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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ. Queens of England. Vol.1.


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Queens of England. Vol.1.
page 418

conspire to render this statement probable. Her beauty and lack of moral rectitude rendered her a fit instrument for such a purpose. Her sister, Elizabeth, had married the son of the craftyj climbing- secretary, Cromwell; it wasj therefore, to his especial interest that she should share the throne of his sovereign. Her two brothers, both esquires of the King's person, were ambitious men, eager in the pursuit of fortune, and willing to sacrifice their sister's beauty to their own personal advantage ; and there is too much reason to believe that she had powerful aid from the Duke of Norfolk and his party, who detested the Queen, and strenuously opposed the reformation. But, however this may be, Henry had been the husband of Anne Boleyn only about two years, when real or pretended suspicions of her fidelity, induced him to slight her, and shortly afterwards to pay clandestine court to Jane Seymour. If tradition is to be accredited, Jane had been introduced to court but a short time, when the Queen seeing a splendid jewel suspended from her neck, expressed a wish to look at it. Jane blushed, and drew back ; when the Queen, whose jealousy had already been aroused against her, violently snatched it from her neck ; and, on examining it, found it to contain a miniature of the King, presented by himself to her fair rival. Whether Anne Boleyn tamely submitted to this breach of her husband's conjugal vow, has not been recorded ; she certainly was toohasty to bear her wrongs in silence ; and when, a few days after the burial of Katherine of Arragon, she accidentally discovered Jane seated on the King's knee, and receiving his caresses with complacency, she became mad with passion, and threatening Jane with the deepest revenge, ordered her in stantly to depart from her presence, and to quit tho court for ever. Jane, being a woman of consummate art, and having already advanced to the very threshold of the throne, despised the threats, and disregarded the orders of her angry mistress. Aware that her star was in the ascendant, she scrupled not to obtain her elevation by the destruction of Anne and five unfortunate noblemen. Our historians laud her discretion, her modesty, and her virtue ; hut on what principles of morality it is difficult to conceive. She accepted the addresses of the husband of her mistress, knowing him to be such ; and scrupled not to walk over the corpse of Anno to the throne. True, she retired to her maternal home, at Wolf Hall, whilst tbe tragedy which consummated the destruction of Anne was played out ; but it was only to prepare the gay attire and the sumptuous banquet to celebrate her marriage with the ruthless King, whilst the blood was yet warm in the lifeless form of the ill-fated Anne. On the morning of Anne's execution, Henry attired for the chase, and attended by his huntsmen, waited in the neighbourhood of Epping or Richmond —tradition points to both these places —and immediately he heard the boom of the signal gun, which was to assure him that she breathed no more, exclaimed in exultation, " Uncouple the hounds, and away!" and paying no regard to the direction taken by the game, galloped off with his courtiers at full speed to Wolf Hall, which he reached at night-fall. Early the next morning, Saturday, May the twentieth, 1536, and attired in the gay robes of a bridegroom, he conducted Jane Seymour to the altar of Tottenham church, Wilts, and in the presence of Sir John Russell, and other members of his obsequious privy council, made her his bride. Erom Wolf Hall, the wedding party proceeded through Winchester, by an easy journey, to London; where on the twenty-ninth of May, a great court was held, at which Jane was introduced as Queen. Feasts, jousts, and other entertainments in honour of the royal nuptials followed; and Sir Edward Seymour was created Viscount Beauchamp, and Sir Walter Hungerford received the title of Lord Hungerford. Henry pretended, for it was but a pretence, that Jane, through her mother Margaret, had descended from the royal blood of England ; and Cranmer, having no desire to dispute the matter with him, on the very day that Anne Boleyn was beheaded, granted a dispensation for

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