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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 238



the King and Queen entered the city, their coming was greeted by the acclamations and blessings of assembled thousands, in all the streets through which they passed ; the horses were decorated with cloths of gold, silver, and silk ; the conduits ran with the choicest wines ; and at every step, the most costly gifts wore heaped on the monarch and his queen. Crowns, and tables, and vessels of gold, horses proudly caparisoned, cloths of the richest fabrics, coins, jewels, and precious stones are enumerated amongst the offerings made on this occasion, by an injured people, to appease the wrath of their sovereign. The citizens now imagined that their pardon was secure, but in this they were mistaken. Richard was not to be won over till he had obtained from them a further gift of ten thousand pounds, and his affectionate consort had, on bended knees, and with most urgent and persuasive entreaties, implored him to restore to them their ancient charters and privileges. A request which, with all his anger and rapacity, he had not the heart to refuse. "W e pardon them," said the offended monarch, "at the earnest entreaty of our dearly-beloved Queen." With rejoicing hearts the oppressed citizens went home ; and they henceforth carefully avoided furnishing Richard with a pretext for interfering with the government of their city. Nor, indeed, were their rights and privileges again invaded by the royal plunderer during the life-time of Queen Anne, who, by her conduct on this occasion, won the highest esteem of the Londoners, and who, had her life been longer spared, would, doubtless, have averted the crimes the unfortunate end of her ill-starred husband Richard the Second. At this period famine and pestilence were raging throughout the land, andboth the King and the Queen, by an example of profuse hospitality, endeavoured to alleviate the terrible sufferings of the people. "The King," saysWalsingham, "entertained six thousand poor persons daily. He valued himself in surpassing in magnificence all the sovereigns of Europe, as if he possessed an inexhaustible treasury. In his kitchen alone three hundred ser vants were employed, and the Queen had the like number of women in her service." But whilst the good Queen was thus occupied in works of charity, she was smitten down by that pestilence, which occasioned those sufferings she was so sedulously endeavouring to alleviate. Whilst at lier favourite palace of Sheen,the gentle Anne of Bohemia was suddenly overcome with illness, said to be the plague, and after a few hours' suffering, breathed her last, on the seventh of June, 1394, She left no issue, and the King, who was with her when she ceased to breathe, bewailed her death with the deepest anguish, as he tenderly loved her. In the first paroxysm of grief, he cursed the place of her ueath, and, in compliance with his orders, the apartments which she occupied at Sheen were either destroyed or dismantled. On the tenth of June, the king, in dolefully worded letters, commanded his very dear and faithful cousins to attend the obsequies of his dearly-beloved companion the Queen (who to God is departed), on the third of August, and desired them to bring with them their consorts, and on their honour to accompany the royal remains in solemn procession from Sheen to the abbey at Westminster, where the interment would take place. That the funeral might be performed with unusual magnificence, about two tons of wax were purchased to make tapers and torches to burn about the hearse, and in the churches where the corpse rested, the citizens of London were ordered to dress themselves in deep mourning and join the procession; and all the bishops, abbots, and priors in the kingdom, were requested to have a funeral service performed in their churches on the solemn occasion. Thus, on the third of August, the body of the gentle Anne, attended by all the male and female nobility, and the citizens of Loudon, was conveyed in solemn procession, and amid the abundant tears of thousands of spectators, from Sheen to St. Edward's chapel in Westminster, where Thomas Arundel, subsequently Archbishop of Canterbury,.


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