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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Enter Sir Roger Acton, M. Bourn, M. Beverley, and
    William Murley the Brewer of Dunstable.
    Acton. Now M. Murley, I am well assur'd
    You know our errant, and do like the cause?
    755Being a man affected as we are?
    Mur. Marry God dild ye dainty my dear: No Ma-
    ster, good Sir Roger Acton, M. Bourn, and M. Beverley,
    Gentlemen and Justices of the Peace, no Master, I, but
    plain William Murley the Brewer of Dunstable, your
    760honest neighbour and your friend, if ye be men of my
    Bev. Professed friends to Wickliff; foes to Rome.
    Mur. Hold by me, Lad, lean upon that staff, good
    Master Beverley, all of a house, say your mind, say your
    Acton. You know our faction now is grown so great
    Throughout the Realm, that it begins to smoak
    Into the Clergies eyes, and the King's ears,
    High time it is that we were drawn to head,
    770Our General and Officers appointed.
    And warrs ye wot, will ask great store of coyn,
    Able to strength our action with your purse,
    You are elected for a Colonel
    Over a Regiment of fifteen Bands.
    775Mur. Fue, paltry, paltry, in and out, to and fro, be
    it more or lesse upon occasion, Lord have mercy upon us,
    what a world is this? Sir Roger Acton, I am but a Dun-
    stable man, a plain Brewer, ye know: will lusty cave-
    liering Captains (Gentlemen) come at my calling, go
    780at my bidding? Dainty my deer, they'll do a dog of wax,
    a horse of cheese, a prick and a pudding; no, no, ye must
    appoint some Lord or Knight at least, to that place.
    Bour. Why, Master Murley, you shall be a Knight:
    Were you not in election to be Sheriff?
    785Have ye not past all Offices but that?
    Have ye not wealth to make your wife a Lady?
    I warrant you, my Lord, our General
    Bestows that honour on you, at first sight.
    Mur. Marry God dild ye dainty my dear:
    790But tell me, who shall be our General?
    Where's the Lord Cobham, Sir John Old-castle
    That noble almse-giver, house-keeper, vertuous,
    Religious Gentleman? Come to me there boyes,
    Come to me there.
    795Acton. Why who but he shall be our General?
    Mur. And shall he Knight me, and make me Colonel?
    Act.My word for that, Sir William Murley Knight.
    Mur. Fellow Sir Roger Acton Knight, all fellows I
    mean in armes, how strong are we? how many partners?
    800Our enemies beside the King are mighty, be it more or
    lesse upon occasion, reckon our force.
    Act. There are of us our friends and followers,
    Three thousand and three hundred at the least:
    Of Northern lads four thousand, beside horse,
    805From Kent there comes with Sir John Old-castle
    Seven thousand: then from London issue out,
    Of Masters, servants, strangers, prentises,
    Forty odde thousands into Ficket field,
    Where we appoint our special Randevouze.
    810Mur. Fue, paltry, paltry, in and out, to and fro,
    Lord have mercy upon us, what a world is this? Where's
    that Ficket field, Sir Roger.
    Act. Behind S. Giles in the field, near Holborn.
    Mur. Newgate, up Holborn, S. Giles in the field,
    815and to Tyburn, an old saw. For the day, for the day?
    Act. On Friday next, the fourteenth day of January.
    Mur. Tilly vally, trust me never If I have any liking
    of that day. Fue, paltry, paltry, Friday quoth a, dismal
    day, Childermas day this year was Friday.
    820Bev. Nay M. Murley, if you observe such dayes,
    We make some question of your constancie,
    All dayes are alike to men resolv'd in right.
    Mur. Say Amen, and say no more, but say and hold
    Master Beverley: Friday next, and Ficket field, and
    825William Murley and his merry men shall be all one: I
    have halfe a score jades that draw my Beer Carts, and e-
    very jade shall bear a knave, and every knave shall wear
    a jack, and every jack shall have a scull, and every scull
    shall shew a spear, and every spear shall kill a foe at Fic
    830ket field, at Ficket field: John and Tom, Dick and
    Hodge, Rafe and Robbin, William and George, and all my
    knaves shall fight like men, at Ficket field, on Friday next.
    Bour. What sum of money mean you to disburse?
    Mur. It may be modestly, decently, and soberly, and
    835handsomely I may bring five hundred pound.
    Act. Five hundred, man? five thousand's not enough,
    A hundred thousand will not pay our men
    Two month's together, either come prepar'd
    Like a brave knight, and martial Colonel,
    840In glittering gold, and gallant Furniture,
    Bringing in Coin, a Cart-load at least,
    And all your followers mounted on good horse,
    Or never come disgracefull to us all.
    Bev. Perchance you may be chosen Treasurer,
    845Ten thousand pound's the least that you can bring.
    Mur. Paltry, paltry, in and out, to and fro: upon
    occasion I have ten thousand pound to spend, and ten too.
    And rather then the Bishop shall have his will of me for
    my Conscience, it shall all. Flame and flax, flax and
    850flame. It was got with water and Malt, and it shall flye
    with fire and Gun-powder. Sir Roger, a Cart-load of
    money till the Axletree crack; my self and my men in
    Ficket field on Friday next: remember my Knight-hood
    and my place: there's my hand I'le be there.Exit.
    855Act. See what ambition may perswade men to,
    In hope of honour he will spend himself.
    Bour. I never thought a Brewer halfe so rich.
    Bev. Was never bankerout Brewer yet but one,
    With using too much Malt, too little water.
    860Act. That's no fault in Brewers now adayes:
    Come, away about our business.Exeunt.