128 The Narcisist

In 1397, Richard finally saw the chance to try to get his revenge on the Appellants – Gloucester, Arundel and Warwick. So the parliament  of September 1397 was momentus.

128 The Narcissist


The Fate of the Apellants – the Parliament of 1397

The Arrest of GloucesterIn 1397 , Richard finally moved on the men who had humiliated him back in 1388. After 9 years of reasoonably reasonable rule this was odd. The theory is thast Richard was a narcisist – depply egocentric, convinced of his own perfection and importance – yet deeply insecure. And so his reactions were extreme. It also became clear that he had never forgotten, nor forgiven the events of 1388.

In 1397 he moved. Two of the Appelannts – Bolingbroke and Mowbray he subborned to his side. The Senior Appellants were his target. Gloucester was arrested and taken to Calais into the care of Thomas Mowbray, Earl of Nottingham. Warwick was invited to supper and arrested afterwards. Richard FitzAlan, Earl of Arundel, was talked out of his castle by his brother, Thomas Arundel Archbishop of Canterbury. 

At the Parliament of 1397, Thomas Arundel was banished. Gloucester was secretly killed in Calais – the blood royal could not be put on trial. Warwick was put on trial, weeped and wailed and was banished. Richard Of Arundel was a fighter. The transcript of his trial below, with John of Gaunt as the Accuser and John Bussy as the Speaker of hte House, is largely the words of contemporary chroniclers, with a bit of tweaking here and there. 

 

Arundel

For what reasons am I standing here accused? I have been pardoned twice by the king

Gaunt

Those pardons have been revoked, traitor!

Arundel

Truly, you lie. I was never traitor

Gaunt

Then why did you seek a pardon?

Arundel

To silence the tongues of my enemies, of whom you are one. And to be sure, when it comes to treason, you are in greater need of a pardon than I am

Richard

Answer the appeal!

Arundel

I see it clearly now.

All you who accuse me of treason, you are all liars! Never was I traitor!

I still claim the full benefit of my pardon, which you, within these last six years, when you were of full age and free to act as you wished, granted to me of your own volition.

Richard

I granted it provided it were not to my prejudice

Gaunt

Therefore the grant is worthless

Arundel

In truth, I was as ignorant about that pardon as you were – and you were abroad at the time – until it was willingly granted to me by the king.

Bussy

That pardon has already been revoked by the king, the lords and us – the faithful commons.

 

At this point Arundel looked around at the Commons assembled in the hall. He might well have noticed that there were very few familiar faces; the Composition of the commons this time around was of almost entirely new men

Arundel

Where are those faithful commons?

You are not here to act faithfully. You are here to shed my blood. If the faithful commons were here they would without doubt be on my side, trying to help mefrom falling into your clutches. They, I know, are grieving greatly for me while you, I know, have always been false.

Bussy

Look, lord king, how this traitor is trying to stir up dissent  between us and the commons who stayed at home!

Arundel

Liars, all of you! I am no traitor!

Bolingbroke

Did you not say to me at Huntingdon, when we first gathered in revolt, that before doing anything else it would be better to seize the king?

Arundel

You henry, Earl of Derby, you lie in your teeth. I never said anything to you or to anyone else about my lord king, except what was to his welfare and honour.

Richard

Did you not say to me at the time of your parliament, in the bath behind the White Hall, that Simon Burley was worthy of death? And I replied that I neither knew nor could discover any reason for his death. And even the Queen, my wife, and I interceded tirelessly on his behalf, yet you and your accomplices, ignoring our pleas, traitorously put him to death.

 

 

Richard

Pass judgement on him

Gaunt

Lord Arundel, you are found a foul traitor. You will be drawn to the gallows at Tyburn, here to be hanged from the neck, cut down before dead, beheaded and quartered.

Richard

In consideration of your rank, though you scarce deserve it, Lord Arundel, the sentence is commuted to beheading only.

4 thoughts on “128 The Narcisist

Leave a Reply