A Loyall Song of the Royall Feast, kept by the Prisoners in the Towre in August last, with the names, titles and characters of every Prisoner by Francis Wortley

God save the best of Kings, King Charles,
The best of Queens Queen Mary,
The Ladies all, Gloster and Yorke,
Prince Charles so like old Harry:
God send the King his own again,
His Towre and all his coyners,
And blesse all Kings who are to reigne
From Traytors and Purloyners.

The King sent us poor Traytors here
(But you may guesse the reason)
Two brace of Bucks to mend the cheere,
Is’t not to eat them Treason?

Let Selden search Cottons Records,
And Royley in the Towre,
They cannot match the president,
It is not in their power,
Old Collet would have joy’d ta’ve seen
This president recorded,
For all the papers hee are saw
Scarce such an one afforded

But that you may these traytors know
Ile be so bold to name them,
That if they ever traytors prove,
Then this record may shame them:
But these are well try’d loyall blades
(If England ere had any)
Search both the houses through and through
Youl’d scarcely finde so many.

The first and chiefe a Marquesse is
Long with the State did wrestle,
Had Ogle done as much as he,
Tha’d spoyld Will. Wallers Castle:
Ogle had wealth and title got,
So layd down his Commissions,
The noble Marquesse would not yeild,
But scorn’d all base conditions.

The next a worthy Bishop is,
Of Schismaticks was hated,
But I the cause could never know,
Nor see the reason stated:
The cries were loud, God knows the cause,
They had a strange Committee,
Which was a foot well neere a yeare,
Who would have had small pitty.

The next to him is a Welsh Judge
Durst tell them what was treason,
Old honest David durst be good,
When it was out of season:
He durst discover all the tricks
The Lawyers use, and knavery,
And shew the subtile plots they use
To enthrall us in slavery.

Frank Wortley hath a joviall soule,
Yet never was good club-man,
Hee’s for the Bishops and the Church,
But can endure no Tub-man:
He told Sir THOMAS in the Towre,
Though he by him was undone,
It pleas’d him that he lost more men,
In taking him then London.

Sir Edward Hayles was wonderous rich,
No flower in Kent yeilds honey
In more abundance to the Bee,
Then they from him suck money:
Yet hee’s as chearfull as the best,
Judge Jenkins sees no reason
That honest men for wealth should be
Accused of high Treason.

Old Sir John Strangways he came in,
Though he himselfe submitted,
Yet as a Traytor he must be,
Excepted and committed,
Yet they th’exception now take off,
But not the sequestration,
Hee must forsooth to Goldsmiths-hall,
The place of desolation.

Honest Sir Ben’s a reall man,
As ere was lapt in leather,
But he (God blesse us) loves the King,
And therefore was sent hither.
He durst be Sheriffe, and durst make
The Parliament acquainted
What he intended for to doe,
And for this was attainted.

Sir Benefield, Sir Walter Blunt,
Are Romishly affected,
So’s honest Frank of Howards race,
And Slaughter is suspected:
But how the Devill comes this about,
That Papists are so loyall?
And those that call then selves Gods Saints,
Like Devils doe destroy all.

Jack Hewet will have wholsome meat,
And drink good wine if any,
His entertainments free and neat,
His choyce of freinds not many:
Jack is a loyall hearted man,
Well Parted and a Scholar,
Hee’l grumble if things please him not,
But never grows to chollar.

Gallant Sir Thomas bold and stout,
(Brave Lunsford) children eateth,
But he takes care, where he eats one,
There he a hundred getteth.
When Harlows wife brings her long bils,
He wishes she were blinded,
When shee speaks loud, as loud he swears,
The woman’s earthly minded.

Sir Lewis hath an able pen,
Can cudgell a Committee,
He makes them doe him reason though
They others doe not pitty:
Brave Cleaveland had a willing minde,
Frank Wortley was not able,
But Lewis got foure pound per weeke,
For’s children and his table.

