Engraved portrait of Edward II with caption beneath.

The true Portraiture of King Edward the Second King of England & Lord of Ireland Duke of Aquitaine etc: He Raigned 19. yeares & Seven Months: Buried at Glocester:

F. sculpsit.



Of the most unfortunate Prince
King Edward II.

Choice Political Observations on Him
and his unhappy Favourites,
Gaveston & Spencer:

Several Rare Passages of those Times,
Not found in other Historians.

Found among the Papers of, and (supposed to be)
Writ by the Right Honourable

Henry Viscount Faulkland,
Sometime Lord Deputy of Ireland.

London: Printed by A.G. and J.P. and are sold by John
, at his Shop near the Temple-Church, 16801680.


The Preface.

Henry Cary, Viscount Faulkland, (among whose Papers the following History was found) was born at Aldnam in Hertford-shire; his extraordinary Parts, being a most accomplish’d Gentleman, and a complete Courtier, got him such an Esteem with King James, (who for his great Learning and Sagacity is stiled The English Solomon) that he thought him a Person fitly qualified to be Lord Deputy of Ireland, (the Government of which place required at that time a Man of more than ordinary Abilities) which Trust he very well discharged. Being recalled into England, he lived honourably here, ’till by an unfortunate accident he broke his Leg in Theobald’s Park; of which soon after he died. He was a Person of great Gallantry, the Ornament and Support of his Countrey, which he served with no less A2Faith- A2v Faithfulness and Prudence abroad, than Honour and Justice at home, being an excellent Statesman. During his stay at the University of Oxford, his chamber was the Rendevouz of all the eminent Wits, Divines, Philosophers, Lawyers, Historians, and Politicians of that time; from whose Conversation he became Eminent in all those Qualifications.

The Subject of the following History (supposed to be written by the above-mentioned Nobleman) is the unhappy Lives, and untimely Deaths, of that Unfortunate English King Edward the Second, and his two Favourites Gaveston and Spencer; for his immoderate love to whom, (says Dr. Heylin, he was hated by the Nobles, and contemned by the Commons. This King (saith Sir Richard Baker) was a comely Person, and of great strength, but much given to drink, which render’d him unapt to keep any thing secret. His greatest fault was, he loved but one, for if his Love had been divided, it could not have been so violent; and though Love moderated be the best of Affections, yet the Extremity of it is the worst of Passions. Two Virtues were eminent in him, above all his Predecessors, Continence and Abstinence; so continent, that he left no base Issue behind A3r behind him; so abstinent, that he took no base Courses for raising Money.

Our Author closes his History without declaring the Particulars of the Murder of this Prince, wherefore I shall give you an account therof, as I find it set down by the aforesaid Sir Richard Baker.

Many ways were attempted to take away his Life. First, they vexed him in his Diet, allowing him nothing that he could well endure to eat, but this succeeded not: Then they lodged him in a Chamber over Carrion and dead Carcases, enough to have poisoned him; and indeed he told a Workman at his Window, he never endured so great a misery in all his Life; but neither did this succeed. Then they attempted it by Poysons, but whether by the strength of his Constitution, or by the Divine Providence, neither did this succeed. At last the pestilent Achitophel, the Bishop of Hereford, devised a letter to his Keepers, Sir Thomas Gourney, and Sir John Mattrevers, blaming them for giving him too much liberty, and for not doing the Service which was exs pected from them; and in the end of his Letter wrote this Line, Edvardum occidere nolite timere bonum est; craftily contriving it A3vit in this doubtful sence, that both the Keepers might find sufficient warrant, and himself excuse. The Keepers guessing at his meaning, took it in the worst sence, and accordingly put it in Execution. They took him in his Bed, and casting heavy Bolsters upon him, and pressing him down, stifled him; and not content with that, they heated an Iron red hot, and through a Pipe thrust it up into his Fundament, that no marks of Violence might be seen; but though none were seen, yet some were heard; for when the Fact was in doing, he was heard to roar and cry all the Castle over. This was the lamentable End of King Edward of Carnarvan, son of King Edward the First,

What became of the Actors and Abettors of this deep Tragedy, Sir Winston Churchill tells us in these words, with which I shall conclude.

Poor Prince, how unkindly was he treated, upon no other account but that of his own overgreat kindness! Other Princes are blamed for not being ruled by their Counsellors, he for being so: who whilst he lived, they would have him thought to be a sot, but being dead, they could have found in their hearts to have made him a Saint. How far he wrong’d his people doth A4r doth not appear, there being very few or no Taxations laid upon them all his time; but how rude and unjust they were towards him, is but too manifest. But their violence was severely paid by Divine Vengeance, not only upon the whole Kingdom, when every Vein in the Body Politic was afterwards opened, to the endangering the letting out of the Life-blood of the Monarchy in the Age following; but upon every particular Person consenting to, or concern’d in his Death. For as the Throne of his Son that was thus set in Blood (though without his own guilt) continued to be imbru’d all his Reign, which lasted above fifty Years, with frequent Executions, Battels, or Slaughters; the Sword of Justice, or his own, being hardly ever sheath’d all his time: So ’tis said, that the Queen her self dyed mad, upon the apprehension of her own, in Mortimer’s disgrace, who was executed at Tiburn, and hung there two days to be a spectacle of Scorn. The King’s Brother Edmond had this punishment of his Disloyalty, to be condemn’d to lose his Head for his Loyalty, it being suggested (and happy it had been for him if it had been prov’d) that he endeavoured the Restoration of his Brother; his Death being imbitter’d by the mockery of Fortune, whilst by keeping him upon the Scaffold five hours together, before any body could be A4v be found that would Execute him, he was deluded with a vain hope of being saved. The Fiend Tarlton, Bishop of Hereford, who invented the cursed Oracle that justified the Murderers, dyed with the very same Torture, as if the hot Iron that sear’d his Conscience had been thrust into his Bowels. Of the two Murderers, one was taken and butcher’d at Sea, the other dyed in Exile, perhaps more miserable. And for the Noblility in general, that were Actors in the Tragedy, they had this Curse upon them, that most of their Race were cut off by those Civil Discords of their divided Families, to which this strange Violation gave the first beginning, not long after.

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The Life of Edward II. King of England.

Edwardthe Second, born at Carnarvan, was immediately after the death of Edward the First his Father, crowned King of England. If we may credit the Historians of those times, this Prince was of an Aspect fair and lovely, carrying in his outward appearance many promising predictions of a singular expectation. But the judgment, not the eye must have preheminence in the censure of Human passages, the visible Calender is not the true character of inward perfection, evidently proved in the Life, Reign, and untimely Death of this unfortunate Monarch.

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His Story Eclipseth this glorious Morning, making the noontide of his Soveraignty full of Tyrannical oppressions, and the Evening more memorable by his Death and Ruine. Time, the discoverer of truth, makes evident his imposture, and shews him to the World, in Conversation light, in Will violent, in Condition wayward, and in Passion irreconcileable.

Edward his Father, a King no less Wise than Fortunate, by his discreet Providence, and the Glory of his Arms, had laid him the sure Foundation of a happy Monarchy. He makes it his last care so to inable and instruct him, that he might be powerful enough to keep it so. From this Consideration he leads him to the Scotish Wars, and brings him home an exact and able Scholar in the Art Military. He shews him the benefit of Time and Occasion, and makes him understand the right use and advantage. He instructs him with the precious Rules of Discipline, that he might truly know how to obey, before he came to command a Kingdom. Lastly, he opens the closet of his Heart, and presents him with the politic Mysteries of State, and teacheth him how to use them by his own Example, letting him know, that all these helps are little enough to support the weight of a Crown, if there were not a correspondent worth in him that wears it.

These Principles make the way open, but the prudent Father had a remaining task of a much harder temper. He beheld many sad remonstrations of a depraved and vicious Inclination, these must be purified, or his other cautions were useless and to little purpose. A corruption in Nature; that B2r3 that by practice hath won it self the habit of being ill, requires a more than ordinary care to give it reformation. Tenderness of Fatherly Love abuseth his belief, and makes him ascribe the imperfections of the Son, to the heat of Youth, want of Experience, and the wickedness of those that had betray’d his unripe Knowledge, and easie Nature, with so base impressions. He imagins, Age, and the sad burthen of a Kingdom, would in the sence of Honour, work him to thoughts more innocent and noble; yet he neglects not the best means to prepare and assure it. He extends the height of Entreaty, and useth the befitting severity of his paternal Power, making his Son know he must be fit for a Scepter, before he enjoy it. He takes from him those tainted humours of his Leprosie, and enjoyns him by all the ties of Duty and Obedience, no more to admit the Society of so base and unworthy Companions. Gaveston, the Ganimede of his affections, a Man, as base in birth as conditions, he sentenceth to perpetual Exile.

The melancholy Apparitions of this loth to depart, gives the aged Father an assurance, that this Syren had too dear a Room in the wanton Cabinet of his Son’s heart. He strives to enlighten his mind, and to make him quit the memory of that dotage, which he foresaw in time would be his destruction. But death overtakes him before he could give it perfection, the time is come, that he must, by the Law of Nature, resign both his Life and Kingdom.

He summons his Son, and bequeaths him this dying Legacy, commanding him, as he will in another day answer his disobedience, never to B2repeal B2v4 repeal his sentence. To his Kindred and Peers, that with sad Tears, and watry Eyes, were the companions of his Death-bed, he shortly discourseth the base conditions of this Parasite, and lets them understand, both their own, and the Kingdom’s danger, if they withstood not his return, if it were occasioned. They knew his injuctions were just, and promise to observe them, he is not satisfied till they bind it with an Oath, and vow religiously to perform it. This sends him out of the World with more confidence, than in the true knowledge of his Son’s wilful disposition he had cause to ground on.

The Father’s Funeral Rights performed, Edward in the pride of his years undertakes the Crown, and guidance of this glorious Kingdom. He glories in the advantage, knowing himself to be an absolute King, and at liberty; yet thinks it not enough, till the belief of the Kingdom did equally assure it. He esteems no Act more proper to confirm it, than running in a direct strain of opposition against his Predecessor’s will and pleasure. The strong motives of his violent affection suggests reasons, that the Majesty of a King may not be confined from his dearest pleasure. When he was a Son, and a Subject, he had witnessed his obedience, being now a King and a Soveraign, he expects a correspondance of the same nature. Where there was so ready an inclination in the Will, Reason found strength enough to warrant it, which made him make Gaveston’s return the first Act of his Soveraignty. No protestation of his Lords, nor persuasion of his Council, can work a diversion, or win so much as a befitting respect. The Barons that B3r5 that were unable to withstand, are contented to obey, attending the issue of this so dangerous a resolution. Where the News was so pleasing, the Journey is as sudden, Gaveston loseth not a minute, till he felt the embraces of his Royal Lord and Master.

Edward having thus regained his beloved Damon, is so transported with his presence, that he forgets the will and ordinary respect due to the greatest Lords and Pillers of his Kingdom; and hence proceeds their first discontent and Murmur. Many ways are invented to dissolve this enchantment, but none more fit and worthy then to engage him in the sacred knot of Wedlock. The Interest of a Wife, was believed the only remedy to engross or divert these obscured, which they beheld so loosely and unworthily prostituted. Isabel, the Daughter of the French King, the goodliest and obscuredof her time, is moved, and the obscuredplausibly accepted.

This sends Edward, scarce a King of nine Months standing, into France, and brings him back, seas’d of a Jewel, which not being rightly valued, occasioned his ensuing Ruin. The excellency of so sweet and vertuous a companion could not so surprize her Bridegroom, but Gaveston still kept possession of the fairest room in his affections. He makes it more notorious by creating him Earl of Cornewal, and the Gift of the goodly Castle and Lordship of Wallingford.

Gaveston applies himself wholly to the humour of the King, and makes each word that falls from his mouth an Oracle; their affections go hand in hand, and the apparent injustice of the one never B3obscured B3v6 found contradiction in the other. The Subjects Voice was so fortunate, that it was always concurrent where the King maintained the party: If the discourse were Arms, Gaveston extoll’d it as an Heroic Vertue; if Peace, he maintained it not more useful than necessary; unlawful pleasure he stiled a noble Recreation; and unjust Actions, the proper and becoming Fruits of an absolute Monarchy. These Gloses so betray the willing ear that heard them, that no Honour is thought good and great enough for the Reporter. The greatest Commands and Offices are in the person or disposure of Gaveston. The command of War, and all Provisions Foreign and Domestic, are committed solely to his care and custody. All Treaties for Peace or War had their success or ruin by his direction and pleasure. The King Signed no Dispatch private or public, but by his consent or appointment. So that all men believed their Soveraign to be but a meer Royal shadow, without a real substance. Neither was it enough to advance him beyond his desert, or the rules of a modest proportion; But his Power must be made more extant in the Commitment to the Tower of the Bishop of Chester, whom he quarrels as the occasion of his first banishment.

These insolencies, carried with so great a height and contempt, are accompanied with all the remonstrances of a justly grieved Kingdom. The ancient Nobility that disdained such an Equal, justly exclaim against the Iniquity of the time, that made him their Superiour. The grave Senators, that understood their own worths, are discontent to see themselves rejected, while Upstarts, by Money or Favour, possess B4r7 possess the higher places. The Soldier that with his Blood had purchas’d his Experience, laments his own dishonour, seeing unworthy Striplings advanced, while he like the ruins of a goodly Building is left to the wide World without use or reparation. The Commons in a more intemperate fashion make known their griefs, and sad oppressions.

