FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ.
Queens of England. Vol.1.
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 The citation at Paris against Edward was next withdrawn, and Earl Edmund, little dreaming of treachery, gave possession of Gascony to the officers of its lord paramount.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
" 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