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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    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.
    M. Mayor of Hereford M. Sheriff o'th'Shire,
    85Commit Lord Powess to safe custody,
    To answer the disturbance of the peace,
    Lord Herberts peril, and his high contempt
    Of us, and you the Kings Commissioners,
    See it be done with care and diligence.
    90Sher. Please it your Lordship, my Lord Powess is gone
    Past all recovery.
    2. Jud. Yet let search be made,
    To apprehend his followers that are left.
    Sher. These are some of them: sirs, lay hold of them.
    95Owen. Of us? and why? what has her done I pray you?
    Sher. Disarme them, Bailiffs.
    May. Officers assist.
    Davy. Hear you, Lord Shudge, what resson for this?
    Owen. Cossoon, pe puse for fighting for our Lord?
    1001. Jud. Away with them.
    Davy. Harg you my Lord.
    Owen. Gough my Lord Herberts man's a shitten kanave.
    Davy. Ice live and tye in good quarrel.
    Owen. Pray you do shustice, let awl be prison.
    105Davy. Prison, no,
    Lord Shudge, I wool give you pale, good surety.
    2. Jud. What bail? what sureties?
    Davy. Her Cozen ap Rice, ap Evan, ap Morice, ap
    Morgan, ap Lluellyn, ap Madoc, ap Meredith, ap Griffin,
    110ap Davy, ap Owen, ap Shinken Shones.
    2. Jud. Two of the most sufficient are enow.
    Sher. And't please your Lordship these are all but one.
    1. Jud. To Jayl with them, & the Lord Herberts men,
    We'll talk with them, when the Assize is done.Exeunt.
    115Riotous, audacious, and unruly Grooms,
    Must we be forced to come from the Bench,
    To quiet brawls, which every Constable
    In other civil places can suppresse?
    2. Jud. What was the quarrel that caus'd all this stir?
    120Sher. About Religion as I heard, my Lord.
    Lord Powess detracted from the power of Rome,
    Affirming Wickliffs Doctrine to be true,
    And Romes erroneus: hot reply was made
    By the Lord Herbert, they were Traitors all
    125That would maintain it. Powess answered,
    They were as true, as noble, and as wise
    As he, that would defend it with their lives,
    He nam'd for instance Sir John Oldcastle
    The Lord Cobham: Herbert replyed again,
    130He, thou, and all are Traitors that so hold.
    The lye was given, the several Factions drawn,
    And so enrag'd, that we could not appease it.
    1. Jud.This case concerns the Kings Prerogative,
    And 'tis dangerous to the State and Common-wealth.
    135Gentlemen, Justices, M. Mayor, and M. Sheriff,
    It doth behoove us all, and each of us
    In general and particular, to have care
    For the suppressing of all mutinies,
    And all assemblies, except souldiers musters,
    140For the Kings preparation into France.
    We hear of secret Conventicles made,
    And there is doubt of some Conspiracies,
    Which may break out into rebellious armes
    When the King's gone, perchance before he go:
    145Note as an instance, this one perillous fray,
    What factions might have grown on either part,
    To the destruction of the King and Realme:
    Yet, in my conscience, Sir John Oldcastle's
    Innocent of it, onely his name was us'd.
    150We therefore from his Highnesse give this charge:
    You Master Mayor, look to your Citizens,
    You Master Sheriff, unto your Shire, and you
    As Justices in every ones precinct
    There be no meetings. When the vulgar sort
    155Sit on their Ale-bench, with their cups and cans,
    Matters of State be not their common talk,
    Nor pure Religion by their lips prophan'd.
    Let us return unto the Bench again,
    And there examine further of this fray.
    160Enter a Bailiff and a Serjeant.
    Sher. Sirs, have ye taken the Lord Powess yet?
    Bail. No, nor heard of him.
    Ser. No, he's gone far enough.
    2. Jud. They that are left behind, shall answer all.