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4. C. 1483. pretended to be terrified at such a concourse of
people, as if he had thought they came with some sinister design upon his person; and when at length Buckingham prevailed upon him to give them audience, he came forth with all the marks of terror and distrust. He affected great surprize at their proposal, which he declined, observing that he loved his brother's children above all the crowns in the world : though he considered their address as a proof of their affection, which he should never forget. He exhorted them to live quietly under the sovereign to whom they owed their obedience; and he promised for himself that he would, to the best of his power, advise his nephew to govern in such a manner as to render his people flourishing and happy. The duke of Buckingham, appearing very much dissatisfied with this answer, declared, that the people were unanimously resolved that none of Edward's children should fit upon the throne; and that, if he would not receive the crown, they should be obliged to offer it to some other person. This declaration softened the protector into compliance. He told them, that since they were determined to reject the children of Edward, he was contented to accept the crown, which was undou:btedly his lawful inheritance, though he received it with more pleasure, as the free gift of a free people. This condescension in Richard was applauded with loud acclamations. Next day he repaired to Westminster-Hall, where, placing himself in the royal seat, he made a speech to the audience, and gave the judges a strict charge for the due administration of justice.
T fuccers, che duke of Gloucester was pro-
proclaimed claimed king of England and France, by the name of Richard III. on the cwenty second day of June, and the fixth day of July fixed for the ceremony of his coronation, which he deferred till that time, in expectation of being reinforced by five thousand men from the Norih, as he did not much confide in the attachment of the Londonets. During this interval, he conferred the office of chancellor upon the bishop of Lincoln, who was one of his favourites. He bestowed the office of mareschal on lord John Howard, together with the title of duke of Norfolk ; and the next day appointed him highconstable for the coronation. His son Thomas Howard was created earl of Surrey ; William Berkeley was promoted to the title of earl of Nottingham; and lord Lovel, one of Richard's chief confidents, was raised to the title of viscount. Thomas Rotherham archbishop of York was discharged from confinement; and the lord Stanley was not only released, but even appointed steward of the houshold: not that Richard had any real regard for this nobleman, but this indulgence was the effect of his apprehenfion ; for Stanley's fon the lord Strange had begun to levy troops in Lincolnshire, and Richard thought this was the most likely expedient for preventing the consequences of a rebellion. The university of Oxford presented a petition in favour of Morton bishop of Ely; and though the new king mortally hated that prelate, he would not, in the beginning of his reign, disoblige such a ve
A. C. 1483. nerable body by a flat refusal : nor would he sec
the bishop altogether at liberty ; but he chose a medium, and committed him to the care of the duke
of Buckingham, who sent him to his castle of . Sir T. More. Brecknock in Wales. On the sixth day of July, he a: WeAmin. and Anne his queen, daughter of Richard earl of
Warwick, were crowned with great pomp at Weftminster. All the noblemen in the kingdom assisted at this ceremony, that they might not, by their abfence, incur the suspicion of the new king, whose character was so formidable; and the queen's train was borne up by Margaret countess of Richmond, wife of lord Stanley, and mother to the earl of Richmond then an exile in Brittany.
Richard now seemed secure from all opposition. balladors to There was not a nobleman in the kingdom who parts of the had intereft enough to raise the least disturbance, pontinent,
except those who were intirely devoted to his interest. The queen dowager, with her five daughters, and her brother the marquis of Dorset, itill remained in the sanctuary. Sir Richard Wideville lived in concealment, while Edward V, and his brother the duke of York continued close prisoners in the Tower, the government of which was conferred on Sir Richard Brackenbury, on whose fidelity Richard placed the greatest dependence. Nevertheless, that he might strengthen his power with foreign alliances, and prevent his enemies from receiving any asistance abroad, he sent Bernard de la Force as his ambassador into Castile, to renew the antient alliance with Ferdinand and Isabella. He appointed commissioners to treat with France about certain infractions of the truce, that it might be renewed and confirmed; he veíted Thomas Hutton with full power to prolong the truce with Francis II. duke of Brittany ; and this ambassador received instructions about a new treaty with that