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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 146



lief that the "Welch at that period were more wealthy than some historians would hare us suppose. lie was to pay a fine of fifty thousand pounds, yield to the English crown the whole of the country between the county of Cheshire and the River Conway, hold Anglesea in fee of the English crown, at an annual rent of one thousand marks, do homage to Edward at Rhuddlan and in London, and give ten hostages for his future fidelity. On Llewellyn agreeing to these terms, Edward, having gratified his ambition by exhibiting his superiority as a conqueror, gave way to an impulse of generosity. First, he forgave the fine of fifty thousand pounds, then remitted the rent of Anglesea, and lastly resigned to Llewellyn his betrothed. The Lady Eleanora do Montfort was accompanied to Worcester by Queen Eleanora, where King 1 dwaTd gave her away with his Dwn hands, and graced the nuptial banquet with the presence of himself and his Queen. From Worcester the King and Queen proceeded, with the Prince and Princess of Wales, and their Welch barons, to Westminster, where Llewellyn and his retinue swore fealty to Edward. On the eleventh of September, 1275, Eleanora gave birth to the Princess Margaret, at Windsor Castle. This Princess, although the seventh child of Edward and Eleanora, was the first born since their coronation, the others having entered the world whilst Edward was only heir to the throne. In 1275, the first instance of sheeprot occurred in England. " A wealthy man of France," says the chronicler, "brought into Northumberland a large Spanish ewe, which, being rotten, so infested the country, that it spread over all the realm. This plague of murrain continued twenty-three years ere it ended, and was the first rot "that ever was in England." In 1276, the Princess Berengaria, the fifth daughter of Edward and Eleanora, was born at Kennington. Of this Princess nothing further is known, save that she died the same or the following year, and was buried in Westminster Abbey, by the side of her departed brothers John and Henry. Eleanora's sixth daughter, christened Mary, was born in 1284. According to several of her contemporaries, her birth took place at Windsor on the eleventh of March ; but as other authors assure us she first saw the light on the twenty-second of April, at Woodstock, we, if possible, to clear up the matter, instituted a diligent search through both the Chancery and Exchequer rolls. Our investigation, however, produced no satisfactory results, for nowhere amongst those valuable state records could we find the desired information. In the subsequent year, 1 leanor gave "birth to her seventh daughter, of whom nothing more is known, save that she died in the year of her birth, and was entombed in the chapel of St. Edward, at Westminster, by the side of her infant brothers and sister. In 1279, Edward directed his attention to the state of the coinage. At the commencement of his reign the coin had been greatly debased by clipping. The mutilation was attributed to the Jews, and by the King's orders, aU wTho were found to possess clipped coin were seized, and after a strict inquiry, two hundred and eighty Jews and others, of both sexes, were found guilty and hanged in London, besides about as many more in other parts of the kingdom. Previous to this period, "the silver penny," says the chronicler, " had a double cross in such sort, that the samo might he easily broken in the middest, or into four quarters, and so to be made intohabfpence or farthings, which order was taken in 1106, the seventh of Henry the First.' ' This rude plan so invited the moneyers to clipping, that the half of the coin became a quarter, and the quarter a sixth. In the new coinage, therefore, halfpence and farthings were coined round like the pennies, and the old cut money called m, whereupon Robert Brane wrote as follows :—• " Edward did smite round penny, halfpenny farthing. The cross passes the hond of all throughout the ring*, The King's was his head, and his name written The cross side what citie it was coined in and smitten.


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