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

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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ.
Queens of England. Vol.1.
page 47



CHAPTEE II. Incursion of the Welsh into Chester—Henry marches against the invaders, but is reputed—Concludes a peace with Ike Welsh—Joins his consort at Winchester— Revolt in Normandy—Henry returns to England, accompanied by Adelicia and the Empress Matilda—Mystery attending tlie death of Matilda's husband—Henri/ despairs of issue by Adelicia—Matilda acknowledged heiress presumptive to the crown—She marries Geoffrey Flantagenet—Heath of William Clito—Heath of Henry—Character of Henry—Adelicia re-marries, and retires from public life— Her children. ^gp^gS^^/^Ì^P^^SPiI fi ^^t^t^lV' ΪΪΡβ3ΐβ»™κΟδΒΗατ'^ I^^^^^^^x HORTLY after the |j Henry was absent from England upT0Viiï m arri age had ί wards of three years, and before the ex h (!l n - solemnized, the, incursion of the Welsh into Chester, wncro tnci y committea great ravages, forced the reluctant Henry from the home of his new-made bride to the field of war. At the head of a powerful army, he met the invaders. His first efforts were successful, but afterwards the crafty foe beguiled him into an ambush, where a part of his men were mercilessly slaughtered, and he himself was forcibly struck on the breastplate by an arrow, aimed from tho heights above, which bruised his mail, but fortunately did him no personal injury. This untoward event induced the king to negociate a peace, which was concluded by the Welsh prince receiving jhostages, and a tbousana head of cattle, to defray the expenses of the war. Henry now hastened to his lonely consort at Winchester, who joyfully welcomed his return ; hut the royal pair enjoyed the happiness of domestic intercourse for only a brief period. Normandy was in arms, the Earls of Millent, and other Norman barons, aided by the powerful Fulk, Earl of Anjou, had raised the standard of revolt in favour of the youthful William Clito, son of Robert, their lawful duke ; and Reauelcrc, however unwilling, was compelled to name Adelicia regent during his absence, and in April, 1123, embarked with all speed for his continental possessions. piration of that period, the queen appears to have joined him, as the Saxon chronicle saith, that Adelicia, accompanied by King Henry and his heiress, the Empress Matilda, then a widow, embarked from the continent, and landed in England, in September, 1126. There is a mystery in connection with the death of Matilda's imperial lord, which, hut for its verification by high contemporary aufnorities, would certainly find no place in the sober pages of history, so much docs it resemble a tale of fiction. Immediately after the pompous solemnization of the emperor's obsequies, which took place on the twenty-second of May, 1125, in-the cathedral of Spires, it was whispered abroad that the funeral was a sham—in fact, that tho emperor still lived, and that conscience-smitten at the wicked life he had led, he, one dark night, crept from the bed of the slumbering empress, wandered forth with bare feet, and a covering of only coarse cloth, and went no one knew whither, Ry other accounts, it appears that he retired to a monastery in England, or, as some authors assert, in Anjou, where he ended his days, and that before he expired he sent for Matilda, who instantly recognized her dying lord. Whatever reliance is to be placed in this romantic incident, certain it is, that after his funeral at Spires, Henry the Fifth never again wore the diadem of the Ciesars, which, indeed, the empress Matilda


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