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Strange Histories

The valiant courage and policie of the Kentishmen
with long tayles, whereby they kept their ancient
Lawes and Customes, which William the Conquerer
sought to take from them.
Cant I.
Or to the tune of Rogero.
When as the Duke of Normandie,
with glistering speare and shield:
Had entred into faire England,
and foild his foes in fielde.
On Christmas day in solemne sort,
then was he crowned heere,
By Albert Archbishop of Yorke,
with many a noble Peere.
Which being done he changed quite,
the customes of this land:
And punisht such as daily sought,
this statutes to withstand.
And many Citties he subdude,
faire London with the rest:
But Kent did still withstand his force,
which did his lawes detest.
To Douer then he tooke his way,
the Castle downe to fling:
Which Aruiragus builded there,
the noble Brutaine king:
Which when the braue Arch-Bishop bolde,
of Canterburie knew:
The Abbot of S. Austines eke,
with all their gallant crue.
They set themselues in armour bright
these mischiefes to preuent:
With all the yeomen braue and bold,
that wer in fruitfull Kent.
At Canterburie did they meete,
vpon a certaine day:
With sword and speare with bill and bowe,
and stopt the conquerers way.
Let vs not liue like bondmen poore,
to Frenchmen in their pride
But keepe our ancient liberties,
what chance so ear betide
And rather die in bloudie field
in manlike courage prest:
Then to endure the seruile yoake,
which we so much detest.
Thus did the Kentish Commons crie,
vnto their leaders still:
And so march foorth in warlike sort,
and stand at Swanscombe hill.
Where in the woods they hid themselues,
vnder the shadie greene,
Thereby to get them vantage good,
of all their foes vnseene.
And for the Conquerours comming there,
they priuily laid waite:
And thereby suddainely appald,
his loftie high conceipt.
For when they spied his approch,
in place as they did stand:
Then marched they to hem him in,
each on a bow in hand.
So that vnto the conquerers sight,
amazed as he stood
They seemd to be a walking groue,
or els a mouing wood.
The shape of men he could not see,
the bowes did hide them so:
And now his hart with feare did quake,
to see a forrest goe.
Before, behind, and on each side,
as he did cast his eye:
He spide these woods with sober pace,
approch to him full nye.
But when the kentishmen had thus,
inclos’d the conquerer round:
Most suddenly they drew their swords,
and threw the bowes to ground.
There banners they displaid in sight,
there Trumpets sound a charge.
There ratling Drummes strickes vp a larme,
there troopes stretch out at large.
The Conquerour with all his traine
were hereat sore agast:
And most in perill when he thought,
all perill had beene past.
Vnto the kentish men he sent,
the cause to vnderstand:
For what intent and for what cause,
they tooke this warre in hand.
To whom they made this short replye,
for libertie we fight:
And to enioy S. Edwards lawes,
the which we hold our right.
Then said the dreadfull conquerer,
you shall haue what you will:
Your ancient customes and your lawes,
so that you will be still:
And each thing els that you will craue,
with reason at my hand,
So you will but acknowledge me,
chiefe King of faire England.
The kentishmen agreed here on,
and laid their armes aside:
And by this meanes King Edwards lawes,
in Kent do still abide,
And in no place in England else,
those customes do remaine:
Which they by manly pollicie,
did of Duke William gaine.

How King Henry the first had his children drowned in
the sea, as they came out of france.
Cant II.
Or to the tune of the Ladies daughter.
After our royall King,
had foild his foes in France:
And spent the pleasant spring,
his honor to aduance.
Into faire England he returnde,
with fame and victorie:
What time the subiects of his land,
receiued him ioyfully.
But at his home returne,
this children left he still:
In France for to soiourne
to purchase learned skill.
Duke William with his brother deare,
Lord Richard was his name:
Which was the Earl of Chester then,
who thirsted after fame.
The Kings faire daughter eke,
the Ladie Marie bright:
With diuers noble Peeres,
and manie a hardie Knight.
All those were left together there,
in pleasure and delight:
When that our King to England came,
after the bloodie fight.
But when faire Flora had,
drawne forth her treasure drie:
That winter colde and sad,
with hoarie head drewe nie.
Those Princes all with one consent,
prepared all things meete:
To passe the seas for faire England,
whose sight to them was sweet.
To England let vs hie,
thus euerie one did say,
For Christmas draweth nie,
no longer let vs stay.
But spend the merrie Christmas time,
within our Fathers court:
Where Ladie pleasure doth attend,
with manie a Princely sport.
To sea these Princes went,
fulfilled with mirth and ioye,
But this their meriment,
did turne to deare annoy.
The Saylers and the shipmen all,
through foule excesse of wine,
Were so disguisde that at the sea,
they shewd themselues like swine.
The sterne no man could guide,
the master sleeping lay,
The saylers all beside,
went reelling euerie way.
So that the Ship at randome roode,
vpon the foaming flood,
Whereby in perill of their liues,
the Princes alwayes stood.
Which made distilling teares,
from their faire eyes to fall:
Their heartes were fild with feares,
no helpe they had at all.
