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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 269

and Peronell Brocart, formerly her domestics, to compass the King's death by sorcery and witchcraft. Upon this charge she was seized, and without being permitted to defend herself, imprisoned, firstinPevenscy, and afterwards in Leeds Castle. By an order of the King's, assented to by parliament, her rich dower and all her property of every kind, even to her clothing, were confiscated to the crown. Whether Joanna really did plot against the King, or whether she was foully calumniated by her accusers, is a mystery which nothing can completely solve but the discovery of state documents of the period bearing upon the case ; documents which we ourselves have searched for in vain. However, as at this period the King was in great poverty, and as Joanna was selfish and covetous to a fault, it is highly probable that on her refusing to assist him with heavy loans, the charge was brought against her as a pretext to replenish the exchequer with her forfeited riches. One thing is certain, the time for making the charge (about October) was chosen with judgment, for the King was then fully occupied with his designs upon France, whilst Joanna's son, Arthur, having just returned again from patrol to imprisonment, was precluded from going in person to the King to vindicate his mother's character, by order of the Duke of Bedford, the Regent of England. The intelligence of his mother's disgrace induced the Duke of Brittany to sue for her liberation. History does not record with what success, but as Joanna's imprisoment made no change in the friendly relations between the Duke and King Henry, we may suppose that his request was not wholly disregarded. Joanna continued a prisoner within the gloomy walls of Pevensey till the early part of the year 1422, when she was removed to less severe confinement in Leeds Castle. But the period of her captivity was now drawing to a close : Henry the Fifth felt that his end was approaching, and stung with remorse at the injury he had so long inflicted on his innocent mother-in-law, he sent an order for her immediate liberation, and COUI manding the restitution of her dower and confiscated property. This curious docu ment, of which the following is a copy, was addressed to the prelates and nobles of tbe council. " liyght worshipful faders in God, onre ryght trusty and well-beloved : Howbeit that we had to tak into oure bande siche [since] a certeyn tyme, and for siche causes as yow knowe, ye douairs of ourc moder Quene Johaune, excepte a certcyne pension thereof yerely, whych we assigned for the expens reasonable of hir, and of a certain menye (menials or domestics) that shnldc be a charge unto oure consciens for to occupye furth longer the saide douair in this wyse, the whycho charge we be aviseld no longer to bere in our consciense, wol and charge yow that as ye wol answere to God for us in this case, and stand discharged in youre own consciens, also that ye make delivcransunto ourc said moder, the Quene, hoolly of hir said douair, and suffre hir to recieve it as she did bcreafore. And that she make bir officers whom hir lyste, so they be oure liegemen andgoodemen, and that therefore ye yave in charge, and command at this tyme to make hir plein restitution of hir donair as aforesaid. Furthermore we wol charge ye that hir beddes and all other thyngs movable tnat we had of hir ye deliver hir agen, and ordeineth hir that she have of siche cloth, and of siche color, as she wold devise hirself, five or six gounes suche as she useth to wear. And bicaus we suppose she wol soon rimove from the place where she is now, that ye ordein hir horses for two chares (cliariots), and let hir rimovc into what oyer place wythin oure roiaume (realm) that hir lyste." " Wryten the thirteenth day of Julye, the yere of our regne tenth."* This order was followed by the imme diate liberation of Joanna, and on the thirty-first of the subsequent month, the hero of Agincourt breathed his last ; when court etiquette forced the ill-used Queen to dissemble her feelings, by as suming weeds of mourning for the death of that monarch, who, in his order for her restoration to liberty and state, had , * Par. Holla, first Henry the Sixth.

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