Cant. VI.

Of the Imprisonment of King _Edward_ the second.

The Argument.

The cruell imprisonment of King _Edward_ the second, at the Castle of _Barkley,_ the 22. of September. 1327.

Or who list to lead a Soldiers life.

In wofull warres had victorious beene:

Our comely King her husband deere,

Subdued by strength as did appeare,

By her was sent to prison stronge,

for hauing done his countrie wrong.

In _Barkly_ Castle cast was he,

denied of royall dignitie:

Where he was kept in wofull wise,

his Queene did him so much dispise.

There did he liue in wofull state,

such is a womans deadly hate:

When fickle fancie followes change,

and lustfull thoughts delight to range.

Lord _Mortimer_ was so in minde

the Kings sweete loue was cast behinde:

And none was knowne a greater foe,

vnto King _Edward_ in his woe:

Then _Isabell_ his crowned Queene,

as by the sequell shall be seene.

While he in prison poorely lay,

a Parliament was helde straight way,

What time his foes apace did bring,

billes of complaint against the King:

So that the Nobles of the land,

when they the matter throughly scand,

Pronounced then these speeches plaine,

he was vnworthie for to raigne:

Therefore they made a flat decree,

he should forthwith deposed be.

And his Sonne _Edward_ young of yeares,

was iudged by the Noble Peares,

Most meete to weare the princely Crowne,

his Father being thus pulde downe.

Which wordes when as the Queene did heare:

dissemblingly as did appeare:

She wept, shee waild, and wrong her handes,

before the Lordes whereas she stands:

Which when the Prince her Sonne did see,

he spoke these words most courteously.

My sweete Queene mother weepe not so,

thinke not your Sonne will seeke your woe:

Though English Lords chuse me their king,

my owne deere Father yet liuing:

Think not I will thereto consent,

except my Father be content:

And with good will his Crowne resigne,

and grant it freely to be mine.

Therefore Queene mother thinke no ill,

in me or them for their good will.

Then diuers Lords without delay,

went to the King whereas he lay:

Declaring how the matter stood.

and how the Peeres did think it good:

To chuse his Sonne there King to bee,

if that he would thereto agree:

For to resigne the princely crowne,

and all his title of renowne:

If otherwise they told him plaine,

a stranger should the same attaine.

This dolefull tidings most vnkind,

did sore afflict king _Edwards_ mind:

But when he saw no remedie,

he did vnto their wils agree:

And bitterly he did lament

saying the Lord this plague had sent:

For his offence and vanitie,

which he would suffer patiently.

Beseeching all the Lords at last,

for to forgiue him all was past.

When thus he was deposed quite,

of that which was his lawfull right:

In prison was he kept full close,

without all pittie or remorce.

And those that shewd him fauour still,

were taken from him with ill will:

Which when the Earle of _Kent_ did here,

who was in bloud to him full neere.

He did intreate most earnestly,

for his release and libertie.

His words did much the Queene displease,

who said he liu'd too much at ease:

Vnto the Bishop did shee goe,

of _Hereford_ his deadly foe:

And cruell letters made him wright,

vnto his keepers with dispight:

You are to kind to him (quoth shee)

henceforth more straighter looke you bee:

And in their writing subtillie,

they sent them word that he should die.

The Lord _Matreuers_ all dismaid,

vnto Sir _Thomas Gourney_ said:

The Queene is much displeas'd (quoth he)

for _Edwards_ too much libertie,

And by her letters doth bewray,

that soone he shall be made away:

Tis best, Sir _Thomas_ then replide,

the Queenes wish should not be denide:

Thereby we shall haue her good-will,

and keepe our selues in credite still.