They wisht themselues vpon the land,
a thousand times and more.
And at the last they came in sight,
of Englands pleasant shore.
Then euery one began,
to turne their sighes to smiles:
There coulours pale and wan,
a cheerefull looke exciles.
The princely Lordes most louingly,
their Ladies do imbrace:
For now in England shall we be,
(quoth they) in little space.
Take comfort now they said,
behold the land at last:
Then be no more dismaid,
the worst is gone and past,
But while they did this ioyfull hope,
with comfort entertaine:
The goodly ship vpon a rocke,
on suddaine burst in twaine.
With that a grieuous screeke,
among them there was made,
And euery one did seeke,
on something to be staid.
But all in vaine such helpe they sought,
the ship so soone did sinke:
That in the sea they were constraind,
to take their latest drinke.
There might you see the Lords,
and Ladies for to lie:
Amidst the salt sea foame,
with manie a grieuous crie:
Still labouring for their liues defence,
with stretched armes abroad:
And lifting vp their Lillie handes,
for helpe with one accorde.
But as good fortune would,
the sweet yong Duke did get,
Into the Cock-boat then,
where safely he did sit.
But when he heard his sister crie,
the Kings faire daughter deere.
He turnd his boat to take her in,
whose death did draw so neere.
But while he stroue to take,
his sweet yong sister in:
The rest such shift did make.
in Sea as they did swimme.
That to the boate a number got.
so many that at last:
The boate and all that were therein,
was drownd and ouercast.
Of Lords and Gentlemen,
and Ladies faire of face:
Not one escaped then,
which was a heauie case.
Threescore and ten were drownd in all,
and none escaped death,
But one poore Butcher which had swome,
himselfe quite out of breath.
This was most heauie newes,
vnto our comly King:
Who did all mirth refuse,
this word when they did bring
For by this meanes no child he had,
his kingdome to succeede:
Whereby his Sisters Sonne was King,
as you shall plainely reede.

The Dutchesse of Suffolkes Calamitie.
Or to the tune of Queene Dido.
When God had taken for our sinne,
that prudent Prince K. Edward away:
Then bloudie Bonner did begin
his raging mallice to bewray:
Al those that did the Gospell professe,
he persecuted more or lesse.
Thus when the Lord on vs did lower,
many in prison did he throwe:
Tormenting them in Lollards tower,
whereby they might the truth forgoe:
Then Cranmer, Ridlie, and the rest,
were burnt in fire, that Christ profest.
Smithfield was then with Faggots fyld,
and many places more beside:
At Couentry was Sanders kild,
at Gloster eke good Hooper dyed:
And to escape this bloudie day,
beyond seas many fled away.
Among the rest that sought reliefe.
and for their faith in danger stood:
Lady Elizabeth was cheefe.
King Henries daughter of royall bloud:
Which in the tower prisoner did lye,
looking each day when she should die.
The Dutches of Suffolke seeing this,
whose life likewise the Tyrant sought:
Who in the hope of heauenly blisse,
which in Gods word her comfort wrought:
For feare of death was faine to flye,
and leaue her house most secretly.
That for the loue of Christ alone,
her landes and goodes she left behinde:
Seeking still for that pretious stone,
the word of truth so rare to finde.
She with her nurse, her Husband and childe,
in poore aray their sights beguild.
Thus through London they past along,
each one did take a seuerall streete:
Thus all vnknowne, escaping wrong,
at Billinsgate they all did meet
Like people poore in Grauesend Barge,
they simply went with all their charge.
And all along from Grauesend Towne,
with easie iourneis on foote they went:
Vnto the sea coast they came downe,
to passe the seas was their intent:
And God prouided so that day,
that they tooke Ship and saild away.
And with a prosperous gale of wind,
in Flaunders safe they did ariue.
This was to their great ease of mind
which from their harts much woe did driue,
And so with thankes to God on hie,
they tooke their way to Germanie.
Thus as they traueld thus disguisde,
vpon the hie waie sudainely:
By cruell theeues they were supprisde,
assailing their small company:
And all their treasure and their store
they tooke away, and beat them sore.
The Nurse in middest of their fight,
laide downe the childe vpon the ground:
She ran away out of their sight,
and neuer after that was found:
Then did the Dutches make great mone,
with her good husband all alone.
The theeues had there their horses kilde,
and all their money quite had tooke:
The prettie babie almost spild,
was by their Nurse likewise forsooke:
And they farre from friends did stand,
all succourlesse in a strange land.
The skies likewise began to scowle,
it hailde and rainde in pittious sort:
The way was long and wonderous foule,
then may I now full well report
Their griefe and sorrow was not small,
when this vnhappy chance did fall.
Sometime the Dutchesse bore the child,
as wet as euer she could be,
And when the Ladie kinde and milde
was wearie, then the childe bore he:
And thus they one another easde,
and with their fortunes were well pleasde.
And after many wearied steppes,
all wet-shod both in dyrt and myre:
After much griefe their heart it leapes,
for labour doth some rest require,
A towne before them they did see,
but lodgd therein they could not be.
