Flowers of History

VOLUME 2

ROGER OF WENDOVER'S

FLOWERS OF HISTORY.

COMPRISING

THE HISTORY OF ENGLAND

FROM THE DESCENT OF THE SAXONS TO A.D. 1235

FORMERLY ASCRIBED TO

MATTHEW PARIS.

TRANSLATED FROM THE LATIN,

BY J.A. GILES, D.C.L.

LATE FELLOW OF CORPUS CHRISTI COLLEGE, OXFORD.

IN TWO VOLUMES.

VOL. II.

LONDON:
HENRY G. BOHN, YORK STREET, COVENT GARDEN.
M.DCCC.XLIX.

ROGER OF WENDOVER'S

FLOWERS OF HISTORY.

How the nobles of Brittany swore fealty to king Henry and his son Geoffrey.

[A.D. 1170.] Henry king of England held his court on Christmas day at Nantes, with the bishops and barons of Lesser Britain, who all swore fealty to him and to his son Geoffrey. In Lent following he crossed over into England, and was almost drowned with all his people.

Of the absolution of the bishop of London.

This year, also, Gilbert bishop of London arriving at Milan on his way to Rome, received there a letter from our lord the pope, to the following purport:- "We have commanded the archbishop of Rouen and the bishop of Exeter in our stead to receive from you an oath that you will abide by our sentence, touching the causes for which the sentence was passed against you, and then to absolve you; so that your excommunication may entail no loss of rank or dignity, or mark of infamy upon you hereafter". The bishop, therefore, succeeded in the object of his wishes, and was publicly absolved at Rouen on Easter Sunday.

Of the life and virtues of St. Godric the hermit.

This same year, the venerable hermit Godric passed from this life to that which is eternal. Of his life, his miraculous acts, and glorious end, we will here introduce a few remarks, since it would be an injustice to the saint altogether to pass over his glorious deeds. This friend of God was born in Norfolk; his father's name was Ailward, and his mother's Eadwenna. He was brought up by his parents in his native village of Walpole, and there passed part of his

2 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1170.

life in their company. When he had passed the innocent years of childhood he became a tradesman; at first in a humble manner, and afterwards frequenting the public market with other traders. One day, as he was walking alone upon the shore, he found three dolphins cast up by the sea; one of which seemed to be dead, and the other two dying. For humanity's sake he left those which were alive untouched, but loaded himself with part of that which was dead, and set out to return home; but the tide beginning to rise as usual, was at first over his feet and legs, and at last, rose as high as his head. But being strong in faith, he continued to walk along, under the water, guided by the Lord, until he reached the dry ground; and delivering the fish to his parents, he told them all that had happened to him. Sometimes he would meditate when he was alone, upon heavenly things, and say over the Lord's prayer and the creed. In his zeal for religion, he went to St. Andrew's in Scotland to pray, and with no less devotion went also to Rome. On his return from thence he joined himself to some merchants, and with them carried on traffic by sea; which brought him so much wealth that he was owner of half one ship, and the fourth part of another. Being robust in body and active in mind, he sailed to different countries of the world, and visiting the holy places of the saints, commended himself to their protection.

Of the girl who ministered to St. Godric in his pilgrimage.

When Godric had spent sixteen years in the gains of these trading voyages, he determined to spend, in the cause of religion, the wealth which his labours had accumulated. He therefore took the cross and devoutly visited our Lord's sepulchre; after which he returned by way of St. James's [1] to England. After some time he felt a holy desire to visit the threshold of the apostles, and communicated this intention to his parents; and when his mother expressed her wish to accompany him, if he would let her, he gladly assented, and with filial obedience, carried her on his shoulders, whenever the roughness of the road required it. When they had passed through London, a woman of great beauty approached them, and asked permission to join in


[1] Compostello in Spain.

A.D. 1170.] ST. GODRIC THE HERMIT. 3

their pilgrimage. To this they readily assented, and she adhered to them with great diligence and devotion; for she washed and kissed their feet, and served them better than any others. In this manner she conducted herself the whole way, both going and returning; no one asked her who she was or where she came from, nor did she ever mention it. When they passed through London on their return, she obtained their consent to leave; but she said before going away, "It is now time for me to go to the place from which I came: and you must give thanks to God, who never deserts those that put their trust in Him; for I tell you that you will surely obtain that which you prayed for at Rome from the apostles". None of the company saw this woman except Godric and his mother only.

How the man of God, on his return home, retired into the desert.

When he had restored his mother in safety to the protection of his father, he sold all that he had, received their blessing, and left them, in order to become a hermit. In the extreme parts of England he came to a city called Carlisle, where, finding some of his relations, he obtained from one of them a present of one of St. Jerome's psalters, which in a short time he learned to recite by heart. He then, without the knowledge of his friends, retired to the woods, where he lived some time on wild herbs and fruits; and both serpents and wild beasts came and looked on him, but after a time left him without doing him any harm. In this desert he spent many days as a hermit; at one time on his knees, at another time with his hands raised to heaven, or prostrate on the ground, he was constantly in prayer to God. At last he found in that place a hermit's cave, into which he entered, and received the salutation, "Welcome, brother Godric"! To which he replied, "How do you do, father Ailric"? though they never knew one another before. "You are sent by Heaven", replied the old man, "to bury my old body when I am dead". These two lived together two years, though neither of them had any property. At last the old hermit became very infirm, and was carried about by Godric, who brought him food, and fetched a priest to hear his confession, and administered to him the eucharist. Godric, therefore, seeing that he became worse, said, "Thou

4 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1170.

spirit, that hast been created after God's likeness, I adjure thee by the Almighty God, not to leave this body without my knowledge". The old man thereupon died immediately, and Godric saw a kind of spherical body like a hot and burning wind, which shone like most transparent glass, in the midst of an incomparable whiteness, though no one can describe the measure of the soul's qualities. At the news of the holy man's death, his companions, who were at the court of St. Cuthbert, where, when a young man, he had himself resided, buried him in the cemetery of Durham.

How the blessed Godric went to Jerusalem and returned safe.

When the brother aforesaid was buried, Godric returned to the desert, doubting what might be the divine will concerning him. Whilst, therefore, he was praying earnestly to God on this subject, a voice came from heaven saying to him, "It is expedient that thou shouldst go to Jerusalem and return again". Also St. Cuthbert, Christ's holy confessor, appeared to him saying, "Go to Jerusalem, and be crucified with the Lord, and I will there be your helper and patron in all things. When you have completed this journey, you shall serve God under my protection at Finchale". Godric returning to Durham, took the cross and received the priest's blessing. On this journey he ate nothing but barley bread and drank water, he neither changed nor washed his clothes, nor ever took off his shoes to change or mend them, until he arrived as the holy places. When he came to the Lord's tomb and the other sacred places, he prayed devoutly, shedding tears, and kissing the spot so long and devoutly, that one could hardly have thought it possible. He then went to the river Jordan, where, clothed in sackcloth, and with a cup which he carried in his wallet, and a small cross, which he always bore in his hand, he entered the river, which he always after loved, and there putting off his clothes, came forth washed and clean; but he threw away his shoes, and said, "Almighty God, who in this land didst walk with naked feet, and didst suffer thy feet to be pierced with nails upon the cross: henceforth I will never again wear shoes". Having thus fulfilled his vow of pilgrimage, he returned to England.

A.D. 1170.] ST. GODRIC DWELLS WITH WILD BEASTS. 5

How the blessed Godric, by God's inspiration, chose his residence at Finchale.

Returned from pilgrimage, he found a secret place in a forest, in the north of England, called Eskdale, which he thought would suit him to dwell in. He accordingly built a hut of logs, covering it with turf, and dwelt there a year and some months: but when the proprietors of the land began to annoy him, he left it and went to Durham, where he made such rapid progress in learning the Psalter afresh, that he soon knew as much of the psalms, hymns, and prayers, as he thought sufficient. Wherefore, one day, inspired from on high, he went into a grove in the neighbourhood, where he heard a shepherd say to his comrade, "Let us go and water our flocks at Finchale". Godric hearing these words, gave the shepherd the only penny he had, to conduct him to that place. As he proceeded towards the interior of the forest, there met him a fierce wolf of extraordinary size, which rushed upon him, as if it would tear him in pieces. Godric, perceiving that this was one of the wiles of the old enemy, made the sign of the cross, saying, "I adjure thee in the name of the Holy Trinity to depart with speed, if the service which I propose to discharge to God in this place is acceptable to him"! At these words, the animal prostrated himself with his impious feet, as if begging pardon of the holy man.

How Saint Godric dwelt at Finchale among the wild beasts and serpents.

Intending, therefore, to serve the Lord in this place, Godric, by licence of Ralph bishop of Durham, formed a cave in the earth near the bank of the river Wear, and covering it with turf, resided therein among the wild beasts and serpents. The number of serpents was fearful; but they were all tame towards the man of God, suffering themselves to be handled, and obedient to his commands. Sometimes as he sat by the fire they would twine round his legs, or coil themselves up in his dish or his cup. After having passed some years in this way of life, he thought that the serpents impeded his prayers; wherefore one day seeing them about him as usual, he commanded them to enter his house no more; upon which all those vermin wholly left it, and never again crossed his threshold. When, also, presents of food and other articles were offered to him, he declined

6 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1170.

them altogether, preferring to live by the labour of his hands: and he burnt boughs and branches of trees to ashes, which he mixed with his barley flour in such proportion that the ashes formed one-third of the whole; and he restrained the passions of the body by weeping, watching, and fasting, so that sometimes he even passed six days without eating. After tempting him strongly with luxury, the devil appeared to him in the form of a wild beast, such as a bear, a lion, bull, or wolf, a fox, or a toad, and endeavoured to alarm him; but he was strong in faith and despised them all. To quench the burnings of the flesh, he subdued his body by the use of the harshest sackcloth, and for fifty years wore a coat of mail. His table was a broad flat stone, on which stood his bread, such as I have before described it, but he never tasted it until compelled by absolute necessity: his drink was a moderate draught of water, and only when urged by extreme thirst; he never reposed in a bed, but would lie on the ground when he was fatigued, with his sackcloth under him, and with his head reclining on the stone which served him for a table. When the moon shone, he devoted himself to his works, and, shaking off sleep, spent the time in prayer. In winter, amid snow and hail, he entered the river naked, and there, during the whole night, offered himself up a living victim to the Lord, immersed up to his neck, and in this state poured forth psalms, and prayers, and tears. Whilst he was in the water, the devil used often to appear to him with all his limbs distorted, and on the point of rushing on him, but he was repulsed in confusion at the sign of the holy cross; he endeavoured, however, to carry off the clothes of the holy man, but was so terrified by Godric's shouts, that he cast them also away and fled.

How Saint Godric one day saw a child come forth from the month of the crucifix, and reverently settle himself in the bosom of its mother.

One day, whilst the man of God was sitting in his oratory repeating the psalter, he saw a little boy come out of the mouth of the crucifix, who, going to the image of the blessed virgin, which stood on the north end of the same plank, sat himself in her bosom. She, on the other hand, stretching out her hands to meet him, fondled him in her arms for nearly three hours. The boy during the whole time

A.D. 1170.] VISIT OF THE HOLY VIRGIN TO GODRIC. 7

moved as if he was alive; and both when he came and when he went, the image of the virgin trembled so much that the plank seemed likely to fall. Godric thought that the limbs of the image were filled with the spirit of life, and that the boy was no other than Jesus of Nazareth. The child afterwards returned into the mouth of the crucifix in the same way as it came out.

How our Lord's mother and Mary Magdalene appeared to Saint Godric, and of the song which our Saviour's mother taught him.

Another time, when the man of God was praying before the altar of the blessed virgin mother of God, he saw two girls, of tender age, and of the utmost beauty, standing at the two horns of the altar, and clothed in garments of snowy whiteness. They stood some time looking at one another, and Godric did not dare to move, but turned his eyes from one to the other, and occasionally bowed his head in adoration. The virgins then approached him, and she who was at the right hand of the altar asked him, "Dost thou know me, Godric"? To whom he answered, "That is impossible, lady, except to whom you design to reveal yourself". She replied, "Of a truth thou hast said that I am the mother of Christ, and through me thou shalt obtain his grace. This other lady is the female apostle of the apostles, Mary Magdalene". Godric now threw himself at the feet of the mother of God, saying, "I commit myself to thee, my lady, and beseech thee to take me under thy protection". She then placed both of her hands on his head, and smoothing down his hair, filled the house with a sweet odour. After this she sang, and taught Godric to sing a song, which he afterwards often repeated and imprinted it firmly on his memory: the song in the English idiom is as follows: [1]

"Seinte Marie, clane virgine,
Moder Jesu Christ Nazarene,
Onfo, scild, help thin Godrich
Onfang, bring heali widh the in Godes rich.
Seinte Marie, Christes bour,
Meidenes clenhed, moderes flour,
Delivere mine sennen, regne in min mod,
Bringe me to blisse wit thi selfe, God".


[1] These are the exact words of the original, and form a curious fragment of early English religious poetry.

8 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1170.

This song may thus be rendered in Latin:- "Sancta Maria, virgo munda, mater Jesu Christi Nazareni, suscipe, adduc, sancta, tecum in Dei regnum. Sancta Maria, Christi thalamus, virginalis puritas, matris flos, dele mea crimina, regna in mente rnea, duc me ad felicitatem cum solo Deo". This song Christ's mother told Godric to sing whenever he was fearful of being overcome by pain, sorrow, or temptation. "And when you call on me by singing it", continued she, "you shall immediately have my help". She then made the sign of the cross upon his head, and in his sight went up to heaven, leaving behind a pleasant odour.

How Saint Godric raised two dead persons to life again.

One day there came to the man of God a husband and wife, and besought him mercifully to restore to life their daughter who was dead, and at the same time they produced her body from a sack which they brought with them. The man of God, judging himself unworthy to perform such a meritorious deed, made no answer, but went into the field to his usual labour; at which the two persons were disturbed and took their departure, leaving the body in his oratory, "for", said they, "he may keep the corpse and bury it, or else restore it to life; which he could do if he pleased". In the evening Godric returning, found the body in the corner of his oratory, and immediately began devoutly to pray God, who is the source of life and health to all, to bring back the girl to life. This he continued to do for three days and two nights; when, on the third day, whilst he was still lying prostrate before the altar, he saw the girl advance towards it; upon which he forthwith called her parents and restored her to their cares, making them at the same time swear that, so long as he lived, they would reveal this secret to no one. At another time, also, when the dead body of a boy was brought by his parents privately to the man of God, he bade them place it on the altar of the blessed virgin in his oratory, saying, "Do not suppose that the boy is dead, but kneel down with me and entreat the divine mercy for the child". When they had prayed, he told them to go and take the boy from the altar, which when they went to do, they found him alive and smiling. The man of God afterwards bound them by oath, not to reveal this deed to any one as long as he should be alive.

A.D. 1170.] GODRIC'S OPINION OF HIMSELF. 9

Of the answer which the man of God gave to one who wished to write his life.

The saint had some intimate friends among the monks of Durham, especially one whose name was N-. [1] This man was repeatedly urged to write the life and virtues of St. Godric for the benefit of posterity, and to obtain more certain information on the subject, he came to the man of God, to learn from him what he should write. Whilst sitting at the saint's feet, he said that he proposed to write his life, and stated the benefit which would result to posterity from a knowledge of what he had done: to which the man of God replied with much energy, "My friend, the life of Godric is as follows: In the first place, Godric the coarse rustic, the unclean fornicator, a falsifier, deceiver, and perjurer, a vagrant, petulant and gluttonous, a foul dog, a base worm, not a hermit but a hypocrite, not a solitary but a loose-minded fellow, a devourer of alms, contemptuous, a lover of pleasure, negligent, slothful, and snoring away his time, prodigal and ambitious, unworthy to serve others, and ever lashing or rebuking those who ministered to himself. These are the things, and still worse than these which you will have to write about Godric". When he had said these words, indignantly, he held his peace, and the monk retired in confusion: but when some years had intervened, he did not dare again to question the saint about his past life, until Godric himself, in compassion, or perhaps because he repented of the wrong he had done him, of his own accord told him what he wished to know, but at the same time adjured the monk, by the regard which they had for one another, to show the book to no one during his life.

Of the answer which Godric gave when asked concerning the departure of the soul, and its state after death.

Another time, when the same monk came to him at the feast of Saint John the Baptist to celebrate mass for him, he sat outside the door of his oratory, and heard Godric within singing. After vespers, the brother asked him what was the nature of the soul's departure from this world: to which he


[1] We learn from other sources that this man's name was Reginald. N. for nomen, is the letter commonly used by the medieval writers and copyists, to occupy the place of a name not known to them.

10 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1170.

is said to have received this answer:- "The pious soul", said he, "departs gently from the body; but the sinful soul, as if unfit to depart, is urged thereto by many lashes. As soon as it has made its exit from the body, it mounts aloft, awaiting the pleasure of the Almighty. Now there is in the air a narrow iron gate, guarded on both sides by spirits both good and evil: through it the souls of the just are admitted by an easy passage, but those of the wicked are severely constrained and tormented, and miserably driven downwards. I this day saw the soul of a just man pass through it, and in my joy thereat, I began to sing with the angels that conducted it, and this was what you heard with so much surprize".

How St. Peter celebrated mass for St. Godric.

The same monk on another occasion, returning thither again, asked the man of God if he would like to hear a mass: to which he replied, "I have to-day heard the mass of the Holy Trinity, and received the communion from the hand of a man in white, who, descending from heaven, again ascended thither after he had admonished me to confess my sins, and I had told all that occurred to me of what I had done amiss. Thus he gave me absolution, and I received the communion from his hands, after which he raised his hands over me and ascended into heaven. Do you recommend me then, my son, after this, to receive confession or communion from your hands"? The monk said he could not dare to do so; but at the same time asked him which of the saints it was. The man of God replied that it was Peter the apostle, who had been sent by God to absolve him from his sins. "Do you, then", said he, "celebrate mass in honour of the blessed virgin, that by her mediation we may gain the favour of her Son". And the monk, giving thanks to God, joyfully did as he was bidden.

How St. Godric was released from the demons by prayer and the sign of the cross.

When Godric had spent forty years in the desert at Finchale, he was worn out with disease and old age, and drew near his latter end. For during almost eight years he kept his bed, and could not even turn on his side without

A.D. 1170.] DEATH OF ST. GODRIC. 11

some one to help him: [1] his pains and temptations were at this time so numerous that it is impossible for tongue to tell or pen to write them. Two demons came to him, carrying a litter, and said to him, "We are come to carry you to hell, for you are an old madman, and from being wise are become foolish", but Godric made the sign of the cross and uttered a prayer to God, which put the demons to flight.

How the devil struck Godric on the head, and of his death.

Afterwards, when the man of God was once lying alone on his bed, the attendants, who were without, heard a voice calling them; one of them running in, found him lying naked on the floor of his oratory, and placing him back on the bed, asked him why he lay on the floor. "The devil", said Godric, "stood by me, and seeing me lying careless after a doze, he suddenly threw me out of bed, and dashed my head against the bench". As he said this, he showed them a swelling on his head, and added, "The devil came upon me so suddenly, that I had no time to protect myself by making the sign of the cross, saying, 'Ah, Godric the rustic, I could not vanquish you by the agency of my satellites, but whilst you were enjoying repose in your bed, I have now killed you'. Let every one therefore reflect how dangerous it is to give way to bodily pleasures, or to indulge in sloth; God is never found among those who live luxuriously". The venerable father Godric died on the 21st of May, which was the octave of our Lord's ascension: his life and actions seem to be more than human, and above the power of man to describe: he was buried on the north side of his oratory, before the steps of St. John the Baptist's altar, and his tomb to this day is hallowed by the performance of miracles.

The coronation of young king Henry.

At this time, namely, A.D. 1170, on the 13th of July, by the king's command, there met at Westminster, Roger archbishop of York, and all the sulfragan bishops of the church of Canterbury, to crown the king's eldest son Henry: who was crowned accordingly, by Roger archbishop of York,


[1] This was no doubt brought on by his austerity of life, of which pains in the body and the natural result: the temptations which he endured from the devil, may be ascribed to imagination.

12 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1170.

on the 18th of June, contrary to the prohibition of our lord the pope, who sent letters to the archbishop and the other bishops, to the following purport:- "We forbid you all by our apostolical authority, from crowning the new king, if the case shall occur, without the consent of the archbishop and church of Canterbury, nor shall any of you put forth his hand, contrary to the ancient customs and dignity of that church, or in any way forward the coronation aforesaid". This prohibition, however, was of no avail, for, before the letters were promulgated, the young king had been crowned. The king immediately afterwards crossed the sea, and came to a conference with the archbishop at Montmirail, where, also, the king of France attended, and after a long negotiation about making peace between them, when they came to the kiss, the archbishop used the words, "I kiss you to the honour of God", but the king recoiled from the same, as having been only conditionally brought to agreement; for though the archbishop's conscience might be most pure, the king always objected to the forms of words which he used, as for instance, saving the honour of God, saving my order, saving God's holy faith, and the archbishop was suspicious of this caution on the king's part, lest, if the reconciliation took place, he should be thought to have acquiesced in the king's unjust customs of England.

How peace was made between king Henry and Thomas archbishop of Canterbury.

The king of France again had a conference with the king of England, William archbishop of Sens, and the bishop of Nevers, at Freitval, whereat king Henry and the archbishop rode apart from the rest, twice dismounted from their horses, and twice mounted again; the king also twice held the stirrup whilst the archbishop was mounting; and finally, by means of Rotric archbishop of Rouen, they came to terms at Amboise; peace was made between them, and king Henry wrote the following letter to his son the young king. "This is to inform you that Thomas archbishop of Canterbury has made peace with me, to my satisfaction. I therefore command that he and all his adherents shall be unmolested: and that you cause all their goods to be restored to him, as well as to all his clerks and others who left England on his

A.D. 1170.] RETURN OF ARCHBISHOP THOMAS. 13

behalf, as they held them three months before the archbishop left England. You will also summon before you some of the best and oldest knights of the honour of Saltwood, and ascertain by their oaths what property is there held of the see of Canterbury, and whatsoever is found to be so shall be held by that tenure. Farewell "! Before the archbishop crossed to England, he sent a letter to the pope, informing him that he had made peace with the king. The pope, in his reply, gave thanks to God, in the following terms. "Anxiety of heart and bitterness of soul overwhelm us, when we reflect on the anguish, the burdens, and the wrongs which you have so long and unflinchingly maintained in the cause of justice: but, that you might fill up the measure of your virtue, you persevered in your purpose, unconquered by adversity, for which we laud your admirable fortitude and congratulate you heartily in the Lord for such long-suffering. For since we have so long borne with the king of England, and so often warned him, both in mild and in gentle language, and sometimes with severity and sharpness, that he should reflect and amend his conduct; if he does not fulfil the terms of the peace which he has concluded with you, and restore to you and yours all the possessions that have been taken away, we give you full power over all persons and places, belonging to your legation, to exercise ecclesiastical discipline upon them, without appeal, according as you shall think fit".

Of the archbishop's return to England from exile.

With these guarantees from the pope and king, the archbishop sailed for England, and landed at Sandwich on the 1st of December. As soon as he arrived, that nothing might be wanting to hasten the glory of martyrdom, which he ardently longed for, he sent the following letter to the archbishop of York. "Whereas the king of England wished his son to be crowned, and it appears that this office belongs to the archbishop of Canterbury, from ancient custom, it appears, my brother archbishop, that the said king, setting aside the archbishop aforesaid, has caused the crown of the kingdom to be placed on his son's head by your hands, and that the oath prescribed for the maintenance of the church's liberties was not only not taken, but not even demanded by you; but that, on the contrary, the unjust customs of the kingdom, by which

14 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1170.

the church's dignity is in danger of being shipwrecked, were ratified by oath and held to be binding hereafter for ever. In which matter, although the vehemence of the king himself causes us much disquiet, yet we are the more disturbed at the weakness which you and your brother bishops have displayed, who, we grieve to say it, have been like rams not having horns, and have retreated ingloriously before the face of your pursuer. You might lawfully have discharged this office, my brother, in your own province, but in the province of another, and especially of him who was an exile for the sake of justice, who alone went forth to give glory to God, we can find nothing in reason itself, nor in the constitution of the holy fathers to justify such a deed: you allowed those unjust constitutions to be confirmed on oath, and neglected to take the shield of faith, and to stand up for the Lord's house on the day of battle. Wherefore, that we may not, by longer silence, be involved, on the day of judgment, in the same sentence as yourself, we do hereby, on the authority of the holy Roman church, whose servant under God we are, declare you suspended from every office appertaining to your episcopal dignity". Archbishop Thomas, also, by virtue of another letter from the pope, suspended from their episcopal functions the bishops of London, Salisbury, Exeter, Chester, Rochester, St. Asaph, and Llandaff, as well as the others who had assisted at the coronation aforesaid. The pope's letter was as follows:- "The cause for which our venerable brother Thomas archbishop of Canterbury and legate of the apostolic see has been driven into exile, need not now be explained to you, because you were present to witness it, and because the rumour of it has spread through all the church of the west. But whereas Theobald of pious memory formerly archbishop of Canterbury, and predecessor of the present archbishop, placed the crown on the head of the king of England, and by these means the church of Canterbury has, as it were, the right of exercising this office, you have now not hesitated, in defence of our apostolical letters to the contrary, to aid in the coronation of the new king, though the archbishop had not been informed of it, and the ceremony took place in his own province: you, who ought to have lightened the archbishop's exile by such consolations as were in your power, have rather aggravated the case against him, and, we grieve to say

A.D. 1170.] DEATH OF TANCRED. 15

it, added to the pain of his wounds. In which matter, though we may not be excited to proceed against you as much as your fault deserves, yet we cannot pass it over altogether in silence, lest, perchance, which God forbid, thr sentence of the divine severity go forth against both us and you, if we neglect to punish crimes which have been enacted openly in the sight of men. Be it known to you that by the authority which we hold from God, we have suspended you from the episcopal office, until you shall appear before our apostolic see to make satisfaction, unless you shall make the same previously to the archbishop aforesaid, in such manner that he may think fit to relax this our sentence".

How the king's agents commanded St. Thomas to absolve the excommunicated bishops.

When the venerable archbishop of Canterbury had returned to his church, amid the rejoicings and pious devotion of both clergy and people, the king's officials immediately approached him, with orders from their master, to absolve the suspended bishops and others whom he had excommunicated on the plea that whatever was done against them, redounded to the injury and subversion of the customs of the kingdom. The archbishop replied that, if the excommunicated bishops would swear, according to the form which the church prescribes, that they would abide by the pope's commands, he would, for the peace of the church, and out of regard for the king, consent to absolve them. When this was reported to the bishops, they replied that they could not take an oath of this kind without the king's consent. Shortly afterwards the archbishop went to visit the young king at Woodstock, but was met by messengers, who, in the king's name, commanded him to proceed no further, but to return to his church. He accordingly returned to Kent, and there made preparation to celebrate the season of Christmas, which was approaching. [1]


[1] Matthew Paris inserts here the following:- "And when these threats increased against him, he obeyed them; for his hour was not yet come. He therefore spent some days at his manor of Harwes, seven miles from the monastery of St. Albans, and kept the festival there; and the man of God showed no signs of trouble. The abbat of St. Albans supplied him with abundanee of provisions; and the archbishop, in returning him thanks, civilly said, 'I accept his presents, but would rather have his presence'. And the servant said to him, 'My lord, he is at the door coming to you. On which the archbishop met him at the door. After he and the abbat, by name Simon, had kissed each other, they had a long conversation. The archbishop then asked the abbat to go to the young king at Woodstock, and to advise him in gentle though efficient words, to soften the hatred which he cherished against him. The abbat in compliance with the archbishop's wish, went at once to the king; but meeting with nothing but pride and anger, he returned without effecting any thing. On his telling the archbishop with sorrow the result of his application, that prelate answered with a sigh, 'Be it so; be it so'! and, shaking his head, added, as if with the voice of a prophet, 'Art thou in such haste for the end to approach'? The abbat at the time did not understand these words, but they were afterwards clear to him. The archbishop casting an affectionate and almost weeping eye on the abbat, said to him, 'My lord abbat, I return you thanks for the trouble you have taken, useless though it has been'.

To heal the sick the leech's art sometimes will fail.
And, spite of remedies, disease weigh down the scale.

And he added, 'But the king himself will pass sentence without delay'; and looking on the priests sitting round him, he continued, 'How is this, my friends? this abbat, who is in no way bound to me, has shown me more civility and kindness than all my brethren and suffragan priests'; for the abbat on his departure to Woodstock had ordered his cellarer to send liberal supplies daily to the archbishop who was living near. The abbat previous to his return home, with clasped hands, earnestly entreated the archbishop in his kindness to honour the abbey of St. Alban's with his much wished for presence at the approaching Christmas, and to keep that festival, as well as that of the first English martyr, at that place. The arch prelate replied with gushing tears, 'Oh! how willingly would I do so, but for otherwise is it decreed; go in peace, beloved father abbat; go to your sanctuary, which may God have in his keeping; but I am going to what will be a sufficient reason for my not coming to you. But rather do you, if it can be so, come with me to be my guest, and a consoler to me in the troubles which abundantly encompass me'. The abbat refused this, because it was necessary for him to be present at his abbey on the occasion of such a great festival, and after receiving the archbishop's blessing, departed. But afterwards often was his heart rent with sorrow and lamentation that it had not been permitted him to enter into glory in conjunction with such a great martyr. The archbishop hastened his journey to his church to keep Christmas; and in the eight days of the feast departed to the Lord".

16 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1171.

Of the glorious martyrdom of Thomas archbishop of Canterbury.

[A.D. 1171.] [1] On Christmas day, the archbishop of Canterbury mounted the pulpit to deliver a sermon to the people, which when he had finished, he excommunicated Nigel de Sackville, who had violently seized on the church of Herges, and the vicar of the same church Robert de Broc, who, in


[1] The year was sometimes considered to begin on Christmas-day: by which mode of notation Becket's martyrdom on the 29th of December would fall in 1171 instead of 1170.

A.D. 1171.] MARTYRDOM OF BECKET. 17

derision of the archbishop had maimed one of his horses loaded with provisions. After this, on the fifth day from Christmas-day, about the hour of vespers, as the archbishop was sitting with his clerks in his chamber, William de Tracy, Reginald Fitz-Urse, Hugh de Morville, and Richard Briton, coming from Normandy, burst into the room, as if impelled by madness, and commanded him, in the king's name, to restore the suspended bishops and absolve those whom he had excommunicated. To this the archbishop answered that an inferior judge could not absolve from the sentence of his superior, and that no man could annul a decision of the apostolic see: if, however, the bishops of London and Salisbury and the other excommunicated persons would swear to comply with his mandate, he would, for the peace of the church and out of regard to the king, consent to absolve them. The men glowing with anger, and in haste to carry into effect what they had conceived, departed with violence: whilst the archbishop, by the advice of his clerks, and because the hour of vespers was at hand, entered the church for the service. The four ministers of evil meanwhile had put on their armour, and following close upon the archbishop, found that the doors had been by his orders left open behind him. "For", said he, "the church of God should be open as a place of refuge to all men; let us not therefore convert it into a castle". The multitude now began to run together on all sides, and the four men irreverently entering the church, cried out, "Where is this traitor to his king? where is the archbishop"? he, hearing himself called, turned back to meet them; for he had already mounted three or four steps of the presbytery, [1] and said to them, "If you seek the archbishop, here he stands". Upon which they used harsh language towards him, mixed with threats. "I am ready to die", said he, "for I prefer the maintenance of justice and the liberties of the church to my own life; but these my adherents have done nothing for which they should be punished". The murderers now rushed on him with drawn swords, and he fell uttering these words, "To God and St. Mary, the patrons of this church, and to St. Dennis, I commend my soul and the cause of the church "! Thus was slain this glorious martyr before the altar of St. Benedict,


[1] The choir.

18 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1171.

by a wound received in that part of his body where he had formerly received the holy oil which consecrated him to the Lord; nor were they content to pollute the church with the blood of a priest and to profane that holy day, but they also cut off the crown of his skull, and with blood-stained swords scattered his brains over the pavement of the church.

How those executioners carried off the spoils of the blessed martyr, and of the dignified manner of his death.

Thus the glorious martyr was translated to the heavenly kingdom, whilst the bloody executioners plundered his goods and carried off all the clothes of his clerks, and whatever they found in the offices of his servants. Meanwhile his blessed corpse, which lay on the floor of the church, was carried about the time of twilight in front of the high altar, where the bystanders discovered a fact of which they had all before been ignorant; for though the archbishop had concealed under a canonical habit the monkish dress which he had secretly worn ever since his promotion, he was found to have worn the sackcloth shirt a thing before unheard of so long, that it covered his thighs also. There were also certain concurrents in his life which we will here briefly enumerate: It was on a Tuesday that the archbishop left the king's court at Northampton; on Tuesday he left England to go into exile; on Tuesday he returned to England, according to the pope's mandate; and on Tuesday, also, he suffered martyrdom. Early in the morning of Wednesday, a report was spread abroad that the murderers had determined to carry off the body from the church, and cast it out of the city to be torn in pieces by the dogs and crows; but the abbat of Boxley, with the prior and convent of the church of Canterbury, hastily buried it, without the usual form of washing it, for it was macerated by long abstinence, subdued by the shirt of sackcloth, and hallowed by the washing of its own blood. Many remarkable concurrents may be observed in this martyrdom: first, that he suffered in asserting justice and maintaining the liberties of the church: secondly, that the place of his suffering was not an ordinary church, but the mother of all the English churches; thirdly, the time, which was Christmas, when these murderers completed their act of treason; fourthly, that he was not a common

A.D. 1171.] KING HENRY'S REPENTANCE. 19

priest, but the chief and father of all the priests in England; and fifthly, that he suffered, not in one of his ordinary members, but on the place where he had received the tonsure of priesthood, and where the holy anointing oil had been shed.

Of the king's repentance, and how he sent messengers to Rome to excuse the deed.

King Henry was at Argenton in Normandy when he heard the news of this melancholy deed. At first he was plunged by it into the deepest distress, and changed his royal robes for sackcloth and ashes, calling Almighty God to witness that the deed was done without his wish or connivance, except so far as he was guilty in not having loved the archbishop as he ought. On this point he submitted himself to the judgment of the church, and promised to acquiesce with humility in whatever should be her sentence. For this purpose he sent ambassadors to make his excuse before the supreme pontiff, and to assert his innocence; but the pope would not receive them or admit them even to kiss his feet: they were however afterwards received by the cardinals, but with nothing more than words of form. On Thursday before Easter, when the pope is in the habit of publicly absolving or excommunicating those who have deserved it, it was told the king of England's ambassadors that the pope had determined, with the advice of his whole council, to pass an interdict on their master by name, throughout all his dominions, and to confirm that which had been passed on the archbishop of York and the other English bishops. In this strait the cardinals told the pope that the king's ambassadors had been instructed to swear that their master would abide by the decision of the pope and cardinals in every particular. According to which suggestion the ambassadors took an oath to that effect, and so averted the sentence of interdict. The emissaries of the archbishop of York and of the other bishops followed their example. The pope, then, on that day, excommunicated the wicked murderers of St. Thomas archbishop of Canterbury and martyr, and all who had given their advice, assistance, or consent to the deed, as well as all who should receive them into their territories or maintain them. The four men were at this time in the king's castle cf Knaresborough, where they remained a year.

20 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1171.

Of the miracles which now beyun to be manifested in honour of the holy martyr.

The same year, about Easter, our Lord Jesus Christ, who is always wonderful in his saints, began to illustrate by frequent miracles the laudable life, and insuperable fortitude in death, of his glorious martyr archbishop Thomas; that seeing he had for so many years patiently endured persecution, both in his own person and in that of his friends, he might on this account be shown to have received the crown of triumph which was due to his merits. From the tomb of the glorious martyr, no one who goes there in faith ever returns without profit, by whatever infirmity he may have been afflicted; the lame walk, the deaf hear, the blind see, the dumb speak, lepers are cleansed, and dead bodies are raised to life; not only those of men and women, but even of animals and birds.

The same year, also, on the 7th of August, king Henry returned to England, and visited Henry of Winchester, now on his death-bed, who rebuked the king for the death of the glorious martyr Thomas, and foretold many of the evils which would come upon him on account of it. The bishop died, full of years, the next day.

How king Henry went to Ireland, and received the homage of certain of its kings.

On the 18th of October in that same year, king Henry landed in arms on the coast of Ireland, where he received homage and fealty from its archbishops and bishops. The king of Limely, the king of Chore, and the king who bore the surname of One-eyed, did homage to him on oath; but Roderick, king of Connaught, seeing that his dominions were inaccessible, in consequence of the intervening marshes, through which there were no fords nor bridges by which they might be crossed, and that it was impossible to sail over them, declined to meet the king. The same year, on the feast of St. Nicholas, at Albemarle, Roger archbishop of York made oath that he had not received the pope's prohibition before the young king was crowned, and that he had not sworn to comply with the king's customs of England, and that he had not promoted the death of the glorious martyr Thomas, by word, or by writing, or by deed to the

A.D. 1172.] MIRACLES AFTER THE MARTYR'3 DEATH. 21

best of his knowledge; and when he had done this, he was restored to his episcopal functions in full.

Of the reconciliation made for the church of Canterbury after the death of St. Thomas.

After the death of the blessed martyr Thomas, the church of Canterbury ceased for a whole year from celebrating the divine services, and made continual lamentations for him; the pavement was torn up, the sound of the bells was suspended, the walls were stripped of their ornaments, and the whole church performed its obsequies in grief and humiliation, as it were in sackcloth and ashes. At the end of the year, on the feast of St. Thomas the apostle, the suffragan bishops met together at the summons of their mother the church of Canterbury, according to the pope's mandate, to restore the church squalid with its long suspension to its former state. Wherefore Bartholomew of Exeter, at the request of the fraternity, celebrated a solemn mass, and preached a sermon to the people beginning with these words:- "After the multitude of my sorrows, thy consolations rejoice my soul".

Of the thunders which were heard generally, and of the atonement which the king made for the death of St. Thomas.

[A.D. 1172.] In the night of Christmas day, were heard thunders, generally, throughout England, Ireland, and Gaul, sudden and terrible, inviting mankind from divers parts to come and witness the new miracles of St. Thomas the martyr, that, as he had shed his blood for the universal church, so his martyrdom might be fixed in the pious memory of all men. At the same time, whilst king Henry was in Ireland, Hugh de St. Maur, and Ralph de Fay, queen Eleanor's uncle, began, with her approbation, as it is said, to alienate the mind of the young king from his father, asserting it was inconsistent for any one to be a king and yet not to have due authority in his dominions. Meanwhile, the king his father, before leaving Ireland, called a council at Lismore, where the laws of England were gratefully received by all, and confirmed by oath. The king then placed in safe custody all the cities and castles which he had obtained, and, as various matters of business now rendered his presence necessary

22 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1173.

elsewhere, he embarked on Easter day at evening and landed the next day in Wales, whence he proceeded to Porchester and crossed with a favourable wind to Normandy. Thence, he went without delay to meet the pope's envoys, Albert and Theodwine, before whom, after long and tedious discussions, he made oath that the death of the glorious martyr Thomas had not been perpetrated by his wish or with his consent, or brought about by any contrivance on his part; but that, inasmuch as his words spoken in anger, to the effect that he fed a scurvy set of knights and retainers, who were too great poltroons to take his part against the archbishop, had given an occasion to his murderers of putting the man of God to death, the king demanded absolution with the greatest humility. To this end he promised, at the suggestion of the legates, to contribute enough money to maintain two hundred knights for a year in defending the holy land, to allow appeals to be made without impediment to the Roman see, to annul the customs which had been introduced in his own times contrary to the church's liberties, and to restore to the church of Canterbury all that had been taken from it since the archbishop's departure, and to allow those of both sexes who had been exiled in behalf of the blessed martyr, to return home and resume possession of their property; all these points the king swore to fulfil, according to the injunction of our lord the pope, for the remission of his sins. The same oath was also taken by the young king, Henry's son, who, immediately afterwards, in the month of August, crossed with his spouse Margaret into England, and on the 20th of the same month, at Winchester, Rotroc archbishop of Rouen, with the assistance of the suffragan bishops of Canterbury, crowned the aforesaid Margaret queen of England. The same year, Gilbert bishop of London, having made oath that to the best of his knowledge he had not promoted the death of St. Thomas the martyr by word, deed, or writing, was restored to his episcopal office.

Of the marriage of John the king's son, and of the election to the see of Canterbury.

[A.D. 1173.] King Henry obtained in marriage for his son John, named Lack-land, [1] the eldest daughter of Hubert


[1] In French Sans-terre, in Wendover's Latin, Sine-terra.

A.D. 1173.] ROBERT ELECTED ARCHBISHOP. 23

count of Maurienne, by his wife the widow of Henry duke of Saxony, though she was hardly seven years old. The same year, also, Robert abbat of Bec was elected archbishop of Canterbury on the 7th of March at Lambeth, in presence of the suffragan bishops of that province, but the abbat altogether declined to be elected, whether from weakness or from religious motives we are not informed.

The same year the young king Henry, walking in the counsels of the wicked, left his father, and withdrew to the court of his father-in-law the king of France; upon which, Richard duke of Aquitaine, and Geoffrey count of Brittany, by the advice as was said of his mother queen Eleanor, chose to follow their brother rather than their father. Thus seditions were engendered on both sides, with rapine and conflagration, whereby, if we believe aright, God, to punish king Henry for his conduct towards St. Thomas, raised up against him his own flesh and blood, namely his sons, who persecuted him to death, as the following history will show. The same year Ralph de Warneville, sacristan of Rouen and treasurer of York, was made chancellor of England. About the same time, at the instance of the cardinals Albert and Theodwine, Henry king of England conceded that the elections to vacant churches should be freely made, and the following appointments took place with the consent of the king's justiciary Richard archdeacon of Poictiers to the see of Winchester; Geoffrey archdeacon of Canterbury to that of Ely; Geoffrey archdeacon of Lincoln to that of Lincoln; Reginald archdeacon of Salisbury to that of Bath; Robert archdeacon of Oxford to that of Hereford; and John dean of Chichester to the bishopric of that same church.

Of the election of Richard to the archbishopric of Canterbury, and the canonisation of St. Thomas.

The same year, on the 9th of July, the suffragan bishops of the province of Canterbury, with the seniors of the monastery, elected Richard prior of Dover to the archbishopric; and immediately the bishop-elect swore fealty to the king, "saving his order", and no mention wa made of observing the customs of the kingdom. This took place at Westminster in the chapel of Saint Catharine, with the consent of the king's justiciary. In the council, also, was read

24 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1173.

the pope's letter in the audience of all the bishops and barons, containing, besides other matter, the following: "We admonish all your fraternity, and, by our apostolical authority, strictly command you to celebrate every year the day of the glorious martyr Thomas, namely, the day on which he suffered, and endeavour by votive prayers to him to obtain pardon for your sins, that he who for Christ's sake bravely endured exile during his life and martyrdom in death, may intercede to God for us through the earnest supplications of the faithful". This letter was hardly read, when all raised their voices on high, and cried, "We praise thee, O God"! Because, moreover, his suffragans had not shown due reverence to their father when he was in exile, or on his return from thence, but rather had persecuted him, all publicly confessed their error and sin by the mouth of one of them, as follows:- "Be present, Lord, to these our supplications, that we who for our sin know ourselves to be guilty, may be released by the intercession of St. Thomas thy martyr and high-priest". The same year, Mary, the sister of the same holy martyr, was by the king's orders made abbess of Barking. Also, the young king Henry laid siege to the castle of Gornai, and therein made prisoners Hugh the lord of the castle and his son, with twenty-four knights: the castle itself he burned, and compelled the townspeople to pay ransom. The same year, also, Robert earl of Leicester, and William de Tankerville, with many counts and barons, left king Henry and went over to the young king. [1]

The king of France invades Normandy with an army.

The same year, Louis king of France assembled a numerous army to lay waste Normandy; and entering that province, laid siege to Albemarle, and forced William its lord, with count Simon and several other nobles, to surrender, he then took the castle of Driencourt, and placed a garrison therein, and marching thence to the castle of Arches, lost on his way the count of Boulogne, whereupon the count of Flanders, grieved at his brother's death, returned to his own country. The elder king Henry was all this time at


[1] "This year, also, the prudent and religious abbat of Reading, William by name, was elevated to the archiepiscopal see of Bourdeaux". M. Paris.

A.D. 1173.] DESTRUCTION OF LEICESTER. 25

Rouen, apparently unconcerned at what was going on, and more than usually intent on the chase, whilst to all who came to him he presented a cheerful and smiling countenance. But those whom he had maintained about him from his earliest years now fell off from him, for they thought that his son had every prospect of soon being king in his stead. The king of France was now, with the young king, besieging Verneuil, when king Henry sent messengers to him, warning him to leave Normandy without delay, or he would march against him on that very day. The king of France, knowing the king of England to be a most powerful prince and of a most bitter temper, chose to retreat rather than to fight; wherefore he withdrew from before the face of king Henry, and retired with all speed into France.

Of the destruction of Leicester.

The same year, on the 4th of July, by the king's command, the city of Leicester is said to have been besieged, because the earl, its lord, had left the king and taken part with the young king his son. When the greater part of the city had been burned, the citizens began to treat of peace, on condition of paying three hundred marks to the king, and having leave to remove to whatever place they chose. Permission was therefore granted them to go and reside in the king's cities or castles, [1] and after their departure the gates of the city and part of the walls were destroyed, and a truce granted to the soldiers in the castle until the feast of St. Michael; and thus on the 28th of July the siege was at an end. After this, William king of Scotland claimed of the king the province of Northumberland, granted to his grandfather king David, who had held it for some time, but the English king refused it him; upon which William, collecting an army of Welsh and Scots, marched securely across the territories of the bishop of Durham, burned several villages,


[1] Matthew Paris here makes the following insertion: "The nobles of the city were dispersed; and having offended the king by the defence of their city, they sought a place of refuge to avoid his threats and anger. They therefore fled to the territory of St. Alban's the proto-martyr of England, and to the town of St. Edmund's the king and martyr, as if to a protecting bosom, because these martyrs were at that time held in such great reverence, that the inhabitants of those places afforded an asylum and safe protection from their enemies to all refugees".

26 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1173.

and slaying both men, women, and children, carried off an incalculable booty. To repel the invader, the English nobles assembled together, and forcing William to retire, followed him into Lothian, and devastating the whole of that country with fire and sword, made spoil of all they found in the fields, and at last, at the instance of the Scottish king himself, they made a truce until the feast of Hilary, and returned victorious to England.

How the earl of Leicester and the count of Flanders were taken and imprisoned.

When Robert earl of Leicester heard what had happened to his city, he was filled with grief, and crossing through Flanders with his wife on his way to England, assembled there a large number of Normans and Flemings, both horse and foot, and setting sail, landed at Walton in Suffolk on the 29th of September. He immediately laid siege to the castle, but without success, and marching thence on the 13th of October, assaulted and burned the castle of Hagenet, where he captured thirty knights, and compelled them to pay ransom. He then returned to Fremingham; but as his sojourn gave umbrage to Hugh Bigod lord of the castle, he turned his thoughts towards Leicester, and marched in that direction. On his way he endeavoured to surprise St. Edmundbury, but was prevented by the king's army that was stationed to guard that part of the country. The earl, therefore, surrounded by a strong force, and having with him three thousand Flemings, in whom he placed especial confidence, determined to risk a battle. The engagement began accordingly, and after various vicissitudes, the earl, his countess, with all the Flemings, Normans, and French, were taken prisoners. This happened on the 16th of October. The countess had on her finger a beautiful ring, which she flung into the neighbouring river, rather than suffer the enemy to make such gain by capturing her. At length the greater part of the Flemings were slain, others of them were drowned, and the remainder made prisoners.

How king Henry took prisoners many of his enemies.

Whilst king Henry the father was stopping in Normandy, it was told him that his own troops with the men of Brabant

A.D. 1174.] AXIHOLME CASTLE BESIEGED. 27

and the routiers had surprised the choicest of his son's troops and was blockading them in the city of Dole. Immediately upon receiving this news, he took horse, and the next morning reached the camp, and received the surrender of the enemy after a few days' resistance: but, before his arrival, the greatest part of them had been slain by his own routiers. Among the prisoners were Ralph earl of Chester, who had only a short time previously deserted to his son, Ralph de Fulgeriis, William Patrick, Ralph de la Haie, Hasculph de St. Hilaire, besides eighty knights. The same year the English nobles marched with a very large army to check the pride of Hugh Bigod; but when things were in such a position that all thought he might easily have been vanquished, money passed between them, and a truce was made until Whit Sunday, whilst fourteen thousand armed Flemings escorted him safely through Essex and Kent, and at Dover he was furnished with ships to cross the channel. The same year the archbishop elect of Canterbury went to Rome, attended by the bishop of Bath.

How the castle of Axiholme was taken and a large body of men captured.

[A.D. 1174.] Roger de Mowbray renounced his fealty to the old king and repaired a ruined castle in the island of Axiholme, [1] but a large number of the Lincolnshire men crossed over in boats and laying siege to the castle, compelled the constable and all the knights to surrender: they then again reduced the fortress to ruins. On the last day of April, the old king hearing that his son Richard had seized the castle of Santonge, marched with the men of Poictou to recover it. Richard's knights, showing no reverence either to God or the church, entered the cathedral, and converting it into a castle, filled it with armed men and provisions. The king, being informed that the enemy occupied three strongholds, prepared to attack them: two of them were immediately reduced, and he then approached the cathedral which was full of soldiers and loose characters, not to attack it but to purify it from its desecration. Altogether, reckoning both those who were in the church and those who were taken elsewhere, sixty knights and four hundred cross-bowmen were made prisoners. In this manner tranquillity


[1] Hoveden calls this castle Kinardeferie.

28 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1174.

having been restored to those parts, Henry was obliged to return to Normandy; for Philip count of Flanders, in the presence of Louis king of France and the nobles of that kingdom, had sworn on the holy Gospels, that within fifteen days after the approaching feast of St. John, he would invade England in force, and reduce it under subjection to the young king. Elated by this prospect young Henry came to Witsand on the 14th of July, with the intention of sending over Ralph de la Haie with an army to England: the earl of Flanders sent forwards three hundred and eighteen veteran knights to be transported over also, who, soon after they landed at Arwell, [1] on the 10th of June, immediately joined Hugh Bigod the earl. Proceeding at once to Norwich they took that city on the 28th of June and obtained there a large booty, besides compelling many captives, whom they took there, to pay a large sum of money for their ransom. The king's justiciary seeing this, by common consent sent Richard bishop elect of Winchester, to inform the king of the dangers which threatened England. The bishop, crossing without delay into Normandy, laid before the king a faithful account of all that was going on in England.

How the king, returning to England, paid a visit to the tomb of St. Thomas, to pray there.

The king received the bishop with due respect, and immediately prepared to cross over into England, taking with him queen Eleanor, queen Margaret, his son John, and his daughter Joanna. He also sent forward the earl and countess of Leicester with other prisoners, to Barbefleuve, where he went on board ship with a large army, but the wind proving unfavourable, the seamen were afraid to venture out that day. The king, perceiving that the sea was rough, raised his eyes to heaven, and uttered these words in the presence of all his people:- "If my intentions are directed to maintain peace both for my clergy and people, if the King of heaven has decreed to restore tranquillity in my kingdom when I arrive there, may he then grant that I may reach the shore in safety: but if his anger is roused, and he has decreed to visit the kingdom of England with the rod of his fury, may he never suffer me to reach the shores of that


[1] Near Harwich.

A.D. 1174.] PENITENCE OF KING HENRY. 29

country"! When he had finished this prayer, he set sail that same day, and after a fair passage reached Southampton in safety. He then fasted on bread and water, and would not enter any city, until he had fulfilled the vow which he had made in his mind to pray at the tomb of St. Thomas archbishop of Canterbury and glorious martyr. When he came near Canterbury, he dismounted from his horse, and laying aside all the emblems of royalty, with naked feet, and in the form of a penitent and supplicating pilgrim, arrived at the cathedral on Friday the 13th of June, and like Hezekiah, with tears and sighs, sought the tomb of the glorious martyr, where, prostrate on the floor, and with his hands stretched to heaven, he continued long in prayer. Meanwhile the bishop of London was commanded by the king to declare, in a sermon addressed to the people, that he had neither commanded, nor wished, nor by any device contrived the death of the martyr, which had been perpetrated in consequence of his murderers having misinterpreted the words which the king had hastily pronounced: wherefore he requested absolution from the bishops present, and baring his back, received from three to five lashes from every one of the numerous body of ecclesiastics who were there assembled. [1] The king then resumed his garments, and made costly offerings to the martyr; assigning forty pounds yearly for candles to be burned round his tomb: the remainder of the day and the following night were spent in grief and bitterness of mind. For three days the king took no sustenance, giving himself up to prayer, vigils, and fasting: by which means the favour of the blessed martyr was secured, and, on the very Saturday on which he prayed that indulgence might be shown him, God delivered into his hands William king of Scots, who was forthwith confined in Richmond castle. On that same day, also, the ships which the young king his son had assembled in order to invade England, were dispersed by the weather and almost lost, and the young king was driven back to the coast of France.

The capture of William the king of Scotland.

The mode in which the Scottish king became a prisoner,


[1] It may he safely assumed that the lashes administered to royal shoulders on this occasion were not laid on with the utmost severity of the law.

30 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1174.

was, briefly, as follows. He invaded Northumberland, as he had done the year before, for the purpose of uniting it to his own dominions: but the nobles of that part of the country met him in arms, and after a pitched battle, took him prisoner. So many of those Scottish vermin were slain that the number exceeds all calculation. The king was placed in custody at Richmond castle, thereby fulfilling the prophecy of Merlin, "A rein shall be placed upon his jaws, fabricated in the bosom of Armorica"; i.e. the castle of Richmond, which was at that time possessed by Armorican princes, and had been so from ancient times.

To form a true estimate of the benefits which resulted to the king from his penitence at the tomb of the martyr and the intercession which the saint made for him, we must consider the sequel of our history. When the king had finished his prayers, he went to London where he was received with respect by the people, and from thence he went to Huntingdon, where he besieged and took the castle on the 19th of July. There the knights of the earl of Leicester came and surrendered to him the castles of Grobi and Mountsorel, that he might show greater consideration towards their master. On the 22nd of July, the Northern nobles, with the bishop elect of Lincoln, [1] the king's son, at their head, reduced Malessart the castle of Roger de Mowbray; and troops now coming in on all sides, Henry determined to besiege the two castles of Hugh Bigod, Bungay, and Framingham: but the earl, having no hope of successful resistance, gave hostages and paid a thousand marks, by which means he obtained peace on the 20th of July. The army of Flemings, who had been sent over by count Philip, were then allowed to return, but first compelled to make oath that they would not again invade England. The troops of the young king, also, commanded by Ralph de la Haye, left England without impediment. Moreover Robert earl of Ferrars and Roger de Mowbray, whose castles of Thirsk and Stutbury were at that time besieged by the king, sent heralds and asked for peace. William earl of Glocester, and Richard earl of Clare, met the king, and promised implicit obedience to his commands. Thus this glorious king having conquered all his enemies and restored peace to England, crossed into Normandy on the


[1] Geoffrey Plantagenet.

A.D. 1175.] THE KING AND HIS SONS RECONCILED. 31

7th of July, attended by his prisoners, the king of Scotland, the earl of Leicester, and Hugh de Castello.

How the king of France abandoned the seige of Rouen.

When king Henry landed in Normandy, on the 11th of July, he found the city of Rouen besieged; for Louis king of France and the young king Henry, with the count of Flanders, had assembled a large force in the absence of the king, and severely pressed the citizens; but when the king of France heard that the king of England was coming, he retreated, not without some detriment to his reputation, and the English soldiers seized on a large quantity of his arms and munitions of war. The same year, the archbishop of Canterbury returned from Rome, bringing back with him the pall and the primacy of England. Arriving at London on the 30th of August, he convoked the principal clergy belonging to the vacant churches, which had lately elected fresh prelates, and confirmed and consecrated the bishops elect of Winchester, Ely, Hereford, and Chichester: but Geoffrey, bishop elect of Lincoln, whose election had not yet been continued, crossed the sea, with the intention of sending messengers to Rome, or going there in his own person.

How all the king's sons made peace with their father.

[A.D. 1175.] Louis king of France and the count of Flanders, beginning to feel the expenses which they had incurred in the cause of the young king of England, and reflecting on the loss of life and property which had fallen on their subjects, promised to abstain from invading Normandy; and did their best to reconcile the king with his sons, who, as they well knew, had incurred their father's malediction, the hatred of the clergy, and the imprecations of the whole people. The king, therefore, informed by the report of the messengers that all his adversaries were reduced to repentance, arranged to meet them at Mans, where his sons Geoffrey and Richard first did homage to him, and took the oath of fealty. After a few days, the young king, with the archbishops of Rouen, and many other bishops and barons, came before the old king at Bure in Normandy, and throwing himself at his father's feet, implored his mercy. The king, his father, moved with affection towards his son,

32 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1175.

whom he ardently loved, and perceiving his sincerity, he was no longer angry with him, but received his homage and oath of fidelity. When peace was fully made, and ratified all round by a kiss, the king released without ransom nine hundred and sixty-nine knights, whom he had taken in the war; but a few, whose excessive misdeeds had provoked him, in spite of his merciful inclinations, to anger, were committed to still closer confinement. The young king, also, released without ransom all the knights whom he had taken in war, amounting in number to more than one hundred. Then the king, his father, sent letters into all parts of his dominions to inform them of the reconciliation which had taken place, that, as they had suffered generally by the war, they might now rejoice in the re-establishment of peace. The letters also notified that all castles which had been fortified against him during the war, should be reduced to the state in which they were before hostilities commenced. [1]

William, the king of Scotland, makes peace with king Henry.

The same year William king of Scotland, who was prisoner at Falaise, made peace with the king of England on the 8th of December, on the following terms. The king of Scotland declared himself the liegeman of the king of England, for the kingdom of Scotland and all his dominions, and did homage and allegiance to him as his especial lord, and to Henry, the king's son, saving his faith to his father: and in the same way all the bishops, with the earls and barons of Scotland, from whom the king wished to receive homage and fealty, and not only for themselves but for their successors, to the king and to his successors for ever, without mental reservation of any kind. Moreover, the king of Scots and all his men promised that they would not harbour in any part of their dominions fugitives out of England, but would arrest them and give them up to the king of England


[1] "In the same year, a general council was held at Westminster on the fifteenth day of June, of which Richard archbishop of Canterbury and legate of the apostolic see, was president. Roger archbishop of York refused to attend. Reginald earl of Cornwall died in this year. Hugh Petroleonis, a cardinal deacon, came as legate to England, and gained favour in the sight, of the king by granting the power of handing priests over to the secular authority, for fofeiture of land and lay demesnes". M. Paris.

A.D. 1176.] VISIT TO THE TOMB OF ST. THOMAS. 33

and to his justices. As a guarantee for the observance of this treaty, the king of Scotland gave up to king Henry and his successors the castles of Berwick and Roxburgh [1] for ever; and, if the king of Scotland should ever contravene this treaty, the bishops, earls, and barons of Scotland undertook to oppose him, and the bishops to lay his kingdom under an interdict, until he should return to his duty towards the king of England. Thus king William gave hostages, and returned to England in free custody, until the castles should be surrendered according to his bargain with the king. And many of the fortresses which had been raised through England and Normandy, during the dissension between the father and son, were now, by the king's command, destroyed.

How the two kings, father and son, paid a visit to the tomb of St. Thomas.

[A.D. 1176.] The kings of England, father and son, on their return to England, ate every day at the same table, and slept every night in the same bedroom. They also together visited the blessed martyr St. Thomas, to offer up their prayers and vows at his tomb; after which they went through England, promising justice to everyone, both clergy and laity, which promise they afterwards fully performed. The same year, William de Brause, having craftily assembled a multitude of the Welsh in the castle of Abergavenny, forbade travellers to carry a knife or bow, but when they opposed this decree, he condemned them all to capital punishment. That you may understand how he palliated his treachery under the cloak of right, he perpetrated this deed to avenge his uncle, Henry of Hereford, whom they had slain on the previous Easter Saturday. The same year, Richard archbishop of Canterbury, appointed three archdeacons, Savary, Nicholas, and Herbert, in his diocese, though up to this time it had been content with one archdeacon. The same year John dean of Salisbury was consecrated bishop of Norwich, and not long after, the king of England rased to the ground the castles of Leicester, Huntingdon, Walton, Grobi, Stutsbury, Hay, and Thirsk, besides many others, in return for the injuries which the lords of those castles had often done to him. He then, by


[1] Also the castles of Jedburgh, Edinburgh, and Stirling.

34 ROGER OF WENDOVER, [A.D. 1176.

the advice of his son and the bishops, appointed justices through six districts of his kingdom, in each part three, who made oath that they would do full justice to every body.

How the king granted four articles to Peter the legate of the Roman see.

About this time Petro-Leonis, the pope's legate, came to England, and the king conceded to him the four articles following, to be observed in the kingdom of England. First, that for the future no clerk should be dragged in person before any secular judge, for any crime or transgression, except in the matter of the forest or a lay-fee, for which lay-service is due to the king or to any other lord: secondly, that archbishoprics, bishoprics, and abbacies should not be held in the king's hand beyond a year, except for an evident cause or urgent necessity: thirdly, that murderers of clerks, convicted or confessed, should be punished before the king's justiciary, in presence of the bishop: fourthly, that clerks should not be compelled to serve in war. The same year, Johanna, the king's daughter, who had been promised in marriage to the king of Sicily, was on the 9th of November, at St. Giles's, delivered to her husband in the sight of an illustrious company of persons, who witnessed it; and at the same time, all the castles in England were given into custody by the king's orders. Also, William earl of Gloucester not having a son, and unwilling that his inheritance should be divided between his daughters, constituted the king's son, John Lack-land, his heir. [1]

How foreign kings submitted their differences to the decision of the king of England.

About this time, Alphonso king of Castile, son-in-law of the king of England, and Sancho king of Navarre, his uncle, being at variance, sent ambassadors to the king of England, and promised to abide by his decision. When the ambassadors appeared at Westminster before the king, bishops,


[1] Matthew Paris adds:- "Hugh Petro-Leonis, after fulfilling his embassy, set sail. King Henry gave his youngest daughter to the king of Apuleia, and crossed sea on the 27th of August. Richard earl of Strigoyle died; William earl of Arundel also died on the 12th of October, at Waverley, and was buried at Wimundhum, a cell of the church of St. Alban's, of which he was known to have been a patron. Walter, also, prior of Winchester, was made abbat of Westminster".

A.D. 1177.] KING HENRY'S DECISIONS. 35

earls, and barons, it was asserted on the part of Alphoriso, that whilst he was still a minor and an orphan, Sancho king of Navarre had taken from him, unjustly and by violence, the castles and lands of Logtoium, Navarret, Anthlena, Aptol, and Agosen, with their appurtenances, which had belonged to Alphonso's father before he died, and which Alphonso himself had since for some years possessed; for which reason they claimed restitution for their sovereign. The ambassadors of Sancho, on the other hand, did not deny these facts, but asserted that Alphonso had taken by force from Sancho the castles of Legin, Portel, and that held by Godin; and, as the opposite party did not contradict, they with equal urgency claimed restitution for their master. They also acknowledged publicly that a truce had been made for seven years, on oath, between the parties. When the king of England had counselled with his bishops, earls, and barons on the subject of this quarrel, as it appeared that neither party denied the acts of violence on either side, and there appeared to be no reason why mutual restitution should not be made, the king decided that both parties should give up what they had taken, that the truce should be observed up to its full period, and that, for the sake of peace, Alphonso should pay to Sancho every year for ten years three thousand marabotins, [1] and on these, terms there should be final peace and friendship between the two. In these days, ambassadors from Manuel emperor of Constantinople, from the Roman emperor Frederic, from William archbishop of Treves, from Henry duke of Saxony, and Philip count of Flanders, each engaged on his own separate business, met together in the king's court at Westminster, as if by agreement, on the 12th of November. We mention this fact, in proof of the estimation in which all the world held the wisdom and magnificence of the king, as was evinced by all of them applying to him for advice and settlement of their disputes.

Of the removal of the secular canons from Waltham church.

[A.D. 1177.] The canons, called secular, were removed from the church of Waltham, and regular canons introduced


[1] The marabotin or marabitin was a Spanish gold coin, the exact value of which is unknown; but it was probably borrowed from the Moors. The modern maravedi is, on the contrary, of a diminutive value.

36 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1178.

in their places, by the authority of the supreme pontiff, on Whitsun-eve, by the command of the king, who was also present on the occasion: and the same day, Ralph canon of Chichester received the government of the same church from the hands of the bishop of London, to whom, as his diocesan, he bound himself in express words to pay canonical obedience; after which he was introduced into the church in company with the brethren, appointed by the bishop to be their prior, and solemnly enthroned. [1] The king of England, now, having settled the affairs of the kingdom to his wish, crossed to Normandy on the 18th of August, and held a conference with the king of France, at which the following treaty was concluded:- "I, Louis king of France and I, Henry king of England, hereby notify to all men, that we have, by God's inspiration, promised and confirmed on oath, to enter the service of our crucified Saviour, and, taking the cross, to go to Jerusalem; and that it is our wish to be friends, and to maintain one another in life, limb, and worldly honour against all men: and if any one shall presume to injure either of us, I, Henry, will assist Louis king of France, as my lord, against all men; and I, Louis, will help Henry king of England, as my faithful man, against all men, saving the faith which we owe to our own men, as long as they shall continue faithful to us". This took place at Minancourt on the 25th of September.

Of the foundation of Westwood monastery.

[A.D. 1178.] Richard de Lucy, justiciary of England, on the 11th of June, laid the foundations of a conventual church in honour of St. Thomas the martyr, at a place called Westwood, [2] in the territory of Rochester. Also, king


[1] Matthew Paris adds the following:- "In the same year, too, Philip count of Flanders and William de Magnaville set out for Jerusalem. The emperor Frederic did homage to pope Alexander; for he heard that when that pontiff was flying from the persecution of the emperor, and the journey by land was unsafe for him, he took ship, and a storm having arisen, he put on all the papal decorations, as if he was going to celebrate muss, and standing up on board, he commanded the sea and winds, like Jesus Christ, whose vicar he said he was, and there was a calm immediately. On hearing this, the emperor was astounded, and by humiliating himself, appeased the pope, more, however, through fear of God than man; and thus the quarrel ended".

[2] Called also Lesnes abbey.

A.D. 1178.] REVELATION CONCERNING ST. AMPHIBALUS. 37

Henry, having now secured the fortresses throughout all his dominions, from the Pyrenees to the British ocean, and settling everything to his wish, on the 13th of June visited the tomb of St. Thomas the martyr, and shortly after, on the 6th of August, at Woodstock, made his son Geoffrey a belted knight.

Of the revelation made to a certain man concerning St. Amphibalus.

The same year there was a certain man who lived at his native town, St. Alban's, and enjoyed a character free from reproach among his countrymen. From his youth up to the present time, he lived honestly, as far as the mediocrity of his fortune allowed, and was a devout attendant at the church. Whilst this man lay in bed one night, about the time of cock-crowing, a man of tall and majestic mien entered his apartment, clad in white, and holding in his hand a beautiful wand. The whole house shone at his entrance, and the chamber was as light as at noon-day. Approaching the bed, he asked in a gentle voice. "Robert, are you asleep"? Robert, trembling with fear and wonder, replied, "Who art thou, lord"? "I am", said he, "the martyr St. Alban, and am come to tell you the Lord's will concerning my master, the clerk, who taught me the faith of Christ, for, though his fame is so great among mankind, the place of his sepulture is still unknown, though it is the belief of the faithful that it will be revealed to future ages. Rise therefore, with speed, put on your clothes and follow me, and I will show you the spot where his precious remains are buried". Robert, therefore, rising from his bed, as it seemed, followed him, and they went together through the public streets towards the north, until they came to a plain which had lain for ages uncultivated near the high road. [1]


[1] Matthew Paris adds the following:- "On their way they conversed with one another, as is the custom amongst friends travelling together, at one time of the walls of the ruined city, at another of the decrease of the river, of the common street adjoining the city; then the discourse turned to the arrival in the city of the blessed Amphibalus, their master; his departure to be lamented by them, and of the passion of both. And whatever questions Robert wished to ask, the martyr readily answered them. It happened that as they were conversing they were met by some traders of Dunstable, who were hastening to be in the market at the town of St. Alban's on the morrow, to transact some business there; and tho martyr having foretold their approach, said, "Let us turn aside for a little, till those who are approaching shall pass, that they may not delay our journey by asking questions"; for the road shone from his presence; and this came to pass. When they had got about half way on their journey, at a place where two trees had been thrown down, the martyr said, "To this place I brought my master, the blessed Amphibalus, when, for the last time during his life on earth, we conversed together, weeping, as we were then on the point of separating from one another". And if the shining light which proceeded from the martyr had not dazzled the sight of Robert, and Robert himself had not been restrained by fear and by hia simplicity, the saint would have informed him of many other things past and future.

38 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1178.

Its surface was level, furnishing au agreeable pasturage for cattle, and resting place for weary travellers, at a village called Redburn, about three miles from St. Alban's. In this plain were two eminences, called the "Hills of the banners", because there used to be assemblies of the faithful people held round them, when, according to an ancient custom, they yearly made a solemn procession to the church of St. Alban, and offered prayers. Here St. Alban turned a little out of the way, and seizing the man's hand, led him to one of the mounds, which contained the sepulchre of the blessed martyr. "Here", said he, turning to his follower, "lie the remains of my master"; and then, opening the ground a little, in the shape of a cross with the man's thumb, and turning up a portion of the turf, he opened a small chest, from which a brilliant light came forth, and filled first the whole of the west, and then the whole world with its rays, after which the chest again closed, and the plain was restored to its former appearance. The man was astonished, and asked the saint what he should do. "Notice the spot carefully", said the saint, "and remember what I have shown you. The time shall soon come when the information which I have privately given to you shall turn out to the benefit of many. Rise now", continued he, "let us be going, and return to the place whence we came". As they were on their way home, the saint entered his own church, and the man, returning to his house, went to bed again.

How the man disclosed the vision which he had seen.

In the morning the man awoke, and was much disturbed in mind, doubting whether or not he should disclose to others what he had seen in the vision, or, as he rather believed, in

A.D. 1178.] MIRACLES AT THE MARTYRS' TOMB. 39

reality: for he feared lest he should offend God if he concealed it, and incur the ridicule of mankind if he told it. In this state of doubt the fear of God prevailed; and, although he did not proclaim it publicly, yet he communicated it to his domestics and private friends. They, however, at once published in open day what had been told them in the darkness, and what they had heard in the ear they proclaimed upon the house-tops. Thus the story was spread throughout the whole province, so that the inhabitants thronged the cloister of St. Alban's monastery. At last the happy report reached Simon, the abbat, by whose influence, next to God, it acquired great importance. He immediately gave praise and thanks to God, and having held a council of the brethren, chose some of them to proceed to the spot, to which the man above mentioned should guide them. Meantime, the whole convent at home prayed devoutly to God; while the brethren, appointed for the purpose, proceeded to the spot where they hoped to find the relics of the martyr. When they reached the spot, they found there a large multitude, who had met together from divers parts of the country, led by the Holy Spirit, to witness the discovery of the martyr's relics. Whilst they all waited for the event, the man aforesaid led the brethren to the plain where the bodies of the saints lay. It was the Friday before the feast of St. Alban's when this was done. From that day, until the bodies of the saints were removed, there was always a watch kept over that spot, the brethren of the abbey assisting the laity in this duty. Meanwhile, the convent entered upon a stricter rule of life, and proclaimed to the people a solemn occasion for prayer and fasting. This place, in which the relics were hereafter to be found, now bore the appearance of a market, and when one party, who from devotion visited the spot, left it, another party arrived.

Of two women who were cured by visiting the saint.

Signs of well-attested miracles began now to be exhibited, whilst the martyrs were still beneath the ground, giving hopes of the greater works which they would do hereafter. For a woman of Gatesden, who had been bound ten years with a weakness of the shoulders and loins, and had been on

40 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1178.

account of her infirmity, an object of dislike to her husband, left her native place, and passing through Redburn, lay down to sleep near the place where the martyrs were buried, nor did she rise from thence until she was wholly cured. Another woman of Dunstable, named Cecilia, had the dropsy, which gave her the appearance of being pregnant, and she also was restored to health by a visit to the spot. Also, a girl, five years old, who had never walked since her birth, but was always carried by her parents, was placed near the same spot, in the sight of many faithful witnesses, and after a short sleep, rose up and ran upon her feet, to the great joy of her parents. Meanwhile, the day of St. Alban's martyrdom arrived, and, famous as is that day in itself, it was made still more so, by the publication of these miracles. The faithful were admonished to give alms more largely, to use abstinence in diet, and the solemn procession was repeated the next day. But the days which still intervened, did not pass in idle talk, for up to the very hour of the discovery of the relics, evident miracles were performed. A man of Kingsbury laughed at those who were digging for saints, and coming with the rest to the spot, though with very different thoughts from theirs, he was immediately seized with madness, tore his clothes, and instead of deriding the diggers, became now a spectacle to them. When he had been tormented some time in the sight of all who were present, the hand of God ceased to punish him, and he returned safe, though chastened, to his home. Another man also laughed at them for digging for saints, and was also struck with the divine vengeance, for in the midst of speaking he was violently seized, and breathed out on the spot his blaspheming spirit. One Algar of Dunstable came to the spot with a cart, in which was a cask of ale for sale: a poor sick man came up to him and begged of him, for the love of the martyr, to give him a small draught to quench his thirst. Algar, incensed at his request, said he had not come there out of regard to the martyr, but to make profit by the sale of his goods. Whilst he was thus abusing the poor man, both ends of his cask fell out, the beer ran upon the ground, and by the saint's interference, not only the poor man who had been denied the least drop of it, but also many others with him, falling upon their knees, drank as much as

A.D. 1178.] BODIES OF MARTYRS FOUND. 41

they pleased, for no one prevented them. Thus, by the martyr's agency, the wickedness of the perverse was repressed, and the devotion of the faithful met with its reward; for during the three following days, ten persons of both sexes were cured of different diseases, to the praise of God and of his holy martyr.

The discovery of St. Amphibalus and his nine companions.

On the morning of the day when the bodies of the saints were found, the venerable father, abbat Simon, approached the holy spot, and having celebrated the mystery of our redemption in the neighbouring chapel of St. James, in respect to the martyr St. Alban, he commanded the monks who were present to search with still greater diligence and to put on more diggers immediately. The chapel of St. James had been built in honour of the martyr, in consequence of certain rays of light which always fell on the flocks whenever the shepherds drove them to pasture on that spot; wherefore, also, the aforesaid abbat celebrated mass there, and implored the martyr's aid to bless their search. When the abbat and brethren had returned to the abbey, and were seated at dinner, one of them read aloud the passion of the saint for whom they were digging and of his companions, by which when they were released from the flesh they entered into everlasting glory. Whilst, therefore, the convent in tears were intent on hearing the cruelty of the judge, the ferocity of his lictors, the patience of the martyrs, and the lengthened details of their death, some one suddenly entered the room and announced that they had just discovered the bodies of Amphibalus and three others. Why should I relate the effect of this intelligence? their sighs were changed to thanksgiving, and joy succeeded to sorrow. Rising from table, they all proceeded to the church, and offered up praises to attest the joy which filled their hearts. The holy martyr Amphibalus was lying between two of his companions, whilst the third was found lying crossways in a place by itself. They also found near the place six others of the martyrs, making with St. Amphibalus himself, ten in all. Among other reliques of this champion of Christ were found two large knives, one in his skull and the other in his breast, confirming the account which was handed down from ancient

42 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1178.

times in the book of his martyrdom. [1] For, according to that book, whilst the others perished by the sword, Amphibalus himself was first embowelled, then pierced with lances and knives, and finally stoned to death: for which cause, also, none of his bones were found entire, though in all the corpses of his companions not a bone was broken.

How the relict of St. Amphibalus were translated to St. Alban's.

The abbat, as we have observed, hearing the happy news, hastened with the prior and some of the brethren to the place, and caused the relics thus dug up to be taken up and wrapped in decent cloths. Then, apprehensive of injury from the pressure of the multitude, who could not be kept off from the treasure which they had found, he gave orders that the holy martyrs should be carried to St. Alban's church, where they could be better taken care of. Why need I say more? The abbat and brethren returned to the monastery, carrying with them separately the bodies of the saints. The rest of the brotherhood, who had remained behind, came out to meet them, bearing with them the body of the blessed martyr St. Alban, which, as his bearers can testify, though generally heavy, was at present so light that it seemed rather to fiy along than to rest upon their shoulders. Thus martyr met martyr, the disciple his master, receiving him publicly on his return, from whom formerly he had been taught the true faith in a humble cottage. We must not, however, pass over in silence a miracle which God wrought in the elements when first these holy relics met. For, whereas there had been a long drought, which had dried up everything and reduced the farmers almost to despair; at this moment, though there was not a cloud to be seen, so heavy a storm of rain came down, that the earth was drenched and the hopes of a future harvest were revived. St. Amphibalus and his companions were found on Saturday the 25th of June, A.D. 1177, being the 886th year after his martyrdom. Wherever the holy relics are placed, as well as on the spot where he was buried, to the glory of God and of his martyr, the sick are cured of divers diseases, the limbs of the paralytics recover their strength, the mouths of the dumb are opened, sight is restored to the blind, the deaf hear, the lame walk, and. what is still more


[1] This book is now most probably no longer in existence.

A.D. 1170.] KING HENRY'S TOURNAMENTS. 43

marvellous, those who are possessed with devils are released, epileptics are cured, lepers cleansed, and the dead recalled to life. If any one desires to read the miracles which the divine clemency works by means of these his saints, let him peruse the famous book of his miracles, for we now beg our readers to pardon us for this digression and hasten on to other subjects. [1]

How the young king Henry held tournaments.

[A.D. 1179.] Henry the young king, crossing into Gaul, spent three years in conflicts and profuse expenditure. Laying aside his royal dignity, and assuming the character of a knight, he devoted himself to equestrian exercises and, carrying off the victory in various encounters, spread his fame on all sides around him. When his reputation was complete, he returned to his father who received him with due honour. The same year Louis, the king of France, determined to pay a visit for prayer at the tomb of St. Thomas the martyr, and for that purpose came to England where neither himself nor any of his ancestors had ever yet been. He landed at Dover, and was met, on the 22nd of August, by the king of England, who showed both him and his attendants every possible mark of respect: for the archbishop of Canterbury, with his suffragans, earls, and barons, besides the clergy and people, went in solemn procession to the church, in honour of so great a king. No one knows how much gold and silver, precious stones and plate, king Henry bestowed upon the French nobility, and therefore no one can tell the same. The king of France granted a hundred measures of wine, to be delivered yearly at Paris, out of respect to the glorious martyr, for the use of the convent of Canterbury: and king Henry showed the French king and his attendants all the wealth of his kingdom, which had been amassed by himself and his ancestors; but the French, careful lest they should seem to have had another object than to see the blessed martyr, restrained their hands from receiving gifts, and in doing so, perhaps, endured a sort of mental martyrdom at what they saw. Thus the king of France, when he had


[1] The whole legend of Amphibalus is a fable: there certainly was no such perton, and it may be doubted whether there was ever such a person as St. Alban; or, if he existed, his history also is mostly a fable.

44 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1179.

spent three days in watching, fasting, and prayer at Canterbury, and received a few small presents from the king of England, as tokens of his love, sailed back to France on the 26th of August. The same year, also, died Roger bishop of Winchester, on the 9th of August.

Of the council at Rome under pope Alexander.

The same year was held a general council at Rome, of three hundred and ten bishops, on the 29th of March, in the Lateran, at which pope Alexander the third presided. The statutes then passed, which are worthy of universal praise, are contained under twenty-eight heads, as follows: Of the election of the supreme pontiff: Of the heretical Albigenses, and their different appellations: Of the routiers and plunderers of Brabant, who harass the faithful: That no one shall be advanced to a bishopric or any other ecclesiastical grade, unless he is of lawful age and born in lawful wedlock: That no benefices be given away whilst their incumbents are living, nor be suffered to remain vacant more than six months after the incumbents are dead: Of appeals: That no one in holy orders, or who derives his maintenance from ecclesiastical revenues, shall concern himself in secular business: Of fixing the truces, and the times of fixing the same: That clerks shall have only one church, and that bishops, if they ordain persons without a certain title, shall maintain them until they can appoint them to an office in some church: That patrons and laymen shall not oppress churches or ecclesiastical persons: That Jews and Saracens shall not have Christians for slaves, but if they choose to be converted to Christianity, they shall in no wise be taken from their masters: That leprous persons, who are excluded from society, shall have an oratory and priest of their own: That ecclesiastical property shall not be turned to any other use, nor deans exercise episcopal jurisdiction for a certain sum of money: That in elections and ecclesiastical ordinations, whatsoever shall be appointed by the senior part of the council shall take effect: That manifest usurers shall not be admitted to the communion at the altar, nor receive Christian burial: That farmers and travellers, and all which they possess, shall enjoy general peace and security: That ordinations made by schismatics shall be held as null and void, and all

A.D. 1179.] STATUTES PASSED AT ROME. 45

benefices bestowed by them be revoked: That no payment be demanded for instituting ecclesiastical persons, burying the dead, or pronouncing the blessing at marriages, or for the other sacraments of the church: That no religious persons or others presume to receive churches or tithes from lay hands without the authority of the bishop; nor the templars or hospitallers open their churches, which have been laid under an interdict, once a year, nor presume then to bury the dead: That no one shall for money usurp a religious habit, nor religions persons have property of their own, nor prelates be degraded except for dilapidation or for incontinence: That Christians shall not sell arms to Saracens, nor any one dare to rob those who have been shipwrecked: That clerks in holy orders shall live continently, and if they are found to labour in that sort of continence which is contrary to nature, they shall be excommunicated and expelled from the clergy: That archbishops, visiting parishes or churches, shall be content with a retinue of forty or fifty horse; bishops, of twenty or thirty; legates, of twenty or five and twenty; archdeacons, of five or seven; and deans, of not more than two: That no one shall practise tournaments, and that those who are killed in them shall be deprived of Christian burial: That every cathedral church shall have a master, who shall teach the poor scholars and others, and that none shall demand pay for teaching: That prelates shall govern only one church, and that patrons shall not exact money from the churches or their lands: That bishops and ecclesiastical persons shall not be compelled to appear at lay tribunals, and that laymen shall not pay tithes to laymen: That, if any one receives property from another as a security for a loan, and, after deducting expenses, he has recovered his money out of the produce of the property, he shall give back the security to his debtor.

Pope Alexander's letter against the heresy of Peter Lombard.

The same pope Alexander was informed that master Peter Lombard had in certain of his writings departed from the articles of the faith; wherefore he sent the following letter to William archbishop of Sens. "Alexander, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to William archbishop of Sens, health: When you were formerly in our presence, we

46 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1170.

enjoined you, by word of mouth, to convoke your suffragan bishops at Paris, and use your best endeavours to destroy the false doctrines of Peter, formerly bishop of Paris, by which it is asserted that Christ, as far as he is human, is not any thing. We therefore command you, my brother, by our apostolical writings, as we before commanded you by word of mouth, to assemble your bishops at Paris, and together with them and other religious and prudent men, to abrogate altogether the aforesaid doctrines, and to make masters teach their pupils in theology, that as Christ is perfect God, so also he is perfect man, consisting of a body and soul. You will strictly charge all men by no means to presume again to teach the aforesaid false doctrine, but altogether to abominate it".

Of abbot Joachim's book, which he wrote against Peter Lombard.

In these days, also, Joachim abbat of Flore, wrote a book against Peter Lombard, calling him a heretic and a madman, for having said, in speaking of the unity or essence of the Trinity, that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are one supreme essence, which neither begets, nor is begotten, on proceeding. For this assertion, the abbat charged Peter with holding not three persons in the Godhead, but four, namely, the three persons usually received, and their common essence or a sort of fourth; that it is no thing which is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, neither essence, nor substance, nor nature, although he admits that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are one essence, one substance and one nature. And the same Joachim confirmed his position by the authorities which follow: "There are three which bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one; and there are three which bear record on earth, the Spirit, the Water, and the Blood, and these three are one", again, "I wish, Father, that they should be one in us, even as we also are one". Wherefore it appears that the aforesaid Joachim acknowledges not a true and proper unity of this sort, but a sort of collective unity, having the similitude of such, in the same way as many men are called one people, and many believers make one church.

A.D. 1179.] HERESY OF JOACHIM CONDEMNED. 47

How pope Innocent condemned Joachim's book.

This controversy remained undecided for many years, from the days of pope Alexander to the time of pope Innocent, during the papacy of Lucius, Urban, Gregory, Clement, and Celestine: to whom succeeded Innocent the third, who, in the year of our Lord 1215, held a general council at Rome, and condemned Joachim's book against Peter in these terms:- "We, with the consent and approbation of this council, believe and confess with Peter that there is one supreme substance, incomprehensible and unspeakable, which is truly the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, being both three persons collectively and also each of them separately; and therefore there are three not four persons in the Deity, for each of those three persons is that thing, or substance, essence or divine nature, which alone is the beginning of all things, besides which no other can be found; and that substance neither begets nor is begotten, nor proceeding; but it is the Father who begets, the Son who is begotten, and the Holy Spirit which proceeds, so that there are distinctions between the persons, and unity in the nature. For although the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are different persons, they are not different in substance: the Father, by begetting the Son from eternity communicated to him his own substance, according to what he himself testifies:- "That which the Father hath given me is greater than all". Neither can it be said that he gave the Son part of his substance and retained the rest for himself, since the substance of the Father is indivisible, and altogether simple; neither can it be said that the Father transferred his substance to the Son by begetting him, that is, so gave it to the Son that he did not retain it for himself, otherwise his substance would cease to exist: but the Son by his birth received the entire substance of the Father, and so the Father and Son have the same substance and are the same thing; as well as the Holy Spirit, which proceeds from both, and remains in both, for the faithful servants of Christ are not, as the abbat Joachim says, one substance common to all, but one only in unity of charity, in grace; but in the same of the Divine persons, there is unity of identity in their nature. We therefore condemn and reprobate the book and doctrines of Joachim, and do command that, if any one shall presume to defend or

48 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1180.

approve of his opinions in this matter, he shall he held as heretical by all men". Concerning this council and the pope above mentioned, more will be said in its proper place.

How Philip was consecrated king of France.

The same year, Philip son of Louis king of France, was crowned king on the festival of All Saints, at Rheims, by William archbishop of that city: his father was still living, and supplied all things required for the coronation. Also Cadwallan, prince of Wales, was this year brought into the presence of the king of England, where many charges were laid against him. On his return to Wales, under the safe conduct of the king, he was set upon by his enemies and slain, on the 22nd of September, to the great scandal of the king, though he was in no wise to blame; for he commanded the authors of the deed to be severely punished.

Of the league between the king of France and England.

[A.D. 1180.] A conference was held between Philip the new king of France and king Henry, at a place between Gisors and Trie, where the following treaty was concluded between them:- "I, Philip, by the grace of God king of France, and I, Henry, by the same grace, king of England, notify to all men that we have renewed on oath the alliance and friendship between us; and, to avoid all occasion of discord hereafter between us, we have agreed that neither shall claim, against the other, any of the lands, possessions, and other things which we now hold, except Auvergne, concerning which there is now a dispute between us, and except the fee of the castle of Ralph, and except the small fees and divisions of our lands of Berri: concerning which, if we cannot come to an agreement, we have each chosen three bishops and barons, to decide between us, by whose decision we have agreed, in good faith, to abide". The same year, also, died Louis king of France, at Paris, on the 18th of September, and was buried at the Cistercian abbey of Barbeaux; the building of which had been completed at the expense of the same king.

How Richard count of Poictou grievously ravaged the lands of Geoffrry de Liziniac.

About the same time, Richard duke of Aquitaine, and son of king Henry, provoked by the pride of Geoffrey de Rancon,

A.D. 1180.] SIEGE OF TAILEBURG. 49

and by many injuries which he had received from him, assembled his troops, and laid siege to Taileburg, one of his castles, a bold enterprise, which none of his ancestors had ever dared to undertake, for the castle was up to that time unknown to its enemies, and was defended by three moats and walls, besides arms of all kinds, bolts, and bars; it was crowned with turrets placed at intervals, and had a large quantity of stones on its battlements, besides stores of provisions, and numbers of knights and experienced soldiers; for which reason it entertained no fear from duke Richard's approach. He, however, invaded its territory with more than a lion's fury, carried off the produce, cut down the vines, burned the villages, and demolished every thing; then fixing his tents near the castle, he erected machines against the walls, and created great alarm in the garrison, who had no suspicion that any such things would happen. Inasmuch, however, as it seemed somewhat ignominious, that such high-minded and experienced soldiers should be cooped up within the walls, they determined, by common consent, to make a sally and attack the duke's army by surprise. This resolution was bravely put in force, but the duke, summoning his men, charged the enemy and compelled them to retire within their walls. In their retreat, a fierce fight ensued, and the worth of both horse and men, lance and sword, bow and crossbow, shield and mace, with every other kind of weapon or defensive armour, were all tested in that encounter. Wherefore the townspeople, unable any longer to endure the duke's assaults, retreated within their walls, and the duke, urging on the pursuit, entered with the fugitives: the streets were filled with rapine and conflagration, for there was no way of escape left for them. Some of the townspeople, favoured by fortune, fled to the principal tower: the lord of the castle was compelled to surrender, the fair walls were levelled with the ground, and others of the revolted castles, within a month, shared the same fate. When every thing was completed to the duke's wish, he crossed into England, where he was received with the greatest honours by king Henry his father. [1]


[1] "A new coinage was made this year in England; and John bishop of Chichester died". M.Paris.

50 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1181.

How Philip king of France submitted the disposition of his realm to the king of England.

[A.D. 1181.] Some of the French king's ministers reminded their master how peacefully the king of England governed his extensive dominions, and kept them safe from those barbarous nations the Scots and Welsh: wherefore, by the advice of his household, the French king submitted his own kingdom, also, and his own person to the disposition of the king of England, who, influenced by this example, placed the whole of Normandy under the control of the young king his son, and, on the 25th of July, crossing to England made a visit, for the purpose of prayer, to the tomb of St. Thomas the martyr. The same year, on the 20th of November, died Roger archbishop of York, who, during his lifetime, had obtained a privilege from pope Alexander, to the effect that if any clerk under his jurisdiction should on his death-bed make a will and die without having distributed his property with his own hands, the archbishop should take possession of the goods of the deceased. Now, as every one ought to abide by the laws which he has laid down for others, when the archbishop died, all his treasures, by the just judgment of God, were confiscated, amounting to eleven thousand pounds of silver, three hundred pieces of gold, one golden cup, seven silver cups, nine silver goblets, three silver salts, three cups of myrrh, forty spoons, eight silver porringers, one silver basin, and a great silver dish.

Pope Alexander's letter to Prester [1] John king of the Indies.

About this time pope Alexander wrote to Prester John king of the Indies, as follows:- "Alexander, bishop, to his beloved son in Christ, health and apostolical benediction. We had heard, long ago, by the relation of many, what diligence you show in the performance of pious works, since you have embraced the Christian religion; but our beloved son, Philip the physician, who says that he has conversed with the great and honourable men of your kingdom concerning your intentions and plans, has constantly, with his usual discretion, signified to us that you wish to be instructed in the catholic and apostolic doctrine, and that it is your fervent desire, on


[1] Properly Presbyter John; but, as he is usually known br the name of Prester John, I have retained that appellation.

A.D. 1182.] DEATH OF POPE ALEXANDER. 51

the part of both your people and yourself, to hold nothing which may appear to differ from the doctrines of the apostolic see. To which must be added the highest merit, as the aforesaid Philip says he has heard from your own people, that you desire to have a church in the city of Jerusalem and an altar, where religious and prudent men of your kingdom might remain and be more fully instructed in apostolic discipline, by whom also you and your people might the more easily receive and hold their Christian doctrines. We, therefore, wishing to reclaim you from those articles in which you deviate from the Christian faith, have sent the aforesaid Philip to your highness, through whom you maybe instructed in the articles of the Christian faith, wherein you and yours seem to differ from us, and so may have no cause to fear that anything will spring out of your error to impede the salvation of you or yours, or in any way to cast a stigma on your profession of Christianity".

How Lucius succeeded to pope Alexander.

The same year died pope Alexander, after he had sat twenty-two years in the Roman see. He was succeeded by Humbald bishop of Ostia, who took the name of Lucius the third, and sat four years in the apostolic church. Also Philip king of France married Margaret daughter of Baldwin count of Hainault, by Margaret, sister of Philip count of Flanders. The same year, also, the old coinage was abrogated, and a new coinage issued on the feast of St. Martin's. The same year, Baldwin abbat of Ford, a Cistercian monastery, succeeded to Roger as bishop of Winchester.

How Geoffrey bishop elect of Lincoln declined the election.

[A.D. 1182.] Geoffrey elect of Lincoln, and son of the king of England, after his election had been confirmed by the pope, and he had ruled that same church peaceably during seven years, on the day of the Epiphany at Marlborough, in presence of the king and the bishops, renounced his election, though no one compelled him to do so. At the same time, Henry, in presence of the nobles of the kingdom, at Waltham, liberally granted two thousand marks of silver and five hundred marks of gold to assist the Holy Land, after which he crossed into Normandy. In these days, Henry duke of

52 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1183.

Saxony, the king's son-in-law, had been exiled by the emperor, and came to the king in Normandy, bringing with him the duchess and his two sons Henry and Otho; he was there supplied three years by the king's munificence with all things necessary in the greatest abundance. The same year, also, Walter de Constantiis archdeacon of Oxford, was consecrated bishop of Lincoln by Richard archbishop of Canterbury, at Anjou, in the church of St. Laud. Also, Walter bishop of Rochester died this year.

Of the death of abbat Simon, and the accession of Warin.

[A.D. 1183.] Died Simon abbat of St. Alban's, and was succeeded by Warin prior of the same church, and on the day of the nativity of the mother of God, received the blessing as abbat.

Of the death of Henry the young king.

About this time king Henry endeavoured to make his sons Geoffrey and Richard do homage to the young king his eldest son, for Brittany and the duchy of Aquitaine. To this wish Geoffrey readily acceded, and did homage for the earldom of Brittany; but Richard no sooner heard his father's request than he was violently angry, saying it was unreasonable, whilst their father was alive, that they should subject themselves to their elder brother, who was born of the same father and mother as themselves, that, as the eldest brother would claim the father's inheritance, so he, Richard, would justly claim the succession to his mother's property. King Henry was much displeased at this conduct, and earnestly enjoined the young king his son to do his utmost to check his brother's pride. When they had frequently met for this purpose, and there appeared no hopes of peace, the young king assembled a large army, and determined to fight his brother, but his life was suddenly cut off like a thread, and with him were cut off the hopes of many; for in the flower of his youth, when he had just completed his twenty-eighth year, he died in that part of Gascony which is called Turonia, at the castle of Martel, on the feast of St. Barnabas the apostle, and his body, wrapped in the linen garments, which he wore anointed with the chrism at his coronation, was carried to Rouen, where it was buried near the high altar in the cathedral with the

A.D. 1184.] SARACENS DEFEATED BY THE CHRISTIANS. 53

honour due to so great a prince. The same year Girard, surnamed la Pucelle, having been consecrated to the see of Coventry, died after he had been bishop ten weeks. Also Walter de Coutance bishop of Lincoln, came into England, and was solemnly enthroned in his see.

[A.D. 1184.] Richard archbishop of Canterbury, died at Allingham, a village belonging to the bishop of Rochester; and king Henry escorted the duke of Saxony with his family to England, where the duchess a few days afterwards gave birth to a son named William, at Winchester. The same year, Baldwin bishop of Worcester was elected archbishop of Canterbury, and Walter of Lincoln was elected to the archbishopric of Rouen. Both these prelates received the pall, and were solemnly enthroned in their sees. At this time Philip archbishop of Cologne, and Philip count of Flanders, came into England to discharge their vows to the blessed martyr St. Thomas. King Henry went out to meet them, and invited them to pay a visit to London the royal city. When they arrived in London, that capital presented such a festive appearance as had never been seen before, and all its streets sounded with mirth and revelry. The archbishop of Cologne and the count of Flanders were received in solemn procession at St. Paul's church, and the same day similar honours were paid to them; after which they were entertained during five days in the palace at the king's expense; but whether they carried home many presents with them or not, it seems superfluous to inquire. The same year died Joceline bishop of Salisbury.

How the Saracens attacked the Christians in Spain, but retreated in confusion.

In these days, about the feast of St. John the Baptist, Gainius king of the Saracens in Spain, conducted the king of kings of the Saracens named Macemunt, at the head of thirty-seven other kings, into the territories of the Christians. They first besieged St. Irenaeus and after a fight of three days and three nights made a breach in the walls and entered the town: but the garrison escaped into the citadel. The following night the bishop of Portugal with the king's son came upon the Saracens and slew king Gainius, with fifteen thousand of his men, whose bodies they piled up in place of

54 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1184.

the walls which had been broken down. The next day, being the festival of St. John and St. Paul, [1] the archbishop of St. Iago assembled twenty thousand men, and at dawn of day slew thirty thousand Saracens. On the following day, which was the feast of St. Margaret's, the Saracens destroyed at Alcubaz ten thousand women and infants; but those who were in the town of Alcubaz sallied out and slew three kings with all their army. Afterwards, on the eve of St. James's, king Macemunt heard that the king of Gallicia was come to fight him in single combat; and when he wished to mount his horse, he fell off three times and died; upon which all his army fled, leaving behind them all their money. The king of Portugal gave some of the Saracen prisoners as slaves to serve the masons in rebuilding the churches, and with the money he made a golden shrine for St. Vincent. Afterwards came numerous galleys of the Saracens to Lisbon, bringing with them a dromund, in which there was a machine of such a nature that the Saracens could issue forth upon it in arms beyond the city walls and again return. By God's providence, however, some one dived into the water under the vessel, and bored a hole in her bottom, which caused her to sink. The Saracens, perceiving that they were baffled, took to flight, leaving behind them all their baggage.

How Guy de Lusignan was made protector of the kingdom of Jerusalem.

