his defcent
from John of Gant, and his kindred to the King, as being
of the Houfe of Lancajler. It was a queftion therefore to
know, whether the Princes of this Branch could fucceed

(1) He was Chef- Juftice and Chamberlain of all Scutb-Pf'ale! and Nortb-Wela ; as alfo Conftable of all the Caftles, and Steward of all the King's
h- rdfh ; ps lying within Sbropflnre and tUrtford/hirr. See Dugdile's Barm, Vol. I. p. 169 ; and Strype's Notes in Corr.pl. Hft. Vol. I. p. 530.

(2) There was mention of the Crown, but it was to exclude them ablolutely from it; as is pUin from the wjrds of the Aft. Tney were by i

in'itlel. Ad quecunque honores di-nitates ( excepta d:gnltate regaii ) preeminent. as ilatus gradus & otHcia piblica & privata tarn perpjr.ua quarn tern-

peralia atque feudalia & nobilh quibulcumque nominibus nnncupentur, etiamli Ducatjs Principarus Comitatus Brronic vel alia f;ud. ruerijlt— Ttlis Aft
burs due rebr, 9. Anno 20. RUbari 11, and was afteiwards exemi>liried by King Henry IV, on Fib. to, in the 8th y;ar of ni. Rsi t n. See Sa-..!ford,
f. 322, 323.



The H I S T R T of E N G L A N D.

Vol. I.


The D:Je
and Biihip
infirm the
Countefs of
of their

The Ri/b-f

in;-) Flan-

H: writ
,be Out

The Cottn-

t,f -f Rich-
mond enters
into the PLt

to the Crown in their Turn. And fuppofmg they could,
the point was to know when their turn was to be, and
whether the Heirs of John of Cant's Daughters born in
Wedlock, were not to precede the Pofterity of a Son only
legitimated, and born before Marriage. If fo, there was
no left than ten or twelve Princes and Princefles in Por-
tugal, Cajlile and Germany, who would have excluded
the Earl of Richmond. On the other hand, it feems that
bv Edward IV's Endeavours to have the Earl of Richmond
in his hands, he had, as it were, owned him capable ot
inheriting all the Rights of the Houfe of Lancajler. This
was a queftion which might have been debated in thofe
days, but which, having been decided above two hundred
Years fince, requires no farther Examination, unlefs out
of meer curiolity thofe that are verfed in thefe matters are
willing to exercife their Wits.

Very likely, if the Duke of Buckingham had thought it
in his power to mount the Thrcne, he would not have
failed to objedT: againft the Earl of Richmond's Title the
forememion'd Reafons. But, as he had himfelf obferved,
in hisdifcourfe with the Bifhop of Ely, he could not let up
himfelf without oppofing the two Houfes of York and Lan-
cajler, that is to fay, the whole Kingdom, which was
divided between thefe two Factions. So the pretence to
rcflore the Houfe of Lancajler, and put an end to the Civil
Wars by the Union of the two contending Houfes, was
by far the more natural way to be revenged of Richard. I
fay to be revenged, for it is hard to believe, a Man of his
Character fhouid aft on this occafion from a nobler Mo-

Be this as it will, the Duke and the Bifhop having con-
fulted together how to accomplifh their Defigns came to
this Conclufion : That all hope of Succefs was founded on
the Marriage of the Earl of Richmond with the Princefs
Elizabeth; That therefore, before all things, that Point was
to be fecured, without which it would be to labour in vain,
or at leaft with great uncertainty. To that end they
agreed, that they fhouid without lofs of time acquaint the
Countefs ot Richmond with their Project, that fhe might
inform her Son of it, and perfwade the Queen-Dowager,
Mother of the Princefs, to confent to the Marriage.

But as conferring with Margaret would have been very
dangerous for the Duke of Buckingham, confidering the
King's extreme jealoufy of the Houfe of Somcrfet, the
Bifhop told him, he had an old Friend in the Countefles's
Service, one [Reginald] Bray, who might fafely be trufted
with the Secret. The Duke approving this Expedient,
Bray was privately fent for to Brecknock, and the Project
being imparted to him, the propofing of it to his Miftrefs
was left to his care. More efpecially, he was charged to
tell her, that the Marriage of the Earl her Son was the
Bafis and Foundation on which the whole Project refted.