Giles Strangwayes has a gallant soul,
A brain infatigable,
What study he ere undertakes,
To master it hee’s able:
He studies on his Theoremes,
And Logarithmes for number,
He loves to speake of Lewis Dives,
And they are neer asunder.

Sir John Marlow’s a loyall man,
(If England ere bred any)
He bang’d the Pedlar back and side,
Of Scots he killed many:
Had Generall King done what he should,
And given the Blew-caps battail,
Wee’d made them all run into Tweed,
By droves like Sommer cattell.

Will. Morton’s of that Cardinals race,
Who made that blessed marryage,
He is most loyall to his King,
In action, word, and carryage:
His sword and pen defends the Cause,
If King Charles thinke not on him,
Will. is among the rest undone;
The Lord have mercy on him.

Tom Conisby is stout and stern,
Yet of a sweet condition
To them he loves; his crime was great
He read, the Kings Commission,
And required Cranborn to assist
He charg’d, but should have prayd him,
Tom was so bold he did require
All for the King should aid him.

But I Win Bodnam had forgot,
Had suffered so much hardship,
There’s no man in the Towre had left
The King so young a Wardship:
Hee’s firme both to the Church and Crown,
The Crown Law and the Canon,
The Houses put him to his shifts,
And his wives father Mammon.

Sir Henry Vaughan looks as grave
As any beard can make him,
Those come poore prisoners for to see,
Doe for our Patriarke take him:
Old Harry is a right true blue,
As valiant as Pendraggon,
And would be loyall to his King,
Had King Charles neer a rag on

John Lilburne is a stirring blade,
And understands the matter,
He neither will King, Bishops, Lords,
Nor th’House of Commons flatter:
John loves no power prerogative,
But that deriv’d from Sion,
As for the Mitre and the Crown,
Those two he looks awry on.

Tom Violet swears his injuries
Are scarcely to be numbred,
He was close prisoner to the State,
Three score dayes and nine hundred:
For Tom does set down all the dayes,
And hopes he has good debters,
‘Twould be no Treason (Jenkins sayes)
To bring them peacefull letters.

Poore Hudson of all was the last,
For it was his disaster,
He met a Turncoat swore that he
Was once King CHARLES his Master.
So he to London soon was brought
But came in such a season,
Their Martiall Court was then cry’d down
They could not try his treason.

Else Hudson had gone to the pot
Who is he can abide him?
For he was Master to the King
And (which is more) did guide him.
Had Hudson done (as Judas did)
Most loyally betray’d him,
The houses are so noble, they
As bravely would have paid him.

Wee’l then conclude with hearty healths

To King CHARLES and Queen MARY,
To the black Lad in Buff, (the Prince)
So like his Grandsire HARRY.
To YORK, to GLOSTER, may we not
Send Turk and Pope defiance;
Since we such gallant Seconds have
To strengthen our alliance?
Wee’l drink them o’re and o’re again
Else we’re unthankfull creatures
Since CHARLES the Wise, the valiant King
Takes us for loyall traytors.

This if you will rime dogrell call
(That you please you may name it)
One of the loyall traytors here
Did for a Ballad frame it
Old Chevy Chase was in his minde
If any sute it better:
All these concerned in the Song
Will kindly thank the Setter.

From: Wortley, Francis, A loyall song of the royall feast, kept by the prisoners in the Towre in August last, with the names, titles and characters of every prisoner, 2009, Text Creation Partnership: Ann Arbor, Michigan and Oxford.

Date: 1647

By: Francis Wortley (1591-1652)

Note: This song was written during the English Civil War when the Commonwealth (Roundhead) forces were in power but before the execution of Charles I in 1649. It references many important historical figures as well as the English royal family of the time. With the Commonwealth forces in power, Royalists still in England were at risk of being found guilty of treason and of having their property sequestered (confiscated) and many were executed. The writer, Francis Wortley, was a politician and a Royalist. He was captured by the Commonwealth forces in 1644 and was imprisoned in the Tower of London between 1644 and 1648. His property was sequestered in 1647.


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