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cester and Mansel gained admittance into the castle of Edinburgh by assuming the dress of tenants of Baliol the governor, and, in this disguise, they were enabled to give secret access to their followers, by whom the garrison was surprised, and the rescued king and queen restored to each other.
Their cruel jailers, Baliol and Ross, were brought to King Henry at Alnwick to answer for their treasons; but on their throwing themselves at his feet and imploring for mercy, he forgave them; but as Baliol was his own subject he mulcted him in a heavy fine, which he reserved for his own private use.
He then sent for the young King and Queen of Scotland to join him at Alnwick, where the King of Scotland solemnly chose him to be his guardian, during the rest of his minority.
Queen Eleanor's illness continued to detain her at Wark Castle, even after her mind was relieved of the anxiety which had caused her sickness. Her indisposition and extreme desire of her daughter's company are certified in a letter of King Henry to his son-in-law, the King of Scotland, dated the 20th of September, 1255,1 in which Henry specifies " that the Queen of Scotland is to remain with the sick queen, her mother, his beloved consort, at Wark Castle, till the said queen is sufficiently recovered to be capable of travelling southward."
On Eleanor's convalescence, the King and Queen of Scotland accompanied her and King Henry to Woodstock, where she kept her court with more than ordinary splendour, to celebrate their deliverance from their ad versity. There were then three kings and three queens at Woodstock with their retinues.3 Richard, Earl of Cornwall, having obtained his election as successor to the emperor of Germany, had assumed the title of king of the Romans, while his consort Queen Eleanor's sister took also royal state and title.
After exhausting all the pleasures that the sylvan palace of Woodstock, its extensive chase and pleasance, could
afford, they proceeded to London, where, in the month of February, the three kings and queens made their public entry, wearing their crowns and royal robes.1
All this pomp and festivity was succeeded by a season of gloom and care. The departure of the king and queen of Scotland was followed by that of the new king and queen of the Romans, who went to be crowned at Aixla-Chapelle, carrying with them seven hundred thousand pounds in sterling money. A dreadful famine was added to the public embarrassment occasioned by the drain on the specie.
It was at this season of public misery that Eleanor, blinded by the selfish spirit of covetousness to the impolicy of her conduct, chose to renew her demands of queengold on the city of London. These the king enforced by writs of exchequer, himself sitting there in person,3 and compelled the reluctant sheriffs to distrain the citizens for the same.
This year the queen lost her little daughter, the Princess Katharine, whom she had borne to King Henry during his absence in the Gascon war. The king caused a most sumptuous monument to be erected for her in Westminster Abbey.
There is among the Tower records an order to his treasurer and chamberlains of the treasury, to deliver to Master Simon de Wills five marks and a half for his expenses in bringing from London a certain brass image to be set on the royal infant's tomb, and for paying to Simon de Gloucester, the king's goldsmith, for a silver image for the like purpose, the sum of seventy marks.
The ardent desire of the king and queen for the realization of their second son's title as king of Sicily rneeting with no encouragement, a little piece of stage effect was devised by the sovereign, by which he foolishly imagined' he should move his obdurate barons to grant the pecu- niary supplies for his darling project. Having caused the young prince to be attired in the graceful costume of a Sicilian king, he at the opening of the parliament presented him to the assembly with the following speech;
1 Matthew Paris.
2 Stow's London.
"Behold here, good people, my son Edmund, whom God of his gracious goodness hath called to the excellency of kingly dignity; now comely and well worthy he is of all your favour, and how cruel and tyrannical must they be, who at this pinch would deny him effectual and seasonable help, both with money and advice!"1
Of the latter, truth to tell, the barons were in no wise sparing, since they urged the king not to waste the blood and treasure of his suffering people on such a hopeless chimera; but Henry, who was as firm in folly as he was unstable in well-doing, pertinaciously returned to the charge, notwithstanding the strange insensibility manifested by the peers to the comeliness of the young prince and the picturesque beauty of his Sicilian dress, for which the royal sire, in the fond weakness of paternal vanity, had condescended to bespeak the admiration of the stern assembly. The aid was finally obtained through the interference of the pope's legate, but on condition that the sovereign should consider himself bound by the Oxford statutes. The object of those statutes was to reduce the power of the crown to a mere nominal authority.
