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clay and night like a woman half dead, till she was comforted with the king her son, as ye shall hear after.

CHAPTER CCCLXXXIV

How the nobles of England were in great peril to have been destroyed, and how these rebels were punished and sent home to their own houses.

WHEN the king came to the said place of Mile-end without London, he put out of his company his two brethren, the earl of Kent and sir John Holland, and the lord of Gommegnies, for they durst not appear before the people : and when the king and his other lords were there, he found there a threescore thousand men of divers villages and of sundry countries in England ; so the king entered in among them and said to them sweetly: `Ah, ye good people, I am your king: what lack ye ? what will ye say?' Then such as understood him said We will that ye make us free for ever, ourselves, our heirs and our lands, and that we be called no more bond nor so reputed.' ` Sirs,' said the king, ` I am well agreed thereto. Withdraw you home into your own houses and into such villages as ye came from, and leave behind you of every village two or three, and I shall cause writings to be made and seal them with my seal, the which they shall have with them, containing everything that ye demand; and to the intent that ye shall be the better assured, I shall cause my banners to be delivered into every bailiwick, shire and countries.' These words appeased well the common people, such as were simple and good plain men, that were come thither and wist not why. They said, `It was well said, we desire no better.' Thus these people began to be appeased and began to withdraw them into the city of London. And the king also said a word, the which greatly contented them. He said : `Sirs, among you good men of Kent ye shall have one of my banners with you, and ye of Essex another, and ye of Sussex, of Bedford, of Cambridge, of Yarmouth, of Stafford and of Lynn, each of you one ; and also I pardon everything that ye have done hitherto, so that ye follow my banners and return home to s your houses.' They all answered how they would so do: thus these people departed and went into London. Then the king ordained more than thirty clerks the same Friday, to write with all diligence letter patents and sealed with the king's seal, and delivered them to these people; and when they had received the writing, they departed and returned into their own countries : but the great venom remained still behind, for \Vat Tyler, Jack Straw and John Ball said, for all that these people were thus appeased, yet they would not depart so, and they had of their accord more than thirty thousand. So they abode still and made no press to have the king's writing nor seal, for all their intents was to put the city to trouble in such wise as to slay all the rich and honest persons and to rob and pill their houses. They of London were in great fear of this, wherefore they kept their houses privily with their friends and such servants as they had, every man according to his puissance. And when these said people were this Friday thus somewhat appeased, and that they should depart as soon as they had their writings, every man home into his own country, then king Richard came into the. Royal, where the queen his mother was, right sore affrayed so he comforted her as well as he could and tarried there with her all that night. Yet I shall shew you of an adventure that fell by these ungracious people before the city of Norwich, by a captain among them called Guilliam Lister of Stafford. The same day of Corpus Christi that these people entered into London and brent the duke of Lancaster's house, called the Savey, and the hospital of Saint John's and brake up the king's prisons and did all this hurt, as ye have heard before, the same time there assembled together they of Stafford, of Lynn, of Cambridge, of Bedford and of Yarmouth ; and as they were coming towards London, they had a captain among them called Lister. And as they came, they rested them before Norwich, and in their coming they caused every man to rise with them, so



Page 256 (Chronicles of Froissart)