Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 36.djvu/146

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Margaret
Margaret
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xxxviii). On 28 May the truce of Tours was signed, to last for nearly two years, between England and France and their respective allies, among whom King René was included (Cosneau, Les Grands Traités de la Guerre de Cent Ans, pp. 152–71).

Various difficulties put off the actual celebration of Margaret's marriage. Her father went to war against the city of Metz, and was aided by Charles VII. Financial difficulties delayed until December the despatch of the magnificent embassy which, with Suffolk, now a marquis, at its head, was destined to fetch Margaret to England. Suffolk, on reaching Lorraine, found René, with his guest King Charles, intent upon the reduction of Metz. The further delay that ensued suggested both to contemporaries and to later writers that fresh difficulties had arisen. It was believed in England that Charles and René sought to impose fresh conditions on Suffolk, and that the English ambassador, apprehensive of the failure of the marriage treaty, was at last forced into accepting the French proposal that Le Mans and the other towns held by the English in Maine should be surrendered to Charles, the titular count of Maine, and René's younger brother. The story is found in Gascoigne's ‘Theological Dictionary’ (Loci e libro Veritatum, pp. 190, 204, 219, ed. J. E. T. Rogers) and in the ‘Chronicle’ of Berry king-at-arms (Godefroy, Charles VII, p. 430), and has been generally in some form accepted by English writers, including Bishop Stubbs, Mr. J. Gairdner, and Sir James Ramsay (Hist. of England, 1399–1485, ii. 62), who adduces some rather inconclusive evidence in support of it. The story seems mere gossip, and was perhaps based upon an article of Suffolk's impeachment. There is not a scrap of evidence that Suffolk made even a verbal promise, and none that anything treacherous was contemplated (De Beaucourt, Hist. de Charles VII, iv. 167–8). Margaret, however, was carefully kept in the background, and may even, as has been suggested, have been hidden away in Touraine (Ramsay, ii. 62) while Suffolk was conducting the final negotiations at Nancy. She only reached Nancy early in February (Beaucourt, iv. 91; cf. Calmet, Hist. de Lorraine, Preuves, vol. iii. col. ccc. pp. ii–iii). At the end of the same month Metz made its submission to the two kings, and the French and Angevin courts returned to Nancy to a series of gorgeous festivities. Early in March the proxy marriage was performed at Nancy by the bishop of Toul, Louis de Heraucourt. Eight days of jousts, feasts, balls, and revelry celebrated the auspicious occasion. The marriage treaty was not finally engrossed until after Easter, when the court had quitted Nancy for Châlons. By it Margaret took as her only marriage portion to her husband the shadowy rights which René had inherited from his mother to the kingdom of Majorca and Minorca, and she renounced all her claims to the rest of her father's heritage. Margaret's real present to her husband was peace and alliance with France.

Margaret, escorted by Suffolk and a very numerous and brilliant following, was accompanied by her uncle, Charles VII, for the first two leagues out of Nancy, and she took leave of him in tears (Berry Roy d'Armes, p. 426). René himself accompanied Margaret as far as Bar-le-Duc, and her brother John, duke of Calabria, as far as Paris, which she reached on 15 March. On the 16th she was received with royal state at Notre-Dame in Paris. On 17 March the Duke of Orleans, the real author of the match, escorted her to the English frontier, which she entered at Poissy (Maupoint, ‘Journal Parisien,’ Mémoires de la Société de l'Histoire de Paris, iv. 32). There Richard, duke of York, governor of Normandy, received her under his care. She was conveyed by water down the Seine from Mantes to Rouen, where on 22 March a state entry into the Norman capital was celebrated. But Margaret did not appear in the procession, and the Countess of Salisbury, dressed in the queen's robes, acted her part (Mathieu D'Escouchy, i. 89). She was perhaps ill, a fact which probably accounts for a delay of nearly a fortnight before she was able to cross the Channel. She sailed from Harfleur in the cog John of Cherbourg, arriving on 9 April at Portsmouth, ‘sick of the labour and indisposition of the sea, by the occasion of which the pokkes been broken out upon her’ (Proceedings of Privy Council, VI. xvi). The disease can hardly, however, have been small-pox, as on 14 April she was well enough to join the king at Southampton (Wars of English in France, i. 449). On 23 April Bishop Ayscough of Salisbury repeated the marriage service at Tichfield Abbey. On 28 May Margaret solemnly entered London (Gregory, Chronicle, p. 186), passing under a device representing Peace and Plenty set up on London Bridge, and welcomed even by Humphrey of Gloucester, the most violent opponent of the French marriage. On 30 May she was crowned in Westminster Abbey by Archbishop Stafford. Three days of tournaments brought the long festivities to a close (Wyrcester, p. 764). Parliament soon conferred on Margaret a jointure of 2,000l. a year in land and 4,666l. 13s. 4d. a year in money (Rot. Parl. v. 118–20).