Gaveston, that both saw and knew the general discontent, sought not to redress it, but with an ill advised confidence strives to out-dare the worst of his approaching danger. Lincoln, Warwick, and Pembroke, whose noble hearts disdained the o’regrown height of this untimely Musherompt, let the King know their fidelity, and his apparent Error. He must free himself, and right them, or else they will seek it in another Fashion.

Edward knew their Complaints were just, yet was most unwilling to hear or relieve them; till seeing their strong resolution, and himself wholly unprovided to withstand the danger, he makes his affections stoop to the present necessity, and consents to a second banisment of his so dearly beloved Favourite. Gaveston, in the height and pride of his ambition, is enforced to leave his Protector, and to make Ireland the place of his Abiding. With a sad heart he takes his leave, departing yet with a more desire of revenge, than sorrow for his absence.

All things thus reconciled, the Kingdom began to receive a new life; mens hopes were suitable to their desires, and all things seem to promise a swift and fair Reformation. But the bewitching Charms of this wily Serpent made it soon evident, B4that B4v8 that alone his death must prevent his mischief. The personal correspondency taken away, the affections of the restless King becomes far more violent. In the short interim of his absence, many reciprocal and sweet messages interchangeably pass betwixt them: Edward receives none, but he returns with a Golden Interest. He is not more sensible of his loss, than the Affront and Injury, which persuades him, it were too great indignity for him to suffer at the hand of a Subject: Though with his own hazard he once more calls him home, pacifying the incensed Lords with an assurance of reconciliation and amendment. Those strict Admonitions so fully exprest, were not powerful enough to reclaim the Fondness of the one, and Insolency of the other.

The King regaining thus his beloved Minion, dotes on him in a far greater measure; and he to make the Music perfect, is of a far more violent temper. He affronts and condemns his Adversaries, the ancient Nobility, surreptitiously wasting and imbezelling the Revenues of the Crown. He enflames the King’s heart, so apt to receive it with all the motives of revenge, unquietness, and disorder. The Jewels of the Crown, and that rich Table and Tressels of Gold, are purloin’d and pawn’d to supply this wanton Riot. He had so true a knowledge of his Master’s weakness, that he made him solely his. His Creatures were alone prefer’d, his Agents were the guides, and no man hath the King’s ear, hand, or purse, but such as were by Gaveston prefer’d or recommended.

Edward in his voluptuous sensuality supplies the place, but he had the sole execution of that Royal Pre- B5r9 Prerogative, that was alone proper to the Crown. The Nobility, whose Lyon-hearts strugled betwixt the sence of their just grief and allegiance, at length resolve, the King as to himself, must be so to them and the Kingdom, or they may no more endure it. With grave and weighty Reasons, they make the King know both the error and the vanity of his Affections; letting him truly understand, that they had a dear Interest, both in him and the Kingdom, which they would no longer suffer to be so abused and misguided.

Edward, being himself thus hardly prest, and that no entreaty or dissimulation could prevail, he must now set right the disorders of the Kingdom, or have his work done to his hand, with less honour and more danger. Once more he subscribes to their will, which he sees he cannot withstand or alter. Gaveston is again banish’d, and makes Flanders, the next Neighbour, the place of his reception. Infinite was the joy of the Kingdom, who now expected a secure Freedom from that dangerous Convulsion that threatned so apparent an intestine ruin.

This their imaginary Happiness was made more real and perfect, in the knowledge that Windsor had blest them with an Heir Apparent. The Royal Father is pleased with the News, but had not (whether his divining Spirit, or Gaveston’s absence were the cause) those true expressions of joy that in justice became so great a Blessing. The absence of his Minion could not lighten his heavy Soul, but all other comforts seemed vain and counterfeit, his distracted brains take new and desperate resolutions; he revokes the sentence of his grief, and vows B5v10 vows to justifie it against the utmost strength of Contradiction.

He that dares do those things that are dishonest and unjust, is not asham’d to justifie and maintain them: This Error gave this unfortunate King more Enemies than he had Friends to defend them. Kings that once falsifie their Faiths, more by their proper Will than a necessary Impulsion, grow infamous to foreign Nations, and fearful or suspected to their own peculiar Subjects. He that is guilty of doing ill, and justifies the action, makes it evident, he hath won unto himself a habit of doing so, and a daring impudence to maintain it by the protection, of which he believes all things in a politic wisdom lawful. This position may for a time flatter the Professor, but it perpetually ends with Infamy, which stands with Reason and Justice; for as vertue is the Road-way to perfection, so is the corruption of a false heart, the true path to a certain and an unpittied ruin.

The enraged Barons are not more sensible of their own disparagement, than the inconstancy and injustice of their Soveraign. They think this affront done to them and the whole Kingdom, of too high a nature to be dispens’d with, yet with a temperate resolution they a while attend the issue. The Actions of injustice seldom lessen; they believe progression to be in all things an excellent Moral vertue. He that hath a will to do ill, and doth it, seldom looks back until he be at the top of the Stairs. This makes the ill affected return of this our Favourite, more infamous and hated. With an imperious storm he lets the Lords know, he meditates nothing but revenge, and waits B6r11 waits a fit advantage to entertain it. They believe time ill lost in so weighty a cause, and therefore draw themselves and their Forces together, before the King could prevent, or his abuser shun it. The Clouds presaging so great a storm, he studies the best means he could to avoid it. The general distast of the Kingdom takes from him the hope of an able party. Scarborough Castle his last refuge he makes his Sanctuary, but it was too weak against the number of his Enemies, and the justice of their quarrel. He falls at length into the power of those, from whom he had no cause to expect protection or mercy. The Butterflies of the time, that were the Friends of his Fortunes, not him, seeing the Season chang’d, betake themselves to the warmer Climate. His Greatness had won him many Servants, but they were but Retainers, that like Rats forsook the House when they beheld it falling. The Spring was laden with many glorious and goodly Blossoms, but the Winter of his Age leaves him naked, without a Leaf to trust to.

In this uncomfortable case remains this glorious Cedar, in the hands of those whom in his greater height he had too much condemn’d and abused. They resolve to make short and sure work, unwilling to receive a command to the contrary, which they must not obey, though it should come from him to whom they had sworn Obedience. Forsaken, unpittied, scorn’d, and hated, he falls under the the hands of Justice. Gaverseed is the place which gives the Epilogue to this fatal Tragedy, whence his Adversaries return more satisfied than assured.

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Thus fell that glorious Minion of Edward the Second, who for a time appeared liked a blazing Comet, and sway’d the jurisdiction of the state of England, and her Confederates. He did not remember in the smiles and embraces of his lovely Mistris, that she was blind, nor made himself such a refuge as might secure him when she prov’d unconstant. Such a Providence had made his end as glorious, as his beginning fortunate, leaving neither to the just censure of Time or Envy.

The King’s vexations in the Knowledge, are as infinite as hopeless, his Passions transport him beyond the height of Sorrow. He vows a bitter revenge, which in his weakness he strives to execute with more speed than advisement. The graver Senators, that had most Interest in his favour, mildly discourse his loss to the best advantage. They lay before him his contempt and abusive carriage, his insolence, Honour beyond his Birth, and Wealth above his Merit, which must to all Ages give a just cause to approve their Actions, and his Fortune. The least touch of his memory adds more to the King’s affliction, who is fixt not to forget, or forgive, so bold and heinous a Trespass.

The operations in the King were yet so powerful, but the jealousies of the Actors are as cautelous, so fair a warning-piece bids them in time make good their own security. Lincoln, the principal Pillar of this Faction, follows his Adversary to the Grave, but with a much fairer Fortune. This Man was a goodly piece of true Nobility, being in Speech and conversation sweet and affable; in resolution grave and weighty; his aged temper active above B7r13 above belief; and his wisdom far more excellent in a solid inward knowledge, than in outward appearance.

When the harbinger of Death pluck’d him by the Sleeve, and he saw and knew he must leave the World, he calls unto him Thomas Earl of Lancaster, that had married his Daughter, giving him a strict Imposition on his Death-bed, that he should carefully maintain the welfare of the Kingdom, and make good his place among the Barons. This reverend old Statesman saw the King’s ways, and knew him to be a most implacable Enemy, and with a kind of speculative prediction, would often seem to lament the Misery of the time, where either the King, Kingdom, or both must suffer. The Son, whose noble Heart was before seasoned with the same impressions, assures it, which he in time as really performs, though it cost him the loss of his Estate, Life, and Honour.

Things are too far past to admit a reconciliation; the King’s Meditations are solely fix’d upon revenge; and the Lords, how they may prevent, or withstand it. The Kingdom hangs in a doubtful suspence, and all Mens minds are variously carried with the expectation of what would be the issue. Meditation and intercession brings it at length to Parliamentary discussion, which being assembled at London, enacts many excellent Laws, and binds both the King and Lords by a solemn Oath to observe them. Thus the violence of this Fire is a while suppressed, and raked up in the Embers, that it may (in opportunity and advantage) beget a great danger.

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A new occasion presents it self, that makes each part temporize for a while, and smothers the thoughts of the ensuing Rumour. Robert le Bruce re-enters Scotland, whence he had been by Edward the First expuls’d, inverting all the English Institutions, that had so lately setled the Peace and subjection of the Kingdom. Edward, tender of his Honour, and careful to preserve that purchase, that had proved so dear a bargain, adjourns his private spleen, and provides to suppress this unlook’d for Rebellion. He knew the justice of his quarrel, and wakens from the Dream, that had given him so large a cause of sorrow. He gives his intentions a small intermission, and a less respite; with all speed he levies an Army, and leads it with his own Person. Whether it were the justice of Heaven, or his own misfortune or improvidence, the Scots attend and encounter him, making Eastrivelyn the fatal witness of his disaster. His Army lost and defeated, he returns home laden with his own shame and sorrow. His return is welcomed with a strange Imposter, that pretends himself the Heir of Edward the First, and the King the Son of a Baker. A Tale so weak in truth and probability wins neither belief or credit. Voidras, this imaginary King, is apprehended, and makes Northampton Gallows the first Stair of his Preferment. His Execution is accompanied with as strange a story, which suggests the instigation of a Spirit, that in likeness of a Cat, had for two years space advised it.

The King, with a true feeling grief, lamenting his dishonourable Return from Scotland, where his noble Father had so oft display’d his victorious Arms B8r 15 Arms, doth vow with a speedy rescue to revenge it. He communicates his resolution with the whole body of his Council, who are in their advice equally concurrent in the Action. The former loss exacts a more care, and a better provision. York, as the fittest place, is made the Senate of this grave Assembly. Thither resort all the Sages of the Kingdom, and make it their first deliberation to secure Berwick, that is one of the Keys of the Kingdom, and exposed to the greatest hazard. This Charge is given to Sir Peter Spalden, who was believed able enough, both in fidelity and valour. A short time discovers him truly possest of neither. A small Sum of Money, with an expectant Preferment promised, betrays the trust reposed, and gives the Scots the full possession of the Charge to him committed.

The Pope, wisely foreseeing into the misery of this dissention, out of his Christian and pious care, sends over two Cardinals, to mediate a Peace and Agreement. They being arrived in England, find the King well disposed, so the Conditions might be reasonable, and such as might become his Interest and Honour. They pass from hence into Scotland, and are by the way with a barbarous Example surprized and robb’d. The King is infinitely discontented with so inhuman an Act, which threw a taint upon the whole Nation. Great enquiry is presently made, which finds out the Actors, and sends Sir Peter Middleton, and Sir Walter Selby, to a shameful and untimely execution. Immediately at the heels of this follows another Example, no less infamous, and full of danger. Sir B8v16 Sir Gilbert Denvil, and others, pretending themselves to be Outlaws, with a jolly Army, to the number of Two hundred, ramble up and down the Country, acting divers notorious Insolencies and Robberies. The Fame of an attempt so new and unexpected, without a speedy prevention, seemed to intimate a greater danger. A Commission is immediately sent out, which apprehends the heads of this encreasing mischief and delivers them over to the hand of Justice. They which confest themselves out of the protection of the Law, and glory in their being so, fall under his rigour.

Those that duly examined the truth of this action, believed the pretence to be but a Mask, that hid a more perilous intention. The King, by his untemperate and undiscreet actions, had lost the hearts of his People, and there was a general face of discontent throughout the whole Kingdom. The Ulcers festered daily more and more, which seemed to presage and threaten, without some speedy prevention, a dangerous issue. All Men discover their ill affections, expecting but a Patron that durst declare himself, and adventure to hang the Bell about the Cat’s Neck. If this disorderly attempt, which was but to tast the Peoples Inclinations, had succeded, the King (as it was to be feared) had much sooner felt the general loss, and revolt of his whole Kingdom. But this work was reserved to future time, and the operation of those, who had the time to effect it with more power and pretence of Justice. The crying Maladies of this Climat were such, that the Divine Power sent down at one and the selfsamesame C1r17 same instant his three fatal Executioners, Plague, Dearth, and Famine, to call upon us for a repentant Reformation. No part of the Kingdom is free, but was grievously afflicted by the unmerciful Prosecution of one, or all these fatal angry Sisters. So great a Misery was too much, but it is seconded with a sudden Invasion of the hungry Scots, who apprehending the advantage of the present Visitation, and ill Estate of their Neighbours, like a Land-Flood, over-run the naked and unprovided Borders.

