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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 241

and bright, and ner figure a model of grace and beauty. She had six brothers; three died young, and the others, Louis, John, and Charles, -were successively dauphins; and five sisters—Joanna, who died in her cradle, Mary, the Nun of Poissy, a second Joanna, married to John the Sixth, Duke of Brittany, Michelle, the first wife of Philip the Good of Burgundy, and Catherine, the fair Queen of Henry the Fifth. After the marriage of Richard and Isabella had been duly debated in council, an embassy, consisting of the Earl of Rutland, the Earl Marshal, the Archbishop of Dublin, the Bishop of Ely, Lewis Clifford, Henry Beaumont, and about five hundred attendants, proceeded to France, to treat with King Charles. On reaching Paris, they met with a cordial reception from the French monarch ; and when introduced to Isabella of Valois, they found, to their delight, that, although a child in years, she possessed the mind and accomplishments of an educated, intellectual lady. The first meeting of Isabella and the English nobles took place at the Hôtel do St. Pol, near the river Seine, where the young Princess and her parents then resided. On entering the presence chamber, the Earl Marshal went down on his knees, and, in respectful tones, said to Isabella : " Madam, by the blessing of God, you shall be our Queen." " Sir," answered the young Princess, with dignity, and without being prompted, "if God and my father so desire it, nothing will please me better, as I am told I shall then be one of the greatest ladies on the earth." Then taking the Earl Marshal by the hand, she bid him rise, and led him to her mother, who, in conjunction with the English ambassadors, was greatly pleased at the manner in which she had conducted herself. " The French King," says the chronicler, " had assembled all his council, to the intent to make the better answers to the ambassadors of England. He allowed these ambassadors two hundred crowns daily for their small expenses, and for their horses ; and the chief, as the Earl Marshal and the Earl of Rutland, were oftentimes with the King, and dined with him. After being eleven days at Paris, the English lords were told that the French approved of the match, but that it could not be dono shortly, because the lady, who was yet very young, was affianced to the Duke of Brittany's eldest son ; therefore, as that promise must be broken before they could proceed any further, the French King should send into England the next Lent to show how the matter went. The ambassadors being content with this answer, they took their leave, and departed from. Paris to Calais, and so to England, where King Richard was joyous of their coming, and pleased at the progress they had made. " Shortly afterwards, the English ambassadors being at Paris with the French King, their matters took such effect, that it was fully agreed that the King of England should have in marriage Isabella of Valois ; and, by virtue of procuration, the Earl Marshal affianced and espoused her in the name of King Richard the Second, and so from henceforth she was called Queen of England. " When the ambassadors returned, the King was right glad, and so were others ; but, withal, the Duke of Gloucester, uncle to the King, made no joy thereof, for he saw well that an alliance of peace would now be concluded between the two kings and their realms, which grieved him sore ; and of this matter he spoke so oftentimes to the Duke of York, his brother, who was a prince of weak intellect, that he drove him at length to be almost of his opinion." About this time the Duke of Lancaster dishonoured his royal name by marrying Catherine Swynford, a knight's widow, and governess to his two daughters by Blanch, his first wife. With Swynford he had cohabited about twenty years, during which she had borne him a daughter and three sons, renowned in English history as the Beauforts. The lords and the ladies of the royal blood took great umbrage at the marriage; but Richard, to gratify his uncle, openly approved of it, legitimated the children.

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