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delivered to him; and if a peace could not be agreed upon, a truce for thirty or forty years was to be established. The duke and duchess of Gloucester, with their children, were asked by the king to be of the party, as were the dukes and duchesses of York and Lancaster. The duchess of Lancaster, despite of all the displeasure of the ladies of the blood-royal against her, was staying with the king and her lord at Eltham, and had already been invited to the king's marriage. With this royal company king Richard crossed the sea to Calais, while the king of France, his queen, and the young princess, advanced as far as St. Omer, where they remained till the treaty of peace assumed some hopeful form. It was, however, in vain that the French strove to soften the opposition of the duke of Gloucester by flattering attentions and the handsome presents they offered him. He accepted the presents, “but the same rancour remained in his breast, and in spite of every thing, when the peace was mentioned, his answers were as crabbed and severe as ever. It was observed, that he pointed out the rich plate of gold and silver to his friends, observing ‘that France was still a very rich country, and that peace ought not to be made,’”—a remark more worthy of a bandit than a royal guest. The king of England at last contrived to discover the means of allaying this bellicose disposition in his uncle: the bribe was enormous, considering the duke's constant exhortations in regard to reformation and economy in the government. The king was forced to promise his patriotic uncle fifty thousand nobles on his return home, and to create his only son, Humphrey, earl of Rochester, with a pension of two thousand nobles per annum. After the application of such unconscionable bribes, no impediments remained to the peace and marriage, which were concluded without the restoration of Calais being insisted on by France. “On the vigil of the feast of St. Simon and St. Jude, which fell on a Friday, the 27th of October, 1396, the two kings left their lodgings on the point of ten o'clock, and, accompanied by a grand attendance, went to the tents that had been prepared for them.' Thence they proceeded on foot to * Froissart.
a certain space which had been fixed on for their meeting, and which was surrounded by four hundred French and as many English knights, brilliantly armed, who stood with drawn swords. These knights were so marshalled, that the two kings passed between their ranks, conducted in the following order: the dukes of Lancaster and Gloucester supported the king of France, while the dukes of Berri and Burgundy, uncles of the French king, conducted king Richard, and thus they advanced slowly through the ranks of the knights; and when the two kings were on the point of meeting, the eight hundred knights fell on their knees and wept for joy,” a unanimity of feeling very remarkable in eight hundred knights. “King Richard and king Charles met bare-headed, and, having saluted, took each other by the hand, when the king of France led the king of England to his tent, which was handsome and richly adorned; the four dukes took each other by the hand, and followed them. The English and French knights remained in their ranks, looking at each other with good humour, and never stirred till the whole ceremony was over. When the two kings entered the tent, holding each other by the hand, the dukes of Orleans and Bourbon, who had been left in the tent to welcome the monarchs, cast themselves on their knees before them: the kings stopped, and made them rise. The six dukes then assembled in front of the tent, and conversed together; meantime the kings went into the tent and conferred solus, while the wine and spices were preparing. The duke of Berri served the king of France with the comfit-box, and the duke of Burgundy with the cup of wine. In like manner was the king of England served by the dukes of Lancaster and Gloucester. After the kings had been served, the knights of France and England took the wine and comfits, and served the prelates, dukes, princes, and counts; and after them, the squires and other officers of the household did the same to all within the tents, until every one had partaken of the wine and spices; during which time the two monarchs conversed freely.
“At eleven o'clock of the Saturday morning, the feast of St. Simon and St. Jude, the king of England, attended by his uncles and nobles, waited on the king of France in his tent. Dinner-tables were laid out; that for the kings was very handsome, and the sideboard was covered with magnificent plate. The two kings were seated by themselves, the king of France at the top of the table, and the king of England below him, at a good distance from each other, They were served by the dukes of Berri, Burgundy, and Bourbon : the last entertained the two monarchs with many gay remarks, to make them laugh, and those about the royal table, for he had much drollery; and, addressing the king of England, said, ‘My lord king of England, you ought to make good cheer, for you have had all your wishes gratified. You have a wife, or shall have one, for she will speedily be delivered to you.”—“Bourbonnois,” replied the king of France, “we wish our daughter were as old as our cousin of St. Pol,' though we were to double her dower, for then she would love our son of England much more.’ The king of England, who understood French well, noticed these words, and, immediately bowing to the king of France, replied,—‘Good father-in-law, the age of our wife pleases us right well. We pay not great attention respecting age, as we value your love; for we shall now be so strongly united, that no king in Christendom can in any way hurt us.’”
