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Henry of Monmouth, Volume 1 by James Endell Tyler

202 who was a great chieftain among them


"And, to inform you fully of all that has been done, I send you a person worthy of credit in this case, my faithful servant the bearer of this letter, who was present at the engagement, (p. 204) and did his duty very satisfactorily, as he does on all occasions. And such amends has God ordained you for the burning of four houses of your said town. And prisoners there were none taken excepting one,[202] who was a great chieftain among them, whom I would have sent to you, but he _cannot yet ride at his ease_.

"And touching the governance which I purpose to make after this, please your Highness to give sure credence to the bearer of this letter in whatever he shall lay before your Highness on my part. And I pray God that He will preserve you always in joy and honour, and grant me shortly to comfort you with other good news. Written at Hereford, the said Wednesday, at night. "Your very humble and obedient son, "To the King, my most redoubted HENRY. and sovereign lord and father."

[Footnote 201: All the writers who have copied this letter, from Rymer downwards, have fallen into a ludicrous mistake here. Reading an _n_ instead of a _v_ in the words _J'envoia_ (I sent), they have

translated the passage, "within your lordship of Monmouth and Jennoia." Sir Harris Nicolas first supplied the true reading. The mistake led persons well acquainted with Monmouthshire (among others, the Author of these Memoirs,) to make different inquiries as to the lordship of Jennoia: they will now no longer wonder at the unfruitful issue of their search.]

[Footnote 202: The author published under the name of Otterbourne says, that Owyn's son was made prisoner at Usk on the 25th of March, and one thousand five hundred of his men were taken or slain; and that, after the Feast of St. Dunstan, his chancellor was taken. There is reason to doubt whether that chronicler has not mistaken the place and time of the battle to which he refers; though it is not impossible that another battle (of which, however, we have no authentic record,) was fought at Usk a fortnight after the rebels were defeated at Grosmont: Grosmont is about twenty miles distant from Usk.]

The true reading of "I sent," instead of "Jennoia," at first might seem to imply that the Prince was not present in person at the (p. 205) battle of Grosmont: and there is no positive evidence in the letter to show that he was there. The testimony which he bears to the gallant conduct in that field of his faithful servant, whom he despatched with his letter, has been thought to sanction a belief, that Henry was an eyewitness of the engagement. But from this doubt the mind turns with full satisfaction to the religious sentiments which are interwoven throughout the epistle, and to Henry's considerate and humane treatment of his prisoner. He would, no doubt, have felt a satisfaction and pride in immediately placing a high chieftain of Wales in the hands of the King, on the very day of battle and victory; but he shrunk from gratifying his own wishes, when his pleasure involved the pain of a fellow-creature, though that person was his prisoner. Many an incident throughout his life tends to justify Shakspeare, when he makes Henry IV. speak of his son's philanthropy and tenderness of feeling:


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