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himself a Icing, yet he made two of his cTaxigfis,
queens, one of Castfle, and the other of V*<yrtuga bringing home with him also a vast treasure in read money, having at the time he hnderl in England,; one of our historians tells us, as many chests of gold a loadedf-urty-seven mules. Uponhisreturn, in so goo circumstances, his party began to revive, and theDuJc. recovered his credit at court, insomuch that the King in full parliament created him Duke of Aquitaine,anc sent him over to take posivflion of that noble principality. Hisold'aflectionfurtheLadyCatharineSwynford, sister to Chaucer's wife, revived with his fortune, andunder colour of rewarding the care she had taken in the education ofhisehughtershemade her very large grants in the nature of pensions*. We have no
* He made hervery large grants in the nature of pen/ions.2 The colour given by the Duke of Lancaster to these grants m.ide /* favour of the Lady Swynfbrd was the c.ire ihe had taken ofhii two daughters Philippa and Elizabeth, as appears by the words of the grant of the wardship of Bertram de Sanbyp's heir and of an annuity of two hundred marks per annum payable out of his honour ofTickhill, which words are these; ** For the good *' andagreeable service which our thrice dear and most beloved •* Lady Catharine Swyiifotd, the miflrtls of our most beloved ** daughters, hath rendered to our said children,, we have gi** ven and granted, Isfc." But no doubt the true reason was for his special affection towards her on account ef the children ht had had by her, to whom he gave the name of Beaufort, in Latin debello forte> from a castle so called in Arijou, which came into his family by the Lady Blanch* jf Artois Queen of Navarre. These children were four, viz. John Beaufort, afterwards Ea?l of Somerset, Henry Beaufort, afterwards Cardinal Bishop qf Winchester and Chancellor osEngland, Thomas EeausQn\E.iiI
particular account of the benefits that, accrued to Chaucer from this tur.i in the Duke's affairs, but notwithstanding this we have no reason to doubt that he felt the effects of his patron's prosperity, who had suffered,so deeply by the declension of his influence. But; it.seen.is. bis distaste to courts was grown ib strong t hat toothing could ten>pt him to-quit his rural ret ire meni, •or to laucbsgain intathatssa of business where he had been so lately shipwrecked, liis miiidihpwever being more at rest he undertook and finished a new wo?k, which has established his. reputation with respect to learning upoM.asfrrm a basis as his former labours had fijeedhi^samefor wkand«enius.rhi..new work plainly appearsto.be wrote in the year 13 91, and was intended, for the use of his younger son Lewis, then no men: than ten years of age\ and yet so forward in his learning as to be desirous ©shaving his father'siustructions in acquiring the principles of astronomy. This gave: birth to his Treatise on the Astrolabe, w hich not only ot'Dnrset, afterwards Duke 01' Exeter, ami Juan, firjl married to Sir Robert Ten er* oi Ovuiily, anil afterwards to Ralph Ear of Westmoreland. We have mentioned thin more particularly^ because of the near relation between the descendants of our Author and those ot" this lady by the Duke of LanCs.ilcr, c.t* which we f:nd it Ter.icir.bercd by a very curious and circumspect writer in the time of Xin^ Charles I. that there had been eight kin^a, four queens, and live princes, (>f England; ii* kings and three queens of Scotland; two cardinals, upwards of twenty dukes, almost as many duchesses or England, fever* dukes of Scotland, besides rr.ar.y pe'en: princes and eminent «ub>it)' it* foi eigu part*.
shows the skill of its author, but likewise inconteslably proves useful science wa^ not at near fo low an- ebb in those times as it is generally represented. Neither will the cafe be at all altered if what'some writers have suggested should really prove true, and this Discourse of Chaucer's appear to be no more than a translation, or, which seems to be still a more probable opinion, a collection from other authors who had written before him upon the fame subject.
About four years after this, white her husband was in France, Constance Dnchess of Lancaster died, and was buried with great solemnity at Leicester, and the Duke coming over into England at the close of the year, and not meeting with quite so kind a reception at court as he expected, went suddenly to Lincoln, where his old mistress Lady Catharine Swynford resided, and to the great surprise of the world, now when she had not either youth or beauty to recommend her, married her. This gave great discontent to the Duchess osGloueestcr, the Countess of Derby, the Countess of Aruntlel, and oilier ladies descended of the royal family, because file became by this marriage the second person in the realm, and from being no fit companion for any,was now suddenly to take place of them all; but silt behaved withfomuchdiscretionand humility that these disputes were quickly composed, and in a thort time she gained such,an ascendency over the Kii'g thr.t he carried her, as well as the Duke he?
husband, with him the year after their marriage into France, at which time he espoused Isabel the French king's daughter, then very young, arid who was put: under the care of the Duchess of Lancaster.
After the ceremony of this marriage, and the return of the royal family to England, we find a very singular instance of the advantage that Chaucer received from this alliance, for now by letters patents the King granted him an annuity of twenty marks ferannum, in lieuof thatgiveithimby his grandfather, and which in the time of hisdistress he had been compelled to dispose of for his subsistence. Soon after this he granted him his protection by other letters patents dated the ^thof May in the list year of his reign for two years, signifying that for that space he had occasion to employ him in his service. Neither Was this the last or greatest instance afforded him of royal favour, since we find that by letters patents slated the I Jth of October in the following year he had a pipe of wine annually granted out of the Customs of the port of London, which was to be delivered him by the Chief Butler, and to this office his son Thomas Chaucer was now raised.
But if these benefits cheered and comforted his decayed spirits in the decline of life, he hadhowever the mortification to lose lbout the same time his noble patron, his constant friend,and kind brother, the Duke us Lancaster, by whom he was £rst brought to court, sad through whose favour he never wanted either countenance or support when it was in his power to bestow,. This lose very probably afflicted him deeply, as we may gather from his retiring about this time to DunningtonrCastle, where he spent most of his days during the last two yearsof his life, indulginghisgrave thoughts in the solitude of that sweet retreat *.
* Ostbatfzi.ee; retreat.] It is not very clear at what time our Author quitted his beloved house at Woodstock in order to po to Dunnuig ton-Cuttle, wherehe spent the lr.lt two years of his life, but a^ this Was his final retrc.it, and became very remarkable for being so, an account of It cannot be unacceptable to the reader. It was in Mr. Camden's time (when in irs glory) *' A small but neat castle, situate upon the brow of arising hill, "having an agreeable prospect, very I'gh.t. with windows on "all sides, said to be built by Sir Richard Adderbury Knt. who '-• likewise fovinded an hospital beneath it called God's House; *' it was afterwards the seat of Chaucer, then of the Dela Poles, *' and in our fathers' memory thedwclllng; of Charles Brandon "Duke of Suffolk." At the beginning of the rebellion in the reign of King Charles I. it was a garrison for the King under the valiant Sir John Hoys, which commanded the western road and town of New bury, and was therefore of great advantage to the royal party as a safe retreat, ar.d the cannon playing from it much »mioycd the parliament forces. This place his Majesty honoured by lying one night in it, but after a rough assault and as bold a resistance, during which several of the towers were battered down, it was surrendered upon honourable conditions. This was the ancient state and the occasion of the late ruin of that pleasant structure. At present there is nothing to be fren of it but what raises horrour and concern, a battered gateway with two towers, and sonic small part of the shattered wall?, being all that remains thereof. The ground about it and the ruins of it are choked with brambles and overrun with ivy ; but lest the place of its situation [houid in ^