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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 75

dropped from the spur, to which, however tho thread remained attached. On perceiving this, she took up the ball, unnoticed by the King, and as he walked on the silk unwound, and she traced him to the maze which led to the prisonhouse of tho too-confiding Rosamond. Shortly afterwards, Henry departed from Woodstock on urgent state matters, when the Queen, attended by a few confidants, penetrated the maze, discovered an artfully concealed door which she had burst open, and after passing through a long subterraneous passage, entered a splendidly appointed chamber, where sat, busily engaged at embroidery, the unsuspecting Rosamond, with a slumbering infant by her side, whose features bore the indelible impress of King Henry's. This babe, named Geoffrey, was, in his manhood, successively elevated to the sees of Lincoln and York. Much was the surprise and indignation of Eleonora and Rosamond, when, in jealous anger, they each claimed King Henry as their royal lord. However, the beautiful Rosamond was soon too fully convinced of the disgrace which her falsehearted lover had heaped upon her head, and, urged by the entreaties and threats of the queen, she, on finding resistance vain, quitted her embowered seclusion for ever, and entering the convent of Godstone, was veiled a nun. It is said that from the period of her taking the veil she never again saw the monarch who had so ruthlessly wrecked all her earthly happiness. Her repentance was sincere, and after little short of twenty years devoted to piety and penance, she died of a broken heart, and was buried before the high altar of tho church belonging to the nunnery which she had entered to cover her shame. She was much beloved by her cloistered sisters, who sorely moaned her death. A tomb, erected to her memory by King John, bore a Latin inscription, of which the following is a translation. " This tonib dnth enclose A most beauteous rose, A rose that bloomed sweet for awhile, But withering too soon, Its matchless perfume Was changed to an odour most vile." The tradition in the romance and in Dclone's well-known beautiful ballad, that Rosamond was poisoned by Eleanora, is certainly without foundation, indeed, it appears to have originated from the figure of a cup being engraved rather conspicuously on her tomb ; as we are told that " wdien the tomb was demolished, amongst other curious devices thereon, there was a picture of the cup out of which she drank the poison given her by the Queen, carved on stone." After having, with some difficulty, brought about a reconciliation with his jealous queen, Henry appointed her as regent during his absence, and passed over to France, where in her name he endeavoured to possess himself of the Earldom of Toulouse. In 1160, Eleanora conducted, her son Prince Henry and her daughter Matilda into Xormandy, where her royal lord then was. On their arrival the youthful Prince was married to Marguerite, the daughter of Louis the Seventh, and his second consort, Alice of Champagne, in the cathedral of Rouen, The infant couple —the bridegroom was only five years old, and the bride in her fourth year—were committed to the charge of Chancellor I'ecket, afterwards the renowned Archbishop of Canterbury, who treated them with such kindness, that they ever afterwards loved him as a father. In 1162, to compromise a dispute relative to the marriage portion of the Princess Marguerite, the French King dowered the Princess Alice, his daughter by his second Queen with the city of Gisors, and espoused her to King Henry's son Richard, afterwards sumamed Cœur de Lion, who was but j ust seven years old. Princess Alice was only in her third year, and, like her sister Marguerite, she was unfortunately confided "to King Henry, to be educated in the land of her adoption. At this period, the memorable quarrel between the king and Thomas à iiecket commenced. This staunch supporter of the rights of the church, wdiich then, be it remembered, was the seat of learning and the only source of alms and charity to the poor, was the son of Gilbert à Iiecket, a rich and prosperous goldsmith in the city of London.

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