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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 198



thies of her brother, Charles the Fair. In a long complaining epistle, which she wrote to him, she declared, " That the daughter and sole heir of the King of France was married to a grippie miser, and that, being promised to be a Queen, she was become no bettor than a waiting-woman, living upon a pension of the Spencers', on whom her husband, the King, had, at the expense of her income, showered all riches and magnificence." This letter exasperated the King of France against Edward to that degree, that he redoubled his efforts to conquer Guienne ; whilst the Spencers, ever ready to wreak their vengeance on Isabella, made the increased hostilities of her brother an excuse for advising the King to deprive her of the only lands she now possessed in England — the earldom of Cornwall—which had been assigned to her for her private expenses, "Probably," said they, "the fleet the French aro now preparing is for the invasion of this very country." Edward deemed their reasoning conclusive, made known to his consort that, as she chose to maintain a secret correspondence with the enemy of the state, his duty impelled him to prevent her from holding any land, in England, and immediately resumed the earldom—an ungracious act, performed in a manner so offensive to the Queen, that she never forgot nor forgave it. Indeed, shortly afterwards, she denied her company to the King altogether, whilst he, in return, refused to enter her presence ; and she again wrote adoleful letter to her brother, the French King, complaining bitterly of the Spencers, and expressing a fervent desire to quit England, and end her days in France. Meanwhile the French overran Guienne ; they reduced the Angenois, demolished the castle of Montpezat, invested Pimerol and Penne, and, in September, Edmund, Earl of Kent, and brother to Edward, found it expedient to obtain a truce till the ensuing midsummer, by the surrender of lleoles, the last fortress in the Angenois. During this interval, the Pope earnestly endeavoured to restore peace between the two monarchs. With this view, a convention was held at Paris, with at first but little promise of success, an Charles assumed a haughty tone, and would listen to no reasonable terms. At length, however, the wily French King artfully suggested that the presenco and mediation of his sister, Isabella, might possibly remove every impediment. As Edward, although anxious for peace, felt no desire to visit the court of the brother of his scornfully-treated consort, he accepted this proposal with pleasure. At a parliament held at Westminster, on the twenty-first of January, 1325, the propriety of the Queen going to Paris as a mediator between her brother and husband was discussed, when it was resolved that, under present circumstances, any expedient was preferable to a continuation of the war. The Spencers, eager to procuro the removal of Isabella, under the semblance of friendship, urged her to undertake the important mission. Put desirous as the Queen was to join the company of her paramour, she was too crafty to comply with their request, till an apparent reconciliation had been effected between herself and her husband. Accordingly, the royal pair met, Edward apologized, Isabella expressed herself satisfied, and, parting from the King with all the semblance of sincere affection, embarked for France, with a splendid retinue, on the seventh of May. On reaching Paris, Isabella obtained a truce, and afterwards negotiated a treaty, stipulating that Guienne should be given up to the King of France, who should restore it again when Edward had done the accustomed homage, which should not be delayed ; that the peers of France should decide if the Angenois —already occupied by the French — should he returned, and if their decision was in favour of Edward, he should pay the expenses of the war. This degrading treaty, resembling in its leading features the one concluded in the former reign respecting the same province, was signed by the King with great reluctance. Edward particularly desired to avoid going to Paris to do homage, but as Charles' demand was quite in accordance with feudal law, and as


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