229. PAPIST REBELLIONS
And thus, having brought Bishop Bonner home to his own house, there to leave him awhile, to take his ease in his own lodging till we return to him again, we will, in the mean time, make a little intercourse into Cornwall and Devonshire, to discourse some part of the disordered and disloyal doings of those men against their so meek and excellent a prince, having no cause ministered thereunto; yea, having cause rather to yield praise and thanks to the Lord for such a quiet and peaceable prince in his mercy given unto them. But such is the condition of unquiet natures, that they cannot skill of peace: and where due discretion lacketh, there lewd disposed persons cannot tell when they be well. Again, some be so crooked and so perversely given, that the more courteously they be treated, the worse they are; and when, by honest diligence, they list not to get their living, by public disturbance of commonwealths they think to thrive. And so seemed it to fare with this seditious people of Cornwall and Devonshire, who, having so good and virtuous a king, that if they should have sought him, as Diogenes, they say, did seek for a man with a candle, a meeker and better sovereign they could not have found, a crueller they well deserved; yet were they not with him contented, but, contrary to all order, reason, nature, and loyalty, advanced themselves in a rebellious conspiracy against him, and against his proceedings, through the pernicious instigation, first (as it seemeth) of certain popish priests, who, grudging and disdaining against the injunctions and godly order of reformation set forward by the king, and especially mourning to see their old popish Church of Rome to decay, ceased not, by all sinister and subtle means, first under God's name and the king's, and under colour of religion, to persuade the people; then, to gather sides, to assemble in companies, and to gather captains; and at last to burst out in rank rebellion.
Neither lacked there among the lay sort some as seditiously disposed as they to mischief and madness, as well gentlemen as others. Of whom the chief gentlemen captains were, Humfrey Arundel, esquire, governor of the Mount, James Rosogan, John Rosogan, John Pain, Thomas Underhil, John Soleman, William Segar. Of priests who were principal stirrers, and some of them governors of the camps, and afterwards executed, there were to the number of eight, whose names were Robert Bochim, John Tompson, Roger Barret, John Wolcock, William Asa, James Mourton, John Barrow, Richard Benet, besides a multitude of other popish priests, which to the same faction was adjoined. The number of the whole rebellion, speaking with the least, mounted to little less than ten thousand stout traitors.
These, hearing first of the commotions which began about the same time in other parts to broil, as in Oxfordshire, Yorkshire, and especially in Norfolk and Suffolk, began to take therein some courage, hoping that they should have well fortified the same quarrel. But afterwards, they, perceiving how the mischievous mutterings and enterprises of their conspiracy did suddenly fail, either being prevented by time, or repressed by power; or that their cause, being but only about plucking down of enclosures, and enlarging of commons, was divided from theirs, so that either they would not or could not join their aid together, then began they again to quail, and their courage to abate. Notwithstanding, forasmuch as they had gone so far that they thought there was no shrinking back, they fell to new devices and inventions, for the best furtherance of their desperate purposes.
Their first intent was, after they had spoiled their own country most miserably, to invade the city of Exeter, and so, consequently, all other parts of the realm. But first, for Exeter, they gaped, the gates whereof twice they burned, but gained nothing saving only gunshot, whereof they lacked no plenty. Being put from Exeter, they fell on spoiling and robbing, where or whatsoever they might catch. At length, laying their traitorous heads together, they consulted upon certain articles to be sent up. But herein such diversity of heads and wits was amongst them, that for every kind of brain there was one manner of article; so that there neither appeared any consent in their diversity, nor yet any constancy in their agreement. Some seemed more tolerable: others altogether unreasonable: some would have no justice: some would have no state of gentlemen. The priests ever harped upon one string, to ring in the bishop of Rome into England again, and to halloo home Cardinal Pole their countryman.
After much ado, and little to the purpose, at last a few sorry articles were agreed upon, to be directed unto the king, with the names of certain set thereunto, the copy whereof here ensueth.
The articles of the commons of Devonshire and Cornwall, sent to the king.
"First, Forasmuch as man, except he be born of water and the Holy Ghost, cannot enter into the kingdom of God, and forasmuch as the gates of heaven be not opened without his blessed sacrament of baptism, therefore we will that our curates shall minister this sacrament at all times of need, as well on the week-days, as on the holy-days.
"Item, We will have our children confirmed of the bishop, whensoever we shall within the diocese resort unto him.
