Robert Henry.

The history of Great Britain : from the first invasion of it by the Romans under Julius Cæsar. Written on a new plan (Volume 6) online

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nuated themfelves into Warbeck's confidence, by pre-
tending to be his moft zealous partifan, watched all his
words and aclions, and tranfmitted accounts of every
thing to Henry; who pretended to be in a violent rage


* Bacon, p. 123.

f Id. p. 174, 115.



Ch. I. Part I. § i. CIVIL AND MILITARY. 27

againft them ; declared them outlaws, and procured them A. D. 1493.
to be excommiinicated in the moft public manner. He s *t^*-'
directed thefe agents to fpare no expence to gain Sir Ro-
bert Clifford, which they accomplished ; and he being
Warbeck's greateft confidant, became a moft dangerous
enemy to him and his friends"* In confequence of in-
formations received from him, John Ratcliffe, LordFitz-
walter, Sir Simon Mountforr, Sir Thomas Thwaits, Wil-
liam Davvbigney, Robert Ratcliffe, Thomas Creffner,
and Thomas Aflwood, were all feized in one day, tried,
and condemned as guilty of high treafon, for corre-
fponding with, and promifing aid to, Perkin Warbeck.
Lord Fitzwalter, Sir Simon Mountfort, Robert Ratcliffe,
and William Dawbigney, were foon after executed;}:.
Thefe difcoyeries and executions (truck terror into all
the partifans of Perkin in England. They faw they
were betrayed ; they knew not whom to trull, and could
not form any confederacy.

Another difcovery and execution followed, which I494
ftruck them with (till greater confirmation. Sir Robert Sir Wil-
Clifford returned to England, appeared before the king, llan * Stan-
fitting in council in the Tower, January 7th, A. D. 1494, beaded
and accufed Sir William Stanley, the lord chamberlain,
who was prefent, of high treafon. Though Henry was
in the fecret, he affected to be exceedingly furprifecl,
and to difbelieye the accufation ; but Sir Robert peril (ting
in it, the lord chamberlain was committed to prifon,
tried, and found guilty. Our information of the par-
ticular fa£t with which he was charged, and of the evi-
dence brought againft him, is very imperfect. He is
faid to have confeffed rather too much, with a view to
foften the king's difpleafure, and regain his favour. His
accufer, Sir Robert Clifford, fwore, that he had declared
to him, " if he were fure that young man (meaning War-
** beck) were king Edward ? s fon, he would never bear
arms againft him." This, I imagine, was not treafon in
the eye of the law, but it was the' blacked treafon in king
Henry's eyes, who hated the houfe of York, and all who
favoured its title. But though Sir William Stanley was

* There is fome reafon to fufpeft that Clifford was an agent
of Henry*sfrom the beginning. He was of a Lancastrian family,
the (on of that lord Clifford who killed tha young earl cf Rut-
land ar Wakefield.

/ condemned.


A.D.I494. condemned, it was not believed, either by hirnfelf or
Sq *^Y~^-' others, that the fentence would be executed. It is
hardly pofiible for one man to be under greater obliga-
tions to another, than Henry was to Sir William Stanley,
and his brother lord Stanley, who was married to the
king's mother. .They faved his life, and gained him
the victory, and placed a crown upon his head,
at Bofworfh. But great obligations are apt to excite dif-
guft, rather than gratitude, in haughty and felfifh fpi-
rits.~ Befides this, there were two other confederations,
which had a powerful influence on Henry's hard and
covetous heart. He knew that the execution of Sir Wil-
liam Stanley would convince all his fubjec~ls that they
could expeft no mercy, if they did any thing in favour
of the pretender to his crown ; and that the confifcation
of his great eilate would fill his coffers *. Thefe confe-
derations at laft prevailed, and Sir William Stanley, the
greateft benefadfor of an unrelenting mafter, was be-
headed on Tower-hill, 1 6th February, A, D. 1495 t*
Henry's vigilance and feverity prevented any infurrec-
'495 1 tion in favour of Warbeck ; and the princes on thecon-
kes^n tinent were fo much engaged in profecuting their own
attempt fchemes, that they could give him no affiftance. He
upon Eng- l^new, however, that he had many friends in England
laad - who hated the king, and wifhed for a revolution ; and

