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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 188

bella devoted a portion of her time to acta of charity, as, according to entries in the Wardrobe Book for the year 1312, the Queen being moved to pity by the destitution of a little Scotch orphan boy, named Thomeline, relieved his distresses, paid for the cure of his maladies, and sent him to London to be lodged and educated by Jean, her French organist. Meantime the King, more concerned for the safety of the favourite than even his own person, left him in the Castle of Scarborough—the strongest fort in the north of England—and himself proceeded to York, in the vain hope that the people would eagerly list under his banner. But no sooner had he departed on this futile errand, than Lancaster took up a position between York and Scarborough, and commissioned the Earls of Surrey and Pembroke to vigorously besiege the castle, which being insufficiently garrisoned, and still more insufficiently provisioned, Gaveston was forced to capitulate. He did so, on condition that he should remain in the custody of the Earl of Pembroke, and be allowed free access to the King, and that if no accommodation was effected between the King and his barons, at the expiration of two months, ho should be reinstated in the possession of the Castle of Scarborough. The Earl of Pembroke undertook to convey the prisoner to his own Castle of Wallingford ; but on the road, being desirous to pass the night with his countess, he left his charge with a slender guard at Dodrington Castle, and the midnight hour had scarcely passed, when the Earl of Warwick surprised and overcame the guard, and forced Gaveston to instantly dress himself, and conveyed him on a mule to the Castle of Warwick, where the assembled barons, disliking to take upon themselves, in contempt of the terms of the treaty of capitulation granted by Pembroke, to order his execution, much as they desired it, sent him forth from the castle, when the "hue and cry" seized him as a traitor and outlaw. In answer to a proposal to save his life, the mob cried out, " You have caught the fox, and if you let him go you will have to hunt him again.'' Accordingly, after a sham trial, in which, amongst other charges, he was accused of being the son of a witch, he was led to BlacklowHill—nowGaverside—and beheaded in the presence of the Earls of Lancaster, Warwick, Hereford and Surrey, on the nineteenth of June. Although one of the charges brought against Gaveston by the Earl of Lancaster was his misconduct to the Queen, there is no ground for supposing that Isabella, much as she desired the downfall of that favourite, was in any way implicated in his murder, as most historians improperly term his execution. To murder, be it remembered, is to kill unlawfully; but when Gaveston was beheaded, he was an outlaw, and therefore, being deprived of the protection of the law, he was not killed unlawfully, and consequently not murdered,—in fact, no one could lawfully prevent those into whose hands he had fallen from doing what they pleased with him; and were it otherwise, the sentence of outlawry would be ineffective. The first news of the tragic fate of Gaveston, threw the King into a violent paroxysm of rage and grief. Meditating a deadly revenge against the perpetrators of the outrage, he hastened from Berwick to London, whence being overawed by the superior forces of the barons, who were determined, if needs be, to vindicate their doings at tho sword's point, he retired first to Canterbury and afterwards to Windsor, where, on St. Bride's day, being the thirteenth of November, 1312, the Queen was delivered of the much-desired heir to the crown, afterwards the illustrious Edward the Third. This joyful event enraptured the King, and almost obliterated from his mind the gloom and sorrow occasioned by the death of Gaveston. To the Queen's valet who brought him intelligence of the Prince's birth, he gave twenty pounds, and settled on him a life pension of the same sum, and to the barons he testified his joy, by declaring that he was ready to grant them any request within the bounds of reason. On the seventeenth of November, the Prince was baptized in St. Edward's Chapel, at Windsor, tho ceremony being

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