"Item, Forasmuch as we constantly believe, that after the priest hath spoken the words of consecration, being at mass, there celebrating and consecrating the same, there is very really the body and blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ, God and man, and that no substance of bread and wine remaineth after, but the very selfsame body that was born of the Virgin Mary, and was given upon the cross for our redemption; therefore, we will have mass celebrated, as it hath been in times past, without any man communicating with the priests; forasmuch as many, rudely presuming unworthily to receive the same, put no difference between the Lord's body and other kind of meat, some saying that it is bread before and after, some saying that it is profitable to no man except he receive it; with many other abused terms.
"Item, We will have in our churches reservation.
"Item, We will have holy bread and holy water, in remembrance of Christ's precious body and blood.
"Item, We will that our priests shall sing or say, with an audible voice, God's service in the choir of the parish churches, and not God's service to be set forth like a Christmas play.
"Item, Forasmuch as priests be men dedicated to God, for ministering and celebrating the blessed sacraments and preaching of God's word, we will that they shall live chaste without marriage, as St. Paul did, being the elect and chosen vessel of God, saying unto all honest priests, Be ye followers of me.
"Item, We will that the six articles which our sovereign lord, King Henry the Eighth, set forth in his latter days, shall be used, and so taken as they were at that time.
"Item, We pray God save King Edward, for we be his, both body and goods."
A message or answer sent by the king's Majesty to certain of his people assembled in Devonshire.
"Although knowledge hath been given to us and our dearest uncle, Edward, duke of Somerset, governor of our person, and protector of all our realms, dominions, and subjects, and to the rest of our privy council, of divers assemblies made by you, which ought of duty to be our loving subjects, against all order, law, and otherwise than ever any loving and kind subjects have attempted against their natural and liege sovereign lord: yet we have thought it meet, at this very first time, not to condemn or reject you, as we might justly do, but to use you as our subjects; thinking that the devil hath not that power in you, to make you, of natural born Englishmen, so suddenly to become enemies to your own native country, or, of our subjects to make you traitors, or, under pretence to relieve yourselves, to destroy yourselves, your wives, children, lands, houses, and all other commodities of this your life. This we say: we trust that, although ye be by ignorance seduced, ye will not be upon knowledge obstinate: and though some amongst you (as ever there is some cockle amongst good corn) forget God, neglect their prince, esteem not the state of the realm, but, as careless desperate men, delight in sedition, tumult, and wars; yet, nevertheless, the greater part of you will hear the voice of us your natural prince, and will, by wisdom and counsel, be warned, and cease your evils in the beginning, whose ends will be, even by Almighty God's order, your own destruction. Wherefore, as to you our subjects, by ignorance seduced, we speak, and be content to use our princely authority like a father to his children, for this time, to admonish you of your faults, not to punish them; to put you in remembrance of your duties, not to avenge your forgetfulness.
"First, your disorder to rise in multitudes, to assemble yourselves against others our loving subjects, to array yourselves to the war: who amongst you all can answer for the same to Almighty God, charging you to obey us in all things? or how can any English good heart answer us, our laws, and the rest of our very loving and faithful subjects,who, indeed, by their obedience, make our honour, estate, and degree?
"Ye use our name in your writings, and abuse the same against ourself. What injury herein do you us, to call those which love us to your evil purposes by the authority of our name! God hath made us your king by his ordinance and providence, by our blood and inheritance, by lawful succession and our coronation; but not to this end, as you use our name. We are your most natural sovereign lord and king, Edward the Sixth, to rule you, to preserve you, to save you from all your outward enemies, to see our laws well ministered, every man to have his own, to suppress disordered people, to correct traitors, thieves, pirates, robbers, and such like, yea, to keep our realms from foreign princes, from the malice of the Scots, of Frenchmen, of the bishop of Rome. Thus, good subjects! our name is written; thus it is honoured and obeyed; this majesty it hath by God's ordinance, not by man's. So that of this your offence we cannot write too much; and yet doubt not but this is enough from a prince to all reasonable people, from a king to all kind-hearted and loving subjects, from a puissant king of England to every natural Englishman.
"Your pretences which you say move you to do this, and wherewith you seek to excuse this disorder, we assure you, be either all false, or so vain, that we doubt not but, after ye shall hereby understand the truth thereof, ye will all, with one voice, acknowledge yourselves ignorantly led, and by error seduced: and if there be any that will not, assure you the same be rank traitors, enemies of our crown, seditious people, heretics, papists, or such as care not for what cause they seek to provoke an insurrection, so they may do it; nor indeed can wax so rich with their own labours, and with peace, as they can do with spoils, with wars, with robberies, and such like; yea, with the spoil of your own goods, with the living of your labours, with the sweat of your bodies, the food of your own households, wives, and children. Such they be, as for a time use pleasant persuasions to you, and, in the end, will cut your throats, for your own goods.
