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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 339



her husband such good comfort, when she retired to her own chamber, she gave way to so many tears and lamentations, that her attendants went and besought the King to come and soothe her trouble, which he directly did, with earnest and faithful love, telling her that if she would thank God for his son, he would also do so." In the summer of this year, the Queen, whose constitution was delicate from her birth, suffered from sickness and debility. In August, she made a progress through the midland counties, offering at the shrines in her way, for the restoration of her health. On her return, she made a brief stay at the Tower, where, as she was enceinte, it was arranged that her accouchement should take place. From the Tower she went to Richmond, where she kept the Christmas festival in right royal state. Besides other acts of munificence, she gave to a William Cornish thirteen shillings and four-pence, for setting a Christmas carol ; forty shillings to the minstrels with tho Psalms ; four shillings and four-pence to a Spanish girl for dancing before her ; and six shillings and eight-pence to her fool, Patch. She also gave alms for the poor, presented a poor man who brought her a parrot with a gratuity of thirteen shillings and fourpence, and handsomely rewarded several of her needy neighbours, who evinced their loyalty by presenting her with scarce vegetables and fruits, choice poultry, and other rare edibles. In January, the Queen spent eight days at Hampton Court, which, it may be remarked, was one of her favourite country seats, long before it fell into the hands of Cardinal Wolsey. When she returned to the Tower is not known ; nor is any mention made of her ceremoniously taking to her chamber a month or so before her time. However, that she was in the royal apartments of that fortress on the second of February, 1503, is evident; as on that day, our historians affirm, whilst she and her lord lay in the Tower of London, she gave birth to the Princess Katherine. The Princess was born alive, and, for a week afterwardsi the Queen appeared to be doing well ; but on the eighth day alarming eymntoms presented themselves, and, despite all efforts to save her, she breathed her last on the eleventh of Fe bruary, 1503, the very day on which she completed her thirty-eighth year. Her death was deeply lamented by her dejected husband, who, for a period, seemed inconsolable, and mourned by the people as a national calamity ; all the bells of tho churches and the religious houses in the metropolis, and in other parts of the country, tolled in slow, dis mal tones the day through ; and for weeks afterwards, the loss of the good Queen Elizabeth was uppermost in the minds of the people. The body of the Queen, after being embalmed, was laid in the chapel in the Tower, at the entrance to which, but unknown to all present, were buried the remains of her murdered brothers, Edward the Fifth and Richard, Duke of York, On this occasion, Elizabeth's sister, Katherine, performed the office of chief mourner—and a sincere mourner she was, for, since the imprisonment of her husband, Lord Courtcnay, on a suspicion of treason, the Queen had been her best friend, and almost maternal protectress. After lying in state for twelve days, the royal corpse was conveyed, in solemn procession, to Westminster; behind the funeral car, on which was an image of the Queen, crowned, and in her robes of state, rode eight ludies of honour, on palfreys in black trappings, led by footmen in mourning ; then came a train of noblemen, all dressed in mourning weeds; and, lastly, followed the Corporation of London. Amongst the " honest persons, citizens of London," we find the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of London, and of the foreign gilds, "the Esterlings, the Frenchmen, before them the Portugalla, before them the Venetians, before them the Janavays (Genoese), before them and the Lewknors before them," and " all the surplus of citizens of London that rode out in black stood along from Fenchurch to the end of Cheap." Besides these, " were ordeyued divers torch-bearers of certain crafts of London, which torch, j hearers carried five thousand torches,


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