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 5) online

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■ the biiliop of Lincoln,' one of the Spiritual lords wliphacj

contributed to his elevation (^9). ' / . J - '

(35) This i^ a pai t of the accoi'nt of his acceflion to the throne that
Richard III. fe.nt to thci garrif'on 3t Calais, to periuade thtm to take an
oath of feaity to him, whch they refured,'btc:uift they had taken saoath
to, Edward V,. The whoje ;;ccount is very pompous, and in feveral par-^
tl'cu'a'rs noi ftrifl:Iv true "Buck, apud Ktrin'et, p. i,%x. Note.
• (37) Hift. Crcy!. p. 566. (38) fabian, f. 115.

' ^3q) Rj I..1, Pcp.d, t< I*, p. i^S' ' ■ '■ •-

- ■ ' " As


As the ceremony of coronation was coniidered in thofe A. D. 1483.
limes as almoft eiiential to royalty, Richard made great '^''"'y'"^
hafte to be crowned j and the . preparations that had been
^ade for the coronation of his nephew, enabled him t>
be fooner ready. It appears from his coronation roll,;
which is ftill extant, that various robes were ordered, on
that occafion, for lord Bdward^ Ion of the late king
Edward IV. and his attendants; which makes it proba-
We that it was once intended that he fhould walk at his
uncle's eoronajtion (40). But it is highly probable that
on fecond thoughts the defign was laid aiide. So wife a
man as Richard would foon refxcdi:, that the fight of the
lielpjefs degraded prince would excite compalfion for ^

him, and indignation againft his opprefiur, in every feel-,
jng heait. So lingular a circumftance, as a degraded
king walking at the coronat^ori olf his fucceffor, who had
flegraded him, would have been the fubje61 of much
^converfation, and would certainly have been recorded |.
and yet neither Fabian, nor the hiftorian of Croyland,,
^)vho iiouriflied at that time, nor any fubfequent hiftori-.
an, mention fuch a circumftance. On the contrary,
tabian tells, us, that as foon as Richard accepted the fo-
yereignty, " the prmce, or of rightj king Edward V.
" with 'his brother the duke of York, were put under
■" furer kepynge in the Towi'e, in fuch wyfe that they
*^ never came abrode after (41)." A few days before
the coronation, John lord Howard was created duke of
Norfolk, and, appointed high leeward (4^). About the
fame time he conferred honours and offices on feveral of
tis moft aclive friends; and the archbiHiop of York, and
lord jStanley, haying complied with the times, were fet
at liberty (43). At length all things being ready,
llichard, with his confort Ann Nevile, youngeit daugh-
ter of the great earl of Warwick, were crow+^ed, atWeft-
minfter, July 6, with the ufuakfolemnities (44).
.' The treafures amaU'ed by Edward IV. for his intend- FIrft aasof
^ expedition into France, were feized by Richard, and ^j.[f^jjj
gained him many friends, or at lead accomplices, by
enabling him to reward them (45). Nor was he a nig-

(40) Hlflorie Doubtp, p. 5$, 66. (41) Fabian, f. xa?.

(4^) Rym.Foed. t iz. p. 191. (43) B"ck, p. 5x5.

i44) Id, ibid. (45) Hift. eroyl. p. 5f7-


A.D. T485. gard in the diflribution of his bounty. In particular, he
^"^^^t""***^ amply rewarded his northern, forces, and fent them home
contented (46). He fent ambaffadors to feveral foreign
princes to announce his acceffion and cultivate their
. friendfliip ^47)- To his envoy to the court of* Britanny,
he gives authority — -^^ to negotiate any-bufinefs he thought
*' proper, even though it v/as of fuch a nature as to re-
^^ quire a fpecial mandate," — which plainly points ^t a |
fecret negotiation about the earl of Richmond, probably
with a view to get him into his hands (48). At the fame
time, he treated the countefs of Richmond vrith great re-
fpecl, and appointed her hufband, the lord Stanley,
fteward of the houfehold. His chief accomplice, the
duke of Buckingham, he loaded with eftates and ho-
nours {49). In a word, he neglected nothing to content
his friends, to gain or to guard againft his enemies.
A progrefs. Having fettled all affairs in London, and fet a guard
about the fancluary at Weftminfter, to prevent the efcape
of the queen or het daughters, he fet out on a progrefs
with his queen and fon, and a fplendid court (50) In
this progrefs he fpent fome days at Oxford ; and at the
requeft of the univerfity he releafed the bifliop of Ely
from his confinement in the Tower, and committed him
to the cuftody of the duke of Buckingham, which pro-
duced eife6ls equally furprifing and unexpected (51).
At Gloucefter, Coventry, and all other places, Richard
courted popularity by every art, and laboured to raiife
expeftations of a mild and equitable reign. The duke
of Buckingham left the court at Glouceftcr in the moH
perfe6l good humour, and went to his caftle of Breck-
nock, to which he had before fent his prifoner the bifhop
of Ely. ^ ■

