Biography of Bishop John Russell -1494

1483 Funeral of Edward IV

1483 John Russell appointed Lord Chancellor

1484 Opening Parliament

In 1449 Bishop John Russell educated at New College, Oxford University.

In 1467 Bishop John Russell sent by King Edward IV of England (age 24) on a diplomatic mission to Charles "Bold" Valois Duke Burgundy (age 33) at Bruges [Map].

In Feb 1470 Bishop John Russell sent to invest Charles "Bold" Valois Duke Burgundy (age 36) as Knight of the Garter at Bruges [Map].

In May 1474 Bishop John Russell was appointed Keeper of the Privy Seal.

On 22 Sep 1476 Bishop John Russell was appointed Bishop of Rochester.

Calendars. 15 Feb 1478. Charter to the king's nephew Edward Plantagenet (age 4), first-born son of the said duke (age 25), creating him earl of Salisbury, with remainder to the heirs of his body, and granting to him and his said heirs £20 yearly from the issues of the county of Wilts. Witnesses: Th. cardinal archbishop of Canterbury (age 60), L. archbishop of York (age 58), Th. Bishop of  Lincoln (age 54), the chancellor, J. Bishop of  Rochester, keeper of the privy seal, Richard, duke of Gloucester (age 25), Henry, duke of Buckingham (age 23), Henry, Earl of Essex (age 74), treasurer of England, Anthony Earl of Ryvers (age 38), chief butler of England, and Thomas Stanley of Stanley (age 43), steward of the household, and William Hastynges of Hastynges (age 47), chamberlain of the household, knights. By p.s.

On 07 Jul 1480 Bishop John Russell was appointed Bishop of Lincoln.

In 1483 Bishop John Russell was appointed Chancellor University of Oxford.

Funeral of Edward IV

On 17 Apr 1483 the coffin of Edward IV (deceased) was carried to Westminster Abbey [Map] by Edward Stanley 1st Baron Monteagle (age 21), John Savage (age 39), Thomas Wortley (age 50), Thomas Molyneux (age 38), probably John Welles 1st Viscount Welles (age 33) who had married Edward's daughter Cecily), John Cheney 1st Baron Cheyne (age 41), Walter Hungerford (age 19), Guy Wolston (age 50), John Sapcote (age 35), Thomas Tyrrell (age 30), John Risley, Thomas Dacre 2nd Baron Dacre Gilsland (age 15), John Norreys, Louis de Bretelles and John Comyn 4th Lord Baddenoch.

Those in the procession included:

Thomas St Leger (age 43), widow of Edward's sister Anne.

William Parr.

John Astley.

William Stonor (age 33).

Henry Ferrers (age 40).

James Radclyffe (age 43).

George Browne (age 43).

Gilbert Debenham (age 51).

John Howard 1st Duke of Norfolk (age 58) walked in front of the coffin with Edward's personal arms.

John Marlow Abbot Bermondsey followed by:

Bishop Thomas Kempe (age 93).

Bishop John Hales (age 83) (Bishop of Chester?).

Bishop Robert Stillington (age 63).

Bishop Edward Story.

Bishop Richard Bell.

Bishop James Goldwell.

Bishop William Dudley (age 58).

Bishop John Russell.

Cardinal John Morton (age 63) (as Bishop of Ely).

Bishop Edmund Tuchet (age 40) (as Bishop of Rochester).

Bishop Peter Courtenay, and.

Bishop Lionel Woodville (age 36).

Archbishop Thomas Rotherham (age 59) brought up the rear.

Cardinal Thomas Bourchier (age 65), then Archbishop of Canterbury, took no part due to infirmity.

John de la Pole 1st Earl Lincoln (age 21); the King's nephew,.

William Hastings 1st Baron Hastings (age 52).

Thomas Grey 1st Marquess Dorset (age 28).

William Herbert 2nd Earl Pembroke 1st Earl Huntingdon (age 32) (some sources say Earl of Huntingindon?).

William Berkeley 1st Marquess Berkeley (age 57).

Thomas Stanley 1st Earl of Derby (age 48).

Richard Fiennes 7th Baron Dacre Gilsland (age 68).

John Dudley 1st Baron Dudley (age 82).

George Neville 4th and 2nd Baron Bergavenny (age 43).

John Tuchet 6th Baron Audley, 3rd Baron Tuchet (age 57).

Walter Devereux Baron Ferrers of Chartley (age 51).

Edward Grey 1st Viscount Lisle (age 51).

Henry Lovell 9th Baron Marshal 8th Baron Morley (age 7).

Richard Woodville 3rd Earl Rivers (age 30).

John Brooke 7th Baron Cobham (age 35).

Richard Hastings Baron Willoughby (age 50).

John Bourchier 6th Baron Ferrers of Groby (age 45).

Thomas Bourchier.

Thomas Bourchier.

The History of King Richard the Third by Thomas More. But then, by and by, the lords assembled together at London. To ward which meeting, the Archbishop of York (age 59), fearing that it would be ascribed (as it was indeed) to his overmuch lightness that he so suddenly had yielded up the Great Seal to the Queen-to whom the custody thereof nothing pertained without special commandment of the King-secretly sent for the Seal again and brought it with him after the customary manner. And at this meeting, the Duke of Buckingham, whose loyalty toward the King no man doubted nor needed to doubt, persuaded the lords to believe that the Duke of Gloucester (age 30) was sure and fastly faithful to his Prince and that the Lord Rivers (age 43) and Lord Richard (age 26) with the other knights were, for matters attempted by them against the Dukes of Gloucester and Buckingham, put under arrest for the dukes' safety not for the King's jeopardy and that they were also in safeguard and should remain there no longer till the matter were, not by the dukes only but also by all the other lords of the King's Council indifferently examined and by other discretions ordered, and either judged or appeased. But one thing he advised them beware, that they judged not the matter too far forth before they knew the truth-for by turning their private grudges into the common hurt, irritating and provoking men unto anger, and disturbing the King's coronation, toward which the dukes were coming up, they might perhaps bring the matter so far out of joint, that it should never be brought in frame again. This strife, if it should happen to come to battle, as it was likely, though both parties were in all things equal, yet should the authority be on that side where the King is himself.

