Showing posts with label House of Plantagenet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label House of Plantagenet. Show all posts

Monday, 19 June 2017

Accession : Glory to You and Your House

Enough! I don't want to hear anything more about finances, mergers, or currency transactions!
The charge has been made that you have used money to bring down a Great House. 
What do you say to this, D'Ghor? 

 "A Klingon regards the honor of his or her family to be valuable, above all else. The family name can be besmirched by any member of the family, regardless of age or infirmity. A Klingon would sooner kill himself and his closer brother than live with a mark on the name of his ancestral lineage. The family is all, and a member of the family is responsible for the actions of his kin. The oldest son of a Klingon warrior may be called upon to give his life for the actions of his father." 

Never A Plan Like Yours To Study History So Wisely

Never Play, Letting Your Trousers Slip Half-Way

Neighbours Persuaded Lovely Yvonne To Shut Her Window

(Norman, Angevin, Plantagenet, Lancaster, York, Tudor, Stuart, Hanover, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Windsor (or Wettin).

As the Houses of Lancaster and York were really branches of the House of Plantagenet, the first mnemonic can be simplified to 

No Plan To Study History Wisely

In addition, The House of Windsor was a branch of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, which in turn is a branch of the House of Wettin, thus keeping the mnemonic.

Or, to go for the full package, the mnemonic can be extended to 

No Plan Like Yours To Study Our Saxon History So Wisely

Norman, Plantagenet, Lancaster, York, Tudor, Stuart, Orange, Stuart, Hanover, Saxe-Coburg, Windsor.

 "I started thinking about [...] Houses, and sort of, you know, the idea of bonding people to a Klingon House [....] The idea of bloodlines and families and sort of this Shakespearian idea of how the Klingon Empire ran – I was starting to, sort of, deal with that in this episode."

"We've never explored the hows and whys regarding the naming of Klingon Houses. The House of Mogh reference was probably something that Worf carried on out of respect for his deceased father. This might be the right of a son – to perpetuate a single name for the House instead of supplanting it with his own."

"I think I used the word 'House' in my draft [of 'The Bonding'], even though it's not in the episode." 

Ronald D. "Klingon-Guy" Moore
(The Bonding" audio commentary, TNG Season 3 Blu-ray) 

(On the Klingon homeworld, on a slightly shabby couch, Quark is hypo'd awake) 

What? What happened? Where am I? 

TUMEK: (ancient family retainer) 
You are on Qo'noS. 

Qo'noS? The Klingon homeworld. 

You are in the ancestral home of what used to be known as the House of Kozak. 

What's it called now? 

Kozak died without a male heir. The House no longer has a name. 

What about Kozak's brother, D'Ghor? 

That pahtk's name is not spoken in this house. 
He is no brother to Kozak. 
His family has been a sworn enemy of this House for 7 generations. 

But he came to DS9. He told me... 

What he told you were lies. He wanted you to say that Kozak had died in honourable combat so that no special dispensation would be granted. 

I don't understand. 

If Kozak had died in an accident and left no male heir, the Council might have decided that this was an unusual situation and granted special dispensation. 

That might have allowed Grilka to become Head of the Family even though she's a woman. 

But if Kozak died in an honourable fight, and was simply defeated by a better opponent, then no dispensation would have been granted, and without a male heir the House will fall. 

That hasn't happened yet, Tumek, and there is still time to prevent it from ever happening. 

(She offers a robe to Quark.

Put this on. 


Because if you do not, I will kill you. 

I beg you, consider what you do here, mistress. 

The decision is made. There is no other choice. 

(Quark struggles into the robe and Grilka takes his hand.) 

Go'Eveh lu cha wabeh. Mo ka re'Chos. 

Repeat my words Go'Eveh lu cha wabeh. To va re'Luk. 

Let me ask just one 

(Grilka puts a knife to Quark's throat

 Repeat the words. 

Go'Eveh lu cha wabeh to va re'Luk. 

Ghos ma'lu Kah! 

(Grilka kisses Quark, then spits.

It is done. 

What's done? 

The ceremony is complete. You are husband and wife.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Accession : The Fall of the House of Plantagenet

It is only by chance that Titulus Regius has survived

Titulus Regius: The Title of the King
by Tracy Bryce

Titulus Regius is a rare document in the history of the monarchy of England.  In a country where rights of succession were usually determined by inheritance and bloodlines, or more dramatically through rights of conquest, the Titulus is a legal document, written in English, which cogently argues for presenting the throne of England to the most eminently qualified candidate available – Richard Plantagenet.  My purpose today is to take a tour of TitulusRegius, reading and interpreting the text, as well as to discuss the background and history of this pivotal document of Richard’s short reign.


This Act of Settlement transcribed into the Rolls of Richard’s only Parliament is allegedly based upon the text of the petition made by Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, to an assembly of the Lords and Commons in the London Guildhall on Wednesday, June 25th1483.  The petition was presented to the Duke of Gloucester at Baynard’s Castle on the next day, after which he acknowledged his acceptance, and King Richard’s reign began. 