From house to house they both did goe,
seeking where they that night might lie,
But want of money was their woe,
and still the babe with colde did crie.
With cap and knee they courtsey make,
but none on them would pitie take.
Loe here a Princesse of great blood
doth pray a Peasant for reliefe:
With teares bedewed as she stood,
yet few or none regards her grief:
Her speech they could not vnderstand,
but gaue her a penny in her hand.
When all in vaine the paines was spent,
and that they could not house-roome get:
Into a Church-porch then they went,
to stand out of the raine and wet:
Then said the Dutchesse to her deare,
O that we had some fier heere.
Then did her husband so prouide,
that fire and coales he got with speede:
Shee sate downe by the fires side,
to dresse her daughter that had neede:
And while she drest it in her lap,
ther husband made the Infant pap.
Anon the Sexten thither came,
and finding them there by the fire:
The drunken knaue all voyde of shame,
to driue them out was his desire:
And spuming forth this noble Dame,
her husbands wrath it did inflame.
And all in furie as he stood,
he wroung the Church keyes out of his hand:
And strooke him so that all of bloud,
his head ran downe where he did stand.
Wherefore the Sexten presently,
for helpe and aide aloud did crye,
Then came the Officers in hast,
and tooke the Duchesse and her child,
And with her husband thus they past,
like Lambs beset with Tigers wilde:
And to the Gouernour were they brought,
who vnderstood them not in ought.
Then Master Bartue braue and bolde,
in Latine made a gallant speech,
Which all their miserie did vnfolde,
and their high fauour did beseech:
With that a Doctor sitting by,
did know the Dutchesse presently.
And thereupon arising straight,
with minde abashed at this sight
Vnto them all that there did waight,
he thus brake forth in words aright:
Beholde within your sight (quoth he)
a Princesse of most high degree.
With that the Gouernour and the rest,
were all amazde the same to heare,
And welcomed these new come guests,
with reuerence great and princely cheare:
And afterwarde conueyde they were,
vnto their friend Prince Cassemere
A sonne she had in Germanie,
Peregrine Bartue cald by name:
Surnamde the good Lord Willobie:
of courage great and worthie fame.
Her Daughter young which with her went,
was afterward Countesse of Kent.
For when Queene Marie was deceast,
the Dutchesse home returnd againe:
Who was of sorrow quite releast,
by Queene Elizabethes happie raigne
For whose life and prosperitie,
we may all pray continually.

How King Henry the second crowning his Sonne king
of England, in his owne lifetime, was by him most
grieuously vexed with warres: whereby he went about
to take his Fathers Crowne quite from him. And
how at his death he repented him thereof, and asked
his Father hartily forgiuenesse.
Cant III.
Or to the tune of Wygmors Galliard.
You parents whose affection fond,
vnto your children doth appeare:
Marke well the storie nowe in hand.
wherin you shall great matters here.
And learne by this which shalbe tolde,
to holde your children still in awe:
Least otherwise they prooue too bolde,
and set not by your state a strawe.
King Henrie second of that name,
for verie loue that he did beare:
Vnto his sonne, whose courteous fame,
did through the land his credite reare.
Did call the Prince vpon a day.
vnto the court in royall sort:
Attyred in most rich aray,
and there he made him Princely sport.
And afterward he tooke in hand,
for feare he should deceiued be:
To crowne him king of faire England,
while life possest his Maiestie.
What time the king in humble sort,
like to a subiect waited then:
Vpon his Sonne, and by report
swore vnto him his Noble-men.
And by this meanes in England now,
two kings at once together liue.
But lordly rule will not allow
in partnership their daies to driue.
The Sonne therefore ambitiously,
doth seeke to pull his Father downe,
By bloudie warre and subtiltie,
to take from him his princely crowne.
Sith I am king thus did he say,
why should I not both rule and raigne:
My heart disdaines for to obay.
yea all or nothing will I gaine.
Hereon he raiseth armies great,
and drawes a number to his part:
His Fathers force downe right to beat.
and by his speare to pearce his hart.
In seuen set battles doth he fight,
against his louing Father deere:
To ouerthrow him in despight,
to win himselfe a kingdom cleere.
But naught at all could he preuaile,
his armie alwaies had the worst:
Such griefe did then his hart asaile,
he thought himselfe of God accurst.
And therefore falling wondrous sicke,
he humbly to his Father sent:
The worme of conscience did him pricke.
and his vile deedes he did lament:
Requiring that his noble grace,
would now forgiue all that was past:
And come to him in heauie case,
being at poynt to breath his last.
When this word came vnto our king,
the newes did make him wondrous woe:
And vnto him he sent his Ring,
where he in person would not goe:
Commend me to my Sonne he said,
so sicke in bed as he doth lye:
And tell him I am well apaide,
to heare he doth for mercie crie:
The Lord forgiue his foule offence,
and I forgiue them all quoth he:
His euill with good Ile recompence,
beere him this message now from me,
When that the Prince did see this ring,
he kissed it in ioyfull wise
And for his faults his hands did wring,
while bitter teares gusht from his eys.
