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Gaunt, we find that he lived a life quite in keeping with his royal
alliances, that he was a friend of Wycliffe, was wealthy and ambi-
tious, hecame a titular king allied to the regal house oi' Spain, and
that when he returned home with his wife's dowry in 1389, in the
month of November, he had, according to Knyghton, no less than
47 mules laden with chests of gold. For his times he was a public
man of some ability, an able soldier, and undoubtedly a re-huilder
of the town of Lancaster, reviving all its former magnificence.
From the age of the conquest until 1322 there can be little doubt
that no important change was made in the castle, hut when the
Scotch invaded England in that year, razing Lancaster to its
foundations, it is only probable that the old fortress would become
the object of special vengeance. Up to the reign of Edward III.
the town and fort would hardly have recovered from the blows ad-
ministered by these invaders, but John of Gaunt's munificent hand
restored the stately edifice and town, endowing it in the words oi
an historian, " with more than its original strength and splendour."
He it was who surrounded the castle with a moat, erected a draw-
bridge in front and port-cullis at the entrance made of thick wrought
iron. He also added the Gateway Tower, flanked by the two
large octagonal turrets, surrounded by watch towers, and added for
its future defence a triple row of machiolations. The arms of
¥ ranee, semi-quartered with those of England, cut in a shield, were
placed on one side of the entrance with a label ermine, of three
points, the distinction of John of Gaunt, on the other. In different
alterations up to the commencement of the present century one
hundred and forty thousand pounds had been expended on the Castle
of Lancaster, a sum which, in the days of its first Norman owner,
would have built twenty such edifices as the present Castle. The
great Coucher Book of the County, the Harleian MSS., Dugdale,
Rymer, and Leland, with Whitaker and Nichols, are excellent works
to consult in regard to the ancient history of Lancaster and its
Castle and Honour. It is over one century ago since the Castle
was enlarged under the act for improving prisons, for it has been
identified with justice and punishment for six centuries, in fact,
since the days of John of Gaunt. The prison parts are constructed


as far as possible on the fire-proof plan, with hewn stone without
timber, the stone in the neighbourhood of Lancaster being a free
stone capable of a high finish or polish. From about 1760 to
1869 it was a debtor's prison, with a penitentiary for female de-
linquents, but it ceased to be used as such in the manner it had been
used, and in or about 1878 it became a military prison in part, and
now, owing to the increase of population and the want of room, it
has once more experienced a change and has become a civil prison
entirely. The present constable is Lord Winmarleigh, the office is
honorary, certain rights and privileges accompanying it. For many
years the father of Mr. \V. H. Higgin, Q.C, was resident governor.

There is a portrait in the Cotton MS., Nero D. VI, of John
of Gaunt, Gand, or Ghent, so called on account of his having been
born at Ghent, in Belgium (pronounced Gand) representing him in
the habit of High Steward of England, and granting the commissions
of the officers claimed by the nobility at the coronation of Richard
11. The person kneeling at his feet is believed to be Thomas
Woodcock, High Constable of England. This Thomas was seventh
and youngest son of Edward III., and brother of the great duke.
John of Gaunt is dressed in dark blue and white, and the figure
kneeling, in dark blue and red. The seat is a kind of pink and the
back ground red, says Strutt's " Regal and Ecclesiastical An-
tiquities." The shield, cap, and lance of John of Gaunt are from
a sketch by Hollar. Bolton, in his " Elements of Armories," states
that the first named article "is very convex towards the bearer,
whether by warping through age or as so made. It hath in dimen-
sion more than three quarters of a yard in length, and above half a
yard of breadth. Next to the body is a canvas glued to a board ;
upon that board are broad thin axicles, slices or plates of horn
nailed fast, and again over them twenty and six pieces of the like,
all meeting' or centreing about a round plate of the same in the
navel of the shield, and over all is a leather closed fast to them with
glue, or other holding stuff, upon which his armories were painted;
but now they, with the leather itself, have very lately and very
lewdly been utterly spoiled." John of Gaunt was originally Earl of