The Archbishop of York, a grave and wise Prelate in his Element, but as far from the Nature, as Name of a Soldier, resolves to oppose this overdaring and insolent Eruption. He levies in hast an Army, in number hopeful; but it was compos’d of Men, fitter to pray for the success of a Battel, than to fight it. With these, and an undaunted hoping Spirit, he affronts the Scots, and gives them Battel, making Mitton upon Swale, that honoured his Enemies with the Glory of a second Triumph, the place of his Disaster. Many Religious Church-men, with the purchase of their Lives, begin their first Apprentiship in Arms; whose loss christ’ned this overthrow The White Battel.

The intent of this grave Prelate was questionless worthy of a great and singular Commendation, but the Act was wholly inconsiderate, weak, and unadvised. It was not proper for his Calling to undertake a Military Function, in which he had no experience; neither did it agree with his Wisdom or Piety to be an Actor in Blood, though the occasion were so great and weighty. Too much care Cand C1v18 and confidence improperly exprest, doth many times overthrow and ruin the Cause it seeks to strengthen and advantage. There ought to be in all considerations of this nature, a mature Deliberation before we come to Action, else we lose the Glory of our Aims, and commit all to the uncertain hazard of Time and Fortune. The Cardinals are now returned out of Scotland, by whom the King truly understands that the hopes of Peace are desperate. Their leave taken, and losses fairly repaired, they return to Rome, acquainting his Holiness with the success of their Employment. The Pope being truly informed, that the Scots were neither conformable to his Will, or the general Good, excommunicates both that usurping King and Kingdom.

The King, nearly touch’d with the loss of Berwick, enflamed with the Insolency of his barbarous Enemies, and grieved with so great a loss of his People, resolves no more to suffer, but to transport the War into the very Bowels of Scotland. To this effect, with speed he hastens out his Directions, and gives present Order for the levying of Men, Arms, and Money, to begin the War, and continue it. The Royal Command, and desire of Revenge, gives Wings to this Resolution. An Army is ready, and attends the King’s Pleasure, before he conceits his Will truly understood, or bruited. Nothing is wanting but his own Person, or a fit Commander to lead them; he loseth no time, but appears in the Head of his Army before his Enemies had the least knowledge of this Assembly. With a hopeful Expectation he leads them on, and makes Berwick the Rendezvous that C2r19 that should make his Number compleat and perfect. Before this Strength that had the warranty of Art and Nature, he makes the first Experiment of this Expedition. The Town begirt, was not more confident of their own strength, than assured of a speedy supply or rescue. This gave the King a longer delay than he believed, and his Enemies leasure to raise and enable their Provisions. They saw it a work too full of Danger and Hazard, to venture the breach of the Body of so great an Army, that in Worth and Number so far exceeded. The memory of former Passages and Trials, taught them how to understand their present condition; this begets in them a Resolution more solid and hopeful. They leave the Road-way, and war rather by Discretion than Valour, which succeeds so fortunately, that they surprize all the English Provisions, and enforce the King to a second Return, more Fortunate, yet much less Honourable. It is true, he retreated, and brought back his Army in safety, but he had quitted the Siege which he had vowed to continue against the United Power of Scotland, and lost wholly all that Wealth and Luggage he had carried with him.

This fill’d all Men’s mouths with a complaining Grief, and made Foreign Nations think the English had lost their former luster, and renowned valour. It was wondred, that an Enemy so weak and contemptible, should three several times successively, bear away the Garland from those, that had so often, and knew the way so well to win and wear it.

But now begins a second Fire of a higher Nature, that made the Kingdom a Theater stain’d C2with C2v20 with the noblest Blood, that within her Confines had or Life or Being. The King, discouraged with his Foreign Fortune, lays aside the thoughts of Arms, and recalls into his wanton Heart the bewitching vanities of his Youth, that had formerly bred him such Distemper. He was Royally attended, but it was by those that made their Tongues, rather the Orators of a pleasing falshood, than a true sincerity. These were fit Instruments for such an ear, that would not hear, unless the Music answered in an even correspondency. The Infidelity of the Servant is in a true Construction the Misery of the Master, which is more or less dangerous, as is the weight and measure of his Employment. It is in the Election of a Crown a principal Consideration, to chuse such Attendants, whose Integrity may be the Inducement, as well as the Ability, else the imaginary help proves rather a Danger than Assistance. Neither is it safe or honourable, for the Majesty of a King, to seem to depend solely on the Wisdom, Care, or Fidelity of one particular Servant. Multiplicity of able Men is the Glory and Safety of a Crown, which falls by degrees into confusion, when one Man alone acts all parts, whence proceeds a World of Error and Confusion.

The King was not ignorant, that such a course would make such as were his but at second hand, yet he resolves to make a new choice, of one to supply the room of his lost beloved Gaveston. Though his diseased Court was furnished with a large variety, yet his Eye fixeth on Hugh, the younger of the Spencers, who was always tractable and conformable to the King’s Will and Pleasure.sure C3r21 sure. This Man was in shew smooth and humble, of an insinuating Spirit, one that knew his Master’s ways, and was ever careful to observe them. He had applied himself wholly to Edward’s will, and fed his wanton pleasures with the strains of their own Affection. Heat of Spirit, and height of Blood consult more with Passion than Reason, and a short Deliberation may serve, where the Subject was so pleasing, and to each side agreeable.

The King, to make his Resolutions eminent, with more hast than advisement, makes him his Lord Chamberlain, and lets the World know, it was his Love and Will that thus advanc’d him. Scarcely is this new great Officer warm in his unbefitting Authority, but he exactly follows his Predecessor-precedent to the Life, making all things lawful that were agreable to his Master’s Will, or his fantastical Humour.

The Peers of the Kingdom, that saw the sudden and hasty Growth of this undeserving Canker, resolve to lop or root it up, before it should o’retop their Luster. Spencer, that in the precedent Story of Gaveston, beheld the danger of his own condition, begins in time to provide and strengthen a Party. His aged Father, fitter for his Beads than Action, he makes a young Courtier, and wins the King to give him Power and Assistance. He labours to remove from his Master’s ear all such as might endanger him, and supplies their places with such as were his Creatures. Those that were too high for such a surprisal, by Persuasion, Money, or Alliance, he seeks to engage, and make the Parties of this his coming Faction. The Body of the Court thus assured, his Actions in C3the C3v22 the State went in an even Correspondency. Those that held him at a distance, valuing their Fidelity and Honour before so base an advantage, saw themselves disgracefully cashier’d, and others installed in their Rooms, that had neither Worth, Birth, or Merit. The Factious Entertainers of his proffered Amity, not only enjoy their own, but are advanced higher, which made them but the Instruments to act and further the Corruptions of his Will and wicked Nature.

This Foundation laid, they now seem to contemn all fear of danger, and in that assurance, express their Contempt and Scorn against the Nobility, who they knew would never entertain their Society or Friendship. While thus the Rule and Manage of all the Royal Affairs in their Power, was daily more and more abused, the Incensed Barons meet at Sherborough, where the Earl of Lancaster, the Prime Agent, lays before them (in a short and grave Discourse) the Iniquity and Danger that seemed eminently to threaten both them and the whole Kingdom, if such a Resolution were not taken, as might assure a speedy Prevention. The Fore-knowledge of their Soveraign’s Behaviour, which would observe no Rule or Proportion in his immodest Affections, gave them small hope to prevail by Persuasion or Entreaty. They too well understood that Spencer’s Pride was too great and haughty to go less without Compulsion, and they must sink a Key, or neither the Kingdom or themselves (against so Inveterate a Hatred) could expect in reason Safety or Assurance. Hertford, Mowbray, and Clifford, sore a higher pitch, and in plain terms affirm, That all other Resolutionstions C4r23 tions were vain and hopeless, ’twas only Arms that must right the Time and State so much disorder’d. Benningfield and Mortimer approve this Resolution, and as soon give it Life and Action. They enter furiously on the Possessions of their Enemies, spoyling and wasting like profess’d Enemies.

Such an Outrage flies with a nimble Wing to the ears of the Owner, who as soon makes the King the sharer of his Intelligence, and encreaseth it to his own advantage. The King sensible of so great an Affront, and as tender of the one, as cruel to the other, publisheth by Proclamation the sentence of his Royal Will and Pleasure. The Actors of this Misdemeanor must appear and justifie themselves, or presently forsake the Kingdom.

The Lords that saw their Interests at Stake, as they had begun, resolve to maintain the Quarrel. New Levies and Preparations are dayly made, to make good the succeeding Issue. Yet the more to justifie those Arms, that in the best construction was deemed Rebellions, they send to the King a fair and humble Message. The Tenour whereof lets him know, their Intentions were fair and honest, and the Arms thus levied, were rather to defend, than offend his Person; only they in all humility desire, he would be graciously pleased to remove and punish those Vipers, which had too near a Room in his Royal Heart, whereby they had overthrown and undone the Peace and Tranquillity of the Kingdom.

The King that fears, is enforc’d to believe: he knew their Informations were just, and he had no Power to deny, or withstand them. He assures a Reformation; to make it more real, he adjourns C4it C4v24 it to the ensuing Parliament, which is immediately summoned to appear at London. The jealous Lords, that too well knew the cunning and hatred of their malicious Adversaries, appear like themselves, bravely attended with a Crew of lusty Yeomen well Arm’d, which stiled this The Parliament of White Bands. The Major, seeing such a Confluence from all parts of the Kingdom, so ill enclined and well appointed, with a careful Providence reinforceth the City Guards, and planteth a strong Watch throughout all the strengths and parts of his Jurisdiction.

This great Assembly being now met, the complaining Barons find in both Houses a ready Belief, and as sudden a Censure. A solemn Declaration gives the King knowledge of their Sentence, which commands both the Spencers, Father and Son, into perpetual Exile. The King, as weak in his disability, as wilful in the least advantage, gives a sad and unwilling consent; which being known, gives the Spencers no time of Imparleance; their Judgment is immediately put in Execution, and they find more Servants than they desired to attend them to Dover, where they are immediately ship’d to go seek a new Fortune. The Elder, whose Snowy age, and more Innocence, deserved Pity, makes his Tears witness his true sorrow, and his Tongue unfold them. He taxeth his Son’s Vanity and Ambition, and his own Weakness, that had so easily consented to his Ruin. He laments his misfortune, that in the Winter of his Age had cast him from his Inheritance, and had made him the Sea-mark and scorn of a whole Kingdom. He confesseth the folly, that led him (by indirect means) C5r25 means) to the preservation of his high and ill acquired Greatness. He wisheth his carriage had been such, that in this so sad a change of Fortune, he might have found either Pity or Assistance. But it is the inseparable Companion of Greatness that is gotten in the By-way, and not by a just Desert or Vertue. It labours to support it self more by cunning and falshood, than by a sweet and winning temper, when it is of all other the most erroneous Maxim, that believes, Affections can be in a subordinate way gotten or assured. They are the proper Functions of the Soul, which move alone in their own course, without force, or the least impulsion. All other ways are but Temporary Provisions, that serve the present advantage, but he that by a just Desert wins the love and belief of his worth, hath laid a sure Foundation, making his Honour his own, and the Succession hereditary and permanent, to his everlasting Glory.

These imperious Servants thus removed, the Father, in obedience of his Doom, betakes himself to a Foreign Quietness. The Son, of a more turbulent and revengeful Spirit, keeps still a Seaboard in the skirts of the Kingdom, and falling short in Power, to requite the Authors of his disgrace, he expresseth his malice to the whole Nation. The Merchants free from all suspitions in their Voyages and Returns, are pillaged and rifled, and he the principal Actor.

Such a Domestic Piracy begets a general terror and exclamation, which fills the King’s ears, and presseth, (as it required) a speedy prevention or remedy. He knew the Action was foul, but it was C5v26 was one of his own that had done it; and such a one that was too dearly valued, to be either persecuted or punished. He studies first to satisfie his own Passion, before he right this injurious carriage against the Subject. This makes him reject the wholesome Admonitions of Friends, the Validity of his Laws, and those fearful Apparitions that present him with the danger of so foul an Enterprize, while with an Example new, and full of assured hazard, he repeals the sentence of their Exile. This Act gave him too large a time of Repentance, and may be a befitting instance to all ensuing posterity. The Actions of a Crown are Exemplary, and should be clean, pure, and innocent; the stains of their Errors dye not with them, but are registred in the story of their Lives, either with Honour or Infamy.

But to proceed in this Historical Relation: The Spencers thus recalled, and reinvested in their former Favour, they express themselves in another kind, and now by a strong hand strive to crush by degrees all those of the adverse Faction. Sir Bartholomew Baldsmer was the first that tasted their fury and injustice. His Castle of Leedes in Kent, under a pretended and feigned Title, is surprized and taken from him, without a due Form, or any Legal Proceeding. Their return, and the abrogation of that Law that banished them, was provocation enough, there needed not this second Motive to enflame the hearts of the angry Barons. But when the unjust Oppression of the Knight (their Ally and Confederate) was divulged, and came to their ears, they vow a bitter Revenge, and make speed to put it in Execution. They see the C6r27 the Fruits of their dalliance, and long abused confidence, and waken out of that slumber that had fed him with the Chimera’s of so dull and cold a proceeding.

