Thursday, 7 August 2008

The Royal Council of 1452

The Royal Council Sessions for 1452 were just as acrimonious as in the previous year. The nobles allied to the King were becoming increasingly anxious about the lack of a Lancastrian heir to the throne. The Queen was in a quandary. Her husband was unwilling to co-operate, nor could he be coerced. A man so devout could not be intoxicated, and he was a light sleeper who spent many of the night hours in prayer. After the proceedings were complete one day, Queen Margaret suggested to King Henry that they should go over plans for Ireland with their trusted ally James Butler, Earl of Wiltshire.

Henry: The only use Ireland has been to us is as somewhere to keep the Duke of York occupied. Since he refuses to stay there any more, it doesn't even serve that purpose. Why can't we leave Ireland to the Irish? It is another burden of responsibility we could do without.

Margaret: Perhaps, my lord, you think your time would be better spent praying for Ireland, rather than going through all these details?

Henry: A welcome suggestion, my lady. I shall retire to my chamber for prayer, and leave the rest of the matter in Wiltshire's capable hands.

Margaret: We have had a long day already, Wiltshire. Refresh yourself with some of this excellent wine. I have it imported from my native Anjou, and the vintages have been good in recent years.

Wiltshire took a tentative sip. Finding the drink most palatable, he drained the cup gladly, relishing the thick, sweet fruitiness. He needed no encouragement from the Queen to help himself to some more, unaware that she had augmented the delicious juice with a potent narcotic. Soon he was having difficulty concentrating on the names of Irish people and Irish places. His head started to swim, there was a brief sensation of euphoria and then he collapsed, utterly stupefied. Quickly Queen Margaret set to work, doing her duty for the House of Lancaster.

Next Chapter

No comments: