After the Chapitles of commodities of divers lands, sheweth the conclusion of keeping of the sea environ, by a storie of King Edgar and two incidents of King Edward the third, and King Henrie the fifth. Chap. 11.NOWE see we well then that this round see
To our Noble by pariformitee
Under the ship shewed there the sayle,
And our king with royal apparayle,
With swerd drawen bright and extent
For to chastise enimies violent;
Should be lord of the sea about,
To keepe enimies from within and without;
To behold through Christianitee
Master and lord environ of the see:
All living men such a prince to dreed,
Of such a regne to bee aferd indeed.
Thus prove I well that it was thus of old;
Which by a Chronicle anon shalbe told,
Right curious: but I will interprete
It into English, as I did it gete:
Of king Edgar: O most marvellous
Prince living, wittie, and chevalerous:
So good that none of his predecessours
Was to him liche in prudence and honours.
Hee was fortunate and more gracious
Then other before, and more glorious:
He was beneth no man in holines:
Hee passed all in vertuous sweetnes.
Of English kings was none so commendable:
To English men no lesse memorable,
Then Cyrus was to Perse by puissance,
And as great Charles was to them of France,
And as to the Romanes was great Romulus,
So was to England this worthy Edgarus.
I may not write more of his worthines
For lacke of time, ne of his holines:
But to my matter I him exemplifie,
Of conditions tweyne and of his policie:
Within his land was one, this is no doubt,
And another in the see without;
That in time of Winter and of werre,
When boystrous windes put see men into fere;
Within his land about by all provinces
Hee passed through, perceiving his princes,
Lords, and others of the commontee,
Who was oppressour, and who to povertee
Was drawen and brought, and who was clene in life,
And was by mischiefe and by strife
With over leding and extortion:
And good and badde of eche condition
Hee aspied: and his ministers als,
Who did trought, and which of hem was fals:
Howe the right and lawes of the land
Were execute, and who durst take in hand
To disobey his statutes and decrees,
If they were well kept in all countrees:
Of these he made subtile investigation
Of his owne espie, and other mens relation.
Among other was his great busines,
Well to ben ware, that great men of riches,
And men of might in citie nor in towne
Should to the poore doe non oppression.
Thus was hee wont in this Winter tide
On such enforchise busily to abide.
This was his labour for the publike thing,
Thus was hee occupied: a passing holy King.
Nowe to purpose, in the Sommer faire
Of lusty season, whan clered was the aire,
He had redie shippes made before
Great and huge, not fewe but many a store:
Full three thousand and sixe hundred also
Stately inough on our sea to goe.
The Chronicles say, these shippes were full boysteous:
Such things long to kings victorious.
In Sommer tide would hee have in wonne
And in custome to be ful redie soone,
With multitude of men of good array
And instruments of werre of best assay.
Who could hem well in any wise descrive?
It were not light for eny man alive.
Thus he and his would enter shippes great
Habiliments having and the fleete
Of See werres, that joyfull was to see
Such a navie and Lord of Majestee,
There present in person hem among
To saile and rowe environ all along,
So regal liche about the English isle;
To all strangers terrours and perile.
Whose fame went about in all the world stout,
Unto great fere of all that be without,
And exercise to Knights and his meynee
To him longing of his natall cuntree.
For courage of nede must have exercise,
Thus occupied for esshewin of vice.
This knew the king that policie espied;
Winter and Somer he was thus occupied.
Thus conclude I by authoritee
Of Chronike, that environ the see
Should bene our subjects unto the King,
And hee bee Lord thereof for eny thing:
For great worship and for profite also
To defend his land fro every foo.
That worthy king I leve, Edgar by name,
And all the Chronike of his worthy fame:
Saffe onely this I may not passe away,
A worde of mighty strength till that I say,
That graunted him God such worship here,
For his merites, hee was without pere,
That sometime at his great festivitee
Kings, and Erles of many a countree,
And princes fele were there present,
And many Lords came thider by assent,
To his worship: but in a certaine day
Hee bad shippes to bee redie of aray:
For to visit Saint Johns Church hee list
Rowing unto the good holie Baptist,
Hee assigned to Erles, Lords, and knights
Many ships right godly to sights:
And for himselfe and eight kings moo
Subject to him hee made kepe one of thoo,
A good shippe, and entrede into it
With eight kings, and downe did they sit;
And eche of them an ore tooke in hand,
At ore hales, as I understand,
And he himselfe at the shippe behinde
As steris man it became of kinde.