"You be borne in hand, that your children, though necessity chance, shall not be christened but upon the holy-days. How false this is, learn you of us: our book which we have set forth by the free consent of our whole parliament, in the English tongue, teacheth you the contrary, even in the first leaf, yea, the first side of the first leaf of that part which treateth of baptism. Good subjects! (for to others we speak not,) look and be not deceived. They which have put this false opinion into your ears, they mean not the christening of children, but the destruction of you our christened subjects. Be this known unto you, our honour is so much, that we may not be found faulty of our word. Prove it; if by our laws ye may not christen your children, upon necessity, every day or hour in the week, then might you be offended; but, seeing you may do it, how can you believe them which teach to the contrary? What think you they mean in the rest, which move you to break your obedience against us your king and sovereign, upon these so false tales and persuasions in so evident a matter? Therefore you all which will acknowledge us your sovereign lord, and which will hear the voice of us your natural king, may easily perceive how ye be deceived, and how subtlety traitors and papists, with their falsehood, seek to achieve and bring their purpose to pass with your help. Every traitor will be glad to dissemble his treason, and feed it secretly; every papist his popery, and nourish it inwardly; and, in the end, make you, our subjects, partakers of treason and popery, which, in the beginning, was pretended a commonwealth and holiness.
"And how are you seduced by them, which put in your heads, That the blessed sacrament of Christ's body should not differ from other common bread! If our laws, proclamations, and statutes be all to the contrary, why shall any private man persuade you against them? We do, ourself in our own heart, our council in all their profession, our laws and statutes in all purposes, our good subjects in all their doings, most highly esteem that sacrament, and use the communion thereof to our most comfort. We make so much difference thereof from other common bread, that we think no profit of other bread, but to maintain our bodies; but of this blessed bread we take the very food of our souls to everlasting life. How think you, good subjects! shall not we, being your prince, your lord, your king by God's appointment, with truth more prevail, than certain evil persons with open falsehood? Shall any seditious person persuade you, that the sacrament is despised, which is by our laws, by ourself, by our council, by all our good subjects, esteemed, used, participated, and daily received? If ever ye were seduced, if ever deceived, if ever traitors were believed, if ever papists poisoned good subjects, it is now. It is not the christening of children, not the reverence of the sacrament, not the health of your souls that they shoot at, good subjects! It is sedition, it is high treason, it is your destruction they seek; how craftily, how piteously, how cunningly soever they do it. With one rule judge ye the end, which of force must come of your purposes. Almighty God forbiddeth, upon pain of everlasting damnation, disobedience to us your king; and in his place we rule in earth. If we should be slow, would God err? If your offence be towards God, think you it pardoned without repentance? Is God's judgment mutable? Your pain is damnation, your Judge is incorruptible, your fault is most evident.
"Likewise are ye evil informed in divers other articles, as for confirmation of your children, for the mass, for the manner of your service of matins and even-song. Whatsoever is therein ordered, hath been long debated and consulted by many learned bishops, doctors, and other men of great learning in this realm concluded: in nothing were so much labour and time spent of late time, nothing so fully ended.
"As for the service in the English tongue, it hath manifest reasons for it. And yet, perchance, it seemeth to you a new service, and indeed is none other but the old. The selfsame words in English, which were in Latin, saving a few things taken out, so fond, that it had been a shame to have heard them in English, as all they can judge which list to report the truth. The difference is, we meant godly, that you, our subjects, should understand in English, being our natural country tongue, that which was heretofore spoken in Latin; then, serving only for them which understood Latin, and now, for all you which be born English. How can this with reason offend any reasonable man, that he shall understand what any other saith, and so consent with the speaker? If the service in the church was good in Latin, it remaineth good in English; for nothing is altered, but to speak with knowledge, that which was spoken with ignorance, and to let you understand what is said for you, to the intent you may further it with your own devotion: an alteration to the better, except knowledge be worse than ignorance. So that whosoever hath moved you to mislike this order, can give you no reason, nor answer yours, if ye understood it.
