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Title: Humphrey Duke of Gloucester - A Biography
Author: Vickers, K.H.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Humphrey Duke of Gloucester - A Biography" ***

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Transcriber's Note

In this verson, italics are rendered using the _underscore_ character.
The sole use of superscript is the abbreviation 'vo', which is simply
left as '8vo'. The 'oe' ligature is rendered as separate characters.

The page headers on the odd pages of Chapters I to VIII of the original
text provided a running account of the year and topic discussed. These
are retained as highlighted notes such as "14XX] TOPIC" In Chapters IX
and X, there are no dates in these topic notes.

Please see the Notes at the end of this text for more detailed
discussion on any changes or corrections.


               _From an Arras Manuscript._]

                     DUKE OF GLOUCESTER

                         A Biography


                      K. H. VICKERS, M.A.

                   EXETER COLLEGE, OXFORD
                    LONDON COUNTY COUNCIL


    Edinburgh: T and A. CONSTABLE, Printers to His Majesty




                   BOOK WOULD NEVER HAVE

                      BEEN BROUGHT TO



The following pages have been written amidst many interruptions and
completed amidst great difficulties. The excuse for their existence is
to be found in the total absence of any adequate biography of their
subject, and the attraction (to the author at any rate) of a varied and
interesting career. My indebtedness to those who have made a study of
the fifteenth century is acknowledged in the bibliography, but my
obligations extend much further. My thanks are due to many librarians
who have given me every facility to inspect manuscripts in their care,
but to Mr. Falconer Madan of the Bodleian Library at Oxford I am under
no ordinary debt of obligation. His consistent kindness and interest has
made many paths smooth that would otherwise have been rough. I am
indebted to Lord Leicester for his kindness in allowing me to examine a
manuscript life of the Duke which forms part of his Library, and to Mr.
Yates Thompson for a similar permission with regard to the Duke's
Psalter. Still more do I desire to thank Dean Kitchin for his courtesy
and kindness in sending me a transcript of a letter in a Durham
manuscript, whilst Professor Oman has given me the great encouragement
of his sympathy and advice. To Dr. Morris of Bedford I owe assistance on
some points of difficulty, and Sir Alfred Scott-Gatty, Garter, was kind
enough to answer several questions with regard to the Duke's armorial
bearings. To my mother, who has spent many weary hours in copying my
manuscript; to my sister, who is largely responsible for the index; and
to my friend, Mr. H. W. Ward of Frenchay, whose assistance, both
clerical and critical, has been freely given, the mere record of my
gratitude is not sufficient.

Mr. E. Alfred Jones has kindly allowed me to reproduce the photograph of
a cup which once belonged to Duke Humphrey, and which forms part of the
collection he has made for his book on _The Old Plate of the Cambridge
Colleges_, whilst the possessor of the manuscript copy of Beccaria's
dedication to Duke Humphrey, prefaced to his translation of Boccaccio,
was good enough, through the kind instrumentality of Mr. Strickland
Gibson of the Bodleian Library, to allow me to photograph this unique
                                                                K. H. V.
     FRENCHAY, _August 1907_.



     INTRODUCTION,                                                  xvii

                          CHAPTER I

                         EARLY LIFE

     Birth of Humphrey: his parents--The change of
        dynasty--The Order of the Bath--Plot to kill Henry
        IV. and his sons--Humphrey made a Knight of the
        Garter--Visit to Abbey of Bardney--Accession of
        Henry V.--Humphrey created Earl of Pembroke and
        Duke of Gloucester--Negotiations between England
        and France--Preparations for war--The Southampton
        Conspiracy: its warning--Gloucester's retinue in
        the 1415 campaign--The siege of Harfleur--March
        from Harfleur to Agincourt--The battle of
        Agincourt--The King's return to England,                    1-32

                          CHAPTER II

                       THE WAR IN FRANCE

     Various phases of Gloucester's career--The Emperor
        Sigismund's visit to England: reception by
        Gloucester--The Treaty of Canterbury--Gloucester
        hostage at St. Omer for the safety of the Duke of
        Burgundy visiting Henry V. at Calais--Gloucester
        and Sigismund: a contrast in characters--Renewal of
        the war--The siege of Caen--Gloucester's military
        qualities--The sieges of Alençon and
        Falaise--Gloucester despatched to subdue the
        Côtentin--The Côtentin expedition--The siege of
        Cherbourg--Gloucester joins Henry V. at the siege
        of Rouen--Gloucester's negotiations for a
        wife--Further military undertakings: the capture of
        Ivry--Gloucester returns to England,                       33-80

                          CHAPTER III


     Gloucester Regent of England: terms of his
        commission--State of the country at this time; the
        rise of the Middle Classes and their support of
        Gloucester--The King of Scotland and
        Gloucester--The Treaty of Troyes proclaimed in
        England--Influence of this treaty on Gloucester's
        policy--Restlessness of Parliament--The return of
        Henry V. to England--Coronation of Queen
        Catharine--The misfortunes of Jacqueline of
        Hainault: her arrival in England and meeting with
        Gloucester--Henry V.'s policy with regard to
        Jacqueline--Third French campaign--The siege of
        Dreux--Gloucester's second Regency of
        England--Death of Henry V.: his wishes for the
        government of his kingdoms--Claimants for the
        Protectorate: Henry Beaufort, Bedford, and
        Gloucester: their qualifications--Opposition to
        Gloucester's claims: his removal from the
        Regency--Appointment to the Protectorate: the
        limitations placed on Gloucester's power and their
        effect--Alliance between Gloucester and Bedford and
        its significance--Dissensions in the Regency
        Council--Execution of Sir John Mortimer and death
        of the Earl of March,                                     81-124

                          CHAPTER IV

                   GLOUCESTER AND HAINAULT

     Jacqueline's treatment in England--Her marriage to
        Gloucester--Visit of Gloucester and Jacqueline to
        St. Albans--Burgundy objects to Gloucester's
        pretensions to govern Hainault--Attempted
        arbitration between Gloucester and
        Burgundy--Gloucester's claim--His departure with
        Jacqueline for Hainault--Renewed attempts at
        arbitration--March from Calais to
        Hainault--Reception in Hainault: attitude of
        Mons--The Estates of Hainault accept Gloucester as
        Regent--Complaints of the behaviour of the English
        soldiers--Papal procrastination in deciding
        Jacqueline's divorce appeal--Burgundy prepares for
        armed interference--Siege of
        inactivity--Correspondence of Gloucester and
        Burgundy who agree to a duel--Increased hostility
        to Gloucester in Hainault--Gloucester returns to
        England--The motive and wisdom of his Hainault
        policy,                                                  125-161

                          CHAPTER V

                      THE PROTECTORATE

     Gloucester's reception in England: attitude of the
        Council--Jacqueline loses ground in Hainault--The
        duel between Gloucester and Burgundy
        forbidden--Gloucester loses interest in Hainault
        affairs: failure of an expedition to relieve
        Jacqueline--The quarrel between Gloucester and
        Beaufort: Beaufort summons Bedford to
        England--Gloucester's position before and after
        Bedford's return--Council of St. Albans--Parliament
        of Leicester: Gloucester's attack on Beaufort: the
        decision of the Lords--The Council asserts its
        rights: its communication to Gloucester--Results of
        Bedford's intervention--Gloucester suppresses
        lawlessness--Jacqueline seeks assistance: money
        voted by the Council for her relief--Abandonment of
        the contemplated expedition--Public feeling hostile
        to Gloucester--The Pope refuses the
        divorce--Gloucester marries Eleanor
        Cobham--Disturbances in the Midlands--Beaufort
        attacked for accepting the Cardinalate--Coronation
        of Henry VI.,                                            162-215

                          CHAPTER VI


     The end of the Protectorate--The Forty Shilling
        Franchise--Gloucester made Regent--Henry VI. goes
        to France--Parliament of 1431--The rising of 'Jack
        Sharpe': its significance--Gloucester seeks more
        power: intrigues against Beaufort--Increase of the
        Regent's salary--Results of the
        Regency--Ministerial changes--Beaufort returns to
        the attack: brings forward grievances against the
        Government--Lord Cromwell and
        Gloucester--Gloucester goes to Calais to negotiate
        peace--Bedford comes to England--More ministerial
        changes--Bedford petitioned to remain in England:
        the conditions on which he agrees to do
        so--Gloucester propounds a scheme for carrying on
        the war--Quarrel of Gloucester and Bedford--Death
        of Bedford--Defection of Burgundy from the English
        alliance--Gloucester appointed Lieutenant of
        Calais: he relieves it when besieged by
        Burgundy--Gloucester's raid into Flanders,               216-254

                          CHAPTER VII

                      DISGRACE AND DEATH

     Gloucester's waning interest in political life: his
        appearance as a patron of letters--Negotiations for
        peace with France: Gloucester's opposition; his
        manifesto against Beaufort and Cardinal Kemp: his
        manifesto against the release of the Duke of
        Orleans, and the King's reply--Gloucester's
        declining importance--Trial and imprisonment of the
        Duchess of Gloucester for sorcery and
        treason--Consequent loss of influence to
        Gloucester--The marriage of Henry VI. to Margaret
        of Anjou--Gloucester's war policy--Triumph of the
        Beaufort faction--The Parliament of Bury--Arrest
        and death of Gloucester,                                 255-294

                          CHAPTER VIII


     The nature of Gloucester's death: growing conviction
        that he was murdered--The trial of his servants for
        treason--The effect of his death on English
        politics--His policy in Hainault--The nature of his
        rule in England: charges of oppression: tribute of
        his servants--His war policy--His ecclesiastical
        policy: relations with the Papacy--His connection
        with St. Albans Abbey--His character,                    295-339

                          CHAPTER IX


     Nature of the Renaissance, and its influence on
        Gloucester--State of English
        scholarship--Gloucester's qualifications for the
        career of a patron of letters: his early
        education--his relations with the Italian
        Humanists--His friendship with Zano, Bishop of
        Bayeux--Connection with Leonardi Bruni: its abrupt
        ending--Correspondence with Pier Candido Decembrio:
        the translation of Plato's _Republic_: books bought
        for Gloucester in Italy--Gloucester and Piero del
        Monte--Lapo da Castiglionchio works for
        him--Antonio Pasini--Friendship with Alfonso of
        Naples--Antonio di Beccaria his secretary in
        England--Titus Livius of Ferrara and his Vita
        Henrici Quinti--Gloucester's physicians,                 340-382

                          CHAPTER X


     Gloucester and the English Scholars--Abbot
        Wheathampsted his literary friend--John Capgrave's
        _Commentary on Genesis_--Nicholas Upton and Thomas
        Beckington--The English Poets--John Lydgate's
        numerous poems and his tribute to Gloucester's
        learning--John Russell, George Ashley, and Thomas
        de Norton--The English version of the _De Re
        Rustica_ of Palladius--Gloucester's patronage of
        the University of Oxford--Correspondence with the
        University--Gifts of books to Oxford--Arrangements
        for their safe keeping--Gloucester's literary
        tastes: the books he collected--His literary
        position and understanding--Influence of
        Gloucester's life on English scholarship,                383-425




     B. THE TOMB OF HUMPHREY, DUKE OF GLOUCESTER,                439-441

     C. GLOUCESTER'S WILL,                                       442-443

     D. GLOUCESTER'S RESIDENCES,                                 444-446

     E. PORTRAITS OF GLOUCESTER,                                 446-450

     F. A LEGEND OF GLOUCESTER'S DEATH,                          450-452

     G. GLOUCESTER'S ARMS, BADGES, AND SEALS,                    452-455

                        SOURCES AND AUTHORITIES

     I. PRINTED BOOKS,                                           456-471

     II. MANUSCRIPT AUTHORITIES,                                 471-475

         INDEX,                                                  477-491


     Portrait of the Duke of Gloucester. From Bibliothèque
        de la Ville d'Arras MS., 266,                     _Frontispiece_
     [See pp. 446-447.]
     Cup bearing the Arms of the Duke of Gloucester and his
        wife Eleanor in enamel, now in the possession of
        Christ's College, Cambridge. From a photograph kindly
        lent by Mr. E. Alfred Jones,                                  90

     The Duke of Gloucester and his wife Eleanor being
        received into the Fraternity of St. Albans. Cotton MS.,
        Nero, D. vii.,                                               206
          [See p. 447.]

     The Siege of Calais (1436). From the _History of the
        Life and Acts of Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick.
        Illustrated by Drawings by John Ross of Warwick_.
        Cotton MS., Julius, E. iv., Art. 6,                          250

     A page from the Duke of Gloucester's Psalter. Royal MS.,
        2, B. i.,                                                    322
          [See pp. 432-433, 447-448.]

     The Duke of Gloucester's Autograph and a Label from one
        of his  Books. Harleian MS., 1705, and Harleian MS., 33,     360
          [See p. 430 and pp. 429-430.]

     Capgrave presenting his _Commentary on Genesis_ to
        Gloucester. Oriel College MS., xxxii.,                       386
          [See pp. 428, 447.]

     Drawing of the Old Divinity Schools, Oxford, dating from
        1566. MS. Bodley, 13,                                        408

     A page from the Duke of Gloucester's copy of 'Le Songe
        du Vergier,' once part of the Library of Charles V..
        of France.  Royal MS., 19, C. iv.,                           416
          [See p. 432.]

     Several photographs for the above Illustrations have been kindly
     lent by Mrs. Maude C. Knight, Richmond, Surrey.


     P. 27, l. 10, for 'Abbéville' read 'Abbeville.'

     P. 45, note 6, for 'Stowe' read 'Stow.'

     P. 75, l. 5, for 'Ponte' read 'Pont.'

     P. 92, l. 23, for 'Dowager-Duchess' read 'Dowager-Countess.'

     P. 314, l. 13, for 'Northampton' read 'Northumberland.'

     P. 366, l. 2, for 'Festus Pompeius' read 'Pomponius Festus.'

     P. 378, l. 22, for 'Villari' read 'Villani.'


It was Polydore Vergil who first drew attention to the fatality of the
Gloucester title. It was borne by luckless King John, Thomas of
Woodstock earned a violent death, Thomas le Despenser was beheaded,
while in days later than those treated of in this volume, King Richard
III. found that the hand of fate was against him. Humphrey Plantagenet
of the House of Lancaster was no exception to this rule. His life was
violent, his death suspicious, and even after this his misfortunes did
not desert him; for though the tradition of the 'Good Duke' lingers in
some quarters even to the present day, his importance is not recognised
by the historian. His selfishness and his lack of statesmanship have
made him a byword in fifteenth-century history, and his true title to
fame has been forgotten amidst the struggles which prepared the way for
the Wars of the Roses.

'It is rather remarkable,' wrote Bishop Creighton in 1895, 'that more
attention has not been paid to the progress of Humanism in England, and
especially to the literary fame of the Duke of Gloucester.' It is
certainly strange that this Duke should have found as his literary
executors only two men, both Germans, and they even have not devoted
more than a passing attention to his fame. Whilst there is no little
interest to be found in the story of his public career, the main
importance of his life is centred in his position as a literary patron.
He was unique in the history of his country and age, in taking an
interest in the classical authors of Greece and Rome, who had lain
buried beneath the accumulated dust of the Middle Ages, and to him we
can trace the renaissance of Greek studies in England, and the revival
of Litteræ Humaniores in the University of Oxford. The fifteenth
century, with all its foibles and all its baseness, has been disregarded
by many who prefer an age of heroism or an age of material progress. Yet
the picturesque is not lacking in Duke Humphrey's career, and his
influence is felt even at the present day. In his life we can trace the
spirit of his age, though many of the characters which flit across the
stage are indefinite, and bear few striking qualities.

This is particularly true of Gloucester himself. Few personal touches
are to be found in the historical writers of the period, and his
character is often elusive, his actions often uncertain. The present
volume aims at tracing the salient events of his career in relation to
the history of his times, and at showing his relationship to
fifteenth-century literary aspirations, both in Italy and in England. A
hero no biographer can make him in spite of his many virtues, but at
least he should be relieved of the universal blame cast upon him. In his
life he was typical of his age, in his death the outward failure of his
career was clearly evident; but as the first English patron of those
scholars who were to revolutionise the mental attitude of the world, he
deserves recognition and remembrance, if not reverence.




On the north-east border of the German-speaking races, there existed in
the latter days of the fourteenth century one of those old religious
military orders, which had been founded to carry on war against the
infidel in the Holy Land. Here, where German met Slav, and Christian met
Pagan, the Knights of St. Mary found a new sphere of usefulness, after
the military orders had become discredited, and in their war against the
heathen Lithuanians they attracted many of the adventurous spirits of
Christendom. Thus King John of Bohemia, who fell at Crécy, had lost his
eyesight fighting in these North German marches, and the adventurous
Henry of Bolingbroke, son and heir of John of Gaunt, spent some of his
energies in helping the Teutonic knights in their wars. It was on one of
these expeditions that at Königsberg news was brought to the future King
Henry IV. of England that his wife had borne him a son who had been
named Humphrey.[1] It was on November 1, 1390, that the sailor who
carried this news received his reward as the bringer of good tidings, so
the birth was probably in the preceding August or September.[2]

Humphrey was the fourth son of the union of Henry of Bolingbroke and
Mary Bohun, who was co-heiress to the princely inheritance of the Earls
of Hereford and Essex. This marriage had been one of the romantic
episodes of the time, and had brought John of Gaunt's eldest son
prominently forward during the reign of Richard II. The Bohun
inheritance had cast its glamour over the man who had thus secured a
part thereof, and he never neglected an opportunity of emphasising his
pride in the Bohun connection. Thus he adopted the badge of the Swan,
which was a Bohun cognisance, and in choosing the names of his sons he
only once, in the case of Thomas, selected one which was decidedly not
taken from his wife's family. In the case of his fourth and youngest son
this was especially marked, for Humphrey was a favourite Bohun name.[3]
Of the last six Earls of Hereford, five had borne it, so its youngest
recipient was made at his birth the inheritor of Bohun traditions--
traditions which spoke of a life which would be active, if not
turbulent, and which amidst some constitutional actions would have many
elements of ambition and self-seeking. The Earls of Hereford had taken a
prominent part in the past history of England, and this last inheritor
of their name, if not of their title, was not to be unknown in the
public life of his country. From his mother's family it may be that with
his name he inherited some part of that restless and unstable character
which was to influence his actions all through his life.


Of the place of young Humphrey's birth we have no record, but much of
his childhood was spent at Eaton Tregoes, a place situated not far from
Ross on the banks of the Wye, and part of the Hereford inheritance.[4]
Here he was left in the care of Sir Hugh Waterton, along with his two
sisters, Blanche and Philippa, when his father was banished by the
capricious Richard II.[5] Here he mourned the death of his
grandfather,[6] and hence, too, in all probability he went to welcome
his father's triumphant return, since he did not accompany his brother
Henry to Ireland in the train of King Richard.[7]

The change of dynasty naturally had an influence on the life of Henry's
son. Hitherto Humphrey had been a child of little importance, the son of
a leading nobleman, and indeed a member of the blood royal, but this
last was a not uncommon distinction in the days when Edward III.'s
numerous descendants peopled the country. Of late, too, owing to his
father's banishment, he had been kept in seclusion by his faithful
guardian, waiting for happier days, which had now come. By the
parliamentary sanction of Henry of Bolingbroke's claim to the throne,
Humphrey became a prince in the line of succession, and the consequent
honours pertaining to a king's son fell to his lot. Accordingly he was
selected, together with his brothers Thomas and John, to gild the
inauguration of a new order of knighthood. The new Lancastrian dynasty
had not as yet secured a firm hold on the kingdom. John of Gaunt had
never been taken very seriously as a statesman, and his son was but
little known in his native land save for his short period of opposition
to Richard II. Something must be done to give stability to the new royal
house, and to borrow for it some of that outward respectability of
appearance which usually only comes with age. One of the expedients to
this end was the creation of a new order of knighthood, which should do
for the Lancastrians what the Order of the Garter had done for their
predecessors. Many have denied that the Order of the Bath owes its
inception to Henry IV., and it must be allowed that the ceremonial of
bathing on the eve of receiving knighthood dates back to Frankish
times, and by now had become hallowed by the Church and enforced by the
chivalric code which had come to soften the rough corners of Feudalism.
Nevertheless, no earlier mention of a definite Order of the Bath can be
found, and it was with the intention of giving dignity to this new
corporation of knights that the King's three youngest sons headed the
first list of creations.[8] On the Eve of the Translation of St. Edward
the knighthoods were conferred,[9] and when the Mayor and citizens of
London came to escort the King to Westminster, preparatory to his
coronation on the morrow, the new knights were assigned a place of
honour in the procession, riding before the King in long green coats,
with the sleeves cut straight and the hoods trimmed with ermine.[10] The
Feast day itself witnessed the coronation of Humphrey's father as King
Henry IV.[11] Though only nine years old the young prince had received
that inauguration into the ranks of men which the dignity of knighthood
conferred, and to emphasise this fact certain landed possessions were
given to him by the King. On December 2 were bestowed upon him the
manors of Cookham and Bray, near Maidenhead in Berkshire, to which were
added the manors of Middleton and Merden in Kent, all given to him for
himself and the heirs of his body.[12] Within these manors and hundreds
he received all royal as well as proprietory rights,[13] and some days
later he was relieved of all fees and fines payable on the receipt of
letters-patent and writs.[14] About the same time provision was made for
him in the shape of 'coursers, trotters, and palfreys' provided for his


Joy and sorrow, triumph and danger, were to succeed one another in
striking contrast all through Humphrey's life, and he was quickly to
learn that it was no untainted privilege to be numbered among kings'
sons. He had just received his first initiation into the pomps and
glories of royal state; he had taken part in one of those triumphal
processions which were the delight of his later years; he had begun to
realise, boy though he was, the pleasant side of high rank and popular
homage; almost immediately he was to learn that there was another side
to the picture, and to experience the first of those frequent attacks
from which the Lancastrian dynasty was never entirely free. After the
coronation festivities were over, he had been taken down to Windsor
together with his brothers and sister, and there his father kept the
Feast of Christmas, surrounded by his family. But all the time a plot
was brewing, and plans were being made for taking the King unawares at a
'momynge,' and destroying both him and his four sons. Warned in time,
Henry hastened to avert the blow. Humphrey and his brothers were taken
in the dead of the night of January 4 to London, and there safely housed
in the Tower, while their father sallied forth to subdue the rebels.
When the conspirators arrived at Windsor they found their quarry had
escaped. Their plans were not sufficiently organised to enable them to
meet this contingency; an attempt to raise the country in the name of
Richard II. failed; they scattered and fled, only to meet their death,
some at the hands of the mob, and others on the scaffold.[16] Humphrey
was too young to realise the import of this unsuccessful plot; indeed,
its lack of success would render it insignificant were it not the
precursor of many similar attempts. It speaks of the strong undercurrent
of opposition to the Lancastrian dynasty, which never ceased to flow
even during the seeming popularity of Henry V.; it shows tendencies
which Humphrey himself would have to face in later life, and which the
lack of statesmanship which was to characterise him and so many of his
house was not calculated to stem. For the present the failure of the
conspiracy only helped to increase his worldly possessions, and he must
have delighted in the tapestry hangings and other spoils taken from the
condemned traitor, the Earl of Huntingdon, which were his share of the
goods forfeited by the conspirators.[17] His property steadily increased
from other sources also, and from time to time we find him the recipient
of some castle or manor at the King's hands.[18]

We hear very little of the events in the life of the boy, but we get an
occasional glimpse of him. Thus he was present at the marriage of his
father to his second wife, Joan of Navarre, widow of the Duke of
Brittany, at Winchester in the early part of 1403, and he welcomed his
future step-mother with a tablet of gold as a wedding present.[19] The
scene soon changed from marriage celebrations to war, and Humphrey now
had his first experience of a battle. The rising of Sir Edmund Mortimer
with the Welsh and Harry Hotspur of the House of Percy called the King
to the north in July, and we are told that his youngest son took part in
the famous battle of Shrewsbury.[20] As the boy was but twelve years old
it is unlikely that he took any active share in the battle, though his
elder brother was grievously wounded;[21] but he was introduced to the
perils which beset the House of Lancaster, even amongst those whom they
had counted as friends, and to the methods of warfare he was later to
practise himself.


The battle of Shrewsbury was an indirect means of conferring yet another
honour on Humphrey. It is probable that he had been elected a Knight of
the Garter early in the reign, at the same time as his eldest brother,
the Prince of Wales, but at that time there was no vacancy for him to
fill.[22] There are no extant records of elections earlier than the
reign of Henry V., in whose first year we find robes provided for
Thomas, John, and Humphrey.[23] These princes, however, were undoubtedly
Knights of the Garter at an earlier date than this, and it is recorded
in the Windsor tables that John succeeded to the stall of the Duke of
York, who died on August 1, 1402.[24] If the three younger sons of Henry
were elected together, and waited to obtain their stalls in order of
age, the first vacancy after John's enrolment would come in 1403, when
Humphrey probably succeeded to the stall of Edmund, Earl of Stafford, or
to that of Hotspur himself, who both fell in the battle of
Shrewsbury.[25] In any case, it is very doubtful that Humphrey had to
wait till a later date than this to be finally received into the Order
of the Garter.

Humphrey had now passed from the state of childhood; two years later we
find him with an establishment of his own at Hadleigh Castle, in
Essex;[26] and again in the following year his position in the line of
succession was definitely arranged.[27] Nevertheless we only catch an
occasional glimpse of him. In 1406 he accompanied his father as escort
to his sister Philippa to Lynn on her way to join her future husband,
the King of Denmark.[28] From Lynn father and son went on a visit to the
Abbey of Bardney, in Lincolnshire, where they arrived on August 21. They
were met at the gates by the Abbot and monks, before whom the King
knelt, and then, rising, proceeded to the High Altar; there the Abbot
delivered a speech of welcome, and Henry, having kissed the relics,
proceeded through the choir and the cloisters to the Abbot's room, where
he was to spend the night. Early in the morning the King heard Mass,
and, accompanied by his sons Thomas and Humphrey and the attendant lords
and clergy, joined a solemn procession round the Abbey. The day ended
with feasting, and on the morrow the King spent much time in the library
amidst the valuable books which the monks had collected or written
themselves. Here, if anywhere, he was accompanied by that youngest son
who was later to be known as the great patron of learning.[29] The early
training of Humphrey, we must remember, was more that of the scholar
than of the soldier or politician.

Having lost both his mother and his father's mother when he was not four
years old, Humphrey had no near relation to whom to look for guidance;
his father was far too deeply concerned in matters of state. He had been
handed over from his earliest years to the tender mercies of one
Katharine Puncherdon, who ministered to his bodily wants,[30] while a
certain priest, by name Thomas Bothwell, was appointed his tutor.[31] Of
his further education we know but little, though it is very probable
that he studied both rhetoric and _res naturales_ at Balliol College,


During the reign of Henry IV. Humphrey took no definite part in public
life; however, we find record of one official appearance when, with his
brothers, he agreed to observe the treaty made in 1412 between the King
of England and the Dukes of Berri, Orleans, and Bourbon.[33] At the time
of his father's death he was present at Westminster, and accompanied the
body in its journey down the river to Gravesend, and thence overland to
Canterbury. After the funeral he returned with his brother, now King
Henry V., to London.[34] At the very beginning of the new reign he was
made Chamberlain of England,[35] an office which entailed his presence
at court 'at the five principall festes of the yeare to take suche
lyvery and servyse after the estate he is of,'[36] and added yet further
to his already extensive possessions lands situated in South Wales,[37]
together with an annuity of five hundred marks for himself and the heirs
male of his body, till such time as an equivalent in land was given
him.[38] Personal danger there was, too, even as there had been when
Henry IV. ascended the throne; an abortive rising of the Lollards
threatened for a moment the lives of the King and his brothers.[39]

The accession of Henry V. increased his youngest brother's dignity, for
besides bringing him a step nearer to the throne, it placed him more on
an equality of age and standing with those in whose hands the government
of the country rested. It may be, too, that the death of his father
changed his future life materially, for his entire absence from all
political functions, and his inactivity, whilst his brothers, little
older than himself, had taken an active part in the management of public
affairs, suggest the impression that he was not destined for a political
career. Moreover, for the first year of his brother's reign, Humphrey de
Lancaster, as he had hitherto been styled,[40] does not appear at all
prominently in public life, and it was not till he was twenty-three
years old--for those times a somewhat advanced age--that he took his
place definitely among the great men of the kingdom. On May 16, 1414,
letters-patent were issued creating him Earl of Pembroke and Duke of
Gloucester, at the same time that his brother John was made Earl of
Kendal and Duke of Bedford. Though only raised to the peerage at this
time, John had already taken his share in the duties of government, and
before this had represented the King in several important offices of
trust. The peerage thus conferred on Humphrey was for life only, and was
accompanied by a modest allowance of £60 to be paid out of the proceeds
of the county of Pembroke; of this £40 was for the maintenance of his
dignity as Duke, and the remaining £20 in respect of his Earldom.[41] At
once the new duke passed from insignificance to prominence. He had had
no education in the duties and responsibilities of high rank and
executive power, but by a stroke of the pen he became one of the chief
men of the kingdom, and by reason of his royal blood took precedence in
the peerage and in the kingdom of the holders of titles of longer


Humphrey was not slow to enter upon the duties of his new rank, and on
the very day of his elevation to the peerage he took his seat in the
Parliament then sitting at Leicester.[43] Here he witnessed the
enactment of severe measures for the repression of the Lollards,[44] in
pursuance of a policy which he himself was later to carry out: heresy,
it must be remembered, was under the Lancastrians a political danger,
for Henry IV. had usurped the throne as the champion of the Church. It
may be, too, that the newly created duke took part in a debate which
dealt with matters of more pressing interest. It has been said that the
negotiations which were proceeding with France were discussed at this
time, but the Rolls of Parliament bear no record of this; be this as it
may, the question of English relations with France had appeared on the
horizon to herald that second phase of the Hundred Years' War, which,
beginning in all its glory with the first appearance of Humphrey of
Gloucester in public life, was to end with its full complement of
disgrace and disaster almost simultaneously with his life.

To Henry at Leicester had come ambassadors from France--two rival
embassies in the interest of the two rival factions in that country.
With an insane king at the head of affairs, France was distraught by the
struggle of Burgundian and Armagnac for the control of the government.
The origin of this bitter strife dated some years back to the murder of
the Duke of Orleans in the streets of Paris at the instigation of the
Duke of Burgundy, in revenge, it is said, for the seduction of his wife
by the murdered man.[45] This personal hatred had rapidly developed into
a political struggle, and it had continued with varying successes till
at the present time Burgundy had been driven from Paris and declared to
be a rebel and an enemy to the kingdom. Thus the Armagnac faction, as
the party of the Orleanists was now called, was for the time supreme,
and it may naturally be supposed that Henry V., if he wished to take
advantage of these internal dissensions in the French kingdom, would
hope to secure more favourable terms from the exiled party, than from
those who held the supremacy. Thus at Leicester the envoys from the Duke
of Burgundy received a warmer welcome than their rivals, and agreed to
sign a defensive and offensive treaty with the English King, whereby
their master promised to help Henry in any attack he might make on
Armagnac territory.[46] The terms of this treaty, however, were not
revealed, and Burgundy denied the existence of any hostile alliance when
he came to a temporary agreement with the Armagnac faction at the Treaty
of Arras in February 1415.[47] The King of England, too, did not cease
to intrigue with both parties, for he was not slow to realise the
advantage which these dissensions gave him. He had meddled in French
politics before he came to the throne, not always to his father's
satisfaction, and now in the spirit of the old crusaders he meant to
take advantage of the sins of France, while at the same time he
fulfilled a divine commission to punish the transgressors. In him France
was to find her true redeemer, the healer of her internal wounds, and to
this end he continued his intrigues with both parties, offering to marry
both Catherine of France and Catherine of Burgundy as a means to
establish his purely illusory claim to the French throne.[48]


Meanwhile, in England, men's minds were turning to war. The martial
glories of Edward III.'s reign were not entirely forgotten, and the
trade interests of the kingdom were not inclined to oppose a policy
which might tend to stop the depredations of French privateers. The
Church, if not absolutely encouraging the war, as has been asserted by
later writers, did nothing to oppose it; dissentients there were, of
course, but for the King's councillors the only question was, with the
help of which party should Henry enter France. The King himself, with
Bedford and the Beauforts, looked to Burgundy as the most likely ally,
whilst Clarence, supported by Gloucester and the Duke of York, favoured
an Armagnac alliance.[49] This divided opinion was a renewal of the
disagreements which had arisen in the court of Henry IV. The younger
Henry had always inclined to the Burgundian alliance which his father
had opposed, and which now was no more favoured by his two brothers. In
the career of Humphrey it is interesting to note that on the first
occasion on which he definitely asserted his opinion he found himself in
opposition to the policy of the Beauforts, who were to be his bitterest
enemies through life, and in alliance with the House of York, the only
family which supported him in the later years of humiliation. Above all,
we must not ignore the fact that he here showed his distrust of
Burgundian methods and Burgundian policy, and that he now opposed an
alliance with a house whose strongest enmity he was to incur at a later
date; that, on the other hand, he advised an Armagnac alliance which was
to form an essential part of his policy in the days when this King
Henry's son was seeking to strengthen himself by a French marriage.
Nothing could give a more accurate forecast of his future life and
policy than the line which Humphrey took on this question, and it helps
to give a strange consistency to his career; to borrow something akin to
prophecy from the darkness of the unknown future.

It is probable that, in spite of his embassies and overtures, Henry
never expected to come to terms with either party; at any rate his
demands from the French King were too preposterous to be taken seriously
as an overture of peace,[50] and at home he never ceased to prepare for
war on a large scale. Ships were secured from Holland and Zealand; money
and munitions of war were collected for the great undertaking;
indentures were entered into with the chief men of the kingdom to serve
abroad with the King, and amongst these we find the names of the Dukes
of Clarence, Gloucester, and York.[51] With these preparations the time
wore on, Humphrey taking his share of the work. In April he appears as a
member of the King's Privy Council for the first time,[52] and in the
previous March he was employed to bring home to the city fathers the
immense advantages of English aggrandisement on the Continent.
Accompanied by the Dukes of Bedford and York, the Archbishop of
Canterbury and the Bishop of Winchester, he went to the Mayor and
Aldermen of the City of London, and, showing great deference to these
civic magnates, joined his associates in persuading them to support the
war with a substantial gift of money.[53] Thus early in his career he
was brought into close contact with the Londoners, who were to prove his
best and most faithful friends.

Though preparations for war had gone so far, negotiations with France
were still pending. The Dauphin, who had taken the place of his demented
father, after exasperating the English with his present of tennis balls
in the previous year,[54] had taken no steps to meet the danger which
threatened his country, and it was only at the instance of the Duke of
Berri, whom he had recently called to his councils, that an embassy was
despatched to meet Henry at Winchester on June 30.[55] The King was
holding his court in the bishop's palace, and there, with his three
brothers standing on his right and Chancellor Beaufort on his left, he
received the ambassadors with all pomp and ceremony. Both this and the
next day were occupied with formal receptions, wherein Gloucester was
specially prominent, for he alone of all the temporal peers was allotted
a special seat at the official banquet, being placed on the King's right
hand. When business began in earnest the Archbishop of Bourges and the
Bishop of Lisieux--'_vir verbosus et arrogans_,' says Walsingham--were
spokesmen for the French, whilst Beaufort spoke for the King of England.
The negotiations lasted till July 6, and were marked by a somewhat more
conciliatory attitude on the English side, but from the first they were
doomed to failure, for neither party meant to give way,[56] and at
length Henry broke up the meeting and dismissed the envoys with every
courteous attention.[57]


War had now become a mere matter of days. After a brief visit to London,
Henry went down to Southampton, whither probably Gloucester had gone
direct from the negotiations at Winchester, and the last preparations
for the expedition against France were being completed, when the young
Earl of March waited on the King, and laid before him the details of a
conspiracy against the House of Lancaster.[58] The Earl of Cambridge--a
worthless brother of the Duke of York--Henry Lord Scrope, and Sir Thomas
Grey of Heton were the authors of the plot, and their plan was to
proclaim an impostor who pretended to be Richard II., and was then in
Scotland, or in default of him the Earl of March himself.[59] At the
time of the discovery the scheme had not been fully developed, as it was
not intended that the matter should come to a head till Henry was safely
employed in France; indeed the only reason that definite action had
been taken, in so far as the Earl of March had been approached, was to
prevent the latter from accompanying the army.[60] There were, however,
traces that the conspiracy was spreading, and rumours were afloat that
the Lollards were going to seize the opportunity of internal
disturbances to strike a blow for their religion.[61] The King was not
slow to act on the information given him. On July 21 he issued a
commission to inquire into the matter, and on August 2 a jury was
empanelled, which indicted the three conspirators for plotting against
the King and his three brothers, the Dukes of Clarence, Bedford, and
Gloucester.[62] Cambridge and Grey confessed their guilt, and threw
themselves on the King's mercy, but Scrope denied any traitorous intent.
Grey as a commoner was executed at once, but the two lords were reserved
for the trial of their peers. Clarence was commissioned to summon a jury
of peers for this purpose, and among those who were called to take part
in the trial were the Duke of York--the brother of one of the
accused--and Gloucester--one of those against whom the conspiracy was
aimed.[63] The accused were condemned to death, and executed the same
day outside the North Gate of Southampton,[64] but the whole procedure
was so irregular that it was considered necessary to legalise it in the
next Parliament.[65]


The danger was past, but there was a lesson and a warning to be gathered
from the plot, though it passed unheeded. Humphrey, now on the threshold
of his public career, was brought face to face with an event which might
have taught him much, but which he failed to understand. This first
Yorkist conspiracy stood in the way, as did the prophets of old, and
foretold destruction and disaster to dynasty and kingdom if this
iniquitous and foolish French war were really undertaken. It showed that
there was a party in England which was opposed to the Lancastrian House,
and it pointed unmistakably to the time when civil war would drive out
the reigning dynasty. That Henry could have foreseen all the results of
his mistaken policy is impossible, but no ruler with the slightest claim
to be considered a statesman would have set up the false idea of foreign
conquest as an antidote to dissensions at home. This policy was no
remedy; it postponed the struggle only to enhance its bitterness and to
aggravate its disastrous results. Henry was blind to the signs which had
appeared on the political horizon to herald the coming storm, but this
very inability to gauge the significance of events has made him the idol
of successive generations of his countrymen, who care not for his policy
and its results, but appreciate only the dramatic setting of his life.
It was just this dramatic quality of the French wars which appealed to
Henry's youngest brother. In an age when the artistic side of life was
totally ignored by Englishmen, he was beginning to breathe the
atmosphere of new ideas, which rendered him susceptible to the charm of
large conceptions and dramatic episodes. He was at once attracted by the
brilliant aspect of this French policy with its splendid dreams of
territorial aggrandisement. But while Henry adopted the French war as a
policy, Humphrey saw in it not so much a policy as an idea, an idea
which he worshipped to the day of his death. Thus in estimating
Gloucester's later actions we must remember whence they took their
origin, and we must not forget his training in the policy of his eldest
brother. Both were blind to the folly of attacking France, but while the
King was to die before the results of his actions appeared, Humphrey was
to live on till the fields were ripe for harvest, and to die only on
the eve of that day when the harvest was gathered in. Thus from the
Southampton conspiracy he might have learnt the dangers which the French
war would foster, he might have learnt the lesson that a united aim and
common action were necessary for the prosperity of the House of
Lancaster, but he was deaf to the teaching of the incident. To
understand Gloucester's life-history, therefore, we must carefully
consider the early years of his active life, the training he received in
the wars of Henry V., and the attractiveness to a man of his temperament
of the false ideals taught him by his famous brother.


The discovery of the Southampton plot only delayed Henry so long as was
necessary to punish the offenders, and on August 7 he left the castle of
Porchester, where he had been staying, and embarked on board his ship
_The Trinity_. His preparations were now complete, and by Sunday the
11th, all the vessels he had called together for the transhipment of the
army had arrived, to the number of at least fifteen hundred sail.[66]
Never before had so large or so strong a fleet ridden in Southampton
Water,[67] and yet they were barely sufficient for the men they had to
carry, for the army consisted of some two thousand men-at-arms and six
thousand mounted and unmounted archers, though the accounts of the
numbers vary considerably.[68] We can only approximately estimate the
proportion which Gloucester's retinue bore to the whole; his indenture
has not survived, but we have evidence from other sources. When making
his indentures, or contracts for service, with the leading noblemen of
the kingdom, Henry had paid them in advance for the first quarter, and
had deposited jewels with them for the second quarter.[69] To his
youngest brother there were pledged two purses of gold 'garnished with
jewels' valued at £2000 each,[70] and from this one authority calculates
that he was intended to serve with a hundred and twenty-nine lances and
six hundred archers.[71] However, in the unpublished collections for
Rymer's _Foedera_ the retinue is estimated at two hundred men-at-arms
and six hundred horse archers,[72] which seems to be more proportionate
to the money paid to Humphrey. If we take the wages of a man-at-arms to
be one shilling a day and that of an archer sixpence, the sum-total with
allowances for higher payments to bannerets and knights, and to the Duke
himself, comes to something approaching £3000. The surplus of £1000
might be accounted for by the fact that in some cases wages might be on
a higher scale; indeed by 1437 a horse archer was often in receipt of
eightpence a day.[73] Moreover, it may be that in view of the fact that
the army was not to be permitted to plunder the country through which it
might pass, a wider margin than usual was allowed to those who
contracted for men. Edward III. in his wars had liberally compensated
for losses in the campaign, even to the length of paying for horses lost
in action, and it may be that Henry V. made allowance for this in his
contracts. There seems therefore to be ample evidence that the indenture
of jewels speaks to a retinue which numbered approximately two hundred
lances and six hundred archers, thus preserving the ratio between the
two kinds of soldiers usual at the time, though later in the French wars
the lances became a still smaller percentage of the sum-total of
fighting men. Conflicting evidence to this is found in a muster of
Humphrey's men held at Mikilmarch near Romsey on July 16, where only six
hundred and sixty-eight names appear on the register,[74] but as on that
day several captains had only one or two men serving under them, and
two had none at all, it is very probable that their numbers were not the
same as when they sailed almost a month later. Still further reason for
accepting the larger number as accurate is given by the record we have
of Gloucester's retinue at Agincourt. Here he was at the head of a
hundred and forty-two lances and four hundred and six archers,[75] and
this alone would refute the estimate of a hundred and twenty-nine lances
and six hundred archers. Moreover, it is recorded that at Harfleur he
lost two hundred and thirty-six men,[76] though some of these were
_valets_ and _garçons_ who did not rank as combatants, but were the
grooms of the men-at-arms and the attendants of the baggage horses.
According to these figures his original retinue must have numbered about
seven hundred and fifty men, and so we may reckon that he sailed from
Southampton with close on eight hundred fighting men, that is roughly
the two hundred lances and six hundred archers of the Rymer collections.

It was on Tuesday, August 13, that the ships bearing the English army
entered the mouth of the Seine and cast anchor near the 'Chef de Caux,'
about three miles from the town of Harfleur.[77] Caux was a little
fortress strengthened by nature and the arts of war,[78] and besides
this outpost Harfleur had a protection against the advancing English in
a series of dikes and earthworks thrown diagonally across the line of
approach.[79] Scouts, however, reported that these lines were totally
unguarded, whether from lack of men or from the Constable d'Albret's
contempt of the enemy.[80] With the danger attending a landing of his
troops thus removed, Henry disembarked on the vigil of the Assumption
together with his two brothers, falling on his knees as he reached the
dry land and praying to God to uphold his cause. His men were encamped
on some rising ground, and edicts for the government of the army were
issued, chief amongst which were strong prohibitions against the
molestation of non-combatants and clergy, and against the spoliation of


Humphrey had now fairly embarked on his first campaign. Ignorant of war,
and unused even to military methods and the life of the field, we shall
not meet with him very frequently in the operations of this year. He was
learning the lessons not only of war, but of all public life and
deportment, for as the youngest son of Henry IV. he had been kept in
greater seclusion than his brothers. Clarence, though only three years
his senior, had had experience in the management of men and in the
conduct of affairs as lieutenant of the King both in Ireland and in
Aquitaine, but Humphrey was new to all this, and the campaign is useful
to us, not so much as the scene of his activity, but as the school in
which he learnt the soldier's trade. It was a hard school too, for the
English needed stout hearts; they were embarking on an expedition which
might take them far from their base, and this, too, at a time of year
when military operations would be made difficult by the wintry weather.

For four days Henry remained inactive, resting his troops and bringing
up the heavy guns and siege apparatus from the ships. Then, having kept
the feast of the Assumption in due form, he advanced towards Harfleur on
August 17.[82] The Duke of Clarence commanded the van, while Michael de
la Pole, Earl of Suffolk, led the rear;[83] Gloucester was presumably
with the King and the main body of the army. Though a small town,
Harfleur was well fortified, and had been recently provisioned. It stood
a little back from the estuary of the Seine, with the river Lazarde
running through its midst, and possessed good strong walls with three
gates, one on the western side, where the English army first appeared,
and two on the east.[84] The English were at first unable to blockade
the town entirely, as they could not at once reach the eastern side,
owing to the damming of the river, which had consequently spread into a
large lake round the northern wall. The delay caused by this inundation
enabled the Sire de Gaucourt to enter Harfleur with reinforcements, and
so to prevent any further help from reaching the garrison Clarence was
despatched on the night of August 18 with orders to march round the
floods, and invest the eastern side of the town. On the way he met and
defeated still further reinforcements and munitions of war on their way
to Harfleur, and by the next day he had entirely shut in that part of
the walls for which he was responsible.[85] On the sea side the English
ships came to the mouth of the harbour, which was strongly protected by
two towers on either side of the entrance, and by a chain drawn across
from tower to tower. However, all attempts made by the garrison to drive
off these ships were fruitless, while the floods to the north were
patrolled by English boats,[86] so that by these means all communication
with the city by water was cut off, and, with the King's division
enclosing the western walls, the blockade was complete.


It was with the King's division that Gloucester had his station, and to
him the care of the siege on this side was committed, with the Duke of
York and the Earl Marshal near him.[87] His chief duty was the
bombardment of the town, from which it would seem that he had already
shown his readiness to espouse new ideas, and that his later fame as a
patron of scholars was preceded by a study of the art of war and of the
new engines which now made siege work so much more possible than
formerly. At any rate, in the hand-to-hand fighting of the old style,
which took place when the besieged sallied forth from the town, we find
other captains in command, though we read that where the fighting was
heaviest, there did the King station his youngest brother.[88]
Humphrey's chief work was to organise and direct the attack on his side
of the town, and it may seem strange that one, who had had no experience
of war in the past, should be given so important a post. The explanation
of the trust thus placed in Gloucester may be twofold. He had had no
opportunity hitherto of showing his capabilities, and the King may have
wished to try his metal at this early stage of the campaign, to know how
far he could trust him. It is also just possible that he had a more
complete grasp of the theory of military operations, and in especial of
the use of cannon, than the untrained nobles of the English army, and
that it was therefore as a student more than as a soldier that he won
his first laurels in the field.

We hear a good deal of the siege engines which Humphrey made use of at
the siege of Harfleur. They were of heavier metal and threw larger
missiles than any guns hitherto seen in an English army, and they
bombarded the barbicans before the gate and the walls to such good
effect, that it was only the valiant pertinacity of the besieged that
prevented an almost immediate surrender.[89] Moreover, the gunners
worked in relays, so that the cannonade was kept up incessantly
throughout the day, and were protected by shelters so constructed that
they could be lowered for the purpose of taking aim and then raised
again,[90] new methods possibly due to the ingenuity of Gloucester. On
the east, Clarence carried on operations by means of mines, and the King
directed similar operations on his side, but these had to be begun in
the open under the fire of the besieged, and were met by countermines
from the town, which defeated their object.[91] Throughout his excellent
account of the siege, the author of the _Gesta Henrici Quinti_ tries the
merits of the tactics employed on the English side by the maxims of one
'Magister Ægidius.'[92] This 'Master Giles' must have been Ægidius
Romanus who wrote _De Regimine Principum_, a work very popular at the
time, though it dated from a period before cannon were used. It was
probably from this book that Gloucester obtained some of his knowledge
of military matters, for when in later life he presented his books to
the University of Oxford, a copy of this treatise was found amongst the
volumes which comprised the gift,[93] and he at the same time retained a
French copy of the work in his private library.[94]


For a month the siege was strenuously carried on, the defence being as
determined as the attack. The breaches in the walls were filled up with
faggots and tubs of earth, clay was spread in the streets to prevent the
splintering of the missiles that fell there,[95] and on one occasion an
English bastion was captured and fired.[96] But time began to tell on
the brave little garrison, and they sent an urgent appeal for help to
Paris. No relief came, and the English were gradually drawing nearer to
the town, till on September 16 part of the outworks was captured.[97] On
the next day Henry summoned Harfleur to surrender, even as he had done
at the beginning of the siege, but though negotiations were opened they
came to nothing, and the English prepared for a great assault on the
morrow. Meanwhile, Gloucester's cannon were kept busily at work, so that
the besieged might have no rest. The assault, however, was never made,
for during the night the French determined to acknowledge defeat, and in
the morning De Gaucourt agreed to surrender the town if not relieved
before the next Sunday, September 22. At the same time, with the
permission of the English, another appeal for relief was sent to
Paris,[98] but again it was disregarded, to the everlasting shame of the
French Government says even an Armagnac chronicler.[99] There was
therefore no sign of the approach of a relieving force, when, on the
appointed Sunday, Henry entered his first conquest on French soil.[100]

Thus fell what Waurin calls 'the chief port of Normandy and the best
base the English could have for their military operations,'[101] but the
pomp and grandeur with which Henry made his entry into the town, did not
serve to conceal the way the siege had thinned the rank of besiegers as
well as besieged. The warm days of August and September, together with
the stagnant water which lay around the town, had done their worst, and,
if we can believe a French chronicler, the food of the English had not
been of the best, as the sea had tainted their provisions.[102] At all
events fever and dysentery had raged in the camp, and among those who
had died were Richard Courtenay, Bishop of Norwich, and the Earl of
Suffolk.[103] Moreover, the Duke of Clarence was too ill for further
campaigning, and he was accompanied by a large number of the soldiers
when he went back to England, leaving the heavier siege guns at Calais
on his way.[104] The army was still further thinned by the loss of the
contingent assigned to the Earl of Dorset, who was made Captain of
Harfleur.[105] The captive town was treated with justice, if not with
leniency. Thirty of the principal citizens were held to ransom, whilst
the minor citizens were given the option of taking the oath of
allegiance or of departing with their goods.[106] The captain and his
principal followers were allowed at large on condition of surrendering
on November 11 at Calais.[107]

Henry spent a fortnight at Harfleur, making arrangements for the
security of the town, and awaiting an answer to a bombastic and wholly
superfluous challenge to personal combat which he had sent to the
Dauphin.[108] On October 8 he set out to march from Harfleur to
Calais,[109] with some 900 men-at-arms and 5000 archers.[110] Of this
number Gloucester's share must have been the 142 lancers and 406
archers, which we find in his retinue at Agincourt.[111] With this small
army it was very rash to challenge the forces of France, and a council
of war had asserted it in no measured terms, but Henry felt that in
honour he could not recede, and, putting his trust in God and in his
righteous cause--as we are told--he set forth to invite a pitched battle
with the enemy.[112]


The story of this memorable march has been so often told that it is
unnecessary to give a detailed account of it here, more especially as
Gloucester took no part in the management of the army; not once does his
name appear in the pages of any chronicler till the day of Agincourt.
His post till then was with the main body under the King himself, while
Sir John Cornwall led the van, and the Duke of York with the Earl of
Oxford commanded the rear.[113] Passing Fécamp and Arques, the English
army met with some slight resistance at Eu,[114] but without delaying
there went on towards Abbeville, where Henry had intended to cross the
Somme. News, however, came through a Gascon prisoner that the bridges
over the river were broken down, and that the ford of Blanche-Taque was
guarded by the French, so there was no alternative but to march inland
and to seek for a passage higher up the Somme.[115] The French
chroniclers declare that this report was untrue, and one complains
bitterly of the mistake, which ultimately procured the defeat of France
in a battle that, had it not been for the Gascon's story, would never
have been fought.[116] The English army, therefore, having turned to the
right, left Amiens on the left, and passed by Boves and Corbie to the
neighbourhood of Nesle, preparing all the time for French resistance,
and the archers in particular providing themselves with those sharp
stakes, which were to stand them in such good stead in the day of
battle.[117] Meanwhile, the eight days' food that the soldiers had
brought with them from Harfleur was exhausted, and besides present
shortage of provender they anticipated worse things when they reached a
district harried by the French cavalry.[118] Near Nesle, however, a ford
was found, and though a marsh flanked him on one side and the river on
the other, Henry got his men along the two narrow causeways which led to
the crossing and across the Somme itself without interference from the
enemy, who probably thought that their opponents were as numerous as the
French chroniclers afterwards declared them to have been.[119] The Somme
was crossed on the 19th, and disregarding a challenge from the Armagnac
chiefs, Henry continued steadily on his way to Calais by way of Peronne,
where he fell in with the tracks of the French army, and learnt for the
first time the large numbers he would have to fight.[120] Nothing
daunted, he encouraged the flagging spirits of his men, and on Thursday,
October 24, he lay at Maisoncelles with his army encamped around
him.[121] The French lay within earshot, and both armies endured the
full force of the rain and storm of a wild night, but while revel and
rejoicing prevailed among the French soldiers, the English knew that on
the morrow they would have to meet the alternative of victory or
annihilation, and the King's command to be silent and watchful was
rigidly obeyed.[122]


The day of Crispin and Crispinian broke bright and clear to find the
English army already preparing for the battle, which was now inevitable,
since the French lay across the road which led to Calais. About a mile
divided the two armies, which were both on slightly elevated ground.
Both sides were at a disadvantage from one point of view, for while the
French were numerous and confined within a narrow strip of open ground
between two stretches of woodland, the English were few and had a large
front to cover; consequently the former were drawn up in three lines and
huddled together, while the latter, stretched across in one thin line,
brought their full force into action at the same time.[123] The French
were disorganised, and their leaders quarrelled not only as to the
advantage of offering battle, but also as to their respective positions
in the fight.[124] Ultimately those in favour of action prevailed, and
the Constable d'Albret took command of the first division of dismounted
cross-bowmen and archers, these last, however, being put behind the
first line and thus rendered useless. Next came the Dukes of Bar and
Alençon leading the second division, and behind them again were the
Counts of Marle, Dammartin, and Fauquenberg. Cavalry were posted on
either flank.[125] The Duke of Burgundy was unrepresented in the army,
as he had forbidden his vassals to serve under any one but himself, and
we are told that his son Philip never ceased to bewail this enforced
absence from the battle.[126]

On the English side the archers were drawn up in wedges pointing towards
the enemy, with the men-at-arms in line between them. On the right was
the van under the command of the Duke of York, Lord Camoys with the
rearguard held the left, while the King commanded the centre, where,
among others, Gloucester led a squadron of his own.[127] All the
English, noble as well as humble, fought on foot, and though the chief
men were fully armed as was the King, the archers were almost entirely
without protective armour.[128] Beyond a few soldiers with the baggage,
all Henry's men were concentrated in the one fighting line,[129] for
there is not sufficient evidence to prove the existence of the ambushed
archers on the wings described by some writers.[130] The English
advanced to within half a mile of the enemy, and there halted, while
heralds were sent forward to offer terms of peace, but the refusal of
Henry to renounce his claim to the French throne proved an insuperable
obstacle to any pacification.[131] It was thus ten o'clock before the
King gave the final order to attack, and with a shout the archers
advanced again, this time to within bowshot, and opened fire. The French
cavalry failed in their attempt to ride them down, thanks to the stakes
planted between them and their opponents, and they fled back to spread
confusion in the first line.[132] This division, splitting into three
parts, advanced before d'Albret gave the word, but after a brief
moment's success, only to be shattered by the concentrated fire of the
English archers. Seizing the advantage thus given him, Henry ordered his
men to charge, and they, discarding the protection of their palisade,
rushed out, the men-at-arms with their lances, the archers with axes and
other promiscuous weapons. With the cry of 'Saint George and merry
England,' they pierced the first line of the enemy, and engaged the
second in hand-to-hand combat.[133] The French could not withstand this
rush, and hampered by their close array, broke and fled.

In the forefront of this charge was Humphrey at the head of his men,
exposing himself to every danger and fighting like a lion.[134]

          'The Duke of Glowcestre also that tyde,
          Manfully with his mayne,
          Wonder he wroght ther wondere wyde.'[135]


But his courage, bordering on rashness,[136] took him too far in advance
of his men, and when Alençon, having rallied some of the second
division, together with those of the third division who had not fled
without striking a blow, broke into the English ranks and caught him
unawares, Gloucester fell severely wounded 'in the hammes,' and lay
helpless on his back with his feet towards the enemy. His men would have
left him for dead, had not the King rushed forward with reinforcements,
and standing between his brother's legs, kept the enemy at bay till the
wounded duke had been removed to a place of safety.[137]

By the time that this was accomplished the day was won. The last effort
of the French, which had almost proved fatal to Humphrey, had been
checked, and Alençon himself lay dead upon the field. Beyond a scare
caused by the belief that some of the flying enemy who sacked the
English baggage in the rear were reinforcements sent from Paris--a
mistake which caused the cold-blooded murder of many French prisoners of
war--the day was thereafter devoid of incident.[138]

The English had fought valiantly, and though their King had set them a
great example, it is Gloucester whom several chroniclers pick out for
special praise. Henry's chaplain, to whom we owe much of our knowledge
of the campaign, thanks God fervently for his escape,[139] whilst others
speak of his deeds of valour and Lydgate writes:

          'The Duke of Gloucestre that is so nay
            That day full worthyly he wroughte,
          On every syde he made good way,
            The Frenshemen faste to grounde he brought,'[140]

and his somewhat fervid biographer of a later date quaintly assures us
that though 'he lost much blood and his spiritts spent with toils and
labour, yett was not his manly courage at all abated, nor his strong
stomach at all quelled.'[141] This was the only pitched battle in which
Humphrey ever took part, and he acquitted himself valiantly therein. His
impetuous temperament had come near to costing him his life, and it is
well that we have this definite and indisputable evidence of his
courage, for in one episode of his later life he came near to incurring
the accusation of cowardice; indeed, were it not for this and other
evidences of his personal valour in war, we should be entirely misled as
to the true meaning of his failure when in command of his own army in
his own quarrel.

The English losses were but few, though even hardened soldiers were
appalled at the heaps of French dead lying on the field, including the
Constable d'Albret, the Admiral Dampierre, and the Dukes of Alençon,
Bar, and Brabant, the last being Burgundy's brother who had only reached
the battle when the day was lost.[142] On the English side the Duke of
York and the Earl of Suffolk--son of the man who died before
Harfleur--were the only notable victims.[143] Early next morning the
army moved off, bearing Gloucester with them, and three days later the
King entered Calais. On November 16 he sailed for England, but
Gloucester was left behind to recover from his wound, so that he did not
take part in Henry's reception at Dover, or in his triumphal entry into
London when the city turned out in force to welcome its conquering


  [1] Prutz, p. lxx.

  [2] See Bolingbroke's _Chamberlain's Accounts_, Prutz, 99;
         _Expeditions of Derby_, 107. _William of Worcester_, ii. 443,
         gives the date of Humphrey's birth as 1390. Holkham MS., p.
         7, ventures on the entirely imaginary date of June 3, 1393.

  [3] See Doyle, ii. 317, and under the title 'Hereford.'

  [4] _Duchy of Lancaster Accounts_ (_Various_), Bundle i. No. 6.

  [5] _Duchy of Lancaster Accounts_ (_Various_), Bundle iv. No. 1.

  [6] _Ibid._

  [7] Elmham, _Vita_, 5.

  [8] See Anstis, _Order of the Bath_ (Observations Introductory).

  [9] _Liberatio Pannorum in Magna Garderoba_, printed in Anstis,
         _Order of the Bath_, 22. Cf. Fabyan, 565; Holinshed, iii. 3.

  [10] Cotton MS., Julius, B. ii. f. 45. Cf. Froissart's _Chronicle_,
         Book iv. C. 16.

  [11] Gregory, 102; Fabyan, 565.

  [12] _Rot. Pat., 1 Henry IV._, Part iv. m. 7; Add. MS. 15,664, f.

  [13] _Rot. Pat., 1 Henry IV._, Part viii. m. 1.

  [14] _Ibid._, Part v. m. 24.

  [15] _Lord Treasurer's Remembrancers_, Roll xi. m. 12, printed in
         Wylie, iv. 219.

  [16] _Chron. Henry IV._, 7, 8; _Annales Henrici Quarti_, 323-330;
         _Lond. Chron._, 86; Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 243-245;
         Higden, f. 150vo; _Chronique des Pays Bas_, 316-325.

  [17] _Rot. Pat., 2 Henry IV._, Part ii. m. 22.

  [18] See _Cal. Rot. Pat._, 245-249, 251, 256; _Rot. Parl._, iii.

  [19] _Queen's Remem. Ward. Acct._, printed in Wylie, iv. 205; Devon,
         _Issue Roll_, 294.

  [20] Waurin, ii. 61.

  [21] Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 258; Gregory, 103; Elmham,
         _Vita_, 7.

  [22] Beltz, p. clv. Humphrey's name occurs as a creation of Henry
         IV. in the list in Ashmole, _Order of the Garter_, 506.

  [23] Anstis, _Order of the Garter_, i. 14.

  [24] Beltz, p. clv.

  [25] _Ibid._

  [26] Rymer, IV. i. 76.

  [27] _Ibid._, IV. i. 106; cf. _Chron. Henry IV._, 49.

  [28] Capgrave, _Chron. of Eng._, 292; Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii.
         274; _Chron. Henry IV._, 49.

  [29] Leland, _Collectanea_, vi. 300, 301.

  [30] _Duc. Lanc. Accounts (Various)_, Bundle iv. No. 1.

  [31] _Ibid._; _Receiver Gen. Rec._, 1 _Henry IV._ Holkham MS., p. 7,
         says that Humphrey was 'instructed in the fundamentals of
         good literature' by Sir Lewis Clifford, but there is no known
         authority for this statement.

  [32] Bale (1559 edition), 583. He does not mention it in his 1548
         edition, which seems to imply that he was using some newly
         acquired authority, though of course implicit confidence
         cannot be placed in the statement. Leland, _Commentarii_,
         422, follows Bale's later statements.

  [33] Rymer, iv. ii. 14, 15.

  [34] Waurin, ii. 162.

  [35] May 7, 1413. _Rot. Pat._, 1 _Henry V._, Part iii. m. 44.

  [36] Such at least were the duties of the Chamberlain under Edward
         IV.; _Ordinances of the Household_, 29.

  [37] _Rot. Pat._, 1 _Henry V._, Part v. m. 8.

  [38] _Ibid._, Part iv. m. 4.

  [39] Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 297.

  [40] _Rot. Pat._, 6 _Henry IV._, Part i. m. 25.

  [41] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 17, 443.

  [42] _Ibid._, iv. 270.

  [43] _Ibid._, iv. 17.

  [44] _Ibid._, iv. 24.

  [45] Basin, i. 5, 6; St. Rémy also hints this.

  [46] The original MS. of this treaty is preserved at Dijon. See De
         Beaucourt, i. 132, 133.

  [47] Des Ursins, 502.

  [48] Rymer, IV. i. 77, 79, 80; Des Ursins, 500.

  [49] Des Ursins, 500.

  [50] See St. Rémy, 586.

  [51] Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 305; St. Rémy, 387, 388; St.
         Denys, v. 499.

  [52] _Ordinances_, ii. 153.

  [53] _Memorials of London_, 604, 605, document printed from the City
         of London Letter Book, i. f. cl. London lent Henry 10,000
         marks, Rymer, IV. ii. 141.

  [54] Capgrave, _De Illustribus Henricis_, 114; Lydgate's poem
         printed in _Lond. Chron._, Appendix, p. 216.

  [55] Monstrelet, 361, 362; St. Denys, v. 501.

  [56] An earlier embassy to France had reported that the French were
         behaving treacherously (Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 301),
         whilst these French envoys reported on their return that
         Henry had never meant to come to terms (St. Denys, v.
         531-533). Such distrust of each other's intentions made an
         agreement impossible.

  [57] Monstrelet, 363; Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 305; St. Denys,
         v. 513-525; St. Rémy, 387, 388; Redmayne, 32-37.

  [58] Holkham MS., p. 13, ascribes the discovery of the conspiracy to
         the 'prudence and careful circumspection' of Gloucester.

  [59] Edmund, Earl of March, was the grandson of Philippa, daughter
         of Lionel, Duke of Clarence, third son of Edward III., and so
         had a claim to the throne of England as a descendant of that
         King by an elder line than Henry V., who claimed through John
         of Gaunt, the younger brother of Lionel, Duke of Clarence.

  [60] St. Rémy. 389.

  [61] Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 306, 307.

  [62] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 65; Stowe, 346, 347.

  [63] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 66. Probably the Duke of York was made to
         serve in order to minimise the dynastic aspect of the plot.

  [64] _Eng. Chron._, 40. See also Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii.
         305-307; Redmayne, 41. Certain hitherto unused matter with
         regard to this conspiracy is to be found in the Deputy
         Keeper's Forty-third Report, 579-594.

  [65] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 64.

  [66] _Gesta_, 13; Hardyng's _Journal_, 389; Walsingham, _Hist.
         Angl._, ii. 307. Cotton MS., Claudius, A. VIII. f. 2, says
         there were only three hundred and twenty sail.

  [67] Elmham, _Vita_, 35.

  [68] For discussion of probable number of army, see Ramsay, i. 200,
         and Kingsford, 137, note.

  [69] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 320.

  [70] _Ordinances_, iii. 9.

  [71] Hunter's _Tracts_, i. 21, 22.

  [72] Printed in Nicholas's _Agincourt_, 373.

  [73] _Ordinances_, v. 26.

  [74] Hunter's _Tracts_, i. 21, 22.

  [75] Nicholas's _Agincourt_, 333-336.

  [76] Hunter's _Tracts_, i. 22.

  [77] _Gesta_, 13; Elmham, _Vita_, 36, 37.

  [78] Elmham, _Vita_, 40.

  [79] _Gesta_, 15; Hardyng's _Journal_, 389.

  [80] So at least says St. Denys, v. 535.

  [81] Elmham, _Vita_, 37-39; _Gesta_, 15; Livius, 8; Walsingham,
         _Hist. Angl._, ii. 307; Hardyng's _Journal_, 389.

  [82] _Gesta_, 15, 19; Hardyng's _Journal_, 389; Elmham, _Vita_, 38,
         39; St. Denys, v. 537; Delpit, _Doc. Fr._, 217, No. CCCXXIX.

  [83] Livius, 8.

  [84] _Gesta_, 16, 17.

  [85] Elmham, _Vita_, 38-41; _Gesta_, 20; Livius, 9; Hardyng's
         _Journal_, 389.

  [86] Elmham, _Vita_, 42; Livius, 10.

  [87] Elmham, _Vita_, 42. Livius, 9, says that Gloucester was given
         control over the whole siege. He is followed by Stow, 348.
         This, however, is very improbable.

  [88] Elmham, _Vita_, 42.

  [89] Hardyng's _Journal_, 389; Elmham, _Vita_, 43.

  [90] St. Denys, v. 537; _Gesta_, 21.

  [91] _Gesta_, 22, 24, 25; Hardyng's _Journal_, 389; Livius, 10;
         Waurin, ii 184.

  [92] _Gesta_, 26.

  [93] _Epist. Acad._, 237. For a short account of Ægidius de Columna
         (Romanus), who lived from 1296 to 1316, see W. Cave,
         _Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Historia Literaria_ (Oxford,
         1743), ii. 340.

  [94] Cambridge University Library MS., Ee. 2. 17.

  [95] _Gesta_, 23, 24.

  [96] _Ibid._, 27.

  [97] _Ibid._, 28.

  [98] _Gesta_, 29-32; Elmham, _Vita_, 46, 47; Hardyng's _Journal_,
         390; Delpit, _Doc. Fr._, 217, No. CCCXXIX.

  [99] St. Denys, v. 542.

  [100] St. Rémy, 391. The two castles at the mouth of the harbour
         held out for two more days; Waurin, ii. 187.

  [101] 'Le souverain port de toute Northmandie, et le plus
         prouffitable pour leur guerre mener en ce quartier'; Waurin,
         ii. 184.

  [102] Monstrelet, 367. Elmham, _Vita_, 44, denies the scarcity of

  [103] _Gesta_, 26, 27, 31.

  [104] Waurin, ii. 187; Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 309. The Earls
         of March and Arundel and the Earl Marshal also returned home.

  [105] Delpit, _Doc. Fr._, 217, No. CCCXXIX.; Livius, 11.

  [106] Livius, 10.

  [107] _Gesta_, 34; St. Rémy, 391. Complaint of the Sieur de Gaucourt
         printed in Nicholas's _Agincourt_, App. VI. p. 25.

  [108] Rymer, IV. ii. 147.

  [109] _Gesta_, 36, which, however, gives October 7 in another place.
         Hardyng gives October 1, but he is a week too early all
         through. Waurin, ii. 188, says the English stopped a
         fortnight at Harfleur.

  [110] So _Gesta_, 36; Hardyng's _Journal_, 390; but Waurin, ii. 188,
         gives 2000 lances and 14,000 archers, an absurd estimate.
         _See_ Nicholas's _Agincourt_, 78, where it is concluded that
         Henry had between six and nine thousand men.

  [111] Roll of men at Agincourt printed in Nicholas's _Agincourt_,

  [112] _Gesta_, 36; Livius, 11, 12.

  [113] Waurin, ii. 188.

  [114] _Gesta_, 37; Elmham, _Vita_, 52: Livius, 13.

  [115] _Gesta_, 39; Hardyng's _Journal_, 390; Waurin, ii. 191;
         Monstrelet, 371.

  [116] St. Rémy, 393. Cf. Waurin, ii, 191.

  [117] _Gesta_, 42. Stow, 349, attributes these stakes to the
         forethought of the Duke of York.

  [118] Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 310.

  [119] _Gesta_, 43, 44; St. Rémy, 393; Waurin, ii. 193; Monstrelet,

  [120] Livius, 14; Elmham, _Vita_, 54, 55; Waurin, ii. 195; _Gesta_,

  [121] Monstrelet, 373; St. Rémy, 396; Elmham, _Vita_, 58, 59.

  [122] _Gesta_, 47; Livius, 16; St. Rémy, 396.

  [123] St. Rémy, 397, 399.

  [124] Des Ursins, 518.

  [125] Waurin, ii. 211; St. Rémy, 399; _Gesta_, 49.

  [126] Monstrelet, 369; St. Rémy, 395. For the letters which passed
         between the Duke of Burgundy and the King of France at this
         time, see Des Ursins, 510-518.

  [127] _Gesta_, 50; St. Rémy, 397; Redmayne, 43.

  [128] St. Rémy. 400.

  [129] _Gesta_, 50; Basin, i. 20.

  [130] St. Rémy, 398. Cf. Des Ursins, 520.

  [131] Des Ursins, 518.

  [132] _Gesta_, 52; St. Rémy, 400.

  [133] _Gesta_, 53; St. Rémy, 400.

  [134] Livius, 20; _Gesta_, 59.

  [135] _Polit. Songs_, ii. 125. This poem is also printed in
         Nicholas's _Agincourt_, 281.

  [136] _Dux incautius_, Livius, 20. _Indiscreet hardiness_, Holkham
         MS., p. 14.

  [137] Livius, 20; Elmham, _Vita_, 67; _Gesta_, 59; Redmayne, 47. Cf.
         Stow, 350; Holkham MS., p. 15.

  'Hic frater Regis Humfredus nobilis est Dux Inguine percursus;
         defluit ense cruor Huic ad humum presso Rex succurrendo
         superstans Fratris defensor hoc in agone fuit.'

  Elmham, _Liber Metricus_, 121.

  [138] _Gesta_, 55; Livius, 20; Elmham, _Vita_, 68; St. Rémy, 401.

  [139] _Gesta_, 59.

  [140] Poem printed in Nicholas's _Agincourt_, 323, and also at the
         end of _Lond. Chron._

  [141] Holkham MS., p. 15.

  [142] _Gesta_, 58; Basin, i. 23.

  [143] _Gesta_, 58; Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 313.

  [144] St. Rémy, 402; _Lond. Chron._, 102; _Gesta_, 59; Elmham,
         _Vita_, 71. There is a long account of the entry into London
         in the _Gesta_, 61-68, and in Lydgate's poem printed in
         _Lond. Chron._, 231-233.



With the battle of Agincourt the days of Humphrey's apprenticeship end,
and we find him fairly embarked on his public career. That career
assumes a threefold aspect, but at the same time there are certain
definite threads of temperament and character which run through all the
web of his life. We shall find him first busy in the French wars as the
capable and trusted lieutenant of his royal brother; later for a brief
space he will be found aping the ambitions of his grandfather, striving
for recognition as prince of an European state; finally, the third and
most lasting phase of his career will find him amidst the unlovely
strife of party politics. Soldier, Pretender, Politician, in all these
rôles Humphrey stands forth as a distinct personality. Not that he has
the great gifts of concentration and consistency, not that he is one of
those happy men who have a gospel to preach and know it; he was of all
men lacking in determination, and if his policy does not waver, his
carrying out thereof is fitful and uncertain. His interests were those
of the moment, his policy was mapped out on no organised plan, but the
same spirit inspires his every action. Ambition and instability were
manifest throughout his life, and though he had always before him the
same clear object--self-aggrandisement--there was no consistency in the
methods he used to secure his end. Thus we shall find him at one moment
a patriotic Englishman, at another nothing less than the subverter of
the nation's welfare, but before him there was always the same selfish
object which was to destroy his power of usefulness, and make him a
patriot only when his own interests and those of the nation were
identical. In the first stage of his career this influence of his
character is not so clearly apparent, but even here we can trace what
eventually became so plain. Till the death of Henry V. he was dominated
by the overpowering personality of his brother, and it was only when he
strove to stand alone that the glaring weakness of his character became
evident. It is then with care and diligence that we must examine
Gloucester's military career under the guidance of his brother, if we
are to find the connecting-link between his earlier and later actions.

Humphrey's wound was not so long in healing as might have been
expected,[145] and he was soon back in England. Henceforward he was one
of the King's trusty warriors, and the war indeed was to monopolise most
of his time for the next few years, though for the present there was a
cessation. In the meantime he received the reward of his services. Part
of the forfeited estates of the late Earl of Cambridge, executed at
Southampton, the adjoining manors of Bristol and Barton, were given to
him for himself and his heirs male, while he added the castle and
lordship of Llanstephan to his already extensive possessions in South
Wales.[146] Moreover, the death of the Earl of Arundel in October had
rendered vacant the post of Constable of Dover and Warden of the Cinque
Ports, an office which the King conferred on his youngest brother within
four days of his return to London.[147] Evidently the appointment had
been made before the letters-patent were signed, since we find reference
to Gloucester as Constable and Warden in a petition of the Parliament
before Henry's return.[148] Towards the end of the year Humphrey was
created Lord of the Isle of Wight and of Carisbrooke,[149] and in
January he became Warden and Chief-Justice in Eyre of the Royal Forests,
Parks, and Warrens south of the Trent.[150] Henry was evidently well
pleased with his brother's conduct in the recent campaign, and had
therefore increased his importance and placed him in a position of
greater trust. The Isle of Wight and the Cinque Ports were an important
charge, in view of the French war now in progress.


A lull in the French war gave Gloucester a period of rest before
continuing the martial career on which he had now entered. While
Burgundy intrigued against Armagnac influence in France, the chief
figure in the political horizon of the two warring nations was Sigismund
of Luxemburg, King of the Romans and Emperor elect. Sigismund had become
Margrave of Brandenburg at the death of his father, the Emperor Charles
IV., and King of Hungary on the death of Lewis the Great by reason of
his marriage with Mary, the daughter of that monarch. As his brother
Wenzel's weakness had induced the electors to choose another Emperor,
Sigismund, who had been selected for this honour, though nominally only
King of the Romans at this time, bore the burden of the imperial duties,
and was generally recognised as Holy Roman Emperor. He had conceived a
great and far-reaching policy, which included the unification of
Christendom in one fraternal bond of love, and a crusade against the
Turk, who was threatening the Eastern borders of Western Europe. To
this end he had secured the deposition of Pope John XXIII. as a step
towards removing the scandal of two claimants to papal honours, and he
now had turned his attention to the reconciliation of France and
England, as part of his larger policy of Christian unity. To this end he
had left the Council of Constance to visit these two countries, and to
try the effects of his personal mediation.[151] Graciously received at
Paris, he had nevertheless soon found that the gospel of peace was there
preached to deaf ears, and driven thence by the hostility of the mob
which had risen against him, he set his face towards England, reaching
Calais at the end of April, and Dover on the 30th of that month.[152]

As soon as the contemplated visit of the Emperor had become known in
England, preparations had been made for his reception. Early in April
Gloucester, as Warden of the Cinque Ports, had been commissioned to send
ships to Calais to bring over the imperial visitor,[153] and careful
arrangements were made for the journey between Dover and London, with a
special prohibition against charging the visitors for anything they
required,[154] a most welcome provision for the penurious Sigismund,
who, far more than his contemporary Frederick of Austria, deserved the
nickname 'mit den leeren Taschen.' Gloucester, accompanied by the Earl
of Salisbury and Lords Harrington and Furnival--the latter more
recognisable under his later title of John Talbot, Earl of
Shrewsbury--went down to meet Sigismund at Dover, where the castle was
made ready for his reception.[155] This was the Duke's first official
visit to the Cinque Ports, and the occasion was celebrated by a solemn
reception at the Shepway, and a present of £100 from the towns under his


On the arrival of the Emperor at Dover, so says a sixteenth-century
chronicler, Humphrey was the chief actor in a picturesque ceremony.
Riding into the water with drawn sword before Sigismund had disembarked,
he demanded whether he came merely on a friendly visit, or in his
imperial capacity to claim suzerainty over the country; and it was not
till a denial of all imperial rights over King Henry had been given that
the visitor was allowed to land.[157] Though no contemporary writer
mentions this event, there is a strong presumption of truth in the
story. There are traces of the legend earlier than Holinshed,[158] and
it seems very likely that some precaution should be taken, in view of
Sigismund's well-known claims to the allegiance of all Europe. Only a
short time before he had exasperated French national feeling by
knighting a plaintiff before the Parlement de Paris to secure his right
to plead, and it was universally suspected--with considerable justice
too--that imperial aggrandisement, as much as his desire for peace, had
prompted Sigismund's European tour.[159] Finally, the fact that the
Emperor spent a whole day on board his ship at Dover before disembarking
helps to strengthen the probability that some kind of negotiation took
place, and that Holinshed's story is true, and based on some authority
which we have now unfortunately lost.

The landing was accomplished on the evening of May 1, and next day
Gloucester escorted his charge as far as Canterbury, where the
Archbishop welcomed the visitor. The following day, being Sunday, was
spent in the Cathedral city, and on Tuesday the cavalcade moved on,
being met at Rochester by Bedford, and at Dartford by Clarence. The
King himself, with an escort of 5000 gentlemen, and accompanied by the
Mayor and Aldermen of London in 'rede gownes,' received Sigismund at
Blackheath, and with great pomp and circumstance the four Lancastrian
brothers brought their guest through the city to Westminster.[160]

Henry had adjourned Parliament till Sigismund's arrival, hoping to have
its help in the ratification of a peace with France, which the French
Embassy that came over in the train of the Emperor seemed to
promise.[161] It is probable, therefore, that Sigismund was present at
the reopening of the session; but no business of importance was
undertaken, and when Gloucester with other of the lords had given his
guarantee for the repayment of a loan, the meeting was dissolved.[162]
On Rogation Sunday, May 24, the feast of St. George, which had been
postponed till the arrival of the Emperor, was celebrated, and Sigismund
was admitted to the Order of the Garter, attending High Mass in St.
George's Chapel, and the subsequent banquet in honour of the
occasion.[163] Gloucester was amongst those who received robes of the
order on this occasion, and with him we find William, Count of Holland,
the father of the lady he was afterwards to marry.[164] Count William
had been summoned by the Emperor to assist in the peace negotiations by
reason of his relations with the French court, the Dauphin being his
son-in-law; but his stay in England was cut short by the refusal of
Sigismund to grant the investiture of his inheritance to his only child,
Jacqueline, a refusal which induced him to withdraw in a rage.[165]


In spite of the splendour of the feastings at Windsor,[166] the object
of the imperial visit was not forgotten, but though Henry was ready to
come to terms, the Armagnac faction at Paris opposed all efforts towards
peace. A French attack on Harfleur and the Isle of Wight[167] threw
Sigismund into the arms of the English, and on August 15 a treaty of
alliance between King and Emperor was signed at Canterbury.[168]
Meantime Bedford had been despatched to relieve Harfleur, in which he
was entirely successful,[169] and he returned on September 4 to find
that Henry, accompanied by Gloucester, had crossed to Calais, whither
Sigismund had preceded them, carrying with him the maledictions of the
London citizens for his failure to procure peace,[170] but himself
leaving behind him a nattering record of the pleasant time he had had in
England.[171] His mission had failed in its object, but writers of both
nations agree that the fault lay not with the English but with the

The journey of Henry and Gloucester to Calais was taken with the
definite object of cementing an alliance with John the Fearless of
Burgundy, and of drawing the vassal duke nearer to his imperial
overlord. Ostensibly the matter of chief importance was a meeting with
the envoys from the King of France, but as might be expected from their
recent behaviour, the French asked ridiculously high terms, and the only
result of the conference was a truce between the two countries till
February 2, 1417.[173]


The way was thus cleared for negotiations with Burgundy, but the duke
showed himself very doubtful of the good faith of the English, and
demanded elaborate safeguards for his person if he came to Calais. This
difficulty was removed, and on October 1 a safe conduct was given him
for himself and 800 men, only half of whom were to come further than the
gates of the city; Gloucester was to meet him at Gravelines, and remain
with the Count of Charolais as hostage for his safety till his
return.[174] Accordingly on October 3 the French ambassadors were
dismissed by Henry, for one of the most prominent of them, the
Archbishop of Rheims, was very obnoxious to Burgundy, and Humphrey
prepared a 'reasonable escort' of some 800 men, who were to accompany
him to the Burgundian court. At two o'clock on the morning of October 5
trumpets sounded in the English quarters, and the little band made ready
to accompany the duke to Gravelines, all unarmed. About four o'clock
they left the city, and followed by a crowd anxious to witness the
meeting of the two dukes, they reached the banks of the river Aa between
six and seven, just as the tide was at its lowest. Lord Camoys and Sir
Robert Waterton were then sent over to secure a signed and sealed
security for the safety of the English prince, and when this had been
given the Burgundian troops came out and faced the English across the
river. The retainers of both parties passed over first, and then the
principals, with a touch of that mediæval ceremonial which
characterised the men of the new age, rode into the water from the
opposite sides, and shaking hands in mid-stream, passed on, Burgundy to
be met by the Earl of Warwick and escorted to Calais, Gloucester to be
received with every courtesy by the Count of Charolais, Burgundy's
eldest son and heir, with whom he went to St. Omer.[175]

For nine days these two men, whom fate was to bring into bitter
hostility before many years had passed, lived together, and when the
conference at Calais came to an end, it was with warm thanks for
courteous entertainment that Gloucester took his leave.[176]
Nevertheless a jarring note had been struck during this visit, for we
read that on one occasion, when the Count came to visit his guest,
Gloucester treated him with scant courtesy, ignoring his presence save
for a formal salutation, and continuing his conversation with his
friends.[177] This event is recorded by a man who knew the history of
the Burgundian States from internal observation, and who recorded facts
with a justice unusual amongst many of his contemporaries, and we need
not be slow to credit the story, when we remember Humphrey's naturally
imperious disposition. That he disliked his commission is at least
probable in the light of his past opposition to a Burgundian alliance,
and we may well find here the seeds of that strong personal hostility
which embittered the later disagreements of the two dukes. To believe
this account does not necessitate the discrediting of the story that
Gloucester gave formal thanks couched in extravagant terms for his
treatment at St. Omer, as this would be only part of the ritual of
courtesy which still dominated the relations of the great men of the
time. On October 13 Burgundy and Gloucester once more appeared at
Gravelines, and having observed the same procedure as on the first
occasion, they returned to their respective quarters.[178]

No definite alliance had been made between Henry and Burgundy, but the
first step had been taken towards that policy, which in the hands of
that young Count, whom Gloucester had now met for the first time, was to
bring such loss and disaster to France. The Emperor's visit to England
had borne no useful fruit. While the complications of his policy and his
perpetual penury prevented any advantage to England from the Treaty of
Canterbury, at Constance his position was only still more complicated
than before by the support of his new English friends, and the honour of
being enrolled a member of the Order of the Garter could not hide the
failure of his policy. To Gloucester fell the duty of escorting
Sigismund on the first stage of his homeward journey, and for this
purpose he was provided with four large English ships. The Emperor and
his men, however, hugged the coast in small boats, and left Humphrey to
ride the high seas and protect them from harm, as they feared an attack
from the French in revenge for the Treaty of Canterbury. Gloucester
accompanied Sigismund as far as Dordrecht, and there the two princes
parted with mutual compliments, and presents from the slightly
replenished imperial treasury.[179] They were never to meet again.


Sigismund and Gloucester have much in common. Both loved pomp and
display, and had equally enjoyed the high festival which had marked the
reception of the Emperor in England; both scandalised a none too
particular age by the laxness of their morals; both were possessed of
that charm of personality which so often accompanies a lack of moral
stamina; both basked in the smiles of the bourgeois class. In their
future life, too, both were to find themselves opposed to a faction
which prated of constitutionalism, and schemed but for its own
aggrandisement. But deep down in the roots of their mental attitude we
see a great dissimilarity. Sigismund lived in a world of ideas conceived
in the spirit of mediævalism; he looked to the past to correct the
future. On the other hand, Gloucester had drunk deep of the new ideas,
which had begun to influence men's minds; he had grasped that spirit of
nationalism, which was to sweep away the traditional forces of
mediævalism, and give birth to the nations of Europe; he had experience
of a campaign, in which the tactics and the weapons of a new era had
been used; he was beginning to perceive the true significance of the
rising importance of the middle classes. With all his selfishness and
with all his instability of character, he had got the right idea, and
the failure of his life, and the impolicy of many of his actions, will
be found due, not to any misconception of his age, not to any inability
to follow the trend of human thought, but to grave defects of character.
Like Sigismund, he had great abilities, but unlike Sigismund, he could
not follow the course he had mapped out for himself. His policy has a
consistency we might not expect to find, but he was not a man whose
active life in any way represented his ideals.

       *       *       *       *       *

On October 16 Henry returned to England. He realised that peace was not
possible so long as he maintained the justice of his claims on France,
and that for the end he had in view the war must be prosecuted with the
utmost vigour. Peace was desirable, but the only means of procuring it
was to continue the war with redoubled energy; and such was the burden
of the Chancellor's speech when Parliament opened on October 19.[180]

Seeing no means of evading the demand, Parliament resigned itself to
granting two subsidies for the carrying on of the war; so that by the
beginning of the new year preparations were in full swing. Privy seals
were issued to the nobility and gentry in order to ascertain the
probable numbers of those who were willing to take part in the campaign,
and in February the necessary indentures were prepared.[181] Orders for
the strengthening of the navy were also issued, and it was hoped that
the expedition would sail by May 1.[182] Gloucester was busy probably
with his own preparations. Doubtless he was anxious to guarantee himself
against possible loss, for he, along with many others, had not obtained
full payment for the last campaign. He had returned the jewels which had
been pledged to him for his second quarter's pay, but the officials of
the Exchequer had refused to pay him for the forty-eight days of that
period which he had spent in England after his return. They argued that
this time was not spent in the service of the King, and ignored his plea
that he had been ready to remain in France and had had to pay his men
for the full period.[183] However, he prepared his retinue, which seems
to have consisted of 90 lances and 266 archers under the command of
Reginald Cobham and William Beauchamp,[184] and by July he had arrived
with the other units of the army at Southampton, the earlier date in May
having been found impracticable in view of all that had to be done. By
July 23 the preparations were complete. Bedford was appointed Regent,
the King went on board his ship at Southampton, and the sails
embroidered with the arms of England and France were hoisted for the


The dangers of the crossing had been removed by the utter defeat which
the Earl of Huntingdon had inflicted on the Genoese fleet, completing
the work of Bedford earlier in the year. So by August 1 Henry had landed
at Touques in Normandy, accompanied by his two brothers, Clarence and
Gloucester, seven Earls, and fourteen Barons.[186] The army at Henry's
disposal was probably the largest, certainly the best equipped, that any
English king had ever mustered, and its numbers may be roughly estimated
at some 10,000 men.[187] No resistance was offered to the disembarkation
of the troops, for Henry had kept his own counsel as to his
destination,[188] but there seems to be no doubt that a knowledge of his
intended arrival would have brought no troops against him, for it is
hard, says Basin, to describe the absolute terror which the very name of
the English inspired.[189]

No time was lost after landing. Clarence was appointed Constable of the
army,[190] and the castle of Touques, which lay on the estuary of the
Seine exactly opposite Harfleur, was invested by Gloucester as
'chieftaine of the King's avant guard.' A 'marvueilously defensible'
fortress this, but reduced by Gloucester's 'gunns and other engines' by
August 9,[191] for the town was assaulted so continuously, that it was
compelled to surrender to escape a worse fate. From this successful
siege Gloucester went to join a council of war summoned by Henry, at
which it was decided to begin the campaign with an attack on Caen.[192]
So, after challenging the Dauphin to single combat, as he had done in
his earlier campaign, and reissuing his ordinances for the good
government of the army, Henry marched on that town.[193]

Winter weather was now approaching, and Henry looked to Caen, a
residential town with large suburbs, to provide suitable quarters for
the ensuing months. So leaving Honfleur behind him--too hard a nut to
crack just then[194]--and accompanied by Humphrey, who probably still
commanded the van, he took a devious route to his destination. He
thereby avoided the passage of certain little rivers, which would have
been troublesome for so large a force. Leaving Touques on August 13, the
army marched by slow stages through Fontenes and Estouteville to Caen,
which was reached on August 13.[195] On their arrival, Clarence, who had
been sent on in advance, was found to be in possession, of the Abbey of
St. Stephen, situated on a hill just outside the walls, well fortified,
and commanding the southern defences of the town.[196] It was in order
to secure this position, and to save the suburbs of the town from being
burnt, that Clarence had followed a shorter route along the coast-line,
for Henry wanted shelter for his men.


Caen stands on the left bank of the river Orne, which washes its
south-east wall, while a tributary, the Odon, flowing through the town,
joins the main stream just outside.[197] The castle and the strongest
sides of the defences were approached from the south, where the Abbey of
St. Stephen, which Clarence had occupied before Henry's arrival,
commanded the town, if not the castle itself. This Abbey had been
founded by William the Conqueror, who was buried there; and it was to a
sister foundation of Queen Matilda's, the Abbey of Holy Trinity, to the
north-east of the town, that Clarence was sent when Henry superseded
him at St. Stephen's.[198] Between these two points, on the south-west,
the Earl Marshal was given his post, and further north again were Lord
Talbot and Sir Gilbert Umfraville; Lords Neville and Willoughby
continued the ring of the besiegers up to the Abbey of the Holy Trinity.
On the opposite side of the town to the south-east were the Earls of
Huntingdon and Warwick and Sir John Grey, the father of Gloucester's
future son-in-law.[199] The Norman Chronicle tells us that Gloucester
was stationed at Vaucelles.[200] He seems to have had no regular post in
the blockading of the town, but to have been given the command of the
siege-engines,[201] which Henry landed from the fleet that had coasted
from Touques.

In the course of the siege Gloucester and his guns did royal work. They
kept up an incessant fire, and although the French returned it with
interest, the large guns 'beat down both walls and towers, and slew much
people in their houses and eke in the streets,'[202] but no firing on
the churches of the town was allowed.[203] Besides the bombardment,
numerous mines were driven under the town, but they were counter-mined
by the defenders, and many a fierce fight was fought underground. In the
direction of the siege Henry was most energetic, bestowing his chief
interest on the side where Gloucester was engaged with the heavy
cannon.[204] By September 3 the besiegers were ready for the grand
assault, and Henry summoned the town to surrender, but met with a
refusal. A council of war was called, and orders issued to each captain
to keep his counsel, but to be ready for the assault on the morrow; the
men were to be drawn up in three divisions, each to act in support of
the others. Next day the assault was begun on all sides. Clarence, who
was opposed by the weakest side of the defence, and had previously
undermined the wall, fought his way into the town and across the bridge
that spanned the Odon, and took those who were resisting the King's
attack in the rear. In spite of a false alarm that a relieving force was
approaching, the English pressed their advantage home, and after a sharp
fight the town was finally captured, though the castle held out for some
days longer.[205]

The soldiery were given a free hand with the proviso that churches,
women, and unarmed priests were to be respected. Thus in the hour of
victory Henry did not forget that he claimed to be a king subduing
rebellious subjects, and at the same time the willing agent of the anger
of God.


We do not know what part Gloucester took in the actual assault, but his
important work had been done during the fortnight which had prepared the
way for the storming of the town. He was no longer the raw soldier of
two years ago. He had gained experience of siege operations at Harfleur,
he had taken part in a pitched battle at Agincourt, and he had been
intrusted with the short, sharp siege of the castle of Touques. No great
experience in sum, but he seems to have used it well, for he had played
no unimportant part in the fall of Caen. He seems indeed to have enjoyed
a natural military gift, and we have now still more reason to believe
that it was more as an artilleryman than in any other capacity that he
was particularly prominent. The suggestion of this given at the siege of
Harfleur is confirmed by the fact that he was immediately appointed to
the command of the guns in this second campaign; his genius was not that
of the mediæval soldiers. New forces had come to change the world and to
help on the evolution of the race. In later life Humphrey was to shine
forth as the patron of the new learning which was the most important of
these forces; in his earlier life he showed that he was ready to accept
new military methods and to use his great mental qualities in the
practical as well as the theoretical sides of human activity. In later
days men praised him for this wonderful combination of the pursuits of
the student and the man of action, but it was not an extraordinary
phenomenon that this should be so. The restless activity which was the
motive-power of his life led him to throw himself enthusiastically into
the projects of the moment, even if he had not the determination to
persevere in his undertakings, and to win fame by the successful
prosecution of his aims. Unsustained impetuosity was the chief
characteristic of Humphrey's life, and if in military matters his nature
might sometimes betray him into taking too great risks, he combined with
this quality that absolute carelessness of personal danger which we have
seen him display at Agincourt, and for which he was conspicuous at a
later stage of these French wars. It was this quality, so essential in
warfare when a commander led his men into action, that endeared him to
his men, and helped to create his military fame among his
contemporaries. So successfully had he fought before Caen, that Henry
immediately despatched him on an independent expedition, as a further
test of his capacity.

With a detachment from the royal army Gloucester set out for Bayeux,
where he found the town well fortified but demoralised, and his attack
met with such success that by September 16 the garrison was ready to
treat. Having no power to grant terms, he allowed four of the citizens
to seek the King at Caen, where permission was given to eight others to
attempt to procure forces for the relief of the town.[206] The chances
of relief, however, were very small, since Burgundy was threatening
Paris from the bridge of St. Cloud, but if such a force came it would
serve Henry's purpose very well, as it would have to fight a pitched
battle with his army before it could reach Bayeux. However, the chances
of the garrison were so minute that on September 19 Gloucester was
authorised to treat for the surrender of the town, which yielded on the
23rd.[207] According to instructions the town was very generously
treated. Gloucester promised them good and just government and every
liberty that they had enjoyed under the rule of Charles VI., and for
their defence he repaired the fortifications.[208] Probably some days
were spent here in settling the affairs of the town, and in receiving
the submission of the whole country-side, which hastened to acknowledge
the supremacy of the English arms.

Leaving Bayeux Humphrey led his men eastwards, and passing by Caen
reduced the country round Lisieux. This town and the castle of 'Newby'
surrendered without resistance, and numerous other fortified places gave
in their allegiance to the English King.[209] Having settled the country
and left small garrisons in the towns, with Sir John Kirkby in command
at Lisieux,[210] Gloucester rejoined his brother, who having left Caen
on October 1, had sat down before Alençon on the 15th of that
month.[211] All through this expedition Gloucester was never out of
touch with the main body of the army, but was entirely under the control
of the King. Except at the short siege of Bayeux, he had met with
practically no resistance. So great indeed was the severity of Henry to
those who withstood him, that when his brother reached Lisieux, he found
but one old man and one old woman in possession of the town, and so many
took advantage of the English King's proclamation at Caen promising his
protection to all who swore allegiance to him,[212] that this little
excursion partook more of the nature of a pacific procession than of a
warlike campaign.


Alençon, before which Gloucester now found himself, was a position of
considerable strength, fortified by stout walls, numerous towers, and a
castle which nature and the skill of man had made almost impregnable;
added to this during the first few days of the siege the garrison
entertained hopes of relief, and their resistance was proportionately
determined. Gloucester was stationed at the hottest place of the attack,
just opposite the castle, and had to take his share in repelling the
frequent sorties of the garrison.[213] However, when the fallacy of
their hopes of relief became evident, and the reports of the universal
surrenders to the English on all sides reached them, the besieged began
to tire; they agreed to surrender on honourable terms, and on October 24
Henry entered the city.[214] Immediately various captains were sent out,
carrying their successes into the heart of Maine and Perche; Bellesme
and Fresnoy surrendered, and the whole country up to and including La
Marche acknowledged the English supremacy.[215]

Gloucester did not take part in these expeditions, but stayed with the
King, who spent some time in Alençon. Negotiations were pending with the
French court, which had returned a conciliatory answer to the challenge
from Caen, whilst the Duke of Brittany, frightened by the success of the
English troops, proceeded to Alençon and there on November 16 signed a
truce, which was to last till the following Michaelmas, on behalf of
himself and of the young titular King of Sicily, whose possessions in
Maine and Anjou were threatened.[216] It was a niece of this Lewis who
in later years was to marry Henry's yet unborn son, and who was to prove
the bitterest of Humphrey's many enemies.

Towards the end of November Henry moved from Alençon; Gloucester
accompanied him, leaving Sir Roland Lyntall in his place as lieutenant
of the town, for of this last conquest the King had made him


On December 1 the English army appeared before Falaise, which had been
left untouched on the way to Alençon, as Henry had thought it too well
fortified to be attacked before the surrounding country was secured.
Certainly Falaise was no easy nut to crack. Beside excellent
fortifications a deep natural moat surrounded the town, into which
flowed numerous streams from the mountains, thus forming a natural lake
which prevented a near approach; high upon a rock, just outside but
connected with the walls, stood the castle in a position which was
considered quite impregnable[218]--that same castle which to-day with
its added Talbot tower is one of the most interesting mediæval relics in
northern France. The Earl of Salisbury had preceded the King to Falaise
lest the garrison, warned by the French ambassadors returning from
Alençon, should evacuate the town before the arrival of the English; so
at least runs one theory,[219] though a more probable object was to
prevent the garrison from laying in stores, which would enable them to
prolong the siege.[220] The siege proper began on Henry's arrival, and
he took up his position opposite the gate on the Caen road on the north
side of the town;[221] Clarence was placed opposite the castle;
Gloucester held the west side of the town--an honourable position, says
one chronicler.[222]

The garrison of Falaise was not of the unheroic type that the English
had met so far in this campaign, due probably to the fact that the
French were commanded by such a leader as they had not hitherto found.
Led by the captain, the Sire Olivier de Manny, numerous attacks were
made on the besiegers, and Henry came to realise the hardness of the
task before him. With wise prudence for the safety and comfort of his
men he built wooden huts for their shelter from the severities of the
winter, now at its height, and this little town was protected by a
strong rampart, a ditch and a palisade. In addition to all this, a
regular market was established in the midst of the camp, so that the
soldiers were never in want of food; wise precautions which did not pass
unnoticed by Humphrey, who later adopted them all when besieging

The bombardment of the town had never ceased since the siege began, and
counter attacks on the part of the besieged were frequent and fierce, so
that many lives were lost on either side, but at length the pertinacity
of the English attack began to tell, and a strong party in the town
clamoured for surrender. To this suggestion their captain offered a
determined opposition, and when at length, on December 20, the town
agreed to surrender if not relieved,[223] he with his men retired into
the castle and defied the English, even after January 2, when the town
had passed into their hands.[224]

The attention of the besiegers was now concentrated on the castle, and
the command devolved on Clarence, since the King had left the army after
the terms of surrender had been signed.[225] On the side where it was
unapproachable guns were kept firing continually, whilst on the town
side the moat was filled up, and sappers were employed to undermine the
wall. From the castle burning straw was thrown into the moat, and
boiling pitch was poured on the heads of the men who were working at the
mines, but in spite of these tactics the English gained ground, and
Olivier was compelled to sign terms of surrender on February 1. On the
16th the King, who had returned from Bayeux, took possession of the
castle.[226] With a lack of appreciation of a brave foe, born of his
theory that he was rightful King of France, Henry treated Olivier
harshly, and kept him in prison till he had paid for the restoration of
the castle he had defended so bravely.[227]

Henry had now established his power over a long strip of territory,
extending from Bayeux and Touques on the north to Bellesme and Le Mans
on the south, no inconsiderable achievement for seven months' work. At
the outset his avowed intention had been to conquer Normandy,[228] and
to accomplish this he must now move eastwards and secure Rouen--the key
to the whole duchy. But before bringing his full strength to bear at
this point, a more secure hold upon those districts which lay behind
him, and a more open approach to the city itself, were desirable. He
determined therefore to divide his army, and to send different
detachments to secure these ends before the final advance eastwards.
Moreover, much had to be done for the good administration of those
districts already conquered, and the approaching season of Lent
suggested to him that both secular and religious advantages might be
obtained, if he himself refrained from any active participation in the
war for the present.[229] Arrangements therefore were made in accordance
with these intentions before the King left Falaise. To Clarence was
confided the task of opening up the approach to Rouen; Warwick was sent
to capture Domfront, and to secure the south-eastern corner of the
duchy; Gloucester was to reduce the Côtentin to obedience.[230]


All this had been planned by the King while the castle of Falaise was
still untaken, for he signed Gloucester's commission on February 16, the
very day on which he entered into possession of that fortress. By virtue
of this commission Humphrey was given power to take all towns and
fortified places in the Duchy of Normandy, to receive into the King's
peace all those who should submit to him, and to restore their lands and
possessions to them under his own seal.[231] At the same time he was
empowered to issue ordinances for the good government of his detachment,
and to punish any who should transgress them,[232] also the right to
levy tribute in the Côtentin was confined to himself and his
representatives.[233] Meanwhile preparations for the three expeditions
were being hurried on, orders for the mustering of the men of the
respective commanders were issued,[234] and Gloucester, acting on a writ
issued for that purpose, appointed John Asheton to organise the muster
of his division.[235] This muster has not survived, so that we have no
definite information as to the number under his command, but they
probably did not exceed 1500 men.[236] Amongst his followers were Lord
Grey of Codnor, John Lord Clifford, and Sir Walter Hungerford, the
steward of the King's household.[237]

Humphrey was sent on this expedition with full powers. He was entitled
by virtue of his various commissions to exercise almost royal authority
in the districts under his command, even to the granting of pardons, and
all commissions granted to others were to lapse when they came in
contact with his sphere of power.[238] The trust thus reposed in him was
deserved. Through this campaign we have caught but fleeting glimpses of
him, but these incidental notices generally find him either in command
of a detachment, as at Touques or Bayeux, or stationed at some
particularly important part of a siege, as at Caen. Nevertheless there
are indications that Henry felt less confident of his brother when he
was compelled to rely entirely on his own resources, for when he
determined to establish himself in such a position that he might bring
help to the various detachments he had sent out, should this prove to be
necessary, he chose the town of Bayeux for this purpose.[239] This town
was far nearer to the scene of Gloucester's activity than to the
districts in which Clarence and Warwick were operating, and yet
Cherbourg was the only place in the Côtentin that was likely to give
serious opposition. However, by April Henry was satisfied of his
brother's reliability, and returned to Caen. His suspicions,
nevertheless, were well founded, for Gloucester's inability for
sustained action made it probable that he could not for long rely on
his own resources. But in a case such as this, where he could look to a
higher authority not far away, full scope was given to his genuine
military ability.

