Help us create a biggest collection of medieval chronicles and manuscripts on line.
#   A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z 
Medieval chronicles, historical sources, history of middle ages, texts and studies

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 

  Previousall pages


Queens of England. Vol.1.
page 109

to lose no time in bringing about the mateb, as not in all Christendom could so fair, so sweet, so well-gifted a young bride be found, as this beautcously beautiful Eleanora. With what joy this messenger of love was received by King Henry, may be imagined, when we remember how his previous endeavours to enter the holy pale of matrimony had all failed. In the courts of Brittany, Austria, and Bohemia, he had sued in vain for a bride. Nor were his efforts more successful when directed towards Scotland. The Scotch Princess, Margaret, on being told that he was lewd, squint-eyed, deceitful, weakminded, and more faint-hearted than a woman, rejected his suit, and married his justiciary, Hubert de Burgh; and when, after this, he, in 1231, resolving not to be out-Cœsared by his own chief minister, paid court to Margaret's younger sister, the English barons, drcacting an increase of the already kingly power of Hubert de Burgh, prevented the alliance from taking place ; which so dispirited him, that, believing himself doomed to a life of single blessedness, he made no further efforts in the matter tiU 1235, a period of four years, when he demanded for his Queen, Joanna, daughter of the Count of Ponthieu. His proposals were now favourably received both by the lady and her friends. The marriage contract was signed, and they being fourth cousins, ambassadors were dispatched for the Pope's dispensation. But, before tho ambassadors reached Rome, he sent secret orders to them, to return home with all haste and secrecy, as he had changed his mind. This change of purpose was occasioned by the letter from his brother Earl Richard, which painted the beauty and accomplishments of Eleanora in such brilliant colours, that he henceforth overlooked the claims of the disappointed Joanna, for the more captivating charms of the fair maid of Provence. Henry exerted his utmost energies in prosecuting this, his seventh purpose of marriage. After writing in June, 1235, to the Earl of Savoy, brother to Eleanora's mother, requesting his friendly assistance in bringing about the nuptials, and learning, through a secret messenger—Richard, prior of Hurle—tnat tho parents of his lady-love were favourable to the match, he made known to his nobles that he had broken his engagement with Joanna of Ponthieu; and they, says Hemmingford, most considerately advised him to marry the very lady he wished for, Eleanora of Provence. Indeed, the alliance presented prospects of political advantages, as her eldest sister, M'arguente of Provence, was married to the good St. Louis of France. As an embassy to the court of Count Raymond, King Henry, with great judgment, dispatched the Bishops of Ely and Hereford, the prior of Hurle, and the brother of Robert de Sandford, Master of the Knights Templars. When these sober-minded ecclesiastics reached Provence, the needy Count, desiring above all things that his daughter Eleanora should wear the crown matrimonial of England, received them with great honour and respect. But on opening the négociation, a rather formidable difficulty presented itself. The embassy had been instructed to demand twenty thousand marks as Eleanora's marriage portion. This sum it was beyond the power of Count Raymond to raise ; and being too proud to own his poverty, he, with the astuteness of a clever diplomatist, met the obstacle by objecting to the paltriness of the dower which Henry would be able to fix on Eleanora during the lifetime of his mother, Isabella. On this, Henry desired his procurators to reduce his demand to fifteen thousand marks, and if, continued the moneygrasping sceptre-bearer, this sum is unobtainable, get ten thousand, seven thousand, five thousand, or even three thousand marks. But the haughty Count expressed great indignation at this mode of proceeding, and declared that his daughter was not to be bargained for like a beast ; which so alarmed Henry, that, fearing to lose the lady, he wrote in haste to the ambassadors, teUing them if they could not obtain money, at any rate to procure the infanta, and conduct her to him in England without delay. Accordingly the marriage contract was signed, and the young, but portionless H 2

  Previous First Next  

"Medievalist" is an educational project designed as a digital collection of chronicles, documents and studies related to the middle age history. All materials from this site are permitted for non commersial use unless otherwise indicated. If you reduplicate documents from here you have to indicate "Medievalist" as a source and place link to us.