he determined to make a trial of their ftrength and refo-
lution, by appearing among them. Having, with the
aiTiftance of his great patronefs, the duchefs of Bur-
gundy, collected a considerable body of troops of diffe-
rent nations, and, in general, of defperate fortunes, he
embarked with them, and approached the coaft of Kent,
near Sandwich, July 3d, A. D. 1495 ; when he com-
manded a party of Jlis men to land, to gain intelligence,
and invite the country tp declare for him. But it being
obferved that they were all foreigners^ and of a fufpici-
ous appearance, the gentlemen and common people
took arms, to protect .their property from being plun-
dered. They tried feveral ilratagems to entice Warbeck

* Sir William Stanley had an efhte of 3000/. a year, (a great
fum in thofe times,) 40,000 marks in money and plate, befides
jewels, furniture, horfes, cattle, fheeu, ccc. to a great value*.

j Bacon, p. 133. 134. Hall, f. 36V

4 to

Ch. I. Part. I. §i. CIVIL AND MILITARY] 29

to come on fhore; but finding that he was on his guard, A.D.H9S-
they fell upon his men who had landed, killed many, V ~T"""*-''
and took one hundred and fifty of them prifoners. By
the king's command thefe were all hanged, to fhew'fo-
re'i^ners, as well as his own fubje£ls, what they might
expect if they engaged in fuch attempts *. Warbeck,
finding that none of his me«i returned, fufpected what
had happened, and failed back to Flanders.

Warbeck foon had reafon to fear that he would not 1495.
long enjoy protection in that country. The interruption Treaty,
of trade between England and the Netherlands, which
the protection already afforded him had occafioned, was
become very diftrefsful to the Flemings ; and the arch-
duke Philip, their fovereign, at their earneft requeft,
was negociating a treaty of friendihip and commerce with
England. This treaty was concluded, 24th February,
A. D. 1496; and by the fourth article, the contracting
parties mutually agreed, not to admit the enemies of
each other into their territories -, and by the fifth article,
each of the parties engaged to expel fuch enemies of the
other as had already been admitted into his territories,
within a month after it was required f . Thefe articles
were evidently defigned to deprive Warbeck and hisfbl-
lowers of that protection which they had hitherto enjoy-
ed in Flanders.

Warbeck was not ignorant of thefe tranfactions; and Warbeck
wifely refolving to depart before he was compelled, he in Ireland;
failed, with fuch followers as ftill adhered to him, into
Ireland. But there he found that the people of all ranks,
for various reafons, were more averfe than ever to em-
bark in his quarrel, which obliged him to feek for pro-
tection and afliftance in another country p

Henry, from the moment of his acceffion, had en- ; n s cot .
deavoured by all means to preferve peace with Scotland, land.
But thefe endeavours had not always been fuccefsful,
efpecially after the acceffion of James IV. who, being
a young and warlike prince, was apt to refent the in-
curfions of the borderers, which occafioned frequent
difputes. Though the emperor Maximilian, the arch-
duke Philip his ion, and Charles king of France, were
all at peace with Henry, and bound by treaties not to

* Bacon, p. 141, 142. "J" Rym. Feed. torn. xii. p. 550.