"Wherefore, you our subjects! remember, we speak to you, being ordained your prince and king by Almighty God: if anywise we could advance God's honour more than we do, we would do it. And see that ye become subject to God's ordinances, obeying us your prince, and learn of them which have authority to teach you, which have power to rule you, and will execute our justice if we be provoked. Learn not of them whose fruits be nothing but wilfulness, disobedience, obstinacy, dissimulation, and destruction of the realm.
"For the mass, we assure you, no small study nor travail hath been spent by all the learned clergy therein; and, to avoid all contention; it is brought even to the very use as Christ left it, as the apostles used it, as holy fathers delivered it: indeed somewhat altered from that the popes of Rome, for their lucre, brought it to. And although ye may hear the contrary of some popish evil men, yet our majesty, which, for our honour, may not he blemished or stained, assureth you, that they deceive you, abuse you, and blow these opinions into your head, to finish their own purposes.
"And so, likewise, judge you of confirmation of children; and let them answer you this one question: Think they, that a child christened is damned, because it dieth before bishoping? They be confirmed at the time of discretion, to learn that which they professed, in the lack thereof by baptism; taught in age, that which they received in infancy: and yet, no doubt but they be saved by baptism, not by confirmation; and made Christ's by christening, and taught how to continue by confirmation. Wherefore, in the whole, mark, good subjects! how our doctrine is founded upon true learning, and theirs upon shameless errors.
"To conclude; besides our gentle manner of information to you, whatsoever is contained in our book, either for baptism, sacrament, mass, confirmation, and service in the church, is by our parliament established, by the whole clergy agreed, yea, by the bishops of the realm devised; and, further, by God's word confirmed. And how dare ye trust, yea, how dare ye give ear without trembling, to any singular person to disallow a parliament, a subject to persuade against our majesty, a man of his singular arrogancy against the determination of the bishops and all the clergy, any invented argument against the word of God?
"But now you, our subjects! we resort to a greater matter of your blindness, of your unkindness and great unnaturalness; and such an evil, that if we thought it had not begun of ignorance, and continued by persuasion of certain traitors amongst you, which we think few in number, but in their doings busy; we could not be persuaded but to use our sword, and do justice, and as we be ordained by God; that is, to redress your errors by avengement. But love and zeal yet overcome our just anger; but how long that will be, God knoweth, in whose hand our heart is; and rather for your own causes, being our christened subjects, we would ye were rather persuaded than vanquished, informed than forced, taught than overthrown, quietly pacified than rigorously persecuted.
"Ye require to have the statute of the six articles revived, and know ye what ye require? or know ye what ease ye have with the loss of them? They were laws made, but quickly repented; too bloody they were to be borne of our people, and yet at the first, indeed, made of some necessity. O subjects, how are ye trapped by subtle persons! We of pity, because they were bloody, took them away; and you now of ignorance, will ask them again. You know full well, that they helped us to extend rigour, and gave us cause to draw our sword very often; they were as a whetstone to our sword, and for your causes we left to use them. And since our mercy moved us to write our laws with milk and equity, how be ye blinded to ask them in blood!
"But, leaving this manner of reasoning, and resorting to the truth of our authority, we let you wit, the same hath been annulled by our parliament, with great rejoicing of our subjects, and is not now to be called by subjects in question. Dare then any of you, with the name of a subject, stand against an act of parliament, a law of the whole realm? What is our power, if laws should be thus neglected? Yea, what is your surety, if laws be not kept? Assure yourselves most surely, that we of no earthly thing under the heaven make such a reputation, as we do of this one thing: to have our law obeyed, and this cause of God, which we have taken in hand, to be thoroughly maintained: from the which we will never remove a hair's breadth, nor give place to any creature living, much less to any subject; but therein will spend our own royal person, our crown, treasure, realm, and all our state; whereof we assure you of our high honour. For herein indeed resteth our honour, herein standeth our kingdom, herein do all kings acknowledge us a king. And shall any of you dare breathe or think against our honour, our kingdom, or crown?
"In the end of this your request (as we be given to understand) ye would have them stand in force until our full age. To this, we think, if ye knew what ye spake, ye would never have uttered that motion, nor ever have given breath to such a thought. For what think you of our kingdom? Be we of less authority for our age? Be we not your king now, as we shall be? or shall ye be subjects hereafter, and now are ye not? Have not we the right we shall have? If we would suspend and hang our doings in doubt until our full age, ye must first know, that as a king, we have no difference of years or time, but as a natural man and creature of God, we have youth, and, by his sufferance, shall have age. We are your rightful king, your liege lord, your king anointed, your king crowned, the sovereign king of England, not by our age, but by God's ordinance; not only when we shall be of twenty-one years, but when we are of ten years. We possess our crown, not by years, but by the blood and descent from our father King Henry the Eighth. You are our subjects, because we be your king; and rule we will, because God hath willed. It is as great a fault in us not to rule, as in a subject not to obey.
