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even said that the young monarch himself caught the general infection, and proposed to arraign his uncle of treason before Sir Robert Tresilian, the Lord Chief Justice, a most unwarrantable stretch of power; in any case the Duke had a legal claim to be tried by his peers. To deny this, was, in fact, to violate a fundamental principle of the constitution, and as great a crime against the state as any that could have been committed by the subject. Nor was the Duke's mode of repelling this attack a jot more according to the spirit of the law. He betook himself to Pontefract Castle, where he stood upon his defence till his peace was mediated by the Princess of Wales, the king's mother.

It is not a little strange to see how prompt in those days the nobles were to set the royal authority at defiance, how little disgrace it implied, and how easily it obtained a pardon. Men seem to have unhesitatingly staked their heads upon a die, with a fair chance, if they lost, of not being called upon to pay the penalty. Not long after this event, we find Richard supplying his uncle with an immense army-a hundred and twenty thousand men to be employed in the conquest of Castille and Leon, of which Gaunt had long made himself the titular sovereign, and of which he now sought to obtain the actual possession. Landing at the Groyne, he marched to Compostella, where he was met by John, King of Portugal, and a marriage being concluded between the sovereign and the Lady Philippa, the Duke's eldest daughter, she was conducted with much pomp and ceremony to her new home in Portugal. Nor was the Duke less fortunate in his designs upon Castille and Arragon; for if he did not succeed in conquering the country, he spread alarm so far and wide, that the Spanish monarch was fain to conclude a treaty with him upon terms little short of what any conquest could have brought him. It was agreed that Henry, Prince of Asturyas, the son of King John, should marry Lady Katherine of Lancaster, the Duke's only child, by Constance of Castille; and that the Duke and his Duchess were each

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to have a yearly pension of ten thousand pounds, besides two hundred thousand nobles in hand; so that in unkinging himself he had placed upon the heads of his posterity not only the crowns of Castille and Arragon, but likewise that of Portugal, to say nothing of the pecuniary advantages he had managed to secure to himself. But ambition, like the thirst of gold, demands the more, the more it has received, and gains, instead of losing, appetite by feeding. Animated by his brilliant success in the matter of the Spanish and Portuguese alliances, he moved in Parliament “that his son, Henry of Bolingbroke, might be adjudged heir to the kingdom of England, as being the son of Blanche, daughter of Henry, Duke of Lancaster, grandson of Edmond, first Earl of Lancaster, who, he pretended, was elder brother to King Edward the First, but put by the crown by King Henry the Third, because of the deformity of a broken back, and therefore named Crouchback; which argument of his was contradicted by Roger Mortimer, Earl of March, who made it appear to the contrary, and alleged it belonged to him, as son of Philippa, only daughter and heir to Lionel, Duke of Clarence, second surviving son of King Edward the Third, who not allowing Henry's pretended succession from an eldest son of King Henry the Third, was to be preferred before the son of John, Duke of Lancaster, being younger than Lionel. This bold motion of the duke, how well it pleased King Richard, you may imagine, which, had it been true, did not only reflect upon the king, but fixed upon the three Edwards, his predecessors, the title of usurpers. It was this spark which his son, Henry of Bolingbroke, afterwards blew into a flame, which continued burning in the two royal families of Lancaster and York, till having well nigh consumed both, it became quenched with the effusion of much princely blood."

If the world had hitherto wondered at the ambitious flights of the Duke, it was now no less surprised to see him stoop his wing in a marriage (A.D. 1396) with Katherine Swynford, widow of

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Sir Otes Swynford, and daughter and coheir of Sir Payn Roet, a knight of Hainault, and Guienne king of arms. She had been the governess of his daughters, Philippa and Elizabeth, which led to her becoming his mistress; but now upon taking her for his third wife, he procured an act of Parliament to legitimatize the children he had by her previously, giving them the name of Beaufort, from his castle of Beaufort, in Anjou, the place of their nativity.

Nothing more remains to record of this once celebrated character, but that he died in 1399, at the Bishop of Ely's palace, Holborn, about the Feast of the Purification. He was buried in the cathedral church of St. Paul, London, beside his first wife, Blanch of Lancaster, on the north side of the high altar. His estates and honours descended to his son, Henry Bolingbroke, who was then in banishment.

Joan Plantagenet, Princess of Wales and

Countess of Kent.

OAN was the only daughter of Edmond Plantagenet, Earl of Kent, surnamed of Woodstock, sixth and youngest son of King Edward the First. Thus she was sister to Edmund, and heiress as well as sister to John, Earl of Kent, at the time of whose death, in the sixteenth year of Edward the Third's reign, she had attained to somewhat more than her twenty-fifth year. From her surpassing beauty she was honoured far and wide with the sobriquet of the "Fair Maid of Kent." To this name we may easily suppose she had a good title, for she may be said to have been married thrice; and each time to a husband more or less distinguished in the annals of the period. Her first marriage, or rather nuptial contract, was one in which her own will or choice had no share whatever. While yet a mere child, she had been affianced to Sir Thomas Holland, a knight of the Garter, and one amongst the first founders of that princely institution. During his absence from England, the Earl of Salisbury, or, as some have said, the Earl's wife, under whose charge she was

placed, caused a contract of marriage to be drawn up between Joan of Kent and the heir of the house of Montague. The motives for this nefarious act-for we cannot suppose either of them to have been ignorant of the previous contract-were, no doubt, ambition and cupidity; ambition, because whoever married her became connected with the royal family of England; cupidity, because of the great wealth she was likely to inherit, as from the feeble constitution of her brother, John, it seemed by no means improbable that all the wealth accumulated during the youth of two Earls of Kent would eventually descend to her. When, however, Joan became of marriageable age, Sir Thomas Holland stepped forward to show a prior contract; and upon a petition to Pope Clement the Sixth, alleging the same, his Holiness gave her to Sir Thomas, who in her right became Earl of Kent. He was afterwards created Lord Wake of Lydell, by Edward the Third, by whom he appears to have been held in much honour.

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The singular naïveté with which the "prelibatio matrimonii is pleaded by Sir Thomas, and the easy way in which he slips the lady's dubious state of familiarity with his opponent, give us strange notions of the moral code of the period. Nor is our surprise likely to diminish, when we consider that the fair one was the grandchild of a monarch, and that the husband, who had won her, was one amongst the founders of the honourable Order of the Garter.

By this second husband-for he may be fairly styled suchJoan had several children, amongst whom were Thomas, Earl of Kent, and John Holland, and both, as we find, to be honourably mentioned in her will. husband, died in 1357.

shall hereafter The Earl, her

The third lover, who had the good fortune to win this fair prize, was more illustrious than either of his predecessors, and more nearly allied to our historic sympathies. This was no other than the celebrated Black Prince, heir-apparent to the

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