Such another rowing I dare well say,
Was not seene of Princes many a day.
Lo than how hee in waters got the price,
In lande, in see, that I may not suffice
To tell, 0 right, 0 magnanimitee,
That king Edgar had upon the see.
An incident of the Lord of the sea King Edward the third.OF king Edward I passe and his prowes
On lande, on sea yee knowe his worthines:
The siege of Caleis, ye know well all the matter
Round about by land, and by the water,
Howe it lasted not yeeres many agoe,
After the battell of Crecye was ydoe:
Howe it was closed environ about,
Olde men sawe it, which liven, this is no doubt.
Old Knights say that the Duke of Burgoyn,
Late rebuked for all his golden coyne;
Of ship on see made no besieging there,
For want of shippes that durst not come for feare.
It was nothing besieged by the see:
Thus call they it no siege for honestee.
Gonnes assailed, but assault was there none,
No siege, but fuge: well was he that might be gone:
This maner carping have knights ferre in age,
Expert through age of this maner language.
But king Edward made a siege royall,
And wanne the towne: and in especiall
The sea was kept, and thereof he was Lord.
Thus made he Nobles coyned of record;
In whose time was no navie on the see
That might withstand his majestie.
Battell of Scluse yee may rede every day,
Howe it was done I leve and goe my way:
It was so late done that yee it knowe,
In comparison within a litle throwe:
For which to God give we honour and glorie;
For Lord of see the king was with victorie.
Another incident of keeping of the see, in the time of the marveilous werriour and victorious Prince, King Henrie the fifth, and of his great shippes.AND if I should conclude all by the King
Henrie the fift, what was his purposing,
Whan at Hampton he made the great dromons,
Which passed other great ships of all the commons;
The Trinitie, the Grace de Dieu, the holy Ghost,
And other moe, which as nowe bee lost.
What hope ye was the kings great intent
Of thoo shippes, and what in minde hee meant?
It was not ellis, but that hee cast to bee
Lorde round about environ of the see.
And when Harflew had her siege about,
There came caracks horrible great and stoute
In the narrow see willing to abide,
To stoppe us there with multitude of pride.
My Lord of Bedford came on and had the cure,
Destroyed they were by that discomfiture.
This was after the king Harflew had wonne,
Whan our enemies to siege had begonne;
That all was slaine or take, by true relation,
To his worshippe, and of his English nation.
There was present the kings chamberlaine
At both battailes; which knoweth this in certaine;
He can it tell otherwise then I:
Aske him, and witte; I passe foorth hastily.
What had this king of his magnificence,
Of great courage, of wisedome, and prudence?
Provision, forewitte, audacitee,
Of fortitude, justice, and agilitee,
Discretion, subtile avisednesse,
Attemperance, Noblesse, and worthinesse:
Science, prowesse, devotion, equitie,
Of most estate, with his magnanimitie
Liche to Edgar, and the saide Edward,
As much of both liche hem as in regard.
Where was on live a man more victorious,
And in so short time prince so marveilous?
By land and sea, so well he him acquitte,
To speake of him I stony in my witte.
Thus here I leave the king with his noblesse,
Henry the fift, with whom all my processe
Of this true booke of pure policie
Of sea keeping, entending victorie
I leave endly: for about in the see
No Prince was of better strenuitee.
And if he had to this time lived here,
He had bene Prince named withouten pere:
His great ships should have ben put in preefe,
Unto the ende that he ment of in cheefe,
For doubt it not but that he would have bee
Lord and master about the round see:
And kept it sure to stoppe our enemies hence,
And wonne us good, and wisely brought it thence:
That no passage should be without danger,
And his licence on see to move and sterre.