Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 William the Atheling, Prince of...
 William of Normandy, surnamed...
 Eustace of Boulogne, son of King...
 Arthur of Britanny
 David Stuart, Duke of Rothsay
 Louis de Valois, Dauphin of...
 Edward of Lancaster, Prince of...
 Edward the Fifth and the Duke of...
 Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales
 Edward Plantagenet, Earl of...
 Gaston do Foix, Duke of Nemour...
 King Edward the Sixth
 Francis the Second, King of...
 Don Carlos, son of Philip the Second...
 Charles the Ninth, King of...
 Henry Stuart, Prince of Wales
 Henry of Oatlands, Duke of...
 William, Duke of Gloucester, son...
 Louis the Seventeenth
 Napoleon the Second
 Back Cover

Group Title: Boy princes : the story of their lives
Title: Boy princes
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00066171/00001
 Material Information
Title: Boy princes the story of their lives
Physical Description: 378 p., 8 leaves of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 18 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Edgar, John G ( John George ), 1834-1864
Harral, Horace ( Illustrator )
Gall & Inglis ( Publisher )
Publisher: Gall & Inglis
Place of Publication: London ;
Publication Date: [187-?]
Subject: Princes -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Princesses -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Kings and rulers -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Statesmen -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Juvenile literature -- France   ( lcsh )
Biographies -- 1875   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1875
Genre: Biographies   ( rbgenr )
collective biography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Scotland -- Edinburgh
Statement of Responsibility: by J.G. Edgar ; eight full page illustrations.
General Note: Frontispiece printed in colors; Illustrations engraved by H. Harral.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00066171
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002220392
notis - ALG0585
oclc - 71280287

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
        Page i
    Title Page
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
    List of Illustrations
        Page vi
    William the Atheling, Prince of England
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
    William of Normandy, surnamed Clito
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
    Eustace of Boulogne, son of King Stephen
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
    Arthur of Britanny
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
    David Stuart, Duke of Rothsay
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
    Louis de Valois, Dauphin of France
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
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        Page 84
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        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
    Edward of Lancaster, Prince of Wales
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
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        Page 111
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        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
    Edward the Fifth and the Duke of York
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
    Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
    Edward Plantagenet, Earl of Warwick
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
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        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
    Gaston do Foix, Duke of Nemours
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
    King Edward the Sixth
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
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        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
    Francis the Second, King of France
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
    Don Carlos, son of Philip the Second of Spain
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
    Charles the Ninth, King of France
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
    Henry Stuart, Prince of Wales
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
    Henry of Oatlands, Duke of Gloucester
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
    William, Duke of Gloucester, son of Queen Anne
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
        Page 315
        Page 316
    Louis the Seventeenth
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
        Page 320
        Page 321
        Page 322
        Page 323
        Page 324
        Page 325
        Page 326
        Page 327
        Page 328
        Page 329
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        Page 355
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        Page 357
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        Page 359
        Page 360
        Page 361
    Napoleon the Second
        Page 362
        Page 363
        Page 364
        Page 365
        Page 366
        Page 367
        Page 368
        Page 369
        Page 370
        Page 371
        Page 372
        Page 373
        Page 374
        Page 375
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    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text


W rT~ -, -r rl

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The Baldwin Library

m Urujrr~Jra

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" My Lord Archbishop," she said," here he is; if you must needs have
iim, take him; at your hands I will require him.--). 140.


Vty dlorn Of titlr Jitits.


8 full p~ae JEIluttations.




THE fate of those born to great inheritances, and cut off in
early youth, seldom fails to excite a deep and melancholy
interest. The memory of Princes, especially, who have been
snatched away ere attaining the honours and possessions that
awaited them, has in many cases been cherished with mingled
admiration and regret. Nor can we wonder at this being the
case, seeing that several of them have exhibited such mar-
vellous precocity as to justify the remark, that when an
existence is destined to be short, nature hastens to develop
it; just as some regions, with but two months of summer,
take advantage of the brief sunshine to cover themselves, as
if by enchantment, with flowers, and fruits, and harvest.
While many royal boys doomed to fill an untimely grave
have, by their remarkable promise, excited the highest hopes
of nations which they had the prospect of governing, some-
times the princes succeeding in their default have not been
characterized by wisdom or virtue. Under such circumstances,
imagination delights to invest with all noble and graceful
qualities those who have never been tried, and therefore not
found wanting; and besides, it frequently appears as if the
destiny of a great nation had been suspended on the fate of
a prince blossoming but to die. What colour and complexion
the Reformation in England might have taken, had Arthur
Tudor lived to reign instead of the eighth Henry-and how
it would have fared with our constitutional liberties had
Henry Stuart survived his father, and ascended the throne
instead of the first Charles-are questions which no man can
venture to solve. And yet few will refuse to acknowledge
an impression that, in both these instances, England sustained
a loss, the effects of which are experienced even by our own
generation. Such a feeling is natural, and uniformly have
mankind bewailed each youthful Marcellus.
Without deeming it necessary to expatiate on such questions
and sentiments, my object in the following pages has been to


produce a series of historical biographies adapted to the taste
of juvenile readers, and not unworthy of their perusal. With
this view I have written the lives of more than twenty
princes-from the grandsons of William the Conqueror to
the son of the first Napoleon-who all perished in the spring
of their existence; and convinced of the advantage of im-
planting in the heart of youth a love of historical knowledge,
and a proper admiration of the heroes who illustrated past
ages, and prepared order and freedom for our own, I have so
framed my sketches as to direct the attention of readers to
many of those great personages who, unlike the Boy-Princes,
lived long enough to influence the fortunes of Europe.
Another object I have kept in view. While tracing the
brief career of so many scions of royalty, and presenting what
is recorded of their character and actions, I have endeavoured
to connect each with the period at which he lived. To ac-
complish this, indeed, no ingenuity was required. The
career of each forms part of history. Arthur of Britanny
figured in that struggle for continental empire which the
earlier Plantagenets carried on against Philip Augustus;
Edward of Lancaster accompanied his mother, Margaret of
Anjou, through the sanguinary scenes of the War of the
Ioses ; Edward the Sixth reigned at the era of the Reforma-
tion in England ; the sons of Katherine de Medici were
sovereigns of France during the religious wars and the Mas-
sacre of St Bartholmew; the memory of Louis the Seven-
teenth, "a lily broken by the storm," is inseparably associated
with the French Revolution ; and the name of the second
Napoleon, who was born King of Rome and died an Austrian
Colonel, recalls the dissolution of that empire which existed
for a few years as a monument of his father's genius and
Having made these introductory remarks, I venture to ex-
press a hope that this book will be received with favour by
the boys of England, and that a perusal of it will, in some
degree at least, increase the interest of that portion of the
rising generation in the history of modern Europe.
J. G. E.






















... ... 14

... ... 32

... ... 46

... 61

... 73

... ... 99

... 133

... 147

... ... 158

... ... 174

... 184

... ... 210

... ... 220

... ... 241

... ... 256

... ... 289

... ... 312

... 317

... 362


FOREST ... .. .. ... ... ... 119

ST BARTHOLOMEW ... ...... ... ... 252




ONE day in August, 1100-when the Norman Con-
quest of England had been fully accomplished, and
when William, second son of the Conqueror, had for
twelve years domineered over a vanquished people a
gay troop of horsemen cantered down from the emi-
nence crowned with the castle of Malwood, and entered
the New Forest to enjoy the pleasures of the chase.
At the head of this hunting-party was a short, thick,
corpulent man, with red hair, a square forehead, and a
countenance indicating some degree of brute courage.
As he rode along, swearing and stammering in Norman
French, every peasant recognized the second of our
Norman kings and cursed him, in bitter derision, as the
Keeper of the Forests" and the Wild-beast Herd."
The hunters, as was the custom of the period, dis-


persed through the forest to pursue their sport; and
when evening came William Rufus was unattended
save by one of his favourites, Walter Tyrrel, a knight
ot France. As the sun was sinking m the west, and
the King and the Knight had concealed themselves in
a thicket to watch the game, a largo stag suddenly
bounded up between them. Rufus quickly took aim;
but his arrow falling harmless on the grass, he shouted
with a fearful oath, "Shoot, Walter, shoot!" The
knight, raising his cross-bow, obeyed, and his shaft,
glancing aside and leaving the stag unharmed, pierced
the left breast of his master. Instantly Rufus fell
senseless on the ground, and Tyrrel, in alarm, rushed
forward. Finding that life was extinct, he mounted his
horse, galloped to the sea-coast, and lost no time in
setting foot on the soil of France.
Among those who had attended William Rufus to
the New Forest was his younger brother, known in
history as Henry Beauclerc. This prince, who had
then seen thirty-two summers, was tall and stately,
with dark locks, a large, keen eye, and an aspect
decidedly pleasing. Beauclere was so reserved that
people fancied he had little wit; but, in truth, his mind
was filled with such projects of ambition as he dared
hardly have talked of even to the winds. Separated,
on this occasion, from the other hunters, and happen-
ing to break his cross-bow, he entered the hut of a
forester; and there an old weird-woman hailed him aw
kinc While he was exhibiting real or feigned surprise


at her words, the rumour of Rufus's death, spreading
through the forest, reached his ears.
Far from manifesting any excessive grief at the
fate which had befallen his rude brother, Beauclero,
perceiving that an opportunity such as he must often,
in poverty, have panted for, had arrived, sprang upon
his steed, spurred to Winchester, and demanded the
keys of the King's treasury. While those who had
charge of the royal money-chests were hesitating, the
treasurer of Rufus-one of the hunting-party-rode up
in breathless haste. You and I," said the Treasurer,
" ought to remember your elder brother, Robert Duke
of Normandy. He has received our oath of fealty;
and, though absent, he has the best right to the
Beauclerc being in no mood for argument like this,
high words passed; swords flashed; and there ensued
a fray in which he was victorious. He took possession
of the royal treasure, caused himself soon after to be
crowned at Westminster, and won the favour of the
natives by promising to share his throne with a
daughter of the Anglo-Saxon kings.
The heart of the destined bride was much more
English than her blood. A Scottish princess, reared
by a spinster aunt in the Abbey of Romsey, had im-
bibed, with the air she breathed, those ideas and pre-
judices cherished by the natives of the island. Her
blood, though not pure Anglo-Saxon, was royal
enough to -,ti-l. the most exacting genealogist.


Her father, Malcohn Canmore, was King of Scots;
her mother was a sister of Edgar Atheling, the heir of
the Anglo-Saxon kings, but set aside by the unscrupu-
lous family of Godwin; and her grandmother was the
daughter of a German Emperor, whom a son of Edmund
Ironside had wedded when an exile in Hungary. This
damsel, known by the name of Edith, was learned,
accomplished, and so captivating that several Normans
had sought her in marriage. Among her suitors it
appears that Beauclerc had, in the days of his adversity,
been the most successful; yet, when he proposed to
make her queen, the royal maiden was with difficulty
prevailed on to consent. Then a more serious obstacle
was presented. Many argued that Edith had been
reared in a convent, that she had worn the veil, and
that an earthly husband could not receive the hand of
one who had been dedicated to Heaven. The matter
must certainly have looked awkward. But a man of
Beauclerc's intellect, with the Confessor's crown on his
head and the Conqueror's sceptre in his hand, was not
likely to forego the fair prize on which he had set his
heart. A great assembly was convoked at Rochester,
and it soon appeared that Edith had never taken
monastic vows, though she had sometimes worn the
veil, by way of protection, in days when the Norman
adventurers, flushed with recent success, paid little
respect to female honour. The evidence proved satis.
factory, and a few days later the Anglo-Saxon princess,
on being united to the Norman king, abandoned her


name of Edith for that of Maude, as being more
agreeable to Norman ears.
At Winchester, which had been the capital of the
Anglo-Saxon Empire, and which in Beauclerc's reign
reached its highest point of splendour, Queen Maude,
in 1102, became mother of an heir to the crown. The
boy was baptized by the name of William, after his
grandsire, the conqueror of Hastings. But what was
doubtless much more pleasing to his mother, he was
surnamed "The Atheling," in allusion to his Anglo-
Saxon descent, and regarded with hopes, never to be
realized, by those who, for their conquerors, tilled the
ground, and hewed the wood, and drew the water.
The oppressed islanders naturally indulged in antici-
pation of a bright future; but as young Atheling
grew up such delusions were dissipated. The boy's
position was favourable to the development of any
good qualities which nature might have implanted in his
heart or mind. Beauclerc, who, like his grim sire, was
in the habit of saying that a king without learning re-
sembled a crowned ass, was not guilty of neglect in
educating his heir. Maude, who had ever been dis-
tinguished by Christian devotion, proved the most
tender and loving of mothers. But whatever William
Atheling profited by the intellectual superiority of
Beauclerc, it appears too clear that he had no sym-
pathies with the Anglo-Saxon Queen. He inherited
none of her piety; and ill did he repay her maternal
care. Among the Norman barons he constantly heard


the race from which his mother derived descent spoken
of with scorn; nay, more-the courtiers even affected
to regard the King's marriage as a mesalliance. In
Henry's presence, indeed, they preserved a decorous
silence on the subject; but, whenever his back was
turned, they amused themselves by nicknaming the
royal pair Leofric and Godiva.
William Atheling very soon gave indications of a
resolution to share the antipathies of the foreign
seigneurs among whom he had been educated. This
son of the Saxon Maude was also grandson of William
the Norman, and had about him a good deal of the
tanner of Falaise. He became rather more of a Nor-
man than the Normans themselves had been in their
most lawless days, and expressed himself in language
which Hugh le Loup or Ivo Taillebois would have been
almost ashamed to use. "When I come to reign over
the miserable English," he was heard openly to say,
"I will make them draw the plough like oxen." So
far as men could judge from appearances, there was
every probability of this precocious tyrant having an
opportunity of executing his threat; and the people,
forgetting in their despair that the Prince was young,
and might attain to wisdom with years, retaliated with
bitterness, and accused him of every evil propensity.
While such was the feeling of the English people
towards the prince whose mother had the blood of
Alfred in her veins, and while the States of Nor-
mandy were swearing fealty to William Atheling in his


fourteenth year, Beauclerc became nervously anxious to
have the boy recognized as heir to the crown of Eng-
land. With the idea of thus securing the succession,
he called together the chief men of the realm; and on
the 20th of March, 1116, they assembled at Salisbury.
The Prince having been invested with the symbols of
knighthood, the grand ceremony was enacted with the
wanted forms. The barons placed young Atheling's
hand in theirs, and did homage to him as the King's
heir; the Archbishop of Canterbury, with other pre-
lates and abbots, swore that if the Prince should
outlive his royal sire, they would, without fail, put
him in possession of the kingdom's crown; and the
heart of Arlette's grandson, doubtless, beat high at
this feudal spectacle, so grateful to his vanity as a
father, and to his pride as a king; for though gifted
with that quality called worldly wisdom, and wise in
his generation, he was in the habit of forgetting that
however man may propose, it is God who disposes.
While pursuing his ambitious career, Beauclerc, with
whom no tie was so binding that he would not break
it for his selfish purposes, invaded N.:m ...1 ,I;, forcibly
deprived his brother of the dukedom, and brought him
to England. About 1118, when Queen Maude died,
Duke Robert had for years been in the dungeons of
Cardiff Castle; but the unhappy captive had a son
alive and at large. On behalf of William Clito-for so
the son of Robert was named-confederacy after con-
federacy was formed on the Continent; and of these


the Count of Anjou was one of the most formidable
members. To allure Anjou to his side, and thus
break up the confederacy, was Beauclere's game. With
this idea, when war broke out in 1119, he took young
Atheling to the Continent, and proposed a union
between that Prince and the Count's second daughter,
a girl who had scarcely reached her twelfth year.
Anjou, albeit not without sparks of honour in his
breast, appears to have been far from proof against
temptation; and, being flesh and blood, the prospect of
a throne for one of his daughters was more than he
had strength of mind to resist. In any case he played,
the traitor; and the confederacy having been dissolved,
the King of France was under the necessity of ac-
knowledging the English Prince as Duke of Nor-
mandy, and receiving the royal youth's homage in that
Elate with triumph, and ambitious that a long line
of descendants should flourish as kings, Henry Beau-
clere celebrated the marriage of his heir; William
Atheling being then in his eighteenth, Matilda of
Anjou, the bride, in her twelfth, year. Lisieux was
the scene of this wedding. A splendid affair, of course,
it was; and the youthful pair remained on the Con-
tinent, passing twelve months merrily at feasts and
pageants. About the end of that time, Beauclerc,
impatient to visit in triumph the land of which he was
an unworthy native, gave the word of command for
a return to England


