On this day

Assets of William Colyngbourne

On 29 December 1484 a Commission was established to seize the assets of William Colyngbourne.

On 18th July 1483, a rhyme had been pinned to the door of St. Paul’s Cathedral. It read:

The Cat, The Rat and Lovel our dog,

Ruleth all England under a Hog.

The rhyme was considered seditious and inflammatory. It was aimed directly at King Richard III and his closest advisors.

The treason of William Colyngbourne

Such acts were treasonable, and soon it became clear who had written the rhyme. A man named William Colyngbourne, who made little attempt to hide his dislike of the new King, was determined to be guilty of having written the rhyme.

Colyngbourne favoured closer relations with France and was particularly disgruntled with the King’s stance throughout his time as Duke of Gloucester on Anglo-French relations. Richard’s elevation to the throne seems to have been the final straw for him, leading him to plot and to post the rhyme.

His plotting to put Henry Tudor on the throne, and authorship of the rhyme appears to have taken the authorities some time to determine. It was over a year before he was arrested and put on trial.

William Colyngbourne tried and executed.

At the trial, Colyngbourne was found guilty. He was sentenced to death by being hanged, drawn, and quartered, carried out in early December at Tower Hill.

The Commission of 29th December 1484 was to strip all his assets for the crown. In effect removing anything of value from his family as punishment for William’s crime.

Links on William Colyngbourne

Ricardian Loons: Richard III’s Execution of a Political Lampoonist

Oxford Reference – William Collingbourne

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