The King, who formerly had been so often surprized, in time arrives to provide a Remedy: he knew his Arms and not his Tongue must plead the injustice of his Actions, wherein if he again failed, he feared another manner of Proceeding. The Spencers, that evidently saw the eminency of their own dangers, make it their Master-piece to crush the Serpent in the head before it grew to perfection. They knew the height of their Offences were beyond the hope of mercy, and there was no way left of assurance, but that, which they must wade through in blood, and make good with the Sword their Lives, or else be sure to lose them. An Army is provided, and appears at Shrewsbury almost before it was bruited. The first exploit sieseth the two Mortimers, that had begun again their former Invasion of the Spencers. Their strength was great enough for such an Incursion, but much too weak to withstand or encounter this Royal Army. The first hansel so fortunate, gives life to their Adversaries, and Imprisons them in the Tower, before their Associates could be truly informed, or ready to relieve them.

There is now left no time to dispute: The Barons must with their Arms warrant their Proceedings, or they must miscarry in the Action. They had soon gathered a strength, with which they resolve to encounter the King at Burton. The knowledge of the great Power that came against them, and their own Weakness, wins them to a retreat C6v28 retreat, not more dangerous than dishonourable. But their Reasons were just and weighty; the Earl of Lancaster had sent Sir Robert Holland to raise his Tenants and Friends, which he hoped would in time reinforce his Army.

Valence Earl of Pembrook, that commands his Master’s Forces, seeing the disorder of their going off, lays hold of the advantage, and chargeth them so hotly, that they break and betake themselves to their heels, with great losses and confusion. Holland entrusted by the Earl of Lancaster, having accordingly performed the work he was employed in, marching up to the Rescue, is advertized of the State of their Affairs, which makes him seek his own Peace, and resign this supply wholly up, to be disposed of at the King’s Will and Pleasure. The Supply so unexpected is graciously received, and there is a set resolution to employ it to the best advantage.

The despairing Lords, with their Adherents with much ado recover Pomfret, there a second Deliberation is taken, which held it the safest course to pass on, and to possess the Castle of Donstanborough, which was deemed a strength tenable enough until they could reinforce their Party, or work their own Conditions. This Resolution is presently attempted with more hast than fortune. Sir Andrew Harkely meets and encounters them at Burrowbrig, where Hertford, Clifford, and others, died honourably, in maintaining a brave defence, while Lancaster, Mowbray, and many of their Adherents were taken, and with their Heads paid the ransom of their Errors. The Spencers, like two furious Tigers that had seized their Prey, give C7r29 give not their incensed Master leave to deliberate on the weight of so sad a Work; the Lives of many brave Subjects are taken away in an instant, and each part of the Kingdom is stained with loss of that noble Blood, that had been much more gloriously spent in a Foreign War, than in these Domestic and Civil Tumults.

Edward, that was apparently guilty of too many other Vices, drowns their memory in this so cruel and bloody a Tyranny. The wreaking Blood of so many brave Gentlemen so unfortunately and untimely lost, doth cry for vengeance, and hurry on the destruction of the chief and principal Actors. Mercy should precede the severity of Justice, if not to all, yet to some, since they were not alike guilty. If Lancaster had been of so unnoble a Disposition, the Spencers had neither had time nor cause to rejoyce in his Ruin. How often had they by a full advantage had Power of these their Enemies, yet made it evident, their aims were not Blood but Reformation. And assuredly in this their last Act, their Intents towards the Crown were innocent in all other respects, than the desire of supporting it with more Honour. As things fell afterwards out, it had been to the King a Happiness if their Arms had prevailed, for this Victory was the principal and fundamental Cause of his ensuing Ruin. Fear, and the expectation of danger, kept both him and his Favourites in a better temper, so long as there was so strong a Bridle. Certainly in the Regiment of a Kingdom, it is a wise and discreet Consideration to maintain and uphold a divided Faction, and to countenance them so, that the one may be still a coun- C7v30 counerpoise to the other; by this means the King shall be more truly served and informed.

The Subject that is too far exalted, and hath no one to contradict or question him, considers not the Justice, but the Means to preserve him, by which the Judgment of the King is taxed, and he is robb’d of the Hearts of his People. The greater the height, the stronger is the working to maintain it, which seldom goes alone, but is accompanied for the most part with those State-Actions of Impiety and Injustice, which draws with it so perpetual an envy and hatred, that it leads him headlong to a fatal and dishonourable Conclusion. Though the Fury of this enraged King had so fully acted this bloody Tragedy, yet Mortimer is spared, rather out of Forgetfulness than Pity, whose Life had been more available than all these, that with so great a speed had felt his Rigour. But he is reserved for a second course, to teach the Spencers that same legem talionis, and Edward, the plain Song of his Error. The Kingdom seems now in better Peace and setled; the principal Pillars of the Common-wealth are taken away, and those which remained are utterly disheartned in the daner of so fresh an Example.

This gains such a liberty to these triumphing Sycophants, that they make the whole Kingdom, as it were, the just Fruits of an absolute Conquest, The King approves and maintains their Actions, giving them the Regal Power for their Warranty. All kind of insolent and unjust Oppressions are now confidently practised, without contradiction or question. No Exaction or unlawful Action is left unattempted, while the grieved Kingdom languishetheth C8r31 eth under the burden, yet durst not stir to redress it. The great Ones suffer basely beyond their Birth or Honour, yet look faintly one upon another, not daring to revenge their Quarrel. The Commons murmuring complain, yet find not a Man that will give them heart or leading.

The watchful Spencers, that saw and knew the general hatred, and infamy of their own conditions, lessen not their height, or fear the Sequel. With a politic care they use their best means to prevent it. The King’s Humour naturally vicious, they feed, with all the proper objects, that might please or more betray his senses. They strive to make him alike hateful to his Subjects, that in the change of Fortune they might together run one and the self-same hazard.

There is yet another piece of State to this great work as proper. Edward is but a Man, and a Creature in nothing more constant than his Affections, yet these with age and time may alter, this gap must be so stop’d, that they may be more assured. Hugh, the younger of the Spencers, who had a searching Brain, wise and active, believes this work had two several dependences, the one to keep him in continual Fear, the other in a perpetual Want. These being marshalled with Discretion, he knew would knit fast his Master’s Love, and add to the opinion of his Wisdom and Fidelity; imposing a kind of necessary Impulsion still to continue him. In his Breast alone was lock’d all the passages and mysteries of State, whereby he was most able to provide for the future inconveniences.

From C8v 32

From this ground, with a kind of loose scorn, he continues the French Correspondence, and secretly contriveth a continuance of the Scotish Rebellion. He omits no Act of Contempt against the antient Nobility, that they might in the sence of their disgrace be, or at least dayly threaten some new Combustion. The confluence of so many threatning dangers work the wished effect, and keep the king in perpetual fear and agitation. The ill success of his Armies, and Expeditions in their Memory, help strongly to encrease it: Yet is not his faithful Servant neglective in the second and remaining part. He so orders his business within doors and without, that the Royal Treasure of the Crown is profusely wasted and spent without Accompt or Honour. The antient Plate and Jewels of the Crown are in the Lombard, and their Engagement drowned, before it had the warmth of a sure possession. The Subject is rack’d with strange Inventions, and new unheard of Propositions for Money, and many great Loans required, beyond all proportion or order. Lastly, the Royal Demeans are set at Sale, and all things that might make Money within the Kingdom.

To supply these inconveniences, which are now grown to a greater height than the Plotter of them intended; a new Parliament is called at York, where the elder Spencer is advanced to the Earldom of Winchester; and Harkely, another Chip of the same Block, is made Earl of Carlisle. Baldocke, a mean Man in Birth, Worth, and Ability, is made Lord Chancellor of England.

In this Parliament, which was by Fear and Favour made to his hand, he makes known the great- D1r33 greatness of his Want and Occasions, the justly aggrieved Commons entring into a deep consideration of the times, freely give the sixth Penny of all the Temporal Goods throughout the whole Kingdom.

When this Act came to the general knowledge, it utterly estranged the Hearts of the Subjects, which plead an Impossibility to perform it, in respect of those many former Exactions. Yet after some light contestation it is levyed, no man daring to make so much as a shew of resistance.

If we may credit all the Antient Historians, who seem to agree in this Relation, there were seen at this time many Sights, fearful and prodigious. Amongst them no one was so remarkable, as that which for six hours space shewed the glorious Sun cloathed all in perfect Blood, to the great Admiration and Amazement of all those that beheld it. Following times, that had recorded it in their Memories by the sequel, believed it the fatal Prediction of the ensuing Miseries. Those that more aptly censure the present view of a Wonder, conceited, the just Heavens shew’d their incensed Anger, for the Noble Blood of the Earl of Lancaster, and his Adherents, so cruelly shed, without Compassion or Mercy.

The Scots working on the condition of the times, so much dejected and amazed, seize the advantage. They saw by the last Parliamentary Proceedings, that the King was so enabled, as the hope of any Attempt in England, was altogether hopeless. Yet they resolve to be doing somewhere within the King’s Dominions, or at the least his Jurisdiction. This draws them to assemble themselves, and to DAttempt D1v34 Attempt a surprisal of the Northern places of Ireland. As the Action was vain, so the Success proved as unfortunate; they are defeated, slain, overthrown, and return not with the twentieth part of their number.

The King remembring those many Indignities he had suffered, and resenting this their last Attempt, with an implacable scorn and anger, resolves to let them speedily know that he meant to call them to an after reckoning. Upon this he sends out his Summons, to call his Men of War together, and makes all Provisions be prepared, for this so constantly resolved a Journey. His former Misfortunes had instructed him to undertake this Design much more strongly and warily. And this so grave a Consideration brought him together the remaining Glory and Strength of the greater part of his Kingdom. With these he marcheth forward, and invadeth the nearer parts of Scotland; but whether it were the Infidelity of those about him, the will and pleasure of Him that is the Guider and Directer of Human Actions, or the unfortunate Destiny of this unhappy King, he is enforc’d to return, without doing any Act that is truly worthy his Greatness or Memory.

The wily Scots, that durst not set upon the Face of his Army, wait upon the Rear, and in a watch’d opportunity, surprise his Stuff and Treasure. This sends him home a third time a discontented Man, and whether with a just Guilt, or to transfer his own Fault upon others, the newly created Earl of Carlisle is put to a shameful Execution. The Grounds against him were very probable, but not certain, and it was enough that he is believed, like D2r35 like Judas, for Money to have sold his Master. The principal Motive that may lead us to think he was deeply faulty, was the Honour and Gravity of his Tryal, which gave him, on a full hearing, so sincere and sharp a Sentence.

Scarcely is the King settled, after his tedious Journey, when comes a stranger News, That the French King had made a Hostile Attempt upon the Frontier parts of Guyen, which was seconded with a Declaration, That he was no longer resolved to entertain the Friendship or Peace with Englande.

This Feat had been cunningly before-hand wrought by the secret working of Spencer, yet he desired to have it still in Agitation, and not in Action. He wisht his Master thence might be possest with the fear of War, and not feel it. The French were of another mind, they saw into the great Disorders and Misguidance of England, and thought it a fit time, either by War or Policy, to unite so goodly a Branch of their Kingdom. It is true, they had matcht a Daughter of France to the Crown of England, and had solemnly swore a Peace, but these they thought might be with ease dispenst with on so weighty a Cause, and so fair an Advantage. Edward seeing into the danger, and taxing bitterly the Infidelity of the French, begins to survey his own Condition, whereby he might accordingly sort his resolution, either to entertain the War, or to seek Peace upon some Honourable, or at least reasonable Conditions.

He in this passage finds himself more hated and feared, than beloved; he saw his Coffers empty, the Scotish War and Surprisal had quite exhausted D2the D2v36 the Sinews of his last Parliamentary Contribution. He feared the Inclination of the Subject would refuse any further Supply, or in consenting, make it conditional, which he was wholly unwilling to undergo or adventure.

Lastly, The Misfortune that waited on him ever since he was absolute, he feared had estranged and dejected so the Hearts of his Soldiers, that they would hardly be drawn forth, or act any thing with their accustomed Valour and Resolution. In this Distraction, he seeks not by the Advice of a grave Council to qualifie or prevent it, this Medicine he conceits worse than the Disease, but calls unto him Spencer, the Cabinet of his Heart, he alone is thought fit to communicate this deep Secret, and to give the Resolution. His Father Baldock, and the rest of that Faction, by his persuasion and entreaty, are admitted to make the Party greater, and the Discourse more serious and likely. Before them is laid the Condition of the King, the Estate of the Kingdom, their own Danger, and the Intentions of their Foreign Adversary. Many several ways are devised and advised, and in conclusion, no one is believed more sound and proper, than that the Queen should personally mediate the Atonement with her Royal Brother. This as it was cunningly laid, so had it a double use and reflection. The Spencers saw the Subject more inclinable to adore the rising Sun, in which Act they thought the Queen’s Mediation and Presence would be a dangerous Instigator. They believed her absence could not work such and so great an assistance as might countervail the domestic danger. They knew the French light D3r37 light and inconstant, and those which with a kind of natural fear, abhorr’d the English Wars, out of the limit of their own Kingdom. And in the worst construction they conceited Money, or a resignation of that part was holden by the King in France, would beget a Peace at their own will and pleasure. Yet these Considerations were attended with some doubts, which delayed and put off the execution.