In these days reigned at Jerusalem Baldwin, son of king Amalric. From the very beginning of his reign he was afflicted with elephantiasis, which had already deprived him of sight, and of the use of his feet and hands. But, notwithstanding his weakness of body, he was strong in mind, and endeavoured, even beyond his strength, to discharge his royal duties. To this end he convoked the nobles of his kingdom, and in presence of his mother and the patriarch, he appointed Guy of Lusignan, count of Joppa and Ascalon, to be regent of the kingdom. This Guy had married the king's sister Sibylla, formerly wife of the marquis of Montferrat, by whom she had Baldwin; but when he had been some time regent, and the kingdom of Jerusalem did not prosper, the king removed Guy, and appointed Raymund count of Tripoli in his place.


[1] The 26th of June.

A.D. 1184.] SALADIN RAVAGES SEVERAL CITIES. 55

How Saladin the sultan of Babylon, destroyed several cities nf the Christians.

At this time, Saladin sultan of Damascus had subdued all the Saracenic kings throughout the east, so that he might truly be called king of kings and lord of lords, and now purposing to subdue all Christendom also, he passed the river Jordan at the beginning of July, and foraged for provisions the country round the castle of Crach, formerly called Petra in the desert. He then passed on to the town of Neapolis, which he plundered, and afterwards burned. At Sebastaea, the bishop ransomed the city and church by giving up to him eighty captives; and Saladin, proceeding into Arabia, devastated that country, and carried off both men and women for slaves. From thence he proceeded to the castle of Great Gerin, which he destroyed, and, except a few whom he made prisoners, he slew both men and women. Little Gerin, a village belonging to the temple, shared the same fate, after which the Saracenic army retired by way of Belvere, a castle belonging to the temple, slaying some of the people, and carrying off the others as captives.

The king of England elected king of Jerusalem.

Baldwin, the leprous king of Jerusalem, being at last dead, Baldwin, a boy of five years old, reigned in his place. He was nephew to the late king, by Sibylla his sister, and William marquis of Montferrat, and immediately after his coronation was placed under the tuition of Raymund count of Tripolis. But the clergy and people, seeing the kingdom now reduced to a state which could not long be maintained, began seriously to consider what steps were to be taken; and, as they entertained suspicions that Saladin would not long remain inactive, and had little to hope from the tender years of the king, they all agreed to send ambassadors to Henry king of England, and offer to him the kingdom of Jerusalem, with the keys of the holy city and of our lord's tomb. Heraclius the patriarch, at their request, undertook this embassy, and in company with the master of the temple and some others, crossed the Mediterranean sea, and arriving at Rome, obtained letters from pope Lucius, praying the king of England to grant their request.

56 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1185.

Heraclius the patriarch comes to England, and notifies to king Henry his election.

[A.D. 1185.] Heraclius patriarch of the holy resurrection, and the lord Roger master of the hospital of Jerusalem, came to king Henry at Reading, and delivering to him the pope's letter, explained the object of their journey, and the desolate condition of the city and whole country of Jerusalem. The recital moved the king and all the assembly to tears; for their petition took notice of our Lord's nativity, his passion, resurrection, the tower of David, the keys of the holy sepulchre, and the banner of the kingdom, all of which the king respected beyond measure. The pope's letter, among other subjects, contained the following:-

The letter of pope Lucius to the king of England.

"Lucius, bishop, servant of the servants of God, etc. Whereas all your predecessors have been famous, above all the other princes of the world, for valour in arms and nobility of mind, and the people of the faithful have been taught to look on them as patrons in their adversity, it is not without propriety that application is made to you, who inherit all your father's virtues as well as his kingdom, at a moment when not only danger but even imminent destruction hangs over the Christian people; to the end that your royal power may protect the members of that Christ, who has mercifully allowed you to reach your present height of glory, and made you a wall of defence against those who wickedly assail his name. Be it known, moreover, to your highness, that Saladin, the wicked persecutor of the holy name of the Crucified, has now prevailed to such an extent in his fury against the Christians of the Holy Land, that, unless his fierce rage is checked, he already confidently looks forward to the whole of Jordan flowing into his mouth", etc.

King Henry refutes the kingdom of Jerusalem.

The king of England having received this communication, convoked the clergy, people, and nobility of his dominions, on the 18th of March, at Clerkenwell, in London, where the king in the audience of the patriarch and master of the hospital, solemnly adjured all his faithful servants to make public whatever should seem to them to tend to the salvation

A.D. 1186.] HUGH DE LACY SLAIN. 57

of his soul in connexion with the subject before them, adding that he was strongly disposed in his own mind to abide by the advice which they should offer. The whole council then, considering on what they had just heard, deemed it more sound and salutary to the king's soul that he should govern his whole kingdom with proper moderation, and defend it from the irruption of the barbarians, than attend in his own person to the welfare of the people of the east; but they did not deem it meet to come to any decision respecting the king's sons, who were absent, one of whom the patriarch requested might be sent to Jerusalem, if the king should decline to go himself.

The same year also, John, the king's son, was made a belted knight by his father at Windsor, on the last day of March, after which he crossed into Ireland. The king and the patriarch then sailed over to Normandy, and celebrated Easter at Rouen. The king of France hearing of the arrival of the king of England, came with all speed to Vaudreuil, where the two kings passed three days in familiar converse, and many noblemen took the cross in their presence, but the kings themselves only promised that they would both send speedy help to the Holy Land, for they did not think it an easy matter to carry on so important an enterprise from the remote bounds of the west; and the patriarch, disappointed in the object of his commission, and with baffled hopes, returned to his own country.

The same year, Hugh de Lacy, lord of the province called Media, [1] was slain on the 25th of July. At the same time, the earl of Huntingdon having died without children, the king gave that earldom with its purtenances to William king of Scotland. Also, Gilbert de Glanville archdeacon of Lisieux was consecrated bishop of Rochester on the 29th of September, [2] and Henry duke of Saxony, with the emperor's permission, returned home and contented himself with his own paternal inheritance.

Baldwin archbishop of Canterbury receives the pall and the legatine authority.

[A.D. 1186.] Baldwin archbishop of Canterbury received


[1] Meath, in Ireland.

[2] "The same year died pope Lucius, and, according to some accounts, was succeeded by Urban". M. Paris.

58 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1186.

the pall, with the legatine commission, in the province over which he presided. Also, William de Vere, on the festival of St. Lawrence, was consecrated bishop of Hereford. The same year Geoffrey count of Brittany, and son of the king of England, died on the 19th of August, and was buried at Paris, in the church of Notre Dame, in the choir of the canons. He left two daughters, by his wife Constance, the daughter of Conan formerly count of Brittany, and his wife, after his death, gave birth to a son, called Arthur. The same year, Hugh of Burgundy, and prior of the Carthusian order in England, was consecrated bishop of Lincoln on the feast of St. Matthew; upon which day, also, William de Norhale was consecrated bishop of Worcester. Pope Lucius died, and was succeeded by Urban, and John precentor of Exeter was consecrated bishop of that church.

Pope Urban grants permission to Baldwin archbishop of Canterbury to build a church at Akington.

About the same time, pope Urban wrote to Baldwin archbishop of Canterbury as follows:- "We notify to you by these presents, that you have leave to build a church in honour of the blessed martyrs Stephen and Thomas, and to provide proper persons to be attached to it, to whom you shall assign benefices for their maintenance, according as you shall appoint: also, that of all oblations which are made at the relics of St. Thomas the martyr, one-fourth part shall be devoted to the use of the monks, one-fourth to the fabric of the church, one-fourth to the poor, and the remaining fourth to such uses as you shall think proper. [1]

Sibylla is crowned queen of Jerusalem.

About this time, Baldwin the young king of Jerusalem died, and there was no one to succeed him on the throne, except Sibylla, wife of Guy count of Joppa, sister of the leprous king, and mother of the boy-king, just deceased;


[1] "About this time died that most illustrious of ladies, the empress Matilda, daughter of king Henry the First, wife of the Roman emperor Henry and mother of Henry the Second, the greatest of the English kings. Hence that epitaph which was written on her:-

Great was her birth, her husband greater, greatest was her son,
Here lieth Henry's daughter, wife, and mother, all in one"!

A.D. 1186.] SYBIL QUEEN OF JERUSALEM. 59

but as the truce between Saladin and the Christians was just upon the point of expiring, the protection of the kingdom was in a critical state, which would brook no longer of delay. A council of the nobles was therefore held, and it was agreed that Sibylla, wife of Guy, as heiress of the kingdom, should be crowned queen, and repudiate Guy, as unequal to the government. Sibylla, rejected the sovereignty on these terms, until the nobles, in granting it to her, bound themselves by oath to obey as king the man whom she should choose as her husband. Guy also himself entreated her not to neglect the care of the kingdom on his account. Thus, after some delay Sibylla acquiesced in tears, and being solemnly crowned queen, received the homage of all the people, whilst Guy her husband, deprived at the same moment of his bride and his crown, returned to his own people. Meanwhile, a report was spread, and soon confirmed by facts, of the hostile approach of Saladin; upon which the queen, convoking her ecclesiastic and temporal nobles, deliberated with them about choosing a king; and, whereas they had all previously allowed her to choose whomsoever she pleased, and now anxiously looked to the choice which she should make, she said to Guy, who was standing by among the others, "My lord Guy, I choose you for my husband, and give up myself and my kingdom to you as the future king". All were astonished at her words, and wondered that so simple a woman had baffled so many wise councillors. Her conduct was in fact worthy of great praise, both in point of modesty and discretion; for she saved the crown for her husband, and her husband for herself. About this time, there happened so dreadful an earthquake, that even in England, where such things rarely occur, several houses were thrown down. Also, the mother of Saladin, on her way from Egypt to Damascus with a large and splendid retinue, passed through the Christian territories which lie on the other side of Jordan, trusting to the truce; but Reginald de Castiglione, assaulting the company, carried otV all their valuables, but Saladin's mother saved herself by flight. Saladin, aroused by this injury, demanded restitution and satisfaction, according to the terms of the treaty, and Reginald, when called upon to give it, returned a harsh and insulting reply. Upon this, Saladin rejoiced beyond measure

60 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1187.

that the Christians had first infringed the treaty, and prepared himself for war and for revenge. [1]

Saladin lays waste the Holy Land.

[A.D. 1187.] Saladin, inflamed with anger against the Christians, summoned the Parthians, Bedouins, Turks, Saracens, Arabs, Medes, Curds, and Egyptians, and at the head of these nations invaded and laid waste all the Holy Land. Not content with occupying some minor fortresses in Galilee, he prepared to besiege mount Calvary; and proceeding thither with a variety of warlike engines, he, on his way, defeated a large body of Christians, slew the grand master of the temple and sixty of the brethren, and elated with this success, pressed forwards to the siege. When the king of Jerusalem heard that the city was besieged, and the inhabitants hard-pressed, he summoned by proclamation all the strength of his kingdom, leaving none but those who were incapacitated for battle, by their age or sex, to garrison the fortresses. The rendezvous was the fountain of Sephor, and, when they marched thence, they amounted to twenty thousand warriors. Raymund count of Tripolis was appointed their commander-in-chief; and they set out towards Tiberias, and when the fatal day of battle approached, the king's chamberlain dreamed that an eagle flew over the Christian camp, bearing in his talons seven missiles, and crying aloud, "Woe to you of Jerusalem! woe to you of Jerusalem"! In explanation of this vision, it is sufficient to remember the words which the Holy Spirit spake by the prophet, "The Lord hath bent his bow, and in it hath prepared the vessels of death".

Saladin lakes the city of Jerusalem and the king's person.

Saladin hearing that the king was approaching to raise the siege, bravely marched to meet them, and perceiving that the Christians were hemmed in by the narrow and precipitous rocks, not far from Tiberias, at a place called Mareschallia, he rushed with confidence of success upon the king's army, who nevertheless received them bravely as well as the nature of the ground would permit. The battle raged with fury, and


[1] Matthew Paris adds that, "the kings of France and England took the cross on the 20th of January; and that the city and cathedral of Chichester were burned on the 19th of October".

A.D. 1180.] SALADIN TAKES THE HOLY CITY. 61

numbers fell on both sides; but, at length, for the sins of the Christians, the enemy prevailed; for, as they say, the count of Tripolis, who commanded the army, treacherously lowered his banner, and caused his men to think of flying, though they had no way of escape, except through the enemy. King Guy was made prisoner, the holy cross captured, and the whole army either slain with the sword or taken by the enemy, except the count of Tripoli who was suspected of having betrayed them, the lord Reginald governor of Sidon, and the lord Balian with a few brethren of the temple. This disastrous battle was fought on the 3rd and 4th days of July, within the octaves of the apostles Paul and Peter. The master of the temple also, named Theodoric, escaped from this disaster, but with the loss of two hundred and thirty of the brethren. The count of Tripoli having escaped without a wound was assumed as a proof of his having betrayed the army. Together with the holy cross, the bishop of Acre, and the precentor of our Lord's sepulchre, were overpowered by the enemy: the former was slain, and the latter made prisoner: and in this manner the holy cross, which formerly redeemed us from the yoke of captivity, was now made captive for our sins, and profaned by the hands of the infidels.

How the holy city and almost all the kingdom was subdued by Saladin.

Saladin, having obtained this victory, returned to Tiberias, and when he had reduced the only fortress which remained, he sent the king and his prisoners to Damascus. Then entering Galilee he found no one to oppose him, and coming to Ptolemais took it without bloodshed. From thence he proceeded to Jerusalem, and planted his machines on all sides round the walls: the citizens erected such defences as they were able, but their bows, cross-bows, and stone-engines were plied in vain: the people, in terror, flocked round the patriarch and the queen, who at that time governed the city, and entreated that terms might be entered into with Saladin for a surrender. A capitulation was in consequence effected, more worthy to be lamented than to be described; that every man should pay a ransom of ten bezants, a woman five, and a child one; but in the whole city there were fourteen thousand of both sexes, who, being unable to pay this ransom, were reduced to perpetual slavery. Thus the holy city was

62 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1186.

surrendered to the enemies of Christ: the sepulchre fell into the hands of those who persecuted Him that was buried therein, and those who blaspheme the Crucified are in possession of His cross! Saladin entered the city with the sound of timbrels and trumpets, and hastening to the temple removed the cross erected there, and all the other objects which Christians held in veneration. He then caused the temple to be sprinkled within and without with rose-water, and the superstitions which belong to his religion to be proclaimed in all its four corners; the church of the resurrection and the tomb of our Lord was let to certain Syrians at a stipulated tribute; after which Saladin sallied forth and reduced all the other cities and towns except Ascalon, Tyre, and Crach boyond Jordan, otherwise called Mount Royal.

The pope forbids the building of Akington church.

The same year pope Urban wrote to Baldwin archbishop of Canterbury in these terms:- "Our dear sons, the prior and convent of your church, have sent us messengers bearing letters on the subject of the church which you have begun to build, stating that unless the work is discontinued, the credit and condition of their own church will be much impaired: we therefore wishing to make careful provision that no discord may arise between you and your brethren, since you cannot properly attend to your sacred duties when quarrelling amongst yourselves, by the advice of our brethren, warn and strictly enjoin your brotherhood, that, until from known reasons we determine what ought to be done in the matter, you put off all occasion of appeal, and desist from building that church, until letters be granted from the apostolic see not opposing it". In the same year pope Urban dying, Gregory succeeded him, and he also after holding the see two months, died, and Clement the third was appointed on the 20th of December. In this year, too, Gilbert bishop of London paid the debt of nature. In the same year Richard count of Poictou, hearing of the disaster in the Holy Land and the capture of the cross, without waiting for any one's proposing it, and against the advice and will of his father, was the first of the transmarine nobles who took the sign of the cross, which he received at the hands of the archbishop of Tours.

A.D. 1188.] WEARING OF THE CROSS. 63

How at the preaching of the crusade many took the cross.

[A.D. 1188.] Frederic the Roman emperor took the cross on the preaching of Henry bishop of Alba, a legate of the apostolic see, who had been sent by pope Clement, and at the same time Philip king of the French and Henry king of the English came to a conference in Normandy, between Trie and Gisors, for the purpose of rendering assistance to the Holy Land, where, after long deliberations, they in the presence of Philip count of Flanders mutually agreed to take the sign of the cross, and to hasten their journey in company to Jerusalem. Thereupon the king of the English first took the sign of the cross at the hands of the archbishop of Rheims and William of Tyre, the latter of whom had been entrusted by our lord the pope with the office of legate in the affairs of the crusade in the western part of Europe. After this the king of the French and Philip count of Flanders also took the cross; and the example thus shown was so powerful, that throughout the kingdoms and dominions of the two above named kings, the cross was eagerly assumed by archbishops, bishops, dukes, marquises, counts, barons, and soldiers, as well as by the middle and lower classes of the people promiscuously. It was agreed between the princes that the French should all wear red, the English white, and the followers of the count of Flanders green, crosses. Concerning their dominions, fortresses, and all their possessions, it was agreed that, until their pilgrimage was accomplished, and each of them had passed forty days in his own country, all things should remain as they were before their taking the cross.

How the affection of Richard count of Poicton was estranged from his father.

About this time, Geoffrey of Liziniac by treachery slew a certain friend of Richard count of Poictou; and to punish such a crime the count was provoked to resort to arms, but remembering the sign of the cross which he wore, he spared those followers of Geoffrey who were willing to take the sign, others he slew, and subdued several fortresses. Geoffrey, relying on the money and assistance, as was said, of the king of England, made resistance against count Richard, but with little success, and this circumstance

64 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1188.

estranged the count's mind from his father. After Geoffrey was subdued, the count having received injury at the hands of the count of Toulouse, invaded that noble's territory, and in a short time reduced seventeen of his castles. The French king, being offended at count Richard's having attacked the count of Toulouse's territories without his knowledge, secretly attacked the castle of Ralph, and compelled all whom he found there to make their fealty to him. This seemed to be a most dishonourable act on the part of so great a prince, especially as the king of England, when about to cross over to England, had entrusted the care of all his territory to the king of the French. Afterwards, the French king, partly by threats, and partly by promises, brought over to himself the friendship of some of the holders of castles which were in subjection to the king of England. Thus, at the prompting of the devil, disagreements arose between the two kings, who even after their taking the cross inflicted mutual injuries on each other, and at length the king of England invaded the French kingdom, and burned the whole country from Verneuil to Meudan. In this year, Richard bishop of Winchester died on the twenty-second of December, and was buried at Winchester.

Letter of Frederic the Roman emperor to Saladin.

In the same year, Frederic emperor of the Romans, wrote to Saladin concerning the Holy Land, to the following purport:- [1]

[We,] Frederic, by the grace of God, emperor of the Romans, ever august, the magnificent triumpher over the enemies of the empire, [and the fortunate governor of the whole monarchy], to the illustrious Saladin, governor of the Saracens. May he take warning from Pharaoh, and touch not Jerusalem!

[The letters which your devotion sent to us a long time ago, on weighty and important matters, and which would have benefited you if reliance could have been placed on your words, we received, as became the magnificence of our majesty, and deemed it meet to communicate by letter with your greatness.] But now that you have profaned the Holy


[1] This letter occurs more complete in Vinsauf than in Wendover. The passages in brackets have been introduced from Vinsauf.

A.D. 1188.] FREDERIC'S LETTER TO SALADIN. 65

Land, over which we, by the authority of the Eternal King, bear rule, as guardian of Judae, Samaria, and Palestine, solicitude for our imperial office admonishes us to proceed with due rigour against such presumptuous and criminal audacity. Wherefore, unless, before all things, you restore the land which you have seized, and give due satisfaction, to be adjudged according to the holy constitutions, for such nefarious excesses, that we may not appear to wage unlawful war against you, we give you from the first of November, a period of twelve months, after which you shall try the fortune of war, in the field of Zoan, [1] by the virtue of the vivifying cross, and in the name of the true Joseph. For we can scarcely believe that you are ignorant of that which all antiquity and the writings of the ancients testify. Do you pretend not to know that both the AEthiopias, Mauritania, Persia, Scythia, Parthia, where our general Marcus Crassus met with a premature death, Judea, Samaria, Arabia, Maritima, and Chaldaea, Egypt, where, [shame to say! a Roman citizen, Antony, a man endowed with signal virtues, passing the bounds of temperance, and acting otherwise than as became a soldier sent from so great a state, submitted to the unchaste love of Cleopatra; do you pretend not to know that] Armenia, and other innumerable countries, are subject to our sway? This is well known to those kings in whose blood the Roman sword has been so often steeped; and you, God willing, shall learn by experience the might of our victorious eagles, and be made acquainted with our troops of many nations - the anger of Germany - the untamed head of the Rhine - the youth from the banks of the Danube, who know not how to flee - the towering Bavarian - the cunning Suabian - the cautious Franconian - Saxony, that sports with the sword - Thuringia - Westphalia - the active Brabantine - the Lorrainer, unused to peace - the fiery Burgundian - the nimble mountaineer of the Alps - the Frison with his javelin and thong - the Bohemian ever ready to brave death - Polonia, fiercer than her own fierce beasts - Austria - Styria - Ruwennia - Istria - Rocumphia - Illyria - Lombardy - Tuscany - the march of Ancona - the resolute Venetian and the Pisan sailor - and lastly, also, you


[1] The allusion is to Psalm lxxviii. 12. The emperor seems to mean that he will attack Saladin in Egypt.

66 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1188.

shall assuredly be taught how our own right hand, which you suppose to be enfeebled by old age, can still wield the sword upon that day of reverence and gladness which has been appointed for the triumph of Christ's cause.

Saladin's answer to the emperor Frederic.

To the great king, his sincere friend, the illustrious Frederic, king of Germany: In the name of God the merciful: by the grace, of the one God, the powerful, the surpassing, the victorious, the everlasting, of whose kingdom there is no end.

We give continual thanks to Him, whose grace is over all the world: we pray that he may pour out his inspiration over all his prophets, and especially on our teacher, his messenger, the prophet Mahomet, whom he sent to teach the true law, which he will make to appear above all laws. But we make it known to the sincere and powerful king, our great, amicable friend, the king of Germany, that a certain man, named Henry, came to us, professing to be your envoy, and he gave us a letter, which he said was from your hand. We caused the letter to be read, and we heard him speak by word of mouth, and to the words which he spake by word of mouth we answered also in words. But this is the answer to your letter: You enumerate those who are leagued with you to come against us, and you name them and say the king of this land and the king of that land this count and that count, and such archbishops, marquises, and knights. But if we wished to enumerate those who are in our service, and who listen to our commands, and obey our words, and would fight for us, this is a list which could not be reduced to writing. If you reckon up the names of the Christians, the Saracens are more numerous, and many times more numerous than the Christians. If the sea lies between us and those whom you name Christians, there is no sea to separate the Saracens, who cannot be numbered; between us and those who will come to aid us, there is no impediment. With us are the Bedouins, who would be quite sufficient singly to oppose our enemies; and the Turkomans, who, unaided, could destroy them: even our peasants, if we were to bid them, would fight bravely against the nations which should come to invade our country, and would despoil them of their

A.D. 1188.] SALADIN'S ANSWER TO FREDERIC. 67

riches and exterminate them. What! have we not on our side the warlike Soldarii, by whom we have opened and gained the land, and driven out our enemies? These, and all the kings of Paganism will not be slow when we shall summon them, nor delay when we shall call them. And whenever your armies shall be assembled, according to the import of your letter, and you shall lead them, as your messenger tells us, we will then meet you in the power of God. Nor will we be satisfied with the land which is on the sea-coast, but we will cross over with God's good pleasure, and will take from you all your lands, in the strength of the Lord. For if you come, you will come with all your forces, and will be present with all your people, and we know that there will remain none at home to defend themselves or fight for their country. And when the Lord, by his power, shall have given us victory over you, nothing will remain for us to do but freely to take your lands, by His power, and with His good pleasure. For the union of the Christian faith has twice come against us in Babylon; once at Damietta, and again at Alexandria: [it was also in the coast of the land of Jerusalem in the hand of the Christians, in the land of Damascus, and in the land of the Saracens; in each fortress there was a lord who studied his own interests.] You know how the Christians each time returned, and to what an issue they came. But these our people are assembled together with their countries, and the Lord has associated with us countries in abundance, and united them far and wide under our power. Babylon, with its dependencies, and the land of Damascus, and Jerusalem on the sea-coast, and the land of Gesireh with its castles, and the land of Roasia with its dependencies, and the land of India with its dependencies by the grace of God, all this is in our hands, and the residue of the Saracenic kings is in our empire. For if we were to command the illustrious kings of the Saracens, they would not withdraw themselves from us. And if we were to admonish the caliph of Bagdad (whom God preserve) to come to our aid, he would rise from the throne of his great empire, and would come to help our excellence. We have obtained, also, by the virtue and power of God, Jerusalem and its territory; and of the three cities which still remain in the hands of the Christians, Tyre, Tripoli, and Antioch, nothing

68 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1188.

remains but that we should occupy them also. But, if you wish for war, and if God so will of his good pleasure that we occupy the whole land of the Christians, we will meet you in the power of the Lord, as is written in this our letter. But, if you ask us for the boon of peace, you will command the warders of the three places above mentioned to deliver them up to us without resistance; and we will restore to you the holy cross, and will liberate all the Christian captives who are in all our territories; and we will be at peace with you, and will allow you to have one priest at the sepulchre, and we will restore the abbeys which used to be in the time of paganism, [1] and will do good to them, and will permit the pilgrims to come during all our life, and we will be at peace with you. But if the letter which came to us by the hand of Henry be the letter of the king, we have written this letter for answer, and may God give us counsel according to his will. This letter is written in the year of the coming of our prophet Mahomet, 584, by the grace of the only God. [And may God save our prophet Mahomet and his race, and may he save the salvation of our Saviour, illustrious Lord, and victorious King; the giver of unity; the true word; the adorner of the standard of truth; the corrector of the world and of the law; soldan of the Saracens and pagans; the servitor of the two holy houses, and of the holy house of Jerusalem; the father of victors; Joseph the son of Job; the reviver of the progeny of Murmuraenus!]

How Guy king of Jerusalem was released from prison.

In the same year, Guy king of Jerusalem, after being kept prisoner for a year, was released from prison by Saladin, on condition of his abdicating his sovereignty, and going immediately into exile beyond sea; but the clergy of the kingdom were of opinion that this agreement ought to be nullified, and that faith was not to be kept in a case where religion was endangered, as long as the land of promise was destitute of all security in having no head or ruler, and pilgrims who might arrive had no leader, and the people had no protector. Therefore, on the release of the king,


[1] This letter has evidently been translated out of the original Saracenic with reference to Christian notions: a Saracen would hardly have described his own faith by the word "paganism".

A.D. 1188.] SALADIN'S RETREAT FROM ACRE. 69

many pilgrims, lately arrived, flocked to him together with the people of the country, and formed a large army; these wished to enter Tyre, but the marquis refused to admit them, although the city had been entrusted to him on condition that it should, on the request of the king and the heirs to the kingdom, be restored to them; however, on the death of the marquis a few days afterwards, this trouble ceased. At the same time, also, died Raymund count of Tripoli, to whom was imputed the whole of the disaster at the land of promise, for which, as is said, he did not receive the last rites of Christianity at the hour of death. After these occurrences the king, with his army, consisting of the barons of the kingdom, who still adhered to him, in conjunction with the templars and hospitallers, the Venetians who had lately arrived, and pilgrims from Genoa, took his route towards the city of Ptolemais, otherwise called Acre; the whole force of his armed troops exceeding nine thousand men. The king of Jerusalem on arriving near the city, ordered all his followers to ascend a mountain in the neighbourhood, which from its rotundity and tower-like form at the top, was commonly called Turon; this mountain rises loftily on the east side of the city, and extending in a circuit spreads itself over the plain. On the third day after their arrival, the Christians laid siege to the city, which never afterwards was relaxed until the time when it was taken by Philip king of France, and Richard king of England. The common soldiers were inspired with such zeal that they did not wait for the kings, but flocked together from all parts to serve in the Lord's army.

How Saladin retired from Acre in confusion.

The king of Jerusalem, surrounded by his vast multitude of pilgrims, ordered all his troops to descend from Turon, and with them pitched his camp before the city. After a few days, however, Saladin came against them, and with a strong force made a fierce attack on the Christians, as if he thought to conquer them in one onset; but the army of the faithful being in one close mass, as if fighting for their souls, bravely opposed them, and Saladin, in giving orders to surround them, judged it impossible for a single one of them to escape: but it was otherwise decreed by Him, who puts to confusion the

70 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1189.

plans of the wicked; for after enduring for three days the attacks of the infidels, who harassed them on all sides, when they had begun to fail from being weakened by the enemy's attacks, they beheld a fleet with twelve thousand Danes and Frisians under full sail entering the harbour, which by God's assistance they had reached after a prosperous voyage. Saladin, being alarmed at this sight and other like events, retired in confusion to the lower parts of his country.

Of the great hindrance to the cause of the Holy Land.

At this time there was a great drawback to the cause of the Holy Land in the differences which had lately, even since their taking the sign of the cross, arisen between the king of the French and Richard count of Poictou on the one part, and Henry king of the English on the other; so great indeed was their quarrel, that they took castles from one another, and committed many excesses by slaughter and rapine; at length for the sake of peace they came to a conference in Normandy, but the devil sowed tares amongst the wheat, so that they separated still at enmity.

How John, cardinal of Anagnia, endeavoured to make peace between the kings Philip and Henry.

[A.D. 1189.] King Henry, whilst staying in the country beyond sea, was grievously harassed by the annoyances which Philip king of the French, and Richard his son count of Poictou, caused him; at Christmas he was at Saumur in Anjou, keeping that festival there, although several of his counts and barons had left him and gone over to the side of Richard his son. After the feast of St. Hilary, the treaties which had existed between the two kings, were broken off, and the French king Philip, and count Richard, entered the territories of the king of England and ravaged them; the Bretons, too, left him and went over to count Richard; but pope Clement, wondering that peace had not as yet been made between the kings, sent John cardinal of Anagnia, with full power to settle the disputes between them. This prelate endeavoured to bring them to terms of amity at one time by reproaches, at another by mild arguments, till at length the kings gave security, and swore to abide by the arbitration of the archbishops of Bourges, Rouen, and

A.D. 1189.] OPPRESSION OF THE HOLY LAND. 71

Canterbury; so that if either of them should fail in his compact so as to render the peace between them less firm, or to delay the expedition to Jerusalem, against that one should the sentence of excommunication be promulgated by authority of our lord the pope, as against a subverter of our Lord's cross and of the whole Christian religion; and immediately the cardinal took the opinion of all, priests as well as laymen, to determine who it was that caused the breach between the kings, saving the persons of the said kings.

Letter of the marquis's son concerning the oppression of the Holy Land.

"Conrad, son of the marquis of Mont-Ferrat, to Baldwin archbishop of Canterbury, greeting. The elements are disturbed, and it is derogatory to the catholic faith that the see of Jerusalem should be separated from the apostolic see. Jerusalem has become extinct, and the inactivity of the Christians is most contemptibly spoken of by the Saracens; they are polluting our Lord's sepulchre, they are destroying Calvary, they despise the birth-place of Christ, and are utterly destroying the sepulchre of the blessed virgin Mary; the see of Constantinople shows no reverence for that of Rome. Antioch, too, is known to be in its last extremity. All these things are known to have happened through the idleness of the Christians. But the holy city of Jerusalem is much to be wept for and lamented, since it is deprived of its worshippers, and where once Christ spent daily and nightly hours in prayer, there the name of Mahomet is now worshipped aloud. To your highness, therefore, I put forth my prayers mingled with tears, that you will deign to commiserate the sufferings of the Holy Land, that you will comfort kings, and admonish those of the true faith, that by expelling these dogs from the patrimony of Jesus Christ, they may out of charity assist to free it from bondage, and so deliver from the dominion of the infidels the land which has been trodden by the holy feet of our Saviour. In addition to this mass of iniquity and desolation of Christianity, a friendship is cherished between Saladin and the emperor of Constantinople, to whom the said Saladin has delivered all the churches of the land of promise that sacred rites may be performed in them by his followers after the Greek custom. Moreover Saladin also by consent of that emperor sent

72 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1189.

his idol to Constantinople to be publicly worshipped there, but by the grace of God it was captured at sea by the Genoese, and brought, with the ship which carried it, to Tyre. Lately, too, an army was supplied by the emperor before Antioch, and he promised Saladin a hundred galleys; and Saladin has given him the whole land of promise, if he will prevent the march of the French to the assistance of the Holy Land; every one at Constantinople who would take the cross, is immediately taken and thrown into prison. But we have this one consolation, that the brother of Saladin, and also his son, were lately taken prisoners before Antioch, and are handed over to safe custody. Farewell".

Of the causes which led Richard to rebel against his father.

The same year, after Easter, a conference was held between the kings at Ferte-Bernard, and at last they met in Whitsun-week and the French king demanded that his daughter Alice, whom Henry had under his charge, should be given in marriage to count Richard, together with a guarantee of the crown of England after his own death; also that his son John should embrace the crusade, for Richard would not go without him: but the king of England would not give his consent to these proposals, and the two kings parted in anger. In this conference the cardinal aforesaid positively threatened, if the king of France and count Richard would not make peace with the king of England, to lay their dominions under an interdict. The king of France replied that he had no fear of so unjust a sentence; that it was not in the power of the church of Rome to pass judgment on the king or kingdom of France, for taking arms to punish rebellious subjects; that the cardinal had smelt the king of England's pounds sterling, and that he suspected his judgment had been perverted thereby. On the other hand, the archbishops and the nobles advised the king of England to agree to his son's demands, saying that it was right to give so noble a son and brave knight some security of obtaining the kingdom after his father's deatli: but the king refused to do so in the existing state of things, lest he should be said to have done so by constraint and not of his own free will. Count Richard, having heard this reply, did homage to the French king, before them all, for the whole territory of his

A.D. 1189.] CONQUESTS OF THE KING OF FRANCE. 73

father which belonged to the crown of France, saving the tenure to his father as long as he lived, and saving the allegiance due to his father. Thus the conference ended, and the kings and all the people separated.

How the king of France took four castles from the king of England, and drove away the king himself frum the city of Mans.

The French king, departing from the conference in company with count Richard, took Ferte-Bernard, Montfort, and Baalverque, fortresses belonging to the king of England, and after taking them, remained there four days. Thence proceeding to Maine, and pretending to go to Tours, on the following Monday, whilst the king of England and his men thought themselves in safety there, he disposed his forces to make an attack on the city of Mans; and Stephen de Turnham, the king of England's seneschal of Anjou, set fire to the suburbs, but the flames passing the walls, reduced almost all the city to ashes. The French upon this proceeded to a stone bridge, where Geoffrey de Biurlun and many others with him from the king of England met them, and endeavoured to break down the bridge: a severe conflict took place, and many fell on both sides. Geoffrey, after having received a wound in the neck, was taken with many others: the rest essaying to escape into the city, the French entered with them, and the king of England, despairing of resistance, fled with seven hundred horsemen. The French king and count Richard pursued him for three miles, and if the stream, which they forded, had not been wide and deep, all the knights of the king of England's household would have been taken prisoners. Many Welshmen fell in that battle. The king of England, at the head of a small party, took refuge in the castle of Tours, and the rest of his men in the tower of Mans. The king of France immediately besieged the tower, and partly by his engines and partly by his miners, reduced the garrison, consisting of thirty knights, and sixty men-at-arms, to surrender. Marching thence he reduced Mont-Double, Trou, de Rocher, Montoire, Carciere, Chateau-du-Loir, Chaumont, Amboise, Roche-corbon, and Beaumont.

The city of Seville is captured.

The same year many ships passing through the British

74 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1189.

seas, entered into an agreement with the pilgrims of England, and, by common consent, leaving Dartmouth on the 18th of May thirty-seven vessels, deeply laden, put to sea, and after various adventures arrived at Lisbon. The king of Portugal, seeing that they carried arms and soldiers well equipped for battle, entreated them to assist him in reducing the city of Seville, promising to lend them thirty-seven galleys and many other ships: he also entered into a treaty with them on oath that they should keep all the gold, silver, and other spoil, which they should find in the city, when they had taken it, and give up to him only the city itself. They therefore left Lisbon with a favourable wind, and soon reached the port of Seville, where they brought their ships to land, pitched their camp, and laid siege straightway to the city. The number of their men fit for battle was three thousand five hundred. On the third day they made a fierce assault on the walls and forced their way into the suburbs, where there was a fountain surrounded by a double wall, and having a barbican defended by nine towers, from which the inhabitants of the city got water. This fountain they filled with dung and stones. The gentiles were now alarmed at being cut off from their supply of water; and Alchad the prince of the city, going to the king of Portugal, surrendered the city to him without the knowledge of the Christians. Thus the crusaders took the city in this wonderful manner, and found in it sixty thousand people, all of whom, except only thirteen thousand of both sexes, were put to the sword. By the mercy of God, this victory was obtained without loss to the Christians, and when the city had been cleansed from its impurities, the king of Portugal dedicated the great mosque to the honour of the mother of God, and made bishop of it one of the pilgrims who had come thither from Flanders.

How king Henry was compelled to make peace with Richard his son.

The same year, on the day after the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul, Philip count of Flanders, William archbishop of Rheims, and Hugh duke of Burgundy, came to Saumur for the purpose of making peace between the French king and count Richard of Poictou. Now count Richard had joined the Bretons to the men of Poictou, and they had obtained letters patent from the king of France, to the effect that he would

A.D. 1189.] PEACE BETWEEN HENRY AND RICHARD. 75

never make peace with king Henry without comprehending them also in the treaty. Meanwhile the king of France and Richard count of Poictou laid siege to Tours, and on the next Monday after the festival aforesaid, they applied their scaling ladders to the walls on the side of the Loire, which contained very little water, and took the city, with its garrison of sixty-nine knights and a hundred men-at-arms. Then the king of England was compelled to make a discreditable peace, on the following terms:- "The king of England places himself wholly under the counsel of the king of France, so that whatsoever the latter shall think proper to be done, the king of England will fulfil without gainsaying". The king of England then did homage to the king of France as he had formerly done in the beginning of the war. It was also provided that Alice the French king's sister should be given into the charge of count Richard until his return from the pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and that she should then become his wife. It was also provided that count Richard should receive the homage of all his father's subjects on both sides of the sea, and that none of the barons or knights, who in this war had adhered to count Richard, should return to England, except in the last month before the departure of the kings towards the Holy Land, the term of which will be in the middle of Lent. Moreover that he should pay the king of France twenty thousand marks of silver for his services in assisting count Richard; and that the king of France and count Richard should hold the cities of Mans and Tours, with Chateau du Loir and Trou, until all the aforesaid conditions should be fulfilled. By this transaction the prophecy of Merlin seems to have been fulfilled that a bit fabricated in the coasts of Armorica should be put into his jaws: for a bit was now put into the jaws of the king of England, by reason that the dominions, which his predecessors had acquired in Auvergne, had become the property of another, for he now was obliged to give up to his son Richard, whether he would or no, those who had deserted from him, namely Geoffrey de Meduan, Guy du Val, Ralph de Fulcher, all residing within the coasts of Armorica, i.e. Brittany, through which is a peaceable passage between Britain and France, without trespassing on the coasts of Normandy.

76 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1189.

Of the Roman emperor's departure on pilgrimage.

About this time, on the feast of St. George, Frederic the Roman emperor set out on pilgrimage from Remesburg, intending to march through Hungary and Bulgaria.

Of the death of king Henry.

King Henry returned to Chinon from the conference much dejected, and cursed the day on which he was born: three days after, he was no more. He died on the octaves of the apostles St. Peter and St. Paul, after a reign of thirty-four years, seven months, and five days. On the morrow, as they were carrying him to be buried, arrayed in his royal robes, his crown, gloves, shoes, ring, sceptre, and sword, he lay with his face uncovered; and when Richard, hearing the news of his death, came to meet the convoy, blood flowed from the nostrils of the deceased, as if he was indignant at the presence of one who was believed to have caused his death. Count Richard, seeing this, shed tears bitterly, and followed his father's corpse in much tribulation to Font-Evraud, where he caused it to be buried with honours by the archbishops of Tours and Treves. And whereas the deceased monarch had often said that the whole world ought not to suffice for the ambition of one king, there was an inscription put upon his tomb of the following import:-

"Here lies King Henry, I, who many realms
Did erst subdue, and was both count and king.
Though all the regions of the earth could not
Suffice me once, eight feet of ground are now
Sufficient for me. Reader, think of death,
And look on me as what all men must come to".

I would also add in this place the laws which king Henry made for the good of his kingdom, if I did not fear to weary the patience of my readers. About the same time died Matilda, Henry's daughter and wife of Henry duke of Saxony.

How earl Richard obtained the duchy of Normandy.

When king Henry therefore was dead, his son Richard immediately laid hands on Stephen de Turuham, [1] the seneschal of Anjou, and committing him to custody required him


[1] More properly of Tours.

A.D. 1189.] RELEASE OF QUEEN ELEANOR. 77

to deliver up the castles and treasures which were in belonging to his father. He next honourably retained with him all those who had served his father and on whose fidelity he could reckon, and recompensed each according to his deserts for the long services which he had rendered to his father. Moreover, when John his brother came to see him, he received him with due honour. He then proceeded to Rouen in Normandy, and on the 13th before the kalends of August, [1] in presence of the bishops, earls, barons and knights, he took the sword of the duchy of Normandy, by the ministry of the archbishop, from the altar of the blessed virgin Mary: and having received the allegiance both of the clergy and the people, he abundantly confirmed to his brother John all the lands which his father had given him in England, namely, an estate of 4000 marks, and the whole county of Mortaigne. He also granted to his brother Geoffrey, formerly bishop elect of Lincoln, the archbishopric of York; and Geoffrey, immediately sending his clerks with the duke's letters, took the archbishopric into his own hands, having expelled the guards of the king and of Hubert Walter, dean of that same church, who had also been elected bishop by some of the canons. On the third day of his reign the duke had an interview with the French king between Chaumont and Trie, wherein the king of the French demanded the castle of Gisors and all the neighbouring province; but because the duke was about to take the king's sister Alice in marriage, he forbode to press his demand for a time, and the duke on his part promised to pay 4000 marks more than the sum which his father had promised.

How king Richard released his mother from her long confinement.

Meanwhile his mother queen Eleanor, who for sixteen years had been removed from his father's bed, and kept in close confinement, received her son's permission to manage matters in the kingdom according to her own pleasure, and the nobles were instructed to obey her in every respect. The queen, with these powers, released all those who were in prison throughout all England, knowing from her own experience how painful to mankind is imprisonment. In these days was fulfilled the prophecy of Merlin, which says,


[1] July 20.

78 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1189.

"The eagle of the broken treaty shall rejoice in her third nestling". The queen is meant by the eagle, because she stretches out her two wings over two kingdoms, France and England. She was separated from the king of the French by divorce on account of consanguinity, and from the king of the English by suspicion and imprisonment; and so she was on both sides the eagle of a broken treaty. The next part of the sentence, "shall rejoice in her third nestling", may be understood in this way: The queen's first-born son, named William, died when he was a boy; Henry her second son, was raised to the rank of king, and paid the debt of nature, after he had engaged in hostilities with his father; and Richard his third son, who is denoted by the "third nestling", was a source of joy to his mother, and released her, as I have said, from the misery of confinement.

King Richard comes to England to be crowned.

When all these things were arranged, duke Richard, administering due justice to all his subjects, arrived at Barbefleuve, where he took ships and landed at Portsmouth on the ides of August [Aug. 13]. His arrival was soon blazoned through England, and caused much joy to both clergy and people; for although some grieved for the death of his father, yet they took consolation from those words of the poet:-

"Wonders I sing: the sun withdrew his light,
And yet no darkness followed".

Immediately therefore after his arrival, the duke proceeded to Winchester, where he caused all his father's treasures to be weighed and an inventory of them to be made; there were found to be nine hundred thousand pounds in gold and silver, besides precious stones. From thence he proceeded to Salisbury, and thence from one place to another granting to all the objects of their petitions, and bestowing lands on many who before had none. Moreover he gave to his brother John the daughter of Robert earl of Gloucester, together with that earldom and the castles of Marlborough, Lutegareshale, Bolsover, Nottingham, and Lancaster, with the honours belonging to it, and the honour of William Peverel. All these possessions he confirmed to his brother John, who afterwards espoused the aforesaid earl's daughter, contrary to the prohibition of Baldwin archbishop of Canterbury.

A.D. 1189.] CORONATION OF RICHARD I. 79

because their parents were in the third degree of consanguinity. About the same time certain of the canons of York elected Geoffrey the duke's brother, and, having sung a hymn, solemnly confirmed the election by affixing their seals; but master Bartholomew, the official of Hubert Walter dean of that church, unwilling that this should take place in the absence of the bishop of Durham and of Hubert Walter the dean, both of whom had a right to be present at the election, appealed to our lord the pope against it.

Geoffrey of Ely dies intestate.

At the same time, Geoffrey bishop of Ely died intestate on the 12th before the kalends of September (Aug. 21.); wherefore out of what he left behind him, three thousand marks of silver and two thousand marks of gold were confiscated to the king; and the quantity of his furniture and stuff in rings, gold and silver plate, corn, rich garments, and other things, was immense.

Of the coronation of king Richard the first.

Duke Richard, when all the preparations for his coronation were complete, came to London, where were assembled the archbishops of Canterbury, Rouen, and Treves, by whom he had been absolved for having carried arms against his father after he had taken the cross. The archbishop of Dublin was also there, with all the bishops, earls, barons, and nobles of the kingdom. When all were assembled, he received the crown of the kingdom in the order following: First came the archbishops, bishops, abbats, and clerks, wearing their caps, preceded by the cross, the holy water, and the censers, as far as the door of the inner chamber, where they received the duke, and conducted him to the church of Westminster, as far as the high altar, in a solemn procession. In the midst of the bishops and clerks went four barons carrying candlesticks with wax candles, after whom came two earls, the first of whom carried the royal sceptre, having on its top a golden cross; the other carried the royal sceptre, having a dove on its top. Next to these came two earls with a third between them, carrying three swords with golden sheaths, taken out of the king's treasury. Behind these came six earls and barons carrying a chequer, over which were

80 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1189.

placed the royal arms and robes, whilst another earl followed them carrying aloft a golden crown. Last of all came duke Richard, having a bishop on the right hand, and a bishop on the left, and over them was held a silk awning. Proceeding to the altar, as we have said, the holy gospels were placed before him together with the relics of some of the saints, and he swore, in presence of the clergy and people that he would observe peace, honour, and reverence, all his life, towards God, the holy church and its ordinances: he swore also that he would exercise true justice towards the people committed to his charge, and abrogating all bad laws and unjust customs, if any such might be found in his dominions, would steadily observe those which were good. After this they stripped him of all his clothes except his breeches and shirt, which had been ripped apart over his shoulders to receive the unction. He was then shod with sandals interwoven with gold thread, and Baldwin archbishop of Canterbury anointed him king in three places, namely, on his head, his shoulders, and his right arm, using prayers composed for the occasion: then a consecrated linen cloth was placed on his head, over which was put a hat, and when they had again clothed him in his royal robes with the tunic and gown, the archbishop gave into his hand a sword wherewith to crush all the enemies of the church: this done, two earls placed his shoes upon his feet, and when he had received the mantle, he was adjured by the archbishop, in the name of God, not to presume to accept these honours unless his mind was steadily purposed to observe the oaths which he had made: and he answered that, with God's assistance, he would faithfully observe every thing which he had promised. Then the king taking the crown from the altar gave it to the archbishop, who placed it upon the king's head, with the sceptre in his right hand and the royal wand in his left; and so, with his crown on, he was led away by the bishops and barons, preceded by the candles, the cross, and the three swords aforesaid. When they came to the offertory of the mass, the two bishops aforesaid led him forwards and again led him back. At length, when the mass was chanted, and every thing finished in the proper manner, the two bishops aforesaid led him away with his crown on, and bearing in his right hand the sceptre, in his left the royal wand, and so they returned

A.D. 1189.] PERSECUTION OF THE JEWS. 81

in procession into the choir, where the king put off his royal robes, and taking others of less weight, and a lighter crown also, he proceeded to the dinner-table, at which the archbishops, bishops, earls, and barons, with the clergy and people, were placed, each according to his rank and dignity, and feasted splendidly, so that the wine flowed along the pavement and walls of the palace. All this took place on Sunday the third before the nones of September. [1]

Of the persecution of the Jews.

Many Jews were present at this coronation, contrary to the king's command; for he had caused proclamation to be made the day before, that no Jews or women should attend, on account of the magical incantations which take place sometimes at royal coronations. But the courtiers laid hands on them, although they came in secret, and when they had robbed and scourged them dreadfully, they cast them out of the church; some of them died, and others could hardly be said to have life left in them. The populace of the city hearing of this attack of the courtiers on the Jews, made a similar assault on those who remained in the city, and, after they had put to death numbers of both sexes, and rased to the ground or burned their houses, they plundered their gold and silver, their writings and valuable garments. Those of the Jews who escaped being put to death, took refuge in the tower of London, and afterwards, by taking up their residence secretly here and there among their friends, they caused others to become rich by their own losses. This persecution began in the year of their jubilee, which they call the year of remission, and it hardly ceased before the end of the year, so that what ought to have been to them a year of remission, was turned into a jubilee of confusion. On the morrow, when the king heard of the wrong that had been done them, he chose to consider it as a wrong done to himself; wherefore, he caused three of them to be apprehended, tried by the judges of his court, and hanged one of them because he had stolen something belonging to a Christian; and the other two, because they had kindled a fire in the city, by which


[1] Vinesauf [Itiner. Rich.] agrees with Wendover in this date; which makes it probable that Gervase, who fixes it on the 11th, is in error, for the 11th of September in that year fell on a Monday.

82 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1189.

the house of a Christian citizen had been consumed. When the English people throughout the country heard of this attack on the Jews in London, they assailed them with one consent, and made a perfect havoc of them, slaughtering their persons and plundering their goods. But on the day after the coronation, king Richard, having received homage and the oath of fidelity from the nobles, gave orders that no Jews should suffer forfeiture, but that they should live in peace throughout all the cities of England.

Of king Richard's munificence.

When the Cistercian monks came together from different parts of the world to a general chapter of their order, king Richard gave them every year a hundred marks of silver, and confirmed it by a charter.

How king Richard bestowed pastors on the churches which were vacant throughout England.

On the morrow of the elevation of the holy cross, [1] king Richard was at Pipewell, [2] where, by the advice of his archbishops and bishops he convened a large council, and gave to his brother Geoffrey the archbishopric of York: whilst he appointed Godfrey de Lucy to the bishopric of Winchester, Richard archdeacon of Ely to that of London, Hubert Walter to Salisbury, and William de Longchamp to Ely: but Baldwin archbishop of Canterbury, after the elections were made, forbade Geoffrey archbishop elect of York, to receive sacerdotal orders or episcopal consecration from any other hands than his own, and on this behalf he appealed to the apostolic see.

How Hugh bishop of Durham obtained the title of earl for money.

At this time, king Richard deposed from his office of bailiff, Ralph de Glanville, justiciary of England, together with almost all the English sheriffs and their officers, compelling all of them to pay a heavy fine of redemption; and to raise funds for the recovery of the Holy Land from the dominion of the infidels, he set every thing up for sale; lordships, castles, townships, woods, farms, shrievalties, and such like. Whereupon Hugh de Pusaz, bishop of Durham, bought for


[1] The 17th of September.

[2] In Northamptonshire.

A.D. 1189.] BISHOP HUGH BUYS THE TITLE OF EARL. 83

himself and his see, the king's township of Segesfeld, together with the wapentake and all its appurtenances, and the earldom of Northumberland during his own life; and when the king girded on him the sword which entitled him to claim the name of earl, he said to the attendants with a laugh, "I have made a young earl out of an old bishop". But the bishop went still further, for to complete the ridiculousness of the thing, he gave the king ten marks of silver, that he might be made justiciary of England, and not go to the Holy Land: and as a precaution against all gainsayers, he gave a considerable bribe to the apostolic see, which is never backward to meet a person's views, and so obtained a licence to remain. In this manner worldly ambition led him to lay aside the sign of the cross, which, as preachers tell us, ought to be borne by all men, and especially by bishops. By this conduct of the bishop was fulfilled a prophecy of St. Godric the hermit, who, when the bishop came at the beginning of his promotion, to ask the hermit about his future prospects, and the length of time he should live, used these words to him, "Of your future prospects and the number of years you have to live, you must inquire from the holy apostles and others like them, but not from me; for I am here doing penance for my sins, and grieve to say that I am still a wretched sinner: but this I tell you, that for seven years before your death you shall suffer from a most lamentable blindness"! The bishop left the man of God, revolving in his mind the words which he had heard; and as he had the most implicit confidence in the hermit, he paid great attention to his eyes, and consulted several physicians, that he might preserve his sight as long as he lived. But when many years had passed away, and he was seized with the sickness of which he died, he asked the physicians with much anxiety what he had best do, upon which all of them with one voice advised him to think in time of the state of his soul, and the more so, as he would soon be obliged to leave this world. The bishop, hearing these words, said, "Godric deceived me; he promised me seven years of blindness before my death"! Now, surely we are justified in saying that he was blind, for by bribes he usurped to himself the empty title of earl and justiciary, mixed himself up with secular affairs, put off his pilgrimage to the Holy

84 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1189.

Land, and paying little regard to the care of the inward soul and the duties of a pastor, was not only deprived of his eye-sight, but was sunk in total darkness; and thus this bishop, according to the sentence of the man of God, died at the end of seven years. At this time, earl William of Magnaville died at Rouen.

Of a glorious battle fought by the Christians against the pagans.

On the 4th of October in this year a battle was fought at Antioch between the Christians and the Saracens in the manner following: on the side of the Christians were the king of Jerusalem, the templars, the hospitallers, the marquis of Montferrat, the French, Theobald the prefect, and Peter Leonis the Landegrave, who, with the Teutons and Pisans, collected together an army of four thousand cavalry and a hundred thousand foot. The pagan army under Saladin consisted of a hundred thousand horse and an immense multitude of foot soldiers. The Christians, bearing the sign of the cross on their armour, began the battle about the third hour in the morning, and, having God on their side, drove the pagans to their camp, and pursuing them at the sword's point, attacked and destroyed seven battalions of the infidels, slew five hundred of Saladin's knights, amongst whom were Baldwin, Saladin's son, and mortally wounded his brother Thaealdine. Whilst they were thus gloriously fighting, five thousand Saracen soldiers made a sudden sally, and attacked the Christians; on seeing which Saladin roused all his strength. The Christians, pressed on both sides, forced their way in retreat through the pagans to their camp, but with the loss of the master of the templars and many others, who were slain on that day.

Ambassadors on the part of the French king come to king Richard to ask him to hasten his pilgrimage to the Holy Land in company with the king of the French.

In the same month of October Rotrod, count of Perche, came as ambassador on the part of the king of the French to England, to tell king Richard and the barons of England, that he with the nobles of the kingdom of France, at a general assembly at Paris, had sworn that he would without fail, God willing, come with his barons to Vizelai, after Easter, thence to set out for Jerusalem; and in proof of this oath the French

A.D. 1189.] COUNCIL AT WESTMINSTER. 85

king had sent a letter to the king of England, asking him likewise to give him a guarantee at the same term for the prosecution of his journey. On this the king of England assembled the bishops and nobles of the kingdom at Westminster; and, after hearing the oath of the king of the French, to the effect that he would hasten his departure without fail, he ordered William his earl marshal to make oath by his own soul, that he, Richard would, at the time previously fixed on, meet the king of the French at Vizelai in order to start together from that place, tor the land of promise. The ambassadors, having fulfilled the object of their mission, returned to their own country. On the 1st of November in this year Godfrey de Lucy of Winchester, and Hubert Walter bishop of Salisbury elect, received consecration at the hands of Baldwin archbishop of Canterbury, in the chapel of St. Catherine at Westminster.

Of a conversation made between the archbishop of Canterbury and the monks of that place, and other matters.

In the same month of November, John cardinal of Anagni, arrived in England at Dover; and as the king was in the northern part of the kingdom, he was forbidden by queen Eleanor to proceed farther without an order from the king; on which he spent thirteen days there at the expense of the archbishop, until peace should be made between the archbishop and the monks of Canterbury concerning the chapel of Akington. But Richard, who was a very wise king, being appealed to on both sides, came and in the same month of November arranged final terms of peace between them, as follows: First, that Roger the prior, whom the archbishop had installed in that office in opposition to the wishes of the monks, should be deposed; that the chapel, which the archbishop had built in the suburb without their consent, should be destroyed; that the monks aforesaid should, according to the rule of St. Benedict, show canonical obedience and subjection to the archbishop; as they had been accustomed to do to his predecessors; and at the request of the archbishop the king gave to the deposed prior the abbacy of Evesham. It was also provided that the chapel aforesaid should not have the privilege of baptism or burial, nor the administering of any sacred rites, except such as could be discharged by one secular priest.

86 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1189.

How William king of Scots did homage to king Richard at Canterbury.

At the same time William king of Scots, did homage to the king of the English for his rights in England, and king Richard restored to him the castles of Roxburghe and Berwick; for the redemption of which fortresses, and as a quit-claim for his fealty and allegiance concerning the kingdom of Scotland, and the confirmation of his charter, he paid to the king of England ten thousand marks of silver.

Of the liberality of king Richard.

At this time king Richard gave to his brother John the counties of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, and Dorset; he also gave to his mother Eleanor her usual dowry, with lands and honours in addition to it.

How king Richard crossed the sea to Normandy.

On the 5th of December [1] in the same year, king Richard set out from the city of Canterbury for Dover; thence to cross the sea, and accordingly, on the eve of the feast of St. Lucy the virgin, he sailed for Flanders, where he was joyfully received by count Philip, who also accompanied him into Normandy. The king appointed Hugh bishop of Durham, and William bishop of Ely, his chancellor Hugh Bardulph, and William Briwere, guardians of the kingdom of England, to keep the laws and customs of the kingdom in observance, and to administer justice to those who required it; but distinction was made between these guardians in favour of Hugh bishop of Durham, and William bishop of Ely, to the former of whom was entrusted the administration of justice in that part of the country extending from the great river Humber to the Scotch sea; whilst the latter obtained the judgeship of the country from the before-mentioned river to the Gallic sea. This much annoyed Hugh bishop of


[1] Instead of this sentence, Matthew Paris has as follows:- "About the same time, on the 5th day of December, king Richard, when he had finished his praying, fasting, and almsgiving, left the city of Canterbury, promising to do all that the martyr could wish for touching those things for which the saint had contended so gloriously. He started for Dover on the eve of St. Lucy, and crossed over to Flanders the same day. Whilst he was at sea, he made a vow to build a chapel to the martyr in the Holy Land, where the saint should be his guide and protector, both by sea and land. This vow he fulfilled at Acre as shall be said hereafter".

A.D. 1190.] TAXES LEVIED FOR THE HOLY LAND. 87

Durham, who then, for the first time, learnt that the king had made a justiciary of him, not from regard to justice, but that he might extort money, as has been before mentioned, from him; for this reason he and the chancellor were seldom agreed, as the saying is,

'For every power
Is jealous of a rival'.

How the archbishop laid an interdict on the lands of John the king's brother, but the cardinal reversed it.

About this time John, the king's brother, laid a grievous complaint before the legate and the bishops, that the archbishop, even after an appeal made to the apostolic see, had laid an interdict on all his lands, because he had espoused the daughter of the earl of Gloucester, who was related to him in the third degree of consanguinity; and on hearing this complaint the legate confirmed his appeal, and released his lands from the interdict.

How the tenth part of property in England was given to assist the Holy Land.

At this time a tax of the tenth part of all moveables was generally levied throughout England, and collected for sending assistance to the Holy Land, and this violent extortion, which veiled the vice of rapacity [1] under the name of charity, alarmed the priesthood as well as the people. In this year Richard bishop of London, and William of Ely, were elected and consecrated at Lambeth on the last day of December.

How the confederate kings determined to depart together to the Holy Land.

[A.D. 1190.] At Christmas, Richard king of the English was at Bure in Normandy, and passed the time of that solemn festival there with the primates of that country. After Christmas, at an interview between the kings of England and France in the ford of St. Remy, it was agreed that they


[1] "Besides the oppression which England thus endured, the king, eager to acquire money, pretended that he had lost his seal, and commanded a new one to be made, and ordered it to be proclaimed in every county, that whoever desired to give greater validity to their charters should come without delay and have the new seal affixed to them. Many persons there fore, not finding the king in England, were obliged to cross the sea, and to pay whatever fine he imposed for having the new seal affixed to their charters". M. Paris.

88 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1190.

should, under the Lord's guidance, hasten their departure for Jerusalem at the same time. A form of agreement for the preservation of peace between the two countries was, at the feast of St. Hilary, made in the presence of the bishops and nobles of both kingdoms, and having been confirmed by oath between the two sovereigns, it was committed to writing as follows, "I, Philip, king of the French, will keep good faith with Richard king of the English, as my friend and ally for life, for limb, and worldly honour; and I, Richard, king of the English, promise to keep the same good faith with the king of the French as my lord and friend, for life, and for limb. We also agree to lend aid each of us, if necessary, in defending the territories of the other as zealously as if they were his own possessions". The nobles and barons of both kingdoms swore not to depart from their fealty to their kings, or to make war, till forty days should have passed in peace after the return of the sovereigns, and both of the kings joined in this oath. The archbishops and bishops of both kingdoms swore to promulgate the sentence of excommunication against those who should break through this compact. It was also determined that if either king should die on the expedition, the survivor should take charge of the treasure and forces of the deceased, to fulfil the service which they owed to God. As they were not able to settle this treaty definitively they delayed the business till the feast of St. John's nativity, in order that the sovereigns and all the crusaders might assemble without fail at Vizelai, to enter upon their pilgrimage to the Holy Land. "And if any shall attempt to contravene", such were the words of the treaty, "this our agreement, their lands shall be laid under the interdict of the church, and their persons be excommunicated". Having thus arranged matters they broke up the conference. [1]

How William bishop of Ely was appointed chancellor.

Richard king of England, sent ambassadors, in conjunction with others sent by William bishop of Ely, to pope Clement, and obtained from that pontiff a decree as follows. "We, Clement the pope, greeting,- The laudable request of our well


[1] "About the same time Baldwin archbishop of Canterbury held a council at Westminster, at which he bade farewell to his brethren and set out for the Holy Land, in magnificent array". M. Paris.

A.D. 1190.] MASSACRE OF JEWS. 89

beloved son in the Lord, Richard the renowned king of the English, we in our apostolic ofHce, have decreed to entrust to thy brotherly care the duty of chancellor in all England, Wales, in the archbishoprics of Canterbury and York, and in those parts of Ireland in which John earl of Moreton, brother of the king, holds power and authority given this 2nd of June, in the third year of our pontificate".

How the archbishop of Canterbury suspended bishop Hugh.

In this year, Baldwin archbishop of Canterbury wrote to Richard bishop of London as follows:- "Whilst we were at Rouen, we suspended from the performance of his sacred duties, our brother Hugh of Coventry, for having, without regard to the dignity of his episcopal rank, usurped the office of sheriff; but on his faithfully promising to resign into our hands the charge of the sheriffs office, and never again to busy himself with affairs of this kind, we thought him deserving of absolution. We, therefore, send this same bishop to you with this our letter, ordering you, in conjunction with the bishop of Rochester and our clerks, without fail, to appoint a time and place to hear and make a just decision concerning the charges for which that prelate was suspended by us".

Of the massacre of the Jews in sundry places.

In this same year, many persons throughout England who were about to journey to Jerusalem, determined previous to their departure, to cause a rising against the Jews. This first broke out at Norwich, where the Jews, as many as could be found, were slain in their own houses; some few, however, escaped, and took refuge in the castle at that place. After this, on the 7th of March, many were slain at Stamford on market day; on the 18th day of March fifty-seven were said to have been slaughtered at St. Edmund's; thus, wherever the Jews were found they were slain by the hands of the crusaders, except those who were protected by the municipal officers. But we must not believe that such a massacre of the Jews was pleasing to wise men, since it is written, "Do not kill them, lest my people should forget".

Of the dreadful slaughter of the Jews at York.

In the same year, during Lent, that is, on the 15th of

90 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1190.

March, the Jews of the city of York, to the number of five hundred, besides women and children, through fear of an attack on the part of the Christians, by permission of the sheriff and the governor of the castle, shut themselves up in that fortress, and when the garrison required them to give up possession of it, they refused to do so. On this refusal, repeated attacks were made both by day and night, and at length the Jews after reflecting, offered a large sum of money for their lives, but this was refused by the people. Then one of them skilled in the law, rose and addressed his companions thus, "Oh, men of Israel, hear my counsel. It is better, as our law instructs us, to die for our law than to fall into the hands of our enemies". This being agreed to by all, each head of a family came with a sharp razor, and cut the throats first of his wife, sons, and daughters, and afterwards of all his family, and threw the dead bodies, which they considered as sacrificed to devils, on the Christians outside the castle; they then shut themselves up in the king's house, and setting fire to it, both living and dead were burned together with the buildings. After this the citizens and soldiers burned the Jews' houses, with the papers of their debtors, but retained their money for their own use.

Geoffrey, archbishop elect of York, is ordained a priest.

At that time, bishop William, the king's chancellor and justiciary of England, levied a tax of two palfreys and two chargers on each city of England, and of one palfrey and one charger on each of the abbacies. At this time, too, John bishop of Whithern, a suffragan of the church of York, ordained Geoffrey archbishop of York elect, to the priesthood. At the same time, the election of the aforesaid Geoffrey was confirmed by pope Clement, who, amongst other things, in a letter which he wrote to the chapter of York, added these words, "We therefore admonish the whole brotherhood of you, and command you by these our apostolic writings, that you pay reverence and honour to him as your prelate, that you may thereby prove yourselves praiseworthy in the sight both of God and man. Given at the Lateran, on the 7th of March, in the third year of our pontificate".

A.D. 1190.] BUILDING OF A CHAPEL AT ACRE. 91

Of the array of the Christian army at the siege of Acre.

The army of the Christians at this time before Acre was disposed as follows: In front of mount Musardus, near the sea, were the Genoese; after them came the hospitallers and the marquis of Montferrat; next in succession were Henry count of Champagne, Guy of Duinpere, and the count of Brenne; next came the counts of Bar and Chalons, and after them, Robert of Dreux and the bishop of Beauvais; then followed the bishop of Besancon, and near him towards the plain were count Theobald, the count of Claremont, Hugh de Gournay, Otho de Treson, Florentius de Haugi, and Walkeline de Ferrars: then came the Florentines, next the bishop of Cambray, near whom was the bishop of Salisbury, with all the English force; then came the steward of Flanders, with John de Neele, Odo de Ham, and the Flemings; after them were the lord of Hissoldone and the viscount of Tours, and near them the king of Jerusalem, and Hugh of Tabaria, with their kinsmen; next were the templars and James d'Avennes, besides whom, were the Landegrave and the count of Geldres, with the Germans, Dacians, Teutons, and Frieslanders, between whom the duke of Suabia had pitched his camp in the neighbourhood of a mosque; following them, near a tower, were stationed the patriarch and bishop of Acre, the bishop of Bethlehem, the viscount of Chatel-Herault, with Reginald de Fleche, and Humphry of Tours, and the money changers under Turon; at the extremity, near the port, was the archbishop of Pisa, with the Pisans; lastly came the Lombards.

A chapel is built at Acre in honour of the blessed martyr Thomas.

About this time, a certain English chaplain, named William, a familiar of Ralph de Diceto, dean of London, when on his voyage to Jerusalem, made a vow, that on his safe arrival at the port of Acre, he would, at his own expence, build a chapel in honour of the blessed martyr Thomas, and would cause a cemetery to be consecrated to that saint, which vow he fulfilled. Many from all directions flocked together to the service of this chapel, and William, by the decision of all the Christians, took the name of prior, and to show his devotion as a soldier of Christ, made it his business to attend to the poor, and especially to the burial of the bodies of those who perished from disease, as well as those slain in battle.

92 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1190.

Of the chiefs of Saladin's army.

The chiefs in Acre under Saladin were as follow:- Caracos, who had been made a knight by Corboran at the siege of Antioch, and who had also brought up Saladin, and with him Gemaladin, Gurgi, Suchar, Simcordoedar, Belhagessemin, Fecardineer, and Cerantegadin. The chiefs of the army were these: his four brothers, Saphadin, Felkedin, Sefelselem, Melkalade; his three sons, Miralis, Melcaleth, Melcalezis; his two nephews, Techaedin and Benesemedin, and the chiefs Coulin, Elaisar, Bederim, and Mustop Hazadinnersel. All these chiefs held authority over the provinces of Joramma, Rotassia, Bira, the Persians, the Turks, the Hemsiensians, Alexandria, Damietta, Aleppo, and Damascus, and of all the country beyond the Euphrates, extending to the Red Sea, and beyond it towards Barbary. Metalech ruled over Babylon, and to the four brothers of Saladin were entrusted the provinces of Abesia, Leeman, the Moors, Nubia, Caesarea, Ascalon, Amira, Bedreddin, Amirasen, Nazareth, Neopolis, Camele, Mustoplice, and Maruch; Hazadinneassar had charge of Mount Royal, Crach, Corisin, and part of Armenia, but Saladin was the sovereign ruler over all of them.

How the battering engines of the Christians were burned by the Saracens.

In the same year, Greek fire was hurled by the Saracens who were blockaded in the city of Acre, upon the engines which the Christians at great expense had constructed for subduing the city, and this instantly spreading abroad, reduced them all to ashes; this took place on the fifth of May.

How traitors were discovered among the Christians.

At this same time, Anser of Mount Royal revealed a conspiracy which he in conjunction with the bishop of Beauvais, count Robert his brother, Guy of Duinpere, the Landegrave, and the count of Geldres, had entered into with Saladin, and for which they had received from that prince thirty thousand bezants and a hundred marks of gold, besides a bribe of four camels, two leopards, and four falcons received by the Landegrave, for which and for other gifts they had agreed to put off the attack on the city, and had allowed their battering forts to be burned.

A.D. 1190.] OF KING RICHARD'S NAVY. 93

King Richard's letter on behalf of his chancellor.

At this same time, Richard king of England issued letters to all his liege subjects throughout England, as follows: "Richard, by the grace of God, etc. We command and enjoin you, that as you regard us and our kingdom, as well as yourselves and your possessions, ye be in all things obedient to our friend and well-beloved chancellor, the bishop of Ely, in all things which tend to our welfare, and that ye act for him in all his commands on our behalf, as if we ourselves were in the kingdom. Witness myself at Bayonne".

Of the commanders of king Richard's navy, and the laws made against malefactors.

About that time, king Richard, in a council of nobles, chose and appointed Gerard archbishop of Auxienne, Bernard bishop of Barvia, Robert des Sables, Richard de Canville, and William de Foret, to be justiciaries over the combined navy of England, Normandy, Brittany, and Poictou, which was about to sail for the Holy Land, and delivered letters patent to them as follow:- "Richard, by the grace of God, king of England, to all his subjects about to sail to the Holy Land, greeting: Know all men, that we by the advice of our good council, have made these laws:- Whoever on board ship shall slay another shall be bound to the dead man, and cast into the sea with him; if any one shall kill another on land, he shall be bound to the dead man and buried with him; if any one shall be convicted of having drawn a knife to strike another, or shall draw blood from another, he shall lose his hand; if any one strikes another, he shall be dipped three times in the sea; whoever shall offer insult, or reproach, or curse his companion, shall be fined as many ounces of silver as times he shall have so insulted him; a robber convicted of theft shall have boiling pitch poured on his head, and a shower of ashes scattered thereon to know him, and he shall be set adrift at the first place the ships touch at". He caused an oath to be administered to each and all, that they would keep these laws, and would obey the before-named justiciaries; after which he ordered the commanders of his navy to set sail and meet him at Marseilles.

94 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1190.

How king Richard received the scrip and staff at Vizelai.

In this year the French and English kings met on the octaves of St. John the Baptist at Vizelai, where the body of St. Mary Magdalene is buried, and stayed there two days; here the king of the English received the staff and scrip in the church of St. Denis. After this the kings with all their forces set out for Lyons, on the Rhone, where, when they and a great part of their armies had crossed the bridge, it broke, and many of both sexes were drowned. After this the kings separated, because one place was not large enough to hold such large forces when united; the king of the French took the road to the city of Genoa, and the king of England towards Messina; and on the arrival of the latter at that place he found there many pilgrims who, owing to their long stay there, had spent all their money: of these, king Richard kept many and united them to his army. After having stayed at this place eight days in expectation of the arrival of his navy, finding himself deceived in his hopes, he collected together ten large busses, and nine well armed galleys, and embarked in these vessels, being anxious on account of the delay of his fleet; and in the mean time, that he might not appear inactive, he sailed with a strong armed force, passing by the island of St. Stephen, Aquileia and the Black Mountain, the island of St. Honoratus, the city of Meis, and a city called Wintilimine. Thence he made his journey to the castle of Seine, and on the day he readied it he had an interview with the king of the French, who was lying ill there. On the 14th of August the king of the English reached the port of Dauphin, and stayed there five days. Whilst at this place the king of the French sent to ask him to supply him with five galleys; the English king offered him three, but they were refused by the French king. On the 24th of August the king came to the harbour of Portesweire, which is half way between Marseilles and Messina, and so passing different places he entered the river Tiber, near the mouth of which there is a fine tower. At this place, he was met by Octavian bishop of Ostin, with a message on behalf of the pope, that the king would visit him: this the king refused, upbraiding the bishop for the simony and greediness of the Romish priests, and many other charges,

A.D. 1190.] KING RICHARD EMBARKS. 95

adding, that they had been paid seven hundred marks for the consecration of the bishop of Maine, that they had received fifteen hundred marks of silver for granting the legateship to William bishop of Ely, and moreover of having received a large sum of money from the archbishop of Bourdeaux, who was accused of a crime by his clerks, and so after his refusal to visit Rome, he entered Apuleia near the town of Capua.

How king Richard appointed his nephew Arthur to be his heir.

At this time Tancred king of Sicily (who had succeeded to king William), in order to keep on peaceable terms with king Richard, gave to that king twenty thousand ounces of silver in discharge of all his claims against him, and the same quantity of gold as a quit-claim of the will, which king William had made in favour of king Henry, Richard's father, and in consideration of the marriage which had been agreed to be contracted between Arthur duke of Brittany and the daughter of king Tancred; on which king Richard appointed the before named Arthur his heir, in case of his dying without any lawful heir, after which he set out on his pilgrimage.

How queen Eleanor, on leaving her son, left Berengaria with him.

At this time queen Eleanor, determined to follow the route of her son the king, and crossing mount Janus and the plains of Italy, she at length came up with him; and after spending four days with him, she by his permission, returned to England, leaving with her son, Berengaria daughter of the king of Navarre, whom Richard was about to marry; for king Richard had given to the king of the French ten thousand pounds as a quit-claim for his marriage with that monarch's sister; and, by that agreement too, the king of the French had ever resigned all his claim to the castle of Gisors and the whole of the Vexin. In this same year too Frederic, the Roman emperor, in the fortieth year of his reign, passed through Bulgaria on his way to Jerusalem, and in marching from Iconium to Antioch, whilst his army safely passed the river Saphet, the emperor fell from his horse into the stream and was drowned.

96 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1190.

How the blessed martyr Thomas appeared to the commanders of king Richard's navy.

In the same year the king of England's fleet was exposed to many dangers: on their voyage towards Lisbon they had doubled the promontory called Godesterre, and having passed Brittany with St. Matthew of Finisterre on their left, and the ocean, on which was their route to Jerusalem, on the right, they left Poictou and Gascony on their left. On the day of our Lord s ascension they were in the Spanish sea, when a dreadful tempest came on them, which dispersed the fleet immediately. In the raging of the storm, whilst all in their alarm were calling on the Lord, the blessed martyr Thomas archbishop of Canterbury, appeared at three different times to three different persons who were on board the ship of the Londoners, and said to them, "Be not afraid, for I, and the blessed martyr Edmund, and St. Nicholas the confessor, have been appointed by the Lord, guardians of the king of England's fleet; and if the crews and commanders of the fleet will guard themselves against sin, and repent of their former offences, God will grant them a prosperous voyage and direct their ways in his paths". These words were heard to be thrice repeated, after which the blessed Thomas disappeared and the storm forthwith ceased. Amongst the crew of that ship were, one called William with the beard, William Fitz Osbert, and Geoffrey the gold-worker, and with them many citizens of London. These had now passed Lisbon and Cape St. Vincent, and had neared the city of Seville, which was then the extreme of Christendom in Spain: indeed the Christian faith was as yet in its infancy there, for it was only the year before that it became Christian, and had been wrested from the power of the pagans. The crew of the London ship, steering near the city, found by certain indications that Christians dwelt there; they therefore put in, and were received with much honour by the bishop and all the rest of the inhabitants. There were on board this ship more than eighty well armed youths, whom the people of the city and the king of Portugal retained in their service for fear of the emperor of Morocco, giving them every kind of security for the pay they required, and a promise of large gifts in addition. Besides this ship, ten more of the English

A.D. 1190.] PHILIP AND RICHARD AT MESSINA. 97

fleet which, with their crews, had been dispersed here and there, at length, by the grace of God, arrived at the city of Lisbon by way of the river Tagus. Afterwards the archbishop of Auxia, Robert des Sables, Richard de Canville, and William de Fortz, taking their course between Africa and Spain, after many storms, arrived, on the octaves of St. Mary, at Marseilles, with the whole of the fleet which was under their charge, and, finding the king there, they stopped to attend to the necessary repairs of the ships.

How Baldwin archbishop of Canterbury, and some others landed at Tyre.

About the same time Baldwin archbishop of Canterbury, Hubert bishop of Salisbury, and Ralph de Glanville, formerly justiciaries of England, who had preceded the king of England on the voyage to Jerusalem, making a direct course, left Sicily on the left hand, and, after experiencing many dangers, arrived at Tyre about Michaelmas. John bishop of Norwich, however, went to the pope, and having obtained his permission, there laid aside the cross of the Lord, and so having cleared out his baggage, he returned to England absolved from his vows. [1]

Of a quarrel between the kings at Messina.

On the 16th of September in this same year Philip the French king arrived at Messina, and was entertained in king Tancred's palace; king Richard arrived on the 23rd of the same month, but was not allowed ingress to the city, for the French were afraid that the provisions would not suffice for the multitudes who followed the two kings. Richard, on learning this, sent his marshals to the elders of the city, requesting them to sell provisions to his army that they might not be pressed by want; the citizens wished to open their gates and to treat such a great prince hospitably, but the French would not permit them, but climbed the walls in arms and resolved to defend the gates. At this king Richard ordered his troops to fly to arms, and to force an


[1] M. Paris amplifies this sentence as follows:- "He also offered money, which the pope received with avidity. Thus he easily obtained licence to depart, and emptying his baggage, that it might not be too heavy for him, he returned to England absolved from his vow, leaving behind him a disgraceful example to the army".

98 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1190.

entrance for himself and his followers, in spite of their enemies. The troops obeyed the king's commands, attacked the gates, forced their way into the city, and, after slaying many of the French, they, with the king at their head, put the rest to flight. When this event came to the ears of the French king he conceived the most violent indignation against the king of the English, and he never dispossessed himself of it as long as he lived; nevertheless the two kings had a peaceable interview on the same day and made no mention of what had taken place.

How king Richard subdued some fortresses.

On the 24th of September in this year, the king of the French embarked, but as the wind was unfavourable he returned the same day to Messina. On the 30th of September king Richard crossed the river Var, and took a very strongly fortified place in Calabria, called Labamare, and, putting in it his sister Joanna, formerly queen of Sicily, he returned to Messina. The next day he took a fortress called the monastery of the Griffones, between Messina and Calabria; at this place the Griffones making an attack on Hugh Brun earl of March, were driven back by king Richard, on which they closed the gates of the city, and betook themselves to the ramparts, and from thence slew and wounded several of the king's men and horses. The king, enraged at this, attacked and forced the gates, and took the city, and on the 4th of October placed followers of his own in it, and on the following day the elders of the city gave hostages for the due observance of peace by them; after this he there built a castle which was called Mate-Griffon. At this time a provincial council, of which William bishop of Ely, the legate of the apostolic see, was president, was held at Westminster on the 15th of October, but at this little or nothing was done for the edification of the English church.

How the Norman church was freed from the yoke of slavery.

At this time the church of God in Normandy, with king Richard's consent, was freed from its long endured yoke of slavery. In the first place it was determined and granted by the king, with regard to clerks, that on no occasion should they be taken by the secular authority, as had been the

A.D. 1190.] DEATH OF ARCHBISHOP BALDWIN. 99

custom, unless for murder, theft, arson, or crimes of the like enormity; hut that, immediately on the requisition of the ecclesiastical judges, they should be handed over for judgment in the ecclesiastical courts. Also that in general, all questions of breach of faith or breaking an oath should be decided on in the ecclesiastical court. Also all questions of dowry, or marriage gifts, where goods or live stock were claimed, were to be referred to the church's arbitration. Also that in conventual establishments the election of abbats, priors, and abbesses should be with the consent of their bishop. Also that the secular courts should have no cognizance where ecclesiastics could prove that, by deed or otherwise the estate was eleemosynary, but that it should be referred to the decision of ecclesiastic judges. Also that the disposal of property bequeathed by will should rest with the church authorities; and that no tenth part, as heretofore, should be deducted. Also with regard to the goods of clerks, although they were said to be usurers, that, however they might die, the secular authorities should have no power, but that their property should be distributed by the episcopal authority in works of piety. Also that whatever property laymen might have disposed of in their life time, by whatsoever title they had aliened it, although they might be called usurious, the same should not be revoked after their death; but that whatever should be found unaliened after their death, if it could be proved that they were usurious at the time of their death, should be confiscated. Also that if a person deceased should have any pledge by which he had gained any interest, his portion should revert to the depositor of the pledge, or to his heirs; the same should be done with the portions of his wife and children after their death. If any one should be overtaken by sudden death or by any event, so that he could not dispose of his property, the distribution of it should rest with the church authorities.

Of the death of Baldwin archbishop nf Canterbury.

At this time Baldwin archbishop of Canterbury, being at the point of death at Acre, bequeathed all his property to assist the crusade in the Holy Land, and after his decease Hubert bishop of Salisbury, who had been appointed by the archbishop, his executor, faithfully distributed his property

100 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1190.

on pious uses. Being chiefly anxious about the sentries of the camp, he paid, as the archbishop had in his life time determined to do, fixed salaries for several days to twenty knights and fifty of their attendants: he always took on himself the care of the poor, casting the eye of compassion on the helpless, and in all respects fulfilling the duties of a good prelate. But the city of Acre, notwithstanding the numerous assaults of the Christians, resolutely held out, for it was surrounded by strong walls, and was well garrisoned and supplied with warlike engines; moreover Saladin's army surrounded the besiegers on all sides, from which cause as well by the withdrawal of some of the Christians as by the numbers who were slain, the army of Christ was much diminished; nevertheless the Christians, having confidence in the consolation of Christ, were in hopes of being able to endure the hardships and toils of the siege until the arrival of the kings, if they should reach them by the ensuing Easter, but if not, then their money would fail, and all hope of earthly assistance would vanish. [1]

Of the pride of William bishop of Ely, and chancellor of England.

At this time William, justiciary of England and legate of the apostolic see, caused a deep trench to be dug round the tower of London, hoping to be able to bring the waters of the Thames into the city, but after expending much from the treasury his labour proved fruitless. Moreover this same chancellor had become very great amongst all the people of the west, in England he was both a king and priest, and he paid no regard to anything, whilst he was not contented with the episcopal dignity alone, but showed that his thoughts were bent on things too high for him; for he showed his vanity and haughtiness by saying at the beginning of all his letters "We, William, by the grace of God bishop of Ely, chancellor of our lord the king, justiciary of all England, and legate of


[1] "Saladin continually hovered over the hesieging army, and did them as much harm a he could, and the Christians received much damage at his hands. If we may believe the report, Richard then received privately many presents from Saladin, namely, precious jewels, gold of the finest quality, and the most valuable of all, a coat of mail which no spear could penetrate. Richard, excusing his prodigality and veiling his own avarice, said to his men, 'Let him give away what is his own, if he likes to do so.'"

A.D. 1191.] MORTALITY AT ACRE. 101

the apostolic see, greeting, etc". He exercised to an immoderate excess the dignities which he had obtained by bribery, endeavouring to repair the sacred establishments which he had despoiled for the sake of acquiring his honours. He distributed money at his tables, so that he might come again and extort the same with interest, for he performed the duty of the legateship, which he had acquired at the expense of a thousand pounds of silver, so immoderately that he became burdensome to all the establishments of England, both conventual and cathedral; indeed he travelled through England with an array of fifteen hundred attendants, and accompanied by crowds of clerks, and surrounded by a troop of soldiers, neglecting all things which belonged to the dignity of his episcopal station. He was waited on at his table by all the sons of the nobility whom he had married to his nieces and female relatives, and all those whom he kept as his attendants thought themselves lucky. Never was there land for sale, which he did not purchase, never was there a church or abbacy vacant which he did not dispose of or retain for himself, nor any castles or towns of which he would not either by threats or bribes obtain the guardianship; by these acts and many others of like character he struck terror into the people. The kingdom of England was silent in his presence, and no one murmured, for there remained in England no power to resist him. His train was composed of

"Ambubaiarum collegia, pharmacopoliae,
Mendici, mimae, balatrones, hoc genus omne".

So that he on earth was followed by all kinds of music and singing, as the holy angels follow the all-powerful God in heaven. He acted entirely in such a way that he seemed to strive to put himself on a level with God, but the end of all this will be related in the subsequent history in due time. [1]

Of the mortality at Acre.

[A.D. 1191.] After the death of the venerable Baldwin archbishop of Canterbury, nobles and knights of well-tried powers died at the siege of Acre, as was said, from the unhealthiness of the atmosphere; amongst these were Ralph


[1] "Having obtained the legatine power from the pope, he held a council at Westminster. W. bishop of Worcester, and W. abbat of Westminster, died on the 28th of March". M. Paris.

102 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1101.

de Fulcher, count Robert of Perche, Theobald of Blois, count Stephen, his brother, the count and son of the emperor Frederick, the earl of Ferrars, earl Robert of Leicester: Ralph de Glanville, Ralph Hanterive, the archdeacon of Colchester, and innumerable others besides. The French and English kings, in the meantime, were waiting in Sicily the arrival of spring to avoid the dangers of a voyage by winter. In this year too, pope Clement, after filling the apostolic chair for fourteen months, died, and was succeeded by Celestine, formerly called Ilyacinthus.

How Philip king of the French, and Richard king of the English, embarked at Messina.

On the 29th of March in this year, the French king embarked at Messina and made sail direct for Jerusalem. On the 10th of April he was followed by king Richard in great pomp with a fleet consisting of thirteen busses with three masts besides a hundred transports and fifty triple-banked galleys; after a passage of twenty days they neared the island of Rhodes, and ten days after they put into Cyprus. But Cursac, the ruler of the island, who had assumed the title of emperor, came with a strong armed force to prevent the king's entering the harbour, and made prisoners several of his followers who were shipwrecked, robbed them, and cast them into prison to die of hunger. The English king, burning with rage, attacked this enemy and soon defeating him, took and detained him prisoner, and reduced to submission his only daughter and the whole of the island with all the fortified places. Cursac made an agreement with the king that he was not to be kept in iron chains, and the king to keep his word caused him to be bound in chains of silver, and ordered him to be placed in a castle near Tripoli, called Margeth; but his daughter with the two queens he kept honourably guarded in his own house. King Richard had, for the sake of refreshing himself and his followers after their tedious voyage, and of procuring an increase of fresh provisions, determined to stop at this island, without doing damage to any one, but the above named Cursac forbade him to attempt entering his territories; more than this he had forbidden any of his subjects to sell provisions to the English king's army, or to expose articles to

A.D. 1191.] THE ARCHBISHOP OF YORK IMPRISONED). 103

them for sale, and by these means he roused the mind of the king to anger, and forced him to inflict on him the before named injury. When at length the king had obtained possession of all the money of the island, and had arranged all matters to his satisfaction; he there married Berengaria, daughter of the queen of Navarre, the same whom queen Eleanor had brought to him whilst he was staying in Sicily. On the 4th day of Easter week in this year, pope Celestine consecrated as emperor, Henry son of the emperor Frederick. In this year too, Philip count of Flanders, who had sailed for the Holy Land with the king of the French, died without leaving any children.

How Geoffrey, archbishop of York, was imprisoned at Dover.

About this same time, by command of the supreme pontiff, Bartholomew, archbishop of Tours, ordained Geoffrey, elect of York, a bishop, and he, after his consecration, set out for England, and arrived with his followers at Dover. Matthew de Clere sheriff of that county had shortly before received a letter from William bishop of Ely, to this effect, "We order you that if the bishop elect of York shall arrive at any port in your jurisdiction, or any messengers of his, you cause him to be detained until you receive orders from us regarding him; we likewise order you that you cause to be detained all letters of our lord the pope or of any great man, which may come to those parts". Matthew therefore, on learning the arrival of the archbishop, with the advice of the bishop of Ely's sister, who then had the charge of the castle, was not slow to fulfil his instructions; for six days he with a band of armed men besieged him in the priory of St. Martin, and reduced him to such straits that in the meantime it was with difficulty that provisions which he obtained from charity could be brought to him; for the treachery of the disaffected increased daily, and the soldiers of the bishop of Ely came to the above named church with staves, and rushing armed into the archbishop's presence peremptorily ordered him to leave the kingdom without delay and to sail for Flanders. On his refusal to obey this mandate, with his robe over his shoulders, and the cross in his hands, he was violently dragged from before the altar by his feet, arms, and legs, with his head beating against the ground, and, together with his clerks and

104 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1191

religious men, who had come to see him from many quarters, was taken to the castle and thrown into a dungeon, where he was kept close prisoner for eight days. This treatment coming to the knowledge of the bishop of London, that prelate immediately went to the chancellor, and with much difficulty after many entreaties obtained the archbishop's release, being obliged to give his whole bishopric as security for him. The archbishop therefore, released from prison, came to London, where he was received by the bishop, clergy, and people, with all honours and in solemn procession. This rash presumption, as the following history will show, afterwards redounded very much to the disgrace of the chancellor.

A remarkable eclipse of the sun.

In the month of June in the same year, on Sunday, the eve of St. John the Baptist, there appeared about the sixth hour of the day, an eclipse of the sun, which lasted till the eighth hour, the moon being twenty seven days old and the sun being in the sign of Cancer.

How king Richard took a ship called a dromund.

On the 21st of March [1] in that year, Philip king of the French landed at Acre, and Richard following him, embarked at Cyprus with a large stock of provisions. He heard that the French king's army was suffering at Acre from hunger and scarcity to such a degree, that a quart of corn cost sixty marks, and he therefore hastened to the relief of such distress and misery with his ships loaded with large quantities of corn. Whilst he was sailing with a fair wind towards Acre, which city was formerly called Ptolemais, there came in sight on the 6th of June, a very large ship, called a dromund, which had been sent loaded with an immense sum of money from the city of Baruch, by Saladin's brother, Salahadin, Soldan of Babylon, to carry assistance to the pagans who were besieged in Acre. On board this vessel they had Greek fire, and many pots of fiery serpents; and the crew consisted of fifteen hundred warriors, besides fifteen hundred strong men by whose aid the ship might be strengthened. King Richard immediately ordered his followers to prepare for


[1] Some mistake in date here: Philip only left Messina on the 29th of March.

A.D. 1191.] THE CAPTURE OF ACRE. 105

action, and on the galleys nearing one another a fierce attack commenced on both sides, but the hostile ship became helpless on account of the wind failing. At length one of the king's rowers, who was a skilful diver, approached the pagan vessel under water, and bored a hole in it, after doing which, under Christ's protection, he returned to his own ship and told the king what he had done. The water entering in a short time rose over the deck of the ship, and the crew, who before trusted to their bulwarks, soon lost all hope of escape; thirteen hundred of these were drowned by king Richard's order, the surviving two hundred he kept as hostages.

Of king Richard's arrival at Acre, and the capture of that city.

King Richard, after collecting all the spoils of the pagan ship approached the port of Acre, whither he was bound, with a favouring wind. At length on the 8th of June the king entered the harbour, and the shrill sound of clarions, the braying of trumpets, with the horrid din of the horns filled the air near the shore, and resounded for a distance round inland; this event animated the Christians to battle, but struck terror into the besieged Saracens, for it proclaimed the arrival of this great chief. King Richard showed his generous feelings to all by supplying food to the famished army. The two kings then, attended by crowds of knights and soldiers, arranged stone engines and other machines around the city, and by the weight of their missiles, and constant use of these engines day and night, they battered the walls of the city so that the infidels were panic-struck, lost all confidence in their power of resistance, and at length held a council, and began to treat of peace. The conditions of the agreement were, that, for the ransom of the garrison, Saladin should restore the true cross, which he had taken in battle, and should release fifteen hundred captive Christians, to be chosen by them, and in addition to the above stated agreement should pay seven thousand bezants. Thus the city, with the arms and everything in it, excepting only the persons of the Saracens, was happily surrendered to the two kings on the 12th of July. When the appointed day of payment arrived Saladin did not fulfil his agreement. To punish this great transgression, therefore, about two thousand six

106 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1191.

hundred were beheaded, only a few of the most noble were saved and placed in prison at the disposal of the kings.

Haw the French king through envy returned to his own country.

After the city was subdued, the king of the French made arrangements to return home, as though the war was entirely an end; for he was annoyed beyond measure at all the credit of the success of the Christian army being given to king Richard. Pleading, therefore, want of money and poverty as his excuses, he said he could not stay there any longer; but the English king Richard, who had a burning desire to promote the cause of the crusade, and hearing this, promised that he would supply the king of the French with a share of all he possessed, in money as well as in his supplies of provisions, horses, arms, and ships, in order that they might unitedly endeavour to drive the enemies of Christ from the Holy Land. But in as much as the French king had sworn to return, and determinately arranged for it, notwithstanding that his followers loudly exclaimed against it, and the whole army was greatly excited; he embarked to return to his country with only a few in his company. Moreover there had arisen between the two kings a secret disagreement, so that the king of France proposed to deliver the city of Acre, and the other cities, castles, and districts, which they might take, to the marquis of Montferrat, and to appoint him king of the Holy Land; for this same marquis had married the daughter of king Almeric, sister of the queen of Jerusalem, who was lately deceased. King Richard was throughout opposed to this wish, and plainly proved that it would be more consistent with right to restore to king Guy his kingdom, of which he had been some while since deprived, than to appoint another whilst he yet lived; since it appeared that he had lost his sovereignty, not through his own indolence, but that, through his boldness in a fierce war, owing to the number of his enemies, and the weakness of his own army, he had been taken at the same time as the cross by the Saracens. This is known to have been the original cause of discord between the before-named princes, although a difference had sprung up in the first place, though concealed, at Messina in Sicily, when king Richard had obtained possession of the city with an armed force, and destroyed many of

A.D. 1191.] RICHARD'S MILITARY SUCCESS. 107

the followers of the French king, on account of the abuse and harassing treatment of the English by his army. The king of the French, therefore, seeing that the people of different countries, who had flocked to the Holy Land, placed themselves under the command of king Richard, and that the fame of the latter's prowess increased daily, because he was better supplied with money, more profuse in bestowing gifts, possessed of a larger army, and was braver in attacking his enemies, thought that the fame of his own prowess was dimmed by that of another's, and was therefore in greater haste to embark. In addition to these reasons, he wished to possess himself of the territory of the count of Flanders, who had lately died: therefore after he had pledged his oath not to invade the territories of the English king or of the chiefs, who remained with him, he took his departure. King Richard then caused the trenches and breaches in the walls of Acre to be repaired, and fortified it with men and arms.

Of king Richard's progress.

After these events, on the eve of the assumption of the blessed Mary, king Richard, with his fellow warriors, led the way from the gates of Acre, and boldly set out on his march to besiege and take the cities on the sea coast; and he ordered his camp to be pitched near and in sight of Saladin's army, at the place where he had caused the two thousand six hundred of the Saracens, whom the two kings had taken prisoners at Ptolemais, to be beheaded, as has been before related. When the report of this event reached the Saracens, who occupied the maritime cities, they were alarmed lest the king in his anger should inflict on them a similar punishment to that of the Ptolemaidans, and having no confidence in Saladin's assisting them, since he had refused to pay what was demanded of him for the ransom of the others, they evacuated their cities and fled immediately on hearing of the approach of the king. This was the case with the inhabitants of Caiphas, Caesarea, Assur, Joppa, Gaza, and Ascalon, and thus, by the will of God, all the maritime district in that part of the country fell into the hands of the Christians. This did not however result without some severe fighting: for the army of Saladin followed closely on the Christian flanks, and in the defiles dreadfully harassed the out-posts,

108 ROGER OF WENDOVER [A.D. 1191.

from which cause great slaughter often ensued in both armies. King Richard, therefore, after he had fortified the cities above named, returned in triumph to Acre. [1]

But this account which we have given will be more clearly understood by our giving the letter which Richard sent to Walter archbishop of Rouen, on this same subject. "Richard, by the grace of God, king of England, etc. Know that our lord the king of the French, has returned home; and we, after repairing the damage and breaches of the city of Acre, in order to promote the Christian cause, and to fulfil the purpose of our vow, marched to Joppa, in company with the duke of Burgundy and his French followers, count Henry and his troops, and many other counts and barons. Whereas between Acre and Joppa the country is extensive and the way long; we at length, with much sweat and toil, came down to Caesarea; Saladin too lost several of his followers in this same march. When the army of God had rested some time at Joppa, we set out again on our proposed march; and when our advanced guard had gone forward and was pitching the camp near Assur, Saladin, with a large host of pagans, made an attack on our rear guard; but, by the divine favour, though only four battalions were opposed to him face to face, he was put to flight; they pursued him for one league, and made such a slaughter of the Saracen nobles on that day, St. Mary's eve, at Assur, as Saladin for forty years past has not in one day sustained. After this, under God's guidance, we came to the city of Joppa, and strengthened it with trenches and walls; it being our purpose, wherever we could reach, to promote the cause of Christianity as much as lay in our power. Saladin, indeed, since the day of the above mentioned discomfiture, has not dared to come to a close engagement with the Christians, but secretly lays snares for destroying the friends of the cross, as a lion in his den awaits


[1] Matthew Paris gives this sentence as follows:- "Severe conflicts however continually took place, in consequence of Saladin's continually hovering on the Christian army. Thus the king returned triumphant to Acre, and after a few days went to Joppa, not far from Caesarea, where he gave Saladin a disgraceful defeat, and obtained a glorious victory. He then bestowed the kingdom of Jerusalem on his nephew Henry, together with the widow of the marquis of Montferrat for a wife. At the same time he redeemed for a large sum of money the relics of many saints, which Saladin had taken".

