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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 268



CHAPTER IV. Joanna's widowhood—Henri/ the Fifth shews her kindness and respect—Her son, Arthur, captured at Agincourt—The victory celebrated by public rejoicings—•Truce with Brittany—Joanna accused of treason and sorcery—She is arrested, stripped of her dower and property, and imprisoned—The Duke of Brittany sues for her liberation—Mortal illness of Henry the Fifth—His remorse—Order for the release of Joanna—Her liberation—Restitution of her sequestered property—Her closing years—Death—Burial—Tomb. » TJRING the first two years of her widow hood, Joanna was treated with the greatest kindness and respect by her royal step-son, Hen ry the Fifth. The new King" permitted her to receive her dower as heretofore, presented her with jewels, trinkets, and other marks of royal favour, and when about to depart on his first French campaign, he took an affectionate leave of her, and by an order dated June the thirtieth, granted to his dearest mother, Joanna, Queen of England, permission to reside in his favourite palaces of Walh'ngford, Rerkhamstead, Hertford, or Windsor. Which of these royal residences Joanna and her retinue occupied when the, to her more sorrowful than joyous, tidings of Henry's victory at Agincourt reached England, is nowhere recorded. Her position at this period was, however, a trying one, for ι whilst the sanguinary battle of Agincourt, fought on the twenty-fifth of October, 1415, stamped her martial son-in-law as the greatest warrior of the age, it brought death or ruin to those of her foreign relations and friends, who, from interest, policy, or patriotism, took part in the cause of defeated France. Her beloved son, Arthur, was wounded and made prisoner. Her son-in-law, John, Duke of Alençon, was slain on the battle-field, and her brother, Charles of Navarre, died of his wounds on the following morning. Yet, despite her sorrow for the misfortunes of her family, she was compelled, by her position as Queen of England, to head a procession of the Londoners, and return public thanks for the victory ere she dared to make lamentations for the dead, or assume the garb of mourning. Even afterwards, when Henry the Fifth, the triumphant captor of her son, Arthur, and the destroyer of her house, returned with the fruits of his victory, Joanna had no recourse but to welcome him with deceptive smiles, and take part in the thanksgivings and rejoicings that ensued. Arthur of Brittany had sworn fealty to Henry, as Earl of Richmond; by taking part against him in the battle of Agincourt, he had violated his oath of allegiance, and he certainly would have perished as a traitor, bad not Joanna exerted her powerful influence with the King of England in his behalf. But although his life was spared, Henry would neither consent to bis release nor bis ransom. Joanna's eldest son, the Duke of Brittany, wisely avoided taking a part in the battle, and in 1417, by the advice and assistance of his judicious mother, he concluded another truce with England, greatly to the advantage of both parties. The King still continued to treat Joanna with high consideration. In 1418, he issued orders for the landing of money, wines, lamps, cloth, and other articles, free of import duty, for the use of " our beloved mother, Joanna, Queen of England." And in the same year he granted protection and free export to a ship loaded with presents from Joanna to her daughter-in-law, the Duchess of Brittany. But these were the last of the royal favours conferred by Henry the Fifth on his widowed step-mother; in 1419, her confessor, John Randulf, a minorité friar, and others accused her of having conspired with Roger Coles


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