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  • Title: The History of Sir John Oldcastle (Folio 3, 1664)
  • Editor: Michael Best

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    the good Lord Cobham.
    Tom. A pair of golden spurs? why do you not put
    them on your heels? your bosome's no place for spurs.
    Mur. Be't more or lesse upon occasion, Lord have
    mercy upon us, Tom th'art a fool, and thou speak'st trea-
    1270son to Knight-hood: dare any wear gold or silver spurrs
    till he be a Knight? No, I shall be knighted to morrow,
    and then they shall on: Sirs, was it ever read in the
    Church book of Dunstable, that ever Malt-man was made
    1275Tom. No but you are more: you are Meal-man, Malt-
    man, Miller, Corn-Master and all.
    Dick. Yea, and half a Brewer too, and the devil and
    all for wealth: you bring more money with you, then all
    the rest.
    1280Mur. The more's my honour, I shall be a Knight to
    morrow. Let me spose my men, Tom upon Cut, Dick
    upon Hob, Hodge upon Ball, Raph upon Sorel, and Ro-
    bin upon the fore-horse.

    Enter Acton, Bourn, and Beverley.

    1285Tom. Stand, who comes there?
    Act. All friends, good fellow.
    Mur. Friends and fellows indeed, Sir Roger.
    Act. Why thus you shew your self a Gentleman,
    To keep your day, and come so well prepar'd.
    1290Your Cart stands yonder, guarded by your men,
    Who tell me it is loaden well with Coin,
    What summe is there?
    Mur. Ten thousand pound, Sir Roger, and modestly,
    decently, soberly, and handsomely, see what I have here
    1295against I be Knighted.
    Act. Gilt spurrs? 'Tis well.
    Mur. Where's our Army, sir?
    Act. Disperst in sundry villages about;
    Some here with us in Hygate, some at Finchley,
    1300Totnam, Enfield, Edmunton, Newington,
    Islington, Hogsdone, Pancredge, Kenzington,
    Some nearer Thames, Ratcliff, Blackwall, and Bow :
    But our chief strength must be the Londoners,
    Which ere the Sun to morrow shine,
    1305Will be near fifty thousand in the field.
    Mur. Marry God dild ye dainty my dear, but upon
    occasion Sir Roger Acton, doth not the King know of it,
    and gather his power against us?
    Act. No, he's secure at Eltham.
    1310Mur. What do the Clergy?
    Act. Fear extreamly, yet prepare no force.
    Mur. In and out, to and fro, bully my boykin, we
    shall carry the world afore us, I vow by my worship,
    when I am Knighted, we'll take the King napping, if he
    1315stand on their part.
    Act. This night we few in Hygate will repose,
    With the first Cock we'll rise and arme our selves,
    To be in Ficket field by break of day,
    And there expect our General.
    1320Mur. Sir John Oldcastle, what if he come not?
    Bour. Yet our action stands,
    Sir Roger Acton may supply his place.
    Mur. True M. Bourn, but who shall make me Knight?
    Bev. He that hath power to be our General.
    1325Act. Talk not of trifles, come let's away,
    Our friends of London long till it be day.Exeunt.
    Enter Priest and Doll.
    Doll. By my troth, thou art as jealous a man as lives.
    Priest. Canst thou blame me, Doll. thou art my Lands,
    1330my Goods, my Jewels, my Wealth, my purse, none walks
    within forty miles of London, but a plies thee as truly, as
    the Parish does the poor mans box.
    Doll.I am as true to thee, as the stone is in the wall,
    and thou know'st well enough, I was in as good doing,
    1335when I came to thee, as any wench need to be: and
    therefore thou hast tryed me that thou hast: and I will
    not be kept as I ha bin, that I will not.
    Priest. Doll, if this blade hold, there's not a Pedler
    walks with a pack, but thou shalt as boldly choose of his
    1340wares, as with thy ready mony in a merchants shop,
    we'll have as good silver as the King coins any.
    Doll. What is all the Gold spent you took the last day
    from the Courtier?
    Priest. 'Tis gone Doll, 'tis flown; merrily come, mer-
    1345rily gone; he comes a horse back that must pay for all;
    we'll have as good meat as mony can get, and as good
    gowns as can be bought for gold, be merry wench, the
    Malt-man comes on Monday.
    Doll. You might have left me at Cobham, untill you
    1350had been better provided for.
    Priest. No sweet Doll, no, I like not that, yon old
    Ruffian is not for the Priest: I do not like a new Cleark
    should come in the old Bel-fry.
    Doll. Thou art a mad Priest ifaith.
    1355Priest. Come Doll, I'le see thee safe at some Ale-house
    here at Cray,
    and the next sheep that comes shall leave
    behind his fleece.Exeunt.
    Enter the King, Suffolk, and Butler. great hast.My Lord of Suffolk, post away for (life,
    1360And let our forces of such horse and foot,
    As can be gathered up by any means.
    Make speedy randevouze in Tuttle fields,
    It must be done this evening my Lord,
    This night the Rebels mean to draw to head
    1365Near Islington, which if your speed prevent not,
    If once they should unite their several forces,
    Their power is almost thought invincible,
    Away my Lord, I will be with you soon.
    Suff. I go, my Soveraigne, with all happy speed.Exit.
    1370Kin. Make hast, my Lord of Suffolk, as you love us.
    Butler, post you to London with all speed:
    Command the Maior and Sheriffs on their allegeance,
    The City gates be presently shut up,
    And guarded with a strong sufficient watch,
    1375And not a man be suffered to passe,
    Without a special Warrant from our self.
    Command the Postern by the Tower be kept,
    And Proclamation on the pain of death,
    That not a Citizen stir from his doors,
    1380Except such as the Mayor and Sheriffs shall choose
    For their own guard, and safety of their persons:
    Butler away, have care unto my charge.
    But. I go, my Soveraigne.
    King. Butler.
    1385But. My Lord.
    Kin. Go down by Greenwitch, and command a boat,
    At the Friars Bridge attend my coming down.
    But. I will, my Lord.Exit Butler.
    King. It's time I think to look unto Rebellion,
    1390When Acton doth expect unto his aid,
    No lesse then fifty thousand Londoners.
    Well, I'le to Westminster in this disguise,
    To hear what news is stirring in these brawls.
    Enter Priest.
    1395Priest. Stand true-man, sayes a Thief.
    King. Stand Thief sayes a true-man: how if a Thief?
    Pri. Stand