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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 335



and behind her, her sister Cecily, and the Duchesses of Bedford, of Norfolk, and of Suffolk, and numerous other ladies, some in litters, and some on horseback, made up the grand procession, "All the streets through which the procession passed, were clean dressed, and bedecked with tapestry and arras ; and some streets, as Chcapsidc, were banged with rich cloth of gold, velvet and silk, and along the streets, from the Towre to St. Pauls, stood in order all the crafts of London, in their liveries, and in divers places in the city wore ordained singing children, some arrayed as angels, and others like virgins, to sing sweet songs as her grace passed by." On the following morning, being Sunday, the Queen, robed in purple, went in state from Westminster Hall, to the abbey, the way being paved with striped cloth. Her train was borne by the Princess Cecily, and her crown was carried by the Duke of Bedford, and her sceptre by the Duke of Suffolk. The abbey was crowded to excess, for the nation loved the Queen, and were rejoiced at the performance of her longdelayed coronation. After Elizabeth had been crowned and anointed with the usual ceremony, she and her attendants retired to Westminster Hall, and partook of a sumptuous banquet. Lord Fitzwaller acted as sewer or waiter; tbe Lady Catherine Grey and Mistresss Ditton went under the table and sate at her feet, and at certain times held a kerchief before her grace. Henry viewed both tbe coronation and the banquet from behind a lattice, and as an act of grace, he pardoned the Queen's half brother, the Alarquis of Dorset. The next day the Queen, attended by the King and his mother, the Countess of Bichmond, held her levee in the parliament chamber, and a ball, at which the Queen danced, concluded the festivities. From the period of her coronation, Elizabeth was brought forward on all occasions of parade with the utmost state and pomp. She lived on terms of sincere affection with her husband, and the assertion of almost all our historians —that Henry treated her with harshness and neglect, and that, in his estimation, neither the beauty of her person nor the sweetness of her disposition could atone for the crime of being a descendant of the York dynasty—must certainly be regarded as untrue. Would space permit, it could easily be proved, from contemporary documents, that the King governed his house with wisdom and discretion, and deeply loved his consort, whose happiness he promoted by every means in his power. In 1489, Elizabeth proved enceinte ; and as the King was anxious to establish in his court a regular system of etiquette, he permitted his mother, the state-loving Countess of Richmond, to superintend the accouchement. The Countess, who had made ordinances as to the preparations to be made for the birth of Prince Arthur, now issued the following regulations :—" The Queen's pleasure being understood in what chamber she will be delivered, the same must be banged with rich cloth of arras, sides, roof, windows, and all, except one window, which must be hanged so as she may have light when it pleascth her; then there must be set a royal bed, and the floor laid all over and over with carpets, and a cupboard, covered with the same suit as the chamber is hanged with." On entering the chamber, the Queen was permitted to exercise her own discretion whether she would sit or stand, in receiving wine and spices. " Upon All-hallow even, being the first of October, the Queen," says Lcland, "took her chamber at Westminster, greatly accompanied with ladies and gentlewomen ; that is to say, the King's mother, the Duchess of Norfolk, and many others, having before her the great part of nobles of this realm present in this parliament. She was led by the Earls of Oxford and of Derby. The reverend father in God the Bishop of Exeter sung the mass and Agnus Dei. Then the Queen was led as before. The Earls of Shrewsbury and of Kent held the towel when the Queen took hei rights ; and the torches were holden by knights. After mass, accompanied as before, when she was come into her great chamber, she stood under her cloth of estate, and then there was ordered a void


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