Richmond, as we have seen. He was father of Henry of Boling-
broke, who was created Earl of Derby, in 1385, while the King's
uncles, and John of Gaunt's brothers, the Earls of Cambridge and
Buckingham, were created Dukes of York and Gloucester. In 1384
the Duke of Lancaster had done some good service in Scotland,
but ran a great risk of losing his head owing to the repeated stories
which were afloat to the effect that he was aiming after the crown
of his nephew. An Irish monk, John Latimer, gave Richard, the
King, a parchment containing the particulars of a conspiracy against
him, in which Lancaster figured prominently. During this period
Lancaster, hearing what the Carmelite monk had done, was in hid-
lance, and would not return to England until the King proclaimed
his conviction of his uncle's innocence. The monk was committed
to the care of Sir John Holland, half brother of the King, and it is
said that during the night Sir John strangled the monk with his
own hands. Lord Zouch, whom the friar had named as the author
of the conspiracy, declared upon oath that he knew nothing about
it, and the matter dropped. The honours which the Duke of Lan-
caster's family received were all directly traceable to another murder
committed by this same Sir John Holland, probably son of Sir
Robert de Holland, some time Serjeant of Cartmel, and of the same
family as Sir Thurstan de Holland, who appears to have succeeded
the de Relets in the serjeantry of the wapentake of Lonsdale.
During the French and Scotch intrigues, under Admiral John de
Vienne, Lord Admiral of France, against England, which caused
terrible disaster in both Scotland and England, Sir John de Holland
assassinated one of the King's favourites at York, and the grief,
shame, and anxiety caused by this event broke the heart of his
mother, the Princess of Wales, and she died a few days afterwards.
After the campaign the king made great promotions to quiet the
jealousy of his relations ; honours fell upon them, but they were
nothing compared to the honours and grants conferred upon his
minions, hence the dukedoms bestowed in 1385, upon Henry of
Bolingbroke and the Earls of Arundel and Salisbury. That the
Duke of Lancaster really was ambitious goes without saying, for
we find him after all these favours pressing forward his claims to


the throne of the Castile ; and there can be little doubt that if the
throne of England could have been secured Gaunt's ambition would
have prompted him to subdue every obstacle in his path, but circum-
stances both at home and abroad were not in his favour ; there were
too many against him and the gaunt Prince, gaunt by nature as well
as name, was not popular with the people who had learned to detest
the name of John owing to the perfidious actions of the King John.

A disputed succession in Portugal and a war between that
country and Spain seemed to open a road for the Duke, and Richard
was evidently glad to have him out of England. Parliament voted
supplies, and in the month of July the Duke set sail with an army
of 10,000 men, and landed at Corunna. From this city he opened a
road through Gallicia into Portugal and formed a junction with the
King of that country, who had married the Duke's eldest daughter
Phillipa, by his first wife. At first Lancaster was everywhere vic-
torious ; but in the second campaign his armv was almost annihil-
ated by disease and famine, and his own declining health forced him
to retire to Guienne. In the end, however, he concluded an advan-
tageous treaty. His daughter Catherine, the grand-daughter of
Pedro the Cruel, was married to Henry, the heir of the reigning
King of Castile. Two hundred thousand crowns were paid to the
Duke for the expenses he had incurred ; and the King of Castile
agreed to pay 40,000 florins by way of annuity to the Duke and
Duchess of Lancaster. The issue of John of Gaunt reigned in Spain
for many generations. Encouraged by the Duke's absence, say
Mc. Farfane and Thompson in their most reliable historv vol. I,
p. 489, the French determined to invade England and an army ol
100,000 men, including the choicest of French chivalrv were en-
camped in Flanders, while the immense fleet lay in the port of Sluis
to carry them over. Charles VI, though young, like Richard of
England, determined to take part in the expedition, but as he was
almost entirely under the power of his turbulent uncles who seemed
to have decided against the projected invasion, the army was
disbanded, and the fleet dispersed by a tempest, the English taking
many of the ships. Richard gained no increase bv the absence


