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CHRONICLES AND ANCIENT HISTORIES OF GREAT
BY JOHN DE WAVRIN.
Fourth Volume: Book Five.
[from The Coronation Of King Henry The Fourth.]
Here Beginneth The Fifth Book Of This Present Volume, Which Contains Thirteen Chapters, Of Which The First Speaks Of The Coronation Of Henry Of Lancaster, Which Was Done By The Consent Of The Commons Of England; And Of The Manner Of The Festivity. Chapter I.
In the year of the incarnation of our Lord fourteen A.D. 1399. hundred, less one , it happened in England, in September, on the last day of that month, on a Tuesday, that Henry of Lancaster held a Parliament at the Palace of Westminster, which is without London, and at the said Parliament were assembled all the prelates and clergy of the kingdom of England for the most part, and moreover there were all the dukes, earls, barons, and nobles of the said kingdom, and also the commons of every town, a fortieth of the people, more or less according as the towns were great or small. And there were all the said people assembled at Westminster on this aforesaid Tuesday, there being present the Duke of Lancaster and the prelates and nobles of the kingdom of England, which
1- duke made demand for the crown on three grounds, first, by conquest; secondly, for that he claimed to be heir; and thirdly, because Richard of Bordeaux had resigned the kingdom into his hands, of his pure and free will, in the presence of dukes, earls, prelates, and barons in the hall of the Great Court of London. These three grounds being shown, Duke Henry of Lancaster demanded in the hearing of the people of England, who, as has been said, were assembled there, that they should speak their will on this matter, and at once the people answered all with one voice, that it was indeed their wish that he should be their king, and that they did not wish to have any other king than him. And again, after this discourse, the duke inquired and demanded of the said people, if it was indeed their will, and they all answered with one voice: "Yes, yes." And there, in presence of them all, the said Duke Henry sat down on the royal seat, which seat was raised on high, in the midst of the hall, covered with cloth of gold and with a canopy above, so that all who were there could see him wrell; and, forthwith, all the people who were there stretched forth their hands towards him, promising fealty to him, and showing great joy; and then this Parliament was concluded, and the day of his coronation i was sworn to, appointed, and confirmed. This done, he set out from Westminster, and went to the Tower of London, with a great following, and that night all the esquires who were to be made knights on the morrow, to the number of forty-six, kept their vigil ; and each of the esquires had his chamber, and each his bath, where they bathed that night; and, on the morrow, the Duke of Lancaster at his mass knighted them, and gave them long green coats, with
i Was fixed l>y his command, Saint Edward's day, which was Monday the thirteenth day of Oc
narrow sleeves, furred with miniver, and great hoods A.D. 1399. likewise furred with miniver after the manner of prelates; and the said knights had on the left shoulder a double knot of white silk, with white hanging tassels. And the Duke of Lancaster departed on that Sunday, after dinner, from the Tower of London, to come to Westminster, and, being the chief of all, had, round his neck, the device of the King of France, and was accompanied by the prince his son, four or Ave dukes, six or seven earls, eighteen barons, and a sum total of from eight to nine hundred knights in his company; and, then, the king was dressed in a short jacket of cloth of gold, after the fashion of Germany, and he was mounted on a white courser, and had the blue garter on his left leg. In this state the said duke went all through the town of London, with a great number of lords, each one's man wearing his livery and device, and all the burgesses and Lombard merchants of London, and all the great trades, each trade adorned and decked with its device, and the burgesses, and Lombard merchants also, convoying the said duke to Westminster, to the number of six thousand horse; and, on this day, the streets where the duke passed were covered with many kinds of decoration, and, on that day, and the morrow, there were nine taps in the street of Cheap in London, running white and red wine by several conduits, also, on the following night, the Duke of Lancaster was bathed, and, on the morrow, as soon as he rose, he confessed and heard three masses, according to his habit. On that morning, all the prelates, who were there assembled, and a great number of clergy, went in procession from the church of Westminster, straight to the palace, to bring the said king to the church; and the king, following after, and all the lords with the said king, and all the dukes, earls, and barons, had long scarlet coats, and long mantles, furred with
A.d. 1399. miniver, and large hoods, also furred in like manner;
and all the dukes and earls had three hems of miniver on the left shoulder, a quarter [of a yard] long, or thereabouts, and the barons had only two, and all the other knights and esquires had coats of scarlet. Also on coming from the palace to the church there was over the duke's head a silken cloth of indigo blue, adorned with four silver sticks, and four golden sounding bells, and four burgesses of Dover carried the said canopy because it is their right; and he had, on either side, the sword of the church, and the sword of justice, and the Prince of Wales, his eldest son, carried the sword of justice, and the sword of the church was borne by Sir Henry de Percy, Earl of Northumberland and Constable of England, for the Earl of Rutland was deposed from this office, and the Earl of Westmoreland, Marshal of England, bore the sceptre. Then the duke, and the processions, and the lords, entered the said church at nine o'clock; and there was in the middle of the church a high scaffold all covered with red apparel, and in the middle there was a royal chair covered with cloth of gold; and, when the duke was come into the church, he ascended the scaffold and sat in the royal chair, and the duke was in royal state, excepting that he had no crown on his head nor cap; but presently from the scaffolding [the Archbishop of Canterbury showed1] the people how that God had given them a man to be their lord and king. And the archbishop asked the said people, if every one was willing that he should be consecrated, and crowned king, and they all answered with one voice, "Yes," stretching forth their hands towards him and promising him fealty and homage. After this had been asked, and answered, the duke descended from the scaffold and came to the altar to
i This suggestion is from the reading in printed text of Froissart and in S.
be consecrated. To consecrate King Henry, there were A.D. 1399. two archbishops and six bishops; and there before the altar he was stripped of the royal state, quite naked to the skin, and there was openly anointed and consecrated in six places, that is to say, on the head, the breast, the two shoulders, and the two hands; then a cap was put on his head, and, whilst the duke was being anointed and consecrated, the clergy chanted the litany, and the office which is said in blessing a font, and he was then dressed in church robes, as a deacon, and then they put on shoes of scarlet velvet, after the manner of a prelate, and afterwards he had spurs put on without points; and thereupon the swonl of justice was drawn from the scabbard and delivered to the king, and the king replaced it in the scabbard, and there in the presence of every one the Archbishop of Canterbury took down the said sword; and then the crown of Saint Edward was brought, and the said crown was formed in the shape of a cross, which was blessed, and then the said archbishop set it on the king's head. After mass was said and heard, the king left the church in the said state, and there outside the church were mounted on chargers the Constable of England, the Marshal, and the Lieutenant-Constable, who cleared the way before the king to come to the palace; and in the centre of this palace there was a fountain which gave out white and red wine by several jets; and then the king entered the hall and retired, and soon after he came into the hall to dine, and the first table was that of the king; the second, that of the five peers of England; the third, the table of the Londoners; the fourth, of the new knights; the fifth, of the knights and esquires of honour who chose to sit there; and the said king had at his side the Prince of Wales his son, who held the sword of justice, and below him the Marshal, who held the sceptre, and at the king's table there were