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Ireland, of which country the King had appointed him Lord Lieutenant, and where he shortly afterwards distinguished himself by the vigour with which he suppressed a formidable rebellion.
In the mean time, the barons having laid down their arms, Edward, rendered miserable by the absence of his favourite, obtained from the Pope a dispensation from the oath which the barons had exacted from him, and recalling Gaveston from Ireland, flew to Chester to embrace him on his landing. For
For a time the barons submitted quietly to the return of the detested minion; but when, with returning prosperity, Edward and his favourite commenced anew their execrable career of dissipation and misrule, the barons again assembled in council, and appeared once more in arms before the palace of Westminster. Fresh terms were imposed on the weak monarch, one of which was that Gaveston should instantly depart the kingdom, on pain of being declared a public enemy. Accordingly, after embracing each other, and shedding many tears, Edward tore himself from his favourite, and, on the 1st of November, 1311, the latter set sail for Flanders.
But Edward was inconsolable in the absence of his minion, and having found means to keep up a private correspondence with him, it was agreed that Gaveston should land in the remote district of Cornwall, and that the King should join him as soon as possible in the north of England. Accordingly, having previously kept the festival of
Christmas at the palace of Westminster, Edward, early in January, 1312, proceeded to York, where for the last time he met his favourite. Here he issued a royal mandate, declaring the banishment of Gaveston to have been illegal, and announcing that he had returned to England in obedience to his own express commands : further, on the 24th of the following month, he formally restored him to all his former honours and estates. Exasperated by these unlooked-for events, the barons, on pretence of repairing to a tournament in the north, armed their numerous retainers for the purpose of reducing the King to submission, and punishing his unworthy favourite. On reaching York, they found that Edward had removed to Newcastle, leaving Gaveston in the almost impregnable castle of Scarborough, to which latter place they proceeded to lay siege. Amongst the barons, the one, who was the most inflamed with rage against the favourite, was the celebrated Guy, Earl of Warwick, whom Gaveston had sneered at by the name of the “Black Dog of Arderne.” Being short of provisions, the castle was soon compelled to capitulate; but in all probability the life of Gaveston would have been spared, had not the Earl of Warwick sworn that the “ Black dog of Arderne would make him feel his teeth.” He carried with him the unfortunate favourite to his castle of Warwick, where the confederated barons having decided that he was deserving of death, he was led forth to execution without form of trial, and, on the 19th of June,
STRATFORD, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY, 275
was beheaded on Lowe Hill, near the town of Warwick.
On the 1st of February, 1327, Edward the Third, then in his fifteenth year, was crowned in Westminster Abbey, and the same day he was knighted in the palace by his cousin Henry, Earl of Lancaster; the double ceremony being followed by a magnificent banquet in Westminster Hall. Ten years afterwards, we find the young King knighting, and conferring the Dukedom of Cornwall and the Earldom of Chester on his infant son, Prince Edward, afterwards so celebrated as the Black Prince. The ceremony, which took place in the palace of Westminster, was followed by magnificent banquetings and rejoicings, the King at the same time creating six other earls. Edward himself girded the sword to the side of his child, then only six years old; after which ceremony, the young Prince, in virtue of his becoming possessed of the palatinate of Chester, conferred knighthood on twenty persons of noble family. It may be mentioned that this was the first instance of the creation of a duke in England.
In April 1341, a very curious scene took place in Westminster Palace. John Stratford, Archbishop of Canterbury, having fallen under the displeasure of Edward the Third, was summoned to the Exchequer to answer the charges brought against him. Insisting, however, on the exalted rank which he held in the church, he refused to plead before any other tribunal but that of Parliament, and, setting the King's authority at defiance, he flew to the sanctuary at Can
terbury, where, “ with the dreadful ceremony of bell, book, and candle, the bells ringing dolefully, and the candles being suddenly extinguished with a stench," he hurled anathemas at his enemies, and on all those who should dare to violate the sacred privileges of the church. At last, the King having summoned a Parliament to assemble in his palace at Westminster, the Archbishop repaired privately to London, and having prevailed upon the Bishops of London and Chester, and “a great company of clergymen and soldiers” to accompany him, he presented himself, armed with all the terrors of the church, at the gate of the palace. Having formally demanded admittance to the chamber in which the Parliament were assembled, and being forbid to enter, in the King's name, by Sir William Atwood, Captain of the King's Guard, the archbishop took the cross from the hands of an attendant churchman, and, raising it aloft, solemnly protested that he would never stir from the spot till the King admitted him to his seat in Parliament, or explained the reason why he was excluded. Some of the bystanders denouncing him “ as a traitor who had deceived the King and betrayed the realm," the Archbishop turned passionately round to them. “The curse of God,” he said, “and of his Blessed Mother, and of St. Thomas, and mine also, be upon the heads of those who inform the King so : Amen, Amen!” At this time some of the Barons interfered, and being induced to use their good offices wit| the King, Edward consented that the Archbishop
should be brought into the Parliament chamber. After some discussion, his case was referred to a tribunal, consisting of four bisliops, four earls, and four barons. “On the 19th of April following,” says Barnes, “ being a Thursday, the King came into St. Edward's Chamber, commonly called the Painted Chamber, before whom, in sight of all the Lords and Commons, the Archbishop humbled himself, and required his gracious pardon; which, upon the whole Parliament's general suit and entreaty, his Majesty granted.” Within a short time we find the Archbishop entirely restored to the favour of his royal master.
In May 1356, John, King of France, who had recently been taken prisoner by the Black Prince at the Battle of Poictiers, was entertained by Edward the Third in Westminster Palace with great splendour. Edward, learning that his gallant son might shortly be expected in London with his august prisoner, sent to the Lord Mayor to prepare the city pageants, and to receive the French monarch with all due honours. Accordingly the triumphal procescession, for such it was, was joined at Southwark by more than a thousand of the principal citizens on horseback, who, uniting with the Prince's cavalcade, passed over London Bridge, and thence,—through streets hung with tapestry and spanned by frequent arches which had been erected for the occasion, rode on to Westminster Palace, where Edward was anxiously expecting the arrival of his illustrious guest. “ King John,” says Barnes, “ clothed in