Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 01.djvu/436

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Anne
Anne
422

the charge of his son Richard’s education. It was he, moreover, who had gone to Prague on Richard’s behalf to ask Anne in marriage, and the queen was naturally interested in him more than the other victims. Richard himself interceded for him most urgently, and Anne was three hours on her knees before the lords praying that they would spare his life. But it was all to no purpose.

M’aime,’ said the Earl of Arundel to her with insolent familiarity, ‘pray for yourself, and for your husband; you had much better.’ Next year the king emancipated himself from the thraldom of the confederate lords. He asked his uncle Gloucester at the council table to tell him how old he was; and when the duke replied that he was twenty-two,

'Then,' said Richard, 'I must be able to manage my own affairs as every heir in my kingdom can do at twenty-one.' On this he commanded the great seal and the keys of the exchequer to be given up to him, dismissed Gloucester and most of the other lords, and governed for some years after with prudence and moderation. The only occurrence which for a while threatened to renew old differences was when in 1392 the king demanded a loan of 1,000l. from the city of London, which the citizens not only refused to give, but would not allow a willing lender to advance, insomuch that they nearly killed the Lombard who offered it. The king caused the mayor and sheriffs to be arrested, and it was decreed in council that the city should forfeit its privileges and be governed thenceforth by wardens. The city made a humble submission, and appealed to Queen Anne as mediatrix. Richard’s wrath was appeased.

‘I will go,’ he said, ‘to London and console the citizens; nor will I suffer them further to despair of my favour.’ He accordingly passed through the city on Wednesday, 21 Aug., in great pomp and splendour, the queen by his side wearing a rich golden crown that was presented to her at Southwark, and robes glittering all over with gems. During their whole progress the king and queen were received with enthusiasm. The ingenuity of the age had exhausted itself in devising pageants for their entertainment; and a minute account of the day’s festivity was composed in Latin verse by a contemporary poet. The procession ended at Westminster Hall, where Richard took his seat on the king’s bench, sceptre in hand, and the queen kneeling at his feet made her formal intercession for the city. Richard raised her from her knees and seated her beside himself; then addressing the mayor, assured him of renewed favour and gave him back the key and the sword. On 19 Sept. a formal pardon, dated at Woodstock, was granted to the mayor, sheriffs, and aldermen. It is four times stated in the document that it was granted at the intercession of the queen. Just before this great triumph, according to the date given in the contemporary memorandum, the king and queen dined in the refectory of the Grey Friars of Salisbury, with a great attendance of bishops and lords, on the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin (15 Aug.), 1392, the king wearing his crown and all the insignia of royalty (Eulogium, ed. Haydon, iii. 369). Tnis must have been the meeting of the council in which it was agreed on what terms the city of London should be restored to favour.

Two years later Anne died of the pestilence at Shene on Whit Sunday, 7 June 1394. She was mourned by her husband with a bitterness of grief that knew no moderation.

‘Besides cursing the place where she died,’ says the chronicler Stow, ‘he did also for anger throw down the buildings, unto the which the former kings, being wearied of the city, were wont for pleasure to resort.’ The funeral was put off till 3 Aug., in order that it might be made as magnificent as possible. Peers were required to be in attendance with their wives in London on the Wednesday previous, which was 29 July, and to accompany the corpse from Shene to Westminster the day before the interment. Abundance of wax was procured from Flanders for flambeaux. The rank of the deceased queen, as daughter of an emperor, was thought to require higher honours than had been paid even to Queen Philippa. Yet one disagreeable incident marred the solemnity. The turbulent Earl of Arundel, one of the five lords of 1387, absented himself from the procession which accompanied the body from St. Paul’s to Westminster, and then, arriving late at the abbey, asked permission to leave early on urgent business. Richard was deeply offended at what he evidently regarded as a wilful slight, and seems to have drawn his sword upon the earl. ‘The king himself,’ says the contemporary writer from whom our only knowledge of the incident is derived, ‘polluted the place with the blood of the Earl of Arundel at the commencement of the funeral office.’ He also ordered the earl that same day to the Tower, but a week later issued a warrant for his liberation (Rymer, vii. 784, 785). Anne died childless, but lamented by all, alike the great and the humble, to whom she had endeared herself by her constant desire to promote the general welfare. Her husband caused a gorgeous tomb to be erected over her at Westminster, and ordered his own effigy to be raised upon it alongside of hers,