Barfleur was selected as the place of embarkation;
and on a December afternoon-it was a Friday-the
royal party were preparing to go on board, when a
seafaring man approached the King. 0 King,"
said he, presenting a golden mark, "my father, Ste-
phen, served your father all his life upon the sea; and
it was he who commanded the ship which carried thy
father to the conquest. I entreat you to grant me,
in fief, the same office. Here I have 'the White
Ship,' fitly provided with rowers."
Beauclere eyed Fitzstephen with favour, replied
that he had already chosen a vessel for himself, but
graciously intrusted the son of his hopes to the
seaman's care. He, however, took the youthful bride
under his own protection; and, little dreaming what
the night was to bring forth, sailed with his daughter-
in-law at sunset. When on the open sea the crew of
the King's ship heard a cry of distress; but not suspect-
ing the cause, sailed onward, and next morning reached
the English coast.
When Beauclere set sail, the Prince, his retinue,
and his brother and sister, who, though illegitimate,
rejoiced in sounding titles, went on board the White
Ship." It was a gay company that surrounded Eng-
land's heir, consisting of ladies in the pride of youth
and beauty, and lordlings of haughty air, gorged with
the wealth, and fattened on the spoils, of the banished
Anglo-Saxons. Little thought they that in the midst
of life they were so near death! But such was the case.


The sailors asked for wine. The Prince ordered them
three hogsheads; and the ship soon became the scene
of such riot and dissipation, that several striplings, after
surveying the deck with anxious glances, deemed it
prudent to go ashore. 1T...l1;, daunted by this cir-
cumstance, those who remained continued their merri-
ment with unabated ardour.
At length, when the evening had far advanced,
when the sailors were drunk, and the skipper flus-
tered, the anchor was hauled up. The mariners, ex-.
cited by the wine they had quaffed, vowed to overtake
the King's vessel. Fitzstephen held the helm; fifty
rowers put forth their utmost strength; the wind blew
gently; every sail was set; and beneath the pale light
of the moon "the White Ship" rode swiftly along the
coast. Suddenly a fearful shock filled every heart with
terror and apprehension, and a piercing cry was raised
by the passengers. The ship had struck violently on
one of a cluster of rocks known as the Ras de Catte.
One of her sides was driven in; the salt water was
pouring through the rent; and the hold was filling fast.
It was an awful moment; but the skipper's presence
of mind did not desert him. He lowered a boat; he
placed the young Atheling and several of his attendants
therein; and he told them to row for their lives. The
shore was so near that they could hardly have failed
to reach the land in safety; but, at that moment, an
agonising shriek reached their ears. Prince William
looked round. It was his half-sister Mary; and tho


boy declaring, with a generosity which had never
hitherto appeared to form part of his character, that he
would not leave her in such peril, his companions
put back; but ere the trembling girl could be rescued,
numbers, animated by the instinct of self-preservation,
sprang confusedly on board. The boat being upset,
was engulfed in the blue waters; and at the same
moment the White Ship" went down, and all on
board were at the mercy of the waves.
About three hundred human beings, eighteen of
whom were ladies allied to kings and princes, had that
evening sailed from Barfleur. Only a poor lad escaped
to carry the doleful tale to the haunts of living men.
A butcher of Rouen, Berauld by name, and a boy of
gentle birth, Gilbert de l'Aigle, clung desperately to
the mainmast as it floated heavily along. Fitzstephen,
the skipper, after sinking, rose to the surface, and
perceiving the survivors, breathlessly inquired, "The
King's son-what has become of him?" "He has not
appeared, nor have any of his company," was the
mournful reply. "Woe is me!" exclaimed Fitzstephen.
And he deliberately plunged beneath the waves.
The night was long, and the weather was cold, and
weary grew the two survivors. L'Aigle, the gentle
youth, lost his strength, yielded to the elements,
breathed a prayer, let go the mast, and sank into a
watery grave. But Berauld, the butcher, was more
hardy and tenacious. Clad in his jacket of sheepskin,
he energetically maintained his grasp till daybrQak,


when he was picked up by some fishermen, taken into
their boat, and thus saved from the fate which had
befallen so many of the rich and the noble.
Berauld related the details of the woeful catastrophe,
and the tidings speedily reached England. But no one
would take heart to tell the sad news to the King;
and Beauclerc cherished the hope that the son whom he
regarded with pride as the heir of his dominions, his
policy, and his renown, had put into some distant port
of England. For a time the courtiers allowed him to
remain in ignorance of his bereavement. When three
days had passed, however, they sent a page-a little
boy-who, falling on his knees, told, with sobs and
tears, that "the White Ship" had sunk, and that all
on board had perished in the deep. Beauclerc, who
loved his son perhaps more than all the world, swooned
in amaze, and sank on the floor. From that day, it is
said, no smile was seen to light up his countenance..
The whole affair must, indeed, have been melan-
choly to those who were capable of regarding the past
with sagacity, and contemplating the future with pre-
science. At Winchester, in that stately sepulchre
where her maternal ancestors and their Danish foes
reposed in peace together, the Good Queen Maude "
found a resting-place; and her memory was enshrined
in the heart of the nation over which her regal pro-
genitors had reigned. But far otherwise was it with
her graceless son.
While no grave among Anglo-Saxon kings and


heroes, martyrs and saints, received the body of
William Atheling, those who had shed tears of joy
at his birth disdained to bewail his untimely end.
Indeed, his epitaph was written with bitterness of soul
by the annalists of the race of which he had spoken
with scorn so unbecoming-that race which for six
centuries had given kings and nobles to Britain. The
Anglo-Saxons, not forgetful how this youth had, in the
days of his pride, threatened to yoke Englishmen to
the plough like oxen, pretended to recognize something
supernatural in a shipwreck when the weather was fine,
and the waters at rest, and did not hesitate to ascribe
the Prince's death to the vengeance of Heaven. "The
proud one said, I shall reign !'" exultingly exclaims a
contemporary; "but God said, 'It shall not be, im-
pious one! it shall not be.' And the brow of the
wicked, instead of wearing a diadem of gold, has been
dashed against the rocks of the sea."



AMONG the Norman warriors, who, with their swords,
won lordships in Southern Italy, few maintained greater
feudal state than the Count of Conversano. His castle,
situated among olive-groves near the Adriatic, was a
_,ai'i.'::iL. abode, and furnished with all the means
and appliances that rendered feudal life tolerable and
pleasant. Moreover, the Count was blessed with a
daughter named Sybil, who was regarded as the fairest
nymph in Christendom.
At this castle of Conversano, about the time when
William Rufus was killed in the New Forest, a wander-
ing knight arrived as a guest, and proved to be Robert
Curthose, Duke of Normandy. This prince, who was
the eldest son of William the Conqueror, having just
taken part in the siege of Jerusalem, and performed
prodigies of valour at its capture, was welcomed with
enthusiasm. Duke Robert was charmed with his host
the Count, and everything about him-with his min-
strels and jongleurs, his swift hounds, mettled hawks,
and high-spirited horses; and he was charmed above


all with the Count's daughter, Sybil. The crusading
hero was on the verge of fifty, and the Italian lady still
in -her teens; but his rank as a Duke and his fame as
a champion of the Cross were fascinations not to be
resisted; so Curthose led the fair Sybil to the altar,
and carried her in triumph to Rouen.
Proud of his bride, gratified with his reception in
Normandy, and utterly reckless as to time and money,
the Duke, instead of prosecuting his claims on the
crown which his younger brother had just seized, ex-
pended the whole of his wife's fortune in pageants and
festivals, and appeared most happy while showing her
in public, and marking the admiration she excited.
But Curthose's domestic felicity was of short dura-
tion. Sybil, in 1102, breathed her last, leaving an
infant son, born at Rouen, named William, surnamed
Clito, or the Royal Heir, destined to endure strange
vicissitudes, and doomed to be carried off by death at a
time when he seemed on the point of subduing fortune.
When Clito was still a babe in the cradle, his
father, allured by promises of support from the Nor-
man barons, invaded Et l.!.1 A sanguinary conflict
seemed inevitable; but the craft of Beauclere prevailed,
and, after the brothers had indulged in a fraternal
embrace, Curthose, ever ready to sacrifice the future to
the present, was bribed to return to his ducal court.
Easy and imprudent, Robert allowed his substance to
be devoured by crowds of minstrels, favourites, and
women much fairer than honest. !,t :t-, soon reached


a crisis, and everything went wrong in Normandy. The
Duke's poverty was such that he had frequently to lie
in bed all day for want of clothes befitting his rank;
and, with no one to hold the reins of government, the
country beca-ne the scene of such disorder, that the
chief men invited interference.
Henry Beauclerc was the last man from whom
Curthose, after renouncing his pretensions to the
English crown, had cause to expect harsh treatment.
Quite the reverse. When Henry, a prince without
land and without money, seized Mont St. Michel in
Normandy, he was there besieged by his brothers, and
pressed so hard for want of water, that he sent mes-
sengers to request the free enjoyment of that which
belongs to all men. Robert generously ordered his
soldiers to allow those of Henry to supply themselves,
and Rufus, who hardly knew what compassion was,
swore and stammered. "You show great skill in
warfare," said the Red King; "you, who supply your
enemy with drink; you have now only to furnish him
with meat too." "How should I leave a brother to
die of thirst?" asked Curthose mildly; "what other
brother have we, if we should lose him?" But when
Henry became King of England, and wanted to be
Duke of Normandy, all this vanished from his me-
mory. "Thou art a lord in title," said he, "but not
in reality; for they scorn who should obey thee.
Cede to me thy duchy."
Curthose declined to comply with this request, and


Beauclere without scruple landed in Normandy wiii
a formidable force. He encountered his brother's army
before the walls of Tenchebray, and a severe conflict
took place. Curthose resisted his fate with chivalrous
valour; but at length he was conquered, taken prisoner,
conducted to England, and committed to the Castle of
When first brought to IE'i ,i., Curthose was
allowed some slight freedom, and permitted to walk
about the woods and fields on the banks of the Severn.
One day, however, while musing over his hard fate,
the old spirit of adventure took possession of him; and
no wonder. The Severn flowed onwards; the salmon
leaped in its silver tide; the heron perched on its
grassy margin; the eagle soared over the Castle of
C' l,.1,o the very beings whom the conquest had made
serfs on their own glebe appeared happy in comparison
with the son and heir of the Conqueror. His plight
was more than flesh and blood could bear; so he seized
a horse, and rode off at a pace which seemed to defy
But Curthose found that this was one of those occa-
sions on which the race is not to the swift. His steed
ilk-.,.lI-... in a morass; and the fugitive, being secured,
was subjected to a more rigorous durance. Indeed, it
is asserted that Beauclerc, in the plenitude of his power,
caused his brother to be deprived of sight, by holding
a burning hot brass basin before the miserable captive's


When the catastrophe of Curthose was accomplished,
his son, William Clito, was at Falaise; and at that town
the boy fell into the hands of his victorious uncle.
Clito was then only five years old, harmless as a
dove, and the very picture of innocence. Nevertheless,
Beauclere foresaw that, as years passed on, the son of
the Conqueror's heir would be used as an instrument
to curb his ambition; and the desire to remove such a
being from his path must have been strong within a
man who was, in all respects, the reverse of scrupulous,
But the blue-eyed child, when brought into his pre-
sence, wept piteously, and sobbed as if his heart would
break; and Henry shrank from rudely parting the soul
and body of a being so defenceless. After a struggle,
Beauclere's good angel saved him from adding infanti-
cide to that long list of enormities which made the
Anglo-Saxons regard him as the most wicked of men,
and gave rise to the memorable expression, "Royalty
is Crime." Feeling, doubtless, as if the eyes of his
Maker, his neighbour, and posterity, were upon him at
the moment, the King of England ordered his little
nephew to be removed, and gave him into the charge
of Helie de St. Saen, a Norman baron whose fidelity he
believed could be relied on, and whose character for
probity was such as to preclude suspicion of foul play
in the event of the young Prince coming to an untimely
Helie de St. Saen, rough and ready of hand as he
was, had a tender heart under his chain armour; and

ii I~ iir,~ ~i I ~ 11 'II

II '

h, ri I ., *I I ')r


y r~I rl I.'r

J2 : :;

.;.. <


The servants escaped with Clito secretly from the castle, and1 carried
him in safety to their master.-p. 19,

-~C~ ~W


he was naturally attached to the boy, having married
an illegitimate daughter of the ill-fated prisoner of
Cardiff. He treated the royal heir" with great kind-
ness, educated him with the utmost care, and manifested
towards him much affection. Beauclere, aware of all
this, grew alarmed; and, repenting of his lenity, resolved
to get the boy into his own hands without delay, and
subject him to perpetual imprisonment. With this
object, he commissioned Robert de Beauchamp to make
the seizure, and furnished that Norman baron with a
body of horse for the purpose.
Thus it happened that, one Sunday, when Clito was
eight years old, and St. Saen was absent from his
castle, the people, coming out of church, perceived a
band of armed men lurking in the neighbourhood. Not
relishing such a circumstance during their lord's ab-
sence, they hurried to the castle, and gave the alarm.
The servants, guessing the truth, hastened to Clito's
chamber, found him asleep, awoke him, escaped with
him secretly from the castle, and carried him in safety
to their master.
Helie St. Saen, in the hour of peril, proved true to
the unfortunate son of Robert, and bore, without com-
plaint, the loss of house and lands, which was the result
of his generosity. Clinging, with more than parental
devotion, to the little Prince, he carried him, for pro-
tection, to the Count of Anjou; and, ere three years
passed, Clito, under his auspices, had visited the courts,
and become acquainted with the sovereigns, of France.