Parliament had been called for November 6th, but, being delayed by Buckingham’s rebellion in October, it did not convene until January 23rd 1484.  Titulus Regiuswas the first act on the agenda, to verify the credentials of the reigning monarch and the prerogative of the Parliament that elected him.  We start with a kind of prologue, which establishes the association between the petition in June and this Act of Settlement now read into the Parliamentary record.  It is also carefully argued that, while those who presented the original petition – the roll of Parchment - were not a lawfully formed Parliament, this present body is a lawfully formed Parliament, and accordingly confirms all that was said the previous June.

The Preamble starts…

Where late heretofore, that is to say, before the Consecration, Coronation and Enthronization of our Sovereign Lord the King Richard the Third, a Roll of Parchment, containing in writing certain Articles of the tenor underwritten, on the behalf and in the name of the three Estates of this Realm of England, that is to wit, of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and of the Commons, by many and diverse Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and other Nobles and notable persons of the Commons in great multitude, was presented and actually delivered unto our said Sovereign Lord the King, to the intent and effect expressed at large in the same Roll; to the which Roll, and to the Considerations and instant Petition comprised in the same, our said Sovereign Lord, for the public weal and tranquility of this Land, benignly assented.
Now forasmuch as neither the said three Estates, neither the said persons, which in their name presented and delivered, as is abovesaid, the said Roll unto our said Sovereign Lord the King, were assembled in form of Parliament; by occasion whereof, diverse doubts, questions and ambiguities, been moved and engendered in the minds of diverse persons, as it is said: Therefore, to the perpetual memory of the truth, and declaration of the same, be it ordained, provided and established in this present Parliament, that the tenor of the said Roll, with all the continue of the same, presented, as is abovesaid, and delivered to our before said Sovereign Lord the King, in the name and on the behalf of the said three Estates out of Parliament, now by the same three Estates assembled in this present Parliament, and by authority of the same, be  ratified, enrolled, recorded, approved and authorized, into removing the occasion of doubts and ambiguities, and to all other lawful effect that shall more thereof ensue; so that all things said, affirmed, specified, desired and remembered in the said Roll, and in the tenor of the same underwritten, in the name of the said three Estates, to the effect expressed in the same Roll, be of like effect, virtue and force, as if all the same things had been so said, affirmed, specified, desired and remembered in a full Parliament, and by authority of the same accepted and approved. The tenor of the said Roll of Parchment, whereof above is made mention, follows and is such. 


It is only by chance that TitulusRegius has survived.   One of the first acts of Henry VII’s Parliament in November 1485  was to repeal Richard’s Act of Settlement unread; orders were passed down to have it deleted from the Statute book, and all copies were to be destroyed under pain of punishment.  As stated in the rolls of Henry’s first Parliament: 

“So that all things said and remembered in the said Bill and Act thereof may be for ever out of remembrance and also forgot.”[1]

The intent was to wipe out the stain of illegitimacy on Henry’s prospective wife, Elizabeth of York.  Her legitimacy as an heir of Edward IV served to strengthen Henry’s claim to the throne.

Sir Thomas More and Tudor historian Polydore Vergil, writing in the later years of Henry’s reign and beyond, consequently did not have access to the Titulus.  Its subsequent discovery sorely damaged the credibility of their own scholarly works.  In the 18thcentury, Horace Walpole in his Historic Doubts on the Life and Reign of King Richard III takes great delight in skewering More with the inaccuracies of the Eleanor Butler pre-contract story, whom More had misidentified as a royal mistress named Elizabeth Lucy.[2]  But if you believe, as Sir Clements Markham does, that “Thomas More” was really Cardinal John Morton in disguise, then the naming of the well-known mistress Elizabeth Lucy as the woman to whom Edward was betrothed, now appears to be a deliberate and nefarious scheme to discredit the veracity of Titulus Regius.  But that’s not a debate for this paper.


We have to thank the anonymous Second Continuator of the Croyland Chronicle who summarized the contents of this “rolle of parchement”, which set forth Richard’s claim to the throne.  The Chronicle itself came to light early in the 17th century, and soon afterwards William Camden discovered the long-buried Act of Settlement amongst Private Acts filed away in the Tower, where it had escaped Henry’s purge. Cartographer John Speed printed more details from the Titulus in his book, History of Great Britain in 1611, and Sir George Buck used it as a source document for his better known work, The History of the life and reigne of Richard the Third, written circa 1619.  It was the beginning of Ricardian revisionism. 


Charles Ross dismisses the Titulusas blatant propaganda, but political documents are invariably just that – an attempt to sway the minds and beliefs of the public on behalf of the party or body that generates it.  The goal of such documents is to justify governmental action or influence public opinion.   The language of Titulus is rather pedantic, a form of “legalese” with the constant repetition of key phrases to emphasize and to clarify the message delivered.  It sounds rather laborious to modern ears.  The Titulus is divided into three discernable themes:

Part I – The Previous Regime 

The first part of Titulus Regiusfollows a typical pattern of casting aspersions on the reigns of previous kings, as an explanation for why a change was needed.  Time and again in political documents one party accuses the other of various “murders, extortions and oppressions…with every good maiden and woman standing in dread to be ravished and defouled”.  We’ve seen it previously in the 1469 manifesto published by Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick and George of Clarence in justification for their coup against Edward.  Henry Tudor’s Act of Attainder against Richard follows the same practice, and decries: 

 “…the unnatural, mischievous and great perjuries, treasons, homicides and murders, in shedding of infants’ blood, with many other wrongs, odious offences and abominations against God and man.”[3]

Perhaps recognizing that these conventions were common in political writing, Richard apparently did not contest the unflattering things said about his brother’s statecraft.  Or perhaps he thought there was some truth in the matter.