A.D. 1191.] HENRY KING OF JERUSALEM. 109

sheep destined for the slaughter. On hearing, however, that we were marching with haste on Ascalon, he razed that city to the ground, and now, as if deprived of all plan and deliberation, he leaves all Syria to its fate; on which account we take courage, being in good hopes that in a short time the inheritance of our Lord will be entirely regained. Farewell, Farewell".

How king Richard gave the kingdom of Jerusalem to his nephew Henry.

On king Richard's return, as has been mentioned, to Ptolemais, he gave to his nephew Henry the kingdom of Jerusalem, with the wife of the marquis of Montferrat, as she was the heiress to the kingdom, since the death of her sister the queen of Jerusalem. This arrangement was willingly agreed to by Guy of Lusignan, formerly the sovereign of that kingdom, and for securing peace he received the island of Cyprus, which in the late war had been taken from the king of that island by the English king, to whom Guy did homage for it. The marquis had been lately slain at Tyre by the Saracen assassins; and at his death, the kingdom of Jerusalem, as has been said, belonged by hereditary right to his wife.

How king Richard redeemed all the relics of the Holy Land.

Saladin had some time before made prisoner Guy king of Jerusalem, and taken the cross of our Lord, soon after which he laid siege to Jerusalem. The inhabitants, who had remained in the city, being in consternation at their reverses, and despairing of being able to resist Saladin, at once surrendered the city to him; but he allowed none to depart from it unless they paid ten bezants each as a ransom. The rich at once ransomed themselves, but seven thousand men were found in the city, who had not the means of payment; but their fellow citizens compassionating their misfortune, by unanimous consent, took the gold and silver crosses, the cups and phylacteries, stripped our Lord's sepulchre of its metal, and the other ornaments found in the churches, and redeemed their poor townsmen. They also collected all the relics of the saints which could be found in the sanctuaries, and put them in four large ivory rollers. Saladin, on the surrender of the city, amongst other things which he had

110 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1191.

seized, had seen these, and making earnest inquiries what they contained, he ordered them to be taken to Baldach, and to be delivered to the caliph, that the Christians might no longer boast of the bones of dead men, nor believe that they had, as interceders for them in heaven, those whose bones they worshipped on earth. But the chief and patriarch of Antioch and others of the faith, by no means wishing to be despoiled of such a store of treasure, promised on oath to pay fifty-two thousand bezants to redeem these same relics, and if they should fail in payment of the aforesaid money on the day agreed on, that they would resign the said relics to him. According to this agreement, the chief of Antioch took the relics away with him under seal; and now all the followers of Christianity were overcome with grief and alarm because the time for payment fixed by Saladin was approaching, and the beforenamed chief had taken the relics away with him to restore them sealed, as he, received them, to that prince. But the English king Richard, who was at Furbie, heard of this, and knowing that the thing had been done in all due order, at once paid the prearranged sum to Saladin for the sacred relics, and piously retained the pledges of the saints, that these men of God, whose bones he had redeemed from impious hands on earth, might, by their intercession, assist his soul in heaven. Each coffer was of such a size and weight that four men could hardly carry it for any length of time.

The disarray of Arthur, the most famous king of the Britons.

In the same year the bones of Arthur, a renowned king of Britain, were found buried at Glastonbury, in a very old sarcophagus, near which two pyramids stood, and on these, letters had been carved out, but which were scarcely legible on account of their roughness and shapelessness. The occasion of their being found was as follows:- Certain people who were digging a grave in the same place to bury there a monk, who had during his life earnestly desired to be buried there, found a kind of sarcophagus, on which was placed a leaden cross with these words curved on it:- "Here lies the renowned Arthur, king of the Britons, buried in the island of Avalon". The place is surrounded on all sides by marshes, and was formerly called the "island of Avalon", that is, the isle of apples. In this year too, Robert, a canon of the

A.D. 1191.] DISHONESTY OF THE CHANCELLOR. 111

church of Lincoln, and son of William, seneschal of Normandy, was at Canterbury consecrated bishop of Winchester, by William, legate of the apostolic see.

How king Richard had suspicions regarding the chancellor.

At this time the most serious complaints came from day to day to the king of the pride of his chancellor, and the injuries he inflicted on many; he therefore wrote to the nobles of England as follows:- "We, Richard, king of England, to William our marshal, G. Fitz-Peter, H. Bardolph, and W. Bruyere, etc. If by chance our chancellor, to whom we entrusted the management of affairs in our kingdom, shall not have faithfully performed his duties, we order you to take measures for managing the affairs of the kingdom at your own discretion, both as regards escheats and fortresses". At this same time William archbishop of Rouen, came to England, bearing letters from the king to this effect: "We, Richard, by the grace of God, king of England, to William, marshal, and others his compeers, greeting. Know that we have thought fit, for the defence and arrangement of our kingdom, to send to you our beloved father William archbishop of Rouen, who has been recalled from his pilgrimage by the consent of the supreme pontiff; wherefore we command and strictly enjoin you that, in the management of our affairs, you order all things with his advice; and it is our will that, as long as we are on our pilgrimage, you mutually take counsel together in arranging all matters, he with you, and you with him". [1]

Of the disgraceful fall of the chancellor.

In this same year on the Saturday next after Michaelmas, at the request of earl John, brother of the king of England, the English nobles assembled near the bridge of the Loddon, between Reading and Windsor, to hold a conference on matters of importance to the king and kingdom. But on the day after the conference, the archbishop of Rouen, as well as the archbishop of York, and all the bishops who had assembled at Reading to be present at the conference, in


[1] "This yeur died pope Clement, and was succeeded by Celestine, by whom the emperor Henry was crowned on the eve of saint John the Baptist". M. Paris.

112 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1191.

solemn form, with lighted candles, excommunicated all those who had advised, aided, or commanded the abduction from the church, and the unworthy treatment and imprisonment of the archbishop of York, especially naming Albert de Marines, and Alexander Puintil. On the Monday following, the before mentioned earl, knowing that the chancellor feared an attack from him, proposed to him, in order to lull all suspicion, to come to a conference at a safe place near Windsor Castle, as the chancellor had requested, and gave him a guarantee for his safety by the bishop of London; the chancellor, however, not satisfied with this security, fled immediately, and took refuge in the tower of London. The earl on learning the flight of the chancellor, came himself to London, but as he was about to enter the city, he was met by a body of the chancellor's knights, who with drawn swords made a fierce attack on him and his followers, and slew a nobleman called Roger de Planes. On the following day, Tuesday, the said earl with the archbishops, bishops, knights and barons, assembled in the chapter-house of St. Paul's, and in the chancellor's presence, after a long discussion, swore fealty to king Richard; earl John first took the oath, and was followed by the two archbishops, and all the bishops, and the knights and barons assembled. On the Thursday following this meeting, another conference, at which the before mentioned nobles were present, was held in the eastern part of the Tower of London, at which it was definitively determined, by unanimous consent, that the kingdom of England should not again be under the rule of a man, by whose conduct the church was degraded, and the people reduced to want; for this same chancellor and his satellites had so exhausted all the wealth of the kingdom, that they did not even leave a man a silver belt, a woman her necklace, or a nobleman a ring, or money, or any thing of value to a Jew; they had likewise so emptied the king's treasury, that, after the lapse of two years, nothing could be found in his coffers except keys and empty vessels. It was also provided, that all the fortresses, which the chancellor had at will entrusted to the charge of his followers, should be given up, and in the first place the Tower of London; and these resolutions the chancellor swore he would comply with. In pursuance of this, on the follow ing Tuesday he left the Tower

A.D. 1191.] THE CHANCELLOK IN WOMAN'S CLOTHES. 113

with all his household, and crossed the river Thames to Bermondsey, leaving his brothers Henry and Osbert as security for the restoration of the castles; for he had sworn too that he would not leave the kingdom till the fortresses had been given up. He thence went to Canterbury, and took the cross of the holy pilgrimage, laying aside that of the legateship, which he had borne for a year and a half after the death of pope Clement, to the detriment as well of the Roman as the English church. After doing this he went to Dover, attended by Gilbert bishop of Rochester, and Henry de Cornhill, sheriff of Kent, and thinking he could blind the eyes of the sailors there, he invented a new kind of fraud; he converted the man into the woman, inasmuch as he exchanged the priest's robe for the harlot's gown. He clothed himself in a woman's green gown, with a cape of the same colour, and with a hood over his head, he went down to the beach carrying some linen cloth as if for sale. As the priest thus disguised was sitting on a rock near the shore waiting for a fair wind, a sailor who wished for some sport with the woman, was astonished to find breeches on a female, and immediately shouted aloud, "Come here, all of you, come here"! said he, "and look at a man in woman's dress"! A number of idle women assembled, and eagerly inquired the price of the cloth which he carried for sale: he made them no answer, as not understanding the English language, on which they consulted amongst themselves; and suspecting him to be an impostor, they laid hands on the veil which covered his mouth, and pulling it down from his nose backward, they discovered the features of a man, dark, and lately shaved. Immediately they shouted to each other, saying, "Come, let us stone this monster who is a disgrace to both sexes". A crowd of men and women got together there, and, tearing the hood from his head, they threw him down and dragged him ignominiously by his sleeves and cape over the sand and stones, injuring the prelate much. At length his followers came up to release him, but without success, for the people followed him up with insatiable eagerness, reviled him, assailed him with blows, spat on him, and after dragging him through the streets, shut him up as a prisoner in a cellar. And thus he became an object of derision to the populace, and would that he had only disgraced himself and

114 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1192.

not the whole priesthood; he who had dragged the archbishop of York to prison was himself dragged to prison, the captor was made captive, the binder was himself bound, the incarcerator was incarcerated; so that the degree of punishment may be considered as commensurate with that of the offence. At length, regardless of the hostages he had left, and the oath he had made not to leave the kingdom of England before the castles were surrendered, the said chancellor crossed sea into Normandy on the 29th of October.

An unheard-of event.

In the same year, a young man of the bishop of London's household, taught a hawk especially to hunt teals; and once, at the sound of the instrument called a tabor by those who dwelt on the river's bank, a teal suddenly flew quickly away; but the hawk baffled of his booty, intercepted a pike swimming in the water, seized him, and carried him apparently forty feet on dry land. The bishop, astonished at this singular circumstance, sent the hawk and pike, as a curiosity to future times, to earl John, on the 22nd of October.

Of the death of Reginald, archbishop elect of Canterbury.

[A.D. 1192.] Reginald bishop of Bath, who had been elected to the archbishopric by the monks of Canterbury, died on Christmas day, twenty-nine days after his appointment, and was buried in his own church at Bath, near the great altar.

The king of the French arrived at Paris from his pilgrimage.

About this time the king of the French returned from his pilgrimage, and was received at Paris in solemn procession, on the 27th of December.

Of the capture of Darum by king Richard.

After Easter in this same year, king Richard came to Darum, the last fort of Christendom next to Babylon, and after a siege of five days took it, and allowed the garrison to depart on payment of a heavy ransom.

How king Richard took seven thousand camels laden with treasure.

After this victory, the duke of Burgundy came to king Richard with the French troops, of whom he had, by the

A.D. 1192.] CONQUESTS OF KING RICHARD. 115

authority of the king of the French, been appointed leader and commander-in-chief; to this duke, king Richard had at the preceding festival, given thirty thousand bezants, on condition of his faithfully standing by him in attacking the enemies of Christ, and, at a council held by them, they determined to go without fail to Jerusalem. When king Richard, with all his army, had reached Castle-Ernald and Bethonople, near Emaus, some Bedouins, who were under obligations to the king, brought him news that a large company of merchants were on their way from Babylon to Jerusalem, with seven thousand camels, laden with merchandize of various kinds, and that this company was under the convoy of some of the bravest picked troops of Saladin's army. The king marched with a few soldiers to meet this company, and near the Red Well he surprised them all, and carrying off the camels with their burdens, he liberally distributed his prize amongst his army. He afterwards returned to the before mentioned camp, and prudently placed armed garrisons in each city and castle. [1]

Of a certain woman who was friendly to the Christians, especially to king Richard.

King Richard returned victoriously with all his spoil to Castle-Ernald, which is three miles distant from Jerusalem, and earnestly exhorted each of the chiefs to march and lay


[1] "About this time, the duke of Austria came to discharge his vow of pilgrimage by serving in the Christian army, and to adore the places where our Saviour had trodden. When his marshals had engaged a lodging for him, and made the necessary preparations, a Norman knight, of king Richard's household, came in haste, and beginning foolishly to bluster after the manner of his nation, asserted that he had the greatest right to those quarters, by having them assigned to him as first comer. The quarrel began, and the noise reached the ears of the king, who, showing himself favourable to the Norman, was inflamed with anger against the duke's men, and not heeding our Lord's admonition to go and see how matters were, gave hasty and unbecoming orders that the duke's flag, which had been erected over his lodgings, should be thrown into a ditch. The duke thus deprived of a lodging, went, amid the taunts of the Normans, to complain of it to the king, but he gained nothing but sneers for his pains; and thus, being slighted by the king, he with tears invoked the King of kings to avenge his wrong, according as it is written, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord'. The duke soon after this, returned in confusion to his own country, and king Richard afterwards blushed with shame at the deed".

116 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1192.

siege to Jerusalem, whilst they had such a plentiful supply of everything, namely, of provisions and beasts of burden, and reminded them of the great benefits conferred on them in their pilgrimage by the divine clemency. Moreover, the king was encouraged to this in no slight degree by a religious woman, a Syrian by country, who dwelt in the city of Jerusalem. This woman had communicated to him all the secrets of the city, how frightened and spiritless the Saracens were become on account of his arrival; she also told him that all the gates of the city were locked except St. Stephen's gate, at the north side of the city, near which she advised him to station his army, and also sent him a key by means of which he could unlock the gates. After, however, it had been determined by all to lay siege to Jerusalem, the duke of Burgundy, taking counsel with the templars and the French chiefs, was induced to revoke his determination; they asserted that the duke with all the French, would incur their lord the French king's severest displeasure, if, by their aid, king Richard should triumph over so great and renowned a city, and none of the credit of the victory were ascribed to the duke himself, or to the French, although it was by them that such a great city was taken.

How the duke of Burgundy was bribed by Saladin, and departed from the Holy Land.

In the meantime, messengers were sent by the duke to Saladin, but for what end past and future events will show. One night, whilst the English king was staying at the before named camp, and the duke with his followers was at Bethonople, a spy of king Richard's, by name Jumaus, heard the noise of camels and men in motion coming down the mountain: he stealthily followed them, and found that they were people sent by Saladin to the duke's camp, with five camels laden with gold, silver, and merchandize, and with silk stuffs, and many other presents. The spy hurried back to his master, and told him all these circumstances, and then taking some of the king's attendants, set out cautiously on the road by which the messengers would return, to lie in wait for them; and as they were on their way back he took them prisoners, and brought them into the presence of the king: one of them, after being put to torture, unwillingly revealed

A.D. 1192.] PROPHECY OF A HERMIT. 117

all that had passed between Saladin and the duke. At daylight, the king, after removing the messengers out of sight, ordered the duke as well as the patriarch and prior of Bethlehem to be sent for; and when they were together in a private place, he immediately made oath in their presence upon the sacred relics, that he stood prepared, as had been agreed between them, and confirmed by oath, to march with his army to the attack of Jerusalem and the city of Baroch, without possession of which the king of Jerusalem could not be crowned. After he had sworn thus, the king called on the duke to take an oath to the same effect; this the duke refused to do, at which the king was greatly enraged, and at once called him a traitor, and reproached him with receiving various presents from Saladin, and concerning the secret messengers and communications which had passed between them. The duke denied, and endeavoured to defend himself against these accusations, but the king ordered the messengers whom the spy had made prisoners, to be brought before them: after they had been brought in, and had revealed all the secret proceedings, the king ordered his servants to shoot them in sight of the whole army, although both armies were ignorant of the reason for such cruelty, and did not know what those men had done, or whence they had come. As for the duke, he was so overcome with shame and rage at being proved a traitor, that, as soon as he could, he left with the French army, and set out for Acre; but the king learning his intention, sent word to the commanders of that city not to allow a man of them to enter it, so they pitched their camp outside the place.

Of a certain hermit, who prophesied that Jerusalem would not be subdued.

On the night after the duke's departure in the manner described, there came to the king a devotee, who brought him a message from a holy hermit, to the effect that he should hasten to see him. The king rose, although it was night, and taking five hundred attendants with him, went to the man of God. This holy man had lived for a long time on the mountain at St. Samuel's, and was endowed with the spirit of prophecy; from the day of the capture of our Lord's cross and the taking of the holy place, he had eaten nothing but herbs and roots, and wore no other covering than

118 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1192.

that of his hair and lengthened beard. The king gazed for some time in astonishment at the hermit, and then asked him what he wanted with him. The holy man, delighted at the king's arrival, took him with him into his oratory, and there removing a stone from the wall, he drew forth a wooden cross, and devoutly held it out to the king, declaring that without doubt this cross was made from the wood of our Lord's cross. He also, amongst other things, told the king that he would not by any means obtain possession of that country at present, although he had acted most perseveringly, and, in order that the king might the more readily put faith in what he said, he declared that he should himself depart this life on the seventh day from that time. The king, in order to prove the event of his words, took the hermit with him to his camp, and, as he had foretold, he died on the seventh day after.

Of the miserable death of the duke of Burgundy.

On the day after these events the king moved his camp, and following the route of the duke of Burgundy, pitched his camp near that chief outside the city of Acre; but scarcely had he and his weary army rested for three days, when there came to him in alarm some messengers, who had been sent from Joppa with the news that Saladin with his whole army had laid siege to that city, which they said would soon be captured, and the knights and soldiers, whom he had placed there as a garrison, be slain, unless he could soon bring assistance to the besieged. At receipt of this intelligence the whole Christian army was thrown into great alarm and sorrow: amongst the rest king Richard in a state of great anxiety endeavoured both by his own exertions and those of others to bring back the offended duke of Burgundy to terms of agreement and peace, and earnestly begged him to give his assistance to prevent such a great calamity. That chief, however, disdained to listen to their entreaties, and not wishing to be annoyed by their requests, set out with his followers that night towards Tyre; but immediately on his arrival there he was struck by a visitation of God, and becoming insane, terminated his life by a miserable death.

A.D. 1192.] RAISING THE SIEGE OF JOPPA. 119

How king Richard forced Saladin to raise the siege of Joppa.

King Richard, after the death of the duke of Burgundy, embarked on board his ships of war with a small force, and hastened to Joppa to render assistance to the besieged; but owing to the violence of the winds and the heavy sea his ships were driven in a contrary direction towards Cyprus, and the inhabitants of Acre, seeing this, suspected that the king was returning home. But the king and those with him, in spite of the fury of the winds, by means of strong rowing, made an oblique course, and on the third day, at glimmer of dawn, they arrived with but three ships at Joppa. In the meantime Saladin, after frequent assaults, had now taken the city, and had slain all the infirm and wounded soldiers, who, on account of their weakness remained there; but five of them bolder than the rest, whom Richard had placed there in charge of the city; left it and betook themselves to the castle, where they were debating about surrendering the castle before they should be compelled to do so by assaults of the enemy. This they would quickly have done had they not been forewarned by the patriarch, who was allowed free passage between the two armies, that the army of Saladin had, to avenge the deaths of their friends and relatives whom the English king had beheaded without mercy in many places, sworn to slay them all, notwithstanding they should have Saladin's free permission to depart. Thus they were in great danger of death, and were in doubt as to what they should do, considering the number and ferocity of their enemies, and the few there were of themselves, and having no confidence in the king's coming to assist them; when however, they learned that the king had arrived they became bolder and defended themselves courageously. The king, knowing from the fierce struggles both of besiegers and besieged, that the castle of the city was not yet taken, leaped nimbly into the sea armed as he was, and with his followers, boldly threw himself like a raging lion into the thickest of the enemy's troops, hewing them down right and left. The Turks being unable to endure this sudden attack, and thinking that he had brought a more numerous army with him, soon abandoned the siege, exhorting each other to fly, and announcing the inopportune arrival of the king: and their panic was such that their flight could not be checked till they

120 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1192

entered the city of Ramula, Saladin all the time leading their rapid flight in his chariot. King Richard having thus put the enemy to flight, pitched his camp in the plain outside the city, to the great and unexpected joy of the besieged.

How king Richard with a small force defeated sixty-two thousand pagans at Joppa.

On the day after his defeat Saladin was told that the king had come with only a very small army, and that he had no more than eighty knights, besides four hundred of his crossbowmen in company with him, on hearing which he was greatly enraged and indignant with his army, because they, so many thousands, had been put to the rout by such a few. He thereupon, to the confusion of his army, there counted them out, and issued his imperial edict that sixty-two thousand of them should return immediately to Joppa, take the king himself prisoner, and bring him alive on the following day into his presence. The king and his army were resting that night in security, and without fear of any inopportune attack, when at daybreak the whole army of the infidels came up and entirely surrounded the king's camp, and, that they might have no chance of escaping into the city, an immense force had stationed themselves between it and the royal camp. The king and all the Christian forces, aroused by their bustle and shouting, were wonder-struck at seeing themselves hemmed in on every side by the enemies of Christ. The king, however, perceiving their imminent dangers, immediately armed himself, and mounted his horse as if he flew with wings, and laying aside all fear of death, as if he were emboldened by the number of his enemies, encouraged by his voice his men to the combat; he himself with eleven knights, who alone out of the whole number were mounted, boldly broke through the ranks of the enemy, with his drawn sword and quivering lance, and dealt thundering blows with his clashing sword on the helmed heads of the enemy, and freeing the Arab horses from their proper riders, he distributed them to his own knights, who were on foot. They, nimbly mounting them, with the king always leading the way, dispersed the troops of the enemy on all sides, and put to death without mercy all that came in their way. The pagans falling under the strokes of the enemy uttered

A.D. 1192.] ARRIVAL OF THE CHRISTIAN ARMY. 121

miserable cries and yielded their souls to Tartarus. In this battle the crossbowmen took the lead, and behaved moat praiseworthily, for by their incomparable valour especially the enemy's attack was repelled, and their fierce audacity humbled. How much the king's valour shone in this battle, and how much the prowess of his men, how many thousands of the enemy he put to flight, would seem incredible, were it not that the divine hand protected him. For who would ever believe that eighty knights could so invincibly cope with sixty-two thousand men for almost an entire day, could endure the showers of their missiles, and the attacks of their javelins without retreating a foot from their first position, but could moreover disperse their adversaries in all directions, and after putting them to flight, have thus gained a joyful and unlooked-for victory over them, unless they relied on the assistance of God, and believed that they were under the protection of Heaven? At length the garrison of Joppa, beholding the invincible bravery of the king and his followers, boldly sallied forth, and suddenly falling upon the enemy in the rear, by repeated attacks on their part as well as on that of the king, the infidels turned their backs and fled in confusion, with great loss, taking to woods and caves for safety.

How the army of the Christians arrived to the assistance of king Richard.

In the meantime news had reached the army, which had been left at Ptolemais by the king, that he was hemmed in on all sides at Joppa by the enemy, and was placed in great peril, unless they speedily went to his succour. This news struck fear and grief into all, and they all had thoughts of flight; but the more courageous part of the army assembled to deliberate on the chances of their being able to render the king any assistance. They therefore by common consent marched to Caesarea, not daring to go further for fear of the enemy; and being there told of the unexpected victory of the king, they were overcome with joy, and gave praises to God as the preserver of them all. This battle took place at the feast of St. Peter ad


[1] Matthew Paris adds here:- "When Saladin heard these things he was compelled to glorify Christ the Lord and God of the Christians, adding that king Richard was the most wonderful prince in the world, if he would only be less prodigal of his life, for, said he, it did not become a king to expose himself to such dangers; but any king who had a thousand such warriors under him might soon vanquish the whole world". At the same time also Saladin, for vengeance' sake, commanded a captive, who had once been prince of Antioch, and had now been worn down by long confinement, to be brought before him. "What would you do", said he looking grimly on him, "to me, if you had me prisoner as I have you"! The captive remained silent, and Saladin adjured him to speak the truth. "Then", said the prisoner, "you should be capitally punished, and no gold should ransom you, because you are an enemy to our Lord: though you are a king as I am, I would cut off your head, because you persist in your own houndish laws". To which Saladin replied, "I think you will never have such power over me. Out of your own mouth will I judge you, for I will cut off your head". He then ordered a sword to be brought, and the captive offering his neck, exclaimed, "This is what I always prayed for, and I am glad to receive death at your hands". His hands were then bound and Paladin cut off his head. Who will deny that this was glorious martyrdom? See Passio Reginaldi in Petri Blesensis Opera, vol. iii.

122 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1192.

How king Richard determined to return home.

After this unequalled victory the king remained seven weeks at Joppa, during which time a deadly disease, caused by the unwholesome atmosphere, made destructive attacks on him and his followers, and all who were seized with this disease perished, with the exception of the king, who was preserved in health by divine favour. Moreover the king at this time discovered that his money was by degrees falling short, owing to the bountiful distributions he had unadvisedly made amongst his soldiers, and finding that the French army, and others, whom, on the duke of Burgundy's death, he had at great expense kept together and retained with him, were anxious to leave him, and that his own army was diminished in number by the deadly disease and by conflicts with the enemy, whilst their numbers daily increased, he took counsel with the templars, hospitallers, and the chiefs who were with him, and made arrangements to return home immediately, binding himself by oath to return to the siege of the holy city as soon as he had reinforced his army, and supplied himself with money. Besides the foregoing reasons for his departure, what had much the most weight with him was, that he had been told that his brother John, whom he had left in England, was conspiring to bring England to subjection to him, and the result proved that he wished to do so. As it was evident that the departure of such a great army, and such a prince as Richard, could not but expose those who

A.D. 1192.] RETURN OF KING RICHARD. 123

remained there to great danger, and hazard the loss of the country they had subdued, a truce was, at the request and by the advice of both armies, agreed on between the Christians and pagans for a period of three years, to commence from the ensuing Easter.

How king Richard returned from his pilgrimage.

Accordingly in the autumn, when his ships were ready and all his arrangements made, king Richard with his queen, and her sister Johanna the queen of Sicily, and his nobles, set sail to cross the Mediterranean. Whilst on their voyage unusual storms arose, and they suffered many hardships in reaching land, some suffered shipwreck, some, after being shipwrecked, escaped to shore, almost naked, and with loss of their property; but a few reached the destined port in safety. Those however, who escaped the dangers of the sea, found themselves everywhere set upon by bands of enemies on shore, by whom they were made prisoners and robbed, and some were obliged to pay heavy ransoms; there was no place of refuge for them, as if both land and sea had conspired against the retreating crusaders. From this it is sufficiently evident that their departure, before the object of their pilgrimage was accomplished, was by no means pleasing to God, who had determined after a short time to enrich them in that country, by bringing their enemies into subjection to them, and bestowing on them the land on behalf of which they had undertaken such a toilsome pilgrimage. For while they were thus absent, that invader of the Holy Land, Saladin, in Lent following closed a wicked life by a miserable death, and they, if they had been present at that time, would have very easily obtained possession of the Holy Land, whilst the sons and relatives of the same Saladin were disputing amongst themselves and contending for their father's kingdom.

How the said king escaped from many snares laid for him by his enemies.

King Richard with some of his followers, after being harassed by storms for six weeks, approached the coast of Barbary, about three, days' sail from Marseilles, where, from an increasing report, he learned that the count of St. Giles, and all the other princes, through whose territories he was about to travel, had unanimously conspired against him, and

124 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1192.

everywhere laid snares for him; he therefore arranged to return secretly by way of Germany. He accordingly put back with a few of his followers, amongst whom were Baldwin of Bethune, and Master Philip, his clerk, Anselm [1] his chaplain, and some brothers of the templars; this party put into a town in Slavonia called Gazara, and thence they immediately sent a messenger to the nearest castle to ask for peace and safe conduct from the lord of that province, who was nephew of the marquis. The king had on his return purchased of a Pisan merchant, for nine hundred bezants, three jewels, called carbuncles, or more commonly "rubies"; one of these he had, whilst on board ship, enclosed in a gold ring, and this he sent by the said messenger to the governor of the castle. When the messenger was asked by the governor who they were that requested safe conduct, he answered that they were pilgrims returning from Jerusalem. The governor then asked what their names were, to which the messenger replied, "One of them is called Baldwin de Bethune, the other Hugh, a merchant, who has also sent you a ring". The lord of the castle looking more attentively at the ring said, "He is not called Hugh, but king Richard", and then added, "Although I have sworn to seize all pilgrims coming from those parts, and not to accept of any gift from them, nevertheless for the worthiness of the gift and also of the sender, to him who has so honoured me a stranger to him, I both return his present and grant him free permission to depart". With this the messenger returned and told the king all that had passed. In alarm at this discovery, the party procured horses, and in the middle of the night set out secretly from the above-named town, and for some time proceeded without interruption through that country; but that same governor had sent a scout after them to his brother, telling him to seize the king when he came into his territory. When therefore the king had arrived there, and had got into the city where the before-mentioued lord's brother lived, the latter immediately sent for a trusty friend of his, called Roger, of Norman race, an inhabitant of Argenton, who had lived with him for twenty years, and whose niece he had married, and ordered him carefully to search all houses where pilgrims were lodged, and if possible


[1] Who saw and heard all those things and told them to us. M. Paris.

A.D. 1192.] IMPRISONMENT OF KING RICHARD. 125

to find out the king either by his language or any other sign, promising to give him half the city if he should take the king. This messenger, by inquiring at the dwellings of the pilgrims separately, at last found the king, who, after long dissembling, was compelled by the entreaties and tears of the faithful inquirer to acknowledge who he was, on which he with tears besought the king to take instantly to flight, and gave him a very excellent horse. After this he returned to his master and told him, that, what he had heard of the king's arrival was untrue, but that they were Baldwin de Bethune and his companions returning from their pilgrimage. His master, however, flew into a rage, and ordered them all to be seized; but the king with William D'Estaing and a boy, who understood the German language, escaped from the city by stealth, and remained on the road for three days and nights without food, when, driven by the calls of hunger, he diverged to a village, called Gynatia, on the Danube, where at that time, to complete his misfortunes, the duke of Austria was stopping.

How king Richard was taken by the duke, and thrown into prison.

King Kichard having thus landed in Austria, he sent his boy to the town of Gynatia to market, to buy food for his hungry attendants. The boy, on going to the market, made a show of several bezants, and behaved in a haughty and pompous manner, on which he was seized by the citizens who asked who he was, to which he replied that he was the servant of a rich merchant, who had arrived at that town after a three days' journey: they on this let him go, and he went stealthily to the secret dwelling of the king, and advised him to fly at once, telling what had happened to him. The king, however, wished, after his harassing voyage, to rest for a few days in the above-named town, and, having occasion to purchase necessaries, this same boy often went to the public market: and on one occasion, on St. Thomas the apostle's day, he happened incautiously to carry his master the king's gloves under his belt. The magistrates of the place seeing them, had him again apprehended, and after inflicting various tortures on him, and beating him, threatened to pull out his tongue and cut it off, if he did not at once confess the truth. The boy at length was compelled by

126 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1193.

these tortures to tell them how the matter stood. The magistrates immediately sent word to the duke, and surrounded the king's house, insultingly ordering him to give himself up quietly; the king, however, undismayed by their tumultuous shouts, and seeing that even his prowess could be of no avail against such a number of barbarians, ordered the duke to be fetched, promising to give himself up to him alone; and on the latter coming up, he surrendered himself with his sword. The duke, delighted at this, took the king with him in an honourable way, but afterwards delivered him to the custody of his soldiers, with orders that they were to keep a most strict guard over him, with drawn swords day and night. Now, it must not be considered that this dreadful misfortune came to pass without the decree of the Almighty, although it is not revealed to us; whether it was to punish the king's own errors in his youth, or to punish the faults of his subjects, or that even the said king might be recalled to repentance and a just atonement for his crime, in having, by the assistance and advice of the French king, besieged his father in the flesh, king Henry, when ill in his bed, at the city of Maine; for although he did not slay him with his sword, yet, by frequent attacks he forced him to leave that place, and it cannot be doubted but that all these circumstances were the cause of his death. In this year too, Savary, archdeacon of Northampton, was elected bishop of Bath; he then went to Rome, and was there ordained a priest, and on the 19th of September he received consecration from Alban bishop of Albano.

How the duke of Austria sold the king of England to the emperor.

[A.D. 1193.] King Richard remained a prisoner of the duke of Austria till that prince sold him to the Roman emperor for sixty thousand pounds of silver, Cologne weight, and then on the Tuesday after Palm Sunday he caused him to be carefully guarded; and that he might compel the king to pay an immoderate sum for his ransom, he ordered him to be imprisoned in Trivallis (Treves), from which prison no one who had entered there up to that time had ever come out again, and of which place Aristotle says in his fifth book, "Bonum est maetare parentes in Trivallis", and elsewhere it is said, "Sunt loca, sunt gentes, quibus est mactare parentes". Into this place was the

A.D. 1193.] ACCUSATIONS AGAINST RICHARD. 127

king put under a strong guard of soldiers and attendants, who accompanied him wherever he went with drawn swords, day and night, and even kept guard by turns round his couch, not allowing any of his own followers to remain with him at night. None of these circumstances could ever cloud the calm countenance of the king, but he always seemed cheerful and agreeable in his conversation, and brave and daring in his acts, as time, place, cause, or person required. To others I leave the relation of his jokes to his guards; how he made them drunk, and assaulted their huge persons by way of amusement.

How the emperor accused king Richard in many things, and how the king prudently replied to them.

The emperor for a long time cherished feelings of anger and malice against the king, and did not even deign to receive him into his presence, or even to speak to him; for he complained that the king had offended him and his friends in many things, and pretended that he had many charges against him. At length, after the interposition of friends from time to time, especially of the abbat of Cluni, and William the king's chancellor, the emperor called together his bishops, dukes, and knights, and ordered the king to be brought into his presence, and there accused him of many offences before all of them. In the first place, to wit, that it was by Richard's advice and assistance that he, the emperor, had lost the kingdom of Sicily and Apulia, which of right belonged to him on the death of king William, and to obtain which he had collected a very large army, and spent an endless sum of money, he, the said king, faithfully promising him his assistance to obtain that kingdom from Tancred. He next, with regard to the king of Cyprus, a relation of his own, accused Richard of having unjustly dethroned and imprisoned that monarch, and of having forcibly invaded his country, robbed his treasury, and sold the island to a foreigner. He next accused him of the death of the marquis of Montferrat, his heir, asserting that it was owing to his treachery and machinations that that nobleman had been slain by the Assassins; and that he had also sent the same people to slay his lord the king of the French, with whom he had, during their pilgrimage, kept no faith in

128 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1193.

common, as had been agreed, and confirmed by oath, between them. Lastly, he complained that he had at Joppa thrown into the dirt the flag of his relation, the duke of Austria, in contempt of him, and had always insulted his Germans in the Holy Land by offensive words and conduct.

After these and the like charges had been made by the emperor, the English king at once stood forth in the midst of the assembly; and replying to the charges one by one, spoke so clearly and convincingly, that he was looked upon with admiration and respect by all, and no suspicion of his being guilty of the offences imputed to him any longer remained in the minds of his hearers. For he plainly proved the truth and order of his words by veritable assertions and likely argument of the case, so that he quashed all the charges, and did not withhold the truth of what had happened. He firmly disavowed the accusation of treachery, or of his being the plotter of any prince's murder, asserting that he would prove his innocence of such charges as the court of the emperor should decide. After he had for a long time pleaded before the emperor and his nobles, in answer to the charges most ably, the emperor, admiring his eloquence, rose, and sending for the king to come to him, he embraced him, and from that time behaved with kindness and leniency towards him, and treated him with the greatest familiarity. [1]

How king Richard paid a fine of a hundred and forty thousand pounds for his ransom.

After these events, on the mediation of friends from time to time, the ransom of the king was for a long time discussed; and at length the result was, that a hundred and forty thousand marks of silver, Cologne weight, were to be paid to the emperor for his ransom money before they could come to any agreement. Accordingly on St. Peter and St. Paul the apostles' day, the bishops, dukes, and barons, made oath that, as soon as the king should have paid the above-named sum, he should be at liberty to return to hia own kingdom. The news of this treaty was brought to England by the king's chancellor, William bishop of Ely, who brought with him


[1] "The duke of Austria was afterwards excommunicated by our lord the pope and all his cardinals: but on his death-bed, though he did not give satisfaction; yet, lest he should fall into desperation, he was absolved by his bishops, and died horribly". M. Paris.

A.D. 1193.] KING RICHARD'S INNOCENCE. 129

letters from our lord the king, and also the golden bull of the emperor; and a warrant was immediately issued by the justiciaries of the king, that all bishops, priests, carls, and barons, abbacies and priories, should contribute a fourth part of their incomes towards the king's ransom, and moreover they gave their gold and silver vessels for that work of piety. But John bishop of Norwich took half the value of the vessels throughout the whole of his diocese, and gave half to the king. The Cistertian order, which, up to that time, had been free from all tax, gave all their wool for the ransom of the king. Indeed, no church, no order, rank, or sex, was passed over without being compelled to aid in releasing him. Forewarnings of this calamity had appeared in unusual seasons - inundations of rivers, awful storms of thunder and rain three or four times in each month, with dreadful lightning throughout the whole year; all which caused a scantiness in the crops of fruit and corn.

Exculpation of king Richard from the charge of the murder of the marquis,

The English king, when he was unjustly, as has been said, accused of the murder of the marquis, sent messengers to the chief of the assassins, asking him to write to the duke or the emperor of Austria to prove his innocence; and from him the king obtained the following letter:- "The old man of the mountain to Leopold duke of Austria, greeting. Whereas several kings and princes beyond sea have accused our lord Richard king of the English, of the murder of the marquis; I swear by the God who reigns eternally, and by the law which we observe, that no blame attaches to him in regard of the death of that noble. The cause of the marquis's death was as follows: One of our brotherhood was coming in a vessel from Salteleia to our part of the country, when a storm drove him into Tyre, where the marquis took him prisoner, murdered him, and took possession of a large sum of money belonging to him. We sent messengers to the marquis asking him to restore to us our brother's money, and to make reparation to us for his murder, which he would not do, but insulted our messengers and charged the murder of our brother on Reginald lord of Sidon, yet we, by means of friends, ascertained of a truth that it was the marquis himself who caused the

130 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1193.

man to be murdered and robbed. We again sent another messenger, named Edrisus, to him, and this one he wished to throw into the sea; but our friends hastened his departure from Tyre, and he returned at once and told us these things. From that hour we desired the death of the marquis, and accordingly sent two of our brothers to Tyre, and they there openly, and almost in the face of all the inhabitants, slew him. This was the cause of the marquis's death, and we indeed speak truly in saying that our lord king Richard had no hand in the death of that noble, on whose account he has suffered injury unjustly and without cause. Also be assured that we do not kill any man in this way for the sake of reward or for money, but only when he hast first inflicted an injury on us. And know that we have written this letter in our house, at our fort of Messiae, in the presence of our brethren, and sealed it with our seal, in the middle of September, in the year one thousand five hundred from the time of Alexander".

How Hugh bishop of Chester was robbed of all his goods.

About this time, Hugh bishop of Chester was hastening with large presents, which he had procured with the greatest trouble, to see the king; but as he was stopping a night near Canterbury to rest, he was seized and robbed of all he had with him. Matthew de Clera, castellan of Dover, showed favour to the robbers, for which he was excommunicated by the archbishop, but it is not known whether he atoned for it.

Of the death of Saladin, and succcession of Saphadin.

About this same time Saladin, the public enemy of truth and the cross, was struck by the visitation of God at a feast at Nazareth, and expired suddenly, whereupon his brother Saphadin usurped the sovereignty there. But there were with him the seven sons of Saladin, against whom the sons of Nouredin, who had been expelled from his father's kingdom by Saladin, marched with a host of Persians. Of these two brothers, namely, Saladin and Saphadin, and their offspring, and the succession of their sons, little need be said for the elucidation of this history, except that they were pre-eminent in every science of paganism. Saladin, at his death, which has been mentioned, left nine sons heirs to his kingdom, but

A.D. 1193.] SAPHADIN'S FIFTEEN SONS. 131

Saphadin, his younger brother, slew all his nephews except one named Nouradin; he held possession of Aleppo, with all the neighbouring cities, castles, towns, and other fortified places, which were more than two hundred in number. Saphadin, who made himself master of his brother's kingdom, and slew his nephews, had fifteen sons, seven of whom he made his heirs in the kingdoms which he had acquired by murder. The first of the sons was named Melealim, and for his inheritance he had the government of Alexandria, Babylon, Cairo, Damietta, and Canisia, with the whole country of Egypt; his son Coradin has Damascus, Jerusalem, and all the country of the Christians, containing above three hundred cities, fortifications, and castles, besides villages. His third son Melchiphais, holds the district called Gemella, with the whole of the province, in which there are more than four hundred cities, fortifications, and castles, besides villages. His fourth son, Mehemodain by name, has possession of the kingdom of Asia, which contains more than six hundred cities, fortifications and castles, besides villages. His fifth son Meehisemaphat, holds the country of Sarcho, where, Abel was killed; this kingdom contains nine hundred and more places, including cities, fortifications, and castles, besides villages. His sixth son, named Machinoth, rules the country of Baldach, where resides the pope of the Saracens, called the caliph, and who is feared and reverenced in their law as the Roman pontiff is amongst ourselves: this priest can only be seen twice a month, when he goes forth with his disciples, whom he keeps like a pope or cardinal, to the mosque, where Mahomet the god of the Agarenes is said to be, and there, after he has bowed his head and made a prayer according to their law, all present before they go forth from the temple, eat and drink, after which he returns to his palace. That Mahomet is visited and worshipped there, as a Christian nation worships Christ crucified; moreover the city of Baldach, where Mahomet and the caliph are, is the capital of the nation of the Agarenes, as Rome is of Christian nations. Saphadin's seventh son, named Salaphat, has no country for his inheritance, but dwells with his brother Melealim, and is his standard-bearer; and to the same Melealim, each of his brothers sends yearly a thousand Saracens, a hundred bezants, and two chargers well equipped. Saphadin their father, when he used to visit his sons, came with his

132 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1193.

head covered with a red silk hood, and all his sons went to meet him bowing their heads four times to the earth, and kissed his feet; he then embraced and shook hands with them, and stayed with each of his sons three days once a year: each of his sons wore a ring with his father's likeness carved on it. And whenever this said Saphadin rode out, he did not show his face, except ten times in the year; and when he received messengers from any prince, he received them in his palace by means of his armed attendants on the first day, on the second his answer was told them as occasion required, but he did not give them permission to approach him till the third day. His eight sons, according to their father's arrangement, live in the following manner: two of them have charge of the sepulchre of Christ, and to them are paid the offerings which are made at the sepulchre, which they divide between them; their income is more than twenty thousand Saracens; four other sons receive the duties arising from the Nile, and their incomes are worth more than forty thousand Saracens: the two other younger sons stand daily before Mahomet, and to them are paid the offerings which are made at the feet of the prophet, which are worth more than thirty thousand Saracens. Saphadin has fifteen wives, and the same number of heirs; he is used to sleep with his wives each in turn, and when one of them is with child by him, he sleeps with her in the presence of all the rest; and when any of those fifteen dies, he, according to the custom of their law, introduces another in her place. These people too have a written law given to them by Mahomet, which is called the Alcoran, and the commands of that book are kept by that impious race of people as inviolably as we Christians observe the text of the gospel.

How John, the king's brother, wished to obtain the government of England.

Whilst king Richard, as has been related, was detained by the emperor, earl John, his brother, hearing of his misfortune, and thinking he would not return, entered into a friendly alliance with Philip king of the French, and by that monarch's pernicious counsel, made arrangements to be crowned in his brother's place, but the English with a laudable fidelity would not permit it.

A.D. 1194.] RELEASE OF RICHARD. 133

How the king of the French endeavoured to seize on Normandy.

Philip, the French king, now gave vent to his hatred against the king of the English, and with a very large army invaded Normandy, sparing neither rank, sex, or age. Gilbert de Waseuil sent for the aforesaid king and treacherously surrendered Gisors to him, as had been agreed on between them. After this the said king, partly through treachery and partly by force, subdued all the Vexin of Normandy, and the county of Aumarle, as far as Dieppe and valley of Ruil, with the principal fortresses; he also conquered the country of Hugh de Gournai, who with some others had surrendered to the French king. He moreover besieged Rouen, but by the valour of the earl of Leicester and the prowess of the inhabitants, he was driven from that city in confusion, and with loss of some of his troops. The said king also took the city of Evreux, and delivered it over to the guardianship of the said earl. [1]

How the French king married the sister of the king of Denmark, and immediately divorced her.

About this time the French king espoused the sister of the king of Denmark, named Ingelburg, a lady of remarkable beauty; but after the marriage he divorced her and placed her amongst the nuns at Soissons, at the same time ordering all the Danes who had come with her to return to their own country. In this same year, Hubert Walter, bishop of Salisbury, was canonically elected to the archbishopric of Canterbury, and, on the day after the feast of St. Leonard, was installed in his see; and to his care, by command of king Richard, was entrusted the kingdom of England and the administration of affairs there, Walter archbishop of Rouen, having been sent for by the king into Germany, whither he went accompanied also by Eleanor the king's mother, who was anxious to see her son.

How king Richard was released, and came to England.

[A.D. 1194.] The greatest part of the ransom money having been paid, and hostages having been given as security for what remained unpaid, king Richard was, on the day of the


[1] Earl John.

134 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1194.

blessed Mary's purification, set free, and permitted to return to his kingdom. He accordingly, with his mother and the chancellor, set out through the territory of the duke of Louvain, and reached the British channel, and on the Sunday after the feast of St. Gregory he arrived in England at the port of Sandwich, to the great joy of all classes. At the very hour in which the king with his attendants landed, which was the second hour of the day, when the sun was shining clearly, there appeared a brilliant and unusual splendor in the heavens, extending about the length and breadth of the human body from the sun, of a very bright white and red colour, as if a sort of rainbow; and several people who saw this brightness declared that the king was about to arrive in England. Immediately on his arrival, the king set out for Canterbury to pay his devotions at the blessed Thomas's shrine; from that place he went to London, and was received with the most joyous pomp, the whole city being profusely decorated and adorned against the king's arrival with every variety of ornament that wealth could produce. When his arrival was known, nobles and commoners alike went to meet him on the way with great eagerness, being most anxious to see him returned from captivity who they had feared would never return. [1] The king stopped scarcely one day at Westminster before he started to St. Edmund's to return thanks; and from thence he hurried to Nottingham to besiege and take those who had conspired against him and joined earl John. The army of England had already taken every castle belonging to the before-named earl, with the exception of this one alone, which still held out and was bravely defended: but when the king laid siege to it, and had made one assault, the besieged were assured of his unhoped-for arrival, and surrendered the castle to him, placing themselves at the king's pleasure, and trusting to his mercy; some of these he imprisoned, others he set free on


[1] Matthew Paris adds:- "On his arrival at Westminster, he was met by Geoffrey Hakesalt, a servant of Warin abbat of St. Alban's, with large gifts of gold and silver, sufficient not only to propitiate but to rejoice the heart of the king's majesty. The king weighing his good-will by his gifts, gave the abbat abundant thanks as a friend and father who did not forget his son; for he called the abbat his dearest father on account of his great friendship. From that time their union was even closer than before, and the king favoured the abbat in every thing".

A.D. 1194.] RICHARD CROWNED AT WINCHESTER. 135

receiving a fitting ransom, as he was greedily anxious after the money of each and all of them in his then state of necessity. Two reasons principally urged him to take this course, which were, that he might release the hostages who had been given to the emperor for him, and that he might get together a very large army against the king of the French, who was every where ravaging his dominions with fire and pillage. On this account, although he exacted money for his prisoners more greedily than was compatible with his kingly dignity, yet it ought to be pardoned rather than throw a stain on the king on account of his necessities.

How king Richard was crowned, and immediately crossed the sea to Normandy.

After all his adversaries in England were thus quickly subdued, king Richard, by the advice of his nobles, although it could add but little to his renown, was crowned at Winchester in Easter week; at which ceremony Hubert archbishop of Canterbury performed mass, and William king of Scots attended. Afterwards, at the feast of the saints Nereus and Achilles, [1] he embarked at Portsmouth and sailed to Normandy, and on his arrival there he stopped that night at Barfleur to rest; at that place his brother earl John came to him as a suppliant, and, with many of his soldiers, threw himself at the feet of the king, asking his brother's mercy with tears, and accusing himself for his folly in many respects. The king, affectionate as he was, could not refrain from tears, and pitying his brother's misfortunes, raised him from the ground and restored him to his former favour.

How king Richard forced the king of the French to fly from Verneuil.

King Richard being informed that the king of the French had laid siege to Verneuil, and had been employed for eight days unceasingly in erecting stone engines, in bringing up large stones, undermining the walls, and harassing the besieged garrison, took his way to that place with all speed. The great day of Whitsuntide was at hand, and that the French might not have to boast of gaining a victory on that sacred day, they heard a little before dark that the English king was prepared for battle, and would arrive at daybreak.


[1] 12th May.

136 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1194.

The French were panic-struck by this report, as they had often had experience of the king's bravery: they therefore chose to fly rather than to fight, and retreated from their camp, to their eternal disgrace and infamy.

How Herebert the Poor was made bishop of Salisbury.

About this same time, Herebert surnamed the Poor, archdeacon of Canterbury, being canonically elected to the bishopric of Salisbury, was ordained a priest at Whitsuntide, and on the day after was consecrated a bishop by Hubert archbishop of Canterbury, at Westminter. At the same time the French king in his retreat from Verneuil, in order that he might not appear to have effected nothing, in his anger destroyed a little fort called Fountains, and thus with something having the appearance of a victory he returned to his own dominions.

Of the capture of Loches by king Richard.

King Richard, after these events, came to Tours, and received two thousand marks of silver by way of presents, from the burgesses of Neufchatel, where the body of St. Martin reposes. He then marched within the boundaries of Tours, and laid siege to the castle of Loches, which he took by storm after a few days; this castle the king of the French had received from the lieutenants of the English king, when the latter was a prisoner, as a kind of security that they would not break the treaty which had been made between the monarchs, and had given it, well stored with provisions, into the charge of fifteen knights and eighty soldiers. At this time the son of the king of Navarre came to assist the English king, with a large army, and having amongst his followers fifty arbalesters, besides a hundred others; this prince laid waste the territory of Geoffrey de Ravenne, and that of the count of Angouleme.

How king Richard drove the French king out of Touraine.

At this time also Philip king of the French, entered the confines of Tours, and pitched his camp near Vindome; but finding by means of his scouts that the king of the English was marching upon him, he early in the morning struck his camp and made all haste to Freitval; but the king of the

A.D. 1194.] TOURNAMENTS IN ENGLAND. 137

English pursued him, and captured all his teams as well as those of the counts and barons fighting under him, and all their baggage; he also took gold and silver, crossbows and tents, and other things innumerable, and brought them away with him. He in this way crossed into Poictou, and within a few days had reduced to submission the castle of Tailebure and the country of his adversaries, namely, the count of Angouleme, and Geoffrey de Ravenne, so that there did not exist a single rebel against him from the castle of Verneuil to Charlecroix.

How the French king endeavoured to impose on king Richard.

About this time the French king sent four messengers to the king of the English, deceitfully making use of friendly speeches, to propose, that, in order to save the subjects of each, whose coffers they in their wars had emptied of gold and silver and to spare the effusion of the noble blood of each kingdom, the claims of both should be determined by a combat of live men on each side, the chiefs of each kingdom to await the issue of the combat, until after it was over they could adjudge what ought by right to fall to each king. This proposal pleased the English king beyond measure, provided that the French king should be the fifth man on his side; and he, the English king, likewise be the fifth on the English side, and that they should preserve an equality in men and arms, and engage with equal odds; this the king of the French to the scorn of many refused to agree to. [1] After this on the mediation of some religious men a truce was agreed on between the French and English kings, but all intercourse of traders was forbidden on both sides.

How king Richard established tournaments throughout England.

At this time king Richard crossed to England and appointed tournaments to be held in certain places, being induced to do so perhaps for this reason, that the soldiers of the kingdom might meet from all quarters and prove their


[1] "This year also, Robert earl of Leicester was taken prisoner by the king of France and the count de Perche. Henry Marshal, also, brother of William Marshal the elder, was made bishop of Exeter". M. Paris.

138 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1195.

strength by manoeuvring their horses in the ring, and thus be more nimble and practised for battle against the enemies of the cross, or even against their neighbours. At this time, too, one Alexius, son of Manuel, formerly emperor of Constantinople, assembled an army, and having made prisoner Cursac the present emperor, who had attacked him, he deprived him of his eyesight, and at length, after having emasculated him, condemned him to perpetual imprisonment and seized on his empire.

How the king of the English laid a complaint before our lord the pope against the duke of Austria for imprisoning him.

[A.D. 1195.] King Richard sent messengers to the apostolic see with instructions to lay the following complaint before our lord the pope. "Holy father, our lord Richard king of the English salutes your excellency, and asks for justice to be shown to him against the duke of Austria, who made prisoner of him when on his return from a toilsome pilgrimage, harassed him in a way not becoming so great a prince, and afterwards sold him as though he were a bull or an ass, to the emperor, after which the two of them consumed the substance of his kingdom by demanding an intolerable sum for his ransom. Moreover they, who were no strangers to the laws of Christianity, visited him with more severe judgments in such a case, than even Saladin would have done, if by a similar misfortune he had fallen into the hands of that infidel himself, to fight against whom the said king had travelled from his territories, leaving his lately acquired kingdom, his country, relations, and friends. He would perhaps know how to pay respect to the nobleness, valour, or majesty of a king, whom that barbarous and still-necked generation did not know how to appreciate, but perhaps they did this that the capture of such a great prince might be attributed as a praiseworthy victory to them, although they would never have dared to seek him in open fight, had he been surrounded by his valiant army. And let them not think that the disgrace of the king is to be imputed to them, but rather to the dispensation of God, at whose will the wheel of fortune, humbles one and exalts another, casts down one and raises up another. It also greatly vexes our lord the king, that, in

A.D. 1195.] DEATH OF THE DUKE OF AUSTRIA. 139

a time of peace, and when your protection was granted to all pilgrims lor a period of three years, the same being enforced and confirmed on penalty of excommunication, they made a prisoner of him as he came from his pilgrimage, and was making arrangements to return again, and threw him into prison, compelling him to pay a heavy sum for his ransom. May your excellency therefore give orders for that duke to permit the hostages for our lord the king, who are as yet detained as prisoners for the portion of the ransom which remains unpaid, to depart free, and also for him to restore entire the money which he, the excommunicated man, has received from our lord, as well as make a fitting atonement for the injury inflicted on him and his subjects".

Of the excommunication of the duke on account of king Richard.

After the messengers of the king had pleaded these and many other complaints before the supreme pontiff; our lord the pope then rose with his cardinals and excommunicated the duke himself by name, and in general all those who had laid violent hands on the king and his men; he also put the whole of the duke's territory under an interdict, giving orders to the bishop of Verona to publish this sentence of excommunication throughout the whole duchy of Austria on every Sunday and feast-day, as follows:- "That, if the said duke shall determine to obey our mandates, you enjoin him by the virtue of God, to release the whole of the king of England's hostages, to cancel all agreements, and restore the property taken from them by him and his followers, as well as what he has received as an unjust ransom for the said king himself, and also shall send the said hostages in security to their own country, and for the future never venture on such things again, but make due compensation for the injury and wrongs inflicted.

Of the wretched death of the duke of Austria.

All this was denounced against the duke by the bishop of Verona, but he persisted in contemning the apostolic mandate, at a time too when his country was struck bv an unheard-of sterility as well as by famine and disease; the river Danube, too, at this time overflowed unusually in some part of the country, and by that unexpected event ten

140 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1195.

thousand persons were drowned. But notwithstanding all these things the duke's anger was not averted, but rather was increased, and at length he himself was struck by a dreadful divine visitation; for on St. Stephen's day as he was taking recreation on horseback with his attendants, the horse on which he rode kicked violently and inflicted an incurable wound with its foot on the leg of the rider, for immediately the leg and foot together turned black and rose to a swelling, which no physician's poulticing could reduce, and the duke was most unbearably tortured by the infernal fire, as it is called, in addition to the swelling. At length being unable to endure this torture he ordered his foot to be amputated, he himself at the same time taking an axe, every one else refusing with horror; but he did not by this escape the agonies of pain, for by and by his thigh with the rest of his body was eaten away by the same fire. At length, however, he acknowledged the wicked crime which he had committed out of malice against the king and his followers, and on the persuasion of the bishops who came to him, he gave up the hostages, and the remainder of the money due for the ransom of the king, and gave his word that he would also return what he had received, and promised henceforward to be obedient to the judgment of the church. The bishops on this seeing him in such a state of misery and suffering absolved him from the ban of excommunication, and admitted him to the communion of the faithful, after which he expired in dreadful agony. For a long while his body remained unburied, until it swarmed with horrible worms, because his son refused to fulfil his father's command, but at length being forced to do so by his friends he released the hostages, and allowed them to return to their own country.

How the emperor Henry, subdued the kingdom of Apulia.

About this time the emperor Henry obtained possession of the kingdom of Apulia and Sicily, Tancred, who had unjustly succeeded king William, being dead; for this same emperor had married king William's sister, and to her the kingdom of right belonged at her brother's death.

Of the fearful invasion of Spain by the Saracens.

At this time the king of Morocco, with thirty chiefs, and

A.D. 1195.] DEATH OF ABBAT WARIN. 141

an innumerable army of pagans, burst forth from Africa on Spain, to take possession of the king of Spain's territories, and ravaged several other provinces with fire and pillage, sparing neither sex, rank, nor age, except those who gave themselves up to his anger: his army consisted of six million fighting men, and all Christendom was dreadfully alarmed at their unexpected invasion. [1]

Of the death of abbat Warin, and the succession of John to the abbacy.

On the 29th of April in the same year Warin, abbat of the church of St. Alban's, died after having held that see for eleven years, eight months and eight days; he was succeeded by John a monk of the same establishment, who was elected abbat on the 21st of August, and on the 30th of the same month received the benediction from Richard bishop of London.

Of the legateship of Hubert archbishop of Canterbury.

About the same time pope Caelestine wrote to all the prelates of England to this effect, "Caelestine, to our venerable brothers the archbishop of York, and all bishops, abbats, priors, and other appointed prelates of the churches throughout the kingdom of England, greeting etc. Since we by our commission are enjoined to provide for the pastoral care of all churches, we now, looking with the eye of our fatherly regard especially to the English church, have, for the safety of that establishment, by the common advice of our brethren, decreed, that our venerable brother Hubert archbishop of Canterbury, in whose merits, and virtue, wisdom, and learning, the whole church rejoices, shall take on himself the management of the legateship and perform at will all our functions, to the honour of the church, and the peace and safety of the whole kingdom, throughout the whole of


[1] Some of the MSS. give the paragraph as follows: "About this time the king of Morocco invaded Spain with thirty chieftains and six millions of pagans, as they have been reckoned; and when they had devastated the provinces of Spain, they heard that the pope proposed to call a general council and institute a crusade against them, to he led by Richard the magnificent king of England, whose fame had already filled the East and caused alarm over great part of Africa. They had also heard of his imprisonment and delivery, and how he had since compelled the king of France to yield. All the unbelievers therefore returned to their own country".

142 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1195.

England, without any privilege or exception to you or your church, brother archbishop, or to any other person. By the authority of these presents we therefore command all your community to pay all due reverence and honour to the said Hubert, as legate of the apostolic see".

The pope's reproof to the king of the French for his divorce of his wife.

At this time pope Celestine wrote amongst other things to the archbishop of Seine as follows, "Since we, in our bowels of affection, especially regard the king of the French, we have by our beloved son the subdeacon, a legate of the apostolic see sent especially for the purpose, required of the said king that he should treat with the affection of a husband his wife, whom he by evil counsel has put away from him, and not give ear to those persons, who consider it as gain to sow the seeds of hatred and discord between people when they can. Therefore we, by the advice of our brethren, entirely annul that sentence of divorce, which was passed contrary to law, and by these our apostolic letters command and strictly enjoin your brotherhood, that, if the aforesaid king shall, during her life, wish to espouse another in her place, ye take care to forbid him from the same, by our apostolical authority".

The pope's bull to the bishops of England on behalf of the Holy Land.

At this time pope Celestine wrote to Hubert, archbishop of Canterbury, and to his Suffragan priests, amongst other subjects on behalf of the Holy Land to the following purport:- "My brethren, archbishops and bishops, to whom is entrusted the care of souls, make urgent and incessant prayers to God that you may induce the people, subject to your rule, to take the cross, and stir themselves to put to confusion the persecutors of Christianity, for as much as we hope, and you ought to hope also, that the Lord, by your preaching and prayers, will let down your net for a draught, and will arouse such men to the defence of the eastern land, by whose merits rather than their prowess in arms, God will arise and his enemies will be scattered, and those who hate him shall flee before him. But we, in regard to those who undertake this pilgrimage for the love of God, and endeavour to the utmost of their power to fulfil it, by virtue of our office entracted

A.D. 1195.] THE POPE'S BULL. 143

to us by God's authority, grant the same remission of any penance imposed on them by the priesthood, as our predecessors are known to have granted in their times; namely, that those who shall undertake the toils of this pilgrimage with a contrite heart and humble sprit, and shall set out on this journey as a penance for their sins shall, if they die in the faith, obtain full remission of their offences, and eternal life. Let their goods also from the time of their taking the cross, together with their families, be considered under the protection of the church of Rome, and also of the archbishops and other prelates of the church; and let there be no dispute as to the property they had peaceable possession of at the time of their taking the cross, until their return or death shall be known for certain, but let their goods in the mean time remain untouched and undisturbed; but those who have, for the assistance of that land, sent their property there, shall obtain pardon for their sins according to the jurisdiction of the bishops. But to you, brother archbishop, we have thought fit to entrust the labour of this work, commanding you to use your influence with our beloved son in Christ, the illustrious king of the English, who has arranged a truce for three years at the Holy Land, that he may send well-equipped knights and soldiers to defend that country. We also order you to traverse England, and by continual exhortations, by opportune and inopportune preaching, to urge the people to take the cross and journey to the country beyond sea, to defend the Holy Land". [1]


[1] Matthew Paris inserts here, "When these things reached the king's ears he was zealous in the work of the cross, and exhorted others, principally those whom he had exalted in many ways, to be zealous also, as well for the sake of his soul as for the advancement of the cross and the salvation of their own souls. That he might the more civilly reprove certain who were disobedient to these salutary admonitions, he assumed the form of a preacher, and frequently repeated the advice to those around him.

"About this time a remarkable circumstance happened to a rich and miserly Venetian, which we think it worth while to insert in this place: his name was Vitalis; and when he was on the point of giving his daughter in marriage, he went into a large forest near the sea to provide delicacies for the table. As he wandered alone through the forest, with his bow and arrows ready, and intent on taking venison, he suddenly fell into a pit fall which had been cunningly set for the lions, bears, and wolves, out of which he found it impossible to escape, because the bottom of it was so wide and the mouth so narrow. Here he found two fierce animals, a lion and a serpent, which had also by accident fallen in; and Vitalis signing himself with the cross, neither of them, though fierce and hungry, ventured to attack him. All that night he spent in this pit, crying and moaning, and expecting with lamentations the approach of so base a death. A poor wood-cutter, passing by chance that way to collect faggots, heard his cries, which seemed to come from beneath the ground, and following the sound till he came to the pit's mouth, he looked in and called out, "Who is there"? Vitalis sprang up, rejoiced beyond measure, and eagerly replied, "It is I, Vitalis, a Venetian, who knowing nothing of these pit-falls, fell in, and shall be devoured by wild beasts, besides which I am dying of hunger and terror. There are two fierce animals here, a lion and a serpent, but, by God's protection and the sign of the cross, they have not yet hurt me, and it remains for you to save me, that I may afterwards show you my gratitude. If you will save me, I will give you half of all my property, namely, five hundred talents; for I am worth a thousand. The The poor man answered, "I will do as you request, if you will be as good as your word". Upon this Vitalis pledged himself on oath to do as he had promised. Whilst they were speaking, the lion by a bland movement of his tail, and the serpent by a gentle hissing, signified to the poor man their approbation, and seemed to join in Vitalis's request to be delivered. The poor man immediately went home for a ladder and ropes, with which he returned and let the ladder down into the pit, without any one to help him. Immediately the lion and serpent, striving which should be first, mounted by the rounds of the ladder and gave thanks to the poor man, crouching at his feet, for their deliverance. The wood- cutter, approaching Vitalis, kissed his hand, saying, "Long live this hand! I am glad to say that I have earned my bargain", and with these words he conducted Vitalis until they came to a road with which he was acquainted. When they parted, the poor man asked when and where Vitalis would discharge his promise? "Within four days", said Vitalis, "in Venice, in my own palace, which is well known and easy to find". The countryman returned home to dinner, and as he was sitting at table, the lion entered with a dead goat, as a present in return for his deliverance, and having laid it down, took his leave without doing any hurt. The countryman, however, wishing to see where so tame an animal lay, followed him to his den, the lion all the time licking his feet, and then came back to his dinner. The serpent now came also, and brought with him in his mouth a precious stone which he laid in the countryman's plate. The same proceedings again took place as before. After two or three days the rustic, carrying the jewel with him, went to Venice, to claim from Vitalis his promise. He found him feasting with his neighbours in joy for his deliverance and said to him, "Friend, pay me what you owe me". "Who art thou"? replied Vitalis, "and what dost thou want"! "I want the five hundred talents you promised me". "Do you expect", replied Vitalis, "to get so easily the money which I have had so much difficulty to amass"? and, as he said these words, he ordered his servants to cast the rash man into prison. But the rustic by a sudden spring escaped out of the house and told what had happened to the judges of the city. When, however, they were a little incredulous, he showed them the jewel which the serpent had given him, and immediately one of them, perceiving that it was of great value, bought it of the man at a high price. But the countryman further proved the truth of his words by conducting some of the citizens to the dens of the lion and the serpent, when the animals again fawned on him as before. The judges were thus convinced of his truth, and compelled Vitalis to fulfil the promise which he had given, and to make compensation for the injury which he had done the poor man. This story was told by king Richard to expose the conduct of ungrateful men.

144 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1196.

Of a treaty made between the kings of France and England.

[A.D. 1196.] King Richard spent Christmas at the city of Poictiers; and after the feast of St. Hilary, Philip king of the French, and Richard king of the English, met at a conference at Louviers, where the following treaty was made between them. The king of the French quitted claim to king Richard and his heirs, of Isoudun with the appurtenances, and of all right which he had in Berry, Auvergne, and Gascony, and gave him quiet possession of the castle of Arches, and the counties of Auches and Aumarle, and many other fortresses which the French monarch had seized on since his return from his pilgrimage to the Holy Land; and the English king quitted claim to the king of the French of the castle of Gisors, and the whole of Norman Vexin; and in order that all these terms might be ratified and confirmed, they mutually found

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sureties, and determined a penalty of fifteen thousand marks of silver in case of a breach of the treaty by either party. But in course of time, after Richard had received possession of the above-mentioned places, the French king repented having made such a bargain, and collecting a large army he laid siege to Aumarle; on this the English king ordered a seizure to be made of all the goods and possessions which were in his dominions belonging to the abbats of Marmontier, Cluni, St. Denis, and Charite, who were the French king's securities on the above-named treaty, and had bound themselves to pay the before-mentioned money to the king of the English if the former king should not stand to his agreement. In the meantime the French king took the castle of Aumarle by assault and destroyed it, and the king of England gave him three thousand marks of silver of the above-mentioned money as a ransom for the knights of that garrison and their followers, that they might be permitted to depart, saving their horses and arms. Afterwards the king of the French took Nonancourt, and king Richard took the castle Gameges, and so the two kings played at castle-taking.

146 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1196.

Of the death of William, formerly a citizen of London.

At this time there arose in the city of London a dispute and difference between the rich and poor, about the allotment of the taxes to be paid into the exchequer, and which were often, as they said, unequally levied. The cause of this disagreement was William Fitz-Osbert, who, in contempt of the king's majesty, convoked assemblies of people, and binding many to him by oath at their meetings, persecuted even unto death his own brother, and two other honest men, as if they were guilty of treason towards the king, and at last raised a sedition and disturbance in St. Paul's church. When at length he learned that for his crimes the anger of the king was seriously aroused against him, he shut himself up in a tower of a church, which was the especial property of the archbishop, thus making a castle of a sacred edifice. But seeing at length that a band of armed men were assembled, he, in order to avoid the death with which he was menaced, set fire to the temple of the blessed virgin, and partly consumed a place consecrated to God. At last he was dragged forth from the church, and carried to the tower of London, where having received final sentence, in order that the punishment of one might strike terror into the many, he was deprived of his long garments, and, with his hands tied behind his back, and his feet fastened together, was drawn through the midst of the city by horses to the gallows at Tyburn; he was there hung in chains, and nine of his fellow conspirators with him, in order to show that a similar punishment would await those who were guilty of a similar offence. On the twentieth of October [1] in the same year, John dean of Rouen was consecrated to the bishopric of Winchester. In this year, too, king Richard built a new castle in the isle of Andelys, against the wish of Walter archbishop of Rouen; and after he had been repeatedly warned to desist from the undertaking, the aforesaid archbishop put the whole of Normandy under a ban, and thus went to the court of Rome. [2]


[1] November.

[2] "About this time there arose a dispute in the city of London between the poor and the rich on account of the talliage, which was exacted by the king's agents for the benefit of the exchequer: for the principal men of the city, whom we call mayors and aldermen, having held a deliberation at their hustings, wished to preserve themselves free from the burden, and to oppress the poorer classes. Wherefore William Fitz-Robert, surnamed 'with the beard', because his ancestors in anger against the Normans never shaved, made opposition to the same, and called the mayors of the city traitors to our lord the king for the cause above-named; and the disturbances were so great in the city that recourse was had to arms. William stirred up a large number of the middle and lower classes against the mayors and aldermen, but by their pusillanimity and cowardice the plans of William's confederates in resisting the injury done them were dissipated and defeated: the middle and lower classes were repressed, and the king, his ministers, and the chief men of the city, charged the whole crime on William. As the king's party were about to arrest him, he, being a distinguished character in the city, tall of stature and of great personal strength, escaped, notwithstanding their exertions, defending himself with nothing but a knife, and flying into the church of St. Mary of the Arches, demanded the protection of our Lord, St. Mary and her church, saying that he had resisted an unjust decree for no other purpose than that all might bear an equal share of the public burden, and contribute according to their means. His expostulations, however, were not listened to, the majority prevailed, and the archbishop, to the surprise of many, ordered that he should be dragged from the church to take his trial, because he had created a sedition and made such a disturbance among the people of the city. When this was told to William, he took refuge in the tower of the church, for he knew that the mayors, whom he had contradicted, sought to takeaway his life. In their obstinacy they applied fire, and sacrilegiously burnt down great part of the church. Thus William was forced to leave the tower, almost suffocated with the heat and smoke. He was then seized, dragged out of the church, stripped, and, with his hands tied behind his back, conveyed away to the tower of London. Soon after, at the instigation of the archbishop, the principal citizens, and the king's ministers, he was taken from the Tower, and dragged, tied to a horse's tail, through the middle of London to Ulmet, a pitiable sight to the citizens and to his own respectable relations in the city: after which he was hung in chains on a gallows. Thus William of the Beard was shamefully put to death by his fellow citizens for asserting the truth and defending the cause of the poor: and if the justice of one's cause constitutes a martyr, we may surely set him down as one. With him also were hanged nine of his neighbours or of his family, who espoused his cause. The same year, John dean of Rouen, was made bishop of Worcester, and consecrated by the archbishop of Canterbury on the 30th of October". M. Paris.

A.D. 1190.] IMPRISONMENT OF HUGH DE CHAUMONT. 147

Of the capture of Hugh de Chaumont.

In the same year a battle was fought between the followers of the French and English kings, in which Hugh de Chaumont, a great friend of the former monarch, was taken prisoner, and brought before the king of the English, who gave him into the custody of Robert de Ros; that knight delivered him to the care of William d'Epinay, an attendant of his, owing to whose treachery he escaped, for he obtained

148 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1196.

the permission of the aforesaid William, and let himself clown from the wall of the castle of Bonville, on the Tuke, where he was confined, and thus took his leave of them. The king of England was greatly enraged against Robert de Ros for this, and took from him a thousand two hundred marks of silver for his offence, and ordered William d'Epinay to be hung on a gibbet.

Of the capture of the bishop of Beauvais and William de Merle.

After this event, as John, the king's brother, and Mercadeus prince of Brabant, were making an excursion before the city of Beauvais, intent on the capture of booty, Philip, the bishop of that place, and William de Merle, with his son and several knights and some soldiers, came out of the city on them, but were in a short time all taken prisoners, and a great number of the soldiers slain. The same day, after this capture, the same English nobles proceeded to Milli, a castle belonging to the before-named bishop, took it by assault, and afterwards destroyed it, and then returned in triumph, and delivered all their captives to the English king; the bishops, on account of being taken in arms, was imprisoned, and heavily loaded with chains. [1] In this same year a sudden and rapid inundation of the waters of the Seine involved the adjacent buildings both wood and stone in destruction, which greatly alarmed the king of the French, and Maurice the bishop of Perche, who were staying at Paris; the king left his palace, and, taking his son Louis with him, went to pass the night at St. Genevieve, and the bishop fled to Saint Victor's.

Of a vision which teas seen by a certain monk, of purgatory and the places of punishment; the reading of which is very useful.

In those days a certain monk, belonging to the convent of Evesham, fell ill, and for fifteen months was afflicted with


[1] This affair is given rather more in detail by Matthew Paris, who concludes his narrative as follows:- "The chapter of Beauvais laid a grave complaint about the capture of their bishop and archdeacon before the pope, who wrote a friendly letter to king Richard, requesting him to set his dear son, and the son of the church, at liberty. The king, in respect towards the pope, ordered the bishop's coat of mail to be carried to his holiness, with a request that he would see whether it was his son's coat or not. To which the pope replied, 'He is no son of mine nor of the church; let him be ransomed at the king's pleasure, for he is a soldier of Mars rather than of Christ'"!

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grievous bodily pain, taking such a nausea of food and drink, that sometimes for nine days and more he would take nothing but the least drop of cold water; no skill of the physician could cure him, but whatever was offered him by any one by way of relieving him, had the contrary effect. Thus he lay languishing on his bed deprived altogether of bodily strength; he could not even move from the spot unless carried by the servants. As the day of our Lord's resurrection drew near, he began to feel easier, and walked about his cell leaning on his stick; and at length on the night next preceding the day of our Lord's supper, he went leaning on his stick into the large hall, instigated by devotion, not knowing whether he was in the body or in the spirit, and there, whilst the assembled monks were paying their accustomed nightly devotions to the Lord, he felt such an impression of the divine mercy and heavenly grace, that his own holy devotion seemed to exceed measure, and from the middle of that night to the sixth hour of the following day he could not restrain himself from tears and giving praise to God. He then sent for two of the brotherhood, called by religious men 'confessors', one after the other, and there with tears and in all purity and contrition of heart, he made to each of them a confession of all his faults, even the smallest of them, whether against discipline or the commandments of God: he then asked for and obtained absolution; and thus in devotion and giving praise to God he passed the whole day.

How the same monk was found lying as if dead.

On the following night he obtained a little sleep, and when the bell for matins rang, he rose from his couch and took his way to the church; but what happened there the following narrative will tell. On the morning of the following day, which was the day of the Preparation, when the brotherhood had risen to primes, and were crossing before the chapter-house on their way to the church, they beheld this same brother lying prostrate and with naked feet before the abbat's chair, where the brothers were accustomed to crave pardon, and with his face close to the ground as if he was asking pardon of some one sitting before him: the brothers, astonished at this sight ran up, and, trying to raise him, they found him breathless and motionless, with his eyes

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turned up, and the balls of the eyes and the nose wet with a quantity of blood. They all together cried out that he was dead, finding that he had lost all motion of the veins for a length of time; but at length discovering that he breathed, although but slightly, they washed his neck, breast, and hands, with cold water. In the first place they saw him tremble slightly throughout his whole body, but he soon became quiet and remained without motion; for a long time they were in doubt how to act, not knowing for certain whether he was dead or had got better; at length, after a debate, they carried him into the infirmary, and placing him on a bed, appointed some persons to keep a careful watch over him; they next applied plasters to his chest, and pricked the souls of his feet with needles, but could find no signs of life in him. In this manner, then, lying on his bed altogether motionless, he remained for two days, that is, from midnight of the Preparation, till midnight of the following sabbath; but on the great sabbath, when the monks were about to assemble for midnight mass, the eyelids of the aforesaid brother began to quiver slightly, and after a while a moisture, like tears, began to flow gently over his cheeks, and, as any one would lament in his sleep, he seemed to utter frequent sighs, and after a while he seemed to be uttering words in his throat with a deep though scarcely audible sound: at length as his breath by degrees returned, he began to call upon Saint Mary, saying, "O holy Mary! O holy Mary! for what crime am I deprived of joy so immense"? In this manner, often repeating these and other words, he made known to the bystanders his deprivation of some great joy. After this, as if awaking out of a deep sleep, he shook his head, and, weeping bitterly, he began to sob, his tears flowing unceasingly; then, with his hands clasped and his fingers hitched together he raised himself suddenly to a sitting posture, and placing his head covered with his hands on his knees, he continued unceasingly, as he had begun, his lamentable moanings. After many entreaties by the brethren that he would, after such a long fasting and suffering, take something to eat, he took a small piece of bread, and then continued awake in prayer; on being asked if he expected to escape from his sickness, he answered, "I shall live long enough, because I have entirely recovered

A.D. 1196.] RELATION OF THE VISION. 151

from my weakness". On the night following, that is, of our Lord's resurrection, when the bell was ringing for matins, he went to church without any support, and, what he had not done for eleven months before, entered the choir. On the day after, when his religious rites were duly performed, he was deemed worthy to be refreshed by a participation in the holy communion.

How the aforesaid monk related the vision that he had seen.

After this the same brother eagerly joined in the religious duties of the other monks; and they earnestly entreated him to relate for their edification what had happened to him and all that he had seen in his sleep; for they were convinced that many things had been shown him, by evident signs, and from having heard his words and beheld his unceasing lamentations when he awoke on the previous day. After putting them off for some time, they became urgent in their request, and at length with incessant tears and groans, choking his voice, he related the circumstances in order as follow: "When", said he, "I was, as you know, failing from severe and lengthened bodily infirmity, and was blessing God verbally and mentally, and was returning him thanks for deigning to chasten his unworthy servant with his fatherly rod, after I had given up all hope of recovery, I began, as much as I could, to prepare myself, in order that I might escape the punishments of the future state, as I was on the point of being called from the body. Whilst I was diligently thinking on these things, I fell into temptation to ask of God that he would in some manner deign to reveal to me what was the state of the life to come, and what was the condition after this life, of souls released from the body; that, by learning this, I might more clearly ascertain what I, who was about, as I thought, to depart this life shortly, had to hope for and what to fear, that I might thus gain as much as I could on God's affection, whilst I was wavering in this precarious state. Desiring, then, to be satisfied on this, I with incessant supplications kept invoking, at one time our Lord the Saviour of the world, at another time the glorious virgin, his mother, at another I called on all the elect people of God; but it was especially through the intercession of the most pious and holy saint Nicholas the confessor, that I hope to gain the

152 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1196.

end of my pious request; and behold, one night near the commencement of the Lent which we have just passed over, as I was sleeping a little, there appeared to me a venerable and altogether comely personage, who in most pleasant words addressed me as follows: 'Most beloved son, great is your devotion in prayer, and great perseverance have you in your purpose, nor will the continual aim of your prayer be fruitless through the clemency of the Redeemer; henceforward be of calm mind, and continue devout in prayer, for without doubt you will soon attain the object of your petition'. Having thus spoken, the image of the speaker vanished and I awoke".

How the same monk, as he was worshipping our Lord's cross, said it become bloody.

"But, although awake, I still kept this vision steadily in mind, and, after six weeks had passed, when on the night of our Lord's supper I had risen to matins, and received, as you remember, discipline at your hands, I felt in the midst of it such a sweetness of mind diffused over me, that on the day following I felt it most pleasant to weep incessantly, as with your own eyes you saw. On the next night after this, which was the Preparation, as the hour approached for rising to matins, I sank into a calm sleep; then again I heard the same voice, but by whose agency it was conveyed to my ears, I know not; 'Arise', it said, 'go into the oratory, and approach the altar consecrated to the worship of St. Laurence, and behind that altar you will find the cross, which it is the custom of the convent to worship on the day of the Preparation; for unless you do thus, nothing can be fulfilled by you on the morrow; for a long journey remains to you; wherefore, adore our Lord's cross in memory of himself, and offer the sacrifice of a humble and contrite heart, knowing for certain, that the offering of your devotion will be acceptable to the Lord, and that you shall hereafter rejoice abundantly in its richness'. After this I awoke from sleep, and proceeded, as it seemed to me, with the brethren, to hear matins; which being commenced, I met in the vestibule of the church, an old man clothed in white garments, that one from whom, on the preceding night, I had received discipline. I then beckoned him by the usual nod to give me discipline, on which we went into the chapter-house, and after having effected

A.D. 1190.] VISIONS OF PURGATORY. 153

my purpose, we returned to the oratory. I then went alone to the altar mentioned to me in my sleep, took off my shoes, and crawling on my knees, made for the place where I had been told the cross of our Saviour would be found. As had been foretold to me, I found it there, and shortly I became entirely dissolved in tears, and throwing myself on the ground at full length, I most devoutly worshipped it; as I was thus kneeling before the face of the image, and was kissing it on the mouth and eyes, I felt some drops falling gently on my forehead, and on removing my fingers, I, from their colour, discovered it to be blood; moreover, I saw the blood flowing from the side of the image on the cross, as it does from a living man's veins when cut for letting blood. I caught in my hand I know not how many drops as they fell, and with it I devoutly anointed my eyes, ears, and nostrils; afterwards, if I sinned in this I know not, I swallowed one drop of it in my zeal, but the rest which I had caught in my hand I determined to keep.

How the same monk was separated from the body, and entered the first place of punishment.

"When I had thus worshipped our Lord's cross, I, after a time, heard behind me the voice of the venerable man from whom, on the preceding night, I had received discipline. Then, leaving my shoes and staff near the altar, I know not how, I went to the chapter-house, and after receiving discipline, six several times, as I had done before, I received absolution. This same old man was seated in the abbat's chair, and I prostrated myself before him, but he approached me, saying these words only, 'Follow me'. After he had raised me up, he took hold of my right hand firmly, yet gently, and we remained all the time with our hands linked together, and at that time I was deprived of all sense of body and mind. We then walked on a smooth road, straight towards the east, until we arrived in a large tract of country, dreadful to look at, in a marshy situation, and deformed with hard thickened mud. In this place were such a multitude of men, or spirits, that no one could count them, who were exposed to various and unmentionable tortures; in this place was a great crowd of both sexes, of every condition, profession, and rank, and all kinds of sinners condemned to torments according to the variety of their

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professions, and the degrees of their offences. Throughout the broad extent of that plain, beyond the extremities of which no eye-sight could reach, I saw and heard crowds of wretched beings collected in miserable troops, and bound in flocks according to the similarity of their crimes and professions, whilst they all were equally burning, though their cries were different. Whatsoever people I saw, and for whatsoever sins they were punished, I noticed clearly both the nature of their sin, and the degree of their punishment, whereby, atoning for their crimes, or by the intercession of others, they might in that place of exile and punishment, earn admission into the heavenly country. But some I saw endure more severe torments with a calm mind, and, as if conscious of a reward laid up for them, thinking lightly of the horrible agonies they endured. Some I beheld leap suddenly forth from their place of torture, and make their way as fast as they could to the extremities of the place: and when they, dreadfully burned as they were, were emerging from the pits, the torturers ran to them with forks, torches, and every sort of instrument of torture, and restored them back to their punishments again, to inflict every kind of cruelty on them; nevertheless, though thus wounded, thus burned, and pierced to the heart by their lashes, they at length came forth, always going in regular gradation from the most severe to more tolerable sufferings; for some of the most atrocious there remained a most horrible death, without proceeding to more severe tortures: each of them was treated according as they were benefited or impeded by their former actions, or by the good works of their friends. Endless were the kinds of punishment which I saw; some were roasted before fire; others were fried in pans; red hot nails were driven into some to their bones; others were tortured with a horrid stench in baths of pitch and sulphur, mixed with molten lead, brass, and other kinds of metal; immense worms with poisonous teeth gnawed some; others, in thick ranks, were transfixed on stakes with fiery thorns; the torturers tore them with their nails, flogged them with dreadful scourges, and lacerated them in dreadful agonies. I saw in that place many who were known to me, and who had been intimate with me in this life, tortured in various ways, some of whom were bishops, some abbats, and some of

A.D. 1190.] VISIONS OF PURGATORY. 155

other stations; some in the ecclesiastic, some in the secular forum, some in the cloister. I saw all these; and the less that they were in their former life supported by the privileges of honour, the more lenient were the punishments inflicted on them there. As a truth I now tell what I particularly noticed, which was that all those whom I knew to have been the judges of others or prelates in this life, were tormented more than the rest with an increased degree of severity. It would be too tedious for me to speak of what they severally received as their deserts, or what they suffered, however conspicuous all things were to me; but God is my witness, that if I saw any one, even had he slain all my friends and relatives, condemned to such torture, I would, were it possible, endure a temporal death a thousand times to snatch him from them, especially since all things which are there penal, exceed all measure of pain, bitterness, and misery.

Of the second place of punishment in purgatory, and the variety of punishments.

"After we had gone beyond this place of punishment, I and my guide passed onwards unhurt, as we did also other places of torment, which I shall relate below. After this then we arrived at another place of torment; the two places were separated by a mountain almost touching the clouds, over the top of which we passed easily and quickly. Under the farther side of this mountain was a very deep and dark valley, girt round on either side by ridges of lofty rocks, over which the sight could not extend; the bottom of the valley itself contained a piece of water, whether flowing or stagnant I know not, very wide and dreadful, owing to its stinking water, which continually sent forth a vapour of intolerable odour. The side of the mountain overhanging one part of the lake sent forth fire to the heavens; on the opposite promontory of the same hill there was such an intense cold, caused by snow, hail, and raging storms, that I thought I had never before seen anything more torturing than the cold at that place. The region of the above-mentioned valley, and the sides ot both mountains, which bore this dreadful appearance of heat and cold, were occupied by a crowd of spirits, as numerous as bees at the time of swarming; and their punishment in general was at one time to be

156 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1196.

dipped in the foetid lake; at another, breaking forth from thence, they were devoured by the volumes of flame which met them, and at length, in fluctuating balls of fire, as if sparks from a furnace were tossed on high, and fell to the bottom of the other bank; they were again restored to the whirlings of the winds, the cold of the snow, and the asperity of the hail; then, thrown forth from thence, and as if flying from the violence of the storms, they were again thrust back into the stench of the lake, and the burnings of the raging fire. Some were tortured by the cold, some by the heat, for a long time, and some were kept for a long period in the stink of the lake. I saw others, like olives in a press, pressed and jammed together in the midst of the flames so incessantly, that it is horrible to relate. Of all those then who were there tortured, the condition was this, that for the fulfilment of their purification they were compelled to pass through the whole surface of that lake from the beginning to the end. There was, however, a very great and manifold distinction amongst those who were tortured in this place, for some of them were allowed an easy and quick transit, according to their merits, and the assistance rendered to them after their death; whilst those guilty of greater crimes, or less assisted by the masses of their friends, were punished more severely and for a longer time: but to all of them, the nearer they approached the end of the lake the less severe was the torture remaining to be endured, for those who were placed at the beginning, felt the punishment most severely, although all did not suffer alike; and the lightest torments of that place were more cruel than the most severe ones of the place we saw before. In this place of punishment I found and recognised many more acquaintances than I had seen in the first purgatory, and with some indeed I conversed. Amongst them I recognized a certain goldsmith who had been well known to me in life: but my guide, seeing me look at him earnestly, inquired if I knew him, and on his learning that he had been well known to me, he said, "If you know him, speak to him". But the spirit looking at us, and recognizing us with a gesture of unspeakable delight, gave praise to the man, my guide, and with out-stretched hands, and by a frequent bending of the whole of its body, worshipped him, and making obeisance, thanked

A.D. 1196.] VISIONS OF PURGATORY. 157

him much for kindnesses conferred on him. As he frequently cried out, 'Holy Nicholas, have pity on me', I was pleased to recognize the name of my dear protector, St. Nicholas, from whom I hoped to obtain salvation both of body and soul. On my then asking the goldsmith how he had thus quickly gone through the cruel torments I had seen him suffering, he answered, 'You, my friend', said he, 'and all my acquaintances, who, during my life, saw that all the supports of the Christian faith were denied me, such as confession and the viaticum, considered me a lost man, not knowing the mercy of my lord, who is with me, namely, St. Nicholas, who did not suffer me, his unhappy servant, to undergo the death of everlasting damnation; for now and ever, since I have been consigned to this place of punishment, when I was suffering under a severe torture, I have been refreshed by the visitation of his compassion. For in gold working, in which art I, in my life-time, committed many frauds, I now make most severe atonement, since I am frequently thrown into a heap of burning money, and most intolerably scorched; being often compelled to swallow with gaping mouth those very coins, which consume my internal parts; and moreover, am often obliged to count these coins, and feel my hands and fingers consumed and burned by them'. I then asked him, if men could by any remedy avoid such a dreadful torture; to which he replied with a sigh, 'If men were daily to write with the finger on their foreheads and on the parts near their heart, "Jesus of Nazareth, king of the Jews", those of the faith would doubtlessly be preserved harmless, and, after their death, those very places would shine with a bright splendour'. These and many other things I heard from him; but let us hasten to describe other things, and let what has been said suffice.

Of the third place of punishment, and the manifold variety of torments.

"I and my guide, then, having left this truly called valley of tears which we got to in the second place, we arrived at a large plain situated low down in the bosom of the earth, and which seemed inaccessible to all except to torturing devils, and tortured spirits. The surface of that plain was covered by a great and horrible chaos, mixed with a sulphureous smoke, and a cloud of intolerable stench, with a flame of a

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pitchy blackness, and this rising from all directions was diffused in a dreadful way, through the whole of that void space. The surface of the place abounded with a multitude of worms in the same way as the court-yards of houses are covered with rushes; and these, dreadful beyond conception, of a monstrous size and deformed, with a dreadful gaping of their jaws, and exhaling execrable fire from their nostrils, lacerated the crowds of wretched beings with a voracity not to be escaped from; and the devils running in all directions, raging like mad creatures, took the wretched beings and at one time were cutting them up piece by piece with their fiery prongs, at another time were tearing all their flesh off to the bone, at another time threw them into the fire, melted them like metals, and restored them in the shape of burning flame. Little it is, I call God to witness, yea nothing, that I recollect of the punishments of that place; for God knows that, in a very brief space of time I saw those wretched beings destroyed by a hundred or more different kinds of torture, and soon afterwards restored again, and again reduced almost to nothing, and then again renewed; for a lost life caused them to be tortured in that place, and owing to the different kinds of punishment there was no end to their sufferings. For the flame of that fire was so devouring, that you would think an ordinary fire or fever to be lukewarm in comparison with it; dead worms torn in pieces were collected in heaps beneath the wretches, filling every thing with an intolerable stench which surpassed all other suffering. The most loathsome and severe of all remains yet to be told; for all who were punished there had, in their life, been guilty of wickedness which is unmentionable by a Christian, or even by a heathen or a pagan. Those therefore were continually attacked by huge monsters of a fiery appearance and horrible beyond description, which, notwithstanding their opposition, committed on them the damnable crimes of which they had been guilty on earth; and their cries were horrid until they fainted apparently dead, when they again revived to be exposed to fresh torments. I tremble while relating it, and am beyond measure confounded at the filthiness of their crime, for till that time I had never heard or thought that both sexes could have been corrupted by such filthiness, and, oh shame! such an innumerable crowd of such wretches as

A.D. 1196.] VISIONS OF PURGATORY. 159

was there found most pitiably to be pitied. The figures of many in that place I neither saw nor recognized, for I was overcome with horror by the enormity of the torments and obscenity, and by the filthy stench; so that it was beyond measure offensive to me either to stop there a moment, or to look at what was being done there. Lastly amid the dreadful din one of them cried out, 'Alas! why did I not repent'? so loud was their grief that you would have thought all the sufferers in the world were there lamenting.

Of a certain lawyer and his punishments.

"Although I avoided as much as I could to look at what was passing there, I could not escape seeing a certain clerk, whom I had once known; he, in his life, was considered a most skilful man, of those who are styled lawyers and decretalists, wherefore in ecclesiastical revenues he was every day getting richer than the rest. I was astonished at the weight of his sufferings, and on my asking whether he expected to obtain mercy at all, he answered, crying out, 'Alas, alas, woe is me, I know, I know that I shall not receive mercy this side of the day of judgment, and even then I think it is uncertain, for ever since I have been subjected to these sufferings, my punishment grows worse, dragging me on from bad to worse'. I said to him, 'Why then did you not at the last confess your sins and repent'. He answered, 'Because I had hopes of recovering, the devil beguiling me, I was ashamed to confess such disgraceful crimes, lest I should seem to be unrespected by them to whom I appeared renowned and noble. Some of my slighter offences I did however confess to the priest, and on his asking me, if I was conscious of any other sins, I asked him to leave me then, promising to let him know again if any should occur to my memory. When he had departed, and had gone a little way, I felt myself dying; and when he was fetched back by my servants he found that I was dead. Therefore none of the thousand kinds of torments which I daily endure, tortures me so much as the recollection of my fault, because I am actually compelled to be a slave to the baseness of my former weakness, for besides the greatness of this unspeakable punishment, I am oppressed with intolerable shame, when I appear as one to be execrated for such great offences".

160 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1196.

At the moment he was thus speaking to me, I saw him tortured in numberless ways, and in the midst of them to be reduced as it were to nothing, and to be dissolved by the force of the heat like melted lead. I also asked St. Nicholas, who stood by me, if such torments could be alleviated by any kind of remedy; and he answered 'When the day of judgment arrives, then will be accomplished the will of Christ, for he alone knows the hearts of all, and then he will afford to all a just retribution'. Afterwards when I had returned to the body, that priest, to whom the lawyer had confessed only his light offences, came to me, and called God to witness in the presence of many, that what I said was true, since no one but himself knew these things. Of the punishments of many, which I saw, I omit to make mention, fearing lest, if I should speak further of them, I should create a loathing in my readers, but let these few chosen from the many suffice".

Of the vision which the same monk saw of the eternal glory of the blessed.

"Having thus in part described the things which we saw of the punishment and penal places of the wretched, it now remains for us to speak of the consolations of those at rest, and of the eternal glory of the blessed, which we beheld with our own eyes. After we had walked for a long time, amidst the different kinds of punishment which I have mentioned above, and had beheld the various sufferings of the wretched, as we made our way towards the inner regions, the light began by degrees to appear more pleasant; here the fragrance of a sweet odour, there the richness of a plain flourishing with many kinds of flowers afforded us incredible pleasure. In this plain we found endless thousands of men or spirits who, after passing through their punishments, were enjoying the happy rest of the blessed. Those whom we found in the first portion of this plain, had garments white indeed, but not shining, but there did not appear any blackness or stain in them, although they shone in an inferior degree of whiteness. Amongst these I saw several who had been known to me formerly, for I recognized there a certain abbess who had lately come from the places of punishment, who was clothed in garments unstained, though not very bright; I also saw and recognized there a certain prior who after being

A.D. 1196.] THE SECOND PLACE OF REST. 161

freed from all punishment was rejoicing in happy peace with the spirits of the just, in sure hope of the divine vision with which he was about to be rewarded. In that same place too I saw a priest, who having been possessed of the grace of preaching united to the example of a good life, had reclaimed from deadly sin the people not only of the parishes of which he had the pastoral care, but also those who were at a distance from him, and by the Lord's co-operation, an inexpressible glory rested on many by his means as on himself.

Of the second place of rest, and the glory of those dwelling there.

"As we proceeded from thence to the interior of this region of sweetness, the clearness of the light and the sweetness of the odour smiled on us more. But all whom this place contained were enrolled as inhabitants of the Upper Jerusalem, who had passed through all their punishments so easily, since they had been less ensnared by the vices of the world. And what we saw as we went on, the tongue cannot reveal or human weakness worthily describe; for who by words could worthily explain how, in the midst of blessed spirits of whom endless thousands stood round, as if present at the sacred solemnity of our Lord's passion, himself the pious Redeemer of the human race appeared as it were hanging on the cross, with his whole body bloody from scourgings, insulted by spitting, crowned with thorns, with nails driven into him, pierced with the lance, while streams of blood flowed over his hands and feet, and blood and water dropped from his holy side! Near him stood his mother, not anxious and sorrowful now, but rejoicing and looking with a most calm countenance on such an indescribable sight. Can any one indeed imagine with what eagerness all ran together to this spectacle, what devotion there was amongst those who beheld it, what a concourse of worshippers there was, how many were their indications of thanks for such great kindness? As I thought more profoundly of these things I know not whether it was grief or devotion which distracted my unhappy mind, but astonishment and admiration deprived me of sense. But what devotion is it, that the devil should be conquered by this contumely, and hell be defeated and robbed of its weapons and spoils, the lost man be recovered, and the prey of devils

162 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1196.

be snatched from their infernal prison-house and placed in heaven amongst the choir of angels? Many things, which I saw and heard here, I fear to relate, lest they should appear unusual and incredible to many. At length, after a length of time spent in looking at this blessed vision, the vision itself suddenly disappeared; and in the hallowed place, where the glory of such a mystery had existed, they all returned with delight, each to his appointed place, and I followed my guide, full of admiration, to the inner regions into the abodes of the blessed; here was the brightness of those assembled, here the fragrance of sweet smell, here the harmony of those singing praises to God.

Of the third place of happiness and the visions of God.

