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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 266



that from this period to the end of his father's life, the prince was on terms of cordial friendship with his step-mother, is proved by the indubitable evidence of two entries in the issue rolls of the first year of Ifenry the Fifth, both to the following effect : " To Joanna, Queen of England, one hundred pounds, in part payment of a greater sum due to her on a private agreement made between her and the present King, concerning a license for the marriage of the Earl of March, which license the said Joanna did obtain from her late lord Henry the Fourth, especially for and sold to the present King when he was Prince of Wales." As it was greatly to the interest of Henry the Fourth to prevent the marriage of the Earl of March, be being by descent the rightful heir to the throne, these entries, besides marking the amity subsisting between the prince and the Queen, are indisputable records of the powerful influence possessed by Joanna over the mind of her lord, nor are they less deniable evidence of that Queen's over-covetous disposition. Henry the Fourth, whilst yet in the meridian of manhood, was worn out with mental anguish and bodily sufferings. According to Maydstone, on the very day that the patriotic Scroop, Archbishop of York, was, by royal orders, beheaded, without judge, jury, or trial, the conscience - smitten King became afflicted with loathsome leprous eruptions, which, increasing in virulence, broke oat on his face, and, in the autumn of 1412, quite disfigured the features of hisfinely-chiselled countenance, exhausted his bodily powers, and precluded him from attending to public business. This malady was accompanied by a succession of epileptic fits, which gradually increased in violence ; and the common people considered it as a punishment from heaven for the murder of the prelate Scroop. Henry and his consort kept their Christmas, this year, at Eltham. The King was confined to his bed, and the Queen herself waited upon him. But, with all her care and affectionate attention, Joanna could not quiet the compunctions of his guilty conscience. The presentiment of his approaching end brought to his mind, in vividly-horrifying colours, the blood which he had spilt to conquer and maintain his usurped crown, and harassed him with terriblytormenting terrors. He, however, rallied sufficiently to return to Westminster at Candlemas, and keep his birthday there with some degree of state ; but, immediately afterwards, the violence and frequency of the fits increased, and he became worse than he had ever been. One day, whilst lying in a fit, and to all appearances dead, the Prince of Wales conveyed away into another room the crown, which, according to custom, had been laid upon his pUlow. But soon afterwards, the King, recovering his senses, angrily inquired for it. The Prince immediately returned, and replaced the crown on the pillow, when the King, pacified by his dutiful expressions, exclaimed, with a sigh : "Alas ! fair son, what right have you to a crown, when you know that your father had none ?" "My liege," replied the Prince, "with the sword you won it, and by the sword I will maintain it." *' Well," rejoined tbe King, with a faint, faltering voice, " do as you deem best ; I leave the issue to God, and pray he will have mercy on my soul !" The King was seized with his last fit whilst be was praying at the shrine of St. Edward the Confessor, in Westminster Abbey, and thence he was carried into the Jerusalem Chamber. On recovering, and learning where he was, he remembered that, years back, it had been predicted that he should die in Jerusalem ; and, glancing at his attendants, exclaimed: "Alas! I expected to have visited the Holy City, but now the prophecy is fulfilled—I shall never quit this chamber alive." Before expiring, he sent for the Prince of Wales, and said: "My son, I fear me sore, after my departure from this life, some discord will grow and arise between thee and thy brother Thomas, Duke of Clarence, whereby the realm may be brought to destruction and misery ; for I know you both to be of great


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