Aquitaine, Burgundy, and Britanny. The beauty and.
innocence of the little Prince won him many friends
among the powerful, while his hapless position and vast
claims rendered him an object of general interest.
The noble heart is ever with the unfortunate; and
Louis le Gros, the King, who fostered the infant
civilisation of France, and figured as the first knight
of his age, was as generous as he was politic and
brave. He wished Clito well, and had a deep
interest in his success. His relations, however, with
the King of England were somewhat peculiar, and
slightly embarrassing. In other days, when Louis
was an heir-apparent and Henry a younger son, the
latter paid a visit to the French court at Constance.
During a game at chess a fierce quarrel occurred.
Louis lost money, cast some chessmen in Henry's face,
and reproached him with his father's base birth. Henry
furiously threw the chess-board at Louis, and felled him
to the floor. Subsequently Louis, having to fly from
France to escape the persecution of his step-mother,
took refuge in England, and formed with Henry a close
Circumstances, however, occurred to change this
sentiment of Louis. As years passed on the unscrupulous
seizure of Normandy by a man who was King of Eng-
land inspired him with apprehension, and policy de-
manded that his feelings as a friend should be sacrificed
to his interests as a prince. He therefore pledged him-
self to espouse Clito's cause when he should be of age,


to invest him with the Duchy of Normandy, and to aid
him to the utmost of his power. The Count of Anjou
also promised his support; and, as a pledge of sin-
cerity, he consented to give Sybil, his eldest daughter,
in marriage to the expatriated Prince.
While matters were in this position, and Clito
was yet in his twelfth year, but giving promise of
strength and wisdom, events hurried his patrons into
war; and the Earl of Flanders, having become the
right hand and guiding spirit of their league, Beau-
clerc sustained a series of harassing attacks all along
the frontier of Normandy. He lost fortress after for-
tress, and town after town. Disaster preyed upon
his spirits; he suspected that plots were formed
against his life; and he dared not lay himself down
to rest without a sword and buckler by his side.
Rumour stuffed men's ears with stories of terrible
visions that had appeared to Henry in his sleep one
night when on his voyage to Tn.1,- .1-1. '', and so
frightened him that he thrice sprang from his bed
and grasped his weapon.
The prospects of Clito were daily brightening, when
suddenly Beauclere put forth all the powers of his
intellect, and accomplished by policy what his arms,
however energetically directed, could hardly have done.
He knew human nature sufficiently well to be aware
that such a man as Anjou might be bribed to prove
false to his allies: he resolved to buy off the Count,
and he succeeded. Anjou agreed to repudiate the con-


tract between his daughter and Clito, on the ground
of consanguinity, to abandon the princely boy's cause,
and to leave his confederates to shift for themselves.
The estates forfeited by Helie St. Saen were to be
given to Anjou in reward for his treachery to the allies,
whom he left helpless. The confederacy, which had
been so formidable, was soon broken up; and King
Louis was under the necessity of sacrificing the interests
of his youthful proteg6.
Clito found refuge at the court of his steady friend,
the Earl of Flanders, and became an object of no slight
interest to the people of Normandy. Indeed, his influ-
ence increased so rapidly, that Beauclerc, feeling the
danger of allowing so popular a pretender to be at
large, used every artifice to entrap him. Immediate
possession of three English earldoms was the enticing
bait finally thrown out to lure him to destruction. But
Clito declined to barter his birthright for grants that
would, in all probability, be withdrawn on fraudulent
pretences; and, ere long, events seemed to vindicate
the wisdom of his refusal.
These events arose from the unfortunate fact that
Beauclerc had not a particle of honour in his bosom,
and made promises only to break them. No sooner was
the confederacy dissolved than he violated almost every
engagement he had made on the Continent. He broke
faith with the barons of Normandy; he repudiated his
treaty with the Count of Anjou, and he secretly incited
the subjects of France to rebel against his and their


liege lord. This wholesale treachery soon produced
fruit in the shape of a new league, including the mal-
contents Normans, as well as the King of France, the
Count of Anjou, and the Earl of Flanders. Clito's
name again served as a rallying-point to his uncle's
enemies; and he now mounted a war-steed, took the
field, and was henceforth by turns the pride and sport
of his allies-sometimes their hero, sometimes their
Beauclerc had just sustained two great losses. His
good queen, who had bound the Anglo-Saxons to the
throne, had gone the way of all flesh; and so had his
minister, the Earl of Mellent, who, by profound know-
ledge of continental affairs, had won the reputation of
being the wisest statesman in Europe. Notwithstanding
these calamities, the King of England faced the con-
federacy with his wonted energy. Accompanied this time
by W;i1!; !in ..rl,..1;,- he appeared or. the Continent, and
carried matters with so high a hand, that King Louis
was fain to beg a suspension of hostilities. The tide of
fortune then turned. Beauclerc, losing ground, was
exposed to the most serious reverses, and the star of
young Clito was rising, when the Earl of Flanders, the
heart and soul of the confederacy, was cut off by a
wound at the siege of Eu.
Finding himself relieved from so formidable a foe
as Flanders had proved himself, Beauclerc again began
to practise his diplomatic wiles, and a second time won
over Anjou by a large bribe, and a solemn promise that


his second daughter should be espoused by the heir of
England. Clito and his royal ally, though thus left in
the lurch, maintained the very unequal contest, till it
was terminated by a skirmish, which took place one day
in August, 1119, and which chroniclers have described
as the Battle of Brenville.
The King of France and four hundred of his
knights-such is the account-were riding near
the town of Noyon, when the tramp of war-steeds
and the ring of mail intimated the approach of the
foe; and suddenly a gallant little army under Beau-
clerc and his son appeared in view. The chargers
neighed; the trumpets sounded an onset; and each
knight, couching his lance, sprang forward like an
arrow from a bow. Clito, who led the French van,
bore himself with hereditary courage. Closely at-
tended by the stout Count of Evreux, he broke
the hostile ranks, penetrated to the standard of Eng-
land, and was face to face with his father's cruel jailer.
Evreux, raising his weapon, aimed two blows at Beau-
clerc's head; but the royal warrior's steel cap protected
its wearer; and the Anglo-Norman knights, closing in,
bore back the brave assailants.
Nor was Beauclere exposed to further peril; for
the charge which Clito had gallantly led not being
properly supported, the French soon had the worst of
the fray. Three of their knights lay dead on the
ground; a hundred more were prisoners; the royal
standard was in the hands of the enemy; Louis, un-


horsed, was escaping on foot; and Clito, having had
his palfrey killed under him in the encounter, was fain
to follow the King's example. While wandering about,
Louis and his youthful ally lost themselves in a wood,
and were in some danger of I illhi, into the hands of the
enemy. But a countryman, finding them in this pre-
dicament, conducted them in safety to Audely, where
they rallied the remains of their little army, and defied
the King of England to another trial of strength.
But such a method of closing the controversy was
by no means in accordance with the views of Beau-
clerc. Having full confidence in his diplomatic powers,
he chose rather to trust to subtle courtesies and crafty
negotiations. He hospitably entertained the captive
knights, set them free on the payment of ransoms
befitting their rank, sent Louis a war-horse magni-
ficently caparisoned, and caused his son to despatch
to Clito a splendid palfrey and many chivalrous com-
pliments. The French monarch, finding how hopeless
it was to cope with such an adversary, appealed for
redress to Rome.
At Rheims the Pope forthwith convoked a Council,
and thither he came to preside in person. Louis acted
towards his protege with loyal chivalry. He presented
Clito to the Council as the son of a deeply-injured
prince; he complained of the gross injustice done to
Curthose; and he demanded the aid of the Church in
regaining for that brave champion of the Cross the
Duchy of N'..,,.ily, which was his by hereditary


right. The Pope, without taking one side or the other,
mediated between the rival monarchs, and decided that
the King of England should remain in possession of
Normandy, on condition of his son doing homage for it
to France. All efforts to obtain some settlement in
favour of Clito proved futile. He had nothing left but
the personal friendship of Louis, and that nobility of
soul which teaches the brave spirit never to hold
counsel with despair.
However, this princely youth, in spite of unpro-
pitious fortune and false friends-in spite of having to
eat the bread and climb the stairs of another, continued
to grow day by day in favour and popularity. He,
unlike Curthose, was so prudent in pecuniary matters
that people called him a miser; but he was loved, and
admired by all who knew him, and especially the
Normans, who regarded him with pride as the darling
of their nation. His immediate prospects were not
cheering, it was true, but hope could still gild the
future; and, now that the son of Beauclere was no
more, the probability of William Clito yet wearing the
coronal of Normandy and the crown of England was
not out of the question. A great confederacy of con-
tinental princes was already forming with the object of
vindicating his rights, when a transaction, most
characteristic of Beauclere, precipitated the inevitable
After the young Atheling perished in the White
Ship," the Count of Anjou demanded back his


daughter, with the portion which had accompanied her
hand; and Beauclere unhesi atingly surrendered the
fair young Matilda, but meanly insisted on retaining
her dower. The Count swore and stormed after the
most approved fashion of the day, placed his daughter
as a nun in the Convent of Fontrevaud, and vowed a
speedy revenge onthe royal knave. Renewing his alliance
with the King of France, Anjou affianced his daughter
Sybil to Clito, and, as a pledge of his good faith, which
the boy had cause to doubt, put him in possession of
the Earldom of Mons. Their league soon assumed
formidable proportions; the Earls of Mellent and
i'.., i. raised the standard of insurrection; and a
host of Norman barons vowed to stand or fall by the
.1! n. son of the true heir of the Conqueror.
But Beauclere, though a knave, was no fool; he
well understood how to play for kingdoms and crowns
-it had been the game of his life. Despairing, after a
second marriage with Adeliza of Louvaine, of leaving
a son to succeed him, he resolved on a bold stroke of
policy. He had a daughter, known as the Empress
Maude, who happened to be a widow, and though at
that time no woman could properly rule England, he
made the barons swear allegiance to her as the heir of
his throne. Moreover, he offered this widowed Empress
in marriage to Geoffrey Plantagenet, son of the Count
of Anjou, in order irrevocably to detach that powerful
house from Clito's cause. The Count again deserted
the youth without scruple, a third time formed a close


alliance with the man against whom he had vowed
vengeance, and a second time breaking a matrimonial
contract, dismissed the gallant Prince from his court.
Young Clito had still a friend left, for the King of
France did not desert him in the day of adversity. To
the French court he went, sad and sorrowful, with
traces of grief visible on his countenance. Pity,
sympathy, and that romantic honour natural to a man
who aspired to be the first knight of his age, prompted
the struggling sovereign to stand firmly by his protegy.
Louis betrothed to Clito the sister of his queen, a
daughter of the House of Savoy, and with her agreed
to give the country bordering on Normandy. After
this Clito went to Gisors, and laid claim to Normandy;
but Beauclerc had quite cowed the Normans, and they
were afraid to lend countenance to Duke Robert's heir.
Ere long, however, his fortunes began to flourish.
The Earl of Flanders having been slain by con-
spirators at the foot of the altar, the King of France, as
liege lord, entered the country to punish the assassins.
In this expedition Clito accompanied his royal brother-
in-law, and Louis conferred upon him the vacant earl-
dom. As heir of Matilda of Flanders, the Conqueror's
queen, Clito's hereditary claim was unexceptionable;
and the Flemish people offered no opposition to their
new Earl. The King of France, having seen his nominee
fairly installed, took his departure, under the impression
that his young relative was secure, and in a favourable
position for prosecuting his designs on Normandy. But


scarcely was the King's back turned when the Flemings
formed a conspiracy, and sent for aid to the English
monarch, whose ruling passion now was to accomplish
his nephew's ruin.
Clito was at Ypres when the conspiracy was formed,
and the Flemings resolved to attack by night the fort
where he lay. It happened, however, that the hand-
some prince had inspired a young lady of the town of
Ypres with a romantic attachment; and she, on be-
coming aware of what was intended, rushed to his
presence, and with tears revealed the plot. Upon
becoming aware of his peril, Clito hastily left Ypres
with his friends, and, taking the damsel with him,
caused her to be escorted to William, Duke of Aqui-
taine, with a request that she should be provided with
a suitable husband. After this he prepared for action.
The Flemings said in their haste, This is a mere
tyro in war." They forgot, in their conceit and self-
sufficiency, the battles, fortunes, and sieges Clito had
passed, and deluded themselves with the anticipation
of an easy victory. He soon convinced them how
deeply they were mistaken, and scattered their ill-
directed host. In their obstinate despair they implored
Thierry, Landgrave of Alsace, to place himself at their
head. Thierry accepted the pressing invitation, ad-
vanced a claim to the earldom, as descendant of some
ancient chief of the country, and took the field, after
having received from Bmcauelere aid in money and
promises of menu


The garrisons of Lisle, Ghent, and other places,
treacherously surrendered, and the aspect of affairs
was most menacing. But, in the midst of danger and
dii. il the spirit and courage of Clito sustained his
heart and nerved his arm. His whole career had been
a struggle 'against misfortune, and adversity had taught
him -skill and wisdom. He encountered Thierry and
the turbulent Flemings under the walls of Alost,
inflicted a signal defeat on his enemies, and raised the
drooping spirits of his adherents. Fortune now seemed
to yield to Clito's energy and valour; but there was
drawing nigh a foe less easily baffled than Beauclerc, or
Thierry of Alsace.
One summer night-so chroniclers assert-poor,
old, blind Curthose, who for well-nigh twenty years
had known no mate but misery, while sleeping in his
dungeon at Cardiff, dreamed that his son was mortally
wounded with a lance in the arm, and next morning
exclaimed mournfully to his keeper, "Alas! I fear
my son is dead." It soon appeared that this dream
had come through that gate of horn of which poets
have sung. While engaged in a sharp skirmish with
the garrison of Alost, Clito, catching at the lance of an
antagonist, was slightly cut under the ball of his right
thumb. The wound, which at first appeared a mere
scratch, ere long, from neglect or improper treatment,
produced mortification. Aware that his last hour was
approaching, Clito wrote to his uncle, imploring pardon
for those Normans who had followed his fortunes.


