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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 369



354 KATHERINE Of ARRAGON, future home of his repudiated wife. Thither Katherine was taken at the commencement of 1535 ; and doubtless, as the evil-minded King had anticipated, the noxious vapours from the neighbouring Mere of Whittlesea greatly accelerated the decline of her health. In the winter she became so alarmingly ill, that her physician despaired of her recovery. When the King heard how sick she was, he sent a kind message to her, and the emperor's ambassador, and her intimate friend, Lady Willonghby, paid her visits of condolence. On finding death approaching, the ill-used Queen repeated a request which had often been refused, that she might see her daughter, the Princess Mary, once at least, before she died. Henry had the cruelty to refuse this last consolation to the unfortunate Katherine, who from her deathbed dictated a short letter to him. In the title she called him her dear lord, king, and husband. She advised him to attend to tbe salvation of his soul, forgave him all the wrongs he had done her, recommended their daughter Mary to his paternal protection, requested him to provide her three maids with suitable husbands, and pay her other servants one year's wages more than was due to them ; and concluded, " lastly, I make this vow, that mine eyes desire you above all things." Py her desire two copies of this epistle were made, one of wrhich was delivered to the King, and the other to the imperial ambassador, with a request, that the emperor would extend bis protection to her daughter, the Princess Mary, and reward her servants, should her husband refuse to do so. She retained her consciousness to the last, and on the eighth of January-, 1536, expired in the arms of Lady Willoughby, whilst breathing a prayer for her husband's forgiveness, and for the welfare of her beloved daughter. In her Will, she supplicates Henry to pay to her executors tbe monies due to her for the time past, and to permit them to retain the goods she held, that they might pay her debts and recompense her servants. She then requests that her body may be buried in a convent of Observant Friars (who had done and suffered much for her), that five hundred masses may be said for her soul, and that some one shall, for her behoof, perform a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady at Walshingham, and distribute twenty nobles in alms by the way. She bequeaths the gold collar that she brought from Spain, to the Princess Mary; and ordains that to Mrs. Planche, be given one hundred pounds; to Mrs. Margery, to Mrs. Whyller, to Mrs. May, her physician's wife, to Mrs. Isabella, and to her faithful servant Francisco Phillippo, be given each, forty pounds. To Mistress Darrel, to Isabella de Yergas, to Mr. Whyller, to Philip, to Antony, and to Bastien, be given each, twenty pounds ; to her little maids be given each, ten pounds. She also desires that to her ghostly father, to her physician, to her apothecary, to her goldsmith, and to her laundress, be paid each, one year's wages more than is due to them, in conclusion, she requests the King to cause the gowns which he holdcth of hers, to be cut up to adorn the church where she may be buried, and begs that it may please the King to give the furs cut off the gowns, to her beloved daughter the Princess Mary.' Suchisthesubstance of the"Will written by Katherine of Arragon on her death bed ; a Princess who, m her dying moments, acknowledged, not only m words, but in tbe more substantial form of bequests, the services of her attendants and servants, even to those of her laundress. All our historians affirm, that Henry the Eighth wept over her last letter. These tears, if those of sincerity, could not have been for her unhappy fate ; perhaps he mourned the departure of that brilliant hopeful season of youth, when, with a true and earnest heart, he pledged his faith to his first love; or it might be, that his new passion for Jane Seymour urged him to regret having cast aside the adored bride of his youngly manhood, to obtain an object he nolonger valued. Reflections such as these might produce temporary sadness ; and transient, indeed, was the sorrow of the eclfish King, who, ere the remains of his deceased wife were consigned to their final resting-place, became anxious to enrich


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