1 Bacon, p. 148.

v protect


A. D. 1495. protect his enemies in their dominions; they did not
Vs **^~r^*- / really wifh him well, and would have rejoiced to fee
his fall. Thefe princes, it is faid, gave Warbeck let-
ters of recommendation to the king of Scotland, which
determined him to direct his courfe to that country.
"When he arrived at Edinburgh, he was admitted to a
folemn public audience of the king, at which he behav-
ed with equal art and dignity. Having approached the
king, feated on his throne and furrounded by his no-
bles, he addrefled him in an eloquent fpeech, to this
purpofe : That he was the unfortunate Richard duke of
York, the youngeft fon of king Edward IV. : that he
had been faved from death by the murderers of his bro-
ther Edward V. delivei-ed from the Tower, conducted
to the continent, and there abandoned, for what reafon
God only knew : that he then refolved to conceal him-
felf till the tyrant Richard III. died, when he propofed
to appear and claim the crown ; but that one Henry
Tudor had come from France and ufurped the throne :
that after this he had led the life of a wretched wan-
derer feveral years *, but that at length, being afhamed
of a way of life fo unbecoming his birth, he had difco-
vered himfelf to his dearly beloved aunt, the duchefs of,
Burgundy, and to Charles king of France, who had
both acknowledged and affifted him •, but that the provi-
dence of God had referved the honour of railing him
to the throne of his anceftors to the king of Scotland,
in order to eftablifh a perpetual amity between the two
nations *■. To this fpeech king James, it is faid, re-
plied, " That whoever he was, he fhould never have
" reafon to repent that he had put himfelf under his
** protection."
King A truce between England and Scotland had been con-

James eluded at Edinburgh, 25th June, A. D. 1493, to con-

that V War- tinue t0 the laft da ? ° f A P ril > A ' D " I S9 I * B ? the
beck was fifth article of that truce it was ftipulated, that neither

the duke of of the two kings fhould admit the enemies of the other

into his dominions, or give them any affiftance f . This

article was evidently intended by king Henry to prevent

* Bacon, p. 148 — 153. There is good reafon tofufpect that this
harangue, given us at full length by the noble hiiiorian, was his
own competition. The language of it is evidently more modem
than that of the fifteenth century.

f R} m. Fosd. torn. xii. p. 535.


Ch. I. Part I. § i . CIVIL AND MILITARY. 3 1

Perkin Warbeck, his mod dangerous enemy, from ob- A.D. 1496.
taining admiflion into, or from, Scotland ; and s "**HT-""»-'

it could not but be fo underftood by king James. Befides
this, Henry had always difcovered a fmcere defire to live
at peace with James, to redrefs all his grievances, and
even to enter into the molt intimate connexion with him,
by offering him his elded daughter, the princefs Marga-
ret, in marriage, only a few days before Warbeck's arri-
val in Scotland*. Nor could James be ignorant of the
danger of provoking fo wife, brave, and fortunate a
prince, poffefled of fo much power and wealth, by wan-
tonly attempting to pull him from his throne, without
any provocation. It muft therefore have been fome very
powerful motive which determined king James to difre-
gard fo many obligations and inducements to live at peace
with his powerful and friendly neighbour, unlefs we
fuppofe him to have been an abfolute madman, who had
no concern either for his honour or his intereft. In a
word, it is hardly poflible to conceive any other motive
that can account for the conduct of king James on this
occafion, but a full conviction that Warbeck really was
what he pretended to be, the duke of York. Such a
conviction may be fuppofed to have excited a very lively
compafiion in the bofom of James, a brave and generous
prince, and to have made him overlook every other con-
fideration. It is a further proof that James was at this
time convinced that Warbeck was not an impoftor, that
he confented to his marriage with lady Katherine Gor-
don, daughter to the earl of Huntley, one of the moft
noble, beautiful, and accomplifhed ladies in his domini-
ons f. It is alfo probable, that James was made to be-
lieve that the people of England in general entertained
the fame favourable opinion of Warbeck, and that they
would receive him with open arms, as foon as they faw
him fupported by a powerful army.

King James, having determined to aid Warbeck, raif- Warbeck's
ed an army, with which he invaded England, in Octo- uidnifeito.
ber, A. D. 1496, and publifhed a manifefto, inviting
all the fubjects of that kingdom to repair to the fiandard
of their rightful fovereign, Richard IV. by the grace of
God king of- England and of France, lord of Ireland, and
prince of Wales. This manifefto, which is long and

* Ryra. Feed. torn. xii. p. 635, 6^6. f Bacon, p. 1:53.