To the High and Mighty Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester

Please it your Noble Grace to understand the consideration, election and petition of us the lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons of this Realm of England, and thereunto agreeably to give your assent, to the common and public weal of this land, to the comforts and gladness of all the people of the same. 

 “First, we consider how that heretofore in time past, this Land many years stood in great prosperity, honour and tranquility; which was caused, foresomuch as the Kings then reigning, used and followed the advice and counsel of certain Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and other persons of approved sadness, prudence, policy and experience, dreading God, and having tender zeal and affection to indifferent ministration of Justice and to the common and political weal of the Land, then our Lord God was dread, loved and honoured; when within the Land was peace and tranquility, and among neighbours concord and charity; then the malice of outward enemies was mightily resisted and repressed, and the Land honourably defended with many great and glorious victories, then the intercourse of merchandises was largely used and exercised; by which things above remembered, the Land was greatly enriched, so that as well the merchants and artificers, as other poor people, labouring for their living in diverse occupations, had competent gain, to the sustentation of them and their households, living without miserable and intolerable poverty. 

”But afterward, when that such as had the rule and governance of this Land, delighting in adulation and flattery, and led by sensuality and concupiscence, followed the counsel of persons insolent, vicious, and of inordinate avarice, despising the counsel of good, virtuous and prudent persons such as above be remembered; the prosperity of this Land daily decreased, so that felicity was turned into misery, and prosperity into adversity, and the order of policy and of the law of God and Man confounded; whereby it is likely this Realm to fall into extreme misery and desolation, which God defend, without due provision of convenable remedy be had in this behalf in all goodly haste.
Over this, amongst other things, more specially we consider how that, the time of the Reign of King Edward IV, late deceased, after the ungracious pretensed marriage, as all England had cause so to say, made between the said King Edward IV and Elizabeth, sometime wife to Sir John Grey, Knight, late naming herself and many years heretofore Queen of England, the order of all politic rule was perverted, the laws of God and of God’s Church, and also the laws of nature, and of England, and also the laudable customs and liberties of the same, wherein every Englishman is inheritor; broken, subverted and contempted, against all reason and justice, so that this Land was ruled by self-will and pleasure, fear and dread, all manner of equity and laws laid apart and despised, whereof ensued many inconveniences and mischiefs, as murders, extortions and oppressions, namely of poor and impotent people, so that no man was sure of his life, land nor livelihood, nor of his wife, daughter nor servant, every good maiden and woman standing in dread to be ravished and defouled.  And besides this, what discords, inward battles, effusion of Christian men’s blood and namely, by the destruction of the noble blood of this Land, was had and committed within the same, it is evident and notary (notorious) through all this Realm unto the great sorrow and heaviness of all true Englishmen.

Part II – The Disqualification of Edward’s Heirs

The second section of the Titulusrelates how the marriage of Edward IV to Elizabeth Woodville was deemed to be invalid for a litany of reasons:  it was contracted without the assent of the Lords, it was conducted secretly, in a “profane place” without the proclamation of banns and in defiance of Church laws, and in fact, was brought about through the sorcery of Elizabeth and her mother, Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford.  As if this wasn’t enough, there was this little matter of a pre-contract with Dame Eleanor Butler, the daughter of the old Earl of Shrewsbury.

All this was served as evidence that the children of Edward and Elizabeth, being bastards, were ineligible to claim the throne by inheritance.  The children of George, Duke of Clarence, were legally disqualified by their father’s attainder for treason.   In concordance with the ancient laws and customs of the land, there was only one way forward.  
The text reads:

“And here also we consider, how the said pretensed marriage, between the above named King Edward and Elizabeth Grey, was made of great presumption, without the knowing or assent of the Lords of this Land, and also by sorcery and witchcraft, committed by the said Elizabeth and her mother, Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford, as the common opinion of the people and the public voice, and fame is through all this Land; and hereafter, if and as the case shall require, shall be proved sufficiently in time and place convenient.  

This sentence is significant, because it suggests that the matter of the late king’s invalid marriage was to be more thoroughly demonstrated, admitting that here and now was not the place to do it.  It does not preclude some future ecclesiastical examination into the pre-contract, and hints that there is more to this issue than is prudent to discuss here.