Then to his Lords that stood him nye,
with feeble voyce then did he call:
Desiring them immediately,
to strip him from his garments all.
Take off from me these roabes so rich,
and lay me in a cloth of haire:
(Quoth he) my grieuous sinnes are such,
hell fires flame I greatly feare.
A hempen halter then he tooke,
about his neck he put the same:
And with a grieuous pittious looke,
this speech vnto them did he frame,
You reuerend Bishops more and lesse,
pray for my soule to God on hye:
For like a theefe I do confesse,
I haue deserued for to dye.
And therefore by this halter heere,
I yeeld my selfe vnto you all:
A wretch vnworthie to appeere,
before my God celestiall.
Therefore within your hempton bed,
all strewd with ashes as it is:
Let me be laid when I am dead,
and draw me thereunto by this.
Yea by this halter strong and tough,
dragge foorth my carcasse to the same:
Yet is that couch not bad inough.
for my vile bodie wrapt in shame.
And when you see me lye along,
bepowdered in ashes there:
Say there is he that did such wrong,
vnto his Father euerie where.
And with that word he breath’d his last,
wherefore according to his mind:
They drew him by the necke full fast
vnto the place to him assignd.
And afterward in solemne sort,
at Roan in Fraunce buried was he:
Where many Princes did resort.
to his most royall obsequie.

The Imprisonment of Queene Elenor, wife to King
Henrie the second
The Argument.
The imprisonment of Queene Elenor, wife to King Henrie
the second, by whose meanes the Kings sonnes so naturally
rebelled against their father. And her lamentation, being
sixteene yeares in prison, whom her sonne Richard when he
came to be King, relesed, and how at her deliuerance, she
caused many prisoners to be set at libertie.
Cant IIII.
Or come liue with me and be my loue.
Thrice woe is me vnhappy Queene,
thus to offend my princely Lord:
My foule offence too plaine is seene,
and of good people most abhord:
I doe confesse my fault it was,
these bloudie warres cam this to passe.
My iealous mind hath wrought my woe,
let all good Ladies shun mistrust:
My enuie wrought my ouerthrow,
and by my mallice most vniust,
My Sonnes did seeke their fathers life,
by bloudie warres and cruell strife,
What more vnkindnesse could be showne
to any Prince of high renoune:
Then by his Queene and loue alone,
to stand in danger of his Crowne.
For this offence most worthily
in dolefull prison doe I lye.
But that which most torments my mind,
and makes my grieuous heart complaine
Is for to thinke that most vnkind,
I brought my selfe in such disdaine:
That now the king cannot abide
I should be lodged by his side.
In dolefull prison I am cast,
debard of princely company:
The Kings good will quite haue I lost,
and purchast nought but infamy:
And neuer must I see him more,
whose absence griues my hart full sore.
Full sixteene winters haue I beene
imprisoned in the dungeon deepe:
Whereby my ioyes are wasted cleane,
where my poore eys haue learnd to weepe.
And neuer since I could attaine,
this kingly loue to me againe.
Too much indeed I must confesse.
I did abuse his royall grace:
And by my great malitiousnesse,
his wrong I wrought in euerie place.
And thus his loue I turnde to hate,
which I repent but all too late.
Sweete Rosamond that was so faire,
out of her curious bower I brought,
A poysoned cup I gaue her there,
whereby her death was quickly wrought.
The which I did with all despight,
because she was the Kings delight.
Thus often did the Queene lament,
as she in prison long did lie.
Her former deedes she did repent:
with many a watrie weeping eye:
But at the last this newes was spred.
the King was on a suddaine dead:
But when she heard this tydings tolde,
most bitterly she mourned then:
Her wofull heart she did vnfolde,
in sight of many Noble men.
And her sonne Richard being King,
from dolefull prison did her bring.
Who set her for to rule the land,
while to Ierusalem he went:
And while she had this charge in hand,
her care was great in gouernment.
And many a prisoner then in holde,
she set at large from yrons colde.

The lamentable death of King Iohn, how he was
poysoned in the Abbey at Swinsted, by a false Fryer.
Cant V.
Or to the tune of Fortune.
A Trecherous deede forthwith I shall you tell,
Which on King John vpon a sudden fell:
To Lincolneshire proceeding on his way,
At Swinestead Abby, one whole night he lay.
There did the King oppose his welcome good,
But much deceit lyes vnder an Abbots hood.
There did the King himselfe in safetie thinke,
But there the King receiued his latest drinke.
Great cheare they made vnto his royall grace,
While he remaind a guest within that place.
But while they smilde and laughed in his sight,
They wrought great treason, shadowed with delight.
A flat faced Monke comes with a glosing tale,
To giue the King a cup of spiced Ale:
A deadliar draught was neuer offered man,
Yet this false Monke vnto the King began.
Which when the king without mistrust did see,
He tooke the Cup of him most courteously:
But while he held the poisoned Cup in hand,
Our noble king amazed much did stand.