Having discharged this duty, the gallant Prince expired
on the 27th of July, 1128.
Robert Curthose survived for years the young hero
who had struggled so bravely to avenge his wrongs;
but at last he found his condition intolerable. One
day a messenger from Beauclere having brought the
poor captive a scarlet robe, Curthose asked if it had
ever been worn. The messenger then told him that
the King had tried it on, that he had found the capouch
too small, and that he had said, Carry this garment
to my brother; his head is less than mine." Ah!"
exclaimed Curthose, the cup of bitterness overflowing,
" methinks I have protracted a miserable life too long,
since my brother sends me his old clothes to wear;"
and from that hour he refused either to be fed or com-
forted. Providence, in mercy, soon relieved the aged
captive from his misery. The wounded spirit winged
its flight; the broken heart ceased to beat; the sight-
less eyes closed in death; and the weary limbs rested
for ever.
S'.. .I !!. Clito had been buried in the Abbey of
Bertin, at St. Owners; and a magnificent tomb was
erected to mark the spot where reposed the Conqueror's



WHEN the deck of "the White Ship" became the scene
of dissipation, and when Death was hovering about to
catch his prey, several of the passengers consulted their
safety by returning on shore. Among these a gallant
youth of fifteen or so, standing on the quay at Barfleur,
gave his knights and squires to understand that he
relished not the look of matters; that the ship was
crowded with people who were too headstrong to care
what they did ; and intimated, with a wise shake of the
head, that he would rather not tempt the sea in such
company. This boy, distinguished by a handsome per-
son, an affable countenance, and a popular address, was
Known to the bystanders as Henry Beauclerc's favourite
nephew. He was Stephen, son of that daughter of the
Conqueror who had been given in marriage to the
Count of Blois.
Whether the peril which Stephen escaped on this
occasion gave him an idea that he was reserved by
Providence for something great does not appear. But
he had been born to aspire; so, when the waves of the


sea rolled over the body of Atheling, and Clito was
buried in the Abbey of Bertin, he naturally began to
imagine himself the Conqueror's heir, and to dream of
chances and probabilities that might raise him to royal
rank. Circumstances favoured Stephen's aspirations;
and when Beauclere breathed his last in Normandy, his
nephew, hurrying to England, had little difficulty in
excluding the absent daughter of the dead king, and
ascending the vacant throne.
About the time when this brave Prince grasped
with facility the crown he was to experience difficulty
in retaining, Matilda of Boulogne, his faithful spouse,
made him the father of a boy, to whom was given the
name of Eustace. This son of Stephen and Matilda is
stated to have been a child of rare promise; and he
was, of course, regarded with such fond hopes as gene-
rally animate royal parents when contemplating their
offspring. They lost no time in seeking to advance his
fortune. While still in infancy Eustace was taken to
the Continent; and Queen Matilda having resigned to
her son the Earldom of Boulogne, induced the King of
France to invest him-child as he was-with the Duchy
of Normandy. Notwithstanding the tender years of
Eustace, the next step was to find a bride worthy, as
years rolled on, of figuring as Countess of T' r.i...,.
Duchess of Normandy, and Queen of -: 1,8i ni.
Matilda of Boulogne was animated by those feelings
natural to a young and high-spirited mother, and
ambitious that her progeny should succeed to the


English throne. She was therefore most anxious not
only to propitiate the friendship of foreign courts, but
to profit by the near alliance of royal houses. With
such views, she carried Eustace, in his fourth year, to
the French court, that she might negotiate, on behalf of
the little Prince, a marriage with one of the youthful
sisters of King Louis. But the throne of Stephen was
by no means strong enough to make his alliance
desirable, and it is hardly to be doubted that the
French monarch would look shyly on the wife of his
brother-king when she came on such an errand.
But Matilda of Boulogne was rich, gifted, and
energetic; Louis of France was poor, soft, and sluggish.
She, not to be baffled in her object, offered, it would
seem, to come down with something handsome; he, not
to be further troubled, acceded to her wish on that
condition. Matilda accordingly paid an immense sum,
that her son might have a bride from the House of
Capet; and in 1140, matters having been arranged,
Prince Eustace was, with much splendour and ceremony,
contracted to Constance, a sister of the reigning King
of France, and daughter of him who had befriended
Clito. This alliance it was thought would greatly
strengthen the throne to which the boy-bridegroom was
heir. But before the Prince and his mother had time
to return to England King Stephen was in chains, and
all caps in the air for a stately and majestic lady, who
has been before mentioned as the Empress Maude.
Si, .... who was Beauclerc's only legitimate daugh-


tor, had, when in childhood, been demanded in marriage
by the Emperor of Germany, son of that Henry who,
with varying success, carried on "the War of Investi-
ture" against Hildebrand, when the latter, as Gregory
the Seventh, set himself to "pull down the pride of
kings." This imperial wooer was no stripling cherub;
but, doubtless, the German Caesar, though old, thought
himself a prize; and, when more than fifty, he received
as his bride a girl who had scarcely seen twelve sum-
mers. A few years passed over; the Emperor, carried
off by a pestilential disease, was buried with befitting
pomp at Spires; and Maude was brought back to
England, to be acknowledged as heir to the crown.
She had left England for tile Continent in her fifth
year; she returned home from Germany in her fifth
lustre, tall, stately, and beautiful-indeed, one of the
most captivating widows who had appeared since the
days of Dido, but not quite prepared, like Dido, to die
on a funeral pile rather than submit to the infliction of
a second husband.
While Maude was manifesting some degree of
kindness for her cousin Stephen, Geoffrey of Anjou
appeared at her father's court at Rouen. He was
young, learned, handsome, and, from wearing a sprig
of flowering broom in his hat instead of a feather, bore
the surname of Plantagenet. Beauclere conceived a
great liking for his accomplished neighbour, and ere
long gave him the hand of the widowed Empress. The
marriage, which took place in 1127, and which was not


much to Maude's taste, proved aihlpi,';. The wedded
pair had many domestic quarrels; and when -!:. ',' .."
died, the peers and prelates, having no fancy for pet-
ticoat government, declared that, as the hand of Maude
had been bestowed upon Geoflrey without their consent,
the oath of fealty which they had sworn to her was
clearly rendered void.
For several years Maude refrained from urging
her claim to the English crown; but at length, in the
autumn of 1139, she landed on the coast of Sussex,
accompanied by her illegitimate brother, the Earl of
Gloucester, and a retinue of one hundred and forty
knights. Gloucester marched without delay to Bristol,
in the neighbourhood of which the adherents of his
sister mustered strong; and Maude herself repaired to
rest from the fatigues of her voyage within the walls of
the strong Castle of Arundel. This feudal pile, the
ruins of which, towering over the aristocratic residence
of its modern proprietor, recall to the memory grand
names long passed away, and grand old families long
since extinct, had been settled by r..... I. i.:- on his
second wife, Adeliza of Louvaine; and after his death
it had gone, with the hand of the royal widow, to
William de Albini. By Adeliza, her step-mother-a
woman about her own age-Maude was hospitably
entertained; but she had scarcely time to form a pro-
ject ere the Castle of Arundel was surrounded by
Stephen and his .Li;~-II.-n. The appearance of
armed foemen, no doubt, inspired the hign-born ladies


with dread. But they had known the warrior-king of
old; they had learned how tender was his regard for
their sex; and they perfectly comprehended how to
deal with such an antagonist.
With all the faults of that age-and multitudinous
they were-it was an age of chivalry, when to appear
in arms against a lady was deemed disgraceful to a
true knight. Almost while Stephen was before
Arundel the Moors of Granada were, in this respect,
showing a great example to the warriors of Christen-
dom. The Empress-Queen of Spain, besieged in the
Castle of Azeca, reproached the Moslem warriors with
their want of courtesy in warring against a woman.
The Moors, men who were in the habit of sighing
away their souls in moonlight serenades under the
balconies of Zegri or Abencerrage ladies, admitted
the justice of this rebuke; and when the Empress-
Queen displayed herself on the battlements they made
their obeisance, and instantly raised the siege.
The war, which after desolating England for years
terminated in the peaceful accession of the House of
Plantagenet, commenced with an incident somewhat
similar. The fair spouse of Albini, inspired by the
Empress with a courage not her own, upbraided Stephen
for appearing in martial array before a castle held by a
lady, hinted that his conduct indicated a contempt of
chivalry which ill became a belted knight, and assured
him that Maude was entertained in the character of a
near relation, and quite ready to take her departure.


As a true son of chivalry, Stephen had now no choice;
so he admitted that Adeliza was in the right, withdrew
from before the Castle of Arundel, and refrained from
attempting to prevent the Empress joining her brother
at Bristol.
But now men in mail gathered to the banners of
their chiefs; and the war, which was to prove most
disastrous to the country, began in earnest. Maude
set up her standard, and from north and west the
barons flocked around it. Her cause became so
fashionable that Stephen was abandoned even by his
own brother, the Bishop of Winchester; but though
deserted, his characteristic courage glowed more fiercely
than ever. "They have set me on a throne, and now
they abandon me," exclaimed the martial monarch;
"but, by the birth of God, they never shall call me a
deposed king !"
Two years of civil war followed, and never was
England a prey to greater miseries than when Eustace
of Boulogne was married in France. All government
was at an end; frightful atrocities were committed;
travellers were plundered without scruple; and within
their strong castles the Norman nobles tortured and
murdered their weak neighbours with impunity.
Everything was anarchy, when a fierce battle, fought
at Lincoln, decided the campaign in favour of the
Empress. Stephen, after fighting with heroic bravery,
consented, when his sword was broken, to yield to the
Earl of Gloucester; and the royal Lastard, having sent


his prisoner to the Castle of Bristol, ordered him to
be loaded with chains.
The fortunes of the Empress now appeared most
flourishing, and she repaired forthwith to be crowned
in London. But Maude's imperious temper got the
better of her discretion, and ere the coronation robes
could be prepared she dissipated the popularity which
her personal appearance could hardly have failed to
create. When courtesy and generosity were so essential,
her hauteur and selfishness disgusted everybody. The
citizens of London petitioned her to restore the laws of
Edward the Confessor; Matilda of Boulogne, with tears
in her eyes, implored her husband's liberty, promising
that he would be content with a private station; and
the Bishop of Winchester demanded that Prince Eustace
should be recognized as Earl of Boulogne. These
suits the Empress, elate with pride and prosperity,
not only rejected, but with language so insolent, that
citizens, queen, and bishop expressed deep disgust, and
prepared for a new struggle.
Prince Eustace, it appears, had returned from
Normandy, and was safe among the men of Kent,
when he became aware that forces must be gathered
with all speed; and in the name of the royal boy,
Matilda of Boulogne and William de Ypres, her hus-
band's favourite knight, summoned the men of Kent
and Surrey to the standard of the captive King. A
new scene was soon opened up.
One summer day-it was nigh the feast of


John the Baptist-while the Empress was at dinner,
a body of horse suddenly appeared on the south
side of the Thames, and displayed the banner of
King Stephen. The effect seemed magical. London
was forthwith in commotion; the alarm was sounded;
the church bells were rung; and to aid the Prince
in setting his father free, armed men came forth from
every house as bees rush from their hives. The
Empress, taken by surprise, sprang from table,
mounted a swift horse, and galloped hastily towards
Oxford, and then to Winchester. So sudden was
her flight from London, which she was not destined
ever to see again, that she had not even time to
take with her a change of raiment.
Much has been said about the n];i1'i 1 prowess
and knightly achievements of Eustace at this period.
Nevertheless, it is a fact that, when Maude was driven
from London, he could hardly have been more than
eight years of age. The presence of the son of Stephen
might, and doubtless did, lend mettle to the army
destined to restore his father; but that he could have
taken none other than a very slight share in its exploits,
appears beyond all question. However, he was at
Winchester during that long siege which resulted in
the flight of the Empress, in the capture of Gloucester
while covering his sister's retreat, and in the exchange
of the incarcerated King for his illegitimate kinsman.
When Stephen at length forced the daughter of
Beaucler to betake herself to the Continent, and leave


him master of England, he began to manifest much
solicitude for the future of Eustace. At Christmas,
1147, the martial monarch and his spouse kept the
festival with unusual splendour at Lincoln, and drew
around them the peers and prelates of the land. The
object of the royal pair was to have the boy crowned,
that he might reign conjointly with his father; but
their wish was not destined to be gratified. Though
many of the barons did homage to Eustace as Stephen's
heir, the proposal to recognize him as king was one to
which they would not listen. The refusal of his barons
to crown his heir indicated to Stephen by how pre-
carious a tenure he held the kingdom. In truth, there
was in the field a rival whose claims, growing stronger
year by year, were ultimately to prove irresistible by Ste-
phen, and fatal to the son whose cradle had been cheered
by the smile of fortune. Even at this early period the
birth of that rival, his education, his intellect, and his
fortunes, all rendered him an object of interest to the
people of England.
At the time when King Stephen lay fettered in
the Castle of Bristol there might have been seen within
the walls of the ancient city, watching the weather-
beaten mariners who navigated the ships that carried
on the trade with Ireland, or practising the martial
exercises of the age, or telling some youthful comrade
how sunny was his home beyond the seas, a stout,
ruddy lad, who had hardly passed his tenth year.
This youth, then studying under a learned man named