Gloucester lost no time in making his preparations, for he probably left
Falaise on the same day as his commission was signed. Crossing the river
Orne, he worked up the bank of a small tributary stream named the
Noireau, and gained his first success in the capture of the little town
of Condé-sur-Noireau.[240] Marching still further west he reached Vire,
a place of considerable strength, situated on the river of that name. A
short siege convinced the town that they could have no hope of relief,
and it capitulated on February 21. Sir John Robsart and William
Beauchamp acted as commissioners for Gloucester in arranging terms, and
they agreed with the captain of Vire that the castle and town should be
surrendered whenever the Duke should demand it, and that an English
garrison should be put therein. The captain, soldiers, and inhabitants
yielded themselves up to the mercy of the English King. During the
interval between this agreement and the day of surrender the captain and
garrison promised to keep their provisions, artillery, and other
muniments of war intact, neither deporting nor destroying them, and all
English prisoners and the supporters of Henry's cause were to be
delivered up forthwith. During this same interval no one was to enter or
leave the city without Gloucester's consent. With regard to the
inhabitants, all who should take the oath of allegiance to Henry were to
have safety of life and limb, with permission to reside in the town,
and keep their furniture and other possessions contained therein;
property outside the walls was also to be preserved to them unless it
had been granted away before the date of the agreement. On the other
hand, those of the inhabitants who should refuse to take the oath of
allegiance to Henry were to be allowed to depart unharmed, so long as
they had left by the time of Vespers on the day that the English
occupied the town, but their personal possessions, furniture, and other
belongings were to be collected into one house, their arms into another
within the castle, and these, with their horses, were all to be
forfeited to the conquerors. Provision was made to prevent those who
remained in the town from sheltering the goods of those who went away,
on the pretence that they were their own, under a penalty of forfeiture
of all possessions. Eight knights and four squires were to be hostages
in English hands for the performance of the treaty, and no hostilities
were to take place before the surrender was accomplished.[241]

When he had taken possession of the town, Gloucester turned due north
and marched along the right bank of the river Vire to St. Lo, passing by
Thorigny, which surrendered without resistance, having no mind to stand
a siege at the hands of the victorious English.[242] St. Lo was less
timorous, but it did not hold out long after Gloucester had established
his troops in its extensive suburbs, and on March 12 it followed the
example of Vire and on the same conditions.[243] Meanwhile, a detachment
acting to the left of the main body under Sir John Robsart, had secured
Hambie two days earlier,[244] and after this division had rejoined him
at St. Lo,[245] Gloucester continued his march down the river Vire, and
across it to Carentan, which surrendered on the 10th on slightly better
terms than the other towns. The garrison was allowed to depart with
horses and arms except the artillery, and 'de sa gentilesse' Humphrey
allowed the ladies of the town to take their personal property with
them.[246] On the same day Le Hommet, to the south of Carentan,
surrendered to Charles de Beaumont, Marshal of Navarre, who had led part
of the English troops down the other side of the river Vire.[247]

Gloucester had now swept up both sides of the country, and had reached
that narrow neck of land which ends in the Cap de la Hogue. Here he
concentrated his forces, and marched along the river Douve as far as St.
Sauveur le Vicomte, which surrendered on March 25.[248] Here, in
accordance with instructions from Bayeux, he issued a proclamation
pardoning all rebels--so Henry called them--who should swear fealty to
the King before April next.[249] Meanwhile the Earl of Huntingdon had
been sent to the south-east of Normandy, and on March 16 he had secured
Gloucester's rear by the capture of Coutances. His expedition was
independent of the commander in the Côtentin, but the likelihood of
their joining forces seems to be recognised by the terms of Huntingdon's
Commission.[250] However, no such union took place, as before long the
latter was hurrying eastward to take part in the siege of Rouen.[251]

Still marching northward from St. Sauveur le Vicomte, Gloucester took
Néhou,[252] Bricquebec, and Valognes, thus having reduced the whole
district with the exception of the town of Cherbourg.[253] In all, it
was estimated, he had taken thirty-two castles in six weeks, with very
little trouble and hardly any loss of life.[254] One of the hardest
sieges of the war, however, was still before him, A later chronicler
tells us that at this stage he went to interview his brother at
Bayeux,[255] but the dates do not allow of this, for St. Sauveur le
Vicomte was captured on Good Friday, and a few days later Gloucester in
person laid siege to Cherbourg.[256]


It was here that the French had determined to make a stand. Men and
provisions had been collected from the country round, and the extensive
suburbs burnt to remove any possible shelter they might offer to the
besiegers.[257] Indeed, it had been no cheering report that Gloucester's
scouts had brought back after reconnoitring the town. They reported that
the situation of the place was one of great strength. The sea flowed up
to the walls on the north, and on the other side the river Divette wound
round a large part of the town, thus making all access a matter of great
difficulty; where nature had neglected to complete her work, a deep moat
drained part of the water of the river round the otherwise unprotected
wall; the fortifications were of great strength, for the walls had been
recently improved, guns had been mounted on the numerous towers round
the city, the castle with sixteen strong towers and a double wall was
almost impregnable, and all round the town outside the walls there was
a thick stone rampart crowned by castellated forts furnished with
artillery. Indeed, the garrison felt quite able to resist any attack and
to meet any mischance that should occur.[258] Though perhaps it was not
the strongest place in all Normandy, as the French chroniclers tell
us,[259] yet it was undoubtedly a formidable fortress, and had an
abundance of provisions to withstand a prolonged siege.[260]

Nothing daunted by the reports of the scouts, Gloucester advanced
towards Cherbourg with the full determination of becoming master of the
town, and having driven back the French outposts he began preparations
for the siege in the latter days of March.[261] He had come up to the
town from the east, and at the outset found his difficulties increased
by the destruction of the bridge over the river.[262] To increase his
discomfiture still more the stream had overflowed its banks, which added
to the natural obstacles which he had to face, and as he was unable to
get his men across to the other side of the town, he sent a strong
detachment into the country to prevent any reinforcements reaching the
garrison. But his troubles were not to cease here. A large unbroken
stretch of level ground surrounded the town, with not even a clump of
trees to give shelter to an attacking force, nor any rising ground on
which to plant the siege-engines.[263] It was indeed no easy task which
lay before the English commander.

With fervid and characteristic energy Gloucester set himself to overcome
the obstacles in the way. A bridge was quickly built across the river,
and a detachment of his forces was drafted off to complete the blockade
of the town on the other side, while a special guard was detailed to
protect the bridge night and day, thus preventing all egress from or
ingress into the town, and keeping a connecting-link between the
necessarily divided forces of the besiegers, while it gave a certain
quality of continuity to the attack. Not forgetting the openness of the
sea-approach Gloucester procured from England a fleet which, using the
islands of Jersey and Guernsey as a base, prevented any help from
reaching the besieged by water.[264] The siege had now begun in earnest
but by no means on equal terms, for while the French were safely
ensconced behind particularly strong walls the English had no shelter,
as they were prevented from pitching tents by the severity of the
sandstorms which had followed on the subsidence of the floods. Besides
this the besieged swept the exposed plain with their cannon, so that
there could be no question of attacking the town with any success till
some kind of cover was found for the men working the guns. Nay, more,
Gloucester's forces stood in imminent danger of extinction as they lay
before the town, for the French guns were good and the French gunners
better trained than in the previous sieges of the war.[265] Some
distance behind the besiegers lay some wooded country, and Gloucester
sent thither every third man of his forces with axes to cut down trees
and brushwood, with a strong reminder to keep out of sight of the enemy.
On a dark night logs and bundles of faggots were packed on carts,
brought to the English lines, and with feverish haste thrown up as the
groundwork of a bastion. The men worked with a will, and by daylight a
rampart of some considerable strength had been built. The morning showed
the French what had been the night work of their assailants, and though
surprised at the rapidity with which the English had worked, they were
nothing daunted, and immediately trained their guns on this obstruction.
Then ensued a fierce contest. The besieged brought the whole weight of
their artillery to bear on the unfinished bastion, while, now under
partial cover, the besiegers worked with might and main to preserve
their night's work, and to strengthen it so that no future attack on it
could be successful. Both sides put all their strength into an encounter
which they realised was the crucial event of the siege, for if the
English failed, all chance of continuing the attack was at an end.
Finding their cannonade not sufficiently destructive, the French began
to use an engine which threw red-hot balls and burning materials, and a
large part of the bastion was soon in flames. With unremitting energy
the English extinguished the flames with water, and, still under the
heavy fire of the besieged, brought up more timber and reconstructed the
demolished portions of their protecting rampart. In the end the victory
lay with the besiegers, and the English soldiers could work securely
behind the shelter that had cost them so dear.[266]

Gloucester had seen enough both of the strength of the town and the
valour of the besieged to realise that there could be no question of a
speedy surrender, so copying the tactics of his brother, he built strong
huts for his men, and made his camp appear almost like a little town,
fortified by a ditch and mound, so that no sortie of the enemy could
take him by surprise. He also cared for the comfort of his soldiers by
establishing a market within the camp, thus ensuring a constant supply
of provisions.[267] At the same time he must have realised that, after
the loss of life entailed by recent events, he had not sufficient men
for carrying on so important a siege, and though we have no direct
evidence that he sent for reinforcements, yet the presumption is strong
that he did so, when we find that early in June the King sent the Earl
of March, and probably with him the Earl of Suffolk, to bring some
fresh levies that had just arrived from England to the assistance of
his brother.[268] For this purpose March was made Lieutenant and
Warden-General of the marches of the Duchy of Normandy, while
Gloucester, to secure his seniority, was made Lieutenant and
Captain-General of the same marches, and a strong injunction was issued
to the Warden that he was not to interfere with his superior so long as
they both remained in that district.[269]


Meanwhile the English commander before Cherbourg had not been idle.
Owing to the heavy fire of the enemy a frontal attack on the town was
impossible; he therefore devised a plan whereby he might get his troops
nearer to the walls, and yet keep them under cover. While his men worked
gradually nearer to the enemy under the protection of the usual wooden
shelters, he carried out trenching operations on another side of the
defences. Long ditches were cut leading from the camp to the walls of
the town in an oblique direction, so that as the lines advanced the
soldiers were continually sheltered by the sides of their excavation,
and the earth which they threw up. By these means the fire of the
besieged was rendered nugatory, and the besiegers crept nearer and
nearer to the town.[270] The reinforcements had now arrived, and
Gloucester probably found himself at the head of something over 2000
men.[271] With this force he considered himself strong enough to make a
direct assault. He had tried to drain the water from around the walls,
and to this end had cut channels to direct the river from its usual
course. This plan, however, was spoilt by the breaking of the sluices
which were to keep the stream back, and the difficulty of crossing the
moat was as great as ever. With unabated determination Gloucester
ordered an assault, while some of the soldiers were told off to bring up
material to fill in the ditch, and to make it, if possible, level with
the wall. The heavy ordnance of the besieged stood them in good stead,
and the English were so disorganised by the storm of cannon balls, that
they retired, and the half-finished sluices were threatened by complete
destruction when the enemy sallied forth from the town. Sir Lewis
Robsart, a young, untried knight, who had lately come up with the
reinforcements, saved the situation, and though wounded managed to
resist the attacks of the enemy, till a rally of the English brought up
more men in a wedge formation, and secured the outworks which they had
almost lost.[272]

After the failure of this vigorous attempt the besiegers fell back again
on their former tactics of drawing their lines gradually nearer to the
walls and strengthening their new rampart, which they brought right up
to the edge of the moat. The cannon were now within very short range,
and when the English dragged up some of their wooden huts to protect
their engines, they were promptly destroyed by the fire from the town.
Indeed, so near was the English rampart to the wall that with long hooks
the French removed the hurdles which were meant to protect the
siege-engines. At the same time Gloucester was making every effort to
perfect his sluices, and the river-water was being gradually drawn out
of the moat. But the resourcefulness of the besieged enabled them to
pump in fresh water as fast as it was taken out, without in any way
relaxing the severity of the bombardment.

As time wore on, the determination of the defenders began to slacken,
and at the end of five months' siege they offered to treat. But as
Gloucester demanded an unconditional surrender, for which the townsmen
were not prepared, operations were resumed. Disregarding a second
attempt at negotiations, the Duke pressed the attack even more fiercely
than before, and for the third time overtures were made.[273] This time
the result was an agreement, signed on August 23, whereby the captain,
Jean Piquet, agreed to surrender unconditionally on September 29, if not
previously relieved.[274] The French chroniclers accuse Piquet of
interested motives in this agreement, saying that he sold the town for a
sum of money and a safe-conduct,[275] an accusation which seems hardly
substantiated in the light of the past history of the siege.

Though hostilities had now ceased pending the surrender, the townsmen
had by no means given up hope of escaping capture, and Gloucester
anxiously expected to be obliged to fight a relieving force. With this
prospect in view he sent off news of the situation to the King, and
proceeded to strengthen his position. The market was brought up from its
exposed position in the rear, and placed nearer the town, the rampart
was continued round the whole camp with a ditch dug in front of it, and
long sharpened stakes driven into its sides, all with a view to
resisting possible French reinforcements. At the same time he did not
forget the town, which, under these circumstances, would be behind him,
and to provide against attack in this quarter he built several strong
little forts, in which a small garrison would be able to resist a
considerable attacking force.[276] In taking these precautions he worked
on the system learned in the army of Henry V., though such expedients as
the stakes in the rampart and the forts to hold the town in check were
additions to the usual plan. The appointed day of surrender drew near,
and still no relief came. Just before the expiration of the truce,
however, the townsmen saw with joy that a force was approaching the
city. Their joy, however, was premature, for they shortly found that it
was a band of two thousand men sent over from the western cities of
England in ready response to a message from Henry at Rouen. With this
additional force all danger to the English passed away, and in due
course the town and castle of Cherbourg were handed over to Gloucester
on St. Michael's Day.[277]

The town was treated leniently. Gloucester permitted the garrison to
march out under arms, those of the townsmen who wished it being allowed
to accompany them, but such as remained behind being entirely at the
disposition of the English. All property was respected with the
exception that the contents of the Governor's house were distributed
amongst the troops, together with a certain sum raised from the
citizens. Gloucester's biographer goes on to say quaintly, that the
citizens found themselves better off than before, 'quickly understanding
in a short time the different constitutions of the English, and French
governments.'[278] The men of Cherbourg must have had unusually keen
perceptions. Still, care was taken for the good government of the city.
Lord Grey of Codnor was made governor, and all the other towns were
provided with captains.[279] Little as the English conquests have
affected northern France, there still remains a memento of Gloucester at
Cherbourg, where to this day 'Humphrey Street' recalls the long siege
and ultimate capture of the town.

The siege of Cherbourg had proved to be one of the most interesting
episodes in the military operations of Henry's second campaign. On the
one hand, the decidedly superior metal of the French guns foreshadowed
the transference of the best arm from the English to the French side in
this war; on the other, the whole siege served to illustrate the
peculiar military genius of the Duke of Gloucester. His conduct of the
operations betrayed a great knowledge of the theory of siege warfare,
while it showed that he had not served under his brother in vain. Again
and again we find traces of Henry's tactics adapted with great skill to
the needs of the present case by some slight elaboration. Without any of
the endowments of character which made the elder brother a great
general, the younger had, if possible, more of the qualities of a
soldier. A greater grasp of the situation is shown in the operations of
the siege of Cherbourg than in the case of any of Henry's sieges, more
adaptability to the needs of the moment. Gloucester took his risks and
justified them by success. No mere book-learned warcraft would have
dared the wedge formation on the day when the English were so hard
pressed, but the success of the movement justified its use. Gloucester
was an able man and a brave soldier, but he could never have become even
a passable commander. Within circumscribed limits he had no equal; there
was no captain in the English army who could have surpassed him before
Cherbourg, but under no circumstances could he have taken the position
which his great brother holds in military history. The natural bent of
his mind was inclined to the interests of the moment, and he could never
have planned out a campaign, or nursed his men up to a supreme effort,
as did Henry on the march to Agincourt. Courage, military skill, and the
power to appreciate any situation which confronted him he had in plenty,
but in him determination was swallowed up in rashness, and ability fled
before constitutional unsteadiness. As a leader of a forlorn hope, or in
the performance of a definite piece of work, he was pre-eminent, but his
natural characteristics removed any chance of his being in any sense a
general. In his military life, even as later in his stormy political
career, he displayed great ingenuity and cleverness, but here, as ever,
he lacked that vivifying touch of determination which alone could have
moulded the incidents of his life into one concentrated policy. At
Cherbourg his defects had had but slight chance of display, and it was
with increased fame, and with the reputation of a successful commander,
that towards the end of October he arrived at Rouen.

       *       *       *       *       *

While Gloucester had been besieging Cherbourg, and reducing the
Côtentin, the King had not been idle. He had spent three months at
Bayeux and Caen in creating the machinery for the administration of the
duchy, which hitherto had been under military law. At the same time he
sent to England for reinforcements, and on their arrival in May he
marched eastwards, joining Clarence and Exeter, who had been opening the
way to Rouen; the former having completed his work by the capture of the
Abbey of Bec Hellouin, the latter having taken Evreux. Taking Louviers
and Pont de l'Arche, Henry arrived at Rouen by easy stages on July
29.[280] Rouen had lately turned Burgundian,[281] but this did not
entail any inclination to become unpatriotic. Indeed at this moment
Burgundy himself was playing the patriotic game, for he had returned to
power. The oppression of the Armagnacs, who governed Paris in the name
of the Dauphin, together with their unreasonable refusal of terms of
agreement with Burgundy, had so enraged the Parisians that a mob
revolution in favour of Burgundy and Queen Isabella, who had come to
terms with one another in 1417, was made easy. In June Bernard, Count of
Armagnac, and many of his adherents were murdered by the populace.
Tanneguy du Châtel and the Dauphin escaped from the city with
difficulty, and Burgundy was acclaimed with shouts of welcome as he
entered Paris.[282] In this position his answer to a pursuivant sent by
Henry was a declaration of war.[283]


The siege of Rouen was more than three months old when Gloucester
arrived in November, fresh from the capture of Cherbourg.[284] The abbey
and fortress of St. Katharine just outside the town, which had been a
great source of inconvenience to the besiegers, keeping open, as it did,
communication between the town and the outside world, had capitulated on
August 22, and on September 7 Caudebec, which guarded the river
approach, surrendered to Warwick,[285] so that now Rouen was shut in on
every side. The blockade was strictly kept. Gloucester found the King
safely housed in the Carthusian Monastery of Notre-Dame-de-la-Rose, on
the east side of the town, about a mile distant from the Porte St.
Hilaire, the custody of which was committed to Sir William Porter.
Further south, at the Porte Martinville, lay Warwick, with his troops
reaching down to the Seine, and behind him the newly acquired fort of
St. Katharine. Across the Seine, on the south, Salisbury and Huntingdon
guarded 'La Barbacane.' On the west, Clarence lay at the ruined abbey of
St. Gervais, guarding the Porte Cauchoise and the walls as far as the
river. The Earl Marshal lay opposite the castle on the north-west, with
Talbot and Sir John Cornwall joining up his men and those of Clarence.
Exeter lay at the Porte Beauvassine on the north, while the Lords
Willoughby, Ross, and Fitz Hugh completed the circle of the besiegers to
the Porte St. Hilaire.[286] Gloucester himself, on his arrival, was
given command of the forces which lay at the Porte St. Hilaire,[287] and
he justified his selection for a post of danger and importance by that
reckless bravery for which he was already well known. He lay nearer to
the enemy than any of the besiegers by '40 rode and more in spas,' and
supervised his men with great ability, exposing himself to the fire from
the town, and repelling the frequent sorties made on his side.[288]
Indeed the fighting seems to have been heaviest at the Porte St.
Hilaire, for Gloucester casualties were more numerous than in any other
part of the army.[289]

Henry's arrangements for the safety of his army could not have been more
carefully or more wisely made. His men were securely entrenched against
the daily attacks of the town, whilst he himself, caring neither for fog
nor wintry weather, frequently visited the outposts at night. With great
care a bridge had been built across the river, thus affording easy and
safe communication with Salisbury and Huntingdon. The capture of
Caudebec had opened the river, and provisions came pouring in from
London;[290] also some of the ships were dragged overland for three
miles so as to get above the town bridge, which blocked the way. By this
means the French boats were driven to take refuge within the port of
Rouen, and while the town lost all hope of a replenished supply of
provisions, the English had food in abundance, communication being kept
up with England by a fleet lent by Henry's kinsman, King John of
Portugal.[291] No assault was made on the town. Henry was far too wise
to attempt to take so strong a fortress by any means but starvation, for
Rouen had splendid walls, numerous towers, and plenty of guns, with a
garrison, so say the French chroniclers, of four thousand soldiers and
sixteen thousand armed citizens, and the most courageous and
enterprising leader the English had yet met in the person of Guy le

The English therefore confined themselves to resisting the almost hourly
sorties of the besieged, and to harassing the country with the light
troops which had been brought from Ireland.[293] As November passed into
December the besieged began to feel a shortage of provisions, and they
turned out the non-combatants from the city. It could hardly be expected
that Henry would let these pass, and they were driven back to the walls,
though the English soldiers gave them food to save them from utter
starvation.[294] At the same time, however, the garrison was cheered by
the news that an old priest had managed to pass the English lines, and
to return with a promise of help from Burgundy. This news also reached
Henry, who fortified his camp behind as well as before, in case he had
to meet a relieving force;[295] yet this was but a measure of
precaution, for he well knew that Burgundy was not strong enough to
leave Paris open to the Armagnacs whilst he campaigned in Normandy.

Towards Christmas the garrison were in sore straits;

          'They etete doggys, they ete cattys,
          They ete mysse, horse and rattys,'

we are told by our rhyming Chronicler,[296] and they could not bury
their dead, so fast did men die. Another appeal to Burgundy resulted in
a promise of relief immediately after Christmas,[297] and on Christmas
Day Henry called a truce, and provided food for French as well as
English.[298] But the long-promised relief never came, and at length on
New Year's Eve the town asked for a parley. This was granted, but even
in their distress, with their wretched countrymen lying dead and dying
in the ditch hard by, the defenders would not accept Henry's terms. For
three days they discussed the matter in tents set up in Gloucester's
trenches and guarded by his men,[299] and when they returned to the
city despair seized the townsmen. Some tell us that in heroic
desperation they determined to throw down the walls, burn the city, and
fight their way out,[300] others say that a meeting of the citizens
compelled the leaders to reopen negotiations.[301] At any rate, they
went to the Porte St. Hilaire and asked to speak with Gloucester, but
failing to make him hear, and meeting with the same fate on the side
where Clarence lay, they at last succeeded in drawing the attention of
the Earl of Warwick, who undertook to communicate their wish to reopen
negotiations to the King.[302] This ended in terms of surrender being
signed on January 13.[303] If not relieved, Rouen was to surrender in
six days, pay an indemnity of 345,000 crowns of gold, and yield up three
men who were named. The garrison was allowed to march out unarmed and on
foot.[304] On the 19th of January Henry entered Rouen with great pomp,
and the Duchy of Normandy was finally won by the capitulation of its


After the conquest of Rouen the English captains were sent with small
detachments to clear the country. Salisbury to the north secured
Montivilliers, Honfleur, Fécamp, Dieppe, and Eu; Clarence went up the
Seine valley taking Vernon and Nantes, and many other smaller towns in
the immediate neighbourhood submitted.[306] Gloucester stayed with his
royal brother at Rouen, as he had been made captain of the city,[307]
and there steps were taken to further organise the administration of
Normandy, and to relieve distress in the town itself. At the same time
negotiations were being carried on with both French factions. Throughout
the recent siege ambassadors had been passing between the various
parties, and at one time the Dauphin offered terms,[308] at another the
French King, under the influence of Burgundy, sent a portrait of his
daughter Catherine, whose name had appeared in most of the
negotiations.[309] Conferences at Alençon with Armagnac, or at Pont de
l'Arche with Burgundian emissaries, were alike fruitless. Still Henry
persevered. Arrangements were made at Rouen for a personal meeting with
the Dauphin at Evreux on March 8,[310] but when Henry reached the
trysting-place he found that the Dauphin had not kept his word.[311]
Nothing daunted, he despatched Warwick on March 28 to arrange an
interview with the Burgundian faction for May 15, and Clarence, with
Gloucester, took an oath to observe any conditions that might be
arranged.[312] But Henry's diplomacy stretched farther than this.
Bedford was given permission to seek a wife among the daughters of
Frederick of Nuremberg, or among the daughters of the Duke of Lorraine,
or indeed among any of the kindred of the Emperor Sigismund.[313]
Gloucester, on the other hand, had a more restricted field for marriage
negotiations opened for him. He was given permission on April 1 to treat
for the hand of Blanche of Sicily, daughter and heiress of Charles III.
of Navarre. Acting on this commission, Gloucester appointed his
chamberlains, William Beauchamp and John Stokes 'Dr. of Laws,' to care
for his interests in that quarter, but his hopes of a wife at that time
were to be short-lived.[314] On April 20 Charles de Beaumont, who
represented Henry at the court of Navarre, and had recently served under
Gloucester in the Côtentin, informed him that negotiations were pending
for the marriage of Blanche to Don John of Arragon, asserting that
Henry's delays in stating definitely what lands in Guienne he would give
Gloucester on his wedding had so annoyed Charles, that it was unlikely
that the English marriage would ever come off.[315] In these suspicions
Beaumont was fully justified. We hear no more of Gloucester as a
prospective suitor for the hand of Blanche, and soon after she was
married to his rival, Don John, who ultimately became John II. of


Gloucester had more active work on hand than this somewhat nebulous
marriage scheme. He left Evreux early in April, accompanied by the Earl
Marshal, John de Mowbray, having been commissioned to take Ivry, which
he invested in the customary manner.[316] The town held out with more
determination than had been expected, and to save Gloucester's troops
from starvation the King had to despatch orders to the bailiff of Evreux
to send all sellers of provisions in his bailiwick to Ivry, to hold a
market there twice a week so long as Gloucester remained before the
town.[317] The town was not of great strength, and was taken by assault
in a few days, but the castle was not only well fortified, but situated
so as to be hard to attack. With the usual English tactics Gloucester
sat down before the impregnable, knowing that famine would do better
work than his guns. Once more it was proved that it was not the
cowardice of the French garrisons, but the lethargy and rivalries of the
French Princes which gave Normandy to the English King. The first panic
after Henry's landing at Touques once over, the French had held their
position stubbornly, but the English were unhampered in their
preparations for sieges and unharassed in the country while they
attacked the towns. Thus fortresses which might have replenished their
provisions had the attention of the besiegers been divided, were
compelled by lack of food and other stores to surrender. Harfleur had
proved it, Rouen had proved it, and now in due course the castle of Ivry
was compelled to come to terms on May 10, and three days later
Gloucester entered the fortress and received the oath of fealty from all
in the town.[318]

Having settled matters at Ivry, Gloucester marched towards Mantes, where
he joined his brother, probably late in May.[319] Henry was preparing,
with growing confidence in an amicable adjustment of his claims, to meet
Charles VI. and Burgundy at a conference, wherein the French had
consented to take the Treaty of Bretigny as a basis of their
discussion.[320] The conference was to be held in a meadow near Meulan,
where a little stream, called the Viviers, emptied itself into the
Seine. Thus guarded on two sides, the rest was surrounded by a bank and
a ditch, and had a pavilion in the centre for the shelter of the two
parties. Thither on May 30 came Burgundy with Queen Isabel and her
daughter Catherine.[321] Charles VI. was too unwell to be present. From
Mantes came Henry, accompanied by his two brothers Clarence and
Gloucester, Archbishop Chichele, the two Beauforts, Henry Beaufort of
Winchester and the Duke of Exeter, and two thousand five hundred
well-appointed soldiers. Nothing beyond ceremonial greetings took place
on the first day of the conference, which seem to have been chiefly
meant for the introduction of Henry to Catherine, for at later meetings
the much-treated-of Princess did not appear.[322] At the next meeting on
June 1 Clarence, Gloucester, Chichele, Beaufort, and Exeter were
officially appointed to treat for peace with France, and for the King's
marriage.[323] Negotiations dragged on, Henry demanding the cession of
full sovereignty of the English possessions in France which were assured
by the Treaty of Bretigny, the French demanding a renunciation by the
English King of his title to the French throne. At the end of a month
they were no nearer a settlement than at the beginning, and distrust of
each other was becoming evident. Eventually high words passed between
Henry and Burgundy, and negotiations were broken off.[324] Even then,
Henry does not seem to have lost all hope of an arrangement of these
difficulties, for on July 5 we find Chichele and Warwick commissioned to
undertake an embassy to the Burgundian party.[325]


Nevertheless, Henry knew that his best argument was force, and as soon
as the truce expired on July 31, he sent forward a detachment from
Mantes, which surprised and took Pontoise.[326] Henry, with Gloucester
and the main body of the army, stayed some little time longer at
Mantes,[327] and then followed to Pontoise, where Clarence rejoined him,
after having reconnoitred right up to the gates of Paris.[328] Hence the
whole army moved on August 18, and taking Vancouvilliers on the way, sat
down before Gisors on the 31st, which, after a short but sharp siege,
surrendered--the town on September 17, the castle six days later.[329]
From Gisors Henry went to Mantes, whence he supervised the siege of
Meulan, in which Gloucester took part. This town was so situated that
the Seine guarded it on one side, and marshes on the other. However, by
the use of rafts and floating castles, the English managed to clear the
river of the stakes which the French had planted in its bed, and so to
press the town, that it surrendered on October 31.[330] Henry had kept
up daily communication with the besiegers, and now he came to Meulan,
and on November 6 despatched Gloucester to secure the Seine valley
further up towards Paris. Poissy was captured on the 13th, and three
days later St. Germain succumbed after no serious resistance. On the
same day the neighbouring castle of Montjoye voluntarily submitted.[331]

By the middle of the month Gloucester was back with the King at Mantes,
and accompanied him to Rouen, for it had been decided to send him home
to replace his brother Bedford as Regent of England.[332] It seems
impossible to discover any real reason for this exchange of posts
between Bedford and Gloucester, unless the King wanted the help of the
brother who had had experience in statecraft in the organisation of his
newly acquired Duchy, and thought that Gloucester could be more easily
spared than Clarence to go to England. At any rate, on November 21,
orders were issued at Rouen for the impressment of forty sailors to
convey Gloucester to England, and it is probable that he crossed the
Channel within a few days of this provision.[333]


  [145] _Gesta_, 59.

  [146] _Cal. Rot. Pat._, 265. Llanstephan had belonged to Henry Gwyn,
         killed on the French side at Agincourt.

  [147] November 27, 1415. The actual patent of appointment is not
         given, but it is referred to in a later entry. _Rot. Pat., 4
         Henry V._, m. 22.

  [148] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 91. Bedford is mentioned as Lieutenant of
         England in the same document, and this definitely shows that
         it was of a date anterior to the King's return.

  [149] December 28, _Rot. Pat., 3 Henry V._, Part ii. m. 16. In the
         reign of Henry VI. Gloucester alludes to having the reversion
         of Carisbrooke and the Isle of Wight, then in the hands of
         the Dowager-Duchess of York (Ancient Petitions, File 85, No.
         4220), so no absolute grant of this was made at this time.

  [150] Jan. 27, _Rot. Pat., 3 Henry V._, Part ii. m. 12.

  [151] See Aschbach, _passim_.

  [152] Elmham, _Vita_, 74; _Gesta_, 76.

  [153] Rymer, iv. ii. 157.

  [154] _Ibid._, iv. ii. 157.

  [155] _Ordinances_, ii. 195, 196.

  [156] MSS. of Corporation of New Romney, Hist. MSS., Rep. v. 539.

  [157] Holinshed, iii. 85. Aschbach, ii. 162, accepts the story.
         Windeck, Sigismund's secretary, who might have described the
         incident in his _Life_ of the Emperor, did not come over at
         the same time as his master, but followed a few days later.
         See cap. 59.

  [158] Redmayne, 49, gives a variation of the story, placing the
         incident at Calais, and Warwick as the actor; but as
         Sigismund arrived there by land, this is manifestly
         impossible. Hall also gives it in yet another version.

  [159] Windeck, cap. 59; Des Ursins, 529, 530.

  [160] _Lond. Chron._, 103; Capgrave, _De Illustribus Henricis_, 118;
         _Gesta_, 75, 76; Elmham, _Liber Metricus_, 133; Livius, 23;
         Cotton MS., Cleopatra, c. iv. f. 28vo, gives May 4 as the day
         of arrival at Dover.

  [161] _Gesta_, 76.

  [162] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 95, 96.

  [163] Capgrave, _De Illustribus Henricis_, 118; Elmham, _Liber
         Metricus_, 134.

  [164] Rymer, iv. ii. 135; Elmham, _Vita_, 87; Capgrave, _De
         Illustribus Henricis_, 118.

  [165] Caro, _Bundniss von Canterbury_, 57; Aschbach, ii. 164.

  [166] A detailed account of the banquet in celebration of
         Sigismund's enrolment in the Order of the Garter is given in
         _Lond. Chron._, 159.

  [167] Elmham, _Liber Metricus_, 134.

  [168] _Cal. of Norman Rolls_, Rep. 41, App. i. 688; _Cal. of French
         Rolls_, Rep. 44, App. 583.

  [169] The King at first intended to lead this expedition. _Memorials
         of London_, 628; Elmham, _Vita_, 78, 79; Capgrave, _De
         Illustribus Henricis_, 120; Livius, 25; Harleian MS., 2256,
         f. 180; Rymer, iv. ii. 168. Des Ursins, 532, says that
         Gloucester accompanied Bedford.

  [170] Windeck, cap. 60.

  [171] Sigismund and his followers distributed copies of the
         following verses among the citizens of Calais, as a tribute
         to their royal reception in England:

  'Vale et gaude gloriosa cum triumpho! O tu felix Anglia et
         benedicta! Quia quasi angelica natura gloriosa, Laude Jhesum
         adorans, es jure dicta. Hanc tibi do laudem quam recte jure

  _Gesta_, 93; Capgrave, _De Illustribus Henricis_, 120; Elmham,
         _Liber Metricus_, 141.

  [172] Elmham, _Vita_, 77; Des Ursins, 532. Cf. Rymer, iv. ii. 17.

  [173] Rymer, IV. ii. 178; Elmham, _Liber Metricus_, 142.

  [174] Rymer, IV. ii. 176; _Cal. of French Rolls_, Rep. 44, App. 584.

  [175] _Gesta_, 100, 101; Gregory, 114; Capgrave, _De Illustrious
         Henricis_, 120; Waurin, ii. 236; St. Rémy, 410; Monstrelet,

  [176] Waurin, ii. 236, 237; St. Rémy, 410.

  [177] Monstrelet, 394, followed by Holinshed, iii. 87.

  [178] Monstrelet, 394; Elmham, _Liber Metricus_, 146.

  [179] Windeck, cap. 66; Capgrave, _Chron._, 315; Otterbourne, 278;
         Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 317.

  [180] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 94.

  [181] The Sheriff was to have the indentures ready by February 14,
         1417; Rymer, IV. ii. 192.

  [182] _Ordinances_, ii. 230, 231.

  [183] _Ibid._, iii. 9; _Rot. Parl._, iv. 320.

  [184] Muster Rolls of the Army, preserved in the Chapter-House at
         Westminster, printed in _Gesta_, 265. Livius, 31, gives 100
         lances and 300 archers. Stowe, 353, follows Livius. 100
         spears and 300 archers in Holkham MS., p. 15. Holinshed, iii.
         89, gives 470 lances and 1410 archers.

  [185] _Gesta_, 111; Elmham, _Vita_, 96. Harleian MS., 2256, f. 181,
         gives Portsmouth as the place of starting.

  [186] Livius, 33; _Gesta_, 111; Monstrelet, 406.

  [187] Livius, 31, 32, gives a list of the retinues which amounts to
         9066 men, though he ends by saying 16,000. _Gesta_, 190,
         gives 16,400. See Ramsay, i. chap, xvii., Appendix, pp.

  [188] Elmham, _Vita_, 97.

  [189] Basin, i. 26. See also Waurin, ii. 242; St. Rémy, 429; Livius,

  [190] _Rot. Norm._, 316, 317.

  [191] Delpit, _Doc. Fr._, p. 219, No. CCCXXXVII.; Livius, 34;
         _Gesta_, 111, 112; Stow, 353, followed by Holkham MS., p. 15.

  [192] Elmham, _Vita_, 101.

  [193] Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 321, 322; Elmham, _Vita_, 99,

  [194] St. Denys says it was besieged unsuccessfully, but there could
         have been no time for this. Cf. Elmham, _Vita_, 98.

  [195] Livius, 35; _Gesta_, 113; Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 322.

  [196] Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 322-324; Livius, 35.

  [197] Livius, 36.

  [198] _Gesta_, 113; Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 323.

  [199] Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 322.

  [200] _Chronique de Normandie_, 228.

  [201] Elmham, _Vita_, 104; Livius, 36.

  [202] Cotton MS., Claudius. A. VIII. f. 6.

  [203] Elmham, _Vita_, 105.

  [204] Livius, 37.

  [205] Livius, 38, 39; Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 324; Elmham,
         _Vita_, 107-111; _Gesta_, 114. See also Waurin, ii. 244;
         Monstrelet, 426; St. Rémy, 429 and 422. On September 5 the
         castle agreed to surrender, if not relieved before the 19th.
         Delpit, _Doc. Fr._, pp. 220, 221, Nos. CCCXXXIX., CCCXL.

  [206] _Rot. Norm._, 164; Carte, i. 247.

  [207] _Rot. Norm._, 167; Rymer, IV. iii. 16; _Cal. of Norman Rolls_,
         Rep. 41, App. 1. 746.

  [208] Elmham, _Vita_, 116; Livius, 40, 41.

  [209] Redmayne, 51; Elmham, _Vita_, 116; Livius, 42; _Gesta_, 115.

  [210] Redmayne, 51.

  [211] Livius, 43, 44; _Gesta_, 116.

  [212] Elmham, _Vita_, 117, 118; Livius, 42; _Gesta_, 116.

  [213] Livius, 44; Elmham, _Vita_, 122. Elmham says that Clarence was
         posted opposite the castle. Stow, 356, says that Gloucester
         besieged the castle, while the King besieged the town.
         Holkham MS., p. 16, follows Stow.

  [214] Livius, 44; Elmham, _Vita_, 122, 123; _Rot. Norm._, 187.

  [215] Livius, 45: Elmham, _Vita_, 123, 124; _Gesta_, 117.

  [216] Rymer, IV. iii. 23, 24; _Gesta_, 117; Elmham, _Vita_, 124,

  [217] List of the captains of castles conquered in 1417; Appendix to
         _Gesta_, 275. Holkham MS., p. 16.

  [218] Livius, 46.

  [219] Elmham, _Vita_, 128. He calls the leader of this expedition
         the Duke of York, at the time a boy of only six years old.

  [220] Livius, 46.

  [221] Ramsay, i. 250, calls this the south side of the town. It is
         hardly credible that the gate on the road to Caen would be on
         the south side when that town lies north of Falaise.

  [222] _Gesta_, 118; Elmham, _Vita_, 128; Livius, 46.

  [223] _Rot. Norm._, 312; Gregory, 121.

  [224] _Rot. Norm._, 312; Elmham, _Vita_, 129-132; Livius, 46, 47;
         _Gesta_, 118.

  [225] Otterbourne, 279, says that Henry spent Christmas at Bayeux in
         _5 Henry V._, that is, 1417, though in another place he calls
         it 1418. Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, also calls it 1418, but
         his computations of years are always a little hazy, and he
         seems to begin the new year at Christmas. Both authors
         mention that it was at this time that Falaise surrendered,
         which makes the date 1417.

  [226] _Rot. Norm._, 308. Livius, 49, gives the date of the delivery
         of the castle as February 6.

  [227] Elmham, _Vita_, 133-138; Livius, 49; _Gesta_, 118.

  [228] Waurin, ii. 242.

  [229] Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 248; Walsingham, _Ipodigma
         Neustriæ_, 486; Elmham, _Vita_, 139, 140; Gesta, 119, 120;
         _Chronique de Normandie_, 182; Gregory, 121.

  [230] Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 328; Walsingham, _Ipodigma
         Neustriæ_, 486; Elmham, _Vita_, 139, 140; Gesta, 119, 120;
         _Chronique de Normandie_, 182; Gregory, 121.

  [231] _Rot. Norm._, 248; Rymer, IV. iii. 362.

  [232] Carte, i. 276.

  [233] _Ibid._, 273.

  [234] _Ibid._, 273.

  [235] _Ibid._, 274, 276.

  [236] See p. 64, note 271, for an estimate of his forces in this
         expedition. Elmham, _Vita_, 141, calls it a strong force.

  [237] Gregory, 121. He includes the Earl of March in the list, who,
         however, did not join the expedition till later, as he was at
         present in England.

  [238] See Commission to the Earl of Huntingdon of March 17, _Rot.
         Norm._, 381.

  [239] Elmham, _Vita_, 139, 143.

  [240] _Gesta_, 120; Elmham, _Vita_, 141. Both these authorities call
         this place 'Cawdey,' and are followed therein by Holkham MS.,
         p. 16. The editor of the _Gesta_ thinks this is a clerical
         error for Hambie. This town, however, was captured after
         Vire, and it is hardly likely that both these contemporaries
         would have made the same clerical error. Elmham may have
         copied from the _Gesta_, but as he was personally acquainted
         with Humphrey, and gives by far the fullest account of this
         expedition, it is probable that he wrote on good authority,
         if not from personal experience.

  [241] _Rot. Norm._, 289-292.

  [242] Elmham, _Vita_, 141; _Gesta_, 120; Livius, 50.

  [243] _Rot. Norm._, 298-300.

  [244] _Cal. of Norman Rolls_, Rep. 41, App. I. 746

  [245] Robsart was at St. Lo before the day of surrender. Rymer, IV.
         iii. 41.

  [246] _Rot. Norm._, 300-303; Rymer, IV. iii. 41.

  [247] _Cal. of Norman Rolls_, Rep. 41, App. I. 746; Rymer, IV. iii.

  [248] _Cal. of Norman Rolls_, Rep. 41, App. I. 746; Rymer, IV. iii.

  [249] _Cal. of Norman Rolls_, Rep. 41, App. I. 708.

  [250] _Rot. Norm._, 381; Elmham, _Vita_, 144.

  [251] _Paston Letters_, i. 10.

  [252] This place is called 'Noo' in _Gesta_, 120, and is taken by
         the editor of that chronicle to be Pont Douve, now called
         Pont d'Ouilly. In Elmham, _Vita_, 142, and Livius, 50, it is
         called 'Nehoo.' Pont Douve was captured by Gloucester (Rymer,
         IV. iii. 44; _Cal. of Norman Rolls_, Rep. 41, App. I. 746),
         but it is not the same place as this, which is obviously
         Néhou, a place situated four kilometers from St. Sauveur le
         Vicomte. I cannot locate Pont Douve, but should gather from
         the date of surrender that it was near Carentan on the Douve,
         for it fell on March 17, the day after Carentan. This is the
         date given in the _Norman Rolls_ and in the text of the
         _Foedera_, though in the margin Rymer calls it March 27 and
         is followed by Hardy in his syllabus of the _Foedera_,
         without any reason being assigned.

  [253] For whole campaign see Elmham, _Vita_, 141, 142; Livius, 50;
         _Gesta_, 120, 121.

  [254] Gregory, 121, who, however, gives the number of castles as
         twenty-four. The higher estimate is to be found in a record
         of the _Parlimentary Rolls_ in the year 1428. _Rot. Parl._,
         IV. 320.

  [255] Stow, 356.

  [256] Walsingham, _Ipodigma Neustriæ_, 486; Gregory, 120.

  [257] Livius, 51; Elmham, _Vita_, 148.

  [258] Elmham, _Vita_, 148, 149; Livius, 52.

  [259] Waurin, ii. 244; Monstrelet, 426.

  [260] Even at the end of the siege there was abundance of corn and
         wine in the city. Elmham, _Vita_, 163.

  [261] Walsingham, _Ipodigma Neustriæ_, 486; Gregory, 120.

  [262] Elmham, _Vita_, 148; Livius, 52.

  [263] Elmham, _Vita_, 150; Holkham MS., p. 17.

  [264] Elmham, _Vita_, 151; Livius, 52.

  [265] _Ibid._

  [266] Elmham, _Vita_, 152, 153; Livius, 53.

  [267] Elmham, _Vita_, 153; Livius, 53.

  [268] They had been brought over to France by the Earl of March,
         Harleian MS., 2256, f. 182vo.

  [269] _Cal. of Norman Rolls_, Rep. 41, App. I. 693; Carte, i. 265.

  [270] Elmham, _Vita_, 153; Livius, 54.

  [271] When Gloucester reached the King before Rouen at the end of
         this campaign, he had 3000 men under his command (_Chron.
         Norm._, 241). However, he had then been reinforced by
         another force of some 2000 men sent over from England (see
         p. 67 below). Whether these last reinforcements followed him
         to Rouen, or whether, when their work was done, they
         returned to England, we cannot tell, but they were certainly
         over and above the numbers he commanded at this present
         time. If they became a definite part of his following and
         took part in the rest of this year's campaign, as seems most
         probable, they would help to fill the gaps in Humphrey's
         ranks caused later by casualties before Harfleur, which must
         have been severe, and by the garrison left to hold that
         town. Perhaps with these deductions they might have
         increased his force by some thousand men or more, which
         would compel us to conclude that before the siege of
         Cherbourg Humphrey had at his disposal some 2000 men. This
         is confirmed by taking a list of men serving under the Duke
         in the Côtentin. It is compiled from the statements of the
         chroniclers and from the official records which give the
         names of those who acted for Gloucester in the matter of
         signing terms with the various towns. The retinues are taken
         from the muster-roll of Henry's army printed in the Appendix
         to the _Gesta_ (pp. 265-272). The list, of course, cannot be
         taken as exhaustive, as many who are not mentioned may have
         taken part in the campaign.

         Lances. Archers.

         Gloucester's own retinue captained by--Reginald Cobham, 45
         114 William Beauchamp, 45 152 The Earl of March, 93 302 The
         Earl of Suffolk, 31 90 Lord Grey of Codnor, 51 174 Sir
         Walter Hungerford, 91 276 John, Lord Clifford, 50 150 Sir
         Gerard Ufflete, 20 67 John de Robsart, 1 3

         Total:--427 Lances and 1328 Archers.

         This list includes the names of captains who appear before
         Cherbourg as well as earlier in the campaign. Charles de
         Beaumont, Marshal of Navarre, was also with Gloucester, and
         probably had a contingent under his command. The total number
         of 1755 men approximates to our 2000 estimate, whilst at the
         same time allowance can be made for possible contingents
         which, though in the field, are not mentioned. _Chron.
         Norm._, 230, tells us that at the beginning of the campaign
         Talbot was sent into the Côtentin with 500 or 600 men, and
         Gloucester went to open up the road to Rouen. This may be a
         mere mistake of names, and so Humphrey may have only had a
         small force, little in excess of his own retinue, when he
         started out on his expedition, though this is not likely, if
         the men who served under him brought their whole contingents.

  [272] Elmham, _Vita_, 154, 155; Livius, 54.

  [273] Elmham, _Vita_, 155-158; Livius, 54.

  [274] Rymer, iv. iii. 64; _Cal. of Norm. Rolls_, Rep. 41, App. I.

  [275] Waurin, ii. 244; Monstrelet, 426.

  [276] Elmham, _Vita_, 159; Livius, 55.

  [277] Elmham, _Vita_, 160, 161, 162; Livius, 55, 56.

  [278] Holkham MS., p. 17.

  [279] List of captains printed in Appendix to _Gesta_, 276.

  [280] Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 329; John Page, 6; Elmham,
         _Vita_, 179; _Gesta_, 123.

  [281] Des Ursins, 539, 545.

  [282] _Ibid._, 540-542.

  [283] Delpit, _Doc. Fr._, 222.

  [284] _Chronique de Normandie_, 230, says that Gloucester arrived on
         St. Catharine's Day (November 25), but his men were 'arrayed'
         at Rouen on November 6; _Cal. of Norman Rolls_, Rep. 41, App.
         I. 718. Cf. Livius, 64.

  [285] _Cal. of Norman Rolls_, Rep. 41, App. I. 746.

  [286] _Paston Letters_, 10; _Gesta_, 123, 124; Elmham, _Vita_, 180,
         181; Livius, 61 John Page, 6-8; _Chronique de Normandie_,
         238; Harleian MS., 2256, f. 185, 185vo.

  [287] Elmham, _Vita_, 191; Livius, 64. _Chronique de Normandie_,
         241, says that Gloucester brought with him some three
         thousand men.

  [288] John Page, 11; Cotton MS., Claudius, A. VIII. f. 8vo;
         Harleian MS., 2256, f. 186.

  [289] John Page, 16.

  [290] Delpit, _Doc. Fr._, 224, 225.

  [291] Elmham, _Vita_, 182; Livius, 62.

  [292] Waurin, ii. 247; St. Rémy, 431.

  [293] Waurin, ii. 249.

  [294] John Page, 20; Waurin, ii. 253; Elmham, _Vita_, 192; St. Rémy,
         432. St. Rémy says that Henry fired on these people, and both
         he and Waurin say that they were ultimately taken back into
         the town.

  [295] John Page, 16.

  [296] John Page, 18.

  [297] Waurin, ii. 257; St Rémy. 433.

  [298] John Page, 21.

  [299] John Page, 33.

  [300] Waurin, ii. 261.

  [301] Elmham, _Vita_, 199.

  [302] Harleian MS., 2256, f. 189.

  [303] _Cal. of Norman Rolls_, Rep. 41, App. I. 746.

  [304] Waurin, ii. 262. Livius, 68, says 300,000 crowns, which is
         equal to 150,000 English nobles.

  [305] Des Ursins, 545.

  [306] _Cal. of Norman Rolls_, Rep. 41, App. I. 746; Elmham, _Vita_,
         205, 206.

  [307] Monstrelet, 450.

  [308] Elmham, _Vita_, 191.

  [309] Waurin, ii. 252.

  [310] _Cal. of Norman Rolls_, Rep. 41, App. I. 739.

  [311] Rymer, iv. III. 130; Elmham, _Vita_, 209, 210.

  [312] _Cal. of Norman Rolls_, Rep. 41, App. I. 762; Rymer, IV. iii.

  [313] _Cal. of French Rolls_, Rep. 44, App. 610.

  [314] Rymer, IV, iii. 102. William Beauchamp was the leader of a
         company in Gloucester's retinue. Stokes was much employed by
         the King in negotiations at this time, and is possibly the
         John Stoke who in 1440 became Abbot of St. Albans.

  [315] Rymer, IV. iii. 112.

  [316] There is considerable uncertainty as to when Gloucester went
         to besiege Ivry. Elmham (_Vita_, 210) says that Gloucester
         was sent from Vernon, but at this time Elmham was absent with
         Warwick (Vita, 215), and so may well have made a mistake. The
         _Chronique de Normandie_, 244, says that the siege was begun
         by Gloucester in March, on the Friday after the Feast of our
         Lady (March 25), and lasted forty days. Ivry surrendered on
         May 10, therefore this would mean that Gloucester began the
         siege on April 1, marching thither from Evreux, where the
         King was on that day. It is inconceivable that Gloucester
         would go to Vernon and then back to Ivry, which would be to
         make two sides of a triangle. See also Livius, 32, who puts
         the expedition immediately after the fall of Rouen. The fact
         that Gloucester promised to observe the treaty signed at
         Vernon April 7, does not prove that he was there. Clarence
         did the same, and he had gone to Mantes long before.

  [317] _Cal. of Norman Rolls_, Rep. 42, App. 314.

  [318] _Cal. of Norman Rolls_, Rep. 41, App. I. 746; Rymer, IV. iii.
         52. In Rymer, though the document expressly says May 10,
         1419, it is put under May 5, 1418; Elmham, _Vita_, 211;
         Livius, 72; _Cal. of Norman Rolls_, Rep. 41, App. I. 776;
         Carte, i. 303.

  [319] The _Chronique de Normandie_, 244, says that after taking Ivry
         Gloucester overran the county of Chartres with a large force.
         No other authority mentions this, and it seems unlikely that
         Gloucester would have taken the offensive in Chartres, in
         view of the truce which he had sworn to observe. The truce
         excluded the Duchy of Normandy, so that his operations before
         Ivry did not infringe it. See Rymer, IV. iii. 102-104.
         Holinshed, iii. 107, follows the _Chronique de Normandie_.

  [320] See Beaucourt, _Histoire de Charles VII._, vol. i. pp. 296,

  [321] Elmham, _Vita_, 219.

  [322] Waurin, ii. 268, 269; Elmham, _Vita_, 222. Elmham takes a long
         time to describe in his usual florid style the maiden modesty
         with which Catherine received Henry's kiss.

  [323] _Cal. of Norman Rolls_, Rep. 41, App. I. 783; Rymer, IV. iii.

  [324] Elmham, _Vita_, 219-226; _Chronique de Normandie_, 246;
         Waurin, ii. 268-270; Monstrelet, 453, 454.

  [325] _Cal. of Norman Rolls_, Rep. 41, App. I. 789.

  [326] Waurin, ii. 276; Elmham, _Vita_, 227-231; St. Rémy, 438.

  [327] He was still at Mantes on August 5, when he wrote to tell the
         Londoners of the capture of Pontoise. Delpit, _Doc. Fr._, p.
         227, No. CCCLIII.

  [328] Elmham, _Vita_, 231, 232.

  [329] Elmham, _Vita_, 232-234; Waurin, ii. 276, 277.

  [330] _Chronique de Normandie_, 248, says November 6; Elmham,
         _Vita_, 239, says October 29; _Gesta_, 132, October 30. Cf.
         Livius, 79.

  [331] _Chronique de Normandie_, 248. _Gesta_, 132, puts this
         expedition before the siege of Meulan; Elmham, _Vita_, 239,
         puts it during the progress of the siege of Meulan; Livius,
         79, puts it immediately after the Conference of Meulan; Stow,
         359, follows Livius.

  [332] Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 331; Otterbourne, 283.

  [333] _Cal. of Norman Rolls_, Rep. 42, App. 331; Carte, i. 527;
         Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 331.



After landing in England Gloucester had not long to wait before he took
up his new duties. On December 30, 1419, his commission to be 'guardian
and lieutenant of England' in the place of Bedford, who was about to go
to France, was sealed at Westminster, and his powers in this office were
defined. He was to preside at the meetings of Parliament and Council,
and to summon the lords and the commonalty of the kingdom for
consultation. The executive power was put into his hands, and he was
empowered to do all things necessary for the welfare of the country,
with the assent of Parliament and the Council; whilst he was also to
exercise the royal prerogative in ecclesiastical matters, giving
licences to elect to vacancies, and his assent or veto to these
elections when made. The commission concluded with emphatic instructions
that the Regent 'shall carry out all matters of governance with the
assent of and after deliberation by the Council, and not
otherwise.'[334] Meanwhile, Bedford was in England, and he did not leave
for France until the spring,[335] but the control of affairs was in the
hands of his brother. This was the first time that Gloucester had been
brought into official contact with English politics, though he had been
a member of the Council and of Parliament since his elevation to the
peerage in 1414. The country was in that state of peace which so often
precedes a violent storm. Of internal strife there had been none since
Sir John Oldcastle had been captured and executed in December 1417,[336]
and the threatening of revolution which had preceded Henry's first
expedition to France had passed away. On the other hand, the war was
beginning to outlive its popularity. The steady successes of Henry had
none of the glamour of such a victory as Agincourt, which alone could
kindle the enthusiasm of the people at home. There were signs that the
soldiers themselves were tiring of the successive sieges,[337] while in
England men did not grasp with what determination the military genius
and the patient diplomacy of Henry were working up to the approaching
culmination of the Treaty of Troyes. Moreover, the French prisoners in
England, for whom Gloucester now became responsible, had been showing
signs of restlessness, and Orleans for one had been discovered in
intrigue with the Scotch.[338]


The most notable aspect of England, however, when Gloucester took up the
reins of government in 1419, was the development of the power of the
great middle class. The dangers which Henry IV. had had to meet amongst
the rebellious nobility had driven him to rely on the class which would
give him the support he needed, and this increased the importance of the
trader and the townsman, whose influence was still further expanded by
the absence of almost the whole nobility and a large proportion of the
ecclesiastical hierarchy in France. The constitutional aspect of
Parliament was becoming more than a name in the days of Gloucester's
first regency, and public opinion was beginning to mirror the interests
of the money-making portion of the community. Ever since the days of the
Black Death this change had been slowly moving to its completion, and
the success of the archers in the French wars announced the fact that
the old fixed state of society had come to an end. Now for the first
time appeared the ambition of men of one class to raise themselves to
the level of the next; now for the first time poverty and incompetence
became a disgrace. These all were the outward signs of a great
industrial revolution. Till the middle of the fourteenth century England
had been a mere producer of raw material; now she was on the high-road
to take a definite place as the manufacturer of finished goods in all
the chief markets of Europe. A striking instance of this change is to be
found in the way the export of wool dropped, whilst its production
increased, for the manufacture of broadcloth was no longer confined to
the foreign buyers of English wool. This increased production entailed a
corresponding increase in the number of traders and carriers of English
produce, and it is at this time that such companies as the Merchant
Adventurers rose to great power. This change from the production of raw
material to the manufacture of the finished article not only gave a new
power to the middle classes, but it had its influence also in bringing
the English town into greater prominence. 'Mediæval economy, with its
constant regard to the relations of persons, was giving place to the
modern economy, which treats the exchange of things as fundamental,' and
this resulted in increased power to those corporate bodies which were
favoured by this change. New and substantial town-halls were being built
in all parts of England, and the towns themselves were becoming an
important factor in English life. The days when a group of nobles
enjoyed the whole political influence of the community were at an end,
and a foreign observer could declare that the nation 'consists of
churchmen, nobles, and craftsmen, as well as common people.'[339]
Moreover, it now came first to be realised that England could have a
commercial interest in foreign politics, as well as a purely dynastic
one.[340] English merchants now began to have a direct influence on the
policy of the crown, and they could make it felt through the immense
sums which the Government was compelled to borrow from them.[341]


This then was the state of society which Gloucester found when the
government was committed to his care, and he was not slow to realise
this change. Some years later a Carthusian monk, when consulted by the
Duke of Buckingham on the probability of his succession, declared that
his only hope of aggrandisement was 'to obtain the love of the community
of England';[342] and this was a truth understood earlier by the Duke of
Gloucester. We do not know by what means it was done, but Humphrey soon
became the darling of the middle classes, and by the time that Henry V.
died he had won the enthusiastic support of the London citizens. It will
be seen, therefore, that it was to the growing powers in England that he
appealed for sympathy and encouragement, to those who were gradually
working out the progress of England towards freedom from aristocratic
control, to those who were content to ignore the quarrel of prince with
prince and noble with noble, whilst they quietly based the future
strength of the kingdom on a wealth born of trade and private exertions.
It was in the towns that Humphrey found his friends; in the towns where
the middle classes were gaining the predominance, and not in the country
where the nobility still reigned supreme, and where the science and
prosperity of agriculture remained stationary throughout the fifteenth
and sixteenth centuries. The citizen class never failed him. They did
not look to the upstart house which had forgotten its origin in the new
title of Duke of Suffolk, but throughout his life they supported their
'Good Duke,' and genuinely mourned his death. What is called
statesmanship in others is dismissed as 'pandering to the populace' in
Humphrey by those who cannot allow any good to reside in an unsuccessful
politician, but it seems a more just estimate of this side of
Gloucester's policy to acknowledge the foresight and wisdom of one who
abandoned the effete nobles, and looked for support to those who were
soon to prove themselves a power that must be taken into consideration.
This citizen support cannot have been welcome to the other members of
the governing class, and it is probably due to it that so much
opposition was shown to Gloucester in the early days of the reign of
Henry VI. In the outward events of the regency there are few signs of
the policy which Humphrey pursued, but we shall see its fruits as the
story of his life proceeds. It must have been at this time, however,
that his line of action was initiated.

The days of Gloucester's first regency were even more peaceful and
uneventful than those of Bedford's, and he found that his duties did not
exceed the ordinary official business of the kingdom, and the
representation of the King at ceremonial functions. Thus by right of his
position of Regent we find him presiding at a Chapter of the Order of
the Garter which was very sparsely attended owing to the large number of
knights who were serving abroad. Even Bedford, who had not yet left
England, was absent, being fully occupied with his preparations for

During his regency Humphrey was brought into contact with the young King
of Scotland, then a prisoner in England. According to a French
chronicler it was during the year 1420 that James, the son of David of
Scotland, who during his father's lifetime had been given a safe-conduct
by Henry V. to go to Jerusalem, came to England, and was there most
graciously received by Gloucester. In the meantime his father died, and
the Regent took immediate steps to acquaint his royal brother with the
fact of James's presence in England. Henry promptly ordered him to be
detained and sent under escort to the English army before Melun.[344] In
the whole story there is only one grain of truth. James had been a
captive in England ever since 1406, and his father, Robert (not David),
had died on hearing the news of his detention. However, it is true that
the unfortunate Scotch king was sent to the siege of Melun, leaving
England in July, and for this doubtless Gloucester made the
arrangements.[345] All that the story can tell us is that it points to a
probable friendship between James and Humphrey who had been boys
together at the court of Henry IV.[346]

Meanwhile English history was being made in France. The balance of
parties had been changed. Before Gloucester had crossed the Channel the
whole world had been shocked by the cold-blooded and treacherous murder
of the Duke of Burgundy at the bridge of Montereau.[347] Nothing could
have been more impolitic from the Armagnac point of view, for revenge
was far sweeter than patriotism to the Frenchmen of the fifteenth
century, and the King and Queen of France with that most marketable
commodity, their daughter Catherine, were under the influence of Philip,
the new Duke of Burgundy. What was more natural than that the
negotiations of Meulan should be resumed and brought to a successful
issue? Neither the Queen nor St. Pol, the governor of Paris, even waited
for the prompting of Philip, but sent envoys to Henry without delay,
and by December 25 a treaty was made between the Kings of England and of
France.[348] This treaty formed the basis of the more famous one signed
on May 21 by both contracting parties at Troyes. Henry was to marry
Catherine and to succeed to the French throne, meanwhile acting as
regent for the demented Charles VI. Each country was to preserve its own
laws and customs, and Henry, Charles, and Burgundy all promised not to
undertake any independent negotiations with the Dauphin.[349] The
English chroniclers, oblivious of the fact that Gloucester was Regent of
England, state that he was present at these negotiations,[350] but this
is entirely disproved by a letter written to him by Henry on the day
after the treaty was signed. Gloucester and the Council were herein
informed of the culmination of Henry's ambitions, and commanded to
proclaim the peace and the King's betrothal in England. He further
instructed them to destroy his seals, and to strike new ones bearing the
inscription 'Henry by the grace of God Kyng of England, Heire and Regent
of the Rowne of France, and Lord of Ireland.'[351] On June 14 Gloucester
signed the warrant for the proclamation of the good news, and the same
day a solemn procession was made in honour of the marriage of the King,
during which the proclamation was read at St. Paul's Cross.[352]


The Treaty of Troyes was the high-water mark of English success in
France, and it seemed to crystallise the unhappy principles with which
Gloucester had been impressed during the early years of his active life.
The only statesmanship that his royal brother could teach him was the
mistaken ideal of a self-righteous war. Unfortunately the mobile and
impressionable character of Humphrey was only too prone to receive the
imprint of this policy. Henceforth he stood by the clauses of the Treaty
of Troyes with a constancy worthy of a better cause, and in this
particular his line of action was definitely marked out. Though a man of
intellect and perception in theoretical matters, he was not endowed with
sufficient powers of statesmanship to see the disastrous consequences of
a war policy; quick to grasp the details of a scheme, he failed to
discern its wider significance, and so his policy was tainted by the
false brilliancy of his brother's successes. Had he been less
impressionable and more cool-headed, he would have been able to grasp
the essentials, and would not have been blinded by successes which could
only be transitory. In all cases Humphrey's policy was to be formed by
his emotions, hard facts had no influence upon him, and at this very
time he failed to understand the warning which came from the first
Parliament over which he presided, and which he opened on December 2.
Two days later all the formalities had been performed, and Roger Hunt
had been chosen Speaker and accepted by the Regent.[353]


It was not long before it became amply evident that there was
considerable discontent at the King's prolonged absence. It was now more
than three years since he had visited England, and the country was
beginning to feel that foreign ambitions were absorbing too much of
their ruler's attention. The Parliaments of 1417 and 1419, which had
been called by Bedford, had been marked by no act of constitutional
importance. In one Oldcastle had been condemned to death;[354] in both,
money was granted.[355] In 1420, however, the aspect of affairs was
changed. In the first place no money was asked for, as it was well
understood that it would not be granted, for men were beginning to
grumble at its scarcity.[356] One of the first acts of this Parliament
was to petition Gloucester to use all his influence to induce the King
and his Queen to return home as soon as possible, to which request the
Regent assented readily.[357] This petition must not be taken as
betraying any mistrust of the conduct of the regency government. It
simply reflects a growing fear that the kingdom of England would become
a mere appanage to the throne of France, and stands as a protest against
the conquest of France being the means of depreciating English prestige.
The constitutional troubles in this Parliament show a mistrust of
Henry's intentions, but convey no censure on the administration. It was
in this spirit therefore that it was enacted that though the Regent's
commission was to terminate on the return of the King, Parliament was
not to be considered to be dissolved by that event; that the statute of
Edward III. securing English liberties in case the English King required
a new title was revived; and that provision was made that petitions
should not be engrossed until they had been sent to the King for his
assent.[358] Thus the session closed amidst constitutional fears, which
for this time at least Gloucester had had no hand in creating.

England had not long to wait for the return of her King, who was anxious
to introduce his newly wedded wife to her English subjects. The petition
of Parliament was therefore quickly answered, and on Candlemas Day 1421
the royal couple landed at Dover, where the Barons of the Cinque Ports
were ready to welcome them. Humphrey was presumably too busy to be
present at this greeting, but he probably took part in the reception
which London accorded the King on February 14,[359] and in the high
festival and gorgeous processions with which a week later the Queen
entered the capital. It was a more subdued welcome that Henry now
received than that which marked his triumphal return from Agincourt, but
every token of respect and affection was offered to the Queen.[360] On
Sunday, February 23, Catherine was crowned at Westminster, and
immediately afterwards she presided at a banquet held in the 'greet
halle.' In spite of the Lenten season and the almost total absence of
meat, a splendid feast was spread, and the menu with its various
'soteltes' has been preserved for us.[361] In the absence of the King,
whom etiquette forbade to appear, the Queen presided, with the
Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Winchester on her right, the
King of Scotland, the Duchess of York, and the Countess of Huntingdon on
her left. The Earl Marshal and the Earl of March knelt on either side of
the Queen, each holding a sceptre, while the Countess of Kent and the
Countess Marshal sat at the feet of the Queen 'under the table.' Bedford
was present as Constable of England, Warwick officiated as Steward in
the absence of Clarence, and the Earl of Worcester in the capacity of
Earl Marshal--Mowbray being otherwise engaged--rode up and down the hall
to keep order. Carver, cupbearer, and butler each performed his
appointed duties, and bareheaded before the Queen stood Gloucester as
'supervisour'[362] of the feast by right of his office of Great
Chamberlain. It was in the organisation of pageants such as this that
Gloucester was most efficient. All his tastes for ancient learning and
his love of display, in which he proved himself a true child of the
Renaissance, were given full scope. At any rate, his arrangements so
impressed the chroniclers, that they all describe this pageant in
unusually elaborate detail.[363]

               WIFE ELEANOR.]

Soon after the coronation Henry and his bride went off on a royal
progress through the country, the ostensible reason being a series of
pilgrimages to various shrines, the real one a hope of restoring the
confidence of the country in their King, and to encourage fresh
sacrifices of men and money for a new campaign.[364] The necessity for
renewed effort became still more apparent when, on leaving the shrine of
St. John of Beverley, news reached them that Clarence had been defeated
and slain at Beaugé in March.[365] Having celebrated the Feast of St.
George somewhat later than the appointed day,[366] Henry opened a
Parliament on May 2,[367] and immediately began to prepare for another
expedition to France. Gloucester, of whom we have heard nothing since
the coronation feast, also began to make his preparations for war, but
before he left England an event happened which was to have considerable
influence on the course of his life during the next few years, and to
mould his policy in the near future.

       *       *       *       *       *


It was fated that England should be interested in the affairs of
Hainault and Holland for some time to come, and the whole history of
this interest is bound up with the story of Gloucester's infatuation for
Jacqueline, Countess of Holland, Zealand, and Hainault. This lady was
daughter and heiress of that Count William who visited England whilst
the Emperor Sigismund was in the country.[368] She had lost her father
and her first husband John, Dauphin of France, within a few weeks of
each other during the spring of the year 1417. With no natural
protector, she had been left to face the factions of Hooks and Cods in
her patrimony, and between them there was bitter strife; the former
being the supporters of her late father, and the latter his bitter
opponents.[369] But in the politics of these states of the Low Countries
there was a still more potent factor than the internal divisions of
party feuds. John, Duke of Burgundy, devoted his life to consolidating
his territorial power, as well as in advancing claims to political
ascendency in France, and in furtherance of the former ambitions he
desired to add the inheritance of Jacqueline to his already extensive
possessions. Not only would this acquisition strengthen his hands by
increasing his territory, but it would also increase his line of
seacoast in Zealand and Holland, and serve to join up his southern and
northern possessions. Thus he would be able to show a stronger front to
the Emperor, who regarded the increased power of his nominal vassal on
the confines of the empire as a threatening danger.

With the direct object of attaining this end, John the Fearless set
himself to arrange a marriage between Jacqueline and her neighbour the
Duke of Brabant, hoping thereby to bring about a childless match and the
acquisition to himself of the coveted territory, which, in the absence
of children, he would inherit. In this project he was supported by the
Princess's mother, Margaret, Dowager-Countess of Hainault, who was his
sister.[370] John of Brabant was a despicable weakling, much older than
his proposed bride, and possessing qualities which would make the life
of a young and spirited woman wholly unbearable. However, considerations
of policy induced her relatives to force Jacqueline into this
undesirable alliance, with the result which might have been expected.
John fell entirely into the hands of his Brabançon followers, who
induced him to add insult to the neglect with which he treated his
young wife, and the culminating-point was reached when in Jacqueline's
absence he arranged for the disposal of her territory for a term of
years to John of Bavaria.[371]

Among her few faithful followers the unhappy Countess found one whom the
chronicler names 'Robessart lord of Escaillon,' who, though a Hainaulter
by origin, was English in sympathies.[372] Doubtless he was one of that
family of Robsarts of which more than one served in the French
wars.[373] It was the Lord of Escallion who befriended Jacqueline when
she fled from the insults of her husband to Valenciennes, and it was to
him that she confided her intention to turn to England for help. He
received the news with joy, and encouraged the idea, painting this land,
which was unknown to his liege lady, in the brightest colours, not
forgetting to lay emphasis on those brothers of Henry V., who were yet
unmarried. At the same time he undertook to arrange her escape thither,
so that she might safely reach Calais before any one knew of her
intentions, and together they matured their plans.[374]


In thus determining to throw herself on the mercy of Henry, Jacqueline
was appealing to a relationship which dated back to Philippa, the wife
of Edward III., and it is a sign that she had definitely determined to
break with the husband whom she had never wanted to marry, and that she
was in earnest in those preparations which she had already made for a
divorce. If she had hopes of a third husband from amongst the brothers
of Henry V., we must suppose that her past experiences had not taught
her wisdom, and it is probably with a knowledge of subsequent events
that one chronicler asserts an agreement of marriage with Humphrey
before ever she left Valenciennes,[375] though the idea of an English
alliance of this kind was quite natural, when we remember that Bedford
had been a candidate for her hand in 1418.[376] Be this as it may,
Jacqueline and her friend Escallion made their preparations for flight
to Calais. Already on March 1, 1421, Henry had granted a passport to
herself and her mother to visit her territories in Ponthieu, and this
carried with it the right to enter Calais.[377] It was therefore
probably in April that she told her mother at Valenciennes that she
would leave her for a few days while she paid a visit to Bouchain. She
had left the town but a short distance on this proposed journey when
Escallion met her with a company of sixty men, and took her under his
protection. Together they made for Calais, where they arrived at the end
of the second day after leaving Valenciennes, and were courteously
received as though their arrival had been expected. From Calais
Jacqueline sent messengers to Henry to ask permission to land on the
shores of England, and meanwhile spent the interval which must elapse
before an answer could be received in quiet repose, mounting the
bastions daily, and gazing across to the white cliffs of Dover, dreaming
of the land and of the men of whom she had heard such glowing accounts,
and welcoming every sail that appeared on the horizon as the bearer of
the desired permission to put the truth of these stories to the test. At
length a warm welcome was brought from King Henry, and with bright hopes
the princess crossed the Channel, to be met at Dover by one of those
unmarried brothers of the English King of whom she had been told.[378]
For it fell to the lot of Humphrey, as Warden of the Cinque Ports, to
meet this distinguished visitor, just as some five years before he had
met the Emperor Sigismund. It was a meeting fraught with great
consequences for both parties concerned. Little did the light-hearted
Humphrey think, when he placed his charge on her palfrey, and escorted
her to London, that he had met a woman who would deeply affect his
destinies, and earn him the reputation of putting his private ambitions
before the public weal.

Henry emphasised his hearty invitation to Jacqueline by the marked
graciousness of his reception of her; and though he was on the eve of
departure to France, he promised to help her, and made arrangements,
completed on July 10, that £100 a month should be allotted to the
Countess so long as she remained in England.[379] To Henry belongs the
responsibility of bringing her over, and we cannot doubt that he saw the
political significance of his action. He knew the state of affairs in
the Low Countries, and he looked on the discontented Countess as a
valuable asset in his schemes of French conquest; through her he might
obtain some hold on his shifty ally Burgundy, who, like his father,
looked to inherit the much-desired districts of Zealand, Holland, and
Hainault. Whether he had hopes of a divorce for Jacqueline so that she
might marry one of his brothers is doubtful--he was too near the end of
his career for us to be able to fathom his intentions with regard to
her; but that he was responsible for her presence in England, and
consequently also partly responsible for the results of this visit,
cannot be denied.[380] As for Humphrey, we have nothing to tell us of
the growth of his plans, or of his first impressions of Jacqueline. It
was probably towards the end of April that he first saw her, and it is
unlikely that he had any time for love-making before his departure for
France. It is therefore improbable that the project which later took
shape in his expedition to Hainault had occurred to him when he left
England, for he had probably never met the lady before, though he had
known her father, and his attention was at this time concentrated on the
French campaign.[381]


As Warden, Humphrey had to see that the Barons of the Cinque Ports
provided ships to the number of fifty-seven for the transport of the
army;[382] at the same time he was busy collecting his own contingent.
He entered into indentures with the King for one hundred lances, with
their complement of archers, which would bring the numbers up to about
four hundred men according to the usual computation; but he had not a
full contingent by the time he left England.[383] However, he received
reinforcements from England all through the campaign,[384] and by July
his men were in full force.[385] On May 26 his passport was signed,[386]
and he probably then went down to Dover to supervise the preparations
for embarkation, which were ordered to begin on May 27.[387] Exactly a
fortnight later Henry sailed from Dover, and landed the same day at
Calais,[388] accompanied by Gloucester and the Earls of March and
Warwick, with rather over a thousand men.[389]

The defeat at Beaugé had not been without its effect both in encouraging
the French and in distressing the English. It had not been easy to raise
men in England, as Gloucester had found, and it was necessary in many
cases to resort to impressment. Accordingly Henry took the precaution of
sending his ships back to England, for fear that deserters from his army
might by their help regain their native land.[390] In Normandy the Earl
of Salisbury had done something to restore the prestige of the English
arms; but round Paris the French were becoming very dangerous, for the
Dauphin was threatening Chartres and an advance on the capital.[391]
Under these conditions Henry abandoned the idea of spending some time in
Picardy, and the whole army marched down the seacoast to Abbeville. Here
the passage of the Somme would have been disputed had it not been for
the good offices of the Duke of Burgundy, who had joined the army at
Montreuil, and induced the citizens of Abbeville to allow the English to
pass.[392] Without any pause Henry pushed on by way of Beauvais to
Gisors, where he left the army under the command of Gloucester, and went
on to Paris to consult with Exeter.[393] Gloucester took the army to
Mantes, where the King rejoined him, and Burgundy, who had left the
English at Abbeville, also came up with reinforcements. Henry had hoped
to bring the Dauphin to fight a pitched battle, but on his way to Mantes
he learned with great regret that the French had raised the siege of
Chartres and had retired into Touraine.[394] With a clear field before
him Henry determined to besiege Dreux, a strong castle near the Norman
border, which had been harassing its neighbours for some time.


By this time the army had been considerably reinforced. The lords who
had come over with Henry had contrived to make up their appointed
numbers, Gloucester at all events having his full complement of four
hundred men,[395] and several of the English captains, already in
France, had brought their contingents to the main body.[396] Since the
death of Clarence Gloucester had been practically second in command.
Hitherto his elder brother had taken precedence of him, not only by
reason of his age, but also on account of his greater experience, though
it would seem that in siege operations Gloucester had always been
regarded as the better soldier. At any rate the siege of Dreux was now
committed to his care, though Henry himself was with the army.[397] With
Gloucester the King of Scots was associated in command, but it would
seem that this had a political rather than a military significance;
James had never seen a siege in his life, save as an unwilling spectator
of the fall of Melun, but as a captain in Henry's army he was meant to
exemplify the rapprochement between the English and Scotch, which had
been initiated whilst Henry was at home. The young King's long captivity
was nearing a close; he was to have three months' leave of absence in
Scotland at the end of the campaign, which was to be a preliminary to
his final enlargement. Moreover, on behalf of the Scotch the Earl of
Douglas had agreed to enter the English service with four hundred men in
the ensuing year.[398]

Though James was nominally joint commander, the burden of the siege
naturally fell on Gloucester, and he invested the town on July 18. The
fortifications were particularly strong, and situated as it was under
the brow of a rocky eminence of considerable height, with an almost
impregnable castle on the summit and a double moat around it, the task
seemed no easy one. Gloucester, however, found a vineyard adjoining the
castle which, though strengthened by a wall and tower, was the weak spot
of the defences. While keeping a close watch around the rest of the
town, he concentrated his attack on this point, and by means of diligent
mining under cover of a heavy cannonade he was able to drive the
defenders out of the vineyard, and so secured a better position from
which to attack the town itself. On August 8 the garrison, being hard
pressed, and despairing of help from the Dauphin, who showed no sign of
leaving his position behind the Loire, agreed to surrender if not
relieved within twelve days. On August 20 the English troops entered the

Hitherto Henry's military operations had not extended beyond Normandy,
for the siege of Dreux had only been undertaken to safeguard the Duchy.
Now he began to see that it was impossible to secure France by the same
means that he had employed to secure Normandy. Already his forces were
thinned by the necessity of garrisoning the towns that he had taken, and
he could not attempt to garrison the whole of France in this way. On the
other hand, the disastrous results of his grandfather's famous march
through France showed him the danger of any operation far removed from
his base. His one hope was to goad the Dauphin to action. He had hoped
that the siege of Dreux might draw the French to attempt its
relief,[400] and that was one reason why he had confided the attack to
the care of Gloucester, while he himself awaited a relieving force.
These tactics having failed, he determined to seek out the Dauphin, and
compel him to give battle. Only the prestige of a second Agincourt could
make his title of 'Regent of France' anything but a name, or induce
Frenchmen generally to accept him as their future King. It was with joy,
therefore, that he learned towards the end of August that the French
were collecting their forces on the Loire not far from Beaugency, and he
hastened to move from Dreux to meet the enemy.

We have no evidence to prove that Gloucester took part in this
expedition, for he is not once mentioned by the chroniclers after the
siege of Dreux, though we know that he was still in France in March
1422,[401] and that the operations of the English were confined to the
main body under Henry. In all probability, therefore, Gloucester took
part in the march on Beaugency and shared the King's disappointment on
learning that the French troops had dispersed. For fifteen days the
English waited for a French attack, whilst the Earl of Suffolk tried to
get in touch with the enemy on the south side of the river. The Armagnac
refused to offer battle, for they had not forgotten the method by which
the armies of Edward III. had been driven from France, and Henry had to
rest content with the capture of Beaugency. Further tarrying in this
'unfruitful country' had now become impossible; men and beasts were
dying of starvation; so with a heavy heart Henry turned eastwards. The
suburbs of Orleans were captured, but an attack on the town itself was
deemed impossible, and the army passed on to Villeneuve-le-Roi, which
surrendered on September 22. By October 6 the English had invested the
town of Meaux.[402]


Throughout this siege, which lasted for five months, we find no mention
of Gloucester, even in the pages of the chronicler Elmham. It is very
improbable that this would have been the case if he had been present at
the siege, for not only was he second in command of the army, but his
prowess in siege operations was such that some important post must have
been assigned to him had he been there. It seems possible that before
the army advanced to Meaux, Gloucester was sent to protect Paris and its
environs. Exeter, its former governor, was now with the army, and
Gloucester may have been deputed to guard the capital, and at the same
time keep up communication between the English army and its Norman
base.[403] This, however, is nothing more than conjecture, for we lose
sight of him entirely till about March, when he crossed over to

Gloucester's journey to England was undertaken to exchange posts once
more with Bedford. When Henry had sailed from Dover in the previous
year he had left the kingdom in his brother's care, and Catherine, who
was expecting her confinement, had been left behind also. On December 6
the future King Henry VI. had been born,[405] and the Queen had prepared
to rejoin her husband as soon as her health should permit her to travel.
Bedford was commissioned to accompany her, and so his younger brother
was sent to replace him in England.[406] As early as February 7
Gloucester's lieutenant at Dover had had instructions to prepare ships
for the voyage,[407] but Bedford and the Queen did not actually sail
till May,[408] and before this Gloucester had taken over the management
of the kingdom. His commission as Regent has not survived, and the
earliest document signed during this regency is dated May 25,[409] but
before this, on St. George's Day (April 23), he had presided at a
Chapter of the Garter as the King's representative, and had supervised
the arrangements made for the fees now allotted to the Garter
King-of-Arms, whose office had been created by Henry to commemorate the
victory of Agincourt.[410]

This last campaign in France was but an isolated incident in the life of
Duke Humphrey. His future policy was not affected thereby, but his
return to England, and his position of independence in close proximity
to the fascinating Countess of Hainault, was to make its influence felt.
The regency was outwardly quite uneventful, but it left its mark on
Gloucester's life. Henry cannot have foreseen the danger of putting his
brother in the way of temptation, probably he did not regard it as a
temptation, and still more probable is it that he had not the faintest
conception of the hidden elements in Humphrey's character. He had known
him only as an able soldier and a careful administrator under his
direction. The forces which were moulding the Duke's attitude had not
yet all appeared, and so it was with no misgivings for the future that
the King once more appointed his youngest brother his representative in
England. It is, however, probable that during the short four months of
this regency Humphrey began to dream of ambitions over seas in the midst
of pleasant dallyings with Jacqueline. At least Duke and Countess had
every opportunity to become better acquainted, till in August the former
had to postpone his hopes of continental aggrandisement, since his
position and rights at home became the question of the moment, when
England learnt the death of her beloved King.


The last moments of Henry V., and his instructions to those who gathered
round his bedside, are important for their bearing on the arrangements
for the government of the country during the minority of his son.
Considerable doubt has been cast on the details of the arrangements
which Henry decreed from his death-bed, but with no great reason, for
the chroniclers are almost unanimous in their assertions. The Dukes of
Bedford and Exeter with other lords were gathered round the dying King,
who reasserted his right to the crown of France, and urged them to fight
to the end in defence of those righteous claims which were now to pass
to his son, commanding them to keep the Duke of Orleans a prisoner in
England till the future King should be of age. He then described his
wishes for the government of the inheritance. Bedford was to be Regent
of the kingdom of France and the Duchy of Normandy; Gloucester was to be
Regent in England, and no qualification of the latter's power was so
much as suggested. There is less unanimity amongst the chroniclers as to
the personal guardians appointed for the young King, but Exeter,
Warwick, and the Bishop of Winchester were all probably mentioned. With
the prophetic instinct of approaching death Henry besought his hearers
to give no cause of offence to the Duke of Burgundy, and to repeat this
warning to Gloucester.[411]

Having delivered his last injunctions to those who stood by, Henry's
strength rapidly failed, but after a period of quiet he rose up in
agony, and with the words 'Thou liest, thou liest, my portion is with
Jesus Christ,' the pride of England and the scourge of France passed
away to a Tribunal where men's actions are judged by their motives and
not by the professions of their mouth. It seemed, so says the
chronicler, as though in his last moments he fought with evil
spirits;[412] certainly for many years to come England's portion was to
be with the evil spirits of faction and disaster, spirits which might
have been powerless to do harm, had Henry V. adopted the course of true
patriotism, and not 'busied restless minds with foreign quarrels.'

A fresh page of history begins with the death of Henry V., and new
personalities appear in the forefront of politics. The character of the
young King Henry VI. is a negligible quantity, for he was only nine
months old: 'Vae cujus terræ rex puer est,' quotes Walsingham,[413] and
indeed it was mainly the youth of the King which gave such a character
to his reign, as to fully justify Hall's description thereof; it was in
very truth to be 'the troubleous season of Kyng Henry the Sixt.'[414]
Three men stand out as the chief actors in the first period of the
reign--the two next heirs to the throne, Bedford and Gloucester, and the
Bishop of Winchester, head of the semi-legitimatised family of Beaufort.


Of this Henry Beaufort, who was henceforth to play an important part in
the story of Humphrey's life, we must take some notice, for he has not
hitherto come across our path. As the legitimatised son of a royal
prince, his birth had taught him to push himself forward. A man of great
ability, he soon made himself a power that must be reckoned with, and as
Chancellor he had influenced the policy of the kingdom as early as 1404.
Till now he had had no commanding position such as the minority of Henry
VI. promised him; the field of his ambitions was now enlarged, and if we
cannot say that he was 'one of the pillars of the house of
Lancaster,'[415] his importance must not be minimised. As a man he was
unscrupulous, imperious, and impatient of control; as an ecclesiastic,
he was more ostentatious than clerical. Even as Baldassare Cossa had
exchanged the life of an Italian condottiere for the papal chair, so was
Beaufort ever ready for an excuse to exchange the mitre for the helmet.
The future was to find him the belated exponent of a wise foreign
policy, and money-lender in chief to the dynasty; but we cannot fail to
see in him much of that factious spirit which produced the Wars of the
Roses. Such a man, of royal blood yet outside the succession, was no
reassuring element for those who weighed the chances of a successful
reign for Henry VI. Of quite another stamp was John, Duke of Bedford.
Far above all his contemporaries did he stand out in greatness of
character and statesmanship. He had none of the charm and personal
magnetism which gilded the career of his royal brother in the eyes of
contemporaries, but he had all the more solid qualities which stand for
greatness without glamour. A wise and careful, if not brilliant, general
he was to show himself; a level-headed administrator he had already
proved to be during the long absences of Henry V. His death was to
remove the only obstacle to French victory, and the only element of
strength which the House of Lancaster possessed. With a strong affinity
to Henry V. in some qualities, he despised that politic self-deception
which enabled the latter to pose as the apostle of reform, and it cannot
be doubted that he alone of all men might possibly have saved England
from the disasters which threatened her internal peace.

His brother Humphrey, on the contrary, was in no way cut out to guide
the destinies of a nation in a 'troubleous season.' Versatile and
brilliant, endowed with the more taking but superficial qualities of his
brother Henry, he had shown himself an able soldier, an efficient
regent, but he had had no real training in statesmanship, and possessed
no natural aptitude in this direction. Above all, he had not sufficient
strength of character to meet opposition with a determination which
could not be gainsaid; unlike Bedford, he could not assume a judicial
attitude, but by his assertions of power only irritated, where he should
have soothed, the conflicting ambitions which took the place of
statesmanship in the days of Henry VI. No personal force, no
determination, he became a party man, when he should have dominated all
parties, merely an item among discordant factions. As yet these failings
of character which rendered such great abilities useless were not
clearly apparent, indeed Henry V., above all things a judge of good
instruments for his work, had chosen him to govern England. All through
the late King had felt a growing confidence in his youngest brother; to
say that he trusted Bedford thoroughly, but Gloucester only so far as it
was necessary,[416] is an unfair summary of his reign. Again and again
did Henry trust Humphrey with important work, not once do we find that
the trust was misplaced, whether at the siege of Cherbourg, or during
his two short regencies in England. No signs of that factious spirit
which party politics produced in him were as yet apparent, and a
comparison between his and Bedford's past records at this period shows
no balance one way or another. If Henry was indeed the statesman he is
said to have been, he must have known that the government of England
was a more important post both for ruled and ruler, than the already
shaky government of France, and yet he confided the chief task to
Humphrey. Evidence as to his distrust of Gloucester is found in his
warning to him not to alienate Burgundy, but the warning was given to
all who were present, and they were commissioned to hand it on to the
only man not present who had a large stake in the kingdom. Henry did not
distrust his youngest brother, and perhaps some indication of his
increasing regard for him may be found in the fact that, whereas in his
first will he left him a mere trifle,[417] by his second will he
bequeathed to him the considerable legacy of all the royal castles in
the south of England.[418]


The history of Humphrey's future career has one central theme running
through every aspect of his public life--the rivalry with Henry
Beaufort, a man whom Henry had no reason to trust in the way he trusted
his brother. On the eve of starting for France in 1417, after all
arrangements had been made, we find the sudden resignation of the
Chancellorship by the Bishop of Winchester[419] under circumstances
which point to royal compulsion; on the very day of resignation a full
pardon for all offences whatsoever was granted to him, a grant which
suggests offences which it was unwise to make public in the interests of
the dynasty.[420] When about to embark on the history of the famous
quarrel of Gloucester and Beaufort, let us remember that the former had
been trusted by Henry V., and that the latter had not.

Thus the personality that had dominated English history for the last
nine years had passed away, and the field was thrown open to other
leaders. To Gloucester the change was full of significance. On the one
hand, the power which had controlled the Bishop of Winchester was
removed, Beaufort ambitions might now have full play, and would
naturally be directed against such a possible rival as Duke Humphrey. On
the other hand, the man who had leant more than he knew on the strength
of his oldest brother was left to face life without this support.
Henceforth Humphrey must stand alone, and very rapidly the weaknesses of
his character begin to show themselves. Hitherto we have seen little
more than a machine carrying out its work under strict guidance,
henceforth we can discover the real man, and the inward workings of his
mind. His volatile nature, his incapacity at a period of crisis, his
inability to prosecute any venture to its legitimate end now begin to
appear. Hitherto we have had to explain his actions by reference to the
future, henceforth his true characteristics are manifest. His character
does not alter under changed circumstances, only its weakness, hitherto
concealed, is now revealed. Under the compulsion of independent action
we shall find him displayed in his true colours, a man guided by his
passions and yet hindered by a growing lassitude, a man with good
intentions but no stability, a man who lives for the moment and cannot
see into the future. Under the most favourable circumstances he might
possibly have escaped failure, but the Fates were against him. Already
Jacqueline had come to mould his policy in one false direction, already
he had imbibed false ideas as to the ethics of the war with France, now
he was about to meet with that opposition which was to reduce him to the
ranks of a factious politician. Yet in spite of his failures he was
tenacious of fixed principles, he had a sense of justice and right, and
had he been left to govern England unmolested it is probable that his
love of law and order, which was part of his Lancastrian inheritance,
would have enabled him to leave a far worthier record on the pages of
English history than the historian can now give him. He had all the
negative virtues of weakness, he was open-handed, simple-minded, and
incapable of a deep-laid scheme, but his instability marred all his
efforts. Ambition came to him suddenly at the death of Henry V., and he
had no power to deck out this ambition with strength, and to make men
feel that he had any right to his immense pretensions.


The death of Henry V. was not generally known in England till September
10. At that time, as we have seen, Gloucester was Regent, and it would
have seemed natural that he should continue as such until Parliament
could meet to arrange matters. This, however, was not to be the case.
From the very outset of the reign the struggle for supremacy in the
kingdom of the infant boy began. The Bishop of Winchester had behind him
the experience gained under three successive kings, he had held official
positions, and he enjoyed a large and powerful family connection. All
this strength was at once used to prevent Gloucester's influence in the
kingdom being anything but a name. The note of the sad years that were
to follow was thus struck when Beaufort's influence was brought to bear
on the Council, and the Regent was given to understand that the kingdom
was no longer under his control.[421] This early interference shows the
true nature of the struggle which was to circle round the infant King.
There was no reason to distrust Humphrey at this time, so the action of
the Bishop of Winchester was obviously a personal move, dictated by his
private desires to control the policy of the kingdom. He had the
magnates and the Council at his back; it is possible that Humphrey was
already so much the friend of the people and the lower gentry as to
arouse the opposition of the nobility; at any rate everything was done
to show the late Regent that he had no importance, save as the uncle of
the King. On September 28 Bishop Langley resigned the Chancellorship,
and though in deference to his rank as premier peer then in England
Gloucester was allowed to receive the Seal from the Bishop's hands, he
was obliged to do so at Windsor in the presence of the baby Henry, so
that it might be emphasised that the act was his nephew's, not his
own.[422] Also, when the writs were issued for summoning Parliament,
they were sealed 'Teste Rege,' not 'Teste Custode,' as had been the
custom of Bedford and Gloucester when they had been regents for Henry
V.; and the first writ was addressed to Gloucester as first lay lord,
whereas under the regency the Regent had had no writ addressed to

Thus, though Gloucester's position as chief of the King's subjects then
in England was admitted, he was allowed no further power either by right
of his past regency, or in view of the fact that at his death Henry V.
had left to him the care of the realm. The Council undertook all the
executive work, and though Gloucester was supported by the general
public opinion of the lesser gentry and commonalty, he did not venture
to oppose this abrogation of power. However, when the Council met on
November 6, he registered a protest against the terms in which his
commission for the summons of Parliament was drawn up. He was
commissioned to open, carry on, and dissolve Parliament, 'and to perform
all royal functions therein by assent of the Council.'[424] To this
clause he objected as prejudicial to his position; it was, he urged, a
departure from precedent, for no such limitation had been laid on him
in the commissions under which he had summoned Parliaments during the
reign of Henry V. Under the present arrangement, he argued, the Lords of
the Council could keep Parliament in session for a whole year against
his will, should they wish to do so; and this was a direct denial of his
rights. In turn, each Lord was asked for his judgment, and one by one
they answered that, owing to the youth of the King, they could not take
it upon them to omit the words to which Gloucester objected, as they
regarded them as a safeguard both to Gloucester and themselves.[425]
Against such a decided and unanimous answer Gloucester was powerless,
and was obliged to admit defeat; his position was realised by his
contemporaries, for when speaking of his presidency of Parliament
Walsingham calls him 'prius custos Angliae.'[426] On November 7, the day
after this Council meeting, Henry V. was buried in Westminster Abbey. A
large number of nobles had brought his body to Calais by way of Rouen;
funeral services were said for him at St. Paul's, at Canterbury
Cathedral, and at Westminster, and with great pomp and ceremony he was
carried to his last resting-place, a waxen effigy lying on the coffin
dressed in the full glory of the regalia.[427]

Before Parliament assembled at Westminster on November 17,[428] it was
quite evident that Gloucester desired to become Protector in accordance
with the wishes of Henry V., and that he hoped for a position
untrammelled by 'assent of the council' or other constitutional
restrictions.[429] He had already received one rebuff, but he still had
an easy confidence either in the rightfulness of his claim, or in his
power to enforce his wishes. He does not seem to have realised the
difficulties that lay in his way, nor to have had more than the faintest
conception of the strength of the opposition to his pretensions: his
incapacity to gauge the trend of events was for the first time made
manifest. Bedford, too, had definitely put forward his claim to the
position, and on October 26 had written a letter to the Mayor and
Aldermen of London, saying that he was informed on reliable authority
that 'by the lawes and ancient usage and custume of the reaume,' the
government of England fell to him as eldest brother of the late King,
and next in succession to Henry VI. He urged them not to prejudice his
claims by an act of theirs, assuring them that he acted from no desire
for 'worldly worship,' but only because he wished in every way to obey
and fulfil the law of the land.[430] This claim to the Protectorate
based on right of birth was quite inadmissible, as was proved later in
Parliament, but it is probable that Bedford was sincere in his
professions of disinterestedness, for he was never jealous of his
brother, and really had at heart the good of the kingdom. Evidently the
letter was aimed rather at the pretensions of Beaufort than at
Gloucester's ambitions, for it was a kindred claim to that of his
brother, and did not preclude the possibility of Humphrey's regency in
his absence. Perhaps also Bedford knew himself to be 'the one strong man
in a blatant land,' and wished to secure some hold on his volatile
brother, a hold which was to prove useful at a later date; at all events
he made his appeal to those who were accounted Gloucester's surest


Such was the state of parties when Gloucester on November 9 opened
Parliament as the King's Commissioner. Beaufort, with the support of the
baronial party, stood for Conciliar government, which meant his own
preponderance in the kingdom; Gloucester, also playing for his own hand,
demanded the Protectorate. Between the two stood Bedford with a policy
which seemed to doubt the wisdom of either party, and a desire for the
good of the kingdom, which others in their haste had totally ignored.
Archbishop Chichele delivered the opening speech of the session, and
outlined its business, which was to provide for the good governance of
the King's person and the safety of the realm, besides certain matters
of form, such as the reappointment of the late King's Chancellor,
Treasurer, and Privy Seal, which were soon accomplished.[431] However,
the important business of the session was not settled till December
5,[432] the interval being probably spent in intrigue and
counter-intrigue, of which no record survives. The struggle was not one
of constitutional questions, though it assumed that appearance. Humphrey
stated his claim simply by appealing to his right as next-of-kin to the
King, and to the dying wishes expressed by Henry V.[433] The period was
one when theory had outgrown practice in the constitution, and so the
Beaufort faction could assume a most moral and upright position when
they urged an examination of precedents. The Lords therefore replied to
Gloucester's claims that they could find among the arrangements made
during previous minorities no justification for his claim of priority of
blood, nor any indication that the King could dispose of the government
after his death, save with the consent of the Estates. With great
ingenuity the Beaufort party had put the Lords on their mettle, and had
induced them to regard Henry's dying commands as an infringement of
their rights. Their victory was complete, and their chance of meddling
in the affairs of the kingdom was assured. The whole thing was a party
move, and cannot be construed as a vote of no confidence in the Duke of
Gloucester. The reply of the Lords was equally hostile to Bedford's
claim, and was inspired by a desire to curb the power of the man who
held the office of Protector, irrespective of who that individual might
be. The personal struggle between Gloucester and Beaufort had not yet
begun, for there are not the slightest signs of any earlier rivalry. The
struggle was one for position, and would have been initiated by Beaufort
whoever had laid claim to the Protectorate. Later, indeed, the personal
element comes to the front, but never once during the whole controversy
did it dominate the political ambitions of either party.

Beaufort having won the day, Parliament decided that Bedford should be
'Protector et Defensor' of the kingdom and first Councillor of the King
when he was at home; and that when he was not, Gloucester should take
the same position, with the same condition about being in the kingdom.
Both commissions were made out 'during the King's pleasure.'[434] To
this Act Gloucester gave his consent, declaring that he did so without
prejudice to his brother, who was in France.[435] Yet another Act which
made elaborate provisions to prevent the misuse of the Protector's power
was passed. He was given the patronage of the smaller offices, such as
those of foresters and park-keepers, of benefices rated at not more than
thirty marks, and of prebendaries in the royal chapels ordinarily in the
King's gift; but the deaneries in such chapels were not to be in his
presentation. Even in the cases just cited the Protector's power was
limited by the fact that all commissions to these offices had to be
given under the great seal, which was kept by the Chancellor.[436]
Beyond this the Protector had no independent power, in all else he was
controlled by a Council of which all the best-known men of the period
were members, for with Gloucester were associated the Archbishop of
Canterbury, the Bishops of London, Winchester, Norwich, and Worcester;
the Duke of Exeter, and the Earls of March, Warwick, and Westmoreland;
the Earl Marshal, and the Lords Fitzhugh, Cromwell, Hungerford, Tiptoft,
and Beauchamp.[437] To this Council was given the real control of the
executive; indeed the Protector seems to have had no veto, nor even any
right to be specially consulted, excepting on those matters concerning
which it was customary to consult the King.[438] It was the Council who
had the presentation to the major benefices and the nomination of
sheriffs, justices of the peace, controllers, custom officers and the
like, subject always to the consent of the Protector. The Council also
had the management of wardships, marriages, and ferms.[439] To remove
any possibility of the Protector being able to evade the wishes of the
Council, it was enacted that a quorum of six, or at the least four, was
necessary for the legal transaction of business, and for a matter of
great importance a majority of the whole Council.[440] The Duke of
Exeter was made Guardian to the King, but owing to the tender age of the
child he was left for the time being under the control of his

These heavy restrictions must have been extremely galling to Gloucester,
and it is doubtful whether they were wise. Without claiming for him any
high degree of statesmanship, or any real gift for administration, we
must admit that these provisions left him with a smaller share in the
government than he might reasonably have expected. Not only was he
reduced to the position of an ordinary councillor, with a certain
priority which his rank, apart from his office as Protector, would have
given him, but he was provided with a Council in which his influence was
not predominant. The Beaufort influence was in the ascendant there, and
the two chief members of that family, Henry of Winchester and the Duke
of Exeter, both had seats at the Council Board. On paper, therefore,
Beaufort's efforts to restrain the Protector's power were eminently
successful, yet it was prejudicial to his own interests, and disastrous
to the internal peace of the kingdom, to throw down the glove thus
early. Had Gloucester's power been less openly restrained, and had his
opponents been less ready to bind him with Acts of Parliament, he would
not have been compelled to act on the aggressive from the first. The
result of the Beaufort policy was not to reduce the Protectorate to a
mere name, but to convulse the kingdom by giving every encouragement to
Gloucester's factious tendencies. The challenge had been given, and we
cannot blame Gloucester for accepting it. It might perhaps have been
unwise to place full power in the hands of such a volatile man; but a
partially restricted power, which, while giving play to his ambitions,
should yet prevent any disastrous domination of English politics, would
have delayed and modified those factious fights which are so dangerous
during a minority, which were to prove of no advantage to the house of
Beaufort, and which opened the way for a devastating civil war. It was,
in a word, a grave political miscalculation that led Henry Beaufort to
inspire this aggressive policy towards Gloucester, for the Protector was
not friendless. He was supported by a strong feeling in the kingdom, and
the Bishop was yet to learn the weight of hostile London opinion when he
attacked their 'Good Duke.' On the other hand, nothing could be wiser
than the provision that Bedford should be in a position of authority
over his brother. Though it gave little promise of a stable and similar
policy in France and England, yet it gave a certain strength to English
politics, and, for the Beauforts at least, was to prove extremely useful
before long.


Notwithstanding the rebuff in the matter of the Protectorate, Gloucester
set to work energetically, for though technically his powers were small,
he had a fund of energy which, while it lasted, carried him over great
obstacles; and his personal influence, due to his general popularity and
his near relationship to the throne, stood him in good stead. He busied
himself with putting the 'inward affaires' of the country in order, and
also in making arrangements for the support of Bedford in France.[442]
Matters were complicated there by the death of Charles VI. on October
22, 1422.[443] This meant the loss of an ally who, imbecile though he
was, must command the allegiance of the majority of Frenchmen. The
Dauphin from being the head of a faction had suddenly sprung into the
position of rightful King of France, and Bedford found the difficulty
hard to face. Indeed so hard pressed was Paris, that it sent a special
embassy to England to demand help to resist the advances of the new
King, Charles VII.[444] For the time Gloucester was working in perfect
harmony with Bedford, for he needed his support to strengthen his hands
in England, and it seems probable that it was about this time that what
might be called terms of alliance between the two brothers were drawn
up. There is no evidence that this document was ever signed, but at
least it indicates an inclination of the two brothers to work together.
The treaty begins with some general remarks about the advantages enjoyed
by a state, if its chief men are bound together in bonds of friendship.
The two contracting parties therefore agree that they will be loyal to
the King, and promote his good to the best of their ability; and next
to the King they will be loyal to one another, not assisting each
other's enemies, but rather warning each other against any danger that
threatens them. They agree to turn a deaf ear to mischief-makers, who
would sow distrust between them, and to treat each other with perfect
frankness. Finally, each agrees to enter into no alliance without the
consent of the other.[445]

This alliance between the two brothers has great significance. It goes
far to prove that Bedford's sympathies were on Gloucester's side during
the Protectorate quarrel, as indeed they well might be, as his interests
were also at stake therein. Still more clearly does it point to the fact
that it was personal ambition, and that alone, which led Beaufort to
take his pseudo-constitutional course. Bedford realised that the
grasping Bishop of Winchester wanted his power to increase in proportion
to his purse, and he wished to prevent this by strengthening the hands
of a man who was now in some ways his representative in England.
Obviously Beaufort had been trying to create bad blood between the two
brothers, as their refusal to listen to tales against one another
proves; but he had failed, and it was not till Humphrey had prejudiced
his case completely by his expedition to Hainault, that Bedford ceased
to support his political ambitions. The struggle, therefore, in spite of
petty restrictions on his power, which Gloucester would feel more than
Bedford, was still not personal. It was a fight for supremacy between
the legitimate and the illegitimate descendants of John of Gaunt.


In the new year Gloucester's salary as Protector was definitely settled.
On February 12 it was decreed by an ordinance of the Privy Council, that
so long as he remained Protector he should receive eight thousand marks
(£5333, 6s. 8d.) a year, dating from the death of the late King. Four
thousand marks of this was to be drawn from the issues of the Duchy of
Lancaster, and nine hundred marks from possessions in the King's
hands.[446] In the previous December Gloucester had been given a present
of £300 and the revenues of foresters, park-keepers, and keepers of
warrens which were vacant. These revenues were not given to the Duke in
his private capacity, but were attached to the office of Protector, for
Bedford was to receive them whenever he was in England.[447] On March 3
the first instalment of Gloucester's salary was paid,[448] and, besides
these financial advantages, he was made Constable of Gloucester Castle
soon after the rebuff of his limited protectorship, and reappointed
Chamberlain of England for life, together with other offices which he
had held under Henry V.[449] Also on April 30, 1423, he was given the
lordship of Guisnes for fourteen years, dating from the Feast of St.
Michael (Michaelmas Day, September 29) next following, and for this
privilege he was to pay nine hundred marks a year to the King, and to
agree to keep a garrison of fifty men-at-arms and fifty archers in the
castle.[450] In May the indentures for this were signed,[451] and at the
same time he was given a tenth of the revenues of 'Fruten, Calkwell,
Galymot, Ostrewyk, Balynton,' and other towns.[452] This accumulation of
offices and revenues suggests that the victory of the Beaufort party
had not proved so complete as at first they had thought. The Protector
was able to secure a strong official position in the kingdom, and to
increase his revenues considerably; possibly his recovering strength was
due to the support he had received from Bedford. From another aspect it
shows a new phase of Gloucester's character. Under the determined
attacks of Beaufort, fresh developments and characteristics appear.
Rapidly the soldier gives place to the intriguing politician, and the
necessity of being prepared for future attacks develops a grasping trait
in the Duke's character. Henceforth every opportunity for increasing his
official importance or adding to his rent-roll is readily seized with a
view to gaining an ever-growing preponderance in the affairs of the
kingdom. Thus opposition brings to the fore all the worst sides of the
'Good Duke's' character, and under its influence his policy is moulded.


On the eve of St. George's Day (April 22) Gloucester, exercising the
functions of the sovereign, held the first chapter of the Order of the
Garter at Windsor, and according to the wardrobe account Jacqueline was
the only lady who received robes this year for the celebration of the
Feast of St. George.[453] On October 20 Parliament met at Westminster,
and the session was opened by Gloucester, acting as before on the
authority of a special commission, which empowered him to preside over
its deliberations and dissolve it, subject, of course, to the sanction
of the Council.[454] During a part of the proceedings on November 17 the
young King was present, sitting on his mother's lap, though at an
earlier date he had resisted removal from Staines so energetically, that
he had to be carried back into the house.[455] The session, though it
lasted more than three months, was not eventful, but there were renewed
efforts to curb the power of the Protector; and probably the
introduction of the King was part of this policy, in that it served to
remind Gloucester that he was there only as the representative, not as
the governor, of his little master. A strong protest was lodged against
the practice of individual members of the Council answering petitions on
their own responsibility. It was therefore enacted that neither
Gloucester, nor any other councillor, should grant either Bills of
Right, of Office, or of Benefice in answer to a petition made to him,
but must refer the matter to the rest of the Council.[456] In a new set
of regulations for the Council evidence is also found that matters were
not running smoothly in that body. There were evidently
misunderstandings on the subject of foreign policy, and the various
members were forbidden to go behind the action of the Council, and to
express opinions contrary to the decisions arrived at.[457] All this
helps to prove the strength of the opposition to Gloucester amongst the
magnates of the realm, both in and out of the Council. It seems also to
point to the fact that Beaufort's challenge had had the effect which was
to be expected. Hampered by the restrictions on his power, Gloucester
was too impatient to work against them quietly, and had evidently defied
the Council in any way he could. The not unnatural result was
exasperation on both sides. The second cause of complaint, with its
distinct mention of 'into strange countrees oure soverain Lord shal
write his letters by th' advyse of his Counsail,' may have reference to
Gloucester's Hainault policy, which was rapidly reaching the stage of
war, and of which we shall speak later.