A. D. 1496. artfully drawn, narrated his deliverance from the Tower ;-
the ufurpation of his crown by one Henry, fon to Ed-
mond Tudor, fon to Owen Tudor, a man of low birth;
this Henry's cruel perfecutions of him, and oppremons
of his fubjecls : that he had now entered his kingdom,
by the grace of God and the aid of his dearly beloved
coufin the king of Scots, to affert his right, and confound
the calumnies of the ufurper, who was preparing to leave
theland with the treafures he had amaffed by his exactions.
He then intreats and commands all his loving fubjecls to
prevent the efcape of his great enemy, and promifes
1 coo/, in money, and 100 maiks a year in land, to any
who (hall kill, or take him prifoner. He next promifes
to ufe his utmoft efforts to repair the mifchiefs that had
been done to the kingdom by the ufurper; " by his ma-
** nifold treafons, abominable murders, manllaughters,
* c robberies, extortions, the daily pilling of the people
" by difmes, tafks, talliages, benevolences, and other
" unlawful impofitions and grievous exactions." Pie
threatened all who continued to adhere to his adverfary
with the fevered: punilhments, and promifed a free par-
don to all who abandoned him and returned to their duty.
Finally, he invited and commanded all his fubjecls to at-
tend his perfon in their moil defenfible array*.

This manifefto did not produce the defired effect.
Few or none of the Englifli joined the invading army ;
•which was not only owing to their doubts concerning
Warbeck, but alfo to their national animofityagainft the
Scots ; to their high opinion of Henry's policy and good
fortune ; and to their dread of his feverity. When the
Scots (who for fome time behaved as friends rather than •
enemies) obferved that none of the Englifli joined them,
they had recourfe to the ufual way of making war on the
borders, by fpoiling and plundering the country. On
this occafion Warbeck, it is faid, acted the part of a good
humane prince with great propriety, by expoftulating
with king James on this cruel method of making war •,
and declaring he would rather lofe a crown, than obtain
it by the ruin of his fubjects. James (who, it is proba-
ble, began now to fufpect that he had been deceived)

* See this manifefto, Appendix, No. I. This copy, tranfcrib-
ed from MSS. in the Britifh Mufeum, is very different from that
in Sir Francis Bacon's Riftory of this Reign, p. 154 — 160.

v anfwered

Ch.I. Part I. § i. CIVIL AND MILITARY. 33

anfwered peevifhly, that he gave himfelf too much con- A. D. 1495.
cern about Subjects who did not acknowledge him for ' s ~*-~r~ % ***'
their fovereign *. About the end of the year the Scots
returned into their own country, to fecure their booty.

Though Henry could not but be irritated at this de- I4 . 9 -,
ftructive unprovoked invafion, he had all his paffions Parlia-
under fuch Subjection to his avarice, that he proceeded me " b
calmly in his plan of adding to his treafures by every
event. In order to this, he gave a (hocking exaggerated*
description of the murders, rapes, burnings, and devas-
tations committed by the Scots in their late invafion, to
a parliament which met at Weftminfter, January 16th,
A. D. 1497 » anc ^ declared that he was determined, for
his own honour, and the honour of the nation, to refent
this infult in a fignal manner. The parliament really felt
the refentment which their fovereign feigned, and granted
him r 20,000/. for a war with Scotland, under certain
restrictions, to prevent its being applied to any other
purpofe. But Henry, without the lead regard to thefe
redactions, immediately fet about the collection of the
money with his ufual ftrictnefsf.

