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royal household of aliens, Bretons and other foreigners, passed in the seventh year of the late king Henry IV.: “For, notwithstanding that act, many Bretons had come into the kingdom again, some of whom were then dwelling in the queen's house, and others very near it, to hear, discover, and learn the secrets of the realm, and to carry money and jewels out of the kingdom; and as the Bretons were the greatest enemies, it was requested that the king would constrain all such to depart before the feast of St. John the Baptist.” That Joanna had failed in her endeavours to persuade her son the duke of Bretagne to espouse king Henry's side in the great contest between England and France, and that he persisted in maintaining a strict neutrality, was probably the cause of this attack, which appears to have emanated from the jealous hostility of her step-son Bedford, her coadjutor in the regency. Unfortunately, too, for her, her second son, Arthur earl of Richmond, although an English subject, having performed homage to king Henry for his earldom, openly violated his allegiance by engaging under king Charles's banner, and attacking the outposts of Henry's camp, near Agincourt, at the head of two thousand French cavalry. This fiery assault, his first essay in arms, was made at midnight on the eve of St. Crispin's-day, in the midst of a tempest of wind and rain. Arthur was repulsed by the troops of his royal stepbrother: he was desperately wounded and made prisoner in the battle the following day. The chronicler from whom White Kennet has collated the reigns of the three Lancastrian sovereigns, records the capture of Arthur in these words:—“The son of the late duke of Bretagne, by the queen-regent of England, was taken prisoner.” The same author again mentions Joanna of Navarre by this title, when he says “King Henry despatched a messenger over to England, to the queen-regent, with news of his victory, which filled the nation with universal joy. Te Deum was sung in all the churches, and a mighty procession, consisting of the queen, prelates, and nobility, with
* Parl. Rolls, vol. iv. p. 79. * White Kennet's Complete History of England, pp. 318, 319.
the mayor and corporation of the city of London, walked from St. Paul's to Westminster on the following day, to return public thanks to Almighty God.” The Chronicle of London' also states “that queen Johane, with her lords, attended by the mayor, aldermen, and several of the livery companies of London, walked in solemn procession from St. Paul's to Westminster-abbey, to offer thanksgivings for the victory;” and having made a rich offering at the shrine of St. Edward, they all returned in triumph to the city, amidst the acclamations of the people. Whoever might exult in the national triumph of Agincourt, Joanna had little cause for joy. The husband of her eldest daughter, the valiant duke of Alençon, who clove king Henry's jewelled coronal with his battle-axe in the mélée, was there slain. Her brother, Charles of Navarre, the constable of France, died of his wounds the following day; and Arthur, her gallant son, was a captive. No trifling tax must the widowed queen have paid for greatness, when, instead of putting on her mourning weeds, and indulging in the natural grief of a fond mother's heart for these family calamities, she was called upon to assume the glittering trappings of state, and to take the leading part in a public pageant of rejoicing. Till this latter duty was performed as befitted the queen of England, she forbore to weep and make lamentation for the dead, or to bewail the captivity of him who was led a prisoner in the train of the royal victor. The trials of Joanna only commenced with the battle of Agincourt, for she had to endure much maternal anxiety as to the future position of her eldest son, the reigning duke of Bretagne, with whose temporizing conduct Henry V. was greatly exasperated; and she had to perform the hard task of welcoming, with deceitful smiles and congratulations, the haughty victor who had wrought her house such woe, and who was the arbiter of her son Arthur's fate. Arthur of Bretagne, as earl of Richmond, was Henry's subject, and by bearing arms against him at Agincourt had violated his liegeman's oath, and stood in a very different position with his royal step-brother from the other prisoners. Well it was for him, considering the vindictive temper of Henry V., that the queen had in former times laid that prince under obligations, by assisting him in time of need with pecuniary aid. The first interview between Joanna and her captive son is, perhaps, one of the most touching passages in history. They had not seen each other since 1404, when Arthur as a boy visited the court of England, to receive the investiture of the earldom of Richmond from his royal step-father, Henry IV., twelve years before. Joanna, anxious to ascertain whether he retained any remembrance of her person, which, perhaps, she felt was faded by years of anxious tendance on a husband sick alike in body and mind, yet fondly hoping that maternal instinct would lead him to her arms, placed one of her ladies in the chair of state, and retired among her attendants, two of whom stood before her, while she watched what would follow. Arthur, as might be expected, took the queen's representative for his mother; she supported the character for some time, and desired him to pay his compliments to her ladies. When, in turn, he came to Joanna, her heart betrayed her, and she exclaimed, “Unhappy son, do you not know me?” The call of nature was felt; both mother and son burst into tears. They then embraced with great tenderness, and she gave him a thousand nobles, which the princely youth distributed among his fellow-prisoners and his guards, together with some apparel. But after this interview, Henry V. prevented all communication between queen Joanna and her son.' Arthur was doomed to waste the flower of his youth in a rigorous confinement, first in the Tower of London, and afterwards in Fotheringay-castle, Henry V. being too much exasperated against him to listen to Joanna's intercessions, either for his release or ransom. Henry, however, continued to treat his royal step-mother with great respect. At the feast of St. George, 1416, queen Joanna, who was a lady of the Garter, with his aunts, the queens of Spain and Portugal, his sisters, the queen of Denmark and duchess of Holland, received
* Edited by sir Harris Nicolas. Harrison's Survey of London. * Marie of Bretagne, who was formerly betrothed to Henry V.