On the other hand, Gloucester's efforts towards procuring a treaty with
Scotland were the subject of sincere thanks in this Parliament, and the
wording of the note seems to imply that he had taken a very active part
in the negotiations.[458] It was now almost eighteen years since James
of Scotland had been taken prisoner, and it is probable that Humphrey
and he had been fast friends ever since their boyhood. It was natural,
therefore, that the Protector should take a leading part in the
negotiations which were leading up to his release. On September 10 a
treaty was signed at York, in which the Scotch agreed to pay £40,000 for
their King's maintenance in England, and to withhold further support
from the French; allusion was also made to a conditional marriage with
some high-born English lady.[459] James had fallen deeply in love with
Lady Joan Beaufort, daughter of John, late Earl of Somerset;[460] in the
following February he married her, and the April of 1424 found him a
free man confirming the treaty as King of his country.[461] Gloucester
can hardly have welcomed this choice of a bride, for he could not know
how little the unfortunate lady would strengthen the hands of her


Before Parliament rose it was called upon to pass an Act of Attainder
against Sir John Mortimer, cousin of the Earl of March, who had been
arrested on suspicion of treason in 1421. He had tried to escape from
the Tower, apparently being instigated thereto by emissaries of the
Government. For this offence he was condemned to death by a special Act
of Parliament, and executed.[463] From the deposition of William King,
who was instructed by the Lieutenant of the Tower to win Mortimer's
confidence, it would seem that the latter's escape was to be a prelude
to a rising in Wales in conjunction with the Earl of March, and that
the Protector's life was threatened. March was to usurp the throne, and
the Bishop of Winchester was also marked out for distinction, 'for
Mortymer wolde pley with his money.'[464] How far these statements were
true, and how far part of an organised attempt to remove a dangerous
prisoner cannot be said, but at least it is clear that the Earl of March
had already caused anxiety to Gloucester owing to the suspiciously large
retinue he had brought with him to the meeting of Parliament, and the
ostentation with which he kept open house at the residence of the Bishop
of Salisbury.[465] It may be that a conspiracy was indeed on foot, and
that Humphrey once more received a warning of the dangers which beset
the house of Lancaster. If so, the warning was forgotten by the removal
of the conspirators. Mortimer we have seen was put to death, and March
was ordered to his government in Ireland, where shortly afterwards he
died of the plague. His lands went to swell the already extensive
possessions of Richard, Duke of York,[466] who, however, was a minor,
and the custody of those lands which March had held from the King in
chief was given to Gloucester, to be held by him so long as they
remained in the hands of the King, that is to say, until Richard came of

Thus Humphrey was launched on his independent career. With no one in
direct authority over him he was the master of his own policy, and that
policy had been slowly developing during the last nine years. Three
great influences had come to mould his character and dictate his line of
action. The crusading zeal of his brother Henry had wedded him to the
idea of French conquests, without giving him the intellectual force to
organise or help such a project. The flight of Jacqueline to England
had thrown in his way one who, appealing to the desire for foreign
dominion and roving knight-errantry he inherited from his ancestors, was
to draw him away from his ordered line of policy and show up all the
weaknesses of his character. The opposition of Beaufort had compelled
him to face a new set of circumstances, and had aroused those factious
instincts that had hitherto lain dormant. These three facts dominated
all his future life. His policy was formed by them, and henceforth he
followed whithersoever they led. Little he cared that they did not
agree, that to follow one enterprise he must sacrifice the other two
endeavours on which he had set his heart. His ruling passion was
ambition, but he did not know how to satisfy it. Thus his future life
will be found to be consistent in so far as it is governed by one
overwhelming desire, but totally inconsistent in detail. To conquer
Hainault was to abandon his position at home; to carry on the French war
successfully was to resign his claim on Hainault; to concentrate his
energies on the government of England was to abandon Jacqueline to her
fate. All these he did in turn, and thus, unless we dip down into the
fundamental facts of his character, we shall be unable to divine what
led him into these extraordinary inconsistencies. His policy of
self-aggrandisement was fixed, but his unsettled mind could not decide
how best to satisfy his ambitions.


  [334] Rymer, IV. iii. 146.

  [335] He arrived in Rouen on his way to join Henry on April 17,
         1420. Cochon, 439.

  [336] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 108.

  [337] An ordinance, issued at Mantes on November 13, 1419, points to
         the fact that deserters were becoming unpleasantly numerous.
         _Cal. of Norman Rolls_, Rep. 42, App. 355.

  [338] Ellis, _Original Letters_, 1st Series, i. 1.

  [339] _Herald's Debate_, 61.

  [340] See 'The Libel of English Policy,' _Political Songs_, ii.

  [341] In 1415, for instance, crown jewels were pledged to London for
         the loan of 10,000 marks; Rymer, IV. ii. 141.

  [342] _Third Rep. of Deputy Keeper of the Public Records_, 232,
         Trial of Edward, Duke of Buckingham.

  [343] Anstis, _Order of the Garter_, ii. 70.

  [344] Waurin, ii. 331, 332.

  [345] Devon, _Issue Roll_, 362, 363.

  [346] This idea is supported by the fact that in 1425 a rumour was
         abroad that James was going to help Gloucester in Hainault
         with 8000 Scotch. Dynter, iii. 465.

  [347] Waurin, ii. 280-294; St. Rémy, 439-442; Monstrelet, 460-465;
         Des Ursins, 553, 554.

  [348] _Cal. of Norman Rolls_, Rep. 42, App. 337; Chastellain, 25-29;
         _Gesta_, 134, 135.

  [349] _Cal. of Norman Rolls_, Rep. 42, App. 374.

  [350] _Gesta_, 137; Elmham, _Vita_, 252; Harleian MS., 2256, f. 196;
         Chastellain, 44. Livius does not mention Gloucester as being
         there. Probably the chroniclers confuse Meulan and Troyes.

  [351] Rymer, IV. iii. 175.

  [352] Rymer, IV. iii. 179; Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 335.

  [353] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 123.

  [354] _Ibid._, iv. 107.

  [355] _Ibid._, iv. 107, 117.

  [356] Stubbs, iii. 90. Ramsay, i. 228, thinks that money was asked
         for but refused. See Wake, 355.

  [357] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 125.

  [358] _Ibid._, iv. 124, 127, 128.

  [359] London Chron., 188; Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 336;
         Elmham, _Vita_, 296.

  [360] _Gesta_, 148.

  [361] _London Chron._, 164, 165.

  [362] _London Chron._, 162; Gregory, 139, calls him 'ovyr seer';
         _Short English Chron._, 57, calls him 'surveour'; Fabyan
         calls him 'overloker' and gives a long description of the
         feast, 586-588; Holinshed, iii. 125, calls him overseer.

  [363] _London Chron._, 162-165; _Short English Chron._, 57; Gregory,

  [364] Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 337; Waurin, ii. 344; Elmham,
         _Vita_, 300-1.

  [365] Elmham, _Vita_, 304; St. Rémy, 454; Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._,
         ii. 339.

  [366] Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 339.

  [367] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 129.

  [368] See above, p. 38.

  [369] See Chastellain, 69. As a rule the Cods (Kabbeljan) were the
         citizen party, and the Hooks (those who were to catch them)
         consisted of nobles.

  [370] St. Rémy, 453.

  [371] For the causes of quarrel between John of Brabant and
         Jacqueline see Chastellain, 69.

  [372] Chastellain, 69; see also Monstrelet, 497.

  [373] According to another chronicler, this was Lewis Robsart 'per
         Lodowicum Robishert voluntarie de ducta' (_Chron. Henry VI._,
         6). A certain 'Lewis de Robstart' was left by Henry as his
         representative with Catherine between the Convention of
         Troyes and his marriage (St. Rémy, 443). Also a certain
         'Lodovico Robersart' was an executor of Henry V.'s will
         (_Rot. Parl._, iv. 172), and this man was also a supervisor
         of the Duke of Exeter's will (_Testamenta Vetusta_, i. 210).
         Lewis Robsart had indented for men in the 1415 campaign (L.
         T. R., _Foreign Accounts, 10 Henry V._). This almost looks as
         if Henry had helped to engineer the flight. On the other
         hand, there is a possibility that the chronicler quoted above
         mistook the Christian name, for in 1424 we shall find Sir
         John Robsart accompanying Gloucester and Jacqueline to St.
         Albans (_St. Alban's Chron._, i. 8), and admitted to the
         confraternity of the monastery at this time (Cotton MS.,
         Nero, D. 7, f. 147); also a Sir John Robsart was naturalised
         on October 20, 1423 (Rymer, IV. iv. 103). There was a John de
         Robsart whom we have seen serving under Gloucester in the
         Côtentin expedition. If this is the man who brought
         Jacqueline over, the inference is that Gloucester was partly
         responsible for her flight to England. A Sir Lewis Robsart
         also took part under Gloucester in the fighting before
         Cherbourg, so in either case the Duke's complicity seems

  [374] Chastellain, 70.

  [375] St. Rémy, 453.

  [376] _Ordinances_, ii. 241.

  [377] Rymer, IV. iv. 8.

  [378] Chastellain, 70, 71.

  [379] Waurin, ii. 356; _Ordinances_, ii. 291; Rymer, IV. iv. 34.

  [380] Letters discovered at Lille seem to prove that Henry not only
         encouraged Jacqueline to flee to England, but also favoured
         her marriage with Gloucester as a help towards his policy of
         strengthening his position in France. See Beiträge, i. 48.

  [381] Miss Putnam (_Mediæval Princess_, p. 86) suggests that
         Gloucester had met Jacqueline on the way home from Dordrecht.
         Leopold Devilliers in the preface to vol. iv. of
         _Cartulaire_, p. xxvi, says, 'Leur liaison remontait à
         l'Epoque où ils s'étaient vus en France pour la première
         fois,' but he does not say when this hypothetical meeting
         took place.

  [382] Rymer, IV. iv. 24, 25.

  [383] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 320. In theory three archers went to every
         man-at-arms, but this was often exceeded. In Henry IV.'s wars
         in Wales, and later in the French wars, there were often as
         many as four or five archers to each man-at-arms.

  [384] See _Cal. of French Rolls_, Rep. 44, App. 624-635.

  [385] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 320.

  [386] _Cal. of French Rolls_, Rep. 44, App. 624; Rymer, IV. iv. 27.

  [387] Rymer, IV. iv. 27. Miss Putnam (_Mediæval Princess_, 89),
         following Löher (Beiträge, i. 48), says that Gloucester
         sailed on the day that his passport was granted--a fortnight
         before Henry--and that this was arranged in order to remove
         him from the attractions of Jacqueline. There is no evidence
         that Gloucester sailed before Henry. Others, _e.g._ the Earl
         of March, got their passports at this time, and it seems
         likely that they were given them merely because the
         embarkation was beginning.

  [388] June 10. Elmham, _Vita_, 308; _Gesta_, 153; St. Rémy, 445;
         Monstrelet, 503; Waurin, ii. 348; Chastellain, 79. The French
         chroniclers all give it as St. Barnabas Day, June 11.

  [389] Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 340; cf. Add. MS., 4003, quoted
         in Ramsay, i. 295. The French chroniclers give 4000
         men-at-arms and 24,000 archers; St. Rémy, 455; Chastellain,

  [390] Chastellain, 79.

  [391] Monstrelet, 503.

  [392] Chastellain, 79.

  [393] Elmham, _Vita_, 309.

  [394] Delpit, _Doc. Fr._, p. 231, No. CCCLXIII.; Monstrelet, 504.

  [395] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 320. Gloucester's men were arrayed on July
         13. _Cal. of Norman Rolls_, Rep. 42, App. 427.

  [396] Chastellain, 80.

  [397] Elmham, _Vita_, 311.

  [398] _Rot. Scot._, ii. 228-230.

  [399] Elmham, _Vita_, 310, 311; _Gesta_, 153; Chastellain, 94.

  [400] Chastellain, 94.

  [401] _Cal. of French Rolls_, Rep. 44, App. 635.

  [402] For this campaign see Elmham, _Vita_, 312-314; Monstrelet,
         512, 513; _Gesta_, 153, 154; Chastellain, 95, 96; Waurin, ii.

  [403] When Henry first landed in 1424 Chastellain says that
         Gloucester was governor of Paris. This, of course, is a
         mistake, for the post was at that time held by Exeter, who,
         however, joined the army at Mantes. It is possible that this
         is merely a mistake of date and that Gloucester took Exeter's
         place, and if this is so, it may be that he went thither
         straight from the siege of Dreux, and did not take part in
         Henry's campaign on the Loire. See Chastellain, 79.

  [404] After March 27 mention of Gloucester ceases in the French
         Rolls; _Cal. of French Rolls_, Rep. 44, App. 635.

  [405] _Lond. Chron._, 110; _Chron. Henry VI._, 1.

  [406] Harleian MS., 2256, f. 197.

  [407] Rymer, IV. iv. 50.

  [408] Cotton MS., Cleopatra, C. iv. f. 32.

  [409] Rymer, IV. iv. 66; see Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 342.

  [410] Ashmole MS., 1109, ff. 146, 147.

  [411] _Gesta_, 159, 160; Livius, 95; Elmham, _Vita_, 333;
         Chastellain, 112. According to Waurin, ii. 422, and
         Monstrelet, 530, the regency of England was given to the Duke
         of Exeter. Waurin also says that the regency of France was to
         devolve on the Duke of Burgundy, but if he refused, Bedford
         was to take his place, and this chronicler goes on to say
         that Bedford only undertook the office after Burgundy's
         refusal to accept the post.

  [412] _Gesta_, 160.

  [413] Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 344.

  [414] Hall, 114.

  [415] Ramsay, ii. 78.

  [416] Stubbs, iii. 94.

  [417] Rymer, IV. ii. 139. By this will Gloucester was left a bed and

  [418] _Testamenta Vetusta_, i. 21.

  [419] Rymer, IV. iii. 8.

  [420] Rymer, IV. iii. 7. Ramsay, i. 246, while allowing that no
         chronicler gives any reason for the breach between Henry V.
         and the Bishop of Winchester, suggests that it may have been
         due to a possible demand of the latter for some security for
         the money he had lent to the former. Security had been given
         on July 18, but there is nothing in this to explain the
         Chancellor's resignation. At any rate, if these two men could
         not agree as to this debt, it is obvious that they had no
         confidence in one another.

  [421] Hardyng, 391.

  [422] Rymer, IV. iv. 80.

  [423] _Lords' Reports_, iii. 856; _Ordinances_, iii. 3.

  [424] _Ordinances_, iii. 6; _Rot. Parl._, iv. 169; Rymer, IV. iv.

  [425] 'Ad parliamentum illud finiendum et dissolvendum de assensu
         concilii nostri plenam commisimus potestatem.' _Ordinances_,
         iii. 7. Stubbs thinks that it is probable that 'de assensu
         concilii nostri' alludes to the last three words, that
         Gloucester misconstrued the sentence, and that the Council
         accepted his misconstruction for their own ends (Stubbs, iii.
         96, _n._ 3); but judging from their general attitude to
         Gloucester it seems more likely that the lords intended to
         put a check on him all along, else why introduce words which
         had not occurred before? It is more than possible that they
         wished Gloucester to accept it in the way Stubbs reads it,
         and at a later date to construe them to their own advantage.
         Gloucester's only chance was to try to preclude this
         possibility. He threw his stake and lost.

  [426] Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 345.

  [427] _Ibid._, ii. 345, 346.

  [428] Rymer, IV. iv. 82; _Rot. Parl._, iv. 170.

  [429] Hardyng, 390.

  [430] Delpit, _Doc. Fr._, No. CCCLXVII. p. 233.

  [431] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 171, 172.

  [432] _Lords' Reports_, v. 192.

  [433] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 326.

  [434] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 174; Rymer, IV. iv. 83; _Lords' Reports_, v.
         192; Hall, 115; Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 346.

  [435] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 175.

  [436] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 175; _Ordinances_, iii. 15, 16.

  [437] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 178.

  [438] _Ordinances_, iii. 18.

  [439] _Ibid._, iii. 16, 17, 18; _Rot. Parl._, iv. 176.

  [440] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 176.

  [441] Polydore Vergil, 2.

  [442] Hall, 115; Polydore Vergil, 2.

  [443] Monstrelet, 533.

  [444] _Ibid._, 538; Waurin, iii. 6, 7.

  [445] _Beckington Correspondence_, i. 139-143. This document has no
         date, but it was evidently drawn up early in the reign.
         Stubbs, iii. 102, puts it as probably occurring before the
         Parliament at Leicester in 1426, and points to the last
         clause for evidence that Gloucester's Hainault expedition was
         alluded to. On the other hand, this may have been dictated by
         a presentiment of Gloucester's intentions in Hainault, which
         became evident soon after the opening of the reign, if not
         before. Bedford probably wanted to restrain Gloucester, and
         Gloucester must have desired the support of his powerful
         brother. There is also ample evidence that Bedford was in the
         hands of Beaufort in 1426, certainly till after the
         Parliament of Leicester, and therefore would not at that time
         ally himself with his brother.

  [446] _Ordinances_, iii. 26, 27; Rymer, IV. iv. 86; _Cal. Rot.
         Pat._, 269.

  [447] _Ordinances_, iii. 10, 15.

  [448] _Ibid._, iii. 51.

  [449] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 174; _Cal. Rot. Pat._, 269.

  [450] _Ordinances_, iii. 69, 77.

  [451] _Cal. of French Rolls_, Rep. 48, p. 226.

  [452] Carte, ii. 250.

  [453] Beltz, pp. lxi, lxii. Wardrobe accounts, however, are not
         always reliable.

  [454] Rymer, IV. iv. 102; _Rot. Parl._, iv. 197; _Cal. Rot. Pat._,

  [455] _London Chron._, 112 and 165.

  [456] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 200.

  [457] _Ibid._, iv. 201. _Ordinances_, iii. 151, where an additional
         paragraph decrees that any matter of dispute between any
         members of the Council is to be submitted to the judgment of
         the rest.

  [458] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 299.

  [459] Rymer, IV. iv. 98.

  [460] _Chron. Henry VI._, 4, 5.

  [461] Rymer, IV. iv. 115. It was not long before Gloucester was
         remonstrating with James for giving support to the French in
         1424. Polydore Vergil, 11.

  [462] Later in the reign Gloucester complained that this marriage
         was an insidious attempt by Beaufort to increase the power of
         his house.

  [463] Harleian MS., 2256, f. 198; _Rot. Parl._, iv. 202.

  [464] Cotton MS., Julius, B. i. f. 68.

  [465] _Chron. Henry VI._, 6.

  [466] Harleian MS., 2256, f. 198vo; _Chron. Henry VI._, 6.

  [467] _Ordinances_, iii. 169. March died January 19, 1425.



No sooner were the discussions and heartburnings of the settlement of
the Protectorate over, than the volatile nature of Humphrey drew him off
on another venture which, though dictated by his main characteristic--
ambition, was entirely inconsistent with his desire to be supreme in
England. It may be that disgust and disappointment at his partial
failure in his first struggle with Beaufort impelled him to abandon his
English ambitions for a time, but it is quite obvious that if he wished
to direct and control English policy, it was not to his interest to
leave the country to the tender mercies of his enemies, while he
prosecuted an impossible attempt to dominate and govern Jacqueline's
Netherland dominions. It is also possible that with high hopes of
success in Hainault he hoped to establish himself there quite
definitely, and to abandon for ever his attempts to assert his position
in England. Whatever may have been his motive, it is plain that so far
as his English ambitions were concerned it was folly to embark on any
undertaking which would take him away from England. However,
considerations of policy never deterred Duke Humphrey; ever confident
that what he wished to do was wise, he had already taken the first step
towards his new undertaking before the question of the Protectorate was
finally settled, and we must therefore pick up the thread of this
policy, and his relations with the fugitive Countess of Hainault, who
was the pivot on which this part of his career turned.

The Duke of Burgundy had deeply resented the asylum given to Jacqueline
by Henry V., and his indignation had been still further increased by the
rumour that a new marriage with the King's brother, Humphrey, was under
consideration. To the Duke's protest, however, Henry had practically
turned a deaf ear, for he seems to have put no check upon his brother's
actions; else he would not have sent him back to England in 1422, and
thus placed him in near proximity to such dangerous attractions. More
than this, he had gone out of his way to honour the lady, and it must
have been with his consent that she was chosen to hold his infant son at
the font, and to stand sponsor for him at his baptism in 1421.[468] This
policy of favour to Jacqueline was not abandoned after his death, for
her allowance of £100 a month--a really princely sum--was


Meanwhile Humphrey had not delayed his wooing. We have no definite
evidence as to the personal appearance of the object of his attentions,
for though the chroniclers allude to her beauty and attractive
qualities, her portraits, such as they are, give us a rather heavy-faced
woman with but moderate features. That she was lively and full of
spirits none can doubt, and there may have been in her some strong
attraction for the rather susceptible Duke, yet as Polydore Vergil
shrewdly suggests, the territories which she claimed were probably a
more potent attraction to Humphrey than the charms of her person.[470]
Whatever his motives Gloucester had soon come to an understanding with
Jacqueline, and their marriage was probably arranged before Henry V.'s
death. The Countess had ordered declarations that her former marriage
was null and void to be posted on the church doors throughout Hainault
and Holland, and there exists a legend that the two lovers applied to
the Antipope Benedict XIII., who had been deposed by the Council of
Constance, for a dissolution of her marriage with John of Brabant, a
request with which the prisoner of Peniscola immediately complied.[471]
In proof of this statement there is not sufficient documentary evidence,
yet in the absence of any action by Martin V., some form of divorce
seems to have been gone through, and a contemporary writer, by no means
favourable to the Duke, declares that Jacqueline was properly divorced
by law after a complete examination of the question by learned doctors,
and this before her third marriage.[472]

When exactly this marriage took place is uncertain. Certainly no public
ceremony was performed, since such an event must have attracted
universal attention,[473] and there is considerable disagreement among
the various writers as to even the approximate date of the occurrence.
That the marriage did not take place before Henry V.'s death on 31st
August 1422 we know from a definite statement to this effect by
Jacqueline herself in 1427;[474] but it must have been shortly after
this that the two became man and wife. Even by October 25 a rumour had
reached Mons, that the Duke of Brabant had received news that his wife
had ignored his rights, and had married Gloucester, that she was already
with child, and wished to come to Quesnoy for her confinement.[475] That
this is no more than a story, inspired by the known intentions of
Jacqueline, is shown by the obvious untruth of the last statement; but
on February 9 following a writ was received at Mons from the Countess
convening a meeting of the Estates, at which her marriage was to be
announced.[476] All this goes to prove that Cocqueau spoke the truth
when he wrote, 'Gloucester married Jacqueline in the month of January of
this 22nd year (O.S.), as I have seen in a letter belonging to John
Abbot of St. Vast, notifying that the said Gloucester had written to the
Duke of Burgundy telling him that he had married the said lady, whereby
her territories belonged to him.'[477]

In spite of the declaration of a sixteenth-century writer that this
marriage was 'not only wondered at of the comon people, but also
detested of the nobilite, and abhorred of the clergie,'[478] it seems to
have aroused no adverse comment at the time. Gloucester's new title was
recognised as early as the March following,[479] and later in the year
his new wife was recognised as Duchess of Gloucester, when she was made
a denizen of England by Act of Parliament with the full rights of an
English-born subject, at the same time as Bedford's newly married wife,
Anne of Burgundy, had the same privileges conferred upon her.[480] It is
apparent from this that no distinction was made between the wives of the
two dukes, and that at a time when Humphrey was being opposed in his
ambitions at home no opposition was raised to his daring and uncanonical
marriage with a foreign princess. It is strange to notice that on the
same day were completed the last formalities of confirmation in the
matter of two royal marriages--that of Bedford, of which the whole and
avowed object was the maintenance of the Burgundian alliance, and that
of Gloucester, which was to bring that alliance so near to a definite
rupture. We must gather from this that as yet the significance of
Humphrey's action had not been realised, and that Jacqueline was still
regarded--even as Henry V. had regarded her--as a valuable political
asset, rather than as a possible stumbling-block in the way of English
aggrandisement in France.


No sooner were the formalities of Jacqueline's naturalisation
accomplished, than she was taken by her husband to visit that monastery
where above all Gloucester was popular owing to his friendship with the
famous Abbot of St. Albans, John Bostock, better known as Wheathampsted,
a name borrowed from his birthplace. They were accompanied by three
hundred attendants, some English, and some 'Teutonici,' a term which
alludes probably to the Dutch, Flemish, and possibly German retainers,
whom Gloucester had collected in preparation for his coming campaign in
Holland. At St. Albans Jacqueline was acknowledged as Humphrey's true
and legitimate wife, and they were met at the entrance by the Prior,
who, representing the Abbot, at that time absent at the Council of
Pavia, led a procession to welcome the visitors as they approached the
monastery on Christmas Eve. The festivities of the season were there
celebrated, though they were somewhat marred by the disorderliness of
some of Gloucester's servants, who took to poaching in the neighbouring
woods, and were found in possession of a goodly collection of roebucks
and hinds which they had already flayed. One of the offenders was
secured and put into the stocks by the authorities, but this did not
satisfy the impetuous Duke, who seized a mattress-beater and broke his
unruly servant's head, ordering at the same time the slaughter of his
greyhound. 'Thus,' says the admiring chronicler, 'he set at rest this
evil appetite on the part of his servants by one striking example.'[481]

Jacqueline and Gloucester stayed at St. Albans for a fortnight, and
having kept the Feast of the Epiphany there, they were the following day
received into the fraternity. This admission into the brotherhood
imposed no monastic severities, nor did it confer any new civil rights,
but it was regarded as a mark of honour, and those admitted were allowed
to vote in the Chapter. On the monastery itself it had a more important
bearing, for Wheathampsted had restored the custom, long in disuse, in
order to procure funds for the house over which he ruled. This was the
last event of Gloucester's visit, and having presented the monastery
with two pipes of 'good red wine' as an acknowledgment of their splendid
entertainment during the Christmas festivities, husband and wife left
St. Albans.[482]


However gratifying the acknowledgment in England of Jacqueline's right
to be called his wife might be to Gloucester, he was determined to
assert his right to control her territories abroad, and nothing would
induce him to lay aside this project. At the same time it was beginning
to dawn on the minds of Englishmen that the objection of Burgundy to
Humphrey's pretended rights was insurmountable, and that the assertion
of those rights would jeopardise the Anglo-Burgundian alliance concluded
in the preceding April at Amiens, and cemented by the marriage of
Bedford to Duke Philip's sister Anne.[483] Indeed the Council had
already received a letter from the University of Paris warning them of
the impending danger, and emphasising the fact that the position held
by England in France had its 'root and origin' in Burgundian
support.[484] It was at this time, too, that Burgundy gave a clear
indication of the course of action he intended to pursue. As far back as
March 14, 1422, during the siege of Meaux, Henry V. had secured his
election to the Order of the Garter at a chapter held for that purpose
in France. Philip, however, had not formally accepted the nomination
when Henry V. died, and he then put off the acceptance on the ground
that the Order demanded a strict union of its members and forbade them
to bear arms against one another. For two years his doubts continued,
until, in answer to a peremptory requisition from the Chapter at
Windsor, he excused himself from accepting the honour conferred upon
him, lest he should be reduced thereby to the dishonourable alternative
of either violating the revered statutes of the Order, or infringing the
sacred rights of kinship.[485] In such a way did the Duke assert his
intention of resisting Gloucester's claims on Hainault.

Bedford was now fully alive to the danger attending his brother's
ambitions, and he initiated a series of attempts to settle the matters
in dispute between the Dukes of Brabant and Gloucester, with himself and
the Duke of Burgundy as arbitrators.[486] To this end it was necessary
to secure the consent of the two parties concerned, and in October 1423
John of Brabant published a formal acceptance of such arbitrament,[487]
but at the same time gave to the world an agreement which he had signed
with Burgundy in the previous June.[488] In this document, while
accepting Burgundy and Bedford as arbitrators, and agreeing not to ally
with any of the former's enemies before the decision had been given, he
at the same time stipulated that if his rival refused to follow the same
course in the matter of arbitration, he himself should be absolved from
this agreement. On the other hand, Burgundy agreed to certain
stipulations which seem to bind him in a way that makes him appear as a
very partisan arbitrator. He promised on oath that in the discussion of
the case 'he would ordain, appoint, and determine nothing which should
not be with the knowledge, consent, and wish of the Lord of Brabant,'
and that if Gloucester refused to place his case in the hands of the
arbitrators, he would help his cousin of Brabant to resist the attacks
of his opponent, so long as the said cousin would agree not to make
peace with Gloucester without his ally's consent.[489]

It is hardly surprising that Humphrey hesitated to put his case in the
hands of judges, when one of them was already bound to his opponent, and
moreover he regarded his case as quite beyond dispute, and resented any
suggestion that his brother should consider that there could be any
question of right or wrong in the matter of his marriage. However, after
an unsuccessful meeting between Bedford and Burgundy in the latter days
of 1423,[490] the former induced his brother to acknowledge the court of
arbitration, and to issue a formal declaration to that effect on 15th
February 1424, with the proviso that the matter must be settled before
the end of March.[491] Another attempt was made to bring about a
reconciliation at Amiens, but the matter was again postponed until
Trinity Sunday.[492] Bedford to satisfy Burgundy ceded certain French
territories to him, and at the same time induced both Gloucester and
Jacqueline to agree to the arbitrament, if matters were settled before
the end of June;[493] but in the meantime Burgundian disinterestedness
was put still more in doubt by the recognition of Duke Philip as the
heir of the weakling John of Brabant.[494] However much we may condemn
the way in which Humphrey was sowing discord between England and her
ally, and helping to rob his country of the fruits of the victory of
Verneuil, we cannot but understand his hesitation in submitting his case
for decision to two men, one of whom was bound to gain by his loss,
whilst the other was led by the single desire of conciliating his

Of the justice of his cause Humphrey was quite convinced, he was equally
determined to assert his supposed rights, and he did not see that any
advantage would accrue from these discussions. Nevertheless he sent
representatives to the Council to be held in France, stating his case
plainly in the instructions that he sent with them, and emphasising the
fact that this was the second time that he had been put to the trouble
of sending ambassadors about these affairs, for when he was represented
at Bruges, Brabant was not. The basis of his case lay on the unalterable
contention that he and Jacqueline were true man and wife by the laws of
the Church, and that this marriage entailed for him the government not
only of his wife's person, but also of her dominions. Brabant, having
contracted an illegal marriage with the heiress of Hainault, was now in
wrongful possession of her lands. There were three reasons why this
marriage was illegal. In the first place, consanguinity in the second
degree was a bar to the union, since the parties concerned were first
cousins; further there was the obstacle of affinity in the third degree
through the relationship of the Dauphin John, Jacqueline's first
husband, to the Duke of Brabant--a relationship, be it noted, that also
existed between her and this same first husband; besides all this, the
fact that Jacqueline's mother was also godmother to John of Brabant
created a spiritual relationship between the two, which, according to
the laws of the Church constituted a third obstacle. To the argument
that these objections were removed by papal dispensation it was
answered, that the dispensation was procured by fraud, and by the
suppression of the truth, and that within four days it was revoked,
Brabant being notified of this fact. If it were argued still further
that reconfirmatory letters were received at a still later date, it was
obvious that they were useless, for the revocation of the dispensation
was absolute, and could not be rescinded save by a new dispensation;
moreover the marriage was consummated before these last letters arrived,
so that the actual marriage must have been illegal, and was so still, as
no new ceremony had been performed.[495] It cannot be denied that, as a
point of strict law, there is much to be said for this presentment of
the case. The dispensation had originally been signed and sealed on
December 22, 1417,[496] and the revocation had followed, under pressure
from the Bishop of Liége, better known as John of Bavaria, and the
Emperor Sigismund, on the following 5th of January, whilst it was not
till September 5, when the Pope had left Constance and Imperial
influence behind him, that he signed the letters which re-enacted the
dispensation. Thus the statement of Humphrey was true and formed an
arguable case, and he put aside all counter-arguments based on the
ground of consent by the assertion that Jacqueline had retired to her
mother's protection so soon as she had realised the enormity of her

By these means was the legality of Jacqueline's last marriage to be
proved, and the case was strengthened by the assertion, that at the time
when negotiations for breaking off the Brabant marriage were on foot
Duke John had agreed that the contracting parties were to be free, if no
papal Bull to the contrary was issued before a certain date, and, since
no such Bull had arrived, Jacqueline had acted honestly, as well as
lawfully in the matter. As to the territories which were the main cause
of dispute, Brabant had promised not to alienate them, and since he had
broken his promise, Gloucester demanded their surrender to him with the
income derived therefrom during this unlawful possession.[497]

These instructions contain an uncompromising demand for all the rights
that Humphrey claimed, a demand which is strengthened by Brabant's
rejoinder. He does not dispute the foregoing arguments, but merely
stipulates that, if the estates are adjudged to Gloucester, he must
recognise all existing appointments, both ecclesiastical and secular,
besides all judgments, laws, contracts, and pardons, and that he himself
shall not be responsible for a dower for the Countess, for debts
incurred in Hainault, nor for any further expenses at the Court of
Rome.[498] In the light of these stipulations, which are in themselves a
confession of defeat, it is the more surprising that the commissioners
could not come to a decision. They declared that the evidence on both
sides was insufficient to justify a definite judgment, and they
recommended an appeal to the Court of Rome both on the question of the
marriage, and on the question of the territories. The most they could do
was to promise to forward an earnest request to the Pope to settle the
matter out of hand should both parties agree to this course, and to
notify his decision to them before August 1.[499]

The reasons for this equivocal reply are not far to seek. On the
evidence produced Humphrey had an overwhelming case, but the interests
of Burgundy, who meant to inherit the disputed dominions from his
submissive cousin of Brabant, forebade a decision in the Englishman's
favour. Bedford, on the other hand, probably refused to consent to a
verdict against his brother when the case against him was practically
unsupported. The Duke of Brabant cared not what happened, so long as his
safety and his pocket were secured, and henceforth he passed out of the
struggle, which now became a contest between the two Dukes of Burgundy
and of Gloucester, the former for a reversion, the latter for immediate
possession of Jacqueline's inheritance. Politically the policy of
Humphrey was now more reprehensible than before. It was evident that
Duke Philip intended to make it a matter personal to himself, and yet
personal ambition was allowed to swallow up the advantage of a nation,
and the man who later called for a continuance of the French war was now
about to do his utmost to hamper its prosecution. We have no evidence
whether the suggestion made by the arbitrators was followed, but we have
a letter which was written by Bedford to the Pope at this time urging
him to carry through the divorce of Jacqueline and Brabant very quickly,
and pointing out the deplorable loss of life and the horrors of war
likely to result if he did not do so.[500] Bedford at least had gauged
the situation. He saw that his brother had a strong case, on paper at
any rate, and that he meant to profit by it to the utmost of his power,
but at the same time he realised that the only means of coercing
Burgundy was to approach him under the shadow of a papal Bull.


Meanwhile Gloucester had been preparing to assert his claims by force of
arms. For some time past he had been in communication with the towns of
Hainault,[501] and he had not been behindhand in collecting men in
England. Unable to get any support from the Privy Council,[502] he had
to fall back on his own resources, and he managed to raise a
considerable body of troops, though in some cases his efforts to borrow
money met with a curt refusal.[503] On the other hand, he used his
position as Warden of the Cinque Ports to secure ships to transport his
soldiers,[504] and when the arbitrators had acknowledged their inability
to arbitrate, both he and his Duchess considered themselves absolved
from their promise to await its decision, a promise, too, which had
expired at the end of June.

All things were now ready, but before setting out on their expedition
Gloucester and his wife went to take farewell of one, who in her sad
confinement could sympathise with the luckless fate of the exiled
Jacqueline. On September 14, the day of the Exaltation of the Holy
Cross, the Duchess of Gloucester passed through St. Albans after vespers
with an escort of twenty-four horse on her way to Langley to visit Queen
Joan, and two days later her husband, accompanied by 'John Robessart,'
followed in the same direction.[505] By September 29 both Duke and
Duchess were at Dover, where an embassy from Mons found them,[506] and
Gloucester proceeded to turn his back on England, where in his absence
the Bishop of Winchester, as Chancellor, was left to carry on the work
of the Protector.[507] It is characteristic of Gloucester that this new
attraction had made him forget his political ambitions at home, and that
for the time he was content to leave the kingdom in the hands of his
rival. For some days hostile winds kept him in port, but before long
they veered round, and at ten o'clock on the morning of October 16 he
set sail from Dover with forty-two ships, reaching Calais between three
and four o'clock of the same day, in spite of a severe storm encountered
on the way.[508]

At Calais Duke and Duchess rested for some time, as they had only
brought over the vanguard of their army. But they were not idle.
Immediately on arrival they each despatched letters to Mons, the capital
of Hainault, in which they announced their safe arrival at Calais and
their intention to come and take possession of their dominions;
meanwhile the town was to make every preparation for their honourable
reception.[509] At the same time speculation was rife in the
neighbourhood of Calais as to the route which Gloucester would take in
his advance on Hainault. On the day after disembarkation, ambassadors
appeared from Flanders, and at an audience granted them on the 18th,
urged the Duke not to pass through their territory, as it would be
inconvenient to them, and since the roads were narrow, the bridges
dangerous, and the waterways frequent, to him also. They were told that
no decision had yet been taken, but that in any case their country would
be unhurt. Following these came other ambassadors from Artois, who in
quite another strain begged Humphrey to make use of their country as a
means of access to Hainault. Both embassies were courteously


To Calais also came messengers from Bedford with the news that Brabant
had sent envoys to Paris to appeal once more to the arbitrators, and
with an invitation from the English Regent in France to his brother to
meet him at some convenient place to discuss the matter.[511]
Gloucester, however, had made up his mind to proceed with his
undertaking, and he returned an evasive reply. Nevertheless a Council
was called in Paris, mainly it would seem to pacify Burgundy, who was
furious at this interference in what he considered his own happy
hunting-ground, and after mature consideration terms of agreement were
drawn up and sent to the contending parties, Ralph de Boutillier and the
Abbot of Fécamp being commissioned to bear them to Humphrey.[512] Though
Brabant accepted the terms, neither the Duke nor the Duchess of
Gloucester would have anything to do with them, and this last attempt at
a settlement failed.[513] We have no record of what these terms were,
but it seems likely that they were highly favourable to Burgundy's
protégé, for on hearing of their rejection Duke Philip flew into a
mighty passion, and declared roundly to Bedford that he would resist the
English claimant with all his forces, a course he could easily take as
he had just signed a truce with the Dauphin. With a sad heart Bedford
bore with the angry Duke, and attempted to appease his wrath by a round
of dancing and jousting. Paris was very gay in her attempt to bolster up
the Anglo-Burgundian alliance.[514] For a time these measures were
successful, and though he coquetted with the party of the Dauphin,
Burgundy did not abandon his friendship with England.[515]

Meanwhile Gloucester had had some correspondence with the Pope, partly
with reference to the slanders which he thought a certain Simon de
Taramo had uttered against him, and partly on the subject of the delay
in admitting Martin V.'s nephew, Prospero Colonna, to the Archdeaconry
of Canterbury, a delay probably fostered by Gloucester, as a hold over
the man who could make his marriage undeniably legal.[516] The
correspondence on both sides was of a most friendly nature, and in one
letter the Duke urged a speedy granting of the divorce, which he desired
not only because of his great love for Jacqueline, but also because of
the underhand behaviour of his opponents.[517] This complaint of
underhand dealings would be hardly justified were we to accept as
genuine another correspondence attributed to this time, and preserved in
the Archives at Lille. According to these letters, a plot, to which
Bedford was privy, was on foot between Gloucester, Suffolk, and
Salisbury to murder the Duke of Burgundy, much in the same way as his
father had met his end at the Bridge of Montereau. Much circumstantial
evidence is to be found therein, showing that Gloucester's motive was to
prevent Burgundian interference with his Hainault plans.[518] It is,
however, beyond dispute that these letters were the work of one William
Benoist, who forged them at the instigation of the Constable de
Richemont for the latter's political purposes.[519] Neither Bedford nor
Gloucester would have stooped to such an expedient, for though the
younger of the two brothers might be unscrupulous and ambitious, yet
murder was a crime of which no one could imagine him guilty. With all
his faults he would never have thus tarnished his fair name.


The month of October was now passed, and the Earl Marshal had arrived in
the early morning of November 2 with forty-two sail and the second
detachment of Gloucester's army, and on the evening of the same day four
more ships arrived. A week later the troops marched out as far as the
castle of Guisnes, there to await the last contingent which was now due.
They had not long to wait, for on November 13 twenty-two more ships
arrived at Calais, and immediately preparations were made for the
start.[520] Early in the morning of November 18 Gloucester led out his
men on the first stage of the march to Hainault.[521] The vanguard
consisted of 1100 horse, or thereabouts, with 800 horse and 300
men-at-arms in the main battle, while the rearguard comprised 2000 men,
in all, therefore, the force consisted of some 4200 troops.[522] Over
this army the Earl Marshal had supreme command.[523] It is strange that
with his military experience Gloucester did not undertake to lead his
troops in person, but the explanation may be found in the report of his
physician as to his state of health, which seems to have been anything
but good at this time.[524] The route chosen for the march was through
Artois, by way of Thérouaune and Béthune, and passing to the north of
Lens, the army reached Hainault territory, making its first halt therein
at Bouchain.[525] All through the county of Artois, which was Burgundian
territory, the utmost care was taken to keep the soldiers in strict
order; neither were the people annoyed nor was the country injured by
the passage of the English forces.[526] All this was done to the end
that no personal injury should induce Duke Philip to resist the
invasion of those territories which were claimed by the Duke of Brabant.

In Hainault there was no rejoicing when the return of their long absent
princess was announced. The traders and merchants of the towns had
increased their prosperity during the Regency of John of Bavaria, the
able and unscrupulous ex-Bishop of Liége, to whom Brabant had yielded
the government of Jacqueline's dominions for a term of years. Whatever
might be the private convictions of the citizen class, they cared for
nothing so much as for peace, and this new invasion, though undertaken
in the name of hereditary right and good government, only promised a
long civil war and the consequent disturbance of trade and
commerce.[527] The nobles might champion Jacqueline, or range themselves
under the banner of Brabant, but they were not the most important factor
in the country. It was on the support of the towns that any governmental
authority must be based, for these strong trading communities had been
enabled to strengthen themselves against the rural nobility by superior
organisation and co-operation, and by superior wealth. All that they
needed was a strong hand to govern the country with impartiality and
justice, to keep the turbulent nobility in check, and to give
untrammelled opportunities for expanding commerce and acquiring wealth.
This ideal had been practically realised under the government of John of
Bavaria--though his energies had been devoted more to Holland and
Zealand than to Hainault--a realisation which was not expected from the
rule of Jacqueline and her unknown English husband. It was in this
spirit, therefore, that the town of Valenciennes refused to admit her
Countess within her walls,[528] and that the citizens of Mons sent an
urgent embassy to the Dowager-Countess, asking her to use her influence
to induce her daughter not to enter their city, nor to bring 'Monsieur
de Gloucester' with her;[529] indeed, if we are to believe an English
chronicler, the various states of Jacqueline's heritage had united in
offering Humphrey an annual tribute of £30,000 to be left in peace.[530]


Both the Dowager Margaret and the Count of St. Pol, Brabant's younger
brother, had done their utmost to avert the invasion of Hainault by
Gloucester,[531] and the former had sent an urgent embassy to England
for this purpose, to the expenses of which the various towns had
contributed;[532] but when all chances of keeping the peace had passed
away, she threw in her lot with her daughter, and seems to have entered
into cordial relations with her new-found son-in-law.[533] The Mons
embassy was therefore sent in vain, and in reply to their request the
citizens learnt that the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and their mother
intended to enter their capital in triumph on the following Sunday.[534]
Resistance was out of the question when on Monday the 27th Humphrey,
with a force of about 5000 men, and accompanied by Jacqueline and her
mother, left Crespin and appeared before the gates of the city. Making
the beat of a bad business, the citizens determined to welcome their
princess and her new husband, but they steadfastly refused to admit the
whole army within the walls. After some discussion it was arranged that
the soldiers should find accommodation in the suburbs outside the
fortifications, and that an escort of not more than 300 horse should be
admitted within the city, among which there were hardly any English,
their number being mainly made up of the Dowager's Hainault troopers,
whom she had brought with her to swell the invading army.[535]

Thus early was Gloucester brought face to face with the fact that his
wife's subjects did not regard him as the saviour of their country, but
rather as a foreign intruder, and one whose intentions were suspected.
Yet, however suspicious they might be of Humphrey's intentions, the men
of Mons had quickly made up their minds to accept the inevitable and to
make the best of it. On the Tuesday they waited on their lady and her
husband at the Naasterhof, where they were lodged, and paid their
respects to them, presenting the former with two butts of wine, the one
idea of an acceptable present in the Netherlands of the fifteenth
century, it would seem. At the same time the Estates of Hainault were
summoned to meet on December 1, and the interval was spent by Gloucester
in exploring the city. On the Wednesday he accompanied his wife on a
visit to the garden of the archery guild, where he gave six nobles
towards the completion of the chapel; thence they went to see the view
from the hill in the park, and finished their tour of inspection at the


On the day appointed the Estates assembled at the Naasterhof at ten
o'clock in the morning, and the business of the meeting was begun by a
speech from Jan Lorfevre,[537] 'subprior of the church of the scholars,'
who was appointed to set forth the grounds upon which Jacqueline and
Gloucester based their united claims to the estates of the late Count
William of Holland. The arguments he used against the marriage of the
princess and the Duke of Brabant were the same as had been laid before
the court of arbitration, and he added that Jacqueline had always
disliked the alliance, and bitterly repented her of the sin she had
committed in ever consenting to it. For this sin she had done penance,
both in monetary payments and in bodily sufferings, and had received
absolutions; then after having consulted several famous Italian
ecclesiastics and other wise men as to the legality of the proceeding,
she had married the Duke of Gloucester. In the light of these facts, as
here set forth, she now demanded that her husband should be recognised
as Regent and Protector of Hainault by reason of this marriage.[538] The
Hainaulters were now compelled to make a definite decision between the
two parties, and it seemed obvious to many that their only means of
safety, for the present at any rate, was to acknowledge Humphrey to be
the true and only husband of Jacqueline, and to throw in their lot with
the party which could command the five thousand or more soldiers
encamped hard by. Nevertheless, there was a strong minority which
objected strongly to the English prince, and showed its objection by
abstention from the meeting of the Estates. It was therefore three days
before a quorum could be secured to transact any business, but finally
on December 4 the Estates determined to recognise their lady's last
marriage, and to send letters to the Duke of Brabant renouncing all
allegiance to him.[539] Thus Hainault officially decided to support the
claims of Gloucester, though Holland and Zealand, at a safe distance
from the reach of his forces, refused to have any part in these
proceedings, and threw in their lot with the Duke of Brabant.[540]

The Hainaulters, however, were by no means unanimous as to the step that
had been taken. The hesitation of so many members of the Estates was a
reflection of the attitude of the whole county, and there was still
ample evidence that there was no abatement of the feud of Hook and Cod,
which distinguished the supporters of Jacqueline from their hereditary
enemies. Though the towns might follow the lead of the Estates, and
yield a grudging acknowledgment of their lady's claims, there was still
a very powerful nobility to be counted with, of which body prominent
members openly defied the new ruler. Whilst the nobles as a whole
dissembled their opposition, there were certain notable exceptions to
this rule, for the Count of Conversan, his kinsman Messire Engilbert
d'Edingen, and the Lord of Jeumont refused to accept the new state of
affairs, and declared themselves firm adherents of the Brabant

To all appearance, however, Humphrey's power was supreme, and he decided
to make a tour of inspection round the towns which had accepted his
rule, even as Jacqueline herself had done when she first succeeded to
her inheritance. He first took the oaths in the name of his wife as
Countess, and for himself as governor of the county at Mons on December
5, receiving the usual present of wine after the ceremony,[542] and
then, having appointed the Lord of Hainau to be bailiff of
Hainault,[543] he left for Soignies, where he renewed his oaths next
day. In turn he visited Manbeuge, Le Quesnoy, and Valenciennes,
promising to guard the citizens and to respect the laws, and receiving
in exchange the acknowledgment of his position as regent.[544] All the
other towns seem to have followed the lead of these principal cities,
and yielded obedience to Humphrey,[545] but it must be noticed that the
authority acknowledged was merely that of regent for his wife. Nowhere
do we find a suggestion that Gloucester had any power of his own right,
or that his description as Count of Hainault was anything but a titular
honour, and it may be that it was hoped by this means to avert the
intervention of the Duke of Burgundy. Under the present arrangement
there would be no obstacle to prevent the Duke from acquiring the
Hainault inheritance on Jacqueline's death, except in the now improbable
event of the birth of a child, and it is likewise possible that in
taking this precaution both Count and Countess thought that they had
averted all chance of Burgundian interference, in spite of the threats
of Duke Philip at Paris, which we must suppose had reached their ears.

The bare acknowledgment of his position as regent to his wife did not
satisfy Gloucester, who had not undertaken the assertion of her rights
with any single-minded or chivalrous intention of giving justice to the
wronged, and on his return to Mons he summoned the Estates of Hainault,
and demanded a grant of forty thousand French gold crowns to recoup him
for his expense in bringing an army to Hainault. To this demand the
representatives of the towns demurred, for they had never asked for this
army, with which they would much rather have dispensed, and a stormy
debate on the subject on December 28 failed to result in any decision.
On the following day, however, the delegates were brought to realise
that, left to themselves, they would be helpless now that they had
defied Brabant, and they agreed to the grant on condition that it was
reduced by only counting forty 'sols' to the crown.[546]

This half-hearted consent to Gloucester's demands was wrung from very
unwilling subjects. The English troops were not popular in Hainault.
They had shown themselves but little under control, and had fully
justified the fears felt with regard to them when they first appeared
outside Mons.[547] At Soignies Gloucester had received urgent messages
from the capital, begging him not to allow any of his English troops,
except those of his household, to re-enter the town,[548] and again at
Valenciennes he had been requested to put some restraint on the ravages
of his men.[549] Discontent at the outrages perpetrated by their
so-called protectors was increased by the unsettled state of affairs,
and the lack of energy displayed by the regent; at St. Ghislain his
officers had been refused admission, though only accompanied by four
men.[550] Moreover, Gloucester's authority was defied, at least in one
instance, on the plea that a grant by Jacqueline overruled his
commands.[551] Thus the oaths which Gloucester had sworn to keep law and
order in the county were proved to be useless, and it was in vain that
Mons insisted on their renewal in the most solemn manner,[552] when a
divided authority and a reckless unrestrained soldiery combined to bring
the horrors of war to the doors of the unfortunate Hainaulters.

It is not surprising, therefore, that projects for mediation between the
two Dukes came to the front, and that the citizens of Mons appealed to
their fellows of Valenciennes to join with them in invoking the towns of
Ghent and Namur to intervene for the purpose of bringing about a
reconciliation.[553] Such a reconciliation was the only hope for the
wretched Hainaulters, who on the one hand would court disaster should
they rise against the dominant power of Gloucester, whilst on the other
they reaped a bitter harvest from their association with his cause. To
strengthen this movement, further efforts at mediation came in the shape
of another embassy from Burgundy and Bedford, which arrived at Mons in
February under the leadership of the Archbishop of Arras.[554]
Mediation, however, whether by towns or Dukes, proved equally abortive,
as it was not likely that either side would consent to conditions so
long as each hoped to secure a papal decision in its favour.


Martin V. was still hesitating as to whether or no he should grant the
divorce. It mattered little to him that a distracted people eagerly
looked for a judgment that might give them relief; and he thought that
by delay he might secure some great concession from one side or the
other, or at least he might wait till he could see which party was
likely to gain the upper hand. Besides, it must be remembered that
immense possibilities--far greater than the question of the rights of a
petty Princess of Hainault--lay behind this decision. The course of the
war between France and England might lie in the balance which hung
between the contending Dukes, and a verdict on the divorce appeal, given
at a critical moment, might help to end that long-protracted struggle.
Be this as it may, rumours, born of this long waiting for a judgment,
arose in the Low Countries, and it was reported that a Bull of divorce
between the Duke of Brabant and Jacqueline had been granted by the Holy
See, a report which reached as far as Zealand, where the citizens of
Zierkzee wrote to the authorities at Mons, asking for a confirmation of
the report if it were indeed true.[555] Before long these rumours
reached Rome, and on February 13 Martin wrote to Brabant, declaring the
Bulls of divorce now circulating in the dioceses of Utrecht, Liége, and
Cambray to be absolute forgeries.[556] At the same time he sent letters
to Gloucester in which he asserted that the opinion that Jacqueline's
English marriage was undoubtedly legal, currently attributed to him, had
never been expressed, and that all he had said was, that he hoped that
it might be proved so.[557] Rome was still shuffling, though the purport
of the two letters was calculated to improve the position of Brabant
rather than that of Gloucester, but for the present this did not affect
the course of affairs, for the first letter at least did not reach its
destination till Humphrey had turned his back for ever on Hainault.[558]

While Gloucester had been steadily alienating the sympathies of the men
of Hainault, and attempting to justify his invasion of the country, his
troops had not been idle. In December the Earl Marshal had invaded the
territory of Brabant, and had ravaged the country with fire and sword,
penetrating as far as Brussels and carrying off much booty and many
prisoners.[559] No organised resistance was made to the inroad. The Duke
of Brabant, weak and unenterprising as usual, took no interest in the
defence even of his hereditary duchy[560]; so little did he bestir
himself that a rumour was spread abroad that he was dead.[561] Though
this was untrue, a further report that John of Bavaria had died was
substantiated,[562] for the energetic ex-bishop had fallen down dead
suddenly at the very beginning of 1425,[563] and thus, from the death of
one John and the inertia of the other, there seemed to be every
likelihood that Hainault at least would pass definitely under
Gloucester's rule.


There was one man, however, who had to be counted with, one who would
brook no interference within his sphere of influence, and this was the
Duke of Burgundy. The titular principals in this drama have retired to
the back of the stage; Jacqueline and the Duke of Brabant give place to
Humphrey of Gloucester and Philip of Burgundy. The plot, too, has
widened, and has ceased to be confined to the mere states under
dispute; it has become a personal question with an European
significance. When Philip had left Paris vowing that he would resist the
ambitions of Gloucester, he meant what he said. A truce concluded with
the party of the Dauphin had enabled him to devote his whole attentions
to this end, and on December 20 he had issued letters from Dijon to his
vassals in Picardy, Artois, and the neighbouring territories summoning
them to arm for the defence of Hainault under the leadership of John of
Luxembourg.[564] By this means a considerable force was despatched to
join the troops which the Count of St. Pol was collecting under the
auspices of Burgundy in Brabant, and by the beginning of the new year a
body of some forty thousand men, so the chroniclers tell us,[565] was
ready to invade Hainault under the brother of Duke John, who himself was
too much of a lay figure to command the troops in person.[566] As a
preliminary to the attack on Hainault, the frontier towns in Brabant
territory were garrisoned, and from these bases frequent predatory
expeditions were made across the borders, thus inflicting on the
unfortunate Hainaulters the twofold burden of an enemy's devastation and
a so-called friend's foraging parties.[567] Gloucester had already
garrisoned many of the towns under his command, and the two forces were
constantly meeting in skirmish and counter-attack, till early in March
St. Pol crossed the frontier, and invested the town of Braine-le-Comte.

St. Pol's army was a heterogeneous collection of men from various
sources. Round him were gathered nobles of Brabant, and the discontented
from Hainault, Burgundian troops, Brabantine levies, and even Frenchmen
from amongst those who espoused the cause of the Dauphin, all
comprising a powerful but somewhat unwieldy and undisciplined
force.[568] In Braine there was an English garrison of two hundred men,
but the numbers of the defenders were swollen by the citizens, who took
up arms to resist the invader. For eight days[569] a spirited defence
was maintained, but superstitious fear quelled the ardour of the
Englishmen when they seemed to see their patron saint St. George riding
his white horse among the besiegers. On March 11 terms were offered and
accepted; the English were to be allowed to march out with the honours
of war, taking with them their private property, whilst the townsmen
were to be immune from molestation in return for a certain monetary
payment. This agreement, however, was not kept, for the wild,
undisciplined levies of Brabant, enraged at the loss of so goodly a
chance of spoil, broke into the town under cover of the truce, and
pillaged, burnt, and slew, while their captains tried in vain to assert
their authority. Thus the town was utterly destroyed, and citizen and
soldier alike were butchered in the streets.[570]


While these events were happening at Braine, Gloucester had hurried
forward with the main army, which had joined him again after its
expedition into Brabant. He left Mons on March 5, and advanced as far as
Soignies within four miles of the beleaguered town, but further than
this he did not go, for he was advised not to attack the besiegers.[571]
Such abstention is inexplicable in the impetuous Humphrey. True, St. Pol
had the numerically stronger army, but the English troops were
experienced soldiers, whilst their opponents were for the most part raw
levies or unmanageable volunteers, and laboured under the disadvantage
of having to protect their rear if they were compelled to turn and fight
a relieving force. Whether it was that ill-health had sapped Humphrey's
initiative, or that the tactics of the Earl Marshal were over-cautious,
the fact remains that nothing was done, and the Duke spent the time that
he lay idle at Soignies in writing another letter to the Pope, in which
he clamoured for a speedy decision of the divorce proceedings, urging
the mischief caused by the delay and the blood which was being shed. He
declared that he had entered Hainault, and had been well received, but
that the troops of the Duke of Brabant had invaded his territory. The
blood of the killed in this struggle was not on his head. He had sent
three separate embassies to procure a pacification, but in each case
without effect, and now as a devoted son of the Holy See he must urge
that the time for delay was passed, and that the Pope must settle the
matter by a prompt decision.[572]

While this none too courageous appeal for the help of the spiritual arm
against the invaders was being despatched, Braine had fallen, and to
cover his supine conduct, which might well suggest cowardice, Gloucester
sent a herald to the victorious general challenging him to fight then
and there,[573] a challenge which, had it been sent a few days earlier,
might have saved both the town and the murdered garrison. St. Pol gladly
accepted the defiance, and he waited several days in the neighbourhood
expecting to be attacked. At length, as there were no signs of the
enemy, and fearing to venture another siege in the inclement state of
the weather, he began to draw off, and it was only then that a party of
some eight or ten hundred English was sent to harass his retreat. St.
Pol in anticipation of a general attack drew up his forces on a hill,
as did also the English commander on some rising ground opposite, and a
series of skirmishes took place in the intervening valley. This,
however, did not develop into a general engagement, and in the evening
the English drew off, quite unaware that the Brabant levies had thrown
the opposing army into confusion by a precipitate flight. Relieved of
his foes, St. Pol was enabled to march off the rest of his troops under
cover of the darkness, and Humphrey had lost an excellent chance of
securing a decisive victory.[574]

On the evening of the same day as this averted engagement, it was
announced to both the English and Brabant commanders that a truce had
been declared between Burgundy and Gloucester,[575] and to such an
extent was it realised that the struggle lay between these two, and that
the Duke of Brabant was merely a lay figure in the dispute, that a
general cessation of hostilities ensued. For some little time past the
two Dukes had been in communication. As soon as he had learnt of
Burgundy's summons to arms of December 20 Humphrey had written an
expostulatory letter to him, in which he complained that his actions had
been misrepresented, and that he could not accept the propositions of
peace suggested at Paris, as they were prejudicial to his interests,
adding further that it was untrue to say that Brabant had on his side
accepted the terms. He declared Philip's support of Brabant to be
iniquitous, seeing that Jacqueline was a nearer relation of his than was
the Duke, and that he was already bound to support the English cause on
the Continent by treaty. Moreover, every step had been taken to respect
Burgundian rights, and in passing through Artois the territory and its
occupants had been respected. The letter concluded with an appeal to
Philip to abstain from further hostilities.[576]


To this Burgundy after some delay had replied, that what he had said
with regard to the acceptance of the conditions by Brabant was true, and
that Gloucester had refused to abide by the decision of the Paris
tribunal, or to await that of the Pope. With sudden heat he declared
that Gloucester had called him a liar, and he therefore challenged him
to single combat, offering to accept either the Emperor or Bedford as
judge of the fight. This he affirmed would be a more Christian way of
settling the dispute, in that it would avoid the killing of their
respective adherents.[577] From Soignies Gloucester had written to
accept the challenge for St. George's Day with Bedford as judge, adding
that his first letter was justified by Burgundy's recent lie in saying
that Brabant accepted the terms of the agreement.[578] To this Philip
had retorted with another letter reaffirming his former statements.
Gloucester had called him a liar, and he had therefore challenged him to
personal combat, which had been accepted, and thereby their differences
would be definitely settled.[579]

It was on account of the arrangements made in this correspondence that
the truce between the two parties had been made, and it is rather
strange that a chronicler asserts that Humphrey picked the quarrel to
secure his retreat from Hainault.[580] The challenge came from
Burgundy, and there is no evidence in Gloucester's first letter that he
wished to provoke the quarrel. On the contrary, he was evidently
surprised and hurt by the attitude adopted by Philip, though it shows a
surprising ignorance of the character and ambitions of the man whom he
had first met at St. Omer in 1417. Till he heard of the summons of
December 20 he had never doubted but that the struggle lay between
himself and Brabant alone, and he had been at great pains to prevent any
provocation of Burgundian susceptibilities when passing through Artois.
This care was no subtle intention to put his future adversary in the
wrong, but was born of an entire inability to grasp the state of the
case. He was by nature a scholar, circumstances had transformed him into
a politician, but no circumstances could make him a statesman. He could
not see the significance of his own actions, and till brought face to
face with the facts, could not understand whither his actions would lead
him. He ought to have been aware that Burgundy would look on his
Hainault policy with no friendly eye, and he had had clear warning that
Philip would not stand by to see an alien power within his sphere of
influence. Yet blind to these signs, and unconscious that any one could
follow out a policy in a more determined way than he could, only now did
he realise his true position, and perhaps it was only now that he began
to grasp something of the complications which his hot-headed expedition
was bringing upon English policy in France. Armagnac and Burgundian had
fought side by side in the army before Brain-le-Comte, Burgundian and
Englishman had fought against each other when they should have stood
shoulder to shoulder in the plains of France. He could not hope for
reinforcements, and the troops of Burgundy were arrayed against him when
he had thought that the alliance with England would preclude such a
possibility. He stood for his own projects, and his expedition was
personal, not national, yet this, while leaving him helpless, did not
fail to alienate the sympathies of Philip from the nation whose royal
family had a member in arms against his treasured projects.


The heyday of Gloucester's ascendency in Hainault was rapidly passing
into murky twilight, and the men of Hainault were not slow to apprise
the situation. With Burgundy in the field against them, they were
surrounded by enemies, and their provisions were cut off both by road
and river. They regretted Jacqueline's visit to England, and still more
did they regret that she had brought back with her an English husband.
They were disgusted at the part they had played in rejecting the Duke of
Brabant, and with the exception of the faithful few who clung to their
Countess, they all sought how they might propitiate the party that now
seemed likely to get the upper hand.[581] The very men who had
petitioned the Pope to divorce Jacqueline from the Duke of Brabant,[582]
now sought to win favour from him whom they had opposed. Such was the
state of public opinion when Gloucester rejoined his wife at Mons after
his fiasco at Soignies.[583]

In the capital the citizens had never whole-heartedly welcomed the rule
of the foreigner, and had always disliked the regent's English
followers. They now decreed that Gloucester was to be received only with
a reasonable following, and on condition that he gave a pledge, whereby
the labourers might return to work in the fields without being molested
by his men.[584] Requests had been supplanted by demands, and the
citizens now made terms with the man they had acknowledged as governor,
while their hostility to him was still further increased by a peremptory
letter from the Duke of Burgundy threatening to send troops to besiege
the city unless it returned to the allegiance of the Duke of
Brabant.[585] Not only was the loyalty of Mons shaken, but also many of
the towns, headed by Valenciennes, had already renounced their
allegiance to Jacqueline's governor,[586] and a fresh inroad from
Brabant territory[587] convinced Gloucester that his career in Hainault
was at an end. Moreover, it is more than probable that the volatile Duke
had tired of Jacqueline, so soon as he despaired of ever possessing her
territory, and there is strong presumptive evidence that his affections
had already strayed to a certain Mme. de Warigny, the wife of one of the
Duchess's equerries.[588] As early as February 15, it had been rumoured
that the Duke was about to return to England,[589] and now he definitely
decided on this course. His hold on Hainault was weakened, if not gone;
he had never succeeded in securing even the nominal adherence of Holland
and Zealand; quick to undertake a new project, he was as quick to
despair of its success, and, perhaps most potent reason of all, he
wished to return to England, lest in his absence his uncle should
undermine his position there.


A safe-conduct through Burgundian territory made this retreat easy, and
within four days of his arrival at Mons Humphrey was ready to
start.[590] Jacqueline seems to have wished to accompany her husband,
but the authorities of Mons, seconded by the Dowager-Countess,
interfered, and insisted that their lady should not again leave the
country, and Gloucester consented on condition that the citizens of her
capital guaranteed her safety.[591] A few soldiers and some cannon were
left behind,[592] but almost all the English troops accompanied their
master, who early in April rode out to St. Ghislain. Here amidst many
tears and protestations Jacqueline bid adieu to her husband, and
sorrowfully watched him ride away down the road to Valenciennes and pass
out of her life for ever, though at the time she knew it not.[593] By
way of Bouchin and Lens he reached Calais, whence he sailed for England
on April 12.[594]

Hainault breathed more freely when she saw the English depart, for they
had brought nothing but trouble and sorrow in their train. Not content
with provoking the wrath of the Duke of Burgundy to fall on the country
they had pretended to defend, they had pillaged, slain, and wasted
wherever they went. More than once we have had occasion to notice strong
protests at their behaviour, and it was a very unsavoury reputation they
left behind them. Neither church nor town was safe from their
depredations, and the native chronicler cries bitterly 'no soldiers ever
did so much harm to the Low Countries as did the English.'[595]
Gloucester's inability to keep his men in order is not easily explained.
In the French wars he had maintained the strictest discipline; while
marching through Artois these very same soldiers had been compelled to
restrain their plundering tendencies, and later, too, the Duke was able
to lead a short skirmish into the territory of Flanders without ever
once letting his men get out of hand. It may be that his health was not
sufficiently good to allow him to undertake that personal supervision so
necessary for maintaining order, but more probably his soldiers were
left unrestrained because their leader did not try to restrain them.
Humphrey must have been disgusted at the cold reception he had met with
in Hainault, and annoyed at the fact that he was only recognised as his
wife's regent, not as joint ruler with her. He had set out with the idea
of becoming a continental prince, and he found that he was only
grudgingly acknowledged as Jacqueline's representative. What more
natural, therefore, than that his imperious and emotional temperament
should choose a poor, mean way of revenging himself on those Hainaulters
who had disappointed his hopes, and at the same time the cheapest and
most effective method of rewarding his troops for their services?
Natural it was to Humphrey. He had none of the greatness of spirit which
alone could have brought his undertaking to a successful end, and he had
but little to be proud of, as he turned from the scene of his least
glorious achievements.


Nothing in Gloucester's whole career has left such a blot on his
character as his expedition to Hainault. Not only did he embark on an
impolitic course, which came near to wreck the national policy and the
schemes of his brother--a policy which he espoused himself in later
life, when it had become but an empty dream--but he could not even bring
himself to stand by her whom he had undertaken to champion, in the day
of her distress. He had alienated the men whom he had attempted to
govern, he had shown himself unable or unwilling to control his
soldiers, and when thrown on his own resources, he had betrayed his
weakness as a general. A soldier of ability and experience, his
instability of character had rendered him helpless when he had no
controlling power to look up to; an ardent lover, he had soon proved
unfaithful, and had betrayed more worldly ambition than unselfishness in
his love; a man who claimed to guide the destinies of England, he had
shown himself blind to that which must have been clear to any one
possessing the merest germs of statesmanship. All his weaknesses came to
the front, and none of the virtues to which he could lay claim were
apparent; it is by this episode in his life that he is best remembered,
as the foolish knight-errant who adopted a mediæval pose, whilst
possessing none of the mediæval chivalry which alone could make that
pose bearable.


  [468] _Lond. Chron._, 110; Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 342;
         Harleian MS., 2256, f. 196vo.

  [469] _Ordinances_, iii, 10.

  [470] Polydore Vergil, 5.

  [471] This story is told by Wagenaar, see Beiträge, 48, 49.

  [472] _Chron. Henry VI._, 6. Allusion to advice given by Italian
         clerics justifying the marriage is made in Jacqueline's claim
         that Gloucester should be recognised as Regent of Hainault.
         _Particularités Curieuses_, 77. Martin v. also in a letter to
         his representatives in England alluded to the existence of an
         opinion, signed by many persons under seal, to the effect
         that in the question of divorce justice was on the side of
         Gloucester. _Papal Letters_, vii. 27.

  [473] A Latin chronicler in the Low Countries certainly says 'Quibus
         nupciis regaliter in Anglia celebratis' (Beiträge, 16). But
         this cannot stand against the unanimous silence of all other
         contemporary writers.

  [474] _Cartulaire_, iv. 599.

  [475] _Ibid._, iv. 318. Also _Particularités Curieuses_, 58.

  [476] _Cartulaire_, iv. 328.

  [477] Beiträge, 51.

  [478] Hall, 116. Stow also, wise after the event, alludes to the
         marriage as 'a thing thought unreasonable'; _Annales_ 366.

  [479] Rymer, IV. iv. 90.

  [480] Dec. 20, 1423. _Rot. Parl._, iv. 242; _Lords' Reports_, v.
         197, 198; Rymer, IV. iv. 103. Löher says that before the
         marriage of Bedford and Anne of Burgundy Humphrey had been a
         candidate for this lady's hand (Löher, _Jakobäa von Bayern_,
         ii. 141). He is followed in this statement by Miss Putnam (_A
         Mediæval Princess_, 87), but I can find no authority for it.
         Probably it is a mistake arising from the fact of Bedford's
         early candidature for the hand of Jacqueline.

  [481] _St. Albans Chron._, i. 4, 5.

  [482] _Ibid._, i. 66. The date given is 1423, but this is old style;
         cf. Cotton MS., Nero, D. vii. f. 154.

  [483] Waurin, iii. 24-27. The Duke of Brittany was included in this

  [484] Stevenson, _Letters and Papers_, ii. 387. This letter is here
         attributed to Beaufort, but merely on presumptive evidence.
         It is given in fuller form in the _Journal des Savants_,
         1899, pp. 192-194. It was sent to the Council through some
         English prelate, probably Beaufort.

  [485] Beltz, p. lxii.

  [486] The University of Paris saw the danger too, and besides the
         warning letter to the English Council, referred to above, had
         written both to Burgundy and Gloucester, urging them to keep
         the peace. _Journal des Savants_, 1899, pp. 189 and 191, 192.

  [487] _Cartulaire_, iv. 354, 355, October 8, 1423.

  [488] _Ibid._, iv. 341, June 16, 1423.

  [489] _Cartulaire_, iv. 340, 341, 355, 356.

  [490] Monstrelet, 551; Waurin, iii. 84.

  [491] _Cartulaire_, iv. 368.

  [492] Monstrelet, 581; Waurin, iii. 89.

  [493] _Cartulaire_, iv. 380, 381. Jacqueline agreed to this on May
         8, and Gloucester on May 28.

  [494] _Ibid._, iv. 373, 374.

  [495] _Cartulaire_, iv. 386-388.

  [496] _Ibid._, iv. 109.

  [497] _Cartulaire_, iv. 388, 389.

  [498] _Ibid._, iv. 384-386.

  [499] _Ibid._, iv. 391. This judgment was given on June 19, 1424.

  [500] Stevenson, _Letters and Papers_, ii. 388, 389,

  [501] _Cartulaire_, iv. 350.

  [502] There is no evidence that he asked for it, but he certainly
         was not given it, else some record of it would survive.

  [503] The Prior of Ely refused to lend £200; MSS. of Dean and
         Chapter of Ely. _Hist. MSS. Rep._, xii. App. IX. 395.

  [504] _Hist. MSS. Rep._, v. 546; MSS. of Corporation of New Romney.

  [505] _St. Albans Chron._, i. 8. This comes under 1426, but
         Jacqueline was not in England then. The editor changes it to
         1425, and suggests that Jacqueline was over in England at
         that time. There is no ground for this suggestion.

  [506] _Cartulaire_, iv. 408 find 410; _Particularités Curieuses_,

  [507] _Ordinances_, iii. 165; Devon, _Issue Roll_, 395.

  [508] Stevenson, _Letters and Papers_, ii. 397; _Beckington
         Correspondence_, i. 281.

  [509] _Cartulaire_, iv. 413; _Particularités Curieuses_, 73.

  [510] Stevenson, _Letters and Papers_, ii. 398. Letter of one of
         Gloucester's followers to Beaufort. There were other copies
         of this letter addressed to other English lords.

  [511] Stevenson, _Letters and Papers_, ii. 398.

  [512] Monstrelet, 563; Waurin, iii. 126-128. The terms were
         despatched from Paris on October 28; Stevenson, _Letters and
         Papers_, ii. 273, 274. Stevenson attributed this document to
         1434 for no good reason. Owing to delays it did not reach
         Gloucester till November 18; _Ibid._, ii. 400.

  [513] Dynter, iii. 854, 855; _Preuves de l'histoire de Bourgogne_,
         iv. No. XLVI. p. 53; St. Rémy, 471.

  [514] Monstrelet, 563; Waurin, iii. 129-131.

  [515] Waurin, iii. 133.

  [516] Stevenson, _Letters and Papers_, i. 279-285.

  [517] _Ibid._, ii. 392, 393.

  [518] Desplanque, _Projet d'Assassinat, Preuves_, pp. 57, 59.

  [519] For a discussion upon these documents, see the above treatise
         in _Mémoires couronnés par l'Académie royale de Belgique_,
         vol. xxxii.; and also Cosneau, _Richemont_, 501, 502; De
         Beaucourt, ii. 658-660.

  [520] Stevenson, _Letters and Papers_, ii. 399.

  [521] _Ibid._, ii. 399; _Cartulaire_, iv. 418.

  [522] _Cartulaire_, iv. 418. A letter written to Mons telling of
         Gloucester's coming. This corresponds with Eberhard Windeck's
         report of 4000 men (Windeck, cap. 215, p. 162). Waurin, iii.
         125, says 5000. Holkham MS., p. 8, follows Stow in saying
         1200. Pierre de Fénin, p. 601, also says 1200. An entry in
         the _Registre de Mons_ of November 27, 1424, says Gloucester
         arrived near Mons with between 4000 and 5000 men
         (_Cartulaire_, iv. 420), but he had then been joined by some
         of the troops belonging to the Dowager-Duchess.

  [523] Waurin, iii. 126; Monstrelet, 562.

  [524] Kymer's 'Dietary,' in _Liber Niger Scaccarii_, App. vol. ii.
         pp. 551-559.

  [525] _Cartulaire_, iv. 418; Waurin, iii. 135; Monstrelet, 564.

  [526] Waurin, iii. 135; Monstrelet, 564; Pierre de Fénin, 601.

  [527] In October 1424 the Duke of Brabant had written to Mons to
         announce his intention of resisting Gloucester; _Cartulaire_,
         iv. 414. Resistance to Jacqueline and her husband was
         therefore a certainty.

  [528] St. Rémy, 472.

  [529] _Cartulaire_, iv. 419.

  [530] _Chron. Henry VI._, 7.

  [531] _Cartulaire_, iv. 382, 383.

  [532] _Ibid._, iv. 407.

  [533] See _Ibid._, iv. 81, 82.

  [534] _Ibid._, iv. 419.

  [535] _Ibid._, iv. 420.

  [536] _Registre de Mons, Cartulaire_, iv. 420.

  [537] It is possible that this 'Jan Lorfevre' is none other than the
         chronicler Jean Le Fevre Seigneur de St. Rémy, who was with
         the English army on the day of Agincourt, but of whom we know
         nothing more till he reappears in 1430 as an ambassador from

  [538] _Particularités Curieuses_, 76, 77; _Cartulaire_, iv. 423; St.
         Rémy, 472.

  [539] _Cartulaire_, iv. 424; _Particularités Curieuses_, 78.

  [540] Dynter, iii. 858.

  [541] Monstrelet, 564; Waurin, iii. 135.

  [542] _Cartulaire_, iv. 425, 426.

  [543] _Ibid._, iv. 427.

  [544] _Ibid._, iv. 428, 430, 433.

  [545] Hal is mentioned by Monstrelet and Waurin, and in an entry in
         the archives of Valenciennes as an exception to the rule that
         all the Hainault towns accepted Gloucester's rule; but Hal
         was in Brabant and therefore was not called on to acknowledge
         the new governor of Hainault. See Waurin, iii. 135;
         Monstrelet, 564; _Cartulaire_, iv. 421.

  [546] _Cartulaire_, iv. 437, 438. On Jan. 9 Gloucester alludes to
         this grant as 80,000 pounds tournois; _Cartulaire_, iv. 441.

  [547] _Chronique des Pays Bas_, 387.

  [548] _Cartulaire_, iv. 428.

  [549] _Ibid._, iv. 434. For another protest on the same subject from
         the citizens of Mons, see _Particularités Curieuses_, 86.

  [550] _Particularités Curieuses_, 92.

  [551] _Cartulaire_, iv. 431.

  [552] _Ibid._, iv. 438-440.

  [553] _Ibid._, iv. 436, December 25, 1424.

  [554] February 4, 1425, _Particularités Curieuses_, 86.

  [555] _Cartulaire_, iv. 448. The letter reached Mons on February 24,

  [556] _Ibid._, iv. 446, 447.

  [557] _Ibid._, vi. 295; _Papal Letters_, vii. 29. Martin V. also
         wrote to the papal nuncios in England to the same effect;
         _Papal Letters_, vii. 27.

  [558] Brabant received the letter on April 29, 1425; Dynter, iii.
         866, 867.

  [559] Letter to the Bishop of Winchester, dated January 8, 1425, in
         Stevenson, _Letters and Papers_, ii. 416; Dynter, iii. 859.

  [560] Pierre de Fénin, 601; Dynter, iii. 859.

  [561] Letter as above, Stevenson, _Letters and Papers_, ii. 410.

  [562] _Ibid._, ii. 411.

  [563] Monstrelet, 563, 564; St. Rémy, 471.

  [564] Stowe MS., 668, f. 32vo; Waurin, iii. 136; Monstrelet, 564.

  [565] So Waurin, iii. 164; Monstrelet, 569. Pierre de Fénin, 602,
         gives 50,000 men, and Dynter, iii. 861, estimates the army at

  [566] Pierre de Fénin, 601.

  [567] Waurin, iii. 137, 138; Monstrelet, 564; _Chronique des Pays
         Bas_, 388; Dynter, iii. 859-861.

  [568] Pierre de Fénin, 602; Waurin, iii. 167.

  [569] So Monstrelet, 569; Waurin, iii. 165. Pierre de Fénin, 602,
         says the siege lasted twelve days.

  [570] Dynter, iii. 861-863; Monstrelet, 569; Waurin, iii. 165-167;
         Pierre de Fénin, 602.

  [571] _Cartulaire_, iv. 451; St. Rémy, 472.

  [572] Stevenson, _Letters and Papers_, ii. 401-404. The letter is
         undated, but owing to its allusions to the recent invasion of
         Hainault, it seems to have been written at this time.

  [573] Dynter, iii. 864.

  [574] Monstrelet, 570; Waurin, iii. 170-174; Dynter, iii. 864. The
         English forces despatched to follow St. Pol are estimated at
         6000 by St. Rémy, 472, 473, while the _Chronicon Zanfleet_ in
         'Amplissima Collectio,' v. 416, suggests that the only reason
         why St. Pol did not attack those who followed him was because
         some of the Brabant nobles in his army were in Gloucester's

  [575] Monstrelet, 570; Waurin, iii. 169, 170.

  [576] Stowe MS., 668, ff. 33, 34; Monstrelet, 565; Waurin, iii.
         139-145; St. Rémy, 474.

  [577] Stowe MS., 668, ff. 34, 35vo; Monstrelet, 566, 567; Waurin,
         iii. 145-152; St. Rémy, 474.

  [578] Stowe MS., 668, ff. 35, 36vo; Monstrelet, 567, 568; Waurin,
         iii. 153-157; St. Rémy, 475, 476. The various authorities
         differ as to the dates of the letters. For the first letter
         the Stowe MS., Waurin, and Monstrelet have January 12, whilst
         St. Rémy has it as January 22. For the second letter the
         dates are Waurin and Stowe MS., March 13; Monstrelet, March
         3; St. Rémy, March 12. For the third letter, Monstrelet and
         St. Rémy give March 16; Stowe MS. and Waurin, March 26. I am
         inclined to follow the Stowe MS. all through.

  [579] Waurin, iii. 159-163; Monstrelet, 568, 569.

  [580] Pierre de Fénin, 603.

  [581] Waurin, iii. 161-169.

  [582] Stevenson, _Letters and Papers_, ii. 390, 391.

  [583] Waurin, iii. 175; Pierre de Fénin, 603.

  [584] _Particularités Curieuses_, 97, 98. This demand was made on
         March 21.

  [585] _Particularités Curieuses_, 99. The letter reached Mons on
         March 29.

  [586] Dynter, iii. 864.

  [587] _Ibid._, iii. 865.

  [588] On a MS. copy of Froissart's _Chronicles_--MS. français, 831,
         of the National Library at Paris--these words are written at
         the end of the text: 'Plus leid n'y a Jaque de Baviere; la
         meins amée est Jaque; plus belle n'y a que my Warigny, nulle
         si belle que Warigny.' The interpretation is not plain, but
         the inference is that Jeanne de Warigny was the object of
         Gloucester's affections while he was in Hainault. This lady
         had married Henri de Warigny, one of Jacqueline's esquires,
         in 1418, and though she was of no lineage herself, her
         husband came of one of the oldest families in Hainault. The
         MS. in which this is found once belonged to Richard, Earl of
         Warwick, but the writing is not in his hand. For a discussion
         of this matter see Kervyn de Lettenhove, Froissart, ii.
         260-263, also Beiträge, 274, 275, and Putnam, _A Mediæval
         Princess_, pp. 305-309.

  [589] _Particularités Curieuses_, 90.

  [590] Pierre de Fénin, 603; St. Rémy, 476.

  [591] Waurin, iii. 175; Monstrelet, 571; Cotton MS., Cleopatra, C.
         iv. f. 33.

  [592] St. Rémy, 476; _Cartulaire_, iv. 549.

  [593] Waurin, iii. 176; Monstrelet, 571.

  [594] This date is established by a letter written by Gloucester to
         Jacqueline on his way home; _Particularités Curieuses_, 112.

  [595] _Chronique des Pays Bas_, 388.



With Humphrey's return from Hainault the second phase of his life ends
and the third begins. His early life had been that of a soldier; he had
celebrated the death of his brother by making a bid for the position of
an independent prince; now he was to devote the rest of his days to
political intrigue, and it is perhaps in this last phase that his career
assumes its greatest interest. Undoubtedly his actions during the
minority of his nephew have more importance in the history of his
country than those of his earlier years, and from them we are enabled to
realise more clearly the various threads of his policy and the governing
influences in his life. Henceforth Humphrey's whole energies are devoted
to English politics. His discarded Duchess may flit across the stage,
for a brief moment he may revert to his early participation in the
French war, but these are merely unimportant incidents in a busy
political career. The rest of his life, too, is entirely moulded by the
opposition he experiences. The spirit which had inspired the limitation
of the Protector's power was to meet him at every turn, and throughout
the next twenty years all English history was to find its central theme
in the great struggle between the Duke of Gloucester and the Beaufort
faction. Barely six months after his departure from England, Humphrey
had returned to find preparations being made for the holding of
Parliament, and it is probable that he had timed his departure from
Hainault so as to be present at this meeting, fearing lest some hostile
move should be made against him in his absence. On April 27 the young
King was brought up from Windsor, and, being met at the west door of St.
Paul's by Gloucester and Exeter--the protectors of his kingdom and his
person respectively--was lifted out of his chair by them and escorted to
the choir, where he was 'borne up and offred.'[596] Three days later he
was present at the opening of Parliament, that his uncle might remember
that he was the servant, not the master of the realm.[597]


After so inglorious and impolitic a proceeding as his recent campaign
Humphrey might well have expected criticism of no light kind from the
strong faction opposed to him, and if we are to believe the French
chroniclers, such criticism he did receive at the hands of the
Council,[598] but no traces of this are to be found in the official
records. Nay more, there is ample evidence that the Protector's
influence both in Parliament and Council was considerable. Not only in
the face of a revenue deficit of £20,000 did Parliament grant him a loan
of 40,000 marks to be paid within four years, but the Lords of the
Council agreed to act as sureties for its repayment;[599] in a dispute
between the Earl Marshal and the Earl of Warwick for precedence
Parliament decided in favour of the former, who was not only a supporter
of Gloucester, but had also commanded his troops in Hainault;[600]
finally the wardship of the estates which devolved on the young Duke of
York by the death of the Earl of March was given to the Protector.[601]
It seems hardly credible that Gloucester would have been given so much,
or have championed his friend so successfully had his influence not been
predominant. That he had met with some opposition cannot be doubted,
for the six months' power enjoyed by the Bishop of Winchester during his
nephew's absence was not likely to make him content with a secondary
position, and therefore bitter, and undoubtedly justified, criticism was
probably levelled at Humphrey by his rival. It may be that high words
passed between them; at any rate it was not to be long before their
mutual recriminations became a danger to the state. It is about this
time, therefore, that the struggle between the two chief men in the
kingdom passed from the stage of political rivalry to that of personal
competition. Gradually Gloucester and Beaufort become bitter personal
enemies, and the state of distrust inaugurated at the beginning of the
reign, now becomes a contest which the full bitterness of individual
dislike tends to increase every day. Henceforth no stone is left
unturned by either of the men to damage the position and reputation of
his rival.


Nevertheless there is no evidence that Gloucester's Hainault policy had
reaped that universal condemnation in England which it so richly
deserved. Bedford, it is true, saw the danger of alienating Burgundy,
and he had done his best, first to avert the provocation of his anger,
and secondly to minimise the effects of that provocation, but even he
seems to have felt considerable sympathy for his brother,[602] and
perhaps he remembered that the late King might be held largely
responsible for the turn of events. Englishmen generally seem to have
looked with kindly eyes on this mad expedition, for there was about it
some of the glamour of mediæval romance in appearance if not in reality,
whilst Jacqueline herself had won golden opinions in England, where her
unhappy lot had obtained universal sympathy.[603] For Gloucester,
however, the romance of his marriage with Jacqueline, such as it had
been, was quite worn off, and he had already transferred his affections
to the lady who was to bring him far greater disaster than did his
foreign bride. Amongst Jacqueline's ladies-in-waiting there had been a
certain Eleanor Cobham, daughter of Reginald Cobham of Sterborough in
Kent,[604] and she had accompanied her mistress to Hainault. When
Humphrey had returned to England he had brought her with him, and it
seems that it was about this time that she became his paramour.[605] At
any rate Hainault ambitions play henceforth but a very small part in
Humphrey's life, for though we shall find that later he took some steps
to send aid to his unfortunate wife, yet he never showed the slightest
inclination to return to her side, a fact which caused no small scandal
at a later date.

Meanwhile at Mons things had been going ill for Jacqueline. Her husband
had no sooner turned his back, than the Brabanters rose again, and the
citizens of Mons, unmindful of their recent promise, refused to support
her.[606] On June 6 she wrote a most pathetic letter to Gloucester,
telling him how the citizens had come to her on the third of that
month,[607] and had shown her a treaty signed by the Dukes of Brabant
and Burgundy, uniting her dominions under the rule of the former, and
confiding the care of her person to the latter. In spite of her
entreaties all help had been refused her, and she pointed out how her
sufferings were due to the love she bore her English husband, begging
him therefore to come to her help, though he seemed to have forgotten
her existence.[608] In a second letter of the same date she alluded to a
suggestion made by Gloucester that she should once more flee to England,
a course which she declared it was now too late to adopt. Indeed, this
was soon proved to be the case, for these letters were intercepted by
Burgundian emissaries,[609] and within five days she was being conducted
a prisoner to Ghent.[610]


Though Jacqueline's letters never reached their destination, the news of
her imprisonment soon came to England, and Parliament promptly showed
its sympathy with her by petitioning that ambassadors should be sent to
treat with Burgundy for the release of 'my Ladies' persone of
Gloucester,'[611] and at the same time the Chancellor was empowered to
draw up letters-patent under the great seal appointing the
queens-dowager of England and France, and the Duke of Bedford as
mediators between Burgundy and Gloucester, with a view to the
abandonment of the duel that had been arranged.[612] To neither of these
provisions would Humphrey make any objection, for though he had not been
the challenger in the matter of the duel, yet he had doubtless welcomed
it as a way of securing his retreat, and had never intended to take it
seriously; at any rate he made no preparations for the fray, whilst his
opponent had gone into strict training, and was having special armour
made for the occasion.[613] This attitude on the part of Duke Philip
points to a strong personal dislike of Gloucester, a dislike which dated
probably from the days when he had been slighted at St. Omer;
nevertheless, it is strange that he had ever thought that such a duel
would be allowed to take place. Bedford, ever ready to appease the
strife which had arisen over this Hainault affair, gladly undertook the
duty assigned to him by Parliament, and when in September he summoned a
council of arbitration to meet at Paris, his brother willingly nominated
the Bishop of London as his representative thereat, whilst Burgundy
grudgingly appointed the Bishop of Tournay to guard his interests.[614]
Bedford tried to avert the duel as eagerly as he had endeavoured to
reconcile the conflicting claims of Brabant and Gloucester earlier in
the story of the Hainault struggle,[615] and his efforts were assisted
by a papal Bull, which forbade the personal combat in no measured
terms.[616] Armed with this authority, the council at Paris decided on
September 22 that a perusal of the letters written by the two parties in
the dispute convinced them that neither side had any right to demand
satisfaction from the other,[617] a decision which disgusted the
Burgundian envoy, but which afforded entire satisfaction to Gloucester's

From this time forward Gloucester seems to have abandoned all idea of
securing his hold on the government of his wife's inheritance. He did
not resign all claim to Holland and Hainault, nor did he refrain from
occasional assistance to Jacqueline, or from attempts to secure the
recognition by Rome of the legality of his marriage; but he had come to
realise that personal intervention on the Continent would mean
political extinction at home, where he needed all the prestige of his
popularity amongst the commonalty and the power conferred by his
position and lineage to withstand the manoeuvres of his great rival,
Henry Beaufort. For Beaufort was entrenched in a strong position. A man
of determined will and restless energy, with powerful family
connections, of royal blood, if not in the line of succession, and well
versed by long experience in the affairs of the kingdom, he stood in
marked contrast to his nephew, who was lacking in resolute purpose, and
had spent most of his active life in the French wars, with few
opportunities of gaining political experience. Above all, whilst
Beaufort was constantly lending money for purposes of state, Gloucester
was equally constant in his demands for royal loans or an increased
salary, a fact which gave the former an immense financial hold on the
kingdom. Such a power as that wielded by the Bishop of Winchester was
not to be despised, nor was it to be left unopposed by one who aspired
to be the chief governing power in the state; but there was yet another
reason which impelled Humphrey to confine his main efforts towards
maintaining and improving his position in England, the roots of which
lay in his own character. When he had set out light-heartedly to assert
his right to control the dominions of Jacqueline, he had thought it to
be an easy task. He now knew that it was only by a prolonged effort that
he could succeed in Holland and Hainault. Such an effort he was totally
incapable of making, for he had none of that determination which
characterised his father and at least two of his brothers. Brilliant and
versatile as he was, these qualities preordained him to prefer a life of
political intrigue to that of hard fighting against a firm and steadfast
foe. His fickle nature delighted in the kaleidoscopic changes of party
warfare, and to that warfare he devoted the best part of the rest of his
life, forgetting his dreams of foreign dominion in that strife where the
interests of the moment predominated. He was a child of circumstance,
and lived only for the passing moment, and as such he found his true
_milieu_ in the faction fights which preceded the Wars of the Roses.


Yet while he devoted himself mainly to matters of English politics,
Humphrey did not abstain from all interference in Hainault affairs.
There was no question with him of abandoning an enterprise fraught with
danger to his country. So long as Jacqueline could keep up the struggle,
he would encourage her, in the hope that some day he might reap the
advantage, and it was in this spirit that he wrote to Martin v.,
complaining that the divorce decree against Brabant had not yet been
granted, and urging him in the interests of Europe generally to hasten
the matter to a conclusion favourable to the Countess.[619] At the same
time the situation in Hainault looked more promising. The exertions of
English ambassadors to secure Jacqueline's release had been rendered
unnecessary by her escape from her captors,[620] and she had signalised
her regained freedom by a victory over her assailants at the little
village of Alfen. The Duke of Brabant was rendered still more anxious by
rumours which reached him to the effect that a force of some 20,000
strong, under the personal leadership of Gloucester, was about to
reinforce his enemies, that the Scotch King, in remembrance of his
recent marriage alliance with the House of Lancaster, was coming with
8000 more, and that contingents from Ireland and the English army in
Normandy were destined to join the victorious troops of his militant
Countess.[621] The exaggeration of this report was obvious, but,
nevertheless, a force was being collected in England, and towards the
end of the year it sailed under the leadership of Lord Fitzwalter, in
all some thousand men. In the early days of 1426 these troops landed on
the coast of Zealand, only to be almost annihilated with the majority
of Jacqueline's native troops in the neighbourhood of Zierikzee by the
Burgundian forces. The remainder straggled back to England, having
'prevayled nothing.'[622]


Before this expedition had sailed, however, Gloucester was entirely
absorbed in affairs nearer home. The rivalry between himself and
Beaufort, which had been simmering ever since the Protector's return,
now boiled over, and for a moment threatened civil war. The Chancellor
had made great efforts during his short period of government to
strengthen his own hands, welcoming Gloucester's absence abroad as an
opportunity for weakening his power. Some disorderly riots and seditious
manifestations in London had afforded a pretext for inducing the Council
to place one Richard Wydeville in command of the Tower,[623] and he had
used this appointment to strengthen his position in the capital, where
he was notoriously unpopular. He gave Wydeville strict injunctions that
he was to admit no one 'stronger thanne he' within the Tower, and later
mentioned the Protector as one of those who must be excluded, pointing
to his popularity in the city as evidence of his seditious
intentions.[624] It was not likely that such proceedings would pass
without a protest from Gloucester, and there is every reason to
believe--from an undated entry in the minutes of the Council, which
records a meeting held towards the end of the third year of the
reign--that the quarrel between the two rivals had become acute by the
July or August after his return. We learn from this that an ordinance
was being prepared for the consideration of the next Parliament, which
required that every peer should take an oath not to disturb the King's
peace by revenging by force any ill done to him, but to have recourse to
'pesible and restful weyes of redress.' At the same time an oath of
secrecy and a promise to give honest advice without obstructing any
matter under discussion was exacted from all who sat at the Council
board.[625] All this tends to prove that the struggle between the two
claimants for power was already raging fiercely.

Nevertheless, we find no actual disturbances recorded till the Bishop
roused Gloucester's suspicions by filling Southwark, where his house was
situated, with Lancashire and Cheshire archers.[626] Then, fearing lest
he should be attacked by this force and taken unprepared, the Protector
sent a message post-haste to the Mayor and Aldermen, asking them to be
on their guard for fear lest an attack on the city should be made from
the other side of the river. The message found the civic magnates at the
banquet with which they were wont to celebrate the election of the new
Mayor, but they promptly acceded to Gloucester's request, and the city
was carefully guarded all through that night, as though a siege was
imminent.[627] This was on October 29, the day after the feast of St.
Simon and St. Jude,[628] and on the morrow events justified the
Protector's precautions, for a large body of Beaufort's men appeared
outside the gate on the south side of London Bridge about eight or nine
o'clock in the morning, and were surprised to find all entrance
forbidden them. Nothing daunted, they waited till more of their fellows
had come up, and then proceeded to attack the gate 'with shot and other
means of warre,' attempting by these means to force an entrance into the

The news that the Chancellor was in arms against their beloved Duke
Humphrey spread like lightning amongst the citizens, and within an hour
all shops were shut, and the streets leading to the bridge were thronged
by men willing and anxious to keep the bishop out, and to resist the
'King's enemies.' So determined was this opposition that the attempted
assault was abandoned, and it was with the greatest difficulty that the
Mayor restrained the angry citizens, who wanted to sally out and exact
vengeance for the presumptuous attack, whilst the Archbishop of
Canterbury and the Duke of Coimbra--one of Gloucester's Portuguese
uncles--offered their services as mediators. This self-imposed task
proved no sinecure, and eight times did they ride backwards and forwards
between the two parties ere peace was secured, and Beaufort had to be
content with his side of the river, whilst the Protector remained in
possession of the city.[629] 'All London a rose with the Duke a yenst
the forsaide Bysshope,' writes a contemporary chronicler,[630] and
indeed Gloucester had reason to be grateful for the support of the
citizens at a critical time. It was not the rabble--as Beaufort later
declared--which rose to champion him, but the sober burgher class,
headed by Sir John Coventry, their Mayor, that had produced the
discomfiture of the Chancellor, and that ever henceforward formed the
most important section of Gloucester's supporters. The tone of the
London chroniclers also suggests, that the action of Beaufort was
considered by them at least as a direct blow dealt both at the city and
at the peace and security of the kingdom at large, and that in
supporting Gloucester the citizens were taking a line which was
patriotic both as regards their city and as regards the nation.


The truce between Humphrey and his uncle could not be a final settlement
of the bad blood that had been aroused, and on All-hallows Even[631] the
latter wrote to Bedford in hurried, but emphatic, terms, urging him to
come to England without delay, 'for by my troth,' he wrote, 'if you
tarry, we shall put this land in adventure with a field,[632] such a
brother you have here; God make him a good man.'[633] He forgot to
mention that it was he that had taken the first step to 'put this land
in adventure with a field,' for even as he had been the first, in the
days when the Protector's privileges were being arranged, to provoke
that duel for power which, in its later manifestation, was to develop
into the Wars of the Roses, so was he now the first to appeal to armed
force as a means of emphasising the righteousness of his cause. The
statement that Gloucester made the first move to arms cannot be
substantiated.[634] It was against the force which Beaufort had already
mustered in the suburbs of Southwark that he appealed to the Mayor of
London, and in so doing he acted as any wise Protector of the kingdom
would have done, when he saw the capital threatened by the armed
retainers of a too powerful subject. Moreover, while Beaufort's force
was specially organised, Gloucester was prepared with no retainers to
protect himself or his ambitions, but in the time of need he was forced
to appeal on the spur of the moment to the loyalty of the citizens. In
point of fact, too, the first hostile move was made by the Bishop, for
the action of the Mayor in guarding the gates of the city was merely a
defensive precaution, unknown to the Beaufort retainers, who did not
expect to meet with any resistance when they tried to cross the bridge.
Thus both the hostile intent and the hostile action originated with the
Chancellor, while the support given to the Protector, apart from the
guarding of the gates overnight, was entirely spontaneous on the part of
the great mass of the citizens.

The fact that Beaufort so promptly appealed to the arbitrament of
Bedford has also been counted unto him for righteousness,[635] whereas
it merely displays the cleverness of his play in the game of politics.
From Bedford he might hope for support, since the folly of the Hainault
campaign would tend to make the Regent in France suspicious of his
brother's actions, and ready to believe that the fault of the recent
disturbances lay with him. Moreover, no one knew better than Bedford the
usefulness of the Bishop's purse, and the impolicy of alienating one who
could always produce ready money, while Humphrey had no such claim to a
statesman's consideration. Beaufort also had nothing to lose, and a
possibility of much to gain, by this appeal. Public opinion in London
had spoken against him; it is more than probable that this feeling
extended outside the city, and for the time at least he had to
acknowledge defeat. On the other hand, if it is true that the Protector
refused to formulate complaints against his opponent when asked to do so
by envoys from his brother,[636] it was only natural that he should
adopt such an attitude. He looked on himself, both by right of birth and
by right of the will of Henry V., as the lawful Protector of England,
and though he was compelled to accept the restrictions imposed on him by
Parliament, he was not likely to acknowledge the supremacy of his
brother more than he could help. To indict Beaufort before Bedford would
not only be a confession of weakness, but also, in his eyes, an insult
to his position. By law as well as by right he was Protector in England
so long as Bedford remained in France, and under the circumstances he
could recognise no superior tribunal; he had no wish to bring Bedford to
England to settle the matter, and thus be compelled to take the second
place. Though this attitude was undoubtedly selfish, and based on too
high an opinion of his own importance, it does not therefore prove that
in the quarrel with Beaufort he was in the wrong.


For the time being Gloucester's power was undisputed. On the same day
that the letter of summons to England was despatched to Bedford the
Council met at the Protector's own house,[637] a fact which has its
significance. It was probably with the consent of the Council that the
Protector, with the Duke of Coimbra, journeyed down to Eltham on
November 5, and brought the young King back to London to strengthen the
hands of the executive there.[638] The same day yielded another
illustration of Gloucester's influence, when the Council, in
consideration of his 'great necessity,' agreed to lend him five thousand
marks on promise of repayment, when the King should reach his fifteenth
year,[639] a sum probably used for the expedition to Hainault already
described. Beaufort, it is to be presumed, took no part in these
transactions, but was compelled to view his rival's success in silence,
eagerly awaiting the return of Bedford, who on December 20 landed on
English soil. By virtue of his return Bedford became Protector of the
kingdom, receiving the salary of eight thousand marks a year, which in
his absence had been enjoyed by his brother,[640] who now was reduced to
the rank of first councillor to the King, with an income of three
thousand marks only.[641] The Bishop of Winchester hastened to meet
Bedford, and together they entered London on January 10, proceeding at
once to Westminster, where the new Protector was lodged in the King's
palace, while the Chancellor lay near by at the Abbey, desiring to keep
watch over his nephew, lest any influence hostile to himself should be
brought to bear on him.[642] So successfully did he put his case and
justify the policy of his appeal to the Regent in France, that Bedford
showed marked hostility to his brother, and when the citizens of London
came to greet him on the morrow of his arrival, and presented him with a
pair of 'silver gilt basins,' they received but a cold reception, in
view of the hostility they had recently shown to the Chancellor and his


Already steps had been taken to summon Parliament, which was to meet on
February 15 at Leicester,[644] the choice of this town being probably
due to the Chancellor's fears that in London public opinion would be too
strongly against him, and in the meantime vigorous attempts were made to
effect a reconciliation before the meeting took place. On January 29 a
Council was held under the presidency of Bedford at St. Albans, whence a
deputation, consisting of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Earl of
Stafford, Lords Talbot and Cromwell, and Sir John Cornwall, was sent to
Gloucester, who had refused to attend the meeting, though he might have
counted on the support of public opinion in the neighbourhood of his
chosen abbey. This deputation was commissioned to inform the Duke that
another Council was to be held at Northampton on the 13th of the next
month, and to offer him a pressing invitation to attend there, as the
matters in dispute between him and the Chancellor were to be discussed
with a view to a reconciliation, assuring him that 'justice and reason
shal duely and indifferently be mynystered unto him in all things that
he hath said or shal say as for occasion or matter of the displesaunce
or hevynesse abovesaid.' To the demand which Humphrey had made, that as
a condition of his coming the absence of his opponent must be assured,
the Council gave a decided refusal, pointing out that there was no
danger of a riot between the retainers of the respective parties, as the
Bishop had agreed to restrain his men, and the King would 'settle such
rewle' that peace would be maintained throughout the town. It is,
however, probable that Gloucester feared more the hostile bias in
Bedford's mind produced by the machinations of his uncle, than personal
violence to himself, and preferred a direct appeal to the Lords in
Parliament, with whom his influence was much stronger than it had been
earlier in the reign, to a judgment by the Council, now under the
domination of his opponents.

This changed attitude of the Council, which before Bedford's landing had
been controlled by Gloucester, is seen in a secret instruction to the
deputation. Should the Duke steadily refuse to go to Northampton under
the assurances mentioned above, the commissioners were empowered to add,
that at the request of Bedford and the Council Beaufort had promised to
dismiss some of his men, and only bring such as were fitting for his
position, on condition that Gloucester should do likewise. It is very
strange that this condition should be kept in the background, and only
produced under compulsion, for it seems a natural concession, and one
which could only be refused by a man who was not acting in perfect
honesty. If the Council had suspected the large retinue of the Earl of
March in 1423, why should not the Chancellor's evidently large body of
retainers incur the same suspicion? It would be, of course, absurd to
suggest that, had Gloucester gone to Northampton, the drama of 1447 at
Bury St. Edmunds would have been anticipated; the mere presence of
Bedford would refute such a suggestion; but this 'card up the sleeve'
policy does not speak well for the honesty of those who adopted it.

If after their last magnanimous offer Gloucester still persisted in his
refusal to attend if Beaufort were present, the messengers of the
Council were to point out that it would be unreasonable in Gloucester,
even if he were the King--surely a malicious insinuation--to refuse any
man a hearing, and also that if he wished 'to be esed as towards his
griefs, as the Council assured him was their honest intention, it must
be done either by an act of justice, or by a reconciliation, either of
which required the presence of both parties. Moreover, to Gloucester's
demand that the Chancellor should resign the custody of the seals, it
was answered that this was an attempt to coerce the King--for no
official was ever dismissed except by the King's wish, by his own
request, or owing to some fault proved against him.[645] In their
refusal of this request the Council were undoubtedly justified, and
there is much that is wise and statesmanlike throughout the
instructions, due undoubtedly to the influence of Bedford. But there is
also ample evidence of Beaufort influence, and we cannot blame
Gloucester if he regarded this communication more as a manifesto from
his opponents than as a genuine offer of arbitration, and refused to go
to Northampton, preferring to wait till the Parliament should be
summoned at Leicester. One thing should not pass unnoticed in this offer
of the Council. Though the Bishop had summoned Bedford from France,
Gloucester had now assumed the rôle of accuser. It was as such that he
was to appear at Leicester, having herein outmanoeuvred his opponent,
who, thinking to act on the aggressive, had been compelled to fall back
on a defensive attitude.


