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How King Henry sought the Favour of all bis Subjects, especially of the Clothiers.
THIS King Henry, who for his great Learning and Wisedome was called Beauclarke, beeing the third Son to the renowned Conquerour: after the Death of his Brother William Ruffus, tooke upon him the Government of this Land, in the Absence of his second Brother Robert Duke of Normandie, who at this time was at Wars amongst the Infidels, and was chosen King of Jerusalem, the which he, for the Love he bare to his owne Country, refused, and with great Honour returned from the Holy Land; of whose comming when King Henry understood, knowing hee would make Claime to the Crowne, sought by all Meanes possible to winne the good Will of his Nobility, and to get the Favour of the Commons by Courtesie: for the obtaining whereof hee did them many Favours, thereby the better to strengthen himselfe against his Brother.
It chanced on a Time, as he, with one of his Sonnes, and Divers of his Nobilitie, rode "from London towards Wales, to appease the Fury of the Welshmen, which then began to raise themselves in Armes against his Authority, that he met with a great Number of Waines loaden with Cloth, comming to London, and seeing them still drive one after another so many together, demanded whose they were: the Waine-men answered in this Sort: Coles of Reading (quoth they.) Then by and by the King asked another, saying, Whose Cloth is all this? Old Coles, quoth hee: and againe anon after he asked the same Question to others, & still they answered, Old Coles. And it is to be remembred, that the King met them in such a Place so narrow and streight, that hee with the Rest of his Traine, were faine to stand as close to the Hedge, whilest the Carts passed by, the which at that Time being in Number above Two Hundred, was neere hand an Houre ere the King could get Roome to be gone: so that by his long Stay, he began to be displeased, although the Admiration of that Sight did much qualifie his Furie; but breaking out in Discontent, by Reason of his Stay, he said, I thought Old Cole had got a Commission for all the Carts in the Country to cary his Cloth. And how if he