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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 344



descendant from Edward the Third of England, and a lady of great wisdom, grayity, and charity, and so strictly religious, that she daily performed the canonical and hourly prayers used by priests, and made her children do the same. When four years old, Katherine was taken by her parents to Granada, where she was carefully educated, and taught Latin, and where she resided till 1501, when her long-pending marriage to Henry the Seventh's son, Prince Arthur, having been agreed upon, she quitted Granada and the glorious Alhambra, and, in September, embarked at Corunna, and, after a pleasant voyage, landed at Plymouth on the second of October. This marriage was about seven years in treaty, which, says Lord liacon, was in part caused by the tender years of the marriage couple, cspeciallyof the Prince; but the true reason was, that Henry and Ferdinand, being Princes of great policy at I profound judgment, stood a great time looking one upon another's fortunée how they would go. Indeed, we are assured that Ferdinand wrote to Henry, in plain terms, that he saw no assurance of the succession as long as the unfortunate Earl of Warwick lived; and that he was loth to send his daughter to troubles and dangers. Warwick, let it be understood, was the last male of the Plantagenets, Counts of Anjou, who had reigned over England for nearly four hundred years ; and what is remarkable, it was not till his murder might have been foreseen, that the illomened nuptials between Arthur and Katherine were celebrated by proxy in Spain. The length of the proceedings preliminary to tho matrimonial negotiation, suggests a suspicion that hard conditions were secretly sought by one of the parties ; and as the espousals by proxy took place only six months before the execution of Warwick, when it was easy to see that the disorders and revolts of the kingdom would afford a pretext for involving the last of the Plantagenets in a charge of treason, it may readily be believed that the delay was purposely made till the opportune period, when the removal of Warwick could be made sure, and the marriage would not be brought so near to the murder as to shock the feelings or strengthen the un favourable judgment of mankind. AtPlymouth, Katherine was welcomed by the Duchess of Norfolk, the Earl of Surrey,and other noblo personages; and on the fourth of November, King Henry proceeded in person from his palace of Shene, or Richmond, as from this period it was generally called, to meet her. At East Hampstead, the King was joined by Prince Arthur, The royal travellers pressed forward with all the speed that a bad country and rude conveyances would permit, till they reached the Downs, when, to their surprise, a deputation of Spaniards met them, and solemnly forbade them to approach the Princess, declaring that the etiquette of their nation would not allow even the bridegroom to behold his bride before she was a wife. This injunction, however, but heightened the curiosity of Henry, who, after a short consultation with his privy council, mounted hi s horse, and started off through a pelting November rain to the town of Dogmersficld, where the Infanta had just arrived ; and, although opposed by two Spanish prelates and a count, who told him that she had retired to her chamber, he vowed that he would see her, and speak with her, even if she were in her bed. On finding further opposition of no avail, the Infanta rose and gave audience to King Henry, when, although neither could understand a word spoken by the other, they, by gestures, greeted each other with compliments and cordial welcomes. Meantime, when the King was about to depart, Prince Arthur arrived, and, to the indignation of the Spanish embassy, was introduced by his father to his betrothed. That same afternoon, Arthur and Katherine ph'ghted their troths in person, and the unexpected adventure was closed by a dance in tho evening, in which the Prince and the Princess joined. The next day, the Infanta set out for Kennington Palace, in Lambeth, where she abode till the necessary preparations wore made for her marriago. The King


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