,I,i.: -w, was the eldest son of the Empress Maude.
He was known among the Normans as Fitz-Empress.
He was known among the Anglo-Saxons as grandson
of "the Good Queen Maude." He has since been
known in English history as Henry the Second, the
lover of Fair Rosamond, the husband of Eleanor of
Aquitaine, the sire of a most rebellious family, and
progenitor of those English kings renowned above all
others in Christendom for strength in battle and
wisdom in council.
We need not relate with minuteness how the
young Plantagenet grew to manhood; how he was
invested with the symbols of knighthood by his great
uncle David, King of Scots; how, having acquired
Aquitaine by marriage, and Normandy with Anjou
by inheritance, he became one of the most potent
princes in Europe. Suffice it to say that, having
landed on the shores of England in 1152, and been
joined by many of the barons, he marched towards
Wallingford, to fight for the crown which had eluded
his mother's grasp.
By this time Eustace was a warrior of some dis-
tinction. In 1149 he had been knighted by Stephen,
and sent in command of a force to ravage the lands of
barons devoted to Henry. This was the first exploit
of Eustace's manhood, and the reputation he had won
during his incursions was such as to arouse Henry's
Eustace was at Wallingford when young Henry


marched thither, and he bravely maintained his ground
till his father's arrival; and as Stephen was still popular,
and his partisans were numerous, he lost no time in
marching along the left bank of the Thames to his
son's relief. The river ran between the two armies
regarding each other with hostile intent; and there
was every prospect of its waters being crimsoned with
blood, when several of the nobles, among whom was
William de Albini, seeing that the choice lay between
a new civil war and a compromise, interposed, and sug-
gested a treaty. Accordingly, the King and his young
rival held a conference across a narrow part of the
Thames; and it was arranged that Stephen should
enjoy the crown during his life, but that Henry should
be recognized as his heir.
This was a death-blow to the hopes of Prince
Eustace; and had Matilda of Boulogne-a woman
whom misfortune could not depress-been alive, it is
doubtful whether she would have agreed to terms which
excluded her posterity from the throne. But Matilda
had for some time been lying at rest within the Abbey
of Feversham, and Eustace had no one capable of giving
him counsel. He, who had lately been courted as heir
to the kingdom's crown, was, doubtless, amazed at
finding himself of such small account, and everybody
willing to worship the rising sun. A sage might,
under the circumstances, have administered to him the
consolations of philosophy, or a priest the consolations
of religion; but a man of the world would, in all


probability, have pointed out that Eustace had, some-
how or other, forfeited his popularity, and that his
character was a good deal the worse for the wear.
Such, indeed, appears to have been the case. Then
went Eustace, the king's son, to France," says the
Saxon Chronicle, "and took to wife the sister of the
King of France. He thought to obtain li.:i ,,.. l
thereby; but he sped little, and by good rights, for he
was an evil man. Wherever he was, he did more evil
than good; he robbed the lands, and levied heavy
guilds upon them. He brought his wife to Eng-
land. ... Good woman she was; but she had little
bliss with him, and Christ willed not that he should
However that may have been-and doubtless the
chronicler writes with some degree of prejudice-no
sooner did Eustace perceive that his interests were
sacrificed than he took counsel with the desperate, and
gave way to the most dangerous excitement. Inspired
alternately with vague hope and frenzied despair, he
gathered a band of fighting-men in Cambridgeshire, and,
ravaging the country as he went, marched towards
Bury St. Edmund's.
When the Prince reached the abbey he was re-
ceived with all due honour by the monks, who bent
their hooded heads, and placed before him such good
cheer as their house afforded. "It is not meat but
money I want," exclaimed Eustace, and fiercely de-
manded a subsidy. "We are men of peace," said the


monks, taking courage to refuse, "and cannot con-
scientiously give the means of creating civil war, with
all its devastation and bloodshed." The Prince flew
into a violent passion, led his adherents to the fields,
and wreaked his fury on the crops belonging to the
Having thus taken revenge on the monks, Eustace
sat down to dinner; and, as the story is told, was
choked by the first morsel he attempted to swallow.
The truth appears to be that the unfortunate Prince
was already under the influence of a brain fever. But,
however that may have been, Eustace of Boulogne died
on the 10th of August, 11,53, at the age of eighteen,
and he was laid by his mother's side in the Abbey of


IN the autumn of 1186 a grand tournament was held
at the Court of Paris, then presided over by Philip
Augustus. While taking part in the melee one of
the King's guests was unhorsed, and trampled to death
by the hoofs of the other combatants' steeds. The
knight who thus died ranked as a Prince of England
and a Peer of France; he was Geoffrey Plantagenet,
son of our second Henry, and husband of Constance,
the youthful Duchess of Britanny.
Some months later than the sad event which made
her a widow-on Easter-day, the 29th of March, 1187
-while residing at Nantes, Constance, who had already
an infant daughter, gave birth to a son. This boy was
heir to the province which she had brought to the
House of Plantagenet; and the inhabitants of Britanny,
a wild and imaginative race, were enthusiastic with
delight at their little Prince's birth. Cherishing a
superstitious veneration for the memory of King Arthur,
they, in defiance of the wishes of the powerful Henry,
insisted on the infant receiving the name of that
British hero of romance. In deference to their ardent


desire the Prince was called Arthur; and the Bretons
regaled their fancies with dreams of a period when he
should restore their national independence, and rule
over them free from the interference of England or
Alas for such anticipations! Hardly had the lad
been cradled-hardly had the Bretons smiled with
complacency at his promising appearance-when Philip
Augustus, King of France, assumed the right to govern
the province in his name. To this, of course, Henry
Plantagenet objected; and the two kings met to
arrange matters at Gisors, under an old elm-tree,
which grew so exactly on the frontier, that each of
the sovereigns could, while conversing, shelter himself
from the sun or rain under its peaceful shadow, and
yet stand safe on the territory which acknowledged
his sway. The conference, like most others between
those famous masters of kingcraft, came to nothing;
and Henry, being soon after laid at rest in the Abbey
of Fontrevaud, the tomb of the early Plantagenets, his
son Richard, the famous Crwur de Lion, became sove-
reign of England and Duke of Normandy.
When this had taken place, and Arthur, our little
hero, was two years of age, his warlike uncle, faring
forth to signalise his prowess in the crusades, affianced
the Prince to an infant daughter of the Norman King
of the Two Sicilies. Richard, whose reckless and adven-
turous disposition placed his life in perpetual jeopardy,
described Arthur as "his most dear nephew and


heir," and even negotiated a treaty with the King
of Scots to support the boy's rights in case of necessity.
But Constance of Britanny, a vain woman, who was
serious in nothing but her amours and intrigues, in-
dulged her caprice to such an extent, playing off the
boy between Richard and his rival Philip, that the
lion-hearted Crusader expressed his indignation at
the distrust she manifested, and allowed the claims
of Arthur, as his heir, to be set aside in favour of
his brother, John Lackland.
When Richard, wounded by the poisoned arrow
of Bertrand de Gordon, expired in the Castle of
Chalus, John, by the production of a will which he
affirmed Cawr de Lion had executed in his favour,
contrived to have the golden coronal of the Duchy
of Normandy placed on his head at Rouen. He then
crossed the Channel to secure his interests in England;
and there his coronation was accomplished without the
semblance of opposition. Nor is it wonderful that'
such should have been the case; for John had been
born and educated in the country, while Arthur was
utterly unknown to the bulk of the people, and the
English as yet made no account of that divine authority
supposed to adhere to the blood of kings. Their
monarchy was, in name at least, elective; and Lack-
land so managed matters that, while defying the
doctrine of primogeniture, he eluded the responsibility
of an elected sovereign. As for poor Arthur, his
name does not even appear to have been mentioned.


So far all went smoothly. But the people or Anjou
ald Britanny, who took a different view of the law of
hereditary succession, which was then in a most un-
settled state, proclaimed Arthur as their rightful sove-
reign; and Constance, carrying her handsome boy
to Paris, placed him under the protection of the court
of France, and tendered the oath of fealty for the
provinces claimed by her on his behalf.
Philip Augustus, a cool, patient, and persevering
prince, had, like most real heroes, one project around
which all his ideas clustered. While paving the streets
and improving the architecture of his capital; while
enclosing the park at Vincennes, and building the palace
of the Louvre; while providing a bazaar for merchants,
and securing the privileges of the University; while
persecuting Jews or heretics, and resisting the inter-
dicts of the Pope; his cherished aspiration was, by
dissolving the continental empire of the Plantagenets,
to convert France into the great feudal monarchy
of Europe. He knew full well, however, that patience
was the condition of success, and acted accordingly.
While King Henry lived the movements of Philip
Augustus had been made with extreme caution, and
without any clear advantages. While coping with the
impetuous Richard he had slightly advanced his
scheme by a series of petty victories. But with a
rival like King John-a boaster, a coxcomb, a tyrant-
he felt that his calm intellect and sagacity must render
him a conqueror His policy had hitherto been to


set the Plantagenets at strife with each other and
avail himself of their discord. He had arrayed son
against father, and brother against brother, and wife
against husband. He regarded Arthur as a fitting
instrument to be used in advancing his cherished
schemes; and he received the fatherless boy with an
affectation of paternal kindness. Moreover, he promised
every aid in his power to make good such claims as
the ill-fated Prince could advance to the kindgom of
England and the duchy of Normandy.
While Arthur, encouraged by Philip, was indulging
in boyish dreams, and men were mustering to vindicate
his claims, the position of John in England was be-
coming critical. He appears, indeed, to have been
menaced from all quarters. The populace, not without
reason, regarded him as the most odious of tyrants;
the Anglo-Norman nobles, pretending to sympathize
with the people among whom they had been born,
openly expressed their contempt; and, to make matters
worse, William the Lion, King of Scots, threatened to
lay waste the northern counties with fire and sword.
Notwithstanding the menacing aspect of affairs,
John crossed over to Normandy to repel aggression,
and drew so many great lords around him, that Philip,
without fighting, demanded a truce of six weeks. On
its expiration he proposed a treaty of peace, by which
all the French possessions of the English crown-save
Normandy-should be given to Arthur, and part of
Normandy handed over to Philip. These demands


were thought far too high, and the war was com-
menced with the utmost animosity.
And now John's mercenary soldiers fell with savage
ferocity on Britanny, and committed fearful havoc.
The corn-fields were laid waste; the houses burned;
and the inhabitants slain or sold as slaves. A small
army of Bretons, under William de la Roche, Arthur's
guardian, stood bravely out; and Philip coming to
their rescue took several fortified castles. But the
French king, though appearing among the Bretons
in the character of a friend, destroyed the cap-
tured strongholds as unscrupulously as the in-
vaders; and De la Roche, having sufficient penetra-
tion to see through the royal politician's designs, in
a fit of indignation withdrew Arthur and Constance
from the French court.
Being himself a man of generous sentiments, and
having confidence in those influences arising from
kindred blood, De la Roche was on the point of carry-
ing the mother and the son to the Norman court, and
appealing to John for justice and protection. Some
say he actually conducted them to Rouen, and
effected a reconciliation. But suspicions and vague
rumours that John intended putting his nephew to
death caused Constance to withdraw privately the same
night, and place herself and her son beyond his reach
at Philip's court. The return of Arthur and Constance
to Paris gave Philip a plausible pretext for carrying on
the war and advancing his ambitious schemes. But


John having strengthened himself by an alliance with
his nephew, Otho, Emperor of Germany, and with the
Earl of Flanders, showed a front so formidable, that the
French monarch employed a wily cardinal to negotiate
a peace. The rival kings came to terms, and by the
treaty, concluded in the spring of 1200, Philip agreed
to restore all that he had taken from the crown of
England since the death of Richard, and also bounu
himself to give no further aid to Arthur of Britanny.
After this, John seemed for a brief period to be in
full possession of prosperity. But he was one of those
whose evil passions are ever unexpectedly hurrying
them into new peril. Ere long he took an imprudent
and disgraceful step, before which his prosperity
vanished like the morning dew.
While making a progress through that continental
empire which his father had extended from the Channel
to the Pyrenees, John was fascinated with the beauty
of Isabel of Angouleme, a lady who, while in her
teens, had been betrothed, if not married, to the Count
de la Marche. Notwithstanding this contract the King,
as if infatuated, insisted on her parents breaking off the
match; and it does not appear that they offered any
serious objection. But, whatever might have been their
sentiments, the fair Isabel, dazzled with the combined
lustre of a crown and a coronal, jilted the poor Count
without any reluctance; and John, after obtaining a
divorce from his own wife, bore off the faithless beauty
in triumph to England.


And now De la Marche, who had patiently bided
his time, swore to be avenged, raised his standard, and
instigated the whole of Poictou to rebellion. John had
scarcely reached England with his bride when news of
this outbreak arrived, and roused him from luxurious
indolence. Having sent the Earl of Pembroke in all
haste to Normandy, John crossed the sea, and journeyed
to the court of France, where he was received by Philip
with a great display of friendship, and entertained with
the utmost hospitality. Nothing could have exceeded
the affection and esteem Philip expressed for his royal
guest. A master of dissimulation, he was merely playing
his game. All this time he was in league with the
insurgent barons; and while professing an ardent desire
for close concord with his brother-king, he was medi-
tating a decisive war. The King of England, who
could frighten none but cowards, marched into Aqui-
taine without striking a blow. The King of France
smiled internally at his departed guest's credulity,
and prepared to drive him with ignominy from the
When, by the treaty of 1200, all his interests were
unscrupulously sacrificed, Arthur, though conscious
that he was a mere tool in the hands of .his royal
patron, was so apprehensive of the intentions of John,
that he was fain to repress his juvenile indignation, and
remain as a dependent at the French court. While
there he received intelligence of his mother's death.
Constance drew her last breath at Nantes, in August


