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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 295



QUEEN OF HENRY: THE SIXTH. several of the midland counties. At. Coventry their majesties were received, with especial favour. Pageants, quaint, curious, and gorgeous, welcomed their entry, and the beauty, tbe talents, and the kindly condescension of Margaret, won the hearts of the inhabitants so completely, that for years afterwards Coventry went by the name of Queen Margaret's haven of safety. Whilst at Coventry, Henry summoned a great council there. York, Salisbury, and Warwick attended, and they each committed wilful perjury by taking the following strongly-word ed oath :—" I knowlechc you most high and myghty and most Xten prynce, Kyng Henry the Sixth, to be my most redoubted soverain lord, and rightwesly by succession borne to reigne upon me and all your liege people voluntarily and by no constraint ne cohersion." As at this council all the lords had sworn never again to seek redress by force, but to submit their quarrels to the Ì rbitration of their sovereign, Margaret ndeavoured to effect a reconciliation etwecn the opposing parties. The Yorkists received her overtures with mistrust ; but when Henry, who had long acted as the only impartial man in his kingdom, laboured for the same end, they put faith in his sincerity, and in January, 1458, tho belligerent nobles held a congress of pacification in London, i*Each party came with their retainers, and the duty of preserving the peace was undertaken by the mayor, Sir Godfrey Boleyn, ancestor of Anne Boleyu, second consort of Henry the Eighth*, at the head of ten thousand armed citizens. The Royalists sat daily at the Whitefriars in the afternoon, the Yorkists at the Blackfriars in the forenoon, and so fierce were the debates, so numerous tbe angry recriminations, that two months passed ere anything like an understanding could be effected. Whilst the congress was sitting, Margaret prudently retired with her husband and child to Berkhampstead, where Henry, attended by several of the judges, daily received a report of the proceedings of the congress. At length, Henry-, as * See memoirs of Anne Boleyn. iimpire. gave his award ; the agreement passed tue, great .scal..oa ,lha_,twentyfuurth_of March, and on the following day, says the chronicle, "the King ana Queen entered London in great state, and for the outward publishing of this hollow truce there was a solemn procession to St. Paul's cathedral, at which the King was present in his habit royal, with Ms crown on his head. Before him went, hand-in-hand, Somerset and Salisbury, Exeter and Warwick, and so forth, one lord of the one faction and another of the other, and behind the King the Duke of York led the Queen by the hand w-ith great familiarity to all men's sights." The citizens of London expressed great pleasure on witnessing the pageant ; they huzzaed mightily, made great bonfires, and ran through the streets, calling out " Rejoice, England ! Rejoice ! for this love-day has made concord and unity between the King and the great Duke of York !" But, delighted as the citizens were with the imposing spectacle, it soon became evident that the passions of ambition and revenge burned as strongly as ever in the breasts of the belligerent lords. The Yorkists, under feigned pretences, retired from court ; Salisbury hastened to his castle in Yorkshire ; York proceeded to the marches of Wales ; and Warwick, whom the short-sighted King had just previously appointed High Admiral and Governor of Calais, took to the sea at the head of the navy. In May, Warwick, who, as he had been the first to Spread the lying slanders on her honour, was deeply despised by the Queen, plundered the Lubcck fleet, an act of piracy for which Margaret caused him to be summoned to attend the council at Westminster. The citizens, being attached to the Earl, deemed the conduct of the Queen severe ; tumults ensued, in which the Queen's attorney-gen crai was killed. The servants of the royal household and Warwick's retainers quarrelled arid fought severely. The affray gradually became more alarming ; the governors of Eurnival's, of Clifford's, and of Barnard's Inns, and William Taylor, the alderman of the ward where the riots broke out, were sent to prison; and, as


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