With these arguments of the Duke of Buckingham - part of which he believed; part, he knew the contrary - these commotions were somewhat appeased, but especially because the Dukes of Gloucester and Buckingham (age 28) were so near, and came so quickly on with the King, in none other manner, with none other voice or semblance, than to his coronation, causing the story to be blown about that those lords and knights who were taken had contrived the destruction of the Dukes of Gloucester and Buckingham (age 28) and of other noble blood of the realm, to the end that they themselves would alone manage and govern the King at their pleasure. And for the false proof thereof, some of the dukes' servants rode with the carts of the stuff that were taken (among such stuff, no marvel, but that some of it were armor, which, at the breaking up of that household, must needs either be brought away or cast away), and they showed it unto the people all the way as they went: "Lo, here be the barrels of armor that these traitors had privately conveyed in their carriage to destroy the noble lords withal." This device, although it made the matter to wise men more unlikely, who well perceived that, if the intenders meant war, they would rather have had their armor on their backs than to have bound them up in barrels, yet much part of the common people were therewith very well satisfied, and said it were like giving alms to hang them.

When the King approached near to the city, Edmund Shaa (age 47), goldsmith then mayor, with William White and John Mathew, sheriffs, and all the other aldermen in scarlet, with five hundred horse of the citizens in violet, received him reverently at Hornsey, and riding from thence, accompanied him in to the city, which he entered the fourth day of May, the first and last year of his reign.

But the Duke of Gloucester bore himself in open sight so reverently to the Prince, with all semblance of lowliness, that from the great obloquy in which he was so late before, he was suddenly fallen in so great trust, that at the Council next assembled, he was the only man chosen and thought most suitable to be Protector (age 30) of the King and his realm, so that-were it destiny or were it folly-the lamb was given to the wolf to keep. At which Council also the Archbishop of York (age 59), Chancellor of England, who had delivered up the Great Seal to the Queen (age 46), was thereof greatly reproved, and the Seal taken from him and delivered to Doctor Russell, Bishop of Lincoln, a wise man and good and of much experience, and one of the best learned men undoubtedly that England had in his time. Diverse lords and knights were appointed unto diverse offices. The Lord Chamberlain and some others kept still their offices that they had before.

Now all was such that the Protector (age 30) so sore thirsted for the finishing of what he had begun-though he thought every day a year till it were achieved-yet he dared no further attempt as long as he had but half his prey in hand, well knowing that if he deposed the one brother, all the realm would fall to the other, if he either remained in sanctuary or should by chance be shortly conveyed farther away to his liberty.

Wherefore straight away at the next meeting of the lords at the Council, he proposed unto them that it was a heinous deed of the Queen (age 46), and proceeding from great malice toward the King's counselors, that she should keep in sanctuary the King's brother from him, whose special pleasure and comfort were to have his brother with him. And that by her such was done to no other intent, but to bring all the lords in obloquy and murmur of the people, as though they were not to be trusted with the King's brother-they who were, by the assent of the nobles of the land, appointed as the King's nearest friends for the protection of his own royal person.

"The prosperity whereof stands," said he, "not all in keeping from enemies or ill viands, [poison?] but partly also in recreation and moderate pleasure, which he cannot in this tender youth take in the company of elder persons, but in the familiar conversation of those who be neither far under nor far above his age, and nevertheless of state appropriate to accompany his noble majesty. Wherefore with whom rather than with his own brother? And if any man think this consideration light (which I think no man thinks who loves the King), let him consider that sometimes without small things, greater cannot stand. And verily it redounds greatly to the dishonor both of the King's Highness and of all us that have been about his Grace, to have it run in every man's mouth, not in this realm only, but also in other lands (as evil words walk far), that the King's brother should be glad to keep sanctuary. For every man will suppose that no man will so do for nothing. And such evil opinion, once fastened in men's hearts, hard it is to wrest out, and may grow to more grief than any man here can divine.

"Wherefore I think it were not worst to send unto the Queen (age 46) for the redress of this matter some honorable trusty man, such as both values the King's welfare and the honor of his Council, and is also in favor and credible with her. For all which considerations, none seems to me more suitable than our reverent father here present, my Lord Cardinal (age 65), who may in this matter do most good of any man, if it please him to take the pain. Which I doubt not of his goodness he will not refuse, for the King's sake and ours, and the well being of the young Duke himself, the King's most honorable brother, and after my Sovereign Lord himself, my most dear nephew, considering that thereby shall be ceased the slanderous rumor and obloquy now going about, and the hurts avoided that thereof might ensue, and much rest and quiet grow to all the realm.

"And if she be perchance so obstinate, and so precisely set upon her own will that neither his wise and faithful instruction can move her, nor any man's reason content her, then shall we, by mine advice, by the King's authority, fetch him out of that prison, and bring him to his noble presence, in whose continual company he shall be so well cherished and so honorably treated that all the world shall to our honor, and her reproach, perceive that it was only malice, audacity, or folly, that caused her to keep him there. This is my mind in this matter for this time, except any of your lordships anything perceive to the contrary. For never shall I by God's grace so wed myself to mine own will, but that I shall be ready to change it upon your better advice."

When the Protector (age 30) had spoken, all the Council affirmed that the motion was good and reasonable, and to the King and the Duke his brother, honorable, and a thing that should cease great murmur in the realm, if the mother might be by good means induced to deliver him. Such a thing the Archbishop of Canterbury (age 65), whom they all agreed also to be thereto most appropriate, took upon himself to move her, and therein to give his uttermost best effort. However, if she could be in no way entreated with her good will to deliver him, then thought he and such others as were of the clergy present that it were not in any way to be attempted to take him out against her will. For it would be a thing that should turn to the great grudge of all men, and high displeasure of God, if the privilege of the holy place should now be broken, which had so many years been kept, and which both king and popes so good had granted, so many had confirmed, and which holy ground was more than five hundred years ago by Saint Peter, his own person come in spirit by night, accompanied with great multitude of angels, so specially hallowed and dedicated it to God (for the proof whereof they have yet in the Abbey Saint Peter's cloak to show) that from that time forward was there never so undevout a king who dared that sacred place to violate, or so holy a bishop that dared presume to consecrate.