"After proceeding for some distance, and as the pleasantness of the places before us increased, I saw what appeared a wall of crystal, which was so high that no one could look over it, and to the extent of which there was no end, and on our approaching it, I saw it glittered with a most shining brightness from within, I also saw the entrance to it open, but marked with the protecting sign of the cross; thither approached crowds of those who being near were very anxious to enter, and the cross in the middle of the gate now raising itself on high, opened an entrance to those who approached; afterwards, falling again, it denied admittance to those who wished to enter. How joyfully those who were admitted went in, or how reverently those who remained shut out waited for the next raising of the cross, I cannot describe. Here my guide stopped with me some time, but as we at length went forward the cross was raised and the entrance was opened for us to enter; my companion entered without hindrance, and I was following, when on a sudden the cross descended upon our hands and was about to prevent me from following my guide; on seeing which I was in great alarm, but heard these words proceed from him, 'Fear not', said he, 'only put your trust in the Lord and enter in safety'; on this my confidence returned, and when the cross granted an entrance I went in. But how glittering was the inconceivable brightness, or how strong was the light which filled all those places, let no one ask of me, for this I am not able to express in words, uor even to recollect

A.D. 1196.] THE MONK RESTORED TO HIS BODY. 163

in my mind. That soft and glittering splendour so dazzled my eyes, that I could think of nothing to be compared to it which I had ever seen before; for that brightness, inconceivable as it was, did not blind the eye-sight, but rather sharpened it; and as I looked on it, nothing else met my sight than the light and the wall of crystal before mentioned. Moreover from the bottom to the top of it steps of a wonderful beauty were arranged, by means of which the crowds of rejoicing spirits ascended as soon as they were let in at the door; there was no toil to those who went up, no difficulty, and no delay in the ascent, for the step above was always ascended more easily than the one below had been. And when I directed my eyes above, I beheld, sitting on a throne of glory, our Lord and Saviour in human form, and, as it seemed to me, the spirits of five or seven hundred blessed beings, who had lately ascended by the before-mentioned road to the place of the throne, coming round him in a circle, and with signs of thanksgiving worshipping him. But it was most evident to me, that the place which I saw was not the heaven of heavens, where the Lord of lords will appear in Sion, as if he were in his majesty; but that from thence, after all difficulty and delay is removed, spirits ascend to that heaven which is blessed by the presence of the eternal Deity. In this vision, however, I conceived in my mind so much delight and joy, so much happiness and exultation, that whatever can be explained by human ingenuity would fail to express the delight of my heart which I there felt.

How the said monk was restored to his body.

"After I had seen and heard these and numberless other things, St. Nicholas briefly spoke to me, 'Lo! my son', said he, 'thou hast now as thou wishedst, as far as was possible for thee, in part beheld the condition of the life to come, the dangers of sinners, the punishment of the wicked, the rest of the purified, the joys of those who at length reach the court of heaven, and the mysteries of our Lord's suffering. You must now return to your mortal struggles; but you will receive, if you persevere in the fear of God, the things which you have with your own eyes beheld, and much greater than these, if you endeavour with an immaculate body and innocent heart to await the day of your last

164 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1197.

calling'. Whilst he was thus speaking to me, I suddenly heard a note of wondrous sweetness, as if the bells of all the world, or everything that is musical, were all sounding together. In this sound there was a wonderful sweetness and a various mixture of melody, and I know not whether it was most to be admired for its grandeur or its sweetness. Whilst I was anxiously listening to such an unusual sound, and had lost my recollection, I found myself, as soon as it ceased, deprived of the eompany of my guide; and the strength of my body returning, and my eyes being restored to the faculty of sight, the pain of my former sickness was destroyed; and being altogether freed from my weakness, I sat amongst you strong and healthy, although anxious and sorrowful. Being therefore restored to myself, as soon as I heard from the brothers that the festival of Easter was approaching, I considered that the music I had heard was a sign, that even amongst the inhabitants of heaven the mystery of the salvation of the human race is observed with joy and festivity by the inhabitants of heaven, even as it was wrought on earth by Him who created the world and the heavens out of nothing, Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, be all honour and glory world without end. Amen".

Of the death of Henry king of Jerusalem.

At this same time Henry of Champagne, who had succeeded Guy as king of Jerusalem, fell from the upper window of a house into the street, and, breaking his neck, was killed; he was a nephew of the kings of France and England, Philip and Richard, being a son of the daughter of Louis king of the French, Philip's father, whom he had by Eleanor, his queen, afterwards married to king Henry, father of king Richard. When therefore the above-named king died, the condition of the Holy Land necessarily required a new one; on which, by the unanimous consent of the priests and people, the election fell on an illustrious Frenchman, John de Brienne, a man well skilled in warfare, who was at once crowned king, and under his rule the affairs of the kingdom prospered.

King Richard sent messengers to Rome to complain of the archbishop of Rouen.

[A.D. 1197.] King Richard was at Bure, in Normandy,

A.D. 1197.] DEATH OF THE BISHOP OF ELY. 165

and was in great trouble because the archbishop of Rouen had placed Normandy under an interdict, for the bodies of the dead were lying unburied in the squares and streets of the cities, which caused a great stench amongst the living. He therefore sent William bishop of Ely, his chancellor, with the bishops of Durham and Lisieux, to the court of Rome, to plead his cause against the said archbishop; but William bishop of Ely died on his way to Rome, at Poictiers, and was buried in the Cistercian convent of Dispin, on the 29th of January. The before-named bishops, however, his companions, proceeded on their journey and arrived at Rome. When the parties were convened in presence of our lord the pope, and had been heard carefully, our lord the pope and his cardinals after long deliberation, considering the damage and trouble which might accrue to the king in Normandy unless that castle was built in Andelys, advised the archbishop to come to an amicable arrangement with their lord the king, and to accept from him an adequate compensation in the estimation of wise men for what he had lost; [1] for they declared that it was quite lawful for any one who was able to do so, like the king of England, to strengthen the weaker parts of his kingdom that he might not suffer any loss or injury therefrom. With these terms of peace the messengers of both parties returned, and procured a reversion of the sentence of interdict.

Form of the agreement which was made between king Richard and the archbishop of Rouen.

The form of peace and agreement made between the king of England and the archbishop of Rouen was as follows: "Richard, by the grace of God, king of England, etc. Since the holy church is the spouse of the Eternal King, and the only beloved of Him by whom kings do reign and princes hold their authority, we wish to pay it the more reverence and devotion, the more firm we are in our belief that not only the kingly but all power is from the Lord God; wherefore, as the holy church of Rouen, which is


[1] "For the village of Andelys and some adjoining places, which the king had taken from the archbishop, that he might strengthen the weak points of his territories, he gave the archbishop in exchange all the royal mills at Rouen with their appurtenances, the villages of Dieppe und Buceles with all their liberties". Matthew Paris.

166 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1197.

known to be most celebrated amongst all our dominions, deems it meet carefully to consult our interests according to the necessities of time and other circumstances, so we have thought fit to pay a meet compensation for the advantage and increase of the same church, our mother. Since the town of Andelys and some other adjacent places, which belonged to the church of Rouen, were not sufficiently fortified, and there was a way of ingress opened to our enemies into our country of Normandy, through those same places, by means of which they sometimes insultingly assailed the same country with fire and rapine, and other cruelties of warfare. Wherefore, the right worshipful Walter our father, the archbishop and the chapter of Rouen, having due regard to our losses in the before-named country, an exchange has been made between the church of Rouen and archbishop Walter of the one part, and ourselves of the other part, concerning the manor of Andelys, as follows: to wit, that the said archbishop, with the consent and by the wish of our lord the pope, Celestine the third, and with the consent of the chapter of the church of Rouen, hath granted, and for ever quit-claimed to us and our heirs, the aforesaid manor of Andelys, with the new castle of 'the Rock', the forest, and all other its appurtenances and liberties, except the churches and the necessaries for soldiers, and except the manor of Freisnas, with its appurtenances, all which the said archbishop retains, the church of Rouen, himself and his heirs, with all their liberties and free customs, and in all their entirety for ever. But in exchange for the aforesaid manor of Andelys with its appurtenances, we have granted, and for ever quitclaimed to the church of Rouen, the aforesaid archbishop and his successors, all the mills which we possessed at Rouen when this exchange was made, together with all appurtenances and grinding instruments, without any reserve of the things which appertain to the mill or to grinding, and with all liberties and free customs which they are accustomed or ought to have; and it shall not be lawful for any one to build a mill at that place, to the detriment of the mills aforesaid. We have, moreover, also granted to them the towns ot Dieppe and Buceles, with their appurtenances and liberties, also the manor of Loures, and the forest of Haliermunt, with the wild beasts and all other its appurtenances and liberties.

A.D. 1197.] ALLIANCE OF RICHARD AND BALDWIN. 167

And the church of Rouen and the aforesaid archbishop, and his successors will hold all these places in exchange for the aforesaid manor of Andeleys for ever, as witness these names ... [1] This exchange has been effected at Rouen in the year of grace 1197, and in the eighth year of our reign". [2]

How king Richard carried the body of St. Valery to Normandy, and there burned several ships.

At this time a hint was given to king Richard that ships were in the habit of coming from England to St. Valery to bring provisions to the king of the French and his other enemies; he therefore marched to that place, burned the town, destroyed the monks, and carried away the coffin of St. Valery, with his bones, into Normandy. In the harbour there he found some English ships laden with corn and provisions; whereupon he ordered their crews to be hung, and after burning the ships, bestowed the provisions on his soldiers.

How king Richard secured the alliance of the count of Flanders.

About this same time king Richard, by presents, enticed all who were powerful in the French kingdom, into friendship with him: he gave five thousand marks of silver to Baldwin count of Flanders for his assistance, and that prince gave hostages to the king as a security that he would not make any terms with the king of the French without his consent. The inhabitants of Champagne, with those also of Brittany, left the king of the French and joined the side of king Richard. William Crepin, constable of Auge, being compelled by force, surrendered the same castle to the English king, who immediately garrisoned it; and the French king assembled an army and laid siege to it. Whilst this was going on, the king of the English made a hostile descent


[1] The names are omitted.

[2] "In those days there arose in France a famous preacher, by whom God wrought miracles openly; he endeavoured to eradicate usury among the French, who had imbibed that vice from the Italians, and were much contaminated by it. This preacher, whose name was Fulk, sent a certain priest, namely, the abbat de Flai, into England, to put down the horrors of traffic on Sunday, and the abbat, on his arrival, eradicated this unseemly practice in many places. At this time, Robert of Shrewsbury was consecrated bishop of Bangor". M. Paris.

168 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1197.

on Auvergne, and took ten of the French king's castles, and a great number of his followers; but before the former could return into Normandy, the French king had taken the castle of Anjou, [1] but on the receipt of fifty marks of silver, he gave up the soldiers of the garrison, safe in life and limb, and with their horses and arms, but the king retained the castle and strengthened it.

How the French king was close pressed in Flanders.

In the meantime, Baldwin count of Flanders besieged the castle of Arras, and the king of the French hearing of this, came thither with a large army; but on his arrival the count raised the siege and departed for his own dominions, with the king of France in pursuit. But when the latter monarch had advanced a good way amongst the lakes and inlets of the sea, the count of Flanders caused all the bridges to be broken, and the aqueducts to be opened, both in the front and rear of the French king, so that he could neither advance or retreat, nor could any provisions be brought to him. The king, being in this dilemma, sent word to the count that he had come there with the intention of making amicable arrangements with him or of recalling him from his fealty to the English king; he, moreover, told the count that he was his liege subject, on which account he ought not, nor did it become him, to fight against his crown. The count, however, before he permitted the king of the French to depart, made him swear that he would restore both to himself, the count, and to the king of the English, all the castles and other their rights, which he had taken possession of during the war, and he appointed a day for the performance of this agreement, arranging that he himself as well as the English king should come to a conference on the Wednesday after the exaltation of the holy cross, between Gaillon and Andelys; and then the French king, thus escaping capture by the duke, returned to his own dominions. But after he had got back to Paris he took counsel with his nobles in order to break from his agreement; for he did not consider himself bound to keep an oath which he had made on compulsion.


[1] Dangu in the original.

A.D. 1198.] OTHO, KING OF GERMANY. 109

Of certain useful laws enacted by king Richard.

In the same year, on the day of St. Edmund the king and martyr, king Richard, at the instance of Hubert archbishop of Canterbury and justiciary of England, made a decree at Westminster, that, throughout England all measures of corn and pulse, both in cities and other places, should be of the same size, and especially the measure of ale, wine, and the weights of merchants. It was also decreed that woollen cloths in all parts of the kingdom should be two ells wide, within the borders, and should be as good in the middle as they were at the sides. It was, moreover, decreed that no trader should hang up before his shop red or black cloths, or anything else by which the sight of purchasers should be deceived in choosing a good cloth. A decree was also passed that no dye, except black, should be anywhere made use of in the kingdom, except in the capital cities or the boroughs; and if any one should be convicted of transgressing any of these laws, that his body should be imprisoned, and his goods confiscated to the revenue. In this same year, Philip, a clerk of the king's, of the country of Poictou, was elected bishop of Durham, and was consecrated at the Lateran by pope Celestine.

Of the coronation of Otho, as king of Germany.

[A.D. 1198.] In the ninth year of king Richard's reign, on the recommendation of the same monarch, his nephew Otho was crowned king of Alemaine or Germany; he directly married the daughter of the duke of Louvain, and on the day of his coronation sat at table in the church with her, though she was not crowned at that time. In the same year, on the death of pope Celestine, Innocent the Third succeeded him, and on St. Peter's day was consecrated pope and placed in St. Peter's chair; under his auspices there sprang up in Italy a new sect of preachers called 'Jacobites', because they imitated the life of the apostles. These men went forth amongst cities, streets, and castles, preaching the word of the gospel, eating but little, scantily clothed, and without gold, silver, or any other property. In a short time those people multiplied throughout the world on account of their voluntary poverty, dwelling in the chief cities by sevens and tens, taking no heed for the future, and retaining nothing for their

170 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1198.

use on the morrow; they also lived according to the rules of the apostles, and whatever they had abundance of at their tables from charitable gifts, this they immediately bestowed on the poor; they went about shod in the preaching of the gospel, slept in their clothes, used hard beds, and put stones under their heads for pillows.

Of the wonderful penitence of Hugh bishop of Chester.

In the same year Hugh de Nunant, bishop of Coventry or Chester, fell very ill when on his way to Rome; and when, by his illness gaining ground, he knew that his death was approaching, he sent for the religious men of all Normandy, abbats and priors, as many as he could, and in the hearing of all of them, and purely and with a contrite heart, he in tears confessed aloud all the sins, faults, and offences, which occurred to his recollection. So great was his penitence and contrition, that all those who stood by and looked at him were moved to tears; and at length in tears and lamentations he with clasped hands besought all the priests, by God's virtue, to inflict a fitting repentance and atonement on him, a penitence for the great crimes of which he had been guilty. But the religious men who stood by his bed hearing of such a wicked life in a bishop, and at the same time beholding his excessive contrition of heart, looked at one another and were all silent, not knowing what advice to give him, or what answer to make on a sudden. The bishop on seeing this, said to them, "I know, I know, that now you have heard of such great offences, you are doubting amongst yourselves as to what you should inflict on me by way of atonement; but I beseech you, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, by way of penance you adjudge me, for the remission of my sins, to remain, according to the will of God, in the tortures of purgatory till the day of judgment, that, by the mercy of our Redeemer, whose compassion always exceeds his judgment, I may then be saved". This advice pleased them all, except always the divine clemency, which desires all to be preserved, and not one to be lost. Then the bishop, in the hearing of them all, acknowledged with great grief that he had expelled the monks from Coventry, and, to add to all his faults, had introduced irreligious priests in their stead; to atone for which fault, he found no

A.D. 1198.] PENITENCE OF BISHOP HUGH. 171

other kind of correction, unless he died in the habit of those whom, under the influence of the devil, he had, as long as he was able, persecuted, reduced to beggary, and, in his hatred, injured in every possible way. Alter this confession, he besought the abbat of Bec, who was standing by him amongst the rest, out of charity, and to the shame of the devil, to grant him the habit of a monk, that he might have as protectors in the life to come those whom he had persecuted in this. After this was granted him, he gave all he possessed in gold and silver, jewels, and precious vessels, to religious houses and to the poor, and thus died more happily than was expected amidst the hopes and tears of those who stood round.

Of the restoration of the conventual church at Coventry, and the expulsion of the priests.

There was at this time staying at the court of Rome a certain monk of the convent at Coventry named Thomas, who had been with the rest of his brethren expelled, as has been mentioned above, by the before-named bishop, and who was endeavouring by the authority of the supreme pontiff to place again in their former condition the monks who were dispersed in all directions; some of his brethren had died, some had left the court weary and impoverished, he alone persevering in the matter, although on account of his poverty he was often obliged to beg his bread; but, having heard the wished-for news of the death of the bishop of Coventry, his heart was elated in the Lord, who shows his goodness to those who trust in him and persevere in well-doing. One day when the newly created pope Innocent was sitting in council with his cardinals, the aforesaid monk suddenly burst into the midst of them, and held out to the pope a petition setting forth his business; the latter, after he had read it, replied to the hasty monk, "Brother, has not this petition been often, in my sight and hearing, refused by our predecessors Clement and Celestine; and do you think, if you could not overreach them, to do so with me as if I were foolish "? and added with anger, "Depart, brother, depart, for you certainly wait here to no purpose". But the monk hearing these words, replied with bitter tears, saying, "Holy father, my petition is just, and altogether honourable, and therefore

172 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1198.

I do not wait in vain: for I await your death, as I have the deaths of your predecessors; for he who succeeds you will hear my petition with effect". But the pope hearing these words, was inexpressibly astonished, and turning to his cardinals who sat near him, said, "Heard ye what this devil said? 'I await', says he, 'your death, as I have that of your predecessors'". Then turning to the monk he said, "Brother, by St. Peter, you shall not wait my death here, for your petition is granted". And immediately before he took any food, he sent commands to Hubert archbishop of Canterbury, that, immediately on the receipt of his letters, he should go in person to the church of Coventry, expel the priests, and reinstate the monks. The said archbishop, therefore, supported by the high pontiff's authority, removed the before-mentioned priests, and on the 18th of January reintroduced the monks in their stead. As the prior of that place had died when the monks were driven into exile, he appointed as prior over them a Norman named Joibert, who, on account of his eminent skill in secular affairs, had received the government of the three priories, of Daventry, Wenlock, and Coventry; he immediately with the advice of the monks set about the election of a bishop, and by common consent the lot fell on Geoffrey de Muschamp. The prior of Bermondsey dying about this time, too, Hubert archbishop of Canterbury, to satisfy the avarice of the aforesaid Joibert, added this fourth priory to his other three.

Of the consecration of certain bishops.

On the fourth Sunday in Lent of the same year, Eustace dean of Salisbury, was consecrated bishop of Ely, by Hubert archbishop of Canterbury, in the chapel of St. Catherine at Westminster. Afterwards, Geoffrey bishop of Coventry elect, was consecrated by the same archbishop at Canterbury on the 21st of June. In this year, too, on the 10th of May, a shower of blood fell on those who were building the castle at Andelys in Normandy, which was a warning perhaps that the death of king Richard would occur shortly. And at this time, too, Geoffrey archbishop of York, made peace with the king and his brother in Normandy, for the king was displeased with him on account of the removal of his chancellor at the time he was a prisoner of the emperor's.

A.D. 1198.] BATTLE IN WALES. 173

Of the removal of Hubert archbishop of Canterbury from the office of justiciary.

At that time a difference arose between the archbishop of Canterbury and the monks of the Holy Trinity at that place, on account of the new church which the archbishop had built at Lambeth; for the monks were afraid [1] that he would transfer the cathedral see to the latter place; they therefore set out to Rome to complain to pope Innocent, that the archbishop, contrary to the dignity of his station, was acting as justiciary of England, and judge in matters of life and death, and that he paid attention to secular affairs more than was proper, neglecting the affairs of the church; they also charged him with the fact, that it was by his orders that the church, of St. Mary of the Arches, [2] in London, was profaned, when William with the Beard was dragged forth from it, tied to horses' tails, dragged through the streets of the city, and finally hung on the gallows; and in this way the monks, spending a great deal of money about it, greatly dimmed the archbishop's fame. The pope, on hearing these things, commanded the king of England, immediately on receipt of his letters, under penalty of an interdict, to dismiss the aforesaid archbishop from the office of justiciary, as it was especially forbidden bishops to meddle with secular business. King Richard, therefore, dismissed the archbishop, and appointed Geoffrey Fitz-Peter in his place.

Of a battle between the English and Welsh, in which many were slain.

In the same year, whilst king Richard was staying beyond sea, Geoffrey Fitz-Peter, high justiciary of England, assembled a large army and marched into Wales to the assistance of William de Brause, and his followers, who were besieged in the castle of Matilda, by Wenunwen king of Wales; and on his arrival there a battle took place. [3] But the Welsh


[1] "For the monks feared, and indeed it not only was publicly reported, but also the archbishop had used threats to the same effect, that he would transfer thither the episcopal see, and what was still worse, degrade the monks, and put secular canons in their places. If this should take effect, it would redound to the injury of many, together with the ingratitude of the electors, and of the numerous saints who had been monks in that church". M. Paris.

[2] Bow Church.

[3] Matthew Paris adds here, "Almost all the Welshmen in Wales were assembled together, sworn to oppose the unjust invasion of the English as long as they had breath in their bodies. When they were drawn out in battle array against the English army, Peter the justiciary, a brave and prudent knight, came up with his people in battle array against them, and exhorted his men to fight bravely and manfully. One of them, named Walter de Hame, a native of Trumpington, replied, 'God forbid, my lord, that any nobleman should be prodigal of his own life: I am but a poor man, and my life is of no value, nor will the enemy have much cause to triumph in my death'. With these words, he did not wait for a reply, but furiously spurred against one of the foremost of the enemy, leaving him on the ground grievously wounded, charged a second, whom he served in the same manner, and then assailed a third, whom he seized by the helmet, and nearly shook the breath out of his body. Then looking back upon his own army, he exclaimed, 'Hurra! king's men, come on, and charge them, the victory is ours'" Before he had spoken these words, the Welsh army was broken; the right wing of the English came up, and the enemy were routed right and left".

174 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1198.

not being able to resist the English, were put to flight, and throwing away their arms in order to fly better, gave courage to the English; more than three thousand seven hundred of their soldiers were said to have been slain, besides those who were taken prisoners, and those mortally wounded; but of the English only one man was killed, and he was pierced by an arrow which was carelessly discharged by one of his fellow soldiers.

How king Richard, in a battle with the French king, took twenty knights.

About the same time, Philip king of the French, and the English king Richard, met in battle between Jumieges and Vernon; in this conflict the French king and his followers took to flight, and retreated to Vernon for safety, but before they could get into the castle, king Richard, who was pursuing them at the sword's point, made prisoners of twenty knights, and more than sixty soldiers. On the tenth of September in this year, Richard bishop of London paid the debt of nature.

Of a glorious victory gained by king Richard.

About that time, king Richard assembled all his forces, and, supported by the valour of his English troops, took by assault three of the French king's castles, namely, Sirefontan, Burs, and the fortress of Curcel. The French king, who believed that the castle of Curcel was not yet taken, came from Nantes to render assistance to that place, with four

A.D. 1198.] KING RICHARD'S CONQUESTS. 175

hundred knights and a number of attendants, and all his soldiers; king Richard learning this by means of his scouts, came in an opposite direction to meet them, and fought a pitched battle with them, between Curcel and Gisors. In this conflict the French king, unable to sustain the shock of the battle, fled with his attendants to the castle of Gisors. As the fugitives were retreating over the bridge of that town, it broke down on account of the multitude who impetuously rushed on it, and the king himself with his horse and armour fell into the river Ethe with innumerable others of the French, and, as he lay there, was rolled over and over in the mud, and with difficulty saved from death. In the meantime, a picked body of the French troops, in order to assist the flight of their sovereign, and to save him from falling into the hands of the pursuing king, faced about against king Richard, and made a fierce attack on him, thus exposing themselves to death for the preservation of their sovereign. Then the battle raged on both sides, swords thundered on helmeted heads, and drew fire by quickly repeated blows, and the stiff lances knocked down enemies in all directions; but I have no time for the relation; their rage did not cease till the king of the English had captured the whole of the resisting band. In this battle king Richard unhorsed and made prisoners of three chosen knights, Matthew de Montmorenci, Alan de Rusci, and Fulk de Gilernalles; and with them were taken the following men of rank in the French kingdom, Gallis de Porta, Gerard de Chori, Philip de Nanteuil, Peter d'Eschans, Robert de St. Denys, Theobald de Wallengard, Cedunal de Trie, Roger de Meetlent, Aim Triers, Reginald d'Asci, Baldwin de Leisni, Thomas d'Asgent, Ferrius de Paris, Peter de Latonia, Guy de Nevers, Frumentin of Champagne, Theodoric d'Anecis, Anfrie de Baalim, Eborard de Montigny, Odo de Munteiun, Funcard de Roche, Walter Rufus, Arnulph de Leini, William de Banceto, Joken de Bray, Peter de Pinei, Denbert d'Augi, Puncard du Chatel, William de Merllon, John de Granges, Theobald de Breun, Roger de Beaumont, Gilbert de Braye, Peter de Maidul, John de Cerni, Alard de Loviers, Ralph de Valencel, Ferri de Brunaye, Thomas de Custele, William de Rochemont, Theobald de Misci; and besides these already mentioned the said king took a hundred

176 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1198.

knights and two hundred horses, covered with armour; of soldiers, horse and foot, and arbalesters, he took an immense number. After this, the victorious Richard sent letters to all his friends in England, such as the archbishops, bishops, abbats, earls, and barons, earnestly and devoutly begging of them to join him in glorifying God for having granted him such a triumph over his enemies.

Of a treaty made between the kings of France and England.

Philip the French king, therefore, seeing that the power of the king of England daily increased whilst his own gradually grew deficient, yielded to necessity, and secretly sent messengers to the supreme pontiff, setting forth by his pleaders that he was willingly to come to an arrangement with the king of England, or by a truce to put off fighting for a time, in order that, after the truce was confirmed by the authority of the pope himself, the monarchs of both kingdoms might, by his co-operation, be able to fulfil the vows of their pilgrimage, and to release the land of promise from the power of the enemies of Christ; and that this might be made secure and binding, the king asked the pope to send some cardinal with plenary powers to the western parts, who could, if necessary, pronounce sentence of interdict against whichever of them should be found averse to peace and amity. With these and many other similar requests, pope Innocent, who was most anxious to forward the cause of the crusade, was induced to comply, more by money than the king's entreaties, and he accordingly sent Peter of Capua, one of his cardinals, to make peace between the two kings. He, on his arrival at the French king's dominions, by advice of that monarch, took with him some bishops of both kingdoms, and, on coming to the king of England, he explained to him what great calamities were happening and would continue to happen to the kingdoms of the two monarchs unless peace was soon made between them. King Richard, however, answered with indignation, saying that he was not bound by law to do anything at the pope's command, especially as he had often asked him to compel the French king by the church's censure to restore to him the territories and castles which the said king, in disregard of his oath, had unjustly seized on when he himself

A.D. 1199.] KING RICHARD'S DEATH. 177

was, in the land of promise, expelling the enemies of the cross, and endeavouring to restore the Holy Land to a proper state. Wherefore, he had been compelled, by the fault of the pope himself, to spend a very large sum of money in regaining his own inheritance; by which the aforesaid king had not only committed perjury, but had also incurred the sentence of excommunication; and moreover, he did not know whether the French king would agree to the truce. The cardinal then called the English king aside, and told him under a pledge of secrecy, that it was at the instance of that very monarch that he had been sent by the pope to make peace between them; and he advised the king also this once to acquiesce in the pope's wish, and to rest assured that the pope would listen to him concerning the king of the French, as well as concerning any other matters. On this king Richard, who beyond measure desired the welfare of his nephew Otho, the lately crowned king of Germany, in order to obtain from the pope easier approach to the imperial consecration, was overcome by the entreaties of all, and acquiesced in the arrangements. The two kings then met together, and swore to keep a truce for five years, with the condition that the subjects and merchants of both kings should be allowed to pass and repass at will, for the purpose of buying or selling, through the territories and markets of either kingdom. After this was done, the king of England sent the abbat of Chertsey and Raymond, a monk of St. Alban's, who had been sent into Normandy to the king, about the affairs of his church to Rome, to carry the above-mentioned treaty into effect; and, to effect all this, the king levied a tax of five shillings on every ploughed hide of land throughout all England by way of aiding him.

How Hubert archbishop of Canterbury destroyed the church at Lambeth.

[A.D. 1199.] Hubert archbishop of Canterbury, at his own expense, and to the disgrace of himself and many others, at the request of the monks of Canterbury and by the order of the supreme pontiff, destroyed the church of Lambeth, which his predecessor Baldwin had founded and almost finished himself.

Of king Richard's death.

In the same year, after the truce had been arranged

178 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1199.

between Philip and Richard, the kings of France and England, the latter king turned his arms against some of the rebel barons of Poictou, and carrying fire and sword into their cities and towns, cut down their vineyards and orchards, and slew some of his enemies without pity. At length he arrived in the duchy of Aquitaine, and laid siege to the castle of Chalus, in the Limosin where, on the 26th of March, he was wounded by one Peter Basilii, with a poisoned weapon, as was said, but of this wound he thought nothing. At length in the twelve days which he survived, he fiercely attacked and took the castle, and committing the knights and their followers to close imprisonment, put his own followers in the castle, at the same time strengthening the fortifications. But the wound which he had received at this place, having been all this time unattended to, began to swell, and a sort of blackness overspreading the place of the wound, mixed with the swelling, and caused him intolerable pain. At length when he perceived that his danger was imminent, the king prepared for his end by contrition of heart, by pure verbal confession and by the communion of the body and blood of our Lord; he forgave the author of his death, namely Peter, who had wounded him, and ordered him to be released from his chains and to depart. He ordered his body to be buried at Font-Evrault near the feet of his father, whose destroyer he confessed himself to be, and bequeathed his invincible heart to the church of Rouen; his entrails he ordered to be buried in the church at the above-named castle, thus giving them as a present to the inhabitants of Poictou. To some of his intimate followers he, under a promise of secrecy, revealed his reasons for making such a distribution of his body; for the reason above-assigned he gave his body to his father; he sent his heart as a present to the inhabitants of Rouen on account of the incomparable fidelity which he had always experienced in them; but to the inhabitants of Poictou, for their known treachery, he left his entrails, not considering them worthy of any other part of him. After he had spoken thus the swelling suddenly reached the parts about his heart, and on Tuesday the 6th of April this warlike man gave up his spirit at the above-mentioned castle, after reigning nine years and a half. He was buried, according to his orders whilst living, at Font-Evrault, and with him, in the

A.D. 1199.] RICHARD'S EPITAPH. 179

opinion of many, were buried alike the pride and honour of the chivalry of the West; of his death and burial some one has published the following epitaph.

His entrails given to Poictou - Lie buried near to Fort Chalus;
His body lies entombed below - A marble slab at Font-Evraut;
And Neustria thou hast thy part - The unconquerable hero's heart.
And thus through cities three are spread - The ashes of the mighty dead,
But this a funeral cannot be - Instead of one this king has three.

Here begins about king John, and other things that happened at that time.

After the victorious king Richard had, as has been mentioned, gone the way of all flesh, John earl of Mortaigne, his brother, honourably retained all those who had served his brother as well as the mercenary knights, promising them large presents; and forthwith he sent Hubert archbishop of Canterbury, and William Marshal into England, to make his peace there, and to take charge of the kingdom, together with Geoffrey Fitz-Peter, who was then justiciary, and other nobles of the kingdom. On their arrival there they made the people swear fealty to earl John, and meeting with Geoffrey Fitz-Peter they called together all the nobles of whom they had the most doubts; to them they promised that earl John would restore their rights to them all; on which condition then the earls and barons swore fealty to the said earl, in opposition to all others. But to William king of Scots, they sent word by Eustace de Vesci, that earl John, on his return, would satisfy him for all his rights in England, if in the meantime he would keep faith and peace with the earl; and thus all strife and contention in England was set at rest.

How some of the nobles united themselves to earl John, awl others to Arthur.

Whilst these events were passing in England, earl John went to Chinon, where the treasure of the deceased king was deposited, which John de Turnham, who had charge of it, gave up to him with the castles of Saumur and Chinon, and other fortresses, which had been entrusted to his care; but Thomas de Furneis, nephew of the said Robert, delivered the city and castle of Anjou, to Arthur count of Brittany, and joined the said Arthur. The chiefs of Anjou, Maine, and Tours also adhered to the party of Arthur as their liege lord,

180 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1199.

saying that it was the opinion and the custom of those countries that Arthur, who was the son of the elder brother, should succeed his uncle in the patrimony and inheritance, which Geoffrey, father of this same Arthur would have had, if he had survived king Richard. Moreover Constance, Arthur's mother, went to Tours, to the French king, and delivered the said Arthur to him; that king at once sent him to Paris under charge of a guard, and received into his care all the cities and castles which belonged to Arthur. But earl John, and his mother queen Eleanor, came attended by a large army to Maine, took the city and castle, destroyed the stone houses in it, because the inhabitants had taken the side of Arthur, and, making prisoners of the citizens, incarcerated them.

How earl John assumed the duchy of Normandy.

After these events earl John spent Easter day at Bamfort in Anjou, and on the day after sent queen Eleanor with Marcadeus, to the city of Anjou, which they attacked and destroyed, making prisoners of the citizens. Earl John, in the meantime, came to Rouen, and on the octaves of Easter day, [1] was girt with the sword of the duchy of Normandy in the mother church, by Walter archbishop of Rouen, and the same archbishop before the great altar placed on his head the golden circle with rosettes of gold artificially worked in a circle on the top of it; the duke then in the presence of the clergy and people, swore, on the relics of the saints and by the holy gospels, that he would in good faith and without evil practices defend the holy church, and its dignity, and honour the ordained priests of it; he moreover swore to do away with bad laws, if there were any, and to make others in lieu of them. On the 23rd of May in this year, William, of Norman race, and a canon of St. Paul's church at London, was consecrated bishop of London in the chapel of St. Catherine, at Westminster by Hubert archbishop of Canterbury.

Of king John's coronation.

About this time John duke of Normandy came over into England, and landed at Shoreham on the 25th of May; on


[1] 25th of April.

A.D. 1199.] CORONATION OF KING JOHN. 181

the day after, which was the eve of our Lord's ascension, he went to London to be crowned there. On his arrival therefore, the archbishops, bishops, earls, barons, and all others, whose duty it was to be present at his coronation, assembled together in the church of the chief of the apostles at Westminster, on the 27th of May, and there Hubert archbishop of Canterbury placed the crown on his head, [1] and anointed him king; Philip bishop of Durham, made an appeal to prevent this coronation taking place in the absence of Geoffrey archbishop of York, but did not obtain his wish. At this coronation king John bound himself by a triple oath, namely, to love the holy church and its ordained priests, and to preserve it harmless from the attacks of evil designers, and to do away with bad laws, substituting good ones in their stead, and to see justice rightly administered throughout England. He was afterwards adjured by the same archbishop on behalf of God, and strictly forbidden to presume to accept this honour, unless he purposed in his mind, to fulfil in deed, what he had sworn to; in reply to this the king promised that, by God's assistance, he would in all good


[1] Matthew Paris adds as follows:- "The archbishop, standing in the midst, addressed them thus, 'Hear, all of you, and be it known that no one has an antecedent right to succeed another in the kingdom, unless he shall have been unanimously elected, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, on account of the superior merits of his character, after the example of Saul the first anointed king, whom the Lord set over his people, not as the sou of a king, nor as born of royal ancestry. In the same manner, after Saul came David, son of Jesse. Saul was chosen because he was a brave man, and suited for the royal dignity: David, because he was holy and humble. Thus those who excelled in vigour are elevated to kingly dignity. But, if any relations of a deceased king excel others in merit, all should the more readily and zealously consent to his election. We have said this to maintain the cause of earl John, who is here present, brother of our illustrious king Richard, lately deceased without heirs of his body, and as the said earl John is prudent, active, and indubitably noble, we have, under God's Holy Spirit, unanimously elected him for his merits and his royal blood'. Now the archbishop was a man of bold character and a support to the kingdom by his steadiness and incomparable wisdom, no one, therefore, dared to dispute what he said, as knowing that he had good cause tor what he did. Earl John and all who were present acquiesced, and they unanimously elected the earl, crying out, 'God save the king'! Archbishop Hubert was afterwards asked why he acted in this manner, to which he replied that he knew John would one day or other bring the kingdom into great confusion, wherefore he determined that he should owe his elevation to election and not to hereditary right".

182 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1199.

faith keep the oath which he had made. On the following day, after he had received the homage and fealty of his subjects, he went to St. Alban's, the proto-martyr of England, to pray; and so, making but a very short stay in England, he with the advice of the nobles duly settled everything that required his attention.

How king John crossed over into Normandy and reconciled many of the nobles to himself.

On the day of St. John the Baptist's nativity the king crossed sea to Normandy, and on his arrival at Rouen a number of soldiers, both horse and foot, flocked together to him, and these he gladly retained in his service. Afterwards he had an interview with the king of the French, when a truce was agreed on till the day after the assumption of the blessed Mary, in order that they might in the meantime arrange terms of peace. In the meantime the count of Flanders and many other nobles of the French kingdom came to king John at Rouen, and made a treaty of alliance with him, as they had done with king Richard, against the king of the French; and after mutually giving security, each returned to his own territories.

How the kings met at a conference, but went away at variance with one another.

In this same year, on the day after the assumption of the blessed Mary, the French king conferred the knight's belt on Arthur count of Brittany; and the said Arthur at once did homage to the French king for Anjou, Poictou, Tours, Maine, Brittany, and Normandy; and the king promised Arthur his assistance in gaining possession of all these places. On the day after the two kings held a conference between the castle of Butavant and Gaillon, at which they, apart from the nobles of both kingdoms, conversed face to face for an hour, no one except themselves being within hearing. At this interview the French king required for his own use the whole of the Vexin, that is, the country contained between the forest of Lyons and the Seine on one side, and the rivers Andelys and Ethe on the other side; and said that Geoffrey Plantagenet count of Anjou, John's grandfather, had given it to Louis le Gros for the assistance afforded him by

A.D. 1199.] OTHO EMPEROR OF ROME. 183

that monarch in gaining possession of Normandy in opposition to king Stephen. He moreover demanded for Arthur the countries of Poictou, Anjou, Maine, Tours, and Normandy, and many other things, which John would not and ought not to grant; and so, breaking off the interview, they departed mutually at variance. The king of the French being asked by his nobles why he was so inimically disposed towards king John, who had never done him an injury, replied that the latter had seized on Normandy and the above-named other countries without his permission, whereas he ought, at king Richard's death, in the first place to have come to him, and done homage to him for his right. The king of the French thus departed; but William de Rupibus, a nobleman, cunningly took Arthur away from the care of the French king, and made peace between him and the king of England, at the same time giving up to the latter the city of Mans, which the French king had entrusted together with Arthur to the care of the aforesaid William; but on the same day it was told Arthur that the king of the English would take him and consign him to perpetual imprisonment; on which he secretly made his escape and returned to the king of the French again.

How king Otho went to Rome, and obtained the title of emperor there.

At that time the election of Philip duke of Suabia, and many others, was annulled, and Otho king of Germany was elected and admitted emperor of Rome by pope Innocent and all the Roman people. After this election was confirmed by the pope, Philip duke of Suabia, and all his supporters, were threatened with excommunication, unless they desisted from their persecution of Otho; and in the capital, and throughout the whole city of Rome, the cry was raised of 'Life and health to the emperor Otho'. Being thus confirmed in his title by all, he recollected that it was by king Richard's means that he had been advanced to such a great dignity, he therefore sent word to king John to put off coming to terms of friendship with the French king, because he the emperor would, God willing, in a short time provide him with such assistance as became the imperial dignity to give.

184 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1199.

The French kingdom is laid under interdict.

About this time, Peter of Capua, a cardinal and legate of the apostolic see, laid the kingdom of France under an interdict, on account of the imprisonment of his brother Peter de Douay, bishop-elect of Cambray; but the king of the French released the said bishop-elect before the sentence was withdrawn. In the same year, too, the same legate came to the king of the English and demanded, under pain of interdict, the release of the bishop of Beauvais, who had now been most cruelly detained in prison for two years, and the king's free permission for that prelate to depart; but since the said bishop had, in disregard of the dignity of his order, been taken in arms like a soldier or routier, he was not allowed to depart before he had satisfied the rapacity of the king by paying six thousand marks of silver sterling weight into his treasury; after which the said bishop swore that he would never again during his life carry arms against the Christians.

Of the decision of the old cause between the churches of Tours and Dol.

In this year a very old cause between the churches of Tours and Dol, was decided at Rome by a definitive decree of pope Innocent; the archbishop of Tours requiring submission from the bishop of Dol, and the bishop of Dol opposing it. The church of Dol was the head of Lesser Brittany, and the high priests of that church, as well as all the other prelates of Lesser Brittany, had in the time of St. Martin, and before and long since that time, been suffragans of the church of Tours, but they afterwards revolted from their allegiance to that church; the reason of which was this. When the English came into the Greater Britain to subdue it, and Uterpendragon, king of the Britons, being taken seriously ill, was confined to his bed at Verulamium, so that he was able neither to help himself nor to defend his kingdom against the rage of the barbarians of the country, the superstition of the English (Saxons) is said to have prevailed to such an extent, that the whole island almost was laid waste from sea to sea, and the holy churches levelled to the ground. On this, the pontiffs and prelates of the churches, seeing the desolation of the country and the subversion of the

A.D. 1200.] CHURCHES OF TOURS AND DOL. 185

holy church, retreated to places of greater safety, agreeing unanimously, that it was wiser to avoid the rage of the barbarians for a time, than to dwell fruitlessly amongst those who rebelled against the Christian faith. Amongst these, St. Sampson, archbishop of York, a man of unparalleled sanctity, fled to his fellow countrymen in Lesser Brittany (for they were of the same extraction and country), and carried with him the pall, which he had received from the Roman pontiff; and on his arrival in that country, he was received with honour by his fellow citizens, and by the common consent of all, was elected to the bishopric of the church of Dol, which had been lately deprived of its pastor, and the king's permission having been obtained, he was enthroned in that office, although much against his will; and in that church he, as long as he lived, and after him, many of his successors always wore that pall, which he had brought from the monastery of York. But afterwards, the kings of that province, when they had had an archbishop in their own kingdom, did not allow their bishops, although they had always been formerly suffragans of the church of Tours, to pay due obedience to the before-mentioned archbishop of Tours; and they determined that the bishops of Lesser Brittany should not again have any other metropolitan than the archbishop of Dol. After the lapse, however, of three hundred years or more from that time, pope Nicholas, at the instance of the archbishop of Tours, endeavoured to revoke this error, and wrote a letter to Salamon king of the Britons, which is contained in the decretals of Gratian, CAUS. 3, QUEST. 6, as follows:-

Letter of pope Nicholas on the same matter.

"This is the decree of your said father, and this is the law of the church your mother, to wit, that you send all the bishops of your kingdom to the archbishop of Tours, and ask his judgment; for he is the metropolitan, and all the bishops of your kingdom are his suffragans, as the writings of my predecessors plainly show; and they strongly rebuked your predecessors for having withdrawn themselves from the jurisdiction of that archbishop, although our own letters also to you on this matter seem not to be deficient". And in another part, "But whereas there is a great contention amongst the

186 ROGER OF WENDOVER, [A.D. 1200.

Britons, as to who is the metropolitan bishop, and no man's recollection holds that you ever had any metropolitan church in your own district; however, if it pleases you, you will be able easily to perceive the truth of my words, since Almighty God has made peace between you and our beloved son, the renowned king Charles; but if you intend to proceed contentiously, endeavour to bring the matter before our apostolic see, that, by our judgment, it may be more clearly known which was formerly the archiepiscopal church amongst you, and that, all doubt being thus dispelled, your bishops may know without hesitation what course they ought to pursue". However, notwithstanding that the above-mentioned admonition was given to the said king, he did not desist from his purpose, but ever afterwards both he and his successors persisted in their disobedience, and a continual strife and disagreement existed between the bishops of Tours and Dol, until in the present year, as has been stated above, it was definitively decided by the pope, that, not only the bishop of Dol, but also all the other bishops of Brittany, should be subject to the archbishop of Rouen, and acquiesce in his canonical injunctions for ever. The said pope in pronouncing definitive judgment in this matter, as one who is great in knowledge, and bold, and at the same time skilled in law, rose, and thus spoke:- "Let Dol grieve, and Tours rejoice".

How queen Eleanor was sent for the lady Blanche, to be married to Louis.

[A.D. 1200.] After the feast of St. Hilary, the French and English kings, Philip and John, held a conference at a place between the castles of Gaillon and Butavant, at which it was agreed between the said kings with the advice of the chief nobles of each kingdom, that Louis, the son and heir of the French king, should espouse the daughter of Alphonso king of Castile, who was also niece of king John, and that the English king should, when this marriage was contracted, give to Louis as a marriage portion with his niece Blanche, the city of Evreux, with the whole of that county, and thirty thousand marks of silver besides. Moreover, the French king asked the English monarch to give him security that he would afford no assistance, either in soldiers or in money, to his nephew Otho, in obtaining the Roman empire. It has been said that Philip duke of Suabia, by the French

A.D. 1200.] MARRIAGE OF KING JOHN. 187

king's connivance and assistance, was grievously harassing Otho; indeed he did not cease his persecution, notwithstanding the sentence of excommunication with which he had been bound by the pope. The treaty above-mentioned having been finally confirmed between the kings, they appointed the ensuing feast of St. John the Baptist to carry into effect, without fail, the terms of the above-mentioned agreement; and after the conference was broken up, king John, who hoped by this marriage to enjoy a lengthened peace, sent his mother queen Eleanor to fetch the said lady Blanche, that the latter might return with her in safe conduct at the time pre-agreed on. The king of the English in the mean time sailed to England, and levied a tax of three shillings on each hide of land throughout all England, and, after settling some other business, he again crossed sea into Normandy.

Of the marriage of Louis with the daughter of Alphonso king of Castile.

Soon after these events, queen Eleanor returned with the aforesaid lady who was to be married to Louis, and presented her to the king of the English. Afterwards, on the 21st of June, the kings held a conference at a place between Guletune and Butavant, at which the king of the French gave up to the English king the city of Evreux, together with the whole county, and all the lands in Normandy, and the other dominions of the English king, which he had taken possession of during the war; king John immediately did homage to the French king for them, and then gave them all up to Louis as a marriage portion with his niece, and received the homage of Louis for the same. On the day following the lady Blanche was married to Louis at Portmort in Normandy, by the archbishop of Bourdeaux; for the kingdom of France was at that time under an interdict ou account of queen Botilda, [1] whom the French king had divorced. Immediately after his marriage, Louis brought his wife to Paris, to the great joy and exultation of the clergy and people of both kingdoms.

How king John married queen Isabel.

In the same year a divorce having been effected between


[1] Before called "Ingelburg", daughter of the king of Denmark.

188 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1200.

the king of the English and his wife Hawisa, daughter of the earl of Gloucester, because they were related in the third degree of affinity, the said king, by the advice of the king of the French, espoused Isabel, daughter of the count of Angouleme, formerly wife of Hugh, surnamed "le Brun", earl of March: this marriage was afterwards very injurious to the king as well as the kingdom of England. Not long after this the kings held a conference at Vernon, and there Arthur did homage to the king of England for Brittany and his other possessions; but as he feared treachery on the part of king John, he still remained under the care of the French king.

Command of the Lord, which came from heaven to Jerusalem, concerning the observance of the sabbath.

About that time a letter came from heaven to Jerusalem and was hung up over the altar of St. Simeon, in Golgotha, where Christ was crucified for the redemption of the world; this letter hung for three days and nights, and those who beheld it fell to the earth, asking mercy of God, and beseeching him to show them his will; but on the third day, after the third hour of the day, the patriarch, and the archbishop Zachariah, raised themselves from their prayers, and, opening the fillet over the high-altar, took the sacred letter of God, and after inspecting it, found this inscription on it:- "I am the Lord, who have ordered you to keep holy the day of the sabbath, on which I rested from my labours, that all mortals might on that day rest for ever; and ye have not kept it, nor have ye repented of your sins. As I spake by my gospel, 'The heaven and the earth shall pass away, but my word shall not pass away'. I caused repentance of life to be preached to you, and ye did not believe; I sent upon you pagans, and gentiles, who shed your blood upon the earth, and still ye did not believe; and, because ye did not keep holy the Lord's day, for a few days ye endured famine; but I soon gave you plenty, and ye afterwards did worse: therefore it is my will that, from the ninth hour of the sabbath till sunrise on Monday, no one shall do any work, except that which is good, and whoever shall do so, shall atone for it; and if ye obey not this my command, verily I say unto you, and I swear by my seat and my throne, and by the cherubims which guard my holy seat, that I will not send

A.D. 1200.] CONSECRATION OF THE SABBATH. 189

you any orders by another letter, but I will open the heavens and, instead of ruin, I will shower on you stones, and wood, and hot water, by night, such that no man can avoid, since I will destroy all evil-doers. This I say unto you, ye shall die the death, on account of the holy day of the Lord and the other festivals of my saints which ye have not observed. I will send on you beasts with the heads of lions, the hair of women, and the tails of camels, and they shall be so hungry, that they will devour your flesh, and ye shall desire to fly to the sepulchres of the dead to hide yourselves for fear of these beasts; and I will take away the light of the sun, and send darkness on you, so that not seeing, ye shall slay one another; and I will turn my face from you, and will show you no mercy, for I will burn your bodies, and the hearts of those, who do not keep the Lord's day holy. Hear then my voice, lest ye perish on the earth on account of the sacred day of the Lord; depart from evil and repent of your sins, which if ye do not, ye will perish like Sodom and Gomorrah. Know now, that ye are safe through the prayers of my most holy mother Mary, and of my holy angels who pray daily for you. I gave you corn and wine in abundance, and then ye obeyed me not, for daily do widows and orphans cry unto you, to whom ye show no compassion; pagans have pity, but ye have none. Trees which bring forth fruit will I cause to rot, for your sins: and rivers and fountains shall not give you water. On the mount of Sinai I gave you a law, which ye have not observed; after that, I myself gave you a law, which ye kept not. Wicked men that ye are, ye have not kept holy the Sunday of my resurrection; ye take away the property of others and treat the matter with no consideration: for this will I send on you worse beasts, who will devour the breasts of your women. Them will I curse who act unjustly towards their brethren; them will I curse who evilly judge the poor and the orphan: but ye have deserted me, and are following the prince of this life. Hear my voice, and ye will receive mercy; but ye cease not from your evil deeds, nor from the works of the devil, inasmuch as ye commit perjury and adultery, and so nations will surround you and devour you like wild beasts".

190 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1200.

Of the preaching of Eustace abbat of Flaye, on the said mandate.

But when the patriarch and all the clergy of the Holy Land had carefully examined into the tenor of this letter, and beheld the words of it with mixed admiration and fear, it was determined by the common opinion of all, that it should be transmitted for the consideration of the Roman pontiff, that all might be satisfied with whatever he determined ought to be done. The letter having at length been brought under the notice of our lord the pope, he immediately ordained priests, who were sent out into every quarter of the world to preach the purport of the letter, the Lord co-operating with them, and confirming their discourse by miracles resulting therefrom. Amongst these the abbat of Flaye, Eustace by name, a religious and learned man, set out for England, and there shone forth in performing many miracles; he landed near the city of Dover, and commenced the duty of his preaching at a town called Wi. In the neighbourhood of that place he bestowed his blessing on a certain spring, which by his merits was so endowed with the Lord's favour, that, from the taste of it alone, the blind recovered sight, the lame their power of walking, the dumb their speech, and the deaf their hearing; and whatever sick person drank of it in faith, at once enjoyed renewed health. A certain woman who was attacked by devils, and swollen up as it were by dropsy, came to him there, seeking to be restored to health by him; he said to her, "Have confidence, my daughter, go to the spring at Wi, which the Lord hath blessed, drink of it, and there you will recover health". The woman departed, and, according to the advice of the man of God, drank, and she immediately broke out into a fit of vomiting; and, in the sight of all who were at the fountain for the recovery of their health, there came from her two large black toads, which, in order to show that they were devils, were immediately transformed to great black dogs, and after a short time took the forms of asses. The woman stood astonished, but shortly ran after them in a rage, wishing to catch them; but a man who had been appointed to take charge of the spring, sprinkled some of the water between the woman and the monsters, on which they flew up into the air and vanished, leaving behind them traces of their foulness.

A.D. 1200.] MIRACLE ON A SABBATH-BREAKER. 191

How the aforesaid abbat caused a fountain of sweet water to spring forth.

This same man of God came to the town of Rumesnel to preach, at which place there was a deficiency of fresh water, and at the request of the people of the place, he, with his staff, struck a stone in the church there, on which, water in abundance flowed forth, and many who drank of it were cured of various sicknesses. Afterwards going about from place to place, from province to province, from city to city, he, by his preaching, induced many to relax in usurious habits, admonished them to assume the Lord's cross, and turned the hearts of many to works of piety; he also forbade markets and traffic on Sundays, so that all the business which used to be transacted throughout England on Sundays was now arranged on one of the days of the following week, and thus the people of the faith employed their leisure on Sundays in their duties to God, and refrained altogether from toil on that day; as time, however, went on many returned to their old customs, like dogs to their vomit. He forbade the rectors of the churches and the priests, with the persons subject to them, to keep a light constantly burning before the eucharist, in order that He who enlightens every man that comes into the world, might give the eternal for the temporal light. To all the rich and to the upper ranks, especially to merchants and citizens, he gave the injunction always to have at their table the dish of Christ for the poor, that by taking from their accustomed abundance, they might alleviate the necessities of the indigent. He also commanded the Saturday after three o'clock to be kept holy from all servile work the same as Sunday, and also the whole of Sunday and the night following, which forms one natural day, and represents figuratively the repose of our everlasting rest.

Of a dreadful miracle wrought on a certain woman.

About this same time a certain woman of the county of Norfolk, despite of the warnings of this man of God, went one day to wash clothes after three o'clock of Saturday; and, whilst she was busily at work, a man of venerable appearance, unknown to her, approached her, and reproachingly inquired the reason of her rashness in thus daring, after the prohibition of the man of God, to wash clothes after three

192 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1000.

o'clock, and thus by unlawful work to profane the holy Sabbath day; he moreover added, that unless she at once desisted from her work, she would, without doubt, incur the anger of God and the vengeance of Heaven. But she, in answer to her rebuker, pleaded urgent poverty, and said that she had till then dragged on a wretched life by toil of that kind, and if she should desist from her accustomed labour, she doubted her ability to procure the means of subsistence. After a while the man vanished suddenly from her presence, and she renewed her labour of washing the clothes and drying them in the sun with more energy than before. But for all this the vengeance of God was not wanting; for, on the spot, a kind of small pig of a black colour suddenly adhered to the woman's left breast and could not by any effort be torn away, but, by continual sucking, drew blood, and in a short time almost consumed all the bodily strength of the wretched woman; at length being reduced to the greatest necessity, she was compelled for a long time to beg her bread from door to door, until, in the sight of many who wondered at the vengeance of God, she terminated her wretched life by a miserable death.

Of another miracle which was wrought on the cutting of a loaf of bread.

About this same time, a certain labourer in the county of Northumberland ordered his wife to bake some bread on the Saturday for eating on the morrow; the woman obeyed the commands of her husband, and when on the morrow, she had set the bread before her husband, and he began to cut it, there occurred a wonderful and unheard-of event; for warm blood followed the knife as he cut the bread, as if it flowed from an animal just slain. This circumstance, after it came to the knowledge of the people, hindered many from labour on that day.

How Geoffrey archbishop of York, was deprived of all his goods.

About that time, Geoffrey archbishop of York, was, by command of king John, deprived of all the emoluments of his archbishopric; for James sheriff of York, and his attendants, had presumed to attack with violence his manors, and the property of the clerks and other religious men, and to make a division of their goods; on which the said archbishop

A.D. 1200.] HUGH BISHOP OF LINCOLN. 193

excommunicated the aforesaid James by name, and in general all the other authors of this violence, for which the latter had excited the king's anger and indignation against the prelate. But the cause of the king's anger against him was manifold; in the first place, because he did not permit the aforesaid sheriff to collect in his diocese the tax for the king's use, as had been generally permitted throughout England; secondly, because he would not accompany him into Normandy, to perform the marriage ceremony between Louis and his niece, and to make terms with the French king; thirdly, because he had excommunicated the said sheriff, and laid the whole county of York under an interdict.

Of the coronation of king John and queen Isabel at London.

In this year, king John after settling his affairs on the other side of the water crossed over into England bringing his wife with him, and on the 8th of October landed at Dover; thence they came to London, and were both crowned at Westminster by Hubert archbishop of Canterbury, in the presence of the nobles of the kingdom; Geoffrey archbishop of York, who had made his peace with the king, was also present at this ceremony. About this time too, John sent word to William king of Scots to come to him at Lincoln, on the day after St. Edmund's day, to satisfy him for his rights in England.

Of the life of St. Hugh bishop of Lincoln, before his obtaining the bishopric,

At this time Hugh bishop of Lincoln, of reverend memory, came from the continent, and being attacked by the quartan ague at the Old Temple in London, closed his laudable life by a glorious death on the 16th of November; his holy conversation in his life, which was to all men an instruction in morals, and an example of good works, compels us to insert a few things about him in this work. This holy man was born in a remote district of Burgundy, but was more refined in manners than his family, and was much devoted to literary pursuits from his youth, and when he was ten years old he was entrusted to the regular canons to be instructed in divine learning, amongst whom he was regularly instructed both in morals and in learning, and after spending sixteen years in

194 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1200.

the cell he obtained the office of prior, and in that station all things went on prosperously with him; then, determining to put a stronger check on the dangerous passions of the flesh, he by the Lord's will went over to the Carthusian order. Amongst them he showed himself so kind and affable to all, yet still preserving his religious seriousness, that after a very short time had elapsed he was appointed manager of all that house. In course of time, when a house of the Carthusian order had been established in England by the illustrious Henry king of England, who burnt with an ardent desire to promote the cause of God, he was prevailed on by the entreaties of the monarch to direct his attention to the government of that house, and, after he was called to the duties of the priorship, he made it his daily study to increase his former sanctity, for which, and by his holy conversation, he gained great favour with the king, who often enjoyed discourse with him. The king had held in his own hands the church of Lincoln, which had been for some years deprived of the care of a bishop; to atone for which offence as well as he could, he procured the appointment by election of the aforesaid man, Hugh, to the government of that church. Afterwards when his election was announced to the man of God, he replied that he would not accept the dignity of the pontifical station, unless it was first made clear to him that he did so by the common consent of the church of Lincoln, as well as with the permission of the Carthusian prior. After he had been perfectly satisfied on these points, the dean of Lincoln with the elders of that church came to the man of God, and he at the first interview so gained on their regard that they wished for him as their pastor and spiritual father with devout and sincere affection; but in order that their consent might be more surely made known to him they elected him there, and then he for the first time agreed to it. Afterwards, when he had been consecrated, on the first night in which he slept in his bishopric, after paying his devotions he heard a voice saying to him, "Thou hast gone forth to the safety of thy people to safety with Christ".

Of the virtues of the holy man in his episcopacy.

This consecrated servant of God, Hugh, so illuminated his church by his merits, so instructed the people committed to his charge by his words and his example, that he showed that

A.D. 1200.] SANCTITY OF BISHOP HUGH. 195

the name of bishop rightly belonged to him, and putting chosen persons into the cathedral church he built a temple to God out of those living stones: he also constantly checked the attacks of the secular power in matters relating to the church, for he seemed to despise the danger to his goods or body, in which course he made such progress that he restored many rights which had been lost, and liberated his church from a most severe servitude. Besides this holy man was accustomed to enter the houses of leprous people, which he passed by, and to kiss all afflicted with leprosy however deformed, and to bestow charity on them with liberality; on this William, of good memory, chancellor of the same church, wishing to try if his mind was affected by pride on account of this, said to him, "Martin, by his kisses, healed the leper, you do not heal the lepers whom you kiss". The bishop immediately said to him in reply, "Martin's kiss healed the leper's flesh, but the leper's kiss heals my spirit". In burying the dead he so diligently fulfilled the duties of humanity, that he never neglected any dead body, to whose burial he thought it his duty to attend. Once, when this holy man was attending to the care of his flock, visiting some parishes, and amongst others had arrived at a town called Alcmundeberi, the parents of a certain child came to him, bringing their almost lifeless little one with them, and with tears besought his assistance. On the bishop asking what they wanted, the child's mother replied, "This our little boy took in his hand a piece of iron more than an inch in length and thickness, and, as a child does, put it into his mouth and swallowed it, but it stuck fast in his throat and is killing the child: wherefore, holy father, the Lord has sent you to restore to us our child, who is now panting at the point of death". The bishop looking on the child touched his tongue, and pronouncing a blessing, breathed on it, and after marking it with the sign of the cross, gave him back to his parents; and on their taking him from the bishop the iron leaped forth all bloody, and the boy was cured from that hour. On another occasion too, when the holy man was passing through a town called Cestrehunte, the relatives of a certain madman, who had been for three weeks obliged to be restrained by bonds, begged of him to visit and bless him; on hearing which the holy man dismounted from his horse and went to the

196 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1200.

madman, who had his head bound to a post, and his hands and feet on each side made fast to stakes. The bishop blessed some water which was brought him, and when the insane man put out his tongue as if deriding him, he sprinkled some of the water on it; he then read over the madman the part of the Gospel, "In the beginning was the word", and after giving him his blessing departed. When he was gone, the diseased man began to sleep, and when he awoke he was restored to his former state of health. About this time this pious priest happened to be at Lincoln, assisting in the work of the mother church there, which he had nobly built from its foundations; and whilst he was carrying stones and mortar in a hod on his shoulders, as was often his custom, a certain man, lame in both legs, came leaning on two sticks, and most earnestly begged to carry the same hod, hoping to recover his soundness of limb by the merits of this blessed man; at length he obtained permission from the master of the work for the hod to be given to him, and, leaning on his sticks, he began to carry stones and mortar in it. But after a few days had elapsed, he gave up one stick, and soon afterwards the other, and after a little while, becoming strong and upright, he carried the same hod in working at the church without the support of any stick; and after he was well he so loved that hod, that he declared that it should never be taken away from him. At another time in the same city it happened that a certain citizen fell into such a state of insanity that eight men were appointed to take charge of him, and he was confined by bonds, for he was excited by such frenzy, that he threatened to tear his wife and his own children to pieces with his teeth; at length he was brought tied in a cart to the man of God, who, on seeing him, immediately sprinkled holy water on him, and adjured the evil spirit to come out of him and not to trouble him any more. The insane man suddenly fell to the ground like one dying, and the holy man then poured the blessed water on him in large quantities. Immediately afterwards the madman got up, and, raising his tied hands towards heaven, gave thanks to God, and to the blessed priest, on which the bonds were taken off him and he went away a sound man. Also a certain woman of Lincoln had two sons, one of whom while he was yet a boy had a large swelling in his side; his mother,

A.D. 1200.] DEATH OF SAINT HUGH. 197

despairing of his health, went to this holy bishop and obtained his promise to bless her son. The bishop accordingly laid his hands on the diseased part, blessed him, and sent him away; after which the tumour was so suddenly assuaged, that from that hour it neither troubled the boy, nor did the mother see anything further of it. At another time, it happened that this same woman's other son was hopelessly suffering from jaundice; but she, remembering her former refuge, brought him also before the holy bishop to be blessed by him, and this one too, after receiving his blessing, was restored to his former state of health within three days' time.

How Saint Hugh departed this life.

At the end of the fourteenth year of his episcopacy, the holy bishop Hugh, on his return to England from the principal house of the Carthusian order, where he had been to visit the prior and brothers of that house, at their long-expressed desire, was taken seriously ill of the quartan ague, at the old Temple, in the city of London. There king John came to see him; but before he left him he confirmed his will, at the exhortation of the man of God, and promised in the Lord that he would for the future ratify the reasonable testaments of prelates. Although his sickness daily gained ground, he would not at any one's recommendation lay aside, even for a short time, the hair-cloth garment which he always wore; but being the more determined as his death approached to abide by the rigorous rules of the Carthusian order, he, at the call of God, departed happily from this life to him. When this holy man's body was being carried by the citizens of London to be buried at Lincoln, a wonderful circumstance occurred; for the tapers which had been lighted before the body on leaving London, burnt continually during four days' journey, so that they were not at any time without the light of one of the tapers, although the weather was often unusually bad, on account of the wind and rain; from this circumstance there is no doubt but that the Lord had prepared eternal light for his soul, since, out of regard for his body, he did not permit the temporal light to be extinguished. This servant of God, Hugh, bishop of Lincoln, died in the year of the incarnate Word 1200, on the 17th of November.

198 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1200.

How the body of St. Hugh was carried to Lincoln to be buried.

On the 21st of November, John king of the English and William king of Scots met in conference together with all the nobility, both clergy and laity of both kingdoms. In opposition to the advice of many, king John entered the city (Lincoln) boldly, which none of his predecessors had dared to attempt, and, on arriving at the cathedral church, he offered a golden cup on the altar of St. John the Baptist, which was in the new building erected from the foundation by the before-mentioned St. Hugh. On the same day, he and the king of Scots met on a hill outside the city, and there, in sight of all the people, William king of Scots did homage to king John for all his right, and afterwards, in the presence of all the nobles of the kingdom, swore fealty to him, on the cross of Hubert archbishop of Canterbury, for life, for limb, and earthly honour, against all men. On this same day the body of the most holy bishop Hugh was brought there to be buried; and the said two kings went out to meet it, accompanied by three archbishops, namely, Hubert of Canterbury, Geoffrey of York, and Bernard of Ragua, [1] thirteen bishops, earls, barons, and priests without end, and received his most sacred body; and the kings themselves, with the earls and other nobles, carried it on their shoulders to the hall of the cathedral church. But at the door of the church, the above-named archbishops and bishops received it, and by these priests it was carried into the choir, where it was honourably laid out for the night. This bishop was accustomed in his life-time so diligently to perform the duties of humanity in burying the dead, that he never neglected any dead body whose burial he thought it his duty to attend to; for which reason the Lord, who knows how to reward the merits of the just by a fitting recoin pence, allowed him such a distinguished burial, that he might seem to be recompensing him by the honour of it for his above-mentioned merit. Before the burial, however, of this man of God, whilst the funeral ceremonies for him were being performed, and he himself was, as was the custom with high priests, lying with his face uncovered, wearing the mitre on his head, gloves on his hands, and a ring on his finger, with other pontifical


[1] It is not known who is here meant.

A.D. 1200.] FUNERAL OF ST. HUGH. 199

ornaments, a certain soldier, well known to the canons of the church, whose arm was eaten away by a cancer till the bone appeared deprived of flesh, placed his arm over the body of the bishop, and frequently wetted his face with his tears to heal his diseased limb, and immediately the flesh and skin of his arm were, compassionately restored by the Lord, through the merits of his saint; for which the soldier returned thanks to God and to the holy prelate, and often showed himself to the deacon of the church, and other credible persons. At the same time a certain woman, who had been for seven years blind of one eye, in the sight and to the wonder of all, recovered her sight. At the same time, a certain cut-purse, in the press and crowd of people which was assembled around this servant of God, cut away a woman's purse; but, by the merits of the blessed bishop, who showed that he was not dead but alive, both hands of the wicked thief were so contracted, and his fingers became so firmly fixed to the palms of his hands, that not being able to hold the property he had stolen, he threw it down on the pavement of the church, and, looking like a madman, he became an object of derision to the people; and so, after he had been disturbed by an evil spirit for a length of time, he came to himself, and stood motionless: at length he began to weep bitterly, and in the hearing of all, he then confessed his most base crime to all who would listen to him. At length, when he had no other means of escape, he turned to a priest, saying, "Pity me, pity me, ye friends of God; for I renounce Satan and his works, to whom I have till now been a slave; and pray to the Lord for me, that he may not confound me in my penitence, but may rather deal compassionately with me". And immediately, after a prayer had been uttered on his behalf to God, the chains of Satan, by which his hands had been bound, were loosed, and, becoming sound, he returned thanks to God and the blessed bishop.

Of the burial of St. Hugh.

When the vigils over the body of the bishop had been duly observed, at day-light on the following day, the archbishops with the above-mentioned bishops, after performing mass in the new church which he himself had built in honour of Mary, the mother of God, duly consigned his holy body

200 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1200.

to the tomb near the altar of St. John the Baptist; and they performed this duty with such distinction, that it might seem ordained by God for them to assemble for this especial purpose. He was buried on the 24th of November, and miracles continue to be wrought at his tomb, for those who sought after them with faith. For after his glorious death, a certain boy in some part of Lincoln, who had been ill for fifteen days, was, by the increasing power of his disease, brought to death's door, and his body suddenly became stiff, as though he had been dead for several days; on seeing which, a woman who was by him closed his eyes and laid out his limbs, as is the custom with the dead. After he had lain in this manner from the time of cock-crowing till day-break, his mother, whose faith even amidst her tears had not died with her son, approached the body with confidence, and, taking a thread used for making candle-wicks, measured the boy's body all over, after which, she said with confidence, even amidst her tears, "Even though my son had been buried, the Lord could restore him through the merits of St. Hugh". As day drew on, they prayed and gave alms on behalf of the child's soul, and sent for a priest to bury him, although his mother constantly cried against it; but before the priest who was sent for had arrived, the mother, anxious for the preservation of her child, discovered life in him, whereupon she glorified God and the blessed bishop, to whose merits she ascribed this miracle. Let these few circumstances concerning the life of this man of God, suffice out of many which tend to other matters. [1]

Of the appearance of five moons.

In this same month, a little before Christmas, about the first watch of the night, five moons appeared in the heavens; the first appeared in the north, the second in the south, the third in the west, and the fourth in the east, the fifth appeared in the middle of the first four, with several stars round it; and this last one, with its accompanying stars,


[1] Matthew Paris adds:- "Gilo de Brause was consecrated bishop of Hereford on the 24th of September, at Westminster. Mauger also was made bishop of Worcester, and John de Grim of Norwich".

A.D. 1201.] JOHN CROWNED AT CANTERBURY. 201

made the circuit of the other four moons five times or more. This phenomenon lasted for about an hour, to the wonder of many who beheld it.

How the king and queen of the English were crowned at Canterbury.

[A.D. 1201.] King John kept Christmas at Guilford, and there he distributed a number of festive garments amongst his knights; and Hubert archbishop of Canterbury, striving to make himself on a level with the king, did the same at Canterbury, by which he roused the indignation of the king in no slight degree. Afterwards the king set out to Northumberland, and exacted a very large sum of money from the inhabitants of that county. He then returned to Canterbury in company with his queen, and on the following Easter-day they were both crowned at that place; and at the ceremony the archbishop of Canterbury was at great, not to say superfluous, expense, in entertaining them. On the following Ascension-day at Tewkesbury the king issued a proclamation, that the earls and barons, and all who owed military service to him, should be ready with horses and arms at Portsmouth, to set out with him for his transmarine provinces at the ensuing Whitsuntide; but when the appointed day came, many of them obtained permission to remain behind, paying to the king two marks of silver for each scutcheon. [1]


[1] Matthew Paris adds:- "In these days a schoolmaster of Paris, by birth a Frenchman, named Simon Churnay, a man of extensive talent and great memory, after having successfully conducted schools ten years in the trivium and the quadrivium which make up the seven liberal arts, turned his attention to theology, in which he, after a few years, made such progress, that he was thought worthy of the professorial chair: whereupon he gave lectures, and held subtle disputations, wherein he ably solved and elucidated the most difficult questions; and he was attended by so many hearers that the most ample palace could scarcely contain them. One day when he had publicly disputed, using the most subtle arguments about the Trinity, and the settlement of the disputation was put off till the next day, all the theological students in the city, forewarned to hear so many solutions of difficult questions, flocked together in numbers and filled the school. The professor then resolved all the aforesaid questions, inexplicable though they appeared to the audience, so plainly and elegantly, and in so catholic a sense, that all were struck with astonishment. Some of his more familiar scholars who were the most eager to learn, came to him when the lecture was over and requested him to dictate to them, that they might make notes of his solutions, which they said were too valuable to be lost to posterity. Elated at this, the professor swelled with pride, and, with eyes uplifted, laughed aloud. 'O my little Jesus, my little Jesus, how have I exalted and confirmed your law in this disputation! Truly, if I wished to act the malignant and attack your doctrines, I could find still more powerful arguments to weaken and impugn them'. He had no sooner said these words than he became dumb, and not only dumb, but ridiculously idiotic, and never read or disputed afterwards, and so he became a laughing-stock to his former auditors. Within two years afterwards he learned to distinguish the letters, and his punishment was a little mitigated, so that he could with difficulty learn to repeat the Lord's Prayer und the Creed, and not forget them. This miracle checked the arrogance of many of the scholars. Nicholas de Fuley, afterwards bishop of Durham, witnessed this fact, and communicated it to me. From his high authority I have set it down in writing, that the memory of so great a miracle might not be lost to posterity. It is a story altogether worthy to be received". 202 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1201.

How king John and his queen crossed the sea to Normandy.

After keeping the festival of Whitsuntide at Portsmouth, the king with his queen embarked on the following day, and, after much trouble, arrived in Normandy. Shortly afterwards the English and French kings held a conference near the isle of Andelys, where terms of peace were agreed on; and three days after king John, at the invitation of the French king, went to Paris, and was entertained in the palace of that monarch there, who himself took up his residence elsewhere. After being entertained there honourably and as became a king, he left and went to Chinon. At the same time, in order that the peace between the kings might be more firmly secured, it was determined and confirmed by writings, that, if the French king should in any way violate the terms of the before-mentioned peace, the barons of the French kingdom, whom he had found as sureties for him, should be absolved of all fealty to him, and should join the king of the English in attacking the French king, and compelling him to keep the said peace. The same agreement was made on the part of the king of England. In this year dreadful storms of thunder, lightning, and hail, with deluges of rain, alarmed men's minds and did great injury in many parts. About this time too, at the instance of pope Innocent, the fortieth portion of the incomes of all churches was given in aid of the land of promise; and the nobles and commoners alike, who had laid aside the symbol of the cross, were with apostolic severity compelled to resume it.

A.D. 1202.] ANIMOSITY OF THE TWO KINGS. 203

Of a disagreement which arose between the French and English kings.

[A.D. 1202.] King John kept the festival of Christmas at Argentun in Normandy; and in the following Lent, a conference was held between the French and English kings near the castle of Guletune. At this interview the French king, urged by deadly hatred against the king of England, indignantly ordered him immediately to give up to Arthur count of Brittany, all the possessions which he held on that side of the sea, namely, Normandy, Tours, Anjou, and Poictou, and required many other things from him, which the English king refused to comply with. The French king, not succeeding in his purpose at the interview, on the following day made a sudden attack on the castle of Butavant, and levelled it with the ground; and marching on from thence he by force took possession of the town of Augi, with the castle, of Liuns, and several other fortresses; he also besieged the castle of Radepunt for eight days, but, on the king of the English coming upon him, he retired from that place in confusion. But after a few days he turned off to Gournaye, and by breaking through the lake, caused such a rush of water, that a great part of the walls which surrounded the city were knocked down; on this all the garrison fled, and the king of the French entered and subdued the city without any one to oppose him. He then returned to Paris, and placed Arthur in charge of safe persons, giving him two hundred French soldiers to accompany him into Poictou, that by warlike incursions they might subdue those districts for Arthur. But as this troop was marching forth with a pompous noise, word was brought them that queen Eleanor was staying in the castle of Mirabeau, attended by a small garrison; they therefore by common consent directed the fury of their attacks against that castle, and laid siege to it; as there was not strength in the garrison to resist them, the castle was surrendered to them except a tower into which queen Eleanor had thrown herself with a few soldiers, and this they could not gain possession of. They therefore directed their attacks against the tower; and at this place there came to the assistance of Arthur all the nobles and soldiers of rank in Poictou, and one in particular was Hugh, surnamed Le Brun, earl of March, who was a declared enemy of the English king, on

204 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1202.

account of queen Isabel, whom the said earl had engaged as his wife by word of mouth before she was married to king John; and thus they formed a large force there, and continued the most fierce assaults on the castle in order to gain possession of it as soon as possible.

Of a glorious victory gained by king John at Mirabeau.

The queen being placed in this predicament, sent messengers with orders to use all speed, to the king, who was then in Normandy, earnestly beseeching him by his filial affection to come to her assistance; on receipt of this intelligence, the king hastily set out with a strong force, and travelling night and day, he accomplished the long distance quicker than is to be believed, and arrived at Mirabeau. When the French and the people of Poictou learned that the king was on his way, they went out with a pompous array to meet him, and give him battle; but when they met each other in battle order, and had engaged, the king bravely withstood their turbulent attacks, and at length put them to flight, pursuing them so quickly with his cavalry, that he entered the castle at the same time as the fugitives. Then a most severe conflict took place inside the walls of the castle, but was soon determined by the laudable valour of the English; in the conflict there two hundred French knights were taken prisoners, and all the nobles in Poictou and Anjou, together with Arthur himself, so that not one out of the whole number escaped who could return and tell the misfortune to the rest of their countrymen. Having therefore, secured his prisoners in fetters and shackles, and placed them in cars, a new and unusual mode of conveyance, the king sent some of them to Normandy, and some to England, to be imprisoned in strong castles, whence there would be no fear of their escape; but Arthur was kept at Falaise under close custody.

How the French king retired in confusion from the siege of the castle of Arques.

Whilst these events were passing at the castle of Mirabeau, the French king with a large army marched against the castle of Arques, and laid siege to it. So arranging his engines all round it, he for fifteen days endeavoured, by

A.D. 1202.] DEATH OF ARTHUR. 205

means of petrariae, and balistae, to break through the walls; the garrison, on the other hand, resisting bravely, endeavoured by a continued discharge of stones and arrows to drive the enemy to a greater distance; but as soon as the report of the capture of Arthur and his own followers reached the ears of the French king, he retired from the siege in vexation. In his retreat he destroyed and burned every place he came to, and even reduced the monasteries of the religious men to ashes: at length he reached Paris, and remained inactive there for the rest of that year.

Of the death of Arthur, count of Brittany.

After some lapse of time, king John came to the castle of Falaise, and ordered his nephew Arthur to be brought into his presence; when he appeared, the king addressed him kindly, and promised him many honours, asking him to separate himself from the French king, and to adhere to the side of himself, as his lord and uncle. But Arthur ill-advisedly replied to him with indignation and threats, and demanded of the king that he should give up to him the kingdom of England, with all the territories, which king Richard possessed at the time of his death; and, since all those possessions belonged to him by hereditary right, he affirmed with an oath, that unless king John quickly restored the aforesaid territories to him, he should never enjoy peace for any length of time. The king was much troubled at hearing his words, and gave orders that Arthur should be sent to Rouen, to be imprisoned in the new tower there, and kept closely guarded; but shortly afterwards the said Arthur suddenly disappeared. [1] In this same year, king John came to England, and was crowned at Canterbury by Hubert archbishop of that place, on the 14th of April, and after this he again sailed for Normandy. On his arrival


[1] "The same year pope Innocent proposed to exact a large sum of money from the Cistertian order, for the use of the crusade, as he professed, but in reality to gratify his own avarice. He was, however, admonished by the holy Virgin, and in alarm, ceased from his intention. He had also ordered the fortieth part of all rents to be collected throughout all England, for the use of the crusaders. About this time died the nobleman, William de Stuteville". M. Paris.

206 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1203.

there an opinion about the death of Arthur gained ground throughout the French kingdom and the continent in general, by which it seemed that John was suspected by all of having slain him with his own hand; for which reason many turned their affections from the king from that time forward wherecver they dared, and entertained the deepest enmity against him. [1]

How the nobles of England deserted king John in Normandy.

[A.D. 1203.] King John spent Christmas at Caen in Normandy, where, laying aside all thoughts of war, he feasted sumptuously with his queen daily, and prolonged his sleep in the morning till breakfast time. But after the solemnities of Easter had been observed, the French king, having collected a large army, took several castles belonging to the king of England, some of which he levelled to the


[1] "The same year, the king caused proclamation to he made that the legal assize of bread should be observed, under severe penalty. The assize was proved by the baker of Geoffrey Fitz-Peter, justiciary of England, and the baker of R. de Thurnam; so that the bakers might make a profit of threepence on the sale of every quarter, besides the bran, and two loaves for the oven, four oboli for four servants, a farthing for two boys, an obolus for salt, an obolus for yeast, a farthing for the candle, three pence for the wood (fuel), and an obolus for the refuse. When corn is sold for six shillings, then the bread from the quartern, white and well-baked, shall weigh sixteen shillings of twenty (lora); and the bread from the whole corn shall be good and well-baked, so that nothing shall be deducted, and it shall weigh twenty-four shillings. When corn is sold for five shillings and sixpence, the white broad shall weigh twenty shillings, and from all the corn twenty-eight shillings. When corn is sold for five shillings, the white bread shall weigh twenty-four shillings, and the bread from the whole corn, thirty-two shillings. When corn is sold for four shillings and sixpence, the white bread shall be at thirty-two shillings, and from all the corn, forty-two shillings. When corn is sold at four shillings, the white bread shall weigh thirty-six shillings, and from all the corn, forty-six shillings. When corn is sold at three shillings and sixpence, the white bread shall weigh forty-two shillings, and from all the corn, forty-four shillings. When corn is sold for three shillings, the white loaf shall weigh forty-eight shillings, and from the whole corn sixty-four shillings. When corn is sold for two shillings and sixpence, the white bread shall weigh fifty-four shillings, and from all the corn, seventy-two shillings, When corn is sold for two shillings, the white bread shall be at sixty shillings, and from all the corn at four pounds. When corn is sold at eighteen pence, the white loaf shall weigh seventy-seven shillings, and from all the corn at four pounds eight shillings. This proclamation was made throughout the whole kingdom". M. Paris.

A.D. 1203.] SLOTHFULNESS OF KING JOHN. 207

ground, but the stronger ones he kept entire. At length messengers came to king John with the news, saying, the king of the French has entered your territories as an enemy, has taken such and such castles, carries off the governors of them ignominiously bound to their horses' tails, and disposes of your property at will, without any one gainsaying him. In reply to this news, king John said, "Let him do so; whatever he now seizes on I will one day recover": and neither these messengers, nor others who brought him the like news, could obtain any other answer. But the earls and barons, and other nobles of the kingdom of England, who had till that time firmly adhered to him, when they heard his words and saw his incorrigible idleness, obtained his permission and returned home, pretending that they would come back to him, and so left the king with only a few soldiers in Normandy. Hugh de Gournaye, to whom king John had in all honour entrusted the castle of Montfort, delivered it up to the king of the French, and admitted his soldiers into it by night, and in this manner, renouncing himself his fealty to his liege lord, fled to the king of France. In the meantime, the king of the English was staying inactive, at Rouen with his queen, so that it was said that he was infatuated by sorcery or witchcraft; for, in the midst of all his losses and disgrace, he showed a cheerful countenance to all, as though he had lost nothing. The French king, in the meantime, with an immense army, came to the town of Ruyl, where there was a noble castle, which he at once surrounded with his engines of war; but after he had arranged them in order, even before he had made one assault, Robert Fitz-Walter and Sayer de Quincy, the noblemen to whom the charge of the castle had been entrusted, delivered it up uninjured to the French king, and as the least stone of that castle was not damaged, so not one hair of the heads of the garrison was hurt; but the king of the French, who was much enraged against them, ordered them to be chained, and kept in close confinement at Compiegne, where they were retained in disgrace till a heavy ransom was paid for their release. All opposition to him in Normandy and the other transmarine territories having ceased, the French king marched through the provinces at will and without hindrance, and regained possession of several castles; he also at this

208 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1203.

time laid siege to the fine castle of the Rock of Andelys, Richard had built, but by the prowess and incomparable fidelity of Roger de Lacy, to whose care that fortress had been entrusted, he gained nothing by the siege, except that by refusing egress to the besieged, he prevented them from obtaining supplies. Whilst these events were passing, some of the Normans seceded altogether from the king of the English, and others only feigned adherence to him.

How king John came to England and exacted large sums of money from the nobles.

King John at length seeing his fault, and that he was destitute of all military supplies, took ship in all haste and on St. Nicholas's day landed at Portsmouth. Then urging against the earls and barons as an excuse, that they had left him in the midst of his enemies on the continent, by which he had lost his castles and territories through their defection, he took from them the seventh part of all their moveable goods; and in this act he did not refrain from laying violent hands on the property of conventual or parochial churches, inasmuch as he employed Hubert archbishop of Canterbury as the agent of this robbery in regard to the church property, and Geoffrey Fitz-Peter, justiciary of England, for the goods of the laity, and these two spared no one in the execution of their orders. The French king, when he learnt that the king of England had left his transmarine territories, went in great strength to each of the towns and castles of the district, explaining to the citizens and governors of castles that they were deserted by their lord. He also said that he was the principal lord of those provinces, and that if the English king should ignominiously abandon them, he had no intention of losing the superior authority which belonged to him; wherefore he begged of them as a friend to receive him as their lord since they had no other; but he declared with an oath, that if they did not do this willingly, and dared to contend against him, he would subdue them as enemies and hang them all on the gibbet or flay them alive. At length, after much disputing on both sides, they unanimously agreed to give hostages to the king of the French, for their keeping a truce for one year; after which time, if they did not receive assistance from the king of the English, they would

A.D. 1204.] IMAGE OF THE VIRGIN MARY. 209

thenceforward acknowledge him as their ruler, and give the cities and castles up to him; having effected this the French king returned to his own territories.

The promotion of William bishop of Lincoln.

In the same year Master William, precentor and canon of the church of Lincoln, was consecrated bishop of the same church at Westminster, on St. Bartholomew the apostle's day, by William bishop of London. Gilbert bishop of Rochester appealed in favour of his own claim, but did not succeed; for Hubert archbishop of Canterbury was lying very ill at the time.

How subsidies for war were generally granted to (he king.

[A.D. 1204.] King John kept Christmas at Canterbury, Hubert, archbishop of that place, supplying all necessaries for the festivity to the king. After which, on the day after the circumcision, the king and the nobles of England met at Oxford at a conference, when supplies for war were granted to the king, two marks and a half from each scutcheon; nor did the bishops and abbats depart without giving a promise to the same effect.

How the oil of the image of the mother of God wonderfully became flesh.

In the same year, on the third day before Easter, there happened a most wonderful miracle concerning the oil of the image of the mother of God at Sardenai, which was as follows: it happened in the prison of the Christian soldiers, in the castle of Damascus, that a certain soldier took from his box a phial, in which he had put some of the oil which drops from the image of the mother of God at Sardenai; but as he looked carefully at the bottle, in which the oil had been put as clear and transparent as water, the oil in it appeared to become fleshy, but divided into two parts, for one portion adhered to the lower part of the phial, and the other portion to the upper part. The soldier then took his knife and endeavoured to join the upper part to the lower, but as soon as the edge of the knife touched the incarnate oil, drops of blood flowed from it to the astonishment of the chaplains, knights, and all the other prisoners who were looking on at it; and since many are ignorant of the truth concerning this

210 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1204.

image of the mother of God, it is most proper that we should relate the origin of it, to those who do not know it, to the praise of the said mother of God.

Of the origin of the said image, and some of its miracles.

There lived at Damascus, the capital city of Syria, a certain venerable matron, who took the habit of a nun and made it her business to serve God most devoutly; and, that she might be more at liberty to perform her religious duties, and to avoid the noise of the city, she retired to a place called Sardenai, six miles from the above-named city, and there building for herself a house and oratory in honour of the holy mother of God, she performed the duties of hospitality to pilgrims and the poor. Now it happened that a certain monk, from the city of Constantinople, came to Jerusalem for the sake of devotion and of seeing the holy places, and he was charitably received as a guest by the aforesaid nun; the latter, on learning that he was going to the holy city, humbly and earnestly besought him to bring with him on his return from Jerusalem some image, that is some painted picture, for her to put in her oratory, which would show her, when she prayed, the likeness of the mother of God, and he faithfully promised that he would bring her one. After he had reached Jerusalem, he fulfilled his devotional duties, and when they were finished he prepared to return, forgetting his promise to the nun; and after he had got out of the city on his way back, a voice came from heaven saying to him, "Why dost thou return thus empty-handed? Where is the image thou didst promise to take to the nun"? Being thus reminded of the thing, the monk returned into the city, and going to a place wher images were sold he bought one which pleased him, and carried it with him on his return. On his reaching a place called Gith, a fierce lion, which lay concealed in a den there devouring human beings, came to meet the monk on his way and began to lick his feet, and thus under the protection of the divine grace he escaped unhurt. Afterwards he fell into the snares of robbers, and when they were about to lay violent hands on him, they were so frightened by the voice of some angel which rebuked them, that they could not speak or move at all. Then the monk, looking at the image which he held, knew that some divine virtue lay

A.D. 1204.] MIRACLES OF THE IMAGE. 211

concealed in it; and then he vainly troubled himself in deliberating how he could cheat the nun, and carry the image away with him to his own country. On his arrival at the city of Acre, he went on board a ship, wishing, if possible, to return home; but after they had run with full sails for some days, a sudden storm arose, and they were in such peril, that every one threw the goods which belonged to him into the sea. But when the monk amongst the rest was about to commit his satchel to the waves, the angel of the Lord said to him, "Do not do thus, but lift the image up in your hands towards the Lord"; and when he, in obedience to the commands of the angel, lifted the image on high, the storm immediately ceased; but as the crew did not know where they were going they returned to the city of Acre. Then the monk learning God's will from the image and desiring to fulfil his promise, returned to the nun and again enjoyed her hospitality; she, on account of her frequent guests, did not know him, and consequently did not ask him for the image, on seeing which the monk again thought of taking the image with him on his return home. But early in the morning when he had obtained leave to depart, he went into the oratory to pray, and when, after having performed his devotions, he wanted to go out, he could not find the door; he therefore put the image which he held on the altar of the oratory, on which he beheld the door open; but when he again took up the image and endeavoured to go out, he again could not find the door. At length when he saw that the divine virtue surrounded the image, he put it on the altar of the oratory, and going back to the nun, he related in order all the wonderful circumstances connected with the image as has been related above; he therefore said that it was the will of God for the image to remain there, and be worshipped with all due honour. The nun therefore took it, and blessed God and his mother, for all that the monk had related to her, the monk too determined to pass the rest of his life at that same place, on account of the miracles which he knew the Lord had effected by means of the image of his mother. The image then began to be greatly revered by all, and all admired the great and wonderful works of God in it.

212 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1204.

How the image of the mother of God emitted oil.

After these events the nun built a place, that seemed to her more honourable in which to put the image, and asked a priest, as being more worthy than herself and one remarkable for his sanctity, as she believed, to put on his sacred robes, and transport the image to the before-mentioned place. He, however, was afraid to touch it, because when it had been placed on the altar it had begun to drip, and from that time it had never ceased to give forth a very clear liquor like oil; the nun had at first wiped this moisture away with a fine linen cloth, but afterwards she procured a small brass vessel and caught the oil, which she administered to the sick, and whenever this was done in the name of the Lord and his mother, they were then cured of their diseases and remain in health to this time. But when the above-mentioned priest approached the image carelessly to take it away, as soon as he touched the liquor which flowed from it his hands became withered, and after three days he departed to the Lord. After this no one presumed to touch the image or to remove it from its place, except that nun alone. At length the religious woman placed a glass vessel under the image, that the oil flowing from it might be caught in that vessel, and kept to supply the wants of the sick.

How the same image gave forth teats of flesh.

In course of time a wonderful and hitherto unheard-of circumstance happened, for the aforesaid image, in the sight of all, produced by degrees breasts of flesh, and began to be clothed with flesh in a wonderful way; so that from the breasts downwards it seemed entirely covered with flesh, and from this flesh the liquid dropped incessantly. The brothers of the temple, during the truce with Saladin, took some of this oil to their own houses to distribute it to the pilgrims who came there to pray, that they might with reverence exalt the honour of the mother of God in the various quarters of the world. There are indeed monks in some parts of the monastery who perform religious duties, but the dignity and authority of the nuns is out of respect to the aforesaid woman who first inhabited that place, and built an oratory there in honour of the holy Mary, mother of God.

A.D. 1204.] SUBJECTION OF NORMANDY. 213

How a certain sultan recovered his sight by the agency of this image.

It happened at that time that the sultan of Damascus, who had been blind of one eye, was attacked by a disease in the eye with which he could see, and became totally blind; and he, hearing of the aforesaid image by which God wrought so many miracles, went to the place and entered the oratory; and although he was a pagan, he had faith in the Lord, that, through the image of his mother, his own health might be restored, and falling to the earth, he remained prostrate in prayer; and when he arose from his devotions, he saw the light burning in the lamp which hung before the image of Mary the mother of God, and found to his joy that he had recovered his sight. He therefore, and all who were with him and saw this, gave glory to God; and because he had first seen the light burning in the lamp, he made a vow to the Lord, that he would from that time give annually sixty measures of oil for the lamps of that oratory, in which he, through the merits of the blessed Mary, mother of God, had recovered his sight.

How Normandy with other transmarine possessions yielded to the rule of the French king.

About that time the French king's army which for almost a year had been besieging the castle of the Rock of Andelys, had undermined and knocked down a great part of the walls. But the noble and warlike Roger, constable of Chester, still defended the entrance against the French; but at length his provisions failing him, and being reduced to such want, that no one had a single allowance of food, he preferred to die in battle to being starved: on which he and his soldiers armed themselves, flew to horse, and sallied from the castle: but after they had slain numbers opposed to them, they were at length taken prisoners, although with much difficulty. Thus the castle of the Rock of Andelys fell into the hands of the French king on the 6th of March, and Roger de Lacy with all his followers were taken to France, where, on account of the bravery which he had shown in defence of his castle, he was detained prisoner on parole. On this all the holders of castles in the transmarine territories, with the citizens and other subjects of the king of England, sent messengers to England to tell him in what a precarious situation they were placed, and

214 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1205.

that the time, according to the terms of the treaty, was near, when they must either give up the cities and castles to the king of the French, or consign to destruction the hostages which they had given him. To which message king John answered; and intimated by the same messengers to all of them, that they were to expect no assistance from him, but that they each were to do what seemed best to him. And thus, all kind of defence failing in those provinces, the whole of Normandy, Tours, Anjou, and Poictou, with the cities, castles, and other possessions, except the castles of Rochelle, Thonars, and Niorz, fell to the dominion of the king of the French. When this was told to the English king, he was enjoying all the pleasures of life with his queen, in whose company he believed that he possessed everything he wanted; moreover, he felt confidence in the immensity of the wealth he had collected, as if by that he could regain the territory he had lost.

Of the death of Godfrey bishop of Winchester, and the succession of Peter de Rupibus.

On the 1st of April in this same year, in the first watch of the night, there appeared in the northern and eastern quarters of the heavens such a redness, that it was believed by all to be real fire; and what was to be wondered at most, was that in the thickest part of this redness there appeared some glittering stars; this phenomenon lasted till midnight. In the same year Godfrey bishop of Winchester died, and was succeeded by Peter de Rupibus, a man of knightly rank, and skilled in warfare; he was appointed to the bishopric by the interest of king John, and set out to Rome; and, after bestowing his presents there with great liberality, he hastened to the church at Winchester to be consecrated bishop. In this year too the last day of Easter fell on the day of the evangelist St. Mark.

Of certain remarkable events.

[A.D. 1205.] King John kept Christmas at Tewkesbury, but scarcely stayed there one day; and in the same month of January the land was frozen to such a degree that all agricultural labour was suspended from the 14th of January till the 22nd of March, on account of which, in the following

A.D. 1203.] DEATH OF ARCHBISHOP HUBERT. 215

summer a load of corn was sold for fourteen shillings. About Whitsuntide in this same year king John assembled a large army, as if he was about to cross the sea, and, although the archbishop of Canterbury and many others dissuaded him from it, he ordered a large fleet to be collected at Portsmouth; he afterwards embarked with only a small company on the 15th of July, and put to sea with all sails spread; but, changing his purpose, he on the third day landed at Studland near Warham. On his return he took an immense sum of money from the earls, barons, knights, and religious men, accusing them of refusing to accompany him to the continent to recover his lost inheritance. In this year, on the eve of St. John the Baptist's day, the castle of Chinon was given up to the French king.

Of the death of Hubert archbishop of Canterbury, and the election of the sub-prior of the church at Canterbury.

On the 13th of July in this same year Hubert archbishop of Canterbury died at Tenham, to the great delight of the king, by whom he was suspected of being too familiar with the king of the French. After the death then of the archbishop, even before his body was consigned to the tomb, some of the juniors of the conventual church at Canterbury, without asking the king's consent, elected Reginald the sub-prior, to be their archbishop, and in the middle of the night, after electing him, they chanted the "Te Ueum", and placed him first upon the great altar, and afterwards in the archiepiscopal chair; for they were afraid that if this election without the king's consent should reach his ears, he would endeavour to prevent their proceeding with it. Therefore in that same night the said sub-prior having made oath that he would not consider himself elected without the permission and special letters of the convent, nor show to any one the letters which he held, took some monks of the convent with him, and went to the court of Rome. But all this was done that that election might be concealed from the king till they found out whether they could at the court of Rome carry the election they had commenced into effect. But the aforesaid archbishop-elect, as soon as he landed in Flanders, disregarding the oath he had taken, openly declared that he was elected archbishop of Canterbury, and was going

216 ROGER OF WENDOVER, [A.D. 1205.

to the court of Rome to confirm his election; he moreover showed every one the letters of the convent which he held; believing that by this he should in no small degree forward the merits of his cause. Arriving at length at Rome, he forthwith made known his election to our lord the pope and his cardinals, and openly showing his letters to all, he boldly required the pope to confirm his election by the apostolic benediction: but the pope answering in haste, said that he would take time to consider of it, in order that he might be more assured of the truth of the before-named circumstances. [1]


[1] "About the same time pope Innocent wrote the following letter to the suffragans of Canterbury, in defence of the monks of that church:-

'Innocent, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his venerable brothers the suffragans generally of the church of Canterbury, health and apostolical benediction. Whereas, in the time of the Jewish law, which, as we read, never brought any man to that which is perfect, parents after the flesh were held in such honour by their children after the flesh, that whoever cursed them was sentenced by the law of God to death, much more does it become those who are placed under the law of grace, and for whom the doors of Paradise have been opened through the most precious blood of Christ, to take heed lest by transgression they incur the sentence of damnation, seeing that detriment to the soul is more to be feared than any danger that can happen to the body. If therefore worldly parents are to be held in so much honour, what shall we say of spiritual parents? Shall they not be held superior in honour to earthly parents, in the same proportion as the soul surpasses the body? We have premised thus much, my brethren, inasmuch as, in our care for your salvation, we fear lest the present tribulation, which has been raised, it is said, by your means, should be productive of danger to the soul, concerning the church of Canterbury, which you are bound to reverence as your mother; and that the detriment to the said church be such that it may not be remedied for a great length of time. We therefore exhort your brotherhood in the Lord, by these our apostolical letters, that you diligently keep in view what concerns your honour and the salvation of your souls, and not molest the church of Canterbury your mother, whose privileges you are bound to defend, lest she have cause to complain of you, and to say she has nourished sons, who have not only not known her, but have persecuted her most severely. In saying these things we have no wish to detract from your rights, but in pious solicitude to prevent you from injuring others on pretence of asserting your own claims. May God enlighten your hearts, my brethren, and enable you without contention to pay all obedience to your mother-church, and do nothing in defiance of divine or human law, which you would not wish others to do towards yourselves. Given at Rome, at St. Peter's, Dec. 8, in the 8th year of our pontificate'.

