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and they should send -word of their actions to the A.U. I3U9. King of France, who would at ouce send them great assistance through the sea-ports. All that these lords had proposed they did, for they established the joust of twenty knights against all comers, which was proclaimed to be held at Oxford on a day named. After this festivity had been proclaimed, and all arrangements made, the Earl of Huntingdon came to Windsor, where King Henry held state, before whom he humbled himself very much, as one who would by soft words attract him to this festivity, and earnestly besought him to go there, which request the king, not thinking but that all was well, easity granted, whereat the Earl of Huntingdon was much rejoiced and he did not remain long at court after the said request was granted, and on his return he met the Canon of Robessart, to whom he said: "Canon, prepare "thyself to come to our festivity. I promise thee, if "I meet thee in the lists at the joust, that I will "give it thee well, or thou shalt me." And Sir John de Robessart answered, "By my faith, my lord, "if the king goes to your festivity I shall not fail to "be there." At which reply the earl shook his hand, saying "Thank you," and passed on. Many English knights and esquires, to whoso knowledge this festivity had come, got themselves ready and prepared their body and horse armour to go there, and in the city of London men of all trades were very busy, as the affair required. Now approached the day assigned for this meeting, wherefore the Earl of Huntingdon made known to the Earl of Rutland by his letters how he had been to the king at Windsor, with whom he had done so well that he was taken in so as to be at this meeting. When the Earl of Rutland had looked into these letters he put them in his sleeve with the letters of their conspiracy, to which there were six seals hanging, and in this state, not thinking on what
A.D. 1399. mighfc happen, went to dine with the Duke of York his father, and as he sat down at table placed the letters on the seat next him. The duke his father espied these letters and the seals, and asked his son what letters they were which he had placed there. "My lord," said the earl, "these are not letters which "in any way concern you." Then the duke said, "Now give them to me, I wish to see them." And then the son, who did not dare to disobey the command of his father, gave the letters up to him, which the duke read throughout, and when he had seen their contents he looked at his son fiercely, turning very red, and then examined the seals one after the other, by which he ascertained all the conspirators, and then he hastily commanded his horses to be saddled, and said to his son, "Ah! wicked robber, "thou wert a traitor to King Richard before, and "now wouldst be traitor to King Henry thy nearest "cousin; know, disloyal perjurer, that I have bound "my body and my lands in full Parliament, and I "perceive clearly that thou wouldst cause my death, "but, by Saint George, I would rather thou wert "hanged." Then without waiting for more, the Duke of York mounted his horse to go to Windsor to King Henry to tell him this news and to show him the letters which he had taken from his son. And immediately the Earl of Rutland, who was strong and young, to prevent his father's undertaking, took horse and hurried on so that he came to Windsor a good while before his father, and when he was inside the gate he dismounted, took the keys from the porter, and closed the gate, then went up into the hall, where he saw the king walking about, before whom he knelt with the keys in his bands, crying out for mercy. Whereat the king, greatly astounded, answered and said: "Fair cousin, you have done me no wrong that "I know of." Then the Earl of Rutland told and reluted to the said king the whole affair and enterprise A.D. 1399. abovesaid, and how he and his children were to be treated with those of his Great Council, and how King Richard and his wife were to be liberated and placed again in possession of the kingdom as they had been before; "and for this my most dread lord, "for the offence committed by me against your royal "majesty I cry you mercy, and do besoech you of "your benign grace to pardon me therefore." Then King Henry said to him: "Fair cousin, if I find that "what you have told me is true it will be forgiven "you, but if I find the contrary rest assured that "you will repent it.:' When these things had thus been done and said the Duke of York arrived in the hall and presented his son's letters to the king, who took them and saw hanging from them the six seals, and when he had read them he found the thing to be true as the earl had revealed it to him. Then without saying another word he commanded eight horses only to be saddled and brought to him, which was done. Then the king himself mounted the eighth and took the road to London, and met the mayor, who was coming to him as quickly as he could ride, to tell him the news how that the rebel knights were in the field with eight thousand fighting men; wherefore King Henry hastened on till he came to the Tower of London, where he entered by a back door, which was not usually opened, went into the Tower, and had some angry words with King Richard, addressing him without making him any reverence or salutation with great arrogance: "I have saved your life, which I had "much trouble to do, and now you would have me "murdered by your brother, my brother-in-law, and "his accomplices, the Earl of Kent your nephew, and "the Lord Despencer, but it was ill for you when "you ordered all this." King Richard excused himself very hard, saying as God should help him he
A.D. 1399. knew nothing of this, and did not expect ever again to have any greater state than he had, and that it was quite sufficient for him, and so the matter remained at this point. King Henry departed from the Tower and took up his quarters at Saint John's, where that night he gave order that next day very early they were to bring to Richard of Bordeaux a black horse, a black robe, and black spurs; and commanded that in this manner he should be taken to the Castle of Pomfret to be kept there in prison according to his orders.
How King Richard was taken out of the Tower of
When the morrow came very early King Richard
"am and have always been a good and leal knight,, A.D. 1399. "and that I never did any wrong nor forfeited my "chivalry, and tell him if he wishes me to ride out "and hunt let him send me apparel fit for a good "knight, or otherwise I will not go out nor mount "horse." Then he who had brought the black clothing went in haste to King Henry, to whom he gave the message in the manner that you have heard; whereupon the King had a splendid dress and gilt spurs delivered to the esquire, and also a sword, a horn, and a boar-spear, commanding that the horn should be hung round King Richard's neck, and the boar-spear given to him to carry in his hand, so that he might not be recognised by the people of London, and that it should not be known what had become of him. The esquire at the command of King Henry brought to King Richard the apparel such as you have heard, and he put on the robe, fastened on the gilt spurs, and himself took the horn and hung it round his neck, mounted his horse, and took the boar-spear, and then set out from the Tower of London, accompanied by those who had to conduct him, and rode through the city of London in the guise of a forester or poacher, and finally they brought him to Pomfret Castle, where he was piteously murdered, as you will afterwards hear.
How King Henry assembled his men-at-arms to thwart the enterprise of his enemies. Chapter VIH.
King Henry, who, the day before, had spoken with King Richard in the Tower of London, as you have heard, and had caused him to be brought to Pomfret to be kept in prison, considered that, according to the news which had been related to him by his cousin the Earl of Rutland, it was his business to look to his