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|Goldsmith on Jane Shore
Written by JulieW
(8/22/2004 1:57 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Jane Shore, penned by Carolyn
The protector, having thus got rid of those he most feared, he undertook to punish even the least dangerous. Jane Shore, the late king’s mistress, was an enemy too humble for him to fear any thing from her attempts, yet , as she had been accused of witchcraft, of which all the world saw she was innocent, he thought proper to punish her for faults of which she was really guilty. This unhappy woman had been deluded formerly from her husband , one Shore, a goldsmith, in Lombard- street, and continued with Edward the most guiltless mistress in his luxurious and abandoned court: she ever interceded for the distressed, and was ever applied to as a mediator for mercy. She ws charitable, generous, and pleasing in conversation: her wit and her beauty were said to be irresistible. Being blameless in other respects, the protector ordered her to be sued for incontinency, for having left her husband to live in adultery with another. It is possible , that the people were not displeased at seeing another again reduced to her former meaness, a person who had for a while been raised above them, and enjoyed all the favours of the king. Her guilt was too notorious to be denied; she acknowledged the charge and was condemned to walk barefoot through the city, and to do penance in St Paul’s church in a white sheet, with a wax taper in her hand, before thousands of spectators. She lived alone for forty years after this sentence, reduced to the most extreme wretchedness. A historian, in the reign of Henry VII. assures us, that he saw her gathering herbs in a field near the city, to supply her nightly meal; a strange employment for one who had once been the favourite of a court and the mistress of a king.
My goodness, he almost gave us a reference here….. ;-)
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