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Title: Henry of Monmouth, Volume 1 - Memoirs of Henry the Fifth
Author: Tyler, James Endell, 1789-1851
Language: English
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[Transcriber's note: Obvious printer's errors have been corrected.
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[Illustration: Henri of Monmouth]

                         HENRY OF MONMOUTH:


                   OF THE LIFE AND CHARACTER OF

                          HENRY THE FIFTH,



                      BY J. ENDELL TYLER, B.D.


               "Go, call up Cheshire and Lancashire,
                  And Derby hills, that are so free;
                But neither married man, nor widow's son;
                  No widow's curse shall go with me."

                          IN TWO VOLUMES.

                              VOL. I.

                Publisher in Ordinary to Her Majesty.


                    PRINTED BY SAMUEL BENTLEY,
                   Dorset Street, Fleet Street.

TO HER MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY THE QUEEN.                           (p. iii)


The gracious intimation of your Royal pleasure that these Memoirs of
your renowned Predecessor should be dedicated to your Majesty, while
it increases my solicitude, suggests at the same time new and cheering
anticipations. I cannot but hope that, appearing in the world under
the auspices of your great name, the religious and moral purposes
which this work is designed to serve will be more widely and
effectually realised.

       *       *       *       *       *

Under a lively sense of the literary defects which render these
volumes unworthy of so august a patronage, to one point I may revert
with feelings of satisfaction and encouragement. I have gone only   (p. iv)
where Truth seemed to lead me on the way: and this, in your Majesty's
judgment, I am assured will compensate for many imperfections.

       *       *       *       *       *

That your Majesty may ever abundantly enjoy the riches of HIS favour
who is the Spirit of Truth, and having long worn your diadem here in
honour and peace, in the midst of an affectionate and happy people,
may resign it in exchange for an eternal crown in heaven, is the
prayer of one who rejoices in the privilege of numbering himself,


        Among your Majesty's

            Most faithful and devoted

                Subjects and servants.

                      J. ENDELL TYLER.

24, Bedford Square,
    May 24, 1838.

PREFACE.                                                             (p. v)

Memoirs such as these of Henry of Monmouth might doubtless be made
more attractive and entertaining were their Author to supply the
deficiencies of authentic records by the inventions of his fancy, and
adorn the result of careful inquiry into matters of fact by the
descriptive imagery and colourings of fiction. To a writer, also, who
could at once handle the pen of the biographer and of the poet, few
names would offer a more ample field for the excursive range of
historical romance than the life of Henry of Monmouth. From the day of
his first compulsory visit to Ireland, abounding as that time does
with deeply interesting incidents, to his last hour in the now-ruined
castle of Vincennes;--or rather, from his mother's espousals to the
interment of his earthly remains within the sacred precincts of
Westminster, every period teems with animating suggestions. So far,
however, from possessing such adventitious recommendations, the point
on which (rather perhaps than any other) an apology might be expected
for this work, is, that it has freely tested by the standard of     (p. vi)
truth those delineations of Henry's character which have contributed
to immortalize our great historical dramatist. The Author, indeed, is
willing to confess that he would gladly have withdrawn from the task
of assaying the substantial accuracy and soundness of Shakspeare's
historical and biographical views, could he have done so safely and
without a compromise of principle. He would have avoided such an
inquiry, not only in deference to the acknowledged rule which does not
suffer a poet to be fettered by the rigid shackles of unbending facts;
but from a disinclination also to interfere, even in appearance, with
the full and free enjoyment of those exquisite scenes of humour, wit,
and nature, in which Henry is the hero, and his "riotous, reckless
companions" are subordinate in dramatical excellence only to himself.
The Author may also not unwillingly grant, that (with the majority of
those who give a tone to the "form and pressure" of the age)
Shakspeare has done more to invest the character of Henry with a
never-dying interest beyond the lot of ordinary monarchs, than the
bare records of historical verity could ever have effected. Still he
feels that he had no alternative. He must either have ascertained the
historical worth of those scenic representations, or have suffered to
remain in their full force the deep and prevalent impressions, as to
Henry's principles and conduct, which owe, if not their origin, yet,
at least, much of their universality and vividness, to Shakspeare. (p. vii)
The poet is dear, and our early associations are dear; and pleasures
often tasted without satiety are dear: but to every rightly balanced
mind Truth will be dearer than all.

       *       *       *       *       *

It must nevertheless be here intimated, that these volumes are neither
exclusively, nor yet especially, designed for the antiquarian student.
The Author has indeed sought for genuine information at every
fountain-head accessible to him; but he has prepared the result of his
researches for the use (he would trust, for the improvement as well as
the gratification,) of the general reader. And whilst he has not
consciously omitted any essential reference, he has guarded against
interrupting the course of his narrative by an unnecessary accumulation
of authorities. He is, however, compelled to confess that he rises
from this very limited sphere of inquiry under an impression, which
grew stronger and deeper as his work advanced, that, before a history
of our country can be produced worthy of a place among the records of
mankind, the still hidden treasures of the metropolis and of our
universities, together with the stores which are known to exist in
foreign libraries, must be studied with far more of devoted care and
zealous perseverance than have hitherto been bestowed upon them. That
the honest and able student, however unwearied in zeal and industry,
may be supplied with the indispensable means of verifying what    (p. viii)
tradition has delivered down, enucleating difficulties, rectifying
mistakes, reconciling apparent inconsistencies, clearing up doubts,
and removing that mass of confusion and error under which the truth
often now lies buried,--our national history must be made a subject of
national interest. It is a maxim of our law, and the constant practice
of our courts of justice, never to admit evidence unless it be the
best which under the circumstances can be obtained. Were this principle
of jurisprudence recognised and adopted in historical criticism, the
student would carefully ascend to the first witnesses of every period,
on whom modern writers (however eloquent or sagacious) must depend for
their information. How lamentably devoid of authority and credit is
the work of the most popular and celebrated of our modern English
historians in consequence of his unhappy neglect of this fundamental
principle, will be made palpably evident by the instances which could
not be left unnoticed even within the narrow range of these Memoirs.
And the Author is generally persuaded that, without a far more
comprehensive and intimate acquaintance with original documents than
our writers have possessed, or apparently have thought it their duty
to cultivate, error will continue to be propagated as heretofore; and
our annals will abound with surmises and misrepresentations, instead
of being the guardian depositories of historical verity. Only by the
acknowledgment and application of the principle here advocated will (p. ix)
England be supplied with those monuments of our race, those
"POSSESSIONS FOR EVER," as the Prince of Historians[1] once named
them, which may instruct the world in the philosophy of moral cause
and effect, exhibit honestly and clearly the natural workings of the
human heart, and diffuse through the mass of our fellow-creatures a
practical assurance that piety, justice, and charity form the only
sure groundwork of a people's glory and happiness; while religious and
moral depravity in a nation, no less than in an individual, leads,
(tardily it may be and remotely, but by ultimate and inevitable
consequence,) to failure and degradation.

                   [Footnote 1: Thucydides.]

In those portions of his work which have a more immediate bearing upon
religious principles and conduct, the Author has not adopted the most
exciting mode of discussing the various subjects which have naturally
fallen under his review. Party spirit, though it seldom fails to
engender a more absorbing interest for the time, and often clothes a
subject with an importance not its own, will find in these pages no
response to its sentiments, under whatever character it may give
utterance to them. In these departments of his inquiry, to himself far
the most interesting, (and many such there are, especially in the
second volume,) the Author trusts that he has been guided by the
Apostolical maxim of "SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN LOVE." He has not
willingly advanced a single sentiment which should unnecessarily     (p. x)
cause pain to any individual or to any class of men; he has not been
tempted by morbid delicacy or fear to suppress or disguise his view of
the very TRUTH.

The reader will readily perceive that, with reference to the foreign
and domestic policy of our country,--the advances of civilization,--the
manners of private life, as well in the higher as in the more
humble grades of society,--the state of literature,--the progress of
the English constitution,--the condition and discipline of the army,
which Henry greatly improved,--and the rise and progress of the royal
navy, of which he was virtually the founder, many topics are either
purposely avoided, or only incidentally and cursorily noticed. To one
point especially (a subject in itself most animating and uplifting,
and intimately interwoven with the period embraced by these Memoirs,)
he would have rejoiced to devote a far greater portion of his book,
had it been compatible with the immediate design of his

       *       *       *       *       *

However the value of his labours may be ultimately appreciated, the
Author confidently trusts that their publication can do no disservice
to the cause of truth, of sound morality, and of pure religion. He
would hope, indeed, that in one point at least the power of an      (p. xi)
example of pernicious tendency might be weakened by the issue of his
investigation. If the results of these inquiries be acquiesced in as
sound and just, no young man can be encouraged by Henry's example (as
it is feared many, especially in the higher classes, have been
encouraged,) in early habits of moral delinquency, with the intention
of extricating himself in time from the dominion of his passions, and
of becoming, like Henry, in after-life a pattern of religion and
virtue, "the mirror of every grace and excellence." The divine, the
moralist, and the historian know that authenticated instances of such
sudden moral revolutions in character are very rare,--exceptions to
the general rule; and among those exceptions we cannot be justified in
numbering Henry of Monmouth.

He was bold and merciful and kind, but he was no libertine, in his
youth; he was brave and generous and just, but he was no persecutor,
in his manhood. On the throne he upheld the royal authority with
mingled energy and mildness, and he approved himself to his subjects
as a wise and beneficent King; in his private individual capacity he
was a bountiful and considerate, though strict and firm master, a warm
and sincere friend, a faithful and loving husband. He passed through
life under the habitual sense of an overruling Providence; and, in his
premature death, he left us the example of a Christian's patient and
pious resignation to the Divine Will. As long as he lived, he was  (p. xii)
an object of the most ardent and enthusiastic admiration, confidence,
and love; and, whilst the English monarchy shall remain among the
unforgotten things on earth, his memory will be honoured, and his name
will be enrolled among the NOBLE and the GOOD.

TABLE OF THE PRINCIPAL EVENTS,                                    (p. xiii)


[*] Those years, months, or days, respectively, to which an
asterisk is attached, are not considered to have been so fully
ascertained as the other dates.

1340*  Feb.*     John of Gaunt born.
1340}            Earl of Northumberland, Hotspur's father, born,
1341}               before Nov. 19, 1341.
1359   May 19,   John of Gaunt married to Blanche.
1358}            Owyn Glyndowr born, before Sept. 3, 1359.
1366   April 6,  Henry Bolinbroke born.
1365}  May 20,*  Henry Percy (Hotspur) born before 30th Oct. 1366.
1367   Jan.      Richard II. born at Bourdeaux.
1369*            Blanche, wife of John of Gaunt died.
1371*            John of Gaunt married Constance.
1376   June 8,   Edward the Black Prince died.
1377   June 21,  King Edward III. died.
1378   Nov.      Hotspur first bore arms at Berwick.
1381             Bolinbroke nearly slain by the rioters.
1382             Richard II. married to Queen Anne.
1384   Dec. 31,  Wickliffe's death.
1386*            Bolinbroke married Mary Bohun.
1387             John of Gaunt went to Spain.
1387*  Aug. 9,*  HENRY born at MONMOUTH.
1388             Hotspur taken prisoner by the Scots.
1388             Thomas Duke of Clarence born.
1389   Nov. 9,   Isabel, Richard II.'s wife, born.
1389*  Nov.*     John of Gaunt returned from Spain.                (p. xiv)
1389*            John Duke of Bedford born.
1390*            Humfrey Duke of Gloucester born.
1390}            Bolinbroke visited Barbary.
1392}            Bolinbroke visited Prussia and the Holy Sepulchre.
1394*            Mary, HENRY's mother, died.
1394*            Constance, John of Gaunt's wife, died.
1394  June 7,    Anne, Richard II.'s Queen, died.
1396             John of Gaunt recalled from Acquitaine by Richard II.
1396             John of Gaunt married Katharine Swynford.
1397             Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury, banished.
1397  Sept. 29,  Bolinbroke created Duke of Hereford.
1397*            John Oldcastle, Lord Cobham, banished.
1397  Nov. 4,    Richard II. married to Isabel.
1398*            Henry of Monmouth resided in Oxford.
1398  July 14,   Henry Beaufort consecrated Bishop of Lincoln.
1398  Sept. 16,  Bolinbroke and Norfolk at Coventry.
1398             Bolinbroke banished.
1399  Feb. 3,    John of Gaunt died.
1399  May 29,    Richard II. sailed for Ireland.
1399  June 23,   HENRY of Monmouth knighted.
1399  June 28,   News of Bolinbroke's designs reached London.
1399  July 4,    Bolinbroke landed at Ravenspur.
1399  August,    HENRY shut up in Trym Castle.
1399  August,    Richard landed at Milford.
1399  Aug. 14,   Richard fell into Bolinbroke's hands.
1399  August,    Bolinbroke sent to Ireland for HENRY.
1399  August,    Death of the young Duke of Gloucester.
1399  Sept. 1,   Bolinbroke brought Richard captive to London.
1399  Oct. 1,    Richard's resignation of the crown read in Parliament.
1399  Oct. 13,   Bolinbroke crowned as Henry IV.                    (p. xv)
1399  Oct. 15,   HENRY created PRINCE of Wales.
1400  Jan. 4,    Conspiracy against the King at Windsor.
1400* Feb. 14,*  Richard II. died at Pontefract.
1400* Oct. 25,*  Chaucer died.
1400  June       Henry IV. proceeded to Scotland.
1400  June 23,   Lord Grey of Ruthyn's letter to HENRY.
1400  Sept. 19,  First proclamation against the Welsh.
1400             Owyn Glyndowr in open rebellion.
1401             HENRY in Wales, before April 10.
1401  April 10,  Hotspur's first Letter.
1401* Sept. 13,* KATHARINE, HENRY's Queen, born.
1401* Nov. 11,*  Restoration of Isabel.
1402  April 3,   Henry IV. espoused to Joan of Navarre.
1402  June 12,*  Edmund Mortimer taken prisoner.
1432  Sept. 14,  Battle of Homildon.
1402* Nov. 30,*  Edmund Mortimer married to a daughter of Owyn Glyndowr.
1403  March 7,   HENRY appointed Lieutenant of Wales.
1403* May 30,    HENRY's Letter to the Council.
1403  July 21,   Battle of Shrewsbury.
1404  May 10,    Glyndowr dated "the fourth year of our Principality."
1404  June 10,   Welsh with Frenchmen overran Archenfield.
1404  June 25,   HENRY's letter to his father.
1404  Oct. 6,    Parliament at Coventry.
1405  Feb. 20,   Sons of the Earl of March stolen from Windsor.
1405  March 1,   Crown settled on HENRY and his brothers.
1405  March 11,  Battle of Grosmont.
1405  May,       Revolt of the Earl of Northumberland and Bardolf.
1405  June 8,    Scrope, Archbishop of York, beheaded.
1406  June 7,    Testimony of the Commons to HENRY's excellences.
1406* June 29,*  Isabel married to Angouleme.
1407* Nov. 1,*   HENRY went to Scotland.
1408  Feb. 28,*  Earl of Northumberland, Hotspur's father, fell    (p. xvi)
                 in battle.
1408  July 8,    HENRY in London, as President of the Council.
1409  Feb. 1,    HENRY, Guardian of the Earl of March.
1409  Feb. 28,   HENRY, Warden of Cinque Ports and Constable of Dover.
1409* Sept. 13,* Death of Isabel, Richard II.'s widow.
1410  March 5,   Warrant for the burning of Badby.
1410  March 18,  HENRY, Captain of Calais.
1410  June 16,   HENRY sate as President of the Council.
1410  June 18,     Dº.                      dº.
1410  June 19,     Dº.                      dº.
1410  June 23,   Affray in Eastcheap, by the Lords Thomas and John,
                   his brothers.
1410  July 22,   HENRY, as President.
1410  July 29,               Dº.
1410  July 30,               Dº.
1411  March 19,  HENRY with his father at Lambeth.
1411  August,*   Duke of Burgundy obtained succour.
1411  Nov. 3,    Parliament opened.
1411  Nov. 10,   Battle of St. Cloud.
1412  May 18,    Treaty with the Duke of Orleans.
1412* June 30,*  HENRY came to London attended by "Lords and Gentils."
1412  July 9,    The Lord Thomas created Duke of Clarence.
1412* Sept. 23,* He came again with "a huge people."
1413  Feb. 3,    Parliament opened.
1413  March 20,  Henry IV. died.
1413  April 9,   HENRY V. CROWNED.
1413  May 15,    Parliament at Westminster.
1413  June 26,   Convocation of the Clergy.
1413             Lord Cobham cited.
1413             Lord Cobham escaped from the Tower.
1414  Jan. 10,   Affair of St. Giles' Field.
1414  April 20,  Parliament at Leicester.
1414             HENRY founded Sion and Shene.
1414             Council of Constance.
1415  May 4,     The Council of Constance condemned Wickliffe's   (p. xvii)
                   memory, and commanded the exhumation of his bones.
1415  July 6,    John Huss condemned.
1415  July 20,   Conspiracy at Southampton.
1415  Aug. 11,   HENRY sailed for Normandy.
1415  Sept. 15,  Death of Bishop of Norwich in the camp.
1415  Sept. 22,  Surrender of Harfleur.
1415             Clayton and Gurmyn burnt for heresy.
1415  Oct. 25,   Battle of AGINCOURT.
1415  Nov. 16,   HENRY returned to England.
1415  Nov. 22,   Thanksgiving in London.
1416  April 29,  Emperor Sigismund visited England.
1416  May 30,    Jerome of Prague burnt.
1416  Aug. 15,   League signed by HENRY and Sigismund.
1417  July 23,   HENRY's second expedition.
1417  Sept. 4,   Surrender of Caen.
1417  Dec.       Execution of Lord Cobham.
1418  July 1,    Rouen besieged.
1419  Jan. 19,   Rouen taken.
1419  May 30,    HENRY and KATHARINE first met.
1419* July 7,    HENRY's letter concerning Oriel College.
1420  May 30,    HENRY and Katharine married.
1420  July,      Katharine lodged in the camp before Melun.
1420             HENRY and Katharine, with the King and Queen of
                   France, entered Paris.
1421  Jan 31,    HENRY and Katharine arrived in England.
1421  Feb 23,    Katharine crowned in Westminster.
1421  March 23,  They passed their Easter at Leicester.
1421 {March &}   They travelled through the greater part of England.
     {May,   }
1421  March 23,  Death of the Duke of Clarence.
1421  May 26,    Taylor condemned to imprisonment for heresy.
1421  June 1,    HENRY left London on his third expedition.
1421  June 10,   HENRY landed at Calais.                         (p. xviii)
1421  Oct. 6,    Siege of Meaux began, and lasted till the April
1421  Dec. 6,    HENRY's son born at Windsor.
1422  May 21,    Katharine landed at Harfleur.
1422             HENRY met her at the Bois de Vincennes.
1422             They entered Paris together.
1422  Aug.       HENRY left Katharine at Senlis.

1422  Aug. 31,   DEATH of HENRY.

1423  March 1,   William Taylor burnt for heresy.

CONTENTS OF THE FIRST VOLUME.                                      (p. xix)



Henry of Monmouth's Parents. -- Time and place of his Birth. -- John
of Gaunt and Blanche of Lancaster. -- Henry Bolinbroke. -- Monmouth
Castle. -- Henry's infancy and childhood. -- His education. --
Residence in Oxford. -- Bolinbroke's Banishment.                    Page 1



Henry taken into the care of Richard. -- Death of John of Gaunt. --
Henry knighted by Richard in Ireland. -- His person and manners. --
News of Bolinbroke's landing and hostile measures reaches Ireland. --
Indecision and delay of Richard. -- He shuts up Henry and the young
Duke of Gloucester in Trym Castle. -- Reflections on the fate of these
two Cousins -- of Bolinbroke -- of Richard -- and of the widowed
Duchess of Gloucester.                                             Page 32

CHAPTER III.                                                        (p. xx)


Proceedings of Bolinbroke from his Interview with Archbishop Arundel,
in Paris, to his making King Richard his prisoner. -- Conduct of
Richard from the news of Bolinbroke's landing. -- Treachery of
Northumberland. -- Richard taken by Bolinbroke to London.          Page 52



Richard resigns the Crown. -- Bolinbroke elected King. -- Henry of
Monmouth created Prince of Wales. -- Plot to murder the King. -- Death
of Richard. -- Friendship between him and Henry. -- Proposals for a
Marriage between Henry and Isabel, Richard's Widow. -- Henry applies
for an Establishment. -- Hostile movement of the Scots. -- Tradition,
that young Henry marched against them, doubted.                    Page 68



The Welsh Rebellion. -- Owyn Glyndowr. -- His former Life. -- Dispute
with Lord Grey of Ruthyn. -- That Lord's Letter to Prince Henry. --
Hotspur. -- His Testimony to Henry's presence in Wales, -- to his
Mercy and his Prowess. -- Henry's Despatch to the Privy Council.   Page 88

CHAPTER VI.                                                        (p. xxi)


Glyndowr joined by Welsh Students of Oxford. -- Takes Lord Grey
prisoner. -- Hotspur's further Despatches. -- He quits Wales. --
Reflections on the eventful Life and premature Death of Isabel,
Richard's Widow. -- Glyndowr disposed to come to terms. -- The King's
Expeditions towards Wales abortive. -- Marriage proposed between Henry
and Katharine of Norway. -- The King marries Joan of Navarre.     Page 108



Glyndowr's vigorous Measures. -- Slaughter of Herefordshire Men. --
Mortimer taken prisoner. -- He joins Glyndowr. -- Henry implores
Succours, -- Pawns his Plate to support his Men. -- The King's
Testimony to his Son's conduct. -- The King, at Burton-on-Trent, hears
of the Rebellion of the Percies.                                  Page 129



The Rebellion of the Percies, -- Its Origin. -- Letters of Hotspur and
the Earl of Northumberland. -- Tripartite Indenture between the
Percies, Owyn, and Mortimer. -- Doubts as to its Authenticity. --
Hotspur hastens from the North. -- The King's decisive conduct. -- He
forms a junction with the Prince. -- "Sorry Battle of Shrewsbury." --
Great Inaccuracy of David Hume. -- Hardyng's Duplicity. -- Manifesto
of the Percies probably a Forgery. -- Glyndowr's Absence from the
Battle involves neither Breach of Faith nor Neglect of Duty. --
Circumstances preceding the Battle. -- Of the Battle itself. -- Its
immediate consequences.                                           Page 141

CHAPTER IX.                                                       (p. xxii)


The Prince commissioned to receive the Rebels into allegiance. -- The
King summons Northumberland. -- Hotspur's Corpse disinterred. -- The
Reason. -- Glyndowr's French Auxiliaries. -- He styles himself "Prince
of Wales." -- Devastation of the Border Counties. -- Henry's Letters
to the King, and to the Council. -- Testimony of him by the County of
Hereford. -- His famous Letter from Hereford. -- Battle of Grosmont.
                                                                  Page 178



Rebellion of Northumberland and Bardolf. -- Execution of the
Archbishop of York. -- Wonderful Activity and Resolution of the King.
-- Deplorable state of the Revenue. -- Testimony borne by Parliament
to the Prince's Character. -- The Prince present at the Council-board.
-- He is only occasionally in Wales, and remains for the most part in
London.                                                           Page 207



Prince Henry's Expedition to Scotland, and Success. -- Thanks
presented to him by Parliament. -- His generous Testimony to the Duke
of York. -- Is first named as President of the Council. -- Returns to
Wales. -- Is appointed Warden of the Cinque Ports and Constable of
Dover. -- Welsh Rebellion dwindles and dies. -- Owyn Glyndowr's
Character and Circumstances; his Reverses and Trials. -- His Bright
Points undervalued. -- The unfavourable side of his Conduct unjustly
darkened by Historians. -- Reflections on his Last Days. -- Fac-simile
of his Seals as Prince of Wales.                                  Page 232

CHAPTER XII.                                                     (p. xxiii)


Reputed Differences between Henry and his Father examined. -- He is
made Captain of Calais. -- His Residence at Coldharbour. -- Presides
at the Council-board. -- Cordiality still visible between him and his
Father. -- Affray in East-Cheap. -- No mention of Henry's presence.
--Projected Marriage between Henry and a Daughter of Burgundy. --
Charge against Henry for acting in opposition to his Father in the
Quarrel of the Dukes of Burgundy and Orleans unfounded.           Page 252



Unfounded Charge against Henry of Peculation. -- Still more serious
Accusation of a cruel attempt to dethrone his diseased Father. -- The
Question fully examined. -- Probably a serious though temporary
Misunderstanding at this time between the King and his Son. -- Henry's
Conduct filial, open, and merciful. -- The "Chamber" or the "Crown
Scene." -- Death of Henry the Fourth.                             Page 278


Henry of Monmouth's Character. -- Unfairness of Modern Writers. --
Walsingham examined. -- Testimony of his Father, -- of Hotspur, -- of
the Parliament, -- of the English and Welsh Counties, -- of
Contemporary Chroniclers. -- No one single act of Immorality alleged
against him. -- No intimation of his Extravagance, or Injustice, or
Riot, or Licentiousness, in Wales, London, or Calais. -- Direct
Testimony to the opposite Virtues. -- Lydgate. -- Occleve.        Page 313

CHAPTER XV.                                                       (p. xxiv)

Shakspeare. -- The Author's reluctance to test the Scenes of the
Poet's Dramas by Matters of Fact. -- Necessity of so doing. -- Hotspur
in Shakspeare the first to bear evidence to Henry's reckless
Profligacy; -- The Hotspur of History the first who testifies to his
Character for Valour, and Mercy, and Faithfulness in his Duties. --
Anachronisms of Shakspeare. -- Hotspur's Age. -- The Capture of
Mortimer. -- Battle of Homildon. -- Field of Shrewsbury. -- Archbishop
Scrope's Death.                                                   Page 337


Story of Prince Henry and the Chief Justice, first found in the Work
of Sir Thomas Elyot, published nearly a century and a half
subsequently to the supposed transaction. -- Sir John Hawkins -- Hall
-- Hume. -- No allusion to the circumstance in the Early Chroniclers.
-- Dispute as to the Judge. -- Various Claimants of the distinction.
-- Gascoyne -- Hankford -- Hody -- Markham. -- Some interesting
particulars with regard to Gascoyne, lately discovered and verified.
-- Improbability of the entire Story.                             Page 358


No. 1. Owyn Glyndowr                                        385
    2. Lydgate                                              394
    3. Occleve                                              401

MEMOIRS OF HENRY OF MONMOUTH.                                      (p. 001)




Henry the Fifth was the son of Henry of Bolinbroke and Mary daughter
of Humfrey Bohun, Earl of Hereford. No direct and positive evidence
has yet been discovered to fix with unerring accuracy the day or the
place of his birth. If however we assume the statement of the
chroniclers[2] to be true, that he was born at Monmouth on the ninth
day of August in the year 1387,[3] history supplies many ascertained
facts not only consistent with that hypothesis, but in             (p. 002)
confirmation of it; whilst none are found to throw upon it the faintest
shade of improbability. At first sight it might perhaps appear strange
that the exact time of the birth as well of Henry of Monmouth, as of
his father, two successive kings of England, should even yet remain
the subject of conjecture, tradition, and inference; whilst the day
and place of the birth of Henry VI. is matter of historical record. A
single reflection, however, on the circumstances of their respective
births, renders the absence of all precise testimony in the one case
natural; whilst it would have been altogether unintelligible in the
other. When Henry of Bolinbroke and Henry of Monmouth were born, their
fathers were subjects, and nothing of national interest was at the
time associated with their appearance in the world; at Henry of
Windsor's birth he was the acknowledged heir to the throne both of
England and of France.

                   [Footnote 2: Monomothi in Wallia natus v. Id.
                   Aug.--Pauli Jov. Ang. Reg. Chron.; William of
                   Worcester, &c.]

                   [Footnote 3: At the foot of the Wardrobe Account of
                   Henry Earl of Derby from 30th September 1387 to
                   30th September 1388, (and unfortunately no account
                   of the Duke of Lancaster's expenses is as yet found
                   extant before that very year,) an item occurs of
                   341_l._ 12_s._ 5_d._, paid 24th September 1386, for
                   the household expenses of the Earl and his family
                   at Monmouth. This proves that his father made the
                   castle of Monmouth his residence within less than a
                   year of the date assigned for Henry's birth.]

To what extent Henry of Monmouth's future character and conduct were,
under Providence, affected by the circumstances of his family and its
several members, it would perhaps be less philosophical than
presumptuous to define. But, that those circumstances were         (p. 003)
peculiarly calculated to influence him in his principles and views and
actions, will be acknowledged by every one who becomes acquainted with
them, and who is at the same time in the least degree conversant with
the growth and workings of the human mind. It must, therefore, fall
within the province of the inquiry instituted in these pages, to take
a brief review of the domestic history of Henry's family through the
years of his childhood and early youth.

John, surnamed "of Gaunt," from Ghent or Gand in Flanders, the place
of his birth, was the fourth son of King Edward the Third. At a very
early age he married Blanche, daughter and heiress of Henry
Plantagenet, Duke of Lancaster, great-grandson of Henry the Third.[4]
The time of his marriage with Blanche,[5] though recorded with
sufficient precision, is indeed comparatively of little consequence;
whilst the date of their son Henry's birth, from the influence which
the age of a father may have on the destinies of his child, becomes
matter of much importance to those who take any interest in the    (p. 004)
history of their grandson, Henry of Monmouth. On this point it has
been already intimated that no conclusive evidence is directly upon
record. The principal facts, however, which enable us to draw an
inference of high probability, are associated with so pleasing and so
exemplary a custom, though now indeed fallen into great desuetude
among us, that to review them compensates for any disappointment which
might be felt from the want of absolute certainty in the issue of our
research. It was Henry of Bolinbroke's custom[6] every year on the
Feast of the Lord's Supper, that is, on the Thursday before Easter, to
clothe as many poor persons as equalled the number of years which he
had completed on the preceding birthday; and by examining the accounts
still preserved in the archives of the Duchy of Lancaster, the details
of which would be altogether uninteresting in this place, we are led
to infer that Henry Bolinbroke was born on the 4th of April 1366.
Blanche, his mother, survived the birth of Bolinbroke probably not
more than three years. Whether this lady found in John of Gaunt a
faithful and loving husband, or whether his libertinism caused her to
pass her short life in disappointment and sorrow, no authentic
document enables us to pronounce. It is, however, impossible to close
our eyes against the painful fact, that Catherine Swynford, who    (p. 005)
was the partner of his guilt during the life of his second wife,
Constance, had been an inmate of his family, as the confidential
attendant on his wife Blanche, and the governess of her daughters,
Philippa and Elizabeth of Lancaster. That he afterwards, by a life of
abandoned profligacy, disgraced the religion which he professed, is,
unhappily, put beyond conjecture or vague rumour. Though we cannot
infer from any expenses about her funeral and her memory, that Blanche
was the sole object of his affections, (the most lavish costliness at
the tomb of the departed too often being only in proportion to the
unkindness shown to the living,) yet it may be worth observing, that
in 1372 we find an entry in the account, of 20_l._ paid to two
chaplains (together with the expenses of the altar) to say masses for
her soul. He was then already[7] married to his second wife,
Constance, daughter of Peter the Cruel, King of Castile. By this lady,
whom he often calls "the Queen," he appears to have had only one
child, married, it is said, to Henry III. King of Castile.[8]
Constance, the mother, is represented to have been one of the most (p. 006)
amiable and exemplary persons of the age, "above other women innocent
and devout;" and from her husband she deserved treatment far different
from what it was her unhappy lot to experience. But however severe
were her sufferings, she probably concealed them within her own
breast: and she neither left her husband nor abandoned her duties in
disgust. It is indeed possible, though in the highest degree
improbable, that whilst his unprincipled conduct was too notorious to
be concealed from others, she was not herself made fully acquainted
with his infidelity towards her. At all events we may indulge in the
belief that she proved to her husband's only legitimate son, Henry (p. 007)
of Bolinbroke, a kind and watchful mother.

                   [Footnote 4: His wife's sister, Matilda, married to
                   William, Duke of Holland and Zealand, dying without
                   issue, John of Gaunt succeeded to the undivided
                   estates and honours of the late duke.]

                   [Footnote 5: Froissart reports that Henry
                   Bolinbroke was a handsome young man; and declares
                   that he never saw two such noble dames, nor ever
                   should were he to live a thousand years, so good,
                   liberal, and courteous, as his mother the Lady
                   Blanche, and "the late Queen of England," Philippa
                   of Hainault, wife of Edward the Third. These were
                   the mother, and the consort of John of Gaunt.]

                   [Footnote 6: For this fact and the several items by
                   which it is substantiated, the Author is indebted
                   to the kindness and antiquarian researches of
                   William Hardy, Esq. of the Duchy of Lancaster
                   office. These accounts begin to date from September
                   30th 1381.]

                   [Footnote 7: In 1387 the Duke of Lancaster,
                   accompanied by Constance and a numerous retinue,
                   went to Spain to claim his wife's rights; and he
                   succeeded in obtaining from the King of Spain very
                   large sums in hand, and hostages for the payment of
                   10,000_l._ annually to himself and his duchess for
                   life. Wals. Neust. 544.]

                   [Footnote 8: There is an order, dated June 6th,
                   1372, to lodge two pipes of good wine in Kenilworth
                   Priory, and to hasten with all speed Dame Ilote,
                   the midwife, to the Queen Constance at Hertford on
                   horse or in carriage as should be best for her
                   ease. The same person attended the late Duchess

                   The Author has lately discovered on the Pell Rolls
                   a payment, dated 21st February 1373, which refers
                   to the birth of a daughter, and at the same time
                   informs us that his future wife was then probably a
                   member of his household. "To Catherine Swynford
                   twenty marks for announcing to the King (Richard
                   the Second) the birth of a daughter of the Queen of
                   Spain, consort of John, King of Castile and Leon,
                   and Duke of Lancaster."

                   The marriage of John of Gaunt with Catherine
                   Swynford took place only the second year after the
                   death of Constance, and seems to have excited among
                   the nobility equal surprise and disgust. "The great
                   ladies of England, (as Stowe reports,) as the
                   Duchess of Gloucester, &c. disdained that she
                   should be matched with the Duke of Lancaster, and
                   by that means accounted second person in the realm,
                   and be preferred in room before them."

                   King Richard however made her a handsome present of
                   a ring, at the same time that he presented one to
                   Henry, Earl of Derby, (Henry IV.) and another to
                   Lady Beauchamp. Pell Rolls.]

At that period of our history, persons married at a much earlier age
than is usually the case among us now; and the espousals of young
people often preceded for some years the period of quitting their
parents' home, and living together, as man and wife. In the year 1381
Henry, at that time only fifteen years of age, was espoused[9] to his
future wife, Mary Bohun, daughter of the Earl of Hereford, who had (p. 008)
then not reached her twelfth year. These espousals were in those days
accompanied by the religious service of matrimony, and the bride
assumed the title of her espoused husband.[10]

                   [Footnote 9: In this same year Bolinbroke's life
                   was put into imminent peril during the insurrection
                   headed by Wat Tiler. The rebels broke into the
                   Tower of London, though it was defended by some
                   brave knights and soldiers; seized and murdered the
                   Archbishop and others; and, carrying the heads of
                   their victims on pikes, proceeded in a state of
                   fury to John of Gaunt's palace at the Savoy, which
                   they utterly destroyed and burnt to the ground.
                   Gaunt himself was in the North: but his son
                   Bolinbroke was in the Tower of London, and owed his
                   life to the interposition of one John Ferrour of
                   Southwark. This is a fact not generally known to
                   historians; and since the document which records
                   it, bears testimony to Bolinbroke's spirit of
                   gratitude, it will not be thought out of place to
                   allude to it here. This same John Ferrour, with Sir
                   Thomas Blount and others, was tried in the Castle
                   of Oxford for high treason, in the first year of
                   Henry IV. Blount and the others were condemned and
                   executed; but to John Ferrour a free pardon, dated
                   Monday after the Epiphany, was given, "our Lord the
                   King remembering that in the reign of Richard the
                   Second, during the insurrection of the Counties of
                   Essex and Kent, the said John saved the King's life
                   in the midst of that commonalty, in a wonderful and
                   kind manner, whence the King happily remains alive
                   unto this day. For since every good whatever
                   naturally and of right requires another good in
                   return, the King of his especial grace freely
                   pardons the said John." Plac. Cor. in Cast. Oxon.]

                   [Footnote 10: Thus, in a warrant, dated 6th March
                   1381, an order is given by the Duke for payment to
                   a Goldsmith in London, of 10_l._ 18_s._ for a
                   present made by our dear daughter Philippa, to our
                   very dear daughter Mary, Countess of Derby, on the
                   day of her marriage; and also "40 shillings for as
                   many pence put upon the book on the day of the
                   espousals of our much beloved son, the Earl of
                   Derby." Eight marks are ordered to be paid for "a
                   ruby given by us to our very dear daughter Mary:"
                   13_s._ 4_d._ for the offering at the mass. Ten
                   marks from us to the King's minstrels being there
                   on the same day; and ten marks to four minstrels of
                   our brother the Earl of Cambridge being there; and
                   fifty marks to the officers of our cousin, the
                   Countess of Hereford! On the 31st of January
                   following, the Duke lays himself under a bond to
                   pay to "Dame Bohun, Countess of Hereford, her
                   mother, the sum of one hundred marks annually, for
                   the charge and cost of his daughter-in-law, Mary,
                   Countess of Derby, until the said Mary shall attain
                   the full age of fourteen years."]

We shall probably not be in error, if we fix the period of the
Countess of Derby leaving her mother's for her husband's roof
somewhere in the year 1386, when he was twenty, and she sixteen years
old; and we are not without reason for believing that they made
Monmouth Castle their home.

Some modern writers affirm that this was the favourite residence of
John of Gaunt's family: but it is very questionable whether from
having themselves experienced the beauty and loveliness of the spot,
they have not been unconsciously tempted to venture this assertion (p. 009)
without historical evidence. Monmouth is indeed situated in one of the
fairest and loveliest valleys within the four seas of Britain. Near
its centre, on a rising ground between the river Monnow (from which
the town derives its name) and the Wye and not far from their
confluence, the ruins of the Castle are still visible. The poet Gray
looked over it from the side of the Kymin Hill, when he described the
scene before him as "the delight of his eyes, and the very seat of
pleasure." With his testimony, unbiassed as it was by local
attachment, it would be unwise to mingle the feelings of affection
entertained by one whose earliest associations, "redolent of joy and
youth," can scarcely rescue his judgment from the suspicion of
partiality. At that time John of Gaunt's estates and princely mansions
studded, at various distances, the whole land of England from its
northern border to the southern coast. And whether he allowed Henry of
Bolinbroke to select for himself from the ample pages of his rent-roll
the spot to which he would take his bride, or whether he assigned it
of his own choice to his son as the fairest of his possessions; or
whether any other cause determined the place of Henry the Fifth's
birth, we have no reasonable ground for doubting that he was born in
the Castle of Monmouth, on the 9th of August 1387.

Of Monmouth Castle, the dwindling ruins are now very scanty, and in
point of architecture present nothing worthy of an antiquary's     (p. 010)
research. They are washed by the streams of the Monnow, and are
embosomed in gardens and orchards, clothing the knoll on which they
stand; the aspect of the southern walls, and the rocky character of
the soil admirably adapting them for the growth of the vine, and the
ripening of its fruits. In the memory of some old inhabitants, who
were not gathered to their fathers when the Author could first take an
interest in such things, and who often amused his childhood with tales
of former days, the remains of the Hall of Justice were still
traceable within the narrowed pile; and the crumbling bench on which
the Justices of the Circuit once sate, was often usurped by the boys
in their mock trials of judge and jury. Somewhat more than half a
century ago, a gentleman whose garden reached to one of the last
remaining towers, had reason to be thankful for a marked interposition
in his behalf of the protecting hand of Providence. He was enjoying
himself on a summer's evening in an alcove built under the shelter and
shade of the castle, when a gust of wind blew out the candle by his
side, just at the time when he felt disposed to replenish and rekindle
his pipe. He went consequently with the lantern in his hand towards
his house, intending to renew his evening's recreation; but he had
scarcely reached the door when the wall fell, burying his retreat, and
the entire slope, with its shrubs and flowers and fruits, under one
mass of ruin.

From this castle, tradition says, that being a sickly child, Henry (p. 011)
was taken to Courtfield, at the distance of six or seven miles from
Monmouth, to be nursed there. That tradition is doubtless very ancient;
and the cradle itself in which Henry is said to have been rocked, was
shown there till within these few years, when it was sold, and taken
from the house. It has since changed hands, if it be any longer in
existence. The local traditions, indeed, in the neighbourhood of
Courtfield and Goodrich are almost universally mingled with the very
natural mistake that, when Henry of Monmouth was born, his father was
king; and so far a shade of improbability may be supposed to invest
them all alike; yet the variety of them in that one district, and the
total absence of any stories relative to the same event on every other
side of Monmouth, should seem to countenance a belief that some real
foundation existed for the broad and general features of these
traditionary tales. Thus, though the account acquiesced in by some
writers, that the Marchioness of Salisbury was Henry of Monmouth's
nurse at Courtfield, may have originated in an officious anxiety to
supply an infant prince with a nurse suitable to his royal birth;
still, probably, that appendage would not have been annexed to a story
utterly without foundation, and consequently throws no incredibility
on the fact that the eldest son of the young Earl of Derby was nursed
at Courtfield. Thus, too, though the recorded salutation of the
ferryman of Goodrich congratulates his Majesty on the birth of a   (p. 012)
noble prince, as the King was hastening from his court and palace of
Windsor to his castle of Monmouth; yet the unstationary habits of
Bolingbroke, his love of journeyings and travels, and his restlessness
at home, render it very probable that he was absent from Monmouth even
when the hour of perilous anxiety was approaching; and thus on his
return homeward (perhaps too from Richard's court at Windsor) the
first tidings of the safety of his Countess and the birth of the young
lord may have saluted him as he crossed the Wye at Goodrich Ferry. So
again in the little village of Cruse, lying between the church and the
castle of Goodrich, the cottagers still tell, from father to son, as
they have told for centuries over their winter's hearth, how the
herald, hurrying from Monmouth to Goodrich fast as whip and spur could
urge his steed onward, with the tidings of the Prince of Wales' birth,
fell headlong, (the horse dropping under him in the short, steep, and
rugged lane leading to the ravine, beyond which the castle stands,)
and was killed on the spot. No doubt the idea of its being the news of
a prince's birth, that was thus posted on, has added, in the
imagination of the villagers, to the horse's fleetness and the
breathless impetuosity of the messenger; but it is very probable that
the news of the young lord's birth, heir to the dukedom of Lancaster,
should have been hastened from the castle of Monmouth to Goodrich;
and there is no solid reason for discrediting the story.           (p. 013)

Still, beyond tradition, there is no evidence at all to fix the young
lord either at Courtfield, or indeed at Monmouth, for any period
subsequently to his birth. On the contrary, several items of expense
in the "Wardrobe account of Henry, Earl of Derby," would induce us to
infer either that the tradition is unfounded, or that at the utmost
the infant lord was nursed at Courtfield only for a few months. In
that account[11] we find an entry of a charge for a "_long gown_" for
the young lord Henry; and also the payment of 2_l._ to a midwife for
her attendance on the Countess during her confinement at the birth of
the young lord Thomas, the gift of the Earl, "_at London_". By this
document it is proved that Henry's younger brother, the future Duke of
Clarence, was born before October 1388, and that some time in the
preceding year Henry was himself still in the long robes of an infant;
and that the family had removed from Monmouth to London. In the
Wardrobe expenses of the Countess for the same year, we find several
items of sums defrayed for the clothes of the young lords Henry and
Thomas together, but no allusion whatever to the brothers being
separate: one entry,[12] fixing Thomas and his nurse at Kenilworth
soon after his birth, leaves no ground for supposing that his      (p. 014)
elder brother was either at Monmouth or at Courtfield. It may be
matter of disappointment and of surprise that Henry's name does not
occur in connexion with the place of his birth in any single
contemporary document now known. The fact, however, is so. But whilst
the place of Henry's nursing is thus left in uncertainty, the name of
his nurse--in itself a matter not of the slightest importance--is made
known to us not only in the Wardrobe account of his mother, but also
by a gratifying circumstance, which bears direct testimony to his own
kind and grateful, and considerate and liberal mind. Her name was
Johanna Waring; on whom, very shortly after he ascended the throne, he
settled an annuity of 20_l._ "in consideration of good service done to
him in former days."[13]

                   [Footnote 11: Between 30th Sept. 1387 and 1st Oct.

                   [Footnote 12: An item of five yards of cloth for
                   the bed of the nurse of Thomas at Kenilworth; and
                   an ell of canvass for his cradle.]

                   [Footnote 13: This is one of those incidents,
                   occurring now and then, the discovery of which
                   repays the antiquary or the biographer for wading,
                   with toilsome search, through a confused mass of
                   uninteresting details, and often encourages him to
                   persevere when he begins to feel weary and

Very few incidents are recorded which can throw light upon Henry's
childhood, and for those few we are indebted chiefly to the dry
details of account-books. In these many particular items of expense
occur relative as well to Henry as to his brothers; which, probably,
would differ very little from those of other young noblemen of England
at that period of her history. The records of the Duchy of Lancaster
provide us with a very scanty supply of such particulars as convey (p. 015)
any interesting information on the circumstances and occupations and
amusements of Henry of Monmouth. From these records, however, we learn
that he was attacked by some complaint, probably both sudden and
dangerous, in the spring of 1395; for among the receiver's accounts is
found the charge of "6_s._ 8_d._ for Thomas Pye, and a horse hired at
London, March 18th, to carry him to Leicester with all speed, on
account of the illness of the young lord Henry." In the year 1397,
when he was just ten years old, a few entries occur, somewhat
interesting, as intimations of his boyish pursuits. Such are the
charge of "8_d._ paid by the hands of Adam Garston for harpstrings
purchased for the harp of the young lord Henry," and "12_d._ to
Stephen Furbour for a new scabbard of a sword for young lord Henry,"
and "1_s._ 6_d._ for three-fourths of an ounce of tissue of black silk
bought at London of Margaret Stranson for a sword of young lord
Henry." Whilst we cannot but be sometimes amused by the minuteness
with which the expenditure of the smallest sum in so large an
establishment as John of Gaunt's is detailed, these little incidents
prepare us for the statement given of Henry's early youth by the
chroniclers,--that he was fond both of minstrelsy and of military

The same dry pages, however, assure us that his more severe studies
were not neglected. In the accounts for the year ending February 1396,
we find a charge of "4_s._ for seven books of Grammar contained    (p. 016)
in one volume, and bought at London for the young Lord Henry." The
receiver-general's record informs us of the name of the lord Humfrey's
tutor;[14] but who was appointed to instruct the young lord Henry does
not appear; nor can we tell how soon he was put under the guidance of
Henry Beaufort. If, as we have reason to believe, he had that
celebrated man as his instructor, or at least the superintendent of
his studies, in Oxford so early as 1399, we may not, perhaps, be
mistaken in conjecturing, that even this volume of Grammar was first
learned under the direction of the future Cardinal.

                   [Footnote 14: "Thomæ Rothwell informanti Humfridum
                   filium Domini Regis pro salario suo de termino
                   Paschæ, 13_s._ 4_d._"--1 Hen. IV.]

Scanty as are the materials from which we must weave our opinion with
regard to the first years of Henry of Monmouth, they are sufficient to
suggest many reflections upon the advantages as well as the
unfavourable circumstances which attended him: We must first, however,
revert to a few more particulars relative to his family and its chief

His father, who was then about twenty-four years of age, certainly
left England[15] between the 6th of May 1390 and the 30th of April (p. 017)
1391, and proceeded to Barbary. During his absence his Countess was
delivered of Humfrey, his fourth son. Between the summers of 1392 and
1393 he undertook a journey to Prussia, and to the Holy Sepulchre.

                   [Footnote 15: The treasurer's account, during the
                   Earl's absence, contains some items which remove
                   all doubt from this statement: among others, 20_l._
                   to Lancaster the herald, on Nov. 5, going toward
                   England; and in the same month, to three
                   "persuivantes," being with the Earl, eight nobles;
                   and to a certain English sailor, carrying the news
                   of the birth of Humfrey, son of my lord, 13_s._

The next year visited Henry with one of the most severe losses which
can befall a youth of his age. His mother,[16] then only twenty-four
years old, having given birth to four sons and two daughters, was
taken away from the anxious cares and comforts of her earthly career,
in the very prime of life.[17] Nor was this the only bereavement which
befell the family at this time. Constance, the second wife of John of
Gaunt, a lady to whose religious and moral worth the strongest and
warmest testimony is borne by the chroniclers of the time; and who
might (had it so pleased the Disposer of all things) have watched  (p. 018)
over the education of her husband's grandchildren, was also this same
year removed from them to her rest: they were both buried at
Leicester, then one of the chief residences of the family.

                   [Footnote 16: King Richard II, the Duke of
                   Lancaster, and his son, Henry of Bolinbroke, became
                   widowers in the same year.]

                   [Footnote 17: That Henry cherished the memory of
                   his mother with filial tenderness, may be inferred
                   from the circumstance that only two months after he
                   succeeded to the throne, and had the means and the
                   opportunity of testifying his grateful remembrance
                   of her, we find money paid "in advance to William
                   Goodyere for newly devising and making an image in
                   likeness of the Mother of the present lord the
                   King, ornamented with diverse arms of the kings of
                   England, and placed over the tomb of the said
                   king's mother, within the King's College at
                   Leicester, where she is buried and entombed."--Pell
                   Rolls, May 20, 1413.]

The mind cannot contemplate the case of either of these ladies without
feelings of pity rather than of envy. They were both nobly born, and
nobly married; and yet the elder was joined to a man, who, to say the
very least, shared his love for her with another; and the younger,
though requiring, every year of her married state, all the attention
and comfort and support of an affectionate husband, yet was more than
once left to experience a temporary widowhood. And if we withdraw our
thoughts from those of whom this family was then deprived, there is
little to lessen our estimate of their loss, when we think of those
whom they left behind. Henry's maternal grandmother, indeed, the
Countess of Hereford, survived her daughter many years; and we are not
without an intimation that she at least interested herself in her
grandson's welfare. In his will, dated 1415, he bequeaths to Thomas,
Bishop of Durham, "the missal and portiphorium[18] which we had of the
gift of our dear grandmother, the Countess of Hereford."[19] We may
fairly infer from this circumstance that Henry had at least one    (p. 019)
near relation both able and willing to guide him in the right way. How
far opportunities were afforded her of exercising her maternal
feelings towards him, cannot now be ascertained; and with the
exception of this noble lady, there is no other to whom we can turn
with entire satisfaction, when we contemplate the salutary effects
either of precept or example in the case of Henry of Monmouth.

                   [Footnote 18: The portiphorium was a breviary,
                   containing directions as to the services of the

                   [Footnote 19: He bequeaths also, in the same will,
                   "to Joan, Countess of Hereford, our dear
                   grandmother, a gold cyphus." This lady, however,
                   died before Henry. In the Pell Rolls we find the
                   payment of "442_l._ 17_s._ 5_d._ to Robert Darcy
                   and others, executors of Joan de Bohun, late
                   Countess of Hereford, on account of live and dead
                   stock belonging to her, February 27, 1421."]

His father indeed was a gallant young knight, often distinguishing
himself at justs and tournaments;[20] of an active, ardent and
enterprising spirit; nor is any imputation against his moral character
found recorded. But we have no ground for believing, that he devoted
much of his time and thoughts to the education of his children.

                   [Footnote 20: Soon after Henry IV's accession, the
                   Pell Rolls, May 8, 1401, record the payment of
                   "10_l._ to Bertolf Vander Eure, who fenced with the
                   present lord the King with the long sword, and was
                   hurt in the neck by the said lord the King." The
                   Chronicle of London for 1386 says "there were
                   joustes at Smithfield. There bare him well Sir
                   Harry of Derby, the Duke's son of Lancaster."]

Henry Beaufort, the natural son of John of Gaunt, a person of
commanding talent, and of considerable attainments for that age,
whilst there is no reason to believe him to have been that abandoned
worldling whose eyes finally closed in black despair without a     (p. 020)
hope of Heaven, yet was not the individual to whose training a
Christian parent would willingly intrust the education of his child.
And in John of Gaunt[21] himself, little perhaps can be discovered
either in principle, or judgment, or conduct, which his grandson could
imitate with religious and moral profit. Thus we find Henry of
Monmouth in his childhood labouring under many disadvantages. Still
our knowledge of the domestic arrangements and private circumstances
of his family is confessedly very limited; and it would be unwise to
conclude that there were no mitigating causes in operation, nor any
advantages to put as a counterpoise into the opposite scale. He may
have been under the guidance and tuition of a good Christian and   (p. 021)
well-informed man; he may have been surrounded by companions whose
acquaintance would be a blessing. But this is all conjecture; and
probably the question is now beyond the reach of any satisfactory

                   [Footnote 21: The Author would gladly have
                   presented to the reader a different portrait of the
                   religious and moral character of "Old John of
                   Gaunt, time-honoured Lancaster;" but a careful
                   examination of the testimony of his enemies and of
                   his eulogists, as well as of the authentic
                   documents of his own household, seems to leave no
                   other alternative, short of the sacrifice of truth.
                   Godwin, in his Life of Chaucer, has undertaken his
                   defence, but on such unsound principles of morality
                   as must be reprobated by every true lover of
                   Religion and Virtue. The same domestic register of
                   the Duchy which records the wages paid to the
                   adulteress, and the duke's losses by gambling,
                   proves (as many other family accounts would prove)
                   that no fortune however princely can supply the
                   unbounded demands of profligacy and dissipation.
                   Even John of Gaunt, with his immense possessions,
                   was driven to borrow money. This fact is
                   accompanied in the record by the curious
                   circumstance, that an order is given for the
                   employment of three or four stout yeomen, because
                   of the danger of the road, to guard the bearers of
                   a loan made by the Earl of Arundel to the Duke, and
                   sent from Shrewsbury to London.]

With regard to the next step also in young Henry's progress towards
manhood, we equally depend upon tradition for the views which we may
be induced to take: still it is a tradition in which we shall probably
acquiesce without great danger of error. He is said to have been sent
to Oxford, and to have studied in "The Queen's College" under the
tuition of Henry Beaufort, his paternal uncle, then Chancellor of the
University. No document is known to exist among the archives of the
College or of the University, which can throw any light on this point;
except that the fact has been established of Henry Beaufort having
been admitted a member of Queen's College, and of his having been
chancellor of the university only for the year 1398.

This extraordinary man was consecrated Bishop of Lincoln, July 14,
1398, as appears by the Episcopal Register of that See; after which he
did not reside in Oxford. If therefore Henry of Monmouth studied under
him in that university, it must have been through the spring and
summer of that year, the eleventh of his age. And on this we may rely
as the most probable fact. Certainly in the old buildings of Queen's
College, a chamber used to be pointed out by successive generations as
Henry the Fifth's. It stood over the gateway opposite to St.       (p. 022)
Edmund's Hall. A portrait of him in painted glass, commemorative of
the circumstance, was seen in the window, with an inscription (as it
should seem of comparatively recent date) in Latin:

        To record the fact for ever.
         The Emperor of Britain,
       The Triumphant Lord of France,
 The Conqueror of his enemies and of himself,
                Henry V.
          Of this little chamber,
        Once the great Inhabitant.[22]

                   [Footnote 22: Fuller in his Church History, having
                   informed us that Henry's chamber over the College
                   gate was then inhabited by the historian's friend
                   Thomas Barlow, adds "His picture remaineth there to
                   this day in _brass_".]

It may be observed that in the tender age of Henry involved in this
supposition, there is nothing in the least calculated to throw a shade
of improbability on this uniform tradition. Many in those days became
members of the university at the time of life when they would now be
sent to school.[23] And possibly we shall be most right in supposing
that Henry (though perhaps without himself being enrolled among the
regular academics) lived with his uncle, then chancellor, and studied
under his superintendence. There is nothing on record (hitherto    (p. 023)
discovered) in the slightest degree inconsistent with this view;
whereas if we were inclined to adopt the representation of some (on
what authority it does not appear) that Henry was sent to Oxford soon
after his father ascended the throne, many and serious difficulties
would present themselves. In the first place his uncle, who was
legitimated only the year before, was prematurely made Bishop of
Lincoln by the Pope, through the interest of John of Gaunt, in the
year 1398, and never resided in Oxford afterwards. How old he was at
his consecration, has not yet been satisfactorily established;
conjecture would lead us to regard him as a few years only (perhaps
ten or twelve) older than his nephew. Otterbourne tells us that he was
made Bishop[24] when yet a boy.

                   [Footnote 23: Those who were designed for the
                   military profession were compelled to bear arms,
                   and go to the field at the age of fifteen:
                   consequently the little education they received was
                   confined to their boyhood.]

                   [Footnote 24: "Admodum parvo."]

In the next place we can scarcely discover six months in Henry's life
after his uncle's consecration, through which we can with equal
probability suppose him to have passed his time in Oxford. It is next
to certain that before the following October term, he had been removed
into King Richard's palace, carefully watched (as we shall see
hereafter); whilst in the spring of the following year, 1399, he was
unquestionably obliged to accompany that monarch in his expedition to
Ireland. Shortly after his return, in the autumn of that year, on his
father's accession to the throne, he was created Prince of Wales; and
through the following spring the probability is strong that his father
was too anxiously engaged in negotiating a marriage between him    (p. 024)
and a daughter of the French King, and too deeply interested in
providing for him an adequate establishment in the metropolis, to take
any measures for improving and cultivating his mind in the university.
Independently of which we may be fully assured that had he become a
student of the University of Oxford as Prince of Wales, it would not
have been left to chance, to deliver his name down to after-ages: the
archives of the University would have furnished direct and
contemporary evidence of so remarkable a fact; and the College would
have with pride enrolled him at the time among its members: as the boy
of the Earl of Derby, or the Duke of Hereford, living with his uncle,
there is nothing[25] in the omission of his name inconsistent with our
hypothesis. At all events, whatever evidence exists of Henry having
resided under any circumstances in Oxford, fixes him there under the
tuition of the future Cardinal; and that well-known personage is
proved not to have resided there subsequently to his appointment to
the see[26] of Lincoln, in the summer of 1398.[27]

                   [Footnote 25: On the 29th of the preceding
                   September 1397, Richard II. "with the consent of
                   the prelates, lords and commons in parliament
                   assembled," created Bolinbroke, then Earl of Derby,
                   Duke of Hereford, with a royal gift of forty marks
                   by the year, to him and his heirs for ever. Pell
                   Rolls. Pasc. 22 R. II. April 15.]

                   [Footnote 26: The Lincoln register (for a copy of
                   which the Author is indebted to the present Bishop)
                   dates the commencement of the year of Henry
                   Beaufort's consecration from July 14, 1398.]

                   [Footnote 27: It is a curious fact, not generally
                   known, that Henry IV. in the _first_ year of his
                   reign took possession of all the property of the
                   Provost and Fellows of Queen's College (on the
                   ground of mismanagement), and appointed the
                   Chancellor, the Chief Justice, the Master of the
                   Rolls, and others, guardians of the College. This
                   is scarcely consistent with the supposition of his
                   son being resident there at the time, or of his
                   selecting that college for him afterwards.]

What were Henry's studies in Oxford, whether, like Ingulphus some  (p. 025)
centuries before, he drank to his fill of "Aristotle's[28] Philosophy
and Cicero's Rhetoric," or whether his mind was chiefly directed to
the scholastic theology so prevalent in his day, it were fruitless (p. 026)
to inquire. His uncle (as we have already intimated) seems to have
been a person of some learning, an excellent man of business, and in
the command of a ready eloquence. In establishing his positions    (p. 027)
before the parliament, we find him not only quoting from the Bible,
(often, it must be acknowledged, without any strict propriety of
application,) but also citing facts from ancient Grecian history. We
may, however, safely conclude that the Chancellor of Oxford confined
himself to the general superintendence of his nephew's education,
intrusting the details to others more competent to instruct him in the
various branches of literature. It is very probable that to some
arrangement of that kind Henry was indebted for his acquaintance with
such excellent men as his friends John Carpenter of Oriel, and Thomas
Rodman, or Rodburn, of Merton.[29]

                   [Footnote 28: The Author trusts to be pardoned, if
                   he suffers these conjectures on Henry's studies in
                   Oxford to tempt him to digress in this note further
                   than the strict rules of unity might approve. They
                   brought a lively image to his mind of the
                   occupations and confessions of one of the earliest
                   known sons of Alma Mater. Perhaps Ingulphus is the
                   first upon record who, having laid the foundation
                   of his learning at Westminster, proceeded for its
                   further cultivation to Oxford. From the
                   biographical sketch of his own life, we learn that
                   he was born of English parents and a native of the
                   fair city of London. Whilst a schoolboy at
                   Westminster, he was so happy as to have interested
                   in his behalf Egitha, daughter of Earl Godwin, and
                   queen of Edward the Confessor. He describes his
                   patroness as a lady of great beauty, well versed in
                   literature, of most pure chastity and exalted moral
                   feeling, together with pious humbleness of mind,
                   tainted by no spot of her father's or her brother's
                   barbarism, but mild and modest, honest and
                   faithful, and the enemy of no human being. In
                   confirmation of his estimate of her excellence, he
                   quotes a Latin verse current in his day, not very
                   complimentary to her sire: "As a thorn is the
                   parent of the rose, so was Godwin of Egitha." I
                   have often seen her (he continues) when I have been
                   visiting my father in the palace. Many a time, as
                   she met me on my return from school, would she
                   examine me in my scholarship and verses; and
                   turning with the most perfect familiarity from the
                   solidity of grammar to the playfulness of logic, in
                   which she was well skilled, when she had caught me
                   and held me fast by some subtle chain, she would
                   always direct her maid to give me three or four
                   pieces of money, and sending me off to the royal
                   refectory would dismiss me after my refreshment."
                   It is possible that many of our fair countrywomen
                   in the highest ranks now, are not aware that, more
                   than eight hundred years ago, their fair and noble
                   predecessors could play with a Westminster scholar
                   in grammar, verses, and logic. Egitha left behind
                   her an example of high religious, moral, and
                   literary worth, by imitating which, not perhaps in
                   its literal application, but certainly in its
                   spirit, the noble born among us will best uphold
                   and adorn their high station. Ingulphus (in the
                   very front of whose work the Author thinks he sees
                   the stamp of raciness and originality, though he
                   cannot here enter into the question of its
                   genuineness) tells us then, how he made proficiency
                   beyond many of his equals in mastering the
                   doctrines of Aristotle, and covered himself to the
                   very ankles in Cicero's Rhetoric. But, alas, for
                   the vanity of human nature! His confession here
                   might well suggest reflections of practical wisdom
                   to many a young man who may be tempted, as was
                   Ingulphus, in the university or the wide world, to
                   neglect and despise his father's roof and his
                   father's person, after success in the world may
                   have raised him in society above the humble station
                   of his birth,--a station from which perhaps the
                   very struggles and privations of that parent
                   himself may have enabled him to emerge. "Growing up
                   a young man (he says) I felt a sort of disdainful
                   loathing at the straitened and lowly circumstances
                   of my parents, and desired to leave my paternal
                   hearth, hankering after the halls of kings and of
                   the great, and daily longing more and more to array
                   myself in the gayest and most luxurious costume."
                   Ingulphus lived to repent, and to be ashamed of his
                   weakness and folly.]

                   [Footnote 29: John Carpenter. This learned and good
                   man could not have been much, if at all, Henry's
                   senior. He was made Bishop of Worcester (not as
                   Goodwin says by Henry V. but) in the year 1443. He
                   died in 1476; so that if he was in Oxford when we
                   suppose Henry to have studied there and to have
                   been only his equal in age, he would have been
                   nearly ninety when he died. Thomas Rodman was an
                   eminent astronomer as well as a learned divine, of
                   Merton College. He was not promoted to a bishopric
                   till two years after Henry's death.

                   Among other learned and pious men who were much
                   esteemed by Henry, we find especially mentioned
                   Robert Mascall, confessor to his father, and
                   Stephen Partington. The latter was a very popular
                   preacher, whom some of the nobility invited to
                   court. Henry, delighted with his eloquence, treated
                   him with favour and affectionate regard, and
                   advanced him to the see of St. David's. Robert
                   Mascall was of the order of Friars Carmelites. In
                   1402 he was ordered to be continually about the
                   King's person, for the advantage and health of his
                   soul. Two years afterwards he was advanced to the
                   see of Hereford. Pell Rolls.]

But whatever course of study was chalked out for him, and through  (p. 028)
however long or short a period before the summer of 1398, or under
what guides soever he pursued it, it is impossible to read his
letters, and reflect on what is authentically recorded of him, without
being involuntarily impressed by an assurance that he had imbibed a
very considerable knowledge of Holy Scripture, even beyond the young
men of his day. His conduct also in after-life would prepare us for
the testimony borne to him by chroniclers, that "he held in great
veneration such as surpassed in learning and virtue." Still, whilst we
regret that history throws no fuller light on the early days of Henry
of Monmouth, we cannot but hope that in the hidden treasures of
manuscripts hereafter to be again brought into the light of day, much
may be yet ascertained on satisfactory evidence; and we must leave the
subject to those more favoured times.[30]

                   [Footnote 30: Many ancient documents (of the
                   existence of which in past years, often not very
                   remote, there can be no doubt,) now, unhappily for
                   those who would bring the truth to light, are in a
                   state of abeyance or of perdition. To mention only
                   one example; the work of Peter Basset, who was
                   chamberlain to Henry V. and attended him in his
                   wars, referred to by Goodwin, and reported to be in
                   the library of the College of Arms, is no longer in
                   existence; at least it has disappeared and not a
                   trace of it can be found there.]

But whilst doubts may still be thought to hang over the exact time and
the duration of Henry's academical pursuits, it is matter of       (p. 029)
historical certainty, that an event took place in the autumn of 1398,
which turned the whole stream of his life into an entirely new
channel, and led him by a very brief course to the inheritance of the
throne of England. His father, hitherto known as the Earl of Derby,
was created Duke of Hereford by King Richard II. Very shortly after
his creation, he stated openly in parliament[31] that the Duke of
Norfolk, whilst they were riding together between Brentford and
London, had assured him of the King's intention to get rid of them
both, and also of the Duke of Lancaster with other noblemen, of whose
designs against his throne or person he was apprehensive. The Duke of
Norfolk denied the charge, and a trial of battle was appointed to
decide the merits of the question. The King, doubting probably the
effect on himself of the issue of that wager of battle, postponed the
day from time to time. At length he fixed finally upon the 16th of
September, and summoned the two noblemen to redeem their pledges at
Coventry. Very splendid preparations had been made for the struggle;
and the whole kingdom shewed the most anxious interest in the result.
On the day appointed, the Lord High Constable and the Lord High
Marshal of England, with a very great company, and splendidly arrayed,
first entered the lists. About the hour of prime the Duke of Hereford
appeared at the barriers on a white courser, barbed with blue and  (p. 030)
green velvet, sumptuously embroidered with swans and antelopes[32] of
goldsmith's work,[33] and armed at all points. The King himself soon
after entered with great pomp, attended by the peers of the realm, and
above ten thousand men in arms to prevent any tumult. The Duke of
Norfolk then came on a steed "barbed with crimson velvet embroidered
with mulberry-trees and lions of silver." At the proclamation of the
herald, Hereford sprang upon his horse, and advanced six or seven
paces to meet his adversary. The king upon this suddenly threw down
his warder, and commanded the spears to be taken from the combatants,
and that they should resume their chairs of state. He then ordered
proclamation to be made that the Duke of Hereford had honourably[34]
fulfilled his duty; and yet, without assigning any reason, he
immediately sentenced him to be banished for ten years: at the same
time he condemned the Duke of Norfolk to perpetual exile, adding also
the confiscation of his property, except only one thousand pounds by
the year. This act of tyranny towards Bolinbroke,[35] contrary,    (p. 031)
as the chroniclers say, to the known laws and customs of the realm, as
well as to the principles of common justice, led by direct consequence
to the subversion of Richard's throne, and probably to his premature

                   [Footnote 31: Rot. Parl. 21 Rich. II. & Rot. Cart.]