The Queen, who had long hated the Insolency of the Spencers, and pitying the languishing Estate of the Kingdom, resolves in her mind all the possible ways to reform them. Love and Jealousie, two powerful Motives, spurr’d her on to undertake it. She saw the King a stranger to her Bed, and revelling in the embraces of his wanton Minions, without so much as a glance or look on her deserving Beauty. This contempt had begot in her Impressions of a like, though not so wanton and licentious a Nature. She wanting a fit Subject for her Affections to work on (her Wedlock being thus estranged) had fixed her wandring Eye upon the goodly shape and beauty of gallant Mortimer. He was not behind hand in the reception and comely entertainment of so rich and desired a Purchase. But his last Act had lodg’d him in the Tower, which was a Cage too strait to crown their desires with their full perfection, yet is there a sweet correspondency continued, Letters and many loving Messages bring their Hearts together, though their Bodies were divided.

By these is Mortimer informed of the Resolution for the intended Journey of his Royal Mistress, whom he vows to attend, or lose his Life D3in D3v38 in the adventure. The Queen understanding the Intentions of her Servant, strives to advance her dispatch, and hastens it with all her best indeavours. But where was so great an Inconstancy, there could be no expectation, that this Proposition should be more assur’d or permanent. New delays and doubts interpose, insomuch, that the hopes of this Journey were now grown cold and desperate.

The Queen seeing her self deluded, and this opportunity stoln from her, by those whom she before so mortally hated, sets her own brains a working, to invent a speedy remedy. She was therein so fortunate, as to pretend a Journey of Devotion and Pilgrimage to Saint Thomas of Canterbury, which by her Overseers was wholly unsuspected. Things thus prepared, by a faithful Messenger she gives Mortimer the knowledge of her Design, who prepares himself with a more dangerous Stratagem to meet it. Her eldest Son, her dearest comfort, and the chief spring that must set all these wheels a going, she leaves not behind, but makes him the Companion of her Travels.

The King’s Joy was great, that saw by this occasion, he should gain a free liberty to enjoy his stoln Pleasures, which were before so narrowly attended by the jealous eyes of his Queen, that in this kind had been so often wronged.

The aspiring Spencers were well pleased, that to be assured would have given a free consent to her perpetual absence. A short time brings her to the end of so short a journey, where she makes her stay of the same measure. Winchelsey had the honour to have the last farewel of this pair of precious D4r39 precious Jewels. Thither comes Mortimer, having made a fortunate Escape, and with the Earl of obscured1 letterane resolves to venture his Life in the Attendance and Service of so brave a Mistress. An Exploit so weighty and dangerous gave no time of stay or ceremony. They immediately Embark, and make a tryal where they may find another Climate more propitious and fortunate. The watry Billows and the peaceful Winds, as if they were consenting to their Enterprise, entertain them with an aspect clear and quiet, sending them with a fresh and pleasing Gale safe to their desired Port of Bulloign.

The King and Spencers being truly enformed, are startled with the matter and manner of their Escape. They knew the Birds were too far flown to be catcht or reclaimed; and did imagin the Plot was too surely laid that had so prosperous a beginning. Now all the former Resolutions are useless; new Deliberations are required how this Breach may be handsomly sodered, or the threatning danger prevented. All other ways are deemed short, that one of taking off the King of France was believed most sure and easie. They knew the French strain to be giddy, light, and covetous, and applied themselves in the right Key to fit these several humours.

The King, whose presaging soul misgave his welfare, grows sad and melancholy, calling to mind the Injustice of his own Actions, and the fair Cause his Wife had to seek her right and refuge. The neglect and breach of Wedlock was so great an Error, but so to contemn so sweet and great a Queen, was a fault, in his own thoughts, deserv’d D4a D4v40 a heavy censure. She had not only felt a particular share of her own grief, but suffered deeply in the general sorrow of the whole Kingdom. Those which had erected their petty Tyrannies over the Subject, were in like sort authoris’d by him that ought to have had an equal share of her affliction, more and more to abuse her.

The sad Imprssions of these Disorders, and the reeking Blood of so many noble and brave Subjects, so basely spilt, do seem to cry for Vengeance. This, for a while, wrought deeply in his distressed thoughts, but a small intermission brings him back to his former temper. A customary habit of a depraved Nature, dulleth the sense of the Soul and Conscience; so that when our better Angels summon us to restitution and repentance, the want of a lively true apprehension, leads us blindfold into a dangerous despairing hazard.

The French King having notice of his Sister’s arrival, with a wondrouus plausible and seeming Joy, doth entertain it with an honourable Attendance, fitting more her Estate, Birth, and Dignity, than her present miserable condition: she is waited on to Paris, where she is soon Visited by the Royal King, her Brother. When she beheld the refuge of her hopes, she falls upon her Knee, and with a sweetly coming modesty, she thus begins her Story.

The King, unwilling to suffer such an Idolatry from her that had a Father, Brother, and Husband so great and Royal, takes her up in his Arms, and then attends her Motives.

Great D5r 41

Great Sir, quoth she) behold in me, your most unfortunate Sister, the true Picture of a dejected Greatness, and the essential substance of an unhappy Wedlock. I have with a suffering, beyond the belief of my Sex, overcome a world of bitter Tryals. Time lessens not, but adds to my Afflictions; my Burthen is grown too heavy for my long abused Patience. Yet ’tis not I alone, but a whole Kingdom, heretofore truly glorious, that are thus unjustly wronged. My blushing Cheek may give you knowledge, I too much Honour the Cause of mine Affliction, to let my Tongue discover it. Yet this in Duty and Modesty I may ingenuously confess, My Royal Husband is too far seduced, his Ear is too open, his Will too violent, and his Heart too free, to those bewitching Syrens, that make his Errors their Profit and Glory. All hope of his return is lost, so long as they shall live, and remain his Leaders. How many of his noblest and bravest Subjects have attempted his freedom, and by an unjust and inglorious Death miscarried? Alass! all expectations are vain and desperate; if I had not known the impossibility to disinchant him, I had not in so mean and miserable a case stoln to you for Succour. You have a fair way to make known to the World, the truth of your own Glory and Goodness. Fortune leads you by the hand to an Action not more Just than Honourable, if you would dispute it. Can there be a more precious Motive to invite you, than the view of these unhappy Ruins? See here two Royal Branches of the Flower-de-luce withering, sullied, and depressed. Would you truly consider, how great and noble a Work it is, to support those that are unworthily oppressed, Heaven and Earth must witness the D5v42 the true value of your Worth and my Petition. Let it not breed a Jealousie or Discouragement, that I appear before you, and seek your help with so poor a Train and mean Attendance. Besides the Justice of my Cause, I bring with me the Griefs and Hearts of a Kingdom, that have both Sworn and Vow’d to defend it. Nor may you with reason doubt their Integrity, while you have my wretched self, and the Heir apparent to be your Pawn and Warrant. For God’s sake, Sir, by your own Virtue and Goodness I desire it, and in the challenge of that Royal Blood whereof by the Laws of God, Men, and Nature, I have so large a Share and Interest. Let not after Ages taint your Memory with such an Aspersion, That you are the first of all the Kings of France, that denied to relieve a Sister so deeply wronged and distressed.

She would have spoken more, but here the big swoln Fountains of her watry Eyes discharge their heavy burthen. Her Tears, like Orient Pearls, bedew her lovely Cheeks, while she with a silent Rhetoric invites a noble pity. Her sad Complaint won a general remorse, and her liquid Tears, a deep and strong compassion. Her Brother vows Revenge, and promiseth to make England and the World know she was his Sister.

The Lords and Peers of France tender their ready help and assistance; the Service is so hotly pursu’d, that the poor Queen, with an abused confidence, believes she shall be speedily and strongly righted. ’Twas not alone her Error, it is a general Disease. We easily credit that News we most desire and hope for.

The D6r 43

The Spencers, whose watchful eyes were soon informed of these Passages, too late condemn their own Improvidence and Folly, that gave the wronged Queen so fit and fair an advantage. They fear not all the Power of France, but suspect Intestine danger, where they knew the Hearts of all were alien’d and estranged. They well enough understood the vanity of Female Passion, but suspect, that the rising Son would be follow’d and admir’d, whilst their declining Master would be left forsaken and dejected. These Conceits work so deeply, that they conclude they must fall, if they could not stop the Foreign Danger. The English were Cow’d, there was in them no fear, unless the strangers strength gave them new Life and Spirit. In so weighty a Cause there was no time left for delay or dalliance. They dispatch presently away their Agents to the French Court, laden with the Treasure of the Kingdom, and many glorious Promises. They instruct them how to apply themselves to the Time and present Necessity, and teach them the way to work and undermine the Queen’s Proceedings.

These Messengers arriving at Paris, find the French heat well qualified and cooled. This gave them more time and hope, to bring their Master’s Will and their own Imployment to a speedy perfection. They set upon the Pillars of State, such as in their Master’s Ear or in his Council had most sway and preheminence: they give freely and promise more, till they have won a firm and fair assurance. No one had an Interest, and was known to be a favourer of the adverse Party, but his Tongue is tied with a golden Chain to a perpetual silence.

When D6v 44

When thus this Practice was ripe, the King is persuaded of the danger and peril of so great and weighty an Action. His Sister’s Reputation and intemperate Carriage, though tenderly, is often touched. A Woman’s Passion is believed too weak a Reason to engage two so Warlike Nations in a War, wherein themselves had formerly so often suffered.

The King, for all his first great and high Expression, had much rather have to do with the English in their own Kingdom than in France, yet was well enough content not to try their Arms in either. Yet still he feeds his sorrowing Sister with good words, pretending many vain Excuses, which made her suspect and doubt his meaning. She arms her self with a noble patience, hopeful at least, that she and her son might there remain in peace and safety.

By the intercourse of Messages that had so often pass’d and repass’d, the Spencers are assured, that their Affairs in France went fairly on, by which they were well onward in their Journey.

There could be yet no certain or assured confidence, until they had again gotten the Queen and her Son into Possession. No Promise or Persuasion is left to win her to return, but her Ears were stopt, she too well knew the sweet Enticements of such alluring Serpents. This Project falling short, a solemn Letter is fram’d from King Edward to the Pope, and a Messenger after their own hearts appointed to carry it. The Contents were full of Humility and Bitterness, complaining to his Holiness, That his Wife had, without just Causse, forsaken both Him and his Kingdom, carrying D7r45 carrying away his Son, the stay of his Age, without his leave or license; a Traytor to Him and his Crown, that had publickly acted a Rebellion, and was taken and Imprison’d for it, had made an escape, and was now her sole Companion; and though he was not hasty to report or credit, yet he had just causse to fear he was the abuser of his Wedlock. The King of France, with whom he had sworn so solemn and firm a League, being Summon’d, had denied to restore her.

These goodly Glosses and Pretexts find a ready passage, and an easie belief where there was none to contradict, or justifie. If these Aspersions had been as they were pretended, just and true, the Fact had been odious, and justly deserved a fair and speedy reformation. The greater Cardinals, that were at that time most great and eminent, had tasted deeply of the King’s bounty, which gave the Pope a daily instigation to pity and reform so great and gross an Error. On which an Admonition is presently sent out to the French King, that he cause immediately the Queen of England to depart forth of his Dominions.

Whilst this device was in action, the English discontented Barons send privily to the Queen, informing her, that they were almost crush’d to pieces with their suffering. They solicit her to hasten her return, and promise really to engage themselves and their Estates in her Quarrel. With a joyful heart (as it deserves) she entertains this loving proffer. And the more to advance her declining Affairs, she instantly acquaints her Brother with the tender. He had then newly received his Summons from the Pope, which taking out of his Pocket, D7v46 Pocket, he delivers her back, wishing her to peruse and read it. The amazed Queen, when she beheld so sad a Sentence, falls humbly on her Knees, and desires, That his Majesty would grant her but so much favour, that she might more truly inform his Holiness, and justifie her self by a fairer and noble trial. With Tears she instanceth the malice of her Adversaries, that had taken so strange a course both to abuse and wrong her. Her Brother, glad of such a Protection to shadow his dishonourable and unnatural falshood, lets her know the necessity of his Obedience, and that he must not for her sake adventure the Censure and Interdiction of himself and a whole Kingdom. He wisheth her to arm her self with patience, and to return and make a peace with her Husband, in which Act himself would use both the persuasion and strength of his best Power and Interest, letting her withal know, that she had but a short time to deliberate, for she must instantly leave his Kingdom. Scarcely had he ended these his last unwelcom words, when away he flings, with a seeming discontented shew of sorrow, rejoyceing inwardly, that he had freed himself of the Expence of her Entertainment, and found so fair a colour to avoid the Justice of her daily Importunity.