As foon as Bray was gone to execute his Commiffion,
the Bifhop of Ely defired the Duke's leave to retire to his
Bi hoprick. He was juftly afraid of his Life, in cafe the
Plot came to be difcovered. It may be he did not wholly
depend upon the Duke's Sincerity. But the Duke gave
him two invincible Reafons why he could not comply with
his Requeft. The firft was, that he mould be guilty of
letting his Prifoner efcape, which alone would be Sufficient
to infpirc the King with fufpicions. The fecond, that in
an Undertaking of this Nature, he could not proceed with-
out his Advice. The Bifhop feemed to yield to thefe
reafons, but had by him (fill ftronger, to free himfelf from
the impending Danger, in cafe the Affair was difcovered.
And therefore as he was not fo narrowly watched by his
Keepers, fince his frequent Conventions with the Duke,
he found means to efcape, and retire to Ely; (1) from
, whence he fled into Flanders. Upon his Arrival, he wrote
to the Duke to excufe his efcape, and withal, endeavoured
to convince him, it was much more in his Power to pro-
mote the Execution of their intended Defign, than whilft.
he was Prifoner. He conjured him likewife, to continue
in his Refolution, and fhewed him how he might carry on
a private Correfpondence with him.

Mean while, the Countefs of Richmond being informed
of what was projected in favour of the Earl her Son, fent
back her Servant to the Duke of Buckingham with her
Compliment of Thanks ; and withal let him know, fhe
was endeavouring to obtain the Queen Dowager's Confent
to the Marriage, and then would take the moft proper
Meafures to fend to the Earl of Richmond.

Elizabeth Woodville Widow of Edward IV, was ftill in
her Sancluary at We/lminjler with her five Daughters,
lamenting the Death of her two Sons, and blaming herfelf
for having been the occafion, by her eafmefs to deliver the
Duke of York to his Uncle. There had never teen any
particular Friendfhip between that Queen and the Countefs
of Richmond. One was Wife to a King of the Houfe of
York, and the other was of the Family of Somerfet, fworn
Enemies of the Yorkijls. Wherefore the Countefs could
not vifit the Queen in her Sancfluary, without caufing
great fufpicion. To avoid this Inconvenience, fhe made
ufe of one Lewis her Phyfician, (2) and having commu-
nicated the whole Affair to him, ordered him to go to
London and fo manage as to fee the Queen, and inform her
of what was in Agitation. Above all, fhe charged him to
tell her, that all hope of Succefs depended upon the Union
of the two Houfes of York and Lancajler, by the Marriage
of the Princefs Elizabeth with the Earl of Richmond.

Lewis being come to London, found no great difficulty,
as a Phyfician, to get admittance to the Queen. He com-
municated to her what he had in charge, intimating it wou'd
be in her own power to be reveng'd of her mortal Enemy,
the Murderer of her Children, and dethrone the Ufurper,
provided fhe would confent to the Marriage propofed. The
Queen gladly liftened to the Overture. She charged the
Doftor to tell his Miftrefs, fhe approved of the project,
and would fo order it, that all the King her Husband's
friends fhouid join with the Earl of Richmond. But fhe
added, fhe wifhed the Earl would fwear to marry Eliza-
beth, or in cafe fhe happened to die, Cecily her younger

Matters being thus fettled between the Queen Dowager,
the Countefs ot Richmond, and the Duke of Buckingham,
they endeavoured to ingage in the plot, their moft trufty
friends, who likewife drew in others (3). The Englijh
were as favorably difpofed as could be wifhed, by three
principal reafons. Firft, becaufe of the people's univerfal
hatred of the King, who had made himfelf extremely odi-
ous, as well by what he had done during his Protedtorfhip,
as by his late Crime, in putting his Nephews to death,
after robbing them of the Crown. He had thereby loft
moft of the friends of the Houfe of York, who only want-
ed an opportunity to revenge the Family of Edivard IV.
In the fecond place, all the Lancijlrians faw with pleafure,
a projedf. tending to reftore the Houfe of Lancajler to the
Throne. Laftly, thofe that without regarding the In-
terefts of the two Factions, had only the good of the Na-
tion in view, could not but conlider as a great happinefs,
the fuccefs of an enterprize, which by uniting the two
contending Houfes, would put an end to the Civil War,
wherewith the Kingdom had been afflifted thirty years.
Thus the Lancajlrians, Yorkijls, and even thofe that flood
neuter, were equally difpofed to concur to the downfal of
the Ufurper.

