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a general pardon to all that would reveal their offences, and submit themselves by a day. And that this pardon should be conceived in so ample and liberal a manner, as no high-treason, no not against the King's own person, should be excepted. Which though it might seem strange, yet was it not so to a wise King, that knew his greatest dangers were not from the least treasons, but from the greatest. These resolutions of the King and his council were immediately put in execution. And first, the Queen dowager was put into the monastery of Bermondsey, and all her estates seized into the King's hands: whereat there was much wondering; that a weak woman, for the yielding to the menaces and promises of a tyrant, after such a distance of time, wherein the King had shewed no displeasure nor alteration, but much more after so happy a marriage between the King and her daughter, blessed with issue male, should, upon a sudden mutability or disclosure of the King's mind, be so severely handled.
This lady was amongst the examples of great variety of fortune. She had first from a distressed suitor, and desolate widow, been taken to the marriage bed of a bachelor King, the goodliest personage of his time; and even in his reign she had endured a strange eclipse by the King's flight, and temporary depriving from the crown. She was also very happy, in that she had by him fair issue; and continued his nuptial love, helping herself by some obsequious bearing and dissembling of his pleasures, to the very end. She was much affectionate to her own kindred, even unto faction; which did stir great envy in the lords of the King's side, who counted her blood a disparagement to be mingled with the King's. With which lords of the King's blood joined also the King's favourite, the lord Hastings; who, notwithstanding the King's great affection to him, was thought at times, through her malice and spleen, not to be out of danger of falling. After her husband's death she was matter of tragedy, having lived to see her brother beheaded, and her two sons deposed from the crown, bastarded in their blood, and cruelly murdered. All this while nevertheless she enjoyed her
liberty, state, and fortunes: but afterwards again, upon the rise of the wheel, when she had a King tò her son-in-law, and was made grandmother to a grandchild of the best sex; yet was she, upon dark and unknown reasons, and no less strange pretences, precipitated and banished the world into a nunnery; where it was almost thought dangerous to visit her, or see her; and where not long after she ended her life but was by the King's commandment buried with the King her husband at Windsor. She was foundress of Queen's college in Cambridge. For this act the King sustained great obloquy, which nevertheless, besides the reason of state, was somewhat sweetened to him by a great confiscation.
About this time also, Edward Plantagenet was upon a Sunday brought throughout all the principal streets of London, to be seen of the people. And having passed the view of the streets, was conducted to Paul's church in solemn procession, where great store of people were assembled. And it was provided also in good fashion, that divers of the nobility, and others of quality, especially of those that the King most suspected, and knew the person of Plantagenet best, had communication with the young gentleman by the way, and entertained him with speech and discourse; which did in effect mar the pageant in Ireland with the subjects here, at least with so many, as out of error, and not out of malice, might be misled. Nevertheless in Ireland, where it was too late to go back, it wrought little or no effect. But contrariwise, they turned the imposture upon the King; and gave out, that the King, to defeat the true inheritor, and to mock the world, and blind the eyes of simple men, had tricked up a boy in the likeness of Edward Plantagenet, and shewed him to the people; not sparing to profane the ceremony of a procession, the more to countenance the fable.
The general pardon likewise near the same time came forth; and the King therewithal omitted no diligence, in giving strait order for the keeping of the ports, that fugitives, malecontents, or suspected persons, might not pass over into Ireland and Flanders.