The drooping Queen, thus abandoned, with an amazed grief, relates this unkind sad passage to her faithful Servants, Cane and Mortimer. Their valiant hearts make good the loss of their hopes; they accuse the injustice of time, and exclaim against the French unnatural baseness. Mortimer, whose inflamed Passion flew a higher pitch, breaks out, and with a bold freedom, would have fallen to D8r47 to a bitter Expostulation. The Queen, that knew the danger, and was loth to hazard that little miserable freedom she had left, with sweet and mild persuasions reclaims him to a milder temper. She had a second doubt, lest in such a contestation she might be sent back against her will to her Husband. This makes her temporize, and cunningly seem to provide for a voluntary return, which might prevent that danger. She failing in the Master, yet tasts a-new his Servants, and leaves no means unattempted to bring about and alter so hard a strickt a Censure. They that were the first betrayers of her hopes, do now with a more confidence and constancy express it, and with one voice sing the same Tune with their Master; declining Misery, the touchstone of Friendship, finds it self shunn’d, like some infectious Feaver. The sunshine of Fortune hath as many Professors as Beams, but if her Glory be once eclipsed, they all, with a coward baseness, seek some other succour. This Lesson, that is so frequent and familiar, should guide our election more by judgment than affection. They are not to be chosen or valued, that in the pretence of Love, though it be for our proper good or service, will act any thing that is base and unworthy; the same in the least change will not be squeamish, for a poor advantage to confirm their former practice, though it be to our loss or destruction. Where Virtue guides our choice, it begins with truth and honour, ending with a like resplendent glory. No worldly cross, nor height of affliction, lessens the worth and value of such a Friend, who, like a goodly Rock, in fury of the greatest Storms, makes good his proper D8v48 proper station. Mutual correspondency in affections ought to be pure and innocent; if private respects taint the sincerity of the intentions, it makes this traffick rather a commerce than friendship. Opinion of faith is a powerful Motive, yet not weighty enough, unless it become as well with real ability, as appearance, the subject of our Election.

But to proceed, The Queen being in this distressed Agony, finds an unexpected refuge. The gracious God of Heaven, who never forsakes those which are his, sends her a comfort when her dying hopes were almost sunk and desperate.

Robert of Artois, a Man as truly Valiant, as Noble, was one of the first that in the French Court had tendered the Queen his Service. He was a wise, grave, and steddy, well resolved Gentleman; his first Devotion was not led by matter of Form or Complement, but was truly grounded on a true Compassion and Honour. This brave Friend beholding with a noble eye, the Vanity of his fellow Friends and Courtiers, and looking into the Misery of the Queens forsaken Condition, sets up his rest to appear like himself, a Friend in all her Fortune, firm and constant. In this resolution he waits a fitting opportunity to let her see and know it. The time was favourable, he finds her in her melancholy Chamber, confused in her restless thoughts, with many sad distractions. She fancying the occasion of the coming of so great a person was great and weighty, with a silent and attentive Ear expects his Message.

Madam, E1r 49

Madam, (quoth he) It is the most excellent part of Wisdom, with an equal Virtue, to entertain the different kinds of Fortune. This World is but a meer composition of Troubles, which seems greater or less, as is the quality of the Heart that entertains them. I confess the Justice of your Grief, and truly share it, but Tears and Sorrow are not means to relieve or right you. The just Heavens assist those that with an active and lively hope invoke their Succour. The tenderness of your Sex, and former free Condition is yet a stranger to these Trials; Time will let you know they are the familiar attendants of our frail structure of flesh and blood, when you will confess it too great a weakness to sink under the burthen of our Afflictions. For your own goodness (Noble Queen) erect and elevate your thus dejected Spirits: behold in me the Character of an unworthy, but true Friend, that am resolved my Life and State shall attend and run with you the self-same Fortune. You may no longer make this unthankful Climate, the place of your Birth, the stage of your abiding; the way is pav’d with Gold to your destruction. Wherefore, if my Advice may sway, let speed prevent your danger. The confines of the sacred Empire are near adjoining, where are many brave Princes, who may happily afford you Succour; at the worst, you may there enjoy a more assured peace and safety. Neither do I presume to direct this course, but lay it humbly before you, offering my faithful Service to attend you, to what part soever of the Universal World your resolution shall fix on, desiring you to be assured my Life, before my Faith shall perish; for I have vow’d my self, and will continue your everlasting Servant.

E In- E1v 50

Infinitely was the Queen rejoyced in this so grave and sincere an Expression, she doubles a world of Promises and Thanks for this so free an offer, and with a secret and wary Carriage she speedily provides to begin her thus resolved Journey. Though here she saw a far less appearance of hope, when her dearest Brother, and her Native Kingdom had forsaken her, yet she resolves the trial rather than to return, without a more assurance. She knew she had too far waded, and incens’d her malicious Adversaries, to expect a reconciliation, and feared to be mewed up from all hope of future advantage. These Considerations made her with a sad heart and weeping Eyes forsake the fruitful limits of ingrateful France, and betake her self to her last, but most uncertain Refuge. The Condition that is truly miserable, finds few real Friends, but never wants Infidelity to increase its sorrow.

Stapleton, Bishop of Exeter, who had fled to the Queen, and made himself a sharer in this weighty Action, forsakes her Party. He seeing the French hopes vanished, and these remaining so poorly grounded, thought to work his Peace by losing his Faith, and in this conceit, in hast, returns for England. His Intelligence reconciles and wins him favour, but it was purchas’d at too dear a rate, that stain’d the Honour of so high a Calling, and made him most unworthy of so divine and grave a Profession.

By this Treachery, the King and Spencers understand both the Queen’s Resolution and Weakness. They fear not the German Motions, that were E2r51 were a dull sad Nation, that seldom use to fight for nothing. Time hath at last brought out Royal English Pilgrims to the shrine of their devotion. The Earl of Heynault, a Man truly noble and virtuous, understanding her arrival within the Precincts of his Jurisdiction, gives her a free and loving welcom. This bountiful honest Earl, esteems it his glory to entertain so Princely Guests like themselves, and to become the Patron of their so weak condition. He had a Brother that made his Arms the honour of his Profession, who thinks the Estate of this forsaken Queen in justice deserv’d a true relief and pity. He tenders her his Service, and believes the occasion happily offer’d, that might leave to ensuing Times the Memory of his Virtue, Worth, and Valor.

So fair a Morning puts the Queen in hope the Evening would prove as fortunate : By all those winning graces of a distressed Beauty, she strives to confirm and more engage this first and fair affection.

The Earl having knowledge of his Brother’s resolution, thought the Attempt too full of hazard, and with a grave and mild temper, commending the nobility and greatness of his Spirit, adviseth him to quit the Action; he lays before him the weakness of the Foundation, the Queen was in want of Men and Money, and had not such a Correspondency in England, as might warrant her against her incensed Husband, who was waited on by so warlike and valiant a Nation. He in like sort acquaints him, how impossible a thing it was for him to raise such an Army as might credit the E2Cause, E2v52 Cause, and countenance the beginning. True Valor consisting not in daring Impossibilites, but exposing it self where Reason, Judgment, and Discretion were the leaders.

Sir John with a quiet patience hears his Brother’s Admonitions, which he knew sprung from the freedom of an honest and a loving heart, but he imagined Age had robb’d his Breast and Head of all their Noble Vigor.

Sir, (quoth he) If You and all the World forsake this Noble Lady, my single Arm shall maintain her Quarrel, since I had rather lose my Life than my Faith, so full and freely engaged. After Ages shall not blot the Glory of our House, so great and noble, with so inglorious a stain of baseness and infidelity: such Precedents are seldom seen, and ought to be more tenderly regarded. A Queen and the Heir apparent of so great a Crown pleading so just a pity, nor may, nor shall be forsaken. If in the Reason of State you list not to be an Actor, reserve your self, and make not the King of England your Enemy. Know I have both Arms and Friends, I will pawn them all, rather than in the least degree falsifie my Word and Promise.

These words, spoken with such a resolution and fearless bravery, stopt all reply and contradiction. The Queen, that had already both a French and an Italian Trick, had no less reason here to doubt it. She knew no means would be left unattempted from her Domestic Spies, to make her once more forsaken. This enforceth her with a more Importunitytunity E3r53 tunity to hasten and advance her Enterprise. All the good Offices, that might spur on the enflamed heart of her brave Protector, she makes the Handmaids of her Female Wisdom. But alas they needed not her careful Agent, they had quickly gotten together a voluntary Troop of Three Hundred well resolved Gallants, that vow themselves to follow him even into the mouth of the Canon. He stays not to encrease his number with a multitude, but believes if there were an answering Correspondency in the English, with these, to overrun the Kingdom. Arms, Shipping, and all Provisions necessary attend their coming. They, with the glory of their hopes, lead the revived Queen a Shipboard. Now do they expose themselves to the first tryal of their Fortune, aiming at Donge Port to take their hop’d pssession. The Heavens, that favoured their Design, out of their present fear preserves them beyond belief or expectation. Her Adversaries had a forerunning knowledge of their intended place of landing, and had there provided to give them a hot and bitter welcom. The raging Billows and the blustring Winds, or rather the Divine Providence, after the second day’s extremity, brings them aland safe at Orwel, near Harwich. They were ignorant, being driven to and fro by the violence of the Weather, what part of the Kingdom they had light on; and were as much distressed with the Unshipping of their Men and Baggage, as with the want of Harbour and Victual. Three whole days in disorder and confusion they make the bleak and yielding Sands their habitation, perceiving the vanity of their rash E3and E3v 54 and desperate Attempt, which in the least opposition or encounter must have wrought their confusion. It was in vain to attend longer here, where they saw so small sign of better Entertainment; this makes them march on with this little weatherbeaten Troop, to win and Conquer a Kingdom. St.Saint Hammonds, an Abby of black Monks, was honoured with the welcom of their long lost Mistress; here she and her Princely Son had their first Reception and Entertainment.

The bruit of this Novelty, like a Welch Hubbub, had quickly overtaken the willing Ears of the displeased Commons. Who, ever desirous of Innovation, like Bees, in swarms, do run to her assistance. The Barons so depres’d and unjustly grieved, with itching Ears attend the News of this advantage. When the tydings of their arrival came to their knowledge, with so liberal a relation, which made her Army ten times greater than it was, they lose no time for fear of some prevention.

Henry of Lancaster was the first, who was seconded by many others of the braver Peers of the Kingdom. By this means the Queen and her adherent strangers lose the depth of that Agitation, that till now had kept them doubtful.

The King, that till this time had slumbered out the Prologue of this ensuing Danger, secure in the belief of the Spencers Strength and Providence, in so general a Revolt, awakens from his licentious Pleasure, and beholds nothing but a grim and fearful face of Sorrow. The Council of his Cabinet, accompanied with their own guilt, are affrighted in E4r55 in the sad apparitions of their approaching ruin. The time of prevention is lost, their abused confidence had only labour’d to shut the Gate, but not assur’d the Family. The present necessity admits no long deliberation, this flame was too violent to be quenched, and such a course is to be taken as may rather assure them time to temporize, than with a strong hand to strive to repel it.

The City’s Guard is recommended to Stapleton, that had so unhappily, and with so little credit changed his Master. The King and the Spencers forsaken, but yet strongly attended with the guilt of so many and so foul Errors, fly to Bristol, a Town strong enough, and well provided. Arundel, and the elder Spencer, undertake the defence of the City, while the King and the others make the Castle their hope and refuge.

The Queen being informed, that the King had forsaken his Royal Chamber, and had stoll’n a flight to Bristol, she soon apprehends, and lays hold of the advantage, addressing a fair but mandatory Letter to the Mayor, to keep the City to the use of her and her Son, that was so like to be his Soveraign. The inconstant Citizens, that ever cleave to the stronger Party, are easily persuaded and entreated. Stapleton, that foresaw and fear’d the danger, summons the Mayor to surrender him the Keys of the Gates for his assurance. Chickwell, that was then Lord Mayor, incens’d with the Imperiousness and Injustice of this Demand, apprehends this inconsiderate Bishop, and without all respect to his Place or Dignity, makes his Head the Sacrifice to appease the angry Commons. This E4act E4v56 act had too far engag’d him to recoil, he must now wholly adhere to the Queen’s Faction. Four of the gravest and most substantial Burghers are sent, to let her truly understand their Devotion. They are graciously and lovingly received, the Mayor hath thanks for his late bloody Act, which was stiled an excellent piece of Justice.

This Gap thus stopp’d, with her Army she marcheth to the Cage that kept those Birds, whose Wings she would be clipping. She knew if she struck not while the Iron was hot, the heat of a popular Faction would quickly sink and lessen. All the way of her Journey, she finds according to heart’s desire, a free and noble welcom. Her Troops, like Snow-balls, in her motion more and more increasing. When she came before this great and goodly City, she saw it was a strength by Art and Nature, and did believe it furnished to outwear a Siege of long continuance, which made both her and her adherents more jealous, and suspect the issue. Where the Person of an anointed King was at stake, there could be no assurance. But smiling Fortune, that had turn’d her wheel, resolves this doubt, and makes the Action easie. The Citizens, that knew not the Laws of War or Honour, will not expose their Lives and Goods to the mercy of the Strangers, and the hazard of an unruly Conquest. They had too much tasted the afflictions of the Kingdom, to think the Quarrel just, or to adventure their Protection at so dear a hazard, for those that had been the cause and instrument of so much Blood and Trouble.

From E5r 57

From this Consideration they send an humble Message to the Queen, and desire as well to capitulate for their Commanders, as their own Interest. All other Conditions are despised and dis dained; if they will have Grace, they must purchase it with the resignation and delivering up their Captains. This doom was esteemed heavy, they would have been glad that she had had her will, but were themselves unwilling to be the Actors. But the time no more Imparleance admitted, neither could they have a delay or remedy. The Queen, that had won so far upon their yielding hearts, knew their Condition well enough, and would not give them respit, but calls upon their present Answer.