When dinner was over, which lasted not long, the cloth was removed, the tables carried away, and wine and spices brought. After this the young bride entered the tent, attended by a great number of ladies and damsels. King Charles led her by the hand, and gave her to the king of England, who immediately rose and took his leave. The little queen was placed in a very rich litter, which had been prepared for her; but of all the French ladies who were there, only the lady de Coucy went with her, for there were many of the principal ladies of England in presence, such as the duchesses of Lan
* This young lady was niece to king Richard, the daughter of Maud Holland, ournamed the Fair. She was probably the beauty of that festival.
caster, of York, of Gloucester, of Ireland, the lady of Namur, the lady Poynings, and many others, who all received queen Isabella with great joy. When the ladies were ready, the king of England and his lords departed with the young princess; and, riding at a good pace, arrived at Calais.
On the Tuesday, which was All-Saints'-day, the king of England was married by the archbishop of Canterbury in the church of St. Nicholas, of Calais, to the lady Isabella of France. Great was the feasting on the occasion; “and the heralds and minstrels were so liberally paid, that they were satisfied.” Richard renounced at this marriage (to the indignation of the duke of Gloucester) all claims to the crown of France in right of Isabella or her descendants.” The dukes of Orleans and Bourbon came to Calais to visit the king and queen of England two days after the marriage; and on the morrow they went back to St. Omer, where the king and queen of France waited for them. That same Friday morning king Richard and queen Isabella, having heard an early mass and drunk some wine, embarked on board the vessels that had been prepared for them. With a favourable wind, in less than three hours they arrived at Dover. The queen dined at the castle, and slept the next night at Rochester. Passing through Dartford, she arrived at the palace at Eltham, where the nobles and their ladies took leave of the king and queen, and went to their homes.
The young queen's entry into London is thus noted by our chroniclers:– “The young queen Isabella, commonly called ‘the Little,” (for she was not eight years old,) was conveyed from Kennington, near to Lambeth-palace, through Southwark, to the Tower of London, Nov. 13th, when such a multitude of persons went out to see her, that on London-bridge nine persons were crushed to death, of whom the prior of Tiptree was one, and a matron of Cornhill another.” The queen slept one night at the Tower, and the next day was conducted in high pomp to Westminster, where king Richard
* The widow of Robert de Vere, mentioned in a former memoir of queen Anne.
The lady de Coury who accompanied the little queen to England was the sister of his lady. * Froissart. * Stowe.
was waiting in his palace to receive her. This day the Londoners made very rich presents to the queen, which were most graciously accepted. The portion of Isabella was considerable, consisting of 800,000 francs in gold, to be paid in yearly instalments. She brought with her a wardrobe of great richness. Among her garments was a robe and mantle, unequalled in England, made of red velvet embossed with birds of goldsmiths' work, perched upon branches of pearls and emeralds. The robe was trimmed down the sides with miniver, and had a cape and hood of the same fur: the mantle was lined with ermine. Another robe was of murrey-mezereon velvet, embroidered with pearl roses. She had coronets, rings, necklaces, and clasps, amounting to 500,000 crowns. Her chamber-hangings were red and white satin, embroidered with figures of vintages and shepherdesses. These jewels were afterwards a matter of political controversy between England and France. Several authors declare that young Isabella was crowned at Westminster with great magnificence, and there actually exists, in the Foedera, a summons for her coronation on Epiphany-Sunday, 1397." Windsor was the chief residence of the royal child, who was called queen-consort of England. Here her education proceeded, under the superintendence of the second daughter of Engelraud de Coucy; and here the king, whose feminine beauty of features and complexion somewhat qualified the disparity of years between a man of thirty and a girl of ten, behaved to his young wife with such winning attention, that she retoined a tender remembrance of him long after he was hurried to prison and the grave. The visits of Richard caused some cessation from the routine of education; while his gay temper, his musical accomplishments, his splendour of dress, and softness of manners to females, made him exceedingly beloved by the young heart of Isabella. The king had expended prodigious sums on the royal progress to France, and on the marriage and pompous entry of
* The London Chronicle, p. 80, expressly says the young queen was crowned January 8th. No particulars are cited of this coronation by any author.