"And therefore," said the Archbishop of Canterbury, "God forbid that any man should for any earthly enterprise break the immunity and liberty of that sacred sanctuary that has been the safeguard of so many a good man's life. And I trust," said he, "with God's grace, we shall not need it. But for any manner need, I would not we should do it. I trust that she shall be with reason contented, and all things in good manner obtained. And if it happen that I bring it not so to pass, yet shall I toward it so far forth do my best, that you shall all well perceive that no lack of my dutiful efforts, but the mother's dread and womanish fear, shall be the impediment."

"Womanish fear, nay womanish perversity," said the Duke of Buckingham. "For I dare take it upon my soul, she well knows she needs no such thing to fear, either for her son or for herself. For as for her, here is no man that will be at war with women. Would God some of the men of her kin were women too, and then should all be soon at rest. However, there is none of her kin the less loved for that they be her kin, but for their own evil deserving. And nevertheless, if we loved neither her nor her kin, yet were there no cause to think that we should hate the King's noble brother, to whose Grace we ourself be of kin. Whose honor, if she as much desired as our dishonor and as much regard took to his well being as to her own will, she would be as loath to suffer him from the King as any of us be. "For if she have any wit (as would God she had as good will as she has shrewd wit), she reckons herself no wiser than she thinks some that be here, of whose faithful mind, she nothing doubts, but verily believes and knows that they would be as sorry of his harm as herself, and yet would have him from her if she abide there. And we all, I think, are satisfied that both be with her, if she come thence and abide in such place where they may with their honor be.

"Now then, if she refuse in the deliverance of him, to follow the counsel of them whose wisdom she knows, whose truth she well trusts, it is easy to perceive that perversity hinders her, and not fear. But go to, suppose that she fear (as who may let her to fear her own shadow), the more she fears to deliver him, the more ought we fear to leave him in her hands. For if she cast such fond doubts that she fear his hurt, then will she fear that he shall be fetched thence. For she will soon think that if men were set (which God forbid) upon so great a mischief, the sanctuary would little impede them, for good men might, as I think, without sin somewhat less regard it than they do.

"Now then, if she doubt lest he might be fetched from her, is it not likely enough that she shall send him somewhere out of the realm? Verily, I look for none other. And I doubt not but she now thinks with great exertion on it, even as we consider the hindrance of sanctuary. And if she might happen to bring that to pass (as it were no great accomplishment, we letting her alone), all the world would say that we were a wise sort of counselors about a King-we that let his brother be cast away under our noses. And therefore I assure you faithfully for my mind, I will rather defy her plans, fetch him away, than leave him there, till her perversity or fond fear convey him away. "And yet will I break no sanctuary therefore. For verily since the privileges of that place and other like have been of long continued, I am not he that would be about to break them. And in good faith if they were now to begin, I would not be he that should be about to make them. Yet will I not say nay, but that it is a deed of pity that such men of the sea or their evil debtors have brought in poverty, should have some place of liberty, to keep their bodies out of the danger from their cruel creditors. And also if the Crown happen (as it has done) to come in question, while either part takes the other as traitors, I will well there be some places of refuge for both. But as for thieves, of which these places be full, and which never fall from the craft after they once fall thereto, it is pity the sanctuary should serve them. And much more murderers whom God bade to take from the altar and kill them, if their murder were willful. And where it is otherwise there need we not the sanctuaries that God appointed in the old law. For if either necessity, his own defense or misfortune draw him to that deed, a pardon serves which either the law grants of course, or the King of pity may.

"Then look me now how few sanctuary men there be whom any favorable necessity compelled to go thither. And then see on the other side what a sort there be commonly therein, of them whom willful prodigality has brought to nought. What a rabble of thieves, murderers, and malicious, heinous traitors, and that in two places specially: the one at the elbow of the city, the other in the very bowels. I dare well avow it. Weigh the good that they do with the hurt that comes of them, and you shall find it much better to lack both, than have both. And this I say, although they were not abused as they now be, and so long have been, that I fear me ever they will be while men be afraid to set their hands to the amendment: as though God and Saint Peter were the patrons of ungracious living.

"Now prodigals riot and run in debt upon the boldness of these places; yea, and rich men run thither with poor men's goods; there they build, there they spend and bid their creditors go whistle them. Men's wives run thither with their husbands' money, and say they dare not abide with their husbands for beating. Thieves bring thither their stolen goods, and there live thereon. There devise they new robberies; nightly they steal out, they rob and pillage and kill, and come in again as though those places gave them not only a safeguard for the harm they have done, but a license also to do more. However, much of this mischief, if wise men would set their hands to it, might be amended with great thanks to God and no breach of the privilege. The residue, since so long ago I knew never what pope and what prince more piteous than prudent has granted it, and other men because of a certain religious fear have not broken it, let us take a pain therewith, and let it in God's name stand in force, as far forth as reason will. Which is not fully so far forth as may serve to prevent us from fetching forth this noble man to his honor and wealth, out of that place in which he neither is nor can be a sanctuary man.

"A sanctuary serves always to defend the body of that man that stands in danger abroad, not of great hurt only, but also of lawful hurt. For against unlawful harms, never pope nor king intended to privilege any one place. For that privilege has every place. Know you any man any place wherein it is lawful for one man to do another wrong? That no man unlawfully take hurt, that liberty, the King, the law, and very nature forbid in every place and make to that regard for every man a sanctuary every place. But where a man is by lawful means in peril, there needs he the protection of some special privilege, which is the only ground and cause of all sanctuaries. From which necessity this noble prince is far. His love to his King, nature and kindred prove, whose innocence to all the world his tender youth proves. And so sanctuary as for him, neither none he needs, nor also none can have.