                   [Footnote 32: It is curious to find that when Henry
                   V. met his intended bride Katharine of France, the
                   tent prepared for him by her mother the Queen, was
                   composed of blue and green velvet, and embroidered
                   with the figures of antelopes.]

                   [Footnote 33: The Duke of Hereford's armour was
                   exceedingly costly and splendid. He had sent to
                   Italy to procure it on purpose for that day; he
                   spared no expense in its preparation; and it was
                   forwarded to him by the Duke of Milan.]

                   [Footnote 34: "Rex proclamari fecit quod Dux
                   Herefordiæ debitum suum honorificè
                   adimplesset."--Wals. 356.]

                   [Footnote 35: The "Chronicle of London" asserts
                   that Richard sought and obtained from the Pope of
                   Rome a confirmation of his statutes and ordinances
                   made at this time.]

Whilst however the people sympathized with the Duke of Hereford, and
reproached the King for his rashness, as impolitic as it was
iniquitous, they seemed to view in the sentence of the Duke of
Norfolk, the visitation of divine justice avenging on his head the
cruel murder of the Duke of Gloucester. It was remarked (says
Walsingham) that the sentence was passed on him by Richard on the very
same day of the year on which, only one twelvemonth before, he had
caused that unhappy prince to be suffocated in Calais.

CHAPTER II.                                                        (p. 032)



The first years of Henry of Monmouth fall, in part at least, as we
have seen, within the province of conjecture rather than of authentic
history: and the facts for reasonable conjecture to work upon are much
more scanty with regard to this royal child, than we find to be the
case with many persons far less renowned, and still further removed
from our day. But from the date of his father's banishment, very few
months in any one year elapse without supplying some clue, which
enables us to trace him step by step through the whole career of his
eventful life, to the very last day and hour of his mortal existence.

His father's exile dates from October 13, 1398, when Henry had just
concluded his eleventh year. Whether up to that time he had been   (p. 033)
living chiefly in his father's house, or with his grandfather John of
Gaunt, or with his maternal grandmother, or with his uncle Henry
Beaufort either at Oxford or elsewhere, we have no positive evidence.
John of Gaunt did not die till the 3rd of the following February, and
he would, doubtless, have taken his grandson under his especial care,
at all events on his father's banishment, probably assigning Henry
Beaufort to be his tutor and governor. But when Richard sentenced
Henry of Bolinbroke, he was too sensible of his own injustice, and too
much alive, in this instance at least, to his own danger, to suffer
Henry of Monmouth to remain at large. One of the most ancient, and
most widely adopted principles of tyranny, pronounces the man "to be a
fool, who when he makes away with a father, leaves the son in power to
avenge his parent's wrongs." Accordingly Richard took immediate
possession of the persons both of the son of the murdered Duke of
Gloucester, and of Henry of Monmouth, of whose relatives, as the
chroniclers say, he had reason to be especially afraid.

John of Gaunt, we may conclude, now disabled as he was, by those
infirmities[36] which hastened him to the grave[37] more rapidly than
the mere progress of calm decay, could exert no effectual means    (p. 034)
either of sheltering his son from the unjust tyrant who sentenced him
to ten years banishment from his native land, or of rescuing his
grandson from the close custody of the same oppressor. Still the very
name of that renowned duke must have put some restraint upon his royal
nephew. The lion had yet life, and might put forth one dying effort,
if the oppression were carried past his endurance; and it might have
been thought well to let him linger and slumber on, till nature should
have struggled with him finally. We find, consequently, that though
before Bolinbroke's departure from England Richard had remitted four
years of his banishment, as a sort of peace-offering perhaps to John
of Gaunt, no sooner was that formidable person dead, than Richard,
throwing off all semblance of moderation, exiled Bolinbroke for life,
and seized and confiscated his property.[38]

                   [Footnote 36: See the Remains of Thomas Gascoyne, a
                   contemporary writer. Brit. Mus. 2 I. d. p. 530.]

                   [Footnote 37: John of Gaunt died on the 3rd of
                   February 1399, at the house of the Bishop of Ely in
                   Holborn. Will. Worc.]

                   [Footnote 38: Two candelabra which belonged to
                   Henry Duke of Lancaster, were presented by Richard
                   to the abbot and convent of Westminster, 30th June
                   1399.--Pell Rolls. He also granted to Catherine
                   Swynford, the late duke's widow, some of the
                   possessions which she had enjoyed before, but which
                   had fallen into the king's hands by the
                   confiscation of the present duke's property.--Pat.
                   22 Ric. II. Froissart expressly says, that Richard
                   confiscated Bolinbroke's estates, and divided them
                   among his own favourites. He acquaints us,
                   moreover, with an act of cruel persecution and
                   enmity on the part of Richard, which must have
                   rendered Bolinbroke's exile far more galling, and
                   have exasperated him far more bitterly against his
                   persecutor. Richard, says Froissart, sent Lord
                   Salisbury over to France on express purpose to
                   break off the contemplated marriage between
                   Bolinbroke and the daughter of the Duke of Berry,
                   in the presence of the French court calling him a
                   false and wicked traitor. Ed. 1574. Vol. iv. p.

Though Richard behaved towards Bolinbroke with such reckless       (p. 035)
injustice, he does not appear to have been forgetful of his wants
during his exile. Within two months of the date of his banishment the
Pell Rolls record payment (14 November 1398) "of a thousand marks to
the Duke of Hereford, of the King's gift, for the aid and support of
himself, and the supply of his wants, on his retirement from England
to parts beyond the seas assigned for his sojourn." And on the 20th of
the following June payment is recorded of "1586_l._ 13_s._ 4_d._ part
of the 2000_l._ which the king had granted to him, to be advanced
annually at the usual times." But this was a poor compensation for the
honours and princely possessions of the Dukedom of Lancaster, and the
comforts of his home. No wonder if he were often found, as historians
tell, in deep depression of spirits, whilst he thought of "his four
brave boys, and two lovely daughters," now doubly orphans.

The plan of this work does not admit of any detailed enumeration of
the exactions, nor of any minute inquiry into the violence and
reckless tyranny of Richard. It cannot be doubted that a long series
of oppressive measures at this time alienated the affections of many
of his subjects, and exposed his person and his throne to the      (p. 036)
attacks of proud and powerful, as well as injured and insulted
enemies. His conduct appears to evince little short of infatuation. He
was determined to act the part of a tyrant with a high hand, and he
defied the consequences of his rashness. He had stopped his ears to
sounds which must have warned him of dangers setting thick around him
from every side; and he had wilfully closed his eyes, and refused to
look towards the precipice whither he was every day hastening.[39] He
rushed on, despising the danger, till he fell once, and for ever. The
murder of the Duke of Gloucester, involving on the part of the king
one of the most base and cold-hearted pieces of treachery ever
recorded of any ruthless tyrant, had filled the whole realm with
indignation; and chroniclers do not hesitate to affirm that Richard
would have been then deposed and destroyed, had it not been for the
interposition of John of Gaunt; and now the eldest son of that very
man, who alone had sheltered him from his people's vengeance, Richard
banishes for ever without cause, confiscating his princely estates,
and pursuing him with bitter and insulting vengeance even in his

                   [Footnote 39: The chroniclers give us an idea of
                   expense in Richard both about his person, his
                   houses, and his presents, which exceeds belief.
                   Both the Monk of Evesham and the author of the
                   Sloane Manuscript speak of a single robe which cost
                   thirty thousand marks.]

If his own reason had not warned him beforehand against such       (p. 037)
self-destroying acts of iniquity and violence, yet the signs of the
popular feeling which followed them, would have recalled any but an
infatuated man to a sense of the danger into which he was plunging.
When Henry of Bolinbroke left London for his exile, forty thousand
persons are said to have been in the streets lamenting his fate; and
the mayor, accompanied by a large body of the higher class of
citizens, attended him on his way as far as Dartford; and some never
left him till they saw him embark at Dover.[40] But to all these clear
and strong indications of the tone and temper of his subjects, Richard
was obstinately blind and deaf. If he heard and saw them, he hardened
himself against the only practical influence which they were
calculated to produce. Setting the approaching political storm, and
every moral peril, at defiance, he quitted England just as though he
were leaving behind him contented and devoted subjects.

                   [Footnote 40: Froissart tells us that Bolinbroke
                   was much beloved in London. He represents also his
                   reception in France to have been most cordial;
                   every city opening its gates to welcome him.--See
                   Froissart, vol. iv. p. 280.]

Having assigned Wallingford Castle for the residence of his Queen
Isabel, he departed for Ireland about the 18th of May; but did not set
sail from Milford Haven till the 29th; he reached Waterford on the
last day of the month. Though Richard[41] was prompted solely by   (p. 038)
reasons of policy and by a regard to his own safety to take with him
to Ireland Henry of Monmouth, (together with Humphrey, son of the
murdered Duke of Gloucester,) we should do him great injustice were we
to suppose that he treated him as an enemy.[42] On the contrary, we
have reason to believe that he behaved towards him with great kindness
and respect.[43]

                   [Footnote 41: Froissart says that Richard sent
                   expressly both to Northumberland and Hotspur,
                   requiring their attendance in his expedition to
                   Ireland; that they both refused; and that he
                   banished them the realm. Vol. iv. p. 295.]

                   [Footnote 42: March 5, 1399, the Pell Rolls record
                   the payment of "10_l._ to Henry, son of the Duke of
                   Hereford, in part payment of 500_l._ yearly, which
                   our present lord the King has granted to be paid
                   him at the Exchequer during pleasure." Twenty
                   pounds also were paid to him on the 21st of the
                   preceding February.]

                   [Footnote 43: Whether as a measure of security, or
                   on a principle of kind considerateness for Henry of
                   Monmouth, when Richard left England he took with
                   him Henry Beaufort, (Pat. p. 3. 22 Ric. II, n.
                   11.): though it is curious to remark that when on
                   his return to England he left Henry of Monmouth in
                   Trym Castle, we find Henry Beaufort in the company
                   of Richard.]

About midsummer the king advanced towards the country and strong-holds
of Macmore, his most formidable antagonist. On the opening of that
campaign he conferred upon young Henry the order of knighthood;[44]
and wishing to signalize this mark of the royal favour with unusual
celebrity, he conferred on that day the same distinction (expressly
in honour of Henry) upon ten others his companions in arms. The    (p. 039)
particulars of this transaction, and the details of the entire
campaign against the Wild Irish, as they were called, are recorded in
a metrical history by a Frenchman named Creton, who was an eye-witness
of the whole affair. This gentleman had accepted the invitation of a
countryman of his own, a knight, to accompany him to England. On their
arrival in London they found the king himself in the very act of
starting for Ireland, and thither they went in his company as

                   [Footnote 44: In 1379, his grandfather John of
                   Gaunt required aid of his tenants towards making
                   his eldest son, Henry of Bolinbroke, a knight.]

This writer thus describes[45] the courteous act and pledge of
friendship bestowed by Richard on his youthful companion and prisoner,
recording, with some interesting circumstances, the very words of
knightly and royal admonition with which the distinguished honour was
conferred. "Early on a summer's morning, the vigil of St. John, the
King marched directly to Macmore[46], who would neither submit,    (p. 040)
nor obey him in any way, but affirmed that he was himself the rightful
king of Ireland, and that he would never cease from war and the
defence of his country till death. Then the King prepared to go into
the depths of the deserts in search of him. For his abode is in the
woods, where he is accustomed to dwell at all seasons; and he had with
him, according to report, 3000 hardy men. Wilder people I never saw;
they did not appear to be much dismayed at the English. The whole host
were assembled at the entrance of the deep woods; and every one put
himself right well in his array: for it was thought for the time that
we should have battle; but I know that the Irish did not show
themselves on this occasion. Orders were then given by the King that
every thing around should be set fire to. Many a village and house
were then consumed. While this was going on, the King, who bears
leopards in his arms, caused a space to be cleared on all sides, and
pennon and standards to be quickly hoisted. Afterwards, out of true
and entire affection, he sent for the son of the Duke of Lancaster, a
_fair young and handsome bachelor_,[47] and knighted him, saying, 'My
fair cousin, henceforth be gallant and bold, for, unless you conquer,
you will have little name for valour.' And for his greater honour and
satisfaction, to the end that it might be better imprinted on his
memory, he made eight or ten other knights; but indeed I do not    (p. 041)
know what their names were, for I took little heed about the matter,
seeing that melancholy, uneasiness and care had formed, and altogether
chosen my heart for their abode, and anxiety had dispossessed me of

                   [Footnote 45: M. Creton's Metrical History is
                   translated from a beautifully illuminated copy, in
                   the British Museum, by the Rev. John Webb, who has
                   enriched it with many valuable notes and
                   dissertations, historical, biographical, &c. It
                   forms part of the twentieth volume of the
                   Archæologia. M. Creton confesses himself to have
                   been thrown into a terrible panic on the approach
                   of danger, more than once: and probably he was in
                   higher esteem in the hall among the guests for his
                   minstrelsy and song, than in the battle-field for
                   his prowess.]

                   [Footnote 46: The sons of this Irish chief,
                   Macmore, or Macmorgh, or Mac Murchard, were
                   hostages in England, May 3, 1399.--Pell Rolls.]

                   [Footnote 47: The term _bachelor_ signified, in the
                   language of chivalry, a young gentleman not yet

The English suffered much from hunger and fatigue during this
expedition in search of the archrebel, and after many fruitless
attempts to reduce him, reached Dublin, where all their sufferings
were forgotten in the plenty and pleasures of that "good city."

       *       *       *       *       *

The day on which Richard conferred upon Henry so distinguished a mark
of his regard and friendship, offering the first occasion on which any
reference is made to his personal appearance and bodily constitution,
the present may, perhaps, be deemed an appropriate place for recording
what we may have been able to glean in that department of biographical
memoir with which few, probably, are inclined to dispense.

M. Creton, in his account of this memorable knighthood, represents
Henry as "a handsome young bachelor," then in his twelfth year; and
very little further, of a specific character, is recorded by his
immediate contemporaries. The chroniclers next in succession describe
him as a man of "a spare make, tall, and well-proportioned,"
"exceeding," says Stow, "the ordinary stature of men;" beautiful   (p. 042)
of visage, his bones small: nevertheless he was of marvellous strength,
pliant and passing swift of limb; and so trained was he to feats of
agility by discipline and exercise, that with one or two of his lords
he could, on foot, readily give chase to a deer without hounds, bow,
or sling, and catch the fleetest of the herd. By the period of his
early youth he must have outgrown the weakness and sickliness of his
childhood, or he could never have endured the fatigues of body and
mind to which he was exposed through his almost incessant campaigns
from his fourteenth to his twentieth year. These hardships, nevertheless,
may have been all the while sowing the seeds of that fatal disease
which at the last carried him so prematurely from the labours, and
vexations, and honours of this world.[48]

                   [Footnote 48: Fuller, in his Church History, thus
                   speaks of him, mingling with his description,
                   however, the verification of the proverb, "An ill
                   youth may make a good man," a maxim far less true
                   (though far more popular) than one of at least
                   equally remote origin, "Like sapling, like oak." He
                   was "one of a strong and active body, neither
                   shrinking in cold nor slothful in heat, going
                   commonly with his head uncovered; the wearing of
                   armour was no more cumbersome to him than a cloak.
                   He never shrunk at a wound, nor turned away his
                   nose for ill savour, nor closed his eyes for smoke
                   or dust; in diet, none less dainty or more
                   moderate; his sleep very short, but sound;
                   fortunate in fight, and commendable in all his

With regard to his habits of social intercourse, his powers of
conversation, the disposition and bent of his mind when he mingled (p. 043)
with others, whether in the seasons of public business, or the more
private hours of retirement and relaxation, (whilst the never-ending
tales of his dissipation among his unthrifty reckless playmates are
reserved for a separate inquiry,) a few words only will suffice in
this place. In addition to the testimony of later authors, the records
of contemporaneous antiquity, sometimes by direct allusion to him,
sometimes incidentally and as it were undesignedly, lead us to infer
that he was a distinguished example of affability and courteousness;
still not usually a man of many words; clear in his own conception of
the subject of conversation or debate, and ready in conveying it to
others, yet peculiarly modest and unassuming in maintaining his
opinion, listening with so natural an ease and deference, and kindness
to the sentiments and remarks and arguments of others, as to draw into
a close and warm personal attachment to himself those who had the
happiness to be on terms of familiarity with him. Certainly the
unanimous voice of Parliament ascribed to him, when engaged in the
deeper and graver discussions involving the interests and welfare of
the state, qualities corresponding in every particular with these
representations of individual chroniclers. The glowing, living
language of Shakspeare seems only to have recommended by becoming and
graceful ornament, what had its existence really and substantially in

  Hear him but reason in divinity,                                 (p. 044)
  And, all-admiring, with an inward wish
  You would desire the King were made a prelate:
  Hear him debate of commonwealth affairs,
  You would say, it hath been all-in-all his study:
  List his discourse in war, and you shall hear
  A fearful battle render'd you in music:
  Turn him to any cause of policy,
  The Gordian knot of it he will unloose,
  Familiar as his garter; that, when he speaks,
  The air, a charter'd libertine, is still,
  And the mute wonder lurketh in men's ears,
  To steal his sweet and honey'd sentences.

Soon after Richard reached Dublin, the Duke of Albemarle, Constable of
England, arrived with a large fleet, and with forces all ready for a
campaign: but he came too late for any good purpose, and better had it
been for Richard had he never come at all. His advice was the king's
ruin. Richard with his army passed full six weeks in Dublin, in the
free enjoyment of ease and pleasure, altogether ignorant of the
terrible reverse which awaited him. In consequence of the
uninterrupted prevalence of adverse winds, his self-indulgence was
undisturbed by the news which the first change of weather was destined
to bring. Through the whole of this momentous crisis the weather was
so boisterous that no vessel dared to brave the tempest. On the return
of a quiet sea, a barge arrived at Dublin upon a Saturday, laden with
the appalling tidings that Henry, Duke of Lancaster, had returned from
exile and was carrying all before him; supported by Richard's      (p. 045)
most powerful subjects, now in open rebellion against his authority;
and encouraged by the Archbishop, who in the Pope's name preached
plenary absolution and a place in paradise to all who would assist the
duke to recover his just rights from his unjust sovereign. The King
grew pale at this news, and instantly resolved to return to England on
the Monday following. But the Duke of Albemarle advised that unhappy
monarch, fatally for his interests, to remain in Ireland till his
whole navy could be gathered; and in the mean time[49] to send over
the Earl of Salisbury. That nobleman departed forthwith, (Richard
solemnly promising to put to sea in six days,) and landed at Conway,
"the strongest and fairest town in Wales."

                   [Footnote 49: M. Creton, the author of the Metrical
                   History, acceded to the earnest request of the Earl
                   of Salisbury to accompany him, for the sake of his
                   minstrelsy and song. From the day of his departure
                   from Dublin his knowledge of public affairs, as far
                   as they are immediately connected with Henry of
                   Monmouth, ceases almost, if not altogether. He must
                   no longer be followed implicitly; whatever he
                   relates of the intervening circumstances till
                   Richard himself came to Conway, he must have
                   derived from hearsay. In one circumstance too
                   afterwards he must have been mistaken, when he says
                   the Duke of Lancaster committed Richard at Chester
                   to the safe keeping of _the son of the Duke of
                   Gloucester_ and the son of the Earl of Arundel, at
                   least if Humfrey be the young man he means. Stow
                   and others follow him here, but, as it should seem,

Either before the Earl of Salisbury's departure, or as is the more
probable, towards the last of those eighteen days through which    (p. 046)
afterwards, to the ruin of his cause, Richard wasted his time (the
only time left him) in Ireland, he sent for Henry of Monmouth, and
upbraided him with his father's treason. Otterbourne minutely records
the conversation which is said then to have passed between them.
"Henry, my child," said the King, "see what your father has done to
me. He has actually invaded my land as an enemy, and, as if in regular
warfare, has taken captive and put to death my liege subjects without
mercy and pity. Indeed, child, for you individually I am very sorry,
because for this unhappy proceeding of your father you must perhaps be
deprived of your inheritance." 'To whom Henry, though a boy, replied
in no boyish manner,' "In truth, my gracious king and lord, I am
sincerely grieved by these tidings; and, as I conceive, you are fully
assured of my innocence in this proceeding of my father."--"I know,"
replied the King, "that the crime which your father has perpetrated
does not attach at all to you; and therefore I hold you excused of it

Soon after this interview the unfortunate Richard set off from Dublin
to return to his kingdom, which was now passing rapidly into other
hands: but his two youthful captives, Henry of Monmouth, and Humfrey,
son of the late Duke of Gloucester, he caused to be shut up in the
safe keeping of the castle of Trym.[50] From that day, which must have
been somewhere about the 20th of August, till the following        (p. 047)
October,[51] when he was created Prince of Wales in a full assembly of
the nobles and commons of England, we have no direct mention made of
Henry of Monmouth. That much of the intervening time was a season of
doubt and anxiety and distress to him, we have every reason to
believe. Though he had been previously detained as a hostage, yet he
had been treated with great kindness; and Richard, probably inspiring
him with feelings of confidence and attachment towards himself, had
led him to forget his father's enemy and oppressor in his own personal
benefactor and friend. Richard had now left him and his cousin (a
youth doubly related to him) as prisoners in a solitary castle far
from their friends, and in the custody of men at whose hands they
could not anticipate what treatment they might receive. How long they
remained in this state of close and, as they might well deem it,
perilous confinement, we do not learn. Probably the Duke of Lancaster,
on hearing of Richard's departure from Dublin, sent off immediately to
release the two captive youths; or at the latest, as soon as he had
the unhappy king within his power. On the one hand it may be       (p. 048)
argued that had Henry of Monmouth joined his father before the
cavalcade reached London, so remarkable a circumstance would have been
noticed by the French author, who accompanied them the whole way. On
the other hand we learn from the Pell Rolls that a ship was sent from
Chester to conduct him to London, though the payment of a debt does
not fix the date at which it was incurred.[52] We may be assured no
time was lost by the Duke, by those whom he employed, or by his son;
at all events that Henry was restored to his father at Chester (a
circumstance which would be implied had Richard there been consigned
to the custody of young Humphrey), is not at all in evidence. The far
more reasonable inference from what is recorded is, that Humphrey, his
young fellow-prisoner and companion, and near relative and friend, was
snatched from him by sudden death at the very time when Providence
seemed to have opened to him a joyous return to liberty and to his
widowed mother. There is no reason to doubt that the news of Richard's
captivity, and the Duke of Lancaster's success, reached the two
friends whilst prisoners in Trym Castle; nor that they were both
released, and embarked together for England. Where they were when  (p. 049)
the hand of death separated them is not certainly known. The general
tradition is, that poor Humphrey had no sooner left the Irish coast
than he was seized by a fever, or by the plague, which carried him off
before the ship could reach England. But whether he landed or not,
whether he had joined the Duke or not before the fatal malady attacked
him, there is no doubt that his death followed hard upon his release.
His mother, the widowed duchess of his murdered father, who had
moreover never been allowed the solace of her child's company, now
bereft of husband and son, could bear up against her affliction no
longer. On hearing of her desolate state, excessive grief overwhelmed
her; and she fell sick and died.[53]

                   [Footnote 50: The castle of Trym, though described
                   by Walsingham as a strong fort, was in so
                   dilapidated a state, that, in 1402, the council, in
                   taking the King's pleasure about its repairs,
                   represent it as on the point of falling into

                   [Footnote 51: M. Creton expressly states that Henry
                   IV. made Henry of Monmouth Prince of Wales on the
                   day of his election to the throne, the first
                   Wednesday in October; but in this he is not borne
                   out by authority.]

                   [Footnote 52: 1401, March 5, "To Henry Dryhurst of
                   West Chester, payment for the freightage of a ship
                   to Dublin: also for sailing to the same place and
                   back again, to conduct the lord the Prince, the
                   King's son, from Ireland to England; together with
                   the furniture of a chapel and ornaments of the
                   same, which belonged to King Richard."]

                   [Footnote 53: Her death took place on the 3rd
                   October 1399, four days after the accession of
                   Henry IV. On the 6th of the preceding May the Pell
                   Rolls record payment of the residue of 155_l._
                   11_s._ 8_d._ to Alianore de Bohun, Duchess of
                   Gloucester, for the maintenance of a master, twelve
                   chaplains, and eight clerks, appointed to perform
                   divine service in the College of Plecy.]

It is impossible to contemplate these two youthful relatives setting
out from the prison doors full of joy, and happy auguries, and mutual
congratulations, in health and spirits, panting for their dearest
friends,--one going to a princedom, and a throne, and a brilliant
career of victories, the other to disease and death,--without being
impressed with the wonderful acts of an inscrutable Providence, with
the ignorance and weakness of man, and with the resistless will    (p. 050)
of the merciful Ruler of man's destinies. Even had young Humphrey
foreseen his dissolution, then so nigh at hand, as the gates of Trym
Castle opened for their release, he might well have addressed his
companion in words once used by the prince of Grecian philosophers at
the close of his defence before the court who condemned him. "And now
we are going, I indeed to death, you to life; to which of the two is
the better fate assigned is known only to God!"[54]

                   [Footnote 54: Socrates, in his Defence before his

Since this page was first written, the Author has been led to examine
the Pell Rolls;[55] and he is induced to confess that, independently
of the full confirmation afforded by those original documents to
numberless facts referred to in these Memoirs, many an interesting
train of thought is suggested by the inspection of them. The bare and
dry entries of one single roll at the period now under consideration,
bring with them to his mind associations of a truly affecting,
serious, and solemn character. The very last roll of Richard II. by
the merest details of expenditure records the payment of sums made by
that unhappy monarch to Bolinbroke, then in exile, expatriated by his
unjust and wanton decree; to Humphrey, the orphan son of the late  (p. 051)
murdered Duke of Gloucester; to Henry of Monmouth his cousin, both
then in Richard's safe keeping; and to Eleanor, the widowed mother of
Humphrey, and maternal aunt of Henry. Can any event paint in deeper
and stronger colouring the vicissitudes and reverses of mortality,
"the changes and chances" of our life on earth? Before the scribe had
filled the next half-year's roll, (now lying with it side by side, and
speaking like a monitor from the grave to high and low, rich and poor,
prince and peasant alike,)--of those five persons, Richard had lost
both his crown and his life; Bolinbroke had mounted the throne from
which Richard had fallen; Henry of Monmouth had been created Prince of
Wales, and was hailed as heir apparent to that throne; his cousin
Humphrey, once the companion of his imprisonment, and the sharer of
his anticipations of good or ill, had been carried off from this world
by death at the very time of his release; and the broken-hearted
Eleanor, (the root and the branch of her happiness now gone for ever,)
unable to bear up against her sorrows, had sunk under their weight
into her grave![56]

                   [Footnote 55: May 2nd & 6th, 1399, payments are
                   recorded to both these boys of different sums to
                   purchase dresses, and coat-armour, &c. preparatory
                   to their voyage to Ireland in company with the

                   [Footnote 56: Perhaps the sentiments of this
                   afflicted noble lady's will may be little more than
                   words of course; but, coming from her as they did a
                   few days only before the news of her son's death
                   paralyzed her whole frame, they appear peculiarly
                   appropriate: "Observing and considering the
                   mischances and uncertainties of this changeable and
                   transitory world." The will bears date August 9,

CHAPTER III.                                                       (p. 052)



Whether Henry of Monmouth met his father and the cavalcade at Chester,
or joined them on their road to London, or followed them thither;
whether he witnessed on the way the humiliation and melancholy of his
friend, and the triumphant exaltation of his father, or not; every
step taken by either of those two chieftains through the eventful
weeks which intervened between King Richard making the youth a knight
in the wilds of Ireland, and King Henry creating him Prince of Wales
in the face of the nation at Westminster, bears immediately upon his
destinies. And the whole complicated tissue of circumstances then in
progress is so inseparably connected with him both individually and as
the future monarch of England, that a brief review of the proceedings
as well of the falling as of the rising antagonist seems           (p. 053)
indispensable in this place.

       *       *       *       *       *

Henry Bolinbroke (having now, by the death of John of Gaunt,[57]
succeeded to the dukedom of Lancaster,) found himself, during his
exile, far from being the only victim of Richard's rash despotism; nor
the only one determined to try, if necessary, and when occasion should
offer, by strength of hand to recover their lost country, together
with their property and their homes. Indeed, others proved to have (p. 054)
been far more forward in that bold measure than himself. Whilst he was
in Paris[58], he received by the hands of Arundel, Archbishop of
Canterbury, an invitation to return, and set up his standard in their
native land. Arundel,[59] himself one of Richard's victims, had been
banished two years before the Duke, by a sentence which confiscated[60]
all his property. He made his way, we are told, to Valenciennes in the
disguise of a pilgrim, and, proceeding to Paris, obtained an interview
with Henry; whom he found at first less sanguine perhaps, and less (p. 055)
ready for so desperate an undertaking, than he expected. The Duke for
some time remained, apparently, absorbed in deep thought, as he leaned
on a window overlooking a garden; and at length replied that he would
consult his friends. Their advice, seconding the appeal of the Archbishop,
prevailed upon Henry to prepare for the hazardous enterprise; in which
success might indeed be rewarded with the crown of England, over and
above the recovery of his own vast possessions, but in which defeat
must lead inevitably to ruin. He left Paris for Brittany; and sailing
from one of its ports with three ships, having in his company only
fifteen lances or knights, he made for the English coast.[61] About
the 4th of July he came to shore at the spot where of old time had (p. 056)
stood the decayed town of Ravenspur. Landing boldly though with such a
handful of men, he was soon joined by the Percies, and other powerful
leaders; and so eagerly did the people flock to him as their deliverer
from a headstrong reckless despot, that in a short time he numbered as
his followers sixty thousand men, who had staked their property, their
liberty, and their lives, on the same die. The most probable account
of his proceedings up to his return to Chester, immediately before the
unfortunate Richard fell into his hands, is the following, for which
we are chiefly indebted to the translator of the "Metrical

                   [Footnote 57: Froissart relates, in a very lively
                   manner, how the English nobility amused themselves
                   in devising the probable schemes by which
                   Bolinbroke might dispose of himself during his
                   exile. "He is young, said they, and he has already
                   travelled enough, in Prussia, and to the Holy
                   Sepulchre, and St. Katharine: he will now take
                   other journeys to cheat the time. Go where he will,
                   he will be at home; he has friends in every

                   The same author tells us that forty thousand
                   persons accompanied him on his exile, not with
                   music and song, but with sighs and tears and
                   lamentations; and that on Gaunt's death the people
                   of England "spoke much and loudly of Derby's
                   return,--especially the Londoners, who loved him a
                   hundred times more than they did the King. The
                   Earl, he says, heard of the death of his father,
                   even before the King of France, though Richard had
                   posted off the event to that monarch as joyful
                   tidings. He put himself and his household in deep
                   mourning, and caused the funeral obsequies to be
                   solemnized with much grandeur. The King, the Duke
                   of Orleans, and very many nobles and prelates were
                   present at the solemnity, for the Earl was much
                   beloved by them all, and they deeply sympathized
                   with his grief, for he was an agreeable knight,
                   well-bred, courteous, and gentle to every one."]

                   [Footnote 58: Froissart gives also a very animated
                   description of the manner in which Bolinbroke was
                   received by the King of France on his first
                   arrival, and by the Dukes of Orleans, Brittany,
                   Burgundy, and Bourbon. The meeting, he says, was
                   joyous on both sides, and they entered Paris in
                   brilliant array: but Henry was nevertheless very
                   melancholy, being separated from his family,--four
                   sons and two daughters.

                   The author translated by Laboureur, states that
                   Richard no sooner heard of the welcome which
                   Bolinbroke met with in France than he sent over a
                   messenger, praying that court not to countenance
                   his traitors. He adds, that as soon as Lancaster
                   was dead, Richard regarded his written engagements
                   with no greater scruple than he had before observed
                   his promises by word of mouth.]

                   [Footnote 59: Leland says that the Archbishop
                   sojourned, during his exile, at Utrecht (Trajecti).
                   Froissart is certainly mistaken in relating that
                   the Londoners sent the Archbishop in a boat down
                   the Thames with a message to Bolinbroke. It is very
                   probable that they sent a messenger to the
                   Archbishop, and through him communicated with their

                   [Footnote 60: Officers were appointed, 16th October
                   1397, to seize all lands of Thomas Archbishop of
                   Canterbury, Thomas Duke of Gloucester, and other
                   lords.--Pell Rolls. Pat. 1 Hen. IV. m. 8, the
                   Archbishop's property is restored.]

                   [Footnote 61: Froissart, who seems to have obtained
                   very correct information of Bolinbroke's
                   proceedings up to the time of his embarking on the
                   French coast for England, but from that hour to
                   have been altogether misled as to his plans and
                   circumstances, relates that he left Paris under
                   colour of paying a visit to the Duke of Brittany;
                   that he went by the way of D'Estamps (one Guy de
                   Baigneux acting as his guide); that he stayed at
                   Blois eight days, where he received a most kind
                   answer in reply to his message to the Duke, who
                   gave him a cordial meeting at Nantes. The Duke
                   promised him a supply of vessels and men to protect
                   him in crossing the seas, and forwarded him with
                   all kind sympathy from one of his ports: "and,"
                   continues Froissart, "I have heard that it was
                   Vennes." It might have been, perhaps, during this
                   visit that Henry formed, or renewed, an
                   acquaintance with the Duchess, to whom, after the
                   Duke's death, in 1402, he made an offer of his
                   hand, and was accepted.]

                   [Footnote 62: See Archæologia, vol. xx. p. 61, note

The Duke of Lancaster's first measures, upon his landing, are not very
accurately recorded by historians, nor do the accounts impress us with
an opinion that they had arisen out of any digested plan of operation.
But a comparison of the desultory information which is furnished
relative to them, with what may fairly be supposed to be most
advisable on his part, will, perhaps, show that they were the result
of good calculation. The following is offered as the outline of the
scheme. To secure to Henry a chance of success, it was in the first
instance necessary, not only that the most powerful nobles remaining
at home should join him, but that means should be devised for
detaining the King in Ireland. It would be expedient to try the
disposition of the people on the eastern coast, and that he should (p. 057)
select a spot for his descent, from which he could immediately put
himself in communication with his friends: Yorkshire afforded the
greatest facility. The wind which took Albemarle over into Ireland
must have been advantageous to Lancaster; and the tempestuous weather
which succeeded must have been equally in his favour. He landed at
Ravenspur, and marched to Doncaster, where the Percies and others came
down to him. Knaresborough and Pontefract were his own by inheritance.
Having thus gained a footing, he marched toward the south; and his
opponents withdrew from before him.[63] The council, consisting of the
Regent, Scroop, Bussy, Green, and Bagot, could interpose no obstacle,
and were driven by fear to Bristol. The Duke of York made some show of
resistance. Perhaps the others intended to make for Milford, and
thence to Ireland, or to await the King's arrival. Henry advanced to
Leicester and Kenilworth, both his own castles; and went through
Evesham to Gloucester and Berkeley. At Berkeley he came to an agreement
with the Duke of York, secured many of Richard's adherents, passed on
to Bristol, took the castle, slew three out of four of the unfortunate
ministers, and gained possession of a place entirely disaffected   (p. 058)
to the King. From Bristol he directed his course back to Gloucester,
thence bearing westward to Ross and Hereford. Here he was joined by
the Bishop and Lord Mortimer;[64] and, passing through Leominster and
Ludlow, he moved onward,[65] increasing his forces as he advanced
towards Shrewsbury and Chester. In the mean time the plans of Albemarle
(if we acknowledge the reality of his alleged treason) were equally
successful. At all events Richard's course was most favourable for
Henry. Had he gone from Dublin to Chester, he might have anticipated
his enemy, and infused a spirit into his loyal subjects. But he came
southward whilst Henry was going northward; and, about the time that
Richard came on shore at Milford, Henry must have been at Chester,
surrounded by his friends, at the head of an immense force, master of
London, Bristol, and Chester, and of all the fortresses that had been
his own, or had belonged to Richard, within a triangle, the apex of
which is to be found in Bristol, the base extending from the mouth of
the Humber to that of the Dee.

                   [Footnote 63: Sir James Mackintosh seems to have
                   been mistaken in supposing that Bolinbroke visited
                   London on his first march southward. "His march
                   from London against the few advisers of Richard,
                   who had forfeited the hope of mercy, was a
                   triumphant procession."]

                   [Footnote 64: Monk of Evesham.]

                   [Footnote 65: He had many castles of his own in
                   that part of the country, as Monmouth, Grosmont,
                   Skenfrith, White Castle, &c.]

       *       *       *       *       *

If in like manner we trace the steps of the misguided and infatuated
Richard, treacherous at once and betrayed, from the hour when the news
of Bolinbroke's hostile and successful measures reached him in     (p. 059)
Dublin to the day when he fell powerless into the hands of his enemy,
we shall find much to reprehend; much to pity; little, perhaps
nothing, which can excite the faintest shadow of respect. When the
Earl of Salisbury left Ireland, Richard solemnly promised him that he
would himself put to sea in six days; and the Earl, whose conduct is
marked by devoted zeal and fidelity in the cause of his unfortunate
master, acted upon that pledge. But whether misled by the treacherous
suggestions of Albemarle, or following his own self-will or imbecility
of judgment, Richard allowed eighteen days to pass away before he
embarked, every hour of which was pregnant with most momentous
consequences to himself and his throne. He landed at length at Milford
Haven, and then had with him thirty-two thousand men; but in one night
desertions reduced this body to six thousand. It is said that, on the
morrow after his return, looking from his window on the field where
his forces were encamped overnight, he was panic-struck by the
smallness of the number that remained. After deliberation, he resolved
on starting in the night for Conway, disguised in the garb of a poor
priest of the Friars-Minor, and taking with him only thirteen or
fourteen friends. He so planned his journey as to reach Conway at
break of day, where he found the Earl of Salisbury no less dejected
than himself. That faithful adherent had taken effectual means,    (p. 060)
on his first arrival in Wales, to collect an army of Cambrians and
Cheshiremen in sufficient strength, had the King joined them with his
forces, to offer a formidable resistance to Bolinbroke. But, at the
end of fourteen days, despairing of the King's arrival, they had
disbanded themselves, and were scattered over the country, or returned
to their own homes. On his clandestine departure also from Milford,
the wreck of his army, who till then had remained true, were entirely
dispersed: and his great treasure was plundered by the Welshmen, who
are said to have been indignant at the treachery of those who were
left in charge of it. Among many others, Sir Thomas Percy himself
escaped naked and wounded to the Duke of Lancaster.

       *       *       *       *       *

The page of history which records the proceedings of the two hostile
parties, from the day of Richard's reaching Conway to the hour of his
falling into the hands of Henry, presents in every line transactions
stained with so much of falsehood and baseness, such revolting treachery
and deceit, such wilful deliberate perjury, that we would gladly pass
it over unread, or throw upon it the most cursory glance compatible
with a bare knowledge of the facts. But whilst the desperate wickedness
of the human heart is made to stand out through these transactions in
most frightful colours, and whilst we shudder at the wanton prostitution
of the most solemn ordinances of the Gospel, there so painfully    (p. 061)
exemplified, the same page suggests to us topics of gratitude and of
admonition,--gratitude that we live in an age when these shameless
violations of moral and religious bonds would not be tolerated; and
admonition that the principles of integrity and righteousness can
alone exalt a people, or be consistent with sound policy. The truth of
history here stamps the king, the nobleman, the prelate, and the more
humble instruments of the deeds then done, with the indelible stain of
dishonour and falsehood, and a reckless violation of law human and

The King, believing his case to be desperate, implored his friends to
advise him what course to adopt. At their suggestion he sent off the
Dukes of Exeter and Surrey to remonstrate with Bolinbroke, and to
ascertain his real designs. Meanwhile he retired with his little party
of adherents, not more than sixteen in all, first to Beaumaris; then
to Caernarvon, where he stayed four or five days, living on the most
scanty supply of the coarsest food, and having nothing better to lie
upon than a bed of straw. Though this was a very secure place for him
to await the issue of the present course of events, yet, unable to
endure such privations any longer, he returned to Conway. Henry,
meanwhile, having reduced Holt Castle,[66] and possessed himself   (p. 062)
of an immense treasure deposited there by Richard, was bent on
securing the person of that unhappy King. He consequently detained the
two Dukes in Chester Castle; and then, at the suggestion, it is said,
of Arundel, sent off the Earl of Northumberland with an injunction not
to return till either by truce or force he should bring back the King
with him. The Duke, attended by one thousand archers and four hundred
lances, advanced to Flint Castle, which forthwith surrendered to him.
From Flint he proceeded along a toilsome road over mountains and rocks
to Ruddlan, the gates of which were thrown open to him; when he
promised the aged castellan the enjoyment of his post there for life.
Richard knew nothing of these proceedings, and wondered at the absence
of his two noble messengers, who had started for Chester eight days
before. Northumberland, meanwhile, having left his men concealed in
ambush "under the rough and lofty cliffs of a rock," proceeded with
five or six only towards Conway. When he reached the arm[67] of the
sea which washes the walls of that fortress, he sent over a herald,
who immediately obtained permission for his approach. Northumberland,
having reached the royal presence, proposed that the King should
proceed with Bolinbroke amicably to London, and there hold a parliament,
and suffer certain individuals named to be put on their trial.     (p. 063)
"I will swear," continued he, "on the body of our Lord, consecrated by
a priest's hand, that Duke Henry shall faithfully observe all that I
have said; for he solemnly pledged it to me on the sacrament when we
parted." Northumberland then withdrew from the royal presence, when
Richard thus immediately addressed his few counsellors: "Fair sirs, we
will grant it to him, for I see no other way. But I swear to you that,
whatever assurance I may give him, he shall be surely put to a bitter
death; and, doubt it not, no parliament shall be held at Westminster.
As soon as I have spoken with Henry, I will summon the men of Wales,
and make head against him; and, if he and his friends be discomfited,
they shall die: some of them I will flay alive." Richard had declared,
before he left Ireland, that if he could but once get Henry into his
power, he "would put him to death in such a manner as that it should
be spoken of long enough, even in Turkey." Northumberland was then
called in; and Richard assured him that, if he would swear upon the
Host, he would himself keep the agreement. "Sire," said the Earl, "let
the body of our Lord be consecrated. I will swear that there is no
deceit in this affair; and that the Duke will observe the whole as you
have heard me relate it here." Each of them heard mass with all
outward devotion, and the Earl took the oath. Never was a contract
made more solemnly, nor with a more fixed purpose on both sides    (p. 064)
not to abide by its engagements: it is indeed a dark and painful page
of history. Upon this pledge of faith, mutually given, the King
readily agreed to start, sending the Earl on to prepare dinner at
Ruddlan. No sooner had he reached the top of the rock than he beheld
the Earl and his men below; and, being now made aware of the treachery
by which he had fallen, he sank into despair, and had recourse only to
unmanly lamentations. His company did not amount to more than
five-and-twenty, and retreat was impossible. His remonstrance with the
Earl as he charged him with perjury and treason availed nothing, and
he was compelled to proceed. They dined at Ruddlan, and in the
afternoon advanced to Flint Castle.[68] Northumberland lost no time in
apprising the Duke of the success of his enterprise. The messenger
arrived at Chester by break of day; and the Duke set off with his
army, consisting, it is said, of not less than one hundred thousand
men. After mass, Richard beheld the Duke's army approaching along the
sea-shore. "It was marvellously great, and showed such joy that the
sound and noise of their instruments, horns, buisines, and trumpets,
were heard even as far as the castle." The Duke sent forward the
Archbishop, with two or three more, who approached the King with
profound reverence. In this interview, the first which the King    (p. 065)
had with Arundel since he banished him the realm and confiscated
his property, they conversed long together, and alone. Whether any
allusion was then made to the necessity of the King abdicating the
throne, must remain matter of conjecture. The Archbishop (as the Earl
of Salisbury reported) then comforted the King in a very gentle manner,
bidding him not to be alarmed, for no harm should happen to
his person.

                   [Footnote 66: Some think the castle then taken was

                   [Footnote 67: Over this estuary is now thrown a
                   beautiful suspension-bridge, one of the ornaments
                   of North Wales.]

                   [Footnote 68: The author of the Metrical History
                   has certainly made a mistake here. He says, Duke
                   Henry started from Chester on Tuesday, August the
                   22nd; but in 1399 the 22nd day of August was on a

The Duke did not enter the castle till Richard had dined, for he was
fasting. At the table he protracted the repast as long as possible,
dreading what would follow. Dinner ended, he came down to meet the
Duke, who, as soon as he perceived him, bowed very low. The King took
off his bonnet, and first addressed Bolinbroke. The French writer
pledges himself to the words, for, as he says, he heard them
distinctly, and understood them well. "Fair cousin of Lancaster, you
be right welcome." Then Duke Henry replied, bowing very low to the
ground, "My lord, I am come sooner than you sent for me; the reason
whereof I will tell you. The common report of your people is, that you
have for the space of twenty years and more governed them very badly
and very rigorously; and they are not well contented therewith: but,
if it please our Lord, I will help you to govern them better." King
Richard answered, "Fair cousin, since it pleaseth you, it pleaseth me

Upon this Henry, when the time of departure was come, knowing that (p. 066)
Richard was particularly fond of fine horses, is said to have called
out with a stern and savage voice, "Bring out the King's horses;" and
then _they brought him two little horses not worth forty francs_: the
King mounted one, and the Earl of Salisbury the other. If this statement
of the French author be accurate, Henry compelled his king to endure a
studied mortification, as uncalled for as it was galling. Starting
from Flint about two o'clock, they proceeded to Chester,[69] where the
Duke was received with much reverence, whilst the unhappy monarch was
exposed to the insults of the populace. He was immediately lodged in
the castle with his few friends, and committed to the safe keeping[70]
of his enemies. In Chester they remained three days,[71] and then set
out on the direct road for London. Their route lay through         (p. 067)
Nantwich, Newcastle-under-Line, Stafford, Lichfield, Daventry, Dunstable,
and St. Alban's. Nothing worthy of notice occurred during the journey,
excepting that at Lichfield the captive monarch endeavoured to escape
at night, letting himself down into a garden from the window of a tower
in which they kept him. He was however discovered, and from that time
was watched most narrowly.

                   [Footnote 69: Great confusion and unnumbered deeds
                   of injustice and cruelty prevailed through the
                   kingdom between the landing of Bolinbroke and his
                   accession to the throne; some of these outrages
                   were, doubtless, of a political character, between
                   the partisans of Richard and the Duke, many others
                   the result of private revenge and rapine. To put a
                   stop to these enormities, Richard was advised
                   (perhaps the more meet expression would be
                   'compelled') to sign two proclamations, one dated
                   Chester, August 20; the other Lichfield, August 24.
                   In these he calls Bolinbroke his very dear

                   [Footnote 70: The Metrical History says, Richard's
                   keepers were the son of the Duke of Gloucester, and
                   the son of the Earl of Arundel. The reasons for
                   doubting this have been already assigned. Humphrey
                   was probably at that time no longer numbered among
                   the living.]

                   [Footnote 71: The question naturally offers itself
                   here, Might not this delay have been occasioned by
                   Lancaster's desire not to start before Henry of
                   Monmouth had returned from Ireland, and joined

When they arrived within five or six miles of London, they were met by
various companies of the citizens, who carried Richard first to
Westminster, and next day to the Tower. Henry did not accompany him,
but turned aside to enter the city by the chief gate. Proceeding along
Cheapside to St. Paul's amidst the shouts of the people, he advanced
in full armour to the high altar; and, having offered his devotions
there, he turned to the tomb of his father and mother, at the sight of
which he was deeply affected. He lodged the first five or six days in
the Bishop's house; and, having passed another fortnight in the
hospital of St. John without Smithfield, he went to Hertford, where he
stayed three weeks. From that place he returned to meet the
parliament, which was to assemble in Westminster Hall on Wednesday the
first day of October.

CHAPTER IV.                                                        (p. 068)



When the Parliament assembled in Westminster Hall on Wednesday,
October 1st, a deed of resignation of the crown, signed by the unhappy
Richard, and witnessed by various noblemen, was publicly read.
Whether, whilst a prisoner in the Tower, his own reflections on the
present desperate state of his affairs had persuaded him to sever
himself from the cares and dangers of a throne; whether he was
prevailed upon to take this view of his interests and his duty by the
honest and kind representations of his friends; or whether any degree
of violence by threat and intimidation, and alarming suggestions of
future evils had been applied, it would be fruitless to inquire. The
instrument indeed itself is couched in terms expressive of most    (p. 069)
voluntary and unqualified self-abasement, containing, among others,
such expressions as these: "I do entirely, of my own accord, renounce
and totally resign all kingly dignity and majesty; purely, voluntarily,
simply, and absolutely." On the other hand, if we believe Hardyng,[72]
the Earl of Northumberland asserted in his hearing, that Richard was
forced to resign under fear of death. Probably from his first interview
with the Archbishop in Flint Castle, to the hour before he consented
to execute the deed, his mind had been gradually and incessantly
worked upon by various agents, and different means, short of actual
violence, for the purpose of inducing him to make, ostensibly at
least, a voluntary resignation. He seems more than once to have
received both from Arundel and from Bolinbroke himself an assurance of
personal safety; and he is said to have expressed a hope that "his
cousin would be a kind lord to him."

                   [Footnote 72: Hardyng's testimony must, on every
                   subject, be received with much caution. Confessedly
                   he was a sad example of a time-server; and was
                   skilled in giving facts a different colouring, just
                   as they would be the more welcome to those for
                   whose inspection he was writing. His version of the
                   same events, when presented to members of the house
                   of York, varies much from the original work, edited
                   when a Lancastrian was in the ascendant.]

The accounts which have reached us of the proceedings, from the hour
when Richard entered the Tower, to the day of his death, are by no
means uniform and consistent. The discrepancies however of the     (p. 070)
various traditions neither involve any questions of great moment,
nor deeply affect the characters of those who were engaged in the
transactions. Of one point indeed we must make an exception, the cause
and circumstances of Richard's death; which, whether we look to Henry
of Monmouth's previous attachment to him, and the respect which he
industriously and cordially showed to the royal remains immediately
upon his becoming king himself; or whether we reflect on the vast
consequence, affecting Bolinbroke's character, involved in the
solution of that much-agitated question, may seem not only to justify,
but to call for, a distinct examination in these pages. The broad
facts, meanwhile, relative to the deposition of Richard and the
accession of Henry, are clear and indisputable; whilst some minor
details, which have excited discussions carried on in the spirit
rather of angry contention than of the simple love of truth, and which
do not bear immediately upon the objects of this work, may well be
omitted altogether.

After Richard had signed the deed of resignation, the steps were few
and easy which brought Henry of Bolinbroke to the throne. The
Parliament, either by acquiescence in his demand of the crown, or in
answer to the questions put by the Archbishop, elected Henry IV. to be
king, and denounced all as traitors who should gainsay his election
or dispute his right.[73] He was crowned on the Feast of St.       (p. 071)
Edward, Monday, October 13, when his eldest son, Henry of Monmouth,
bore the principal sword of state; who, on the Wednesday following, by
assent of all the Estates of Parliament, was created Prince of Wales,
Duke of Cornwall, and Earl of Chester, and declared also to be heir to
the throne.[74] On this occasion his father caused him to be brought
into his presence as he sate upon the throne; and placing a gold
coronet, adorned with pearls, on his head, and a ring on his finger,
and delivering into his hand a golden rod, kissed him and blessed him.
Upon which the Duke of York conducted him to the place assigned to him
in right of his principality. The Estates swore "the same faith,
loyalty, aid, assistance, and fealty" to the Prince, as they had sworn
to his father. Much interest seems to have been excited by this
creation of Henry of Monmouth as Prince of Wales. On the 3rd of
November the "Commons pray that they may be entered on the record  (p. 072)
at the election of the Prince." Their petition can scarcely be
interpreted as betraying a jealousy of the King's[75] right to create
a Prince of Wales independently of themselves; we must suppose it to
have originated in a desire to be recorded as parties to an act so
popular and national. At all events, in the then transition-state of
the royal authority, it was wise to combine the suffrages of all: and
the prayer of the Commons was granted. Another petition, presented on
the same day, acquaints us with the lively interest taken from the
very first by the nation at large in the safety and welfare of their
young Prince. They pray the King, "for-as-much as the Prince is of
tender age, that he may not pass forth from this realm: for we, the
Commons, are informed that the Scots are coming with a mighty hand;
and they of Ireland are purposed to elect a king among them, and
disdain to hold of you." This lively interest evinced thus early, and
in so remarkable a manner, by the Commons, in the safety and
well-being of Henry of Monmouth, seems never to have slackened at any
single period of his life, but to have grown still warmer and wider to
the very close of his career on earth. After the date of his creation
as Prince of Wales, history records but few facts relating to him,
either in his private or in his public capacity, till we find him  (p. 073)
personally engaged in suppressing the Welsh rebellion; a point of
time, however, far less removed from the commencement of his princedom
than seems to have been generally assumed. In the same month,
(November 1399,) a negociation was set on foot, with the view of
bringing about a marriage between the Prince and one of the daughters
of the King of France. Since, however, he apparently took no part
whatever in the affair, the whole being a state-device to avoid the
restoration to France of Isabella's valuable paraphernalia; and since
the proposals of the treaty were for the marriage of a daughter of
France with the Prince, OR _any other of the King's children_; we need
not dwell on a proceeding which reflects no great credit on his
father, or his father's counsellors.[76] Not that the vague offers of
the negociation stamp the negociators with any especial disgrace. We
cannot read many pages of history without being apprised, sometimes by
painful instances, sometimes by circumstances rather ludicrous than
grave, that marriages were regarded as subjects of fair and honourable
negociation; but requiring no greater delicacy than nations would
observe in bargaining for a line of territory, or individuals in   (p. 074)
the purchase and sale of an estate. The negociation, however, though
the Bishop of Durham and the Earl of Worcester, both able diplomatists,
were employed on the part of England, was eventually broken off; and
Isabella was reluctantly and tardily restored to France.

                   [Footnote 73: M. Creton says (and in this he is
                   followed by others) that the King, on the very day
                   of his accession, created his eldest son Prince of
                   Wales, who in that character stood on the right
                   hand of the King at the coronation, holding in his
                   hand a sword without any point, the emblem of peace
                   and mercy. But in this he seems to have been
                   partially mistaken. Henry was not created Prince of
                   Wales till after his father's coronation, and he
                   bore in right of the Duchy of Lancaster, and by
                   command of the King, the blunted sword called
                   Curtana, which belonged to Edward the
                   Confessor.--Rot. Serv.]

                   [Footnote 74: In the same Parliament he was
                   invested also with the titles of Duke of Acquitaine
                   and Duke of Lancaster.]

                   [Footnote 75: The Parliament had no voice in the
                   creation of a dignity. The Lords and Commons were
                   consulted on this occasion only out of courtesy by
                   the King.]

                   [Footnote 76: The proposal, of which Froissart has
                   left a graphic description, that Isabella, the
                   widow (if that be the proper designation of the
                   child who was the espoused wife) of Richard II,
                   should remain in England and be married to the
                   Prince of Wales, was not made till after Richard's

About the close of the present year, or the commencement of the
following (1400), the Prince makes a direct appeal to the council,[77]
that they would forthwith fulfil the expressed desire of his royal
father with reference to his princely state and condition in all
points. He requires them first of all to determine upon his place of
residence, and the sources of his income; and then to take especial
care that the King's officers, each in his own department and post of
duty, should fully and perfectly put into execution whatever orders
the council might give. "You are requested (says the memorial) to
consider how my lord the Prince is utterly destitute of every kind of
appointment relative to his household." The enumeration of his wants
specified in detail is somewhat curious: "that is to say, his
chapels,[78] chambers, halls, wardrobe, pantry, buttery, kitchen,  (p. 075)
scullery, saucery, almonry, anointry, and generally all things requisite
for his establishment."

                   [Footnote 77: Minutes of Privy Council, vol. ii. p.

                   [Footnote 78: "Ses chapelles." Under this word were
                   included not only the place of prayer, but the
                   books, and vestments, and furniture, together with
                   the priests, and whatever else was necessary for
                   divine worship. Indeed, the word has often a still
                   wider signification. We shall see hereafter that
                   Henry was always attended by his chapel during his
                   campaigns in France.]

       *       *       *       *       *

It has been already intimated in the Preface, that an examination
would be instituted in the course of this work into the correspondence
of Shakspeare's representations of Henry's character and conduct with
the real facts of history, and we will not here anticipate that
inquiry. Only it may be necessary to observe, as we pass on, that the
period of his life when the poet first describes him to be revelling
in the deepest and foulest sinks of riot and profligacy, as nearly as
possible corresponds with the date of this petition to the council to
supply him with a home.

It was in the very first week of the year 1400 that Henry IV.
discovered the treasonable plot, laid by the Lords Salisbury,
Huntingdon, and others, to assassinate him during some solemn justs
intended to be held at Oxford, professedly in honour of his accession.
The King was then at Windsor; and, immediately on receiving
information of the conspiracy, he returned secretly, but with all
speed, to London.[79] The defeat of these treasonable designs, and (p. 076)
the execution of the conspirators, are matter of general history; and,
as the name of the Prince does not occur even incidentally in any
accounts of the transaction, we need not dwell upon it. Probably he
was then living with his father under the superintendence of Henry
Beaufort, now Bishop of Winchester, from whom indeed up to this time
he seems to have been much less separated than from his parent. We
have already seen that, whether for the benefit of the "young bachelor,"
or, with an eye to his own security, unwilling to leave so able an
enemy behind, King Richard, when he took the boy Henry with him to
Ireland, caused his uncle and tutor (Henry Beaufort) to accompany him
also.[80] The probability also has been shown to approach demonstration
that his residence in Oxford could not have taken place at this time;
but that it preceded his father's banishment, rather than followed his
accession to the throne. Be this as it may, history (as far as it
appears) makes no direct mention of the young Prince Henry through the
spring of 1400.

                   [Footnote 79: Some chroniclers say, that the
                   conspiracy was made known to the Mayor of London,
                   who forthwith hastened to the King at Windsor, and
                   urged him to save himself and his children. The
                   same pages tell us that John Holland Earl of
                   Huntingdon was seized and beheaded in Essex by the
                   Dowager Countess of Hereford.--Sloane MS.]

                   [Footnote 80: Pat. p. 3, 22 Ric. II.]

Soon, however, after the conspiracy against his father's life had been
detected and frustrated, an event took place, already alluded to, which
must have filled the warm and affectionate heart of Henry with feelings
of sorrow and distress,--the premature death of Richard. That Henry
had formed a sincere attachment for Richard, and long cherished    (p. 077)
his memory with gratitude for personal kindness, is unquestionable;
and doubtless it must have been a source of anxiety and vexation to
him that his father was accused in direct terms of having procured the
death of the deposed monarch. He probably was convinced that the
charge was an ungrounded calumny; yet, with his generous indignation
roused by the charge of so foul a crime, he must have mingled feelings
of increased regret at the miserable termination of his friend's life.

The name of Henry of Monmouth has never been associated with Richard's
except under circumstances which reflect credit on his own character.
The bitterest enemies of his house, who scrupled not to charge Henry
IV. with the wilful murder of his prisoner, have never sought to
implicate his son in the same guilt in the most remote degree, or even
by the gentlest whisper of insinuation. Whether Richard died in
consequence of any foul act at the hand of an enemy, or by the fatal
workings of a harassed mind and broken heart, or by self-imposed
abstinence from food, (for to every one of these, as well as to other
causes, has his death been severally attributed,) is a question
probably now beyond the reach of successful inquiry. The whole subject
has been examined by many able and, doubtless, unprejudiced persons;
but their verdicts are far from being in accordance with each other.
The general (though, as it should now seem, the mistaken) opinion
appears to be, that after Richard had been removed from the Tower  (p. 078)
to Leeds Castle, and thence to other places of safe custody, and had
finally been lodged in Pontefract,[81] the partisans of Henry IV.
hastened his death. The Archbishop of York directly charged the King
with the foul crime of murder, which he as positively and indignantly
denied.[82] The minutes of the Privy Council have not been sufficiently
noticed by former writers on this event; and the reflections of the
Editor,[83] in his Preface, are so sensible and so immediately to the
point, that we may be contented in these pages to do little more than
record his sentiments.[84]

                   [Footnote 81: The Pell Rolls contain several
                   interesting entries connected with this subject.
                   Payment for a thousand masses to be said for the
                   soul of Richard, "whose body is buried in Langley."
                   (20th March, 1400.) Payment also for carrying the
                   body from Pomfret to London, &c.]

                   [Footnote 82: See Henry's answer to the Duke of
                   Orleans, as recorded by Monstrellet, in which he
                   solemnly appeals to God for the vindication of the

                   [Footnote 83: Sir Harris Nicolas. "Proceedings and
                   Ordinances of the Privy Council of England."]

                   [Footnote 84: Mr. Tytler, in his History of
                   Scotland, maintains with much ingenuity the
                   paradoxical position, that Richard escaped from
                   Pontefract, made his way in disguise to the Western
                   Isles, was there recognised, and was conducted to
                   the Regent; that, taken into the safe keeping of
                   the government, and sick of the world and its
                   disappointments, he lived for many years in
                   Stirling Castle; and that he there died, and there
                   was buried. It falls not within the province of
                   these Memoirs to examine the facts and reasonings
                   by which that writer supports his theory, or to
                   weigh the value of the objections which have been
                   alleged against it. The Author, however, in
                   confessing that the result of his own inquiries is
                   opposed to the hypothesis of Richard's escape, and
                   that he acquiesces in the general tradition that he
                   died in Pontefract, cannot refrain from making one
                   remark. Whilst he is persuaded that Glyndowr, and
                   many others, believed that Richard was alive in
                   Scotland, yet he thinks it almost capable of
                   demonstration that Henry IV, with his sons and his
                   court, in England; and Charles VI, with his court
                   and clergy, and Isabella herself, and her second
                   husband, had no doubt whatever as to Richard's
                   death. If they had, if they were not fully assured
                   that he was no longer among the living, it is
                   difficult to understand Henry IV.'s proposals to
                   Charles VI. for a marriage between Isabella and one
                   of his sons; or how, on any other hypothesis than
                   the conviction of his death, the Earl of Angouleme,
                   afterwards Duke of Orleans, would have sought her
                   in marriage; how her father and his clergy could
                   have consented to her nuptials; or how she could
                   for a moment have entertained the thought of
                   becoming a bride again. She had not only been
                   betrothed to Richard, but had been with all
                   solemnity married to him by the Archbishop of
                   Canterbury in the face of the church; and she had
                   been crowned queen. Yet she was married to
                   Angouleme in 1406, and died in childbed in 1409.
                   Had she believed Richard to be still alive, she
                   would have been more inclined to follow the bidding
                   which Shakspeare puts into her husband's mouth at
                   their last farewell, than to have given her hand
                   before the altar to another:

                                            "Hie thee to France,
                         And cloister thee in some religious house."

                   Froissart says expressly that the French resolved
                   to wage war with the English as long as they knew
                   Richard to be alive; but when certain news of his
                   death reached them, they were bent on the
                   restoration of Isabella.]

"Shortly after the attempt of the Earls of Kent, Salisbury, and    (p. 079)
Huntingdon to restore Richard to the throne, a great council was held
for the consideration of many important matters. The first point was
'that if Richard the late king be alive, as some suppose he is,    (p. 080)
it be ordained that he be well and securely guarded for the salvation
of the state of the King and of his kingdom.' On which subject the
council resolved, that it was necessary to speak to the King, that, in
case Richard the late king be still living, he be placed in security
agreeably to the law of the realm; but if he be dead, then that he be
openly showed to the people, that they may have knowledge thereof."
These minutes (observes Sir Harris Nicolas) appear to exonerate
Henry[85] from the generally received charge of having sent Sir Piers
Exton to Pontefract for the purpose of murdering his prisoner. Had
such been the fact, it is impossible to believe that one of Henry's
ministers would have gone through the farce of submitting the above
question to the council; or that the council would, with still greater
absurdity, have deliberated on the subject, and gravely expressed the
opinion which they offered to the King. A corpse, which was said to be
that of Richard, was publicly exhibited at St. Paul's by Henry's
direction, and he has been accused of substituting the body of some
other person; but these minutes prove that the idea of such an
exposure came from the council, and, at the moment when it was
suggested, they actually did not know whether Richard was dead or
alive, because they provided for either contingency. It is also    (p. 081)
demonstrated by them that, so far from any violence or ill-treatment
being meditated in case he were living, the council merely recommended
that he should be placed in such security as might be approved by the
peers of the realm.[86] It must be observed that this new piece of
evidence, coupled with the fact that a corpse said to be the body of
Richard was exhibited shortly after the meeting of the council,
strongly supports the belief that he died about the 14th of February
1400, and that Henry and his council were innocent of having by unfair
means produced or accelerated his decease."

                   [Footnote 85: It is painful to hear the Church
                   historian, without any qualifying expression of
                   doubt or hope, call Henry IV. "the murderer of
                   Richard."--Milner, cent. xv.]

                   [Footnote 86: Froissart expressly says, that,
                   though often urged to it, Henry would never consent
                   to have Richard put to death.]

Such we may hope to have been the case: at all events, the purpose of
this work does not admit of any fuller investigation of the points at
issue. If Henry were accessory to Richard's death, (to use an
expression quoted as that unhappy king's own words,)[87] "it would be
a reproach to him for ever, so long as the world shall endure, or the
deep ocean be able to cast up tide or wave." It is, however,
satisfactory to find in these authentic documents evidence which seems
to justify us in adopting no other alternative than to return for
Bolinbroke a verdict of "Not guilty." The corpse[88] of Richard was
carried through the city of London to St. Paul's with much of religious
ceremony and solemn pomp, Henry himself as King bearing the pall,  (p. 082)
"followed by all those of his blood in fair array." After it had been
inspected by multitudes, (Froissart[89] says by more than twenty
thousand,) it was buried at Langley, where Richard had built a Dominican
convent. Henry V, soon after his accession, removed the corpse to
Westminster Abbey, and, laid it by the side of Ann, Richard's former
queen, in the tomb which he had prepared for her and himself.[90]

                   [Footnote 87: See Archæologia, xx. 290.]

                   [Footnote 88: M. Creton.]

                   [Footnote 89: Froissart asserts that the corpse was
                   exposed in the street of Cheap to public inspection
                   for two hours, at the least.]

                   [Footnote 90: A manuscript in the French King's
                   library (No. 8448) states that Sir Piers d'Exton
                   and seven other assassins entered the room to kill
                   him; but that Richard, pushing down the table,
                   darted into the midst of them, and, snatching a
                   battleaxe from one, laid four of them dead at his
                   feet, when Exton felled him with a blow at the back
                   of his head, and, as he was crying to God for
                   mercy, with another blow despatched him. This
                   account is supposed to be entirely disproved by the
                   fact that, when Richard's tomb was accidentally
                   laid open a few years ago in Westminster Abbey, the
                   head was carefully examined, and no marks of
                   violence whatever appeared on it. (See Archæologia,
                   vol. vi. p. 316, and vol. xx. p. 284.) On the other
                   hand, it is equally obvious to remark, that, if
                   Henry IV. did exhibit to the people the body of
                   another person for that of Richard, it was the
                   substituted body which was buried, first at Langley
                   and afterwards at Westminster. The absence,
                   consequently, of all marks of violence on that
                   body, till its identity with the corpse of Richard
                   is established, proves nothing. But surely there is
                   no reason to believe that any deception was
                   practised. There could have been no motive for such
                   fraud, and the strongest reasons must have existed
                   to dissuade Henry from adopting it. The only object
                   wished to be secured by the exposure of Richard's
                   corpse, (and it was exposed at all the chief places
                   between Pontefract and London,--at night after the
                   offices for the dead, in the morning after mass,)
                   was the removal of all doubt as to his being really
                   dead. The false rumours were, not that he was
                   murdered, but that he was alive. Among the
                   thousands who flocked to see him were doubtless
                   numbers of his friends and wellwishers, familiarly
                   acquainted with his features, many of whom, it is
                   thought, must have detected any imposture, and some
                   of whom would surely have been bold enough to
                   publish it. Still, on the other hand, it is
                   suggested that a very short lapse of time after
                   dissolution effects so material a change in a
                   corpse, that the most intimate of a man's friends
                   would often not be able to recognise a single
                   feature in his countenance. And certainly many of
                   Richard's friends remained unconvinced.]