And here also we consider how that the said pretensed marriage was made privately and secretly, with edition of banns, in a private chamber, a profane place, and not openly in the face of the church, after the laws of God’s church, but contrary thereunto, and the laudable custom of the Church of England.  And how also, that at the time of the contract of the same pretensed marriage, and before and long time after, the said King Edward was and stood married and troth plight to one Dame Eleanor Butler, daughter of the old Earl of Shrewsbury, with whom the said King Edward had made a precontract of matrimony, long time before he made the said pretensed marriage with the said Elizabeth Grey in manner and form aforesaid.  Which premises being true, as in very truth they been true, it appears and follows evidently, that the said King Edward during his life, and the said Elizabeth, lived together sinfully and damnably in adultery, against the law of God and his Church; and therefore no marvel  that the sovereign Lord and head of this Land, being of such ungodly disposition, and provoking the ire and indignation of our Lord God, such heinous mischiefs and inconveniences, as is above remembered, were used and committed in the Realm amongst the subjects.  Also it appears evidently and follows that all the issue and children of the said King, been (being) bastards, and unable to inherit or to claim anything by inheritance, by the law and custom of England.

“Moreover we consider how that afterward, by the three estates of this Realm assembled in a Parliament held at Westminster the 17th year of the reign of the said King Edward the Fourth, he then being in possession of the crown and royal estate, by an act made in the same Parliament, George, Duke of Clarence, brother to the said King Edward now deceased, was convicted and attainted of high treason, as in the same act is contained more at large.  Because and by treason whereof all the issue of the said George was and is disabled and barred of all right and claim that in any wise they might have or challenge by inheritance to the crown and royal dignity of this Realm, by the ancient law and custom of this same Realm.

Part III – The Birthright

Once the credentials of all other contenders for the throne were refuted, there remained only to establish the rightfulness of the claim of Richard Plantagenet.  This section of the Titulus outlines Richard’s worthiness to rule by inheritance through his father, Richard, Duke of York, by his birthright as an Englishman, and by his past services in defence of the Realm on the field of battle.  

“Over this we consider, how that you be the undoubted son and heir of Richard late Duke of York, very inheritor to the said crown and dignity royal and as in right King of England, by way to inheritance, and that at this time the premises duly considered, there is none other person living but you only, that by right may claim the said crown and dignity royal, by way of inheritance, and how that you be born within this Land; by reason whereof, as we deem in our minds, you be more naturally inclined to the prosperity and common weal of the same: and all the three Estates of the Land have, and may have, more certain knowledge of your birth and affiliation above said."[4]  We consider also, the great wit, prudence, justice, princely courage, and the memorable and laudable acts in diverse battles, which as we by experience know you heretofore have done for the salvation and defence of this same Realm; and also the great nobility and excellence of your birth and blood, as of him that is descended of the three most royal houses in Christendom, that is to say, England, France and Spain.”

The text goes on to confirm the authority of Parliament to endorse Richard’s claim and election to the crown and dignity of the Realm of England.  This is significant in English political history, as it is one of the first glimpses of Parliament, acting as a tool of the three estates, asserting power to influence the estate of kingship.  There is, in fact, a contract established here, between king and people.

Wherefore these premises by us diligently considered, we desiring affectuously the peace, tranquility and weal public of this Land, and the reduction of the same to the ancient honourable estate, and prosperity, and having in your great prudence, justice, princely courage and excellent virtue, singular confidence, have chosen in all that is in us is, and by this our writing choose you, high and mighty Prince, into our King and sovereign Lord, etc., to whom we know for certain it appertains of inheritance so to be chosen.  And hereupon we humbly desire, pray and require your said Noble Grace, that, according to this election of us the three Estates of this Land, as by your true inheritance, as by lawful election; and in case you so do, we promise to serve and to assist your Highness, as true and faithful subjects and liegemen, and to live and die with you in this matter, and every other just quarrel.  For certainly we be determined rather to adventure and commit us to peril of our lives and jeopardy of death, than to live in such thraldom and bondage as we have lived long time heretofore, oppressed and injured by new extortions and impositions, against the laws of God and man, and the liberty, old policy and laws of this Realm wherein every Englishman is inherited.  Our Lord God King of all Kings by whose infinite goodness and eternal providence all things have been principally governed in this world lighten your soul, and grant you grace to do, as well in this matter as in all other, all that may be according to his will and pleasure, and to the common and public weal of this Land, so that after great clouds, troubles, storms and tempests, the son (sun) of justice and of grace may shine upon us, to the comfort and gladness of all true Englishmen.”

