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table the two archbishops and seventeen bishops. When the dinner was half over a knight of the name of Dymock entered the hall completely armed, and mounted on a handsome steed, richly barbed with crimson housings. The knight was armed for wager of battle, and was preceded by another knight bearing his lance; he himself had his drawn sword in one hand, and his naked dagger by his side. The knight presented the king with a written paper, the contents of which were, that if any knight or gentleman should dare to maintain that King Henry was not a lawful sovereign, he was ready to offer him combat in the presence of the king, when and where he should be pleased to appoint. The king ordered the challenge to be proclaimed by heralds in six different parts of the town and the hall, to which no answer was made. After King Henry had dined, and partaken of wines and spices in the hall, he retired to his private apartments, and all the company went to their homes. Thus passed the coronation day of King Henry, who remained that and the ensuing day at the palace of Westminster.
Froissart, vol. ii., p. 700.. TURBULENCE OF THE BARONS. Henry, in his first parliament, had reason to see that station which he had assumed, and the obstacles which he would meet with in governing an unruly aristocracy, always divided by faction, and at present inflamed with the resentments consequent on such tecent convulsions. The peers, on their assembling, broke into violent animosities against each other; forty gauntlets, the pledges of furious battle, were thrown on the floor of the house by noblemen who gave mutual challenges ; and liar and traitor resounded
} from all quarters. The king had so much authority with these doughty champions as to prevent all the combats which they threatened ; but he was not able to bring them to a proper composure, or to an amicable disposition towards each other.
Hume, vol. iii., p. 63.. CONSPIRACY TO DETHRONE THE KING. The Earls of Rutland, Kent, and Huntingdon, and Lord Spencer, who were now degraded from the respective titles of Albemarle, Surrey, Exeter, and Gloucester, conferred on them by Richard, entered into a conspiracy, together with the Earl of Salisbury and Lord Lumley, for raising an insurrection, and for seizing the king's person at Windsor; but the treachery of Rutland gave him warning of the danger. He suddenly withdrew to London; and the conspirators, who came to Windsor with a body of 500 horse, found that they had missed this blow, on which all the success of their. enterprise depended. Henry appeared next day at Kingston-upon-Thames, at the head of 20,000 men, mostly drawn from the city; and his enemies, unable to resist his power, dispersed themselves, with a view of raising their followers in the several counties which were the seat of their interest. But th:
adherents of the king were hot in the pursuit, and crerywhere opposed themselves to their progress. The Earls of Kent and Salisbury were seized at Cirenrester by the citizens, and were next day beheaded without further ceremony, according to the custom of the times. * The citizens of Bristol treated Spencer and Lumley in the same manner. The Earl of Huntingdon, Sir Thomas Blount, and Sir Benedict Sely, who were also taken prisoners, suffered death, with many others of the conspirators, by orders from He And when the quarters of these unhappy. men were brought to London, no less than eighteen bishops and thirty-two mitred abbots joined the populace, and met them with the most indecent marks of joy and exultation.
Hume, vol. iii., p. 63. EXCESSES OF THE PRINCE OF WALES. Whilst Henry was endeavouring to recover his reputation, which had suffered a little since his accession to the throne, the Prince of Wales was entirely destroying his own, by his daily
Though he had naturally a great and generous heart, he suffered himself to be corrupted by persons who, to serve their own ends, flattered his vicious passions, and diverted him from the paths of virtue. His court was the receptacle of libertines, debauchees, buffoons, parasites, and the like. Nothing was talked of but the riotous and extravagant pranks of the prince, or his companions.t Such a conduct in a prince who was one day to
* That the reader may form a notion of the barbarous manner in which execu, tions for treaso! were conducted, I will relate that of Sir Thomas Blount in the worıls of a contemporary writer :-“ He was hangel; bu the halter was 80011 cut, and he was made to sit on a bench before a great fire, and the executioner came, with a razor in his hand, and knelt before Sir Thomas, whose hands were tid, begging him to pardon his death, as he must do his office. Sir Thomas asked, . Are you the person appointed to deliver me from this world ?' The executioner answered, 'Yes, sir, I pray you p:irdon me.' And Sir Thomas kissed him, and pardoned him his death. The executioner knelt down and opened hi's belly, and cut out his bowels strait from below the stomachi, and tiel then with a string that the wind of the heart should : 1ot escape, and threw the bowels into the fire. Thelt Sir Thomas was sitting before the fire, bis belly open, and his !wowels burning before him. Sir Thomas Erpyngham, the king's chamberlain, insulting Blount, said to him in derision, 'Go, seek a mister that can cure you.' Blount only answered,. Te Deum laudimus. Blessed bc the day in which I was 3orn, inil blessed oe this day, for I shall die in the service of my sovereign lord, the noble King Richaril' The executioner knelt downı betore him, kissed hiin in an humble ma mer, add svou after his head was cut off, and he was quartered." Lugaru, 101. iv., p. 279.
