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earl's robes.. Gilbert de Sandford claimed for the service of keeping the queen's chamber door at this coronation, the queen’s bed and all its furniture, as her chamberlain. The barons of the Cinque-ports made their claim to carry, as usual, the canopy over the queen's head, a right which was fruitlessly disputed by the marchers of Wales. Alms were bounteously distributed to the poor on this occasion, King Henry, with all his faults, being one of the most charitable of princes. The expenses of this ceremonial were enormous.
* Henry expended the portion of his sister Isabella, just married to the Emperor of Germany, for the purpose of defraying them. When he petitioned the Lords for a thirtieth of his subjects' property, as a relief from his difficulties, they told him “they had amply supplied funds both for his marriage and that of the empress, and as he had wasted the money he might defray the expenses of his wedding as he could.”
Agnes Strickland's Queens of England, vol. i., p. 361. ATTEMPTED MURDER OF PRINCE EDWARD. Although Prince Edward's progress in the Holy Land was not great, still his valour, and the fame and reputation of King Richard Cæur de Lion, his great-uncle, who had performed such famous exploits in that country, so terrified the infidels, that, to free themselves from their fears, they sent an assassin to dispatch him. The villain, under colour of settling a correspondence between Edward and the Governor of Joppa, who feigned a desire to tum Christian, found means to be admitted into the prince's presence, and frequently to discourse with him. At last, one day, as he was alone in his chamber, he was just going to stab him with a dagger in the belly, if Edward had not warded off the blow with his arm, where he received a dangerous wound. The
* The most sumptuous and splendid garments ever seen in England were worn at the coronation of the young queen of Henry III. The peaceful and vigorous administration of Pembroke and Hubert de Burgh had filled England with wealth and luxury, drawn from their commerce with the south of France. The citizens of London wore at this splendid ceremony garments called cyclades, a sort of upper robe, made not only of silk, but of velvet worked with yold. Henry III., who was the greatest fop in his dominions, did not, like King John, confine his wardrobe precepts to the adornment of his own person, but liberally issued benefactions of satin, velvet, cloth of gold, and emine, for the apparelling of his royal ladies. No homely dress of green cloth was ordered for the attire of his lovely queen; but when a mantel lined with ermine was made by his tailors for himself, another as rich was given out for Elcanor. The elegant fashion of chaplets of gold and jewels, worn over the hair, was adopted by this queen, whose jewellery was of a magnificent order, and is supposed to have cost her doting husband nearly 30,0001., an enormous sum, if reckoned according to the value of our money. Eleanor had no less than nine guirlands, or chaplets, for her hair, formed of gold flagree and clusters of coloured precious stones. For state occasions she had & great crown, most glorious with gems, worth 15001 at that era ; her girdles were worth 5000 marks; and the coronation presents given by her sister, Queen Marguerite of France, was a large silver peacock, whose train was set with sapphires, and pearls, and other precious stones, wrought with silver. This elegant piece of jewellery was used as a reservoir for sweet waters, which were forced out of its beak into a basin of chased silver.
Agnes Sirickland's Queens of England vol. 1., p. 364.
assassin, enraged at this disappointment, was about to redouble his blow with greater violence; but Edward gave him such a kick on the breast that he beat him down backwards, and, leaping upon him at the same time, wrested the dagger out of his hand, and killed him immediately.* The prince's wound was much more dangerous than it appeared to be, by reason the dagger was poisoned. The wound beginning to gangrene, made all despair of a cure ; but, happily for him, there was then in the army a skilful Chirugeon, who delivered him from this danger. Some affirm that he owed his life to the tender love of Eleonora, his spouse, who ventured to suck the venom out of the wound; but this circumstance is mentioned by no author of that time.
Rapin, vol. i., p. 345. DEATH OF HENRY III. In returning to London from Norwich (whither he had been to quell a sedition) he was seized, at St. Edmund's Bury, with a languishing distemper, which, not seeming to be dangerous, hindered him not from continuing his journey. But his sickness increasing after his arrival, he died in a few days, aged 66 years. He ordered his body should be interred near the shrine of Edward the Confessor, in the Abbey-church of Westminster, where his tomb (with his statue in brass) is still to be seen.