Richard’s right to rule is grounded on the laws of God, of Nature and ancient social decrees.  Now, for those common people who do not understand these things, the Titulus asserts that Parliament knows what’s best, and seeks to “quiet men’s minds”…
“Albeit that the right, title and estate, which our sovereign Lord the King Richard the Third has to and in the crown and royal dignity of this Realm of England, with all things thereunto within this same Realm and without it, united, annexed and appertaining, have been just and lawful, as grounded upon the laws of God and of Nature, and also upon the ancient laws and laudable customs of this said Realm, and so taken and reputed by all such persons as been learnēd in the above said laws and customs.  Yet, nevertheless, for as much as it is considered that the most part of the people of this Land is not sufficiently learnēd in the abovesaid laws and customs, whereby the truth and right in this behalf of likelihood may be hid, and not clearly known to all the people, and thereupon put in doubt and question.  And over this, how that the Court of Parliament is of such authority, and the people of the Land of such nature and disposition, as experience teaches, that manifestation and declaration of any truth or right, made by the three Estates of this Realm assembled in Parliament, and by authority of the same, makes, before all other things, most faith and certainty, and, quietening men’s minds, removes the occasion of all doubts and seditious language.
“Therefore at the request, and by the assent of the three Estates of this Realm, that is to say, the Lords Spiritual, and Temporal and Commons of this Land, assembled in this present Parliament by authority of the same, be it pronounced, decreed and declared, that our said sovereign Lord the King was and is very and undoubted King of this Realm of England; with all things thereunto within this same Realm, and without it united, annexed and appertaining, as well by right of consanguinity and inheritance as by lawful election, consecration and coronation.  And over this, that, at the request, and by the assent and authority abovesaid be it ordained, enacted and established that the said crown and royal dignity of this Realm, and the inheritance of the same, and other things thereunto within the same Realm, or without it, united, annexed, and now appertaining, rest and abide in the person of our said sovereign Lord the King, during his life, and, after his decease, in his heirs of his body begotten.”

This part concludes with the acknowledgement of Edward of Middleham as Richard’s lawful son and heir, and his successor to the throne, in accordance with the laws of inheritance.

“And specially, at the request, and by the assent and authority abovesaid, be it ordained, enacted, established, pronounced, decreed and declared that the high and excellent Prince Edward, son of our said sovereign Lord the King, be heir apparent of the same our sovereign Lord the King, to succeed to him in the above said crown and royal dignity, with all things as is aforesaid thereunto united, annexed and appertaining; to have them after the decease of our said sovereign Lord the King to him and to his heirs of his body lawfully begotten.”

To this bill the Commons gave their assent and it consequently passed.

Professor Charles Wood was to write in 1975:  “Ironic though it may be, Richard III, legendary usurper and tyrant, has some claim to having been the one possessor of a genuinely parliamentary title during the entire middle ages.”[5]

Titulus Regius is invaluable to us today as evidence of Richard’s right to rule.  It is a document which, if Henry had been successful, would have been lost to all history, leaving us even farther away from the truth that we Ricardians struggle to reach.


Cunningham, Sean. Richard III: A Royal Enigma.  The National Archives, Richmond, 2003.

Dunham, William Huse Jr, and Wood, Charles T. The Right to Rule in England: Depositions and the Kingdom’s Authority 1327-1485The American Historical Review, October 1976.

Gairdner, James.  History of the Life and Reign of Richard the Third.  Cedric Chivers Ltd., Bath 1972.

Kendall, Paul Murray (ed.).  The Great Debate:  More’s History of King Richard III and Walpole’s Historic Doubts on the Life and Reign of King Richard III. W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 1992.

Lamb, V. B.  The Betrayal of Richard III. Sutton Publishing, Stroud, Gloucestershire, 1997.

Potter, Jeremy. Good King Richard?  Constable, London, 1985.

Ross, Charles. Richard III. Eyre Methuen, London, 1981.

Shepherd, Kenneth R.  The Title of the King:  Aspects of Richard III’sAct of Succession.  The Ricardian.Vol. VII, No. 94, September 1986. 

The Croyland Chronicle. Part VII and Part VIII.  The Richard III Society,

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

A Plague Upon the House of Plantagenet

"If the subject of a Poem is obscure, or not generally known, or not interesting, and if it abounds with allusions, and facts of this improper, and uninteresting character, the writer who chuses the subject, and introduces those improper, and unaffecting allusions, and facts, betrays a great want of poetical judgment, and taste. Mr. Gray had a vitiated fondness for such insipid fable, narrative, and references."

Based on a Thomas Gray poem, inspired by a Welsh tradition that said that Edward I had put to death any bards he found, to extinguish Welsh culture; the poem depicts the escape of a single bard.


The following Ode is founded on a Tradition current in Wales,
that EDWARD the First, when he compleated the conquest of
that country, ordered all the Bards, that fell into his hands,
to be put to death.

I. 1.

1'Ruin seize thee, ruthless king!3 Explanatory
2'Confusion on thy banners wait,2 Explanatory
3'Though fanned by Conquest's crimson wing2 Explanatory
4'They mock the air with idle state.3 Explanatory
5'Helm nor hauberk's twisted mail,2 Explanatory
6'Nor even thy virtues, tyrant, shall avail1 Textual
7'To save thy secret soul from nightly fears,1 Explanatory
8'From Cambria's curse, from Cambria's tears!'3 Explanatory
9Such were the sounds, that o'er the crested pride2 Explanatory
10Of the first Edward scattered wild dismay,
11As down the steep of Snowdon's shaggy side4 Explanatory
12He wound with toilsome march his long array.3 Explanatory
13Stout Gloucester stood aghast in speechless trance:3 Explanatory
14'To arms!' cried Mortimer, and couched his quivering lance.5 Explanatory

