Capitulum quadragesimum secundum.
JOHN the xxijti succedid pope Clemente the vthe xviij. yere; whiche innewede the vijthe booke of þe Decretalles, ordeynenge at generalle studyes disciplyne of the langage of Hebrewe, of Grewe, and of Latyn. A grete moreyn off bestes and dethe Page 309, vol.8 of men were in this yere, and grete plenty of reyne in somer and in herveste, whom a grete derthe of corne folowede, inso|moche that a quarter of whete solde for xlti s. A wryter, Iohn by name, havynge a catte familier to hym, seide openly at Oxenforde abowte Pentecoste, that he was the tru heire of Yng|londe, wherefore he was convicte at Northampton before the noble men of the londe, the kynge presente, and was drawen and hongede. In whiche yere ij. cardinalles commen to Ynglonde excommunicate Robert Bruz, and alle peple support|ynge hym, and interdicte the londe of Scottes. In that kynge Edwarde noryschede ij. of the Spensers, Hewe Spenser the Page 311, vol.8 fader and Hewe Spenser his sonne, ageyne the commune desire of the noble men of þe realme, Thomas of Lancaster and mony other noble men made feble the power of the kynge, in|somoche that assente ȝiffen of the kynge as under a schado, thei exilede the seide Spensers and destroyede theire castells in Wales, toke theire bestes and goodes, and occupiede Gloucestre in wynter: but soone after the kynge callede theyme from exile withowte cownsaile of the noble men of the realme, whiche causede grete stryfes and debate. That doen, tweyne of the Mortymares began over hastily, or that Thomas erle of Lan|castre was redy, and toke diverse cites in the marches, and [folio 387a] expulsede the kynȝhtes of the kynge, untylle that the kynge come with a grete hoste, and so for lacke of money and for the longe taryenge of Thomas erle of Lancastre, the peple and hoste longynge to the seide Mortymars thei were compellede to dedicacion; whiche imprisonede at London, the kynge goynge to Glowcestre, callede bothe the Spensers from exile. After Page 313, vol.8 that the kynge come to Lichefelde abowte the feste of seynte Chadde, that he myȝhte take seynte Thomas erle of Lancastre and the erle of Herforde with theire peple, beynge that tyme at Burton and Tettebery. The kynge passede over the water of Trente, the erle of Lancastre fledde from Burton to Burg|brigge, where Andrewe Harkeley of the kynges parte metynge theyme did sle the erle of Herforde on the same brigge þe xvijthe kalendes of Apryle, and toke seynte Thomas of Lancastre with mony oþer noble men, whiche were hongede in diverse places for the moore parte, but Thomas of Lancastre was heded at Powntefret, his awne castelle, þe xjthe kalendes of Aprile. Of the merites of this erle Thomas of Lancastre diverse a ryve*. [Sic in MS.] dis|ceptacion is hade amonge commune peple wheþer he awe to be annumerate amonge seyntes. Mony peple affermynge hym to be nombrede amonge theyme, in that he ȝafe grete almes, honowrynge religious men, and by apparence dyenge for a ryȝhteous querele, and his adversaryes dyede soone after. Page 315, vol.8 Mony other men affermynge the contrary, seyenge that he refusede a noble gentille woman and his wife, and kepede mony concubynes, noryschynge men fugitive from theire ordre, and other transgressor, that thei scholde not be peyned to dethe, governede after the cownsaile of his secretary. Seyenge also that he awe not to be callede a martir in that he fledde from the defense of ryȝhte, and was taken and putte to dethe ageyne his wylle. But þis for a certente, that mony miracles have be schewede in that place where he suffrede dethe, and moche offrenge hade þer also. From that tyme unto the vjthe yere folowynge, the power of the Spensers began to encrease, and the powere of the qwene to decrease, untylle that the kynge of [folio 387b] Fraunce trowblede the kynge of Ynglonde in that he did not homage for the cuntre of Gascoigne. Kynge Edwarde kepede a parliamente at Yorke abowte the Assencion of oure Lorde, Page 317, vol.8 where he erecte Hewe Spenser the senior unto erle of Wyn|chestre, and Andrew Harkeley into the erle of Caerliell. Kynge Edwarde wente to Scottelonde in the same yere abowte Lam|masse, losynge moche peple þer, thauȝhe he hade noo resistence, by hungre and sekenesse: whiche returnede from that cuntre, the Scottes folowede hym on the bakke, and toke the castelle of Norham abowte the Nativite of oure Lady, and after that thei hade taken the kynge at Blachon moore, but that he fledde; neverthelesse thei toke the treasure of the kynge þer and the erle of Rychemunde. Andrewe Harkeley was taken at Caer|liell in the day folowynge the feste of seynte Chadde, drawen, hongede, heded, and his body divided, his bowells brente afore, lyke a traytour, and his hedde was sette on London brygge. Also abowte Lamasse folowynge Rogerus Mortimere þe yonger escaped from the towre of London, his kepers beynge Page 319, vol.8 in slepe by a drynke receyvyde made þerfore. The qwene of Ynglonde sende to the kynge of Fraunce, her broþer, to make labor for reste and pease. Kynge Edwarde sende Edwarde his sonne into Fraunce to make his homage to þe kynge þerof for the duchery of Aquitanny ȝiffen to hym, whom the kynge of Fraunce causede to tary with his moder in the cowntee Pontyne. The qwene and Edward her sonne taryenge over see, dredynge or ferynge to comme into Ynglonde for the Spensers, kynge Edwarde, by cownsayle of the ij. Spensers, exilede and banyschede theyme openly in the towre of London and thro alle þe cite as traytours of þe realme.