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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 253



thing, therefore, to fight for, Charles abandoned the thoughts of war, declared that he should not disturb the truce which had been concluded in the lifetime of his murdered son-in-law, Richard the Second, and sent Count d'Albert to inquire into the situation of his daughter isabella, and demanded that she should be restored to him, together with her dower and her jewels. Henry received Count d'Albert with courtesy, sent him with the Earl of Northumberland to see the maiden widow at Havering Bower, charged him on no account to mention the name Gf her dead husband, Richard—a charge, we are told, he strictly observed ; and, in answer to the request for her restoration, said she ought, in his opinion, to live in England, upon her dower, like other Que en-Dowagers, but that he would consult his council on the matter, and concluded by proposing to marry her to his eldest son, the Prince of Wales. When the Count returned from Havering Power, the King made him dine with him, and, at parting, presented him with a brooch set with sapphires, and two valuable gold rings, and assured him that Isabella should on no account be injured by word or deed, and that, be circumstances what they might, she should never be degraded below the state and dignity behtting so exalted a personage. The French King, Charles, irritated at the forced retention of Isabella, refused the offer of marriage with indignity, and, by a private messenger, forbade her to give her consent to marry any one without his previous permission; a command she obeyed with delight, as, despite the earnest wooing of Prince Henry of Monmouth, urged too, as it was, by Henry the Fourth, she resolutely declared that the mysterious death of her beloved lord, Richard, was an eternal barrier to her union with the house of Lancaster. Relinquishing the i dea of the marriage of Isabella with the Prince of Wales, the English council, after mature deliberation, resolved that she should no longer receive revenue as Queen-Dowager of England, and that she should be sent back to her parents, with all the jewels, clothing, trinkets, et cetera, which she brought with her. These terms were accepted by King Charles, but it was soon discovered that they could not be complied with. Henry the Fourth had seized the Queen's jewels, and distributed them amongst his six children ; and now that he wrote to have them returned, all he obtained was promises that they should be sent to London—promises which, of course, were never fulfilled. Richard the Second, in his will, had stipulated that the jewels which his dear wife, Isabella, had brought with her from France, should, in the event of his death, be restored to her ; and as this will had, in violation of honour and justice, been torn open during Richard's lifetime, to furnish articles of accusation against him, Henry the Fourth could not have been ignorant of its contents. The usurper, however, overlooked the solemn bequeath of him he had deposed, to enrich his own family ; and now that the council desired that the Queen's jewels should be returned to her, ho, after delays and subterfuges, declared that it was out of his power to do so, and issued orders for her to be sent back to France without them. In compliance with these orders, Isabella set out from Havering for London, on the twenty-seventh of May, and in the custody of the Duchess of Ireland and Countess of Hereford, ladies who, from the harsh treatment they had received from Richard the Second, entertained no very good feeling towards her. In her train she had four ladies of honour, seven maids of honour, two French chambermaids, a French chamberlain, and a confessor and secretary. The Bishops of Durham and Hereford, with ten armed knights, formed her escort. On reaching Tottenham, she was joined by the Earl of Worcester and ten chevaliers, the Lord Mayor and City Corporation fell in with her train at Stamford Hill, and King Henry's second son, Thomas, and the Constable and the Marshal of England, and other state officers, joined her procession at Hackney. Thus accompanied, and in grand array, she entered London, and took up her residence in the Tower, where she princi


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