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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 358

efncacye and strength©} as ehulde sone remove all objections and cavyllations." Having paid tbe proper tribute to decorum, the punctilious legate, in conjunction with Wolscy, entered upon an elaborate investigation of the evidence both for and against the divorce ; hut his diligence was checked by the rumour of the Tope's death. This intelligence revived the hopes of AVolsey, who in an ecstacy of enthusiasm sent to Gardiner, to secure his election to the papacy; and as both Henry and the King of i'rance had cogent motives for seconding his pretensions, letters were written, messengers dispatched, largesses promised and anticipated ; when, lo! the Pope recovered, and Wolsey saw his sun of glory sink for ever. On the eighth of November, the King called a great meeting of his judges, councillors, nobles, and others, in the great chamber of his palace at Bridewell, "and addressed them," says Hall, " in as near as I could carry away, the following words : ' Our trusty and well-beloved subjects, it is known to you that WO have reigned over this realm about twenty years, during which time we have so ordered us, thank God, that no outward enemy hath oppressed you, nor taken any thing from us ; nor nave we invaded any realm, without obtaining victory and honour; so that we think neither you, nor your predecessors, ever lived more quietly, more wealthily, nor in more estimation, under any of our noble progenitors. But when we remember our morality, and that we must die, then we think that all our doings are clearly defaced, and worthy of no memory, if we leave you in trouble at the time of our death. For if our true heir be not known at the time of our death, see what trouble shall succeed to you and your children. The experience thereof some of you have seen, after the death of our noble grandfather, Edward the Fourth; and you all have doubtless heard what manslaughter continued in this realm between the1 houses of York and Lancaster, by the which dissent this realm was like to have been clean destroyed. And although it hath pleased God to send us a fair daughter, to the great comfort of us and our beloved consort, Katherine ; yet it hath been told to us by divers great clerks, that neither ehe is our lawful daughter, nor her mother our lawful wife * * * but that we have been living with our consort in open adultery. The last ambassadors from France declared to this effect ; and said, before marrying our daughter to the Duke of Orleans, it were well done to know whether she was the King of England's lawful daughter or not, as her mother was his brother's wife, which is directly against God's law, and abominable in the eyes of man. Think you, my lords, that these words touch not my body and soul ? think you that these doings do not daily and hourly trouble my conscience ? Yes, we doubt not but if it were your own case, every man would Bcek remedy, when the peril of your soul and the loss of your inheritance are laid open to you. 1 protest before God, and on the word of a prince, that for this cause only, have I asked council of the greatest clerks in Christendom, and invited over the legate from Rome, as a man indifferent only to know the truth, and who will do nothing but what is upright in the sight of God. As touching the Queen, it it be adjudged by the law of God that she is my lawful wife, there was never anything more acceptable to me in my life, both for the discharge of my conscience, and also for her sake ; for I assure you all, that apart from her noble parentage, she is a woman of great virtue, gentleness, and humility. Of all good qualities appertaining to nobility, she is without comparison; and if I were to marry again, presuming the marriage to be good, I would chdose her before all other women ; but if it be determined by judgment that our marriage was against God's judgment, and clearly void, then shall I not only sorrow the departing from so good a lady and loving companion, but much more lament and bewail that I have so long lived in adultery, to God's great displeasure, and have no true heir to inherit this realm. These be the sores that pain my mind; these be the pangs that trouble my conscience; and for these griefs I seek a

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