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A.D. 1399. Dover, where they remained till they and their horses were refreshed, and then rode on to Canterbury. And wherever they stopped their charges were paid on behalf of the King of England, whom they found at Eltham and his council with him, and the king gave them a very good welcome for love of the King of France, to whom he felt himself greatly beholden. Sir Charles de Labrech informed King Henry why they had come there, to whom the king made answer, "Do "you g° on to London, and I shall be there within "four days, and I will hold a council there, and you "shall have a reply to what you ask." This answer sufficed them, and they dined that day with the king, and then mounted their horses and rode on to London, the king's knight being always in their company, who entertained them liberally and never left them, but was always with them.
The king came to London, as he had promised, and took up his abode at the palace of Westminster, of whose arrival the French knights were notified; so they made preparations to attend when they should be sent for, and when they came, the king's council was quite prepared with the reply that was to' be made to their demand; they said that they were sent thither by the King of France, and the queen his consort, to see and visit the young Queen of England their daughter, when it was told them, "My lords, we "do not wish to prevent you from seeing her, but "before you do, you must swear and promise us in "sufficient manner, that you will not speak yourselves, "nor let any of your people speak to her, of any"thing that has happened in England, or of Richard of "Bordeaux, or on other matters; and if you do, you "will bring on yourselves the great anger of the "country, and place yourselves in great peril of your "lives." The two French knights replied, that they would in no way break the order that was made, and that, as soon as they had seen and spoken with her, A.D. 1399. they would be satisfied and turn back.
After this they had not long to wait before the Earl of Northumberland brought them to Havering-atteBower,1 to the young Queen of England, who was then there, about whom were the Duchess of Ireland, daughter of the Lord de Coucy, the Duchess of Gloucester and her daughters, who were in attendance on her, with other ladies and young ladies of Essex. The Earl of Northumberland brought the lords of Hangiers and Labrech to the young Queen of England at her said place of residence, who received them graciously and sweetly, and asked nbout her lord her father and her lady mother, how they were. The knights answered that they were very well, and they discoursed together very leisurely, but they kept well to what they had promised, for they never opened their lips to speak of King Richard, and when they had done what they came there for, they took leave of the queen and returned to London, but did not remain there longer than to arrange their affairs, their expenses being, as has been said, defrayed throughout, and they departed from London and came to Eltham, where they dined with the king, who caused fine jewels to be given them, and then they took leave quite amicably. And the king said to them at their departure, " Boldly "tell all those who sent you here that the Queen "of England shall suffer no ill or inconvenience, "but shall always have a large and well ordered "estate as befits her, and be in enjoyment of all "her rights, for she ought neither to know nor to "feel the changes that have taken place."
With these words from the king's mouth, the knights were greatly satisfied, and they took their departure at once and came that day to Dartford, on the morrow
i The reading in A. (Hauringes le Louvre) is clearly a mispronunciation.
A.D. 1399. t0 Ospringe, and the next day to Saint Thomas of Canterbury, and thence to Dover, but wherever they came or stopped, they found all paid. At Dover the French knights took leave of the officers of King Henry, embarked and sailed to Boulogne, and hurried* on till they came to Paris, where they found the King and Queen of France, to whom they related all that you have heard, and what they had accomplished. And these things remained in this condition concerning the affairs of England of which we will now speak a little.
How some English lords raised an army for the destruction of King Henry, and the deliverance of King Richard. Chapter. VI.
Many were the arguments and contentions in England by the nobles and councils of the cities and large towns to the end that Richard of Bordeaux might be put to death,1 because none thought more about him, for he had well deserved it, as they said among themselves. To all these points and questions, King Henry, who had compassion on him, made answer, saying that he would never consent to his death, and that his being in prison was punishment enough, pointing out that he had given such assurance, and that he would keep strictly to his promise. But those who wished to injure him, said to the king, "Sire, we see well "that speaking and touching on this point moves "you to pity, but you are making a very perilous "charge for yourself, for as long as he is alive, "although he has very quietly resigned the Crown of "England to you, and all have received you as king,
i Might be put to dentil in printed texts nnd in S., not in A.
"and have taken the oath and done homage, it is impos- A.D. 1399. "sible but that there should be some in this country "who love and have loved him. who will soon rise "up against you if they see any chance of his de"liverance, and the King of Franco also, whose "daughter ho has married, is very wroth at what has "happened to him, and would willingly provide assis"bance if he could find some good means, and his "power is great with the alliances which he might "have in England." To this King Henry answered, and said, "Until I see the contrary, and the "King of France or any other wishing to take pail "against me in his behalf, I shall not move from "my purpose, but keep my promise to him." Thus, as you have heard, did the king reply to those who pressed him to put King Richard to death, but it was not long before he found himself deceived, as I shall truthfully relate. You have read heretofore how the good Bishop of Carlisle and other prelates were given in charge to be kept in prison to the Abbot of Westminster, who promised to keep good watch over them, and to surrender them to the king, when it should be his good pleasure to have them again. It happened that one day the king dined and kept great state at Saint John's in London, and it was the eighth day after Christmas in the year 1399, on which day many great lords of England assembled, who came to dine with the Abbot of Westminster privately in his chamber, and there after dinner they had several secret discourses as to finding means of delivering King Richard from prison, and replacing him with the queen his wife in their regal state, of which lords the chief was Sir John Holland, Duke of Exeter and Earl of Huntingdon, brother of the noble King Richard, secondly, the Duke of Surrey, Earl of Kent, thirdly, the Duke of Albemarle, Earl of Rutland, and with them were the Earl Despencer, the
A.D. 1399. Earl of Salisbury, and the son of the Archbishop of Canterbury named Walden.1 There also were the Abbot of Westminster and the good Bishop2 of Carlisle, and a scholar named Magdelain, who had been chaplain to King Richard, whom he resembled as much as anybody could resemble another in every feature, as well as in his speech, and there was also a very noble English baron named Sir Thomas Blount. They together had a secretary, to whom they gave directions and whom they caused to put in writing all that they had proposed to do, and then the letter being written it was read before them all; and they promised and swore altogether on the body of our Lord, which was there in the ciborium, to be good and loyal one to another and not to betray their secret nor to fail one another neither for fear of death or torture until they had placed King Richard again in his regal majestjr, and destroyed King Henry and his children ; and they sealed the letters of these covenants with their seals, and there was none of them who had not one [of these letters] in order to be the more sure of one another. Then for the manner in which they might achieve their enterprise, they agreed that, to bring it to a successful end, they should cause to be proclaimed a joust of twenty knights to await all comers; and the festivity was to be held at Oxford,8 to which they should invite King Henry and kill him sitting at table, for they would be so provided with men of their party that they could very well do this; and they further resolved that they would cause Magdelain, who so much resembled King Richard in all his features, to be dressed up and habited in royal habit, and then they were to give out to the people that good King Richard was liberated and replaced in his estate,