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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 317

When the news of the murder of the two young Princes was brought to Elizabeth, who, with her daughters, still remained in the sanctuary, she swooned and fell to the ground. On recovering consciousness, she beat her bosom, tore her long fair hair, and calling upon her assassinated children, declared she was mad when she delivered the Duke of York to the keeping of the monster Gloucester. "Oh God," she exclaimed, "avenge the widow and the fatherless ! make the heart of the murderer desolate as mine is now! curse him and his for evermore, and let not bis progeny reap the fruits of his iniquity!" When, a few months afterwards, the Prince of Wales, Kichard the Third's only child and greatest pride, suddenly died, Elizabeth declared, and the nation believed, that heaven had heard and answered her prayer. Crushed by the misfortunes that had befallen her, the broken-hearted Queen indulged in grief so violent, that her health gave way, and for a period her life was despaired of. All hut the hunchback and his partizans, felt deep sympathy for the woes of the disconsolate Elizabeth. Amongst other charitable persons, she was visited by Dr. Lewis, who, although ostensibly a priest and physician, was in reality an agent of the House of Lancaster. Dr. Lewis suggested to her the plan for quieting the conflicting claims of the rival Roses, by uniting her eldest daughter, the Princess Elizabeth, with the last scion of Lancaster, the young Earl of Richmond, who was then an exile in Brittany. In this plan she acquiesced, and a conspiracy to dethrone Richard in favour of Richmond was speedily formed, and headed by the powerful Duke of Buckingham, who, disgusted at the bloody deeds of the hunchback, now took up arms against him. The uprising was fixed for the eighteenth of October, but, as heretofore, the energy and good fortune of the usurper defeated the projects of his foes; Buckingham was taken and beheaded. Richard had sailed to the coast of Devon, but finding his hopes frustrated by the catastrophe of Buckingham, he hastily re-embarked and sailed back to Brittany. The Queen's son, Dorset, who had contrived to escape unobserved out of sanctuary, and who, with her brother, Sir Edward Woodville, had raised the standard of revolt in Yorkshire, sought safety at Paris ; whilst others found asylums in Hrittany, in the sanctuaries, or in the fidelity of their neighbours. The prisoners were all executed, without regard to station or circumstances ; indeed, Richard was no sooner freed from the impending danger, than, to expedite his revenge, by avoiding the formalities of the courts of justice, he commissioned Sir Ralph Ashton to exercise the office of Vice - Constable, with such extensive powers, that he could condemn and execute on the spot whoever he chose to pronounce guilty, or suspected of high treason. A commission which Ashton executed with the utmost rigour, putting husbands to death in the presence of their wives, and children before the eyes of their parents. It is said, that this bloody minister of the cruel King, being solicited by a beautiful woman to release her husband, who was a prisoner upon suspicion, he consented to do so upon her promising to grant him a favour of another nature ; and immediately the poor creature had indulged his brutal desires, he presented to her the dead body of her husband, who in the mean time had, by bis orders, been hanged, saying, "There, woman, as you cannot have the man of your choice alive, take him dead." To defeat the project of the unfortunate Elizabeth and the Lancasterians, now became the chief policy of the aspiring Richard, The parliament which met in November, pronounced the marriage between Edward the Fourth and Elizabeth Grey null, bastardized their children, and formally legitimized Richard's title to the throne, and entailed the crown on the issue of his body. But, withal, the King was seriously alarmed at the idea of a marriage between Richmond and the Princess Elizabeth ; he, therefore, resolved to get the Princess and her mother into his power ; a difficult task, which could only be lawfully accomplished by starving out the inmates

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