"Men come not to sanctuary as they come to baptism, to require it by their godfathers. He must ask it himself that must have it. And what reason-since no man has cause to have it but whose conscience of his own fault makes him feign need to require it-what reason then will yonder babe have? which, even if he had discretion to require it, if need were, I dare say would now be right angry with them that keep him there. And I would think without any scruple of conscience, without any breach of privilege, to be somewhat more homely with them that be there sanctuary men indeed. For if one go to sanctuary with another man's goods, why should not the King, leaving his body at liberty, satisfy the part of his goods even within the sanctuary? For neither king nor pope can give any place such a privilege that it shall discharge a man of his debts, being able to pay."

And that diversity of the clergy that were present, whether they said it for his pleasure or, as they thought, agreed plainly that by the law of God and of the church the goods of a sanctuary man should be delivered in payment of his debts, and stolen goods to the owner, and only liberty reserved him to get his living with the labor of his hands.

"Verily," said the Duke, "I think you say very truth. And what if a man's wife will take sanctuary because she wishes to run from her husband? I would think if she can allege none other cause, he may lawfully-without any displeasure to Saint Peter-take her out of Saint Peter's church by the arm. And if nobody may be taken out of sanctuary that says he will abide there, then if a child will take sanctuary because he fears to go to school, his master must let him alone. And as simple as that example is, yet is there less reason in our case than in that. For therein, though it be a childish fear, yet is there at the leastwise some fear. And herein is there none at all. And verily I have often heard of sanctuary men. But I never heard before of sanctuary children. And therefore, as for the conclusion of my mind, whosoever may have deserved to need it, if they think it for their safety, let them keep it. But he can be no sanctuary man that neither has wisdom to desire it nor malice to deserve it, whose life or liberty can by no lawful process stand in jeopardy. And he that takes one out of sanctuary to do him good, I say plainly that he breaks no sanctuary."

When the Duke had done, the laymen entire and a good part of the clergy also, thinking no earthly hurt was meant toward the young babe, agreed in effect that, if he were not delivered, he should be fetched. However, they all thought it best, in the avoiding of all manner of rumor, that the Lord Cardinal should first attempt to get him with her good will. And thereupon all the Council came unto the Star Chamber at Westminster. And the Lord Cardinal, leaving the Protector (age 30) with the Council in the Star Chamber, departed into the sanctuary to the Queen (age 46) with diverse other lords with him-were it for the respect of his honor, or that she should by presence of so many perceive that this errand was not one man's mind, or were it for that the Protector (age 30) intended not in this matter to trust any one man alone, or else, if she finally were determined to keep him, some of that company had perhaps secret instruction immediately, despite her mind, to take him and to leave her no chance to take him away, which she was likely to plan after this matter was revealed to her, if her time would in any way serve her.

When the Queen (age 46) and these lords were come together in presence, the Lord Cardinal showed unto her that it was thought by the Protector (age 30) and the whole Council that her keeping of the King's brother in that place was the thing which highly sounded, not only to the great rumor of the people and their obloquy, but also to the unbearable grief and displeasure of the King's royal majesty; to whose Grace it were as singular comfort to have his natural brother in company, as it was to both their dishonor and all theirs and hers also, to suffer him in sanctuary-as though the one brother stood in danger and peril of the other. And he showed her that the Council therefore had sent him unto her to require her the delivery of him that he might be brought unto the King's presence at his liberty, out of that place that they reckoned as a prison. And there should he be treated according to his estate. And she in this doing should both do great good to the realm, pleasure to the Council and profit to herself, assistance to her friends that were in distress, and over that (which he knew well she specially valued), not only great comfort and honor to the King, but also to the young Duke himself, for both of them great wealth it were to be together, as well for many greater causes, as also for their both entertainment and recreation; which thing the lords esteemed not slight, though it seem light, well pondering that their youth without recreation and play cannot endure, nor find any stranger according to the propriety of both their ages and estates so suitable in that point for any of them as either of them for the other.

"My lord," said the Queen (age 46), "I say not nay, but that it were very appropriate that this gentleman whom you require were in the company of the King his brother. And in good faith I think it were as great advantage to them both, as for yet a while, to be in the custody of their mother, the tender age considered of the elder of them both, but especially the younger, who besides his infancy that also needs good looking to, has awhile been so sore diseased, vexed with sickness, and is so newly rather a little amended than well recovered, that I dare put no earthly person in trust with his keeping but myself alone, considering, that there is, as physicians say, and as we also find, double the peril in the relapse that was in the first sickness, with which disease-nature being forelabored, forewearied and weakened-grows the less able to bear out a new excess of the illness. And although there might be found another who would by chance do their best unto him, yet is there none that either knows better how to order him than I that so long have kept him; or is more tenderly like to cherish him than his own mother that bore him."

"No man denies, good Madam," said the Cardinal, "but that your Grace were of all folk most necessary about your children, and so would all the Council not only be content but also glad that you were, if it might stand with your pleasure to be in such place as might stand with their honor. But if you appoint yourself to tarry here, then think they yet more apt that the Duke of York were at his liberty honorably with the King-to the comfort of them both than here as a sanctuary man to both their dishonor and obloquy. Since there is not always so great necessity to have the child be with the mother, but that occasion may sometime be such that it should be more expedient to keep him elsewhere. Which in this well appears that, at such time as your dearest son, then Prince and now King, should for his honor and good order of the country, keep household in Wales far out of your company, your Grace was well content therewith yourself."