The Parliament which met at Leicester on February 18,[646] has been
handed down to posterity as the 'Parliament of Battes,' because, as all
weapons had to be discarded by the members and their retainers, they
came armed with staves and 'battes,' which did not come under the
category of weapons.[647] No allusion was made to the quarrel in the
Chancellor's opening speech, although it was the most important matter
before the assembly, and indeed it seemed at first as though there would
be little progress made in the work of the session. For ten days nothing
was done; the Speaker was not even chosen; and during that time
Leicester must have been the scene of much diplomacy and intrigue, of
which we have no record. At length on the 28th the Commons took the
initiative by sending up a petition to the Lords, asking them to take
steps to heal the divisions which had occurred in their body,[648] a
request which was answered by a promise, made by the peers on March 4,
to deal honestly between Gloucester and the Bishop.[649] The consent of
the two parties to this mediation had now to be secured, and at the
urgent request of Bedford the Duke consented, three days later, to
submit all his grievances to a Commission, composed of Archbishop
Chichele, the Dukes of Exeter and Norfolk; the Bishops of Durham,
Worcester, and Bath; Humphrey, Earl of Stafford; Ralph, Lord Cromwell,
and William Alnwick, Keeper of the Privy Seal and Bishop-elect of
Norwich, though it was provided that any matter touching the King was to
be referred to the Council.[650] Beaufort gave a similar consent.[651]
This Commission could not have been more fairly chosen. The Archbishop,
if slightly inclined to resent the ambitions of his brother of
Winchester, was eminently impartial and well versed in the art of
pacification; the two Dukes each represented one of the rivals, for
whilst Exeter was the brother of the Bishop, Norfolk was the friend of
Gloucester;[652] Lord Cromwell was inclined to the Beaufort
faction,[653] but the bishops were mostly impartial, though probably the
Bishop of Bath was another of Beaufort's followers.[654]

It was with his usual easy confidence that Gloucester proceeded to draw
up his indictment of the Chancellor. He complained that Beaufort had
instructed Wydeville to refuse him entrance to the Tower, though he was
Protector of the realm, and had afterwards shielded this man from the
consequences of this action. Nay, more, Beaufort had plotted to
undermine the Protector's power by attempting to remove the King from
Eltham, thinking to secure thereby a hold over the government of the
kingdom. At the same time he had hindered Gloucester from going to
frustrate these plans by barricading the Southwark end of London Bridge,
and posting armed men in the houses of the district, thus trying to kill
the Protector and disturb the King's peace. Further, Gloucester accused
his adversary of maligning him to Bedford in his letter of October 31 by
saying that he was harassing the Kings subjects. Not content with the
recent misdemeanours of the Chancellor, his accuser made an excursion
into past history, and brought up an old story that an attempt had been
made on the life of Henry V., when Prince of Wales, by a man who
confessed himself Beaufort's agent, and together with this was joined
the incompatible, but more likely story, that Beaufort had advised the
same Henry to assume the crown whilst his father was lying dangerously


The tenor of these accusations at once establishes the motive of the
quarrel. From them it is evident that Gloucester looked on the whole
matter as a personal question, and did not realise that there was a
possible constitutional aspect of the case. There was nothing which
betrayed the statesman in this indictment, which merely complained of
insults to his dignity, attacks on his position, and concluded with
impertinent statements as to the past career of his rival. Throughout it
showed considerable ingenuity, but at the same time it betrayed an
inability to understand the constitutional pose which the better
politician of the two had assumed. In Beaufort's answer the refutation
of the very first accusation shows the different methods of the two men.
Though his policy was one of mere self-seeking, the Bishop of Winchester
knew how to use the language of the new constitutional theories which
had developed under the two preceding Lancastrian kings. He asserted
that in the Tower incident he was fully justified in the advice he had
given Wydeville not to admit the Protector within its walls. He declared
that before the Hainault expedition it had been decided in Council, in
the presence of Gloucester, to garrison and provision the Tower, but
that this had never been done; that during the absence of the Protector
certain seditious risings, levelled, it would seem, mainly against
foreigners, had disturbed the peace of the capital, and that Wydeville
had been placed in command of the Tower to strengthen the hands of the
Executive. Such being the case, Gloucester on his return had ingratiated
himself with the citizens by sympathising with them for having a castle
fortified against them in this manner, and had done his utmost to
stultify the action of the Council in this matter. Moreover, a question
of privilege had been raised by the refusal of Humphrey to deliver up a
certain Friar Randolph who had been committed to the Tower on a charge
of treason, and whom the Protector had removed from the Lieutenant's
custody, declaring that his command was a sufficient warrant of
discharge for the custodian of the prisoner, 'in the which thing above
seyd yt was thought to my lorde of Winchestre that my seyde lorde off
gloucestre toke upon himsylff fferrer thanne his auctorite stretched
unto, and causid him fforto doute and drede, leest the Toure hadde be
stronge he wolde have proceded fferther.'[656]

The arguments thus used by the Bishop in reply to this charge are
specious to a degree, and appealed to principles of ministerial control,
an attitude which has stood him in good stead with the historians of a
democratic age. Nevertheless, this favourable appearance was but
skin-deep. The Chancellor had had practically complete control of the
kingdom whilst Gloucester had been abroad, and now he was disgusted to
find that his precedence was no longer recognised. If the title of
Protector was anything beyond a name, its holder was entitled to enter a
royal castle at his will, and no plea of expediency could be pleaded by
a Chancellor who took upon himself to deny such a right. The truth which
lies beneath the fair exterior of the reply to this first charge is on
careful examination quite evident. Beaufort feared that, in spite of the
strict limitations put upon his power, Gloucester would prove to be
stronger than had been expected, and his instructions to Wydeville were
dictated by no fears for the safety of the kingdom, but fears for the
permanency of his own ascendency in the councils of the nation. The
stories about the Londoners and the traitor friar were in all
probability true, but those who would sympathise with Beaufort as leader
of the constitutional party against the encroachments of the Protector
can here find no arguments to support their theory, for he had worked in
opposition to his own chief, and had persuaded an officer to disobey his
superior. Only so far as all who oppose governments are called
constitutionalists can this term be applied to the Bishop of Winchester
and his party. On the other hand, it seems hard to understand why
Gloucester should deliberately give a handle to his opponent by removing
Friar Randolph from custody. This action, if not exactly illegal at this
time, was undoubtedly unwise, though it may be that some unexplained
reason--possibly the Protector's known affection for the unhappy Queen
Joan, whose confessor and alleged accomplice Randolph was[657]--impelled
him to take it.


The answer to the second and third counts, which accused Beaufort of
attempting to secure the King's person for his own ends, and of
preventing Gloucester from going to visit his nephew at Eltham, give us
a further insight into the events of the famous Tuesday on which the
retainers of the Chancellor came to blows with the Londoners. If we are
to accept Beaufort's version of the matter--and it is to some extent
corroborated by the terms of Humphrey's accusation--the trouble between
the two princes had been brewing for some time. The Chancellor declared
that as early as the time when the last Parliament was sitting he had
been warned that Gloucester was contemplating a personal attack on him,
and that certain of the London citizens of the baser sort had announced
their intention of throwing him 'in Temyse, to have tauht him to swymme
with wengis.' Furthermore, on the Sunday which preceded the call to
arms, a deputation from the Council had waited upon the Protector to
know whether it was true that he bore the Chancellor ill-will, and if
so, the reason of his so doing; and Gloucester had acknowledged the
truth of the report. With an assumed air of innocence Beaufort recounted
how the city had stood to arms all through the Monday night, and had
assumed a threatening attitude towards him, although, as we know, both
he and his men were ignorant of this till they attempted to cross the
bridge on the following morning. On the Tuesday, it appears, the
Protector had also wished to cross the river with a company of three
hundred horse provided by the civic authorities, to go to Eltham to see
the King, and the Chancellor had prevented this by force of arms,
defending this action by saying that his rival wished to remove the King
from his present abode without securing the consent of the Council--an
act which he declared to be illegal and high-handed to the last

Thus both parties accused the other of the same intent with regard to
the King, but as Beaufort on his side pointed out, and it was equally
true from the point of view of his rival, no useful end was to be
attained by securing the King's person.[659] There was no obvious
felonious intent in the Protector wishing to visit the child for whom he
was acting, and no objection was taken by the Council to his removal to
London on November 5. Beaufort's assumed constitutional fears as to the
danger attending his removal from Eltham are discounted by his
declaration that the possession of the young King's person was for him a
useless burden. The truth seems to be that Gloucester, established in
London, and with the citizens espousing his cause, was in so strong a
position that Beaufort felt he must do something to counteract it. He
therefore collected troops, and failing to effect an entrance into the
city, was determined that at least Humphrey should not cross to his side
of the river. The fundamental reason for the quarrel was the rivalry of
two ambitious men, each desirous of governing the kingdom, but of the
two Beaufort was undoubtedly the aggressor. It was he that had appealed
to force to aid his cause, and though he declared that he considered the
kingdom in great danger from Duke Humphrey, it never occurred to him to
summon Bedford from France to restore order till he himself had been
worsted in his attempt at armed interference. Humphrey cannot be
accused of provoking the appeal to arms. His modest escort of three
hundred men was no large force in view of the existence of an enemy on
his road, also it was quite uncharacteristic of him to appeal to such
means. In spite of his stormy political career, in no case do we find
him making any appeal to force of arms. He was by nature a political
schemer, but he had seen too much of war on a grand scale, and the
disasters which militant parties bring on themselves as well as on their
country, to make use of such methods. Beaufort, on the contrary, was
turbulent where his opponent was factious; he dabbled in the pomp and
the language of war, and was far more ready to bring the country to the
venture of a 'field' than the party opposed to him. It was Beaufort, not
Gloucester, who was responsible for the first blood spilt in that great
struggle for the control of the incapable Henry VI.'s policy, the last
stages of which neither were to live to see.

Beaufort's answer to the accusation of plotting against Henry IV. and
Henry V. was a denial, and an offer to stand his trial on this
count;[660] but the rights of the case are of no importance here, for
this was only a diplomatic move on the part of the Protector to blacken
the other's character. The Bishop's justification of his remarks in his
letter to Bedford, however, have considerable interest. He stated that
in it was to be found proof of his desire for a good government of the
kingdom, and of his anxiety to escape provoking a civil war, arguments
which came ill from one who had tried force and had failed; but his
chief point was that Gloucester had encouraged rather than, restrained
the seditious action of some of the London artisans, who had resisted
some wage regulations made by the mayor and aldermen with the consent of
the Council.[661]

This last reply was a skilful move intended to discredit Gloucester's
case by proving the disreputable character of his supporters, but we can
hardly believe that the civic authorities would so loyally have
supported any one who had encouraged a disregard of their decrees.
Nothing speaks more strongly for the fact that the Protector, rather
than the Chancellor, stood for the cause of good government than the
undivided support which the long-headed, peace-loving burgesses of
London gave to the former. In point of fact, both Gloucester and
Beaufort were ambitious men, and neither was over-burdened with
principles. Yet we must not forget that the Protectorate was in the
hands of Gloucester, and that the Bishop, as Chancellor, was attacking a
power which was legal, though to him obnoxious. He had inspired the
limitations of the Protector's power at the beginning of the reign; he
had secured that the absent brother should be supreme; and he resented
the discovery that, after all, Gloucester was not a mere subject for his
Chancellor's diplomacy, and that he was supported by a strong party in
the nation. Beaufort's action here was a bid for power, not a protest
against bad government; and, while in no way praising the Protector for
an enlightened policy, it would be unfair to brand his government of the
nation as corrupt and merely turned to his own advantage, because an
ambitious man strove to occupy the position which he held. Throughout
the struggle there was no question of principle, whether moral or
constitutional; it was merely a fight as to who should govern England.


The arbitrators adopted a policy of conciliation. In accordance with
their award of March 12, the Bishop of Winchester solemnly declared in
Parliament that he had always borne true allegiance to Henry IV., Henry
V., and Henry VI.; and, in answer, Bedford, in the name of the King and
Council, declared him to be a true and loyal subject. Next, the Bishop
swore that he had no designs on the 'persone, honour, and estate' of
Gloucester, who replied, 'Beal Uncle, sithen ye so declare you such a
man as ye say, I am ryght glad yat hit is so, and for suche I take
yowe.' After these formalities the two opponents shook hands.[662]

Though this award allayed the difficulties of the moment, the
reconciliation thus brought about rang hollow, and there still remained
much 'prive wrath' between the two men.[663] It was considered
impossible for both to remain in office, and the day after the award
(March 13) Beaufort resigned the Seal, and the Bishop of Bath followed
on the 18th with his resignation of the Treasurership.[664] Thus
Gloucester had secured a decided victory, and, for the time at least, he
was free from Beaufort factions. A really strong man would never have
permitted matters to reach the pitch they had attained, but we must not
allow any of his later actions to colour our opinion of his behaviour at
this time. He cannot be said to have invited the contest, and it is a
revelation to those who remember only the discredited politician of
later years, that there was a time when he could command the support of
a strong section of the community and resist a deliberate and
well-planned attack. Doubtless much of his success was due to the
prestige of the position which he held, and to the fact that there was
an instinctive dread--well justified in the light of subsequent
events--of any change of government. To remove Gloucester from the
Protectorate, though he only held it during the King's pleasure, would
be to cause a disastrous struggle, if not civil war.

       *       *       *       *       *

Gloucester was victorious, and his position was naturally strengthened
thereby. After the great 'Debaat' between him and Beaufort had been
brought to a peaceful conclusion, little more was done in Parliament
before the Easter adjournment beyond filling the vacant offices. John
Kemp, Bishop of London, was made Chancellor, and Lord Hungerford
succeeded the Bishop of Bath as Treasurer,[665] appointments to which,
it must be presumed, Gloucester made no objection. However, the time was
to come when Humphrey would class Kemp only second to Beaufort among his
most prominent opponents. On the 20th of March Parliament was prorogued
till the 29th of the following month, and Gloucester left Leicester
forthwith, intending, it would seem, to spend Easter at London or
Greenwich. On the 22nd he passed through St. Albans, whence the monks,
to show their pleasure at the discomfiture of the Bishop of Winchester
and the success of their patron, escorted him as far as Barnet, where he
spent the night; on his return journey to Leicester for the reopening of
Parliament he spent three nights at the abbey.[666] Nothing of
administrative importance occurred during this second session, but on
Whit-Sunday a great ceremony was made of the knighting of the young King
by his uncle Bedford. Immediately afterwards Henry himself knighted
thirty-six other young men, including Richard, Duke of York. Amongst
these new knights we find the six-years-old Earl of Tankerville,
Gloucester's future son-in-law, and Reginald Cobham, his future
brother-in-law.[667] A week later steps were taken to ensure the seven
years' truce with Scotland which had been made two years earlier. It
seems that the borderland between the two countries had been the scene
of considerable disturbances, and to check these a strong commission was
appointed to preserve the truce and punish infractions of it. At the
head of this commission stood the Duke of Gloucester.[668] On June 1
Parliament was dissolved.


Bedford was in no hurry to leave England, for he remained fifteen months
in the country, and during this time the government was in his hands.
Gloucester took no active share in the administration, and he seems to
have lived in retirement, only emerging to attend the obsequies of the
Duke of Exeter at St. Paul's early in January 1427.[669] Almost
immediately after attending this ceremony he fell ill, and was still
confined to his 'inne' when a Council was held on January 18 in view of
the approaching departure of Bedford, who was especially asked to attend
this meeting. It was opened by a speech from Chancellor Kemp, now
Archbishop of York, in which, after some complimentary remarks, he
broached the reason for this invitation. He enlarged on the
responsibility for the good governance of the kingdom which lay on the
lords spiritual and temporal assembled in Parliament, or, when
Parliament was not sitting, on the Council, showing how, though the King
was titular sovereign, his youth compelled the full weight of government
to fall on the Council, except in so far as Parliament had given
definite and special powers to the Protector. He reminded Bedford that
the Council might be called in question for the government and for the
use of its authority, and under the circumstances they could not do
their duty unless they were 'free to governe by the said auctorite and
aquite hem in al thing that hem thought expedient for the King's behove
and the good publique of the said roialmes.' Thus, though they had no
desire to curtail the Protector's privileges of birth or position, the
Council, realising that their rights were being infringed, demanded of
him a declaration of his policy, and a promise to abide by the
arrangement under which he held office.[670] Bedford, with a suspicious
readiness, thanked the Council for their plain speaking, and declared
himself ready to be 'advised, demened and reuled' by them in all things,
asking them to point out any defects in his conduct, and then proceeding
unasked to take an oath on the Testament to abide by their

Gloucester, 'being deseased with syknesse,' was not present at this
meeting, so on the following day the Lords of the Council visited him at
his 'inne,' and repeated to him what they had said to his brother. They
feared that a favourable answer was not so likely in this quarter, for
they remembered his answer to certain 'overtures and articles' they had
recently laid before him, and how 'sayng and answeryng as he had doon at
divers tymes afore,' he had declared that if he had done anything
disloyal he would answer to none but the King himself when he came of
age. They reminded him of this answer, and further remarked how they had
heard that he had said, 'Let my brother governe as hym lust whiles he is
in this land, for after his going overe into Fraunce I will governe as
me semeth good.' They then recounted the proceedings of the day before,
and laid great stress on Bedford's gracious answer to their request.
Thus confidently expecting a like answer from him--so they assured
him--they asked to know his intentions.[672]


Gloucester found himself in an awkward position. He had evidently been
so elated by his victory over Beaufort that he had been more incautious
than usual, and while in no way interfering with the government of his
brother, had unwisely asserted his intention to profit by his success.
Bedford was too wise not to be alarmed at this avowed policy, not merely
because he could not trust the judgment of Gloucester, but also and
mainly because he saw that it would raise such opposition, that the
dissensions he had just appeased would again recur. It is more than
probable that he had instigated the action of the Council, and had
taken advantage of Gloucester's indisposition. His prompt acceptance of
the proposals proves that they were not unexpected, and the fact that he
had taken an oath to be governed by the Council would make it
practically impossible for one who was merely his substitute to refuse
his consent. Thus everything was safely arranged and carried out before
Gloucester knew anything about it. There was no jealousy of his brother
in this action of Bedford's; he knew the temper of the kingdom and the
dangers with which it was threatened, better probably than any man
living; he saw that Beaufort and Gloucester with their selfish policies
were almost equally dangerous, and while he was moving one from the
scene of his activities,[673] he desired to warn the other, who could
not be removed, of the folly of his course. Beaufort's influence, though
his reputation in the country at large had doubtless suffered by his
defeat at Leicester, was still no negligible quantity, and there is
every reason to suppose that he still retained the partial confidence of
Bedford. It may be that it was absolutely on his own initiative that
Bedford took this action, but it was prompted by the distrust of his
brother which Beaufort had instilled into his mind--a distrust, be it
owned, which Humphrey had done little or nothing to remove.

Gloucester was compelled to make the best of his diplomatic defeat. His
absence from the Council meeting had put all protest out of the
question, and he thanked his visitors for having come to 'advertize hym'
as they had done, and begged them always to treat him so in the future.
If in any way he should break the law of the land, he would submit to be
'corrected and governed by them,... and not by his owne wit ne
ymaginacion.' He even digressed into instances of the advantage of this
course, and the disasters which might ensue from a contrary attitude.
In conclusion he solemnly promised to be governed by the Council in
everything which touched the King, even as Bedford had promised.[674]
That this was only a temporary attitude of conciliation was to be proved
before very long.

Having done his best to secure the safety of England, Bedford turned his
attention to France, where the defection of Brittany had not improved
the outlook. On March 19 he set sail, taking with him the Bishop of
Winchester, whom he thought it best not to leave in England. As far back
as the previous May Beaufort had obtained leave from the Council to go
on a pilgrimage,[675] and he now availed himself of this permission,
probably at the instance of Bedford, who had prepared a sop for his
dignity. On the Feast of the Annunciation (March 25) the Duke and
Duchess of Bedford were present in the Church of Our Lady at Calais,
when the Bishop of Winchester was created a Cardinal by the authority of
a Bull of Martin V., and the Duke with his own hands placed the
long-coveted hat on the new Cardinal's head.[676] This honour had been
long desired by Beaufort, and indeed the original Bull of creation dated
from the days of the Council of Constance, but Henry V. supported
Archbishop Chichele in his objection to the presence of a Cardinal
Legate in England.[677] Now at last the necessary permission had been
given, and while Bedford applied himself to the French wars, Beaufort
went off as Papal Legate to wage war on the revolted Hussites in


Whether this additional dignity conferred on the Bishop of Winchester
was calculated to advance the peace of England may well be doubted.
Bedford had worked hard to restore peace between the various parties in
England; he had produced a compromise which tended to favour Humphrey;
he had as a counter-blast secured a definite acknowledgment by the
Protector of the authority of the Council; finally he had greatly
strengthened the hands of the Protector's enemy by giving him the
prestige and power which attached to the cardinalate. His action in
England had all the vicious characteristics of a compromise. Even as in
war a victory won by either side inevitably leads to a third battle, so
in politics the successes won alternately by Gloucester and Beaufort
must open the way to another conflict. It could not be expected that the
new Cardinal would spend the rest of his life out of England, his
political proclivities were too strong for this, and on his return he
would almost inevitably reopen the old struggle which had nearly
resulted in civil war. Bedford accurately diagnosed the disease from
which England was suffering, but he failed to prescribe the right
remedy. The only hope of peace lay in the crushing of one of the rivals,
and though this might have been impossible, it was not even attempted.
Each was in turn humbled, but only to such an extent as to make him
still more ambitious, and the sole definite bit of policy to be found in
Bedford's action in England was the emphasising of the power of the
Council and the developing of those constitutional theories of
government, which by reason of their precocity were bound to bring
disaster both to the kingdom and the dynasty. Bedford's interference in
English politics had no healing effect; it only postponed the coming
struggle by the temporary diversion of Beaufort's ambitious energies to
the Hussite war. On the latter's return the substitution of the
cardinalate for the chancellorship was not calculated to weaken his
position, whilst the strengthening of that of the Council would tend to
induce Gloucester to use all the means in his power to undermine its


Meanwhile in England Gloucester had been seriously ill, and it was not
till April that he was sufficiently recovered to journey to St. Albans;
there on St. Mark's Day, escorted by the usual procession headed by the
Abbot, he gave thanks for his recovery, and presented his gift of
gratitude on the High Altar.[678] Having visited the cell of Sopwell, he
returned to Langley.[679] Here he busied himself in the affairs of the
kingdom, being made Justiciar of Chester and of North Wales on May 10,
an office which he was allowed to delegate to a substitute for whose
actions as well as his own he must answer to the King.[680] Indeed,
Gloucester seems to have been very energetic in executing his duties as
Protector, and to have turned to the administration of the government
that restless energy, which circumstances and his own ambitious nature
had drawn lately to less worthy occupations. In June we find him at
Norwich to strengthen by his presence the hands of the justices who had
to try a case of lawlessness which had gone unpunished during the
disturbed state of affairs in official circles. On the last night of
1423 certain felons to the number of eighty or more had attacked the
house of John Grys of Wighton in the county of Norfolk, and he being
'somewhat heated with wassail,' had been dragged out to a gallows a mile
away, where with his son Gregory and a servant he had been butchered for
lack of a rope to hang them. It would seem that the two principals in
this outrage had been Walter Aslak and Richard Kyllynworth, who tried
after this to establish a reign of terror in Norfolk, and so threatened
William Paston by manifestoes openly posted in public places, that 'the
seyd William, hese clerkes and servauntz by longe time after were in
gret and intollerable drede and fere.' Paston had indicted these men
before Gloucester as Protector, and on April 5, 1425, the matter had
been referred to arbitration. The award of the arbitrators had been
ignored by Aslak, and under the protection of Sir Thomas Erpingham he
had further annoyed Paston at the Parliament of Leicester. Gloucester
now presided in person at the trial of the offenders, and six men were
condemned for this outrage and put to death.[681]

Before the end of the month the Protector was back in London, holding a
council, at which matters of some moment were up for discussion. The
truce with Scotland for which Gloucester was one of the guarantors had
not been very well observed, and the question of heresy had also come to
the fore.[682] Shortly before Gloucester's visit to St. Albans a certain
William Wawe--_latro mirabilis_ the chronicler quaintly calls him--had
attacked the neighbouring nunnery of Sopwell and plundered its contents.
Rightly or wrongly this was considered to be part of a Lollard scheme of
opposition to the Church, and it was as a heretic as well as a
'wonderful robber' that Wawe, after a period of confinement at St.
Albans, was arraigned before Gloucester in London. We cannot in any way
judge of the rights of the case, as we have only a very one-sided
account of the event, but it is quite possible that it was more the
heated imaginations of the ecclesiastics, who had not forgotten the
incidents connected with Oldcastle, than any real heretical inclinations
on the part of the prisoner, which produced the charge. Wawe was
condemned and hanged.[683]

In these two cases of summary judgment we find displayed a side of the
Protector's character which has been given but scant justice by
historians. Though crafty and self-seeking, Gloucester was in no sense
turbulent. His justice thus meted out cannot be dismissed as a standard
of ethics to which he himself did not conform. We have no instance in
which he appealed to brute force except when he was compelled to do so,
for in the case of the quarrel with Beaufort he was not the aggressor,
nor can we believe the stories of armed conspiracy which surround his
mysterious death. His energy was devoted at this time at least towards
keeping the peace. We have seen his recent journeys into the country
districts to settle matters which might cause disturbance, and in
September he was at Chester,[684] whither he had probably gone in his
capacity as Justiciar of that district, not being content to leave his
duties there to a delegated representative, as the terms of his
appointment had allowed. As Protector he meted out justice impartially,
and though he may have helped to shatter the foreign policy of his
country, his home government shows a strange contrast to the other more
prominent but by no means more essential incidents of his life. It is,
however, by the terms of his Hainault policy that he has been judged, a
policy which, with all its far-reaching consequences, occupied but a
small part of his life, and to the last stages of which we must now

       *       *       *       *       *

Whilst Gloucester had been devoting his time to the assertion of his
personality in English politics, Jacqueline had been carrying on her
uphill struggle against the superior forces and the boundless resources
of the Duke of Burgundy. Her English husband, though his attention was
devoted to other matters, was still prosecuting his cause at the Court
of Rome, and even during the stormy days of the Parliament at Leicester
we find a reference to his attempt to secure a recognition of the
legality of his marriage.[685] But all hope of papal favour was now very
remote, for at this very time we find an edict, issued on February 27,
1426, by the papal commissioner who was examining the case, declaring
the desertion of Brabant by Jacqueline to be quite illegal, and
committing her to the care of her kinsman Amadeus of Savoy until the
ultimate decision was given by the Pope.[686] Though this edict had not
the authority of a papal Bull, yet it showed which party the decision of
the Pope would favour, and the chroniclers agree in taking this date as
the final decision of the matter.[687] Nevertheless pressure was still
brought to bear on the Pope, and in October of the same year the English
Council agreed to desist from prosecuting the Bishop of Lincoln under
the act of Præmunire, on condition that he should do his utmost to
expedite the cause of the Duke of Gloucester at Rome.[688]


Jacqueline had no intention of returning to her former husband, or of
resigning herself to the keeping of her kinsman of Savoy, and in view of
the greater difficulties which now attended her owing to the defection
of some of her none too numerous supporters, she turned her thoughts
again to the country which had befriended her in the past, where dwelt
the man whom she claimed as her husband, though he seemed to have
forgotten her existence. From Gouda, where she was making a last
desperate resistance against her enemies, she sent Lewis de Montfort and
Arnold of Ghent to the Council in England with a letter which was
written on April 8, 1427. She recalled therein the friendship of Henry
V., and assured them that he would never have left her to her fate; she
begged for help, _comme pour femme desolée_, and begged them to lay her
sad plight before her husband, and induce him to come to her help, or at
least to send her some assistance.[689] She had evidently given up hope
of any spontaneous support from Humphrey. She no longer wrote to him
personally, as she had done earlier, and she realised that her only hope
of relief was to lay stress on the moral obligation laid on the nation
by the action of Henry V. In answer to her letter ambassadors were sent
from England, bearing an answer written in the name of the King, and to
this Jacqueline replied agreeing to the desire for peace expressed by
Henry VI., but pointing to Burgundy's unreasonableness as an impossible
bar to any pacific arrangement. Again she asked for help in the name of
Henry V.'s friendship for her.[690]


Before this last letter had been despatched a change had come over the
state of affairs. The Duke of Brabant had brought his poor mean life to
an end in a halo of sanctity,[691] and the Duke of Burgundy could no
longer wage war in his name. This was no obstacle to the unscrupulous
Philip, who declared that, as formerly, he had been the regent of John
of Brabant in his wife's dominions, so now he was by inference regent
for that wife herself. The dummy which had stood as an excuse for
interference in Hainault was now removed, and we can see the state of
affairs clearly, untrammelled by diplomatic fictions. All along, in
point of fact, the struggle had been between Jacqueline and her powerful
cousin, now it was so in theory also. Under these altered conditions the
Countess made yet another appeal to the English Council on June 6,
alluding to the recent events, and imploring assistance.[692] At the
same time she sent ambassadors with written instructions both to the
Council and to Gloucester.[693] Letter and messages were delivered
towards the end of June,[694] and at length these constant appeals began
to make an impression. Gloucester began to bestir himself, seeing that
he would probably have public opinion on his side, and that he was free
from the interference of Bedford. He appealed to Parliament for the sum
of 20,000 marks to enable him to equip an army to assist
Jacqueline,[695] and this body replied willingly to the request by
petitioning the Council to take steps to alleviate her position, whether
by treaty or some other means, laying stress on the perilous position in
which she found herself, as recorded in letters both to her husband and
to the estates of the realm; they also backed up Gloucester's request
for 20,000 marks. The matter was seriously considered by the Council,
and it was ultimately decided that 9000 marks should be granted to
Gloucester, 4000 marks of which was to consist of the immediate payment
of half his yearly salary as Protector, the other 5000 marks being a
grant for the maintenance of his Duchess.[696]

This money was given for a definite purpose, and for that purpose alone;
it was to furnish an expedition to Holland, which should relieve and
garrison the towns which still remained obedient to Jacqueline. Part of
the forces were to be told off to escort the Countess to England, whilst
the remainder were to stay behind in Hainault and protect such places as
they had relieved. Under no conditions were they to act on the
offensive, or attack any place in Holland, Hainault, or Zealand held by
any one but Jacqueline. As though they feared that the money would not
be directed to its destined use, the Council arranged that it should be
paid to two persons appointed by Gloucester to receive it, with the
proviso that if no soldiers could be induced to go, the receivers were
to hold the money for the King's use, while all soldiers that were
enlisted were to be paid directly by them.[697]

Thus, though a grant was made, it was hedged in with conditions which
betray no desire on the part of the Council to assist Gloucester to a
continental dominion. Jacqueline had an undoubted claim on the sympathy
of Englishmen, and a desire for her safety was expressed on all sides,
yet under the circumstances it was not desirable, from the point of view
of English politics, that she should be enabled to prolong her
resistance to Burgundy. The visit of Bedford to England had not been in
vain, for it had taught Englishmen the danger of Burgundian
complications, and the necessity for refraining from undue intervention
in the politics of Hainault. This money for armed assistance to
Jacqueline was not intended to prolong the struggle, but to procure a
peace between the opposing parties in Hainault; the terms on which the
grant was made plainly indicate that it was her safety only that was to
be procured; she was to be removed and brought back to an asylum in
England. No thought of helping Humphrey lay therein. As the husband of
the lady he was to carry out the commission, but it was made impossible
for him to extract any territorial or monetary advantage therefrom.

However galling this position might be to Gloucester, he began to
prepare an army to fulfil the commands of the Council, and he received
ready support from the Earl of Salisbury. This famous general had been
distinguishing himself in the wars in France; he had served with
distinction under Henry V.; at Verneuil he had been conspicuous for his
bravery,[698] and since then he had established a great military
reputation. He was now ready to put his abilities at the service of the
Duke of Gloucester, for he had sworn to avenge himself on Burgundy who
had seduced his wife, and he was joined under Humphrey's banner by many
of the chief men of the kingdom.[699] From this readiness to undertake
hostilities against Burgundy we may gather that the ill-will between
Philip and his English allies was not entirely due to the reckless
action of Gloucester, and that there were many who were ready to help
on the discomfiture of a man who had done little to make his alliance
effective, and who more than once had intrigued with both parties in
France in the hope of securing some personal advantage.


This expedition to Hainault was not, however, to take place. Ten days
after they had agreed to grant Humphrey the 9000 marks, the Council
wrote to Bedford and explained what they had done. They described how
strong was public opinion in favour of Jacqueline, and how they had
determined to give her support, but they besought the Regent of France
to do his utmost to bring about peace by inducing Burgundy to abstain
from his wrongful oppression of the Duchess of Gloucester and her
husband.[700] Bedford was naturally dismayed at this news. Knowing
Philip as he did, he realised that even purely defensive interference by
English troops in Hainault would be regarded as an unforgivable act of
hostility. At the best of times Burgundian fidelity to the English
alliance hung by a mere thread, and with this excuse nothing would
prevent Philip from coming to an agreement with the Dauphin, in favour
of whom public opinion in France was slowly turning. To prevent such a
result he promptly answered the Council's letter, stating that Philip
was ready to treat with Gloucester, and pointing out the dangers which
would attend English intervention in the matter; the King was young, and
the alienation of Burgundy under these conditions was very undesirable,
and might bring terrible disasters on the English cause in France.
Moreover, it was not fair to condemn Philip unheard, and, in any case,
the rights of the matter must be decided in Rome and not in London.[701]
He also wrote to Humphrey, declaring his affection for him in the most
brotherly terms, and begging him in the name of England's safety not to
carry out his mad intention, but to listen to the advice of those who
wished him well. At the same time he offered to use all his influence to
bring about a peace, which would not reflect in any way on his brother's
honour.[702] Not content with letters, he sent over ambassadors to
impress on the Council the impolicy of allowing Gloucester to go to
Hainault, and to procure, if possible, the abandonment of the idea.[703]
Meanwhile he turned his attention to Duke Philip himself, who was
already busy preparing forces to resist the expected invasion.[704] A
meeting between the two Dukes at Lille proved abortive, but since the
expedition had been delayed in spite of a protest from Jacqueline
received in September,[705] and no signs of its approach were apparent,
a truce with the promise of a future settlement was at length concluded
between Burgundy and Gloucester at Paris.[706]


Thus Humphrey allowed the year to close without having done anything to
help the lady who could hardly be called his wife, and on January 9 in
the new year the Pope finally issued a Bull, whereby the marriage of
Jacqueline with Brabant was definitely recognised as valid, and any
marriage contracted by the former in the lifetime of the latter was
declared to be illegal.[707] Gloucester was weary of the whole affair.
He had not protested against Bedford's opposition to the last projected
expedition to Hainault, for he had given up all hope of a continental
dominion from the day when he first turned his back on Hainault. He was
too deeply occupied in asserting himself in English politics to trouble
his mind over a matter which had passed so entirely out of his
thoughts, and his preparations in answer to the grant of 9000 marks had
been spiritless and unconvincing. Now, though Jacqueline lodged a
protest against the final decision of the Court of Rome, he took no
action, and on March 17 procured the cancelling of the bonds of the 9000
marks loan of the previous year.[708] This callous behaviour with regard
to his former wife seems to have shocked his contemporaries. On March 8
the Mayor and Aldermen of London appeared before Parliament, and said
that they had received letters from Jacqueline, whom in defiance of the
papal Bull they called Duchess of Gloucester as well as Countess of
Holland and Zealand, in which she appealed to them for help. They
declared that the nation ought to rescue her, and said that they were
ready to help within reason.[709]

More definite than this implied censure on Gloucester was another scene
enacted within the precincts of Parliament about this time.[710] A woman
from the Stocks Market,[711] which occupied the present site of the
Mansion House, and was so called from the stocks which stood there, came
openly into Parliament, bringing with her some other London women, and
handed letters to Gloucester, the two Archbishops and other lords there,
censuring the Duke for not taking steps to relieve his wife from her
danger, and for leaving her unloved and forgotten in captivity, whilst
he was living in adultery with another woman, 'to the ruin of himself,
the kingdom, and the marital bond.'[712] The women of London at this
time were apt to assert their right to a voice in public matters. In the
very next year we find the wives and daughters of the citizens of
Aldgate taking the law into their own hands, and killing a Breton
murderer by pelting him with stones and canal mud in spite of the
intervention of the constables who were escorting the prisoner to the
coast.[713] In this case the victim of the murderer was an old widowed
lady who had shown him much charity, and it would seem that it was only
in matters which affected their own sex that the London women took an
interest. The story of the women's petition to Parliament is handed down
to us in the pages of a chronicler of the friendly house of St. Albans,
though the entry has been cancelled by another hand; it therefore helps
us to understand the intense sympathy felt in England for Jacqueline,
when the men and women of London both came to censure their 'Good Duke.'

It is possible that news of the ultimate declaration of the Court of
Rome had not yet reached England, for we find Jacqueline termed Duchess
of Gloucester in an official document of March 18 in this year,[714] but
this did not detract from the blame which the Duke had incurred by his
neglect of the woman whom he had claimed as his wife for the last six
years. We cannot but find the censure of the market-women well deserved.
In the hope of increasing his possessions and his power Humphrey had
made a questionable marriage with Jacqueline, but this could be forgiven
him if, when he had done so, he had been loyal to his wife, who at one
time at all events had loved him for himself. It was not the perception
of the political complications which would result from further action
that restrained him, but the realisation that the prize was not worth
the energy needed to win it, coupled with the fact that he had become a
slave to what was perhaps the one real passion of his life.


We have seen how Gloucester was accompanied home from Hainault by one of
Jacqueline's English ladies-in-waiting, and how he had fallen a victim
to her charms. Eleanor Cobham was of great beauty, so the gossiping
Æneas Sylvius tells us, whilst Waurin bears testimony to her wonderful
charm and courage,[715] but her honour had been besmirched before
Gloucester made her acquaintance.[716] Notwithstanding this, she had
gained a complete ascendency over her royal lover, to whom she had
probably borne two children by this time, and the superstition of the
age did not hesitate to say that it was through potions provided by the
Witch of Eye that this ascendency had been secured.[717] Throughout
these last years it had been the attractions of this woman that had
caused Gloucester to forget Jacqueline, and he now carried his
infatuation so far as to marry her. Freed from all obligations to his
former wife by papal decree, he hastened to legalise his relations with
Eleanor, whence 'arose shame and more disgrace and inconvenience to the
whole kingdom than can be expressed,' says a contemporary
chronicler,[718] whilst a later writer says, 'and if he wer unquieted
with his other pretensed wife, truly he was tenne tymes more vexed by
occasion of this woman--so that he began his marriage with evill, and
ended it with worse.'[719] Monstrelet also looks askance at the
marriage,[720] and even the poet Lydgate raised his voice against the
'Cyronees,' who tempted

          'The prynci's hert against al goddes lawe
          Frome heos promesse truwe alle to withdrawe
          To straunge him, and make him foule forsworne
          Unto that godely faythfull truwe pryncesse.'[721]

Eleanor was an ambitious woman, who had undoubtedly had this end in
view, but that she had been used by Bedford and Beaufort as a counter
attraction to Jacqueline is a statement supported by no evidence, and
merely suggested by the dramatic instinct of a poet. There was nothing
unusual in this action of Gloucester's, and if he married his mistress,
it was no more than his grandfather had done before him. Even if he did
not encourage the marriage, Beaufort could not object to it, for what
claims he had to legitimacy were based upon such a union.

Henceforth the history of Jacqueline ceases to be bound up with that of
Gloucester, and a few months later she was compelled to agree to a
treaty with Burgundy, whereby she acknowledged the illegality of her
former marriage. Bereft of her English husband, her life assumed a
calmer aspect, and for the remaining years that she had to live she
could not regret the loss of one for whom she had suffered so much, and
from whom she had received so little.

       *       *       *       *       *



While Jacqueline was making her last stand against her enemies, and
sending her last appeals for help across to England, Humphrey was
occupied with ambitions far nearer home and totally unconnected with his
now forgotten Hainault policy. The Parliament of 1427, which had been
opened by the little King in person on October 13, had been prorogued on
December 8 by the Protector on the authority of letters-patent from the
King,[722] and on both occasions the subordination of the Protector to
the rules laid down for him were thus fully emphasised. Gloucester began
openly to resent these limitations of his power, and even before the
adjournment he had made some protest against the merely nominal
privileges which he enjoyed.[723] No notice had been taken of this
protest, and he was therefore left to reflect on the matter during
the recess. Christmas he spent at his favourite monastery, and the St.
Albans chronicler tells us of the splendid style in which he celebrated
the Feast. When Epiphany was past, he moved on to Ashbridge near
Berkhampsted for a stay of three days, and thence he returned to London
for the reopening of Parliament.[724] His mind was made up. In spite of
the previous ignoring of his protest, he now, on March 3, requested that
the Lords should define his powers, and did so in such a way as to imply
a demand for more extended rights and privileges than he at present
possessed. He declared his intention of abstaining from attendance in
Parliament till this matter was settled, and arrogantly declared that
during his absence other questions might be discussed but not

The motive underlying the request is evident. Bedford was safely
employed in the French wars and in Burgundian negotiations; Beaufort was
also absent, and it seemed to Gloucester to be an ideal time to
strengthen his hands against the Cardinal. Possibly he had been betrayed
into the belief that he held the ascendency in Parliament by the
alacrity with which that body had sanctioned the recent loan to him.
Short-sighted as before, he could not distinguish between sympathy for
Jacqueline's sad plight and sympathy with his personal ambitions, and he
did not realise that other men's memories were longer than his. In point
of fact he could not have chosen a worse time for this attempt to secure
increased power in the kingdom, for the Lords would have less
compunction in refusing anything to the 'Good Duke' at a time when his
conduct was being openly censured even by his London supporters, than
when his popularity was not under a shadow. As it was, the demand
produced the inevitable result. The Lords took their stand on the
arrangements made in the first Parliament of the reign, recalling how
at that time Humphrey had claimed the government of the kingdom, both by
right of birth and by the right of the will of Henry V., how records had
been searched and precedents consulted, with the result that the claim
was found to be unsupported by any legal authority, whilst the right of
Henry V. to give away the government of the country after his death was
also found to have no legal basis. Yet for the sake of peace and to
'appese' Gloucester, he had been made chief councillor of the King as
long as Bedford remained abroad, and to distinguish him from the other
councillors the name of 'Protector and Defender' was 'devised' for him,
which should not 'emporte auctorite of governaunce of ye land,' but
merely carry with it a personal duty to provide for the defence of the
kingdom both from external and internal dangers, giving him therewith
certain powers which were enumerated at the time. That was the intention
of Parliament five years ago, and beyond this the Lords would not now
go; indeed at the time Gloucester had agreed to the arrangement. In
Parliament Humphrey had no rights beyond those of any other duke, and it
was merely as Duke of Gloucester that he was summoned there. The Lords
declared themselves surprised at his recent demands, and they told him
pretty bluntly that he must be content with such power as he had got,
even as was Bedford. In conclusion they expressed a hope that he would
take his seat in Parliament, and make no more ado about his position

Nothing could show us more plainly than this the suspicion in which were
held any attempts by Gloucester to monopolise the governmental power,
and the surprisingly advanced state of constitutional theory. Yet we
must not be tempted to dismiss this incident merely as an indication of
Humphrey's ambition, and of the patriotic endeavour of Parliament to
maintain constitutional government in the face of expiring despotism.
Humphrey's ambitious nature is, of course, beyond dispute, but among his
motives there may have been some hope of giving the kingdom a strength
it lacked under the present government. It is a platitude to say that
under the Lancastrian kings England had advanced in constitutional
theory much further than in administrative efficiency. The elements of
constitutional monarchy had been attained, and they are nowhere better
expressed than in the answer to Gloucester's demands, but parliamentary
government at this time was not what we understand by that term now. The
Parliament of Henry VI. was not representative of the kingdom in the
modern sense of the word; it was largely a reflection of the desires of
the English nobility, or rather of a certain dominant clique therein.
The government of this clique had not proved a blessing to England, and
we have already seen something of the lawlessness and disorder of the
kingdom generally. In September of the following year the Chancellor in
opening Parliament was very despondent about the moral state of the
country, declaring that acts of lawlessness and oppression were everyday
occurrences, and arose from the absence of any real administration of

To Humphrey was given all the hard work of keeping the peace, with none
of the rewards for those labours, or the prestige which would make his
influence efficient. As it was, the divisions in the government had
disastrous effects; the country was not ready for a divided sovereignty.
The only remedy for this state of affairs was that the central power
should be in the hands of one man, who should make his personality felt
at a time when personality had far more influence on men's minds than
any theory of government. We cannot suggest that Humphrey was the ideal
man to exert this personal power, yet we must not forget his past
attempts to administer the law for the benefit of the injured, or his
later efforts to prevent sedition and internal strife. He could not
belong to the House of Lancaster without inheriting some of the
administrative qualities of his family; to this was added his popularity
with the people, and his position as a member of the royal family. Owing
to this position his influence must be great, and it would have been to
the advantage of the country that this influence should be exerted on
the side of law and order, rather than at the head of a discontented
opposition. On paper the theories contained in the Lords' reply were
excellent, but in practice they needed a more advanced state of society
than that which obtained in fifteenth-century England. The country,
though it knew it not, was on the eve of a civil war of the worst kind,
and a man untrammelled by the limitations of a none too wise oligarchy
might have saved it many years of bloodshed. Humphrey was not a strong
character, yet with his advantages of birth to support him, he was no
weaker than any other individual of the time in England, and far
stronger than the divided rule of a Regency Council.

As a mitigation of the rebuff of this refusal to increase his powers,
Gloucester was granted the payment for forty-eight days' service in
1415, which had hitherto been refused by the officials of the
Exchequer;[728] and when Parliament had ceased to sit he went off to
Merton, where he kept the Feast of Easter.[729] The King meanwhile was
taken to keep the Feast at Hertford, where he was visited by Warwick,
who had been brought back from France to fill a post wherein he might
act as another check on the power of the Protector.[730] The death of
the Duke of Exeter in January 1427 had left the post of tutor to the
King vacant, and hitherto this vacancy had not been filled. Now,
however, fearing that in the absence of an authorised tutor Gloucester
might influence his royal nephew, the Council determined to give to
Warwick the place of Exeter, thus fulfilling the wishes of the late King
in this respect, though they had lately refused to do so in the matter
of the Protectorate. On June 1 the writ empowering Warwick to exercise
the office of tutor to Henry VI. was signed by Gloucester and eleven
other Lords of the Council.[731]


In the same month we find Humphrey hearing petitions in the Star Chamber
at Westminster with other members of the Council,[732] but he was called
away shortly afterwards to settle a dispute which threatened the peace
of the Midlands. From some paltry retainer's quarrel a feud had sprung
up between John Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, and John Holland, Earl of
Huntingdon, and matters had gone so far that each had collected a
considerable force, and a pitched battle seemed imminent. Hearing of
this the Protector hastened to leave London, and on August 19 reached
St. Albans, where the monks greeted him with the usual joyful
processions. He did not, however, delay here, but the next morning,
having paid his respects to the Holy Martyr, he set off in the direction
of Bedfordshire, so that he might get in touch with the two opponents,
and probe the reasons for their quarrel. Though an actual fight was
averted, no settlement could be arranged, as the Duke of Norfolk refused
to appear before the Protector.[733] Here again we find an instance of
the undesirable effects of government by the Privy Council. Both Norfolk
and Huntingdon were councillors, and naturally resented the interference
of a man whose power in the government was subordinate to theirs, but
their feelings of patriotism and responsibility were not enough to
induce them to keep the peace which they were supposed to enforce on
others. No better example could be found of the emptiness of
constitutional theory in those days of turbulence and violence.

Finding himself powerless to restore peace in Bedfordshire, Gloucester
turned south, and by way of St. Albans reached London, where he prepared
to welcome his old rival Beaufort on his return from the Continent.[734]
This was the Bishop of Winchester's first appearance in England as a
cardinal, and he was met on September 1 outside London by the Mayor and
citizens 'reverently arrayed in red hoods and green vestments.' The
Abbot of St. Albans and many of the regular clergy were there also to
meet him, but of the bishops his Lordship of Salisbury was the only
representative.[735] Gloucester cannot have received the Cardinal with
unalloyed pleasure, for he thoroughly disapproved of the policy which
had allowed the acceptance of the cardinal's hat. However, he joined in
the official reception, when the Cardinal rode into the city with that
pomp and magnificence which he loved so well.


The year passed to its close without further incident, though on
November 19, the Eve of St. Edmund, King and Martyr, we find the
Cardinal again seizing the opportunity of displaying his newly acquired
dignity. A solemn procession round the city was headed by Beaufort,
accompanied by the two Archbishops, the Mayor, and the Protector
himself, who, for the time, seems to have been on good terms with his
uncle.[736] As Christmas drew near, Gloucester went down to Greenwich,
there to celebrate the festival in the house which he had acquired after
the death of the Duke of Exeter, and which he was later to transform
into a famous palace.[737] But with Beaufort in England once more, he
was on the lookout to curb the power of his old antagonist, and the
opportunity was offered him by the cardinalate which the latter had

It has been said that Beaufort made 'the great mistake of his life' when
he accepted this dignity;[738] at all events it gave the Protector an
excuse for attacking him. He had come back from the Continent with a
papal commission to raise men and money for the crusade against the
Hussites, and he was permitted to make an expedition to Scotland for
this purpose.[739] During his absence Gloucester raised the question as
to whether he had not vacated his bishopric by accepting the cardinal's
hat, since it exempted him from the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of
Canterbury,[740] and on his return the Cardinal, in order that the
matter might be settled forthwith, petitioned the King to be allowed to
exercise his functions as prelate of the Garter, by right of his
bishopric of Winchester, at the approaching Feast of St. George, the
patron saint of the Order and of the kingdom. The matter was discussed
before the King at Westminster on April 17, and the peers, prelates, and
abbots present agreed to ask the new cardinal to refrain from attending
the festival on this occasion at any rate.[741]

By thus playing on the fears of the majority of Englishmen, who looked
with great dislike on any one who even seemed to suggest papal
interference in the country, Gloucester had made a skilful, if somewhat
revengeful, move, but we must not forget that Beaufort had taken the
first step that led to the state of mutual mistrust which prompted this
action. For the time Gloucester held the ascendence over his rival, and
in the hope of getting him out of the country again, raised no objection
to the permission granted to the Cardinal to raise forces for the
campaign against the Hussites,[742] and this in spite of the fact that
Bedford was asking for reinforcements. However, the defeat of the
English at Patay on the same day that the permission to Beaufort was
given could not be overlooked, and the Cardinal was induced to lead his
forces to the help of Bedford, and to postpone his crusading zeal.[743]
In June he crossed the Channel and landed in France.[744]


Bedford, however, wanted more than reinforcements. In the face of the
French successes under the influence of the enthusiasm engendered by the
Maid of Orleans, and the favour with which Frenchmen generally were
beginning to look on the hitherto despised cause of the 'King of
Bourges,' it was necessary to do something to rehabilitate the
Lancastrian cause in France. It was with this object that the Regent
earnestly asked the English Council to send the little King to be
crowned at Paris.[745] When Parliament met on September 22 it agreed to
comply with this request, and preparations were rapidly made so that
Henry's coronation in England might first take place. Gloucester
naturally took a large share in these preparations; it was always with
zest that he arranged a great function. On October 10 he was appointed
to act as Steward of England for the occasion,[746] whilst he was
allowed to appoint a deputy to perform his duties as Great

It was on St. Leonard's Day, Sunday, November 6, that the coronation
took place, shorn of some of its glories by reason of the haste with
which preparations for it had been made. Archbishop Chichele, assisted
by the Cardinal Bishop of Winchester, who had returned from France for
the occasion, performed the ceremony, which ended with a banquet in
Westminster Hall, such as Gloucester had supervised nearly ten years
before on the occasion of Queen Catherine's coronation.[748]


  [596] _Lond. Chron._, 166.

  [597] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 462.

  [598] See Monstrelet, 575; St. Rémy, 476; Waurin, iii. 188. This
         last says that a demand for men and money made by Gloucester
         was refused.

  [599] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 289.

  [600] _Ibid._ iv. 267-274.

  [601] _Ordinances_, iii. 169. The date of this gift is May 22, 1425.

  [602] See the tone of Bedford's letter to the Pope urging the
         divorce of Jacqueline from the Duke of Brabant. Stevenson,
         _Letters and Papers_, ii. 388, 389.

  [603] See Ashmole MS., 59, ff. 57-60, where Lydgate voices the
         universal sympathy for Jacqueline, and also the action of the
         London women below.

  [604] Commonly called Lord Cobham, because both his father and
         grandfather had been summoned to Parliament, though he
         himself never was. See Nicolas, _Historic Peerage_, and G. E.
         C., _Peerage_, under his name. He is possibly the Reginald
         Cobham who commanded part of Gloucester's retinue in 1417,
         and served under him in the Côtentin.

  [605] Monstrelet, 571; _Chron. Henry VI._, 7.

  [606] Harleian MS., 2256, f. 198vo. Mons had already petitioned
         Burgundy to take Jacqueline under his protection, that is,
         assume control over her. _Cartulaire_, iv. 465.

  [607] Monstrelet says June 13, an obvious mistake. _Cartulaire_, iv.

  [608] Monstrelet, 573: Waurin, iii. 182, 183. In a letter written to
         Jacqueline from Calais, on his homeward journey, he had
         promised her to return to Hainault speedily. See
         _Particularités Curieuses_, 112.

  [609] Waurin, iii. 183.

  [610] Monstrelet, 574; St. Rémy, 477.

  [611] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 277.

  [612] _Ibid._

  [613] Monstrelet, 576, describes Burgundy's measures, 'tout en
         abstinence de sa bouche, comme en prenant peine pour lui
         mettre en haleine.' See also Waurin, iii. 190; St. Rémy, 477.

  [614] Monstrelet, 577.

  [615] Besides the attempt to settle the dispute by arbitration
         before the campaign to Hainault which we have already
         mentioned, Bedford had been in constant communication with
         his brother, in the hope of bringing the incident to a close.
         See Stevenson's _Letters and Papers_, Appendix to
         Introduction, 1. pp. lxxxii and lxxxv; Devon, _Issue Roll_,

  [616] This Bull was published on May 1 at Rome; _Cartulaire_, iv.
         296. Stevenson, _Letters and Papers_, ii. 412-414, gives the
         date as April 24.

  [617] Planché, _Preuves_, IV. pp. lii, liii, Document No. XLVI.
         Stevenson, _Letters and Papers_, ii. 412-414, gives the date
         of this decision as September 24.

  [618] Monstrelet, 577; St. Rémy, 477. Waurin, iii. 196, says that
         both dukes were angered at this decision.

  [619] Stevenson, _Letters and Papers_, ii. 407-409.

  [620] Monstrelet, 577; St. Rémy, 480.

  [621] Dynter, iii. 465.

  [622] Rastell, 258; Waurin, iii. 200-204; Fabyan, 595. Monstrelet,
         578, gives the number of men as 500; Pierre de Fénin, 604,
         gives 1000; and St. Rémy, 480, estimates the expedition at
         1500 men.

  [623] _Ordinances_, iii. 167. The appointment is dated February 26,

  [624] Beaufort himself confessed to this action of his when
         answering his opponent's charges at the Parliament of
         Leicester; Cotton MS., Julius, B. ii. ff. 74vo, 75vo; Hall,
         131, 132.

  [625] _Ordinances_, iii. 174-177.

  [626] _Lond. Chron._, 114; Cotton MS., Cleopatra, C. iv. f. 34;
         Cotton MS., Julius, B. ii. f. 72.

  [627] Gregory, 159; Fabyan, 595.

  [628] Gregory gives the date as September 29, but this is obviously
         a mistake, for _Eng. Chron._, 53, and Cotton MS., Vitellius,
         A. xvi. f. 83, both give October 29. It was the custom at
         this time to elect the Mayor on the feast of St. Simon and
         St. Jude (October 28), but falling as it did this year on a
         Sunday the ceremony was postponed till the Monday. See
         _Chronicles of London Bridge_, 235. Cf. Harleian MS., 2256,
         f. 198vo.

  [629] Gregory, 159; _Eng. Chron._, 53, 54; Fabyan, 595, 596. See
         also Monstrelet, 578, and _Chronicles of London Bridge_, 235.

  [630] _Short Eng. Chron._, 59. The authorities above cited all
         emphasise Gloucester's popularity in London. For this, see
         also _Chron. Henry VI._, 7.

  [631] October 31.

  [632] _i.e._ battle.

  [633] Hall, 130; Fabyan, 596; MSS. of the Duke of Sutherland, _Hist.
         MSS. Report_, v. App. p. 213. Cf. Holkham MS., p. 28.

  [634] Ramsay, i. 361, asserts that Gloucester was the aggressor.

  [635] Ramsay, i. 362, note 3. The suggestion that this was a
         commendable action, however, originates with the Bishop of
         Winchester himself. See Cotton MS., Julius, B. ii. f. 80.

  [636] This is stated by Ramsay, i. 362, note 1, but he gives no
         authority for the statement, nor can I find any.

  [637] _Ordinances_, iii. 178.

  [638] Gregory, 160.

  [639] _Ordinances_, iii. 179.

  [640] _Ibid._, iii. 197.

  [641] _Ibid._, iii. 210.

  [642] Gregory, 160; Harleian MS., 2256, f. 200; Hall, 130.

  [643] Fabyan, 596.

  [644] _Lords' Reports_, iv. 863.

  [645] These instructions to the messengers of the Council are to be
         found in _Ordinances_, iii. 181-187. Cf. Fabyan, 596.

  [646] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 296.

  [647] Gregory, 160; Fabyan, 596.

  [648] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 296.

  [649] _Ibid._

  [650] _Ibid._, iv. 297.

  [651] _Ibid._, iv. 298.

  [652] He had accompanied Gloucester to Hainault.

  [653] We find him at variance with Gloucester later. See below, pp.
         230, 234.

  [654] He resigned the treasurership at the same time that Beaufort
         resigned the chancellorship, after the judgment.

  [655] Cotton MS., Julius, B. ii. ff. 72vo-74; Arnold's _Chron._,
         287, 288; Hall, 130, 131; Fabyan, 597. There is a copy of
         these articles also in the MSS. of the Inner Temple, MS. 538,
         17, f. 45vo; _Hist. MSS. Rep._, xi. App. VII. p. 238.

  [656] Cotton MS., Julius, B. ii. ff. 74, 75vo; Hall, 132.

  [657] Cotton MS., Julius, B. ii. f. 68vo.

  [658] Cotton MS., Julius, B. ii. ff. 76, 77vo; Hall, 132, 133.

  [659] Cotton MS., Julius, B. ii. f. 76.

  [660] Cotton MS., Julius, B. ii. f. 78; Hall, 133.

  [661] Cotton MS., Julius, B. ii. ff. 78-80; Hall, 132, 133. Arnold's
         _Chron._, 288-295, also gives the whole account. Holkam MS.,
         pp. 30-32.

  [662] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 298, 299; Cotton MS., Julius, B. ii. ff.
         80-86; Hall, 135, 136; Arnold's _Chron._, 296-300.

  [663] _Eng. Chron._, 54.

  [664] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 299, says March 13 for Beaufort and March 18
         for Bath. _Ordinances_, iii. 212, 213, says March 16.

  [665] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 299. March 16, Rymer, IV. iv. 119.

  [666] _St. Alban's Chron._, i. 8, 9.

  [667] _Chron. Henry VI._, 9; Hall, 138

  [668] _Rot. Scot._, ii. 256; Rymer, IV. iv. 121.

  [669] _St. Albans Chron._, i. 11. Exeter died in the last days of
         1426. After the obsequies at St. Paul's his body was taken to
         Peterborough and buried there. See Harleian MS. 2256, f. 199.

  [670] _Ordinances_, iii. 327-329; _Rot. Parl._, v. 409, 410.

  [671] _Ordinances_, iii. 239, 240; _Rot. Parl._, v. 410.

  [672] _Ordinances_, iii. 240, 241.

  [673] Beaufort was about to accompany Bedford to France and to go on
         a pilgrimage. See below, p. 192.

  [674] _Ordinances_, iii. 242; _Rot. Parl._, v. 410, 411.

  [675] _Ordinances_, iii. 195, 196.

  [676] _Lond. Chron._, 115; Fabyan, 597; _Chron. Henry VI._ 9; Short,
         _Eng. Chron._, 59, 60; Harleian MS., 2256, f. 199vo.

  [677] Wharton, _Anglia Sacra_, i. 800.

  [678] _St. Albans Chron._, i. 12, 13.

  [679] _Ibid._, i. 13.

  [680] _Ordinances_, iii. 267.

  [681] _Paston Letters_, i. 12-17; _St. Albans Chron._, i. 16. Aslak
         does not appear to have been one of the six men executed, for
         he is spoken of in the _Paston Letters_ as alive after 1427.

  [682] _St. Albans Chron._, i. 16.

  [683] _Ibid._, i. 12-17.

  [684] _Bibliothèque Nationale MS. français_, 2, f. 511. See Appendix

  [685] _Paston Letters_, i. 24-26.

  [686] _Cartulaire_, iv. 539-541.

  [687] Waurin, iii. 213; Monstrelet, 584.

  [688] _Ordinances_, iii. 211. On March 16, 1426, the Pope's nephew,
         Prospero de Colonna, was given permission to hold benefices
         in England, a concession for which Martin v. had sought
         Gloucester's good offices two years earlier; Rymer IV. iv.
         119. This was probably a propitiatory offering to Rome.

  [689] _Cartulaire_, iv. 579-582.

  [690] _Cartulaire_, iv. 590-593. Letter dated May 27.

  [691] Dynter, iii. 480; Monstrelet, 586; Waurin, iii. 223.

  [692] _Cartulaire_, iv. 598-601.

  [693] _Ibid._, iv. 601.

  [694] _Ibid._, iv. 614.

  [695] Rymer, IV. iv. 128.

  [696] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 139; _Ordinances_, iii. 271.

  [697] _Ordinances_, iii. 272-276.

  [698] Waurin, iii. 113, 114.

  [699] Pierre de Fénin, 604; Waurin, iii. 212, 213; Monstrelet, 580.

  [700] _Cartulaire_, iv. 622-624, July 11.

  [701] _Ibid._, iv. 265, July 21.

  [702] _Cartulaire_, iv. 635, 636; August.

  [703] Monstrelet, 580; Waurin, iii. 212, 213. It is probably to
         these messengers that the _St. Albans Chronicle_ refers, when
         it says that about All-Saints'-Day (November 1), 1427,
         foreign envoys appeared before the Council, asserting that a
         peace between Burgundy and Jacqueline was a necessity; _St.
         Albans Chronicle_, i. 19. The names differ from those of
         Bedford's embassy.

  [704] _Cartulaire_, iv. 632.

  [705] _Ibid._, iv. 638, 639.

  [706] Monstrelet, 580; St. Rémy, 485; Pierre de Fénin, 604, 605.

  [707] _Cartulaire_, iv. 648.

  [708] _Ordinances_, iii. 291, 292.

  [709] Delpit, _Doc. Fr._, Introduction, p. lxxv, quoting Reg. K.,
         folio 50vo. Cf. Guild Hall Archives.

  [710] 'After Christmas and before Easter.' Easter fell on April 20.

  [711] The Market 'called the Stokkys' was begun in 1410. Fabyan,

  [712] _St. Alban's Chron._, i. 20.

  [713] Cotton MS., Cleopatra, C. iv. f. 35.

  [714] Rymer, IV. iv. 147.

  [715] Æneas Sylvius, _De Viris Illustribus_, p. 52; Waurin, iii.

  [716] Monstrelet, 585.

  [717] _Eng. Chron._, p. 59. This legend is copied by Robert Burton
         in his _Anatomy of Melancholy_. Cf. Shakespeare and Drayton.

  [718] _Chron. Henry VI._, 7.

  [719] Hall, 129.

  [720] Monstrelet, 585.

  [721] Ashmole MS., 59, f. 592.

  [722] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 317.

  [723] _Ibid._, iv. 326.

  [724] _St. Albans Chron._, i. 19.

  [725] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 326.

  [726] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 326, 327.

  [727] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 335. 'Pro defectu justicie superhabundat
         injuriarum et oppressionum nephanda perversitas.'

  [728] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 320, 321.

  [729] _St. Albans Chron._, i. 20.

  [730] _Ibid._, i. 20-22.

  [731] _Rot. Parl._, v. 411; Devon, _Issue Roll_, 407.

  [732] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 334.

  [733] _St. Albans Chron._, i. 25.

  [734] _St. Albans Chron._, i. 25.

  [735] _Ibid._, i. 26; Harleian MS., 2256, f. 200vo.

  [736] _St. Albans Chron._, i. 31.

  [737] _Ibid._, i. 32.

  [738] Stubbs, iii. 108.

  [739] _Ordinances_, iii. 318; _St. Albans Chron._, i. 33, 34.

  [740] Beltz, p. lxv.

  [741] _Ordinances_, iii. 323, 324; Rymer, IV. iv. 143.

  [742] _Ordinances_, iii. 330-332.

  [743] _Ibid._, iii. 339.

  [744] Fabyan, 599.

  [745] _Ordinances_, iii. 322.

  [746] Cotton MS., Vespasian, C. xiv. f. 118, contains the original
         warrant. Rymer, IV. iv. 150; _Cal. Rot. Pat._, 275;
         _Ordinances_, iv. 14.

  [747] Rymer, IV. iv. 151.

  [748] Gregory, 168. Fabyan, 599-601, gives a detailed account of the
         banquet. _Eng. Chron._, 54; _St. Albans Chron._, i. 44.



The coronation of Henry VI. had its significance at home as well as
abroad; for Gloucester it meant the abandonment of the title which he
had held since the death of Henry V. The festivities were barely over
when Parliament declared that, since the King was now crowned, he had
taken the responsibility of the government on himself, and that
therefore the Protectorate was at an end: on November 15 Humphrey
resigned his office, stipulating that by this action he did not
prejudice the right of his brother Bedford.[749] In this premature
ending of the Protectorate we cannot fail to see the hand of Beaufort
and the jealousy of the Regency Council. To say that a child, who had
not attained the age of eight, had become capable of governing the
country simply because a ceremony, which might have been performed with
equal justice seven years earlier, had taken place, was on the face of
it absurd. It may be that Beaufort had suggested the coronation to
Bedford when he was in France with this end in view; certainly this
summary ending of the Protectorate shows that the Council were
determined to limit the power of the man who was nominally at the head
of affairs, thereby hoping to increase their own importance. The lords
had just told Gloucester that the title of Protector was nothing but a
title, and now they proceeded to take away even that, and to reduce him
to the rank of First Councillor. There was neither logic nor policy in
this action. Whilst it could not serve to help on the good government of
the kingdom, it only added another reason for the discontent and
factiousness of the man it was meant to curb.

We find Gloucester's protest against his compulsory resignation of the
Protectorate in this very same Parliament, when it was questioned
whether a cardinal had a right to be a member of the Council. Beaufort
secured another victory when the Lords decided that not only was it
allowable but very desirable that he should attend the meetings of the
Council on all occasions, except when matters connected with the Papal
See were under discussion.[750]


The Bishop of Winchester had now considerably more power than his rival,
and we may see traces of the antipathy to Gloucester prevalent amongst
the Lords of Parliament in a famous measure passed in the second session
of this same Parliament. The representatives of the counties in
Parliament were chosen in the County Court, and Henry IV. had taken
steps to make this representation adequately reflect the wishes of all
who had access to that court. A reaction against this wide qualification
for the franchise now set in, and it was ordained that none but those
who possessed a freehold of the value of forty shillings a year, and
resided within the county, could vote for the knights of the shire who
sat in Parliament.[751] It is to be noticed that, whilst driving the
theory of constitutional government to an extreme, Parliament was now
limiting the possibilities of its claim to represent the nation: the
reason is obvious. The more limited the franchise, the more powerful
would be the lords who desired to rule the country, and the less
powerful would be Gloucester, who numbered his supporters amongst the
rank and file of the commonalty now excluded from the franchise. The
Bill spoke of the riot and disturbance caused 'by great attendance of
people of small substance and no value whereof every of them pretended a
voice equivalent, as to such elections, with the most worthy knights and
squires resident,'[752] and the true meaning of this complaint does not
lie far below the surface. Humphrey may be indicted on many counts, but
he cannot be said to have championed the lords against the people. What
strength he had was based on his personal popularity with the 'people of
small substance,' and his opponents were the men who, working under the
pretence of desiring a stronger Parliament, were attempting to secure
absolute domination over the country. Having secured a preponderance in
the kingdom, they proceeded to quarrel among themselves, since the
inevitable result of conciliar government was at this time civil war.
Gloucester, with all his faults, stood for the rights of the people, not
perhaps from disinterested motives, but because the people were ready to
support him. Neither lords nor commons had an exclusive right to govern
the kingdom during a minority, nor had they the political capacity to do
so, but this limitation of the franchise was a measure aimed by the
nobility at Gloucester and the commons at once. Supported by Beaufort,
who thought himself able to control them, the lords shut the door on
those who alone could check their turbulence, and weakened the position
of a man, who with a less limited power might have given strength to the
kingdom and dynasty, even although he was almost entirely selfish in his
aims. Beaufort was not able to control them, and the ultimate result of
their quarrels was civil war.


While these measures to prevent the ascendency of Gloucester in the
councils of the nation were being taken, preparations were being made
for the journey of the young King to France; they were pervaded by a
spirit of precaution. The articles for the regulation of the Council,
which had been made in the first Parliament of the reign, were
re-enacted and expanded so that there should be no possibility of the
conciliar government being weakened by the machinations of the First
Councillor.[753] At the same time careful arrangements were made for the
government of the kingdom in the King's absence; all were agreed that it
was impossible to leave the kingdom in the hands of any one but
Gloucester, yet his powers as Regent must be limited. Cardinal Beaufort
was induced to escort Henry VI. to France, and the Council was divided
into two parts, one to accompany the King, the other to remain in
England. These two divisions were to be independent of one another
except in matters of the greatest importance, but the Regent of England
was prevented from turning the English Council into a body composed of
his own supporters by the provision that no councillor could be
dismissed save with the consent of both Councils.[754] At the same time
the weakness of the Council as a governing body was made manifest by the
steps taken to prevent the Duke of Norfolk and the Earls of Huntingdon
and Warwick from attacking one another whilst accompanying the King.
Humphrey took his own precautions to prevent armed dissensions in this
Council, and exacted an oath from these three lords that they would not
in person resent any injury done them, but bring any dispute among
themselves before the Council.[755]

In spite of the proceedings of his opponents, it is evident that the
abolition of the Protectorate had not shorn Gloucester of all his power.
In this quarrel of the lords he had successfully asserted his right to
impose order and to keep the peace, and on December 23 of the previous
year he had secured a handsome allowance for his exertions as First
Councillor. For his attendance at the Council whilst the King was still
in England, he was paid at the rate of two thousand marks a year, and as
Regent in the King's absence he was to receive double that sum. A
proviso was also added that if he should be put to extra expense or
trouble in some matter in which he had the consent of the Council, he
was to have an extra grant, and if, by reason of the urgency of the
matter, he should be compelled to act without the consent of that body,
he was to be paid therefor at their next meeting.[756]

Whilst the last preparations for the journey were being made, Gloucester
had accompanied his nephew as far as Canterbury on his way to the coast.
There Easter had been kept, and it was there also that Gloucester took
the steps already recorded towards securing peace amongst the lords who
were to accompany their young sovereign to France.[757] There, too, in
his capacity of Warden of the Cinque Ports, he had prepared for the
transhipment of the expedition by ordering ships to be in readiness to
carry the King across the Channel.[758] On April 23 his commission as
Regent during the King's absence was signed. By it he was authorised to
hold Parliaments and Councils, and with their assent to ordain such
things as were necessary for the welfare of the King and the realm. He
might also exercise the royal authority in all matters pertaining to
ecclesiastical elections, but he was to do everything by the advice of
the Council and not otherwise.[759] Next day the little King set sail on
his way to secure the empty honour of the crown of France, whilst his
uncle turned back to undertake the cares of that other kingdom, which
was in the end to prove an almost equally illusory possession.[760]

The first year of Gloucester's regency passed without any incident of
interest. The government was quietly conducted, and the discussions
which continually arose when Beaufort was in the country were for the
time forgotten. Negotiations were carried on with Scotland, in which
Lord Scrope, a supporter of Gloucester, seems to have acted with energy
and ability.[761] But despite several journeys to the north, and a
seeming readiness on both sides to come to an understanding,[762] no
definite settlement was made, and he was again sent to Scotland in
November.[763] Thus the year passed quickly away, and there was found to
be no need for the summoning of Parliament till early in 1431.[764]


The session which then began was even more uneventful than that of the
preceding year, though Beaufort came over to attend it,[765] and the
lack of political quarrels speaks for the good government of the Regent
and the powerlessness of the Cardinal when his turbulent supporters were
absent in France. Only one event in Parliament is worthy of record, and
this points to the financial distress of the country and to the waning
affection for the war. In response to the Pope's efforts in the
direction of peace, the Lords and Commons joined with hearty goodwill in
an attempt to further his wishes by appointing the King's three uncles,
Bedford, Gloucester, and Beaufort, to treat of peace with the envoys of
France and of Rome, and by instructing them to agree to any terms they
might think reasonable, saving the liberties of the King's
subjects.[766] According to a later chronicler the powers thus conferred
were the occasion of an amicable meeting between the Regent and the
Cardinal on matters of foreign policy.[767] At any rate, Beaufort
returned to France without any fresh cause of dispute having arisen
between him and his nephew.


When Parliament had been dissolved Gloucester went down to Greenwich to
spend Easter, and on St. George's Day he presided at a Chapter of the
Order of the Garter at Windsor.[768] He was suddenly called away by
disturbances in the Midland Counties. A certain William Perkyns,
otherwise known as William Maundyvyll, who for the purposes of his
agitation called himself 'Jack Sharpe of Wygmoreland,' had lately been
distributing pamphlets in London, Coventry, and Oxford, which took the
form of a petition to the King and Lords of Parliament, showing the
waste which ensued from the possession of temporalities by the bishops,
abbots, and priors of the Church, and praying for their resumption by
the Crown. It was suggested that the proceeds of this confiscation
should be devoted to the endowment of a hundred almshouses and the
financing of a certain number of earls, knights, and squires, but that
the confiscations themselves should only affect the high dignitaries of
the Church.[769] The mention of 'Wygmoreland' savoured too much of the
House of Mortimer for the Regent to ignore the movement, while the
prelates were in a frenzy at this attack on their coveted possessions.
The idea thus propounded was no new one, for in the Parliament of 1410
this resumption of ecclesiastical temporalities had been suggested, and
the future Henry V. had opposed it,[770] while at a later date Oldcastle
had circulated pamphlets recommending such a course.[771] In remembrance
of this incident the cry of heresy and Lollardy was raised, and it was
declared that Jack Sharpe with his 'fals feleshipp' wished to destroy
the Church.[772] Thus political security and religious orthodoxy both
summoned Gloucester from his ease, and he hastened to Abingdon, in which
neighbourhood the malcontents were said to be assembled. By the help of
one William Warberton, Jack Sharpe with many of his associates was
found in hiding at Oxford, where the Chancellor and bailiffs arrested
him on the Thursday before Whitsunday.[773] Brought before the Regent,
he was condemned to death and executed at Abingdon, and his head was
placed on London Bridge.[774]

In the part he took in the suppression of 'Jack Sharpe' Gloucester was
actuated as much by a desire to enforce the arm of the law on all
disturbers of the peace, and on all who might be thought to threaten the
House of Lancaster, as by the claims of the higher clergy to be
protected. About this time, however, he further countenanced the
extinction of heresy by being present at the burning at Smithfield of an
old priest who denied the validity of the sacraments of the Church.[775]
In this he was merely carrying out the general policy of the Government,
for instances of the execution of Lollards and other heretics were of
comparatively frequent occurrence.

The danger to Church and State was over, and the movement of the man of
'Wygmoreland' had been suppressed by the Regent's quick and decided
action, yet the very assumption of this name showed that the House of
Lancaster was not free from the danger which had threatened in the
Southampton conspiracy of 1415, and in the later pretensions of the Earl
of March. The inevitable dynastic struggle was only postponed till a
time when a weak and vacillating king in the hands of unintelligent
advisers should find himself unable to cope with a movement which this
time had been nipped in the bud.

After the execution of 'Jack Sharpe' Gloucester visited several other
places in the kingdom, making inquisitions concerning certain heretics,
traitors, and rebels, and punishing them according to their
demerits.[776] Indeed during the Regency executions for illegal acts and
Lollardy were frequent; now it was a courtier punished for the misuse of
a patent seal, now a Lollard who by his faith threatened the House of
Lancaster. All through Humphrey's justice seems to have been firm and
true, and during the time of his government of the kingdom one
chronicler at least appears to hint at a more drastic and organised
government by the number of executions that he records.[777] At the same
time there is no record of any serious disturbance in the kingdom, and
the rising of Jack Sharpe is peculiar, not because of its existence, but
because of the summary justice meted out to it. By November Humphrey was
back again to London and in attendance at the Council. The days of the
Regency were now drawing to a close. The King was now, after many
delays, on the eve of his coronation in Paris,[778] and his return to
England at the beginning of the New Year was certain. With him would
come Beaufort and his supporters in the Council, and Gloucester feared
that fresh attacks would be made on his position. He therefore prepared
to meet them by a counter-movement, to be made whilst he was still
governing the country and had a complete ascendency over the Council,
and it was to this end that the question of Beaufort's cardinalate was
again raised.


At a meeting of the Council on November 6 the King's Serjeant and
Attorney presented a petition which requested that Beaufort should be
deprived of his see of Winchester on the ground of his having accepted a
cardinal's hat. In support of this petition it was argued that
Archbishops Langham and Kilwardby had been deprived for this reason, and
that the good of the kingdom demanded compliance with these precedents.
The Regent, who evidently inspired this action on the part of the legal
officials of the Crown, asked the Bishop of Worcester whether it was
true that the Cardinal had procured from Rome an exemption for himself,
his city, and his see from the jurisdiction of the Primate. After much
hesitation the Bishop was compelled to acknowledge that the Bishop of
Lichfield had told him that he had acted for Beaufort in the purchase of
such an exemption from the Pope. After debate the matter was referred to
the judges, who were instructed to search the records and give their
decision on the legal point. Meanwhile nothing further was to be done
till the Cardinal returned to justify his action.[779]

Though to us this attack may seem trivial, and its occurrence, at a time
when its object was not in the country to defend himself, unfair, we
must not forget that the Cardinal had laid himself open to the gravest
suspicion by invoking the interference of Rome in a matter of purely
English importance. It is also to be noticed that Beaufort had realised
the probability of losing his English benefices when created cardinal,
as at the time of his appointment he had procured a papal Bull which
enacted that 'he schuld have an reioyse all the benefyces spirituell and
temporell that he hadde had in Englond.'[780] Thus he had laid himself
open to the pains and penalties of the statute of Provisors, which
forbade the acceptance of letters from the Pope appointing people to
benefices in England, and showed that Gloucester's suspicion that he was
using the papal alliance for furtherance of his ambitions at home was
fully justified. Jealousy of papal power had ever been one of the chief
tenets of the Englishman's creed, and had a less powerfully connected
ecclesiastic than Beaufort ventured on such a step, his punishment
would have been swift and sure. Indeed the only voice raised in protest
against the action of the Council in this matter was that of the Bishop
of Carlisle,[781] a man well known to be a minion of the Beaufort party,
and one to whose appointment to his present see both Gloucester and Lord
Scrope had objected strongly only a few years before.[782] The decision
of the judges seems to have been hostile to the Cardinal, for on
November 20 the Council ordered writs of Præmunire and attachment upon
the Statute to be sealed against him, though they were not to be
executed till the King came back.[783]

Thus Gloucester thought that he had successfully clipped the wings of
his rival, and his ascendency in the Council was still further
emphasised by a movement to increase his salary as Regent. According to
the existing arrangement he received two thousand marks per annum as
First Councillor, and four thousand marks whilst he was Regent in the
King's absence. It was the Treasurer, Lord Hungerford, who now proposed
in the Great Council, on the same day as the writ of Præmunire was
issued, that in consideration of the great expenses that Gloucester had
incurred in the past, both in preserving the kingdom from the malice of
rebels and traitors, and 'especially of late concerning the taking and
execution of the most horrible heretic and impious traitor to God and
the said Lord King, who called himself John Sharp, and of many other
heretical malefactors his accomplices,' he should receive an increase of
two thousand marks per annum for his services as Regent, returning to
his usual salary when the King came back.[784]


That this was an evasion of a demand for increased pay by Gloucester
seems to be evident, as the Regency was drawing to a close, and
therefore no material benefit would accrue to the Regent by this motion.
Moreover, the excuse of the expense of putting down the rising of John
Sharp was merely a formal plea, as a payment of five hundred marks had
already been made in this respect on July 17.[785] It was not to be
expected that Hungerford should propose any measure of great advantage
to the Regent, for he had sided throughout with the Chancellor in
opposing Gloucester, even as he had been intended to do when appointed
to office by the influence of the Beaufort faction. Now he evidently
wished to conciliate Humphrey at small expense. Lord Scrope, however,
who was a steady supporter of the Regent, proposed an amendment to the
effect that Gloucester should have five thousand marks a year in his
capacity of First Councillor after the King's return, as well as the six
thousand marks of his proposed salary as Regent. After considerable
discussion this last suggestion was agreed to, though it was strongly
opposed by Chancellor Kemp, the Bishop of Carlisle, and Lords
Harrington, De la Warr, Lovell, and Botreaux. The Treasurer accepted the
amendment, probably in the hope of conciliating one who proved to have
such strong supporters. One qualification, however, was secured by
Gloucester's opponents, when it was arranged that the salary now voted
should cover all expenses he might incur in the King's service.[786]

The result of all this was a decided victory for the Regent, and he was
made secure of an exceedingly handsome allowance, which he felt to be
necessary owing to his expensive and luxurious habits, and the charges
which he incurred as a patron of letters. The sum was not excessive, for
in the past both Bedford and himself had received annual salaries of
four to eight thousand marks as First Councillors.[787] Nevertheless
this was not a time to wring money from an already depleted exchequer.
The Lancastrians had always been poor, and now especially the constant
sinking of money into the bottomless morass of the French wars had
reduced the dynasty and kingdom to a very low financial state. Once more
Gloucester showed that personal gratification was more to him than
patriotic considerations. Throughout his regency he had shown the same
traits of character we have found in other parts of his career.
Administrative power, good government, a determination to punish
sedition and violence speedily and efficiently, all may be seen in this
brief tenure of office. Criminals were brought to justice; in the face
of seething discontent and the growing violence of the barons, peace
reigned. Yet, despite all this, the government was subordinate in
Humphrey's eyes to his own personal aggrandisement. He had used his
spell of power to strengthen his position in the kingdom irrespective of
his executive duties, which were treated more as isolated incidents than
as part of a constructive policy. He had taken advantage of the
Cardinal's absence to direct an attack on his position in the kingdom;
he had struck at the very foundation of Beaufort's power when he had
tried to deprive him of some of his possessions; he had levelled against
him a charge which, if successful, would entail his banishment from the
kingdom. At the same time he had taken steps to strengthen his own
position by increasing his income, and these monetary considerations
remind us of the new era that was dawning, the approach of that time
when no longer birth or hereditary position were to define a man's
power, but the length of his purse and his capacity to command the
services of others by purchase. Humphrey's Regency, therefore, is
important partly for the added indications of his power of
administration, but more so for the stage it marks in his attempt to
undermine the power of his great enemy.


The increase of his income was the last important event for Gloucester
before the return of the King, who landed at Dover on February 9,[788]
and on Thursday 21 entered London in triumph. The Lord Mayor, Sheriffs,
and Aldermen, clad in their fur-lined scarlet cloaks, were there to
receive him, and amid song and pageant, in which champions with drawn
swords and 'maidens very celestialle' took part, Gloucester escorted his
nephew to St. Paul's and thence to Westminster.[789] A bright interlude
this in the struggles for ascendency which surrounded the boy-king's
throne, struggles which, dating from Henry V.'s untimely death, were to
continue with varied success, now to this side, now to that, for so long
a period. The rivalry of Gloucester and Beaufort had been the central
thread of the tangled web of the King's minority, and now that Henry was
a crowned King and claimed personal obedience in two countries, this
rivalry did not lose its importance. The internal history of England is
still the history of the faction fight which had marred the peace of the
first nine years of the reign.

The struggle between, the two uncles enters at this period on a new
phase. Hitherto it had been chiefly confined to the sphere of Parliament
and the Council Chamber, now the interest centres more in the King's
person. Henry VI., though only ten years old, was beginning to assert
his position, for he was 'growen in yeares, in stature ... and also in
conceyte of his hiegh and royale auctoritee,' as his tutor, Warwick,
complained to the Council,[790] and under these circumstances it became
every year more necessary for each party to gain the King's ear.
Beaufort had not come back with the royal escort, so Gloucester had an
opportunity to use the King's return for his own ends. He was not at
all satisfied with the officers of state whom his opponents had placed
in office. Chancellor Kemp had opposed the increase of his salary, and
Hungerford, the Treasurer, had only assented to the measure at the last
moment; the first step, therefore, was to secure their dismissal, which
he had been unable to procure before under the terms of his regency
patent. No time was lost; on February 28, only four days after Henry's
arrival in London, Archbishop Kemp resigned the Seals to Gloucester, who
for the moment became Lord Keeper. On March 1 they were delivered to the
King, who handed them forthwith to the Bishop of Bath and Wells.[791]
Lord Scrope, the ardent supporter of Gloucester, succeeded Lord
Hungerford as Treasurer, while care was taken to displace men of
Beaufort sympathies from positions which entailed personal attendance on
the King. Accordingly Lord Cromwell was dismissed from the post of
Chamberlain in favour of Sir William Philip, and Lord Tiptoft, the
Steward of the Household, made way for Sir Robert Babthorp, who had
instructions to make all haste to take up his office at once.[792] Thus
with the greatest expedition possible the _personnel_ around the King was
changed, and the new officers were chosen, as far as possible, from
amongst those who would support Gloucester's claim to a preponderance in
the politics of the kingdom.

These changes in the crown officials were safely effected before
Parliament met on May 12, by which date Beaufort had arrived in England.
The turbulence of the great nobles is illustrated by the fact that writs
were issued to the Duke of Norfolk, the Earls of Suffolk, Huntingdon,
Stafford, Northumberland, and Salisbury, together with Lord Cromwell,
enjoining them not to come to Parliament with more than their usual
number of retainers.[793] To say that this 'intimation under the
circumstances must have sounded very like a declaration of war' on the
part of Gloucester[794] is a total misreading of the matter. Precautions
of much the same nature had been taken by Bedford at the Parliament of
Leicester without provoking comment, and it was well known that at least
two of those to whom the writs were addressed were at enmity with one
another, and that Lord Cromwell was enraged at his loss of office. Added
to all this, Huntingdon was certainly not of the Beaufort faction, as he
subsequently appears as the supporter of Duke Humphrey.[795] It was
merely a precautionary measure, and serves to prove the unreliability of
those by whom the government of the kingdom was supposed to be
dominated, for these lords, with the exception of Salisbury, were all


When Parliament did meet, Beaufort was there to look after his own
interests. On the second day Gloucester addressed the Lords, saying that
it was desirable that the Commons should know that the Lords spiritual
and temporal were in agreement, and that, therefore, a declaration to
this effect should be made. So far as he himself was concerned, though
by right of birth and by Act of Parliament he was First Councillor to
the King whilst Bedford was absent yet he would never do any state
business except with the consent of the Lords, or of a majority of them.
He therefore called upon his hearers to give their best advice, and he
would abide by it. To this suggested declaration the Lords assented,
promising their advice, and praying Gloucester 'for the reverence of God
and the good of the King and the realm to observe his part of the
agreement to the best of his ability.' The Commons were accordingly
solemnly informed of the state of absolute concord existing amongst
those whom they knew to be turbulent and divided.[796] The object that
Humphrey had in view was to secure an acknowledgment of his position,
and an acceptance of the state of things as they then stood. His
position was one of greater importance than he had enjoyed for some
years, and he wished it to be clearly understood that he would not
abandon that position without a determined struggle. At the same time,
if his power was not assailed, he would not ignore the opinions of
others. He could point to his recent successful regency as evidence of
the good results of his rule, yet he definitely promised not to go
outside his powers so long as his preponderance in the councils of the
nation was accepted. He had warned the turbulent nobles in the writ
addressed to them with respect to their retinues, and he now wished to
impress upon them collectively, that he stood for good government
against the divided rule of the Council. Whether this declaration was
entirely disinterested may well be doubted, and that his government
would be good in our sense of the word was hardly probable, but he was
choosing the least turbulent way of asserting himself, and his
administration could not well be worse than that of the faction that
opposed him.


This warning Beaufort took as a challenge, and retorted in Parliament by
an assumption of injured innocence. He rose in his place and explained
that whilst on his way to Rome, a journey undertaken by the permission
of the King, he had been told that he had been accused of treachery to
his royal nephew. He now demanded that he should be confronted with his
accuser, and declared himself ready to meet him, however exalted his
rank might be--a broad hint at his rival, for no one but Gloucester in
England at that time was of superior rank to the Cardinal. The matter
was discussed in the King's presence, and finally Gloucester, as
representing the Councillors there present, declared the King's entire
belief in Beaufort's loyalty, and emphatically announced that no one had
accused him of anything, nor to the best of their knowledge did any one
desire to do so.[797] Whether there was any truth in the Cardinal's
statement, or whether he was referring to the writ of Præmunire issued
against him, must remain uncertain. At all events his attempt to make a
scene failed, and with it his first attack on Gloucester's new position.

But the Cardinal had another cause of complaint, and he proceeded to
ventilate this second grievance. Certain of the King's jewels pledged to
him for a loan had been seized by the royal officials when he landed at
Sandwich, and he now demanded their restoration.[798] On what plea these
jewels were confiscated we cannot discover, but that the Regent had some
just cause for his action may be argued from the fact that Parliament
only agreed to this restoration on condition that £6000 more were
deposited for them, and a promise made by the Cardinal to lend the King
thirteen thousand marks in addition.[799] Beaufort had undoubtedly not
suffered any loss from the sums he had lent to the King in the past, and
it is possible that he had overreached himself in his desire for
increased profit; moreover, Gloucester himself seems to have had some
personal claim on the jewels,[800] which had probably been pledged to
him at some former time, but not fully redeemed, as had been the case
when four years earlier he had received a belated payment for the
campaign of 1415. If there was any insinuation that the Regent had been
robbing under the shadow of the law, it failed to reach the mark, and
the jewels were only secured by a heavy payment, though ultimately the
Cardinal managed to creep out of the engagements he had made.[801]
Taking all this into consideration, it is hard to deduce from these
proceedings in Parliament that Beaufort gained a victory over his
rival,[802] though he did secure an exemption from all liabilities
incurred by him under the Acts of Provisors and Præmunire.[803]

Yet another attack on Gloucester was made in this Parliament by his
opponents, when on June 10 Lord Cromwell complained before the Lords
that he had been dismissed from his office of Chamberlain contrary to
the Ordinances of 1429. He declared that it was a slight on his honour,
as no reason had been assigned for this action,[804] and he demanded to
be told for what fault he had been dismissed. It was not likely that,
where the Cardinal had failed, his follower would succeed, and Cromwell
was politely told by Gloucester that he had done no wrong, but was
removed merely because he himself and the Council wished it.[805] Thus
Gloucester had been successful all along the line. The various, scarcely
veiled, attacks made upon him in this Parliament had been repulsed, and
his power had been in no way lessened by the return of the King. His
position was recognised, and in October of the same year we even find
him described as 'Custode Angliæ' in an official document,[806] a title
of considerably greater importance than that of 'First Councillor.'

       *       *       *       *       *


Gloucester had so far asserted his strength that no open attempt to
challenge his authority was made for some time, and in this interval of
security he spent what time he could spare from public affairs in
rebuilding his house at Greenwich in magnificent style, and making a
park around it of some two hundred acres.[807] From this pursuit he was
called away at the beginning of 1433 by the negotiations for peace which
were going on between England and France under the care of the Pope's
representative, the Cardinal of St. Croix. The French had requested
that the prisoners in England might be sent over to confer with their
fellow-countrymen on the question of peace, and the Council at length
agreed to send them as far as Dover, where every facility of
communication with their friends across the Channel would be given
them.[808] At the same time it was arranged that several important
councillors should proceed to Calais, there to discuss the matter with
accredited representatives of Charles of France. At their head went
Gloucester accompanied by the Chancellor, who deposited the Great Seal
with the Clerk of the Rolls on April 15th preparatory to his
departure.[809] Humphrey had been making his preparations to cross the
Channel ever since February,[810] and on the 22nd of April he started
out for Calais.[811] There he was met by Beaufort and Bedford, the
latter having brought with him his newly married wife. Anne of Burgundy
had died in November,[812] and her husband had delayed but these few
months before marrying Jacquetta of Luxemburg, sister of the Count of
St. Pol and niece of John of Luxemburg, the Duke of Burgundy's chief
captain. The Duke was much displeased at the action of the Regent of
France, not merely for the slight that it cast on his sister's memory,
but also because the marriage with his vassal's daughter had been
contracted without his leave.[813] Among the many influences that tended
to alienate Burgundy from England it must be remembered that the
marriage of John of Bedford played its part, though it was inferior in
importance to the earlier marriage of his brother Humphrey.

At Calais Gloucester remained for a month, though no envoys came from
the French King, and consequently the business he had gone there to
perform could not be undertaken. Together with his brother he induced
Beaufort to lend another five thousand marks to the King,[814] and at
this time he seems to have been at peace with his uncle, a curious
interlude in the bitter rivalry. So far did this good feeling extend at
this time, that Humphrey issued a manifesto declaring his readiness to
submit his still outstanding differences with the Duke of Burgundy to
the arbitrament of Beaufort and Bedford.[815] This declaration is of
interest in itself, since it is possible that it was meant as an act of
conciliation towards Burgundy, who was obviously wavering in his English
alliance. If this interpretation be correct, it shows a strange turning
of the tables. Humphrey was now to try to undo the mischief caused by
John of Bedford's rash marriage. On May 23 Gloucester returned to
England,[816] to be followed in June by the Duke and Duchess of Bedford,
who crossed on Midsummer's Eve.[817]


The meeting of Parliament had been postponed owing to the absence of
Gloucester and the Chancellor in France, but on their return it was
summoned to meet in July. The session opened on the 8th of that month,
and on the same day Gloucester, who had surrendered his existing
life-peerage to the King, received it back entailed to the heirs male of
his body.[818] Bedford and the Cardinal both took their places in
Parliament, and on the 13th the former addressed the House, saying that
he had learnt that he had been falsely accused of treachery, and that
the English reverses in France were attributed to his neglect. As
Beaufort had done before him, he asked that he might be confronted with
his accusers.[819] On what authority Bedford made this statement we
cannot tell, whether he really had reason to suspect treachery on the
part of his brother, or whether it was merely the machinations of the
Cardinal, who had poured into his nephew's ear some invention of his
own, that induced him to make this protest, it is impossible to say. The
striking similarity of the method to that which Beaufort had adopted
would support the second supposition. It was not the first time that the
Bishop of Winchester had implanted distrust of Humphrey in Bedford's
mind to serve his own purposes.

Whatever prompted the protest, it had no further effect than to satisfy
Bedford's honour, for he was assured by the Chancellor that no report
such as he spoke of had reached the ears of the Duke of Gloucester, the
Council, or even the King himself, who regarded his uncle as his
faithful and true liege.[820] Bedford was not satisfied, and, prompted
by Beaufort, he brought his influence to bear on the officials of the
Crown. Lord Scrope was compelled to yield his place to Lord Cromwell,
whilst the Earl of Suffolk supplanted Sir Robert Babthorp as Steward of
the Household;[821] changes which implied the substitution of men of the
Beaufort faction, who had been warned against turbulence only a year
ago, for men who were known supporters of Gloucester and his policy.
Under Bedford's guidance, however, Cromwell threw himself with energy
into the work of his new office, and proceeded to collect statistics
concerning the finances of the kingdom, which were in a very bad
condition. Meanwhile Parliament was prorogued through fear of an attack
of the plague till October 13.[822]

Once again Bedford had come over to England to check his brother's
power, and it is more than probable that he had been instigated to take
this course by Beaufort, who however was this time too cunning to commit
to paper his appeal for help to the Regent of France. There was no
obvious excuse for this interference. The country was not suffering from
the rule of Gloucester, and therefore it is the more likely that it was
only the Bishop of Winchester's diminished power that caused this
intervention. Beaufort had been much abroad of late, and had had ample
opportunity to poison Bedford's mind against his brother, and the
latter's complaint in Parliament, coupled with the removal of all
Gloucester's friends from office, seems to show that some underhand
influence was at work. Strong man though he was, Bedford was unable to
grasp all the varied aspects of English politics. He knew his brother to
be ambitious and unsteady, but he did not realise that to curb his power
was to make him far more dangerous than when in a position of trust.
Beaufort was his banker and the source of the money with which he
conducted the French war; Beaufort had the gilded tongue of the wily
ecclesiastic, and so his suggestion that Gloucester in power spelt
anarchy at home and disaster abroad found a ready listener. Defeated in
his aims, the Bishop of Winchester reverted to his old policy of sowing
discord between the two Lancastrian brothers so as to advance himself,
and he continued this policy as long as Bedford was in England.

When Parliament met again, the Commons insisted that the Lords should
sign a declaration against the maintenance of criminals. Bedford and
Gloucester both appended their signatures to this declaration,[823] but
there was a prevalent opinion that there was a still better method of
ensuring peace and quietness in the kingdom. The presence of Bedford in
England was felt as a quieting influence, and the turbulence of the
nobles was kept in check by the one strong man of his age.[824] He
alone of the great men of the time stood aloof from the party strife
which surrounded the throne of Henry VI. In all her troubles England
looked to the one man who would not play for his own hand, and who put
the safety, honour, and welfare of the country before any personal


It was because they realised this fact that the Commons declared in a
petition presented to the King on November 24, that the Duke of Bedford
was too precious to the kingdom to be allowed to return to France. The
country had been so well governed and so quiet since his return, that in
the hope of continued peace they desired above all things that he should
remain at the head of affairs. To this petition the King replied by
ordering the Chancellor to summon Gloucester, Beaufort, the Archbishops
of Canterbury and York, and certain other Lords to discuss the matter,
and their report induced the King to request Bedford to remain in
England.[825] This request and the action of the Commons must have been
gratifying to Bedford, and he was too great a statesman not to realise
the significance of the position thus offered to him. He saw that
England was divided into two camps, that on one side stood the Beaufort
interest, and on the other those who supported Gloucester; he saw that
it was impossible for either of these two parties to govern the kingdom
quietly and well, for the most honest intentions would be thwarted by
the factious opposition of the party not in power, and hampered by the
necessity of guarding against attack. Looking back over the eleven years
of the reign, short periods of comparative peace might certainly be
found, but they were times when the preponderance of Gloucester in the
affairs of the kingdom was undisputed, and when the Cardinal was posing
as a soldier-priest in the Hussite crusade, or devoting his energies to
one of his many other interests. No prolonged quiet was possible whilst
all political England was divided into two distinct and militant
parties, and it was evident to a man of Bedford's clear understanding,
that some one uninfluenced by these storms must guide the ship of state
through the troubled waters in which she found herself. So to the
petition of the Commons and the request of the King Bedford gave answer,
that he was the King's servant in all things, and entirely at his

On the following day Bedford, in view of the low state of the finances
of the kingdom, agreed to accept an income of £l000 a year as Chief
Councillor, with a provision of £500 for every journey to and from
France,[827] and Gloucester hastened to follow suit, accepting £1000 in
lieu of the five thousand marks (£3333, 6s. 8d.) which he was then
receiving.[828] The lead thus given was followed by others who
voluntarily resigned their incomes, for the detailed report that Lord
Cromwell had presented to Parliament had shown a heavy deficit.[829]
These financial straits cannot be ascribed to maladministration, but
rather to the parsimony of Parliament, which by an annual grant of a
fifteenth could have placed the finances of the kingdom on a sure
footing.[830] Some attempt at organisation was made by appointing a
commission of revenue, whereby Bedford, Gloucester, and certain other
lords, including Beaufort and others named, were to examine the books of
the King's revenue, and to arrange how the yearly charges were to be
borne and the debts paid, and to whom preference in payment was to be


Having arranged his salary as Chief Councillor, Bedford proceeded to lay
down the conditions under which he would consent to carry on the
government of the kingdom. They were agreed to by Parliament, and it is
interesting to note the degree of power which he thought necessary for
himself, if he were to be able to govern the kingdom successfully. He
desired to know the names of those who would be chosen to serve on the
standing council, and stipulated that without his consent and that of
the Council none of them should be removed, thereby demonstrating that
he would not be content to be merely one of the Councillors with prior
rank, a position which when taken up by Humphrey was regarded with
suspicion by his contemporaries, and decried as self-seeking by later
historians. By insisting that he should be consulted, wherever he might
chance to be, on such matters as the calling of Parliament and the
appointment of bishoprics,[832] he showed that he desired a hold on the
government, which in Humphrey's case would have been dismissed as an
attempt to influence the elections, and to pack the episcopal Bench with
his supporters. Bedford saw that conciliar government was not what the
country needed, and while respecting the feelings of Councillors, he
insisted on a preponderance for himself in the councils of the nation.
We have no evidence beyond the well-known ambition of his character that
Gloucester desired more than this, though owing to the opposition he
encountered he had to invoke more questionable means of gaining his ends
than a mere demand laid before Parliament.

       *       *       *       *       *

When Parliament was dissolved, the King went to spend Christmas at the
Abbey of St. Edmund at Bury, and probably Gloucester accompanied him. At
all events, when Henry returned thither for the Feast of the
Purification, and spent the whole of the Lenten season at the Abbey, we
find that Humphrey was there during the Easter celebrations, and that
when the time came to return to London, he and other nobles asked to be
admitted into the Fraternity. The request was gladly granted, and before
he left the monastery the King was induced by his uncle to repay the
Abbot for the expenses incurred in entertaining him and his suite.[833]


Through all this time Gloucester had had no outlet for his energies, for
with his brother in possession of the government he had neither the
cares of office nor the excitement of opposition, so he turned his
attention to matters outside England, and began to evolve theories on
the conduct of the war in France. In a great Council held in the
Parliament Chamber at Westminster on a Saturday in April[834] he made
some observations on this subject, and Bedford, taking offence at what
his brother had said, demanded that it should be put into writing. This
accordingly was done, and on the following Monday it was read in full
Council, and provoked Bedford to demand a copy for himself, as he
considered that certain statements therein affected his honour; he added
that at a fit time he would declare his sentiments before the King and
the whole Council.[835] Gloucester's remarks seem to have contained an
offer, which he had also committed to writing, to serve the King in
France under certain unrecorded conditions, and the Council considered
the proposition. On May 5, however, they decided on the impracticability
of the suggestion, adding, however, that had it been possible, it would
have been most desirable. After great discussion the lords, knights, and
squires of the great Council had decided that the forty-eight or fifty
thousand pounds necessary for the undertaking could not be raised in so
short a time, especially as the commissioners lately appointed to raise
a loan in the shires had reported that no one was ready to lend, and as
the Treasurer, who of course would favour no scheme of Humphrey's,
declared the finances to be in a very bad state. They went on to say
that a rumour was abroad that Bedford and Gloucester had offered to
carry out the proposed expedition in such a way that neither 'taille nor
talliage' would have to be raised for many years, and that the great
Council had ignored this offer. If such a procedure were possible, they
would be only too pleased to consider it, if Gloucester would lay it
before them, and they concluded with a request that the King should
order the Chancellor to consult with Gloucester as to whether the people
of the land should be called 'in form accustomed to discuss the

It would seem from this that Humphrey, with his large ideas and his
imperfect grasp of the details that alone make a scheme possible, had
propounded a plan which it was impossible to carry out, though we must
not therefore suppose that he had not an honest intention of serving the
King in France whilst his brother governed at home. The impracticability
of the idea does not, in Humphrey's case, prove a lack of genuine
intention, for he was a man who lived with great ideas, the essentials
of which he was incapable of understanding or of carrying out. Quite
unwittingly, in all probability, he had offended his brother by his
suggestion, and it is not unlikely that in view of the disastrous course
of the war Bedford was rather sore on the question of its conduct, and
looked on every suggestion of the new procedure as a slight on himself.
It is, of course, also possible that Humphrey was deliberately trying to
annoy his brother, and to discredit his policy. There is, however,
nothing to support this theory, save the Duke's known factiousness. It
is quite likely that he desired some new outlet for his energies, now
that the government was in the hands of a man whose prior claims he had
never denied, and there is nothing in the past relations of the two to
suggest that bad blood had ever before risen between them.

The quarrel which originated in the scheme was not laid to rest by the
latter's rejection by the Council, and Humphrey probably considered the
refusal to accept it as instigated by his brother. On May 7, therefore,
he appeared in Council at a meeting held in the palace of the Bishop of
Durham, and desired that the observations that he had committed to
writing might be returned to him, a request which was granted, and the
next day Bedford sent in a written reply to Gloucester's remarks. These
were read in full Council by the Chancellor, and provoked a reply from
Gloucester, who in his turn asked for a copy of Bedford's answer, and
for a day to be appointed for his retort. On the advice of the Council,
however, the King declared that the matter must not proceed further, and
taking the statements of both parties in his hands, he declared them
null and void, saying, that in neither was there anything prejudicial to
the honour of either Duke, and that he considered them both to be his
affectionate uncles. The incident was thus closed, both Bedford and
Gloucester agreeing to sign the decision.[837]


This unfortunate misunderstanding came almost at the end of Bedford's
stay in England. He had already made up his mind to return to the scenes
of his former labours, for he could not stand by and see the kingdom
that Henry V. had won pass out of English hands, without doing his
utmost to prevent it. On June 20 he took leave of the Council,[838] and
shortly after left England for the last time.[839] His life's work was
done. Burgundy, who had been an unsatisfactory ally for many years past,
was drawing closer and closer to the French King, and the Pope, having
brought his influence to bear on the contending parties, induced them to
hold a European Congress at Arras in August 1435.[840] In spite of the
conciliatory offers of the French, Beaufort and the other English
delegates based their demands on the Treaty of Troyes--at this stage of
the war an absurdly impossible attitude--and, perceiving that a
Burgundian alliance with France was inevitable, they left the Congress
on September 5.[841] This alliance was completed by the end of the
month,[842] but not before Bedford's death on September 14.[843]

With the death of Bedford and the defection of Burgundy, even the most
shadowy hope of retaining his hold on France passed from the King of
England, and the claims, first raised by Edward III., and resuscitated
by Henry V., were to end in the disaster which had been inevitable from
the first. Of all the men to whom Henry of Monmouth had confided the
care of his son and of his kingdom, Bedford alone was worthy of his
implicit trust. He had fought an uphill and impossible fight in France,
and on two occasions he had turned his attention to the internal affairs
of England. He had played a difficult rôle with as much success as was
to be expected, and we can only guess at what might have been the
destiny of England had it secured his undivided attention. Had he been
settled in England as Protector, his power would doubtless have been
less than on the occasions when he came to readjust the balance of
parties in 1426 and 1433, for he would not then have received the
support of the Beaufort faction, which only looked on him as a useful
tool to use when Gloucester's ascendency became too secure. At his death
the one steadying and exterior influence in English politics was gone,
and the party strife, which had been the curse of England for the last
thirteen years, pursued its course unhindered.