1201; and Arthur, going from Paris to Rennes, received
the oaths of fealty, and took possession of his duchy.
But when Philip resolved on pushing matters to
extremity, the orphan Plantagenet, who had now
reached his fifteenth year, was recalled to the French
court, received with marks of high distinction, and
once more taken under Philip's protection. "You know
your rights, and would like to be a king," said the
royal politician. "Most assuredly," exclaimed Arthur,
renewed hope lighting up his handsome features. "Here,
then," said Philip, "I will give you two hundred
knights. March at their head, and take possession of
your inheritance, while I make an incursion into
After knighting his young protgyg, Philip ordered
the militia of Berry and Burgundy to take part in the
expedition. Having done this, he endeavoured to prove
his sincerity by betrothing his youngest daughter to
the Prince, whom he was sending forth to something
like certain destruction. Arthur, buoyed up with hope,
and glowing with youthful enthusiasm, buckled on his
armour, bade adieu to his royal host, grasped his sword,
mounted his charger, and raised his standard. The
very novelty of his position was naturally fascinating to
the imagination of an unfledged warrior; and he rode
forth to make good his title, not knowing that it was
for his life. The Bretons sent him five hundred knights
and four hundred foot soldiers; while Touraine and
Poictou furnished a hundred and ten men-at-arms; and


at the head oi this force, which was utterly inadequate,
he entered upon his enterprise.
With his little army Arthur broke into Poictou,
and there he was joined by Hugh de la Marche.
When passing Mirabeau, Arthur learned that his
grandmother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, was residing there
with a weak garrison and frail fortifications. The
royal dame had always hated her grandson, and refused
to acknowledge his title. "If you can get her inta
your power," argued Count Hugh, "John will come to
terms. To do so, we have only to take this town.
Let us lay siege to it forthwith."
Glowing with a juvenile passion for martial renown,
and totally inexperienced in military affairs, Arthur
consented, and Mirabeau was attacked. At first the
adventure was so successful that the outworks were
t.ken by storm, and the town yielded. But Eleanor,
though she had seen some fourscore summers, retained
her spirit and energy. She threw herself into the
citadel, sent to inform John of her peril, and while
waiting for his aid made a vigorous defence, and kept
her assailants at bay.
While the adherents of Arthur were confident of
success, and while the Prince himself was indulging
in aspirations never to be realized, an army suddenly
appeared before the town. Under the impression that
this was a body of roving Brabintins, Arthur and his
friends sallied forth to fight them in the open ground.
With feelings of horror, and a prescience of evil, the


young Prince's soldiers discovered that they were in
front of the army of King John, who, having received
intelligence of his mother's peril, had come to her
rescue with a celerity of which so indolent a man had
naturally been deemed incapable.
On perceiving their error, Arthur's associates rushed
back to the town, and were followed so closely that
fliers and pursuers, mingled in strife, entered the gates.
Betwixt the town and the citadel a fierce conflict took
place. When it was over, John was a victor, and
Arthur a captive. Two hundred of his knights were
taken, placed in carts drawn by oxen, and conveyed to
the dungeons of Normandy and England.
Arthur himself, falling into the hands of the tyrant,
was carried to Falaise, whither John followed. He
begged the boy, in gentle terms, to put faith in him
as a kind uncle. "First give me mine inheritance,"
replied Arthur; "give me the kingdom of England.".
The usurper, highly enraged, ordered him to be removed
to Rouen, to be placed in the castle, and to be vigilantly
Soon after Arthur's removal to the capital of Nor-
mandy some of the king's councillors, having repre-
sented how seditious the Bretons were, and how many
insurrections they projected in the name of their
incarcerated Prince, suggested that he should be
severely dealt with. Some wretches were commissioned
to put out Arthur's eyes, and mutilate him in a manner
revolting to humanity. They found the boy loaded


with chains, and wasting with grief, shame, and appre-
hension; and they were deeply moved with his tears
and entreaties. The scene was heart-rending; and it
appears that they could not have executed their horrible
mission, even if Hubert de Burgh, the warden of the
castle, had not interposed his authority, and refused to
allow the instructions to be complied with, unless in
presence of the King. However, in order to dispirit
the captive Prince's adherents, he caused bells to be
tolled all over Normandy to apprise the inhabitants
that Arthur of Britanny was no more.
On learning that his orders had not been executed,
John became furious with disappointment, and requested
William de Bray, one of his household, to murder
Arthur. "I am a gentleman, and not an executioner,"
answered De Bray, with becoming scorn. Finding that
others shrank from the atrocity, John's evil genius got
the better of him, and he resolved upon perpetrating
the deed of darkness with his own hand.
Having formed this determination, the tyrant, i.
the spring of 1203, repaired to Rouen, and on the 3rd
of April prepared for the cruel deed. To suppress
scruples, and silence the murmurs of conscience, he ate
ravenously and drank copiously. He then steeled him-
self against repentance, and descended to the dungeon.
The boy, terror-struck, gazed on his uncle with anxious
amaze, and melted into tears. The near prospect of
being launched into eternity appalled his spirit. He
threw himself on his knees and begged for mercy.


" Oh, mine uncle," he exclaimed, spare your brother's
son; spare your nephew; spare your race!" John made
no reply, but imbrued his hands in his young kins-
man's blood; and, having fastened heavy stones to the
bleeding corpse, caused it to be thrown into the Seine.
The whole affair was managed with such secrecy that
the fate of the unhappy Prince might long have
remained in obscurity but for a simple occurrence.
A fisherman of Rouen, plying his nets in the river,
was surprised to drag ashore the body of a boy of
sixteen. Whether or not he had his suspicions, he took
the corpse to the monks of Bee, who, recognizing it as
that of Arthur of Britanny, had it interred in the
Priory of Notre Dame de Pr6, which belonged to their
wealthy religious house. The corpse was buried with
the utmost secrecy; for, in the eyes of the blood-stained
tyrant, even this act of reverence towards his nephew
would have appeared a crime to be punished.
Among those who fell into the power of King
John at this period was Eleanor, the orphan sister
of Arthur, variously known as "La Brette," "The
Damsel," "The Pearl," and "The Fair Maid of
Britanny." In other days she had been contracted by
Cuwr de Lion to the son of Leopold, the perfidious
Duke of Austria; and, in the year 1194, she had
actually been sent into Germany. Before reaching her
destination Eleanor was freed from her contract by
Leopold's death, and she was soon after betrothed to a
French prince. But no royal palace was this fair

He threw himself on his knees and begged for mercy. Oh, mine uncle,"
he exclaimed, spare your brother's son."-p. 58.


daughter of the House of Plantagenet to grace. She
was sent by John to the Castle of Bristol, between
which and a monastery she passed forty years, musing
in sorrow and sadness over the misfortunes of her
It was early in April when Arthur was assassinated,
and ere the month of May arrived a rumour of the atro-
cious outrage was bruited about. The perpetrator was
regarded with the utmost indignation, and in Britanny
nothing was heard but the cry for vengeance. The
exasperated inhabitants, rallying round Alice, a half-
sister of the murdered Prince, allowed her father, Guy
de Tours, to assume the title of Duke of Britanny, and
deputed him to demand justice at the hands of Philip
Augustus. That politic monarch seized so favourable
an opportunity to crush a rival king at one blow, and
sent him a formal summons to appear before the Court
of the Twelve Peers of France, and, as a vassal of the
crown, answer for his crime. John sent an ambassa-
dor to say he would obey, if granted a safe-conduct.
" Ay, let him come in peace and security," said Philip.
"And so return, my lord?" asked the ambassador,
"Yes, if the judgment of his peers so allow." The
ambassador then requested a safe-conduct for his king
to come and go. "No, by all the saints of France;
not unless he is judged innocent of the crime!" ex-
claimed Philip, with more passion than he was in the
habit of manifesting. John, failing to appear, was tried
and condemned; and Philip, eagerly taking up arms,


executed the judgment of the feudal court by depriving
him of all the territory that his father Henry had
acquired in France, and expelling him with ignominy
from continental Europe.
Nor did the cruel usurper's misfortunes terminate
here. The shade of his murdered victim followed him
across the Channel, and constantly pursued his steps.
A strange fatality urged him on to the accomplishment
of his ruin. He was always threatening the powerful,
but never dared to strike any but the helpless. The
feelings of hatred and revenge that had eaten into his
heart prompted him to the most vicious and tyrannical
courses. At length, after being forced by the barons of
England to sign the Great Charter, and compelled, by
the threats of the Pope, to resign the English crown
to the legate, he died in agony, in bitterness and in
despair, at the Abbey of Swinehead.



A YOUTH in his teens, with features generally recog-
nised as handsome, and a form not tall but seemly and
elegant, arrayed in rich garments, worn with that
slovenly negligence not seldom distinguishing those
pursuing a career of dissipation such is the picture,
by a mighty master, of that Scottish prince of the
House of Stuart who, after his ill-starred marriage had
involved two kingdoms in war, was starved to death by
an unscrupulous uncle and a fierce father-in-law in the
prison-vaults of Falkland.
Froissart states that, towards the close of the four-
teenth century, hardly any kingdom of Europe was so
wretched as that to which Rothsay was born heir.
The wars with England had impoverished Scotland to
such a degree, that when the Admiral of France
arrived with an army to assist the inhabitants against
their richer and more powerful neighbours, the knights
and gentlemen, accustomed from boyhood to fine
houses, splendid chambers, and soft beds, no sooner
perceived the state of matters than they laughed in his


face, and said, "We have never known till now what
was meant by poverty and hard living." They could
not even get so much as iron to shoe their horses, or
leather to make saddles and bridles.
The moral state of the court was, it appears, on a
par with the material condition of the country; when,
in the year 1379, Annabella Drummond, wife of John,
Earl of Carrick, the King's eldest son, gave birth to an
heir to the crown of that kingdom which the strong
hand of Robert Bruce had wrested from the weak
grasp of the second Edward. The Prince received the
baptismal name of David, acquired a tincture of learn-
ing, and as he grew up exhibited some of the quali-
ties that lend grace to the station which he had the
prospect of occupying.
When Prince David was in his twelfth year his
grandsire, Robert Stuart, King of Scots, departed this
life. The Earl of Carrick, before investing himself
with the royal robes, remembering that his Christian
name had been borne by one of those hapless speci-
mens of humanity, the Baliols, thought it would be
unlucky to call himself King John, determined to throw
the ill-omened name aside, and ascended the throne
with the title of Robert the Third. Before reigning
long, the weak, superstitious king found to his cost
that fortune is not to be frightened with a name, and
that calling himself Robert did not make him quite
equal to the hero of Bannockburn.
When Prince David's father thus undertook the


perilous post of Scottish king the royal youth began
to figure as Earl of Carrick, and soon after found him-
self on the Borders, helping to negotiate a treaty with
John of Gaunt. Whether or not time-honoured Lan-
caster" affected too much superiority over the Cale-
donian plenipotentiaries on this occasion, it is needless
to inquire. It appears to have, somehow or other,
occurred to the Scots, that since they had a king of
their own-such as he was-they might as well have
dukes to keep him in countenance. Their creation
would cost little or nothing.
Accordingly, a solemn council was assembled at
Scone, an ancient regal residence in the neighbourhood
of Perth; and there Robert the Third, having meta-
morphosed his fair young son from Earl of Carrick into
Duke of Rothsay, metamorphosed his dark, designing
brother, from Earl of Fife into Duke of Albany. After
this ceremony the Queen ordered a grand tournament
to be held at Edinburgh; and Rothsay, rejoicing in his
new title, figured as the leader of those sons of chivalry
who came thither to display their knightly prowess.
Unfortunately for the heir of Scotland, he, ere
long, began to display other tastes than such as could
be gratified at solemn councils or grand tournaments.
Rothsay was gay, wild, and irregular in his habits;
and the life he led deeply grieved his royal sire. King
Robert being strict, religious, and scrupulously de-
corous, was, of course, quite shocked; and Albany,
who had no love whatever for his nephew, did all he


could to poison the King's mind, and to foment and
perpetuate the domestic quarrels caused by the Prince's
While Rothsay was giving scandal to all grave
persons, the poor King, marvelling that a son of his
could so behave, thought of taking counsel with his
spouse; and Queen Annabella, who had been famed
for her beauty, and still retained her sense, spirit, and
generosity, suggested that the best way to deal with
their son was to find him a fitting bride. Albany,
who had availed himself of his brother's weakness to
seize the reins of government, on being consulted, con-
curred with the Queen, and recommended that Rothsay
should wed the daughter of whatever magnate was
willing to pay the largest sum of money to have a royal
son-in-law. Accordingly, the ill-starred Rothsay was
set up to be disposed of to the highest bidder, and the
result of the scheme was one of the most fatal breach-
of-promise cases" on record.
There were then north of the Tweed two great
families, rivals in feudal power and baronial grandeur,
the house of Dunbar and the house of Douglas. Both
had high pretensions of different kinds; but Albany
first put his nephew under offer to the chief of the
Dunbars; and the latter, George, tenth Earl of March,
to secure a prospective throne for his daughter, con-
sented to give her a large dowry, and negotiated a
match. The feelings of Rothsay had probably been
little consulted in the transaction; but if the Scoto-


Saxon damsel's face was as fair as her blood was red,
the royal youth could hardly have been averse to receive
her as his bride. In any case he bound himself to the
contract by hand and seal, and part of her dowry was
paid forthwith.
So far matters were pleasant enough; but the news
of the matrimonial project was to Earl Douglas as the
sight of scarlet to a wounded bull, and he swore that it
should come to nought. Going, therefore, to Albany,
he insisted strongly on Rothsay espousing a daughter
of his own, tendered a larger sum of money than his
feudal rival had agreed to pay, and finally succeeded in
accomplishing his object. The consequence was that
Margery Douglas became Duchess of Rothsay in the
church of Bothwell; and Elizabeth Dunbar, instead of
donning the white veil of a bride to conceal her blushes,
took the veil of a nun to hide her shame and vexation.
Scotland soon learned that she was to pay dear for
this breach of faith on the part of her rulers-this
repudiation of the daughter of an illustrious house,
whose chiefs the first Edward had addressed as the
noblest of men and the dearest of friends. On the
celebration of Rothsay's marriage the Earl of March
demanded back that portion of the dowry he had paid;
but, receiving no satisfactory answer, and considering
that insult was thus added to injury, he vowed revenge,
and placed himself under the protection of his kinsman,
the King of England.
It happened that Henry of Bolingbroke, son of John


of Gaunt, had recently obtained the English throne
by deposing his cousin Richard, and had thereby in-
curred the enmity of the French king, whose daughter
Richard had wedded. Albany, to curry favour with
the court of Paris, had described Henry as a traitor;
and the son of Gaunt, who could not digest the affront,
gladly accepted the Scoto-Saxon Earl's allegiance, and,
going to Newcastle, concluded with him an alliance
offensive and defensive. Having settled that matter,
the King of England, in the autumn of 1400, led an
army northward, and crossing the frontier entered
Scotland near Kelso.
Before leaving the banks of the Tyne, Henry sent
to the Scots, requesting their presence at Edinburgh,
that they might do him homage. The Scots received
the King's message, and did meet him at Edinburgh;
but it was to bid him defiance.
At this crisis Rothsay was not found wanting. In-
deed, he seems, with all his faults, to have displayed a
courage not unworthy of a youthful prince with the
blood of Bruce in his veins. Leaving the company of his
bride, he held "the Maiden Castle" against the enemies
of his country, and sent a herald to say that, in order
to prevent the shedding of Christian blood, he was
willing to stake all disputes on a combat between one,
two, or three Scottish nobles, against as many of those
marching in front of the English array. Bolingbroke
parried this sally of juvenile vivacity by one of those
pieces of wit which never failed him. "He was sur-


prised," he said, "that Rothsay, who expressed so much
aversion to shedding Christian blood, should propose a
combat of nobles, whose blood was surely Christian."
While the King of England was before Edinburgh
a herald came from Albany, pledging his honour that,
if the English would remain for the space of six days,
he would come and give them battle. Henry rewarded
the herald, expressed the satisfaction he would have in
waiting for the Duke, and stayed, not only for six days,
but six weeks. However, the Scots not appearing, the
winter coming on, provisions growing scarce, and
disease prevailing in the camp, he thought it prudent
to abandon the siege, and, alarmed at the commotion
raised by Owen Glendower, returned to England
Henry had accomplished so little during this ex-
pedition that his retreat was almost a humiliation-the
successful resistance of the Scots almost a triumph.
But Earl Douglas, who had the direction of Scottish
military affairs, instead of letting well alone, indulged
his savage nature by sending forth foraging parties
to waste the English borders; and Hepburn of Hailes,
ancestor of the infamous Bothwell, at the head of
the flower of the youth of Lothian, penetrated far
into England. While returning through "the rich
Merse" with much booty, Hepburn was suddenly set
upon by the Earl of March. A sharp conflict ensued;
and when it was over Hepburn lay dead on the ground,
with the flower of the youth of Lothian stretched
around him.


