PROCLAMATION AGAINST HENRY TUDOR[81-1]
Ricardus, etc. salutem. Precipimus tibi, etc.
[Sidenote: 1485 / JUNE 23]
Forasmoche as the Kyng our sovereign Lord hath certeyn knowlege that Piers, Bisshop of Exeter,[81-2] Jasper Tydder,[81-3] son of Owen Tydder, callyng hymself Erle of Pembroke, John, late Erle of Oxon,[81-4] and Sir Edward Wodevyle,[81-5] with other dyvers his rebelles and traytours, disabled and atteynted by the auctorite of the High Court of Parlement, of whom many be knowen for open murdrers, advoutrers [_adulterers_], and extorcioners, contrary to the pleasure of God, and a yenst all trouth, honour, and nature, have forsakyn there naturall contrey, takyng them first to be under th'obeisaunce of the Duke of Bretayn,[81-6] and to hym promysed certeyn thyngs whiche by him and his counsell were thought thynggs to gretly unnaturall and abominable for them to graunt, observe, kepe, and perfourme, and therfore the same utterly refused.
The seid traytours,[82-1] seyng[82-2] the seid Duke and his counsell wolde not aide nor socour theym ner folowe there wayes, privily departed oute of his contrey in to Fraunce, and[82-3] there takyng theym to be under the obeisaunce of the Kynggs auncient enemy, Charlys,[82-4]
callyng hymself Kyng of Fraunce, and to abuse and blynde the comons of this seid Realme, the seid rebelles and traitours have chosyn to be there capteyn one Henry Tydder,[82-5] son of Edmond Tydder, son of Owen Tydder,[82-6] whiche of his ambicioness and insociable[82-7]
covetise[82-8] encrocheth[82-9] and usurpid[82-10] upon hym the name and title of royall astate of this Realme of Englond, where unto he hath no maner interest, right, title, or colour, as every man wele knowyth;[82-11] for he is discended of bastard blood bothe of ffather side and of mother side, for the seid Owen the graunfader was bastard borne, and his moder was doughter unto John, Duke of Somerset, son unto John, Erle of Somerset, sone unto Dame Kateryne Swynford, and of ther[82-12] indouble[82-13] avoutry [_adultery_] gotyn, wherby it evidently apperith that no title can nor may [be][82-14] in hym, which fully entendeth to entre this Reame, purposyng a conquest. And if he shulde atcheve his fals entent and purpose, every man is lif, livelod, and goddes shulde be in his hands, liberte, and disposicion, wherby sholde ensue the disheretyng and distruccion of all the noble and worshipfull blode of this Reame for ever, and to the resistence and withstondyng wherof every true and naturall Englishman born must ley to his hands for his owen suerte and wele.
And to th'entent that the seid Henry Tydder myght the rather atcheve his fals intent and purpose by the aide, supporte, and assistence of the Kynggs seid auncient enemy of Fraunce,[83-1] hath covenaunted and bargayned with hym and all the counsell of Fraunce to geve up and relese inperpetuite all the right, title, and cleyme that the Kyng[es] of Englond have, had, and ought to have, to the Crowne and Reame of Fraunce, to gether with the Duchies of Normandy, Anjoy, and Maygne, Gascoyn and Guyne, castell[es] and townys of Caleys, Guysnes, Hammes, with the marches apperteynyng to the same,[83-2] and discevir and exclude the armes of Fraunce oute of the armes of Englond for ever.
And in more prove and shewing of his seid purpose of conquest, the seid Henry Tidder hath goven as well to dyvers of the seid Kynggs enemys as to his seid rebelles and traitours, archebisshoprikes, bisshoprikes, and other dignitees spirituels, and also the ducheez, erledomez, baronyes, and other possessions and inheritaunces of knyghts, squyres, gentilmen, and other the Kynggs true subjetts withynne the Reame, and entendith also to chaunge and subverte the lawes of the same, and to enduce and establisse newe lawes and ordenaunces amongez the Kynggs seid subjetts.[83-2] And over this, and beside the alienacions of all the premyssez into the possession of the Kynggs seid auncient enemys to the grettest anyntisshment,[83-3] shame, and rebuke that ever myght falle to this seid land, the seid Henry Tydder and others, the Kynggs rebelles and traitours aforeseid, have extended [_intended_] at there comyng, if they may be of power,[84-1] to do the most cruell murdrers, slaughterys, and roberys, and disherisons that ever were seen in eny Cristen reame.
For the wich, and other inestymable daungers to be escheuved, and to th'entent that the Kynggs seid rebelles, traitours, and enemys[84-2] may be utterly put from there seid malicious and fals purpose[84-3] and sone discomforted,[84-4] if they enforce to land,[84-5] the Kyng our soveraign Lord[84-6] willith, chargeth, and comaundith all and everyche of the naturall and true subgetts of this his Reame to call the premyssez to there mynds, and like gode and true Englishmen to endover themselfs with all there powers for the defence of them, there wifs, chylderyn, and godes, and heriditaments ayenst the seid malicious purposes and conspiracions which the seid auncient enemes[84-7] have made with the Kynggs seid rebelles and traitours[84-8] for the fynall distruccion of this lande as is aforesaid. And our said soveraign Lord, as a wele willed, diligent, and coragious Prynce, wel put his moost roiall persone to all labour and payne necessary in this behalve for the resistence and subduyng of his seid enemys, rebells, and traitours[84-9]
to the moost comforte, wele, and suerte of all[84-10] his true and feithfull liege men and subgetts.
