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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 36

CHAPTER IL Death of William Rufus—Henry hastens to Winchester—Rreteuil, the royal treasurer, refuses to give np to him the keys of the treasury—Henry with his associates farce them from him—Arrival of Roberts partisans—The populace declare for Henry, who is forthwith croxcned—lle announces his intention of marrying Matilda Atheling—The Abbess Christina opposes his marriage—Henry applies to Archbishop Anselm, who convokes a council, before which Matilda is examined—The council declares that she is free to marry the king—On leaving Wilton nunnery Matilda hears of Henry's amours, and hesitates joining her hand with him—Through the entreaties of the Saxon nobles, she lays aside her scruples—Site is married, and immediately afterwards crowned—Her noble conduct obtains for her the surname of the "Good"—Her great popularity. ^^^^^^^^^ ^ thcr, AVilliaitiltufus^ a monarch whose reign was one unbroken succession of tyrannies ; and who was so little loved or "respected even by his own attendants, that they unceremoniously threw his slaughtered body into the cart of a poor charcoal burner that chanced to be passing by ; and in this manner, without regard evento common decency, was the royal corpse conveyed by the man of soot to the city of Winchester, where, on the following day, it was hastily buried,without any of the gorgeous ceremony which usually marks the obsequies of a powerful king. Henry was hunting*on foot at a distant part of the forest, when the fatal accident befell his brother. But the boisterous breeze then blowing wafted the loud and clamorous shouts of the royal attendants to his quick cars, and overwhelmed him with surprise. "What," Henry!' By the crucifixion! itisreality." At this instant a courtier swiftly gallopped up to Henry, and hastily dismounting, exclaimed, "Rufus is no more ; quick, prince, and the crown is yours ! Up, on to my saddle, and with lightning swiftness away to Winchester, and you may yet out-Caesar Brctcuil, the royal treasurer, who has declared for Robert, and is already on his road thither, to secure the crown and the royal wealth." Henry did the bidding of the generous noble on the instant, and without even turning aside to obtain a hasty glance at the remains of his brother Rufus, sped to the royal treasury with such swiftness, that when Breteuil arrived there, he had already planted himself at the door. " Many thanks," exclaimed Henry, glancing blandly at Breteuil, " we feel honoured by your kindly anticipating our desire ; you have the keys of the royal treasury, I presume." "I have, prince,"replied Breteuil boldly, " and mean to keep them till the arrival of our king, Robert of Normandy, from the Holy Land, for to no other than the rightful heir of the throne will 1 resign the crown and treasury of the late king." During this parley, noble after noble was arriving, and Henry, finding that his staunch friend BeUomonte andniany other of hispowerfulpartizans were aroundhim, dream ? Hark ! again they cry, * Rufus is drew his sword, and loudly exclaimed, demi ! long live King Robert ! long live King"William Breteuil, I, Henry of Norhe musingly muttered, " is it so, or do 1 mandy, demand of you, in my own right, the keys of the royal treasury." Breteuil answered not, for as yet but few of Robert's friends had arrived, and he hoped by silence to gain time, and strengthen the number of his party.

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