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CHAP. XVII.

HENRY OF LANCASTER, KING OF ENGLAND,

WHO HAD BEEN A VALIANT KNIGHT, DIES
IN THIS YEAR.-OF THE ALLIANCE BETWEEN

HIM AND THE FRENCH PRINCES.

Toward the end of this year, died, Henry of Lancaster, king of England. He had in his time been a valiant knight, eager and subtile against his enemies, as is recorded in history, which also has enregistered the strange and disgraceful manner of his obtaining the crown of England, by dethroning his cousin-german Richard, after he had reigned peacefully for twenty-two years. He was before his death sorely oppressed with leprosy, which pitifully put an end to him, and he was royally and honourably interred among his ancestors in Westminster Abbey.

This king left behind him four sons, namely, Henry prince of Wales, who succeeded to the throne, Thomas duke of Clarence, John duke of Bedford, and Humphry duke of Glocester,—and a daughter married to Philip Barbatus, duke of Bavaria *.

All the four sons were handsome, well made, and versed in the different sciences, and in process of time each had great commands, of which mention shall be hereafter made. But we must not omit reporting a conversation that passed between the king and his eldest son at his last moments. He was so sorely oppressed at the latter end of his sickness that those who attended him, not perceiving him breathe, concluded he was dead, and covered his face with a cloth. It was the custom in that country, whenever the king was ill, to place the royal crown on a cushion beside his bed, and for his successor to take it on his death, The prince of Wales, being informed by the attendants that his father was dead, had carried away the crown; but, shortly after, the king uttered a groan, and his face was uncovered,

* Monstrelet has forgotten Philippa of Lancaster, Henry's younger daughter, married to Eric king of Denmark, and died without issue. His elder daughter putliving the duke of Bavaria, and her second husband the king of Arragon, was married to the duke of Bar, but had po issue by any of themn.

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when, on looking for the crown, he asked what was become of it? His attendants replied, that *my lord the prince had taken it away.'. He bade them send for the prince; and on his entrance, the king asked him why he had carried away the crown? “My lord,' answered the prince, your attendants, here present, affirmed to me that you were dead; and as your crown and kingdom belong to me as your eldest son, after your decease, I had taken it away.'

The king gave a deep sigh, and said, « My fair son, what right have you to it! for you well know I had none.' My lord, replied the prince, as you have held it by

your sword, it is my intent to hold and defend it the same during my life. The king answered, · Well, act as you see best : I leave all things to God, and pray that he would have mercy on me! Shortly after, without uttering another word, he departed this life.

After the king's interment, the prince of Wales was most honourably crowned king, in the presence of the nobles and prelates of England, no one appearing to contest hiş

right of

had lately shown himself more attached to the party of Orleans.

Having formed the resolution of quitting Paris, sir Peter des Essars sent Thomelin de Brie with five other men at arms to gain possession of the bridge at Charenton, that his passage over it might be secured; but they were made prisoners by the inhabitants of Charenton, who had received information of their coming, and carried back to the tower of the Louvre, wherein they were confined. The provost, learning this, took another road, and escaped to Cherbourg, of which place he was the governor, and remained there for some time. Shortly afterward, Baudrin de la Heuse was appointed provost of Paris, for the king had now relapsed into his former disorder. The duke of Acquitaine, however, took the whole government of the kingdom into his own hands; and many of the king's ministers, particularly those in the treasury, were ordered to be put under arrest, until they should have rendered a faithful account of all their receipts.

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In these days, at a full council, of which the duke of Acquitaine was president, high words passed between the chancellor of France and the lord d'Ollehaing * chancellor of Acquitaine, insomuch that the latter told the chancellor his words were not gospel ; and the other madly replied, that he lied in his throat.Several other abusive expressions were used by him, and so often that the chancellor of France said, “You abuse me, who am chancellor of France, and have often done so: nevertheless, I have always borne it patiently, from respect to my lord of Acquitaine, who is now present, and shall even still suffer it.'

But the duke of Acquitaine, hearing these words, arose in a passion, and, taking his

* Sir John de Neele in the original, and so before. Was sir J. de Neele lord of Ollehaing? It appears so from

P. 156.

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