† The royal amusements in the famous Boar's Ilead Tavern, in Eastchcap, are thus described in the old play of the “ The Fuinous Victories," on which Shakspeare founded his comedies of Henry the Fourth :-"This nicht, about two hours ago, there came the young prince, and three or four more of his companions, and called for wine good store, and then they sent for a noise of musici:ins, and were very merry for the space of an hour ; then, whether their music liked them int, or whether they had drank too much wine or 110, I cannot tall, but our fots flev against the walls; and then they crew their swouls, and went into the streets and fought, and soine took one part and some took another. The prince is sent to the Counter, by the Lord Mayor; Gadshill, the prince's man, who rubbid the carrier, is taken before the Lord Chief Justice ; aud the young priuce, wlau got out of this
sit on the throne, was very amazing to the considerate, who could not help dreading the consequences. However, amidst these apprehensions a ray of hope was seen to shine, in a very unexpected mark of moderation given by the prince. One of his favourites being arraigned for felony before the chief justice, William Gascoigne, he resolved to be present at the trial, with the design to overawe the judge. But his presence not preventing the criminal's condemnation, he was so transported with passion that he struck the judge on the face. The chief justice thus affronted, considering the consequences of such an action without regarding the quality of the offender, commanded him to be arrested on the spot, and conveyed to prison. Then was seen what would never have been expected, the prince quiet as a lamb, submitting without a murmur to the judge's orders, and suffering himself to be led to prison like a private person. The judge's courage and the prince's moderation were equally pleasing to the king: nevertheless, Henry, who was excessively jealous of his crown, could not help giving ear to the people's insinuations that his son had ill designs against him. The belief troubling him greatly, he would perhaps have proceeded to extremities, in order to prevent the imagined danger, had not the prince taken timely care to prevent his suspicions, by expressing deep contrition for his follies, denying any attempt upon his person or government, ånd begging him to cause his actions to be examined, as though he were one of his' meanest subjects. The king seeing with what frankness the prince offered to vindicate himself, grew perfectly easy, and restored him to favour.
Rapin, vol. i., p. 503. THE PRINCE'S SEIZURE OF THE CROWN. Henry's continual fear of losing his crown, by reason of the many attempts to wrest it from him, increased with his years. Every time he went to bed he ordered it to be laid on his pillow, lest it should be seized before he was dead. One day having fallen into so strong a fit that he was thought to have resigned his last breath, the Prince of Wales took up the crown and carried it away ; soon after, the king recovering his senses, and missing the crown, asked
Counter as suddenly as he got in, rescued the thief, and gave the Lord Chief Justice & box on the ear.”
The old (real) Boar's Head Tavern was destroyed in the great fire of London, 1666, and its successor, that rose up out of the ruins, was recently swept away with the old London-bridge ; but of the original Boar's Head there remains a very interesting, and to all appearance authentic relic. In Whitechapel, some years since, there was a hillock called the Mount, traditionally supposed to have been formed out of the rubbish of the great fire in 1666. Upon the elearing away of that mount an oaken carving of a boar's head, in a frame work formed of two boar's tusks, was found in a half burned state. The diameter of this curious relic was four inches and a half; on the back of the carving was a date 1568, and a name, which by comparison with some records correspond with the name of the tavern-keeper of that year. It is supposed that this curious and very spirited carving was suspended in the tavern. The original was exhibited at the London Institution, and after. wards came into the possession of Mr. Windus, of Stamford Hill.
Nole to Knight's edition of Shakspeare, First Part of Henry IF
what had become of it ; being told the prince had taken it he sent for him, and asked whether he would rob him of his royalty even before his death, the prince replied, “He never had any such thoughts, but believing him dead he had taken the crown as his lawful heir, and the only person who had a right to pretend to it; nevertheless he thanked God he saw him again recovered, and heartily wished he might live long to wear it himself ; at the same time he went for the crown and laid it in its place.
Rapin, vol. i., p. 503.