A.D. 1205.] ELECTION OF ARCHBISHOP. 217

Of the election of John bishop of Norwich, at the request of the king.

The monks of Canterbury in the meantime, as soon as they heard that their sub-prior had violated his oath, and had, as soon as he arrived in Flanders, declared that he was elected, thus revealing their secret, were much enraged against him, and immediately sent some of the monks from the convent to the king to ask his permission to choose a pastor who was suited to them; the king immediately and without any hesitation kindly granted their request, and speaking confidentially to them, hinted that the bishop of Norwich was a great friend of his, and that he alone of all the English prelates was aware of his secrets; on which account, he asserted, that it would be to the advantage of himself and the kingdom, if they could transfer the said prelate to the archbishopric. He therefore requested of the monks, that they, together with his clerks whom he would send to the convent, would set forth this his request to them, and promised to confer many honours on the convent if they should determine to listen to him. The monks on their return home related the commands of the king to the other inmates of the convent, and they assembled thereupon in the chapter-house, and in order to conciliate the king, whom they had offended, they there unanimously elected John bishop of Norwich, and at once sent some monks of the convent to the archbishop elect, who was at York managing the king's business, to tell him to come with all haste to Canterbury. The messengers hastened on the prescribed journey, and found the said bishop at Nottingham; and he at once settled the king's business and hurried to tho southern provinces, where he met with the king, and they set out together for Canterbury. On the following day, a great multitude assembled in the metropolitan church, and the prior of Canterbury, in the king's presence, openly announced to all the election of John de Grai bishop of Norwich; then the monks taking him up carried him to the great altar chanting the "Te Deum", and finally placed him in the archiepiscopal chair. After all this ceremony the king put the archbishop elect into possession of all property belonging to the archbishopric, and all returned to their homes; and thus in this election a new kind of error was made, worse than the former one, as the result plainly shows.

218 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1206.

Of the controversy between the suffragan bishops of the church of Canterbury and the monks of the same place, about the choice of an archbishop.

[A.D. 1206.] King John kept Christmas at Oxford; and about the same time sent some monks of the church of Canterbury, amongst whom, in particular, was Master Ehas de Brantfield, to the court of Rome, and supplied them with large presents from the treasury in order to obtain from our lord the pope the confirmation of the election of John bishop of Norwich. At the same time, too, the suffragan bishops of the church of Canterbury sent agents to Rome to lay a serious complaint before our lord the pope, namely, that the monks of Canterbury had audaciously presumed to make election of an archbishop without them, although they ought, by common right and ancient custom, to have been present at the election as well as the monks; the said agents also set forth, decrees and examples on the foregoing matters, bringing some witnesses, and producing testimonials, whereby they endeavoured to show that they, the said suffragans, had chosen three metropolitans conjointly with the monks. The monks, on the contrary, asserted, that, by a special privilege of the Roman pontiffs, and by a proved and old custom, they had been accustomed to make elections without the bishops, and promised to prove this by fitting witnesses. After the allegations on both sides had been heard, and the witnesses admitted and carefully examined, the 21st of December was fixed on by our lord the pope for declaring judgment between the parties, and that they were then to come and hear what the law appointed.

How king John crossed over to Poictou and took forcible possession, of the castle of Montauban.

At Whitsuntide of this same year king John assembled a large army at Portsmouth, and taking ship on the 20th of June, he landed on the 9th of July at Rochelle; on hearing which the inhabitants of those provinces were delighted, and, instantly flying to the king, gave him sure promises of money and assistance. After this then he marched forward with more confidence, and subdued a great portion of that territory. At length he arrived at the noble castle of Montauban, in which all the warlike nobles of that district, and especially his own enemies were shut up, and immediately disposed his

A.D. 1206.] TAKING OF MONTAUBAN CASTLE. 219

engines of war around it. And when, after fifteen days, they had destroyed a great part of the castle by the incessant assaults of their petrariae, and the missiles from their balistas and slings, the English soldiers, who were greatly renowned in that kind of warfare, scaled the walls and exchanged mortal blows with their enemies. After some time the English prevailed, and the garrison failing, the well-fortified castle of Montauban was taken, a castle which at one time Charlemagne could not subdue after a seven years' siege; and the names of the nobles and illustrious men who were taken in the castle with their horses, arms, and spoils innumerable, the English king afterwards mentioned by letter to the justiciaries, bishops, and other nobles of England. This castle was taken on the day of St. Peter's "ad vincula". (August 1.)

Of the legateship of John of Ferentino, to England.

In the same year John of Ferentino, legate of the apostolic see, came into England, and travelling through it collected large sums of money, and at length, on the day after St. Luke the evangelist, he held a council at Reading; after which the hasty traveller packed up his baggage and started for the sea coast, where he bade farewell to England. About this time, too, some religious men of foreign parts anxiously interfered to make peace between the kings, and on All Saints' day they obtained from them a promise to keep a truce for two years. King John therefore returned to England, and landed at Portsmouth on the 12th of December. On the eve of Ascension day in this same year William bishop of Lincoln departed this life; and in this year Jocelyn of Wells, who had been elected bishop of Bath by the agency of William bishop of London, received the blessing of consecration.

The definitive sentence of pope Innocent with regard to the monks of the church of Canterbury.

About that time pope Innocent sent his definitive sentence to the suffragan bishops of the church of Canterbury, to this effect:- "The authority of the church and an approved custom hands it down to us that the greater questions in church matters are to be referred to the apostolic see. Since therefore a controversy has arisen between you and our beloved

220 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1206.

sons, the prior and monks of the church of Canterbury, as to the right of choosing the archbishop; you setting forth that, not only by common right but also by old custom, you ought to make the election of the archbishop conjointly with them; and they, on the contrary, answering that, by a common right and special privilege, as also by an old and approved custom, they ought to elect the archbishop of Canterbury without you; on the cause of dispute being lawfully argued by proper agents before us, we have carefully heard what both parties have set forth in our presence. Your party has set forth both decrees and examples, bringing forward also some witnesses, and showing testimonials by which you attempted to prove that you had chosen three metropolitans conjointly with them; whilst it was proved by letters and evidence that you in another place and at another time had not made elections of this kind without them. But the witnesses brought forward on the part of the monks have legitimately proved that the prior and convent of the church of Canterbury have, from times long past up to this time, made elections of bishops in their chapter-house without you, and have obtained confirmation of those elections from the apostolic see. By us and our predecessors it is laid down in the book of our privileges, that, at the decease of an archbishop of Canterbury, no one should be appointed to his place by any fraud or violence, but one whom the majority of the monks of sound judgment shall in the Lord according to the provisions of the holy canons determine to elect. Therefore, having heard, and clearly understanding all that has been alleged to us, since it plainly appears by your own assertions, that you ought not to make an election without them, and when the monks are excluded from it your election is not valid; and also that an election of the monks made without you, inasmuch as it was worthy of being confirmed by the apostolic see, was valid, and since in either case it must of necessity be confirmed, we, by the common advice of our brethren, for ever impose silence on you as to the right of choosing an archbishop, and by this our definitive decree absolve the monks of Canterbury from all attack and annoyance on the part of you and your successors; and also by our apostolic authority, decree that the monks of the church of Canterbury and their successors shall in future elect an archbishop

A.D. 1206.] VISION OF PURGATORY. 221

without you. Given at St. Peter's, at Rome, this 21st day of December, in the ninth year of our pontificate".

Of a vision of purgatory, the punishment of the wicked, and the glory of the blessed.

In this year, a certain man of simple habits, and hospitable as far as his humble means would allow, who lived in a town called Tunsted, [1] in the bishopric of London, was employed, after the hour of evening prayer, on the eve of the day of the apostles St. Simon and St. Jude, in draining his field, which he had sown that day, when, raising his eyes, he saw a man hastening to him from a distance; after looking at him, he began the Lord's prayer, when the stranger stepping up to him, asked him to finish his prayer and speak to him: and, accordingly, as soon as his prayer was ended, they exchanged mutual greetings. After this, the man who had come to him asked him where, amongst the neighbours, he could meet with a suitable lodging for that night; but when the questioned person extolled the great hospitality of his neighbours, the inquirer found fault with the hospitality of some who were named. The labourer then understanding that the stranger was acquainted with his neighbours, eagerly asked him to accept of a lodging with him, on which the stranger said to him, "Your wife has already received two poor women to lodge with her, and I too will turn to your house for to-night, in order that I may lead you to your lord, namely saint James, to whom thou hast even now devoutly prayed; for I am Julian the entertainer, and have been sent on your behalf, to disclose to you by divine means certain things which are hidden from men in the flesh: therefore, proceed to your house, and endeavour to prepare yourself for a journey". After these words, the man who was conversing with him, disappeared from the spot. But Turchill, for that was the labourer's name, hurried home, washed his head and feet, and found the two women entertained there, as St. Julian had foretold. Afterwards he threw himself on a bed which he had prepared in his house, apart from his wife, for the sake of continence, and slept outside the room; and as soon as all the members of the household were asleep, St. Julian woke the man, and said,


[1] Perhaps "Twinsted" in Essex.

222 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1206.

"Here I am, as I promised; it is time for us to be going. Let your body rest on the bed, it is only your spirit which is to go with me; and, that your body may not appear to be dead, I will inspire into you the breath of life". In this way they both left the house, St. Julian leading the way, and Turchill following.

How the man being released from the body was taken to a certain church, where there was an assemblage of spirits.

After they had travelled to the middle of the world, as the man's guide said it was, towards the east, they entered a church of wonderful structure, the roof of which was supported only by three pillars. The church itself was large and spacious, but without partitions, arched all round like a monk's cloister; but on the northern side there was a wall not more than six feet high, which was joined to the church which rested on the three pillars. In the middle of the church there was a large baptistery, from which there arose a large flame, not burning, yet unceasingly illuminating the whole of the church and the places around, like a meridian sun; this brightness proceeded, as he was told by St. Julian, from the decimation of the just. When they entered the hall, St. James met them, wearing a priest's mitre, and seeing the pilgrim for whom he had sent, ordered St. Julian and St. Domninus, who were the guardians of the place, to show to his pilgrim the penal places of the wicked as well as the mansions of the just, and after speaking thus, he passed on. Then St. Julian informed his companion that this church was the place which received the souls of all those who had lately died, that there might be assigned to them the abodes and places, as well of condemnation as of salvation by the atonements of purgatory, which were destined by God for them. That place, through the intercession of the glorious virgin Mary, was mercifully designed that all spirits which were born again in Christ, might, as soon as they left the body, be there assembled free from the attacks of devils, and receive judgment according to their works. In this church, then, which was called the "Congregation of spirits", I saw many spirits of the just, white all over, and with the faces of youth. After being taken beyond the northern wall, I saw a great number of spirits, standing near

A.D. 1206.] TORMENTS OF PURGATORY. 223

the wall marked with black and white spots, some of whom had a greater show of white than black, and others the reverse; but those who were of a whiter colour remained nearer to the wall, and those who were farthest off had no appearance of whiteness about them, and appeared deformed in every part.

Of the unjust decimators.

Near the wall was the entrance to the pit of hell, which incessantly exhaled a smoke of a most foul stench, through the surrounding caverns, in the faces of those who stood by, and this smoke came forth from the tithes unjustly detained, and the crops unjustly tithed; and the stink inflicted incomparable agony on those who were guilty of this crime. The man, therefore, after twice smelling this same stink, was so oppressed by it that he was compelled to cough twice, and, as those who stood round his body declared, his body at the same time coughed twice. St. Julian then said to him, "It appears that you have not duly tithed your crop, and therefore have smelled this stench". On his pleading his poverty as an excuse, the saint told him that his field would produce a more abundant crop if he paid his tithes justly; and the holy man also told him to confess this crime in the church openly to all, and to seek absolution from the priest.

Of the fire, lake, and bridge of purgatory, and of a church situated on the mount of joy.

On the eastern side of this said church was a very large purgatorial fire, placed between two walls; one of these walls rose on the north side, and the other on the south, and they were, separated by a large space, which extended a long way in width on the eastern side, to a very large lake, in which were immersed the souls of those who were passing through the purgatorial fire; and the water of the lake was incomparably salt and cold, as was afterwards proved to the man. Over this lake was placed a large bridge, planted all over with thorns and stakes, over which every one was obliged to pass before he could arrive at the mount of joy; and on this mountain was built a large church, of wonderful structure, which was large enough, as it appeared to the man, to contain all the inhabitants of the world. Then the

224 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1206.

blessed Julian conducted him altogether unhurt through the aforesaid fire, to the above-mentioned lake, and the two then walked together on the road which led from the church through the midst of the flames; no wood material supplied fuel to this said fire, but a sort of flame rising, like what is seen in a fiercely-heated oven, was diffused over the whole of that space, and consumed the black and spotted spirits for a shorter or a longer period, according to the degrees of their crimes. And the spirits which had got out of the fire descended into that cold salt lake at the command of the blessed Nicholas, who presided over that purgatory; and some of these were immersed over head, some up to the neck, some to the chest and arms, others up to the navel, some up to the knees, and others scarcely up to the hollow of their feet. After the lake, there remained the passing of the bridge, which is on the western side of the church, in front of the same; some of the spirits passed over this bridge very tediously and slowly, others more easily and quicker, and some passed over at will and fast, experiencing no delay or trouble in crossing; for some went through the lake so slowly that they stayed in it many years; and those who were not assisted by any special masses, or who had not in their life-time endeavoured to redeem their sins by works of charity towards the poor, those I say, on reaching the before-mentioned bridge, and desiring to cross over to their destined place of rest, walked painfully with naked feet amidst the sharp stakes and thorns which were set on the bridge; and when they were no longer able to endure the extreme agony of the pain, they placed their hands on the stakes to support themselves from falling, and their hands being directly pierced through, they, in the violence of their pain and suffering, rolled on their belly and all parts of their bodies upon the stakes, until by degrees they grovelled along to the further end of the bridge, dreadfully bloody, and pierced all over; but when they reached the hall of the aforesaid church, they then obtained a happy entrance, and recollected little of their vehement tortures.

How St. Michael and the apostles Peter and Paul apportioned the spirits to the places ordained for them by God.

After then, having beheld all these things, St. Julian and

A.D. 1200.] WEIGHING OF GOOD AND EVIL. 225

the man returned through the midst of the flame to the church of St. Mary, and there stopped with the white spirits which had lately arrived; and these spirits were sprinkled with holy water by St. James and St. Domninus, in order that they might become whiter. Here at the very first daylight of the sabbath, came St. Michael the archangel and the apostles Peter and Paul, to allot to the spirits assembled inside and outside the church the places ordained for them by God according to their deserts; for St. Michael gave to all the white spirits a safe passage through the midst of the flames of purgatory, and through the other places of punishment to the entrance of the large church which was built on the mount of joy, with a door on the western side always open; but the spirits stained with black and white spots, which were lying outside the hall on the northern side, were, without any discussion as to their works, brought by St. Peter through a door on the eastern side into the purgatorial fire, that they might be cleansed by that raging flame of the stains of their sins.

Of the weighing of good and evil.

The blessed Paul, too, sat inside the church at the end of the northern wall: and outside the wall, opposite to the apostle, sat the devil with his satellites; and a flame-vomiting aperture, which was the mouth of the pit of hell, burst out close to the feet of the devil. On the wall between the apostle and the devil was fixed a scale hanging on an equal balance, the middle part of which hung without in front of the devil; and the apostle had two weights, a greater and a lesser one, shining like gold, and the devil also had two, sooty and dark. Then the black spirits approached from all directions with great fear and trembling, one after the other, each to try in the scale the weight of their deeds, good or evil; for the aforesaid weights estimated the deeds of each of the spirits according to the good or evil they had done. When, therefore, the balance inclined itself towards the apostle, he took that spirit and brought it through the eastern door which was joined to the church, into the purifying fire, there to expiate its offences; but when the balance inclined and preponderated towards the devil, he and his satellites at once hurried away that spirit, wailing and cursing the

228 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1206.

father and mother for having begot it, to eternal torment, and, amidst great grinning, cast it into the deep and fiery furnace, which was at the feet of the devil who was weighing. Of the weighing of good and evil in this way, mention is often made in the writings of the holy fathers.

Of a certain spirit which the devil had changed into the form of a horse.

On the sabbath day near the hour of evening, whilst St. DoMninus and St. Julian were in the aforesaid church, there came from the northern part a certain devil riding with headlong speed a black horse, and urging him through the many turnings of the place amidst much noise and laughter; and many of the evil spirits went forth to meet it, dancing about and grinning at one another over the prey which was brought to them. St. Domninus then commanded the devil, who was riding, to come directly to him and tell him whose spirit it was that he had brought; but the devil dissembling for a long time, for the great delight which he experienced over the wretched spirit, the saint immediately snatched up a whip and severely lashed the devil, on which he followed the saint to the northern wall, where stood the scale of the spirits. The saint then asked the devil whose spirit it was that he was tormenting so by riding; to which the latter replied that "it was one of the nobles of the kingdom of England, who had died on the preceding night without confession and without partaking of the body of the Lord; and, amongst the other faults which he had committed, his principal crime was his cruelty towards his own men, many of whom he had brought to extreme want, which he had chiefly done at the instigation of his wife, who always incited him to deeds of cruelty. I have transformed him into a horse, since we are allowed to turn the spirits of the condemned into whatever form we please; and I should have already descended with him into hell, and should be consigning him to eternal punishment, if it were not that Sunday night is at hand, when it is our duty to desist from our theatrical sports, and to inflict more severe tortures on wretched spirits". After he had spoken these words, he directed his look on the man, and said to the saint, "Who is that rustic standing with you"? To which the saint answered, "Do you not know him "? The demon then said, "I have seen him at the church of Tidstude in Essex,

A.D. 1206.] SPORTS OF DEVILS. 227

on the feast of its dedication". The saint then asked, "In what dress did you enter the church"? He replied, "In the dress of a woman; but when I had advanced to the font, meaning to enter the chancel, the deacon met me with the sprinkler of holy water, and sprinkling me with it, he put me to flight so precipitately, that I uttered a cry, and leaped from the church as far as a field two furlongs distant". The man and several others also of the parishioners bore witness to this same circumstance, declaring that they had heard that cry, and were entirely ignorant of the cause of it.

Of the theatrical sports of the devils.

After this, St. Domninus said to the devil, "We wish to go with you to see your sports". The devil answered, "If you wish to go with me, do not bring this labourer with you, for he would on his return amongst his fellow mortals disclose our acts and secret kinds of punishment to the living, and would reclaim many from serving us". The saint said to him, "Make haste and go forward, I and St. Julian will follow you". The demon therefore went on in advance and the saints followed him, bringing the man with them by stealth. They then proceeded to a northern region, as if they were going up a mountain; and behold, after descending the mountain, there was a very large and dark-looking house surrounded by old walls, and in it there were a great many lanes (plateae) as it were, filled all around with innumerable heated iron seats. These seats were constructed with iron hoops glowing white with heat, and with nails driven in them in every part, above and below, right and left, and in them there sat beings of divers conditions and sexes; these were pierced by the glowing nails all over their bodies, and were bound on all sides with fiery hoops. There was such a number of those seats, and such a multitude of people sitting in them, that no tongue would be able to reckon them. All around these courts were black iron walls, and near these walls were other seats, in which the devils sat in a circle, as if at a pleasant spectacle, grinning at each other over the torturer of the wretched beings, and recapitulating to them their former crimes. Near the entrance of this detestable scene, on the descent of the mountains, as we have said, there was a wall five feet high, from whieh could plainly be seen

228 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1206.

whatever was done in that place of punishment. Near this wall, then, the before-mentioned saints stood outside looking on at what the wretched beings inside were enduring, and the man lying concealed between them plainly saw all that was going on inside.

Of a proud man, and his tortures.

When the servants of hell were all seated at this shameful scene, the chief of that wicked troop said to his satellites, "Let the proud man be violently dragged from his seat, and let him sport before us". After he had been dragged from his seat and clothed in a black garment, he, in the presence of the devils who applauded him in turn imitated all the gestures of a man proud beyond measure; he stretched his neck, elevated his face, cast up his eyes, with the brows arched, imperiously thundered forth lofty words, shrugged his shoulders, and scarcely could he bear his arms for pride: his eyes glowed, he assumed a threatening look, rising on tiptoe, he stood with crossed legs, expanded his chest, stretched his neck, glowed in his face, showed signs of anger in his fiery eyes, and striking his nose with his finger, gave expression of great threats; and thus swelling with inward pride, he afforded ready subject of laughter to the inhuman spirits. And whilst he was boasting about his dress, and was fastening gloves by sewing, his garments on a sudden were turned to fire, which consumed the entire body of the wretched being; lastly, the devils, glowing with anger, tore the wretch limb from limb with prongs and fiery iron hooks. But one of them put fat with pitch and other greasy substances in a glowing pan, and fried each limb as it was torn away with that boiling grease; and each time the devil sprinkled them with the grease, the limbs sent forth a hissing, like what is caused by pouring cold water on boiling blood; and after his limbs had been thus fried, they were joined together again, and that proud man returned to his former shape. Next, there approached to the wretched man the hammerers of hell, with hammers and three red hot iron bars nailed together in triple order, and they then applied two bars at the back part of his body, to the right and the left, and cruelly drove the hot naila into him with their hammers; these two bars, beginning at his feet, were brought up his legs and thighs to his shoulders, and were then bent

A.D. 1206.] OF A PRIEST AND SOLDIER. 229

around his neck; the third bar, beginning at his middle, passed up his belly, and reached to the top of his head. After this wretch had been tortured for a length of time in the manner above described, he was mercilessly thrust back into his former seat, and when placed there, he was tormented in all parts by the burning nails, and by having his five fingers stretched: and after he had been thus taken from this place of punishment, he was placed in the abode which he had made for himself when living, to await further tortures.

Of a certain priest.

A priest was next dragged forth with violence from his fiery seat to the sport, and placed before these inhuman goblins by the servants of sin, who forthwith, after cutting his throat in the middle, pulled out his tongue, and cut it off at the root. This priest had not, when he could, repaid the people entrusted to his care for their temporal goods which he had taken from them, by holy exhortation, nor by an example of good works, and had not given them the support of prayers or of masses. Afterwards, as we have related of the proud man, they tore him limb from limb, and again restoring him entire, they placed him in a chair of torture.

Of a certain soldier.

After him was brought forward a certain soldier, who had spent his life in slaying harmless people, in tournaments, and robberies. He sat, accoutred with all his weapons of war, on a black horse, which, when urged on by the spur, breathed forth a pitchy flame, with stench and smoke, to the torture of its rider. The saddle of the horse was pierced all over with long fiery nails; the armour and helmet, the shield and boots covered with flame, severely burdened the rider by their weight, and at the same time consumed him to the very marrow with no less torture. After he had, in imitation of his former custom in war, urged his horse to headlong speed, and shaken his spear against the devils who met him and derided him, he was by them dismounted and torn piecemeal, and his limbs were fried in the execrable liquid abovementioned; and after having been fried, they were again joined together in the same way as with those who had

230 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1206.

come before, and were fastened by three bars, and when thus restored he was violently thrust back into his own seat.

Of a certain pleader.

After the soldier, a man well-skilled in worldly law was dragged forth into the midst with great torture, which he had brought on himself by a long course of evil living, and by accepting presents for perverting judgment. This man was well known throughout the English territories amongst the higher ranks, but had closed his life miserably in the year in which this vision was seen; for, dying suddenly without executing any will, all the wealth that he had amassed by his rapacious greediness, was entirely alienated from him, and spent by strangers to him. He had been accustomed to sit in the king's exchequer, where he had oftentimes received presents from both of the litigating parties. He, too, being dragged forth to the sport, in the presence of the wicked spirits, was compelled by the insulting goblins to imitate the actions of his former life; for, turning himself at one time to the right, at another to the left, he was teaching one party in setting forth a cause, and another in replying to it; and whilst doing this, he did not refrain from accepting presents, but received money at one time from one party, at another from the other, and after counting it, put it in his pockets. After the demons had for a length of time looked on at the gestures of the wretched man, the money suddenly becoming hot, burned the wretch in a pitiable manner, and he was forced to put in his mouth the pieces of money, burning as they were, and afterwards to swallow them: after swallowing them, two demons came to him with an iron cart-wheel, studded all round with spikes and nails, and, placing it on the back of the sinner, they whirled it round, tearing away his whole back in its quick and burning revolutions; and compelled him to vomit forth the moneys which he had swallowed with great agony, in still greater torture; and after he had vomited them up, the demon ordered him to collect them again, that he might in the same way again be fed with them; afterwards, the servants of hell becoming enraged, exhausted on him all the tortures which have been mentioned above. The wife of this man was sitting in one of the fiery spiked seats, because

A.D. 1206.] OF SLANDERERS, THIEVES, ETC. 231

she had been excommunicated in several churches about a ring, which she had unknowingly put in her casket, and declared to have been stolen; from which decree she had never been absolved, having been prevented by sudden death.

Of an adulterer and adulteress.

There was now brought into the sight of the furious demons an adulterer, together with an adulteress, united together in foul contact, and they repeated in the presence of all, their disgraceful venereal motions and immodest gestures, to the confusion of themselves and amid the cursing of the demons: then, as if smitten with frenzy, they began to tear one another, changing the outward love, which they before seemed to entertain towards one another, into cruelty and hatred: their limbs were then torn in pieces by the furious crowd around them, and they suffered the same punishment as those who had preceded them. All the fornicators, also, who were present, were tormented in like manner, and the intensity of their sufferings was so great that the pen of the writer is inadequate to pourtray them.

Of slanderers.

Amongst the other wretched beings, two from a company of slanderers were brought into the midst, who, with continual distortions, gaped their mouths open to their ears, and turning their faces on each other, they gazed at each other with grim eyes; in the mouths of both of them were put the ends of a kind of burning spear, eating and gnawing which with distorted months, they quickly reached the middle of the spear, drawing close to each other, and in this manner they tore each other, and stained their whole faces with blood.

Of thieves and incendiaries.

Amongst others there were brought forth thieves, incendiaries, and violators of religious places, and these were by the servants of hell placed on wheels of red hot iron, set with spikes and nails, which from their excessive heat sent forth a constant shower of sparks of fire; on these the wretches were whirled round, and endured horrific tortures.

Of the tradesmen.

Then there came to the spot a tradesman with false scales

232 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1206.

and weights, and also those who stretch the new cloths in their shops to such a degree in length and breadth, that the threads are broken, and a hole is made, and afterwards, cunningly stitching up the holes, sell these same cloths in dark places; these were cruelly torn from their seats, and compelled to repeat the motions of their former sins, to their disgrace, and as an increase of their punishments; and afterwards they were tortured by devils, in the way we have related of those before them. Besides this the man saw, near the entrance of the lower hell, four courts, as it were; the first of which contained innumerable furnaces and large wide caldrons filled to the brim with burning pitch and other melted substances; and in each of these the spirits were heaped together boiling fiercely, and their heads, like those of black fishes, were, from the violence of the boiling, at one time forced upwards out of the liquid, and at another times fell downwards. The second court in like manner contained caldrons, but filled with snow and cold ice, in which the spirits were tortured by the dreadful cold in intolerable agony. The caldrons in the third court were filled with boiling sulphureous water and other things, which emitted a stench mixed with a foul smoke, in which the spirits who died in the foulness of their lusts were particularly tormented. The fourth court contained caldrons full of a very black salt water, the bitter saltness of which would immediately take the bark off any kind of wood thrown into it. In these caldrons a multitude of sinners, murderers, thieves, robbers, sorceresses, and rich men, who by unjust exactions oppressed their fellow men, were incessantly boiling; and the servants of iniquity, standing all round them, pressed them together inside that they might not escape the heat of the molten liquid. Those who had been boiling for seven days in this burning grease, were on the eighth day plunged into the dreadful cold which was in the second court, whilst those on the other hand who had been tortured in the cold, were put into the boiling liquor; in the same way those, who had been boiling in the salt water were afterwards tortured in the stench; and they always observed these changes every eight days.

A.D. 1206.] THE MOUNT OF JOY. 233

Of the church situated on the mount of joy, and of the intercession made for the spirits.

After having seen these things, when the morn of the Lord's day was just beginning to appear, the aforesaid saints, with the man whom they were conducting, proceeded to the mount of joy through the purifying fire, and the lake, and over the spiked bridge, until they arrived at a hall on the western side of the before-mentioned temple, which was situated on the mount; and there was a handsome and large gate always open, through which the spirits, which had been made entirely white, were brought by St. Michael; and in this hall were assembled all the purified spirits praying with all the eagerness of expectation for a happy admission into the place. In the southern quarter outside the temple the man beheld an infinite number of spirits, all of which, with their faces turned to the church, were praying for the assistance of their friends who were alive, by which means they might deserve to gain admission into that church, and the more especial assistance they received, the nearer they approached to the church. In this place he recognised many of his acquaintances, and also all those of whom he had the least knowledge in life. And St. Michael informed the man about all these spirits, for how many masses each spirit could be set free and be permitted to enter the temple. The spirits too which were waiting for admission there suffered no punishment, unless they were waiting for any special assistance from their friends; nevertheless, all the spirits which stood there daily approach the entrance to that church by the general assistance of the whole church.

Of the various stages of the said church.

This man, being brought into the temple by St. Michael, there saw many whom he had seen in life of both sexes in white apparel, who were climbing up to the temple and enjoying great felicity; and the further the spirits climbed up the steps of the temple, the more white and shining they became. In that great church were to be seen many most beautiful mansions, in which dwelt the spirits of the just, whiter than snow, and whose faces and crowns glittered like golden light. At certain hours of each day they hear songs from heaven, as if all kinds of music were sounding in

234 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1206.

harmonious melody, and this so soothes and refreshes all the inhabitants of the temple by its agreeable softness, as if they were regaled with all kinds of dainty meats; but the spirits which stood in the halls outside did not hear anything of this heavenly song. In this place too several of the saints had abodes of their own, where they receive with joy those who especially serve themselves next to the Lord in any thing, that they might afterwards present them in the sight of God.

Of Paradise, and Adam onr first parent.

After this they turned aside to the eastern part of the aforesaid temple, and came to a most pleasant place, beautiful in the variety of its herbs and flowers, and filled with the sweet smell of herbs and trees; there the man beheld a very clear spring, which sent forth four streams of different coloured water; over this fountain there was a beautiful tree of wonderful size and immense height, which abounded in all kinds of fruits and in the sweet smell of spices. Under this tree near the fountain there reposed a man of comely form and gigantic body, who was clothed from his feet to his breast in a garment of various colours and of wondrously beautiful texture; this man seemed to be smiling in one eye, and weeping from the other. "This", said St. Michael, "is the first parent of the human race, Adam, and by the eye which is smiling, he indicates the joy which he feels in the glorification of his children who are to be saved, and by the other eye which is weeping, he expresses the sorrow he feels for the punishment and just judgment of God on his children who are to be condemned. The garment with which he is covered, though not entirely, is the robe of immortality and the garment of glory, of which he was deprived on his first transgression; for from the time of Abel, his just son, he began to regain this garment, and continues to do so throughout the whole succession of his righteous children, and as the chosen ones shine forth in their different virtues, so this garment is dyed with its various colours; and when the number of his elect children shall be completed, then Adam will be entirely clothed in the robe of immortality and glory, and in this way the world will come to an end".

A.D. 1206.] RETURN OF THE MAN TO HIS BODY. 235

How the man returned to his body.

After proceeding a little way from this place they came to a most beautiful gate adorned with jewels and precious stones; and the wall round it shone as if it were of gold. As soon as they had entered the gate, there appeared a kind of golden temple, much more magnificent than the former in all its beauty, in its pleasant sweetness, and in the splendour of its glittering light, so that the places which they had seen before appeared not at all pleasant in comparison with that place; and after they had gone into this temple, he beheld on one side a kind of chapel, refulgent with wonderful ornaments, in which there sat three virgins shining in indescribable beauty; these, as the archangel informed him, were St. Catherine, St. Margaret, and St. Osith. Whilst he was thus admiringly contemplating their beauty, St. Michael said to St. Julian, "Restore this man directly to his body, for unless he is quickly taken back to it, the cold water which the bystanders are throwing in his face will altogether suffocate him"; and directly after these words had been spoken, the man, not knowing how, was brought back to his body and sat up in his bed. He had been lying on his bed, as it were senseless, for two days and nights, that is, from the hour of evening of the sixth day of the week, till the evening of the Sunday following, oppressed as if with a heavy sleep. As soon as morning came he hastened to the church, and, after the performance of mass, the priest, with others of the parishioners, who had seen him as it were lifeless a short time before, besought him to inform them of what had been revealed to him; he however in his great simplicity, hesitated to relate his vision, until on the following night St. Julian appeared to him giving him orders to reveal all that he had seen, because, he said, that he had been taken from his body for the purpose of making public all he had heard. In obedience to the commands of the saint, he, on All Saints' day, and at times afterwards, related his vision plainly and openly in the English tongue, and all who heard him wondered at the unusual gift of speech of a man who had formerly, from his great simplicity, appeared clownish and unable to speak; and by his continual narration of the vision he had seen, he moved many to tears and bitter lamentations.

236 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1207.

How Geoffrey archbishop of York went into exile.

[A.D. 1207.] King John kept Christmas at Winchester in the company of the nobles of the kingdom. Afterwards, at the purification of the blessed Mary, he levied a tax throughout England of the thirteenth part of all moveable and other goods, on the laity as well as the ecclesiastics and prelates, which caused great murmuring amongst all, though they dared not gainsay it. Geoffrey archbishop of York was the only one who did not consent to it; he openly spoke against it, and departed from England privily; and at his departure he anathematized especially all those who were the agents of this robbery in the archbishopric of York, and in general against all the invaders of the church or the church property. In this same year, on the 27th of February, about midnight, a sudden and violent storm of wind arose, which destroyed buildings, tore down trees, and, being attended by immense falls of snow, caused destruction to flocks and herds of sheep and cattle. In this same year the emperor Otho came to England and had an interview with his uncle, after which, and receiving five thousand marks of silver from the latter, he returned to his own kingdom.

About this time there sprang up, under the auspices of pope Innocent, a sect of preachers called Minorites, who filled the earth, dwelling in cities and towns by tens and sevens, possessing no property at all, living according to the gospel, making a show of the greatest poverty, walking with naked feet, and setting a great example of humility to all classes. On Sundays and feast days they went forth from their habitations preaching the word of the gospel in the parish churches, eating and drinking whatever they found amongst them to whom they preached; and they were the more remarkable for their regard to the business of heaven, the more they proved themselves unconnected with the matters of this life, and with the pleasures of the flesh. No sort of food in their possession was kept for the morrow's use, that their poverty of spirit which reigned in their minds, might show itself to all in their dress and actions.

The elections of the bithop of Norwich, and the sub-prior of Canterbury annulled.

About this time the monks of the church of Canterbury

A.D. 1207.] ELECTIONS ANNULLED. 237

appeared before our lord the pope, to plead a disgraceful dispute which had arisen between themselves; for a certain part of them, by authenticated letters of the convent, presented Reginald, sub-prior of Canterbury, as they had often done, to be archbishop-elect, and earnestly required the confirmation of his election; the other portion of the same monks had, by letters alike authentic, presented John bishop of Norwich, showing by many arguments that the election of the sub-prior was null, not only because it had been made by night, and without the usual ceremonies, and without the consent of the king, but also because it had not been made by the older and wiser part of the convent; and thus setting forth these reasons, they asked that that election should be confirmed, which was made before fitting witnesses in open day and by consent, and in presence of the king. When this side of the question had been heard and plainly understood, the pleader on the part of the sub-prior set forth that the second election was null and void, inasmuch as, whatever might have been the nature of the first election, whether just or unjust, that said first election ought to have been annulled before the second was made; wherefore he firmly demanded that the first election should be deemed valid. At length, after long arguments on both sides, our lord the pope, seeing that the parties could not agree in fixing on the same person, and that both elections had been made irregularly, and not according to the decrees of the holy canons, by the advice of his cardinals, annulled both elections, laying the apostolic interdict on the parties, and by definitive judgment ordering, that neither of them should again aspire to the honours of the archbishopric. [1]


[1] M. Paris adds:- "In fine, this was the cause and fertile source of error. The king had given his word by the mouth of twelve monks of Canterbury that he would accept whomsoever they should elect. Now it had been agreed between the king and them, on oath, that they would elect no other person than John bishop of Norwich; and to the same effect they also had letters from the king. But the monks themselves, when they knew that the election of the aforesaid John was displeasing to the pope, were induced by the pope and cardinals to affirm that they could elect any one they pleased, and to elect secretly, provided that they made choice of an active man, and one who was a genuine Englishman, wherefore they chose, with the pope's advice, master Stephen Langton, cardinal, and equal, if not superior, to any in the court for probity and learning. From that time, therefore, the pope would not desert him in his manifold tribulations".

238 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1207.

Of the promotion and consecration of master Stephen Langton.

The aforesaid elections being thus annulled, our lord the pope, being unwilling to permit the Lord's flock to be any longer without the care of a pastor, persuaded the monks of Canterbury, who had appeared before him as pleaders in the matter of the church of Canterbury, to elect master Stephen Langton, a cardinal priest, a man, as we have said, skilled in literary science, and discreet and accomplished in his manners; and he asserted that the promotion of that person would be of very great advantage, as well to the king himself, as to the whole English church. The monks, however, in answer to this, declared that they were not allowed, except by the king's consent and the choice of the canons, to consent to any person's election, or to make any election without them; but the pope, as if taking the words out of their mouths, said, "You may think that you have plenary powers in the church of Canterbury, but it is not the custom that the consent of princes is to be waited for concerning elections made at the apostolic see; therefore, by virtue of your obedience, and under penalty of our anathema, we command you, who are so many and such, that you fully suffice for making the election, to elect as archbishop the man whom we give you as a father and as pastor of your souls". The monks, dreading the sentence of excommunication, although reluctantly and with murmuring, gave their consent; the only one out of all of them who would not consent being master Elias de Brantfield, who had come on the part of the king and the bishop of Norwich, the rest of them chanted the "Te Deum", and carried the said archbishopelect to the altar. He afterwards received consecration from the pope aforesaid at the city of Viterbo, on the 17th of June. [1]


[1] M. Paris adds:- "About this time pope Innocent, desiring to gain John over to favour his plans, and knowing that he was covetous and a diligent seeker after costly jewels, sent the following letter to him with such presents as may be seen in the same. 'Pope Innocent the Third, to John king of the English, greeting, etc. Amongst the riches of the earth, which the eye of man desires and longs for as more precious than others, we believe that pure gold and precious stones hold the first place. Although perhaps your royal highness may abound in these and other riches, however, as a sign of regard and favour, we send to your highness four gold rings with divers jewels. We wish you particularly to remark in these, the shape, number, material, and colour, that you may pay regard to the signification of them rather than to the gift. The rotundity signifies eternity, which has neither beginning nor end. Therefore your royal discretion may he led by the form of them, to pray for a passage from earthly to heavenly, from temporal to eternal things. The number of four, which is a square number, denotes the firmness of mind which is neither depressed in adversity, nor elated in prosperity; which will then be fulfilled when it is based on the four principal virtues, namely, justice, fortitude, prudence, and temperance. In the first place, understand justice, which is to be shown in judgment; in the second, the fortitude which is to be shown in adversity; in the third, prudence, which is to be observed in doubtful circumstances; and in the fourth, moderation, which is not to be lost in prosperity. By the gold, is denoted wisdom: for as gold excels all metals, so wisdom excels all gifts, as the prophet bears witness, 'The spirit of wisdom shall rest upon him', etc. There is nothing which it is more necessary for a king to possess. Wherefore the peaceful king Solomon asked wisdom only of the Lord, that by those means he might know how to govern the people entrusted to him. Moreover the greenness of the emerald denotes faith; the clearness of the sapphire hope; the redness of the pomegranate denotes charity; and the purity of the topaz good works, concerning which the Lord says, 'Let your light shine', etc. In the emerald, then, you have what to believe; in the sapphire, what to hope for; in the pomegranate, what to love; and in the topaz, what to practise; that you ascend from one virtue to another till you see the Lord in Zion". When these gifts were brought into the king's presence, he at first was much pleased with them; but not many days afterwards the pure gold was turned to dross and derision, the jewels into groans, and love into hatred, as the following narrative will show". A.D. 1207.] STEPHEN LANGTON. 239

How pope Innocent sent letters to the king of England asking him to receive Stephen Langton, already consecrated, as archbishop.

After this matter was settled, pope Innocent sent letters to the king of England humbly and earnestly asking him to receive with kindness master Stephen Langton, a cardinal priest of St. Chrysogonus, who was canonically elected to the archbishopric of Canterbury, and who tracing his origin from his kingdom, had not only gained the title of master in secular learning, but also that of doctor in theology; and especially since his life and morals surpassed the greatness of his learning, his character would be of no small advantage to the king's soul as well as his temporal affairs. Having by many arguments of this kind, alike gentle and persuasive, done his best to induce the king to consent; he, by letters ordered the prior and monks of Canterbury, by virtue of their obedience, to receive the above-named archbishop as their pastor, and humbly to obey him in temporal as well as

240 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1207.

spiritual affairs. When at length the letters of our lord the pope came to the notice of the English king, he was exceedingly enraged, as much at the promotion of Stephen Langton as at the annulling of the election of the bishop of Norwich, and accused the monks of Canterbury of treachery; for he said that they had, to the prejudice of his rights, elected their sub-prior without his permission, and afterwards, to palliate their fault by giving satisfaction to him, they chose the bishop of Norwich; that they had also received money from the treasury for their expenses in obtaining the confirmation of the said bishop's election from the apostolic see; and to complete their iniquity, they had there elected Stephen Langton, his open enemy, and had obtained his consecration to the archbishopric. On this account the said king, in the fury of his anger and indignation, sent Fulk de Cantelu and Henry de Cornhill, two most cruel and inhuman knights, with armed attendants, to expel the monks of Canterbury, as if they were guilty of a crime against his injured majesty from England, or else to consign them to capital punishment. These knights were not slow to obey the commands of their lord, but set out for Canterbury, and, entering the monastery with drawn swords, in the king's name fiercely ordered the prior and monks to depart immediately from the kingdom of England as traitors to the king's majesty; and they affirmed with an oath that, if they (the monks) refused to do this, they would themselves set fire to the monastery, and the other offices adjoining it, and would burn all the monks themselves with their buildings. The monks, acting unadvisedly, departed without violence or laying hands on any one; all of them, except thirteen sick men who were lying in the infirmary unable to walk, they forthwith crossed into Flanders, and were honourably received at the abbey of St. Bertinus and other monasteries on the continent. Afterwards, by the orders of the king, some monks of the order of St. Augustine were placed in the church of Canterbury in their stead to perform the duties there; the before-mentioned Fulk managing, and even distributing and confiscating, all the property of the same monks, whilst their lands and those of the archbishop remained uncultivated. The aforesaid monks were driven from their monastery into exile on the fourteenth of July.

A.D. 1207.] KING AND THE POPE AT VARIANCE. 241

How the king of England sent threatening letters to the pope.

After having thus banished the monks of Canterbury, king John sent messengers with letters to the pope, in which he expressly and as it were threateningly accused him of having disgracefully annulled the election of the bishop of Norwich, and of having consecrated, as archbishop of Canterbury, Stephen Langton, a man altogether unknown to him, and who had been for a long time familiar with his declared enemies in the French kingdom; and what redounded more to the prejudice and subversion of the liberties which belonged to his crown, his consent was not duly asked by the monks who ought to have done so, and he, the pope, audaciously presumed to promote the same Stephen; and he asserted that he could not sufficiently wonder that he, the pope, as well as the whole court of Rome, did not recollect of how much consequence the regard of the English king had been to the Roman see till now, inasmuch as more abundant profits accrued to them from his kingdom of England than from all other countries on this side of the Alps. He added, moreover, that he would stand up for the rights of his crown, if necessary, even to death, and declared immutably that he could not be deterred from the election and promotion of the bishop of Norwich, which he knew would be advantageous to himself. Finally, he summed up the business by saying, that if he were not attended to in the foregoing matters, he would stop the track by sea against all who were going to Rome, that his territories might not be emptied of their wealth, and he himself be thus rendered less able to drive his enemies away from them; and, as there were plenty of archbishops, bishops, and other prelates of the church, as well in England as in his other territories, who were well stored in all kinds of learning if he wanted them, he would not beg for justice or judgment from strangers out of his own dominions. When all this had been brought to the notice of the pope by the king's messengers, that pontiff wrote in reply us follows:-

Answer of our lord the pope to the English king.

"Innocent bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his well beloved son in Christ, the illustrious John, king of the English, health, and the apostolic blessing. When we wrote

242 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1207.

to you on the matter of the church of Canterbury, humbly and carefully, and with gentle exhortations and requests, you, if I may so speak, with all deference to your highness, wrote in reply to us contumaciously and waywardly, with threats and reproaches; and whereas we defer to you more than we ought, you show us less consideration than you ought; for if your devotion is very necessary to us, still our regard is no less advantageous to you. And, although in such a case we have never paid such honour to any prince as we have to you, you are endeavouring to lessen our dignity in a way that no prince has, in a like case, presumed to do; you set forth some frivolous excuses by which you assert that you cannot give your consent to the election of our beloved son, master Stephen, entitled a cardinal priest of St. Chrysogonus, because forsooth he has been intimate with your enemies, and is not personally known to you. Moreover, as the proverb of Solomon says, 'The net is cast in vain before the eyes of birds', since we know that it is not to be imputed as a fault, but rather to be reckoned as a glory to him, that, when he was for a time at Paris studying the liberal arts, he made such advance in them that he was rewarded with the title of teacher, not only in civil acquirements, but also in theological learning; and so, whereas his life agrees with his doctrines, he was rewarded with the prebendal stall in the church of Paris; wherefore, we think it a wonder, if a man of such renown, and who derived his origin from your kingdom, could, as far as report goes, be unknown to you, especially when you wrote to him three times after he was promoted to the rank of cardinal by us, that, however you were disposed to summon him to your service, you nevertheless were glad that he was raised to a higher office. But it ought rather to take your attention, that he was born in your kingdom of parents who were faithful and devoted to you, and that he had been made a prebend in the church at York, which was a far greater and higher situation than that of Paris; whence, not only by reason of flesh and blood, but also by his holding ecclesiastical benefits and office, he was proved to have a sincere affection lor you and your kingdom. But your messengers gave to us another reason for your not giving your consent to his election, which was forsooth, because you had never been asked for it by

A.D. 1207.] LETTER OF THE POPE. 243

those who ought to have asked your consent to it; and they declared that the letters in which we ordered you to send fitting agents to us on this matter had not reached you, and that the monks of Canterbury, although they had appeared before you on other business, had not sent letters or messengers to ask your consent to this. Wherefore, the same messengers asked with much earnestness, that, as far as it pleased us we would reserve to you the honour that the monks of Canterbury should ask the consent of their king, since it had not been done, and that we would grant a fitting delay for it to be done, that nothing derogatory to your rights might happen: putting forth something at last against the person of the archbishop elect, which, being done openly, ought to have restrained their tongues; especially as, even if true, it could no longer impede his election. Although it is not the custom, when elections are made at the apostolic see, to wait for the consent of any prince. However, two monks were sent to you for the special purpose of asking your consent, but they were detained at Dover, so that they were not able to fullil their instructions; and the before-mentioned letters about the agents were in our presence delivered to your messengers that they might faithfully deliver them to you. We, too, who hold full authority over this same church of Canterbury, have condescended to ask a favour of a king; and our courier, who delivered the apostolic letters to you, also delivered the letters of the prior and monks, who, by command of the whole chapter of the church of Canterbury, had made the aforesaid election, which were written to ask your consent, and therefore we did not deem it our business again, after all these circumstances, to ask the royal consent; but we endeavoured, without inclining to the right or to the left, to do that which the canonical ordinances of the holy fathers order to be done, so that there may be no delay or difficulty in making proper arrangements that the Lord's flock may not be longer without the care of a pastor. Wherefore, let no one suggest it to your royal discretion or prudence, that we can in any way be diverted from the consummation of this business; since, when a canonical election is made according to rule without fraud or cunning of a fitting person, we could not, without loss of our good name or danger to our conscience, delay the completion of it. Therefore, well beloved son, to whose dignity

244 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1207.

we have yielded deference more than we ought, endeavour to pay proper deference to our dignity, that you may be rewarded more abundantly with the grace of God and our favour; but perhaps, should you act otherwise, you may bring yourself into difficulties from which you will not easily bo extricated; for it must be that He is supreme to whom every knee is bent, of those in heaven, on earth, and under the earth, and whose functions on earth we, although undeserving, are appointed to perform. Do not therefore acquiesce in the plans of those who are always longing to disquiet you, that they may fish better in the troubled water, but commit yourself to our good pleasure, which will surely tend to your praise, glory, and honour; because it would not be safe for you in this matter to show resistance to God and the church, for which the blessed martyr and glorious high priest Thomas recently shed his blood; especially, too, since your father and your brother of illustrious memory, at the time they were kings of England, abjured this wicked custom before the legates of the apostolic see. And we, if you with proper humility acquiesce in our wishes, will take care that no injury shall happen to you in this matter. Given at the Lateran in the tenth year of our pontificate". [1] In this same year, on the feast of St. Remigius, Isabel, queen of the English, bore to king John her first-born son, and he was named Henry, after his grandfather.

An eclipse of the moon.

[A.D. 1208.] King John kept Christmas at Windsor, where he distributed festive dresses amongst his knights; and on the day after the purification of St. Mary, an eclipse of the moon took place, which first appeared of a blood red and afterwards of a dingy colour. About the same time Philip bishop of Durham, and Geoffrey bishop of Chester, paid the debt of nature. In this year, too, queen Isabel bore a legitimate son to king John, which she named Richard.


[1] "About that time died Simon, bishop of Chichester. All the property of the monks of Canterbury was confiscated on the day of the translation of St. Swithun; but Geoffrey, archbishop of York, secretly fled across the sea, not choosing to agree to the exaction of the thirteenth part. An eclipse of the sun took place, which lasted from the sixth to the ninth hour, und one of the moon too on the same day". M. Paris.

A.D. 1208.] ENGLAND LAID UNDER INTERDICT. 245

The king of England admonished by our lord the pope.

In the same year pope Innocent, on learning that king John's heart was so hardened, that he would not either by persuasion or threats be indueed to acquiesce in receiving Stephen as archbishop of Canterbury, was touched to the heart with grief, and, by advice of his cardinals, sent orders to William bishop of London, Eustace bishop of Ely, and Mauger bishop of Winchester, to go to the said king, about the matter of the church of Canterbury, and to give him wholesome counsel to yield to God in this matter, and so secure the Lord's favour; but if they found him contumacious and rebellious as he had hitherto been, he ordered them to lay an interdict on the whole kingdom of England, and to denounce to the said king that, if he did not check his boldness by that means, he, the pope, would lay his hand on him still more heavily; since it was necessary for him to conquer, who for the safety of the holy church had made war on the devil and his angels, and despoiled the cloisters of hell. He also, by letters of the apostolic see, gave orders to the suffragan bishops of the church of Canterbury, and to the other prelates of that diocese, that, by virtue of their obedience, they were to receive the aforesaid archbishop as their father and pastor, and were to obey him with all due affection.

How England was laid under general interdict.

The bishops of London, Ely, and Winchester, in execution of the legateship entrusted to them, went to king John, and after duly setting forth the apostolic commands, entreated of him humbly and with tears, that he, having God in his sight, would recall the archbishop and the monks of Canterbury to their church, and honour and love them with perfect affection; and they informed him that thus he would avoid the shame of an interdict, and the Disposer of rewards would, if he did so, multiply his temporal honours on him, and after his death would bestow lasting glory on him. When the said bishops wished, out of regard to the king, to prolong the discourse, the king became nearly mad with rage, and broke forth in words of blasphemy against the pope and his cardinals, swearing by God's teeth, that, if they or any other priests soever presumptuously dared to lay his

246 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1208.

dominions under an interdict, he would immediately send all the prelates of England, clerks as well as ordained persons, to the pope, and confiscate all their property; he added moreover, that all the clerks of Rome or of the pope himself who could be found in England or in his other territories, he would send to Rome with their eyes plucked out, and their noses slit, that by these marks they might be known there from other people; in addition to this he plainly ordered the bishops to take themselves quickly from his sight, if they wished to keep their bodies free from harm. The bishops then, not finding any repentance in the king, departed, and in the Lent following, fearlessly fulfilled the duty required of them by the pope, and accordingly on the morning of Monday in Passion week, which that year fell on the 23rd of March, they laid a general interdict on the whole of England; which, since it was expressed to be by authority of our lord the pope, was inviolably observed by all without regard of person or privileges. Therefore all church services ceased to be performed in England, with the exception only of confession, and the viaticum in cases of extremity, and the baptism of children; the bodies of the dead too were carried out of cities and towns, and buried in roads and ditches without prayers or the attendance of priests. What need I say more? The bishops, William of London, Eustace of Ely, Mauger of Winchester, Jocelyn of Bath, and Giles of Hereford, left England privily, thinking it better to avoid the anger of the enraged king for a time, than to dwell without any good effects in a country which lay under interdict.

How king John, on account of the interdict, confiscated all the property of the clergy.

The king of England being greatly enraged on account of the interdict, sent his sheriffs, and other ministers of iniquity, to all quarters of England, giving orders with dreadful threats to all priests as well as to those subject to them, to depart the kingdom immediately, and to demand justice to be afforded him by the pope for this injury; he also gave all the bishoprics, abbacies, and priories, into the charge of laymen, and ordered all ecclesiastical revenues to be confiscated; but the generality of the prelates of England had cautiously turned their attention to this, and refused to quit their

A.D. 1208.] CONFISCATION OF PROPERTY. 247

monasteries unless expelled by violence; and when the agents of the king found this out, they would not use violence towards them, because they had not a warrant from the king to that effect; but they converted all their property to the king's use, giving them only a scanty allowance of food and clothing out of their own property. The corn of the clergy was every where locked up, and distrained for the benefit of the revenue; the concubines of the priests and clerks were taken by the king's servants and compelled to ransom themselves at a groat expense; religious men and other persons ordained of any kind, when found travelling on the road, were dragged from their horses, robbed, and basely ill-treated by the satellites of the king, and no one would do them justice. About that time the servants of a certain sheriff on the confines of Wales came to the king bringing in their custody a robber with his hands tied behind him, who had robbed and murdered a priest on the road; and on their asking the king what it was his pleasure should be done to the robber in such a case, the king immediately answered, "He has slain an enemy of mine, release him and let him go". The relations, too, of the archbishop and bishops, who had laid England under an interdict, wherever they could be found, were by the king's orders taken, robbed of all their property, and thrown into prison. Whilst they were enduring all these evils, these aforesaid prelates were sojourning on the continent, living on all kinds of delicacies instead of placing themselves as a wall for the house of God, as the saying of the Redeemer has it, "When they saw the wolf corning, they quitted the sheep and fled".

How king John received the homage of the nobles of England.

In the midst of these and similar impious proceedings, king John, on reflection, was afraid that, after the interdict, our lord the pope would lay his hands on him more heavily by excommunicating him by name, or by absolving the nobles of England from allegiance to him; he, therefore, that he might not lose his rights of sovereignty, sent an armed force to all the men of rank in the kingdom especially those of whom he was suspicious, and demanded hostages of them, by which he could, if in course of time they were released from their fealty, recall them to their due obedience; many

248 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1209.

acquiesced in the kind's demands, some delivering to his messengers their sons, and others their nephews and other relations in the flesh. Wlien they at length came to William de Brause, a man of noble blood, and demanded hostages from him, as they had done from others, Matilda, wife of the said William, with the sauciness of a woman, took the reply out of his mouth, and said to the messengers in reply, "I will not deliver up my sons to your lord, king John, because he basely murdered his nephew, Arthur, whom he ought to have taken care of honourably". Her husband on hearing her speech rebuked her, and said, "Thou hast spoken like a foolish woman against our lord the king; for if I have offended him in anything, I am and shall be ready to give satisfaction to my lord and that without hostages, according to the decision of his court and of my fellow barons, if he will fix on a time, and place for my so doing". The messengers, on their return to the king, told him what they had heard, at which he was seriously enraged, and privily sent some knights and their followers to seize this William and his family; but he, being forewarned by his friends, fled with his wife, children, and relatives, into Ireland. In this same year the white monks, who at the commencement of the interdict had ceased their functions, afterwards, at the command of the chief abbat of their order, presumed to perform sacred duties; but this piece of presumption coming to the notice of the supreme pontiff they were again suspended to their greater confusion.

How the king of the English sent a great sum of money to his nephew Otho.

[A.D. 1209.] King John was at Bristol at Christmas, and there he forbade the taking of birds throughout all England. After this Henry duke of Suabia came from Otho king of Germany to England to see king John, and after receiving a large sum of money for the said Otho's use, he returned home again. In this year too, by the intercession of Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, the indulgence, of performing divine duties once in the week was granted to the conventual churches in England; but the white monks were debarred from this indulgence, because, although they hud at the commencement of the interdict abstained therefrom, they had

A.D. 1209.] TREATY OF ALLIANCE. 249

afterwards, at the bidding of their principal abbat, presumed to perform them without consulting the pope. About this same time, Louis, son of Philip king of France, and his first born and legitimate heir, was by his father made a belted knight at Compiegne, and a hundred other nobles with him.

How the king of the English entered into a treaty of alliance with the king of Scots.

About that time king John collected a large force, and turned his arms against Scotland. When he came to the county of Northumberland, to a castle called Norham, he there drew up his army in order of battle against the king of Scots; but when the latter monarch was told of this, he was afraid to engage with him, since he knew the English king's proneness to all kinds of cruelty, but he came to meet that monarch to treat for peace. But the king of England, being enraged, bitterly reproached him with having received in his kingdom his fugitive subjects and open enemies, and with having afforded assistance and shown kindness to them, to the prejudice of him the English king. However when John had set forth all these matters to the said king of Scots, they entered into an agreement, by which the latter was to give to the English monarch twelve thousand marks of silver as a security for peace, and should moreover, for the better security of it, give him his two daughters as hostages, that, by this arrangement the peace might be more confirmed between them. The latter king then departed from the above-mentioned castle on the 28th of June, and gave orders for all the hedges to be burnt and the ditches to be levelled throughout the forests of all England, and for the pasturage to be laid open for the consumption of cattle. Afterwards he received homage from all his free tenants, and even from boys of twelve years old throughout the whole kingdom, and after they had given their fealty he received them with a kiss of peace and dismissed them. And, what had never been heard of in times past, the Welsh came to the king at Woodstock and there did homage to him, although it was burdensome to rich as well as poor. In this same year Otho son of the duke of Saxony, and nephew of the king of England, was consecrated emperor of Rome by pope Innocent on the 4th of October. About this same time a certain clerk,

250 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1209.

who was studying the liberal arts at Oxford, accidentally slew a woman, and when he found that she was dead he consulted his own safety by flight. But the mayor of the city and several other persons coming up, and finding the dead woman, began to search for the murderer in his house, which he had rented, together with three others his fellow clerks, and not finding the murderer, they made prisoners of his three fellow clerks, who were altogether ignorant of the murder, and thrust them into prison; and a few days afterwards they were, by order of the king, in contempt of the rights of the church, taken outside the city and hung. On this the clerks to the number of three thousand, masters as well as pupils, retired from Oxford, so that not one remained out of the whole university; some of these went to Cambridge, and others to Reading to pursue their studies, leaving the city of Oxford empty. In the same year Hugh archdeacon of Wells, and chancellor of the king, was, by the management of the said king, elected to the bishopric of Lincoln, and immediately after the election was made, he received from the king free jurisdiction over the whole bishopric.

How king John was excommunicated by name.

King John had now for nearly two years, as has been said before, unceasingly continued throughout England, on account of the interdict, a most severe persecution against the clergy as well as some of the laity, and had entirely destroyed all kind of hope in every one of any improvement or satisfaction, and pope Innocent could no longer put off the punishment of his rebellion; wherefore, by the advice of his cardinals, he, in order to cut up by the root such an insult to the church, gave orders to the bishops of London, Ely, and Winchester, to declare the said king excommunicated by name, and solemnly to publish this sentence every Sunday and feast day in all the conventual churches throughout England, that thus the king might be more strictly shunned by every one. But after the aforesaid bishops had, by the apostolic authority, entrusted the publication of this sentence to their fellow bishops who had remained in England, and to the other prelates of the church, they all, through fear of or regard for the king, became like, dumb dogs not daring to bark, wherefore they put off fulfilling the duty enjoined on

A.D. 1209.] KING JOHN EXCOMMUNICATED. 251

them by the apostolic mandate, and failed to proceed according to the usual course of justice. Nevertheless in a short time the decree became known to all in the roads and streets, and even in the places of assembly of the people it afforded a subject of secret conversation to all; amongst others, as Geoffrey archdeacon of Norwich was one day sitting in the Exchequer at Westminster, attending to the king's business, he began to talk privately with his companions who sat with him, of the decree which was sent forth against the king, and said that it was not safe for beneficed persons to remain any longer in their allegiance to an excommunicated king; after saying which, he went to his own house without asking the king's permission. This event coming soon after to the knowledge of the king, he was not a little annoyed, and sent William Talbot a knight, with some soldiers, to seize the archdeacon, and they, after he was taken, bound him in chains and threw him into prison; after he had been there a few days, by command of the said king a cap of lead was put on him, and at length, being overcome by want of food as well as by the weight of the leaden cap, he departed to the Lord.

Of the evil counsel of the wicked Alexander.

During the time of the interdict a pseudo-theologist, one Master Alexander, surnamed the Mason, insinuated himself into the king's favour, and by his iniquitous preachings he in a great measure incited the king to acts of cruelty; for he said that this universal scourge was not brought on England by any fault of the king's, but by the wickedness of his subjects; he also declared that he, the king, was the rod of God, and had been made a prince in order to rule his people and others subject to him with a rod of iron, and to break them all "like a potter's vessel", to bind those in power with shackles, and his nobles with manacles of iron. By some specious arguments he proved that it was not the pope's business to meddle with the lay estates of kings or of any potentates whatever, or with the government of their subjects; especially as nothing, except the power only over the church and church property, had been conferred by the Lord on St. Peter. By these and the like fallacies, he so gained favour with the king, that he obtained several benefices

252 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1210.

which had been taken from religious men by the said king's violence: but as soon as the perversity of this man came to the ears of the supreme pontiff, he was, by the pope's own management, deprived of all his goods and benefices, and at length reduced to such wretchedness, that he was compelled by necessity in the poorest clothing to beg his bread from door to door; and the multitude looked on him with derision saying, "Behold the man who did not make God his helper, but put his trust in the multitude of his riches, and strengthened himself in his vanity; let him therefore be always before the Lord, that the recollection of him may perish from the earth, because he did not call it to his mind to show compassion; therefore the Lord will destroy him to the end, and his speech shall be against him as a sin, so that his habitation may be blotted out from the land of the living".

Of the consecration of Hugh bishop of Lincoln.

In this same year Hugh bishop elect of Lincoln, obtained leave from the king to cross over to France, that he might receive consecration from the archbishop of Rouen, but as soon as he had landed in Normandy, he went to Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, and after making his canonical submission to that prelate, he was by him consecrated on the 20th of December. When this was discovered by the king, he immediately took possession of all the said bishopric, and converted all the emoluments of it to his own uses: he also gave up his seal to Walter de Gray and appointed him his chancellor, and he made the king's pleasure his business in managing all the affairs of the kingdom.

How the Jews were compelled to pay a heavy ransom.

[A.D. 1210.] King John was at Windsor at Christmas, and all the nobles of England were present and conversing with him, notwithstanding the sentence under which he was bound, a rumour of which, although it had not been published, had spread through all parts of England, and come to the ears of everybody; for the king endeavoured to work evil to all who absented themselves from him. Afterwards, by the king's order, all the Jews throughout England, of both sexes, were seized, imprisoned, and tortured severely, in order to do the king's will with their money; some of them then after

A.D. 1210.] EXCOMMUNICATION OF OTHO. 253

being tortured gave up all they had and promised more, that they might thus escape; one of this sect at Bristol, even after being dreadfully tortured, still refused to ransom himself or to put an end to his sufferings, on which the king ordered his agents to knock out one of his cheek-teeth daily, until he paid ten thousand marks of silver to him; after they had for seven days knocked out a tooth each day with great agony to the Jew, and had begun the same operation on the eighth day, the said Jew, reluctant as he was to provide the money required, gave the said sum to save his eighth tooth, although he had already lost seven.

Of the excommunication of the emperor Otho.

About that time, Otho the Roman emperor, remembering the oath which he had made on his elevation to the empire by the pope, namely, that he would preserve the dignity of the empire and, as far as lay in his power, would recall its scattered rights, caused an inquiry to be made, on the oaths of legal men, concerning the castles of his domain, and other rights appertaining to the imperial dignity, and whatever was found to belong to the throne he endeavoured to convert to his own use. On this there arose a serious dispute between the pope and the emperor, because when the throne of the empire, was vacant, the said pope had taken possession of several castles with other things which pertained to the empire; wherefore the emperor, because he endeavoured to recover what was his own, aroused the hatred of the pope without deserving it. The same emperor also seriously annoyed Frederic king of Sicily, who had, in the same way, when the imperial throne was unoccupied, taken possession of some fortified places; whereupon the said pope by messengers and letters frequently warned the said emperor to desist from this persecution of the church of Rome, as well as from disinheriting the king of Sicily, and the guardianship entrusted to the apostolic see. In reply to these messengers of the pope the emperor is said to have made this answer; "If", said he, "the supreme pontiff desires unjustly to possess the rights of the empire, let him release me from the oath which he compelled me to take on my consecration to the imperial dignity, namely, that I would recover the alienated rights of the empire, and maintain those which I

254 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1210.

had". At length as the pope refused to absolve the emperor from the oath which all emperors at their consecration are bound to take on the holy gospel, the emperor on the other hand refused to give up the rights of the empire, which he had, for the most part, recovered by force; the said pope, therefore, pronounced the sentence of excommunication against the emperor, and absolved all the nobles of Germany, as well as of the Roman empire, from allegiance to him.

How the king of England led an army into Ireland.

In this same year king John assembled a large army at Pembroke in Wales, and set out for Ireland, where he arrived on the sixth of June. On his arrival at the city of Dublin, more than twenty of the chiefs of that district met him in the greatest alarm, and did homage, and swore fealty to him; some few of them however would not do this, scorning to come to the king because they dwelt in impregnable places. He there made and ordained English laws and customs, appointing sheriffs and other agents to govern the people of that kingdom according to English laws; he appointed John, bishop of Norwich, justiciary there, who caused a penny to be coined for that country the same weight as the English penny, and he also ordered a halfpenny and a round farthing to be coined. The king also ordered that that money should be used in common by all, as well in England as in Ireland, and that the penny of both kingdoms should be placed alike in his treasury. Of the roundness of this money the prophet Merlin prophesied "The form of commerce shall be divided, and the half will be round". After this the king proceeded in great force, and took several of the fortresses of his enemies, and Walter de Lacy, a man of noble race, fled before him, together with several others, who were afraid of falling into his hands. When he came to the county of Meath, he besieged the wife of William de Brause, and William her son, with his wife in a fortress there, and making prisoners of them he sent them loaded with chains into England, and ordered them to be closely confined in Windsor Castle. At length king John, after arranging matters at his pleasure throughout the greatest part of all Ireland, embarked triumphantly, and landed in England on the twenty-ninth of August; he then hurried off to London and ordered all the

A.D. 1211.] WELSH PRINCES SUBDUED. 255

prelates of England to meet in his presence. To this general assembly there came abbats, priests, abbesses, templars, hospitallers, the governors of vills, of the order of Cluny, and of other foreign districts, men of every rank and order, and they were all compelled to pay such heavy ransoms, and to make so great an expenditure of the church property, that the amount of the money extorted is said to have exceeded a hundred thousand pounds sterling; the white monks, too, of the kingdom of England, exclusive of the rest, after being deprived of their privileges, were compelled to pay forty thousand pounds of silver to the king in this taxation. In this year, too, the noblewoman Matilda, wife of William de Brause, and her son and heir William, with his wife, who had been imprisoned at Windsor by order of the English king, died of starvation at that place.

How the king of England subdued the Welsh princes.

[A.D. 1211.] At Christmas, king John was at York in company with the earls and barons of his kingdom; and in this year, too, the said king collected a large army at Whitchurch, and marched into Wales on the eighth of July, and penetrated in great force into the interior of that country as far as Snowdon, destroying all the places he came to; he subdued all the princes and nobles without opposition, and received twenty-eight hostages for their submission for the future. After these successes he returned, on the day of St. Mary's Assumption, to Whitchurch, from which place he went to Northampton, and there he met two messengers with letters from our lord the pope, namely Pandulph, a subdeacon and a cardinal of the apostolic see, and Durand, a brother of the knights of the Temple, who had come for the purpose of restoring peace between the king and the priesthood. The king, after advising with the messengers, willingly granted permission for the archbishop of Canterbury and the monks, as well as all the proscribed bishops, to return to their homes in peace; but as he refused to make good to the archbishop and bishops the losses they had sustained, or to satisfy them for their property which had been confiscated, the messengers returned to France without concluding the business. King John, after this, levied a tax on the knights who had not been with the army in Wales, of two marks of

256 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1212.

silver for each scutcheon. In this year a man of noble blood, the renowned knight Roger, constable of Chester, closed his life.

How the French king banished Reginald count of Boulogne.

About this time Reginald count of Boulogne, a bold and warlike man, was unjustly expelled from his county by the French king, and deprived of all his property; and, after his expulsion, the said king gave his own son Philip, the same county, together with the daughter and legitimate heiress of the said count, to be held by him as his right for ever. But count Reginald came to England and was honourably received by king John, from whose generosity he received three hundred pounds of landed revenue, on which he did homage and swore fealty to the said king.

Of the death of William de Brause.

About the same time William de Brause the elder, who had fled into France from king John, closed his life at Corbeil, and was buried with honours at the convent of St. Victor at Paris. In this year, too, pope Innocent, being astonished beyond measure at king John's contumaciousness in rejecting the wholesome advice of the messengers he had sent to treat with him, absolved from all fealty and allegiance to the English king, the princes, and all others, low as well as high, who owed duty to the English crown, plainly and under penalty of excommunication, ordering them strictly to avoid associating with him at the table, in council, or converse. At the time of this interdict the king had most evil counsellors, the names of whom, in part, I will not omit to mention here; William brother of the king, and earl of Salisbury, Alberic de Vere earl of Oxford, Geoffrey Fitz-Peter justiciary, three courtier bishops, Philip of Durham, Peter of Winchester, and John of Norwich, Richard Marshal chancellor, Hugh de Neville master of the forests, William de Wrotham warden of the sea-ports, Robert de Vipont and Ivo his brother, Brian de Lisle and Geoffrey de Luci, Hugh de Baliol and Bernard his brother, William de Cantelu and William his son, Fulk de Cantelu, and Henry de Cornhill sheriff of Kent, Robert de Braybrook and Henry his son, Philip d'Ulecote and John de Bassingbourne, Philip Marcy,

A.D. 1212.] CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE KING. 257

castellan of Nottingham, Peter de Maulei and Robert de Gangi, Gerard de Atie and Engelard his nephew, Fulk and William Briuere, Peter Fitz-Herebert and Thomas Bassett, with many others, to mention whom would be tedious; and all these, in their desire to please the king, gave their advice, not according to reason, but as the king's pleasure dictated.

How the king of England knighted Alexander son of the king of Scots.

[A.D. 1212.] King John was at Windsor at Christmas; and on Easter Sunday in the Lent following, the said king held a feast at London, at St. Bridget's, in the hospital of Clerkenwell, where, at table, he knighted Alexander, son and heir of the king of Scotland. In the same year died at Pontigny, Mauger bishop of Winchester, who was an exile and proscribed man for his protection of the rights of the church, and his maintenance of justice.

How the king of England was forewarned of treachery against himself.

About this time the Welsh burst fiercely forth from their hiding-places, and took some of the English king's castles, decapitating all they found in them, knights and soldiers alike; they also burnt several towns, and at length, after collecting great quantities of booty, they again betook themselves to their retreats without any loss to themselves. When these events became known to the English king, he was very indignant, and collected a numerous army of horse and foot soldiers, determining to ravage the Welsh territories, and to exterminate the inhabitants. On his arriving with his army at Nottingham, before he either ate or drank, he ordered twenty-eight youths, whom he had received the year before as hostages from the Welsh, to be hung on the gibbet, in revenge for the above-mentioned transgressions of their countrymen. Whilst he was, after this, sitting at table eating and drinking, there came a messenger from the king of Scotland, who delivered letters, warning him of premeditated treachery against him; soon after which there came another messenger from the daughter of the same king, the wife of Leolin king of Wales; this second messenger brought letters unlike the former ones, and told the king that the contents were a secret. After his meal the king took him aside and ordered him to explain the meaning of the letters; these, although they came

258 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1212.

from different countries, were to one and the same etfect, which was that, if the king persisted in the war which he had begun, he would either be slain by his own nobles, or delivered to his enemies for destruction. The king was greatly alarmed on learning this; and, as he knew that the English nobles were absolved from their allegiance to him, he put more faith in the truth of the letters; therefore, wisely changing his intention, he ordered his army to return home, he himself going to the city of London, where, on his arrival, he sent messengers to all the nobles, of whose fidelity to himself he had suspicions, and demanded hostages from them that he might thus find out who were willing, and who unwilling, to obey him. The nobles, not daring to disobey the king's commands, sent their sons, nieces, and other relatives at the pleasure of the king, and thus his anger was in some small degree assuaged; however, Eustace de Vesci, and Robert Fitz-Walter, who had been accused of the above-mentioned treachery, and were strongly suspected by the king, left England, Eustace retiring to Scotland, and Robert to France.

Of Peter the hermit and his prophecy.

About this time there dwelled in the county of York a certain hermit named Peter, who was considered a wise man, on account of his having foretold to a number of people many circumstances which were about to happen; amongst other things, which, in his spirit of prophecy, he had seen concerning John the English king, he openly and before all declared, that he would not be a king on the next approaching Ascension-day, nor afterwards; for he foretold that on that day the crown of England would be transferred to another. This assertion coming to the knowledge of the king, the hermit was, by his orders, brought before him, and the king asked him if he should die on that day, or how he would be deprived of the throne of the kingdom: the hermit replied, "Rest assured that on the aforesaid day you will not be a king; and if I am proved to have told a lie, do what you will with me". The king then said to him, "Be it as you say"; and he then delivered the hermit into the custody of William d'Harcourt, who loaded him with chains, and kept him imprisoned at Corfe to await the event of his

A.D. 1212.] JOHN DEPOSED. 259

prophecy. This declaration of the hermit was soon spread abroad even to the most remote provinces, so that almost all who heard it put faith in his words as though his prediction had been declared from heaven. There were at this time in the kingdom of England many nobles, whose wives and daughters the king had violated to the indignation of their husbands and fathers; others whom he had by unjust exactions reduced to the extreme of poverty; some whose parents and kindred he had exiled, converting their inheritances to his own uses; thus the said king's enemies were as numerous as his nobles. Therefore at this crisis, on learning that they were absolved from their allegiance to John, they were much pleased, and, if report is to be credited, they sent a paper, sealed with the seals of each of the said nobles, to the king of the French, telling him that he might safely come to England, take possession of the kingdom, and be crowned with all honour and dignity.

How sentence of deposition was passed upon king John.

About this time Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, and the bishops William of London, and Eustace of Ely, went to Rome and informed the pope of the divers rebellions and enormities perpetrated by the king of England from the time of the interdict up to the present time, by unceasingly laying the hands of rage and cruelty on the holy church in opposition to the Lord; and they therefore humbly supplicated the pope in his pious compassion to assist the church of England, now labouring as it were in its last extremities. The pope then being deeply grieved for the desolation of the kingdom of England, by the advice of his cardinals, bishops, and other wise men, definitively decreed that John king of England should be deposed from the throne of that kingdom, and that another, more worthy than he, to be chosen by the pope, should succeed him. In pursuance of this his decree, our lord the pope wrote to the most potent Philip, king of the French, ordering him, in remission of all his faults, to undertake this business, and declaring that, after he had expelled the English king from the throne of that kingdom, he and his successors should hold possession of the kingdom of England for ever. Besides this, he wrote to all the nobles knights, and other warlike men throughout the different

260 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1212.

countries, ordering them to assume the sign of the cross, and to follow the king of the French as their leader, to dethrone the English king, and thus to revenge the insult which had been cast on the universal church: he also ordered that all those who afforded money or personal assistance in overthrowing that contumacious king, should, like those who went to visit the Lord's sepulchre, remain secure under the protection of the church, as regarded their property, persons, and spiritual interests. After this the pope, on his part, sent Pandulph, a sub-deacon, with the archbishop and bishops above-named, into the French provinces, that in his own presence all his commands above related might be fulfilled; Pandulph, however, on leaving the pope when all others were away from him, secretly inquired of his holiness what it was his pleasure should be done, if by chance he should find any of the fruits of repentance in John, so that he would give satisfaction to the Lord and the church of Rome for all matters in regard of this business. The pope then dictated a simple form of peace, and said that if John determined to agree to it, he might find favour with the apostolic see. A description of the terms of this is hereafter contained. [1]


[1] "About the same time the king ordered Geoffrey of Norwich, a faithful clerk of his, a prurient and skilful man, to be seized and imprisoned in the castle of Nottingham, where he was put to death with the most exquisite tortures. On learning this, master William Neccot, a companion of the said Geoffrey, and a man of great courage, fled into France, and secreted himself at Corbeil, that he might not be put to death without cause like Geoffrey. About the same time too, king John sent for Faulkes, whom he had appointed to take charge of some place in the marshes of Wales, that he might join him in venting his rage on the barons, knowing that he did not fear to commit any crime. This wicked freebooter was a Norman by birth, and illegitimate. He even acted much more cruelly against the barons than he had been ordered to, as will be related hereafter; and on that account the king, becoming favourable to him, gave him in marriage a noble lady named Margaret de Riparia, with all the lands belonging to her. In this same year, on the night of the translation of St. Benedict, the church of St. Mary at Southwark, in London, was burned, and also the bridge of London between three pillars, as well as a chapel on the bridge, besides a great portion of the city, and part of the town of Southwark, the fire making its way across the bridge. By this calamity about a thousand people were killed, including many women and children". M. Paris.

A.D. 1213.] PREPARATIONS FOR WAR. 261

The return of the archbishop of Canterbury and of the said bishops, from the apostolic see, and the death of Geoffrey archbishop of York.

[A.D. 1213.] King John held his court at Christmas as Westminster with only a very small company of knights in his train; and about that time died Geoffrey archbishop of York, who had been an exile for seven years owing to his defence of the rights of the church and his maintenance of justice. In the month of January, in this same year, Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, and William and Eustace the bishops of London and Ely, returned from the court of Rome, and held a council on the continent, at which they with due solemnity made known the decree which had been sent forth against the English king for his contumacy, to the king of the French, to the French bishops and clergy, and to people in general; afterwards, in the name of our lord the pope, they enjoined on the king of the French as well as all others, that, as a remission of their sins, they should all unitedly invade England, depose John from the throne of that kingdom, and appoint another, under the apostolic authority, who should be worthy to fill it. The king of the French, seeing what he had long desired come to pass, made his preparations for war, and ordered all his subjects alike, dukes, counts, barons, knights, and attendants, equipped with horses and arms, to assemble in force at Rouen in the octaves of Easter, under penalty of being branded with cowardice, and of incurring the charge of treason. He likewise ordered all his own ships, and as many others as he could collect, to be well supplied with corn, wine, meat, and other stores, that there might be abundance of all necessaries for so large an army.

King John's preparations to resist his coming enemies.

King John, learning, by means of his spies, what was going forward in the transmarine provinces, prepared to make the best defence he could against the plans prepared against him; he therefore ordered a list to be made of all the ships in each of the ports of England, by a warrant which he sent to each of the bailiffs of the ports to the following effect: "John, king of England, etc. We command you that, immediately on receipt of these our letters, you go in person, together with the bailiffs of the ports to each of the harbours

262 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1213.

in your bailiwick, and make a careful list of all the ships there found capable of carrying six horses or more; and that, in our name, you order the masters as well as the owners of those ships, as they regard themselves, their ships, and all their property, to have them at Portsmouth at Midlent, well equipped with stores, tried seamen, and good soldiers, to enter into our service for our deliverance; and that you then and there make a true and distinct list of how many ships you find in each port, whose they are, and how many horses each ship can carry; and you then inform us how many and what ships are not in their harbours on the Sunday after Ash-Wednesday, as we had ordered; and this shall be your warrant for the same. Witness, myself, at the New Temple, this third day of March". Having thus arranged about the ships, the king sent other letters to all the sheriffs of his kingdom to the following effect:- "John, king of England, etc. Give warning by good agents to the earls, barons, knights, and all free and serving men, whoever they be, or by whatever tenure they hold, who ought to have, or may procure, arms, who have made homage and sworn allegiance to us, that, as they regard us, as well as themselves and all their own property, they be at Dover at the end of the coming Lent, equipped with horses and arms, and with all they can provide, to defend our person and their persons, and the land of England, and let no one who can carry arms remain behind under penalty of being branded with cowardice, and of being condemned to perpetual slavery; and let each man follow his lord; and let those who possess no land, and who can carry arms, come to take service with us as mercenaries. And send, moreover, all victualling conveyances, and all the markets of your bailiwick to follow our army, so that no market may be held elsewhere in your bailiwick, and do you yourself attend at that place with your agents aforesaid. And be sure that we wish to know in what manner all come from your bailiwick, and who come, and who do not; and see that you come properly supplied with horses and arms, so that we may not be obliged to deal with you in person. And see that you have a roll, so as to inform us of those who remain". On these letters being spread abroad throughout England, there assembled at the sea-ports in different parts which most attracted the king's

A.D. 1213.] PANDULPH VISITS THE KING. 263

attention, such as Dover, Feversham, and Ipswich, men of divers conditions and ages, who dreaded nothing more than the name of coward; but after a few days, on account of their vast numbers, provisions failed them, therefore the commanders of the army sent home a large number of the inexperienced men, retaining only at the coast the soldiers, attendants, and free-men, with the cross-bow men, and archers. Moreover, John bishop of Norwich came to the king from Ireland with five hundred knights, and a body of horse soldiers, and was graciously received by him. When the whole of the forces were assembled at Barham Down, the army was computed to consist of sixty thousand strong, including chosen knights and their followers, all well armed; and had they been of one heart and one disposition towards the king of England, and in defence of their country, there was not a prince under heaven against whom they could not have defended the kingdom of England. The king determined to engage his enemies at sea, to drown them before they landed, for he had a more powerful fleet than the French king, and in that he placed his chief means of defence.

Pandulph comes to the king.

Whilst the English king was with his army waiting the approach of the king of the French near the sea-coast, two of the brothers of the Temple arrived at Dover, and coming to the king in a friendly manner said to him, "We have been sent to you, most potent king, for the benefit of yourself and your kingdom, by Pandulph the subdeacon and familiar of our lord the pope, who desires to have an interview with you; and he will propose to you a form of peace, by which you can be reconciled to God and to the church, although you have by the court of Rome been deposed from your right to the sovereignty of England, and been condemned by decree of that court". The king then, on hearing the speech of the templars, ordered them immediately to cross the sea and fetch Pandulph to him. Pandulph therefore, on this invitation of the king came to him at Dover, and spoke to him in these words, "Behold, the most potent king of the French is at the mouth of the Seine with a countless fleet, and a large army of horse and foot, waiting till he is strengthened with a larger force, to come upon you and your

264 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1213.

kingdom, and to expel you from it by force, as an enemy to the Lord and the supreme pontiff, and afterwards, by authority of the apostolic see to take possession of the kingdom of England for ever. There are also coming with him all the bishops who have for a long while been banished from England, with the exiled clergy and laity, by his assistance, to recover by force their episcopal sees and other property, and to fulfil to him for the future the obedience formerly shown to you and your ancestors. The said king moreover says that he holds papers of fealty and subjection from almost all the nobles of England, on which account he feels secure of bringing the business he has undertaken to a most successful termination. Consult therefore your own advantage, and become penitent as if you were in your last moments, and delay not to appease that God whom you have provoked to a heavy vengeance. If you are willing to give sufficient security that you will submit to the judgment of the church, and to humble yourself before Him who humbled himself for you, you may, through the compassion of the apostolic see, recover the sovereignty, from which you have been abjudicated at Rome on account of your contumacy. Now therefore reflect, lest your enemies shall have cause to rejoice over you, and bring not yourself into difficulties, from which, however you may wish to do so, you will not be able to extricate yourself".

How king John was aroused to repentance.

King John, hearing and seeing the truth of all this, was much annoyed and alarmed, seeing how imminent the danger was on every side. There were four principal reasons, which urged him to repentance and atonement; the first was that he had been now for five years lying under excommunication, and had so offended God and the holy church, that he gave up all hopes of saving his soul; the second was, that he dreaded the arrival of the French king, who was waiting near the sea-coast with a countless army, and planning his downfall; the third was, he feared, should he give battle to his approaching enemies, lest he should be abandoned to himself in the field by the nobles of England and his own people, or be given up to his enemies for destruction; but his fourth reason alarmed him more than all the rest,

A.D. 1213.] CHARTER OF KING JOHN. 265

for the day of our Lord's ascension was drawing near, when he feared that, according to the prophecy of Peter the hermit mentioned above, he should with his life lose the temporal as well as the eternal kingdom. Being therefore driven to despair by these and the like reasons he yielded to the persuasions of Pandulph, and, although not without pain, he granted the underwritten form of peace; he also swore by the holy gospels in the presence of Pandulph, that he would be obedient to the church's sentence, and sixteen of the most powerful nobles of the kingdom swore on the soul of the king himself, that, should he repent of his promise, they would, to the utmost of their power, compel him to fulfil it.

Charter of king John for giving satisfaction to the archbishop and monks of Canterbury, and other prelates of England, and for the restitution of their confiscated property.

On the 13th day of May, which was the Monday next preceding Ascension day, the king and Pandulph with the earls, barons, and a large concourse of people, met at Dover and there they unanimously agreed to the underwritten form of peace:-

"John king of England, to all to whom these presents shall come, greeting.- By these our letters patent, sealed with our seal, we wish it known, that, in our presence and by our commands, these our four barons, namely, William earl of Salisbury, our brother, Reginald count of Boulogne, William earl Warenne, and William count of Ferrars, have sworn, on our soul, that we will in all good faith keep the subscribed peace in all things. We therefore in the first place solemnly and absolutely swear, in the presence of the legate, to abide by the commands of our lord the pope, in all the matters for which we have been excommunicated by him, and that we will observe strict peace and afford full security to those venerable men, Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, William bishop of London, Eustace bishop of Ely, Giles of Hereford, Jocelyn of Bath, and Hubert of Lincoln, the prior and monks of Canterbury, Robert Fitz-Walter, and Eustace de Vesci, and also to the rest of the clergy and laity connected with this matter; we, at the same time, in the presence of the same legate or delegate, publicly make oath that we will not injure them in property, or cause or permit them to be

266 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1213.

injured in person or property, and we will dismiss all our anger against them, and will receive them into our favour, and observe this in all good faith; also that we will not hinder the aforesaid archbishop and bishops, or cause or permit, them to be hindered from performing their duties in all freedom, and enjoying the full authority of their jurisdiction, as they ought to do. And for this we will grant our letters patent as well to our lord the pope as to the said archbishop and to each of the bishops, causing our bishops, earls, and barons, as many of them as the aforesaid archbishop and bishops shall select, to set forth by their oath and by letters patent that they themselves will use their endeavours to see this peace and arrangement firmly kept; and if by any chance, which may God avert, we should, either by ourselves or by others, contravene this, they will then abide by the apostolic commands on behalf of the church against the violators of this peace and arrangement, and may we for ever lose the wardship of the vacant churches. And if by chance we cannot induce them to agree to the last part of this oath, namely, that, if we contravene it either by ourselves or others, they will abide by the apostolic commands on behalf of the church against the violators of this peace and arrangement, we have, for this, by our letters patent, pledged with our lord the pope and the church of Rome, all the right of patronage which we possess in the English churches. And we will transmit all these our letters patent, which are granted for the security of the aforesaid prelates, to the archbishop and bishops before they come to England. But, should we require it, the aforesaid archbishop and bishops shall, saving the honour of God and the churches, give security on oath, and in writing, that they will not, either personally or by others, make any attempt against our person or crown, as long as we afford them the security above-mentioned, and keep the peace unbroken. We will also make full restitution of the confiscated property, and satisfy for their losses the clergy as well as laity who are concerned in this business, not only as regards their property, but also their rights, and we will protect their restored rights; the archbishop and the bishop of Lincoln we will indemnify from the time of their consecration, the rest from the commencement of this disagreement. And no agreement, promise, or grant shall be

A.D. 1213.] CHARTER OF KING JOHN. 267

an impediment to these indemnifications for loss, or the restoration of the confiscated property of the dead as well as the living. Nor will we retain anything under pretence of service due to us, but afterwards a proper recompence shall be given for service done to us. And we will forthwith release, dismiss, and restore to their rights all the clergy whom we are holding under restraint, as well as any of the laity, who are detained in custody on account of this business. And immediately on the arrival of a fit person to absolve us, we will, in part restoration of the confiscated property, deliver to messengers deputed by the said archbishop, bishops, and monks of Canterbury, the sum of eight thousand pounds lawful sterling money, for discharging what is due, and for necessary expenses to be carried to them without let or hindrance on our part, that they may be honourably recalled and returned to England as soon as possible, namely, to Stephen archbishop of Canterbury two thousand five hundred pounds, to William bishop of London seven hundred and fifty pounds, to Eustace of Ely seven hundred and fifty pounds, to Jocelyn of Bath, seven hundred and fifty pounds, to Hubert of Lincoln seven hundred and fifty pounds, and to the prior and monks of Canterbury a thousand pounds; and as soon as we know that this peace is confirmed, we will assign without delay to the archbishop and bishops, to the clergy and to each and all of the churches, by the hands of their messengers or agents, all the moveable property with free management of the same, and dismiss them peaceably. And we will also publicly revoke the sentence of outlawry which we have pronounced against the ecclesiastics, declaring by these our letters patent, to be delivered to the archbishop, that it in no wise pertains to us, and that we will never again pronounce that sentence against the ecclesiastics; we moreover revoke the sentence of outlawry pronounced against the laity concerned in this matter, and restore all that we have received from ecclesiastics since the interdict, except the custom of the kingdom and the liberty of the church. But if any question shall arise about the losses and confiscations, or the amount of computation of them, it shall be determined by the legate or delegate of our lord the pope, after hearing evidence on the matter; and after all this is duly arranged the sentence of interdict shall be withdrawn.

268 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1213.

As to the other points, if any doubts, worthy of being entertained, arise, if they are not set at rest by the legate or delegate of our lord the pope, they shall be referred to the pope himself, and whatever he determines shall be abided by. Witness myself, at Dover, this 13th day of May, in the fourteenth year of our reign. [1]

How king John resigned his crown and the kingdom of England into the hands of pope Innocent.

Matters having been thus arranged on the fifteenth of May, which was the eve of Ascension-day, the English king and Pandulph, with the nobles of the kingdom, met at the house of the knights templars near Dover, and there the said king, according to a decree pronounced at Rome, resigned his crown with the kingdoms of England and Ireland into the hands of our lord the pope, whose functions the said Pandulph was then performing. After having resigned them then he gave the aforesaid kingdoms to the pope and his successors, and confirmed them to the latter by the underwritten charter;

"John, by the grace of God, king of England, etc. to all the faithful servants of Christ who shall behold this charter, health in the Lord.- We wish it, by this our charter signed with our seal, to be known to you, that we, having in many things offended God and our mother the holy church, and being in great need of the divine mercy for our sins, and not having wherewithal to make a worthy offering as an atonement to God, and to pay the just demands of the church, unless we humiliate ourselves before Him who humiliated himself for us even to death; we, impelled by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and not by force or from fear of the interdict, but of


[1] "About the same time king John accused Robert Fitz- Walter of treachery and rebellion, and on the day after the feast of St. Hilary, which was a Monday, he ordered Baynard's castle at London to be pulled down by the Londoners. On the Thursday following, Nicholas bishop of Tusculum, came to England as legate, and went first to Westminster; there he stayed eighteen days, and entered into a careful discussion with the conventual assembly of that church on the reformation of spiritual and temporal matters. On the feast of St. Edmund he went to Evesham, and for evident reasons deposed Roger the abbat of that church, appointing Ralph prior of Worcester in his stead. In the same year, too, died Geoffrey Fitz-Peter justiciary of England". M. Paris.

A.D. 1213.] JOHN'S SUBMISSION TO THE POPE. 269

our own free will and consent, and by the general advice of our barons, assign and grant to God, and his holy apostles Peter and Paul, and to the holy church of Rome our mother, and to our lord pope Innocent and his catholic successors, the whole kingdom of England and the whole kingdom of Ireland, with all their rights and appurtenances, in remission of the sins of us and our whole race, as well for those living as for the dead; and henceforth we retain and hold those countries from him and the church of Rome as viceregent, and this we, declare in the presence of this learned man Pandulph, subdeacon and familiar of our lord the pope. And we have made our homage and sworn allegiance to our lord the pope and his catholic successors, and the church of Rome in manner hereunder written; and we will make our homage and allegiance for the same in presence of our lord the pope himself, if we are able to go before him; and we bind our successors and heirs by our wife for ever, in like manner, to do homage and render allegiance, without opposition, to the supreme pontiff for the time being, and the church of Rome. And in token of this lasting bond and grant, we will and determine that, from our own income and from our special revenues arising from the aforesaid kingdoms, the church of Rome shall, for all service and custom which we owe to them, saving always the St. Peter's pence, receive annually a thousand marks sterling money; that is to say, five hundred marks at Michaelmas, and five hundred at Easter; that is seven hundred for the kingdom of England, and three hundred for Ireland; saving to us and our heirs all our rights, privileges, and royal customs. And as we wish to ratify and confirm all that has been above written, we bind ourselves and our successors not to contravene it; and if we, or any one of our successors, shall dare to oppose this, let him, whoever he be, be deprived of his right in the kingdom. And let this charter of our bond and grant remain confirmed for ever. Witness myself at the house of the knights of the Temple near Dover, in the presence of Henry archbishop of Dublin, John bishop of Norwich, Geoffrey Fitz-Peter, William earl of Salisbury, William earl of Pembroke, Reginald count of Boulogne, William earl Warenne, Sayer earl Winton, William earl of Arundel, William earl of Ferrars, William Briuere, Peter Fitz-Herebert, and Warin

270 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1213.

Fitz-Gerald, this fifteenth day of May, in the fourteenth year of our reign.

Of king John's homage to the pope and church of Rome.

This charter of the king's, as above-mentioned, having been reduced to writing, he delivered it to Pandulph to be taken to pope Innocent, and immediately afterwards in the sight of all, he made the underwritten homage:- "I, John, by the grace of God, king of England and lord of Ireland, will, from this time as formerly, be faithful to God, St. Peter, the church of Rome, and to my liege lord pope Innocent and his catholic successors; I will not act, speak, consent to, or advise, anything by which they may lose life or limb, or be exposed to caption by treachery; I will prevent damage to them if I am aware of it; and, if in my power, will repair it; or else I will inform them as soon as in my power so to do, or will tell it to such a person as I believe will be sure to inform them of it; any purpose which they may entrust to me themselves, or by their messengers or letters, I will keep secret, and, if I know of it, will not disclose it to any one to their injury; I will assist in holding and defending the inheritance of St. Peter, and particularly the kingdoms of England and Ireland, against all men, to the utmost of my power. So may God and the holy gospel help me, Amen". This happened, as we said before, on the eve of Ascension-day, in the presence of the bishops, earls, and other nobles. The day of our Lord's Ascension on the morrow was looked for with mistrust, not only by the king, but by all others, as well absent as present, on account of the assertions of Peter the hermit, who, as was stated before, had prophesied to John that he would not be a king on Ascension-day or afterwards. But after he had passed the prefixed day, and continued safe and in health, the king ordered the aforesaid Peter, who was detained a prisoner in Corfe Castle, to be tied to the horse's tail at the town of Wareham, dragged through the streets of the town, and afterwards hung on a gibbet, together with his son. To many it did not seem that he deserved to be punished by such a cruel death for declaring the truth; for if the circumstances, stated above to have happened, be thoroughly considered, it will be proved that he did not tell a falsehood.

A.D. 1211.] PANDULPH's RETURN TO FRANCE. 271

How Pandulph returned to France with a portion of the confiscated property restored.

After this, Pandulph crossed the sea into France, taking with him these aforesaid charters, and also eight thousand pounds sterling money, that he might in part make restitution for their losses to the archbishop, bishops, and monks, of Canterbury, and others who were living in exile on account of the interdict. As the purport of the charters and the form of the aforesaid peace gave satisfaction to all of them, Pandulph strongly advised the aforesaid bishops to return peaceably to England, to receive there the rest of the indemnity-money. After this, he earnestly advised the French king, who had made preparations to invade England by force, to desist from his purpose and to return home in peace; for he could not, without offending the supreme pontiff, attack England or the king himself, since that monarch was ready to give satisfaction to God, the holy church, and its ordained ministers, as well as to obey the catholic commands of our lord the pope. The French king was much enraged when he heard this, and said that he had already spent sixty thousand pounds in the equipment of his ships, and in providing food and arms, and that he had undertaken the said duty by command of our lord the pope, and for the remission of his sins; and to speak the truth, the said king would not have yielded to the suggestions of Pandulph, only that Philip count of Flanders refused to follow him, for that prince had made a treaty with the king of the English, and would not act contrary to his agreement. Moreover the count said that the war, which he had undertaken to subdue the English king, was unjust, since none of his ancestors till then had claimed any right in the kingdom of England; he added moreover, that the French king had unjustly seized on his the count's lands and castles, and was then detaining his inheritance against the laws of justice; and these were his reasons for refusing to go with him to England.

