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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 20

most of the influential Saxon nobles. lie next conciliated the clergy, placed strong Norman garrisons in most of the commanding fortresses, and, by the exercise of energy and sound discretion, speedily established ordir and tranquillity throughout the land. Being desirous to again embrace his beloved Matilda, and to exhibit to his faithful Normans the treasures his newlyacquired kingdom afforded, William resolved to spend the Easter festival in his native land. As regents of England during his absence, he appointed his halfbrothers, Odo, Bishop of i'ayeaux, and Willian Fitz-Osborn. He embarked for Normandy in the Mora, and, both to swell his pageantry, and as hostages for the fidelity of their countrymen during his absence, he carried with him the flower of the English nobility. These lords were by no means pleased at the honour thus done them ; but the dread of being suspected of disloyalty, forced them into ready compliance. The voyage was speedy and prosperous, andWUliamdisembarkedinMarch, 1067, at. the little port of Feseamp, where Matilda and her children, who awaited his arrival, received him with great joy. Highly pleased were the Normans with the novel but manly beauty of the English nobles, and their "wondering eyes were filled with astonishment, on beholding the rich Saxon embroidery, the curiously wrought gold and silver plate, and the strangely-carved English weapons of war, But whilst the Conqueror, accompanied by his queen, was joyfully progressing through his native dominions, and delighting his subjects by a gorgeous dis-Ìtlay of the fruits of his triumph, the English, driven to desperation by the tyranny and cruelties of their foreign rulers, were agitating a secret plot tor the general massacre of the invaders. Informed by his spies of the intended rising, William, with a promptitude suited to the occasion, relinquished the idea he had formed of spending Christmas in Normandy, hastily re-appointed Matilda and his son Robert regents in his absence, and embarked rfor England. He landed at Winchester, on the seventh cf September, and hastened to London, where the conspirators, who had made sure of his absence till the following spring, were completely overawed, anil reduced to subjection, by the bitter severity of his decisive measures. Scarcely was the country reduced to tranquillity, when William sent to Normandy for his queen. Matilda, noiosa desirous than her royal husband to share his exalted dignity, joyfully obeyed the summons, and, accompanied by Gui, Bishop of Amiens, and numerous distinguished nobles, reached England in the spring of 1068. The king received her with great joy, and conducted her to Winchester, where the court was then held, and where extensive preparations were being made for her coronation, which took place in that city, on Whit-Sunday —festival days and Sundays being, in the middle ages, always chosen by the English for the celebration of coronations and marriages. Great was the joy on that day of royal inauguration. The sun looked down on the brilliant assembly of earls and barons who witnessed the pompous ceremony, in the full glory of its splendour. One universal holiday reigned, and the air was rent by the joyous huzzas of the excited multitude. The appointments in the church and the halls were the richest that gold could procure, and the pageant, in magnificence, far outvied the one that had preceded it at Westminster. William deemed it wise to he re-crowned along with Matilda ; and before the prelate, Aldred, anointed him king, he voluntarily repeated the oath he had before taken, to preserve the rights and liberties of the nation inviolate, and, above all, to uphold trial by jury. The queen, with a grace and modest dignity that won the hearts of all present, received the insignia of royalty from the hands of Aldred. But the exalted honour made her not a few enemies, as, from the day of her coronation, she was always addressed as Queen Regina, and so signed tier name, whilst, before the Conquest, the queens were addressed by the Saxons only as the kings' ladies or companions, and not one of them had been crowned. At this coronation it was, that the office of champion was instituted. Mar

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