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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 197

mer broke his way through the wall into the adjoining apartment—the palace kitchen—passed up the chimney on to the roof, mounted and descended several walls by the aid of a rope-ladder, and reached the Thames in safety, where he entered a bout, and was rowed over to the opposite bank of the river by Girard do Asplaye. There he found his men-at-arms with horses, and, avoiding the highways, rode with all haste to the coast of Hampshire, whence, under pretence of making for the Isle of Wight, he was rowed in a boat to the vicinity of the Needles, and, embarking in a ship which was prepared for him by Ralph Botton, a wealthy London merchant, escaped to France in safety. Edward no sooner heard of his escape than he raised the " hue and cry," and set a high price upon his head, and ordered him to be captured either dead or alive. A busy search was instituted throughout the kingdom, but as his enemies were ignorant of the route he had taken, it proved futile. On landing in France, Mortimer entered into the service of Charles dc Valois, the French King's uncle, who was then about to invade Edwards continental possessions. The object of the French King's hostility to Edward is nowhere clearly accounted for; however, all that is necessary to our present purpose is to know that Isabella's last surviving brother, Charles the Fair, ascended the French throne in 1322 ; that Edward, although repeatedly summoned, did not attend his coronation to do homage for Guienne and Ponthieu, and that, shortly afterwards, a lord built a castle within what he declared to be the territories of the English King ; but this territory the French King claimed as his, the French officers of the crown seized it, the English rose in arms and put the French to the sword, which so enraged Charles, that he resolved to avenge himself by the invasion of Edward's foreign territory. Whether Isabella's deeply-concerted plot for the ruin of the Spencers, and the gratification of her own adulterous desires, emanated from the court of France—whether Mortimer was cog nizant of it previous to his escape to France, or whether Isabella aided the escape of Mortimer, beyond providing the sleeping-draught for the gaolers, we know not. On these points history is provokingly silent. Probably the scheme was planned in the Tower by the Queen and her paramour, whose escape was doubtless facilitated, by every means in Isabella's power. Bo this as it may, immediately Mortimer was safe in France, Isabella publicly pronounced the Earl of Lancaster a martyr and a saint, attributed the death of the Earl and his followers solely to the influence and the vengeance of the Spencers, and quarrelled with the King because he permitted the favourites to rule the reins of government as they pleased. This conduct so exasperated the Spencers, that they prevailed upon the King to curtail her income—an unwise measure, which gave her what she so much desired—a plausible pretext for an open rupture. Assured that the king was ignorant of her illicit passion, she appealed to him in the tone of a wronged, affectionate wife, accused him of neglecting her, and bestowing all his affections on the young Spencer, and boldly declared that if he did not discard his favourite, and restore her to her true place and dignity, she would be avenged, cost her what it might. The King smiled at her threats, and told her she must learn to demean herself with propriety, and cease to disturb the peace of the royal household with her mad jealousies and ill-founded accusations, before he could think of altering his conduct towards her. The Spencers now perceiving that their influence over the mind of the King was greater than that of the Queen, persuaded nim that, as there was a war with France, it was not prudent for him to permit his consort to possess her castles and lands as heretofore. Isabella made a bold stand to maintain her dower, but, in 1324, the efforts of the favourites prevailed ; the King took from the Queen her lands and lordships, gave her an insignificant pension in their stead, and further disgraced her by discharging all her French servants. This afforded her an opportunity to appeal to the sympa

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