I. 2.

15On a rock, whose haughty brow2 Explanatory
16Frowns o'er old Conway's foaming flood,4 Explanatory1 Textual
17Robed in the sable garb of woe,2 Explanatory4 Textual
18With haggard eyes the poet stood;6 Explanatory4 Textual
19(Loose his beard, and hoary hair4 Explanatory
20Streamed, like a meteor, to the troubled air)6 Explanatory
21And with a master's hand, and prophet's fire,1 Explanatory
22Struck the deep sorrows of his lyre.
23'Hark, how each giant-oak, and desert cave,2 Explanatory
24'Sighs to the torrent's awful voice beneath!
25'O'er thee, oh king! their hundred arms they wave,
26'Revenge on thee in hoarser murmurs breathe;2 Explanatory
27'Vocal no more, since Cambria's fatal day,1 Explanatory
28'To high-born Hoel's harp, or soft Llewellyn's lay.12 Explanatory1 Textual

I. 3.

29'Cold is Cadwallo's tongue,9 Explanatory3 Textual
30'That hushed the stormy main:10 Explanatory3 Textual
31'Brave Urien sleeps upon his craggy bed:8 Explanatory3 Textual
32'Mountains, ye mourn in vain5 Explanatory
33'Modred, whose magic song10 Explanatory
34'Made huge Plinlimmon bow his cloud-topped head.5 Explanatory
35'On dreary Arvon's shore they lie,5 Explanatory
36'Smeared with gore, and ghastly pale:1 Explanatory
37'Far, far aloof the affrighted ravens sail;2 Explanatory
38'The famished eagle screams, and passes by.3 Explanatory
39'Dear lost companions of my tuneful art,2 Explanatory
40'Dear, as the light that visits these sad eyes,3 Explanatory
41'Dear, as the ruddy drops that warm my heart,2 Explanatory
42'Ye died amidst your dying country's cries—2 Explanatory
43'No more I weep. They do not sleep.4 Explanatory4 Textual
44'On yonder cliffs, a grisly band,3 Explanatory
45'I see them sit, they linger yet,3 Explanatory
46'Avengers of their native land:1 Explanatory
47'With me in dreadful harmony they join,4 Explanatory
48'And weave with bloody hands the tissue of thy line.'5 Explanatory

II. 1.

49"Weave the warp, and weave the woof,8 Explanatory
50"The winding-sheet of Edward's race.1 Explanatory
51"Give ample room, and verge enough4 Explanatory
52"The characters of hell to trace.3 Explanatory
53"Mark the year and mark the night,1 Explanatory
54"When Severn shall re-echo with affright3 Explanatory
55"The shrieks of death, through Berkeley's roofs that ring,6 Explanatory
56"Shrieks of an agonizing King!6 Explanatory
57"She-wolf of France, with unrelenting fangs,5 Explanatory
58"That tear'st the bowels of thy mangled mate,1 Explanatory
59"From thee be born, who o'er thy country hangs2 Explanatory
60"The scourge of heaven. What terrors round him wait!4 Explanatory
61"Amazement in his van, with Flight combined,4 Explanatory
62"And Sorrow's faded form, and Solitude behind.2 Explanatory3 Textual

II. 2.

63"Mighty victor, mighty lord,1 Explanatory6 Textual
64"Low on his funeral couch he lies!3 Explanatory6 Textual
65"No pitying heart, no eye, afford1 Explanatory6 Textual
66"A tear to grace his obsequies.1 Explanatory1 Textual
67"Is the sable warrior fled?3 Explanatory
68"Thy son is gone. He rests among the dead.
69"The swarm that in thy noon-tide beam were born?4 Explanatory6 Textual
70"Gone to salute the rising morn.2 Explanatory6 Textual
71"Fair laughs the morn, and soft the zephyr blows,7 Explanatory6 Textual
72"While proudly riding o'er the azure realm7 Explanatory6 Textual
73"In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes;6 Explanatory6 Textual
74"Youth on the prow, and Pleasure at the helm;7 Explanatory6 Textual
75"Regardless of the sweeping whirlwind's sway,8 Explanatory6 Textual
76"That, hushed in grim repose, expects his evening-prey.6 Explanatory6 Textual

II. 3.

77"Fill high the sparkling bowl,3 Explanatory
78"The rich repast prepare,2 Explanatory
79"Reft of a crown, he yet may share the feast:3 Explanatory
80"Close by the regal chair3 Explanatory
81"Fell Thirst and Famine scowl3 Explanatory
82"A baleful smile upon their baffled guest.5 Explanatory6 Textual
83"Heard ye the din of battle bray,3 Explanatory
84"Lance to lance, and horse to horse?2 Explanatory1 Textual
85"Long years of havoc urge their destined course,2 Explanatory
86"And through the kindred squadrons mow their way.2 Explanatory
87"Ye towers of Julius, London's lasting shame,5 Explanatory6 Textual
88"With many a foul and midnight murther fed,2 Explanatory1 Textual
89"Revere his consort's faith, his father's fame,
90"And spare the meek usurper's holy head.4 Explanatory6 Textual
91"Above, below, the rose of snow,5 Explanatory
92"Twined with her blushing foe, we spread:4 Explanatory
93"The bristled Boar in infant-gore5 Explanatory
94"Wallows beneath the thorny shade.2 Explanatory
95"Now, brothers, bending o'er the accursed loom,
96"Stamp we our vengeance deep, and ratify his doom.3 Explanatory