Story of the When Richard was at Gloucefter in the courfe of this
murder of pTogrefs, he fent, it is faid, one of his pages to fir Ro-
l^?n^*<l!*' bert Brakinbury, conftabie of the Tower of London,
with a letter or meffage, commanding him to murder the
two young princes, Edward V. and his brother Richard,

<45) HaU, Richard III. f. 2.

(47) Rym. Feed. torn. iz. p. 193, 194, 195. 198, 199, &c,

(48) Id. ibid. p. 194.

(49) See a lift of thefe in Kennet, vol. 1. p. 530. note n,

(50) Hift. Croyl. p. 567.
(ri) Sir T. More, p. $00. Buck, p. 525.





duke of York. Sir Robert declining that deteftable of-A.D. 1483.
iice, iir James Tyrrel, maftcr ofthe horfe, was fent from '^^'^'Y^''-^
the couit at Warwick, with a comnaiflion to command
in the Tower one night, and in diat night the two young
princes were fufFocated in their beds, by two ruffians
called Miles Forreft and John Dighton, and buried at the
ftair-foot, from whence their bodies were removed by the
chaplain of the Tower, to a place that was never difco-
vered (52,). This ftrange ftorywas firft told by fir Tho-
mas More, as one of the various tales he had heard con-
cerning the death of the tw^o princes ; and though it is
very improbable, if not evidently falfe in fome particu-
lars; it hath been adopted by many iubfequent hifto-
rians (53).

About the end of Auguft the court arrived atYork> to Richard
which the nobility, clergy, andgejitry ofthe north, came crowned at
in crowds. Richard, in order to pleafe them and fecure ^'^ '
their favour, refolved to entertain them with a coronati-
on. Accordingly he and his queen wei'e crowned in the
cathedral-church of that northern capital, by aychbifhop
Rotherham, September 8, and on the fame day he cre^
ated his only legitimate fon Edward, then about eight
years ^f age, prince of Wales (54). The duke of Al-
bany, and the ambalTador of Ferdinand and Ifabeila,.
king and queen of Caftile and Anagon, afliftcd at
ttiis coronation, which was uncommonly magnifi-
cent (53).

But. Richard's tranquillity was of fhort duration : Plots
clouds began to gather in fevei-ai places, and to threaten againd
him with a dreadful ftorm. As foon as he departed from '^ *^ "
London, on his progrefs into the north, the people af
Kent, Effex, Sufiex, Hampfliire, Dorfetfhire, Devon-
Ihire, Somerfetfhire, Wiltfhire, Berkfhire, and other
ibuthem counties, no longer overawed by the northern
and Weilli armies, began- to murmur at the late tranfac-
tions. The gentlemen of thefe counties had private
meetings, and formed aflbciations for reiealing Edward V.
from the Tower, and rei^ oring him to the throne (56) •
Richard had ftill a more dangerous enemy who w^as fc-

(5a) Sir T. More, p. 500, eoi. «

(53) See Walpole's Hiftoric Doubts, p, 5i-~59.

(54.) Hift. CroyL p. 567. G. Buck, p. 527.

