« AnteriorContinuar »
subtly moved the people to rebel against the strangers, and break the king's peace, nothing regarding the league between princes, and the king's honour of this sermon many a light person took courage, and openly spake against strangers. And, as the devil would, the Sunday after, at Greenwich, in the king's gallery was Francis de Bard, which, as you heard, kept an Englishman's wife and his goods, and yet he could have no remedy ; and with him were Domingo, Anthony Caueler, and many more strangers ; and there they, talking with sir Thomas Palmer, knight, jested and laughed how that Francis kept the Englishman's wife, saying, that if they had the Mayor's wife of London, they would keep her. Sir Thomas said, “Sirs, you have too much favour in England.” There were divers English merchants by, and heard them laugh, and were not content, insomuch as one William Bolt, a mercer, said, “Well, you whoresome Lombards, you rejoice and laugh ; by the mass, we will one day have a day at you, come when it will ;” and that saying the other merchants affirmed. This tale was reported about London, and the young and evil disposed people said, they would be revenged on the merchant strangers, as well as on the artificers strangers. On Monday, the morrow after, the king removed to his manor of Richmond.
The Ninth year,–151', Upon this rumour, the XXVIII. day of April, divers young men of the city assaulted the aliens as they passed by the streets; and some were stricken and some buffeted, and some thrown in the canal. Wherefore the Mayor sent divers persons to ward, as Stephen Studley, skinner, and Bettes, and Stephenson, and divers other, some to one counter, and some to another, and some to Newgate. Then suddenly was a common secret rumour, and no man could tell how it began, that on May day next, the city would rebel, and slay all aliens, insomuch as divers strangers fied out of the city. This bruit ran so far that it came to the king's council, insomuch as the cardinal, being Lord Chancellor, sent for John Rest, mayor of the city, and other of the council of the city, and demanded of the mayor in what case the city stood. To whom he answered, that it was well, and in good quiet. “Nay," said the cardinal, “it is informed us that your young and riotous people will rise, and distress the strangers : hear ye of no such thing ?” “No, surely," said the mayor, "and I trust so to govern them, that the king's peace shall be observed ; and that I dare undertake, if I and my brethren the aldermen may be suffered.” “ Well,” said the cardinal, “go home, and wisely foresee this matter; for, and if any such thing be, you may shortly prevent it.” The mayor came from the cardinal's at four of the clock at afternoon, on May even, and demanded of the officers what they heard. Divers of them answered, that the voice of the people was so, and had been so two or three days before. This hearing, the mayor sent for all his brethren to the Guildhall in great haste, and almost seven of the clock or the assembly was set. Then was declared to them by master Brooke, the recorder, how that the king's council had reported to them that the commonalty that night would rise, and distress all the aliens and strangers that inhabited in the city of London. The aldermen answered, they heard say so ; but they mistrusted not the matter ; but yet they said that it was well done to foresee it. Then said the recorder, it were best that a substantial watch were set of honest persons, householders, which might withstand the evil doers. An alderman said, that it was evil to raise men in harness ; for, if such a thing were intended, they could not tell who would take their part. Another alderman said, that it were best to keep the young men asunder, and every man to shut in his doors, and to keep his servants within. Then with these opinions was the recorder sent to the cardinal before eight of the clock. And then he, with such as were of the king's council at his
place, commanded that in no wise watch should be kept, but that every man should repair to his own house, and there to keep him and his servants till seven of the clock of the morning : with which commandment the said Richard Brooke, serjeant at the law and recorder, and Sir Thomas Moore, late under sheriff of London, and then of the king's council, came to the Guildhall half hour and before nine of the clock (sic), and there shewed the commandment of the king's council. Then in all haste every alderman sent to his ward, that no man should stir after nine of the clock out of his house, but to keep his doors shut, and his servants within till seven of the clock in the morning. After this commandment, Sir John Mondy, alderman, came from his ward, and found two young men in Chepo playing at bucklers, and a great company of young men looking on them, for the commandment was then scarce known, for then it was but nine of the clock. Master Mondy, seeing that, bade them leave; and the one young man asked him why ; and then he said, “Thou shalt know," and took him by the arm to have had him to the counter. Then all the young men resisted the