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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ. Queens of England. Vol.1.


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Queens of England. Vol.1.
page 101

her betrothed, to be educated. Eut her Îarcnts sent for her to do homage to dm as heiress of Angouleme. On the messenger reaching the castle, Hugh de Lusiguan was absent ; his brother, however, suspecting no treachery, delivered her up; and when King John, at his recognition in Angoulême, as sovereign of Aquitaine, first beheld her, although he had seen thirty-two summers, and she scarcefifteen, her budding charms so filled his heart, that he peremptorily demanded her hand in marriage. Her scheming parents listened with delight to the suit of her royal wooer, and although she herself secretly preferred Count Hugh, they made excuses for detaining her from her betrothed, aud so fanned the flame of John's passion, that he completely overlooked the Princess of Portugal, and married her at Bordeaux, in August, 1200, the nuptials being solemnized by the Archbishop of Bordeaux, who, by authority of a previously held synod, had declared tho marriage legal. Hugh de Lusignan. no sooner heard of these doings, than he boldly pronounced against the decision of the synod, and after vainly endeavouring to gain possession of his betrothed, laid his wrongs at the feet of the Pope. However, as Isabella, prompted by her parents, and dazzled by the glitter of the triple crowns of England, Normandy, and Aquitaine, would not allow that, either by consent or vow on her part, she had been betrothed to her Provençal lover, and withal as he himself could adduce no positive proof that she had made such vow, the Pope's intercession was futile. And even had it been otherwise, Isabella, by living with Count Hugh, would have sacrificed her patrimony to her lord paramount, King John, as by the feudal law any heiress marrying without the consent of her suzerain, forfeited her lands. Being forced to bow to stern and withal unjust necessity, Count Hugh became enraged- and sought revenge by challenging the English King to mortal combat. John received the cartel with the coolness of a stoic, and instead of either making reparation, or himself facing the cruelly-used Count, he sent, as his deputy, ono of those skilled desperate bravos, which he constantly kept about him, to act as his champion in case of appeal to duel. But Hugh, disdaining to fight the low-bred champion, told him to get him gone, and say to hia cowardly master, that the injured lover of Isabella was too true a knight to put lance in rest, or draw his sword with the hired mercenaries of his rankly, ruthless rival. After a short stay in Normandy, John and his girlish bride sailed to England, where Isabella having been acknowledged Queen-consort by what the chroniclers name " a common council of the nation," she, for the first time, and John, for the second, were solemnly crowned, by Hubert, Archbishop of Canterbury, at Westminster Abbey, on the eighth of October. By a charter still extant, it being the earliest document of the kind yet discovered, Isabella is declared to have been crowned Queen of England by the willing assent of the barons, clergy, and people of the whole realm; and as Queen of England, not, be it observed, simply as the wife of the King, is assigned to her for her right royal dower, the whole county of Rutland, the cities of Exeter, Wilton, Waltham, Wiltershawe, Chinçhester, Ilchester, Bclesdun, Malmsbury, the honors of Rochester, Bcrkhampstcad, Qucenhithe Wharf in London, and the continental towns of Calais, Bonville, and .Damfront, besides all other lands, cities, and incomes that were appointed to Eleanora of Aquitaine. In addition to her splendid dower, Isabella derived a considerable income, denominated " Queen's Gold," from various fines, grants, licences, &c. This tax of " Queen's Gold" consisted, for the most part, of a per centage of a tenth, and it appears to have existed long before the time of Isabella ; indeed, according to Prynne, it was most probably a Norman custom, introduced by the Conqueror, or his immediate successor. For several months after their coronation, King John and his bewitching eonsort resigned themselves to feasting and pleasure ; and it then being the good custom for all ranks to breakfast at five and dine at half-past ten in the morning, they greatly scandalized their court

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