Henry IV. had no sooner gained the throne of England, than he was made
to feel that he could retain possession of it only by unremitting
watchfulness, and by a vigorous overthrow of each successive       (p. 083)
design of his enemies as it arose. In addition as well to the hostility
of France (whose monarch and people were grievously incensed by the
deposition of Richard), as to the restless warfare of the Scots, he
was compelled to provide against the more secret and more dangerous
machinations of his own subjects.[91] After the discovery and defeat
of the plot laid by the malcontent lords in the beginning of January
(1400), he first employed himself in making preparations to repress
the threatened aggressions of his northern neighbours. His council (p. 084)
had received news as early as the 9th of February of the intention of
the Scots to invade England; indeed, as far back as the preceding
November, the petition of the Commons informs us that they considered
war with Scotland inevitable. On this campaign Henry IV. resolved to
enter in his own person, and he left London for the North in the June
following. Our later historians seem not to have entertained any doubts
as to the accuracy of some early chroniclers, when they state that
Henry of Monmouth was sent on towards Scotland as his father's
representative, in command of the advanced guard, in the opening of
the summer[92] of 1400. Elmham states the general fact that Henry was
sent on with the first troops, but in the manuscript there is a
"Quære" in the margin in the same hand-writing. And the querist seems
to have had sufficient reasons for expressing his doubts as to the
accuracy of such a statement. The renown of the Prince as a youthful
warrior will easily account for any premature date assigned to his
earliest campaign; whilst the age of his father, who was seen at the
head of the invading army in Scotland, might perhaps have contributed
to a mistake. The King himself, at that time personally little known
among his subjects, was not more than thirty-four years old.[93]   (p. 085)
Be this as it may, we have great reason to believe that Henry IV, when
he proceeded northward, left the Prince of Wales at home. In the first
place, we must remember that, among their primary and most solemn acts
after the King's coronation, the Commons, anticipating the certainty
of this expedition into Scotland, preferred to him a petition, praying
that the Prince by reason of his tender age might not go thither, "nor
elsewhere forth of the realm." The letter too of Lord Grey of Ruthyn,
to which we must hereafter refer, announcing the turbulent state of
Wales, and the necessity of suppressing its disorders with a stronger
hand, can best be explained on the supposition that the King was absent
at the date of that letter,[94] about Midsummer 1400, and that the
Prince was at home. Lord Grey addresses his letter to the Prince, and
not to the King; though the King, as well as the Prince, had commissioned
him to put down the rising disturbances in his neighbourhood.[95] Some,
perhaps, may think this intelligible on the ground that Lord Grey wrote
to Henry as Prince of Wales, and therefore more immediately        (p. 086)
intrusted with the preservation of its peace. But his suggestion to
the Prince to take the advice of the King's council,--"with advice of
our liege lord his council,"--is scarcely consistent with the idea of
the King himself being at hand to give the necessary directions and a
"more plainer commission."

                   [Footnote 91: Chroniclers give an account of an
                   extraordinary instrument of death laid in Henry's
                   bed by some secret plotter against his life. The
                   Sloane Manuscript describes it as a machine like
                   the engine called the Caltrappe; and the Monk of
                   Evesham says that it was reported to have been laid
                   for Henry by one of Isabella's household.]

                   [Footnote 92: Modern writers have erroneously
                   referred to this year Monstrelet's account of Henry
                   of Monmouth's expedition to Scotland.]

                   [Footnote 93: A curious item in the Pell Rolls (14
                   December 1401) intimates that Henry IV. amused
                   himself with the sports of the field, and at the
                   same time tells us that such amusements were by no
                   means unexpensive in those days: "Sixteen pounds
                   paid by the King to Sir Thomas Erpyngham as the
                   price of a sparrow-hawk."]

                   [Footnote 94: June 14, he wrote to his council from
                   Clipstone in Nottinghamshire: July 4th, he was at
                   York.--Min. Council.]

                   [Footnote 95: "By our liege Lord his commandment,
                   and by yours."]

       *       *       *       *       *

Be this however as it may: whether Henry of Monmouth's noviciate in
arms was passed on the Scotch borders, (for in Ireland, as the
companion of Richard, he had been merely a spectator,) or whether, as
the evidence seems to preponderate, we consider the chroniclers to
have antedated his first campaign, he was not allowed to remain long
without being personally engaged in a struggle of far greater magnitude
in itself, and of vastly more importance to the whole realm of England,
than any one could possibly infer from the brief and cursory references
made to it by the historians who are the most generally consulted by our
countrymen. The rebellion of Owyn Glyndowr[96] is despatched by Hume in
less than two octavo pages, though it once certainly struck a      (p. 087)
panic into the very heart of England, and through the whole of Henry
IV.'s reign, more or less, involved a considerable portion of the
kingdom in great alarm; carrying devastation far and wide through some
of its fairest provinces; and at one period of the struggle, by the
succour of Henry's foreign and domestic enemies, with whom the Welsh
made common cause, threatening to wrest the sceptre itself from the
hands of that monarch. The part which his son Henry of Monmouth was
destined to take personally in resisting the progress of this rebellion,
and the evidence which the indisputable facts recorded of that protracted
contest bear to his character, (facts, most of which are comparatively
little known, and many of which are altogether new in history,) seem
to require at our hands a somewhat fuller investigation into the origin,
progress, and circumstances of this rebellion, than has hitherto been
undertaken by our chroniclers.

                   [Footnote 96: The name of this extraordinary man is
                   very variously spelt. His Christian name is either
                   Owyain, or Owen, or Owyn. On his surname the
                   original documents, as well as subsequent writers,
                   ring many changes: the etymology of the name is
                   undoubtedly The Glen of the waters of the Dee, or,
                   Of the black waters. The name consequently is
                   sometimes spelt Glyndwffrduy, and Glyndwrdu. In
                   general, however, it assumes the form in English
                   documents of Glendor, or Glyndowr: in Henry of
                   Monmouth's first letter it is Oweyn de Glyndourdy.
                   In these Memoirs the form generally adhered to is
                   Owyn Glyndowr. In the record of the Scrope and
                   Grosvenor controversy, Owyn's name is spelt
                   Glendore, whilst his brother Tuder's, who was
                   examined the same day, is written Glyndore.]

CHAPTER V.                                                         (p. 088)



Previously to the accession of Henry IV, Wales had enjoyed, for nearly
seventy years, a season of comparative security and rest. During the
desperate struggles in the reign of Henry III, in which its inhabitants,
chiefly under their Prince Llewellin, fought so resolutely for their
freedom, many districts of the Principality, especially the border-lands,
had been rendered all but deserts. From this melancholy devastation
they had scarcely recovered, when Queen Isabella, wife of Edward II,
headed the rebel army against her own husband, who had taken refuge in
Glamorganshire; and carried with her the most dreadful of all national
scourges,--a sanguinary civil war. The whole country of South Wales,
we are told, was so miserably ravaged by these intestine horrors,  (p. 089)
and the dearth consequent upon them was so excessive, that horses and
dogs became at last the ordinary food of the miserable survivors. From
the accession of Edward III, and throughout his long reign, Wales
seems to have enjoyed undisturbed tranquillity and repose. Its
oppressors were improving their fortunes, rapidly and largely, in
France, reaping a far more abundant harvest in her rich domains than
this impoverished land could have offered to their expectations.
Through the whole reign also of Richard II, we hear of no serious
calamity having befallen these ancient possessors of Britain. A
friendly intercourse seems at that time to have been formed between
the Principality and the kingdom at large; and a devoted attachment to
the person of the King appears to have sprung up generally among the
Welsh, and to have grown into maturity. We may thus consider the
natives of Wales to have enjoyed a longer period of rest and peace
than had fallen to their lot for centuries before, when the deposition
of Richard, who had taken refuge among their strongholds, and in
defence of whom they would have risked their property and their lives,
prepared them to follow any chieftain who would head his countrymen
against the present dynasty, and direct them in their struggle to
throw off the English, or rather, perhaps, the Lancastrian yoke.

The French writer to whom we have so often referred, M. Creton,    (p. 090)
in describing the creation of Henry of Monmouth as Prince of Wales,
employs these remarkable words: "Then arose Duke Henry. His eldest
son, who humbly knelt before him, he made Prince of Wales, and gave
him the land; but I think he must conquer it if he will have it: for
in my opinion the Welsh would on no account allow him to be their
lord, for the sorrow, evil, and disgrace which the English, together
with his father, had brought upon King Richard." How correctly this
foreigner had formed an estimate of the feelings and principles of the
Welsh, will best appear from that portion of Henry's life on which we
are now entering. His prediction was fully verified by the event.
Henry of Monmouth was compelled to conquer Wales for himself; and in a
struggle, too, which lasted through an entire third part of his
eventful career.

       *       *       *       *       *

In accounting for the origin of the civil war in Wales, historians
generally dwell on the injustice and insults committed by Lord Grey of
Ruthyn on Owyn Glyndowr, and the consequent determination of that
resolute chief to take vengeance for the wrongs by which he had been
goaded. Probably the far more correct view is to consider the Welsh at
large as altogether ready for revolt, and the conduct of Lord Grey as
having only instigated Owyn to put himself at their head; at all
events to accept the office of leader, to which, as we are told, his
countrymen[97] elected him. The train was already laid in the      (p. 091)
unshaken fidelity of the Welsh to their deposed monarch, whom they
believed to be still alive[98] and in the deadly hatred against all
who had assisted Henry of Lancaster in his act of usurpation; the
spark was supplied by the resentment of a personal injury. His
countrymen were ripe for rebellion, and Owyn was equally ready to
direct their counsels, and to head them in the field of battle.

                   [Footnote 97: The proceedings of the Welsh, in
                   detail, at this time, are not found in any
                   contemporary documents, on the authenticity of
                   which we may rely. As to the general facts,
                   however, whether we draw them from the traditions
                   of the Welsh or the English chroniclers, no
                   reasonable doubt can be entertained. But the Author
                   cannot take upon himself the responsibility of
                   vouching for the truth of the biographical
                   particulars recorded of Owyn's early life and
                   adventures, or the measures which he adopted
                   previously to his breaking out into open revolt,
                   any more than he can undertake to establish by
                   proof the genealogy of that chieftain, and trace
                   him through Llewellin ap Jorwarth to Bleddyn ap
                   Cynfyn, or the third of the five royal tribes.]

                   [Footnote 98: It is curious, in point of history,
                   to observe for how very long a time rumours that
                   Richard was still alive were industriously spread,
                   and as greedily received. The royal proclamations
                   again and again denounced the authors of such false
                   rumours. In the rebellion of the Percies it was
                   asserted that Richard was still alive in the Castle
                   of Chester. In 1406 the Earl of Northumberland
                   (though he had charged Henry with the murder of
                   Richard), in his letter to the Duke of Orleans
                   states the alternative of his being still alive.
                   And even Sir John Oldcastle, in 1418, when before
                   the Parliament, protested that he never would
                   acknowledge that court so long as his liege lord,
                   Richard, was alive in Scotland.--See Archæologia,
                   vol. xx. p. 220.]

Owyn Glyndowr was no upstart adventurer. He was of an ancient      (p. 092)
family, or rather, we must say, of princely extraction, being descended
from Llewellin ap Jorwarth Droyndon, Prince of Wales. We have reason to
conclude that he succeeded to large hereditary property. The exact time
of his birth is not known: most writers have placed it between 1349 and
1354; but it was probably later by five years than the latter of those
two dates.[99] This extraordinary man, whose unwearied zeal and
indomitable bravery, had they taken a different direction, would have
merited, humanly speaking, a better fate, was invested by the
superstitions of the times with a supernatural character. His vaunt to
Hotspur is not so much the offspring of Shakspeare's imagination, as
an echo to the popular opinions generally entertained of him:[100]

                   [Footnote 99: Owyn and his brother Tudor were both
                   examined at Chester, September 3, 1386, during the
                   controversy between the families of Scrope and
                   Grosvenor as to the arms of the latter; and it
                   appears from their own evidence that Owyn was born
                   before Sept. 3, 1359, and that his brother Tudor
                   (who was slain in the battle of Grosmont, or Mynydd
                   Pwl Melin) was three years younger. The record of
                   this controversy assigns to Owyn himself this
                   honourable title "Oweyn Sire [Lord] de Glendore del
                   age XXVII ans et pluis."]

                   [Footnote 100: Strange wonders, says Walsingham,
                   happened, as men reported, at the birth of this
                   man; for, the same night he was born, all his
                   father's horses were found to stand in blood up to
                   their bellies. It is curious to find both the
                   Sloane MS. and the Monk of Evesham pointing to the
                   fulfilment of this prophetic prodigy during the
                   battle in which Edmund Mortimer was taken, when the
                   bodies of the slain lay between the horses feet
                   rolling in blood.]

                            At my birth                            (p. 093)
  The front of heaven was full of fiery shapes,
  The goats ran from the mountains, and the herds
  Were strangely clamorous in the frighted fields.
  These signs have marked me extraordinary,
  And all the courses of my life do show
  I am not in the roll of common men.
                                 1 HENRY IV. iii. 1.

Whether Owyn had persuaded himself to believe the fabulous stories
told of his birth; or whether for purposes of policy he merely
countenanced, in the midst of an ignorant and superstitious people,
what others had invented and spread; there is no doubt that even in
his lifetime he was supposed, not only within the borders of his
father-land, but even through England itself, to have intercourse with
the spirits of the invisible world, and through their agency to possess,
among other vague and indefinite powers, a supernatural influence over
the elements, and to have the winds and storms at his bidding. Absurd
as were the fables told concerning him, they exercised great influence
on his enemies as well as his friends; and few, perhaps, dreaded the
powers of his spell more than the King himself. Still, independently
of any aid from superstition, Glyndowr combined in his own person many
qualities fitting him for the prominent station which he acquired, and
which he so long maintained among his countrymen; and as the enemy of
Henry IV. he was one of a very numerous and powerful body, formed from
among the first persons of the whole realm. He received his        (p. 094)
education in London, and studied in one of the Inns of Court. He
became afterwards an esquire of the body to King Richard; and he was
one of the few faithful subjects who remained in his suite till he was
taken prisoner in Flint Castle. After his master's fall he was for a
short time esquire to the Earl of Arundel, whose castle, situated in
the immediate neighbourhood of Glyndowrdy, was called Castel Dinas
Bran. Its ruins, with the hill on the crown of which it was built,
still form a most striking object near Llangollen, on the right of the
magnificent road leading from Shrewsbury to Bangor.

A few months only had elapsed after the deposition of Richard when
those occurrences took place which are said to have driven Glyndowr
into open revolt. He was residing on his estate, which lay contiguous
to the lands of Lord Grey of Ruthyn. That nobleman claimed and seized
some part of Owyn's property. Against this act of oppression Owyn
petitioned the Parliament, which sate early in 1400, praying for
redress. The Bishop of St. Asaph is said to have cautioned the
Parliament not to treat the Welshman with neglect, lest his countrymen
should espouse his cause and have recourse to arms. This advice was
disregarded, and Owyn's petition was dismissed in the most uncourteous

                   [Footnote 101: Leland records the expressions of
                   contempt and insult with which the dismissal of
                   Owyn's petition was accompanied, and the advice of
                   the Bishop of St. Asaph scorned. "They said they
                   cared not for barefooted blackguards:"--"se de
                   scurris nudipedibus non curare." We cannot wonder
                   if their national pride was wounded by such

Another act of injustice and treachery on the part of Lord Grey    (p. 095)
drove Owyn to take the desperate step either of raising the standard
of rebellion, or of joining his countrymen who had already raised it.
Lord Grey withheld the letter of summons for the Welsh chief to attend
the King in his expedition against Scotland, till it was too late for
him to join the rendezvous. Owyn excused himself on the shortness of
the notice; but Lord Grey reported him as disobedient. Aware that he
had incurred the King's displeasure, and could expect no mercy, since
his deadly foe had possession of the royal ear, Owyn put himself
boldly at the head of his rebellious countrymen, who almost unanimously
renounced their allegiance to the crown of England, and subsequently
acknowledged Owyn as their sovereign lord.

The Monk of Evesham, and the MS. Chronicle which used to be regarded
as the compilation of one of Henry V.'s chaplains, both preserved in
the British Museum, speak of the Welsh as having first risen in arms,
and as having afterwards elected Owyn for their chief. It is, however,
remarkable that no mention is made of Owyn Glyndowr in the King's
proclamations, or any public document till the spring of 1401. Probably
at first the proceedings, in which he took afterwards so           (p. 096)
pre-eminent a part, resembled riotous outrages, breaking forth in entire
defiance of the law, but conducted neither on any preconcerted plan, nor
under the direction of any one leader.

Lord Grey's ancestors had received Ruthyn with a view to the protection
of the frontier; and on the first indication of the rebellious spirit
breaking out in acts of disorder and violence, both the King and the
Prince wrote separately to Lord Grey, reminding him of his duty to
disperse the rioters, and put down the insurgents. These mandates were
despatched probably in the beginning of June 1400, some days before
the King departed for the borders of Scotland. Lord Grey, in the
letter[102] to which we have above referred, supposing that the    (p. 097)
King had already started on that expedition, returned an answer
only to the Prince, acknowledging the receipt of his and his father's
commands; but pleading the impossibility of executing them with
effect, unless the Prince, with the advice of the King's council,
would forward to him a commission with more ample powers, authorizing
him to lay hands on the insurgents in whatever part of the country
they might chance to be found; ordaining also that no lord's land
should be respected as a sanctuary to shield them from the law; and
that all the King's officers should be enjoined through the whole
territory to aid and assist in quelling the insurrection.[103]

                   [Footnote 102: Sir Henry Ellis, to whom we are
                   deeply indebted for his succinct and clear
                   statement of the events of these times, appears, in
                   his introductory remarks on Lord Grey's letter, to
                   have overlooked the date of Henry IV.'s departure
                   for Scotland. He says: "Upon Henry's return, the
                   Welsh were rising in arms, and Lord Grey was
                   ordered to go against them. It seems to have been
                   at this point of time that the letter was penned.
                   It was apparently written in the month of June
                   1400." But the King did not leave London till
                   towards Midsummer, and we have a letter from him
                   (on his march northward) dated York, July 4, 1400,
                   commanding the mayor and authorities of London to
                   provide corn, wine, &c. for the King's use in
                   Scotland, and as much money as they could raise on
                   his jewels. The writ in consequence of this letter
                   was issued July 12. Walsingham, indeed, says that
                   they seized the opportunity of the King's absence,
                   and rose under their leader Owyn. The King, on his
                   return from Scotland, was at Newcastle upon Tyne on
                   the 3rd of September.]

                   [Footnote 103: At the back of this letter of Lord
                   Grey to Prince Henry we now find another, pasted,
                   sent by David ap Gruffyth to Lord Grey, probably
                   the very epistle which the Earl says he had
                   received "from the greatest thief in Wales;" the
                   few last sentences of which, apparently written in
                   a sort of jingling rhyme, indicate the character of
                   its author and the spirit of the times. "We hope we
                   shall do thee a privy thing: a rope, a ladder, and
                   a ring, high on a gallows for to heng; and thus
                   shall be your ending; and he that made thee be
                   there to helpyng, and we on our behalf shall be
                   well willing." The conclusion of another letter
                   from the same pen, in defiance of Lord Grey's
                   power, breathes the feelings with which the Welsh
                   entered upon this rebellion. "And it was told me
                   that ye been in perpose for to make your men burn
                   and slay in whatsoever country I be and am seisened
                   in (have property). Withouten doubt as many men
                   that ye slay, and as many housen that ye burn for
                   my sake, as many will I burn and slay for your
                   sake; and doubt not I will have bread and ale of
                   the best that is in your lordship. I can no more.
                   But God keep your worshipful state in prosperity.
                   Written in great haste, at the Park of Brinkiffe,
                   the xi day of June.--GRUFFUTH AP DAVID AP

This nobleman had evidently taken a very alarming view of the state of
the country; and the first documents which we inspect manifest     (p. 098)
the uncurbed fury and deadly hatred with which the Welsh rushed into
this rebellion. Indeed, the general character of Owyn's campaigns
breathes more "of savage warfare than of chivalry." Lord Grey's letter
is dated June 23, and must have been written in the year 1400; for,
long before the corresponding month in the following year had come
round, the Prince had himself been personally engaged in the district
which the Earl was more especially appointed to guard.

It does not appear what steps were taken in consequence of this
communication of Lord Grey; except that the King, on the 19th of
September, issued his first proclamation against the rebels. Probably
on his return from Scotland, the King went himself immediately towards
Wales; for the Monk of Evesham states expressly that he came from
Worcester to Evesham on the 19th of October, and returned the next day
for London. In the course, however, of a very few months at the latest,
a commission to suppress the rebellion, and restore peace in the northern
counties of the Principality, was entrusted to an individual whose
character, and fortunes, and death, deeply involved as they are in an
eventful period of the history of our native land, could not but   (p. 099)
have recommended the part he then took in Wales to our especial notice
under any circumstances whatsoever; whilst his name excites in us feelings
of tenfold greater interest when it offers itself in conjunction with
the name of Henry of Monmouth.

Henry Percy, eldest son of the Earl of Northumberland, known more
familiarly as HOTSPUR,--a name which historians and poets have preferred
as characteristic of his decision, and zeal, and the impetuosity of
his disposition,--very shortly after Henry IV.'s accession had been
appointed not only Warden of the East Marches of Scotland and Governor
of Berwick, but also Chief Justice of North Wales and Chester, and
Constable of the Castles of Chester, Flint, Conway, and Caernarvon. In
this latter capacity, with the utmost promptitude and decision,
Hotspur exerted himself to the very best of his power, at great
personal labour and expense, to crush the rebellion in its

                   [Footnote 104: At as early a date as April 19,
                   1401, the Pell Rolls record the payment to him of
                   "200_l._ for continuing at his own cost the siege
                   of Conway Castle immediately after the rebels had
                   taken it, without the assistance of any one except
                   the people of the country."]

The letters of this renowned and ill-fated nobleman, the originals of
which are preserved among the records of the Privy Council, seem to have
escaped the notice of our historians.[105] They throw, however,    (p. 100)
much light on the affairs of Wales and on Glyndowr's rebellion at this
early stage, and to the Biographer of Henry of Monmouth are truly
valuable. The first of these original papers, all of which are beautifully
corroborative of Hotspur's character as we have received it, both from
the notices of the historian and the delineations of the poet, is dated
Denbigh, April 10, 1401. It is addressed to the King's council under
feelings of annoyance that they could have deemed it necessary to
admonish him to exert himself in putting down the insurgents, and
restoring peace to the turbulent districts over which his commission
gave him authority. His character, he presumes, ought to have been a
pledge to them of his conduct. In this letter there is not a shade of
anything but devoted loyalty.

                   [Footnote 105: The observations of Sir Harris
                   Nicolas, to whom we are indebted for the
                   publication of these letters, are very just: "Much
                   information respecting the state of affairs in
                   Wales is afforded by the correspondence of Sir
                   Henry Percy, the celebrated Hotspur; five letters
                   from whom are now for the first time brought to
                   light. Besides their historical value, these
                   letters derive great interest from being the only
                   relics of Hotspur which are known to be preserved,
                   from throwing some light on the cause of his
                   discontent and subsequent rebellion, and still more
                   from being in strict accordance with the supposed
                   haughty, captious, and uncompromising character of
                   that eminent soldier."--Preface, vol. i. p.

The reference which Hotspur makes in this first letter to "those of
the council of his most honoured and redoubted Prince being in these
parts," is perhaps the very earliest intimation we have of Henry   (p. 101)
of Monmouth being himself personally engaged in suppressing the rebellion
in his principality, with the exception, at least, of the inference to
be fairly drawn from the acts of the Privy Council in the preceding
month. The King at his house, "Coldharbour," (the same which he
afterwards assigned to the Prince,) had assented to a proclamation
against the Welsh on the 13th of March; and on the 21st of March the
council had agreed to seal an instrument with the great seal,
authorizing the Prince himself to discharge any constables of the
castles who should neglect their duty, and not execute their office in
person. It is, however, to the second letter of Hotspur, dated
Caernarvon, May 3rd, 1401, that any one who takes a lively interest in
ascertaining the real character of Henry of Monmouth will find his
mind irresistibly drawn; he will meditate upon it again and again, and
with increasing interest as he becomes more familiar with the
circumstances under which it was written; and comparing it with the
prejudices almost universally adopted without suspicion and without
inquiry, will contemplate it with mingled feelings of surprise and
satisfaction. The name of Harry Hotspur, when set side by side with
the name of Harry of Monmouth, has been too long associated in the
minds of all who delight in English literature, with feelings of
unkindness and jealous rivalry. At the risk of anticipating what may
hereafter be established more at large, we cannot introduce this document
to the reader without saying that we hail the preservation of this (p. 102)
one, among the very few letters of Percy now known to be in existence,
with satisfaction and thankfulness. It is as though history were
destined of set purpose to correct the fascinating misrepresentations
of the poet, and to vindicate a character which has been too long
misunderstood. In the fictions of our dramatic poet Hotspur is the
very first to bear to Bolinbroke testimony of the reckless, dissolute
habits of Henry of Monmouth.[106] Hotspur is the very first whom the
truth of history declares to have given direct and voluntary evidence
to the military talents of this same Prince, and the kindness of his
heart,--to his prowess at once and his mercy; the combination of which
two noble qualities characterizes his whole life, and of which, blended
in delightful harmony, his campaigns in Wales supply this, by no means
solitary, example. Hotspur informs the council that North Wales, where
he was holding his sessions, was obedient to the law in all points,
excepting the rebels in Conway, and in Rees Castle which was in the
mountains. "And these," continues Percy, "will be well chastised, if
it so please God, by the force and governance which my redoubted lord
the Prince has sent against them, as well of his council as of his
retinue, to besiege these rebels in the said castles; which siege, (p. 103)
if it can be continued till the said rebels be taken, will bring great
ease and profit to the governance of the same country in time to
come." "Also," he proceeds, "the commons of the said country of North
Wales, that is, the counties of Caernarvon and Merioneth, who have
been before me at present, have humbly offered their thanks to my lord
the Prince for the great exertions of his kindness and goodwill in
procuring their pardon at the hands of our sovereign lord the
King."[107] The pardon itself, dated Westminster, 10th of March 1401,
bears testimony to these exertions of Prince Henry in behalf of the
rebels: "Of our especial grace, and at the prayer of our dearest
first-born son, Henry Prince of Wales, we have pardoned all treasons,
rebellions, &c."[108] Henry of Monmouth, when one of the first
noblemen and most renowned warriors of the age bears this testimony to
his character for valour and for kind-heartedness, had not quite
completed his fourteenth year.

                   [Footnote 106: King RICHARD II. Act v. scene 3.

                   _Boling._--"Can no man tell of my unthrifty son?"
                   _Percy._--"My Lord, some two days since I saw the
                   Prince," &c.]

                   [Footnote 107: The commons at the same time, of
                   their own free will, offered to pay as much as they
                   had formerly paid to King Richard.]

                   [Footnote 108: An exception by name is made of Owyn
                   Glyndowr, and also of Rees ap Tudor, and William ap
                   Tudor. These two brothers, however, surrendered the
                   Castle of Conway, and William with thirty-one more
                   received the royal pardon, dated 8th July 1401.
                   Pardons in the same terms had been granted on the
                   6th May to the rebels of Chirk; on the 10th, to
                   those of Bromfield and Oswestry; on the 16th, to
                   those of Ellesmere; and, upon June 15th, to the
                   rebels of Whityngton.]

This communication of Henry Percy, as remarkable as it is          (p. 104)
interesting, appears to fix to the year 1401 the date of the following,
the very first letter known to exist from Henry of Monmouth. It is
dated Shrewsbury, May 15, and is addressed to the Lords of the Council,
whom he thanks for the kind attention paid by them to all his wants
during his absence in Wales. The epistle breathes the spirit of a
gallant young warrior full of promptitude and intrepidity.[109] It may
be surmised, perhaps, that the letter was written by the Prince's
secretary; and that the sentiments and turn of thought here exhibited
may, after all, be no fair test of his own mind. But this is mere
conjecture and assumption, requiring the testimony of facts to confirm
it: and, against it, we must observe, that there is a simplicity, a
raciness and an individuality of character pervading Henry's letters
which seem to stamp them for his own. Especially do they stand out in
broad contrast, when put side by side with the equally characteristic
despatches of Hotspur.


     "Very dear and entirely well-beloved, we greet you much from our
     whole heart, thanking you very sincerely for the kind attention
     you have given to our wants during our absence; and we pray of
     you very earnestly the continuance of your good and friendly  (p. 105)
     services, as our trust is in you. As to news from these parts,
     if you wish to hear of what has taken place, we were lately
     informed that Owyn Glyndowr [Oweyn de Glyndourdy] had assembled
     his forces, and those of other rebels, his adherents, in great
     numbers, purposing to commit inroads; and, in case of any
     resistance to his plans on the part of the English, to come
     to battle with them: and so he boasted to his own people.
     Wherefore we took our men, and went to a place of the said Owyn,
     well built, which was his chief mansion, called Saghern, where we
     thought we should have found him, if he wished to fight, as he
     said. And, on our arrival there, we found no person. So we caused
     the whole place to be set on fire, and many other houses around
     it, belonging to his tenants. And then we went straight to his
     other place of Glyndourdy, to seek for him there. There we burnt
     a fine lodge in his park, and the whole country round. And we
     remained there all that night. And certain of our people sallied
     forth, and took a gentleman of high degree of that country, who
     was one of the said Owyn's chieftains. This person offered five
     hundred pounds for his ransom to save his life, and to pay that
     sum within two weeks. Nevertheless that was not accepted, and he
     was put to death; and several of his companions, who were taken
     the same day, met with the same fate. We then proceeded to the
     commote of Edirnyon in Merionethshire, and there laid waste a
     fine and populous country; thence we went to Powys, and, there
     being in Wales a want of provender for horses, we made our people
     carry oats with them, and we tarried there for ---- days.[110]
     And to give you fuller information of this expedition, and all
     other news from these parts at present, we send to you our
     well-beloved esquire, John de Waterton, to whom you will be
     pleased to give entire faith and credence in what he shall report
     to you on our part with respect to the above-mentioned        (p. 106)
     affair. And may our Lord have you always in his holy keeping.--Given
     under our signet, at Shrewsbury, the 15th day of May."

                   [Footnote 109: The original, in French, is
                   preserved in the British Museum.--Cotton, Cleop.
                   viii. fol. 117 b.]

                   [Footnote 110: The original is here imperfect.]

Two days only after the date of this epistle, Hotspur despatched
another letter from Denbigh, which seems to convey the first
intimation of his dissatisfaction with the King's government; a
feeling which rapidly grew stronger, and led probably to the
subsequent outbreaking of his violence and rebellion. Hotspur presses
upon the council the perilous state of the Welsh Marches, at the same
time declaring that he could not endure the expense and labour then
imposed upon him more than one month longer; within four days at
furthest from the expiration of which time he must absolutely resign
his command.

In less than ten days after this despatch of Percy, the King's
proclamation mentions Owyn Glyndowr by name, as a rebel determined to
invade and ravage England. The King, announcing his own intention to
proceed the next day towards Worcester to crush the rebellion himself,
commands the sheriffs of various counties to join him with their
forces, wheresoever he might be. At this period the rebels entered
upon the campaign with surprising vigour. Many simultaneous assaults
appear to have been made against the English in different parts of the
borders. On the 28th of May a proclamation declares Glyndowr to be in
the Marches of Caermarthen; and, only ten days before (May 18th),  (p. 107)
a commission was issued to attack the Welsh, who were besieging
William Beauchamp and his wife in the Castle of Abergavenny; whilst,
at the same time, the people of Salop were excused a subsidy, in
consideration of the vast losses they had sustained by the inroads of
the Welsh.

CHAPTER VI.                                                        (p. 108)



When Owyn Glyndowr raised the standard of rebellion in his native
land, and assuming to himself the name and state and powers of an
independent sovereign, under the title of "Prince of Wales," declared
war against Henry of Bolinbroke and his son, he was fully impressed
with the formidable power of his antagonists, and with the fate that
might await him should he fail in his attempt to rescue Wales from the
yoke of England. Embarked in a most perilous enterprise, a cause of
life or death, he vigorously entered on the task of securing every
promising means of success. His countrymen, whom he now called his
subjects, soon flocked to his standard from all quarters. Not only (p. 109)
did those who were already in the Principality take up arms; but
numbers also who had left their homes, and were resident in distant
parts of the kingdom, returned forthwith as at the command of their
prince and liege lord. The Welsh scholars,[111] who were pursuing
their studies in the University of Oxford, were summoned by Owyn, and
the names of some who obeyed the mandate are recorded. Owyn at the
same time negociated for assistance from France, with what success we
shall see hereafter; and sent also his emissaries to Scotland and "the
distant isles." On those of his countrymen who espoused the cause of
the King, and refused to join his standard, he afterwards poured the
full fury of his vengeance; and in the uncurbed madness of his rage,
forgetful of the future welfare of his native land, and of his own
interests should he be established as its prince, unmindful also of
the respect which even enemies pay to the sacred edifices of the
common faith, he reduced to ashes not only the houses of his opponents,
but Episcopal palaces, monasteries, and cathedrals within the

                   [Footnote 111: See Ellis's Original Letters, second
                   series, vol. i. p. 8.]

Owyn Glyndowr was in a short time so well supported by an army,
undisciplined no doubt, and in all respects ill appointed, but yet
devoted to him and their common cause, that he was emboldened to try
his strength with Lord Grey in the field. A battle, fought (as it  (p. 110)
should seem) in the very neighbourhood of Glyndowrdy,[112] terminated
in favour of Owyn, who took the Earl prisoner, and carried him into
the fastnesses of Snowdon. The precise date of this conflict is not
known; probably it was at the opening of spring: the circumstances
also of his capture are very differently represented. It is generally
asserted that a marriage with one of Owyn's daughters was the condition
of regaining his liberty proposed to the Earl; that the marriage was
solemnized; and that Owyn then, instead of keeping his word and releasing
him, demanded of him a most exorbitant ransom. It is, moreover, affirmed,
that the Earl remained Glyndowr's prisoner to the day of his death.
Now, that Lord Grey fell into the Welsh chieftain's hands as a prisoner,
is beyond question; so it is that he paid a heavy ransom: but that he
died in confinement is certainly not true, for he accompanied Henry V.
to France, and also served him by sea. The report of his marriage with
Owyn's daughter, might have originated in some confusion of Lord Grey
with Sir Edmund Mortimer; who unquestionably did take one of the Welsh
chieftain's daughters for his wife.[113] It is scarcely probable that
both Owyn's prisoners should have married his daughters; and still (p. 111)
less probable that he should have exacted so large a ransom from his
son-in-law as to exhaust his means, and prevent him from acting as a
baron of the realm was then expected to act. Dugdale's Baronage gives
the Earl two wives, without naming the daughter of Glyndowr. Hardyng,
in his Chronicle presented to Henry VI, thus describes the affair:

  Soone after was the same Lord Gray in feelde
  Fightyng taken, and holden prisoner
  By Owayne, so that hym in prison helde
  Till his ransom was made, and fynaunce clear,
  Ten thousand marks, and fully payed were;
  For whiche he was so poor then all his life,
  That no power he had to war, nor stryfe.

                   [Footnote 112: Lingard places the site of Owyn's
                   victory over Lord Grey on the banks of the

                   [Footnote 113: The Monk of Evesham reports that
                   Lord Grey was released about the year 1404, having
                   first paid to Owyn five thousand marks for his
                   ransom, and leaving his two sons as pledges for the
                   payment of five thousand more. The same authority
                   informs us that Edmund Mortimer espoused the
                   daughter of Owyn with great solemnity. The Pell
                   Rolls (1 Henry V. June 27) leave us in no doubt as
                   to the fact of that marriage.]

Another letter from Henry Percy to the council, dated June 4, 1401, is
very interesting in several points of view. It proves that the
negociations "carried in and out," mentioned in a letter written by
the chamberlain of Caernarvon to the King's council, had been
successful, and that the Scots had sent aid to the Welsh chieftain: it
proves also that Hotspur himself was at this time (though bitterly
dissatisfied) carrying on the war for the King in the very heart of
Wales, and amidst its mountain-recesses and strongholds; and that Owyn
was at that time assailed on all sides by the English forces, a    (p. 112)
circumstance which might probably have led to his "good intention to
return to his allegiance," at the close of the present year. Henry
Percy declares to the council that he can support the expenses of the
campaign no longer. He informs them of an engagement in which, assisted
by Sir Hugh Browe and the Earl of Arundel, the only Lords Marchers who
had joined him in the expedition, he had a few days before routed the
Welsh at Cader Idris. News, he adds, had just reached him of a victory
gained by Lord Powis[114] over Owyn; also that an English vessel had
been retaken from the Scots, and a Scotch vessel of war had been
captured at Milford. Another letter, dated 3rd July, (probably the
same year, 1401,) reiterates his complaints of non-payment of his
forces, and of the government having underrated his services; it
expresses his hope also that, since he had written to the King himself
with a statement of his destitute condition, should any evil happen to
castle, town, or march, the blame would not be cast on him, whose
means were so utterly crippled, but would fall on the heads of those
who refused the supplies. Henry IV. had certainly not neglected this
rebellion in Wales, though evidently the measures adopted against the
insurgents were not so vigorous at the commencement as the         (p. 113)
urgency of the case required. His exchequer was exhausted, and he had
other business in hand to drain off the supplies as fast as they could
possibly be collected. He was, therefore, contented for the present to
keep the rebels in check, without attempting to crush them by pouring
in an overwhelming force from different points at once.

                   [Footnote 114: This nobleman, John Charlton, Lord
                   Powis, died on the 19th of October following, and
                   was succeeded by his son Edward, who, on the 5th of
                   August, (probably in 1402 or 1403,) applied to the
                   council for a reinforcement.--Min. of Coun.]

Towards the middle of this summer, the King marched in person to
Worcester. He had directed the sheriffs to forward their contingents
thither; but, when he arrived at that city, he changed his purpose and
soon returned to London. Among the considerations which led to this
change in his plans, we may probably reckon the following. In the
first place, he found his son the Prince, Lord Powis, and Henry Percy,
in vigorous operation against the rebels; his arrival at Worcester
having been only three or four days after the date of Percy's last
letter. In the next place, the council had urged him not to go in
person against the rebels: besides, almost all the inhabitants of
North Wales had returned to their allegiance, and had been pardoned.
He was, moreover, naturally anxious to summon a parliament, with a
view of replenishing his exhausted treasury, and enabling himself to
enter upon the campaign with means more calculated to insure success.

In a letter to his council, dated Worcester, 8th June 1401, the King
refers to two points of advice suggested by them. "Inasmuch as     (p. 114)
you have advised us," he says, "to write to our much beloved son, the
Prince, and to others, who may have in their possession any jewels
which ought to be delivered with our cousin the Queen, (Isabella,)
know ye, that we will send to our said son, that, if he has any of
such jewels, he will send them with all possible speed to you at our
city of London, where, if God will, we intend to be in our own person
before the Queen's departure; and we will cause to be delivered to her
there the rest of the said jewels, which we and others our children
have in our keeping." In answer to their advice that he would not go
in person against the rebels, because they were not in sufficient
strength, and of too little reputation to warrant that step, he said
that he found they had risen in great numbers, and called for his
personal exertions. He forwarded to them at the same time a copy of
the letter which he had just received from Owyn himself. Not from this
correspondence only, but from other undisputed documents, and from the
loud complaints of French writers,[115] we are compelled to infer
something extremely unsatisfactory in the conduct of Henry IV. with
regard to the valuable paraphernalia of Isabella, the maiden-widow of
Richard. To avoid restoring these treasures, which fell into his hands
on the capture of that unfortunate monarch, Henry proposed, in     (p. 115)
November 1399, a marriage between one of his sons and one of the
daughters of the French monarch. In January 1400 a truce was signed
between the two kingdoms, and the same negociators (the Bishop of
Durham and the Earl of Worcester) were directed to treat with the
French ambassadors on the terms of the restitution of Isabella; and so
far did they immediately proceed, that horses were ordered for her
journey to Dover. But legal doubts as to her dower (she not being
twelve years of age) postponed her departure till the next year. She
had arrived at Boulogne certainly on the 1st of August 1401; and was
afterwards delivered up to her friends by the Earl of Worcester, with
the solemn assurance of her spotless purity.

                   [Footnote 115: Many of our own historians have,
                   either in ignorance or design, very much misled
                   their readers on the subject.]

It is impossible to glance at this lady's brief and melancholy career
without feelings of painful interest:--espoused when yet a child to
the reigning monarch of England; whilst yet a child, crowned Queen of
England; whilst yet a child, become a virgin-widow; when she was not
yet seventeen years old, married again to Charles, Earl of Angouleme;
and three years afterwards, before she reached the twentieth
anniversary of her birthday, dying in childbed.[116]

                   [Footnote 116: It is not generally understood,
                   (indeed, some of our historians have not only been
                   ignorant of the fact, but have asserted the
                   contrary,) that this princess was the elder sister
                   of Katharine of Valois, married thirteen years
                   after Isabella's death to Henry of Monmouth.
                   Katharine was not born till after Isabella's
                   restoration from England to her father's home.
                   Isabella was born November 9, 1389; was solemnly
                   married by the Archbishop of Canterbury to Richard
                   II. in Calais, November 4, 1397 (not quite nine
                   years old); was crowned at Westminster on the 8th
                   of January following; was married to her second
                   husband, 29th June 1406; and died at Blois, 13th
                   September 1409.--Anselme, vol. i. p. 114.]

By the above letter of the King, which led to this digression,     (p. 116)
we are informed that the Prince was neither with his father, nor in
London; for the King promised to write to him to send the jewels to
London. He was probably at that time on the borders of North Wales; or
engaged in reducing the Castles of Conway and Rhees, and in bringing
that district into subjection. Indeed, that the Prince was still
personally exerting himself in suppressing the Welsh towards the north
of the Principality, seems to be put beyond all question by the
records of the Privy Council, which state that "certain members of the
Prince's council brought with them to the King's council the indenture
between the said Prince and Henry Percy the son (Chief Justice) on one
part, and those who seized the Castle[117] of Conway on the other  (p. 117)
part, made at the time of the restitution of the same castle."[118]

                   [Footnote 117: One of these, Wm. ap Tudor, with
                   thirty-one others, was pardoned July 8. In his
                   petition he suggests that in all disputes between
                   the burgesses and themselves, there ought to be a
                   fair inquest, half Welsh and half English. This is
                   supposed to have been the usual law; but probably
                   in these turbulent times it might too often have
                   been dispensed with for a less impartial mode of
                   trial. Besides, among the many severe enactments
                   against the Welsh, the King, in 1400, had assented
                   to an ordinance proposed by the Commons, to remain
                   in force for three years, that no Englishman should
                   have judgment against him at the suit of a
                   Welshman, except at the hands of judges and a jury
                   entirely English.]

                   [Footnote 118: The castles in Wales were at this
                   time very scantily garrisoned; indeed, the
                   smallness of the number of the men by whom some of
                   them were defended is scarcely credible. And yet,
                   in the exhausted state of the treasury of the King,
                   of the Prince, of Henry Percy and others, those
                   castles, even in the miserably limited extent of
                   their establishments, could with difficulty be
                   retained. When besieged, the garrison could never
                   venture upon a sally. For example, Conway had only
                   fifteen men-at-arms and sixty archers, kept at an
                   expense of 714_l._ 15_s._ 10_d._ annually:
                   Caernarvon had twenty men-at-arms and eighty
                   archers: Harlech had ten men-at-arms and thirty
                   archers.--See Sir H. Ellis's Original Letters.]

Owyn appears to have left his own country, in which the spirit of
rebellion had received a considerable though temporary check; and to
have been at this period exciting and heading the rebels in South
Wales, especially about Caermarthen and Gower.

       *       *       *       *       *

Hotspur himself left Wales probably about the July or August of this
year, 1401; for on the 1st of September he was appointed one of the
commissioners to treat with the Scots for peace; and he was present at
the solemn espousals which were celebrated by proxy at Eltham, April
3, 1402, between Henry IV. and Joan of Navarre. We must, therefore,
refer to a subsequent date the information quoted by Sir Henry Ellis
from an original paper in the British Museum, "that Jankin Tyby of the
north countri bringthe lettres owte of the northe country to       (p. 118)
Owein, as thei demed from Henr. son Percy." Soon after the departure
of Percy, a proclamation, dated 18th September 1401, notifies the rapid
progress of disaffection and rebellion among the Welsh: whether it was
secretly encouraged by him at this early date, or not, is matter only
of conjecture. His growing discontent, visibly shown in his own letters,
this vague rumour that Jankin Tyby might be the confidential messenger
for his treasonable purposes, and his subsequent conduct, combine to
render the suspicion by no means improbable. The proclamation states
that a great part of the inhabitants of Wales had gone over to Owyn,
and commands all ablebodied men to meet the King at Worcester on the
1st, or, at the furthest, the 2nd of October. Perhaps this, like his
former visit to Worcester, was little more than a demonstration of his
force.[119] Historians generally say that he made the first of his
expeditions into Wales in the July of the following year; the Minutes
of Council prove at all events that he was there in the present autumn,
but how long or with what results does not appear. The council met (p. 119)
in November 1401, to deliberate, among other subjects, upon the affairs
of Wales, "from which country (as the Minute expressly states) our
sovereign lord the King hath but lately returned,[120] having appointed
the Earl of Worcester to be Lieutenant of South Wales, and Captain of

                   [Footnote 119: The Monk of Evesham states expressly
                   that, towards the end of this year, the King,
                   intending to hasten to Wales for the third time,
                   came to Evesham on Michaelmas-day, September 29,
                   but not with so large a force as before; and on the
                   third day, after breakfast, he proceeded to
                   Worcester, whence, after the ninth day, with the
                   advice of his council, he returned through Alcester
                   to London.]

                   [Footnote 120: On Monday, October 16, 1402, the
                   Commons "thank the King for his great labour in
                   body and mind, especially in his journey to
                   Scotland; and because, on his return, when he heard
                   at Northampton of the rebellion in Wales, he had at
                   _that_ time, and _three times_ since, with a great
                   army (as well the King as my lord the Prince)
                   laboured in divers parts." When Owyn is represented
                   by Shakspeare as recounting the various successful
                   struggles in which he had tried his strength with
                   Bolinbroke, the poet had solid ground on which to
                   build the boastings of the Welsh chieftain:

                         "Three times hath Henry Bolinbroke made head
                         Against my power: thrice from the banks of Wye
                         And sandy-bottom'd Severn have I sent him
                         Bootless home, and weather-beaten back."]

                   [Footnote 121: The regular appointment bears date
                   31st March 1402.]

The record of this council is remarkably interesting on more than one
point. It throws great light on the state of Owyn's mind, and his
attachment to the Percies; on the confidence still reposed by the
King's government in Percy, and on the condition of Prince Henry
himself. The several chastisements which Owyn and his party had
received from the Prince, from Percy, from Lord Powis and others, had
perhaps at this time made him very doubtful of the issue of the struggle,
and inclined him to negociate for his own pardon, and the peace of the
country. The Minute of Council says, "To know the King's will      (p. 120)
about treating with Glyndowr to return to his allegiance, _seeing his
good intention at present thereto_". His readiness to treat is
accompanied, as we find in the same record, with a declaration that he
was not himself the cause of the destruction going on in his native
land, nor of the daily captures, and the murders there; and that he
would most gladly return to peace. As to his inheritance, he protests
that he had only received a part, and not his own full right. And even
now he would willingly come to the borders, and speak and treat with
any lords, provided the commons would not raise a rumour and clamour
that he was purposed to destroy "_all who spoke the English language_".
He seems to have been apprehensive, should he venture to approach the
marches to negociate a peace, that the violence and rage of the people
at large would endanger his personal safety. No wonder, for his
footsteps were to be traced everywhere by the blood of men, and the
ashes of their habitations and sacred edifices. At the same time, he
expressed his earnest desire to carry on the treaty of peace through
the Earl of Northumberland, for whom he professes to entertain great
regard and esteem, in preference to any other English nobleman.

Whether any steps were taken in consequence of this present opening
for peace, or not, we are not told. But we have reason to suppose that
Wales was in comparative tranquillity through the following        (p. 121)
winter[122] and spring. The rebel chief, however, again very shortly
carried the sword and flame with increased horrors through his devoted
native land. We read of no battle or skirmish till the campaign of the
next year.

                   [Footnote 122: The Pell Rolls contain many items of
                   payment about this time to the Prince of Wales; one
                   of which specifies the sum "of 400_l._ for one
                   hundred men-at-arms, each 12_d._ per day, and four
                   hundred archers at 6_d._ per day, for one month,
                   who were sent with despatch to Harlech Castle to
                   remove the besiegers." Probably they had been sent
                   some considerable time before the date of this
                   payment, Dec. 14, 1401.]

The questions relating to Prince Henry, which were submitted to this
council, inform us incidentally of the important fact, that though he
was now intrusted with the command of the forces against the Welsh,
and was assisted in his office (just as was the King) by a council,
yet it was deemed right to appoint him an especial governor, or tutor
(maistre). He was now in his fifteenth year. These Minutes also make
it evident that the soldiers employed in his service looked for their
pay to him, and not to the King's exchequer. We shall have frequent
occasion to observe the great personal inconveniences to which this
practice subjected the Prince, and how injurious it was to the service
generally. But the evil was unavoidable; for at that time the royal
exchequer was quite drained.

"As to the article touching the governance of the Prince, as well (p. 122)
for him to have a tutor or guardian, as to provide money for the support
of his vast expenses in the garrisons of his castles in Wales, and the
wages of his men-at-arms and archers, whom he keeps from day to day
for resisting the malice of the rebels of the King, it appears to the
council, if it please the King, that the Isle of Anglesey ought to be
restored to the prince, and that Henry Percy[123] should agree, and
have compensation from the issues of the lands which belonged to the
Earl of March; and that all other possessions which ought to belong to
the Prince should be restored, and an amicable arrangement be made
with those in whose hands they are. And as for a governor for the
Prince, may it please the King to choose one of these,--the Earl of
Worcester, Lord Lovel, Mr. Thomas Erpyngham, or the Lord Say; and, for
the Prince's expenses, that 1000_l._ be assigned from the rents of the
Earl of March, which were due about last Michaelmas." We have reason
to believe that the Earl of Worcester, Thomas Percy, was appointed
Henry of Monmouth's tutor and preceptor. He remained in attendance
upon him till, with the guilt of aggravated treachery, he abruptly
left his prince and pupil to join his nephew Hotspur before the battle
of Shrewsbury.

                   [Footnote 123: The whole of Anglesey was granted to
                   Hotspur for life. 1 Hen. IV, 12th October
                   1399.--MS. Donat. 4596.]

We are not informed how long Prince Henry remained at this period  (p. 123)
in Wales, after Percy had left it. Probably (as it has been already
intimated) there was an armistice virtually, though not by any formal
agreement, through that winter and the spring of 1402. The next undoubted
information as to the Prince fixes him in London in the beginning of
the following May, when being in the Tower, in the presence of his
father, and with his consent, he declares himself willing to contract
a marriage with Katharine, sister of Eric, King of Norway;[124] and on
the 26th of the same month, being then in his castle of Tutbury, in
the diocese of Lincoln, he confirms this contract, and authorises the
notary public to affix his seal to the agreement. The pages of authentic
history remind us, that too many marriage-contracts in every rank of
life, and in every age of the world, have been the result, not of
mutual affection between the affianced bride and bridegroom, but of
pecuniary and political considerations. Perhaps when kings negociate
and princes approve, their exalted station renders the transaction
more notorious, and the stipulated conditions may be more unreservedly
confessed. But it may well be doubted whether the same motives do not
equally operate in every grade of life; whilst those objects which
should be primary and indispensable, are regarded as secondary     (p. 124)
and contingent. Happiness springing from mutual affection, may doubtless
grow and ripen, despite of such arrangements, in the families of the
noble, the wealthy, the middle classes, and the poor; but the chances
are manifold more, that coldness, and dissatisfaction, and mutual
carelessness of each other's comforts will be the permanent result. We
must however bear in mind, when estimating the moral worth of an
individual, that negociations of this kind in the palaces of kings
imply nothing of that cold-heartedness by which many are led into
connexions from which their affections revolt. The individual's
character seems altogether protected from reprobation by the usage of
the world, and the necessity of the case. State-considerations impose
on princes restraints, compelling them to acquiesce in measures which
excite in us other feelings than indignation or contempt. We regret
the circumstance, but we do not condemn the parties. Henry IV. of
England, and Eric of Norway, fancied they saw political advantages
likely to arise from the nuptials of Henry's son with Eric's sister;
and the document we have just quoted tells us that the boy Henry, then
not fifteen, and still under tutors and governors, gave his consent to
the proposed alliance.

                   [Footnote 124: He was present in the Castle of
                   Berkhamsted on the 14th of May, at the sealing of
                   the marriage contract of his sister Philippa with
                   King Eric.--Foed. viii. 259, 260.]

The more rare however the occurrence, the more general is the admiration
with which an union in the palaces of monarchy is contemplated when mutual
respect and attachment precede the marriage, and conjugal love and (p. 125)
domestic happiness attend it. And here we are irresistibly tempted to
contemplate with satisfaction and delight the unsuccessful issue of
this negociation, whilst Henry was yet a boy; and to anticipate what
must be repeated in its place, that, to whatever combination of
circumstances, and course of events and state-considerations, the
marriage of Henry of Monmouth with Katharine of France may possibly be
referred, he proved himself to have formed for her a most sincere and
heartfelt attachment before their union; and, whenever his duty did
not separate them, to have lived with her in the possession of great
conjugal felicity. Even the dry details of the Exchequer issues bear
most gratifying, though curious, testimony to their domestic habits,
and their enjoyment of each other's society.

Whilst the King was thus negociating a marriage for his son, he was
himself engaged by solemn espousals to marry, as his second wife, Joan
of Navarre, Duchess of Brittany. As well in the most exalted, as in
the most humble family in the realm, such an event as this can never
take place without involving consequences of deepest moment and most
lively interest to all parties,--to the husband, to his wife, and to
their respective children. If he has been happy in his choice, a man
cannot provide a more substantial blessing for his offspring than by
joining himself by the most sacred of all ties to a woman who will (p. 126)
cheerfully and lovingly perform the part of a conscientious and
affectionate mother towards them. If the choice is unhappy; if there
be a want of sound religious and moral principle, a neglect, or
carelessness and impatience in the discharge of domestic duties; if a
discontented, suspicious, cold, and unkind spirit accompany the new
bride, domestic comfort must take flight, and all the proverbial evils
of such a state must be realized. The marriage of Henry of Monmouth's
father with Joan of Navarre does not enable us to view the bright side
of this alternative. Of the new Queen we hear little for many
years;[125] but, at the end of those years of comparative silence, we
find Henry V. compelled to remove from his mother-in-law all her
attendants, and to commit her to the custody of Lord John Pelham in
the castle of Pevensey.[126] She was charged with having entertained
malicious and treasonable designs against the life of the King, her
son-in-law. The Chronicle of London, (1419,) throwing[127] an air of
mystery and superstition over the whole affair, asserts that Queen
Joanna excited her confessor, one friar Randolf,[128] a master in  (p. 127)
divinity, to destroy the King; "but, as God would, his falseness was
at last espied:" "wherefore," as the Chronicle adds, "the Queen
forfeited her lands."[129] Of this marriage of Henry IV. with Joan of
Navarre very little notice beyond the bare fact has been taken by our
English historians. Many particulars, however, are found in the
histories of Brittany. It appears that the Duchess, who was the widow
of Philip de Mont Forte, Duke of Brittany, by whom she had sons and
daughters, was solemnly contracted to Henry by her proxy, Anthony Rys,
at Eltham, on the 3rd of April 1402, in the presence of the Archbishop
of Canterbury, the Earl of Somerset, the Earl of Northumberland and
his son Hotspur, the Earl of Worcester, Thomas Langley, Keeper of the
Privy Seal, and others. Having appointed guardians for her son, the
young Duke of Brittany, she left Nantes on the 26th December, embarked
on board one of the ships sent by Henry, at Camaret, on the 13th   (p. 128)
January, and sailed the next day, intending to land at Southampton.
After a stormy passage of five days, the squadron was forced into a
port in Cornwall. She was married on the 7th, and was crowned at
Westminster on the 25th, of February following.[130] By Henry she had
no child.

                   [Footnote 125: Our history supplies very scanty
                   information as to the family of this royal lady. In
                   the year 1412 a safe conduct is given to Giles of
                   Brittany, son of the Queen, to come to England, to
                   tarry and to return, with twenty men and
                   horses.--Rymer, May 20, 1412.]

                   [Footnote 126: Otterbourne.]

                   [Footnote 127: "By sorcerye and nygrammancie."]

                   [Footnote 128: The Pell Rolls (27th Sept. 1418)
                   leave us in no doubt that John Randolf's goods were
                   forfeited, a circumstance strongly confirming the
                   report of his conspiracy. Payment is also made to
                   certain persons for carrying (Feb. 8, 1420) John
                   Randolf, of the order of Friars Minor, Shrewsbury,
                   from Normandy to the Tower.]

                   [Footnote 129: No doubt can remain as to the
                   accuracy of the London Chronicle in this
                   particular: several payments are on record,
                   expressly declared to have been made out of the
                   lands and property of this unhappy woman. Thus, the
                   issue of a thousand marks to the Abbess of Syon
                   (9th May 1421) is made from "the monies issuing
                   from the possessions of Joanna, Queen of

                   [Footnote 130: See Acts of Privy Council, vol. i.
                   p. 185. The Editor quotes Lobinau's Histoire de
                   Brétagne, tom. ii. pp. 874, 878; and Morice's
                   Histoire Ecclésiastique et Civile de Brétagne, tom.
                   i. p. 433.]

CHAPTER VII.                                                       (p. 129)



If Owyn Glyndowr, as we have supposed, allowed Wales to remain undisturbed
by battles and violence through the winter[131] and spring, it was only
to employ the time in preparing for a more vigorous campaign. The first
battle of which we have any historical certainty, was fought June 12,
1402, near Melienydd, (Dugdale says, "upon the mountain called Brynglas,
near Knighton in Melenyth,") in Radnorshire. The whole array of
Herefordshire was routed on that field. More than one thousand     (p. 130)
Englishmen were slain, on whom the Welsh were guilty of savage,
unheard-of indignities. The women especially gave vent to their rage
and fury by actions too disgraceful to be credible were they not
recorded as uncontradicted facts. For the honour of the sex, we wish
to regard them as having happened only once; whilst we would bury the
disgusting details in oblivion.[132] Owyn was victorious, and took
many of high degree prisoners; among whom was Sir Edmund Mortimer, the
uncle of the Earl of March. Perhaps the most authentic statement of
this victory as to its leading features, though without any details,
is found in a letter from the King to his council, dated
Berkhampstead, June 25.

                   [Footnote 131: At the opening of the year 1402
                   (January 18), one hundred marks were paid by the
                   treasury to the Bishop of Bangor, whose lands had
                   been in great part destroyed.--Pell Rolls. This
                   prelate was Richard Young, who was translated to
                   Rochester in 1404.]

                   [Footnote 132: To the present day the vestiges of
                   two temporary encampments (army against army) are
                   visible; and there are barrows in the
                   neighbourhood, which, according to the tradition of
                   the country, cover the bones of those who fell in
                   this battle, not less, they say, than three
                   thousand men. The remains of Owyn Glyndowr's camp
                   are found at a place called Monachdy, in the parish
                   of Blethvaugh; and about two miles below, in the
                   parish of Whittow, is the earthwork supposed to
                   have been thrown up by Sir Edmund Mortimer.
                   Half-way between is a hill called Brynglas, where
                   the battle is said to have been fought. In the
                   valley of the Lug are two large tumuli, which are
                   believed to cover the slain.]

"The rebels have taken my beloved cousin,[133] Esmon Mortymer, and
many other knights and esquires. We are resolved, consequently, to go
in our own person with God's permission. You will therefore        (p. 131)
command all in our retinue and pay to meet us at Lichfield, where we
intend to be at the latest on the 7th of July." The proclamation for
an array "to meet the King at Lichfield, and proceed with him towards
Wales to check the insolence and malice of Owyn Glyndowr and other
rebels," was issued the same day. On the 5th of July,[134] the King,
being at Westminster, appointed Hugh de Waterton governor of his children,
John and Philippa, till his return from Wales. An order of council at
Westminster, on the last day of July, the King himself being present,
seems to leave us no alternative in deciding that Henry made two
expeditions to Wales this summer; the first at the commencement of
July, the second towards the end of August. This appears to have
escaped the observation of historians. Walsingham speaks only of one,
and that before the Feast of the Assumption, August 25; in which   (p. 132)
he represents the King and his army to have been well-nigh destroyed
by storms of rain, snow, and hail, so terrible as to have excited the
belief that they were raised by the machination of the devil, and of
course at Owyn's bidding. This order of council is directed to many
sheriffs, commanding them to proclaim an array through their several
counties to meet the King at Shrewsbury,[135] on the 27th of August at
the latest, to proceed with him into Wales.[136] The order declares
the necessity of this second array to have originated in the
impossibility, through the shortness of the time, of the King's
chastising the rebels, who lurked in mountains and woods; and states
his determination to be there again shortly, and to remain fifteen
days for the final overthrow and destruction of his enemies. How
lamentably he was mistaken in his calculation of their resistance, and
his own powers of subjugating them, the sequel proved to him too
clearly. The rebellion from first to last was protracted through
almost as many years as the days he had numbered for its utter
extinction. The order on the sheriff of Derby commands him to go   (p. 133)
with his contingent to Chester, "to our dearest son the Prince," on
the 27th of August, and to advance in his retinue to Wales. On this
occasion,[137] it is said that Henry invaded Wales in three points at
once, himself commanding one division of his army, the second being
headed by the Prince, the third by Lord Arundel. The details of these
measures, under the personal superintendence of the King, are not
found in history. Probably Walsingham's account of their total failure
must be admitted as nearest the truth. That no material injury befel
Owyn from them, and that neither were his means crippled, nor his
resolution daunted, is testified by the inroads which, not long after,
he made into England with redoubled impetuosity.

                   [Footnote 133: A general mistake has prevailed
                   among historians with regard to this prisoner of
                   Owyn's. Walsingham, Stowe, Hall, Rapin, Hume,
                   Sharon Turner, with others, have uniformly
                   represented Edmund Earl of March to have been the
                   notable warrior then captured by Glyndowr; whereas
                   he was only ten years of age, and a prisoner of the
                   King. Dr. Griffin, a Monmouthshire antiquary,
                   pointed out the mistake many years ago.]

                   [Footnote 134: On the 14th of July the council
                   issue commands to the Archbishop of Canterbury and
                   the Bishop of Norwich to array their clergy for the
                   defence of the realm; a measure seldom resorted to,
                   and only on occasions of great emergence and alarm.
                   A fortnight before this order (30th June), the King
                   had written from Harborough to his council,
                   acquainting them with the victory gained for him
                   over the Scots at Nisbet Moor by the Scotch Earl of
                   March, and commanding them to protect the marches.]

                   [Footnote 135: The Monk of Evesham says that in
                   this year, about August 29, (Festum Decollationis
                   Johannis Bapt.) the King went again with a great
                   force into Wales, and after twenty days returned
                   with disgrace.]

                   [Footnote 136: An order, dated Ravensdale, is made
                   on the sheriff of Lincoln to be ready,
                   notwithstanding the last order, to go towards the
                   marches of Scotland; and, if the Scots should not
                   come, then to be at Shrewsbury on the 1st of

                   [Footnote 137: Walsingham's words would seem to
                   apply more fitly to this second and more important
                   expedition of 1402 than the preceding one in July:
                   "Tantus armorum strepitus."]

The following winter, we may safely conclude, was spent by the Welsh
chieftain in negociations both with the malcontent lords of England,
and with the courts of France and Scotland; in recruiting his forces
and improving his means of warfare;[138] for, before the next
midsummer, (as we know on the best authority,) he was prepared to
engage in an expedition into England, with a power too formidable  (p. 134)
for the Prince and his retinue to resist without further reinforcement.
During this winter also a most important accession accrued to the
power and influence of Owyn by the defection from the royal cause of
his prisoner Sir Edmund Mortimer, who became devotedly attached to
him. King Henry had, we are told, refused to allow a ransom to be paid
for Mortimer, though urged to it by Henry Percy, who had married
Mortimer's sister. The consequence of this ungracious refusal[139]
was, that he joined Glyndowr, whose daughter, as the Monk of Evesham
informs us, he married with the greatest solemnity about the end of
November.[140] In a fortnight after this marriage, Mortimer announced
to his tenants his junction with Owyn, and called upon them to forward
his views. The letter, written in French, is preserved in the British

                   [Footnote 138: On 20th October 1402, a commission
                   issued to receive into their allegiance and amnesty
                   the rebels of Usk, Caerleon, and Trellech, in

                   [Footnote 139: Leland, in his Collectanea, quotes a
                   passage from another chronicler, which records the
                   very words of Percy and the King on this occasion.
                   Percy asked the King's permission for Mortimer to
                   be ransomed, to whom the King replied that he would
                   not strengthen his enemies against himself by the
                   money of the realm. Percy then said, "Ought any man
                   so to expose himself to danger for you and your
                   kingdom, and you not succour him in his danger?"
                   The King answered in wrath, "You are a traitor; do
                   you wish me to succour the enemies of myself and of
                   my kingdom?"--"I am no traitor," rejoined Percy;
                   "but a faithful man, and as a faithful man I
                   speak." The King drew his rapier against him. "Not
                   here," said Percy, "but in the field;" and

                   [Footnote 140: Circa festum Sancti Andreæ.]

     LETTER FROM EDMUND MORTIMER TO HIS TENANTS.                   (p. 135)

     "Very dear and well-beloved, I greet you much, and make known to
     you that Oweyn Glyndor has raised a quarrel, of which the object
     is, if King Richard be alive, to restore him to his crown; and if
     not, that my honoured nephew, who is the right heir to the said
     crown, shall be King of England, and that the said Owen will
     assert his right in Wales. And I, seeing and considering that the
     said quarrel is good and reasonable, have consented to join in
     it, and to aid and maintain it, and, by the grace of God, to a
     good end. Amen! I ardently hope, and from my heart, that you will
     support and enable me to bring this struggle of mine to a
     successful issue. I have moreover to inform you that the
     lordships of Mellenyth, Werthrenon, Raydre, the commot of Udor,
     Arwystly, Keveilloc, and Kereynon, are lately come into our
     possession. Wherefore I moreover entreat you that you will
     forbear making inroad into my said lands, or to do any damage to
     my said tenantry, and that you furnish them with provisions at a
     certain reasonable price, as you would wish that I should treat
     you; and upon this point be pleased to send me an answer. Very
     dear and well-beloved, God give you grace to prosper in your
     beginnings, and to arrive at a happy issue.--Written at
     Mellenyth, the 13th day of December.
                                         "EDMUND MORTIMER."

     "To my very dear and well-beloved M. John Greyndor, Howell Vaughan,
     and all the gentles and commons of Radnor and Prestremde."[141]

                   [Footnote 141: Cott. Cleop. F. iii. fol. 122, b.]

Of the Prince himself, between the end of August 1402, and the
following spring, little is recorded. In March 1403 he was made
Lieutenant of Wales by the King, and with the consent of his       (p. 136)
council, with full powers of inquiring into offences, of pardoning
offenders, of arraying the King's lieges, and of doing all other things
which he should find necessary. This appointment, implying personal
interference, would lead us to infer, either that he tarried through the
winter in the midst of the Principality, or near its borders, or that he
returned to it early in the spring.[142] To this year also we shall
probably be correct in referring the following letter of Prince Henry
to the council, dated Shrewsbury, 30th May; but which Sir Harris
Nicolas considers to have been written the year before. That it could
not have been written by the Prince at Shrewsbury on the 30th of May
1402, seems demonstrable from the circumstance of his having been
personally present in the Tower of London on the 8th of May, and of
his having executed a deed in the Castle of Tutbury on the 26th of May
1402. Whilst the probability of its having been written in the end of
May 1403, is much strengthened by the ordinance of the King, dated
June 16, 1403, in which he mentions the reports which he had received
from the Prince's council then in Wales of Owyn Glyndowr's intention
to invade England; and also by the order made July 10, 1403, by the
King, that the council would send 1000_l._ to the Prince, to       (p. 137)
enable him to keep his people together,--the very object chiefly
desired in this despatch. The letter is in French.