Meanwhile the rebels in Ireland had sent privy messengers both into England and into Flanders, who in both places had wrought effects of no small importance. For in England they won to their party John, earl of Lincoln, son of John de la Pole, duke of Suffolk, and of Elizabeth, King Edward the fourth's eldest sister. This earl was a man of great wit and courage, and had his thoughts highly raised by hopes and expectations for a time: for Richard the third had a resolution, out of his hatred to both his brethren, King Edward, and the duke of Clarence, and their lines, having had his hand in both their bloods, to disable their issues upon false and incompetent pretexts; the one of attainder, the other of illegitimation: and to design this gentleman, in case himself should die without children, for inheritor of the crown. Neither was this unknown to the King, who had secretly an eye upon him. But the King, having tasted of the envy of the people for his imprisonment of Edward Plantagenet, was doubtful to heap up any more distastes of that kind, by the imprisonment of de la Pole also; the rather thinking it policy to conserve him as a corrival unto the other. The earl of Lincoln was induced to participate with the action of Ireland, not lightly upon the strength of the proceedings there, which was but a bubble, but upon letters from the lady Margaret of Burgundy, in whose succours and declaration for the enterprise there seemed to be a more solid foundation, both for reputation and forces. Neither did the earl refrain the business, for that he knew the pretended Plantagenet to be but an idol. But contrariwise, he
was more glad it should be the false Plantagenet than the true; because the false being sure to fall away of himself, and the true to be made sure of by the King, it might open and pave a fair and prepared way to his own title. With this resolution he sailed secretly into Flanders, where was a little before arrived the lord Lovel, leaving a correspondence here in England with Sir Thomas Broughton, a man of great power and dependencies in Lancashire. For before this time, when the pretended Plantagenet was first received in Ireland,
secret messengers had been also sent to the lady Margaret, advertising her what was passed in Ireland, imploring succours in an enterprise, as they said, so pious and just, and that God had so miraculously prospered the beginning thereof; and making offer, that all things should be guided by her will and direction, as the sovereign patroness and protectress of the enterprise. Margaret was second sister to King Edward the fourth, and had been second wife to Charles, surnamed the Hardy, duke of Burgundy; by whom having no children of her own, she did with singular care and tenderness intend the education of Philip and Margaret, grandchildren to her former husband; which won her great love and authority among the Dutch. This Princess, having the spirit of a man, and malice of a woman, abounding in treasure by the greatness of her dower and her provident government, and being childless, and without any nearer care, made it her design and enterprise, to see the majesty royal of England once again replaced in her house; and had set up King Henry as a mark, at whose overthrow all her actions should aim and shoot; insomuch as all the counsels of his succeeding troubles came chiefly out of that quiver. And she bare such a mortal hatred to the house of Lancaster, and personally to the King, as she was no ways mollified by the conjunction of the houses in her niece's marriage, but rather hated her niece, as the` means of the King's ascent to the crown, and assurance therein. Wherefore with great violence of affection she embraced this overture. And upon counsel taken with the earl of Lincoln, and the lord Lovel, and some other of the party, it was resolved, with all speed the two lords, assisted with a regiment of two thousand Almains, being choice and veteran bands, under the command of Martin Swart, a valiant and experimented captain, should pass over into Ireland to the new King; hoping, that when the action should have the face of a received and settled regality, with such a second person as the earl of Lincoln, and the conjunction and reputation of foreign succours, the fame of it would embolden and prepare all the party of the confederates and
malecontents within the realm of England to give them assistance when they should come over there. And for the person of the counterfeit, it was agreed, that if all things succeeded well he should be put down, and the true Plantagenet received; wherein nevertheless the earl of Lincoln had his particular hopes. After they were come into Ireland, and that the party took courage, by seeing themselves together in a body, they grew very confident of success; conceiving and discoursing amongst themselves, that they went in upon far better cards to overthrow King Henry, than King Henry had to overthrow King Richard: and that if there were not a sword drawn against them in Ireland, it was a sign the swords in England would be soon sheathed or beaten down. And first, for a bravery upon this accession of power, they crowned their new King in the cathedral church of Dublin; who formerly had been but proclaimed only; and then sat in council what should farther be done. At which council, though it were propounded by some, that it were the best way to establish themselves first in Ireland, and to make that the seat of the war, and to draw King Henry thither in person, by whose absence they thought there would be great alterations and commotions in England; yet because the kingdom there was poor, and they should not be able to keep their army together, nor pay their German soldiers, and for that also the sway of the Irishmen, and generally of the men of war, which, as in such cases of popular tumults is usual, did in effect govern their leaders, was eager, and in affection to make their fortunes upon England; it was concluded with all possible speed to transport their forces into England. The King in the mean time, who at the first when he heard what was done in Ireland, though it troubled him, yet thought he should be well enough able to scatter the Irish as a flight of birds, and rattle away this swarm of bees with their King; when he heard afterwards that the earl of Lincoln was embarked in the action, and that the lady Margaret was declared for it; he apprehended the danger in a true degree as it was, and saw plainly that his kingdom must again be