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king's wound was dangerous, and the alarm and excitement he had undergone brought on a relapse of his malady; so that, when the parliament assembled at Westminster, July 4th, he was declared incapable of attending to public busi. ness, and the duke of York was commissioned to govern in his name." It was in this parliament, made up of her enemies, that queen Margaret was for the first time publicly censured for her interference in affairs of state, it being there resolved, “ that the government, as it was managed by the queen, the duke of Somerset, and their friends, had been of late a great oppression and injustice to the people.” The king was pet. tioned to appoint the duke of York protector or defender of the realm, “because of his indisposition; and sith he would not come down to them, that his commons might have knowledge of him.” Henry, being then in the duke of York's power, was not permitted to reject this petition; but it was repeated and urged upon him many times before he would accede to it.” As soon as the duke of York got the executive power of the crown into his hands, he resigned the custody of the king's person to the queen, and enjoined her to withdraw with him and the infant prince to Hertford-castle," without fail." Margaret was not in a condition to resist this arrange. ment, but soon after found means to return to the palace of Greenwich with these helpless but precious objects of her care, and appeared entirely absorbed in the anxious duties of a wife and mother. “It seemed,” says one of her French biographers, “by her conduct at this period, as if she deemed nothing on earth worthy of her attention but the state of her husband's health and the education of her son, who was a child of early promise.” Meantime, however, she strength* Guthrie. Rapin. Parliamentary Hist. * Rapin. 3 Ibid. * The rights of prince Edward were still recognised, and the reversion of the protectorate secured to him when he came of age. It was enacted, also, that the young prince should be at diet and sojourn in the king's court till the age" fourteen years; allowing yearly to the prince, towards his wardrobe and wago ten thousand marks until the age of eight years; and from the age of eight to ened the party of the Red rose, by holding frequent secret conferences, in her retreat at Greenwich, with the surviving princes of the Lancastrian family and the half-brothers of king Henry, the young gallant Tudors, who were nearly allied in blood to herself." She had gathered round her, withal, a band of ardent and courageous young nobles and gentlemen whose fathers were slain at St. Alban's, and who were panting to avenge their parents’ blood. Having thus prepared herself, Margaret remained no longer passive than the arrival of the eagerly anticipated moment when the king's recovery warranted her in presenting him before his parliament. A great meeting of her adherents was previously convened at Greenwich, unknown to the duke of York, in which the preliminary steps for this design were arranged; and on the 24th of February, 1456, king Henry entered the house of lords, in the absence of the duke of York and the leading members of his faction, and declared, “That being now, by the blessing of God, in good health, he did not think his kingdom was in any need of a protector,” and requested permission to resume the reins of empire.” The parliament, being taken by surprise at the unexpected appearance of their sovereign among them, and the collected and dignified manner in which he addressed them, immediately acceded to his desire. The same day an order was sent by king Henry to the duke of York, demanding the resignation of his office. York, Salisbury, and Warwick were fairly check-mated by this bold move of the queen, and retired into the country. Margaret then caused the heir of the late duke of Somerset. Henry Beaufort, to take the office of prime-minister: the king confided the seals to his beloved friend Waynflete, bishop of Winthester. Henry's health being still in a perilous state, queen Margaret took great pains to amuse him with everything that was likely to have a soothing influence, and to keep him in a tranquil frame of mind." There is, in Rymer’s Foedera, an order in council, stating “that the presence of minstrels was a great solace to the king in his sick state, and therefore the bailiffs and sheriffs of his counties were required to seek for beautiful boys who possessed musical powers, to be instructed in the art of ministrelsy and music for his service in his court, and to receive good wages.” Henry was also amused and comforted by receiving daily requests from his nobles, and others of his subjects, for leave to go on pilgrimages to various shrines in foreign parts, to pray for the re-establish. ment of his health;' and, not unfrequently, he was beguiled with hopes that his bankrupt exchequer was about to be re. plenished with inexhaustible funds, by one or other of the learned alchymists who were constantly at work in the royal laboratory.” The regal authority was, at this period, exercised in his name by queen Margaret and her council, with great wisdom and ability; yet the impetuosity of her temper betrayed her into the great imprudence of attempting to interfere with the jurisdiction of the Londoners, by sending the dukes of Buck. ingham and Exeter with the royal commission into the city, for the purpose of trying the parties concerned in a riot in which several persons had been slain; but the populace raised a tumult, and would not permit the dukes to hold a court. The queen took the alarm, and not considering the person of the king safe in