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gloomy records of the Tower have been noticed in this survey : the fact is, only a few of them can now be localized. We know they were in the fortress ; but in which of its dungeons, it is no longer possible
Here follows a list of the efest, in chronological order :
1100. Ralph Flambard, the martial Bishop of Durham.
1232. Hubert de Burgh, the famous Justiciary of England : his character is forcibly drawn by Shakspeare in King John.
1240. Griffin, Prince of Wales, delivered into the hands of King Henry III. by his own brother David. He was killed in 1240 in attempting to make his escape from the prison. Having torn his bed-clothes into shreds, he twisted them into a rope, by means of which he hoped to lower himself from the wall, but it broke in the descent, and he was killed. His son, then a boy, was at the same time confined in the Tower. A few years later, he was fortunate enough to effect his escape : he returned to Wales, regained possession of the principality, and fought valiantly against the English. In the reign of Edward Longshanks he was slain in battle ; his head was brought to London, and fixed upon the turret from which his father had fallen into his grave.
1282. More than six hundred Jews arrested on a charge, probably unfounded, of clipping and debasing the coin of the realm. In London alone, two hundred and eighty of these unfortunate men hanged.
1289. Ralph de Hengham, Chief Justice of the Court of King's Bench, for venality and corruption.
1296. Baliol, King of Scotland, and a host of Scottish chieftains, taken prisoners at the battle of Dunbar.
1303. The Abbot and Monks of Westminster, charged with robbing the king's treasury : the charge was not proved.
1305. William Wallace.
1307. The Knights Templars. This was the year in which this famous order of militant-priests came to an end. All of them who lived south of the Trent were committed to the Tower.
1321. Lady Badlesmere, for refusing the queen of Edward II. a night's lodging in her castle of Leeds, in Kent. Her husband was beheaded for the same offence.
1324. Lord Mortimer-he afterwards escaped, and became the paramour of the queen. After the death of Edward he was arrested in 1330, sent again to the Tower, and thence to the gallows.
1331. John, the famous Earl of Murray, the firmest and truest supporter of the house of Bruce. He remained in rigorous confinement for nine years, when he was given like a chattel to William Montague, Earl of Salisbury, “to do with him as most for his advantage :” here one of the romantic events, which are almost peculiar to those chivalric ages, (when not a particle of that magnanimity which seems to us the very soul of chivalry was known,) occurred to set him at liberty. Unable to raise the enormous ransom demanded, he remained in Montague's custody until the fortune of war gave his new master into captivity in France, when the two earls were exchanged, one against the other.
1347. David Bruce, King of Scotland, and a train of chieftains, all taken prisoners by Lord Percy at the battle of Nevile's Cross.-Charles of Blois : he ransomed himself for seven hundred thousand florins of gold.—The twelve famous citizens of Calais, and John of Vienne, the Governor.
1350. William de Thorp, Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, for bribery and corruption.
1357. John, King of France, taken at the battle of Poictiers.
1375. Valeran, Earl of St. Paul ; whose imprisonment in England led to his marriage with the Lady Maud, daughter of the Princess of Wales, “the fayrest ladye in all Englande."
1386. This year, if the authorities cited by Godwin
may be trusted, the Tower received within its gates one of its most illustrious victims—Geoffry Chaucer, the father of English verse. Chaucer was involved in the civil troubles which led to the fall of Richard II., and for a few years his fortunes suffered a dark eclipse. While confined in the Tower, he consoled his mind by pouring forth his desponding poem, “The Testament of Love." In his youth, Chaucer had translated into English the “Consolations of Philosophy," written by Boethius, when imprisoned under the reign of the Gothic king Theodoric : when he fell under the shadows of adversity, he took pleasure in comparing his own sufferings with those of the Roman writer, and composed his Testament of Love in imitation of his master—but on a topic better suited to his own genius and the tastes of his age.—Nicholas doubts this story.
1399. King Richard II. ; he was not the only King of England who has been confined as a prisoner in the Tower.
1415. The Dukes of Orleans and Bourbon, taken in the famous battle of Agincourt. The first of these princes amused his prison-leisure by composing his “Poieses de Charles duc d'Orleans.”
1438. Owen Tudor, grandfather of Henry VII.
1461. King Henry VI. In 1471, he was taken from his dungeon and placed again on the throne of his fathers, by the king-making Earl of Warwick; but his second term of greatness lasted only for a day; and it hastened his own death and the destruction of his family.—At the period of his death, George Nevile, Archbishop of York, and the illstarred Queen Margaret.
1477. The Duke of Clarence was murdered.
1483. Lords Stanley and Hastings; the latter was beheaded at a moment's notice.
1489. Edward, Earl of Warwick, son of the Duke of Clarence, and the last male prince of the house of Plantagenet. He was kept in prison for many years; and at length fell a victim to the fears of Henry VII.
1521. Edward Bohun, Duke of Buckingham.
1532. John Frith, the Protestant martyr, and one of the many victims of Chancellor More's bigotry. Like others of the early English reformers, Frith was compelled to adopt various disguises and to wander for many years in exile. Once he was arrested at Reading as a vagabond and placed in the stocks. After remaining in his painful position many hours, he began to feel the pangs of hunger, but was resolved not to betray his quality. The learned Leonard Cox was at that time schoolmaster in the town ; Frith sent for him, and began to bewail his sad condition in Latin. Cox was surprised to hear a cadger speak the language of Tully with fluency and grace ; their conversation grew more and more interesting ; Frith quoted some lines from Homer, in support of an opinion which he had advanced. Cox at once rushed off to the magistrates, and got the learned doctor set at liberty. The Lord Chancellor, however, pursued him with intense hatred ; and after many narrow escapes, he was captured and sent to the Tower. When so confined, he wrote a noble and masculine letter “ To the faithful followers of Christ's Gospel." From the Tower he was carried to the stake, and burnt to death along with Andrew Hewit. As the martyrs were burning, a certain Dr. Cole exhorted the people not to pray for them any more than they would for dogs. Frith heard these words ; his only answer was, a serene smile and a prayer that they might be forgiven above!