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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ. Queens of England. Vol.1.


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 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Queens of England. Vol.1.
page 12

counsel of his beloved Matilda—"Who perfectly comprehended the advantages of the arts and commerce to a nation— afforded every encouragement to learning and refinement, and, by constructing roads, bridges, and harbours, and organizing fleets of merchantmen, enlarged the trade and increased the happiness of his subjects. During this period of repose, the royal pair enjoyed great domestic happiness, and occupied much of their time in the education of their children. Their eldest son, who was named after his grandfather—Robert, was born about ten months after their marriage. The choice of name singularly coincided with his enterprising spirit and. ill-starred fate, as, like his ancestor, Duke Robert, he journeyed to the Holy Land, and, after a series of misfortunes, died miserably. The birth of Robert was followed by that of Richard, "William Rufus, and six daughters, all of whom were of remarkable beauty and promise. Shortly after his marriage, 'William entrusted his duchess with the reins of his government, and, taking advantage of the banishment of Earl Goodwin and his sons from. Britain, made a visit to his kinsman and friend, Edward the Confessor, of England, who had no children, and who, in memory of the hospitality he had received, during his exile, at the court of Normandy, had already given William some hope of being his heir. By all accounts, the Norman duke was most honourably received by his cousin, the English king, who loaded him with presents, and promised him to make a will in his favour ; and this will, although it never appeared, was the pretence made by William, fourteen years afterwards, for invading England. Even at this period, William's designs upon England were, doubtless, well known to his father-in-law, the Earl of Flanders, and more than suspected by Harold, his Saxon rival. Tostig, the second son of Earl Goodwin, during his exile from England, married Judith, the sister of Matilda, and the daughter of Baldwin, and from that period became a deadly foe to his brother Harold, whose downfall might not have happened hut for his unnatural conduct. From this period, no remarkable incident occurs in the chrouicles of Matilda's court, till 1062. In that year, Harold undertook a voyage to Normandy, in an open fishing-boat, to demand the release of a brother and a nephew, whom Earl Goodwin had given to the king as hostages. But hardly was he at jjca, when a tempest arose, and drove him into the mouth of the Mayo, a port belonging to the Earl of Ponthieu, who made him prisoner, in the hope of obtaining a large sum for his ransom. In this dilemma, he sent to the Duke of Normandy for aid ; and William, delighted at the advantage to he obtained from the unexpected incident, promptly procured his release. On reaching the Norman court, at Rouen, Harold was received with every outward demonstration of goodwill. William agreed to resign the hostages, and, as if ignorant of the secret intentions of his guest, informed him of his own adoption by Edward the Confessor as heir to the crown of England, and Harold, being virtually his prisoner, he made him solemnly swear to acknowledge him (William) as the successor to Edward's crown, upon relics of the most venerated martyrs, which, in those days of dark superstition, rendered an oath doubly binding. When the reluctant Harold had sworn just what his wily host had chosen to dictate, William professed the profoundest friendship towards him. But satisfied though the Norman Duke pretended to be, he nevertheless feared, that, when free in England, Harold would consider an oath that had been extorted from him not binding upon his conscience, and, on the death of Edward, grasp at the English sceptre. To render the breach in such a case doubly flagrant, William affianced to Harold his daughter Adeliza, a child but seven years old, after which he loaded him with presents, and dismissed him with his nephew, promising to bring las brother when he himself came to England. On arriving in England, Harold, who considered himself in nowise bound by the oath and promises which endurance had forced from him, strengthened his cause by espousing Algitha, sister to the

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