From the time of the death of Bedford and the Treaty of Arras onwards a
change comes over the internal politics of England. Hitherto the war in
France had been carried on by the French Regent almost without reference
to the authorities at home, and questions of foreign policy had not made
their way into the bickerings of Beaufort and Gloucester. But now that
the strong hand in France was removed, and the defection of the Duke of
Burgundy had at last become definite, it was impossible for the Council,
in the face of both occurrences, to ignore any longer the fact that the
country was at war. This was emphasised by the appearance of Burgundian
envoys in London, who came to announce the peace made between the Duke
of Burgundy and Charles of France, and to seek to procure peace with
England also.[844] The country in general was too angry with the Duke to
realise the advantages of his neutrality. His envoys therefore were
denied the privileges of their position, their peace propositions were
scouted by the Council, and they were not even vouchsafed a definite
answer.[845] Both Beaufort and Gloucester emphasised their objections to
peace with Burgundy, and the Treasurer pointed out what he considered to
be the insulting omission of the title 'souverain seigneur' in
addressing the King.[846] In Parliament, which met on October 10, the
Chancellor, John Stafford, delivered a virulent attack on Burgundian
policy, and the assembly was induced to agree readily enough to the
continued prosecution of the war, and to the inclusion of the Duke of
Burgundy among the King's enemies.[847] Council and Parliament
therefore, led by both Beaufort and Gloucester as well as by the rest of
the royal officers, threw down the gauntlet to Burgundy, and it is well
to remember this when in the light of subsequent events we find
Gloucester attacked for leading the nation to war at this time.[848]


The death of Bedford naturally increased Humphrey's strength in the
kingdom. He now stood next in succession to the throne as
heir-presumptive to his young nephew, and he was freed from the
domination of a superior authority, to which in time of need his enemies
could appeal. His influence may be traced in the appointment of the Duke
of York to the command in France. Hitherto this Duke had not been seen
in English politics, being at this time only twenty-four years old, but
he had been brought into close contact with Humphrey, who had been
granted the administration of his land during his minority, and whose
good name he championed later in life. At this time men looked to the
Duke of Gloucester as the chief man in England, and it was to him that
the Bishop of Bayeux addressed himself when begging for help for the
distressed Duchy of Normandy.[849]

Such being Gloucester's position, it was natural that he should receive
some of the offices and responsibilities vacated by his brother. His
former idea of taking the command in France was not resuscitated, as he
doubtless wished to guard his interests at home, but on November 1 he
succeeded Bedford as Lieutenant of the King in the town, marches, and
castle of Calais, to which were added the regions of Picardy, Flanders,
and Artois. The appointment bore civil as well as military obligations,
and was a challenge to the Duke of Burgundy in that certain of his
territories were included in the grant.[850] Calais itself was an
important command quite apart from strategic reasons. It was the town
where the wool staple was established, though this was a fact of
declining importance; more than this, it was regarded as the safeguard
of English trade, for so long as England kept the command of the narrow
seas between Dover and Calais, she might rule the world's commerce, as
all trade from north to south had to pass that way.[851] Besides the
government of Calais, Gloucester received another of Bedford's
possessions when on November 23 the Council presented him with the
islands of Jersey and Guernsey, in exchange for which Humphrey resigned
the annuity of five hundred marks, given to him by Henry V. for himself
and his heirs until lands of an equal value should be given him.[852]


For a time the political quarrels of the two factions were silenced by
their common anger at the desertion of Burgundy and by the pre-eminence
of Gloucester in the kingdom. Two instances of his preponderance
appeared in the following year, when his wife Eleanor received her first
public recognition as Duchess of Gloucester by being provided with robes
of the Order of the Garter wherewith to keep the Feast of St. George at
Windsor,[853] and when in the May following the Duke of Orleans was
transferred from the custody of the Earl of Suffolk, who had been
ordered to France, to that of Sir Reginald de Cobham, Gloucester's
father-in-law.[854] Matters other than those of home politics, however,
were to occupy Gloucester in the near future. Early in June it was known
in London that Burgundy had begun hostilities, and was advancing against
Calais, and preparations were hurriedly made to save the city which
Englishmen cherished above all their other possessions in France. Orders
were given for the preparation of supplies and munitions of war for the
garrison, and provisions for an army which was being mustered to serve
under Gloucester.[855] The Earl of Huntingdon was commissioned to raise
men to accompany the expedition,[856] the Cardinal was induced to lend
nine thousand marks to defray the costs, armourers and victuallers were
forbidden to raise their prices in view of the demand on their wares,
and all men who wished to serve under Gloucester were ordered to be at
Sandwich by the 22nd of July.[857] Delays, however, were inevitable, and
it was not till the 27th that Gloucester received his special commission
as Lieutenant-General of the army going to the defence of Calais,
followed three days later by a writ conferring on him the County of
Flanders.[858] By the 2nd of August all things were ready, and on that
day he transported his army in five hundred ships from Winchester to

Humphrey had been retained to serve the King, with one Duke besides
himself, two Earls, eleven Barons, twenty-three Knights, four hundred
and fifteen men-at-arms, and four thousand and forty-five archers,[860]
but the full number of his army when joined by the retinue of the Duke
of Norfolk and the Earls of Huntingdon, Devon, Stafford, and
Warwick[861] who accompanied him, is uncertain. The chroniclers estimate
the strength of the army variously between ten thousand and sixty
thousand men,[862] of which the lowest figure is probably nearer the
truth, since it was given by one who himself saw the army,[863] and at
such short notice it would have been impossible to raise a force in any
way approaching the larger estimate.

When Gloucester reached Calais he found the siege already raised.
Burgundy with thirty thousand men[864] had invested the place on July
9,[865] but from the first the valiant defenders, under their captain,
Sir John Radcliffe,[866] had had the best of the encounter. An attempt
to obstruct the harbour failed, and a blockade was out of the
question,[867] so the besieged were able to supply themselves with every
necessity from the sea,[868] a state of affairs which encouraged them to
make several sorties, and to capture a bastion raised against them and
held by the men of Ghent.[869] The majority of Burgundy's army consisted
of raw Flemish levies, who were constantly in a state of
insubordination,[870] and their discontent increased when the Earl of
Huntingdon and Lord Camoys relieved the garrison with troops levied for
the French war.[871] Moreover, the further reinforcements with
Gloucester were expected, for the Duke had sent a challenge to his old
enemy, calling on him to do battle before Calais, though excusing
himself from fixing a date as wind and weather could not be reckoned
on.[872] However, when news came that their approach was imminent, the
Flemings incontinently broke up their camp and fled leaving stores and
guns as prizes for the enemy.[873]

          'For they had very knowyng
          Off the duk off Gloceters cumyng,
                Caleys to rescue.'[874]

And another rhymer tells how

          'Ffor fere they turned backe and hyede feste;
          Mi lorde of Gloucestre made hem so agaste
          Wyth his commynge.'[875]

[Illustration: THE SIEGE OF CALAIS IN 1436.
               _From a Drawing._]

It was a bitter pill for Duke Philip to be compelled to follow his
disorderly troops, fleeing as he did before the man whom above all
others he had learned to hate, and whom he had boldly promised to meet
in arms before the city.[876]


Gloucester had declared through his herald that, if Burgundy were not
before Calais to meet him, he would pursue him,[877] and on hearing that
the Duke had retired to Lille, and had fortified the border
fortresses,[878] he prepared to fulfil his word. Leaving Calais on
August 3,[879] he advanced to Merck in the neighbourhood of Oge, and
there spent the night in the fields, passing on the next day to the
neighbourhood of Gravelines.[880] On August 6 he crossed over into
Flanders, even as he had done nearly twenty years before to meet John
the Fearless in midstream, and led his army to Mardyke, which was
pillaged and burned. The reason for thus making for the coast may have
been to open communications with the fleet, which had been ordered to
cruise off the coast of Flanders and to co-operate with the invading
army, but the sailors, unsupported by men-at-arms on board, feared to
encounter a hostile fleet, and put back into the harbour of Calais.[881]
Unable, therefore, to draw supplies from the fleet, Gloucester turned
due south, and marched inland, meeting with no resistance,[882] but
followed by a detachment from Gravelines, which sought to pick off
stragglers and to take the invaders unawares. The excellent order kept
by the invaders thwarted their plans, and the detachment returned to

Meanwhile Gloucester pursued his way to Bailleul, burning everything as
he went,[883] and throwing out a part of his troops under the Earl of
Huntingdon to take and sack Poperinghes on his left.[884] Arrived at
Bailleul, he lodged outside the walls, at the Abbey of St. Anthony,
which was spared, though the town where his men lay and the surrounding
country were utterly devastated. Retracing his steps from this point, he
picked up the detachment under Huntingdon at Poperinghes, where much
booty had been secured, and passing by Neu-Châtel, he burnt Rimesture
and Valon-Chapelle, then entering Artois he met with some slight
resistance. Skirmishes were fought round Arques and Blandesques, till
the army reached St. Omer, burning and harrying all that came in its
way, so that Duke Philip from his refuge at Lille could see the light of
the fires on the horizon, though he was quite powerless to help those
who cried to him for aid, as the soldiers he had summoned had not yet

The English did not penetrate into the town of St. Omer, as it was
securely held, but Gloucester lodged at the Abbey of Blandesques
outside the walls, whilst his men were encamped along the banks of the
river Aa, where Waurin himself saw them, when he stole out from
Gravelines on the night of August 15.[886] Some attempt was made to
harass the invaders as they lay here, and the captains both of St. Omer
and Arques tried to pick off the stragglers, but with little success,
for Gloucester was so careful that he could not be taken by surprise. On
the morning of August 15 the English moved on with care for fear of
ambushes,[887] and having met with somewhat more determined resistance
than they had hitherto experienced from the captains of Tournehem,
Espreleques, and Bredenaide, they found their way to Guisnes somewhat
distressed by a sickness caused by a lack of bread.[888] Everywhere the
supporters of Burgundy had been pillaged, and large herds of cattle and
other booty had fallen into the hands of the soldiers, but so distressed
were the latter for the lack of bread, that to some women, who presented
them with a little, they gave large herds of cattle, which, by reason of
the bands of the enemy that followed behind them, were more an
encumbrance than an advantage.[889] At Calais Gloucester was received
with joy, and, having rested his men a while, about August 24 he
recrossed the Channel with much booty, leaving his prisoners behind in
safe keeping.

On landing the troops were dismissed, and Humphrey proceeded to London,
where he was given a great reception,[890] for he had struck a heavy
blow at the prosperity of the Burgundian territories, and the anger felt
by the English against their recent ally was appeased when they thought
of Gloucester's expedition, and how

          'In Flanders he soght hem fer and ner,
          That ever they may yt rew.'[891]

Though, we cannot look on this devastating campaign of Gloucester's as a
great military achievement, yet it is not necessary to dismiss it with
the contempt it has received on the authority of the rhyming chronicler:

          'The protectour with his flete at Calys then
          Did lande, and rode in Flaunders a little waye,
          And little did to counte a manly man.'[892]

We have the evidence of an eye-witness to prove the skill with which he
protected his men from falling victims to the enemy's bands, and the
strict discipline which he kept in his ranks. Even if it was but for a
short time that he defied the Duke of Burgundy, we must not forget that
his men were only enlisted for a month's service,[893] and that they
were probably raw recruits, since the experienced soldiers had all gone
to make up the contingents of York and Mortain. Nay more, as it is
unfair to blame Gloucester for the nature of this campaign, so it is
equally unfair to blame him for allowing the Earl of Mortain to relieve
Calais before him.[894] His preparations had only been begun after the
news of the investment of Calais had reached England. His commission was
signed on July 27, and he was in Calais on August 3. On the other hand,
the Earl had been preparing his troops as far back as the previous
October, and was naturally quite ready to take the offensive after so
long a period of preparation. Humphrey was not a great general, but,
within the restricted limits of such a commission as this, there was no
other captain in England who could have excelled him.


  [749] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 337; Rymer, IV. iv. 151.

  [750] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 338.

  [751] _Ibid._, iv. 350.

  [752] 8 _Henry VI._, c. 7; _Statutes_, ii. 243.

  [753] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 343, 344.

  [754] _Ordinances_, iv. 35-38; _Rot. Parl._, v. 416-418.

  [755] _Rot. Parl._, v. 415.

  [756] _Ordinances_, iv. 12; Devon, _Issue Roll_, p. 44.

  [757] _St. Albans Chron._, i. 48-50; _Rot. Parl._, v. 415.

  [758] Rymer, IV. iv. 159.

  [759] _Ibid._, IV. iv. 160. The commission was approved in Council
         on April 21. Ordinances, iv. 40, 41.

  [760] _Eng. Chron._, 54; _Cal. of French Rolls_, Rep. 48, App. 273.

  [761] _Ordinances_, iv. 16.

  [762] _Ibid._, iv. 53, 73-75.

  [763] _Ibid._, iv. 68; see also Polydore Vergil, 46.

  [764] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 367.

  [765] _Ordinances_, iv. 79.

  [766] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 371.

  [767] Polydore Vergil, 45.

  [768] Devon, _Issue Roll_, 413.

  [769] _St. Albans Chron._, i. 63. The petition is printed in the
         Appendix to _St. Albans Chron._, i. 453-457.

  [770] Cotton MS., Julius, B. ii. ff. 61-63vo; Walsingham, _Hist.
         Angl._, ii. 282, 283; Redmayne, 24, 25.

  [771] Capgrave, _De Illustribus Henricis_, 121.

  [772] _Eng. Chron._, 54.

  [773] May 17.

  [774] Cotton MS., Cleopatra, C. iv. f. 37; _St. Albans Chron._, i.
         63, 64; _Ordinances_, iv. 107; Devon, _Issue Roll_, 415;
         Ellis, _Original Letters_, 2nd Series, i. 104, 105; William
         of Worcester, 455, 456; Cotton MS., Vitellius, A. xvi. f.

  [775] _St. Albans Chron._, i. 61.

  [776] Devon, _Issue Roll_, 412; _Ordinances_, iv. 91. Gloucester
         also sent one of the judges to put an end to the rebels round
         Kenilworth and Coventry; _ibid._, iv. 89.

  [777] Cotton MS., Cleopatra, C. iv. ff. 36vo, 37vo.

  [778] Henry was crowned at Paris on December 11, 1431; _Chron. Henry
         VI._, 13.

  [779] _Ordinances_, iv. 100, 101; Rymer, IV. iv. 174, 175.

  [780] Cotton MS., Cleopatra, C. iv. f. 35.

  [781] _Ordinances_, iv. 101; Rymer, IV. iv. 175.

  [782] _Ordinances_, iv. 8.

  [783] _Ibid._, iv. 105.

  [784] _Ibid._, iv. 104; Devon, _Issue Roll_, 414, 415.

  [785] Devon, _Issue Roll_, 412.

  [786] _Ordinances_, iv. 104-106; Devon, _Issue Roll_, 414, 415.

  [787] _Rot. Parl._ iv. 424.

  [788] _Chron. Henry VI._, 13.

  [789] _Chron. Henry VI._, 13. The entry into London is described in
         a poem by Lydgate printed at the end of the _London
         Chronicle_, 235-248. A prose account is to be found in
         Delpit, _Doc. Fr._, pp. 244-248, No. CCCLXXXII., giving the
         date as February 20. Cf. Fabyan, 603-607.

  [790] _Rot. Parl._, v. 433.

  [791] Rymer, IV. iv. 176.

  [792] _Ibid._, IV. iv. 177.

  [793] _Ordinances_, iv. 112.

  [794] Ramsay, i. 439.

  [795] See Gloucester's indictment of Cardinal Beaufort below, p.

  [796] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 389.

  [797] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 390, 391.

  [798] _Ibid._, iv. 391.

  [799] _Ibid._, iv. 391.

  [800] _Ibid._, iv. 392.

  [801] See _Ordinances_, iv. 238.

  [802] So Stubbs, iii. 115, copied by Ramsay, i. 441.

  [803] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 392.

  [804] He had been dismissed for 'certain reasons' not specified. See
         Rymer, IV. iv. 177.

  [805] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 392. See also _Miscellaneous Rolls_, Bundle
         xix. No. 3.

  [806] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 396.

  [807] _Ordinances_, iv. 136-138.

  [808] De Beaucourt, ii. 462.

  [809] _Ordinances_, iv. 158.

  [810] _Cal. of French Rolls_, Rep. 48, App. 290.

  [811] Rymer, IV. iv. 194; Gregory, 176.

  [812] Monstrelet, 666.

  [813] _Ibid._, 673; _Lond. Chron._, 120; Leland, _Collectanea_, i.
         491; Polydore Vergil, 47.

  [814] Devon, _Issue Roll_, 425.

  [815] Stevenson, _Letters and Papers_, ii. 417, 418. This document,
         which is undated, is put under the year 1428 by the editor,
         though no reason is assigned for so doing. The fact that
         Beaufort is alluded to as a cardinal, and the mention of
         Bedford, confines the possible date of the manifesto within
         1427 and 1435. This was the only occasion between these two
         dates that Gloucester set foot in Calais, where this document
         was signed.

  [816] Rymer, IV. iv. 194.

  [817] _Lond. Chron._, 120.

  [818] _Cal. Rot. Pat._, 277; G. E. C., _Peerage_, iv. 44.

  [819] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 420.

  [820] _Ibid._, iv. 420.

  [821] _Ordinances_, iv. 175.

  [822] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 420.

  [823] _Rot. Parl._, vi. 422.

  [824] See the evidence of a contemporary; _Chron. Henry VI._, 14.

  [825] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 423.

  [826] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 423.

  [827] _Ibid._, iv. 424.

  [828] _Ordinances_, iv. 186.

  [829] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 132-139.

  [830] See Stubbs, iii. 117, 118.

  [831] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 439.

  [832] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 424.

  [833] _Register of Abbot Curteys_, part of which is printed in
         _Archæologia_ for the year 1806, vol. xv. pp. 66-71.

  [834] Probably April 24, the last Saturday in the month.

  [835] _Ordinances_, iv. 210, 211.

  [836] _Ordinances_, iv. 213-215.

  [837] _Ordinances_, iv. 211-213.

  [838] _Ibid._, iv. 243-247.

  [839] His quarrel with Gloucester never seems to have been made up,
         for in his will, made in 1435, the name of his brother does
         not once appear, and the chief executors were the Archbishop
         of York and Beaufort--two of Gloucester's most determined
         opponents. _Testamenta Vetusta_, i. 242.

  [840] English envoys were appointed July 20, 1435; _Cal. of French
         Rolls_, Rep. 43, App. 306.

  [841] Waurin, iv. 69-84.

  [842] _Ibid._, iv. 84, 85.

  [843] _Chron. Henry VI._, 15.

  [844] Waurin, iv. 94, 95.

  [845] _Ibid._, iv. 96-101.

  [846] _Ibid._, iv. 97, 98.

  [847] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 481.

  [848] Ramsay, i. 475.

  [849] _Beckington Correspondence_, i. 209-294.

  [850] Rymer, IV. i. 23; Carte, ii. 285; _Cal. of French Rolls_, Rep.
         48, App. 306, 307. Parliament agreed to Gloucester's
         indentures for the command on October 29; _Rot. Parl._, iv.
         483, 484.

  [851] 'Libel of English Policy,' _Political Songs_, ii. 157-205.

  [852] _Ordinances_, v. 5.

  [853] Beltz, p. ccxxiii.

  [854] Rymer, V. i. 36.

  [855] _Cal. of French Rolls_, Rep. 48, App. 313.

  [856] Rymer, V. i. 31. _Cal. of French Rolls_, Rep. 48, App. 322,
         calls it 1438.

  [857] Rymer, V. i. 32.

  [858] _Cal. of French Rolls_, Rep. 48, App. 134; Carte, ii. 289;
         Rymer, V. i. 34; _Lords' Reports_, v. 234.

  [859] _London Chron._, 122, 172; _Short English Chron._, 62; Fabyan,
         610. Gregory, 179, gives July 26, and is followed by Holkham
         MS., p. 37--obviously the mistake of a week. Cotton MS.,
         Cleopatra, C. iv. f. 53vo, gives July 27.

  [860] Stevenson, _Letters and Papers_, ii. xlix.

  [861] _Brief English Chron._, 63; _Chron. Henry VI._, 16. The Earl
         of Devonshire is included only in _Lond. Chron._, 122, but
         his indenture survives.

  [862] Ten thousand, Waurin, iv. 200; Monstrelet, 473: fifteen
         thousand, Basin, i. 130: forty thousand, Gregory, 179: sixty
         thousand, Rede's _Chron._, Rawlinson MS., C. 398; _Brief
         Latin Chron._, 165: fifty thousand, William of Worcester,
         458. The payments in the Issue Roll printed in Stevenson,
         _Letters and Papers_, ii. pp. xlix _seq._, give Gloucester's
         retinue as 4497 men, and those of the lords who accompanied
         him as 4132, in all 8629 men. This approximates to the 10,000

  [863] Waurin. See his _Chronicle_, iv. 185, 201.

  [864] Waurin, iv. 160. Fourteen thousand exclusive of camp-followers
         and two or three thousand Picards, etc., Basin, i. 126, 127.
         Fifty thousand men, _Chron. Henry VI._, 15.

  [865] _Lond. Chron._, 121.

  [866] _Engl. Chron._, 55.

  [867] Waurin, iv. 176-178.

  [868] _Ibid._, iv. 171.

  [869] _Ibid._, iv. 175-180; Basin, i. 128.

  [870] Waurin, iv. 172, 173; Monstrelet, 740.

  [871] Rede's _Chron._, Rawlinson MS., C. 398; _Brief Latin Chron._,
         165; _Chron. Henry VI._, 16; _Engl. Chron._, 55; Hardyng,

  [872] Waurin, iv. 173, 174.

  [873] _Ibid._, iv. 186-188; Basin, i. 128, 129; Gregory, 179;
         Fabyan, 610, 611.

  [874] Contemporary ballad on Siege of Calais; _Political Songs_, ii.

  [875] 'The Libel of English Policy,' written before 1437; _Political
         Songs_, ii. 170.

  [876] Waurin, iv. 174; Monstrelet, 738. A good account of the siege
         by an eye-witness is found in a poem entitled 'The Siege of
         Calais,' _Political Songs_, ii. 151-156.

  [877] Monstrelet, 738; Waurin, iv. 173.

  [878] Basin, i. 130; Waurin, iv. 192.

  [879] Monstrelet, 743, says next day to landing, _i.e._ August 3.
         Gregory, 179, and Cotton MS., Cleopatra, C. iv. f. 53vo, say
         he rested Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Calais, and started
         on the Monday, _i.e._ the fourth day after landing. _London
         Chron._, 122, however, says that Gloucester crossed the river
         at Gravelines on the fourth day after coming over, which
         would not prevent his having left Calais on August 3, and
         that he only entered Flanders on August 6. William of
         Worcester, 458, also gives August 6 as the day of entry into
         Flanders. The confusion arises from the divergence of the
         chroniclers as to where the campaign started, and this is
         obvious as William of Worcester gives the campaign as lasting
         nine days (Gloucester was back at Guisnes on August 15),
         whereas others compute it at eleven or twelve days, counting
         in the time spent between Calais and Gravelines. _Brief Latin
         Chron._, 165; _Chron. Henry VI._, 16; _London Chron._, 122.
         _Short Engl. Chron._, 62, gives August 13 as the day of
         leaving Calais.

  [880] _Short English Chron._, 62.

  [881] Waurin, iv. 201; _Short Engl. Chron._, 62.

  [882] Monstrelet, 743.

  [883] Waurin, iv. 201, 202. Waurin himself marched out from

  [884] _Brief Latin Chron._, 165.

  [885] Waurin, iv. 203; Monstrelet, 743.

  [886] Waurin, iv. 204. He gives the day as 'Nostre Dame de
         Septembre,' _i.e._ the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, September
         8. It is obviously a mistake for the Assumption in August.
         Gloucester was back in England in September; _Brief Latin
         Chron._, 165.

  [887] Waurin, iv. 204, 205.

  [888] Monstrelet, 743.

  [889] _Ibid._

  [890] Waurin, iv. 205, 206; _Brief Latin Chron._, 165.

  [891] Contemporary ballad; _Political Songs_, ii. 156.

  [892] Hardyng, 396. Cf. Ramsay, i. 488.

  [893] See Issue Roll printed in Stevenson's _Letters and Papers_,
         ii. p. xlix.

  [894] Cf. Stubbs, iii. 123.



The expedition to Calais and Flanders was the last military enterprise
undertaken by the Duke of Gloucester, indeed the active part of his life
abruptly ends with his return to England. Hitherto there had been no
question of public policy which had not attracted his attention, his
boundless restlessness had made his biography the mirror of the English
history of his time. Henceforth, however, the habits of his life undergo
a change, the last stage of his career has been reached. With all the
limitations put upon him, and with all the opposition he had
encountered, he had always maintained a position of importance in the
kingdom, and the national policy had at all times been largely under his
influence. In spite of his inconsistency of method he had never relaxed
his attempts to dominate all who came in his way, but now his energies
in this direction seem to slacken. His character does not alter, but his
struggles, like those of a dying man, became more intermittent, and in
spite of occasional bursts of energy, his interests were not chiefly
confined to matters political. That this sudden change was entirely due
to a loss of physical power is hardly likely; it is possible that with
his usual impetuosity he had devoted himself to other pursuits, and that
politics no longer occupied the prominent place in his thoughts that
they had hitherto enjoyed.

On his return to England Gloucester rested from his labours, and
together with his Duchess went down to his house at Greenwich. They both
received New-Year's gifts from the King. To Gloucester was given 'a
tabulet of gold with an image of oure Ladye hanging by three cheynes,'
whereon were six imitation diamonds, six sapphires, and one hundred and
sixty-four pearls, whilst his wife's present consisted of a 'brouche
maad in maner of a man garnished with a fayre great ball,' set with five
large pearls, one large diamond, and three 'hangers' adorned with rubies
and pearls--by far the finest and costliest gifts among the numerous
New-Year's presents given on that occasion by the King.[895] The return
of Gloucester did not herald more dissensions in the Council. He was for
the time predominant in the country, and the death of the Queen-Mother
on January 2, 1437, removed one who might have counteracted his
influence with the King.[896] Indeed at one time Catherine had evinced a
desire to marry Edmund Beaufort, Earl of Mortain, but Gloucester,
fearing increased importance would accrue to the Beaufort party thereby,
induced the Council to forbid it. At her death, however, it transpired
that she had not been content to remain single, but had married a simple
gentleman named Owen Tudor, and by him had had three sons and daughters.
Owen was arrested by Gloucester on the strength of the Act which forbade
such a marriage without permission under the penalty of forfeiture of
life and possessions, but he succeeded in making his escape.[897]


Throughout the year 1437 Gloucester's name occasionally appears in
official records as though his influence in the kingdom was
considerable, and a special room was set apart at the end of Westminster
Hall for himself and his council.[898] In Parliament, which met in
January, the Speaker, in declaring the grant of a fifteenth and a
tenth, added some words of strong commendation of his recent action with
regard to Calais, and of his campaign in Flanders,[899] and the Commons
took up the question of the payment of the soldiers at Calais, when the
Duke complained that they were not being paid in accordance with the
indentures under which he held the command of that town.[900]

The session passed without any signs of party strife, and we see little
of Gloucester during the rest of the year. In August both he and his
Duchess attended the funeral of yet another Queen of England, Joan, the
unfortunate second wife of Henry IV.,[901] to whom in the past Humphrey
had shown some courtesy in spite of her virtual imprisonment and
disgrace at Langley. In November he seems to have been at Calais
arranging some matter concerning his command there,[902] and he was
probably not in England when on the thirteenth of the month the King
assumed the government of the kingdom, and appointed his own Council to
advise him. At the head of these Councillors stood Gloucester and
Beaufort, and the former was to draw a salary of two thousand marks a
year for life, other members of the Council receiving payment on a much
lower scale.[903]

The next two years passed by without any signs of internal dissension
among the King's chief Councillors, and the name of the Duke of
Gloucester is not met with frequently during this interval. In March he
was appointed chief guardian of the Truce for nine years with
Scotland,[904] but undoubtedly most of his time was spent in the
collection and study of those rare manuscripts which about this time he
began to give to the University of Oxford.[905] Never consistently
pursuing any particular course of action for long, he had abandoned the
stormy scenes of party politics, never more to enter the lists again
save in a sudden outbreak of energy and anger, yet the one real passion
of his life, interrupted though it had been by his political ambitions,
still remained, and in his retirement he used the lull in the political
tempest to 'study in Bookys of antiquyte,'[906] and to encourage the
advancement of the new learning as it found its way feebly and slowly to

In this retirement, however, Gloucester did not forget that a patron of
letters needs a long purse, and he secured several additions to his
already large possessions. His ferm of the lands of the young Duke of
Norfolk, which he had held since 1432, expired about this time,[907] but
he acquired the Hundred of Wootton and the Manors of Woodstock,
Handborough, Stonesfield, and Wootton, all in the neighbourhood of
Oxford; while in Norfolk he was given the Manor of Stanhoe, situated
near Burnham; near Tunbridge he received the Manors of 'Jevele,'
'Havendencourte,' and Penshurst,[908] at the last of which he spent some
portion of his time amongst his precious books.[909] From this period of
peace Gloucester roused himself in 1440 to protest against a policy
which he considered most injurious to the welfare of the kingdom, and to
stir up the turmoil of party warfare once more by an attack on his old
rival, Cardinal Beaufort.


The opinions of the King's advisers had changed since the days when, in
blind fury after the defection of the Duke of Burgundy at Arras in 1435,
they had determined on war to the death, and it was realised that peace
with France was the only solution of the monetary difficulties of the
King and the universal distress throughout the kingdom. As early as
March 1438 plenipotentiaries to discuss the basis of a peace had been
appointed,[910] and during June, July, and August of the following year
an embassy under Cardinal Beaufort had treated with French envoys under
the mediating supervision of the Duchess of Burgundy. The terms demanded
by the English were ridiculously pretentious, and in spite of
considerable modifications therein, negotiations were broken off; Henry
VI. and his Council could not realise how desperate was the cause of
England in France, and that terms, which would have been humiliating in
the days of Henry V., were now almost generous.[911]

The failure of these negotiations has been unhesitatingly attributed to
Gloucester, but his share in their rejection is by no means proved, and
is chiefly suggested by the facts of his later conduct. Be this as it
may, Beaufort had entirely changed his front, and though he clamoured
with the rest for war in 1435, he now, four years later, was the most
prominent advocate for peace. Gloucester, on the other hand, was the
leader of the party which desired the war to continue, but it is unjust
to jump to the conclusion that it was merely to oppose his old rival
that he adopted this attitude. He, almost alone of those who stood at
the head of the nation, could remember the fleeting glories of the reign
of Henry V., and he naturally could not bring himself to agree to the
surrender of that which he had helped to acquire. To the day of his
death, Bedford had never favoured the withdrawal of the Lancastrian
claim to the throne of France, and his brother, born and bred in the
same school, shared his opinion. The Cardinal, though an older man, had
had no share in the military exploits of his nephew's reign, and had
contented himself with posing as a soldier of Christ in the army which
in the name of religion had fought for the restoration of Sigismund to
his Bohemian throne. He was a politician and, when he liked a
statesman, and his keen insight taught him to apprehend the situation
free from all the prejudices of the men of his own generation. In his
desire for peace he was undoubtedly justified, but this does not condemn
the morality of those who opposed him.

Though he had failed in his first attempt to negotiate, Beaufort was not
the man to despair, and his next step was to urge the release of the
Duke of Orleans, who had been a captive in England ever since the battle
of Agincourt, in the hopes that his mediation might help to bring about
the much-desired peace. There was yet a deeper intention than lay on the
face of this suggestion, for the Duke of Burgundy favoured the scheme,
hoping that Orleans might join the league of Princes which he was trying
to form with the object of limiting Charles VII.'s growing power and
that of his bourgeois officials.[912]


To a man who had seen half France conquered owing to the dissensions of
the French Court this method of crippling England's enemy must have
seemed a chance not to be missed. Whatever the unacknowledged motive of
the project, the question of the moment was the release of Charles of
Orleans, and it was this which brought Humphrey from the seclusion of
his books, once more to mix in the party politics which he had for the
time abandoned. However honest Gloucester's objection to the peace
policy might be, his dislike of his uncle, and the traditions of fifteen
years' faction fight, could not be forgotten; he strongly resented the
position of authority which the recent negotiations had given Beaufort
in the councils of the nation, and his first step towards asserting
himself once more in party politics was to draw up a heavy indictment of
the Cardinal, his policy, and his adherents.[913] He drew up a lengthy
document, in which--probably as a taunt to the Duke of Burgundy--he
styled himself Duke of Gloucester, Holland, Zealand, and Brabant, Earl
of Pembroke, Hainault, and Flanders, and addressed the King with a
warning that some were imposing on his youth, 'in derogation of your
noble estate.' He began his attack by a renewal of the old complaint
that Beaufort had accepted the Cardinal's hat which Henry V., well
knowing his pride and ambition when merely a Bishop, had denied him. He
took his stand on the rights of the see of Canterbury, declaring that
Henry V. would not have objected to one who was not a Bishop becoming a
Cardinal. Though the King might summon a Cardinal to his Council Board,
yet in Parliament he ought to be present merely as a Bishop and in no
other capacity; moreover, the Statute of Provisors had been infringed by
the licence to retain his bishopric obtained by Beaufort from the Pope.
The Cardinal had manoeuvred to get the crown-jewels into his
possession by encouraging the war, and he had secured rights in
Southampton in such a way as to constitute a standing danger and
disgrace to the kingdom. He had procured the release of James of
Scotland without the consent of Parliament, and had turned this to his
advantage by marrying his niece to the Scotch King; he had wrongfully
recovered his jewels when forfeited to the Crown; he had evaded paying
the dues of his cathedral church at Winchester, and by securing grants
of land he was rapidly stripping the King of his possessions. From
whence came all this wealth, which could not be drawn from his see, nor
from an inherited patrimony which he did not possess? He had become
wealthy from the sale of offices in France and in England, and, grown
arrogant by these ill-gotten gains, he had assumed the pomp and
magnificence of royalty, though he neither had nor could have any
interest in the Crown.

Together with Beaufort in this indictment was included the Archbishop of
York, who also had recently received a Cardinal's hat. It was generally
accepted in the country, so Humphrey maintained, that together they were
practically governing the kingdom, and had estranged the King from
himself, the Duke of York, the Earl of Huntingdon, and the Archbishop of
Canterbury, the last of whom by his position ought to be counted amongst
the King's chief advisers. The policy of these two men was injurious to
the kingdom, for had they not procured the sending of ambassadors to
Arras, where the only results had been an enormous expense to the nation
and the reconciliation of the Duke of Burgundy with Charles of France?
More recently other envoys had been sent to Calais, without his
knowledge or sanction, where Burgundy and Orleans had been allowed to
make up their differences. Had not also the Archbishop with the
connivance of Beaufort encouraged the King to renounce all his claims on
France, when the French ambassadors were lately at Windsor, and what but
evil results could come from the forthcoming negotiations in March, for
it was rumoured that these two prelates intended to release the Duke of
Orleans, whom Henry V. had ordered in his will to be kept in confinement
till the conquest of France was complete? The whole foreign policy of
the King's advisers was unwise and corrupt, for, though he himself had
frequently offered his services for the defence of France, Beaufort had
always secured the refusal of the offer, sending in his stead favourites
of his own with unfortunate results. This long 'complaynte' concluded
with an urgent appeal for the dismissal of the two Cardinals from the

No stronger evidence than is afforded in this indictment could be found
to prove Beaufort's complete ascendency over the policy of the nation,
and though we may hesitate to acquit the Cardinal of many of the charges
off-hand, the whole document betrays the hopeless incapacity of its
composer to take a broad and statesmanlike view of affairs, and shows
him to be the mere politician which he had already proved himself. The
inquiry as to whence came the Cardinal's wealth is pertinent, and has
never been adequately answered; in his contention that the Bishop had
been despoiling the King of his possessions, Humphrey was supported by
that eminent observer, Sir John Fortescue,[915] but the question of the
cardinalate had been discussed and settled, and no useful end could be
reached by its resuscitation, and the attempt--if attempt it was--on the
part of the Cardinal to increase the power of his house by the marriage
of Joan Beaufort to the unhappy King of Scotland had ended in such
dismal failure that it might well be left out of the reckoning. It was,
however, in the matter of foreign policy that Gloucester so patently
showed his lack of insight. Without touching on the question of the
release of Orleans, to which reference will be made later, it cannot be
denied that the Cardinal's peace policy was wise, and if so far it had
not met with success, it was owing to misfortune rather than to any
inherent defect, whilst Gloucester's opposition to it was based on a
blind misreading of the lessons taught by past events. Nevertheless the
inference to be drawn from the language of the indictment is that
hitherto the Duke had had but little part in the rejection of the French
terms, though he acknowledged that he had refused his consent to the
suggestion that Henry should surrender his title of King of France. The
complaint as to the waste of money at the Congress of Arras was amply
justified, for the fabulous sum of £22,000 was spent on the
Conference.[916] Still it must be confessed that the document as a whole
is violent beyond the limits of judiciousness, and it seems to be the
appeal of an angry man to a larger audience than that to which it was
addressed.[917] In view of Gloucester's recent retirement from active
life it is inexplicable, unless that retirement was the result of
compulsion and not of choice, and together with his protest against the
release of Orleans, which quickly followed, it stands as the last cry of
a disappointed and helpless man.


No answer was vouchsafed to this ebullition of wrath, but more attention
was paid to the protest which followed it. The release of the Duke of
Orleans was already decided upon, and in June Humphrey demanded that his
objections to such an act should be registered under the Great Seal, for
he declared that, were it not officially made quite clear, no one would
believe that a step of such importance would be taken without his
consent. 'I protest'--so runs this document--'for myn Excuse and my
Discharge, that I never was, am, nor never shall be Consentyng,
Conseiling, nor Agreyng to his Deliverance or Enlargissement, nor be
noon other manere of Meen, which shuld take effect, otherwise than is
expressed in my seid Lord my Brother's Last Will (whom God assoille), or
els suerte of so grete good whereby my Lorde's both Realmes and Subyetts
shuld be encresed and easid.' Clearly and succinctly he detailed the
reasons which compelled him to oppose the policy of the King's advisers
at a time when Charles of France wanted men of 'discretion and judgment
to order his affairs.' The advent of Orleans to his councils would give
the necessary stability to the government, and help to reconcile those
factions at the French Court which so greatly aided the English cause.
Moreover, when once released, Orleans would be confronted with the
alternative of breaking either his oaths to Henry, or his oaths to the
man whom he considered to be his own sovereign, and if the articles of
agreement between the two Kings were not observed, what remedy had Henry
got? The English were defenceless, for it was more than probable that
the men of Normandy, who had been put to great expense in carrying on
the war, would revolt when the news of Orleans' release reached them,
whilst the recall of Huntingdon left Guienne, 'his Majesties ancient
heritage,' defenceless. Besides this, the King had no alliance with any
Christian prince save the youthful King of Portugal, a fact which
emphasised the folly of releasing one who was likely to prove a 'capital
enemy' to the crown of England. The project was not only contrary to the
expressed wish of the late King, but was inimical to all the best
interests of the kingdom, and if release was necessary, at least there
might be an exchange of English prisoners for this prince of the blood
royal of France. In any case such a step should not be taken without
some kind of consultation with the French and Norman subjects of the

Such were the arguments Gloucester brought against the release of
Orleans from his confinement in England. It is easy to feel pity for the
prisoner of war, who through no fault of his own had been kept in bonds
in a strange country for the last twenty-five years, but it was no
humanitarian spirit which suggested to the King's advisers the project
of his release. The war had become both a failure and a burden, and most
men were agreed that some means of ending the long struggle must be
found. The people had long since ceased to pine for those military
glories which the sanctimonious ambition of the late King had taught
Englishmen to regard as their birthright, and Humphrey could not be
expected to be heard by willing ears if he preached a policy of mere
aggression. In this second manifesto, therefore, there are no signs of
that cry against all movement towards peace, which had characterised the
indictment against Beaufort. On the contrary, the need for peace is
treated almost as though it were a necessity, and objection is taken
only to the method employed to reach that end; the success of the French
forces is so far recognised that Charles is alluded to as the King of
France. Humphrey has changed his ground; the Jingo policy of war to the
bitter end has been abandoned, and the attack is levelled at the
methods, not at the aims of his opponents. Viewed in this light it would
be hard to deny that Gloucester was right; though the most disastrous
result which he predicted would follow the release did not come to pass,
none of the advantages urged by the other party resulted. The Duke of
Orleans patched up his old quarrel with the House of Burgundy, and
cemented it with a marriage; he received as a result the cold shoulder
at the Court of his royal master, and he then retired to the quiet of a
country retreat, and became famous as the centre of one of the most
literary and polite societies of his age. His release did no good to
England, whilst his retention might have been a strong card in the hands
of English negotiators, and though we may rejoice that a simple soul
found freedom, we must not, with modern sentimentality, condemn the man
who did his best to spoil the idyll of the Court of Charles of Orleans.

Though Gloucester's indictment of Beaufort and his opposition to the
policy of peace had left the country cold, his arguments against the
release of the Duke of Orleans had produced an effect, which the men who
controlled the King hastened to counteract.[919] The King drew up a
manifesto, impelled thereto, so he said, by the report that his people
were complaining that so important a prisoner had been set at liberty.
He desired it to be understood quite clearly that what had been done had
been done at his own initiative, and that no one else was responsible
for it, an assertion so emphatic and so contrary to his character, as to
raise our doubts as to its veracity. His one object, he asserted, was to
bring to an end this war, 'that longe hath contyned and endured, that is
to saye, an hundreth yeeres and more,' and his arguments in favour of
peace were obvious and convincing. Edward III. had failed, his father
had been checked before he died, and his own efforts had met with but
poor success. The best way to secure peace was to release Orleans, who
would use his influence in the French councils to this end, and would
remove the desire for a continuance of war amongst those in power in
France, who only looked on the prolongation of the struggle as a means
of keeping Orleans safely out of the way as a prisoner abroad. He argued
that Orleans knew nothing of English plans, and therefore could not
betray them even if he so desired, and he concluded with a pious
declaration about the immorality of keeping a prisoner of war in
perpetual confinement, probably the only sentiment uninspired by others
in the whole manifesto.[920]

The fact that this refutation was considered necessary points to a
strong public opinion in support of Gloucester, but the advocates of
release had their way, and on All-Saints' Day a solemn service was
held, whereat Orleans swore on the Sacrament never to bear arms against
England, in the presence of the King and the assembled Lords. Gloucester
was there too, but to mark his disapproval of the whole proceedings,
'qwan the Masse began he toke his barge,' and left the scene of what he
considered to be an act which could only assist the undoing of his
country.[921] On November 3 the indentures were signed, and the Duke of
Orleans was ready to return to his native land.[922]


Though defeated in the matter of foreign policy, Gloucester was still a
power to be considered, for he was an active member of the King's
Council,[923] and possessed no inconsiderable following in the country.
To pacify his anger at his reverse he had been made Chief-Justice of
South Wales in February,[924] a post which was no sinecure owing to the
disturbed state of that district, and which necessitated a visit thither
in August and September, when assizes were held in Cardigan and
Carmarthen. Even when most in disfavour at Court, use was made of
Humphrey's well-known ability in the suppressing of disturbances, and a
special grant of two hundred marks for his exertions in this direction
was given him.[925] At this time, too, his influence was instrumental in
procuring the renewal of the charter to St. Albans Abbey,[926] and there
was even some idea of employing him in the French wars. At any rate, the
Council of Rouen was informed that he was shortly to be sent over to
France, and his non-appearance created great discontent in the Duchy of
Normandy.[927] That the Council ever seriously contemplated such a step
must remain very doubtful, especially when we find that in the beginning
of the next year he was superseded in his Calais command by his namesake
Humphrey, Earl of Stafford.[928] Nevertheless his influence was
sufficient to secure the appointment of his friend the Duke of York to
be Lieutenant-General of France and Normandy for five years, though no
steps were taken to enable him to take up his command immediately.[929]
Humphrey therefore, in spite of his decreased importance, had some share
in the management of the kingdom, but his lack of perseverance and his
impetuous nature had caused him to throw away the natural advantages of
his position. His power had appreciably diminished in the four years
which had passed since his invasion of Flanders. The fire had gone out
of his life, and he was now to receive the most severe check he had ever
experienced. His wife Eleanor had never been a help to him in his
political ambitions, now she was to expose him to the barbed shafts of
his enemies.

The old order was passing away in fifteenth-century England, yet there
was very little of the modern spirit in the mental attitude of the
majority of Englishmen. It came, therefore, as no surprise when it was
rumoured abroad that proceedings were to be taken against certain
practisers of the Black Art, who had been conspiring to kill the young
King by means of incantations and witchcraft. The age was superstitious,
and only a year earlier than this crowds had surrounded the scene of a
Lollard burning, and the people had offered money and waxen images
before the ashes of the victim, Richard Wyche, whom they considered to
be a saint.[930] The monkish chronicler Walsingham, writing a few years
later, gravely describes the appearance of the Devil in a church in
Essex, and the thunderbolt which struck the building while the evil
spirit was there,[931] whilst still more circumstantial is a story told
by the St. Albans chronicler. A Lollard tiler was burnt at Waldon in
1430, and afterwards a neighbour picked up one of his bones, which had
not been consumed by the flames. With this bone he accidentally pricked
his finger; his hand and arm immediately swelled up, and his life was
only saved by the prompt removal of the limb--a sign of remarkable
vindictiveness on the part of that Lollard, says our chronicler.[932]
Public opinion was therefore quite prepared to turn the full force of
its indignation on those who had invoked the powers of darkness to
procure the death of the young King, who had won his way to the hearts
of his subjects, though he was never able to command their respect.

The accused were two clerks, Roger Bolingbroke, an Oxford priest, and
Thomas Southwell, canon of St. Stephen's, Westminster. The accusation of
using the 'crafte of egremauncey' against the life of the King was
prepared against Roger as the principal, and Thomas as the assister and
abettor. Both men were cast into the Tower, and on Sunday, July 16,[933]
the former was brought out, and placed in the midst of his instruments
of magic on a platform erected in St. Paul's Churchyard, where, after
the sermon, he abjured the Black Art. Such a public penance drew men's
attention to the matter, but the real interest in the case was not
revealed till three days later the news got abroad that Roger, under
examination before the King's Council, had confessed that he had been
instigated to the course of action in which he had been discovered by no
less a person than the Duchess of Gloucester, who that same day had fled
to sanctuary at Westminster.[934] At once the matter assumed a political
importance it would never have reached had the accusation been confined
to two insignificant priests. Roger was known to have some connection
with the household of Gloucester, and his statement that the Duchess had
instructed him to find by divination 'to what estate in life she should
come,' together with the consequent implication that she had sought to
procure the death of the King by witchcraft, and thus procure for her
husband the crown which she desired to share with him, gained ready


Steps were immediately taken to bring Eleanor to justice, for sanctuary
was no protection for the crimes of heresy and witchcraft of which she
was now accused. On July 22 she was cited to appear before the
Archbishops of Canterbury and York and the Bishops of Winchester and
Salisbury, and though she essayed to find safety in flight down the
river, she was captured while making the attempt, and brought before her
judges on the 25th in the Chapel of St. Stephen at Westminster. Many
charges of heresy and witchcraft were laid against her, and Roger,
brought from the Tower for the purpose, gave evidence. The charges were
considered so serious that a remand was ordered till October 21, when
she was to appear again before the Archbishop of Canterbury. In the
meanwhile she was committed to the Castle of Leeds in Kent under the
care of Sir John Stiward and Sir John Stanley, whither she was removed
on August 11.[935]

While active proceedings were thus postponed, a special commission, on
which the Earls of Stafford, Suffolk, and Huntingdon, together with
Lords Cromwell, Fanhope, and Hungerford, and certain judges of both
benches served, was appointed to inquire into all matters of sorcery;
and before them Bolingbroke and Southwell were arraigned together with
Eleanor as an accomplice. Herein we may trace an effort on the part of
Gloucester's enemies to bring his wife into the clutches of a secular

At this trial yet another accomplice was produced in the person of the
'Witch of Eye,' whose sorceries Eleanor had long used, and from whom, it
was said, she had procured love-potions wherewith to ensnare the
affections of Humphrey. Before this court had come to any decision,
interest shifted to the Ecclesiastical Court, before which Eleanor was
brought to stand an independent trial on October 21. Her judges here
were the Bishops of London, Lincoln, and Norwich, commissioned thereto
by Archbishop Chichele, who excused himself from further participation
in the trial; the prosecution was in the hands of Adam Moleyns, the
clerk of the King's Council. Moleyns read out an exhaustive list of
accusations, to the gravest of which the Duchess returned an
uncompromising denial, without, however, denying her guilt on all the
counts, that is, she acknowledged recourse to the Black Art, but denied
the treasonable encompassing of the King's death. The trial was
prorogued to the 23rd, when witnesses were heard and the verdict of
guilty returned, since she refused to contradict the evidence brought
against her, and 'submitted only to the correction of the Bishops.' Four
days later she abjured her heresies and witchcraft before the Bishops,
who ordered her to appear before them on November 9, when sentence would
be passed.[936]

The punishment that was ordered was no light one, and consisted of
public penances through London on three different days. On Monday,
November 13, she came down the river on her barge to Temple Stairs, and
thence, by way of Temple Bar, she walked on foot to St. Paul's, 'openly
barehede with a Keverchef on her hede beryng,' and 'with a meke and a
demure countenance'--so the Bishops ordained--bearing in her hand a
taper of two pounds in weight, which she offered at the High Altar. On
two subsequent days similar pilgrimages were made to different churches.
On the following Wednesday she landed at Swan Stairs in Upper Thames
Street, and by way of Bridge Street, Gracechurch Street, and Leadenhall
she came to Christchurch, Aldgate, whilst on the Friday she landed at
Queenhithe, 'and so forth she went unto Chepe, and so to Seynt Mighell
in Cornhull.' On each occasion the Mayor of London with the Sheriffs and
craftes of the City met her at the place of landing, and escorted her
along the road of penance.[937] Of her companions in misfortune,
'Margery Jourdemain,' known as the 'Witch of Eye,' was burnt at
Smithfield; Bolingbroke underwent the full sentence of hanging,
beheading, and quartering; whilst Southwell found a mercifully early
death in prison.[938] On the completion of her penance, Eleanor was
committed to prison for life under the care of Sir Thomas Stanley[939]
and Sir John Stiward. At first she was confined in her original place of
detention, Leeds Castle in Kent,[940] but early in the New Year she was
removed to Chester,[941] whence she was taken in October or December
1443 to Kenilworth.[942] In July 1446 Sir Thomas Stanley was directed to
take her to the Isle of Man,[943] and in the following year we find her
a prisoner somewhere in Wales,[944] probably in Flint Castle, where she
died after eighteen long years' imprisonment.[945] Her confinement was
probably no more than honourable detention, for she was provided with a
large number of personal servants, and with a private allowance of one
hundred marks a year.[946] Her relations with her jailers seem to have
been quite cordial, and to at least one of them she made a present of
one of her trinkets,[947] but as a personality she had passed from
history, and as an individual her rank was not recognised, for she is
described in all official documents as 'Eleanor, lately called Duchess
of Gloucester.'[948]

The disgrace of Gloucester's wife is a strange story, and in spite of
the ample evidence to be found in contemporary chroniclers, it must be
accepted with some reserve. It was the _cause célèbre_, of the period,
and even chroniclers who pass over the years with the scantiest summary
of events pause awhile to tell of the fall of a great lady. Yet not once
is Humphrey mentioned, and it is only a sixteenth-century historian who
tells us that 'the Duke of Gloucester toke all these thyngs paciently
and said little.'[949] Nevertheless there is a strong presumption that
Humphrey did make some efforts to save his second wife, in spite of his
base desertion of Jacqueline, a presumption which is fortified by an
edict forbidding interference with the proceedings against Eleanor,[950]
and by the abstention of Chichele--Gloucester's friend and ally--from
taking part in the later proceedings. Moreover, the greatest care was
taken to guard the prisoner on her way to the scene of her confinement,
as though some effort at rescue was feared.[951]

Any defence of the Duchess was hampered by her own confession to the
truth of some of the charges, and by the strong evidence against her.
That she was guilty of dabbling in the Black Art can hardly be doubted,
and it is more than probable that she had used the sciences to foretell
the future, an act which, though not in itself treasonable, might
nevertheless be regarded with strong suspicion in one who was only
divided by one frail life from the position of Queen. There still exists
one of her books, a semi-medical, semi-astrological work translated from
the original Arabic,[952] and it is undoubtedly established that
Humphrey himself was interested in those sciences which bordered on the
heretical. Roger Bolingbroke had a great reputation for knowledge of the
Black Art, and his connection with Eleanor was known long before any
suspicion of treason arose.[953] One of the accusations, too, seems
probable in the light of Humphrey's knowledge of the ancient classics,
for it was said that the time-worn system of roasting a waxen image of
the doomed King before a fire had been one of the treasonable
witchcrafts employed,[954] a system which is to be found described in
all its details in the classical authors which Duke Humphrey studied.

Behind Dame Eleanor stood her husband, and his character and reputation
could not but have their influence on public opinion. It is to be
remembered that both husband and wife had been friends with Queen Joan,
who had been accused on a similar charge, and those who could cast their
memories back to the early years of Henry VI.'s reign might remember
another incident which might suggest that Humphrey took an interest in
witchcraft and sorcery. When in 1425 he had almost come to blows with
the Bishop of Winchester, one of the causes of quarrel was that he had
removed from custody a certain 'Ffrere Randolff,' who had been in prison
for treason. Friar Randolph was the man who had played the part of
Bolingbroke in the Queen Joan scandal, the practiser of the Black Art,
who was accused of casting spells to encompass the late King's
death.[955] Is it surprising, then, that men were ready to believe that
the Duke of Gloucester was indeed guilty of practising witchcraft, when
he had in the past championed one of its votaries in so autocratic a
manner? It is more than probable that Humphrey devoted himself to a
study of the art from a purely scientific point of view. All branches of
learning--if, indeed, we may so call it--appealed to his inquiring mind,
but he most likely approached it from the same standpoint as many at the
present day approach spiritualism. His wife, being of a lower mental
calibre, interested herself in the study of her husband, but treated it
in a practical and not in a theoretical spirit. With this dangerous
weapon in her hands it would be in no way surprising if she used it for
concrete ends, and little by little came to try its efficacy in
restoring some of the lost power of her husband. There is no evidence or
suggestion that Humphrey himself knew of these treasonable practices,
or that, had he known, he would have taken them seriously.

Evidence and probability therefore both speak for the guilt of the
Duchess, who increased the appearances against her by her flight to
sanctuary instead of bravely facing the charges; and though the people
sympathised with her in her trouble,[956] they do not seem to have
doubted for a moment that she was guilty. Her pride and ambition were
well known, and were dwelt on in the poem entitled 'The Lament of the
Duchess of Gloucester,'[957] whilst another contemporary rhymer writes:

          'Thy ladye was so proud and highe of harte
          that she hur selffe thought pereless of estate
          and yet higher faynd she wold have starte
          butt sodenlye she ffell as was hur fate.'[958]

Whatever we may think of Eleanor's guilt, it is obvious that the whole
case was exploited by Gloucester's enemies to injure the man who had so
lately opposed their plans. The Duchess was known to have considerable
influence over the King,[959] who at the time of her trial showed a
great desire to save her life,[960] and we have seen how the object of
both parties was to secure the royal ear. To strike Eleanor was to
strike her husband, for in spite of the inauspicious beginning of her
connection with Gloucester, she had succeeded in establishing her
position as the first lady of the kingdom. Of late grants to Humphrey
had been made to himself and his wife;[961] she had been permitted to
wear the robes of the Garter; she was petitioned as one who held a
position of importance, and had interfered in matters of state
administration;[962] the Pope had acknowledged her position and had
issued a Bull in her favour;[963] the Monastery of St. Albans had
admitted her into its fraternity;[964] she had been singled out for
particular favours by the King when distributing his New-Year's gifts.
She was indeed no weakling whose insecure position might be safely
attacked, but a woman who had claimed, and had justified her claim, to
be accounted of in the kingdom.

To convict Eleanor of treason, then, was to injure her husband in no
small degree, and the whole history of the case points to the fact that
it was engineered by his enemies. Unusual publicity was given to the
charges against Bolingbroke; he was publicly paraded before the citizens
of London; and then, when the ground had been carefully prepared, the
charge was extended to the first lady in the land. Special commissioners
were organised, and every effort made to bring her under the secular
arm, and if she escaped with her life, it was not through any fault of
her accusers. To strengthen this contention it is well to take the
striking parallel of Queen Joan. The charge of sorcery was often used in
the fifteenth century as a means to remove political opponents; the
trumped-up charge against the Maid of Orleans is an obvious
instance;[965] but the fate of Henry IV.'s unhappy Queen bears too
striking a likeness to the disgrace of Eleanor Cobham to be lightly
passed over. She, too, was accused on the confession of her chaplain,
Father Randolph, of having 'compassed and imagined the King's death in
the most horrible manner that could be devised,'[966] and to this end
she was said by the chroniclers to have used sorcery, which Randolph
practised at her suggestion.[967] She, too, was imprisoned for life,
but the more ignominious part of Eleanor's punishment was spared her,
and she was later released from confinement.

It was the public penance, perhaps, more than anything else, which
betrayed the political animus which lay behind the condemnation of
Gloucester's wife, and which justifies the assertion of Fabyan, that the
attack on the Duchess was part of an organised plan to overthrow the
Duke.[968] Eleanor had doubtless made many personal enemies. Born of a
family of no great standing, she had not by her early conduct improved
her position. Since her marriage to a Prince of the blood royal, her
pride, fanned by the success of her ambitions, had increased, and had
given offence to many who regarded her as an upstart. But this was not
enough to account for the degrading details of her fall. It was her
husband at whom the blow was aimed, and it was he that suffered as well
as his wife.

          'Now thou dost penance. Look! how they gaze.
          See! how the giddy multitude do point,
          And nod their heads, and throw their eyes on thee.'[969]

The loss of prestige to Humphrey was very great,[970] and it came at a
time when his power in the kingdom was beginning to wane. Never again
does he appear as a man of influence in the councils of the King; all
the old fire of the days of the Protectorate is gone, and it is probable
that he leaned far more on his wife than has ever been suspected. Till
her disgrace young Henry seems to have had a strong affection for his
uncle, but thereafter the simple-minded King, separated from the woman
who had influenced him, turned from his uncle to other advisers, who had
fewer claims to his regard, and no wiser heads than the discredited
Humphrey. Indeed this incident is a definite milestone on the road to
complete disgrace which the Duke was now treading. Ever since the time
when he began to drop out of public life his influence in the kingdom
had been slowly passing away. He had tried to reinstate himself in the
popular favour, and thus strengthen his hands against his enemies, by
his attack on Beaufort and on the policy of releasing Orleans, but the
attempt missed its mark, and had only provoked this act of retaliation
from his opponents. Hitherto the cry against him had been merely one of
mismanagement and factiousness, but here we find the first signs of the
charge of treason, with which he was ultimately assailed. It would seem
that the Beaufort faction had now decided not only on his humiliation,
but on his ultimate removal, for if he were to succeed to the throne,
their power would be gone. Humphrey had not the determination nor the
strength to meet this new attack, and he gradually gave way before the
organised assault he had now to face. He had come to the critical time
of his life, and his weak character, still further weakened by his moral
failings, was unable to cope with the situation. His face was set
towards the shadows, he knew it, and yet he had no strength to fight his
way back to light and power. Though his physical capacities were
unimpaired, all signs of moral force had disappeared from his character.


Gloucester continued to attend the Council, but we see very little
recorded beyond his mere presence; occasionally he would act as a
guarantor for a loan from that prince of money-lenders, Cardinal
Beaufort,[971] or throw in sarcastic comment when the same cardinal used
his position to exact special conditions under which the loans were
made.[972] Most of his time was probably spent at his manor of
'Plaisance' at Greenwich, in the house on which he had spent so much
money, and surrounded by the park which he had himself enclosed. It was
here, at any rate, that in September 1442 he dated his decision in the
matter of a dispute which had arisen at the Monastery of St.
Albans.[973] For the rest, he seems to have devoted his attention to the
care of his soul. He was already assured that masses would be said for
him in perpetuity at Oxford, and in 1442 we find him in the rather
strange company of the Archbishop of York and others, securing by the
gift of certain manors a perpetual chaplain to pray for the souls of the
donors themselves and of their children at the Church of St. Katharine
at Gosfield.[974] The bitterness of strife was over, the political game
was passing into other and younger hands, and these two old rivals made
up their differences in a united hope for eternal salvation.[975] A year
later Humphrey determined to devote the alien Priory of Pembroke, which
had been given him by Henry V., to the same purpose of masses for his
soul, but there seems to have been some doubt as to where he should
place the gift. Adam Moleyne, Dean of Salisbury--he who had acted for
the Council in accusing Eleanor--had the intention of securing the
Priory of Pembroke for the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury, and went so
far as to request and obtain from the Council a licence for this
transfer.[976] Humphrey, however, refused to be driven to alienate his
property in any way of which he did not approve, and three months later
we find a charter assigning the alien Priory of Pembroke to the Abbey of
St. Albans in accordance with a Royal Licence obtained as far back as
1441.[977] In spite of his inactivity, Gloucester did not entirely
retire from public life, but his influence was gone, and the petition of
the Parliament of 1442 that ladies of rank should have the same
privilege as their husbands, and be tried by the peers for indictable
offences,[978] shows his weakness, for this petition, which became a
statute, is by way of a censure on the judicial system that had allowed
the Duchess of Gloucester to escape with her life.


But if Gloucester was passing into the background, so were also the
chief actors who had flourished with him on the political stage, though
no cloud hung over them as over the late Protector. Archbishop Kemp, as
we have seen, was beginning to think more of the next world than of
this; Lord Cromwell's day was passing, and the great Cardinal himself
was now content to direct others in scenes where he had been formerly
the chief actor. The Beaufort party was now represented in the forefront
of the battle by the Duke of Somerset and the Marquis of Dorset, both
nephews of the Bishop of Winchester, and in close alliance with them was
William de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk. This last had served in the French
wars ever since the death of his brother at Agincourt, but of late he
had been turning his attention to home politics. He had steadily
increased the importance of his position, and by his connection with the
House of Beaufort he now found himself one of the chief of those who so
jealously surrounded the King. He it was, therefore, who was chosen to
be head of an embassy to France,[979] which was to carry through a piece
of Beaufort manoeuvring. The King had reached a marriageable age, and
it was considered advisable that he should look to France for a bride.
The question remained, to whom should overtures be made? The embassy to
France was to pave the way for the carrying out of a scheme proposed by
the Duke of Orleans, that Henry should marry Margaret of Anjou,
daughter of René, Duke of Lorraine and titular King of Sicily and
Jerusalem. Though a man of no personal possessions, René was in the
innermost circle of the French Court, owing to the fact that his sister
was Queen of France, and his brother, Charles of Anjou, one of the
King's chief advisers. Such a marriage, therefore, presupposed some kind
of agreement between the nations at war, and Suffolk was chosen to
procure such an agreement.

The idea of the marriage was unpopular in England, as Suffolk himself
acknowledged,[980] and it is probable that this unpopularity was based
on the resistance to the match made by Gloucester. This time it was no
factiousness in Gloucester that led him to oppose the plans of his
opponents, for he was adhering to a policy which he had favoured from
the first, when he warmly supported the project of a marriage with one
of the daughters of the Count of Armagnac. This match, as well as the
Anjou alliance, had been proposed by Orleans at a time when he was in
alliance with the discontented Princes of the Praguerie, and was
intended to draw Armagnac into an alliance with the English, part of a
large scheme for uniting the discordant elements of the French kingdom
with the English invaders. This idea was the product of the Beaufort
policy which had released the Duke of Orleans, a reversion, in fact, to
the methods of Henry V., who had won France with the help of Burgundy.
Steps had been taken to open negotiations, and in 1442 an embassy, of
which Thomas Beckington, formerly Gloucester's Chancellor and now the
King's Private Secretary, and Sir Robert Roos, one of the Duke's
literary friends, were the heads, was despatched to Bordeaux for this
purpose.[981] The French forces had invaded Gascony, and John of
Armagnac, with the enemies of England encamped on his borders, had to
tread warily in the matter of an English alliance. Delay was inevitable,
and in spite of the best intentions on the Armagnac side, the
negotiations were for the time abandoned.[982]

Gloucester had heartily supported the whole idea, since it was conceived
in the same spirit as that alliance with Burgundy which had helped to
bring half France under the dominion of Henry V. Though we may well
doubt the wisdom of this plan, we must acknowledge that it was
consistent with Gloucester's past policy, and that in this instance he
did not sacrifice what he thought to be right to his desire to oppose
his rivals. It may be that he had learnt wisdom; it may be that recent
events had taught him his increasing weakness, and had led him to a less
narrow view of party politics. He certainly espoused this plan put
forward by the party he had opposed so long, and took a personal
interest in details of the embassy, for he was kept informed of the
progress of affairs by Beckington, who, as soon as he returned, went
down to Greenwich to tell him what had been done and what had been left

Humphrey, therefore, had chosen the better part, and had concurred in a
policy of which he was not the originator, but the Beaufort party showed
no signs of following this good example. They knew that Henry's marriage
would have an immense bearing on home politics, and that his wife would
probably be able to influence him as she liked. They must therefore
provide him with a bride entirely of their own choosing, and one who
would not be acceptable to Gloucester, whose influence was to be
counteracted by their nominee to the position of Queen of England. It
was for this reason that they had changed their policy, and now were
advising the marriage with Margaret of Anjou. Notwithstanding the
popular opposition, Suffolk carried out his instructions; the marriage
was arranged, and a truce was signed with France,[984] but it was no
good augury for the usefulness of this marriage alliance that it could
not be brought to form the basis of a final peace. To the last Humphrey
urged that it was dishonourable to abandon the negotiations begun with
the Count of Armagnac,[985] but when matters were finally settled, he
determined to accept the situation, and was the most prominent of those
lords and gentlemen who escorted Margaret to London after her marriage
at Titchfield Abbey.[986] On this occasion he had with him a guard of
honour consisting of five hundred men, dressed in his livery.[987]
Later, too, when Suffolk was thanked in Parliament for his recent
labours in negotiating this marriage, Humphrey delivered a speech in
favour of the man who had brought to England one who was to prove a
firebrand in the country, and to be numbered amongst his own chief

This sweet reasonableness is not a trait hitherto found in any of Duke
Humphrey's actions, and it suggests that more and more he was coming to
realise that he was playing a losing game. He thought it best to bow
before the storm, for we cannot believe that, had he thought it to his
own personal advantage, he would have abandoned a plan merely for the
sake of the internal peace of the kingdom. We have here yet another
indication that he was unable to summon to his aid even one of those
fitful bursts of energy which earlier he had commanded, but if we are to
believe the report of an historian who wrote in the early part of the
sixteenth century, his natural impetuosity led him to give the lie to
his weak behaviour, and to show that he still held by the principles
with regard to English policy on the Continent that he had always
voiced. We are told that he delivered a speech in Parliament, urging
that it was necessary to defy all conventions and break the truce agreed
to, which was, he declared, a mere subterfuge on the part of France to
gain a breathing space, an interval during which to recoup her


There is, however, no absolute inconsistency between his recent actions
and this speech. He had accepted the state of affairs when he welcomed
Margaret to her new English home, but that did not necessarily imply a
cessation of the war; marriage, which the historian generally accepts as
the final confirmation of the treaty of peace, was in this case regarded
as a mere preliminary to a possible, but rather improbable pacification.
The truce was short, and the end of the war was not to be yet. The
marriage of Margaret to Henry was an isolated incident, not part of a
policy, in its effect at least, though it might be in its intention.


Humphrey had all along argued for the continuance of the war; he
believed in its righteousness and in its advantages at home as well as
abroad. Even as it was rumoured that Henry V. had embarked on foreign
conquest as an antidote to internal dissension, so Humphrey, feeling the
spirit of strife which was abroad--a spirit, be it confessed, that he
had fostered--looked to the war to distract the nobles from conflict at
home, and a French chronicler of the time was the first to realise this
aspect of the Duke's policy.[990] It was not a new idea. It had been
Henry V.'s, as we have seen; more important still, it was mentioned as a
maxim of government in one of those books which it was Gloucester's joy
to study. Ægidius, in his _De Regimine Principium_, writes: 'Guerra enim
exterior tollit seditiones, et reddit cives magis unanimes et concordes.
Exemplum hujus habemus in Romanis quibus postquam defecerunt exteriora
bella intra se ipsos bellare coeperunt,'[991] and a copy of this book
was among Humphrey's gifts to the University of Oxford. It is a wrong
principle; to us it is even absurd; but the absurdity was not then
obvious. It contains the too common fallacy of confounding cause and
effect, for though the war for a time might distract the turbulent
noble's attention, it made him all the more turbulent when his new
employment, the cause of his distraction, was removed. But
contemporaries did not see this. Basin, the historian, who divined the
motives of Gloucester's war policy, has nothing but praise for the
underlying principle.[992] Suffolk was no enthusiastic advocate for
peace, and the Beaufort faction had espoused a peace policy in the past
merely because it suited their private plans--plans, too, which were not
to increase the internal peace of the kingdom--and because their
nominees were totally incapable of carrying on the war, as had been
lately proved by the failure of the incompetent Somerset.[993] If
Gloucester followed the wrong policy in advocating war, we could not
expect it to be otherwise when we remember his early training. It is a
truism--like so many truisms, too often forgotten in practice--to say
that a man must not be judged by the standards of an age that is not his
own, and it is absurd to condemn Humphrey's war policy when we look at
the attitude of his contemporaries to the same subject. Advantage there
was none for him to be reaped from the continuance of the war;
factiousness is no longer a possible explanation of his motive; his
attitude therefore may be attributed to a desire for the good of the
kingdom, for the good of the House of which he himself and his poor,
weak nephew were the last representatives.

Whether Gloucester had really delivered himself of these opinions on the
war with France or no, he had succeeded in making his enemies
desperate. Queen Margaret was not long in grasping the situation of
parties in England, and she naturally leaned on Suffolk, the man who had
brought her to the position she held, the man who from the first had
declared himself her friend and servant. Together they scanned the
political horizon, and only one obstacle could they see to the success
of their plans, and that obstacle was Duke Humphrey. Though discredited
at Court, and bereft of the influence he had once held in the councils
of the nation, he had still a definite position in the kingdom as heir
to the throne, and did not lack supporters among certain classes.
Moreover, the Duke of York, a firm opponent of Beaufort influence,
gained what little power he had from the support of Gloucester. Together
these two had to be considered as the leaders of a party of some
importance. It was the old story of Gloucester and Beaufort still, for
the new party headed by the Queen and Suffolk was but a new version of
that formerly led by the Cardinal Bishop of Winchester, and had the
support of the Beaufort interest, that is, of the Earl of Somerset, Lord
Say de Sele and Adam Moleyns.[994] Margaret, the centre of the
confederacy, was an ambitious woman, with more ingenuity than
common-sense. Young and inexperienced, she had alighted suddenly on a
hotbed of intrigue and party strife. At once her mind was made up: she
would be the predominant influence in English politics, and this by
means of her ascendency over the weak mind of her husband, an ascendency
so easy to procure. Suffolk was bound by every call of self-interest to
play the game of the Queen; his claim to regard must be based on the
Queen's success; and with the impetuosity and cunning inherited from his
mercantile ancestors, he drew the whole Beaufort faction with him. In
opposition to this strong combination, whose various private interests
impelled them to act together, stood Gloucester, almost alone, but with
one very strong card in his hand. Suffolk whilst in France had been
inveigled into agreeing to the cession of Maine to that country,[995]
but that this was generally known at the time is very doubtful. At any
rate, when it should become known, as known it must be sooner or later,
there would be a very stiff storm to be weathered by Margaret and her
friends, and if Gloucester were still to the fore, this storm might well
cause shipwreck to her party.[996] Possibly the knowledge of this fact
had produced Gloucester's speech against the truce, but it is more
likely that as yet it was a danger which lay concealed in the womb of
the future. If this were so, Gloucester must be humiliated, perhaps
removed, before the truth became known. Every effort was made,
therefore, to alienate the King from his uncle;[997] suspicions as to
his intentions were hazarded, and by degrees suggestions developed into
direct accusations. The mind of Henry, already bordering on the brink of
madness--a state in which suspicion is quick to arise--yielded readily
to the treatment to which it was submitted. Gloucester, he came to
believe, was plotting against his life from fear that an heir to the
throne would be born; his preparations were being made. Everything, so
Henry was told, pointed to this, for the deeds of Eleanor Cobham could
not be disassociated from her husband. The one menace to the peace of
the kingdom was Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester.[998]


The drama of Gloucester's life is drawing to a close, and the tragedy of
its end is in sight. Any lingering regard for his uncle in the mind of
the King had passed, and his attitude during the visit of the French
embassy which came to England in 1445 illustrates the success of the
tactics employed by Margaret. It was on July 15 that the ambassadors
came before the King, whom they found supported by Suffolk, Dorset, the
Cardinal of York, the Chancellor, Adam Moleyns, Gloucester, Chester, and
Warwick. Henry greeted them most warmly, and assured them of his great
desire for peace, shooting glances of defiance all the time at
Gloucester, and when he had finished his greeting he turned to Suffolk,
and exchanged a smile of understanding with him. It was also reported
that he had pressed the Chancellor's hand, and had said that he was very
glad that some present had heard his words, and that they seemed so
little at their ease.[999] Margaret had been successful indeed. The King
was entirely alienated from his uncle, and he delighted to show his
contempt for his former adviser's counsel, even as all small minds
delight to show a contempt they have no right to indulge. Suffolk was
even more outspoken than his royal master. He openly and loudly declared
that he cared not what the Duke of Gloucester thought, or whether he
opposed him or not, for his power was gone, and the King no longer
regarded him.[1000]


Humphrey's career was over. The King denied him access to the Court, and
he was removed from the Privy Council.[1001] Indeed in the later
chroniclers we read of an attempt to bring him to justice, and of an
indictment before the Council. He was accused, it is said, of
malpractices during his Protectorate, especially of having caused men
adjudged to die to be put to other execution than the law of the land
allowed. A brilliant speech, if we are to believe the report, refuted
the charges so successfully, that they were allowed to drop.[1002] This
partial success, however, availed the Duke nothing, as his enemies had
decided to remove him from their path, and for this purpose it was
proposed to call a Parliament to which he was summoned, 'the which
parliament was maad only for to sle the noble Duke of Gloucester.'[1003]
Suffolk, it seems, had laid certain accusations against him,[1004] and
he had induced the King to summon this assembly, to crush the only man
that stood in his way. At first Parliament was summoned to meet at
Cambridge, but it was ultimately transferred to Bury St. Edmunds, a
place where Suffolk was strong,[1005] and Gloucester weak, apart from a
certain support from the Abbey there.[1006] Gloucester's fate was
sealed. With cunning ingenuity Suffolk spread a report that a rising led
by Duke Humphrey might be expected any day, and he made elaborate
preparations for guarding the King at each stopping-place on the way to
Bury. Besides this, the almost incredible number of forty or sixty
thousand men was collected and stationed round the town.[1007]
Gloucester was ordered to attend the Parliament, and all waited to see
whether he would come.[1008] Totally ignorant of the elaborate
preparations for his reception, yet knowing the dangers which beset his
path, Humphrey set out for Bury.[1009] Far from making any show of
resistance,[1010] or coming to Parliament in a spirit of bravado, and
followed by an overwhelming retinue, he came all unsuspicious that a
trap had been laid for him, like an innocent lamb--so the chronicler
quaintly puts it[1011]--hoping that he might be able to procure pardon
for his imprisoned wife.[1012] The same chronicler, who was not one of
those who sang the praises of Duke Humphrey, says that he was conscious
of no evil in himself, and suspected nothing as he rode out on his last
ride,[1013] accompanied by some eighty horsemen,[1014] no extraordinary
retinue for a prince of the blood royal on a long, and possibly
dangerous journey.


Parliament had been opened on February 10 with a speech from the
Chancellor, Archbishop Stafford, who declared with suspicious unction,
that 'blessed was the man who walked not in the counsel of the
ungodly,'[1015] but it was not until the 18th that the Duke of
Gloucester arrived. When within half a mile of the gates of the town, he
was met by two officers of the King's household, who told him that the
King wished him to go straight to his lodgings, and not visit the Court,
since the weather was so cold for travelling; at least so was the
message reported subsequently by some of the Duke's retinue. It was
eleven o'clock in the morning when Gloucester rode into the city by the
south gate, and passing through the 'horsemarket,' turned to his left
into the Northgate Ward. Here he passed through a mean street, and as he
rode along, he asked a passer-by, by what name the alley was known.
'Forsoothe, my Lord, hit is called the Dede Lane,' came the answer. Then
the inborn superstition of 'the Good Duke' asserted itself; so with an
old prophecy he had read ringing in his ears, and a word of pious
resignation on his lips, he rode on to the 'North Spytyll' outside the
Northgate, otherwise called 'Seynt Salvatoures,'[1016] where he was to
lodge. Having eaten his dinner, a deputation came to wait upon him,
consisting of the Duke of Buckingham, the Marquis of Dorset, the Earl of
Salisbury, Lord Sudley, and Viscount Beaumont. This last in his capacity
of High Constable placed the Duke under arrest by the King's command.
Two yeomen of the guard and a sergeant were appointed to take charge of
the prisoner, who was removed from the care of his own immediate
servants, some of whom, including Sir Roger Chamberlain, were arrested
the same evening between eight and nine o'clock. The arrest passed off
quietly, but three days later about twenty-eight more of Gloucester's
retainers, including his natural son 'Arteys,' were arrested and sent to
divers places of confinement. This was on Shrove Tuesday, but it was
unknown to their master, who was lying in a state of coma, so that for
three days he neither moved nor had any feeling. Towards the end of this
time, however, he recovered sufficiently to confess his sins, and to
receive the last rites of the Church, and then sinking again he died, so
it is related, about three o'clock in the afternoon of Tuesday, February
23, 1447.[1017]

Next day the news of his death was proclaimed, and his body was exposed,
so that all might see that no mark of violence was upon him.[1018] His
corpse was visited by many during the day, and towards evening he was
disembowelled, placed in a 'seryd cloth, and layd in a lead chest,'
encased in a coffin of poplar-wood. On the Saturday, just a week after
his arrival in the town, Humphrey's body was carried to the Grey
Friars' Monastery at Babwell,[1019] escorted thither by twenty torches
borne by members of his own entourage; indeed, apart from the three
crown officials who had been his gaolers, none but his personal
retainers accompanied the cortège. On the Sunday the Abbot of St. Albans
'dede his dirge,' and the next day, after a mass had been said for the
repose of his soul, his earthly remains were carried out on their last
journey. By slow stages the coffin was carried to St. Albans, resting by
night at Newmarket, Berkway, and Ware, and arriving at its destination
on Friday the 21st. Here again was a dirge said for him, followed by
Mass, and on the Saturday the body was placed in the 'Feyre vout,'
prepared for him in his lifetime, amidst the lamentations of many of his
faithful servants, and in the presence of the crown officials, who were
the only outward evidences that a king's son was being laid to
rest.[1020] The whole ceremony of interment was that of a private
individual, not that of a prince;[1021] the outward glamour of the pomp
and circumstance which had accompanied his three brothers to the grave
was absent. Humphrey died a prisoner, a disgraced politician, but he was
followed to the grave by a band of genuine mourners. All the artificial
adjuncts of his life, all the pride of power and position which had
conspired to make him a great prince, had vanished, and he was laid in
his last resting-place by loving hands, who took a mournful pleasure in
thus honouring their dead master without any of that formal and unlovely
ceremonial which disguises death as a pageant.


  [895] _Excerpta Historica_, 148-150.

  [896] Cotton MS., Cleopatra, C. iv. f. 54. There is no evidence that
         Catherine did oppose Gloucester. She appointed him a
         supervisor of her will. _Rot. Parl._, iv. 506.

  [897] _Chron. Henry VI._, 17; _Polychronicon_, f. 336; cf. Stow,

  [898] Devon, _Issue Roll_, 431; _Ordinances_, v. 15.

  [899] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 502.

  [900] _Ibid._, iv. 496-499.

  [901] _Ordinances_, v. 56.

  [902] _Ibid._, v. 80.

  [903] _Rot. Parl._, v. 438, 439: _Cal. Rot. Pat._, 280.

  [904] _Rot. Scot._, ii. 303. Rymer, V. i. 17, gives date as 1437.

  [905] There is a hint of a gift in 1435; _Epist. Acad._, 114. The
         first important gift of one hundred and twenty vols. is in
         1439; _Epist. Acad._, 117-119.

  [906] Lydgate's Prologue to _The Falls of Princes_.

  [907] _Ordinances_, iv. 132.

  [908] _Cal. Rot. Pat._, 280; Dugdale, ii. 199.

  [909] See the autograph inscription at the end of Oriel MS., xxxii.

  [910] _Cal. of French Rolls_, Rep. 48, App. 322.

  [911] See the 'Diary of Beckington' printed in _Ordinances_, v.

  [912] See Beaucourt, iii. 149-151.

  [913] This document is printed by Stevenson, and is called 'A
         protest against the enlargement of Orleans'; Stevenson,
         _Letters and Papers_, ii. 440. He copies the title and
         document from Ashmole MS., 856, ff. 392-405, but the title is
         a mistake. This is an indictment of Beaufort and the
         Archbishop of York, his ally, and the reasons against the
         release of Orleans are to be found on ff. 405-412 of the same
         MS. In Arnold's _Chron._, pp. 279-286, where this same
         document is printed, the title runs more correctly 'A
         complaynte made to Kynge Henry VI. by the Duke of Gloster
         upon the Cardinal of Winchester.'

  [914] Ashmole MS., 856, ff. 392-405, printed in Stevenson, _Letters
         and Papers_, ii. 440-451; Arnold's _Chron._, 279-286. The
         indictment must have been written in January or February
         1440, as the month of March is referred to in the future.

  [915] Plummer's _Fortescue_, p. 134.

  [916] Plummer's _Fortescue_, notes, p. 318.

  [917] Cotton MS., Vitellius, A. xvi. f. 102, says that these
         articles were laid to the charge of Beaufort in the
         Parliament which met on January 14, 1440.

  [918] Ashmole MS., 856, ff. 405-412: Speed, 660, printed from a copy
         in the chronicler's possession; Rymer, V. i. 76, 77. Cf.
         _Hist. MSS. Commission_, App. to Report iii., 279.

  [919] Stubbs, iii. 126, and Ramsay, ii. 25, both regard the first
         manifesto by Gloucester as the one that influenced public
         opinion, but the opening words of the King's reply to his
         uncle confute this theory. These two historians also fail to
         distinguish clearly between Gloucester's two manifestoes, and
         imply that the second followed on the King's indication of
         his policy.

  [920] Ashmole MS., 856 ff. 417-423; Stevenson, _Letters and Papers_,
         ii. 451-460.

  [921] _Paston Letters_, i. 40.

  [922] Rymer, V. i. 97.

  [923] _Rot. Parl._, v. 311.

  [924] February 19, 1440; _Rot. Pat._, 18 _Henry VI._, Part ii. m. 25.

  [925] _Ordinances_, v. 138, 139.

  [926] Amundesham, _Annales_, ii. App. D. 295.

  [927] Stevenson, _Letters and Papers_, ii. 604. Cf. de Beaucourt,
         iii. 179, 180. When the Duke of York was appointed
         Captain-General in France in 1440, he was given the same
         powers as the Duke of Bedford used to have 'or as my Lord of
         Gloucester, or shulde have had now late.' So it seems that
         the plan of commissioning Gloucester to undertake the French
         war had gone some way.--Stevenson, _Letters and Papers_
         (William of Worcester collections), ii. [586].

  [928] _Cal. of French Rolls_, Rep. 48, App. 347. This appointment
         was not finally confirmed until August 28, 1442. Thomas Kyrel
         acted as Lieutenant of Calais in the interval, _Ordinances_,
         v. 205.

  [929] Stevenson, _Letters and Papers_, ii. [586].

  [930] _Eng. Chron._, 56.

  [931] Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 249, 250.

  [932] _St. Albans Chron._, i. 50.

  [933] _Eng. Chron._, 57, gives Sunday July 25, but in 1441 Sundays
         fell on July 16 and 23, and the former seems the more likely
         day in view of subsequent dates. Moreover, the same
         chronicler gives July 22 as the date of Eleanor's subsequent
         summons before the ecclesiastical commissioners.

  [934] The Eve of St. Margaret, July 19; William of Worcester, 460.
         _Eng. Chron._, 58, gives July 25.

  [935] _Eng. Chron._, 58; _Chron. Henry VI._, 30; Rymer, V. i. 110;
         Gregory 183, 184; William of Worcester, 468; Cotton MS.,
         Cleopatra, C. iv. f. 58vo, _Political Songs_, ii. 207; Stow,
         381. There is considerable doubt as to who Stanley was. In
         the various chronicles and official documents there is
         mention of a Sir Thomas Stanley, a Sir John Stanley, and a
         John Stanley, Esquire. Probably these were two men bearing
         the same surname, and were both concerned in the matter.

  [936] _Eng. Chron._, 58, 59; Cotton MS., Cleopatra, C. iv. f. 59;
         _Lond. Chron._, 129; Stow, 381.

  [937] _Lond. Chron._, 129; Cotton MS., Cleopatra, C. iv. f. 59,
         59vo; Gregory, 184; William of Worcester, 460, 461; Stow,

  [938] _Lond. Chron._, 129; _Eng. Chron._, 59, 60; William of
         Worcester, 461; Gregory, 184; Fabyan, 614; Stow, 581.

  [939] Sir Thomas Stanley was an officer of the King's household and
         King of the Isle of Man (Cotton MS., Vitellius, A. xvi. f.
         102vo). Later he played a subordinate part in the arrest of
         Gloucester at Bury.

  [940] William of Worcester, 461; _Eng. Chron._, 60.

  [941] Ellis, _Letters_, 2nd Series, i. 107; _Lond. Chron._, 130;
         Devon, _Issue Roll_, 441.

  [942] Rymer, V. i. 127; Devon, _Issue Roll_, 448.

  [943] _Ordinances_, vi. 51; Fabyan, 614; Holkham MS., p. 10.

  [944] _Brief Notes_, 154.

  [945] _Chron. Henry VI._, 31.

  [946] Devon, _Issue Roll_, 448.

  [947] _Excerpta Historica_, 278, Will of Sir John Steward. This,
         however, does not prove that Eleanor was confined at Calais,
         as the editor of this will thinks, for Steward or Stiward was
         one of the two gentlemen appointed to take care of her at
         Leeds Castle, and in her later confinement.

  [948] See Ellis, _Letters_, 2nd Series, i. 107; Devon, _Issue Roll_,

  [949] Hall, 202. See also 'Lament of the Duchess of Gloucester,' a
         contemporary ballad, 'A word for me durst no man say,'
         _Political Songs_, ii. 206.

  [950] Rymer, V. i. 110.

  [951] Lansdowne MS., i. f. 79.

  [952] Sloane MS., 248. See App. A.

  [953] William of Worcester, 461.

  [954] Fabyan, 614.

  [955] Cotton MS., Julius, B. ii. ff. 68vo, 75. Randolph seems to
         have had considerable connection with Gloucester, and to have
         been one of his literary followers. There still exists
         amongst a collection of astrological tables certain 'Canones
         pro tabulis ejus (_i.e._ Humphrey) astronomicis secundum
         Fratrem Randolfe'; Sloane MS., 407, ff. 224-227.

  [956] _Eng. Chron._, 60.

  [957] _Political Songs_, ii. 205.

  [958] Rawlinson MS., Classis, C. 813, ff. llvo, 12, a
         sixteenth-century collection of songs, but this one by
         internal evidence was evidently written by a contemporary.

  [959] _Chron. Henry VI._, 30.

  [960] See _Political Songs_, ii. 207.

  [961] See _e.g. Cal. Rot. Pat._, 277.

  [962] _Ancient Correspondence_, vol. lvii. No. 97.

  [963] _Add. Charters_, 44, 531.

  [964] Cotton MS., Nero, D. vii. f. 154 (June 25, 1431).

  [965] Bedford described Joan of Arc as 'a disciple and Lyme of the
         Feend called the Pucelle that used fals enchantements and
         Sorcerie'; Rymer, IV. iv. 141.

  [966] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 118.

  [967] _Lond. Chron._, 107; Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._, ii. 331. See
         also Harleian MS., 2256, f. 193vo.

  [968] Fabyan, 614; Holkham MS., p. 10.

  [969] Shakespeare, second part of _King Henry VI._, Act II. Scene

  [970] 'But then he fell into a foul error, Moved by his wife Eleanor
         Cobham, To truste her so men thought he was to blame.'

  This is how the incident struck the rhyming chronicler Hardyng, 400.

  [971] _Ordinances_, v. 199.

  [972] _Ibid._, v. 280.

  [973] Amundesham, _Annales_, ii. App. B. 289. We find him at
         Greenwich in the following year also (Dugdale, _Monasticon_,
         ii. 245), and again on another occasion (_Beckington
         Correspondence_, ii. 244). See also _Rot. Pat._, 25 _Henry
         VI._, Part i. m. 16.

  [974] _Inquisitiones_, A.Q.D. File 449, No. 1 (June 13, 1442).

  [975] We find Gloucester and Kemp adopting the same attitude with
         regard to the prosecution of the war in 1443; _Ordinances_,
         v. 224. Kemp was alienated from the Beaufort counsels by the
         advent of Suffolk, with whom he could not agree (see Ramsay,
         ii. 115).

  [976] _Ordinances_, v. 266.

  [977] Charter printed in Dugdale, _Monasticon_, ii. 244, 245. The
         transfer was completed, for reference is made to it in 1454;
         _Rot. Parl._, v. 253.

  [978] _Rot. Parl._, v. 56.

  [979] Rymer, V. i. 130.

  [980] _Ordinances_, vi. 32; cf. Rymer, V. i. 130.

  [981] Rymer, V. i. 112.

  [982] _Beckington Correspondence_, ii. 177-248.

  [983] _Ibid._, ii. 212-215, 244.

  [984] _Eng. Chron._, 61. The writ to Gloucester as Warden of the
         Cinque Ports to observe and proclaim the truce is dated
         January 2, 1445; Rymer, V. i. 153.

  [985] Stevenson, _Letters and Papers_, i. 123. See also
         _Polychronicon_, f. 337; Fabyan, 618; Grafton, i. 624;
         Holinshed, iii. 207.

  [986] Cotton MS., Vitellius, A. xvi. f. 104.

  [987] _Polychronicon_, f. 337vo; Fabyan, 617; Holinshed, iii. 207;
         Stow, 384; cf. _Chronicles of London Bridge_, 275; Carte,
         _Hist. of England_, ii. 727.

  [988] _Rot. Parl._, v. 73.

  [989] Polydore Vergil, 69.

  [990] Basin, i. 189.

  [991] Ægidius, _De Regimine Principium_, III. ii. 15.

  [992] Basin, i. 150, says that the subsequent events justified
         Gloucester's wish to continue the war.

  [993] Basin, i. 150, says that Somerset's secrecy was so great, that
         it is doubtful whether at the end of his campaign his
         intentions were known even to himself.

  [994] Waurin, iv. 351, 352. He says the Bishop of Salisbury was one
         of this party, but he probably means Moleyns, who was Dean of

  [995] For an account of this see T. Gascoigne, _Loci e Libro
         Veritatum_, edited by J. E. Thorold Rogers (Oxford, 1881), p.

  [996] This is the fear ascribed to Gloucester's enemies in Fabyan,
         619, and Leland, _Collectanea_, I. ii. 494. _Eng. Chron._,
         63, hints at some plan which the common people did not know
         of as yet, and which Suffolk and his party could not carry
         out until Gloucester should be out of the way. Basin, i. 189,
         also suggests that Gloucester's known hostility to the
         cession of Maine had something to do with his suspicious

  [997] Mathieu de Coussy, 30; Hall, 209; Polydore Vergil, 71.

  [998] _Chron. Henry VI._, 33; Mathieu de Coussy, 30; Whethamstede,
         i. 179. Cf. Hardyng, 400.

  [999] Stevenson, _Letters and Papers_, i. 110, 111.

  [1000] _Ibid._, i. 116, 123.

  [1001] _Chron. Henry VI._, 33; Waurin, iv. 353.

  [1002] Polydore Vergil, 72; Hall, 209; Holinshed, iii. 210, 211;
         Holkham MS., p. 58.

  [1003] _Eng. Chron._, 62.

  [1004] _Hist. Croyland. Contin._, i. 521.

  [1005] Stubbs, iii. 135. Cf. Carte, _Hist. of England_, ii. 727.

  [1006] Gloucester was a member of the Fraternity.

  [1007] _Brief Notes_, 150; Richard Fox, 116.

  [1008] _Eng. Chron._, 62; _Chron. Henry VI._, 33; _Short Eng.
         Chron._, 65; _Lond. Chron._, 135.

  [1009] From a pardon to one of Gloucester's servants of a later date
         it seems that the Duke came to Bury straight from Greenwich
         (Rymer, V. i. 179). Stow, 386, followed by Holkham MS., p.
         59, says he came from 'his Castle of Devizes in Wiltshire.'
         _Brief Notes_, 150, says he came from Wales.

  [1010] Ramsay, ii. 73, says, 'Gloucester made a show of resistance,
         a crowning act of folly, of which his adversaries made the
         most.' I can find no authority to justify this statement.

  [1011] _Chron. Henry VI._, 33; _Lond. Chron._, 135, says 'he mekely
         obeied' when put under arrest.

  [1012] _Brief Notes_, 150.

  [1013] _Chron. Henry VI._, 33.

  [1014] Richard Fox, 116.

  [1015] _Rot. Parl._, v. 128.

  [1016] The ruins of St. Saviour's Hospital can still be seen on the
         road leading from Bury to Thetford.

  [1017] Richard Fox, 116, 117; _Eng. Chron._, 62, 63; Gregory, 188;
         _Chron. Henry VI._, 33, 34; Hardyng, 400; William of
         Worcester, 464; _Lond. Chron._, 135; _Brief Notes_, 150;
         Stow, 386; _Hist. Croyland. Contin._, i. 521; _Short Eng.
         Chron._, 65. An entry on the verso of the last folio of
         Lincoln MS., 106, records the death of Gloucester. Holinshed,
         iii. 211.

  [1018] _Brief Notes_, 150; Fabyan, 619.

  [1019] _Brief Notes_, 150, erroneously states that he was buried
         here. The site of this Franciscan monastery can still be
         traced about half a mile outside Bury St. Edmunds on the
         Thetford road. Lewis, _Topographical Dictionary_, i. 659.

  [1020] Richard Fox, 117, 118.

  [1021] Mathieu de Coussy, 31, is the only contemporary writer to lay
         stress on this.



In spite of the circumstantial story which records the events of the
last few days of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, there hangs over the
manner of his death a cloud which no existing evidence can entirely
remove. Was he murdered, or was his death the result of natural causes?
Such is the question to which the circumstances surrounding his last
days give rise. Of contemporary chroniclers who give their opinion the
Englishmen mostly agree in a quiet acceptance of the idea that arrest
and disgrace so worked on an already weakened frame, that some kind of
seizure was followed by collapse and death. Richard Fox, who gives the
most detailed account of the tragedy of Bury, never for a moment
suggests foul play, whilst Wheathampsted, the friend and follower of the
dead man, clearly states that he died of sickness brought on by grief at
his arrest.[1022] Hardyng carries this theory still further by
describing the disease of which the Duke died as a sort of 'parlesey,'
stating that he had been similarly attacked before,[1023] but an
anonymous chronicler of Henry VI.'s reign, while describing the illness
much in the same way as Fox and Hardyng--a paralysis of both mind and
body--does not hesitate to hint fairly broadly that the disease did not
take its origin from the natural state of the Duke's health.[1024] The
author of the _English Chronicle_ reserves judgment. The truth about
Gloucester's death, he declares, is not yet known, but he quotes the
Gospel to prove that there is nothing hid which shall not be made
manifest;[1025] the London chronicler declares darkly that he was
treacherously treated.[1026] Foreign contemporary writers go still
further, and with one voice proclaim that Gloucester was murdered.
Waurin states this as a bare fact, but his statements are not beyond
dispute, for he adopts the same version as the continuator of the
_Historia Croylandensis_, who says that the Duke was found dead in bed
on the morning after his arrest.[1027] Mathieu de Coussy and Basin, both
of whom were alive at the time, aver that it was a case of murder, and
so it was generally believed on the Continent.[1028]


As time passed on, the growing unpopularity of Suffolk unloosed men's
tongues, and the idea that Gloucester had been murdered gradually arose,
and became a firm belief. It was obvious to all that the Duke's death
had been desired by Suffolk to increase his power, and within three
years of the Parliament at Bury another Parliament was clamouring for
the disgrace of this upstart, who with the help of the Queen had
monopolised the government of the kingdom, and it was but a very thinly
veiled accusation of murder which lay behind the articles of impeachment
that he 'wase the cause and laborer of the arrest, emprisonyng and
fynall destruction of the most noble valliant true Prince, your right
obeisant uncle the Duke of Gloucester.'[1029] That this was no more
than an accusation of complicity in Humphrey's disgrace which
indirectly produced his last illness is an interpretation which the
words cannot bear when we consider the facts of the case, for at the
same time Gregory records that among the charges brought against Suffolk
that of murdering 'that nobylle prynce the Duke of Gloucester' was
one.[1030] Whatever the words of the impeachment may imply to us, it is
plain that they bore but one meaning to the men of the time, and in view
of the coming disgrace of the Queen's favourite, public opinion was
beginning to assert itself, for it is to be noticed that, when recording
the death of Humphrey, Gregory ignored any question of murder.[1031]

We may well suspect that the murder of Suffolk by the sailors of the
Kentish coast had for its prompting some thought of revenge for the
death of the man who had held the command of Dover and the Cinque Ports.
The people were beginning to find their voices, and when the Kentish men
followed Jack Cade in his march on London, they invoked the wrongs of
Duke Humphrey, as one of the reasons of their rebellion. They demanded
the punishment of the false traitors 'which counterfetyd and imagyned'
Gloucester's death, and they declared the charges which had been brought
against him at Bury to be false.[1032] Moreover, in one of the popular
songs connected with this rising there is distinct mention of 'two
traitors ... Pulford and Hanley that drownyd ye Duke of
Glocester,'[1033] a possible allusion to the two yeomen of the guard who
were Humphrey's custodians after his arrest, and who may have been more
than suspected of being the instruments of his enemies' treachery. It
was at this time also that Lord Saye de Sele met his violent end at the
hands of the mob, who accused him of many acts of treason 'of whyche he
knowlachyd of the dethe' of Gloucester.[1034] As hostility to the
existing regime increased, the belief in the murder grew
proportionately, and became complete assurance on the triumph of the
Yorkist party. Thus one of the political poems which paved the way for
this turn of events declared roundly that 'This Fox (Suffolk) at Bury
slowe our grete gandere' (Gloucester),[1035] and the manifesto which the
Duke of York issued from Calais referred to 'the pytyous shamefulle and
sorrowfulle murther to all Englonde, of that noble werthy and Crystyn
prince Humphrey Duke of Gloucester, the Kynges trew uncle, at

A few years later a political song stated that

          'The good duc of Gloucestre, in the season
          Of the Parlement at Bury beyng,
          Was put to dethe,'[1037]

and the general acceptance of the fact of murder was so universal that
under the year 1446 (O.S.) a compiler of historical notes, writing in
the latter days of the fifteenth century, put down without comment or
hesitation 'interfectio ducis Gloucestriae.'[1038] Fabyan, another
writer of this period,[1039] mentions the theory that Humphrey had been
put to death as an accepted fact, adding that 'dyverse reportes ar made,
which I passe over.'[1040] Subsequent writers and historians have all
followed this opinion,[1041] till within recent years some doubts have
been cast on this universally accepted reading of the events.

We cannot accept the verdict of murder as conclusive without an
examination into the facts of the case. Obviously it may have been more
a political move than a firm conviction of the murder that induced the
Yorkist party to throw out these accusations with regard to Gloucester's
end, but in this respect it cannot have been very fruitful, and it is
stated in a manner which implies that the facts of the case were common
property. To support the theory there is the strong hint of the Latin
chronicler of Henry VI.'s reign, and the suspiciously judicial attitude
of the author of the _English Chronicle_. The testimony of Wheathampsted
as the friend of Gloucester deserves attention, yet we must remember
that the late Abbot of St. Albans had passed entirely into private life
in 1447, and did not emerge therefrom till four years later when he
resumed the Abbacy. Moreover, his information was probably gained from
Richard Fox of the House of St. Albans, a man who brought no critical
power to bear on his narrative, and who merely recorded the official
account of the Duke's last illness; all personal access to the prisoner
had been forbidden save to the royal officials, who had him in charge,
and at the best Fox must have recorded what he was told at the time by
those who had the care of his master. Evidence of a more definite and
less refutable kind is the statement of John Hardyng. By him the illness
is given a definite name, and allusion is made to earlier attacks. This
is supported by a report on the Duke's health made some twenty-three
years earlier by his physician, which describes him in a weak state of
health, though the details of the report do no more than point to
certain excesses in his manner of living, and a temporary lack of
health, and do not in any way suggest a hopelessly decayed constitution,
which some would deduce therefrom.[1042] Only once do we hear of the
Duke suffering from illness, and the activity of his life, in which he
combined the avocations of a soldier, a politician, and a man of
letters, in itself refutes the suggestion. Humphrey showed no signs of
bodily decay; he was perfectly well, and able to make a long journey on
the eve of his imprisonment, and if his health was so undermined at the
age of thirty-four, how was it that he survived to more than complete
his fifty-seventh year, no mean age at that time? He survived all his
brothers; one died in battle, Henry at the age of thirty-six succumbed
to an attack of camp fever, Bedford only attained his forty-sixth year,
while his grandfather, John of Gaunt, who was looked on as an old man
for his time, lived but one year longer than himself, and his father
only reached the age of forty-seven. Indeed of all his relations
Cardinal Beaufort alone lived to be really old, though his exact age is
uncertain. The statement of Hardyng must not, therefore, be considered
as entirely corroborated by the physician's report, and by itself it
stands as a statement of no more value than those which roundly assert
that Gloucester was murdered, for the chronicle was written about the
year 1463 by a man who had served the House of Lancaster from the battle
of Shrewsbury onward. Perhaps the strangest of all evidences on this
point is that given by Chastellain, the Burgundian chronicler, who wrote
_Le Temple de Bocace_ for Margaret of Anjou when in 1463 she retired
into exile in the county of Bar. In this collection of stories dealing
with the sad fate of many famous people, a sort of continuation of
Boccaccio's Latin work which was introduced to English readers by John
Lydgate's _The Falls of Princes_, a terrible picture of Humphrey's
violent end is drawn, and the methods used to give the appearance of a
natural death are described. When we remember that Margaret was a
prominent member of the faction at whose bidding such a deed must have
been performed, the version of the story here given is the more

Apart from all statements of chroniclers, whether contemporary or
otherwise, there lies the probability of the case. Gloucester was in the
way of the plans of Suffolk and Margaret; he had already been accused of
treason, an accusation which might be hard to prove; armed preparations
had been made against him; he was under arrest at the time of his death.
More important than this is the way he was isolated from his followers;
his chief retainers were arrested, and his personal servants were
removed from attendance on him,[1044] and thus the officers appointed by
his enemies could arrange what they liked. The way his body was exposed
after death to prove that no violence had cut short his days was itself
an invitation to suspicion, and this negative method of proof was not
unknown in the cases of other royal victims of political murder. The
whole story of the case supports the supposition that some kind of slow
poison was used, a method of assassination quite possible under the
circumstances, and for which it would almost seem that provision had
been made. Murder, therefore, is the most probable explanation of the
Duke's sudden demise, his relapse into a comatose state might very well
be the result of a poison taken with his food, and when an unscrupulous
party so desired his death, the conclusion is obvious.

          'Who finds the partridge in the puttock's nest,
          But may imagine now the bird was dead,
          Although the kite soar with unbloodied beak?
          Even so suspicious is this tragedy.'[1045]

Whatever opinion is held with regard to the immediate cause of
Humphrey's death, it is beyond doubt that his destruction was planned,
if not carried out. On Suffolk and Lord Saye de Sele falls the chief
suspicion, and in the latter's case the count is strengthened by the
fact that he received on the very next day after the death of the Duke
some of the offices which the victim had held.[1046] 'Pole' that 'fals
traytur' was openly accused of part responsibility,[1047] and Fabyan
says, 'The grudge and murmour of ye people ceased not agayne the Marquis
of Suffolke, for the deth of the good duke of Gloucester, of whos murdre
he was specially susspected.'[1048] Foreign chroniclers all attribute
the murder to the 'faction of Suffolk,'[1049] and in this indictment the
Queen cannot be excepted. She, together with Suffolk and Lord Saye de
Sele, shared in the lands and emoluments which reverted to the King on
his uncle's demise,[1050] and girl though she was, she had a
predominating influence among those who had allied themselves against
Gloucester. One more fact both points to the existence of a
determination to make away with their rival on the part of the dominant
party of the Court, and strengthens the suggestion of murder; so
complete were the preparations in view of the death, that on the very
day that Gloucester died, a grant was made of his property to Henry's
foundation of King's College, Cambridge,[1051] and further grants of the
same kind were made on the following day.[1052]

Final proof of the care with which Gloucester's death was organised is
to be found in the treatment meted out to his followers, of whom in all
forty-two were arrested and imprisoned in thirteen different
castles.[1053] On July 8[1054] five of these men, including the Duke's
natural son Arthur, were arraigned before Suffolk at Deptford and
condemned to be drawn to Tyburn, hanged, disembowelled, beheaded, and
quartered for plotting treason against the King. The charge against them
was that they had held a seditious meeting at Greenwich on February 7
last, where they had agreed to kill King Henry VI., and place Gloucester
and his imprisoned wife upon the throne. Four days later, having
collected a large body of men, they had marched out towards Bury, hoping
that the country would join them.[1055] Besides this definite charge,
rumours were spread abroad that Humphrey had been organising a rebellion
in his own favour in Wales,[1056] a legend based on nothing more
substantial than the fact that many of the imprisoned retainers bore
Welsh names,[1057] but sufficiently elaborated to induce the Parliament
at Bury to re-enact 'all statutes made against Welshmen.'[1058]

The absurdity of the whole story is obvious. A great army this escort of
eighty men to start a rebellion of all England, and to bring about the
removal of the King! There is not one shred of evidence to prove even
the likelihood of such a plot. We are definitely told that Humphrey came
to Bury with a clear conscience,[1059] and had his intentions been
treasonable he would not have entered the town after the warning he
received from the King's message. He made not the slightest show of
resistance, save, if we can except the statement of a foreign
chronicler, that he used strong language to his jailers about those who
dominated the King.[1060] If the plot had been hatched on February 7,
why was it that Suffolk had collected an army of 60,000 men at Bury some
time before the opening of Parliament on February 10, and had gone
through the form of taking elaborate precautions for the safety of the
King on his way thither? The details of the trial of these retainers
also give cause for suspicion, for no office that Suffolk held entitled
him to sit as judge at Deptford, and he was probably acting under a
special writ, issued to ensure the condemnation of the prisoners. The
whole proceeding was meant to throw dust in the eyes of those who might
question the manner of Gloucester's death, and to remove the possibility
of any one championing the fallen Duke, who was thus proved to have died
with the guilt of treason on his conscience. Having established his
case, Suffolk tried to win favour with the people by appearing at the
execution and producing a reprieve from the King. Though already strung
up at Tyburn, when the reprieve was read they were promptly cut down,
and their lives were saved.[1061] They and the rest of the prisoners
were set at large, and their goods were returned to them.[1062] Had
there been any truth in the charge for which they were condemned, the
men would certainly not have been reprieved, and this bid for popularity
proved fruitless, for in spite of it 'the grudge and murmur of ye people
ceased not agayne the Marquys of Suffolke.'[1063] Violence was not one
of Humphrey's crimes; he had appealed to force of arms once only, and
then it was merely to act on the defensive. This imagined plot was
totally at variance with all his former conduct. Plot there was, but it
was formed by Suffolk and his partisans to destroy their rival, whose
death becomes still more suspicious in the light of their vain attempt
at justification.