alderman, and took him from master Mondy, and cried, “ Prentices and clubs !” Then out at every door came clubs and weapons, and the alderman fled, and was in great danger. Then more people arose out of every quarter, and out came serving-men and watermen and courtiers ; and by eleven of the clock there were in Chepe six or seven hundred. And out of Paul's Churchyard came three hundred, which wist not of the other; and so out of all places they gathered, and brake up the counters, and took out the prisoners that the mayor had thither committed for hurting of the strangers, and came to Newgate, and took out Studley and Petit committed thither for that cause. The mayor and sheriffs were there present, and made proclamation in the king's name ; but nothing was obeyed. Thus they ran a plump through Saint Nicholas' shambles ; and at Saint Martin's gate there met with them Sir Thomas Moore and other, desiring them to go to their lodgings; and as they were entreating and had almost brought them to a stay, the people of Saint Martin's threw out stones and bats, and hurt divers honest persons, that were persuading the riotous people to cease, and they bade them hold their hands; but still they threw out bricks and hot water. Then a serjeant of arms, called Nicholas Dounes, which was there with master Moore, entreating them, being sore hurt, in a fury cried, “ Down with them !” Then all the misruled persons ran to the doors and windows of Saint Martin, and spoiled all that they found, and cast it into the street, and left few houses unspoiled. And, after that, they ran headlong into Cornhill by Leadenhall, to the house of one Mutuas, a Frenchman or Picarde borne, which was a great bearer of Frenchmen, were they pick-purses or how evil disposition soever they were of; and within his gate, called Greengate, dwelled divers Frenchmen that kalendared worsted contrary to the king's laws, and all they were so borne out by the said Mutuas, that no man durst meddle with them ; wherefore he was sore hated, and, if the people had found him in their fury, they would have stricken off his head. But, when they found him not, the watermen, and certain young priests that were there, fell to rifling: some ran to Blanchechapelton, and brake the strangers' houses, and threw shoes and boots into the street. This from ten or eleven of the clock continued these riotous people, during which time a knight, called Sir Thomas Parr, in great haste went to the cardinal, and told him of this riot: which incontinent strengthened his house with men and ordinance. And after, this knight rode to the king at Richmond, and made the report much more than it was.
Wherefore the king hastily sent to London, and was truly advertised of the matter, and how that the riot was ceased, and many of the doers apprahended. But while this ruffling continued, Sir Richard Cholmeley, knight, Lieutenant of the Tower, no great friend to the city, in a frantic fury loosed certain
pieces of ordinance, and shot into the city; which did little harm, howbeit his good will appeared. About three of the clock, these riotous persons severed, and went to their places of resort, and by the way they were taken by the mayor and the heads of the city, and some sent to the Tower, and some to Newgate, and some to the counters, to the number of three hundred : some fled, and specially the watermen and priests and serving-men ; but the poor prentices were taken. About five of the clock, the earls of Shrewsbury and Surrey, which had heard of this riot, came to London with such strength as they had ; so did the Inns of Court, and divers noblemen : but, or they came, all the riot was ceased, and many taken as you have heard.
Then were the prisoners examined, and the sermon of Doctor Bele called to remembrance, and he taken, and sent to the Tower, and so was John Lincoln : but with this riot the Cardinal was sore displeased. Then the fourth day of May was an oyer and determiner at London before the mayor, the Duke of Norfolk, the Earl of Surrey, and other. The city thought that the duke bare them grudge for a lewd priest of his which the year before was slain in Chepe, in so much the dake then in his fury said, “ I pray God, I may once have the citizens in my danger!” and the duke also thought that they bare him no good will; wherefore he came into the city with thirteen hundred men in harness, to keep the oyer and determiner. And upon examination it could never be proved of any meeting, gathering, talking, or conventicle, at any day or time before that day, but that the chance so happened without any matter prepensed of any creature saving Lincoln, and never an honest person in manner was taken but only he. Then proclamations were made, that no women should come together to babble and talk, but all men should keep their wives in their houses. All the streets tìat were notable stood full of harnessed men, which spake many opprobrious words to the citizens, which grieved them sore ; and, if they would have been revenged, the other had had the worse, for the citizens were two hundred to one: but, like true subjects, they suffered patiently.
