Isabella of France (1389-1410)
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Isabella of France (1389-1410)

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Sir, if it please God and my lord the King that I be Queen of England, I shall be pleased thereat, for I have been told I shall then be a great lady.
Isabella, aged seven in an interview with the Earl of Nottingham.

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Isabella of France (1389-1410)

Richard II did not actually want a wife, as he was still mourning his beloved first wife Anne, but he had no heir and knew that he would get no peace from the barons without one. He also wanted to consolidate his peace treaty with France and so the seven year-old Isabella, daughter of the mad King Charles VI of France was chosen and married to Richard by proxy in 1396. The marriage contract included a 28-year peace treaty with France, and although Brest and Cherbourg were surrendered, a vast dowry of 800,000 francs was paid, of which £200,000 were spent on the wedding.

Isabella lived at Windsor Castle under the kindly and effective tutelage of Katherine Swynford, John of Gaunt's third wife. Richard visited her there often, giving her a golden crown specially made for her little head when they last met in 1399. Richard was then deposed by Henry Bolingbroke, later Henry IV, whose lands he had earlier confiscated. Isabella was moved to Sonning and supported a plot to free Richard and assassinate Henry. The plan was foiled and Richard starved to death. Henry then wanted Isabella to marry his eldest son, Prince Henry who was infatuated with her, but she would have nothing to do with the murderers of her husband and left England for France in 1401. She later married a Valois cousin for love who was the son of her mother's lover, the Duc d'Orleans but died in childbirth in 1410 aged just twenty one. Advanced Category Search

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