of Lancaster since he found the Duke's younger brother far
harsher than Lancaster had ever been. Gloucester endeavoured to
drive De la Pole and De Vere, the King's favourites from office,
and Gloucester argued in favour of a permanent council chosen bv
Parliament. Richard declined to agree to a council similar to those
which had been appointed in the reigns of John, Henry III., and
Edward II. The commons then coolly produced the statute by
which the second Edward had been deposed, and he was reminded
that if he held out his life would be in danger, and so he had to
consent though most unwilling. So the government was vested for
a year in the hands of eleven commissioners, bishops and peers, to
whom were added three threat officers of the Crown, and at the
head of all was Gloucester. Rot. Pari. About 1393, Lancaster
returned from the continent after an absence of three years and
upwards, and from the circumstances which the historians are not
sufficiently acquainted with, he became quite moderate and popular.
He was re-admitted into the council, and created Duke of Aquitaine,
for life, a grant which was subsequently recalled. He negotiated a
peace with France, and Richard, in October, 1396, passed over to
the continent in order to marry Isabella, daughter of the French king,
who was little more than seven years old. The Duke of Gloucester
strongly opposed the union, but Richard was determined to have
the Princess whom Froissart described as a miracle of wit and
beauty, despite her tender years. Richard had his schemes of
revenge in his minds's eye constantly. Gloucester, doubtless know-
ing this, feared what would happen to himself should France and
England become united. The latter was not wrong, for Richard,
in due course, struck his blow treacherously. One of his foes he
trapped under pretence of entertaining him at dinner ; this was
Lord Warwick. Another he blandly invited through his brother,
the primate, to a supposed friendly conference ; this was Lord
Arundel ; and the last enemy he seized at Pleshy Castle, Essex,
whither he had gone to reside with his family. This was the Duke
of Gloucester, who, it is believed, after having been seized and sent
by the Karl Marshal to Calais, was secretly murdered, the very m n
who had strongly supported him in former times being parties to his



downfall. Henry of Bolingbroke was a double-faced scoundrel, if
all that history records of him be true, and no more fitted to sit upon
the throne than was his deceitful cousin, Richard the Second, who
had doubtless been made a dissembler by the dissemblement for ever
about his court. The Duke of Lancaster's death was hastened, no
doubt, by the banishment of the perfidious Hereford, who had
abused the confidence of Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, concerning
the conversation the two had between Windsor and London as to
the designs of the king - . John of Gaunt died about three months
after the exile of his son. Hut the Nemesis of revenge rests with
the people, and Richard's turn at last arrived, and he was, as we
all know, forced to relinquish the crown and favour the claims of
the returned Duke of Hereford, Henry of Boling'broke. A deposition
was ingeniously added to an Act of Abdication. The oath of Henn
of Bolingbroke, on assuming the crown, is as follows : " In the
name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, I, Henry of Lan-
caster, challenge this realm of England, because I am descended by
the right line of blood from the good lord King Henry III., and
through that right God of his grace hath sent me, with help of my
kin and of my friends, to recover it ; the which realm was in point
to be undone for default of government and the undoing of the good
laws." Henrv knelt for a few minutes in prayer on the steps, and
then was seated on the throne by the Archbishops of Canterbury and
York. The declaration of the new King as regards the unhappy
state of the realm was certainly true, for Richard had coerced judges
in order to obtain hues, and actually outlawed seven counties by one
stroke of the pen. Had the people, the masses, only had power and
intelligence as now, instead of a few monopolisers, such kings
would long ago have been abolished as beings unfit to exist.
Henrv of Bolingbroke was the first to sign his hand to a statute in
favour of the burning of heretics, as the Wycliffites were called, a
sect of reformers whom his father had supported, and so the first to
light penal fires in England. According to State papers, he refused
to qualify his statute when petitioned to do so, and replied, " The
punishment shall be made more rigorous and sharp." So much for
the line of Lancaster.



"I have a glove into which ! can put your whole city of
Paris," so remarked Charles V. of Germany to the French King
Francis I. The French name i\>r Ghent is Gand, aglove. John of
Gaunt was born at Ghent in [340, he died at Ely House, Holborn,
in 1399^ His last will and. testament was made at Leicester Castle
It is not a little singular that the associations of Lancaster and
Leicester have largely been made up by the connexion of both with
the Houses of York and Lancaster. The great duke was worn out
with the affairs of state, and the troubles that had befallen Henry,
his son, had undoubtedly told upon his line physique and strong