       *       *       *       *       *


With Gloucester dead, and his memory tainted by an accusation of
treason, Margaret and Suffolk thought they had secured safety for their
plans and security for the House of Lancaster. But this was far from
being the case. Besides casting an indelible slur on the dynasty which
had connived at the disgrace and removal of one of its own
representatives, they had inaugurated a period of strife and disaster
that ended only with the triumph of the rival claimants to the throne of
England. A foreign observer of English politics dated all the
disturbances which followed from the time of Gloucester's death,[1064]
and an English chronicler wrote: 'Thus began the trouble of Engelonge
for the deth of this noble duke. All the comyns of this reame began for
to murmure, and were not content.'[1065] A political ballad writer, too,
saw how things had gone when he wrote, that since the tragedy of Bury

      'Hath been in Engeland, gret mornyng with many a scharp schoure
      Falshode, myschef, secret synne upholdyng,
      Whiche hathe caused in Engeland endeley langoure.'[1066]

The government of Henry VI., or rather that of those who had his ear,
was already unpopular, and we have seen how still more hostile to it the
nation became after 1447, and how Humphrey's reputation increased as
that of his opponent's diminished. Jack Cade invoked the name of
Gloucester as one of the justifications of his hostility to the
Government, and it is a significant fact that the three men who were
suspected of complicity in the murder, namely Suffolk, Adam Moleyns, and
Lord Saye de Sele, all met violent deaths at the hands of the people.

But mere unpopularity was not the worst danger which the Government had
to fear, as a result of Gloucester's death, and to understand this
aspect of the matter we must recall the history of the two parties in
the State since the death of Henry V. The reign of Henry VI. had opened
with a declaration of party war. From the first there had been two
distinct parties in the kingdom, each fighting to secure the supreme
control, the one headed by Gloucester, the other by Cardinal Beaufort,
both of whom were members of the House of Lancaster, though the latter's
family was excluded from succession to the throne. Gloucester's position
as 'lymyted protector,' as a contemporary ballad writer calls it,[1067]
had been at once a source of some strength to him and a point of attack
for his enemies. Throughout the period of the King's minority the
struggle had been for the control of the Council of Regency, Gloucester
asserting his privileges as Protector, Beaufort denying them and trying
to secure further limitations of his power. So the struggle had worn on
with varying success, till with Henry's coronation in 1429 the
Protectorate had come to an end. Thenceforward the contest had been
between the same parties on a somewhat different field. Henry, as he
gradually increased in understanding and knowledge, had been besieged by
Gloucester and Beaufort, each trying to influence him in his own favour,
and so it had continued till the great triumph of the Beaufort policy in
the release of the Duke of Orleans and the marriage of the King to
Margaret of Anjou. Hereafter the scene had changed. The Bishop of
Winchester had passed out of public life,[1068] leaving the control of
his party to his two nephews, John and Edmund, successively Dukes of
Somerset. The Earl of Suffolk, apart from the fact that he was the
ablest member of the Beaufort faction, is a negligible quantity in this
history of party division. On the other hand, the Duke of York had come
to the front as the opponent of the Beauforts and as a follower of Duke
Humphrey, though he never came anywhere near to supplanting the latter
as leader of the opposition to the existing state of government.

Throughout this long struggle, hostile as it was to the peace of the
kingdom and to the good government of either party, there had never been
on either side any suggestion of hostility to the House of Lancaster as
such. Were not both leaders members of that House, and were not their
best interests bound up with the preservation of the throne to Henry
VI.? The fall of the King would have meant annihilation for both of
them, and not for a moment had the possibility of such a thing occurred
to the rivals. They had forgotten the shakiness of the Lancastrian
House; they had forgotten the claims of York; they had forgotten that
the present Duke of York was the son of a condemned plotter against the
throne. Their rivalry had been merely one of ambitious men who strove
for the mastery, the one with the claim of seniority, the other with
the claim of a personal stake in the welfare of the kingdom. The story
of that long-protracted struggle is not creditable to either Beaufort or
Gloucester, though we must remember that the challenge had come from the
former, who was excluded from the succession and had no such claim to
have a preponderating influence in the kingdom as had the brother of
Henry V. The Cardinal Bishop of Winchester has appealed to the sympathy
of posterity by reason of his supposed constitutional attitude, but his
pose cannot be taken seriously. Keen to see his own advantage, he had
supported the rights of the Council merely as a means to curtail the
power of the Protector, and thereby increase his own, but whether we
take his constitutional attitude seriously or not, we must condemn his
policy. On the other hand, Gloucester inadvertently had stumbled on a
policy, which was the only possible one that could save England from
internal disorder. In claiming the fullest powers as Protector he had
probably no idea beyond asserting what he considered to be his just and
legal rights, and obtaining a position which would satisfy his ambitious
nature; but his policy was sound. The one hope for England was a
government concentrated in the hands of one man, who would not be
hampered by opposition at the very fountainhead of justice, who would be
able to deal out summary retribution to the wrong-doer. Under these
conditions the government of Henry VI.'s favourites would not have
become a byword in the country, and have given a handle to the rival
House of York.

Thus the rivalry of Beaufort and Gloucester was more personal than
political, in no sense was it dynastic, and though it weakened the hold
of the House of Lancaster on the country, yet in itself it did not
threaten the throne of Henry VI. Still less was this the case when the
Beaufort faction had won their final victory, and had definitely placed
Gloucester in permanent opposition, where he acted as safety-valve to
the reigning dynasty. Just as so many years later the House of Hanover
was strengthened by the opposition of successive Princes of Wales, so
did Gloucester's opposition secure the House of Lancaster. He, it must
be remembered, was heir to the throne, for the marriage of Henry VI. had
not yet produced a son who would supplant him. Round him the
discontented elements in the nation circled, the Duke of York and his
following owned him as their leader. In the country at large he was
still popular, and no faction could rise to drive Henry from his throne
with any prospect of success if it had not the support of 'the good Duke
Humphrey.' On the other hand, the Duke of York and his claim had to be
kept in the background so long as Gloucester stood as heir to the throne
and leader of the opposition to the maladministration of the governing
clique. Moreover, the adhesion of York to Gloucester's party was a
guarantee against civil war, for those two men who worked together had
totally antagonistic claims to the throne of England.

We have here the chief reason why the death of Humphrey was at the same
time the death-blow to the House of Lancaster. The Duke of York was not
dangerous so long as Humphrey lived, for though their interests in the
kingdom were divergent, they had acted together through the last years
of Beaufort's domination. Both alike had been excluded from the Council
of the King, and both alike had made common cause in the name of order
and a different policy. We have seen the various shifts which had been
used to minimise Gloucester's influence with the King, York had been
intrigued against by the Beauforts whilst in command in France, and
finally he had been sent off to Ireland, so that he could not make his
voice felt in the councils of the nation.[1069] His connection with the
King's uncle was of long standing. Gloucester had held the guardianship
of the lands that he inherited from the Earl of March, he had supported
him in 1437, when it was proposed to put the Earl of Warwick in his
place as Commander-in-Chief of the army in France,[1070] and he had
complained bitterly in his indictment of Cardinal Beaufort that the Duke
of York had been alienated from the King.[1071] In return for this the
Yorkist party had supported Gloucester in opposition; after his death
they helped to bring home the guilt of his murder to those who had
contrived it, and as soon as they obtained the ascendency they
vindicated his memory by a public act. In the Parliament which met after
the first battle of St. Albans, under the auspices of the Duke of York,
the question of Humphrey's good fame, which had often been
unsuccessfully mooted before, was again raised; a petition was framed by
the Commons asking the King, in remembrance of his uncle's services to
the Crown, and of the fact that he had been accused of treason by
certain wicked persons, to declare the aspersions cast on his good name
to be unfounded. This petition, quite spontaneous on the part of the
Commons, was taken up by the Duke of York, and by his help and favour it
was granted.[1072] This attitude on the part of York has its
significance. It was a declaration that the policy which he espoused,
the policy of good government and justice, was the policy of Humphrey;
it was a party cry too, an appeal to the favour of the people, who
believed that the good Duke had done his utmost for the good government
of the kingdom.


When we come to examine the facts of the case, and the right which
Gloucester had to the reputation for good government, we must confess
that, though the adulation of the seventeenth-century chroniclers may
seem excessive, it is no more exaggerated than the obloquy which has
been heaped on his memory by more recent historians. His campaign in
Hainault and his whole policy in that matter, quite apart from his
behaviour to Jacqueline, is worthy of the heaviest censure. Blind to the
effects of his actions, he did nothing to minimise them when he had
tardily realised the possible alienation of Burgundy from the English
Alliance. He had allowed his personal interests and ambition to take
precedence of the advantage of his native country. Yet even here we must
reflect before we ascribe all the failures of the English in France to
his action. Signs are not wanting after the death of Henry that the Duke
of Burgundy was not the warm supporter of his English allies that he had
been in the past; the English also were not devoted to the Burgundian
alliance, the Earl Marshal made no objection to leading the Hainault
expedition, and the Earl of Salisbury, enraged by an outrage offered to
his wife, came over to offer his services to Gloucester.[1073] Nor did
the Council treat the matter very seriously. Humphrey on his return
received no reprimand, despite the statement to this effect by certain
foreign chroniclers. If Gloucester erred, he did so along with much of
the public opinion of his time, and had he proved more faithful to the
course he had undertaken, one might be inclined to judge his line of
action in Hainault less hardly. Nevertheless, apart from all matters of
foreign policy, he must be condemned for leaving his infant nephew at
home unguarded save by a man whom he most profoundly distrusted. This,
far more than the more obvious count of alienating Burgundy, must
condemn him in our eyes, if we look at the matter from his point of

Apart from this lapse from honour and wisdom in his government of the
country as Protector, what shall we say of Gloucester's action in home
policy? To deny the evil effects of the struggle for power between
himself and the Cardinal Bishop of Winchester would be to blind
ourselves to a clear historical truth, but we must remember--and in the
light of the modern judgment on Humphrey it cannot too often be
reiterated--that the struggle did not originate with him. He claimed the
Protectorate as his right, even as Bedford did, and it cannot be said to
have been a more ambitious move on the part of the one brother than on
that of the other. It was the late King's wish that he should be
Protector, and it was a wise arrangement. He distrusted Humphrey's
capacity as a general with an independent command, but he had reason to
believe that the man who had governed England quietly and well for him,
was the proper person to whom to confide the kingdom during his son's
minority. Apart from that disastrous struggle for supremacy over his
uncle the Cardinal and his party, how did Humphrey comport himself as
Protector, and later as chief Councillor?


The details of Gloucester's home government are hard to extract from the
central theme of party strife, but more than once we find him the
fearless supporter of the arm of the law. The kingdom was in a state of
potential upheaval all through the period of his power. Henry IV. might
say to his son, when speaking of the crown of England:

          'To thee it shall descend with better quiet,
          Better opinion, better confirmation;
          For all the soil of the achievement goes
          With me into the earth.'[1074]

But this was not true of Henry IV.'s grandson. 'De male acquisitis non
gaudebit tertius heres,' quotes an old chronicler,[1075] and leaving the
ethics of the case aside, this was undoubtedly true of poor misguided
Henry VI. Ever since the feudal barriers which restrained the great
lords had begun to disappear, the too powerful subject had been a
problem to be faced. Henry IV. had found this when confronted with the
insurrection of the men who had helped to place him on the throne. The
wars of Henry V. had aggravated the danger by increasing the wealth of
the nobles, who made fortunes by means of the armed men they provided
for the King. With a minor on the throne this development became still
more dangerous, and Humphrey had to meet it. He did his best. The
pretensions of the Earl of March were nipped in the bud by his dismissal
to Ireland: later the quarrel which almost grew into a private war
between Norfolk and Huntingdon was interrupted by his action, and his
appearance in the neighbourhood doubtless restrained these lords. He
issued warnings against the use of retinues of unnecessary strength, and
took a personal interest in the precautions which were to ensure peace
between the lords who accompanied the King to France. His reputation as
an enforcer of the King's peace must have been great, for at the time
when power was slipping from his hands, his enemies agreed to his
appointment as Chief-Justice in South Wales, a difficult and unsettled
district, and he held the same office at Chester[1076] on the
border-land, where the work of the Justice can have been no sinecure. In
minor breaches of the peace, such as those of 1427, he showed himself
eager to put down all kinds of lawlessness, and by his prompt action he
nipped the movement of Jack Sharp in the bud, a movement which, in spite
of its insignificant appearance in the pages of history, might well have
developed into a rebellion against the House of Lancaster. In all these
instances it was by no deputed power that Humphrey enforced the majesty
of the law, but by personal exertions and visits to the centres of

Nothing bears greater testimony to the success of Gloucester's rule than
the change which came over the state of the country as soon as he was
driven from power. Under his government there had been disturbances,
but nearly always for some definite reason. When Beaufort became
supreme, however, the country degenerated steadily into anarchy, not on
account of personal claims or dynastic troubles, but simply because the
central government had lost all control over the people. In the west a
private war of some magnitude raged between the Earl of Devon and Sir
William Bonville, Wales was in revolt, York and Norwich were the scenes
of considerable disturbances, Northampton was at war with Lord Grey of
Ruthyn, riots occurred in London, Salisbury, and Derbyshire. Beaufort's
firm ally, Archbishop Kemp, was attacked by the men of his diocese and
the Earl of Northumberland, whilst to still further complicate affairs,
the finances were in an even worse state than when Gloucester was in
power.[1077] If Gloucester was not an ideal ruler, Beaufort and his
faction fell still further short of that ideal, and if we judge by
results, we must conclude that England was happier and better governed
under the ex-Protector, than under the party which supplanted him.


Stern represser of revolt, and enforcer of the law, was Gloucester
himself a defaulter in these respects? Accusations to this effect there
are, but few and of doubtful importance. In Parliament, together with
other lords, he was complained of as illegally exacting the royal right
of purveyance,[1078] but his position as heir to the throne may form
some excuse for his action, and the complaint was made at a time when
his enemies were closing their toils around him. More detailed and
circumstantial is an account of how one John Withorne had his lands
seized by Gloucester, who claimed him as _nativus suus_, and was taken
off to spend the remaining seven years of his pretended master's life in
prison in Wales. At the end of that time, blind, decrepit, a wreck of
humanity, he was released by the order of the King.[1079] The story may
be true, but it dates from immediately after the death of Gloucester,
and looks suspiciously like an attempt by his enemies to justify their
opposition to him, a theory supported by the mention of Wales, that wild
land whence he was to lead his mythical hordes to dethrone the King, and
establish himself in his nephew's place. Further there are the charges
of undue severity imposed on prisoners recorded as part of his
indictment by some later chroniclers,[1080] but the strongest argument
against this and all other charges is to be found in the fact that there
are not the slightest signs of a genuine detailed indictment of the Duke
by his enemies, who had to rest content with poisoning the King's mind
with regard to his uncle. Nevertheless some truth may be found in the
story of the imprisoned villein, for rapacity was a vice which Humphrey
shared with his uncle of Winchester, and an anonymous chronicler tells
us how his wife Eleanor wrongfully deprived the Hospital of St. John of
Pontefract of certain lands belonging to them.[1081] This fact is
attested by a grant dated February 27, 1447, whereby certain lands in
Norfolk, including the Manor of Sculthorpe, lately belonging to
Gloucester, were given to the Hospital of St. John,[1082] and when we
remember that Sir Robert Knollys, the founder of this institution, lived
and died at the manor-house of Sculthorpe, the probability of the charge
becomes a certainty.

Only one other complaint do we find of Gloucester's behaviour, and that
is by the unknown continuator of the Croyland chronicle, who complains
that, when interviewing the Protector on several occasions with regard
to a lawsuit with the men of Spalding, the Abbot of that monastery was
harshly and unjustly treated by him.[1083] That this means anything
more than that the Abbot failed to substantiate his case we may well
doubt; at all events, even were all these charges true, they are but a
mild indictment of a man who lived in the first half of the fifteenth
century amidst so many temptations to excess, a man, too, against whom
any accusations would have been welcomed by the faction in power during
the last few years of his life.

Before concluding this estimate of his public character as Protector and
heir to the throne, let us remember that, when issuing an edict
forbidding certain lords to come to Parliament with too extensive
retinues, he named Huntingdon among the number, a man who supported him,
and consequently found himself neglected and estranged from the King in
the days when Humphrey made his famous protest against the
administration of the Bishop of Winchester. Personal motives, therefore,
did not always overrule his sense of justice; it cannot be for nothing
that Gloucester earned the title of the 'Good Duke,'[1084] and it is
impossible to believe that he would have been so popular with the
people, if he had been guilty of frequent acts of oppression. Taken with
the facts of his career, it is more likely that this popularity sprang
not from a mere charm of manner, but from the fact that he alone of the
great men of his time tried to curb the licence of the nobles and the
depredations of the lawless. He was not the inspirer of disturbances,
nor the author of the Wars of the Roses. By his very existence he was
what Sandford calls 'a grand prop of the Red Rose tree,'[1085] and
this--strange paradox--by reason of his alliance with the leader of the
White Rose cause. Gloucester was not the first Yorkist--his instincts
and his interests alike prevented this; he was not the subverter of the
Lancastrian dynasty. On the contrary, it was his death that created the
Yorkist party, and paved the way for the downfall of his nephew.


Humphrey was no traitor to his King, nor enemy of his father's House,
quite the reverse. He had done services to his country, which are
forgotten amid the factious surroundings of his career. Biassed though
they may be, there is much to be said for the truth of the statements
made in the lament put into the mouths of his followers, when they had
buried their master. 'Now,' they cried, 'the right hand of the King has
gone, the right arm of his strength has withered, he has lost him, who
in the day of his necessity was both wall and rampart to him. Who but
his uncle put down internal risings against the throne when they
occurred, or went forth to fight, when enemies from without threatened
him? He at last has laid aside his arms, and has retired to that region
where there is peace and rest, and sorrow is no more. Who but the Duke
of Gloucester, during the King's infancy, drove the Duke of Burgundy
from Picardy? Who but that Duke, during the same King's boyhood, brought
the enemies of the Cross of Christ to destruction? Who but he, in the
King's full age, gave peace to the people in every quarter? Who but he,
in a word, throughout the King's nonage, was his faithful foster-father
and foster-mother alike? And now he is said to be a traitor, he who in
the past had so many opportunities to do that which he is accused of
doing in the present. Nay, that accusation is a lie most false, devised
by those greedy devourers, who kill virtue when it is exalted, and who
seek occasion to suffocate the innocent, that they may increase their
plunder! Wherefore shall we his servants, who moved in the same
surroundings as he, who were cognisant of all his secrets, who knew all
his actions, shall we then allow a prince so illustrious, a duke so
tireless in doing his duty, a soldier so trusty and prudent, one too
guiltless of any crime, to be thus torn by dogs, thus stung by
scorpions? Be this thought far from us and from those who favour justice
and piety, for the great Duke himself both loved, nurtured, and enforced
justice, and it is a pious work to champion one who can no longer
defend himself.'[1086]

Such is the one estimate of Gloucester's services to the body politic,
but we must not look merely on one side of the picture. Humphrey claimed
to guide the ship of state, and in many cases his policy was right, and
his actions were just, but he lacked that touch of greatness which might
have lifted him above the wrangles of party politics. His statesmanship
was at fault. He had no power of gauging a man's worth, or weighing a
policy in the balance. He rushed blindly into a compromising war at
Hainault, a position from which there was no retreat, and he cut but a
sorry figure when he abandoned the whole enterprise. He could not
sustain a definite line of action, and drive steadily to the end he had
in view. He complicated his policy with too many endeavours, and brought
none of them to good effect. He could not keep an unswerving course, as
Protector, or disassociate himself from the tricks of party warfare; in
opposition he could not maintain a steady attack, but contented himself
with fitful outbursts of impotent wrath.


Yet, apart from this, his policy had a consistency which his actions
lacked. When the second stage of the Hundred Years' War was about to
begin, he adopted an attitude which he maintained throughout his life.
He then voted against the Burgundian alliance; at St. Omer he showed his
dislike of such an alliance in the scant courtesy with which he treated
the Count of Charolais; he defied the same Count when Duke of Burgundy
with an animosity both personal and political; he encouraged the
defiance which England flung at this same Duke after the congress of
Arras; he resisted the release of Orleans partly because it was a
Burgundian suggestion. Again, in 1415, he favoured an Armagnac alliance,
and we find him voicing the same principle when it was a question of a
marriage for Henry VI. with a daughter of the Armagnac or Angevin House.
In the matter of the war, too, he was consistent to the extent of folly.
His active life had begun in the Trench wars; he had accompanied his
brother Henry V. on his expeditions to France. Henceforth he accepted
the war as part of his political creed, and would not move one
hair's-breadth therefrom. At a time when no useful advantage could be
gained by the prolongation of hostilities, he opposed the wise, pacific
movement of Cardinal Beaufort, and did much to defame his political
character with posterity by this dogged persistence of principle. Yet he
could not devise a scheme for carrying on the war, and though he offered
to undertake the command, he did not persist in his suggestion.

There is a possible view of Gloucester's war policy, which may explain,
if not justify, his attitude. In a political poem of the period, well
known as the 'Libel of English Policy,' the principle, that command of
the narrow seas was necessary for the safety of English commerce, is
insisted on at some length.[1087] This command, it is to be presumed,
was only to be maintained by a secure hold on both sides of the Channel,
and the continuance of the war was considered necessary for this
purpose. Calais, however, even in those days, was a sufficient guarantee
for the openness of the Channel; but the supposition that trade
considerations had their influence on Gloucester's war policy is
strengthened by his well-known connection with trade interests in the
country. His popularity with the Londoners must have taken its origin
from this side of the Duke's policy, and from certain discussions at the
Parliament at Leicester in 1426 it seems likely that the riotous
tendencies in London, that led to the garrisoning of the Tower in 1425,
had some connection with a movement against foreign traders in the
capital.[1088] Gloucester, it will be remembered, had supported the
Londoners in their objections to the garrison, and we may perhaps deduce
from this a tendency to, what we may call, an 'All British Policy,' a
trace of the modern Jingo politician. Humphrey had other connections
besides this with the trading interests in the country. He had some
intercourse with the weavers of York,[1089] and his wife was interested
at one time in a petition from one of the glovers of that city.[1090] We
also find a letter addressed to Gloucester during the reign of Henry VI.
from an English merchant at Amiens, asking for his protection in matters
commercial.[1091] The Duke had realised the strength of that new power
which was arising in England, the power of the middle classes, the
traders, and herein he foreshadowed the subsequent commercial policy of
the first Yorkist King.

       *       *       *       *       *

Gloucester began life as a soldier, he ended it as a politician. In the
first capacity he showed ability to adapt himself to the new methods of
warfare. His military skill was greater than subsequent historians have
realised; he was a trusted Captain of Henry V.'s army, and was specially
skilful in the management of a siege--the story of his attack on
Cherbourg is a sufficient guarantee of his power in this sphere. But
again his lack of persistency marred an otherwise promising talent, and
as an independent general, save in short, detached expeditions, he was a
dismal failure, coming near to be suspected of downright cowardice. But
it is as a politician that he will be remembered, as the man who
struggled with Cardinal Beaufort, the man whose ambition led him to
demand what his fellows would not grant him. The world of politics was
the scene of Gloucester's greatest failure, for a failure his life
certainly was. A man with more strength of character would have risen
triumphant over the difficulties placed in his way, he would have
secured the substance, if not the appearance of power. As it was, his
ambition, his craft, his domineering instincts were called into play,
and all the petty weaknesses of his character came to the front. We
follow him from one poor shift to another, all aimed at satisfying his
desire to be supreme over his rival. Herein lies the tragedy of his
life. A man of great abilities, and destined by birth to take a
prominent part in the affairs of his country, he nevertheless wasted his
life in an endeavour to satisfy his personal ambitions. He cast aside
the splendid opportunity to rise triumphant over opposition, and in a
world of pigmies he failed to dominate them by his personality. He was
not that great man who 'aiming at a million misses an unit'; he was not
even that low man who 'goes on adding one to one.' He spent his life and
his abilities in aiming at the petty gratification of his lust for
power, and in so doing failed to grasp the grand opportunity of being
the saviour of the Lancastrian dynasty.

       *       *       *       *       *


No comprehensive view of Gloucester's policy can be attained without
some reference to his relations with the various ecclesiastical bodies
and the church problems of his time. Above all things, through thick and
thin, in the midst of the vagaries of a lax life, and the uncanonical
marriage that he made with Jacqueline, he was essentially orthodox. His
seventeenth-century biographer spends much time in combating this
opinion, and states that from his youth up he 'favoured those that hold
the opinion of Wickliff';[1092] indeed at the end of the treatise it is
evident, that its main object is to prove that its hero was the morning
star of the Reformation. This contention is obviously absurd. 'Amator
virtuties et rei publicæ, sed principue clericorum promotor
singularis'[1093] is the character given to Humphrey by a contemporary,
who therein gave utterance to the opinion of his day. It could hardly be
otherwise. As a boy the future Duke of Gloucester had been surrounded by
those whose orthodoxy was part of their political programme. Henry IV.
had snatched his crown from the head of Richard, who was strongly
suspected of Lollardy, and he resolutely refused to comply with the
movement in favour of remitting the statutes passed against the
Lollards.[1094] His successor had adopted the rôle of God's messenger to
the wicked Frenchmen, and had kept up his part all through his campaign,
so much so that in 1418 he had retired to Bayeux to keep Lent, whilst
his brothers fought his battles for him. In earlier years, too, as
Prince of Wales, he had played the missionary to heretical
criminals.[1095] No wonder, then, that Humphrey adopted the orthodox
attitude of his House, and was punctilious in the performance of his
religious duties.[1096]



Gloucester was not only orthodox himself, but also a stern opponent of
the Lollards, and more than once we have seen him following the example
of his brother Bedford, who as Regent condemned Oldcastle to death, and
executing summary justice on those who attacked the Church. In this he
doubtless looked to the political as well as the religious side of the
Lollard movement, but this only confirms the fact, that his private
opinion and the interests of the dynasty alike impelled him to adopt a
strictly orthodox attitude. The story of the condemnation of his wife
may seem to some to contradict this statement, but whether Gloucester
had any part in the witchcraft or not, it was not in those days
impossible to combine the grossest superstition with the strictest
orthodoxy. That Humphrey dabbled in alchemy and astrology there is no
doubt, but he did so in company with the monks of the strictly
orthodox House of St. Albans.[1097] It was after the disgrace of
Eleanor Cobham that the University of Oxford wrote, that the greatest
splendour attaching to his name came from his persistent suppressions of
the enemies of Holy Church,[1098] and when dedicating his _Commentary on
Genesis_ to his patron, Capgrave did not hesitate to call him 'the most
glorious defender of the Faith and diligent extirpator of
heresies.'[1099] Moreover, it was not only in England that Gloucester
owned a reputation for orthodoxy, for when writing to him on behalf of
Pier Candido Decembrio, the Archbishop of Milan, devoted about half his
letter to bewailing the strife and dissension within the Church, ending
with a fervent appeal that his correspondent would use his influence to
restore peace, since he was known everywhere as the chiefest friend and
preserver of Holy Church.[1100]

With regard to Humphrey's marriage to a lady who already possessed a
husband, we must remember that a very plausible and strictly legal case
was made out against the legality of her earlier marriage. We have no
evidence that an answer to Gloucester's argument was ever filed, and the
history of the proceedings at Rome, where Robert Sutton and Vincent
Clement represented his interests,[1101] points to the fact that the
legal aspect of the case was never given a thought, and that the whole
matter was decided by intrigue and personal considerations. The long
delay in giving a decision convicts Martin V. of neglecting the rights
and wrongs of the case, for had it been a mere matter of law, no such
delay was necessary.


The secret history of these negotiations at Rome is unknown, and will
probably never be revealed, but subsequent events point strongly to the
intervention of Beaufort influence. The key to the whole matter is to be
found in a quarrel which began some years later between the Pope and the
Archbishop of Canterbury. The Bishop of Winchester was no stranger to
Martin V.; indeed, the Pope had every reason to be grateful to one who
had had no small share in his election, for it was the arrival of Henry
Beaufort at Constance, when the College of Cardinals could come to no
decision, that turned the tide in favour of Oddo Colonna. An intimacy
probably sprang up between the two, and the Pope was anxious to bestow a
Cardinal's hat on his friend, but this Henry V. refused to allow. We
hear no more of Beaufort's ecclesiastical ambitions during the rest of
this reign, but when troubles and disturbances began to surround the
Court of the younger Henry, then Beaufort was to the fore. He had not
lost touch with the Court of Rome, and it cannot be doubted that his
handiwork may be seen in a letter which in 1427 the Pope wrote to
Archbishop Chichele. Martin V. had exalted ideas as to the importance of
the papal power, and on this occasion he wrote in severe terms with
regard to the existence of the statute of Præmunire, which limited his
powers in England. Chichele was not blind to the meaning of this attack,
which blamed him for placing patriotism to his country before loyalty to
his Church.[1102] In his reply he did not beat about the bush, but
plainly told the Pope that both the Duke of Gloucester and he himself
had been maligned, if His Holiness regarded them as hostile to him in
any way whatsoever. He added that were he able to undertake the journey
he would gladly visit Rome, and explain the evil intentions of that
faction which was attempting to drive him from his See.[1103] It was
useless for the Pope to retort with increased anger that Chichele had no
right to introduce the name of his 'beloved son Humphrey, Duke of
Gloucester,' as no charge had been made against him.[1104] The inference
is obvious. The faction of which the Archbishop complained was clearly
the Beaufort party, else Gloucester would not have been mentioned as
sharing the brunt of the attack made upon him. Chichele had not the
unlovely graces and deceptions of diplomacy, and he retorted frankly to
the spirit and not to the letter of the papal communication that he had

Moreover, the Pope was at the same time harassing the Duke on the same
subject. In a letter, dated October 13 of this same year, he complained
bitterly of the ill treatment and imprisonment which his Nuncio and
Collector, John de Obizis, had experienced in England, and he declared
that he understood that the Protector was the instigator of these
proceedings. Beaufort had doubtless stirred up this cause of quarrel,
and was also at the bottom of the demands with which the letter
concluded. Martin asserted that the King had promised to call a
Parliament to consider 'the execrable statute against ecclesiastical
liberty,' and urged Gloucester, as next in importance to the King, to
use his influence on the side of repeal.[1105] Thus was Humphrey drawn
into the quarrel, and though it would seem that he tried to pacify the
Pope by releasing the papal collector,[1106] there are no signs that he
abandoned his old friend Chichele on the question of Præmunire. The tone
of the papal letter addressed to the Protector, though couched in civil
language, contains a decided threat, especially when we remember that
the case of Jacqueline's divorce was still pending at Rome. It is
therefore impossible to doubt from the evidence before us that the
attack on Humphrey and the offenceless Archbishop was the work of the
Bishop of Winchester, meant to serve his own personal ends, and to
gratify his political ambitions in England.

The excuse and foundation for this attack on Archbishop Chichele are not
far to seek. The Bishop of Lincoln had been recently translated to the
See of York by papal provision, and had been indicted for accepting this
promotion under the statute of Præmunire. However, he had come to terms
with the Lords of the Council, and in return for a promise to stay all
proceedings against him and to reappoint him to the See of Lincoln, he
had agreed to renounce all claims to the See of York, and to do his
utmost to expedite the cause of the Duke of Gloucester at the Court of
Rome, the cause being the divorce of Jacqueline, as yet undecided.[1107]
This action on the part of the Council had enraged the Pope and annoyed
Beaufort, the former because the statute of Præmunire had been employed
to curb his power in England, the latter because it spoke of the
influence which his rival had over the Council. Moreover, the Bishop had
no desire to see the objectionable statute made use of against himself,
for he had just been nominated a Cardinal for the second time,[1108] and
was looking for a favourable opportunity to accept the honour without
incurring the penalties of the law, penalties which would incur not only
loss of power in the kingdom, but also the forfeiture of all those
worldly possessions which he loved so dearly. He therefore used this
opportunity for his advantage, and urged the Pope to attack Chichele,
and through him Gloucester, who, with characteristic cunning, was not
mentioned in the accusing letter.

The details of the struggle are, from Gloucester's point of view,
unimportant, as his name was sedulously excluded from the later stages
of the controversy. Blustering epistles and the threat of an interdict
shook Chichele's resolution, but the nation stood firm, and beyond the
personal satisfaction of having caused the Archbishop considerable
anxiety, Martin gained nothing by his interference.[1109] Not so the
Beaufort faction. The compromise with regard to the See of York was
finally settled by the appointment of John Kemp, Bishop of London, a man
who had made some show of friendship for Gloucester,[1110] but who was
to join the party of his opponents before very long; besides this, the
Bishop of Winchester was ultimately enabled, by means of the influence
exercised on Bedford, to accept the cardinalate without incurring the
penalties of Præmunire.


In connection with this episode in the struggle between Gloucester and
Beaufort, a correspondence, which took place between Humphrey and the
Pope in the year 1424, may have some bearing. The Duke complained that
one, Simon da Taramo, papal collector in Ireland, had been traducing him
to the Pope, and he had also exchanged letters with Simon on the
subject. Simon declared that he had a complete answer to the
charge,[1111] but he had undoubtedly meddled in Jacqueline's divorce
suit, and seemingly had made unauthorised promises in the name of
Gloucester, possibly at the instigation of Beaufort.[1112] It is likely,
though no definite opinion can be given on the subject, that this
complaint made by Humphrey had some connection with the later attack on
Archbishop Chichele, and that the intrigues of Beaufort were first
levelled direct at his chief rival, and then diverted into fresh
channels in an attempt to reach this rival through his friend and
supporter. In detail the story is obscure, but the deduction is
obvious. Regardless of the national spirit, which had asserted the
independence of the Anglican branch of the Church Catholic from undue
papal interference from the very earliest days of English history,
Beaufort had entered into alliance against the long-established
ecclesiastical liberties of England; he had disregarded the patriotic
scruples of other great Englishmen, and had embarked on a policy in
which patriotism was subordinated to private interest. Are we to blame
Humphrey if he tried to prevent the government of the kingdom from
falling into the hands of such an one as this? On the other hand,
Gloucester himself had adopted a line of action in accordance with the
accredited policy of England, he had shown himself the upholder of a
method of procedure in which orthodoxy refused to yield to patriotism,
even as earlier he had caused Martin V. to complain of his lack of
energy in procuring the Archdeaconry of Canterbury for another papal
nominee.[1113] This attitude was not chosen with any idea of gaining
popularity in the kingdom, for he did not thrust his share in the
quarrel to the front, and was content to limit his action to quiet,
unobtrusive resistance to papal claims.[1114]

Later in life we see Gloucester's interest in matters ecclesiastical
exemplified in his relations to the Council of Basel.[1115] On July 4,
1437, he wrote a letter to the Council telling them of the excellent
manner in which their emissaries had conducted themselves in England,
and of the despatch with which he had secured an audience for
them.[1116] Though strife was running high at the time between Pope and
Council, their disputes had not yet reached the last extremity, so we
cannot deduce from this evidence that Humphrey supported the Council
against the Pope. Probably he was slow to withdraw the sympathy he felt
for the Council, for we find a letter written to him in the following
February by Eugenius IV., setting forth the reasons of his action in
summoning the Council to sit at Ferrara,[1117] which would lead one to
believe that he was trying to convert his correspondent to his views.
However, there seems no reason to doubt that Gloucester's hereditary
orthodoxy led him to follow the example of the English King, who
protested strongly against the action of the Council in refusing to
acknowledge the Pope,[1118] and at a later date referred to the 'rageous
demenyng of theyme of Basyle.'[1119]


Humphrey's ecclesiastical interests were mainly devoted to the monastic
foundations of England. He was a member of the Fraternity of St. Edmund
at Bury;[1120] it was to him that the Priory of Launceston appealed
when, in 1430, there arose a dispute on the election of their
Prior,[1121] and from him also the Prior of Binham Abbey sought support
when the Bishop of Norwich found cause of complaint against that
foundation.[1122] In this last case Wheathampsted, the famous Abbot of
St. Albans, had acted as intermediary between the Prior and the Duke,
since Bynham was a cell of St. Albans, and it was with this man, and the
Abbey over which he ruled, that Gloucester had the most intimate
connection of all.

The Abbey of St. Albans was one of the most fashionable monastic
establishments in England. Queen Joan was accustomed to visit it from
her palace at Langley; the Duchess of Clarence--Gloucester's
sister-in-law--was its friend and patroness, and was received into its
Fraternity; Cardinal Beaufort visited it more than once, and was
received with processions and rejoicings as befitted a prince of the
Church; the Earl of Warwick, too, was here nursed by the monks through
an attack of tertian fever.[1123] But Gloucester was the most consistent
visitor of all; we have frequently seen him entertained by the
monastery; he and his two wives were admitted to the Fraternity, and at
one time he resided at the Manor of the Weald, on the hill close by,
which at the present time practically corresponds to the parish of St.
Stephen's.[1124] From time to time he gave costly presents to the Abbey,
and even in 1436 these had assumed considerable proportions. He had made
eight distinct presentations, mostly of vestments and hangings for the
altar, culminating in the gift of a shrine with a figure of the Virgin
bearing her Son in her arms in the centre, and several figures grouped
around standing on an ornamental pedestal, all surmounted by the
Crucifixion, with the Virgin and St. John standing on either side.[1125]

Besides gifts to the Abbey, Humphrey gave some of his goods into the
keeping of the monks, and at the time of his death many of his jewels
were found in their hands.[1126] The presents were not all on his side;
we find many entries in the accounts of the monastery recording payment
made to the Duke and to his retainers at the time when the renewal of
the charter of the Abbey was procured through his mediation with the
King.[1127] Soon after this Wheathampsted resigned the Abbey, but before
long Humphrey was summoned as chief patron to adjudicate between the
late Abbot and his successor, John Stoke, since they had quarrelled over
the former's right of maintenance out of the revenues of the
Abbey.[1128] After the retirement of Wheathampsted there is no recorded
visit of Gloucester to the Abbey; he seems to have been there for the
last time to celebrate the renewal of the Charter in 1440; but he did
not forget the monastery of his choice, and less than four years before
his death he bequeathed to it the alien Priory of Pembroke, in return
for which masses were to be said for his soul and for that of Eleanor
his wife.[1129]


As we have seen, it was in St. Albans Abbey that Gloucester found his
last resting-place, in a tomb built for him before his death by Abbot
Stoke at the considerable cost of £433, 6s. 8d.[1130] The tomb is still
to be seen at the south side of the shrine of St. Alban, and though
considerably mutilated on the north face, it still remains a very fine
specimen of Perpendicular workmanship. It bears Humphrey's arms with
supporters, and the canopied niches above have once held figures, still
to be seen on the south side, but impossible to identify, more
especially as they seem to have been moved from their original places.
It is possible that they are meant to represent the royal benefactors of
the Abbey, most of whom would be in some way related to Humphrey. In
1703, while digging a grave for Mr. John Gape, the vault of the tomb was
discovered, and the Duke's body was found 'preserved in a kind of
pickle' and enclosed in coffins of lead and wood.[1131] The tomb and
body became thenceforth one of the sights of the place, and Lady Moira
recounts that in 1747 she 'took from the skull of Humphrey, Duke of
Gloucester, in his vault at St. Albans Abbey a lock of hair which was so
perfectly strong that I had it woven into Bath rings.'[1132] Others were
no more particular about spoiling the dead than Lady Moira, and in 1789
only the lead coffin and bones were left,[1133] and even some of the
last have been removed, and are to be found in the possession of private
persons. There are still some of the remains of Humphrey, Duke of
Gloucester, lying in the vault in which they were reverently laid by
those who knew and who loved him, and there still may be seen the faded
remains of a picture of the Crucifixion painted on the wall at the foot
of the coffin.


Of Gloucester's personal appearance we have little information. No
contemporary gives us any description of him, and though we have some
fairly authentic portraits, they are not sufficiently definite to give a
clear conception of his personality.[1134] The utmost we can be sure of
is that he had a somewhat emaciated face, and was clean shaven. His
countenance, so far as we can know it, bears no sign of his
individuality, and we must fall back on the scanty notices of the
chroniclers for a description of his character. Later generations
regarded Humphrey almost as a saint; he is eulogised in the pages of
Camden;[1135] all the virtues he obviously lacked are attributed to him
by Holinshed;[1136] Hall and Sandford unite in calling him the father of
his country;[1137] his biographer, John Cooper, not to be outdone,
declares that he was a 'miracle of wisdom and goodness.'[1138] There
seems to have been no divided opinion on the subject, probably due to
his undoubted popularity with the people, and a writer who was perhaps
born soon after the Duke's death speaks of his 'honourable fame' and of
his 'liberalite.'[1139] Amongst his contemporaries, too, there is no
lack of praise for his merits, though the unrestrained style of later
centuries is modified. Mathieu de Coussy declares him to be the wisest,
most powerful, and best loved prince in all England,[1140] and even
Waurin, the follower of the Duke of Burgundy, turns aside from his
account of the quarrel of Gloucester and Duke Philip, to say, 'car pour
verité, sans personne blasmer, il estoit prince de grant virtu, large,
courtois sage et très vaillant chevallier de corps, hardy de
ceur.'[1141] Wheathampsted, his friend and supporter, was possibly
biassed in his favour when he says:

          'Fidior in regno Regi Duce non fuit isto.
          Plus ne fide stabilis, aut maior amator honoris.'[1142]

It cannot be doubted that Humphrey had many knightly qualities, and that
there are many actions in his life which may be regarded as creditable,
if not great. His personal character was spoilt by an entire lack of
concentration and purpose. He had no philosophy of life, and no
substitute for one. He accepted certain canons of policy and conduct,
but could not live up to them, and this weakness was entirely due to the
taint in his moral character which made him the victim of his passions.
A weakness in itself, this indulgence drained all the life-blood from
his actions, and increased year by year his inability to carry out a set
purpose. He became more and more a producer of high-flown phrases, which
sounded large and meant little owing to the lack of power behind them.
This was especially evident in those sporadic bursts of energy during
the last few years of his life, and there is much truth in the verdict
of Pope Pius II., who declared him to be more suited to a life of
letters and lust than to a life of arms, and accused him of never
justifying his vast pretensions and of caring more for his life than
for his honour.[1143] This unfavourable summary of his character was
provoked by Humphrey's actions in Hainault, and therefore was made under
circumstances most unfavourable to him, and at a moment when his
conflict with the canon law would colour the judgment of a papal writer.
Nevertheless, Pius II. with unerring instinct placed his finger on the
weak spot in the Duke's character, and laid stress on just that element
which spoilt his whole life.


Equally to the point is the sketch given by an anonymous chronicler who
wrote in England, one that bears the impress of truth from its obvious
impartiality, and sums up the situation in the best possible manner.
'Duke Humphrey excelled all the princes of the world in knowledge, in
comeliness of appearance and in fame, but he possessed an unbalanced
mind, was effeminate and given over to sensual pleasures, a tendency
which vitiated all his actions, prompted though they were by his many
other good qualities. Moreover, he did not desist from his sensual
indulgences either at this present time (the time of his marriage to
Eleanor), or in the future, for which he received his due reward.'[1144]
There could be no juster estimate of the man. That he had exhausted
himself by indulgences, even as early as his twenty-fifth year, is
established by the testimony of his physician Kymer,[1145] though too
much emphasis may be laid on this dietary, for Humphrey was probably
passing through a stage very common to young men in his position. To
expect strict morals from him in the age in which he lived is to create
a public opinion which did not exist, and we must remember that both his
brothers Thomas and John left illegitimate children. Nevertheless, much
of that instability of character which wrecked his life may be traced
to indulgence in his besetting sin, an indulgence which seemed excessive
even to his contemporaries, and it may well have been with his great
patron in his mind that Lydgate penned the words:

          'Loke wel aboute, ye that lovers be;
          Let not your lustes lede you to dotage.'[1146]

We must not gather from Humphrey's volatile nature that he had no strong
affections; even as he had a hatred of the Duke of Burgundy, so had he,
in spite of his infidelities, a strong affection for his second wife. He
did not forget her even after her disgrace, and set out on his last
journey to Bury in the hope of obtaining her release from prison. She
had been his evil genius since the day he met her among the ladies of
Jacqueline. Ambitious and haughty, she had mixed in affairs of
state,[1147] she had performed illegal acts, the effects of which were
felt by her husband, and in her disgrace she brought the heaviest blow
that had yet fallen upon him. She left no legitimate issue, but she may
have been the mother of the two children who called Humphrey father. The
son, Arthur, was one of those arrested at Bury, but neither before nor
after this is there any trace of him.[1148] Of the daughter we know
more. In accordance with her father's classical tastes she was named
Antigone, and in 1437 she married Henry Grey, Earl of Tankerville, a
peer of no importance, who was never summoned to Parliament.[1149] Their
son dropped the title, and the last of the line married the daughter of
Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk.[1150] Antigone survived her husband,
and a year after his death we find her the wife of Jean d'Amancier,
Esquire of the Horse to Charles vii of France.[1151] It is a strange
paradox that Humphrey's daughter should marry a man in the service of
the King with whom he had advocated an endless war.

Besides incontinence, there are other blots on the Duke's private
character, and they also had their influence on his public career. If he
was not habitually oppressive, he was none the less rapacious. His
expenses as a prince who loved display, and a patron who kept many
scholars in his service, were very great, and he never lost an
opportunity of adding to his rent-roll, or of securing money by other
more dubious methods. We have seen him accepting a heavy bribe from the
Abbey of St. Albans for his services in securing for them a renewal of
their charter; in his earlier days he had accepted another bribe from
the Earl of Berkeley for his good offices with Henry V. in obtaining the
Castle of Berkeley for that Earl;[1152] he tried to use his powerful
position and the value of his protection to induce the Prior of Ely to
disburse money for the Hainault campaign;[1153] and the Cinque Ports, of
which he was Warden, had to pay him in hard cash for the renewal of
their charter from the King.[1154] His rapacity in an age which produced
Cardinal Beaufort was not unique, yet it shows a lack of restraint, and
explains how much the tendencies of his private character moulded his
career as a statesman.

Together with rapacity Humphrey harboured a pride which dictated many of
his most unfortunate actions, and this pride was closely connected with
an impetuosity which led him to discard wisdom for the pleasures of the
moment. In battle he exposed himself to every danger, and even his
epistolary style became infected with this characteristic, for in
speaking of Simon da Taramo he alludes to the 'venomous suggestion of
this second Judas.'[1155] All through his life Gloucester was governed
by his emotions, and he always obeyed the impulse of the moment, were it
good or bad. Thus his love of order and his disgust at any kind of
outrage so possessed him when he discovered that his retainers had been
poaching at St. Albans, that he seized the nearest weapon to his hand
and belaboured one of the wretched criminals as he sat in the
stocks.[1156] Indeed the secret of the Duke's character lay in the
preponderating influence his emotions possessed over every action of his
life. This partly explains his unstable nature, and accounts for his
high-flown ideas and ill-considered plans, but when the power of the
emotion had passed, all the vitality had gone from his undertakings. His
emotions took him to Hainault, and their reaction produced his failure;
his emotions produced those fitful attacks on his great rival Beaufort,
but were not enough to construct for him a definite policy. The energy
of his life all went to waste, because there was no strength of will to
control his impressionable nature. Yet there were times when this
impetuosity led to good results as well as to ill. It helped him to
quell all tentative efforts at sedition, it kept him going in his
warlike undertakings when they were not too prolonged; above all, it
enabled him to broaden his interests, and to embrace the life of a
patron of letters as well as that of a soldier and a politician. Yet
sometimes he was able to restrain his ardour. During the Côtentin
expedition he showed unexpected determination, and on occasions he could
try persuasion when force was useless. The man who could burst into fits
of rage under the influence of political disappointment, and jeopardise
the safety of his country for the whim of the moment, could also stoop
to argue with an irate prelate, and 'doff his cap' to the Bishop of
Norwich when interceding for the liberties of the Prior of Binham.[1157]

The man who is governed by his emotions is seldom worthy of respect, but
he has a charm which is all his own. This charm Gloucester undoubtedly
possessed. Though in many ways a sore trial to Bedford, he did not lose
his brother's affection till an impetuous outburst produced a quarrel,
which was never healed. All through the Hainault trouble the French
Regent had borne with his brother, and his letters had shown affection
even when they found fault. Even after the Parliament of Leicester he
had manifested a tactful feeling for his brother's tastes, and had sent
him a beautifully adorned volume from the famous royal library of
France.[1158] Others who had been brought into close contact with Duke
Humphrey were warm in their praise of him; Wheathampsted and his St.
Albans friends were faithful to him even after his death.[1159] The
Bishop of Bayeux spread glowing reports of his generosity and kindliness
throughout Italy, as is attested by more than one Italian
humanist,[1160] and his personal charm exerted a strong influence on
such men as Piero del Monte. This last spoke in warm terms of the happy
intercourse he had had with the Duke of Gloucester while in
England,[1161] and it was not therefore mere fulsome flattery which made
Lapo da Castiglionchio declare that in conversation he was courteous and
kind, and in every walk of life affable and genial.[1162] We have more
than one indication of the goodness of Humphrey's heart, apart from the
possibly suspect statements of admirers, and it was no mere caprice that
made him befriend the unhappy Queen Joan, who was left to eke out a
life of honourable detention totally neglected by all the other
prominent personages in the kingdom.

As we turn the last page of Humphrey's political life, it is with a
feeling of regret that we remember his career. We see brilliant
abilities and immense possibilities for useful work all thrown away
because the fire of genius burnt only in fitful gleams. Moral stamina
was denied to an otherwise promising character, and the concentration
which might have moulded his life's work into a useful policy was
lacking. He had done nothing to carry England further along the
high-road to strength and fame, he had lived in a decadent age and had
been overwhelmed by the spirit of his times. Yet his life was not in
vain. No man has left a greater mark on the progress of English thought
than this Duke Humphrey, and in the realm of ideas, whither we must now
follow him, he did the good work he failed to do in the realm of action.


  [1022] Whethamstede, i. 179.

  [1023] Hardyng, 400. Another rhymer of the same period says:
             'For shame and anguishe off whiche jealousy
             It toke hym sone after and soo lowe brought hym dawne
             That in short while after it caused hym to dye.'

         Rawlinson, MS., Classis, C. 813, f. 12vo.

  [1024] _Chron. Henry VI._, 34.

  [1025] _Eng. Chron._, 63. Cf. _Polychronicon_, f. 338vo. _Short Eng.
         Chron._, 65, says, 'And sone after he disseyed, the sykness
         howe God knoweth.'

  [1026] _Lond. Chron._, 135.

  [1027] Waurin, v. 3. Cf. _Hist. Croyland. Contin._, i. 521.

  [1028] Mathieu de Coussy, 30; Basin, i. 190. The latter adds that a
         report that he died of natural causes was circulated to
         disarm suspicion.

  [1029] _Rot. Parl._, v. 226.

  [1030] Gregory, 189.

  [1031] It is possible that this second allusion to Gloucester's
         death is the work of Gregory's continuator.

  [1032] Stow's _Memoranda_, 97, evidently the transcript of an
         original document. Cf. Stow (_Annales_), 390, and also a
         proclamation by Jack Cade at the same time. 'It is a hevy
         thynge that ye good Duke of Gloucester was apeched of treason
         by a fals traytour alone, and so was murderyd and might never
         come to his answer.' Stow's _Memoranda_, 95.

  [1033] 'The Dyrge of the Commons of Kent,' printed in _Three
         Fifteenth Century Chronicles_ (Camden Series), p. 103.

  [1034] Gregory, 193.

  [1035] _Political Songs_, ii. 224.

  [1036] _Eng. Chron._, 88.

  [1037] _Political Songs_, ii. 268.

  [1038] _Brief Notes_, 149.

  [1039] He is said to have finished his chronicle in 1493.

  [1040] Fabyan, 619.

  [1041] See, for instance, Polydore Vergil, 73; Hall, 209; Leland,
         _Collectanea_, I. ii. 494; Speed, 622; Weever, _Ancient
         Funeral Monuments_, 555; Tanner, _Bibl. Brit._, 421;
         Sandford, _Genealogical Hist._, 309. Cf. Cotton MS.,
         Vitellius, A. xvi. f. 210.

  [1042] See Kymer's _Dietarium_ in _Liber Niger Scaccarii_, ii.
         550-559. Cf. Sharon Turner, ii. 299, note 35.

  [1043] George Chastellain, _OEuvres_ (ed. Kervyn de Lettenhove,
         Bruxelles, 1865), vii. 87.

  [1044] Ramsay, ii. 76, giving as a reference _Eng. Chron._, 118 (the
         account of Fox), says, 'It is more material to point out that
         two Chaplains and twelve gentlemen of the Household remained
         with Gloucester through his illness and followed him to his
         grave.' The writer quoted does not say this, he merely states
         that these retainers followed the body to St. Albans, and it
         is definitely established by Cotton MS., Vitellius, A. xvi.
         f. 105, that all Gloucester's servants were removed from
         attendance on him after his arrest. This is not contradicted
         by the assertion that some of them followed him to the grave
         after his death. It may be noticed, by the way, that the
         account of Fox is not quite accurate, for he places Richard
         Nedam among the mourners who followed the coffin, a man who
         was then under arrest at Winchester, and later condemned to
         death and reprieved.

  [1045] Second Part of Shakspeare's _King Henry VI._, Act III. Scene

  [1046] _Rot. Pat._, 25 _Henry VI._, Part ii. m. 1.

  [1047] Stow's _Memoranda_, 95.

  [1048] Fabyan, 619.

  [1049] Waurin, v. 4; Mathieu de Coussy, 30; Basin, i. 190. Cf.
         _Chron. Henry VI._, 34.

  [1050] Suffolk as his share of the plunder received the title of
         Earl of Pembroke with some of Gloucester's possessions in
         South Wales, including Pembroke, Tenby, and Kilgerran
         Castles; _Lords' Reports_, v. 254, 255; _Cal. Rot. Pat._,
         285. He was also created Chamberlain; _Rot. Pat._, 25 _Henry
         VI._, Part ii. m. 35. The same membrane gives his appointment
         as Constable of Dover and Warden of Cinque Ports in
         succession to Gloucester, but another membrane gives the
         appointment of Lord Saye de Sele to this office on the same
         day, which is more probably the effective gift; _Rot. Pat._,
         25 _Henry VI._, Part ii. m. 1. Margaret's share consisted of
         the Manor of Middleton and the Hundreds of Middleton and
         Merden, the Castle and Lordship of Colchester and the Hundred
         of Tendring, the Castle, Town, and Lordship of Marlborough,
         with the forest of Savernake and the office of Constable of
         Gloucester Castle. All these had belonged to Humphrey. Rymer,
         V. i. 170. See also _Duchy of Lancaster Accounts (Various)_,
         Bundle v. No. 8.

  [1051] _Rot. Parl._, v. 132.

  [1052] _Inquisitiones Post Mortem_, 25 _Henry VI._, No. 26, m. 8;
         _Rot. Pat._, 25 _Henry VI._, Part ii. m. 1 and m. 35; Rymer,
         V. i. 170. Another grant of Gloucester's possessions was made
         on February 27; _Rot. Pat._, 25 _Henry VI._, Part i. m. 5.

  [1053] Ellis, _Letters_, 2nd Series, i. 108. Gregory, 188, says 38

  [1054] So Rymer, V. i. 179, but Gregory, 188, says July 14 at

  [1055] Rymer, V. i. 179; _Cal. Rot. Pat._, 290; Gregory, 188; _Short
         Eng. Chron._, 65; Leland, _Collectanea_, I. ii. 494.

  [1056] _Eng. Chron._, 62. Eleanor was at this time imprisoned in
         Wales, so the accusation may have seemed plausible at first;
         _Brief Notes_, 154.

  [1057] See list of prisoners in Ellis, _Letters_, 2nd Series, i.

  [1058] _Statutes of the Realm_, ii. 344.

  [1059] _Chron. Henry VI._, 33.

  [1060] Mathieu de Coussy, 30.

  [1061] Gregory, 188; Richard Fox, 118; _Short Eng. Chron._, 65. For
         pardons see Rymer, V. i. 179, and _Cal. Rot. Pat._, 290, 291.
         Cf. _Excerpta Historica_, 281-390.

  [1062] Richard Fox, 118.

  [1063] Fabyan, 619.

  [1064] Mathieu de Coussy, 30.

  [1065] _Polychronicon_, f. 338vo. Whethamstede, i. 182, says much
         the same thing.

  [1066] _Political Songs_, ii. 268. Cf. Leland, _Collectanea_, I. iv.

  [1067] Rawlinson MS., Classis, C. 813, f. 126.

  [1068] His last recorded presence at the Council Board was in June

  [1069] _Chron. Henry VI._, 35; Waurin, iv. 353, 354; _Ordinances_,
         vi. 89.

  [1070] Beaucourt, iii. 10.

  [1071] See above, p. 262.

  [1072] _Rot. Parl._, v. 335; Whethamstede, i. 181. Cf. Speed, 667.

  [1073] Stow, 365, puts this event as the first sign of the breaking
         up of the Burgundian alliance.

  [1074] Shakespeare's Second Part of _King Henry IV._, Act IV. Scene

  [1075] Waurin, ii. 423.

  [1076] Harleian MS., 139, f. 206; _Rot. Pat._, 5 _Henry VI._, Part
         ii. m. 16.

  [1077] For this state of anarchy and distress see Ramsay, ii. 51-53.

  [1078] _Rot. Parl._, v. 115.

  [1079] _Rot. Parl._, v. 448.

  [1080] Polydore Vergil, 72; Holinshed, iii. 211.

  [1081] _Chron. Henry VI._, 30.

  [1082] _Rot. Pat._, 25 _Henry VI._, Part i. m. 5 and m. 19.

  [1083] _Hist. Croyland. Contin._, i. 517.

  [1084] Gregory, 188.

  [1085] Sandford, _Genealogical History_, 309.

  [1086] Whethamstede, i. 179-181. A free translation of the Latin
         original. For a like opinion, cf. Rastell, 262.

  [1087] _Political Songs_, ii. 157, 205.

  [1088] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 300, 301.

  [1089] _Accounts (Exchequer Q. R.)_, Bundle 515, No. 7.

  [1090] _Ancient Correspondence_, vol. lvii. No. 97.

  [1091] _Ibid._, vol. xliv. No. 40.

  [1092] Holkham MS., p. 27.

  [1093] William of Worcester, 463.

  [1094] Walsingham, _Hist. Angl._ ii. 283.

  [1095] _Ibid._, ii. 282.

  [1096] Cf. _St. Albans Chron._, i. 31, _et passim_.

  [1097] See Ashmole MSS., 1796, in the Bodleian Library, a book
         dealing with astrological subjects, written at St. Albans.

  [1098] _Epist. Acad._, 217. It is perhaps worth noticing that when
         addressing letters to Bedford and Gloucester in support of
         the candidature of Thomas Chace to the Bishopric of Meath,
         the University of Oxford dwelt at some length in the letter
         to Gloucester on the energy with which this man, when
         Chancellor of the University, had extirpated heresy, but did
         not allude to this favourable trait in his character to
         Bedford; _Epist. Acad._, 105. This would seem to imply that
         Gloucester's orthodoxy was known to be more rigid and
         unbending than that of Bedford.

  [1099] Oriel MS., xxxii. f. 1vo.

  [1100] Durham MS., C. iv. 3, f. 7.

  [1101] _Paston Letters_, i. 24; _Beckington Correspondence_, i. 223.

  [1102] Wilkins, _Concilia_, iii. 471.

  [1103] Wilkins, _Concilia_, iii. 472.

  [1104] _Ibid._, iii. 473.

  [1105] _Papal Letters_, vii. 36.

  [1106] A papal collector was released from the Tower in 1427. _St.
         Albans Chron._, i. 16, 17.

  [1107] _Ordinances_, iii. 211.

  [1108] May 24, 1426. See Creighton's _Papacy_, ii. 158.

  [1109] The letters exchanged are to be found in Wilkins's
         _Concilia_, iii. 471-486. See also Creighton's _Papacy_, ii.
         158, 159, and Hook's _Lives of the Archbishops of
         Canterbury_, v. 91-103.

  [1110] See _Beckington Correspondence_, i. 281.

  [1111] See various letters in _Beckington Correspondence_, i.

  [1112] _Papal Letters_, vii. 29.

  [1113] _Beckington Correspondence_, i. 284, 285.

  [1114] However, Wheathampsted, Gloucester's friend, wrote to Martin
         V. excusing the Archbishop's conduct, Cotton MS., Claudius,
         D. 1, f. 1, and 1vo.

  [1115] He was evidently interested in the conciliar movement, for
         among his books was a volume containing records of all the
         doings, both public and secret, at the Council of Constance.
         Cotton MS., Nero, E. v.

  [1116] Martène and Durand, _Amplissima Collectio_, viii. 816, 817.
         Cf. Harleian MS., 826, f. 15.

  [1117] Add. MS., 26, 784 f. 30vo.

  [1118] _Beckington Correspondence_, ii. 37.

  [1119] See Henry's justification of the release of Orleans,
         Stevenson, _Letters and Papers_, ii. 451-460.

  [1120] Register Curteys, in _Archæologia_, xv. 70, 71.

  [1121] Tanner MS., 196, f. 40vo.

  [1122] Amundesham, _Annales_, i. 308.

  [1123] _St. Albans Chron._, _passim_.

  [1124] Newcome, _Hist. of the Abbey of St. Albans_, 510.

  [1125] Amundesham, _Annales_, ii. 189, 190.

  [1126] _Ibid._, i. 65; _Rot. Parl._, v. 307.

  [1127] Amundesham _Annales_, App. A, ii. 265; App. D, ii. 295. Cf.
         Arundel MS. 34, ff. 66vo, 67, and Whethamstede, i. 26.

  [1128] Amundesham, _Annales_, App. B, ii. 278-290.

  [1129] Charter printed in Dugdale's _Monasticon_, ii. 244, 245;
         Whethamstede, i. 94.

  [1130] Cotton MS., Claudius, A. viii. f. 195. Gough, in his addition
         to Camden's _Britannia_, i. 348, wrongly attributes the
         building of this tomb to Wheathampsted.

  [1131] Camden's _Britannia_ (Gough's additions), i. 348; Grainger's
         _Biographical History of England_, i. 121.

  [1132] _Archæologia_, viii. 104.

  [1133] Camden's _Britannia_ (Gough additions), i. 348.

  [1134] See App. E.

  [1135] Camden's _Britannia_, ii. 73.

  [1136] Holinshed, iii. 211, 212.

  [1137] Hall, 212; Sandford, _Genealogical Hist._, 308. They follow
         Polydore Vergil.

  [1138] Holkham MS., p. 63.

  [1139] Fabyan, 619.

  [1140] Mathieu de Coussy, 30.

  [1141] Waurin, iii. 214.

  [1142] Whethamstede, i. 183.

  [1143] _Pii Secundi Pontificis Maximi Commentarii_ (Rome, 1584),

  [1144] _Chron. Henry VI._ A paraphrase of the original Latin.

  [1145] See his Dietary printed in _Liber Niger Scaccarii_, 552-559.
         Cf. Hearne MS. Diary, cxvii. ff. 136, 137, and cxvii. f. 37;
         Sharon Turner, ii. 299, _n._ 35.

  [1146] 'A Ballade: Warning men to beware of Deceitful Women,' by
         John Lydgate. Printed in _Chaucerian and other Pieces_,
         edited by W. W. Skeat as a supplement to _The Complete Works
         of Chaucer_.

  [1147] _Ancient Correspondence_, vol. lvii. No. 97.

  [1148] _Chron. Henry VI._, 30.

  [1149] Sandford, _Genealogical Hist._, 311; Brooke's _Catalogue of
         the Nobility_, 170; Doyle, iii. 511.

  [1150] Dugdale, ii. 284.

  [1151] List of letters of legitimisation printed in Beaucourt, v.

  [1152] _Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire
         Archæological Society_, iii. 308; Dugdale, i. 362. Dugdale
         quotes an old MS. in Berkeley Castle as his authority.

  [1153] MSS. of the Dean and Chapter of Ely, _Hist. MSS. Rep._, xii.
         App. IX. 95.

  [1154] MSS. of the Corporation of Hythe, _Hist. MSS. Rep._, iv. 435.

  [1155] _Beckington Correspondence_, i. 279.

  [1156] _St. Albans Chron._, i. 139.

  [1157] Amundesham, _Annales_, i. 308.

  [1158] Bibliothèque de Sainte Geneviève, MS. français, 777.
         Inscription on last folio.

  [1159] Whethamstede, i. 179.

  [1160] See Chapter IX.

  [1161] Bodley MS., 3618. f. 2.

  [1162] _Cod. Laurentiano_, Plut., lxii. 30, f. 2.



No period of English history is less romantic than that in which
Humphrey of Gloucester's life was cast. Apart from the fleeting glories
of Agincourt, there is no outstanding event of transcendent interest, no
episode of which Englishmen may be honourably proud. A disastrous and
ill-conducted war abroad, bitter political dissensions at home, a feeble
regency followed by a still feebler King, personal ambitions rampant,
patriotic and unselfish action lost under the enervating influence of a
false idea of foreign conquest, a nation that had outgrown its strength,
a nobility that knew not the meaning of honour or disinterestedness--
such was the state of England during the first half of the fifteenth
century. This chaotic state was only to be wiped out by a long and
disastrous civil war, yet working underneath all this seething mass of
lost ideals there were forces which were to influence the formation of
modern England as it emerged from this state of transition. It may be
said that in one sense every age is one of transition, that the history
of the world is the story of a great development, in which the old order
is ever changing, giving place to the new; nevertheless we can note the
spirit of change more clearly in some periods than in others. Gloucester
lived at a time when the mind of man was broadening into a new phase of
intellectual development. Already Petrarch had lived and died, declaring
that he stood on the confines of two eras, looking back and looking
forward; already Italy had realised that the long sleep of the Middle
Ages was over; already that movement, which for lack of a better name
we call the Renaissance, had begun. The traditional scholarship and the
hereditary superstition which had dominated the Dark Ages was being
superseded; a new field of human knowledge had been opened for Western
Europe when Greek ceased to be an unknown tongue with the advent of
Chrysoloras; the true meaning of that prophecy which had sprung from the
lips of Joachim of Flora was dawning on men's minds--'the Gospel of the
Father is past, the Gospel of the Son is passing, the Gospel of the
Spirit is yet to be.' A spirit of uneasiness was abroad, a spirit which
proclaimed the emancipation of man from the bonds of ignorance and
tradition, a spirit which was to proclaim his individuality, and to
break down the trammels which had restrained the assertion of self.
Morally, as well as legally, man was passing from status to contract.


Humphrey felt the full force of this movement; his life was moulded
thereby. His activity and many-sided energy found their origin in this
new spirit. His fervid imagination, which led him into impossible
projects, his love of display, above all, his desire to stamp his
individuality on the politics of his country, all sprang from the new
realisation which was vouchsafed to him--the realisation of his own
individuality. In England, the new spirit was more manifest politically
than in isolated individuals; the country was throwing off the feudal
system, her merchants and traders were demanding the acknowledgment of
their importance, peasants and townsmen alike were preparing for that
long, uphill struggle which has culminated in the parliamentary system
of the nineteenth century. Humphrey, with all his senses ready to
receive the message of the Renaissance movement, did not, however, grasp
its true significance in England. The friend of the struggling masses,
he nevertheless had no real sympathy with the popular movement; he was
cast far more in the Italian than in the English mould. Though devoid of
the cunning, the lack of scruple, and the conscienceless criminality of
Machiavelli's _Principe_, he nevertheless in his ambitions anticipated
the type. He practised the art of popularity; he tried to make the
nation feel that he, and he alone, was essential to the welfare of the
kingdom, that the success of his policy was the only safeguard of the
state. He failed, and failed egregiously, but the idea was the same as
that which inspired the Florentine secretary; he had the idea, but in
that he had not the weight of personality necessary for the typical
tyrannus, he failed. More than this, the Italian type was not suited to
English methods of thought; England had not progressed far enough along
the road of new ideas to welcome despotism as the salvation of the
nation. What the Tudors accomplished was impossible to Humphrey, both on
account of his nature and on account of the temper of the people.


The comparison of Humphrey to the Italian despot must not be followed on
the same lines, as in the case of his great successor, John Tiptoft,
Earl of Worcester. The tyrannus who passed gaily and naturally from
cold-blooded murder to the society of the philosophers and poets of his
court, found no parallel in his career; violence and determined cruelty
were not among his characteristics. Indeed these are later
manifestations of the Renaissance movement, bastard products of a too
self-centred individuality. In Humphrey the Renaissance was manifested
in its first youth, and even then incompletely; it was not till after
his death that the new ideas began to be fully understood in England; he
led the van of the army which set out to conquer the realms of
knowledge, and perished before possession was assured. In no other
Englishman of the time do we find the same love of the ancient classics
which characterised Gloucester. His father had given books to the
University of Oxford, but only such as dealt with mediæval lore;[1163]
the Duke of Exeter had studied at an Italian University, but there the
traditions of mediævalism, based on a study of law, lasted long after
Petrarch and Boccaccio had pointed to the past as the teacher of the
future. Henry V. showed considerable interest in literature, and
possessed numerous books.[1164] Not once, however, is there mention of a
work of classical origin. That prolific versifier Lydgate translated the
Psalms of David into 'heroicall English metre' for him, and thus they
were sung in the royal chapel;[1165] the same writer dedicated his poem
_The Death of Hector_ to him, and it was at his request that this work
was undertaken;[1166] the same is true of the _Booke of the Nativitie of
our Lady_ from the same unskilled pen.[1167] Hoccleve, too, wrote at the
King's bidding, and bore testimony to his master's love of books, and
his enjoyment of a 'tale fresh and gay,'[1168] tastes which never
extended beyond the ephemeral literature of a decadent age, though
Hoccleve's _Regiment of Princes_, which was dedicated to Henry when
Prince of Wales, might boast of a distant classical ancestry.[1169] To
Henry also Walsingham dedicated his _Ipodigma Neustriæ_[1170] and at his
death we find him in possession of three books, the _Chronicles of
Jerusalem_, the _Voyage of Godfrey of Bouillon_, and a copy of the
_Works_ of St. Gregory.[1171]

Henry V., however, had no interest in the new learning which heralded
the Renaissance; his interests were confined to the productions of
inferior court poets, and works on theological questions. Indeed
theology, together with law, was the staple diet of the mediæval
scholar. Humphrey's originality lay in the fact that he looked to the
works of the Greeks and early Romans for his mental food, and therein
showed the distinction which lay between the old and new learning. It
was to Greece and her literature that both Petrarch and Boccaccio had
stretched out their hands, to the literature of an age which had passed
out of the ken of the mediæval scholar. Students during the Dark Ages
had known of Aristotle only through incomplete and erroneous Latin
translations, Plato was to them but a name, most of the works of Cicero
were lost, and only the later writers of decadent Rome were really
familiar to them. The new movement taught that the secret of progress
was to be found by enlarging the mental horizon, and by looking back to
the great writers who had written before the advent of Christianity, and
who taught the gospel of the goodliness of humanity--a gospel entirely
unknown under the sway of the scholastic theologians. As by degrees a
knowledge of Greek philosophy spread over Europe, men began to realise
that there was a goodliness in life which they had not hitherto
imagined. A love of beauty, a love of nature, a respect for humanity,
were all found in the works of the Greek authors, and these were the
ideas that revolutionised the mental attitude of the Western world. All
this realisation of self, which we have found so strongly developed in
Humphrey, was borrowed from ancient Greece; modern individualism is but
a reversion to an earlier civilisation. All the grandeur and the joy of
life and its surroundings flooded the imaginations of the new scholars;
a definite basis from which to leap into the future was secured; the
past was invoked to give birth to the future.

Thus the encouragement of scholars and the patronage of authors was not
the distinguishing mark of the Renaissance; it was the nature of the
studies thus encouraged which gave a tone to the movement; the
Humanists--the students of the _litteræ humaniores_--were the heralds of
the new era. Humphrey stood almost alone amongst the Englishmen of his
time in encouraging the new kind of learning. Cardinal Beaufort, it is
true, brought back Poggio Bracciolini, famous as a Humanist, and as a
diligent searcher after the lost writings of classical days, from the
Council of Constance, but he did not show any real appreciation of the
movement which was mirrored in his great follower, and though he
supplied books for the Cathedral Library at Canterbury, he himself seems
to have had but little respect for classical studies.[1172] Poggio,
though he soon tired of the somewhat chilling atmosphere of England, did
not sever all connection with his English patron, and during the last
year of the Cardinal's life wrote to him two letters calling himself his
'servitor et antiquus familiaris.'[1173] However, his impression of the
intellectual life of England was not very favourable, and in later life
he was accustomed to descant more on the wealth and the wonderful eating
power of Englishmen, than on the men of learning he met during his
sojourn in this country. As to the scholars, such as they were, he
declared that they showed their learning in dialectics and disputations
such as the old schoolmen had loved, not in a love of the doctrines of
the new learning.[1174]

Nor was Bedford any more imbued than his uncle with the spirit of the
new learning, though he showed considerable taste for artistically
adorned manuscripts, and collected a library at Rouen, of which the
basis was the fine collection of books which Charles V. had made at
Paris. His tastes were almost entirely confined to works studied by the
old schoolmen, and to French translations of Latin or late Greek
authors. Thus we find a treatise by the Greek medical writer Galen on
the Aphorisms of Hippocrates, another man of medicine, and a work by the
Arabian astronomer Aboo-l-Hassan on the stars--both translated into
French--amongst his books, not to mention that most beautiful
_Salisbury Breviary_, which will always rank amongst the marvels of
fifteenth-century French art.[1175] The only book of genuine classical
interest which we find in his possession was a French translation of
Livy, and this he presented to his brother Humphrey as more suited to
his tastes than to his own.[1176]


Gloucester therefore struck out a new line of thought when he turned to
the study of the Humane as well as the Divine letters, and laid
posterity in England under an obligation, which it is slow to
acknowledge. The impulse which led him to this course is impossible to
discover. His natural endowments were not calculated to produce a
scholar. His early active life was spent in camps and sieges, his
lightness of character and volatile nature promised to make him a
courtier and a politician, not a student; his many-sided political
ambitions would presuppose an absorption which would forbid a cult of
letters and learning, yet even amidst the distractions of court life,
the tumults of war, and the disturbances of an eventful political
career, he found time for study, and the encouragement of
scholars.[1177] The fact that he was in many ways the typical
Renaissance prince does not necessarily presuppose a natural aptitude
for this rôle; his actions in this respect are more the result of the
new influences to which he resigned himself, than the causes which led
him to become a patron of letters. On the other hand, it is probable
that in his early years his education was not neglected. We have shown
reason to believe that Bale's statement that he was educated at Balliol
College, Oxford, is founded on fact, and that there he imbibed a love of
learning, which later blossomed out into the cult of the new forms of
study then spreading over Europe. His brother Henry was also a student
at this University; indeed, all the four sons of Henry IV. were
carefully educated, and showed an aptitude for learning.[1178] There are
many circumstances, too, which point to the likelihood that Humphrey was
destined for a less active career than his brothers. Though only three
years younger than Thomas, and by one year the junior of John, he took
no part in the active life of the kingdom in which they largely shared
during the reign of Henry IV. Both these brothers held important
administrative posts under their father, and the eldest of all, Henry,
played no insignificant part before he succeeded to the throne. Humphrey
alone of the four is never mentioned either in official document or by
contemporary chronicler; he passed his time in seclusion and retirement
far from the gathering storm which was even then threatening the safety
of the House of Lancaster. HENRY IV. was by no means lacking in interest
in scholastic studies, and it is possible that he had destined his
youngest son for an ecclesiastical career, in which these studies would
rightly play a large part. In no other way can the absence of Humphrey
from public life, long after the age for beginning an active career, be
explained. Henry may have learnt the lesson of the dangers which had
resulted from the long list of royal princes who descended from Edward
III., and he may have wished to prevent a similar danger arising from
his offspring by devoting one son to a career in which descendants were
an impossibility. Certainly Humphrey, during this enforced seclusion,
had ample opportunity for study and reflection, his education was more
probably that of a scholar than of a politician.

Whatever may have been the plans of Henry IV. for his youngest son, they
ceased to be effective on his death. Almost immediately after that event
we find Humphrey carving out an active life for himself, and embarking
on that varied and interesting career which was only to end with the
tragedy of Bury. Yet the seeds had been sown. Never throughout his life
was the scholar quite swamped by the politician; his scholarly
instincts, nurtured in youth, survived to form a source of refreshment
and interest in the days of political misfortune. Nevertheless this
early training gives no clue to the originality of Humphrey's genius as
a scholar. Whence was it that he drew the inspiration which enabled him
to begin a new era in the development of the human intellect in England?
He had been trained in the dry-as-dust learning of the Middle Ages--no
other system was then known in England--he had been brought up on a
mental diet of law and theology seasoned with rhetoric; to our knowledge
he never had any opportunity of imbibing the new ideas which slowly and
feebly were climbing the Alps preparatory to the conquest of the Western
world; at that time he had never been out of England, he was never to
visit Italy. Yet stage by stage he outgrew the teaching of the ancient
schoolmen, and reached out to pick the fairest flowers of Greek
learning. In him we find a new spirit of inquiry, a desire for a wider
knowledge of the human mind. He was a son of the Renaissance before ever
that movement had sent its missionaries to the last outpost of mediæval
lore. There was no teacher to point the way for Humphrey, and we must
fall back on his inherent originality to explain the phenomenon. With no
promptings from the scholars of the new methods, he devoted himself to
their patronage; he himself became a teacher before ever he was taught.
As an apostle of progress Humphrey stands alone among his
fellow-countrymen, and we must hesitate to deny him a place amongst the
honoured disciples of Petrarch. What Petrarch did for the world,
Humphrey did for England.


Dead and cold as England was to the new message which the Renaissance
had to teach humanity, it was natural that Humphrey should look to Italy
for help in his endeavours to study the forces which were being reborn
to give a character to the history of the future. Perhaps the most
interesting page in his history, therefore, deals with his relations to
the Italian humanists of his day; from them he borrowed something of the
spirit which was then becoming the most important element in Italian
life, something of that polish of refined scholarship which marks out
the humanistic scholar from the student of the Middle Ages. The effect
on English scholars of his time was visible, and Æneas Sylvius was not
slow to notice it. Writing to Adam Moleyns in answer to a letter from
that distinguished Englishman, he complimented him in somewhat
condescending language on his style; he marvelled how the reformed Latin
style had thus early reached England, and then proceeded to give praise
where praise was due. 'For this progress'--he wrote--'thanks are due to
the illustrious Duke of Gloucester, who zealously received polite
learning into your country. I hear that he cultivates poets and
venerates orators, and hereby many Englishmen have become really
eloquent. For as are princes so are servants, who improve by imitating
their masters.'[1179] Æneas showed no inclination to dwell on the
virtues of Humphrey when narrating his relations with Jacqueline, so
this praise from him deserves close attention, doubly so, as it must
have been in no way pleasant to the recipient of the letter, who was one
of the faction so bitterly opposed to Gloucester.

Humphrey, therefore, was instrumental in bringing the fruits of the
Italian scholarship to England, and he did this in two ways. He induced
some of those who had drunk of the new spring of intellectual life which
flowed from the teaching of Chrysoloras to come to England and enter his
service, and he also entered into communication with some of the
leading humanists who remained in Italy, and employed them on
translations of the Greek classics which were sent to England. In
England Greek was an unknown language, even as it had been in Italy
until the last decade of the fourteenth century, and it was only by
means of translations made by men who had a competent knowledge of
Greek, that the great philosophical treatises of Aristotle and Plato
could be read by Gloucester and his friends. Italy at this time was
embarking on that period in the history of Humanism which we may call
the age of translation and arrangement, the age when a minute knowledge
of the language of ancient Greece and a new critical faculty, born of
the emancipation from the hereditary theology of the Middle Ages,
produced a band of scholars who devoted their time to interpreting the
ideas of the past to the awakening intelligence of the present. These
men, with all their ardour for study, were not, and could not afford to
be, entirely disinterested in their work; to live, they must be paid for
their translations, and in an age when the art of printing had not come
to simplify the reproduction of books, they were compelled to appeal to
some particular patron to reward them for their toil, and to him in
return they dedicated their books. Many such patrons were to be found
among the princes of Italy, but outside that country they were not
common, and Humphrey stood out prominently amongst those patrons who
were not Italians. We cannot tell what first led him to embark on this
career, for he had, it would seem, no knowledge of Italy or the
Italians, when Poggio came to England, and he had probably at this time
evinced no desire to embark on the most interesting phase of his later
life. Not once does Poggio make even the most distant allusion to
Gloucester, either during his visit to England or after his return to
Italy in the autumn of 1423,[1180] and we cannot attribute this
entirely to his connection with the Duke's great rival.


Humphrey's introduction to the Italian Humanists was due to his
friendship with Zano Castiglione, Bishop of Bayeux, a Frenchman by
birth, but descended from a famous Italian family. This prelate had
visited England, and had there become acquainted with the man who was to
be instrumental in bringing Italian scholarship to this country. A token
of their friendship is still extant at Paris in a manuscript collection
of the letters of Cicero presented by Zano to the Duke of

In 1434 Zano was sent to the Council of Basel as representative of Henry
VI., and he took with him a commission from Humphrey to purchase for him
as many books as he could, especially such as had been written by
Guarino, the famous schoolmaster of Ferrara, and by Leonardo Bruni, the
biographer of Dante and Petrarch, whose reputation had already reached
the Duke in London.[1182] At Basel the Bishop came to know Francesco
Picolpasso, Archbishop of Milan, a scholarly ecclesiastic, who had
relations with all the leading Italian Humanists; and when he followed
the adjourned Council to Florence, this acquaintance became particularly
useful to him in view of his commission. In Florence Zano spent a year,
and we gather from the statements of Italian scholars, later to be
detailed, that he there devoted much of his time to singing the praises
of the English prince who took such an interest in literary matters. Of
his commission to buy books we hear no more, though it is probable that
when he returned to England especially to see Humphrey,[1183] he did not
go empty-handed. It is possible that Gloucester, though already a
collector of books, had not as yet thought of becoming the direct
patron of foreign scholars, and that his commission to Zano bore far
other and more important fruit than he had contemplated. Thus his
original interest in scholarship was moulded by the turn of events, and
the chance which took Zano from Basel to Florence laid the foundations
of one of the most important phases of the Duke's career. From this time
forward Humphrey continued to be in close relationship with several of
the best-known Humanists of the Italian Renaissance.


The first of these scholars to correspond with the new English patron
was Leonardo Bruni, better known by his title of Aretinus, taken from
Arezzo, the city of his birth. We have no evidence that Zano's visit was
the direct cause of his connection with the Duke, but the fact that the
latter had specially mentioned a desire for his works when Zano went to
Basel points to a strong probability that this was the case. It is
probable that Zano had sent over to England this author's translation of
Aristotle's _Ethics_; at any rate, it was after reading it that Humphrey
wrote and suggested that Bruni should undertake the _Politics_,[1184]
and in due course they were translated and dedicated to the Duke. In a
manuscript copy of this translation in the Bodleian Library we find the
dedication, and following it a letter from the author to Gloucester,
which is in no sense a dedicatory epistle, but evidently written after
the despatch of the volume to its destination, and later placed at the
beginning of a copy of the original work.

In this letter Bruni rejoices to hear of the arrival of his translation
of the books of Aristotle, which he had undertaken at the Duke's request
and suggestion, and to know that both Gloucester's desire, expressed in
several letters, has been fulfilled, and his own promise redeemed. He is
convinced that Gloucester will have already read the book, and he may
be sure that he has therein read the very words of Aristotle. To
Gloucester's action is due any value to the world in general that this
translation may have, for it was undertaken at his request, and finished
under pressure from him. In its completed form it stands as a monument
to Gloucester's love of learning.[1185] Throughout this letter we can
see the shadow of Gloucester's character; eager and impetuous in matters
political, he displayed the same characteristic when he turned his mind
to scholarship and learning; the same enthusiasm which took him to
Hainault led him to harass Bruni till the coveted book was ready.
Perhaps his eagerness to keep this shifty humanist to his work was well
advised, else he might not have got the book at all, for almost
immediately afterwards the dedication was changed, and that which Bruni
had declared would be a monument to Gloucester's glory, became by a
stroke of the pen a monument to the glory of Pope Eugenius IV.[1186] The
reason for this sudden change of patron is probably to be found in the
almost universal greediness of the Italian Humanists, though the
gossiping old bookseller Vespasiano ascribes it to the fact that Bruni
thought that his work was not sufficiently appreciated[1187]--perhaps a
polite way of putting the same truth.


Leonardo's own explanation of the incident is to be found in one of his
letters, and this throws light on the origin of the connection which
Humphrey about this time began with another well-known Italian, Pier
Candido Decembrio. This scholar, a native of Vigevano, near Pavia, was
at this time secretary to Filippo Maria Visconti of Milan, whose life he
ultimately wrote. Already famous as a translator of the Greek classics,
he now saw an opportunity of gaining an important patron, and wrote a
letter to Humphrey, in which he dwelt at some length on the fame which
the Duke had already attained in Italy as a patron of letters, owing to
the untiring praises of him which Zano had sung. Having heard, he
continued, that Bruni had dedicated his translation of Aristotle's
_Politics_ to the Pope instead of to the Duke as he had promised, he had
resolved to offer his services in his place, and to suggest that he
might translate Plato's _Republic_ for the distinguished Englishman of
whom he had heard so much, though he had never seen his face.[1188]
Being personally unknown to Gloucester, Candido determined to get an
introduction to his future patron, and so forwarded this letter to his
friend Rolando Talenti, a noble youth of Milan, who was at that time at
Bayeux, probably on some diplomatic errand.[1189] Talenti was willing to
do his friend a kindness, and promptly wrote to the Duke, enclosing
Candido's letter, and strongly advising him to accept the offer therein

This recommendation must have carried weight, although Talenti did not
at once receive an answer to his letter. The anxious humanist could not
brook delay, and though he had received assurance from his correspondent
that his work would not be done in vain, he wrote once more to Talenti
asking him to find out definitely from the Duke what he had decided to
do with respect to his offer to work for him. It was obviously of
considerable importance to Candido to know if his work was to procure
any reward, for though he was to prove more faithful than Bruni, he was
none the less greedy of gain.[1190] Talenti accordingly wrote once more
to Gloucester, asking him to let him know his decision about the offer
lately made to him.[1191] After characteristic delay Humphrey replied
to Talenti in enthusiastic terms, saying that he would gladly welcome
the translation of Candido, who would never have reason to regret the
offer of his services to a foreign patron.[1192] With this communication
he enclosed a reply to Candido, dating it February 7, the year, which is
omitted, being probably 1439.[1193] Herein he gladly accepted the offer,
and with his usual impetuosity urged his newly made friend to hasten the
completion of the translation; he gave devout thanks that there was in
Italy such a devoted band of scholars, who not only had restored the old
style of the Latin tongue, which had been altogether lost, but also had
brought to light those long-forgotten philosophers of Greece, and their
invaluable maxims for good living. He concluded with a warm assurance of
affection, and a hearty promise of acceptance of anything new which
Candido or any one else should bring to his notice.[1194]

Talenti accordingly forwarded the Duke's acceptance to Candido, and in
two successive letters to him urged that scholar to be industrious and
to hasten the work to its completion, so that his patron might be able
to appreciate to the full the depth of his scholarship.[1195]
Accordingly, Candido set to work with a will, and soon after wrote to
Zano, telling him of his undertaking and announcing the completion of
the fifth book. The Bishop of Bayeux was also to be used as an
intermediary between the Italian scholar and the English prince, for in
the same letter he was informed of the author's intention to forward the
translation, when completed, to him for transmission to
Gloucester.[1196] Zano was delighted at the news, and praised his
correspondent's intention, assuring him of a speedy reward for his work,
and ample recognition from his new patron.[1197] Both Talenti and Zano
therefore showed no slight respect both for Gloucester's literary taste
and for his generosity to those who worked for him, and this in spite of
the fact that they both knew the story of Bruni's relations with the
Duke. They would hardly have encouraged their friend to undertake this
work had they not been amply assured of his receiving an adequate
reward, and neither for a moment doubted the sincerity and ability of
this English patron. The readiness with which Gloucester's literary
interests were ministered to in Italy proves that his reputation must
have been very great, else the Italian humanists would not have been so
eager to work for a prince who dwelt in a land which was regarded as the
home of ignorance, and which visitors like Poggio Bracciolini had
painted in such unfavourable terms.

Zano and Talenti were not the only Italians to correspond with Humphrey
about Candido's translation. The completed fifth book was intrusted to
Francesco Piccolpasso, Archbishop of Milan, to be forwarded to England
as a sample of the whole work. In his covering letter this new
correspondent gave still further evidence of Gloucester's high repute in
Italy, telling him that ever since his brother Gerardo Landriani, then
Bishop of Lodi, had returned from a visit to England, he had been fired
with a desire to know that country, or at least to correspond with its
most famous son. So we see that Zano was not the only one to introduce
the Italian scholars to a knowledge of Gloucester's literary tastes.
Francesco then recapitulated the story of how Candido first thought of
translating the _Republic_, when he heard that Bruni had been breaking
his word, and added some words of commendation of the former, who, he
said, was equally well versed in Greek and Latin. It was merely with
the idea of pleasing Humphrey that Candido had undertaken the task of
translating the _Republic_, of which the fifth book, the first to be
translated, was now sent as a foretaste of the feast that was to come.
Francesco was delighted to be commissioned to send to the Duke a work of
such value, and he trusted that it would be approved, so that the
translator might be inspired to continue his work. He urged him further
to allow Candido to occupy the place lately held by Bruni, and, when
this work should be completed, to give him other commissions, which he
was sure would be right well performed. The letter closed with a
petition to Gloucester to use his influence to restore peace to the


This letter, though, written in the first place to please a friend,
deepens our impression of the respect Humphrey had already obtained in
Italy, and also bears witness to the desire of Candido to take the place
of Bruni with regard to the Duke. It was therefore probably about this
time that this last-named humanist wrote an expostulatory letter to the
Archbishop of Milan, in which he betrayed his chagrin at having lost his
English patron, and gave his version of the change of dedications, of
which Candido had made such good use. He complained that he had received
copies of letters written by Francesco to Gloucester, informing the Duke
that he (Bruni) was dead, and to Candido slandering his good name;
besides this, the Duke had been told that his former translator was a
promise-breaker. In every case there were misstatements, prompted
probably by Candido. In justification of this assertion he gave a
summary of his relations with Gloucester, how the Duke had urged him to
translate the _Politics_, because he was so sensible of the use that
his earlier translation of the _Ethics_ would be to students. This Bruni
promised to do, and fulfilled his promise by sending the first copy of
his work to his lordship, who had asked him to undertake the translation
for the good of the community, and not that it might be dedicated to
him; indeed it was unlikely that the dedication thereof could have given
any pleasure to so great a prince. In conclusion, Bruni emphatically
stated that he never had received a penny from Gloucester for the work
he had done. 'I never sold my studies, nor made merchandise of

This last statement we may well doubt, else why should Bruni be so
angered at Gloucester being wrongly informed of his death? The case was
probably the reverse of what he stated, and he had calculated on
obtaining double payment for his work by securing for it two patrons,
who were so distant from one another that the deception would not be
discovered. The story told by Candido and the Archbishop of Milan, and
borne out by the statement of Vespasiano, is probably nearer the truth,
though Candido himself seems to have behaved in a somewhat underhand way
in trying to secure a monopoly of the Duke's favours. At all events,
henceforth Candido was Gloucester's chief literary representative in
Italy, and we can trace their relationship by means of their
correspondence, of which a part has been preserved.

Considering the facts which had enabled Candido to replace Bruni in the
service of Duke Humphrey, it is rather extraordinary that he had the
temerity to forward the first sample of his work without an inscription
to his new patron. This omission was promptly noted by Gloucester, and
in his reply to the letter of the Archbishop of Milan he complained
about it, and with memories of the action of Bruni fresh in his mind,
he asked his correspondent to urge Candido not only to hasten the
completion of the translation, but also not to forget to dedicate it as
he had promised.[1200] He wrote much in the same strain to Candido,
expressing some surprise that the book was not dedicated to him, but
supposing that this was so because it was only a portion of the whole
translation. Again he urged Candido to renewed efforts, and promised
that his friendship would not be unprofitable.[1201] Candido replied to
this in most effusive terms. Giving devout thanks for the existence of a
prince endowed with such an excess of virtue, he replied that though the
whole work was to be dedicated to Gloucester, yet three separate books
were to be dedicated to three other friends; the fifth to Giovanni
Amadeo, a lawyer of Milan; the sixth to Alfonso, Bishop of Burgos; and
the last to the Archbishop of Milan.[1202] The fervour of the praises
lavished on the Duke in this letter suggest a fear on the part of the
writer that offence might be taken at these subsidiary dedications, and
still further to propitiate the Duke another letter followed almost
immediately, announcing the despatch of the first five books of the
translated _Republic_, which were already read to the honour and glory
of Humphrey not only throughout Italy, but also in Spain. Happy would he
be were he able to place his gracious patron's name in all his


The translation of the first five books had been sent according to
promise to Talenti, who was to have them carefully copied and sent to
the Duke. At the same time Candido had promised that, when the whole
work was completed, he would have all the books copied into a single
volume and sent to his patron, and showing some distrust of
Gloucester's appreciation of his work, had asked his friend to convey
his assurances of devotion.[1204] In due course this portion of the
translation reached its destination, bearing a long dedicatory epistle,
in which Candido once more laid stress on the way Zano had made
Gloucester's name a household word amongst the Italian Humanists. The
dedication concludes with an account of the origin of the translation,
telling how it was originally the work of Chrysoloras, but by reason of
his defective Latin style was passed on to the writer's father, who died
before its completion, leaving it to be finished by his son.[1205] This
genesis of the translation probably explains why Candido was able so
quickly to prepare the first five books, for they must have been
completed some time before they were sent, if their contents were
already known throughout Italy and also in Spain; most likely the fifth
book, which he had first sent to Gloucester, was the only one of the
first five which was entirely his own translation.




Gloucester's acknowledgment of the first five books of the _Republic_
shows him to have been so thoroughly imbued with the peculiar spirit of
the Renaissance scholars, that it is well to give it in full. 'We have
received your longed-for letters with the books of Plato,' he writes,
'which have given us much pleasure. Nothing could give us more pleasure,
especially since they will reflect honour and glory on us, as you say.
We are therefore very grateful to you for having done so much hard work
in our name, whence both we and you will receive great praise. The books
are of such a kind that they invite even the unwilling to read them;
such is the dignity and grace of Plato, and so successful is your
interpretation of him, that we cannot say to whom we owe most, to him
for drawing a prince of such wise statesmanship, or to you for labouring
to bring to light this statesmanship hidden and almost lost by our
negligence. You have chosen a noble and worthy province which cannot
be taken from you in any age, nor be lost by any forgetfulness, that is,
if what the wisest men say be true, and glory is indeed immortal. We
have read and re-read these books, and with such pleasure that we have
determined that they shall never leave our side, whether we be at home
or on military service, for if your translation cannot be compared to
the divine eloquence of Plato, nevertheless in our opinion it is hardly
inferior. These books shall be always kept at hand, so that we may ever
have something to give us pleasure, and that they may be almost as
counsellors and companions for so much of our life as is left to us, as
was the wisdom of Nestor to Agamemnon, and that of Achates to Æneas. On
the same page Plato and Candido can be read and admired together, and
the latter, no less than ourselves, be seen labouring to increase our
dignity. We exhort, and would compel you to labour hard at the
completion of the other books which we await impatiently. Do not think
that anything can give us more pleasure than that which relates to
learning and the cult of letters. You have and shall have whatsoever you
wish from us, who have always favoured your studies. We possess Livy and
other eminent writers, and nearly all the works of Cicero which have
been hitherto found. If you have anything of great value, we beg of you
to tell us.'[1206]

This letter is a typical example of Humphrey's style, and the Latin has
an unexpectedly classical tinge, though this was doubtless the work of
one of his secretaries. The sentiments betray a love of learning for its
own sake, and a genuine pleasure, not only in the possession of this
translation of the _Republic_, but also in reading and re-reading it,
for Humphrey was never one of those ignorant book-collectors who are
made to writhe under the scornful lash of Lucian of Samosata. Still more
interesting is the almost childish desire for fame and glory, that
desire to live in the memory of posterity. Though to us this seems small
and unworthy of either a great prince or a famous patron of scholars, we
must remember that the desire to establish an unforgetable name was
typical of the earlier Humanists, and sprang from a far from ignoble
motive. In the Middle Ages man had looked on life as a weary pilgrimage,
a disagreeable though necessary preliminary to a life of eternal bliss;
the men of the new world looked on the happy side of things, and
rejoiced in the goodliness of that life which God had given them. Man's
actions, therefore, became more important--more to be praised or blamed
as the case might be. Thus to live a famous life, and to be remembered
after death, were among the chief desires of the scholars of the new
learning, desires which became intensified when the gospel of man's
individuality was more clearly understood. The glorification of the
individual was part of the glorification of the world; and before the
cult of the world became a mere striving after sensual indulgence, this
desire for glory was a worthy ambition. In Humphrey this ambition is not
the last phase of a selfish egotism, as the story of his life might
suggest, but part of that new spirit of self-realisation, which had led
Petrarch and Boccaccio to seek for fame as the only justification for
their existence.


Candido was well pleased with his patron's praises, and was able to
reply with the grateful news that the other five books had just been
finished, though the transcribing of a copy for the Duke would still
take some time, especially as all ten books were to be copied into one
volume, with the translator's latest additions and corrections. Every
care was to be bestowed upon it, to make it one of the most elegant
works in the Latin language.[1207] In the meantime, however, Candido was
not idle, since he had already received a commission to act as
Humphrey's literary agent in Italy, for there was no hope of getting
translations of the Greek classics, or even faithful copies of the works
of Latin authors, in England. He had by him some books which Humphrey
had ordered, and in their purchase he had had a free hand, as his patron
had declared that he was not to be deterred by any price, though in
their selection he was guided by Humphrey's choice. The Duke had a clear
idea as to what he wanted in the way of books, and was in no way
inclined to submit to what Candido cared to advise. Accordingly he sent
a list, of which the chief items were the works of Cornelius Celsus, the
medical writer of the Augustinian age, the _Natural History_ of the
elder Pliny, the _Panegyricon on Trajan_ of the younger Pliny, and the
works of Apuleius, the famous pagan philosopher, whose chief attraction
was probably his treatise on the philosophy of Plato, and as many of the
works of Varro, the friend of Cicero, as could be found, especially his
treatise _De Lingua Latina_[1208]--a list which showed considerable
catholicity of taste. Other books, too, Gloucester had ordered, but they
had seemingly not found favour, as fit objects of purchase, with
Candido. The Duke, however, insisted on his choice, 'although we know
them to be wrong frequently, owing to an absurd interpretation of the
authors, yet they cannot be disregarded, if only on account of their
authority and their proved learning'; at any rate, Candido would not
suffer from their purchase, for he was bidden to send the prices of the
various books whether ready copied, or to be copied in the future, and
the money would be forwarded to him through those Italian merchants who
made banking one of the chief branches of their trade.[1209]

At a later date Humphrey sent the catalogue of his library to his
correspondent, who was genuinely surprised at the wonderful variety of
the books therein detailed, but he modestly suggested that it lacked at
least a hundred books which were indispensable for a collection that
aimed at such completeness, and which he was quite prepared to procure.
'You know my diligence and trustworthiness in this matter,' he wrote
with the usual guile of the Italian humanist, 'I who desire nothing but
your honour and glory, and that your name be handed down to everlasting
repute as far as I can make it so.' Truly this man knew how to win the
heart of Humphrey, and wanted more of those lucrative commissions from
the open-handed Duke. He went on to explain that the books could not be
bought in a day, but they could be ordered, so there would be always
some treasure coming to hand with which he could delight his

Gloucester welcomed this list of desirable books, and therefrom compiled
another list of volumes which Candido was to purchase for him; the rest
he declared were in his possession, though not mentioned in the
catalogue he had sent lately. This last statement reads as if he were
asserting his own power of criticism, and did not choose to have all the
books that his friend pressed upon him. At the same time Humphrey wrote
to Filippo Mario Visconti, explaining to him how he was using his
secretary, so that no difficulties might be placed in the way of
Candido's purchases, and that access to the Ducal Library at Milan might
be allowed him.[1211] Copyists were promptly set to work to fulfil the
Duke's order, but as there was 'no small love of libraries' in Italy,
the work progressed slowly, for the scribes had more than they could do.
However, in May 1442 a small parcel of books was handed to the Borromei
merchants for transmission to Gloucester.[1212] About this time, too,
Zano returned from Florence, bearing with him manifold messages of
fidelity from Candido, which he delivered in person to the Duke.[1213]

The books arrived quite safely, and with them the copy of Candido's
translation of the _Republic_, which had been long delayed owing to the
author's illness at the time of the completion of the translation, which
had prevented him from revising and correcting the text as he had
wished.[1214] This last volume was delivered in person by Scaramuccia
Balbo, a personal friend of the translator and a servant of the Duke of
Milan.[1215] When writing about the final completion of the _Republic_,
in a letter which probably accompanied the book, Candido gives us an
insight into the scholarship of Duke Humphrey. Casting aside all
personal appeals or unctuous flatteries, he writes as one scholar to
another, and declares that he had neither added to nor detracted from
the work of Plato, he had simply put that work within the reach of those
who knew no Greek.[1216] Humphrey was equally restrained when
acknowledging the receipt of the completed work, declaring that he had
had an immense desire to study the 'great and broad mind of Plato, which
indeed we find to be a heavenly constellation.' At the same time he
recorded the arrival of nine other volumes, and told Candido that he
awaited the rest with great impatience, most especially Cicero's _De
Productione et Creatione Mundi_; the complete works of Aulus Gellius,
the author of the _Noctes Atticæ_, a copy of which was included in the
books given to Oxford in 1439; Cerelius, _De Natali Die_;[1217]
Appuleius, _De Magia_; and the books of Lucius Florus. Amongst others,
he desired Columella's famous treatise on ancient agriculture, and that
on architecture by Vitruvius; the works of the geographer, Pomponius
Mela; Ptolemy's _Cosmographia_ and his treatise on the heavenly bodies;
Pomponius Festus, _De Vocabulis_, and a book on the dignities and
insignia of the Roman Empire.[1218] In a later letter he thanked Candido
for sending a selection of the books he had ordered, together with some
declamations written by the translator himself.[1219] These last were
probably the two volumes of letters dealing with the controversy which
had raged round Candido's translation of the _Ethics_, which the author
had dedicated to his English patron.[1220]

Four more books followed these in quick succession, but they were
acknowledged in a somewhat curt letter in which Gloucester told his
correspondent not to confide any more books to the merchants who had
brought them, as they had been unduly long in fulfilling their
commission.[1221] A year passed without further interchange of letters,
and then the Duke wrote reproachfully, complaining of Candido's long
silence and the cessation of the supply of books. With thinly veiled
sarcasm he attributed this to ill-health on the part of his agent, and
concluded: 'On this account we have determined to write this letter to
you, in which we ask you to complete the work you have begun, and not to
let our long silence about the reward of your labours affect you, for in
the end, perhaps, you will get what you thought at the beginning, as we
have never let any one who has done work for us go unrewarded.'[1222]


The tone of Gloucester's letter is distinctly arrogant, but he was
undoubtedly right when he conceived that it was a matter of reward which
had risen up between him and his correspondent. On receiving the
completed translation of the _Republic_ he had written to Candido,
saying that he wished to reward him for his exertions, and had decided
to settle on him a salary of one hundred ducats a year. Having made all
the preliminary arrangements, it occurred to him that this might give
offence to Candido's master, the Duke of Milan. In fear, therefore, of
doing his friend more harm than good by this action, he had determined
to postpone the idea till he had consulted Candido himself, whom he had
asked to give his opinion.[1223] In a later letter Humphrey had written
again to much the same effect, saying that he feared that Candido
distrusted his honest realisation of the obligation he owed him. He
urged him not to listen to empty rumours, and repeated the substance of
what he had said before.[1224] It seems that Candido refused this offer,
and in its place desired to be given what he called 'Petrarch's
Villa'--possibly the house once owned by Petrarch at Gavignano near
Milan. In making this request he was probably influenced by the fact
that the scholar Filelfo had just received such a gift from Duke Filippo
Maria, and by a desire to be equal with this great rival, who had so
lately come to Milan. Be this as it may, Humphrey ignored his request,
not vouchsafing an answer one way or the other. All this Candido stated
in his answer to the Duke's complaint of silence, and he pointed to his
disinterested services in the past, and to the way he had spent three
long years in translating the _Republic_, merely to win his patron's
friendship. It was not forgetfulness, but fear, caused by the Duke's
ignoring his request, that had induced his long silence, and in
refutation of Gloucester's suggestion of failing strength, he pointed to
the fact that he was not yet forty years old, an age when Plato declared
that a man was not past his prime. For himself, he was ready to continue
to serve his old patron, and though busy at Rome of late, he had,
during the time of silence, secured Columella's treatise on agriculture
and all the works of Apuleius in an emended transcript, besides other
works, but since exception to sending them by merchants had been taken,
there was no means of despatching them to their destination. If a means
of conveyance were to be suggested by Gloucester, he would gladly avail
himself thereof. This letter of great dignity and of veiled reproach
ended on a pathetic note. 'It is your silence, not the fear of no
reward, that disturbs me, so I will not ask of you anything but
friendship and kindness; my fidelity I will keep unshaken, and though my
affairs are in no sound condition, I will pass that over. Nothing can be
worse than to lose your favour.'[1225]

Thus ends one of the most interesting series of letters of the period,
and we are left in the dark as to the ultimate decision of the matter.
It seems probable, from the absence of any further letters, that
Humphrey never replied to this, though the obvious loss of letters
earlier in the correspondence makes this deduction inconclusive. If
Candido's statements are true, the Duke appears in a very unfavourable
light. Some payments, of course, must have been made by him, and it is
possible that they were sufficiently large to wipe out any obligation he
might owe to the man who had worked so well for him, but it is equally
possible that the exceeding liberality, of which he makes boast, was
mostly confined to words. Instability--that canker which lay at the root
of the 'Good Duke's' character--had again asserted itself. He had
disappointed Bruni of his hopes, he now did the same by Candido. Is this
a true estimate of his relations with the Italian Humanists? We must
remember that as a race these men were proverbially greedy, and that in
both cases we have no definite statement of Humphrey's case. How far
with respect to Candido was the danger of alienating Filippo Maria of
Milan a reality? More perhaps than we might think, for a few months
after Gloucester's death we find Candido petitioning for some
recognition of his services from the governors of Milan, and he bases
his claim on long and faithful service to the Visconti, to serve whom he
had refused and contemned many valuable efforts made by both Humphrey,
Duke of Gloucester, and the King of Spain.[1226] When it served his
purpose, therefore, Candido stated the case more in favour of his
English patron than his last letter would lead us to believe possible.

We can form no exact estimate of the number of books sent over by
Candido to Gloucester. We hear of the safe arrival of at least
thirty-one,[1227] and there is mention of many more in the
correspondence. For the most part they were books by Latin authors, and
those not always of the Golden Age of Latin literature. However, they
show a great advance on the studies of the Middle Ages, and display a
wonderful breadth of interest. We have no evidence that it was for
practical purposes that Humphrey evinced a peculiar interest in
agriculture, but his known liking for astrology is represented, and his
wish to possess the treatise of Vitruvius on Architecture shows that he
had an intimate knowledge of the writings of the past. Of these books
and their indication of the tastes of their owner more will be said


Humphrey was acquainted with other Italian scholars less famous than
Bruni and Candido. Among these was Piero del Monte, a learned Venetian,
who had been a pupil of Guarino, and had studied at the Universities of
Paris and Brescia. Appointed apostolic protonotary to Eugenius IV., he
was sent to England as papal collector about 1434, being recommended to
Cardinal Beaufort, who does not seem to have taken any interest in his
scholarly visitor.[1228] Unlike Poggio, however, Piero became acquainted
with Humphrey, of whom he conceived a very high opinion. On his return
to Italy at the end of his mission, he dedicated to the Duke a moral
treatise, which was the solitary product of his pen, if indeed a work,
in which Guarino, Francesco Barbaro, and Andrea Giuliano were all
collaborators,[1229] can legitimately be put down to any one man's
authorship. The title runs 'Petrus de Monte ad illustrissimum principem
Ducem Gloucestrie de virtutum et viciorum inter se differentia,' and the
dedicatory epistle is full of Gloucester's praises. In this case we have
no reason to suspect the genuineness of the laudatory remarks, for the
writer was not one of the regular Italian translators and authors who
looked to secure further employment by means of the fulsomeness of their
dedications. Piero had a secure position and a fixed salary, and was
compelled to bow down to no prince to eke out a precarious livelihood.