Taxes are often more frankly impofed than they are .j n f urre( ^
paid. The people of Cornwal, living far from the feat tion.
of danger, discovered great reluctance to the payment
of this tax, in which they were encouraged by two
popular demagogues, Michael Jofeph, a blackfmitb,
and Thomas Flammock, a country lawyer. Flammock,
who was efteemed a kind of oracle, affured them that
this was an unlawful tax, which they were nob obliged
to pay ; becaufe the barons in the north were bound by
their tenures to defend the kingdom againft the Scots.
He advifed them further, to take arms, to proceed to
London in a peaceable and orderly manner, and to pre-
fent a petition to the king, praying him to give up this
unlawful tax, and to punifli thofe evil counfellors who
advifed him to opprefs his fubjects by fuch heavy taxes.
They followed this advice, affembled in great numbers,
with belts, bows, pikes, and fuch weapons as they could
procure, and marched under the conduct of their
two leaders, Flammock and Jofeph ; their numbers daily
increaGng as they advanced through the counties of De-

* Bacon,' p. 160.

f Records of Pari, vol, vii. Pari. Hid, vol. ii. p. 44r.

Vol. VI. D von


A. D. 1497. von and Somerfet, When they arrived at Weils fhey
w-y-'w' am ounted, it is faid, to i6,oco. There Thomas Touchet,
lord Audley, a nobleman of a reftlefs ambitious fpirif,
put himfeif at their head, and conducted them towards
the capital. They obliged him, however, to deviate.-
?nto Kent, in hopes that the people of that county
\Y«<u!d join them, which was prevented by the influence
of the noblemen and gentlemen of the county. This
difapporntment made fome of the infurgents defert, and
difcouraged thofe who remained. But as they met with
no oppofitiorr, they ft ill advanced, and encamped at
Biaekheath, within fight of London, about the middle
of June *.
luppreffed. Though Henry had given thefe infurgents no opposi-
tion 1 in their progrefs, he was not ignorant of any of
their proceedings, nor unprepared for their reception.
He had col Soiled a great army at London, eompofed of
all the fighting men in the neighbouring counties, and
had recalled the lord Daubeney, with the troops defigned
for an expedition againft Scotland. This army was fo
much fuperior to that of the infurgents, that he divided
it into three bodies ; directing the fkft, commanded by
the earl of Oxford, to take a compafs and attack thern in
the rear, and the fecund, commanded by lord Daubeney,
to attack them in front, retaining the third about his own
perfon, in St. George r s Fields, to fecure the city. —
Though the Cornifh were brave and ftrong men, yet be-
ing undifciplined and ill armed, they could not long re-
fin; two fuch attacks. About 2000 of them were killed,
and almoft all the reft taken prifoners, June 22d, A. D.
1497. On this occafion Henry acted with uncommon
lenity ; contenting himfelf with the execution of lord
Audley and the two incendiaries, Flammock and Mi-
chael Jofeph ; he gave up the other prifoners to the diipo-
fal of their captors, who fet them at liberty for two or
three fhiilings a man f.
JCnvafion. While Henry was engaged with the Cornifh infur-
p-ents, king James made a fecond irruption into the north
of England, and befieged the caftle of Norham, at the
fame time. plundering the neighbourhood. But having
received intelligence that the earl of Surrey wasapproach-

* Hall, £42. rloll'mgfh. p. 7B1. Bacon, p. 163— 166.
\ Bacon, p. 165—172"., fv<j»j 43-


Ch. h Part I. § i . CIVIL AND MILITARY. 3 j

ing with an arniy of 20,000 jnen, he raifed the fiege and A.D. 1497-
retired into his own kingdom. The earl marched about K ~^i~^** /
four miles into Scotland, took and demolifhed the little
caftle of Ayton, and then returned to Berwick, and dif-
banded his army*.

Henry earnestly defired a peace with Scotland, to de-Negocia-
prive Warbeck of an afylum in that country, whence he t! 'on- -
might give him frequent alarms : but was unwilling to
be the firft propofer of peace, for fear of a repulfe. He
prevailed, therefore, on Peter D'Ayala, the Spanifh am-
baflauor at his court, to go into Scotland, (where he had
a commiffion from his mafter to execute,) and endeavour
to difcover king James's inclinations as to peace or war.
D'Ayala, finding that James was not averfe to peace, ac-
quainted Henry, that if he would fend proper perfons
into Scotland, with full powers to treat, a peace or truce
would be concluded. Henry, in confequence of this in-
formation, gave the propofed commiffion, July 4th, to
his great confident Richard Fox bifhop of Durham, and
other two, who met with the plenipotentiaries of Scot-
land at Ayton, and entered on a negociatio'n f .