And over this, our seid soveraign Lord willith and comaundith all his seid subgetts to be redy in there most defensible arraye to do his Highnes servyce of werre, when thy be opyn proclamacion, or otherwise shall be comaunded so to do, for the resistence of the Kynggs seid rebelles, traitours, and enemyes. Et hoc sub periculo, &c.--T. me ipso apud Westmonasterium, xxiij. die Junij, Anno regni nostri secundo.
[Footnote 81-1: [From Fenn, ii. 318.] The MS., as Fenn tells us, was endorsed in an ancient hand, 'Kent Cherfys [_Sheriffs_].--Copia literae Regis R. III. persuadentis subditos suos ad resistendum Henr' Tydder, postea Regem Angliae ac declarantis a quo idem Henricus descendebat.' Another but imperfect copy of this proclamation will be found in the Harleian MS., No. 433, f. 220 b. A similar proclamation had been issued on the 7th December 1484, of which a copy will also be found in the same Harleian volume at folio 273 b. Sir Henry Ellis has also printed in his _Original Letters_ (2 Ser. i. 162) a copy of this proclamation as set forth in the original warrant for issuing it, which the King addressed to the Bishop of Lincoln as Chancellor.
The MS. followed by Ellis was a transcript from one of the records formerly in the Tower. I have compared these different texts throughout with that printed by Fenn, and noted all variations that are of any consequence. The two Harleian texts I have called A. and B., the former being that of the proclamation issued on the 7th December preceding. The text printed by Ellis I have called E.]
[Footnote 81-2: Peter Courtney, Bishop of Exeter, after the miscarriage of the Duke of Buckingham's conspiracy, fled into Bretagne to the Earl of Richmond, who, after he became Henry VII., promoted this Prelate to the See of Winchester in 1486, in which he died in 1492.--F.]
[Footnote 81-3: Jasper Tudor of Hatfield, half-brother to Henry VI. He was created Duke of Bedford in 1485.]
[Footnote 81-4: John de Vere, Earl of Oxford, who had escaped from the Castle of Hammes.--F.]
[Footnote 81-5: Sir Edward Wodevile, brother to the Queen of Edward IV.--F. The names given in text A. are 'Piers, Bisshop of Excestre, Thomas Grey, late Marques Dorset, Jasper, late Erle of Pembroche, John, late Erle of Oxenford, and Sir Edward Widevile.']
[Footnote 81-6: Francis II., the last Duke of Bretagne, was overthrown by Charles VIII., King of France, and died in 1488.--F.]
[Footnote 82-1: 'The said traytours.' They. A.]
[Footnote 82-2: that. A. B. E.]
[Footnote 82-3: 'and' omitted in A. B. and E.]
[Footnote 82-4: Charles VIII. ascended the throne in 1483, and died in 1498.--F.]
[Footnote 82-5: Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, who in 1483 became King of England, by the title of Henry VII.--F.]
[Footnote 82-6: 'one Herry ... . Owen Tydder' oon Herry late calling himself Erle of Richemond. A.]
[Footnote 82-7: 'ambicious and insaciable.' A. B. E.]
[Footnote 82-8: 'stirred and excited by the confederacie of the Kinges said rebelles and traytours,' added in A.]
[Footnote 82-9: Here text B. comes to an end.]
[Footnote 82-10: 'usurpeth.' E.]
[Footnote 82-11: From here to the end of the paragraph is omitted in A.]
[Footnote 82-12: 'ther' her. A.]
[Footnote 82-13: This either means double adultery, that is adultery on both sides; or indubitable, undoubted adultery.--F.
I suspect the true reading to be 'and of her in double avowtry gotyn.' It is a great question whether John, Earl of Somerset, John of Gaunt's eldest son by Catherine Swynford, was not born during the life of her lawful husband as well as during that of John of Gaunt's lawful wife.--See _Excerpta Historica_, 155-6.]
[Footnote 82-14: Supplied from E.]
[Footnote 83-1: The beginning of this sentence in A. is as follows:--'And to th'entent to accheve the same by th'aide, support, and assistence of the Kinges seid auncyent ennemyes and of this his royaume.']
[Footnote 83-2: From the words 'and discevir' to the sentence beginning 'And over this,' all is omitted in A.]
[Footnote 83-3: Aneantisement--anientised is used by Chaucer in his Tale of Melibeus, for reducing to nothing.--F.]
[Footnote 84-1: 'if they may be of power,' omitted in A.]
[Footnote 84-2: rebelles and traytours. A.]
[Footnote 84-3: malicious purposes. A.]
[Footnote 84-4: discomfited. A. E.]
[Footnote 84-5: Or rather, made good their landing by force.--F.]
[Footnote 84-6: desireth. A. E.]
[Footnote 84-7: the auncyentes ennemyes of this lande. A.]
[Footnote 84-8: 'and traitours,' omitted in A.]
[Footnote 84-9: rebelles, traitours, and enemyes. A. In which text the proclamation ends with these words, and is followed by the usual words addressed to the Chancellor as his authority for making out the proclamation: 'And thise oure lettres shall be your sufficient warrant in that behalve.' This warrant to the Chancellor is dated 'at oure Castell of Notyngham, the xxj. day of Juyn, the secund yere of our reigne,' two days before the proclamation was issued.]
[Footnote 84-10: and singlier. A.]
[[Footnote 82-6 'one Herry ... . Owen Tydder'
_body text has "Henry": confusion with following MS. citation?_
Footnote 82-11, 82-12 Footnote 84-9, 84-10 _each pair of footnotes printed as shown_
the Kyng our soveraign Lord[84-6] willith _misplaced footnote tag? note 84-6 refers to verb_]]