For casting downe by chance his princely eye,
On pretious iewels which he had full nye:
He saw tho colour of each pretious stone,
Most strangely turne and alter one by one.
Their Orient brightnesse to a pale dead hue,
Were changed quite, the cause no person knew
And such a sweat did ouerspread them all,
As stood like dew which on faire flowers fall,
And hereby was their pretious natures tride,
For precious stones foule poyson cannot bide
But though our king beheld their colour pale,
Mistrusted not the poyson in the Ale.
For why the Monke the taste before him tooke,
Nor knew the king how ill he did it brooke.
And therefore he a hartie draught did take,
Which of his life a quicke dispatch did make.
Th’infectious drinke fumd vp into his head:
And through the veines into the heart it spred,
Distempering the pure vnspotted braine,
That doth in man his memorie maintaine.
Then felt the King an extreame grief to grow,
Through all his intrels being infected so:
Thereby he knew through anguish which he felt
The Monks with him most traiterously had delt.
The grones he gaue did mak al men to wonder,
He cast as if his heart would split in sunder,
And still he cald while he thereon did thinke,
For that false Monke which brought the deadly drinke.
And then his Lords went searching round about
In euerie place to find this Traytor out:
At length they found him dead as any stone,
Within a corner lying all alone.
For hauing tasted of that poysoned Cup,
Whereof our King the residue drunke vp,
The enuious Monk himself to death did bring
That he thereby might kill our royall king.
But when the king with wonder hard them tel,
The Monks dead body did with poyson swel:
Why then my Lords ful quickly now (quoth he)
A breathlesse King you shall among you see.
Behold (he said) my vaines in peeces cracke,
A grieuous torment feele I in my backe:
And by this poyson deadly and accurst,
I feel my heart strings ready for to burst.
With that his eyes did turne within his head:
A pale dead colour through his face did spread,
And lying gasping with a cold faint breath,
The royall King was ouercome by death.
His mournful Lords which stood about him then
With al their force and troopes of warlike men:
To Worcester the corpes they did conueye,
With Drumbe & trumpet marching al the waye.
And in the faire Cathedrall Church I find,
They buried him according to their mind:
Most pompiously best fitting for a king,
Who wer aplauded greatly for this thing.

Of the Imprisonment of King Edward the second.
The Argument.
The cruell imprisonment of King Edward the second, at the
Castle of Barkley, the 22. of September. 1327.
Cant VI.
Or who list to lead a Soldiers life.
When Isabell faire Englands Queene,
In wofull warres had victorious beene:
Our comely King her husband deere,
Subdued by strength as did appeare,
By her was sent to prison stronge,
for hauing done his countrie wrong.
In Barkly Castle cast was he,
denied of royall dignitie:
Where he was kept in wofull wise,
his Queene did him so much dispise.
There did he liue in wofull state,
such is a womans deadly hate:
When fickle fancie followes change,
and lustfull thoughts delight to range.
Lord Mortimer was so in minde
the Kings sweete loue was cast behinde:
And none was knowne a greater foe,
vnto King Edward in his woe:
Then Isabell his crowned Queene,
as by the sequell shall be seene.
While he in prison poorely lay,
a Parliament was helde straight way,
What time his foes apace did bring,
billes of complaint against the King:
So that the Nobles of the land,
when they the matter throughly scand,
Pronounced then these speeches plaine,
he was vnworthie for to raigne:
Therefore they made a flat decree,
he should forthwith deposed be.
And his Sonne Edward young of yeares,
was iudged by the Noble Peares,
Most meete to weare the princely Crowne,
his Father being thus pulde downe.
Which wordes when as the Queene did heare:
dissemblingly as did appeare:
She wept, shee waild, and wrong her handes,
before the Lordes whereas she stands:
Which when the Prince her Sonne did see,
he spoke these words most courteously.
My sweete Queene mother weepe not so,
thinke not your Sonne will seeke your woe:
Though English Lords chuse me their king,
my owne deere Father yet liuing:
Think not I will thereto consent,
except my Father be content:
And with good will his Crowne resigne,
and grant it freely to be mine.
Therefore Queene mother thinke no ill,
in me or them for their good will.
Then diuers Lords without delay,
went to the King whereas he lay:
Declaring how the matter stood.
and how the Peeres did think it good:
To chuse his Sonne there King to bee,
if that he would thereto agree:
For to resigne the princely crowne,
and all his title of renowne:
If otherwise they told him plaine,
a stranger should the same attaine.
This dolefull tidings most vnkind,
did sore afflict king Edwards mind:
But when he saw no remedie,
he did vnto their wils agree:
And bitterly he did lament
saying the Lord this plague had sent:
For his offence and vanitie,
which he would suffer patiently.
Beseeching all the Lords at last,
for to forgiue him all was past.
When thus he was deposed quite,
of that which was his lawfull right:
In prison was he kept full close,
without all pittie or remorce.
And those that shewd him fauour still,
were taken from him with ill will:
Which when the Earle of Kent did here,
who was in bloud to him full neere.