"If it be considered, they which move this matter, if they durst utter themselves, would deny our kingdom. But our good subjects know their prince, and will increase, not diminish, his honour; enlarge, not abate, his power; acknowledge, not defer, his kingdom to certain years. All is one, to speak against our crown, and to deny our kingdom, as to require that our laws may be broken unto twenty-one years. Be we not your crowned, anointed, and established king? Wherein, then, be we of less majesty, of less authority, or less state, than were our progenitors, kings of this realm, except your unkindness, your unnaturalness, will diminish our estimation? We have hitherto, since the death of our father, by the good advice and counsel of our dear and entirely beloved uncle, kept our state, maintained our realm, preserved our honour, defended our people from our enemies; we have hitherto been feared and dreaded of our enemies, yea, of princes, kings, and nations; yea, herein we be nothing inferior to any our progenitors, (which grace we acknowledge to be given us from God,) and how else, but by good obedience of our people, good counsel of our magistrates, due execution of our laws? By authority of our kingdom, England hitherto hath gained honour; during our reign, it hath won of the enemy, and not lost.
"It hath been marvelled, that we, of so young years, have reigned so nobly, so royally, so quietly. And how chanceth it that you, our subjects of that our country of Devonshire, will give the first occasion to slander this our realm of England, to give courage to the enemy, to note our realm of the evil of rebellion? to make it a prey to our old enemies? to diminish our honour, which God hath given, our father left, our good uncle and council preserved unto us? What greater evil could ye commit, than even now, when our foreign enemy in Scotland, and upon the sea, seeketh to invade us, to rise in this manner against our law? to provoke so justly our wrath, to ask our vengeance, and to give us occasion to spend that force upon you, which we meant to bestow upon our enemies? to begin to slay you with that sword which we drew against the Scots and other enemies? to make a conquest of our own people, which otherwise should have been of the whole realm of Scotland?
"Thus far, ye see, we have descended from our high majesty for love, to consider you in your base and simple ignorance, and have been content to send you an instruction like a fatherly prince, who, of justice, might have sent you your destruction like a king to rebels. And now we let you know, that as ye see our mercy abundant, so, if ye provoke us further, we swear to you by the living God, by whom we reign, ye shall feel the power of the same God in our sword, which how mighty it is, no subject knoweth; how puissant it is, no private man can judge; how mortal it is, no English heart dare think. But surely, surely, as your lord and prince, your only king and master, we say to you, Repent yourselves, and take our mercy without delay; or else, we will forthwith extend our princely power, and execute our sharp sword against you, as against very infidels and Turks, and rather adventure our own royal person, state, and power, than the same shall not be executed.
"And, if ye will prove the example of our mercy, learn of certain which lately did arise, pretending some griefs, and yet, acknowledging their offences, have not only received most humbly their pardon, but feel also, by our order, to whom all public order only pertaineth, redress devised for their griefs. In the end we admonish you of your duties to God, whom ye shall answer in the day of the Lord; and of your duties towards us, whom ye shall answer by our order; and take our mercy whilst God so inclineth us; lest, when ye shall he constrained to ask, we shall be too much hardened in our heart to grant it you; and whereas ye shall now hear of mercy -- mercy and life! -- ye shall then hear of justice -- justice and death!
"Given at Richmond, the 8th day of July, the third year of our reign."
Besides the articles of these Devonshire men above mentioned, the said rebels sent up also, not long after, a supplication to the king, whereunto answer again was made by the king's learned council, which here, to make short, leisure serveth not to rehearse.
Over and besides, to behold the malicious working of those popish priests, to kindle more the spark of sedition in the people's hearts, what bruits and rumours did they raise up against the king and his council, making the vulgar multitude to believe, that they should be made to pay, first for their sheep, then for their geese and pigs also, and other like things; and whatsoever they had in store, or should put in their mouths, they must fine, there-for to the king! of all which matter never a word was either thought or meant. But this seemed matter fit for such priests, whereby to set the prince and his subjects together by the ears.