London, removed him to Shene, where she left him under the care of his brother Jasper, while she visited Chester,” and other towns in the midland counties. The civic records of Bristol prove that she came to that city also, with a great company of the nobility, and was well and honourably received. Her object was to ascertain how the country gentry stood affected to the cause of the crown. Having every reason to confide in the loyal feelings of that portion of their subjects, Margaret decided on bringing the king in royal progress through the midland counties, and keeping court for a time at Coventry. Nothing could exceed the enthusiastic welcome with which the king, queen, and infant prince of Wales were received by the wealthy burgesses of that ancient city. On their arrival, Margaret was complimented with a variety of pageants, in which patriarchs, evangelists, and saints obligingly united with the pagan heroes of classic lore in offering their congratulations to her on having borne an heir to England, and they all finished by tendering their friendly aid against all adversaries." There are curious original portraits of Henry VI. and Margaret of Anjou, wrought in tapestry, still preserved in St. Mary's-hall at Coventry, probably the work of a contemporary artist in that species of manufacture, which, we need scarcely remind our readers, is not very favourable for the delineation of female beauty, but highly valuable as affording a faithful copy of the costume and general characteristics of the personages represented. Margaret appears engaged in prayer; her figure is whole-length; her hands rest on an open missal, which is before her on a table covered with blue cloth; her head-dress is a hood richly bordered with pear-pearls, which hang round her face; on the summit of the hood is a crown of fleurs-de-lis, which bends to the shape of the hood at the back of the head; behind the hood hangs a veil, figured and fringed with drops shaped like pears. On the temples, and in front of the hood, are three oval-shaped gems of great size; she wears a rich collar necklace, composed of round pearls and pendant pear-pearls. Her dress is cut square on the bust; the sleeves are straight at the shoulders, but gradually widen into great fulness, and are turned up with ermine: this style is called the rebras sleeve.” The maternal tenderness of Margaret, and the courageous manner in which she had upheld the rights of her royal husband and devoted herself to the care of his health, her brilliant talents, her eloquence and majestic beauty, produced a powerful effect on the minds of all whose hearts the rancour of party had not steeled against her influence. The favour. able impression made by Margaret in that district was never forgotten; and Coventry, where she held her court, was ever after so devoted to her service, that it went by the name of queen Margaret's safe harbour. York, Salisbury, and War. wick were summoned to attend the council at Coventry; but these lords, mistrusting the queen and Somerset, retired to three remote stations,—York to his demesnes on the marches, where he had the state and power of a sovereign; Salisbury to his castle of Middleham, in Yorkshire; and Warwick to his government of Calais, of which he, unfortunately for the cause of Lancaster, retained possession." The French and Scotch availed themselves of the internal troubles of the realm to attack England this year. The Yorkists took advantage of the aggressions of her countrymen to work upon the strong national prejudices, which were more powerfully felt at that era, perhaps, than at any other period, to excite the ill-will of the people against the queen; as if Margaret could have preferred the interests of her aunt's husband to her own, the father of the child whom she loved with such proud and passionate fondness. So alarming, indeed, did the conduct of France appear to Margaret at this crisis, that she was the first to suggest the expediency of a reconciliation between the court and the adverse party of York and Warwick, that the whole strength of the realm might be employed against foreign invaders. York and Warwick, by whom Margaret was equally hated and mistrusted, paid little attention to her pacific overtures; but when king Henry, in the simplicity and sincerity of his heart, wrote with his own hand a pathetic representation of the evils resulting from this protracted strife, and protested, upon the word of a Christian and a king, that no vengeance should be inflicte on any individual for past offences against the crown, they felt it was impossible to doubt the honour and honesty of his intentions.” A general congress or pacification between the belligerent lords was then resolved upon. To the lord mayor of London,
fourteen years, twenty thousand marks yearly.—Rolls of Parliament. * Paston Papers. * Prevost.
* Guthrie's folio History of England. John Mowbray, duke of Norfolk, alli “the good duke,” actually performed his vow, and offered his petitions at to holy sepulchre for the restoration of his sovereign's health.-Paston Papers. * Rymer's Foedera. * Paston Papers.
* Sharp's Antiquities of Coventry.
*The Coventry tapestry likewise presents a figure of Henry VI. kneeling; cardinal Beaufort kneels behind the king, and there are seventeen of the English nobility standing in attendance on the royal pair. The figures are the size of life. This noble historical relic is thirty feet in length, and ten feet in height. William Staunton, esq., of Longbridge-house, near Warwick, has had the figures of Margaret and Henry engraved, and has kindly favoured us with a copy of the Point, and with his own description of the present state of the tapestry.