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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 48



brought with her to England, together with that inestimable relic, the hand of St. James the Apostle. Matilda quitted Germany by the express command of her sire, "and with great regret; for Kngland, which she had left in her early childhood, she viewed only as the home of foreigners, with whom she had no sympathies in common. However, as queen Adelicia had for six years proved childless, Henry now despaired of issue by his second marriage, and therefore viewed his daughter Matilda as heiress presumptive of England and Normandy. Accordingly, after celebrating the Christmas festival with unusual pomp at Windsor, where Matilda's uncle, David, King of Scotland, was a guest, iïeauclere called a great council of his nobles and barons, and after eloquently deploring the loss of bis son, and pointing out to them the blessings likely to accrue to the nation from the undisputed succession of the widowed empress, should he die without male issue, he demanded their oaths of fealty to Matilda, as his heiress presumptive. Moved by the eloquence and truthfulness of this appeal, the proud barons, although they had never before been called upon to acknowledge one of the softer sex for their sovereign, eagerly did the bidding of their king. The king's favourite nephew, Stephen, Earl of Mortagne—son of the Conqueror's daughter, Adela, Countess of lilois— was the first to bend his knee, and kiss the hand of the heiress, Matilda; and King David, it would appear, greatly influenced the council, as Wyntowni," the Chronicler, says,—• "A thousand a hundred and twenty-seven, Since Mary biiiv. tho King of Heaven, Davy, the King of Scotland, Ant] all tlie state ofEnghmd, At London town assembled were. The King of Scotland, Davy, there, Compelled the states ail bound to be, To the lair empress in fealty. His Mister's daughter. Dame Maud, Fîy naine, that time, she was called, On the Circumcision day, This oath of fealty there sware they." During her sojourn in England on this occasion, the Empress Matilda constantly resided with her lather and her youthful step-mother, with both of whom she was on terms of affectionate intimacy. Having passed the spring months at Woodstock, the royal family removed at Whitsuntide to Winchester; where King Henry was gratified by receiving from that most troublesome of his enemies, Eulk, Earl of Anjou, a proposition to unite his son, Geoffrey Plantagenet, in marriage with the Empress Matilda, The King, however, soon discovered that his nobles disapproved of the match, and more, that his haughty daughter, who, with the diadem of the Cajgars on her brow, had again and again received the homage of tho mightiest of the barons in Christendom, now spurned the idea of becoming a simple countess ; besides the disparity of years between herself and Geoffrey was great, she being in her twenty-fifth year, whilst his age was but fifteen years; and what further aggravated tïie matter, was, that Matilda, by all accounts, entertained a secret, but most tender penchant for her handsome married cousiu, Stephen, Earl of Mortagli e. Alike regardless of the tears and entreaties of his daughter, and the frowns and murmurs of his nobles, Henry, who had set his heart on this marriage, caused the betrothal to be celebrated on Whitsunday, 1127; after which, Matilda was escorted to Normandy by Itobert, Karl of Gloucester, and other nobles. In the succeeding August, the king followed her thither, and, after the young bridegroom had been ceremoniously knighted at Rouen, by his future father-in-law, the nuptials were solemnized on the twentysixth of October, byTurgisius, Bishop of Avranchcs, in the cathedral of St. Julian's, at Mons, in Anjou. As may be supposed, the marriage was fatal to the domestic happiness of Matildaandhcr lord. Both were proud and haughty, and they both claimed the ascendancy—the one as husband and ruler, the other as an empress, and her lord's senior in years; in fact, neither knew domestic quiet until 1133, when Matilda gave birth to her first child, which overjoyed herself and her husband, and so delighted Beatielcrc, that the boy, who had been christened after him " Henry," he called " Eitz


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