Against this seditious company of rebels, was appointed and sent by the king and his council, Sir John Russell, knight, lord privy seal, as lieutenant-general of the king's army, on whom chiefly depended the charge and achievance of that voyage in the west parts. To him also were adjoined, as in part of ordinary council in those affairs under him, Sir William Herbert, Sir Johan Pawlet, Sir Hugh Pawlet, Sir Thomas Speck, with the Lord Gray, and others beside.
Thus the said lord privy seal, accompanied with the Lord Gray, advancing his power against the rebels, although in number of soldiers not equally furnished like to the others, yet, through the gracious assistance of the Lord's help, fighting in his cause, and giving the adventure against the enemy, about the latter end of July, A. D. 1599, gave them the repulse; who, notwithstanding, recovering themselves again with such stomachs as they had, encountered the second time with the aforesaid lord privy seal, about the beginning of August following, by whom, through the Lord's mighty power, they, with their whole cause of false religion, were utterly vanquished and overthrown.
In the which victory a great work of God's mighty power undoubtedly did appear; for, although the number of the rebels did surmount, in great quantity, the power and strength of the lord privy seal, and their stomachs were so fiercely set upon all desperate adventures; and though the power of Sir William Herbert (being the same time at Bristol) was not yet presently come, which should have joined with the lord privy seal; yet, all this notwithstanding, the goodness of the Lord so wrought on the king's behalf, more than any industry of man, (which in all respects in handling that matter was very raw, and far behind,) that the victory fell to the king's part, under the valiant guiding of the aforesaid lord privy seal; so that the popish rebels not only lost the field, but a great part of them also lost their lives, lying there slain miserably in the chase, to the compass of two miles' space. Where also were taken and apprehended the chieftains and ringleaders of that mischievous dance, whereof the principal were Humfrey Arundel, Berry, Thomas Underhil, John Soleman, William Segar; Tempson and Barret, two priests; Henry Bray and Henry Lee, two mayors; with divers others more above specified; all which, accordingly, afterwards were executed.
These rebels, to make their part more sure by the help and presence of their consecrated god and maker, brought with them, into the battle, the pix under his canopy; and instead of an altar, where he was hanging before, set him now riding in a cart. Neither were there lacking masses, crosses, banners, candlesticks, with holy bread also, and holy water plenty, to defend them from devils, and all adversary power; which, in the end, neither could help their friends, nor yet could save themselves from the hands of their enemies, but, eftsoons, both the consecreted god, and all the trumpery about him, were taken in the cart, and there lay all in the dust, leaving to them a notable lesson of bitter experience, how to put their confidence hereafter in no such vain idols, but only in the true living God and immortal Maker, to be served according to his prescribed word; and that only in the faith of his Son, and not after their own dreaming fantasies.
The story whereof putteth me also in remembrance of another like popish field called Musselborough field, fought in Scotland the year before this, where the Scots likewise encamping themselves against the lord protector, and the king's power sent into Scotland, did, in semblable wise, bring with them to the battle the consecrated gods of their altars, with masses, crosses, banners, and all their popish stuff of idolatry; having great affiance, by virtue thereof, to have a great day against the English army, as indeed, in man's judgment, it might seem not unlike. For the number of the Scots' army so far exceeded ours, and they were so appointed with their pikes in the first front against our horsemen, (which gave the first onset,) that our men were fain to recule, not without the loss of divers gentlemen. Notwithstanding, the mighty arm of the Lord so turned the victory, that the Scots, in the end, with all their masses, pixes, and idolatrous trinkets, were put to the worse: of whom in that field were slain between thirteen and fourteen thousand, and not passing a hundred Englishmen. The cause of this was the promise of the said Scots, made before to King Henry, for the marriage of the young Scottish queen to King Edward, which promise the said Scots afterwards brake, and paid thereafter.
In the which victory this is also to be noted, that the same day and hour when the images were burned openly in London, the Scots were put to flight in Musselborough, as is credibly noted in records.
During this hurly-burly amongst the popish rebels in Cornwall and Devonshire, the like commotion at the same time, by such like popish priests as Holmes and his fellows, began to gender in the parts of Oxford and Buckingham; but that was soon appeased by the Lord Gray, who, coming down that way into Devonshire, chased the rebels to their houses; of whom two hundred were taken, and a dozen of the ringleaders delivered unto him, whereof certain were after executed.