DEATH OF HENRY IV. Though Henry was only in his forty-sixth year, he bore about him all the symptoms of declining age. Soon after Archbishop Scroop's conspiracy he became affected with the most loathsome eruptions on his face, which, by the common people, were considered as a punishment for the death of that prelate; and a succession of epileptio fits, gradually increasing in violence, was now hurrying him to the grave. The prospect of his fate brought, we are told, to his recollection, the means by which he had acquired, and the blood by which he had preserved, the crown.
He began at length to doubt the certainty of his favourite maxim, that the success of the enterprise was a proof that it had received the approbation of Heaven. His last fit seized him while he was praying in St. Edward's Chapel, at Westminster. He was carried into the Abbot's chamber, and quickly expired, on the 19th March, 1413. *
Lingard, vol. iv., p. 321.
PERSON AND CHARACTER.
Henry was of middle stature, of regular form, and perfectly skilled in all the exercises of arms and chivalry; his countenance was severe rather than serene, and his disposition sour, sullen, and reserved; he possessed a great share of courage, fortitude, and penetration ; was naturally imperious, though he bridled his temper
He was carried to the Abbot of Westminster's lodgings, which were nearer thail his own. Some time after, recovering his speech and finding himself in a strange place, he asked where he was; he was told at the Abbot of Westminster's, in a chamber called Jerusalem: these words putting him in mind of a prediction of a cers tain person made some years before, that he would die in Jerusalem, he thought only of dying.
Rapin, vol. i., p.503. Of the Jerusalem chamber, which is attached to the S. W. tower of Westminster Abbey, scarcely any of the original features remain; nothing, indeed, of the interior that probably existed in the time of Henry IV. The original chainber was built about 13€2, at a time when the buildings immediately attached to the Abbey were extensively repaired or re-erected.
There is a strange story told by Clement Maydestone, on the authority of one of the persons employed to convey the king's body by water from Westminster for interment at Canterbury ; finding themselves in danger from a storm, they threw tho dead body into the river (near Gavesend), in imitation of the mariners who treated the prophet Jonah in that manner, and proceeding to Canterbury, deposited the empty coffin in the grave. Recent discoveries of hay-bands, &c., in the coffin corroborate this statement.
with a great deal of caution; superstitious, though without the least tincture of virtue and true religion; and meanly parsimonious,
. though justly censured for want of economy and ill-judged profusion. He rose to the throne by perfidy and treason; and established his authority in the blood of his subjects, and died a penitent for his sins, because he could no longer enjoy the fruit of his transgressions.
Smollet. CHRONICLE. 1400. Geoffrey Chaucer the poet died, aged 72. His friend and eompanion Gower, who joined him in reforming the English language, died soon after. 1402, Sept. 14. Battle of Homildon Hill. 1404, Jan. 15. William Wickham, Bishop of Winchester died, aged 80.* 1403, July 21. The Battle of Shrewsbury. 1405. Great guns først used in England at the siege of Berwick. 1407. A terrible plague raged in London, which swept off above 30,000 inhabitants. 1411. Guildhall rebuilt as it now stands. About this time gipsies were first known in England ; they were called Egyptians. In this reign flourished the celebrated Sir Richard Whittington, thrice Lord Mayor of London ; he built Newgate, above half of St. Bartholomew's Hospital, and tne Library in Grey Friars, now called Christ's Hospital. Whittington College, near Stepney, also owes its foundation to the same munificent benefactor.
REIGN OF HENRY V.
HENRY'S REFORMATION. As soon as his father expired the young king retired to his closet, spent the rest of the day in privacy and prayer, and in the evening hastened to his confessor, a recluse in the church of Westminster, by whom he was confirmed in his resolution to atone for the scandal of his past, by the propriety of his subsequent conduct. The dissolute companions of his pleasures were instantly dismissed; men of knowledge and experience were invited round the throne; and those who by checking his excesses had earned the enmity of the prince, found themselves, to their surprise, honoured with the approbation and friendship of the king. † As an act of justice he
* He was celebrated for his genius in architecture. Henry III. rebuilt Windsor Castle by his direction; he was preferred to the See of Winchester in 1367, and soon
; after made Lord Chancellor of England. It is said that being represented to the king as a man of no learning, and not fit for a bishoprick, he told the king, that what he wanted in learning himself he would supply by being the founder of learnAng; accordingly be built the new College at Oxford, and the College at Winchester, which he designed as a nursery for that of Oxford ; upon this last foundation he
settled an estate for a warden, ten fellows, two school-masters, and seventy scholars.
The Chief Justiec Gascoigne himself, who trembled to approach the royal presence, met with praises instead of reproaches for his past conduct, and was exhir