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and the grandson of the mighty earl of Warwick, the swam foe of all the house of Woodville. However, at the very time she is declared to be in disgrace for such unnatural partiality, she was chosen by the king, in preference to his own beloved mother, as sponsor to his dearly prized heir, prince Arthur. “On September 20th, 1486, Elizabeth of York gave birthto an heir, and on Sunday following, her mother, the queen. dowager, stood godmother to him in Winchester cathedral" After describing the procession, in which the princess Cicely carried the infant, the historian adds,-‘‘ Queen Elizabeth [Woodville] was in the cathedral, abiding the coming of the prince; she gave a rich cup of gold, covered, which was borne by sir Davy Owen. The earl of Derby gave a gold salt, and the lord Maltravers gave a coffer of gold; these standing with the queen as sponsors.” Soon afterwards Henry VII. sought to strengthen his interest in Scotland, by negotiatinga marriage between James III. and his mother-in-law, a husband certainly young enough to be her son; yet his violent death alone prevented her from wearing the crown-matrimonial of Scotland,-when she would have been placed in a situation to injure her son-in-law, if such had been her wish. The last time the queen-dowager appeared in public was in a situation of the highest dignity. The queen-consort had taken to her chamber, previously to her accouchement in the close of the year 1489, when her mother, queen Elizabeth Woodville, received the French ambassador” in great state, assisted by Margaret, the king's mother. The next year, Henry VII. presented his mother-in-law with an annuity of 400l." No surrender of lands of equal value has yet been discovered; yet, strange to say, historians declare she was stripped of every thing, because about this time she retired into the convent of Bermondsey. Here she had every right to be, not as a prisoner, but as a cherished and highly honoured inmate; for the prior and monks of Bermondsey were solemnly bound, by the deeds of their charter, to find hospitality for the representatives of their great founder, Clare earl of Gloucester, in the state-rooms of the convent." Now Edward IV. was heir to the Clares, and Elizabeth, |ueen-dowager, had every right, as his widow, to appropriate he apartments expressly reserved for the use of the founder.” She had a right of property there; and as it was the custom n the middle ages for royal persons to seek monastic seclusion then health declined, not only for devotional purposes, but or medical advice, where could Elizabeth better retire, than o a convent bound by its charter to receive her? Eighteen months after she was seized with a fatal illness at Bermondsey, ind, on her death-bed, dictated the following will:—
* The existence of the young earl of Warwick was a profound court-secret, to
the imposture of Lambert Simnel obliged Henry VII. to show the real person w the public. * Lelandi Collectanea, vol. iv. p. 249. * Ibid. “Memoir of Elizabeth of York, by sir Harris Nicolas.
“In the name of God, &c., 10th April, 1492, I, Elizabeth, by the grace of lod queen of England, late wife to the most victorious prince of blessed memory, IV. "Item. I bequeath my body to be buried with the body of my lord at Windsor, fithout pompous interring or costly expenses done thereabout. Item. Whereas have no worldly goods to do the queen's grace, my dearest daughter, a pleasure fith, neither to reward any of my children according to my heart and mind, I eseech God Almighty to bless her grace, with all her noble issue; and, with as ood a heart and mind as may be, I give her grace my blessing, and all the aforeaid my children. Item. I will that such small stuff and goods that I have be isposed truly in the contentation of my debts, and for the health of my soul, as ir as they will extend. Item. That if any of my blood will wish to have any of ly said stuff, to me pertaining, I will they have the preferment before all others. ind of this my present testament I make and ordain my executors, that is to y, John Ingilby, prior of the Charter-house of Shene, William Sutton and Brent, doctors. And I beseech my said dearest daughter, the queen's race, and my son, Thomas marquess of Dorset, to put their good wills and help *the performance of this my testament. In witness whereof to this my testasent, these witnesses—John, abbot of Bermondsey, and Benedict Cun, doctor of hysic. Given the year and day aforesaid.”
The daughters of Elizabeth attended her death-bed, and aid her affectionate attention; the queen alone was preented, having taken to her chamber preparatory to the birth f the princess Margaret. Elizabeth died the Friday before Whitsuntide, and as she expressed an earnest wish for speedy nd private burial, her funeral took place on Whit-Sunday, 492. Her will shows that she died destitute of personal roperty; but that is no proof of previous persecution, since
'Quoted by Malcolm from Annales Abbatae de Bermondsey, formerly belong*g to the Howard family, now in the British Museum.
*The noble panelled halls and state-chambers in this convent were, in 1804, landing nearly in the same state as when Elizabeth occupied them.