The very first words of the dedication strike the right note of genuine
friendship, when Humphrey's position as a prince among men by reason of
birth is set aside, and his true title to respect is based on his
scholarly interests. 'You have no real pleasure,' writes Piero, 'apart
from the reading of books.' Still more stress is laid on the Duke's
energy, which enabled him to take an active part in the affairs of
state, as well as to be a man of letters--a very unusual combination, so
says the author. In this respect he is compared to Julius Cæsar, who
waged war and wrote his _Commentaries_ at the same time; to Augustus,
and to Theodosius, who fought and judged by day, and wrote books by
night, for, unlike his compatriots, he did not spend his leisure in
hunting or pleasure, but preferred to ponder over books in some
library.[1230] This versatile activity which characterised Humphrey was
part of the Renaissance spirit which brightened his imagination. The
men of the new birth were vigorous and enthusiastic in the days of their
mental youth, no obstacle daunted them, no branch of life's interests
seemed unworthy of their attention. It is the astounding versatility of
these men of the Renaissance which causes our wonder, even more than
their enlightened originality, and it was the same inspiration which
enabled men like Leonardo da Vinci to be painters, poets, musicians,
inventors, and scientists all in one, that also enabled the English Duke
to combine an active military career and vast political ambitions with
an enthusiastic study of the ancient classics.

The latter half of Piero's dedication again lays stress on Humphrey's
many interests, his delight, 'not only in one art and science, which
might be considered sufficient, but in nearly all of them.' We also get
an interesting sketch of Humphrey as he appeared to a man who had spent
much time in his society. His power of discussing literary matters, we
are told, was great, and the tenacity of his memory for all he both read
and heard was astounding, and so accurate that he could quote chapter
and verse in support of his statements. His kindness to Piero had been
very great, and it was in memory of the happy days spent in his company
that the present work was hesitatingly, yet hopefully, dedicated to

After Piero had returned to Italy he seems to have kept up a
correspondence with his friend in England, at least so we gather from
the one letter which survives. Indeed, Humphrey had commissioned him to
procure something for him in Italy, books for his library probably,
though Piero, it seems, forgot what he had been asked to do. However, on
his own initiative he got some manuscripts copied for the Duke, though
we have no evidence that they were ever despatched.[1232] It is to be
deplored that this correspondence has not been preserved even to the
imperfect extent that the letters which passed between Humphrey and
Candido have survived. In the latter case the connection was between
master and servant, between employer and employed, who had no personal
knowledge of each other. In the case of Piero del Monte the relationship
was of a different order. Two scholars with similar tastes and
aspirations had struck up a friendship based on a strong intellectual
sympathy, and the mercenary motives, which obtruded themselves where
Candido was concerned, were here absent. We can listen to the praise of
Del Monte without any nauseating suspicion of the reality of the
sentiments expressed.


Yet another Italian scholar do we find sending books from Italy to
Humphrey in the person of Lapo da Castiglionchio, a pupil of Filelfo,
and a great translator of Lucian, Xenophon, Isocrates, Demosthenes, and
Plutarch. His abilities were recognised by his contemporaries as of the
highest order, and for his work of translation he possessed the
essential equipment of an excellent Latin style; but a premature death
cut short what promised to be a brilliant career. Lapo was one of those
numerous poor scholars, who were compelled to appeal to powerful and
wealthy patrons for the means of subsistence, and he numbered among
these Eugenius IV., Cosimo de' Medici, and the Cardinals Vitelleschi,
Cesarini and Orsini, ultimately becoming secretary to the papal
court.[1233] It was through Zano that he came to think of Gloucester as
a possible patron, and in both the dedications, which he inscribed to
the Duke, he made mention of the Bishop. Of the _Lives_ of Plutarch
translated by Lapo, at least one, the _Life of Artaxerxes_, was
dedicated 'Ad Illustrissimum Principem Enfridum, Gloucestrie Ducem et
Pembrochie Comitem,'[1234] and his original treatise, _Comparatio
Studiorum et Rei militaris_, is addressed to the same person. The
question discussed in this second work is one of great difficulty, so
says the author in his dedicatory preface, and fittingly inscribed to
one who is renowned not only in England, but also in France, Germany,
Spain, 'Besia,'[1235] and Italy, as a famous soldier, and who at the
same time surpasses all other contemporary princes in 'learning,
eloquence, and the humane studies.' With all humility the attempt to
compare these two spheres of human activity is therefore submitted to
his criticism. Together with this treatise Lapo sent 'three orations of
Socrates,' one of which instructed youth in the way of virtue, whilst
the other two dealt with the relations of prince and subject, all of
which the translator thought would be useful to one who had the charge
of a youthful king, and was busied with the government of a great

The _Life of Artaxerxes_ was translated for the Duke at a later date
than this, and together with it Lapo sent other translations from the
Greek of Plutarch, including the Lives of Theseus, Romulus, Solon,
Publicola, Pericles, Fabius Maximus, Themistocles, Camillus, and Aratus.
The dedication is too highly coloured to be taken seriously, and the
list of virtues possessed by the Duke, according to the conversation of
Zano as recorded by the author, only speaks to the writer's ingenuity.
Yet there are some signs of real feeling beneath this fulsome flattery,
and the praise accorded the Duke for his interest in all study,
especially that of the humanities, rings true. It tells how Humphrey
devoted to the acquisition of learning much time that others spent in
feasting and pleasure, and how therein he resembled some of the most
celebrated men of the past, both Greeks and Romans. This alone would
account for Lapo's decision that, though the men of the present compared
very poorly with those of the past, an exception must be made in the
case of the 'illustrious Duke of Gloucester.'[1237] The sifting of the
chaff from the wheat in this dedication is not so hard a task as it
might at first seem. Zano had evidently spoken in no measured terms of
the greatness of his princely friend, and the literary leanings of this
patron had appealed to the inflammable imaginations of the Italian
scholars. Lapo was speaking with knowledge when he alluded to the Duke's
love of learning, of hearsay only when he embarked on a personal and
political eulogy, and whilst we may accept as genuine his admiration of
Gloucester's scholarship, we must ignore his statements as to his
patron's other virtues. Further evidence as to the relations between
Lapo and Humphrey we do not possess, though doubtless, did we but know
it, a correspondence passed between them. Castiglionchio at any rate was
not the least of that band of Italian scholars who acknowledged this
English patron.

The list of those men who worked for Duke Humphrey in Italy ends with
the name of Antonio Pasini of Todi, well known for his Latin
translations of Plutarch, which were much sought after, and were
frequently reproduced by the early Italian printers, there being at
least seven complete editions of them between 1470 and 1558. His
translation of the _Life of Marius_ was dedicated to the Duke, and in
his preface we find that he, like so many of his fellow-scholars, had
been induced to work for him by the way Zano had spoken of his patronage
of learning. It seems, too, that it was due to Zano that Humphrey
possessed so great a military reputation in Italy, which is alluded to
by nearly all his Italian scholar friends. Still more is said in a
somewhat fulsome strain about the kindness and generosity of the Duke,
and the usual eulogy of his literary tastes is naturally
emphasised.[1238] This somewhat trite and commonplace effusion is the
least interesting of all the dedications to Gloucester still extant:
there is a servility and a lack of genuine feeling which shines through
the flattering words. Of all the Italians, Pasini wrote most obviously
for lucre and not for love.


Besides the professional Italian Humanists Humphrey numbered at least
one of the princes of Italy amongst his friends and correspondents, for
in the Vatican Library there is preserved a copy of a letter written by
him to Alfonso, King of Aragon and Naples. This prince, though of
Spanish origin, had asserted his right to the crown of Naples, and had
become more Italian than the Italians themselves, just as a later
Spanish importation in the Chair of St. Peter was to be. He was one of
the most devoted patrons of the Renaissance in Italy, converting his
court into an assembly of scholars, and even when on a campaign refusing
to be separated from his beloved books. To this typical prince of the
Italian Renaissance Humphrey wrote as a man of like sympathies, dating
his letter from Greenwich on July 12, 1445. The tone of this letter
would lead us to believe that the two princes had already corresponded,
and that some agent or follower of the King of Naples had lately visited
the Duke, who strangely enough praises his correspondent in very similar
terms to those used by Lapo da Castiglionchio of himself, alluding to
the great reputation which Alfonso possessed both as a soldier and as a
scholar. Chancing to be reading a French translation of Livy when Philip
Boyl arrived,[1239] he happened on a passage that dealt with learning,
which convinced him that the book would form an ideal present for
Alfonso, and he accordingly sent it to him as a token of his great
esteem.[1240] No present could be more acceptable to the King of
Naples, who, it is said, treated one of the bones of Livy, sent to him
by the Republic of Venice, as a mediæval churchman would have treated
the relic of a saint. Strangely enough, another great prince of the new
learning presented a copy of Livy to Alfonso, for this was the present
with which Cosimo de' Medici made a friend of a former opponent.[1241]
The copy which Humphrey sent was probably that one which Bedford had
presented to him, and which is now in the Bibliothèque de Sainte
Geneviève at Paris; for when Charles VIII. of France invaded Naples,
Alfonso's fine library was dispersed, and it is therefore possible that
this item found its way back to the land of its origin by this
circuitous route.


Humphrey was not content merely to correspond with the Italian
Humanists; he brought several of them over to England to assist him in
the study of the books he procured from their fellow-countrymen. So well
known was this custom of his, that Æneas Sylvius, when writing to
Sigismund of Austria, alluded to it in laudatory terms.[1242] No more
striking evidence of the great reputation which the Duke of Gloucester
possessed in Italy is to be found, than the way that this distinguished
scholar, who, as far as we know, was personally unknown to him, on more
than one occasion alluded to his literary qualities. Of the foreigners
whom we find in connection with Humphrey from time to time some mention
must be made of Vincent Clement, who represented him for some time at
the papal court. A Spaniard by birth, but an Italian by education,
Vincent was a man of considerable scholarly interests, a friend of
Gloucester's chancellor Beckington, and at one time favoured by Henry
VI., who recommended him to Oxford as a suitable recipient of academic
honours.[1243] A certain Maufurney, of French origin, acted as
Humphrey's private secretary for a considerable time, and in that
capacity received the honour of naturalisation in 1426.[1244] Also among
the Duke's secretaries we find Antonio di Beccaria, a native of Verona,
who had studied under that prince of Renaissance schoolmasters,
Vittorino da Feltre. He was one of Filelfo's many friends, and devoted
his attention to writing erotic verse and to the translation of Greek
authors, amongst whom mention may be made of Dionysius Periegetes, whose
geographical poem appeared in a Latin translation under the title of 'De
Situ Orbis.'[1245] For the Duke of Gloucester Beccaria translated
several of the less well-known treatises of St. Athanasius, which are
contained in two volumes now bound as one, and preserved in the British
Museum.[1246] At the end of each an inscription by Humphrey records that
they were translated for him by Antonio, his secretary, but some words
in the opening preamble of the second volume lead us to believe that
this latter work was finished after the translator had returned to his
native land.[1247] Yet another of Antonio's translations of
Athanasius--in this case the famous tract against the Arian heresy--was
dedicated to Humphrey,[1248] who, however, did not employ this secretary
for theological purposes alone.

The Renaissance scholar had wide interests, and from Athanasius Antonio
turned at the bidding of his master to the translation into Latin of one
of Boccaccio's works. This was one of the poet's minor poems, probably
little read at the present day, though not without its importance in the
fifteenth century. The 'Corbaccio' or 'Laberinto d'Amore' is a bitter
tirade against women, and is described by the translator as 'Corvaccium
adversum mulieres' with a commendable frankness, for which he apologises
to the sex generally towards the end of his dedicatory letter. It was
written originally for the purpose of humiliating a certain lady who had
not welcomed Boccaccio's advances, and it may be possible that it was
with somewhat similar feelings that Duke Humphrey bade his secretary
translate the work, though Antonio is at some pains to emphasise that it
was the literary form, not the sentiments, that appealed to his
master.[1249] The existence and the origin of the translation, which
have been hitherto unknown, throw considerable light on Gloucester's
literary tastes, and we gather from the wording of the dedicatory
epistle addressed to him, that he had a considerable knowledge of the
Italian writings of this famous scholar, and been especially anxious for
a translation of this particular poem. Though this is the only Italian
work we know to have been translated for him, its existence suggests
that it was not a unique example, and that, unlike most Renaissance
scholars, the Duke took an interest in Italian literature, and refused
to ignore the poetry of Boccaccio in favour of his scholarly works, as
did Villani and Domenico of Arezzo when selecting that poet's niche in
the temple of fame.

Antonio's dedication follows the worthy traditions of other Italian
writers, and exalts Duke Humphrey in no measured terms, but it is almost
entirely confined to a description of his literary tastes, and passes
over his personal virtues and political triumphs. The translator knew
England well, and was fully conscious of his patron's unique position in
that country. He describes him as learned in the humane letters, and
well versed in the literature of other countries besides his own. He
touches on his knowledge of history past and present, his energy in
procuring translation of the Greek classics, not sparing trouble or
expense; his diligent study, which led him to waste no moment of his
time; but the greatest stress is laid on the fact that in an age of
darkness he shone forth as the one true light. Julius Cæsar and Augustus
might deserve their meed of praise as students and patrons in times when
to be unlearned was a disgrace, but to Humphrey fell the greater glory
of having recalled scholarship and literature 'from death unto life' at
a time of literary decadence and decay.[1250] Undoubtedly Antonio was
fully justified in selecting this point of view as the most important
aspect of his master's career, and it shows that the problem, whence
came the inspiration which led the Duke to become a patron of letters
and a friend of the new learning, was as inexplicable to his
contemporaries as it is to us.


One of the best known of Gloucester's Italian followers in England was
the man whose name, obviously partly borrowed from the famous Roman
author, varies as it occurs in different places. On the title-page of
his history it appears as 'Titus Livius Forojuliensis,'[1251] whilst in
an official document of the year 1437 he is called 'Titus Livius de
Fralovisiis de Ferraria.'[1252] He has been called in modern times 'Tito
Livio of Forli'[1253] and 'Tito Livio of Friuli,'[1254] but we have his
own statement as evidence that he was born at Ferrara.[1255] He is
described as 'poet and orator' of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, and
himself tells us that poverty and love of travel drove him to leave his
native place, and to come to England, where he applied to Humphrey for
patronage and support. By him he was welcomed and honoured, and it was
at the suggestion of his patron that he undertook to write the _Vita
Henrici Quinti_, which still remains one of the most important
authorities for the reign of that King.[1256] He must have been in
Gloucester's service before 1437, for on March 7 of that year his
patron secured his naturalisation by letters-patent.[1257] For long it
was thought that this scholar who settled in England was totally unknown
to the humanists of his native land,[1258] but it now appears that he
was a correspondent of Pier Candido Decembrio. From a still extant
letter of his to this translator we gather, that he was in communication
with certain humanists in Italy, and that he had a complaint against
some Italian prince, which probably was the original reason for his
leaving Italy. He showed himself to be interested not only in literary
studies, but also in physics and medicine, and was the subject of
compliments on the part of the scientists of Tolsa. Like his master, he
commissioned Candido to procure him books, mentioning as his chief
desiderata the works of Celsus, the distinguished writer on rhetoric,
agriculture, and medicine, whose treatise _De Medecina_ is the only
product of his pen still extant, and of Galen, the Greek physician, who
was patronised by Marcus Aurelius.[1259] Of his relations with Humphrey,
beyond the bare facts already stated, we know nothing, but it is
interesting to find among the followers of the 'Good Duke' the first
Italian who contributed anything towards the study of English
history--the precursor of the Italian Polydore Vergil, who came to
England as a papal collector, and stayed to write the history of the
English people.


The interest that Livius--to use the name by which we have quoted him as
an authority for the reign of Henry V.--showed in medical lore was only
a reflection of one of the branches of knowledge which attracted his
patron, for throughout his life Humphrey studied both the theory and
practice of medicine. Many medical works are to be found in the list of
the books that he gave to Oxford, and the description of his own health,
which is preserved in the _Dietarium de Sanitatis Custodia_, already
cited, probably owes its immense detail to his proclivities in this
direction; indeed, it is conceivable that this should be considered as a
scientific treatise, more than as a faithful report of the Duke's
health. The author of this dietary was one Gilbert Kymer, who seems to
have held an important position in the household of the Duke of
Gloucester--'Celsitudinis vestre clericum,' as he is called by the
University of Oxford.[1260] It was this Kymer who was responsible for
conveying to Oxford the gift of books made in 1439;[1261] and he it was
whom the University petitioned to use his influence with the Duke at a
time of internal trouble,[1262] and only a few months before
Gloucester's death the same University re-elected this physician to be
Chancellor, in order that he might suggest any steps which they might
take to give pleasure to their friend and constant patron.[1263] Yet
another physician was an inmate of Gloucester's house, for he took steps
to bring over from Italy Giovanni dei Signorelli, a native of Ferrara,
whom he attached to his household in this professional capacity, and
whose naturalisation he secured in 1433.[1264]

With the name of this man ends the long list of Italian scholars and
students with whom Humphrey came in contact. They are sufficiently
numerous to give him the proud title of being the first Englishman to
bring the Renaissance influence to this country by introducing the
learning of Italy to his fellow-countrymen. His patronage of letters had
given him a great reputation in the Italian peninsula, for apart from
the flowery praises of those who sought his financial sympathy, the
fact remains that he was well enough known to be cultivated by men who
could find patrons in almost every town in Italy, and this at a time
when communication with any one at such a distance was arduous and
dangerous. Humphrey renounced the circumscribed limits of the old
schoolmen, and appreciated the new learning and the new spirit thereby
engendered, yet he was perhaps not wholly conscious of the great step he
had taken. When he first brought Italian scholars and Italian
scholarship to his native land, he originated a movement which has not
ceased to have its influence even in the twentieth century, though many
may be as unconscious of the true origin of this movement, as was he of
its far-reaching effects.


  [1163] Macray, _Annals of the Bodleian_, 4, 5.

  [1164] We find payments made for covering the King's books in velvet
         and satin; Rymer, IV. ii. 155.

  [1165] Stow, 344. He tells us that he had himself seen copies of
         these translations.

  [1166] Tyler, _Henry of Monmouth_, i. 394-400, where the poem is

  [1167] Ashmole MS., 59, f. 135.

  [1168] Tyler, _Henry of Monmouth_, 331.

  [1169] Hoccleve's _Works_, iii. 75.

  [1170] _Ipodigma Neustriæ_, 1-5.

  [1171] Rymer, IV. iv. 105.

  [1172] Voigt, ii. 254-256.

  [1173] _Vatican Transcripts_, v. 34-42, copied from Bibl. Vat. MS.,

  [1174] Vespasiano, 547, 548. Cf. Voigt, ii. 255.

  [1175] Delisle, _Sir Kenelm Digby_, Paris, 1892, p. 11; Delisle,
         _Cabinet des Manuscrits_, i. 52, 53.

  [1176] Bibliothèque de Sainte Geneviève, MS. français, 777.

  [1177] See Bale, 583, and the testimony of several Italian

  [1178] Monstrelet, 265.

  [1179] Æn. Sylv., _Opera_, 548, _Epistola_ lxiv.

  [1180] For this date see Voigt, ii. 256. For Poggio's visit to
         England see Shepherd's _Life of Poggio_, 136.

  [1181] Bibliothèque Nationale, MS. latin, 8537, f. 300.

  [1182] _Archivio Lombardo_, vol. x. Anno xx. p. 62.

  [1183] _Engl. Hist. Review_, xix. 519. Letter of Candidus to

  [1184] Leonardi Bruni, _Epistolæ_, vol. ii. lib. VIII. No. 6.

  [1185] Bodley MS., 2143 (Auct. F., v. 27), f. 1. The dedication is
         printed in _Chandler Catalogue_ of the editions of Aristotle,

  [1186] This dedication can be seen in Bodley MS., Laud. Lat., 60. No
         mention is made of Gloucester.

  [1187] Vespasiano, 437. Gloucester is mixed up with John Tiptoft,
         Earl of Worcester, by Vespasiano, who ought to have known
         better, as he was the latter's friend.

  [1188] _Eng. Hist. Review_, xix. 512-513. A summary of the letter is
         given in _Bibliographia_, i. 325, 326.

  [1189] _Cod. Riccardiano_, 827, f. 55.

  [1190] _Ibid._, ff. 55vo, 56vo.

  [1191] _Ibid._, f. 57vo.

  [1192] _Cod. Riccardiano_, 827, f. 58.

  [1193] Voigt, ii. 259, says that Gloucester's relations with Candido
         dated back from the time when he translated the _Vita Henrici
         Quinti_ of Livius into Italian. As this was done in 1463,
         after Gloucester's death, it cannot exactly be said to have
         originated his connection with the translator. See _Tabulæ
         Codicum Palatina Vindobonensi_, ii. 106.

  [1194] _Eng. Hist. Review_, xix. 513, 514; _Bibliographia_, i. 326.

  [1195] _Cod. Riccardiano_, 827, ff. 59, 60.

  [1196] _Ibid._, f. 13vo.

  [1197] _Cod. Riccardiano_, 827, f. 31vo.

  [1198] Durham MS., C. iv. 3, ff. 6, 7. Since securing a transcript
         of this letter I find that it has been printed by Dr. W. L.
         Newman, in _Eng. Hist. Review_, xx. 496-498, together with a
         discussion of the rest of the correspondence between
         Gloucester and Candido. Cf. Sassi, _Historia
         Literaria-Typographica_, p. ccc.

  [1199] Leonardi Bruni, _Epistolæ_, vol. ii. lib. VIII. No. 6, pp.

  [1200] _Cod. Riccardiano_, 827, f. 61vo.

  [1201] _Eng. Hist. Review_, xix. 514; _Bibliographia_, i. 326.

  [1202] _Eng. Hist. Review_, xix. 514, 515; _Bibliographia_, i. 327.
         Two of these dedications--those to the sixth and tenth
         book--are in Durham MS., C. iv. 3.

  [1203] _Eng. Hist. Review_, xix. 515.

  [1204] _Cod. Riccardiano_, 827, f. 60vo.

  [1205] _Eng. Hist. Review_, xix. 525.

  [1206] _Eng. Hist. Review_, xix. 515, 516. Dated March 23, 1439
         (1440, New Style), in Durham MS., C. iv. 3. This is not a
         literal translation of the letter.

  [1207] _Eng. Hist. Review_, xix. 516. Letter of Candido to

  [1208] Of these the two volumes of the two Plinies and the Varro
         were in Gloucester's last gift of books to Oxford; _Epist.
         Acad._, 235, 236.

  [1209] _Eng. Hist. Review_, xix. 517. Letter of Gloucester to

  [1210] _Eng. Hist. Review_, xix. 517, 518. Letter of Candido to

  [1211] _Ibid._, xix. 518-520. Letter of Gloucester to Candido.

  [1212] _Ibid._, xix. 519. Letter of Candido to Gloucester. The same
         merchants had brought Bruni's translation of the _Politics_
         to Gloucester; Leonardi Bruni, _Epistolæ_, vol. ii. liber
         VIII. No. 6.

  [1213] _Eng. Hist. Review_, xix. 520. Letter of Gloucester to

  [1214] _Cod. Riccardiano_, 827, f. 82vo.

  [1215] _Eng. Hist. Review_, xix. 524. Letter of Candido to

  [1216] _Ibid._, xix. 519. Letter of Candido to Gloucester.

  [1217] Probably the third-century grammarian, Censorius, who wrote a
         still extant work, _De Die Natali_, is here meant.

  [1218] _Eng. Hist. Review_, xix. 524. Letter of Gloucester to

  [1219] _Ibid._, xix. 522. Letter of Gloucester to Candido.

  [1220] Sassi, _Historia Literaria-Typographia_, 293. Letter of
         Candido to Nicomedus Tranchedinus.

  [1221] _Eng. Hist. Review_, xix. 523. Letter of Gloucester to

  [1222] _Ibid._, xix. 523. Letter of Gloucester to Candido.

  [1223] _Eng. Hist. Review_, xix. 524. Letter of Gloucester to

  [1224] _Ibid._, xix. 522, 523. Letter of Gloucester to Candido.

  [1225] _Eng. Hist. Review_, xix. 520-522. Letter of Candido to

  [1226] _Archivio Lombardo_, vol. x. Anno xx. p. 432. Letter of
         Candido to the governor of Milan.

  [1227] _Ibid._, vol. x. Anno xx. p. 66; _Eng. Hist. Review_, xix.
         523, 524.

  [1228] Agostini, _Scrittori Veneziani_, i. 346-372; Voigt, ii. 259.

  [1229] Voigt, ii. 39.

  [1230] Bodley MS., 3618 (E. Museo, 119), f. 1.

  [1231] Bodley MS., 3618 (E. Museo, 119), f. 2.

  [1232] _Eng. Hist. Review_, x. 100, 101. Letter of Piero del Monte
         to Gloucester.

  [1233] _Cent Dix Lettres Grecques_, 25-28; Voigt, ii. 37, 176, 177.

  [1234] _Cod. Laurentiano_, Plut., lxiii. 30, f. 1vo. Cf. _Cent Dix
         Lettres Grecques_, 25.

  [1235] This is undoubtedly 'Besia' in the MS. I cannot suggest an

  [1236] Bodley MS., 3618 (E. Museo, 119), ff. 116-118.

  [1237] _Cod. Laurentiano_, Plut., lxiii. 30, ff. 1vo., 2vo.

  [1238] Magdalen MS., 37, ff. 1, 2.

  [1239] I presume from the way this man is alluded to without comment
         or explanation that he had come from Alfonso, or at least
         that through him the two friends had become acquainted by

  [1240] _Eng. Hist. Review_, x. 102, 103. Letter of Gloucester to
         Alfonso V. of Aragon.

  [1241] This MS. is said to be now in the library of Holkham Hall.
         See Roscoe, _Life of Lorenzo de Medici_ (London, 1846), 64,

  [1242] Æn. Sylv., _Opera_, 602, _Epist._ cv.

  [1243] _Beckington Correspondence_, i. 223, _et passim_.

  [1244] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 314.

  [1245] See Giuliani, _Della Letteratura Veronese_, 66; Warton, iii.
         51; Voigt, ii. 258.

  [1246] Royal MS., 5, F. ii.

  [1247] 'Postquam, serenissime princeps, ex peregrinatione mea redii,
         quam in visendo hac tua clarissima patria suscipam, etc.'
         Royal MS., 5, F. ii. f. 92.

  [1248] King's College, Cambridge, MS., 27, f. 3.

  [1249] MS. in a private library, f. 1vo.

  [1250] MS. in a private library, ff. 1, 2.

  [1251] _Titi Livii Forojuliensis Vita Henrici Quinti_, ed. Th.
         Hearne, Oxon., 1716.

  [1252] Rymer, V. i. 37.

  [1253] Einstein, 4.

  [1254] Warton, iii. 51.

  [1255] Livius, 2.

  [1256] _Ibid._

  [1257] Rymer, V. i. 37.

  [1258] Voigt, ii. 258.

  [1259] _Archivio Lombardo_, vol. x. Anno. xx. p. 428. Letter of
         Livius to P. C. Decembrio.

  [1260] _Epist. Acad._, 256.

  [1261] _Ibid._, 177.

  [1262] _Ibid._, 116.

  [1263] _Ibid._, 256. Kymer had been Chancellor formerly for two
         years (1431-1433); on this occasion he did not resign till
         1453. Anthony Wood, _History of Oxford_, App. 44, 51.

  [1264] _Rot. Parl._, iv. 473. A certain 'John Swanwych,' who is
         described as a 'Clerk' of Gloucester, was also a Bachelor of
         Physick. Rymer, IV. iv. 84.



Had the Duke of Gloucester confined his patronage to scholars of foreign
birth, and taken no part in the intellectual life of England as a whole,
he would deserve only a passing mention by those who would trace the
development of English thought. His praises, however, were not sung by
Italian humanist and French ecclesiastic alone. In England he was the
acknowledged leader in the world of letters, the centre round which
native scholar and poet alike revolved, and his patronage was extended
to all who took an interest in intellectual pursuits. He therefore
became the medium of introducing the new ideas from Italy to the English
scholars, though it must be admitted that the latter were very slow to
accept the message of the new movement. They were reared in an entirely
different atmosphere to the Italians, and in most cases showed little or
no interest in the new learning. Even Wheathampsted of St. Albans, who
seems in some ways to have acted as the Duke's literary adviser, showed
but scant sympathy with the scholarship fostered by his friend and
patron. On the whole, it is probable that this Abbot was more a
political than a literary friend to Gloucester, and it has been
considered significant that he resigned the Abbacy in 1440, just when
his friend and supporter was losing his hold on the politics of the
country.[1265] Wheathampsted, however, was associated with the Duke in
literary matters, and was employed by him to adorn and increase his
collection of books, though our authority for this statement seems to
suggest that this was only part of his policy of securing his patron's
favour.[1266] He showed a distinct interest in books apart from his
relations with Duke Humphrey, himself building a library for his
monastery out of his own pocket,[1267] and presenting at least one book
to the students at Oxford, probably to the foundation of Gloucester
College, which was connected with the House of St. Albans.[1268] From
time to time we find gifts of books to Humphrey entered in the accounts
of the monastery, one of which alone cost £6, 13s. 4d.,[1269] a fact
which may help us to estimate the enormous sums which the Duke must have
spent in collecting his great library. On another occasion we hear of
the gift of three books to the Duke of Gloucester, one of them being a
_Cato Glossatus_, which we may identify with the _Catonem Comentatum_
presented to Oxford in 1443,[1270] probably an annotated copy of Cato's
famous treatise _De Re Rustica_. The other two books of this gift were
of the Abbot's own compilation,[1271] probably two parts of his
three-volume work, the _Granarium de Viris Illustribus_, which we also
find included in the Oxford gifts.[1272] From his connection with
Wheathampsted and his Abbey of St. Albans Humphrey may have imbibed that
love of astrology which was so unfortunately shared by his wife, but
there is no recorded gift of a work on this subject to him, though
Bedford received a treatise of this kind at the hands of these monks,
who were famous for the study of the occult sciences.[1273]


Amongst monkish scholars to be found in the Duke's following was John
Capgrave, a native of Lynn, in Norfolk. He studied at Oxford, Cambridge,
and London, and was for a time a tutor in the first-named University,
ending his days as a member of the Augustinian community in its
monastery at Lynn. He was a prolific writer on theological and
historical subjects, and also a composer of English verse, into which he
translated a _Life of St. Catherine of Alexandria_, attributed by some
to St. Athanasius.[1274] He is said to have been intimate with Humphrey,
who retained him to discuss matters of philosophy when the mood was upon
him.[1275] It is interesting to note that Capgrave was one of the first
monkish chroniclers to use the vulgar tongue for historical purposes,
and his _Chronicle of England_ is one of the most useful contributions
to the history of his times still extant. This adoption of English as a
medium for the writing of history casts an interesting gleam of light on
the position of Duke Humphrey in the Renaissance movement, one of the
most important aspects of which was the abolition of 'Christendom' as a
political term, and the development of the nationalities of Europe, a
development which is mirrored by the adoption of the vernacular
languages for scholarly purposes.

It was probably at the instance of Humphrey that the _Chronicle of
England_ was compiled, as well as the _Commentary on Genesis_ which was
dedicated to him. To this book, of which the original copy is preserved
in the Library of Oriel College, Oxford, is prefixed a dedication to
Duke Humphrey, in which he is described as the extirpator of heresy and
the protector of the poor. The author goes on to say that no one was so
worthy as Gloucester to receive the gift of such a book, for
'flourishing in the vigour of a most subtle intellect you give yourself,
as is reported, with the greatest earnestness to the study of the works
of ancient authors.' Most especially was the Duke famous for his studies
in the Scriptures, and, much in the spirit of the Italian Humanists,
Capgrave thanks God that such a prince should devote himself to the
pursuit of knowledge, especially in an age when even ecclesiastics
abandon the cloister for the field of politics, and without studying
themselves, discourage studies in other people.[1276] Had he set out to
paint Humphrey in relation to his times, this author could not have
drawn the picture more accurately than he has here done. The scholars of
the Middle Ages had lost all traces of enthusiasm; their scholarship was
in that state of decay which preceded its entire abolition. To such a
state of affairs came Humphrey, the first of that long line of laymen
who were to usurp the place which the Church could no longer hold in the
vanguard of the pursuit of knowledge. The domination of the
ecclesiastical mind over the intellectual development of the world was
about to pass away; no longer would it be possible for a Gregory the
Great to order the destruction of a library of ancient classics, for a
poet such as Alcuin of York to declaim against heathen authors, or for
any one to cry in the words of Gregory of Tours, 'Let us shun the lying
fables of poets, and forgo the wisdom of sages at enmity with God, lest
we incur the doom of endless death by sentence of our Lord.' Humphrey
and Capgrave were both faithful sons of the Church in which they had
been born, yet they did not hesitate to denounce the scholarship of the
mediæval ecclesiastics which had developed into a science of
superstition, and to herald a new era in which knowledge was to be the
birthright of all men, a means whereby they might perfect their lives by
a realisation of the goodliness of humanity.

               OF GLOUCESTER.]

An equally interesting feature of this dedication is that Capgrave
commends this commentary on Genesis to his patron on the ground that
in it is to be found the science of judging literature.[1277] The new
science of theology was to discard the crutches of tradition, and to
take its place side by side with the other interests of the human mind.
No longer was it to be a science apart, but rather one branch of a great
and growing literature, which had for its object the improvement of
man's state, both mentally and morally. In these words of Capgrave may
we not see some indication of that critical faculty, which plays so
large a part in the new birth of the mind of man? That Humphrey could be
addressed after this manner clearly shows the position that he held
among those who aspired to more freedom of thought; it is significant
that a theological treatise should be dedicated to him on the ground
that in it full play was given to the critical faculty.

It seems likely from the wording of the dedication of this _Commentary
on Genesis_, that Capgrave was not at that time patronised by Humphrey,
for he alludes to the Duke's love of learning as a matter of report and
not of personal knowledge. Probably this book and its dedication served
as an introduction for its author, even as the _Republic_ of Plato had
served for Pier Candido Decembrio, and from the autograph at the end we
gather that it was personally presented by Capgrave in the year 1438. We
have no other work by Capgrave with a dedication to Gloucester, though
four books written by this author, including this same copy of the
_Commentary on Genesis_, were presented to Oxford; yet we know of one
which would have been of immense interest had it survived, for it seems
an undoubted fact that Capgrave wrote a _Vita Humfridi Ducis_. In his
_De Illustribus Henricis_ he tells us that such a work was in
contemplation,[1278] and it was known to exist in the days of Bale and
Pits, the last of whom declares that in his time it formed part of the
Library of Balliol College, Oxford.[1279]

Among other English authors patronised by Duke Humphrey we must place
Nicholas Upton, a Fellow of New College, Oxford, who dedicated his work
_De Studio Militari_ to 'Excellentissimio et illustrissimo Principi meo
singulari, Humfrido.'[1280] It is a work of heraldic rather than of
military interest, and bears more on the public than on the literary
side of Gloucester's character. Also a host of quite forgotten men,
mostly clerics, circled round this famous prince and patron, such as
John Homme, Canon of Hereford, and at one time the Duke's
secretary;[1281] Richard Wyot, his Dean of the Chapel;[1282] John
Everdon, who successfully petitioned for a Canonry in the Collegiate
Church of Hastings;[1283] and one Henry Abingdon, who for services
rendered received an annuity of £8 per annum.[1284] All these probably
were employed at one time or another in copying books for their master,
and all found the reward they sought at the hands of their employer, a
fact which leads us to believe that the complaints of Bruni and Candido
were based more on cupidity than on justice.


More a friend than a follower was Thomas Beckington, a man of some
political importance, at one time Lord Privy Seal, Private Secretary to
Henry VI., and ultimately Bishop of Bath and Wells. He was elected a
Fellow of New College, Oxford, in 1408, a position which he held till
1420, about which time he probably became Gloucester's chancellor, for
he is alluded to as such in a letter written by Henry V. to Pope Martin
V.[1285] He was a man who leant towards the new learning, led thereto
probably by the example of his friend, and we find him in communication
with Italian Humanists, such as Flavio Biondo of Forli and Piero del
Monte, while at home he was connected with such scholars as Adam
Moleyns, Thomas Chandler, and William Grey,[1286] the last of whom was
the first great scholar churchman of England whose enthusiasm for the
new learning was anything but a passing fancy. It may be that, through
Beckington, Humphrey had some connection with these men, though all
trace of this has vanished; at least he probably knew Grey, who claimed
a distant relationship with the royal House. Lastly, it has also been
stated that Reginald Pecock, the famous heretical Bishop of St. Asaph,
was patronised by Gloucester, and we are told that he was 'quiet and
safe, and also bold to dispute and to write his mind' so long as his
patron was alive.[1287] Moreover, he is said to have been appointed
Master of Whittington College, London, in 1431, through the influence of
Duke Humphrey.[1288] The original authorities for these statements
cannot be found, but it is significant that Pecock began the propaganda
which ended in his disgrace immediately after the death of the man who
is said to have been his patron. It may be that the orthodoxy of
Humphrey acted as a restraint on the Bishop so long as he lived.
However, this cannot be anything but supposition, as there is no real
authority on which to base this hypothetical connection.

While speaking of the English writers patronised by the Duke of
Gloucester, some mention must be made of a small band of poets--or
perhaps it would be more correct to term them writers in verse--who had
some relation with Gloucester. The fifteenth century was entirely barren
of English literature. After the bright sun of Chaucer had set, a period
of darkness arose, unrelieved by the slightest gleam of brilliancy or
genius. An unheroic age produced a race of unheroic versifiers, men who
slavishly followed in the steps of Chaucer, hailed him as their master
in all their works, and exemplified the law that a literature which
looks for its ideals to the age that has just passed must be devoid of
all originality and of all real power. Interested as he was in the
rediscovery of the lost literature of the past, Humphrey did not
patronise the poets with the fervour he showed in reading the ancient
classics, yet most of the versifiers of the day seem to have had some
connection with him. Most famous of these was John Lydgate, who was
responsible for about fifteen thousand of the worst lines of poetry that
have ever been produced. He acted as a self-appointed poet-laureate,
writing a poem to celebrate every important national event. Thus he
described the triumphant entry of Henry V. into London after Agincourt;
he welcomed the attempts at peace in 1443; Queen Margaret's advent and
the truce she brought with her were celebrated in the same manner.[1289]
His output of bad verse is amazing, and, with the exception perhaps of
his 'London Lyckpenny,' it is totally devoid of interest whether
literary or personal. The greater part of his life was spent as an
inmate of the great Benedictine monastery at Bury St. Edmunds, and it
was probably here that he first met Gloucester. Several of his all too
frequent poems were written to celebrate Duke Humphrey. He produced one
of these on the occasion of his patron's first marriage, and entitled it
'A comendable balade by Lydgate dame John at ye reverence of my lady of
Holland and of my lord of Gloucester to fore ye daye of there maryage in
the desyrous tyme of their true louynge.'[1290] In another poem he
bewailed the sad fate of Jacqueline in a way which was not very
complimentary to Humphrey, though this production of his has not
survived in a complete state, two whole folios being mercifully
missing.[1291] Finally, he lived long enough to write the 'Epitaphium
Ducis Gloucesterie,' a piece of doggerel which almost surpasses its


Apart from these original poems, Lydgate produced one work commissioned
by the Duke. This was a verse translation of Boccaccio's encyclopædic
Latin work _De casibus Virorum et Feminarum illustrium_, though a French
translation by Laurent de Premierfait and not the original was used by
the English versifier. The title runs, 'Here beginneth the book callyd I
Bochas, descriuyng the falle of Pryncys, pryncessys, and other nobles,
translated into Inglish by John Ludgate, monke of the Monastery of Seynt
Edmundes Bury, after commaundment of the worthi prynce Hunfrey duk of
Gloucestre, beguning at Adam and endyng with Kyng John taken prisoner in
France bi Prince Edward.'[1293] Humphrey showed considerable interest in
the works of Boccaccio, for he possessed other translations of this
master's writings. To his copy of the _Corbaccio_ we have already
alluded, and a French version of the _Decameron_ was presented to him by
the Earl of Warwick.[1294] His appreciation of Italian literature was
not confined to these items, though it is evident that he had no
knowledge of the Italian language. To Oxford he gave a copy of Dante's
works, and a commentary thereon, together with several volumes of
Petrarch and Boccaccio, all in Latin, but these may well have contained
translations of the Italian compositions of these writers, as well as
those originally written in the scholarly language of the time. Italian
literature was undoubtedly known in England before Humphrey's day.
Richard of Bury had been the friend of Petrarch, who, together with
Dante, was the acknowledged inspiration of Chaucer's poetry,[1295] and
so there is no occasion for surprise at finding that these works formed
part of the literary equipment of the Duke of Gloucester.

The translation of Boccaccio's work must have cost the Duke dear, for
in the midst of the translating he received a rhymed communication from
Lydgate, urging penury as an excuse for a request for money, and asking
him at least to give a moment,

          'To so th' entent of this litel bille,
          Whiche whan I wrote my hand felt I quake.'[1296]

There is something peculiarly modern in this appeal, and to judge by the
fervent thanks in the text of the work, it was not in vain. A tribute is
paid to the munificent patron of the work in the Prologue, which is
interesting as evidence of what was the general opinion about Humphrey's
humanism in England. His ability and energy in governing the kingdom
occupy two stanzas, and still more space is devoted to his exertions in
support of Holy Church, which were so successful,

          'That in this londe no lollard dar abide.'

The greatest stress, however, is laid on the Duke's literary qualities:

                          'He doth excelle
          In understandyng alle othir off his age,
          And hath gret joie with clerkes to commune,
          And no man is more expert off language.
          Stable in study alwey he doth contune,
          Settyng a side alle changis of fortune.
          Duc off Gloucestre men this prynce calle,
          And notwithstanding his staat and dignite,
          His corage never doth appalle
          To studie in bokis off antiquite.
          Therin he hath so gret felicite
          Vertuously himselff to ocupie
          Off vicious slouthe to have the maistrie.'[1297]

Strangely enough, this encomium on the literary character of Gloucester
runs on very much the same lines as the praises of the Italian
Humanists, and though it may have been written by a grateful poet about
a munificent patron, yet there is a certain restraint about it, unusual
in Lydgate's verses, which leads us to believe it is prompted by genuine
feeling. It would seem that the book was not dedicated to the Duke,
though undertaken at his request, and these lines occur unheralded in
the midst of the prologue to the reader.


Lydgate was not the only English poet who owned Gloucester as a master,
though there is no other mention of poetical work being either composed
at his request, or dedicated to him when finished. On the title-page of
his _Boke of Nurture_, John Russell describes himself as 'Sum tyme
seruande with Duke Ufrey of Glowcetur, a prynce fulle Royalle, with whom
Uschere in Chambur was I, and Mershalle also in Halle,' and in the
course of the poem, which is interesting as an indication of
contemporary manners and customs, we read:

    'Pray for the soule of John Russelle that God do hym mede.
    Sum tyme seruande with duke umfrey due of Glowcetur in dede,'[1298]

a couplet which gives a clear indication of the poetical qualifications
of Gloucester's usher. George Ashley, who was clerk of the signet to
Queen Margaret, and compiled a moral poem for the instruction of her
ill-fated son, Prince Edward, was also at one time in Humphrey's
service, at least so we would gather from a statement made by his
mistress that at the time of his death the Duke owed him money.[1299]

A closer connection existed between Humphrey and Thomas de Norton, who
was his chaplain[1300] and chancellor of his house.[1301] This post was
probably one of importance, for he assisted materially in securing the
renewal of the St. Albans charter, and was in correspondence with Abbot
Wheathampsted on this subject. Norton was a man of more eminence than
these other English versifiers, though he was probably but a young man
when his master died. A native of Bristol, he became one of the most
noted alchemists of his day, and embodied his knowledge in a poem called
the 'Ordinal,' using this form and the vernacular, in order that he
might instruct the unlearned in a science so useful to them,[1302] a
reason which bears some affinity to the remarks made by Dante to the
Prior of the Convent of Santa Croce when explaining his use of Italian
in the _Divina Commedia_. It was most likely in his primary capacity as
a scientist, and not as a poet, that Norton appealed to Humphrey, who
died long before this poetical scientific treatise was written.


There is still one more versifier to be mentioned in connection with the
Duke of Gloucester, though his name has not survived, and perhaps,
considering the quality of his verse, he was wise not to betray his
identity. Indeed, he is so conscious of his feebleness as a poet that he
alludes to it more than once in the prologue which precedes his verse
translation of the _De Re Rustica_ of Palladius.[1303] This prologue,
which, consists of sixteen stanzas, is not directly addressed to the
Duke, nor is there any formal dedication of the poem to him.
Nevertheless, frequent mention is made of the writer's patron, and in a
few introductory verses to the second book of the work it is obvious
that the translation was undertaken for him.

          'I wul assay hem up to plowe and delue;
          A lord to plese, how suete is to laboure,'[1304]

writes this rhymester, and there is no doubt as to the identity of this
lord, for he tells us plainly,

          'My blissed lord, mene I the duc homfrey.'[1305]

The writer was well acquainted with the life of his 'blissed lord,' most
especially with his literary leanings, and he devotes nearly two whole
stanzas to retailing his benefactions to Oxford, and the nature of the
books given to that University.[1306] He also mentions the famous men in
the Duke's following, making special allusion to Wheathampsted, Piero
del Monte, Livius, and Antonio di Beccaria, and he further gives us a
speaking picture of the extensive field which his master's studies
covered.[1307] He also makes the somewhat startling statement that 'he
taught me meter make,'[1308] which we may well discount as a poetical
exaggeration, not to be taken too literally. Doubtless it was at the
Duke's bidding that the translation was undertaken, and the author was
probably a member of the foundation of St. Albans. This last supposition
is suggested by the placing of Wheathampsted first on the list of
Humphrey's literary friends, and by an allusion in the course of the
prologue to the robber Wawe, whose crimes were only of local importance,
and would be unknown to us save for the account of them given by the St.
Albans chronicler.[1309] The poem must have been written between the
years 1439 and 1447, that is, after the first gifts to Oxford, and
before the death of the writer's patron, who was obviously still alive
at the time of writing. The literary form of the poem cannot enhance
Gloucester's reputation, but it bears interesting testimony to the
important position held by him amongst the scholars of the kingdom.

The list of English poets connected with Duke Humphrey is not brilliant,
but this was not his fault. There was no great light in the poetic
firmament whom he could patronise in the way his grandfather had
patronised Chaucer, though it may seem a strange omission that this dead
poet was totally unrepresented as far as we know, in his library, We
must qualify our surprise by remembering that we possess no complete
list of Gloucester's books, so that a copy of Chaucer may have been
among them, but at least we have sufficient evidence to prove that he
did not despise the vernacular languages as did so many of the earlier
humanists. True, we can only directly connect three books written in
English with his name, and he seems to have found French more natural to
his use than the language of his native land, since all the inscriptions
in his books are written in that language, but practically all the
writers of his age who wrote in English enjoyed his patronage, and we
have the evidence of the University of Oxford to prove that he
encouraged the production of books in the national language.[1310]
Humphrey was not so busy in the rediscovery of the forgotten poets and
philosophers of the past, as not to realise that the knowledge he was
acquiring was to be the basis of the vernacular literature of the
future, that the spirit of the new learning, while it liberated men's
minds from bondage, must also find a means of expression for itself.
Though intent on building the foundations, he did not fail to consider
the nature of the edifice which should crown his labours.

       *       *       *       *       *


The historian of Literature is little more than the historian of
exploded reputations; the great men with whom we must deal are the great
men who no longer loom large on the horizon, and this is doubly true of
a patron of literature. Humphrey's reputation as scholar and patron,
though it flourished in his day in countries far distant from England,
is now not even a distant memory, save perhaps in that society which
frequently in his lifetime expressed the conviction that his fame would
be immortal, not so much for his military or political glories, though
indeed they were great, as for his constant liberality to its members,
and that the University of Oxford would ever be the home of his
glory.[1311] In Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, Oxford found one of her
most generous and constant patrons of any age, one who laid the
University under an obligation which not all her sons are ready to
recognise. Certainly no contemporary of the 'Good Duke' could rival his
generosity to the 'clerks of Oxenford,' though they were not destitute
of important patrons. Henry IV. was numbered amongst the benefactors of
the early library;[1312] Henry V. took an interest in the welfare of the
University, on one occasion making special ordinances to be proclaimed
and observed therein,[1313] and at his death bequeathing certain books
to the Library.[1314] It is said that he had intended to found a great
college there, and though this plan was never carried out, Archbishop
Chichele built and endowed his foundation of All Souls in memory of his
royal master. Of Henry's sons, Bedford had the intention of founding
lectures in the seven liberal arts and the three philosophies, but it is
uncertain whether this project was ever brought to fruition.[1315] Henry
VI. was but a churlish friend of the University in spite of the
obsequious flattery he received therefrom, and on more than one occasion
we find him as a harsh landlord raising the rent of 'Bedel Hall,' or
cutting down the hard-earned fees of the masters teaching in the
arts.[1316] On the other hand, Queen Margaret was the founder of a
lectureship in theology,[1317] whilst Cardinal Beaufort, who had
neglected his Alma Mater during his life, thought it well to add to his
chances of eternal salvation by bequeathing five hundred marks towards
the completion of the Divinity School, in return for which he was to be
remembered in all the University prayers.[1318]


Oxford, therefore, was a fashionable subject of interest, though the
benefits gained were not in proportion to the giving capacity of the
donors. Humphrey was not only a liberal benefactor, but a faithful and
trusted friend to the University. We may smile at the servility of the
eulogies, and the extravagances of the compliments in the letters
addressed to him, and also at the obvious suggestion in these utterances
that there was a distinct hope of favours to come, yet with all this we
can trace a note of genuine admiration and respect in these flowery
effusions. For many years the Duke of Gloucester was the 'great
protector'[1319] of Oxford outside the confines of the University, a
power in the land who would stand up for the privileges and rights of
Chancellor and Proctors in a way that was far more valuable than many
liberal donations at a time when the majesty of the law was a very venal
sovereign. In a case of trouble or danger, whether from within or from
without, the University would invariably appeal to her good patron, and
did not find him wanting. Even when it was a matter of a quarrel with
the members of the Benedictine order, of whose monasteries he was
acknowledged to be _quasi fundator_, the University did not hesitate to
appeal to the Duke to use his influence with the Chancellor in stopping
the proceedings instituted by these monks in the Court of Arches against
the usual payment of six shillings and eightpence made by each student
to the master whose lectures he attended. At the same time he was
besought to bring the presidents of the Benedictine order, namely the
Abbots of St. Albans and Abingdon, to reason in this matter.[1320] The
appeal was probably successful, for Humphrey's sense of justice was
seldom subordinated to his predilections, and he had already upbraided
the Prior of the monks in Oxford for unseemly behaviour towards the
scholars of Glastonbury.[1321] At any rate, no further appeal was found
necessary, so that it may be presumed that the monks were compelled to
yield the point. The incident recalls an interesting aspect of
Gloucester's relations with Oxford, in that he devoted his sympathies to
the University as a corporate body, and neglected the separate
foundations which made up the whole, even to the extent of having no
connection with Gloucester College, the home of these monks of the
Benedictine order, and the offshoot of his beloved monastery of St.

But while Gloucester favoured Oxford, he was not unduly partial, and in
one case at least the University had to compromise. A certain friar,
William Mussilwyk, had been deprived of his doctor's robes, and his
supporters had been suspended, whereupon Gloucester wrote to
remonstrate. The University declared that their patron had been
misinformed as to the rights of the case, but after considerable
correspondence with him on the subject, a compromise was arranged, and
it was agreed that the disgraced friar was to be reinstated if he
acknowledged his fault; it was, however, emphatically explained that
this course was adopted merely as a personal favour to the Duke, and was
in no way a confession of error.[1322]

The University had reason to be grateful to Gloucester, for he had taken
it under his special protection, at least so one would gather from the
phraseology of a letter written to him in 1430, wherein elaborately
worded thanks are given him for his great generosity towards it ever
since he had been its protector.[1323] He was not the man to give his
protection without his interest, and he wrote to the University in 1431,
requesting that certain reforms which he suggested should be carried
into effect. An evasive reply explained that at present this could not
be done, as so many members of the University were then absent from
Oxford, and the time was too short for so important a question to be
decided; however, it was hoped that a more definite answer could be
sent before Christmas.[1324] Of this promised answer there is no trace,
and the event passed into oblivion as one of no importance, save that it
might suggest a marked continuity in the history of the University. This
is the only record of unsolicited interference in the internal history
of Oxford on the part of Humphrey, and it comes somewhat as a surprise
that a man who has the reputation of being overbearing and interfering
should not have tried to stamp his individuality more clearly on the
University of which he was the protector.

Throughout the earlier years of the connection between Humphrey and
Oxford it is the latter that invokes aid, not the former who would press
his own wishes. Each may occasionally ask the other's help for a
friend,[1325] but the letters addressed by the University to their
patron were mainly written in pursuit of some benefit from outside, or
in the hope of the pacification of some internal quarrel. At one time
the Duke is besought to use his influence in securing for them the books
bequeathed by Henry V.;[1326] at another, as protector of the realm, he
is asked, together with the King's Council, to advise as to the
treatment of certain defiant heretics, who are preaching 'uncircumcised
and seditious words';[1327] or again he is appealed to in matters of
purely internal concern--the disputes between Town and Gown, or the
insubordination of the members of the University themselves. Thus in
1434 the authorities sought aid in enforcing a statute which had been
passed in the interests of peace, which was meant to satisfy both the
townsmen and the scholars, but the opposition thereto threatened to
render it a nullity.[1328] The very next year a claim made by the
Bachelors to be called Masters threw the University into a state which
bordered on civil war, and caused a total cessation of lectures and all
teaching. Urgent letters were written to Gloucester asking his
assistance in quieting these disturbances, and Kymer was petitioned to
use his influence with the Duke to beg him to grant their
supplication.[1329] No sooner was the town reduced to quiet than the
scholars of Devon and Cornwall organised a riot, and bearing off the
image of St. Peter from a parish church, they placed it in the monastery
of St. Frideswide, and desired all other scholars to attend Mass there.
An attempt on the part of the University authorities to allay the tumult
resulted in armed resistance, in which the law-students took the lead.
Oxford, in a state of anarchy, once more appealed to its patron.[1330]
We have none of the replies to these various petitions, but from a
subsequent letter from the University it would seem that Gloucester had
shown sympathy, and had intervened, for peace, though not entirely
restored, was then at least in sight.[1331]

Interesting though they are, Gloucester's relations to the University in
his capacity of a great prince have not the importance of his
intercourse with her as a man of letters. Noisiness and a tendency to
tumult have not always been signs of decay in Oxford, but at this moment
they were the outward tokens of inward debility. Poverty, 'the
step-mother of learning,' was the bane of university life, and we have
seen the efforts of some students to escape paying their fees. A large
percentage of the letters written by the University had this lack of
money as their theme, and it was not greediness for more of the good
things of life, but a desire for mere necessaries, that obliged them so
to write. The University was as Rachel weeping for her children--so says
a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1438: once she was famous in
the world, and students flocked to her from all parts; then she
possessed many men learned in the arts and sciences, her schools were
not depopulated, nor were her halls empty. Now there was a scarcity both
of food and money, and learning was so little rewarded that few came to
acquire it; scarcely a thousand scholars and masters remained in the
University, doors were locked, the buildings in ruins. Those who still
remained had to be content to see ignorant and unlettered men promoted
over their heads in the world outside, whilst they were left to

Oxford had indeed fallen from her high estate, and was experiencing a
period of affliction. The scholarship of the Middle Ages was worn out,
the gospel of the New World had not yet been preached to her, but when,
as in all its troubles, the University turned for help to the Duke of
Gloucester, it had taken the first step towards better things. To him
its grievances were told, and it was his generosity that resuscitated
the lectures on the seven liberal arts and the three philosophies.[1333]
Still, there was not sufficient for their continual maintenance. The
lectures were carried on for some time, till the expense was more than
could be borne, and again an appeal was made to the Duke. It was
imperative that they should have a permanent foundation for three more
lecturers, and they must have books, and money to buy more. Yet another
important corollary to these demands was that more suitable appointments
should be made by those in authority in the kingdom, and that a man who
had been educated at Oxford should not be at a disadvantage by reason of
his superior knowledge.[1334] We have here the grievance in a nutshell.
University education was unpopular, no one was ready to provide the
means for that education, and the existing means were at present wholly


Probably the lack of books was the greatest want, for beyond a very few
volumes in the chests of the Library named after Bishop Cobham, and some
others possessed by masters more wealthy than their fellows, there were
no books at all in the University. The students had no access to books,
all the teaching had to be done orally, and hence the knowledge acquired
was of that purely hereditary type which could not be enlivened by the
infusion of new ideas. To a lover and student of books such as Duke
Humphrey this defect in the equipment of both teachers and taught must
have come home very strongly, and his reply to the appeal, which was
made in April 1438, was not tardy. Already his name, together with those
of his father and brothers, was written on that tablet in the Oxford
Library which recorded the benefactors of that institution,[1335] and in
1435 he had presented both money and books to the University, for which
he had received the warmest thanks, and a promise of renewed diligence
in study, as recognition that it was his wisdom that had brought about a
revival of learning in Oxford.[1336] In answer to the direct appeal he
had received in 1438, he forwarded what must have been an important part
of his library, in the shape of one hundred and twenty-nine
volumes,[1337] 'a more splendid donation than any prince or king had
given since the foundation of the University,' valued as it was at more
than £1000.[1338] The letter of thanks spoke in naturally high terms of
the Duke's wisdom and learning, and compared him to Julius Cæsar, who
founded a library in Rome, for he, like Gloucester, combined the
attributes of a great soldier with those of an enthusiastic
scholar.[1339] Not content with their own thanks, these grateful
scholars wrote to Parliament, urging its members to thank the Duke,
since both they and their relatives had been, or in the future would be,
beholden to the University for their education[1340]--a request which,
it is hardly a surprise to find, went unheeded. On November 5, 1439, an
indenture in receipt of the books was drawn up, and thereon were
inscribed the first word or words occurring on the second folio of each
volume, so that identification in case of loss might be possible.[1341]
This last precaution, which was customary in most libraries of that
period, is still of immense value in verifying the authenticity of
manuscripts said to have formed part of the donations of Duke Humphrey
to Oxford. Two more gifts followed in 1441, the first consisting of
seven, the second of nine books, of which we have only the names of the
latter preserved.[1342] It is noticeable that on both these occasions
the books were conveyed to Oxford by Sir John Kirkby, a soldier who had
served under Humphrey in the campaign of 1417. Finally, in 1444, came a
gift of one hundred and thirty-four volumes, which were indented for in
the usual manner.[1343]

Gifts of books in such numbers were unique in the history of the
University, and continued to be so for some time to come. Other donors
there were, amongst whom may be numbered Bedford, Wheathampsted, the
Duchess of Suffolk, Thomas Knolles, and John Somersett.[1344] These,
however, were all either small collections or single books, and even a
gift by Henry VI. to the foundation of All Souls only numbered
twenty-three volumes.[1345] Throughout, Duke Humphrey had led the way in
the patronage of the University. He had befriended it at a time when it
sadly needed support, and he now endowed it with a library, which in
numbers compared very favourably with any similar collection in
England. It was a deed of open-handed generosity, which well deserved
all the thanks it provoked, for in all he must have given quite three
hundred volumes to the University[1346]--by no means an insignificant
collection of books when all had to be copied by hand. They were drawn
undoubtedly from his own private library, as there had been no time
between the request and the donations to collect for the purpose, and
the gift becomes thereby all the more interesting to us, and all the
more honourable to the donor. Humphrey cared not for books merely for
the sake of collecting them; he valued their teaching, and did his
utmost to give them every opportunity of spreading their gospel abroad
among the students of the land.

Special arrangements were made by the University for the preservation of
these additions to their Library. Already since 1412 there had been a
Librarian, who cared for the books collected in the room over the porch
of St. Mary's Church. He was in receipt of a salary of one hundred
shillings per annum, besides six shillings and eightpence for every
university Mass that he said, and the right to receive robes from every
beneficed graduate at the time of his graduation. Only graduates and
members of the religious orders who had studied philosophy for eight
years were given access to the Library, though certain exceptions, as in
the case of sons of members of Parliament, might be made. Oaths must be
taken by all readers not to mutilate the books by erasures or blots, an
ordinance, let us hope, which was observed more carefully at that time
than it is now in modern libraries. The Library was open from nine to
eleven and from one to four o'clock, except on Sundays and certain
specified days, including the Librarian's holiday of one month in the
long vacation.[1347]

Fresh provisions were drawn up in 1439 in view of the recent additions.
All books were to be entered on a list kept in the Library, and their
titles were to be clearly marked on the first page with a list of the
contents; none were to be alienated or removed from the Library, save
for the purpose of rebinding, though the Duke might borrow any volume
after having submitted a written request to that effect. The books were
to be kept in chests for the use of lecturers and masters, and in the
absence of lectures students might have access to them. In case of loss
the loser was to pay to the University the sum marked on the book, which
was to be in excess of its real value.[1348]

The possession of a useful library did much to restore the old position
of the University. From having almost no books--so wrote the authorities
to Gloucester--they now had plenty, so that both the Greek and Latin
tongue was there studied--that is, both the Greek and Latin authors, for
no Greek books were included in the gift. Men from all lands came to
study in Oxford now, as they had done before, and the letter concludes
with a phrase couched in more intimate terms than had been hitherto
customary; 'we wish you could see the students bending over your books
in their greediness and thirst for knowledge.'[1349] So great were the
crowds that used these volumes, that the accommodation afforded by the
old library was insufficient, and so the University wrote to Gloucester,
suggesting that the new Divinity school, then in course of construction,
should be used for the purpose. It was in every way suitable for a
library, being retired and quiet, and the idea that this new home for
his books should be called by his name was submitted to the donor
thereof for his approbation.[1350] Herein we may see a polite hint that
money as well as books would be acceptable. We have no evidence that the
Duke responded to this appeal at the moment and he died before the
building was completed by the munificence of Thomas Kempe, Bishop of
London, who gave one thousand marks for the purpose. With a conveniently
short memory the University alluded to the finished Library as _tuam
novam librariam_ when writing to Kempe in 1487.[1351]


This last request of Oxford, though only suggested, did not go
unanswered, for Humphrey appeared in the House of Congregation, and
publicly promised to give the rest of his Latin books to the University
together with £100 towards the new Divinity school, a promise which he
renewed just before his death. But this promise was never fulfilled, and
in spite of numerous letters to the King, the executors of the Duke's
will and many other influential persons, neither the books nor the money
ever found their way to Oxford.[1352] Even as the library bequeathed by
Petrarch to Venice in the preceding century never reached its
destination, so did Oxford never benefit by the last promise of her
friend and patron.

It was with genuine regret that Oxford learned the death of the Duke of
Gloucester, and an invocation, inspired by sorrow and fear for the
future, appears in their letter-book.[1353] His obsequies were performed
with great pomp,[1354] and an ordinance was issued enjoining all
graduates to pray for him at the beginning of all sermons preached
before the University, at St. Paul's Cross, and at St. Mary's Hospital,
Bishopsgate.[1355] Every year Mass was said on the anniversary of his
death for the repose of his soul, and later of that of his wife


The Oxford masters had reason to be grateful to Gloucester, and in the
later epistles to him we can trace a growing simplicity and a growing
genuineness in their tone--'unable to repress our feelings, we pray you
of your goodness accept our simple gratitude.'[1357] Like the Italian
Humanists, they dwelt on that great combination of qualities which made
him a great soldier and a great man of letters in one,[1358] and
speaking of his books given to them, they cried, 'Statues, sculpture,
and graven brass will not so long preserve the memory of the great, as
will the living records of history.'[1359] The prophecy was justified,
but later events mitigated the exactitude of its operation. When the
ecclesiastical reformers, whom Humphrey had suppressed, won their final
triumph in the unlovely days of Edward VI., the tangible evidences of
the 'Good Duke's' benefactions to his University were lost. How or
exactly when this happened we cannot tell, but of the original
manuscripts not one was left in the Library. A fanatical abhorrence of
illuminations and rubricated initials, combined with a mediæval
disregard of the intellectual side of life, destroyed, scattered and
lost, in most cases for ever, these interesting relics of an interesting
personality.[1360] The student of the early Renaissance in England has
good ground of complaint against the Protestant Commissioners of King
Edward VI. Yet in the University which educated him, and which he helped
to educate, the memory of Duke Humphrey is not entirely forgotten. For
long it treasured a silver-gilt belt known as 'le Duke Humfrey's
gyrdyll' as a remembrance of their benefactor,[1361] and to this day
every preacher in the University pulpit still recalls to his hearers the
bounty of this fifteenth-century prince. The building which was erected
to contain his manuscripts, now the central part of the larger room in
which the present students 'studie in bokies off antiquite,' still bears
his name, and beyond that barrier where visitors dare not--or rather
should not dare to--tread lies 'Duke Humphrey's Library.' Though Oxford
may call her Library by the name of its restorer, Sir Thomas Bodley, yet
there is an older tradition which never dies, the tradition of the man
who, with all his faults and with all his vices, did not forget his debt
of gratitude to his Alma Mater--'literatissimus princeps, amicissimus


All that we know of Gloucester's literary career tends to prove that his
patronage of Oxford was only one branch of his scholarly activities. It
is evident that he had an extensive collection of books over and above
those that he gave to the University, and it is the loss of nearly all
knowledge regarding this private library which is our most serious
disadvantage when estimating his literary tastes. We have but little
evidence of the nature of the books which belonged to the Duke and never
reached Oxford, or of the subjects of a less classical bias that he
studied; had we even the catalogue of books in his possession that he
sent to Candido, we might be able to estimate his position in the
literary life of his age more justly, but this also seems to have gone
to that bourne from whence no knowledge returns. Apart from the zeal of
the reformers and the carelessness of the ignorant, we doubtless owe the
loss of many of these books to that discovery which has helped to
perpetuate the learning of the past. Humphrey stood on the threshold of
the age of printing, that age when the multiplication of printed books
cast their written forebears into the lumber-room. A manuscript of which
the contents had been printed was then regarded as a cumbrous method of
imbibing learning; its historical value was not recognised. Humphrey's
library was not long to remain as a monument to his memory, as the
University of Oxford had predicted that it would; it no longer remains
to help us to gauge with any hope of exactitude the breadth of his
interests, or the nature of his talents. That he loved his books, and
took an interest in them for what they contained, is beyond dispute,
though in those copies that survive there is no evidence that he wrote
in them 'Moun bien mondain,' as Leland asserted, and Hearne either
copied or confirmed.[1363]


The fact that a large proportion of the books which once belonged to
Humphrey, and are still extant, did not form part of the gift to Oxford,
leads us to believe that a considerable part of his library must remain
unknown to us, even as to the titles of the various volumes. From the
Oxford lists, however, it is evident that the scholarship of the Middle
Ages had but little interest for him. Theology holds an important place
among the gifts to Oxford, but the schoolmen are but scantily
represented on the list. Bede, William of Occam, Pietro Damieno, and
Albertus Magnus, the master of Thomas Aquinas, are there, but there is
no trace of the writings of Aquinas himself, Peter Lombard, Bradwardine,
Duns Scotus, and many other famous schoolmen. The early Fathers are
well represented, some only by volumes of letters, others by their
better-known works, and these last seem to be more the imaginative than
the doctrinal theologians of their day. Taken as a whole, the theology
of Humphrey's library betrays a tendency to ignore mediæval
doctrinaires, and to turn to the early Fathers, who wrote before
Imperial Rome had passed into final decay. Mediæval law shared the fate
of mediæval theology, and even more markedly. Hardly any of the numerous
treatises on a subject which formed part of the staple food of the
mediæval mind appear on Humphrey's lists; canon law is but sparsely
represented, civil law is almost entirely neglected.

Humphrey's library was fairly well supplied with historical writers. We
find the works of Suetonius, the historian of the twelve Cæsars, the
Jewish historian Josephus, Tragus Pompeius, and Cassidorus; among later
historians Eusebius and Vincent of Beauvais, Bede, and Higden. Among
other historical works were a copy of the _Flores Historiarum_, an
_Eulogium Historiarum_, a volume entitled _Tripartita Historia_, a
_Polycronicon_, the _Granarium_ of Wheathampsted, and other anonymous
chronicles. These were a goodly number of historical books for the times
in which Humphrey lived, but more remarkable is the large quantity of
medical and astronomical treatises. A long list of books from the pens
of doctors ancient and modern belonged to him, beginning with the early
Greek writers on medicine, and ending with the compilations of his own
physician-in-chief, Gilbert Kymer. Side by side with these stand all the
leading authorities on astronomy and astrology, including the works of
the chief Arabian philosophers and Roger Bacon's _De Celo et Mundo_. No
mention is made of Bacon's _Opus Majus_, nor are there any traces of any
scientific treatises outside those known to the mediæval scholars. The
interest evinced by the Duke in medicine is both interesting and
unusual; his knowledge of astrology proved one of the most fatal of his
accomplishments in the days when his wife was accused of sorcery. A word
should be said about the recurrence of several works on agriculture,
both in Humphrey's library and amongst the books he requisitioned
Candido to procure for him. Whether this points to a practical interest
in agriculture we cannot tell, though the probability is against it, and
there seems no reason to believe that the Duke anticipated that other
disappointed politician, who forgot grief at the loss of power in the
useful, if unheroic, occupation of growing turnips.

Humphrey's chief distinction as a collector of books lies in the
possession of those copies of the ancient classics which he had procured
from Italy. Though the _Cosmography_ of Ptolemy, the _Politics_ of
Aristotle, and the _Lives_ of Plutarch were absolutely unknown in
Western Europe till Palla degli Strozzi had them brought to Italy from
Constantinople, yet within a few years of this they were to be found in
Latin translations among the Duke of Gloucester's books. Other classical
works there were in that collection. Five more volumes of Aristotle, the
_Republic_, the _Meno_, and the _Phædrus_ of Plato, all the known works
of Cicero, and a volume of that 'most learned of the Romans,' Varro;
Sallust, the historian of the Cataline conspiracy; grammarians such as
Aulus Gellius and Priscian; rhetoricians such as Quintilian; poets such
as Ovid and Terence, all stood side by side in this wonderful library.
Seneca was represented both by his philosophical and by his dramatic
writings, and criticisms on the philosophy of Aristotle might be found
from the pen of Averrois or John of Damascus. The Greek language had
been relearned in Italy during the Duke's lifetime, and a step towards
bringing it to England was taken in the presentation of a Greek
dictionary to Oxford. Finally, Humphrey showed his sympathy with the men
of the new learning by possessing five volumes of Boccaccio and seven
of Petrarch, and his appreciation of what was best in mediæval thought
by the inclusion of a volume of Dante and a commentary thereon amongst
his books.[1364]

None can doubt the catholicity of Gloucester's tastes after a glance at
the names of the books which he collected, and we must believe that they
genuinely manifested his predilections, and that Leland was clearly in
the right in praising his sound judgment in matters literary.[1365] His
taste was developed by genuine study. Numerous references to him by
contemporaries prove that his patronage of literature was no pose
adopted for the sake of the popularity it might bring. Livius declares
that he surpassed all other princes of his time in his devoted study of
letters both humane and divine;[1366] Basin bears the best
testimony,[1367] Capgrave follows suit,[1368] and an unknown hand has
left a record of high praise for his love of study on the fly-leaf of an
Oxford manuscript.[1369] It is, moreover, obvious that the Duke's
interests were not confined to the volumes presented to Oxford, and it
is noteworthy that among the survivals of his library there is a great
contrast in subject-matter between the books of the Oxford donation and
those which were retained in his own hands. While the Oxford books are
strictly classical and scholastic, the others show a wide range of
subjects, and give us reason to believe that they must have formed part
of a collection of considerable literary interest. This shows at once
the wisdom of the Duke in making his selection of works to give away to
a great educationary foundation, and his great range of knowledge, which
in many cases stepped outside the traditional limits both of the
Schoolmen and of the Humanists. Perhaps the most striking fact is the
existence of so many French works in Gloucester's library.[1370] The
large majority of these are translations from the Latin, which might at
first glance seem to imply that Humphrey was but an indifferent Latin
scholar, and preferred to read his books in French. It is undoubtedly
true that French was to him the most natural language; he invariably
used it in inscribing his name in his books, and he even went so far as
to possess a French translation of Livy.[1371] But we must remember that
in those days of infrequent and costly manuscripts a collector was only
too glad to secure a copy of the author he wanted in whatever language
it was written, and moreover a large number of these French books,
notably the Livy, were presents from friends, and not private purchases
on the part of the Duke. It is, however, interesting to note that whilst
he gave a Latin version of the military treatise of Ægidius Romanus to
Oxford, he retained in his own hands a French version of the same
work.[1372] Undoubtedly, Humphrey read gladly and largely in French, but
there is ample evidence that he was also a finished Latin scholar, and
deeply versed in the classics. This alone can explain the wealth of
classical quotations in letters addressed to him on matters purely
personal, when the writer was trying to ingratiate himself with his
princely correspondent.[1373] Moreover, his letters to his Italian
friends, though doubtless they owe their final shape to a secretary,
make constant allusion to classical reading. He was never separated from
his copy of the _Republic_ of Plato, and on one occasion at least he
borrowed a book from the Oxford Library for his own private use.[1374]
On this showing he must have been able to read Latin with ease, and his
favourite study was the works of Plato, whose philosophical system was
the chief new discovery of the Italian Humanists.[1375]

Earnest though he was in the study of the ancient classics, Gloucester
did not allow it to restrict his mental vision. As a practical soldier
he was interested in the theory of military operations, and besides his
copy of the work of Ægidius Romanus he possessed in his private library
a French version of the _Epitome Institutionum Rei Militaris_ of
Vegetius.[1376] This treatise, which deals with the organisation of
armies, the training of soldiers, and other kindred subjects, was
doubtless used by him as a basis for his military theories, and proved a
useful handbook on which to found a system more in accord with the
circumstances of his day. In general literature, apart from the English
poetical works composed for him, Humphrey showed an interest in early
French romance by the possession of a copy of the _Roman du
Renard_[1377] and at the same time this shows how his political
inclinations affected his literary outlook. The _Roman du Renard_,
unlike its predecessors of the Carlovingian and Arthurian epic cycles,
was produced by the growing sense of independence in the French towns.
It has a direct bourgeois inspiration, which must have appealed to a man
who found his chief supporters among the burgesses of the City of
London. Gloucester's personal tastes may also be traced in his
possession of a copy of the resolutions passed at the Council of
Basel,[1378] and in the _Songe du Vergier_, which also formed part of
his library.[1379] This last consists of a discussion on the relative
spheres of the spiritual and temporal powers, and shows us the learned
Duke applying his intellect to the pressing ecclesiastical problems of
his day, problems about which he had taken a very definite stand in his
public actions. Closely connected with this was his interest in matters
theological, his acceptance of Capgrave's _Commentary on the Book of
Genesis_,[1380] and his possession of numerous tracts by
Athanasius,[1381] and of both an English and French version of the

Apart from matters purely literary, we have reason to believe that
Humphrey's interests were very wide. He showed considerable artistic
taste in the beautifully illuminated manuscripts which formed part of
his library, though the books that were written specially for him were
not often very elaborately adorned. Like his brother Bedford, he knew
how to appreciate this kind of artistic work, and we need but allude to
the beautiful edition of the Psalms compiled for him, to the St. Omer
_Psalter_ once in his possession, and to his copies of the _Decameron_
and of Livy, to realise how he was able to gratify this taste.[1383] In
an age when artistic values were still the monopoly of Italians, the
illuminated books in the Duke's possession, if of no great artistic
value, were excellent examples of the decorative work of the
period.[1384] In the kindred art of music also Gloucester probably took
some interest. We find frequent mention of 'The minstrels of the Duke of
Gloucester,' who visited Winchester, Reading, Lydd, and many other towns
'as a courtesy,' for which they received monetary recognition from the
inhabitants.[1385] Possibly these were a band of strolling musicians who
enjoyed the patronage of the 'Good Duke,' much in the same way as at a
later date actors were known as the 'King's servants.' In any case
there is a strong presumption that musicians as well as scholars
enjoyed the bounty of the Duke of Gloucester.



Just as Humphrey was a great student so was he a great personality in
the life of England, the Mæcenas of the new learning, and the friend of
all scholars. A considerable portion of his books were presents from
various people, and he seems to have been always approachable by any one
who could take an interest in any branch of knowledge. Those who gave
books to him were drawn from various classes of the community. Men who
would earn his patronage presented their work to him as did
Capgrave;[1386] his friend Wheathampsted cemented their friendship in
the same way.[1387] Frenchmen as well as Englishmen knew of his tastes,
and approached him with literary gifts, whether it were the learned
Bishop of Bayeux,[1388] or an insignificant Canon of Rouen.[1389] The
Duke of Bedford chose a choice treasure from the library of Charles VI.
as a gift for his brother,[1390] and the Earl of Warwick, the 'Father of
Courtesy' and the tutor of the young King Henry VI., offered a French
translation of the Decameron as a mark of friendship and esteem for the
man under whom he had served.[1391] Men of less mark followed the lead
of the princes of the land. Sir Robert Roos, a public servant of some
eminence, gave yet another French work to the then Protector of
England,[1392] and Sir John Stanley, possibly the Sir John Stanley who
was king of the Isle of Man, hastened to add his tribute of homage in
the shape of a French Bible.[1393]

It is hard to say whether these gifts were in all cases indications of
literary esteem, or merely means towards securing the favour of a
powerful prince. At least they show that Humphrey's interest in all
kinds of literature and learning was not assumed as a pose, but was a
veritable passion, ministered to by all who desired his friendship. To
no other man of his time were such gifts in such profusion given, gifts,
moreover, which came not only from the needy scholars who desired his
support, but from prince, noble, priest, and humble gentleman alike.
There is, too, a remarkable absence of party politics in the literary
friendships which these gifts manifest. Bedford not once nor twice was
compelled to condemn his brother's action. Warwick was a member of the
Council of Regency which withstood the Protector's ambitious claims. Sir
Robert Roos, though he accompanied Beckington on his embassy to the
Court of Armagnac, was prominent in carrying out the peace policy which
Humphrey opposed, and in 1445 was intrusted with bringing Henry VI.'s
Queen over to England. Sir John Stanley may possibly be the man to whom
the Duchess of Gloucester was intrusted when she was confined in Leeds
Castle, and when we look further afield we find that Piero del Monte,
the friend of Duke Humphrey, did not hesitate to give the papal blessing
to the union of Margaret and Henry VI. when they were married by proxy
at Tours.


Humphrey therefore was more than a mere patron of scholars, and more
than a mere literary dilettante. He was known to be more devoted to
literature of all kinds than to anything else, and the subtle monks of
St. Albans knew well how to win his favour by enlarging his library. His
powers of criticism and appreciation are, however, hidden from us.
Beyond the nature of the books he collected and a few words of formal
appreciation of the works of Plato, we have nothing to guide our
judgment, for though a patron and a student, he was not himself an
author, in spite of statements to the contrary.[1394] There still
exists a copy of certain astrological tables entitled _Tabulæ Humfridi
ducis Gloucestriæ in judiciis artis geomansie_, but this was merely a
compilation made at his command.[1395] He was content to encourage
learning, and to qualify himself for this rôle by study. Thus the Duke
of Gloucester devoted a large amount of his superfluous energy to the
really great work of encouraging learning in England; yet at first sight
it may seem that he laboured in vain. England did not at once adopt the
new doctrines that were paving the way to modern methods of study, and
it has been thought that Humphrey simply worked in the spirit of the
mediæval scholar, and did not in any way appreciate the importance of
his actions. England had lagged behind other nations in accepting the
doctrines of the Renaissance scholars. Men imbued with the scholastic
spirit had journeyed to Italy before the days of Duke Humphrey, but they
had not understood the message which the Italians taught them. Richard
of Bury had been the friend of Petrarch, but had entirely failed to
understand his point of view, and when the future Duke of Gloucester was
but five years old, a certain Augustinian monk, known in Italy as Thomas
of England, was lecturing in Florence, but was said by Leonardo Bruni to
have loved Humanism only so far as an Englishman could understand
it.[1396] The Italian scholar therefore had been contemptuous of his
English contemporary, but a new era dawns when Humphrey begins to take
an interest in Italian scholarship. The Italians who wrote to him showed
clearly in their letters that they understood their patron's interest to
be intelligent and quite different to the mediæval conceptions of his
predecessors, and in some cases we can see the genuine appreciation of
the scholar peeping through the adulation of the retainer. His love for
Plato, and his clear understanding of the contrast between his
philosophy and that of Aristotle, show how entirely he had thrown off
the intellectual fetters of the Middle Ages, and in his selection of
books we clearly see that he understood that the progress of the future
must be based on an understanding of the past. In Humphrey, too, we see
traces of that critical faculty which characterised the new movement. He
did not look on the classics as an allegorical commentary on the
Scriptures, and as a basis for Christian Theology; he studied them from
the literary and philosophical point of view, and refused to accept the
system laid down by the mediæval schoolmen. He was the first great
Englishman to introduce these new ideas into England, though there were
other scholars of the period who understood the new doctrines, if they
did not preach them; men like Andrew Holles, who after long study in
Italy retired to a country benefice, and did nothing towards spreading
the new ideas he had acquired.[1397]


Herein lies the importance of Duke Humphrey's career. He not only
understood the meaning of the new doctrines, but he paved the way
towards their fuller appreciation by the nation as a whole. As a layman
and a man of affairs he was able to take a more comprehensive view of
the significance of the new learning than the churchmen who hitherto had
held the monopoly of English knowledge, and he laid the foundations on
which others were to build. In the first place he taught men that it was
to Italy that they should look for direction in their studies. He
himself had not visited that country as so many of his contemporaries
had done, but he had brought himself into nearer touch with its
intellectual life than any other Englishman. The man who was the patron
of Leonardo Bruni, the constant correspondent of Pier Candido Decembrio,
the friend of Piero del Monte, and the literary acquaintance of Alfonso
of Aragon, the man who more than once was picked out by Æneas Sylvius
for literary appreciation, was far more in sympathy with Italian
aspirations than such a one as Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter, who
showed no signs of having been influenced in any way by his sojourn at
the University of Padua.

Yet the interest of Humphrey's Italian sympathies lies not so much in
his connection with Italy as in the fact that he never set foot in the
country. He did not take himself and his energies to be expended in a
selfish pursuit of learning in Italy, like his contemporary Holles, but
he helped to bring the intellectual aspirations of the Italians over to
England. He not only taught men to study Italian wars, but also led them
to bring the results of that study home to their own doors. And he was
not without disciples. It is customary to believe that the humanistic
aspirations of the 'Good Duke' received no echo in the England of his
day, but we cannot but think that his example helped to inspire the
exertions of that devoted band of scholars which included the princely
ecclesiastic, William Grey, poor students such as John Free, Fleming,
and Gunthorpe, and the notorious but scholarly John Tiptoft, Earl of
Worcester. Indeed there is much to suggest this, and perhaps the most
curious of all our evidence centres in the name of Guarino da Verona,
the great schoolmaster of Ferrara, who was intrusted with the education
of Lionello and Borso d'Este. Every one of this band of English students
studied under the direction of this famous scholar. Grey attended his
instructions while living in princely state at Ferrara; Free journeyed
from his home in Bristol to get the benefit of his teaching; Tiptoft
turned aside during his wanderings in Italy to visit him in his adopted
home; all at one time or another joined that ever-increasing band of
English scholars who flocked to the Ferrarese school in such numbers as
to be specially mentioned by Lodovico Carbone in his funeral oration
over the dead scholar.[1398] Humphrey's influence is to be traced here,
for it was he who had first pointed to Guarino as the fountain of true
learning. When commissioning Zano of Bayeux to buy him books in Italy,
he had laid special stress on his desire to possess anything that had
been written by this teacher.[1399] By selecting Guarino as the mentor
of his intellectual aspirations, he had pointed out the road for future
scholars to tread.

All these scholars followed in the steps of the Duke of Gloucester, and
had all grown up before he passed from the scene of his activities.
They, however, failed to carry out his theories to the full. Though they
submitted themselves to the desire for the new learning, they did but
little to bring it home to the great mass of Englishmen. They studied,
but they did not teach. They had all learnt the earliest lesson of the
new ideas under the shadow of the University of Oxford; all were
Oxonians, and thus were direct products of Duke Humphrey's patronage of
that home of learning, and they so far followed in his footsteps as to
give or bequeath the books they collected either to the University
itself, or to some College within it. It was in this way that Gloucester
had most conspicuously prepared the high-road to learning. By his gifts
of books he had given Oxford students the opportunity of further
researches into the human mind, he had thrown open the doors which had
hitherto barred the way to Englishmen who desired a knowledge of what
the past had thought of life and its component elements. For the first
time in England men were able to know something of what the ancients had
written. In the book-chests of Oxford lay the seeds of the English
Renaissance. The immense importance of access to these books may easily
be misunderstood at the present day; it is hard to realise completely
the limitations which surrounded the mediæval scholar, but once this is
achieved, the presence of these works, which reflected, if they did not
very accurately represent, the ideas of classical writers, will be fully

By his patronage of Oxford and his gifts of books Humphrey had inspired
his immediate successors to carry on his work, and to bring together the
materials for future generations to use. His work was crowned when Greek
came to be taught in England. He himself had known no Greek, Grey and
his friends had known but not imparted it; it remained for William
Selling of All Souls at Canterbury, and Thomas Linacre, William Grocyn,
and Thomas Latimer at Oxford, to bring this language and the literature
which it voiced to the knowledge of educated Englishmen. Linacre,
perhaps even more than his fellows, was cast in the mould that Humphrey
would have approved. Like Humphrey, he was a man of immensely wide
interests, not the dry-as-dust scholar, but the man of the world; like
Humphrey, he was a special student of medicine, a science which owed its
development in Italy to the discovery of the works of Hippocrates. At
the same time he, more than any one else, completed the edifice of which
Humphrey had built the foundations. Again we can trace the direct
influence of the Duke. This last band of scholars who finally
established the new learning in England were, like their predecessors,
all Oxonians. The University which Gloucester had started on the way of
good things was the parent of the new school of thought, it carried on
the work of its great patron. It is to the lasting fame of this
indifferent politician that through him the humanities came to be taught
in England, that through him Oxford was induced to lead the van in
introducing the new culture. We are apt to forget the debt we owe to
the work of these early intellectual reformers, and to minimise the
influence of the ideas they introduced on every aspect of our lives. Yet
reflection will give its due meed of praise to their laborious efforts,
and if it goes far enough back, will, like the Bidding Prayer read from
the pulpit of the University Church, place Duke Humphrey's name first on
the list of benefactors.


It is a relief to turn from the stormy political career of Duke Humphrey
to that sphere of his activity where undiluted praise can be given; to
forget that public life which was marred by instability and prejudice,
and to admire that industry which won him a great reputation both with
his contemporaries and with posterity. Yet we must not forget that many
of the qualities which led him to court disaster in public life were due
to his leanings towards a life of study. The circumstances of his life
and the tendencies of his age were against him. A student by nature and
a politician by birth, he had too much ambition and too little restraint
to choose the better path, and confine his energies to spreading the
gospel of the new learning. The man of letters is seldom wise in
adopting a life of political activity, and the case of Humphrey was in
some ways repeated later in the life of Bacon. Even if we place the Duke
of Gloucester amongst the worst types of political criminals--and we
have no adequate reason for so doing--we must accord him a position of
honour amongst those to whom posterity should be grateful. By those who
have laboured under the shadow of his personality in the Library which
preserves his name the memory of the 'Good Duke' must be cherished as an
inspiration. They indeed must catch something of the spirit which
enabled Hearne to speak of him as 'that religious, good and learned
prince whose handwriting I us'd, whenever I saw it in the Bodleian
Library ... to show a particular sort of respect to, as some little
Remains of a truly great Man, one that was both a Scholar himself, and
the chiefest Promoter of Learning and Scholars at that time.'[1400]

The first page of the Renaissance in England consists of the life of
Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, and all who value the inspiration to be
drawn from the new era in human thought which dates from that great
movement, must respect the memory of this great Lancastrian Prince.


  [1265] Admundesham, _Annales_, ii. 233, and Introduction to vol ii.
         p. liv.

  [1266] Bale (1559 edition), 584.

  [1267] Wheathampsted spent much money on other improvements to the
         monastery as well. Dugdale, _Monasticon_, 199, 200.

  [1268] Bodley MS., F. _infra_, i. 1. Inscription.

  [1269] Arundel MS., 34, f. 666.

  [1270] _Epist. Acad._, 237.

  [1271] Amundesham, _Annales_, ii. App. A. 256.

  [1272] _Epist. Acad._, 235. These two parts of his _Granarium_ which
         Wheathampsted gave to Humphrey were at one time amongst the
         books of Thomas Allen of Gloucester Hall. Twyne,
         _Collectanea_, in the Oxford University Archives, vol. xviii.
         p. 123.

  [1273] Arundel MS., 34, f. 67.

  [1274] See Early English Text Society's edition, 1893.

  [1275] Bale, 582; Leland, _Commentarii_, 453.

  [1276] Oriel MS., xxxii. f. 1vo. This dedication is printed in
         Appendix IV. to Capgrave's _De Illustribus Henricis_, pp.

  [1277] Oriel MS., xxxii. f. 1vo.

  [1278] Capgrave, _De Illustribus Henricis_, 109.

  [1279] Bale, 583; Pits, 672.

  [1280] Nicolaus Uptonus, _De Studio Militari_ (London, 1654), p. 2.

  [1281] _History from Marble_, i, pp. 79 and clxviii.

  [1282] _Ordinances_, iv, 345.

  [1283] _Ibid._, iii. 99.

  [1284] _Rot. Pat._, 25 _Henry VI._, Part i. m. 16.

  [1285] _Beckington Correspondence_, ii. 255.

  [1286] _Beckington Correspondence, passim._

  [1287] Foxe, _Acts and Monuments_, iii. 731.

  [1288] Ramsay, ii. 203. No authority is given for the statement.

  [1289] See _Political Songs, passim_. Cf. Stow, 385.

  [1290] Harleian MS., 2251, ff. 279vo-282vo; Additional MS., 29, 729,
         ff. 157vo-161.

  [1291] Ashmole MS., 59, ff. 57-59.

  [1292] Harleian MS., 2251, ff. 7-8vo; Additional MS., 34, 360, ff.

  [1293] Caxton's edition of the _Falls of Princes_ (1494). Cf. MS. 23
         of the Library of the Earl of Jersey at Osterley Park, _Hist.
         MSS. Report_, viii. Part i. p. 100.

  [1294] Bibliothèque Nationale, MS. français, 12,421.

  [1295] On this point see Hortis, 646.

  [1296] _Minor Poems of Lydgate_, Percy Society Publications (London,
         1840), ii. 49-51.

  [1297] Bodley MS., 263, ff. 5, 6.

  [1298] The poem is printed in F. J. Furnivall's _Manners and Meals
         in Olden Times_ (Early English Text Society, 1868), pp.

  [1299] _Letters of Queen Margaret_, edited by Cecil Monro (Camden
         Society, 1863), p. 114.

  [1300] Amundesham, _Annales_, ii. Appendix D, p. 295.

  [1301] Cotton MS., Claudius, D. I, f. 8vo; Letter of Wheathampsted
         to Norton.

  [1302] See Warton, iii. 131.

  [1302] Bodley MS., Arch. F. d. 1. A photographic reproduction of a
         MS. once in the possession of Earl Fitzwilliam at
         Wentworth-Woodhouse, but now denied to be there. It has been
         published by A. S. Napier.

  [1304] Palladius, p. 66.

  [1305] _Ibid._, p. 85.

  [1306] Palladius, p. 22.

  [1307] _Ibid._, pp. 21, 22.

  [1308] Bodley MS., Arch. F. d. 1, f. 12; Palladius, p. 22.

  [1309] Palladius, p. 21. Cf. _St. Albans Chron._, i. 12-17.

  [1310] _Epist. Acad._, 103.

  [1311] _Epist. Acad._, 198-241.

  [1312] _Munimenta Acad._, 266.

  [1313] _Ibid._, 277-279.

  [1314] _Epist. Acad._, 152.

  [1315] _Ibid._, 106.

  [1316] _Ibid._, 201-211.

  [1317] _Ibid._, 645.

  [1318] _Munimenta Acad._, 333-335; _Epist. Acad._, 266.

  [1319] _Epist. Acad._, 61.

  [1320] _Ibid._, 77-79.

  [1321] _Beckington Correspondence_, ii. 256-258.

  [1322] _Epist. Acad._, 162-168.

  [1323] _Ibid._, 61, 62.

  [1324] _Epist. Acad._, 64, 65.

  [1325] _Ibid._, 105, 196.

  [1326] _Ibid._, 152.

  [1327] _Ibid._, 35-37.

  [1328] _Beckington Correspondence_, ii. 249, 250; _Epist. Acad._,

  [1329] _Epist. Acad._, 115-133.

  [1330] _Ibid._, 134, 135.

  [1331] _Ibid._, 136.

  [1332] _Epist. Acad._, 155-157.

  [1333] _Ibid._, 139, 140. It was also through Gloucester's influence
         that Bedford was induced to promise to endow his
         lectureships; _Ibid._, 81-83, 95.

  [1334] _Ibid._, 152, 153.

  [1335] _Munimenta Acad._, 266, 267.

  [1336] _Epist. Acad._, 114, 115.

  [1337] The numbers are variously stated in different letters as 120,
         126, and 129. This last corresponds with the number of books
         in the indenture; _Ibid._, 179-183.

  [1338] _Ibid._, 177-179, 184.

  [1339] _Ibid._, 177-179. This was not the first time that Gloucester
         had been likened to Julius Cæsar.

  [1340] _Epist. Acad._, 184.

  [1341] _Munimenta Acad._, 758; _Epist. Acad._, 179.

  [1342] _Epist. Acad._, 198, 204, 205.

  [1343] _Ibid._, 232-237. The indenture mentions one hundred and
         thirty-five volumes as the total, but only one hundred and
         thirty-four are given in the list.

  [1344] _Ibid., passim._

  [1345] Additional MS., 4608, f. 100, 100vo.

  [1346] By counting the same items more than once Anthony Wood brings
         the total to five hundred and thirty-nine; Wood, _History of
         the Antiquities of the University of Oxford_, 914, 915.

  [1347] _Munimenta Acad._, 261-266.

  [1348] _Ibid._, 326-328; _Epist. Acad._, 188-191.

  [1349] _Epist. Acad._, 245.

  [1350] _Epist. Acad._, 245, 246.

  [1351] _Ibid._, 533.

  [1352] It has been stated that these books were ultimately obtained,
         but there is no reason to believe this, though ten years
         later thirteen volumes, originally bequeathed by some one,
         were recovered; _Epist. Acad._, 483. Cf. Wood, _History of
         the Antiquities of the University of Oxford_, 915. In 1453 we
         hear that all the volumes of this bequest were scattered in
         private hands; _Epist. Acad._, 318, 319.

  [1353] _Epist. Acad._, 254.

  [1354] _Munimenta Acad._, 735.

  [1355] _Munimenta Acad._, 376.

  [1356] _Ibid._, 329, 330; _Epist. Acad._, 256.

  [1357] _Epist. Acad._, 241.

  [1358] _Ibid._, 178.

  [1359] _Ibid._, 198.

  [1360] See Macray, _Annals of Bodleian_, 13.

  [1361] On 1st March 1544 a certain John Stanshawe, gentleman, stole
         from the church of St. Mary 'unam Zonam de argent. aurat.
         voc. le Duke Humfrey's gyrdyll.' _Letters and Papers, Foreign
         and Domestic, of the Reign of Henry VIII._ (London, 1905),
         vol. xx. Part 1. p. 655.

  [1362] _Epist. Acad._, 373. Letter of the University of Oxford to

  [1363] Leland, _Collectanea_, iii. 58; Hearne, MS. Diary, xxxvi. f.
         199. It is probable that this motto was used by Gilbert
         Kymer. It is found stamped on the binding of a medical work
         written for him and now preserved in the Bodleian Library
         (Laud MS., 558). Another binding which encloses another
         medical treatise written by the same scribe, and presumably
         also for Kymer, now in the Merton College Library, bears the
         same legend. (Merton College MS., 268.) My attention has been
         drawn to this by Mr. Gibson of the Bodleian Library.

  [1364] The books alluded to are to be found in the indentures
         printed in _Epist. Acad., passim_.

  [1365] Leland, _Commentarii_, 453.

  [1366] Livius, 2.

  [1367] Basin, i. 189.

  [1368] Capgrave, _De Illustribus Henricis_, 109.

  [1369] Lincoln MS., 106, f. 359vo.

  [1370] See Appendix A.

  [1371] Bibliothèque de Ste. Geneviève, MS. français, 777.

  [1372] Cambridge University Library, MS. Ee. 2, 17.

  [1373] See letters in _Beckington Correspondence_, i. 283, 284,

  [1374] _Epist. Acad._, 246.

  [1375] The book borrowed from Oxford was a copy of the _Phædrus_ of
         Plato. In the _Epistolæ Academicæ_ this volume is called the
         'Phædo,' but a reference to the entry in the Register shows
         it to be a misprint for the _Phædrus_, a mistake first
         discovered by Mr. Gibson of the Bodleian Library.

  [1376] Cambridge University Library, MS. Ee. 2, 17.

  [1377] Bibliothèque Nationale, MS. français, 12,583.

  [1378] Cotton MS., Nero, E. v.

  [1379] Royal MS., 19, C. iv.

  [1380] Oriel College MS., xxxii.

  [1381] Harleian MS., 33; King's College MS., 27.

  [1382] Egerton MS., 617, 618; Bibliothèque Nationale, MS. français,

  [1383] For a description of these volumes see Appendix A.

  [1384] Leland tells us that Gloucester received many beautiful
         illuminated books as presents from religious houses.
         _Collectanea_, iii. 58.

  [1385] _Hist. MSS. Rep._, v. 517, and xi. 174.

  [1386] Oriel College MS., xxxii.

  [1387] Corpus Christi College MS., ccxliii.

  [1388] Bibliothèque Nationale, MS. latin, 8537.

  [1389] Bodley MS., Hatton, 36.

  [1390] Bibliothèque de Ste. Geneviève, MS. français, 777.

  [1391] Bibliothèque Nationale MS., français, 12,421.

  [1392] Cambridge University Library, MS. Ee. 2, 17.

  [1393] Bibliothèque Nationale, MS. français, 2.

  [1394] Bale (1559 ed.), 583.

  [1395] Arundel MS. 60, ff. 277vo-287vo. Cf. Tanner, _Bib. Brit._,
         420, 421.

  [1396] Einstein, 15.

  [1397] See Vespasiano, 238; and Sir Arthur Collins's _Collections
         for the Family of Holles_ (1752), 52, 53.

  [1398] Leland, _Commentarii_, 462.

  [1399] Above, p. 351.

  [1400] Hearne's Introduction to _Peter Langtoft's Chronicle_
         (Oxford, 1725), p. xx.



The dispersion of a Library is in all cases unfortunate, but most
especially so when it serves as a monument to a great personality. Even
as Petrarch's two hundred manuscripts are scattered and lost so that not
forty of them can be now identified, so Duke Humphrey's private library
and the books he presented to Oxford, which in all must have numbered
five hundred at least, are now recognisable only in a very few
instances. Only three of the manuscripts given to Oxford repose now on
the shelves of the Bodleian, and these have not continued there since
the days when they were transferred thither from the chests of Cobham's
Library. The first of these is a copy of the letters of Nicholas de
Clemenges (Hatton MS., 36), a French theologian and Rector of the
University of Paris, who died about 1440. The book was a present to
Gloucester from one of the Canons of Rouen, and formed part of his last
donation. The first folio has been torn out, but the opening words of
the second are 'O nos,' which corresponds to the entry in the University
indenture, though the scribe by a slip of the pen has transcribed it 'O
vos' (_Epist. Acad._, 235). The last folio bears the Duke's inscription,
'Cest livre est A moy Homfrey duc de Gloucestre du don maistre Guillaum
erare docteur en theologie chanoyne de Ram.' A still more interesting
volume in the same library is that which contains the Letters of the
Younger Pliny (Bodley MS., Auct. F. 2, 23, at present on view in glass
case No. 1), probably one of the books sent over from Italy by Candido.
It also bears the Duke's autograph, 'Cest livre est A moy Homfrey duc de
Gloucestre,' and formed part of the same gift as the letters of Nicholas
de Clemenges (_Epist. Acad._, 235). Both these manuscripts were in
private hands in the seventeenth century, the former owned by Henry
Holford of Long Stanton, the latter by Dr. Robert Master, Bishop of
Lichfield. Notes to this effect are appended in the respective

A more doubtful authenticity attaches to a third manuscript in the
Bodleian Library, which contains Bruni's translations of Aristotle's
_Politics_ (Bodley MS., 2143 [Auct. F. 27]). Therein is contained a
dedication to Humphrey and the letter from the translator quoted in the
text (see p. 352). At the end there is an erased and unrestorable
inscription placed exactly in the position that Humphrey almost
invariably used for his autograph. Unfortunately the two first folios of
the text proper are missing, though the prefatory letter is intact, but
in no case did the University scribes count the folios from anywhere but
the beginning of the book itself, all prefatory matter being
disregarded. The possibility of proving that this is the actual volume
presented to Oxford is thus removed, and when we remember that the terms
of the letter preceding the translation show that the original copy had
reached its destination before this letter was written, we must doubt
that this was the volume received from Italy. Possibly, and almost
probably, this manuscript in the Bodleian was a copy of the original
translation, made by one of Gloucester's secretaries, with the letter
written by Bruni introduced by way of preface. Two other manuscripts in
the Bodleian Library are copies of work given by Humphrey to Oxford, one
the 'De Regimine Principum' of Egidius (Hatton MS., 15), the other the
moral treatise dedicated by Piero del Monte to the Duke (Bodley MS.,
3618 [E. Museo, 119]). Neither of these belonged to Gloucester, nor do
they correspond to their fellows in the indenture. By a strange error
another manuscript in the same Library, containing the last six books of
the historical anecdotes of Valerius Maximus and notes thereon (Bodley
MS., F. _infra_, i. 1), has been numbered among Gloucester's books
(Macray, _Annals of the Bodleian_). The mistake probably arose from the
fact that the Duke's arms appear on the first folio, but an inscription
plainly refutes the theory, and shows that the book was given 'ad usum
scolarium studencium Oxonie' by Abbot Wheathampsted. It was given
therefore for the use of the 'scholars' of the University, and the
presence of the arms is explicable, if we remember that Humphrey was
Wheathampsted's friend and patron, and that another copy of this book
was probably given by the Abbot to Gloucester. It is even possible that
the copying of the book was undertaken at Gloucester's suggestion, and
that his arms were placed there in token of this.

Outside the University Library three Oxford Colleges can boast the
possession of a manuscript which belonged to Humphrey. In the Library of
Corpus Christi there is preserved a large folio volume (Corpus Christi
MS., ccxliii.), containing numerous treatises of a philosophic nature in
Latin, all in the handwriting of 'Fredericus Naghel de Trajecto,' and
dated 1423 'in alma Universitate Oxoniensi.' Amongst the most
interesting items are Latin translations of the _Phædo_ and _Meno_ of
Plato, the last of which concludes the volume, and is followed by
Gloucester's autograph, 'Cest livre est A moy Homfrey duc de Gloucestre
du don (some words are here erased) treschier en Dieu labbe de seint
Albon.' A note in a later hand tells us that in 1557 the manuscript
belonged to a certain John Dee, who had bought it by weight. Though it
cannot be stated definitely, as the earlier folios are missing, yet
there seems little doubt that this volume did not ever belong to the
University Library. At Oriel there is a manuscript to which we have
already had reason to refer, the 'Commentary on the Book of Genesis' by
John Capgrave (Oriel MS., xxxii.), which according to a concluding note
was written between October 1437 and September 1438. The initial
letter of the dedication contains a miniature in which a very
simple-minded-looking monk is presenting his book to a still more
simple-minded patron, evidently meant to represent Capgrave and
Gloucester, though it gives no suggestion of portraiture. At the end of
the Commentary the Duke has appended his autograph, 'Cest livre est A
moy Homfrey duc de Gloucestre du don frere Jehan Capgrave quy le me fist
presenter a mon manoir de Pensherst le jour de lan lan [M] ccccxxxviii.'
This book formed part of the last donation of Gloucester to the
University (_Epist. Acad._, 233).

In the Magdalen College Library another of Gloucester's books is to be
found. This is the copy of Ptolemy's 'Cosmographia' (Magdalen MS., 37),
which was given to Oxford in 1443, though the scribe who drew up the
indenture of books transcribed the first words of the second folio as
'vel toto' (_Epist. Acad._, 236), while in the manuscript they are 'vel
tota,' obviously merely a clerical error. At the end of this work an
erased inscription, when treated with chemicals, reveals Humphrey's
autograph, 'Cest livre est A moy Homfrey duc de Gloucestre.' Bound up
with the 'Cosmographia' in a sixteenth-century binding are three
translations from the Greek by Antonio Pasini. The first of these is
Plutarch's 'Life of Marius,' which is dedicated to Gloucester, but the
other two, though in the same hand, have no mention of the Duke. This
volume, which in the present manuscript occupies the first sixty folios,
has an erased inscription at the end, but all efforts to restore it fail
to reveal any more than 'Cest livre' at the beginning, and a date at the
end. No mention is made of this work amongst the books of Humphrey's
gifts, and therefore it probably never belonged to the Oxford Library;
on the other hand, it may be one of the volumes that belonged to the
Duke, for the inscription is placed at the end in the not very usual
place that he nearly always used, and the first two words, in so far as
they can be read, seem to be in his handwriting. Added to this, I
believe this copy to be unique, so it is possibly a book acquired by
Humphrey late in life, and never copied by his secretaries. It may be
one of the volumes so vainly sought for by the University after the
death of the donor.

