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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 124

proceeded to Paris, where St. Louis, who had purchased his freedom in the Holy Land, entertained them with all attainable pomp and magnificence. At this "feast of kings" were present Eleanora's four sisters, and her mother, the Countess of Provence. Henry and Eleanora were attended by one thousand horsemen, well moynted on spirited chargers and docile palfreys. After a sojourn of eight days, they quitted Paris and its giddy scenes with regret, and, embarking with their courtly retinue for England, landed at Dover in safety, on the fifth of January, 1255, and on the twenty-seventh of the same month, entered London with extraordinary pomp. The citizens presented the King with one hundred pounds, a sum they usually gave on such occasions ; after which, they, to better satisfy Henry, presented him with a rich piece of plate, of exquisite workmanship ; but even these gifts were not sufficiently valuable to stay the greedy longings of the wealthgrasping monarch, who, a few days afterwards, extorted from them a fine of three thousand marks, under a pretence that they had assisted a priest, accused of murder, to escape from Newgate, although it was well known that the bishop's officers, and not the citizens, had favoured the flight of the prisoner. At this time, Eleanora again pressed upon the Londoners her unjust claims for queen's gold, and Henry forced the good citizens to provide food and necessaries for the white bear which he received from the King of Norway, and which he kept in the Tower of London. There is a precept, still extant, ordering the sheriffs of London to provide this royal bruin with a muzzle, an iron chain, and a long, stout rope, to hold him whilst fishing in the Thames. Henry possessed a decided taste for zoology. By him was formed the so-long-cclebiated menagerie in the Tower. The collection commenced with three lAtpards, sent to him by the Emperor of Germany, then followed the white bear, and iu 1254 the first elephant seen in this country was landed at Sandwich, and hence conveyed to the Tower, wThere the animal's strange and huge proportions excited the wonder of the gazing throng. Just as Eleanora's ambition had been delighted by the Pope's offering to invest her second son, Edmund, with the crown of the two Sicilies, and whilst Henry was about recklessly to rush into an expensive and unpopular war, in support of the hollow pretensions of his youthful son to the Sicilian throne, rumours readied the English coast that the Regents of Scotland were harshly treating their King and Queen. The truth of these rumours was confirmed by Master Reginald of Bath, Eleanora's trustworthy physician, who, having been sent to enquire into the matter, on reaching Edinburgh Castle, found the Scotch King and Queen both imprisoned therein, in separate apartments. He gained a private interview with the Queen, and from her lips learned how her health had been impaired and her spirits broken by the cruelty of her jailor. "Oh, for the love of God," she said, " do tell my father, Henry, how I have been cruelly torn and separated from my poor Alexander, who, like myself, is made sick and infirm by the cruelties and miserable confinement we are forced to endure! Say, good sir, we are not permitted to take any part in the government—we are treated like felons, and in hourly peril of our lives !" This appeal greatly excited the paternal feelings of Eleanora and Henry. They hastily despatched Earl Richard and John Maunsell to rescue their daughter, if possible, from her torments. On reaching Edinburgh, the trusty Earls with their followers entered the castle in disguise, and bore off the Scotch King and Queen in triumph. Eieanora's anxiety for her daughter's welfare impeUed her to prevail on her royal lord to proceed to the north, and, if needs be, to second the efforts of Earl Richard by an appeal to arms. Eleanora accompanied Henry in this expedition, and as days passed on, her anxiety for the Scotch Queen's safety so preyed upon her mind, that, on reaching Wark Castle, on the Scottish border, she became seriously indisposed. However,

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