"Not very well content," said the Queen (age 46), "and yet the case is not like: for the one was then in health, and the other is now sick. In which case I marvel greatly that my Lord Protector (age 30) is so desirous to have him in his keeping, where if the child in his sickness miscarried by nature, yet might he run into slander and suspicion of fraud. And where they call it a thing so sore against my child's honor and theirs also that he abides in this place, it is all their honors there to suffer him abide where no man doubts he shall be best kept. And that is here, while I am here, which as yet I intend not to come forth and jeopardize myself after the fashion of my other friends, who, would God, were here in surety with me rather than I were there in jeopardy with them."

"Why, Madam," said another lord, "know you anything why they should be in jeopardy?"

"Nay, verily, Sir," said she, "nor why they should be in prison neither, as they now be. But it is, I trust, no great marvel, though I fear lest those that have not omitted to put them in duress without falsity will omit as little to procure their destruction without cause." The Cardinal made a countenance to the other lord that he should harp no more upon that string. And then said he to the Queen (age 46) that he nothing doubted but that those lords of her honorable kin, who as yet remained under arrest should, upon the matter examined, do well enough. And as toward her noble person, neither was nor could be any manner of jeopardy.

"Whereby should I trust that?" said the Queen (age 46). "In that I am guiltless? As though they were guilty. In that I am with their enemies better beloved than they? When they hate them for my sake. In that I am so near of kin to the King? And how far be they away, if that would help, as God send grace it hurt not. And therefore as for me, I purpose not as yet to depart hence. And as for this gentleman my son, I mind that he shall be where I am till I see further. For I assure you, because I see some men so greedy without any substantial cause to have him, this makes me much the more further from delivering him."

"Truly, madam," said he, "and the further that you be to deliver him, the further be other men to suffer you to keep him, lest your causeless fear might cause you farther to convey him. And many be there that think that he can have no privilege in this place, who neither can have will to ask it, nor malice to deserve it. And therefore they reckon no privilege broken, though they fetch him out, which, if you finally refuse to deliver him, I verily think they will (so much dread has my Lord, his uncle, for the tender love he bears him), lest your Grace should by chance send him away."

"Ah, sir," said the Queen (age 46), "has the Protector (age 30) so tender zeal to him that he fears nothing but lest he should escape him? Thinks he that I would send him hence, which neither is in the plight to send out, and in what place could I reckon him sure, if he be not sure in this the sanctuary, whereof there was never tyrant yet so devilish that dared presume to break. And, I trust God, the most holy Saint Peter-the guardian of this sanctuary-is as strong now to withstand his adversaries as ever he was.

"But my son can deserve no sanctuary, and therefore he cannot have it. Forsooth he has found a goodly gloss by which that place that may defend a thief may not save an innocent. But he is in no jeopardy nor has no need thereof. Would God he had not. Trusts the Protector (age 30) (I pray God he may prove a Protector (age 30)), trusts he that I perceive not whereunto his painted process draws? He says it is not honorable that the Duke abide here and that it were comfortable for them both that he were with his brother because the King lacks a playfellow. Be you sure. I pray God send them both better playfellows than him who makes so high a matter upon such a trifling pretext-as though there could none be found to play with the King unless his brother, who has no lust to play because of sickness, come out of sanctuary, out of his safeguard, to play with him. As though princes as young as they be could not play but with their peers, or children could not play but with their kindred, with whom for the most part they agree much worse than with strangers.

"But the child cannot require the privilege-who told him so? He shall hear him ask it, if he will. However, this is a gay matter: Suppose he could not ask it; suppose he would not ask it; suppose he would ask to go out. If I say he shall not, if I ask the privilege but for myself, I say he that against my will takes out him, breaks the sanctuary. Serves this liberty for my person only, or for my goods too? You may not hence take my horse from me, and may you take my child from me? He is also my ward, for as my learned Council shows me, since he has nothing by descent held by knight's service, the law makes his mother his guardian. Then may no man, I suppose, take my ward from me out of sanctuary, without the breech of the sanctuary. And if my privilege could not serve him, nor he ask it for himself, yet since the law commits to me the custody of him, I may require it for him-unless the law give a child a guardian only for his goods and his lands, discharging him of the care and safekeeping of his body, for which only both lands and goods serve.

"And if examples be sufficient to obtain privilege for my child, I need not far to seek. For in this place in which we now be (and which is now in question whether my child may take benefit of it) mine other son, now King, was born and kept in his cradle and preserved to a more prosperous fortune, which I pray God long to continue. And as all you know, this is not the first time that I have taken sanctuary, for when my lord, my husband, was banished and thrust out of his kingdom, I fled hither being great with child, and here I bore the Prince. And when my lord, my husband, returned safe again and had the victory, then went I hence to welcome him home, and from hence I brought my babe the Prince unto his father, when he first took him in his arms. And I pray God that my son's palace may be as great safeguard to him now reigning, as this place was sometime to the King's enemy. In which place I intend to keep his brother.

"Wherefore here intend I to keep him because man's law serves the guardian to keep the infant. The law of nature wills the mother keep her child. God's law privileges the sanctuary, and the sanctuary my son, since I fear to put him in the Protector's (age 30) hands that has his brother already; and if both princes failed, the Protector (age 30) were inheritor to the crown. The cause of my fear has no man to do but examine. And yet fear I no further than the law fears, which, as learned men tell me, forbids every man the custody of them by whose death he may inherit less land than a kingdom. I can no more, but whosoever he be that breaks this holy sanctuary, I pray God shortly send him need of sanctuary, when he may not come to it. For taken out of sanctuary would I not my mortal enemy were."

The Lord Cardinal, perceiving that the Queen (age 46) grew ever longer the further off and also that she began to kindle and chafe and speak sore, biting words against the Protector (age 30), and such as he neither believed and was also loath to hear, he said unto her for a final conclusion that he would no longer dispute the matter. But if she were content to deliver the Duke to him and to the other lords there present, he dared lay his own body and soul both in pledge, not only for his safety but also for his estate. And if she would give them a resolute answer to the contrary, he would forthwith depart therewithal, and manage whosoever would with this business afterward; for he never intended more to move her in that matter in which she thought that he and all others, save herself, lacked either wit or truth-wit, if they were so dull that they could nothing perceive what the Protector (age 30) intended; truth, if they should procure her son to be delivered into his hands, in whom they should perceive toward the child any evil intended.