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several of our queens, who were possessed of the undivided dower appanage, and whose children were provided for, died not much richer.' Indeed, it was not easy, in that era, or persons who had only a life income to invest their saving securely; therefore they seldom made any. Elizabeth had four daughters wholly dependent on her for support, since the calamities of the times had left them portionless; and after the death of their mother, the queen, their sister was much impoverished by their maintenance. The great possessions of the house of York were chiefly in the grasp of the do avaricious duchess Cicely of York, who survived her hated daughter-in-law several years. Edward IV. had endowed his proud mother as if she were a queen-dowager; while his wik was dowered on property to which he possessed no real title. Some discontented Yorkist, who witnessed the parsimonios funeral of Elizabeth, has described it, and preserved the in. teresting fact, that the only lady who accompanied the corps of the queen on its passage from the river to Windsor-cask, was one mistress Grace, a natural daughter of Edward IV: “On Whit-Sunday, the queen-dowager's corpse was converto by water to Windsor, and there privily, through the little park, conducted into the castle, without any ringing of bels or receiving of the dean, but only accompanied by the prior of the Charter-house, and Dr. Brent, Mr. Haute,” and mistres Grace (a bastard daughter of king Edward IV.), and no other gentlewoman; and, as it was told to me, the priest of the college received her in the castle, [Windsor, and so privil; about eleven of the clock, she was buried, without any solem dirge done for her obit. On the morn thither came Audley bishop of Rochester, to do the office, but that day nothin; was done solemnly for her saving; also a hearse, such a they use for the common people, with wooden candlestio about it, and a black [pall] of cloth of gold on it, four candle sticks of silver gilt, every one having a taper of no grea weight. On the Tuesday hither came, by water, king Edwarf * See vol. i., lives of Eleanora of Castile and Marguerite of France, who hree daughters, the lady Anne, the lady Katherine, and the ady Bridget [the num-princess] from Dartford, accompanied y the marchioness of Dorset, the daughter of the duke of Buckingham; the queen's niece,' the daughter of the marquess if Dorset; lady Herbert, also niece to the queen; dame (atherine Gray; dame Guildford, (governess to the children f Elizabeth of York:) their gentlewomen walked behind the hree daughters of the dead. Also that Tuesday came the marquess of Dorset, son to the queen; the earl of Essex, er brother-in-law; and the viscount Welles, her son-in-law. And that night began the dirge. But neither at the dirge rere the twelve poor men clad in black, but a dozen divers old men,”—that is, old men dressed in the many-coloured garments # poverty, “ and they held old torches and torches' ends. And the next morning one of the canons, called master Vaughan, sang Our Lady mass, at the which the lord Dorset fered a piece of gold; he kneeled at the hearse-head. The adies came not to the mass of requiem, and the lords sat bout in the quire. My lady Anne came to offer the massMenny, and her officers-at-arms went before her: she offered he penny at the head of the queen, wherefore she had the arpet and the cushion. And the viscount Welles took his wife's) offering, and dame Katherine Gray bare the lady Anne's train: every one of the king's daughters offered. The marquess of Dorset offered a piece of gold, and all the lords at heir pleasure; the poor knights of Windsor, dean, canons, feomen, and officers-at-arms, all offered: and after mass, the lord marquess paid the cost of the funeral.” At the east end of St. George's chapel, north aisle, is the tomb of Edward IV., being a monument of steel, representing A pair of gates between two towers of ancient gothic architecture.” On a flat stone at the foot of this monument are engraven, in old English characters, the words—
creditors were not paid till long after their deaths. Queen Philippa died in do * Arundel MSS. 30. * This name is not very legible.
* Daughter of her sister Katherine, who married Buckingham. *This beautiful work of art is said to be by the hand of Quentin Matsys, the Flemish blacksmith-painter; it has the appearance of black lace.
The actual place of interment of Elizabeth Woodville was supposed to be discovered March 4th, 1789. The workmen employed in new-paving the choir of St. George's chapel, Windsor, perceived some decay in the stones which close the entrance of the vault where the body of Edward IV. is depo. sited. Two of the canons and the surveyor entered that vault, and viewed king Edward's body, which is enclosed in a wooden and then a leaden coffin. The skeleton was entire, nobly proportioned, and of the gigantic height of six feet three inches The head of the king reclined to the right, where was a quantity of long brown hair, which had fallen off the skull, but remained entire. There was no trace of envelope, cere-cloth, robe, ring, or royal insignia, plunderers in Cromwell's time, when the vault was opened, having carried off all these Upon Edward's coffin was found another of wood, much decayed; it contained the skeleton of a woman: from the marks of age on the skull, this was supposed to be the remains of his queen, Elizabeth Woodville,”—thus realizing the emphati
words of Southey,
“Thou, Elizabeth, art here—
* At the east end of St. George's chapel an excavation was formed, in 1817, is the solid bed of chalk, of the full size of the edifice above, when two stone coffins, containing the bodies of the second daughter of queen Elizabeth Woodville and prince George, the third son of Elizabeth, who died in infancy, were discoverei The coffin of the princess Mary, a beautiful girl of fifteen, who died the year before her father, was opened; a curl of hair, of the most exquisite pale gold, had insinuated itself through the chinks of the coffin; the eyes, of a beautiful blue, were unclosed and bright, but fell to dust soon after the admission of air. Some of the beautiful hair of the young princess, cut off by sir Henry Halford, and given by him to Miss Reynett, of Hampton-Court, was presented by that lady to the author of this biography.
* European Magazine, March 5, 1789. On the walls of the vault were written in chalk, in the abbreviated characters of the times, “Edwarpus IV.,” and the names of the assistants at the funeral.