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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 244



Warwick, to seize and imprison the King- and Queen for life. This report, probably invented by the royal favourites to serve as a reason for arresting* tbe duke, the King believed, or affected to believe; and when Count St. Pol visited the English court to learn if the infant Queen Isabella was being maintained in regal state and dignity, the King one morning sent for him and the Dukes of Lancaster and York, and after telling them what danger threatened himself and his Queen, begged their advice and assistance. The dukes not being able to deny the report, comforted the King by declaring that neither they nor the nation would ever suffer him or his Queen to be imprisoned, and concluded by denouncing Gloucester as a headlong, conceited braggadocio, whose bellicose threats were too rash and ridiculous to be worth a moment's thought. Although the dukes thus spoke to the King, they, to avoid tbe threatened storm, immediately left the court with their families, and retired to their own castles. Shortly afterwards, Sir Thomas Percy, steward of the King's household, and several other of the royal servants, followed their example; whilst those of the Kind's household who were too loyal or ambitious to resign, told Richard to his face that they dreaded longer remaining in their offices, and assured him that neither the court nor the country would know quiet whilst Gloucester lived. Whether theso representations encouraged Richard in his scheme of vengeance against Gloucester and his abettors is nowhere recorded ; but certain it is, that in July, and in violation of all tics of honour and social intercourse, the duke was treacherously seized by the King's orders and sent a captive to Calais ; whilst, at the same time, the Earls of Warwick and Arundel were arrested and imprisoned. Believing that now was tho time to render himself despotic, Richard, by bribes and threats, prevailed upon the parliament to justify his proceedings. By this merciless session several nobility lost their lives; the Earl of Arundel was put to death, and the Earl of Warwick and tho Archbishop of Canterbury were sentenced to banishment ; in the same session Gloucester was condemned as a traitor, but before his condemnation was passed he died, or, according to the more probable account, was smothered between two beds in the King's prison at Calais. After the murder of Gloucester, and tbe illegal decapitation of the Earl of Anindel, Richard enjoyed but little peace of mind. His own wickedness smote his conscience and destroyed his gaiety of heart. Disturbed in his sleep by horrible dreams, he would wake up in a frenzy and call aloud for help, declaring that the bed 1 was covered with the blood of his uncle. CIIAPTEK II. The King's tyranny—Treasonable dialogue between Hereford and Norfolk—They quarrel—The case referred to wager of battle—The King banishes them—The Earl of March dies—The Queen's tournament—Richard wins her heart—He goes to Ireland—Revolt under Lancaster—Richard returns—Seeks safety in Wales —Mourns his absence from Isabella—Is deceived by Northumberland—Carried a prisoner to Flint—His interview with Lancaster—Suffering on his journey to London—Imprisonment in the Tower—Isabella confined in Leeds castle—Lady de Courcy banished. tV LTHOUGH every "if thing seemed to contribute to support the King in his despotic rule — the great officers of the crown and the governors of the towns and counties being all devoted to bis interest—his unconstitutional power was but short-lived. By the people he was hated, by the nobles only obeyed through constraint. Every man who, on any occasion, had incurred the royal displeasure, was appalled at the late proceedings. The Duke of Norfolk enter


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