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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 442



Ere she could distinctly articulate her own name, her mother died. After a reasonable lapse of time, her father married again ; and on the death of her grandfather, Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, in 1525, she was consigned to the care and the keeping of her grandmother, the Duchess Dowager of Norfolk, who so completely neglected her morals and education, that before she had entered her teens, she formed an improper intimacy with a musician of mean birth, in the Duchess' household, named Henry Manox. At this period, Katherine was staying at her grandmother's mansion, at Horsham, in Norfolk; her father, compelled by his duties, was residing at Calais ; and the Duchess, cither from carelessness, or over-fondness, permitted her to associate with her female attendants and servants, and even to sleep with theni at night. One of them, a base woman, named Isabella, took pleasure in poisoning the mind of the liigh-born damsel : and in conveying in secret the tokens of love that passed between her and Manox. "When this Isabella married, and quitted the Duchess' service, Dorothy Barwike, a female of equally abandoned character, filled her office of confidant to Katherine, whose illicit amours she encouraged with all her energy and wit. Shortly afterwards, the careless, weakminded Duchess, who little suspected that her women had so polluted the pliant mind of her orphan charge, removed with her whole establishment to her mansion at Lambeth, that she might, with more convenience to herself, attend the coronation of her granddaughter, Anne Boleyn,—an important part of that ceremony being assigned to her. Here it was the evil-minded îHtary Lascelles entered the service of the Duchess, and became the fatal favourite of Katherine. Mary Lascellcs, before she was aware of Katherine's intrigues, imparted in confidence to Dorothy Barwike, her own desire to obtain Manox for a husband ; and when Barwike told her that he already loved Katherine Howard, and was troth-plight to her, she in a rage rushed into his presence, called him a fool for falling in love with Mistress Howard; told him the Duchess of Norfolk, if she knew it, would undo him ; and that if he married her, some of her kindred would take his life. Manox, in words too coarse to be repeated, replied, that his purpose was not to marry, but to take a dishonourable advantage of the young lady ; and the liberties she already allowed him, induced him to believe that he would be able shortly to eifect his purpose. This answer Lascelles told to Katherine, which so aroused her indignation against Manox, that after declaring his insolence had deeply offended her, and she loved him not, she went with Lascelles to the house of Lord Beaumont, where he then was, and then passionately taxed him with his baseness. Manox excused himself by an assurance that his deep love for her so overcame him, that he list not what he had spoken. Whether this weak apology satisfied Katherine is not known ; but, as she was afterwards seen walking with him alone at the back of the Duchess' orchard, by moonlight, it is probable that her affection for him, although damped, was not immediately extinguished. Such is the history of the highborn, but neglected orphan's first step in the downward path; and if her conduct is to be blamed, how much more so that of the unworthy woman, Lascelles, who, instead of informing her employer of Manox's illegitimate courtship and base purpose, actually proceeded with Katherine on a stolen expedition to the servants' hall of a neighbouring mansion, in search of the scoundrel. Shortly after a quarrel with Manox, Katherine lent a willing ear to the suit of Francis Derham, one of the Duke of Norfolk's gentlemen pensioners. Derham, although a distant relation of the Howards, was of too mean birth, and far too poor, to match with Katherine. She, however, shortly after the clandestine courtship had commenced, admitted him to all the familiarities of a wedded lord ; and as the Duchess neglected to provide her with money, trinkets, and nick-nacks, supplied nearly all her wants, even to silks and velvets


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