Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 28.djvu/250

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Humphrey
Humphrey
244

state he would not answer for it to any person alive, save only to the king when he came of age' (Ord. P. C. iii. 241). Before Bedford's departure Gloucester, who was seriously ill at his house, was visited by the council, and swore that he would obey its commands. Bedford left England in March 1427, accompanied by Beaufort. Gloucester, on recovering from his illness, made offerings at St. Albans, whence he proceeded to Norwich to try some malefactors (Amundesham, i. 13). He returned to London in June.

Again protector, Gloucester returned to his old courses. He earned a stern reproof from Bedford for intriguing with his French council. During the spring of 1427 Jacqueline was in great distress, and kept sending piteous appeals for help to him and the council (Löher, Beiträge, prints them (pp.219 sq.) from the Lille Archives). Gloucester became anxious to assist her. He broke his promise to his brother, and in July persuaded the council to grant him five thousand marks with which to aid Jacqueline in Holland (Fœdera, x. 374). But the council insisted that no aggressions should be made without the consent of parliament. In January 1428 the pope annulled the marriage of Humphrey and Jacqueline.

In January 1428 the parliament, which had already assembled in the autumn before, held a second session. On 3 March Gloucester requested the lords to define his powers as protector. They answered that his powers were strictly limited by the act of his appointment, and that the title protector imported a personal duty of intendance to the actual defence of the land' (Rot. Parl. iv. 326). They now imposed a further check on his independence by directing Richard Beauchamp [q.v.], earl of Warwick, to act as the little king's preceptor in accordance with Henry V's intentions. Even his personal popularity was diminished. In 1428 a number of London housewives, 'of good reckoning and well apparrelled,' appeared before the lords, and protested against the shame of his abandoning his wife to her distress, while consoling himself with a harlot like Eleanor Cobham (Amundesham, i. 20; Stow, Annals, p.369). Proposals were made that he should submit his claims to Hainault to Bedford and Beaufort's arbitration (Stevenson, ii. 417-18). But in the same year Jacqueline gave up her heroic struggle. By the treaty of Delft in July she submitted to Philip; recognised him as her heir, and as co-regent of her territories; promised never to marry without his consent, and declared that she had never been lawfully married to Gloucester. Humphrey quietly acquiesced in her renunciation. Before 1431 (perhaps even in 1428, Beiträge, p.276) he married his mistress, Eleanor Cobham, who was generally styled the 'lady of Gloucester.' In 1433 Jacqueline married the leader of the Cabeljaus, Frans van Borsselen. On her death in 1436 Philip of Burgundy became lord of all the Netherlands. Gloucester had thus facilitated the extension of Philip's power, while hopelessly alienating him from England.

The mistakes of his enemies alone gave Gloucester a further lease of power. So early as 1424 he had posed as the champion of English liberties against the exactions of a papal collector (Beckington Correspondence,, i. 279). On 1 Sept. 1428 Gloucester, in the king's name, declined to recognise Cardinal Beaufort, who had just returned to England as papal legate. The request of the pope for a clerical tenth to carry on the Hussite crusade still further strengthened Gloucester's hands. In April 1429 he demanded whether his uncle, being a cardinal, ought to be allowed to act as prelate of the Garter on St. George's day, and the council begged Beaufort not to act, though they refused to settle the point.

The council was tired of Gloucester's protectorate, and procured the coronation of Henry VI on 6 Nov. 1429. Parliament then declared the protectorate at an end. On 15 Nov. Gloucester resigned his position, keeping only the title of chief councillor. Gloucester failed in an attempt to exclude Beaufort from the council. But when Beaufort accompanied Henry VI on his journey to be crowned in France, Gloucester was appointed lieutenant and warden of the kingdom (21 April 1430). During the next two years, in the king's absence, he retained this position, though finding much opposition from a powerful faction in the council, headed by Beaufort's friend, Archbishop Kemp [q.v.] In 1431 he took an active part in the trials of Lollard priests.

On 6 Nov. 1431 he urged Beaufort's removal both from the council and the bishopric of Winchester. On 28 Nov. he persuaded the council to draw up letters of attachment against the bishop for infringing the statute of præmunire, though their execution was put off till the king came back. On the same day Beaufort's friends retaliated by vainly attempting to deprive Gloucester, whose greediness was notorious, of his salary (Ord. P. C. iv. 103). He seized Beaufort's plate and jewels, and after Henry's return in February 1432 removed Kemp from the chancellorship and dismissed the other friends of Beaufort from office. Parliament met on 12 May, and Gloucester declared that he was anxious only to act as chief councillor with