Eager to avenge this disaster, Douglas assembled
an army, crossed the frontier, and ravaged the country
as far as Newcastle. After taking much spoil the
grim Earl turned back, and encamped on Homeldon,
an eminence near Wooler. While Douglas was in
this position the injured Earl of March, in company
with the Earl of Northumberland and his son Harry
Percy, surnamed "Hotspur," came on a September day
to give him battle.
When the armies were face to face, Hotspur, with
characteristic vehemence, was about to charge up the
hill at all hazards; but March, catching the fiery lord's
rein, restrained his ardour, and advised him to make
the English archers let fly their cloth-yard shafts. The
policy of this course soon appeared. At the first flight
the Scottish forces were thrown into confusion, and
Douglas furiously led them down the hill. Though the
armour worn by the Scottish Earl and his comrades had
been three years in making, the English arrows proved
irresistible. Many of the Scots fell while descending the
hill; and Douglas, after losing an eye, was taken with
many nobles, knights, and squires. Two brave Scottish
knights, bearing the names of Gordon and Swinton,
forgetting an old feud, rallied the broken forces, and
renewed the battle; but they were slain, and their men
were scattered. The rout of the Scots was now com-
plete. Chased over hill and vale to the Tweed, many,
not knowing the fords, rushed in at random, and
perished in the broad, deep waters. The bright beam


of victory shone on the red cross of St. George; and
Elizabeth Dunbar was avenged.
Ere that revenge had been accomplished Rothsay
had gone to his account. At the time of his marriage
with the daughter of Douglas he had arrived at what
are deemed years of discretion; but the levity of his
conduct still gave great offence, and Albany began to
form a criminal scheme for possessing himself of the
crown. Douglas also becoming an enemy of the Prince,
on whom he had forced his daughter, conspired with
Albany for effecting Rothsay's ruin, and finally formed
as diabolical a conspiracy as history tells of.
Among those companions of the Prince enjoying his
confidence and sharing his dissipation was a man named
Ramorgny, who had at one time been Ambassador at
Paris, and learned to talk of assassination without horror.
One day Ramorgny, while conversing with Rothsay,
recommended that his uncle should be put to death.
The Prince, shrinking instinctively from such a pro-
posal, repelled the suggestion with so much indignation
that Ramorgny, apprehensive of his revealing the matter
to Albany, resolved to be beforehand with him. Re-
pairing without delay to the Duke, he stated that
Rothsay was conspiring against his life.
Albany had wanted nothing but a pretext for dealing
with his nephew, and he was rejoiced to have one
sufficiently specious to impose on the poor, wretched,
imbecile, unwarlike King. He repaired to the palace;
represented the matter in the very worst light; and


succeeded in persuading the unhappy father of the
absolute necessity of confining his son, not only to
prevent his murderous purpose being executed, but to
work, if possible, a reformation in his life. The stupid
old man, a mere royal cipher, granted a warrant, and
measures were taken to insure the Prince's arrest.
From the King, Albany went to the Prince, told
him that his life was in danger, and advised him to seek
safety in the Castle of St. Andrew's. Rothsay took
the advice, mounted his horse, and set out with a
slender train. But while on the way he was suddenly
set upon by Ramorgny and others employed by Albany,
and dragged from his charger. The rain beginning to
fall heavily, they covered him with one of the russet
cloaks then worn by the peasantry, and in this way
conducted him to the Castle of Falkland, then a gloomy
fortress belonging to Albany. On arrival he was
thrown into a dungeon, and committed to the custody
of Selkirk and Wright, two ruffians, who received
orders to let him starve to death, and who had no
scruples about fulfilling their instructions.
The captive was now in despair; but a ray of hope
ere long found its way into his gloomy prison, and
inspired his breast with vague anticipations. His
lamentations reached the ear of his jailer's daughter,
and pierced her heart. The woman, moved with pity,
resolved at all hazards to save the Prince from dying of
hunger. From time to time she brought him cakes
concealed in her veil, and slid them through the bars


of the prison. She was, however, detected in her
charitable enterprise, and put to death for her humanity.
Rothsay was then left without food; and the pangs of
hunger became so intolerable that he devoured part of
his own flesh. At length, "mad with famine and
despair," he expired about Easter, 1402.
Winton thus depicts Rothsay, though, perhaps, in
more flattering colours than he appeared to the people
who saw him day by day:-

"Our lord the king's eldest son,
Sweet and virtuous, young and fair,
And his nearest lawful heir;
Honest, able, and awenand,
Our lord, our prince, is all pleasant,
Connand into literature,
A seemly person in stature."

The poor King was, for a time, kept in ignorance of
his son's cruel fate; and an inquiry into the circumn-
stance before his councillors resulted in a verdict of
death by Divine Providence. But when his suspicions
were at last aroused he became most anxious for the
safety of his surviving son, who afterwards reigned in
Scotland as the first James. The Earl of Orkney was
therefore intrusted with the duty of conveying the
young prince to France, and set sail. Their vessel,
however, was captured by an English privateer, and
taken to London. King Henry saw the value of the
prize, and resolved to keep the future poet-king as a
state prisoner. In vain did Orkney represent that the


mission to France was pacific; in vain did he declare
that its object was simply the boy's education. Henry
replied jestingly that "he knew the French language
indifferently well, and that the King of Scots could not
have sent his son to a better master."
Meanwhile the remains of Rothsay had been carried
from the prison-vaults of Falkland, and laid, with
funeral pomp, in the church of Lindores. In that age
of superstition and credulity men could imagine and
believe almost anything. It is not, therefore, surprising
that strange apparitions were reported to haunt the
last resting-place of the murdered Prince, and that
miracles were believed to be wrought at his tomb.



ON an August morning in the year 1394 a noble
army was traversing the forest of Mans. At its head
rode a man of twenty-seven or thereabouts, who wore
a jacket of black velvet and a crimson hood, on which
glittered a chaplet of pearls. His eye wandered wildly
and feverishly; his cheek was pale and wan; and his
features were haggard, like those of a person on whose
mind was preying some secret sorrow. It was Charles
the Sixth, King of France; and his grief was caused
by the knowledge that the beautiful queen who had
presented him with the chaplet that adorned his hood
was not, by any means, the most faithful of wives.
King Charles was on his way to arrest an assassin
of high rank, who had taken refuge with the Duke of
Britanny, when suddenly from among the trees sprang
a man in a garment of white russet, with bare head
and naked feet, who, seizing the King's bridle, ex-
claimed with wild gestures, "Oh, King, go no further;
for you are betrayed!"
The guards, perceiving that the man was insane,


removed him by force; and the King, pursuing his
journey, emerged from the forest about noon, and
entered upon a plain. At that time the sun was shining
with such excessive brightness as to affect both men
and horses; and one of the pages who bore the royal
lance falling asleep, let the weapon strike on the steel
casque that was carried by another. The King, who
was still brooding over the madman's mysterious
warning, alarmed at the sharp ring, started, shuddered,
drew his sword, and exclaimed, "I am betrayed!" He
then turned round, spurred his horse to a gallop, fell
upon his attendants with fury, and finally yielding to
numbers, was conveyed back to Mans. To acute
observers the cause was clear enough. The King of
France was a maniac.
When the unhappy man, removed to the Castle of
Creil, had recovered his reason, the Queen and a
youthful Prince appeared at that place. The Queen
was Isabel of Bavaria, a woman of great beauty, but
of equivocal reputation; the infant Prince was Louis
de Valois, who, as heir to that crown which Hugh
Capet had torn from the feeble Carlovingians, enjoyed
the title of Dauphin and the Dukedom of Aquitaine.
Yet few young serfs who laboured in the sunny fields
of France had reason to envy that child, with his royal
name, his princely title, and his extensive territory;
for hardly could any influences have been less auspicious
than those which presided over his boyhood, and con-
signed him to an untimely grave.


The King, the Queen, and the Dauphin returned
to Paris, and occupied the Hotel de St. Paul, long a
royal residence; but the King's malady returned, and
his condition was pitiable. The Queen, a votary of
pleasure, totally neglecting her husband, formed a
close intimacy with his profligate brother, the Duke of
Orleans; and the poor demented monarch, whom from
the first she had despised for his puerility, becoming a
prey to intolerable misery, was incapable of being
soothed or calmed save by one person, his sister-in-law,
Valentine, Duchess of Orleans.
Valentine, one of the Visconti of Milan, whom the
ambition of her family had, at the cost of a million of
francs as her dowry, made a royal duchess, possessed
numerous personal graces, and manifested a gentle and
amiable disposition. As a native of Italy, however,
she was suspected of witchcraft and poisoning; and it
was said that when her father, the Duke of Milan,
took leave of her in Paris after her marriage, he re-
marked significantly, "I never wish to see you again
but as Queen of France." Acting on the paternal
hint-such was the popular suspicion-she not only
caused the King's lunacy, but occupied herself with
the project of destroying the young Dauphin and the
other royal children, who stood between her posterity
and the throne of France.
The sudden death of one of Valentine's own sons
strangely gave colour to these reports. Rumour asserted
that one day when the Dauphin was amusing himself


with his little cousin of Orleans in the apartments oi
the Duchess, a Parisian boy was sent with a beautiful
apple as a present to the heir of France. A nurse in
the service of the Duchess, passing through the palace
garden with an infant prince of the house of Orleans
in her arms, happening to meet the boy, requested that
the apple might be given to her little charge; but the
boy having been ordered to present it to "My Lord
the Dauphin," and no one else, persisted in refusing.
The nurse, however, took the apple by force, and the
little Orleans prince having gratified his appetite,
sickened and died.
The apple, it was concluded, had been intended to
poison the Dauphin; and suspicion immediately fell on
the Italian Duchess. Those in charge of the Dauphin
hurried him away, and declared that he should never
more enter her apartments; and the credulous Parisians,
in the ardour of their exasperation, threatened that if
the Italian sorceress were not removed they would for-
cibly drag her from the palace and drown her in the
Seine. This menace was effectual; and the Duke of
Orleans, fearful of suspicion falling on himself, sent his
Italian spouse to pine for many long months in one of
his castles.
Meanwhile the court of France was nothing the
better for the absence of Valentine. The King was
sometimes overrun with vermin, and most scantily
supplied with the necessaries of life; and as for the
Dauphin and royal children, their plight was so


wretched that their governess was under the necessity
of complaining to the King, during one of his occa-
sional gleams of reason, that she had not the means of
obtaining for them proper food and clothing. The
unfortunate monarch, who was naturally affable and
benevolent, sighed deeply, and, taking a gold cup that
stood beside him, requested her to procure with the
value of it whatever they required.
While the Duke of Orleans, profiting by his alliance
with the Queen, was exercising the functions of regent
and daily increasing in influence, a rival to his preten-
sions arose in. the person of John the Fearless, Duke
of Burgundy. This potentate insisted upon the heir
of France espousing his eldest daughter; and the Duke
was too powerful to be refused any favour he demanded.
The Dauphin was in early boyhood, and Margaret of
Burgundy was quite as juvenile; but to the youth of
persons in such circumstances no exception was taken
in that age; so the matrimonial contract was formally
signed, and Burgundy, having had his own way, de-
parted to defend the frontier against an attack threatened
by the English.
No sooner was the back of John the Fearless turned
than Orleans, bent at all hazards on dissolving this
match and furnishing his nephew with another bride,
made arrangements for carrying off the Dauphin to
Chartres, and set out for that place with the Queen.
The Dauphin followed in a litter, under the charge of
his maternal uncle, Louis of Bavaria; but he had


scarcely reached Corbeil when Burgundy came up
with eight hundred horsemen.
The Duke, after professions of respect, asked the
Dauphin to return to Paris. "You will be better there
than in any other part of the kingdom," said the Duke;
"and besides, I am desirous of conversing with you on
many matters that concern you." The Dauphin was
willing, but Louis of Bavaria interposed. "My lord
Duke," he said, "suffer my nephew, the Dauphin, to
follow his mother." Burgundy frowned, muttered
"No," and shook his head. "He has the consent of
his father for so doing," urged the Bavarian. Heedless
of this protest, Burgundy ordered the Dauphin's litter
to be turned, conveyed him towards Paris, and lodged
him in the Louvre. From that day the royal boy was
for some time a mere instrument in the hands of the
contending factions.
The strife between the rival Dukes commenced
forthwith. Orleans and the Queen retraced their steps
to Melun, and summoned thither their adherents from
all quarters, and with banners displayed advanced upon
the capital. Hearing of their approach, Burgundy,
who, while aspiring to the character of a De Montfort
or a Warwick, only realized the part of a Longbeard
or a Cade, gathered the Parisian populace to his
standard, and made vigorous preparations for defence.
After some delay the rivals consented to submit
their differences to the princes of the blood; and the
quarrel having been adjusted, Orleans came to Paris.


and appeared in public with Burgundy, as if they had
been the most attached friends. Moreover, they
swore several times, on the holy Scriptures and the
blessed cross, to live in concord and amity. The
Dauphin, who had been the involuntary cause of so
much discord and disorder, was placed under the
guardianship of his great-uncle, the old Duke of Berry.
While affairs were in this posture, and the King
had temporary possession of his faculties, and the court
was dancing and fiddling as of yore, Orleans had
the indiscretion to boast that the Duchess of Burgundy
had smiled on him, and the imprudence to place her
picture among those of his mistresses. Burgundy
vowed a stern revenge; and one winter night, while
Orleans, who had been supping with the Queen, was
riding towards the H6tel de St. Paul, he found himself
attacked by armed men. I am the Duke of Orleans,"
he exclaimed, imagining there was some mistake. "It
is you we want," the assassins replied, and one of them
with a battle-axe cut off their victim's bridle-hand.
A few more strokes brought him to the pavement, and
a blow from a club dashed out his brains. In a few
days Burgundy, who himself was fated to fall by the
hands of assassins twelve years later, confessed to the
murder, gloried in the deed, and consulted his safety
by flying into Flanders.
A cry for vengeance arose; but Burgundy de-
fended the crime on the ground that Orleans was
a tyrant, and that it was the duty of good citizens to


put tyrants to death. The widowed Duchess of
Orleans, however, appeared in Paris with her eldest
son, to get a day fixed for hearing the case; and
when the time arrived, the King, being seized with
his old malady, the Dauphin was called upon to sit
in judgment as his father's representative.
The royal boy, who had been living in retire-
ment at Melun with his mother, thus became, for
the time, a most important personage. Preceded by
the Queen's car, and attended by a train of princes,
prelates, and nobles, he entered Paris, mounted on
a white horse, and appeared in the great hall
of the palace arrayed in royal robes, and ac-
companied by the Chancellor, the Queen, and the
princes of the blood. The widowed Valentine, at-
tended by her son, entered the hall; and after her
advocate had delivered a long oration, the Dauphin
assured her that she should have speedy justice.
The Duchess, whose affection for her husband had
outlived his harsh treatment, remained for a time
in Paris; but the promise of justice was never ful-
filled. Despairing, she retired to Blois, and began
to sink. When on her deathbed she exhorted her
children to pursue their father's murderer. It is
worthy of mention that her husband's son, the celebrated
" Bastard of Orleans," being present, answered her
appeal most warmly. The dying woman was touched.
"Alas !" she exclaimed, "they robbed me; he ought
to have been my son."


