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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 329



Iheringay. The bodies were conveyed from Pontefract, their dishonourable burial-place, to Fothcringay church, in Northamptonshire, with great pomp and state, the chief mourner being the Luke of Gloucester, afterwards Pichard the Third. On the night of Edward the Fourth, in 1470, his Queen fled with her family to the sanctuary at Westminster, where she remained for more than sis months, and where the birth of Prince Edward removed Elizabeth, for a period, from her dangerous proximity to the throne. Although King Edward the Fourth more than once endeavoured to conciliate his enemies by deceitful offers of Elizabeth's hand in marriage, he was particularly desirous that his children should form alliances suitable to their rank, as will be seen by the following extract from his will, dated 1475. "Item; We will that our daughter, Elizabeth, have ten thousand marks towards her marriage, and that our daughter, Mary, likewise have ten thousand marks, so that they be ruled and governed by our dearest wife, the Queen. Put, if either of our said daughters do marry themselves without such advice and consent, so as they be thereby disparaged (as God forbid), then she, so marrying herself, shall have no payment of her ten thousand marks." In 1478, Elizabeth took a prominent part at the betrothment of her brother, Richard, to Anne Mowbray. The ceremony was performed with great pomp. The infant bride was entitled Princess of the Feast, and, although only five years old, was escorted by the Dukes of Gloucester and Buckingham, and took her seat at the head of the table, and gave largess. The marriage was solemnized on the fourteenth of January, and four days afterwards,j ousts in honour of it were held at Westminster. The whole of the royal family, and many foreign ambassadors were present, and not the least distinguished spectator was my lord of Richmond, afterwards Henry the Seventh. At the close of the gallantly run jousts, the Princess of the Feast, with all estates of ladies and gentlewomen, withdrew them to the King's great chamber, inWestminster.; the high Princess of tho Feast had there her minstrels, and all ladies and gentlewomen, lords, knights, and esquires, fell to dancing merrily. Then came tbe king of arms, to announce to tbe Princess of the Feast, on whom devolved the duty of bestowing the rewards of the tourney, the names of those whose valour had merited them. The child who received this chivalric homage being so young, the Princess Elizabeth had been appointed to assist her, and a council of ladies was held to consider the share each should take in the ceremony. The prizes were golden letters, A, E, and M, initials of Anne, Elizabeth, and Mowbray, set in gems, and were delivered to Elizabeth by the kings of arms. Clarencieux presented the A, set with a diamond, saying, "Right high and excellent Princess, here is the prize which you shall award to the best jouster of the jousts royal ;" Norrey similarly presented her with the E, of gold, set with a ruby, for the best runner in harness (armour), and March with the M, of gold, set with an emerald, for the best swrordsman. The first prize was then delivered by Elizabeth to her young sister-in-law, who, with her assistance, gave it to Thomas Fynes, tho first of the successful competitors, on which the king of arms and heralds cried out : " 0 yes ! 0 yes ! Oyes ! SirWilliam Truswell jousted well, William Say jousted well, Thomas Fynes jousted best, for the which, the Princess of the Feast awarded the prize of the jousts royal, that is to say, the A, of gold, to him," quoth Clarencieux. In this manner the other prizes were distributed, greatly to the glory of the successful competitors, and the delight of the noble company, who immediately afterwards separated, each going the way he preferred. About four years previous to this marriage, Elizabeth was contracted to the Dauphin of France, and her father, believing in the sincerity of the astute French monarch, dowered her with Guienne, and other possessions, and had her taught to read and write English in the best manner, and to write and speak both French and Spanish. When she had completed her thirteenth year,


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