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ing might produce another, until the whole king. A C. 1483. dom should be involved in civil war and confusion. In order to prevent these calamities, he earnestly intreated her to disband her troops, that all the nobles of the kingdom might, without fear or fufpicion, pay their respects to their young sovereign, and contribute with all their power towards the maintenance of public tranquillity. The queen had no reason to doubt the sincerity of Gloucester, who had always treated her with the utmost deference, and manifested uncommon zeal for the interest of her children: she believed his letter was the effect of loyalty and good sense. As he had not yet dropped the least hint of his intention to claim the administration, she followed his advice as the wholesome counsel of a friend ; and, fent an order to Rivers to disband his forces, that they might not give umbrage to the nation.
The earl obeyed this order without hesitation, Arrests the and set out with the king for London, without any vers, Sir Riother attendants than the ordinary domestics. Young chard Gray, Edward was met by the dukes of Gloucester and Buckingham, in the neighbourhood of Northamp- Vaughan, ton, which they had already secured with nine hundred men ; and they approached him with marks of the most profound regard and submission. Gloucester told him, that as the town of Northampton was crouded with strangers, his majesty would be more at his ease in Stony-Stratford, about twelve miles farther on the London road, where they would join him in the morning, and in the mean time pass the night at Northampton. His proposal being approved, they invited the earl of Rivers to make merry with them at their lodgings; and he accompanied them to Northampton, glad of this opportunity to cement the late reconciliation by his unreserved compliance. They spent gocd part of the night in seeming harmony, and mutual pro
and Sir Thomas
4. C. 1483. fellions of friendship; but, next morning they or:
dered him to be put in arrest, and set out for StonyStratford, where they found the king ready to proceed on his journey. Before they quitted that place, they took occasion to quarrel with his uterine brother Sir Richaad Gray, whom they accused of having, in conjunction with the marquis of Dorset,and the earl of Rivers, formed a design to make themselves masters of the king's person : they likewife affirmed, that the marquis had seized the treafure of the late king, with which he was intrusted. Edward himself interposing on this occasion, faid he would not pretend to justify the conduct of Dorset, with which he was unacquainted; but, that he would answer for his uncle Rivers, and his brother Richard, who had been always with him since his father's decease. The duke of Buckingham told his majesty, they were too cunning to make him acquainted with their fchemes ; and immediately ordered his followers to take Sir Richard Gray, and Sir Thomas Vaughan, into custody. The king was conveyed back to Northampton ; and the next day, the prisoners were sent to the castle of Pontefract, notwithstanding the increaties and tears of Edward, which flowed in great abundance; though they still treated him with all the exterior '
marks of the most respectful submission.
The queen was no sooner informed of these pro. makes fane
ceedings, than she comprehended the whole scheme Wermin. of the duke of Gloucester, and looking upon her
brother and two sons as lost, fled for refuge to the fanctuary in Westminster, with the duke of York, who was about nine years of age, the marquis of Dorset, and the rest of her children. The lord Hastings having received an account of the transac. tion at Northampton, repaired immediately to the house of the archbishop of York, to whom he communicated these tidings į aliuring him at the same
time, that no harm was intended to the king, to. 4. C. 1483. whom indeed, he was sincerely attached, without knowing the designs of Gloucester. The archbishop arose immediately from his bed ; and, tho' it was midnight, went to visit the queen, whom he found sitting on the floor in the utmost agony of distress, deploring the fate of her children. The prelate endeavoured to console her with the assurance of Hastings; but, she could derive no comfort from any thing which came from that quarter. Then he protested, that if her enemies should be wicked enough to take away the life of the king, he would forth with crown the duke of York; and as a pledge of his fincerity, he left the great seal in her hands : but afterwards reflecting, that he ought not to have patted with that mark of the lace king's confidence, he desired it might be sent back ; and she complied with his request. Mean while, the news of the affair at Northampton filled the whole city of London with tumult and consternation; and a great number of the citizens took to their arms, without knowing what would be the consequence of Gloucester's conduct. But, their fears were appeased Stouts by the lord Hastings, who assured them, that the king was in no danger; and that Rivers and Gray had been apprehended for a conspiracy against the lives of the dukes of Gloucester and Buckingham ; but that they would be fairly tried by the laws of their country.
In a few days afcer this disturbance, the king was Richard brought to London, which he entered amidst the houdelites acclamations of the people, accompanied by the declared pro duke of Gloucester, who rode behind him bare- tector of the headed, and a great number of noblemen, who kingdom, seemed zealously attached to his majesty's person. He was conducted to the bishop's palace, as a place of safety, under the protection of the citizens ; and shis mark of confidence, together with the respect
.A.C. 1483. which was paid to the person of the king, intirely
dissipated those suspicions which the affair of North'ampton had produced. Immediately after the rejoicings which were made on the king's arrival, the duke of Gloucester convoked a great council of the nobility, to regulate the administration, and these being chiefly composed of his own friends, or such as hated the queen's family, he was declared protector of the king and kingdom; though the council on this occasion usurped a prerogative which refided in the parliament alone. As soon as Richard found himself vested with this high office, he deprived the archbishop of York of the great feal, which he gave to the biíhop of Lincoln ; and filled with his own creatures all those places whịch had been occupied by the queen's adherents. Then he proposed in council, that a deputation should be sent to desire che queen would allow the duke of York to attend his brother, and be present at his coronation. He observed, that Elizabeth's retreat into the sanctuary implied a distrust, which might kindle jealoulies, and revive factions, to the manifest prejudice of the nation : that the circumstance of York's remaining in the afylum, while his brother received the crown, would disgrace the government in the eyes of foreign potentates : and that, in all probability, the queen's design was to escape from the sanctuary, and raise a fiame in the kingdom, on pretence of defending her second fon from violence. It was therefore, his opinion, that the archbishop of Canterbury should endeavour to persuade the queen to part with the duke of York ; and that, should she refuse to comply in this particular with the desire of the council, the duke of York should be taken from her by force. The archbishop undertook to persuade her to compliance; but vehemently opposed the proposal for violating the sanctuary, which had been so long kept facred.
The duke of Buckingham inveighed against the A. C. 1483. abuse of sanctuaries, and seconded the opinion of the protector, which was espoused by all the rest of the council, the ecclefiaftics excepted.
The cardinal archbishop being fent as deputy Young Edfrom the council to the queen, employed all his elo- ward and his quence in vain, to persuade her that the ought to brother the part with the duke of York; and finding her in-York are flexible, plainly told her, that a resolution was taken lodged in to withdraw him by force from the sanctuary. The of London, hapless mother, terrified at this declaration, imparted to the cardinal her suspicions of Gloucester, whom she taxed with a design upon the crown, which he could not accomplish without having both her sons in his power. The archbishop, who never dreamed of Richard's ambition, took umbrage at the queen's insinuations, and told her with great warmth, that her suspicions were injurious to the character of a' prince who had nothing more at heart than the interest of his sovereign, as well as the honour of the nobility and prelates in council, who could not be so wicked as to concur in any such treasonable design.
He said that, without their concurrence, the protector would find such a scheme impracticable ; though he was fully persuaded in his own mind, that no thought of that nature ever entered the breast of the duke of Gloucester. The good cardinal was really convinced of the protector's integrity; therefore his discourse was the more emphatic, and had the greater effect upon Elizabeth, who began to abate in her apprehension, though not so much, buc that in parting with her son, she shed a torrent of tears, and underwent the most violenc agitation of forrow, At length, after having embraced him with all the eagerness of maternal affection, heightened by the fear of losing the beloved object for ever, the delivered him into the hands of the archbishop, by whom he was conducted to the protector; and