                   [Footnote 142: On the 1st of April 1403, the King
                   most earnestly requests loans from bishops, abbots,
                   knights, and others, in the sums severally affixed
                   to their names, to enable him to proceed against
                   the Welsh and the Scots.]



     "Very dear and entirely well-beloved, we greet you well. And
     forasmuch as our soldiers desire to know from us whether they
     will be paid for the three months of the present quarter, and
     tell us that they will not remain here without being promptly
     paid their wages according to their agreements, we beseech you
     very sincerely that you will order payment for the said months,
     or supply us otherwise, and take measures in time for the
     safeguard of these marches. For the rebels are trying to find out
     every day whether we shall be paid, and they well know that
     without payment we shall not be able to continue here: and they
     propose to levy all the power of Northwales and Southwales to
     make inroads, and to destroy the march and the counties adjoining
     to it; and we have not the power here of resisting them, so as to
     hinder them from the full execution of their malicious designs.
     And when our men are withdrawn from us, we must at all events
     ourselves retire into England, or be disgraced for ever. For
     every one must know that without troops we can do no more than
     another man of inferior rank. And at present we have very great
     expenses, and we have raised the largest sum in our power to meet
     them from our little stock of jewels. Our two castles of Harlech
     and Lampadern are besieged, and have been so for a long time, and
     we must relieve them and victual them within these ten days; and,
     besides that, protect the march around us with the third of our
     forces against the invasion of the rebels. Nevertheless, if this
     campaign could be continued, the rebels never were so likely  (p. 138)
     to be destroyed as at present. And now, since we have fully shown
     the state of these districts, please to take such measures as shall
     seem best to you for the safety of these same parts, and of this
     portion of the realm of England; which may God protect, and give
     you grace to determine upon the best for the time. And our Lord
     have you in his keeping.--Given under our signet at Shrewsbury,
     the 30th day of May. And be well assured that we have fully shown
     to you the peril of whatever may happen hereafter, if remedy be
     not sent in time.

On this letter it is impossible not to remark that, so far from having
an abundant supply of money to squander on his supposed vices and
follies, Henry was compelled to pawn his own little stock of plate and
jewels to raise money for the indispensable expenses of the war.

The first direct mention made of the Prince after this is found in the
ordinance above referred to, dated June 16, 1403, which informs us
that he certainly was then in Wales, and strongly implies that he had
been there for some time previously. The King says, "I heard from many
persons of my son the Prince's council, now in Wales, that Owyn Glyndowr
is on the point of making an incursion into England with a great power,
for the purpose of obtaining supplies. I therefore command the sheriffs
of Gloucester, Salop, Worcester, and Hereford, to make proclamation for
all knights, and gentlemen of one hundred shillings' annual income, to
go and put themselves under the governance of the Prince." Another
letter from Henry to his council, dated Higham Ferrers, July 10,   (p. 139)
1403,[143] is deeply interesting, not only as bearing testimony to the
persevering bravery of his son Henry, but as affording an example of
the uncertainty of human calculations, and the deceitfulness of human
engagements and friendships. He informs the council that he had received
letters from his son, and information by his messengers, acquainting him
with the gallant and good bearing of his very dear and well-beloved
son, which gave him very great pleasure. He then commissions them to
pay 1000_l._[144] to the Prince for the purpose of enabling him to
keep his soldiers together. "We are now," he adds, "on our way to
succour our beloved and loyal cousins, the Earl of Northumberland and
Henry his son, in the conflict which they have honourably undertaken
for us and our realm; and, as soon as that campaign shall have ended
honourably, with the aid of God, we will hasten towards Wales."[145]

                   [Footnote 143: The Pell Rolls (July 17, 1403)
                   record the appointment of the Prince as the King's
                   deputy in Wales, to see justice done on all rebels,
                   and the payment of a sum amounting to 8108_l._
                   2_s._ 0_d._ for the wages of four barons and
                   bannerets, twenty knights, four hundred and
                   seventy-six esquires, and two thousand five hundred

                   [Footnote 144: On the next day, July 11, the King
                   issued a proclamation against selling horses, or
                   armour and weapons, to the Welsh.]

                   [Footnote 145: Astonishing confusion pervades
                   almost all our historians as to the circumstances
                   under which Henry IV. first became acquainted with
                   the defection of the Percies, and then hastened to
                   resist their hostilities; and most absurd
                   inferences as to the national interest taken in the
                   ensuing struggle have in consequence been drawn.
                   The King is almost universally represented as
                   having left London, accompanied by all the forces
                   he could, after much preparation, command, for the
                   express purpose of quelling the rebellion of the
                   Percies; whereas he left London for the express
                   purpose of joining his forces to those of the
                   Percies, and to proceed, in conjunction with them,
                   against the Scots; and he had never heard of their
                   defection till he reached Burton-upon-Trent. The
                   news came upon him with the suddenness of an
                   unexpected thunderstorm.]

This letter had not been written more than five days when King     (p. 140)
Henry became acquainted with the rebellion of those, his "beloved and
faithful lieges," to assist whom against his northern foes he was then
actually on his road. His proclamation for all sheriffs to raise their
counties, and hasten to him wherever he might be, is dated
Burton-on-Trent, July 16, 1403. On the morrow he sent off a despatch
to his council, informing them that Henry Percy, calling him only
Henry of Lancaster, was in open rebellion against him, and was
spreading far and wide through Cheshire the false rumours that Richard
was still alive. He then assures them, "for their consolation," that
he was powerful enough to encounter all his enemies; at the same time
expressing his pleasure that they should all come to him wherever he
might be, except only the Treasurer, whom he wished to stay, for the
purpose of collecting as large sums as possible to meet the exigence
of the occasion. The Chancellor, on Wednesday, June 18th, met the
bearer of these tidings before he reached London, opened the letters,
and forwarded them to the council with an apology.[146]

                   [Footnote 146: Minutes of Privy Council.]

CHAPTER VIII.                                                      (p. 141)



In analysing the motives which drove the Percies, father and son, into
rebellion, we are recommended by some writers to search only into
those antecedent probabilities, those general causes of mutual
dissatisfaction, which must have operated on parties situated as they
were with regard to Henry IV. The same authors would dissuade us from
seeking for any immediate and proximate causes, because "chroniclers
have not discovered or detailed the beginning incidents." But we shall
scarcely be able to do justice to our subject if we strictly follow
this prescribed rule of inquiry. The general causes enumerated     (p. 142)
by Hume, and expatiated upon in modern times, we may take for granted.
Undoubtedly ingratitude on the one side, and discontent on the other,
were not only to be expected, but, as we know, actually prevailed.
"The sovereign naturally became jealous of that power which had advanced
him to the throne, and the subject was not easily satisfied in the
returns which he thought so great a favour had merited." But we are by
no means left to conjecture abstractedly on the "beginning incidents,"
as the proximate causes of the open revolt of the family of Percy have
been called: Hotspur's own letters, as well as those of his father
Northumberland, the existence of which seems not to have been known to
our historians, prepare us for much of what actually took place. We
have already observed the indications of wounded pride, and indignation,
and utter discontent, which Hotspur's despatches from Wales evince.
Another communication, dated Swyneshed, in Lincolnshire, July 3, is more
characteristic of his temper of mind than the preceding, and makes his
subsequent conduct still more easily understood.[147] Sir Harris   (p. 143)
Nicolas has so clearly analysed this letter, that we may well content
ourselves with the substance of it as we find it in his valuable

                   [Footnote 147: The date of this letter is not
                   ascertained; it probably was in the July of 1402.
                   It could scarcely have been in 1401, in which year
                   he was certainly in Wales in June, and was
                   appointed a commissioner for negociating a peace
                   with Scotland on the 1st of September. In the
                   beginning of July 1403 he was in Wales, or on its
                   borders, negociating perhaps with Owyn Glyndowr's
                   representatives, and in Cheshire exciting the
                   people to rebellion.]

"Hotspur commenced by reminding the council of his repeated applications
for payment of the money due to him as Warden of the East March; and
then alluded to the other sums owing to his father and himself, and to
the promise made by the treasurer, when he was last in London, that,
if it were agreeable to the council, 2,000 marks should be paid him
before the February then last past. He said he had heard that at the
last parliament, when the necessities of the realm were explained by
the lords of the great council to the barons and commons, the war
allowance was demanded for all the marches, Calais, Guienne and Scotland,
the sea, and Ireland; that the proposition for the Scotch marches was
limited to 37,000_l._; and that, as the payment for the marches in
time of truce, due to his father and to him, did not exceed 5,000_l._
per annum, it excited his astonishment that it could not be paid in
good faith; that it appeared to him either that the council attached
too little consideration to the said marches, where the most formidable
enemies which they had would be found, or that they were not satisfied
with his and his father's services therein; but, if they made proper
inquiry, he hoped that the greatest neglect they would discover in the
marches was the neglect of payment, without which they would find no
one who could render such service. On this subject he had, he      (p. 144)
said, written to the King, entreating him that, if any injury occurred
to town, castle, or march, in his charge, from default of payment, he
might not be blamed; but that the censure should rest on those who would
not pay him, agreeably to his Majesty's honourable command and desire.
He begged the council not to be displeased that he wrote ignorantly in
his rude and feeble manner on this subject, because he was compelled
to do so by the necessities not merely of himself, but of his soldiers,
who were in such distress, that, without providing a remedy, he neither
could nor dared to go to the marches; and he concluded by requesting the
council to take such measures as they might think proper."

Two letters from the Earl of Northumberland, the one to the council in
May, the other to the King, dated 26th June 1403, breathe the same
spirit with those of his son Hotspur, and would have led us to
anticipate the same subsequent conduct; at least they ought to have
prepared the King and council for the resentments of two such men,
overflowing with bitter indignation at the neglect and injustice with
which they considered themselves to have been treated.

"The last of these letters (we quote throughout the words of the same
Editor) is extremely curious. Northumberland commenced by acknowledging
the receipt of a letter from the King, wherein Henry has expressed (p. 145)
his expectation that the Earl would be at Ormeston Castle on the day
appointed, and in sufficient force, without creating any additional
expense to his Majesty; but that, on consideration, the King, reflecting
that this could not be the case without expenses being incurred by the
Earl and his son Hotspur, had ordered some money to be speedily sent
to them. Of that money the Earl said he knew not the amount, nor the
day of payment; that his honour, as well as the state of the kingdom,
was in question; and that the day on which he was to be at Ormeston
was so near, that, if payment was not soon ordered, it was very
probable that the fair renown of the chivalry of the realm would not
be maintained at that place, to the utter dishonour and grief of him
and of his son, who were the King's loyal subjects; which they
believed could not be his wish, nor had they deserved it. 'If,' the
Earl sarcastically observed, 'we had both been paid the 60,000_l._
since your coronation, as I have heard you were informed by those who
do not wish to tell you the truth, then we could better support such a
charge; but to this day there is clearly due to us, as can be fully
proved, 20,000_l._ and more'. He then entreated the King to order his
council and treasurer to pay him and his son a large sum conformably
to the grant made in the last parliament, and to their indentures, so
that no injury might arise to the realm by the non-payment of what was
due to them.' To this letter he signed himself 'Your Matathias,    (p. 146)
who supplicates you to take his state and labour to heart in this

There is so much sound reasoning also and good sense in the review of
these proceedings, presented to us by the same pen, that we cannot do
better than adopt it. The Author's subsequent researches have all
tended to confirm that Editor's view:

"This letter preceded the rebellion of the Percies by less than four
weeks; and that event may, it is presumed, be mainly attributed to the
inattention shown to their requests of payment of the large sums which
they had expended in the King's service. They were not only harassed
by debts, and destitute of means to pay their followers, but their
honour, as the Earl expressly told the King, was involved in the
fulfilment of their engagements; a breach of which not only exposed
them to the greatest difficulties, but, in the opinion of their
chivalrous contemporaries, perhaps affected their reputation. That
under these circumstances, and goaded by a sense of injury and injustice,
the fiery Hotspur should throw off his allegiance, and revolt, is not
surprising; but it is matter of astonishment that Henry should have
hazarded such a result. To the house of Percy he was chiefly indebted
for the crown; and it is scarcely credible that at the moment of their
defection it could have been his policy to offend them. The country
was at war with France and Scotland, Wales was then in open rebellion,
and Henry was far from satisfied of the general loyalty of his     (p. 147)
subjects. Can it be believed that he desired to increase his enemies
by adding the most powerful family in the kingdom to the number? Nor
can Henry's constant efforts to prevent the people from becoming
disaffected, be reconciled with the wish to excite discontent in two
of the most influential and distinguished personages in the realm. It
is shown in another part of this volume, (Minutes of Privy Council,)
that the King had not the slightest suspicion of Hotspur's revolt
until it took place; and it appears that, when he heard of it, he was
actually on his route to join that chieftain, and, to use his own
words to his council, 'to give aid and support to his very dear and
loyal cousins, the Earl of Northumberland and his son Henry, in the
expedition which they had honourably commenced for him and his realm
against his enemies the Scotch.' Instead of refusing to pay to the
Percies the money which they claimed, from the desire to lessen their
power, or to inflict upon them any species of mortification, all which
is known of the state of this country justifies the inference that
Henry had the strongest motives for conciliating that family. The
neglect of their repeated demands seems, therefore, to have arisen
solely from his being unable[148] to comply with them; and the     (p. 148)
King's pecuniary embarrassments are shown by the documents in this
work to have been of so pressing and so permanent a nature, that there
is no difficulty in believing such to have been the case. It is deserving
of observation, however, that the discontent which is visible in the
letters of Hotspur and his father, is as much at the conduct of the
council as at that of the King; and jealousy of their superior influence
with Henry, and possibly a suspicion that they endeavoured to injure
them in his estimation, as well as to impede their exertions in his
service, by withholding the necessary resources, may have combined
with other causes in producing their disaffection."[149]

                   [Footnote 148: The fact is, that in the years
                   immediately preceding their defection, the Issue
                   Rolls of the Exchequer abound with items of
                   payment, some to a very large amount, to the Earl
                   of Northumberland and his son. The names of both
                   the father and the son, sometimes separately, often
                   jointly, recur so constantly that they can scarcely
                   escape the observation even of a cursory glance
                   over the Rolls. Generally the payment is for the
                   protection of the East March and Berwick; in some
                   instances, for defending the castle of Beaumaris,
                   and the island of Anglesea. On the 17th July 1403,
                   payment is recorded of precisely the same sum to
                   the two Percies for their services in the North
                   March, and to the Prince for the protection of
                   Wales; in each case, no doubt, falling far short of
                   the requisite amount, but in each case probably as
                   much as the Exchequer could afford to supply.]

                   [Footnote 149: Preface to Sir H. Nicolas's Privy
                   Council of England, p. 4.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Not Shakspeare only, in his highly-wrought scene at the Archdeacon of
Bangor's house, but our historians also and their commentators,
instruct us to refer to a point of time very little subsequent to the
date of the last letter from the Earl of Northumberland the celebrated
TRIPARTITE INDENTURE OF DIVISION. Shakspeare has traced, with      (p. 149)
such exquisite designs and shades of colouring, the different characters
of the contracting parties in their acts and sentiments, and has
thrown such vividness and life and beauty into the whole procedure,
that the imagination is led captive, superinducing an unwillingness to
doubt the reality; and the mind reluctantly engages in an examination
of the truth. But, consistently with the principles adopted in these
Memoirs, the Author is compelled to sift the evidence on which the
genuineness of the treaty depends. The document, if it could have been
established as trustworthy, could not have failed to be interesting to
every one as a fact in general history, whilst the English and Welsh
antiquary must in an especial manner have been gratified by being made
acquainted with its particular provisions. At all events, whatever
opinion may be ultimately formed of its character as the vehicle of
historical verity, it is in itself too important, and has been too
widely recognised, to be passed over in these pages without notice.

Sir Henry Ellis, to whom we are indebted for having first called
attention to the specific stipulations of this alleged treaty, with
his accustomed perspicuity and succinctness thus introduces the
subject to his reader:

"Sir Edmund Mortimer's letter is dated December 13 (1402), and the
Tripartite Indenture of Partition was not fully agreed upon till
toward the middle of the next year. The negociation for the        (p. 150)
partition of the kingdom seems to have originated with Mortimer and
Glyndowr only. The battle of Shrewsbury was fought on July 21st, 1403.
The manuscript chronicle, already named, compiled by one of the
chaplains[150] to King Henry V, gives the particulars of the final
treaty, signed at the house of the Archdeacon of Bangor, more amply
than they can be found elsewhere. The expectation declared in this
treaty that the contracting parties would turn out to be those spoken
of by Merlin, who were to divide amongst them the Greater Britain, as
it is called, corroborates the story told by Hall. The whole passage
is here submitted to the reader's perusal: the words are evidently
those of the treaty." The reader is then furnished with a copy of the
Latin original: but, since no point of the general question as to its
genuineness appears to be affected by the words employed, the
following translation is substituted in its place.

                   [Footnote 150: That this chronicle was not compiled
                   by one of Henry V.'s chaplains, is shown in the


     "This year, the Earl of Northumberland made a league and covenant
     and friendship with Owyn Glyndwr and Edmund Mortimer, son of the
     late Edmund Earl of March, in certain articles of the form and
     tenor following:--In the first place, that these Lords, Owyn, the
     Earl, and Edmund, shall henceforth be mutually joined, confederate,
     united, and bound by the bond of a true league and true       (p. 151)
     friendship, and sure and good union. Again, that every of these
     Lords shall will and pursue, and also procure, the honour and
     welfare one of another; and shall, in good faith, hinder any losses
     and distresses which shall come to his knowledge, by any one
     whatsoever intended to be inflicted on either of them. Every one,
     also, of them shall act and do with another all and every those
     things which ought to be done by good, true, and faithful friends
     to good, true, and faithful friends, laying aside all deceit and
     fraud. Also, if ever any of the said Lords shall know and learn of
     any loss or damage intended against another by any persons whatsoever,
     he shall signify it to the others as speedily as possible, and assist
     them in that particular, that each may take such measures as may
     seem good against such malicious purposes; and they shall be anxious
     to prevent such injuries in good faith; also, they shall assist
     each other to the utmost of their power in the time of necessity.
     Also, if by God's appointment it should appear to the said Lords
     in process of time that they are the same persons of whom the
     Prophet speaks, between whom the government of the Greater Britain
     ought to be divided and parted, then they and every of them shall
     labour to their utmost to bring this effectually to be accomplished.
     Each of them, also, shall be content with that portion of the
     kingdom aforesaid limited as below, without further exaction or
     superiority; yea, each of them in such portion assigned to him
     shall enjoy equal liberty. Also, between the same Lords it is
     unanimously covenanted and agreed that the said Owyn and his heirs
     shall have the whole of Cambria or Wales, by the borders, limits,
     and boundaries underwritten divided from Leogoed which is commonly
     called England; namely, from the Severn sea, as the river Severn
     leads from the sea, going down to the north gate of the city of
     Worcester; and from that gate straight to the ash-trees, commonly
     called in the Cambrian or Welsh language Ouuene Margion, which
     grow on the high way from Bridgenorth to Kynvar; thence by    (p. 152)
     the high way direct, which is usually called the old or ancient way
     to the head or source of the river Trent; thence to the head or
     source of the river Meuse; thence as that river leads to the sea,
     going down within the borders, limits, and boundaries above written.
     And the aforesaid Earl of Northumberland shall have for himself
     and his heirs the counties below written, namely, Northumberland,
     Westmoreland, Lancashire, York, Lincoln, Nottingham, Derby,
     Stafford, Leicester, Northampton, Warwick, and Norfolk. And the
     Lord Edmund shall have all the rest of the whole of England
     entirely to him and his heirs. Also, should any battle, riot, or
     discord fall out between two of the said Lords, (may it never be!)
     then the third of the said Lords, calling to himself good and
     faithful counsel, shall duly rectify such discord, riot, and battle;
     whose approval or sentence the discordant parties shall be held
     bound to obey. They shall also be faithful to defend the kingdom
     against all men; saving the oak on the part of the said Owyn given
     to the most illustrious Prince Charles, by the grace of God King
     of the French, in the league and covenant between them made. And
     that the same be, all and singular, well and faithfully observed,
     the said Lords, Owyn, the Earl, and Edmund, by the holy body of
     the Lord which they now stedfastly look upon, and by the holy
     Gospels of God by them now bodily touched, have sworn to observe
     the premises all and singular to their utmost, inviolably; and
     have caused their seals to be mutually affixed thereto."

The above learned Editor of this instrument (to whose labours in rescuing
from oblivion so many original documents relative to these times we
are repeatedly induced to acknowledge our obligations,) seems to have
fallen into some serious mistakes here. Either influenced by the
fascinating reminiscences of Shakspeare's representations, or      (p. 153)
following Hall with too implicit a confidence, he has altogether
overlooked the date assigned in the manuscript itself to the execution
of this partition deed, and the persons between whom the agreement is
there said to have been made. So far from countenancing the assumption
that "the indenture was finally agreed upon towards the middle of the
year next after the date of Edmund Mortimer's letter announcing his
junction with Owyn (December 14th, 1402)," the manuscript expressly
states that the covenant was made on the 28th of February,[151] in the
fourth year of Henry IV; and that the contracting parties were Henry
Earl of Northumberland, Sir Edmund Mortimer, and Owyn Glyndowr. Hall,
on whom there exists strong reason for believing that Shakspeare
rested as his authority, asserts that the contracting parties were
Glyndowr, the LORD PERCY (by which title he throughout designates
Hotspur), and the EARL OF MARCH. Hall's expressions would lead us to
infer that the circumstance was not generally recognised or known  (p. 154)
by the chroniclers before his time, but was recorded by one only of
those with whose writings he was acquainted. "A certain writer," he
says, "writeth that this Earl of March, the Lord Percy, and Owyn
Glyndowr were unwisely made believe by a Welsh prophesier that King
Henry was the Moldwarp cursed of God's own mouth, and that they were
the Dragon, the Lion, and the Wolf which should divide the realm
between them, by the deviation, not divination, of that mawmet Merlin."
Hall then proceeds to tell us that the tripartite indenture was sealed
by the deputies of the three parties in the Archdeacon's house; and
that, by the treaty, Wales was given to Owyn, all England from Severn
and Trent southward and eastward, was assigned to the Earl of March,
and the remnant to Lord Percy.

                   [Footnote 151: This date cannot have been earlier
                   than February 1404, nor later than 1405. If we
                   interpret the words of the MS. to mean the regnal
                   year of Henry IV, the date will be the first of
                   those two years; if it was the February subsequent
                   to the election of Pope Innocent, October 1404,
                   immediately after noticing which the MS. records
                   this treaty, it will be the latter. The copy of
                   this manuscript agrees in all points with the
                   Sloane, except that it refers it to the 18th
                   instead of the 28th of February.]

The strange confusion made either by Hall, or "the certain writer"
from whom he draws his story, of Owyn's prisoner and son-in-law, Edmund
Mortimer, with the Earl of March his nephew, then a minor in the King's
safe custody, throws doubtless great suspicion on his narrative;
nevertheless, such as it is, (allowing for that mistake,) his account
seems far more probable than the statement given in the Sloane
manuscript,--the only authority, it is presumed, now known to have
reported the alleged words of the treaty. It is much more likely, that
the project of dividing South Britain among the houses of Glyndowr,
Mortimer, and Percy, should have been entertained before the       (p. 155)
battle of Shrewsbury, when the Earl of Worcester's malicious love of
mischief might have suggested it, and Hotspur's headstrong impetuosity
might have caught at the scheme, and their troops, not yet dispirited
by defeat, might have been sanguine of success, than after that struggle,
when the old Earl of Northumberland[152] was the only representative of
the house of Percy who could have signed it. The cause of Owyn, Mortimer,
and Northumberland had so sunk into its wane after Hotspur's death,
that they could then scarcely have contemplated as a thing feasible
the division of the fair realm of England and Wales among themselves.
Of the authority of the manuscript from which the indenture is
extracted, the Author (for reasons stated in the Appendix) is      (p. 156)
compelled to form a very low estimate. And if such a deed ever was
signed, it is far less improbable that the manuscript (full, as it
confessedly is elsewhere, of errors) should have inserted it incorrectly
in point of chronological order, than that the contracting parties
should have postponed their contemplated arrangement to a period when
success must have appeared almost beyond hope. Independently, however,
of the suspicion cast on the document by the date assigned to it in
the manuscript, it seems to carry with it internal evidence against
itself. The contract was made by Edmund Mortimer, the Earl of
Northumberland, and Owyn, and among them the land was to be divided;
but, so far from the report of such an intended distribution being
corroborated by any other authority, there is much evidence to render
it incredible. Edmund Mortimer's own genuine letter, for example,
announcing his adhesion to Owyn, which preceded this agreement, makes
no allusion to the Percies, or even to himself, as portionists. "The
cause," he says, "which he espoused would guarantee to Owyn his rights
in Wales, and, in case Richard were dead, would place the Earl of
March on the throne." It is, indeed, scarcely conceivable that the
nobles, the gentry, and the people at large would have suffered their
land to be cut up into portions, destroying the integrity of the
kingdom, and exposing it with increased facilities to foreign      (p. 157)
invasion, and interminable intestine warfare; whilst neither of the
three who were to share the spoil had any pretensions of title to the
crown. It is scarcely less inconceivable that three men, such as
Mortimer, Glyndowr, and Northumberland, could have seriously devised
so desperate a scheme.

                   [Footnote 152: Nevertheless, it should be
                   remembered that many ancient accounts mention the
                   Earl of Northumberland's visit to Glyndowr
                   subsequently to his return from the flight into
                   Scotland, and that the French auxiliaries invaded
                   England under Glyndowr's standard long after the
                   battle of Shrewsbury. It was on the last day of
                   February 1408, that Rokeby, Sheriff of Yorkshire,
                   compelled Northumberland and Lord Bardolf to engage
                   with him in the field of Bramham Moor, when the
                   Earl fell in battle, and Lord Bardolf died of his
                   wounds. The Earl's head, covered with the snows of
                   age, was exposed on London Bridge. The people
                   lamented his fate when they recalled to mind his
                   former magnificence and glory. Many (says
                   Walsingham) applied to him the lines of Lucan:

                         Sed nos nec sanguis, nec tantum vulnera nostri
                         Afficere senis, quantum gestata per urbem
                         Ora ducis, quæ transfixo deformia pilo

On the whole, the Author is disposed to express his suspicion that the
entire story of the tripartite league is the creature only of
invention, originating in some inexplicable mistake, or fabricated for
the purpose of exciting feelings of contempt or hostility against the

       *       *       *       *       *

In examining the various accounts of the battle of Shrewsbury with a
view of putting together ascertained facts in right order, and
distinguishing between certainty,--strong probability,--mere
surmise,--improbabilities,--and utter mistakes, we shall find it far
more easy to point out the errors of others, than to adopt one general
view which shall not in its turn be open to objections. Still, in any
important course of events, it seems to be a dereliction of duty in an
author to shrink from offering the most probable outline of facts
which the careful comparison of different statements, and a patient
weighing of opposite authorities, suggest. Before, however, we enter
upon that task, it will be necessary to clear the way by examining
some other questions of doubt and difficulty.

To Mr. Hume's inaccuracies, arising from the want of patient       (p. 158)
labour in searching for truth at the fountain-head, we have been led
to refer above. His readiness to rest satisfied with whatever first
offered itself, provided it suited his present purpose, without either
scrutinizing its internal evidence, or verifying it by reference to
earlier and better authority, is forced upon our notice in his account
of the battle of Shrewsbury. Just one half of the entire space which
he spares to record the whole affair, he devotes to a minute detail of
the manifesto which Hotspur is said to have sent to the King on the
night before the battle, in the name of his father, his uncle, and
himself. This document, at least in the terms quoted by Mr. Hume, is
proved as well by its own internal self-contradictions, as by historical
facts, to be a forgery of a much later date.

The first charge which the manifesto is made to bring against Henry
is, that, after his landing at Ravenspurg, he swore on the Gospel that
he only sought his own rightful inheritance, that he would never
disturb Richard in his possession of the throne, and that never would
he aim at being King. And yet another item charges him with having
sworn on the same day, and at the same place, and on the same Gospel,
an oath (the very terms of which imply that he was to be King) that he
never would exact tenths or fifteenths without consent of the three
estates, except in cases of extreme emergence. Again, "It complained
of his cruel policy (says Mr. Hume, without adding a single remark,)
in allowing the young Earl of March, whom he ought to regard as    (p. 159)
his sovereign, to remain a captive in the hands of his enemies, and
in even refusing to all his friends permission to treat of his ransom;"
whilst it is beyond all question that the person whom this pretended
manifesto confounds with the Earl of March, "taken in pitched battle,"
was Sir Edmund Mortimer. The Earl of March was himself then a boy, and
was in close custody in Henry's castle of Windsor. The manifesto, as
Hume quotes it, is evidently full of historical blunders; its author
had followed those historians who had confounded Edmund Mortimer with
the Earl of March; and yet Mr. Hume adopts it on the authority of
Hall, and gives it so prominent a place in his work.

But even as the manifesto is found in its original form in Hardyng,
(though the blunders copied by Hume from Hall[153] do not appear there
in all their extravagance and absurdity,) something attaches to it
exceedingly suspicious as to its character and circumstances.
Independently of the internal evidence of the document itself, which
will repay a careful scrutiny, the very fact of Hardyng having
withheld even the most distant allusion to such a manifesto in the
copy of his work which he presented to Henry VI, the grandson of   (p. 160)
the King whose character the manifesto was designed to blast, at a
time so much nearer the event, when the reality or the falsehood of
his statement might have been more easily ascertained, contrasts very
strikingly with the forced and unnatural manner in which, many years
after, he abruptly thrusts the manifesto in Latin prose into the midst
of his English poem. He then[154] desired to please Edward IV, to whom
any adverse reflection on Bolinbroke would be acceptable.

                   [Footnote 153: Hall says, "Because no chronicle
                   save one makes mention what was the cause and
                   occasion of this bloody battle, in the which on
                   both parts were more than forty thousand men
                   assembled, I word for word, according to my copy,
                   do here rehearse." He then gives the heads of the
                   manifesto, from which Hume has drawn his account.]

                   [Footnote 154: The fact is, that Hardyng's
                   character is assailable, especially on the point of
                   forging documents. "Several writers have considered
                   Hardyng a most dexterous and notable forger, who
                   manufactured the deed for which he sought
                   reward."[154-a] The first manuscript, the Lansdown,
                   containing no allusion to this said manifesto,
                   comes down to 1436. The Harleian copy, which
                   contains it, comes down to the flight of Henry VI.
                   for Scotland. In the Lansdown copy not one word is
                   said about the oath sworn on Bolinbroke's landing,
                   nor about the manifesto.]

                       [Footnote 154-a: See Sir H. Ellis's Introduction to
                       his edition of Hardyng.]

The document, however, itself savours strongly of forgery. In the
first place, it purports to be signed and sealed by Henry Percy, Earl
of Northumberland, (though the Earl at that time was in Northumberland,)
Henry Percy, his first-born son, and Thomas Earl of Worcester, styling
themselves Procurators and Protectors of the kingdom. Should this
apparent contradiction be thought to be reconciled with the truth by
what Hardyng mentions, that the document was made by good advice   (p. 161)
of the Archbishop of York, and divers other holy men and lords; it
must be answered that it could not have been drawn up for the purpose
of being used whenever an opportunity might offer, for, in the name of
the three, it challenges the King, and declares that they will prove
the allegations "_on this day_," "_on this instant day_," twice repeated.
Evidently the writer of the document had his mind upon the fatal day of

Again, one of their principal charges seems to have emanated from a
person totally ignorant of some facts which must have been known to
the Percies, and which are established by documents still in our
hands. The words of the clause to which we refer run thus: "We aver
and intend to prove, that whereas Edmund Mortimer, brother of the Earl
of March, was taken by Owyn Glyndowr in mortal battle, in the open
field, and has UP TO THIS TIME[155] _been cruelly kept in prison_ and
bands of iron, in your cause, you have publicly declared him to have
been guilefully taken, [ex dolo,--willingly, as Hall quotes it, to
yield himself prisoner to the said Owyn,] and you would not suffer him
to be ransomed, neither by his own means nor by us his relatives and
friends. We have, therefore, negociated with Owyn, as well for his
ransom from our own proper goods, as also for peace between you and
Owyn. Wherefore have you regarded us as traitors, and moreover     (p. 162)
have craftily and secretly planned and imagined our death and utter

                   [Footnote 155: Adhuc.]

This clause of the manifesto declares the King to have publicly
proclaimed that Edmund Mortimer, who was taken in pitched battle, had
fraudulently given himself up to Owyn. The King's own letter to the
council[156] is totally irreconcileable with his making such a
declaration. He announces to them the news which he had just received
of Mortimer's capture, as a calamity which had made him resolve to
proceed in person against the rebels. "Tidings have reached us from
Wales, that the rebels have taken our very dear and much beloved
Edmund Mortimer." Again, the clause avers that the King had suffered
the same person, Edmund Mortimer, to be kept cruelly in prison and
iron chains _up to that time_, and would not suffer him to be
ransomed. In contradiction to this charge, we are assured by the early
chroniclers[157] that Owyn treated Mortimer with all the humanity and
respect in his power; and that because he possessed not the means of
paying a ransom, he had, as early as St. Andrew's day, (30th of
November 1402, less than six months after his capture, and nearly
eight months before the alleged delivery of the manifesto,) been
married to the daughter of Owyn with great solemnity; and, "thus   (p. 163)
turning wholly to the Welsh people, he pledged himself thereafter to
fight for them to the utmost of his power against the English."

                   [Footnote 156: Acts of Council, vol. i. p. 185.]

                   [Footnote 157: Monk of Evesham and Sloane,
                   1776.--In the passage relating to Mortimer's
                   marriage in Walsingham's history, the word "obiit"
                   is evidently an interpolation by mistake. It does
                   not occur in the corresponding passage in his
                   Ypodig. Neust.]

Another expression in this clause, incompatible with the truth, but
quite consistent with the mistakes which from very early times
prevailed as to the circumstances preceding the battle of Shrewsbury,
charges the King with having pronounced the three Percies to be
traitors, and with having secretly planned and imagined their ruin and
death; and this is said to have been signed and sealed by
Northumberland, then remaining in the north. Whereas the truth,
established beyond controversy, though little known, is, that, up to
the very day when the King announced to the council Hotspur's
rebellion,--barely four days before the battle,--he had entertained no
idea of their disloyalty. Even in his last preceding despatch he
informed the council that he was on his way "to afford aid and comfort
to his very dear and faithful cousins, the Earl of Northumberland and
his son Henry, and to join them in their expedition against the

                   [Footnote 158: Acts of Council, vol. i. p. 207.]

These considerations, among others, throw so many and such weighty
suspicions on the manifesto, that it can scarcely be regarded as
deserving of credit. Nor must the Author here disguise his conviction,
that the whole is a forgery, guiltily made for the purpose of
blackening the memory of Henry IV, and of casting odium on the     (p. 164)
dynasty of the house of Lancaster.

Another important mistake into which tradition seems to have betrayed
some very pains-taking persons is that which charges Owyn Glyndowr
with a breach of faith, and a selfish conduct, on the occasion of the
battle of Shrewsbury, utterly unworthy of any man of the slightest
pretensions to integrity and honour. He is said by Leland to have
promised Percy to be present at that struggle: he is reported by
Pennant to have remained, as if spell-bound, with twelve thousand men
at Oswestry. The History of Shrewsbury tells us of the still existing
remains of an oak at Shelton, into the top-most branches of which he
climbed to see the turn of the battle, resolving to proceed or retire
as that should be; having come with his forces to that spot time
enough to join the conflict. The question involving Owyn Glyndowr's
good faith and valour, or zeal and activity, is one of much interest,
and deserves to be patiently investigated; whilst an attentive
examination of authentic documents, and a careful comparison of dates,
are essential to the establishment of the truth. The result of the
inquiry may be new, and yet not on that account the less to be relied

That Owyn gladly promised to co-operate with the Percies, there is
every reason to regard as time; that he undertook to be with them at
Shrewsbury on that day of battle cannot, it should seem, be true.
Probably he never heard of any expectation of such an engagement,  (p. 165)
and the first news which reached him relating to it may have been
tidings of Percy's death, and the discomfiture of his troops. The
Welsh historians unsparingly charge him with having deceived his
northern friends on that day: and some assert that he remained at
Oswestry, only seventeen miles off; others that he came to the very
banks of the Severn, and tarried there in safety, consulting only his
own interest, whilst a vigorous effort on his part might have turned
the victory that day against the King. This is, perhaps, within the
verge of possibility; but is in the highest degree improbable. That
the reports have originated in an entire ignorance of Owyn's probable
position at the time, and of the sudden, unforeseen, and unexpected
character of the struggle to which Bolinbroke's instantaneous decision
forced the Percies, will evidently appear, if, instead of relying on
vague tradition, we follow in search of the reality where facts only,
or fair inferences from ascertained facts, may conduct us.

It appears, then, to be satisfactorily demonstrable by original
documents, interpreted independently of preconceived theory, that,
four days only before King Henry's proclamation against the Percies
was issued at Burton upon Trent, Owyn Glyndowr was in the extreme
divisions of Caermarthenshire, most actively and anxiously engaged in
reducing the English castles which still held out against him, and by
no means free from formidable antagonists in the field, being      (p. 166)
fully occupied at that juncture, and likely to be detained there
for some time. It must be also remembered that the King published his
proclamation as soon as ever he had himself heard of Hotspur's movements
from the north, and that even his knowledge of the hostile intentions
of the Percies preceded the very battle itself only by the brief space
of five days. This circumstance has never (it is presumed) been noticed
by any of our historians; and the examination of the whole question
involves so new and important a view of the affairs of the Principality
at that period, and bears so immediately on the charge made against
the great rebel chieftain for dastardly cowardice or gross breach of
faith, that it seems to claim in these volumes a fuller and more
minute investigation than might otherwise have been desirable or
generally interesting. The documents furnishing the facts on which we
ground our opinion, are chiefly original letters preserved in the
British Museum, and made accessible to the general reader by having
been published by Sir Henry Ellis.[159] That excellent Editor,
however, has unquestionably referred them to an earlier date than can
be truly assigned to them.[160] Independently of the material fact
which they are intended to establish, they carry with them much
intrinsic interest of their own; and although the detail of the    (p. 167)
evidence in the body of the work might seem to impede unnecessarily
the progress of the narrative, the dissertation in its detached form
is recommended to the reader's careful perusal. Should he close his
examination of those documents under the same impression which the
Author confesses they have made on himself, he will acquiesce in the
conclusion above stated, and consider this position as admitting no
reasonable doubt,--That, a few days only before the fatal battle of
Shrewsbury, Owyn Glyndowr was in the very extremity of South Wales,
engaged in attempts to reduce the enemy's garrisons, and crush his
power in those quarters; with a prospect also before him of much
similar employment in a service of great danger to himself. And when
we recollect that probably Henry Percy as little expected the King to
meet him at Shrewsbury, as the King a week before had thought to find
him or his father in any other part of the kingdom than in
Northumberland, whither he was himself on his march to join them; when
we recollect the nature and extent of the country which lies between
Pembrokeshire and Salop; and reflect also on the undisciplined state
of Owyn's "eight thousand and eight score spears, such as they were;"
instead of being surprised at his absence from Shrewsbury on the 21st
of July, and charging him with having deserted his friends and sworn
allies on that sad field, we are driven to believe that his presence
there would have savoured more of the marvellous than many of his  (p. 168)
most celebrated achievements. The simple truth breaks the spell of the
poet's picture, and forces us to unveil its fallacy, though it has
been pronounced by the historian of Shrewsbury to "form one of the
brightest ornaments of the pages of Marmion." To whatever cause we
ascribe the decline of Owyn's power, we cannot trace its origin to a
judicial visitation as the consequence of his failure in that hour of
need. The poet's imagination, creative of poetical justice, wrought
upon the tale as it was told; but that tale was not built on truth.
The lines, however, deserve to have been the vehicle of a less
ill-founded tradition.

                   [Footnote 159: Original Letters, Second Series.]

                   [Footnote 160: Those documents, with the Author's
                   remarks and reasonings upon them, will be found in
                   the Appendix.]

  "E'en from the day when chained by fate,
  By wizard's dream or potent spell,
  Lingering from sad Salopia's field,
  Reft of his aid, the Percy fell;--
  E'en from that day misfortune still,
  As if for violated faith,
  Pursued him with unwearied step,
  Vindictive still for Hotspur's death."[161]

                   [Footnote 161: Quoted by Scott in his Notes on
                   Marmion from a poem by the Rev. G. Warrington,
                   called "The Spirit's Blasted Tree."]

Those who feel an interest in tracing the localities of this battle
with a greater minuteness of detail in its circumstances than is
requisite for the purpose of these Memoirs, will do well to consult
the "Historian of Shrewsbury." The following is offered as the
probable outline of the circumstances of the engagement, together  (p. 169)
with those which preceded and followed it.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Earl of Northumberland and his son Hotspur were engaged in collecting
and organizing troops in the north, for the professed purpose of
invading Scotland as soon as the King should join them with his
forces. Taking from these troops "eight score horse," Hotspur[162]
marched southward from Berwick at their head, and came through     (p. 170)
Lancashire and Cheshire, spreading his rebellious principles on every
side, and adding to his army, especially from among the gentry. He
proclaimed everywhere that their favourite Richard, though deposed by
the tyranny of Bolinbroke, was still alive; and many gathered round
his standard, resolved to avenge the wrongs of their liege lord. The
King, with a considerable force, the amount of which is not precisely
known, was on his march towards the north, with the intention of
joining the forces raised by the Percies, and of advancing with them
into Scotland, and, "that expedition well ended," of returning to
quell the rebels in Wales. He was at Burton on Trent when news was
brought to him of Hotspur's proceedings, which decided him[163]
instantly to grapple with this unlooked-for rebellion. Hotspur was
believed to be on his road to join Glyndowr, and the King resolved to
intercept him.

                   [Footnote 162: Hardyng represents the variance
                   between Henry IV. and the Percies to have
                   originated in three causes:--in their own refusal
                   to give up certain prisoners of rank who had been
                   taken at the battle of Homildon; in the King's
                   refusal to let Sir Edmund Mortimer pay a ransom;
                   and in the displeasure which the King had felt in
                   consequence of an interview between Hotspur and
                   Glyndowr, which had excited his suspicions. A
                   commission was issued on the 14th March 1403, at
                   the instance of the Earl of Westmoreland, to
                   inquire about the prisoners taken at Homildon or
                   "Humbledon."--Rym. Foe The Pell Rolls acquaint
                   us with the great importance attached by Henry and
                   the nation to this victory, by recording the
                   pension assigned to the first bringer of the
                   welcome news: "To Nicholas Merbury 40_l._ yearly
                   for other good services, as also because the same
                   Nicholas was the first person who reported for a
                   certainty to the said lord the King the good,
                   agreeable, and acceptable news of the success of
                   the late expedition at Homeldon, near Wollor, in
                   Northumberland, by Henry, late Earl of
                   Northumberland. Four earls, many barons and
                   bannerets, with a great multitude of knights and
                   esquires, as well Scotch as French, were taken; and
                   also a great multitude slain, and drowned in the
                   river Tweed." This act of gratitude was somewhat
                   late, if the entry in the Roll records the first
                   payment. It is dated Nov. 3, 1405. At the date of
                   this payment Percy is called the _late_ Earl,
                   because he had forfeited his title.]

                   [Footnote 163: Walsingham records that the Earl of
                   Dunbar, urging Henry to strike an immediate blow,
                   quoted Lucan. He probably uttered the
                   sentiment,--the quotation being supplied by the

                         "Tolle moras; nocuit semper differre paratis,
                         Dum trepidant nullo firmatæ robore partes."]

So far from inferring, as some authors have done, from the smallness
of the numbers on either side, that the country considered it more a
personal quarrel between two great families than as a national concern,
we might rather feel surprise at the magnitude of the body of men  (p. 171)
which met in the field of Shrewsbury.[164] It must be remembered that
the King did not "go down" from the seat of government with 14,000
men; but that the army with which he hastened to crush the rising
rebellion consisted only of the troops at the head of whom he was
marching towards the north, of the body then under the Prince of Wales
on the borders, and of those who could be gathered together on the
exigence of the moment by the royal proclamation. It must be borne
also in mind that (according to all probability) barely four days
elapsed between the first intimation which reached the King's ears of
the rebellion of the Percies, and the desperate conflict which crushed
them. As we have already seen, the King, only on the 10th of July,
(scarcely eleven days before that decisive struggle,) believed himself
to be on his road northward to join "his beloved and loyal"
Northumberland and Hotspur against the Scots.

                   [Footnote 164: Mr. Pennant, in his interesting
                   account of Owyn Glyndowr's life, (though he appears
                   to have been very diligent in collecting
                   traditionary materials for the work,) represents
                   King Henry to have "made an expeditious march to
                   Burton on Trent, on his way _against the northern
                   rebels_," _the Percies_; when, on hearing of
                   Hotspur having come southward, he turned to meet

The Prince of Wales, who, as we infer, first apprised the King of this
rising peril, was on the Welsh borders, near Shrewsbury; and he formed
a junction with his father,--but where, and on what day, is not known.
Very probably the first intimation that Henry of Monmouth himself  (p. 172)
had of the hostile designs of the Percies, was the sudden departure of
the Earl of Worcester, his guardian, who unexpectedly left the Prince's
retinue, and, taking his own dependents with him, joined Hotspur.

At all events, delay would have added every hour to the imminent peril
of the royal cause, and probably Hotspur's impetuosity seconded the
King's manifest policy of hastening an immediate engagement; and thus
the "sorry battle of Shrewsbury" was fought by the united forces of
the King and the Prince on the one side, and the forces of Hotspur and
his uncle the Earl of Worcester on the other, unassisted by Glyndowr.

That the opposed parties engaged in "Heyteley Field,"[165] near that
town, is placed beyond question. With regard to their relative position
immediately before the battle, there is no inconsiderable doubt. Some
say that the King's army reached the town and took possession of the
castle on the Friday, only three hours before Hotspur arrived: others,
following Walsingham, represent Hotspur as having arrived first,   (p. 173)
and being in the very act of assaulting the town, when the sudden,
unexpected appearance of the royal banner advancing made him desist
from that attempt, and face the King's forces. Be this as it may, on
Saturday the 21st of July, the two hostile armies were drawn up in
array against each other in Hateley Field, ready to rush to the struggle
on which the fate of England was destined much to depend. Whether any
manifesto were sent from Hotspur, or not, it is certain that the King
made an effort to prevent the desperate conflict, and the unnecessary
shedding of so much Christian blood. He despatched the Abbot of
Shrewsbury and the Clerk of the Privy Seal to Hotspur's lines, with
offers of pardon even then, would they return to their allegiance.
Hotspur was much moved by this act of grace, and sent his uncle, the
Earl of Worcester, to negociate. This man has been called the origin
of all the mischief; and he is said so to have addressed the King, and
so to have misinterpreted his mild and considerate conversation, "who
condescended, in his desire of reconciliation, even below the royal
dignity," that both parties were incensed the more, and resolved
instantly to try their strength. The onset was made by the archers of
Hotspur, whose tremendous volleys caused dreadful carnage among the
King's troops. "They fell," says Walsingham, "as the leaves fall on
the ground after a frosty night at the approach of winter. There   (p. 174)
was no room for the arrows to reach the ground, every one struck a
mortal man." The King's bowmen also did their duty. A rumour, spreading
through the host, that the King had fallen, shook the steadiness and
confidence of his partisans, and many took to flight; the royal presence,
however, in every part of the engagement soon rallied his men. Hotspur
and Douglas seemed anxious to fight neither with small nor great, but
with the King only;[166] though they mowed down his ranks, making
alleys, as in a field of corn, in their eagerness to reach him. He
was, we are told, unhorsed again and again; but returned to the charge
with increased impetuosity. His standard-bearer was killed at his
side, and the standard thrown down. At length the Earl of Dunbar
forced him away from the post which he had taken. Henry of Monmouth,
though he was then no novice in martial deeds, yet had never before
been engaged on any pitched-battle field; and here he did his duty
valiantly. He was wounded in the face by an arrow; but, so far from
allowing himself to be removed on that account to a place of safety,
he urged his friends to lead him into the very hottest of the conflict.
Elmham records his address: whether they are the very words he     (p. 175)
uttered, or such only as he was likely to have used, they certainly
suit his character: "My lords, far be from me such disgrace, as that,
like a poltroon, I should stain my noviciate in arms by flight. If the
Prince flies, who will wait to end the battle? Believe it, to be carried
back before victory would be to me a perpetual death! Lead me, I
implore you, to the very face of the foe. I may not say to my friends,
'Go ye on first to the fight.' Be it mine to say, 'Follow me, my
friends.'" The next time we hear of Henry of Monmouth is as an agent
of mercy. The personal conflict between him and Hotspur, into the
description of which Shakspeare has infused so full a share of his
powers of song, has no more substantial origin than the poet's own
imagination. Percy fell by an unknown hand, and his death decided the
contest. The cry, "Henry Percy is dead!" which the royalists raised,
was the signal for utter confusion and flight.[167] The number of the
slain on either side is differently reported. When the two armies met,
the King's was superior in numbers, but Hotspur's far more abounded in
gentle blood. The greater part of the gentlemen of Cheshire fell on
that day. On the King's part,[168] except the Earl of Stafford and (p. 176)
Sir Walter Blount, few names of note are reckoned among the slain.

                   [Footnote 165: That the battle was fought in
                   Hateley Field is proved by a document containing a
                   grant by patent (10 Hen. IV.) of two acres of land
                   for ever to Richard Huse (Hussey), Esquire, for two
                   chaplains to chant mass for the prosperity of the
                   King during his life, and for his soul afterwards,
                   and for all his progenitors, and for the souls of
                   them who died in that battle and were there
                   interred, and for the souls of all Christians, in a
                   new chapel to be built on the ground. See Sir
                   Harris Nicolas' preface to vol. i. p. 53.]

                   [Footnote 166: The story that Henry adopted the
                   unchivalrous expedient of fighting in disguise,
                   arraying several persons, especially the Earl of
                   Stafford and Sir Walter Blount, in royal armour,
                   seems altogether fabulous.]

                   [Footnote 167: The Scots fled, the Welshmen ran,
                   the traitors were overcome; then neither woods
                   letted, nor hills stopped, the fearful hearts of
                   them that were vanquished.--Hall.]

                   [Footnote 168: Hume says, most unadvisedly, "the
                   persons of greatest distinction who fell on that
                   day were on the King's side."]

The Earl of Worcester, Lord Douglas, and Sir Richard Vernon, fell into
the hands of the King; they were kept prisoners till the next Monday,
when Worcester and Vernon were beheaded. The Earl's head was sent up
to London on the 25th (the following Wednesday), by the bearer of the
royal mandate, commanding it to be placed upon London bridge.

Thus ended the "sad and sorry field of Shrewsbury."[169] The battle
appeared to be the archetype of that cruel conflict which in the   (p. 177)
middle of the century almost annihilated the ancient nobility of England.
Fabyan says, "it was more to be noted vengeable, for there the father was
slain of the son, and the son of the father."

                   [Footnote 169: The Pell Rolls, so called from the
                   pells, or skins, on rolls of which accounts of the
                   royal receipts and expenditure used to be kept, are
                   preserved both in the Chapter House of Westminster,
                   and also in duplicate at the Exchequer Office in
                   Whitehall. The Author had every facility afforded
                   him of examining them at his leisure; and doubtless
                   these documents contain much valuable information,
                   throwing light as well on the national affairs of
                   the times to which they belong, as on the more
                   private history of monarchs and people. This is
                   evident to every one on inspecting the records of
                   any one year. But at the same time they read a
                   lesson, clear and sound, on the indispensable
                   necessity of constant care, and circumspection, and
                   sifting scrutiny, before reliance be placed on them
                   as evidence conclusive, and beyond appeal. The
                   Author of these Memoirs entered upon an examination
                   of the original documents, fully aware that the
                   date of payment with reference to any fact could
                   never be adduced in evidence that the event took
                   place at the time the entry was made, but only that
                   it had taken place before that time. Thus, a debt
                   due to the Prince, or one in command under him, at
                   the siege of a castle in Wales, or to tradesmen and
                   merchants for supplying the forces with provisions,
                   or to messengers sent with all speed bearing
                   despatches to the castle during the siege, might
                   remain unpaid for several years. He was, however,
                   at the same time under an impression that the sum
                   was recorded on the day of payment; at all events,
                   that payments with reference to any insulated fact
                   could not have been recorded as having been made
                   before that fact had transpired. In both these
                   points, however, he was mistaken. Payments were
                   registered not only long after the day on which
                   they were made, but absolutely _before the event
                   had taken place_ to which they refer, and which
                   could not have been anticipated by any human
                   foresight. Thus, not only is payment recorded as
                   having been made to Hotspur nearly five months
                   after his death, and to the Earl of Worcester,
                   twelve weeks after he was beheaded, for expenses
                   incurred by him in bringing the King's consort from
                   Brittany to England in the January preceding, but
                   absolutely the payment of messengers sent
                   throughout the kingdom to announce Henry Percy's
                   death and the defeat of the rebels near Shrewsbury,
                   and to order all ferries and passages to be watched
                   to prevent the escape of the rebels, is recorded as
                   having been made on the 17th of July 1403, FOUR
                   DAYS BEFORE THE BATTLE TOOK PLACE, and the very day
                   on which the King wrote to his council, informing
                   them of the rebellion, before he could himself
                   possibly have anticipated the place or time of any
                   engagement, much less the successful issue of such
                   a struggle with the rebels. The fact is, these
                   accounts were not kept with the regularity of a
                   modern banking-house; and the entries of what may
                   have been omitted were made at the audits, from
                   rough minutes and account-books. Thus mistakes as
                   to the date of actual payment probably were not
                   rare. The Pell Rolls are useful assistants; they
                   must not be followed implicitly as guides.]

CHAPTER IX.                                                        (p. 178)



No sooner had the King gained the field of Shrewsbury than he took the
most prompt measures to extinguish what remained of the rebellion of
the Percies. On the very next day he issued a commission to the Earl
of Westmoreland, William Gascoigne, and others, for levying forces to
act against the Earl of Northumberland. That nobleman, as we have seen,
remained in the north, probably in consequence of a sudden attack of
illness, when Hotspur made his ill-fated descent into the south: but
the King had good reason to believe that he was still in arms against
the crown; and although he despatched that commission of array to the
Earl of Westmoreland within only a few hours of the battle, yet    (p. 179)
he resolved to march forthwith in person,[170] and crush the rebellion
by one decisive blow. On Monday the 23rd, the Earl of Worcester was
beheaded; and on the same day all his silver vessels, forfeited to the
King, were given to the Prince.[171] On the Tuesday the King must have
started for the north; for we find two ordinances dated at Stafford, a
distance of thirty miles from Shrewsbury, on Wednesday the 25th.
Whilst one of these royal mandates savours of severity, the other not
only is the message of mercy and forgiveness, but recommends itself to
us from the consideration of the person to whom the exercise of the
royal clemency was intrusted with unlimited discretion. Henry of
Monmouth, perhaps, left Shrewsbury after the battle, and proceeded
with his father on his journey northward; but we conclude Stafford to
have been, at all events, the furthest point from the Principality to
which he accompanied him. Whether the measure of mercy originated with
the King or the Prince, certainly both the King believed that his son
would gladly execute the commission, and the Prince felt happy in  (p. 180)
being made the royal representative in the exercise of a monarch's
best and holiest prerogative. An ordinance was made by the King at
Stafford, investing the Prince of Wales with full powers to pardon the
rebels who were in the company of Henry Percy. The Prince probably
remained in or near Shrewsbury for the discharge of the duties assigned
to him by this commission. The King, having despatched messengers
throughout the whole realm announcing Henry Percy's death and the
defeat of the rebels, and commanding all ports to be watched that none
of the vanquished might escape, proceeded northward. On the 4th of
August we find him at Pontefract, from which place he issued an order
to the Sheriff[172] of York, which certainly indicates anything rather
than a thirst of vengeance on his enemies. It appears that many
persons, reckless of justice and confident of impunity, had laid
violent hands on the goods of the rebels; and different families had
thus been subjected to most grievous spoliation. The King's ordinance
conveys a peremptory order to the Sheriff of Yorkshire to interpose
his authority, and prevent such acts of violence and wrong, even upon
the King's enemies. On the 6th, we find him still at Pontefract,   (p. 181)
and again on the 14th. Official documents, without supplying any matter
which needs detain us here, account for him through the intervening days.
Walsingham also relates that the King proceeded to York, and summoned
the whole county of Northumberland to appear before him. The Earl, who
had started with a strong body a few days after the battle, either in
ignorance of his son's failure, or to meet the King for the purpose of
treating with him for peace, had been resisted by the Earl of
Westmoreland, and compelled to retire to Warkworth. On receiving the
King's summons, leaving the commonalty behind, he approached the royal
presence with a small retinue, and, in the humble guise of a
suppliant, besought forgiveness.[173] The King granted him full
pardon, on the 11th of August;[174] and then began his return towards
Wales. We find him, from the 14th to the 16th,[175] at Pontefract; on
the 17th, at Doncaster. On the 18th, at Worksop; on the 26th, at   (p. 182)
Woodstock; and on the 8th of September, at Worcester.[176]

                   [Footnote 170: Sir Harris Nicolas, in his very
                   valuable preface to the first volume of the Acts of
                   the Privy Council, has fallen into the most
                   extraordinary mistake of stating that the King,
                   after the battle of Shrewsbury, "remained in or
                   near Wales until November." He was certainly absent
                   through six full weeks on his northern expedition.
                   The same Editor more than once affirms that the
                   battle of Shrewsbury was fought on the 23rd of

                   [Footnote 171: MS. Donat. 4597.]

                   [Footnote 172: Mr. Morritt of Rokeby, in a letter
                   to Sir Walter Scott, (Life of Scott, vol. ii. p.
                   387,) says, "In the time of Henry IV. the High
                   Sheriff of Yorkshire who overthrew Northumberland,
                   and drove him to Scotland after the battle of
                   Shrewsbury, was a Rokeby. Tradition says that this
                   Sheriff was before an adherent of the Percies, and
                   was the identical knight who dissuaded Hotspur from
                   the enterprise, on whose letter the angry warrior
                   comments so freely in Shakspeare."]

                   [Footnote 173: His friends and retainers spread
                   strange reports throughout the north, of the King's
                   death; and, assembling in great force, held the
                   castles of Berwick, Alnwick, and Warkworth against
                   the royal authority. The Earl of Westmoreland,
                   Warden of the West March, therefore requested to be
                   supplied with cannon and other means of assault to
                   reduce these fortresses. The proceedings are given
                   in detail among the Acts of the Privy Council, but
                   do not call for a minute examination here.]

                   [Footnote 174: Walsingham says expressly, it was on
                   the morrow of St. Lawrence, August 11th.]

                   [Footnote 175: On the 15th, he issues a
                   proclamation for an array, to meet him at
                   Worcester, on the 3rd of September at the latest,
                   to proceed against Owyn.]

                   [Footnote 176: It was on his return towards Wales
                   that the military recommended Henry (then much in
                   need of money) to take from the bishops their
                   horses and gold, and send the prelates home on
                   foot. The Archbishop resisted the outrage in a
                   manly speech; and the King prayed a benevolence,
                   which the clergy granted.]

After these acts of grace and pardon to Lord Douglas, Northumberland,
and all others who were joined to Sir Henry Percy, we should not expect
to find a charge substantiated of wanton and brutal cruelty and vengeance
on the part of the King against the corpse of that gallant knight.
Such a charge, however, is brought in the most severe terms which
language can supply in the manifesto said to have been made by the
Archbishop of York. The fact of Hotspur's exhumation may be granted,
and yet the King's memory may remain free from such a charge.[177]
That the body was buried, and afterwards disinterred and exposed to
public view, seems not to admit of a doubt. As it appears from the
Chronicle of London, "Persons reported that Percy was yet alive. He
was therefore taken up out of the grave, and bound upright between two
mill-stones, that all men might see that he was dead." "The cause of
Hotspur's exhumation is therefore satisfactorily explained; and,   (p. 183)
since it must have been very desirable to remove all doubt as to the
fact of his death, the charge of needless barbarity which has been
brought against the King for disinterring him is without foundation."[178]

                   [Footnote 177: The King, speaking of the death of
                   Hotspur, merely says, "He hath gone the way of all
                   flesh."--Rot. Pat. 4 Hen. IV. p. 2.]

                   [Footnote 178: Sir Harris Nicolas.]

The King now adopted prompt and vigorous measures for the suppression
of the rebellion in Wales; and with that view issued from Worcester an
ordinance to several persons by name, to keep their castles in good
repair, well provided also with men and arms. Among others, the Bishop
of St. David's is strictly charged as to his castle of Laghadyn;
Nevill de Furnivale, for Goodrich; Edward Charleton of Powis, for
Caerleon and Usk; John Chandos, for Snowdon. On the 10th of September,
the King, still at Worcester, created his son, John of Lancaster,
Constable of England. On the 14th he was at Hereford,[179] when he
gave a warrant to William Beauchamp, (to whom was intrusted the care
of Abergavenny and Ewias Harold,) to receive into their allegiance the
Welsh rebels of those lordships. A similar warrant for the rebels of
Brecknock, Builth, Haye, with others, is given, on the 15th, to Sir
John Oldcastle, John ap Herry, and John Fairford, clerk, dated
Devennock. The King was then on his route towards Caermarthen,[180]
where he stayed only a short time; and left the Earl of Somerset,  (p. 184)
Sir Thomas Beaufort, the Bishop of Bath, and Lord Grey to keep the
castle and town for one month. He shortly afterwards commissioned
Prince Henry to negociate with those persons for their pardon who had
been excepted from the act of oblivion after the battle of

                   [Footnote 179: On the 12th, he had issued a
                   proclamation from Hereford for his lieges to meet
                   him there forthwith.]

                   [Footnote 180: Caermarthen suffered very seriously
                   in this war: the Pell Rolls, June 26, 1406, record
                   the payment of a sum to the Burgesses and Goodmen
                   of Caermarthen, in mitigation of the losses they
                   had sustained. On this occasion the King arrived
                   there on the 25th and stayed till the 29th.]

                   [Footnote 181: On the 2nd of October, the King
                   issued a proclamation against Owyn. He seems to
                   have returned through Gloucester to London,
                   immediately after the 17th October; on which day a
                   warrant to Robert Waterton, to arrest Elizabeth
                   wife of the late Henry Percy, is dated Gloucester.

                   On the 8th of October, those four persons whom
                   Henry had left in charge of Caermarthen, implore
                   the council by letter to send the Duke of York, or
                   some other general, to take charge of the King's
                   interests in that district, and to furnish troops
                   to succeed those whom the King had left in trust
                   there, since they had expressed their determined
                   resolution not to remain beyond their month.]

The Welsh, though driven probably from Caermarthenshire[182] in the
early part of this autumn, seem to have carried on their hostilities
in other districts with much vigour into the very middle of winter.[183]
On the 8th of November, the King, being then at Cirencester,       (p. 185)
issued strict orders for the payment of 100_l._ to Lord Berkeley, for
the succour of the garrison of Llanpadarn Castle, then straitly besieged
by the rebels, and in great danger of falling into their hands. Lord
Berkeley was appointed Admiral of the Fleet to the westward of the
Thames, on the 5th of November 1403.

                   [Footnote 182: On the 1st of December the King
                   acknowledges that the people of Kedwelly had
                   repaired their walls which Owyn had injured; and,
                   on the 19th, the castle of Llanstaffan is given to
                   the custody of David Howell, who undertook to
                   defend it with ten men-at-arms and twenty archers
                   at his own expense, the late captain having been
                   taken by Owyn.]

                   [Footnote 183: On the 26th of October, the King
                   commissions the Earl of Devon, with the Courtenays
                   and others, to press as many men as might be
                   necessary wherever they were to be found, and to
                   proceed forthwith by sea to rescue the castle of
                   Caerdiff, then in great peril.]

On the 22d of November the King issued a proclamation for all rebels
to apply for an amnesty before the Feast of the Epiphany next ensuing,
or in default thereof to expect nothing but the strict course of the

It is matter of doubt whether Prince Henry remained in Wales and the
borders through the winter, or returned to his charge in the spring.
On the opening of the campaign, however, in 1404, we find the Welsh
chieftain aided by a power which must have made his rebellion far more
formidable than it had hitherto been. A truce between England and
France had been concluded just before the battle of Shrewsbury, but it
was of very short duration. Early in the spring, the French appeared
off the shores of Wales in armed vessels, and in conjunction with
Glyndowr's forces, laid siege to several castles along the coast. As
early as April 23rd, a sum of 300_l._ is assigned by the council for
equipping with men and arms, provisions and stores, five vessels   (p. 186)
in the port of Bristol, to relieve the castles of Aberystwith and
Cardigan, and to compel the French to raise the siege of Caernarvon
and Harlech.[184] Not only were the castles on the coast brought into
increased jeopardy by this accession of a continental force to Owyn's
army of native rebels, but the inhabitants of the interior, already
miserably plundered, and in numberless cases utterly ruined, by the
ravages of the Welsh, now began to give themselves up to despair. A
letter from the King's loyal subjects of Shropshire (which we must
refer to this spring), praying for immediate succour against the
confederate forces of Wales and France, furnishes a most deplorable
view of the state of those districts. One-third part of that county,
they say, had been already destroyed, whilst the inhabitants were
compelled to leave their homes, in order to obtain their living in
other more favoured parts of the realm. The petition prays for the
protection of men-at-arms and archers, till the Prince[185] himself
should come.

                   [Footnote 184: Measures had been taken, in
                   expectation, as it should appear, of these sieges.
                   January 31, 1404, money is paid to the Prince to
                   purchase sixty-six pipes of honey (to make mead),
                   twelve casks of wine, four casks of sour wine,
                   fifty casks of wheat-flour, and eighty quarters of
                   salt, for victualling Caernarvon, Harlech,
                   Llanpadarn, and Cardigan.]

                   [Footnote 185: From this expression, Sir Harris
                   Nicolas is induced to refer the letter (which is
                   dated April 21st) to the year 1403, the Prince
                   having been appointed Lieutenant of Wales on the
                   7th of March preceding. But the mention of the
                   _French_ auxiliaries, who appear not to have
                   visited those parts till the year following, seems
                   to fix the date of this document to the year 1404.]

Soon after the French had carried on these hostile movements,      (p. 187)
their King made a solemn league with Owyn Glyndowr, as an independent
sovereign, acknowledging him to be Prince of Wales. Owyn dated his
princedom from the year 1400, and assumed the full title and authority
of a monarch.[186] In this year he commissioned Griffin Young his
chancellor, and John Hangmer, both "his beloved relatives," to treat
with the King of France, in consideration of the affection and sincere
love which that illustrious monarch had shown _towards him_ and _his
subjects_.[187] This commission is dated "Doleguelli, 10th May, A. D.
1404, and in the fourth year of our principality." In conformity with
its tenour, a league was made and sworn to between the ambassadors of
"_our illustrious and most dread lord, Owyn, Prince of Wales_," and
those of the King of France. That sovereign signed the commission  (p. 188)
on the 14th of June; and the league was sealed in the chancellor's house
at Paris, on the 14th July. Its provisions are chiefly directed against
"Henry of Lancaster."

                   [Footnote 186: Owyn does not, however, seem to have
                   exercised the princely prerogative of coining
                   money. Indeed, no Welsh coin of any date is known
                   to have been ever in existence. Thomas Thomas, the
                   Welsh antiquary, says that a coin (or Dr.
                   Stukeley's impression from a coin) of King Bleiddyd
                   is now in the Cotton museum, of a date above nine
                   hundred years before Christ; and that there are
                   others of Monagan about the year one hundred and
                   thirty before the Christian era. A search for them,
                   it is presumed, would be fruitless.]