When the lords were set, the prisoners were brought in through the streets tied in ropes, some men, some lads, some children of thirteen year. There was a great mourning of fathers and friends for their children and kinsfolk : among the prisoners, many were not of the city; some were priests, and some husbandmen and labourers : the whole sum of the prisoners were two hundred and seventy-eight persons. The cause of the treason was, because the king had amity with all Christian princes, that they had broken the truce and league, contrary to the statute of king Henry V. Of this treason divers were indited ; and so for that time the lords departed, And, the next day, the duke came again, and the Earl of Surrey, with two thousand armed men, which kept the streets. When the mayor, the duke, the Earls of Shrewsbury and Surrey were set, the prisoners were arraigned, and thirteen found guilty of high treason, and adjudged to be hanged, drawn, and quartered ; and for execution whereof were set up eleven pair of gallows in divers places where the offences were done, as at Aldgate, at Blanchechapelton, Gracious Street, Leadenhall, and before every counter one, and at Newgate, at Saint Martin's, at Aldresgate, at Bishopsgate. This sight sore grieved the people, to see gallows set in the king's chamber. Then were the prisoners that were judged brought to the place of execution, and executed in most rigorous manner ; for the Lord Edmond Howard, son to the Duke of Norfolk and knight marshal, shewed no mercy, but extreme cruelty to the poor younglings in their execution, and likewise the duke's servants spake many opprobrious words ; some bade hang, some bade draw, some bade set the city on fire ; but all was suffered.
On the seventh day of May was Lincoln, Shirwin, and two brethren
called Bettes, and divers other, adjudged to die. Then Lincoln said, “My lords, I meant well; for an you knew the mischief that is ensued in this realm by strangers, you would remedy it ; and many times I have complained, and then I was called a busy fellow : now our Lord have mercy on me!" Then all the said persons were laid on the hurdles, and drawn to the Standard in Chepe ; and first was John Lincoln executed ; and, as the other had the rope about their necks, there came a commandment from the king to respite execution. Then the people cried, “ God save the king !” Then was the oyer and determiner deferred till another day, and the prisoners sent again to ward, and the harnessed men departed out of London, and all things quiet.
The eleventh day of May the king came to his manorof Greenwich, where the recorder of London and divers aldermen came to speak with his grace, and all ware gowns of black colour. And when they perceived the king coming out of his privy chamber into his chamber of presence, they kneeled down, and the recorder said, “Our most natural benign and sovereign lord, we know well that your grace is displeased with us of your city of London for the great riot late done; we ascertain your grace that none of us, nor no honest person, were condescending to that enormity; and yet we, our wives and children, every hour lament that your favour should be taken from us; and, forasmuch as light and idle persons were the doers of the same, we most humbly beseech your grace to have mercy of us for our negligence, and compassion of the offenders for their offence and trespass." "Truly," said the king, "you have highly displeased and offended us, and ye ought to wail and be sorry for the same ; and where ye say that you the substantial persons were not consenting to the same, it appeareth to the contrary, for you never moved to let them, nor stirred once to fight with them, which you say were so small a number of light persons ; wherefore we must think, and you cannot deny, but you did wink at the matter : but at this time we will grant to you neither our favour nor good will, nor to the offenders mercy; but resort to the Cardinal, our Lord Chancellor, and he shall make you an answer, and declare our pleasure :” and with this answer the Londoners departed, and made relation to the mayor.
