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A.C. 1503

Death of

queen Elja

traffic of lending money to such a beggarly pöten. A. Č. 1502. tate. Nevertheless, he concluded a treaty of commerce, friendship, and confederation with him, to continue in force for one year after the decease of the last liver : Maximilian and his son the archduke were admitted into the order of the garter, and the emperor created Henry knight of the golden fleece*. Rymer.

About the beginning of February, Henry's queen Elizabeth died in childbed, very little lamented by her husband, from whom she had never received any marks of tenderness or affection. He even zabeth, rejoiced at her death, as an event that freed him from a hateful rival in his title to the throne. He was now raised to the very summit of prosperity. He lived in peace with all his neighbours, and all domeftic troubles had ceased. But he was resolved that his subjects should not share in his felicity; for his avarice becoming every day more and more insatiable, he employed all his invention in devising new methods of excortion. For these fordid purposes The king he retained two infamous ministers called Empson and Budley and Dudley, who followed the profession of the as the inlaw, and practised all its fubterfuges and chicanery,

oppreffion. in opprefling the subjects with false accusations and imprisonment, until they were fain to purchase what was called a mitigation, with the best part of their substance. Such was their insolence, that they did not even observe the common forms of justice ; but proceeded with the most arbitrary licence, lo attack pretended delinquents, and try them in private, without fair examination or verdict of jury': and these acts of violence they exercised under the authority of the king, who shared the fruits of their

struments of

On the ninth day of December jects of the king of Portugal, to make 1502, the king granted a patent to discoveries by fea, and take possession James Elliot and Thomas Ashhuift of unknown lands, under the English merchants of Bristol, and to Jehn flag. Act, Fubi Gonzales and Francis Fernandez, lubo



NO. 47.

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A, C. 1503. oppression. He even insisted upon their keeping

regular accompts of this scandalous commerce, and
maintained a kind of distributive justice, even in
the practice of corruption t. He let flip no occa-
sion for amassing money, howsoever mean or un-
grateful it might be. One day when he was mag-
nificently entertained by the earl of Oxford, to
whose services he was in a great measure indebted
for the crown he enjoyed, he perceived a greater
number of domestics in livery than the law allowed
him to maintain ; and turning to the earl, “ My
“ Lord (said he) I have heard much of your hospi-
" tality, but it exceeds report. Are all these gen-
“ tlemen and yeomen your menial servants ?” Ox-
ford answering, that they were retained upon such
extraordinary occasions only, Henry affected sur-
prize, and replied with sotne warmth, “By my
So faith! my lord, I thank you for my good
( chear; buí I may not endure to have
is broken in my sight. My attorney must speak
" with you.” The earl was afterwards obliged
to compound for this misdemeanor by the payment
of fifteen thousand marks.

Such conduct in the king and his ministers could
folk forms a not fail to render them extremely odious to the peo-
conspiracy ple, who murmured incessantly against the govern-
against the
king. ment; and this discontent encouraged the earl of

Suffolk, whose fortune was by this time greatly re-
duced by his own extravagance, to form new pro-
jects against the person and government of Henry,
He had acquired a degree of popularity as the sur-
viving branch of the house of York: he privately
engaged some persons of consideration in his interest;

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Earl of Suf.

4. We are informed by lord Veru. Received of such a one five marks for lam, that he had seen a book of such a pardon ; which, if it do not pass, accompts, kept by Empson, and fub- the money to be repayed, or the party fcribed in almost every leaf by the otherwise satisfied,” Opposite to this king's own hand; among other artis memorandum the king had writ with cles he found the following; "Item, his own hand, Otherwise satisfied.'

