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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 155



CHAPTER ΓΥ". Edward desires to conquer Scotland—Proposed marriage of the Prince of Wales and the Queen of Scots—Death of the Scotch Queen—Edward hastens to the North— Eleanora follows—She is attacked with fever—Dies—Dejection of Edward—The nation mourn her loss—lier virtues—Slandered in a popular ballad—lier burial —Body embalmed—Tomb—Epitaph—Edward's alms for her soid—Crosses erected to her memory—Charing Cross—lines on its demolition—Advancement of civiliza tion and arts—Eleanora's children. LTIIOUGH Edward's love of conquest was as great as that of any of his predecessors, his ambition aimed at a very different object. Instead of endea vouring to enlarge his transmaritime possessions, which any fortunate neighbour might at any time too easily wrest from him, his greatest ambition was the union in his own person of the sovereignty of the whole island of Great Britain. His successful subjugation of Wales, urged him to grasp at the supremacy in Scotland. He, nowever, first endeavoured to secure the Scottish crown for his heirs. When the Scotch King, Alexander the Third, died, in 1286, the succession devolved on Alexander's infant grandchild, Margaret, usually caUed in history the " Maiden of Norway," daughter of Eric, King of Norway. Edward resolved not to forfeit so favourable an opportunity of uniting the two kingdoms, and at once negociated the marriage of his son Edward, of Carnaryon, with the Queen of Scots. For this purpose the Pope's dispensation was obtained, and a treaty entered into, by which it was arranged that on the ascension of Edward of Carnarvon to the throne, Scotland should remain a separate and distinct kingdom—for then, as now, the Scotch were staunch patriots —and that the laws, rights, and customs of the Scottish people should be pre mitted, sometimes eluded, and occasionally altogether denied by the Princes of the Scots, a clause was added that nothing in this treaty shall be construed into an augmentation or a reduction of the rights previously belonging to either king or kingdom. Matters now appeared settled greatly to the satisfaction of all parties. The little Margaret was proclaimed Queen of Scotland, and it was agreed that she should be sent from Norway to Scotland, and thence proceed to England, to be educated at the English court, under the careful superintendence of Queen Eleanora. But the prospect, so flattering to the hopes, so essential to the advance ment of tho two countries, was, a few months afterwards, closed by the unexpected demise of the " Maid of Norway;" who, sickening on her passage to Scotland, landed in one of the Orkneys, when she recovered, relapsed again, and died on the seventh of October. Immediately her death became known northward of the Tweed, several competitors set up rival claims to the crown. When Edward received intelligence of this misfortune, he had already sent to Scotland the Bishop of Durham, who, conjointly with six regents, executed the duties of the crown, in the name of'Edward of Carnarvon and Margaret of Norway ; but, deeming his own presence needful at such a crisis, he bade his Queen a fond farewell, directed her to follow him with all convenient celerity, and served inviolate. Whilst, on the other | himseB: hastened to the scene of excitehand, that King Edward might not be ! ment. supposed to resign his right to feudal j Edward had scarcely reached the superiority, a right always claimed by Scottish border, when he was overcome his predecessors, and sometimes ad-] with the startling news that his dearly


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