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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 219

thanks to the Almighty at the church of Ardenburgh, hastened to Ghent, and embraced his Queen, who, whilst he was winning- the victory of Sluys, had given birth to John of Gaunt, afterwards the renowned Duke of Lancaster. As Philippa had been placed in some peril by an attack made oy the French King during the absence of her lord, and as the war threatened to be sharp and protracted, Edward deemed itprudcnt to send to London the Princesses Isabella and Joanna, both of whom reached England in safety on the fifth of August, and took up their abode in the Tower. After in vain challenging Philip to decide their quarrel by single combat, Edwardfiercely besieged Tournay. The garrison bravely sustained the assault, but provisions became scarce, and although every needless mouth was turned out of the city, at the expiration of nine weeks the horrors of famine were so severely felt, that it was confidently expected that the place must fall, if not immediately relieved by a battle. At this crisis, Philippa's mother, Jane de Valois, hastened from the convent in which she had retired on the death of her husband, the Earl of Hainault, and by earnest entreaties induced Edward to consent to a short truce. The English King retired from the walls of Tournay in gloomy discontent. He had exhausted all his money, pawned or sold all his own and his consort's jewels and valuables, and to quiet the clamours of his creditors, borrowed largely of usurers at exorbitant interest. By urgent messages he demanded money from England, but as his ministers could not collect enough to satisfy his wants, he left the Earl of Derby and other nobles as security with his creditors, and embarking in stormy weather from a port in Zealand, returned with Philippa and her two infant Princes to England, stole unperceived up the Thames, and about midnight, on the second of December, 1340, with lighted torches landed and entered the Tower, where none knew of his coming. To his surprise, Edward found the royal fortress in a defenceless and almost deserted state. The constable, Nicolas de Bêche, had gone on a visit to his lady love, and in his absence, the men-at-arms, the archers, and others, had followed hia excellent example, and left the royal children with only three attendants. " When Edward asked for Sir Nicolas," saith Walsingham, " the sub-constable fell on his knees, and answered, ' Sire, he is out of town.' At which the King was very angry, so he commanded the servants at once to open the doors throughout, that he might see all the things that were within the Tower." Fortunately for Sir Nicolas and his neglectful subordinates, the gentle Philippa interceded in their behalf so effectually, that although the King had vowed to make an example of them, they were all pardoned. In January, 1341, the Queen took up her residence at Langley, where in the following June she gave birth to Prince Edmund, afterwards Duke of Clarence and of York. It was about this period that Edward, whilst on an excursion against the Scots, became enamoured of the exquisitely beautiful Countess of Salisbury. The fair Countess, whose husband, having been captured by the French, was at the time a prisoner in the gloomy towers of the Chatelet, resided in Wark Castle, and as her garrison had made a successful attack on some of King David's invading troops, he resolved to be revenged by taking the castle. The garrison, however, bravely defended themselves, till King Edward—then at Berwick—hastened to their relief, and compelled the Scots to raise the siege. Immediately the Scots had retired, the Countess, apparelled in costly attire, welcomed King Edward within the castle walls, thanked him for the effectual aid he had afforded her, and entertained him and his attendant nobles at a sumptuous banquet. But the King ate but little, and taking the first opportunity, drew the Countess aside, and told her that his heart was so deeply impressed with her beauty and grace, that his happiness solely depended on her reciprocating his passion. The Countess being a virtuous and sensible lady, answered, " My lord, I cannot believe you in earnest in what you say, nor can I think of doing such

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