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938 [938]

Actes and Monumentes Of the Church

and also moste profitable for the preseruation, and safegarde of the Kynges Maiestye. Moreouer, forsomuche as heretofore I haue had often times affayres with diuers men, and that it is hard to please euery man, therfore if there be any man that hath bene offended or iniuryed by me, I moste humblye requyre and aske hym forgeuenes, but especially almighty God, whō throughout all my life I haue most grieuously offended: and vnto all other, whatsoeuer they be that haue offended me, I doe with my whole harte forgeue them. Nowe I once agayne requyre you, dearely beloued in the Lorde, that you will kepe your selues quietlye, and stil, lest through your tumulte, you might cause me to haue some trouble: whiche in this case woulde nothing at all profite me, neither be anye pleasure vnto you. Marginaliawhat patience was in the Duke.For albeit, the spirite be willing and ready, the fleshe is frayle and wauerynge: and through your quietnes, I shall be muche more the quieter. But if that you fall vnto tumulte, it will be great trouble vnto me, and no gayne at all vnto you. Moreouer I desyre you all to beare me witnesse, that I dye here in the faythe of Iesus Christ: desyring you to help me with your prayers, that I may perseuer cōstant in the same vnto my liues ende.

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After this, he turning himselfe agayne about, lyke a meke Lambe kneled downe vppon his knees: vnto whome Doctour Cox, whiche was there present, to counsell and aduertyse hym, deliuered a certayne scroule in his hande, wherein was conteined a brief confession vnto God: whiche being red, he stode vp agayn vpon his fete, without any trouble of minde (as it appeared,) and first bad the sheriffes farewell, thē the Lieutenant of the Towre, the Lord Dyer, and the Lorde Brooke, taking them all by the hands which wer vpon the Scaffold with him. Then he gaue the hangman certaine money: whiche done, he put of his gowne, and knelyng down again in þe straw, vntied his shirt strīgs. Then the hangman cōming vnto him, turned down his coller round about his necke, and all other things whiche did let or hinder him. Thē he couering his face with his own hādkerchief, lifting vp his handes vnto heauen, wheras his only hope remained, he layed himself downe a long, shewing no maner of token of trouble or feare: neither did his countenaunce chaunge colour, but that before his eyes were couered, the bloud began to shew in his chekes. Thus, this moste meke and gentle Duke lying along, looking for the stroke, either because þe straw was higher then the blocke, or that his doublet dyd couer his neck, he was cōmaūded to rise agayn and put of his doublet: and after laying hymself down again vpon the blocke, called vpon þe name of Iesus, & now the third time he had vttered these wordes (O lord preserue me) euen as the name of Iesus was in vtteryng, euen ina moment, he was bereft bothe of head and life, and slept in the lord Iesus, taken awaye nowe from all the perils, and euils of this lyfe, wher he resteth nowe in the peace of God, in the preferment of whose truthe and gospell he alwais shewed himselfe in his youthe tyme an excellēt instrument and member, hauing now receiued therefore the rewarde of his labours, wherunto in this life he so muche laboured & trauelled.

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Thus gentle readers, you haue the true description and history of this worthye and noble Duke. And if any man report it otherwise, lette it be counted as a lye.

As touching the maners, disposition, lyfe, and conuersation of the sayde Duke, and lord Protector, what shall we nede to speake or intreate, when as he cannot be sufficiently commēded according to the dignity of hs vertues? There was alwayes in hym great humanity, and such mekenes and gentlenes, as is rare to be founde in so highe estate. He was prone and readye to geue eare vnto the complaintes and supplications of the poore, and no lesse attentiue vnto the affayres of the common wealthe: whiche if he had liued together with kyng Edward, was lyke to dooe muche good in refourming many misorders within this realme. He was vtterly ignoraunt of all craft and deceyt, and as farre voyde of al ambicious pride, as he was from doyng of iniury: whereas in dede, he was vtterly voide of bothe. He was of a gentle disposition, not coueting vengeance, more apt and readye to bee deceyued, then to deceiue. his auncient loue and zeale of the Gospell and religion he broughte with him to the state of this his dignitye.

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Briefly consideryng the nature & vertues of this Duke, I maye, as semeth, not vnaptly compare and resemble hym vnto duke Humfrey, the good Duke of Glocester, who lykewyse being vncle vnto king Henrye the sixte, and Protectoure of the Realme, yet wanted not his enemies, and priuy enuyers, especiallye Henrye Beauforde Cardynall, Bishoppe of Wynchester, and Lorde Chauncelloure of Englande, 

Commentary  *  Close

The account of the rivalry between Cardinal Beaufort and Humphrey , duke of Gloucester, is taken from Edward Hall, The union of the two noble and illustre families of Lancastre and York [London, 1550], STC 12723a, fo. 94r.

who at that tyme disdaynynge and enuyinge the rule and authoritye of thys Duke, procured muche trouble agaynst hym, and great diuision in the whole Realme, inso muche that all the shoppes wythin the Citie of London, were shutte in for feare of the fauourers of these two greate personages. for eche parte hadde assembled no small noumber of people. For pacifying whereof the Archebishoppe of Caunterburye, and the Duke of Quimber, called þe Prince of Portingale, rode viii. times in one day betwene the two aduersaries. Such wer thē the troubles of this tumultuous diuision wtin the realm betwene these 2. not muche vnlike to the troublesome discorde betwixt parties in this Protectors dayes. And

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