                   [Footnote 187: The words in italics are in the
                   original "erga nos et _subditos_ nostros."
                   "Illustris et metuendissimi domini nostri Owini
                   Principis Walliarum."--See Rymer.]

The reinforcements which Owyn Glyndowr received from France at the
opening of the campaign in the spring of 1404, enabled him not only to
lay siege to the castles in North and West Wales (as it was called),
but to make desperate inroads into England, as well about Shropshire
as in Herefordshire. A letter addressed to the council, June 10th, by
the sheriff, the receiver, and other gentlemen of the latter county,
conveys a most desponding representation of the state of those parts;
especially through the district of Archenfield. The bearer of this letter
was the Archdeacon of Hereford, Dean of Windsor, the same person who
wrote in such "haste and dread" to the King the year before. Some
parts of this letter deserve to be transcribed, they afford so lively
a description of the frightful calamities of a civil war. "The Welsh
rebels in great numbers have entered Irchonfeld,[188] which is a
division of the county of Hereford, and there they have burnt houses,
killed the inhabitants, taken prisoners, and ravaged the country,  (p. 189)
to the great dishonour of our King, and the insupportable damage of
the county. We have often advertised the King that such mischiefs
would befal us. We have also now certain information that within the
next eight days the rebels are resolved to make an attack in the March
of Wales, to its utter ruin if speedy succour be not sent. True it is,
indeed, that we have no power to shelter us, except that of Lord
Richard of York and his men, far too little to defend us. We implore
you to consider this very perilous and pitiable case, and to pray our
sovereign lord that he will come in his royal person, or send some
person with sufficient power to rescue us from the invasion of the
aforesaid rebels; otherwise we shall be utterly destroyed,--which God
forbid! Whoever comes will, as we are led to believe from the report
of our spies, have to engage in battle, or will have a very severe
struggle, with the rebels. And, for God's sake, remember that
honourable and valiant man the Lord Abergavenny,[189] who is on the
very point of destruction if he be not rescued. Written in haste at
Hereford, June 10th."

                   [Footnote 188: Irchonfeld, now called Archenfield,
                   contains some of the most fertile land in
                   Herefordshire. The inhabitants of Whitchurch, in
                   that district, used to say, before modern luxury
                   had taught us to reckon foreign productions among
                   the necessaries of life, that, excepting salt,
                   their parish supplied whatever was needed for their
                   subsistence in comfort.]

                   [Footnote 189: This was William Beauchamp, to whom
                   the King had given, in the first year of his reign,
                   the castles[189-a] of Pembroke, Tenby, Kilgarran, with
                   others, by patent, 29th November, 1 Henry IV; and
                   who was very closely besieged in the spring of
                   1401, and the summer of 1404, in the castle of

                       [Footnote 189-a: MS. Donat. 4596.]

The King had in some measure anticipated this strong memorial,     (p. 190)
by signing, on the very day preceding its date,[190] a commission of
array to the sheriffs of Hereford, Worcester, Gloucester, and Warwick
to raise their counties and proceed forthwith to join Richard of York,
and to advance in one body with him for the rescue of William Beauchamp,
who was then straitly besieged in his castle of Abergavenny, and entirely
destitute. Though no mention is here made of the Prince, nor any
allusion to him, we have the best evidence that he was personally
engaged during this summer in endeavouring to resist the violence and
excesses of the rebels. He was crippled by want of means; he was
forced to pawn his few jewels for the present support of himself and
his retinue; and, when the money raised on them was exhausted, he was
compelled to assure the council in the most direct terms, of his utter
inability to remain on his post, if they did not forthwith provide him
with adequate supplies. He seems to have acted both with vigour and
discretion; and the council placed throughout the fullest confidence
in his judgment and integrity.

                   [Footnote 190: At Doncaster, June 9th.]

Three documents at this point of time deserve especial attention. The
first is a letter, in French, from the Prince, addressed to his father,
and dated Worcester, 25th of June 1404; the second is another letter
of the same date, written by the Prince to the council; the third  (p. 191)
contains the resolutions adopted by them in consequence of this

                   [Footnote 191: The Author leaves this sentence as
                   he wrote it, before he had read the late account of
                   the Field of Agincourt: in that work Henry of
                   Monmouth is in these days, for the first time,
                   accused of hypocrisy; with what justice the reader
                   will decide after reading the charge, and the
                   arguments by which it is now presumed to have been
                   destroyed root and branch. They will be found in
                   the second volume.]

It is very true that letters afford no infallible proof of the writer's
real sentiments and feelings; and it has been said, that expressions
of piety or affection in epistles of past ages are not to be interpreted
as indices of the mind and state of him who utters them, any more than
the ordinary close of a note in the present day proves that it came
from a humble-minded and gratefully obliged person. Nevertheless, with
these general suggestions before us, and not impugned, there does seem
to pervade the following letter from Henry to his father, somewhat
more than words of course, or matter-of-form expressions, indicative
(unless the writer be a hypocrite,--and hypocrisy has never been laid
to Henry of Monmouth's charge[191]) of filial dutifulness and affection,
as well as of a pious and devout trust in Providence. At all events, it
is incumbent on those who forbid our inference in favour of any one from
such testimony to show some act, or to quote some words, or direct us to
some implied sentiments in the individual, whose letters we are    (p. 192)
discussing, which would give presumptive evidence against our decision
in his favour. But history has assigned no act, no sentiment, no word
of an irreligious or immoral tendency, to Henry of Monmouth up to the
date of this letter. It is not here implied, or conceded, that history
possesses facts of another character subsequently to this date; that
point must be the subject of our further inquiry. When this letter was
written, as far as we can ascertain, fame had not begun to breathe a
whisper against the religious and moral character of the Prince of


     "My very dread and sovereign lord and father.--In the most humble
     and obedient manner that I know or am able, I commend myself to
     your high Majesty, desiring every day your gracious blessing, and
     sincerely thanking your noble Highness for your honourable
     letters, which you were lately pleased to send to me, written at
     your Castle of Pontefract, the 21st day of this present month of
     June [1404]; by which letters I have been made acquainted with
     the great prosperity of your high and royal estate, which is to
     me the greatest joy that can fall to my lot in this world. And I
     have taken the very highest pleasure and entire delight at the
     news, of which you were pleased to certify me; first, of the
     speedy arrival of my very dear cousin, the Earl of Westmoreland,
     and William Clifford, to your Highness; and secondly, the arrival
     of the despatches from your adversary of Scotland, and other
     great men of his kingdom, by virtue of your safe conduct, for the
     good of both the kingdoms, which God of his mercy grant; and that
     you may accomplish all your honourable designs, to his        (p. 193)
     pleasure, to your honour, and the welfare of your kingdom, as I
     have firm reliance in Him who is omnipotent, that you will do. My
     most dread and sovereign lord and father, at your high command in
     other your gracious letters, I have removed with my small
     household to the city of Worcester; and at my request there is
     come to me, with a truly good heart, my very dear and beloved
     cousin, the Earl of Warwick, with a fine retinue at his own very
     heavy expenses; so he well deserves thanks from you for his
     goodwill at all times.

     "And whether the news from the Welsh be true, and what measures I
     purpose to adopt on my arrival, as you desire to be informed, may
     it please your Highness to know that the Welsh have made a
     descent on Herefordshire, burning and destroying also the county,
     with very great force, and with a supply of provisions for
     fifteen days. And true it is that they have burnt and made very
     great havoc on the borders of the said county. But, since my
     arrival in these parts, I have heard of no further damage from
     them, God be thanked! But I am informed for certain that they are
     assembled with all their power, and keep themselves together for
     some important object, and, as it is said, to burn the said
     county. For this reason I have sent for my beloved cousins, my
     Lord Richard of York and the Earl Marshal, and others the most
     considerable persons of the counties of that march, to be with me
     at Worcester on the Tuesday next after the date of this letter,
     to inform me plainly of the government of their districts; and
     how many men they will be able to bring, if need be; and to give
     me their advice as to what may seem to them best to be done for
     the safeguard of the aforesaid parts. And, agreeably to their
     advice, I will do all I possibly can to resist the rebels and
     save the English country, to the utmost of my little power, as
     God shall give me grace: ever trusting in your high Majesty to
     remember my poor estate; and that I have not the means of     (p. 194)
     continuing here without the adoption of some other measures
     for my maintenance; and that the expenses are insupportable to
     me. And may you thus make an ordinance for me with speed, that I
     may do good service, to your honour and the preservation of my
     humble state. My dread sovereign lord and father, may the
     allpowerful Lord of heaven and earth grant you a blessed and long
     life in all good prosperity, to your satisfaction! Written at
     Worcester the 26th day of June.
                               "Your humble and obedient Son, HENRY."

The second letter, written at the same time and place, but addressed
to the council, is nearly word for word identical with this till
towards its close, when it gives the following strong view of the
straits and difficulties to which the Prince and the government were
then driven by want of money;[192] and the personal sacrifice which he
was himself compelled to make. "We implore you to make some ordinance
for us in time, assured that we have nothing from which we can support
ourselves here, except that we have pawned our little plate and
jewels, and raised money from them, and with that we shall be able to
remain only a short time. And after that, unless you make provision
for us, we shall be compelled to depart with disgrace and          (p. 195)
mischief: and the country will be utterly destroyed; which God forbid!
And now, since we have shown you the perils and mischiefs [which must
ensue], for God's sake make your ordinance in time, for the salvation
of the honour of our sovereign lord the King our father, of ourselves,
and of the whole realm. And may our Lord protect you, and give you
grace to do right!"

                   [Footnote 192: About this time, the King's treasury
                   was in a deplorable state. The minutes of council
                   suggest the payment of 1000 marks in part of the
                   debts of the household, incurred in the time of
                   Atterbury: and the allowance of a sum "for the time
                   past, and to avoid the clamour of the
                   people."--Minutes of Council, vol. ii. p. 37.]

The Prince, finding his difficulties increasing, wrote another letter,
dated June 30, to the council, urging them to prompt measures; and
stating in very positive terms the utter impossibility of his remaining
in those parts without supplies. What immediate notice was taken of
these pressing communications, does not appear; that the council enabled
him to remain on the borders, and to protect the country effectually
from the rebels, is proved by their proceedings at Lichfield on the
29th and 30th of the August following. The minutes of those two councils
are full of interest. By the first we are informed that the French,
under the French Earl of March, had equipped a fleet of sixty vessels
in the port of Harfleur, full of soldiers, for the purpose of an
immediate invasion of Wales. To meet this rising mischief, the council
advise that, since the King could not soon raise an army proportionate
to his high estate and dignity, to proceed forthwith into Wales, he
should remain at Tutbury until the meeting of parliament at Coventry
in the October following; and in the mean time proclamations       (p. 196)
should be made, directing all able-bodied men to be ready to attend
the King. Orders were also given to the officers of the customs in
Bristol to supply wine, corn, and other provisions for the soldiers in
the town of Caermarthen, in part payment of their wages. The minutes
then record, that, with regard to the county of Hereford, the sheriff
and the other gentlemen had requested the lords of the council to pray
the King that he would be pleased to thank the Prince for the good
protection of the said county since the Nativity of St. John (June
24th), and likewise, that for the well-being of that county, and also
of the county of Gloucester, the Prince might be assigned to guard the
marches of the said counties, and to make inroads into Overwent and
Netherwent, Glamorgan and Morgannoc; and "to carry this into effect,
they must provide the wages of five hundred men-at-arms and two
thousand archers for three weeks, and through another three weeks
three hundred men-at-arms and two thousand archers." In another
council, probably at the end of August, the lords recommend that the
sum of 3000 marks, due to the King as a fine from the inhabitants of
Cheshire, to be paid in three years, should be assigned to the Prince
for the safeguard of the castle of Denbigh, and towards the expenses
of his other castles in North Wales.[193] They recommend also      (p. 197)
that the people of Shropshire be allowed to make a truce with Wales
until the last day of November; and with regard to Herefordshire, that
the Prince remain on its borders to the last day of September, and
have the same number of men-at-arms and archers (or more) as he had
had since the 29th of June; that he have on his own account 1000 marks,
and that on the first day of October he be ready with five hundred
men-at-arms and two thousand archers to make an incursion into Wales,
and stay there twenty-one days, for the just chastisement of the
rebels. And since for these charges the Prince should be paid before
his departure, measures had been taken to raise money of several
persons by way of loan. Sir John Oldcastle and John ap Herry were to
keep the castles of Brecknock and the Haye till Michaelmas. The King
also issued his mandate, 13th November 1404, to the sheriffs of
Worcester, Gloucester, and other counties, to provide a contingent
each of twenty men-at-arms and two hundred archers to join the army of
his sons; premising that he had, by the advice of his parliament, sent
his two sons, the Prince and the Lord Thomas, to raise the siege of
Coitey,[194] in which Alexander Berkroller, lord of that place, was
then besieged: we may therefore safely conclude that, through the
first part of the winter at least, young Henry was most fully      (p. 198)
occupied in the Principality.[195]

                   [Footnote 193: August 26, 1404, a thousand marks
                   were assigned to the Prince for the safekeeping of
                   Denbigh and other castles.--MS. Donat. 4597.]

                   [Footnote 194: The ruins of Coity Castle are still
                   interesting. They are near Bridgend, in

                   [Footnote 195: MS. Donat. 4597.]

Of the Prince's proceedings in consequence of these instructions we
hear nothing before the beginning of the next March: but through the
winter[196] (as it should seem) the Welsh chieftain and his French
auxiliaries were most busily engaged, especially towards the northern
parts. Indeed, it may be surmised, not without probable reason, that
the King's troops under the Prince in Monmouthshire, Glamorganshire,
and its adjacent districts, and perhaps the forces of Thomas Beaufort,
or the Duke of York, in Caermarthen, had driven Owyn and his partisans
northward, by the vigorous efforts which they made through the autumn
and the early part of the winter. To this season also we are induced
to refer those despatches from Conway and Chester,[197] which give the
most alarming accounts to the King of the insolence and activity   (p. 199)
of his enemies, and the imminent peril of his friends, his castles,
and the whole country. One letter speaks of six ships coming out of
France "with wyn and spicery full laden." Another reports that the
constable of Harlech had been seized by the Welsh and carried to Owyn
Glyndowr; and that the castle was in great danger of falling into his
hands, being garrisoned only by five Englishmen and about sixteen
Welshmen. A third apprises the King that the deputy-constable of
Caernarvon had sent a woman to inform the writer, William Venables,
the constable of Chester, (by word of mouth, because no man dared to
come, and no man or woman could carry letters safely,) of Owyn
Glyndowr's purpose, in conjunction with the French, "to assault the
town and castle of Caernarvon with engines, sows,[198] and ladders of
very great length;" whilst in the town and castle there were not more
than twenty-eight fighting men,--eleven of the more able of those who
were there at the former siege being dead, some of their wounds,
others of the plague. In the fourth, the constable of Conway informs
the same parties that the people of Caernarvonshire purposed to go
into Anglesey to bring out of it all the men and cattle into the
mountains, "lest Englishmen should be refreshed therewith." The    (p. 200)
writer adds, "I durst lay my head that, if there were two hundred men
in Caernarvon and two hundred in Conway, from February until May, the
commons of Caernarvonshire would come to peace, and pay their dues as
well as ever. But should there be a delay till the summer, it will not
be so lightly (likely), for then the rebels will be able to lie without
(in the open air), as they cannot now do. Also I have myself heard
many of the commons and gentlemen of Merionethshire and Caernarvonshire
swear that all men of the aforesaid shires, except four or five
gentlemen and a few vagabonds (vacaboundis), would fain come to peace,
provided Englishmen were left in the country to help in protecting
them from misdoers; especially must they come into the country whilst
the weather is cold." In the fifth letter, we learn that Owyn had
agreed with all the men in the castle of Harlech, except seven, to
have deliverance of the castle on an early fixed day for a stated sum
of gold. A letter, dated Oswestry, February 7th, from the Earl of
Arundel and Surrey, conveys the very same sentiments with those of the
constable of Conway as to the probability of the immediate termination
of the rebellion, either by peace or victory, should any vigorous
measures be adopted. He was appointed to take charge of Oswestry, with
thirty men-at-arms and one hundred and fifty archers, for eight weeks.
He complains that the grand ordinance resolved upon by the late    (p. 201)
parliament at Coventry[199] had not been put into execution; and states
that the rebels were never at any time so high or proud, from an
assurance that it, like the others, would become a dead letter.[200]

                   [Footnote 196: A few days before Christmas, some
                   French effected a landing in the Isle of Wight, and
                   boasted that, with the King's leave or without it,
                   they would keep their Christmas there: but they
                   were routed. The French demanded a tribute in the
                   name of Richard and Isabella.]

                   [Footnote 197: These letters are the tenth,
                   eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth, in
                   Sir Henry Ellis' Second Series. He does not assign
                   them to any date positively. "They were probably
                   written," he says, "about 1404." It is here
                   presumed, that they were not written till the
                   opening of the year 1405. They all bear date
                   between the 7th of January and the 20th of

                   [Footnote 198: The sow was an engine of the nature
                   of the Roman Vinea, which, by protecting the
                   assailants from the missiles of the besieged,
                   enabled them to undermine the wall of a town or

                   [Footnote 199: The parliament called Indoctum, or
                   Lacklearning. It was in this parliament that the
                   confiscation of the property of the bishops was

                   [Footnote 200: At this time Owyn Glyndowr confirms
                   his league with the King of France by deed, dated
                   and signed "in our Castle of Llanpadarn, the 12th
                   of January 1405, and of our principality the

The letter from Henry to his father in the preceding June, and the
testimony of the gentlemen of Hereford, who prayed that thanks might
be presented to the Prince for his watchful and efficient protection
of their county, inform us that the rebels towards the south marches
had been kept in check since the Prince's arrival; but they were ready
to renew their violence at the very opening of spring. Two letters,
one from the King to his council, the other from the Prince to the
King, require to be translated literally, and copied into these pages.
The former, which is now published for the first time in "The Acts of
the Privy Council," proves the hearty good-will entertained by the
King towards his son, and the lively paternal interest he took up to
that time in his honourable career. It assures us also of the great
importance attached by the King to the victory then gained over the
rebels. The latter, though published by Rymer and Ellis, and       (p. 202)
others, and though often commented upon before, yet appears to throw
so much light upon the character of Prince Henry as a Christian at
once and a warrior, especially in that union of valour and mercy in
him to which Hotspur first bore testimony four years before, that any
treatise on the life and character of Henry of Monmouth would be
altogether defective were this letter to be omitted. The King's letter
to his council bears date Berkhemstead, March 13, 1405.


     "Very dear and faithful! We greet you well. And since we know
     that you are much pleased and rejoiced whenever you can hear good
     news relating to the preservation of our honour and estate, and
     especially of the common good and honour of the whole realm, we
     forward to you for your consolation the copy of a letter sent to
     us by our very dear son, the Prince, touching his government in
     the marches of Wales; by which you will yourselves become
     acquainted with the news for which we return thanks to Almighty
     God. We beg you will convey these tidings to our very dear and
     faithful friends the Mayor and good people of our city of London,
     in order that they may derive consolation from them together with
     us, and praise our Creator for them. May He always have you in
     his holy keeping.--Given under our signet at our Castle of
     Berkhemstead, the 13th day of March."

The following letter, the copy of which the King then forwarded, was
written by the Prince at Hereford, on the 11th of March, at night.


     "My most redoubted and most sovereign lord and father, in the
     most humble manner that in my heart I can devise, I commend
     myself to your royal Majesty, humbly requesting your gracious
     blessing. My most redoubted and most sovereign lord and father, I
     sincerely pray that God will graciously show his miraculous aid
     toward you in all places: praised be He in all his works! For on
     Wednesday, the eleventh day of this present month of March, your
     rebels of the parts of Glamorgan, Morgannoc, Usk, Netherwent, and
     Overwent, were assembled to the number of eight thousand men
     according to their own account; and they went on the said
     Wednesday in the morning, and burnt part of your town of Grosmont
     within your lordship of Monmouth. And I immediately[201] sent off
     my very dear cousin the Lord Talbot, and the small body of my own
     household, and with them joined your faithful and gallant knights
     William Neuport and John Greindre; who were but a very small
     force in all. But very true it is that VICTORY IS NOT IN A
     proved there. And there, by the aid of the blessed Trinity, your
     people gained the field, and slew of them by fair account on the
     field, by the time of their return from the pursuit, some say
     eight hundred, and some say a thousand, being questioned on pain
     of death. Nevertheless, whether on such an account it were one or
     the other I would not contend.

     "And, to inform you fully of all that has been done, I send you a
     person worthy of credit in this case, my faithful servant the
     bearer of this letter, who was present at the engagement,     (p. 204)
     and did his duty very satisfactorily, as he does on all occasions.
     And such amends has God ordained you for the burning of four houses
     of your said town. And prisoners there were none taken excepting
     one,[202] who was a great chieftain among them, whom I would have
     sent to you, but he _cannot yet ride at his ease_.

     "And touching the governance which I purpose to make after this,
     please your Highness to give sure credence to the bearer of this
     letter in whatever he shall lay before your Highness on my part.
     And I pray God that He will preserve you always in joy and
     honour, and grant me shortly to comfort you with other good news.
     Written at Hereford, the said Wednesday, at night.
                                 "Your very humble and obedient son,
     "To the King, my most redoubted                          HENRY.
         and sovereign lord and father."

                   [Footnote 201: All the writers who have copied this
                   letter, from Rymer downwards, have fallen into a
                   ludicrous mistake here. Reading an _n_ instead of a
                   _v_ in the words _J'envoia_ (I sent), they have
                   translated the passage, "within your lordship of
                   Monmouth and Jennoia." Sir Harris Nicolas first
                   supplied the true reading. The mistake led persons
                   well acquainted with Monmouthshire (among others,
                   the Author of these Memoirs,) to make different
                   inquiries as to the lordship of Jennoia: they will
                   now no longer wonder at the unfruitful issue of
                   their search.]

                   [Footnote 202: The author published under the name
                   of Otterbourne says, that Owyn's son was made
                   prisoner at Usk on the 25th of March, and one
                   thousand five hundred of his men were taken or
                   slain; and that, after the Feast of St. Dunstan,
                   his chancellor was taken. There is reason to doubt
                   whether that chronicler has not mistaken the place
                   and time of the battle to which he refers; though
                   it is not impossible that another battle (of which,
                   however, we have no authentic record,) was fought
                   at Usk a fortnight after the rebels were defeated
                   at Grosmont: Grosmont is about twenty miles distant
                   from Usk.]

The true reading of "I sent," instead of "Jennoia," at first might
seem to imply that the Prince was not present in person at the     (p. 205)
battle of Grosmont: and there is no positive evidence in the letter to
show that he was there. The testimony which he bears to the gallant
conduct in that field of his faithful servant, whom he despatched with
his letter, has been thought to sanction a belief, that Henry was an
eyewitness of the engagement. But from this doubt the mind turns with
full satisfaction to the religious sentiments which are interwoven
throughout the epistle, and to Henry's considerate and humane treatment
of his prisoner. He would, no doubt, have felt a satisfaction and pride
in immediately placing a high chieftain of Wales in the hands of the
King, on the very day of battle and victory; but he shrunk from
gratifying his own wishes, when his pleasure involved the pain of a
fellow-creature, though that person was his prisoner. Many an incident
throughout his life tends to justify Shakspeare, when he makes Henry
IV. speak of his son's philanthropy and tenderness of feeling:

  "He hath a tear for pity, and a hand
  Open as day for melting charity."
                        2 HENRY IV. act iv. sc. iv.

Those united qualities of valour and mercy, of courage and kindness of
heart, which are so beautifully ascribed to a modern English warrior,
were never blended in any character of which history speaks in more
perfect harmony than in Henry of Monmouth:

      "A furious lion in battle;                                   (p. 206)
  But, duty appeased, in mercy a lamb."

The lesson thus taught him during his early youth in the field of
Grosmont, whether by personal experience of that conflict, or by the
representation of his gallant companions in arms, of what may be
effected by courage and discipline against an enemy infinitely
superior in numbers, was probably not forgotten, ten years afterwards,
at Agincourt.

CHAPTER X.                                                         (p. 207)



Whilst the Prince was thus exerting himself to the utmost in keeping
the Welsh rebels in check, the King resolved to go once again in person
to the Principality with as strong a force as he could muster; and with
this intention he set forward, probably about the end of April. On the
8th of May he was at Worcester, when he was suddenly informed of the
hostile measures of his enemies in the north. The preface to "The Acts
of the Privy Council" gives the following succinct and clear account
of the proceedings:--"The most memorable event in the sixth year of
Henry IV. was the revolt, in May 1405, of the Earl Marshal, Lord Bardolf,
and the Earl of Northumberland, who had been partially restored to the
King's confidence after the death of his son and brother in        (p. 208)
1403.[203] Henry was at that moment at Worcester; and the earliest notice
of the rebellion is contained in a letter from the council to the King,
which, after treating of various matters, concluded by stating that they
were then just informed by his Majesty's son, John of Lancaster, that
Lord Bardolf had privately withdrawn himself to the north; at which they
were much astonished, because the King had ordered him to proceed into
Wales. To guard against any ill consequences which might arise from
this suspicious circumstance, the council instantly despatched in the
same direction Lord Roos and Sir William Gascoyne, the Chief Justice,
as the individuals in whom the King placed most confidence; and,
thinking that Henry might be in want of money, the council borrowed
and sent him one thousand marks. With his accustomed promptitude and
activity, the King lost not a moment in setting off for the north, to
meet the rebellious lords in person; and on the 28th of May he wrote
to his council from Derby, acquainting them with the revolt, and   (p. 209)
desiring them to hasten to him at Pomfret with as many followers
as possible."

                   [Footnote 203: A review of this "aged Earl's"
                   behaviour, from the first occasion on which he is
                   introduced to our notice in these Memoirs to the
                   day of his death, supplies only a melancholy
                   succession of acts of broken faith. On the 7th of
                   February 1404, before the assembled estates of the
                   realm, on receiving the King's pardon for the past,
                   he most solemnly swore upon the cross of Canterbury
                   to be true and faithful to his sovereign Henry IV:
                   he "swore also, on the peril of his soul, that he
                   knew of no evil intentions on the part of the Duke
                   of York, or of the Archbishop; and that the King
                   might place full trust and confidence in them as
                   his liege subjects."]

The Editor of the Proceedings of the Privy Council says nothing of Scrope,
Archbishop of York, who had risen in open rebellion against the royal
authority; but we cannot pass on without some notice of him. Early in
June, King Henry laid hands on that unfortunate prelate, surrounded by
followers, and armed in a coat of mail; and he commanded Gascoyne, who
was with him, to pass sentence of death upon his prisoner in a summary
way. The Chief Justice refused,[204] with these words: "Neither you,
my lord the King, nor any of your lieges acting in your name, can
lawfully, according to the laws of the kingdom, condemn any bishop to
death." The King then ordered one Fulthorp to sentence him to
decapitation, who forthwith complied; and the Archbishop was carried
to execution with every mark of disgrace, on Whitmonday, June 8th.
Many legends shortly became current about this warlike prelate, who
was one of the most determined enemies of the House of Lancaster. Of
the stories propagated soon after his death, one declares that in the
field of his last earthly struggle the corn was trodden down, and
destroyed irremediably, both by his enemies, who were preparing for
his execution, and by his friends and poor neighbours, who came    (p. 210)
to weep and bewail the fate of their beloved chief pastor. The Archbishop,
seeing the destruction which his death was causing, spoke with words
of comfort to the multitude, and promised to intercede with heaven
that the evil might be averted. The field, continues the story, brought
forth at the ensuing harvest six-fold above the average crop. The same
page tells that the King was smitten with the leprosy in the face on
the very hour of the very day in which the Archbishop was beheaded.
The manuscript adds, that many miracles were shown day by day by the
Lord at the tomb of this prelate, to which people flocked from every
side. The enemies of the King endeavoured to exalt this zealous son of
the church into a saint; and to propagate the belief that the King's
disease, which never left him, was a signal and miraculous visitation
of Heaven, avenging the foul murder of so dauntless a martyr.[205]

                   [Footnote 204: Gascoyne does not appear to have
                   been even suspended from his office in consequence
                   of his refusal to sentence the Archbishop; he
                   continued Chief Justice till after the King's

                   [Footnote 205: Sloane, 1776.]

Pope Innocent, in the course of the year, sent a peremptory mandate to
the Archbishop of Canterbury to fulminate the curse of excommunication
against all those who had participated in the prelate's murder: but
the Archbishop did not dare to execute the mandate; for both the King
and a large body of the nobility were implicated more or less directly
in Scrope's execution, and must have been involved in the same general
sentence. The King, on hearing of the decided countenance thus     (p. 211)
given by the Pope to his rebellious subjects, despatched a messenger
to Rome, conveying the military vest of the Archbishop, and charged
him to present it to his Holiness; delivering at the same time, as his
royal master's message, the words of Jacob's sons, "Lo! this have we
found; know now whether it be thy son's coat, or no." A passage in
Hardyng seems to imply that, during the life of Henry IV, the devotions
of the people to this warrior bishop were forbidden; for he records,
apparently with approbation, the permission granted by his son Henry
V, to all persons to make their offerings at the shrine of their
sainted prelate:

  "He gave then, of good devotion,
   All men to offer to Bishop Scrope express,
   Without letting or any question."

"Before the end of the next month (June),[206] Henry was engaged in
besieging the Earl of Northumberland's castles; and in a letter to the
council, dated Warkworth, on the 2nd of July, he informed them that
Prudhoe Castle had immediately surrendered: but that the Castle of
Warkworth, being well garrisoned, refused to obey his summons; the
captain having declared as his final answer that he would defend it
for the Earl. The King had therefore ordered his artillery to be brought
against it, which were so ably served, that at the seventh         (p. 212)
discharge the besieged implored his mercy, and the fortress was delivered
into his hands on the 1st of July. All the other castles had imitated the
example of Prudhoe, excepting Alnwick, which he was then about to attack."

                   [Footnote 206: This is extracted from the Preface
                   of Sir Harris Nicolas, p. 56.]

"The exhausted state of the King's pecuniary resources," continues the
Preface, "and the distress endured by the soldiers and others engaged
in his service, are forcibly shown by the letters of the Prince of Wales,
the Duke of York, and others. The Duke of York, and his brother
Richard, described their retinues in Wales as being in a state of
mutiny for want of their wages; and the Duke had evidently made every
personal sacrifice within his power to satisfy them. He entreated them
to continue there a few weeks longer, authorised them to mortgage his
land in Yorkshire, pledged himself "on his truth, and as he is a true
gentleman," not to receive any part of his revenues until his soldiers
were paid, and promised that he would not ask them to continue longer
than the time specified. Every source of income seems to have been
anticipated; and it is scarcely possible to conceive a government in
greater distress for money than was Henry IV's at this point of time.
Nothing but the wisdom and indomitable energy for which that monarch
was distinguished could have enabled him to surmount the difficulties
of his position; and the facts detailed in this volume[207] entitle
Henry to a high rank among the most distinguished of European      (p. 213)
sovereigns both as a soldier and as a statesman. No sooner had he
suppressed rebellion in one place than it showed itself in another;
and, for many years, the Welsh could barely be kept in check by the
presence of the Prince of Wales and a large army. By France he was
constantly annoyed; and, if he was not actually at war with the
Scotch, it was necessary to watch their conduct with great anxiety and
suspicion. To add to his embarrassment, the great mass of his own
subjects were tempted to revolt by the distracted condition of the
country, by the existence of the true heir to the throne, and by
reports that their former sovereign was yet alive. Henry's treatment
of them was necessarily firm, but conciliatory. He dared not recruit
his exhausted finances by heavy impositions on the people; and the
generous sacrifices made by the peers to avoid so dangerous an
expedient had reduced them to poverty."

                   [Footnote 207: The Acts of the Privy Council.]

Such is the clear and able representation given to us of the state of
the kingdom at large, and of the difficulties with which Henry IV. and
his supporters had to struggle, whilst Henry of Monmouth was exerting
himself to the very utmost in repressing the rebels in Wales.[208] His
means were, indeed, very limited; he seldom had a "large army"     (p. 214)
at his command; and his measures were lamentably embarrassed by the
exhausted state of the treasury. The King endeavoured from time to
time, in some cases successfully, at others with a total failure, to
remedy these evils, and to supply his son with the power of acting in
a manner worthy of himself, and the importance of the enterprise in
which he was engaged. On the 31st of May he despatched a letter to his
council from Nottingham, which contains many interesting particulars;
whilst the total inability of his ministers to comply with his
directions speaks very strongly of the trying circumstances in which
the Prince was trained. The King begins by reminding the council that
it was by the advice of them and other nobles, and the commons of the
realm, that the defence of Wales was committed to his very dear and
beloved son the Prince, as his lieutenant there; at the time of whose
appointment it was agreed, that since he had in his retinue a certain
number of men-at-arms and archers, though for the protection of the
realm, yet living at his expense, he should receive a certain
proportion of the subsidy voted at the last parliament. The King then
representing to them the vast mischiefs which would befal the marches,
and by consequence the whole realm, if the rebels were not effectually
resisted, strictly charges and commands his council, with all possible
speed to make payment in part of whatever the Prince was to receive
from the King on that account. And though the Prince had under him (p. 215)
the Duke of York living there for the safeguard of the country,
nevertheless the King desired that the money paid for the whole
country of Wales should be put wholly and exclusively into the hands
of the Prince himself, to be employed and disbursed at his discretion,
with the advice of his council. The reason for this last order he
alleges to be the assurance given to him that the sums on former
occasions paid to others under the Prince for his use had not been
expended properly to the profit of the marches, nor agreeably to the
intention of the King and council. He ends his letter by enjoining
them, for the love they bore to him, and the confidence he placed in
them, to pay hearty attention to this subject. Notwithstanding this
urgent appeal, the council reply that the assignments already made,
and the payments absolutely indispensable, together with the failure
of the supplies, would not suffer them to meet his wishes. This answer
was written on a Monday, probably the 8th of June. On the 12th we find
the King (it may be, to make some little compensation for this
disappointment,) assigning to the Prince, in aid of his sustentation,
the castle and estates of Framlyngham, which had fallen to the crown
by forfeiture from Thomas Mowbray.

                   [Footnote 208: The extraordinary distress of the
                   King from the want of pecuniary means cannot be
                   questioned: though (independently of taxes and
                   subsidies) large sums must have been flowing into
                   the royal treasury, as well from the immense
                   possessions belonging to the Duchy of Lancaster, as
                   from the forfeited estates of the rebels. Still the
                   King's coffers were drained.]

The rapid movements of the King in those days of incessant alarm are
quite astonishing. Just as in the battle of Shrewsbury he impressed
the enemy with an idea of his ubiquity throughout the whole field, (p. 216)
so at this time, from day to day, he appears in whatever part of the
kingdom his presence seemed to be most needed. On the 7th of August he
was at Pontefract, whither tidings were brought to him that the French
admiral, Hugevyn, had arrived at Milford to aid the Welsh rebels; and
he sent a commission of array to the sheriff of Herefordshire to meet
him. On the 4th of September[209] we find him at Hereford, attended by
many nobles and others, where he issued a warrant to raise money by
way of loan, to enable him to resist the Welsh.

                   [Footnote 209: Rymer's Foed.]

In less than three weeks from this time the King was resident near
York, and promulgated an ordinance on the 22nd of September to the
sheriffs of Devon and other counties to meet him on the 10th of October
at Evesham; the body of this ordinance contained a very interesting
report which the King had received from "his most dear first-born
son," Henry Prince of Wales, whom he had left in that country for the
chastisement of the rebels. "Those," he says, "in the castle of
Llanpadarn have submitted to the Prince, and have sworn on the body of
the Lord, administered to them by the hands of our cousin Richard
Courtney, chancellor of Oxford, in the presence of the Duke of York,
that if we, or our son, or our lieutenant, shall not be removed from
the siege by Owyn Glyndowr between the 24th October next coming at
sunrising, and the Feast of All Saints the next to come (1st       (p. 217)
November), in that case the said rebels will restore the castle in the
same condition; and for greater security they have given hostages.
Wishing to preserve the state and honour of ourself, our son, and the
common good of England, which may be secured by the conquest of that
castle, (since probably by the conquest of that castle the whole
rebellion of the Welsh will be terminated, the contrary to which is to
be lamented by us and all our faithful subjects,) we intend shortly to
be present at that siege, on the 24th of October, together with our
son, or to send a sufficient deputy to aid our son. We therefore
command you to cause all who owe us suit and service to meet us at
Evesham on the 10th of October."

Towards the close of this year we are reminded again of the deplorable
state of the King's revenue, by the urgent remonstrance of Lord Grey
of Codnor, and the recommendation of the council in consequence. Lord
Grey complained that he could obtain no money from the King's receivers,
though they had warrants and commands to pay him: that he had pawned
his plate and other goods; and that, without redeeming them, he could
not remove from Caermarthen to Brecon.[210] He then prays that     (p. 218)
means may be adopted for payment of his debts and the wages of his men,
if the royal pleasure was for him to remain in those parts, or else to
allow him to be excused. The council advise the King to make him
Lieutenant of South Wales and West Wales, considering his vast trouble
in bringing his people from England; to direct payment to be made to
him from the revenues of Brecknock, Kidwelly, Monmouth,[211] and
Oggmore, belonging to the Duchy of Lancaster; and to grant him the
commission to be Justice of those parts during the time of his
lieutenancy. He was appointed lieutenant on the 2nd of December 1405,
and continued so till the 1st of February 1406. The council also
complained that the people of Pembrokeshire had not done their duty in
resisting the rebels, and recommended the King to charge Lord Grey to
make inquisition of the defaulters.[212]

                   [Footnote 210: In the Minutes of a previous
                   Council, probably in the spring of 1405, Lord Grey
                   is directed to take charge of Brecon with forty
                   lances and two hundred archers, and of Radnor with
                   thirty lances and one hundred and fifty archers.]

                   [Footnote 211: The council inform the King that the
                   council of his Duchy had made an exception of the
                   lordship of Monmouth, which should bear the most
                   substantial of all the assignments.]

                   [Footnote 212: On the 3rd of March 1406, the
                   Commons speak of those castles in Wales "which,
                   with God's blessing, might be hereafter reduced."]

In the following year, on the 22nd of March 1406, Henry Beaufort Bishop
of Winchester, was commissioned to treat anew for a marriage between
Prince Henry and some "one of the daughters of our adversary of
France." But the negociation seems to have failed. On the 18th of this
month permission was given by the King to Edmund Walsingham to     (p. 219)
ransom his brother Nicholas. The document gives a brief but most
significant account of the treatment which awaited Owyn's captives.
Walsingham, who was taken prisoner near Brecknock, was plundered and
kept in ward in so wretched and miserable a state that he could
scarcely survive. His ransom was to be 50_l._[213]

                   [Footnote 213: MS. Donat. 4596.]

On the 3rd of April the Commons prayed the King to send his honourable
letters under his privy seal, thanking the Prince for the good and
constant labour and diligence which he had, and continued to have, in
resisting and chastening the rebels.

On the 5th of April a commission was given by the King to Lord Grey
and the Prior of Ewenny to execute "all contracts and agreements[214]
made by the Prince our dear son, whom we have appointed our Lieutenant
of North and South Wales, and have authorized to receive into
allegiance at his discretion our rebels up to the Feast of St. Martin
in Yeme."[215]

                   [Footnote 214: The Minutes of Council, at the end
                   of March or the beginning of April, record a
                   recommendation that the fines of the rebels as well
                   as the rents and issues from their land, be
                   expended on the wars in Wales: and John Bodenham
                   was appointed comptroller of these fines.]

                   [Footnote 215: St. Martin in the winter.]

Very few events are recorded as having taken place through this spring
and summer which tend to throw light on the character or proceedings
of Henry of Monmouth. He remained in Wales, probably without       (p. 220)
leaving it for any length of time. The crown had been already settled
upon him and his three brothers in succession; but on the 22nd of
December this year, in full parliament, at the urgent instance of the
great people of the realm, the succession was again limited to Henry
the Prince and his three brothers, and their heirs, but not to the
exclusion of females.

The French made a more feeble attempt to assist Glyndowr, in 1406,
with a fleet of thirty-six vessels, the greater part of which was
shipwrecked in a storm.[216] They had been more successful on their
former invasions of Wales: but they found in that wild and
impoverished country little to induce them to persevere in a struggle
which promised neither national glory nor individual profit; and they
left Owyn to drag out his war as he best could, depending on his own

                   [Footnote 216: The French about this time made a
                   sort of piratical attack on the Isle of Wight.]

It is with unalloyed satisfaction that we are able to record the
testimony which the Commons of England at this time, by the mouth of
their Speaker, bore to the character of Henry of Monmouth. It may seem
strange that no use has been made of this evidence by any historian,
not even by those who have undertaken to rescue his name from the
aspersions with which it has been assailed. The tribute of praise and
admiration for his son, then addressed to the King on his throne,  (p. 221)
in the midst of the assembled prelates, and peers, and commons of the
whole realm, is the more valuable because it bears on some of those
very points in which his reputation has been most attacked. The vague
tradition of subsequent chroniclers, the unbridled fancy of the poet,
the bitterness of polemical controversy, unite in representing Henry
as a self-willed, obstinate young man, regardless of every object but
his own gratification, "as dissolute as desperate," under no control
of feelings of modesty, with no reverence for his elders, discarding
all parental authority, reckless of consequences; his own will being
his only rule of conduct, his own pleasures the chief end for which he
seemed to live. These charges have been adopted, and re-echoed, and
sent down to posterity with gathered strength and confirmation, by our
poets, by our historians, civil and ecclesiastical, by the ornaments
of the legal profession,--even one of our most celebrated Judges
adding the weight of his name to the general accusation. It is not the
province of this work to vindicate the character of Henry from charges
brought against him: truth, not eulogy, is its professed object, and
will (the Author trusts) be found to have been its object not in
profession only. But, before the verdict of guilty be returned against
Henry, justice requires that the evidence which his accusers offer be
thoroughly sifted, and the testimony of his contemporaries, solemnly
given before the assembled estates of the realm, must in common    (p. 222)
fairness be weighed against the assertions of those who could have had
no personal knowledge of him, and who derived their views through
channels of the character and purity of which we are not assured. The
evidence here offered was given when Henry was towards the close of
his nineteenth year.

The Rolls of Parliament record the following as the substance of the
opening address made by the Speaker, on Monday, June 7, 1406, "to the
King seated on his royal throne." "He made a commendation of the many
excellencies and virtues which habitually dwelt [reposerent] in the
honourable person of the Prince; and especially, first, of the humility
and obedience which he bears towards our sovereign lord the King, his
father; so that there can be no person, of any degree whatever, who
entertains or shows more honour and reverence of humbleness and
obedience to his father than he shows in his honourable person.
Secondly, how God hath granted to him, and endowed him with good heart
and courage, as much as ever was needed in any such prince in the
world. And, thirdly, [he spoke] of the great virtue which God hath
granted him in an especial manner, that howsoever much he had set his
mind upon any important undertaking to the best of his own judgment,
yet for the great confidence which he placed in his council, and in
their loyalty, judgment, and discretion, he would kindly and graciously
be influenced, and conform himself to his council and their        (p. 223)
ordinance, according to what seemed best to them, setting aside
entirely his own will and pleasure; from which it is probable that, by
the grace of God, very great comfort and honour and advantage will
flow hereafter. For this, the said Commons humbly thank our Lord Jesus
Christ, and they pray for its good continuance." Such is the preface
to the prayer of their petition that he might be acknowledged by law
as heir apparent.

It may be questioned, after every fair deduction has been made from
the intrinsic value of this testimony, on the ground of the complimentary
nature of such state-addresses in general, whether history contains any
document of undisputed genuineness which bears fuller or more direct
testimony to the union in the same prince of undaunted valour, filial
reverence and submission, respect for the opinion of others, readiness
to sacrifice his own will, and to follow the advice of the wise and
good, than this Roll of Parliament bears to the character of Henry of
Monmouth. And when we reflect to what a high station he had been
called whilst yet a boy; with what important commissions he had been
intrusted; how much fortune seems to have done to spoil him by pride
and vain-glory from his earliest youth, this page of our national
records seems to set him high among the princes of the world; not so
much as an undaunted warrior and triumphant hero, as the conqueror of
himself, the example of a chastened modest spirit, of filial       (p. 224)
reverence, and a single mind bent on his duty. To all this Henry added
that quality without which such a combination of moral excellencies
would not have existed, the believing obedient heart of a true Christian.
This last quality is not named in words by the Speaker; but his immediate
reference to the grace of God, and his thanks in the name of the
people of England to the Almighty Saviour for having imparted these
graces to their Prince, appear to bring the question of his religious
principles before our minds. Whilst in seeking for the solution of
that question we find other pages of his history, equally genuine and
authentic, which assure us that he was a sincere and pious Christian,
or else a consummate hypocrite,--a character which his bitterest
accusers have never ventured to fasten upon him.[217]

                   [Footnote 217: The Author must now add with regret,
                   that even hypocrisy has been within these few last
                   years laid to Henry's charge most unsparingly; with
                   what degree of justice will be shewn in a
                   subsequent chapter.]

       *       *       *       *       *

On the same day, June 7, 1406,[218] the Commons pray that Henry the
Prince may be commissioned to go into Wales with all possible haste,
considering the news that is coming from day to day of the rebellion
of the Earl of Northumberland, and others. They also, June 19,     (p. 225)
declare the thanks of the nation to be due to Lord Grey, John Greindore,
Lord Powis, and the Earls of Chester and Salop. Henry probably returned
to the Principality without delay; but there is reason to infer that,
towards the autumn of this year, Owyn Glyndowr felt himself too much
impoverished and weakened to attempt any important exploit; resolved
not to yield, and yet unable to strike any efficient blow. The Prince
was thus left at liberty to visit London for a while; and, on the 8th
of December 1406, we find him present at a council at Westminster.
This council met to deliberate upon the governance of the King's
household; which seems to have drawn to itself their serious attention
by its extravagance and mismanagement.[219] They requested that good
and honest officers might be appointed, especially a good controller.
They even recommended two by name, Thomas Bromflet and Arnaut Savari;
and desired that the steward and treasurer might seek for others.  (p. 226)
They proposed also that a proper sum should be provided for the household
before Christmas. The council then proceeded to make the following
suggestion, which probably could have been regarded by the King only
as an encroachment on his personal liberty and prerogative, a severe
reflection upon himself, and an indication of the unkind feelings of
those with whom it originated. "Also, it seems desirable that, the
said feast ended, our said sovereign the King should withdraw himself
to some convenient place, where, by the deliberation and advice of
himself and his council and officers, such moderate regulations might
be established in the said household as would thenceforth tend to the
pleasure of God and the people."

                   [Footnote 218: Stowe relates, that the King about
                   this time, in crossing from Queenborough to Essex,
                   was very nearly taken prisoner by some French
                   vessels. He avoided London because the plague was
                   raging there, in which thirty thousand persons

                   [Footnote 219: This dissatisfaction had been
                   expressed in no very gentle language by the Commons
                   in Parliament on the 7th of the preceding June, the
                   very day on which they speak in such strong terms
                   of the good and amiable qualities of the Prince.
                   Indeed, we can scarcely avoid suspecting that the
                   Commons intended to reflect, by a sort of
                   side-wind, on the want in the King of an adequate
                   estimate of his son's worth; with somewhat perhaps
                   of an implied contrast between his excellences and
                   the defects of his father, whose unsatisfactory
                   proceedings seem at this time to have been
                   gradually alienating the public respect, and
                   transferring his popularity to his son.]

Whether the Prince took any part in these proceedings, or not, we are
left in ignorance. Equally in the dark are we as to his line of conduct
with regard to those thirty-one articles proposed by the Commons, just
a fortnight afterwards; articles evidently tending to interfere with
the royal prerogative, and to limit the powers and increase the
responsibility of the King's council. "The Speaker requested that all
the lords of the council should be sworn to observe these articles;"
but they refused to comply, unless the King, "of his own motion,"
should specially command them to take the oath. This proceeding
respecting the council forms an important feature in its history, as
it proves the very extensive manner in which the Commons           (p. 227)
interested themselves in its measures and constitution. Whether we may
trace to these transactions, as their origin, the differences which in
after years show themselves plainly between the King and his son, or
whether other causes were then in operation, which time has veiled
from our sight, or which documents still in existence, but hitherto
unexamined, may bring again to light, we cannot undertake to
determine.[220] Be that as it may, though from this time we find Henry
of Monmouth on some occasions in Wales, yet he seems to have taken
more and more a part in the management of the nation at large; and, as
he grew in the estimation of the great people of the land, his royal
father appears to have more and more retired from public business, and
to have sunk in importance. Few documents[221] are preserved among the
records now accessible which give any information as to the Prince's
proceedings through the year 1407; but those few are by no means   (p. 228)
devoid of interest, as throwing some light upon the progress of the
Welsh rebellion, and, in a degree, on Henry's character being at the
same time confirmatory of the view above taken of his occupations.

                   [Footnote 220: In 8 Henry IV, (that is, between
                   September 30, 1406, and September 29, 1407,) a
                   licence is recorded (Pat. 8 Hen. IV. p. i. m. 17.),
                   by which the King permits "his dearest son Henry,
                   Prince of Wales, to grant the advowson of the
                   church of Frodyngham, Lincolnshire,--which was his
                   own possession--to the abbot and convent of Renesly
                   for ever." Long subsequently to this, we find no
                   immediate traces of any coolness between Henry and
                   his father.]

                   [Footnote 221: The Prince was present, 23rd January
                   1407, when his father received from the Bishop of
                   Durham the great seal of England, and delivered it
                   to Thomas, Archbishop of Canterbury, then made
                   Chancellor. (Claus 8 Hen. IV. m. 23, d.)]

The Prince had laid siege to the castle of Aberystwith, situate near
the town of Llanpadern; but how long he had been before that fortress,
or, indeed, at what time he had returned to the Principality, history
does not record. If, as we may infer, the King did retire, according
to the suggestion of the council, "to some convenient place," the
Prince's presence was more required in London; whilst, Owyn's power
being evidently at that time on the decline, the necessity of his
personal exertions in Wales became less urgent. No accounts of the
proceedings either of Owyn, of the King, or of the Prince, at this
precise period seem to have reached our time. Probably nothing beyond
the siege of a castle, or an indecisive skirmish, took place during
the spring and summer. Among the documents, to which allusion has just
been made, one bears date September 12, 1407, containing an agreement
between Henry Prince of Wales on the one part, and, on the other, Rees
ap Gryffith and his associates. The Welshmen stipulate not to destroy
the houses, nor molest the shipping, should any arrive; and the Prince
covenants to give them free egress for their persons and goods. The
motives by which he professes to be influenced are very curious:   (p. 229)
"For the reverence of God and All Saints, and especially also of his
own patron, John of Bridlington;[222] for the saving of human blood;
and at the petition of Richard ap Gryffyth, Abbot of Stratflorida."

                   [Footnote 222: John of Bridlington.--John of
                   Bridlington had been very recently admitted among
                   the saints of the Roman calendar: probably he was
                   the very last then canonized. Letters addressed to
                   all nations of safe conduct to John Gisbourne,
                   Canon of the Priory of Bridlington, who was then
                   going to Rome to negociate in the matter of the
                   canonization of John, the late Prior, were given by
                   Henry IV. as recently as October 4, 1400. And
                   Walsingham records that in 1404, by command of the
                   Pope, the body of St. John, formerly Prior of the
                   Canons of Bridlington, since miracles evidently
                   attended it, was translated by the hands of the
                   Archbishop of York and the Bishops of Durham and

Eight years after this, 23rd January 1415, a petition, which presents
more than one point of curiosity, was preferred to Henry of Monmouth,
then King, with reference to this siege of Aberystwith. Gerard Strong
prays that the King would issue a warrant commanding the treasurer and
barons of the exchequer to grant him a discharge for the metal of a
brass cannon burst at the siege of Aberystwith; of a cannon called
_The King's Daughter_, burst at the siege of Harlech; of a cannon
burst in proving it by Anthony Gunner, at Worcester; of a cannon with
two chambers; two iron guns, with gunpowder; and cross-bows and arrows,
delivered to various castles." The King granted the petition in all
its prayer. This petitioner was perhaps encouraged to prefer his   (p. 230)
memorial by the success with which another suit had been urged, only
in the preceding month (13th December 1414), with reference to the
same period. John Horne, citizen and fishmonger of London, presented
to Henry V. and his council a petition in these words: "When you were
Prince, his vessel laden with provisions was arrested (pressed) for
the service of Lords Talbot and Furnivale, and their soldiers, at the
siege of Harlech;[223] which siege would have failed had those supplies
not been furnished by him, as Lord Talbot certifies. On unlading and
receiving payment, the rebels came upon him, burnt his ship, took
himself prisoner, and fixed his ransom at twenty marks. He was liable
to be imprisoned for the debt which he owed for the cargo." The King
granted his petition, and ordered him to be paid. Henry was then on
the point of leaving England for Normandy; and these reminiscences of
his early campaigns might have presented themselves to his thoughts
with agreeable associations, and rendered his ear more ready to listen
to petitions, which seem at all events to have been presented somewhat

                   [Footnote 223: This, we infer, must have been in
                   the summer of 1409. Vide infra.]

An important circumstance, hitherto unobserved by writers on these
times, is incidentally recorded in the Pell Rolls. Prince Henry is
there reimbursed, on June 1, 1409, a much larger sum than usual    (p. 231)
for the pay of his men-at-arms and archers in Wales; and is in the same
entry stated to have been retained by the consent of the council, on the
12th of the preceding May, to remain in attendance on the person of the
King, and at his bidding. The Latin[224] might be thought to leave it
in doubt whether this absence from his Principality, and constant
attendance on the King, was originally the result of his own wishes,
or his father's, or at the suggestion of the council. But the circumstance
of the consent of the council being recorded proves that Henry's
absence from Wales and residence in London were not the mere result of
his own will and pleasure, independently of the wishes of those whom
he ought to respect; but were at all events in accordance with the
expressed approbation of his father and the council. Probably the plan
originated with the council, the Prince willingly accepting the
office, the King intimating his consent.

                   [Footnote 224: "Hen. Principi Walliæ retento 12º
                   die Maii anno 8vo de assensu consilii Regis
                   moraturo penes ipsum Dominum Regem."]

CHAPTER XI.                                                        (p. 232)



Though our own documents fail to supply us with any further information
as to the proceedings of Henry of Monmouth through the year 1407, and
though he might have been allowed some breathing time by the decreased
energy of the Welsh rebels, yet Monstrelet informs us that he was
actively engaged in a campaign at the other extremity of the kingdom.
The historian thus introduces his readers to this affair: "How the
Prince of Wales, eldest son of the King of England, accompanied    (p. 233)
by his two uncles and a very great body of chivalry, went into Scotland
to make war." He then commences his chapter by the not very usual
assurance that he is about to relate a matter of fact. "Then it is the
truth that at this time, 1407, about the Feast of All Saints (1st
November), Henry Prince of Wales[225] mustered an army of one thousand
men-at-arms and six thousand archers; among whom were his two uncles,
the Duke of York, the Earl of Dorset, the Lords Morteines, de Beaumont,
de Rol, and Cornwal, together with many other noblemen; who all
marched towards Scotland, chiefly because the Scots had lately broken
the truce between the two kingdoms, and done great damage by fire and
sword in the duchy of Lancaster, and the district around Roxburgh. The
Scots were not aware of their approach till they were near at hand,
and had committed great devastation. As soon as the King of Scotland,
who was at the town of Saint "Iango" (Andrew's) in the middle of his
kingdom, heard of it, he issued orders immediately to his chiefs; and
in a few days a powerful army was assembled, which he sent under the
command of the Earl of Douglas and Buchan towards the Marches. But,
when they were within six leagues, they learnt that the English    (p. 234)
were too strong for them. They consequently sent ambassadors to the
Prince of Wales and his council, who brought about a renewal of the
truce for a year; and thus the aforesaid Prince of Wales, having done
much damage in Scotland, returned into England, and the Scots
dismissed their army."

                   [Footnote 225: The Pell Rolls record payment (16th
                   November 1407) to the Prince, by the hand of John
                   Strange, his treasurer of war, for one hundred and
                   twenty men-at-arms and three hundred and sixty
                   archers, then remaining at the abbey of
                   Stratfleure, to reduce the rebels, and give battle
                   in North and South Wales.]

Soon after his return from Scotland we find Henry with his father at
Gloucester,[226] where a Parliament was held in the beginning of December;
the records of which enable us to carry on still further the testimony
borne to the Prince's character by his contemporaries, and to speak of
an act of generosity and noble-mindedness placed beyond the reach of
calumny to disparage. The King, on the 1st of December issued a commission
for negociating a peace with France; alleging, as the chief reason for
hastening it, his desire to have more time and leisure to appease the
schism in the church. On the last day of their sitting, the Parliament
prayed the King to present the thanks of the nation to the Prince of
Wales for his great services; in answer to which the King returned
many thanks to the Commons. Immediately on receiving this testimony of
public gratitude, "the Prince fell down upon his knees before the  (p. 235)
King, and very humbly mentioning that he had heard of certain
evil-intentioned obloquies and detractions made to the slander of the
Duke of York,[227] declared that, if it were not for the Duke's good
advice and counsel, he, my lord the Prince himself, and others in his
company, would have been in great peril and desolation." "Moreover,"
(continued the Prince,) "the Duke, as though he had been one of the
poorest gentlemen of the realm who would have to toil and struggle for
the acquirement of his own honour and name, laboured, and did his very
best to give courage and comfort to all others around him. He affirmed
also, that the Duke was in everything a loyal and valiant knight."[228]
This generous conduct towards one on whom the royal displeasure had
fallen, but who seems to have always conducted himself as a brave and
faithful and honourable subject, naturally raised in all who witnessed
it a still higher admiration of the character of the Prince, whose
conduct had repeatedly called for their grateful thanks and        (p. 236)
warmest eulogies. The Parliament would not separate without first praying
the King, that all who adhered steadily and faithfully to the Prince
of Wales might be encouraged and rewarded, and all who deserted him,
and left his company without his permission, might be punished.

                   [Footnote 226: The reason assigned by Henry IV. for
                   convening this Parliament at Gloucester, must not
                   be overlooked.--He believed that the nearer he
                   himself, and his nobles, and his court, were to
                   "his dear son, then commissioned to reduce the
                   rebels in Wales," the greater probability there was
                   of a successful issue of the Prince's campaign.]

                   [Footnote 227: By the Author published as
                   Otterbourne, we are told, that the Lady Le
                   Despenser charged the Duke of York with having been
                   the author of the plot for stealing away the sons
                   of the Earl of March, and also for attempting the
                   King's life. On the Pell Roll, beginning Friday,
                   October 3rd, 1407, payment is recorded to divers
                   messengers sent to seize for the King's use all the
                   goods and chattels of Edward, Duke of York, and
                   Lord Le Despenser: and, subsequently, payment to
                   one Leget, for the safe conveyance of Lord Le
                   Despenser from London to the castle of
                   "Killynworth." The year before this, Edward, Duke
                   of York, was the King's Lieutenant of South Wales.]

                   [Footnote 228: Rolls of Parliament, 8 Hen. IV.]

The records of the year 1408 are particularly barren of facts with
regard either to the affairs of the kingdom at large, to the state[229]
of the Principality, or to the occupations and proceedings of Henry of
Monmouth. Shortly after Midsummer he was present as a member of a
council held in the church of St. Paul, when an indenture of agreement
between the King and his son, Thomas of Lancaster, afterwards Duke of
Clarence, was submitted to them for confirmation. Besides the stipulated
conditions on which the Lord Thomas should engage to execute the office
of Viceroy in Ireland, together with the sources of his allowance and
the mode of payment, this agreement contains also a provision that the
Prince[230] should first be paid what was assigned to him for the  (p. 237)
safeguard of Wales. The record of this council concludes by adding,
"And it was agreed by my lord the Prince, and the other lords of the
council, and by them promised to the said Lord Thomas, that, as much
as in them lay, the assignments made to him, and specified in that
indenture, should not be revoked or stopped in any way." The closing
paragraph of this minute of the council is very important and interesting,
especially in one particular, presenting Henry of Monmouth to us under
a new aspect: it is the first instance in which we find the name of
the Prince mentioned by itself individually, in contradistinction to
the other members of the council; a practice for some time afterwards
generally observed.

                   [Footnote 229: A minute of council (20th of
                   February) states the bare fact that Owyn, late
                   secretary to Glyndowr, had been committed to the
                   custody of Lord Grey, from November 4, 1406, and
                   had remained in ward four hundred and seventy-three
                   days; and that Gryffyth of Glyndowrdy, (Owyn
                   Glyndowr's son,) whom the Constable of the Tower
                   had delivered to the same lord on the 8th of June,
                   had been in custody two hundred and fifty days.]

                   [Footnote 230: The custody of the Earl of March and
                   his brother was given to the Prince of Wales on
                   February 1st, 1409; and, since he had received
                   nothing for their sustentation, an assignment of
                   five hundred marks a year was made to him from the
                   duties of skins and wool. On the 3rd of July, the
                   King granted to him "the manors belonging to
                   Edmund, son and heir of Roger Mortimer, Earl of
                   March," during the young man's minority. The
                   Prince's revenues seem to have been scanty in the
                   extreme, and his father had recourse to many of the
                   various modes of raising money usually adopted in
                   those days.]

Henry began at this time, in consequence, no doubt, of the requisition
of the council, to take a prominent part in the government of the
kingdom at large, and to enter upon that life of political activity
which gained for him the confidence and admiration of the great
majority of the people, whilst it exposed him to the envy and jealousy
of some individuals; yet he was not immediately released from the
cares and anxieties and expenses which the disturbed state of his (p. 238)
Principality involved. For in the early part of the autumn of this
year we find him again present at Caermarthen:[231] we have reason,
nevertheless, to believe that, when the winter closed in, he quitted
Wales, never to return to it again either as Prince or King.

                   [Footnote 231: On the 23rd of September, Henry
                   executed a deed by which of especial grace he gave
                   "for the term of life to William Malbon, our valet
                   de chambre, the office of Raglore [Qu: Regulator?]
                   of the commotes of Glenerglyn and Hannynyok in our
                   county of Cardigan. Given under our seal in our
                   castle of Caermarthen, in the ninth year of the
                   reign of our lord and father."]

After the Prince, however, had withdrawn from personally exerting
himself in the suppression of the insurgents, Owyn Glyndowr still
carried on a kind of desultory warfare, rallying from time to time his
scattered and dispirited adherents, heading them in predatory
incursions upon the property of his enemies, laying violent hands on
the persons of those who resisted his authority, and depriving them of
their liberty or their lives, as best suited his own views of policy.
On the 16th of May 1409, a mandate issued by the King at Westminster,
to Edward Charleton, Lord Powis, with others,[232] is couched in
language which draws a frightful picture of the terror and confusion
and misery caused by these reckless rebels; conveying, nevertheless,
at the same time the idea of a lawless band of insurgents          (p. 239)
resisting the authority of the government to the utmost of their power,
but no longer of an army headed by a sovereign and struggling for
independence. The preamble of the commission runs thus: "Whereas, from
the report of many, we understand that Owyn de Glyndowrdy, and
John,[233] who pretends that he is Bishop of St. Asaph, and other our
rebels and traitors in Wales, together with certain of our enemies of
France, Scotland, and other places, have now recently congregated afresh,
and gone about the lands of us, and of others our lieges, in the same
parts of Wales, day and night wickedly seizing upon some of the said
lands; and capturing, scourging, and imprisoning our faithful lieges;
consuming,[234] carrying away, and devastating their property,     (p. 240)
and committing many other enormities against our peace: We, willing to
resist the malice of the aforesaid Owyn, and the aforesaid pretended
Bishop, and to provide for the peace and repose of Wales, give you
this command."

                   [Footnote 232: The same commission is sent to the
                   Duke of York, Lords Arundel, Warwick, Reginald Grey
                   of Ruthyn, Richard Grey of Codnor, Constance, wife
                   of the late Thomas Le Despenser, William Beauchamp,
                   and others.]

                   [Footnote 233: This prelate was John Trevaur, who
                   was consecrated in 1395, and deposed in 1402. Much
                   doubt hangs over the appointment of his immediate
                   successor. Some say David, the second of that name,
                   was appointed to the see in 1402. Robert de
                   Lancaster was consecrated in 1411. A similar doubt
                   exists as to the successor of Richard Young, Bishop
                   of Bangor. Whether a prelate named Lewis
                   immediately followed him on his translation to
                   Rochester in 1404, or not, is very uncertain.]

                   [Footnote 234: Sir Henry Ellis, having represented
                   the mischief done to Wales by Owyn to have been
                   incalculable, enumerates a few instances of the
                   misery he caused: Montgomery deflourished, (as
                   Leland expresses himself,) Radnor partly
                   destroyed,--"and the voice is there, that when he
                   won the castle he took threescore men that had the
                   guard, and beheaded them on the brink of the castle
                   yard." "The people about Dinas did burn the castle
                   there, that Owyn should not keep it for his
                   fortress." The Haye, Abergavenny, Grosmont, Usk,
                   Pool, the Bishop's castle and the Archdeacon's
                   house at Llandaff, with the cathedrals of Bangor
                   and St. Asaph, were all either in part or wholly
                   victims of his rage. The list might be much
                   augmented. At Cardiff, he burnt the whole town,
                   except the street in which the Franciscan monks
                   dwelt. These brethren were reported to have
                   contributed large sums to support Glyndowr's cause,
                   and to enable him to invade England.]

Ten Welsh prisoners, under a warrant dated October 18th, were delivered,
as it is supposed for execution, by the Constable of Windsor to
William Lisle, Marshal of England. From this circumstance some writers
have inferred that a considerable engagement took place this summer;
but it may be doubted whether the measures adopted in accordance with
the above commission would not sufficiently account for even a far
greater number of prisoners being at the disposal of the King: for he
strictly charged all those lords and sheriffs to whom his commission
was directed "not to quit Wales till Owyn and the pretended Bishop
should be utterly routed, but to attack them with the whole posse of
the realm night and day." No doubt can be entertained that both their
duty and their interest would induce these persons to put the King's
mandate into execution promptly and vigorously; and probably many of
Owyn's partisans fell into the hands of the government in the      (p. 241)
course of the present summer and autumn: Owyn himself, also, either
sued for a truce, or acceded to the proposals made to him. The persons
to whom the King delegated the duty of crushing him, either influenced
by a sense of the misery caused far and wide by the depredations and
havoc carried on by the Welsh rebels on every side, or growing tired
of a protracted struggle which brought to them neither glory nor
profit, made a truce with Owyn without any warrant from the King. So
far, however, was he from sanctioning their proceeding that he
annulled the truce altogether, and (November 23rd, 1409,) issued a new
mandate to divers other persons to hasten with all their powers
against the rebels.

A curious legal document, of a date later by five years than the
circumstance to which it refers, informs us that the King, when
enumerating in his commission to Lord Powis the partisans of Owyn, in
addition to the auxiliaries of Scotland and France, might have
mentioned the malcontents also of England. Owyn's British supporters,
even at so late a period of his rebellion, were not confined to the
Principality, but were found in other parts of the kingdom. In Trinity
Term, 2 Henry V. (1414,) a presentation is found, recording this curious
fact: "John, Lord Talbot,[235] (the Lord Furnivale,) was on his road
towards Caernarvon, there to abide, and resist the malice of       (p. 242)
Owyn Glyndowr and other rebels in the parts of Wales. Accompanied by
sixty men-at-arms and seven score archers, he was hastening onward
with all possible speed, in need of victuals, arms, and other necessaries,
intending to pass through Shrewsbury, and there to buy them. On the
Monday before the Nativity of John the Baptist, (17th June,) in the
tenth year of the late King, (1409,) one John Weole, constable of the
town and castle, and Richard Laken of Laken, in the same county, Esquire,
and others, with very many malefactors, of premeditated malice closed
the gates against them, and guarded them, and would not suffer any of
the King's lieges to come out and assist them. By which Lord Furnivale
and his men were much impeded, and many of the King's commands
remained unexecuted."[236]

                   [Footnote 235: Some documents by mistake represent
                   Lord Talbot and the Lord Furnivale as two distinct

                   [Footnote 236: MS. Donat. 4599.]