Rapin, vol i., p. 345. PERSON AND CHARACTER. He was of middle stature, strong and compact, and the lid of one of his eyes hung over in so extraordinary a manner, that part of the ball was concealed. (Spencer, p. 150). Gentle and credulous, warm in his attachments, and forgiving in his enmities, without vices, but also without energy, he was a good man, and a weak monarch.
Lingard, vol. iii., p. 158.
* He was an emmissary of the fraternity of assassins under the command of “the Old M.2 of the Mountain.” The origin of this fraternity has not been very clearly traceu ; but it appears, by the account which we have of the Thugs and other tribes in India, that similar associations still exist in the East. The old man of the mountain, according to hereditary custom, brought up a large number of noble boys in iis palace, causing them to be taught every kind of learning and accomplishment, and to be instructed in various languages, until they could converse in them witrout the aid of an interpreter in any nation of the known world. Cruelty of th greatest degree was also inculcated with profound secrecy ; and the pupils were ( refully and anxiously trained to follow it up. When they reached the age of pub, rty, the senior calls them to him, and enjoins on them, for the remission of the r sins, to slay some great man, whom he mentions by name; and for this purpo:2 he gives to each of them a poniard of terrible length and sharpness. From the devoted obedience, they never hesitate to set out as they are commanded ; nor lo they pause until they have reached the prince or tyrant who has been pointe' out to them, and they remain in his service until they find a favourable oppor. unity for accomplishing their purpose ; for by so doing they believe they shall ga " the favour of heaven.
Chronicles of the Crusadci, p. 277.
CHRONICLE. 1242. Aldermen first elected in London. 1245. Westminster Abbey having fallen into decay, Henry III. pulled down the walls and steeple, and began to rebuild it, but the work was not completed till twenty-three years after his death-fifty years from its commencement. St. Paul's Cathedral rebuilt. The trial by fire and water ordeal abolished by an order in council. A charter was granted to the town of Newcastle to dig for coal; this is the first mention of coal in England. At this time few ships were to be seen on the Thames ; most of the houses in London were built of wood and thatched with straw-very few were built of stone; a forest covered the northern division of the City; Holborn was renowned for its pleasant gardens; the Strand was a long beach open to the river, with scarcely a house upon it; Charingcross was quite a rural village, at some distance from town; Covent-garden the extensive garden of a convent; and hedge rows and bushes marked the Haymarket.
REIGN OF EDWARD I.
CONQUEST OF WALES. One of Edward's first measures after his accession was to sum. mon Llewellyn, Prince of North Wales, to London, to do homage for his principality, as one of the vassals of the crown. Llewellyn refused, but was at length, by sword and famine, compelled to submit; still the spirit of the people, so far from being broken by this reverse, became only more resolute to retrieve their tarnished honour, and hostilities were soon renewed. An ill-starred ambition seems to have hurried Llewellyn to his fate. A prophecy of the famous Merlin implied that a Welsh prince should one day wear the crown of Brutus, the first king, as is supposed, of the island of Britain. This, and some other grievance, rashly tempted Llewellyn to commence hostilities. At first he was successful, but Edward advancing with a powerful army, he was compelled to retire to the mountain of Snowden, a post that could not be attacked. Here he might probably have worn out the patience of his adversary, but the vision of Merlin floating in his head, and emboldened by a trifling skirmish, he was induced to descend with his whole army into the plain, where he was entirely defeated and himself slain. *
* Edward ordered his head to be sent to London, where, with all the brutish insolence of national rancour, it was conveyed as a pageant through the streets, and at last crowned with a silver circle, in contempt of the propheticai tradition, which said that Llewellyn's head should ride down Cheapside, encircled with a silver diadem. It was next placed upon a pillory, from whence it was conveyed to the Tower of London, crowned with ivy, in ridicule of the prophecy, which said that Llewellyn should wear the crown of Brute.