He did intreate most earnestly,
for his release and libertie.
His words did much the Queene displease,
who said he liu’d too much at ease:
Vnto the Bishop did shee goe,
of Hereford his deadly foe:
And cruell letters made him wright,
vnto his keepers with dispight:
You are to kind to him (quoth shee)
henceforth more straighter looke you bee:
And in their writing subtillie,
they sent them word that he should die.
The Lord Matreuers all dismaid,
vnto Sir Thomas Gourney said:
The Queene is much displeas’d (quoth he)
for Edwards too much libertie,
And by her letters doth bewray,
that soone he shall be made away:
Tis best, Sir Thomas then replide,
the Queenes wish should not be denide:
Thereby we shall haue her good-will,
and keepe our selues in credite still.

Of King Edward the second, being poysoned.
The Argument.
How the King was poisoned, and yet escaped and afterward,
how when they saw that thereby he was not dispatched of life,
they locked him in a most noysome filthie place: that with the
stinke thereof he might be choaked, and when that preuailed
not, how they thrust a hot burning spit into his fundament, till
they had burnt his bowels within his bodie, whereof he dyed.
Cant VII.
Or how can the tree:
The Kings curst keepers ayming at reward,
hoping for fauour of the furious Queene:
On wretched Edward had they no regard,
far from their hearts is mercie mooued cleene
Wherefore they mingle poyson with his meate,
which made the man most fearefull for to eate.
For by the taste he oftentimes suspected,
the venome couched in a daintie dishe:
Yet his faire bodie was full sore infected,
so ill they spiced both his fleshe and fishe:
But his strong nature all their craft beguiles,
the poyson breaking foorth in blaines and byles.
An vgly scabbe ore spreds his Lyllie skinne,
foule botches breake vpon his manly face,
Thus sore without and sorrowfull within:
the dispisde man doth liue in loathsome case:
Like to a Lazer did he then abide,
that shewes his sores along the hiewaies side:
But when this practise prooued not to their minde,
and that they saw he liu’d in their dispight:
Another dam’d deuice then they finde,
by stinking sauours for to choake him quight.
In an od corner did they locke him fast,
hard by the which their carrion they did cast.
The stinch whereof might be compared well nie,
to that foule lake where cursed Sodome stood:
That poysoned birdes which ouer it did flie,
euen by the sauour of that filthie mud:
Euen so the smell of that corrupted den,
was able for to choake ten thousand men.
But all in vaine, it would not doe God wot,
his good complexion still droue out the same:
Like to the boyling of a seething pot.
that castes the scumme into the fierce flame:
Thus still he liu’d, and liuing still they sought,
his death, whose downefall was alreadie wrought.
Loathing his life at last his keepers came,
into his chamber in the dead of night:
And without noise they entred soone the same,
with weapons drawne & torches burning bright,
Where the poore prisoner fast asleepe in bed
lay on his belly, nothing vnder his head.
The which aduantage when the murderers saw
a heauie table on him they did throw:
Wherewith awakt, his breath he scant could drawe,
with waight thereof they kept him vnder so,
Then turning vp the cloathes aboue his hips.
to hold his legges, a couple quickly skips.
Then came the murtherers, one a horne had got,
which far into his fundament downe he thrust:
Another with a spit all burning hot,
the same quite through ye horne he strongly pusht.
Among his intrels in most cruell wise,
forcing hereby most lamentable cries.
And while within his body they did keepe,
the burning spit still rolling vp and downe:
Most mournefully the murthered man did weepe,
whose wailefull noise wakt many in the towne,
Who gessing by his cries his death drew neere,
tooke great compassion on that noble Peere.
And at each bitter skreeke which he did make,
they praide to God for to receiue his soule:
His gastly grones inforst their harts to ake,
yet none durst goe to cause the bell to towle:
Ha me poore man alacke, alacke he cried,
and long it was before the time he dyed.
Strong was his heart, & long it was God knowes
ear it would stoope vnto the stroke of death:
First was it wounded with a thousand woes,
before he did resigne his vitall breath:
And being murdered thus as you doe heare,
no outward hurt vpon him did appeare.
This cruell murder being brought to passe,
the Lord Matreuers to the Court doth hie
To shew the Queene her will performed was,
great recompence he thought to get thereby.
But when the Queene the sequell vnderstands,
dissemblingly shee weepes and wrings her hands.
Ah cursed traytor hast thou slaine (quoth shee)
my noble weded Lord in such a sort:
Shame and confusion euer light on thee,
O how I griefe to heare this vile report:
Hence cursed catiue from my sight (shee said)
that hath of me a wofull widdow made.
Then all abasht Matreuers goes his way,
the saddest man that euer life did beare:
And to Sir Thomas Gurney did bewray,
what bitter speech the Queene did giue him there:
Then did the Queene out-law them both together,
and banisht them faire Englands bounds for euer.
Thus the dissembling Queene did seeke to hide,
the heinous act by her owne meanes effected:
The knowledge of the deed shee still denied,
that shee of murder might not be suspected:
But yet for all the subtiltie shee wrought,
the truth vnto the world was after brought.

