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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 165



her posterity as a dower. This arrangement was agreed to by Edward, and embodied in a secret treaty signed by the consort of Philip, who himself, in the presence of several witnesses, promised to observe it on the word and honour of a king. The citation at Paris against Edward was next withdrawn, and Earl Edmund, little dreaming of treachery, gave possession of Gascony to the officers of its lord paramount. On the expiration of the forty days, Earl Edmund reminded Philip of the engagement, but was requested to remain quiet until certain lords, not in the secret, had quitted Paris. This aroused his suspicion ; he again repeated the demand, which this time was positively refused, the refusal being followed by another citation against Edward, which not being immediately answered in due form, Philip, in council, pronounced judgment against him. This dishonest refusal of the Erench King to give Edward re-possession of his lands, as stipulated in the private treaty, was accompanied with an an nouncement—private of course—forbid ding the impending marriage between Edward and the Princess Blanche ; a breach of faith in the highest degree mortifying to the English Monarch, who had set his heart on this union. The Queens, who had negociated the private treaty, expressed great indigna tion at the cheating line of conduct pur sued by Philip. Earl Edmund wrote a long explanatory letter to the King of England, detailing at length by what craft and dishonesty he had been over reached, and exhorting his brother to avoid open hostilities. This letter was accompanied by a secret treaty of mar riage, in which Philip's youngest and less comely sister, Margaret, is substi tuted for the beautiful Blanche. Whe ther this was a trick, or an arrangement entered into by Earl Edmund, is nowhere clearly explained. Most probably it was a diplomatic manœuvre, as Edward rejected the marriage articles with dis dain, and a fierce war immediately en sued. During this war, which lasted from 1294 to 1298, Edward, who had no time to lose, having already seen fiftyfive summers, was left half-wedded to Blanche, as, according to Piers of Langtoft and Wilks, the Pope's dispensation for their union had been previously obtained. It was the intention of Edward to proceed in person to assert his rights on the continent. But in this he was thwarted. For seven weeks adverse winds detained him at Portsmouth, and the Welch, believing he bad sailed, rose in insurrection, and murdered the English ; he therefore sent his brother Edmund to prosecute the war in Gascony, and marching his troops against tho rebellious Cambrians, turned not again to the eastward till he had planted the royal standard on the heights of Snowdon, and for a second time conquered Wales. Again Edward prepared to recover his transmaritime possessions, when intelligence reached him that Scotland and France had entered into a secret alliance to crush his power. He therefore led his army northward, invested and took Berwick with great slaughter, destroyed the Scotch army at Dunbar, received the submission of the principal towns north of the Tweed, deposed Baliol and sent him prisoner to London, received homage and fealty from the Scotch nobility, and having named John de Warenne, Earl of Surrey, Guardian of Scotland, and invested him with the reins of government, returned into England in triumph, bringing with him the Scottish regalia, and the famous stone seat on which the Kings of Scot land sat at their coronation, and on which was engraved a couplet to this effect : " Or fate's deceived, and Heaven decrees in vain, Or where theyfind this stone the Scots shall reign." The crown he offered at the shrine of the sainted Bccket at Canterbury, and the other regalia were placed in St. Ed ward's Chapel, at Westminster, where the ancient scat still remains. Edward now prepared to embark for the continent, and the more erfeetually to humble the haughty Philip, entered into a league with the Earls of Flan ders and Holland, and other powerful


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