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effigy that adorns her mouldering cross, and blesses the memory of queen Elinor.
Elinor of Castile, the wife of our first Edward, was the only daughter of Ferdinand the Third, king of Castile and Leon, and of Joanna, daughter and heiress of John, earl of Ponthieu—that lady with whom Henry had so capriciously broken off his contract of marriage. On the death of her father, she remained under the protection of her half brother, Alphonso, who succeeded to the crown, until the year 1254, when she was married to Edward, and accompanied him to England. Of the reasons that induced Henry to seek an alliance with the king of Castile, we have no account; but it might have been relationship, since king Ferdinand was second cousin to the English king: however, early in 1254, Edward being just fifteen, and Elinor about the same age, negotiations were commenced; and from a document in the Foedera, we find that Edward, by the sanction of his father, assigned "in dower to the illustrious damsel Elinor," the castle and village of Tickhill, " with all appertaining; Stamford and Grantham, with all appertaining; and the village of Peakdeclaring that the dower should be proportionably increased, when she became queen. These preliminaries being settled, Edward prepared for his voyage ; and while the "men of Winchelsea" provided some very superior vessels to convey the queen; "the men of Yarmouth" built so large and beautiful a vessel for the use of the heir to the crown, that it excited the admiration of all: but the men of Winchelsea, stung with unworthy jealousy, attacked her, and killed some of her men.*
The king and queen, however, proceeded to Gascony, and Edward to Spain; where, having been received with great honour by Alphonso, who conferred on him the honour of knighthood, he was married to Elinor with great pomp at Bures, and then returned, with his young bride, to England.
Some years subsequent to their marriage, Edward and Elinor seem to have resided with the king and queen. There is a precept about the period of this marriage, directing that an apartment at Guilford should be fitted up with dais, fire-place, and wardrobe, having a chapel at the upper end, enclosed with glass windows, "for the use of Elinor of Castile." In 1257, Henry gave to Edward, Gascony, Ireland, and the city of Bristol; we find, however, no notice of Elinor, except that a short period previously to her voyage to the holy land, the annals of Dunstable record a visit made by the queen and
* The violent, and almost piratical, conduct of the "barons of the Cinque Ports," was indeed of frequent occurrence. In the subsequent contests between Henry and his barons, taking advantage of their maritime situation, and the unsettled state of the country, they fitted out a large fleet, which scoured the four seas, seizing every ship they met, and murdering their crews. In consequence, Wikes informs us that, in 1264, all foreign goods became so scarce, that they were six times dearer than theretofore; and this was probably the foundation of the great hostility which London always displayed toward those royally protected sea-ports. The great prevalence of piracy during these early ages of commerce, however rendered the English merchant-seaman as gallant an opponent on the seas, as the English archer was on land; for the merchant vessel was always well armed ; and being so frequently exposed to the attacks of enemies, her crew became as accustomed to maritime warfare, as though it had been their exclusive profession.
herself thither, when, in gratitude for her recovery from a severe illness, the queen offered " a rich pall of the kind called baudekin." Elinor, therefore, most probably resided with her mother-in-law; and it affords strong proof of the excellence of her disposition, that exposed at so susceptible an age to the influence of a woman distinguished for her rapacious exactions and hostility to the English, Elinor of Castile, although equally a foreigner, should have become so remarkable for her benevolence, and attachment to the people.
In 1267, peace being re-established, tournaments were celebrated throughout different parts of England; and Edward, who, from his skill in the various chivalric exercises, and his love of all the splendours of romance, was always foremost in these festivals, is represented as having been one of their chief ornaments. But he was soon to exchange the gay trappings of the tournament for the scrip and mantle of the Croise, and to set forth to the almost hopeless task, not of rescuing the holy land, for that had long been in the grasp of the Paynim,—but the few towns on its frontier, which alone remained trophies of that warfare, which for almost two centuries had drained Europe alike of her treasure and her blood. In 1268, the ninth, and last crusade was preached; and although no longer did myriads respond to the call, still Louis, the brave and most excellent king of France, the heir of the English crown, his brother Edmund, and many of the French and English nobles, promptly answered the summons. To meet the necessary expenses, Edward pledged Gascony to Louis for 70,000 livres tournois, which, with cautious minuteness, he says in his agreement, are "for horses, for ships, for meat, and for our passage, which this our business may require." Previously to leaving England, he made his will at Winchester, and directed that the guardianship of his infant children should be consigned to his uncle Richard, king of the Romans; and that of his castles and lands to archbishop Walter of York, Philip Basset, and Roger Mortimer: he then, accompanied by Elinor, set sail from Southampton, with a company of about a thousand men, and arrived, in the spring of 1271, at Acre.
The arrival of a Plantagenet, although with so small band, revived the hopes of the Syrian Christians, and the fear of the Paynim, to whom the name of Coeur de Lion was still a watchword of terror. The sultan of Egypt withdrew his Mamelukes from the vicinity of Acre; and the English prince, his little company now re-inforced by some thousands of the Latin chivalry, pursued him to Nazareth. Here, the sultan sustained a total defeat; and Edward, entering the doomed city, ferociously put men, women, and children to the sword. Indeed, Edward, although a lover of the chivalric romances, and a devoted imitator of the warlike qualities of their heroes, was unfortunately forgetful of the gentler virtues which those heroes ever displayed; and Nazareth presented but the foreshadowing of what his after course in Wales and Scotland should be. His severe measures toward the Venetian merchants, who sold
weapons and armour to the enemy, was but strict justice; and in the vigilance with which be watched the commercial arrangements at Acre, we have also the promise of that wise and judicious policy, which, in after years, encouraged the commerce of England.
But Edward was unable to push his conquest farther; and soon after he nearly paid with his life the penalty of his cruel massacre. Enfeebled by sickness, with which a large portion of his army had been also attacked, as he lay on his couch in the heat of the afternoon, a youth, charged with letters from the emir of Joppa, appeared. As the attendants were in a distant part of the room, and as the youth came from an emir who had distinguished himself by his friendship, he drew nigh unsuspected; but while apparently searching his belt for other letters, he suddenly drew forth a poisoned dagger, and struck at Edward's side. The blow was received on the arm; and Edward, dashing his assailant to the ground, killed him with the self-same weapon. It is on this occasion, that the widely believed story of Elinor's sucking the poison from the wound is told; a story, which however is wholly without foundation, since it is neither mentioned by contemporary chroniclers, nor by Walsingham.
Hemingford, who is most minute in his account, scribes the master of the Temple as superintending the surgeons who dressed the wound, and as directing Elinor, who refused to quit her husband, to be forced out of the room, when the excision of the blackened flesh became neces