(5S> B.ym. Feed. torn, ii, p. 2.0a. (5^) Hift. Croyl. p. s,6S,



A. p. u^3- crctly plotting his deftru6lion. This was. his chief .ac-
^^""V*^ complice, Henry duke .of Buckingham, who had been
.the great inilrument of his eleyatioji. It is impoifibie to
iiifcover the motives. that. determined Buckingham, to pull
down tiie perfon he had Jo lately raifed (57). It is moft
probable that his peffe6l knowledge of his own and of
Richard's chara61:cr was his principal motive. It is im-
polfibie that any real friendlTiip or confidenQe , could fub-
iift between two men who had plotted together, the death
t*f lord Rivers, lo I'd Haftings, lord Grey, and others,
when !uiey were profeiling the greateft friendihip foi\ 1
them. Buckingham might very raturaiiy fear that. |
Richard would take an opportunity of treating him as h^
4?cad treated thefe noblemen, in order to get pofleffion o.f
his iinmenfc wealth ; and that' his prifoxier J3hn Morton,
biiliop of Ely, the moft artful man in the world, might.,-
by -his hints and infinuations, increafe thofe fears. How-
ever this may be, it is perfe6lly certain that Bucking-?
ham, foon after his arrival at his caftle of BrecknpQk,,
formed the defign of dethro.mng Ki^haid^ aud corre-,
fponded with the malcontents in the foutll and weft of
England about the execution of that ddign (58).
In favour ot . None of the two jejune hiitorians of thofe tim^s fay,
•^f^Kk.h-'^^ that tlie duke of Buckingham had originally ;the fame
•jnoad. ¥iews With the other malcontents, of reftoring Edward V.'
though. that is not improbable (59). But, in Auguft, ^
report was circulated, and generally believed, that tht^
.two young princes .were murdered in .the Towner. This
obliged ail the confpirators to look ou.t for a proper per-,
fon to fubftitute inxhe plade of Richard (60). In m,ore,
orderly and peaceful times, it would never have been,
imagined, that Henry earl ©f Richmond ha4 any pre,ten-
iions to the . crown • He v/as defcended by his mpthcr
from one of the natural fons of John, of Gaunt duke of
/ Lancafter, by Katharine Swinefoid. It is true> that
when the duke married that lady, .he procured the legiti -
mation, by paiiiament, of the children he had by her in
the time of hijj fgrnier marriage ; but in the very afi of ie-

($8) Several hiftorians fay, it was becaufe he refufed to grant him the
v/aoJe earldom oi^ Hereford. Bat^there is the cleared evidence that ^c
"granced him the whole. D .gdale, vol. i. p- 168, 169. '

<^H) H:ft. Croyl p. 568. (59) Id. ibid. Fabian.

iio) Hf:, C;oj;l. ^ . '




gitimation* there is an exception of the crown and royal A. D.. 1485.
dignity, of which, they are declared incapable. Befides ^— —y-— ^
t^is, there were feveral princes and princeffes, both in
Spain and Portugal, legitimate defcendants of John of
Gaimt/by his fecond wife Conftantia h^irefs of Caftile;
^but they were too far diftant, and do not- feem to-have e^^.-
tertained any thoughts, of affeiting their claims to th^ .
crown of England. There were aifo iever^] princes and"
princeffes of the houfe of York, who fe titles w^ere (till
better. But the earl of Richmond poffeffed fome advan-
tages, w^hich reconimended him to the eonfpirators, as
the moft proper perfon to fet up in oppolition to
Richard. He was in the prime of life, and" had long
been confidered by the Lancaftrian party in England 23
the reprefentativje of that family ; and it was propofed to
f apply the his title by his marriage with the
princefs Elizabeth, -eldefi: daughter of Edward IV. and
thereby unite the two roffes/ and put an end to, that fatal
quarrel which had almoft ruined- England. The queen,;
and the countefs of Richmond, -Henry's mother, entered
warmly' into that fcheme, which makes it probable tha^
the qiieen believed hfer two fons were dead. Meffengers
were fent to the court of Brritanhy, -to acquaint Henry:
with this fcheme (of his confent to w^hich no doubt was
entertained), and to entreat him tocoftie into Eng-
land. a,s foon as poiTiblej^with all the force he could col-*
le^t (61). . ■ ,

Tho-ugh th^efe tranfacSliohs wer^ eohdu61ed with all Rlchar4V.^
pofiible fecrecy, they did not'efcape the vigilance ofP^^P^*^^^"
Richard. Soon after his coronation at York, he was in- **^**
formed, that plots were forming- againll: him in the fouth>'
and, imm.ediately fufpe^ling the duke of Buckingham,:
he endeavoured, firft by promifes'5 ' and afterwards by
threats, to bring him to comt. But both were ineffe6lti-:
al. He then-exerted himfelf, with great a<51ivityi to raife
forces in the north, and. other-^arts, to opp^fe his ene-;
mies (62).' Being joined by the earlofNoithumberiand,.'
and other great men, with their followers,' he dire^Slcd"
hts march toward^ Wales; baving fent orders before, t<y
fir Tfiomas Vaughan and his other friends in thofe pans, •