In the British Museum there are nine volumes that once belonged to
Gloucester. Among the Harleian manuscripts there is a treatise on
heretics by William of Occam (Harleian MS., 33), which was one of the
books conveyed to Oxford in 1443 (_Epist. Acad._, 233). Unlike all the
other books known to have belonged to Humphrey, it bears no inscription,
and depends for its verification solely on the correspondence of the
first words of the second folio. The volume has been bound up with what
seems to be part of a fourteenth-century collection of extracts from the
Fathers, two folios of which appear at the beginning and two at the end.
On the second of these folios is pasted a square slip of paper bearing
Gloucester's arms, roughly executed, and the inscription 'Ex dono
illustrissimi principis et domini. Domini Humfredi filii fratris regum
et patrui. Ducis Gloucestrie comitis Pembrochie et magni camerarii
Anglie.' The wording of this label suggests that it was a kind of
book-plate placed on the volumes of the Duke's gifts to distinguish them
from the other books in the Oxford Library, and the present appearance
almost conclusively proves this. It is very dirty, and has evidently
been exposed on the outside of a book, and the corners are worn away, as
though it had been lifted from some other place. In all probability its
original position was on a panel of the binding, and when this was
renewed, it was removed to its present position on the spare leaves,
which must have been inserted at the time of re-binding. That no other
volume known to have been in the Oxford Library bears this label is no
argument against the theory that all the books of Duke Humphrey's gifts
were thus marked, for the plunderer does not expend his pains in
preserving the indications that his booty was once the property of
another. The absence of these book-plates is only the result of the
policy which has erased so many of the autograph inscriptions in
Gloucester's books, and thus increased the difficulty of tracing these
volumes tenfold.

A still more interesting manuscript in the Harleian collection contains
the first five books of Candido's translation of Plato's _Republic_
(Harleian MS., 1705), and is evidently the same copy which was sent over
from Italy by the translator, for the inscription in Gloucester's
handwriting on the verso of the last folio runs, 'Cest livre est A moy
Homfrey duc de Gloucestre du don P. Candidus secretaire du duc de
Milan.' The volume is beautifully written on fine vellum with many
illuminated letters, but many of the leaves are now missing, and some of
the illuminations have been cut out. Prefixed to the actual translation
are the earlier letters exchanged between the Duke and his translator.
The book has never belonged to the Oxford Library, doubtless because it
contains only the first half of the _Republic_, and so Candido's request
that it should not be shown abroad in view of the corrections he had
made in the translation was respected (_Eng. Hist. Review_, xix. 516).
The translation of the _Republic_ given to Oxford we must believe was
the complete work, and this did not reach the Duke till some time after
the copy of the first five books. These two Harleian volumes must be the
books which Hearne refers to, when he says in 1714 that the Earl of
Oxford possessed two manuscripts once the property of Gloucester
(Hearne, _Remarks and Collections_, Oxford Hist. Society, 1885-1898, iv.

A book from the Oxford Library is preserved amongst the Cottonian
manuscripts in the British Museum, and consists of the collected
ordinances and decrees of the Council of Constance (Cotton MS., Nero, E.
v.). The last two folios are devoted to a short description of the
origin of the Scotch nation, and the rights of the Kings of England over
those of the sister kingdom. At the end of the last sentence Gloucester
has written, 'Cest livre est A moy Homfrey duc de Gloucestre lequel
jachetay des executeurs maistre Thomas Polton feu eveque de Wurcestre.'

Several more of Humphrey's books are still extant in the old Royal
Collection of manuscripts, now in the British Museum. A beautifully
illuminated fourteenth-century volume entitled _Chroniques des Roys de
France jusques a la mort de St. Loys l'an 1270_ (Royal MS., 15, G. vi.)
bears the inscription, 'Cest livre est A moy Homfrey duc de Gloucestre
du don des Executeurs le Seigneur de Faunhere,' but it was not included
in the gifts to Oxford. In the same collection there is a volume
containing several translations of the works of St. Athanasius (Royal
MS., 5, F, ii.). The original format of this manuscript is a matter of
uncertainty. The first treatise begins abruptly without title or
address, save in small letters above the text, 'lege feliciter
serenissime Princeps'; at the beginning of the second book of the
treatise the title runs 'Athanasii viri sanctissimi de humanitate verbi
contra gentes liber secundus incipit ex graeco in latinum conversus per
antonium Beccariam veronensem ad serenissimum ac illustrissimum
principem ducem Gloucestrie dominum suum singularissimum.' A fly-leaf,
which may have been originally the termination of a volume, divides the
first from the second treatise, which begins on folio 70. This ends on
folio 91, and on the verso stands the Duke's autograph, 'Cest livre est
A moy Homfrey duc de Gloucestre lequel jay fait translater de grec en
lattyn par Antoyne de Beccara Veroneys mon serviteur.' This may be the
end of one volume, and the treatise which begins on the next page may be
the opening of another one. It begins with a dedicatory epistle to
Gloucester, which by its phraseology seems to be the opening of a new
book (see p. 377, note 1247), and whereas the earlier part of the present
volume is illustrated, this second portion has only the blank spaces
left for such adornment. There are on this page none of the signs of
wear which might suggest that it had been the first sheet of an
independent volume, but it is possible that it was never much used, and
only acquired late in life by Gloucester. A later owner may have bound
up the two volumes together, and handed them down to us in their present
shape. It seems thus most probable that in Duke Humphrey's day this
manuscript consisted of two volumes, else he would not twice have
appended his autograph, nor probably have varied it in the same book,
for an inscription at the end of the last treatise reads 'Cest livre est
A moy Homfrey duc de Gloucester lequel je fis translater de grec en
latin par un de mes secretaires Antoyne de Beccara ne de Verone.' The
first volume corresponds in its second folio to an entry in the Oxford
Register (_Epist. Acad._, 767. The second folio in the register is
marked 'racti quae,' whilst in the manuscript it is 'rati quae,'
probably only a clerical error. The University scribe also misnamed the
volume as 'Athanasius, de Trinitate'), and so was part of the gifts to
that University; the second probably never passed out of its owner's
hands till his death. At one time this manuscript, in its present shape,
was in the possession of a certain Mr. Fowler of Hampton, near
Cirencester (James MS., 30, p. 84).

A very interesting copy of the 'Historia Anglie' of Matthew Paris (Royal
MS., 14, C. vii.) likewise belonged to Duke Humphrey, though it was not
presented to Oxford. The 'History' is in the author's own hand, but is
continued down to 1273 by some other chronicler. When finished by Paris
it was presented by him to the Abbey of St. Albans whence it may have
been given to Gloucester by Wheathampsted. At the end there is an
inscription, which when restored by a chemical reagent was read by Sir
Frederick Madden as 'Cest livre A moy Homffrey duc de Gloucestre'
(Introduction to Matthew Paris, _Historia Anglorum_ (Rolls Series,
1866-1869), pp. xxxviii-xl). The erasure has been so carefully effected
that under all circumstances the words are hard to decipher, but a close
inspection seems to reveal that the inscription is that of Humphrey, and
that it follows the spelling which he invariably used: 'Cest (not ceste)
livre est A moy Homfrey (not Homffrey) duc de Gloucestre.'

Also in the Royal Collection there is a French version of the 'Somnium
Viridarii,' originally written about 1376 (Royal MS., 19, C. iv.). 'Le
Songe du Vergier,' as the French title runs, is in the form of a
discussion, a method so popular at that period, between a knight and
clerk on the question of the relative spheres of the spiritual and
temporal powers. This manuscript, which was once the property of King
Charles V. of France, is beautifully illuminated throughout, and is
illustrated at the beginning of each of the two books of which it is
composed. At the end an erased but just decipherable inscription reads,
'Cest livre est a moy Homfrey duc de Gloucestre (see Paleographical
Society's _Facsimiles_, Second Series, Plate 169, and also Paulin Paris,
_Manuscrits Français_ (Paris 1840), iii. 299-328). Neither this nor a
still more beautifully adorned volume containing certain selected Psalms
(Royal MS., 2, B. i.) was given to Oxford. This last is ornamented
throughout with initial letters and pendants in gold and colours, those
in the calendar at the beginning being particularly finely executed. On
the first page of the text Gloucester's arms appear in two different
places, and the next page is headed by a minature, which we may perhaps
take to represent the Duke kneeling at a Prie-Dieu, and being presented
to the Saviour by one who may be St. Alban, or more probably David.
Humphrey is here represented as quite a young man, which would agree
with the date of the volume, which may be fixed about 1415. (See
_Facsimiles of MS. and Inscriptions_, published by the Palæographical
Society, Second Series, Plate 201.) Besides the Psalms and calendar
above mentioned a few Latin prayers are added, and the whole is preceded
by a dedication to God's service. At the end stands the inscription,
'Cest livre est A moy Homfrey duc de Gloucestre des seaulmes les quels
jay esleus du saultier,' of which the first part is only legible when
restored by chemicals. Those who secured the books of the dead Duke were
remarkably anxious to remove the traces of his ownership, even when they
were not part of his gifts to Oxford. This book is an interesting
personal relic of Gloucester, and apart from this it is also a very
favourable specimen of the art of the period.

Amongst the Egerton manuscripts in the British Museum there is an
English version of the Holy Scriptures, usually called Wycliff's Bible,
in two volumes, with the books up to the Proverbs omitted (Egerton MSS.,
617 and 618). At the end is a calendar of the Gospels and Epistles for
the year according to the Sarum use. The manuscripts bear no
inscription, but we may surmise that it belonged to Humphrey by the
presence of his coat of arms in the centre of the second folio above the
text. This is not a conclusive proof of possession, as we have seen in
the case of the book given by Wheathampsted to Oxford, but in the
absence of any hostile evidence it may be accepted.

Yet one other book which may be put down among the possessions of Duke
Humphrey survives in the British Museum, a vellum folio containing a
medical treatise by the most famous of all the Arabian writers on
surgery, Aboo-l-Kassim, who flourished in the latter part of the
eleventh century. The title runs 'Albucasis sive Albukassem Khalof Ebn
Abbas Al-Zaharias Antidotarium per Lodaycum Tetrafarmacum e lingua
Arabica translatum' (Sloane MS., 248). At the end of the text an
inscription has been erased and its restoration is impossible, though
the first three words, 'Cest livre est,' can just be made out, and after
this there seem to be traces of the big 'A' with the particular flourish
the Duke always used when writing his name in his books. On the top of
the first leaf is written 'Loyale et belle a Gloucester,' and again on
a blank leaf at the end in the same hand occurs 'Loyale et belle de
Gloucestre. Loyalement voster la Duchesse.' These last two sentences are
repeated on the next blank leaf. The meaning of these inscriptions is
not evident, though we know that the Duke adopted the motto, 'Loyale et
belle.' In default of better evidence they seem to suggest that the
book, once the property of Gloucester, was given by him to his wife.

Outside Oxford and the British Museum there are in England four
manuscripts which are thought to have once formed part of the Duke's
library. In the possession of Mr. Henry Yates Thompson, of 19 Portman
Square, London, there is a Psalter with an erased inscription at the end
of the text, which, when treated with a chemical reagent, reveals the
words, 'Cest livre est A moy Homfrey fiz frere et uncle de roys duc de
Gloucestre comte de pembroc grant chambellan dangleterre, etc.' (Henry
Yates Thompson MS., 58. Cf. the descriptive _Catalogue of the Thompson
Collection_ (Second Series, Cambridge, 1902), pp. 75-81). This book was
originally copied for the family of St. Omer of Mulbarton in Norfolk,
and the illuminations, which make it one of the most beautiful examples
of English art in two periods, are distinctly of the East Anglian
school. The latter part of the volume was left unfinished, though part
of the illuminating work must have been executed early in the fifteenth
century. The absence of the Gloucester coat of arms in any part of the
book shows that it must have been in its present state of completion
when it came into the Duke's hands.

Another brightly decorated manuscript was till lately preserved in the
library of Earl Fitzwilliam at Wentworth-Woodhouse in the shape of an
English verse translation of Palladius, _De Re Rustica_
(Wentworth-Woodhouse MS., Z. i. 32). It is brilliantly illuminated, the
poem being written in scarlet, crimson, blue, and green, with a few
words in gold, and the effect is naturally more startling than
beautiful. The book is bound richly but roughly in Russian leather, and
inserted in the cover is an enamel of a woman of good but heavy
features. Round this enamel runs the legend, 'Jacqueline, Dutchess of
Bavaria, Countess of Holland, Zealand, and Hainault, wife to Humfrey,
Duke of Gloucester, 1427.' We gather from a modern fly-leaf that this
manuscript was in a 'rotten wood binding' in 1767, and the enamel was
'judged proper to make a part of the new binding.' According to the
canons of Labarte this portrait cannot be earlier than the sixteenth
century. (Inquiry at Wentworth-Woodhouse has resulted in a declaration
that no such volume is now known to exist there. In the Bodleian
Library, however, there is a photographic facsimile of it made in 1888.
Bodley MS., Arch. F. d. 1.) The proem to this translation contains a
good deal about Gloucester's books at Oxford, and his relationship to
the Italian Humanists in England. This, together with the portrait, have
been declared undoubted evidence that it was the copy presented to
Humphrey, and the presence of his arms in the initial letter of the poem
strengthens, though it does not entirely confirm, this suggestion (see
article in the _Athenæum_ for November 17, 1888, p. 664). On the other
hand, the fact that the introduction and text are written in different
hands, would lead us to think that this was not the copy presented by
the author to his patron.

The Cambridge University Library possesses a volume at the end of which
occurs the inscription, 'Cest livre est A moy Honfrey duc de Gloucestre
du don mess Robert Roos chevalier mon cousin' (Cambridge University
Library, MS. Ee. 2, 17. It is described by P. Mayer in _Romania_, xv.
264, 265). It contains the last two sheets of a French translation of
the _De Regimine Principum_ of Ægidius Romanus, and the _Rei Militaris
Instituta_ of Flavius Renatus Vegetius, also translated into French by
Jean de Vignai. Also at Cambridge, in the Library of King's College,
there is a manuscript which is thought to have once belonged to Duke
Humphrey. This is a translation of some of the speeches of St.
Athanasius by Antonio Beccaria, and is written in an Italian hand of the
fifteenth century (King's College MS., 27). Prefixed is a dedication to
the Duke, one leaf of which is missing, but it bears no inscription, nor
are there signs of there ever having been one. This volume is the only
surviving relic of the original library of the college, and it has been
suggested that, since it is dedicated to Humphrey, it was part of his
library, and given by Henry VI., with others of his uncle's books, to
the college of his foundation, as some part of the spoils shared among
the King's favourites after the tragedy of Bury. The old library
catalogue, which dates from 1453, helps to confirm this theory, for in
it occur translations of Plato and Plutarch, and several of the Latin
classics, which give a tone to the collection unlikely to be borrowed
from any one but the late Duke of Gloucester (see _Catalogue of MSS. of
King's College_, by Montague Rhodes James (Cambridge, 1905,) pp. 46, 47,
70, 71). The theory is ingenious and worth considering; at any rate it
suggests a possible destination for those books which the University of
Oxford sought so long and so vainly to obtain.

Some of Gloucester's books in course of time have found their way across
the Channel, and six volumes, once part of his library, are now extant
in France. In the Bibliothèque Nationale there are two Latin books which
bear his autograph. The first is a collection of ancient panegyrics
(Bibliothèque Nationale, MS. latin, 7805), on the first fly-leaf of
which is written in the scribe's hand, 'Est illustrissimi domini ducis
Gloucestrensis,' which shows that the volume was written for Gloucester
himself. These panegyrics are addressed by ancient writers to various
emperors, the most interesting being one composed by the Younger Pliny
for the benefit of Trajan. The whole manuscript is written in a neat
Italian hand of the fifteenth century, and bears an illuminated letter
at the beginning of each panegyric. On the verso of the last folio
Humphrey has written 'Cest livre est A moy Homfrey duc de Gloucestre,'
and by him it was given to Oxford in 1443 (_Epist. Acad._, 235). The
other Latin work is a collection of the letters of Cicero, which was
given to the Duke by his friend Zano, Bishop of Bayeux (Bibliothèque
Nationale, MS. latin, 8537). It is written in a clear, clerkly hand of
the fifteenth century, and adorned with occasional illuminated letters.
The copyist was evidently no Greek scholar, for there are frequent gaps
left for words of that language, which are supplied in a scrawling hand,
with the Latin equivalents above. Several letters to Atticus are
included, and the earlier ones are either addressed to or received from
Brutus. At the end of the last folio is written, in large uncertain
capital letters, 'Rudolfus Johannis de Misotis de Feraria SS. MCCCCXV.'
Below this again the Duke has written, 'Cest livre est A moy Homfrey duc
de Gloucestre du don Reverend piere en Dieu Zanon eveque de Bayeux.' The
volume was probably purchased by Zano in Italy and presented to his
friend when he returned to England to visit him, later passing by the
gift of 1439 into the possession of the University of Oxford (_Epist.
Acad._, 183).

In the same library we find three French manuscripts which Gloucester
once possessed, and which, owing to the language in which they are
written, do not naturally form part of his gifts to Oxford, consisting
as these did exclusively of Latin works. An elaborately illuminated
manuscript bearing the title 'Le Bible hystoriaux' (Bibliothèque
Nationale, MS. français, 2) bears on the last folio written in a large
hand, not that of the scribe, the inscription, 'Le dixiesme jour de
Septembre lan mil quatrecens vingt sept fut cest livre donne a tres
hault & tres puissant prince Humfrey duc de Gloucestre Conte de Haynau
Holland, etc., & protecteur & deffenseur d'engleterre par Sire Jehan
Stanley Chevalier ledit prince estant en l'abbaye notre dame A Chestre.'
In this French version of the Scriptures the books are arranged in an
arbitrary order, and in the New Testament everything after the Epistle
to the Hebrews is omitted. The pages are all adorned with elaborate
floral decorations, and they also bear numerous small illustrations of
varying artistic value, some reaching a respectable standard, others
being grotesque even for the age in which they were produced. The volume
was originally written for William, Bishop of Sens, and in 1451 was
bought in London by Philip de Loan, who was in the service of Philip,
Duke of Burgundy. Thus one at least of Gloucester's books passed to the
Court of his great enemy.

The second of the French books once belonging to Humphrey, and now in
this library, is a translation of the _Decameron_ of Boccaccio
(Bibliothèque Nationale, MS. français, 12,421). It is but poorly
written, though a small portion of it is in a slightly better hand than
the rest. A few coloured letters relieve the monotony of bad writing,
and some fairly frequent illustrations help to give colour to the
manuscript. Some of the last are typical fifteenth-century work,
possibly slightly less grotesque than those in the last-mentioned
volume. Others, however, are beautifully executed in water-colours, and
appear to be of a much later date. The presumption is that the original
illustrator did not fill up all the spaces at his disposal, and that a
later artist, who betrays more technical ability than even the
fifteenth-century painter, Jean Fouquet, completed the work. At the end
of the last folio there is to be found a faded yet quite legible
inscription, which shows traces of an attempt at erasure. It reads,
'Cest livre est A moy Homfrey duc de Gloucestre du don mon tres chier
cousin le conte de Warwic.' Less ornate is the third French manuscript
in the Bibliothèque Nationale, which we can trace back to Duke
Humphrey's library (Bibliothèque Nationale, MS. français, 12,583). This
is a poorly written copy of the early French romance, _Le Roman de
Renard_. At the head of the first words stands a picture of inferior
execution, and beyond this no adornment is attempted. The text ends
abruptly on the 48th folio, and shows traces of mutilation. The fly-leaf
at the beginning is pasted down, and on it is cut 'Homfrey' in fairly
large characters. This seems to be a later addition, as an experimental
'H' has been cut higher up on the page, and its tail cuts the 'de' in
the following inscription, 'Cest livre est a Humfrey duc de Gloucestre.'
The writing of this is not in the hand of Duke Humphrey, though there
seems no reason to doubt the accuracy of the statement.

The list of Gloucester's books now extant in Paris is brought to a
conclusion with a large folio volume of 433 folios containing Livy's
_Roman History_ translated into French by Pierre Bersuyre, or Bercheure,
or Berchoire, and dedicated to King John of France (Bibliothèque de Ste.
Geneviève, MS. français, 777). The manuscript is beautifully
illuminated, and at the head of the title-page there stands a painting
divided into nine medallions showing various episodes in the history of
Rome. There are two other large title-pages in the volume, and others
have been cut out. This manuscript must have formed part of Charles V.'s
library, for the colours of the illuminations are blue, red, and white,
such as are found in all his books. Thence it probably passed into the
possession of Charles VI., for a volume closely resembling it is to be
found in the catalogue of this king's library drawn up by order of
Bedford (_Catalogue des Manuscrits de la Bibliothèque de Sainte
Geneviève_, par Ch. Kohler (Paris, 1893), vol. i. p. 370, quoting a MS.
in the same library). The English regent sent it to his brother, who in
his turn possibly sent it to Alfonso of Aragon. Below a rubbed space at
the end of the last sentence, which is supposed to have held the _ex
libris_ of Charles VI., stand these words, 'Cest livre fut envoye des
parties de France et donne par mons le regent le royaume duc de Bedford
a mons le duc de Gloucestre son beau frere l'an mil quatre cens vingt

Thus of the great library, at the size of which we can only guess, only
some twenty-seven works in twenty-nine volumes, at the most generous
computation, survive. Others there may be which have escaped the notice
of librarians, cataloguers, and the researches of the present writer, or
may lie buried in the dust of unexplored libraries. Yet even were this
list of survivals to be doubled or trebled the loss would be enormous.



In Cotton MS., Claudius, A. viii. ff. 195-198, there is an entry of
which the title runs: 'In this sedule be conteyned the charges and
observances appointed by the noble Prince Humfrey late Duke Gloucester
to be perpetually boren by thabbot and Convent of the Monastery of Seint
Alban.' The entries contained in the schedule are as follows:--

Paid by the said Abbot and convent 'for making of the tombe and place of
sepulture,' £433, 6s. 8d.

To two priests for saying Mass daily at the altar of the tomb at the
rate of 6d. a day each. £18, 5s. per annum.

To the Abbot for his expenses on the 'day of anniversary of the Duke,'
40s. per annum, and to the Prior for the same, 20s. per annum.

To 40 monks in orders, to be paid on this 'day of anniversary' every
year, 6s. 8d. each, £13s, 6s. 8d.

To 8 monks as above on the same day, 3s. 4d. each, £1, 6s. 8d.

To an 'ankress' at St. Peter's Church and another at St. Michael's on
that same day each year, 20d.

To be distributed to the poor on that day each year, 40s.

To 13 poor men bearing torches round the tomb on that day each year, 2s.
6d. each, £1, 8s. 2d.

To wax burnt daily at the Duke's Mass and torches at his anniversary,
£6, 13s. 4d.

To the kitchen of the monastery 'in relief of the great decay of the
livelod of the said monasterie in the marches of Scotland, which before
time had been appointed to the said Kechyn,' £60 per annum.

In payment for these expenses, the Duke transferred to the monastery the
alien Priory of Pembroke in his possession.

(This schedule is printed in Dugdale's _Monasticon_, ii. 202, and in the
notes to the _English Chronicle_, edited by J. S. Davies, p. 195.)

On the south wall of St. Alban's shrine, close to Humphrey's tomb, an
epitaph was once written, but it is now lost owing to restoration. It
was the work of Dr. John Westerman, Vicar of Bushey early in the
seventeenth century, and was placed under Gloucester's arms, which were
surmounted by a coronet.

                     PIAE MEMORIAE V. OPT.



          Hic jacet Humfredus dux ille Glocestrius olim
          Henrici Regis protector, fraudis ineptae
          Delector; dum ficta notat miracula caeci,
          Lumen erat Patriae, columen venerabilis regni:
          Pacis amans, musisque favens melioribus, unde
          Gratum Opus Oxonio, quae nunc schola sacra refulget
          Invida sed mulier regno, regi, sibi nequam,
          Abstulit hunc, humili vix hoc dignata sepulchro
          Invidia rumpente tamen post funera vivit.
                              Deo Gloria.

(Weever, _Ancient Funeral Monuments_, p. 555, writing in 1631; Ashmole
MS., 784, f. 41, writing in 1657; Sandford, _Genealogical History_, 309,
writing in 1677 and dating the epitaph about 60 years earlier; _History
of the County of Hertfordshire_, by Robert Clutterbuck (London, 1815),
i. 73.)

The third line of this epitaph refers to a legend which first appears in
the works of Sir Thomas More, and which had a great popularity at one
time. It recounts how a man, who declared that he had been blind from
birth and that he had been miraculously cured at the shrine of St.
Alban, was proved to be lying by the Duke of Gloucester, who asked him
the colours of the coats of the various people standing round and was
answered correctly. As the man declared that his sight had been restored
that very day, the impossibility of his having learned the various
colours in so short a time proved the baselessness of his story. (Foxe,
_Acts and Monuments_, iii. 713; cf. Shakespeare, Second Part of _King
Henry VI._, Act II. Scene i.)

Later generations made a strange mistake with regard to the place where
Duke Humphrey was buried. The reverent affection with which his name was
regarded, after the defamations of the Lancastrians had caused a
reaction which went to the opposite extreme, led the Londoners to do him
honour, and for this purpose they selected a tomb in the old St. Paul's
Cathedral. By what chance the mistake was made cannot be known, but in
the days of John Stow, the chronicler, the tomb of Sir John Beauchamp,
son of Guy, Earl of Warwick, who died in 1358, was thought to contain
the remains of the 'Good Duke.' Every year a ceremony was observed when
'on May Day tankard-bearers, watermen, and some other of like quality
beside, would use to come to the same tombe early in the morning' and
strew herbs and sprinkle water thereon. The precise significance of this
proceeding seems to be unknown. (Stow's _Survey of London_, ed. Thomas,
1842, p. 125.)

In connection with this mistake as to Gloucester's tomb, there grew up a
saying, which is known to most people at the present day, though in many
cases the origin is forgotten. 'To dine with Duke Humphrey' was till
comparatively recent years synonymous with not dining at all, and the
saying arose from the mistaken idea, that the tomb in St. Paul's was
Gloucester's last resting-place. In the days when the Cathedral was a
public meeting-place for Londoners, and a centre of social and
commercial life, it was the custom for certain gallants, whose
pretensions were greater than their purses were full, to hang about
there in the hopes of receiving an invitation to dinner, and failing in
their quest, they were compelled to dispense with dinner altogether. The
rendezvous of these hangers-on of society, who sought to live on men
whose social position they despised, was opposite the tomb of Sir John
Beauchamp, and it is of them that Thomas Dekker, who has left us so many
interesting facts relating to the early seventeenth century, wrote, when
he said: 'Such schemes are laid about eleven o'clock in St. Paul's (even
amongst those that wear gilt rapiers by their sides), where for that
noone they may shift from Duke Humphrey, and be furnished with dinner at
some meaner man's table' (Dekker's _Dead Terme_, D. 3). Those that
failed in their endeavours, and were left dinnerless near the tomb where
they had taken their stand, were therefore said 'to have dined with Duke
Humphrey.' A reflection of this same phrase is to be found in Bishop
Corbet's 'Letter to the Duke of Buckingham,' where he alludes to

          'Poets of Paules, those of Duke Humfrey's messe,
          That feed on nought but graves and emptiness.'



Wheathampsted tells us that the Duke died intestate (Whethamstede, i.
74), and on March 24, 1427, a commission was issued to the Archbishop of
Canterbury, Lord Say de Sele, Sir Thomas Stanley, John Somerset, and
Richard Chester, empowering them to dispose of the goods and chattels of
the late Duke of Gloucester, since he had died intestate (_Rot. Pat._,
25 _Henry VI._, Part ii. m. 35; Rymer, V. i. 171). On the other hand,
there is a strong presumption that a will did really exist, and that the
Duke's enemies suppressed it. No such document has survived, but in one
of their frequent letters written to various persons in the hope of
securing the books promised to them, the authorities of the University
of Oxford ask for a copy of Gloucester's will, as though it were a
well-known fact that such a document existed (_Epist. Acad._, 285). In
several other letters the will is referred to, though it is noticeable
that when writing to the King on the subject, its existence is not
mentioned (_Epist. Acad._, 252). The date of this last letter is 1447,
whilst the former was written in 1450, which seems to imply that the
University had obtained evidence of the existence of a will in the
interval. Moreover, in one letter there is a thinly veiled suggestion
that those in power were diverting the property of the late Duke to
their own private ends (_Epist. Acad._, 286). It seems likely that
Gloucester's enemies seized the majority of his property, and that the
King himself presented some of his uncle's possessions to the
foundations at Eton and Cambridge in which he was so much interested.
Certainly some church ornaments and jewels, which had belonged to
Humphrey, and were then in the keeping of the Abbey of St. Albans, found
their way to these institutions, though the monks were to a certain
extent compensated for the loss (_Rot. Parl._, v. 307; Whethamstede, i.
65), and we have already shown the probability that the Library of
King's College, Cambridge, was begun with a collection of Humphrey's
books. It is noteworthy that a loving-cup, now in the possession of
Christ's College, bears the arms of Gloucester quartered with those of
his Cobham wife; (_ex relatione_ Sir Alfred Scott-Gatty, Garter); this,
too, was probably part of the plunder which fell to the King on his
uncle's death. The supposition that there was a will, and that it was
suppressed, is strengthened by the fact that the Parliament of Bury
passed an ordinance annulling Eleanor of Gloucester's right to any
dower, or to any freehold or other possession left to her by her husband
(_Rot. Parl._, v. 135). Apart from the question of dower, how could
Eleanor have any claim to the late Duke's possessions except under the
terms of his will?

It is significant that the question of the settlement of Duke Humphrey's
affairs was reopened by the Parliament which was called after the first
battle of St. Albans under Yorkist influence, the same assembly that
petitioned the King for the vindication of his uncle's memory. In
another petition this Parliament besought the King to provide for the
administration of Gloucester's estate, since his creditors had not been
paid, and were in great want. It was suggested that fresh commissioners
for this purpose should be appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury,
and that they should have right of action against those who were
detaining the property of the Duke illegally. It was definitely stated
that the existing goods and chattels would not both pay his debts and
fulfil his will, a statement which cannot be regarded as consistent with
the assertion that he died intestate (_Rot. Parl._, v. 339). The
petition was dismissed with the familiar formula 'Le roi s'advisera,'
but some steps were ultimately taken, and in 1462 we find the Archbishop
of Canterbury busy in arranging for 'the performance of the will of
Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester' (Westminster Abbey MSS., Miscellanea,
Press 6, Box 2, Parcel 20; see _Hist. MSS. Rep._, iv., Appendix, p.
176). All the facts suggest that Wheathampsted was once again mistaken
with regard to the events which surrounded his friend and patron's
death, and that a will was made by Gloucester, but suppressed by his
triumphant enemies, and probably in the end never completely executed.



There are indications that Duke Humphrey possessed several houses
scattered about the country in which he dwelt from time to time. We have
seen him residing and holding his Court at Pembroke Castle (_Rot.
Parl._, iv. 474); on one occasion, at least, he was resident at his
manor of Penshurst in Kent (Oriel MS., xxxii.); and he is said to have
at one time dwelt at the Manor of the Weald, near St. Albans (Newcome,
_History of Abbey of St. Albans_, 510). Another story declares that he
held the castle of Devizes and had a mansion there (Holkham MS., p. 68),
but there is no trace of the possession of the castle in official
records, and it is known to have been demolished towards the end of the
reign of Edward III. It would seem likely that he resided at Leicester
and Pontefract at certain times, as on the fly-leaf of a book that he
gave to his wife there are scribbled certain accounts relative to his
household, dated at the two above-named places (Sloane MS., 248). The
most famous of Gloucester's residences was the one situated at
Greenwich. This mansion is supposed to have been a royal residence as
far back as the days of Edward I.; Henry IV. was constantly resident
there, and from it his will is dated. Henry V. gave it to Thomas
Beaufort, Duke of Exeter, for his life, and within two years of the
latter's death, we find it in the possession of Duke Humphrey (_St.
Albans Chron._, i. 32)--possibly under the provision in Henry V.'s will
that gave all his castles in the south of England to his youngest
brother (_Test. Vetust._, i. 21). Henceforth it was Duke Humphrey's
favourite resort, and between 1432 and 1437 he transformed it into a far
more important house than it had been hitherto. He was given permission
to increase his possessions in the immediate neighbourhood by exchanging
some lands for seventeen acres belonging to the Carthusian Monastery of
Jesus of Bethlehem at Shene (_Ancient Petitions_, File 113, No. 5612;
_Rot. Parl._, iv. 466; _Ordinances_, iv. 136-138), and ultimately he
surrounded the manor with a wall, embattled the mansion itself, and
built towers and turrets within the park, one of which stood on the spot
on which Greenwich Observatory is now placed. The house was surrounded
by a park of some two hundred acres, most of which had been enclosed
and afforested by special permission of the King (_Rot. Parl._, iv. 498,
499; _Ordinances_, iv. 136-138; _Cal. Rot. Pat._, 277). Both in official
documents and in letters written from Greenwich this residence is called
'the manor of Plesaunce,' and at Humphrey's death it reverted to the
Crown and was inhabited by Henry VI., when Jack Cade's rebellion had
made the capital unsafe (Fabyan, 623). Edward IV. enlarged and furnished
this palace, Henry VII. spent much time there, his son Henry VIII. and
his grand-daughters Mary and Elizabeth were all born there. At the
Restoration, the King pulled down the old building, and in the days of
Humphrey's seventeenth-century biographer hardly a stone of it was left;
and a new building was rising on the site (Holkham MS., p. 68). This new
house, by the gift of William III. and Mary, became, and still is, the
National Hospital for Seamen. (See _Gentleman's Magazine_, New Series,
vol. xiii. pp. 21-24; 'Cygnea Cantio auctore Joanne Lelando,' in
Leland's _Itinerary_, ed. by Thomas Hearne (Oxford, 1768), vol. ix. p.

Besides his residence in Greenwich, Humphrey possessed a house in
London, 'a place callid the Duke's Wardrobe atte Baynardes Castel in
London, otherwise called Waterton's Aley' (_Rot. Parl._, v. 239). This
mansion was situated on the banks of the river, just west of Paul's
Wharf, and bounded on the north by what is now Queen Victoria Street. It
has been thought that this was the same site as the original castle of
Bainard and the Fitzwalter family (Stow's _Survey of London_ (London,
1720), Book i. pp. 60, 61), though modern research tends to prove that
this earlier fortress was in another parish (_London_, by J. W. Loftie,
Historical Towns Series (London, 1887), p. 80). Possibly the palace of
the earliest Saxon kings stood on this spot, and in Chaucer's day it
seems to have been a royal residence, to which Edward II. had added a
lofty tower (_The Pageant of London_, by Richard Davey (London, 1906),
i. 42, 188). In 1428 a devastating fire reduced this quarter of London
to ashes, and it seems that it was at this time that Humphrey built the
palace associated with his name, though no documentary evidence exists
to justify the suggestion (Stow's _Survey_, Book i. pp. 60, 61; _London
City_, by W. J. Loftie (London, 1891), p. 249). The fact that in 1427
the Duke was at an 'Inn,' when the representatives of Parliament called
upon him, supports the theory that at that time he had no permanent
residence in the city. The house was called Baynard's Castle after the
ward in which it was built, extensive grounds surrounded it, and it was
only second in magnificence to the palace at Greenwich, if we are to
believe a political songster of the time, who makes Eleanor sadly take
leave of 'fayer places on Temmy's side' ('The Lament of the Duchess of
Gloucester,' in _Polit. Songs_, ii. 207). Mansion, gardens, and all
pertaining thereto were given by the King in 1447 (when they reverted to
him at the death of his uncle) to King's College, Cambridge (_Rot.
Parl._, v. 132), but in the reign of Edward IV. we find the King's
mother there resident, and it was at Baynard's Castle that the Mayor of
London waited on Richard of Gloucester in 1483 with the formal offer of
the English Crown (_London City_, pp. 76, 116). Henry VII. rebuilt the
palace early in his reign, but it was not then embattled, 'or so
strongly fortified castle-like,' as in Duke Humphrey's days, but was
more of a royal and family residence (Stow's _Survey_, Book i. pp. 60,
61). We next find it in the possession of the Herbert family, and on
July 19, 1553, the Privy Council met there to proclaim Mary queen, the
owner being then William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke (_The History and
Survey of London_, by B. Lambert, London, 1806, iii. 98). John Cooper,
the seventeenth-century biographer of Duke Humphrey, had himself visited
Baynard's Castle, and by that time, he tells us, the property had been
split up, and was intersected by streets and lanes, but they still bore
'the name of Duke Humphries.' Indeed there stood an inn which bore the
sign of the Duke just on the edge of the site of the old mansion, and at
the time of writing was famous for a recent brawl on the premises
(Holkham MS., pp. 68, 69). The whole district was swept away by the
great fire of 1666, but in 1809 two towers of the old castle were still
standing, and to this day Castle Street and Castle Yard commemorate the
past glories of Gloucester's London residence (Davey's _Pageant of
London_, i. 337).



I. In a book of portraits in Vol. 266 of the _Bibliothèque de la ville
d'Arras_, on folio 37, there is a portrait bearing Gloucester's name, a
reproduction of which hangs in the Bodleian Library. It appears among a
series of portraits of people from the fourteenth to the seventeenth
century, which represent in most cases Flemish grandees and prominent
courtiers of the Court of Burgundy. On folio 36 there is a portrait of
Jacqueline of Hainault, and on folio 35 another of the Dauphin John, her
first husband. All are in crayon, and are probably the work of Jacques
Le Boucq, a herald of the Toison d'Or, who was known as a painter in the
days of Philip II. of Spain. It has been thought probable that he copied
contemporary portraits for these crayon drawings, and if this be true,
he provides us with the only attempt at real portraiture of Duke
Humphrey (_Catalogue of the Arras Library; Les Portraits Aux Crayons_,
by Henri Bouchet, Paris, 1884).

II. In the initial letter of the dedication to Duke Humphrey, prefixed
to Capgrave's _Commentary on Genesis_, a miniature portrays the author
in the act of presenting his book to his patron. The workmanship of this
miniature is too coarse to allow of any portraiture, though a slight
likeness to the Arras portrait may be traced (Oriel MS., xxxii.). A line
reproduction of the Duke's head, taken from this manuscript, is given in
Doyle's _Official Baronage_.

III. In a register at St. Albans Abbey there is a small illumination
representing Duke Humphrey and his wife Eleanor, painted on the occasion
of the latter's reception into the confraternity of St. Albans. There is
here a more successful attempt at portraiture than in the Oriel
manuscript, and the type of face, long, clean shaven, almost apathetic,
is similar to that in the Arras drawing. Nevertheless, here as elsewhere
there is no real character in the face of Humphrey, and still less in
that of his wife; there is, indeed, a strong suggestion of mediæval
formalism (Cotton MS., Nero, D. vii. f. 154).

IV. Among the royal collection of manuscripts in the British Museum
there is a Psalter which was prepared for Duke Humphrey, and which,
besides being beautifully illuminated, bears a miniature which may
contain a portrait of the owner (Royal MS., 2, B. i.). It represents a
man kneeling at a Prie-Dieu, with a patron standing behind him. The
kneeling figure may very well be taken to represent the owner of the
book. Again there are very few signs of portraiture, but such as it is,
the miniature seems to be the likeness of Humphrey when still a young
man The manuscript was written about 1415, which would lead us to
suppose that the artist here tried to present the Duke's features at the
age of twenty-five.

V. In the church at Greenwich which was destroyed in 1710 there was a
stained-glass window representing the Duke in a kneeling posture. A copy
of this window is still extant, and is to be found as the headpiece of
the preface to the old catalogue of manuscripts contained in the
Bodleian Library (Oxford, 1697). A rough drawing thereof, executed in
1695, is also to be found in Tanner MS., 24, f. 107, and another, dating
from some seventy-five years earlier, exists in Ashmole MS., 874, f.
113vo. Humphrey is represented in armour, and in appearance he is here
totally unlike any of the above-mentioned portraits, being represented
as wearing a beard. The window was probably placed in Greenwich church
some time after his decease.

VI. In the year 1610 there was at the west end of the church of St.
Helen's, Abingdon, a glass window, in which were portraits of Henry V.
and his three brothers. 'These Dukes be in their robes and their
coronalls with their arms over their Hedds, and their names written
under their feet.' No drawing of this window has survived, and it has
disappeared as completely as the one in Greenwich church. (Ashmole MS.,
874, f. 113vo.)

VII. Horace Walpole possessed amongst his collection of pictures at
Strawberry Hill three paintings in which he claimed there were portraits
of Duke Humphrey. The first was a representation of the marriage of
Henry VI., and Walpole thought that it was probably designed for the
King, but executed after his death. The King and Queen stand in the
front of the picture, and behind the former is a nobleman, bald headed,
with a beard, and wearing a furred mantle. The workmanship throughout
shows considerable power and expression, and would seem to be of a later
date than is supposed. (Walpole, _Anecdotes of Painting in England_,
London, 1876, i. 34, 35; _Catalogues of Strawberry Hill Sale_, p. 197.)
The second picture was once part of the doors of a shrine in the Abbey
of St. Edmundsbury, which Walpole had sawed into four panels. According
to his judgment two of the panels bear portraits of Cardinal Beaufort
and Archbishop Kemp; the third may represent St. Joseph in adoration, or
more probably the donor, the fourth is described as a portrait of Duke
Humphrey of Gloucester, and corresponds exactly in dress and appearance
with the figure said to be a likeness of the same Duke in the 'Marriage
of Henry VI.' The third and fourth panels 'are so good that they are in
the style of the school of the Caracci. They at least were painted by
some Italian; the draperies have large folds, and one wonders how they
could be executed in the reign of Henry VI.' (Walpole's _Letters_, Mrs.
Paget Toynbee's edition, xi. 183, 184; _Catalogue of Strawberry Hill
Sale_, p. 211.) Probably neither of these pictures was painted in the
reign of Henry VI. The King would not have wished to have the uncle whom
he had been taught to hate introduced into a picture of his marriage,
nor would a contemporary have painted Cardinal Beaufort, Kemp, and
Gloucester on adjoining panels. Far more probably the marriage picture
represents the union of the houses of Lancaster and York in the persons
of Henry VII. and his wife Elizabeth, an event fraught with far more
significance than the one suggested by Walpole, and the shrine is most
likely of much the same date. However, Walpole's theory had been
universally accepted, and prints of the figure from the panel of St.
Edmundsbury were made, as being an authentic likeness of the Duke of
Gloucester (Ackerman's _History of Oxford_ (London, 1814), ii. 272;
_Collections for the History of Hertfordshire_, by N. Solomon, i. 87:
Extra illustrated copy of Wood's _History and Antiquities of the
University of Oxford_ in the Bodleian, MS. Top. Oxon., c. 16, p. 914).
George Perfect Harding also painted one of his well-known water-colour
portraits from this panel, and it is now in the possession of Miss C.
Agnes Rooper, Per Selwood, Gervis Road, Bournemouth. It is to be noticed
that the likeness between the two so-called portraits of Gloucester is
not so exact as Walpole would have us think, for whereas, in the
marriage of Henry VI., he is represented with a beard, in the panel he
is clean shaven. This last, though probably not contemporary, seems to
possess some indications that it represents the same face as the Arras
manuscript, but at a later stage of life. Also it was quite possible
that when personal rivalries had been forgotten in the lapse of years,
the monks of Bury might erect a memorial to one of their patrons, along
with others who had not been his friends during his life. Nevertheless,
we cannot generalise as to Humphrey's appearance from this portrait,
which, to say the least, has a doubtful authenticity. The third picture
of the Strawberry Hill collection, said to contain a portrait of the
Duke of Gloucester, was once an altar-piece at Shene, and was probably
painted for Henry VII. It represents Henry V. and his three brothers,
together with his wife and other ladies, but the faces have no
individuality, and are too conventional to be taken as portraits. These
three pictures were sold to two different buyers at the Strawberry Hill
sale. The 'Marriage of Henry VI.' and the panels from St. Edmundsbury
were bought by the Duke of Sutherland, while the picture of Henry V. and
his family went to the Earl of Waldegrave (_Catalogue of the Strawberry
Hill Sale_).

VIII. In St. Mary's Hall, Coventry, there is an Arras tapestry, which
hangs below the north window. It is divided into six compartments, the
two centre ones containing allegorical figures, and in the upper ones to
left and right certain saints are represented. In the remaining two
compartments a king and queen kneel before desks with their suite in
attendance. The king and queen are supposed to be Henry VI. and his
wife. Behind the king stands a bearded figure, which 'is with no small
reason supposed to be the good Duke of Gloucester' (Thomas Sharp,
_Dissertation on the Pageants or Mysteries at Coventry_ (Coventry,
1825); _The Coventry Guide_ (Coventry, 1824), p. 46; _The History of the
Antiquities of the City of Coventry_, No. vi. pp. 187, 188; _Handbook of
the Arts of the Middle Ages and Renaissance_, by M. Jules Labarte
(London, 1855), p. 90. An illustration of the tapestry is to be found in
this last). However, the workmanship of this tapestry tends to prove
that it dates from Tudor rather than Lancastrian times, and in all
likelihood it was made to celebrate the visit of Henry VII. and his
Queen to Coventry, not that of Henry VI. and Margaret. Both these
monarchs and their consorts were members of the Guild of the Holy
Trinity in that city.



Amongst seventeenth-century chroniclers there are many accounts as to
the way in which Gloucester was murdered, the most popular of which,
perhaps, is the one that he was smothered to death between two pillows.
A contemporary Frenchman gives a different version, which has an
extraordinary resemblance to the stories which surround the death of
George, Duke of Clarence, in 1478. This occurs in a rhymed account by
George Chastellain of the unusual and interesting events which happened
in his days and runs as follows:

              'Par fortune semestre
              Veis à l'oeil viviment
              Le Grant duc de Glocestre
              Meurdrir piteusement;
              En vin plain une cuve
              Failloit qu'estranglé fust
              Cuidant par celle estuve
              Que la morte n'y parust.'

(Introduction to Georges Chastellain, _Chronique_ (ed. Buchon), p.
xlviii). The rhyming chronicle in which this is found is not extant in
manuscript, but in a printed form bearing the date 1528; and appended to
it a continuation by Jacques Le Bouvier. Chastellain died at least three
years before Clarence, so that he could not have borrowed the idea from
the latter event. Nevertheless, it seems too obvious that the
circumstances of the two deaths have been confused with one another to
lightly dismiss its possibility. Bouvier mentions the death of Clarence
and the well-known legend, putting it quaintly as follows:

              'Le roi le fist noyer
              Dedans mallevisee
              Pours le moins ennuyer.'

(Introduction to Georges Chastellain, _Chronique_ (ed. Buchon), p.
liii), but none the less he may have interpolated the passage about
Gloucester into his predecessor's poem.

The theory of drowning, however, finds some support from an English
authority. In a popular poem called 'The Dyrge of the Commons of Kent,'
sung by the rebellious followers of Jack Cade in 1450, the following
passage occurs:

        'Arrys up Thorp and Cantelowe, stand ye together
        And synge _dies illa dies ire_,
        Pulford and Hanley that drownyd ye Duke of Glocestar
        As two traitors shall synge _ardentes anime_.'

(_Three Fifteenth-century Chronicles_, Camden Series p. 103.) It is
possible that from these two legends we can get an indication of what
nature Humphrey's end really was. The story of Clarence's drowning can
have no share in suggesting the earlier poem of Jack Cade's followers,
and here may be the solution of the problem which has puzzled modern
historians. It must be remembered, however, that in another work,
already cited in the text, Chastellain gives the more usual story of
Gloucester's murder, when he describes his death to a red-hot spit
thrust into his body. (Chastellain, _OEuvres_, ed. Kervyn de
Lettenhove, vii. 87.) In both cases, however, he lays stress on the fact
that the manner of death was devised so as to prevent the appearance of




Like his brothers, the Duke of Gloucester adopted the arms of England
and France quarterly, but whereas their arms were differentiated with
various labels, his own were surmounted with a border argent (Garter
Types, College of Arms). At this period the arms of France, as borne by
the English Kings, were changed from 'azure semée of fleur de lys or' to
'azure three fleur de lys or,' and this is the only difference which
marks Humphrey's arms from those of a predecessor in the Gloucester
title, Thomas of Woodstock. Nicholas Upton, a follower and friend of
Humphrey, describes his arms as follows: 'Portat Integra Arma Francie et
Anglie Quarteriata, Cum Una Bordura Gobonata De Argento et Nigro ... Il
port lez Armes de Fraunce et D'engleterre quarterlez ovesque ung bordure
gobone d'argent et d'asor' (Nicholaus Uptonus, _De Studio Militari_,
London, 1654, p. 238). This is not strictly accurate, as the border was
argent only. These arms were carved on the Duke's tomb at St. Albans
with their supporters, antelopes gorged and chained, and the shields
were alternately 'ensigned' with his ducal coronet on his cap of estate,
and with his crest, 'a Lyon passant guardant crowned and accolled.' This
part of the tomb is so mutilated that all the crests are gone; and only
fragments of the other heraldic adornments remain (cf. Sandford,
_Genealogical History_, p. 307; Gough, _Sepulchral Monuments_ (London,
1776), vol. ii. part III. p. 142).

Gloucester does not seem to have altered his armorial bearings after his
marriage to Jacqueline of Hainault, for a seal attached to a charter in
the archives of Mons seems to be the same one he had hitherto used
(_Cartulaire_, iv. 440). After his marriage with Eleanor Cobham,
however, he impaled the Cobham arms with his own, of which we have two
recorded instances. In the east window of the church of Cobham in Kent
there stood his arms 'in two several places, dimediated with those of
the Duchess Eleanor Cobham' (Sandford, _Genealogical History_, p. 308),
and they appeared in a similar form in a window of Greenwich Church
before its destruction. A reproduction of this east window is to be
found as the headpiece to the preface of the old catalogue of
manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford (_Catalogi Librorum
Manuscriptorum_, Oxford, 1697), and the following description thereof
was written in 1695: 'An Helmet and crest with Mantles, and the
Antelopes holding it up with Humphrey Duke of Gloucester kneeling, and
his Arms, scilt. quarterly France and England within a bordure argent on
one side, and the same arms impaling Cobham, viz., Gules on a Cheveron
or, three Estoils sable, on the other side, a good distance from him;
stand all in one of the south windows near the Belfry of Greenwich
Church' (Tanner MS., 24, f. 107). The manuscript also contains a rough
drawing of the window, as is also the case in an Ashmole record written
about 1659, which gives the same information, though at less length
(Ashmole MS., 1121, f. 228). Humphrey, it will be noticed, used as one
of his supporters an antelope, which had been borne by Henry IV., and
had appeared on the trappings of his horse in the Lists of Coventry
(Tyler, _Henry of Monmouth_, p. 30). It appears from a manuscript in the
Heralds' College that his supporters were to the Dexter a Greyhound
argent collared and leashed or, to the Sinister an Heraldic Antelope
argent Ducally gorged and chained or (Heralds' College MS., 14, f. 105,


Humphrey bore no less than three badges. From a political song, written
probably about 1449, it appears that he was known by the title of 'the
Swan,' a name taken from the badge he had adopted from his Bohun
ancestors. In the course of the poem the phrase 'the Swanne is goone'
appears, and in a different though contemporary hand the word
'Gloucetter' is written above the word 'Swanne' (_Political Songs_, ii.
221. Cf. _Excerpta Historica_, p. 161)

The second badge was on a shield sable three ostrich feathers argent
surrounded by the Garter and supported to the Dexter by the Greyhound,
to the Sinister by the Antelope. (Window in Greenwich Church, College of
Arms MS., L. 14, 105, B.) These appear in the Greenwich window (Ashmole
MS., 1121, f. 228. Cf. _Archæologia_, xxxi. 368), though from
impressions of his seal he seems then only to have used two feathers.
(Seal described in Cartulaire, iv. 440, and Seal attached to British
Museum, _Additional Charters_, 6000.)

The third badge has a particular interest. It is found at frequent
intervals on the St. Albans tomb, and it appears in a slightly different
form in other places. It seems to represent a cup with sprays of some
plant issuing from the top. On the tomb the sprays look like daisies or
their foliage, whereas in drawings of this same badge that occur in
several manuscripts in the College of Arms and elsewhere, they seem to
be laurels. They vary, too, as to the number of sprays. On the tomb
there are seven or eight in each cup, whilst in the extant drawings,
which date mostly from the seventeenth century, they vary from one to
three (College of Arms, Garter Types and Badges, and MS., L. 14, f. 105,
B.). Gough thought that this badge was the rebus of Wheathampsted, and
represented wheat sheaves (Gough, _Sepulchral Monuments_, vol. ii. part
III. p. 142). This, however, is disproved by the fact that it was not
Wheathampsted who built the Duke's tomb, and it was unlikely that Abbot
Stoke would put his predecessor's mark on a monument built by himself,
and secondly by an entry which we find in more than one place under the
drawings of the cup, which reads, 'Humfrey Duke of Gloucester bare this
cup with a Laurell branch, in the respect he bore to Learning' (College
of Arms, Miscellanea Curiosa, i. 105, B. Cf. Ashmole MS., 1121, f. 227).


There are few impressions of Gloucester's seal still surviving. In the
British Museum there is attached to a warrant a very small seal bearing
the Duke's coat of arms and round it the motto 'Loyalle et Belle'
(_Additional Charters_, xxxvi. 146). This is the only evidence to prove
the use of this motto by the Duke, save some rather inconclusive remarks
on the fly-leaf of one of his manuscripts (Sloane MS., 248). A larger
impression is attached to a grant of custody given by Gloucester and
dated September 22, 1426 (_Additional Charters_, 6000). This seal is in
fairly good preservation and on one side bears the Duke's arms between
two feathers and surmounted by a cap, on the other a representation of
the Duke himself holding a drawn sword and riding on a horse.

In the Mons archives attached to a charter granted by Gloucester there
is a round seal which is described as follows: 'Il represente un ecu
ecartele aux 1 et 4 a trois fleurs de lis et aux 2 et 3 trois lions
passants, surmounté d'un heaume qui a pour cimier un léopard, et accosté
de deux plumes; supports: deux beliers.' The legend runs: 'Sigilu.
Humfridi. filii et fratris. regis. ducis Glocestrie. comitis Pembr. et
camerarii Anglie' (_Cartulaire_ iv. 440).

Two more seals are preserved amongst the deeds in Magdalen College,
Oxford. Both are attached to warrants issued by Gloucester in his
capacity of Chief Keeper of the King's Forests on this side of the river
Trent. The first is a round brown seal bearing the ducal arms within a
border of antlers rising from a deer's head. Above is the figure of an
heron, which with the antlers were the signs of this particular office.
The inscription so far as it can be read runs: 'S. H. duc Glouc ... Angl
ac just. et capit. cust. forestr' (_Magdalen College Deeds_, Selborne,
112; cf. Selborne, 115). The second is a seal of green wax, hollow on
the reverse, and though much broken, still reveals the stag's head and
antlers surrounding Gloucester's arms (_Magdalen College Deeds_,
Shotover, 4).



                                                       CITED AS

  Rotuli Parliamentorum. London, 1767-77.             _Rot. Parl._
    Comprises Petitions, Pleas, and Proceedings in
    Parliament, 1278-1503.

  Proceedings and Ordinances of the Privy Council     _Ordinances._
    (1386-1542). Ed. by Sir H. N. Nicolas. London,

  Rotuli Scotiae in Turri Londiniensi asservati.      _Rot. Scot._
    London, 1814-19.

  Calendarium Rotulorum Patentium in Turri            _Cal. Rot. Pat._
    Londiniensi. London, 1802.

  This calendar only contains excerpts from the
    Patent Rolls. The new calendars published
    do not as yet include the important periods of
    the Duke of Gloucester's life.

  Issues of the Exchequer. Collected by Frederick     _Devon, Issue
    Devon. London, 1837.                               Roll._

  Calendar of Norman Rolls:--

  For the year 1417. Rotuli Normanniae, vol. i.       _Rot. Norm._
    (all published). Ed. by T. D. Hardy. London,

  For the year 1418 and onwards. Reports of the       _Cal. of Norman
    Deputy Keeper of the Public Records. Nos. 41       Rolls._
    and 42. Appendices. London, 1880, 1881.

  Calendar of the French Rolls. Reports of the        _Cal. of French
    Deputy Keeper of the Public Records. Nos. 44       Rolls._
    and 48. Appendices. London, 1883, 1887.

  Catalogue des Rolles Gascons, Normans et Français.  _Carte._
    By Thomas Carte. London, 1743.
      Certain selections from these rolls only.

  Reports of the Lords' Committees touching the       _Lords' Reports._
    Dignity of a Peer of the Realm. London, 1829.

  Foedera Conventiones Litterae et cujuscumque Acta   _Rymer._
    Publica inter Reges Angliae et alios. Collected
    by Thomas Rymer.  Third ed. by George Holmes.
    'Hagae comitis apud Joannem Neaulme.' 1745.
       Miscellaneous documents illustrative of
         English History.

  Memorials of London. Extracts from the early        _Memorials of
    Archives of the City of London, 1276-1419. By      London._
    H. T. Riley. London, 1868.

  Collection Générale des Documents Français.         _Delpit, Doc. Fr._
    Publiés par Jules Delpit. Paris, 1847.
      Documents drawn mainly from the Archives of
        the City of London.

  Testamenta Vetusta. By Sir Harris Nicolas. London,  _Test. Vetust._

  A collection of Ancient Wills, from Henry V. to
    Elizabeth inclusive.

  Excerpta Historica. Ed. by Samuel Bentley. London,  _Excerpta
    1831.                                              Historica._
      Miscellaneous documents, collected from various
        sources; published originally in four parts
        during 1830, but unfortunately discontinued
        owing to a lack of support.

  Rechnungen über Heinrich von Derby's                _Prutz._
    Preussenfahrten, von Dr. Hans Prutz. Leipzig,
       Accounts of Henry's Treasurer. A similar
         volume has been edited by the Camden
         Society by Lucy Toulmin Smith.

  Ordinances for the Government of the Household,     _Ordinances of the
    Liber Niger Domus Regis Edwardi quarti. London,    Household._

  Preuves de l'Histoire de Bourgogne. In vol. iv. of  _Plancher,
    Histoire Générale de Bourgoyne par Urbain          Preuves._
     Plancher. Dijon, 1781.

  Particularités Curieuses sur Jacqueline de Bavière, _Particularités
    Comtesse de Hainaut.  Première Partie ed. by       Curieuses._
    A. D. No. 7 des Publications de la Société des
    Bibliophiles de Mons. Mons, 1838.
      Extracts from the Register of the City of Mons.

  Cartulaire des Contes de Hainaut. Vols, iv., v.,    _Cartulaire._
    vi. Bruxelles, 1889-96.  Collections des
     Chroniques Belges inédites.
       A collection of documents taken from the
         various city registers and other sources.

  Beiträge zur Geschichte der Jakobäa von Bayern.     _Beiträge._
    In Abhandlungen der Historischen Classe der
     Königlichen Bayerischen Akademie der
     Wissenschaften. Band x. Munich, 1867. Erste
     Abtheilung (1401-26), pp. 1-112. Zweite
     Abtheilung (1426-36), pp. 205-336.
       A miscellaneous collection of extracts from
          documents and chroniclers.

  Aus der Kanzlei Kaiser Sigismunds. Urkundliche
    Beiträge zur Geschichte des Constanzer Concils.
    Herausgegeben von J. Caro in Archiv für
    Oestreichische Geschichte. Vol. 59. Vienna, 1880.
      Contains some documents relating to Sigismund's
        visit in England.

  Concilia Magnae Britanniae et Hiberniae. By David   _Wilkin's,
    Wilkins. London, 1737.                             Concilia._
      A collection of letters and documents relating
        to ecclesiastical matters.

  Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers,         _Papal Letters._
     illustrating the History of Great Britain and
     Ireland. Papal Letters. Vol. vii. London, 1906.

  Letters and Papers illustrative of the Wars of the  _Stevenson,
    English in France during the reign of Henry VI.    Letters and
    Ed. by J. Stevenson. Rolls Series, No, 22.         Papers._
    London, 1861-64.

  Registrum Abbatiae T. Whethamstede. Ed. by H. T.    _Whethamstede._
    Riley. Rolls Series, No. 28. London, 1872-73.

  Munimenta Academica. Ed. by Henry Anstey. Rolls     _Munimenta Acad._
    Series, No. 50. London, 1898.
      Documents illustrative of Life and Studies at

  Epistolae Academicae Oxon. (Registrum F.) Ed. by    _Epist. Acad._
    H. Anstey. (Oxford Historical Society.) Oxford,

  The Paston Letters. Ed. by J. Gairdner. London,     _Paston Letters._

  Official Correspondence of Thomas Beckington.       _Beckington
     Ed. by G. Williams. Rolls Series, No. 56.         Correspondence._
     London, 1872.

  Æneae Sylvii Piccolominei, Opera quae extant omnia. _Æn. Sylv.,
    Basel, 1851.                                       Opera._

  Leonardi Bruni Aretini Epistolarum, Libri viii.     _Leonardi Bruni
    Ed. by Lorenzo Metus. Florence, 1741.              Epistolae._

  Original Letters illustrative of English History.   _Ellis, Letters._
     Ed. by Sir Henry Ellis. Three Series. London,

  The English Historical Review:--                    _Eng. Hist.
    Vol.   x. 1895. Correspondence of Humphrey, Duke   Review._
                      of Gloucester. Ed. by Bishop

    Vol. xix. 1904. Correspondence of Humphrey, Duke
                      of Gloucester.  Ed. by Mario

    Vol.  xx. 1905. Correspondence of Humphrey, Duke
                      of Gloucester.  Ed. by W. L.
                      Newman, D. Litt.

  Archivio Storico Lombardo.  Vol. x. Anno xx.        _Archivio
    Milan, 1893.                                       Lombardo._
      Pier Candido Decembri e L'Umanesimo in Lombardia,
      da Mario Borsa. Contains some original
      letters printed in an appendix.

  Veterum scriptorum et monumentorum amplissima       _Amplissima
    collectio. Ed. by Martène and Durand. Paris,       Collectio._

  Reports of the Historical Manuscripts Commission.   _Hist. MSS. Rep._
    London. Various dates.
      Cited under the Number of their Report.

  Political Poems and Songs. Ed. by Thomas Wright.    _Polit. Songs._
  Rolls Series, No. 14. London, 1861.


  Annales Henrici Quarti Regis Angliae. In H. T.      _Annales Henrici
    Riley's Johannis de Trokelowe Chronicon and        Quarti._
    others. Rolls Series, No. 28. London, 1886.

  Incerti Scriptoris Chronicon Angliae de regnis trium
    regum. Lancastrensium. Ed. by John Allen Giles.
    London, 1848.
      Certainly not all by the same author. The
        Chronicle of Henry V.'s reign stops at 1416,
        and is the same as the Gesta Henrici Quinti
        below. The most valuable of the three is the
        Chronicle of Henry VI.'s reign, probably
        written by a contemporary and a cleric, and
        therefore having numerous references to church
          1st chronicle,                              _Chron. Henry IV._
          3rd chronicle,                              _Chron. Henry VI._

  Gesta Henrici Quinti.  Ed. by Benjamin Williams.    _Gesta._
    London, 1850.
      The first part of this Latin Chronicle down to
      1417 was written by a chaplain in Henry's
      army, being the same chronicle as Nicolas
      translated at the end of his 'Battle of
      Agincourt.' The continuation is by some other
      chronicler, and is largely borrowed from

  A 'Chronique de Normandie' is printed at the end    _Chronique de
    of this chronicle, and is attributed to George     Normandie._
    Chastellain by the Editor, though this has been
    denied. It is, however, obviously written by a

  Vita et gesta Henrici Quinti Anglorum Regis, by     _Elmham, Vita._
    Thomas de Elmham.  Ed. by Thomas Hearne.
    Oxford, 1727.
      Elmham was a monk of St. Augustine's, Canterbury,
        of which he was treasurer in 1407, and
        ultimately became Prior of Lenton, Notts. He
        died some time during the reign of Henry VI.
        The attribution to him of this chronicle is

  Titi Livi Foro-Juliensis Vita Henrici Quinti. Ed.   _Livius._
    by Thomas Hearne. Oxford, 1716.
      Written at the suggestion of the Duke of
        Gloucester by an Italian attached to his
         household. The chronology is not always
         quite accurate.

  Wilhelmi Wyrcester Annales Rerum Anglicarum,        _William of
    1324-1491. In Hearne's Liber Niger Scaccarii.      Worcester._
    Vol. ii. Oxford, 1774.

  App. ix. excerpti Gilbert Kymeri. Dietarium de
  Sanitatis Custodia.

  Historia Anglicana, by Thomas Walsingham. Ed. by    _Walsingham, Hist.
    H. T. Riley. Rolls Series, No. 28. London, 1864.   Angl._
      Walsingham was one of the St. Albans
        Chroniclers, and wrote about 1430.

  Ypodigma Neustriae, by Thomas Walsingham. Ed.       _Walsingham,
    by H. T. Riley. Rolls Series, No. 28. London,      Ypodigma
    1876.                                              Neustriae._

  Chronica Regum Angliae, by Thomas Otterbourne.      _Otterbourne._
    Ed. by T. Hearne. 1732.
      A very brief record of events.

  Annales Monasterii S. Albani a J. Amundesham. Ed.
    by H. T. Riley. Rolls Series, No. 28. London,

    (1) 'Chronicon Rerum Gestarum in Monasterio       _St. Albans
        S. Albani,' by an unknown author. It           Chron._
        covers the years 1421-31.

    (2) Annales of Amundesham.                        _Amundesham,
        Amundesham was Prior of Gloucester Hall        Annales._
          at Oxford. His Annales extend to the
          year 1440.

  Historiae Croylandensis Continuatio. Printed by     _Hist. Croyland.
    Thomas Gale in vol. i. of Rerum Anglicarum         Contin._
    Scriptores Veteres. Oxford, 1604.
      An unknown chronicler of the monastic house of

  Memorials of Henry V., King of England. Ed. by
  C. A. Cole. London, 1858.

    (1) Vita Henrici Quinti.  Roberto Redmano         _Redmayne._
            Redmayne wrote in the early part of
              the sixteenth century.

    (2) Elmhami Liber Metricus de Henrico             _Elmham, Liber
          Quinto.                                      Metricus._

  Liber de Illustribus Henricis, by John Capgrave.    _Capgrave, De
    Ed. by F. C. Hingeston. Rolls Series, No. 7.       Illustr. Hen._
    London, 1858.
      Capgrave was an inmate of the Augustinian
        monastery of Lynn in Norfolk, and was a friend
        of the Duke of Gloucester.

  Chronicle of England, by John Capgrave. Ed. by      _Capgrave, Chron.
    F. C. Hingeston. Rolls Series, No. 1. London,      of Eng._
      The Chronicle does not go further than the year

  The Historical Collections of a London Citizen. Ed,
    by James Gairdner. Camden Society, 1876.


        (1) Poem on the Siege of Rouen, by John Page. _John Page._
              The author was present at the siege.

        (2) Lydgate's verses on the Kings of England.

        (3) William Gregory's Chronicle of London.    _Gregory._
              Begun by Gregory, but probably
                continued by another writer.

  A Chronicle of London from 1089-1483. London,       _Lond. Chron._
      One of the series of London Chronicles of which
        Gregory's Chronicle is another. Lydgate's poem
        on the Battle of Agincourt is printed in the

  Chronicles of London. Edited, with an Introduction,
    by C. H. Kingsford. Oxford, 1905. [See
    Manuscript Authorities, British Museum, p. 472.]

  An English Chronicle of the Kings' reigns from
    Richard II. to Henry VI. Ed. by J. S. Davies.
    Camden Society, No. 64. London, 1856. Contains--

      (1) A Chronicle founded on the English          _Eng. Chron._
            Chronicle called the Brut by an unknown
            author who must have died between 1461
            and 1471. It was used by Stow in his

      (2) An account of the Parliament of Bury held   _Richard Fox._
            in 1447 and the death of the Duke of
            Gloucester, by Richard Fox of St. Albans,
            who wrote it probably within a few months
            of the events recorded.

  Three Fifteenth-century Chronicles. Ed. by James
    Gairdner. Camden Society. London, 1880.

      (1) A Short English Chronicle. Written          _Short Eng.
            probably about the time when it ends,      Chron._
            1465. Not very full till Jack Cade's

      (2) Historical Memoranda in the handwriting of  _Stow Memoranda._
            John Stow. Evidently copies of the
            original documents.

      (3) Brief Notes in a late fifteenth-century     _Brief Notes._
            hand. Probably written by a monk of Ely.

      (4) A Short Latin Chronicle. By an unknown      _Brief Lat.
            compiler who lived in the time of Henry    Chron._
            VI. and Edward VI.

  The Chronicle of John Hardyng, with the             _Hardyng._
    continuation of Richard Grafton.  Ed. by
    H. Ellis. London, 1812.
      Hardyng was a servant of the Percys, and after
        Shrewsbury of Sir Robert Umfravile, whom he
        accompanied in the Agincourt campaign.

  A Latin Journal of the 1415 campaign is inserted    _Hardyng's
    in the above at the end of the reign of Henry V.   Journal._

  Caxton's edition and continuation of Higden's       _Higden._
    Chronicle 'In the Abbey of Westminster ...
    Accomplished the V day of August the yere ...
      Higden died in 1370. The continuator was
        probably not Caxton.

  Polychronicon. Imprented in Southwerke for John     _Polychronicon._
    Rey, 1527.
      An English Chronicle founded on the 'Brut,' and
        brought up to date.


  Chroniques de Enguerrand de Monstrelet.  Ed.        _Monstrelet._
    Buchon. Paris, 1826-27.
      A Burgundy in sympathy, Monstrelet continued
      the Chronicles of Froissart. He died in 1453.

  Recueil des croniques et anchiennes istories de la  _Waurin._
    Grant Bretaigne, a present nomme Engleterre, par
    Jehan de Waurin. Ed. by Sir Will. Hardy. Roll
    Series, No. 39--

      Vol. ii. 1399-1422. London, 1868.
      Vol. iii. 1422-1431. London, 1874.
      Vol. iv. 1431-1447. London, 1884.
      Vol. v. 1447-1471. London, 1891.

    Waurin copies much from Monstrelet. He was
      present at Agincourt, and also was an
      eye-witness of Gloucester's inroad into
      Flanders in 1436.

  Chronique des Ducs de Burgoyne, par Georges         _Chastellain._
    Chastellain,  Ed. Buchon. Paris, 1827.
      A Burgundy chronicler very hostile to England.
        He possesses a far more literary style than
        the other chroniclers of the time who wrote
        in French. He lived from 1403 to 1475.

  Mémoires de Pierre de Fénin. Ed. Buchon. Paris,     _Pierre de Fénin._
      A native of Artois who died in 1433.

  Chronique du Religieux de Saint Denys.  Ed. by      _St. Denys._
    M. L. Bellaguet. Collection de Documents inédits
    sur l'Histoire de France. Paris, 1852.
      A contemporary French chronicler whose work
        comprises the years 1380-1422.

  Chronique de Jean Le Fevre Seigneur de St. Rémy.    _St. Rémy._
    Ed. Buchon. Paris, 1838.
      Le Fevre was in the English army at Agincourt.
        His chronicle has much in common with those
        of Monstrelet and Waurin, from whom he often
        seems to quote.

  Chroniques de Mathieu de Coussy.  Ed. Buchon.       _Mathieu de
    Paris, 1838.                                       Coussy._
      An Hainaulter who wrote in the fifteenth

  La Chronique Normande de P. Cochon.  Ed. M.         _Cochon._
  Vallet de Veriville. Paris, 1859.

  Chronique des Pays Bas de France, d'Angleterre      _Chronique des
    et de Tournai, in vol. iii. of Recueil des         Pays Bas._
    Chroniques de Flandre. Brussels, 1856.
      A very brief chronicle of events.

  Histoire de Charles VI., by Jean Juvenal des        _Des Ursins._
    Ursins. Paris, 1850.
      This author lived from 1388 to 1473.

  Historiarum de Rebus A. Carlo Septimo Francorum     _Basin._
    Rege et suo tempore in Gallia gestis, by Thomas
    Basin. Ed. J. Quicherat. Paris, 1855.
      Basin was born in 1412. He visited England on
        an embassy to the Duke of York, where he also
        came in contact with the chief English nobles
        such as Suffolk, Somerset, and Talbot.

  Chronica Nobilissimorum Ducum Lotharingiae et       _Dynter._
    Brabantiae ac Regum Francorum, auctore Magistro
    Edmundo de Dynter. Ed. by P. F. X. de Ram.
    Brussels, 1854-57.
      Dynter was private secretary to John of Brabant,
        and therefore a valuable authority on the
        history of the Jacqueline marriage.

  Das Leben König Sigmunds von Eberhard Windeck.      _Windeck._
    Uebersetzt von Dr. von Hagen. Leipzig, 1886.
      Windeck was Sigismund's secretary, and
        accompanied him to England.


  The Customs of London, otherwise called Arnold's    _Arnold's Chron._
    Chronicle. London, 1811.
      First published about 1502.

  The New Chronicles of England and France, by        _Fabyan._
    Robert Fabyan. Ed. by Henry Ellis. London,
      Fabyan was a Londoner, who died about 1511.

  The English History of Polydore Vergil, from an     _Polydore Vergil._
    early translation.  Ed. by Sir Henry Ellis.
     Camden Society, 1844.
       Polydore was a native of Urbino, and was born
         in the latter half of the fifteenth century.
         He came to England as a subcollector of
         Peter's Pence in 1502.

  The Pastime of People (1529), by John Rastell.      _Rastell._
    Ed. by T. F. Dibdin. London, 1811.

  Hall's Chronicle, from Henry IV. to Henry VIII.     _Hall._
    London, 1809.
      Originally published in 1548. Based on
        documents, and especially useful for the
        proceedings in the Parliament of 1426. Edward
        Hall died in 1547.

  Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland, by    _Holinshed._
    Raphael Holinshed. London, 1808.
      Holinshed published his Chronicles in 1557.

  The History of Great Britain, by John Speed.        _Speed._
    London, 1611.
      Speed lived from 1550 to 1629.

  Annales, or A General Chronicle of England, begun   _Stow._
    by John Stow, and continued down to 1631 by
    Edmund Howes. London, 1631.
      Stow died in 1605 before his Chronicle was


  The Governance of England, by Sir John Fortescue.   _Plummer's
    Ed. by C. Plummer. Oxford, 1885.                   Fortescue._

  Ægidii Columerae Romani De Regimine Principum       _Ægidius, De
    Libri Tres. Romae, 1607.                           Regimine
      Egidius was tutor to Philip le Bel of France     Principum._
        when he was Dauphin, for whom this treatise
        was written.

  England and France in the Fifteenth Century, 'The   _Heralds' Debate._
    Debate between the heralds of France and
    England,' attributed to Charles, Duke of Orleans.
    Translated by H. Pyne. London, 1870.
      Supposed to have been written by the Duke of
        Orleans while a captive in England.

  De Viris Illustribus, by Æneas Sylvius              _Æneas Sylvius, De
    Piccolomineus. Strasburg, 1842.                    Viris
      Records of certain celebrities of his time by    Illustribus._
      Pope Pius II.

  De Rebus Britannicis Collectanea, by John Leland.   _Leland,
    London, 1774.                                      Collectanea._

  Antient Funerall Monuments of Great Britain and     _Weever, Ancient
    Ireland, by John Weever. London, 1767.             Funeral

  History from Marble, by T. Dingley. Camden          _History from
    Society, 1867.                                     Marble._

  The Acts and Monuments of John Foxe, Fourth         _Foxe._
    edition. By the Rev. E. Pratt, N.D. London.

  Monasticon Anglicanum, by Sir William Dugdale.      _Dugdale,
    6 vols. London, 1819.                              Monasticon._

  Britannia, by William Camden. Translation and       _Camden's
    additions by Richard Gough. London, 1789.          Britannia._

  Anglia Sacra, by Henry Wharton. London, 1691.       _Wharton, Anglia
    A collection of biographies of the Archbishops     Sacra._
    and Bishops of the English Church.

  The State of the Church and Clergy, by William      _Wake._
  Wake. London, 1703.

  Lives of the Archbishops of Canterbury, by W. F.    _Hook._
    Hook. London, 1867.

  History of the Abbey of St. Albans, by the Rev.     _Newcome._
     Peter Newcome. London, 1793-95.

  Projet d'Assassinat de Philippe le Bon par les      _Desplanque,
     Anglais, par M. H. Desplanque. In Mémoires        Projet
     Couronnés par l'Académie Royale de Belgique.      d'Assassinat._
     Vol. 32. Brussels, 1867.

  Das Bundniss von Canterbury, by Jacob Caro.         _Caro, Bundniss
    Gotha, 1880.                                       von Canterbury._

  Lives of Nottinghamshire Worthies, by Cornelius
  Brown. London, 1882.
    W. H. Stevenson's article on Ralph, Lord

  Statutes of the Order of the Bath, with             _Anstis, Order of
    Introductory Essay by John Anstis. London, 1725.   the Bath._

  The Register of the Most Noble Order of the         _Anstis, Order of
    Garter. Ed. by John Anstis. London, 1724.          the Garter._

  Memorials of the Most Noble Order of the Garter,    _Beltz._
    by George Frederick Beltz. London, 1841.

  Historical Tracts, by Joseph Hunter. No. 1.         _Hunter's Hist.
    'Agincourt.' 1850.                                 Tracts._
      Contains a list of the commanders and their
      escorts taken from an old Muster Roll.

  History of the Battle of Agincourt, by Sir H. N.    _Nicolas,
    Nicolas. London, 1832.                             Agincourt._

  Contains Muster Rolls of the English Army in
    an Appendix.

  Chronicles of London Bridge, by an Antiquary.       _Chronicles of
    London, 1827.                                      London Bridge._
      Now known to be by Richard Thompson.

  The Baronage of England, by William Dugdale.        _Dugdale._
    London, 1675-76.

  The Historic Peerage of England, by Sir H. N.       _Nicolas,
    Nicolas. London, 1887.                             Peerage._

  The Official Baronage of England, by James E.       _Doyle._
     Doyle. London, 1886.

  A Genealogical History of the Kings of England      _Sandford,
    from 1066-1677, by Francis Sandford. In the        Genealogical
     Savoy, 1677.                                      Hist._


  The Middle-English Translation of Palladius De Re   _Palladius._
    Rustica. Ed. by Mark Liddell. Berlin, 1896.

  Vite di Uomini Illustri del Sec. XV., scritte da    _Vespasiano._
    Vespasiano da Bisticci. Florence, 1859.
      The compilation of the famous fifteenth-century
      Florentine bookseller.

  Scriptorum Illustrium majoris Brytanniae Catalogus  _Bale._
    Auctore Joanne Baleo. Basle, 1559.

  De Rebus Britannicis Collectanea, by John Leland.   _Leland,
    London, 1774.                                      Collectanea._

  Commentarii de Scriptoribus Britannicis, by John    _Leland,
    Leland. Oxford, 1709.                              Commentarii._

  Relationum Historicarum de Rebus Anglicis Joannis   _Pits._
    Pitsei Tomus Primus (all published). Paris, 1619.

  Bibliotheca Britannico-Hibernica, by Thomas         _Tanner, Bibl.
    Tanner. London, 1748.                              Brit._

  Die Wiederbelebung des Classischen Alterthums,      _Voigt._
    von Georg Voigt. Berlin, 1881.

  Geschichte der Classichen Litteratur in             _Heeren._
    Mittelalter, von A. H. L. Heeren. Göttingen,

  Histoire Littéraire du Peuple Anglais, by J. J.
    Jusserand. Paris, 1894. London, 1895.

  History of English Poetry, by Thomas Warton. Ed.    _Warton._
    by W. Carew Hazlitt. London, 1871.

  De Studiis Literariis Medislanensium, Auctore       _Sassi, De
    Joseph Antonio Saxio. Milan, 1729.                 Studiis

  Historia Literario-typographica Mediolanensis,      _Sassi, Historia
    Auctore Joseph Antonio Saxio. Milan, 1745.         Literario-

  Della Letteratura Veronese al cadere del Secolo     _Giuliari._
    XV. e Delle sue opere a stampa. Per il Conte
    Giovanni Battista Carlo Giuliari. Bologna, 1876.

  Renaissance in Italy, by John Addington Symonds.
    London, 1901.

  Studji sulle Opere Latine del Boccaccio, by         _Hortis._
    Attilio Hortis. Trieste, 1879.

  Cent Dix Lettres grecques de François Filelfe.      _Cent Dix Lettres
    Translation et notes de Emile Legrand. Paris,      grecques._

  Le Cabinet des Manuscrits de la Bibliothèque
    Impériale, par Léopold Delisle. Paris, 1868.

  Romania, edited by Paul Meyer and Gaston Paris,     _Romania._
    vol. XV. Paris, 1886.
      _Article_ Les Manuscrits Français de Cambridge,
        by P. Meyer.

  The Athenæum Journal, November 17, 1888.            _Athenæum._
    Article on a manuscript translation of Palladius
      'De Re Rustica' in the Library of Earl
      Fitzwilliam at Wentworth-Woodhouse.

  A Catalogue of Editions of Aristotle's Nicomachean
    Ethics, printed in the fifteenth century. By Henry
    W. Chandler. Privately printed (twenty-five copies).
    Oxford, 1868.

  Early Dedications to Englishmen by Foreign Authors  _Bibliographica._
    and Editors in Bibliographica, by W. D. Macray.
    Vol. i. Part III. London, 1895.

  Facsimiles of Manuscripts and Inscriptions. Ed. by
    E. A. Bond, E. Maunde Thompson, and C. J. Warner.
    Second Series. London, 1889-94.

  The History and Antiquities of the Colleges and     _Wood, History of
    Halls in the University of Oxford, by Anthony      the Antiquities
    Wood. Edited and translated by J. Gutch. Oxford,   of the University
    1786.                                              of Oxford._
      Fasti Oxoniensis.  Appendix volume to above.
        Oxford, 1790.

  Annals of the Bodleian, by W. D. Macray. Second     _Macray, Annals
    edition. Oxford, 1890.                             of Bodleian._

  Pietas Oxoniensis, in memory of Sir Thomas Bodley,
    Knight. October 1902.

  A History of the University of Oxford to the year
    1530, by H. C. Maxwell-Lyte. London, 1886.

  Froissart. Étude Littéraire sur le 14me siècle, par
    M. Kervyn de Lettenhove. Paris, 1857.

  The Italian Renaissance in England, by Lewis        _Einstein._
    Einstein. New York, 1902.


  Lancaster and York, by Sir James Ramsay. Oxford,    _Ramsay._

  The Constitutional History of England, by Bishop    _Stubbs._
    Stubbs. Oxford, 1878.

  The History of England, 1377-1485, by C. Oman
    (vol. iv. of The Political History of England).
    London, 1906.

  Geschichte von England, von Dr. R. Pauli. Gotha,

  The History of England during the Middle Ages, by   _Sharon-Turner._
    Sharon-Turner. London, 1853.

  General History of England (to 1654), by Thomas     _Carte, Hist. of
    Carte. London, 1747-55.                            Eng._

  Biographical History of England, by J. Granger.
    London, 1775.

  Henry V., by C. L. Kingsford. New York, 1894.       _Kingsford._

  Henry of Monmouth, by the Rev. J. Endell Tyler.     _Tyler, Henry of
    London, 1838.                                      Monmouth._

  Jakobäa von Bayern und Ihre Zeit, von France von    _Löher, Jakobäa
    Löher. Nordlingen, 1869.                           von Bayern._

  A Mediæval Princess. Jacqueline, Countess of        _Putnam, A
    Holland. By Ruth Putnam. London, 1904.             Mediæval

  Histoire de Charles vii., par Gaston Du Fresne de   _De Beaucort._
    Beaucourt. Paris, 1881-91.

  Le Connétable de Richemont, par E. Cosneau. Paris,

  Geschichte Kaiser Sigmunds, von Joseph Aschbach.    _Aschbach._
    Hamburg, 1838-45.

  A History of the Papacy, by Bishop Creighton.       _Creighton's
    London, 1897.                                      Papacy._


  Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. xxviii.
    An excellent article on the life of Gloucester.

  Bilder aus Alt-England, von R. Pauli. Gotha, 1860.
    Contains a short popular account of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester.

  Serapeum, vol. vi. Leipzig, 1845. Article by E. G. Vogel,
    'Erinnerungen an einige verdientsvolle Bibliophilen des
    vierzehnten und funfzehnten Jahrhunderts,' pp. 11-16.
      A good short sketch of Gloucester, especially with regard to his
        patronage of literature.

  Episodes in the career of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, and his first
    Duchess, and their connexion with the Abbey of St. Albans, by G. R.
    Wright. In the Journal of the British Archæological Association.
    London, 1871.
      Slight and incorrect.

  Transactions of the St. Albans and Hertfordshire Architectural and
    Archæological Society, 1903-1904.
      Humphrey of Gloucester, by Mrs. Maude C. Knight.

  Memoirs of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester (As they relate to the
    Story of Mr. Phillips's Tragedy of that Name; and proper to be
    Bound up with it). London: Printed for Thomas Corbett, at
    Addison's Head, next to the Rose Tavern, without Temple Bar; And
    sold by T. Payne, near Stationers'-Hall, 1723. Price 6d.
      A curious little pamphlet of 32 pages, but totally devoid of
        historical value.



  Stowe MS., 668.
    Heraldic and some other Collections, including the letters exchanged
      between the Dukes of Gloucester and Burgundy.

  Cotton MS., Claudius, A. viii.

    (1) 'A Chronicle of King Henry V.'
          The last part of a much longer chronicle, probably a
          continuation of the Brut.

    (2) A schedule of the charges of the Monastery of St. Albans for
          making the tomb of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, and for
          perpetual masses for his soul.

  Cotton MS., Claudius, D. i.
    Letters written by Wheathampsted, Abbot of St. Albans.

  Cotton MS., Nero, D. vii.
    Register of enrolments in the Fraternity of the Abbey of St. Albans.

  Cotton MS., Julius, B. ii.
    A London Chronicle extending from 1189 to 1432, and probably written
      about 1435.

  Cotton MS., Cleopatra, C. iv.
    Among other items contains a London Chronicle, written in three
      different fifteenth-century hands, and covering the years 1414-43.

  Cotton MS., Vitellius, A. xvi.
    A London Chronicle, in three different hands, and written at three
      different periods, covering the years 1399-1516, though up to
      1440 it is almost identical with the two chronicles above.

  These three chronicles all bear a strong affinity to Lond. Chron. and
  Gregory. (See Printed Books. Contemporary Chroniclers who wrote in
  England.) Since the references have been taken for the present work,
  all three, with the exception of the earlier part of Vitellius, A.
  xvi., have been printed in 'Chronicles of London,' ed. by C. L.
  Kingsford. Oxford, 1905. The references to the folios of the MSS. have
  been retained, as thereby the various authorities can be
  distinguished, and their verification does not necessitate recourse to
  the MSS., as Mr. Kingsford has marked the folios in the margin to the
  text of his edition. An excellent discussion of the dates of
  compilation and the relationship between these and other London
  Chronicles is to be found in Mr. Kingsford's introduction.

  Harleian MS., 139.
    A collection of documents relating to the County of Chester.

  Harleian MS., 2251.
    Collection of poems, including some by Lydgate.

  Harleian MS., 2256.
    The Chronicle known as the Brut, continued down to the capture of
      Joan of Arc.

  Lansdowne MS., 874.
    Heraldic Notes and Drawings, by H. St. George and Nicholas Charles,
      Lancaster-Heralds. Dated 1610.

  Lansdowne MS., 1.
    Burghley Papers.

  Arundel MS., 34.
    'Registrum Abbatiae S. Albani. Register of Lands, Tenements, etc.,
      by John Wethampstede and Thomas Rameyge, Abbots of St. Albans.

  Arundel MS., 66.
    A collection of astrological and prophetical documents.

  Additional MS., 34,360.
    Collection of poems, including Lydgate's 'Epitaphium Ducis

  Additional MS., 15,664.
    Topographical Collections.

  Additional MS., 26,784.
    Various documents.

  Additional MS., 29,729.
    Collection of poems, including some by Lydgate.

  Additional MS., 4608.
    Collection of documents relating to the reign of Henry VI.

  Sloane MS., 407.
    Astronomical tables and calculations of the fifteenth century.

  Additional Charters, 44,531.
    Papal Bull.


  Bodley MS., 263.
    'The Falls of Princes,' by John Lydgate.

  Bodley MS., 3618 (M. Museo, 119).
    Works by Pietro del Monte and Lapo da Castiglionchio, bearing
      dedicatory epistles to the Duke of Gloucester.

  Bodley MS., 2143 (Auct. F., v. 27).
    Leonardi Bruni's dedication to the Duke of Gloucester, prefixed to
      his translation of Aristotle's 'Politics.'

  Rawlinson MS., Classis, C. 813.
    Collection of Songs.

  Rawlinson MS., Classis, C. 398.
    Richard Rede's Chronicle.

  James MS., 30.
    Various Collections.

  Tanner MS., 196.
    Monastic Collections.

  Ashmole MS., 59.
    Collection of Poems, including one on Jacqueline of Hainault, by

  Ashmole MS., 784.
    Notes on Churches, by Ashmole.

  Ashmole MS., 856.
    Collection of Tracts and Documents, by Ashmole.

  Ashmole MS., 1109.
    Miscellaneous Collection, by Ashmole.

  Ashmole MS., 1121.
    Heraldic Collections, by Ashmole.

  Ashmole MS., 1137.
    Heraldic Collections, by Ashmole.

  Hearne MS., Diary.
    The diary of the famous antiquary and editor, Thomas Hearne, who
      became Assistant Librarian of the Bodleian Library in 1712.

  Twyne Collectanea.
    Notes by the antiquary, John Twyne.


  Patent Rolls.                                     Cited as _Rot. Pat._

  Duchy of Lancaster Records.

  Chancery Inquisitiones Post Mortem, 25 Henry VI., No. 26.
                                                    Cited as _Inq. P.M._

  Inquisitiones Ad Quod Damnum, 20-22 Henry VI.
                                                  Cited as _Inq. A.Q.D._

  Ancient Correspondence, vols. xliii., xliv., lvii.

  Ancient Petitions.

  Roman Transcripts (Stevenson), vol. v.

  Chester Roll, 1-20 Henry VI.

  Minister's Accounts, Bundle 893.

  Accounts, etc., Exchequer Queen's Remembrancer.

  Miscellaneous Rolls.

  Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer Foreign Accounts.
                                     Cited as _L.T.R. Foreign Accounts._


Durham MS., C. iv. 3.
  A copy of Pier Candido Decembrio's Translation of Plato's 'Republic,
    containing a letter addressed by the Duke of Gloucester to the
    Archbishop of Milan.


Cod. Laurentiano, Plut., lxiii. 30.
  Lapo da Castiglionchio's Translation of Plutarch's 'Life of
    Artaxerxes,' together with a dedicatory epistle addressed to the
    Duke of Gloucester.

Cod. Riccardiano, 827.
  A letter-book of Pier Candido Decembrio. Some of these letters have
    been printed in the _English Historical Review_, vol. xix.


MS. in a Private Library.
  A Latin Translation of Boccaccio's 'Corbaccio,' by Antonio di
    Beccaria, containing a dedicatory epistle to the Duke of
    Gloucester. The owner of this MS. does not wish his name to be
    published, but he has kindly allowed a photograph of the dedicatory
    epistle to be taken, and this is now in the possession of the
    present author.


In a MS. belonging to Lord Leicester there is contained, amongst other
  entries in a seventeenth-century hand, a life of Humphrey, Duke of
  Gloucester, entitled 'The Historie of the high borne Renowned and most
  illustriously noble Prince Humphrie, commonly called The good Duke of
  Gloucester, by J. C. Philopatris.' J. C. stands for John Cooper, and
  the whole compilation is a mere copying of sixteenth-century
  chroniclers, and has no historical value. It has been referred to in
  the notes more as an indication of its scope than as an authority.
                                                  Cited as _Holkham MS._

_N.B._--Various Manuscripts, which originally formed part of the Duke of
Gloucester's Library, are alluded to and quoted in the text. These are
described in detail in Appendix A., and are therefore not enumerated


  ABBEVILLE, 27, 97, 98.

  Abingdon, 222, 223;
    St. Helen's Church, 448.

  ---- Henry, 388.

  Aboo-l-Hassan, 345, 433.

  Ægidius Romanus, 24, 286, 414, 415, 427, 435.

  Agincourt, battle of, 20, 26, 28-32, 33, 48, 49, 69, 82, 90, 100, 102,
      260, 282, 340, 390.

  Albret, Sire de, 20, 29, 30, 32.

  Alcuin of York, 386.

  Alençon, Duke of, 29, 30, 31, 32.

  ---- siege of, 50, 51;
    truce of, 51;
    conference at, 75.

  Alfen, battle of, 169.

  Alfonso, Bishop of Burgos, 359.

  ---- King of Aragon and Naples, 375, 376, 421, 438.

  Alnwick, William, Bishop of Norwich, 115, 179, 272, 329, 338.

  Amadeus, Duke of Savoy (later, Pope Felix v.), 196, 197.

  Amiens, 27, 130, 132, 320.

  Anne of Burgundy. _See_ Duchess of Bedford.

  Antigone, daughter of Gloucester, 335.

  Appuleius, 363, 365, 368.

  Aquinas, Thomas, 410.

  Arc, Jeanne de, 214, 278.

  Aretinus. _See_ Bruni.

  Aristotle, 344, 350, 352, 354, 412, 420, 427.

  Armagnac, Bernard, Count of, 70.

  ---- John, Count of, 75, 283, 285.

  ---- party, 11, 12, 13, 39, 73, 284, 318, 319.

  Arras, Archbishop of, 148.

  ---- Congress of (1435), 245, 258;
    heavy expenses of, 262, 264;
    Gloucester's attitude towards, 318.

  Arras, Treaty of (1415) between Burgundian and Armagnac party, 12;
    second Treaty (1435), 245, 246.

  Arthur, son of Gloucester, 293, 303, 335.

  Artois, county of, 141, 151, 154, 156, 247;
    raid into, 252;
    embassy from, 138.

  Arundel, Thomas Fitz-Allen, Earl of, 34.

  Ashley, George, 393.

  Aslak, Walter, 191.

  Athanasius, St., 377, 385, 416, 430, 435.

  Averrois, 412.

  BABTHORP, Sir Robert, 230, 237.

  Babwell, monastery of, 294.

  Bacon, Roger, 411.

  Bailleul, capture of, 252.

  Balbo, Scaramuccia, 365.

  Bar, Duke of, 29, 32.

  Barbaro, Francesco, 370.

  Bardney, Abbey of, 8.

  Basel, Council of, 328, 329, 351.

  Basin, Thomas 45, 413.

  Bath, Order of, 3, 4.

  ---- Bishop of. _See_ Stafford, John, and Beckington, Thomas.

  Bavaria, John, Duke of, 93, 134, 142, 150.

  Bayeux, 54, 56, 59, 60, 70, 322, 354;
    siege of, 49, 50.

  ---- Bishop of. _See_ Castiglione.

  Baynarde's Castle, 445, 446.

  Beauchamp, William, 44, 57, 75, 76.

  Beaufort, Henry, Cardinal Bishop of Winchester, 14, 15, 78, 90, 105,
      114, 123, 124, 125, 137, 168, 173, 187, 212, 214, 226, 235-239,
      248, 271, 280, 307, 308, 312, 314, 316, 319, 320, 330, 336, 337,
      345, 369, 397, 448;
    character, 105, 168, 185;
    designated guardian of Henry VI., 103;
    quarrel with Henry V., 107 and note 419;
    opposition to Gloucester, 109-115;
    influence predominant in the Council, 115, 116;
    constitutional pose, 118, 308;
    love of political power and money, 118;
    dislike of Gloucester, 162-164;
    orders Gloucester to be excluded from Tower, 170 and note 624;
    attacks London with armed force, 171, 172;
    misrepresents Gloucester to Bedford, 176, 236-238;
    defends his actions before Lords of Parliament, 181-186;
    resigns Chancellorship, 187;
    accompanies Bedford to France, 192;
    created Cardinal, 192;
    returns to England, 212;
    his bishopric called in question, 213;
    secures his right to sit in Council, 217;
    accompanies Henry VI. to France, 219;
    appointed to treat with France for peace, 221;
    becomes liable to the penalties of Præmunire, 225, 226;
    vindicates himself before Parliament, 232-234;
    favours continuation of war, 246;
    treats with French envoys, 259;
    his peace policy, 259;
    procures release of Duke of Orleans, 260;
    attacked by Gloucester, 260-264;
    plans marriage for Henry VI., 282;
    influence with Martin V., 324;
    his Church policy, 325-328;
    legacy to Oxford University, 397.

  Beaufort, Lady Joan. _See_ Joan of Scotland.

  ---- party, 13, 282, 287, 288, 314.

  Beaugé, battle of, 91, 97.

  Beaugency, capture of, 100, 101.

  Beauvais, 98.

  ---- Vincent of, 411.

  Bec Hellouin, Abbey of, capture of, 70.

  Beccaria, Antonio di, 395, 431;
    Gloucester's secretary, 377;
    translates books for Gloucester, 378;
    appreciation of Gloucester's literary taste, 378, 379;
    translation of Boccaccio's _Corbaccio_, 377, 378;
    translation of discourses of St. Athanasius, 435.

  Beckington, Thomas, Bishop of Bath, 283, 284, 376, 388, 389, 418.

  Bede, the Venerable, 410, 411.

  Bedford, John, Duke of, 10, 14, 15, 16, 45, 80, 81, 85, 90, 116, 119,
      193, 198, 221, 237, 259, 300, 312, 322, 327, 334, 338, 345, 346,
      347, 376, 384, 397, 402 note 1333, 404, 416, 417, 418, 438;
    Knight of the Bath, 3;
    Knight of the Garter, 7;
    character, 105;
    favours alliance with Burgundy, 12;
    Lieutenant of England, 35 note 148;
    meets Sigismund at Rochester, 37;
    Regent of England (1417), 44;
    marriage proposals, 75;
    escorts Queen Catherine to France, 102;
    Regent of kingdom of France and of Duchy of Normandy (1422), 103;
    appointed Protector, 114;
    his salary, 119;
    alliance with Gloucester, 117, 118 and 118 note 445;
    marries Anne of Burgundy, 128;
    mediates between Gloucester and Burgundy, 132-164;
    summoned to appease the quarrel of Gloucester and Beaufort, 175-187;
    swears not to infringe the rights of the Council, 190;
    interferes to prevent expedition to Hainault, 201, 202;
    marries Jacquetta of Luxemburg, 235;
    his difficulties in France, 214;
    powers demanded if he is to govern England, 240, 241;
    quarrel with Gloucester, 242-244;
    results of his death, 245-248.

  Bedford, Anne, Duchess of, 128, 130, 192, 235.

  ---- Jacquetta, Duchess of, 235, 236.

  Bedfordshire, disturbances in, 211, 212.

  Bellesme surrendered, 51.

  Benedict XIII., Antipope, 126.

  Benoist, William, 140.

  Berri, Duke of, 9, 14.

  Bersuyre, Pierre, 438.

  Binham, Prior of, 338.

  Biondo, Flavio, 388.

  Blanche of Navarre, 75, 76.

  Boccaccio, Giovanni, 343, 344, 362, 377, 378, 391, 413, 437.

  Bolingbroke, Roger, trial and execution, 270-278.

  Bonville, Sir William, 314.

  Books, given by Gloucester to Oxford, 403 and note 1337, 404, 407 and
      note 1352, 412, 413.

  Bostock, John. _See_ Wheathampsted.

  Bouchain, 94, 141, 159.

  Bourbon, Duke of, 9.

  Bouteiller, Guy le, 72.

  Boutillier, Ralph de, 139.

  Boyle, Philip, 375.

  Brabant, John, Duke of, 138, 142, 144, 145, 146, 149, 150, 151,
      152, 153;
    marriage with Countess of Hainault, 92;
    character, 92;
    disposes of his wife's territory, 93;
    marriage complications, 126, 127, 131-136;
    recognises Duke of Burgundy as his heir, 133, 135;
    his indifference, 135, 136, 150;
    treaty with Burgundy, 165;
    death, 198.

  Bracciolini, Poggio, 350, 370;
    love of the Classics, 345;
    visit to England, 345;
    impressions of England, 356.

  Braine-le-Comte, siege of, 151, 152, 156.

  Bredenaide, 253.

  Bretigny, Treaty of, 77, 78.

  Bristol, 394, 421.

  Brittany, Duke of, 51, 130 note 482, 192.

  Bruni, Leonardo, 'Aretinus,' 351, 368, 419, 421;
    translation of Aristotle's _Politics_, 352;
    shiftiness and greed, 355, 356, 388;
    letters to the Archbishop of Milan, 357, 358.

  Buckingham, Humphrey, Duke of, Earl of Stafford, 249;
    mediates between Beaufort and Gloucester, 176, 179;
    turbulence of, 230;
    Captain of Calais, 269;
    commissioner of sorcery, 272;
    arrests Gloucester, 293.

  Burgundy, John, 'Sans Peur,' Duke of, 29, 35, 40, 50, 77;
    instigates murder of, Duke of Orleans, 11;
    driven from Paris, 11;
    treaty with Henry V., 11, 12;
    meets Henry V. at Calais, 41, 42;
    secures Paris, 70;
    promise to relieve Rouen, 73;
    sends ambassadors to Henry V., 75;
    treats with Henry V. at Meulan, 78;
    murder, 86;
    his policy with regard to Hainault, 92.

  ---- Philip, 'Le Bon,' Duke of, 29, 40, 42, 126, 128, 146, 147, 150,
        164, 247, 252, 311, 317, 318, 335;
    entertains Gloucester at St. Omer, 40, 41;
    joins Henry V. at Montreuil, 98;
    refusal to receive the Garter, 131;
    recognised as John of Brabant's heir, 133;
    truce with Charles VII., 139;
    supposed plot to murder, 140;
    his troops invade Hainault, 151-158;
    correspondence with Gloucester, 154-156;
    threatens to besiege Mons, 158;
    treaty with Brabant, 165, 166;
    prepares for duel with Gloucester, 166;
    declares himself Regent of Jacqueline's dominions, 198;
    English dislike of, 200, 201;
    truce with Gloucester, 202;
    annoyance at Bedford's second marriage, 235;
    peace with French King, 246;
    desires peace with England, 246;
    besieges Calais, 250.

  Burgundian party, 11, 75.

  Bury of St. Edmunds, Abbey of, 241, 291, 390, 448.

  ---- Richard of, 391, 419.

  Cade, Jack, 297 and note 1032, 306, 445, 451, 452.

  Caen, 49, 50, 51, 52, 56, 70;
    siege of, 45-48.

  Calais, 26, 28, 32, 36, 39, 93, 94, 97, 138, 159, 235, 247, 253, 319;
    conference at, 40, 41;
    siege of, 248-250.

  Cambridge, Richard, Earl of, his conspiracy, 15;
    executed, 16.
  Cambridge, King's College, 303, 435, 442, 446.

  Camoys, Lord, 29, 40, 250.

  Canterbury, 9, 37, 220, 423;
    cathedral library of, 345.

  ---- Archbishop of. _See_ Chichele.

  Capgrave, John, 386, 387, 416, 417, 428;
    his _Chronicle of England_, 385;
    connection with Gloucester, 385;
    his _Commentary on Genesis_, 323, 385.

  Carbone, Lodovico, 422.

  Carentan, surrender of, 58.

  Carlisle, Bishop of, 226, 227.

  Cassidorus, 411.

  Castiglionchio, Lapo da, 374, 375;
    translation of Plutarch, 372, 373;
    his _Comparatio Studiorum et Rei Militaris_, 373.

  Castiglione, Zano,
    Bishop of Bayeux, 247, 354, 360, 364, 373, 417, 422, 436;
    admiration of Gloucester, 338, 374;
    introduces Gloucester to Italian humanists, 351, 372;
    represents Henry VI. at Council of Basel and Council of Florence,
    buys books for Gloucester, 351, 352;
    correspondence with Decembrio, 355, 356.

  Catherine of Burgundy, 12.

  ---- Queen of Henry V., 12, 75, 78, 86, 166, 215;
    marriage contract with Henry V., 87;
    enters London, 89;
    coronation, 90;
    pilgrimage to various shrines, 91;
    goes to France, 102;
    present at opening of Parliament (1423), 120;
    married to Owen Tudor, 256;
    death, 256.

  Cato, 384.

  Caudebec, capture of, 71, 72.

  Caux, Chef de, 20.

  Celsus, Cornelius, 363, 380.

  Censorius, 365 note 1217.

  Chamberlain, Sir Roger, 293.

  Chandler, Thomas, 389.

  Charles of Anjou, 283.

  ---- IV., Emperor, 35.

  ---- V., King of France, library of 345, 428, 432.

  ---- VI., King of France, 13, 50, 77, 78, 86, 87, 117, 417.

  Charles VII., King of France, 70, 85, 97, 98, 99, 100, 117, 201,
        260, 264;
    challenged by Henry V. to single combat, 26, 45;
    fails to meet Henry V. at Rouen, 75;
    truce with Burgundy, 139, 151;
    treats with English at Arras, 244, 245;
    peace with Burgundy, 246.

  ---- III., King of Navarre, 75, 76.

  Charolais, Count of. _See_ Burgundy, Philip of.

  Chartres, 97, 98.

  Chastellain, George, 451.

  Châtel, Tanneguy du, 70.

  Chaucer, Geoffrey, 389, 391, 395, 396, 445.

  Cherbourg, 53, 56, 106, 320;
    siege of, 60-69.

  Chichele, Henry,
    Archbishop of Canterbury, 14, 37, 115, 139, 176, 179, 212, 239, 262,
        272, 397;
    at conference of Meulan, 78;
    at coronation of Catherine, 90;
    opening speech in Parliament (1422), 113;
    mediates between Gloucester and Beaufort, 172;
    objects to Cardinal Legate in England, 192;
    crowns Henry VI., 214;
    one of the Duchess of Gloucester's judges, 271;
    quarrel with Pope Martin V., 324-327.

    attitude towards French war, 12;
    fear of Lollards, 195;
    attack on endowments of, 222.

  Cicero, 344, 351, 361, 365, 412, 436.

  Cinque Ports, 34, 36, 95, 137;
    Barons of, 89, 96, 220, 297, 336.

  Clarence, Thomas, Duke of, 3, 7, 8, 13, 37, 78, 79, 80, 90, 98, 334,
    favours Armagnac party, 12;
    summons jury to try Southampton conspirators, 16;
    at siege of Harfleur, 21-26;
    Constable of army (1417), 45;
    at siege of Caen, 46-58;
    at siege of Falaise, 53;
    in command of army, 54;
    opens up way to Rouen, 70;
    at siege of Rouen, 70-74;
    accompanies Henry V. to Mantes, 78;
    defeated and slain at Beaugé, 91.

  Clement, Vincent, 323, 376.

  Cobham, Eleanor. _See_ Gloucester, Duchess of.

  ---- Reginald, commonly called Lord Cobham, 64 note 271, 165 and
      note 604, 248.

  Cods, faction of, 91, 92 note 369, 145.

  Coimbra, Duke of, 172, 175.

  Columella, 365, 368.

  Condé-sur-Noireau, capture of, 57 and note 240.

  Constance, Council of, 36, 42, 127, 134, 192, 324, 345, 430.

  Constitutional development in England, 181, 193, 209.

  Conversan, Count of, 146.

  Cornwall, Sir John, 27, 71, 176.

  Côtentin, 70, 337; expedition in, 55-59.

  Coutances, capture of, 59.

  Cromwell, Ralph, Lord, 176, 179, 282;
    member of Regency Council, 115;
    superseded as Chamberlain, 230;
    attack on Gloucester, 234;
    Treasurer, 237;
    commissioner on