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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ. Queens of England. Vol.1.


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Queens of England. Vol.1.
page 204

leaders of the King, and to guard and maintain the honour and profit of the church, of the crown, and of the kingdom. "Nest," says De la Moor, "the Queen, with her son and her forces, pursued the King (as had previously been agreed in a council of war), taking first her way to Oxford, where the whole university being called together in the presence of the Queen, the Prince of Wales, Eoger Mortimer, and their followers, the Bishop of Hereford, the Queen's bosom counsellor, preached to them a sermon on the text, ' My head, my head acheth' (2 Kings iv. 19) ; in which, after delivering to them the reasons of the Queen's coming with her army, ho concluded more like a heathenish barbarian than a divine, by declaring that an aching and sick head of a kingdom must of necessity be taken off at once, and on no account be tampered with by any other remedy." Whilst this murderous doctrine was being fulminated by the clergy, a false rumour was spread abroad that the Pope had excommunicated ah. who should bear arms against the Queen ; the primate and several of the bishops privately supported the Queen's cause with large sums of money, and her emissaries distributed her proclamation from one end of the land to the other. Edward, in hi3 distress, applied for aid to the London citizens, but tbe Queen's proclamation had been tacked on the cross of the Cheap and in other conspicuous places, that all men might read as they went on their way ; and as at this period reading was not so uncommon an accomplishment as many suppose, the citizens read it, approved of its sentiments, and answered Edward that they would honour with all duty the King, the Queen, and the Prince, that they would shut their gate3 against all foreigners and traitors, hut they would on no account go out of their city to fight, except they might, according to their liberties, return home again the same day before sunset. This cold reply so alarmed the King, whose endeavours to raise troops had uroved quite ineffectual, that he fled with the two Spencers, the Chancellor Baldock, Bishop of Norwich, and a slender retinue to Bristol, leaving the charge of the City and the Tower to Stapleton, Bishop of Exeter. The King's departure was a signal for a general insurrection in London ; robbery, murder, and other heinous crimes were committed with impunity in open day. The talented, loyal, and amiable Bishop of Exeter was seized as he passed along the street, beheaded, and his body cast into the Thames. By a stratagem the mob obtained possession of the Tower, released all the prisoners confined by the Spencers—a measure adopted by Isabella in all the towns through which she passed—and bound themselves by an oath to put to death all who should dare to oppose the design of the Queen. Isabella's advanced guards entered London in pursuit of the King; the Hollanders commanded by John do Hainault, whom the Queen had graciously permitted to style himself her knight, and the English, headed by the King's own brother, the Earl of Kent, were heartily welcomed by the misguided citizens. Prom London the vengeful Queen and her followers proceeded by the shortest route towards Bristol, and their progress was one continued triumph ; their forces were daily augmented, and every town opened its gates to the sound of their tramping horses. At Oxford the Bishop of Hereford again preached before the Queen and the university, selecting for his text the following words from Genesis : 11 1 will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed ; she shall bruise thy head." This text the Bishop applied to Isabella and the Spencers, but many thought they discovered in the sermon prophetic allusions to the future fate of their unfortunate monarch. From Oxford tho Queen and her army hastened to Bristol, which they immediately besieged, and as the burghers loudly declared for the Queen, the elder Spencer, who had the custody of the town and the guardianship of Edward's children, was compeUed to capitulate on the third day, Immediately the capitu

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