{6a) Hall, f. 12—14. Holingflx, p, tJ^oa*-'
{6%) yiJk: Crojl.' f. §58.



ham's in-

A, 0.1483.10 watch the motions of the duke of Buckingham, to
break down the bridges on the Severn, promifing them
the plunder of the caitle of Brecknock, for their encou-
ragement (63).

The confpirators, by concert, fet up their flandards
all in one day, 06lober 18, in feveral different places,

larreaion. to diftra6l their enemies — the duke of Buckingham at
Brecknock — the marquis of Dorfet, fir Edward Courte^
nay, &g. at Exeter — ^lir John Brown, fir Tliomas Lawk-
nor, &c. at Maidftone — fir William Norris, fir William
Berkeley, &c. at Newbury — and fir Richard Widvile, fit
Richard Beauchamp, &c. at Salifbury. The king, on
061ober 19, was at Grafton in Northamptonfhire, ready
to march into Wales, or into the weft, as occafion might
require (64). The duke of Buckingham directed his
march towards the Severn, in order to pafs that river,
and ioin his confederates ; and if that jun6lion had been
€ile61ed, Richard would probably have been dethroned,
- But fuch heavy rains fell for feveral days, that the Severn

overflowed its banks, and deluged the countiy, to a de-
gree that never had been known, and was long remem-
bered by the name of Buckingham's flood. His Welfli
ti'oops were fo much difcouraged by this, that they dif-
banded, and returned home; which obliged him to dif-
mifs all his fervants, difguife his perfon, and conceal
himfelf in the houfe of one Bannifter, a dependent on his
family, not far from Shrewfbury (65).

The news of this furpriling turn of affairs were
brought to Richard at Leicefter, and he immediately
(October 23) ilTued a proclamation, granting a pardon-
to all the common people who fhould defcrt their lea-
ders, and offering great rewards to any who fhould ap-
prehend the duke of Buckingham, the marquis of Dor-
fet, the bifhops of Ely and Salifbury, and feveral
knights and gentlemen, who are therein named. For
the duke, he offered £ 1000. in money, or {^ 100. a-
year in land — for the marquis and each of the bifhops,
iooo marks in money, or 100 marks a-year in land — •
for each of the knights, one half of that fum(66)*'


(63) Id. ibid.

{64) Rym. Feed. torn. IZ. p. 203.
(65) Hall, f. 15. Stow, p. 455.
4^6) RjriTi, Fad, tcm, la. p. ao4»

Hoiicgni. p. 1403.


Ch. i.§ 5: CIVIL AND MILITARY. 191

Intliis curious proclamation, the immaculate Richard A. D. 14X5.
expreffes the moft violent indignation againft whoredom, ^^-'^T'"*^
of which he fays his enemies were notorioufly guilty,
particularly tlie marquis of Dorfet,— " who, to the pe-
" rille of his fouje, hath, many and fundry maydes,
<f wydowes, and wifes, dampnably, and without fhame,
<< devoured, deilowTed, and defouled, holding the un-
" fhampful and myfchivous woman, called Shore's wife,
«< in adultry (67)."

This proclamation had a confiderable efFe6t. Thesuckiag-
perfidious Bannifter, enticed by the greatnefs of the vc- ^am be-
ward, difcovered his unfortunate gueft to Jphn Mitton, ^^"^^^^
fheriff of Shropfhire, who apprehended and condu<Sbed
him to Salifbiiry ; 'where, without any trial, he was be-
headed, November I (68).

The followers of the other confpirators, enticed by Infurgaiti
the promife of pardon on the one , handj and difcou- <iiiperfed.
raged by the difafter that had befallen the duke of Buck-
ingham on the other, deferted them; which compelled
them to abandon their enterprife, and confult their fafe-^
ty by flight. Some of them, as the marquis of Dor-
fet, the bifhops of Ely and Exeter, and a great num-
ber of knights and gentlemen, efcaped to the continent; *
others took fhelter in fan6luaries ; and others concealed
themfelves in the country. In this manner was this for-
midable infurre6lion terminated in a few days, and
without a blow (69).

