Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[graphic]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][graphic]

A N N E OF WAR WIC K,

QUEEN OF RICHARD III.

Anne of Warwick, last Plantagenet queen—Place of her birth–Coronets of York and Lancaster—Her armorial bearings—Parentage—Childhood—Richard of Gloucester—His early acquaintance with Anne–Anne at Calais—Marriage of her sister—Returns to England—Embarks with her family—Naval battle— Distress before Calais—Lands in France—Marriage with Edward prince of Wales—Remains with queen Margaret—Tewkesbury—Richard of Gloucester wishes to marry her—Her aversion—She is concealed by Clarence—Richard discovers her—She resides with her uncle—Disputes regarding her property— Compelled to marry Richard—Divorce meditated—Birth of her son—Residence at Middleham—Death of Edward IV.-Gloucester departs for London—Anne's arrival at the Tower–Coronation—Her progress to the north–Her son— Re-coronation of Richard and Anne at York—Bribe to the queen—Death of her son—Her fatal grief—Rumours of divorce—Conversation of her husband regarding her—Rumours of her death—Her alarm and complaints—Her kindness to Elizabeth of York—The queen's death and burial.

ANNE of Warwick, the last of our Plantagenet queens, and the first who had previously borne the title of princess of Wales, was born at Warwick-castle, in the year 1454.” On each side of the faded, melancholy portrait of this unfortunate lady, in the pictorial history of her maternal ancestry called the Rous roll, two mysterious hands are introduced, offering to her the rival crowns of York and Lancaster; while the white bear, the cognizance assumed by her mighty sire, War. wick the king-maker, lies muzzled at her feet, as if the royal lions of Plantagenet had quelled the pride of that hitherto tameless bear on the blood-stained heath of Barnet. The principal events which marked the career of her father have been traced in the memoirs of the two preceding queens. Richard Neville, surnamed the king-making earl of Warwick, was heir, in right of the countess his mother, to the vast in heritance of the Montagues, earls of Salisbury. He aggrandird himself in a higher degree by his union, in 1448, with Ame, the sister of Beauchamp earl of Warwick, who had become scle heiress of that mighty line by the early death of her niece the preceding year. Richard was soon after summoned to the house of lords, in right of his wife, as earl of Warwick. He possessed an income of 22,000 marks per annum, but had no male heir, his family consisting but of two daughters: the eldest, lady Isabel,' was very handsome. Bucke calls lady Anne “the better woman of the two,” but he gives no reason for the epithet he uses. When, on the convalescence of king Henry, Margaret of Anjou recovered her former influence in the government, Warwick, having good reason to dread her vengeance, withdrew, with his countess and young daughters, to his government of Calais, where the childhood and early youth of the lady Anne were spent. Occasionally, indeed, when the star of York was in the ascendant, Warwick brought the ladies of his family either to his feudal castle, or his residence in Warwick-lane. The site of this mansion is still known by the name of War. wick-court. Here the earl exercised semi-barbarous hospitality in the year 1458,” when a pacification was attempted between the warring houses of York and Lancaster; six hundred of the retainers of Anne's father were quartered in Warwicklane, “all dressed alike in red jackets, with the bear and ragged staff embroidered both before and behind. At Warwick

*There have been but six princesses of Wales in England: the first three were left widows; and it is singular that, although two of them were afterwards queen-consorts, neither of them derived that dignity from the prince of Wales she had wedded. The first English princess of Wales, Joanna, the widow of Edward the Black Prince, died of a broken heart. The miseries of Anne of Warwick, the widow of Edward of Lancaster, prince of Wales, this biography will show. The misfortunes of Katharine of Arragon, consort of Henry VIII., and widow to Arthur prince of Wales, will be related in the course of the present volume. Caroline of Anspach, consort of George II., after a lapse of two hundred years, was the only princess of Wales who succeeded happily to the throne-matrimonial of this country. Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, widow to Frederick prince of Wales, lost a beloved husband in the prime of life, and never was queen. The troublous career of the sixth princess of Wales, Caroline of Brunswick, is still in Public memory.

* Rous Roli, Heralds' college. This represents the great earl of Warwick with the Neville bull at his feet, though after his marriage he assumed the Beauchamp bear and ragged staff, celebrated as his badge in history and poetry.

'Born at Warwick-castle, 1451–Rous Roll, Heralds' college.
* Stowe's London.

house six oxen were daily devoured for breakfast, and all the taverns about St. Paul's and Newgate-street were full of Warwick's meat; for any one who could claim acquaintance with that earl's red-jacketed gentry might resort to his flesh-pots, and, sticking his dagger therein, carry off as much beef as could be taken on a long dagger.” At this period the closest connexion subsisted between the families of the duke of York and the earl of Warwick. Richard Plantagenet, afterwards Richard III., was two years older than the lady Anne; he was born October 2, 1452, at his father's princely castle of Fotheringay. He was the youngest son of Richard duke of York and his duchess Cicely, the earl of Warwick's aunt. “At his nativity,” says Rous, a contemporary chronicler, “the scorpion was in the ascendant; he came into the world with teeth, and with a head of hair reaching to his shoulders. He was small of stature, with a short face and unequal shoulders, the right being higher than the left.” Passing over events already related, that led to the deposition of Henry IV., positive proof may be found that Anne of Warwick and Richard of Gloucester were companions when he was about fourteen, and she twelve years old. After Richard had been created duke of Gloucester at his brother's coronation, it is highly probable he was consigned to the guardianship of the earl of Warwick, at Middleham-castle; for, at the grand enthronization of George Neville, the uncle of Anne, as archbishop of York, Richard was a guest at Yorkpalace, seated in the place of honour in the chief banquetingroom upon the dais, under a cloth of estate or canopy, with the countess of Westmoreland on his left hand, his sister, the duchess of Suffolk, on his right, and the noble maidens his cousins, the lady Anne and the lady Isabel, seated opposite to him.” These ladies must have been placed there expressly to please the prince, by affording him companions of his own age, since the countess of Warwick, their mother, sat at the

*The oft-quoted testimony of the old countess of Desmond ought not to inva: hdate this statement, for many a lady would think any prince handsome who had danced with her. Rous knew Richard well; he not only delineated him with the pen, but with pencil.—See the Rous Roll. * Leland's Collectanea, vol. vi. p. 4.

« ZurückWeiter »