Of the Lord Matreuers and Sir Thomas Gurney,
being banished.
The Argument.
The dolefull lamentation of the lord Matreuers and Sir Thomas
Gurney, being banished the Realme.
Cant VIII.
Or to the tune of light of loue.
Alas that euer that day we did see,
that false smiling fortune so fickle should bee:
Our miseries are many our woes without end,
to purchase vs fauour we both did offend.
Our deedes haue deserued both sorrow and shame,
but woe worth the persons procured the same:
Alacke, and alacke, with griefe we may crie,
that euer we forced king Edward to die.
The Bishop of Hereford ill may he fare,
he wrote vs a letter for subtiltie rare:
To kill princely Edward, feare not it is good,
thus much by his letter we then vnderstood.
But curst be the time that we tooke it in hand,
to follow such counsell and wicked command:
Alacke, and alacke, with griefe we may crie,
that euer we forced King Edward to die.
Forgiue vs sweet Sauiour that damnable deed,
which causeth with sorrow our harts for to bleed:
And taking compassion vpon our distresse,
put far from thy presence our great wickednesse.
With teares all be dewed for mercie we crie,
and doe not the penitent mercie denie.
Alacke, and alacke, with griefe we may say,
that euer we made king Edward away.
For this haue we lost both our goods and our lands,
our Castles and towers, so stately that stands:
Our Ladies and babies are turnd out of doore,
like comfortlesse catiues both naked and poore.
Both friendlesse and fatherlesse do they complaine,
for gon are their comforts yt should them maintaine:
Alacke, and alacke, and alas may we crie,
that euer we forced king Edward to die.
And while they go wringing their hands vp & down:
in seeking for succour from towne vnto towne:
All wrapped in wretchednesse doe we remaine,
tormented, perplexed in dolour and paine.
Despised, disdained and banished quite,
the coasts of our countrie so sweete to our sight.
Alacke, and alacke, and alas may we crie,
that euer we forced king Edward to die.
Then farwel faire England wherin we were borne,
our friends & our kindred which holds vs in scorn:
Our honours and dignities quite haue we lost,
both profitt and pleasure our fortune haue crost.
Our Parkes and our Chases, our mansions so faire,
our Iems and our Iewels most precious & rare:
Alacke, and alacke, and alas may we crie,
that euer we forced king Edward to die.
Then farwell deare Ladies and most louing wiues,
might we mend your miseries wt losse of our liues,
Then our silly children which begs on your hand,
in griefe and calamitie long should not stand,
Nor yet in their Countrie dispised should bee,
that lately was honoured of euerie degree:
Alacke, and alacke, and alas we may crie,
that euer we forced king Edward to die.
In Countries vnknowne we range too and fro,
cloying mens eares with report of our woe:
Our food is wild beries, greene bankes is our bed,
the trees serue for houses to couer our head.
Browne bread to our taste is most daintie & sweete,
our drinke is cold water tooke vp at our feete:
Alacke and alacke and alas may we crie,
that euer we forced king Edward to die.
Thus hauing long wandred in hunger and cold,
dispising liues safetie most desperate bold:
Sir T. Gurney toward England doth goe,
for loue of his Ladie distressed with woe.
Saying how happie and blessed were I,
to see my sweete children and wife ear I die.
Alacke, and alacke, and alas may we say,
that euer we made king Edward away.
But three yeares after his wofull excile,
behold how false fortune his thoghts doth begile:
Comming toward England was tooke by the way,
& least that he should the chief murderers bewray,
Commandement was sent by one called Lea,
he should be beheaded forthwith on the sea:
Alacke, and alacke, and alas did he crie,
that euer we forced king Edward to die.
Thus was Sir Thomas dispatched of life,
in comming to visite his sorrowfull wife:
Who was cut off from his wished desire,
which he in his heart so much did require.
And neuer his Lady againe did he see,
nor his poore children in their miserie:
Alacke, and alacke, and alas did he crie,
that euer we forced king Edward to die.
The Lord Matreuers the storie doth tell,
in Germanie after long time he did dwell:
In secret manner for feare to be seene,
by any persons that fauoured the Queene:
And there at last in great miserie,
he ended his life most penitently.
Alacke, and alacke, and alas did they say,
that euer we made king Edward away.

Of the winning of the Ile of Man, by the
Earle of Salisburie.
The Argument.
The winning of the Yle of Man by the noble
Earle of Salisburie.
Cant IX.
Or the Queenes goeing to the Parliament
The noble Earle of Salisburie,
with many a hardie Knight
Most valiantly preparde himselfe,
against the Scots to fight.
With his speare and his shield,
making his proud foes to yeeld:
Fiercely on them all he ran,
to driue them from the Ile of Man:
Drummes stricking on a row
Trumpets sounding as they goe.
Tan ta ra ra ra tan.
There silken Ensignes in the field,
most gloriously were spred:
The Horsemen on their prauncing steeds,
strucke many a Scotchman dead:
The browne bils on their Corslets ring,
the bowmen with the gray Goose wing:
The lustie Launce the pearcing speare,
the soft flesh of their foes doe teare.
