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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 252

by one Sir Piers Exton. This Piers, says onr author, suddenly entered the King's cell, with seven assassins, at the dinner-hour. Convinced of their object, Richard jumped on his feet, wrested a weapon (a brownbill) from one of their number, and, whilst manfully defending himself therewith, laid the four stoutest of them dead at his feet. At this moment Exton, in a fit of surprise, leaped upon a chair, seized the opportunity when the King, chasing the ruffians round the cell, came near him, and, with a well-aimed blow from bis poleaxe, brought him to the ground, and killed him on the spot. Thus died Richard the Second, a Prince possessed of worthy and enduring domestic affections, but whose love of extravagant display, thirst for revenge, and absurd notions of despotic rule and kingly infallibility, led to the forfeiture of that authority which he had vainly sought to exalt above the laws and the constitution of his country, and rendered him a deserved object of hatred to the people, on whose liberties he had so illadvisedly trampled. Much, however, as he was detested by the nation, compassion for his sufferings and hi3 horribly-mysterious death made more converts to his family and cause than his most meritorious actions during his life had gained him. His dead body, followedby eight mourners, was conveyed in a funeral-ear from Pontefract to London, where it lay two days in St. Paul's, exposed, with the face uncovered, to the gaze of the people, who, to the number of twenty thousand, hastened to obtain a last glimpse of the remains of the murdered King. After mass, on the second day, the royal corpse was removed to Westminster, a solemn service was performed, the procession moved on to Langley, and there it was buried in the church of the Friars Preachers, with but little pomp, on the fifteenth of March, the funeral rites being performed by the Rishop of Chester and the Abbots of Saint Alban's and Waltham. Langley, however, was not the final resting-place of the murdered Richard. In 1414, and by order of Henry the Fifth, the body was exhumed, and, with imposing obsequies, conveyed to Westminster Abbey, and interred in a royal tomb, built of stone and gilded brass, with an inscription in Latin, which has been thus translated, and which, certainly, is more flattering than appropriate ;— "Richard II., of noble mien, Lies underneath this stone; A King by name, a King ty right, A King by fortune vanquished quite. By Bollingbroke o'erthrown : A King most wise, most just, most true. In worldly prudence matched by few. The church he favoured reverently, Ilia Queens he loved both tenderly. Who would his royal state confound, He proudly cast upo:i the ground," Although Isabella's father was labouring under a severe fit of insanity, brought on by the news of the revolt in England, her cause was earnestly espoused by the court of France. On the first intimation of the deposition of Richard, four ambassadors were appointed to hasten to England, and treat for his restoration. Rut before they could depart, the people of France clamoured so loudly for war, that the project was abandoned, and preparations made for hostilities. To avert the threatened storm, King Henry endeavoured to procure a confirmation of the existing truce, and to cement the amity between the two nations, he proposed intermarriages between members of his own family and of the royal family of France. With this view, commissioners were appointed and authorized to treat with the King of France and his uncles for marriages to be entered into between the Prince of Wales, his brothers and sisters, and the children, male or female, of the French King, or of his uncles. The commissioners proceeded to Calais, but when they sent an envoy to Paris, soliciting a safe conduct for them, the French Court sent a prompt refusal, declaring that they knew no King of England but Richard the Second. Both nations now contemplated nothing less than a hot war; but, before the armies could be equipped, the King of France recovered his senses, and received intelligence which left no doubt on his mind that Richard was dead. Having no il

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