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to her departure from Bretagne; and even after her coronation as queen of England, we find, by her letters dated Westminster, March 9th, 1403, that she confirms her last act as duchess-regent of Bretagne by solemnly appointing “her wellbeloved uncle, the duke of Burgundy, the guardian of her sons,—the duke of Bretagne, Arthur, and Jules; and enjoins the young princes to be obedient to him, and to attend diligently to his advice.” The bridal festivities of Henry IV. and his new queen were soon interrupted by the news of a descent of the French on the Isle of Wight; but the inhabitants compelled the invaders to retire to their ships with dishonour. Next, the Breton fleet, being wholly under the direction of the court of France, put to sea, and committed great depredations on the coast of Cornwall and the merchant shipping, causing much uneasiness to the king, and rendering the new queen distasteful to the nation. The memorable Percy rebellion occurred in the same year: it has been said that it was fomented by the earl of Worcester, in consequence of a disagreement between him and queen Joanna during her voyage from Bretagne. This might possibly have originated in some dispute with Joanna's natural brother, Charles of Navarre, who accompanied her to England in the capacity of chamberlain to herself.” Be this as it may, it is almost certain that the battle of Shrewsbury might have been prevented, if Worcester, who was employed by the insurgent lords to negotiate a pacification with Henry, had fairly and honestly stated the concessions the king was willing to make; but he did not, and his own ruin, with that of his whole house, was the result.* Part of the confiscated property of the Percys, especially the earl of Northumberland's mansion in Aldgate, was granted to queen Joanna by the king.
* Chron. de Bretagne. 2 Ibid.
* A determined set was made against the life of the newly-wedded king at the . battle of Shrewsbury by a certain number of champions among the insurgents, who had vowed to have his blood. This confederacy being suspected by Henry’s partisans, thirteen stout gentlemen arrayed themselves in a dress similar to that which he was accustomed to wear, and were slain in different parts of the field. Henry killed no less than sixteen of his assailants with his own hand in selfdefence that day, and, like his son the prince of Wales, performed prodigies of valour.
In the year 1404, Henry IV. granted to queen Joanna the new tower at the entrance of the great portals of his large hall against the palace of Westminster, adjacent to the king's treasury, for her to hold her councils, and for the negotiation of her affairs; also for her to give audiences for charters and writings therein: the queen to enjoy the same for the term of her natural life, having free ingress and egress for herself and officers to the said tower." In the month of February, 1404, Joanna enjoyed the happiness of welcoming her second son, Arthur of Bretagne, to England, king Henry having been prevailed upon by her solicitations to bestow upon him the earldom of Richmond. This was the appanage of his elder brother; but as the performance of personal homage to the king of England was an indispensable condition to the investiture of a duke of Bretagne with this earldom, and Joanna's eldest son was entirely under the tutelage of the king of France, Henry's mortal foe, it would have been fruitless to demand liegeman's service of him; therefore the summons was, at Joanna's request, addressed to her second son, count Arthur.”
Joanna's happiness in this reunion was interrupted by the arrival of an envoy from her eldest son, the reigning duke, to demand the princesses Blanche and Marguerite, who resided with her in England. No offspring from her second marriage had been born, to divide with those beloved ones the powerful affection with which the heart of the royal mother clung to the pledges of her former union, and she could not be prevailed upon to resign them, even when reminded that they were the property of the state.” Her son, the duke of Bretagne, was so completely under the control of the father of his duchess, Charles VI., that he was compelled to espouse his quarrel against king Henry; and the French party in his dominions would have confiscated Joanna's rich dower, had she not vested the payment of it in the hands of several powerful nobles, her fast friends: she had her own officers, through whom she received her revenues." That Joanna was satisfied with the conduct of her eldest son may be gathered from the fact that she presented him, on the 18th of November, 1404, with the sum of seventy thousand livres, that were due to her from her brother the king of Navarre, and six thousand livres of her rents in Normandy. Her gifts must have been very acceptable to the young duke; for, though residing in the ducal palace, and nominally exercising the sovereign authority, his finances were so closely controlled by the court of France, that he had not the power of giving away more than one hundred sols without the approbation of his chancellor, and other officers appointed by the duke of Burgundy.' At the commencement of the year 1405, king Henry, as he expressly states, “at the mediation and earnest solicitation of his beloved consort, queen Joanna, forgave and liberated, without ransom, all the prisoners taken in arms against him at Dartmouth by John Cornwal.” This natural exercise