This round and smart Summons brings with one and the same art, Arundel, Spencer, and the City, into her possession. This part of the Prey thus gotten, no time is lost to call them to a reckoning. Sir Thomas Wadge, the Marshal of the Army, recites a short Calendar of their large Offences, when by a general consent they are approved guilty, and without Judge, or other Jury, they are sentenc’d to be drawn and hanged, and their Bodies to remain upon the Gibbet. The rigour of this doom, Spencer, the Father, feels, that was Ninety years old, and could not long have liv’d by the course of Nature.

The Castle-walls, and the eyes of the King, and his unhappy Son, were witnesses of this sad Spectacle and his disaster. This praludium gives them the sence of their ensuing story, which with a world of melancholy thoughts, they study to preventvent E5v58 vent or alter. A despairing resolution at length wins them to a desperate hazard. While the Queen was labouring to surprise their Fortress, which was like too long to hold good, if some stratagem were not found to get it, there were no Citizens to betray them, it needed not, themselves were soon the Actors. They steal into a small Bark that rode within the Harbour, hoping by this means to make an escape undiscover’d; they find the merciless waves and winds a like cruel. Twice had they gain’d St. Vincent’s Rock, but from that Reach were hurried back with suddain Gusts and Tempests. The often going off and return of this unguided Pinnace, begets a shrewd suspicion. At length she is surpriz’d, and in her Bulk is found that Treasure that ends the War, and gave the work perfection.

The King is comforted with the smooth Language of those which had the honour to take him, and believes the Title of a King, Father, and Husband, would preserve his Life, if not his Soveraignty.

The Queen having now made the Victory perfect, no Enemy or other work remaining, resolves with her self to use it to her best advantage. Yet she gives her incensed passion preheminence, revenge must precede her desire and strong ambition. No sooner had Sir Henry Beamond brought the imprison’d King and his dejected Favorite to the Army, but she dispatcheth away her Husband to Barkley- Castle, and Spencer is deliver’d over to the Martial, and immediately hath the like entertainment only, he hath somewhat a longer time, and a far more cruel E6r59 cruel Sentence than his Father. All things thus ordered, the Queen removes to Hereford, and in all the places of her passage is welcomed with joyful Acclamations. With a kind of insultant triumphing tyranny, far unworthy the Nobility of her Sex and Virtue, she makes her poor condemned adversary in a strange disguise attend her Progress. He was set upon a poor, lean, deformed Jade, and cloathed in a Tabarce, the Robe in those days due to the basest Thieves and Rascals, and so was led through all the Market-Towns and Villages, with Trumpets sounding before him, and all the spightful disgraces and affronts that they could devise to cast upon him.

Certainly this Man was infinitely tyrannical and vicious, deserving more than could be laid upon him, yet it had been much more to the Queen’s Reputation and Honour, if she had given him a fair and legal Tryal by his Peers, according to that ancient and laudable Custom of England, wherein by his death he might have given both the Law and his Adversaries a full satisfaction. It is certainly, give it what other title you will, an argument of a wondrous base condition, to insult or to tyrannize over those poor Ruins which Fortune hath thrown into our power. A noble pity is the argument of an honourable and sweet disposition, and the life of Man is great enough to expiate all offences. To satisfie our passions with the bitterest extremity of our power, may justly be stiled rather a salvage and barbarous Cruelty, than true and perfect Justice. No question it was a pleasing sight to all the wronged Subjects, to see such E6v60 such a leprous Monster so monstrously used. But when the heat of blood was past, and men had recollected their sences, it then appeared to be too great a blemish to a Queen, a Woman, and a Victor. But whether she were now weary with imposing, or he with suffering, Hereford, on a lofty Gibbet, of an extraordinary height, erected on purpose, gives him the end of all his Torments. Which being performed, Order is left behind for the Execution of Arundel four days after, which is accordingly performed.

I could never yet read a fair and just cause, why this Earl lost his Life, unless it may be counted Treason not to forsake his Lord and Master, to whom he had so solemnly swore his Faith and Obedience. It certainly was no such capital fault, to accompany and seek to defend his Soveraign, when he was by all others forsaken, that by their Vows and Oaths ought to have been as deeply engaged. If being taken with those that were so corrupt and wicked occasion’d it, I see no reason, why he alone was Executed, and those, that in their knowledge, were his only Instruments and Creatures, were suffered to live, and be promoted. But we may not properly expect Reason in Womens Actions, whose Passions are their principal guide and mover.

Now she is come to London, and received with all the Honour due to so great a Queen and Conquest, the People croud to see her, and with applauding shouts extol her, that in the least change of Fortune would be the first should cut her Throat, or do her any other mischief.

A E7r 61

A Parliament is immediately call’d and assembled, in which the Pack was before-hand easily laid, for Edward had lost the Hearts and Love of all his People; the Errors and Abuses of the Kingdom are there with too great a liberty against a Sacred King yet living, laid open and discoursed. All men were of one mind, a present Reformation must be had, which, in a true construction, was but a meer politic Treason. The three Estates presently assent to the deposition of the Elder, and raising the Younger Edward, to the sole Regiment and guidance of the Kingdom; not a Peer, Bishop, Knight, or Burgess, speaks a word in defence of him that was their Master but; divers are sent from both Houses to the yet King, to let him know their Declaration. When they were come into his presence, Trussel, Speaker in the lower House, in the Name of the whole Kingdom, resign’d up all the Homage due to him, and then pronounceth the Sentence of his Deprivation.

Edward, that long before had notice of these Proceedings, arms himself to receive it with patience. He gives them back no Answer, knowing a contestation or denial might hasten on his death, and a consent had made him guilty by his own confession.

Thus did this unfortunate King, after he had with perpetual agitation and trouble, governed this Kingdom Eighteen Years, odd Months and Days, lose it by his own Disorder and Improvidence, accompanied with the treachery and falshood of his own Subjects. And that which is most miraculous, an Army of three or four hundred men, entred E7v62 entred his Dominions, and took from him the Rule and Governance, without so much as a blow given, or the loss of one Man more than such as perished by the hand of Justice. In a declining Fortune all things conspire a ruin, yet never was it seen, that so great a King fell with so little Honour, and so great an Infidelity. But what could be expected when to satisfie his own unjust Passions, he had consented to the Oppressions of his Subjects, tyranniz’d over the Nobility, abus’d his Wedlock, and lost all fatherly care of the Kingdom, and that Issue that was to succeed him. Certainly it is no less honourable than proper, for the Majesty and Greatness of a King, to have that same free and full use of his Affection and Favour, that each particular Man hath in his œconomic Government; yet as his Calling is the greatest, such should be his Care, to square them always out by those Sacred Rules of Equity and Justice; for if they once transcend or exceed, falling into an extremity, they are the Predictions of a fatal and inevitable Ruin. Let the Favorite tast the King’s Bounty and enjoy his Ear, but let him not engross it wholly, or take upon him the sway and governaunce of all the Affairs of his Master; this begets not more Envy than multiplicity of Error, whose effects do for the most part occasion a desperate Convulsion, if not the destruction of that State where it hath his allowance and practice. As Kings ought to limit their Favours, so ought they to be curious in the Election, for persons of baser or meaner quality exalted, are followed at the heels with a perpetual murmer and hatred.

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Neither is it safe or proper, that all the principal Dignities or Strengths of a Kingdom should be committed to the Fidelity of any one particular Subject, though never so gracious or able. There must be then a kind of Impulsive necessity still to continue his Power, and approve his Actions, else, having the Keys in his hand, he may at all times open the Gates to a Foreign Trouble, or a Domestic Mischief.

The Number of Servants, as it is the Master’s Honour, so is the knowledge of their Ability his Glory. Where by a discreet distribution, they find variety of Imployment, and are indifferently heard, both in Advice and Action, they more secure their Masters safety and greatness. Kings, in their Deliberations, should be swayed by the whole body of a Council, and, in my opinion, should take it ill, to have any Servant esteemed much wiser than his Master. Their Royal Glory should be pure and transparent, suffering not the least eclipse, or shadow: Be the advice of a single Wit never so grave and weighty, let the Act and Honour be solely the Kings, which adds more and more to the belief of his ability and greatness.

If once the Royal Heart be so given over to Sensuality, that the befitting and necessary Cares of a Kingdom seem a burthen, and by Letter of Attorney assigned over to the Fidelity of another, he is then by his own Indiscretion no more an absolute King, but at second hand and by direction. It is the Practic and not the Theoric Act of State that aws and assures the heart of the Subject, this being once doubtful or suspect, estrangeth the will of our E8v64 our Obedience, and gives a belief of liberty to the Actions of Disorder and Injustice.

Neither is the Error and Imbecility of a Crown more prejudicial to it self, than dangerous in the Example. Majestic Vanities and Vices find a ready imitation and practice, so that it may be concluded, an ill King may endanger the Virtue and Goodness of a whole Kingdom. Our Nature is prone to the worser part, which we more readily are inclined to practice, with the condition of time, and so powerful and eminent a Precedent.

Kings that are subject to a natural weakness, or grown to the practice of any other particular Error, by corruption, should act their deeds of darkness with such a reserved secrecy and caution, that there be not a suspicion to taint him; for if it once win an open knowledge, besides the particular aspersion, it brings with it an ensuing supposed liberty of Practice, both in Court and State, by his Example.

As these are most proper to the Affections, so are there some as necessary Instructions for Kingly Passions, which, of the two, are more violent and dangerous.

Though it a while delay the concluding part of this History, yet my Pen must not leave them untouched. I must confess, if Man could master and govern these rebellious Monsters, he might justly merit rather the name of an Angel than a mortal Creature. But this, in a true perfection, is most impossible. It is yet in Divinity and all Moral Construction, the most absolute Master-piece of this our Pilgrimage, to dispose them so, that they F1r65 they wait on the operations of the Soul rather as obedient Servants than loose and uncontrouled Vagabonds. A King that is in these deficient, having so unlimited a Power, and making his Will his Law, in short time loseth the Honour of his Calling, and makes himself a Tyrant. Intemperate and heady Actions beget but disorder and confusion, and if they end in blood without a warranty of apparent Justice, or inevitable Necessity, they cry to Heaven for a deserved vengeance. The Law hath Advantages and Punishments enough for those that lie at his mercy. Let not incensed hast betray the Royality of a Crown, to make it self both Judge and Executioner. Kings are Gods on Earth, and ought in all their Actions to direct the imitation after a Divine Nature, which inclines to Mercy more than Justice. Mens Lives once lost cannot be redeemed; there ought therefore to be a tender consideration before they be taken, lest the injustice of the actor in time be brought to suffer in the same measure. As is the quality of the Fact, so is the condition of his Agent to be maturely deliberated, wherein there may be such dependencies, that it is for the Crown more profitable, safe, and honourable, to save, or delay the Execution of the Law, than to advance or hasten it. Howsoever, it is the more innocent and excellent way to offend in the better part, and rather to let the Law, than once own Virtue and Goodness to be visibly deficient, and disesteemed. The Actions of Repentance are numbred with the Register of our Misdemeanours, where none appear more fearful than those, which an inconsiderate Fury, or the violence of Passion, Fhath F1v66 hath acted with too much hast and cruelty. Let then the height of so great and excellent a Calling be suited with as sweet a temper, neither to precipitate or slow, but with a steddy and well-advised Motion.

As these Considerations are in the one part necessary, so ought there to be a correspondent Worth and Care in him that hath the happiness to enjoy in so great a measure his Royal Master’s Ear and Favour. If the Actions of the King be never so clear and innocent, yet he must favour or protect the Error of so great a Servant, which makes him an Accessary, if not an Actor, in the unjust Oppression of his Kingdom. It is not discretion, neither hath it any Society, with the well grounded Rules of Wisdom, for the Subject to exalt or amplifie the height of his own Glory, it is in the Eye of all, too great a presuming Insolence, and Kings themselves will rather alter their Affections, than to be outshined or dazled in their own Sphere and Element.

He that hath made his Master’s Love, and hath ascended the Stairs of his Preferment, should make the same Vertue the stay of his Advantage, framing his carriage to his Equals and Inferiors, with a like sweet and winning Temper. If he swerve from this sacred Rule, and arrive to win Fear, or a vain Adoration, let him know, the first is the Companion of Trust and Safety, the other of a jealous Diffidence, that must betray his Life and Honour.

But to return to our History, which now removes Edward the Father to Killingworth, where he F2r67 he remains under the keeping of the Earl of Lancaster, while his unripe Son is crowned King, and the Queen, with Mortimer, take into their hands the whole Sway, and Administration of the Kingdom. Their first Act sends Baldock the Lord Chancellour to Newgate, a fit Cage for such a Haggard, though far unworthy the Eminency of his height and dignity.

Now do the recollected Spirits of the Kingdom begin to survey and examin the injustice of that Act, that had disrobed and put down a King, their unquestionable Soveraign, that had been so solemnly Anointed, and so long enjoyed the Regiment of the Kingdom: They find the condition of their Estate but little altered, and according to the vanity of their Hearts, are as ready to attempt a new Innovation. Many Suits are made to the King, and the Protectors, to release him out of his Imprisonment, but all prove vain and fruitless. The Black Fryers were in this request more earnest, who in their denial, sought to bring it to pass by force or surprisal. They make Donhead, one of their number, their Captain, but he knew better the use of Church-Ornaments, than how to handle his Weapons, or manage an Army; he is intercepted and sent to Prison, where he dies, before he had so much as muster’d his Congregation.