Of the rebellion in Wales, however, very few circumstances are recorded
after Henry of Monmouth had ceased to resist the rebels in person: the
war gradually dwindled, and sunk at last into insignificance. A few
embers of the conflagration still remained unquenched, and called for
the watchfulness of government; but the flames had been so far
subdued, that all sense of danger to the general peace of the realm
had been removed from the people of England. No precise date can be
assigned to the last show of resistance on the part of Owyn or his
followers. It must have been, at all events, later than our        (p. 243)
historians have generally supposed. About Christmas 1411 a free pardon
was granted for all treasons and crimes, with an exception from the
King's grace of Owyn Glyndowr himself, and one Thomas Trumpyngton, who
seems to have made himself very obnoxious to the government. In the
same year payment was made of various sums to defray the expenses of
the late siege of Harlech, the successful issue of which the record
ascribes, to the favour of God. In 1412 the King's licence was given
to John Tiptoft, seneschal, and William Boteler, receiver of Brecknock,
to negociate with Owyn for the ransom of David Gamne, the gallant
Welshman who afterwards fell at the battle of Agincourt. The licence
was granted at the suit of Llewellin ap Howell, David Gamne's father,
and authorised the parties to offer in exchange any Welshmen whom they
could take prisoners. In the same year, about Midsummer, the Pell
Rolls, recording a large sum paid to the Prince for the safeguard of
Wales, at the same time acquaint us with the waning state of the
insurrection; for the money was to enable the Prince to resist the
rebels "now seldom rising in arms."[237] The same expression occurs in
the following December.

                   [Footnote 237: "Jam raro insurgentium."]

Still, though their rising was even then rare, yet as late as February
19, 1414, payment is registered of a sum "to a certain Welshman coming
to London, and continuing there, to give information concerning    (p. 244)
the proceedings and designs of Ewain Glendowrdy."

We gladly bring to a close these references to the last days of the
dying rebellion in Wales, by recording an act of grace on the part of
Henry of Monmouth.[238] It was after he had returned from his victory
at Agincourt, and when, notwithstanding the immense drain of men and
money in his campaign in Normandy, he could doubtless have extirpated
the whole remnant of the rebels, had he delighted in vengeance rather
than in mercy, that he commissioned Sir Gilbert Talbot to "communicate
and treat with Meredith ap Owyn, son of Owyn de Glendowrdy; and as
well the said Owyn, as other our rebels, to admit and receive into
their allegiance, if they seek it." Probably the stubborn heart of
Owyn scorned to sue for pardon, and to share the King's grace.

                   [Footnote 238: 24th February 1416.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Of the last years of Owyn Glyndowr history furnishes us with very
scanty information. It is certain that he never fell into the hands of
his enemies: it is probable that, after having been compelled at
length to withdraw from the hopeless struggle in which he had persevered
with indomitable courage, he passed away in concealment his few
remaining years of disappointment and sorrow. Tradition ventures to
hint that friends in Herefordshire threw the shelter of their
hospitality over him in his days of distress and desolation. But   (p. 245)
history returns no satisfactory answer to our inquiries whether he was
blessed with the consolations of religion in his calamity; nor whether,
to lighten the dreadful vicissitudes of his eventful life, he was cheered
at the close of his sorrow by any whom he loved. His reverses brought
with them no ordinary degree of suffering. In the very opening of the
rebellion his houses were burnt, and his lands were confiscated. His
brother fell in one of the earliest engagements on the borders. In the
course of the struggle,[239] his wife and his children, sons and
daughters, were carried away captive, and retained as prisoners. His
friends were gone; many had fallen on the field of battle; many had
died under the hand of the executioner; many had provided for their
own safety by deserting him. Every act of grace and pardon, though it
embraced almost all besides, made an exception of his name; till   (p. 246)
the above offer of mercy from Henry of Monmouth included Owyn himself.
His sufferings were enough in number and intenseness to satisfy the
vengeance of any one who was not athirst for blood.

                   [Footnote 239: This is a fact, as the Author
                   believes, new in history; which, however, is placed
                   beyond all doubt by the Issue Rolls of the Pell
                   Office. 1 Henry V. 27th June, money is paid to John
                   Weele for the expenses of the wife of Owen
                   Glendourdi, of the wife of Edmund Mortimer, and of
                   others, their sons and daughters: "et aliorum
                   filiorum et filiarum suarum." On the 21st of March,
                   also 1411, Lord Grey of Codnor is authorised, as we
                   have already stated, by warrant to deliver Gryffuth
                   ap Owyn Glyndourdy, (that is, Owyn's son Griffith,)
                   and Owyn ap Griffith ap Rycard, to the constable of
                   the Tower, till further orders.--MS. Donat. 4599.

                   This son, however, of Owyn had been a prisoner for
                   a long time before the date of this warrant. Lord
                   Grey had payment made for the expenses of Griffin,
                   son of Owyn Glyndowr, as early as June 1,
                   1407.--Pell Rolls.]

In estimating the character of this extraordinary man, we must
remember that almost the whole evidence which we have of him has been
derived through the medium of his enemies; in the next place, we must
not allow circumstances over which he had no control to darken his
fame; nor must our zeal in condemning the rebel, bury in oblivion the
patriot, though mistaken; or the hero, though unsuccessful.

Especially, then, must it be borne in mind, that not Henry Bolinbroke,
but Richard II. was the sovereign to whom Glyndowr[240] had owed and
had originally sworn allegiance; that he had been especially and
confidentially employed in that unhappy monarch's immediate service;
that he was one of the very few who remained faithful to him, and
accompanied him through perils and trials to the last; and that he
left him only when Richard's misfortunes prohibited his friends from
giving him any longer assistance or comfort. We must remember also,
that, even had his master Richard been deposed or dead, it was not
Henry Bolinbroke, but the Earl of March, whom the laws of the      (p. 247)
country had taught him to regard as his liege lord. We cannot, indeed,
in honesty assign to Glyndowr the crown of martyrdom won in his country's
cause; we cannot justly ascribe his career exclusively to pure
patriotism: there is too much of self[241] mingled in his character to
justify us in enrolling him among the devoted friends of freedom, and
the disinterested enemies of tyranny. He was driven into rebellion by
the sense of individual injury and insult rather than of his country's
wrongs; and he too eagerly assumed to himself the honours, authority,
and power, as well as the title of sovereign of his native land. But
he was not one of those heartless ringleaders of confusion,--he was
not one of those desperate rebels with whom the English too harshly
and too rashly have been wont to number him. He possessed many qualities
of the hero, deserving a better cause and a better fate. It is
impossible not to admire his unconquerable courage, his endurance of
hardships, his faculty of making the very best of the means within his
reach, and his unshrinking perseverance as long as there remained to
him one ray of hope or one particle of strength. The guilt of violated
faith, though laid to his charge, has never been established. He has
been, moreover, often accused of cruelty, and of engaging in savage
warfare; but even his enemies and conquerors, by their actions     (p. 248)
and by their despatches, prove, that though Owyn slew, and burnt, and
laid waste far and wide, yet in all this he executed only the law of
retaliation, dreadful as that law is both in its principle and in its

                   [Footnote 240: It does not appear, whether Owyn had
                   ever sworn allegiance to Henry IV.]

                   [Footnote 241: Pennant says he caused himself, in
                   1402, to be acknowledged Prince of Wales by his
                   countrymen, and to be crowned also.]

Owyn Glyndowr failed, and he was denounced as a rebel and a traitor.
But had the issue of the "sorry fight" of Shrewsbury been otherwise
than it was; had Hotspur so devised, and digested, and matured his
plan of operations, as to have enabled Owyn with his forces to join
heart and hand in that hard-fought field; had Bolinbroke and his son[242]
fallen on that fatal day;--instead of lingering among his native mountains
as a fugitive and a branded felon; bereft of his lands, his friends,
his children and his wife; waiting only for the blow of death to
terminate his earthly sufferings, and, when that blow fell, leaving no
memorial[243] behind him to mark either the time or the place of   (p. 249)
his release,--Owyn Glyndowr might have been recognised even by England,
as he actually had been by France, in the character of an independent
sovereign; and his people might have celebrated his name as the
avenger of his country's wrongs, the scourge of her oppressors, and
the restorer of her independence. The anticipations of his own bard,
Gryffydd Llydd, might have been amply realized.[244]

                   [Footnote 242: How beautifully does the poet
                   express this same thought in the words of Harry
                   Percy's widow:

                         "Had my sweet Harry had but half their numbers,
                         To-day might I, hanging on Hotspur's neck,
                         Have talked of Monmouth's grave."
                                     Second Part of HENRY IV. act ii.

                   This lady, Elizabeth Percy, had probably either
                   said or done something to excite the suspicion of
                   the King; for he issued a warrant for her
                   apprehension on the 8th of October, after the
                   battle of Shrewsbury.]

                   [Footnote 243: The Welsh historians tell of various
                   traditions relating both to the place and the time
                   of his death, adding many a romantic tale of his
                   wanderings among the mountains, and in caves and
                   dens of the earth. But, unable to trace any grounds
                   of preference for one tradition above another, the
                   Author of these Memoirs leaves the question (in
                   itself of no great importance), without expressing
                   any opinion beyond what he has offered in the text.
                   He must, however, add, that the traditions of his
                   having passed many of his last days at the houses
                   of Scudamore and Monnington, of his having been
                   some time concealed in a cavern called to this day
                   Owyn's Cave, on the coast of Merioneth, and of his
                   having been buried in Monnington churchyard, are by
                   no means improbable. The story of his corpse
                   resting under a stone in the churchyard of Bangor
                   is evidently a mistake; whilst the legend which
                   would identify him with John of Kent seems
                   altogether fabulous.]

                   [Footnote 244: The Author takes the translation
                   from the Appendix to Williams' Monmouthshire.]

  Strike then your harps, ye Cambrian bards!
      The song of triumph best rewards
      An hero's toils. Let Henry weep
  His warriors wrapt in everlasting sleep:
      Success and victory are thine,
      Owain Glyndurdwy divine!
  Dominion, honour, pleasure, praise,
  Attend upon thy vigorous days.
  And, when thy evening's sun is set,
  May grateful Cambria ne'er forget
  Thy noon-tide blaze; but on thy tomb
      Never-fading laurels bloom.

By the obliging kindness of Sir Henry Ellis, the Author is enabled (p. 250)
to enrich his work by authentic representations of the Great and Privy
Seals of Owyn Glyndowr as Prince of Wales; he borrows at the same time
the clear and scientific description of them, with which that antiquary
furnished the Archæologia.[245] The originals are appended to two
instruments preserved in the Hôtel Soubise at Paris, both dated in the
year 1404, and believed to relate to the furnishing of the troops
which were then supplied to Owyn by the King of France.

                   [Footnote 245: Vol. xxv.]

"On the obverse of the Great Seal, Owyn is represented with a bifid
beard, very similar to Richard II, seated under a canopy of Gothic
tracery; the half-body of a wolf forming the arms of his chair on each
side; the back-ground is ornamented with a mantle semée of lions, held
up by angels. At his feet are two lions. A sceptre is in his right hand;
but he has no crown. The inscription, OWENUS ... PRINCEPS WALLIÆ. On the
reverse Owyn is represented on horseback in armour: in his right hand,
which is extended, he holds a sword; and with his left, his shield
charged with four lions rampant: a drapery, probably a _kerchief de
plesaunce_, or handkerchief won at a tournament, pendent from the right
wrist. Lions rampant also appear upon the mantle of the horse. On his
helmet, as well as on his horse's head, is the Welsh dragon. The area of
the seal is diapered with roses. The inscription on this side      (p. 251)
seems to fill the gap upon the obverse, OWENUS DEI GRATIA ... WALLIÆ.

The Privy Seal represents the four lions rampant, towards the spectator's
left, on a shield, surmounted by an open coronet; the dragon of Wales
as a supporter on the dexter side, on the sinister a lion. The
inscription seems to have been SIGILLUM OWENI PRINCIPIS WALLIÆ.

No impression of this seal is probably now to be found either in Wales
or England. Its workmanship shows that Owyn Glyndowr possessed a taste
for art far beyond the types of the seals of his predecessors."

[Illustration: Seal]

CHAPTER XII.                                                       (p. 252)



Henry of Monmouth, whose years, from the earliest opening of youth to
the entrance of manhood, had chiefly been occupied within the precincts
of his own Principality in quelling the spirit of rebellion which had
burst forth there with great fury, and had been protracted with a
vitality almost incredible, is from this date to be viewed and examined
under a totally different combination of circumstances. Early in the
year 1409 he was appointed Warden of the Cinque Ports and Constable of
Dover for life, with a salary of 300_l._ a year. Thomas Erpyngham,
"the King's beloved and faithful knight," who held those offices   (p. 253)
by patent, having resigned them in favour of the King's "very dear
son."[246] He was made on the 18th of March 1410, Captain of Calais,
by writ of privy seal; and he was constituted also President of the
King's Council.

                   [Footnote 246: MS. Donat. 4599.]

The character of Henry having been assailed, not only in times distant
from our own, but by writers also of the present age, on the ground of
his having behaved towards his father with unkindness and cruelty
after the date of his appointment to these offices, it becomes necessary,
in order to ascertain the reality of the charge and its extent, as
well as the time to which his change of behaviour is to be referred,
to trace his footsteps in all his personal transactions with his
father, and in the management of the public affairs of the realm, more
narrowly than it might otherwise have been necessary or interesting
for us to do. Every incidental circumstance which can throw any light
on this uncertain and perplexing page of his history becomes invested
with an interest beyond its own intrinsic importance, just as in a
judicial investigation, where the animus of any party bears upon the
question at issue, the most minute and trifling particular will often
give a clue, whilst broad and striking events may not assist in
relieving the judge from any portion of his doubts. On this principle
the following facts are inserted here. They may perhaps appear too (p. 254)
disjointed for a continuous narrative; and they are cited only as
separate links which might form a chain of evidence all bearing upon
the question as to Henry's position from this time with his father.

Early in the year 1409, the King, in a letter to the Pope, when speaking
of the Cardinal of Bourdeaux says, "He came into the presence of us
and of our first-born son, the Prince of Wales, and others, our prelates."
At this period we are informed by the dry details of the royal
exchequer, that the King was anxiously bent on the marriage of his
son. To Sir William Bourchier payment is made, (17th May 1409,) on
account of a voyage to Denmark and Norway, to treat with Isabella,
Queen of Denmark, for a marriage between the Lord Henry, Prince of
Wales, and the daughter of Philippa of Denmark; and on the 23rd of the
same month[247] a payment is made to "Hugh Mortimer, Esq., lately
twice sent by the King's command to France, to enter into a contract
of marriage between the Prince and the second daughter of the King's
adversary, the King of France." In the August of 1409 the council
assembled at Westminster, resolved, with regard to Ireland, that,
should it be agreeable to the King and the Lord Thomas, it would be
expedient for Lord John Stanley to be appointed Lieutenant, he paying
a stipulated sum every year to the Lord Thomas. Before the council
broke up, the Prince, who presided, undertook to speak on this     (p. 255)
subject, as well to the King his father, as to his brother the Lord
Thomas. At this time it would appear that, so far from any coldness,
and jealousies, and suspicions existing between the Prince and the
members of his family, he was deemed the most fit person to negociate
an affair of much delicacy between the council and his father and his

                   [Footnote 247: The payments prove nothing as to the
                   dates of the debts incurred.]

On the 31st of January 1410, the King, in the palace of Lambeth,
"delivered the great seals to Thomas Beaufort, his brother, in the
presence of the Archbishop, Henry of York, and my lord the
Prince."[248] On the 5th of March following, the King's warrant was
signed for the burning of John Badley. The Prince's conduct on that
occasion, which has been strangely misrepresented, but which seems at
all events to testify to the kindness of his disposition, and his
anxiety to save a fellow-creature from suffering, is examined at some
length in another part of this work, where his character is
investigated with reference to the sweeping charge brought against him
of being a religious persecutor. On the 18th of that month, when he
was appointed Captain of Calais, his father at the same time made him
a present for life of his house called Coldharbour. It must be here
observed that the disagreement which evidently arose and           (p. 256)
continued for some time between the King and the Commons, though the
Prince was compelled to take a part in it, seems not to have shaken
the King's confidence in him, nor to have alienated his affections
from him at all. On the 23rd of March the Commons require the King to
appoint a council; and on Friday, the 2nd of May following, they ask
the King to inform them of the names of his council: on which occasion
this remarkable circumstance occurred.[249] The King replied that many
had been excused; that the others were the Prince, the Bishops of
Worcester, Durham, and Bath, Lords Arundel, Westmoreland, and Burnell.
The Prince then, in the name of all, prayed to be excused, if there
would not be found money sufficient to defray the necessary charges;
and, should nothing adequate be granted, then that they should at the
end of the parliament be discharged from all expenses incurred by
them. Upon this they resolved that the Prince should not be sworn as a
member of the council, because of the high dignity of his honourable
person. The other members were sworn. It is to this stipulation of the
Prince that the King refers at the close of the parliament in 1411,
when, after the Commons had prayed the King to thank the Prince and
council, he says, "I am persuaded they would have done more had they
had more ample means, as my lord the Prince declared when they were

                   [Footnote 248: These insulated facts may be thought
                   to prove little of themselves; but they throw light
                   (it is presumed) both on Henry of Monmouth's
                   occupations, through these years of his life, and
                   especially on the point of any rupture existing
                   between himself and the King his father.]

                   [Footnote 249: Parl. Rolls, 1410.]

It has often been a subject of wonder what should have brought     (p. 257)
the Prince and his brother so often into East-Cheap; and the story of
the Boar's Head in Shakspeare has long associated in our minds Henry
Prince of Wales with a low and vulgar part of London, in which he
could have had no engagement worthy of his station, and to which,
therefore, he must have resorted only for the purposes of riot and
revelry with his unworthy and dissolute companions. History records
nothing of the Prince derogatory to his princely and Christian
character during his residence in Coldharbour; it does indeed charge
two of the King's sons with a riot there, but they are stated by name
to be Thomas and John. Henry's name does not occur at all in connexion
with any disturbance or misdoing. The fact, however, (not generally
known,) of Henry having his own house, the gift of his father, in the
heart of London, near East-Cheap, (the scene indeed of Shakspeare's
poetical romance, but really the frequent place of meeting for the
King's council whilst Henry was their president,) might seem to call
for a few words as to the locality of Coldharbour and its circumstances.
The grant by his father of this mansion, dated Westminster, March
18th, 1410, is couched in these words: "Know ye, that, of our especial
grace, we have granted to our dearest son, Henry Prince of Wales, a
certain hostel or place called Coldharbour, in our city of London,
with its appurtenances, to hold for the term of his life, without (p. 258)
any payment to us for the same."[250] These premises, we learn, came
into Henry IV.'s possession by the right of his wife. Stowe, who
supplies the materials from which we safely make that inference, does
not seem to have been aware that it was ever in the possession of
either that King or his son. He tells us it was bought in the 8th of
Edward III. by John Poultney, who was four times mayor, and who lived
there when it was called Poultney Inn. But, thirteen years afterward
(21 Edward III.), he, by charter, gave and confirmed it to Humfrey de
Bohun, Earl of Hereford and Essex, as "his whole tenement called
Coldharbour, with all the tenements and key adjoining, on the way
called Haywharf Lane (All Saints ad foenum), for a rose at Midsummer,
if demanded. In 1397, John Holland, Earl of Huntingdon, lodged there;
and Richard II, his brother, dined with him. It was then counted a
right fair and stately house."[251]

                   [Footnote 250: Rym. Foed. vol. vii.]

                   [Footnote 251: Stowe's London, ii. 206.]

We are led to infer, though the formal grant of this house to Prince
Henry was made only in the March of this year, yet that it had been
his residence for some time previously; for, on the 8th of the
preceding February, we find a council held there, himself present as
its chief.

It does not appear by any positive statement that the Prince visited
Calais immediately on his appointment to its captaincy, but we     (p. 259)
shall probably be safe in concluding that he did so; for, very soon
afterwards, we find letters of protection[252] for one year (from
April 23) given to Thomas Selby, who was to go with the Prince, and
remain with him at Calais. At all events, he was resident in London by
the middle of June, and had apparently engaged most actively in the
affairs of government. On the 16th of that month we find him president
at two sittings of the council on the same day:[253] the first at
Coldharbour, in which it was determined that three parts of the
subsidy granted to the King on wools, hides, &c. should be applied to
the payment of the garrison of Calais and of the marches thereof; the
second, at the Convent of the Preaching Friars, when an ordinance was
made for the payment of the garrison of Berwick and the East March of

                   [Footnote 252: Rymer's Foed.]

                   [Footnote 253: Acts of Council.]

The Prince presided at a council, on the 18th of June, in Westminster;
and, on the 19th, in the house of the Bishop of Hereford. To this
council his brother Thomas of Lancaster presented a petition praying
for reformation of certain tallies, by default of which he could not
obtain the money due to him. The preamble, as well as the body of this
petition, proves that at this time the Prince was regarded not merely
as a member of the council, but as its president, to be named and
addressed individually and in contradistinction to the other       (p. 260)
members. "The petition of my lord Thomas of Lancaster, made to the
very honourable and puissant lord the Prince, and the other very
honourable and wise lords of the council of our sovereign lord the
King. First, may it please my said lord the Prince, and the other
lords of the council," &c.--That up to this time no jealousy had
arisen in the King's mind in consequence of the growing popularity and
ascendency of his son, is evidenced by the record of the same council.
That document tells us plainly that the King was cordial with him, and
employed him as his confidential representative: it shall speak for
itself. "And then my said lord the Prince reported to the other
members of the council, that he had it in command from his very good
lord and father to ordain, with the advice of the others of the said
council, that the Lord Thomas Beaufort, brother of our said lord the
King and his chancellor of England, should have such gratuity for one
year beyond his fees as to them should seem reasonable. On which, by
our said lord the Prince, and all the others, it was agreed that the
said chancellor should receive for one year, from the day of his
appointment, 800 marks."

The next council, at which also we find the Prince acting as
president, was held on the 11th of July. Between the dates of these
two last councils, that disturbance in the street took place which the
Chronicle of London refers to merely as "an affray in East-Cheap   (p. 261)
between the townsmen and the Princes Thomas and John;" but which Stowe
records with much of detail and minuteness. Many, it is believed, may
be disposed to regard it as the foundation chosen by Shakspeare on
which to build the superstructure of his own fascinating imagination,
and on which other writers more grave, though not more trustworthy as
historians, have rested for conclusive evidence of the wild frolics
and "madcap" adventures of Henry of Monmouth. Stowe's account is this:
"In the year 1410, upon the eve of St. John the Baptist, (i.e. June
23,) the King's sons, Thomas and John, being in East-Cheap at supper,
or rather at breakfast, (for it was after the watch was broken up,
betwixt two and three of the clock after midnight,) a great debate
happened between their men and other of the court, which lasted an
hour, even till the mayor and sheriffs, with other citizens, appeased
the same: for the which afterwards the said mayor, aldermen, and
sheriffs were sent for to answer before the King; his sons and divers
lords being highly moved against the city. At which time, William
Gascoigne, chief justice, required the mayor and aldermen, for the
citizens, to put them in the King's grace.[254] Whereunto they
answered that they had not offended, but according to the law had done
their best in stinting debate and maintaining of the peace: upon
which answer the King remitted all his ire and dismissed them."    (p. 262)
It must be observed that not one word is here said of Prince Henry
having anything whatever to do with the affray: whether "other of the
court" meant some of his household, or not, does not appear; neither
are we told that the two brothers had been supping with the Prince.
And yet, unless some facts are alleged by which the mayor and the
chief justice may be connected with him in reference to some broil, we
may well question whether the current stories relating to his
East-Cheap revelries have any other foundation than this. At all
events, the Prince seems to have been most regular during this summer
in his attendance at the council-board. On the 22nd, 29th, 30th of
July, we find him acting as president. The last council was held at
the house of Robert Lovell, Esq. near Old Fish Street in London; at
which 1400_l._ was voted to the Prince for the safeguard of Calais, to
be repaid out of the first receipts from the duties on wools and

                   [Footnote 254: That is, that they should ask the
                   King's pardon.]

                   [Footnote 255: On the 7th of September the King
                   commissions his very dear son the Prince, or his
                   lieutenant, to punish the rebels of Wales.]

On the 18th of November we find a mandate directed to the Prince, as
Warden of the Cinque Ports, to see justice done in a case of piracy;
and on the 29th, the King, being then at Leicester, issues to Henry
the Prince, as Captain of Calais, and to his lieutenant, the same
commission, to grant safe-conducts, as had been given to John      (p. 263)
Earl of Somerset, the late captain.[256]

                   [Footnote 256: The Earl died on Palm Sunday, 16th
                   of March 1410; immediately on whose demise the
                   Prince was appointed captain. Minutes of Council,
                   16th June 1410.]

Where the Prince passed the winter does not seem to be recorded. In
the following spring we find this minute of council. "Be it
remembered, that on Thursday, the 19th of March, in the twelfth year
of our sovereign lord the King, at Lambeth, in presence of our said
lord the King, and his very dear son my lord the Prince, the following
prelates and other lords were assembled."[257] It cannot escape
observation, that, instead of the Prince being mentioned as one of the
council, or as their president, his name is coupled with the King's as
one of the two in whose presence the others were assembled.[258]

                   [Footnote 257: There are many curious items of
                   expenditure in the minutes of this council; one
                   which few perhaps would have expected: "Item, to
                   John Rys, for the lions in his custody per annum

                   [Footnote 258: In a minute of the council, about
                   April this year, we find an item of expense which
                   proves that Wales still required the presence of a
                   considerable force: "Item, to my lord the Prince,
                   for the wages of three hundred men-at-arms and six
                   hundred archers who have lived and will live for
                   the safeguard of the Welsh parts, from the 9th day
                   of July 1410, to the 7th day of April then next
                   ensuing, 8000_l._"

                   In this month the King implores the Archbishops of
                   Canterbury and York to pray for him, and to urge
                   all their clergy to supplicate God's help and
                   protection of himself, his children, and his realm.
                   And many prayers, and processions, and masses are
                   ordered; and all in so urgent a manner as would
                   lead us to think that there was some especial cause
                   of anxiety and alarm, or some severe affliction
                   present or feared.--Rymer.

                   On the 18th of August, a warrant is issued for the
                   liberation of Llewellyn ap David Whyht, and Yon ap
                   Griffith ap Lli, from the Tower.--MS. Donat. 4599.

                   In the parliament, at the close of this year,
                   grievous complaints are made by the Border counties
                   against the violence and ravages and extortions of
                   the Welsh; and an order is sought "to arrest the
                   cousins of all rebels and evil-doers of the Welsh,
                   until the malefactors yield themselves up; for by
                   such kinsmen only are they supported."

                   The cruelties of the Welsh are described in very
                   strong colours by the petitioners; but it is not
                   evident what was the result of their prayer. The
                   rebels and robbers, they say, carry the English off
                   into woods and deserts, and tie them to trees, and
                   keep them, as in prison, for three or four months,
                   till they are ransomed at the utmost value of their
                   goods; and yet these malefactors were pardoned by
                   the lords of the marches. The petitioners pray for
                   more summary justice. Rolls of Parl.]

Early in the autumn of this year a negociation was set on foot     (p. 264)
for a marriage between Prince Henry and the daughter of the Duke
of Burgundy. Ambassadors were appointed for carrying on the treaty;
and on September 1st, 1411, instructions were given to the Bishop of
St. David's, the Earl of Arundel, Lord Francis de Court, Hugh Mortimer,
Esq. and John Catryk, Clerk, or any two or more of them, how to
negociate without finally concluding the treaty, and to report to
the King and Prince.

The instructions may be examined at full length in Sir Harris Nicolas'
"Acts of the Privy Council" by any who may feel an interest in     (p. 265)
them independently of Henry of Monmouth's character and proceedings;
to others the first paragraph will sufficiently indicate the tenour of
the whole document. "First, inasmuch as our sovereign lord the King,
by the report of the message of the Duke of Burgundy, understood that
the Duke entertains a great affection and desire to have an alliance
with our said sovereign by means of a marriage to be contracted, God
willing, between our redoubted lord the Prince and the daughter of the
aforesaid Duke, the King wishes that his said ambassadors should first
of all demand of the Duke his daughter, to be given to my lord the
Prince; and that after they have heard what the Duke will offer on
account of the said marriage, whether by grant of lands and
possessions, or of goods and jewels, and according to the greatest
offer which by this negociation might be made by one party or the
other, a report be made of that to our said lord the King and our said
lord the Prince by the ambassadors." The other instructions relate
rather to political stipulations than pecuniary arrangements. These
negociations met with the fate they merited; and all idea of a
marriage between the Prince and the daughter of the Duke of Burgundy
was abandoned. But since Henry's behaviour in the transaction has been
urged as proof of his having then discarded parental authority, and
acted for himself in contravention of his father's wishes, thereby
incurring his royal displeasure, and sowing the seeds of that      (p. 266)
state of mutual dissatisfaction, and jealousy, and strife which is
said to have grown up afterwards into a harvest of bitterness, the
subject assumes greater importance to those who are anxiously tracing
Henry's real character; and must be examined and sifted with care, and
patience, and candour.

       *       *       *       *       *

The question involved is this: "In the quarrel between the Dukes of
Burgundy and Orleans, did Prince Henry send the first troops from his
own forces under the command of his own friends to the aid of the Duke
of Burgundy, against the express wishes of his father; or did the
contradictory measures of England in first succouring the Duke of
Burgundy, and then the Duke of Orleans his antagonist, arise from a
change of policy in the King himself and the English government,
without implying undutiful conduct on the part of the Prince, or
dissatisfaction in his father towards him?" The former view has been
recommended for adoption, though it reflects upon the Prince's
character as a son; and it has been thereupon suggested that, "instead
of denying his previous faults, we should recollect his sudden and
earnest reformation, and the new direction of his feelings and
character, as the mode more beneficial to his memory."[259] But in
this work, which professes not to search for exculpation, nor to deal
in eulogy, but to seek the truth, and follow it to whatever
consequences it might lead, we must on no account so hastily       (p. 267)
acquiesce in the assumption that Henry of Monmouth was on this
occasion undutifully opposed to his father.[260] However rejoiced we
may be to find in a fellow-Christian the example of a sincere penitent
growing in grace, it cannot be right to multiply or aggravate his
faults for the purpose of making his conversion more striking and
complete. We may firmly hope that, if he had been a disobedient and
unkind son in any one particular, he repented truly of that fault. But
his biographer must sift the evidence adduced in proof of the alleged
delinquency; instead of admitting on insufficient ground an
allegation, in order to assimilate his character to general fame, or
to heighten the dramatic effect of his subsequent course of virtue.

                   [Footnote 259: Turner's Hist. Eng.]

                   [Footnote 260: The character of the manuscript, on
                   the authority of which this and another charge
                   against Henry of Monmouth have been grounded, will
                   be examined at length, as to its genuineness and
                   authenticity in the Appendix.]

In discussing this question it will be necessary to attend with care
to the order and date of each circumstance. By a temporary
forgetfulness of this indispensable part of an historian's duty, the
writers who have adopted the view most adverse to Henry as a son, have
been led to give an incorrect view of the whole transaction,
especially as it affects the character and filial conduct of the

The first application for aid was made to the King by the Duke of
Burgundy, who offered at the same time his daughter in marriage    (p. 268)
to the Prince. This was in August 1411; and doubtless, if he found the
King backward or unfavourably inclined, he would naturally apply to
the Prince for his good offices, who was personally most interested in
the result of the negociation; not to induce him to act against his
father, but to prevail upon his father to agree to the proposal. This
course was, we are told, actually pursued, and Prince Henry was
allowed by his father to send some forces immediately to strengthen
the ranks of Burgundy. They joined his army, and remained at Paris
till provisions became so dear that they resolved to procure them from
the enemy, who were stationed at St. Cloud. Here, at the broken
bridge, the two parties engaged; and Burgundy, by the help of the
English auxiliaries, completely routed the Duke of Orleans' forces.
The English subsequently received their pay; and, their services being
no longer required, returned at their leisure by Calais to their own
country. The Duke of Orleans learning that these troops were dismissed
unceremoniously by his antagonist, and conceiving that Henry's
resentment of the indignity might make for him a favourable opening,
despatched ambassadors to England with most magnificent offers; but
this was not till the beginning of the next year after the battle of
St. Cloud, which took place[261] on the 10th November 1411. That the
King himself contemplated the expediency of sending auxiliaries    (p. 269)
to the Duke of Burgundy in the beginning of September, is put beyond
doubt by the instructions given to the ambassadors. Even so late as
February 10, 1412, the King issued a commission to Lord Grey, the
Bishop of Durham, and others, not only to treat for the marriage of
the Prince with that Duke's daughter, but to negociate with him also
on mutual alliances and confederacies, and on the course of trade
between England and Flanders; the King having previously, on the 11th
of January, signed letters patent, to remain in force till the Feast
of Pentecost, for the safe conduct and protection of the Duke's
ambassadors with one hundred men. With a view of enabling the reader
more satisfactorily to form his own judgment on the validity of this
charge of unfilial and selfwilled conduct on the part of Henry of
Monmouth, the Author is induced, instead of confining himself to the
general statement of his own views, or of the considerations on which
his conclusion has been built, to cite the evidence separately of
several authors who have recorded the proceedings. He trusts the
importance of the point at issue will be thought to justify the

                   [Footnote 261: Monstrelet says distinctly, that the
                   Duke of Burgundy left Paris, at midnight, on the
                   9th of November.]

Walsingham, who is in some points very minute when describing these
transactions, so as even to record the very words employed by the King
on the first application of the Duke, does not mention the name of the
Prince of Wales throughout. He represents the King as having       (p. 270)
recommended the Duke to try measures of mutual forgiveness and
reconciliation; at all events, to let the fault of encouraging civil
discord be with his adversaries; but withal promising, in case of the
failure of that plan, to send the aid he desired. The same writer
states the mission of the Earl of Arundel, Lord Kyme, Lord Cobham,
(Sir John Oldcastle,) and others, with an army, as the consequence of
this engagement on the part of the King.[262] He then tells us that,
in the next year after these forces had been dismissed by the Duke of
Burgundy, the Duke of Orleans made application to the King.

                   [Footnote 262: "Transmissi sunt _ergo_;" without
                   the slightest intimation of any interference on the
                   part of the Prince.]

Elmham, who mentions the successful application of Burgundy to the
Prince, and the consequent mission of an English force, represents the
Prince as having recommended himself more than ever to his royal
father on that occasion.[263]

                   [Footnote 263: These chroniclers show clearly the
                   general opinion in their day to have been that
                   there was for a time an alienation of affection
                   between Henry and his father, brought about by
                   envious calumniators; but that they were soon
                   cordially reconciled: "Non obstante quorundam
                   detractatione et accusatione multiplici, ipse,
                   invidis renitentibus, suæ piissimæ benignitatis
                   mediis, &c". Elmham, thus ascribes the cause of the
                   temporary interruption of cordiality to the malice
                   of detractors, and its final and lasting
                   restoration to Henry's filial and affectionate

Titus Livius, who says that the Duke of Burgundy applied to the
Prince, and that he sent some of his own men to succour him,       (p. 271)
distinctly tells us that he did it with the good-will and consent of
his father. He adds, (what could have originated only in an oversight
of dates,) that the Prince was made, in consequence of his conduct on
this occasion, the chief of the council, and was always called the
dear and beloved son of his father. He intimates, (but very
obscurely,) that, by the aspersions of some, his fame sustained for a
short time some blemish in this point.[264]

                   [Footnote 264: "Etsi nonnullorum detrectationibus
                   in hoc _aliquantisper_ fama sua læsa fuerit." Some
                   writers have built very unadvisedly on this
                   expression. It is at best obscure, and capable of a
                   very different interpretation; and, even at the
                   most, it only implies that the Prince was then the
                   object of calumny at the hand of some persons who
                   could not effect any lasting wound on his fame.]

Polydore Vergil[265] says distinctly that, on the Duke of Burgundy
first opening the negociation, the King, anticipating good to himself
from the quarrels of his neighbours, willingly promised aid, and as
soon as possible sent a strong force to succour him. He then records
the victory gained by Burgundy at the Bridge of St. Cloud, and the
dismissal of his English allies with presents; adding, that King Henry
thought it a weakness in him to send them home prematurely, before he
had finished the struggle. And when the Duke of Orleans, on        (p. 272)
hearing of this hasty dismissal, entered upon a counter negociation,
the King willingly listened to his proposals, having felt hurt at the
conduct of the Duke of Burgundy towards those English auxiliaries.

                   [Footnote 265: The testimony of these later authors
                   is only valuable so far as they are believed to
                   have been faithful in copying the accounts, or
                   extracting from the statements, of preceding
                   writings, the works of many of whom have not come
                   down to our times.]

The Chronicle of London tells us that, when the King would grant no
men to the Duke of Burgundy, he applied to the Prince, "who sent the
Earl of Arundel and the Lord Cobham, with other lords and gentles,
with a fair retinue and well-arrayed people."

Whilst we remark that in these several accounts no allusion whatever
is made to any opposition to his father on the part of the Prince, or
any sign of displeasure on the part of the King in this particular
point of his conduct, the simple facts are decidedly against the
supposition of any such unsatisfactory proceeding. In February 1412,
more than three months after the Earl of Arundel's dismissal by the
Duke of Burgundy, the King was still engaged in negociations with that
Duke: nor was it till three months after that,--not till May
18th,--that the final treaty between the King and the Duke of Orleans
was signed.[266] And it is very remarkable that, within two days, the
Prince[267] himself, as well as his three brothers, in the         (p. 273)
presence of their father, solemnly undertook to be parties to that
treaty, and to abide faithfully by its provisions.

                   [Footnote 266: The King had issued a proclamation
                   at Canterbury, addressed to all sheriffs, and to
                   the Captain also of Calais, forbidding his subjects
                   of any condition or degree whatsoever to interfere
                   in this foreign quarrel. April 10, 1412.]

                   [Footnote 267: Rymer Foed.]

We are compelled, then, to infer, that there is no evidence whatever
of Prince Henry having acted in this affair in contravention of his
father's will. He very probably used his influence to persuade the
King, and was successful. And as to the application having been made
to him by the Duke of Burgundy, and not to the King, we must bear in
mind that, at this period, it was to him that even his brother Thomas
presented his petition, and not to his father; and that the Pope sent
his commendatory letters to him, and not to the King.[268]

                   [Footnote 268: On February 9th, in the third year
                   of his pontificate (1413), Pope John recommends
                   John Bremor to the kind offices of the Prince; and,
                   on the kalends of March (1st of March), the same
                   pontiff sent Dr. Richard Derham with a message to
                   him by word of mouth.]

The French historians, though their attention has naturally been drawn
to the introduction of English auxiliaries into the land of France,
rather than to the authority by which they were commissioned, enable
us to acquiesce with increased satisfaction in the conclusion to which
we have arrived. Whether contemporary or modern,[269] they seem all to
have considered the original mission of Lord Arundel and the troops
under his command as the act of King Henry IV. himself.[270] They
inform us, moreover, that, on the arrival in England of the        (p. 274)
subsequent embassy of the Duke of Burgundy, so late as March
1412,[271] his representatives were received with every mark of
respect and cordiality, not only by the Prince, but by the King also,
and his other sons. They lead us also to infer that, when the
confederate French princes made their application for succours "to the
King and his second son,"[272] the Prince withheld his concurrence
from the change of conduct adopted by his father, and endeavoured to
the utmost of his power to prevent the contemplated expedition under
the Duke of Clarence from being carried into effect. A comparison of
these authors with our own undisputed documents supplies a very
intelligible and consistent view of the whole transaction; and so far
from representing Henry of Monmouth as an undutiful son, obstinately
bent on pursuing his own career, reckless of his father's wishes,
bears incidental testimony both to his steadiness of purpose, and to
his unwillingness to act in opposition to his father. In conjunction
with the King he originally espoused the cause of Burgundy, and was
afterwards averse from deserting their ally. He was anxious also to
dissuade his father from adopting that vacillating policy on which he
saw him bent. But within two days after the King had irrevocably taken
his final resolve, and had joined himself to the Duke of Orleans, and
the other confederated princes by a league, offensive and defensive,
against the Duke of Burgundy, instead of persevering in his        (p. 275)
opposition to that measure, or defying his father's authority, within
two days he made himself a party to that league, and pledged his faith
to observe it.

                   [Footnote 269: M. Petitot.]

                   [Footnote 270: Jean Le Fevre, Morice, Lobineau.]

                   [Footnote 271: Monstrelet.]

                   [Footnote 272: Laboureur.]

Although Prince Henry seems to have had little to do with these
continental expeditions beyond the first mission of Lord Arundel and
his forces, yet it is impossible not to suspect (as the French at the
time anticipated) that this decided interference, on the part of
England, with the affairs of France, may have been a prelude to the
enterprise of the next reign. Who can say that the battle and victory
at St. Cloud passed away without any influence on the course of events
which made Henry V. heir to the King of France?

We must not leave the mention of this battle without repeating the
testimony borne by the chroniclers of the day to the courage and
humanity of the English, though we lament, at the same time, the act
of cruelty on the part of the French, with which the character of our
forefathers stands in such strong contrast. When the victory was won,
the Duke of Burgundy, with the usual ferocity of civil warfare,
commanded his officers to put their prisoners to death. The English
generals resisted this sanguinary mandate,[273] declaring they would
die with their captives rather than see them murdered; at the      (p. 276)
same time forming their men in battle-array to support, with their
lives, their noble resolution.

                   [Footnote 273: Hardyng has thus recorded this
                   gratifying exhibition of generous feeling and noble
                   resolve on the part of the English:

                                "He commanded then eche capitayn
                         His prisoners to kill them in certayn.
                         To which, Gilbert Umfreuile, Erle of Kyme,
                         Answered for all his fellowes and their men,
                         They should all die together at a tyme
                         Ere theyr prisoners so shulde be slayn then;
                         And, with that, took the field as folk did ken,
                         With all theyr men and all theyr prysoners,
                         To die with them, as worship it requires.
                         He said they were not come thyther as bouchers
                         To kyll the folke in market or in feire,
                         Nor them to sell; but, as arms requires,
                         Them to gouern without any dispeyre."
                                                         Hardyng's Chron.]

It was about the Feast of the Assumption (August 25) that the King
sent his son Thomas Duke of Clarence[274] to aid the Duke of Orleans
against the Duke of Burgundy: "many persons," says Walsingham,
"wondering what could be the sudden change, that in so short a     (p. 277)
space of time the English should support two opposite contending
parties." The Duke of Orleans failed to join them in time, and the
English committed many depredations as in an enemy's country. At last,
the two generals meeting, the Duke of Orleans consented to pay a large
sum to the Duke of Clarence on condition that the English should
evacuate the country: and the Earl of Angouleme[275] was given as a
hostage for the due payment of the stipulated sum. The Duke of
Clarence did not return to England till after his father's death.

                   [Footnote 274: There is some discrepancy in the
                   accounts of the time of Clarence's departure. The
                   Chronicle of London puts it nearly a month earlier
                   than Walsingham: "And then rode Thomas, the King's
                   son, Duke of Clarence, and with him the Duke of
                   York, and Beauford, then Earl of Dorset, towards
                   [South] Hampton with a great retinue of people; and
                   on Tuesday rode the Earl's brother of Oxenford, and
                   on the Wednesday rode the Earl of Oxenford; and
                   they all lay at Hampton, and abode in the wynde
                   till on the Thursday, the 1st day of August. The
                   which Thursday, Friday, and Saturday they passed
                   out of the haven XIIII ships,--were driven back on
                   Sunday,--and after landed at St. Fasters, near
                   Hagges, in Normandy."]

                   [Footnote 275: In the "Additional Charters," now in
                   the British Museum, purchased of the Baron de
                   Joursanvault, we find letters patent from Charles
                   VI, reciting that, by his permission, a treaty had
                   been made with the Duke of Clarence and other
                   English, who agreed to evacuate the country without
                   making war; the Duke of Orleans giving to them the
                   Earl of Angouleme as a hostage, for whose ransom
                   the Duke was put to vast charges. Letters also are
                   preserved from the Duke to his chancellor, reciting
                   that a large sum was to be paid to the English, and
                   in particular a hundred crowns of gold were to be
                   paid to John Seurmaistre, chancellor of the Duke of
                   Clarence, who was going to Rome on the affairs of
                   the Duke of Clarence. This bears date, Blois, Nov.
                   20, 1412. His mission to Rome was, no doubt, to
                   negociate for the dispensation necessary to enable
                   the Duke to marry his uncle's widow. In the March
                   of the next year, the same document acquaints us
                   with the present of a head-dress from the Duke of
                   Orleans to that lady, then Duchess of Clarence.]

CHAPTER XIII.                                                      (p. 278)



Two other accusations brought against the fair fame of Henry of
Monmouth in reference to his conduct in the very year before his
accession to the throne, must be now carefully weighed. The first,
indeed, is fully refuted by the selfsame page of our records which
contains it: the second, unless some new light could be thrown upon
this dark and mysterious page of his life, can scarcely have failed to
make an unfavourable impression on the minds of every one whose heart
has ever felt the bond of filial duty and affection.

With regard to the first accusation, we cannot do better than quote
the words of the antiquary who has first brought both the calumnious
charge and its refutation to light. "The general impression        (p. 279)
(says that writer) which exists respecting the character of Henry V,
and especially whilst Prince of Wales, is so opposed to the idea that
he could possibly be suspected of a pecuniary fraud, that it excites
surprise that he should have been accused of appropriating to his own
use the money which he had received for the payment of his soldiers.
In the Minutes of the Council, between July and September 1412, the
following entry occurs: 'Because my lord the Prince, Captain of the
town of Calais, is slandered in the said town and elsewhere, that he
should have received many large sums of money for the payment of his
soldiers, and that those sums have not been distributed among them,
the contrary is proved by two rolls of paper being in the council, and
sent by my said lord the Prince; it is ordered that letters be issued
under the privy seal, explanatory of the fact respecting the Prince in
that matter.'"

Although it may excite our wonder that the character of Henry of
Monmouth should have been assailed for appropriating to other purposes
money received for the payment of his troops, yet such an acquaintance
with the exhausted state of the treasury of England at that day, as
even these pages afford, will diminish the surprise.[276] The
probability is, that, of the "large sums" voted by parliament,     (p. 280)
a very small proportion only was immediately forthcoming; and that, as
in Wales, so in Calais, he could with great difficulty gather from
that exhausted source enough from time to time to keep his men
together. Persons not acquainted with this fact, hearing of the large
sums voted, might naturally suspect that there was not altogether fair
and upright dealing. However, the above extract is the only document
known on the subject; and the same sentence which records the
"slander," contains also his acquittal. He had forwarded his debtor
and creditor account in two rolls, and by them it was proved that the
slander was unfounded; and a writ of privy seal declaring his
innocence was immediately issued. The fact is, that, at that very
time, there was due to the Prince for Calais no less a sum than
8689_l._ 12_s._; besides the sum of 1200_l._ due for the wages of
sixty men-at-arms and one hundred and twenty archers, who were still
living at Kymmere and Bala for the safeguard of Wales; whilst the
council at the same time declared, that they knew not how to raise the
money for the wages of the men who were with the Prince. The affairs
of Calais seem to have fallen into some confusion before the Prince
was appointed Captain, as the Minutes of Council speak of the ancient
debts incurred whilst the Earl of Somerset was captain, as well as the
more recent expenses; and record that Robert Thorley, the treasurer,
and Richard Clitherowe, victualler, were charged to come, with     (p. 281)
their accounts written out, on the morrow of All Souls next ensuing,
specifying the persons to whom the several sums were paid, and the
dates of payment. The King, also, in a council at Merton, on October
21st, orders certain changes to be made in the mode of collecting the
duties on skins and wools; "to the intent that my lord the Prince, as
Captain of the town of Calais, may the more readily receive payment of
the arrears due to him and his soldiers, living there for the safeguard
of the said town." We have seen that, in Wales, the Prince was driven
by necessity to pawn the few jewels in his possession, in order to pay
the soldiers under him; and, as Captain of Calais, he appears to have
had a great difficulty in obtaining payment of the sums assigned to
him.[277] No one can any longer wonder that the soldiers were not
paid, or that their complaints should offer themselves in the form of
accusation. The Prince stands entirely free from blame, and clear of
all suspicion of misdoing.

                   [Footnote 276: The Prince's appointment (when he
                   took charge of the town) is dated March 18, 1410,
                   which was the Tuesday before Easter; at which time
                   there was due a debt, incurred before Henry had
                   anything whatever to do with Calais, of not less
                   than 9000_l._--Minutes of Council, 30th July 1410.]

                   [Footnote 277: Within a year of the Prince's
                   accession to the throne, the Pell Rolls, January
                   27, 1414, record the payment of 826_l._ 13_s._
                   4_d._ to the Bishop of Winchester, lent to the King
                   when he was Prince of Wales.]

Though these causes are of themselves more than enough to account for
the depressed state of Henry of Monmouth's finances; yet there was
another drain, the pecuniary difficulties of his father, which, though
hitherto unnoticed, must not be suppressed in these Memoirs.       (p. 282)
It is not necessary more than to refer to the causes of the pecuniary
difficulties of Henry IV; as the public and authentic documents of his
reign suggest a suspicion of want of economy in his more domestic
expenditure, and leave no doubt as to the extent to which he
endeavoured to meet his increasing wants by loans from spiritual and
municipal bodies, as well as from individuals. Among others, his son
Henry's name occurs, not once or twice, but repeatedly. Whilst some
loans, with reference to the then value of money, must be considered
large; others cannot fail to excite surprise from the smallness of
their amount.[278]

                   [Footnote 278: Pell Rolls, 9 Hen. IV. 17th July,

       *       *       *       *       *

A charge, however, more vitally affecting Henry's character than any
other by which it has ever been assailed, requires now a patient and
thorough investigation. The groundwork, indeed, upon which the
accusation is built, is of great antiquity, though the superstructure
is of very recent date. Were it sufficient for a biographer, who would
deal uprightly, merely to contradict the evidence by demonstrating its
inconsistency with indisputable facts, the business of refutation in
this instance would be brief, as the accusation breaks down in every
particular, from whatever point of view we may examine it. But the
province of these Memoirs must not be so confined. To establish the
truth in these points satisfactorily, as well as to place clearly  (p. 283)
before the mind the total inadequacy of the evidence to substantiate
the charge, will require a more full and detailed examination of the
value of the Manuscript on which the charge is made to rest, than
could be conveniently introduced into the body of this narrative. The
whole is therefore reserved for the Appendix; and to a careful,
dispassionate weighing of the arguments there adduced, the reader is
earnestly invited.

But the Author, as he has above intimated, does not think his duty
would be performed were he merely to prove that the charge against
Henry is altogether untenable upon the evidence adduced; though that
is all which the accusation so unsparingly now in these late years
brought against him requires or deserves. The very allusion to such an
offence as undutiful, unfilial conduct in one whose life is otherwise
an example of obedience, respect, and affection towards his father,
requires the biographer to take up the province of inquisitor, and
ascertain what ground there may be, independently of that inadequate
evidence alleged by others, for believing Henry to have once at least,
and for a time, forgotten the duties of a son; or what proceedings,
not involving his guilt, might have given rise to the unfounded
rumour, and of what satisfactory explanation they may admit.

The charge is this: That, in the parliament held in November 1411,
Prince Henry desired of his father the resignation of his crown, on
the plea that the malady under which the King was suffering        (p. 284)
would not allow him to rule any longer for the honour and welfare of
the kingdom. On the King's firm and peremptory refusal, the Prince,
greatly offended, withdrew from the court, and formed an overwhelming
party of his own among the nobility and gentry of the land, "associating
them to his dominion in homage and pay." Such is the statement made
(not indeed in the form of an accusation, but merely as one of the
occurrences of the year,) in the manuscript above referred to. The
modern comment upon this text would probably never have been made, if
the writer had given more time and patient investigation to the
subject; and now, were such a suppression compatible with the thorough
sifting of Henry's character and conduct, the quotation of it might
well have been spared in these pages. A few words, however, on that
comment, and recently renewed charge, seem indispensable. "The King's
subsequent death (such are the words of the modern historian)
prevented the final explosion of this unfilial conduct, which, as thus
stated, deserves the denomination of an unnatural rebellion; and shows
that the dissolute companion of Falstaff was not the gay and
thoughtless youth which his dramatic representation exhibits to us,
but that, amid his vicious gaieties, he could cherish feelings which
too much resemble the unprincipled ambition of a Catilinarian

                   [Footnote 279: Turner's History.]

These are hard words; and, if deserved, must condemn Henry of Monmouth.
That they are not deserved; that he was not guilty of this offence (p. 285)
against God and his father; that the page which records it condemns
itself, and is contradictory to our undisputed public records; that
the manuscript which contains the charge carries with it no authority
whatever; and that the inference which has lately been fastened upon
the original report is altogether inconsistent with the acknowledged
facts of the case, are points which the Author believes he has
established beyond further controversy in the Appendix; and to that
dissertation he again with confidence refers the reader. But every
reader whose verdict is worth receiving, will agree that our abhorrence
of a crime should only increase our care and circumspection that no
innocent person stand charged with it. If Henry were guilty, his
character must remain branded with an indelible stain, in the
estimation of every parent and every child, incomparably more
disgraceful than those "vicious gaieties" with which poets and
historiographers have delighted to stamp his memory.--At a time when
disease was paralysing all a father's powers of body and mind, and
hurrying him prematurely to the grave, that a first-born son, instead
of devoting himself, and all his heart, and all his faculties, to his
parent; strengthening his feeble hands, supporting his faltering
steps, guiding his erring counsels, bearing his heavy burden,
protecting him from the machinations of the malicious and designing,
cheering his drooping spirits, making (as far as in him lay) his   (p. 286)
last days on earth days of peace, and comfort, and calm preparation
for the change to which he was hastening;--instead of this, that a
son, who had always professed respect and affection for his father,
should thrust the most painful thorn of all into the side of a
sinking, broken down, dying man, is so abhorrent from every feeling,
not only of a truly noble and generous spirit, but of mere ordinary
humanity,--is so utterly "unprincipled," "unfilial," and
"unnatural,"--that though in such a case we might hope, after a life
of sincere Christian penitence, the stain might have been removed from
his conscience; yet, in the estimation of the wise and good, he could
never have obtained the name of "the most excellent and most gracious
flower of Christian chivalry."

Although for the real merits of the question, as far as relates to the
manuscript, we refer to the argument in the Appendix; and although, if
the foundation of original documents be withdrawn, it matters little
to the investigator of the truth what superstructure modern writers
have hastily run up; yet such a positive assertion as that "the King's
subsequent death prevented the final explosion of this unfilial
conduct and unnatural rebellion" of the Prince, who cherished
"feelings resembling the unprincipled ambition of a Catilinarian
temper," does seem to call for a few words before we proceed with the
narrative. It is difficult to say whether the confused views of the
manuscript, or of its modern commentator, be the greater. The      (p. 287)
manuscript, (to mention here only one specimen of its confusion,)
in the very page which contains the accusing passage, represents the
expedition to France in the summer of 1411; the battle of St. Cloud,
which was fought November 10, of the same year; the expedition under
the Duke of Clarence, which was undertaken after Midsummer 1412; and
the return of the Duke and his forces to England, which was not till
the spring of 1413, as having all taken place in the thirteenth year
of Henry IV. And the commentator who tells us that the King's death
prevented the final explosion of Henry's unfilial conduct, by confounding
(as the manuscript had also done) the parliament in November 1411,
with the parliament in February 1413, has entirely overlooked the
facts which give a direct contradiction to his statement. The King's
death did not occur till March 1413, more than a year and a quarter
after the parliament ended in which the Prince is said to have been
guilty of this act. The session of that parliament began on the 3rd of
November, and broke up on the 20th of December; and the King, nearly
half a year after its dissolution, declares his fixed[280] purpose, in
order to avoid the spilling of human blood, to go in his own       (p. 288)
person to the Duchy of Guienne, and vindicate his rights with all
possible speed."[281] Surely the web of his father's life left Henry
no lack of time and opportunity for the execution of any measures
which the most reckless ambition could devise, or the most "Catilinarian"
temper sanction. But, leaving this ill-advised statement without
further observation, it remains for us to proceed with our narrative,
entirely free from any apprehensions or misgivings that our researches
and reflections may tend only to elucidate the character of one who,
in the midst of splendid sins, would sacrifice his own father to
unbounded, reckless ambition, and unprincipled self-aggrandizement.

                   [Footnote 280: This resolution of the King is
                   embodied in his letter to the Burgomasters of
                   Ghent, &c. dated May 16, 1412; in which he tells
                   them that the Dukes of Berry, Orleans, and Bourbon
                   had offered to surrender to him such lands of his
                   as they held in the Duchy of Guienne, and to assist
                   him in recovering the remainder. He prays the
                   Burgomasters not to impede him in his designs.]

                   [Footnote 281: On the 18th of April 1412, a warrant
                   was issued to press sailors for the King's intended

       *       *       *       *       *

Henry of Monmouth had now for a long time been virtually in possession
of the royal authority. He was not only President of the Council, but
his name is united with the King's when both are present; and everything
seems to have proceeded smoothly, with the best feelings of mutual
confidence and kindness between himself, his father, and his brothers.
Whether the King's own inclination, uninfluenced by the representations
of his parliament, would have led him to put the reins of government
into his son's hand, or whether he was induced by the complaints   (p. 289)
and urgent suggestions of the council (of which many broad and deep
vestiges remain on record) to transfer the executive and legislative
functions of the royal prerogative to a son in whom the people had
entire confidence, may admit of much doubt. Probably both causes, his
own increasing infirmities, and his people's dissatisfaction at the
mismanagement of the court, expressed in no covert language, co-operated
in producing that result. Hardyng (as he first wrote on this subject)
would lead us to adopt the former view:

  "The King fell sick then, each day more and more;
   Wherefore the Prince _he_ made (as it was seen)
   Chief of Council, to ease him of his sore;
   Who to the Duke of Burgoyne sent, I ween;"

whilst the petitions presented to him, and some subsequent events
which must hereafter be noticed, make us suspect that the behaviour of
the Commons might have hastened his resolution.

At the close of the year, (from recounting the transactions of which
this serious charge against Henry's character induced us to digress,)
the parliament met in the first week in November. It was to have been
opened on the morrow of All Souls, (November 3, 1411,) but the peers
and commoners were so tardy in their arrival, that the King postponed
his meeting the parliament till the next day. In those times, the
monarch seems to have been in the habit of attending the           (p. 290)
parliamentary deliberations, and receiving the petitions, and taking
part generally in the proceedings in person. Through this session
Henry IV. was repeatedly present; and the Prince alone, of all his
sons, appears to have attended also. Towards the close of this
parliament, (the very parliament in which the alleged unfilial conduct
of the Prince is represented to have occurred,) proceedings are
recorded, which, though referred to in the Appendix for the sake of
the argument, seem to require notice here also in the way of

"Also, on Monday the last day of November, the said Speaker, in the
name of the Commons, prayed the King to thank my lord the Prince, the
Bishops of Winchester, of Durham, and others, who were assigned by the
King to be of his council in the last parliament, for their great
labour and diligence. For, as it appears to the said Commons, my lord
the Prince, and the other lords, have well and loyally done their duty
according to their promise in that parliament.[282] And upon that, my
lord the Prince, kneeling, with the other lords, declared by the mouth
of my lord the Prince how they had taken pains and diligence and labours,
according to their promise, and the charge given them in parliament,
to their skill and knowledge. This the King remembered well, and   (p. 291)
thanked them most graciously. And he said besides, that 'he was well
assured, if they had possessed larger means than they had, in the
manner it had been spoken by the mouth of my lord the Prince at the
time the King charged them to be of his council in the said parliament,
they would have done their duty to effect more good than was done, in
divers parts, for the defence, honour, good, and profit of him and his
kingdom.' And our lord the King also said, that he felt very contented
with their good and loyal diligence, counsel, and duty, for the time
they had been of his council." This took place about a month after the
Parliament had first met, and within less than three weeks of its
termination. On the very last day of this same parliament, "the
Speaker recommending the persons of the Queen, of the Prince, and of
other the King's sons, prayeth the advancement of their estates. For
which the King giveth hearty thanks." The question unavoidably forces
itself upon the mind of every one.--Could such a transaction as that,
by which the fair fame of the Prince is attempted to be destroyed for
ever, have taken place in this parliament? It may be deemed
superfluous to add, that, though the records of this parliament are
very full and minute, not the most distant allusion occurs to any such
conduct of the Prince.

                   [Footnote 282: Sir Robert Cotton, in his
                   Abridgement of the Rolls of Parliament, seems to
                   think (though without assigning any reason) that
                   the "thanks were for well employing the treasure
                   granted in the last parliament."]

But whilst, as we have seen, there had arisen much discontent      (p. 292)
among the people with regard to the royal expenditure and the government
of the King's household, the King in his turn had entertained feelings
of dissatisfaction towards his parliament; in consequence, no doubt,
of the plain and unreserved manner in which they had given utterance
to their sentiments. When two parties are thus on the eve of a rupture,
there never are wanting spirits of a temper (from the mere love of
evil, or in the hope of benefiting themselves,) to foment the rising
discord, and fan the smoking fuel into a flame. Such was the case in
this instance, and such (as we shall soon see) was the case also in a
course of proceedings far more closely united with the immediate
subject of these Memoirs. On the same day, the last of the parliament,
the Lords and Commons, addressing the King by petition, express their
grief at the circulation of a report that he was offended on account
of some matters done in this and the last parliament; and they pray
him "to declare that he considers each and every of those in the
estates of parliament to be loyal and faithful subjects," which
petition the King of his especial grace in full parliament granted.
This submission on the part of the parliament, and its gracious
acceptance by the King, seem to have allayed, at least for a time, all
hostile feeling between them.

The prayer of the parliament to the King, that he would express his
own and the nation's thanks to the Prince and the other members of his
council, has been thought to imply some suspicion on their part    (p. 293)
that the royal favour was withdrawn from the Prince, that the King was
jealous of his influence, and was therefore backward in publicly
acknowledging his obligations to his son. Be this as it may, two
points seem to press themselves on our notice here:--first, that up to
the May of the following year, 1412, no appearance is discoverable of
any coolness or alienation of regard and confidence between the Prince
and the King;--the second point is, that it is scarcely possible to
read the disjointed records of the intervening months between the
spring of that year and the next winter, without a strong suspicion
suggesting itself, that the cordial harmony with which the royal
father and his son had lived was unhappily interrupted for a time, and
that misunderstandings and jealousies had been fostered to separate
them. The subject is one of lively interest, and, though involved in
much mystery, must not be disposed of without investigation; and,
whilst we claim at the hands of others to "set down nought in malice,"
we must "nothing extenuate," nor allow any apprehension of
consequences to suppress or soften the very truth. The Author feels
himself bound to state not only the mere details of facts from which
inferences might be drawn, but to offer unreservedly his own opinion,
formed upon a patient research, and an honest weighing of whatever
evidence he may have found. The results of his inquiries, after    (p. 294)
looking at the point in all the bearings in which his own reflections
or the suggestions of others have placed it, is this:

Henry of Monmouth was assigned on the 12th of May 1407, with the
consent of the council, to remain about the person of the King, that
he might devote himself more constantly to the public service; probably
the declining health of the King even then made such a measure
desirable. From the hour when the Prince became president of the
council, his influence through every rank of society naturally grew
very rapidly, and extended to every branch of the executive government.
Petitions were presented to him by name, not only by inferior applicants,
but even by his brothers. Letters of recommendation were addressed to
him by foreigners; and, in more than one instance, his interest was
sought even by the Pope himself. When the King was personally present
in the council, the record states, that the business was conducted "in
the presence of the King, and of his son the Prince." The father
retained the name, the son exercised the powers of sovereign. Such
pre-eminence, as long as human nature remains the same, will give
offence to some, and will engender envyings and jealousies and
oppositions: nor was the Prince suffered long to enjoy his high station
unmolested. Who were the persons more especially engaged in the unkind
office of severing the father from his son, is matter of conjecture;
so is also the immediate cause and occasion of their disunion. One of
the oldest chroniclers[283] would induce us to believe that a      (p. 295)
temporary estrangement was effected in consequence of some malicious
detractors having misrepresented the Prince's conduct with reference
to the Dukes of Burgundy and Orleans. Some may suspect that the
appointment of his brother Thomas to take the command of the troops in
the expedition to Guienne, when their father's increasing malady
prevented him from putting into execution his design of conducting
that campaign in person, might have given umbrage to the Prince, and
led to an open rupture. And undoubtedly it would have been only
natural, had the Prince felt that, in return for all his labours and
his devoted exertions in the field and at the council-board, the
honourable post of commanding the armament to Guienne should have been
assigned to him as the representative of his diseased parent.[284]
But, perhaps, this was not in his thoughts at all. Certainly no    (p. 296)
trace in our histories or public documents is discoverable of any
coolness or distance[285] prevailing afterwards between himself and
his brother Thomas, as though he regarded him as a rival and
supplanter. Hardyng (the two editions of whose poem, brought out at
distant times, and under different auspices, in many cases give a very
different colouring to the same transaction,) represents the time of
the Prince's dismissal from the council, and the temporary quarrel
between him and his father, to have followed soon after the return of
the English soldiers sent to aid the Duke of Burgundy. His second
edition, however, paints in more unfavourable colours the opposition
of the Prince to his father, and sinks that voluntary return to filial
obedience and regard which his first edition had described in
expressions implying praise. In the Lansdowne manuscript, or first
edition, an original marginal note directs the reader to observe "How
the King and the Prince fell at great discord, and soon accorded."

                   [Footnote 283: Elmham.]

                   [Footnote 284: It may, moreover, be very fairly
                   conjectured that the presence of the Prince at home
                   was regarded by the people as far too important at
                   this time to admit of his leaving the kingdom on
                   such an expedition. It will be remembered that one
                   of the first requests made by the parliament on the
                   accession of his father was, that the Prince's
                   life, and the welfare of the nation, might not be
                   hazarded by his departure out of the kingdom; and
                   subsequently, on his own accession, one of the
                   first recommendations of his council was that he
                   would remain in or near London. It is very probable
                   that a similar wish might have interposed, had he,
                   and not his brother, been commissioned to conduct
                   the expedition to Guienne. Calais was so identified
                   with the kingdom of England that his residence
                   there is no exception to the rule.]

                   [Footnote 285: In the Sloane manuscript, indeed,
                   we are told that on a pecuniary dispute arising
                   between Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester, and
                   Thomas Duke of Clarence, with reference to the will
                   of the late Duke of Exeter, brother of the Bishop,
                   who was his executor, and whose widow the Duke of
                   Clarence had married, the Prince took part with the
                   Bishop, and so the Duke of Clarence failed of
                   obtaining his full demand.]

  "Then came they home with great thanks and reward,               (p. 297)
   So, of the Duke of Burgoyne without fail.
   Soon after then (befel it afterward)
   The Prince was then discharged of counsaile.
   His brother Thomas then, for the King's availe,
   Was in his stead then set by ordinance,
   For which the _Prince_ and _he_ fell at distance.
   With whom the King took part, in great sickness,
   Again[st] the Prince with all his excellence.
   But with a rety of lords and soberness
   The Prince came into his magnificence
   Obey, and hole with all benevolence
   Unto the King, and fully were accord
   Of all matters of which they were discord."

In his later publication, the same writer gives a very different
colouring to the whole proceeding on the part of the Prince; robbing
him of his hearty good-will towards reconciliation, and representing
his return to a right understanding with his father as the result
rather of defeat and compulsion; but this was at a time when the star
of the house of Lancaster had set, and when the house of York was in
the ascendant.

  "The King discharged the Prince from his counsail,
   And set my lord Sir Thomas in his stead
   Chief of council, for the King's more avail.
   For which the Prince, of wrath and wilful head,
   Again[st] him made debate and froward head;
   With whom the King took part, and held the field
   To time the Prince unto the King him yield."

