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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 34

talco the veil, a pledge which she CYCT afterwards religiously kept. Matilda was only about sixteen years of age, when both her parents were conveyed to their lust home. The kingdoms of England and Scotland bad enjoyed the blessings of peace for several years ; when, in 1093, Malcolm, taking advantage of the unpopularity, and the dangerous illness of William Eufus, proceeded, for the fifth time, to ravage Northumberland with fire and sword. After several encounters, he laid siege to Alnwick Castle, where the besieged, being reduced to extremities, offered to surrender, on condition that the Scottish King should receive the keys in person. This request being acceded to, a knight, in complete armour, stood within the walls, and on bended knees presented the keys on the top of ahmce. But when Malcolm put out his arm to reach them, the knight thrust the point of the lance through the bars of his helrnetinto his eye, and inflicteda wound in his brain, of which he instantly died. Cn beholding this treachery, the Scotch rushed forward to avenge their king, but they were beaten back with great slaughter, and in the mêlée, Malcolm's eldest son, Henry, was slain. There is a legend extant, that the knight, who so treacherously murdered Malcolm, was afterwards named Fierceeye, and that he is the progenitor of the Northumberland family of Tierceeye, since corrupted into that of Percy. Margaret lay on the couch of death, when her youthful son Edgar arrived in breathless haste with the sad news of the defeat and death of his royal sire and brother. The widowed queen bore the shock with Christian fortitude and resignation. As she nobly braved the agonies of body, she pressed to her lips the celebrated black cross, the most precious relie of her royal Saxon ancestors, and committed her daughters to the spiritual care of her religious confessor, Turgot, with a request that he would place them in the convent of which lier sister Christina was abbess. When, after thanking God for afflicting her with mental as well as bodily suffering in the hour of death, as thereby she trusted to enter the next world more fully purified from the corruption of this, she addressed a short eloquent prayer to tho Saviour of the world, and expired. Behind lier, she left a character so illustrious for piety and benevolence, that the church of Rome canonized her ; and although her greatlyrevered shrine was destroyed at the Reformation, so dear was lier memory to the nation, that, to this day, the name of Margaret is hallowed with fondness by the people of Scotland. Shortly after the death of Malcolm, his illegitimate brother, Donald Bane, usurped the throne, and ordered ail the English exiles, inclnding Malcolm's children, to quit Scotland on pain of death, Edgar Atheling conveyed the royal orphans to England, and in compliance with the dying wish of his sister Margaret, he placed his nieces Matilda and Alary in the convent at Rumsey, under the charge of their aunt Christina, who shortly afterwards removed to the abbey at Wilton, whither the sister princesses were at the same time conveyed. The abbeys both of Wilton and Rumsey were royal foundations, belonging to the order of Black Benedictines. Wilton Abbey was founded by Alfred the Great, and in it most of the Saxon princesses were afterwards educated. The abbey of Rumsey was built by Edward the Martyr in 972, and dedicated to the Virgin and St. Elfrida. like that of Wilton, it was generally governed by an abbess of the royal Saxon line. The plan of instruction pursued in the conventual establishments in the eleventh century, appears to have been most excellent. Nor was tho teaching confined to the inmates of the cloister, as nearly every high-born damsel received the lessons of her youth in the school of a convent. Besides reading in the vernacular, the Latin, and other tongues, the fair pupils were taught to excel in writing, drawing, vocal and instrumental music, both sacred and secular, fine needle work, and, above all, that important branch of conventual education, the theory and practice of medicine and surg-ery. During Matilda's residence in the English convents, she received an education befitting the consort of an Eu

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