Internet Shakespeare Editions

Authors: Anonymous, Michael Drayton, Richard Hathway, Antony Munday, William Shakespeare, Robert Wilson
Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

The History of Sir John Oldcastle (Folio 3, 1664)

1The History of Sir John Oldcastle,
the good Lord Cobham.


THe doubfull Title (Gentlemen) prefixt
5Upon the Argument we have in hand,
May breed suspence, and wrongfully disturb
The peacefull quiet of your setled thoughts:
To stop which scruple, let this brief suffice.
It is no pamper'd Glutton we present,
10Nor aged Counsellor to youthfull sin;
But one, whose vertue shone above the rest,
A valiant Martyr, and a vertuous Peer,
In whose true faith and loyalty exprest
Unto his Soveraigne, and his Countries weal:
15We strive to pay that tribute of our love
Your favours merit: Let fair truth be grac'd,
Since forg'd invention former time defac'd.

My Lords I charge ye in his Highness name,
20To keep the peace, you and your followers.
Her. Good M. Sheriff, look unto your self.
Pow. Do so, for we have other businesse.
Proffer to fight again.
Sher. Will ye disturb the Judges, and the Assize?
25Hear the King's Proclamation, ye were best.
Pow. Hold then, let's hear it.
Her. But be brief, ye were best.
Bail. O yes.
Davy. Cossone, make shorter O, or shall mar your Yes.
30Bail. O yes.
Owyn. What, has her nothing to say, but O yes?
Bay. O yes.
Da. O nay, py coss plut, down with her, down with her.
A Powesse, a Powesse.
35Gough. A Herbert, a Herbert, and down with Powesse.
Helter skelter again.
Sher. Hold in the King's name, hold.
Owyn. Down with a kanaves name, down.

In this fight the Bailiff is knock'd down, and the Sheriff
40and the other run away.

Her. Powesse, I think thy welsh and thou do smart.
Pow. Herbert, I think my sword came near thy heart.
Her. Thy hearts best bloud shall pay the loss of mine.
Gough. A Herbert, a Herbert.
45Davy. A Powesse, a Powesse.
As they are fighting, enter the Mayor of Hereford, his
Officers and Towns-men with Clubs.
Mai. My Lords, as you are Liege-men to the Crown,
True Noblemen, and subjects to the King,
50Attend his highnesse Proclamation,
Commanded by the Judges of Assize,
For keeping peace at this assembly.
Her. Good M. Maior of Hereford, be brief.
Mai. Serjeant, without the ceremonies of O yes,
55Pronounce aloud the Proclamation.
Ser. The Kings Justices, perceiving what publick mis-
chief may ensue this private quarrel: in his Majesties
name, do straightly charge and command all persons, of
what degree soever, to depart this City of Hereford, ex-
60cept such as are bound to give attendance at this Assize,
and that no man presume to wear any weapon, especially
Welsh-hooks, Forrest Bills.
Owyn. Haw? No pill nor Wells hoog? ha?
Mai. Peace, and hear the Proclamation.
65Ser. And that the Lord Powess do presently disperse
and discharge his retinue, and depart the City in the Kings
peace, he and his followers, on pain of imprisonment.
Dav. Haw? pud her Lord Pawess in prison? A Pawess
A Pawess. Cossoon, her will live and tye with her Lord.
70Gough. A Herbert, a Herbert.

In this fight the Lord Herbert is wounded, and falls to
the ground, the Maior & his company cry for clubs:
Powess runs away, Gough and Herberts faction
are busie about him. Enter the two Jud-
75ges, the Sheriff, and his Bayliffs
afore them, &c.

1. Jud. Where's the Lord Herbert? Is he hurt or slain?
Sher. He's here, my Lord.
2. Jud. How fares his Lordship, friends?
80Gough.Mortally wounded, speechless, he cannot live.
1. Jud. Convey him hence, let not his wounds take air,
And get him drest with expedition.
Exit L. Herbert and Gough.