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Your womanly beauty delicious
If ye but wist my life, and knew
And though ye be of high renown,
The arrest of the duke of York, who, after a series of loyal and valiant services to king Henry, was, on a very frivolous pretence, committed to a rigorous imprisonment in Pevenseycastle, is possibly no less attributable to the personal jealousy of the king, than the outrageous conduct of Joanna's first husband, the duke of Bretagne, towards his old friend Clisson was to the same baleful passion. The virtuous and matronly deportment of Joanna, however, both as duchess of Bretagne and queen of England, were such as to prevent the slightest shade of suspicion from resting on her conduct. Whatever might have been the offence of the duke of York, Henry's displeasure was but temporary, for in the course of three months he was released, and restored to his old employments.' Queen Joanna used her influence successfully with her royal husband Henry IV. to obtain of him the pardon of his great enemy, Maude countess-dowager of Oxford, who had excited an insurrection by spreading a report that Richard II. was living, and distributing little harts of silver in his name, as a token to his friends and adherents that his return might be expected. For this offence she had been committed to prison, and her goods confiscated to the use of king Henry; but, at the intercession of queen Joanna, he freely restored the whole *The duke of York's ostensible crime was a supposed participation in the abduction of the heirs of Mortimer; but that he had never failed in his loyalty to the house of Lancaster was proved by Henry prince of Wales falling on his knees of her forfeit lands, tenements, and personal effects, and set her at liberty.' The year 1406 commenced with fresh remonstrances from parliament on the subject of Joanna's foreign attendants. The commons having now assumed a decided voice in the legislation of England, John Tiptoft, the speaker, in his celebrated address for liberty of speaking, took occasion to comment on the disorderly state of the royal household, remarking, at the same time, “that the order of that house for removing aliens from the queen's court had been very ill observed.” It was, on this, agreed—“That certain strangers, who did seem to be officers about the queen, should by a certain day depart the realm.” Whereupon a writ to proclaim the same was directed to the sheriffs of London, the aliens being charged, withal, to bring in all patents of lands and annuities granted them by the king or queen.” The parliament also took the liberty of recommending the sovereign to observe the strictest economy in his household. Henry received this advice very graciously, and promised to retrench all superfluous expenses, and restricted the expenditure of his establishment to 10,000l. a-year. He likewise declared his wish for the reformation of all abuses, and requested the parliament to take order for the payment of the debts of his household, and to grant a suitable income to his queen, for the maintenance of her state.” The request for the dower of queen Joanna was presented by John Tiptoft, the speaker, and others of the commons; and by vote of this parliament she was endowed with all the revenues enjoyed by Anne of Bohemia, the first queen of Richard II., to the value of ten thousand marks per annum; so that with wards, marriages, and other contingencies, her income was equal to that of any previous queen of England." King Henry granted a safe-conduct, January 4th, 1406, to John de Boyas, “ the secretary of his dear and royal consort Johane, to enable her to negotiate certain matters in Bretagne with regard to her dower there; also for him to bring horses and other things for her use, provided nothing be attempted to the prejudice of the people and crown of England.” Henry, at the same time, granted letters of protection to the masters of two ships from Bretagne, bringing lamps and other articles for the use of the queen." This year Henry's youngest daughter, the princess Philippa, was married to Eric, king of Sweden and Denmark. About the same period, Joanna was compelled to resign her two youngest daughters, Blanche and Marguerite of Bretagne, to the repeated importunities of the duke their eldest brother, that prince having concluded marriages for both, which he considered would greatly strengthen his interests.” On the departure of her daughters, queen Joanna retired with the king to her jointure-palace, Leeds-castle, in Kent, to avoid the infection of the plague, which raged so dreadfully in London, that thirty thousand people fell victims to its fury. After spending the greater part of the summer at Leeds, the king and queen, designing to visit Norfolk, or, as some say, Pleshy in Essex, embarked at Queenborough in the Isle of Sheppey, with the intention of going by sea. The royal vessel was followed by four others with the attendants and baggage, when they were suddenly attacked by pirates lying in wait at the Nore, who took four of the king's ships, and carried away sir Thomas Rampstone, the vice-chamberlain, with all the king's furniture, plate, and wearing-apparel. The king himself had a very narrow escape of falling into the hands of those bold adventurers.” Joanna took