Thursday the twenty-second day of May, the king came into Westminster-Hall, for whom at the upper end was set a cloth of estate, and the place hanged with arras : with him was the Cardinal, the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, the Earls of Shrewsbury, of Essex and Wiltshire, of Surrey, with many lords and other of the king's council. The mayor and aldermen, and all the chief of the city were there in their best livery, (according as the Cardinal had them appointed) by nine of the clock. Then the king commanded that all the prisoners should be brought forth. Then came in the poor younglings and old false knaves, bounden in ropes, all along, one after another, in their shirts, and every one a halter about his neck, to the number of four hundred men and eleven women. And, when all were come before the king's presence, the Cardinal sore laid to the mayor and commonalty their negligence, and to the prisoners he declared that they deserved death for their offence. Then all the prisoners together cried, “ Mercy, gracious lord, mercy!" Then the lords altogether besought his grace of mercy; at whose request the king pardoned them all. And then the Cardinal gave unto them a good exhortation, to the great gladness of the hearers. And when the general pardon was pronounced, all the prisoners shouted at once, and altogether cast up their halters into the hall roof, so that the king might perceive they were none of the discreetest sort.
156.—THE FALL OF ANNE BOLEYN.
HUME. While the retainers to the new religion were exulting in their prosperity, they met with a mortification which seemed to blast all their hopes. Their patroness Anne Boleyn possessed no longer the king's favour ; and soon after lost her life by the rage of that furious monarch. Henry had persevered in his love to this lady during six years that his prosecution of the divorce lasted ; and the more obstacles he met with to the gratification of his passion, the more determined zeal did he exert in pursuing his purpose. But the affection which had subsisted, and still increased under difficulties, had not long obtained secure possession of its object, when it languished from satiety ; and the king's heart was apparently estranged from his consort. Anne's enemies soon perceived the fatal change ; and they were forward to widen the breach, when they found that they incurred no danger by interposing in those delicate concerns. She had been delivered of a dead son : and Henry's extreme fondness for male issue being thus for the present disappointed, his temper, equally violent and superstitious, was disposed to make the innocent mother answerable for the misfortune. But the chief means which Anne's enemies employed to inflame the king against her, was his jealousy.
Anne, though she appears to have been entirely innocent, and even virtuous in her conduct, had a certain gaiety, if not levity of character, which threw her off her guard, and made her less circumspect than her situation required. Her education in France rendered her more prone to those freedoms; and it was with difficulty she conformed herself to that strict ceremonial practised in the court of England. More vain than haughty, she was pleased to see the influence of her beauty on all around her, and she indulged herself in an easy familiarity with persons who were formerly her equals, and who might then have pretended to her friendship and good graces. Henry's dignity was offended with these popular manners; and though the lover had been entirely blind, the husband possessed but too quick discernment and penetration. Ill instruments interposed, and put a malignant interpretation on the harmless liberties of the queen. The Viscountess of Rocheford, in particular, who was married to the queen's brother, but who lived on bad terms with her sister-in-law, insinuated the most cruel suspicions into the king's mind; and as she was a woman of profligate character, she paid no regard either to truth or humanity in those calumnies which she suggested. Henry Norris, groom of the stole, Weston and Brereton, gentlemen of the king's chamber, together with Mark Smeton, groom of the chamber, were observed to possess much of the queen's friendship; and they served her with a zeal and attachment which, though chiefly derived from gratitude, might not improbably be seasoned with some mixture of tenderness for so amiable a princess. The king's jealousy laid hold of the slightest circumstance, and finding no particular object on which it could fasten, it vented itself equally on every one who came within the verge of its fury.
Had Henry's jealousy been derived from love, though it might on a sudden have proceeded to the most violent extremities, it would have been subject to many remorses and contrarieties; and might at last have suffered only to augment that affection on which it was founded. But it was a more stern jealousy, fostered entirely by pride. His love was transferred to another object. Jane, daughter of Sir John Seymour, and maid of honour to the queen, a young lady of singular beauty and merit, had obtained an entire ascendant over him; and he was determined to sacrifice everything to the gratification of this new appetite. Unlike to most monarchs, who judge lightly of the crime of gallantry, and who deem the young damsels of their court rather honoured than disgraced by their passion, he