Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester: A Biography by Kenneth Hotham Vickers

Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester: A Biography by Kenneth Hotham Vickers

Author:Kenneth Hotham Vickers [Vickers, Kenneth Hotham]
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9781375994132
Google: SIu2tAEACAAJ
Publisher: Creative Media Partners, LLC
Published: 2017-08-22T00:52:58+00:00

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Table of Contents

In spite of the circumstantial story which records the events of the last few days of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, there hangs over the manner of his death a cloud which no existing evidence can entirely remove. Was he murdered, or was his death the result of natural causes? Such is the question to which the circumstances surrounding his last days give rise. Of contemporary chroniclers who give their opinion the Englishmen mostly agree in a quiet acceptance of the idea that arrest and disgrace so worked on an already weakened frame, that some kind of seizure was followed by collapse and death. Richard Fox, who gives the most detailed account of the tragedy of Bury, never for a moment suggests foul play, whilst Wheathampsted, the friend and follower of the dead man, clearly states that he died of sickness brought on by grief at his arrest.[1022] Hardyng carries this theory still further by describing the disease of which the Duke died as a sort of ‘parlesey,’ stating that he had been similarly attacked before,[1023] but an anonymous chronicler of Henry VI.’s reign, while describing the illness much in the same way as Fox and Hardyng—a paralysis of both mind and body—does not hesitate to hint fairly broadly that the disease did not take its origin from the natural state of the Duke’s health.[1024] The author of the English Chronicle reserves judgment. The truth about Gloucester’s death, he declares, is not yet known, but he quotes the Gospel to prove that there is nothing hid which shall not be made manifest;[1025] the London chronicler declares darkly that he was treacherously treated.[1026] Foreign contemporary writers go still further, and with one voice proclaim that Gloucester was murdered. Waurin states this as a bare fact, but his statements are not beyond dispute, for he adopts the same version as the continuator of the Historia Croylandensis, who says that the Duke was found dead in bed on the morning after his arrest.[1027] Mathieu de Coussy and Basin, both of whom were alive at the time, aver that it was a case of murder, and so it was generally believed on the Continent.[1028]


As time passed on, the growing unpopularity of Suffolk unloosed men’s tongues, and the idea that Gloucester had been murdered gradually arose, and became a firm belief. It was obvious to all that the Duke’s death had been desired by Suffolk to increase his power, and within three years of the Parliament at Bury another Parliament was clamouring for the disgrace of this upstart, who with the help of the Queen had monopolised the government of the kingdom, and it was but a very thinly veiled accusation of murder which lay behind the articles of impeachment that he ‘wase the cause and laborer of the arrest, emprisonyng and fynall destruction of the most noble valliant true Prince, your right obeisant uncle the Duke of Gloucester.’[1029] That this was no more


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