The Queen (age 46) with these words stood a good while in a great study. And forasmuch to her seemed the Cardinal more ready to depart than some of the remnant, and the Protector (age 30) himself ready at hand, so that she verily thought she could not keep him there, but that he should immediately be taken thence; and to convey him elsewhere, neither had she time to serve her, nor place determined, nor persons appointed, all things unready because this message came on her so suddenly, nothing less expecting than to have him fetched out of sanctuary, which she thought to be now beset in such places about that he could not be conveyed out untaken, and partly as she thought it might fortune her fear to be false, and so well she knew it was either needless or without remedy to resist; wherefore, if she should needs go from him, she thought it best to deliver him. And over that, of the Cardinal's faith she nothing doubted, nor of some other lords neither, whom she there saw, which as she feared lest they might be deceived, so was she well assured they would not be corrupted. Then thought she it should yet make them the more warily to look to him and the more circumspect to see to his safety, if she with her own hands gave him to them of trust. And at the last she took the young Duke by the hand, and said unto the lords:

"My Lord," said she, "and all my lords, I neither am so unwise to mistrust your wits, nor so suspicious to mistrust your truths. Of which thing I purpose to make you such a proof that, if either of both lacked in you, might turn both me to great sorrow, the realm to much harm, and you to great reproach. For, lo, here is," said she, "this gentleman, whom I doubt not but I could here keep safe if I would, whatsoever any man say. And I doubt not also but there be some abroad, so deadly enemies unto my blood, that if they knew where any of it lay in their own body, they would let it out.

"We have also had experience that the desire of a kingdom knows no kindred. The brother has been the brother's bane. And may the nephews be sure of their uncle? Each of these children is the other's defense while they be asunder, and each of their lives lies in the other's body. Keep one safe and both be sure, and nothing for them both more perilous than to be both in one place. For what wise merchant ventures all his goods in one ship?

"All this notwithstanding, here I deliver him and his brother in him-to keep into your hands-of whom I shall ask them both before God and the world. Faithful you be, that know I well, and I know well you be wise. Power and strength to keep him, if you wish, neither lack you of yourself, nor can lack help in this cause. And if you cannot elsewhere, then may you leave him here. But only one thing I beseech you for the trust that his father put in you ever, and for trust that I put in you now, that as far as you think that I fear too much, be you well wary that you fear not as far too little." And therewithal she said unto the child: "Farewell, my own sweet son. God send you good keeping. Let me kiss you once yet before you go, for God knows when we shall kiss together again." And therewith she kissed him, and blessed him, turned her back and wept

and went her way, leaving the child weeping as fast.

When the Lord Cardinal and these other lords with him had received this young duke, they brought him into the Star Chamber where the Protector (age 30) took him in his arms and kissed him with these words:

"Now welcome, my Lord, even with all my very heart." And he said in that of likelihood as he thought. Thereupon forthwith they brought him to the King, his brother, into the Bishop's Palace at Paul's, and from thence through the city honorably into the Tower, out of which after that day they never came abroad.

When the Protector (age 30) had both the children in his hands, he opened himself more boldly, both to certain other men, and also chiefly to the Duke of Buckingham, although I know that many thought that this Duke was privy to all the Protector's (age 30) counsel, even from the beginning.

And some of the Protector's (age 30) friends said that the Duke was the first mover of the Protector (age 30) to this matter, sending a private messenger unto him, straight after King Edward's death. But others again, who knew better the subtle cunning of the Protector (age 30), deny that he ever opened his enterprise to the Duke until he had brought to pass the things before rehearsed. But when he had imprisoned the Queen's (age 46) kinsfolks and gotten both her sons into his own hands, then he opened the rest of his purpose with less fear to them whom he thought meet for the matter, and specially to the Duke, who being won to his purpose, he thought his strength more than half increased.

The matter was broken unto the Duke by subtle folks, and such as were masters of their craft in the handling of such wicked devices, who declared unto him that the young king was offended with him for his kinsfolks' sakes, and that if he were ever able, he would revenge them, who would prick him forward thereunto if they escaped (for the Queen's (age 46) family would remember their imprisonment). Or else if his kinsfolk were put to death, without doubt the young king would be sorrowful for their deaths, whose imprisonment was grievous unto him. And that with repenting the Duke should nothing avail: for there was no way left to redeem his offense by benefits, but he should sooner destroy himself than save the King, who with his brother and his kinsfolks he saw in such places imprisoned, as the Protector (age 30) might with a nod destroy them all; and that it were no doubt but he would do it indeed, if there were any new enterprise attempted. And that it was likely that as the Protector (age 30) had provided private guard for himself, so had he spies for the Duke and traps to catch him if he should be against him, and that, perchance, from them whom he least suspected. The state of things and the dispositions of men were then such that a man could not well tell whom he might trust or whom he might fear. These things and such like, being beaten into the Duke's mind, brought him to that point where he had repented the way he had entered, yet would he go forth in the same; and since he had once begun, he would stoutly go through. And therefore to this wicked enterprise, which he believed could not be avoided, he bent himself and went through and determined that since the common mischief could not be amended, he would turn it as much as he might to his own advantage.

Then it was agreed that the Protector (age 30) should have the Duke's aid to make him king, and that the Protector's (age 30) only lawful son should marry the Duke's daughter, and that the Protector (age 30) should grant him the quiet possession of the Earldom of Hertford, which he claimed as his inheritance and could never obtain it in King Edward's time. Besides these requests of the Duke, the Protector (age 30) of his own mind promised him a great quantity of the King's treasure and of his household stuff. And when they were thus at a point between themselves, they went about to prepare for the coronation of the young king as they would have it seem. And that they might turn both the eyes and minds of men from perceiving their plans, the lords, being sent for from all parties of the realm, came thick to that solemnity.

