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Henry of Monmouth, Volume 1 by James Endell Tyler

Reached the two friends whilst prisoners in Trym Castle


after this interview the unfortunate Richard set off from Dublin to return to his kingdom, which was now passing rapidly into other hands: but his two youthful captives, Henry of Monmouth, and Humfrey, son of the late Duke of Gloucester, he caused to be shut up in the safe keeping of the castle of Trym.[50] From that day, which must have been somewhere about the 20th of August, till the following (p. 047) October,[51] when he was created Prince of Wales in a full assembly of the nobles and commons of England, we have no direct mention made of Henry of Monmouth. That much of the intervening time was a season of doubt and anxiety and distress to him, we have every reason to believe. Though he had been previously detained as a hostage, yet he had been treated with great kindness; and Richard, probably inspiring him with feelings of confidence and attachment towards himself, had led him to forget his father's enemy and oppressor in his own personal benefactor and friend. Richard had now left him and his cousin (a youth doubly related to him) as prisoners in a solitary castle far from their friends, and in the custody of men at whose hands they could not anticipate what treatment they might receive. How long they remained in this state of close and, as they might well deem it, perilous confinement, we do not learn. Probably the Duke of Lancaster, on hearing of Richard's departure from Dublin, sent off immediately to release the two captive youths; or at the latest, as soon as
he had the unhappy king within his power. On the one hand it may be (p. 048) argued that had Henry of Monmouth joined his father before the cavalcade reached London, so remarkable a circumstance would have been noticed by the French author, who accompanied them the whole way. On the other hand we learn from the Pell Rolls that a ship was sent from Chester to conduct him to London, though the payment of a debt does not fix the date at which it was incurred.[52] We may be assured no time was lost by the Duke, by those whom he employed, or by his son; at all events that Henry was restored to his father at Chester (a circumstance which would be implied had Richard there been consigned to the custody of young Humphrey), is not at all in evidence. The far more reasonable inference from what is recorded is, that Humphrey, his young fellow-prisoner and companion, and near relative and friend, was snatched from him by sudden death at the very time when Providence seemed to have opened to him a joyous return to liberty and to his widowed mother. There is no reason to doubt that the news of Richard's captivity, and the Duke of Lancaster's success, reached the two friends whilst prisoners in Trym Castle; nor that they were both released, and embarked together for England. Where they were when (p. 049) the hand of death separated them is not certainly known. The general tradition is, that poor Humphrey had no sooner left the Irish coast than he was seized by a fever, or by the plague, which carried him off before the ship could reach England. But whether he landed or not, whether he had joined the Duke or not before the fatal malady attacked him, there is no doubt that his death followed hard upon his release. His mother, the widowed duchess of his murdered father, who had moreover never been allowed the solace of her child's company, now bereft of husband and son, could bear up against her affliction no longer. On hearing of her desolate state, excessive grief overwhelmed her; and she fell sick and died.[53]

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