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Duke of Lancaster, lawfully begotten, so that I thought sure, my mother being eldest daughter to Duke Edmund, that I was next heir to King Henry VI., of the house of Lancaster.”
But he adds,
“ As I rode between Worcester and Bridgnorth, I encountered with the lady Margaret, Countess of Richmond, now with unto the Lord Stanley, which is the very daughter and sole heir to John, Duke of Somerset, my grandfather's elder brother, which was as clean out of my mind as though I had never seen her; so that she and her son, the Earl of Richmond, be both bulament and portcullis between me and the gate, to enter into the majesty royal and getting of the crown.”
The result was a suggestion, that Richmond should be set up as heir of Lancaster, marrying Elizabeth, as the heiress of York.
The bishop now escaped from custody, and got over to Flanders, as in the play. How soon after this Buckingham raised his hardy Welshmen, I have not ascertained; but no long time elapsed before his army, owing to the overflow of the waters, was dispersed and scattered. The appearance of Richmond and his fleet off the
Miiford, are taken exactly from the Chronicle.
The Courtenays* certainly rose in Devonshire. The Guildfords were a distinguished family seated at Hempstead in Kent. Sir Richard was K. G. under Henry VII., and Sir Edward, his son, was father-in-law to John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland,
But much time, and important events, occurred before Richmond landed. Among the most remarkable, is the Queen Dowager's inviting her son, Dorset, to quit the Earl of Richmond. King Richard appears to have completely succeeded in conciliating or intimidating her. t
The distrust of Lord Stanley, the detention of his son as hostage, and his communication with Richmond, and ultimate description of Richard, are all historical facts. And Sir Christopher Urswick is an historical person ; he was chaplain to the Countess of Richmond, and
* But there is some confusion. Holinshed (p. 417) makes “Peter Courtenay, Bishop of Exeter, and Sir Edmund Courtenay his brother, by King Henry VII. afterwards created Earl of Devonshire.” Now Peter was of a younger branch, and not brother of Edward, after. wards created Earl of Devon; he had an elder brother
Edmund; yet surely the powerful insurgent must have been the head of the family, to whom the earldom was restored by the new king. Probably both Edward and Edmund took arms.
+ Turner, 495.
employed as a messenger between Richmond and his friends in England :* whose friends he thus enumerates,
“ Sir Walter Herbert, t a renowned soldier ; Sir Gilbert Talbot, I Sir William Stanley, S Oxford, || redoubted Pembroke, Sir James Blount,** and Rise ap Thomas.”
The fifth act opens with Buckingham, on his way to execution, at Salisbury. A note in Boswell, confirmed, as I understand, by local information, states that the execution really took place at Shrewsbury.
We have now Richard in the neighbourhood of Tamworth, to which place he had marched from Milford, and as we have presently both armies in Bosworth field; Richard is accompanied by Norfolk ft and Surry. " K. Rich. Who has descried the number of the
traitors ? • Bosw., 202.
+ I cannot identify him. Son of the second Earl of Shrewsbury and ancestor of the present.
§ Brother of Lord Stanley. H| John de Vere, 13th Earl, who appears in Henry VI. | Jasper Tudor.
** I cannot find this gentleman among the Blounts of Mapledurham ; but see Malone's note in Bosw., 207.
tt John Howard, the first duke of that name. Surry was his son Thomas, so created; the victor of Flodden. Collins, i. 57.
Norf. Six or seven thousand is their utmost
strength. K. Rich. Why, our battalion trebles that account: Besides, the king's name is a tower of strength, Which they of the adverse faction want.”
“ K. Rich. Saddle White Surry for the field to,
Saw'st thou the melancholy Lord Northumberland ?
Rat. Thomas the Earl of Surry, and himself, Much about cock-shut time, from troop to troop, Went through the army, cheering up the soldiers.* K. Rich. So, I am satisfied. Give me a bowl of
wine; I have not that alacrity of spirit Nor cheer of mind, that I was won't to have.”
The private meeting between Richmond and Stanley is from the Chronicle. It took place at the village of Aderston.t
We have now the ghosts :
“The fame went, that Richard had the same night a dreadful and terrible dream ; for it seemed to him,
• Malone says, that the epithet of melancholy was given to Henry, the fourth Earl of Northumberland, because he was ill-affected to Richard, and stood aloof (Bosw., 213). This does not assort with the activity here ascribed to him.
being asleep, that he did see divers images like ter. rible devils, which pulled and haled him, not suffering him to take any quiet or rest. The which strange vision not so suddenly struck his heart with a sudden fear, but it shifted his head and troubled his mind with many busy and dreadful imaginations. For incontinent after, his heart being almost damped, he prognosticated before the doubtful chance of the battle to come; not using the alacrity and mirth of mind and countenance as he was accustomed to do before he came toward the battle. *
Although Richard's address to his companions in arms is suggested by Holinshed, where Richard publicly confessed that for obtaining the crown he committed “a wicked and detestable” act; of which, however, he has repented.
Shakspeare's Richardt makes this confession to himself alone, and in addressing his army, says, “Conscience is but a word that cowards use."
His depreciation of Richmond as a milk-sop, and of his Breton soldiers,
"whom our fathers Have in their own land beaten, bobb’d, and thump’d,” Shakspeare has his usual authority. But in Holinshed, the king appeals to the rectitude of