In Norfolk and parts thereabout, albeit the original of their tumultuous stirring was not for the like cause, yet the obstinate hearts of that unruly multitude seemed no less bent upon mischief, to disturb public peace, which was also in the month of July, the year abovesaid. For repression of which rebellion, first was sent the lord marquis of Northampton, with special instruction to avoid the fight; and so, by order, was appointed with a number of horse to keep the field and passages, whereby they, being stopped from victual, might the sooner he brought to acknowledge their folly, and to seek their pardon; who then, following other policy than by order was given, came and pinned himself within the city of Norwich, which afterwards they were fain to abandon, the rebels pressing upon the city so on every side, that at length they obtained the same. Nevertheless, in all that conflict there were but a hundred on both sides slain, and otherwise no great loss, but only the loss of the Lord Sheffield.
Then was sent down against them the earl of Warwick, with sufficient force and number of soldiers, besides the convoy of two thousand Almains, by whom the rude and confused rabble were there overthrown and slain, to the number, as is supposed, of four thousand at the least: and, in fine, both the Kets, chief stirrers and authors of that commotion, were taken and put to execution, and one of them hanged up in chains.
Moreover, besides these inordinate uproars and insurrections above mentioned, about the latter end of the said month of July the same year, which was 1549, another like stir or commotion began at Seamer, in the North Riding of Yorkshire, and continued in the East Riding of the same, and there ended. The principal doers and raisers up of this insurrection were one William Ombler of East Allerton, yeoman; and Thomas Dale, parish clerk of Seamer; with one Stevenson of Seamer, neighbour to Dale, and nephew to Ombler. Which Stevenson was a mean or messenger between the said Ombler and Dale, being before not acquainted together, and dwelling seven miles one from the other; who at last, by the travail of the said Stevenson and their own evil disposition, inclined to ungraciousness and mischief, knowing before one the other's mind by secret conference, were brought to talk together on St. James's day, A. D. 1549.
The causes moving them to raise this rebellion, were these: First and principally, their traitorous hearts, grudging at the king's most honourable proceedings, in advancing and reforming the true honour of God, and his religion. Another cause also was, for trusting to a blind and a fantastical prophecy, wherewith they were seduced, thinking the same prophecy should shortly come to pass, by hearing the rebellions of Norfolk, Devonshire, and other places. The tenor of which prophecy, and purpose together of the traitors, was, "That there should no king reign in England; that the noblemen and gentlemen should be destroyed, and the realm should be ruled by four governors, to be elected and appointed by the commons holding a parliament; in a commotion to begin at the south and north seas of England," &c.: supposing that this their rebellion in the north, and the other of the Devonshire men in the west, meeting (as they intended) at one place, should be the mean how to compass this their traitorous devilish device. And therefore, laying their studies together, how they might find out more company to join with them in that detestable purpose, and so set forward this device they framed, as to stir in two places, the one distant seven miles from the other; and, at the first rush, to kill and destroy such gentlemen and men of substance about them, as were favourers of the king's proceedings, or which would resist them. But, first of all, for the more speedy raising of men, they devised to burn beacons, and thereby to bring the people together, as though it were to defend the sea-coasts; and, having the ignorant people assembled, then to pour out their poison; first, beginning with the rudest and poorest sort, such as they thought were pricked with poverty, and were unwilling to labour, and therefore the more ready to follow the spoil of rich men's goods, blowing into their heads that God's service was laid aside, and new inventions, neither good nor godly, put in place; and so, feeding them with fair promises to reduce into the church again their old ignorance and idolatry, they thought, by that means soonest, to allure them to rage and run with them in this commotion. And furthermore, to the intent they might give the more terror to the gentlemen at their first rising, lest they should be resisted, they devised that some should be murdered in churches, some in their houses, some in serving the king in commission, and others as they could be caught; and to pick quarrels with them for alteration of service on the holy-days. And thus was the platform cast of their device, according as afterwards, by the confession at their examinations, it was testified, and remaineth in true record.