and then retired to Flanders, in hope of receiv. 4. C. 1503. ing countenance and succour from the old dutchess of Burgundy. The king, alarmed at his retreat, and eager to know his scheme, with the names of his affociates, repeated the expedient he had used in the case of Perkin Warbeck. Sir Robert Curfon, governor of the castle of Hammes, being properly instructed, abandoned his charge, on pretence of having been injured by the king; and retiring to Flanders, offered his service to the earl of Suffolk. He acted his part with such dexterity, that in a little time he insinuated himself into the confidence of that nobleman; and foon discovered all his affociates. The intelligence was forthwith His accom. conveyed to Henry, who immediately issued war- plices are rants for arresting his own brother-in-law William

punished. Courtney earl of Devonshire, husband to the princess Catherine, daughter of Edward IV. William de la Pole, brother to the earl of Suffolk, Sir James Tyrrel, and Sir John Wyndham. George lord Abergavenny, and Sir Thomas Green, were apprehended at the same time, upon sight suspicion, but foon discharged. The earl of Devonshire, and de la Pole, tho' nothing material appeared against them, were detained prisoners during the king's life. Tyrrel, who had been concerned in the death of Edward V. was beheaded, together with Wyndham; and several others of inferior note were executed as traitors. Henry, willing to be still better informed touching the particular designs of the earl of Suffolk, took a very extraordinary method to maintain Curson in the confidence of that no. bleman. He published in St. Paul's church, the bull of pope Innocent VIII. denouncing the censures of the church against all those who should disturb his government ; and caused the earl of Suffolk and Sir Robert Curson to be excommuni. cated by name. When this emissary had discovered


Y 2


A. C. 1'503. all the earl's secrets, he returned to England; and

was readmitted into the king's favour, which, however, he did not enjoy without the curses of the people, who abhorred his perfidy. Suffolk finding himself betrayed, led for some time a vagrant life in Germany, and at length returned to Flanders, where the archduke took him under his protection,

after the death of the dutchess dowager. The king Henry being unwilling to refund one half of Ca

a marriage be- therine's dower, which he had already received tween Hen- and extremely eager to touch the other moiety, u ales and proposed to Ferdinand that the young widow should his brother's be married to Henry prince of Wales, brother to

her late husband; and the proposal was embraced by the lady's parents, provided the pope's dispensation could be procured. In the convencion settled between the two courts on this subject, one reason alledged for demanding the dispensation, was, that the marrage between Arthur and Catherine had been formally folemnized and consummated; and pope Pius IV. the fucceffor of Alexander, when he granted this dispensation, expresiy mentioned in the bull, that Catherine in her petition acknowledged her former marriage had been folemnized in due form, and perhaps consummated. That this was really the case, we may gather from the declaration of Arthur himfelf to some of his attendants, on the morning after he had been bedded with the princess.

On the fixteenth day of January the king assembled a parliament, on pretence of enacting new laws, but in effect to demand a subsidy for the portion of his eldest daughter, which he accordingly received to a much greater value than that he paid to

the king of Scotland; fo that he was every way. a Complai.

gainer by the marriage. That he was now quite fance of the absolute in his dominions, appears from the conpardi ment. descension of the commons, who chose for their fpeaker that very Dudley whom the whole nation


Act. Pub.

A.C. 1504.

detested as the instrument by which they were so A. C. 1534. grievously oppressed. This complaisant parliament desired him to accept of forty thousand pounds, in lieu of aids, for knighting his eldest son Arthur, and the marriage of his daughter Margaret ; and he, in token of his moderation and regard to his fubjects, remitted one fourth of that sum, the rest being levied on the cities, boroughs, towns, and landholders of the kingdom. He likewise filled his coffers by an act of parliament passed in this sesfion, attainting a great number of persons who had been concerned in the insurrections from the

very beginning of his reign; as well as by another, dir. annulling all patents and grants enjoyed by those who either refused to appear, when summoned, in the king's defence against enemies and rebels, or retired from that forvice without licence. The patents of jails were likewise resumed and re annexed to the sheriffwicks; foreign manufactures of silk were prohibited; a law was enacted against the currency of diminished silver pieces, which underwent a recoinage : and several regulations were mad: for the maintenance of civil policy. Notwithstanding these fources of wealth, Henry, before the expiration of the year, issued commillions for a general benevolence, though he could not assign the the least shadow of a reason for this imposition; and the city of London was fain to pay five thousand marks for the confirmation of its liberties. Not fatisfied with the payment in the second moiety of Catherine's portion, the subsidy granted by parliament, the confiscation of estates, the profits of recoinage, the benevolence, and redemption of the city's liberties, he still continued to grind the face of the subjects by means of Emplon and Dudley, who amaffed great fortunes, as che cools of his rapacity.

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