But the Protector (age 30) and the Duke, after that, once they had set the Lord Cardinal, the Archbishop of York (then Lord Chancellor), the bishop of Ely (age 63), Lord Stanley, and Lord Hastings (age 52) (then Lord Chamberlain) with many other noble men to commune and devise about the coronation in one place, as fast were they in another place contriving the contrary, and to make the Protector (age 30) king. To which council, although there were admittedly very few, and they very secret, yet began there, here and there about, some manner of muttering among the people, as though all should not long be well, though they neither knew what they feared nor wherefore: Were it that before such great things, men's hearts of a secret instinct of nature misgives them, as the sea without wind swells of itself sometime before a tempest; or were it that some one man haply somewhat perceiving, filled many men with suspicion, though he showed few men what he knew. However, somewhat the dealing itself made men to muse on the matter, though the council was closed. For little by little all folk withdrew from the Tower and drew to Crosby's Place in Bishopsgate Street where the Protector (age 30) kept his household. The Protector (age 30) had the people appealing to him; the King was in manner alone. While some for their business made suit to them that had the doing, some were by their friends secretly warned that it might haply turn them to no good to be too much attendant about the King without the Protector's (age 30) appointment, who removed also many of the Prince's old servants from him, and set new ones about him. Thus many things coming together-partly by chance, partly by purpose-caused at length not only common people who wave with the wind, but also wise men and some lords as well, to mark the matter and muse thereon, so far forth that the Lord Stanley, who was afterwards Earl of Darby, wisely mistrusted it and said unto the Lord Hastings (age 52) that he much disliked these two several councils.

"For while we," said he, "talk of one matter in the one place, little know we whereof they talk in the other place."

"My Lord," said the Lord Hastings (age 52), "on my life, never doubt you. For while one man is there who is never thence, never can there be things once minded that should sound amiss toward me, but it should be in mine ears before it were well out of their mouths."

This meant he by Catesby, who was of his near secret counsel and whom he very familiarly used, and in his most weighty matters put no man in so special trust, reckoning himself to no man so dear, since he well knew there was no man to him so much beholden as was this Catesby, who was a man well learned in the laws of this land, and by the special favor of the Lord Chamberlain in good authority and much rule bore in all the county of Leicester where the Lord Chamberlain's power chiefly lay. But surely great pity was it that he had not had either more truth or less wit. For his dissimulation alone kept all that mischief up. If the Lord Hastings (age 52) had not put so special trust in Catesby, the Lord Stanley and he had departed with diverse other lords and broken all the dance, for many ill signs that he saw, which he now construed all to the best, so surely thought he there could be none harm toward him in that council intended where Catesby was. And of truth the Protector (age 30) and the Duke of Buckingham made very good semblance unto the Lord Hastings (age 52) and kept him much in company. And undoubtedly the Protector (age 30) loved him well and loath was to have lost him, saving for fear lest his life should have quelled their purpose. For which cause he moved Catesby to prove with some words cast out afar off, whether he could think it possible to win the Lord Hastings (age 52) to their part. But Catesby, whether he tried him or questioned him not, reported unto them that he found him so fast and heard him speak so terrible words that he dared no further say. And of truth the Lord Chamberlain, with great trust, showed unto Catesby the mistrust that others began to have in the matter.

John Russell appointed Lord Chancellor

On 13 May 1483 Bishop John Russell was appointed Lord Chancellor. He replaced Archbishop Thomas Rotherham (age 59).

1484 Opening Parliament

Calendars. Be it remembered that on Friday, 23 January in the first year of the reign of King Richard the third (age 31) since the conquest, that is, on the first day of parliament, with the lord king sitting on the royal throne in the Painted Chamber [Map] within his palace of Westminster, then being present many lords spiritual and temporal, and the commons of the realm of England, assembled at the aforesaid parliament at the king's command, the venerable father John, Bishop of  Lincoln, chancellor of England memorably declared and announced the reasons for summoning the aforesaid parliament, taking as his theme: 'In the body there are many limbs, but not all have the same function'. In which words he gravely and very astutely explained the fealty which subjects of the king (age 31) and the functions individual members owe to the principal member, asserting that there are three kinds of body, namely the natural, the aggregate and the politic, and going on to suggest that one coin, the tenth, had been lost from the most precious fabric of the body politic of England and that to hunt for it and find it would require the king and all the lords spiritual and temporal to be very assiduous and diligent during this parliament; concluding that after the finding of the tenth coin, which signifies perfection, our body politic of England would endure gloriously and for a long time, healthy, safe and free from all damage or injury; the king (age 31), the great men of the realm and the commons eternally cherishing peace outward and inward and the author of that peace. At the end of which declaration and announcement, the aforesaid chancellor in the king's (age 31) name firmly ordered the commons to assemble on the following day in their common house as usual and elect one of their number as their speaker, and to present the man thus elected to the same lord king. The same chancellor announced moreover that the said lord king, wishing justice to be done more swiftly both to denizens and aliens wishing to complain in the said parliament, had appointed and assigned certain receivers of the petitions to be presented in the same parliament in the following form ...

Ellis' Letters S2 V1 Letter LIV. [21 Jun 1484.] King Richard the Third (age 31) to his Chancellor, to prepare a Proclamation against Henry Tudor and other rebels his followers.

[MS. Donat. Mus. Brit. 4616. art. 98. ex bund, infra turr. LOND. temp. ric. hi. n. 28.]

R. R.

Right reverend fader in God, right trusty and right welbeloved, we grete yow wele, and wol and charge yow that under oure Greate Seale, being in your warde, ye do make in all haist our lettres of Proclamation, severally to be directed unto the shirrefs of everie Coun tie within this oure Royaume, according to the tenure hereafter ensueing.