!n order to show the Duke of Lancaster's disposition more
clearly it is necessary to treat somewhat further of his actions. In
so doing we shall see how selfishness and wealth generally go to-
gether* The Earl of Buckingham, John of Gaunt's brother, com-
manded the fleet against the French but his success being small, the
Duke obtained command himself, and detailing a squadron under
the Earls of Arundel and Salisbury gave them their directions : they
succeeded in capturing the town and port of Cherbourg, but not
before having suffered great loss on account of their falling
in with a Spanish fleet. The Norman port was readily ceded to the
English by the King of Navarre who was glad to purchase the
assistance of England at any price since he was engaged in a war
with the French King. Lancaster afterwards sailed with a great
fleet into Brittany, the Duke o\~ which province, son of the heroic
Countess of Montfort, ceded to the English the important city and
harbour of Brest. The Duke next invested St. Malo, but the Con-
stable Dugueschin marched with very superior forces to the relief of
that place, and compelled the Duke to return to his ships. The great
fleet then came home. A striking circumstance which had occurred
did not tend to brighten the Duke's laurels. The Scots, receiving
their impulse from France, renewed the war, surprised the castle of
Berwick, made incursions into the northern counties, and equipped
a number of ships to cruise against the Lnglish. Berwick was re-
covered soon afterwards hv the Earl of Northumberland : but one


John Mercer, who had got together certain sail of Scots, French,
and Spaniards, came to Scarborough and made prize of every ship
in that port. Upon learning- the injuries done, and the still greater
damage apprehended from these sea rovers, John Philpot — " that
worshipful citizen of London," lamenting the negligence of the
Government, equipped a small fleet at his own expense, and without
waiting for any commission, went in pursuit of Mercer. After a
fierce battle, the doughty alderman took the Scot prisoner, captured
fifteen Spanish ships, and recovered all the vessels which had been
taken at Scarborough. On his return Philpot was received in
triumph by his fellow citizens, but harshly handled by the Council
oi~ Government for the unlawfulness of acting as he had done without
authority, he being but a private man. This is from " Trussells'
Continuance of Daniell's History." Southey's " Naval History" and
Walsingham agree with the same. Here then was jealousv, the
man had been successful, was a patriot, but only received snubbing
because of his success at a time when the Government was evidently
asleep if not dead.

Three quaint rhymes may here be reproduced. The first
is supposed to be in regard to the Marsh ami is to this effect : —

" I. John of Gaunt,

Do give and grant

To four-score freemen of the town of Lancaster

My row pastur."

The second is from the Newcastle Journal of 1762, and is
much more humorous :

•' I, John of daunt,
Do give and d<> grant
To Roger Burgoyne
And the heir of his loyne
All Sutton and Potten
Until the world's rotten."

The gift is supposed to have been made in favour o[~ an ancestor of
the Bvjrgoynes of Sutton and Potten, Bedfordshire.


The third rhyme is one concerning- the family ol~ Hippisley,
possessed of large landed property in Saveringfiam, in the days oi'
Edward 111.

■' I. fohn of Gaunt, d<> give and do graunt unto Richard Hippisley,

All the manners herein named, as I think in number seven,

To be as firm to he thine as ever they were mine, from heaven to hell below .

And In confirm the truth I seal it with my great tooth, the wax in doe.'

The silver armour oi the great Duke is said to be preserved
in the Tower of London.

It may be added that in the Harleian MS., 1,319, there is a
history of the deposition of Richard II., in French verse, said to
have been composed by a French gentleman of mark, who was in
the suit of the said king, by permission of the King of France. The
whole of the poem appears in the Archceologia, with an English
translation, and ample explanatory notes by the Rev. John Webb.
M.A., rector of Tretire, Herefordshire.

The Castle Moat.

The Lancaster Guardian oi October 28th, 1882, states that
" Before the alterations made in the Castle, the moat or ditch reach-
ed from opposite Mr. C. Johnson's house, round by Adrian's Tower
and extended nearly to the middle of the present Shire Hall. Part
of the foundations of the Shire Hall were laid in the ' ditch ; ' and
trees were planted on the north and west sides ; between the 'ditch'
and Castle were mounds oi rubbish oxm which was a walk reached
by a flight of steps close to the Gateway Tower ; a pump stood near
to the foot of the steps. The walk was carried round to the Gate-
way Tower again. Some of the walls between the towers were so
low, that prisoners occasionally escaped, as the)' had not far to tall
on to the mounds of rubbish. Offers of rewards were frequenth to
be seen for the capture of escaped prisoners. On clearing away this
rubbish, and the old Crown Court, which stood between the south-
west corner oi' the Lungess Tower and the round tower on the