of conjugal influence in behalf of her former subjects, the piratical Bretons, increased the unpopularity in which the queen had involved both herself and her royal husband by filling their palaces with a household made up of foreigners: a more fatal error can scarcely be committed by female royalty in a country so constitutionally jealous and full of national pride as England. The parliamentary records of the same year testify, “ that great discontents were engendered in the minds of all classes of men on account of the influx of foreigners which the king's late marriage had introduced into the realm, the disorderly state of the royal household, and the evil influence exercised over public affairs by certain individuals supposed to be about the persons of the king and queen.” These grievances attracting the attention of parliament, the commons, with the consent of the lords, proceeded to reform the royal household; and, as a preliminary step to their regulations, they required that four persons should be removed out of the king's house; viz., the king's confessor, the abbot of Dore, with Derham and Crosbie, gentlemen of his chamber. Henry, remembering full well that his title to the crown was derived from the voice of the people, far from testifying resentment at the interference of that hitherto disregarded branch of the legislature of England, the commons, summoned the inimical members of his household to attend him in parliament, February 9th, 1404, which they did, with the exception of the abbot of Dore. The king then, in his speech from the throne," said, “That he neither knew nor could imagine any particular cause or reason why the accused ought to be removed out of his household; nevertheless, as the lords and commons thought proper to have it so, considering it to be for the good of the realm, and most profitable to himself, to conform himself to their wishes, he would discharge them from his household forthwith.” Our sovereign lord, continues the record, said further, “that he would do as much by any who were about his royal person, if they should incur the hatred and indignation of his people.” The commons next appointed a committee of lords, February 22, to make further regulations and alterations in the appointments of the royal household, especially in those connected with the queen, when it was resolved, “That all French persons, Bretons, Lombards, Italians, and Navarrese whatsoever, be removed out of the palace from the king and queen, except the queen's two daughters and Maria St. Paremsy, excepting likewise Nicholas Alderwyche and John Purian, and their wives.” This was conceded by Henry, and put into execution that very day, and we do not find that the queen offered any resistance to the wishes of the subjects and counsellors of her husband; but the lords agreed to indulge her with a Breton cook, two knights, a damsel, two chambermaids, one mistress, two esquires, one nurse, and one chambermaid for the queen's daughters, and a messenger to wait on them at certain times. In addition to these persons, Joanna retained eleven Breton lavenderers or washerwomen, and a varlet lavenderer.” Much *The substance of Henry's patriotic declaration is abstracted from the Rolls of Parliament, 5th of Henry IV. See also Guthrie's folio Hist. of England, vol. ii.; and Parl. Hist. vol. ii. *Parliamentary Rolls, 5th of Henry IV., p. 572. Parliamentary Hist. Guthrie's Hist. of England. * Parliamentary Rolls, 5th Henry IV., p. 572.
* Rymer's Foedera. * Le Moine de St. Denis. Dom Morice. * Dom Morice, Chron. de Bretagne. * Ibid.
wiser would it have been of Joanna if she had taken example by the politic condescension of the king to the wishes of his subjects, and yielded an unconditional assent to the dismission of her foreign attendants, since the retention of her Breton cook, chambermaids, and washerwomen, drew upon her a second interference from parliament." In this year the commons presented a petition to the king, praying, among other things, “That the queen would be pleased to pay for her journeys to the king's houses, as queen Philippa had been used to do.” Joanna had no settled revenue, as queen of England, at the time when this implied remonstrance was made by the commons to king Henry, who was himself in the most urgent want of money, harassed with perpetual rebellions, especially in Wales, and without means to pay his mutinous and discontented troops their wages. “Every source of revenue had been anticipated, and it is scarcely possible to imagine a government in greater distress for money than that of Henry IV. at that moment.” If Joanna had not been in the receipt of a splendid dower as duchess-dowager of Bretagne, she would have found herself involved in the most embarrassing straits when queen of England. Pecuniary cares and popular discontents were not the only troubles that disturbed the wedded life of Joanna of Navarre, who, though no longer young, was still sufficiently attractive to become the theme of the following amatory stanzas, from no meaner a pen than that of a royal Plantagenet poet, Edward duke of York, cousin-german to king Henry:
* Excellent sovereign! seemly to see,”
Beseeching inwardly your gentleness,
* Parliamentary Hist, vol. ii. * Preface to Acts of the Privy Council, by sir Harris Nicolas. * Walpole declares there is no doubt that the verses are by the duke of York; and as they are addressed to the queen of England, there was no other at that time but Joanna of Navarre.