The king, it is said, with courage beyond his years, gave audience to the rioters at Mile End, and demanded what they wanted. They answered, “We will that you make us free for ever, ourselves, our heirs, and our lands, and that we be called no more bond, or so reputed.” The king immediately assented. He bade them return to their homes, leaving two or three from each village, who should receive and carry back the charters. Many of the insurgents, misled it would seem by so prompt a compliance, obeyed, and quitted the city, and the king assigned one of his banners to each of the counties which had furnished complainants. It is more probable that Tyler was quite willing to reduce his forces into manageable dimensions, for we are told that thirty thousand men, a number far in excess of the adult male population of the city at the time, remained under arms. The king, in all appearance anxious to fulfil his pledge, set thirty clerks to work in writing out and sealing the patents of manumission. One of these, dated June 15th, is preserved in Walsingham, being that addressed to the authorities of Hertfordshire. It frees all the king's subjects in the county of bondage, and makes them quit, i.e., free of any charge accruing from the past, pardons them all offences committed, and assures them of the king’s peace. Hertfordshire was the county in which Walsingham’s abbey, St. Albans, was situate. In these matters the king was probably advised by the Earl of Salisbury. At the same
Tyler. 259 time Richard had in his company a youth of exactly his own age, his own cousin, who was hereafter to depose him, and be the indirect instrument of his murder-Henry Bolingbroke, Earl of Derby.