Margaret of Anjou in Early English Literature

Robert Fabyan, Fabyans Cronycle (London: William Rastell, 1533):

In thys .xxi. yere / the foresayde erle of Suffolke, whych as before is touched had fordon the conclusyon of the maryage taken by the ambassadours, betwene the kyng and ye erle of Armenakes doughter, wente ouer hym selfe wyth other vnto hym assygned / & there in Fraunce concluded a mariage betwene the kyng and dame Margarete the kynges doughter of Cecyle and of Hierusalem as sayth the Englyshe cronycle. (cxciii)

Thys goostly man kynge Henry lost all, whan he had reygned ful .xxxviii. yeres .vi. monethes & odde days. And ye noble & moste bounteous princesse quene Margarete of whome many an vntrew surmyse was imagened & tolde / was fayne to flye comfortlesse, and lost all that she had in Englande for euer. (ccvi-vii)

Margaret late quene of England came out of Fraunce into Scotland & from thens into Englande…but suche tempest fell vpon the see, that she was constrayned to take a fysshers bote / and by meane therof landed at Barwyke, & so drewe hyr vnto the Scottysshe kynge. And shortly after her landyng tydynges came to her, that her sayde caruyll was drowned, wythin the whyche she had greate treasoure and other rychesse. (ccxv)

Rode the erle of warwyke thorugh ye citie toward Douer for to haue receyued quene Margarete / but he was dyspoynted. For the wynde was to her contrary, that she laye at the see syde taryeng for a conuenyent wynde, from Nouember tyl Apryll. (ccxix)

Whan kynge Edwarde had thus subdued hys enemyes / anone he sent quene Margarete vnto London, where she restyd a season / and fynally she was sent home into her countre. (ccxx)

Edward Hall, The Vnion of the Two Noble and Illustre Famelies of Lancastre Yorke (London: Richard Grafton, 1548):

Because the Frenche kyng had no doughter of ripe age, to be coupled in matrimony with the kyng his Master, he desired to haue the Lady Margaret, cosyn to the Frenche kyng, and doughter to Reyner duke of Aniow, callyng hymself kyng of Scicile, Naples, and Hierusalem, hauyng onely the name and stile of the same, without any peny profite, or fote of possession. (cxliiii)

When kynge Henry was somwhat setteled in the realme of Scotlande, he sent his wyfe and hys sonne into Fraunce, to kynge Rene her father trustyng by his ayde and succor, to assemble a greate army, and once agayne to possesse hys Realme and dignitie….Quene Margaret thus beyng in Fraunce, did obteyn & impetrate of the yong Frenche kynge, that all fautors and louers of her husbande and the Lancastreall band, might safely and surely haue resorte into any parte of the realme of Fraunce, prohibiting all other of the contrary faccion, any accesse or repaire into that countrey. (Clxxxvij)

Quene Margaret beyng in Fraunce, by the meanes of her father and frendes, found suche frendship at the French kynges handes, that she obteined a crewe of fiue hundred Frenchemen…. The Quene and her company, thought to doo some greate enrterprise, (as the nature of the Frenchemen is, to bee more busy then bold) sailed with her gallant band, toward Newe Castle, and landed at Tynmouthe. But whether she wer a fraied of her awne shadow, or that the Frenchemen cast to many doubtes, the truth is, that the whole army returned to their shippes, and a tempest rose so sodainly, that if she had not taken a small Caruell, and that with good spede, arriued safe at Barwicke: she had neither vexed kyng Edward after, as she did with a newe inuasion, nor yet she had not liued all her old age, in misery wretchednes, and callamitie, as she did, leasyng bothe her husbande, her sonne, her Realme, and her honor. (clxxxix-cxc)

Quene Margarete his wife, hearyng of the captiuitie of her husbande, mistrustyng the chaunce of her sonne, all desolate and comfortles, departed out of Scotlande, and sailed into Fraunce, where she remained with Duke Reyner her father, till she toke her infortunate iorney into Englande again: where she lost bothe husband and sonne, and also all her wealth, honor, and worldly felicitie. (cxci)