Spencer, p. 152,
With the death of this prince, descended from Roderic the Great, and one of the most ancient families in Europe, expired the independence of Wales. Edward having summoned a parliament, it was resolved that it should be inseparably united to the crown; and that nothing might remain to keep alive the ancient glory of the country, Edward collected all the Welsh bards together, and, from a barbarous policy, ordered them to be put to death. *
Chronicle of the Kings, p. 45. CONQUEST OF SCOTLAND. The right of Edward to a feudal superiority over Scotland, had not the slightest foundation, except in his own ambition and power. He caused all the monasteries to be ransacked for old chronicles and histories, in order to collect passages in favour of his pretensions; the result of his inquiries were only some dubious passages, where, indeed, it was mentioned that the Scottish kings had done homage for certain fiefs south of the Tweed, but never for the kingdom of Scotland. To establish this point Edward had recourse to shifts sometimes adopted by modern disputants. He quoted a passage from Hoveden, where it asserts that a Scotch king had done homage to England, but he purposely omitted the latter part of the sentence, which expresses that the homage was for lands held in England. After subjecting Baliol, the Scottish king, to many indignities to compel him to revolt, war was declared, and after a fruitless struggle Baliol was deposed, and sent a prisoner to the Tower of London. Edward burnt the records of the kingdom, seized the crown and sceptre and all the regalia, and brought them to London.†
Chronicle of the Kings, p. 46. SIR WILLIAM WALLACE. In giving an account of the subjugation of Scotland, it would be unpardonable to pass over the exploits of Sir William Wallace, the Scottish hero. This brave man, of a small fortune, but ancient family, formed the arduous enterprise of delivering his native country from the English yoke. Having been provoked by the insolence of an English officer, he slew him ; which, rendering him
This popular tradition, on which Gray founded his celebrated ode, is much disputed by historians.
† Among the various spoils was the celebrated coronation stone, to which the people of Scotland attached great fatality, believing that while remained in their country their state would be unshaken, but the moment it should be elsewhere removed revolutions would ensue. It was enclosed in a wooden box, and thus superscribed
Ni fallat fatum Scoti quocunque locatem
Rapin, vol. i., p. 375. The stone now forms the coronation chair of the sovereigns of England.
obnoxious to the administration, he fled into the woods, and became leader of those whose bad fortunes, or avowed hatred of the English, had reduced to a like necessity. He was endowed with gigantic force of body, heroic courage, disinterested magnanimity, incredible patience, and ability to bear hunger, fatigue, and all the severities of the seasons. Beginning with small attempts, he gradually proceeded to more momentous enterprises ; and his intimate knowledge of the country gave him great advantages in securing the retreat of his followers, and in making sudden excursions upon the enemy. The fame of his exploits daily increasing, all those who thirsted after military fame were desirous to partake of his renown.
His force being now considerable, he determined to strike a decisive blow by attacking Ormesby at Scone, and take vengeance of him for all the violence and tyranny of which he had been guilty. The justiciary, apprised of his intentions, fled hastily into England, and all the other officers of that nation imitated his example. His next exploit was the attack of Warrenne, whom he defeated, not less by his valour than his great prudence and military skill. At the fatal battle of Falkirk, where the Scots were completely routed, Wallace, with great address and presence of mind, contrived to keep his troops together, with whom he leisurely retired along the banks of the Carron. It was here that his majestic port, and the intrepid activity of his behaviour, discovered him to Bruce, then serving in the English army; and who called out to him, desiring a conference. He represented to Wallace the hopeless enterprise in which he was engaged, and endeavoured to prevail upon him to submit to the superior power and fortune of Edward. Te also re minded him of the mean jealousy of the Scotch nobles, which Wallace had already experienced ; and told him that were he ever so successful, they would never submit to personal merit, whose superiority they were less inclined to regard as an object of admiration, than a reproach and injury to themselves. To these exhortations Wallace replied, that if he had hitherto acted alone as the champion of his country, it was solely because no second or competitor, or what he rather wished, no leader had yet appeared to place himself in that honourable station; that the blame lay entirely on the nobility, chiefly on Bruce himself, who uniting personal merit to dignity of family, had deserted the post which both nature and fortune invited him to assume. Wallace concluded with saying, that the interests of the country, no more than those of a brave man, could never be cultivated by the sacrifice of liberty ; he was only desirous that his own life, as well as the existence of the nation, might terminate when they could only be preserved by receiving the chains of a conqueror.
This brave warrior was at last basely betrayed into Edward's hands, by Sir John Monteith, his friend, whom he had made acquainted with the place of his concealment. He was carried to London in chains, to be tried as a rebel and traitor, though he had