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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 170

author of the vision of Pierce the Ploughman as a not over-respectable class, ile makes one of them to sav,—• " I cannot parfitly my paternoster as the priest it singeth, But I can rliyme of Robin Hode, and Randol, E.arl of Chester ; Rut of our Lord and our Lady I lerne nothing at all. I am occupied every daye, holy daye and other, Tellin talea of wepying and of myrtb, in taverns where men drink ale." The presence of Edward at Northampton may be accounted for by the truce which he found it expedient to grant in the autumn of this year to Scotland, at the intercession of Philip of France. About this time, also, the Pope, at the urgent request of the Scots, sent a letter to the English monarch, declaring that from remote antiquity, Scotland had belonged, and still did belong, to the Roman see. It was not a fief of the English crown, and as the Scots neither owned nor desired Edward's sway, the Pontiff commanded him to instantly cease to invade their territories, and it' he had any claims against that kingdom, to urge them at Rome before the expiration of six months. On this extraordinary epistle being read in the King's presence, before the barons, they became so enraged, that meeting in parliament, they framed a reply, in the name of the commonalty of England, expressing their astonishment and disgust at the tenor of the papal rescript. Denying in toto the Pope's authority over Scotland in lay matters, and declaring that from the pre-eminence of their regal dignity, the Kings of England had never pleaded respecting their temporal rights before any judge, ecclesiastical or secular, and even if their present monarch desired so to do, they would not permit it. Edward, although no less annoyed than the barons at the Pope's arrogance, had no wish to offend the Pontiff. He therefore addressed a long epistlo explaining his rights to him, not as a judge, but as a friend. In this letter, following the amusing fiction of Geoffrey of Monmouth, Edward traces the feudal superiority of his predecessors from the remote era of Eli and Samuel, when Brute the Trojan landed with a host oi followers, cleared the island, then called Albion, of its aboriginal inhabitants, a race of savage giants, and divided it between his three sons, giving England to Locrine, Scotland to Albanact, and Wales to Camber • but on condition that Albanact and Camber, being the younger, should hold their territories in fee of the eldest brother. He then proceeds to show, at great length, how this superior lordship, thus vested in Locrine, was claimed and exercised by all his successors, and passing on from fiction to facts, enumerates every known instanco of homage done by the Princes of the Scots to the Saxon and Norman monarchs. At the period of which we are writing, this wild romance from Geoffrey's British History was viewed in the light of sober, historical truth, and even for centuries afterwards, many a big-wig quoted it with all the gravity of an oraele. Indeed, in the fifteenth century, Lord Chief Justice Fortescue, with more boldness than wisdom, accounted for our boasted liberty, by declaring that the kingdom being founded by Brute and the Trojans, from Italy and Greece, the government became a compound of the regal and political, and hence arose our matchless institutions. In answer to Edward's fabulous assertion, the Scots proved themselves as rich in historical romance as the English. They declared that with Brute and his doings they had nothing to do. They wore the descendants of Scotia, the daughter of Pharaoh. In remote times, their progenitors had wrested by force of arms the northern half of Britain from the sons of Brute. This country they had maintained possession of ever since, and therefore they now owed no subjection to the English King. Their reasonings, however, did not protect the Scots from the sword of their invader, nor further their interest with the Pope ; indeed, however willing to claim the lordship of Scotland, Boniface became about this time so embroiled with Philip of France, that to preserve his supremacy, he was compelled to court

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