FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ.
Queens of England. Vol.1.
22-4 ANNE OP
cured her many enemies. "Walsingham, in a spirit of bitterness, which was doubtless occasioned by her adherence to the new tenets, complains of her and her Bohemians visiting- the abbeys and monasteries, not to give, but to take away. And, according to Prynne, the Parliament, in 1384, after inveighing against the King's extravagance and misrule, petitions, amongst other articles more or less reasonable, against the Queen's gold; hut this request the King promptly negatived, declaring that he would never consent to diminish the revenue of his beloved consort.
In 1385, an incident occurred which further increased the hostility of the King's relations to Anne of Bohemia. Whilst Richard was on his way to repel the incursions of the Scots with a powerful army, the King's half-brother, John Holland, murdered Lord Stafford, who was about proceeding from York to London with letters from the King to the Queen. Feelings of bitter jealousy led to the perpetration of the foul deed. Stafford was a brave knight, a great favourite, and a powerful adherent of the Queen's, whilst Holland bitterly hated her and her friends. According to Froissart, whilst Stafford's archers were protecting Sir Mêles, a Bohemian knight and friend of the Queen's, they, in the fray, slew an esquire of Holland's, and he, to be revenged, drove his dagger into the heart of Stafford, and killed him on the spot. The murderer fled for sanctuary to the shrine of St. John of Beverley. The father and relatives of the slain loudly demanded justice ; and although Joanna, the mutual mother of tho King and the homicide, implored tho mercy of her son in favour of his brother, her pleadings were vain. Richard confiscated the property of the assassin, and threatened him with the gallows
if ever he quitted the sanctuary of Be
verley. In a few days the Queen-mother
died of grief, which so overcame Richard,
that, unable to save the life of hia
mother, he pardoned his brother, who
shortly afterwards married Elizabeth,
second daughter of the Duke of Lan
caster. The King's reluctance to par
don his brother was attributed to the
influence of the Queen; but this was
evidently a purposed misrepresenta
tion, as, although her friends were the
wronged persons, she sought not to be
revenged on the murderer or his ex
Anne of Bohemia made it a rule of
life to sedulously comply with the will
of her beloved husband. " It is my un
bounded duty," she would say, "to love
all that the King loves, to do all that ho
desires me, for I have vowed before God
and man to cherish and to obey him."
In one instance this womanly obedience
—a rare but commcndablo quality—•
carried her beyond the bounds of justice,
and lost her the esteem of every descend
ant of the royal house of Plantagenet.
In her household was a beautiful Bohe
mian woman, mentioned in the " Fce
dcra" as the Landgravine of Luxem
bourg, with whom the King's especial
favourite, the young Duke of Ireland,
fell deeply in love. This nobleman bad
been married to Philippa, daughter of
Lord de Coucy, and grand-daughter of
the late King Edwurd the Third, " but
now," says Walsingham, " he divorced
her to marry the Bohemian damsel:"
and Richard the Second, being quite
blind to the faults of his favourite, had
the weakness to shock the nation by
sanctioning this abandonment of his fair
cousin, whilst the Queen, by not op
posing the disgraceful transaction, infi
nitely injured the good name of herself,
and the husband she so adored.
The regal power usurped by the Duke of Gloucester—'The King1 s friends condemned to death or exiled—Execution of Burleigh—Sorrow of the King and Queen—The King recovers his authority—The sovereignty of Aquitaine conferred on the Duke