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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 264



CHAPTEB III. Joanna's gift to the duke of Brittany—Marriage of her daughters Blanche and Margaret—Voyage to Fleshy—Encounter with pirates—The tomb of her departedhusband—Death of her son Jules—Quarrel between Prince Henry and the King-She effects a reconciliation—Her conduct as a step-mother-—The King falls ill—• Admonishes Prince Henry, and dies—His will—Political state of England—Lollardism—Execution of Santré, the first man in England who suffered for his re ligious opinions. •LTHOUGII it was through the exertions of Joanna that the truce with Britain had been concluded in 1406, many of the nobles still viewed her with feel ings of distrustful dislike. They remembered that more than once she had obtained royal pardons for the Breton prisoners taken in. the aet of plundering the coast, and they accused her of neglecting the King's interest, because in 1404, when the exchequer was exhausted, she had presented her son, the Duke of Brittany, with seventy-six thousand livres due to her from various sources in Navarre and Normandy ; a gift, however, which was of the utmost service to the young Duke, as the officers of his French guardian completely controlled his income from his duchy, and to his annoyance only permitted it to be expended as they pleased. In 1406, the King's daughter, Phillippa, was married to Eric, King of Denmark, a minor, under the guardianship of Margaret, his mother, and on the thirtieth of June in the same year, Joanna's daughter, Blanche, then in her thirteenth year, was espoused to Viscount Lomagne, son and heir of Bernard, Count of Armagnac. The marriage of Blanche was solemnized in Brittany. She quitted England in the spring of the year, in the company of her sister Margaret, who was present at the espousals, and who, on the twenty-sixth of that month twelvemonth, was herself made a wife and a widow on the same day. Her unfortunate husband, Alan de Rohan, the grandson of Clisson, died suddenly two hours after his marriage. His death was attributed to poison, but whether justly or not, has never been proved. In 1407, the plague raged in England with such destructive severity, that in London alone it swept away thirty thousand of the inhabitants. To avoid the deadly contagion, the King and Queen retired to their castle of Leeds, in Kent, After spending part of the summer there, their Majesties "took shipping," says Stowe, " at Queeuhorough, in the Isle of Sheppy, to sail over to Essex, and so to go to Fleshy, there to pass the time till the ravages of the plague had ceased. But as the King was on the sea, certain French pirates, which lay lurking at the mouth of the Thames for prey, got knowledge of the King's passage, and thereupon, as he was in the midst of his course, they entered amongst his fleet, and took four vessels next to the King's ship, and in one of which was Sir Thomas Rampi stone, the Vice-Chamberlain, with all the chamber stuff and apparel of the King and Queen. They then followed the King so near, that if his ship had not been swift, he would have landed sooner in France than in Essex. But such was his goodhap, that he escaped, and arrived with the Queen in safety at his appointed port." The year following, the splendid ala baster tomb of John the Valiant, which Joanna had caused to be made by En glish workmen, was conveyed to Brit tany and set up in the cathedral of Nantes, over the grave of the departed Duke. Two years afterwards, Joanna received from the King the valuable grant of six lead-mines, with men to work them, and porters to load the ships ; and as it had been the custom to export


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