Either of these representations of Hardyng will fully account for

  "Thy place in council thou hast rudely lost,                     (p. 298)
   Which by thy younger brother is supplied:"[286]

though the poet, by fixing the interview between Henry and his father
before the battle of Shrewsbury, has made the expulsion of the Prince
from the council precede his original admission into it by four years,
and his withdrawal from it by at least eight or nine years. It must
here be remarked, that no historical document records the presence of
Thomas Duke of Clarence as a member of the council-board: though, at
the same time, the records in which we might have expected to find his
presence registered, by observing a similar silence with regard to the
Prince, seem to leave little doubt that Henry had ceased to attend the
board a year before his father's death. Some strong though obscure
passages, moreover, in the Chronicles of the time, would go far to
suggest the probability of a demonstration of his power and        (p. 299)
influence through the country having actually taken place on the part
of the Prince. Thus the Chronicle of London records, that "on the last
day of June the Prince came to London with much people and gentles,
and remained in the Bishop of Durham's house till July 11th. And the
King, who was then at St. John's house, removed to the Bishop of
London's palace, and thence to his house at Rotherhithe."[287] But the
Chronicle suggests no reason for these movements and ambiguous
proceedings. Thus, too, on the 23rd of September, the mere fact is
stated that "Prince Henry came to the council with a huge people,"
supplying no clue as to the meaning and intention of the concourse. It
cannot, moreover, escape observation, that, though the King held a
council at Rotherhithe on the 8th and on the 10th of July, the Prince
was not present: on the 9th, also, when his brother Thomas was     (p. 300)
created Duke of Clarence and Earl of Albemarle, though the Bishop
of Durham, at whose house the Prince was staying, witnessed the
creation, the Prince was not himself one of the witnesses. This
circumstance, indeed may be so interpreted as to remove all idea of
open hostility prevailing at that time between the King and the
Prince. The prelate, it may fairly be supposed, would scarcely have
been a welcome attendant at Rotherhithe, if he were showing all kind
and free hospitality to a rebellious son, who was acting at that very
time in menacing defiance of his father, and evincing by the
demonstration of his numerous and powerful friends the fixed purpose
of avenging himself for whatever insults he might believe himself to
have received from the court party.

                   [Footnote 286: A passage which the Author has
                   lately discovered in the Pell Roll, 18th February
                   1412, will not admit of any other interpretation
                   than that the Prince, at the date of payment, had
                   ceased to be of the King's especial council.
                   Members of that board (as appears by various
                   entries) were paid for their attendance. In the
                   Easter Roll, for example, of the previous year,
                   payment on that ground "to the King's brother, the
                   Bishop of Winchester," is recorded. The payment to
                   the Prince is thus registered: "To Henry Prince of
                   Wales 1000 marks,--666_l._ 13_s._ _4d._--ordered by
                   the King to be paid in consideration of the
                   labours, costs, and charges sustained by him at the
                   time when he _was_ of the council of our lord
                   himself the King,"--"tempore quo fuit de consilio
                   ipsius Domini Regis."]

                   [Footnote 287: Perhaps more importance than the
                   reality would warrant has been attached to the
                   circumstance that the King on this occasion went to
                   Rotherhithe, as though he withdrew from his son for
                   safety to so unwonted and retired a place. It was
                   not unusual for Henry IV. to hold his council at
                   Rotherhithe. A year before this muster of the
                   Prince's friends, the instructions given to the
                   Earl of Arundel and others on their embassy to
                   treat with the Duke of Burgundy for a marriage
                   between his daughter and the Prince were signed by
                   the King at Rotherhithe. In these instructions the
                   Prince is mentioned throughout as though he and his
                   father were inseparably united in the issue of the
                   proceeding. "Till the report be made to the King
                   _and_ his very dear son the Prince." "Our lord the
                   King is well disposed, _and_ his very dear son my
                   lord the Prince, to send aid." And Hugh Mortimer,
                   one of the ambassadors, was chamberlain to the

Equally in the dark do our records leave us as to the persons who were
the fomentors of this breach between father and son. The oldest
historians intimate that there were mischief-makers, whose malicious
designs were for a time successful. Subsequent events (referred to
hereafter in these volumes) compel us to entertain a strong suspicion
that the Queen (Johanna) was at the head of a party resolved, if
possible, to check the growing and absorbing interest of her
son-in-law in the national council, to diminish his power, and tarnish
his honour.[288] Be this as it may, there are, to be placed in the (p. 301)
opposite scale, facts at which we have already slightly glanced,
seeming to imply that things were going on smoothly between Henry and
his father, even through that brief interval of time about which alone
any doubts can be reasonably entertained. A Minute of the Council,
apparently between the July and September of this year (1412), records
that "it is the King's pleasure for my lord the Prince[289] to have
payment on an assignment for the wages of his men still in his pay in
Wales:" and on the 21st of October, in a council at Merton, "the   (p. 302)
King wills that the treasurer of Calais shall not interfere with any
receipt or payments henceforward till otherwise advised; and that the
treasurer of England shall receive all the monies arising from the
third part of the subsidy on wools, to be paid by him from time to
time at his discretion to the treasurer of Calais, with such intent
that my lord the Prince, Captain of the town of Calais, might the more
readily receive payment of what is in arrear to him and his soldiers
living with him, according to the agreement; and also for the increase
of his soldiers by the ordinance of the King beyond the number
comprised in that agreement."

                   [Footnote 288: Who were the inferior agents in this
                   ungracious and mischievous proceeding we have not
                   discovered. Perhaps, however, the Author would not
                   be justified in suppressing a suspicion which has
                   forced itself on his mind, that, among those who
                   entertained no kind feeling towards the Prince, was
                   Richard Kyngeston, then late Archdeacon of
                   Hereford, for a long time employed in the King's
                   household, and through whose administration the
                   expenses seem to have swollen very much; to control
                   which was one of the principal causes for the
                   appointment of the Prince, the Bishop of
                   Winchester, and others, to be members of the
                   especial council of the King. This suspicion was
                   first suggested by the absence of all allusion to
                   the Prince in the Archdeacon's letters to the King
                   from Hereford in the early years of the Welsh
                   rebellion, though Henry was close at hand; and the
                   very ambiguous expression, "Trust ye nought to no
                   lieutenant," when the Prince himself was virtually,
                   if not already by indenture, Lieutenant of Wales.]

                   [Footnote 289: We have already seen that in the
                   month of May the Prince in his own person (with his
                   brothers) ratifies the league entered into between
                   the King and the Dukes of Orleans, Berry, and
                   Bourbon. Jean le Fevre dates it May 8th, 1412.]

On the whole of this extraordinary and mysterious passage of Henry of
Monmouth's life, the Author must confess that it will be no surprise
to him to find (with a mass of other matter more voluminous and
important than we may now anticipate) new evidence affecting Henry's
character, probably to his utter exculpation, possibly to his
disadvantage, yet forthcoming from the countless treasures of
unpublished records. Meanwhile, he can now, after a patient
examination of all the books and manuscripts, original documents and
subsequent histories, with which it has been his lot to meet, only
return a verdict upon the evidence before him. And the inferences in
which alone he has been able satisfactorily to acquiesce, are
these:--First, that, after the Prince had for some time been most  (p. 303)
active and indefatigable President of the Council; he ceased to
retain that office in consequence of a misunderstanding between
himself and his father, fostered by some persons whose interest or
malicious pleasure instigated them to so unworthy an expedient:
Secondly, that after a demonstration of his strength in the affections
and devotedness of the people, for the purpose (not of acting with
violence or intimidation towards the King,[290] but) of convincing his
enemies that the machinations of jealousy and detraction would     (p. 304)
have no power permanently to blast his reputation, and crush his
influence, the alienation was soon happily terminated by the frank and
filial conduct of the Prince, who as anxiously sought a full
reconciliation as his father willingly conceded it: Thirdly, that,
through the last months of his life, the King was free from all
uneasiness and disquietude on that ground; and that the illness which
terminated his earthly career, instead of being aggravated by the
Prince's undutiful demeanour, was lightened by his affectionate
attendance; and the dying monarch was comforted by the tender offices
of his son.

                   [Footnote 290: Among the conjectures which may
                   suggest themselves as to the possible origin of the
                   manuscripts' charge, that the Prince sought to
                   obtain from his father a resignation of his crown,
                   it might not be unreasonably surmised, nor would
                   the supposition reflect unfavourably at all on
                   Henry's character, that, finding his father to be
                   in the hands of unworthy persons, preying upon his
                   fortune, misdirecting his counsels, rendering the
                   monarch personally unpopular, and bringing the
                   monarchy itself into disrepute, (of all which evils
                   there is strong evidence,) the Prince might have
                   urged on his father the necessity of again
                   intrusting the management of the public weal (which
                   disease had incapacitated him from conducting
                   himself) to the hands of the same counsellors who
                   had before served him and the realm to the
                   acknowledged profit and honour of both. The Prince
                   might, influenced only by the most honest, and
                   upright, and affectionate motives, have professed
                   his willingness to undertake the duties again from
                   which he had (with his colleagues) been as it
                   should seem causelessly discharged. And such a
                   proceeding on his part might easily have been so
                   misrepresented as to constitute the charge
                   contained in the manuscript. The representations of
                   Elmham, to which we have already briefly referred,
                   and which are confirmed by other early writers, are
                   so express with reference to these points, that
                   they seem to require something more than a mere
                   reference in this place. "When his father was
                   suffering under the torture of a grievous sickness,
                   the Prince endeavoured with filial devotedness to
                   meet his wishes in every possible way; and
                   notwithstanding the biting detraction and manifold
                   accusations of some, which (according to the
                   prevalence of common opinion) made efforts to
                   diminish the kind feeling of the father towards his
                   son, the Prince himself, by means of his own most
                   affectionate kindness, succeeded finally in
                   securing with his father favour, grace, and
                   blessing, though those envious persons still
                   resisted it."--Cum idem pater gravissimis
                   ægritudinis incommodis torqueretur, eidem juxta
                   omnem possibilitatem, totis conatibus, filiali
                   obsequio obedivit, et non obstante quorundam
                   detractatione mordaci et accusatione multiplici quæ
                   (prout vulgaris opinio cecinit) paterni favoris in
                   filium moliebantur decrementa, ipse invidis
                   renitentibus, suæ piissimæ benignitatis mediis,
                   apud patrem, favorem, gratiam et benedictionem
                   finaliter consequi merebatur.]

On the whole (allowing for inaccuracies as well of addition as of
omission, which, though incapable of any specific correction, must
perhaps exist in so detailed a narrative,) we shall not be far     (p. 305)
from the truth if we accept in its general outline the relation of
this event as we find it in Stowe.

"Henry, the Prince, offended with certain of his father's family, who
were said to sow discord between the father and the son, wrote unto
all the parts of the realm, endeavouring himself to refute all the
practices and imaginations of such detractors and slanderous people;
and, to make the matter more manifest to the world, he came to the
King, his father, about the Feast of Peter and Paul, with such a
number of his friends and wellwishers, as a greater had not been seen
in those days. He was straightway admitted to his father's presence,
of whom this one thing he besought of him, that if such as had accused
him might be convicted of unjust accusation, they might be punished,
not according to their deserts, but yet, after their lies were proved,
they might somewhat taste of that which they had meant, although not
to the uttermost. The which request the King seemed to grant; but he
told him that he must tarry a parliament, that such might be tried and
punished by judgment of their peers."[291] Stowe refers to the work
ascribed to Otterbourne, the sentiments of which he faithfully
represents, and then proceeds with the further narrative. "The King
had entertained suspicions in consequence of the Prince's excesses,
and the great recourse of people unto him, of which his court      (p. 306)
was at all times more abundant than his father's, that he would
presume to usurp the crown; so that, in consequence of this suspicious
jealousy, he withdrew in part his affection and singular love from the
Prince.[292] He was accompanied by a large body of lords and
gentlemen; but those he would not suffer to advance beyond the fire in
the hall, in order to remove all suspicion from his father of any
intention to overawe or intimidate him. As soon as the Prince had
declared to his father that his life was not so desirable to him that
he would wish to live one day to his father's displeasure, and that he
coveted not so much his own life as his father's pleasure and welfare,
the King embraced the Prince, and with tears addressed him: 'My right
dear and heartily beloved son, it is of truth that I had you partly
suspect, and, as I now perceive, undeserved on your part. I will have
you no longer in distrust for any reports that shall be made unto me.
And thereof I assure you upon my honour.' Thus, by his great wisdom,
was the wrongful imagination of his father's hate utterly avoided, and
himself restored to the King's former grace and favour."

                   [Footnote 291: Stowe's Annals.]

                   [Footnote 292: How far we ought to believe the
                   strange story about the Prince visiting his father
                   in a mountebank's disguise, and praying the King to
                   stab him with a dagger which he presented to him,
                   is very problematical. There is much about it, and
                   its circumstances, which gives it the air of great
                   incredibility. Stowe here assumes, without good
                   ground, that the suspicions of the King were
                   excited by Henry's excesses.]

Stowe then reports that after Christmas the King called a          (p. 307)
parliament (on the morrow of the Purification, February 3,) to the end
of which he did not survive. During his illness, which became much
worse from about Christmas, he gave most excellent advice to Henry;
the particulars of which, as recorded by Stowe, are probably more the
fruits of the writer's imagination than the faithful transcript of any
recorded sentiments. Still the possibility of their having existed in
documents since lost, may perhaps be deemed a sufficient reason for
assigning to them a place in this work.

"'My dear and well-beloved son, I beseech thee, and upon my blessing
charge thee, that, like as thou hast said, so thou minister justice
equally, and in no wise suffer them that be oppressed long to call
upon thee for justice; but redress oppressions, and indifferently and
without delay: for no persuasion of flatterers, nor of them that be
partial, or such as have their hands replenished with gifts, defer not
justice till to-morrow if that thou mayest do justice this day, lest
peradventure God do justice on thee in the mean time, and take from
thee thine authority. Remember that the wealth of thy body and thy
soul and of thy realm resteth in the execution of justice: and do not
thy justice so that thou be called a tyrant; but use thyself in the
middle way between justice and mercy in those things that belong to
thee. And between parties do justice truly, to the consolation of thy
poor subjects that suffer injuries, and to the punishment of       (p. 308)
them that be extortioners and doers of oppression, that others thereby
may take example; and in thus doing thou shalt obtain the favour of
God, and the love and fear of thy subjects; and therefore also thou
shalt have thy realm more in tranquillity and rest, which shall be
occasion of great prosperity within thy realm, which Englishmen
naturally do desire; for, so long as they have wealth and riches, so
long shalt thou have obeisance; and, when they be poor, then they be
always ready at every motion to make insurrections, and it causeth
them to rebel against their sovereign lord; for the nature of them is
such rather to fear losing of their goods and worldly substance, than
the jeopardy of their lives. And if thou thus keep them in subjection,
mixed with love and fear, thou shalt have the most peaceable and
fertile country, and the most loving, faithful, and manly people of
the world; which shall be cause of no small fear to thine adversaries.
My son, when it shall please God to call me to the way decreed for
every worldly creature, to thee, as my son and heir, I must leave my
crown and my realm; which I advise thee not to take vainly, and as a
man elate in pride, and rejoiced in worldly honour; but think that
thou art more oppressed with charge to purvey for every person within
the realm, than exalted by vain honour of the world. Thou shalt be
exalted unto the crown for the wealth and conservation of the realm,
and not for thy singular commodity and avail. My son, thou         (p. 309)
shalt be a minister unto thy realm, to keep it in tranquillity and to
defend it. Like as the heart in the midst of the body is principal and
chief thing, and serveth to covet and desire that thing that is most
necessary to every of thy members; so, my son, thou shalt be amongst
thy people as chief and principal of them, to minister, imagine, and
acquire those things that may be most beneficial unto them. And then
thy people shall be obedient unto thee, to aid and succour thee, and
in all things to accomplish thy commandments, like as thy ministers
labour every one in his office to acquire and get that thing that thy
heart desireth: and as thy heart is of no force, and impotent, without
the aid of thy members, so without thy people thy reign is nothing. My
son, thou shalt fear and dread God above all things; and thou shalt
love, honour, and worship him with all thy heart: thou shalt attribute
and ascribe to him all things wherein thou seest thyself to be well
fortunate, be it victory of thine enemies, love of thy friends,
obedience of thy subjects, strength and activeness of body, honour,
riches, or fruitful generations, or any other thing, whatever it be,
that chanceth to thy pleasure. Thou shalt not imagine that any such
thing should fortune to thee by thine act, nor by thy desert; but thou
shalt think that all cometh only of the goodness of the Lord. Thus
shalt thou with all thine heart praise, honour, and thank God for all
his benefits that he giveth unto thee. And in thyself eschew       (p. 310)
all vainglory and elation of heart, following the wholesome counsel of
the Psalmist, which saith, 'Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us! but unto
thy name give the praise!' These, and many other admonitions and
doctrines, this victorious King gave unto this noble Prince his son,
who with effect followed the same after the death of his father,
whereby he obtained grace of our Lord to attain to great victories,
and many glorious and incredible conquests, through the help and
succour of our Lord, whereof he was never destitute."

       *       *       *       *       *

For the exquisitely beautiful picture of Shakspeare, called by some
'The Chamber Scene,' by others 'The Crown Scene,' the materials
probably were gathered from Monstrelet, whose narrative is the only
evidence we now have of the incident. That narrative, indeed, is not
contradicted by any other account; still its authenticity is very
questionable. It is, perhaps, impossible not to entertain a suspicion
that a French writer would, without much enquiry, admit an anecdote by
which Henry IV. is made to disclaim all title to the English throne,
and, by immediate consequence, all title to the English possessions in
the fair realm of France. It is also improbable either that Henry IV.
would have uttered this sentiment in the presence of a witness, or
that his son would have made it known to others. Monstrelet's
anecdote, nevertheless, being the source of so inimitable a        (p. 311)
scene as Shakspeare has drawn from it, deserves a place here: "The
King's attendant, not perceiving him to breathe, concluded he was
dead, and covered his face with a cloth. The crown was then upon a
cushion near the bed. The Prince, believing his father to be dead,
took away the crown. Shortly after, the King uttered a groan, and
revived; and, missing his crown, sent for his son, and asked why he
had removed it. The Prince mentioned his supposition that his father
had died. The King gave a deep sigh, and said, 'My fair son, what
right have you to it? you knew I had none.'--'My lord,' replied Henry,
'as you have held it by right of your sword, it is my intent to hold
and defend it the same during my life.' The King answered, 'Well, all
as you see best; I leave all things to God, and pray that he will have
mercy on me.' Shortly after, without uttering another word, he

                   [Footnote 293: Monstrelet, viii.]

Henry IV. expired on Monday, March 20, 1413; and his remains were
taken to Canterbury, and there interred near the grave of his first
wife. Clement Maidstone[294] testifies to his having heard a man swear
to his father, that he threw the body into the Thames between Barking
and Gravesend; but, on a late investigation, under the superintendence
of members of the cathedral, the body was found still to be in the
coffin, proving the falsehood of this foolish story.[295]          (p. 312)
The funeral was celebrated with great solemnity; and Henry V. attended
in person to assist in paying this last homage of respect to the
earthly remains of his sovereign and father.

                   [Footnote 294: Anglia Sacra, vol. ii. p. 371.]

                   [Footnote 295: Archæologia.]

CHAPTER XIV.                                                       (p. 313)


The hour of his father's death having been fixed upon as the date of
Henry's reputed conversion from a career of thoughtless dissipation
and reckless profligacy to a life of religion and virtue, this may
appear to be the most suitable place for a calm review of his previous
character and conduct.

In the very threshold of our inquiry, perhaps the most remarkable
circumstance to be observed is this, that whilst the charges now so
unsparingly and unfeelingly brought against his character, rest solely
on the vague, general, and indefinite assertions of writers, (many of
whom appear to aim at exalting his repentance into somewhat
approaching a miraculous conversion,) no one single act of
violence,[296] intemperance, injustice, immorality, or even        (p. 314)
levity of any kind, religious or moral, is placed upon record. Either
sweeping and railing accusations are alleged, unsubstantiated by proof
or argument; or else his subsequent repentance is cited to bear
testimony to his former misdoings. Thus one writer asserts;[297] "This
monarch, in the former part of his life, was remarkable for
dissipation and extravagance of conduct; in the latter, he became the
slave of the popedom. Voluptuousness, ambition, superstition, each in
their turn had the ascendant in this extraordinary character." Thus
does another sum up the whole question in one short note:[298] "The
assertions of his reformation are so express, that the fact cannot be
justly questioned without doubting all history; and, if there were
reformation, there must have been previous errors."[299]

                   [Footnote 296: The story of the Chief Justice, &c.
                   will be examined separately and at length. The
                   charge from Calais of peculation (we have already
                   seen) brought with it its own refutation: whilst
                   the evidence on which alone the charge against him
                   of undutiful conduct towards his father rests is
                   proved to be altogether devoid of credit.]

                   [Footnote 297: Milner, Church History, Cent. XV.]

                   [Footnote 298: Turner, History of England, book ii.
                   ch. x.]

                   [Footnote 299: Rapin, who follows Hall, and gives
                   no better authority, tells us that Prince Henry's
                   court was the receptacle of libertines, debauchees,
                   buffoons, parasites, and the like. The question
                   naturally suggests itself, "Ought not such a writer
                   as Rapin to have sought for some evidence to
                   support this assertion?" Had he sought diligently,
                   and reported honestly, such a sentence as this
                   could never have fallen from his pen. Carte gives a
                   very different view of Henry of Monmouth's court;
                   and a view, as many believe, far nearer the truth.
                   "It was crowded," he says, "by the nobles and great
                   men of the land, when his father's court was
                   comparatively deserted."]

The expressions of Walsingham, (being the same in his History,     (p. 315)
and in the work called "Ypodigma Neustriæ," or "A Sketch of Normandy,"
which he dedicated to Henry V. himself,) are considered by some
persons to have laid an insurmountable barrier in the way of those who
would remove from Henry's "brow," as Prince, "the stain" of "wildness,
riot, and dishonour." And, doubtless, no one who would discharge the
office of an upright judge or an honest witness, would either suppress
or gloss over the passage which is supposed to present these
formidable difficulties, or withdraw from the balance a particle of
the full weight which might appear after examination to belong to that
passage as its own. In our inquiry, however, we must be upon our guard
against the fallacy in which too many writers, when handling this
question, have indulged by arguing in a circle. We must not first say,
Walsingham bears testimony to Henry's early depravity, therefore we
must believe him to have been guilty; and then conclude, because
tradition fixes delinquency on Henry's early days, therefore
Walsingham's passage can admit only of that interpretation which fixes
the guilt upon him. Let Walsingham's text be fairly sifted upon its
own merits; and then, whatever shall appear to have been his       (p. 316)
meaning of an adverse nature, let that be added to the evidence
against Henry; and let the whole be put into the scale, and weighed
against whatever may be alleged in refutation of the charges with
which his memory has been assailed. It would be the result then of a
morbid deference to the opinions of others, rather than the judgment
of his own reasoning, were the Author to withhold his persuasion that
more importance has been assigned to Walsingham's words than a full
and unbiassed scrutiny into their real bearing would sanction. To the
judgment of each individually must this branch of evidence, no less
than the entire question of Henry's moral character, be left. A
transcript of Walsingham's words, as they appear in the printed
editions of his History and in the "Ypodigma Neustriæ,"[300] will be
found at the foot of the page.[301] The following is probably      (p. 317)
as close a rendering of the original, as the strangely metaphorical,
and in some cases the obscure expressions of Walsingham will bear. "On
which day [of Henry's coronation] there was a very severe storm of
snow, all persons marvelling at the roughness of the weather. Some
considered the disturbance of the atmosphere as portending the new
King's destiny to be cold in action, severe in discipline and in the
exercise of the royal functions; others, forming a milder estimate of
the person of the King, interpreted this inclemency of the sky as the
best omen, namely, that the King himself would cause the colds and
snows of vices to fall in his reign, and the mild fruits of        (p. 318)
virtues to spring up; so that, with practical truth, it might be said
by his subjects, 'The winter is past, the rain is over and gone.' For
verily, as soon as he was initiated with the chaplet of royalty, he
suddenly was changed into another man, studying rectitude, modesty,
and gravity, [or propriety, moderation, and steadiness,] desiring to
exercise every class of virtue without omitting any; whose manners and
conduct were an example to persons of every condition in life, as well
of the clergy as of the laity."

                   [Footnote 300: The Author has searched in vain for
                   any contemporary manuscript of Walsingham's
                   "Ypodigma Neustriæ." There is a copy in the British
                   Museum, written up to a certain point on vellum;
                   the latter part, containing these sentences, is on
                   paper, and of comparatively a very recent date,
                   transcribed, as the Author thinks, not from a
                   previous MS. of the Ypodigma, but from a copy of
                   the History. His ground for this inference is the
                   circumstance that the interpolation in the History,
                   as to Edmund Mortimer's death, which is not found
                   in the printed editions of the Ypodigma, occurs in
                   this MS. The MS. on vellum, preserved in the
                   Heralds' College, is a copy of the History,
                   transcribed, as the Author conceives, by a very
                   ignorant copyist. The same interpolation of "Obiit"
                   occurs here also; and, instead of calling the
                   person spoken of Edmund Mortimer, it has "Edmundus
                   mortifer." The Author was very desirous of
                   comparing the original copy of Walsingham's
                   Ypodigma, as dedicated to Henry V, with subsequent
                   transcripts or versions. He entertains a strong
                   suspicion that the sentences here commented upon
                   were not in the original; but, in the absence of
                   the means of ascertaining the matter of fact, he
                   reasons upon them as though they were actually
                   submitted to the eye of Henry himself.]

                   [Footnote 301: "Quo die fuit tempestas nivis
                   maxima, cunctis admirantibus de temporis
                   asperitate; quibusdam novelli Regis fatis
                   impingentibus aeris turbulentiam, velut ipse
                   futurus esset in agendis frigidus, in regimine
                   regnoque severus. Aliis mitiùs de personâ Regis
                   sapientibus, et hanc aeris intemperiem
                   interpretantibus omen optimum, quòd ipse videlicet
                   nives et frigora vitiorum faceret in regno cadere,
                   et serenos virtutum fructus emergere; ut posset
                   effectualiter à suis dici subditis, 'Jam enim hyems
                   transiit, imber abiit et recessit.' Qui reverâ, mox
                   ut initiatus est regni infulis, repente mutatus est
                   in virum alterum, honestati, modestiæ, ac gravitati
                   studens, nullum virtutum genus omittens quod non
                   cuperet exercere. Cujus mores et gestus omni
                   conditioni, tàm religiosorum quàm laicorum, in
                   exempla fuere."]

Unquestionably, from these expressions an inference may be drawn
fairly, and without harshness or exaggeration, that the "changed man"
had been in times past negligent of some important branches of moral
duty; vehement, hasty, and impetuous in his general proceedings; and
not considering in his pursuits their fitness for his station and
place; in a word, guilty of moral delinquencies immediately opposed to
the virtues enumerated. On the other hand, by specifying those three
moral qualities, (in which this passage is interpreted to imply that
Henry's life had undergone a sudden and total change,--rectitude,
modesty, and steadiness,) Walsingham appears to have selected exactly
those identical points, for Henry's full possession of which the
parliament of England had felicitated his father; and which, either
separately, or in combination with other excellencies, continued to be
ascribed to him at various times, as occasion offered, even to     (p. 319)
a period within a few months of his accession to the throne. Never
did a young man receive from his contemporaries more unequivocal
testimony to the practical exercise in his person of propriety,
modesty, and perseverance, than Henry of Monmouth received before he
became King.

It may be said, and with perfect fairness, that the testimony of
parliament to his virtues so early as the year 1406 leaves a most
important chasm in a young man's life, during which he might have
fallen from his integrity, and have rapidly formed habits of the
opposite vices. But through that period no expressions occur in
history which even by implication involve any degeneracy, any change
from good to bad. On the contrary, to his zeal and steadiness, and
perseverance and integrity, such incidental testimony is borne from
time to time as would of itself leave a very different impression on
the mind from that which Walsingham's words in their usual acceptation
would convey; whilst no allusion whatever is discernible to any habits
or practices contrary to the principles of religious and moral
self-government. Indeed, it has been, not without reason, doubted
whether, in the absence of more positive testimony, such sudden
changes, first from good to bad, and then from bad to good, be not in
themselves improbable.

On the whole, whilst each must be freely left to pronounce his own
verdict, it is here humbly but sincerely suggested that            (p. 320)
Walsingham's words fairly admit of an interpretation more in
accordance with the view of Henry's moral worth generally adopted in
these Memoirs; namely, that his character rose suddenly with the
occasion; that new energies were called into action by his new duties;
that his moral and intellectual powers kept on a level with his
elevation to so high a dignity, and with such an increase of power and
influence; and that he continued to excite the admiration of the world
by improving rapidly in every excellence, as his awful sense of the
momentous responsibility he then for the first time felt imposed upon
him grew in strength and intenseness. He became "another, a new man,"
by giving himself up with all his soul to his new duties as sovereign;
and by cultivating with practical devotedness those virtues which
might render him (and which, as Walsingham says, did actually render
him) a bright and shining example to every class of his subjects.[302]

                   [Footnote 302: Hardyng uses this expression:

                         "A new man made in all good regimence."]

Undoubtedly most of the subsequent chroniclers not only speak of his
reformation, but broadly state that he had given himself very great
licence in self-gratification, and therefore needed to be reformed.
Before Shakspeare's day, the reports adopted by our historiographers
had fully justified him in his representation of Henry's early
courses; and, since his time, few writers have considered it their
duty to verify the exquisite traits of his pencil, or examine      (p. 321)
the evidence on which he rested.

        "His addiction was to courses vain;
  His companies unlettered, rude, and shallow;
  His hours filled up with riots, banquets, sports;
  And never noted in him any study,
  Any retirement, any sequestration
  From open haunts and popularity."

Let the investigator who is resolved not to yield an implicit and
blind assent to vague assertion, however positive, and how often
soever repeated, well and truly try for himself the issue by evidence,
and trace Henry from his boyhood; let him search with unsparing
diligence and jealous scrutiny through every authentic document
relating to him; let his steps be followed into the marches, the
towns, the valleys, and the mountains of Wales; let him be watched
narrowly month after month during his residence in London, or wherever
he happened to be staying with the court, or in Calais during his
captaincy there; and not a single hint occurs of any one
irregularity.[303] The research will bring to light no single
expression savouring of impiety, dissoluteness, carelessness,      (p. 322)
or even levity.

                   [Footnote 303: The Author having heard of a
                   reported arrest of the Prince at Coventry for a
                   riot, with his two brothers, in 1412, took great
                   pains to investigate the authenticity of the
                   record. It is found in a manuscript of a date not
                   earlier than James I; whilst the more ancient
                   writings of the place are entirely silent on the
                   subject. The best local antiquaries, after having
                   carefully examined the question, have reported the
                   whole story to the Author as apocryphal.]

Testimony, on the other hand, ample and repeated, as we have already
seen in these pages, is borne to his valour, and unremitting exertions
and industry; to his firmness of purpose, his integrity his filial
duty and affection; his high-mindedness (in the best sense of the
word), his generous spirit, his humanity, his habits of mind, so
unsuspecting as to expose him often to the over-reaching designs of
the crafty and the unprincipled, his pious trust in Providence, and
habitual piety and devotion. To these, and other excellences in his
moral compound, his father,[304] and his father's antagonist,      (p. 323)
Hotspur, the assembled parliament of England, the common people
of Wales, the gentlemen of distant counties, contemporary chroniclers,
(combined with the public records of the kingdom and the internal
evidence of his own letters,) bear direct and unstinted witness. From
the first despatch of Hotspur to the last vote of thanks in
parliament, there is a chain of testimonies (detailed in their
chronological order in previous chapters of this work) very seldom
equalled in the case of so young a man, and, through so long a period,
perhaps never surpassed. And yet, though he was through the whole of
that time the constant object of observation, and the subject of men's
thoughts and words, no complaint of any neglect of duty arrests our
notice, nor is there even an insinuation thrown out of any excess,
indiscretion, or extravagance whatever. Not a word from the tongue of
friend or foe, of accuser or apologist, would induce us to suspect
that anything wrong was stifled or kept back. There are complaints of
the extravagant expenditure of his father, and recommendations of
retrenchment and economy in the King's household; but never on any
occasion, (even when the Prince is most urgent and importunate for
supplies of money, offering the most favourable and inviting
opportunity for remonstrance or remark), is there the slightest    (p. 324)
innuendo either from the King, the Lords of the council, or the
Commons in parliament, that he expended the least sum unnecessarily.[305]
No improper channel of expense, public or private, domestic or
personal, is glanced at; nothing is objected to in his establishment;
no item is recommended to be abolished or curtailed; no change of
conduct is hinted at as desirable. And yet subsequent writers speak
with one accord of his reformation; "and reformation implies previous
errors." After examining whatever documents concerning him the most
diligent research could discover, the Author is compelled to report as
his unbiassed and deliberate judgment, that the character with which
Henry of Monmouth's name has been stamped for profligacy and
dissipation, is founded, not on the evidence of facts, but on the
vagueness of tradition. Still such is the tradition, and it must stand
for its due value. And if we allow tradition to tell us of his faults,
we must in common fairness receive from the same tradition the
fullness of his reformation; if we give credence to one who reports
both his guilt and his penitence, we must record both accounts or
neither. Before, however, we repeat what tradition has delivered   (p. 325)
down as to Henry's conduct and behaviour immediately upon his father's
death, it may be well for us to review some of those testimonies to
his character, his principles, and his conduct, which incidentally
(but not on that account less acceptably or less satisfactorily) offer
themselves to our notice, scattered up and down through the pages of
former days.

                   [Footnote 304: It is not within the province of
                   these Memoirs to record the Will of Henry IV, or to
                   comment upon its provisions. There is, however, one
                   sentence in it, a reference to which cannot be out
                   of place here. In the year 1408, 21st January, a
                   Will, which to the day of his death he never
                   revoked, contains this sentence written in English:
                   "And for to execute this testament well and truly,
                   for the great trust that I have of my son the
                   Prince, I ordain and make him my executor of my
                   testament aforesaid, calling to him such as him
                   thinketh in his discretion that can and will labour
                   to the soonest speed of my will comprehended in
                   this my testament. And to fulfil all things
                   aforesaid truly, I charge my aforesaid son on my
                   blessing." It may deserve consideration whether
                   this clause in a father's last Will, never revoked,
                   be consistent with the idea of his having expelled
                   the son of whom he thus speaks from his council,
                   and banished him his presence; and whether it may
                   not fairly be put in the opposite scale against the
                   vague and unsubstantial assertions of the Prince's
                   recklessness, and his father's alienation from him.
                   It must at the same time be borne in mind that the
                   Will was made before the time usually selected as
                   the period of their estrangement. The Will,
                   nevertheless, was not revoked nor altered in this

                   [Footnote 305: In a fragment of the records of a
                   council, 6 May 1421, among other former debts not
                   provided for, such as "ancient debts for Harfleur
                   and Calais," occurs one item, "Debts of Henry IV;"
                   and another, "Debts of the King, whilst he was
                   Prince." We have seen that he was more than once
                   compelled to borrow money on his plate and jewels
                   to pay the King's soldiers.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Were we to draw an inference from the summary way in which many modern
authors have cut short the question with regard to Henry of Monmouth's
character as Prince of Wales, we should conclude that all the evidence
was on one side; that, whilst "it is unfair to distinguished merit to
dwell on the blemishes which it has regretted and reformed," still no
doubt can be entertained of his having, "from a too early initiation
into military life, stooped to practise irregularities between the
ages of sixteen and twenty-five."[306] Whereas the fact is, that no
allusion to such irregularities is made where we might have expected
to find it; and that, independently of those more formal proofs to the
contrary which are embodied in these pages, and to which we have above
briefly referred, contemporary writers and undisputed documents supply
us with materials for judging of his temper of mind and early
habit,--the character, in short, with which those who had the best (p. 326)
opportunities of knowing him, were wont to associate his name.

                   [Footnote 306: Turner.]

All accounts agree in reporting him to have been devotedly fond of
music. As the household expenses of his father informed us, he played
upon the harp before he was ten years old; nor does he seem ever to
have lost the habit of deriving gratification from the same art. It
were easy to represent him prostituting this love of minstrelsy in the
haunts of Eastcheap, and enjoying "through the sweetest morsel of the
night" the songs of impurity in reckless Bacchanalian revels,
self-condemned indeed, and therefore to be judged by others leniently:

        "I feel me much to blame
  So idly to profane the precious time:"[307]

but nevertheless guilty of profaning the sacred art of music in the
midst of worthless companions, and in the very sinks of low and
dissolute profligacy. This it were easy to do, and this has been done.
But history lends no countenance to such representations. The
chroniclers, who refer again and again to his fondness for music, tell
us that it showed itself in him under very different associations. "He
delighted (as Stowe records) in songs, metres, and musical
instruments; insomuch that in his chapel, among his private prayers he
used our Lord's prayer, certain psalms of David, with divers hymns and
canticles, all which _I_ have seen translated into English metre   (p. 327)
by John Lydgate, Monk of Bury." In this view we are strongly confirmed
by several items of expense specified in the Pell Rolls, which record
sums paid to organists and singers sent over for the use of Henry's
chapel whilst he was in France; but this, being subsequent to his
supposed conversion, cannot be alleged in evidence on the point at
issue.[308] It only shows that his early acquired love of music never
deserted him.

                   [Footnote 307: Second Part of Henry IV, act ii. sc

                   [Footnote 308: Pell Rolls, 7 Hen. V. 28th
                   Oct.--Dº. 22nd Nov.]

In this place, moreover, we cannot refrain from anticipating, what
might perhaps have been reserved with equal propriety to a subsequent
page, that the same dry details of the Pell Rolls[309] enable us to
infer with satisfaction that Henry made his love of minstrelsy
contribute to the gratification of himself and the partner of his joys
and cares, supplying an intimation of domestic habits and conjugal
satisfaction, without which a life passed in the splendour of royalty
must be irksome, and blessed with which the cottage of the poor man
possesses the most enviable treasure. Whether in their home at
Windsor, or during their happy progress through England in the halls
of York and Chester, or in the tented ground on the banks of the Seine
before Melun, our imagination has solid foundation to build        (p. 328)
upon when we picture to ourselves Henry and his beloved princess
passing innocently and happily, in minstrelsy and song, some of the
hours spared from the appeals of justice, the exigencies of the state,
or the marshalling of the battle-field.

                   [Footnote 309: Pell Rolls, 8 Hen. V. (2nd Oct.
                   1420.) For the price of harps for the King and
                   Queen, 8_l._ 13_s._ 4_d._ A subsequent item (Sept.
                   4, 1421), records payment of 2_l._ 6_s._ 8_d._ for
                   a harp purchased at his command and sent to him in

But that Henry had also imbibed a real love of literature, and valued
it highly, we possess evidence which well deserves attention. He was
so much enamoured of the "Tale of Troy divine," that he directed John
Lydgate, Monk of Bury St. Edmund's, to translate two poems, "The Death
of Hector," and "The Fall of Troy," into English verse, that his own
countrymen might not be behind the rest of Europe in their knowledge
of the works of antiquity. The testimony borne by this author to the
character of Henry for perseverance and stedfastness of purpose; for
sound practical wisdom, and, at the same time, for a ready and ardent
desire of the counsel of the wise; for mercy mingled with high and
princely resolve and love of justice; for all those qualities which
can adorn a Christian prince,--is so full in itself, and so direct,
and (if honest) is so conclusive, that any memoirs of Henry's life and
character would be culpably defective which should exclude it. The
circumstance, also, of that testimony being couched in the vernacular
language of the times, affords another point of interest to the
English antiquary. Sometimes, indeed, we cannot help suspecting that
the poem has undergone some verbal and grammatical alterations in  (p. 329)
the course of the four centuries which have elapsed since it was
penned; but that circumstance does not affect its credibility.

We may be fully aware that the evidence of a poet dedicating a work to
his patron is open to the suspicion of partiality and flattery, and we
may be willing that as much should be deducted on that score from the
weight of the Monk of Bury's testimony as the reader may impartially
pronounce just; still the naked fact remains unimpeached, that the
poet was importuned by Henry, _when Prince_, to translate two works
for the use of his countrymen. Lydgate, it must not be forgotten,
expressly declares that he undertook the work at the "high command of
Henry Prince of Wales," and that he entered upon it in the autumn of
1412; the exact time when some would have us believe that he was in
the mid-career of his profligacy, and at open variance with his
father. However, let Lydgate's testimony be valued at a fair price; no
one has ever impeached his character for honesty, or accused him of
flattery. Still he may be guilty in both respects. And yet, in a work
published at that very time, we can scarcely believe that any one
would have addressed a wild profligate and noted prodigal in such
verses; and it is very questionable whether, had he done so, any one
who delighted in libertinism and boasted of his follies would have
been gratified by the ascription to himself of a character in      (p. 330)
all points so directly the reverse. If his patron were an example
of irregularities and licentiousness, it is beyond the reach of
ill-nature and credulity combined to hold it probable that he would
have extolled him for self-restraint, for steady moral and mental
discipline, for manliness at once and virtue, for delighting in
ancient lore, and promoting its free circulation far and wide with the
sole purpose and intent of sowing virtue and discountenancing vice.
Such an effusion would have savoured rather of irony and bitter
sarcasm, than of a desire to write what would be acceptable to the
individual addressed. Lydgate's is the testimony, we confess, of a
poet and a friend, but it is the testimony of a contemporary; of one
who saw Henry in his daily walks, conversed with him often, had a
personal knowledge of his habits and predilections; at all events, he
was one who, by recording the fact that Henry, when Prince, urged him
to translate for his countrymen two poems which he had himself
delighted to read in the original, records at the same time the fact
that Henry was himself a scholar, and the patron of ingenuous

The testimony borne to the character of Henry of Monmouth by the poet
Occleve[310] is more indirect than Lydgate's, but not on that      (p. 331)
account less valuable or satisfactory. Occleve represents himself
as walking pensive and sad, in sorrow of heart, pressed down by
poverty, when he is met by a poor old man who accosts him with
kindness. The poet then details their conversation. He communicates to
the aged man, whom he calls father, his worldly wants and anxiety;
who, addressing him by the endearing name of son, endeavours to
suggest to him some means of procuring a remedy for his distress. His
advice is, to write a poem or two with great pains, and present them
to the Prince, with the full assurance that he would graciously accept
them, and relieve his wants. They must be written, he says, with
especial care, because of the Prince's great skill and judgment;
whilst of their welcome the Prince's gentle and benign bearing towards
all worthy suitors gives a most certain pledge. If Occleve deserves
our confidence, Henry, in the estimation of his contemporaries, even
whilst he was yet Prince of Wales, had the character of a gentle and
kind-hearted man; one whose "heart was full applied to grant," and not
to send a petitioner empty away. Instead of his revelling amidst loose
companions at the Boar in East-Cheap, his contemporaries thought they
should best meet his humour, if they supplied him with a "tale fresh
and gay,"[311] for his study when he was in his own chamber, and   (p. 332)
was still. So far from thinking that an author would suit his taste by
furnishing any of those works which minister what is grateful to a
depraved mind, their admonition was, to write nothing which could sow
the seeds of vice. They deemed him, if any one, able to set the true
value on a literary work; and felt that, if they purposed to present
any production of their own for his perusal and gratification, they
must take especial pains to make it really good. They had formed,
moreover, such an opinion of his high excellence, and his abhorrence
of flattery, that they thought a man had better undertake a pilgrimage
to Jerusalem than be guilty of any indiscretion in this particular.
Let any impartial person meditate on these things; let him         (p. 333)
carefully read the extracts from Lydgate and Occleve which will be
found in the Appendix; and remembering on the one hand that they were
poets anxious to obtain the favour of the court, and on the other that
no single act or word of vice, or insolence, or levity, is recorded of
Henry by any one of his contemporaries, let him then, like an honest
days-man, pronounce his verdict.

                   [Footnote 310: Thomas Occleve, or Hoccleve, was
                   Clerk of the Privy Seal to Henry IV; many small
                   payments to him in that character are recorded in
                   the Pell Rolls. He was probably born in the year
                   1370, and lived to be eighty years of age.]

                   [Footnote 311: Henry seems to have supplied himself
                   with books on various other subjects of interest to
                   him. He was, we are told, fond of the chase; and we
                   find payment in the Pell Rolls of 12_l._ 8_s._ to
                   John Robart for writing twelve books on hunting for
                   the use of the King (21 Nov. 1421). Payment is also
                   made for a variety of books to the executors of
                   Joan de Bohun, late Countess of Hereford, his
                   grandmother, 24th May, 1420. Two petitions,
                   presented after his death to the council of his
                   infant son, contribute also incidentally their
                   testimony to the same view of his character. The
                   first prays that the books in the possession of the
                   late King, which belonged to the Countess of
                   Westmoreland, "The Chronicle of Jerusalem," and
                   "The Journey of Godfrey Baylion," might be
                   restored. The other petition is, that "a large book
                   containing all the works of St. Gregory the Pope,"
                   left to the Church of Canterbury by Archbishop
                   Arundell, and lent to Henry V. by Gilbert
                   Umfraville, one of the executors of the
                   Archbishop's will, and which was directed in the
                   last will of the King to be restored, might be
                   delivered up by the Convent of Shene, where it had
                   been kept, to the Prior of Canterbury.--Rymer.
                   Foed. 11 Hen. IV.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The tradition with regard to Henry's conduct immediately upon his
father's dissolution, as we gather it from various writers who lived
near that time, is one as to the full admission of which even an
eulogist of Henry of Monmouth needs not be jealous; much less will the
candid enquirer be apprehensive of its effect upon the character which
he is investigating. The tradition then is, that Prince Henry was
attending the sick-bed of his father, who, rousing from a slumber into
which he had sunk for a while, asked him what the person was doing
whom he observed in the room. "My father," replied Henry, "it is the
priest, who has just now consecrated the body of our Lord; lift up
your heart in all holy devotion to God!" His father then most
affectionately and fervently blessed him, and resigned his soul into
the hands of his Redeemer. No sooner had the King breathed his last,
than Henry, under an awful sense of his own unworthiness, and of the
vanity of all worldly objects of desire, conscious also of the     (p. 334)
necessity of an abundant supply of divine grace to fit him for the
discharge of the high duties of the kindly office, to which the voice
of Providence then called him, retired forthwith into an inner
oratory. There, prostrate in body and soul, and humbled to the dust
before the majesty of his Creator, he made a full confession of his
past life. Whether the words put into his mouth were the fruits of his
biographer's imagination, or were committed to writing by Henry
himself, (a supposition thought by some by no means improbable,) they
are the words of a sincere Christian penitent. Henry, as we have
frequently been reminded in these Memoirs, seems to have made much
progress in the knowledge of sacred things, and to have become
familiarly acquainted with the Holy Scriptures; and his confessional
prayer breathes the aspirations of one who had made the divine word
his study. He earnestly implores "his most loving Father to have mercy
upon him, not suffering the miserable creature of his hand to perish,
but making him as one of his hired servants." After he had thus poured
out his soul to God in his secret chamber, he went under cover of the
night to a minister of eminent piety, who lived near at hand at
Westminster. To this servant of Christ he opened all his mind, and
received by his kind and holy offices, the consolations and counsels,
the strengthenings and refreshings, which true religion alone can
give, and which it never withholds from any one, prince or         (p. 335)
peasant, who seeks them with sincere purpose of heart, and applies for
them in earnest prayer.

Between his accession and his coronation, Henry of Monmouth was much
engaged in exercises of devotion; and various acts of self-humiliation
are recorded of him. Even in the midst of the splendid banquet of his
coronation, (as persons, says Elmham, worthy of credit can testify,)
he neither ate nor drank; his whole mind and soul seemed to be
absorbed by the thought of the solemn and deep responsibility under
which he then lay. For three days he never suffered himself to indulge
in repose on any soft couch; but with fasting, watching, and prayer,
fervently and perseveringly implored the heavenly aid of the King of
kings for the good government of his people. Doubtless, some may see
in every penitential prayer an additional proof of his former
licentiousness and dissipation: others, it is presumed, may not so
interpret these scenes. Perhaps candour and experience may combine in
suggesting to many Christians that the self-abasement of Henry should
be interpreted, not as a criterion of his former delinquencies in
comparison with the principles and conduct of others, but as an index
rather of the standard of religious and moral excellence by which he
tried his own life; that the rule with reference to which a practical
knowledge of his own deficiency filled him with so great compunction
and sorrow of heart, was not the tone and fashion of the world,    (p. 336)
but the pure and holy law of God; and that, consequently, his degree
of contrition does not imply in him any extraordinary sense of
immorality in his past days, but rather the profound reverence which
he had formed of the divine law, and a consciousness of the lamentable
instances in which he had failed to fulfil it.[312] Be this as it may,
a calm review of all the intimations with regard to his principles,
his conduct, and his feelings, which history and tradition offer,
seems to suggest to our thoughts the expressions of the Psalmist as
words in which Prince Henry might well and sincerely have addressed
the throne of grace. "I have gone astray, like a sheep that is lost.
O! seek thy servant, for I do not forget thy commandments!"

                   [Footnote 312: It is quite curious and painful, but
                   at the same time instructive, to observe how
                   differently the same acts may be interpreted,
                   accordingly as they are viewed by persons under the
                   influence of various prejudices and peculiar
                   associations. In the case of Henry of Monmouth, the
                   confession of his own unworthiness is adduced in
                   evidence only of his former habits of dissoluteness
                   and dissipation. The same confession in his
                   contemporary, Lord Cobham, is hailed only as an
                   indication of the work of grace in his soul.--See
                   Milner, Cent. XV. ch. i.]

CHAPTER XV.                                                        (p. 337)


The Author has already intimated in his Preface the reluctance with
which he undertook to examine the descriptions of the Prince of
dramatic poets with a direct reference to the test of historical
truth; and he cannot enter upon that inquiry in this place without
repeating his regret, nor without alleging some of the reasons which
seem to make the investigation an imperative duty in these Memoirs.

In our endeavours to ascertain the real character and conduct of Henry
V, it is not enough that we close the volume of Shakspeare's dramas,
determining to allow it no weight in the scale of evidence. If
nothing more be done, Shakspeare's representations will have       (p. 338)
weight, despite of our resolution. Were Shakspeare any ordinary
writer, or were the parts of his remains which bear on our subject
few, unimportant, and uninteresting, the biographer, without
endangering the truth, might lay him aside with a passing caution
against admitting for evidence the poet's views of facts and
character. But the large majority of readers in England, who know
anything of those times, have formed their estimate of Henry from the
scenic descriptions of Shakspeare, or from modern historians who have
been indebted for their information to no earlier or more authentic
source than his plays. Even writers of a higher character, and to whom
the English student is much indebted, would tempt us to rest satisfied
with the general inferences to be drawn from the scenes of Shakspeare,
though they willingly allow that much of the detail was the fruit only
of his fertile imagination. A modern author[313] opens his chapter on
the reign of Henry V. with a passage, a counterpart to which we find
expressed, or at least conveyed by implication, in many other writers,
to whose views, however, the searcher after truth and fact cannot
possibly accede. "With the traditionary irregularities of the youth of
Henry V. we are early familiarized by the magical pen of Shakspeare,
never more fascinating than in portraying the associates and frolics
of this illustrious Prince. But the personifications of the poet   (p. 339)
must not be expected to be found in the chroniclers who have annalised
this reign."--"The general facts of his irregularities, and their
amendment, have never been forgotten; but no historical Hogarth has
painted the individual adventures of the princely rake."

                   [Footnote 313: Mr. Turner.]

It is not because we would palliate Henry's vices, if such there be on
record, or disguise his follies, or wish his irregularities to be
forgotten in the vivid recollections of his conquests, that we would
try "our immortal bard" by the test of rigid fact. We do so, because
he is the authority on which the estimate of Henry's character, as
generally entertained, is mainly founded. Mr. Southey,[314] indeed, is
speaking only of his own boyhood when he says, "I had learned all I
knew of English history from Shakspeare." But very many pass through
life without laying aside or correcting those impressions which they
caught at the first opening of their minds; and never have any other
knowledge of the times of which his dramas speak, than what they have
learned from his representations. The great Duke of Marlborough is
known to have confessed that all his acquaintance with English history
was derived from Shakspeare: whilst not unfrequently persons of
literary pursuits, who have studied our histories for themselves, are
to the last under the practical influence of their earliest
associations: unknown to their own minds the poet is still their   (p. 340)
instructor and guide. And this influence Shakspeare exercises
over the historical literature of his country, though he was born more
than one hundred and sixty years after the historical date of that
scene in which he first speaks of the "royal rake's" strayings and
unthriftiness; and though many new sources, not of vague tradition,
but of original and undoubted record, which were closed to him, have
been opened to students of the present day. It has indeed been alleged
that he might have had means of information no longer available by us;
that manuscripts are forgotten, or lost, which bore testimony to
Henry's career of wantonness. But surely such a suggestion only
renders it still more imperative to examine with strict and exact
scrutiny into the poet's descriptions. If these are at all countenanced
by a coincidence with ascertained historical facts, we must admit them
as evidence, secondary indeed, but still the best within our reach.
But if they prove to be wholly untenable when tested by facts, and
irreconcileable with what history places beyond doubt, we have solid
grounds for rejecting them as legitimate testimonies. We must consider
them either as the fascinating but aëry visions of a poet who lived
after the intervention of more than a century and a half, or as
inferences built by him on documents false and misleading.

                   [Footnote 314: Preface to his Poetical Works.]

It may be said that the poet, in his delineation of the manners    (p. 341)
of the time, and in his vivid representations of the sallies and
excesses of a prince notorious for his wildness and profligate habits,
must not be shackled by the rigid and cold bands of historical verity,
any more than we would require of him, in his description of a battle,
the accuracy of a general's bulletin. But if a master poet should so
describe the battle as to involve on the part of the commander the
absence of military skill, and of clear conceptions of a soldier's
duty, or ignorance of the enemy's position and strength, and of his
own resources, or a suspicion of faintheartedness and ungallant
bearing, truth would require us to analyse the description, and either
to restore the fair fame of the commander, or to be convinced that he
had justly lost his military character. On this principle we must
refer Shakspeare's representations to a more unbending standard than a
poet's fantasy.

The first occasion on which reference is found to the habits and
character of Henry, occurs in the tragedy of Richard II, act v. scene
3, in which his father is represented as making inquiries, of "Percy
and other lords," in such terms as these:

  "Can no man tell of my _unthrifty_ son?
  'Tis full THREE MONTHS since I did see him last:
  If any plague hang over us, 'tis he.
  I would to Heaven, my lords, he might be found!
  Inquire at London 'mongst the taverns there,
  For there, they say, he daily doth frequent,
  With unrestrained loose companions;
  Even such, they say, as stand in narrow lanes,                   (p. 342)
  And beat our watch, and rob our passengers;
  While he, young, wanton, and effeminate boy,
  Takes on the point of honour to support
  So dissolute a crew."

To this inquiry PERCY is made to answer,

    "My lord! some two days since I saw the Prince,
    And told him of these triumphs held at Oxford."
  _Bolinbroke._--"And what said the gallant?"
  _Percy._--"His answer was--he would unto the stews,
    And from the common'st creature pluck a glove,
    And wear it as a favour; and, with that,
    He would unhorse the lustiest challenger."
  _Bolinbroke._--"As dissolute as desperate: yet, through both,
    I see some sparkles of a better hope,
    Which elder days may happily bring forth."

To understand what degree of reliance should be placed upon this
passage as a channel of biographical information, it is only necessary
to recal to mind two points established beyond doubt from history:
first, that the Prince was then not twelve years and a half old; and
secondly, that the circumstance, previously to which this lamentation
must be fixed, took place NOT THREE MONTHS after the coronation,
subsequently to which the King created this his "unthrifty son," "this
gallant, dissolute as desperate," Prince of Wales.[315] The scene is
placed by Shakspeare at Windsor; and the conversation between      (p. 343)
Henry IV. inquiring about his son, and Percy, so unkindly fanning his
suspicions, is ended abruptly by the breathless haste of Lord
Albemarle, who breaks in upon the court to denounce the conspiracy
against the King's life. This could not have been later than January
4, 1400; for on that day the conspirators entered Windsor, after Henry
IV, having been apprised of their plot, had left that place for
London. The coronation was celebrated on the 13th of the preceding
October, and the Prince of Wales was born August 9, 1387. The whole
year before his father's coronation he was in the safe-keeping of
Richard II, through some months of it in Ireland; and, on Richard's
return to England, he was left a prisoner in Trym Castle. How many
days before the coronation he was brought from Ireland to his father,
does not appear; probably messengers were sent for him immediately
after Richard fell into the hands of Henry IV. The certainty is, that
"_full three months_ could not have passed" since they last saw    (p. 344)
each other; the strong probability is, that both father and son
had kept the feast of Christmas together at Windsor. That a boy of not
twelve years and a half old, just returned from a year's safe-keeping
in the hand of his father's enemy and whom his father, not three
months before, had created Prince of Wales with all the honours and
expressions of regard ever shown on similar occasions, should have
been the leader and supporter of a dissolute crew of unrestrained
loose companions, the frequenter of those sinks of sin and profligacy
which then disgraced the metropolis (as they do now), is an
improbability so gross, that nothing but the excellence of
Shakspeare's pen could have rendered an exposure of it necessary.[316]

                   [Footnote 315: Reference is here made to the
                   creation of Henry as Prince of Wales, not in
                   anywise for the purpose of insinuating that he
                   would not have been raised to that honour by his
                   father, had he been the "desperate gallant" which
                   the poet delineates, but solely to show that the
                   King's lamentation cannot be historically correct.
                   The poet, having fastened on the general tradition
                   as to Henry's wildness, gives rein to his fancy,
                   and would fain carry his readers along with him in
                   the belief that Henry had absented himself for full
                   three months from his paternal roof, and revelled
                   in abandoned profligacy; whilst the facts with
                   which the poet has connected it, fix the
                   outbreaking of the Prince to a time when the real
                   Henry was not twelve years and a half old.
                   Shakspeare's poetry is not inconsistent with
                   itself, but it is with historical verity.]

                   [Footnote 316: There are, however, other
                   circumstances deserving our attention, which took
                   place, some undoubtedly, and others most probably,
                   within the three months preceding this very time.
                   In the first place, the Commons, who had at the
                   coronation sworn the same fealty to the Prince as
                   to the King, on the 3rd of November petition that
                   the creation of Henry as Prince of Wales might be
                   entered on the record of Parliament; and on the
                   same day they pray the King that the Prince might
                   not pass forth from this realm, (in consequence of
                   the movements of the Scots,) "forasmuch as he is of
                   tender age." In the course of that same month of
                   November 1399, a negociation was set on foot to
                   bring about the espousals for a future union of the
                   Prince with one of the daughters of the King of
                   France. And about the same time (probably within a
                   month of the scene of Shakspeare which we are
                   examining,) the Prince makes a direct appeal to the
                   council to fulfil the expressed wishes of his royal
                   father as to his establishment, seeing that he was
                   destitute of a suitable house and furniture; whilst
                   not a hint occurs in allusion to any extravagance,
                   or folly, or precocious dissipation, in any single
                   document of the time.]

The second introduction of the same subject occurs in the scene    (p. 345)
in the court of London, the very day after the news arrived of
Mortimer being taken by Owyn Glyndowr.

  _Westmoreland._--"But _yesternight_; when all athwart there came
    A post from Wales loaden with heavy news;
    Whose worst was that the noble Mortimer,
    Leading the Herefordshire men to fight
    Against the irregular and wild Glyndower,
    Was by the rude hands of that Welshman taken."

The anachronism of Shakspeare, in making the two reports, of
Mortimer's capture and of the battle of Homildon, reach London on the
same day, though there was an interval of more than three months
between them, only tends to show that we must not look to him as a
channel of historical accuracy. How utterly inappropriate is the
desponding lamentation of Henry IV, the bare reference to actual dates
is alone needed to show.

  _Westmoreland._--"Faith! 'tis a conquest for a prince to boast of."
  _K. Henry._--"Yea: there thou makest me sad, and makest me sin
    In envy that my Lord Northumberland
    Should be the father of so blest a son;
    Whilst I, by looking on the praise of him,
    See riot and dishonour stain the brow
    Of my young Harry. O that it could be proved                   (p. 346)
    That some night-tripping fairy had exchanged
    In cradle-clothes our children where they lay,
    And called mine Percy, his Plantagenet;
    Then I would have his Harry, and he mine!
    But let him from my thoughts."

In this glowing page of Shakspeare is preserved one of those
exquisite, fascinating illusions which are scattered up and down
throughout his never-dying remains, and which, arresting us
everywhere, hold the willing imagination spell-bound, till, after
reflection, Truth rises upon the mind, and with one gleam of her soft
but omnipotent light varies the charm, and contrasts the satisfaction
of reality with the pleasures of fiction. The poet's imagery paints to
our mind's eye Harry Hotspur and Harry of Monmouth lying each in his
"cradle-clothes" on some one and the same night, when the powers of
Fairy-land might have exchanged the boys, and called Percy,
Plantagenet. To effect such a change, however, of the first-born sons
of Northumberland and Bolinbroke, an extent of power and skill must
have been in requisition far beyond what their warmest advocates are
wont to assign to those "night-tripping" personages. Hotspur was at
least one-and-twenty years old when Henry of Monmouth "lay in his
cradle-clothes." The pencil also of the painter has lent its aid to
confirm and propagate the same delusion as to the relative ages of
these two warriors. In the representation (for example) of the
Battle-field of Shrewsbury, Hotspur and Henry, the heroes in the   (p. 347)
fore-ground, are models of two gallant youths, equal in age,
struggling for the mastery: and in the chamber-scene, whilst Henry is
represented in all the freshness of a beardless youth, his father
shows the worn-out veteran; his brow and cheeks deeply furrowed, his
whole frame borne down towards the grave by length of days as much as
by infirmities, though when he died his age did not exceed his
forty-seventh year.

The time of Hotspur's birth has generally been considered matter only
for conjecture; but whether we draw our inferences from undisputed
facts, and the clearest deductions of sound argument, or rest only on
the direct evidence now for the first time, it is presumed, brought
forward, we cannot regard Hotspur at the very lowest calculation as a
single year younger than Henry of Monmouth's father, the very
Bolinbroke whom the poet makes to utter such a lamentation and such a
wish. Bolinbroke's birth-day cannot be assigned (as we have seen) to
an earlier date than April 6, 1366; and the Annals of the Peerage[317]
refer Hotspur's birth to May 20, 1364.[318] The Author, however, is
disposed to think that the Annals have antedated his birth by more
than a year at least. In the Scrope and Grosvenor                  (p. 348)
controversy,[319] the record of which supplied us with the ages of
Glyndowr and his brother, the commissioners examined both Hotspur and
his father. The father, usually called the "aged Earl," gave his
testimony on the 19th November 1386, as "the Earl of Northumberland,
of the age of forty-five years, having borne arms thirty years."
Hotspur, who was examined on the 30th of the preceding October, that
is, in the year before Henry of Monmouth was born, gave his testimony
as "Sir Henry Percy, of the age of twenty years." Hotspur must,
therefore, have been born between the end of October 1365 and the end
of October 1366. And if the annalists are right in fixing upon the day
of the year on which he was born, his birth-day was in the month next
following the birth-day of Bolinbroke. On the most probable
calculation, he might have been five months older than Bolinbroke; he
could not have been seven months younger. It is a curious and
interesting circumstance, that, instead of specifying the number of
years through which he had borne arms, Hotspur referred the
commissioners to the first occasion of his having seen and shared the
real service of battle: "First armed when the castle of            (p. 349)
Berwick was taken by the Scots, and when the rescue was made." The
surprise of Berwick by the Scots took place on the Thursday before St.
Andrew's day in the year 1378, (which fell on November 25,) so that
Hotspur passed his noviciate in the field of battle when he was only
just past his twelfth year, and almost nine years before Henry of
Monmouth was born. In 1388, when Henry was only one year old, Hotspur
was taken prisoner by the Scots. His eldest son, whom Henry with so
much generosity restored to his honours and estates, was born February
3, 1393.[320]

                   [Footnote 317: See Collins' Peerage by Brydges,
                   vol. ii. p. 267.]

                   [Footnote 318: The same authorities record that he
                   was knighted at the coronation of Richard II, July
                   16, 1377.]

                   [Footnote 319: "Le Count de Northumberland del age
                   de XLV ans; armez de XXX ans."

                   "Mons. Henr' de Percy del age de vynt ans, armez
                   premierement, quant la chastell de Berwick etait
                   pris par les Escoces, et quant le rescous fuist

                   [Footnote 320: We cannot read the document on which
                   these observations are founded without being
                   reminded at how early an age in those times the
                   youth of our country were expected to take up arms,
                   and follow some experienced captain, or even
                   themselves lead their warriors to the field. When
                   Hotspur accompanied his father to the rescue of
                   Berwick, he was only in his thirteenth year; his
                   father had borne arms from the age of fifteen; and
                   Henry of Monmouth (accompanied we know by a tutor
                   or guardian, as probably Hotspur was at Berwick)
                   was certainly in Wales, "chastising the rebels,"
                   soon after he had completed his thirteenth year.
                   Another reflection, forced upon the mind by a
                   familiar acquaintance with the political and the
                   domestic history of those times, is on the very low
                   average of human life at that period of the English
                   monarchy. Few reached what is now called old age;
                   and persons are spoken of as old, who would now be
                   scarcely considered to have passed the meridian of
                   life. It would form a subject of an interesting,
                   and perhaps a very useful inquiry, were a
                   philosophical antiquary (who would found his
                   conclusions on a wide induction of facts, and not
                   seek for evidence in support of any previously
                   adopted theory,) to trace the existence, and
                   operation, and extent of those causes, physical and
                   moral, which exercise doubtless important
                   influences over human life, and, under Providence,
                   contract or lengthen the number of our days here.
                   Unquestionably, such an investigator would
                   immediately find many changes adopted in the
                   present day conducive to longevity, in the
                   structure of our habitations, the nature of our
                   clothing, our habits of cleanliness, our food,
                   comparative moderation in the use of inebriating
                   liquors, with many other causes of health now
                   believed to exist among us. To two causes of the
                   average shortness of life, in operation through
                   that range of years to which these Memoirs chiefly
                   refer, the Author's mind has been especially drawn
                   in the course of his researches: one of a political
                   character,--in itself far more obvious, and chiefly
                   affecting men; the other arising from habits of
                   domestic life with regard to one of our
                   institutions of all the most universally
                   comprehensive,--a cause chiefly, but far from
                   exclusively, affecting the life of females. The
                   first cause, awful and appalling, is seen in the
                   precarious tenure of human life, during the
                   violence of those political struggles which deluged
                   the whole land with blood. Those families seem to
                   have been rare exceptions, of which no member
                   forfeited his life on the scaffold or in the field;
                   those houses were few which the scourge of civil or
                   foreign wars passed over without leaving one dead.
                   The second cause is traced to the very early age at
                   which marriages were then solemnized. The day of
                   Nature's trial came before the constitution had
                   gained strength for the struggle, and an awful
                   proportion of females was thus prematurely hurried
                   to the grave; whilst the offspring also shared in
                   the weakness of the parent. Comparatively a small
                   minority sunk by gradual and calm decay; in the
                   case of very few could the comparison of Job's
                   reprover be applied with truth, "Thou shalt come to
                   the grave in full age, as a shock of corn cometh in
                   his season."]

Though these facts prove that Shakspeare has spread through the    (p. 350)
world a most erroneous opinion of the relative ages and circumstances
of Bolinbroke, Hotspur, and Henry of Monmouth,--a circumstance,    (p. 351)
indeed, in itself of no great importance,--the question on which we
are engaged will be more immediately and strongly affected if it can
be shown precisely, that at the very time when (according to the
poet's representation) Henry IV. uttered this lamentation, expressive
of deep present sorrow at the reckless misdoings of his son, and of
anticipations of worse, that very son was doing his duty valiantly and
mercifully in Wales.

On the lowest calculation, a full month before Mortimer's capture, the
young royal warrior had scoured the whole country of Glyndwrdy in
person, and had burnt two of Owyn's mansions; whilst the strong
probability is, that he had headed his troops on that expedition more
than a year before.