infinite pains to promote a good understanding between her husband and the duke her son. Henry, in his letters to the duke of Bretagne, May 1407, addresses him as “his dearest son,” and expresses “his earnest wish, on account of the close tie existing between them through his dearest consort, that peace and amity may be established, to prevent the effusion of Christian blood.”" The duke in reply says, “As our dearest mother, the queen of England, has several times signified her wish that all good friendship should subsist between our very redoubted lord and father, Henry king of England and lord of Ireland, her lord and spouse, on one part, and ourselves on the other, we desire to enter into an amicable treaty.” The result of Joanna's mediation was a truce between England and Bretagne, which was proclaimed on the 13th of September, 1407.” The town of Hereford was added to the queen's dower by king Henry the same year; and she was, with his sons,—the prince of Wales, Thomas, John, and Humphrey, recommended by him to the parliament for further pecuniary grants.” An interesting proof of Joanna's respect for the memory of her first lord, the husband of her youth and the father of her children, is to be found in one of the royal briefs in the Foedera, dated February 24th, 1408, in which king Henry says, “At the request of our dearest consort, an alabaster tomb has been made for the defunct duke of Bretagne, formerly her husband, to be conveyed in the barge of St. Nicholas of Nantes to Bretagne, with three of our English lieges, the same who made the tomb; viz. Thomas Colyn, Thomas Holewell, and Thomas Poppeham, to place the said tomb in the church of Nantes; John Guyeharde, the master of the said barge, and ten mariners of Bretagne; and the said barge is to be considered by the English merchants under our especial protection.” There is a fine engraving of this early specimen of English sculpture in the second volume of Dom Morice's Chronicles of Bretagne. It bears the recumbent figure of the warlike John de Montfort, duke of Bretagne, armed cap-à-pié, according to the fashion of the times. Henry IV. granted to Joanna six lead-mines in England, with workmen and deputies to load her ship; and this he notifies to her son the duke of Bretagne in 1409, as these mines had been accustomed to export ore to Bretagne, and he wished the duke to remit the impost for the time to come. The king and queen kept their Christmas court this year at Eltham, which seems to have been a favourite abode with the royal pair." That Joanna was a patroness of the father of English poetry, Chaucer, may be inferred from her munificent grants to his son Thomas, to whom she gave, in the twelfth year of Henry IV., the manors of Wotten and Stantesfield for life.”
in parliament, and declaring that his life, and all his army in Wales, had been oved by the gallantry and wisdom of York.--Tyler's Henry W.
*Collins's Ancient Families. Rymer's Foedera, vol. viii. p. 379. * Parliamentary Rolls, 5th and 6th of Henry IV. * Ibid. * Parliamentary Rolls, 6th of Henry IV.
* Rymer's Foedera. * Blanche was married at twelve years old to the viscount Lomagne, eldest son of Bernard count of Armagnac, June 30, 1406. The following year, Marguerite was espoused to Alan de Rohan, count of Poerhaet, the grandson of sir Oliver Cisson: she died suddenly on the day of the marriage, June 26th, 1407. It was *pected, afterwards, that both these princesses were poisoned. The prior of Joscelin and a priest of Nantes were accused of this crime, and imprisoned; but nothing decisive could be proved.—MS. Ecclesiastical Chronicles of Nantes. Actes de ... Dom Morice, Chron. de Bretagne. * Hall. Speed. Stowe. WOL. II. g
In the summer of 1412, Joanna received a visit from her third son, count Jules of Bretagne. Henry granted a safeconduct for him and his retinue, consisting of twenty persons, with horses and arms; with a proviso, that no banished person be brought into England in the prince's train, to the injury and peril of the realm.” The young prince only came to England to die. At the close of the parliament the same year, the speaker of the commons once more recommended to the king the persons of the queen and the princes his sons, praying the advancement of their estates. The petition was quite unreasonable as regarded queen Joanna, who enjoyed so large an income as queen of England, besides her rich dower from the states of Bretagne; but she never omitted an opportunity of adding to her wealth, which must have been very considerable.
Avarice was certainly the besetting sin of Joanna of Navarre; and this sordid propensity probably originated from the pressure of pecuniary cares with which she had to contend as princess of Navarre, as duchess of Bretagne, and during the first years of her marriage with king Henry. Her conduct as a step-mother appears to have been conciliating. Even when the wild and profligate conduct of the heir of England had estranged him from his father's councils and affections, such confidential feelings subsisted between young Henry and Joanna, that he employed her influence for the
*Thomas Chaucer served as ou. house of commons in the second year of Henry V. His only daughter Alice, a great heiress, took for her third husband William de la Pole, duke of Suffolk. * Rymer.