In the mean time, the earl of Richmond had been Rkiamond^
very active ; and having got together a fmall army, and auaBci.
a fleet of forty fhips, he failed from St. Maloe's, Octo-
ber 12. But on the next day, his fleet was difperfed
by a violent ftorm, which drove the greateft pait of it
back to the continent. The earl's fhip weathered the
I ftorm, and approached the coaft of England near Poole,
I where he hovered feveral days, in expe61ation of being
' joined by the reil of his fleet. Being difappointed in
I this expe6i:ation, h€ found himfelf under a neceffity
li of abandoning his enterprife ; and in his return^ he

(68) Hall, f. i^. Stow, p. 465. Holinglh. p. 1403. Hift, Croy!.
p. 568.

(69) Hall, f. 16* Stowj p. 455, Koimgfh, f. 1403, Hift. CroyL






A,D.! 483: was obliged to land in Normandy, where he received
the difagreeable news of the difpcrhon of his friends in
England; and on his arrival in Britanny, he there
found the marquis of Dorfet, and many other fugi -
lives (70). , , .

. Richard^ tranfpcTted with joy at" fo many fortunate*
events, marGhcd from Salifbury,- November 2, at thf*
head of a gc^llant army, and proceeded to Exeter, re-^
ducing all thofe parts to order and fubmiifion, and pu-»-
nifliitig fuc'h of the leaders, of the late infurre61ion as
had been apprehended. Amongft thefe was his own:
brother-in-law. Sir Thomas St. Leger, who was, with
feveral others, executed at Exeter, though great ' intercft
vwas made^'and a great -fum of money was offered for
his life (71). The number of perfons executed on this
occaiion v^as not very great ; as all yeomen arid com-
mon people were pardoned by the proclamation, an^
many of dieir leaders efcaped beyond fea, or into fane*
tuaries, whfch every where abounded, and were efteem-
ed inviolable. ;

Pvichard, having reduced all to quiet, rewarded and.
lent home a great part of his northern troops, on whom
he had chielly depended (72). He then returned to-
wards the capital, and was met at Kingfton by the may-* •
or and aldermen, with, about 500 citizens, nobly
mounted and richly drelled, who condu(51ed him through:
the city to Weftminfter, where he celebrated the feaft
of Chriftmas with great pomp (7^^).

EJchard feemed now to be firmly feated on the throne^'
all his powerful enemies being either laid in the duftL
or driven out of the kingdom. He wifely embracea
that opportunity to call a parliament; becaufe he welt _
knew, that in thefe eircumftances he could eafily influ-
ence it to do what he pleafed. This parliament met at.
Weftminfter, on Friday, January 20, and made feveral ;
good and popular laws ; but at the fame time cffe61ually
aniwered the political views of R?chard> and did what-
ever he was pleafed to dilate (74), That peti/ion
which had been prefented to him when he aflume^', the

.'(70) Hift. Croyl. p. 56?.' (yr) Id. fbid.

(yz) H ft. Croyl. p. 570. (73) lid.^ ibid, Fab:ai?^.f. 2,id,

• (7-0 S'taJUtcs at Laige, v©!. 2. p- 54,


SiRg re-
turns to

A. I>, 1 4S4



government, was now converted into an a6i: of parlla-A.D. 1484.

ment, declaring the marriage of Edward IV. and lady^*''""^^''"'^*^

Grey illegal, and all their children baftards," and fettling

the crown on Richard and his pofterity (75). Many

of the members (fays a contemporary hiftorian) were in-^

flaenced by fear to give their confent to that a6t (76).

All perfons of any note, who had been concerned in the

late infarre6lions, were attainted, and their eftates con-

fifcated ; which brought a prodigious acce-ffion both of

power and wealth to the crown (77).

^ During the fitting of this parliament, one day in the Oatf.*

month of February, Richard allembled all the members

of both houfes in a certain room in his palace, and

there produced to them, in writing, an oath to fupport

the fucceffion of his fon, Edward prince of Wales, to

the crown, which he engaged or obliged them all both

to fwear and fubfcribe (78).