Drummes stricking on a rowe,
trumpets sounding as they goe.
Tan ta ra ra ra tan.
The batell was so fearce and hot,
the Scots for feare did flie:
And many a famous Knight and Squire,
in gorie bloud did lie:
Some thinking to escape away,
did drowne themselues within the sea:
Some with many a bloudy wound,
lay gasping on the clayey ground.
Drummes stricking on a row,
trumpets sounding as they goe.
Tan ta ra ra ra tan.
Thus after many a braue exployt,
that day performd and donne:
The noble Earle of Salisburie,
the Ile of Man had wonne.
Returning then most gallantlie,
with honour fame and victorie:
Like a conquerer of fame,
to Court this warlike champion came,
Drummes stricking on a row,
trumpets sounding as they goe.
Tan ta ra ra ra tan.
Our King reioycing at this act,
incontenent decred
To giue the Earle this pleasant Ile,
for his most valiant deed:
And forthwith did cause him than,
for to be Crowned king of Man
Earle of famous Salsburie,
and King of Man by dignitie:
Drummes stricking on a row,
trumpets sounding as they goe.
Tan ta ra ra ra tan.
Thus was the first King of Man,
that euer bore that name:
Knight of the princely Garter blew,
an order of great fame:
Which braue king Edward did deuise,
and with his person royallise:
Knights of the Garter are they cald,
and eke at Winsor so instald.
With princely roaltie,
great fame and dignitie.
This knight-hood still is held.

How Wat Tiler and Iacke Straw, rebelled against
king Richard the second.
The Argument.
The rebellion of Wat Tiler and Iacke Straw, with others,
against King Richard the second.
Cant X.
Or the Miller would a woing ride,
Wat Tilor is from Darford gon,
and with him many a proper man:
And he a Captaine is become,
marching in field with Phife and Drumme,
Iacke Straw an other in like case,
from Essex flockes a mightie pace.
Hob Carter with his stragling traine,
Iacke Shepperd comes with him a maine:
So doth Tom Miller in like sort,
as if he ment to take some Fort:
With bowes and bils, with speare and shield,
on Blacke-heath haue they pitcht their field,
An hundred thousand men in all,
whose force is not accounted small.
And for king Richard did they send,
much euill to him they did intend:
For the taxe the which our king,
vpon his Commons then did bring:
And now because his royall grace,
denied to come within their Chace,
They spoyled Southwarke round about,
and tooke the Marshals prisoners out:
All those that in the Kings bench lay,
at libertie they set that day,
And then they marcht with one consent,
through London with a lewd intent:
And for to fit their lewd desire,
they set the Sauoy all on fire,
For the hate which they did beare,
vnto the Duke of Lancastere,
Therefore his house they burned quite,
through enuie, malice, and dispighte.
Then to the Temple did they turne,
the Lawyers bookes there did they burne:
And spoyld their Lodgings one by one,
and all they could lay hand vpon.
Then vnto Smithfield did they hie,
to Saint Iohns place that stands thereby,
And set the same on fire flat,
which burned seuen dayes after that.
Vnto the Tower of London then,
fast troped these rebellious men,
And hauing entered soone the same,
with hidious cries and mickle shame:
The graue Lord Chauncelor thence they tooke,
amas’d with fearefull pittious looke:
The Lord high Treasurer likewise they,
tooke from that place that present day:
And with their hooting lowd and shrill,
strucke off their heads on Tower hill:
Into the Cittie came they then,
like rude disordered franticke men:
They robd the Churches euerie where,
and put the Priests in deadly feare.
Into the Counters then they get,
where men imprisoned lay for debt:
They broke the doores and let them out,
and threw the Counter bookes about,
Tearing and spoyling them each one,
and Recordes all they light vpon.
The doores of Newgate broke they downe,
that prisoners ran about the towne
Forcing all the Smithes they meete,
to knocke the yrons from their feete:
And then like villaines voide of awe,
followed Wat Tylor and Iacke Straw.
And though this outrage was not small,
the King gaue pardon to them all,
So they would part home quietly,
but they his pardon did defie:
And being all in Smithfield then,
euen threescore thousand fighting men,
Which there Wat Tylor then did bring
of purpose for to meete our king.
And there withall his royall grace,
sent Sir Iohn Newton to that place:
Vnto Wat Tylor willing him,
to come and speake with our young king.
But the proud Rebell in dispight,
did picke a quarrell with the knight.
The Mayor of London being by,
when he beheld this villanie:
Vnto Wat Tylor rode he then,
being in midst of all his men:
Saying Traytor yeelde tis best.
in the Kings name I thee arrest:
And therewith to his Dagger start,
and thrust the Rebbell to the heart.
Who falling dead vnto the ground,
the same did all the hoast confound:
And downe they threwe their weapons all
and humbly they for pardon call.
Thus did that proud Rebellion cease,
and after followed a ioyfull peace.

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Strange Histories - THOMAS DELONEY