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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 285



were alike vain, his adoration changed to hate, and the hap-less lad}' fell a victim to poison. ' This crowning act of vil-lainy completed the exasperation of the English nobles, and a confederacy was formed to resist farther aggressions upon their liberties. Cardinal Langton, in searching the records of the monasteries, had found a copy of the charter executed by Henry Beauclerk upon his marriage with Ma-tilda the Good. From this charter the primate drew up the bill of rights, which has become world-renowned as the Magna Charta. AtRunnymede between Windsor and Staines the mail-clad barons met their guilty sovereign, and " There in happy hour Made the fell tyrant feel his people's power." The signing of the great charter of English liberty was soon followed by the death of King John, and the diplo-matic talents of Isabella were called into exercise to secure the vacant throne for her son Henry, then a boy of only nine years of age. The diadem of his father having been lost in Lincoln washes, and that of Edward the Confessor being in London, the little prince was crowned with a gold throat collar that she had worn in those happy days while the affianced bride of Count Hugh la Marche. Only a small part of England at first owned the sway of Prince Henry, but the nobles at length rallied around the young Plantagenet, and the valor and wisdom of the protector Pembroke soon drove the invading French from the island. No share in the government was committed into the hands of the dowager queen, and before the first year of her wid-owhood had expired she set out for her native city of An-goulême. As she passed through the provinces of France her atten-tion was attracted by groups of children, habited as pil-grims with scrip and staif, gathered about the doors of churches, repeating pious ascriptions of praise or tuning their infant voices to sacred hymns. Her curiosity was strongly excited, and she questioned them concerning the ISABELLA. 297


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