This parliament had the cruelty (at whofe inftlgation The queen
it may be eaiily, gueiled) to ftrip the queen-dowager of*^'''-^"^^ ^^^
all the eftates that had been fettled upon her by the late^^'^*^^'^^'^^'
king, and confirmed to her by parliament (79). That
unhappy princcfs, reduced to poverty as well as over-
whelmed with difgrace, and feeing no profpecB: of relief
.from either, began to liften to Richard's peifuaiions, to
leave the fan61:uary, and to put herfelf and her five
daughters into his hands ■ To encourage her to do this,
he took a folemn oath in the houfe of peers, March i,
— *' That if file would come to him out of the fan6l:u^
*' ary at Weftminfter, he would provide for her and for
*' her daughters as his kinfwomen ; and they fliOuld be
*^' in no danger of their lives : and that he would allow
'<« her 700 marks a-year, and her daughters 2,00 marks
f' a- piece for their portions in marriage, and would
" take care to marry them to gentlemen (80)." How
diflionourable a tranfa6lion was this ! a king of England
fwearing before his fpiritual and temporal lords, that
he would not murder five innocent young ladies, the
daughters of his own brother, and of their late fove-

(75) Parliament. Hlft. vol. X. p. 385, &c.

(76) Hift. Crpyl. p. 570. (77) Id. ibid, (78) Id. ibid.

(79) Buck, apud Kennet, p. gaS. Note.

(80) Back, apud Kennet, p. 548. Ngte.

Vol. V. O reign!


19^ HI S T O R Y O F B R IT AI jS. l&ookV.

A. t>. i484'.reign ! how pitiful a providon did Richard pro pole 60
"^"^"y^"*^^ m^\<.Q for his unhappy nieces, who -he knew had lately
ftood centra6led to the greateft princes in Europe ! and
yet, fuch was the diftreis of the wretched queen, that
{lie accepted thefe humiliating terms, and trufted her
own life and the lives of her daughters to the fecurity
of Richara's oath.
D tli of Richard foon found, that the greateft profperity could
Edward fiot fecure him from the deepefl: diftrefs. After the dif-
prince of folution of parliament, he made a progrefs, with his
Wale^s. queen and court, into the north; and at Nottingham
received the afflictive new*s, that his only legitimate
child, Edward prince of Wales, on whom he doted,
had died- at Middleham caftie, April 9, after a fhort
illnefs (81). Both Richard and his queen were fo
much atfe^ted with this news, that, as- a contemporary
hiftorian tells us, they almoft mn mad (82).
^ri of Richard was foon roufed from this exceflive Ibirowfor

Richmond his fon^ by receiving intelligence from his ambaflador at 1
t^l.^!^ the ecurt of Britanny, that the earl of Richmond and
the Englifh exiles were meditating another attemptagaintf
his government. To prevent, if polfible, that attempt,-
he diredled his ambaflador to renew his negotiations with
the duke of Britanny, or rather with his favourite Peter
Landois, for the delivery of the earl of Richmond into'
his hands. Francis II. duke of Britanny, the generous
prote6tor of the exiled earl, h-ad for fome time beeii in a*
declining ftate of health, which had impaii-ed his capa-
city for bulinefs, and made him commit the management
of all his affairs to his favourite, who was at length over-
come by the fplendid oilers of the king of England ^and
a bargain vvas ilruck for the furrender of the earl oF
Richmond (83). Though this negotiation was con-
duced with great- fcCT'ecy, John Morgan, bifliop of Ely,*
got a hint ol it, which he communicated to the earl,-
As/ho fled into France, arid was followed by the Englillt'

(8i) Hia. Crbyl, p, ^7-1.^

(8/.) I'i. ib.d.' Th.'s if. a Irtera! trantlation of t^ie words of the hifto-
r'.a-n of Crry'andj who jived at no great d ftance from Nottingham, and
had <5:,bab!y heard of fomc of their ailions or words, which indicated
Uh-i' ihe. exuei's of their grief had ia fomc degree dilordered their

;;83) Ajgentri,:]. 13. c. z6i



Online LibraryRobert HenryThe history of Great Britain : from the first invasion of it by the Romans under Julius Cæsar. Written on a new plan (Volume 5) → online text (page 19 of 49)