each eight ells of blue-coloured cloth, with two furs made of three hundred bellies of miniver, and one hundred and seventy garter stripes to correspond, to make them robes, furred and embroidered with the military order of the Garter, all alike, as the gift of the king. Henry, on this occasion, presented cloth and fur to a chosen number of the great ladies of the court, as well as to the princes of the blood-royal and the knights of the Garter, that they might all appear in the robes of their order, to grace the high festival of that year." Henry was induced to conclude a truce with the duke of Bretagne, as he himself specifies, “at the prayer of Joanna,” whom he styles “that excellent and most dear lady, the queen our mother.” This was in the year 1417. King Henry directed his collectors of the port of London, July 1418, to allow three sealed cases of money, sixty pipes of wine, seven baskets of lamps, two bales of cloth of Joscelin, and one barrel of anchovies, coming to his dearest mother, Joanna queen of England, at her need, in the ship called the St. Nicholas of Nantes, to pass without collecting any impost or due.” The same day he directs the authorities of the ports of Plymouth and Dartmouth to admit, free of all duty, Johan de Moine from the ports of Bretagne, with eight great barrels of wine of Tyre and Malmsey for his dearest mother, Joanna queen of England, from her son the duke of Bretagne. The St. Nicholas of Nantes appears to have been constantly employed by her royal owner in trading-voyages between the ports of London and Bretagne, for the exchange of the manufactures and commercial imports of those countries duty free, a privilege of which the thrifty dowager of England and Bretagne doubtless made great pecuniary advantage. On one occasion, however, the freight of the St. Nicholas is of a different description, or at least that on which the most important stress is laid in the king's gracious permit for safe and free export to Bretagne, consisting, among other valuables, * Rymer's Foedera. 2 Ibid. * Rymer's Foedera. The cloth was a species of linen manufacture, much of the nature of Holland; it was the finest of that linen called Rennes cloth, for
which Bretagne was famous in the middle ages. Rennes sheets were often left will as costly luxuries; they figure in sir John Falstaff's household inventory.
of a curious selection of live-stock, for presentation to the young duchess of Bretagne, Joanna's daughter-in-law; viz. Jacotin de Hasse, horse-buyer to our lady the queen, with four horses, three palfreys and their trappings, a certain organplayer, and a pape geay' (popinjay), meaning a parrot. With this amusing cargo Joanna also sends a present of “cloth of London” to the Breton duchess, a presumptive evidence that the manufactures of the English metropolis were held in some esteem by the foreign queen, and considered acceptable and suitable offerings to a royal daughter of France. While the queen-dowager was thus harmlessly, and perhaps, with regard to her patronage of cloth of London, may be added usefully employed, she was suddenly arrested at her dowerpalace of Havering-Bower, by the order of the duke of Bedford, the regent of England. These are Walsingham, a contemporary historian's words:”—“The king's step-mother, queen Johanne, being accused by certain persons of an act of witchcraft, which would have tended to the king's harm, was committed (all her attendants being removed) to the custody of sir John Pelham, who, having furnished her with nine servants, placed her in Pevensey-castle, there to be kept under his control.” Joanna's principal accuser was her confessor, John Randolf, a Minorite friar; though it seems Henry had had previous information that the queen-dowager, with the aid of two domestic sorcerers, Roger Colles of Salisbury and Petronel Brocart, was dealing with the powers of darkness for his destruction." John Randolf was arrested at the isle of Guernsey, and sent over to the king in Normandy,’ where his confessions seem to have determined Henry to pro* Rymer's Foedera. *Likewise Holinshed, Speed, Stowe. Parliamentary Hist. of England. *The Chronicle of London, a contemporary also, gives this account: “Also this same year frère Randolf, a master of divinity, that some time was the queen's confessor, at the exciting of the said queen, by soicery and necromancy wrought for to astroy the king; but, as God wolde, his falseness was at last espied, wherefireby common parliament the queen forfeited her lands.” This Chronicle makes the circumstance contemporary with the siege of Rouen. Otterbourne merely **, Joanna committed an infamous maleficium, and was taken from her family, and given to the charge of lord John Pelham in the castle of Pevensey. He
notes it in the events of 1419. * Holinshed. *Ibid. Parliamentary Records.