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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 147

To poor man we to priest the penny frayses nothing. Men give God aye the least they feast him with a farthing, A thousand two hundred four score yeercs and mo, On thN money men wondered when It first began to go." In the same year, the prodigious increase of the property of the church, arising from the bequests of the wealthy, excited the indignation of the barons. They declared that as the law stood, the church never dying, always acquiring, and never alienating, would, in the end, be possessed of all the riches and lands in the kingdom. Edward had long cherished a desire to destroy the abuse ; he therefore gladly complied with the wish of his peers, and called a parliament, by whom a law was passed, called the Statute of Mortmain, forbidding all persons from disposing of their estates to ecclesiastical or secular societies, that never die, without the King's express consent, on pain of forfeiture. The impoverished state of the royal revenues when Edward ascended the throne, induced him to devise new means of supplying his exchequer. By instituting a commission of enquiry into the state of the fiefs held of the crown, he obtained many valuable forfeitures. Shortly afterwards, he caused the Statutes of Quo Warranto to be passed, by which it was enacted that all persons holding contested estates, should produce their titles before the judges, to he examined. During the revolutions in the two preceding reigns, many families had appropriated to themselves lands which did not belong to them, whilst others, who were the rightful possessors of estates, had lost their title deeds. The King seized upon the possessions of the former, and the judges compelled the latter to pay heavy fines. These vexatious proceedings excited such genera] indignation, that when the powerful Earl Warenne was called upon to prove the validity of the title by which he held his estates, he drew a family sword he bad purposely brought with him, and exclaimed, " My ancestors, coming to England with William the Conqueror, won these lands by the sword, and by the sword I will maintain them ! for that King did not conquer for himself alone, neither did my ancestors assist him for that end!" This spirited declaration, which, indeed, was consonant to the feelings of all the old English nobility, induced the King to mitigate the rigour of his former instructions-, and an undisturbed possession of an estate, from anyperiod prior to the reign of Richard the Eirst, was pronounced a legal title thereto. The peace with the Welch was but of short continuance. Llewellyn's wife died shortly after the birth of her only child, a daughter, named Gucndolen ; and although Llewellyn had strictly observed the condition of the treaty, yet Edward's officers had committed so many acts of violence upon the Welch, to whom a deadly hatred of the English had been bequeathed, as a sacred legacy, by their forefathers, thit they implored the protection of their prince against their insolent neighbours. Llewellyn made strong remonstrances to Edward, but without effect ; for, despite the King's orders to the contrary, the Lords of the Marches referred in tones of arrogance, to the undisputed conquest they had now made, and continued to connive at, or encourage, numerous insults and depredations. Exasperated at these outrages, the proud impetuous Cambrians determined to die rather than longer endure the tyranny of their haughty victors. David, brother to Llewellyn, had long and faithfully served the crown of England ; but, exasperated at the oppressions of his countrymen, he forgot his personal wrongs, joined his brother, and offered to head the army, and venture his life to retrieve the liberties and independence of his country. The generous proposal was joyfully accepted ; and stimulated bv their bards into.a belief that as Edward had lately issued a new coinage of round half-pennies and farthings, the period was arrived for the accomplishment of the prophecy attributed to the renowned Merlin, that a Prince of Wales would be acknowledged King of the whole British Island, and ride throughLondon withacrown on his head, when the English money should become

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