How the king of the French made an attack on the count of Flanders.

The French king was greatly enraged at these words of the count of Flanders, and, having no confidence in him, ordered him to leave his court at once; and after his

272 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1214.

departure he invaded the count's territories, destroying every place he came to by fire, and putting the inhabitants to the sword. He also gave orders to the sailors and commanders of his fleet, who, as we said before, had been waiting at the mouth of the river Seine, equipped with stores and arms, to set sail without delay towards Swine, a port of Flanders, and to make all haste to come to him there, which they did. The count of Flanders, who was much alarmed at this attack of the French king, sent word of it in all haste to John, earnestly imploring him to send some troops to help him. At this news the English king sent to the assistance of the count, his brother William earl of Salisbury, William duke of Houtland, and Reginald count of Boulogne, able soldiers, with five hundred ships and seven hundred knights, with a large number of soldiers horse and foot; and these nobles, setting sail with a fair wind, soon arrived at the port of Swine. On their arrival there they were astonished to behold such a concourse of shipping, and by means of scouts they learned that this was the French king's fleet, which had lately arrived, and they also found out that there were scarcely any in charge of it except a few sailors; for the soldiers, to whose charge it had been entrusted, were gone out to collect booty, and were ravaging the count's territory. When the chiefs of the English army learned this, they flew to arms, fiercely attacked the fleet, and, soon defeating the crews, they cut the cables of three hundred of their ships loaded with corn, wine, flour, meat, arms, and other stores, and sent them to sea to make for England; besides these they set fire to and burned a hundred or more which were aground, after taking all the stores from them. By this misfortune the French king and almost all the Tansmarine nobility lost all their most valuable possessions. Afterwards, some of the English nobles, incited by animosity beyond bounds, burst forth from their ships, mounted and armed, and set off in hot pursuit of those of the French who had fled from the slaughter; but the French king, who was not far off from the conflict, sent some of his most trusty soldiers to keep the enemy in check, and to find out for certain who they were. They accordingly took to their arms and soon met with the hostile party, and both parties engaged; but the English nobles were put to flight with

A.D. 1214.] ABSOLUTION OF THE KING. 273

loss, and with difficulty escaped to their ships; and after they had re-embarked, the French returned to their own quarters. To the king's inquiries as to what had happened, and whence the strangers had come, the soldiers said that it was the army of the king of England which had been sent to the assistance of the count of Flanders, and they then related the misfortune which had happened and the irreparable damage, done to his fleet; on learning which king Philip retired in confusion from Flanders with great loss to himself and to his followers.

The king of England absolved at Winchester.

The English king, on hearing what had taken place in Flanders, was greatly rejoiced, and in the joy of his mind at knowing that the approach of the French king was suspended at least for a time, he ordered the nobles and the whole army which he had collected near the sea-coast, for the defence of their country, to return to their homes; he then sent a large sum of money to the soldiers in Flanders, and promising them the assistance of the emperor, to invade the French king's territory with fire and sword. The king himself assembled a large army at Portsmouth, intending to cross over into Poictou, determining to harass the French king and his kingdom in the western parts, as those who were in Flanders did in the east, and to use all his endeavours to recover the territories he had lost to his dominion. But things turned out contrary to his expectations, for the English nobles refused to follow him unless he was previously absolved from the sentence of excommunication. In this difficulty, then, the king sent the warrants of twenty-four earls and barons to the aforesaid archbishop and bishops for greater security, telling them to lay aside all fear, and to come to England, there to receive all their rights, and the indemnity for the property they had been deprived of according to the terms of the above written peace. By the advice of Pandulph, therefore, when all was ready for their return home, Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, and the bishops William of London, Eustace of Ely, Hubert of Lincoln, and Giles of Hereford, embarked in company with others of the clergy and laity who went in exile on account of the interdict, and, landing at Dover on the

274 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1214.

16th of July, they set out to see the king, and came to him at Winchester on St. Margaret the virgin's day. The king, when he heard of their approach, went out to meet them, and when he saw the archbishop and bishops, he prostrated himself at their feet, and besought them in tears to have compassion on him and the kingdom of England. The said archbishop and bishops, seeing the king's great humility, raised him from the ground, and taking him by the hand on each side, they led him to the door of the cathedral church, where they chanted the fiftieth psalm, and, in the presence of all the nobles, who wept with joy, they absolved him according to the custom of the church. At this absolution, the king swore on the holy gospels that he would love holy church and its ordained members, and would, to the utmost of his power, defend and maintain them against all their enemies; and that he would renew all the good laws of his ancestors, especially those of king Edward, would annul bad ones, would judge his subjects according to the just decrees of his courts, and would restore his rights to each and all. He also swore that, before the next Easter, he would make restitution of confiscated property to all who were concerned in the matter of the interdict; and if he did not do so, he would consent to have the former sentence of excommunication renewed. He moreover swore fealty and obedience to pope Innocent and his catholic successors, as was contained in the above-written charter: the archbishop then took the king into the church, and there performed mass, after which the archbishop, bishops, and nobles, feasted at the same table with the king, amidst joy and festivity. The next day the king sent letters to all the sheriffs of the kingdom, ordering them to send four liege men from each town in their demesne, together with the warden, to St. Alban's on the 4th of August, that through them and his other agents he might make inquiries about the losses and confiscated property of each of the bishops, and how much was due to each. He then set out in all haste to Portsmouth, that he might thence cross to Poictou, and gave charge of the kingdom to Geoffrey Fitz-Peter and the bishop of Winchester, with orders that they were to consult with the archbishop of Canterbury in arranging the business of the kingdom. Ou the king's arrival at Portsmouth, there came

A.D. 1214.] DECLARATION OF LAWS. 275

to him there an immense number of knights, complaining that, during their long stay there they had spent all their money, and that therefore unless they were supplied with money from the treasury, they could not follow him. This the king refused, but, flying into a rage, he embarked with his private attendants, and after three days landed at Guernsey, whilst his nobles returned home; and the king, seeing himself thus abandoned, was compelled to return to England himself.

Declaration of laws and rights.

Whilst this was passing, Geoffrey Fitz-Peter and the bishop of Winchester held a council at St. Alban's with the archbishop, bishops, and nobles of the kingdom, at which the peace made by the king was told to all, and, on behalf of the said king, it was strictly ordered, that all the laws of his grandfather king Henry should be kept by all throughout the kingdom, and that all unjust laws should be utterly abolished; the sheriffs, foresters, and other agents of the king were forbidden, as they regarded life and limb, to extort any thing from any one by force, or to inflict injuries on any one, or to make tallage any where in the kingdom as had been their custom. King John in the meantime, finding himself deserted by some of the nobles as we have said, collected a large army to bring these rebellious ones to their duty; but as soon as he had begun to take up arms, the archbishop went to him at Northampton and told him, that it would redound very much to the injury of the oath which he had taken on his absolution, if he were to make war against any one without the decision of his court; the king, hearing this, angrily said that he would not put off the business of the kingdom on the archbishop's account, as lay matters did not pertain to him. The next day therefore he set out on his march in a rage, taking the way to Nottingham, the archbishop, however, still followed him, boldly declaring that, unless he desisted from his undertaking, he would anathematize all who made war against any one before being absolved from an interdict, besides himself alone, and thus the archbishop diverted the king from his purpose, and did not leave him till he had prevailed on the king to name a convenient day for the barous to come to his court, and there submit to justice.

276 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1214.

The reason of the irritation of the barons against the king.

On the 2oth of August in the same year, Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, with the bishops, abbats, priors, deacons, and barons of the kingdom assembled at St. Paul's, in the city of London, and there the archbishop granted permission to the conventual churches, as well as to the secular priests, to chant the services of the church in a low voice, in the hearing of their parishioners. At this conference, as report asserts, the said archbishop called some of the nobles aside to him, and conversed privately with them to the following effect, "Did you hear", said he, "how, when I absolved the king at Winchester, I made him swear that he would do away with unjust laws, and would recall good laws, such as those of king Edward, and cause them to be observed by all in the kingdom; a charter of Henry the first king of England has just now been found, by which you may, if you wish it, recall your long-lost rights and your former condition". And placing a paper in the midst of them, he ordered it to be read aloud for all to hear, the contents of which were as follows:-

"Henry by the grace of God king of England, to Hugh de Boclande justiciary of England, and all his faithful subjects, as well French as English, in Hertfordshire, greeting.- Know that I, by the Lord's mercy, have been crowned king by common consent of the barons of the kingdom of England; and because the kingdom has been oppressed by unjust exactions, I, out of respect to God, and the love which I feel towards you, in the first place constitute the holy church of God a free church, so that I will not sell it, nor farm it out, nor will I, on the death of any archbishop, bishop, or abbat, take anything from the domain of the church or its people, until his successor takes his place. And I from this time do away with all the evil practices, by which the kingdom of England is now unjustly oppressed, and these evil practices I here in part mention. If any baron, earl, or other subject of mine, who holds possession from me, shall die, his heir shall not redeem his land, as was the custom in my father's time, but shall pay a just and lawful relief for the same; and in like manner, too, the dependants of my barons shall pay

A.D. 1214.] CHARTER OF HENRY I. 277

a like relief for their land to their lords. And if any baron or other subject of mine shall wish to give his daughter, his sister, his niece, or other female relative, in marriage, let him ask my permission on the matter; but I will not take any of his property for granting my permission, nor will I forbid his giving her in marriage except he wishes to give her to an enemy of mine; and if on the death of a baron or other subject of mine, the daughter is left heiress, I, by the advice of my barons, will give her in marriage together with her land; and if on the death of a husband the wife is surviving and is childless, she shall have her dowry for a marriage portion, and I will not give her away to another husband unless with her consent; but if a wife survives, having children, she shall have her dowry as a marriage portion, as long as she shall keep herself according to law, and I will not give her to a husband unless with her consent; and the guardian of the children's land shall be either the wife, or some other nearer relation, who ought more rightly to be so; and I enjoin on my barons to act in the same way towards the sons and daughters and wives of their dependants. Moreover the common monetage, as taken throughout the cities and counties, such as was not in use in king Edward's time, is hereby forbidden; and if any one, whether a coiner or any other person, be taken with false money, let strict justice be done to him for it. All pleas and all debts, which were due to the king my brother, I forgive, except my farms, and those debts which were contracted for the inheritances of others, or for those things which more justly belong to others. And if any one shall have covenanted anything for his inheritance, I forgive it, and all reliefs which were contracted for just inheritances. And if any baron or subject of mine shall be ill, I hereby ratify all such disposition as he shall have made of his money; but if through service in war or sickness he shall have made no disposition of his money, his wife, or children, or parents, and legitimate dependants, shall distribute it for the good of his soul, as shall seem best to them. If any baron or other subject of mine shall have made forfeiture, he shall not give bail to save his money, as was done in the time of my father and my brother, but according to the degree of the forfeiture; nor shall he make amends for his fault as he did in the time of my father or of my other

278 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1214.

ancestors; and if any one shall he convicted of treason or other crime, his punishment shall be according to his fault. I forgive all murders committed previous to the day on which I was crowned king; but those which have been since committed, shall be justly punished, according to the law of king Edward. By the common advice of my barons, I have retained the forests in my possession as my father held them. All knights, moreover, who hold their lands by service, are hereby allowed to have their domains free from all amercements and from all peculiar service, that as they are thus relieved from a great burden, they may provide themselves properly with horses and arms, so that they may be fit and ready for my service and for the defence of my kingdom. I bestow confirmed peace in all my kingdom, and I order it to be preserved from henceforth. I restore to you the law of king Edward, with the amendments which my father, by the advice of his barons, made in it. If any one has taken anything of mine, or of any one else's property, since the death of my brother king William, let it all be soon restored without alteration; and if any one shall retain anything of it, he shall, on being discovered, atone to me for it heavily. Witness Maurice bishop of London, William elect of Winchester, Gerard of Hereford, earl Henry, earl Simon, earl Walter Gifford, Robert de Montfort, Roger Bigod, and many others". When this paper had been read and its purport understood by the barons who heard it, they were much pleased with it, and all of them, in the archbishop's presence, swore that when they saw a fit opportunity, they would stand up for their rights, if necessary would die for them; the archbishop, too, faithfully promised them his assistance as far as lay in his power; and this agreement having been settled between them, the conference was broken up.

Of the heresy of the Albigenses, and the declaration of a crusade against them.

About that time the depravity of the heretics called Albigenses, who dwelt in Gascony, Armania, and Alby, gained such power in the parts about Toulouse, and in the kingdom of Arragon, that they not only practised their impieties in secret as was done elsewhere, but preached their erroneous doctrine openly, and induced the simple and weak-minded

A.D. 1214.] CRUSADE AGAINST THE ALBIGENSES. 279

to conform to them. The Albigenses are so called from the city of Alba, where that doctrine is said to have taken its rise. At length their perversity set the arisen of God so completely at defiance, that they published the books of their doctrines amongst the lower orders, before the very eyes of the bishops and priests, and disgraced the chalices and sacred vessels in disrespect of the body and blood of Christ. Pope Innocent was greatly grieved at hearing these things, and he immediately sent preachers into all the districts of the west, and enjoined to the chiefs and other Christian people as a remission of their sins, that they should take the sign of the cross for the extirpation of this plague, and, opposing themselves to such disasters, should protect the Christian people by force of arms; he also added, by authority of the apostolic see, that whoever undertook the business of overthrowing the heretics according to his injunction, should, like those who visited the Lord's sepulchre, be protected from all hostile attacks both in property and person. At this preaching such a multitude of crusaders assembled, as it is not to be credited could have assembled in our country.

Of the movements of the crusaders against the Albigenses.

When therefore they were all assembled and prepared for battle, the archbishop of Narbonne, the legate of the apostolic see in this expedition, and the chiefs of the army, namely the duke of Burgundy, the count of Nevers, and the count de Montfort, struck their camp and marched to lay siege to the city of Beziors. But before they got to it the lords of some of the castles, having little confidence in themselves, fled at the sight of their army; the knights and others who were left in charge of the said castles, went boldly as good catholics and surrendered themselves with their property, as well as the castles to the army of the crusaders; and, on the eve of St. Mary Magdalen, they surrendered the noble castle of Cermaine to a monk, the lord of the castle, who also possessed several others of great strength, having taken to flight. They warned the citizens of Beziers, through the bishop of that city, under penalty of excommunication, to make choice of one out of two alternatives; either to deliver the heretics and their property into the hands of the crusaders, or else to

280 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1214.

send them away from amongst them, otherwise they would be excommunicated, and their blood be on their own heads. The heretics and their allies scornfully refused to accede to this, and mutually swore to defend the city; and, when they had pledged their faith, they hoped to be able for a long time to sustain the assaults of the crusaders. After the city was laid siege to, on the feast of St. Mary Magdalen, the catholic barons considered how they could save those amongst them who were catholics, and made overtures for their liberation; but the rabble and low people, without waiting for the command or orders of the chiefs, made an assault on the city, and, to the astonishment of the Christians, when the cry to arms was raised, and the army of the faith was rushing in all directions to the assaults, those who were defending the walls inside threw out the book of the gospel from the city on them, blaspheming the name of the Lord, and deriding their assailants; "Behold", they said, "your law, we take no heed to it; yours it shall be". The soldiers of the faith, incensed by such blasphemy and provoked by their insults, in less than three hours time crossed the fosse and scaled the walls, by the Lord's assistance. Thus was the city taken, and on the same day it was sacked and burnt, a great slaughter of the infidels taking place as the punishment of God; but, under his protection, very few of the catholics were slain. After the lapse of a few days, when the report of this miracle was spread abroad, the Lord scattered before the face of the crusaders, as it were without their assistance, those who had blasphemed his name and his law, and at length the followers of this heretical depravity were so alarmed that they fled to the recesses of the mountains, and what may be believed, they left more than a hundred untenanted castles, between Beziers and Carcassone, stocked with food and all kinds of stores, which they could not take with them in their flight.

The capture of the city and castle of Carcassone.

The crusaders, moving their camp from this place, arrived on the feast of St. Peter "ad vincula" at Carcassone, a populous city, and till now glorying in its wickedness, abounding in riches, and well fortified. On the following day they made an assault, and within two or three hours they crossed the entrenchments and scaled the walls amidst

A.D. 1214.] DEFEAT OF THE ALBIGENSES. 281

showers of missiles from the cross bows, and the blows of the lances and swords of its wicked defenders. After this they set up their engines of war, and on the eighth day the greater suburb was taken after a great many of the enemy, who had incautiously exposed themselves, were slain, and the suburbs of the city, which seemed larger than the body of the town, were altogether destroyed. The enemy being thus confined in the narrow streets of the city, and suffering as well from their numbers as from want of provisions more than is credible, offered themselves and all their property, together with the city to the crusaders, on condition of their lives being preserved out of mercy, and of being saved for at least one day. After holding a council, therefore, the barons received the city almost as it were under compulsion; in the first place because, in men's opinion, it was deemed impregnable; for another reason because, if that city were altogether destroyed, there would not be found a nobleman of the army who would undertake the government of that country, as there would not be a place in the subdued land where he could reside. Therefore, that the land, which the Lord had delivered into the hands of his servants, might be preserved to his honour and the advantage of Christianity, the noble Simon de Montfort earl of Leicester was, by the common consent of prelates and barons, chosen as ruler of that country; and into his hands was delivered as a prisoner the noble Roger, formerly viscount and ruler of that country, together with the whole of the province, including about a hundred castles, which, within one month, the Lord designed to restore to the catholic unity; and amongst these same castles were several of such strength that there would have been, in the opinion of men, but little cause to fear any army. After effecting this, the count of Nevers and a large part of the army returned home, whilst the illustrious duke of Burgundy and the rest of the nobles proceeded with their army to the extirpation of this heretical depravity, and after this they delivered into the hands of earl Simon de Montfort several more castles which they took either by fair means or by threats.

Messengers sent to Toulouse by the crusaders.

As the city of Toulouse had been reported to have been

282 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1214.

long tainted with this pestiferous sin, the barons sent special messengers, namely, the archbishop of Sautonge, the bishop of Foroli, the viscount of St. Florentius, and the lord Accald de Roussillon, to the inhabitants of that city with letters from them, ordering them to deliver up to the army of the crusaders the heretics of that city, and all their property. But if by chance they should say that they were not heretics; that those who were signified and expressed by name should come to them to make a plain declaration of their faith, according to Christian custom, before the whole army; and should they refuse to do this they would, by the same letters, excommunicate their chief officers and counsellors, and place the whole town of Toulouse with its dependencies under an interdict. In this year, [1] on the fourteenth of October, Geoffrey Fitz-Peter, justiciary of England, closed his life.


[1] "In the course of the same year, during the following summer, there sprang up in France a false doctrine never before heard of: for a certain youth, who was a boy in ape, but of vile habits, at the instigation of the devil, went about amongst the cities and castles of France, chanting in French these words:- "O Lord Jesus Christ, restore to us the holy cross"! with many other additions. And when the rest of the boys of his own age saw and heard him, they followed him in endless numbers, and, being infatuated by the wiles of the devil, they left their fathers and mothers, nurses, and all their friends, singing in the same way as their teacher; and, what was astonishing, no lock could detain them, nor could the persuasions of their parents recall them, but they followed their said master towards the Mediterranean sea, and, crossing it, they marched on in procession singing. No city could hold them on account of numbers; their leader was placed in a car ornamented with a canopy, and was attended by armed guards raising their shouts around him. They were so numerous that they squeezed one another together, and that one thought himself happy who could gain a thread or a shred of his garment. Hut at last, their old enemy Satan plotted against them, and they all perished either on land or by sea.

Of the death of Geoffrey Fitz-Peter.

In the same year Geoffrey Fitz-Peter, justiciary of all England, a man of great power and authority, died on the second day of October, to the great grief of the kingdom. This man was a firm pillar of the church, and was a noble-minded man, learned in the laws, treasures, and revenues, was strengthened by good works, and was allied either by blood or the ties of friendship to all the nobles of England: the king on this account feared him more than all the rest of his subjects, without having any regard for him; for he held the reins of government; and therefore at his death England was like a ship at sea without a pilot. This disturbance commenced on the death of Hubert archbishop of Canterbury, a noble and a faithful man; and after the deaths of these two men, England could not breathe. On the death of the said Peter being told to king John, he laughingly said, "When he gets to hell, let him greet Hubert archbishop of Canterbury, for he will doubtless find him there". And then turning to those sitting round him he added, saying, "By the feet of the Lord, I am now for the first time king; and lord of England". Then from that time he had more free power to act in opposition to his oaths and agreements, which he had made with the said Geoffrey, and to release hinmelf from the fetters of the peace in which he had involved himself. He was therefore sorry that he hnd been led to give his consent to the aforesaid peace.

King John in despair sent messengers to the emir Murmelius.

He therefore immediately sent secret messengers, namely, the knights Thomas Hardington and Ralph Fitz-Nicholas, and Robert of London a clerk, to the emir Murmelius the great king of Africa, Morocco, and Spain, who was commonly called Miramumelinus, to tell him that he would voluntarily give up to him himself and his kingdom, and if he pleased would hold it as tributary from him; and that he would also abandon the Christian faith, which he considered false, and would faithfully adhere to the law of Mahomet. When the aforesaid messengers arrived at the court of the above-named prince, they found at the first gate some armed knights keeping close guard over it with drawn swords. At the second door, which was that of the palace, they found a larger number of knights, armed to the teeth, more handsomely dressed, and stronger and more noble than the others, and these closely guarded this entrance with swords drawn: and at the door of the inner room there was a still greater number, and, according to appearance, stronger and fiercer than the former ones. Having at length been led in peaceably by leave of the emir himself, whom they called the great king, these messengers on behalf of their lord the king of England saluted him with reverence, and fully explained the reason of their coming, at the same time handing him their king's letter, which an interpreter, who came at a summons from him, explained to him. When he understood its purport, the king, who was a man of middle age and height, of manly deportment, eloquent and circumspect in his conversation, then closed the book he had been looking at, for he was seated at his desk studying. At length after deliberating as it were for a time with himself he modestly replied, "I was just now looking at the book of a wise Greek and a Christian named Paul, which is written in Greek, and his deeds and words please me much; one thing however concerning him displeases me, and that is, that he did not stand firm to the faith in which he was born, but turned to another like a deserter and a waverer. And I say this with regard to your lord the king of the English, who abandons the most pious and pure law of the Christians, under which he was born, and desires, flexible and unstable that he is, to come over to our faith". And he added, "The omniscient and omnipotent God knows that, were I without a law, I would choose that law before all others, and having accepted it would strictly keep it". He then inquired what was the condition of the king of England and his kingdom; to which Thomas, as the most eloquent of the messengers, replied:- "The king is illustriously and nobly descended from great kings, and his territory is rich, and abounds with all kinds of wealth, in agriculture, pastures, and woods; and from it also every kind of metal may be obtained by smelting. Our people are handsome and ingenious, and are skilled in three languages, the Latin, French, and English, as well as in every liberal and mechanical pursuit. Our country, however, does not of itself produce any quantity of vineyards or olive trees, nor fir trees, but of these it procures an abundance from adjoining countries by way of trade. The climate is salubrious and temperate; it is situated between the west and the north; and, receiving heat from the west, and cold from the north, it enjoys a most agreeable temperature. It is surrounded entirely by the sea, whence it is called the queen of islands. The kingdom has, from times of old, been governed by an anointed king, and our people are free and manly, and acknowledge the domination of no one except God. Our church and the services of our religion are more venerated there than in any part of the world, and it is peacefully governed by the laws of the pope and of the king". The king at the conclusion of this speech drew a deep sigh and replied: "I never read or heard that any king possessing such a prosperous kingdom subject and obedient to him, would thus voluntarily ruin his sovereignty by making tributary a country that is free, by giving to a stranger that which is his own, by turning happiness to misery, and thus giving himself up to the will of another, conquered as it were without a wound. I have rather read and heard from many that many would procure liberty for themselves at the expense of streams of their blood, which is a praiseworthy action; but now I hear that your wretched lord, a sloth and a coward, who is even worse than nothing, wishes, from a free man to become a slave, who is the most wretched of all human beings". After this he asked, although contemptuously, what was his age, size, and strength; in reply he was told that he was fifty, entirely hoary, strong in body, not tall, but rather compact and of a form suited for strength. The king on hearing this, said: "His youthful and manly valour has fermented, and now begins to grow cool; within ten years, if he lives so long, his valour will fail him before he accomplishes any arduous enterprize; if he should begin now he would fall to decay, and would be good for nothing; for a man of fifty sinks imperceptibly, but one of sixty gives evident signs of decaying. Let him again obtain peace for himself and enjoy rest". The emir, then, after reading over all the questions and answers of the messengers, after a short silence burst into a laugh, as a sign of indignation, and refused king John's offer in these words:- "That king is of no consideration, but is a petty king, senseless and growing old, and I care nothing about him; he is unworthy of any alliance with me"; and, regarding Thomas and Ralph with a grim look, he said:- "Never come into my presence again, and may your eyes never again behold my face; the fame, or rather the infamy of that foolish apostate, your master, breathes forth a most foul stench to my nostrils". The messengers were then going away with shame, when the emir beheld Robert the clerk, who was the third of the messengers, and who was a small dark man, with one arm longer than the other, and having fingers all misshapen, namely, two sticking together, and with a face like a Jew. Thinking, therefore, that such a contemptible looking person would not be sent to manage a difficult business unless he were wise and clever, and well understood it, and seeing his cowl and tonsure, and finding by it that he was a clerk, the king ordered him to be called; for when the others had been speaking he had till now stood silent at a distance from him. He therefore kept him and sent away the others, and then had a long secret interview with him, the particulars of which the said Robert afterwards disclosed to his friends. The said king asked him if king John was a man of moral character, and if he had brave sons, and if he possessed great generative power; adding that, if Robert told him a lie in these matters, he would never believe a Christian again, especially a clerk. Robert then, on his word as a Christian, promised to give true answers to all the questions which he put to him. He therefore answered affirmatively that "John was a tyrant rather than a king, a destroyer rather than a governor, an oppresser of his own people, and a friend to strangers, a lion to his own subjects, a lamb to foreigners and those who fought against him; for, owing to his slothfulness, he had lost the duchy of Normandy and many other of his territories, and moreover was eager to lose the kingdom of England or to destroy it; that he was an insatiable extorter of money, and an invader and destroyer of the possessions of his own natural subjects; he had begotten few strong children, or rather none at all, but only such as took after their father; he had a wife who was hateful to him and who hated him; an incestuous, evil disposed, adulterous woman, and of these crimes she had been often found guilty, on which the king ordered her paramours to be seized and strangled with a rope on her bed; yet nevertheless this same king was envious of many of his nobles and relations, and violated their marriageable daughters and sisters; and in his observance of the Christian religion he is wavering and distrustful, as you have heard". When the king emir heard all this, he not only disdained John as he had before done, but detested him; and, according to his own law cursed him; adding, "Why do the wretched English permit such a man to reign, and lord it over them? they are indeed effeminate and servile". Robert replied: "The English are the most patient of men until they are offended and injured beyond endurance; but now, like a lion or an elephant, when he feels himself hurt or sees his blood, they are enraged, and are proposing and endeavouring, although late, to shake the yoke of the oppressor from their necks". When the king emir heard this, he blamed the too easy patience of the English, which the interpreter, who had been present all the time, rightly asserted to be fear. The said king conversed on many other subjects besides this with Robert, all which the latter afterwards told to his friends in England. He then made him several costly presents of gold and silver, various kinds of jewels and silks, and dismissed him on friendly terms; but the other messengers he neither saluted when they left him, nor did he honour them with any presents. They then returned home and told John all that they had seen and heard, on which he wept in bitterness of spirit at being despised by the king Emir, and at being balked in his purpose. Robert however liberally regarded the king from the foreign gifts bestowed on him, so that it was evident he had been received more favourably than the others, though at first he had been repulsed and kept silence; on which account the king honoured him more than the others, and by way of reward this wicked extortioner bestowed on him the charge of the abbacy of St. Alban's, although it was not vacant, so that this transgressor of the faith remunerated his own clerk with the property of another. This Robert then, without consulting, yea even against the will of the temporary abbat, John de Cell, a most religious and most learned man, seized on everything which was then in the church and the convent at pleasure, and appropriated it to his own use; and in each bailiwick, which we call obediences, he appointed a porter, as a careful and resolute searcher of everything, by which means the aforesaid clerk, Robert, cheated that house of more than a thousand marks. He, however, had a regard for some of the chief servants of the abbat, and a monk of St. Alban's, namely, Laurence knight of the seneschal, Laurence a clerk, and Master Walter a monk and painter, and them he kept as his familiars, to whom he showed his jewels and other in secret presents from the emir, and related what had passed between them, the hearing of MATTHEW, WHO HAS WRITTEN AND RELATED THESE EVENTS.

King John resolves to place England under the papal rule.

From that time then king John began to strengthen his purpose, from which he had thought to retract, and to make his condition worse and worse, to the detriment of the whole kingdom; he hated, like viper's poison, all the men of noble rank in the kingdom, and especially Sayer de Quency, Robert Fitz-Walter, and Stephen archbishop of Canterbury. He also knew and had learnt by manifold experience, that the pope was beyond all other men ambitious and proud, and an insatiable thirster after money, and ready and apt to perform any sin for a reward or on the promise of one. He therefore sent messengers with orders of speed and by them transmitted a large sum of money to him with a promise of more, and assured him that he was, and always would be, subject and tributary to him on condition that he would, when an opportunity occurred, endeavour to abase the archbishop of Canterbury, and excommunicate the barons of England, whose part he had formerly taken; and he eagerly longed for this that he might glut his evil disposition by disinheriting, imprisoning, and slaying them when excommunicated. And these plans, which he had wickedly raked up, he more wickedly carried into execution, as will be related hereafter.

King John entertains evil opinions of the faith.

About this time king John became so foolish that he conceived evil thoughts about the resurrection of the dead, and other matters connected with the Christian religion, and gave utterance to some unmentionable foolish sayings, of which, however, we have thought proper to relate one. It happened that a very fat stag had been taken in the hunt, and when it was being skinned in the king's presence he laughed, and said in mockery, "Oh how fat this animal has grown without ever hearing mass".

The emir Murmelius is conquered and takes to flight.

About this time the king, or emir, Murmelius, of whom mention was made above, with a large army which he had collected, with John's consent, as is said, determined to take forcible possession of the kingdom of Spain; and he was inspired with this boldness by the wavering faith of king John, and the interdict on that kingdom. When, however, the Christian followers of the king of Spain heard of this, they bravely opposed him, and dispersed his whole army, and drove them from the country, after slaying his eldest son and capturing his royal standard. In this battle the king of Arragon would have gained immortal renown, if he had not been elevated by pride and contumaciously exacted from Simon de Montfort the whole of the land which he had gained from the Albigenses to be held by him, in spite of the prohibition of the pope who had asked for the same, whereby he kindled a fierce war against himself.

About this time the king of Arragon, who had been crowned by pope Innocent at Rome, and received from that pontiff a strict order not to give assistance or show favour to the enemies of the faith, disregarded the order of his father the pope, and after the victory over the emir Murmelius began to backslide, doing all the injury in his power to the aforesaid Simon; he also allied himself with the heretic Albigenses, and, in company with some knights, fled and joined the people of Toulouse. R. de Beders too with his Bederans summoned together an immense number of his fellow provincials, and having thus raised a large army, laid siege to the castle of Murelle on the Tuesday after the nativity of St. Mary. On hearing this the venerable fathers, the bishops of Toulouse, Nismes, Agde, Bourges, Utica, Loches, Carcassone, Elmo, and St. Malo, and the abbats of Clerac, Mandeville, and St. Giles, and many other illustrious men whom the archbishop of Narbonne, the legate of the apostolic see, etc. etc.- All in Matthew Paris's hand. Fiom this point in the C.C.C. MS. the continuation of the history in the text has been compiled by Matthew Paris, and has been written by the same hand as the Cotton MS. The text of Wendover is not left, but additions and alterations are made as well in the body of the work as by Paris himself, as it would appear, in the margin.

1213.] DEATH OF THE KING OF ARRAGON. 283

Of the death of the king of Arragan at Murdes.

About this time, the king of Arragon, after being crowned at Rome, by pope Innocent, although he had received a most strict injunction not to render assistance or show kindlness to

284 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1213.

the enemies of the faith, not devoutly attending to the commands of the holy father, contumaciously began to kick against the apostolic mandate. For as soon as he returned home, he joined the heretics in that very country which had

A.D. 1213.] MARRIAGE OF KING JOHN. 285.

been just recovered, under God, by the assistance of the crusaders, and uniting with the counts of Toulouse, Foix, and Commenges, he with the citizens of Toulouse and a large army on the third day of the week after the nativity of

286 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1213.

St. Mary, laid siege to the castle of Murelle. At this news the venerable fathers, the bishops of Toulouse, Nisnies, St. Agatha, Bourdeaux, Uzes, Louvaine, and Commenges, and the abbats of Clairvaux, Magueville, and St. Tiberius,

A.D. 1213.] FLIGHT OF THE EMIR. 287

all of whom the archbishop of Narbonne, the legate of the apostolic see had ordered to assemble for the purpose of managing the business of the crusade, set out together with Simon de Montfort, and an army of crusaders, to render assistance to the besieged castle. On the Wednesday of the above-mentioned week they arrived at a castle called Savardon, whence they sent messengers to the besieging commanders at Murelle, saying that they were come to treat with them about peace, and therefore they wished safe conduct

288 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1213.

to be granted them. On the following day, as the urgency of the case so much required it, the crusading army left Savardon, and hurried to the assistance of the castle of Murelle; the aforesaid bishops, however, determined to stay at a castle called Hanterive, half-way between Savardon and Murelle, about two leagues from either of them, there to await the return of their messengers; these when they did return brought word to the bishops from the king of Arragon, that he would not grant safe conduct to them, because, having come with such a large army, they did not want it. The bishops, when they heard this, entered Murelle with the crusading army on Wednesday of the same week, and immediately sent two religious men to the king and the inhabitants of Toulouse, but they received with derision from the king the answer, that they wanted to have a conference with him on account of the four ribalds, which the bishops had brought with them; but the citizens of Toulouse told them, the messengers, that they were allies of the king of Arragon, and would not do anything except the said king's pleasure. When the messengers had related this to the bishops, the latter determined to go unshod in company with the abbats to the king; but when their approach in this way was made known to the king, the gates of the city having been thrown open, and earl Montfort and all the crusaders being unarmed, because the bishops were gone to treat for peace, the enemies of God treacherously attempted to force their way into the town, but by the grace of God they were balked in their design. The earl and the crusaders, seeing their pride, and being themselves wholesomely cleansed from their sins by contrition of heart and verbal confession, put on their armour and went to the bishop of Toulouse, who by authority of the lord archbishop of Narbonne, was discharging the functions of the legateship there, and humbly asked his permission to sally forth against the enemies of the faith. As matters were at a crisis permission was granted them, and in the name of the Holy Trinity they sallied out in three bodies, but the enemies of the faith, on the other hand, came forth from their well fortified camp in several masses of troops, and although they were a host in comparison with the crusaders, the servants of Christ, trusting to his assistance, and armed with valour from on high, bravely attacked them.

A.D. 1213.] ARRIVAL OF BISHOP NICHOLAS. 289

And immediately the virtue of the Most High, by the hands of his followers, broke through the enemy, crushing them in a moment; for they turned their backs and fled like dust before the wind; some escaped death altogether by flight, some escaping the sword perished in the water, while others were slain on the field. For the illustrious king of Arragon who fell amongst the slain, much grief is to be felt that he, united with the enemies of the faith, and wickedly annoyed the catholic church. [1] A correct account of the number slain cannot be given by any means; but of the crusaders one knight only besides a few of the soldiers fell. This battle took place on the sixth day of the week after the octaves of the nativity of St. Mary, in the month of September, 1213.

The arrival in England of Nicholas bishop of Tusculum, and legate of the apostolic see.

About Michaelmas of the same year, Nicholas bishop of Tusculum and legate of the apostolic see, came to England to settle, by the apostolic authority, the disagreements between the throne and the priesthood, and although the country was under an interdict, he was everywhere honourably received with solemn processions, with music, and by the people dressed in holiday clothes; and on his arrival at Westminster, he immediately degraded William the abbat, who was accused by his monks of wasteful expenditure and incontinency. At that place there came to him seeking absolution the citizens of Oxford, by whose agency and presumption the two clerks, of whom we have made mention above, had been hung; in appointing penance for them he, amongst other things, ordered them to go to each of the churches of the city, laying aside their garments, and with naked feet, carrying scourges in their hands, and there to chant the fiftieth psalm, and thus obtain absolution from the parochial priests; and they were only allowed to go to one church on each day, that they and all others might be afraid to show such presumption in future. Thus the legate,


[1] "Earl Simon knew from his scouts that the king of Arragon was ready to sit down to table to take his breakfast, and on receiving the information he jokingly said, when he was sallying out, 'Of a truth I will wait on him at the first dish. And the said king was the first who was killed, being pierced by a sword before he had swallowed three mouthfuls of bread. M. Paris.

290 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1213.

who had come into England with only seven horsemen in his train, shortly walked abroad with a train of fifty, and attended by a numerous household. At length the archbishop of Canterbury, with the bishops and nobles of the kingdom, met at London in presence of the king and of the cardinal, and there for three days a discussion was carried on between the throne and the priesthood as to the losses of the bishops, and their confiscated property; on behalf of the king, an offer was made, as a full restitution, of a hundred thousand marks of silver, to be paid immediately; and if on inquiry it could be found that the guardians of the churches or other agents of the king had taken away more, he the said king made oath and gave security, that, by the decision of the bishops and the legate himself, he would before the ensuing Easter make satisfaction in full for all their confiscated property. The legate agreed to this, wishing it to be settled immediately, and was indignant that the offer was not accepted at once; and on this account it was suspected that the legate took the king's side more than was right. The bishops however prolonged the business, objecting to the terms offered, in order that thev might, after holding a council, make inquiry as to the confiscated property and their losses, and might state the amount thus found out to the king, and at the same time receive, what they demanded. The king hearing of this delay, which suited him, at once gave his consent, and thus they went away on that day without settling their business.

How king Juhn resigned his crown with the kingdoms of England and Ireland into the hands of the legate.

On the following day they all again assembled in the cathedral church at St. Paul's, where after many and divers discussions about the removal of the interdict, before the great altar in presence of the clergy and people, that notorious though dishonourable submission was again exacted from the king, by which he resigned his crown and kingdom into the hands of the pope, and surrendered the dominion of Ireland as well as the kingdom of England: the charter of the king too, which had been before sealed with wax and delivered to Pandulph, was now stamped with gold, and resigned to the legate for the use of our lord the pope and

A.D. 1213.] LETTER OF POPE INNOCENT. 291

the church of Rome; and for the restitution of the confiscated property, they appointed to meet at Reading on the 3rd of November. On the appointed day, when all had as before assembled, the king did not make his appearance, but on the third day after they again all assembled at Wallingford; and there the king, as before, willingly promised that he would satisfy the bishops and all the rest for the property which had been confiscated; but this seemed of little use to those whose castles had been thrown down, houses destroyed, and whose orchards and woods had been cut down; therefore the king and the bishops alike agreed to abide by the decision of four barons, and thus all would be satisfied by their decision. On the 6th of November they again assembled at Reading, the king and the legate, the archbishop and bishops, the nobles, and all the religious men connected with the business of the interdict, and at this conference they each and all produced a paper containing the amount of the confiscated property and their losses; but as the legate showed favour to the king, the payment of all was postponed except in the case of the archbishop and bishops who had been so long exiled from England, who there received fifteen marks of silver.

Pope Innocent to Nicholas bishop of Tusculum, about the vacant churches.

At this time pope Innocent sent letters to Nicholas, legate of the apostolic see, to the following purport:- "As the Lord's churches cannot better be provided for than when suitable pastors are appointed to them, who will desire not so much to have authority over them as to promote their welfare, we, by these apostolic letters, enjoin your brotherhood, in whom we have full confidence, to cause suitable persons, according to your own judgment, to be ordained to the bishoprics and abbacies in England now vacant, either by election or by canonical appointment, who shall be remarkable, not only for their mode of life, but also for their learning, and at the same time faithful to the king, and of use to the kingdom, and also efficacious in giving assistance and advice, the king's consent being previously obtained. When therefore we by our letters command the chapters of the vacant churches to abide by your advice, do you, always having the Lord in view, consult on these matters with prudent and honourable

292 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1214.

men, who may fully be aware of the merits of persons, less you may be overreached by the craft of any one; but if any shall gainsay you or prove contumacious, do you, by means of the censure of the church, compel them to obey, without appeal. Given at the Lateran, on the first of November, in the sixteenth year of our pontificate". The legate, on receiving this authority from the pope, rejected the advice of the archbishop and bishops of the kingdom, and, going to the vacant churches with the clerks and agents of the king, presumed to make appointments to them, according to the old evil custom of England, of persons little suited to those offices; and some of various orders, who, on manifest cause of complaint, appealed to the hearing of the supreme pontiff, he suspended and sent to the court of Rome, and to them he showed himself so destitute of humanity, that he did not allow them even one penny out of their own money to pay their expenses on the journey. Moreover he distributed the parochial churches which were vacant in various places amongst his own clerks without asking the consent of the patrons; for which he deserved the malediction of many instead of their benediction, inasmuch as he changed justice into injury, and judgment into forejudging.

The appeal of the archbishop of Canterbury as to the appointments of vacant churches.

[A.D. 1214.] King John at Christmas held his court at Windsor, when he distributed festive dresses to a number of his nobles. Afterwards, Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, and his suffragans, met at Dunstable to discuss the affairs of the English church there; for they were beyond measure annoyed that the legate, as we have before stated, in attending to the king's pleasure without consulting with them, had appointed unfit persons to the vacant churches more by force than by canonical election. After various discussion on one subject and another, the archbishop of Canterbury at length sent two clerks to Burton on the Trent, where the legate then was, to forbid him, by the interposition of an appeal on the part of the archbishop of Canterbury, to appoint prelates in the vacant churches in disregard of his, the archbishop's, high office, to which the appointment to the churches in his own diocese of right belonged. The

A.D. 1214.] KING JOHN AT POICTOU. 293

legate however paid no attention to this appeal, but, by the king's consent, despatched the before-named Pandulph to the court of Rome to counteract the intentions of the archbishop and bishops; on his arrival there he, in presence of the supreme pontiff, vilified the character of the archbishop in no slight degree, but he extolled the king of England with so much praise, declaring that he had never before seen such a humble and moderate king, that John gained great favour in the eyes of the pope. One person at that court however opposed Pandulph, which was master Simon de Langton, brother of the archbishop of Canterbury; but, as the gold-sealed charter of the subjection and tribute of the kingdoms of England and Ireland had been lately brought to our lord the pope by Pandulph, master Simon could not obtain a hearing for his opposing arguments. Moreover the said Pandulph declared in the presence of the pope, that the archbishop and bishops were too strict and covetous in their exactions, and about the restitution of the property confiscated at the time of the interdict, and that they oppressed the king himself and the rights of the kingdom in an unjust manner. And thus the purpose of the archbishop and bishops was delayed for a time.

How king John crossed sea to Poictou.

In the same year king John sent a large sum of money to the chiefs of his army in Flanders, to enable them to harass the king of the French, and to ravage his territory, and destroy his castles in their hostile incursions; they therefore, in obedience to the king's commands, laid waste the territory of the count de Guisne with fire and sword; they laid siege to the castle of Bruncham and destroyed it, taking away in chains a number of knights and their attendants who had been obliged to surrender themselves; they also besieged Arria, and, after subduing it, destroyed it by fire. They took the castle of Liens by assault, slaying a great many, and imprisoning those who were taken: they also ravaged the territory of Louis son of the French king, in that district. King John himself after having sent messengers to Rome for the withdrawal of the interdict, embarked on the day of the Purification of St. Mary at Portsmouth, accompanied by his queen, and in a few days landed with a large army at

294 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1214.

Rochelle; and at news of his arrival, several barons of Poictou came and swore fealty to him. Afterwards proceeding in great force, he reduced a great many castles belonging to his enemies; but whoever wishes to know more of what happened there, let him read the letters sent by the king to the justiciaries of the treasury.

King John's letter about his proceedings in Poictou.

"John, by the grace of God, etc.- Be it known to you, that when the truce was at an end which we had granted to the counts of La March and Augi, and as we found them not disposed to make a peace suitable to us, we on the Friday next preceding Whitsuntide, crossed with our army to Miervant, a castle belonging to Geoffrey de Lusignan; and although many might not believe that it could be taken by assault, we, on the day after, which was the eve of Whitsuntide, took it by force after one assault, which lasted from early in the morning till one o'clock. On Whitsunday we laid siege to another castle of this same Geoffrey's, called 'Novent', in which Geoffrey with his two sons had shut themselves; and when, after repeated discharges from our petraries for three days, a fitting opportunity for taking the aforesaid castle was approaching, the count de la March came to us, bringing it about that the aforesaid Geoffrey threw himself on our mercy, together with his two sons, his castle, and every thing in it. Whilst we were still there, news was brought us that Louis, son of the king of France, had laid siege to a castle belonging to the same Geoffrey called 'Muneuntur'; on hearing this, we immediately turned in that direction to meet him, so that on the day of the Holy Trinity we were at Parthenay, and there the counts de la March and Augi came to us with the aforesaid Geoffrey de Lusignan, and did homage and swore fealty to us. And, because we had formerly treated with the count de la March as to giving our daughter in marriage to his son, we granted that favour to him, although the king of the French had requested her for his son, but with treacherous designs; for we remembered our niece who was married to Louis, son of that monarch, and the result of that affair; and may God grant us more success in this marriage than in the former one! Now, by the grace of God, an opportunity is afforded us of attacking our mortal enemy the

A.D. 1214.] WITHDRAWAL OF THE INTERDICT. 295

king of the French beyond Poictou. And we inform you thereof that you may rejoice in our successes. Witness myself at Parthenay, in the sixteenth year of our reign". On the 24th of June, in the same year, died Gilbert bishop of Rochester.

Letter of pope Innocent on the withdrawal of the interdict.

About this time pope Innocent wrote to Nicholas bishop of Tusculum, about the withdrawal of the interdict, as follows: "Innocent bishop, etc. Our venerable brother John bishop of Norwich, and our beloved son Robert de Marisco archdeacon of Northumberland, and the nobles Thomas and Adam de Hardington, the ambassadors of our well-beloved in Christ, John the illustrious king of England of the one part, and master Stephen de Langton A. and G. clerks, messengers of our beloved brother Stephen archbishop of Canterbury of the other part, having appeared before us, have, by common consent and deliberately declared, that, to avoid great loss of property and serious danger to their souls, it was necessary to the kingdom as well as the priesthood that the sentence of interdict be withdrawn without delay; wherefore we, in our paternal regard have, for their preservation and for the advantage of peace, carefully entertained the matter between them, and at length, with their acquiescence, we have devised and determined on the underwritten terms:- "Let the aforesaid king pay to the archbishop of Canterbury, and the bishops of London and Ely, or to others whom they may appoint to receive it, so much money as, when added to what the said king has already paid to us, shall amount to the sum of forty thousand marks; on the payment of which by him, and his giving the undermentioned security, do you immediately withdraw the sentence of interdict, doing away with all appeal or gainsaying. And after this he must pay twelve thousand marks yearly, at two fixed periods, namely, six thousand marks on the commemoration of All Saints, and the same number at the feast of our Lord's ascension, until the whole amount be paid. And, for the due fulfilment of this, the said king has bound himself by his own oath and by letters patent under his own seal, and also by the suretyship of the bishops of Winchester and Norwich, the earls of Winchester and Chester, and William Marshal: that the heirs of the said king and their successors shall be held bound by a

296 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1214.

similar engagement; wherefore we command you, by these our apostolic letters, to proceed in this matter according to the form above-named, unless the parties of their own freewill determine to settle the matter otherwise. Given at the Lateran in the sixteenth year of our pontificate".

Of the restitution of the confiscated property.

At the time when Nicholas bishop of Tusculum, legate of the apostolic see, received this warrant by the messengers of our lord the pope, the king of England was in the transmarine provinces; but as he had, on leaving England, entrusted his part in this business to the legate and William Marshal, the said legate convened a grand council at St. Paul's in the city of London, at which were assembled the archbishops, bishops, abbats, priors, earls, barons, and others concerned in this affair of the interdict. The said legate there explained to all the terms of restitution of the confiscated property, and of satisfaction for losses which had been arranged by the pope at Rome with the consent of the parties; and he clearly ordered that a certificate should be given of the quantity of money paid to the bishops and others by the king's agents on account of the interdict; so that, by what money had been paid, it might be known how much remained to be paid. It was there proved by a sure computation, that the archbishop and the monks of Canterbury, with the bishops of London, Ely, Hereford, Bath, and Lincoln had, before they returned to England from their exile, received twelve thousand marks of sterling money by the hands of Pandulph; also that, since their arrival, the said bishops and the monks aforesaid had, at the council which was held at Reading on the sixth of December, received fifteen thousand marks to be divided amongst them; and this sum, together with the former one received, made a total of twenty-seven thousand marks. The other fifteen thousand which remained to be paid to make up the before-mentioned complement of forty thousand marks, remained under the suretyship of the bishops of Winchester and Norwich, with letters patent from the king besides for further security, according to what was contained in the letters of our lord the pope.

Of the withdrawal of the interdict.

After thus arranging matters, on the apostles, St. Peter

A.D. 1214.] JOHN'S ARMY IN BRITTANY. 297

and St. Paul's day, Nicholas bishop of Tusculum, legate of the apostolic see, went to the cathedral church, and there amidst the ringing of bells and the chanting of the "Te Deum", solemnly revoked the sentence of interdict which had lasted for six years, three months, and fourteen days.

How the legate put off the restitution of the confiscated property.

On the removal of the interdict, as above-mentioned, the legate was beset by an innumerable multitude of abbats, priors, templars, hospitallers, abbesses, nuns, clergy and laity, asking for satisfaction to be made to them for losses and injuries suffered by them during the time of the interdict; for they asserted that, although they had not left England, they had endured the incessant persecution of the king and his agents, both in person and property, until all their property being confiscated and their persons ill used, they knew not whither to turn from the fury of their enemies. But the legate in reply to this multitude of complainants, said that of their losses and injuries no mention had been made in the pope's letters, wherefore he ought not and could not lawfully go beyond the bounds of the apostolic mandate; but he nevertheless advised them to lay a complaint of their losses and injuries before the pope, and to ask for full justice to be shown to them. On hearing this, however, the whole of that assembly of complaining prelates, having no hope of better luck, returned again to their homes. In the same year, on the day of St. Kenelm, the king and martyr, John abbat of the church of St. Alban's, a religious and learned man, closed his life at a good old age, in the nineteenth year of his prelateship. [1]

How king John led his army into Brittany.

About this time king John led his army forward from Poictou into Lesser Britain, and there stayed three days and three nights. On arriving near a city called by the inhabitants Nantes, he determined to attack it; but the citizens and knights who had been left in charge of the place by the


[1] About that time Ralph of Arundel, abbat of Westminster, was deposed by the aforesaid legate on the day after the feast of St. Vincent, his seal having been broken in the chapter-house by N. abbat of Westham, who was sent on behalf of the legate; in Ralph's place was appointed William de Humes, prior of Frontignac,a monk of Caen.

298 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1214.

French king, on learning the approach of the English monarch, went out to meet him, and at a bridge not far from the city they gave battle to the English king's army: but king John, by good luck, gained the victory, taking twenty knights in the battle, and amongst the rest the son and heir of Robert de Drus, uncle of the French king; this knight the king loaded with chains, and took away with him on his return. After this the said king marched with his army to the castle of Rocheau Maine, and laid siege to it; on hearing which Louis, son of the French king, who hud been sent by his father to check the incursions of king John, hastened with a large army to the assistance of the besieged. The English king, when he learned their approach, sent scouts from his army to find out the number and strength of the approaching enemy; these messengers, soon performing the duty assigned to them, returned nnd told the king that he, the English king, had a much larger force, and therefore earnestly persuaded him to engage the enemy in open battle, because, by doing this, he would without doubt gain a victory over the enemy. He therefore, being inspirited by the information of his messengers, ordered his soldiers to arms as soon as possible, to give open battle to Louis, but the barons of Poictou refused to follow the king, saying that they were not prepared for a pitched battle. King John then, knowing too well the accustomed treachery of the nobles of Poictou, although the capture of the castle was almost certain, retired in great annoyance from the siege. Louis too, when he heard that the English king had moved his camp, feared that he would attack him, and fled in an opposite direction from king John's; and thus each army ignominiously taking to flight, turned their backs on one another.

How the king of the French marched against the army of the English king in Flanders.

At this time the English king's army in Flanders had spread its ravages through several provinces, and was now laying waste Poictou in a most relentless manner: in this expedition were the warlike and tried men William duke of Holland; Reginald, formerly count of Boulogne; Ferrand count of Flanders; and Hugh de Boves, a brave soldier though a cruel and proud man, for he showed his cruel

A.D. 1214.] BATTLE OF BOUVINES. 299

disposition in those regions by sparing neither the female sex nor the young children. King John hsd appointed his brother William earl of Salisbury, marshal over that army, and over the knights of the kingdom, to fight in conjunction with them, and also to give the pay from the treasury to the other soldiers. These warriors were moreover assisted and favoured by Otho the Roman emperor, with all the forces of the dukes of Louvaine and Brabant, who were equally exasperated against the French. When all these proceedings came to the knowledge of Philip king of the French, he was much alarmed lest he should be unable to defend that part of the country, having lately sent his son Louis with a large army into Poictou to oppose the English king, and to check his hostile incursions there; and although the said king often thought on the common proverb

"Whose mind to many schemes is bent,
On each can scarcely be intent".

He however collected an army of earls, barons, knights, and soldiers, horse and foot, together with the commoners of the cities and towns, and advanced in great force to meet his enemies, giving orders to the priests, religious men, clerks and nuns, to give alms, to offer prayers to God, and to perform services for the firm standing of his kingdom; after which he boldly marched with his army against the enemy. Hearing that the latter had already arrived as far as the bridge of Bovines in the territory of Pontoise, he led his forces in that direction, and arriving at the aforesaid bridge, he crossed the river with his army, and there pitched his camp. The heat of the sun was very great, as is usual in the month of July, on which account the French determined to halt near the river for the sake of refreshing the men as well as horses. They arrived at the before-mentioned river on a Saturday, about the hour of evening: and, having arranged the carts, waggons, and all the vehicles in which they conveyed their food and arms, engines of war and weapons; to the right and left they appointed watches all round, and rested there for the night. When morning came, and the English commanders were informed that the French king had arrived, they held a council, and unanimously determined to give open battle to the enemy; but, as it was

500 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1214.

Sunday, it seemed to the more prudent men of the army, and especially to Reginald, formerly count of Boulogne, that it was improper to engage in battle on such a festival, and to profane such a day by slaughter and the effusion of human blood. The Roman emperor Otho coincided in this opinion, and said that he had never gained a triumph on such a day; on hearing this Hugh de Boves broke forth into blasphemy, calling count Reginald a base traitor, and reproaching him with the lands and large possessions he had received as gifts from the king of England; he added also that, if the battle was put off that day, it would redound to the irreparable loss of king John, for "delays are always dangerous when things are ready". But count Reginald, in reply to the taunts of Hugh, said indignantly, "This day will prove me faithful, and you the traitor; for even on this very Sunday, if necessary, I will stand up in battle for the king, even to the death, and you, according to your custom, will, by fleeing from the battle, show yourself a most base traitor in the presence of all". By these and other abusive words of the said Hugh, the whole multitude were stirred up and excited to battle; they therefore all flew to arms and boldly prepared for fighting. When all were armed, they arranged themselves in three bodies, over the first of which they appointed Ferrand count of Flanders, Reginald earl of Boulogne, and William earl of Salisbury, as commanders; the command of the second they gave to William duke of Holland, and Hugh de Boves, with his Brabant followers; the command of the third was assigned to Otho the Roman emperor and his fighting men: and in this manner they slowly marched forth against the enemy, and arrived in sight of the French army. When the French king saw that his enemies were prepared for a pitched battle, he ordered the bridge in his rear to be broken down, that, in case any of his army should endeavour to fly, they should have no where to fly except amongst the enemy. The French king having drawn up his troops, surrounded by his waggons and other vehicles, as already mentioned, there awaited the assault of his enemies. In short, the battalions commanded by the above-named counts burst upon the ranks of the French with such impetuosity, that in a moment they broke their ranks, and forced their way even up to where the French

A.D. 1214.] BATTLE OF BOUVINES. 301

king was. Count Reginald, when he saw the king who had disinherited him and expelled him from his county, couched his lance against him, and having forced him to the ground, was preparing to slay him with his sword; but one of the soldiers, who had been appointed as a body-guard for the king, exposed himself to the blows of the count and was killed in his stead. The French, seeing their king on the ground, rushed impetuously and in great force to his assistance, and re-mounted him on his horse; then the battle raged on both sides, swords glistened like lightning around helmeted heads, and the conflict was most severe on both sides. The before-mentioned counts with the body of troops under their command had become separated from the rest of their fellow soldiers, and their retreat, as well as the advance of the rest of the army to their succour was stopped; and thus their small body not being able to withstand the attacks of such numbers of the French, at length gave way, and in this manner the aforesaid counts with the whole of the band which they commanded, were, after showing great bravery, taken and made prisoners.

Conclusion of the battle.

Whilst these events were passing round king Philip, the counts of Champagne, Perche, and St. Paul, with many other nobles of the French kingdom, made an attack on the troops above-mentioned to be commanded by Hugh de Boves, and put that noble to flight, together with all the troops collected from the different provinces; and in their base flight they were pursued at the sword's point by the French as far as the position of the emperor; therefore, after their flight, all the weight of the battle was in an instant thrown on the latter. The above-named counts then summoned him and endeavoured to slay him or to compel him to surrender; but he, holding his sword, sharp on one side like a knife, with both hands, dealt such insupportable blows on all sides, that he either stunned all whom he struck, or levelled riders and horses with the ground. His enemies, fearing to come too near him, killed three horses under him with their lances, but by the bravery of his troops, he was each time remounted, and renewed his attacks more fiercely; at length his enemies left him and his followers unconquered, and he

302 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1214.

retreated from the battle without harm to himself or his followers. The king of the French, in his joy for such an unexpected victory, gave thanks to God for having granted him such a triumph over his enemies. The three counts above named, with a great number of knights and others, were taken away to be imprisoned. This battle took place on the 27th of July. By this misfortune the English king ineffectually spent the forty thousand marks which he had taken from the monks of the Cistercian order during the time of the interdict, thus verifying the proverb, "Inglorious spoil will never end in good".

When at length the news of this event came to king John's knowledge he was thrown into dismay, and said to those about him, "Since I became reconciled to God, and submitted myself and my kingdoms to the church of Rome, woe is me, nothing has gone properously with me, and every thing unlucky has happened to me". In this same year John bishop of Norwich, when returning from the court of Rome, died in the territory of Poictou, and his body was brought to England, and buried with honour in the church at Norwich.

Of a truce made between the French and English kings.

After the events above-mentioned, by the intervention of religious men, a truce was agreed on in the transmarine provinces between Philip and John, the French and English kings, in this form:- "Philip, by the grace of God, king of the French, to all who shall see these letters, greeting. Be it known to you, that we have granted to king John and his men who have appeared in the field on his behalf since this last war, up to the Thursday next after the exaltation of the Holy Cross in September, a truce in due form from us and our men, who have appeared on the field in our behalf, until next Easter, that shall be in the year of our Lord 1215, and for five full years after the said Easter; saving however to us, our prisoners whom we have in our power, and saving the oath which the towns of Flanders and Hainault made to us; and saving in a like manner to king John the prisoners he has in his power. And we and our subjects and adventurers will remain in the same position as we were on the aforesaid Thursday, till the end of the aforesaid five years. And those who are to dictate and arrange the terms of this

A.D. 1214.] CONFERENCE OF BARONS. 303

truce made between us and the king of England, shall be, on behalf of us, P. Savary, Guy Turpin, abbat of Marmontier, and C. archdeacon of Tours; on behalf of the king of England, Hugh de Bourg seneschal of Poictou, R. de Ponte abbat of St. John in England, and the dean of Christaton. And all these have sworn in good faith that, for the settlement of all differences and complaints which may arise in Poictou, Anjou, Brittany, or Tours, they will meet at the convent of Fulcirelle; and for other complaints which may arise in Bourges, Auvergne, the counties of La Marche and Limosin, they will meet to arrange matters in those provinces". On the 5th of October in this year Richard dean of Salisbury, and Walter de Gray chancellor of England, were, by Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, consecrated bishops, the former to the church of Chichester, and the latter to that of Winchester. About this time too, on the 19th of October, king John, having settled all his business in the transmarine provinces, returned home to England.

Of a conference held by the barons against king John.

About this time the earls and barons of England assembled at St. Edmund's, as if for religious duties, although it was for some other reason; for after they had discoursed together secretly for a time, there was placed before them the charter of king Henry the First, which they had received, as mentioned before, in the city of London from Stephen archbishop of Canterbury. This charter contained certain liberties and laws granted to the holy church as well as to the nobles of the kingdom, besides some liberties which the king added of his own accord. All therefore assembled in the church of St. Edmund, the king and martyr, and, commencing from those of the highest rank, they all swore on the great altar that, if the king refused to grant these liberties and laws, they themselves would withdraw from their allegiance to him, and make war on him, till he should, by a charter under his own seal, confirm to them every thing they required; and finally it was unanimously agreed that, after Christmas, they should all go together to the king and demand the confirmation of the aforesaid liberties to them, and that they should in the meantime provide themselves with horses and arms, so that if the king should endeavour to

304 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1215.

depart from his oath, they might by taking his castles, compel him to satisfy their demands; and having arranged this, each man returned home.

Of William, abbat of the church of Si. Alban's.

In this year, John, abbat of the church of St. Alban's, was succeeded by William, a monk of the same church, who was solemnly elected on the day of St. Edmund the king and martyr, which was the fifth day of the week, and, on the day of St. Andrew the apostle, which was the first Sunday of our Lord's advent, he was pontifically and solemnly consecrated before the great altar in St. Alban's church by Eustace bishop of Ely; and the promotion of this man is said to have been shown in a nocturnal vision to some of the brothers of that monastery, even before the election was made. The first abbat of the church of St. Alban, the English protomartyr, was Willegod, who was appointed abbat and ordered to observe a regular course of life on the first of August in the year of our Lord seven hundred and ninety-four, by Offa king of the Mercians, after the martyr's body had been found, and the monks introduced, though the church was not then built; to Willegod succeeded Edric, Wolsius, Wolnoth, Edfred, Wolsin, Alfric, Eldred, Edmar, Leofric, who was made archbishop of Canterbury; to him succeeded Alfric, brother of the said Leofric; to Alfric succeeded Leofstan, Frederic, Paul, Richard, Geoffrey, Ralph, Robert, Simon, Warin, John, and to John succeeded William the twenty-second abbat, who was appointed to the office in the sixteenth year of king John's reign.

Of the demand made by the barons of England for their rights.

A.D. 1215; which was the seventeenth year of the reign of king John; he held his court at Winchester at Christmas for one day, after which he hurried to London, and took up his abode at the New Temple; and at that place the abovementioned nobles, came to him in gay military array, and demanded the confirmation of the liberties and laws of king Edward, with other liberties granted to them and to the kingdom and church of England, as were contained in the charter, and above-mentioned laws of Henry the First; they also asserted that, at the time of his absolution at Winchester,

A.D. 1215.] DEATH OF BISHOP EUSTACE. 305

he had promised to restore those laws and ancient liberties, and was bound by his own oath to observe them. The king, hearing the bold tone of the barons in making this demand, much feared an attack from them, as he saw that they were prepared for battle; he however made answer that their demands were a matter of importance and difficulty, and he therefore asked a truce till the end of Easter, that he might, after due deliberation, he able to satisfy them as well as the dignity of his crown. After much discussion on both sides, the king at length, although unwillingly, procured the archbishop of Canterbury, the bishop of Ely, and William Marshal, as his sureties, that on the day pre-agreed on he would, in all reason, satisfy them all, on which the nobles returned to their homes. The king however, wishing to take precautions against the future, caused all the nobles throughout England to swear fealty to him alone against all men, and to renew their homage to him; and, the better to take care of himself, he, on the day of St. Mary's purification, assumed the cross of our Lord, being induced to this more by fear than devotion. In the same year Eustace bishop of Ely, a man well skilled in divine as well as human knowledge, died at Reading.

Of the principal persons who compelled the king to grant the laws and liberties.

In Easter week of this same year, the above-mentioned nobles assembled at Stamford, with horses and arms; for they had now induced almost all the nobility of the whole kingdom to join them, and constituted a very large army; for in their army there were computed to be two thousand knights, besides horse soldiers, attendants, and foot soldiers, who were variously equipped. The chief promoters of this pestilence were Robert Fitz-Walter, Eustace de Vescy, Richard de Percy, Robert de Roos, Peter de Bruis, Nicholas de Stuteville, Saer earl of Winchester, R. earl of Clare, H. earl Clare, earl Roger Bigod, William de Munbray, Roger de Creissi, Ranulph Fitz-Robert, Robert de Vere, Fulk Fitz-Warine, William Mallet, William de Montacute, William de Beauchamp, S. de Kime, William Marshall junior, William Maudut, Roger de Mont-Be-gon, John Fitz-Robert, John Fitz-Alan, G. de Laval, O. Fitz-Alan, W. de Hobregge, O. des Vaux, G. de Gant,

306 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1215.

Maurice de Gant, R. de Brackele, R. de Muntfichet, W. de Lanvalei, G. de Mandeville earl of Essex, William his brother, William de Huntingefeld, Robert de Greslei, G. constable of Meautun, Alexander de Puinter, Peter Fitz-John, Alexander de Sutune, Osbert de Bobi, John constable of Chester, Thomas de Mulutune, and many others; all of these being united by oath, were supported by the concurrence of Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, who was at their head. The king at this time was awaiting the arrival of his nobles at Oxford. On the Monday next after the octaves of Easter, the said barons assembled in the town of Brackley: and when the king learned this, he sent the archbishop of Canterbury, and William Marshal earl of Pembroke, with some other prudent men, to them to inquire what the laws and liberties were which they demanded. The barons then delivered to the messengers a paper, containing in great measure the laws and ancient customs of the kingdom, and declared that, unless the king immediately granted them and confirmed them under his own seal, they would, by taking possession of his fortresses, force him to give them sufficient satisfaction as to their before-named demands. The archbishop with his fellow messengers then carried the paper to the king, and read to him the heads of the paper one by one throughout. The king when he heard the purport of these heads, derisively said, with the greatest indignation, "Why, amongst these unjust demands, did not the barons ask for my kingdom also? Their demands are vain and visionary, and are unsupported by any plea of reason whatever". And at length he angrily declared with an oath, that he would never grant them such liberties as would render him their slave. The principal of these laws and liberties, which the nobles required to be confirmed to them, are partly described above in the charter of king Henry, and partly are extracted from the old laws of king Edward, as the following history will show in due time.

The castle of Northampton besieged by the barons,

As the archbishop and William Marshall could not by any persuasions induce the king to agree to their demands, they returned by the king's order to the barons, and duly reported all they had heard from the king to them; and when the

A.D. 1215.] LONDON YIELDED TO THE BARONS. 307

nobles heard what John said, they appointed Robert Fitz-Walter commander of their soldiers, giving him the title of "Marshal of the army of God and the holy church", and then, one and all flying to arms, they directed their forces towards Northampton. On their arrival there they at once laid siege to the castle, but after having stayed there for fifteen days, and having gained little or no advantage, they determined to move their camp; for having come without petrariae and other engines of war, they, without accomplishing their purpose, proceeded in confusion to the castle of Bedford. At that siege the standard-bearer of Robert Fitz-Walter, amongst others slain, was pierced through the head with an arrow from a cross-bow and died, to the grief of many.

How the city of London was given up to the barons.

When the army of the barons arrived at Bedford, they were received with all respect by William de Beauchamp. There also came to them there messengers from the city of London, secretly telling them, if they wished to get into that city, to come there immediately. The barons, inspirited by the arrival of this agreeable message, immediately moved their camp and arrived at Ware; after this they marched the whole night, and arrived early in the morning at the city of London, and, finding the gates open, they, on the 24th of May, which was the Sunday next before our Lord's ascension, entered the city without any tumult whilst the inhabitants were performing divine service; for the rich citizens were favourable to the barons, and the poor ones were afraid to murmur against them. The barons having thus got into the city, placed their own guards in charge of each of the gates, and then arranged all matters in the city at will. They then took security from the citizens, and sent letters throughout England to those earls, barons, and knights, who appeared to be still faithful to the king, though they only pretended to be so, and advised them with threats, as they regarded the safety of all their property and possessions, to abandon a king who was perjured and who warred against his barons, and together with them to stand firm and fight against the king for their rights and for peace; and that, if they refused to do this, they, the barons, would make war against them

308 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1215.

all, as against open enemies, and would destroy their castles, burn their houses and other buildings, and destroy their warrens, parks, and orchards. The names of some of those who had not as yet sworn to strive for these liberties were, William Marshal earl of Pembroke, Ralph earl of Chester, William earl of Salisbury, William earl Warrenne, William earl of Albemarle, H. earl of Cornwall, W. d'Albiney, Robert de Vipont, Peter Fitz-Hubert, Brian de l'Isle, G. de Lucy, G. de Furnival, Thomas Basset, Henry de Braibroc, John de Bassingeburne, William de Cantelu, Henry de Cornhulle, John Fitz-Hugh, Hugh de Neville, Philip de Albeney, John Marshal, and William Briuerre; the greatest part of these, on receiving the message of the barons, set out to London and joined them, abandoning the king entirely. The pleas of the exchequer and of the sheriff's courts ceased throughout England, because there was no one to make a valuation for the king or to obey him in any thing. [1]

The conference between the king and the barons.

King John, when he saw that he was deserted by almost all, so that out of his regal superabundance of followers he scarcely retained seven knights, was much alarmed lest the barons would attack his castles and reduce them without difficulty, as they would find no obstacle to their so doing; and he deceitfully pretended to make peace for a time with the aforesaid barons, and sent William Marshal earl of Pembroke, with other trustworthy messengers, to them, and told them that, for the sake of peace, and for the exaltation and honour of the kingdom, he would willingly grant them the laws and liberties they required; he also sent word to the


[1] "About the same time the king concealed his secret hatred of the barons under a calm countenance, and planning revenge, caused the seals of all the bishops to be counterfeited, as it is commonly called, and wrote word in their names to all countries, that the English were all apostates, and to be detested by the whole world. And whoever would attack these apostates, he would bestow on him, with the consent of them, and by authority of the pope, all their lands and possessions. But when the people of foreign countries heard these promises, they put no faith in them, because they knew that the English were of all Christians the most steadfast; and when they discovered the truth they detested such crimes and falsehoods, and thus the king fell into the net which he had himself spread". M. Paris.

A.D. 1215.] MAGNA CHARTA. 309

barons by these same messengers, to appoint a fitting day and place to meet and carry all these matters into effect. The king's messengers then came in all haste to London, and without deceit reported to the barons all that had been deceitfully imposed on them; they in their great joy appointed the fifteenth of June for the king to meet them, at a field lying between Staines and Windsor. Accordingly, at the time and place pre-agreed on, the king and nobles came to the appointed conference, and when each party had stationed themselves apart from the other, they began a long discussion about terms of peace and the aforesaid liberties. There were present on behalf of the king, the archbishops, Stephen of Canterbury, and H. of Dublin; the bishops W. of London, P. of Winchester, H. of Lincoln, J. of Bath, Walter of Worcester, W. of Coventry, and Benedict of Rochester; master Pandulph familiar of our lord the pope, and brother Almeric the master of the knights-templars in England; the nobles, William Marshal earl of Pembroke, the earl of Salisbury, earl Warrenne, the earl of Arundel, Alan de Galwey, W. Fitz-Gerald, Peter Fitz-Herbert, Alan Basset, Matthew Fitz-Herbert, Thomas Basset, Hugh de Neville, Hubert de Burgh seneschal of Poictou, Robert de Ropeley, John Marshal, and Philip d'Aubeny. Those who were on behalf of the barons it is not necessary to enumerate, since the whole nobility of England were now assembled together in numbers not to be computed. At length, after various points on both sides had been discussed, king John, seeing that he was inferior in strength to the barons, without raising any difficulty, granted the underwritten laws and liberties, and confirmed them by his charter as follows:-

Charter of king John as to the grant of common rights to the barons.

"John, by the grace of God, king of England, etc. Be it known, that we, looking to God and for the safety of our soul, and those of our ancestors and our heirs, have, for the honour of God, the exaltation of the holy church, and the amendment of our kingdom, [1] conceded to God, and by this


[1] Paris inserts here:- "By the advice of our venerable fathers, Stephen archbishop of Canterbury primate of all England, and a cardinal of the holy Roman church, Henry archbishop of Dublin, and the bishops William of London, Peter of Winchester Jocelyn of Bath and Glastonbury, Hugh of Lincoln, Walter of Worcester, William of Coventry, and Benedict of Rochester, of master Pandulph, sub-deacon and familiar of our lord the pope, the master of the knights-templars in England, and of the nobles William Marshall earl of Pembroke, W. earl of Salisbury, William earl Warrenne, William earl of Arundel, Alan de Lewey constable of Scotland, Warin Fitz-Gerard, Peter Fitz-Herbert, Hubert de Bourn seneschal of Poictou, Hugh de Neville, Matthew Fitz-Herbert, Thomas Basset, Alan Basset, Philip Daubeney, Robert de Ropesle, John Marshall, John Fitz-Hugh, and others of our faithful subjects amongst the first".

310 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1215.

our present charter have confirmed, on behalf of us and our heirs for ever, that the church of England be a free church, and keep its laws entire, and its liberties uninfringed, and we wish it to be observed so, inasmuch as it appears that the liberty of elections, which is considered to be of the greatest importance and most necessary to the English church, was granted by us, of our own free will, and confirmed by our charter, before any open disagreement had arisen between us and our barons, and we obtained a confirmation of it from our lord pope Innocent the third, and we will keep it ourselves and wish it to be observed by our heirs in good faith for ever. Also to all our free subjects of the kingdom of England, we, for ourselves and our heirs for ever, have granted all the underwritten liberties, to be had and to be held by them and their heirs from us and our heirs. If any one of our earls, or barons, or any others holding possession from us in chief by knight's service, shall die, and, after his decease, his heir shall be of age, and shall owe relief, he shall take his inheritance by the old relief; that is to say, the heir or heirs of an earl shall pay a hundred pounds for the entire barony of the earl, the heir or heirs of a baron a hundred marks for the whole of his barony, and the heir or heirs of a knight a hundred shillings at most for the whole of his knight's fee, and whoever owes less let him pay less, according to the old custom of fees. But if the heir of any one of these shall be under age, his lord shall not have custody of him or his land, before he has received his homage, and after that such heir shall be in wardship, and attain the age of twenty-one years, he shall take up his inheritance without relief or fine; so that if the heir himself, whilst under age, be made a knight, nevertheless his land shall remain in the custody of his lord till the before-named period. The guardian of the property of an heir under age.

A.D. 1215.] MAGNA CHARTA. 311

shall take from the land of the said heir only reasonable outgoings, reasonable customs, and reasonable service, and these without destruction of, or damage to, person or property. And if we entrust the guardianship of such land to any one, either a sheriff or any other, who ought to answer to us for the outgoings of that land, and he in his guardianship causes destruction or waste to it, we will take compensation from him, and the land shall be entrusted to two liege and prudent men of that fee, who shall in the same way answer to us as above-mentioned. But the guardian, as long as he holds charge of the land, shall, from the produce thereof, support all houses, parks, warrens, lakes, mills, and other appurtenances of that land; and shall, when the heir comes of age, restore the land to him furnished with ploughs and all other things, at least as well as he received it. All these rules shall be observed in the guardianships of archbishoprics, bishoprics, abbacies, priories, churches and vacant dignities, which belong to us, except that the wardships of these ought not to be sold. Heirs may marry without disparagement. A widow, after the death of her husband, may immediately, and without any difficulty, take possession of her marriage portion, and her inheritance, and shall not give anything for her dowry, marriage portion, or the inheritance which she and her husband possessed on the day of that husband's decease; and she may remain in the principal house of her husband for forty days after the death of her said husband, during which time her dowry shall be allotted to her, unless it has been previously allotted to her, or unless that house be a castle: and if she goes away from a castle, a fitting house shall be provided for her, in which she can stay in a becoming manner till her dowry is allotted to her, according to what has been stated above, and she shall have a reasonable allowance for herself out of the common property; and there shall be allotted to her for her dowry a third portion of all her husband's land, which was his in his life-time, unless she received less as a dowry at the door of the church. No widow shall be bound to marry when she wishes to live without a husband; but if she holds property of us she shall give security that she will not marry without our consent. And we and our bailiffs will not seize any land or property for any debt as long as the chattels of the debtor, then in his

312 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1215.

possession, are sufficient to pay the debt and the debtor himself is willing to satisfy our demand out of them. And the debtor's sureties shall not be bound as long as the debtor personally is able to pay the debt, and if the debtor himself fails to pay the debt, not possessing means of payment, or refusing to pay although he is able, his sureties shall be answerable for the debt; and if they wish it they shall have the lands and income of the debtor, until they are satisfied for the debt, which they have pre-paid for him, unless the debtor himself shows that he was quit of it to the said sureties. The city of London [1] shall have all its old liberties and its free customs. Moreover we will and grant that all other cities, towns, and villages, and barons of the cinque ports, and all our ports, shall have all their liberties and customs free. No one shall be bound to do greater service


[1] "Whoever accepts a loan from a Jew, be it more or less, and dies before paying that debt, the debt shall not be charged with interest as long as his heir is under age, of whomsoever he may hold; and if that debt should fall into our hands we will only seize the chattels mentioned in the charter. And if any one dies, owing a debt to Jews, his wife shall receive her dowry, and shall not pay anything for that debt. And if any children of the deceased survive, who are under age, they shall be provided with necessaries according to the tenement which the deceased held, and with what remains the debt shall be paid, saving, however, the service due to their lords. And the same shall be the case when debts are contracted with others besides Jews. We will not levy any scutage or tax in our kingdom without the advice of the kingdom in general, unless it be to ransom our body, to make a knight of our eldest son, and to marry our eldest daughter once, and for this only a reasonable tax shall be levied. And the same shall be observed with regard to the taxes of the city of London; and the city of London shall enjoy all its old liberties and free customs both by land and water. And moreover we will and grant leave for all other cities, boroughs, and towns, and the barons of the cinque ports, to enjoy all their liberties and free customs. And in order to obtain the general opinion of the kingdom as to levying taxes in any cases except those three above-mentioned, and as to levying scutages, we will summon, by our letters under our seal, the archbishops, bishops, abbats, earls, and chief barons of the kingdom. And we will moreover by means of our sheriffs and bailiffs, summon all others in general, who hold of us in chief, to meet at a fixed place, and at a fixed time, namely, at the term of forty days at least. In all our letters of summons we will set forth the cause of that summons; and after having thus summoned them the business shall be proceeded with on the appointed day according to the plans of those who may be present, although all who were summoned may not have come. Henceforth we do not permit any one to levy a tax from his freemen, unless to ransom his body, or to make his eldest son a knight, or to marry his eldest daughter once, and only a reasonable tax shall be levied for this purpose". M. Paris.

A.D. 1215.] MAGNA CHARTA. 313

for a knight's fee, or for any other free tenement than he ought to do for it. The common pleas shall not accompany our court, but shall be held in some fixed place. Recognizances for new disseising, and the death of an ancestor, shall only be taken in their own counties and in this manner. We, or if we are out of the kingdom, our chief justiciary, will send our justiciaries through each county once a year, who will, with the knights of the counties hold the before-mentioned assize in each county; and those things, which at their arrival in the counties could not be determined by the aforesaid messengers at the aforesaid assizes, shall be determined elsewhere by the same messengers on their journey; and those things which could not, on account of some difficulty in the points in question, be determined by the said messengers, shall be referred to our justiciaries of the bench and there determined. The assizes concerning the last presentation to the churches shall always be held before the justiciaries of the bench, and there determined. A freeman shall be fined for a small offence only according to the degree of his fault, and for a great offence according to the greatness of his offence, saving his tenements; and, in the same way, a merchant, saving his merchandize; and a villain of any other person except ourselves shall be amerced in the same manner, saving his wannage, [1] if he throws himself on our mercy. And none of the aforesaid allowances shall be made, unless on the oath of tried and lawful men of the neighbourhood in the county. Earls and barons shall only be fined by their peers, and then only according to the degree of their offence. No ecclesiastic shall be fined according to the degree of his ecclesiastical benefice, but according to his lay possessions, and the degree of his offence. No town or person shall be bound to make bridges over rivers, unless bound in duty to do so by old custom and by right. No river shall be embanked anew, unless those which were embanked at the time of king Henry our grandfather. No sheriff, constable, or coroner, or other bailiffs of ours shall hold pleas of our crown. [2] If any one holding lay fees from


[1] Farming-stock.

[2] Paris ndds:- "All countries, hundreds, wapentakes, and tithings, shall he set at their ancient farmage without any increase, except the manors of our domain".

311 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1215.

us dies, and our sheriff or bailiff shows our letters patent, with a warning from us of the debt which the deceased owed us, it shall be lawful for our sheriff or bailiff to attach and reduce to writing the chattels of the deceased which are found in his lay fee, to the value of that debt, according to the decision of legal men, so that nothing may be moved from thence till our debt is ascertained and paid, and then the residue shall be left to the deceased's executor to execute his will; and if he owes us nothing, all the chattels shall go out to the deceased, except reasonable portions for his wife and his sons. [1] No constable or bailiff of his shall take the corn or chattels of any one who does not belong to the town where the castle is situated, unless he immediately pays him money, or has regard for the same at the will of the seller; but if he belongs to that town, he shall pay the price within forty days. No constable shall compel any knight to pay him for taking care of his castle, if he wishes to do it personally, or by some other approved person, if he cannot do it by reasonable cause; and if we shall send him to the army, he shall be quit of his wardship as long as he is detained by us in the army, as regards the fee for which he served in our army. No bailiff, sheriff, or other agent of ours, shall take horses or carts belonging to any one for carriage of goods, unless he pays the livery determined on of old; that is to say, for a cart with two horses ten pence a day, and for one with three horses fourteen pence a day. No cart belonging to any ecclesiastical person, or knight, or any lady, shall be taken by the aforesaid bailiffs; nor will we, or our bailiffs, or any others take wood belonging to another to make our castles or to do our work, unless by consent of the party to whom the wood belongs. We will retain the lands of those convicted of felony only for one year and one day, and then they shall be given up to the lords of the fees. All the weirs shall be hereafter done away with entirely in the Thames and the Medway, and throughout all Europe except at the sea-coast. The brief called "praecipe", shall hereafter not issue to any one for any tenure whereby a free man may lose his court.


[1] Paris gives in addition:- "If any free man dies intestate, his goods shall be distributed, according to the decision of the church, by his relatives, parents, or friends, saving to each of them the debts which the deceased owed him".

A.D. 1215.] MAGNA CHARTA. 315

There shall be one measure for wine and beer throughout the whole of our kingdom, and one measure for corn, namely, the London quarter; and one width for dyed cloths, russets, and hauberjets, namely, two ells inside the binding; and with weights it shall be as with measures. Nothing shall hereafter be given for a writ of inquisition by any one requiring an inquisition as to life or limb, but it shall be granted free without denial. If any one holds from us by fee farm, or soccage, or burgage, and holds land from another person by knight service, we will not have the wardship of his heir or his land, which is of another's fee, on the pretext of that feefarm, soccage, or burgage. Nor will we hold the wardship of that fee-farm, soccage, or burgage, unless the fee farm itself owes knight service. We ought not to have the wardship of the heir or land which he holds from another by knight's service, on the pretext of any petty sergeantry, which he holds from us by the service of offering a knife, arrow, or any other thing of the kind. No bailiff shall henceforth put any one to the law or to his oath, on his simple assertion, unless credible witnesses be brought to that effect. No free person shall be taken or imprisoned, or shall be dispossessed of any free tenement of his, or his liberties or free customs, nor shall he be outlawed, or be punished in any other way, nor will we come upon him, nor send him to prison, unless by legal decision of his equals, or by the law of the land. We will not sell the right and justice to any one, nor will we refuse it or put it off. All traders, unless openly forbidden, shall have free egress from and ingress to England, both to stay and to go, both by land and water, to buy or sell without any extortion, according to old and just customs; unless in time of war, and they belong to the country at war with us; and if such be found in our territory at the beginning of the war, they shall be seized without damage to their persons or property, until we, or our chief justiciary, learn how the merchants of our country are treated in the country at war with us and, if our merchants are safe with them, theirs shall be safe with us. [1] If any one holds from any escheat, as


[1] Paris adds:- "It shall be henceforth lawful for every one to leave, and return to, our kingdom safely and securely by land and water, saving our faith, unless in time of war, for a short time for the advantage of the kingdom; except in the case of prisoners and outlaws, according to the law of the kingdom, and the people warring against us, and their merchants concerning whom the rules above-mentioned shall be observed".

316 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1215.

from the honour of Wallingford, Boulogne, Lancaster, Nottingham, or from other escheats which are in our hands, and are baronies, and dies, his heir shall not give any other relief, nor do any other service for us than he would do for a baron, if that barony was in the hands of a baron; and we will hold it in the same way as the baron held it; nor will we on the pretext of such barony or escheat, hold any escheat [1] or wardship of any of our subjects unless he who held the barony or escheat, held elsewhere from us in chief. No freeman henceforth shall give or sell so much of his land to any one, that he is disabled from discharging, out of the residue, the service which is due to his lord for that fee. All the patrons of abbacies, who have from the king of England charters of advowson, or who hold through ancient tenure or possession, shall have charge of those abbacies, when they become vacant, as they ought to have, and as has been above declared. No man shall be taken or imprisoned, on the appeal of a woman, for the death of any one except that woman's own husband. No county shall henceforth be held unless from month to month; and where the term has been used to be longer, it shall be longer; and no sheriff or bailiff of it shall make his term in the hundred more than twice a year, and then only at the proper and accustomed times, that is to say, once after Easter and again after Michaelmas. And in like manner, the view of frank pledge shall take place at the said term of Michaelmas without fail, so that each person may have his own liberties, such as he had, and has been accustomed to have, at and since the time of king Henry our grandfather, or which he has gained since; and the view of frank pledge shall be held, so that our peace may be kept, and that the tithing may be unharmed as it used to be; and that the sheriff shall not seek pretexts, and that he shall be content with receiving what the sheriff has been accustomed to receive for making his view in the time of our grandfather king Henry. No one shall


[1] Paris adds:- "People who dwell out of the forest, shall not henceforth appear before our justiciaries of the forest unless they be impleadcd, or are pledges of any person or persons who are attached on account of the forest. And all the woods, which were afforested by our brother king Richard, shall be immediately deforested, except those of our domain".

A.D. 1215.] MAGNA CHARTA. 317

henceforth be allowed to give his land to a religious house, so as to resume possession of it to be held of that same house, nor shall any religious house be allowed so to receive land as to give it back in tenure to him from whom they received possession of it; but if any one henceforth thus gives his land to a religious house and is convicted of so doing, his gift shall be altogether annulled, and the land shall fall into the possession of the lord of that fee. Scutage shall henceforth be taken as it used to be taken in the time of our grandfather king Henry. And all these aforesaid customs and liberties, which we, as far as pertains to us, have granted to be held in our kingdom, towards all our subjects in our kingdom, shall be observed both by our clergy and laity, as much as pertains to them, towards their dependants, saving to the archbishops, bishops, abbats, priors, templars, hospitallers, earls, barons, knights and all others, ecclesiastics as well as seculars, the liberties and free customs which they formerly had. Witness these, etc". The liberties and free customs of the forest, which could not be contained in the same sheet as the above-written liberties because it was not large enough, are contained in this underwritten charter as follows:-

The liberties of the forest.

"John, by the grace of God, king of England, etc. Be it known that we, looking to God, and for the safety of our soul, as well as those of our ancestors and successors, have for the exaltation of the holy church, and for the improvement of our kingdom, of our own free will, on behalf of ourselves and our heirs, granted these under-mentioned liberties to be had and held for ever in our kingdom of England. In the first place all the forests, which king Henry our grandfather made, shall be inspected by approved and legal men; and if any one has made forest of any other wood than that belonging to his own domain to the injury of the owner of the same, it shall be immediately disforested; and, if he has forested his own wood, it shall remain a forest, saving the common of herbage, and other things in the same forest, to those who used to hold it. All men living without the bounds of a forest shall hereafter not come before our justiciaries of the forest by ordinary summons, unless they be impleaded or be securities for some person or persons who are attached on

318 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1215.

account of the forest. All woods, which were forested by our brother king Richard, shall be immediately disforested, unless they are woods of our demesne. Archbishops, bishops, abbats, priors, earls, barons, knights, and free tenants, who have wood in the forest, shall hold possession of their wood as they did at the time of the coronation of our aforesaid grandfather king Henry, so that they shall be for ever free from all annoyances, waste, and clearages made in those woods from that time till the commencement of the second year of our coronation; and whoever henceforth commit waste, nuisance, or make clearance, in those woods without our permission, shall be answerable for such waste, annoyance, or clearance. Our inspectors shall go through the forests to take account, as was the custom at the time of the coronation of our said grandfather king Henry, and no otherwise. Inquisitions or views concerning the footing of dogs in a forest shall be taken henceforth when survey ought to be taken, that is to say, every third year; and then it shall be taken according to the view and testimony of legal men, and no otherwise; and if any person's dog is then found not footed, he shall pay three shillings for alms. Henceforth no oxen shall be taken for footing; but such footing shall commonly be by assize, that three claws shall be taken from his hind foot without the ball. Dogs henceforth shall not be footed, unless at the place where they used to be footed at the time of the coronation of our said grandfather king Henry. No forester or bedel shall henceforth make a tallage, or shall collect sheaves of oats or other kinds of corn, or sheep or pigs, or make any collection, and when the inspection is made, so many foresters shall be appointed to guard the forests as, in the view and on the oath of twelve inspectors, shall seem sufficient in reason for the purpose. No swainmote shall be hereafter held in our kingdom except three times a year, namely, fifteen days before Michaelmas, when our officers go round to levy tax for maintaining the fences of our woods; and at Martinmas, when the same officers collect our pannage; [1] and at those two swainmotes the foresters, verdurers, and collectors, [2] shall assemble, and no one else, by writ of distringas. And the third swainmote


[1] Money paid for hedge-waste which cattle fed on.

[2] Of taxes for repairing the bounds of a piece of ground.

A.D. 1215.] MAGNA CHARTA. 319

shall be held fifteen days before St. John the Baptist's day, for the foddering of our cattle, and at that swainmote the foresters, verdurers, and collectors shall assemble, and no others, by writ of distringas. And moreover every forty days throughout the year the verdurers and foresters shall assemble to inspect the attachments of the forest, as well with regard to the turf as the venison on the presentation of those foresters, and they shall be attached in their presence. But these said swainmotes shall only be held in the counties where they used to be held. Every free man shall collect the tax to repair the bounds of his own wood in the forest at will, and shall receive his own pannage. We also grant permission to every free man to bring his pigs through the wood of our domain, free and without hindrance, and to enclose them in his own woods or elsewhere at his pleasure, and if any freeman's pigs wander in our forest for one night, it shall not be made a pretext for him to be deprived of any of his property. No one shall be deprived of life or limb for hunting in our forest; but if any one shall be taken and convicted of stealing venison, he shall pay a heavy ransom, if he has the means to do so, and if he has not the means he shall be imprisoned for a year and a day. And if, at the expiration of a year and a day, he can find sureties he shall be released from prison; but if not, he shall abjure our kingdom of England. If any archbishop, bishop, earl, or baron, in coming to us by our orders, passes through our forest, he may take one or two beasts in sight of the forester, if the latter be present, and if not, let him sound a horn that he may not appear to be taking them by stealth; he may also act in the same way on his return. Every free man may henceforth, without hindrance, in his own wood or on the land which he holds in the forest, build a mill, make a warren, lake, marl-pit, or ditch, or may lay out arable ground beyond what is enclosed in arable land, so that it may not be to the injury of any neighbour of his. Every free man may in his own woods have aviaries of sparrow-hawks, falcons, eagles, and herons, and in the same way may have the honey found in his own woods. No forester, who is not a forester paying fee-farm to us for his bailiwick, shall henceforth take any road-tax in his bailiwick; but a forester who pays fee-farm to us for his bailiwick shall take road-tax; namely, for every cart two-pence during a

320 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1215.

half-year, and two-pence for the other half-year; and for a baggage horse one farthing for half a year, and a farthing for the other half-year; and only from those who come from out of his bailiwick to trade by his leave in his bailiwick, to buy wood, timber, bark, or coal, and to take them elsewhere to sell, wherever they please; and from no other cart or beast of burden shall any road-tax be taken, and the said road-tax shall only be taken in the places where it used to be taken formerly. But those who carry on their shoulders their wood, bark, or coal for sale, shall not, although they live by this means, pay any road-tax. No road-tax for the woods of other people shall be paid to our foresters, but only from the woods of our domain. All who have been outlawed concerning forest matters, from the time of our grandfather king Henry till our coronation, may return peaceably without hindrance, and shall find good securities that they will not again make forfeiture to us with respect to our forest. No chastellain or other person shall hold pleas of the forest, either with regard to the turf or the venison, but any fee-forester may attach pleas of the forest, as well concerning the turf as the venison, and shall present them to the verdurers of the counties; and, when they are enrolled and under the seals of the verdurers, they shall be presented to the chief forester, when he comes to that part of the country to hold pleas of the forest, and shall be determined in his presence. And it is our will that all the aforesaid customs and liberties which we have granted to be had and observed in the kingdom towards our men, on our part, shall be observed by all the people of the kingdom, clergy as well as laity, on their part towards their men".

Of the twenty-five barons, who were appointed by the king to revise the aforesaid laws.

"Since we, out of love to God, and for the amendment of our kingdom, and the better to set at rest the disagreement which has arisen between us and our barons, have granted all these things, wishing to preserve them entire and on a firm footing, we give and grant the underwritten security to them, namely:- That the barons shall choose twenty-five barons of the kingdom, whomsoever they please, who shall with all their power observe, keep, and cause to be observed,

A.D. 1215.] MAGNA CHARTA. 321

peace and the liberties which we have granted, and by this our present charter have confirmed to them, so that, if we personally or by our justiciary, or bailiff, wrong any one in any way, or break through any one of the articles of this peace or security, and the injury shall be proved to four out of the twenty-five barons, those four barons shall come to us, or, if we are out of the kingdom, to our justiciary, and, explaining what is wrong to us, shall require us to give satisfaction without delay. And if we, or, if we are out of the kingdom, our justiciary, do not give satisfaction within forty days, reckoning from the time when it was pointed out to us, the said four barons shall refer the matter to the rest of the twenty-five; and those barons with the whole community of the country shall annoy and harass us, by all the means in their power, such as taking our castles, lands, and possessions, and any other means, till we give them satisfaction according to their decision, saving always our person, and the persons of our queen, and our children; and when we have given satisfaction, they shall obey us as they did before. And let every one in the kingdom who chooses to do so, swear that, to obtain all the aforesaid terms, he will obey the commands of the aforesaid twenty-five barons, and will harass us in conjunction with them, to the utmost of his power; and we give open and free permission to swear this to any one who chooses to do so, and we will never forbid any one to swear this. But all those in our kingdom who choose to swear to unite with the barons in annoying and harassing us, we will cause to swear to obey our commands as above-mentioned. But in all cases which are entrusted to the management of those twenty-five barons, if by chance they disagree amongst themselves on any point, or any of them when summoned refuse or are unable to be present, whatever the majority of them shall determine and order shall be ratified and confirmed, as though the twenty-five had all agreed to it. And the twenty-five barons shall swear that they will faithfully observe the aforesaid terms, and to the best of their ability cause them to be observed; and we will do nothing personally or by another, by which any of the said grants and liberties shall be revoked or deteriorated; and if any such grant shall have been made, it shall be null and void, and we will never make use of it ourselves or by

322 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1215.

any other person. And all the bad disposition, indignation, and rancour which has arisen between us and our subjects, clergy as well laity, from the commencement of our disagreement, we entirely dismiss and pardon in respect of all. And the better to harass us, the four castellans of Northampton, Kenilworth, Nottingham, and Scarborough, shall swear to the twenty-five barons that they will do with the said castles whatever they or the majority of them may enjoin and command them to do; and there shall always be appointed to those castles, castellans who are faithful and will not break their oath. And we will send away from our kingdom all foreigners, all the relatives of Gerard d'Athie, namely, Engelard, Andrew, Peter, and Guy de Chanceles, Guy de Ciguigny, the wife of the aforesaid Gerard with all their children, Geoffrey de Martenn and his brothers, Philip Mark and his brothers, and G. his nephew, Falco, and all the Flemings and robbers who do injury in our kingdom. Moreover all offences which have been committed on account of this disagreement from the last Easter, which was in the sixteenth year of our reign, till this renewal of peace, are by us freely forgiven to all, clergy and laity, and as far as concerns us are fully pardoned. And moreover we have caused testimonials and letters patent to be granted them from our lords. Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, Henry bishop of Durham, and Pandulph subdeacon and familiar of our lord the pope, and also from the aforesaid bishops, as a security for this and for the aforesaid grants. Wherefore we will and strictly order, that the English church be free, and that all subjects of our kingdom shall have and hold all the aforesaid liberties, laws, and customs, well and peaceably, freely and quietly, fully and entirely, to themselves and their heirs from us and our heirs, in all matters and places for ever, as aforesaid. An oath also has been made in presence of the above-named witnesses, as well on behalf of us as of the barons, that we will observe all the aforesaid articles in good faith, and without fraudulent reservation. Given under our hand in the field called Runnymede, between Staines and Windsor, on the fifteenth day of June, in the seventeenth year of our reign. [1]


[1] M. Paris here inserts:- "In the same year too, John, in order the more to gain the good-will of the prelates and nobles, granted free elections in all the churches of England; and the king himself, as well as the nobles and prelates, procured a confirmation of this charter and grant from the pope, and, for better security, the king's charter was inserted, sealed in the pope's warrant of confirmation. The twenty-five barons chosen were as follow: The earls of Clare, Albemarle, Gloucester, Winchester, and Hereford; earls Robert, Roger, Marshall the younger, Robert Fitz-Walter the elder, Gilbert de Clare, Eustace de Vescy, Hugh Bigod, William Mersbray mayor of London, Gilbert de Laval, Robert de Roos constable of Chester, Richard Percy, John Fitz-Robert, William Malet, Geoffrey de Say, Roger de Mowbray, William of Huntingfield, Richard de Montfichet, and William de Albeney. These twenty-five barons, at the king's request, swore on their souls that they would observe these customs in every point, and would compel the king to observe them by force, if he should by chance wish to withdraw his consent. The following nobles swore on their souls to obey the commands of the twenty-five barons; the earl of Clare, the earl of Arundel, earl Warrenne, Henry Doyly, Hubert de Bourg, Matthew Fitz-Herbert, Robert Pinkney, Roger Huscarl, Robert de Newburg, Henry de Pont Omar, Ralph de la Haye, Henry de Brentfield, Warren Fitz-Gerald, Thomas Basset, William de Rokeland, William St. John, Alan Basset, Richard de Bankes, Hugh de Beneval, Jordan de Sackville, Ra. Musgard, Ri. Aflenvast, Robert de Ropele, Andrew de Beauchamp, Walter of Dunstable, Walter Folioth, Faulkes, John Marshal, Philip de Albeney, William Pare, Ralph de Normanville, William de Parcy, William Agorlun, Engerus de Pratest, William de Cirent, Roger de Zucha, Roger Fitz-Bernard, and Godfrey de Cracombe, who all swore that they would obey the commands of the twenty-five barons".

