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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 352



one man alone got enough gold letter? to produce three pounds eighteen shillings and eightpenee from the goldsmiths; and when we remember that the robbery was committed, net by thieves or rabble, but by respectable citizens, wc may form some idea of the state of society in England at the commencement of the sixteenth century—a period when one of England's most sanguinary and despotic sovereigns swayed the sceptre, and when the whole nation was remarkably corrupt, base, and venal. The infant Prince, Henry, whose en trance into the world bad caused all this iorup and joy, was taken ill on the day fle was baptized ; and although every known means was resorted to to restore him to health, he expired on the twentysecond of February. "Tbe King," says Hall, "took this sad chance wondrous wisely, and, tho more to comfort the Queen, he dissembled the matter, and made no great mourning outwardly ; but the Queen, like a natural woman, made much lamentation : and, oh ! could she have foreseen what future sorrow the loss of this little babe would bring to her own door, meweens she would 'have moaned but little for him, and much for herself :" Shortly after the outbreak of a war with France, in which Scotland took part against England, Henry resolved to invade France in person. Pefore his departure, he appointed " his most dear consort, Queen Katherine, rectrix and governor of the realm"—a power more ample than had hitherto been bestowed on a queen regent of England. When Henry routed the French at the liattle of Spurs—so named because the enemy only spurred their horses to fly from the field—tho victory, trifling as it was, was exaggerated by flattery and policy into one of great importance. Te Deum was sung in the churches, bonfires blazed through the streets, and Katherine, in a letter addressed to Wolsey, who was now a rising personage, and who had accompanied the King to France, ostensibly as his almoner, but really as bis friend, councillor, and secretary, eaye:— " MASTER ALMONE.U, " What comfort I have with tho good tidings of your letter I need not write, for, by your account, the victory has been so great, that I think none such hath been seen before. All England hath cause to thank God for it, and I especially, seeing that the King beginneth so well, which is to me a great hope that the end shall be the like.pray God send the same shortly, for if this continue so, still I trust in Him that everything shall follow hereafter to the King's pleasure and my comfort. Mr. Almoner, for the pains ye take, remembering to write to me so often, I thank you with ail my heart, praying you to continue still sending me word how the King doctb, and if he keep still his good rule as he began ... . the twentyfifth day of August. " KATHERINE." In tbe following letter, written to Wolsey a few days previously, the Queen writes of the Scotch war, with all the coolness and courage of a veteran warrior :— "MASTER ALMONER, " I received both your letters by Copyngcr and John Glyn, and am very glad to hear that the King passed his dangerous passage [to France] so well. Till I saw your letter, I was troubled to know how near the King was to the siege of Terouenne, but now, I thank God, you make me sure of the good heed that the King taketh of himself to avoid all manner of danger. . . , From hence I have nothing to write to you, but that ye be UGt so busv in this war as we have been encumbered with it ; I mean that touching my own concerns for going further, where I shall not so often hear from the King. All his subjects bo very glad, I thank God, to be buisy with the Scots, for they take it for passtime. My heart is very good to it; and I am horribly buisy with making standards, banners, and bagcts. I pray God first to send you a good battle, as I trust he will do; as with that, everything here will go well. At Kichmond, the thirteenth day of August. " KATHERINE."


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