It is very remarkable (though Shakspeare doubtless never became
acquainted with the circumstance) that the identical Percy whom he
makes Henry IV. desire to have been his son, instead of his own Henry,
bears ample testimony, at least a full year previously, to the valour
and kind-heartedness of him on whose brow the poet makes his father
lament "the stain of riot and dishonour."

Sir Edmund Mortimer was taken by Glyndowr at Melienydd in Radnor, June
12th, 1402; and, as early as the 3rd of May 1401, Percy wrote from
Caernarvon to the council that North Wales was obedient to the law,
except the rebels of Conway and Rees Castles, who were in the
mountains, whom he expresses his expectation that the Prince of    (p. 352)
Wales would subdue. "These will be right well chastened," said he,
"if God please, by the force and governance which my lord the Prince
_has_ sent against them, as well of his council as of his retinue." In
the same letter Hotspur informs the King's council that the commons of
the counties of Caernarvon and Merioneth (who had come before him in
the sessions which he was then holding as Chief Justice of North
Wales) had humbly expressed their thanks to the Prince for the great
pains of his kind good-will in endeavouring to obtain their
pardon."[321] Henry Prince of Wales, whom the poet makes his father
thus to disparage at the mere mention of Henry Percy's victory, would
lose nothing in point of prowess, and generosity, and high-minded
bearing, at this very early period of his youth, by a comparison
either with Percy himself, or with any other of his contemporaries,
whose names are recorded in history.

                   [Footnote 321: See these facts stated historically
                   in previous chapters of this volume.]

The next passage of our historical dramatist which requires to be
examined, occurs in that very affecting interview between Henry and
his father on the news of Percy's rebellion, and the resolution
declared to take the field at Shrewsbury.[322]

  "I know not whether God will have it so,
   For some displeasing service I have done,
   That, in his secret, doom out of my blood                       (p. 353)
   He breeds revengement and a scourge for me.
   But thou dost, in thy passages of life,
   Make me believe that thou art only marked
   For the hot vengeance and the rod of heaven,
   To punish my mistreadings. Tell me else,
   Could such inordinate and low desires,
   Such barren, base, such lewd, such mean attempts,
   Such barren pleasures, rude society,[323]
   As thou art matched withal and grafted to,
   Accompany the greatness of thy blood,
   And hold their level with thy princely heart?
   Thy place in council thou hast rudely lost,                     (p. 354)
   Which by thy younger brother is supplied;
   And art almost an alien to the hearts
   Of all the court, and princes of my blood."

                   [Footnote 322: I Hen. IV. act iii. scene 1.]

                   [Footnote 323: It is curious to contrast this
                   description of his habits and pursuits, written by
                   the Prince of tragedians a century and a half after
                   Henry's death, with the advice represented to have
                   been given by an old man to a young aspiring poet
                   during his very lifetime. The Author is conscious
                   of the tautology of which he is guilty in again
                   recommending the reader not to pass over unread the
                   extracts in the Appendix from Occleve and Lydgate.

                         "Write to him a goodly tale or two,
                         On which he may disport him at night.
                         His high prudence hath insight very
                         To judge if it be well made or nay.
                         Write him nothing that soweneth to vice.
                         Look if find thou canst any treatise
                         Grounded on his estate's wholesomeness."--Occleve.

                         "Because he hathe joy and great dainty
                         To _read in books of antiquity_,
                         To find only _virtue to sow_,
                         By example of them; and also to eschew
                         The _cursed vice of sloth and idleness_:
                         So he enjoyed in _virtuous_ business,
                         In all that _longeth to manhood_
                         He _busyeth_ ever."--Lydgate.]

The battle of Shrewsbury was fought July 21, 1403. The tragedian
represents Henry the Prince as at this period in the full career of
his unbridled extravagances; his father bewailing his sad degeneracy,
himself pleading nothing in excuse, praying for pardon, and promising
amendment. It must appear passing strange to those who have drawn
their estimate of those years of Prince Henry's youth from Shakspeare,
to find the real truth to be this. Not only was he not then in London
the profligate debauchee, the reckless madcap, the creature of "vassal
fear and base inclination," "the nearest and dearest of his father's
foes;" not only was he acting valiantly in defence of his father's
throne; but that very father's own pen is the instrument to bear chief
testimony to his valour and noble merits at that very hour. It is as
though history were designed on set purpose, and by especial
commission, to counteract the bewitching fictions of the poet. Henry
IV. was on his road to assist Hotspur and the Earl of Northumberland,
in utter ignorance of their rebellion. Arrived at Higham Ferrers, he
wrote to his council, informing them that he had received, as well by
his son Henry's own letters, as by the report of his messengers, most
satisfactory accounts of this very dear and well-beloved son the   (p. 355)
Prince, which gave him very great pleasure.[324] He then directs
them to send the Prince 1000_l._ to enable him to keep his forces
together. This letter is dated July 10, 1403, just eleven days before
the battle of Shrewsbury. The King heard of Hotspur's rebellion on his
arrival at Burton on Trent, from which place he dates his
proclamation. Henry of Monmouth was appointed Lieutenant of Wales on
the 4th of March 1403; and he was with his men-at-arms and archers
there, discharging the duties of a faithful son and valiant young
warrior, when Hotspur revolted; and he left his charge in Wales, not
to revel in London, but only to join his own to his father's forces,
and fight for their kingdom on the field of Shrewsbury.

                   [Footnote 324: See these facts stated historically
                   in former pages of this volume.]

The extraordinary confusion of place and time, pervading the "Second
Part of King Henry IV," is only equalled by the mistaken view which
the writer gives of the character of Henry of Monmouth. News of the
overthrow of Archbishop Scrope is brought to London on the very day on
which Henry IV. sickens and dies; whereas that King was himself in
person in the north, and insisted upon the execution of the
Archbishop, just eight years before. The Archbishop was beheaded on
Whitmonday (June 8) in the year 1405. Henry IV. died March 20, 1413.
And instead of Henry, the Prince, being either at Windsor hunting, or
in London "with Poins and other his continual followers," when     (p. 356)
his father was depressed and perplexed by the rebellion in the north,
he was doing his duty well, gallantly, and to the entire satisfaction
of his father. We have a letter, dated Berkhemstead, March 13, 1405,
written by the King to his council, with a copy of his son Henry's
letter announcing the victory over the Welsh rebels at Grosmont in
Monmouthshire, which was won on Wednesday the 11th of that month. The
King writes with great joy and exultation, bidding his council to
convey the glad tidings to the mayor and citizens of London, that
"they (he says) may rejoice with us, and join in praises to our

Thus does history prove that, in every instance of Shakspeare's
fascinating representations of Henry of Monmouth's practices, the poet
was guided by his imagination, which, working only on the vague
tradition of a sudden change for the better in the Prince immediately
on his accession, and magnifying that change into something almost
miraculous, has drawn a picture which can never be seen without being
admired for its life, and boldness, and colouring; but which, as an
historical portrait, is not only unlike the original, but misleading
and unjust in essential points of character.

It has been said, and perhaps with truth, to what extent soever we may
believe Shakspeare to have made "Europe ring from side to side" with
the vices and follies, the riots and extravagances, of the         (p. 357)
young Prince, yet that he had spread his fame and glory far more
widely, and excited an incomparably greater interest in his character,
than history itself, however full, and however true in recording his
merits, could have done. The admirer therefore of the Prince's
character, who reflects on Shakspeare, is held to be ungrateful to
Henry's best benefactor; and, as far as his influence reaches, tends
to check the interest excited for the hero of his choice. But, whilst
he recalls with grateful reminiscence the enjoyment which he has often
drawn himself freely from the same well-head, the Author, in
attempting to distinguish between truth and fiction, would on no
account damp the ardour with which his countrymen will still derive
pleasure from these scenes of "Nature's child;" and he trusts that,
whilst he has supplied solid and substantial ground for Englishmen
still retaining Henry of Monmouth in their affections, among their
favourite princes and kings, his work has no tendency to close against
a single individual those sources of intellectual delight, which will
be open wide to all, whilst literature itself shall have a place on

CHAPTER XVI.                                                       (p. 358)


In a little work, not long since published, intended to interest the
rising generation in the history of their own country, the preface
assigns as the author's reason for not coming down later than the
Revolution of 1689, "that, from that period, history becomes too
distinct and important to be trifled with." The doctrine involved in
the position, which is implied here, _that the previous history of our
country may be trifled with_, is so dangerous to the cause of truth,
that we may well believe the sentiment to have fallen from the pen of
the author unadvisedly. It is, however, unhappily a principle on which
too many, in works of far higher stamp and graver moment,          (p. 359)
have justified themselves in substituting their own theories, and
hypotheses, and descriptive scenes, for the unbending strictness of
fact, thus sapping the foundation of all confidence in history. It is
not the poet only, and the fascinating author of historical romances,
who have thus "trifled with history;" our annalists and chroniclers,
our lawyers and moralists, often, no doubt unwittingly, certainly
unscrupulously, have countenanced and aided the same pernicious
practice. It is frequently curious and amusing to trace the various
successive gradations, beginning with surmise, and proceeding through
probability onward to positive assertion, each writer borrowing from
his predecessor; and then in turn, from his own filling-up of the
outline, furnishing somewhat more for another, who supplies at length
the whole historical portrait, complete in all its form and colouring.
Had the author above referred to not taken to himself practically in
the body of his work the indulgence which his latitudinarian principle
recognizes in the preface, he would not have so distorted facts in his
"story of Madcap Harry and the Old Judge," for the purpose of making a
pretty consistent tale,--consistent with itself, but not with the
truth of history,--to amuse children in their earliest days, at the
risk of misleading them, and giving them a wrong bias through their

In examining the alleged fact of Henry's violence and insults
exhibited in a court of justice, there is much greater             (p. 360)
difficulty than may generally be supposed, in consequence of the
entire silence of all contemporary annalists and chroniclers. Not one
word occurs asserting it; no allusion to the circumstance whatever is
found previously to the reign of Henry VIII, nearly a century and a
half after Henry V.'s accession. Hume[325] asserts it on the authority
of Hall; and Hall has exaggerated the alleged facts most egregiously,
and most unjustifiably. Whether the fact took place, and, if it did,
what were the time, the place, and the circumstances, the reader must
judge for himself. The present treatise professes only to bring
together the evidences on all sides fairly.

                   [Footnote 325: Hume is no authority on any disputed
                   point. An anecdote, of the accuracy of which the
                   Author has no doubt, throws a strong suspicion on
                   the work of that writer, and marks it as a history
                   on which the student can place no dependence. Hume
                   made application at one of the public offices of
                   State Records for permission to examine its
                   treasures. Not only was leave granted, but every
                   facility was afforded, and the documents bearing
                   upon the subject immediately in hand were selected
                   and placed in a room for his exclusive use. He
                   never came. Shortly after his work appeared: and,
                   on one of the officers expressing his surprise and
                   regret that he had not paid his promised visit,
                   Hume said, "I find it far more easy to consult
                   printed works, than to spend my time on
                   manuscripts." No wonder Hume's England is a work of
                   no authority.]

It has been already stated that no historian or chronicler, (whose
work is now in existence and known,) for nearly one hundred and fifty
years, has ever alluded to the transaction. The first writer in    (p. 361)
whom it is found is Sir Thomas Elliott (or Elyot), who, in a work
called The Governour, dedicated to Henry VIII. about the year 1534,
thus particularizes the occurrence. Elyot gives no reference to his

"The most renowned Prince, King Henry V. late King of England, during
the life of his father, was noted to be fierce and of wanton courage.
It happened that one of his servants, whom he well favoured, was, for
felony by him committed, arraigned at the King's Bench. Whereof the
Prince being advertised, and incensed by light persons about him, in
furious rage came hastily to the bar, where his servant stood as a
prisoner, and commanded him to be ungyved and set at liberty: whereat
all men were abashed, reserved [except] the Chief Justice, who humbly
exhorted the Prince to be contented that his servant might be ordered
according to the ancient laws of this realm; or, if he would have him
saved from the rigour of the laws, that he should obtain, if he might,
from the King his father his gracious pardon, whereby no law or
justice should be derogate. With which answer the Prince nothing
appeased, but rather more inflamed, endeavoured himself to take away
his servant. The Judge, considering the perilous example and
inconvenience that might thereby issue, with a valiant spirit and
courage commanded the Prince upon his allegiance to leave the prisoner
and depart his way. With which commandment the Prince being set    (p. 362)
all in a fury, all chafed and in a terrible manner came up to the
place of judgment, men thinking that he would have slain the Judge, or
have done to him some damage; but the Judge, sitting still without
moving, declaring the majesty of the King's place of judgment, and
with an assured and bold countenance, had to the Prince these words
following: 'Sir, remember yourself: I keep here the place of the King
your sovereign lord and father, to whom ye owe double obedience;
wherefore eftsoons in his name I charge you desist of your wilfulness
and unlawful enterprise, and from henceforth give good example to
those which hereafter shall be your proper subjects. And now, for your
contempt and disobedience, go you to the prison of the King's Bench,
whereunto I commit you; and remain ye there prisoner until the
pleasure of the King your father be further known.' With which words
being abashed, and also wondering at the marvellous gravity of that
worshipful Justice, the noble Prince laying his weapon apart, doing
reverence, departed; and went to the King's Bench, as he was
commanded. Whereat his servants disdaining, came and showed the King
all the whole affair. Whereat he awhile studying, after as a man all
ravished with gladness, holding his hands and eyes up towards heaven
abraided, saying with a loud voice, 'O merciful God, how much am I
above other men bound to your infinite goodness, specially that    (p. 363)
ye have given me a Judge who feareth not to minister justice, and
also a son who can suffer semblably, and obey justice!'"

Sir John Hawkins,[326] when he cites this passage as evidence of an
ebullition of wanton insolence and unrestrained impetuosity, in
illustration of the character of Henry, to whom he ascribes the
unjustifiable suppression of an act of parliament, lays himself open
to blame in more points than one. In the first place, he ought not, as
regards the suppression of an act of parliament, to have charged upon
Henry, as a self-willed act, what, to say the very least, was equally
the act of the whole Privy Council; and then he ought not to have
endeavoured to brand him with disgrace on the testimony of a witness
who wrote nearly a century and a half after the asserted event.

                   [Footnote 326: Pleas of the crown.]

Hall, who wrote only at the commencement of the reign of Edward VI,
(the first edition of his work having appeared in 1548,) thus states
the charge against Henry:

"For imprisonment of one[327] of his wanton mates and unthrifty
playfaires, he strake the Chief Justice with his fist on his face; for
which offence he was not only committed to streight prison, but also
of his father put out of the Privy Council and banished the        (p. 364)
court, and his brother Thomas Duke of Clarence elected president of
the King's counsail, to his great displeasure and open reproach."

                   [Footnote 327: Shakspeare represents Henry as
                   having given the Chief Justice the blow some time
                   before the expedition against the Archbishop of
                   York.--2 Hen. IV. act i.]

Perhaps it might be argued without unfairness, that the great
variation and discrepancy in the traditions respecting this affair in
the Prince's life would induce us to believe that, at all events,
something of the kind actually took place; that, without some
foundation in real fact, so extraordinary a transaction could never
have been invented; that, whatever difficulty we may find in filling
up the outline, the broad reality of an insolent and violent bearing
shown by the Prince to a Judge on the bench ought to be admitted; and
that any variation as to the person of the Judge, or the court over
which he presided, or the time at which the incident might have taken
place, or the degree of insult and personal violence exhibited, is
unessential, and proves only the inaccuracy in detail of various
accounts, all of which combine, independently of those minute
circumstances, to establish the main point. To this argument it might
also be added, that the very circumstance of an inspection of original
documents presenting names of real living persons, identically the
same with those which Shakspeare has given to the minor heroes of his
drama, (such as Bardolf, Pistol, &c.) intimates a knowledge on his
part of the transactions of those times which entitles him to a higher
degree of credit, as seeming to imply that he might have had       (p. 365)
recourse to documents which are now lost:

  "Sir, Here comes the nobleman who committed the
   Prince for striking him about BARDOLF."
                                 2 HEN. IV. act. i.

On the other side, it might with equal, perhaps with greater fairness
be argued, that this is not one of those cases in which various
independent authorities bear separate testimony to one important fact;
whilst minor discrepancies as to time and place, and persons and
circumstances, tend only to confirm the testimony, placing the
authority above suspicion, and exempting the case from all idea of
conspiring witnesses. Such arguments are then only sound when the
witnesses are contemporary with the fact, or live soon after its
alleged date. But when chroniclers and biographers, who write
immediately of the times and of the life of the person charged,
recording circumstances far less important and characteristic, omit
all mention whatever of an event which must have been notorious to
all,--but of which no trace whatever can be found, nor any allusion
directly or indirectly to it is discovered, for more than a century
and a quarter after the death of the accused,--the investigator
appears to be justified in requiring some auxiliary evidence; at all
events, such discrepancies cease to contribute the alleged aid to the
establishment of the main fact. When, for example, the Chronicle of
London records an affray in East-Cheap between the townsmen and    (p. 366)
the Princes,[328] mentioning by name Thomas and John, and registers
the journeys of John of Gaunt, the execution of Rhys Duy, the
Welshman, with unnumbered events, far less important and notorious
than must have been the commitment to prison of the heir-apparent of
the throne, and on that circumstance is altogether silent, not having
the slightest allusion to anything of the kind; and when those
biographers who lived and wrote nearest to the time (such as Elmham,
Livius, Otterbourne, Hardyng, Walsingham, all of whom speak more or
less strongly of his irregularities and youthful vices, and subsequent
reformation,) never allude to any story of the sort, and apparently
had no knowledge even of any tradition respecting it; the charge
either of partiality or incredulity does not seem to lie at the door
of any one who might doubt the reality of the whole. It is not as
though the deed were regarded as having fixed an indelible stain on
the Prince's memory, and therefore his partial biographers would
gladly have buried it in oblivion. Sir Thomas Elyot (and his       (p. 367)
seems to have been the general opinion) appears to have considered the
issue of the transaction as far more redounding to the Prince's
honour, than its progress stamped him with disgrace; and he attracts
the reader's especial attention to it by a marginal note: "A good
Judge, a good Prince, a good King." It is curious to observe the
progress of this story. Sir Thomas Elyot, the first in point of time
who states it, makes no mention either "of the blow on the Chief
Justice's face with his fist," or the removal of the Prince from the
council, and the substitution of his brother. Hall, on whom Hume
builds, adds both those facts; and then Hume in his turn proceeds to
affirm that his father, during the _latter years_ of his life, had
excluded him _from all share in public business_. Had Hume examined
the original documents for himself, instead of building only upon
"printed accounts" of later date by more than a century, he could not
have fallen into this error. But a refutation of this mistake, only
incidental to our present question, belonged to another part of this
work, where it may be found in its chronological order. To the
ancillary argument drawn from the names of Henry's supposed reckless
companions in Shakspeare occurring in the records of real history, it
may be answered, that if that fact proved anything, it proves too
much. If, indeed, men of those names were found in Henry's company, as
Prince of Wales, either in London, in Wales, or in Calais, and were
afterwards lost sight of, or seen only in obscurity and            (p. 368)
separate from him, that fact might be regarded as confirmatory of the
popular tradition. But the reality is otherwise. The names of Pistol
and Bardolf[329] are found among those who accompanied the King in his
careers of victory in France: and in the very year before Henry's
death (a fact hitherto unnoticed by historians) William Bardolf was
one of the Barons of the Cinque Ports, and Lieutenant of Calais; a
post which he appears to have held for some years with great credit,
and enjoying the royal favour and confidence. William Bardolf had been
employed ten years before by Henry IV, as one of the commissioners
appointed to treat with the Duke of Burgundy.[330]

                   [Footnote 328: The Chronicle of London, twice
                   within a very brief space, records such a
                   disturbance as the Chief Justice in Shakspeare is
                   represented to have hastened "to stint;" but in
                   each case, by adding the names of the King's sons,
                   rescues Henry from all share in the affray.

                   "In this year (the 11th, 1410,) was a fray made in
                   East-Cheap by the King's sons, Thomas and John,
                   with the men of the town."

                   "This year, (the 12th, 1411,) on St. Peter's even,
                   (June 28,) was a great debate in Bridge Street,
                   between the Lord Thomas's men and the men of

                   [Footnote 329: The name of John Fastolfe, Esq.
                   occurs in the muster rolls of Henry on his first
                   expedition to France. But it must be remembered
                   that not Falstaff, but Sir John Oldcastle, was made
                   the buffoon on the stage at first, and continued so
                   for many years, till the offence which it gave led
                   to the substitution of Falstaff. "Stage poets,"
                   says Fuller, "have themselves been very bold with,
                   and others very merry at, the memory of Sir John
                   Oldcastle; whom they have fancied a boon companion,
                   a jovial roister, and yet a coward to boot,
                   contrary to the credit of all chronicles, owning
                   him a martial man of merit. The best is, Sir John
                   Falstaff hath relieved the memory of Sir John
                   Oldcastle, and of late is substituted buffoon in
                   his place.--Church History, iv. 38."]

                   [Footnote 330: See Pell Rolls (Issue), 8 Henry V,
                   March 11; 9 Henry V, April 1. See also Acts of
                   Privy Council, vol. ii. pp. 5, 344, &c.]

It is a curious fact, that the magnanimous conduct of the Judge,
tending so much to his renown, has induced various families and
biographers to challenge the credit of the affair for their        (p. 369)
friends. No less than four claimants require us to examine their
pretensions. Shakspeare and the world at large have consented to give
the honour to Gascoyne; whilst the friends of Markham, Hankford, and
Hody, have each in their turn disputed the palm with him. Of these
four claimants two are reckoned among the "worthies of Devon." With
regard to Sir John Hody, "to whom some of our countrymen (says Mr.
Prince) would ascribe the honour," we need only add the sentence with
which this antiquary sets aside his claim,--"But this cannot be, for
that he was not a judge until thirty years afterwards."

The claims of Hankford to this distinction rest on the authority of
Risdon, the Devon antiquary, who began his work in 1605, and did not
finish it till 1630. Mr. Prince would add the authority of Baker's
Chronicle; but, were Baker's authority of any value, he does not
mention the name of the Judge; and, by specifying that the transaction
took place at the _King's Bench_ bar, and that the Prince was
committed to the _Fleet_, he shows that no dependence is to be placed
on his authority. If it took place at the King's Bench bar, the King's
Bench prison would have received the royal culprit; and if, as Risdon
says, the Judge's sentence was, "I command you, prisoner, to the
King's Bench," not Hankford, but Gascoyne, was the Judge. Hankford was
not appointed to the King's Bench before March 29th, 1 Henry V,    (p. 370)
some days after the supposed culprit had ascended the throne.[331]

                   [Footnote 331: There is so much of fable mingled
                   with the traditionary biography of this "Devonshire
                   worthy," that most persons probably will dismiss
                   the claim altogether. He became weary of his life,
                   and, being determined to rid himself from the
                   direful apprehensions of dangerous approaching
                   evils, he adopted this strange mode of suicide:
                   having given strict orders to his keeper to shoot
                   any person at night who would not stand when
                   challenged, he threw himself into the keeper's way,
                   and was shot dead upon the spot. "This story (says
                   the author) is authenticated by several writers,
                   and the constant tradition of the neighbourhood;
                   and I myself have been shown the rotten stump of an
                   old oak under which he is said to have fallen." But
                   as to the cause which drove him to this rash act
                   the same writers vary, and tradition is strangely
                   diversified. One author says, that "on the
                   deposition of Richard II, who had made him a judge,
                   he was so terrified by the sight of infinite
                   executions and bloody assassinations, which caused
                   him continual agonies, that, upon apprehension what
                   his own fate might be, he fell into that melancholy
                   which hastened his end." His re-appointment to the
                   office on September 30, 1401, by Henry IV, would
                   have relieved him from these apprehensions. Others
                   say, that, "having committed the Prince to prison
                   in his younger days, he was afraid that, on the
                   sceptre of justice falling into his hands, that
                   royal culprit would take a too severe revenge
                   thereof; and this filled him with such insuperable
                   melancholy, that he was driven to the desperate act
                   of self-murder." But his appointment to succeed
                   Gascoyne as Chief Justice of the King's Bench,
                   March 29, 1413, must have conquered that
                   melancholy; and he discharged that office through
                   the whole of Henry V.'s reign, and through one year
                   of Henry VI, after which he died, December 20,

The claim of Judge Markham, it is presumed, is supported only by the
testimony of an ancient manuscript preserved in his family. He was
Chief Justice of the Common Pleas from 20 Richard II. to 9         (p. 371)
Henry IV.[332] Some colour, however, is given to this claim by the
vague tradition that Prince Henry was committed to the Fleet; to which
prison alone the Judges of the Common Pleas commit their prisoners.
But if he was the Judge who committed the Prince, and if he died in
the 9th of Henry IV,[333] the allegation that the Prince was then
dismissed from the council falls to the ground; for at that time, and
long after, he seems to have been in the very zenith of his power.

                   [Footnote 332: In a manuscript, a copy of which was
                   shown to a gentleman who gave the Author the
                   information, belonging to the Markhams, an ancient
                   family of Nottinghamshire, of about the date of
                   Queen Elizabeth, the honour is claimed for Markham:
                   and in an old play, which turns the whole into
                   broad farce, (probably anterior to Shakspeare,) the
                   Judge is made to commit the Prince to the Fleet.]

                   [Footnote 333: Or even if he died, as some say, on
                   St. Sylvester's Day, (December 30,) 1409.]

If, then, Prince Henry was ever guilty of the gross insult and
violence in a court of justice, and the firm, intrepid Judge, to
uphold and vindicate the majesty of the law, committed him to prison
for the offence, the probabilities preponderate in favour of Gascoyne
having been the individual. But this supposition also is not free from
difficulties. He was made Chief Justice of the King's Bench[334] 15th
November, 2 Henry IV. (1401.) And of his intrepidity[335] in the
discharge of that office, we have already mentioned an especial    (p. 372)
instance at the death of Archbishop Scrope, if what Clemens
Maydestone, a contemporary, says, be true. Henry IV, who had the
person of the Archbishop in his power, called upon Gascoyne, who was
with him, to pass on his prisoner the sentence of death; but, at the
risk of losing the King's favour and his own appointment, he
positively refused, on the ground of its illegality. The Archbishop,
however, was condemned to be beheaded by one Fulthorp, (or, as some
say, Fulford,) afterwards a judge, as we have stated in its place.
Gascoyne was subsequently sent with Lord Ross, by the council, to the
north, as one of those in whom the King was known to have especial
confidence, as soon as the news arrived in London of Lord Bardolf's
hostile movement; and we find him still continued in the office of
Chief Justice, apparently without having incurred the King's

                   [Footnote 334: Pat. 2 Henry IV. p. 1. m. 28.]

                   [Footnote 335: How far the high esteem in which the
                   memory of Judge Gascoyne has been held may be owing
                   to the tradition concerning Henry of Monmouth, we
                   need not inquire. His name has constantly been held
                   in great honour. Judge Denison, by his own especial
                   desire, was buried close to the grave of Gascoyne.]

No adage is more sound than that which affirms a little learning to be
a dangerous thing. More than fifty years ago, the Gentleman's
Magazine[336] triumphantly maintained, that, at all events, Shakspeare
had deviated from history in bringing Henry V. and Gascoyne        (p. 373)
together after the Prince's accession, because Gascoyne died in the
life-time of Henry IV. This view has generally been acquiesced in, and
the powerfully delineated scene of our great dramatist has been
pronounced altogether the groundless fiction of an event which could
not by possibility have transpired. The whole question turns upon the
date of Gascoyne's death. He was buried in Harewood Church in
Yorkshire; and Fuller gives the following as his monumental
inscription: "Gulielmus Gascoyne, Die Dominica, 17º Dec^ris. 1412, 14
H. IV."--"William Gascoyne [died] on Sunday, December 17th, 1412, in
the fourteenth year of Henry IV." If this were correct, there would be
an end of the question; but the brass was torn from the tomb during
the civil wars, and the copy cannot be verified. The inscription,
however, as given by Fuller, is at all events self-contradictory. The
17th of December fell on a Saturday, not on a Sunday, in 1412.

                   [Footnote 336: The Magazine is followed in its
                   erroneous views by subsequent writers.]

The process of the argument, and the accession of new evidence by
which we are now at length enabled to set this point at rest, are very
curious. The Author, indeed, confesses himself to have been one of
those who were induced, by the documents then before them, to believe
that Judge Gascoyne died on Sunday, December 17, 1413, somewhat more
than half a year after Henry V.'s accession; and although the late
discovery of the Judge's last Will proves that the argument        (p. 374)
was then sound only so far as it established the fact that he died
after Henry's accession, and was unsound in fixing the period of his
death at so early a period as December 1413; yet the statement of that
argument may perhaps not be altogether uninteresting, whilst it may
suggest a valuable caution as to the jealous vigilance with which
circumstantial evidence should always be sifted before the conclusions
built upon it be admitted.

It was then a fact upon record, that Chief Justice Gascoyne was
summoned, on the 22nd March 1413, (the very day after Henry's
accession,) to attend the parliament in the May following. When the
parliament met, Gascoyne's name does not appear among those who were
present; whilst Hankford, his successor, is appointed Trier of
Petitions in the room of Gascoyne, and, in the case of a writ of
error, brings up as Chief Justice the record from the King's Bench.
Hankford's appointment as Chief Justice bears date March 29th, 1413;
and he is summoned to attend parliament as Chief Justice in the
December following.[337] In the Pell Rolls a payment is recorded, July
7, 1413, of his half-year's fee to "William Gascoyne, late Chief   (p. 375)
Justice of Lord Henry the King's father." The inference from these
facts was undoubtedly conclusive: first, that Gascoyne's death was
erroneously referred to December 1412; secondly, that he was alive and
Chief Justice when Henry V. came to the throne; thirdly, that he
ceased to be Chief Justice within eight days of Henry's accession,
somewhere between March 22, and March 29, 1413. It was merely matter
of conjecture whether he was too ill to discharge the duties of his
station, and resigned; or what other probable cause of his removal
existed. The conversation, at all events, which Shakspeare records,
might _possibly_ have taken place; though it is a fact, scarcely
reconcilable with it, that Henry V. never did renew Gascoyne's
appointment,--a proceeding almost invariably adopted on the demise of
a sovereign by his successor. Henry V. might have offered to commit
into his hand "the unstained sword that he was wont to bear:"--within
eight days after Henry IV. had ceased to breathe, Gascoyne had no
longer in his hand the staff of justice.

                   [Footnote 337: Dugdale is unquestionably mistaken,
                   and the many authors who follow him, in fixing
                   Hankford's appointment to January 29, 1 Hen. V.
                   1414. He refers for his authority to "Patent 1 Hen.
                   V. m. 33;" but no entry of the kind is found

The reason which then induced the persons who argued on these facts to
suppose that Fuller had by mistake adopted the date of the year 1412
instead of 1413 was this:--It was very improbable that the words "Die
Dominica" should have been introduced by the copyist, if they were not
really on the tomb. Hence it was inferred that he died on a Sunday.
Now December 17th was on a Sunday in the following year,           (p. 376)
1413; and, since the date was in Roman letters, it was thought very
probable that the last I had been obliterated in MCCCCXIII. The words,
indeed, "14th Henry IV," were also quoted by Fuller: but it was
unquestionably more credible that those words formed a marginal note
in the reporter's manuscript, and were mere surplusages, than that
they should have been allowed a place in the brass scroll of a

Such was the state of our knowledge, and such was the course of our
reasoning as to the time of Gascoyne's decease, till within a very
short period of the publication of this work. A document, however, has
been very lately brought to light on this subject, which supersedes
that statement altogether; setting the whole argument in a new point
of view, and reading a plain lesson on the care and circumspection
with which inferences, however plausible, as to dates and facts,
should be admitted. In the present instance, indeed, the conclusion to
which we had before arrived, on the question of Gascoyne having
survived Henry IV, remains unassailable, or rather, is only still
further removed from the possibility of historical doubt; and the
whole argument on the vast improbability of Prince Henry having ever
offered an insult to the Chief Justice, or of his ever having been
committed to prison for any offence of the kind, remains at least
equally strong as before. Most persons, perhaps, may consider the
degree of improbability to have become still greater. Be this      (p. 377)
as it may, the facts now placed beyond further controversy as to
Gascoyne's death are these. In the Registry of the Court of York the
last Will and testament of William Gascoyne has been found recorded.
It bears date on the Friday after St. Lucy's Day in the year 1419; and
it was proved on the 23rd of December following. In the year 1419, St.
Lucy's Day, December 13, was on a Wednesday. The Will was consequently
made on Friday the 15th of December, and was proved on the morrow
week, Saturday, December 23rd. In the Will, the testator declares that
he was weak in body; and the strong probability is that he died on the
following Sunday, December 17, 1419.[338] This would accord precisely
with Fuller's representation of the scroll on the tomb, "on the Lord's
Day, December 17." Whilst the facility of mistaking MCCCCXIX for
MCCCCXII, (being the obliteration only of one cross stroke in the last
letter,) is even more remarkable than that of the error which on the
former supposition was thought probable, from the obliteration of the
last letter I in MCCCCXIII.

                   [Footnote 338: It must be regarded as a very
                   curious coincidence connected with this argument,
                   that the 17th of December should have fallen on a
                   Sunday, both in the year MCCCCXIII, and in
                   MCCCCXIX, but in no other year between 1402 and

       *       *       *       *       *

The Author has had recourse to every means within his reach to assure
himself of the genuineness of this document, and to ascertain      (p. 378)
that the testator was the William Gascoyne[339] who was Chief Justice
of the King's Bench. The result is, that not a shadow of any of the
doubts which he once jealously entertained, remains on the subject;
whilst he gratefully remembers the prompt and satisfactory assistance
rendered him by the present Registrar of York. The document must be
admitted without reserve.

                   [Footnote 339: The mention in the body of the Will
                   of the names of his former wife, and of his second
                   wife then alive, and the record of the Will of that
                   second wife, who states herself the widow of
                   William Gascoyne, late Chief Justice, preserved in
                   the same register, fix the identity of the testator
                   beyond dispute. The Author was first indebted for a
                   knowledge of the existence of this document to the
                   volume called Testamenta Eboracensia, published by
                   the Surtees Society; though he cannot suppress the
                   surprise with which he read the comment of the
                   editors, the chief mistake of which was discovered
                   in time to be rectified in an "erratum" after the
                   work had been printed.]

From these now indisputable facts a thought might perhaps not
unnaturally suggest itself to the mind of any one taking only a
general view of the whole subject, that some countenance is here given
to the prevalent notion that Gascoyne had displeased Henry during the
years of his princedom; but that, instead of holding the worthy and
intrepid Judge in higher honour, (as tradition tells,) and rewarding
him for his noble bearing, on the contrary, the King resented the
insult shown to his person, and dismissed him (contrary to the usual
practice) from his high judicial station. A fact,[340] however,    (p. 379)
new (it is presumed) to history, enables or rather compels us to
dismiss such a conjecture from our minds. Whatever was the definite
cause of Gascoyne's withdrawal from the bench as Chief Justice of
England; whether his declining health, or an inclination for
retirement and repose after so long[341] and wearisome a discharge of
his arduous duties, or the competency[342] of his fortune, induced him
to draw back at length from the turmoils of public life, and       (p. 380)
pass his last days among his own friends and relatives in the privacy
of a country residence; certainly he carried with him when he left his
court, not the resentment and unkindness, but the most friendly
feelings and respect of his new sovereign. By warrant, November 28,
1414, (that is, in the very year after his retirement,) the King
grants to "our dear and well-beloved William Gascoyne an allowance of
four bucks and does out of the forest of Pontefract for the term of
his life."

                   [Footnote 340: For this fact, and many others, as
                   well as for most valuable suggestions, and
                   assistance of various kinds, the Author is indebted
                   to T. Duffus Hardy, Esq. of the Record Office in
                   the Tower,--a gentleman who, with a mind admirably
                   stored with antiquarian knowledge, possesses also
                   the faculty of applying his stores to the best
                   advantage in the developement of whatever subject
                   he undertakes, and the principle also of employing
                   his knowledge and abilities in the cause of truth.]

                   [Footnote 341: Gascoyne had been Chief Justice of
                   the King's Bench more than twelve years,--a portion
                   of life considerably beyond the average duration of
                   their office in those high functionaries. Reckoning
                   either from Hanlow, 1258, in the reign of Henry
                   III, or from Gascoyne, in 1401, in the reign of
                   Henry IV, to the present time, the average number
                   of years through which the Chief Justices of the
                   King's Bench have retained their seats is below
                   nine. Through the last century, however, (reckoning
                   from Lord Hardwick's appointment, in 1733, to Lord
                   Tenterden's death, in 1832,) the average has risen
                   to above fourteen years.]

                   [Footnote 342: He was in a condition to lend the
                   King money when the exigencies of the state pressed
                   him hard. Among other creditors, the Pell Rolls
                   (14th May 1420) record the repayment of a loan to
                   the executors of William Gascoyne, which was within
                   half a year of his death.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The sum of the whole matter as to the historical representations of
Henry's conduct is this:

Before the year 1534, far more than a century after Henry's death, no
allusion whatever is made to any occurrence of the kind in any work,
printed or manuscript, now extant and known. Sir Thomas Elyot, who
mentions it incidentally as an anecdote, combining the merits "of a
good Judge, a good Prince, and a good King," gives no reference to any
authority whatever. Subsequently it is reported in detail by Hall, but
with much exaggeration on Elyot's narrative. It then not only passed
current in our histories, but served as a topic of grave import in our
Prince of tragedians, and of burlesque in the broad farces of later
and perhaps earlier days than his. The biographers of Henry, though
they detail in all their minute particulars many circumstances of his
youth, far less important either to his character, or as facts of
general and national interest, and who lived, some of them,        (p. 381)
almost a century nearer the date of the supposed transaction than
Elyot, are to a man silent on the subject; not one of them betraying
the shadow of suspicion that he was even aware of any rumour or vague
tradition of the kind. Such facts as the committal to prison of the
heir-apparent, especially such an heir-apparent as Henry (it is
presumed), must have been notorious through the metropolis and the
whole land, and must have excited a great and general sensation; and
yet the Chronicles, though they often surprise us by their minute
notice of trifling circumstances, do not contain the slightest
intimation that any such affair as this had ever come to the knowledge
of those who kept them. They are silent, and their silence seems

                   [Footnote 343: By the kind assistance of those to
                   whom the state of the records of our courts of
                   justice is most familiar, the Author has been
                   enabled to assure himself satisfactorily that they
                   offer nothing which can throw any light whatever on
                   the question examined in these pages.]

On the whole, most persons will probably believe that either Gascoyne,
or Hankford, or Hody would upon such evidence, we do not say merely
charge the jury for an acquittal, but would, on perusing the
depositions, have previously recommended the grand inquest to return
"Not a true Bill." Still every reader has the evidence fairly before
him, and must decide for himself!

       *       *       *       *       *

Should any one be disposed to think that questions of this sort    (p. 382)
might well be left undecided, and that the settlement of them is
not worth the trouble and research often required for their thorough
investigation, the Author ventures to suspect that, in the generality
of instances, such reflections originate in an inexperience of the
vast practical moment which facts, the most trifling in themselves,
often carry with them in the investigation of the most important
questions. Doubtless, the wise man will exercise his discretion in not
confounding great things with small; but, on the contrary, in stamping
on every thing its own intrinsic and comparative value. Still, in
great things and small, (though each in its own weight and measure,)
the truth is ever dear for its own sake, and should be for its own
sake pursued. And it must never be forgotten, that one truth, in
itself perhaps too minute and insignificant for its worth to be felt
in the calculation, when probabilities are being estimated, may be a
guiding star to other truths of great value, which, without its
leading, might have remained neglected and unknown. In itself, a false
statement, though generally acquiesced in, may be unimportant; in its
consequences, it may be widely and permanently prejudicial to the
cause of truth. If viewed abstractedly, it might appear like a cloud
in the horizon not larger than a man's hand; but that speck may be the
harbinger of wind and tempest. With regard, indeed, to those natural
appearances in the sky, the most experienced observer can do nothing
towards arresting the progress of the threatened storm; his        (p. 383)
foresight can only enable him to provide himself a shelter, or hasten
him on his journey, "that the rain stop him not." In the case of
literary, physical, moral, religious, and historical subjects of
inquiry, (or to whatever department of human knowledge our pursuits
may be directed,) by rectifying the minutest error we may check the
propagation of mischief, and preserve the truth (it may be some
momentous practical truth) in its integrity and brightness.

       *       *       *       *       *

Connected with the subject of this and the preceding chapter, problems
of very difficult solution present themselves, a full and
comprehensive elucidation of which would involve questions of deep
moral and metaphysical interest with regard to the structure, the
cultivation and training, the associations and habits of the human
mind. Upon the merits of those problems in their various ramifications
the Author has no intention to venture; and probably few persons would
pronounce unhesitatingly how far on the one hand the facts of past
ages (constituting a valuable deposit of especial trust) should be
kept religiously distinct from works of fiction; or on the other hand
how far the field of history itself is legitimate ground for the
imagination in all its excursive ranges to disport upon freely and
fearlessly: in a word, how far the practice is justifiable and
desirable of bending the realities of historical record to         (p. 384)
the service of the fancy, and moulding them into the shape best suited
to the writer's purpose in developing his plot, perfecting his
characters, and exciting a more lively interest in his whole design.
Whatever might be the result of such questions fully enucleated, the
Author, with his present views, cannot suffer himself to doubt that
society is infinitely a gainer in possessing the historical dramas of
Shakspeare, and the historical romances of Walter Scott. Instead of
putting the moral and intellectual advantages, the improvement and the
pleasure with which such extraordinary men have enriched their country
and the world in one scale, and jealously weighing them against the
erroneous associations which their exhibition of past events has a
tendency to impart, a philosophical view of the whole case should seem
to encourage us in the full enjoyment of their exquisite treasures;
suggesting, however, at the same time, the salutary caution that we
should never suffer ourselves to be so influenced by the naturalness
and beauty of their poetical creations, as to forego the beneficial
exercise of ascertaining from the safest guides the real facts and
characters of history.

APPENDIX, No. I.                                                   (p. 385)


Had Owyn Glyndowr joined the army of Hotspur before Henry IV. had
compelled that gallant, but rash and headstrong warrior, to engage in
battle, their united forces might have crushed both the King and Henry
of Monmouth under their overwhelming charge, and crowned the Percies
and Owyn himself with victory; but the reader is reminded that the
question for the more satisfactory solution of which an appeal is made
to the following original documents, is simply this: Did Owyn Glyndowr
wilfully absent himself from the fatal battle of Shrewsbury, leaving
Hotspur and his host to encounter that struggle alone, or are we
compelled to account for the absence of the Welsh chieftain on grounds
which imply no compromise of his valour or his good faith?

The first of the series of documents from which it is presumed that
light is thrown on this subject, is a letter from Richard Kyngeston,
Archdeacon of Hereford, addressed to the King, dated Hereford, Sunday,
July 8, and therefore 1403,--just thirteen days before the battle of
Shrewsbury. It is written in French; but the postscript, added
evidently in vast trepidation, and as if under the sudden fear that he
had not expressed himself strongly enough, is in English. "His
eagerness for the arrival of the King in Wales by forced marches, is
expressed with an earnestness which is almost ridiculous."[344]

                   [Footnote 344: See Ellis.]

     "Our most redoubted and sovereign Lord the King, I recommend  (p. 386)
     myself[345] humbly to your highness.... From day to day letters
     are arriving from Wales, by which you may learn that the whole
     country is lost unless you go there as quick as possible.
     Be pleased to set forth with all your power, and march as well by
     night as by day, for the salvation of those parts. It will be a
     great disgrace as well as damage to lose in the beginning of your
     reign a country which your ancestors gained, and retained so
     long; for people speak very unfavourably. I send the copy of a
     letter which came from John Scydmore this morning.... Written in
     haste, great haste at Hereford, the 8th[346] day of July.
                                  "Your lowly creature,
                                        "RICHARD KYNGESTON,
                                              "Archdeacon of Hereford.

     "And for God's love, my liege Lord, think on yourself and     (p. 387)
     your estate; or by my troth all is lost else: but, and ye
     come yourself, all other will follow after. On Friday last
     Carmarthen town was taken and burnt, and the castle yielden by
     Rº Wygmor, and the castle Emlyn is yielden; and slain of the
     town of Carmarthen more than fifty persons. Written in right
     great haste on Sunday, and I cry you mercy, and put me in your
     high grace that I write so shortly; for, by my troth that I owe
     to you, it is needful."

                   [Footnote 345: This ecclesiastic was much in the
                   royal confidence. By a commission dated June 16,
                   1404, he, as Archdeacon of Hereford, is authorized
                   to receive the subsidy in the counties of Hereford,
                   Gloucester, and Warwick, and to dispose of it in
                   the support of men-at-arms and archers to resist
                   the Welsh.[345-a] And sums, three years afterwards,
                   were paid to him out of the exchequer for the
                   maintenance of soldiers _remaining with him_ in the
                   parts of Wales for the safeguard of the same. He
                   seems to have been not only the dispenser of the
                   money, but the captain of the men. The debt,
                   however, had probably been due from the crown for a
                   long time. He was for many years Master of the
                   Wardrobe to Henry IV; and during his time the
                   expences of the court appear to have become more
                   extravagant, and to have led to that remonstrance
                   and interference of the council and parliament, to
                   which reference has been made in the body of this
                   work. Pell Rolls, Issue, 5 May 1407.--Do. Michs.

                       [Footnote 345-a: MS. Donat. 4597.]

                   [Footnote 346: This letter is the more valuable,
                   because, though the year is not annexed in words,
                   the information that he wrote it on Sunday, July 8,
                   fixes the date to 1403: the next year to which this
                   date would apply being 1408, four years after
                   Kyngeston had ceased to be Archdeacon of Hereford;
                   and far too late for any such apprehension of great
                   mischief from Glyndowr.]

John Skydmore's letter, dated from the castle of Cerreg Cennen, not
only fixes Owyn Glyndowr at Carmarthen on Thursday, July the 5th; but
acquaints us also with his purpose to proceed thence into
Pembrokeshire, whilst his friends had undertaken to reduce the castles
of Glamorgan. It is addressed to John Fairford, Receiver of Brecknock.

     "Worshipful Sir,--I recommend me to you. And forasmuch as I may
     not spare no man from this place away from me to certify neither
     the King, nor my lord the Prince, of the mischief of these
     countries about, nor no man may pass by no way hence, I pray you
     that ye certify them how all Carmarthenshire, Kedwelly,
     Carnwalthan, and Yskenen be sworn to Owyn yesterday; and he lay
     [to nyzt was] last night in the castle of Drosselan with Rees ap
     Griffuth. And there I was, and spake with him upon truce, and
     prayed of a safe-conduct under his seal to send home my wife and
     her mother, and their [mayne] company. And he would none grant
     me. And on this day he is about the town of Carmarthen, and there
     thinketh to abide till he may have the town and the castle: and
     his purpose is thence into Pembrokeshire; for he [halt        (p. 388)
     him siker] feels quite sure of all the castles and towns in
     Kedwelly, Gowerland, and Glamorgan, for the same countries have
     undertaken the sieges of them till they be won. Wherefore write
     to Sir Hugh Waterton, and to all that ye suppose will take this
     matter to heart, that they excite the King hitherwards in all
     haste to avenge him on some of his false traitors, the which he
     has overmuch cherished, and rescue the towns and castles in the
     countries, for I dread full sore there be too few true men in
     them. I can no more as now: but pray God help you and us that
     think to be true. Written at the castle of Carreg Kennen, the
     fifth day of July.
                                       "Yours, JOHN SKYDMORE."[347]

                   [Footnote 347: The custody of Carreg Kennen
                   (Karekenny) was granted to John Skydmore, 2 May

Two other letters, which internal evidence compels us to assign to
this year,--the first to the 7th of July (two days only after John
Skydmore's), the second to the 11th of the same month,--carry on
Owyn's proceedings with perfect consistency. They were written by the
Constable of Dynevor Castle, and seem to have been addressed to the
Receiver of Brecknock, and by him to have been forwarded to the King's
council. "The first gives us no exalted notion of the Constable's
courage: 'A siege is ordained for the castle I keep, and that is great
peril for me. Written in haste and in dread.' The second informs us of
the extent of force with which Glyndowr was then moving in his
inroads; when threatening the castle of Dynevor, he mustered 8240
(eight thousand and twelve score) spears, such as they were."[348]

                   [Footnote 348: Ellis.]

The first letter, written on Saturday, July 7, ("the Fest of St.
Thomas the Martir,") he seems to have posted off immediately on the
news reaching Dynevor that Carmarthen had surrendered to Owyn,     (p. 389)
without waiting to ascertain the accuracy of the report; for, in
his second letter, he tells us that they had not yet resolved whether
to burn the town or no.

     "Dear Friend,--I do you to wit that Owyn Glyndowr, Henry Don,
     Rees Duy, Rees ap Gv. ap Llewellyn, Rees Gether, have won the
     town of Carmarthen, and Wygmer the Constable had yielded the
     castle to Carmarthen; and have burnt the town, and slain more
     than fifty men: and they be in purpose to Kedwelly, and a siege
     is ordained at the castle I keep, and that is great peril for me,
     and all that be with me; for they have made a vow that they will
     [al gat] at all events have us dead therein. Wherefore I pray you
     not to beguile us, but send to us warning shortly whether we may
     have any help or no; and, if help is not coming, that we have an
     answer, that we may steal away by night to Brecknock, because we
     fail victuals and men [and namlich], especially men. Also Jenkyn
     ap Ll. hath yielden up the castle of Emlyn with free will; and
     also William Gwyn, and many gentles, are in person with Owyn....
     Written at Deynevour, in haste and in dread, in the feast of St.
     Thomas the Martyr.[349]
                            "JENKYN HANARD,
                                    "Constable de Dynevour."

                   [Footnote 349: This letter was probably written on
                   Saturday, July 7, 1403,--that is, on the
                   Translation of St. Thomas the Martyr.]

In this letter the Constable says that Owyn's forces were in purpose
to Kedwelly: the second letter refers to Owyn's purpose having been
altered by the formidable approach of the Baron of Carew towards St.
Clare. This was probably on Monday, July 9, the third day after the
surrender of Carmarthen. The Tuesday night he slept at Locharn
(Laugharne). Through the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, the       (p. 390)
little garrison of Dynevor were negociating with him; for he was
resolved to win that castle, and to make it his head-quarters. On that
Wednesday, the Constable tells us, that Owyn intended, should he come
to terms with the Baron of Carew, to return to Carmarthen for his
share of the spoil, and to determine on the utter destruction of the
town, or its preservation. By a letter sent from the Mayor and
burgesses of Caerleon to the Mayor and burgesses of Monmouth,--the
propriety of referring which to this very year can scarcely be
questioned,--we are informed that the Baron of Carew was not so easily
tempted from his allegiance as some other "false traitors" in that
district; and that he defeated and put to the sword a division of Owyn
Glyndowr's army on the 12th of July,--the very day probably after the
date of the Constable's last letter. This fact, when admitted,
increases in importance; because it proves that as late, at least, as
July 12th, Owyn Glyndowr, though generally successful in that
campaign, was not without a formidable enemy there; and therefore by
no means at liberty to quit the country at a moment's warning, or to
leave his adherents without the protection of his forces and his own

       *       *       *       *       *

Copy of the second letter from the Constable of Dynevor:

     "Dear Friend,--I do you to wit that Owyn was in purpose to
     Kedwelly, and the Baron of Carew was coming with a great retinue
     towards St. Clare, and so Owyn changed his purpose, and rode to
     meet the Baron; and that night he lodged at St. Clare, and
     destroyed all the country about. And on Tuesday they were at
     treaties all day, and that night he lodged him at the town of
     Locharn, six miles out of the town of Carmarthen. The intention
     is, if the Baron and he accord in treaty, then he turneth again
     to Carmarthen for his part of the good, and Rees Duy[350]     (p. 391)
     his part. And many of the great masters stand yet in the castle
     of Carmarthen; for they have not yet made their ordinance
     whether the castle and town shall be burnt or no; and therefore,
     if there is any help coming, haste them all haste towards us, for
     every house is full about us of their poultry, and yet wine and
     honey enough in the country, and wheat and beans, and all manner
     of victuals. And we of the castle of Dynevor had treaties with
     him on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday; and now he will ordain for
     us to leave that castle, [for ther a castyth to ben y serkled
     thince,] for that was the chief place in old time. And Owyn's
     muster on Monday was eight thousand and twelve score spears, such
     as they were. Other tidings I not now; but God of Heaven send you
     and us from all enemies! Written at Dynevor this Wednesday in

                   [Footnote 350: This partisan of Owyn, who is here
                   said to have gone to share with him in the spoil of
                   Carmarthen, partook even in greater bitterness of
                   his cup of affliction. He was taken prisoner and
                   beheaded. The Chronicle of London asserts that his
                   quarters were salted, and sent to different parts
                   of the kingdom; but this assertion, in an affair of
                   little importance, shows how small reliance can be
                   placed on anonymous records. The King, by writ of
                   privy seal, 29 May 1412, commands Rees Duy's body,
                   then in the custody of his officers, to be buried
                   in some consecrated cemetery. It had perhaps been
                   exposed for some time. MS. Donat. 4599, p. 128.]

The despatch from the burgesses of Carleon, after stating that seven
hundred men, whom Owyn had sent forwards as pioneers and to search the
ways, were to a man slain by the Lord of Carew's men on the 12th day
of July, records an anecdote so characteristic of Owyn's superstition,
that, whilst examining his conduct, we may scarcely pass it by
unnoticed. He sent after Hopkyn ap Thomas of Gower, inasmuch       (p. 392)
as he held him Master of Brut, (_i. e._ skilled in the prophecies of
Merlin,) to learn from him what should befal him, and he told him that
he should be taken within a brief time between Carmarthen and Gower
under a black banner. [The Author finds the next sentence so obscure
that he leaves it to the interpretation of the reader.] "Knowelichyd
that thys blake baner scholde dessese hym, and nozt that he schold be
take undir hym."

In weighing the evidence brought to light by these original
despatches, it will be necessary to have a few dates immediately
present to our mind.

We have it under the King's own hand, that, when he was at Higham
Ferrers, he believed himself to be on his road northward to form a
junction with Hotspur and his father Northumberland, and together with
them (of whose allegiance and fidelity he apparently had not hitherto
entertained any suspicion) to make a joint expedition against the
Scots. This letter is dated July 10, 1403.

Five days only at the furthest intervened between the date of this
letter and the King's proclamation at Burton on Trent (still on his
journey northward) to the sheriffs to raise their counties, and join
him to resist the Percies, whose rebellion had then suddenly been made
known to him. This proclamation is dated July 16, 1403. Four days only
elapsed between the issuing of this proclamation and the death of
Hotspur, with the total discomfiture of his followers in Hateley
Field, where the battle of Shrewsbury was fought on Saturday, 21st of
July, the very week on the Monday of which he had first heard of the
revolt of the Percies.

If the dates relating to Owyn's proceedings,--some ascertained beyond
further question, and others admitted on the ground of high
probability, approaching certainty, with which the documents above
quoted supply us,--are laid side by side with these indisputable
facts, the inference from the comparison seems unavoidable, that Owyn
was never made acquainted with the expectation on the part         (p. 393)
of his allies of so early a struggle with the King's forces in
England; (indeed the conflict evidently was unexpected by Hotspur
himself;) that Owyn was in the most remote corner of South Wales when
the battle was fought; and that probably the sad tidings of Hotspur's
overthrow reached him without his ever having been apprised (at least
in time) that the Percy needed his succour.

APPENDIX, No. II.                                                  (p. 394)


Extracts from the Dedication to Henry of Monmouth of his poem, "The
Death of Hector:"

    "For through the world it is known to every one,
  And flying Fame reports it far and wide,
  That thou, by natural condition,
  In things begun wilt constantly abide;
  And for the time dost wholly set aside
  All rest; and never carest what thou dost spend
  Till thou hast brought thy purpose to an end.
  And that thou art most circumspect and wise,
  And dost effect all things with providence,
  As Joshua did by counsel and advice,
  Against whose sword there is none can make defence:
  And wisdom hast by heavenly influence
  With Solomon to judge and to discern
  Men's causes, and thy people to govern.
  For mercy mixt with thy magnificence,
  Doth make thee pity all that are opprest;
  And to withstand the force and violence
  Of those that right and equity detest.
  With David thou to piety art prest;
  And like to Julius Cæsar valorous,
  That in his time was most victorious.
  And in thine hand (like worthy Prince) dost hold
  Thy sword, to see that of thy subjects none
  Against thee should presume with courage bold
  And pride of heart to raise rebellion;                           (p. 395)
  And in the other, sceptre to maintain
  True justice while among us thou dost reign.
  More than good heart none can, whatsoe'er he be,
  Present nor give to God nor unto man,
  Which for my part I wholly give to thee,
  And ever shall as far forth as I can;
  Wherewith I will (as I at first began)
  Continually, not ceasing night nor day,
  With sincere mind for thine estate thus pray.

    "The time when I this work had fully done
  By computation just, was in the year
  One thousand and four hundred twenty-one
  Of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour dear;
  And in the eighth year complete of the reign
  Of our most noble lord and sovereign
  King Henry the Fifth.

    "In honour great, for by his puissant might
  He conquered all Normandy again,
  And valiantly, for all the power of France;
  And won from them his own inheritance,
  And forced them his title to renew
  To all the realm of France, which doth belong
  To him, and to his lawful heirs by true
  Descent, (the which they held from him by wrong
  And false pretence,) and, to confirm the same,
  Hath given him the honour and the name
  Of Regent of the land for Charles his life;
  And after his decease they have agreed,
  Thereby to end all bloody war and strife,
  That he, as heir, shall lawfully succeed
  Therein, and reign as King of France by right,
  As by records, which extant are to light,
  It doth appear.
  And I will never cease, both night and day,
  With all my heart unto the Lord to pray

    "For HIM, by whose commandment I tooke                         (p. 396)
  On me (though far unfit to do the same)
  To translate into English verse this booke,
  Which Guido wrote in Latin, and doth name
  'The Siege of Troy;' and for HIS sake alone,
  I must confess that I the same begun,
  When Henry, whom men _Fourth_ by name did call,
  My Prince's father, lived, and possest
  The crown. And though I be but rustical,
  I have therein not spared to do my best
  To please my Prince's humour."

This poem, "The Life and Death of Hector," was published after the
marriage of Henry with Katharine, and before her arrival in England.
Among its closing sentiments are the following, intended probably as
an honest warning to his royal master, that in the midst of life we
are in death, and that the messenger from heaven knocks at the palace
of the conquering monarch with no less suddenness than at the cottage
of his humblest subject. How appropriate was the warning! Henry did
not survive the publication of this poem more than a single year.

  "For by Troy's fall it plainly doth appear
  That neither king nor emperor hath here

    "A permanent estate to trust unto.
  Therefore to Him that died upon the rood
  (And was content and willing so to do,
  And for mankind did shed his precious blood,)
  Lift up your minds, and pray with humble heart
  That He his aid unto you will impart.
  For, though you be of extreme force and might,
  Without his help it will you nought avail;
  And He doth give man victory in fight,
  And with a few is able to prevail,
  And overcome an army huge and strong:
  And by his grace makes kings and princes long

    "To reign here on the earth in happiness;                      (p. 397)
  And tyrants, that to men do offer wrong
  And violence, doth suddenly suppress,
  Although their power be ne'er so great and strong.
  And in his hand his blessings all reserveth
  For to reward each one as he deserveth.

   "To whom I pray with humble mind and heart,
  And so I hope all you will do no less,
  That of his grace He would vouchsafe to impart
  And send all joy, welfare, and happiness,
  Health, victory, tranquillity, and honour,
  Unto the high and mighty conqueror.

   "King Henry the Fifth, that his great name
  May here on earth be extolled and magnified
  While life doth last; and when he yields the same
  Into his hands, he may be glorified
  In heaven among the saints and angels bright,
  There to serve the God of power and might.

    "At whose request this work I undertook,
  As I have said.
  God He knows when I this work began,
  I did it not for praise of any man,

    "But for to please the humour and the hest
  Of my good lord and princely patron,
  Who [dis]dained not to me to make request
  To write the same, lest that oblivion
  By tract of time, and time's swift passing by,
  Such valiant act should cause obscured to be;

    "As also 'cause his princely high degree
  Provokes him study ancient histories,
  Where, as in mirror, he may plainly see
  How valiant knights have won the masteries
  In battles fierce by prowess and by might,
  To run like race, and prove a worthy knight.

    "And as they sought to climb to honour's seat,                 (p. 398)
  So doth my Lord seek therein to excel,
  That, as his name, so may his fame be great,
  And thereby likewise idleness expel;
  For so he doth to virtue bend his mind,
  That hard it is his equal now to find.

    "To write his princely virtues, and declare
  His valour, high renown, and majesty,
  His brave exploits and martial acts, that are
  Most rare, and worthy his great dignity,
  My barren head cannot devise by wit
  To extol his fame by words and phrases fit.

    "This worthy Prince, whom I so much commend,
  (Yet not so much as well deserves his fame,)
  By royal blood doth lineally descend
  From Henry King of England, Fourth by name,
  His eldest son, and heir to the crown,
  And, by his virtues, Prince of high renown.

    "For by the graft the fruit men easily know,
  Encreasing the honour of his pedigree;
  His name Lord Henry, as our stories show,
  And by his title Prince of Wales is he.
  Who with good right, his father being dead,
  Shall wear the crown of Britain on his head.

    "This mighty Prince hath made me undertake
  To write the siege of Troy, the ancient town,
  And of their wars a true discourse to make;
  From point to point as Guido set it down,
  Who long since wrote the same in Latin verse,
  Which in the English now I will rehearse."

In the poem called the "Siege of Troy," written in different metre,
Lydgate, addressing Henry, "O most worthy Prince! of Knighthood    (p. 399)
source and well!" thus proceeds to state the circumstances under which
he wrote his work:

            "God I take highly to witness
  That I this work of heartily low humbless
  Took upon me of intention,
  Devoid of pride and presumption,
  For to obey without variance
  _My Lord's bidding fully and pleasance_;
  Which hath desire, soothly for to sayn,
  Of very knighthood to remember again
  The wortheness (if I shall not lie)
  And the prowess of old chivalry,
  Because _he hath joy and great dainty_
  To _read in books of antiquity_
  To _find only virtue_ to sow
  By example of them, and also to eschew
  The cursed vice of sloth and idleness;
  So he enjoyeth in _virtuous_ business,
  In all that longeth to manhood, dare I sayn,
  He busyeth ever. And thereto is so fain
  To haunt his body in plays martial,
  Through exercise to exclude sloth at all,
  (After the doctrine of Vigetius.)
  Thus is he both _manful_ and _virtuous_,
  More passingly than I can of him write;
  I want cunning his high renown to indite,
  So much of manhood men may in him seen.
  And for to wit whom I would mean,
  The eldest son of the noble King
  Henry the Fourth; of knighthood well and spring;
  In whom is showed of what stock that he grew,
  The root is virtue;
  Called Henry eke, the worthy Prince of Wales,
  Which me commanded the dreary piteous tale
  Of them of Troy in English to translate;
  The siege, also, and the destruction,
  Like as the Latin maketh mention,
  For to complete, and after Guido make,                           (p. 400)
  So I could, and write it for his sake;
  Because he would that to high and low
  The noble story openly were knowe
  In our tongue, about in every age,
  And written as well in our language
  As in Latin and French it is;
  That of the story the truth we not miss,
  No more than doth each other nation;
  This was the fine of his intention.
  The which emprise anon I 'gin shall
  In his worship for a memorial.
  And of the time to make mention,
  When I began on this translation,
  It was the year, soothly to sayn,
  Fourteen complete of his Father's reign."

Though this Preface was written when Henry was still Prince of Wales,
the work was not finished till he had ascended the throne; when the
poet sent it into the world with this charge, which he calls

  "Go forth, my book! veiled with the princely grace
    Of him that is extolled for excellence
  Throughout the world, but do not show thy face
    Without support of his magnificence."

TESTIMONY OF OCCLEVE.                                              (p. 401)

The interesting circumstances under which the poet represents the
following dialogue to have taken place are detailed in the body of the
work.[351] The old man addresses Occleve as his son, and the poet
calls his aged monitor father.

                   [Footnote 351: See page 331.]

  _Father._ "My Lord the Prince,--knoweth he thee not?
  If that thou stood in his benevolence,
  He may be salve unto thine indigence."

  _Son._ "No man better: next his father,--our Lord the Liege
  His father,--he is my good gracious Lord."

  _F._ "Well, Son! then will I me oblige,
  And God of heaven vouch I to record,
  That, if thou wilt be fully of mine accord,
  Thou shalt no cause have more thus to muse,
  But heaviness void, and it refuse.
  Since he thy good Lord is, I am full sure
  His grace shall not to thee be denied.
  Thou wotst well he _benign_ is and _demure_
  To sue unto: not is his ghost maistried[352]
  With danger; but his heart is full applied
  To grant, and not the needy to warn his grace.
  To him pursue, and thy relief purchase.
  What shall I call thee--what is thy name?"

  _S._ "Occlive[353] (Father mine), men callen me."

  _F._ "Occlive? Son!"--_S._ "Yes, Father, the same."

  _F._ "Thou wert acquainted with Chaucer 'pardie?"                (p. 402)

  _S._ "God save his soul! best of any wight."

  _F._ "Syn thou mayst not be paid in the Exchequer,
  Unto my Lord the Prince make instance
  That thy patent unto the Hanaper
  May changed be."--_S._ "Father, by your sufferance,
  It may not so: because of the ordinance,
  Long after this shall no grant chargeable
  Over pass. Father mine, this is no fable."

  _F._ "An equal charge, my Son, in sooth
  Is no charge, I wot it well indeed.
  What! Son mine! Good heart take unto thee.
  Men sayen, 'Whoso of every grass hath dread,
  Let him beware to walk in any mead.'
  Assay! assay! thou simple-hearted ghost;
  What grace is shapen thee, thou not wost.
  ----Now, syn me thou toldest
  My Lord the Prince is good Lord thee to;
  No maistery is to thee, if thou woldest
  To be relieved, wost thee what to do.
  _Write to him a goodly tale or two_,
  _On which he may disport him by night_,
  And his free grace shall on thee light.
  Sharp thy pen, and write on lustily;
  Let see, my Son, make it fresh and gay,
  Utter thine art if thou canst craftily;
  _His high prudence hath insight very_
  _To judge if it be well made or nay._
  Wherefore, Son, it is unto thee need
  Unto thy work take thee greater heed.
  But of one thing be well ware in all wise,
  On flattery that thou thee not found,
  For thereof (Son) Solomon the Wise,
  As that I have in his Proverbs found,
  Saith thus: 'They that in feigned speech abound,
  And glossingly unto their friends talk,
  Spreaden a net before them, where they walk.'
  This false treason common is and rife;
  Better were it thou wert at Jerusalem                            (p. 403)
  Now, than thou wert therein defective.
  Syn my Lord the Prince is (_God hold his life!_)
  To thee good Lord, good servant thou thee quit
  To him and true, and it shall thee profit.
  Write him _nothing that sowneth to vice_,
  Kyth[354] thy love in matter of sadness.
  Look if thou find canst any treatise
  Grounded on his estate's wholesomeness;
  Which thing translate, and unto his highness,
  As humbly as thou canst, it thou present.
  Do thus, my Son."--_S._ "Father! I assent,
  With heart as trembling as the leaf of asp."[355]

                   [Footnote 352: The Author has not formed any
                   satisfactory opinion as to the meaning of the
                   phrase "his ghost maistried with danger." Perhaps
                   it implies that the spirit of the Prince was not
                   under the _control_ of such passions as would
                   render it a service of _danger_ to prefer a suit to

                   [Footnote 353: In some MSS. it is "Hoccleve."]

                   [Footnote 354: "Kyth thy love," means "make thy
                   love known." Our word "kith," in the proverb "kith
                   and kin," means persons of our acquaintance.]

                   [Footnote 355: Bib. Reg. 17. D. 6. p. 34.]


Dorset Street, Fleet Street.

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