A.D. 1399. iiffairs, Ho he sent for the Mayor of London to come to him with all his most special friends, to whom he related the state of the whole affair and how it was going on, whereat the Londoners were much surprised, and said to the King: "Sire, you must send for your "men and provide against the troubles before they "multiply any more. We have made you king, and "king you shall remain, let who will dislike it, or "may wish to injure you." The King immediately cause<l letters to be written with all speed, and messengers and heralds were set to work to rouse up the knights, esquires, and mercenaries, and he wrote to the Earl of Northumberland, his constable, and the Earl of Westmorland, his marshal, and to all the knights and esquires in Essex, in Lincoln, and everywhere where he thought he had supporters, and so all those who were sent for came to the King as soon as they could.

How the conspiring lords conducted themselves, fearing to be accused and discovered. Chapter IX.

The above-named earls of Huntingdon and Salisbury, with others of the confederacy, seeing that there was no news nor appearance of anybody coming to their festivity, even those who had promised, feared that some one of the conspirators had accused them, suspecting especially the Earl of Rutland, of whom they had no news since he had been written to, so they took counsel together that they should ride on toward London, passing by Windsor, where they thought to find King Henry and his court. They took the field, about four hundred lances and. six thousand archers, taking the road towards Windsor, and marched on till they arrived there, and entered the castle, where they found not a soul, excepting the porter who had the charge of it; but if they had come four hours sooner they would have found there Arj. 1399« King Henry with only his family, and they were very sorry when they saw that they had failed ; whereupon they took their road, drawing towards the outskirts of London, saying amongst themselves that it could not be but that there were some Londoners who loved King Richard and would go over to their party. They came towards Collenbrun [? Colnbrook] anil took up their quarters that day at Brentford, which is seven miles from London, but never a Londoner went over to them, but they remained in their city. When the lords of the conspiracy saw how things were, they broke up their camp in the morning, and went to take up quarters at Saint Albans, a large town and abbey, where they stayed one day, and on the morrow they marched to Berkhamstead,1 and they went about the country and caused it to be given out to the common people everywhere they passed that this Magdelain whom they brought with them in regal state was King Richard. They came to a town which is called Cirencester,2 in which was a bailiff of King Henry's, a prudent and wise man, in whom he had great confidence, to guard well the town and the surrounding country. And when these three earls and the Lord Despencer were come to Cirencester, they took up their quarters there, and remained one night, peaceably enough, for the bailiff was not strong enough to fight them, so he dissembled as well as he could. When it was morning, the Earl of Salisbury and the Lord Despencer parted with the Earls of Huntingdon and Kent, saying that they would ride still further to get many men to their side, and they went to sec the Lord of Berkeley and to scout along the river Severn, but they were badly advised to leave one another, for by that means they became weaker.

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A-D. 1399. The Earl of Huntingdon, who had remained at Cirencester, wished to treat with the bailiff of the town and the inhabitants, so he told them that King Richard was liberated, and that they should see him within two days; but the bailiff, who well knew the contrary, withdrew to his home, and kept himself there without coming to any agreement or obeying these lords, wherefore the Earl of Huntingdon and his accomplices were much angered, and repented of having so soon let their men go. These lords then, who were quartered in the best hostelry in the town of Cirencester, where they thought themselves quite safe, that is to say, the Duke of Exeter, Earl of Huntingdon, the Duke of Surrey, his nephew, Earl of Kent, the Earl of Salisbury, and the Lord Despencer, who had returned from their journey, and also a very noble English baron called Sir Thomas Blount, and Magdelain, whom they were passing off as King Richard, and another knight named Sir Bennett [Seely],1 were all quartered together, but the greater part of their men were encamped in fields, because they could not get quarters in the town, and thej' were left there without any order or commander, which was great folly on the part of these lords, for truth to say, all the flower of English Chivalry was there. When the Duke of Surrey, who had quartered himself in the town with his uncle the Earl of Huntingdon, knew the answer of the bailiff of Cirencester, which was very unfavourable to them, he, thinking he could manage better, sent for this bailiff to come to him, and commanded him to get together the greatest number of men-at-arms and bowmen possible, to aid and succourKing Richard, which men he was to cause to come at break of day, as well infantry as cavalry.

i This name is supplied from the Chronique de la traison et mort du rot/ Richart <TEnghterre.

Of the great daughter which took place at Cirencester. How some of these lords escaped, and some were cruelly slain, Chapter X.

While these tilings were happening, there arrived, A.D. 1399. in the hostel of the above-named lords, an archer of King Henry's bodyguard, who was accustomed to lodge there, who had a fire lighted in a room apart; but the Duke of Surrey being informed of his coming, entered the room, where he found him sitting before the fire, and asked him from what place he came. The archer, who recognised him, replied: "My lord, I come from "Wales, whither I had been sent by King Henry." At these words the duke tore off the device of the said king which the archer wore, and threw it into the fire, saying, "Behold what I do in contempt of "Henry of Lancaster, and thou, traitor, comest to be "a spy over us, but thou shalt be dragged hence and "hanged." Then the bailiff of Cirencester, who was present, begged the duke and the lords that the archer might be delivered over to him to have him hanged, and he was given up to him, and he brought him into his house, where he made him good cheer, and then the archer said to the bailiff, who was called Constable, because he had the government of this part of the country for King Henry: "My lord, I "beseech and require you, on the part of our lord King "Henry, that you keep these lords and altogether detain "them, until the king be informed thereof," which the Constable willingly agreed to do, for he had previously intended to do so; wherefore he secretly assembled the bravest men of the town, to the number of fortyeight archers, with whom he entered the hostel where the lords were iruartered, and, approaching the Duke of Surrey, said: "My lord, I lay my hand on you,

A.D. 1399." on behalf of King Henry, ordering that none of "you leave this hostel until you have all had speech "with King Henry." Then the duke, much inflamed with anger and rage, rose to his feet, and gave the Constable a buffet, saying: "Villain, how art thou so "bold and false as to presume thus! by the faith "which I owe to Saint George, the day is coming "soon when thou wilt be hanged and strangled. "Villain, look thou here on thy sovereign lord King "Richard, how canst thou be so outrageous as to do "this in his presence! Beg for mercy of the king." The Constable, feeling himself insulted, struck the Duke of Surrey on the face, and then commenced a disturbance and quarrel between the people of the town and the strangers. "Up, up," said the Constable to his men and to the common people, "I "command you, on behalf of King Henry, to help "me to take all these lords, his enemies." Then commenced the fight, and the archers began to draw swiftly, and the Duke of Surrey was wounded by an arrow, and the Earl of Salisbury and some other lords were killed fighting. But the Earl of Huntingdon, King Richard's brother, the Earl of Gloucester, the Lord Despencer, and Magdelain, seeing the people of the town thus aroused, and that there were not enough men of their party to resist, rushed out of the hostel by a window, and set fire to the town in three or four places, thinking that the townspeople, in order to subdue the fire, would quit the fight and combat in the said hostel where the lords were in great danger, for the stairs were so narrow that they could only defend themselves with two in front. When the Earl of Huntingdon and his companions saw that the townspeople took no heed of the fire, but continued fighting to capture or kill them, they got out of the town as well as they could, and went where they thought to find the main body of their

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