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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ. Queens of England. Vol.1.


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Queens of England. Vol.1.
page 29

Severe "braise in the abdomen, from the pommel of his saddle, which was followed by a fatal fever. Reing unable to remount his horse, after the accident, William was conveyed on a litter to Itouen, where, perceiving he approached bis end, he felt remorse at having been guilty of so many crimes, and endeavoured to quiet the compunction of his accusing conscience by acts of charity and piety. To this end, he gave alms to the poor, ordering the release of the numerous Saxon captives which he held as hostages, and the rebuilding of the churches he had so ruthlessly destroyed at Mantes. He also expressed bitter regrets at the desolation and war he had caused in England, and declared he would leave the disposal of his regal dignity in. that fair land to God, as he durst not name a successor to the crown he had won and maintained by rapine and murder, Rut in this declaration he appears to have been insincere, as shortly afterwards he addressed a letter to Lanfranc, informing the prelate of bis approaching end, and requesting him to secure the crown of England to his dutiful son, William Rufus. When he had sealed this letter with his royal signet, he gave it to his favourite, Rufus, and bidding him a hasty farewell, told the prince to make all speed to England, wrherc a crown awaited him. Having settled his temporal affairs, the King, although suffering intensely from burning fever and exhaustion, caused himself to be removed to Hcrmentrude, a delightful village near Rouen, where, a few days after his removal, he expired, surrounded only by his domestics, not one of his children being present on the solemn, occasion. On the ninth of September, 1087, he heard the great hell of St. Gervis, near Rouen, begin tolling, and asked what it meant. " It is ringing prime to our blessed Virgin," replied one of the attendants. " Then to our blessed Lady, Mary, the mother of God, I commend myself, said the dying king, in a faint, faltering voice. " May she, by her holy intercessions, reconcile me to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. God be merciful to —to—." The Conqueror could say no morn, death had stopped his heart, and with a rattling gurgle in his throat, he breathed his last, in the sixty-fourth year of his age, and after a reign of fifty years in Normandy, and twenty-one in England. Scarcely had William ceased to exist, when his unworthy domestics pillaged the house in which he died of every article of value, after which, they stole the covering from the royal dead, and left the body stripped and naked on the bare floor. These shameful proceedings could not have occurred but for the absence of the Conqueror's family and officers of state. Robert, his first-born, was in Germany, Rufus was journeying to England to obtain his crown, and Henry, on whom the charge of his obsequies devoted, had, on his death, immediately departed for Rouen, on self-interest business, whilst all the members of the court had gone to offer their homage cither to Robert orto Rufus. As time rolled on, no one attempted to perform the last sad office to the deserted and neglected remains of the monarch whose chivalric renown bad astonished the world, and who, by energy, prudence, and bravery, had exalted himself from the station of a petty prince to that of the richest king of Europe. At length, however, a poor knight, disgusted at the dishonour shown to the body of his late royal master, removed it to Rouen at his own expense, where it was met by a train of monks, and carried for interment to the abbey of St. Stephen's. Hut here disaster followed disaster. Scarcely had the procession entered the church, when a terrible fire burst forth in the neighbourhood, which so alarmed the monks, that, regardless of all decorum, they deserted the coffin, and rushed out to preserve their monastery. When the conflagration was put out, the monks returned, and performed the funeral rites with becoming decency ; after which, the coffin was about to be lowered into the grave, when a Norman gentleman, named Eitz-Arthur, stepped forward, and, to the astonishment of all present, loudly exclaimed—"This interment I forbid. The ground is mine by inheritance ; the duke, whose body rests in yon cold coffin,

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