Thus they being together agreed, Ombler and Dale, and others by their secret appointment, so laboured the matter in the parishes of Seamer and Wintringham, and in the towns about, that they were infected with the poison of this confederacy in such sort, that it was easy to understand whereunto they would incline, if a commotion were begun. The accomplishment thereof did shortly follow; for, although by the words of one drunken fellow of that conspiracy, named Calvered, at the alehouse in Wintringham, some suspicion of that rebellion began to be smelled before by the lord president and gentlemen in those parts, and so prevented in that place where the rebels thought to begin; yet they gave not over so, but drew to another place at Seamer, by the sea-coast; and there, by night, rode to the beacon at Saxton, and set it on fire. And so, gathering together a rude rout of rascals out of the towns near about, being in a stir, Ombler, Thomas Dale, Barton, and Robert Dale, hasted forthwith with the rebels to Master White's house, to take him, who notwithstanding, being on horseback, minding to have escaped their hands, Dale, Ombler, and the rest of the rebels, took him, and Clopton his wife's brother, one Savage, a merchant of York, and one Bury, servant to Sir Walter Mildmay; which four, without cause or quarrel, saving to fulfil their seditious prophecy in some part, and to give a terror to other gentlemen, they cruelly murdered, after they had carried them one mile from Seamer, towards the Wold; and there, after they had stripped them of their clothes and purses, left them naked behind them in the plain field, for crows to feed on, until White's wife and Savage's wife, then at Seamer. caused them to be buried.
Long it were, and tedious, to recite what revel these rebels kept in their raging madness, who, ranging about the country from town to town, to enlarge their ungracious and rebellious band, taking those with force which were not willing to go, and leaving in no town where they came any man above the age of sixteen years, so increased this number, that, in short time, they had gathered three thousand to favour their wicked attempts; and had like to have gathered more, had not the Lord's goodness, through prudent circumspection, interrupted the course of their furious beginning.
For, first, came the king's gracious and free pardon, discharging and pardoning them, and the rest of the rebels, of all treasons, murders, felonies, and other offences done to his Majesty, before the twenty-first of August, A. D. 1549; which pardon, although Ombler contemptuously refused, persisting still in his wilful obstinacy, dissuading also the rest from the humble accepting the king's so loving and liberal pardon, yet, notwithstanding, with some it did good.
To make short, it was not long after this, but Ombler, as he was riding from town to town, twelve miles from Hunmanby, to charge all the constables and inhabitants where he came, in the king's name, to resort to Hunmanby, by the way he was espied, and by the circumspect diligence of John Wood the younger, James Aslabe, Ralph Twinge, and Thomas Constable, gentleman, he was had in chase, and at last by them apprehended, and brought in the night in sure custody unto the city of York, to answer to his demerits. After whom, within a short time, Thomas Dale and Henry Barton, the first chieftains and ringleaders of the former commotion, with John Dale, Robert Wright, William Peacock, Wetherel, and Edmund Buttry, busy stirrers in this sedition, as they travelled from place to place to draw people to their faction, were likewise apprehended, committed to ward, lawfully convicted, and lastly, executed at York the twenty-first of September, A. D. 1549.
To these pestiferous commotions, raised up against King Edward by his own subjects in this year aforesaid, within the realm, I might also adjoin the busy stirring and raging of the French king, against our young and innocent prince, without the realm: who, hearing of these tumults and violent insurrections of the king's subjects in divers and sundry quarters of the realm, supposing to take the time for his most advantage, thought, likewise, for his part, not to be unoccupied. Who, after he had by his ambassador made open breach with the king, immediately after the revocation of the said ambassador from hence, intending to annoy the king, and make his first invasion against the isles of Jersey and Guernsey, thought to have surprised our ships and the said isles with a certain number of his ships and galleys; in the which his assault he was so hotly saluted by the king's ships and the island, that, by the confession of them that saw it, and by the report written unto the lord protector, the Frenchmen lost at least a thousand men. Their ships and galleys were so spoiled, that being forced to return home, they were not able then to set out again.
Furthermore, out of France credible word was brought to the lord protector, (which yet in letters appeareth,) that into one town, in one vessel, were brought, at least, threescore gentlemen to be buried; and also an inhibition specially given out by the king, not to speak of the success in that journey. This was about the beginning of August, 1549, The like also might be noted of the losses of the said French king at Boulogne, the eighth day of August, the same year, as by the Lord Clinton's letters may well appear; but for spending of time I pass it over. What the meaning of the French king was in these voyages, or how he intended further to proceed, I have not herein to deal. This is certain and evident, that the mighty arm of God mercifully fought for King Edward his servant, to defend and deliver him from so many hard dangers, so dangerous and sundry commotions, stirred up in so many quarters within this realm, and also without the realm, and all within the compass of one year; and yet the Lord above, fighting for his true servant, despatched them all, as in story here ye have heard declared, and is no less worthy of all posterity to be noted.