A.D. 1215.] ENFORCEMENT OF THE CHARTER. 323

How the king of England by letters patent ordered the aforesaid liberties to be observed.

After this king John sent his letters patent throughout all the English territories, strictly ordering all the sheriffs of the whole kingdom to make the inhabitants in their jurisdictions of every rank, swear to observe the above-written laws and liberties, and also, as far as lay in their power, to annoy and harass him, the king, by taking his castles till he fulfilled all the above-mentioned terms, as contained in the charter. After which, many nobles of the kingdom came to the king asking him for their rights of land and possessions, and the custody of the castles, which, as they said, belonged to them by hereditary right; but the king delayed this matter till it was proved on the oath of liege men, what of right was due to each; and, the more fully to effect this, he fixed the 16th of August as a day for them all to come to Westminster. Nevertheless he restored to Stephen archbishop of Canterbury the castle of Rochester and the Tower of London,

324 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1215.

which by old right belonged to his custody: and then breaking up the conference, the barons returned with the above-named charter to London. [1]


[1] M. Paris here adds:- "King John, wishing that these things should lie on a more secure footing, sent to pope Innocent, asking him to grant the favour of confirming this by his bull; and as he had become an obedient vassal of the pope, and an apostolic king, he soon obtained what he wanted in the following form:- 'Innocent, bishop, etc., to all his venerable brothers and all his beloved sons, the prelates of the churches throughout England, health and the apostolic blessing. We worthily laud the magnificence of the Creator, who is terrible and wonderful in his counsels on the sons of men, for that, when he has once taught us our weakness by causing the storm to blow, he has again said to the winds, Peace, be still, and has suffered the sailors to enter the desired port. Whereas a great controversy has long existed between the sovereign and the priesthood of England, not without much danger and loss, concerning the elections of prelates, however by the wonderful working of Him to whom nothing is impossible, and who breathes where he wishes, our well beloved John, the illustrious king of the English, has, of his own free will, and by the common consent of his barons, for the salvation of the souls of himself, his predecessors, and his successors, liberally granted to us and confirmed by his letters, that henceforth in all and singular the churches and monasteries, both cathedral and conventual, of all England, the elections of all prelates whatsoever, whether the superior or inferior, shall be for ever free. We therefore, in ratification thereof, by the apostolic authority and by these present letters, ratify and confirm this grant to you, and, by your means, to the churches and your successors, as we have seen it contained in the said letters of the king; and, for better security and in lasting memory of this grant, we have caused the aforesaid letters of the king on this matter to be united to these presents; the tenor of these letters is as follows:- "John, by the grace of God, king of England, lord of Ireland, duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and count of Anjou, to the archbishops, bishops, earls, barons, knights, bailiffs, and all to whom these letters shall come, greeting. Whereas, under God's favour, a full arrangement has been, by the voluntary consent of both parties, come to between us and our venerable fathers Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England and cardinal of the holy Roman church, William bishop of London, Eustace of Ely, Giles of Hereford, John of Bath and Glastonbury, and Hubert of Lincoln, concerning their losses and property which wns confiscated at the time of the interdict, we wish not only to give satisfaction to them as far as lies in our power with God's assistance, but also wholesomely and advantageously to provide for the whole church of England for ever. Therefore, whatever custom may have been hitherto observed in the English church in the times of ourself and our ancestors, and whatever right we may have hitherto claimed for ourselves, henceforth in each and all of the churches and monasteries of England, conventual and cathedral, the elections of prelates shall be free for ever, of whatever order they may be, superior as well as inferior; saving to us and our heirs the custody of the vacant churches and monasteries, which belongs to us. We also promise that we will not hinder, nor permit, or cause our agents to hinder the electors in each and all of the churches and monasteries when the prelacies are vacant from appointing any pastor they may choose for themselves, but permission to do so must be previously asked of us and our heirs, which we will not refuse or put off. And if it should happen that we should refuse or delay to give permission, the electors shall proceed to make a canonical election. And likewise after the election has been made, our consent to it shall be asked, which we will not refuse, unless we set forth and legitimately prove a reason why we ought not to consent to it. Wherefore it is our will and strict order that no one, in vacant churches or monasteries, shall dare in any way to contravene this our grant and decree; and if any one shall at any time contravene it he will incur the malediction of the omnipotent God and of us. As witness these, Peter bishop of Winchester, W. Marshal earl of Pembroke, William earl Warrenne, H. earl of Chester, S. earl of Winchester, G. de Mandeville earl of Gloucester and Essex, W. earl Ferrers, G. Briwere, W. Fitzgerald, W. de Cantwulf, H. de Neville, Robert de Iver, and W. Huntingfield. Given under the hand of master Robert Marsh our chancellor, at the New Temple at London, this fifteenth day of January, in the sixteenth year of our reign". Let no man therefore presume to infringe or rashly to oppose this our letter of confirmation. But if any one presumes to attempt such a thing, let him be assured that he will incur the anger of the omnipotent God, and his blessed apostles Peter and Paul. Given at the Lateran, this thirtieth day of March, in the eighteenth year of our pontificate'.

"When this was completed and approved of by both parties, they all exulted in the belief that God had compassionately touched the king's heart, had taken away his heart of stone and given him one of flesh, and that a change for the best was made in him by the hand of the Almighty; and all and every one hoped that England, being by the grace of God freed in their time from, as it were, the Egyptian bondage, by which it had been for a long time previously oppressed, would enjoy peace and liberty, not only by the protection of the Roman church, under whose wings they thought they were sheltered, and thus as it were under the divine shield, to serve which is to reign, but also on account of the wished-for humiliation of the king, who they hoped was happily inclined to all gentleness and peace. But far otherwise was it - oh shame! - oh sorrow! - and far differently from what was expected, did events happen. Fortune was believed smilingly to have offered them nectar, when it prepared draughts of gall and poison: for lo, on the instigation of the devil, who by old custom is jealous of the prosperity of mankind, the sons of Belial, like wicked freebooters, who love war rather than peace, whisperingly instilled their words of discord in the ears of the king: for they said gruntingly and with much laughter and derision, 'Behold this is the twenty-fifth king in England;- lo! he is not now a king, nor even a petty king, but a disgrace to kings; he had better be no king at all than be one of this kind. Behold a king without a kingdom, a lord without a domain; a worthless man and a king contemptible to his people. Alas! wretched man, and slave of the lowest degree, to what a wretched state of slavery have you fallen? You have been a king, now you are the scum of the people; you have been the greatest, now are you the least. Nothing is more unfortunate than to have been fortunate'. And thus arousing his anger they fanned the fire into a general conflagration.

The alienation of the king's heart.

"The too credulous king then, at the whisperings of these abominable bandits, whom, according to custom and to his own injury, he had too freely entertained, giving up his own natural subjects, changed his mind and inclined his heart to the very worst devices; for it is easy to turn a wavering man, and one prone to evil it is easy to hurry headlong into wickedness. The king then deeply sighing, conceived the greatest indignation, and began to pine away himself, giving vent to lamentations and complaints. 'Why', said he, 'did my mother bring me forth, unhappy and shameless woman that she was? Why was I nursed on her knees, or suckled at her breast? Would that I had been slain rather than suffered to grow to manhood'. He then commenced gnashing his teeth, scowling with his eyes, and seizing sticks and limbs of trees, began to gnaw them, and after gnawing them to break them, and with increased extraordinary gestures to show the grief or rather the rage he felt. And on that very night he at once secretly prepared letters and sent to Philip Mare constable of the castle of Nottingham, a native of Poictou, and to all his foreign-born subjects, in whom his soul most confided, ordering them to supply their castles with provisions, surround them with trenches, garrison them, and to prepare cross-bows and engines, and to make arrows; telling them, however, to do this cautiously and without open blustering, lest the barons should happen to find it out and prevent the anger of the king from proceeding further. But as there is nothing done in secret which is not discovered, these dangerous preparations and designs were soon made known to the nobles by passers-by; on which some of the more prudent of them went to the king to find out if what had been told them was true and if so, to endeavour by wholesome representations and advice to dispel his anger, and to recall him from his unjust purpose before it was commenced. The king however, in the presence of his nobles, concealed his inward bitterness under a calm countenance, and boldly swore by the feet of God that he designed nothing underhanded; and thus by false assertions he deceitfully lulled the report which had arisen. Nevertheless, as it is difficult for a furious man to restrain himself, these nobles discovered by many indications, before the interview was broken off, that the affection of the king was estranged from them, and that his look was dejected, and they pondered the event in their minds, using these words: 'Woe to us, yea to all England, since it has not a true king, but is oppressed by a tyrant who endeavours to make his people miserable. He has already placed us in subjection to Rome and the Roman court, that we might obtain protection from it; it is to be feared that we shall find the assistance from that place injurious to our posterity. We never heard of any king who was unwilling to withdraw his neck from slavery; but this one willingly succumbs to it'. And with these sorrowful reflections they left the king and departed".

A.D. 1215.] JOHN RETIRES TO THE ISLE OF WIGHT. 325

How king John retired clandestinely to the Isle of Wight and laid plans against the barons.

After the barons, as has been stated, had gone from the conference, the king was left with scarcely seven knights out of his proper body of attendants. Whilst lying sleepless that night in Windsor castle, his thoughts alarmed him much, and before daylight he fled by stealth to the Isle of Wight, and there in great agony of mind devised plans to be revenged on the barons. At length, after divers meditations, he determined, with the assistance of the apostle Peter, to seek

326 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1215.

revenge on his enemies with two swords, the spiritual and temporal, so that if he could not succeed with the one, he might for certain accomplish his purpose with the other. To strike at them with the spiritual sword, he sent Pandulph the pope's subdeacon with other messengers, to the court of Rome, to counteract, by the apostolic authority, the intentions of the barons. He also sent Walter bishop of Winchester and chancellor of England, John bishop of Norwich, Richard de Marisco, William Gernon, and Hugh de Boves, with his own seal, to all the transmarine territories to procure

A.D. 1215.] WANDERINGS OF KING JOHN. 327

supplies of troops in those parts, promising them lands, ample possessions, and no small sum of money; and the more to secure the fidelity of the people there, he ordered them if necessary to give warrants of security for their pay to all the soldiers who would join them; and he arranged that, at Michaelmas, they should come to him at Dover with all whom they could allure to them. He moreover sent letters to all the governors of his castles throughout England, ordering them each and all to furnish their castles with all kinds of provisions and arms, and to strengthen their garrisons with soldiers so as to be able to defend them at a day's notice. He himself in the meantime, with a few followers whom he had begged from the retinue of the bishop of Norwich, took on himself the business of a pirate, and employed himself in gaining the good-will of the sailors of the cinque-ports; and thus, hiding as it were in the open air in the island and near the sea-coasts, without any regal show, he for three months led a solitary life on the water and in the company of sailors, for he preferred to die rather than to live long unrevenged for the insults of the barons. All this time different reports were circulated by different people concerning him; and by some he was said to have turned fisherman, by others a trader and a pirate, and by

328 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1215.

some he was said to have become an apostate; and after he had been, on account of his protracted absence, sought for by several without success, they believed that he was drowned, or had perished in some other way. The king however bore all these reports with equanimity, awaiting the expected arrival of his messengers, some of whom he had sent to the court of Rome, and others to raise troops to assist him.

How the barons of England prepared for tournaments.

The barons meanwhile, who were staying in the city of London as if the whole matter was at an end, agreed amongst themselves to assemble at Stamford, there to enjoy the sports of the tournament; they therefore sent letters to the noble William d'Albiney to the following effect:- "Robert Fitz-Walter, marshal of the army of God and the holy church, and the other nobles of the same army to the noble William d'Albiney, greeting. You well know of how great importance it is to you and to us all, to keep possession of the city of London, which is a place of refuge for us, and what a disgrace it would be if, through any fault of ours, we were to lose it. Be it known to you as a fact, that we have been forewarned that there are some, who are only waiting for our departure from the aforesaid city, to take possession of it on a sudden; therefore, by the general advice of all, we have put off the tournament, which was commenced at Stamford on the Monday next after the feast of the apostles Peter and Paul, to the Monday next after the octaves aforesaid. But there will be a tournament near London, in Staines Wood, and at the town of Hounslow; and this we have done for our safety and for the safety of the aforesaid city. And we therefore enjoin, and earnestly beseech you to come to the tournament aforesaid well provided with horses and arms, that you may there obtain honour. Whoever performs well there will receive a bear, which a lady will send to the tournament. Farewell".

In the same year pope Innocent convoked a general council of the prelates of the church universal, namely, patriarchs, archbishops, bishops, primates, archdeacons, deacons of cathedral churches, abbats, priors, templars, and hospitallers, who were all ordered, as they wished to avoid the

A.D. 1215.] THE POPE ANNULS THE CHARTER. 329

punishment of the church, to appear in the presence of our lord the pope at the city of Rome on the 1st of November.

Of the statements made by the messengers of the king of England to the pope.

At the same time the king of England's messengers appeared before our lord the pope at Rome, setting forth the rebellion and injuries which the barons of England had perpetrated against the said king, in extorting from him certain unjust laws and liberties, which it did not become his royal dignity to confirm; and when, after much discord between them, the said king and barons had met several times to treat about peace, the king openly declared before them all that the kingdom of England by right of dominion belonged to the church of Rome, and therefore he could not and ought not, without the knowledge of our lord the pope, make any new arrangements, or alter any thing in the kingdom to the detriment of that pontiff. On which, although he had made an appeal, and had placed himself and all the rights of his kingdom under the protection of the apostolic see, the said barons, paying no regard to his appeal, had taken possession of the city of London, the capital of his kingdom, which had been treacherously given up to them, and even now retained possession of it; and after this they flew to arms, mounted their horses, and demanded from the king that the aforesaid laws and liberties should be confirmed to them, and the king, through fear of an attack from them, did not dare to refuse what they required. The said messengers then gave the pope a written paper containing some of the articles of the said charter which seemed most to help the cause of the king. The pope, after reading them carefully, exclaimed in astonishment, "Are the barons of England endeavouring to drive from the throne of his kingdom a king who has taken the cross, and who is under the. protection of the apostolic see, and to transfer to another the dominion of the Roman church? By St. Peter we cannot pass over this insult without punishing it"! Then, after taking counsel with his cardinals, he, by a definitive sentence condemned and for ever annulled the said charter of grants of the liberties of the kingdom of England; and in

330 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1215.

testimony of this, he transmitted to the English king the following immunity:-

How, by the immunity from the apostolic see, the liberties granted to the English barons were annulled.

"Innocent, bishop, servant of the servants of God to all the faithful ones of Christ, who shall see this paper, health and the apostolic blessing. Although our well-beloved son in Christ, John the illustrious king of the English, has greatly offended God and the holy church, for which we fettered him with the bonds of excommunication, and placed bis kingdom under an interdict, nevertheless the said king, by the merciful inspiration of Him who desires not the death of a sinner but that he should be converted and live, at length, after reflection, atoned in all humility to God and the church, inasmuch as he not only gave recompence for losses, and made restitution of confiscated property, but also granted full liberty to the English church; moreover on the withdrawal of both decrees, he yielded his kingdom of England as well as that of Ireland to St. Peter and the church, of Rome, receiving them from us in fee on condition of the annual payment to us of a thousand marks, and making an oath of fealty to us, as appears by his privilege sealed with the golden bull. And desiring still more to give satisfaction to the Almighty, he assumed the sign of the living cross, in order to go to the assistance of the Holy Land, for which he was preparing himself with much expense. But the enemy of the human race, whose custom it is to be envious of good actions, by his crafty arts excited the barons of England against him, so that, the order of things being perverted, he was, after being converted and making atonement to the church, attacked by those who stood by him in his offence against the church. When at length a cause of difference arose between them, and after several days had been appointed to treat about peace, special messengers were sent to us; and after a careful discussion of the matter with them, we, after full deliberation, wrote by the same messengers to Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, and the bishops of England, ordering them to give diligent attention and efficacious assistance to restore true peace and concord between the parties, to proclaim all confederacies and

A.D. 1215.] THE POPE'S LETTER. 331

conspiracies, if any had been formed since the commencement of the dispute between the king and priesthood, annulled by the apostolic authority, and to forbid, under penalty of excommunication, any one to show such presumption for the future; at the same time prudently and effectually to warn and enjoin the nobles and men of rank in England, to endeavour by evident indications of devotion and humility to make their peace with the king, and then, if they intended to demand anything of him, to ask it of him not insolently, but with humility, observing towards him the respect due to a king, and rendering to him the usual service which they and their ancestors had rendered to him and his ancestors; since the king ought not to be despoiled by them without judgment, and that they might thus more easily obtain what they were trying for. We also requested and advised the said king by our letters, and enjoined on the aforesaid archbishop and bishops to request and warn him, as a remission of his sins, to treat the aforesaid nobles with kindness, and to give favourable attention to their just petitions, so that they might both learn to their joy that he was altered for the better, and that by this means they and their heirs would more readily and more devotedly serve him and his heirs; also to grant them full security to come, to stay, or to depart, that, if perchance peace could not be arranged between them, the differences which had arisen might be set at rest in his court by their deputies according to the laws and customs of the kingdom. But before the said messengers returned with this prudent and just advice, these barons, utterly disregarding their oath of fealty, (for even if the king had unjustly oppressed them, they ought not so to have acted against him, as to be at once judge and executioners in their own cause, vassals openly conspiring against their lord, knights against their king) dared, in conjunction with others his declared enemies, to make war against him, taking possession of, and ravaging, his territories, and moreover took possession of the city of London, the capital of the kingdom, which had been given up to them through treachery. But in the meantime when the above messengers returned, the king offered, in accordance with our mandate, to show them due justice, but they rejected it and turned their hands to worse offences; on which the king himself, appealing to our attention, offered to

332 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1215.

do them justice in presence of us, to whom the decision of this matter belonged by right of dominion, and this they altogether rejected. Then he proposed to them that four skilful men should be chosen as well by him as them, who might, in conjunction with us, put an end to the disagreement which had arisen between them, promising that, above all things, he would remove all the abuses which might have been introduced into England in his time; but they did not condescend to try this. At length the king explained to them that, since the dominion of the kingdom belonged to the church of Rome, he could not and ought not, without our special mandate, to make any alteration in it to our prejudice; and he then again appealed to our hearing, placing himself and his kingdom with all its dignities and rights under the protection of the apostolic see. But as he did not gain anything by any of these means, he asked the archbishop and bishops to fulfil our mandate, to defend the right of the church of Rome, and to protect him according to the terms of the privilege granted to those who assume the cross. Besides this, when they would not agree to any of these terms, he, seeing himself destitute of all aid and counsel, dared not refuse whatever they presumed to demand; therefore he was compelled by force and through fear, which even the bravest of men is liable to, to enter into an agreement with them, which was not only vile and base, but also unlawful and unjust, much to the disparagement and diminution alike of his rights and his honour. But as has been told us by the Lord through his prophet, 'I have appointed thee over people and kingdoms, to pluck up and destroy, to build and to plant', and also by another prophet, 'Cast loose the bonds of wickedness, shake off the oppressing burdens', we do not choose to pass over such wicked audacity, tending to the contempt of the apostolic see, the detriment of kingly right, the disgrace of the English nation, and danger to the cause of the cross, which would assuredly happen to it, unless by our authority every thing was revoked which had been thus extorted from such a prince who had also assumed the cross, even though he were willing to keep them. We therefore, on behalf of God the omnipotent Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, by the authority of his apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own, by the general advice of our brethren,

A.D. 1215.] BARONS REBUKED BY THE POPE. 333

reprobate and entirely condemn an agreement of this kind, and forbid the said king, under penalty of excommunication, to keep, and the barons and their accomplices to compel him to keep either the charter, or the bonds or securities, which have been given for its observance, and we altogether annul and quash the same so that they may never have any validity. Let none therefore, etc. Whoever, etc. Given at Agnano on the 24th of August in the eighteenth year of our pontificate".

The pope's rebuke to the barons of England for their persecution of the king.

Having thus annulled the aforesaid liberties, the pope wrote to the barons of England in the following terms: "Innocent, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to the nobles of England, the spirit of a wiser counsel. Would that in the persecution which you have rashly practised against your lord the king, you had more carefully attended to your oath of fealty, the right of the apostolic see, and the privilege granted to those who have assumed the cross; because, without doubt, you have not proceeded so to act, but that all who see it detest the offence, especially since in your cause you have made yourselves both judges and executioners, although the said king was prepared to grant you ample justice in his own court, and by the decision of your peers, according to the laws and customs of the kingdom, or in the presence of us to whom the decision of this cause belonged by right of dominion, or even in the presence of arbiters, to be chosen on both sides, who would proceed in the matter conjointly with us. Therefore, since you would not try any one of these plans, he appealed to our hearing, placing himself and the kingdom, with all its dignities and rights, under the protection of the apostolic see; and he openly declared that, since the sovereignty of the said kingdom belonged to the church of Rome, he could not and ought not to make any alterations in it to our injury. Seeing then that the agreement of whatever sort it is, which you have by violence and threats induced him to make, is not only vile and base, but also unlawful and unjust, so that it ought to be justly reprobated by all, chiefly on account of the means used to obtain it, we, who are bound to provide for the spiritual as well as

334 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1215.

the temporal good of the king as well as the kingdom, by these our apostolic letters order, and in all good faith advise you, to make a virtue of necessity, and renounce of your own accord an agreement of this kind, and make reparation to the king and his followers for the harm and injuries you have inflicted upon him, that he, being appeased by your manifest indications of devotion and humility, may of his own accord make any concessions he ought by rights to grant; and to this we ourselves will also persuade him, since, as we do not wish him to be deprived of his rights, so we wish him to cease from harassing you, that the kingdom of England may not under our dominion be oppressed by evil customs and unjust exactions; and whatever is decreed in such a way shall be confirmed and ratified for ever. May He, therefore, who wishes no man to perish, incline you to acquiesce with humility in our wholesome advice and commands, lest, if you act otherwise, you be reduced to such straits from which you will not be able to escape without much trouble; since, not to speak of other matters, we cannot conceal the great danger of the whole business of the cross, which would be in imminent danger, unless, by our apostolic authority, we altogether revoke all the promises which have been extorted from such a king, and one who has assumed the cross, even although he wished them to be kept. Wherefore, when the archbishop and bishops of England appear before us at the general council which we intend to hold to expedite the more urgent matters of the church, do you also send fit proctors to appear before us, and entrust yourselves without fear to our benevolence; because we, under God's favour, will so ordain matters that, by altogether doing away with the abuses in the kingdom of England, the king may be contented with his just rights and dignities, and the clergy as well as the people in general may enjoy the peace and liberty due to them. Given at Agnano, the 24th of August, in the eighteenth year of our pontificate". The English nobles, however, even after they had, by the king's management, received these letters, alike admonitory and threatening, would not desist from their purpose, but harassed him the more severely.

William d'Albiney takes command of Rochester castle.

In the meantime the noble William d'Albiney, after

A.D. 1215.] JOHN BESIEGES ROCHESTER CASTLE. 335

frequently receiving letters from the barons at London, and being blamed in no slight degree for delaying to come to them, at length at Michaelmas, furnished his castle of Belvoir with a sufficiency and even a superabundance of all kinds of provisions and arms, and entrusted it to the care of men who were faithful to him; he then went to London and was received there with great joy by the barons, who immediately communicated to him a plan they had determined on, namely, to block up the road against the king, so that no way of approach might be open to him in any direction to lay siege to the city of London; they therefore picked out a strong body of troops, and appointing William d'Albiney to the command of them, as a man bold and tried in war, they sent them to occupy the town of Rochester. That castle had a short time before been confidentially entrusted by the king to the archbishop, who nevertheless, by what feelings instigated I know not, though the Lord does, delivered it up to the enemies of the king. The latter, on entering it, found the place destitute not only of arms and provisions, but also of every kind of property, except what they themselves had brought with them, on which they in their disappointment thought of abandoning it; but William d'Albiney, exhorting and continually animating the minds of his companions to deeds of valour, said that it was not lawful for knights to desert, lest, what would be a great disgrace to them, they should by and by be called knights-deserters. And thus all of them being powerfully encouraged by his words to bravery, they brought into the castle only what provisions they could find in the town of Rochester; and as these knights were a hundred and forty in number with all their retinues, there was no time left them to collect booty in the country around, or to provide themselves with any supplies of any kind.

How king John besieged the castle of Rochester.

After William d'Albiney and his companions had, as has been mentioned, taken possession of the aforesaid castle, king John, after three months' stay in the isle of Wight, issued forth from that island and sailed to Dover; at the latter place his messengers, whom he had sent to the transmarine provinces, came to him bringing with them such an immense multitude of knights and soldiers, that all who beheld them

336 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1215.

were struck with fear and dismay. From the provinces of Poictou and Gascony, the noble, and warlike Savaric de Maulion, and the two brothers Geoffrey and Oliver de Buteville came, attended by a large body of knights and soldiers, and promised faithful obedience to the king; from the provinces of Louvain and Brabant came the brave knight Walter Buck, Gerard, and Godeschal de Soceinne, with three battalions of soldiers and cross-bow men, who thirsted for nothing more than human blood; besides these there came to the king from the country of Flanders and other transmarine provinces, all those who coveted the property of others, and thus gave great hope of defence to the king who had before given up all hope. John, as soon as he heard that William d'Albiney and his followers had entered the city of Rochester, marched thither with all the before-mentioned multitude with all speed, and on the third day after they had entered the castle, he blocked up all their ways of egress and besieged them. As soon as he had arrayed his petrarias and other engines, he severely annoyed the besieged by incessant showers of stones and other weapons; the besieged, however, bore their assaults without flinching and bravely defended themselves.

The death of Hugh de Boves.

In the meantime Hugh de Boves, a brave knight but a proud and unjust man, came with a large army to the port of Calais in Flanders to assist the king of England, and at that place he embarked with all his forces and sailed for Dover: but a sudden storm arising before he reached his destined port, they were all shipwrecked, and swallowed up by the waves. The body of the said Hugh was cast ashore not far from the town of Yarmouth, with those of several other knights and followers, and at each of the ports on that part of the sea coast there was found such a multitude of bodies of men and women that the very air was tainted by their stench; a great number of bodies of children were also found, who being drowned in their cradles were thus washed ashore, and afforded a dreadful spectacle to the multitude. They were all however given up to be devoured by the beasts of the sea and the birds of the air, so that not one out of forty thousand men escaped alive. All these people had come to England with their wives and children, with the intention

A.D. 1215.] TAKING OF ROCHESTER CASTLE. 337

of expelling and totally exterminating all the natives, and of possessing the land themselves by perpetual right; for the king had by his charter, as was said, given to their leader, the said Hugh de Boves, the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, but the grace of God altered their purpose for the better. But when the news of the loss of all these people was brought to the king's knowledge, he was dreadfully enraged and took no food that day, but remained until the evening as if he were possessed by madness. [1]

The capture of the castle of Rochester, and imprisonment of those taken there.

About this time the barons of England, when they learned that William d'Albiney and his companions were besieged in the castle of Rochester, became greatly alarmed, because before William d'Albiney would enter the castle, they had sworn on the holy gospels that if he should happen to be besieged they would all march to raise the siege. In order therefore that they might seem to be doing something in accordance with their oath and plighted faith, they immediately flew to arms, and took their march towards the town of Deptford, thinking to force the king to raise the siege in one assault; but although only a mild south wind was blowing in their faces, which does not generally annoy any one, they retreated as though they had met a number of armed men, and left the expedition unaccomplished; and although we ought not too easily yield to every breath, they turned their backs on the besieged William and his followers, and returned to their old haunt. When they returned to the city of London, they well fortified it, and amusing themselves with the dangerous game of dice, drinking the best of wines which they chose at their own option, and practising all other vices, they left


[1] Being scarcely able to contain himself, be pined away in bitter frettings. In the night on which Hugh de Boves was lost, there arose an unusual storm of wind, rain, thunder, and lightning, such as had never been seen before. It happened that a certain monk of St. Alban's named Robert de Weston, who was staying at Bingham, was going to Norwich to fulfil the duties of his calling, and at midnight, when he was about halfway on his journey that storm rose, and in the storm he saw a countless army of men riding on very large black steeds, with torches of sulphur, and they remained near the monk, observing a sort of order in their movements.

338 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1215.

their besieged companions at Rochester exposed to the danger of death, and enduring all kinds of misery. When the king learned how pompously the barons had approached to raise the siege, and how basely and ignominiously they had returned, he became bolder, and sent out foragers in all directions to collect provisions for the support of his army, and yet did not allow the besieged in the meantime any rest day or night; for amidst the stones hurled from the petrarias and slings, and the missiles of the cross-bow men and archers, frequent assaults were made by the knights and their followers, so that when some were in a measure fatigued, other fresh ones succeeded them in the assault; and with these changes the besieged had no rest. The besieged too, despairing of any assistance from the barons, endeavoured to delay their own destruction, for they were in great dread of the cruelty of the king; therefore, that they might not die unavenged, they made no small slaughter amongst the assailants. The siege was prolonged many days owing to the great bravery and boldness of the besieged, who hurled stone for stone, weapon for weapon, from the walls and ramparts on the enemy: at last, after great numbers of the royal troops had been slain, the king, seeing that all his warlike engines took but little effect, at length employed miners, who soon threw down a great part of the walls. The provisions of the besieged too failed them, and they were obliged to eat horses and even their costly chargers. The soldiers of the king now rushed to the breaches in the walls, and by constant fierce assaults they forced the besieged to abandon the castle, although not without great loss on their own side. The besieged then entered the tower amidst the attacks of the king's soldiers, who had entered the castle through the breaches; but William d'Albiney with his soldiers, after slaying many of them, compelled them to quit it. The king then applied his miners to the tower, and having after much difficulty broken through the walls, an opening was made for the assailants; but while his army was thus employed, they were often compelled to retreat from the destruction caused in their ranks by the besieged. At length, not a morsel of provisions remaining amongst them, William d'Albiney and the other nobles who were with him, thinking it would be a disgrace to them to die of hunger when they

A.D. 1215.] PUNISHMENT OF THE REBELS. 339

could not be conquered in battle, after holding counsel together on St. Andrew's day, all the garrison almost unhurt left the castle, except one knight who was killed by an arrow, and presented themselves to the king. This siege had lasted almost three months, and the king, on account of the number of his troops slain, as well as the money he had spent on the siege, was greatly enraged, and in his anger ordered all the nobles to be hung on the gibbet; but the noble Savaric de Mauleon standing up before the king, said to him, "My lord king, our war is not yet over, therefore you ought carefully to consider how the fortunes of war may turn; for if you now order us to hang these men, the barons, our enemies, will perhaps by a like event take me or other nobles of your army, and, following your example, hang us; therefore do not let this happen, for in such a case no one will fight in your cause". The king then, although unwillingly, listened to his advice and that of other prudent men, and William d'Albiney, William of Lancaster, W. d'Einford, Thomas de Muletan, Osbert Gyffard, Osbert de Bobi, Odinell d'Albiney, and other nobles were by his orders sent to Corfe castle to be there placed under close custody; Robert de Chaurn, and Richard Giffard, with Thomas of Lincoln, he ordered to be imprisoned in the castle of Nottingham, and others of them in divers other places. All the soldiers, except the cross-bow men, he gave up to his own soldiers to be ransomed; and some of the cross-bow men who had slain many of his knights and soldiers during the siege he ordered to be hung. By these misfortunes the cause of the barons was much weakened. [1]


[1] Paris here adds:- "One day during the siege of Rochester castle, the king and Savaric were riding round it to examine the weaker parts of it, when a cross-bow man in the service of William de Albeney saw them, and said to his master. 'Is it your will, my lord, that I should slay the king, our bloody enemy, with this arrow which I have ready?' To this William replied, 'No, no; far be it from us, villain, to cause the death of the Lord's anointed'. The cross-bow man said, 'He would not spare you in a like case'. To which the knight replied, 'The Lord's will be done. The Lord disposes events; not he'. In this case he was like David, who spared Saul when he could have slain him. This circumstance was afterwards known to the king, who notwithstanding this, did not wish to spare William when his prisoner, but would have hung him had he been permitted".

340 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1215.

The excommunication of the barons of England in general.

At this time pope Innocent, seeing the rebelliousness of the barons of England in not desisting from their persecution of the king, excommunicated them, and entrusted the fulfilment of this sentence to the bishop of Winchester, the abbat of Reading, and to Pandulph subdeacon of the church of Rome, in the following letter:- "Innocent, bishop, etc., to P. bishop of Winchester, the abbat of Reading, and Master Pandulph subdeacon of the church of Rome, health and the apostolic benediction.- We are very much astonished and annoyed that, although our well-beloved son in Christ, John the illustrious king of England, gave satisfaction beyond what we expected to God and the church, and especially to our brother the archbishop of Canterbury and his bishops, some of these showing no due respect, if any, to the business of the holy cross, the mandate of the apostolic see, and their oath of fealty, have not rendered assistance or shown goodwill to the said king against the disturbers of the kingdom, which, by right of dominion belongs to the church of Rome, as if they were cognizant of, not to say associates in, this wicked conspiracy; for he is not free from the taint of participation who fails to oppose transgressors. How do these aforesaid prelates defend the inheritance of the church of Rome? how do they protect those bearing the cross? yea, how do they oppose themselves to those who endeavour to ruin the service of Christ? These men are undoubtedly worse than Saracens, since they endeavour to expel from his kingdom him who it was rather to be hoped would afford assistance to the Holy Land. Therefore that the insolence of such men may not prevail, not only to the danger of the kingdom of England but also to the ruin of other kingdoms, and, above all, to the subversion of all the matters of Christ, we, on behalf of the omnipotent God the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and by the authority of the apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, lay the fetters of excommunication on all these disturbers of the king and kingdom of England, as well as on all accomplices and abettors of theirs, and place their possessions under the ecclesiastical interdict; and we most strictly order the archbishop aforesaid and his fellow bishops, by virtue of their obedience, solemnly to proclaim this our sentence throughout

A.D. 1215.] EXCOMMUNICATION OF THE BARONS. 341

all England on every Sunday and feast-day amidst the ringing of bells and with candles burning, until the said barons shall give satisfaction to the king for his losses and for the injuries they have inflicted on him, and shall faithfully return to their duty. We also on our own behalf enjoin all the vassals of the said king, in remission of their sins, to give advice and render assistance to the said king in opposing such transgressors. And if any bishop neglects to fulfil this our injunction, be it known to him that he will be suspended from his episcopal duties, and the obedience of those under him will be withdrawn, because it is right that those who neglect their obedience to their superior should not be obeyed themselves by their inferiors. Therefore that the fulfilment of our mandate may not be impeded through the irresolution of any one, we have entrusted the business of excommunicating the aforesaid barons to you, together with the other matters connected with this business; and by these our apostolic letters immediately, postponing all appeal, to proceed as ye may think expedient. But if all do not", etc.

The election of Master Simon Langton to the see of York.

About that time the canons of the church of York having been for some time without a pastor, obtained the king's permission and assembled together to make election of one; and although they had been much entreated by the king to receive Walter de Gray bishop of Worcester, as their pastor, they on account of his ignorance refused him, but proceeding with their election, chose master Simon Langton, brother of the archbishop of Canterbury, hoping by his learning to obtain the favour of the supreme pontiff. But when this election was made known to the king, he sent messengers to the court of Rome, and they, in the presence of our lord the pope, set forth objections to the election as follow: they asserted that the archbishop of Canterbury was the open enemy of the king of England, since he had given an incentive to the English barons to act against the said king, and had given his consent to their so doing, and therefore, if the said Simon, who was the said archbishop's brother, were promoted to the archbishopric of York, the peace of the king and kingdom could not be of long duration. By setting forth

342 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1215.

these and other similar disadvantages, they induced the pope to agree with them, whereupon he wrote to the chapter of York as follows:-

"Innocent, bishop, etc. When master Simon Langton lately appeared before us with some other canons of York, we verbally forbade him to endeavour to obtain the archbishopric of York, because for certain reasons we could not permit it, and he, as far as words went, with all reverence, promised obedience to this command: therefore we are astonished and annoyed, if his ambition has so blinded him that, although he knew he could not, after our prohibition and his express promise, be lawfully elected, he should give his consent to such an election, which, even if no one else opposed it, we should consider null and void. But that this may not be the occasion of a new error in England, worse than the former, and that the church of York may not any longer be without a pastor, we, by the general advice of our brethren, by these our apostolic letters, order and strictly enjoin you by virtue of your obedience, notwithstanding this election, as we do not choose and ought not to endure insolence and machinations of this sort, without any pretext or irresolution, to send some of your brotherhood with full powers in common to our approaching council, and that they appear before us by the 1st of November, there with our advice to elect or demand a fitting person as a pastor for you, or else from that time we will ourselves provide a suitable prelate for you, and will seriously punish all gainsayers or opposers, if any there be, by canonical censure. And if the aforesaid Simon has given his consent to this election, we, as a punishment for his presumption, decree, that he be henceforth ineligible, without the dispensation of the apostolic see, for the election to the pontifical dignity. Given on the thirteenth of September, in the eighteenth year of our pontificate".

Stephen archbishop of Canterbury suspended.

Soon after this, Peter bishop of Winchester, and Master Pandulph, the familiar of our lord the pope, went in person to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and on behalf of the said pope, ordered him to charge his suffragan bishops of the Canterbury church to publish the sentence of the apostolic see which was issued at Rome against the barons of England

A.D. 1215.] GENERAL COUNCIL AT ROME. 343

in general, and also himself, as far as his duty bound him, to make it public throughout the whole of his diocese on each Sunday and feast-day. The archbishop had already embarked on board ship to go to Rome to attend the council, and therefore asked a respite till he could have an interview with the pope; firmly declaring, as to publishing the sentence, that a tacit sentence had indeed gone forth against the barons, but that he would not in any way make it public until he learned the pleasure of the supreme pontiff on the aforesaid matters by word of mouth. The aforesaid agents in this matter, when they found that the archbishop disobeyed the commands of the pope, by virtue of the authority with which they were invested, suspended him from entering the church and performing divine service; and he observing this in all humility went to Rome a suspended prelate. Then the bishop of Winchester, with his brother agent Pandulph, declared all the barons of England who had endeavoured to drive the king from his kingdom to be excommunicated, and published the sentence pronounced against them every Sunday and feast-day; but as none of them had been mentioned by name in the pope's warrant, they paid no attention to the said sentence, but considered it as invalid and of no effect.

Of the general council held by pope Innocent at Rome.

In the same year, namely, A.D. 1215, a sacred and general synod was held in the month of November, in the church of the Holy Saviour at Rome, called Constantian, at which our lord pope Innocent, in the eighteenth year of his pontificate, presided, and which was attended by four hundred and twelve bishops. Amongst the principal of these were the two patriarchs of Constantinople and Jerusalem. The patriarch of Antioch could not come, being detained by serious illness, but he sent his vicar, the bishop of Antaradus; the patriarch of Alexandria being under the dominion of the Saracens, did the best he could, sending a deacon his cousin in his place. There were seventy-seven primates and metropolitans present, more than eight hundred abbats and priors; and of the proxies of archbishops, bishops, abbats, priors, and chapters, who were absent, the number is not known. There was also present a great multitude of ambassadors from the

344 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1215.

emperor of Constantinople, the king of Sicily, who was elected emperor of Rome, the kings of France, England, Hungary, Jerusalem, Cyprus, Arragon, and other princes and nobles, and from cities and other places. When all of these were assembled in the place above-mentioned, and, according to the custom of general councils, each was placed according to his rank, the pope himself first delivered an exhortation, and then the sixty articles were recited in full council, which seemed agreeable to some and tedious to others. At length he commenced to preach concerning the business of the cross, and the subjection of the Holy Land, adding as follows: "Moreover, that nothing be omitted in the matter of the cross of Christ, it is our will and command, that patriarchs, archbishops, bishops, abbats, priors, and others, who have the charge of spiritual matters, carefully set forth the work of the cross to the people entrusted to their care; and in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, the one alone and eternal God, supplicate kings, dukes, princes, marquises, earls, barons, and other nobles, and also the communities of cities, towns, and villages, if they cannot go in person to the assistance of the Holy Land, to furnish a suitable number of soldiers, with all supplies necessary for three years, according to their means, in remission of their sins, as in the general letters is expressed; and it is also our will that those who build ships for this purpose be partakers in this remission. But to those who refuse, if any be so ungrateful, let it be on our behalf declared, that they will for a certainty account to us for this at the awful judgment of a rigorous Judge; considering, before they do refuse, with what chance of salvation they will be able to appear before the only God and the only-begotten Son of God, to whose hands the Father has entrusted all things, if they refuse to serve that crucified one, in this their proper service, by whose gift they hold life, by whose kindness they are supported, and by whose; blood they have been redeemed. And we, wishing to set an example to others, give and grant thirty thousand pounds for this business, besides a fleet, which we will supply to those who assume the cross from this city and the neighbouring districts; and we moreover assign for the accomplishment of this, three thousand marks of silver, which remain to us out of the alms of some of the true faith. And as we desire to have

A.D. 1215.] APPOINTMENT OF THE CRUSADE. 345

the other prelates of the churches, and also the clergy in general, as partakers both in the merit and the reward, it is our decree, that all of them, both people and pastors, shall contribute, for the assistance of the Holy Land the twentieth portion of their ecclesiastical profits for three years, except those who have assumed the cross or are about to assume it and set out for the Holy Land in person; and we and our brethren the cardinals of the holy church of Rome will pay a full tenth part of ours. It is also our order that all clerks or laymen, after assuming the cross, shall remain secure under our protection and that of St. Peter; and also under the protection of the archbishops, bishops, and all the prelates of God's church, and that all their property shall be so arranged, as to remain untouched and undisturbed until certain information is obtained of their death or their return. And if any of those who go on this crusade are bound by oath to the payment of usury, their creditors shall by ecclesiastic authority be compelled to forgive them their oath and to desist from exacting their usury; and we make the same decree with regard to the Jews by the secular authority, that they may be induced to do this. Moreover be it known, that the prelates of churches, who are careless in granting justice to crusaders, or their proxies, or their families, will meet with severe punishment. Moreover, by the advice of wise men, we determine that those who thus assume the cross, shall prepare themselves so as to assemble on the first of June next ensuing, and those who determine to cross by sea will assemble in the kingdom of Sicily, some at Brundusium, and others at Messina, at which place we also have determined, under God's favour, to be present, that by our assistance and counsel the Christian army may be duly regulated, and may set out with the blessing of God and the apostolic see. And we, trusting to the mercy of the omnipotent God, and to the authority of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul, by virtue of that power which the Lord has granted to us, unworthy though we are, of binding and loosing, grant to all who shall undertake this business in person and at their own expense, full pardon for their sins, for which they shall be truly contrite in heart, and of which they shall have made confession, and in the rewarding of the just we promise an increase of eternal salvation; and to

346 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1215.

those who do not come in person, out at their own expense send suitable persons according to their means, and also to those who come in person though at the expense of others, we likewise grant full pardon for their sins. And it is also our will that those should share in this forgiveness who out of their own property shall furnish proper supplies for the assistance of the said country, or who have rendered seasonable counsel and assistance on the aforesaid matters. And for all those who proceed on this expedition the holy and universal synod bestows the favour of its prayers and good wishes, to the end that they may better obtain eternal salvation. Amen".

Of the accusation made at Rome against Stephen archbishop of Canterbury.

At this council there appeared the abbat of Beaulieu, and the knights Thomas Hardington, and Geoffrey de Crawcombe, as proxies of the king of England, against the archbishop of Canterbury, openly accusing him of connivance with the English barons, and asserting that he showed favour and gave advice to the said barons in their attempt to expel the said king from the throne of the kingdom; and although he had received letters from the apostolic see, ordering him by ecclesiastical censure to restrain the nobles from their persecution of the king, he refused to do so, on which he was suspended by the bishop of Winchester and his colleagues from the performance of divine service and from entering the church, and then hurrying to this council he thus by evident indications showed himself rebellious against the apostolic commands. On hearing these and many other allegations againt him the archbishop, as if at once convicted, was not a little confused, and made no answer, except asking for the withdrawal of his suspension; but to this the pope is said indignantly to have made this answer, "Brother, by St. Peter, you will not so easily obtain absolution from us, after having inflicted such and so many injuries not only on the king of England himself, but also on the church of Rome. We will, after full deliberation with our brethren, decide how we are to punish such a rash fault". And at length, after having discussed the matter with his cardinals, he confirmed the

A.D. 1215.] SUSPENSION OF THE ARCHBISHOP. 347

sentence of suspension against the archbishop by the underwritten letter.

Of the confirmation of the suspension of the said archbishop.

"Innocent, bishop, to all the suffragans of the church of Canterbury, greeting. We wish it to be known to you all in common that we have ratified the sentence of suspension, which our venerable brother P. bishop of Winchester, our beloved son P. the subdeacon, and our familiar, the elect of Norwich, by the apostolic authority, pronounced against Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, and we order it to be strictly observed, till the said archbishop, who observes it in all humility, may deserve to be released from it, giving security according to the form of the church, by the substitution of one obligation for another; wherefore by these apostolic letters we order the whole brotherhood of you, that you bishops also strictly observe the aforesaid sentence, and in the meantime that you do not show any obedience to the said archbishop. Given at the Lateran this 4th of November". After this the canons of York presented master Simon Langton to the pope, demanding the confirmation of his election; but to them the pope said, "Know that we do not consider him elected, because, for certain reasons we could not suffer him to be promoted to such a high dignity; and because that election has been made in opposition to our prohibition, we entirely annul and for ever condemn it, and it is our decree that he be ineligible to be elected to the pontifical dignity without a dispensation of the apostolic see". Having thus annulled this election, the pope ordered the canons to proceed in another, and if they did not he would himself provide a fit pastor for them. The canons then, as they had before provided, elected Walter de Gray bishop of Worcester, on account, as they said, of his carnal purity, as one who had continued chaste from his birth till that time; to this the pope is said to have answered, "By St. Peter, chastity is a great virtue, and we grant him to you". Therefore, after receiving the pall, the said bishop returned to England, being bound at the court of Rome in the sum of ten thousand pounds of sterling money. The knights Thomas Hardington and Geoffrey de Crawcombe, having thus accomplished their mission, returned to England, and went to the

348 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1213.

king, who had, as before told, subdued the castle of Rochester, to tell him this agreeable news. The king was much elated in his mind when he heard that the barons of England were excommunicated, the archbishop of Canterbury suspended, Walter de Gray promoted to the archbishopric of York, and that he could arrange matters as he chose at Rochester castle, and he at once moved his camp and proceeded in all haste to St. Alban's. On his arrival at that place, he went to the chapter-house in the presence of the monks, and ordered the letters about the suspension of the archbishop of Canterbury to be read, and at once demanded of the conventual assembly that a confirmation of the aforesaid suspension under their seal should be sent to all the churches of England, conventual as well as cathedral, to be made publicly known; this was willingly granted by the conventual assembly, and immediately after the chapter he retired with a few of his advisers into the cloister and devised plans for overthrowing his enemies, and arranged as to the payment of the foreigners who were fighting under him. At length the king disposed his army in two parts, that with one he might check the irruptions of the barons who were staying in the city of London, whilst with the other he could go himself to the northern parts of England to ravage the whole country with fire and sword. These events at St. Alban's took place on the 20th of December. The commanders appointed to the army which the king left behind, were W. earl of Salisbury, his own brother, Falkasius a man of experience in war, Savaric de Mauleon, with the troops of Poictou, William Briwere with all his force, and Walter surnamed Buck, who commanded the Brabantians; there were also others besides these, whom, on account of the number, I omit to mention.

How king John marched to the northern parts of England and ravaged the country.

King John then, leaving the town of St. Alban's, proceeded northward, taking with him William earl of Albemarle, Philip d'Albiney, John Marshal, and of the leaders from the transmarine provinces, Gerard de Sotengaine, and Godeschal, with the Flemings and cross-bow men, and other lawless people who neither feared God or regarded man. He rested a little while that night at Dunstable, but before day-light

A.D. 1215.] RAVAGES COMMITTED BY JOHN. 349

he set out on his march towards Northampton, and, spreading his troops abroad, burnt the houses and buildings of the barons, robbing them of their goods and cattle, and thus destroying everything that came in his way, he gave a miserable spectacle to all who beheld it. And if the day did not satisfy the malice of the king for the destruction of property, he ordered his incendiaries to set fire to the hedges and towns on his march, that he might refresh his sight with the damage done to his enemies, and by robbery might support the wicked agents of his iniquity. All the inhabitants of every condition and rank who did not take refuge in a church-yard, were made prisoners, and, after being tortured, were compelled to pay a heavy ransom. The chastelains, who were in charge of the fortresses of the barons, when they heard of the king's approach, left their castles untenanted and fled to places of secrecy, leaving their provisions and various stores as booty for their approaching enemies; the king placed his own followers in these empty castles, and in this manner marched with his wicked followers to Nottingham.

Of the ravages committed by his army in the southern part of England.

In the meantime William earl of Salisbury, and Falkasius with the troops before mentioned, whom the king had left at St. Alban's, ordered the castellans of Windsor, Hertford, and Berkhampstead with a strong body of troops to pass and repass to and from the city of London, to watch and harass the barons and to endeavour to cut off their supplies, after which they themselves roved through the counties of Essex, Hertford, Middlesex, Cambridge, and Huntingdon, collecting booty and indulging in rapine; they levied impositions on the towns, made prisoners of the inhabitants, burnt the buildings of the barons, destroyed the parks and warrens, cut down the trees in the orchards, and having spread fire as far as the suburbs of London, they took away an immense booty with them; and when messengers came from various places reporting all this to the barons they looked at one another and said, "The Lord hath given, and the Lord hath taken away", [1] etc. On the 28th of November in this year,


[1] "The Lord hath given, and the Lord hath taken away"; these thing's are be borne with a firm mind. And when they heard that, amongst other abominable excesses perpetrated by the king and his wicked accomplices, their wives and daughters were exposed to insult, they said sorrowfully, "These are the acts of the well beloved son in Christ, of that pope who protects his vassal in humiliating this noble kingdom in such an unusual way". Oh sorrow! He who ought to heal his languishing people openly spreads poison amongst the paupers, whom we ought to call the church. "The more conspicuous the man is the greater is his crime". [Juvenal, 8. 140.] In the same year on the 28th of November, Faulkes took the castle of William de Hanslape and destroyed it. On the same day the castellans of Rochester took the castle of Tunbridge, belonging to the earl of Clare. Soon afterwards Faulkes went to the castle of Bedford and demanded its surrender by the garrison; he however granted them a truce of seven days, and they, receiving no assistance during that time from their lord, William Beauchamp, surrendered the castle to Faulkes on the 2nd of December. The king being quite under the power of Faulkes, who made no distinction between right and wrong, gave him the castle of Bedford and a noble lady, Margaret de Riparus, for his wife, together with all her property, and also gave him the lands of many of the barons of England, that he might increase the rage of all of them against him. In the same year, on the day of the conversion of St. Paul, William de Cornhull was consecrated to the bishopric of Chester, on the 22nd of February, master Benedict, precentor of St. Paul's at London to that of Rochester, and master Richard dean of Salisbury to that of Chichester.

350 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1216.

Falkasius took the town of Hamslape, [1] belonging to William Maudut; and on the same day the castle of Tunbridge, belonging to the earl of Clare, was taken by the castellans of Rochester. Soon after this time Falkasius arrived at the castle of Bedford and demanded it of the garrison who obtained a truce of seven days, and, finding that they received no assistance from their lord William de Beauchamp in that time, they surrendered the castle to the aforesaid Falkasius on the 2nd of December.

The surrender of Belvoir castle to the king.

[A.D. 1216.] Which was the eighteenth year of king John's reign, he was at the castle of Nottingham on Christmas day, and on the day after he moved his camp, and arrived at the town of Langar, where he passed the night; in the morning he sent special messengers and with threats demanded its surrender from the garrison. This castle was in the charge of Nicholas a clerk, son of William d'Albiney, and the knights William de Studham, and Hugh de Charneles, who immediately asked the opinion of their fellow knights, as to what should be done; for they had been told on behalf of the


[1] Probably Hounslow,

A.D. 1216.] SUFFERINGS OF THE CHRISTIANS. 351

king, that, if he received a single refusal to surrender the castle, W. d'Albiney should never eat again but should die a disgraceful death. The besieged were thus in a perplexity in every way, and did not know what to do; at length, however, by the general advice of all, they agreed to save their lord from an ignominious death by surrendering the castle rather than, by retaining it, to lose their lord as well as the castle. Then Nicholas d'Albiney and Hugh de Charneles, taking the keys of the castle with them went to the king at Langar, and surrendered the castle to him on the condition that he would deal mercifully with their lord, and that they themselves might continue secure under his protection. On the following day then, which was St. John the Evangelist's day, the king came to the castle, and gave it into the charge of Geoffrey and Oliver de Buteville, two brothers, who came from Poictou, and after the oath of fealty and faithful obedience to him had been taken by all, he granted them his letters patent securing to them an indemnity of all their property.

Of the various kinds of sufferings endured by the Christian people.

In the meantime a part of the king's army came to Dovington, a town belonging to John de Lacy, and finding it untenanted, it was immediately razed to the ground by order of the king; after this he separated his wicked army, and took his march towards the northern provinces, burning the buildings belonging to the barons, making booty of their cattle, plundering them of their goods and destroying everything they came to with the sword. The whole surface of the earth was covered with these limbs of the devil like locusts, who assembled from remote regions to blot out every thing from the face of the earth, from man down to his cattle; for, running about with drawn swords and open knives, they ransacked towns, houses, cemeteries, and churches, robbing every one, and sparing neither women or children; the king's enemies wherever they were found were imprisoned in chains and compelled to pay a heavy ransom. Even the priests whilst standing at the very altars, with the cross of the Lord in their hands, clad in their sacred robes, were seized, tortured, robbed, and ill-treated; and there was no pontiff, priest, or Levite to pour oil or wine on their

352 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1216.

wounds. They inflicted similar tortures on knights and others of every condition, some of them they hung up by the middle, some by the feet and legs, some by the hands, and some by the thumbs and arms, and then threw salt mixed with vinegar in the eyes of the wretches, taking no heed that they were made after God's image, and were distinguished by the name of Christian; others they placed on tripods or gridirons over live coals, and then bathing their roasted bodies in cold water they thus killed them, and when, in their tortures, the wretched creatures uttered pitiable cries and dreadful groans, there was no one to show them pity, and their torturers were satisfied with nothing but their money. Many who had worldly possessions gave them to their torturers, and were not believed when they had given their all; others, who had nothing, gave many promises, that they might at least for a short time put off the tortures they had experienced once. This persecution was general throughout England, and fathers were sold to the torture by their sons, brothers by their brothers, and citizens by their fellow citizens. Markets and traffic ceased, and goods were exposed for sale only in church-yards; agriculture was at a standstill, and no one dared to go beyond the limits of the churches. Amidst all these sufferings which were occasioned by the barons, they themselves were lying in the city of London like women in labour, giving all their attention to their food and drink, and thinking what new dainty could be set before them, which, by removing their nausea, might give them new appetite; but, although they slumbered, the king slept not, until he had got all their lands and possessions, castles and towns, in his own power from the southern to the Scotch sea.

Of those who were appointed governors of the subdued castles.

When he had, as above-mentioned, disposed of the property of the barons at will, the king gave charge of the whole district between the river Tees and Scotland with the property and castles to Hugh de Baliol and Philip d'Ulcote, allowing them knights and soldiers sufficient for the defence of that part of the country. In the city of York he appointed Robert Oldbridge, Brian de Lisle, and Geoffrey de Lacy, guardians of the property and castles, allotting soldiers to

A.D. 1216.] BARONS PERSONALLY EXCOMMUNICATED. 353

them. To William oarl of Albemarle he gave charge of the castles of Rockingham and Sauvey, and a castle called Biham belonging to William de Coleville. To Falkasius he entrusted the castles of Oxford, Northampton, Bedford, and Cambridge. To Ralph le Tyris he gave the castle of Berkhampstead: and the castle of Hertford was given into the custody of Walter de Godarville, a knight in the service of Falkasius. To these and to all others throughout England the king gave orders, as they valued their bodies and their property, to destroy all the property of the barons, namely, their castles, buildings, towns, parks, warrens, lakes, and mills, and as he had begun, to finish the business with equal cruelty; they not daring to oppose the king's commands exercised such cruelty in the duty assigned to them, that in sight of all they made a lamentable spectacle of the houses and other property of the barons. [1] And thus the king returning from the north arranged everything at his own pleasure, so that there only remained in the power of the barons the two castles of Montsorrel and another belonging to Robert de Roos in the county of York. Having subdued all this country with dreadful slaughter, he went along the boundaries of Wales to the southern provinces, and exercising his cruelty on all who opposed him, he besieged and took several of the castles of his enemies; some of these he destroyed and others he garrisoned with his own soldiers.

Of the especial excommunication of the barons.

About this time the English barons, who had been formerly excommunicated in general by the supreme pontiff at the king of England's suit, were, by the following letter, excommunicated by him by name, and individually, in the following terms, "Innocent, bishop, to the abbat of Abingdon, the archdeacon of Poictou, and master Robert an official of the church of Norwich, greeting. We wish it to come to


[1] Paris adds:- "As he who was not very wicked seemed good, and he who did not do us much injury as he could did none, it seemed to be advantageous. The king then, roused to a high pitch of rape, marched to the cismarine districts of Scotland, and after taking the castle of Berwick and others, which seemed impregnable, he taunted king Alexander therewith, and alluded to his red hair, saying, 'Thus we will rouse the red fox from his lair'. And there he would have spread slaughter and destruction, if he had not been recalled by urgent necessity".

354 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1216.

your knowledge that at our late general council, we, on behalf of the Almighty God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and by the authority of the blessed Peter and Paul his apostles, and by our own authority, excommunicated and anathematized the barons of England with their aiders and abettors, for their persecution of John the illustrious king of the English, a king who has assumed the cross and is a vassal of the church of Rome, inasmuch as they are endeavouring to take from him the kingdom which is known to belong to the Roman church. Moreover we excommunicate and anathematize all those who have lent their assistance or money in attacking that kingdom, or to hinder those who go to the assistance of the said king, and we lay the lands of the said barons under the interdict of the church. We also lay our hands more heavily on them if they do not desist from their designs, since in this respect they are worse than Saracens; and it is our decree that, if any priest of any rank or order shall dare to violate the aforesaid sentences of excommunication or interdict, he may rest assured that he is struck with the sword of the interdict, and will be deposed from every office and benefice. Wherefore we, by these apostolic letters, entrust it to your discretion to publish the aforesaid decrees throughout all England, and with our authority to cause the same to be observed inviolate notwithstanding the interposition of any condition or appeal. It is moreover our will and command, that you, by the apostolic authority publicly throughout all England denounce as excommunicated, and cause to be strictly avoided by all, certain barons of England, whom our venerable brother the bishop of Winchester, and our well-beloved sons the abbat of Reading, and master Pandulph our sub-deacon and familiar, by us delegated, have personally declared excommunicated, because they found them guilty in the aforesaid matters, to wit those citizens of London who have been the chief promoters of the aforesaid crime, and Robert Fitz-Walter, S. earl of Winchester, R. his son, G. de Mandeville, and William his brother, R. earl of Clare, and G. his son, H. earl of Hereford, R. de Percy, E. de Vescy, J. constable of Chester, William de Mowbray, William d'Albiney, W. his son, R. de Roos and William his son, P. de Brus, R. de Cressy, John his son, Ralph Fitz-Robert, R. earl Bigod, H. his son, Robert de

A.D. 1216.] EXCOMMUNICATION ENFORCED. 355

Vere, Fulk Fitz-Warren, W. Malet, W. de Montacute, W. Fitz-Marshall, W. de Beauchamp, S. de Kime, R. de Mont Begon, and Nicholas de Stuteville, and also several others expressed in the decree by name as guilty of the aforesaid offences, together with their accomplices and abettors; and that on each Sunday and feast day you solemnly republish this sentence, and order it to be strictly observed; and that you lay the city of London under the interdict of the church, putting aside all appeal and checking the opposition of all gainsayers, under penalty of the church's censure. We also command that you publicly denounce, as excommunicated, master Gervase chancellor of London, who, as we have heard from the aforesaid arbiters, has been a most open persecutor of the said king and his followers, and that you threaten him with more severe punishment unless he make a meet reparation for his offences. And if all do not, etc. Given at the Lateran, the 16th day of December in the eighteenth year of our pontificate".

The aforesaid sentence enforced.

On receipt of the above-mentioned letters the arbiters wrote to all the churches of England, cathedral and conventual, to the following effect:- "Innocent, bishop, etc. We strictly command you by authority of this our mandate to denounce as excommunicated, the barons of England, together with all their aiders and abettors, who are persecuting their lord, king John of England, and all those who have lent their assistance or money to seize or attack the said kingdom, or to obstruct those who go to the assistance of the said king, and to make it public that the lands of the said barons are laid under the ecclesiastical interdict. Also that you denounce as excommunicated all the barons, who are personally mentioned in the above letter of our lord the pope, together with all others mentioned bv name in the. sentence of the aforesaid arbiters, namely, Walter de Norton, Osbert Fitx-Alan, Oliver de Vaux, H. de Braibrock, R. de Ropele, W. de Hobregge, W. de Mauduit, Maurice de Gant, R. de Berkley, Adam of Lincoln, R. de Mandeville, W. de Lanvaley, Philip Fitz-John, William de Taintuna, W. de Huntingfield, Alexander de Puintune, R. de Muntichet, R. de Gresley, Geoffrey constable of Meantune, W. archdeacon

356 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1216.

of Hereford, J. de Fereby, R. chaplain of Robert Fitz-Walter, Alexander de Suttune, W. de Coleville, R. his son, Osbert de Bobi, Osbert Giffard, Nicholas de Stuteville, Thomas de Muletune, the citizens of London, and master G. the chancellor, and that you publicly declare the city of London as laid under the ecclesiastical interdict. And you will cause these sentences of excommunication and interdict to be published and solemnly renewed on each Sunday and feast day in the churches, as well conventual as parochial, which belong to you, strictly fulfilling each article of the apostolic mandate, and duly observing it yourselves on your own part, that you may not incur the censure of the church, which is due to the contumacious. Farewell". When these sentences of excommunication and interdict were published throughout England, and became known to all, the city of London alone treated them with contempt, inasmuch as the barons determined not to observe them, and the priests not to publish them; for they said amongst themselves, that all the letters had been obtained under false representations and were therefore of no importance, and chiefly for this reason, because the management of lay affairs did not pertain to the pope, since the apostle Peter and his successors had only been entrusted by the Lord with the control and management of church matters; they therefore paid no regard at all to the sentence of interdict or excommunication, but held worship throughout the whole city, ringing bells and chanting with loud voices.

The ravages in the isle of Ely.

In the meantime Walter Buce with his Brabantians entered the isle of Ely near Herebeie, [1] and plundered all the churches in that island, compelling the inhabitants by most cruel tortures to pay heavy ransoms; and there was no place of refuge where they could place their property or even themselves out of danger; for the earl of Salisbury, and Falkasius with Savaric de Maulion, coming from the neighbouring districts, entered the island by the bridge of Stunteney, laying waste the whole country, and robbing the churches, and seized all that had been left by the beforementioned robbers. They at length entered the cathedral


[1] "i.e. The station of the army, and was the old fortification, where the conqueror's army lay". Tyrrell, ii. p. 790.

A.D. 1216.] LOUIS CHOSEN KING. 357

church with drawn swords, and after they had plundered it, the prior of the place with difficulty redeemed it from being burnt by the payment of nine marks of silver. The lord Stephen Ridel was dragged out of the church by force and lost all that he was possessed of, his horses, books, household goods and utensils, and with much difficulty preserved his person from the tortures by payment of a hundred marks. Fifteen knights were taken prisoners in this island, with many others of divers condition and rank. The richer and more noble of the knights made their escape over the sea with much difficulty and fled to London; some, of these, however, were not able to accomplish the journey owing to the failure of their horses from weakness, and were made prisoners. And thus everything in the island fell into the possession of these robbers without opposition.

How the barons of England chose Louis for their king.

The barons of England having now lost all that they most cared for in the world, as appears from the foregoing narrative, and having no hope of an improvement in affairs so as to recover by their own means what they had lost, were in consternation and did not know how to act; at length, by general consent, it was determined to choose some powerful man as king, by whose means they could be restored to their possessions and former liberties; [1] and after long irresolution


[1] Cursing the king's fickleness, tergiversation, and infidelity they thus gave vent to their grief, "Woe to you, John, last of kings, detested one of the chiefs of England, disgrace to the English nobility! Alas for England already devastated, and to he further ravaged! Alas! England, England, till now chief of provinces in all kinds of wealth, thou art laid under tribute; subject not only to fire, famine, and the sword, but to the rule of ignoble slaves and foreigners, than which no slavery can be worse. We read that many other kings, yea, and princes, have, contended even to the death, for the liberty of their land which was in subjection; but you, John, of sad memory to future ages, have designed and made it your business to enslave your country which has been free from times of old, and, that you might drag others with you into slavery, like the serpent who dragged down half the host of heaven, have in the first place oppressed yourself; you have, from a free king, become a tributary, a farmer, and a vassal of slavery, you have bound by a bond of perpetual slavery this noble land, which will never be freed from the servile shackle, unless through the compassion of Him who may at some time deign to free us and the whole world, wherein the old servitude retains under the yoke of sin. And what is to be said of you, O pope! who ought to shine forth an example to the whole world, as the father of holiness, the mirror of piety, the defender of justice, and the guardian of truth; do you agree to this, do you commend and protect such a one? But because he inclines to you, you defend this drainer and extorter of the wealth of England and the English nobility, that everything may he absorbed in the gulph of Roman avarice, but this plea and excuse, this sin and accusation are before God". And the barons in their complaints and lamentations, uttered curses on the king and the pope, thus sinning without hopes of atonement, since it is written, "Thou shalt not curse the king"; and thus transgressed the truth and thir reverence, since they declared that the illustrious king John was a slave, when to be a slave to God is to be a king. At length they determined to choose some other prince, by whose means they could be restored to their former condition; thinking that no king could reign more tyrannically than John, then adopting the following maxim:-

"When fate on man its force has spent,
He need not fear the next event".- M. Paris.

358 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1216.

as to whom they should choose, they unanimously determined to appoint Louis, son of Philip the French king, as their ruler, and to raise him to the throne of England. Their reason for this was, that the host of foreigners by whom the king of England was surrounded, were, for the most part, under the dominion of Louis and his father, and if, by means of these latter, John could be deprived of their assistance, being thus left destitute both at home and abroad, he would be left to himself and unable to contend against them. This resolution being satisfactory to all, they sent S. earl of Winchester, and Robert Fitz-Walter as special messengers to king Philip and Louis his son, with letters under the seals of all the barons, earnestly beseeching the father to send his son to reign in England, and the son to come there to take, the crown. These messengers immediately made all haste and delivered the aforesaid letters to the French king and his son Louis; but Philip, after he had read the letters and understood their purport, told the messengers in reply that he would not send his son before he had, for greater security, received good hostage's from the barons, at least twenty-four of the most distinguished men in the whole kingdom. The messengers, on hearing this, made all possible speed and reported the answer they had received to the barons, who, having no other resort, sent hostages to the French king at his pleasure to the number above-mentioned. The hostages on their arrival were committed to safe custody at Compiegne, and Louis, somewhat encouraged, made

A.D. 1216.] RENEWAL OF THE EXCOMMUNICATION. 359

preparations for the expedition which he desired above all things; but as his own departure on such an arduous expedition could not be effected in a hurry, he sent messengers in advance to give the barons hope and also to try their fidelity. The names of these were, the castellan of St. Omar, the castellan of Arras, Hugh Thacun, Eustace de Neville, Baldwin Bretel, W. de Wimes, Giles de Mehlun, W. de Beaumont, Giles de Hersi, and Biset de Fersi; all these with a large retinue of knights and followers came by the river Thames, and, to the great joy of the barons, arrived at London on the 27th of February. In this year Stephen archbishop of Canterbury gave security at Rome that he would abide by the decision of the pope on the matters before mentioned, and was released from his suspension, but on condition that he would not go to England before peace was fully restored between the king and barons.

The renewal of the sentence passed against the barons for their contumacy.

In the same year at Easter, the abbat of Abingdon and his co-arbiters, seeing the contumaciousness of the barons and of the citizens of London, laid their hands on them more heavily, and, repeating the edict, they gave orders to all the conventual churches of England to publish the sentence which had been issued in the following form:- "H., by the grace of God, abbat of Abingdon, etc. In pursuance of the apostolic mandate imposed on us, as the purport of our letters which we lately transmitted to you, has more fully informed you, we have not merely once, but often, sent our letters containing the words of our lord the pope's warrant to the chapters of St. Paul and St. Martin, to G. de Boclande, dean of the said church, and to the conventual assembly of the Holy Trinity at London, by the apostolic authority, ordering them at once to publish and inviolably observe the sentences of excommunication and interdict which are issued against the persecutors of the said king and the city of London; but they irreverently presume to set at defiance the apostolic mandate, for they contumaciously refuse to publish the said sentences or even to observe them, knowingly taking part in divine services with those excommunicated, and thus in every respect proving themselves transgressors of the decrees of our lord the pope, and open despisers of his

360 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1216.

mandate: of which we have full and sure information, by letters patent of the chapter of St. Paul and St. Martin, specially sent us by the clerks and messengers of the said dean, and by other sufficient proofs. Moreover there have lately arrived from the French kingdom, certain nobles with an armed band of knights and followers, all of whom we also undoubtedly wish to be fettered with the sentence of excommunication, for they invade the kingdom of England, in opposition to our lord the pope and the Roman church, are daily robbing it, and in part keep possession of it, as is evident to all in England as well as elsewhere; wherefore, by virtue of the apostolic authority, of which we discharge the duties in this business, we denounce, as excommunicated, the said nobles, namely, the castellan of St. Omar, Hugh Thaeun, Eustace de Neville, the castellan of Arras, Baldwin Bretel, W. de Wimes, Giles de Melun, W. de Beaumont, Giles de Hersi, Biset de Fersi, with their accomplices, and all those who have lent their assistance or money against the king, to invade or take possession of the kingdom of England, and also the above-mentioned dean, and also all canons and clerks of every rank and order in the aforesaid churches and city, to whose knowledge the mandate had come, who have either absented themselves, or by any means prevented its reaching them. And by the same authority we also enjoin you publicly to denounce as excommunicated all those above-mentioned, and to cause it to be published throughout the whole of your parish, expressly naming as well the dean as the aforesaid nobles, so that, by showing attention to this matter, as well as that which was contained in his first letters to you, you may not be accused of negligence to the supreme pontiff, but rather be commended for your diligence. Farewell".

How Louis sent consolatory letters to the barons.

About this time Louis wrote to the barons who were staying in London and to the citizens as follows:- "Louis, eldest son of king Philip, to all his friends and allies in London, health and sincere affection. Rest assured that on the approaching Easter Sunday we will be at Calais ready, under God's favour, to cross the sea. Inasmuch as you have conducted yourselves strenuously and bravely in all my

A.D. 1216.] A LEGATE SENT TO PHILIP. 361

affairs, we return you abundant thanks; and we earnestly ask and require that, as you have always done, you will continue to conduct yourselves with courage. We also wish you to be assured that, in a short time you will have us to assist you; and we earnestly beg of you in this matter not to trust to any other false suggestions, or letters, or messages, for we believe that you will receive false letters and misleading messengers. Farewell". About this time the barons went from the city of London, in company with the knights who had lately come from France, to enjoy the sport of tilting with only lances and cloth armour; and after spending great part of the day in urging their horses to speed and striking one another with their lances, one of the French knights in the sport couched his lance against Geoffrey de Mandeville earl of Essex, and mortally wounded him; the earl however forgave the man who had wounded him, and a few days afterwards died to the regret of many.

How Walo came as legate to the French king.

About this same time master Walo was sent by the pope to France by the apostolic authority, to forbid Louis to proceed to England; he on coming to king Philip delivered to him deprecatory letters from the pope, the contents of which were, that he was not to permit his son Louis to go to England as an enemy, or to harass the English king in any way, but to protect and love him as a vassal of the church of Rome, and as one whose kingdom, by right of dominion, belonged to the said church of Rome. The French king, when he read this, immediately answered, "The kingdom of England never was the inheritance of Peter, nor is it, nor shall it be. For king John, in times long past, attempted unjustly to deprive his own brother king Richard of the kingdom of England, on which he was accused of treachery, convicted of the same in that monarch's presence, and condemned by the decision of the said king at his court, and sentence was pronounced by Hugh de Pusaz bishop of Durham; therefore he was not a true king, and could not give away his kingdom. Besides this, had he ever been a lawful king, he afterwards forfeited his kingdom by the murder of Arthur, for which deed he was condemned in our court". He also said that no king or prince could give away his

362 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1216.

kingdom without the consent of his barons, who were bound to defend the kingdom; and if the pope was determined to defend that error, it would be a most pernicious example to all kingdoms. The nobles then exclaimed with one voice that they would oppose that point to the death, namely, that a king or prince could at his pleasure alone give his kingdom away, or make it tributary, whereby the nobles of the kingdom would become slaves. These events took place at Lyons on the fifteenth day after Easter.

How the same legate forbade Louis to go to England.

On the following day, at his father's request, Louis came to the conference, and looking on the legate with a scowling brow, took his seat near his father; the legate then, with many entreaties, begged of Louis not to go to England to invade or seize on the inheritance of the church of Rome, and entreated his father, as he had done before, not to permit him to go. The French king, however, immediately replied to the legate in these words, "I have always been a devoted and faithful ally of our lord the pope and the church of Rome, and in all transactions have till this time effectually promoted their welfare, neither shall my son Louis now have my advice in attempting anything against the church of Rome; however, if Louis can prove any claim that he has to the kingdom of England, let him be heard, and let what is right be conceded to him". On this, a certain knight, whom Louis had appointed to plead for him, rose, and in the hearing of all, answered, "My lord king, it is a fact well known to all that John, called king of England, was, by the decision of his peers in your court, condemned to death for his treachery to his nephew Arthur, whom he murdered with his own hands; and was after that deposed by the barons of England from his sovereignty over them, on account of the many murders and other offences he had committed there, and for this reason the said barons had made war against him, to drive him from the throne, of the kingdom. Moreover, the said king, without the consent of his nobles, gave his kingdom of England to our lord the pope and the church of Rome, that he might again resume possession of it from them, on the annual payment of a thousand marks. And if he could not give the crown of

A.D. 1216.] LOUIS DISOBEYS THE POPE. 363

England to any one without the baron's consent, he could however resign it; and as soon as he resigned it, he ceased to be a king, and the kingdom was without a king. A vacant kingdom could not be settled without asking the barons; on which they chose Louis as their lord, by reason of his wife, whose mother, namely, the queen of Castile, was the only survivor of all the brothers and sisters of the said king of England. The legate then pleaded that king John had assumed the cross, on which account he ought, according to the decree of the general council, to have peace for four years, and all his possessions ought to remain secure under the protection of the apostolic see; and therefore Louis ought not in the meantime to make war on the said king, or deprive him of his kingdom. To this the proctor of Louis replied, "King John, before assuming the cross, had made war on our lord Louis, and besieged and destroyed the castle of Buneham: he had likewise taken Aria, and burnt the greatest part of it, and, having made prisoners of several knights and their followers at that place, he still detains them prisoners. He also besieged the castle of Liens, and slew a great number at that place; the county of Gisnes, which is the lawful fee of our lord Louis, he ravaged with fire and sword; and even after assuming the cross, he is still at war against Louis, wherefore, he can justly wage war against the said king". The legate, however, not content with these reasons, forbade Louis, as before, under penalty of excommunication, to presume to enter England, and also his father to permit him to go. On hearing this, Louis said to his father, "Although I am your liege subject in the fee which you have given me in the provinces this side of the sea, it is not your duly to determine anything concerning the kingdom of England; I therefore throw myself on the decision of my peers, as to whether you ought to hinder me from seeking my rights, and especially a right in which you cannot afford me justice. I therefore ask of you not to obstruct my purpose of seeking my rights, because, for the inheritance of my wife I will, if necessary, contend even to death"; and with these words Louis retired from the conference with his followers. The legate seeing this, asked the king to grant him safe conduct as far as the sea-coast; to which the king replied, "We will willingly grant you safe conduct through our territory, but

364 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1216.

if you should by chance fall into the hands of Eustace the monk, or any other of Louis's friends who are in charge of the seas, do not blame me for anything untoward that befalls you". On this, the legate departed from the court in a rage.

How Louis obtained his father's permission, and went to England.

On the following day, which was that of St. Mark the evangelist, Louis went to his father at Melun, and begged of him not to obstruct his proposed journey; he also added that he had given his oath to the barons of England that he would come to their assistance, and therefore, he would rather be excommunicated by the pope for a time, than incur the charge of falsehood. The king, seeing the firmness and anxiety of his son, granted him his permission, and dismissed him with his blessing. Louis then sent messengers to the court of Rome, there to set forth in the presence of the pope the right which he claimed for himself to the kingdom of England, and then, in company with his earls, barons, knights, and numerous followers, he made all haste to the sea-coast, that he might reach England before the legate. When they all reached the port of Calais, they found there six hundred ships and eighty cogs, all well equipped, which Eustace the monk had collected there against Louis's arrival; they therefore all immediately embarked and put to sea with all speed, making for the isle of Thanet, where they landed at a place called Stanhore on the twenty-first of May. King John was then at Dover with his army, but as he was surrounded with foreign mercenaries and knights from the transmarine provinces, he did nor venture to attack Louis on his landing, lest in the battle they might all leave him and go over to the side of Louis; he therefore chose to retreat for a time, rather than to give battle on an uncertainty. He therefore retreated before Louis, leaving Dover castle in charge of Hugh de Burgh, and continued his flight till he arrived first at Guildford, and afterwards at Winchester. Louis, finding no one to oppose him, disembarked at Sandwich, and soon subdued the whole of the district, with the exception of the castle of Dover. He then went to London, and was there received with great joy by all the barons; he then received homage and fealty from all of them, and from

A.D. 1210.] LOUIS SUBDUES THE PROVINCES. 365

the citizens who had been waiting his arrival there, whilst he himself swore on the holy gospels that he would grant good laws and restore their inheritances to each and all of them. He also wrote to the king of Scots and to all the nobles of England who had not yet done homage to him, ordering them to make their fealty to him, or to retire with all speed from England. At this command, there came to him William earl of Warrene, W. earl of Arundel, W. earl of Salisbury, W. Mareschal the younger, and many others besides them, abandoning king John, as though they were quite sure that Louis would obtain the kingdom. Louis appointed Master Simon Langton his chancellor, who preached to the citizens of London, as well as the excommunicated barons, when they performed divine service, and also induced Louis himself to agree to it.

Walo the legate follows Louis to England.

About this same time, Walo the legate, when he was informed of Louis's departure to England, as a diligent agent of the apostolic mandate, crossed the sea to follow him, and passing through the enemies unhurt, he came to king John at Gloucester; the latter received him with great pleasure, and rested all his hopes of being able to oppose his enemies on him. The legate then convoked all the bishops, abbats, and clergy whom he could muster, and, amidst the ringing of bells, and with lighted tapers, excommunicated by name the said Louis, with all his accomplices and abettors, especially Master Simon Langton, at the same time ordering the said bishops and all others to make this sentence public throughout all England, on every Sunday and feast day; but to all this, Master Simon Langton and Master Gervase d'Hobregge, precentor of St. Paul's church at London, and several others, made reply, that they had appealed on behalf of Louis, and therefore that they considered that sentence as null and void. At this time, all the knights and soldiers from the country of Flanders and the transmarine provinces, except only those of Poictou, abandoned the cause of king John, some of them joining Louis, and others returning home.

How Louis subdued the southern provinces of England.

Louis about this time left the city of London with a large

366 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1216.

body of knights, and invaded the county of Kent, and, as no one opposed him, he soon subdued it, with the exception of Dover castle. Marching onward, he by force gained possession of Sussex, with all the towns and fortresses; but here a young man named William, refusing to make his fealty to Louis, collected a company of a thousand bow-men, and taking to the woods and forests with which that part of the country abounded, he continued to harass the French during the whole war, and slew many thousands of them. Louis at length came to the city of Winchester, and reduced it to subjection, together with the castle and the whole country round. Hugh de Neville went to Louis, surrendered to him the castle of Marlborough, and did homage to him. After this, Louis went to Odiham, a town belonging to the bishop of Winchester, and laid siege to the tower. In this tower were only three knights and ten soldiers, but they boldly defended it; on the third day after the French had arranged their engines round the tower, and had made frequent and fierce assaults on it, the aforesaid three knights and their soldiers made a sally from the tower, and seizing the same number of knights and soldiers on the adverse side, regained the tower without loss to themselves. However, after the siege had lasted eight days, they surrendered the tower to Louis, and came out themselves only thirteen in number, saving their horses and arms, to the great admiration of the French. All the southern districts had thus fallen into the power of Louis, except the castles of Dover and Windsor, which, being well garrisoned, awaited Louis's approach. In the meantime, William de Mandeville, Robert Fitz-Walter, and William de Huntingfield, with a powerful army of knights and soldiers, had reduced to subjection under Louis the counties of Kssex and Suffolk. Whilst all this was going on, king John had laid in good supplies of provisions and arms in the castles of Wallingford, Corfe, Wareham, Bristol, Devizes, and others too numerous to mention.

The proceedings of Louis's messengers at Rome.

At this time, the messengers whom Louis had sent to the court of Rome wrote to him as follows; "To our most puissant lord, Louis, eldest son of the king of the French, D. de Corbeil, I. de Montevisito, and G. Lineth, messengers,

A.D. 1210.] LOUIS'S MESSENGERS AT ROME. 367

health and faithful service. Be it known to your excellency, that on the Sunday ad mensem Paschae we went to our lord the pope, without harm to our persons and property, and at once went before him on the same day. We found him cheerful, but apparently having cause of sorrow; and when we had presented our letters and saluted him on your behalf, he answered us, saying, 'Your lord is not worthy of our salutation'. I immediately answered, 'Father, I believe that when you have heard the reasons and excuses of our lord, you will find him worthy of your salutation, as a Christian, a catholic, and one always devoted to you and the church of Rome'; and thus we retired from his presence that day; but, as we were going away, his holiness most kindly told us that he would willingly grant us audience when and as often as we wished. On the following Tuesday our lord the pope sent an attendant of his to your dwelling, ordering us to come to him, on which we immediately went before him; and after we had stated our case, he said much in reply to us which seemed to blame your actions and your reasons, and as soon as he had finished his discourse, he said, striking his breast and groaning in spirit, 'Woe is me that in this affair the church of God cannot escape trouble; for if the king of England is conquered, we are mixed up with his trouble, because he is our vassal, and we are bound to protect him; if your lord Louis is conquered, in his harm the church of Rome is harmed, and we consider an injury to him as one to ourselves; we always indulged the hope, and we indulge it now, that he would be in all its times of need the arm in oppression the solace, and in persecution the refuge of the church of Rome'. And finally, he said that he would sooner die than that any harm should befall you in this business; and thus we left him that day. Moreover, by the advice of some of the cardinals, we are waiting for the day of Ascension, that no decree may be made against you, as on that day it is the pope's custom to repeat his sentences; for the pope had himself told us that he expected messengers from the lord Walo. Farewell"!

368 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1216.

Here are given the charges of Louis and the barons of England against king John.

The first statement laid before our lord the pope against king John, by the aforesaid messengers, was, that he had treacherously with his own hands killed his nephew Arthur, by the worst kind of death, called by the English, murder; for which crime the said king had been condemned to death at the court of the French king, by the judgment of his peers. To this charge the pope made this opposition, namely, that the barons of France could not adjudge him to death, because he was an anointed king, and therefore their superior; by the barons, as his inferiors, he could not be condemned to death, because the higher rank in some measure destroys the power of the inferior; and besides, it seems contrary to civil law as well as in opposition to the canons, to give sentence of death on a man who is not present, not summoned, convicted, or confessed to be guilty. To this the messengers replied, "It is the custom of the French kingdom that the king should have all kind of jurisdiction over his liege subjects, and the king of England was his liege subject, his count and duke; therefore, although he was elsewhere an anointed king, yet, as an earl and duke he was under the jurisdiction of our lord, the king of the French. And if an earl or duke committed this offence in the French kingdom, he could, and ought to be condemned to death by his peers; and even though he were not a duke, or a count, or a liege subject of the king of the French, and had committed the offence in the French kingdom, the barons could, for a crime perpetrated in that kingdom, condemn him to death; otherwise, if the king of England could not, because he was an anointed king, be condemned to death, he might come into the kingdom of France, and with impunity murder the barons as he murdered Arthur". [1] In answer to this, the


[1] Paris here adds:- "The truth of this matter is as follows, John in fact was not justly or formally deprived of Normandy; because, when he was deprived of it, not judicially, but by force, he, to obtain the restoration of it, sent special messengers, men of prudence, to Philip, the French king, namely, Eustace bishop of Ely, and Hubert de Burgh, men of learning and eloquence, to tell that monarch that he would willingly come to his court to assert his claim, and to answer all accusations in that matter, on condition that safe conduct was granted him. Philip, though not with a calm countenance or cordially, replied, 'Willingly, let him come safe and in peace'. The bishop then said, 'And may he return? my lord". The king replied, 'Yes, if the judgments of his peers allows of it'. And when all the messengers begged of him that John might have safe conduct to and from his court, Philip became enraged, and replied with his usual oath, 'By the saints of France, not unless by the judgment of his peers'. The bishop then spoke of the dangers which might happen through his going to the French king's court, and said, 'My lord king, the duke of Normandy could not come to your court unless the king of England also came, since the duke and the king are the same person, and this the barons of England would not allow, even though the king himself wished to come; for there would be imminent danger, as you know, of his being made prisoner or being killed'. To this the king replied, 'And what of this, my lord bishop! It is well known that the duke of Normandy, who is my tenant, gained possession of England by force, and if anything accrues to a subject, does the superior lord thereby lose his rights! Not so'. The messenger then being unable to make any reasonable reply to this, returned to the king of England, and told him all that had passed. The king, however, would not trust to chance, or to the judgment of the French, who did not like him; especially as he feared that he would be accused of the shameful murder of Arthur, as says Horace, 'All the foot-marks led to the lion's cave, but none led back again'. The French nobles, however, proceeded to trial, which they ought not to have done by rights; and by their judgment John was condemned when absent, though, he would have appeared if he could. Wherefore, as king John was condemned by his enemies, he was not properly condemned.

A.D. 1210.] CHARGES AGAINST THE KING. 369

pope said, "Many emperors and princes, and even French kings, are reported by history to have slain many innocent persons, yet we do not read that any one of these was condemned to death; and when Arthur was imprisoned at Mirebeau, not as an innocent person, but as being guilty, and a traitor to his lord and uncle, to whom he had done homage and sworn allegiance, he could lawfully be condemned to the most disgraceful death without any trial".

The second charge made by the above against king John.

The second charge against the king was, that, though often summoned, he did not appear in person to take his trial, and sent no one to answer for him in the court of France. To this charge the pope replied, that, if the king of England had been so contumacious as not to appear or send when summoned, no one ought or could be punished with death on account of contumaciousness; therefore the barons of France could not condemn him to death, but could punish him in another way, namely, by depriving him of his fee. The messengers to this made answer, "It is the

370 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1216.

custom in the French kingdom, when any one is accused before his judge of the cruel crime of murder, and the accused does not appear, and pleads no legitimate excuse, for not appearing, to consider him as guilty, and to adjudge him as if he were guilty of all the charges, even to suffer death, as though he were present". In answer to this the pope said, that, between the king of France and the duke of Normandy, there might be an agreement or an old custom, that the duke of Normandy was only bound to come, on the citing of the king of France, as far as the borders; and therefore, if he did not come when summoned, he did not commit an offence, nor could he, on that account, be punished in such a way. The pope also said, that if the sentence had been pronounced on the king of England, it had not however been carried into effect, as he was not yet put to death; and therefore his children which were born afterwards, ought to succeed him in the kingdom, because the king of England had not committed the crime of treason or of heresy, for which offences only the son is disinherited for his father's crime. The messengers in reply to this pleaded, "It is the custom in the kingdom of France, that when any one is condemned to death, his offspring begotten after his condemnation does not succeed him, but those children born to him before his sentence ought to succeed him"; but the messengers however would not dispute, this point. The pope next said, that although the king of England was condemned to death, and sons of his flesh were born, Blanche ought not to succed him but those nearer related to his family, namely, the children of his eldest brother, and therefore the sister of Arthur, or Otho, who was the son of his eldest sister; and if it were decided that the queen of Castile ought to succeed him, and consequently Blanche as her daughter, it would not be proper, because a male ought to be preferred, namely, the king of Castile; and if there was no male, the queen of Leon ought to be preferred as the eldest. To this the messengers said, "The brother's sons ought not to succeed him, as the brother was not living when the sentence was pronounced, and the sister of his nephew, Arthur, ought not to succeed him, because she was not his lineal descendant, although the daughter of his brother; likewise the mother of Otho was not living at the time of the sentence, therefore

A.D. 1216.] CHARGES AGAINST THE KING. 371

she did not succeed him, consequently Otho ought not to succeed him; but the queen of Castile was alive, who was his sister, and therefore succeeded, and on the death of the queen of Castile, her children succeeded and ought to succeed. To this the pope replied, that the king of Castile ought to succeed as he was the male heir, or the queen of Leon as the eldest female heir. The messengers replied, that when there were several heirs, who ought to succeed a person, and the one who came first in succession, was still in the matter, or neglected to enter on his inheritance, the one who came after him in succession, if he wished to enter on the inheritance, ought to be invested with it, according to approved custom, saving however the right of the other if he reclaimed it; and therefore our lord Louis enters on the kingdom of England as his own, and if there is any nearer relative who wishes to lay a claim in this matter, our lord Louis will do what is right in it.

The third objection against king John.

The pope then said that the kingdom of England was his own and under his rule by reason of the fealty, which had been sworn to him concerning it, and also by reason of the revenue which was paid to him out of the kingdom; and therefore, as he had committed no crime, Louis ought not to make war on him, or to deprive him by force of the kingdom of England, especially as the king of England held many possessions in fee of the king of France, for which he might make war on him. In reply to this the messengers said, "War, and a just war, was entered upon against the king of England before that kingdom belonged to your holiness; but William Longsword and many others with him came with a powerful force from the kingdom of England, and inflicted many injuries and caused much loss to our lord Louis, therefore he may with justice make war against the king of England". To this the pope replied, that, although the king of England made war on Louis, the latter ought not to have made war on him, but ought to have complained to his lord, namely the pope, to whom the king of England as a vassal was subject. The messengers then said that the custom was, when war was made on any one by the vassal of another on his own authority, he who was attacked could make war on

372 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A D. 1216.

the other on his own authority, and was not bound to complain to the lord of the other; and if the lord himself defended that vassal as long as he continued such war, the lord himself was said to make war. The pope then said, that, at the general council it had been decreed, that there should be peace or a truce for four years between all who were at difference, in order to give succour to the Holy Land, and therefore Louis ought not during that time to make war on the kingdom of England. The messengers replied, that, on his departure from France, Louis had not been called on to keep the peace or truce; and even if he had, they believed that there was so much ill will in the king of England, that he would not keep either peace or truce. The pope next said that the king of England had assumed the cross; wherefore by a decree of the general council, he and all his possessions ought to be protected by the church. To this the messengers answered, that the king of England had made war on Louis before he took the cross, and had inflicted many injuries on him, had taken his castles, and even now detained his knights and soldiers in prison, being still at war against Louis, and will not make peace with him or grant him a truce, although he had been often asked to do so. The pope then told them that, by the common consent of the general council, he had excommunicated the barons of England and all their abettors, and therefore Louis had incurred that sentence. The messengers replied that their lord Louis did not assist the barons of England nor abet them, but only sought his own rights; and Louis did not, and could not believe that the pope or the council would excommunicate any one unjustly, for at the time of the sentence his holiness did not know that Louis had any claim to the kingdom of England, and as this had been proved to him, Louis did not believe that the council would take away his right from him. The pope next said that the French king, as well as his son Louis, even after the sentence had been pronounced against the king of England by the French barons, had called John a king, considered him as a king, and had made treaties with him as king of England. To this the messengers answered, that, after the declaration of the sentence against the king by the barons, they had never considered him a king, but had called him "the deposed king", in the same

A.D. 1210.] LOUIS RAVAGES THE PROVINCES. 373

manner as an abbat or any one else is said to be deposed. Lastly the pope said, that he would determine on these matters before the messengers arrived from Walo. [1]

How Louis ravaged the eastern provinces of England.

About this time Louis made an incursion into the eastern


[1] C. and B. insert here:- "One day, however, Louis thinking to corrupt the fidelity and firmness of Hubert de Burgh, by trying his avarice, sent word that he wished to haven peaceable interview with him; and when Hubert consented to this, Louis sent special messengers to him to a postern gate which seemed a fit place for the interview. The messengers who were sent to him were the earl of Salisbury, surnamed William Longespee, who brought with him for security Thomas de Burgh, brother of the said Hubert, who had been taken prisoner by Louis at the castle of Norwich, and three of the most noble of the French. Hubert then came to the postern, followed by five cross-bow men with bows bent and arrows fitted, so that if there was necessity, they should not spare their enemies. Earl William then said, 'The death of king John, once our lord, is, I believe, no secret to you, Hubert, nor are you ignorant of the oath of Louis, who has sworn, that when he takes possession of this castle by force of arms, all found in it shall be hung without fail. Consult therefore your own safety and honour. You cannot long retain this castle; the power of our lord Louis increases daily, while that of the king decreases, by strong daily assaults; or you will at least perish of hunger, unless you be wise and yield to my advice, for you see all hope of help has vanished: therefore without any delay or difficulty, give up this castle to Louis, and you will not he branded with perfidy, since you cannot hold possession of it much longer; and you see that others vie with one another in giving their fealty to him'. Thomas, his brother, moreover said to him with tears, 'My dear brother, have compassion on yourself, on me, and all of us, by yielding to the advice of these nobles; for we shall then all be freed from impending destruction'. The earl added, 'Listen to my advice, Hubert, and obey the will of our lord Louis, and he will give you, as an inheritance, the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, and you will also become his chief counsellor and friend; but, if you do not this, your brother Thomas will be hung, and you in a short time will suffer the same punishment'. To this Hubert then replied: 'Earl, wicked traitor that you are, although king John, our lord and your brother, be dead, he has heirs, namely your nephew, whom, although every body else deserted him, you, his uncle, ought not to abandon, but ought to be a second father to him; why then, base and wicked man that you are, do you talk thus to me'? then casting a scowling look on him and breaking out into a harsher tone, he added, 'Do not speak another word, because by the lance of God, if you open your mouth to say any thing more, you shall all be pierced with numbers of arrows, nor will I even spare my own brother'. The earl therefore, and those who were with him seeing that they would be killed in the flash of an eye, because the cross-bow men were ready to discharge their weapons, retreated at once, glad to escape alive and uninjured. When Louis heard this, although he was sorry and enraged, he greatly applauded the firmness of Hubert".

374 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1216.

part of England, pillaged the cities and towns of Essex, Suffolk, and Norfolk, and finding the castle of Norwich deserted he garrisoned it with his own soldiers and imposed a tax on all those districts; he also sent a large force against the town of Lynn, which he reduced, and, taking the inhabitants away prisoners, he compelled them to pay a heavv ransom; after this the French returned with great booty and spoil to London. At that place Gilbert de Gant came to Louis, and was by him presented with the sword of the county of Lincoln; Louis then sent him there to check the incursions of the garrisons of the castles of Nottingham and Newark, who had destroyed with fire all the abodes and fine buildings of the barons in that district, and had taken their lands into their own possession. At the same time Robert de Roos, Peter de Brus, and Richard Percy reduced the city of York with the whole county to subjection to Louis; Gilbert de Gant, and Robert de Roppelle took the city of Lincoln and that county, with the exception of the castle, and imposed an annual tax on the whole of it; thence marching into Hoyland, they plundered it, and levied a tax on it; the king of Scots subdued the whole county of Northumberland for Louis, except the castles which Hugh de Baillul, and Philip de Hulecotes most courageously defended against the attacks of the enemy; however all these provinces were subdued and swore allegiance to Louis. In this year Walo the legate exacted a tax on proxies from the cathedral churches and religious houses throughout all England, namely, for every procuration fifty shillings; moreover he sequestrated all the benefices of the clergy and religious men, who had given assistance, or advice, or favoured the cause of Louis. all which he converted to the use of himself and his clerks.

Of the siege of Dover castle by Louis.

