Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 29.djvu/73

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

for a time, but in March 1330 Isabella and Mortimer procured the death of Edmund of Woodstock, earl of Kent [q. v.] This led Lancaster to make another effort against the queen and her favourite, and the king, tired of his mother's disgraceful tutelage, readily joined in his plans. In October Isabella and Mortimer, who now lived almost openly together, went to Nottingham to open a parliament (Knighton, c. 2553). On the night of 18 Oct. the attack was made on them. Both were arrested, despite Isabella's despairing cry, 'Sweet son, have pity on the gentle Mortimer!' Mortimer was speedily executed as a traitor (G. le Baker, p. 46; French Chron. of London, p. 63; Knighton, c. 2556; Ann. Paul. p. 352; Gesta Edwardi in Stubbs, ii. 101).

Isabella's power was now at an end, but Edward at the pope's entreaty hushed up the story of his mother's shame, and showed her every deference (Stubbs, Const. Hist. ii. 357). Numerous as were the articles on which Mortimer was condemned, nothing was said in the legal record of his adultery with the queen. The only charge against him which involved Isabella was one of causing discord between her and the late king (Rot. Parl. ii. 53). Though Isabella was forced to surrender her ill-gotten riches, the adequate dower of 3,000l. a year was assigned for her maintenance (Fœdera, ii. 835). It has often been said that Isabella lived the rest of her life in a sort of honourable imprisonment (Cont. G. De Nangis, ii. 120; Froissart,ii. 247), and her manor of Castle Rising, near Lynn in Norfolk, is generally regarded as the place of her confinement. But Castle Rising was only one of her favourite places of abode. The months immediately succeeding her fall were spent at Berkhampstead, while she passed her Christmas in 1330 at Windsor (Norfolk Archæology, iv. 61). In 1332 she received permission to dwell at Eltham whenever her health required a change of air. Her income was increased by the restoration of Ponthieu and Montreuil and other manors (Fœdera, ii. 893), and she was permitted to dispose of her goods by will. In June 1338 she was at Pontefract, and in 1344 she celebrated the king's birthday with him at Norwich (Murimuth, pp. 155, 231). At Castle Rising she lived a comfortable and somewhat luxurious life, as the presents of meat, wax, wine, swans, turbot, lampreys, and other delicacies from the neighbouring corporation of Lynn clearly show (Hist. MSS. Comm. 11th Rep. App. iii. 213-219). She amused herself with hawking and collecting relics, and went on pilgrimage to our Lady of Walsingham. She entertained her son on his frequent visits to her with no small state. Her numerous retinue sometimes quarrelled with the Lynn burgesses (ib. p. 217). In 1348 she was even proposed as a mediator for peace with France. She devoted herself to pious works, almsgiving, and charity, and finally took the habit of the sisters of Santa Clara (Chron. Lanercost, p. 266). She died on 23 Aug. 1358 at her castle of Hertford, and was buried in November in the Franciscan church at Newgate in London. There is a statue of her among the figures which adorn the tomb of her son, John of Eltham, at Westminster.

[Stubbs's Chron. of Edward I and Edward II, Thompson's Murimuth and Avesbury, Literæ Cantuarienses, Annales Monastici, Trokelowe (all the above in Rolls Ser.); Chron. Lanercost (Maitland Club); Galfridus le Baker, ed. E. M. Thompson; Cont. Guillaume de Nangis and Froissart, ed. Luce (both in Soc. de 1'Histoire de France); Rymer's Fœdera, vols. ii. and iii.; Rolls of Parliament, vol. ii. (Record ed.); Hist. MSS. Comm. llth Rep.; Harrod in Norfolk Archæology, iv. 59-68, 1855; Strickland's Queens of England, i. 326-76, 6 vol. ed.]

T. F. T.

ISABELLA (1332–1379), eldest daughter of Edward III and his queen Philippa, was born at Woodstock on 16 June 1332. In June 1335 her father made an unsuccessful attempt to arrange a marriage between her and Peter, son of Alfonso XI of Castile, who was afterwards betrothed to her younger sister Joanna (Fœdera, ii. 910). Negotiations were opened in November 1338 for a marriage between Isabella and Louis, son of Louis, count of Flanders, in place of her sister Joanna, whose name had been submitted in 1337 (ib. pp. 967, 998, 1063). This marriage was pressed by Edward through 1339 and 1340, but as the count was allied with France, while Edward was on friendly terms with the count's rebellious subjects, the proposals came to nothing. A new match with the son of John III, duke of Brabant, was planned for Isabella in 1344, and application was made to the pope for a dispensation, for the parties were within the prohibited degrees (ib. iii. 25). But after the murder of Edward's ally, Van Arteveld, the chief towns of Flanders sent deputies to the English king to suggest, along with other matters, that the scheme for a marriage between their count's son and Isabella should be renewed (Froissart, i. 207). The count fell at Crecy, and neither Edward's ambassadors nor the Flemings could induce the young count Louis, who was under the influence of Philip of France, to consent to marry Isabella. He defended his refusal by alleging that Isabella's father Edward had slain his father. His Flemish subjects punished his resistance to the match by placing him under restraint, and