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Henry of Monmouth, Volume 1 by James Endell Tyler

With regard to the valuable paraphernalia of Isabella


dated Worcester, 8th June 1401,

the King refers to two points of advice suggested by them. "Inasmuch as (p. 114) you have advised us," he says, "to write to our much beloved son, the Prince, and to others, who may have in their possession any jewels which ought to be delivered with our cousin the Queen, (Isabella,) know ye, that we will send to our said son, that, if he has any of such jewels, he will send them with all possible speed to you at our city of London, where, if God will, we intend to be in our own person before the Queen's departure; and we will cause to be delivered to her there the rest of the said jewels, which we and others our children have in our keeping." In answer to their advice that he would not go in person against the rebels, because they were not in sufficient strength, and of too little reputation to warrant that step, he said that he found they had risen in great numbers, and called for his personal exertions. He forwarded to them at the same time a copy of the letter which he had just received from Owyn himself. Not from this correspondence only, but from other undisputed documents, and from the loud complaints of French writers,[115] we are compelled to infer something extremely unsatisfactory in the conduct of Henry IV. with regard to the valuable paraphernalia of Isabella, the maiden-widow of Richard. To avoid restoring these treasures, which fell into his hands on the capture of that unfortunate monarch, Henry proposed, in (p. 115) November 1399, a marriage between one
of his sons and one of the daughters of the French monarch. In January 1400 a truce was signed between the two kingdoms, and the same negociators (the Bishop of Durham and the Earl of Worcester) were directed to treat with the French ambassadors on the terms of the restitution of Isabella; and so far did they immediately proceed, that horses were ordered for her journey to Dover. But legal doubts as to her dower (she not being twelve years of age) postponed her departure till the next year. She had arrived at Boulogne certainly on the 1st of August 1401; and was afterwards delivered up to her friends by the Earl of Worcester, with the solemn assurance of her spotless purity.

[Footnote 115: Many of our own historians have, either in ignorance or design, very much misled their readers on the subject.]

It is impossible to glance at this lady's brief and melancholy career without feelings of painful interest:--espoused when yet a child to the reigning monarch of England; whilst yet a child, crowned Queen of England; whilst yet a child, become a virgin-widow; when she was not yet seventeen years old, married again to Charles, Earl of Angouleme; and three years afterwards, before she reached the twentieth anniversary of her birthday, dying in childbed.[116]

[Footnote 116: It is not generally understood, (indeed, some of our historians have not only been ignorant of the fact, but have asserted the contrary,) that this princess was the elder sister of Katharine of Valois, married thirteen years after Isabella's death to Henry of Monmouth. Katharine was not born till after Isabella's restoration from England to her father's home. Isabella was born November 9, 1389; was solemnly married by the Archbishop of Canterbury to Richard II. in Calais, November 4, 1397 (not quite nine years old); was crowned at Westminster on the 8th of January following; was married to her second husband, 29th June 1406; and died at Blois, 13th September 1409.--Anselme, vol. i. p. 114.]


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