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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 224

In a field of thirteen acres, where the Charter-house now stands, purchased for α public burial-ground by the munificence of Sir Walter Mauny, a daily average of two hundred bodies were deposited for several successive weeks. " In one year," says Stow, "fifty thousand persons who died of this plague, were herein interred." The mortality in Yarmouth was seven thousand and fifty-two in one year, in Norwichfifty-seven thousand one hundred and four in the six months ending July, 1349, and in other places in proportion. The ravages of the pestilence were confined chiefly to the lower orders, as the more wealthy greatly escaped the infection by shutting themselves up in their castles, and avoiding communication with the neighbourhood. Of the few victims of the higher classes may be mentioned Dr. Stratford, Archbishop of Canterbury, also his successor, the celebrated Thomas Bradwardine, and Phdippa's second daughter, the Princess Joanna, who, after a short but severe attack, whilst on her way to be married to the infant of Castile, expired on the second of September, 1348, in the fifteenth year of her age. By the piety of the age this plague was attributed to the anger of the Almighty ; and whatever might be the cause which provoked that anger, certain it is that plenty and prosperity had brought excess and profligacy into the land. The women, say the writers of the times, attired in objectionable clothing, and mounted on spirited chargers, partook of the diversions at jousts and tournaments, and by their levity and indiscretion afforded food to the lovers and retailers of scandal. Indeed, some chroniclers affirm that, renouncing the native modesty of their sex, they vied with each other in becoming the mothers of illegitimate offsprings, whilst the manners and conduct of the men were, if possible, more reprehensible. But, exaggerated as this statement may be, certain it is, that in 1363, a statute was passed to repress extravagance of dress, to which in the preamble is attributed the poverty of the nation. The ravages of the pestilence caused such a scarcity of labour, that Edward published a proclamation prohibiting the relief of mendicants able to work, ana compelling all healthy men and women under sixty, and without visible means of subsistence, to hire themselves as servants at the same wages as in former years to any masters desiring their services. But although these orders were enforced by fines, imprisonments, and the pillory, the provisions of the proclamation were eluded by the avarice and ingenuity of the labourers. During the harvest the most exorbitant wages were demanded and given ; and the next parliament, dreading the consequences if the hand of labour was allowed to dip so deeply into the purse of the capitalist, converted the ordinance into a statute regulating the amount of wages, and enacting new and severe penalties against the transgressors. In 1348, Philippa gave birth to a prince at Windsor, christened Thomas, who died in his early childhood. Her next and last born entered the world at Woodstock, on the seventh of January, 1354, and being a male infant, by the express desire of his royal sire, also received the name of Thomas at the baptismal font. From this period Philippa resided mostly in England, and gave her earnest attention to the improvement of the trade and commerce of the nation. By her queenly influence the working of the Tynedale coal mines, which had been stopped during the Scotch war, was again commenced with vigour; and ship building, the coal trade, the woollen manufactures, and other valuable branches of national industry, were greatly encouraged. In 1350, she and her son, the Black Prince, held a tournament at Norwich, the seat of the woollen manufacture, where they were entertained with great splendour by the Corporation. All efforts to re-establish peace between England and France proved futile ; when Edward, convinced by experience that the French crown was beyond his reach, offered to renounce his pretensions thereto in exchange for the sovereignty of the provinces, which he held as a

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