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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 251

him, and proclaim and liberate Richard. As the time approached for putting the plot into execution, the conspirators sent a letter to Anmerle, in which their designs were disclosed. This letter was, through accident, seen by the Duke of York, and as Aumcrle found it impossible to conceal his secret, he hastened to reveal it to King Henry. The King, however, disregarded the disclosure, till the Mayor of London visited Court on tho same morning, and fully confirmed it, when the alarmed Monarch hastened to London, in the company of the Mayor and a few attendants. But a few hours after the King had quitted Windsor, the conspirators, to the number of four hundred, entered the castle. On finding that he had fled, they hastened to Sunning, where the Queen was abiding, and told her that Richard had escaped from prison, and was then in full march, on the road to Sunning, with a powerful army ; and prevailed upon her and her attendants to accompany them to meet him. Previous to setting out, the delighted Isabella, little dreaming that the tale of the deposed King's escane was a fiction, invented by his partizans to strengthen their cause, ordered her household to destroy the badges they wore of Henry the Fourth, and again adopt those of her royal lord, and issued a proclamation, denouncing Henry as an usurper, and declaring that the only lawful King of England was her beloved husband, Richard the Second. The high hopes of the young Queen were, however, speedily clouded by disappointment. At Cirencester, she witnessed the defeat and ruin of the rebel lords, whilst the Richard she had so anxiously expected to meet, proved to be no other than his late chaplain, who, in general appearance and manners, was exceedingly like the deposed monarch, and who, tor the occasion, was arrayed in royal robes, with a crown upon his head. The leaders of this insurrection were taken by the hostile inhabitants of Cirencester, and immediately executed, without trial or mercy, in the marketplace;* and Isabella, being too young * Several of the other nobles and knights, who had taken part In this conspiracy, were seized in other places, and executed as tratto be punished for the part she had taken in the uprising, except by rigorous confinement, was escorted by a strong guard to the palace of Havering Bower, where she afterwards principally resided, under severe restraint, during her stay in England. The usurper, Henry the Fourth, was solemnly crowned and anointed on the thirteenth of October, 1399, and shortly afterwards, and by his orders, Richard was removed from the Tower to the secluded castle of Pontefract, where, on the thirteenth of February following, he breathed his last, in the thirty-third year of his age. That his death was not a natural one, is agreed by all historians ; but whilst, by some accounts, he died of starvation — voluntary starvation— caused by grief for the fate of his adherents, say his foes, and compulsory starvation, if his friends are to be believed, according to another tale—the one dramatized by Shakspcare, from the Chronicles of Fabian—he was murdered tors. As an example of the barbarous manner in which executions for treason were then conducted, may be mentioned that of Sit Thomas Blount, one of the eighteen conspirators, who suffered in the Greenditch at Oxford. He was hanged, says a contemporary writer; but the halter was soon cut, and he was made to sit on a bench before a great fire, and the executioner came with a razor in his hand, and knelt before Sir Thomas, whose hands were tied, begging him to pardon his death, as he must do his oince. Sir Thomas asked, " Are you the person appointed to deliver me from this world ?" The executioner answered, " Yes, sir ; 1 pray you pardon me.*" And Sir Thomas kissed him, and pardoned him his death. The executioner kneltdown, and opened his belly, and cut out his bowels straight from between the stomach, and tied them with a string, that the wind of the heart might not escape, and threw the bowels into the fire. Then Sir Thomas was sitting before thefire, his belly open, and his bowels burning before him. Sir Thomas Erpyng1] :tiii, the King's chamberlain, insulting Blount, said to him in derision, "Go seek a master that can cure you !" Blount only an swered, "Te Deum laudamus—Blessed be the day on which I was born, and blessed be this day, for Τ shall die in the. service of my sovereign lord, the noble King Richard." The executioner knelt down before him, kissed him in an humble manner, and, soon after, his head was cut off, and he was quartered. The head of Sir Thomas, and those of the other noblemen executed for this rebellion, were sent to the capital, and fixed on London Bridge.

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