In the same year on the day of the nativity of St. John the Baptist, Louis, with a powerful force of knights and soldiers laid siege to Dover castle, having first sent to his father for a petraria which was called in French "Malvoisine"; and the French having disposed this and other engines before the castle, they began to batter the walls incessantly; but Hubert de Burgh, a brave knight, with a hundred and forty knights and a large number of soldiers who were defending

A.D. 1216.] SIEGE OF WINDSOR CASTLE. 375

the castle, destroyed many of the enemy, until the French feeling their loss removed their tents and engines farther from the castle; on this Louis was greatly enraged and swore he would not leave the place till the castle was taken and all the garrison hung. They therefore, to strike terror into them, built a number of shops and other buildings in front of the entrance to the castle, so that the place appeared like a market; for they hoped that they would, by hunger and a protracted siege, force them to surrender, as they could not subdue them by force of arms.

The capture of the castle of Cambridge.

About this same time a party of the barons who were staying at London, made an incursion into the country near Cambridge, pillaged it, and took the castle at that place, where they made prisoners of twenty soldiers whom they found in it, and took them away with them. From thence they marched on, roving through the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, pillaging the country as well as all the churches; they extorted large ransoms from the towns of Yarmouth, Dunwich, and Ipswich; and then, after collecting booty about Colchester, and ravaging the country there in like manner, they returned to their old haunts at London.

The siege of Windsor castle.

After these events the barons assembled a large force, and laid siege to the castle of Windsor; the command of this army was given to the count de Nevers, a descendant of the traitor Guenelon; and having arranged their engines they made fierce assault on the walls. This castle was in the custody of Ingelard d'Athie, a man well tried in war, who was attended by sixty knights with their retainers, and these stoutly defended the castle against their enemies. As soon as John learned that the castles of Dover and Windsor were laid siege to, he assembled a large army of the garrisons of his castles, followed by whom he overran the lands of the earls and barons at harvest-time, burning their houses and crops and doing great damage to his enemies; afterwards he roved through the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, causing similar havoc amongst the possessions of the earl of Arundel. Roger Bigod, William de Huntingfield, Roger de Cresi, and

376 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1216.

other nobles. When all these events were told to the barons, who were gaining little or no advantage at the siege of Windsor castle, they determined to raise the siege, in order to cut off the retreat of king John, who, as has been said, was now pillaging and collecting booty about the coast of Suffolk; therefore, by the advice of the count de Nevers, who, it was said, had been bribed by presents from the king, they raised the siege at night, and, leaving their tents, marched with all haste towards Cambridge in order to circumvent the king. He however, by means of good scouts, was forewarned of this, before the barons arrived at Cambridge, and like a cunning traveller betook himself to the town of Stamford. From thence he soon proceeded northward, and hearing that the castle of Lincoln was besieged he made all haste to that place, Gilbert de Gant and the other Normans, who were besieging it fled before him, dreading his presence as they would lightning. The barons, too, who had followed the king, when they found that they were deceived, indulged in rapine and robbery, and gave all their attention to the destruction of property; they then returned with their booty to London, where they appointed some knights to guard the city, and then marched to join Louis at Dover. King John in the meantime proceeded towards the boundary of Wales, besieging and taking the castles of the barons in that direction, all which he ordered to be razed to the ground; and the cruel destruction which he caused amongst the houses and crops of the said barons afforded a pitiable spectacle to all who saw it. In the month of November in the same year Alexander king of Scots, for fear of king John, came with a large army to Louis at Dover, and did homage to him for the right which he ought to hold from the king of the English; but on his way to him, as he was passing Bernard's castle, in the province of Haliwerefolk, and which was in the fee of Hugh de Baillul, he, with the nobles of that district, rode round the castle to see if it was open to assault in any part; whilst thus employed a cross-bow man in the castle discharged his weapon, and wounded a noble of high rank, Eustace de Vesci, in the forehead, and, the weapon piercing his brain, he died on the spot. This said Eustace had married the sister of the king of Scotland; and therefore the latter as well as all the party of the barons was much grieved. The

A.D. 1216.] DEATH OF JOHN. 377

said king however did homage, as he had pre-arranged, and returned home.

The treachery of the French detected.

It happened about this time that the viscount de Melun, a French nobleman who had come into England with Louis, fell seriously ill at London; and when he found that his death was approaching, he sent for some of the barons who had been left in charge of the city to speak with him, and in the hearing of them all made the following confession. "I grieve", said he, "for your desolation and ruin, because you know not the danger which hangs over you; for Louis and sixteen other French counts and barons with him have sworn, that, if he subdues England and is crowned king, he will condemn to perpetual banishment all those who are now fighting with him and persecuting king John, as traitors against their lord, and will destroy the whole race of them from the kingdom; and, that you may not doubt this, I, who am now lying here at the point of death, declare to you at the risk of my soul, that I am one of those who have taken this oath with Louis. Therefore I now sincerely advise you to provide for your safety for the future, and to keep secret what I have now told you"; and with these words that nobleman immediately expired. When this information was spread amongst the barons they were in great consternation, for they knew that they were in trouble on every side; for Louis had, notwithstanding their murmurs, given their land and castles, which he had subdued in various places, to the French, and, what hurt them most, had branded them with treachery; their alarm was increased too, by the circumstance of their being excommunicated day after day, and deprived of all earthly honour, and they consequently fell into great trouble both of body and mind. Many of them thought of returning to their allegiance to king John; but they were afraid, that, on account of the many and great injuries by which he had been provoked to anger against them, he would not receive them though penitent.

Of the death of king Jahn.

Whilst Louis was continuing the siege at Dover for a

378 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1216.

length of time and without success, John with a large force had been committing terrible ravages in the counties of Suffolk and Norfolk. At last he took his way through the town of Lynn, where he was received with joy by the inhabitants, and received large presents from them. He then took his march towards the north, but in crossing the river Wellester, he lost all his carts, waggons, and baggage horses, together with his money, costly vessels, and everything which he had a particular regard for; for the land opened in the middle of the water and caused whirlpools which sucked in every thing, as well as men and horses, so that no one escaped to tell the king of the misfortune. He himself narrowly escaped with his army, and passed the following night at a convent called Swineshead, where, as was thought, he felt such anguish of mind about his property which was swallowed up by the waters, that he was seized with a violent fever and became ill; his sickness was increased by his pernicious gluttony, for that night he surfeited himself with peaches and drinking new cider, which greatly increased and aggravated the fever in him. He however left that place at early dawn, although in pain, and proceeded to the castle of Lafort to take up his quarters, and at this place he was in such pain, that on the following day it was with difficulty that he reached Newark on horseback; there his disease, gained ground, and he confessed himself and received the eucharist from the abbat of Croxton. Afterwards he appointed his eldest son Henry his heir, and made his kingdom swear allegiance to him; he also sent letters under his own seal to all the sheriffs and castellans of the kingdom, ordering them one and all to obey his said son. Being then asked by the abbat of Croxton, where he would wish to be buried in case he should die, he answered, "To God and St. Wolstan I commend my body and soul". After this, on the night next after St. Luke the Evangelist's day, he departed this life, having reigned eighteen years and a half; his body was dressed in royal robes and carried to Worcester, and was there honourably buried in the cathedral church by the bishop of that place. When the king was drawing near his death at Newark, messengers came to him there with letters frcan about forty of the barons who wished to make their peace with him again; but as he was at the point of death he could not give his attention to

A.D. 1216.] CORONATION OF HENRY III. 379

them. [1] Some one has composed his epitaph and an inscription for his tomb in the following lines:-

Hoc in sarcophago sepelitur regis imago,
Qui moriens multum sedavit in orbe tumultum.
Hunc mala post mortem timor est ne fata sequantur.
Qui legis haec, metuens dum cernis te moriturum,
Discute quid rerum pariat tibi meta dierum.

King John reigned eighteen years five months and four days, [2]

Of the coronation of Henry the Third, kinq of England, and of the occurrences in his reign.

After the death of king John, on the eve of the day of the apostles Simon and Jude, an assembly was convened at Gloucester in the presence of Walo, the legate of the apostolic see, at which there were present, Peter bishop of Winchester, and Silvester bishop of Worcester, Ralph earl of Chester, William Marshall the earl of Pembroke, William earl of Ferrers, John Marshall, and Philip d'Albiney, with abbats, priors, and a great number of others, to arrange for the coronation of Henry the eldest son of king John. On the day following all preparations for the coronation having been made, the legate, in company with the bishops


[1] The abbat of the canons of Croxton, a man well skilled in medicine, who was the king's physician at that time, opened the king's body that it might be better carried to the grave, and having well salted his entrails had them carried to his abbey and honourably buried there. King John reigned eighteen years five months and five days, during which time he caused many disturbances and entered on many useless labours in the world, and at length departed this life in great agony of mind, possessed of no territory, yea not even being his own master. It is, however, to be confidently hoped that some good works, which he performed in this life, may plead in his favour at the tribunal of Jesus Christ; for he founded a monastery of the Cistercian order at Beaulieu, and, when dying, gave to the monastery of Croxton land worth ten pounds.

[2] A profane rhymer thus says of him,

"With John's foul deeds England's whole realm is stinking,
As doth hell, too, wherein he now is sinking".

But because it is dangerous to write against him who can so easily proscribe a man, it is not my business because it is not safe, to blame his endless reprehensible faults, as says the poet Juvenal,

"I'll aim my shafts of satire at the dead".

380 ROGER OF WENDOVER, [A.D. 1216.

and nobles aforesaid, conducted the king in solemn procession to the conventual church to be crowned; and there, standing before the great altar, in the presence of the clergy and people, he swore on the holy gospels and other reliques of the saints that he would observe honour, peace, and reverence towards God and the holy church and its ordained ministers all the days of his life; he also swore that he would show strict justice to the people entrusted to his care, and would abolish all bad laws and customs, if there were any in the kingdom, and would observe those that were good, and cause them to be observed by all. He then did homage to the holy church of Rome and to pope Innocent for the kingdoms of England and Ireland, and swore that, as long as he held those kingdoms, he would faithfully pay the thousand marks which his father had given to the Roman church; after this, Peter bishop of Winchester placed the crown on his head, and anointed him king with the usual ceremonies of prayer and chanting observed at coronations. After mass had been performed, the bishops and knights above mentioned clothed the king in royal robes, and conducted him to table, where they all took their seats according to their rank, and feasted amidst mirth and rejoicing. On the following day the king received the homage and fealty of all the bishops, earls, barons, and all others present, and they all promised faithful allegiance to him. Henry was crowned in the tenth year of his age, on the day of the apostles Simon and Jude, which was the 28th day of the month of October. After his coronation he continued under the guardianship of William earl of Pembroke, the grand marshal, who immediately sent letters to all the sheriffs and castellans of England, enjoining them each and all to obey the newly crowned king, and promising them possessions and many presents besides, on condition of their faithfully adhering to the said king; and thus all the nobles and castellans who had served his father adhered more firmly to him, because they all thought that the sin of the father ought not to be charged to the son; wherefore all began to prepare for defence and to fortify their castles as strongly as possible. Those who had taken the side of the king were encouraged, because they saw that his accomplices and abettors were excommunicated each Sunday and feast-day.

A.D. 1216.] SIEGE OF HERTFORD CASTLE. 381

How Louis, on hearing of John's death, departed from Dover.

When Louis and the barons who were besieging Dover castle received news of the death of king John, they were all greatly pleased, as they confidently expected that they now had the kingdom of England in their own power. Louis then summoned Hubert de Burgh, constable of Dover castle, to a conference, and said to him, "Your lord king John is dead, and you cannot hold this castle against me for long, as you have no protector; therefore give up the castle, and become faithful to me, and I will enrich you with honours, and you shall hold a high post amongst my advisers". To this offer Hubert is said to have replied, "Although my lord is dead, he has sons and daughters, who ought to succeed him; and, as to surrendering the castle, I will deliberate with my fellow knights". He then returned to the castle and told his friends what Louis had said, but they were all unanimous in refusing to surrender it to him, lest they might be branded with treachery for a cowardly submission. When this was announced to Louis and the barons, they determined to reduce the smaller castles throughout the country, that, after the lesser fortresses were in their power, they might attack the larger ones; they then raised the siege, and returned to the city of London. Directly after their retreat, the knights who had defended the castle sallied out and burnt the houses and buildings which Louis had erected in front of the castle, and then ravaging the country, they procured a plentiful supply of necessaries for the garrison.

Of the siege and capture of the castle of Hertford.

After this, Louis marched on the morrow of St. Martin's day with a large army to the town of Hertford, and laid siege to it, arranging his engines of war round the castle to batter the walls; but Walter de Godardville, a brave knight of the retinue of Falcasius, defended it with his soldiers, and caused a great slaughter amongst the French. However, after the latter had, at great expense, protracted the siege from Martinmas till the feast of St. Nicholas, the town was surrendered to Louis, saving the garrison, their property, horses, and arms. The town being thus given up, Robert Fitz-Walter made a demand of it, saying that the charge of

382 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1216.

it belonged to him by old right; Louis then asked the advice of the French knights on the matter, who told him that the English were not worthy of holding charge of such places, as they were traitors to their own sovereign. On this Louis told the aforesaid Robert to wait patiently till the kingdom was subdued, when he would give every one his rights. In the same year on the day of St. Catherine the virgin and martyr, the noble William d'Albiney was released from prison, after paying a fine of six thousand marks for his ransom; he then did homage to king Henry, who delivered into his custody the castle of Lafort, which he vigorously maintained.

Capture of the castle of Berkhampstead.

After reducing the castle of Hertford, as above- mentioned, Louis marched on St. Nicholas's day to the castle of Berkhampstead and surrounded it with his engines of war. Whilst the English barons, after pitching their tents, were employed in setting them in order, the knights and soldiers of the garrison made a sally, seized the baggage and conveyances of the barons, and gained possession of the standard of William de Mandeville, with which they returned to the castle, regretting that they could do no further injury to them. On the same day, whilst the barons were sitting at table, the knights and soldiers of the garrison again made a sally, and, in order to put the barons in confusion, they carried before them the standard which they had taken a short time before, and thought to come upon them unawares; but the latter were forewarned of this, and drove them back into the castle. When the following day dawned Louis ordered the petrariae and other engines of war to be erected round the city, which being done, they kept up a destructive shower of stones; but Walleran, a German, well tried in warfare, made a brave resistance against them and caused great slaughter amongst the excommunicated French. However at last the aforesaid Walleran, after a protracted siege, by command of the king surrendered the castle to Louis, saving their horses and arms, on the 20th of December. On the following day which was St. Thomas's day, Louis, after placing his own followers in the castle, went to St. Alban's, and required the abbat to do homage to him; to

A.D. 1216.] EVENTS IN THE HOLY LAND. 383

this the abbat replied that he would not do homage to him, till he was released from the homage which he had made to the king of England, on which Louis became greatly enraged, and swore that he would burn the convent and the whole town unless he did what was required of him. At last the said abbat, after being dreadfully threatened, on the intervention of Sayer earl of Winchester, paid a fine for himself and for the town, giving to Louis for a truce till the purification of St. Mary eighty marks of silver; and on this Louis returned to the city of London.

Events connected with the land of promise.

In the same year, on the expiration of the truce made between those of the faith in the land of promise and the Saracens, at the first passage after the general Lateran council, the army of the Lord assembled in great force at Acre, under the three kings of Jerusalem, Hungary, and Cyprus. There were also present the dukes of Austria and Bohemia, with a large knightly array from the kingdom of Germany, and several counts and men of rank. The archbishops of Nicosia, Salzburgh, Argia, Hungary, Bayeux, Bawerge, Ciceno, Munster, and Utrecht, and with them the noble and powerful Walter d'Avennes. Besides these, the patriarch of Jerusalem, amidst much humility of clergy and people, reverently carrying the symbol of the life-giving cross, set out on the sixth day after All Saints from Acre for the camp of the army of the Lord, which had gone forward to Recordana. This being a piece of the Lord's cross had, after the loss of the Holy Land, been kept concealed by those of the faith till this time; for in a conflict between the Saracens and Christians, in Saladin's time, the cross, as we have heard from our elders, was cut, and a part of it being carried into the light, was there lost, but the part left behind still remained and was now shown. The army of the faith, furnished with this for a standard, marched through the plain of Faba to the fountain of Tubannia, and suffered much in that day's march. Scouts were then sent out, who saw the dust which was caused by the enemy, but were uncertain whether they were in retreat or advancing to meet them. On the following day they marched between the mountains of Gelboe on their right hand and a lake on their left, and reached

384 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1216.

Bethany, where tho onemy was encamped; the latter, however, in dread at the approach of the army of the living God, which was so numerous, and marching in such order, struck his tents, and, taking to flight, left the country open to the ravages of the soldiers of Christ. On the eve of Martinmas the army of the faith crossed the Jordan, bathing their bodies in that river, and there rested quietly for two days, finding an abundance of provisions. They then made three stages along the sea of Galilee and passed through the places where our Saviour deigned to work his miracles, and conversed in person with men. They saw Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter, then reduced to a small fortress; they also saw the places where Christ called his disciples, walked on the sea with dry feet, fed the multitudes in the desert, went up the mountain to pray, and where, after his resurrection he ate with his disciples; and then they returned by way of Capernaum to Acre, carrying their sick with them. After this they made another expedition and proceeded to Mount Tabor, where at first they found a scarcity of water, but afterwards by digging they discovered plenty; the chiefs of the army gave up all hopes of ascending the mountain, until they were told by a Saracen boy that the castle could be taken. They therefore held a council, and on the first Sunday in Advent, when was read the gospel, "Go to the castle which is over against you", the patriarch went in advance with the symbol of the cross, and amidst the prayers and chanting of hymns by the bishops and clergy the army reached the side of the mountain; and although it was rugged on every side, and as it seemed insurmountable, except by a winding path, yet they all undauntingly climbed it. John king of Jerusalem, with the soldiers of Christ, struck from their horses the castellan and an emir, who at the first onset had boldly met the enemy outside the gates, to defend the mountain, and were putting them to confusion and flight. But the glory which the king gained in his ascent of the mountain, he lost in the descent; for a number of the templars, hospitallers, and seculars were wounded, when the enemy recovered their courage, though but few were killed. In this expedition, as also in the former one which we mentioned, the Christians brought back a great number of men, women, and children with them to Acre, where the bishop of

A.D. 1217.] CONDITION OF THE BARONS. 385

Acre baptized all he could obtain by entreaties or for money; the women he distributed amongst the nuns, and had them taught to read. In a third expedition, at which the patriarch was not present with the clergy and the symbol of the cross the army of the faith endured many inconveniences, as well from robbers as from the severity of the winter, especially on the eve of Christmas day, when, as they were on their march, the weather was disturbed by storms of wind and rain; in the neighbourhood of Tyre and Sidon too, near Sarepta, they suffered many hardships, as well from the inclemency of the season as from bodily suffering.

How the barons of England reflected on the wretched state of their affairs.

[A.D. 1217.] The young king Henry was at Christmas at Bristol, in company with Walo the legate, and William Marshall the guardian of the king and kingdom. At this time there was a great deal of wavering amongst the barons of England, to which ruler they should entrust themselves, whether to the young Henry or to Louis; for they were treated so contemptuously by the French that many of them rejected their assistance. This gust of excitement, moreover, was increased by Louis himself, who, in disregard of his oath, and in spite of their complaints, had retained in his own possession the lands, possessions, and castles of the said barons, which he had subdued with their help, and had placed foreign knights and people in charge of them. On the other hand, it seemed a disgrace for them to return to their allegiance to a king whom they had renounced, lest they should be like dogs returning to their vomit; and, being thus in difficulty in every way, they could not mend the broken reed. In the same year, on the 20th of January, the knights and soldiers of the garrison of the castle of Montsorrel made a sally to rob and pillage the country; but the knights of Nottingham, on being informed of it by their scouts, went to meet them, and giving them battle, made prisoners of ten knights and twenty-four soldiers of the opposite party, and killed three, after which they returned in triumph.

386 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1217.

How Falkasius pillaged the town of St. Alban's.

In the same year, on the 22nd of January, the wicked robber Falkasius assembled a force of knights and robbers from the garrisons of the castles of Oxford, Northampton, Bedford, and Windsor, and went to St. Alban's, it being the night of St. Vincent's day, at dusk, and making an unexpected attack on the place, pillaged it and made prisoners of men and children, whom he committed to close confinement; at the very door of the church there he slew a follower of the court who was endeavouring to take refuge in the church, and after the perpetration of this wicked crime by these agents of the devil, he sent orders to the abbat William at once to deliver him a hundred pounds of silver, or else he would directly burn the whole town, with the monastery and other buildings; on which the abbat, after much hesitation, paid the sum demanded, having no other remedy. Falkasius after this, with his excommunicated companions in arms, made all speed to the castle of Bedford, taking with him his booty and prisoners; from that place he marched with his followers to the forest of Walburg, and there made prisoner Roger de Coleville and sixty clerks and laymen with him, who were lying concealed there for the sake of collecting booty. [1]


[1] Paris adds:- "One night afterwards, the said Faulkes saw in a vision a large stone from the tower of St. Alban's fall like a thunderbolt on him, and crush him to dust; alarmed by this, he awoke, and told his wife the vision. She then advised him, as her husband, lord, and friend, to go with all due devotion to the blessed Alban, whom he had without doubt offended, and make his peace with that saint by a proper atonement; for she understood that this was a presage of some future punishment for the crime he had committed, Faulkes then consented to do so after some trouble, thus fulfilling the saying of the apostle, 'a faithless man shall be saved by a faithful woman'. He afterwards, not to offend his wife, went to St. Alban's, and entered the chapter-house without his armour, carrying a rod, and asked and obtained absolution, kissing the monks one by one, as if he could thus make his peace with them all; but he did not restore any of the property he had seized, or make any reparation to the poor followers of Christ for the injury he had done them. The servants of Christ stood at the door of the chapter-house, hoping for some reparation to them; but when he saw them waiting, he spurned them and passed on, not knowing that threatening prophecy as to the punishment which the Lord God of vengeance, at the complaint of the blessed Alban, has reserved for him, 'Woe unto you, robber, for you shall be robbed'. And this he learned by experience in the end, as the ensuing narrative will show".

A.D. 1217.] EVENTS IN THE HOLY LAND. 387

Of the treaty made between the king of England and Louis.

About this time, the messengers of Louis who had gone on his behalf to the court of Rome, brought word to him, that unless he left England the sentence of excommunication which the legate Walo had pronounced against him would on the day of the Lord's supper be confirmed. On account of this a truce was made between Louis and king Henry to last till the Easter month, by which it was agreed that everything was to remain till that time in the same state as it was on the day of the truce being sworn to, with respect both to castles and other possessions. Louis then crossed the sea during Lent, on such a footing, that he never again had the good will of the barons of England as he had formerly; for of that party, William earl of Salisbury, William earl of Arundel, William earl of Warrenne, and many others, at once returned to their allegiance to king Henry, and adhered to his cause from that time: the grand marshal too recalled his eldest son William to his allegiance to the king, and thus Louis's party was in a great measure broken up.

Events in the land of promise.

The army at Acre was at this time divided into four parts; the kings of Hungary and Cyprus went to Tripoli, where the young king of Cyprus died. The king of Hungary, after staying there for a short time, took his departure to the injury of the cause of the Holy Land; for he took away with him pilgrims and galleys, horses, cattle, and arms, and although much entreated by the patriarch not to leave, he went away with his retinue, and was excommunicated. Another portion, consisting of the lazy and timid, and the wealthy, remained in Acre. The king of Jerusalem and the duke of Austria, with the hospitallers of St. John, and many prelates, and others of the crusaders, in a short time had strengthened the castle at Caesarea in Palestine, although frequent reports of the approach of the enemy were brought to them. At this latter place, the patriarch with six prelates celebrated the feast of the Purification with all due solemnity. The templars too, with the lord d'Avennes, and other pilgrims, and the hospitallers of the Teutonic order, fortified a castle formerly called " The District", but now the "Pilgrim's Castle", which lies between Caiffa and Caesarea,

388 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1217.

not far from the sea: wherefore, those who went up and down the narrow road on their way to Jerusalem, called it "The District". The chief advantage of this castle was, that the brotherhood of the Templars, after leaving the city of Acre, which was full of all sin and debauchery, would remain in it as a garrison till the walls of Jerusalem were repaired. The district round it abounded in fisheries, lakes, woods, pastures, meadows, fields, herbage, vineyards, gardens, and orchards. Between Acre and Jerusalem, the Saracens were not in possession of any town, on which account the infidels suffered much loss. Six miles distant from mount Thabor, between Jerusalem and the Jordan, there is a good natural harbour; and therefore the Saracens could neither plough nor sow in the extensive plain which lies between, on account of its being under the protection of this castle. The army of the Lord then, after fortifying this castle, returned to Acre.

Of signs in the heavens by which the province of Cologne was incited to assist in the crusade.

In the month of May in this year, on the sixth day before Whitsuntide, the province of Cologne was awakened to its duty to the Saviour; for at the town of Bebon in Friesland there appeared in the sky the form of the cross in three places, one towards the north of a white colour, another towards the south of the same form and colour, and the third in the middle of a dark colour, with the form of the crucifix, and the figure of a man suspended on it, with uplifted and extended arms, with nails driven through the feet and hands, and with the head bent down; this one was in the middle between the two others, on which latter did not appear the image of a human body; at another time and place too, namely, at a town of Friesland called Fuserhuse, there appeared near the sun a cross of a blue colour, and more people saw this than those who had seen the former crosses: a third cross appeared at the town of Doetham, where saint Bonifacius was crowned with martyrdom; at this place on the feast of the said martyr, many thousand men having collected together, a large white cross was visible, as though two planks were placed artificially across one another; this

A.D. 1217.] SIEGE OF MOUNTSOREL CASTLE. 389

cross moved gradually from the north towards the east, and many thousands saw it.

The siege of the castle of Mountsorel.

In the same year after Easter, by the orders of William Marshall guardian of the king and kingdom of England, there assembled, to lay siege to the castle of Mountsorel, Ralph earl of Chester, William earl of Albemarle, William earl of Ferrars, Robert de Vipont, Brian de L'Isle, W. de Cantelupe, Philip Marc, Robert de Gaugi, Falkasius with his castellans, and many others from the garrisons of the different castles, and they at once arranged their engines of war in suitable positions and invested the castle. The commander of the place was Henry de Braybrooke, and there were with him ten knights, men of great valour, and a number of attendants, who courageously returned stone for stone and weapon for weapon on their assailants; the besieged, after they had defended the castle for several days, in order that they might not be reduced to want through a protracted siege, sent to Sayer earl of Winchester, who was then at London, begging him to come at once to their assistance. The said earl then, to whom the castle belonged, went to Louis who had lately returned to London from the transmarine provinces, and demanded of him to send some assistance by which the siege might be raised; after consulting with each other they came to the determination to send a body of knights to raise the siege and to reduce the whole district to submission to Louis. In pursuance of this plan there went forth from the city of London six hundred knights and more than twenty thousand soldiers, who all coveted the property of others; and this array was under the command of the count of Perche mareschal of France, Sayer earl of Winchester, Robert Fitz-Walter with many others, whom they esteemed fit to command the expedition. They moved their camp on the 30th of April, which was on the Monday next before our Lord's Ascension, and marched to St. Alban's pillaging all the places they passed. These wicked French freebooters and robbers roved through the towns around them, sparing neither churches nor cemeteries, and made prisoners of the inhabitants of all ranks, and, after dreadfully torturing them, extorted a heavy ransom from them; the convent of St.

390 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1217.

Alban's too, the abbat of which had a short time before satisfied the demands of Louis by the payment of a large sum of money, escaped the hands of the robbers, so that they stole nothing except meat and drink.

Of a miracle of the Lord's cross.

On the following day they moved their camp, proceeding towards the town of Dunstable, and, at the town of Redbourn, they pillaged the church of St. Amphibalus, and stripped the monks even to their inner clothing; they also took the relics of the saints from above the great altar and polluted them with their impious hands. One among them seized on a silver and gold ornamented cross, in which was contained a piece of our Lord's cross, and hid it in his wicked bosom unknown to his companions; but before he had left the oratory, he was possessed by a devil, and fell down grinding his teeth and foaming at the mouth, then rising quickly on the instigation of the devil, he endeavoured to strike at his companions with his sword; they, however, pitying his agony, tied his hands, and, not knowing the cause of it, took him to the church of Flamstead in a state of the wildest frenzy. As these robbers were entering that church for the purpose of robbing it, they were met by the priest, clad in white robes, in order to check the evil disposition of those impious men; however, being alarmed about their mad companion whom they had brought with them, they refrained from plunder, and there, in the presence of the superior and many others, the aforesaid cross leapt forth from the madman's bosom and fell on the ground; the superior then took it up with reverence and astonishment, and, holding it up, asked the robbers what it was. At length on consideration they found out, by means of this visitation of God, that he had clandestinely taken it from the monks whom they had robbed in the adjoining town, and they were all in a state of great perplexity and fear, lest the evil spirit should possess them also, and torture them, as it had done their companion. They therefore in great alarm delivered the cross up to the superior, beseeching him, by the virtue of God and in peril of his order, before he took any food, to go to the place and restore the cross to the monks; the superior therefore made, all haste to the oratory of St. Amphibalus, and with due reverence

A.D. 1217.] SIEGE OF LINCOLN CASTLE. 391

delivered the cross, and related all the wonderful events connected with it to the prior and brethren.

The raising of the siege of the castle of Montsorel, and of the siege of Lincoln castle.

The army of Louis and the barons of England arrived at Dunstable, and there passed the night. In the morning it took its march northward, hastening to the relief of the before-mentioned castle of Montsorel; earl Ralph of Chester and the others who were with him besieging it, being informed of this by their scouts, raised the siege, and retreated to the castle of Nottingham, where they determined to watch the progress of their approaching enemies. When the barons then arrived at the castle of Montsorel, after pillaging in their usual custom all the cemeteries and churches on their march, it was determined unanimously to march to Lincoln, where Gilbert de Gant and other barons above-mentioned had carried on a long siege without success. They therefore marched through the valley of Belvoir, and there everything fell into the hands of these robbers, because the soldiers of the French kingdom being as it were the refuse and scum of that country, left nothing at all untouched, and their poverty and wretchedness was so great, that they had not enough bodily clothing to cover their nakedness. At length they arrived at Lincoln, and the barons then made fierce assaults on the castle, whilst the besieged returned their showers of stones and missiles with stones and deadly weapons with great courage.

How the king of England assembled an army to raise the siege of the castle of Lincoln.

Whilst these events were passing at this place, William Marshall, the guardian of the king and kingdom, by the advice of Walo the legate, Peter bishop of Winchester, and others by whose counsels the business of the kingdom was arranged, convoked all the castellans belonging to the king, and the knights who were in charge of castles in different parts of the kingdom, ordering them, on the command of the king, to assemble at Newark on the second day in Whitsun week, to proceed together with them to raise the siege of Lincoln castle. They, having an ardent

392 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1217.

desire to engage with the excommunicated French, and also to fight for their country, joyfully came at the time and place pre-arranged on, and with them also there came the legate himself, and many other prelates of the kingdom, with horses and soldiers, to assail with prayers as well as arms these disobeyers of their king, and rebels against their lord the pope; for it appeared to them they had a just cause of war, especially as he was innocent, and a stranger to sin, whom his enemies were endeavouring in their pride to disinherit. And when they were all assembled together, there were reckoned in that army four hundred knights, nearly two hundred and fifty cross-bow men, and such an innumerable host of followers and horsemen were present, who could on emergency fulfil the duties of soldiers. The chiefs of this army were William Marshall and William his son, Peter bishop of Winchester, a man well skilled in warfare, Ralph earl of Chester, William earl of Salisbury, William earl of Ferrars, and William earl of Albemarle; there were also there the barons, William d'Albiney, John Marshall, William de Cantelo, [1] and William his son, the renowned Falcasius, Thomas Basset, Robert de Vipont, Brian de L'Isle, Geoffrey de Lucy, and Philip d'Albiney, with many castellans of experience in war. They made a stay of three days at Newark, to refresh the horses and men, and in the meantime employed themselves in confession, and strengthened their bodies by partaking of the body and blood of our Lord, asking his protection against the attacks of their enemies: and thus all of them were prepared for extremities, and were determined to conquer or die in the cause of right.

How, when the king's army was assembled, the legate encouraged them all to battle.

At length, on the sixth day of Whitsun week, after the performance of the holy sacrament, the legate rose and set forth to all of them how unjust was the cause of Louis, and the barons who had joined him, for which they had been excommunicated and alienated from the community of the church; and in order to animate the army to battle, he put on his white robes, and, in company with the whole clergy there, excommunicated Louis by name, together with all his


[1] Before called Cantelupe.

A.D. 1217.] BATTLE AT LINCOLN. 393

accomplices and abettors, and especially all those who were carrying on the siege of Lincoln against the king of England, together with the whole provinces, inclusive and included. And to those who had undertaken to assist in this war personally, he, by the power granted to him from the omnipotent God and the apostolic see, granted full pardon for their sins, of which they had made true confession, and as a reward to the just he promised the reward of eternal salvation. Then, after all had received absolution and the blessing of God, they flew to arms, mounted their horses at once and struck their camp rejoicing. On their arrival at Stowe, eight miles from Lincoln, they there passed the night without fear. In the morning, seven dense and well appointed battalions were formed, and they marched against the enemy, only fearing that the latter would take to flight before they reached the city; the cross-bow men all the time kept in advance of the army almost a mile; the baggage waggons and sumpter-horses followed altogether in the rear with the provisions and necessaries, whilst the standards and bucklers glittered in all directions, and struck terror into those who beheld them.

How the barons went out of the city of Lincoln and reconnoitred the king's army.

The barons who were in the city and the French felt such great confidence of success in their cause, that when their messengers told them of the approach of their adversaries they only laughed at them, and continued to hurl missiles from their mangonells, to destroy the walls of the castle. But Robert Fitz-Walter, and S. earl of Winchester, when they heard that the enemy were approaching the city, went out to watch their approach and to count their numbers; and when they had made a careful survey of the approaching enemy they returned to the city to their companions, telling them, "The enemy are coming against us in good order, but we are much more numerous than they are; therefore, our advice is that we sally forth to the ascent of the hill to meet them, for, if we do, we shall catch them like larks". In reply to them, the count of Perche and the mareschal said, "You have reckoned them according to your own opinion: we also will now go out and count them in the French

394 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1217.

fashion". Thev then wont out to reconnoitre the coming army of the king, but in their estimation of them they were deceived: for when they saw the waggons and baggage in the rear of the army with the guards who followed the squadrons which were already disposed in order of battle, they thought that this was an army of itself, because they beheld there a great multitude of men with standards flying; for each of the nobles had two standards, one, as we have already said, following the troops at a distance in the rear, with the baggage, and another preceding the persons of each of them, that they might be known when engaged in battle. And the count of Perche, with the mareschal, being thus deceived, returned in a state of uncertainty to their companions. On their return into the city they proposed this plan to their companions, whose advice they did not despise, namely, to divide the nobles that the gates might be guarded and the enemy prevented from entering by some, until the others had taken the castle, the capture of which would soon be effected. This plan was approved of by many, but several disagreed with it. They then secured the gates, appointed guards to them, and prepared for a defence.

Of the battle fought at Lincoln called by some the "Fair".

The king's army in the meantime approached the city on the side nearest the castle, and when it was discovered by the castellans they sent a messenger by a postern door of the castle to the commanders of the army, to inform them of what was being done inside. This messenger told them that if they wished they could enter the castle by the postern, which had been just opened on account of their arrival; the commanders of the army, however, would not enter the castle that way, but sent Falcasius, with all the division under his command, and all the cross-bowmen, to force open at least one gate of the city for the army. The whole body then marched to the northern gate and endeavoured to force it open, the barons, notwithstanding this, continuing to cast heavy stones from their petrariae against the castle. But during this time, Falcasius entered the castle with the company of troops under his command, and with the cross-bow men, and stationed them on a sudden on the roofs of the buildings and on the ramparts, whence they discharged their deadly

A.D. 1217.] DEFEAT OF THE FRENCH. 395

weapons against the chargers of the barons, levelling horses and riders together to the earth, so that in the twinkling of an eye, they made up a large force of foot-soldiers, knights, and nobles. Falcasius then, seeing a great many of the more noble of the enemy struck to the earth, boldly burst forth with his followers from the castle into the midst of the enemy; he was, however, made prisoner by the number who rushed on him, and carried away, until he was rescued by the bravery of his cross-bow men and knights. The great body of the king's army having in the meantime forced the gates, entered the city and boldly rushed on the enemy. Then sparks of fire were seen to dart, and sounds as of dreadful thunder were heard to burst forth from the blows of swords against helmeted heads; but at length, bv means of the cross-bowmen, by whose skill the horses of the barons were mown down and killed like pigs, the party of the barons was greatly weakened, for, when the horses fell to the earth slain, their riders were taken prisoners, as there was no one to rescue them. At length, when the barons were thus weakened, and great numbers of their soldiers had been made prisoners and safely secured, the king's knights rushed in a close body on the count of Perche, entirely surrounding him; and as he could not withstand their force as they rushed against him, they called on him to surrender, that he might escape with life. He, however, swore that he would not surrender to the English, who were traitors to their lawful king. On hearing this, a knight rushed on him, and striking him in the eye, pierced his brain, on which he fell to the ground without uttering another word. Then the French battalions, seeing the fall of their commander, took to flight, both horse and foot-soldiers, with great loss; for the flail of the southern gate through which they took their flight had been replaced in a transverse way across the gate, which greatly impeded their flight; for when any one came up and wished to go out at that gate, he was obliged to dismount from his horse and open it, and after he had passed the gate was again closed, and the flail again fell across it as before, and thus this gate was a great trouble to the fugitives. The king's troops pursued the flying barons and French, but although several were made prisoners in their flight, yet the king's men only feigned to pursue them, and if it had not been

396 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1217.

for the effect of relationship and blood, not a single one of all of them would have escaped. But not further to prolong the account to no purpose, of the commanding barons were made prisoners, Sayer earl of Winchester, Henry de Bohun earl of Hereford, count Gilbert de Gant, whom Louis had lately created earl of Lincoln; and the count of Perche lay dead there. There were also made prisoners, the barons Robert Fitz-Walter, Richard de Montfitchet, William de Mowbray, William de Beauchamp, William Maudut, Oliver d'Haencurt, Roger de Creisi, William de Coleville, William de Roos, Robert de Roppele, Ralph Chainedut, and many others, to mention whom would be tedious. Three hundred knights were taken, besides soldiers, horse and foot, not easily to be counted. The count of Perche was buried in the orchard of the hospital outside the city. Reginald, surnamed Crocus, a brave knight of Falcasius's retinue, who was slain there, was honourably buried at the monastery of Croxton. There was also slain in this battle a soldier of the barons' party, not known to any one, who was buried outside the city at the meeting of four roads, as one excommunicated. And only the above-mentioned three are mentioned as having been slain in this great battle.

Of the plunder and pillage of the city.

After the battle was thus ended, the king's soldiers found in the city the waggons of the barons and the French, with the sumpter-horses, loaded with baggage, silver vessels, and various kinds of furniture and utensils, all which fell into their possession without opposition. Having then plundered the whole city to the last farthing, they next pillaged the churches throughout the city, and broke open the chests and store-rooms with axes and hammers, seizing on the gold and silver in them, clothes of all colours, women's ornaments, gold rings, goblets, and jewels. Nor did the cathedral church escape this destruction, but underwent the same punishment as the rest, for the legate had given orders to the knights to treat all the clergy as excommunicated men, inasmuch as they had been enemies to the church of Rome and to the king of England from the commencement of the war; Geoffrey de Drepinges precentor of this church, lost eleven thousand marks of silver. When they had thus

A.D. 1217.] FLIGHT OF THE BARONS AND THE FRENCH. 397

seized on every kind of property, so that nothing remained in any corner of the houses, they each returned to their lords as rich men, and peace with king Henry having heen declared by all throughout the city, they ate and drank amidst mirth and festivity. This battle, which, in derision of Louis and the barons, they called "The Fair", took place on the 19th of May, which was on the Saturday in Whitsun-week; it commenced between the first and third hour, and was finished by these good managers before the ninth. Many of the women of the city were drowned in the river, for, to avoid insult, they took to small boats with their children, female servants, and household property, and perished on their journey; but there were afterwards found in the river by the searchers, goblets of silver, and many other articles of great benefit to the finders; for the boats were overloaded, and the women not knowing how to manage the boats, all perished, for business done in haste is always badly done. After thus finishing this business, William Marshall ordered all the castellans to return to their castles with the prisoners, and there to keep them in close custody till they should learn the king's pleasure concerning them. The said William Marshall returned the same day, before he took any food, to the king, and told him in presence of the legate what had happened, and they, who had been praying to God with weeping, soon changed their tears to smiles. In the morning messengers came to the king and told him that the knights at Montsorel had left that castle and fled; on which the king ordered the sheriff of Nottingham to go in person to the castle and to raze it to the ground.

Of the flight of the barons and the French from Lincoln.

After the count of Perche was slain, as above stated, they all took to flight, horse as well as foot-soldiers, towards the city of London, and the foremost among them was the mareschal of France, with the castellan of Arras, and all the French; many of them however, and especially almost all the foot-soldiers, were slain before they got to Louis; for the inhabitants of the towns through which they passed in their flight, went to meet them with swords and bludgeons, and laying snares for them, killed numbers. About two hundred knights reached London and want before to Louis

398 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1217.

to tell him of their sad losses; he however sneeringly told them that it was owing to their flight that their companions had been made prisoners, because if they had remained to fight, they would perhaps have saved themselves as well as their companions from capture and death. It must be believed that this defeat happened to Louis and the barons of England by a just dispensation of God, for as they had now continued nearly two years under sentence of excommunication, unless they were corrected by divine punishment, men would say, "There is no God", and so there would be none who acted rightly, no, not one.

Of the death of pope Innocent.

On the 16th of July in the same year, pope Innocent paid the debt of human nature, after filling the pontifical chair for eighteen years five months and four days; he was succeeded by Honorius, formerly called Cencio, who held the see in the Roman church ten years seven months and nineteen days.

How Louis sent to his father for troops.

About this time Louis, owing to the misfortune which had befallen him at Lincoln, despaired of effecting his purpose, he however by good advice sent messengers to his father, and to his wife the lady Blanche, telling them of the irreparable losses which had befallen him and the barons of England at Lincoln, which he said was brought on them by God more than by man; for the king of the English had now become so powerful, that he with a large force paraded through the cities and towns round London, and precluded him and his companions from leaving the city. "Moreover", said he, "all kinds of provisions are failing us and our followers in the city, and even if they abounded there, we have no means of buying them; therefore I inform you that I have no means of resistance, or of leaving England, unless you supply me with strong military aid". When this news reached the father from his son, and the wife from her husband, they were much concerned at his being placed in this strait; [1] and as the king was afraid to give assistance to


[1] Paris adds:- "The French king, on hearing this, sail. 'Does not William Marshall still live'? And on being told that he did, he said, 'I have, then, no fears for my son'. From this, William Marshall was ever after branded as a traitor".

A.D. 1217.] NAVAL ENGAGEMENT. 399

his excommunicated son, as he had been often severely rebuked by the pope for granting his consent, he laid the burden of the business on the wife of Louis, who was not slow in fulfilling the duty imposed on her, but sent off to her husband's assistance three hundred brave knights, well equipped with supplies for war, and attended by a large body of soldiers. But all this could not be concealed from the king of England, who, having now recovered his courage, had, with a large army, taken possession of the southern coasts, and had determined to lay siege to the city of London; he therefore, by the advice of the grand marshal, deputed Philip de Albiney and John Marshall, with the sailors of the cinque ports and a large body of troops, to watch the seas carefully, and to look out for and prevent the approach of the French.

On the day of the apostle St. Bartholomew, the French fleet was entrusted to the command of Eustace the monk, a most disgraceful man and a wicked pirate, to conduct it in safety to London, and to deliver it to Louis. The above-mentioned troops then put to sea with a swelling fair wind, which drove them quickly towards England, but they were entirely unaware of the preparations which were made for them. When therefore they had proceeded a good way on their course, the commanders of the king of England's fleet came on an oblique course with eighty ships to oppose them, on which account the French were afraid to engage with them at sea with only their few ships, which did not exceed forty in number, galleys and ships together; but by the event which had taken place at Lincoln, in which a few had triumphed over a great many, they were inspirited and boldly attacked the rear of the enemy; when the French discovered this, they flew to their arms and made a bold resistance against them. Philip de Albiney with his cross-bow men and archers sending their missiles amongst the French, soon caused great slaughter amongst those who opposed them. They had moreover galleys peaked with iron, with which they pierced the ships of their adversaries and sank many of them in an instant; they also threw hot lime-dust on the sea, which, being borne by the wind, blinded the eyes of the

400 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1217.

French. A severe engagement took place between the fleets, but that of the French, who were not well skilled in naval warfare, was soon defeated; for the crews were struck down by the weapons and arrows of the English sailors, who were used to naval fights, pierced them with their javelins and arrows, or cut them down with swords and lances, whilst others bored holes in their ships' bottoms and sank them; therefore the French having no hopes of escape, threw themselves of their own accord into the waves, that they might not be taken alive by their enemies, for they preferred death to being taken prisoners by the English. The French nobles who survived, were taken prisoners, and the victorious English, towing after them the captured vessels, set sail after their glorious victory for Dover. The garrison of that place, on beholding this unexpected goodness of God, went out to meet their approaching fellow countrymen, and put into closer ward the unlucky French prisoners. Amongst other prisoners, that traitor to the king of England and wicked pirate Eustace the monk, after being long searched for was at length found, and dragged forth from the hold of one of the ships; and when he found himself a prisoner, he offered a large sum of money for his life and bodily safety, and promised for the future to fight faithfully under the English king; Richard, the illegitimate son of king John, who seized him, said to him, "Never again in this world, wicked traitor, shall you deceive any one with your false promises"; and with these words he drew his sword and cut off his head. The king's followers then collected all the spoil from the French ships consisting of gold, silver, silk cloths, and arms; and the prisoners having been committed to safe custody, Philip de Albiney told the king what had been done, who immediately gave praise for this heaven-sent victory to the Lord, who is always and every where wonderful in his works amongst men. When this event came to the knowledge of Louis, he was more concerned for it than for his misfortune at Lincoln. [1]


[1] C. inserts here, "When Hubert de Burgh was informed of the arrival of such a formidable host, he said to the bishop of Winchester, the marshal, and other nobles, 'If these people come to England unopposed, the kingdom is lost. Let us therefore meet them with courage, for God is with us, whilst they are excommunicated'. To this they replied, 'We are not sailors, pirates, or fishermen, do you go therefore and die'. Hubert then went to a little distance from the place and sent for his chaplain Luke; he at once received the wholesome viaticum, and then assuming the boldness of a lion, he said to his particular attendants, to whom he had entrusted the charge of Dover, 'I beseech you, by the blood of Christ, if I should by chance be taken prisoner, to allow me to be hung rather than give up the castle to any Frenchman, for it is the key of England'. They with tears promised him this on their allegiance and oath. He then, in company with two distinguished knights, Henry de Turville and Richard Seward, and some others, though few in number, embarked on board a ship, taking with him some sailors from the cinque-ports. There were under his command about sixteen well-armed ships, not including some small ones which accompanied them to the number of twenty. They then proceeded boldly on their course, and luffed as if they were going to Calais. When Eustace the monk, the French leader, saw this, he said, 'I know that these wretches intend to go to Calais, but it is to no purpose, for the inhabitants are forewarned against them'. But the English, finding that the wind failed them, suddenly altered their course, and the wind being now fair for them, they eagerly rushed on the enemy; as soon as they reached the vessels of their adversaries they threw grappling-irons and made them fast to their own vessels, and boarding them with their axes, they cut away the rigging supporting the mast and yards, and, the expending sail falling, the French were caught like birds in a net; the English then attacked them and making prisoners of all of rank amongst them, cut the rest to pieces. Amongst others they discovered Eustace, who had disguised himself, concealed in the hold of a ship, on which they dragged him forth and beheaded him. This man was a Fleming by birth, and on the deaths of his brothers without children, he, in order to obtain their inheritance, abandoned the monk's habit and apostatized from his order; he then became a pirate and a bloody pirate leader, causing great injury to numbers, but at length the robber was himself taken and received the reward of his deeds. When Hubert, after his miraculous victory, reached the English coast all the bishops who were in that quarter came out to meet him clad in their sacred robes, attended by the knights and people, and bearing crosses and standards, singing psalms and praising God".

A.D. 1217.] PEACE BETWEEN HENRY AND LOUIS. 401

Of the peace and agreement made between Henry king of England, and Louis.

After this the marshal, the king's guardian and regent, assembled a large army of knights and soldiers, and marched in great force to the city of London which he blockaded all round, both by land and water; and, by thus cutting off all supplies of provisions from the garrison, he thought to compel them to surrender. Louis being thus critically situated sent word to the legate and the marshal, that he was willing to comply with their terms in everything, on condition that they would make suitable terms of peace, saving his honour, and without injury to his followers. They therefore, since the

402 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1217.

matter rested with them, and as they desired beyond measure to be rid of Louis, sent back to him terms of peace reduced to writing, telling him that, if he would agree to them, they would bind themselves to grant free egress from England both for himself and all his fellow adventurers; but if not, they would cause his destruction and injure him in every way. When Louis and his counsellors saw these terms of peace, they were much pleased to be allowed to leave England, as it seemed useless for them to stay there any longer; he therefore sent word to the legate and grand marshal, to appoint a time and place for the above-mentioned treaty to be carried into effect. The parties then agreeing to the terms, they came to a conference, near the town of Staines on the river Thames, to conclude the peace; king Henry with the legate, grand marshal, and many others on one side, and Louis with the earls, barons, and others of his followers on the other; and there, by the divine favour, they all agreed to the underwritten terms of peace on the 11th of September.

Of the form of peace and the heavy punishment of those who had been excommunicated on account of the king.

In the first place Louis and all those who were excommunicated and all his fellow adventurers, swore on the holy gospels that they would abide by the decision of the holy church, and would thenceforth be faithful to their lord the pope and the church of Rome. Louis also swore that he would immediately leave England with all his followers, and would never again in his life return with evil designs; and that he would use his best endeavours to induce his father Philip to restore to the English king, Henry, all his rights in the transmarine provinces. He also swore that he would immediately give up to the king and his followers all castles and all lands, which he and his followers had seized in England during the war. The king of England, with the legate and the marshal, swore on the holy gospels, that they would restore to the barons of England and to all others in the kingdom, all their rights and inheritances, together with all the liberties formerly demanded and on account of which the dispute had arisen between John king of England and

A.D. 1217.] PUNISHMENT OF THE REBELS. 403

the barons. With regard to the prisoners, all those who had, before the arrangement of the peace, ransomed themselves, as well as those who had paid part of the money agreed on for their ransom, should not recover what had been paid; but from whatever remained to be paid should be entirely released. All the prisoners taken at Lincoln, or in the seafight near Dover, whether on the side of the king, or on that of Louis, should be everywhere immediately set free without any difficulty, and without any ransom or tribute. After all this was settled Louis together with his followers was absolved according to the form of the church, and each and all gave one another the kiss of peace, many of them deceitfully pretending a joy that was but feigned; after this Louis returned to London, where he received five thousand pounds sterling to meet his necessities, and then under the conduct of the grand marshal he went with all speed to the sea coast, and thence, in lasting ignominy, crossed to France. From the benefit of this absolution and pacification were excluded all the bishops, abbats, priors, canons, seculars, and a number of the clergy, who had given advice and shown favour to Louis and the barons, and especially master Simon de Langton, and master Gervase de Hobregge, who had gone so far in their obstinacy as to cause divine services to be performed for Louis and the excommunicated barons by excommunicated priests; they therefore were excluded from all benefit, and were obliged by the legate to go to Rome. Immediately after Louis's departure from England, the legate sent inquisitors through all the counties of England, to find out all who were guilty of the slightest implications in the rebellion of whatever order or rank they might be, and after suspending them and depriving them of all benefit, to send them to the legate, and he distributed all their benefices amongst his own clerks, and from the losses of others enriched all his own followers. Hugh bishop of Lincoln, too, came to England, and to regain his bishopric paid a thousand marks of sterling money for the pope's benefit, and a hundred to the legate; and following his example several others, priests and religious men, regained the legate's favour at ruinous expense. By such an immoderate draining he emptied the coffers of the clergy and secular canons, so that, according to the word of the gospel, he collected in one place all that had been

404 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1218.

scattered abroad, and from several portions made one great heap.

How the inhabitants of Cologne and Friesland prepared to march to the Holy Land.

About that time there was a great movement of the brave and warlike men in the provinces of Cologne and Friesland, for since the commencement of the preaching of the crusade after the general council, they had with great eagerness built three hundred ships and having embarked in them, to fulfil to the Lord their vows of pilgrimage, they set sail, and the greater part of them, with a large array of soldiers, had arrived at Lisbon, where a disagreement arose amongst them about laying siege to a strong castle called Alchatia, some being anxious to proceed, and others wishing to winter where they were; so the fleet was divided, and one part of it wintered at Gaeta and Sorrento, and the other part under the command of two chiefs, namely, William duke of Holland, and George count of Weise, laid siege to Alchacia. Whilst they were still employed in the siege, a large force of Saracens was assembled against them, but the Christians bravely gave them battle, and, by the divine assistance, conquered the infidels. One king amongst the pagans was slain, and numbers of others were killed and made prisoners; the castle was at last taken by the Germans, and held by the Christians.

Of the siege of the castle of Newark, and Robert de Gaugi.

[A.D. 1218.] At Christmas, king Henry was at Northampton, where Falcasius supplied all the necessaries for the royal festivity. There were at this time, in England, many nobles whose chief delight had been during the past war to live by plunder, and now, even after peace had been declared and granted to all, they could not restrain their hands from pillage; the chief incentors to this work were William earl of Albemarle, Falcasius and his castellans, Robert de Vipont, Brian de L'Isle, Hugh de Baliol, Philip Marci, and Robert Gaugi, with many others, who, in defiance of the king's prohibition, and against the consent of the owners, presumed to retain in their own possession the castles of some of the bishops and nobles with their lands and

A.D. 1218.] MARCH OF THE CRUSADERS. 405

other property. Amongst these Robert de Gaugi, even after several warnings from the king, refused to deliver up to Hugh bishop of Lincoln, the castle of Newark, with the town and its appurtenances, which of right belonged to that prelate. This circumstance aroused the anger of the grand marshal, who, by the king's orders, assembled a large army and, accompanied by the king himself, marched against the aforesaid castle; and when they arrived in the neighbourhood of it, they sent soldiers in advance to prevent the garrison from leaving the castle that they might not, as was often done, sally forth and burn the town. When Robert and his companions learned that this army was come, they made a sortie on them, but were obliged to retreat again by the attacks of the king's troops; in this attack William de Diva, a knight of the household of Hugh bishop of Lincoln, was slain as he was pursuing the enemy in their retreat to the castle, and several others were wounded; the king and the marshal were much concerned at this and ordered their engines of war to be disposed around the castle to batter the walls with continued assaults from their petrariae. The siege lasted for nearly eight days, during which the friends of the said Robert made overtures of peace to the bishop of Lincoln, and at length, the two parties with the king's consent, came to this agreement, namely, that the said bishop should give to Robert de Gaugi, a hundred pounds sterling for the stores in the castle, and on these terms the siege was raised, and every one returned to his home.

Of the march of the crusaders from Acre to Damietta.

In the same year was carried into effect the plan of pope Innocent which had been determined on at the Lateran council, namely, to bring the army of Christ into the land of Egypt. In the month of May, then, having prepared cogs, galleys, and a number of other vessels of burden, John king of Jerusalem, and the patriarch, sailed from Acre, accompanied by the bishops of Nicotia, Acre, and Bethlehem, the duke of Austria, and the masters of the templars and hospitallers of St. John and St. Mary of the Germans, and a large host of Christians. The wind beginning to rise a little, the army of the Lord had a favourable vovage, and arrived on the third day at the port of Damietta. Some of the army

406 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1218.

then landed and took possession of this hostile land without bloodshed; a few Saracen knights however met them, when a certain Frieslander, kneeling with his right knee on the ground, guarded himself with his shield in his left hand, and shook his lance and sword with his right. A Saracen who beheld him thought that he was in sport, but being suddenly wounded by the Frieslander, the knight and horse were struck to the ground, the others taking to flight; and thus the army of the faith measured out their camp between the coast and the banks of the Nile, and there pitched their tents without obstruction. God also wrought the following miracle for his faithful people; the water of the river near the sea, which at their first arrival was sweet to the taste, afterwards became salt as far as Casale, which is a mile above Damietta. After the arrival of the Christians there was a total eclipse of the moon, which the Christians interpreted to denote the defeat of the Saracens, for they attribute great prophetic influence to the increase and decrease of that luminary. [1]

Of the siege of the tower of Damietta on the river Nile.

After this the followers of Christ saw in the middle of the river Nile, not far from Damietta, a high and handsome tower strongly built of stone, from which an immensely thick iron chain was extended across the river to the city which stood on the other bank of it. It was the opinion of all that this tower ought to be reduced before laying siege to Damietta, but the Frieslanders, with their usual impatience, crossed the Nile and took away the horses of the Saracens, and, wishing to pitch their camp on the further bank of the river, they stood fighting against the Saracens, who came from the city to attack them; they were however recalled by the patriarch on their oath of obedience, because it seemed to the chiefs of the Christians to be disadvantageous to leave behind them a tower filled with pagans. The chiefs of the army of Christ, though anxious to take possession of this tower, saw that it could not be reduced by hunger on account


[1] Paris here gives a letter sent by pope Honorius to the English king, urging him to the practice of virtue, etc.; but we forbear to insert it, as those letters, although they might have been interesting to those of former times, are not of the least interest to us of the present day.- ED.

A.D. 1218.] CAPTURE OF A TOWER. 407

of the vicinity of the city; nor by undermining it, on account of the velocity of the river which surrounded it; nor could it be reduced by the missiles from their petrariae and trebuchets, because, although they had attempted it for several days, they had gained little or no advantage. In this dilemma they all came to the following determination, namely, to join some ships and cogs together and to prepare scaling ladders on the tops of the masts; on these they placed cross-bow men and soldiers, and by this plan they hoped to effect their purpose. The duke of Austria then and the hospitallers of St. John constructed two scaling ladders on two of the cogs, which were raised against the tower about the feast of St. John, the Saracens all the time making a brave resistance. That of the hospitallers however was, sad to relate, broken, and their soldiers were precipitated into the river; the second ladder too, that of the duke of Austria, in like manner fell with the mast of the vessel, and the brave knights and soldiers were drowned in the Nile, but Christ took the souls of all of them to heaven crowned with glorious martyrdom. The Egyptians were overjoyed and derided the crusaders, sounding their trumpets to taunt them, while on the contrary the Christians were overcome by grief and despair. The Frieslanders and Germans under the command of Adolphus de Monte, a brave and powerful noble, then fortified a ship with bulwarks and a small kind of castle at the top of the mast. This ship was fiercely attacked by the soldiers of the city, the tower, and bridge, with Greek fire and missiles, and was at length set on fire; and when the Christians were afraid that it would be entirely consumed, the crew of the vessel by great exertions extinguished the fire, and then the cross-bow men inside caused great destruction amongst the Saracens; other ships of the crusaders were, during this assault, fortified with bulwarks, and being made fast to the tower by anchors, sustained great loss of men and property.

Of the capture of the aforesaid tower, and the wonderful prowess of the Christians.

At length the Almighty having pointed out the following plan, and the architects, by his inspiration, having made provision for its execution, the army of the faith, at the expense

408 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1218.

of the German knights and Frieslanders, and by the cooperation of the same, joined two cogs together with planks and ropes, and so having given it a firm footing, they erected four masts and yards to the same, and on the top of them fixed a turret made of basket-work, and covered with hides to keep off the Greek fire. Under the turret they constructed a scaling ladder, hung with strong ropes, and reaching thirty cubits beyond the prow of the vessel, and this great work was finished in a very short time. The chiefs of the crusaders were then summoned to inspect it, that whatever was deficient either in expense or human ingenuity, might be supplied; and on their answering that such a machine had never before been constructed of wood, the crusaders thought that they ought at once to apply this contrivance against the tower, because by the incessant missiles from their machines, the bridge, by which the enemies of the faith reached the tower, had been in a great measure destroyed. On the sixth day before the feast of St. Bartholomew, the crusaders devoutly marched barefooted in solemn procession to the holy cross, the clergy in advance chanting and reading the service, and humbly implored the divine assistance that the affair might be free from all jealousy and vain boasting on the part of any people then in the army. They summoned several of the commanders to see the result of this attack, although the Frieslanders and Germans would suffice to fill and manage the vessels. On St. Bartholomew's day, which was the sixth day of the week, although the Nile was much swollen, and the force of the stream much impeded the business, this machine was, although with much difficulty and danger, drawn to the tower; the ship however to which it was attached went under sail, while the patriarch and clergy walked along the banks praying to the Lord. When they reached the tower this double machine could not be brought to the western side, it was therefore worked straight to the northern side and there made fast, and was at length secured with ropes and anchors, although the force of the swollen waters seemed to be threatening to drive it away. When the Saracens saw this, they erected six engines on the towers of the city to destroy the machine, but one of these, more destructive than the rest, was broken after a few discharges, and remained useless; they did not however cease their

A.D. 1218.] DEFEAT OF THE SARACENS. 409

efforts but sent forth frequent and destructive showers of stones. The first ship attached to the machine was placed at the foot of the tower, in no small danger; for the Greek fire which was hurled therefrom fell on it like lightning, and caused no small alarm to the crusaders, but by means of vinegar, gravel, and other extinguishing matter, the fire was subdued. Then a fierce assault was made by those who managed the machine, whilst the patriarch lay prostrate on the ground before the cross, and the clergy standing barefooted cried aloud to Heaven. The enemies of the cross and defenders of the tower stretched forth their lances and sprinkled oil on the foremost part of the scaling ladder, and then applying the Greek flame, set fire to it; the crusaders, who were inside, rushing forward to extinguish the fire, by their weight so depressed the head of the ladder, that the turning bridge placed against the front of the tower sank downwards. The standard-bearer of the duke of Austria fell from it, and the pagans seized on the duke's standard amidst much derision; then, thinking themselves victorious, they raised a shout which shook the air. But the Christians, on seeing this, prostrated themselves in prayer, and with clasped hands continued to call on the Lord. At this devotion and upraising to heaven of the hands of the people of Christ, the divine love raised the scaling ladder, and the tears of those of the faith extinguished the fire; and then the crusaders, regaining courage, bravely contended with the defenders of the tower with lances, swords, spikes, arrows, and other weapons of war. A brave young man of the diocese of Liege was the first to climb the tower; a young Frieslander then ascended it, holding in his hand an iron flail used for threshing grain, but made into a weapon for fighting, with which he boldly cut down the enemies of the faith on the other side of the ramparts to the right and left, and amongst others he slew a Saracen who carried the yellow flag of the soldan, which he carried off; then one after another followed in the ascent, although they met with great resistance from their fierce and cruel enemies. The pagans however were at length overcome, and the weeping and lamentation of the Christians was succeeded by joy and triumph; for the Saracens not being able to endure the pressure of numbers in the tower, endeavoured to escape by

410 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1218.

throwing themselves from the windows, and many of them were drowned, the water being too much for them; about a hundred of them were taken alive and reserved for ransom. The Saracens, who had retreated inside the tower, then set fire to the roof of it, on which the victorious Christians, unable to endure the heat, returned to their scaling ladder; they then let down the bridge, which was placed in the lower part of the machine, to the foot of the tower, which was narrow by reason of the waters which flowed round it; they however attacked the door of the tower with iron mallets while the Saracens inside defended it. The double machine was still firmly fixed to the tower, but the wood of the scaling ladder was broken in many places. The walls of the machine, although pierced in many places by the missiles from the engines, continued immoveable from the ninth hour on the sixth day of the week till the tenth hour of the following Saturday. At length the Saracens entirely failing in their defence of the tower, asked for a truce, and surrendered themselves to the duke of Austria on condition of their lives being spared. The tower being thus reduced, the crusaders supplied themselves with provisions and with fresh soldiers, hoping next to subdue the city as they had the tower.

Of the death of Saphadin, and the destruction of the walls of Jerusalem.

After the capture of the tower in the river Nile, Saphadin, who had grown old in days of wickedness, the disinheritor of his nephews, and the wicked usurper of the kingdom of Asia, being overcome, as was said, with grief, died and was buried in hell; he was succeeded by his son Coradin, a fierce and cruel man, who, in revenge for the siege of Damietta, utterly destroyed the famous city of Jerusalem, and reduced to a heap of ruins the walls and towers of that city, except the temple of the Lord and the tower of David. They then held council as to destroying the noble sepulchre of our Lord, which they had threatened to do in letters, which they sent to the citizens of Damietta for their consolation. However, on account of the reverence in which the place was held, no one of them dared to lay hands on it; for in their book, the Alcoran, it is written, that our Lord Jesus Christ was conceived and born of the virgin Mary, whom they confessed to

A.D. 1218.] THE CRUSADERS AT DAMIETTA. 411

have lived without sin amongst men, and to have been a prophet, and more than a prophet; they also asserted in addition, that he restored sight to the blind, cleansed lepers, and brought the dead to life; they also believed that the word and spirit of the living God had ascended to heaven. On this account, when during the truce, their wise men went to Jerusalem and demanded to be shown the book of the gospels, they worshipped it, and admired the purity of the law which Christ taught, and especially the gospel of Luke, "The angel of the Lord was sent", which their learned men often discoursed on and repeated. But their law, which, at the instigation of the devil and by the agency of the apostate and heretic monk, Sergius, Mahomet had written in Arabic and delivered and taught to the Saracens, commenced with the sword, was kept by the sword, and is ended by the sword. This Mahomet was an illiterate man, as he himself proves in his Alcoran; for he himself preached what the above-named heretic dictated, and, being a powerful man and a chief of the Arabs, he by his threats caused that law to be observed. He was moreover a luxurious and warlike man, and so from uncleanness and vanity he gave a law, which his carnal followers observe to the gratification of their own pleasures; and as purity and truth confirm the law of Christ, so worldly and human fear and carnal pleasure support their erroneous doctrine.

Of the arrival at Damietta of the legate Pelagius and other pilgrims.

After the tower of Damietta was subdued as above related, a great number of pilgrims came from various quarters to assist in the crusade then being carried on; and amongst others came Pelagius bishop of Albano, a legate of the apostolic see, together with master Robert de Courcon, and several Romans. A number of bishops also came with the count of Nevers, who when danger threatened, departed, to the confusion of the Christians. At the same time too there arrived from the kingdom of England the illustrious Ralph earl of Chester, with the earls Sayer of Winchester, and William of Arundel, the barons Robert Fitz-Walter, John, constable of Chester, and William de Harcourt, with large retinues, and Oliver, son of the king of England. There came also the earl of March, the earl of Bar with his son, as well as

412 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1218.

William de Curnot, Iterius de Tocce, Hervey d'Urson, and many others.

Of the two attacks made ly the Saracens on the Christians at Damietta.

After this, on the feast of St. Dionysius, the Saracens came unawares with vessels and troops, and attacked the outskirts of the camps where the Romans had pitched their tents; they were however repulsed by a small body of Christians, and made, a hasty retreat to their vessels; but they could not escape the swords of their pursuers and deterrent of the river, for, as the Christians afterwards learned from the pagans, about five hundred were drowned in the Nile. Again on the feast of St. Demetrius, at early dawn, the enemy attacked the camp of the templars, but did little injury to the Christians; for they were put to flight by some cavalry sent against them, and driven to the bridge which they had built at a distance off, and there about five hundred of them were slain by the crusaders.

Of an inundation of the river Nile, by which the Christians suffered great loss.

On the following feast of St. Andrew the apostle, in the middle of the night the waves of the sea rose and made dreadful inroads, even up to the camp of the crusaders, whilst an inundation of the river took them unawares on the other side. Tents were floating about, provisions were lost, the fishes from the sea and river were carried into the tents of the crusaders, who, although they caught them by hand, would rather have been without those dainties; and had it not been for the ditch, which by a prudent plan had been sometime before made, although for a different purpose, the united force of the sea and river would have carried away men and horses, and ships loaded with provisions and arms, into the power of the enemy. This fate was not indeed escaped by the four cogs on which the ramparts had been built for attacking the tower; for these, together with a fifth ship which was jammed between them, were all driven in a heap on to the opposite bank and there destroyed by the Greek fire before the eyes of the crusaders. God indeed spared the machine of the Frieslanders and Germans,

A.D. 1219.] DEATH OF WILLIAM MARSHALL. 413

by which the tower had been taken; but the transports in the harbour parted their cables and were lost.

Of a disease which attacked many of the Christian army.

About that time many in the army were assailed by a disease for which the physicians could find no remedy in their art; for the pain suddenly attacked the feet and legs, on which the skin appeared corrupt and black, and in the gums and teeth a hard black substance took away all power of eating, and numbers who were attacked, after suffering thus for a long time, departed to the Lord; some however who struggled against it till the spring, were by the beneficial warmth of that season preserved from death. [1] In this same year by the intervention of Walo, legate of the apostolic see, Richard de Marisco, a clerk who had been one of the household and intimate friends of king John, was appointed bishop of Durham, and was consecrated on the 24th of July.

The death of William Marshall.

[A.D. 1219.] King Henry in the fourth year of his reign was at Winchester at Christmas, where Peter, the bishop of that place, provided the necessary entertainment for him. In this year too died William Marshall, the king's guardian and regent of the kingdom; and after his death king Henry remained in the guardianship of Peter bishop of Winchester. [2]


[1] C. inserts, "In the same year a church was dedicated at Worcester to St. Mary, and on the same day the body of the renowned bishop Ulstan was translated in the presence of the bishops and nobles too numerous to mention; this took place on the 7th of June, Dominical letter G, namely the Sunday in Whitsun week; and bishop Silvester, formerly prior and monk of the said church, was appointed to preside over it, and the relics of St. Ulstan were divided in order to be the more reverenced. One rib was given to the church of St. Alban's, which William abbat of that place reverently enclosed in silver and gold. About the feast of St. Andrew, Walo left England on his way to Rome, and was succeeded in his legateship by Pandulf, bishop elect of Norwich. King Henry the Third took the royal seal into his own possession".

[2] ... "And was buried with honours in the church at the New Temple, on Ascension-day, the 16th of March, and after his death the said king remained in the care of Peter bishop of Winchester. The following epitaph is said to have been written on the said William:

'Sum quem Saturnum sibi sensit Hibernia, Solem
Anglia, Mercurium Normannia, Gallia Mortem'.

For he was obnoxious to the Irish on account of subduing them; he was the honour and glory of England; a trader with the Normans, for he purchased many places in that country; and to the French he was warlike and invincible. In this year in the time of Hugh the second bishop of Lincoln, and William abbat of St. Alban's, an amicable arrangement was made between the churches of Lincoln and St. Alban's".

414 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1219.

Of the siege of Damietta and the sufferings of the Christians.

About this same time Pelagius, the legate of the apostolic see, in his ardent desire to besiege the city of Damietta, after the taking of the tower, advised the Christians to cross the Nile. They therefore, although with much danger, proceeded with their ships up the river between the city and the captured tower, but were much obstructed by the engines of the city and by the Greek fire; one of the ships of the templars, being driven by the force of the current was forced towards the bank near the city, and being thus thrown in the enemy's reach, they attacked it for a length of time with barbettes and iron grapnels, hurling Greek fire on it from the city towers; and not being able to accomplish their purpose on account of the bravery of its defenders, the infidels climbed on board and impetuously attacked the templars, when, after fighting for a length of time, the ship was bored through, either by the infidels, or, as was rather believed, by the crusaders themselves, and went to the bottom of the river with Christians and infidels together, leaving only the top of its mast above water; and like Sampson who slew more enemies when dying than during his life, so these martyrs for Christ took more enemies with them into the abyss of waters than they could destroy by their swords. The pagans then repaired the bridge and left but a narrow opening, so that the ships of the crusaders could not come up without danger from the force of the river; however the Frieslanders and Germans, inflamed with just indignation, bravely attacked the bridge with the largest ship, by means of which the tower had been taken; and, having no other aid but that of Heaven, less than ten men of the aforesaid nations, opposed by all the strength of Babylon, reached the bridge, and broke it in sight of all the Christian host, who were lost in admiration of their boldness; and then taking possession of the four ships on which the bridge was placed, they returned with them in triumph, and thus left a free and open passage for the

A.D. 1219.] SIEGE OF DAMIETTA. 415

Christians to sail through. When this had been effected, the Saracens, seeing the danger which threatened them, fortified the bank of the river facing the Christians with trenches, mounds of earth, wooden ramparts, and other defences, and then placing their petrariae there, they thus deprived the Christians of all hopes of passing that place. From Casale, which is nearly a mile from the city where this new fortification terminated, they had also sunk ships across the river, and driven stakes under water in the bed of it; but the soldiers of Christ and their cogs, with their forts and bulwarks, and filled with armed men, followed by the galleys and other ships, under the guidance of Christ, entirely escaped all these hidden snares. The enemies of the faith, however, laying aside all fear, drew up three ranks of troops to oppose the naval station of the Christians; one of foot soldiers, drawn up in order on the bank of the river with targets, the second rank behind the first, and of the same kind; and the third, a long and imposing array of horse-soldiers, who severely harassed the crusaders with showers of stones and weapons. But the true God, who does not permit his people to be tried beyond what they can bear, looked on the camp of his servants, and turned the grief and sorrow of the crusaders into exultation and joy; for on the night of the feast of St. Agatha the martyr, when the army of Christ was arranged in order for crossing the river on the following day, the winds and rain caused much distress to the Christians; but on the same night, by the interposition of God, the soldan of Babylon and his army were so terror-struck, that they left their tents, unknown even to the pagans, whom he had ordered to oppose the crusaders, and consulted their safety by flight. On this, a certain apostate, who, having transgressed the law of the Christians, had for a long while fought under the soldan, came to the bank of the river and cried out in the French language, "Why do you delay? what do you fear? The soldan has fled": and after saying this, he asked to be taken on board a Christian ship, and thus inspiring the Christians with confidence, he urged them to cross the river. At early dawn then, when the service of the mass, "Let us all rejoice in the Lord", had been performed, the king and the legate were informed of this by the prayers of the Christians.

416 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1219.

The crusaders, therefore, on the flight of the Saracens, crossed the river without bloodshed and free from all opposition; but so muddy and difficult of approach was this hostile land, on account of the deep water, that horses could with difficulty climb the bank. The templars, who were the first to ascend the bank, hurried to the city, striking down the infidels who boldly came out of the gates to oppose the approaching Christians: but they being driven back into the city, the army of Christ took possession of the tents of the soldan and the spoils of the fugitive pagans. They also plundered a number of targes, galleys, barbottes, and other vessels, which were found below Casale as far as the city; and on account of the unexpected crossing of the river by the Christians, a multitude of infidels fled from Damietta, leaving their wives and children behind them. Damietta was then blockaded all round, for the troops extended by means of a bridge to both banks of the river.

Of the first attack made by the Saracens on the Christians after the siege commenced.

After the city was thus blockaded, the enemies of the faith regained their courage, and with the soldan and the troops of Aleppo, took possession of the place from which the Christians had so unexpectedly crossed, and had it not been for the divine counsel and aid, and chiefly by the bravery of the Germans, the first camp, which was between the sea and the river would have been regained by them, and the cause of Christ would have been in great danger; for the Saracens, being full of deceit had become so rash, that at dawn of the sabbath before the Sunday on which is chanted, "My eyes are always on the Lord", they, unknown to the crusaders, threw themselves in an immense mass as far as the trench, but, by the bravery of the troops, both horse and foot, they were repulsed; for the Christians had made a broad and deep trench in their rear, as a protection, that if the enemies of the faith should make an attack on them they might be safe behind this trench.

Of the second attack made on the Christians.

On Palm Sunday, the enemy, having collected a large and powerful force, again attacked the trench of the crusaders in

A.D. 1219.] ATTACK OF THE INFIDELS. 417

all quarters, and especially the bridge of the templars and the duke of Austria, which the latter, in conjunction with the Germans, bravely defended; the Saracen knights with their picked troops dismounted from their horses and fought desperately with the Christians. Numbers lay dead and wounded in all directions, but the infidels at length gained ground so much that they gained the bridge and burnt a part of it. The duke of Austria then ordered his followers to retreat from the bridge and allow the enemy to cross it, which they did not however dare to do; the women all this time intrepidly supplied the Christian soldiers with water, wine, bread, and missiles; the priests, too, assisted with their prayers, blessing God and binding up the wounds of the wounded. On that holy day the Christians were not allowed an opportunity of carrying any other palms than cross-bows, bows, lances, swords, shields, and arrows; for their enemies, in their desire to free the city from its besiegers, kept up their attacks so incessantly, that, from sunrise till the tenth hour of the day, they allowed the crusaders no rest; but, being at length wearied themselves they retreated from the place of battle with great loss. Again on Ascension day the infidels in their usual way attacked the Christians by land and water, and after repeated assaults they could not gain their ends, but insulting them near their camp each party did much injury to the other.

Of the third fierce attack made by the infidels on the Christians.

After this the enemies of the faith on the 31st of July collected all the forces which they could muster, and, after protracted assaults, crossed the trench notwithstanding the troops of the templars, and, forcing their lines, put the Christian infantry to flight, so that the whole army was in imminent danger. The knights, with the secular horse and foot soldiers three times endeavoured to repel them, but without effect; the insulting Saracens then raised a shout, and the alarm of the Christians increased. But the spirit of wisdom and bravery inspired the templars, for their grand master, with the marshal and others of the brotherhood, made a sally through the narrow opening, and by their bravery put the enemy to flight. The Germans and Frieslanders, counts and barons, and knights of various nations, seeing the soldiers of the Temple in danger, burst through the places

418 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1219.

of egress nearest to them to assist them; a hundred of tho foot soldiers of the infidels throwing away their shields were slain, besides those who fell into the trench and died there. The Christian foot soldiers next sallied out, and the enemy retreated a short distance; the Christian troops then stood to their arms until the dusk of the evening put an end to the conflict; the Saracens retreated before that time. Numbers of slain lay near the ditch, and besides them many mortally wounded were brought into the camp. By the grace of God, and owing to the bravery of the templars, but few of the crusaders were killed or made prisoners. Whilst these things were passing at this place almost all the engines of the crusaders, which had been erected against the city, as well as the scaling ladders, were burnt by the garrison of the place, to the great injury of the Christians. After the soldan had made these attacks he did not again dare to give battle to the Christians, but pitching his camp near the besieging army he there remained in ambuscade.

Of a pitched battle between the Christians and Saracens.

When the army of Christ had for a long while endeavoured to destroy the walls of the city by their petrarias, trebuchets, and other engines of war, but without effect, the wiser part of them plainly discovered that Damietta would not be taken unless by the interposition of God; on this a murmuring arose amongst many in the camp, for the punishment of their sins and discord; for it was the opinion of some, that they ought to give battle to the soldan who remained in his camp near the Christians in ambuscade, so that by subduing him they might also reduce Damietta. On the other hand, it was the opinion of the king of Jerusalem, and many others besides him, that the siege, having been so long carried on, should be continued until, either by the interposition of God or by hunger, the garrison should be compelled to yield; for all who escaped either by way of the postern gate or let themselves down from the walls, by their swollen and famished condition plainly showed the sufferings of their fellow citizens. The party who were determined to give battle to the Saracens at length prevailed, and on the day of the beheading of St. John the Baptist, they all, although disagreeing amongst themselves, marched in a body against the

A.D. 1219.] A PITCHED BATTLE. 419

camp of the Babylonians, and with difficulty could men be found to remain and carry on the siege. They therefore marched and discovered the enemies of the faith in their camp between the sea and the river, where no fresh water could he found to drink, but the enemy, on their approach, struck their tents and feigned flight; and when the crusaders had proceeded far enough to see that they would not give them open battle, the chiefs of the army held a long council as to whether they should proceed or return. Opinion was so divided amongst them, that the different bodies broke up without coming to any determination, except those who were kept together by discipline and military obedience; the cavalry of Cyprus, who were placed on the right flank of the army, first showed signs of fear, when the Saracens attacked the flank; the Roman foot soldiers were the first to fly and after them the knights of various countries, and some of the hospitallers of St. John, although the legate, and the patriarch, who carried the cross, entreated them, although in vain, to withstand the enemy. The heat of the sun was very great and the foot soldiers were overpowered by the weight of their armour; the heat increased the toil of the march, and those who had brought wine with them in the agony of thirst drank it pure, for want of water, and these fled after the first fugitives till they were out of breath and fell dead without being wounded. The king of Jerusalem, however, with the templars, and the Teutonic order, and the hospitallers of St. John, and the earls of Holland, Wiche, Salisbury, and Chester, Walter Bertold, Reginald de Pont, and the French, Pisans, and knights of various countries, sustained the attack of the pagans, and were as it were a wall for the fugitives whenever the enemy showed their faces; the king of Jerusalem indeed was almost destroyed by the Greek fire. In this conflict were made prisoners of the Christians the bishop elect of Beauvais, and his brother Andrew de Nantes, the sheriff of Beaumont, Walter chamberlain to the French king, and his son John of Arc, and Henry of Ulm. Thirty-three templars were slain and made prisoners, besides the marshal of the hospital of St. John, and some brothers of the same order; and the Teutonic order did not escape without loss. Many others besides were slain and taken prisoners. The knights of the temple, who were always first in attack, were

420 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1219.

last in the retreat; therefore although they were the last of the Christians to reach the trench, they bravely opposed the enemy till all those before them had entered the fortifications; the Saracens then returned to take away their prisoners and to collect booty; and, as the crusaders afterwards learned from the Saracens, the heads of five hundred Christians were presented to the soldan. It was very evident to the Christians that the infidels too had suffered heavy loss in their principal soldiery, for the soldan sent one of his prisoners to the Christians to treat for a truce or for peace, and during this treaty the Christians properly repaired their trench and engines of war

How several pilgrims left Damietta without permission.

About that time some sailors, traitors to Christianity, and several Christians with them, before the time of the usual passage, left the army of Christ in its greatest danger, and by their departure added to the sorrow of the Christians and the boldness of the Babylonians; therefore, the infidels breaking off the treaty, on the eve of St. Cosmas and St. Damian, [1] and the following day, attacked the Christians with their accustomed rage and barbarous ferocity, with galleys and armed barbottes, by sea and by land, with mangonelles, targes, and faggots for filling up the trench, and by this sudden attack slew numbers of them; but the triumphant One of Israel, the Omnipotent God, provided for the safety of his camp, for Savaric de Maulion arrived by sea with armed galleys and a great number of soldiers. The Christians then seeing this, in their eminent peril cried out to heaven, giving praise to God, and became encouraged, and bravely giving battle to the enemy, compelled the infidels to retreat by the favour of Him who preserves those who trust in him. [2]


[1] 26th September.

[2] C. inserts here, "About this time, St. Elizabeth, the daughter of the king of Hungary, and wife of the Landgrave of Duringen, a woman renowned for miracles, distinguished above all her sex for her miracles and sanctity of life, flourished in Germany. At her exhortation, her husband, the landgrave, by name Louis, joined the crusade, and died at Damietta, when he was received into heaven through the prayers of his most holy wife. After his death, St. Elizabeth, now a widow, received the habit of a nun from Master Conrad, a religious man, and thus she proceeded from virtue to virtue, till the whole of Germany, before she died, became renowned bv her virtues. It should also be known that this Elizabeth was the daughter of the queen of whom a certain person was accused of having used the following ambiguous sentence, 'Reginam interficere nolite timere; bonum est: et, si omnes consenserint, ego non contradico'. [Fear not to slay the queen; it is commendable so to do; if all agree, I do not oppose.] But pope Innocent put a more favourable interpretation upon it, thus, 'Reginam interficere nolite, timere bonum est; etsi omnes consenserint, ego non, contradico'. [Do not kill the queen; to hesitate is commendable; though all consent to it, I do not, but oppose it.]

A.D. 1219.] MORTALITY AMONGST THE GARRISON. 421

Of the mortality amongst the garrison of Damietta.

We will now relate some of the events which happened in the city. The people of Damietta having suffered during its long siege from attacks, hunger, and disease, more than can he described, placed their confidence only in the hope that the sultan, as he had promised, would, if their case was imminent, make terms with the Christians, that they might thus escape death; indeed, at this time famine was so prevalent in the city that the besieged were without provisions, for the corn of Egypt is not durable on account of the soft land in which it grows, except in the higher parts near Babylon, where it is kept [1] nearly a year. The infidels then blocked up the gates that no one might get out to tell their sufferings to the crusaders, for every day they suffered dreadfully; the stock of provisions amongst the army of the sultan, which surrounded the crusaders outside, began to fail them, and to such a degree that one fig was sold for twelve bezants. Amongst other sufferings endured day and night by these wretches, they were attacked by a complaint, and could see nothing even with their eyes wide open. Besides this, the Nile, which usually overflows and waters the plains of Egypt from the feast of St. John the Baptist till the elevation of the cross, did not this year rise as usual, but left a great part of the land dry, and they could not either sow or plough in that part; the soldan, therefore, in dread of a famine, and being desirous of retaining Damietta, endeavoured to make arrangements for peace with the Christians. His intention of making arrangements was strengthened by the wonderful capture of the tower, and by the firmness in battle of the Christians, who with only a small force of those of the true faith had so often bravely attacked the whole pagan force, and put them to flight, besides slaying many thousands of them.


[1] The author of "Captio Damietta" adds the word "artificiose".

422 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1219.

How the soldan offered the kingdom of Jerusalem to the Christians, on condition of their retiring from Damietta.

The soldan, therefore, thus troubled in mind, convoked a council of his nobles and faithful counsellors, and addressed them as follows:- "The God of the Christians", said he, "is great, and a faithful and powerful ally in battle, which we have all found out, and especially in the present emergency, in which he plainly fights for our enemies against us, and undoubtedly, all that we can do will be of no effect as long as they have his assistance. The capture of Damietta is at hand, which is the key of all Egypt; and should it be taken, great loss will ensue to us and our law, for although it has been often besieged by the Christians, it has not yet been subdued by them. Therefore, I think it will be to our advantage to restore to the God of the Christians all that belonged to him, that he may not, in regaining his own, take from us what is our own; and inasmuch as he is a just God, and does not covet the possessions of others, if the Christians refuse these just terms of peace, which will be most honourable to them, they will thus provoke their God to hatred against them, on acount of their wicked covetousness, and he, despising their pride, will depart from them, and they will find an enemy in him, who formerly gave them his merciful assistance". Although this advice was displeasing to many, he however sent messengers to the Christians, and offered to restore to them the true cross, which had been some time before taken by Saladin, and also to release all the prisoners that could be found alive, throughout the kingdom of Babylon and Damascus, and to pay the necessary expenses for repairing the walls of Jerusalem, and restoring the city to its former state. He also offered entirely to give up the kingdom of Jerusalem, except Crach and Mount Royal, for the retention by him of which two places he offered to pay a yearly tribute of twelve thousand bezants as long as he held them. These are two castles in Arabia, having seven strong fortifications, and situated on the road by which the pagan merchants and pilgrims usually travel to and from Mecca, and whoever held these places would be able to do much injury to Jerusalem, and the vineyards and fields. The king of Jerusalem, the earl of Chester, and all the French and German chiefs resolutely asserted that these

A.D. 1219.] CAPTURE OF DAMIETTA. 423

terms ought to be accepted, and would be advantageous to Christianity; nor is it to be wondered at, as the Christians would have been contented with much less advantageous terms of peace, which had been offered them before this, if they had not been prevented by wise counsel. The legate, however, in his desire of gaining possession of Damietta, and owing to him, the patriarch and all the clergy, opposed these terms, constantly asserting that Damietta above all other places ought to be taken possession of; this difference of opinion caused disagreement, at which the soldan's messengers departed much pleased. When the soldan was told of this, he secretly sent a large force of foot soldiers through the marshes to Damietta; two hundred and forty of these, when the Christians were sleeping on the Sunday night after All Saints' day, attacked their camp, but by the shouts of the sentries the army was roused, and they were taken prisoners or slain, and the captives amounted to a hundred or more.

Of the miraculous capture of the city of Damietta.

After these events, the Christian army having made fierce assaults on the city of Damietta, they at length saw that the ramparts were destitute of defenders, on which the crusaders with all haste applied their scaling-ladders to the walls and eagerly entered the city; and thus by the interposition of the Saviour of the world, on the fifth of November the city of Damietta was taken without opposition, without noise, and without pillage; so that the victory is to be ascribed to the Son of God alone; and although the city was taken in sight of the king of Babylon, he did not dare as usual to attack the Christians, but fled in confusion and burnt his own camp. Under the guidance of Christ then his soldiers entered Damietta, and found the streets strewed with the corpses of the dead, and were met by an intolerable stench from them and the most squalid-looking human beings. The dead had killed the living; husband and wife, father and son, master and servant, had perished from the stench of one another. And it was not only the streets which were full of the dead, for corpses were lying about in houses and bedchambers; boys and children had asked for bread, and there was no one to break it for them; infants hanging at the

424 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1219.

breasts of their mothers were rolling over the bodies of the dead; the pampered rich died of hunger though surrounded with heaps of corn. From the commencement of the siege eighty thousand persons had died in that city, except those whom the crusaders found there healthy and sick, who amounted to three thousand and more; of these three hundred of the higher ranks were kept by the Christians alive to exchange for their countrymen who were prisoners of the infidels, except those who had believed in Christ and were baptized. This city was first besieged by the Greeks, who failed in capturing it; it was next besieged by the Latins under Almeric king of Jerusalem, but they did not succeed; on this, the third time, the King of kings and Lord of lords delivered it to his servants, even our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth for ever and ever.

Of the costly spoils of Damietta.

The crusaders found in the city great quantities of gold and silver, silk, cloth, costly garments, with worldly ornaments, and various kinds of goods in great abundance. They all swore in common that the spoil should be carried away, and given up to be equally divided amongst the conquerors. This had been ordered by the legate under pain of excommunication, but the greediness of the eyes made many thieves. They took for the general use a great portion of the wealth of Egypt in gold and silver, pearls, fruit, amber, gold thread, phylacteries, and costly cloths, which were distributed amongst the army of the Lord, together with the corn found in the city. The bishop of Acre baptized all the children who were found alive in the city, thereby giving to God the first fruits of souls. The legate also, out of the great mosque in the city, constructed a church in honour of the blessed Virgin Mary and all the apostles, to the glory and exaltation of the faith of the Trinity. The city of Damietta, besides the natural position of the place by which it in defended, is surrounded by three walls, having a low wall outside to protect the outer ditch, a second higher than the first, and the third higher than the second. The middle wall had twenty-eight principal towers, with double and treble breastworks, which all remained uninjured, except one, which had been somewhat battered by the frequent

A.D. 1219.] CAPTURE OF TANNIS CASTLE. 425

missiles from the trebuchets of the templars, for God wished to deliver that city to his servants entire, as the key and outwork of all the land of Egypt. The eity lies between Rarnesses and the plain of Tannis in the land of Gersen, which, as the Christians conjectured, was the pasture whither the children of Israel fled from Pharaoh at the time of the famine, as is related in the Old Testament.

Of the capture of the castle of Tannis.

Damietta being thus taken, about a thousand men were, on the feast of St. Clement, [1] sent as scouts in boats up a small river called Tannis, to seek for provisions from the fortresses and towns, and carefully to note the situations of places. On their approaching a castle called by the name of the river the Saracens who garrisoned it, on seeing the Christians, thought that the whole army was approaching, therefore they secured the gates and took to flight, and the Christians with only Christ as their leader eagerly entered the castle. The crusaders, on their return, declared that they had never seen a stronger castle on a plain; for it had seven strong towers, and breastworks above it all round; it was surrounded by a double ditch, walled on both sides, and had an outwork; a lake spread itself around it to a distance, and on this account it was difficult of access to horse-soldiers in winter, and in summer so inaccessible that it could never be taken by siege by any army. This lake, greatly abounded in fish, for from the sale of fish from it four thousand marks were paid to the soldan yearly. The place also abounded in birds and salt-pits. Many castles around were subservient to this one, for the city before the castle was once a well-known place, and larger than Damietta, but was afterwards a heap of ruins. This is the Tannis of which the prophet David has made mention in the psalm, as also Isaiah, "The foolish chiefs of Tannis", etc. In this city Jeremiah is said to have been stoned, as you are told in the Old Testament. Tannis is a day's journey distant from Damietta, on the way by sea towards the land of promise, so that it would be easy to place a garrison there, and to send provisions either by land or sea from Acre or Damietta. It had done much injury to the Christians during the siege of Damietta, when their


[1] November 23rd.

426 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1220.

ships, in going to or coming from the army had gone near that place, for the beach before Tannis is sandy, and there is no harbour there, but there is a wide bay, and ships which are driven into it cannot clear it without a fair wind. In this year, the noble Ralph earl of Chester, after fighting for nearly two years in the service of God, obtained permission of the legate, and returned home with his blessing and the good wishes of all the army. [1]

How Louis attacked Toulouse, but was obliged to retreat in confusion.

About this time Louis, eldest son of Philip king of the French, at the instigation of his father, collected a large army to attack the heretic Albigenses, and marched with all his forces to lay siege to the city of Toulouse, whose inhabitants were said to have been long tainted with heresy. After disposing their engines round the city, the French kept up continued assaults on it, but the citizens on seeing this prepared for defence, and erected engine against engine; and after the siege had been carried on for a long time without effect, a great famine arose amongst the French army, which was followed by dreadful mortality both of men and horses. Simon earl of Montfort, the commander of the besieging army, was wounded before the gate of the city by a stone hurled from a petraria, and, his whole body being crushed, he died on the spot; his brother too, at the siege of a castle near Toulouse, was in the same way wounded by a stone, and died to the great grief of many. Louis therefore, after a great mortality in his army from famine, as has been mentioned, and having suffered great loss of all his property, returned in confusion to France with the remains of his troops.

Of the second coronation of king Henry.

[A.D. 1220.] At Christmas king Henry was at Marlborough, being still under the guardianship of Peter, bishop of Winchester. In this year, on Whit-Sunday, which was the seventeenth day of May, the said king, in the fifth year of his reign, was again crowned at Canterbury by


[1] Paris adds here:- "In this year about Easter, Hugh de Maneport bishop of Hereford, died, and was succeeded by Hugh Foliott, who was consecrated at Canterbury on the feast of All Saints".

A.D. 1220.] CANONIZATION OF ST. HUGH. 427

Stephen, archbishop of that place, in the presence of the clergy and people from all parts of the kingdom. On the following feast of St. Barnabas [1] the apostle, Henry king of England, and Alexander king of Scots, had an interview at York, where treaty was entered into for the contracting a marriage between Alexander king of Scots and the king of England's sister, and the contract having been confirmed, the king of Scots returned home.

Of the canonization of St. Hugh bishop of Lincoln.

In this same year, St. Hugh bishop of Lincoln was canonized by pope Honorius, and admitted into the number of saints, an inquisition of his miracles having been first held by Stephen archbishop of Canterbury and John abbat of Fountain's abbeys, which circumstance was set forth in the following warrant of our lord the pope:- "Honorius, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to all his beloved and faithful children in Christ, to whom these presents shall come, health and the apostolic benediction. The divine mercy assigns a place of felicity in heaven to its saints and elect, and whilst they are on earth honours them with miracles, that the devotion of the faithful may be thereby excited to ask for their intercession. Whereas, we have enrolled in the number of saints, Hugh bishop of Lincoln, of sacred memory, whom, as it is plainly evident to us, the divine goodness has rendered illustrious by the number of his glorious miracles, as well during his life as after he had put off the garb of mortality, we command, and in the name of the Lord exhort the whole brotherhood of you, devoutly to implore his mediation with God; and in addition to this, we order, that from the day of his death a feast in honour of him shall be solemnly observed each year thenceforth. Given at Viterbo, this seventeenth of February, in the fourth year of our pontificate".

The capture of the castles of Sanney and Rockingham.

In the same year, on the feast of the apostles Peter and Paul, [2] king Henry suddenly took possession of the castles of Rockingham and Sanney, against the will of William earl of Albemarle. When the said king arrived at the castles to


[1] 11th of June.

[2] June 29th.

428 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1221.

attack them he found them destitute of all kinds of provisions, for they had not so much as three loaves of bread in both of them. [1]

Translation of St. Thomas archbishop of Canterbury.

In the same year, on the day after the octaves of the apostles Peter and Paul, the body of St. Thomas the archbishop and martyr was taken out of its marble tomb by Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, in the presence of the king and almost all the bishops, abbats, priors, earls, and barons of the kingdom. It was then placed with due honours in a coffin elaborately worked with gold and jewels. At this translation were also present archbishops, bishops, abbats, priors, and numbers of others of the French kingdom, and various other countries, who eagerly assembled to be present at this great solemnity; for they considered it a most proper duty to honour and worship this holy martyr in Christ's cause, who shed his blood for the universal church, and had unflinchingly fought for it to the last.

Of the siege of the cattle of Biham, and the troubles in the kingdom.

[A.D. 1221.] At Christmas king Henry held his court at Oxford, at which the earls and barons of the kingdom attended. At this place, when all the royal services had been discharged with success and peaceably, he liberally distributed to all what was due, according to the old custom of the kingdom. William de Foret, [2] however, wishing to disturb the peace of the kingdom, went away without leave on the following night, and proceeded in all haste to the castle of Biham, where after a few days he collected some troops, and attacked and plundered the town of Tenham, and carried away the corn belonging to the canons of Bridlington to Biham castle: he also plundered the town of Deping and other places in the same county, made prisoners of the inhabitants, and, after torturing them severely, obliged them to ransom themselves. He was instigated to these acts, as was said, by Falcasius, Philip Mare, Peter de Mauleon,


[1] Paris adds:- "In this year a new chapel dedicated to Saint Mary was begun at Westminster, of which king Henry was the founder, he himself laying the foundation stone".

[2] The earl of Albemarle before-mentioned.

A.D. 1221.] TROUBLES IN THE KINGDOM. 429

Engelard d'Athie, and many others, who privately sent him soldiers to disturb the peace of the kingdom. During these disturbances the inhabitants of that part of the country flew to the churches for safety, carrying all their property into the cemeteries. In the meantime, the nobles of England assembled before the king at Westminster to discuss the affairs of the kingdom; but the earl, who had been summoned amongst the rest, although he pretended that he would come there, like a cunning traveller, changed his purpose and went to the castle of Fotheringay. That castle was then in charge of Ralph earl of Chester, but almost destitute of knights and soldiers; and when the aforesaid earl found this out, he applied his scaling ladders to it, and gained admission to it with his soldiers, and soon subdued it, making prisoners of the few guards he found there. Then putting some of his own soldiers in charge of it, he made all haste to the town of Biham. He next pl