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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 200

fled to France from the persecutions of the Spencers, turned her back upon the English ambassadors, held frequent councils with the King's enemies, invented frivolous pretences for repeatedly disobeying the order of her royal lord to return home with her son ; and at length awakened the suspicion of one of the Fung's envoys, Walter Stapleton, bishop of Exeter. When this honest prelate had satisfied himself of the Queen's guilty passion, and fathomed the motives which prompted her to prolong her stay at Paris, he privately reasoned with her on the probable consequences of her wicked doings, and earnestly urged her to return without delay to the home and affections of her husband. Isabella listened to the words of the Bishop with apparent calmness, and, with her usual duplicity, assured him that his accusations were quite groundless. "Mortimer," she exclaimed, with vehemence, "has always conducted himself towards mc as a friend, and a friend only, therefore I cannot think of returning his kindness with ingratitude. You urge me to return to England : believe me, holy father, I would rather be clad in the sombre weeds of widowhood, than revisit that home of woe, where, indeed, neither my liberty nor life would be safe for an hour." " Lady," replied the Bishop, " you are loved, by the King, respected by his councillors, and whoever tells you otherwise, is no loyal Englishman." " What you say may be correct," rejoined the Queen; "yet, as I cannot take your advice, I beg you will drop the subject, and never again mention it." The Bishop departed, but not to enjoy peace. His obnoxious conduct had raised the ire of Isabella's party, and an attempt to take his life compelled him to flee to England, where he made the unhappy Edward aware of the amours and the political ambition of his unprincipled consort. It was in vain that Edward wrote again and again to his Queen, requesting, ordering her to return. Encouraged by the promised support of the Lancasterian party, she declared that, being in perù of her life from the Spencers, she dared not return, nor would her heart permit her to send back her beloved son to be trusted to the tender mercies of the'elder Spencer, who, she had learned to her sorrow, had in her absence been made guardian to her other offspring. In reply to this declaration, Edward wrote the following letter :— " LADY— " Several times, both before the homage and since, have we desired you to return to us without further delay or excuse. Before the homage, you made the prosecution of our business your excuse, and now you have sent us word you will not come, from a dread of the vengeance of Hugh De la Spencer, whereat we marvel with all our might, the more so, since both you and he treated each other in a manner so kindly, so friendly, before us, and even at your departure, you gave him soft looks, amicable signs, and tokens of the truest friendship, and afterwards you sent him the kindest of letters, and that not long since, which letters he has shown to us. And truly, lady, we know, and so do you, that he has always procured from us all the honour for you that was ia his power ; nor hath any evil villany or disgrace been done to you since you came into our company, unless that some time since, through your own fault, you remember, we gave you, as we ought, some words of reproof in private, but without other severity, itemember, you are required, as well on account of God and the holy church as for our honour and your own, not to trespass against our commands, nor forsake our company for any earthly reason. And now the homage has been done, and we have the fairest prospects of peace with our dearest brother, the King of France, we command you, who should be our peace-maker, not to falsify truth and cause further differences between us. Therefore, we charge you, with all our earnestness, that ceasing all feigned reasons and excuses, you return to us immediately and in all haste. As to

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