Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 9.djvu/91

This page needs to be proofread.

9 th S. IX. Fun. 1, 1902.1



put on his lawn sleeves and proclaim King James III. Thackeray, in ' Esmond,' has given a remarkable and graphic description of the state of parties at that era, when certainly at least one-half of the people of England were on the side of the exiled family of Stuart.

There are many portraits in existence of Lady Margaret. One at Knowsley, the seat of the Earl of Derby, is engraved in Lodge's ' Portraits.' The artist does riot seem to be known, but was probably Holbein, as he painted the portrait of her third husband, Thomas Stanley, Earl of Derby, who pre- deceased her in 1504 Another very fine por- trait, probably a replica of this, is in the hall of St. John's College, Cambridge ; and there is a third at Melchbourne Park, the seat of Lord St. John. There are many smaller portraits in oils in existence of her, all de- picting a nunlike figure with the hands clasped in prayer, bearing out the idea of her devotional character; and her effigy in Henry VIT.'s Chapel in Westminster Abbey exactly corresponds. Her munificence was directed towards abodes of learning, and not to monastic foundations, though the object of both was much the same.

The first husband of this noble lady is buried in the presbytery of St. David's Cathe- dral, under a sumptuous tomb, on which it is said that Edmund Tudor was "father and brother of kings." He died in 1456, leaving an infant son only fifteen weeks old, after- wards Henry VI. This tomb was beauti- fully restored at the expense of the late Rev. John Lucy, of the ancient line of the Lucys of Charlecote, and rector of Hampton Lucy, co. Warwick. He also inserted at his own expense the beautiful mosaics and stained glass in the east window of the cathe- dral, which now needs a similar kindly and liberal hand for the restoration of the Lady Chapel at the eastern end. The well-known arms of Lucy, the three pikes or luces hauriant, may be seen on the encaustic tiles on the pave- ment of the presbytery. Her second husband was Sir Henry Stafford, second son of the great Duke of Buckingham, who probably fell in battle, and by him she had no issue. Her third husband was Thomas Stanley, the first Earl of Derby, who turned the scale in favour of her son at Bos worth Field in 1485, and proclaimed him king by the title of Henry VII. after the victory. He died in 1504, and was buried in the priory church of Burscough, in Lancashire, and by him she had rio issue.

Lady Margaret just witnessed the accession of her grandson Henry VIII. in 1509, then

a youth of great promise. She had seen many changes in her long life the fierce struggles in the Wars of the Hoses, the fatal battles of Towton, Mortimer's Cross, and Barnet, the accession of Richard III. and his final overthrow ; but she seems to have held aloof from strife as much as one in her prominent position possibly could. Her great and wise counsellor was John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, " a man," as Macaulay says, " worthy of a better age and a better cause." In her funeral sermon, preached by that prelate, it is said :

" She was bounteous and lyberal to every person of her knowledge or acquaintance. Avarice and covetyse she most especially hated, and sorrowed it full moche in all persons, but specially in ony that belonged unto her."

The Ouse still flows by Bletsoe, and, although sluggish, it is rather picturesque, and the water-lilies are very beautiful. Cow- per, who dwelt at Olney, some few miles higher up the river than Bletsoe, thus wrote of it and the lilies in some of his best-known lines :

The moon was shady, and soft airs

Swept Ouse's silent tide, When, 'scaped from literary cares,

I wandered on his side. It was the time when Ouse displayed

His lilies newly blown : Their beauties I, intent, surveyed, And one I wished my own.

JOHN PICKFORD, M.A. Newbourne Rectory, Woodbridge.

'BURIAL OF SIR JOHN MOORE. 'Although several articles have appeared in early volumes of ' N. & Q.' on the authorship of Wolfe's ode on the burial of Sir John Moore, I do not think there is any reference therein to the famous mistake that it was done

By the struggling moonbeams' misty light. My attention was again directed to the subject recently by reading a "leader" in the Daily News in which the writer, com- menting on mistakes made by popular writers on astronomical matters, shows a not very profound acquaintance with them him- self, for he tells us that Sir Robert Ball (now Plumian Professor of Astronomy at Cambridge) took the trouble to make the calculation, and found that the moon was not visible at the date of the battle of Corunna. Now whether Sir Robert was the first person to point out the mistake in question I do not remember, but it is quite certain that he did not take the trouble to calculate what he could find at once in the ' Nautical Almanac ' or any similar ephemeris. The moon was new at about I o'clock,