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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 113

on them wealthy estates and rich benefits, greatly to the prejudice of the English nobility. The most distinguished of these royal favourites was the talented Simon de Montfort, created Earl of Leicester in February, 1239, tho third son of Count de Montfort, the energetic loader of the crusades against the Albigenses. This Simon so contrived, that in 1238, Henry, as an act of expediency, bestowed his widowed sister, Eleanor, Countess of Pembroke, upon him in marriage. The ceremony was privately performed in St. Stephen's chapel, and although the bride had taken the ring as a nun, the King in person gave her away, and Earl Simon afterwards paid a high sum to the Pope for a dispensation for the marriage. Doubtless there was an imperative necessity for haste and privacy in the matter, as immediately afterwards, on being told by some of his nobles that the marriage was illegal, Henry tartly answered, "Why now object? how can the knot be untied, the Princess is enceinte?" Earl llichard, the King's brother, and the then heir presumptive to the throne, roundly rated Henry for his persistance in surrounding himself with Eleanor's foreign kindred and friends. After reminding him of the probable consequences of his unconstitutional doings, he bade him follow the example of those discreet monarchs, the Emperor, and the French King, both of whom, at their marriages, sent back their consorts' whole train of followers without bestowing on one of them either lands or money. But these endeavours of Earl Richard wore productive of no permanent benefit to the country. After a while, the easy-minded King squandered his revenues on his foreign favourites as lavishly as heretofore. CHAPTER II. Birth of Prince Edward— Visit of the Count of Flanders—Downfall of the Count of Provence prevented by the intercession of King Henry—Birth of the Princess Margaret—Peter of Savoy and Bishop Boniface, two of Eleanor's uncles, arrive — The Jews mulcted to pay for their entertainment—Isabella procures the elevation of Boniface to the primacy—Death of the Empress, and of Eleanor of Brittany—The Queen accompanies the King in his expedition against St. Louis— Gives birth to the Princess Beatrice—Returns to England—Is visited by Iter mother—Her sister married to Earl Richard—The Jews oppressed—Illness and death of Count Raymond — Marriage arranged between tlie Scotch King and Eleanoras eldest daughter—Unjust extortion by Henry—Birth of Prince Edmund—The Barons banish the Pope's nuncio—The Queen Dowager dies—Eleanora succeeds to her dower, and lavishes it on her relations—Earl Raymond's will— Count Hugh's children arrive—Henry sells his pl-ate and jewels—Oppresses the Londoners—In conjunction with Eleanora, begs alms—Becomes miserly—Eleanoraexhibits a dwarf—Further expedients for filling the royal coffers, i JN the night ot the sixteenth of June, 1239, Eleanora presented her royal lord with a heir. The boy was born at Westminster, and christened Edward, in honour of the sainted Saxon King, Edward. At this event the people rejoiced, and aU the nobles of the land offered costlv presents to the infant prince. The covetous Henry, however, marred the rejoicing, by sending- back the presents of least value, with injunctions to the donors to immediately forward articles of more intrinsic worth, on pain of the King's displeasure. On this account, the nobles wittily remarked, " God gave us this boy, but tho King sells him to us." In 1239, Henry and Eleanora kept their Christmas at Winchester, Towards the close of the following year, 1213,

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