With so high a hand did the barons proceed, that at this crisis, when William de Valence, the king's half-brother, sent word to Leicester " that he would not give up his castles which had been bestowed upon him by the king," the stern dictator replied, " Tell him, we will have his castles or his head."
One day, as the mortified sovereign was proceeding by water to the Tower, he was overtaken by a tremendous thunder-storm, and in great alarm bade the boatman push for the first stairs, forgetting in his fright that they belonged to Durham-house, where Leicester then dwelt. The earl, with unwelcome courtesy, came to receive his royal brother-in-law as he landed from the boat, telling him at the same time "not to be alarmed, as the storm was spent."
"I am beyond measure afraid of thunder and lightning, but by the head of God I fear thee more than all the thun
i M, Paris.
der in the world," replied Henry with as fierce a look as he could assume.1
To which Leicester mildly rejoined, "My lord, you are to blame to fear your only true and firm friend, whose sole desire it is to preserve England from ruin, and yourself from the destruction which your false councillors are preparing for you."
Henry, far from confiding in these professions, took the earliest opportunity of leaving the kingdom, to seek assistance from the foreign connexions of his queen. In his absence the King and Queen of Scots arrived at Windsor Castle on a visit to Queen Eleanor. A few days after Henry's return, John, Duke of Bretagne, came over to wed the Princess Beatrice. The Earl of Leicester allowed the king and queen ample supplies for the entertainment of these illustrious guests." ,
The court at Windsor had never been more numerously attended or more magnificently appointed than on this occasion; but there was a pervading gloom on the mind of the royal parents, which the presence of their eldest daughter and the marriage of their second failed to dissipate. The young Queen of Scotland passed the whole winter with her mother at Windsor Castle, where she lay in of a daughter.
The state of Henry's mind at the period preceding the barons' war may be gathered from his issuing directions to his painter, Master Williams, a monk of Westminster, to paint a picture for him of a king rescued by his dogs from an attack made upon him by his subjects. Philip Lovel, the king's treasurer, is ordered by this precept, which was issued on the fortieth year of Henry's reign, to disburse to the said Master Williams the full charges and expenses of executing this picture, which is ordered to be placed in the wardrobe of Westminster, where the king was accustomed to wash his head.
At this period, the king and queen chiefly confined themselves within one or other of the royal fortresses of Windsor or the Tower, both of which were strengthened and
i M. Paris,
a T. Wikes. Rapin..
prepared with additional defences to stand a siege. After Henry had violated the provisions of Oxford he took up his residence in the Tower of London, while Eleanor remained with a strong garrison to keep Windsor. The principal communication between these fortified palaces was by water ^
In 1261 djd the queen's sister, Sancha, Countess of Cornwall and queen of the Romans, for whom the king and queen made great lamentations, and gave her a magnificent funeral.
In that year the royal party gained such strength, that the Earl of Leicester found it most prudent to withdraw to the continent. Prince Edward returned to England, to guard the realm while King Henry went to Gascony, where his presence was required, and where he fell sick of a quartan ague, which detained him there during the autumn.
While Prince Edward was carryng on the war against the Welch, Leicester's cause became more formidable, and in 1262 that mighty agitator returned almost at the same time with the king, to whom he caused the barons to present an address, requiring him to confirm the Oxford statutes, adding a defiance to all who opposed them, the king, the queen, and their royal children excepted. This exception may be regarded, all things considered, as a very remarkable piece of civility on the part of the reforming barons of the 13th century. One of the most influential of these was Roger Bigod, Earl of Norfolk and Suffolk, to whom in angry parlance King Henry said, " What, sir^ Earl, are you so bold with me, whose vassal peer you are? Could I not issue my royal warrant for threshing out all your corn?"
"Ay," retorted the Earl, "and could I not in return send you the heads of the threshers ?"1
Bold men would they have been who had ventured to undertake that office. A striking instance of the disregard of all moral restraints among the high and mighty in that reign of misery, may be seen in the lawless robbery committed by the heir apparent of the realm on the
1 M. Paris,