III. 1.

97"Edward, lo! to sudden fate2 Explanatory
98"(Weave we the woof. The thread is spun)2 Explanatory
99"Half of thy heart we consecrate.7 Explanatory
100"(The web is wove. The work is done.)"1 Explanatory
101'Stay, oh stay! nor thus forlorn4 Explanatory6 Textual
102'Leave me unblessed, unpitied, here to mourn:4 Explanatory7 Textual
103'In yon bright track, that fires the western skies,1 Explanatory6 Textual
104'They melt, they vanish from my eyes.1 Explanatory6 Textual
105'But oh! what solemn scenes on Snowdon's height1 Explanatory8 Textual
106'Descending slow their glittering skirts unroll?3 Explanatory6 Textual
107'Visions of glory, spare my aching sight,2 Explanatory
108'Ye unborn ages, crowd not on my soul!3 Explanatory
109'No more our long-lost Arthur we bewail.5 Explanatory6 Textual
110'All-hail, ye genuine kings, Britannia's issue, hail!8 Explanatory6 Textual

III. 2.

111'Girt with many a baron bold3 Explanatory6 Textual
112'Sublime their starry fronts they rear;4 Explanatory6 Textual
113'And gorgeous dames, and statesmen old1 Explanatory
114'In bearded majesty, appear.2 Explanatory4 Textual
115'In the midst a form divine!7 Explanatory
116'Her eye proclaims her of the Briton-line;6 Explanatory4 Textual
117'Her lion-port, her awe-commanding face,3 Explanatory6 Textual
118'Attempered sweet to virgin-grace.2 Explanatory
119'What strings symphonious tremble in the air,2 Explanatory1 Textual
120'What strains of vocal transport round her play!1 Explanatory1 Textual
121'Hear from the grave, great Taliessin, hear;4 Explanatory
122'They breathe a soul to animate thy clay.1 Explanatory1 Textual
123'Bright Rapture calls, and soaring, as she sings,3 Explanatory4 Textual
124'Waves in the eye of heaven her many-coloured wings.1 Explanatory

III. 3.

125'The verse adorn again1 Explanatory3 Textual
126'Fierce war and faithful love,4 Explanatory
127'And truth severe, by fairy fiction dressed.4 Explanatory
128'In buskined measures move6 Explanatory3 Textual
129'Pale Grief, and pleasing Pain,4 Explanatory
130'With Horror, tyrant of the throbbing breast.2 Explanatory4 Textual
131'A voice, as of the cherub-choir,5 Explanatory
132'Gales from blooming Eden bear;2 Explanatory
133'And distant warblings lessen on my ear,2 Explanatory
134'That lost in long futurity expire.3 Explanatory
135'Fond impious man, think'st thou, yon sanguine cloud,4 Explanatory
136'Raised by thy breath, has quenched the orb of day?4 Explanatory
137'Tomorrow he repairs the golden flood,7 Explanatory
138'And warms the nations with redoubled ray.3 Explanatory
139'Enough for me: with joy I see2 Explanatory
140'The different doom our fates assign.4 Explanatory
141'Be thine despair and sceptered care;1 Explanatory
142'To triumph, and to die, are mine.'2 Explanatory1 Textual
143He spoke, and headlong from the mountain's height3 Explanatory
144Deep in the roaring tide he plunged to endless night.4 Explanatory3 Textual