"Forasmoche as the King oure Soverain Lorde hathe certaine knowledge that Piers Bisshop of Excestre, Jasper Tidder sone of Owen Tidder calling himself Erie of Pembroke, John late Erie of Oxon, and Sir Edward Widevile, with other diverse his rebells and traitours disabled and attayntedby authoritie of high Courte of Parliament, of whom many been knowon for open niiirtlrors, advowtcrs, and extortioners, contrarie to the pleasure of God and against all treuthe, honour, and nature, have forsaken thair naturall countrev, takin^j theim furst to be vuider the obeissaunce of the Due of Britaigne, and to him promised certain things which by hym and his Counseill were thought thinges to gretly unnaturall and abominable for theim to graunte, observe, kepe, and perfourme ; and therfor the same utterly refused. The said Traitours seeing that the said Due and his Counseill would not aide and succour theim, nor folow their weyes, prively departed out of his countrey into Fraunce1, there taking theim to be undre th''obbeisance of the Kings auncient ennemie Charles, calling himself King of Fraunce ; and to abuse and blynde the Commones of this said Koyaume, the said Rebeles and Traitours have chosen to be their Capitayne oon Henry Tidder son of Edmond Tidder son of Owen Tidder, whiche of his ambitious and insatiable covetise incrocheth and usurpeth hym the name and title of royal estate of this Roialme of Englande, wherunto he hath no maner interest, right, title, or colour, as every man wel knoweth ; for he is descended of bastard blode both of the fader side and moder side ; for the said Owen, the grandfader, was a bastard borne, and his moder was doughter unto John Duc of Somerset, sone unto John Erie of Somerset, son unto dame Kateryne Swynford, and of her in double advoutrow goten ; wherby it evidently appereth that noo title can or may be in hym, whiche fulley entendeth to entre this Royaume purposing a conquest : and if he should atcheve this false entent and purpose, every mannys lif, livelood, and goods shuld be in his hands, libertie, and disposition : wherby shuld ensue the disheriting and distruction of all the noble and worshipfull blode of this Royalme for ever. And to the resistence and withstanding wherof, every true and naturall Englisheman born must lay to his handes for his own suertie, and well, and to the entent that the said Henry Tidder might the rather eschewe his said fals entent and pourpous by the aide, supporte, and assistence of the Kings said auncient ennemye of Fraunce, hath covenaunted and bargayned with hym and with all the Counseill of Fraunce to geve . and relesse in perpetuyte alle the right, title, and clayme that the Kings of England have had and mighte to have to the Corone and Royaume of Fraunce, togidder with the Duchies of Normandye, Angeoye and IVIaygne, Gascoygne and Guyenne, the Castelles and Townes of Caleys, Guisnes, Hammes, with the merches apperteignyng to the same, and to dessever and exclude the armes of Fraunce out of the armes of England for ever. And in more prove and sheweing of his said pourpose of conquest, the said Henry Tidder hath geven aswele to divers of the Kings said eiRMnycs as to Iiis said rebelles and traitoures, the Aichbisshoprekes, Bissliopriches, and other dignities spirituel, and also the Diiehies, Earledomes, Baronies, and otlu-e possessions and inheritaunces of Knights, Esquires, Gentlemen, and othre the Kings true subgets within this Roialnie ; and entendeth also to chaunge and subvert the lawes of the same, and to enduce and establisshe newe lawes and ordinaunces amongs the Kings said subjiettes. And over this and besids the alienations of all the premisses into the possession of the Kings said ancient enemyes, to the gretest augeutisement, shame, and rebuke that ever might falle to this lande, the said Henry Tider and othre the Kings rebells and traietours aforesaid, have entended at thair cummyng, if theye can be of powair, to doo the moost cruell murdres, slaghters, robberies, and disherisons that ever wer seen in any Cristen Royaume. For the whiche and othre inestimable daungieres to be eschew'ed, and to the entent that the Kings said rebells, traitours, and enemyes may be utterly putt from their said malicious and fals pourpose, and soon disconfitcd of their enforce to lande, the King oure soverayn Lorde desireth, willeth, and commaundeth all and everych of the naturel and true subgiets of this his Royaume, to call the premisses into their myndes, and like good and true Enghsshemen to ... thaym self with all their powairs for the defense of theini, thair wifs, children, goocles, and hereditaments, agenst the said malicious purposes and conspirations whiche the said auncient ennemyes have made with the Kings said rebelles and traitours for the fynal destruction of this lande as is aforesaid. And oure sayde soverayn Lord, as awelewilled, diligent, and couragious Prince wol put his royal persone to all .... and payne necessarie in this behalve for the resistence and subdueing of his said ennemyes, rebelles and traitours to the moost comfort, wele, and suertie of all his true and feithfull liegemen and subgiettes; and over this cure said soverayn Lorde willeth and comaundeth all his said subgietts to be redy in their moost defensible arraye, to doo his Highnesse service of Werre, whan they by open proclamation or otherwise shall be commanded so to do for the resistence of the Kings said rebells, traitours, and enemyes" And thise oure Lettres shall be your sufficient warrant in that behalve.

Yeven under oure Signet, at oure Castell of Notyngham, the xxi day of Juyn the secund yere of our reigne.

To the right reverend fader in God our right trusty and right welbeloved the Bisshop of Lincoln our Chauncellour of England.

Note 1. For a comment upon this passage of the Letter, the reader may refer to Hall's Chronicle, edit. 1548. foll. xlv. b. xlvi.

Another Letter to the Bishop, directing a similar Proclamation to be prepared, dated December 3d m the same year, occurs in the Harleian Manuscript 433. fol. 273 b.

In 1485 William was authorised by letters patent of Richard Ill to found and endow the almshouse [of Browne’s Hospital, Stamford [Map]], but after his death and that of his wife Margaret, in 1489, the management of the Hospital passed to her brother, Thomas Stokke, Canon of York and Rector of Easton-on-the-Hill, just outside Stamford. Stokke obtained new letters patent from Henry VII in 1493 and the chapel was consecrated by the Bishop of Lincoln on 22nd December, 1494 [who died eight days later!].

On 30 Dec 1494 Bishop John Russell died at Nettleham. He was buried at Lincoln Cathedral [Map].