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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 289

gained him a party, by spreading the rumours that Gloucester had been murdered by the connivance of the Queen and Suffolk—that the house of Lancaster had usurped the throne—that the King was too imbecile to reign—and that Suffolk had negociated Margaret's marriage, at the price of a truce destructive to the power of England over France. York had been appointed Regent of France for five years, but these seditious doings of his friends gave such umbrage to the Queen and Suffolk, that they prevailed on the King to remove him from the regency before it had expired, and confer it on the Duke of Somerset, an ambitious noble, who sought to succeed to the influence of his departed relations, Gloucester and Cardinal Beaufort. TheL cession jof JMhine in .1448, was followed, as the nation had prophesied, by the. invasion of Normandy by Charles the Seventh. From causes, which it belongs to history to explain, the_arms of France triumphed ; and within one year and six days, that extensive dukedom, with its seven bishoprics and one hundred fortresses, was again annexed to the crown of France. ..Charles next invaded Guienne with equal success; not a fortress was prepared to resist his army, every town and castle submitted, and in August, 1451, the English were deprived of all they had ever possessed in France, except Calais. The loss of France greatly exasperated the nation.. "Whilst the emissaries of York fanned the flames of discontent by attributing that loss to the dominating influence, of the Queen, they declared that the King was fitter for a cloister than a throne, and had, in fact, dethroned hinisclf, by loaving the affairs of his kingdom in the hands of a French woman, who merely used his name to conceal her usurpation, since, according to the laws of England, a queen-consort had no power to meddle with the affairs of the state. Meanwhile, York, who had been made Governor of Ireland, viewed Somerset as his mortal foe, and increased his own political influence by winning the affections of the Irish. The whole kingdom was in a state of alarming excitment. The Bishop of Chinchester, because, as ambassador from the court of England, he had delivered Maine to the French King, was set upon and murdered by the enraged populace at Portsmouth, in January, 14ÒQ, when a report was spread, that with his dying breath he pronounced Suffolk a traitor, who had sold Maine to the enemy, and whose influence was as great in the court of France as of England. In an elaborate speech Suffolk noticed this report in parliament. The Lords pronounced him innocent. But a few days afterwards, the Commons, in a series of articles, some ridiculously absurd, accused him of treason ; and so great was the clamour from without, that he was arrested and confined in the Tower. Neither the King nor the Lords could be convinced of his guilt ; and at length, to satisfy the vengeance of the Commons, the King ordered him to be banished for five years. Henry and Margaret parted from him with great, affection. Un quitting the Tower, the rabble of London rose in riot, and endeavoured to take his life. With difficulty he reached Ipswich, where, after arranging his affairs, writing an eloquent letter to his son, and solemnly swearing buforo the knights and esquires of the county that he was innocent of the crimes laid to his charge, he embarked for France on the thirtieth of April, in two small vessels, and sent a pinnace before him, to inquire whether he might be permitted to land in the harbour of Calais. But the pinnace was captured by a squadron of men-of-war, and immediately the Nicholas of tho Tower, a large ship, manned with one hundred and eighty men, bore down on the Duke's vessels. He was ordered on board, and received on deck by the captain with the ominous salutation of " W cleome, traitor!" His seizure was, doubtless, a concerted plan, as he was kept a prisoner in the Nicholas two nights, accompanied by his confessor, whilst a messenger, probably to announce his capture and receive instructions, was sent on shore, and he himself underwent a mock trial before the sailors, by whom he was condemned to suffer death. On the second morning,

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