Although that Kyng Edward might now thynke, all thynges to be in a good case, & hymself also to be of puyssance sufficient against al his enemies, (for yt he had obteined so great a victory): yet did he prouide with all diligence, That neither kyng Henry, nor quene Margaret his wife, should by any meanes remain in Englande: least the sight with the perswasions of theim, and especially with old frendes & alies, might alter and change the mindes, & also wyn the hartes of the mutable commonaltie. (Cxcj)

Quene Margaret, after that the erle of Warwicke was sailed into Englande, euer forcastyng and doubtyng, the chaunce that might happen, did neuer cease to praie to God, to sende victory to her frendes and confederates: whiche, when she knewe by her husbandes letters to bee obteigned, she with Prince Edwarde her sonne, and her trayne, entered their shippes, to take their voyage into Englande: but the Wynter was so sore, the wether so stormie, and the wynde so contrariant, that she was fain to take lande again, and defer her iorney till another season. Her enemies saied, that it was Goddes iuste prouision, that she whiche had been the occasion of so many battailes, and of so muche manslaughter in Englande, should neuer returne thether again, to doo more mischief. Her frendes on the otherside, said, that she was kept awaie, and her iorney empeched by Sorcerers and Necromanciers: thus as mennes immaginacions ranne, their toungues clacked. (Ccxi)

Quene Margaret hauyng knowlege, that all thynges in Englande, were now altered and brought into trouble and broyle, by reason of kyng Edwardes late returne into the realme: gathered together no small compaignie, of hardy and valiaunt souldiours, determined with all hast and diligence, with Prince Edwarde her soonne, to saile into Englande, but yet once again (suche was her destinie) beyng letted for lacke of prosperous wynd, and encombered with to muche rigorous tempeste, a daie after the faire, as the common prouerbe saieth, landed at the Port of Weymouth, in Dorset shire. (ccxiii)

After the raunsom payed, she was conueyed in to Fraunce with small honor, which with so great triumphe and honorable enterteynment was wt pompe aboue al pryde, receyued into this Realme .xxviii yeres before. And where in the beginnynge of her tyme, she lyued like a Quene, in the middel she ruled like an empresse, toward thende she was vexed with troble, neuer quyet nor in peace, & in her very extreme age she passed her dayes in Fraunce, more lyke a death then a lyfe, languisshyng and mornyng in continuall sorowe, not so much for her selfe and her husbande, whose ages were almost consumed and worne, but for the losse of prince Edward her sonne. (ccxxi)

William Shakespeare, 1 Henry VI (1590-91), in The Riverside Shakespeare, ed. G. Blakemore Evans and J. J. M. Tobin, 2nd ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997):

Alarum. Enter Suffolk with Margaret in his hand.
  Suf.  Be what thou wilt, thou art my prisoner.     Gazes on her.
O fairest beauty, do not fear nor fly,
For I will touch thee but with revered hands.
I kiss these fingers for eternal peace,
And lay them gently on thy tender side.
Who art thou? Say, that I may honor thee.
  Mar.  Margaret my name, and daughter to a king,
The King of Naples, whosoe’er thou art. (5.3.52)

William Shakespeare, 2 Henry VI (1590-91), in The Riverside Shakespeare, ed. G. Blakemore Evans and J. J. M. Tobin, 2nd ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997):

William Shakespeare, 3 Henry VI (1590-91), in The Riverside Shakespeare, ed. G. Blakemore Evans and J. J. M. Tobin, 2nd ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997):

William Shakespeare, Richard III (1592-93), in The Riverside Shakespeare, ed. G. Blakemore Evans and J. J. M. Tobin, 2nd ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997):

  [Q. Mar.]  Hear me, you wrangling pirates, that fall out
In sharing that which you have pill’d from me!
Which of you trembles not that looks on me?
If not, that I am queen, you bow like subjects,
Yet that, by you depose’d, you quake like rebels?
Ah, gentle villain, do not turn away!
  Glou.  Foul wrinkled witch, what mak’st thou in my sight? (1.3.157-63)