Gray's annotations

Mocking the air with colours idly spread.
    Shakespear's King John. [V. i. 72]
The Hauberk was a texture of steel ringlets, or rings interwoven, forming a coat of mail, that sate close to the body, and adapted itself to every motion.
— [By] The crested adder's pride.
    Dryden's Indian Queen. [III. i. 84]
Snowdon was a name given by the Saxons to that mountainous tract, which the Welch themselves call Craigian-eryri: it included all the highlands of Caernarvonshire and Merionethshire, as far east as the river Conway. R. Hygden[,] speaking of the castle of Conway built by King Edward the first, says, ''Ad ortum amnis Conway ad clivum montis Erery [At the source of the River Conway on the slope of Mt. Erery];'' and Matthew of Westminster, (ad ann. 1283,) ''Apud Aberconway ad pedes montis Snowdoniae fecit erigi castrum forte [Near (or at) Aberconway at the foot of Mt. Snowdon, he caused a fortified camp to be constructed.].''
Gilbert de Clare, surnamed the Red, Earl of Gloucester and Hertford, son-in-law to King Edward.
Edmond de Mortimer, Lord of Wigmore. They both were Lords-Marchers, whose lands lay on the borders of Wales, and probably accompanied the King in this expedition.
['... haggard, wch conveys to you the the Idea of a Witch, is indeed only a metaphor taken from an unreclaim'd Hawk, wch is called a Haggard, & looks wild & farouche & jealous of its liberty.' Letter to Wharton, 21 Aug. 1755, T & W no. 205.]
The image was taken from a well-known picture of Raphael, representing the Supreme Being in the vision of Ezekiel: there are two of these paintings (both believed original), one at Florence, the other at Paris.
Shone, like a meteor, streaming to the wind.
    Milton's Paradise Lost. [i. 537]
The shores of Caernarvonshire opposite to the isle of Anglesey.
Cambden and others observe, that eagles used annually to build their aerie among the rocks of Snowdon, which from thence (as some think) were named by the Welch Craigian-eryri, or the crags of the eagles. At this day (I am told) the highest point of Snowdon is called the eagle's nest. That bird is certainly no stranger to this island, as the Scots, and the people of Cumberland, Westmoreland, &c. can testify: it even has built its nest in the Peak of Derbyshire. [See Willoughby's Ornithol. published by Ray.] [John Ray (1627-1705) published (1676) and translated (London, 1678) the Ornithologia of his patron Francis Willughby (1635-72).]
As dear to me as are the ruddy drops,
That visit my sad heart—
    Shakesp. Jul. Caesar. [II. i. 289-90]
See the Norwegian Ode, that follows. [Fatal Sisters]
Edward the Second, cruelly butchered in Berkley-Castle [in 1327 near the Severn River in western England].
Isabel of France, Edward the Second's adulterous Queen.
Triumphs of Edward the Third in France.
Death of that King, abandoned by his Children, and even robbed in his last moments by his Courtiers and his Mistress [Alice Perrers, in 1377].
Edward, the Black Prince, dead some time before his Father [in 1376].
Magnificence of Richard the Second's reign. See Froissard, and other contemporary Writers.
Richard the Second, (as we are told by Archbishop Scroop and the confederate Lords in their manifesto, by Thomas of Walsingham, and all the older Writers)[,] was starved to death [in 1400]. The story of his assassination by Sir Piers of Exon, is of much later date.
Ruinous civil wars of York and Lancaster.
Henry the Sixth, George Duke of Clarence, Edward the Fifth, Richard Duke of York, &c. believed to be murthered secretly in the Tower of London. The oldest part of that structure is vulgarly attributed to Julius Caesar.
[Consort] Margaret of Anjou, a woman of heroic spirit, who struggled hard to save her Husband and her Crown.
[Father] Henry the Fifth.
Henry the Sixth very near being canonized. The line of Lancaster had no right of inheritance to the Crown.
The white and red roses, devices of York and Lancaster [presumably woven above and below on the loom].
The silver Boar was the badge of Richard the Third; whence he was usually known in his own time by the name of the Boar.
Eleanor of Castile died a few years after the conquest of Wales. The heroic proof she gave of her affection for her Lord [she is supposed to have sucked the poison from a wound Edward I received] is well known. The monuments of his regret, and sorrow for the loss of her, are still to be seen at Northampton, Geddington, Waltham, and other places.
It was the common belief of the Welch nation, that King Arthur was still alive in Fairy-Land, and should return again to reign over Britain.
Both Merlin [Myrddin] and Taliessin had prophesied, that the Welch should regain their sovereignty over this island; which seemed to be accomplished in the House of Tudor [1768].
Accession of the House of Tudor [1757].
Speed relating an audience given by Queen Elizabeth to Paul Dzialinski, Ambassadour of Poland, says, 'And thus she, lion-like rising, daunted the malapert Orator no less with her stately port and majestical deporture, than with the tartnesse of her princelie checkes.' [John Speed (1552-1629) published his History of Great Britaine ... to ... King James in 1611.]
Taliessin, Chief of the Bards, flourished in the VIth Century. His works are still preserved, and his memory held in high veneration among his Countrymen. [His Book exists in only a thirteenth-century version and many of the poems in it may not be by Taliessin.]
Fierce wars and faithful loves shall moralize my song.
    Spenser's Proëme to the Fairy Queen [l. 9].
The succession of Poets after Milton's time.

Works cited

  • The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891].
  • Gray: Poetry and Prose. With essays by Johnson, Goldsmith and others. With an Introduction and Notes by J. Crofts. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].
  • Poems of Thomas Gray. Edited by W. C. Eppstein. London and Glasgow: Blackie & Son Ltd., 1959.
  • Eighteenth-Century Poetry. An Annotated Anthology. Edited by David Fairer and Christine Gerrard. Blackwell annotated anthologies. Oxford: Blackwell, 1999.
  • The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i.
  • Thomas Gray: Selected Poems. Ed. by John Heath-Stubbs. Manchester: Carcanet New Press Ltd., 1981.
  • The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969.
  • The Poems of Gray and Collins. Edited by Austin Lane Poole. Revised by Leonard Whibley. Third edition. Oxford editions of standard authors series. London: Oxford UP, 1937, reprinted 1950 [1st ed. 1919].
  • Selections from the Poetry and Prose of Thomas Gray. Ed. with an introduction and notes by William Lyon Phelps. The Athenaeum press series. Boston: Ginn & company, 1894.
  • The Complete English Poems of Thomas Gray. Edited with an Introduction and Notes by James Reeves. The Poetry Bookshelf series. London: Heinemann; New York: Barnes & Noble, 1973.
  • The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966.
  • Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].