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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 123

CHAPTEE IV. "Eleonoras despotic rule—She oppresses the City of London—She sends the King a New Year's gift—The Jewsfleeced by Earl Richard—Eleanora goes to the continent—Prince Edward's marriage—The feast of Kings—The King and Queen return to England—The Londonersfined—TheTower menagerie—The Regents of Scotland imprison their King and Queen—Eleanora accompanies her lord to tlie north—Iter illness at JFark—Royal fête at Woodstock and London—Severe famine—-The King and Queen's unpopular conduct—Folkmates—-Crusade in Sicily projected—The Popes unjust doings—The Oxford statutes—Tyrannical conduct of the barons—Henry and Eleonora proceed to Paris—Marriage of the Princess Beatrice—Alarming report—King and Queen return to England—Illustrious guests at court. ? Ν being invested with the sovereign power, Eleanora endeavoured to rule the nation with the stern rod of despotism ; and that Earl Richard might not curb her tyranny, she made common cause with his wife, the Countess of Cornwall ; in fact, the Queen and her sisterin-law laughed at the good Earl's advice, and ruled, or rather misruled the realm after their own fashion. The weight of this misrule first fell upon the city of London ; nor is this surprizing, as feelings of ill-will had long subsisted between the good citizens and the Queen. Besides other acts of injustice, Eleanora had ordered that all richly laden ships entering the port of London should discharge their cargo at Queenhithe, the heavy dues from that wharf forming part of her income. This oppression had scarcely been suppressed by Earl Richard buying the Queen's right to the quay and fanning it to the Mayor of London, when Eleanora reverted to other arbitrary modes of filching the Londoners, She insisted they owed her a considerable sum for Queen's gold, and that too on the heavy amounts which the King had so unjustly wrested from them. Eor non-compliance with this vexatious demand, she, in 1254, committed Richard Picard and John de Northampton, Sheriffs of London, to the Marshalsea prison, where, a few months afterwards, she imprisoned Richard Har dell, the Mayor, for arrears of an aid towards subduing the rebellion in Gascony. At the commencement of 1254, Henry, pretending to fear the attack of the Castilians, sent instructions to the Queen to summon a parliament and demand an aid. But as Leicester had returned to England, and brought intelligence that Henry, having agreed upon a marriage between his eldest born, Edward, and Eleanora, sister of Alphonso, King of Castile, only wanted the money to squander at the nuptials in feasting ana pageantry, the parliament refused the grant. Eleanora, therefore, sent the King five hundred marks from her own private purse as a new year's gift, and immediately afterwards, Earl Richard, in compliance with Henry's orders, fleeced the money for the wedding festival from the Jews with such rigour, that they petitioned to leave the country, a request which was peremptorily refused, and followed by further extortions as a punishment for their boldness in daring to make such an application. Immediately the preliminaries of Edward's marriage were arranged, Eleanora, at the bidding of her royal lord, resigned the regal reins to Earl Richard, and in May set out for Bourdcaux, with her sons, Edward and Edmund, and a courtly train of ladies and nobles. After the solemnization of the marriage, at Burgos, Eleanora, accompanied by the bride and bridegroom, returned to liourdeaux, where Henry awaited their arrival, and whence the wedding party

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