At this time the Dauphin was placed under Burgundy,
that he might be instructed in the art of war and the
science of government; and the turbulent Duke, with
the sanction of the Queen, who was alternately false to
both parties, took up his residence in Paris, where, for
a while, he ruled with despotic sway. The Orleans
party, however, was not quite powerless, for the young
Duke espoused a daughter of the Count of Armagnac;
and that nobleman becoming the head of a league
against Burgundy, took up arms.
The insurgents, emboldened by promises of support
from England, hardly concealed their intention to
depose the King, and exclude his heir from the suc-
cession. But the King, placed at the head of an army,
with the Dauphin and Burgundy as lieutenants, took
the Castle of Fontenay, and laid siege to Bourges.
Before that wealthy and populous city, held by the
Dukes of Berry and Bourbon, Burgundy pushed matters
to extremity; and the Dauphin, seeing with regret the
destruction of so fine a place, ordered the cannoneering
to be stopped. Burgundy expressed his surprise at this
forbearance; but the Dauphin was firm, and declared,
in a tone which he had not hitherto assumed, that he
was resolved to put an end to the war. His efforts
were not in vain, and he returned in triumph to Paris.
It was now that the Dauphin began to exhibit a
somewhat haughty and imperious temper. His associates
advised him to take the reins of government into his
own hands; and he followed their counsel. Seeing that


the Kings of France were considered of age at fourteen,
there appeared nothing ridiculous in a prince in his
teens assuming the regency. The worst was that
Burgundy, who for a time had felt his influence
evaporating, became his son-in-law's foe; and disagree-
able were the consequences.
The Dauphin, in the exercise of his authority, re-
called to office an unpopular minister, named Sir Peter
des Essars, and thus rousing the democracy of the capital,
became an object of suspicion with those to him he had
formerly been an idol. A report was spread that on
May-day he intended to hold a tilting-match in the
forest of Vincennes; that Essars was to attend him
with six hundred helmets; that Orleans was gathering
an army; and that the Duke and the Dauphin would
march to overawe Burgundy and the discontented
spirits of the capital.
On hearing this rumour the Parisians, resolving to
be beforehand, seized upon Essars, and committed him
to the dungeons of the Louvre. Assuming white hoods as
their partybadge, and electing Jean de Troyes, a surgeon,
and Jean Caboche, a butcher, as leaders, they marched
to the h6tel of the Dauphin, forcibly made their way to
his apartments, addressed him in threatening language,
and demanded the surrender of all traitors. There
are no traitors here," replied the Dauphin, his ire
kindling. "If you are willing to give them up, good
and well," said the democratic leaders; "otherwise we
must seize them before your face, and punish them as


they deserve." "Such matters do not belong to you,"
cried the Dauphin furiously; and at this crisis Bur-
gundy suddenly presented his sinister face. At the
same time the mob rushed in and seized the obnoxious
ministers. "Duke," said the Dauphin, in a voice
tremulous with suppressed rage, "this insurrection is
your work, and those of your household are its leaders;
but know that you will repent it one day." "My
lord," said Burgundy, "you will comprehend better
when your passion cools."
The ringleaders forthwith carried the Dauphin to
the H6tel de St. Paul, compelled him to reside there
with his father, and, lest he should escape from the city,
guarded the gates with vigilance. "He is young and
impatient of contradiction," said they; "this is all for
his good." Moreover, they forced him, in an assembly of
twenty thousand persons, to read aloud a paper, in
which sixty of his friends were denounced as traitors;
and they finally demanded the surrender of Louis of
The Bavarian was on the point of making his
fortune by leading a noble widow to the altar, when
a multitude of people marched in front of the H6tel de
St. Paul. Burgundy, who began to tremble at the
storm he had raised, entreated them to withdraw; but
they presented him with a roll of names, among whom
was that of the Bavarian bridegroom, and said, "We
will not go home till these people are delivered up to
us." The demagogic Duke, finding that he could no


longer control their passions, repaired to the Queen;
and she, in extreme perplexity, sent for the Dauphin.
" Go to the people," said she; "ask them to wait for
eight days, and then I will either deliver up my brother
or suffer them to arrest him." The Dauphin, on re-
ceiving this mandate, retired to his chamber and shed
bitter tears." Don't weep," said Burgundy, entering,
"but come with me."
The Dauphin dried his tears and accompanied his
father-in-law, and Burgundy briefly informed the
populace of the Queen's request; but, instead of
acceding, they threatened to go to the royal lady's apart-
ments, and take the proscribed persons by force. There
being nothing else for it, the Bavarian descended to the
street; and the others, among whom were several ladies,
followed his example. Many of them were executed
without trial. Essars was tried and beheaded in the
market-place, and Jean de Troyes took up his residence
at the palace, where the Dauphin was his prisoner.
The Prince, however, watched for a reaction in
public opinion, and as the autumn passed on he became
aware that the time for retaliation had arrived. One
September day Jean de Troyes sallied forth, with all
the bustle and importance which his brief authority
had caused him to assume, and the Dauphin seized the
occasion, set the surviving captives at liberty, and
ordered the bells of all the churches to be rung. The
tables were completely turned. Troyes, Caboche, and
their confederates fled to Flanders. Burgundy stole


away to his own dominions, and his departure was the
signal for general rejoicing. The burghers of Paris,
doffing their white hoods, assumed the white scarf-the
device of Orleans-and for days and nights the utmost
joy was exhibited at the triumph of the Dauphin over
dukeism and democracy.
The heir of Orleans now became the great man;
and the Dauphin found, to his mortification, that he
had only changed masters, and was mewed in the
Louvre more like a prisoner than a prince. Matters
reached a crisis. The Queen, at the instigation of the
ruling faction, caused four of his knights and several of
his servants to be arrested; and the young man was so
indignant at this insult that he secretly despatched a
message to Burgundy to hasten to Paris. John the
Fearless was soon at St. Denis with a formidable host.
Ere the news of Burgundy's approach was carried
to Paris the Dauphin had been reconciled to the faction
in power. He was dining with a canon in the cloisters
of Notre Dame, when thither, in anxious haste, went
Orleans with eleven thousand men-at-arms. The
Dauphin mounted his horse, rode to the Town House,
caused a trumpet to be sounded, thanked the assembled
multitude for their loyalty, denied that any invitation
had been sent to the Burgundian, proceeded to the
Louvre, and held a conference. Burgundy, finding his
enemies so well prepared, was fain, after advancing to
the walls in battle array with displayed banners, to
beat a retreat. The Dauphin, resolving to crush him,


joined the King at Senlis, took Compiegne and Soissons,
and then expressed his desire for a reconciliation.
When reminded of the offences Burgundy had com-
mitted he frankly replied, "Nevertheless, I would
put an end to this war, for otherwise I perceive the
King and kingdom will go to perdition." By his
influence a treaty of peace was concluded, and the
articles were solemnly sworn to by the belligerents.
On returning to Paris the King and Dauphin met
with a reception flattering in the extreme. A countless
array of princes, nobles, prelates, knights, and esquires
formed the royal train. The provost, the sheriffs, the
members of the Parliament, the members of the Uni-
versity, and the citizens in their uniforms of green, met
the procession. In a fit of loyal enthusiasm they lighted
bonfires in the streets, feasted, caroused, and shouted,
"Long live the King!" "Long live the Queen !" and
"Long live the Dauphin!" All this was, perhaps,
pleasant enough to those concerned; but to the
thoughtful it must have appeared mere folly. Never
had greater misfortunes impended over France than
when the Parisians were thus cheering about the worst
royal family in Europe. Ere the winter passed the
King was again a helpless lunatic at the H6tel de St.
Paul, and affairs were in worse confusion than ever.
The Dauphin, since the day when he was brought
from Corbeil by Burgundy, had, with brief intervals of
power, been nothing more than half the pity, half the
sport of the contentious nobles. He now, in the fever


of youth, resolved to be so no longer, and determined
on a coup d'etat. With this view he invited the
princes of the blood to hold a family conference with
his mother at Melun in April, 1415; and, while they
were exercising their wits to deceive each other, he
mounted his steed, and, with a few trusty comrades,
rode to Paris.
Encountering little or no opposition, the Dauphin
ordered the drawbridge to be raised and the gates
closed. He then entered the houses of three persons,
with whom his mother had deposited sums of money,
and, seizing upon the treasure, -carried it to the Louvre.
Thither he summoned the citizens and public function-
aries; and having made the Chancellor lay before them
the history of the government since his father's corona-
tion, he pointed out how the finances had been
squandered while the nation was plundered, and
declared that, as Dauphin and heir of France, he could
no longer tolerate such an administration of affairs.
After stating his resolution to assume the functions of
government in his father's name, he promised to provide
against such abuses. The Dauphin then informed the
princes of the blood that they must retire to their
estates, attend to their own affairs, and absent them-
selves from Paris till commanded thither by the King
or himself.
The royal youth, who was installed in the Louvre
as master of the capital, with the sympathies of the
populace, had unfortunately yielded to that immorality


which had long disgraced the court of Isabel of
Bavaria. While his friends were auguring for him a
prosperous future, the Dauphin developed, with alarming
rapidity, the worst faults of the race of Valois. He
practised illegal methods to raise money; lavished the
public funds on dissolute companions; shut up his wife,
Margaret of Burgundy, a young and beautiful woman,
in the Chateau of St. Germain; and indulged in an
amour with some damsel who was a servant at the
While the Dauphin was thus destroying public
confidence, ambassadors waited on him from the Duke
of Burgundy. The ambassadors had been sent to
request, among other things, that the Dauphin should,
without delay, take his wife to reside at the Louvre;
and the youth, enraged at their proposal, gave them
an unfavourable reception. "Prince," said an envoy,
significantly, "know that, in case of our lord's request
not being granted, and an invasion by the English
taking place, neither he nor his vassals will bear arms
in defence of the kingdom." The threat was not
without effect; for the new peril impending over
France was no secret to the youth who, in his teens,
presided over her destinies.
Six years before the day when King C'i. i.- became
the victim of insanity in the forest of Mans, and while
Richard the Second occupied the English throne, Henry
of Bolingbroke, son of John of Gaunt, was presented
by his spouse, a daughter of the Anglo-Norman


Bohuns, with an heir to the Lancastrian branch of the
Plantagenets. The child, who received the baptismal
name of Henry, appeared so sickly that he was removed
from the Castle of Monmouth, in which he had first
seen the light, and sent to be nursed at the village of
Courtfield by a peasant woman, whose monument is
still to be seen in a little church in the vicinity.
Gradually, from a sickly infant, the Lancastrian prince
became a chubby boy, with an eye bright with in-
telligence, and a countenance beaming with frankness.
When his father, returning from an irksome exile,
usurped the throne, Henry of Monmouth was created
Prince of Wales; and as years passed on his popularity
caused so much alarm to his jealous sire, that, though
giving signal proofs of his courage and capacity in
campaigns against the Percies at Shrewsbury, and
Owen Glendower on the Marches of Wales, he was
systematically excluded from civil and military employ-
ments. Restrained from exercising his faculties in
those spheres for which he was fitted by nature, Henry
was led into the company of men notorious for affrays
in the street and robberies on the highway; and he
became so negligent of decorum, that his father felt
uneasiness in having such an heir to that crown which
he had gained by unscrupulous means, and guarded
with surpassing vigilance.
The nation, however, was disposed to look in-
dulgently on the indiscretions of a prince born and
bred on English ground, and augured favourably


from a circumstance which unexpectedly occurred.
A riotous comrade of young Henry being summoned for
felony before the Court of King's Bench, the Prince of
Wales appeared to afford countenance to the culprit, and,
on sentence being passed, forgot himself so far as to strike
the Chief Justice. The judge instantly vindicated the
majesty of the law by ordering the heir to the crown to
be arrested; and "Prince Hal," yielding with readiness,
was conducted to prison.
But whatever impression this submission produced
on the multitude, the wise and prudent predicted the
worst of such a "madcap prince." The wise and
prudent were, for once, mistaken. When this hero of
hostesses and familiar of tapsters ascended the throne
as Henry the Fifth, he frustrated their prophecies
and dispelled their delusions. He chose his councillors
from among the gravest and sagest men in the realm;
he treated with peculiar favour the fearless judge who
had sent him to the King's Bench; he secured the
esteem of his subjects by his wise and just measures;
and he understood the people far too well to lose their
favour. To a person of Henry's high spirit and
martial genius, whose youth had been divided between
the evanescent pleasures of dissipation and the unsatis-
factory excitement of civil war, a field of action was
necessary in which to establish his reputation, and he
determined to invade France.
England had now a power very different from the
unhappy country to which King John had been driven

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