When king James refolved to make peace with Eng- Warbeck
land* he intimated to Warbeck, in the fofteft terms, leaves
that it was become iieceffary for him to leave Scotland, Scotland '
and take up his refidence in fome other country. War-
beck, it is faid, behaved on his trying occafion with com-
pofure and dignity* He thanked the king for the pro-
tection and affiftanCe he had afforded him, and the many
favours he had conferred upon him, of which, he faidj
he fhould ever retain a grateful remembrance. He then
embarked, with his amiable confort, (who would not for-
fake him,) and about 120 followers, and landed at Cork,
July 30th.

The departure of Warbeck fmoothed the road to peace Truce,
between the two Britifh mon irehs, and a truce was fub-
fcribed by the plenipotentiaries of both princes, in the
church of Ayton, September 2<pthi A.D. 1491, to con-
tinue from that day for feven years J. Peter D'Ayala,
who acted as mediator in this negociation, acquired
great honour by his activity and impartiality, and was
highly praifedby both the contracting parties. About three

* Bacon, p. 163— 172. Hall, f. 42, 43.

f Rym, Fee J. torn. xii. p. 677. J Ibid. p. 678.

D 2 months


A. D. 1497. months after, this truce was prolonged, to continue dur-
*•*— ~r~"*»- / ing the lives of the two kings, and a year after the death
of the longeft liver *.
1498.- Though Henry had happily repelled the attacks of his

foreign enemies, quelled the infurrections of his fubjecfts,
and made peace with all the neighbouring princes, and
might therefore expe<£l to enjoy fome tranquillity, he was
foon involved in new troubles-. When the prifoners who
had been taken at Blackheath, and had obtained their
liberty with fo much eafe, returned home, they revived
t'he hopes and inflamed the difcontents of their country-
men, by telling them, that the king did not dare to put
them to death, or to keep them prifoners, becaufe he
knew that almoft all- his other fubjecls were cHfcontented
and ripe for rebellion. Upon hearing this, the people of
Cornwal and Devonshire, where the odious' tax was ft ill
collected with great feverity, flew to arms, and refolved
to make another attempt more direclly againft the king
than the former. Having ncr perfon of eminence or abb-
Iky to lead them, they turned their eyes towards War-
beck, and fent mefiengers, it is faid, into Ireland, to in-
vite him to come and put himfelf at their head. How-
ever that may be, Warbeck, either on information or
invitation, failed from Ireland, and landed at Whif-
fand-bay, September 7th, A. D. 1493, with his wife
and about a hundred men, who ftill followed his fortunes-.
Being joined by three thoufand of the infurgents at Bod-
min, he publifhed a m-a-nifefto fimilar to that which he
had formerly publifhed, with the neceffary alterations f.
Exeferbs- Warbeck, by the advice of his confederates, befieged
iicged. Exeter, the ftrongeft and moft opulent city in thofe parts'.
But the citizens, dreading to be plundered by his undif-
ciplined followers, rejected all his fair promifes, and re-
folved to make a brave defence. As he had no artillery,
he attempted to take the place by burning the gates and
icaling the walls ; but being repulfed, with the lofs of
two hundred men, he raifed the fiege, and marched to
Taunton in Somerfetfhire, September 20th J.
Warbeck \ n t ne me an time Henyy, who could not be at -..eafe
wliiie a pretender to h:s throne was at liberty, raads

* Rym. Foed. tom. xii p. 679.

f Srowe, p. 480. Bacon, p. 179, 180%

1 Ibid. i3i. Hall, f. ^5.


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