This Cloud dispersed, the Queen believes it a fit time to take her leave of her assistant Strangers, who mainly hasten their departure. She was unwilling they should be witnesses to the unnatural succeeding Tragedy, which was too much for her F2own F2v68 own Kingdom, and unfit for the Strangers Climate, which was filled with the belief of her Vertue and Honour. She liberally and freely requites to each particular the minute of his Pains and Travel, but Sir John of Henalt, and the better sort, are honoured with many rich Jewels and Gifts, besides continuing Annuities, and annual Revenues. They hold themselves nobly contented, and taking a solemn leave, are honourably attended to Dover, leaving the Kingdom with a merrier Eye, than when they first beheld it.

Now is the Earl of Lancaster, who, though he had least cause, was nobly disposed towards his old Master removed, and delivers over his Charge by Indenture, to Sir Morice Barkeley, and Sir John Mattrevers, who lead him back to his first place of Imprisonment, where, in the presence of his Keepers, he one day in a melancholy Passion, doth thus discourse his Sorrows:

Alas! Is my Offence so great, that it deserves nor pity nor assistance? Is human Piety and Goodness so wholly lost, that neither in Child, Wife, Servant, or Subject, appears the least expression of Love or Duty? Admit my Errors unexcusable, wherein I will not justifie my self, nor accuse others: though it hath taken from me the Glory of my former Being, I am yet a Father and a Husband, these titles are without the jurisdiction of Fortune. If I be so, where is the Affection and Duty that becomes the Child, and Wedloc? Sure my Misery hath not made me such a Basilisk or Monster, that my sight should beget or Fear or Hatred; can they believe a danger in the visitation of a poor distressed F3r 69 distressed Captive? I know their hardned Hearts are not so noble and apt for Compassion, that they need suspect themselves or me in so poor a courtesie. What then occasions this neglect or estrangement? Are they not content to enjoy all that was mine, as yet by the Laws of God, Man, and Nature, but they must despise and forsake my withered Ruines? Alas! I know my poor Children are Innocent, both they, and my injurious Queen, are betrayed by cunning wicked Mortimer, whom if I had paid with his just desert, when Heaven, and his own Guilt, had laid him at my Mercy, I had not lived to endure this Affliction, nor he to be the insulting Instrument of my Dishonour. But Time, and this sad Trial, hath taught me Patience, and learned me how to know the height of my Misfortunes, which (if my divining Spirit err not) will not be long unseen and unrevenged. Am I unworthy to be seen? I am then unfit to live, and will receive it as a well-becoming pity, if my Death may send me hence from this so great a Sorrow.

When he had thus ended, and with a few manly Tears smother’d in the depth of that heart-breaking sigh that enforc’d his silence, he was by one of his Attendance made this ruff uncivil Answer:

My Lord, your Wife and Children are jealous, and fearful of your cruel furious Nature, whereof both they and the Kingdom have too true a knowledge to trust you: Besides, they are informed your resolution is fixed to do them mischief, if they approach your danger. This F3keeps F3v70 keeps your Queen from you, she once so truly loved.

My Queen, (quoth he) hath she that remaining Title, while I that made her so am less than nothing. Alas poor wretched Woman! Hath she, nor could she find no other more tolerable excuse than this, so faint a pretended fear and danger? Is there a possibility in her suspicion? Or have I the means (if I were so resolved) to do it, that am here a poor forsaken Man, as far from Power as Comfort? And, fellow, thou that takest so audacious and sawcy a Liberty, to character thy Soveraign’s Disposition, which thou art bound to Honour, and not to question: Know Edward’s Heart is as free from thy base Aspersion, as thine from Truth or Honesty.

When he had ended these words, he retires himself to his Chamber sad and melancholy, believing his case was hard and desperate, when so base a Groom durst face to face affront him. The Queen and Mortimer revelling now in the height of their Ambition and Felicity, had yet a wary Eye to the main, which they knew did principally rest on the safeguard and sure keeping of the deposed King. Though they had all the marks and essential parts of an absolute Soveraignty, the Name alone excepted, yet they had unquiet and troubled thoughts in the fear and imagination of losing it. They saw their plausible Incomes was dully continued, and there was a beginning murmur against the manner of their Proceedings. They knew there was no constancy in the People, that would be F4r71 be as ready to taken them off, as they were to bring them on, in any new stirring or Innovation. The Lords that were their principal Supporters were content, but not satisfied, all things concurring to make them suspect their own condition.

Edward the Father’s faults were extenuated, his Vices ascribed to those that had betrayed him, and his Estate infinitely pitied, that had so dishonourable a usage, far short of what in justice appertained to the honour of his first Calling. These Reports made their Ears tingle, and incites them in time to think upon some befitting Remedy. Many ways and devices are thought upon, but they all are subject to some manifest imperfection. On this Mortimer falls to the matter roundly, and tells the Queen plainly, That there is no way left to make all sure, but absolutely to take away the Cause, and to leave the Party by Edward’s death hopeless, that by his life sought to make a new Combustion.

The Queen, whose Heart was yet innocent of so deep a Transgression, was deeply and inwardly troubled with this unhappy Proposition. She believed his sufferings were already greater than his faults, and was unwilling to stain the opinion of her worth and vertue, with so foul an Act of injustice. She was assured it could not be so done, but it would be discovered; if the Eyes of Men could be blinded, yet that all-knowing power of Heaven would reveal and punish it. Such deep Actions of crying Sins are seldom long unrevenged, which made her most unwilling that her consent should pass, or be assistant. To kill a F4King F4v72 King, her Husband, that had once so dearly loved her, was more than an Act of Blood, nor could she expect, but that the Son grown up would revenge the death of the Father. Therefore (quoth she) sweet Mortimer, let us resolve rather any other hazard, than this which is waited on with so great Infamy and certain Ruin.

Mortimer replies, Madam, who hath the benefit of time, and neglects the advantage, if he fall is justly unworthy pity or compassion. Have you exposed your self to all the bitter Tryals of Fortune, and having overcome them according to your desire, are you willing to return to your own condition, and former sorrow? If it be so, Mortimer is wretched in sacrificing his Devotion and Heart to such a Female weakness. In cases of extremity, a tenderness of Conscience begets a certain danger, nor is it disproportionable so to continue a Crown, that by blood was gotten and surprised; had Edward known I should have liv’d to see his Ruin, my Head had paid my ransom. The impressions of Fear make his subject less in sence than apparition; think not of me so poor a Brain, but I as well know how to work as move it, such Actions are not to be done, but such a way as may prevent proof, if not suspicion. But why do I seek thus to charm your Ears, if you be willing he shall live, let him, let the inclining People set him free to call you to an account for his oppression, let him parallel his Spencer’s death in your Affliction, perhaps he’l spare you for your Bro- F5r73 Brother’s sake, who he knows so dearly loves you, and did so bravely witness it in your Affliction, perhaps he’l suffer you still to guide the Crown, and your fair Son to wear it. If you be pleas’d you may abide the Trial. Mortimer’s resolved, since you neglect his Judgment, you will as soon forget his Service, which he will in time prevent, before it be debarred.

With this he flings away, as if he meant, to give his words a real Execution. The amazed Queen pursues and overtakes him. Stay, gentle Mortimer, (quoth she) forgive my Error, I am a Woman fitter to take advice than to give it. Think not I prize thy Love so little as to lose thee. If Edward must dye, I will not seek to divert it, only I thus much beg, I may not be partaker, or privy to the time, means, or manner.

Madam, leave that to me, who will alone both undertake the Act and Danger; all I require from you, is but to seal a Warrant to change his former Keepers.

Sir Morris Barkley had been tamper’d withall, and was so far from consent, that he plainly declared he did abhor the Action. This Answer suddenly dischargeth him, and commits his Masters Guard to Sir Thomas Gourney, and his former Partner Mattrevers. They having received both their Warrant and Prisoner, convey him to Cork-Castle, the place in all the World he most hated. Some say he was foretold by certain Magic Spels, that this place was to him both fatal and ominous. But whatsoe’re the cause was, he was at his first arrival deeply sad and passionate. His Keepers, to repel F5v74 repel this humour, and make him less suspicious, feed him with pleasant Discourse, and better Entertainment, while his misgiving Spirit was heavy, sad, and melancholy.

The Night before his Death he supp’d heartily, and went to Bed betimes; scarcely were his heavy Eyes lock’d up in silent slumber, when his forsworn traiterous Murderers enter his Chamber, and finding him asleep, inhumanely and barbarously stifled him, before he could avoid or resist it. The writers differ mainly in the manner of his Death, but all conclude him murder’d, yet so, that the way, on search and view, could not be known or discover’d. A small passage of time gave the most part of all these Actors of his Death, an end fit for their deserts, and this so bloody an Action. Their several Relations and Confessions occasion so many various Reports, and different kinds of Writing; the truth whereof is not much material, since all agree, he came to an unnatural and untimely Death.

Thus fell that unhappy King Edward the Second, who was Son and Father to two of the most glorious Kings that ever held the Monarchy of the English Nation. Main Reasons are given probable enough to instance the necessity of his fall, which questionless were the secondary means to work it. But his Doom was registred by that inscrutable Providence of Heaven, who with the self-same Sentence punish’d both him, and Richard the Second his great Grandchild, who were guilty of the same Offences. The Example of these two so unfortunate Kings may be justly a leading precedent to all Posterity.

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Certainly we have had other Kings as faulty and vicious, that have o’re-liv’d their Errors, and died not by a violent hand, but by the ordinary and easie course of Nature. The condition and quality of these, was not in themselves more perilous and exorbitant, than hurtful and dangerous to the Estate, Peace, and Tranquillity of the whole Kingdom. If by height of Youth, height of Fortune, or a corrupt natural Inclination, the Royal Afflictions loosely fly at random; yet if it extend no farther than the satisfaction of the proper Appetite, it may obscure the Glory, but not supplant the strength and welfare of a Monarchy. But when it is in it self not only vicious and ill affected, but doth patrocine and maintain it in others, not blushing in such a justification, it is a forerunning and presaging evidence, that betokens a fatal and unpitied Ruin.

It is too much in a King, that hath so great a Charge delivered to his care and custody, to be dissolute, or wantonly given, but when it falls into a second Error, which makes more Kings than one in the self-same Kingdom, he opens the way to his own destruction. The Subjects hearts, as they are obliged, so are they continued by the Majesty and Goodness of a King; if either of these prove prostitute, it unties the Links of Duty and Allegiance, and hunts after Change and Innovation.

It is of so singular and great a consequence, that Kings ought to be well advised, and sparingly to accumulate their Honours and Favours, wherein both the Time, Person, and Occasion, ought to be both F6v76 both worthy and weighty; for the Eye of the Subject waits curiously on his Actions, which finding them degenerating from his own Greatness, and inclinable to their Oppression, vary their Integrity to a murmuring discontent, which is the Harbinger to a revolt and mischief. Nor is it proper, (if the Soveraign’s Affections must dote) that the Object of their weakness should sway the Government of the Kingdom. Such an Intermixtion begets confusion and Error, and is attended by a perpetual envy and hatred.

Is it possible but there must be perpetual Error and Injustice, where all things are carried more by Favour and Affection, than Law and Reason? Or can the lesser Fountains be clear, when that main Spring that feeds them is tainted and polluted? Alas, common and familiar Experience tells, that the Actions and principal Use of a Favourite, is to make good by his strength and favour, those Designs that are in themselves unjust, perverse, and insupportable.

A good Cause in the Integrity of Time, needs no protection but its own Innocence; but where the sacred Rules of Justice are inverted, the sincerity of the Law abused, the conscience of the Judge corrupted or enforced, and all things made Mercenary, or carried by indirect Favour, what expectation can there be, but that Kingdom, which is the Theater of so infamous a practice, should fall speedily into a fearful and desperate Convulsion. Though the Histories of these times are plentifully, stor’d, and few Common-wealths are free from the Examples of this nature, yet I shall not F7r77 not need any other instance than the story of this unfortunate Prince, whose time presents a perfect Mirror, wherein ensuing Kings may see how full of danger and hazard it is, for one Man’s love to sell the Affections and Peace of the whole Kingdom.

Had Edwardobscuredparticular been far worse than he was, he might have still subsisted, but when for his inglorious Minions Gaveston and Spencer, who successively engross him, he fell to those injurious and dissolute Actions, that made all Men, and the Kingdom, pray to their insolent and imperious Humours, he quickly found both Heaven and Earth resolved to work his Ruin. Not only his own, but theirs, and those of their ignoble Agents, were made his proper Errors, which took so wholly from him the Love and Hearts of his Subjects, that he found neither Arms nor Tongue to defend him. A more remarkable Misery I think no time of ours produceth, that brings this King to destruction, without so much as any one Kinsman, Friend, or Subject, that declared himself in his Quarrel.

But he found the Climacteric year of his Reign before he did expect it: And made that unhappy Castle, which he ever hated, the witness of his cruel Murder; where I must leave him, ’till he find a more honourable place of Burial, and my weary Pen a fortunate Subject, that may invite it to some other new Relation.



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