Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 36.djvu/153

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Margaret
Margaret
147

household of fifteen noble persons to serve her in the house of Ludy Audley in London, where she had her dwelling (Waurin, p. 674). She was, however, moved about from one place to another, being transferred from London to Windsor, and thence to Watlingford, where she had as her keeper her old friend the Dowager Duchess of Suffolk, who lived not far off, at Ewelme (Paston Letters, ii. 33). The alliance between Louis XI and Edward IV, established by the treaty of Picquigny, led to her release. On 2 Oct. 1475 Louis stipulated for her liberation in return for a ransom of fifty thousand gold crowns and a renunciation of all her rights to the English throne (Champollion-Figeac, Lettres de Rois, &c. ii. 493-4 in Documents Inédits), Margaret was conveyed over the Channel to Dieppe, and thence to Rouen, where, on 29 Jan. 1476, she was transferred to the French authorities.

Margaret's active career was now over. Her father René had retired since 1470 to bis county of Provence. In his will, made in 1474, he had provided for Margaret a legacy of a thousand crowns of gold, and, if 'returned to France, an annuity of two thousand livres toumois, chargeable on the duchy of Bar, and the castle of Kœurs for dwelling (Lecoy, i. 392; Calmet, Hist. Lorraine, Preuves, iii. dclxxix). But Louis XI, angry at René's attempt to perpetuate the power of the house of Anjou, had taken Bar and Anjou into his own hands; so that Margaret on her arrival found herself dependent on the goodwill of her cousin. Louis conferred upon her a pension, but in return for this, and for the sum paid for her ransom, she had to make a full surrender of all her rights of succession to the dominions of her father and mother. The convention printed by Lecoy (Le Roi René, ii. 356-8). It was renewed in 1479 and 1480.

Margaret's father died in 1481, but it is probable that she never saw him after her return, as he lived entirely in Provence with his young wife, and cared for little but his immediate pleasures and interests. Her after Yolande she quarrelled with, having at the instigation of Louis XI brought a suit against her for the succession to their mother's estates. This deprived her of the asylum in the Barrois which her father had apointed. She therefore left Louppi, where she had previously lived (Calmet, iii. xxv, Preuves), and retired to her old haunts in Anjou. which after 1476 was again nominally ruled by her father. She dwelt first at the manor of Keenly, and later at the castle of Dampierre, near Saumur, There she lived in extreme poverty and isolation. She occupied herself by reading the touching treatise, composed at her request by Chastellain, which speaks of the misfortunes of the contemporary princes and nobles of her house and race and countries ('Le Temple du Boccace, remonstrances par manière de consolation à une désolée reine d'Angleterre,' printed in Chastellain, vii. 76-143, ed. Kervyn ; it includes a long imaginary dialogue between Margaret and Boccaccio). But her health soon gave way. On 2 Aug. 1483 she drew up her short and touching testament {printed by Lecoy, ii. 395-7), in which, 'sane of understanding, but weak and infirm of body,' she surrenders all her rights and property to her only protector. King Louis. If the king pleases, she desires to be buried in the cathedral of St. Maurice at Angers, by the side of her father and mother. 'Moreover my wish is, if it please the said lord king, that the small amount of property which God and he have given to me tw employed in burying me and in paying my debts, and in case that my goods are not sufficient for this, as I believe will be the case, I beg the said lord king of his favour to pay them for me, for in him is my sole hope and trust.' She died soon afterwards, on 25 Aug. 1482. Louis granted her request, and buried her with her ancestors in Angers Cathedral, where her tomb was destroyed during the Revolution. The attainder on her was reversed in 1485 by the first parliament of Henry VII (Rot. Parl, vi. 288).

Among the commemorations of Margaret in literature may be mentioned Michael Drayton's 'Miseries of Queen Marcaret' and the same writer's epistles between her and Suffolk in 'England's Heroical Epistles' (Spenser Soc. No. 46). Shakespeare is probably little responsible for the well-known portrait of Margaret in 'King Henry VI.' Margaret was also the heroine of an opera, composed about 1820 by Meyerbeer.

A list of portraits assumed to represent Margaret is given by Valiet de Virivilie in the Nouvelle Biographie Générale,' xxxiii. 693. These include a representation of her on tapestry at Coventry, figured by Shaw, 'Dresses and Decorations of the Middle Ages,' ii. 47, which depicts her as 'a tall stately woman, with somewhat of a masculine face.' But there is no reason for believing that this is anything but a conventional representation. The picture belonging to the Duke of Sutherland and supposed to represent Margaret's marriage to Henry (Catalogue of National Portrait Exhibition, 1866, p. 4) is equally suspected. The figure which Walpole thought represented Margaret is