terrace called Adrian's Tower, a well or pit whs found just under
the new Crown Court, built of carefully wrought Ashlar. It was
cleared of rubbish to the depth of about 20 ft., and two doorways
were then found ; om was opened and led by a passage of smooth
stone towards the Church, the other, loosely walled up without mor-
tar, was not opened ; but it seemed to lead into an opposite direction.
The well was filled up again, and built upon. On the other side of
the 'ditch' and beyond the road leading to the Church there were
some gardens which sloped down to some houses, a barn and a stable
wh'ch stood to the east of Hillside, where the castle parade walk now
is. These houses and gardens were bought by the Justices oi' the
County from Anthony Cartmel. They pulled down the houses, built
ti-ie parade wall, and formed the line promenade on the parade."

Counties Palatine, and the Duchy of Lancaster.

We now pass on to more distinctly local matters. Henry IV.
when securely seated upon the throne took care to vest the Duchy
oi Lancaster in his son, afterwards Henry Y. lie secured this dig-
nity to his family by authority of Parliament, for as Plowden and Sir
Edward Coke observe, he knew that he held the Duchy of Lancaster
by sure and indefeasible right and title, but that his title to the Crown
was not so assured. He therefore procured an Act of Parliament
ordaining that the Duchy of Lancaster and ail other his hereditary
estates, \\jth all the royalties and franchises, should remain to him
and h : s heirs for ever, and descend and be administered in like man-
ner as if he had never attained the royal dignity. Of the counties
Palatine,' 1 Blackstone observes, that they are so-called because the

!'n Mons Palatinus the term Palatine carries us. This mons or mount, oi:
the slope of which sheep were Meeting day by day. was the place where the Roman
Palatine stood. Hence the term palace. Now the Roman Emperor had his chief
officer, an earl or Count Palatine, who conducted the affairs of the royal household.
In France the Count Palatine was foremost of the 12 peers of the empire, and his
palatinate land was the rich Rhine valley above Frankfort. Canan Taylor remarks
"that it is one of lh<' curiosities of language that a pretty little hill-slope in Italy
iukl have thus transferred its name t>> a hero "I romance, to a Cernian state, to
three English counties, to a glass house at Sydenham, and to all the royal resid<
in Europe." Legally read the words County Palatine signify "delegated royalty/'
or royally by deputy. We haw our chancellor, and so has Durham : but all vestiges
ol Chester's privileges and it- Court of( hancery appear to be extinct.


owners thereof (the Earl of Chester, the Bishop of Durham, and the
Duke of Lancaster) had in those counties jura regalia as fully as the
King; had in his palace. They might pardon traitors, murderers,
and felonies, could appoint all judges and justices oi the peace, and
all writs and indictments ran in their name, as in other counties in
the Kind's name ; and all offences were said to he done against
their peace and not against the peace of the King. The privileges
of the Counties Palatine were abridged by Henry VIII. in which
reign it was enacted that all writs and processes be issued in the
King's name, but should be tested or witnessed in the name oi' the
owner oi' the franchise. All writs, therefore, whereon actions were
founded and which had current authority in the counties palatine,
must be under the seal of the respective franchises. And the judges
of assize, who sat in those counties, had a special commission from
the Duchy of Lancaster, and not the usual commission under the
great seal oi' England. The Duchy oi' Lancaster is very differenl
from the palatine and comprises much territory at a distance, viz.
in Middlesex, Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire,
Lincoln, Norfolk and Northampton. By the Duchy Hook of 1588,
the annual revenues transmitted to the Treasury by "the receivers of
Childerhow, Pomfrett, and Knaresborough, Tiekhull, Pi< keringleigh,
Dunstanborough, Tutbury, Longberington, Leicester, Furness,
Bullingbrooke, Lancaster, Stafford, Derby, Higham Ferrars, Nor-
folk and Suffolk, Sussex, the south Partess, Essex and Hartford,
Wales, and Monmouth and Kilwaldid, amounted to ^"12,250."
In the same book are mentioned all the forests, chases and parks
belonging to the Duchy of Lancaster, out of which the Chancellor,

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