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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 278



QUEEN OF ÏÏENBY THE FIFTH. commenced, all his conquests and his riches "would be snatched from his ardent grasp by the levelling hand of death ; yet so it was. At the urgent request of the young Duke of i.urgundy, he left Katherine at Bois de Yincennes, and proceeded to raise the siege of- Cosne ; but, on reaching Corbeil, the malady which had for some time affected his constitution, and which he had hitherto quite disregarded, suddenly prostrated his strength, and rendered him unable to proceed. From Corbeil he was conveyed back in a litter to liois de Yincenncs, where, affectionately attended by his afflicted consort, he expired, after a few days' painful illness, on the thirty-first of August. On the day of his death, Henry called to his bedside the Duke of Bedford, the Earl of Warwick, and four other nobles, when, after charging them to protect the interests of his infant heir, and naming the Earl of Warwick tutor to the Prince, and the Duke of Gloucester guardian to the kingdom, he fixed his eyes on the Duke, and in tears of earnestness continued, " Comfort my dear wife, the most afflicted creature living, and even as I have loved you, so extend your love to her." He then asked the physicians how long he had to live ? " Attend to the health of your soul," answered one of them on his knees, "for without a miracle you cannot survive for more than two hours." He heard the awful annunciation with composure, and having confessed his sins, ordered his chaplains to recite the penitential psalms. But at the verse " Thou shaft build up the walls of Jerusalem," he interrupted them, and with an earnest but faint voice, declared it bad always been his intention to undertake a crusade to Palestine immediately he had completed the subjugation of France. The obsequies of the truly chivalric Henry the Fifth were performed with unexampled splendour. The body was embalmed and conveyedwith the greatest honour to Paris, where, whilst it rested in the church of Notre Dame, solemn requiems were performed, and an abundance of money and alms distributed. From Paris the royal remains were conveyed to Rouen, and when all necessary preparations were made for their transfer to England, "the body," says Stow, " was laid on a chariot which was drawn by four horses, and above the corpse was placed a figure made of leather, representing his person, as nigh as could be devised, painted curiously to the similitude of a living creature, upon whose head was set an imperial diadem of gold and precious stones, on its body a purple robe furred with ermine, in the right hand a sceptre royal, in the left hand a ball of gold with a cross fixed thereon." Thus adorned, and with its visage uncovered to the heavens, was this figure laid on a bed on the same chariot with the remains of the king. And the coverture of its bed was of red silk beaten with gold ; and besides that, when the body should pass through any good town, a canopy of marvellous great value was borne over the chariot by men of greatwrorsliip. In this manner, accompanied by the King of Scots and all the princes, lords, and knights of his house, he was brought from liouen to Abbeville, and thence through Hesdin, Montreuil, and Boulogne to Calais. In all this journey, were many men about the chariot, clothed all in white, who bore in their hands burning torches, intermixed with persons carrying banners and pennons, after whom followed all the household servants in black, and after them came the princes, lords, and knights in vestures of deep mourning, and at the distance of about two English miles followed the Queen of England, right honourably accompanied ; " her tender and pierced heart," says Speed, "more inly mourning than her outward sad weeds could in any sort express." In this manner the body of King Henry the Fifth was borne to Calais, whence it was transported to England by a numerous fleet. On landing at Dover, the corpse was conveyed in solemn state to London, where the funeral train was met by the bishops in their pontifical robes, the mitred abbots, the clergy, the Mayor and Corporation of the city, and a multitude of people, all anxious to do honour to the memory of their departed warrior king. The pro


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