The Duke of Buckingham being the Author and head
of the Enterprize, it was his part to conduct it to a happy
ifTue. For that purpofe, he firft fecured fome friends in
Wales, where his power was great, who undertook to lift
Soldiers privately, to enable him to bring, fuddenly and
feafonablv, an army into the field. Then, he fettled a
Correfpondence with fome Gentlemen of Dorfetjhire, De-
von/hire, and Ccrnwal, who promifed to raife P'orces, and
receive the Earl of Richmond at his arrival. His delign
was to join them himfelf, with his JVeljhmen, that Richard
might be lefs able to oppofe the Earl's landing. At the
fame time, feveral Lords and Gentlemen were to rife in
ether Counties, that the King might be at a lofs where to
march firft. The Marquifs of Dorfet, who had lately
quitted his Sanctuary (4), Sir Richard JFoodville his Brc-
ther (5), the Bifhop of Exeter, Sir Edward Courtney his
Brother, and feveral other pcrfons of Quality engaged in
the plot.

Thefe meafures being taken, the Countefs of Richmond
fent two Exprefl'es (6) to the Earl her Son, by different
ways, to let him know what was refolved in his favour,
and how far the project was advanced. The two Ex-
prefles arriving almoft together, informed him of all the
circumftances of the plot, and prayed him to repair into
England without lofs of time, upon the Affurance they
gave him, that every thing was ready for his reception.
They told him likewife that Dorfetjhire, Devonjhire, or
CornwaHj), were the moft convenient places to land, by


She ac-

quiintt the

zvifb it.




m;Jes to gwt
her Daugh-
ter to the
Earl cf

The Temper
cf the Na-
tion favo-
rable to the

9 be Duke
begins to take
Pie.ifurei to
execute his

lie Ear! of


;i informed

of all.




(i) Where he found Friend-; and Money. Hall, fol. 36. Hoilingfh. p. 1399-

(2) Who was a Wc<.<hm.m. //»//, fol. 36.

(3) Regtrjld Bray was employed by the Countefs of Richmond to engage People in her Son's Party, which he accordingly did, and brought in,
am v, the reft, Sir Giles Daubeitey, Sir John Cheney, Richard Guilford, Thomas Rame, E'quires, and many others Hall, fol. 3-. Stow, p. 465.

(4.) He repaired into Torkjbire, wh-re he raifed Jaige Forces; Sir Edivard Courtney and his Ercther did the frme in Dewonfhire and Cornwall
*nd in Kent, Richard Guilford and other Gentlemen gathered a great brdy of Soldiers, and began to commit Hostilities. Halt, roJ. 39. HoUingfh.
p. 14.01.

(5) It fhouid be his Uncle- For he was Brother to Elizabeth Woadwlle, the Marquifs's Mother.

(61 She lent Hugh C ty, Efq; with a brgc fum of Money, tut R thard Guilford, for fear Corivey /hould be iVpped at Pltmourb, where he in*
' 'take Sh : p, fent mt ot Kent, by the way of Calais, Ti mas Ram with the ftme InftruftitiK. Tht\ hth arrived within left dun an hour,

af the Duke of Breta»ne\ Cur . Hall, !tl 37, 38. Holhngfi. p. 1400.

(7) Wales, fays 6'«w, p« 463.

3 reafori

Book XIII.


64 1

the people of thofe

1485. reafon of the meafures taken with

fir refohein T ne Earl of Richmond was then at Vilnius in Bretagne,
'u^r'iotii w herc he had been feveral years, really a Prifoner, becaufe
Dukiof of the Duke of Bretagne' s engagements with Edward IV ;

Online LibraryM. (Paul) Rapin de ThoyrasThe history of England : written in French (Volume 1) → online text (page 270 of 360)